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THE FIRST ENGLISH LANGUAGE DAILY IN FREE KUWAIT Established in 1977 / emergency number 112


NO. 14961


150 FILS

Obama due in region as Arab world eyes global role Call for Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction By Joana Saba

The first session of the conference saw the Qatari PM Sheikh Jassem bin Jabr Al-Thani affirm the importance of reforming all aspects of Arab society, structures, relations and instiArab Times Staff tutes — particularly education, the Arab League, and Arab media. He also touched on the KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: Under the patronage of HH the Amir, the First International long ongoing Palestinian struggle. Conference of the Council for Arab and International Relations commenced on Monday The session also raised questions on the Arab World’s relations with the West. HRH morning, in the presence of HH the Prime Minister. Prince Turki Al-Faisal and Richard Armitage discussed the Arab world’s relations with the US, noting their often deeply fraught nature, in light of the war in Iraq and the Arab-Israeli struggle. Further, the conference saw disagreements over the resolution of By Nihal Sharaf the situation in Syria aired, in light Arab Times Staff of the presence of two of the main KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: The Criminal Court on Monday contested figures in the struggle — postponed the trial of opposition ex-MP Musallam Al- Russia and Iran — Iran itself being

Barrak trial postponed Continued on Page 9

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Photo by Mahmoud Jadeed

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani addresses the opening session of the conference.

Infirm Pope to resign Photo by Mesha’al Oklah

Former MP Musallam Al Barrak gestures as he leaves the Palace of Justice in Kuwait City, Feb 11.

Doubts on debt issue

Panel nod to pact on ‘cross-border crime’ By Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Nihal Sharaf Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: The Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly Monday unanimously approved three Arab agreements on combating organized crime across borders, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering. The committee’s Rapporteur Taher Al-Failakawi stated the committee discussed the three agreements and because none of the members made any observations to these agreements the committee immediately approved them and referred them to the Parliament for discussing and voting. Furthermore, the Finance and Economic Committee also approved 13 proposed amendments to the Commercial Companies Law in the presence of Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas AlSaleh and other government representatives. Speaking to reporters after a committee meeting Monday, the committee Rapporteur Safa AlHashim explained several meetings were held earlier between the committee and the government and both sides had agreed on the amendments related to words and alphabets such as ‘joint-stock companies’ which was amended to ‘stock companies’. About the meeting which the committee will hold Tuesday to discuss the government response to the committee’s report on writing off loan interests, Al-Hashim said she is not happy with the response given by the Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shamali who, she said, had not given the actual cost mentioned in the committee report and instead gave huge figures to make it look like the state would bear huge costs in resolving the loan issue. She added the vague figures provided by the minister shows there

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▼ Dow -21.73 pts at closing, Feb 11 See Page 46

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Powers loom

VATICAN CITY, Feb 11, (Agencies): Declaring that he lacks the strength to do his job, Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he will resign Feb. 28 — becoming the first pontiff to step down in 600 years. His decision sets the stage for a midMarch conclave to elect a new leader for a Catholic Church in deep turmoil.

Iran expects nuclear offer TEHRAN, Feb 11, (Agencies): Iran is expecting a new offer from world powers in talks later this month in Kazakhstan over its controversial nuclear programme, a member of its negotiating team said on Monday. Iran and the P5+1 group of the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany are to resume negotiations in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Feb 26 after an eight-month hiatus, following up three failed meetings last year. “The P5+1 knows they should have a new proposal for Iran,” Mostafa Dolatyar, a member of Iran’s nuclear negotiating delegation, told the ISNA news agency. “We will be the listeners in Almaty.” Their last high-ranking meeting, in Moscow in June, yielded no breakthrough as Iran rejected calls from the P5+1 to suspend part of its programme and asked for a substantial sanctions relief in return. “We put forward our issues in Moscow and they are supposed to answer to them,” Dolatyar said. “We will then respond accordingly based on what they will offer to us.”

The 85-year-old pope dropped the bombshell in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, surprising even his closest collaborators even though he had made clear previously that he would step down if he became too old or infirm to carry on. Benedict called his choice “a decision of great importance for the life of the church.”

Conclave Indeed, the move allows the Vatican to hold a conclave before Easter to elect a new pope, since the traditional nine days of mourning that would follow the death of a pope doesn’t have to be observed. It will also allow Benedict to hold great sway over the choice of his successor, though he will not vote. He has already handpicked the bulk of the College of Cardinals — the princes of the church who will elect the next pope — to guarantee his conservative legacy and ensure an orthodox future for the church. “Without doubt this is a historic moment,” said Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, a protege and former theology student of Benedict’s who himself is considered a papal contender. “Right now, 1.2 billion Catholics the world over are holding their breath.” Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, the archbishop of Paris, called the decision a “liberating act for the future,” saying popes from now on will no longer feel compelled to stay on until their death. “One could say that in a certain manner, Pope Benedict XVI broke a taboo,” he told reporters in Paris. There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no Continued on Page 47

LONDON: A new virus from the same family as SARS that sparked a global alert last September has been found in a further patient in Britain, health officials said on Monday. This latest case of infection with the new virus known as a coronavirus brings the total number of confirmed cases globally to 10, of which five have died. The British patient, who had recently travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan, is receiving intensive care treatment in hospital in Manchester, northern England. The new virus shares some of the symptoms of SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome — a coronavirus which emerged in China in 2002 and killed about a tenth of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide. The symptoms include severe respiratory illness, fever, coughing and breathing difficulties. (RTRS)

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is no good intention on the part of the government to help resolve the loan issue “but as per my nature, I am optimistic and waiting to see what the Minister will say during Tuesday’s meeting.” In another development, seven MPs announced the formation of a new parliamentary bloc called ‘The Future Bloc’. The bloc members are Saleh Ashour, Ahmed AlMulaifi, Yaqoub Al-Sane, Nawaf Al-Fuzai, Khalil Al-Saleh, Abdullah Al-Tameemi and Hisham Al-Baghli. In a press statement, the bloc said its objectives include achieving basics of parliamentary practices for the sake developing the country and that it would also work to achieve justice and equality in conformity with the bloc’s vision until citizens and residents get opportunity to enjoy political stability in civil life, at present and in future so that Kuwait occupies a place among the leading countries in the world. The statement added the bloc would also work to achieve comprehensive development, establish democracy and ensure better ethical values, freedoms and transparency for reform and abstain from making sectarian and tribal statements and any statement that would undermine the unity of the society and its structural elements. Meanwhile, members of the parliamentary committee investigating the financial and administrative violations in the Jaber Bridge and Al-Zour Power Plant projects met on Monday and elected MPs Khalaf Dumaithir as its chairman and Adnan Al-Mutawa, Rapporteur. Speaking after the meeting, AlMutawa explained the committee had set its work priorities and will first invite the State Audit Bureau to look into issues pertaining to contracts and contractors after

Tears, sadness

Omar Akram receives his Grammy for Best New Age at the stage of the Staples Center during the pre-telecast of the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, Feb 10. (AFP) — See Pages 21, 22 & 23


In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI delivers his message at the end of a meeting of Vatican cardinals, at the Vatican, Feb 11. Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign Feb 28 — the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. (AP)

‘Nervous about revenge attacks’

Laden SEAL breaks silence WASHINGTON, Feb 11, (AFP): The Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden broke his silence Monday, recounting in an interview the three bullets he pumped into the al-Qaeda leader and the financial anxiety he now faces as an unemployed civilian. The commando kept his identity secret in the Esquire magazine profile but revealed his role in the daring May 2011 raid for the first time, as well as the worries he has for his family’s security. “He looked confused. And way taller than I was expecting,” the SEAL says of Bin Laden. When the commandos came upon Bin Laden on the third floor of his Pakistani hideout, the al-Qaeda mastermind had his hands on his youngest wife’s shoulders, “pushing her ahead” and there was a AK47 nearby. “I don’t know if she’s got a vest and she’s being pushed to martyr them both. He’s got a gun within reach. He’s a threat. I need to get a head shot so he won’t have a chance to clack himself off (blow himself up),” the commando says. “In that second, I shot him, two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap! The second time as he’s going down. He crumpled onto the

floor in front of his bed and I hit him again, Bap! same place,” he says. “He was dead. Not moving. His tongue was out.” Another Navy SEAL who took part in the raid, Matt Bissonnette, offered the first eyewitness account last year in a book titled “No Easy Day,” which drew the ire of Pentagon officials who accused him of breaking a pledge not to disclose classified information. According to the Esquire article, the whole confrontation with Bin Laden takes only 15 seconds. But the most harrowing moment came earlier, when the “shooter” learned that one of the stealthy Black Hawk helicopters in the raid has crash-landed at the compound. “We’re never getting out of here now,” he says. “I thought we’d have to steal cars and drive to Islamabad. Because the other option was to stick around and wait for the Pakistani military to show up... That’s when I got concerned.” After the operation is over, the SEAL commando revels in the raid’s success in which no SEALs were killed or wounded. But by the summer of 2012, after retiring from the military, he said he had become Continued on Page 47

The remarks came after US Secretary of State John Kerry encouraged Iran on Friday to seriously address its disputed nuclear work at the talks, saying in return “the international community is ready to respond”. British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said the six world powers would put forward an “updated and credible” offer at the talks. The Islamic republic is under various rounds of international sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme which the West fears is aimed at developing weapons. Iran insists its atomic work is peaceful. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday that Tehran would “not retreat an iota” from what Tehran calls its nuclear rights. Decisions on Tehran’s nuclear programme rests with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose representative Saeed Jalili leads the negotiating team in the talks with world powers.

Proposal An earlier proposal by Washington to directly discuss the Iranian programme at Almaty with the Iranian team was shot down by Khamenei last week. Iran is also being pressured by the UN’s atomic watchdog agency to grant broader access to its facilities, scientists and documents to resolve outstanding concerns over its past atomic activities. Iran faces possible referral to the UN Security Council in early March unless Tehran and the UN atomic agency defy expectations in talks Wednesday and reach a deal on enhanced inspections. Iran has consistently rejected as unfounded what the International Atomic Energy Agency calls “overall, credible” evidence that until 2003 and possibly since, it conducted nuclear weapons research. Continued on Page 9




Event slated for Feb 16 at Discovery Shopping Mall

Pediatrics society to hold workshops on hemophilia KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11, (KUNA): Kuwaiti Society for Pediatrics announced on Monday holding awareness workshops for parents and children of hemophilia, and Von Willebrands hereditary diseases. Workshops will be held on Feb 16 at Discovery Shopping Mall with participation of a group of pediatric hematologists, and specialized nurses to teach domestic care for such diseases, the rapporteur of Kuwaiti Society for Pediatrics, general pedi-

atric consultant and pediatric hematologist in Mubarak Hospital, Sondos Al-Shereedah, said in remarks to KUNA. The workshops, organized by Dr Al-Shereedah and Head of Kuwaiti Society for Pediatrics, pediatric specialist Dr Maha Jassim Bourisly, are called “Superilia” to indicate the headedness of hemophilia patients. The workshops aim at educating parents of patients about complications of the disease, proper ways of

offering injections to their ill children, besides dealing with emergency situations to avoid acute bleeding cases. Hemophilia is a group of hereditary genetic disorders that impair the body’s ability to control blood clotting or coagulation, which is used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken. Al-Shreeda said that there are two types of hemophilia, type (A) caused by lack of eighth clotting factor,

while type (B) is caused by lack of ninth clotting factor. In rare cases, hemophilia might be discovered in the child without any family history, and the percentage of such cases is 30 percent, and it is caused due to mutation in genes, Dr Al-Shereeda explained. There is no complete cure for hemophilia while patients can take injections containing the lacked clotting factor in order to live a normal life, AlShereedah said.

Business ‘incubator’ aims to support women in SMEs Project developed by Social Affairs and Labor ministry KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11, (KUNA): Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Thikra Ayed AlRashidi on Sunday opened a business incubator aiming to support the successful development of females’ small enterprises.

Syed Shahed Reza, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Kuwait hosted a dinner at his residency in honour of His Excellency Md Shahjahan Mia, MP, Honorable Minister for Religious Affairs of Bangladesh and his entourage. The Minister is visiting Kuwait with the invitation of Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs of State of Kuwait. The other members of the delegation are Kazi Habibual Awal, Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs of Bangladesh and Dr Abu Reza Nadvi. During the visit the delegation met the Kuwaiti counterparts and discussed matters of mutual interest.

The project is developed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (SCPD) and the country office of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Addressing the opening ceremony, the minister said: “This is the first such initiative in Kuwait and the Middle East designed to offer logistic and material support to the female entrepreneurs.” “This project will serve as a nucleus for a chain of business incubators for young male and female entrepreneurs. The ultimate goal is to tap into the potentials of the youth and put in play their role in economic development,” she said. The minister voiced hope that the project will contribute to creating better future for the youth and the country, and boosting the woman economic empowerment. On her part, Director of the SCPD Division of Technical Cooperation and Development Support Lana Abu-Eid voiced hope that the adoption of the law on support to small enterprises will give a quantum leap to the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). “The SMEs account for up to 70 percent of job creating effort and more than 30 percent of GDP of the Arab countries,” she added. Meanwhile, UNDP Resident Representative in Kuwait Mr. Stein R. Hansen said the project will empower women economically through offering solutions to the administrative and bureaucratic problems facing females’ enterprises. Fifty female entrepreneurs have been selected for training under the business incubator, Hansen added. Meanwhile, amendments on unemployment insurance and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) bills were approved Sunday by the economic and financial affairs committee and forwarded to parliament to be enlisted on the agenda. “The committee unanimously approved omitting an article from the unemployment insurance bill, which stipulated that employer’s service is not to be terminated in case of resignation,” the committee’s rapporteur MP Safaa Al-Hashem told reporters after the meeting. She explained that such amendment would serve Kuwaitis who are “forced” to resign in the private sector. As for the national fund to support SMEs, Al-Hashem said amendments on the bill included specifying nature of commercial activities, among others.


Top and above: some photos of the event.

Embassy highlights excellent bilateral ties with Kuwait

Vietnamese mark new lunar year By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: The Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Kuwait joined everyone across the globe in celebrating the new lunar year on Sunday with thanksgiving and positive outlook, reaffirming its bond with Laos and Cambodia and highlighting its excellent bilateral ties with Kuwait. “We welcome this important moment as we enter the new lunar year and the Year of the Snake. The Embassy of Vietnam wishes everyone present tonight as well as those in Bahrain and Oman who can’t be here tonight a healthy, prosperous and peaceful year ahead,” stated Ambassador of Vietnam to Kuwait Bui Quoc Trung during the celebration of the new lunar year in his residence. Present also during the celebration were Ambassador of Cambodia Long Kem, Ambassador of Laos Thongphachanh Sonnasinh, members of the Vietnamese community, diplomatic corps and other distinguished guests. Ambassador Trung cited that Vietnam has experienced some difficulties in 2012 but with the relentless efforts of its people, party and army, it has bounced back and gained momentum in national construction and defense as well as strengthened its international relations with the global community particularly with Kuwait.

He outlined the excellent bilateral relations between Vietnam and Kuwait as manifested by the refinery project taken part by Kuwait which is expected to be completed in 2017. “This is the biggest foreign investment in Vietnam. After its completion, the refinery will contribute to the economy and development of energy security further enhancing relations between the two countries,” pointed out the Ambassador. Looking back, Ambassador Trung cited that 2012 also marked the signing of treaty of cooperation and friendship among Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. He stressed that the treaty would further strengthen the ties of the three countries in promoting the rights and welfare of their respective nationals as well as further trade relations with the host country. “We would like to thank everyone who has supported all our events and other activities such as conferences, fundraising and other charity programmes aimed at helping the needy,” he stated. With the growing number of Vietnamese nationals coming to Kuwait to work, the embassy continues to monitor and ensure their good living condition in the country. He also thanked the people of Laos and Cambodia for the friendship and for supporting them. The Ambassador exhorted everyone to support all the embassy’s initiatives

and programmes as the new lunar year starts. “This year is a very important year for Vietnam as it goes through the five-year development plan. There are a lot of good things to look forward to as we hope for peace and prosperity in the region,” he stressed. Meanwhile, Ambassador Sonnasinh also delivers a brief speech thanking the Vietnamese Ambassador and his spouse for inviting them to celebrate a new year of friendship and cooperation. “Let us always remember how our forefathers stood side by side to combat colonialism and win our freedom.” Their efforts to liberate us and achieve peace and harmony among three nations will always be a part of our history and bond to keep us united. I wish everyone the best of health, happiness and prosperity”, stated Ambassador Sonnasinh. Ambassador Kem also expressed his gratitude to Ambassador Trung and lauded him for bringing the three countries together and highlighted the strong bond of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam as he wished everyone a prosperous new year. Among the highlights of the occasion were the brief new year speeches by selected Vietnamese nationals and a colourful cultural presentation as well as exchange of gifts and other surprises. The celebration was capped by a traditional dinner buffet.





a digest of public opinion

‘Stick to law, shun personal interests’

‘Opposition coalition step in right direction’ NBK walkathon attracts thousands of participants annually. Inset: Manal Al-Mattar, NBK Public Relations Executive Manager.

NBK walkathon on March 23 National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) announced the launch of its 19th Annual Walkathon that will be held on March 23, 2013. Participants can register for this event starting from Feb 27, 2013 at the NBK tent beside the Scientific Center on Gulf Road in Salmiya. “As part of the bank’s dedication to corporate social responsibility, NBK regularly supports events which encourage a healthier lifestyle for members of the community”, said Manal Al Mattar, NBK Public Relations Executive Manager. “NBK`s annual walkathon event is a major component of the bank’s corporate social responsibility program. Over the years, it has garnered huge success and public recognition as being one of the much awaited and anticipated nationwide health and entertain-

ment-related activity.” “NBK looks forward to welcoming the participants and to handout exciting giveaway prizes. The Walkathon event will feature a host of functions, activities and competitions with rewarding prizes”, Al Mattar added. NBK strongly supports sporting events and encourages sporting activities as means to promote a healthier and more active lifestyle for members of the community. Throughout the years, NBK also organizes several social awareness programs including educational, environmental, health and many other active initiatives. For more information, visit NBK’s Official Facebook page at NBK Official Page or follow NBK on Twitter @NBKPage.

‘Govt doing its best to improve services’ Red tape tackled: Kuwait

KUNA photo

Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij (right) with SABA chief Tareq Al-

KUNA, SABA chiefs in talks KUNA Director General and Chairman Sheikh Mubarak AlDuaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah discussed cooperation with the visiting Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Yemen’s SABA news agency Tareq Al-Shami on Monday. The discussions surrounded means for cooperation between the two news agencies on the exchange of news, expertise and visits. The agency chiefs also discussed the impact of Arab media on the wider outside world. Sheikh Mubarak applauded the healthy relationship between the two bodies, pointing out in particular to their joint agreement for the exchange of information, news, photographs and staff training. For his part, the Yemeni senior editor noted that KUNA plays an important role in supporting Arab media, considering it “a leading news organization in the Arab world, known for its objectivity and transparency.” (KUNA)

Qattan art fair from Feb 14

Keeping tradition alive


hen my father, pioneer Kuwaiti artist Khalifa AlQattan, passed away in June 2003, being that he did so much to promote the art movement in Kuwait and dedicated all his life to advance art and encourage artists, I did not want his memory to die out, so I came up with the idea of establishing a yearly event where an art exhibition would be held for children under his name. This would serve two purposes; the first to honor his memory and the second to encourage art in children. And so, the first exhibition was held in Sharq Mall in the summer of 2004, says Jalila Al-Qattan. The event was a great success and it encouraged me to go on. As the years went by it became increasingly difficult to get sponsors. Unfortunately, not too many people cared about art and culture or children for that matter. Last year, I was fortunate enough to receive the back up of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters which is something I’ve been striving for to have the event officially adopted by a government body especially created for the sole purpose of promoting and encouraging art and culture in Kuwait. The Khalifa Al-Qattan’s Children & Youth Fine Arts Workshop will be held for three days this weekend from Feb 14 till Feb 16, Thursday through Saturday at the AbdulAziz Hussain Cultural Center in Mishref, by the co-op. The workshop will take place during the morning from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and afternoon from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Participation age is from 4 to 14 years old and is for free. We only require the young artist to come and draw. The application form is printed behind the painting for easy recognition of the owner of the painting. Each child is allowed one entry only. This is the one that will be judged by the panel of judges who will select the winning paintings. After the paintings are collected, a committee of veterans artists will choose the best paintings of all age groups. The maximum number is 100 paintings. And since we are against competition, we do not have first, second or third place, all the paintings which have been selected (all 100) are winners! They are all awarded the Khalifa Al-Qattan Certificate of Excellence, a Trophy, and a gift of art supplies during the grand opening of the exhibition. The exhibition catalog that is designed and printed is one of my proudest achievements for the diversity of the children’s artwork and nationality. An annual calendar is also designed and printed which shows both 12 drawings of winning young artists and 12 paintings of the artist Khalifa Al-Qattan. The Khalifa Al-Qattan Children & Youth Fine Arts Exhibition will be held in the same Center in Mujeb AlDosary’s Art Hall, on 12th of March at 5:00 pm.

DUBAI, Feb 11, (KUNA): Kuwait’s Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah said Monday that the state is doing all in power to ameliorate public services and improve performance of government bodies. In statements to KUNA on the sidelines of his participation in the Government Summit 2013, kicked off here Monday, Sheikh Mohammad added that the state is exerting great efforts to eradicate bureaucratic procedures in government agencies. The Minister noted that Kuwait is studying the best practice-examples in this regards from all over the world to apply what suits it. The Government Summit aims to draw expertise from around the world and act as a platform for innovation and knowledge sharing. Billed as the largest government gathering in the Arab world, the summit has attracted 2,500 participants and will include speakers from specialized research centers in government development in Denmark, Canada, Australia, South Korea and Brazil, as well as the Middle East. Workshop The agenda includes plenary sessions and workshops and a ministerial roundtable with ministers from around the world sharing their insights and recommendations on how government services can be more effective, efficient and citizen-oriented. Discussion topics include government services in global cities; social media as a tool for citizen engagement; future scenarios for effective service delivery; innovative partnerships with the private sector; building a service culture in the government sector; tools to improve government services; delivering quality public services; measuring development; and citizen services. With the theme ‘leading government services’, the summit would help improve government services, strengthen cooperation and coordination between the federal and local governments, and build the skills and capacity of nationals towards best global and local practices.

“THE idea that was put forward recently to form a national coalition among opposition groups is a smart step,” columnist and Chairman of Democratic Development Society Nasser AlAbdali wrote for Al-Kuwaitiah daily Monday. “Although this idea has come too late, the groups can benefit from it at the moment. Personally, I think this step can help bring the opposition groups to the right path away from extremist proposals which have been suggested by some people and away from the personal behavior that has been practiced by others. “In this context, we say these proposals and behaviors would have subverted all democratic gains, were it not for the wisdom of HH the Amir and his ability to properly assess the development. “Such being the case, we suggest the idea of establishing a coalition among the opposition factions seems to be ‘nice’, but it goes without saying this will need finishing touches to transform it into an effective idea. “In other words, the idea should foremost hold itself above any unfamiliar proposals and personal purposes and this requires that they should set up their own path to be based on the sound democratic and constitutional basics. “Apart from the above, the proposed coalition should be based on respect for the constitutional texts in general and the provisions of Articles 50 and 54 of the Kuwaiti Constitution in particular. Moreover, these people must bear in mind that the violation of these texts shall keep the local political arena embroiled in the current impasse. “Meanwhile, we suggest both the government and the political powers (the National Islamic Alliance, the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM), the Islamic Salafist Group and Kuwait Democratic Forum (KDF) must shoulder their historical responsibilities and deal positively with the Al-Abdali idea in question and keep in mind that the issue is a public issue not political or personal to such an extent we must say this issue through the necessary dialogue is likely to give immunity in future against the perilous deviations that might be committed by any party. “Moreover, we suggest that any statement to be issued by the proposed ‘national coalition’ should be pursuant to the country’s valid laws irrespective of the sacrifices to be made by this coalition in this respect, because any coalition that is based on violation of the laws and popular gains and rights will be infeasible. “Likewise, the proposed coalition should bear in mind that the law is something sacred for both parties of the ‘social contract’. “Apart from the above, the proposed coalition should work to differentiate between political developments that have surfaced recently on the local arena and the constitutional and legal violations. “In other words, this coalition should keep in mind that there are some dossiers that should not be shut down, particularly if the government is involved in these dossiers and could have been held responsible for certain financial and administrative irregularities. “Not just that, some parties from the so-called the parliamentary majority are likely to be involved in the said dossiers and this means the violations should be tackled head on and nobody should be allowed to waive or close an eye to these violations. “In conclusion, I would like to point out that I support any idea that calls for the establishment of a coalition among opposition groups, provided this coalition is rational and not based on personal interests. To the contrary this coalition should be based on an adamant constitutional background and legal framework.” Also: “The ‘corporal liquidation’ that may face the members of the political opposition, represents an ordinary behavior for the despotic ruling regimes because the latter don’t abide by the rules of law and justice,” columnist and former Director of the Culture Department at National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) Waleed AlRujaib wrote for Al-Rai daily Monday. “Such being the case, we found some influential people who believe they are above the law in the relevant countries, corporally liquidate their opponents and this is a criminal and coward behavior which embodies the weakness of these people when dealing with the opposition, let alone this behavior signifies the corruption of the relevant States and its institutions. “As a matter of fact, corporal liquidation is something which is not strange in the Arab world, particularly since we know this part of the world during the recent past had witnessed the liquidation of many politicians, educated people, intellectuals, artists and scholars either by despotic and dictatorial regimes or by extremist religious and sectarian elements. “In this context, we cite the events in Iraq, Lebanon and some other Arab countries where explosions and political assassinations which are carried out on sectarian basis have become the order of the day. “Speaking of Kuwait, following the country’s liberation in the 1990s, two attempts were made to assassinate some political personalities — Hamad Al-Jouan and Abdullah Al-Naibari by some influential, corrupt and suspicious people with the aim of silencing the voice of the opposition - the voice that was striving to expose the practices of these people during that time. “Recently, the hand of perfidy is responsible for the assassination of the Tunisian leftist SecretaryGeneral of the Unified Democrats Nationalists Party Chokri Baleid and the finger of accusation is pointed at the Tunisian ruling party Al-Nahda Islamic Party, given the fact the assassination of martyr of the revolution Chokri Baleid shows there is a list of names of many prominent figures from the Tunisian opposition who are likely to face the fate of Baleid. “It is no secret the latter had received a death threat just a few days ago and this means there is no difference between the ‘bearded’ and the ‘nonbearded’ Arab despotic regimes when it comes to dealing with the opposition in their countries.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “Here are the results of self immolation of (Mohammad) Bouazizi which have surfaced on the political arena. The fall of regimes and those who have taken power — people who had never dreamt to be there and the signs have appeared on the hori-

zon. These are the signs of change in the EgyptianIranian relations after a break of the 34 years,” columnist Mishari Abdullah Al-Hamad wrote for Alam Alyawm daily. “The Iranian President visited Cairo in an attempt to restore the relationship — the relationship which remained severed for many years amid a lot of political clouds but air pockets still exist and there is every reason to believe things can return to zero level. “Egypt carries the banner of pan-Arabism and spread the spirit of Arab nationalism in the countries of the Arab world, the situation which the Farsi state hated the most.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “Nothing brings respect to any minister or official, as far as his commitment is to openness and transparency in dealing with the issues that fall under his/her responsibility, and avoid a policy of concealment and camouflage and falsification of the facts,” columnist AbdulRahman Al-Awad wrote for Al-Sabah daily. “Therefore the citizens have respected the decision of the Ministry of Health to stop the use of one of the types of chicken in health centers because it was contaminated with salmonella. “This step has already earned praise and appreciation. The good thing also is that the ministry did not stop at this but gave an important dose of awareness and the reasons for risk factors of the disease and means of treatment and methods of prevention. “The Ministry of Health must continue this approach of dealing transparently with all issues that threaten the health of citizens and residents and take the initiative to reassure people and put at rest their concerns about the disease or an outbreak of a disease particularly since these days we read and hear many details about the return of the bird flu, a disease which has terrorized the world over the past few years.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “Voluntary work is a national duty arising from a feeling of national and social responsibility,” columnist Dr Falah Al-Sowairi wrote for AlShahed daily. “The voluntary work is an effort that is not motivated by interest or benefit or fame or money, but a person is pushed in this direction by national responsibility and in service to the community. “This is exactly what Sheikha Amthal is doing — volunteer work and individual efforts — the self-financed work which the government authorities and institutions have failed to do in spite of the country boasting of huge surplus budget. “These days Sheikha Amthal has undertaken to carry bigger works which the authorities have failed to do and these come in the form of supervisory work when the country is decorated with flags of countries and opening the Sheikh Mubarak booth in the Mubarakiya Market. Thank you Sheikha Amthal, God will reward for all the good work you do. God bless you and give you good health.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “Effects of the unfortunate scenario in Egypt defy all standards of objective political analysis; thereby falling into arbitrary political sea, as its basis predated January 2011 revolution, the movement of April 6, 2004, announcement of Islamic rule in 19th century and rebellion of the central security in 1986,” Abdul-Mohsin Al-Juma wrote for Al-Jarida daily. “The scenario was a product of dangerous social and economic problems that tore the Egyptian society apart. The products of that incident were the children burning Cairo and other major cities of Egypt. Fundamentalism exploited the situation by mixing politics with religion in the seat of power, which has made Egypt a prototype of the unstable Pakistan and power struggle between the fundamentalists and military. “Egypt will endure difficult situations under the sectarian clashes which Islamists have always precipitated whenever they need support and vote from the youth. Therefore, Egypt will repeat the Pakistani type of messy game between Islamists and the military for many years to come.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “The statements issued last week by the scientists of Al-Azhar University on the occasion of the visit of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Egypt they renewed the case of the intellectual expansion among nations in spite of the exchange of the cultural and intellectual dialogue that cannot be frozen at a certain step,” columnist Abdulhadi Al-Saleh wrote for Al-Anba daily. “Today it is impossible to control such intellectual exchange particularly under the huge capabilities of electronic media which has played a substantial role in the development of nations. “The constitutions of countries all over the world are based on former experiences, cultures and principles like the French revolution. Accordingly, it is normal for each person to espouse a certain ideology to seek its diligent spread. “It is not proper to try to impose restrictions on thoughts and ideologies because each person can search for any ideology and know about it as much as possible — thanks to the massive development made by the media.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has issued a circular on the directives issued by the Council of Ministers for all 60 trade unions and non-profit organizations which prohibit the policy of abuse and demands compliance with the law without violating the purpose for which it was founded,” columnist, former MP and general manager of the Scope Satellite TV Talal Al-Saeed wrote for Al-Seyassah daily. “This step is very important for each union or association to work within its limits and let the union do its work in a professional manner to which it is committed and contribute to the advancement of society away from parties which promote factionalism and division in society. “But the question here is: To whom it may concern matters themselves: What does the head of the Kuwait Teachers Society need from political parties that it became open to all that it defied the law and overcame the explicit purpose of establishing the society as much as it became the headquarters of an unlicensed party which follows its instructions.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “Prominent Egyptian journalist Abdulazeem Hamad has been quoted as saying that the January

25 Revolution was not aimed at amending the Constitution or the way of electing the president and specifying the period of presidency,” columnist Ahmad Al-Sarraf wrote for Al-Qabas daily. “In his book entitled, ‘Conflict of Helmet, Beard and Square (Maidan)...Eyewitness Vision’, Hamad pointed out the role of the modern State is bigger than using its power to lead the citizens to ‘paradise’ and pull them out of hell or the after world. Its role includes the provision of a good life for the citizens and protection of the homeland. “If we take a deeper look into what the Brotherhood has done in Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran, Tunisia, Sudan and Pakistan; we will not see any of the State powers being utilized to protect the dignity of the people and to maintain national security.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “Papers of the political game have been mixed up again. This happened after MP Faisal AlDuwaisan submitted a grilling request against First Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud,” columnist Abdulrahman AlAwad wrote for Al-Sabah daily. “Everybody was surprised when Al-Duwaisan took this step without consulting his colleagues who were busy convincing two other MPs — Saadoun Hamad and Abdullah Al-Tamimi — to postpone the interpellation of Oil Minister Hani Hussein. “The first point in the grilling request of AlDuwaisan is the alleged attempt by the Zionists to spy on Kuwait. He claimed some people are dealing with a Canadian-based company fully owned by an Israeli company operating in Tel Aviv — a grave violation of law 21/1964 which stipulates a united front on boycotting Israel. “After reading the first grilling point, we felt AlDuwaisan was right and that he did not make hasty conclusions. We think the grilling is a golden opportunity for the First Deputy Premier to defend himself and clarify the issue for the public to know the truth.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “Politics is supposed to be based on mutual interests between two parties which must set aside personal goals. However, we seldom see politics being practiced according to this principle,” Dr Falah AlSuweiri wrote for Al-Shahed daily. “Kuwait’s foreign policy is limited to providing moral and financial assistance to other countries without interfering in their internal affairs. For this, many countries respect Kuwait, especially since its geographical and demographical position does not allow it to meddle with the affairs of other nations. “Unfortunately, it seems things have started to change as the popular demands in some countries have influenced Kuwait. For instance the current situation in Syria, it is natural for us to express sympathy and support for the Syrians. However, our support must be limited to the provision of humanitarian aid. “On issues beyond the provision of assistance, we have to adopt a neutral position because we should not forget that the regime helped Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion. What is happening in Syria is just one of a series of changes in its political map, but it will not be beneficial to Kuwait and other parts of the Arab world; considering the regime will be removed after all this.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “Apparently, everyone is now getting ready for their Valentine’s Day celebrations. Every time I go out to buy personal stuff, I cannot help but notice the dominating color in most shops — red, while newspapers are full of advertisements for people who want to buy gifts in view of the occasion,” Dr Bassam Al-Shatti wrote for Alam Al-Yawm daily. “It is unfortunate to see our community celebrating this day without knowing the background. People in this community celebrate it because of their weak faith. They follow the customs and traditions, which are not taken from their religion, to fill the emptiness. They think they are civilized if they believe such myths. “A Muslim preoccupied with superstitions taken from other religions is misguided. If he continues adopting the practices of other religions, he will eventually lose his identity as a Muslim. He must bear in mind that there are only two feasts in Islam — Eid-Al-Fitr and Eid-Al-Adha. A Muslim should be proud of his religion and remain committed to its teachings, away from ideas or practices that will make him lose his identity.” ❑

“If a survey is conducted on corruption in this country, there will not be enough space to store files on the issue. It has been almost 50 years since the government and the parliament agreed on establishing the first anti-corruption commission but the situation continues to deteriorate until now,” Dr Mohammad Abdulmohsen Al-Muqatei wrote for Al-Qabas daily. “Most politicians and officials look at the issue as a political tool — some use it to cover their mistakes and escape from any accusation which may prove they are also involved in corrupt activities. Projects, suggestions and commissions, among others; have been presented to address the issue but none of them had, so far, changed the situation. “Those who claim to be fighting against corruption must be arrested because they are actually engaged in the act to serve their personal interests; otherwise, they will not be where they are now. We should not fool ourselves because we know who amongst us are corrupt. “We must remove these people from leading positions. We should prioritize public interests over personal goals. If these people remain in their posts, we will never succeed in our bid to combat corruption no matter how long we talk about ways to do so.” ❑

“Naom Chomsky is considered as one of the ten most influential intellectuals in the world. He has written more than 30 books on linguistics and over 40 books in politics. He has also written several articles in many countries of the world”, columnist Abdullah Khalaf wrote for Al-Watan Arabic daily. “He created a revolution in linguistics with his theories, which resulted in new perspectives in the study of linguistics, psychology and philosophy. “His Jewish origins did not stop him from attacking Zionism and his American citizenship did not stop him from shedding light on the scandals revolving unstudied American policies. “He conducted a study on terrorism and clarified the difference between terrorism of individuals and that of the nation.”

— Compiled by Zaki Taleb




MP commends govt decision to OK anti-money laundering laws ‘Grilling requests aim to do away with some ministers’ KUNA photo

Kuwait’s House Speaker Ali Al-Rashed received at his residence in Manama Foreign Minister of Bahrain Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad bin Mohammad Al Khalifa. The two sides discussed bilateral relations and the latest regional and international developments. (KUNA)

Kuwait Today Prayer Timings Fajr .................................. 05:10am Sunrise .................................. 06:30 Zohr................................. 12:02 pm Asr ..........................................03:11 Maghrib ................................ 05:35 Isha ...................................... 06:53

Civil ID info: 1889988 Site for checking travel ban


Kuwait Weather Expected weather for the next 24 hours: By Night: Partly cloudy with light to moderate SE’ly changing to NW’ly later on wind, with speed of 12-35 km/h with a chance for light rain. By Day: Mostly sunny with moderate freshening at times SE’ly wind, with speed of 20-45 km/h causing raising dust. Station Max Min Rec Exp Kuwait City 24 16 Kuwait Airport 26 11 Nuwaiseeb 26 14 Wafra 29 14 Salmi 28 15 Abdaly 27 11 Jalaliyah 25 14 Failaka 23 14 Ahmadi Port 20 17 Qaruh Island 20 19 Umm Al-Maradem 20 18

Jafar Taher Mohammad Hasan Al-Nasser, 84 years old, buried on Monday. Condolences: Mansouriya, Huseiniyat Al-Awhad, Block 1, Opp Central Market, Tel: 99000866. Hameed Ahmad Abdullah Al-Aslawi, 54 years old, buried on Monday. Condolences: (Men) Adan, Block 7, St 22, House 33, Tel: 60685511. (Women) Adan, Block 7, St 22, House 29, Tel: 25433002. Ruqaya Mohammad Mashhadi, 78 years old, widow of Abdullah Ali Haidar, buried on Monday. Condolences: (Men) Jabriya, Huseiniyat Al-Baloch, Block 11, St 108, Tel: 99600923. (Women) Bayan, Huseiniyat Al-Aema Ethna Ashar, Block 12, St 1, Avenue 5, House 21, Tel: 99049566. Saad Saleh Ali Al-Hotti, 60 years old, buried on Monday. Condolences: (Men) Rumaithiya, Block 11, St 112, House 25, Tel: 50179177-25655080. (Women) Salam, Block 1, St 28, House 37, Tel: 97826750. Sara Mishan Falah Al-Azemi, 79 years old, widow of Saad Ayeth Al-Sawagh Al-Azemi, buried on Monday. Condolences: (Men) Ardiya, Block 1, St 4, House 47, Opp 5th Ring Road, Tel: 99471331. (Women) Eshbeliya, Block 2, St 211, House 35, Tel: 97473712. Mohammad Husein Deli Al-Musaed, 80 years old, buried on Monday. Condolences: (Men) Dahiyat Mubarak Al-Abdullah, Wazzan Mosque beside International Fair Ground, Tel: 99038626. (Women) Jabriya, Block 6, St 7, House 39, Tel: 90002539. Ali Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al-Kandari, 75 years old, buried on Monday. Condolences: (Men) Shaab, Diwan Al-Kanadra, Tel: 90099969. (Women) Sabahiya, Block 1, St 11, House 24.

Feb 11, 2013

4 days forecast - Weather Tuesday, Feb 12 Expected weather...........sunny + ..................................raising dust Max Temp .............................25C Min Temp ..............................11C Wind Direction.......................NW Wind Speed...............20-45 km/h Wednesday, Feb 13 Expected weather....sunny + raising dust Max Temp .............................21C Min Temp ..............................10C Wind Direction.......................NW Wind Speed...............25-50 km/h Thursday, Feb 14 Expected weather...........sunny + ................................blowing dust Max Temp .............................22C Min Temp ..............................08C Wind Direction.......................NW Wind Speed...............20-40 km/h Friday, Feb 15 Expected weather..............sunny Max Temp .............................23C Min Temp ..............................07C Wind Direction.......................NW Wind Speed...............06-26 km/h

Marine Forecast Station

Max Min Sea Today’s Exp Rec Surf Waves Ht Direction

South Dolphin Ahmadi L/V Beacon M28 Beacon N6

19 17 20 19

17 08 17 15

16 16 -

6ft 6ft 6ft 6ft


Qaruh Island Umm Al-Maradem Sea Island Buoy Salmiya

20 20 20 20

19 18 17 16

17 17 -

6ft 6ft 6ft 6ft


4-days forecast - Marine Tuesday, Feb 12 Expected weather .........clouds to ......................................decrease Sea state .......moderate to rough Wave height ......................3-6-4ft Max Temp .............................25C Min Temp ..............................11C Wind Direction.................SE-NW Wind Speed...............25-45 km/h Wednesday, Feb 13 Expected weathersunny + raising ..............................................dust Sea state .......moderate to rough Wave height ........................3-6 ft Max Temp .............................21C Min Temp ..............................09C Wind Direction.......................NW Wind Speed...............20-45 km/h Thursday, Feb 14 Expected weather...........sunny + ................................blowing dust Sea state .......moderate to rough Wave height ........................3-6 ft Max Temp .............................22C Min Temp ..............................07C Wind Direction.......................NW Wind Speed...............20-40 km/h Friday, Feb 15 Expected weather..............sunny

Sea state ........slight to moderate Wave height ........................1-3 ft Max Temp .............................22C Min Temp ..............................07C Wind Direction.......................NW Wind Speed...............06-26 km/h

Tide times at Shuwaikh Port 1st high tide:.......................13:15 2nd high tide:......................00:45 1st low tide: ........................19:00 2nd low tide: .......................07:45 Sunrise: ..............................06:31 Sunset: ...............................17:34

Recorded yesterday at Kuwait Airport Max temp..............................27C Min temp...............................10C Max Rh.................................83% Min Rh..................................14% Max Wind .................SE 39 km/h Total Rainfall in 24 hrs ..0.00 mm

Recorded yesterday at South Dolphin Min/Max/ Air Temp.................15/19C Min/Max Rel Hum .................63/98% Wind Dir./Wind Speed ....SE/30 km/h Prev Wave Dir/Max Wave Ht ....N/- ft Min/Max Sea Surface Temp ..16/17C Sea Current........................upwelling

Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Meteorological Dept.

By Bin Arfaj Al-Mutairi Special to the Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: MP Khalid Al-Shatti has commended the decision by government to approve laws to control money laundering and fight terrorism. He considered the act as a step in the right direction. Al-Shatti stressed the need to hold the intellectual organization accountable for suspending approval of these laws, noting Kuwait may fall under the clutches of international penalty if legislation and laws are not approved to control money laundering and terrorism. He indicated officials of the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs are exerting tremendous efforts to prepare draft laws to control money laundering and terrorism, and that the National Assembly has performed its role adequately by passing the relevant laws. Al-Shatti asked about those responsible for delaying the approval of these conventions. He cited former Minister of Justice Ahmad Baqer and other ministries as responsible for suspending approval of laws in this regard. He is of the view that Kuwait must be part of the world to be able to join it in the war against terrorism for the benefit of the country. Al-Shatti said discussion will resume on ways to control terrorism, with the relevant amendments to reduce the period of protective custody during the meeting of the Legislative Committee on Tuesday. He reiterated support for the nullified parliament’s proposal to reduce the period of protective custody to protect freedoms and serve the welfare of citizens, expatriates and the entire society. He

Photo by Anwar Daifallah

The College of Business Administration at Kuwait University organized Monday the 18th Economy, Industry and Job Opportunities Exhibition on its premises at Shuwaikh under the patronage of Oil Minister Hani Hussein. Many officials, prominent personalities and university staff, including Dean of the college Dr Rashid Al-Ajmi and Supervisor of the Students and Graduates Training Office Dr Samar Baqer, attended the event.

hopes the current parliament will sustain draft laws the nullified parliament approved in this domain. Meanwhile, MP Hamad AlDousari has said recent interpellation requests aim to do away with some ministers. He added other grilling proposals will be presented later to force some ministers to give in to the lawmakers, reports Al-Seyassah daily. In a statement, Al-Dousari

stressed the idea of proposing grilling in the first two months of parliament’s lifespan provokes uncertainties and question marks among many citizens and there is certain agenda to chuck out some ministers. He added each lawmaker has the right to propose grilling, but the timing for such inquests rouses suspicions against all intentions, adding he has been notified about

the performance of Interior Ministry and its officials and urges the minister to remove some of its top officials who have served in the ministry for a long period. With regard to the Interior Ministry collaborating with an Israeli company, Al-Dousari said he does not support such cooperation because Israel is not the only threat to Kuwait, as there are some Iranian cells in the shadows.




‘Lack of cooperation in obesity fight frustrating’ Waiting period for MRI appointment reduced KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: Some officials from the Ministry of Health have allegedly expressed disappointment over their education counterparts’ lack of cooperation in combating obesity among students, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting sources. Sources disclosed the education officials have been absent in most meetings since the establishment of a joint committee tasked to find ways to address the obesity problem in schools. Sources pointed out the Ministry of Education has been neglecting the issue while the other ministry continues to exert efforts to combat obesity.

Photos from the event

Fahaheel Al Watanieh Indian Private School celebrates 3 yrs of ASSET This year, in the summer session of ASSET Examination, DPS performed extremely well with one International Topper — Aaron J Thomas from Class- V. Aaron performed brilliantly securing the top position in Mathematics. He did very well in the other subjects also and altogether has received FOUR Certificates and a Memento from ASSET. Many students received OUTSTANDING Certificates for their great performances. Principal Mrs Anju Dheman praised and encouraged ASSET, mentioning that ASSET test helps to find the strength and weakness of the students , shows the measure to improve their skill and ability. She also congratulated Ms Sanghita Deb,

Educational Advisor of EI in Kuwait for completing 3 years of ASSET with DPS and praised her for all her efforts in doing the welfare of Education in the Schools in Kuwait. She expressed her aspiration of more intensive participation of her school and better outcome in the time to come. Asset rewarded all the coordinators of the program, namely- C Sheeja, Harvinder Anada, Namrata Sharma Joshi and Shabnam Nilofer. Ms Sanghita, on behalf of ASSET praised them all for their sincere works and thanked them for all their support. Principal Mrs Anju Dheman and Vice Principal Mr Ravi had been honoured by ASSET with Mementoes for their inspiration and support.

Apart from Asset, EI has launched another brilliant productMINDSPARK. This is a computer based mathematics tutorial for the students. ASSET also rewarded Mrs Vandana Mehta, the MINDSPARK coordinator for DPS in the pioneering year of MINDSPARK in Kuwait. ASSET(Assessment of Scholastic Skills through Educational Testing) is the flagship product of Educational Initiatives, Ahmedabad-India. ASSET is a scientifically designed, skill-based assessment developed in India. The test provides detailed information on the strength and weakness of individual students , focuses on the misconception that the child has been bearing and provides possible remedial action.

Sources added the recently-concluded meeting of the joint committee did not yield positive results due to the absence of the Education Ministry officials who attended only the meeting presided earlier by Assistant Undersecretary for Students Activities Radhi Al-Rashidi. Sources said the Health Ministry requires the presence of education officials due to the purported violations in school canteens as this phenomenon is regarded as one of the causes of the rising child obesity cases in the country. In other news, the waiting period for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) appointment has been reduced to two weeks, reports Al-Nahar daily quoting Minister of Health Dr Mohammed AlHaifi as saying. In a statement after a meeting with the directors of health zones and hospitals, Al-Haifi added that work is underway to cover employee deficiency in the hospitals. He noted the clinics for casualties will be inaugurated at health centers in the coming period. Meanwhile, the Director of Ahmadi Health Area Fahad Al-Foudari disclosed the development plan of Al-Adan Hospital and the health centers will be implemented over a period of five years at a cost of 70 million dinars. The projects also involve rehabilitation works at health centers affiliated to the zone and KD 280,000,000 has been allotted for execution. In other development, the Director of Al-Sabah Health Area Adel Al-Osfour said Behbehani Center for Bone Marrow Implant will be inaugurated in two weeks.

KUNA photo

His Highness the Deputy Amir, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, received on Monday at Seif Palace Member of the British House of Lords, Lord Richard Luce. The meeting was attended by the former UK ambassador to Kuwait, Richard Muir, His Highness the Crown Prince Diwan Undersecretary for Media Affairs Sheikh Mubarak Al-Humoud Al-Salman AlSabah, and Crown Prince Diwan Undersecretary for Protocol Affairs Sheikh Mubarak Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah. (KUNA)

News in Brief 80 sq km allocated for housing: Kuwait Municipal Council approved in its regular meeting Monday a proposal to allocate 80 square kilometers to build new 52,000 housing units in northern Al-Motlaa area, Al-Jahra Governorate. The Council stipulated that the new housing units should not be less than 600 square meters each. It underlined the need to coordinate with all relative ministries and state bodies before the start of the project. It endorsed a proposal to set a mechanism to identify the number of the un-inhabited housing units in the state’s six governorates. The Council referred to the technical committee a draft agreement on the design, construction and maintenance of the Eighth Ring Road. (KUNA) ❑ ❑ ❑

Promotion of consultants OK’d: Higher Judiciary Council has approved promotion of consultants Faisal Mohammad Kharbait and Salem Awad Al-Khudair as prosecutors of the

Cassation Court, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily quoting reliable sources. They indicated that the two consultants will be appointed in their new positions from Oct 10, 2013 after a related Amiri decree is issued. ❑ ❑ ❑

GMRP to pay financial support: Government Manpower Restructuring Program (GMRP) has announced it will pay financial support to employees of the private sector prior to the National Day holidays, bidding the laid-off employees to contact GMRP to benefit from the decision to extend allowance for laid-off employees, reports Al-Qabas daily. Meanwhile, the Cabinet proposed during its weekly meeting to reimpose recruitment of mandatory number of national employees in the private sector after a related decision was suspended in 2009. According to a governmental source, such a proposal will result in 20,000 jobs annually in the private sector for the Kuwaiti citizens.




Kuwaiti man threatens to kill Jordanian lady after rejection ‘Messenger’ turned ‘diplomat’ caught in car with lover KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: Police have issued an arrest warrant against an unidentified Kuwaiti man for threatening to kill a Jordanian woman, reports Al-Rai daily. According to security sources the suspect is a neighbor of the complainant and he kept harassing her by calling her on her cell phone and sending her messages urging her to give in to his ‘desires’. When the woman refused to answer his calls and disregarded his SMS he sent another message threatening to kill her. The woman then sought the help of police and when the authorities summoned the man for interrogation, he refused to oblige. ❑

‘Diplomat’ held: Police Police sources reported a fire breaking out in The Avenues Mall in Al-Rai on Sunday evening, with no confirmed human casualties resulting. The fire broke out at 5:00 pm in The Avenues Mall on Sunday as a result of a cable catching fire in a sportswear store. No deaths or injuries have been reported as a result of the fire, stated the police sources, noting that current losses are only financial. Deputy Director General for Control and Human Resources Development, Brigadier Khaled Al-Mikrad stated that the fire brigade was mobilized in the evening upon receiving a report of a fire in a sportswear shop in The Avenues Mall, leading to the direction of three Fire Stations immediately. He stated that the fire was on the first floor of The Avenues Mall, and that it was subdued in record time, without any human casualties. This was due to the coordination of the fire brigades through control-ventilation-evacuation techniques. He noted that there was a partial evacuation of the mall, to ensure the safety of those present. Top and above: Some pictures taken at the site of blaze.

Court Cases

Prosecution appeal in Wasmi case delayed By Jaber Al-Humoud Special to the Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: The Court of Appeals presided over by Judge Anwar Al-Enezi adjourned to March 3 the appeal submitted by Public Prosecution against the Court of First Instance’s verdict which acquitted Dr Obaid Al-Wasmi from all charges included in a state security case. According to the case files, the Public Prosecution accused Al-Wasmi of four charges - questioning the rights and powers of HH the Amir, provoking securitymen to attack, spreading false information about Kuwait deliberately to mar its

have arrested an Egyptian man and a female compatriot for drinking alcohol and making love inside a car, reports Al-Shahed daily. The couple was arrested by a police patrol in Salmiya. During interrogation the woman said she fell in love with the man and wanted to marry him. She also said the man told her he works as a diplomat and police interrogations showed he works only as a messenger.

international reputation and participate in an unlicensed rally as well as humiliate public employees during their duty. Meanwhile, the Appeals Court revoked the decision of the Court of First Instance that earlier rejected a petition filed by a judge from Al-Jafari Court to start publishing his jurisprudential encyclopedia. Defense Attorney Ali Al-Ali said his client was surprised the publishing of his encyclopedia was prevented, stressing he conformed to the standard and ethics of writing. The lawyer argued that his client is among the Kuwaiti judges appointed in the Supreme Judicial Council and that a Lebanese cleric was impeding the publication.


‘seduced’: A Lebanese woman has filed a complaint with the Shuwaikh Industrial Area Police Station against a senior official from the Chest Hospital, reports Al-Shahed daily. In her complaint the woman said she had gone to the hospital to admit her husband and the official promised to do a ‘favor’ for her if she promised to meet him after his working hours. The complainant said the official even offered her juice. She added, the man got angry, when she refused to drink the juice and his offer and told her to get out of his office. He is even said to have refused to admit her husband. When the woman went to file the complaint the officer on duty reportedly said it is natural to offer juice and that there is nothing wrong in the behavior. He added, this cannot be considered a crime because he did not directly urge her to commit immoral act. ❑

‘I can’t resist you’: Police are looking for an Egyptian man for attempting to ‘hug’ a Filipino employee inside a café in Salmiya, reports Alam Alyawm daily. The Egyptian reportedly lost control when the employee handed him the menu and attempted to hug her saying ‘I can’t resist you’. He ran away when the woman screamed for help. The victim has provided police description of the man. ❑

Rape bid foiled: Police are looking for an unidentified Kuwaiti for attempting to rape female compatriot, reports AlRai daily. The incident happened near the Marina Mall. The suspect reportedly followed the woman and kept pestering her to accompany him. When she attempted to escape from the man, he allegedly dragged her to a toilet and tried to remove her clothes. The woman then screamed for help and the suspect escaped from the scene. The woman then led police to the suspect’s car which turned out to be a rented vehicle. ❑

‘No zebra meat’: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Kuwait Municipality has denied rumors which have been spread by some networking sites that restaurants in Kuwait serve zebra meat, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily. Member of the Municipal Council Abdullah Al-Kandari has denied reports which quoted him as saying he had spotted zebra meat in one of the restaurants. The daily added, the councilor has threatened to file a lawsuit against the person who has spread the rumors in his name. However, a religious personality Hai Al-Hai was quoted as saying eating zebra meat is permissible, unlike the meat of donkey which is ‘haram’ in Islam.

Top and above: The room hit by fire.

Egyptian perishes in blaze By Munaif Nayef Special to the Arab Times A 42-year-old Egyptian expatriate died when fire engulfed a gypsum factory in West Shuaiba recently. Reportedly, when the Operations Room of Kuwait Fire Service Directorate received information about a gypsum factory on fire in Shuaiba, firefighters rushed to the location and discovered that the fire broke out in a pre-fabricated room inside the factory.

After they extinguished the fire, they discovered a corpse inside the room. Investigations revealed that the corpse was of an Egyptian laborer who was trapped in the room and had died due to smoke inhalation. Officers from General Department for Criminal Evidences rushed to the location and referred the corpse to the Forensics. A case was registered and investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the fire.

‘Millions made by corruption’

‘Revelations’ force show off air KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: The TV program ‘With Al-Hashem’ presented by columnist Fuad Al-Hashem, was stopped abruptly after the episode in which he talked about the ‘Citybus’, and ‘Al-Hilal Cement’ company, reports Al-Kuwaitiah daily. During an earlier episode Al-Hashem talked about the ‘Citybus’ Company pointing out the owners of the company had received government privileges in the form of state property. He complained the owner of the company was given prime locations in the Capital which were worth tens of millions of dinars of public money without what he called ‘fair competition’. Al-Hashem has called on members of the National Assembly to open the ‘Citybus’ file to find out who was behind this incident and how the owner used his influence to get the ‘exorbitant’ privileges. In the last episode Al-Hashem revealed he had received many messages from ‘people’ containing appeals not to stir the issue of ‘Citybus’ and ‘Al-Hilal Cement’ Company. Al-Hashem stressed he does not want anything but to regain the ‘lost’ state property from the hands of those who have obtained it unlawfully.

Al-Hashem disclosed the Al-Hilal Cement Company is nothing but a ‘dummy’ boat which has no engines. The owner turned this boat into a cement factory about 14 years ago while the other boats have no place to anchor. Al-Hashem said the owner of this ship earns millions of dinars a year because the boat occupies the 11th and 12th ‘berths’ of state property at Shuaiba Port. Al-Hashem revealed when former MP Khaled Al-Sultan tried to raise the issue in the past and expose those behind it, he was subjected to a fierce campaign to discredit him. Al-Hashem, after stopping the program, said he is not afraid and has nothing to lose. However, he added, he will go ahead to disclose the names of those who are milking public money and pay trivial sums of money to the State Treasury which do not exceed a few hundred or thousand dinars in return for state property which is worth hundreds of millions of dinars. Neither the owners of ‘Citybus’ nor ‘AlHilal Cement’ Company have commented on the facts disclosed by Al-Hashem in his program.

News in Brief ‘Forces’ warned: MP Abdulhameed Dashti has warned the Kuwaitis will confront the forces (troops) of the Peninsula Shield with all strength if they did any harm to demonstrators of the popular movement, reports Al-Rai daily. Dashti said Kuwait is a country of law and institutions and we will not allow anyone to interfere in Kuwaiti affairs. He pointed out the people ‘in the opposition’ are Kuwaitis even if we disagree with them. Dashti stressed the Kuwaitis will stand shoulder to shoulder if the Peninsula Shield forces tried to intervene and suppress the opposition. ❑ ❑ ❑ Guard aids thieves: The Nugra police have taken into custody a Syrian man working as a guard for a construction company for helping thieves steal material from the site, reports Al-Rai daily. A security source said the site manager suspected the guard and put him under surveillance for some time when he discovered large quantities of iron rods missing. When the suspect was arrested by the police he admitted to stealing the seals of senior officials and making gate passes for the suspects to enter the company premises to steal the iron rods. Police have seized from the man seals and referred him to the authorities. Police are looking for the accomplices. ❑ ❑ ❑

Husband accused: A 22-year-old Kuwaiti woman working for the Council of Ministers has filed a complaint with the Salmiya Police Station accusing her husband of beating her following an argument over family affairs, reports Al-Kuwaitiah daily. The wife has submitted a medical report issued by the Amiri Hospital. The report shows injuries to the face, jaw and bruises over the arms, neck, legs and knees. A case has been registered at the police station. ❑ ❑ ❑ Iranian arrested: Police have arrested

Theft report denied

Indian run over, dies KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: An unidentified Asian man died following a traffic accident on the Sixth Ring Road, reports Alam Alyawm daily. The Indian was reportedly hit by a Kuwaiti man. The motorist rushed the victim to the Farwaniya Hospital, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival. ❑ ❑ ❑

Report denied: Director of Public Relations and Media Department at the Directorate-General of Fire Services Colonel Khaled Al-Amir has denied media reports and news on social networking websites that two employees from the directorate are part of the fourman gang that was stealing luxury cars, reports Al-Anba daily. Al-Anba daily quoting Al-Amir said this information has no grounds. ❑ ❑ ❑ Cash stolen: An Egyptian man has filed a complaint with the Salmiya Police Station accusing his roommate and compatriot of stealing KD 1,360 from his wardrobe, reports Al-Rai daily. The police have summoned the man for interrogation. an Iranian man for breaking through an area cordoned off by police, reports Al-Shahed daily. This happened when the brother of the Iranian filed a complaint with the police accusing ‘someone’ of breaking into his apartment. The brother claimed he entered the house to collect his belongings, but the Iranian said his brother did not have any belongings in his apartment. The daily added, the police had cordoned off the area and were waiting for personnel from the Criminal Evidences Department to lift fingerprints to identify the culprit.




‘Workers unions backing political blocs face law’ Ignore civil disobedience calls: MP KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Zikra Al-Rashidi affirmed that the ministry will be decisive against any workers union that violates regulations, reports Al-Seyassah daily. The minister made this statement in response to intense criticism from the parliament and efforts by the opposition members to involve workers and students unions in their defiant agenda.

KUNA photos

Top and above: Lt Gen Ghazi Al-Omar at the conference.

Confab raises awareness

Managing work, family ties KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: The Security Strategies Studies Institute at National Security Faculty inaugurated a three-day conference on Protection of Securitymen’s Work in cooperation with the Security Leadership Institute for Education and Training on Feb 11. The aim of the conference is to present research studies related to training and education services and spread awareness among securitymen about how they can manage their jobs and personal relations. Undersecretary of Ministry of Interior Lt General Ghazi Al-Omar appreciated the conference, indicating that positive criticism and review of securitymen’s tasks through such conferences will help in identifying the positive attributes for development as well as the negative attributes for prevention. He said securitymen must possess a sense of responsibility and must act in a proper manner in order to take suit-

able decisions without applying any bias. Lt General Al-Omar stressed the importance of police officers showing respect when dealing with Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates, applying the law without harming people’s rights and protecting himself from any negative feedback regarding his duties. Meanwhile, head of the conference Major General Fahad Al-Dosari said the conference focuses on the relations between securitymen and his work, adding that a police officer’s job puts a lot of pressure on his professional and personal life. Furthermore, Lt Colonel Hussain Dashti stressed the importance of issuing new laws to protect securitymen from any harm that could result from his duties. In addition, Colonel Dr Ahmad AlOtaibi declared that the general duties of securitymen involve service to the country based on the contract between the officer and the government.

In a press statement, she affirmed that the ministry will not hesitate in applying the law against any union that carries out activities against regulations that guide their activities. She specifically cautioned the unions against conscripting their members into political, religious or sectarian activities, adding, “The law will take its full course against any union or association that supports political blocs.” Meanwhile, MP Abdullah Al-Tamimi urged the Social Affairs and Labor Minister to take strong action against unions and societies that initiate civil disobedience to paralyze governmental activities. He urged union leaders to ignore calls for civil disobedience, which has misled several youths who are on the verge of receiving jail terms. He stressed, “The union leaders are responsible for fighting for the interest of workers and not supporting any political bloc.”

KRCS help for Syria refugees BEIRUT, Feb 11, (KUNA): Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) has launched ‘Ragheef’ project, aimed at distributing daily food necessities, here on Monday, in coordination with the Lebanese Red Cross to serve Syrian refugees in Northern Lebanon. The project was launched in the dome area of Tripoli, north Lebanon. Some 1,000 refugee families will benefit from the initiative for a month, Deputy Director of Disaster Management and Emergency at KRCS, Dr Musaad AlEnezi told KUNA. Al-Enezi praised KRCS’s Chairman, Barjas Al-Barjas, who urged and facilitated launch of such gestures in both Lebanon and Jordan to help the displaced, noting that more than 200,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon will benefit for a whole month. KRCS had distributed aid to 12,000 Syrian families in various Lebanese areas last month. Several philanthropists, associations, and charities in Kuwait provide humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon such as Kuwait Zakat House, Mercy International Association, International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO), Social Reform Society, Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), and other bodies, along with the KRCS. Kuwait, through charities and individual philanthropists, is considered to be the largest in providing aid for the Syrian refugees in Lebanon as its financial assistance has reached $15 million since the outbreak of the crisis. Meanwhile, the United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Valerie Amos, expressed appreciation to the International Islamic Charity Organization (IICO)for the success of the International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, hosted by Kuwait last month upon the invitation of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Amos sent a cable of thanks to the Head of IICO, UN Secretary General’s envoy for humanitarian affairs and Amiri Diwan Advisor Dr Abdullah AlMaatouq, for his efforts in making this conference a success, as participating countries pledged vast amounts in aid of the Syrian people and refugees.

Specialists in ‘dune buggy’ thefts arrested KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: The Sabah AlSalem police have arrested two juveniles who specialized in stealing dune buggies (ATVs) and motorbikes, reports Al-Rai daily. The arrest came when a police patrol on duty in Sabah Al-Salem saw the suspects stealing a motorbike from the garden of a house in the area. They were caught red-handed while putting the bike on the back of a wagon. They were arrested and taken to a

police station and during interrogation they admitted to stealing the bunchy belonging to the son of a senior officer in the Interior Ministry. The thieves have also admitted to steal expensive ATVs and motorbikes and sell them to campers. They added if they failed to find a buyer they set fire to the stolen property. Meanwhile, police are looking for five masked men for breaking into a company inside the Shuwaikh Industrial Area and

stealing the safe containing money, reports Al-Anba daily. According to the Egyptian guard the men are all Arabs and he suspects them to be from a GCC country. He added, all of them were armed with knives and threatened to stab him if he raised an alarm or resisted them. Personnel from the Criminal Evidences Department have lifted fingerprints to identify the culprits.




Iraq government must hear Sunni demands, complaints – UN envoy Shiites accused of monopolizing power BAGHDAD, Feb 11, (AP): Iraq’s Shiite-led government should do more to address complaints by the country’s disaffected Sunni minority about human rights violations and lack of due process, the UN envoy to the country said in an interview Monday. A photo from the ‘One World’ exhibition

‘One World’ exhibition opens Professor Hussein Al-Khayat, Dean of the College of Petroleum and Engineering at Kuwait University declared open the international cultural exhibition entitled “One World” at Farouq Bargesh Exhibition Hall in Khaldiya Campus on Monday. Professor Al-Khayat declared the college is organizing the exhibition slated for

Feb 11 to Feb 14 for the students to be introduced to various cultures while exchanging experience. He explained that students from various nationalities in Kuwait University will exhibit their heritage and cultures for people here to learn about the history of their respective countries.

Barrak trial

latest in January, have failed to overcome the differences, and “hopes are not high” at agency headquarters for these next talks, one Vienna diplomat told AFP. “It doesn’t seem as if any of the areas of difficulty have been resolved,” the envoy said. The consequences of another failure could be serious. In November, Washington warned that if there was no progress, it would push for the IAEA board at its next meeting from March 4-8 to take the rare step of referring Iran to the UN Security Council. “The impression is that (China and Russia) are increasingly frustrated with Iran. It is an open question but there is some optimism” that they will join Western countries in supporting such a procedure, the diplomat said. This will do little to improve the already frosty ambience in parallel diplomatic efforts between Iran and six world powers, due to resume in Kazakhstan on February 26 after an eight-month hiatus. Iran has spurned calls from the P5+1 — the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany — to scale back parts of its nuclear work because it was not offered sanctions relief in return. The tone of comments Thursday by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested that Tehran is in no greater mood to compromise, spurning an offer of bilateral talks with Washington. “You (Americans) want to negotiate when you are pointing the gun at Iran. The Iranian nation will not be intimidated by such actions,” the 73-year-old said. “Some rejoice at the offer of negotiations ... (but) negotiations will not solve anything.” Mark Fitzpatrick at the International Institute for Strategic Studies said he believes Tehran is trying to use greater cooperation with the IAEA as “leverage” in the talks with the six powers. The Iranians “are not going to strike a deal with the IAEA independent of the other diplomatic talks,” the former US State Department official told AFP. “But they shouldn’t be linked.” In order to get around the issue of sharing intelligence, the IAEA has pressed Iran to allow its inspectors into the Parchin military base near Tehran, saying its information on activities there can be shared. But Iran says that the IAEA already visited Parchin twice in 2005 and found nothing untoward. The agency counters that new information obtained since then makes it want to go back. The IAEA also says that because of activity at Parchin spotted by satellite, including moving “considerable” volumes of earth, its inspections there will be “seriously undermined” if it ever goes. Diplomats say Iran has started changing some nuclear material that could be used for weapons into another form but in amounts too small to reduce concerns about its atomic program.

Continued from Page 1 Barrak to March 11. Al-Barrak is charged with making statements deemed to have undermined the status of HH the Amir during an oppositionist public gathering in October. Al-Barrak denied the state security charges against him and the court will hear the testimony of a concerned investigating security officer on the circumstances of the event during the next hearing. The court rejected a request by Al-Barrak’s defense team to hear the testimony HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlSabah on alleged “comments he made to oppositionists against the one-vote electoral system”, according to the defense attorneys, as well as oppositionist ex-MPs Khaled Al-Sultan and Jamaan Al-Harbash. The court was also requested to lift the travel ban on Al-Barrak, a request which was also reportedly denied. The Justice Palace premise on Monday was packed with security officers to prevent any unauthorized demonstrations. During a hearing of Al-Barrak’s case on Jan. 28, the Justice Palace was packed by supporters of the highprofile opposition ex-MP for the hearing, after which he was lifted on their shoulders and they shouted slogans in his praise. The incident was severely condemned by the National Assembly. Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals postponed until March 3 the hearing of a state security case against activist Dr. Obaid Al-Wassmi, who was a member of the annulled 2012 Assembly. Al-Wassmi is charged with six counts of abuses against the status of HH the Amir during an infamous seminar at the Diwaniya of Jamaan Al-Harbash in December of 2010. Opposition protests and sit-ins at the Justice Palace have been occurring on a regular basis since the jail sentencing of around three Twitter activists and the three opposition ex-lawmakers — Falah Al-Sawagh, Khaled Al-Tahous and Bader Al-Dahoum — for allegedly insulting HH the Amir. Many more activists are on trial on similar charges. The oppositionists demand the scrapping of the one-vote electoral system and the current National Assembly, whose election they’ve boycotted on Dec 1.

Iran expects Continued from Page 1 The Vienna agency closely monitors Iran’s declared nuclear facilities but wants Iran also to grant access to sites, scientists and documents involved in these alleged military activities. Iran accuses the IAEA of basing its conclusions on faulty intelligence from foreign spy agencies — intelligence it complains it has not been allowed to see. A series of meetings over the past year, the

Yemenis mark anniversary SANAA, Feb 11, (AFP): Tens of thousands of Yemenis gathered Monday in Sanaa to celebrate the second anniversary of the launch of nationwide protests that pushed president Ali Abdullah Saleh out of power after 33 years in office. Jubilant Yemenis gathered in the Sitin street, a capital artery that was scene of frequent protests and confrontations between anti-regime demonstrators and police and militamen backing the former leader. The rally was organised by the committee of the Youth Revolution, which considers February 11, 2011 the day the uprising against Saleh’s rule erupted, though demonstrations had begun in January 2011 taking cue from protests in Tunisia and Egypt. “Hold your head up, you are a free Yemeni,” chanted the crowds gathered in Sitin, evoking a slogan chanted during the protests against Saleh, an AFP correspondent reported. “February 11 is a day that Yemenis will always celebrate,” said a statement released by the organising committee.

Sunnis have staged mass rallies in recent weeks to protest what they see as unfair treatment of their sect by the government of Nouri alMaliki, a Shiite accused by critics of monopolizing power. The protests, along with a recent spike in lethal attacks by suspected Sunni insurgents, have revived fears that sectarianism could one day tear apart Iraq’s fragile national fabric. The country is home to a Shiite majority and sizeable Sunni and Kurdish minorities. Sunni protesters say they are being targeted unfairly by the government and that vague anti-terrorism laws are being used to detain Sunnis arbitrarily. They have called for a release of prisoners, an investigation of alleged human rights abuses in prisons and ending the practice of holding wives of terror suspects. The government has formed a committee to consider the demands, and has released about 3,000 detainees. However, thousands held on terrorism-related charges remain in detention, and there has been no sign of progress on changing legislation and policy. Martin Kobler, the UN envoy to Iraq, said that while he believes the head of the committee, Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani, is taking the Sunni concerns seriously, “there is more the government could do” to deal with the protesters’ demands. “We have the impression that a lot of the problems (raised by the demonstrators) are rule of law, human rights problems, the situation in detention centers. And these are all problems the government can solve tomorrow,” Kobler told The Associated Press. The envoy said that while the UN does not deal with Sunni political demands, protesters’ complaints about human rights violations are of concern. “Every torture case in a prison is one torture case too many, and those who do it have to be brought to justice,” he said, speaking at a UN compound in Baghdad’s Green Zone, the vast, heavily fortified seat of the Iraqi government. “This does not change overnight, but this is something we always make very clear, and we are in contact with the Iraqi authorities to bring about an improvement of these human rights demands of the demonstrators,” Kobler added. The spokesmen for the prime minister and deputy prime minister were not available for comment. The US ambassador to Iraq, Robert Stephen Beecroft, said it would be dangerous to let the problem fester - a warning that seemed largely directed at al-Maliki. “It’s in everybody’s interest to engage and try to resolve it now,” Beecroft said in an interview broadcast by Iraqi TV station al-Sumaria late Sunday. “Waiting ... is a risky strategy ... and sometimes things do fizzle out. But often times they get worse,” he said, urging both sides to come up with “bold solutions to this, not tentative steps.”

The mother of Jordan’s King, Princess Muna al-Hussein (right), Jordanian Queen Rania (center) and the wife of Jordanian Prime Minister (left), attend the opening of the Jordanian parliament in Amman on Feb 10. King Abdullah II told newly elected members of parliament that he seeks to reach ‘consensus’ with them before naming a prime minister, and hailed the ‘historic’ transformation’ towards parliamentary government in Jordan. (AFP)

Jordan in talks with MPs to choose PM Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Monday tasked his chief of staff to begin consultations with newly elected MPs on a “new mechanism” to choose the next prime minister as part of a democratisation drive. “The king has entrusted royal court chief Fayez Tarawneh to begin consultations with the lower house of parliament as a new mechanism to choose the prime minster and launch the experiment of parliamentary governments,” a palace statement said. “Tarawneh will meet with parliamentary blocs and independents

before conveying their viewpoints to the king in a transparent, neutral and accurate manner.” So far, six blocs grouping 131 MPs have been formed in the 150-seat lower house, dominated by tribal leaders, pro-regime loyalists and independent businessmen. The king, who enjoys constitutional power to name and sack prime ministers, told the opening of parliament on Sunday that he wants to reach “consensus” with MPs before appointing a premier as part of a “historic transformation” towards parlia-

mentary government for the first time in Jordan. The premier, the king said, should in turn consult parliamentary blocs and other forces as he selects his cabinet, seeking confidence “based on a policy statement resulting from the consultation process, and on fouryear programmes.” Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur submitted the resignation of his fourmonth-old cabinet to the king on Jan 29, six days after a general election boycotted by the opposition Muslim Brotherhood and others. (AFP)

UN, US condemn attack on Iran exiles

Gunmen kill 4 in Iraqi city of Mosul BAGHDAD, Feb 11, (Agencies): Gunmen killed four people in three attacks on Sunday in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, officials said. Violence has dropped in Iraq since the country’s worst sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007, but insurgents carry out near-daily attacks on security forces and civilians to try to undermine the Shiite-led government. Assailants fired at a police checkpoint in the center of Mosul, killing two policemen, police said. Later in the day, gunmen killed an off-duty soldier at a car repair shop in the city. In a third attack, gunmen fired at a van carrying oil workers, killing one and wounding three, police said. A health official confirmed the casualty figures. The health official and two police officers spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to publicly release the information. Also on Sunday, the head of the Nalia satellite TV station in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region confirmed that a bomb exploded on the roof of the station, causing no casualties.

The bomb went off on Saturday, a day after a caller to the station’s callin program was perceived to be insulting the father of Massoud Barzani, the president of the autonomous region, station chief Sarwa Abdul-Wahid said. A day after the call, several hundred Barzani supporters demonstrated outside the station and tried to break in, but were stopped by police, Abdul-Wahid said. Later that day, the bomb exploded on the roof. Meanwhile, the UN secretary-general and the US government condemned a deadly attack on an Iranian dissident camp in the Iraqi capital early on Saturday and urged Iraqi authorities to carry out a full investigation. “(Ban Ki-moon) strongly condemns the mortar attack today on Camp Liberty, the temporary transit facility near Baghdad for former residents of Camp Ashraf,” the secretary-general’s press office said in a statement. At least five people were killed and more than 25 wounded in the rocket attack, police sources said. “The Secretary-General calls on the

Government of Iraq, which is responsible for the safety and security of residents of both Camp Liberty and Camp Ashraf, to promptly and fully investigate the incident and bring perpetrators to justice,” it said. The US State Department condemned “in the strongest terms the vicious and senseless terrorist attack.” “We understand the Government of Iraq has undertaken to promptly investigate the attack,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement. “We call on it to earnestly and fully carry out that investigation and to take all appropriate measures to enhance the security of the camp consistent with its commitment and obligation to the safety and security of the camp’s residents. “The terrorists responsible for this attack must be brought to justice,” the US statement added. The Iranian dissident group Mujahadin-e-Khalq, or MEK, said six people including a woman died after its camp was hit by mortars and missiles, while the UN mission in Iraq said it was aware of a number of deaths.




US comic Silverman’s sister detained

Police quiz 10 women for praying at Wall JERUSALEM, Feb 11, (Agencies): Israeli police on Monday took 10 women for questioning after they wrapped themselves in men’s prayer shawls and prayed at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, in the Old City of Jerusalem. “Around a hundred women gathered at the Kotel (Western Wall) this morning, they wrapped themselves in the fringed prayer shawls (which are reserved for men) and began praying which has been banned by the Supreme Court,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP. “At the end of the prayer, 10 of them were taken for questioning while the rest just dispersed,” she said. The women were later released without charge but were told they could not return to the Wall for another two weeks, she said, without naming any of those detained. The offence is punishable by six months in prison and a fine of $3,000. The women are part of a group called Women of the Wall (WoW) whose mission is to win the social and legal right for women to wear prayer shawls, pray and read out loud from the Torah collectively at the wall — practices which have traditionally been reserved for men. Among those briefly detained was Rabbi Susan Silverman, sister of US comedian Sarah Silverman, and her daughter. “SO proud of my amazing sister @rabbisusan & niece,” the comedian wrote on her official Twitter feed after the incident in a post tagged WomenoftheWall. The Western Wall is one of the holiest sites in Judaism,

Ahead of Obama’s visit to Israel

Israeli defence minister Barack heads to US JERUSALEM, Feb 11, (AFP): Israel’s outgoing Defence Minister Ehud Barak left on Monday for Washington on his second such trip in less than a month, the defence ministry said. The visit, likely to be one of his last before the minister steps down from politics, comes just days after the White House said that US President Barack Obama would be making his first-ever trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories as president. It also comes at at a time of heightened tension along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and war-torn

Syria. “Defence Minister Ehud Barak flew this morning for a working meeting in the United States during which he will meet with senior administration officials and with intelligence and defence chiefs,” his office said, without saying who he would meet or what would be discussed. Also expected in Washington this week is Yitzhak Molcho, the personal envoy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who will prepare for Obama’s visit which is expected to take place in late March, press reports said.

and is revered by Jews as one of the last remaining remnants of the Second Temple complex. In 2003, Israel’s supreme court ruled that WoW could not hold vocal prayers at the wall as this presented a threat to law and order. Women are also banned from wearing a man’s prayer shawl and putting on tefillin (leather boxes containing tiny scrolls of scripture), Samri said.

They are also forbidden to read aloud from a Torah scroll in public. The group routinely convenes for monthly prayer sessions at the Western Wall, revered by Jews as a perimeter wall of the Biblical Temple in Jerusalem. Some of its members have been detained by police in the past for wearing prayer shawls at the site and released without charge.

Palestinian officials begin voter registrations in Gaza First step towards ending dispute GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories, Feb 11, (AFP): Palestinian electoral officials on Monday began the long-overdue process of updating voter rolls in the West Bank and Gaza in a vital step towards eventual elections. “The registration of voters is now beginning in the West Bank and Gaza. We hope

accomplishing it will be the first step to ending the division,” said Central Elections Commission chief Hanna Nasser in announcing the start of the week-long operation at a news conference in Gaza City. Voter registration has been delayed for years due to a long-running dispute between the Hamas rulers of Gaza and its Fatah rival which dominates the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

A Palestinian man points at an ID number on a voters list ahead of the upcoming elections, in Gaza City, on Feb 11. The Palestinian election commission has started to update voter registers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to pave the way for new elections - and possible reconciliation between the rival Fatah and Hamas factions. (AP)

Israeli troops arrest press photographer

Israel approves 90 West Bank settler homes JERUSALEM, Feb 11, (Agencies): Israel has given final approval for 90 new homes in Beit El settlement near Ramallah in a move likely to spark tension ahead of a top-level visit by US President Barack Obama, officials and an NGO said Monday. Hagit Ofran of the Peace Now settlement watchdog said the plans had been published for validation in an Israeli newspaper in what was the “final stage of approval”, meaning construction of the new homes could begin “within a few days.” The plans were signed off by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak in August but received the final rubber stamp on Sunday by the Civil Administration’s planning committee, she said. The move comes just days after the White House announced that Obama would make his first-ever visit to Israel as president on a trip expected to take place in late March. The stalled peace process is one of three key issues which will be up for discussion. Talks broke

down more than two years ago in a major dispute over settlements. The Beit El construction plans were hurriedly put together as a compensatory measure for settlers who were evicted last year from Ulpana, an unauthorised settlement outpost on the outskirts of Beit El which was evacuated following a High Court ruling. A Civil Administration spokesman confirmed the approval for the 90 units, saying they had been signed off by the political establishment. “We’re talking about the validation of a project which was already approved in August ... in the framework of orders from the political establishment after the High Court decision,” he told AFP. Ofran said it meant the bulldozers could now get to work immediately. “They can start building within a few days,” she said. The approval was pushed through despite the fact that Israel is currently between governments

Iran questions women

Mousavi daughters freed TEHRAN, Iran, Feb 11, (AP): Iranian prosecutors have released the daughters of reformist opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi after they were briefly summoned for questioning, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported on Monday. ILNA quoted an unnamed official as saying the daughters, Zahra and Narges Mousavi, had been summoned to give “explanations.” It did not elaborate. An earlier report by opposition website said the two were taken into custody after security agents searched their homes.

The two women have campaigned to free their parents, who are both under house arrest, urging authorities to release them in an open letter in January. The incident comes just days before the second anniversary of massive protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which falls on Wednesday. Mir Hossein Mousavi was the leader of the Green Movement in the 2009 presidential race against Ahmadinejad. Amid allegations of vote rigging after Ahmadinejad won, he led massive opposition protests.

following last month’s general elections, with coalition talks likely to continue for several more weeks. “Even though there is not yet a new government in place they are still allowing settlement procedures to continue instead of putting them on hold which is a telling sign about this new government,” Ofran said. Meanwhile, Israeli troops detained an Associated Press photographer during West Bank unrest over the weekend, handcuffing him and forcing him to sit on the ground without food or water or access to a bathroom for roughly five hours, according to eyewitness accounts. The photographer, Nasser Shiyoukhi, was released without charge after Saturday’s incident. Footage of the incident shows Shiyoukhi, 46, snapping pictures a short distance from Israeli security forces who were scuffling with a protester in the town of Yatta. Protesters had erected a small tent camp on what they say is Palestinian land occupied by Israelis.

It is a key part of preparations for legislative and presidential elections called for under the terms of a reconciliation deal signed in 2011 but which has never been implemented. The electoral register has not been updated since the 2006 legislative elections, with Monday’s registration drive expected to include another 720,000 new names — 388,000 in the West Bank and 332,000 in Gaza, figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed. “This is the first step towards ending a dispute which has so far lasted six years and people are eager to see the reunification between the two parts of Palestine,” said Nasser. “The registration process is the beginning of the democratic process of elections.” The week-long drive will involve 581 people who will register voter details at 256 schools across the Gaza Strip based upon lists provided by the interior ministry. After that, it would take another four to six weeks to enter the newly-obtained data into the database after which the electoral rolls will be ready for use, the CEC said. Updating the electoral register in Gaza removes a major hurdle blocking reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. “This is a moment of happiness because it means the reconciliation train has left the station,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. “Hamas is committed to enabling the CEC to start the voter registration and we call on Fatah to stick to its commitments so we will be able to apply the reconciliation agreement.” The procedure had been due to begin in Gaza last year but the CEC’s work was “temporarily” halted by Hamas as reconciliation efforts ran aground. The CEC had reopened its Gaza offices in January 2012 but could not begin work on updating the voter lists without Hamas’s permission, which it received in May. After an initial period of recruitment, election officials had been due to start registering individual voters in early July but that month the process was suddenly halted by Hamas, which argued that various “obstacles” needed to be resolved before the CEC could continue its work.

Saudi Tornado fighter crashes RIYADH, Feb 11, (AFP): A Saudi Arabian Tornado fighter crashed in the kingdom’s Eastern Province during a training mission on Monday, but its crew survived, the defence ministry said. The aircraft crashed at the King Abdul Aziz Airbase in Dhahran while on a “routine training mission,” state news agency SPA quoted a ministry official as saying. “The crew escaped the accident unharmed,” the official said. They said a “technical problem” caused the accident, and that a probe had been opened to find out the precisely what it was.

Israeli police arrest American Rabbi Susan Silverman (left), sister of comedian Sarah Silverman, and her teenage daughter Hallel Abramowitz (center), after performing Rosh Hodesh prayers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, on Feb 11. The prayer was organized by the Women of Wall, a group which calls for rights of women to pray at Judaism’s holiest site without restriction. (AFP)

‘World’s largest ethnic group’

Aid draws Iraq and Syria Kurds ‘closer’ FISHKHABOUR, Iraq, Feb 11, (RTRS): Kurds on either side of the river Tigris that runs between Syria and Iraq are linked by kinship, a history of oppression and now by fuel lines and boats ferrying food and medical aid across the waters that divide them. The lifeline thrown by Iraqi Kurdistan to its neighbour extends the influence of Masoud Barzani, the autonomous region’s President, over Kurds in Syria as civil war threatens to dismember the country. For Syrian Kurds the conflict presents an opportunity to win the kind of rights enjoyed by their ethnic kin in Iraq, who live autonomously from Baghdad with their own administration, armed forces and an increasingly independent foreign policy. “Besides the humanitarian dimension there is a political dimension (to the aid) as well,” said historian Jordi Tejel Gorgas, an expert on Syrian Kurds based in Switzerland. “The KRG (Kurdistan regional government) and Barzani, as leader of a de facto Kurdish state, are showing they are committed patriots.” It is not clear what exactly Barzani may hope to gain, but the aid consolidates his involvement with Kurds in Syria, to whom he has already provided political support in preparation for a future power transition.

Motive KRG spokesman Safeen D i z a y e e denied there was any ulterior or political motive to the aid, calling it an obligation. Kurdish areas in Syria’s northeastern corner Barzani have been spared the worst of the fighting between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, but are nonetheless suffering from severe food and fuel shortages. On the Iraqi side of the river, white pick-up trucks reverse down to the water’s edge and men heave sack after sack of flour, tinned tomatoes and ghee into the hull of a motor boat waiting to speed over to Syria. The Kurdish flag flies overhead. “They are our brothers and a shared fate binds us together,” Barzani was quoted as saying in the bi-monthly newspaper of a Syrian Kurdish party close to his own. Divided between Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran, the Kurdish people number around 25 million and are often described as the world’s largest ethnic group without a state of their own.

News in Brief Pak plane crashes: A Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane with about 70 people on board crash-landed on the runway of Oman’s main airport in Muscat on Monday, forcing the cancellation of all flights from the facility, a safety officer said on Monday. Ali Al Zuwaidi, flight safety director at Muscat International Airport, said the pilot had reported no injuries among the passengers or crew. “A PIA aircraft crashed on the runway after its landing gear collapsed,” Zuwaidi told Reuters. “We had to close the airport indefinitely until the investigation has been completed,” he added. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑ Kurd killed: A 19-year-old

A Palestinian protester throws stones towards Israeli border guards during clashes in the Arab Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya on Feb 11, following a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi (portrait), who is held in an Israeli jail and has been on hunger strike for more than 200 days. Police and border guard forces dispersed the protestors using shock grenades after a number of Palestinian youths hurled rocks at them. (AFP)

In Syria, where they make up about 10 percent of the population, Kurds have been systematically discriminated against under Assad and his father before him, who stripped more than 100,000 of their citizenship. Kurdistan’s approach to Syria contrasts sharply with the central government’s. Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri alMaliki says Iraq’s policy is “non-interference” in Syria, but his interests are closely aligned with those of Iran, which backs Assad. “The central government has not objected so far,” said the head of the crossing, Shawkat Berbehari, a framed portrait of Barzani’s father Mulla Mustafa hanging on the wall behind him. The Fishkhabour crossing opened in mid-January and the authorities are constructing a floating bridge over the river to make it easier to traverse. “We are helping our brothers and sisters in Western Kurdistan,” Berbehari said, using the term by which Kurds refer to the area of Syria they lay claim to as part of their rightful homeland: “Greater Kurdistan”. Around one million litres of diesel and a thousand tonnes of flour as well as medical supplies have been donated so far by the KRG in northern Iraq to their fellow Kurds across the river. Once laden, each boat takes less that a minute to reach the other side. “We thank God and we thank the president of Kurdistan for this aid which is an ointment for our wounds,” said 49-year-old Amin Ahmed, one of tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds who have sought refuge in the autonomous region. After being unloaded in Syria, the aid is distributed to Kurds and Arabs alike by committees operating under the “Higher Kurdish Council”, a body formed last year at Barzani’s insistence to unite rival Syrian Kurdish factions. The dominant Kurdish group on the ground in Syria is the Democratic Union Party (PYD), aligned with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought a 28-year-old insurgency against the Turkish state. Weaker but more palatable to the international community is the Kurdish National Council (KNC), itself an umbrella for more than a dozen smaller parties, several of which are tied closely to Iraqi Kurdish groups. Both the PYD and the KNC are wary of the Arab-dominated Syrian opposition, which they see as inherently hostile to their interests, but they differ on how best to capitalise on the civil war.

Kurdish man was killed late Sunday when a home-made grenade exploded in his hands during a demonstration in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeast, local authorities said.

The man was one of 100 demonstrators who had gathered in Diyarbakir city to protest ahead of the 14th anniversary of jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan’s capture in Kenya on February 15. He was preparing to launch the grenade at police when it exploded in his hand, Diyarbakir governor Mustafa Toprak was quoted as saying by the state-run TRT channel. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Activist honored: Over a hundred people gathered in Jerusalem on Sunday to honour the memory of an Israeli peace activist who was murdered by a right-wing extremist at a demonstration exactly 30 years ago. Emil Grunzweig, a teacher and activist, was killed by a grenade hurled by right-wing extremist Yona Avrushmi, during a demonstration organised by Peace Now movement against Israel’s war in Lebanon. (AFP)




Testimony from Pakistan in US terror trial

US uses Pakistan route for Afghan pullout ISLAMABAD, Feb 11, (AP): The US has started using the land route through Pakistan to pull American military equipment out of Afghanistan as it draws down its troops in the country, US and Pakistani officials said Monday. The US moved 50 shipping containers into Pakistan over the weekend, said Marcus Spade, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan. The containers were the first convoys to cross into Pakistan as part of the Afghan pullout, he said. Pakistan will be a key route for the US to withdraw tens of thousands of containers of equipment out of landlocked Afghanistan as it pulls most of its combat troops out by the end of 2014. Pakistan closed the route for nearly seven months after US airstrikes killed 24 Pakistani troops at a post along the Afghan border in November 2011. Islamabad reopened the route in July 2012 after Washington apologized for the deaths. During the closure of the Pakistan route, the US had to use a longer, more costly path that runs north out of Afghanistan through Central Asia and Russia. The US has also used that route to withdraw equipment. It’s unclear what took the US so long to begin withdrawing equipment through the Pakistan route, which runs south out of Afghanistan to the Pakistani port city of Karachi. Supplies have been flowing into Afghanistan since the route reopened in July 2012. Twenty-five containers that originated from a base in the southern Afghan district of Kandahar entered Pakistan through the border crossing at Chaman in southwestern Baluchistan province on Saturday, said Ata Mohammed, a

‘Detainees face widespread torture’

Prisoner abuse not systematic: Afghan govt KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb 11, (AP): An Afghan government panel acknowledged Monday that detainees face widespread torture but denied there is systematic abuse in government-run prisons. The panel’s findings were the result of a two-week fact-finding mission following a UN report last month that said Afghan authorities are still torturing prisoners despite promises of reforms. The country’s intelligence service earlier had denied any torture in its detention facilities. The complaints have prompted NATO to stop many transfers of detainees to the Afghans as concerns about torture raise questions about the government’s commit-

ment to human rights. The UN report said more than half of the 635 detainees interviewed had been tortured — about the same ratio found in its first report in 2011. It cited brutal tactics including hanging detainees from the ceiling by their wrists, beating them with cables and administering electric shocks. Many rights activists have expressed concern that such abuses could become more common as international forces draw down and the country’s Western allies become less watchful over a government that so far has taken few concrete actions to reform the system.

shipping official. Another 25 containers entered Pakistan on Sunday through the other major Afghan border crossing at Torkham in the northwestern Khyber tribal area, said Mohammed Yousuf, a local political official.

financially supporting the Pakistani Taleban. The first of up to 11 witnesses will testify Monday from an Islamabad hotel. The testimony will be beamed to a Miami federal courtroom via video hookup. Defense lawyers will ask questions in Pakistan, with prosecutors doing crossexamination using the video feed. The unusual arrangement was made necessary when several witnesses for 77-year-old Hafiz Khan could not travel to the US. Others face US charges and refused to come.

Also: MIAMI: Defense witnesses are set to testify from Pakistan in the South Florida trial of a Muslim cleric charged with

French, Malian forces regain control of Gao Jihadists penetrate mud-walled buildings center of the city early Monday where body parts lay strewn about. The al-Qaeda-linked militants concentrated their attack on the police center in northern Mali’s largest city. “Yesterday we heard the gunfire and hid in our homes all evening,” said Soumayla Maiga as he stood with friends near the rubble of the police offices. “We were stunned when we came out and saw what happened.” The radical Islamic fighters from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, or The brazen assault came after two suicide bombers tried to attack military check- MUJAO, had ruled Gao for nearly 10 months before they were ousted at the end of January. points on Gao’s outskirts. Sunday’s assault marked the first time the jihadists had The black-robed jihadists, armed with AK-47 automatic rifles, returned to the city by crosspenetrated the city of mud-walled buildings since they fled two weeks ago. ing the Niger River in wooden boats to launch their assault Sunday afternoon, said French Gen. Bernard Barrera, citing the Malian military. The gun battles lasted more than five hours. Hundreds of Gao residents gathered around the heavily damaged police headquarters in the By nightfall French military helicopters flew overhead to patrol the city. Two explosions rang out overnight but early Monday the only sounds in the city were the morning call to prayer and barking dogs. Malian Lt Col Nema Sagadam said that it was unclear how many jihadist fighters had penetrated the city in Sunday’s attack, though at least 10 were killed by Malian forces. Malian soldiers fired on the police building because the radical Islamic fighters were hiding inside, she said. “We used heavy arms to attack the building because it was infested with militants who were firing at people,” Sagadam said. The walls and ceiling inside the police building were heavily stained with blood and the damage was consistent with an explosion, suggesting a suicide bomber may have blown himself up inside the police offices during the fighting. Residents who had cowered in their homes during the heavy gunfire cautiously ventured out onto the streets where groups in circles looked at the human remains. Women used their veils to cover their noses and mouths as they passed two blown off legs lying in the sand. The remains of People look over the surrounding wall of a bullet riddled police station one day after Islamist gunmen battled French and Malian troops a disemboweled donkey also following two straight days of suicide bombings, on Feb 11, in Gao. (Inset): Children visit a damaged police station. (AFP) were in front of the police building. Two civilians died from gunshot wounds, while 10 others were wounded, according to Dr. Moulaye Djiteye at the Gao hospital. The body of a third man was carted away later Monday morning; residents said he had been hit by a stray bullet while SULTAN KUDARAT, Philippines, Feb 11, of Aquino’s six-year term as president. The conautonomous region covering large parts of riding by on his motorcycle. (AFP): Philippine President Benigno Aquino stitution limits him to one term and there are Mindanao. Many of the toughest details have yet Ten other people were treated paid a historic visit Monday to Muslim rebel terconcerns that the next president may not be able, to be agreed, and there have been no major for their wounds at the hospital, ritory in a bid to speed up efforts to end one of or may not want, to pursue the peace agenda. breakthroughs in ensuing negotiations between Djiteye said. Asia’s longest and deadliest insurgencies. The 12,000-strong MILF has been fighting the two sides. Islamic militants had previFour months after his government agreed on a since the 1970s for independence in Mindanao, However Aquino expressed confidence that ously clashed with Malian forces roadmap with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front the southern third of the mainly Catholic the negotiations would yield significant results on the outskirts of town, but for a final peace deal by 2016, Aquino travelled Philippines that the country’s Muslim minority within weeks, and that a final peace pact could Sunday’s attack was the first to the insurgents’ stronghold in the far south as a claim as their ancestral homeland. be achieved by 2016. time of fighting in the city center. confidence-building measure. An estimated 150,000 people have died in the “We’re very close to agreements on all the The dramatic attack Sunday “We have just three years and four months left. conflict with Muslim rebels, although a ceasepoints,” he said. highlights the challenges ahead We have to speed up everything we are doing fire in place since 2003 has largely held. The key event on Monday, held just outside for the Malian and French forces, now to make this (peace) permanent,” Aquino In the “framework agreement” signed last the MILF’s heavily fortified Camp Darapanan, who initially drove the militants said on a stage alongside MILF chief Murad October, the MILF said it would give up its was the launch of joint development projects out of the city after facing little Ebrahim just outside the rebels’ main base. quest for independence in exchange for signifiseen by both sides as crucial to the peace resistance. The deadline for peace coincides with the end cant power and wealth-sharing in a new process.

GAO, Mali, Feb 11, (AP): French and Malian government forces on Monday have regained control of this strategic northern city, after Islamic fighters invaded through the city’s harbor Sunday and fought a protracted battle for hours in the heart of downtown.

In this picture taken on Dec 17, 2012 Afghan addict children watch others play at a centre run by Wadan, an Afghan charity in Jalalabad. They play badminton, kick a ball around and fiddle with a rudimentary computer game: ordinary childhood activities. Except that these are not ordinary children, they are recovering Afghan addicts aged three to 12 who represent a growing proportion of drug users in the war-torn country that produces 90 percent of the world’s opium used to make heroin. (AFP)

Concerns about lifting embargo

‘Arms reaching Somalia from Yemen and Tehran’ UNITED NATIONS, Feb 11, (RTRS): As the United States pushes for an end to the UN arms embargo on Somalia, UN monitors are reporting that Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa nation are receiving arms from distribution networks linked to Yemen and Iran, diplomats told Reuters. The UN Security Council’s sanctions monitoring team’s concerns about Iranian and Yemeni links to arms supplies for al Shabaab militants come as Yemen is asking Tehran to stop backing armed groups on Yemeni soil. Last month Yemeni coast guards and the US Navy seized a consignment of missiles and rockets the Sanaa government says were sent by Iran. According to the latest findings by the monitoring group, which tracks compliance with UN sanctions on Somalia and Eritrea, most weapons deliveries are coming into northern Somalia — that is, the autonomous Puntland and Somaliland regions — after which they are moved farther south into Shabaab strongholds. The supply chains in Yemen are largely Somali networks in that country, council diplomats said on condition of anonymity. “In Galguduud (central Somalia), Shabaab received arms, including IED (improvised explosive Ban device) components,” a Security Council diplomat said, referring to one of the Somalia/Eritrea Monitoring Group’s most recent confidential reports. Several other council diplomats confirmed his remarks. Other weapons supplied included PKM machine guns, said the group’s monthly report for January. The monitors were scheduled to informally brief Security Council members on Friday but the meeting was canceled due to a major snowstorm, diplomats said. The UN monitors favor a gradual easing of the arms embargo rather

lifting it as the Americans and the Somali government advocate, the diplomats said. Yemen is proving to be of central importance for arming Shabaab, the monitors’ reporting shows, both because it is feeding arms into northern Somalia and because it has become a playing field for Iranian interests in Somalia and elsewhere. The UN Security Council’s Panel of Experts on Iran, which monitors compliance with the Iran sanctions regime, including the arms embargo on Tehran, is also looking at Yemen and evidence of Iranian arms shipments across Africa, council diplomats told Reuters. Iran’s UN mission did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Weapons The monitors found Iranian and North Korean-manufactured weapons that came to Somalia via Libya at a base of the UN-backed African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia. Diplomats who follow the issue said the arms were apparently recovered by the peacekeepers and raised important questions. “Why are Iranian and North Korean small arms finding their way into Somalia from Libya? Do they date from before the arms embargoes (against both North Korea and Iran)? How did they get there from Libya?” a council diplomat asked. “It certainly emphasizes the point that Somalia is a country awash with arms and still very fragile,” the diplomat said. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the 15nation council should consider lifting the arms embargo to help rebuild Somalia’s security forces and consolidate military gains against the al Qaedalinked al Shabaab militants. It is a position that has the strong backing of the United States, which is pushing for an end to the 21-year-old UN arms embargo. The Security Council imposed it in 1992 to cut the flow of arms to feuding warlords, who a year earlier had ousted dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and plunged Somalia into civil war.


Historic visit aims to end Asia’s longest, deadliest insurgencies

Philippine president visits rebel stronghold

Evidence for any such listening circumstantial

Lawyers fear govt evesdropping at Gitmo GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba, Feb 11, (AP): Lawyers for the five Guantanamo Bay prisoners charged in the Sept 11, 2001, attacks want to know if US government officials have been eavesdropping on their private conversations with the defendants. The evidence for any such listening, the subject of a hearing scheduled to start Monday at this US base in Cuba, is circumstantial. At a hearing Jan 28, the sound system in the Guantanamo courtroom was suddenly cut, to the surprise of even the judge. The judge later revealed that a government official, from an agency that the military has refused to disclose, was following the proceedings from outside the courtroom and intervened to prevent the potential release of classified information. The judge, Army Col James Pohl, later said the information was not classified and he ordered the undisclosed government agency to disconnect any

equipment that could unilaterally cut the sound. He also released a transcript of the censored remarks. But since the Jan 28 incident, lawyers for the defendants say they have become more concerned about possible additional monitoring that they say would violate attorney-client privilege and make it impossible for them to represent men charged with aiding and planning the Sept 11 attacks. At the hearing, they will be asking the judge to halt all proceedings until the issue is resolved. “What happened in the courtroom (on Jan 28) was shocking,” Army Capt. Jason Wright, one of the lawyers for lead defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said Sunday. “There was a wizard behind the curtain who had the power to completely cut off the audio feed to the proceedings, to censor what was being said in court. It would be foolish for us to not consider that capability in other areas where we interact with the accused.”

Insurgents kill 4: Somalia’s Islamist Shebab insurgents said Monday they carried out a suicide attack using a car bomb targeting senior police officials in the central Galkayo region, killing at least four people. “There are at least five people dead, including the bomber,” said Mohamed Abdullahi, a police officer in the town, which straddles the border between the northern breakaway state of Puntland and the self-proclaimed region of Galmudug. Security sources said that a senior Puntland police official was wounded in the blast, but the reports could not be independently confirmed. “The mujahedeen have today carried out a martyrdom operation in Galkayo, targeting senior Puntland officials,” the alQaeda-linked Shebab said in a message posted on their Twitter account. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑ 7 civilians killed: A joint

Philippine President Benigno Aquino (right), shares candies with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief Murad Ebrahim during a visit to the rebels’ stronghold in Sultan Kudarat, in southern island of Mindanao on Feb 11. (AFP)

Somali-African Union investigation into a case of civilian casualties found that African Union troops killed seven civilians, including five children. The investigation, though, found that the troops acted within internationally accepted rules of engagement during the midJanuary incident. It said that the al-Qaeda-linked group, alShabab, attacked an African Union patrol near a village, and that the soldiers defended themselves appropriately. The force commander, Lt

Gitmo drill

US ‘trains’ for mass migration GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Feb 11, (RTRS): A simulated wave of Caribbean migrants sailed to the Guantanamo naval base this week for a training drill designed to prepare US troops and security agencies who might someday have to handle the real thing. The exercise is held every two years to prepare for a potential mass migration brought on by political upheaval or natural disaster in the region. More than 500 US troops and government workers flew to the Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in eastern Cuba for the drill, which started on Saturday and runs through Friday. “It’s not related to any real-world event,” said Colonel Jane Crichton, a spokeswoman for the US Army South unit based in San Antonio, Texas, which is participating in the drill. Gen Andrew Gutti, said he was saddened by the loss of civilian life, but he blamed the incident on al -Shabab, saying that the group demonstrates little regard for the safety of the Somali people. (AP)




No charges over hoax call

Australia royal radio hoaxer back on air SYDNEY, Feb 11, (AFP): One of the Australian radio hosts at the centre of a royal hoax call controversy in which a nurse was found hanged returned to the airwaves Monday. Michael Christian, with Mel Greig, made the phone call to London’s King Edward VII Hospital in December pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles inquiring about the health of Prince William’s pregnant wife Catherine. Christian resumed work with Austereo station Fox FM in Melbourne. “We are happy to have Michael back on air,” said Austereo chief Rhys Holleran. “We have always supported our talent returning to work when appropriate and today marks that occasion for MC. “We look forward to welcoming Mel Greig back when the time is right.” Earlier this month British prosecutors said the two Australian DJs would not face charges over the hoax call. Christian and Greig’s prank saw unsuspecting nurse Jacintha Saldanha put their call through to a nurse treating Catherine, resulting in details of her recovery from morning sickness being revealed on air.

24-hour strike in job cuts dispute

BBC journalists vote to strike LONDON, Feb 11, (AP): A union says journalists at the BBC will stage a 24-hour strike on Feb 18 in a dispute over job cuts. Britain’s National Union of Journalists says its members also will launch other limited job actions starting Friday unless the BBC cancels its plan for layoffs. The union, which has several thousand members at the BBC, says the broadcaster is planning to make

about 30 people redundant. General-secretary Michelle Stanistreet says she hopes “meaningful negotiations” can avert a strike. The BBC said Monday it was “disappointing the NUJ have chosen to take this action.” The BBC is funded mainly by a mandatory £145.50 ($228) annual levy on all households with color TVs. In 2010 the government froze the fee for six years, and the corporation has been making cuts.

The hoax made global headlines and Indian-born Saldanha was found hanged three days later, triggering a major backlash against the radio network and the hosts. The Australian presenters’ show was axed after the death and the pair appeared tearfully on national television to describe their devastation that their hoax could

have contributed to Saldanha’s death. “If we played any involvement in her death then we’re very sorry for that,” Christian said late last year. Greig has not yet returned to work. A British inquest found no suspicious circumstances over the death of Saldanha, a mother of two.

Scotland ‘new state’ outside EU, UN if splits: British govt UK govt campaigning for no vote LONDON, Feb 11, (RTRS): The British government on Monday intensified its campaign to stop Scotland leaving the United Kingdom, publishing a legal opinion saying it would forfeit its membership of international bodies such as the European Union if it chose independence. The pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) that runs Scotland’s devolved government plans to hold a referendum on emotionally charged subject next year, and has played down the impact of a “Yes” vote on Scotland’s international status. But the 57-page legal opinion — drafted for the British government by two independent experts on international law — said the implications could be far-reaching, likening the sit-

uation to the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union when Russia was declared the USSR’s legal successor but the 14 other Soviet states had to forge their international relations anew. The overwhelming weight of international precedent suggested Scotland would be legally deemed a “new state”, it said — a scenario that would force it to re-apply to join international bodies such as the EU, the United Nations and NATO. The government’s intervention came as a panel of experts, including two Nobel prizewinning economists, issued a report saying the SNP’s plan to keep the British pound in the event of independence was a sound strategy, suggesting it would also be wise to keep the Bank of England as the central bank. The SNP argues that North Sea oil revenues combined with Scotland’s fishing, farming and whisky industries would be enough to keep an independent Scotland solvent. But critics say the oil is running out, that Scotland would lose disproportionately generous British government subsidies, and that it would struggle to raise enough tax to pay its bills. The British government’s unusual decision to publish the legal opinion reflects its concern that Scots may vote for independence, triggering the breakup of a United Kingdom comprising England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Fresh snow covers the farm landscape near Carrshields, England, after more heavy snow fell on Feb 10. Cold weather is predicted for many parts of England over the coming days. (AP)

Restrictions aim at helping more Britons save for retirement

Lawmakers want no delay to pension changes LONDON, Feb 11, (RTRS): Restrictions on a government-backed pension plan aimed at helping more Britons save for their retirement should be lifted as a matter of urgency, a parliamentary committee said in a report on Monday. The Work and Pensions Committee said removing the limitations on the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), which cap the amount an employee can contribute to their pension pot each year and ban transferring existing pensions in and out of the scheme, should not be delayed until 2017. Britain’s government is trying to cut a soaring pensions bill that is set to reach £120 billion ($190 billion) in 20 years. It wants people to pay into their own pension pots rather than rely on the state. The changes would allow people to save more for their retirement rather than having

the amount they can pay into their pension capped by NEST. They would also be able to consolidate their separate pension pots into one place if they move jobs. The Work and Pensions Committee has called for the changes after the take-up of NEST by Britain’s largest employers was lower than expected because of the restrictions. NEST is funded by the taxpayer and was set up through the Pensions Act 2008 to tie in with a government auto-enrolment scheme as a low-cost option for employers to enroll their staff on low to moderate earnings. Auto-enrolment was introduced in October last year and is expected to get as many as 9 million more people saving into a workplace pension scheme for the first time. The scheme automatically enrolls staff who are at least 22 years old into a NEST, but gives them a choice to opt out. “The case for lifting the restrictions on

NEST has become even more powerful since implementation of auto-enrolment began,” the Work and Pensions Committee said in the report. There is currently an annual £4,400 cap on contributions into a NEST pension. Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions showed an individual would need to earn more than about £60,000 per year to exceed the annual contribution limit and this would only affect 6 percent of private-sector employees, the report said. But the Work and Pensions Committee said the cap would “prevent employers from offering a single workplace pension scheme to all their employees”. Meanwhile, the ban on transferring individual retirement savings will create 50 million dormant workplace pension pots by 2050 and over 12 million of these would be under 2,000 pounds ($3,200), the report said.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso also believes Scotland would be “a new state”. When asked about it, he has repeatedly said that any new state that breaks away from an existing EU state would have to re-apply to join the bloc. Spain’s government is facing a similar challenge with Catalonia, where at least one poll has shown that more than half of Catalonian voters would choose independence if given the chance. Prime Minister David Cameron intervened in the British debate on Sunday, conceding that Scotland had what it takes to be an independent nation, while arguing it enjoyed “the best of both worlds” as part of the UK. “Put simply: Britain works. Britain works well. Why break it?” he wrote in an article published in Scottish newspapers. Cameron’s political future and historic legacy are on the line. He has pledged to contest the next British election in 2015 and his own Conservative party would never forgive him if he presided over the break-up of the UK. London’s main parties are campaigning jointly against independence, knowing that Alex Salmond’s SNP is a highly motivated political machine that will spare no effort to win a vote on its flagship policy. Tapping into an emotive cocktail of historical rivalry and a perception that the British parliament in London does not nurture Scotland’s national interests, the “Yes Scotland” campaign wants independence to be a reality by 2016.

Sandiford scared of fate: lawyer

UK grandma appeals Indonesia death sentence DENPASAR, Indonesia, Feb 11, (AFP): A British grandmother sentenced to death by firing squad for trafficking drugs into Indonesia lodged an appeal to the High Court on Monday, her lawyer said. Lindsay Sandiford, 56, was sentenced to death on January 22 for smuggling nearly five kilos (11 pounds) of cocaine worth $2.4 million into the island of Bali in May, despite prosecutors recommending only a 15-year jail term. “We’ve made an appeal to the High Court, and we’ll wait for one month to 90 days for a response,” Sandiford’s lawyer Fadillah Agus told reporters outside Denpasar district court. He said the death sentence “was not fair” and “not proportional” because Sandiford had cooperated with police to net four others in the drug ring, including three Britons who received far lighter sentences for their roles. Sandiford appointed Agus as her lawyer

last week after losing a High Court bid in London to make the British government pay for a lawyer to help her appeal, which the charity Reprieve estimated would cost 2,500 pounds ($4,000). Judges in London dismissed Sandiford’s bid, saying her case had “no reasonable prospect of success”, drawing criticism from rights groups against capital punishment. Agus said Sandiford was “scared” of her fate, while the drug ring’s “real mastermind”, whom he did not identify, had received a lesser sentence. Julian Ponder received the harshest punishment of the other Britons arrested, sentenced to six years’ jail. Sandiford argued she was forced into transporting the 4.79 kilos of cocaine to protect her children, whose safety was at stake. But the Bali court rejected her claims, saying she had damaged the island’s reputation as a tourism destination.

A British police officer peers through lanterns as performers in Trafalgar Square celebrate Chinese New Year in London on Feb 10. Chinese communities world wide traditionally welcomed in the ‘Year of the Snake.’ (AFP)

British Prime Minister David Cameron (left), welcomes Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (right), for a meeting at 10 Downing Street in London on Feb 11. (AFP)

Results of French probe set

‘Criminal conspiracy’ in horsemeat scandal: UK LONDON, Feb 11, (Agencies): Britain’s food minister suggested on Monday that an “extensive” criminal conspiracy could be behind the horsemeat scandal in Europe. Owen Paterson said he believed warnings had been sent out to 16 different countries which might be affected by the scandal. The secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs was to update parliament later on the affair engulfing several European states. Eating horse is considered taboo in Britain and tests have found some frozen ready meals produced in mainland Europe and labelled as processed beef actually contained up to 100 percent horsemeat. “It looks as if this conspiracy, criminal conspiracy, criminal action, whatever you want to call it, may be extensive,” Paterson told BBC television. “I understand the plant in Luxembourg has had to issue warnings to customers in 16 different countries.” Asked how widespread he believed the scandal was, Paterson replied: “I honestly don’t know. “Reports today we have had from France look as though it might have been pinned down to two abattoirs in Romania. “I very much hope that these legal processes do flush out the criminals because it is completely unacceptable that British consumers should be sold a product Ponta marked as one thing which actually contains something else.” Paterson ruled out Sunday imposing a ban on importing meat from European Union countries unless there was a threat to human health. He dismissed the idea of slapping an immediate ban on such imports but warned he would not hesitate to do so if public health was at risk.

Boost Meanwhile, traditional British butchers’ shops are seeing a boost to business as meat buyers turn away from imported and processed products following the horsemeat scandal, a trade body said on Monday. Eating horse is considered taboo in Britain and tests have found some supermarket frozen ready meals produced in mainland Europe and labelled as processed beef actually contained up to 100 percent horsemeat. The head of parliament’s scrutiny panel on food affairs has urged consumers to buy British meat and shop at their local butcher’s to better reassure themselves about where their meat has come from. “There has definitely been a spike in sales for the high street butcher in recent weeks, some are saying by as much as 20 and 30 percent,” said Brindon Addy, chairman of the Q Guild which represents 120 butchers across Britain. “It is obviously great news for those butchers who have found it difficult to compete with the big supermarkets in the past. “People slip into the convenience of supermarket shopping, but whenever there is a scare — be it horsemeat or BSE (“mad cow disease”) — they always come back.” While there was “nothing wrong” with eating horsemeat, consumers are concerned about eating equine flesh being passed off as beef. “It’s a trust issue,” said Addy, himself a butcher from Holmfirth in northern England. “Some people are wising up. If they buy a sausage

worth tuppence (two pence), they’ve got to wonder what is really going into it. Horsemeat would probably be one of the better things to find in it.” Steve Brown, who runs a butcher’s shop in Saltash, southwest England, said: “Companies are always trying to sell me meat from Saudi Arabia, Botswana, Romania. It might be more expensive, but people can trust British meat. “I’m sure some will go straight back to the cheaper stuff once this has all blown over.” Elsewhere, Romania’s prime minister said on Monday any fraud over horsemeat sold as beef had not happened in his country and he was angered by suggestions it might have been. The French and British governments have vowed to punish those found responsible for allowing horsemeat originating from Romania to be sold as beef.

Advance The British unit of frozen foods group Findus began recalling its beef lasagne last week on advice from its French supplier, Comigel, which said the questionable meat came from Romania. “From all the data we have at the moment, there is no breach of European rules committed by companies from Romania or on Romanian territory,” Victor Ponta told a news conference. “I am very angry, to be honest.” An initial French investigation revealed that the horsemeat ended up in Comigel’s Luxembourg factory, supplied by a French firm, and that a Dutch and Cypriot trader had also been involved. However, the meat originally came from a Romanian abattoir. Romania exports 10-12 million euros of horse meat a year, the Ziarul Financiar daily said, quoting agriculture ministry data, and authorities had investigated two unnamed abattoirs to check on their possible involvement. “It is very clear that the French company did not have any direct contract with the Romanian company and ... it has to be established where the fraud was committed and who is responsible for this fraud,” Ponta said. Horse and carts remain a common means of transport in the Romanian countryside and some can even be seen on the edges of major cities, including the capital Bucharest. When horses are too old for work, farmers often sell them to abattoirs. A maze of trading between meat wholesalers has made it increasingly difficult to trace the origins of food — enabling horsemeat disguised as beef to be sold in frozen meals across Europe. France’s agricultural minister said Monday that regulators must find a way “out of the fog.” The European horsemeat scandal — where the cheaper meat was substituted for beef in everything from burgers to frozen lasagna — is growing, involving more countries, companies and more fingerpointing by the day. France says Romanian butchers and Dutch and Cypriot traders were part of a supply chain that resulted in horsemeat being labeled as beef before it was included in frozen dinners including lasagna, moussaka and a similar French dish called hachis parmentier. Swedish officials were meeting Monday with executives from the biggest supermarket chains to get an overview of how widespread the fraud is, while in Paris top French government officials and meat producers were gathering to get a handle on the crisis, which has snared a French food processing company.




Pak judge orders probe on fake schools

Pakistan Taleban ‘ban vulgar films, Viagra’ PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Feb 11, (AFP): The Pakistani Taleban have warned shopkeepers in a popular market to stop selling “obscene films” and Viagra-style male potency pills. Shopkeepers told AFP Monday that they found handwritten pamphlets containing the warnings after opening Saturday in Karkhano market on the edge of the city of Peshawar. “Selling sex drugs, vulgar films and obscene movies are against Sharia,” said copies of the pamphlet distributed in the name of Tehreek-e-Taleban Khyber. “All those involved in this business are warned to quit this occupation and start a lawful business or face the consequences,” it said. Those who received the threatening letter spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity because of fear of Taleban reprisals. Dozens of shops in Karkhano openly sell pornographic films and male potency tablets, according to witnesses. The market borders the tribal district of Khyber, where fighting has recently intensified in a long-running Pakistan military operation against the Taleban and other Islamist militias on the Afghan border. Shopkeepers selling music and films are routinely threatened across the northwest, where hundreds of DVD and CD shops have been bombed in the past by militants who deem their business un-Islamic. At least 10 people were killed and 26 wounded Friday when a bomb exploded near a DVD shop in Kalaya, the main town of Orakzai tribal district.

Also: ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top judge on Monday ordered a nationwide investigation of hundreds of “ghost” schools

Police files new investigation

Pakistan drops fire factory murder charges KARACHI, Feb 11, (AFP): Pakistani police have moved to drop murder charges against the owners of a garment factory where 289 workers were killed in a fire last year, the mens’ lawyer said Monday. The owners of the Ali Enterprises factory in Karachi, which made ready-to-wear garments for Western stores, were charged in the wake of last September’s blaze, which was one of the worst industrial accidents in Pakistan’s history. But police have now filed a new investigation report charging Shahid Bhaila and Arshad Bhaila with negligence but not murder, lawyer Aamir Raza Naqvi said. Police confirmed the move.

A court is expected rule on whether to accept the new charges on Saturday. Naqvi said that in a separate application, the Sindh provincial high court released the owners on bail. “The court ordered the owners to deposit one million rupees ($10,000) each and the three employees to deposit 200,000 rupees each to get bail,” he said. Several labour rights organisations last month challenged an order attributed to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf asking the police to drop murder charges against the owners. A division bench of the Sindh high court summoned a top aide to the prime minister to appear before the court on Feb 14.

where teachers do nothing but draw salaries and buildings are occupied by animals. “There are animals kept in schools and the buildings have been turned into stables. This is what we are doing to our children when education is a constitutional right,” chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said. Education is a major challenge in nuclear-armed Pakistan, where the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says public spending on education is less than 2.5 percent of GDP.

Only nine countries in the world spend less on education. Nearly half of all primary school age children and nearly three quarters of young girls are not enrolled in primary school in Pakistan, according to a UN and government report published in December. Last October, education activist 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taleban in the northwestern district of Swat. She is now recovering in England and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Delhi rape accused

Indian police face flak over festival tragedy, 37 killed Khumb Mela’s chief organiser resigns ALLAHABAD, India, Feb 11, (AFP): Survivors of a stampede that killed 37 people at India’s Kumbh Mela blamed the tragedy Monday on baton-charging police and the slow response of medics as the massive festival’s chief organiser resigned.

which had drawn some 30 million people.

Local officials said the railings on a bridge at the station had given way, while witnesses said police had charged the crowd with heavy wooden sticks known as lathis and triggered panic among pilgrims leaving the world’s biggest gathering. “I saw the police pushing the crowd and they were ... beating the pilgrims,” Abhijit Das, a 29The crush at a train station on Sunday evening at Allahabad marked a tragic end year-old pilgrim from West Bengal who was at the station when the disaster happened, told AFP. to the most auspicious day of the 55-day Hindu festival in the state of Uttar Pradesh There was also criticism of the response to the disaster, with relatives recounting how the emergency services took hours to reach the scene. At least 10 corpses wrapped in white sheets could be seen on a platform several hours later. Among the victims was an eight-year-old girl called Muskaan whose distraught parents said she had died while waiting nearly two hours for help. “Our daughter still had a pulse. Had the doctors reached in time she would have been saved, but she died before our eyes,” Bedi Lal, the child’s father, told the NDTV news channel. Speaking from his hospital bed after suffering leg injuries, Shashi Bhaduri recounted the mayhem at the scene. “Suddenly there were at least a hundred people on top of me. My legs are so badly injured that I cannot even lift them now,” he said. Apart from Muskaan, the dead included 26 women and nine men. After the state government ordered an investigation into the tragedy, one of the driving forces behind the festival said he was resigning as a matter of honour. “I have resigned as the chairman of the festival committee,” said Mohammad Azam Khan, who is also a cabinet minister in the state. “Although the stampede happened beyond the scope of my jurisdiction, I am deeply disturbed and step down on moral grounds,” he told AFP. Hindus believe a dip in the A relative of the missing people looks at a photo of victim who died in a stampede at a railway station outside a morgue at a hospital, in sacred waters of the River Allahabad, India, Feb 11. Dozens of people were killed after Sunday’s stampede in a train station in Allahabad where millions of devotees Ganges cleanses them of their had gathered for a Hindu festival that is one of the world’s largest religious gatherings. (AP) sins. This year’s Mela is enormous even by previous standards, with astrologers saying a Death toll rises to 3 in Afzal hanging protest planetary alignment seen once every 147 years made it particularly auspicious. Police had been stretched in controlling the vast crowds as they reached their peak on SRINAGAR, India, Feb 11, (AFP): A boy shot imposed a curfew, arrested local politicians and sense of frustration and alienation in India’s only Sunday, with officials saying the by security forces in Indian Kashmir died in hosrestricted the local press and Internet. Muslim-majority state. numbers had passed the 30 milpital Monday, taking the death toll to three durCrowds of mostly young men have defied the Pakistan, which runs part of the divided lion mark by the evening. ing protests at the weekend execution of a local orders. A boy called Ubaid Mushtaq, who docHimalayan region which has sparked two wars A spokesman for the state govseparatist. Mohammed Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri tors say was aged 12 or 13, died in hospital in between the neighbours, also criticised India’s ernment said the crush began Muslim hanged on Saturday after being convictthe early hours of Monday after being shot in the hardline security measures. after joints broke on railings ed over a deadly raid on the Indian parliament in village of Watergam. “We ... express our serious concern on the attached to the bridge. 2001, is seen by many in Kashmir as having A police source said around 3,500 people had high-handed measures taken by India in the Railways Minister Pawan been framed by police for the crime. attended Ubaid’s funeral Monday in Watergam wake of Afzal Guru’s execution,” a foreign minKumar Bansal attributed the His death has led to severe criticism of the near Guru’s home town of Sopore. istry spokesman said. accident to the sheer weight of government, which failed to inform his family Two other men died on Sunday after they Guru’s family slammed the Indian governnumbers at the train station. before the execution, and sparked a new debate drowned trying to escape police during a demonment for failing to inform them in time, meaning “There are limitations of a about India’s renewed use of the death penalty stration in the village of Sumbal, about 25 kilomeno final meetings could be arranged between railway system,” he told after an eight-year informal moratorium. tres (15 miles) north of the main city of Srinagar. him, his wife and his teenage son. reporters. “Even if we have trains Fearing a backlash in Kashmir, where antiThe handling of Guru’s execution has been A letter sent from the government announcing at 10-minute intervals, managing India feelings run deep after more than two severely criticised by Kashmir’s Chief Minister that his mercy plea had been rejected arrived three crore (30 million) people may not be possible.” decades of separatist fighting, authorities have Omar Abdullah, who said it would deepen the only on Monday morning.

Boy’s fatal shooting fuels anger in Kashmir

Prisoners try to escape

Tunnel found in Indian jail AHMEDABAD, India, Feb 11, (AFP): Guards in western India have foiled an attempt by prisoners accused of deadly bombings to tunnel their way out of jail using food plates as tools, officials said on Monday. Authorities at Sabarmati prison found a six-metre (20-foot) tunnel behind one of the barracks housing 14 men accused of killing 57 people in a series of bombings in Gujarat’s main commercial city of Ahmedabad in 2008. “When I asked the inmates of the barrack about the tunnel, three of them confessed they had dug it,” P.C. Thakur, a police inspector gen-

eral, told reporters in Ahmedabad. All three of the men who dug the tunnel are qualified engineers and apparently used plates to dig during the time they were allowed to work in a garden behind the cells, Thakur said. The tunnel was discovered during a routine check by authorities who noticed that a particular patch in the garden was soft. “A further probe by the jail authorities revealed that the tunnel was high enough for a man to crawl through,” another official said, adding that it would have taken more than two months to build the secret route.

Bus accident kills 17 in Bangladesh DHAKA, Feb 11, (AFP): A bus carrying pilgrims to Bangladesh’s beach resort town of Cox’s Bazaar plunged into a dried up river Monday, killing at least 17 people and injuring another 26, police said. The bus crashed onto the Matamuhuri’s parched river bed after the driver lost control of the vehicle which then smashed through railings on a bridge. “So far we have 17 people dead. Sixteen died on the spot and another on the way to the hospital,” Cox’s Bazaar police chief Azad Miah told AFP, adding that 18 of the 26 people injured had been admitted to hospital.

File photo shows female sub-inspector of Delhi, police officer Nazma (2nd right), as she supervises security arrangements at Delhi University north campus in New Delhi. A government plan to improve policing following criticism after the recent gruesome gang-rape and murder of a student on a moving bus in New Delhi also includes measures to recruit more women. Females make up just 6.5 percent of the country’s force, according to figures in the National Crime Records Bureau. (AFP)

Indian policemen chase Kashmiri Muslim protesters as they try to defy a curfew in Srinagar, India, Feb 11. Sporadic violence left three people dead in Indian-controlled Kashmir despite a curfew that was extended into a third day Monday in the wake of the execution of a Kashmiri man convicted in a deadly 2001 attack on India’s Parliament. (AP)

Teen escaped from life of rural ‘penury’ BADAUN, India/NEW DELHI, Feb 11, (|RTRS): In a village in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, a woman sits hunched on the ground in a green shawl, visibly weak and shivering in the January cold. She says she has not eaten for days, and neither have her five young children. She has never heard of Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, having never ventured further from her village than a nearby market town, and ekes out a living working in potato fields on other people’s land. Her eldest son left home when he was 11. He never returned, and the woman thought he was dead. The first news she got of him was when police from New Delhi turned up at her brick hut to say he had been arrested for the gang rape and death of a student, a crime whose brutality stunned India.

Recalled In an interview with Reuters, the mother of the juvenile, the youngest of six members of the gang accused of the attack, recalled the son who left home five or six years ago for the bright lights, and seemed stuSingh nned by the accusation against him. “Today, the infamy he earned is eating me up,” his mother said as villagers stood and stared. “I can’t even sit with two other people in the village because of the shame that my son has brought to the family.” A 23-year-old physiotherapy student was beaten and raped on a moving bus in the Indian capital on Dec 16. She was left bleeding on a highway and died two weeks later from internal injuries. The five men who have been charged with rape and murder are all expected to plead not guilty. One says police tortured him. The sixth member of the gang, the woman’s son, is being processed as a juvenile and has not been charged. He will be tried separately. Police have said they are conducting bone tests to determine his age as they suspect he may be over 18 years old. Reuters is withholding his name for this story. It is from a life of rural penury that the youth sought to escape, one of about two million Indians who migrate to cities every year, chasing an economic boom that has propelled India for the past two decades but has trickled down slowly to its poor. Conversations with relatives, neighbors and police show the extent to which the accused lived on the margins of the city’s emerging prosperity, holding menial jobs and living in a slum. Their lives stand in contrast with that of the victim. She was also from a humble background but funded her studies by taking a job in one of the call centers that are a hallmark of modern India’s economy and have helped build an aspirational new middle class. According to his mother, the youth joined a group of other village boys travelling to New Delhi, found work in a roadside eatery and — for the first year — used to send 600 rupees ($11) a month back to his family. After he stopped sending money, his mother never heard from him again. At first she thought he might have been forced into bonded labor. Later, she presumed he was dead. A couple of months before the rape, she consulted a Hindu holy man about her son, whom she remembered as a good boy. “The holy man told me that someone has practiced some black magic on him, but that he would come back,” she said.

Living on the breadline and with a husband who is mentally ill, the mother works in fields with her daughters to feed her family. Halfway through the conversation with Reuters, she fainted, apparently from hunger, and had to be carried to bed. About half of her village are landless laborers, and about a quarter of all men migrate to cities in search of work, according to farmer Vijay Pal. The details of the boy’s life after he left his village are patchy. Even his fellow accused did not know his real name and called him by an assumed name, a senior police officer told Reuters. Police described him as a “freelancer” at a Delhi bus station, cleaning buses and running errands for drivers. “He was a helper on buses who would solicit customers by calling out to them in a sing-song tone,” the officer said. He was popular with the contractors who ran the bus services and frequently changed jobs. It was during this time that he met Ram Singh, the main accused in the case, whom he had gone to meet on the day of the attack in the hope of getting back money that Singh had borrowed from him, police said. The juvenile went to Singh’s house to claim 8,000 rupees ($150) but Singh invited him to stay for food instead, according to a police report. After the attack, police say they found the juvenile’s blood-stained clothes on Singh’s roof. In an interview with Reuters, the friend of the victim who had accompanied her on the bus, and who was also beaten, said the juvenile had beckoned the pair to board. “There was a young boy who was standing at the door of the bus and calling passengers in,” the friend said by telephone. “He had a light moustache, very sharp eyes and a very sweet demeanor. He was thin and was calling out to people saying ‘come sister, please sit’.” When they started assaulting the victim’s friend, the juvenile “was one of the first to attack me”, he said. Singh and three of the other accused lived in a poor pocket in the otherwise largely middle-class Delhi neighborhood of RK Puram, whose wide streets and tree-lined boulevards contrast with the dark lanes, communal taps and open sewers where Singh lived.

Migrants Many of the people who live there are migrants, working as electricians, auto-rickshaw drivers, day laborers, bus drivers, mechanics and street vendors. Singh was a bus driver, despite an accident in 2009 that fractured his right arm so badly that doctors had to insert a rod to support it. He appeared on a reality television show in a compensation dispute with a bus owner, who in turn accused Singh of “drunken, negligent and rash driving”. Singh’s neighbors describe him as a heavy drinker with a temper. One young woman said he used to get embroiled in violent rows and a relative recalls a physical altercation with her husband. India’s rapid growth over the past two decades, kick started by a period of free-market economic reforms, accelerated the process of urbanization. The world of the juvenile’s mother is still one where carts drawn by horses and bullocks ply the lanes, and dung cakes are stacked in villages to be used as a fuel. But in the cities, the old barriers of caste and gender are being eroded as India prospers. It is in this world that Vinay Sharma, another of the accused, wanted to make his mark, and aspired to the kind of life that the victim was striving for.




World News Roundup Weather ‘Extreme weather’

Tornado ‘hits’ US Southeast CAMBRIDGE, Mass/NEW YORK, Feb 11, (RTRS): The US Northeast was digging out on Sunday after a blizzard dumped up to 40 inches (one meter) of snow with hurricane force winds, killing at least nine people and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. As the Northeast cleared roads and shoveled out, another storm bore down on the Northern Plains and tornadoes threatened the Southeast in a weekend of extreme weather across the United States. A tornado Cuomo which appeared to be a mile wide touched down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, causing significant damage, said Anna Weber of the National Weather Service. The twister also hit the nearby town of Petal where it destroyed a brick building. In New York City trucks plowed through residential streets, piling snow even higher at the edges and leaving thousands of motorists to dig out their buried vehicles. Another round of severe weather on Monday could bring more misery, with freezing rain and more snow predicted that would make the evening commute even more difficult. In Boston, Mayor Tom Menino canceled school on Monday after touring neighborhoods throughout the city, where two feet (60 cm) of snow fell.

The Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut, is blanketed is snow, Feb 10, in the aftermath of a storm that hit Connecticut and much of the New England states. (AP)


Wet Utility companies reported that some 350,000 customers were still without electricity across nine states after the wet, heavy snow brought down tree branches and power lines. Air traffic began to return to normal after some 5,800 flights were canceled on Friday and Saturday, according to Flightaware, a flight-tracking service. Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and New York state’s Long Island MacArthur Airport reopened on Sunday morning. Boston’s Logan International Airport reopened late on Saturday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Rare travel bans in Connecticut and Massachusetts were lifted but roads throughout the region remained treacherous, according to state transportation departments. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, residents were digging out their cars and driveways under clear blue skies on Sunday afternoon. As the region recovered, another large winter storm building across the Northern Plains was expected to leave a foot (30 cm)of snow and bring high winds from Colorado to central Minnesota into Monday, the National Weather Service said. South Dakota was expected to be hardest hit, with winds seen reaching 50 miles per hour (80 kph), which would create whiteout conditions. The storm was expected to reach parts of Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Wisconsin.

Closed South Dakota officials closed a 150-mile (240-km) stretch of Interstate 90 in the center of the state. They also closed 75 miles (120 km) of Interstate 29 in the state’s northeastern corner near North Dakota. Officials said motels and other facilities along Interstate 90 were filling up with travelers trying to avoid the heavy drifting and near-zero visibility. “Travel will be difficult to impossible at times on other highways in many areas of South Dakota,” state transportation officials said in a statement. The mammoth storm over the weekend stretched from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic and covered several spots in the Northeast with more than 3 feet (91 cm) of snow. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts took the brunt of the blizzard. The Connecticut town of Hamden had 40 inches (101 cm) and nearby Milford 38 inches (96.5 cm), the National Weather Service said. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said 675 pieces of equipment and 975 personnel had been dispatched to help Suffolk County, making up the eastern half of Long Island, dig out of 3 feet of snow.

‘This issue is complex, it’s not simple’

Campus seeks for answers to crime In this Feb 4, 2013 photo, Emerson College President Lee Pelton addresses an audience before the start of a public panel event called ‘Made in America: Our Gun Violence Culture’ at Emerson College in Boston. (AP)



America Family slams scandal review: A report commissioned by the family of the late Joe Paterno claimed Sunday that a probe of the child sex scandal at Penn State University was flawed and biased and “totally wrong” on key issues in Washington. Paterno was an icon at Penn State and in US collegiate football as the longtime head coach of the university’s Nittany Lions. But his legacy was tarnished by his association with the scandal, which ended with onetime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky jailed for 30-60 years — effectively for life — after he was convicted in June of 45 counts of child sex abuse. An independent probe of the scandal commissioned by Penn State and headed by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh, found evidence of a broad cover-up that allowed Sandusky to continue abusing impressionable boys that he hosted at the university and on trips as part of charity work. The Paterno family’s expert team included former Pennsylvania governor and US Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, former top FBI profiler Jim Clemente, prominent Washington attorney Wick Sollers and the director of The Johns Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit, doctor Fred Berlin. Each of the panelists wrote a separate review of the Freeh report, released last July, over the past six months. As a group, they concluded the Freeh report “does not meet the basic requirements of a thorough, objective and fair investigation.” Among other findings, the experts determined that the conclusions of the Freeh report are “based on raw speculation and unsupported opinion — not facts and evidence.” “It isn’t a little wrong on the minor issues,” Sollers said. “It is totally wrong on the most critical issues. That the (Penn State) Board and the NCAA relied on this report, without appropriate review or analysis, is a miscarriage of justice.” (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑ 3 dead in copter crash: Three peo-

BOSTON, Feb 11, (AP): On a Friday afternoon in December, Lee Pelton was driving home with his 13-yearold daughter in the passenger seat when radio reports of the Connecticut school massacre forced him over to side of the road. “I held her hand as we listened ... and we both cried,” said Pelton, the president of Boston’s Emerson College. “We’re both struggling with how could this have happened, why it happened? Those are the things we talked about. We didn’t have answers. But I knew at that moment I was going to do something.” Overnight, the answer of just what to do began to crystallize. The next day, Pelton sent a long email to all of the college’s 4,500 students and 1,500 faculty and staff. Together they would “seek to make sense of the senseless,” he wrote, by launching a probing discussion of gun violence in which all sides would listen to one another and search for solutions. The unresolved question: Given the fierce divide and raw emotions that surround the debate over guns, is that kind of conversation even possible? Pelton decided it wasn’t enough to search for the answer at his college alone. He wrote an open letter to President Barack Obama and more than 280 other university and college presidents signed on, pledging to launch debate about the issues surrounding guns on their own campuses. That discussion in higher education had already begun, and has only grown. Pelton’s letter went out about the same time as another, penned by the president of Atlanta’s ple were killed Sunday in a pre-dawn helicopter crash in a rural area of northern Los Angeles County while filming for a new reality TV show for the Discovery

Oglethorpe University and signed by leaders of more than 370 colleges. That letter urges lawmakers to oppose legislation allowing guns on campuses, close a loophole allowing some gun sales without a background check, reinstate a ban on military-style weapons and require safety standards for guns.

Plans Institutions including Bethany College in West Virginia, whose president signed both letters, and Brown University in Rhode Island, which is acting on its own, say they are planning forums on gun violence later this semester. Oglethorpe President Lawrence Schall said he plans to deliver a speech on his campus this month about the need for college presidents to speak out on important issues, highlighted by the focus on combatting gun violence. Pelton, who acknowledges his own strong views on gun control, says he expected skepticism. Many American colleges and universities are regarded, particularly by conservative critics, as centers of leftleaning views. And students and professors at Emerson, facing Boston Common and just down the hill from the gold dome of Massachusetts’ capitol, routinely describe it as a decidedly liberal institution. It sits in a strongly left-leaning city, in the state that gave the nation the Kennedys and already is home to some of the nation’s strictest gun laws. “I’ve had some detractors,” Pelton said, describing a note he received from a gun owner “taking me to task for using my First Amendment rights to undermine his Second Amendment Channel. The copter crashed at about 3:40 am local time at the popular filming location of Polsa Rosa Ranch in the city of Acton,

rights.” The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear firearms. But when students returned to the Emerson campus in mid-January following the holiday recess, Pelton’s call to discuss arms found supporters. Gregory Payne assigned students in his classes to talk about gun policy and create public service announcements that would address the issue. Spencer Kimball led Emerson’s polling club in taking a scientific survey of U.S. voters’ attitudes about gun legislation. Benny Ambush began making plans to stage a reading of a play about the role of guns in American society. By last week, though, when Emerson hosted the first of four panel discussions on gun policy, the issue’s complexity and the difficult terrain it covers were reconfirmed.

Gathered With about 130 students and professors gathered in a small campus theater, four panelists took the stage. A veteran gun industry lobbyist was seated next to an activist whose billboard along the Massachusetts Turnpike once warned “the cost of handguns keeps going up,” alongside photos of children killed with guns. A director of the state’s National Rifle Association affiliate took a chair to the right of an expert on urban crime. The moderator set the evening’s objective as a quest for common ground. But the four men had trouble even agreeing on a diagnosis of the problem. Los Angeles County Fire dispatcher Robert Diaz said. All three people aboard died, Diaz said. Their names weren’t immediately

Suspect tackled

82-year-old okay

Marco Johnson, 30, looks through the front window of his mother’s home on Kenmoor Street on Detroit’s east side. The home was firebombed early Feb 10, leaving one dead and several people injured. Johnson was sleeping on the upper level of the home and had to be rescued by firefighters. (AP)

LONGVIEW, Washington, Feb 11, (AP): An 82-year-old US man says he was a little sore but otherwise OK after tackling and helping police catch a felon one-third his age. Terry Miracle was weeding in his garden Friday when heard a commotion. It was police chasing a burglary suspect identified as 27-year-old Morgan Perry Bluehorse. The Daily News reports that as officers chased the suspect through yards and over fences, Miracle could hear them coming. He told the newspaper he got in position, and as the suspect came around the house, he remembered his football training.

The place to start, said Stop Handgun Violence founder John Rosenthal, is by requiring background checks for all gun purchases and banning sales of military-style rifles. But Steve Moysey of the NRAaffiliated Gun Owners’ Action League, said such proposals mistakenly focus on guns as the cause of mass murders, rather than underlying problems. And Richard Feldman, the lobbyist and president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, shook his head at descriptions of so-called assault weapons. “I’m going to take up your challenge here and find some common ground if I can, and actually, it shouldn’t be very hard,” Feldman said. He endorsed some broadening of background checks, but rejected any ban on weapons or caps on the size of ammunition magazines. “Quite frankly, any gun that goes on the ban list goes on Richie Feldman’s buy list,” he said. The discussion stayed civil, but as body language tensed and rhetoric hardened, it took on an unmistakable edge. A military-style rifle “was used to kill babies in Newtown and now everybody wants it,” Rosenthal said, admonishing Feldman when he interrupted. A few minutes later, Moysey did the same to Rosenthal. “This issue is complex. It’s not simple. So we need to have a thoughtful conversation about it. I think that’s what we’re trying to do,” said the criminologist, Jack McDevitt, a professor at Northeastern University. released. The show, listed on a filming permit as an untitled military-theme TV program, had not yet been aired or announced by Discovery, channel spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said. “A production company was shooting a show for Discovery Channel when this tragic accident occurred,” the station said in a statement. “We are all cooperating fully with authorities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families.” The show’s production company, Eyeworks USA, best known for creating NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” also issued a statement expressing sympathies to the victim’s families and saying they were cooperating with authorities. The company had been approved to use a helicopter for a reality TV show shooting at the ranch from Saturday afternoon until Sunday morning, said Philip Sokoloski, a spokesman for FilmLA, which processes filming permits for location shootings in the Los Angeles region. Records also showed Crossbow Helicopters received approval to participate in filming from the Federal Aviation Administration. “We wouldn’t have referenced helicopter activity if we didn’t already have preapproval from the FAA,” Sokoloski said. (AP)





N-arms cuts

Economy top US voter issue WASHINGTON, Feb 11, (Agencies): Americans are eager to hear President Barack Obama address the US economy and federal deficit in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, with more than half still convinced the nation is in a recession, a poll released on Monday found. Gun policy and healthcare are also top concerns US voters want the president to discuss in his annual speech to the nation, according to the survey by Quinnipiac Obama University. Obama, who began his second term last month after winning re-election in November, is expected to use Tuesday night’s speech to offer his plan for spurring the tepid economy, including proposals for investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy and education. The nationwide poll found 35 percent of US voters said the economy was a top concern, while 20 percent pointed to the federal deficit. It also showed 53 percent said the US economy is still in a recession even though economists have said the downturn that began in late 2007 officially ended in July 2009. Fifteen percent said the nation’s gun policies were a top priority and 12 percent said they were most concerned about healthcare, Quinnipiac found.

Members of the Chinese American community, tourists and other New Yorkers celebrate the first day of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Snake, in New York’s Chinatown on Feb 10, in New York City. Celebrations are being held in Chinese communities around the world. The lighting of firecrackers are believed to ward off evil spirits and to bring the god of wealth into people’s lives once New Year’s Day arrives. (AFP)

Politics Obama’s stance leaves some lawmakers nervous

Spending Its poll of 1,772 registered voters has a margin of error of 2.3 percentage points. Obama’s speech comes as US lawmakers grapple with the nation’s $16 trillion debt and looming across-the-board government spending cuts slated to take effect on March 1. “Voters trust President Obama more than congressional Republicans on the economy and most other issues, but they are more closely divided on who would do a better job on the deficit and on gun control,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said. The finding showed 47 percent backed Obama to handle the economy compared to 41 percent who said they trusted congressional Republicans, while 48 percent said they had more trust in Republicans to cut federal spending compared to 39 who backed Obama. Those polled were more closely split over whether Obama or Republicans could better handle immigration issues, Quinnipiac said. Two-thirds of respondents said they were likely to watch the speech, with more women than men saying they would tune in, the poll also found.

Treaty Obama will use his State of the Union address on Tuesday to call for dramatic cuts in nuclear arsenals around the world, The New York Times reported late Sunday. Quoting unnamed administration officials, the newspaper said that in recent months Obama had secured agreement with the US military that its nuclear force can be cut by roughly a third. In his speech Obama is unlikely to discuss specific numbers but White House officials are looking at a cut that would take the arsenal of deployed weapons to just above 1,000, the report said. Currently, the Unites States has about 1,700 nuclear weapons, and the new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia that passed the Senate at the end of 2009 calls for a limit of roughly 1,550 by 2018. But Obama “believes that we can make pretty radical reductions — and save a lot of money — without compromising American security in the second term. And the Joint Chiefs have signed off on that concept,” the Times quoted one official as saying. However, the White House is loath to negotiate an entirely new treaty with Russia, which would lead to Russian demands for restrictions on US and NATO missile-defense systems in Europe and would revive a major fight with Republicans in the Senate over ratification, the paper said. Instead, Obama is weighing how to reach an informal agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin for mutual cuts within the framework of the new START treaty, but without the need for ratification, The Times said.

Oversight urged of US drone program This photo provided by Jordan Holliman shows a tornado moving through Hattiesburg, Miss, on Feb 10. Emergency officials say an apparent tornado has caused significant damage in Hattiesburg, Miss, after passing along a main road. Major damage was reported in Hattiesburg and Petal, including on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. (AP)



America Senator vows to delay nominees: A powerful Republican senator is determined to get more answers about the deadly Sept 11 attack against the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and says he will hold up Senate confirmation of President Barack Obama’s nominees to head the Defense Department and the CIA until he gets that information. Sen Lindsey Graham has accused the White House of “stonewalling” requests to release more information about the attack that killed four Americans, including the US ambassador to Libya. “We’re going to get to the bottom of Benghazi,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday. The Senate must confirm the president’s choices for the cabinet and other high-level posts, but rejections are rare. The White House has urged quick approval of the president’s second-term national security team and scolded any lawmakers trying to “play politics” with critical nominations. A Democratic colleague branded Graham’s threat to stall the nominations as “unprecedented and unwarranted.” Senators should have the chance to vote on whether former Republican sen Chuck Hagel, will be defense secretary and whether John Brennan, Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, will be CIA director, said Democratic Sen Jack Reed. The White House did not address Graham’s demand for more information, but did note that outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Army Gen Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified Thursday before Congress about the chaotic day of the Sept. 11 attack. In January, Graham had signaled he would delay Brennan’s pick and told Fox News he would “absolutely” block Hagel unless Panetta and Dempsey testified about the Benghazi attack. The senator said he was “happy as a clam” when he learned the hearing with Panetta and Dempsey had been scheduled. Republicans have accused the Obama administration of an election-year coverup of the attack and at the hearing several suggested the commander in chief was disengaged as Americans died.

WASHINGTON, Feb 11, (AP): President Barack Obama’s use of unmanned drones to kill Americans who are suspected of being al-Qaeda allies deserves closer inspection, lawmakers said Sunday, as even some of the president’s allies suggested uneasiness about the program. Obama’s stance toward the terrorist threats facing the United States has left some Democrats and Republicans alike nervous about the unmanned drones targeting the nation’s enemies from the skies. Questions about the deadly program dogged Obama’s pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency last week and prompted lawmakers to consider tighter oversight. All killings carried out under the drone program have ballooned under Obama’s watch. “We are in a different kind of war. We’re not sending troops. We’re not sending manned bombers. We’re dealing with the enemy where we find them to keep America safe. We have to strike a new constitutional balance with the challenges we face today,” said Sen. Dick Durbin. “The policy is really unfolding. Most of this has not been disclosed,” the second-ranking Senate Democrat added. Before John Brennan’s confirmation hearing to lead the CIA on Thursday, Obama directed the Justice Department to give the congressional intelligence committees access to classified legal advice providing the government’s rationale for drone strikes against American citizens working with al-Qaeda abroad. That 2012 memo outlined the Obama administration’s decision to kill alQaeda suspects without evidence that specific and imminent plots were being planned against the United States. Graham contended that a six-person rescue team was delayed from leaving the Benghazi airport because of problems “with the militias releasing them and a lot of bureaucratic snafus,” and he said he wants to know whether Obama

The nomination of Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser who oversaw many of the drone strikes, kick-started the discussion about how the United States prosecutes its fight against the terrorist group.

Review Sen. Angus King, an independent, said he prefers a review before the remote-operated aircraft fire on someone. “It just makes me uncomfortable that the president ‚Äî whoever it is ‚Äî is the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the executioner, all rolled into one,” King said. “So I’m not suggesting something that would slow down response, but where there is time to go in and submit it to a third party that is a court, in confidence, and get a judgment that, yes there, is sufficient evidence here.” Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates, himself a former CIA chief, suggested “some check” on a president’s ability to order drone strikes against American al-Qaeda operatives would be appropriate and lent support to creating a special court that would review such requests. “I think that the rules and the practices that the Obama administration has followed are quite stringent and are not being abused. But who is to say about a future president?” said Gates, Pentagon chief for Presidents George W. Bush and Obama. The potential model that some lawmakers are considering for overseeing such drone attacks is a secret court of federal judges that now reviews requests for government surveillance in espionage and terrorism cases. In those proceedings, 11 federal judges review wiretap applications that enable the FBI and other agencies to called any Libyan officials to expedite their mission. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑ ‘Citizenship for illegal’s kids’: A top US Republican lawmaker said on

gather evidence to build cases. Suspects have no lawyers present, as they would in other U.S. courts, and the proceedings are secret. The Democratic leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, said she intends to review proposals for “legislation to ensure that drone strikes are carried out in a manner consistent with our values.” Republicans seemed to oppose such an oversight proposal. The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said his members review all drone strikes on a monthly basis, both from the CIA and Pentagon. “There is plenty of oversight here,” said Rep Mike Rogers. “There is not an American list somewhere overseas for targeting, that does not exist.” Other lawmakers seemed leery of the program’s current reach even as they lined up against the oversight proposals. Republican Sen. John McCain said a Feinstein-backed oversight panel would be “an encroachment on the powers of the president of the United States.”

Oversight “But what we need to do is take the whole program out of the hand of the Central Intelligence Agency and put it into the Department of Defense, where you have adequate oversight,” McCain said. “Since when is the intelligence agency supposed to be an air force of drones that goes around killing people? I believe that it’s a job for the Department of Defense.” And Republican Rep. Tom Cole questioned whether America’s intelligence operations were benefiting from the killings. “We are losing a lot of opportuniSunday he would support granting citizenship to children who are in the country illegally in a sign that conservatives who oppose immigration amnesty will be playing defense as Congress takes on immigration reform in the coming


US target of attacks

In this Feb 10 photo provided by CBS, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars President Jane Harman discusses sequestration, the threat outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said could be the ‘next Pearl Harbor,’ on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ in the Washington, Sunday. (AP)

WASHINGTON, Feb 11, (AFP): The US intelligence community has concluded that America is the target of a massive cyberespionage campaign that is threatening its competitiveness, The Washington Post reported late Sunday. Citing unnamed officials, the newspaper said the conclusion is contained in the National Intelligence Estimate, a classified report that represents the consensus view of the US intelligence community. The report identifies China as the country most aggressively seeking to penetrate the computer systems of US businesses and institutions to gain access to data that could be used for economic gain, the paper said.

ties out there to actually extract people and get information,” he said. “Human intelligence is really much more important than taking out individual targets.” During Thursday’s hearing, Brennan defended drone strikes only as a “last resort,” but he said he had no qualms about going after Anwar al-Awlaki in September 2011. A drone strike in Yemen killed al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both U.S. citizens. A drone strike two weeks later killed alAwlaki’s 16-year-old son, a Denver native. “I think it’s very unseemly that a politician gets to decide the death of an American citizen,” said Republican Sen. Rand Paul. “They should answer about the 16-year-old boy, al-Awlaki’s son who was killed not as collateral damage, but in a separate strike.” Those strikes came after U.S. intelligence concluded that the elder alAwlaki was senior operational leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula plotting attacks on the U.S., including the failed Christmas Day bombing of an airplane landing in Detroit in 2009. Lawmakers largely sided with the strategy even if they differed on how precisely to execute it. “If you take up arms against America and you fight in a terrorist training camp or on the front lines in Pakistan or Afghanistan or Yemen, you shouldn’t be surprised if America reaches out and exacts justice against you,” said Republican Rep. Tom Cotton or Arkansas, who opposes bringing judges into the decisionmaking process. Durbin appeared on NBC. King, Gates and Paul spoke with CNN. Rogers was interviewed on CBS. McCain and Cotton were on Fox News. Cole was a guest on ABC. months. Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, said Congress could make quick progress on immigration if lawmakers agreed to give citizenship to children — an idea he opposed when it came up for a vote in 2010 as the DREAM Act. “The best place to begin, I think, is with the children. Let’s go ahead and get that under our belt, put a win on the board,” Cantor said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Cantor is leading an effort to improve his party’s image as many Republicans worry they will be consigned to irrelevancy in coming years if they do not reach out to the fast-growing Latino electorate, which strongly supports immigration reform. President Barack Obama has made immigration reform a top priority of his second term in office and a bipartisan group of senators is working to draft legislation that would tackle the issue in a comprehensive manner, rather than the piecemeal approach that Cantor suggested. Republican Senator John McCain, who is involved in that effort, said his group aims to provide a path to citizenship for all of those who are in the United States illegally, not just children, as long as border security is tightened. (RTRS)




World News Roundup Italy ‘Monti eyeing pact’

Berlusconi trial halted MILAN, Feb 11, (Agencies): Silvio Berlusconi’s trial on charges of paying for sex with a minor will be postponed until after this month’s election due to his campaign commitments, Italian judges ruled on Monday. The next hearing in the trial will now be held on March 4, a week after the Feb 24-25 elections. Milan judges upheld an argument from Berlusconi’s legal team that his political campaign conBerlusconi stituted a legitimate impediment to his attendance. The 76-year-old media magnate and leader of the centre-right coalition, who faces separate trials for tax fraud and other offences, has had all his trials postponed until March. The so-called “Bunga Bunga” scandal, in which Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with an underage night-club dancer, was among factors that accelerated his demise as prime minister in late 2011, at the peak of the euro zone debt crisis. Berlusconi has conducted a vigorous television campaign which has enabled him to pick up support in opinion polls but his centre-right alliance still lags the centre-left Democratic Party.

The blossoms of a witch hazel are slightly covered in snow on Feb 10, in Jacobsdorf, eastern Germany. (AFP)


Promises Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti accused Berlusconi of trying to buy votes with impossible promises on Sunday as Italy’s election campaign entered its last phase. With the Feb 24-25 vote two weeks away, polls suggest the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) will win a solid lower house majority but may need a deal with Monti’s centrists to gain the control of the Senate it must have to govern. Although both centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani and Monti have rejected suggestions of an unspoken deal, their attacks have concentrated heavily on Berlusconi, whose strong campaigning has eaten into Bersani’s once-huge opinion poll lead. Berlusconi “continues to make promises that try to buy the votes of Italians with money that belongs to Italians”, Monti told a rally in Milan, pointing to the centre-right leader’s promises of sweeping tax cuts if he wins. In a separate television interview, the former European Commissioner said Italy’s partners feared a return of Berlusconi, who has made attacks on the EU and German Chancellor Angela Merkel a central feature of his campaign. “They’ve had enough of an Italy which puts itself, the euro zone and Europe at risk through its political fragility, its inability to take decisions and its financial indiscipline,” he told TGCom24 television. Roberto Maroni, head of Berlusconi’s coalition partners, the pro-devolution Northern League, who is running for governor of Lombardy, home of the financial capital Milan, said Monti was preparing for a de facto alliance with the left. “Monti is ready to commit incest with Bersani to get his hands on Lombardy,” he tweeted on Sunday.

Alliances Speculation over post-election alliances has increased in the wake of a non-stop media campaign by Berlusconi that has enabled him to cut the centre-left lead to around six points and threaten what had once appeared its near-certain victory. Election rules give a minimum 54 percent lower house majority to the group winning the biggest overall vote share. But the upper house race depends on a series of separate regional contests and could be decided by results in big regions like Lombardy and Sicily, where polls show no clear favourite. Monti said on Sunday the European Union fears Silvio Berlusconi’s return to power and his potential negative effect on the euro should his party win this month’s election. “Berlusconi has disappointed me, he’s missed all his important meetings and has betrayed the liberal revolution,” said Monti, who succeeded the billionaire tycoon as prime minister in November 2011. “The EU fears his return because it has had enough of the lack of financial discipline and inability to make decisions that puts the eurozone in danger,” Monti said on the Berlusconi-owned TgCom24 television channel.

Neutral in a harsh world

Swiss-based ICRC marks 150th ’versary

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (right), and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (left), shake hands as they meet in the Gorki residence outside Moscow, on Feb 11. Niinisto is on a visit to Russia. (AFP)



Europe Armenia polls to go ahead: Armenia’s presidential elections will be held as scheduled on Feb 18 after a candidate injured in an apparent assassination attempt withdrew Monday his demand to delay the elections. Candidate Paruyr “Hayrikyan, has withdrawn on Monday his demand to postpone the presidential elections by two weeks,” Armenia’s Constitutional Court spokesman, Hovannes Papikian, told AFP in Yerevan. “I had the right to an equal electoral campaign, but my rights have been violated,” Hayrikyan told journalists. “I decided not use my lawful right (to postpone the vote) so that no bastard could affect the democratic processes in the country,” he said. Armenia’s presidential election is set for Feb 18 but doubts over whether it would take place as scheduled were raised when Hayrikyan was shot in the chest in the capital Yerevan on Jan 31. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Kadyrov calls for crackdown: Sorcerers, psychics, and faith healers may be on the way out in Chechnya, where the leader of the mountainous, overwhelmingly Muslim region in Russia’s Caucasus has ordered a crackdown on the practices. Kremlin-backed strongman Ramzan Kadyrov called on Chechens to steer clear of “charlatans” claiming to have magic powers, whom he accused of exploiting people’s sufferings for money. Kadyrov said at a meeting with municipal leaders in Grozny, the capital, on Saturday that “turning to wizards and false healers won’t bring them any relief and is banned by Islam,” according to a statement from the Chechen government. He went on to threaten that anyone engaging in such practices would feel the force of the region’s feared security services. Though Kadyrov is taking a hard line on “forgers” who “discredit Islam,” he has been eager to promote Islamic mysticism since he became president in 2005. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

3 killed in copter crash: An Azerbaijani air force helicopter crashed into the Caspian Sea Monday, killing all three people aboard, officials said in Baku. The Defense Ministry said in a statement

GENEVA, Feb 11, (AFP): Founded to care for victims of war, the International Committee of the Red Cross has faced a tough task, sometimes been found wanting, but has always known how to adapt to shifting challenges. The Swiss-based ICRC marks its 150th anniversary on Feb 17, making it the world’s oldest humanitarian organisation still in existence. Historians say that the reasons for that longevity are rooted in rules put in place by the Swiss quintet who created it in 1863: the philanthropist Henry Dunant, lawyer Gustave Moynier, physicians Louis Appia and Theodore Maunoir, and general Guillaume-Henri Dufour. Shocked by the fate of the wounded at the 1859 Battle of Solferino between French and Austrian troops in northern Italy, Dunant had launched a campaign to set up international rules on caring for wounded soldiers, notably prisoners. According to Daniel Palmieri, in charge of the ICRC’s archives at its Geneva headquarters, the organisation created in 1863 was unlike other charities that existed at the time. Palmieri pointed to its “universal dimension” — pushing for equal treatment regardless of a soldiers’ uniform. The idea of neutrality was a bedrock of Swiss foreign policy. The concept of non-partisan care rapidly won international support, and the First Geneva Convention was signed by 12 nations on August 22, 1864. It was the world’s first international humanitarian law, and a cornerstone for a raft of accords that were piloted by the ICRC.

Goal The organisation’s goal was to help the law evolve to keep up with the changing character of conflict, while guarding its autonomy of action. that the Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter, which it said belonged to the army’s medical service, disappeared from radar view at 10:30 am. Privately owned news agency APA said the helicopter was traveling from the capital, Baku, to the central town of Kyurdamir to pick up sick soldiers.

‘Our strength, is our conviction’

Red Cross as relevant as ever: president GENEVA, Feb 11, (AFP): As the International Committee of the Red Cross prepares to turn 150, it is as relevant as ever and rapidly adapting to the conflicts of the 21st century, its president told AFP in an interview. “150 years of history show that ICRC is needed today more than ever,” Peter Maurer told AFP at his office at the organisation’s headquarters in Geneva ahead of anniversary celebrations on Feb 17. Flanked by four framed Nobel Peace Prize diplomas — three won by the organisation itself in 1917, 1944 and 1963 and one by one of its founders Henry Dunant, who was honoured the first time the prize was awarded in 1901 — he described how the ICRC had grown over the years from a small group of philanthropic volunteers to an operation counting 12,000

employees with a $1.2-billion budget. “Our strength, is our conviction,” he said. “It is being on the ground, near the conflicts, knowing the different actors, being aware of the population’s suffering and responding to the population’s needs. “My conclusion is that if the ICRC is getting bigger and bigger ... this is because there are incontestable needs to address,” Maurer said. “Conflicts have not become less damaging for civilian populations or for soldiers.” Maurer is a career diplomat who took over the reins last July. Like all ICRC presidents, he is Swiss. The organisation’s cardinal role, he said, was in developing the concept of international humanitarian law as detailed in the Geneva Conventions. The organisation has through the

years not only “tried its best to protect populations and care for soldiers in the battle fields, but has also been responsible for developing laws, and inspiring diplomats and states’ policies to create the legal framework necessary to ensure a minimum of respect for humanity in wars, armed conflicts and battles,” he said. After decades of watching nation states clash, the ICRC increasingly finds itself confronted with a new breed of armed conflicts involving independent armed groups, Maurer said. In facing this challenge, the organisation is relying on the values that helped build its reputation more than a century ago. “The philosophy and the methods the ICRC developed for dealing with nation states are also valid for the non-state groups that we are seeing today.

In 1914, World War I marked a turning point for the ICRC, according to Palmieri. “Two months after the start of hostilities, the ICRC’s staff had grown from a dozen to 120,” he told AFP. By the end of the year, 1,200 people were involved in caring for prisoners of war, and the ICRC’s first “delegations” outside Switzerland had been set up. The organisation also broke with its traditional of only employing Swiss staff, though the longstanding rule that its steering committee only have Swiss members remains in place to this day. “The conflict forced the ICRC to take into account new combat meth-

ods such as gas, and new forms of violence such as civil wars, revolutions and uprisings, as well as new categories of victims, such as political prisoners, civilians in occupied territories, hostage, the disappeared, and refugees,” said Palmieri.

The situation was repeated after World War II, when the Swedish Red Cross pushed for full internationalisation of the ICRC, until the Cold War set things in stone. World War II marked a massive leap forward in size, means and methods, but also saw one of the darkest chapters in ICRC history as its quest to remain neutral led it to stay silent about Nazi German concentration camps. It took decades for the organisation to finally digest that era. In 2002, the ICRC’s director of international law, Francois Bugion, acknowledged that World War II had marked a “painful failure” on its part.

Emergency officials said the helicopter came down 300 meters (yards) from the shore off the village of Shikh, which lies south of Baku. One body has so far been recovered, emergency workers said. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Hungary govt to curb powers: Hun-

Joined In the wake of World War I, the ICRC lost ground to the League of Red Cross Societies, created in 1919 at the behest of the American Red Cross and swiftly joined by counterparts from Britain, France, Japan and Italy. “There was a kind of Red Cross war, with the Geneva David finally beating the Anglo-Saxon Goliath,” said Palmieri. gary’s government is set to curb the powers of the country’s constitutional court, after the body thwarted plans to introduce a controversial law on electoral procedures. According to a set of constitutional amendments proposed by the government on Monday, the court will no longer be able to refer to judgements prior to January 1,

Methane blamed

Mine blast kills 18

A handout photo provided on Feb 11, by the Russian Emergencies Ministry shows an entrance to ‘Vorkutinskaya’ coal mine in the remote Russian Far North town of Vorkuta within the Arctic Circle. (AFP)

MOSCOW, Feb 11, (RTRS): An underground methane gas explosion killed up to 18 miners at a coal pit in northern Russia on Monday, the latest in a long line of fatal accidents at Russian collieries. Rescue workers said they had brought 10 bodies to the surface at the Vorkutinskaya mine, owned by large Russian steel company Severstal, in the icy Komi region and were trying to recover eight other corpses. About 250 people had been at the pit at the time of the blast, about 800 metres (2,620 feet) below the surface but most had escaped or been rescued, government officials said.

2012 when a new constitution, called the “Basic Law”, came into force. Nor will the court be able to judge on the actual content of new amendments, only on their technical legality. The amendments will be voted on during the parliament’s latest session which opened Monday. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Finnish nuclear reactor delayed: Finnish utility TVO says the completion of the country’s fifth nuclear reactor will be further delayed and the company does not expect it to go online until 2016. TVO says “recent progress reports” from the Areva-Siemens consortium responsible for its construction indicate delays, including in the development of the plant’s instrumentation and control systems. The 1,600-megawatt European Pressurized Reactor – one of the first of its kind – has been plagued by delays caused by faulty materials and planning problems since construction began in 2005. It was meant to begin providing electricity in 2009. Monday’s announcement represented the seventh delay at the Olkiluoto 3 site. In October, TVO said it was claiming 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in compensation from Areva-Siemens for the delays, but added that the amount might change. (AP)




Vatican Pope resignation

World ‘voices’ regret, respect BERLIN, Feb 11, (AFP): World political and religious leaders voiced regret but respect for Pope Benedict XVI’s shock resignation Monday, praising him as one of today’s “most significant religious thinkers”. From Australia, the Philippines, to Israel and Britain, plaudits for the 85-year-old pontiff, as well as messages of surprise and sympathy for his historic decision to step down citing old age, swiftly poured in. From his native Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed the “greatest respect” for Benedict’s “difficult” decision to step down on February 28 which, she said, was “for his Church and the people within it”. “He is and remains one of the most sigMerkel nificant religious thinkers of our time,” Merkel, a pastor’s daughter, said. Describing the move as “eminently respectable”, French President Francois Hollande said France “hails the pope who took this decision”, while Prime Minister David Cameron said the pope had worked “tirelessly” to bolster Britain’s relations with the Holy See. Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said the pope had displayed “an extraordinary courage” and German President Joachim Gauck, also a pastor, said the move had required “great courage and self-reflection”. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard praised the pope’s decision for its “humility”.

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI, sitting on the throne at center-right, attends a meeting of Vatican cardinals, at the Vatican, on Feb 11. Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign Feb 28 - the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. (AP)

Vatican Status quo or radical change?

Catholic Church ponders next Pope

Humble “On his election, Joseph Ratzinger said he wished to be ‘a simple humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord’ and in his resignation that humility has been amply demonstrated,” Gillard was quoted by Australian Associated Press (AAP) news agency as saying in a statement. Joseph Ratzinger was the pope’s name before he was made pontiff. From other world religions, Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger praised the pontiff for improving ties between Judaism and Christianity which helped reduce anti-Semitism around the world. World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder said Benedict’s papacy had “elevated Catholic-Jewish relations onto an unprecedented level”. “No pope before him visited as many synagogues. He met with local Jewish community representatives whenever he visited foreign nations,” he said. The new Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the world’s Anglicans, said he understood the pontiff’s decision to step down due to his fading strength. “It was with a heavy heart but complete understanding that we learned this morning of Pope Benedict’s declaration,” said Justin Welby, who formally became the spiritual leader of the Church of England last Monday. But groups representing victims of child abuse in Catholic-run institutions welcomed the resignation.

Promise “This pope had a great opportunity to finally address the decades of abuse in the church but at the end of the day he did nothing but promise everything and in the end he ultimately delivered nothing,” John Kelly, of the Irish Survivors of Child Abuse support group, told AFP. In Australia, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) issued a statement saying the pontiff had done little to stop “the reign of terror of child rapist priests”, according to AAP. Pope Benedict was born Joseph Ratzinger in 1927 in the predominantly Catholic southern German region of Bavaria, whose state premier Horst Seehofer said the decision deserved the “greatest respect even though I personally deeply regret it”. Father Adam Boniecki, a close friend of Benedict’s Polish predecessor John Paul II, said Benedict had taken note of the end of John Paul’s papacy. “I think that he did not want a repeat of those last dramatic months when the pope was still in his position but practically incapable of fulfilling his functions,” he said. Also in the late pope’s homeland, Polish PAP news agency quoted Bishop Wojciech Polak, secretary of the Polish episcopate, as saying: “It’s a huge surprise for us all.” “Pope Benedict XVI already asked himself many times whether, due to his age, he still had enough strength to fulfil his duties as Saint Peter’s heir,” Polak added.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi reads from Pope Benedict XVI’s book ‘Light of the World’ as he meets journalists at the Vatican on Feb 11. (AP)

Vatican Brother knew planned resignation: The pope’s brother said on Monday he has known “for a few months” that Benedict XVI was planning to resign and confirmed that the 85-year-old pontiff was “feeling the burden of his age”. Georg Ratzinger told AFP: “The reason for his resignation is indeed that he is feeling the burden of his age... I have known for a few months that this (the resignation) was planned.” “He knows the demands of the office. I think his decision is correct. It is a positive thing that he is handing over the office to younger hands,” said Ratzinger, four years the pope’s senior. He also confirmed that Benedict XVI would remain in Rome. “I am in Rome three times a year. On this Rome trip, we will be able to spend some more time together,” Ratzinger said. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Philippines feels sympathy: People across the mainly Catholic Philippines feel regret, gratitude and sympathy after Pope Benedict XVI announced plans on Monday to resign, a presidential spokesman said. “Not only the Catholic world, but all peoples and nations of goodwill are filled with great regret,” one of President Benigno Aquino’s spokesmen, Edwin Lacierda, said in a statement. “At this time, when the pope has announced the physical challenges he faces makes it difficult to continue bearing the burdens of his office, we join the Catholic world and all whose lives he has touched in prayer and sympathy.” The 85-year-old pope announced on Monday he would resign because of health reasons. Lacierda praised the pope for showing humility by resigning, while highlighting the sympathy the pontiff expressed for Filipinos when the country was hit by deadly storms and other disasters. “We recall, in particular, with fond gratitude, the many prayers and comforting words Pope Benedict XVI has dedicated to Filipinos in times of calamity and challenge,” he said in a statement. Lacierda also cited the pope’s role in many events that rallied Catholics in the Philippines, such as last year’s canonisation of Pedro Calungsod, who became the second Filipino saint in history. The Philippines is regarded as Asia’s bastion of Catholicism. About 80 percent of the country’s 100 million people are Catholic, a legacy of three centuries of Spanish colonialism that ended in the late 1800s. The church still wields great influence in the Philippines, where divorce and abortion are illegal. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Shock in St Peter’s Square: Catholic faithful in St Peter’s Square reacted with amazement and emotion Monday at Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he will resign later this month, though some said they hoped his

VATICAN CITY, Feb 11, (Agencies): Who will be the next pope? Cardinals tasked with electing Benedict XVI’s successor after his resignation later this month must choose a leader capable of guiding the Church through a difficult period, marred by scandals, internal tensions and growing secularism. Benedict’s rule has been criticised as overly “eurocentric” in some quarters and Vatican watchers say the college of cardinals set to meet in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican for the secret vote may seize the moment to elect a Latin-American, African or Asiatic pope. Others say 85-year-old Benedict — who is resigning for age reasons — may call on the cardinals to elect someone younger, who is less likely to suffer failing health early in his mandate. “His decision to step down will have a big influence on the choice of the future pope. The old must make way for the young. The Church needs it,” said Marco Politi, Vatican expert and author of a celebrated biography on Benedict. Bookmakers While bookmakers had given even odds on the choice of Joseph Ratzinger in April 2005, no-one had foreseen Karol Wojtyla’s surprise election in 1978. There are 118 cardinals who are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in Benedict’s successor. The red-robed cardinals, who usually meet between 15 and 20 days after the death of a pope, take an oath of secrecy when they enter — and are automatically excommunicated if they break that oath. Of those voting, 67 were selected to be cardinals by Benedict — known for his staunch conservatism — while the 51 others were picked by John Paul II, who was seen as even more conservative. Sixty-two of the cardinals are European, 28 of whom are Italian, while 19 come from South America, 14 from North America, 11 from Africa and 11 from Asia and one from Oceania. Among those tipped as possible candidates for St Peter’s chair are Canadian Marc Ouellet and the Archbishop of Milan, Angelo Scola, though some analysts have said they are likely to be considered as not charismatic enough to revive faith amid rising secularism.

successor would be more progressive. Hundreds of believers converged on the heart of the Roman Catholic Church after hearing the historic news, swelling the usual small huddles of tourists on an overcast and chilly winter day in Rome. “I love Benedict. We’re really shocked he’s resigning because he wasn’t pope for long enough,” said Sebastian Mazur, a seminarian from Poland. “He hasn’t finished his plan,” the 21-

‘Complex sequence of events’

Electing pope: conclave, oath, chimney smoke Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation sets in motion a complex sequence of events to elect the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The laws governing the selection are the same as those in force after a papal death. Here is the procedure: ■ The Vatican summons a conclave of cardinals that must begin 15-20 days after Benedict’s Feb 28 resignation. ■ Cardinals eligible to vote — those under age 80 — are sequestered within Vatican City

and take an oath of secrecy. ■ Any baptized Roman Catholic male is eligible for election as pope, but only cardinals have been selected since 1378. ■ Two ballots held each morning and two each afternoon in the Sistine Chapel. A two-thirds majority is required. Benedict in 2007 reverted back to this two-thirds majority rule, reversing a 1996 decision by Pope John Paul II, who had decreed that a simple majority could be invoked after about 12 days of inconclusive voting.

■ Ballots are burned after each round. Black smoke means no decision; white smoke signals that cardinals have chosen pope and he has accepted. Bells also signal the election of a pope to help avoid possible confusion over color of smoke coming from chimney of the Sistine Chapel. ■ The new pope is introduced from the loggia overlooking St Peter’s Square with the words “Habemus Papam!” (Latin for “We have a pope!”) and he imparts his first blessing.

Previous hot tickets Peter Erdo, from Hungary, and the pope’s Austrian friend Christoph Schoenborn, have recently dropped in favour, while American Timothy Dolan is increasingly tipped for his mediatic skills — key in helping the Vatican overhaul its image in modern society following a damaging wave of clerical child abuse scandals. While a quarter of the cardinals who can elect a new pope are Italian, watchers say their chances of a win this time were scuppered by the leaks scandal which hit the Vatican last year, which was blamed by some on internal bickering between Italians jostling for power. Among the potential candidates for the first African pope are Peter Turkson of Ghana — the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace who is considered a progressive candidate — and Nigerian John Onaiyekan. William Hill bookmakers in London on Monday tipped 80-yearold Francis Arinze of Nigeria as their favourite to take over from Benedict, with odds of 2-1, followed by Turkson at 5-2. Front-runners in Latin America — which boasts the largest number of practicing Catholics in the world — are Claudio Hummes and Joao Braz de Aviz. Progressives favour Hondurian Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, head of Caritas Internationalis, but he is considered by the Church’s more traditional members to lean too far left, and is unlikely to win the twothirds majority needed. Among the outsiders to watch,

experts note dynamic Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle — the Church’s second youngest cardinal, appointed just last year at 55 years old — is very popular in Asia and is rising fast within the Vatican. Vatican expert Sandro Magister said he did not hold out much hope of a vote for change, tipping Ouellet from Canada, Italy’s Scola or France’s Andre Vingt-trois as frontrunners, and “certainly not a younger candidate or a pope from the Southern hemisphere.” Bookmakers have been quick to offer odds on candidates to replace Pope Benedict XVI, with cardinals from Ghana, Nigeria and Canada among the early favorites. Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Turkson, Canada’s Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria lead in betting with Britain’s major bookmakers. Favorite William Hill made Turkson – one of the highest-ranking African cardinals at the Vatican – its 3/1 favorite Monday, followed by Ouellet at 7/2 and Arinze at 4/1. Ladbrokes also had Turkson as favorite, followed by Arinze and Ouellet. Ireland’s Paddy Power also offered short odds on the three, as well as long odds on unlikely candidates – including U2 singer Bono at 1,000/1. It also offered 1,000/1 odds on Father Dougal Maguire, the simpleminded fictional priest from 1990s UK sitcom “Father Ted.” Pope Benedict announced his historic decision to resign on Monday in an address to cardinals which he

delivered in Latin, the ancient tongue whose use he had done much to encourage. “Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commissum renuntiare,” he said during a meeting on naming new saints. The Vatican provided a translation: “Well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005.” Pope Benedict, known for his traditionalist leanings, is the latest in a string of modern-day popes to encourage a revival of Latin, the language which gave rise to Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian. Last year he launched a new Vatican department to promote the study and use of Latin in the Roman Catholic Church and beyond. He has also allowed a partial return of the old-style Latin mass that was phased out more than four decades ago. He launched a Latin Twitter account this year, tweeting in the official language of the Catholic Church for the first time in January. His efforts followed similar attempts by predecessors. In 1962, Pope John XXIII published “Veterum Sapientia”, a document aimed at promoting the study of Latin, and in 1976 Pope Paul VI started the Latin Foundation and its quarterly “Latinitas”.



year-old said. Father Aaron Melancon, a 43-year-old priest from the United States, said: “The news is quite shocking. We have love and affection for Pope Benedict. I loved his writing as a cardinal and as a pope. I loved the leadership under him.” “He is the second pope in history to break the tradition and I am not in favour of this decision, but it is his own,” Melancon said. Marta, a 38-year-old

Spaniard on holiday in Rome with her husband, said: “It’s a really bad thing.” “He should have stayed for life, you can’t just leave when you want to,” she said. Jennifer, 30, from Colorado in the United States, said: “I was really shocked. In our media-dominated culture, It’s a unique challenge for the pope to be so available constantly so if he has lost some of his faculties, I guess he’s done the right thing.” (AFP)




World News Roundup New Year ‘Religious row’

No festivities for Tibetans XIAHE, China, Feb 11, (Agencies): Tibetans in a northwest part of China which has been a focus of self-immolation protests against Chinese rule marked a lowkey lunar New Year on Monday, with many saying celebrations were inappropriate while the burnings continued. At least 20 people have set themselves on fire in the region around Xiahe in Gansu province over the last year, according to exiles and rights groups. Xiahe is home to a large ethnically Tibetan Dalai Lama population and also to the monastery at Labrang, one of the most important centres for Tibetan Buddhism. The Tibetan lunar new year is supposed to be a time for celebration, but many Tibetans who spoke to Reuters in Xiahe said there would be no entertainment this year. “It really isn’t appropriate because of the self-immolations. So we’re not marking the new year,” said a Tibetan man who gave his name as Dorje. “In Tibet you don’t celebrate new year if you are in mourning.” Police have erected road blocks into the town, nestled in a scenic valley some four hours drive from the provincial capital Lanzhou, to keep outsiders from entering.

Protest Nearly 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest against Chinese rule since 2009, with most of them dying. In the past few months, the government has begun a new tactic to discourage the protests, detaining and jailing people it deems to have incited the burnings. The latest detentions have taken place in Gansu’s neighbouring province of Qinghai, where police last week detained 70 “criminal suspects”, 12 of whom were formally arrested, meaning they will be charged. The government has also seized televisions in Tibetan areas to prevent people from watching “antiChina” programmes broadcast from abroad. At the same time, Beijing has stepped up propaganda efforts aimed at the outside world, heaping blame on exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and overseas Tibetan groups for fomenting the self-immolations. One monk at Labrang, who spoke on condition of anonymity, scoffed when asked if he believed Tibetans were being encouraged or even deceived by the Dalai Lama.

A woman tries to stick a burnt out incense on the ground at Dafo Temple in the Lunar new year celebrations in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality early Feb 10. (Inset): Participants take part in the Chinese lunar new year parade in the streets of Hong Kong on Feb 10. (AP/AFP)

China China’s patience with N. Korea wearing thin

Beijing feels spurned by Kim

Tourists visit the Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai, China on Feb 11, on the second day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. (AP)

Uprising Beijing considers Nobel peace laureate the Dalai Lama, who fled from China in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, a violent separatist. The Dalai Lama says he is merely seeking greater autonomy for his Himalayan homeland. He has said he is not encouraging the self-immolations, but has called them “understandable”. “He is always in our hearts,” said another Labrang monk, flicking through a Chinese propaganda book with old pictures of the Dalai Lama before he fled into exile. China has defended its iron-fisted rule in Tibet, saying the remote region suffered from dire poverty, brutal exploitation and economic stagnation until 1950, when Communist troops “peacefully liberated” it. The Dalai Lama said last year he expected Communist Party chief Xi Jinping, who takes over as president from Hu Jintao in March, to embark upon political reform. But there has been no sign of an easing of control in Tibetan areas. Xi’s late father, Xi Zhongxun, a liberal-minded former vice-premier, had a close bond with the Dalai Lama before the monk fled into exile.

Also: JAKARTA: As Indonesia and other countries with Chinese diasporas welcome the Year of the Snake, some Islamic leaders have ignited a religious row by declaring the celebrations “haram” and off limits for Muslims. After decades of repression under the dictatorship of Suharto, who rose to power after a bloody purge of communists and Chinese in the late 1960s, ChineseIndonesians are now accepted in mainstream society of the largely Muslim nation.


Suu Kyi

Asia Japan plans to donate patrol boats: Japan plans to donate patrol boats costing $11 million each to the Philippines, ramping up regional efforts to monitor China’s maritime activity in disputed waters, a newspaper said Monday in Tokyo. The Japanese government plans to finance the deal in its fiscal 2013 budget starting in April and hopes to officially sign it early next year, the Nikkei business daily reported. Japan will then provide the Philippines with the newly built patrol vessels, which will cost more than one billion yen ($11 million) each, the newspaper said, without specifying the number of boats on offer. Both countries are locked in separate territorial disputes with China. Japan’s dispute is over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China. The Philippines is one of several Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, that are rowing with China over claims to parts of the South China Sea. Two of the hotspots are the Spratly islands and Scarborough Shoal. The Japanese coastguard also plans to train Philippine and Vietnamese personnel as part of additional efforts to boost security cooperation with Southeast Asia, the Nikkei said. In the fiscal 2013 budget draft, 2.5 billion yen has been allotted for such expenditure, it said. Last month, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida visited Manila and called for stronger ties with the Philippines to help ensure regional peace. Japan’s coastguard last month said it would create a special unit comprising 10 new large patrol boats to boost its surveil-

DANDONG, China, Feb 11, (AP): China’s patience with North Korea is wearing thin, and a widely-expected nuclear test by the latter could bring that frustration to a head. Beijing signaled its growing unhappiness by agreeing to tightened UN sanctions after North Korea launched a rocket in December, surprising China watchers with its unusually tough line, which prompted harsh criticism from Pyongyang. And while China isn’t expected to abandon its communist neighbor, it appears to be reassessing ties a year after new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took office. The question is for how long China, itself under new leader Xi Jinping, will continue to back North Korea’s nettlesome policies. “Perhaps Kim Jong Un thinks Xi Jinping will indulge him. Perhaps he’s in for a surprise,” said Richard Bush, Director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. China is feeling spurned by Kim. Although China welcomed his ascension after his father died in December 2011 and maintained flows of aid and investment, Kim has ignored China’s interests in a stable neighborhood with his two rocket launches and nuclear test plan. North Korea lance of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Japan police arrest US airman: Japanese police said Monday in Tokyo they have detained a US airman in Okinawa for allegedly causing a car accident while driving drunk, the latest in a series of arrests of

announced last month it would conduct a test to protest the toughened UN sanctions.

Closer “At the start, China gave him a warm welcome and, I think, some aid. But we got no gratitude. They take us for granted,” said Jin Canrong, an international affairs expert at Renmin University in Beijing. “China tried to get closer to him, but it was not successful. China has become very disappointed.” Yet Beijing also sees Pyongyang as a crucial buffer against US troops based in South Korea and Japan. It also deeply fears a regime collapse could send swarms of refugees across its border. For those reasons, Beijing is unlikely to cut Pyongyang adrift, even if it pushes North Korea harder to end its nuclear provocations and reform its broken-down economy. “China’s not ready to turn the support to North Korea switch to ‘off’ at this stage,” said Roger Cavazos, a North Korea watcher at the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability. North Korea’s apparent reluctance to reform its economy ranks among Beijing’s biggest frustrations, and the thorny nature of the bilateral relationship is on show along the frigid Yalu American servicemen in the country. Two drunken US sailors were arrested for trespassing last month after allegedly breaking a night-time curfew imposed last year following the gang-rape of a Japanese woman. Eric Simmons, 41, who is stationed at the US Air Force’s Kadena base in central

River, which forms part of the border Chinese troops crossed to rescue North Korean forces during the 195053 Korean War. Last week, ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, dozens of North Korean trucks lined up at a customs checkpoint in the northeastern Chinese border city of Dandong, loaded with bags of rice, cooking oil, cheap electronics and other daily items that their country’s collapsed industry cannot produce enough of for its 24 million people. Further to the south, a much-heralded North Korean economic zone on a pair of islands along the Yalu remains a field of untrammeled snow behind a newly erected border fence, more than 18 months after it was opened with great fanfare.

Talks The Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa islands zone, one of two such establishments along the border, resulted from talks led by Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming and Jang Song Thaek, Kim’s uncle and a top official in the ruling Korean Workers’ Party who is thought to be pro-China. The two men attended the June 2011 grand opening accompanied by a brass band and the celebratory Okinawa, allegedly drove a car under the influence of alcohol late Sunday and caused a pileup, an Okinawa police spokesman said. No one was injured. The US military imposed a curfew between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am on all its servicemen in Japan after two sailors were arrested on charges of raping a woman in

Probe launched French tourist killed

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle poses for photographers wearing a traditional Javanese batik sarong, during his visit at the 9th century Borobudur temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia, Feb 10. Westerwelle is in the country for a two-day visit. (AP)

PHNOM PENH, Feb 11, (AFP): Cambodian police have launched a murder investigation after the naked body of a 25-year-old female French tourist was found floating in a river, officials said Monday. The victim was found on Sunday in the southern province of Kampot, a day after she was last seen alive leaving her guest house by bicycle, provincial deputy police chief In Chiva told AFP. “We conclude that it is a murder case because she was seriously hacked on the forehead,” he said, adding that there were also injuries to the victim’s arms. The French embassy said the family had been informed.

release of doves, giving rise to hopes that China’s advice was having an impact on the North. Yet area residents say they’ve seen no progress since then, while work on a towering bridge nearby, intended to supplement the rickety old one in Dandong, has slowed to a snail’s pace. Dandong’s city government has moved offices to the area, but the thickets of surrounding highrise buildings remain unfinished and empty. While Kim has made improving the economy a hallmark of his nascent rule, many analysts doubt that he will go too far with reforms for fear that change could lead to a loss of control, in turn threatening his authoritarian rule. “There’s nothing going on around here. North Korea is fine with taking Chinese aid and doing some trade, but its economy doesn’t seem to be changing at all,” said a Dandong businessman who trades with North Korea and asked to be identified only by his surname, Qu. That leaves the new fence as the dominant feature along the border. Topped with rolls of barbed wire, it doubles up in places to form both an inner and an outer perimeter, with a strip of concrete in between for guards to patrol along. Okinawa, a southern island chain, last October. The drunk-driving suspect, who lives outside the base, claimed he was on his way to work and not in breach of the curfew, local media reported. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

NLD to hold 1st party Congress: Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) said on Monday in Yangon it would hold its first ever national congress on March 8-10, reflecting the dramatic political changes sweeping Myanmar. “It will be the NLD’s first nationwide conference held in democratic conditions since the party was founded (in 1988),” NLD lawmaker and party spokesman Ohn Kyaing told AFP. Around 1,500 delegates are expected to attend, he said. The meeting, which will define the leadership of the opposition party as it sets its sights on crucial 2015 polls, had originally been scheduled for the last week of February but was delayed. The once-outlawed party entered parliament for the first time last year, when landmark April by-elections gave former political prisoner Suu Kyi her first ever seat in the legislature. The hugely popular NLD is now gearing up for a general election in two years that observers say will test the limits of Myanmar’s transition to democracy as it emerges from nearly half a century of military rule. A constitutional rule currently bars Suu Kyi from becoming president because the Nobel Peace Prize winner was married to a British man and has two sons who are both foreign nationals. (AFP)




Africa Sudan govt inks ceasefire deal: The Sudanese government has signed a ceasefire agreement with a faction of Darfur’s far-west region rebel group the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), state news agency QNA reported. The ceasefire took effect at midnight in Doha (Sunday, 2100 GMT), QNA quoted Qatar’s deputy prime minister Ahmed alMahmud as saying. He said the deal “will pave the way for inking a final peace agreement in Darfur between both sides”. Two committees bringing together peacekeepers from the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) as well as representatives Mahmud from Sudan, Qatar and the Arab League, have been formed to oversee implementation of the ceasefire, Mahmud said. The main body of JEM — which continues to reject a government peace deal — said the signatories are a small progovernment faction. Mahmud announced that Doha will host “a donors conference for the development and rebuilding of Darfur on April 7 and 8.” Qatar has for years been a key mediator in the Sudanese crisis. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

5 S. Sudan ex-POWs home: The Red Cross on Monday flew five former South Sudanese “ex-prisoners of war” home after their release by Sudan, as tensions rise between the two states over a failure to implement security agreements. “An ICRC delegate accompanied the five men to Juba, where they were handed over to South Sudanese authorities,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement. A witness told AFP in Khartoum the handover took place earlier Monday at the airport in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state. The five soldiers, seen boarding the Red Cross plane, wore civilian clothes and appeared to be in good health, he said. Sudan’s military announced last week that the prisoners would be freed in a show of “good will.” They were caught in the Kafindebey area, army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad said, quoted in a February 6 report by the official SUNA news agency. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Performers from the Inocentes de Belford Roxo samba school parade during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb 10. (Inset): A performer from the Portela samba school parades during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Feb 11. (AP)

Brazil Hundreds toil for months for parade

Celebrities flock to Rio Carnival

Sudan detains dissidents: Sudan’s security services are holding opposition figures and other detainees without trial, denying medical care to some who need it urgently, a UN human rights expert said on Sunday after a visit in Khartoum. Encouraged by revolutions that have unseated rulers in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, pro-democracy activists have staged a wave of small protests against veteran ruler Omar Hassan al-Bashir, in power since 1989. Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) have clamped down hard on street protests in Khartoum and other cities, and authorities have refused to give any details of arrests. “I am concerned about the arrest and detention of political opposition figures and other individuals by the NISS,” said human rights expert Mashood Adebayo Baderin, giving no details on the detainees. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Guinean military chief killed: The head of Guinea’s armed forces and other senior military officials from the West African state were killed on Monday when their aircraft crashed close to the Liberian capital Monrovia, a presidency official in Guinea said. “There was the chief of staff and five other military officials on the plane,” said the source in Conakry, who asked not to be identified. “It’s clear that everyone on the plane is dead.” The Guinean military chief, General Kelefa Diallo, was on a security mission to Liberia, police in Guinea said. Diallo was a close ally of Guinean President Alpha Conde. Security officials in Liberia said earlier that at least four people were killed in the crash, which occurred at Charlesville, some 40 kms (25 miles) southeast of Monrovia. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑ ‘Mastermind’ Congo rebel held: South African police said on Sunday they had arrested a Congolese man suspected of being the mastermind behind a rebel group’s plot to overthrow the Kinshasa government. Nineteen other suspected Congolese rebels have been arrested and were charged in a South African court on Thursday with plotting such a coup which prosecutors said they planned to finance through mineral concessions. A 20th man was arrested in Cape Town on Friday. “He is the mastermind. We have been observing these guys. We have a list of individuals and their names,” said a spokesman for the Hawks, the police unit which had tracked the group. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Zuma says Mandela ‘comfortable’: South African President Jacob Zuma paid Nelson Mandela a visit Sunday and found the anti-apartheid icon “comfortable and relaxed” and watching television, the presidency said in Johannesburg. Mandela, 94, was at home in Johannesburg, where he has been recuperating after an 18-day hospital stint in December for a lung infection and gallstone surgery. Zuma dropped in on him on his way to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) football final, his office said in a statement. “He had the brightest smile, and it was exciting to discuss with him the upcoming State of the Nation address and the AFCON tournament,” Zuma said in the statement. South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999, Mandela had spent 27 years behind bars under the apartheid regime. He was last seen in public in 2010 at the closing ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg. (AFP)

US actress Megan Fox looks at Unidos da Tijuca samba school during the first night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Feb 11. (AFP)



Lat/Am Still no sign of Chavez: Two months have passed since Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez climbed the stairs of the presidential jet, blew kisses to his supporters and flew to Cuba to undergo his fourth cancer-related surgery. Chavez hasn’t been seen or spoken publicly since that departure to Havana on Dec 10, and the mystery surrounding his condition has deepened while the government’s updates have remained optimistic but have lately offered few specifics. “The president is in charge and making decisions,” Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said Saturday in Caracas, after meeting with Brazil’s foreign minister. “It’s a slow, slow recovery process. But he is fighting his battle with great faith, and clinging to Christ and clinging to life ... and with the conviction that he is going to win this battle, too.” Jaua, who visited Chavez in Cuba last week, said the 58-year-old president has been making political and economic decisions. On Friday, for instance, the government announced it is devaluing the currency. Confidants including Jaua have recently said the president has overcome complications including a severe respiratory infection following his Dec. 11 surgery for recurrent cancer in his pelvic region. Vice President Nicolas Maduro, whom Chavez named as his potential successor before the surgery, has said that the president should be able to return home once his condition permits it. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 11, (Agencies): As world celebrities watched, top samba schools paraded their elaborate fantasy floats and scantily-clad beauty queens Sunday in the fiery highlight of the Rio Carnival. The floats were packed with dancers wearing huge headgear, feathers, sequins, body paint and little else. Inocentes de Belford Roxo was the first school to perform late Sunday at the 72,500-seat Rio Sambodrome, paying a colorful homage to Korean culture in Brazil. The theme called “the Seven confluences of the Han River” invoked the protection of an ancient Korean wind goddess called Yondung Halmoni. Over the next two nights, a total of 12 schools will parade before a global television audience, competing for the title of Carnival champion. The VIP guests at the open-air Sambodrome included the 26-yearold American actress Megan Fox, of “Transformers” fame, who was hired to promote Brahma Beer, a popular Brazilian lager. “I’d love to be Brazilian,” Fox told reporters. “I’ll stay until bedtime. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.” Other celebrities include TV reality show star Kim Kardashian and boyfriend rapper Kanye West; Italian actress Monica Bellucci and her French husband, actor Vincent Cassel; and “Men in Black” star Will Smith, who earlier visited a favela, or shanty town. In the northeastern city of Salvador, South Korean pop star Psy performed his hit “Gangam Style” to huge crowds Friday alongside Brazilian stars Claudia Leitte, Gilberto Gil and Daniela Mercury. US movie director Spike Lee was the statement said. In January last year, the Costa Concordia, a 114,500 tonne luxury cruise ship operated by the Carnival Corp-owned Costa Cruises, capsized and sank off the Tuscan island of Giglio in Italy, killing 32

among the celebrity audience. Unlike the ubiquitous Carnival street parties that are open to all, the Sambodrome parades are mainly for the wealthy and foreign tourists. Carnival is Brazil’s most important festival and is celebrated with equal gusto across the country, including in Sao Paulo, Salvador, Recife, Olinda, Manaus and Porto Alegre.

Marred In the northeastern state of Sergipe, the Carnival celebrations were marred by the death of a 11-year-old child when a driver lost control his sound truck and it collided with a police car, according to press reports. The reports said 20 other people, including another 11-year-old, were injured in the accident, which was blamed on defective brakes on the truck. This year there is a special tribute to Koreans to mark the 50th anniversary of their immigration to the country. Parades in Rio and Sao Paulo are honoring Korean history and technological prowess and the contribution the 50,000-strong Korean community in Brazil has made to this vibrant and racially diverse country of 194 million people. “It’s a historic moment, a recognition of the contribution Koreans have made to Brazilian society,” said Marcelo Choi, vice president of the Sao Paulo-based Korean-Brazilian Association. Dubbed “the greatest show on Earth,” the Rio Carnival officially got under way Friday, when the legendary King Momo received a giant key to the city from Mayor Eduardo Paes. Meanwhile, press reports said authorities have deployed an innovative urinal which can convert urine people. Last month, Costa Cruises said Italian investigators were looking into the vessel owner’s potential responsibility for the shipwreck. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Competition Yet it’s from warehouses like this one that Rio’s over-the-top glitz-andglam Carnival parades emerge, as they will Monday night for the final round of a two-day performance. The internationally renowned competition between 12 elite samba groups dazzles more than a billion spectators in person and on TV for two days, but it takes nearly a year and hundreds of workers, many of them volunteers, to pull each one together. “We’re anonymous artists. The public has no idea who builds all this,” said Angelica da Silva Bernardes, one of those working in the warehouse run by the Grande Rio group. She’s a telemarketer who cuts her day job to part-time during the

Venezuela Indians release soldiers: A representative of Venezuela’s Pemon Indians said Sunday that men in a remote village released several dozen soldiers they had been holding captive.

Tourist rape case

Several detained

Carnival cruise ship adrift: The Carnival Triumph, a cruise ship owned by Carnival Corp under its Carnival Cruise Lines brand, was adrift 150 miles (241 kms) off southern Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula on Sunday after a fire that caused no injuries, the company said in a statement in Mexico City. The engine room fire, which took place in the morning, had been extinguished and the ship was without propulsion, and operating on emergency generator power, the company said. None of the 3,143 guests nor 1,086 crew were injured, and a tugboat was on its way to drag the vessel to the Mexican port of Progreso, where it was expected to arrive on Wednesday afternoon, Carnival said. The company said the U.S. Coast Guard had been notified. “Another Carnival ship, the Carnival Elation, is currently on scene and transferring additional food and beverage provisions to the Carnival Triumph,”

into electrical energy. The daily O Globo said the urine collected activates a dynamo which produces energy that can be stored in batteries in a process similar to that used in hydroelectrical power plants. Officials hope that the device, developed by the cultural group AfroReggae, will help curb the practice by revelers to relieve themselves in the streets. And the energy collected will help fuel the batteries of the huge sound trucks that belt out samba rhythms along Ipanema beach. Authorities said six million people, including more than 900,000 tourists, were expected to attend the five-day Rio bash. There’s nothing glamorous about the industrial warehouse reverberating with the zap of soldering metal, the clatter of hammers and an earsplitting whine of a circular saw, or in the sweat-drenched workers toiling in the midafternoon summer heat among huge bolts of cloth and heavy-duty sewing machines.

FARC Commanders Ivan Marquez (left), and Jesus Santrich (right), members of the FARC-EP peace talks delegation, arrive for a press conference, on Feb 10, in Havana. (AFP)

ACAPULCO, Mexico, Feb 11, (AP): Mexican authorities announced Sunday that several people had been detained for investigation in connection with last week’s rape of six Spanish tourists in Acapulco, a crime that further blemished the reputation of this troubled Pacific resort. Guerrero state officials declined to say how many suspects were in custody. Gov. Angel Aguirre said two of those detained were also were being investigated in connection with another rape case. He said the two had been identified by victims in that case, but he added that no identifications had been made by victims in the rape of the Spanish women. About 40 people who briefly blocked the road to Acapulco’s airport said five of their relatives had been detained in the case.

pre-Carnival season to help out her group in the afternoons and evenings. “Our motivation is seeing the way people light up when they see our work.” Bernardes is part of an army of dedicated workers who spend their days, and, as Carnival approaches, their nights, designing, welding, carving, cutting, sewing and embroidering, all to create a seamless spectacle for others. It’s hard work. Grandmothers strain their eyes sewing for hours. Paintstained young men in old shorts and flip-flops take naps on ratty pieces of foam laid out between work tables in the wood shops after pushing through the night. In the days leading up to the parade, the intensity revs up, and there are fewer breaks. Meanwhile, top samba schools take center stage at the Sambodrome late Sunday, set to dazzle crowds with giant allegorical floats and scantilydressed beauty queens in a fiery climax to the famed Rio Carnival. Over the next two nights, 12 schools will showcase their mesmerizing allegorical pageantry before a global television audience, the highlight of a five-day extravaganza. Their floats are packed with dancers wearing huge headgear, feathers, sequins, body paint — and little else. The fierce contest for the title of Brazil’s Carnival champion is watched with the same fervor as football matches in this soccer-mad nation. The first school to perform late Sunday will be Inocentes de Belford Roxo, with a colorful homage to Korean culture on a theme called “The Seven Confluences of the Han River” that will invoke the protection of the ancient Korean wind goddess Yondung Halmoni. Levi Gonzalez said he had spoken with Pemon men in the village of Uriman, where members of the community decided to free the soldiers after government representatives agreed to allow them to keep mining and to avoid prosecution for seizing the soldiers. Gonzalez said dozens of people in the village and nearby communities, angered over abuses by soldiers and military operations aimed at dismantling gold mining equipment and camps, had taken 43 soldiers as hostages Thursday. “That’s what brought us to such an extreme,” Gonzalez said in a telephone interview from Santa Elena de Uairen, a town near Venezuela’s border with Brazil. “Mining has always been part of our way of life. We are not getting rich, just surviving.” Gonzalez said in Caracas, that on Saturday members of the Pemon community met with government officials including Army Gen Cliver Alcala Cordones and Indigenous Peoples Minister Aloha Nunez. The soldiers were released Saturday evening and Sunday, and the protesters returned weapons that had been taken from the soldiers and hidden in the jungle, Gonzalez said. Government and military officials did not comment on the incident, which was widely reported in Venezuelan news media. The Information Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. “This situation began due to abuses by soldiers,” said Alexis Romero, a Pemon activist. He said soldiers routinely stop Pemon Indians to search them for gold, often detaining them for several hours. (AP)




World News Roundup Ecology ‘Over-fishing’ threat

Group bids to ‘save’ oceans OSLO, Feb 11, (RTRS): The high seas that cover almost half the Earth’s surface are a treasure trove with little legal protection from growing threats such as over-fishing and climate change, according to a new international group of politicians. “High levels of pillage are going on,” David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, told Reuters. He will co-chair the Global Ocean Commission, which will start work this week and give advice to the United Nations on fixing the problems. Over-fishing and environFigueres mental mismanagement cost the world economy $50 billion a year and about three-quarters of world fish stocks are over-fished or fished to the maximum, according to World Bank and UN data. “The hidden depths are a treasure trove, and a treasure trove that we neglect or raid at our peril,” Miliband said of the high seas, the area beyond national limits that stretch 200 nautical miles (370 km) from coasts. Planning His co-chairs will be former Costa Rican president Jose Maria Figueres and Trevor Manuel, a minister in the South African cabinet in charge of planning. The commission will include ex-cabinet ministers from nations such as Chile, Australia, Indonesia, Canada and Nigeria, as well as business leaders and Pascal Lamy, head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It will produce advice in 2014. Miliband said vast areas of the oceans, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, were “a neglected area of global governance” despite a 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Commission says the high seas are under severe and increasing threat from over-fishing, damage to habitat, climate change and ocean acidification caused by a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. There are some regulatory mechanisms - the Jamaica-based International Seabed Authority was set up in 1994 to control mining of deep-sea deposits such as nodules rich in manganese, iron, aluminium and copper. Control And a 2001 UN pact seeks to control stocks of fish such as highly migratory tuna, sailfish, swordfish and sharks. Regional fisheries management groups also try to oversee the high seas. But the Commission says tougher rules and “future-proofing” are needed - to take account of emerging risks and technologies that could make mining or oil and gas drilling more feasible in the ocean depths, perhaps down to 5,000 metres (16,400 feet). The drilling group Transocean says one of its oil and gas drillships in 2011 set a world record by drilling in the seabed off India at a depth of 3,107 metres. “The global ocean is essential to the health and well-being of each and every one of us,” Figueres, the former Costa Rican head of state, said in a statement. “It provides about half of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs about a quarter of our carbon dioxide emissions; but we are failing to manage it in ways that reflect its true value.” Miliband said the 1982 UNCLOS pact had not properly anticipated, for instance, that giant trawlers could stay at sea for weeks, freezing and processing fish before returning to port. Ole Kristian Fauchald, a law professor at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Oslo, said possibilities for change included limiting the use of “flags of convenience” that let fishing vessels register in nations that are lax in imposing UN rules. And ports could be stricter in refusing access to ships pillaging the high seas. Cutting subsidies to fishing fleets would also help, despite a lack of progress at the WTO, he said. UN studies estimate subsidies at up to $34 billion a year.

This NASA photo shows the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas-V rocket with the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) spacecraft onboard on Feb 10 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) mission is a collaboration between NASA and the US Geological Survey that will continue the Landsat Program’s 40-year data record of monitoring the Earth’s landscapes from space. The spacecraft was scheduled to launch on Feb 11. (AFP)

Energy ‘Not a single wind farm’

Offshore energy still untapped in US A file picture taken on April 15, 2010 shows a statoil prototype floating wind turbine generator offshore Stavanger. After delays that left the American industry years behind other nations, the first wind farm off the US coast should finally produce electricity by 2015. (AFP)




WASHINGTON, Feb 11, (AFP): Europe: 1,662 turbines; United States: 0. After delays that left the American industry years behind other nations, the first wind farm off the US coast should finally produce electricity by 2015. With Americans living atop mountains of coal and reserves of petroleum and natural gas, it is little wonder there is resistance to financing a renewable but expensive offshore energy resource that remains untapped in the United States. Despite several proposals, and the blessing of environmentalists who describe them as sustainable alternatives to coal, not a single wind farm off the Atlantic coast has been built. Several are in the works, but they have run up against political hurdles in states like Maryland and Virginia, where lawmakers are hesitant to offer government subsidies. As veteran energy expert Jim Lanard, president of the Offshore Wind Development Coalition, noted, Europeans jumped ahead with heavy subsidization of renewables like wind because they lacked the oil to meet their energy needs. With far more indigenous energy supply, “there’s less pressure for the

United States to do more in the renewable sector than in Europe, where there’s a greater pressure to achieve energy independence,” Lanard told AFP. “If you’re from a state with lots of coal, it doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, you’re going to support an energy policy with coal,” Lanard said.

Resources Coal provides 37 percent of US electricity, compared to natural gas at 30 percent. Far behind is onshore wind at 3.4 percent, but offshore resources would help boost that figure. For some US lawmakers the jury is still out as to how human activity influences climate change. The American public has shown a stubborn indifference to the phenomenon compared to Europeans. But wind received a shot in the arm in January, when Congress extended tax credits on all wind energy projects for this year. Such grants can amount to 30 percent of investment costs. Two offshore projects in particular will benefit, including Cape Wind, whose 130 huge turbines are being

developed in Massachusetts for the waters near Martha’s Vineyard, the tony island playground where President Barack Obama and other VIPs spend their vacations. One of the state’s richest men, the billionaire conservative coal and gas investor Bill Koch, has spent years campaigning in vain against the project. A smaller wind farm of five turbines in water three miles (five kilometers) off Block Island, in the state of Rhode Island, is aimed at replacing diesel generators which have powered the community for years. Electricity generated by offshore wind costs two to three times more than onshore wind, according to Steve Clemmer, who heads energy research for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Develop “It’s really more economical to develop projects on land,” Clemmer told AFP. That is especially true in the United States, where on-land wind resources are more abundant than in Europe. Cape Wind will sell energy for 18.7 cents per kilowatt hour for the

first year. By comparison, a coalfired plant can produce electricity at about 10 cents per kWh. Electricity from onshore wind farms can be even cheaper. Offshore wind can be a money pit: extensive research is needed to identify the best location and assess risks to marine life; installation, maintenance and replacement in deep water can incur crushing costs, and the use of boats to transport equipment and workers runs up the bill. Some states like New Jersey, despite experts proclaiming viability for offshore wind, have let projects wither. Operators have thrown in the towel for lack of funding. But technology favors projects in the open water, where winds are strongest. The government estimates combined offshore potential for 10 projects at 3,800 megawatts, the equivalent of three nuclear power plants and enough to power millions of homes in the crowded northeast. A new technology being developed, for deepwater “floating” turbines, also solves a central criticism of wind power: visual and noise pollution. A first contract has been approved in the state of Maine.

Adventurers re-enact ‘voyage’: It’s been lauded as one of the greatest survival stories of all-time. Nearly 100 years later, a group of British and Australian adventurers have discovered why. They re-enacted Ernest Shackleton’s journey to save his crew when their ship got stuck and sank in Antarctica’s icy waters. Tim Jarvis and Barry “Baz” Gray reached an old whaling station on remote South Georgia island Monday, 19 days after leaving Elephant Island. Just as Shackleton did in 1916, Jarvis and his team sailed 800 nautical miles across the Southern Ocean in a small lifeboat and then climbed over crevasse-filled mountains in South Georgia. The modern-day team of six used similar equipment and clothes. But the harsh conditions forced several of them to abandon their attempt along the way. “It was epic, really epic, and we’ve arrived here against the odds,” Jarvis told his project manager Kim McKay after reaching the station, adding that “we had more than 20 crevasse falls up to our knees and Baz fell into a crevasse up to his armpits.” McKay said Jarvis was suffering some frostbite in his right foot after the journey. He was sleeping Monday and planned Tuesday to hike to the grave site of Shackleton, who was buried on the island years after his journey. Jarvis wasn’t the only one suffering

foot problems. Three of the men couldn’t complete the climb after suffering the ailment trench foot, caused by prolonged exposure to cold and wet conditions.

“The boat was only 22 1/2 feet long. At any one time, only four men could be below deck, while the other two had to be on deck. They had 8-meter (26-foot)

waves crashing onto the boat,” McKay said. “It was like they were playing a game of twister. If one moved, they all had to move. They were constantly wet

Illegal ivory trade

11K elephants killed

In this Jan 8, 2013 photo released by Shackleton Epic, expedition members and an unidentified supporter pose on the deck of their boat Alexander Shackleton during training in the Southern Ocean. (AP)

LIBREVILLE, Feb 11, (AFP): More than 11,000 elephants in Gabon have been killed by poachers since 2004 despite ramped up security measures to try to stop the slaughter, wildlife officials have said. “More than 11,000 elephants have been killed since 2004,” Fiona Maisels of the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement. Gabon, on the west coast of central Africa, is estimated to host over half of the continent’s 40,000 forest elephants but the animals have long been targeted by poachers for their ivory. The illegal ivory trade is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used to make ornaments and in traditional medicine.

and cold and they all arrived with varying degrees of trench foot.” (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Entrepreneur fights for forests: With his blue stetson and thick grey jacket, Lai Pei-yuan looks like a modern-day cowboy, but rather than raising cattle, he grows trees. The 57-year-old Taiwanese entrepreneur made his fortune in transportation and property, but his real mission in life is to reinstate at least some of the forests that once covered most of the island. “It was just a simple idea I had,” said Lai, meeting AFP on a hillside near his native Taichung city in central Taiwan. “If I was to safeguard Taiwan, I would have to plant trees.” For the past three decades, Lai has bought and planted thousands of trees every year, often with his own hands. Today his efforts can be seen in the form of 130 hectares (320 acres) of mountainsides near Taichung covered with 270,000 deep-rooted trees, representing indigenous species such as Taiwan incense cedar and cinnamomum micranthum. “He’s a legendary person,” President Ma Ying-jeou said during a recent visit to Taichung, when he met and sipped coffee with Lai. “No one else in Taiwan has planted so many trees.” (AFP)

Group describes film as ‘incitement’

Oscar contender on Palestinians angers many


BILIN, West Bank, Feb 11, (AP): An Oscar-nominated documentary about this West Bank hamlet has managed to infuriate people on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide. In Israel, some are asking why the government helped fund a film so scathing in its criticism of its own policies, while Palestinians are shocked that the film is winning accolades for being “Israeli.” “Five Broken Cameras” is the story of a yearslong struggle by residents of Bilin to wrest their village lands back from Israel’s military. The title refers to the number of cameras that the main protagonist, Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat, had broken by Israeli

forces as he sought to film weekly demonstrations against the military. Residents were protesting the seizure of about half the village lands to construct a separation barrier running through parts of the West Bank. The $400,000 documentary was made with contributions from Israeli and French government film funds. It is the latest in a series of well-received movies that are highly critical of Israeli government policies toward the Palestinians, yet also funded with state money.

Documentary Another Israeli-funded documentary, “The Gatekeepers,” has also been nominated for an Oscar.

That film interviews the former heads of Israel’s internal security service about how they suppressed Palestinians over the decades in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Their message is that military force has its limits, and that ultimately Israel must take advantage of its military superiority to seek peace. The projects expose a contradiction in Israeli society. While the military rules over millions of Palestinians, the government funds a vibrant arts scene that is often scathing in its criticism of official policy. Many here wonder why the government would want to be party to projects that make it look so bad. Almagor, a right-wing Israeli

group that represents families who have lost loved ones to Palestinian violence, described the film as “incitement.” It said the documentary demonizes Israeli soldiers and at times is anti-Semitic. Others, though, say such films are a badge of honor. Danny Danon, a hard-line member of the ruling Likud Party, said funding critical movies underscores the vibrancy of Israel’s democracy, even if it provides ammunition for critics. “I think there will be groups who are against Israel no matter what,” Danon said. “This is one example of the price of keeping a strong democracy. We are not interfering in the contents of the movies that

are being produced in Israel.” The office of Culture Minister Limor Livnat, which oversees the funds that distribute grants to filmmakers, declined comment. Livnat is also a Likud member.

Dismayed The documentary’s protagonists are dismayed that the film is affiliated with Israel. Even though the Academy does not classify nominees in the documentary feature category by country, Israeli officials have pitched “Five Broken Cameras” as their own at the Oscars. Palestinians said they did not want Israelis to take credit for a film that documents how they have suffered at the hands of the mili-

tary. “They say it’s an Israeli film. It is not an Israeli film,” said taxi driver Adib Abu-Rahmeh, who is in the documentary. “Are the people in the film Israelis? The people who suffered, who were shot, who were arrested, who were hurt, were they Israelis?” Davidi, the film’s Israeli partner, rejected the criticism. He said the movie should be seen for what it is: A human portrayal of the village residents. “For me, documentaries have no identities,” he said. “Here are the facts: The film is a PalestinianIsraeli-French co-production with a Palestinian and Israeli director,” he added.




John Fullbright performs at the stage of the Staples Center during the pre-telecast of the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, Feb 10. (AFP)

Film Grammys shared among many on music’s big night LOS ANGELES: “Identity Thief” has turned out to be the real thing at the North American box office. The comedy starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy debuted at No. 1 with a $36.6 million opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. “Identity Thief” opened solidly despite the winter storm that buried much of the US Northeast. Distributor Universal Pictures estimates the storm might have choked off as much as 10 percent of the movie’s business. “It took such a chunk out of the business this weekend. But we can’t control Mother Nature,” said Nikki Rocco, Universal’s head of distribution. “We probably could have hit $40 million if it weren’t for the weather this weekend.” The previous weekend’s top movie, the zombie romance “Warm Bodies,” fell to No. 2 with $11.5 million. That raises its domestic total to $36.7 million. The weekend’s other new wide release, Steven Soderbergh’s thriller “Side Effects,” had a modest opening of $10 million, coming in at No. 3. Tom Cruise’s 1986 hit “Top Gun” took flight again in theaters with a 3-D reissue that pulled in $1.9 million in narrow release of 300 theaters. The movie has a short run on the big-screen leading up to its Feb. 19 3-D release on DVD and Blu-ray. Overall domestic revenues were down sharply from a year ago, when four movies had big openings — “The Vow,” ‘’Safe House,” ‘’Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” and a 3-D reissue of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” Receipts totaled $105 million, down 45 percent from the same weekend last year — which was the only non-holiday weekend to have four movies open with more than $20 million, according to box-office tracker “The same weekend a year

Mumford & Sons wins best album LOS ANGELES, Feb 11, (AP): Mumford & Sons wrapped up a completely unpredictable Grammy Awards with perhaps the most surprising win of the night, taking home album of the year for “Babel.” Even the London folk-rockers were shocked when Adele, who won the trophy last year, presented her countrymen with the award. “We figured we weren’t going to win anything because The Black Keys have been sweeping up all day, rightfully so,” Marcus Mumford said. Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys ended up the night’s top winner with four trophies, including producer of the year and three rock category victories with bandmate Patrick Carney. But it was hardly a clean sweep as The Recording Academy’s thousands of voters spread the love for the year’s top singles. Fun. took home major awards best new artist, in something of an upset over R&B singer Frank Ocean, and song of the year for the transcendent anthem “We Are Young,” featuring Janelle Monae. “I didn’t think we were going to win this one,” lead singer Nate Ruess said after the best new artist win. “Frank Ocean. The Lumineers. Everybody, amazing.”

Haunting Like Mumford & Sons, Gotye busted up the predictions, taking record of the year for 2012’s top-selling single, the haunting “Somebody That I Used To Know,” featuring New Zealand’s Kimbra, and finished with three awards. Prince, in hood and sunglasses and car-

ago was such a tremendous weekend,” said analyst Paul Dergarabedian. The special-effects take on the children’s fairy tale “Hansel & Gretel,” in which the grown-up siblings hunt down witches, was fifth with $5.7 million. Initially seen as a summer film, “Identity Thief” was


rying a sparkly silver cane, presented him with the record of the year trophy and the Australian paid tribute to The Purple One’s influence. “A little bit lost for words, to receive an award from the man standing behind us with the cane,” the Belgian-Australian Gotye said. “Many years listening to this man’s music growing up and a big reason I was inspired to make music. Thank you.” Jay-Z and Kanye West had three wins — sharing one award with Ocean — along with electronica star Skrillex, and a slew of nominees had two wins apiece, including former best new artist winner Esperanza Spalding. Ocean was shut out in the major categories, but took home two trophies, including best urban contemporary album. Only Chris Brown, with whom Ocean scuffled last month, remained seated as the 25year-old R&B winner walked to the stage during a standing ovation. Ocean beat Brown, who attended with girlfriend Rihanna, in the category. Ocean won also won best rap/sung collaboration for “No Church in the Wild” with fellow top nominees Jay-Z and West, and The-Dream. The win came after victories for Jay-Z and West for best rap song and best rap performance for “... in Paris,” another “Watch the Throne” track. Ocean also performed his song “Forrest Gump,” the love song written about a man that first started the buzz that led to his announcement that his first love was a man. “We Are Young” helped fun. earn a star-


moved from its initial May 10 release slot by distributor Universal Pictures. It heavily promoted the movie with television ads featuring Melissa McCarthy, TV’s “Mike & Molly” star and an Oscar nominee last year for her supporting role in “Bridesmaids.”

ring role at these Grammys with nominations in all four major categories after the release of their first album, matched only by Christopher Cross in 1981, and six overall. The band turned in a powerful early performance of “Carry On” as a downpour on stage began mid-song and guitarist Jack Antonoff got a kiss from girlfriend “Girls” creator Lena Dunham after winning.

Performance The Black Keys took best rock performance for “Lonely Boy” during the main telecast and earlier in the day won best rock song for “Lonely Boy” and best rock album for “El Camino.” He also got an assist — but no trophy — on New Orleans legend Dr. John’s best blues album “Locked Down,” which he produced. Other winners included Rihanna, Beyonce, Mumford & Sons and Taylor Swift, who opened the show as the Mad Hatter. Swift dressed in white top hat, tails, shorts and tall boots during the surreal version of her hummable hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” that included a troop of mime clowns and a guy on a tricycle with a flame-thrower attached. The singer pretended to talk to the offending boyfriend on the phone: “I’m busy opening the Grammys and we’re never getting back together.” Justin Timberlake debuted new tracks “Suit & Tie” with Jay-Z and “Pusher Love” in a performance that was broadcast in retro black and white. Rihanna and the extended Marley family paid tribute to Bob Marley. Sting and Bruno Mars helped

Best picture Oscar nominees continued to lure theatergoers ahead of the Feb. 24 awards ceremony and telecast. “Zero Dark Thirty,” the story behind the US military killing of Osama bin Laden, came in seventh for the weekend with $4 million in ticket sales. It is nominated for five Academy

each other out on their hits “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Walking on the Moon.” Elton John and Ed Sheeran teamed on “The A Team” and Miguel and Wiz Khalifa joined forces on “Adorn.” Alicia Keys played drums during Maroon 5’s “Daylight,” before Adam Levine’s band backed her on “Girl on Fire.” Jack White brought both his male and female bands on stage, tearing through “Love Interruption” and “Freedom at 21” before a standing ovation from the crowd. And Elton John, Mavis Staples, Brown, Mumford & Sons and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes paid tribute to the late Levon Helm with a spirited rendition of “The Weight.” Adele won the first award of the night on the main telecast, taking home best pop solo performance for “Set Fire to the Rain (Live),” in one of the night’s least-surprising moments — though the singer was somewhat taken aback. “I just wanted to be part of the night, because I loved it last year, obviously,” she said of winning a record-tying six awards in 2012. Carrie Underwood won best country solo performance for “Blown Away,” Zac Brown Band won best country album for “Uncaged” and Kelly Clarkson turned in the night’s most exuberant acceptance speech after winning best pop vocal album for “Stronger.” After hugging much of the front row and momentarily getting stuck to Miranda Lambert’s dress, Clarkson charged the stage with a giant smile.

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Awards, including best picture and best actress for Jessica Chastain’s performance. “Django Unchained,” also nominated for five Oscars, collected $2.28 million in ticket sales. Director Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” nominated for 12 Oscars including best director and best picture, contin-

ued to draw moviegoers with $1.86 million in ticket sales. “Identify Thief” was distributed by Comcast’s Universal Pictures. “Side Effects” was released by Open Road Films, a joint venture of theater chains AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment. (Agencies)


Celebs adhere to dress code

Stars dazzle at Grammy Awards

Chrissy Teigen

Mika Newton


LOS ANGELES, Feb 11, (Agencies): There were no “wardrobe malfunctions” but stars at the 55th Grammy Awards were not covering up either, despite being asked to dress “appropriately.” Presenter Jennifer Lopez, wearing a black off-the-shoulder Anthony Vaccarello gown slit up her thigh on one side, joked about her attire. “As you can see, I read the memo,” said the diva who caused a stir a few years ago when she appeared at the Grammys in a Versace gown with a neckline that dropped below her navel. “You inspired the memo!” said her co-presenter Pitbull, getting a big laugh from the audience. “I thought about the dress code. And thought about it again. And that’s about it. I respect it. See, I wore clothes,” Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland told reporters backstage of her black Georges Chakra gown that featured several strategically placed cutouts.

Janelle Monae

Karen Fairchild

Faith Hill

Katy Perry – Gucci


Roberto Cavalli

Singer Kimbra, who recorded “Somebody That I Used to Know” with Gotye, and won Record of the Year, wore a sheer, sparkly dress with a skin-colored layer beneath, giving the illusion she was covered by strategically placed baubles. “I’m fine with the dress code,” she said on the red carpet. Katy Perry in a green gown, but Beyonce covered up in a black pantsuit for the red carpet and Rihanna chose an elegant red gown. Redfoo, the flamboyant 37-year-old LMFAO singer, had some fun and showed off his legs on the red carpet, sporting knee length pants to go with his suit. “I couldn’t wear no Speedo ... so I got my suit on,” he told Reuters on the red carpet. Singer Adele’s look was a little too conservative for some people’s tastes. Her red and pink, flowered-covered frock featured a high neck. As usual, there were some kooky outfits on display. Al Walser, who was nominated for Best Dance Recording for his single, “I Can’t Live Without You,” donned an astronaut’s space suit.


Nan Schwartz

Anoushka Shankar

Karlie Kloss

Carrie U nderwo od –

Small Born in Switzerland to a mother from Lichtenstein and an African father, Walser explained that being from Lichtenstein was like being from another planet because it is so small. Blues singer Dr. John wore a Mardi Gras-inspired feathered headdress for his performance with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Alicia Keys, who belted out “Girl on Fire” on stage in a black dress with sheer cut-outs. Rihanna opted for a body-skimming sheer red dress by Azzedine Alaia, with bright red lips and fingernails to match. For her onstage performance, she changed into a simple black evening gown that was less revealing. Pop princess Taylor Swift glittered in a winter white goddess gown from J. Mendel, complete with silver accents at the neck and bustline and a daring slit in the front. In the opening performance of the night, Swift changed into a white ringmaster’s costume with shorts and knee-high boots — but no curves exposed. One-time “American Idol” Carrie Underwood — a winner for best country solo performance for “Blown Away” — opted for a strapless black Roberto Cavalli with a sheer skirt. Miranda Lambert revealed some leg and laughed about the memo. “I thought it was funny,” she said. “Country music has never really been a problem with that.” Singer-songwriter Skylar Grey let out an “oops!” when asked about the guidelines. “I had to show the side boob,” she said. “What are they gonna do, kick me off?” Andrew Dost of fun. said he read the memo, “but all we wanted to do is go as classy and timeless as possible.” Bandmate Jack Antonoff joked that he was “showing off a lot of ankle” with his high pants that exposed his sockless look.


Carrie Keagan


Bonnie McKee

Taylor Swift – J. Mendel

Elle Varner

Nicole Kidman

Shaun Robinson

Kate Pierson

Miranda Lambert







music’s big night

(Clockwise from top): Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Sting, Ziggy and Stephen and Damian Marley perform; Rihanna performs; Bonnie Rait with Best Americana Album award; Esperanza Spalding accepts Best Jazz Vocal Album for ‘Radio Music Society; Wouter De Backer and Kimbra Johnson pose with Best Pop/Group Performance; Best Alternative Music Album and Record of the Year awards; Frank Ocean with his award; Lila Downs accepts Best Regional Mexican Music Album Award. Strillex poses with awards; (from left to right): Ted Dwane; Marcus Mumford; Ben Lovett and Country Winston-Marshall of Mumford & Sons pose with Best Long Form Music Video and Album of the Year Awards and Justin Timberlake (left) and rapper Jay-Z perform at 55th Annual Grammy Awards, Feb 10, in Los Angeles. (AP/AFP)

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“Miguel, I don’t know who the hell you are, but we need to sing together,” she said. “I mean, good God. That was the sexiest dancing I’ve ever seen.” Skrillex won best dance recording for “Bangarang,” featuring Sirah, best dance/electronica album for “Bangarang” and best remixed recording a year after winning those same awards in his first appearance at the Grammys. Winners in selected major categories at the 55th annual Grammy Awards announced Sunday during the pre-telecast ceremony at the Nokia Theatre: ■ Pop/duo group performance:

“Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye featuring Kimbra. ■ Traditional pop vocal album: “Kisses on the Bottom,” Paul McCartney. ■ Rap performance: “N(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)s in Paris,” Jay-Z, Kanye West. ■ Rap song: “N(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)s in Paris,” Shawn Carter, Mike Dean, Chauncey Hollis, Kanye West. ■ Rap album: “Take Care,” Drake. ■ R&B performance: “Climax,” Usher. ■ Traditional R&B performance: “Love on Top,” Beyonce. ■ R&B song: “Adorn,” Miguel

Pimentel. ■ R&B album: “Black Radio,” Robert Glasper Experiment. ■ Rock song: “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys. ■ Rock album: “El Camino,” The Black Keys. ■ Hard rock/metal performance: “Love Bites (So Do I),” Halestorm. ■ Alternative music album: “Making Mirrors,” Gotye. ■ Dance recording: “Bangarang,” Skrillex featuring Sirah. ■ Dance/electronica album: “Bangarang,” Skrillex. ■ Latin pop album: “MTV Unplugged Deluxe Edition,” Juanes. ■ Latin rock, urban or alternative album: “Imaginares,” Quetzal. ■ Latin jazz album: “Ritmo!,” The Clare Fisher Latin Jazz Big Band. ■ Tropical Latin album: “Retro,” Marlow Rosado Y La Riquena. ■ Country duo/group performance: “Pontoon,” Little Big Town. ■ Country song: “Blown Away,” Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins.

(Anticlock wise from top): Taylor Swift poses with best song written for visual media for ‘Safe and Sound’ award. Beyonce with best R&B performance award; Johnny Depp speaks; Juanes performs; Hunter Hayes performs; Carrie Underwood performs; winner of Best Pop Vocal Album Kelly Clarkson reacts; Dan Auerbach (left), and Patrick Carney on The Black Keys accept

■ Gospel song: “Go Get It,” Mary Mary. ■ Gospel album: “Gravity,” Leerae. ■ Blues album: “Locked Down,” Dr. John. ■ Folk album: “The Goat Rodeo

Sessions,” Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile. ■ Americana album: “Slipstream,” Bonnie Raitt. ■ Bluegrass album: “Nobody Knows You,” Steep Canyon Rangers. ■ Reggae album: “Rebirth,” Jimmy Cliff. ■ World music album: “The Living Room Sessions Part 1,” Ravi Shankar. ■ Children’s album: “Can You Canoe?,” The Okee Dokee Brothers. ■ Spoken word album: “Society’s Child: My Autobiography,” Janis Ian. ■ Comedy album: “Blow Your Pants Off,” Jimmy Fallon. ■ New age album: “Echoes of Love,” Omar Akram. ■ Jazz vocal album: “Radio Music Society,” Esperanza Spalding. ■ Jazz instrumental album: “Unity Band,” Pat Metheny Unity Band.

the Best Rock Album Award; Lecrae poses with best Gospel album award and The Zac Brown Band pose with their trophy for Best Country Album for ‘Uncaged’ during 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Feb 10. (AP/AFP)


■ Large jazz ensemble album: “Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You),” Arturo Sandoval. ■ Pop instrumental album: “Impressions,” Chris Botti. ■ Compilation soundtrack album: “Midnight in Paris,” various artists. ■ Score soundtrack album: “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross. ■ Song written for visual media: “Safe & Sound” (From “The Hunger Games”), Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams. ■ Musical theater album: “Once: A New Musical,” Steve Kazee, Cristin Milioti. ■ Producer of the year, classical: Blanton Alspaugh. ■ Producer of the year, non-classical: Dan Auerbach. ■ Instrumental composition: “Mozart Goes Dancing,” Chick Corea. ■ Orchestral performance: “Adams: Harmonielehre & Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” Michael Tilson Thomas (San Francisco Symphony). ■ Opera recording: “Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen,” James Levine and Fabio Luisi. ■ Choral performance: “Life & Breath: Choral Works by Rene Clausen,” Charles Bruffy. ■ Short-form music video: “We Found Love,” Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris. ■ Long-form music video: “Big Easy Express,” Mumford & Sons. ■ Historical album: “The Smile Sessions” (Deluxe Box Set), Alan Boyd, Mark Linett, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wolfe.




Zac P osen

Fashio n

Vivien ne Tam

Victor ia Bec kham

NEW YORK: During every season of designer previews at New York Fashion Week a few key, quirky items seem to pop up on different runways. They’re not quite trends, since one has to think they’re partly for runway effect not retail orders, but they’re part of the style zeitgeist nonetheless. So, how does the ball start rolling on items such as oversized fur mittens, harnesses or sleeveless coats? It’s safe to say designers don’t take a meeting together to decide what direction to go in. “The honest answer is some of it is plain and simple coincidence,” said Cindi Leive, editor in chief of Glamour magazine. “These designers are creating hundreds of looks over the course of a season. It would be more unusual if there were no overlap.” Still, she said, there also are fashion cycles and sociological factors to consider as catwalk collections are prepared. Take fur — both real and fake. Leive said Sunday it has been on every runway so far on this fourth of eight days of fashion week. After the recession, no one was touching fur, she said, but it has slowly made a comeback as people feel a little more comfortable about spending money. The interpretation this go-around has been impactful, with an emphasis on oversized unexpected fur touches such as hoods, handbags and boots, but they’re not as expensive as a full-length coat. It’s important for fashion insiders to be aware of what’s happening in other parts of culture, including politics and art, said Marie Claire executive editor Nina Garcia earlier in the week as she prepared to judge aspiring designers at “Project Runway.” “Successful designers soak it all in,” she said. Fashion week continues in New York through Thursday, when the influential Marc Jacobs closes out things. Runway previews then move on to London, Milan and Paris.

Tracy Reese

NEW YORK Above and below: Models display creations by Victoria Beckham, Tracy Reese, Vivienne Tam, Zac Posen, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Rucci and Delpozo during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at New York Public Library on Feb 10, in New York City. (AFP)

Victor ia Bec kham simple.” Other shoes in the collection included bootie heels and heeled penny loafers with gold trim, echoing the filigree that anchored many of the evening dresses that closed the show.

Derek Lam

Victoria Beckham The opening look at Victoria Beckham’s show was a windowpane plaid coat. She also incorporated more sweaters and knits into her collection, with a nod to mod with some geometric, colorblocked shift dresses. The most unexpected looks were the flashes of bright yellow, including a sleeveless trench; the techno shine she added to pleated skirts that the audience could only see as the models walked; and the long cape-style tuxedo coat. One of the important evolutions for fall is the softer shoulder, which she used to DKNY tweak one of her popular zipback, slim-fit dress silhouettes. For shoes, she put models in lower kitten heels, made in collaboration with ese Manolo Blahnik, which was a bit of a surTracy Re prise for a woman known for skyscraper stilettos. Christian Siriano “I’m always designing what I want to The “Project Runway” alum used the wear,” she said. Russian opera as the inspiration for his fall runway show, using a book of Russian opera houses as reference. The girl wearing this collection, he said, was on her way to see the Russian

ilfiger Tommy H opera. “I wanted it to be a story of what she

wears during the day, what she’ll wear for a cocktail dress, what she’ll wear to the opera,” he said.

Derek Lam says a navy-black mix is one of his favorite combinations. “There’s something very unpretentious about navy, and black is very crisp and stark. The navy breaks up the black. And black gives the navy an urban feel,” the designer said backstage after his fallwinter preview on Sunday. Lam paired a navyando z o lp e D white satin top with a black wool trouser. A navy-and-gray wool jersey T-shirt came with a navy-and-black jacquard trouser, plus DKNY black shoes and bag. A felt coat came in navy, black and white wool, covering an ivory lace dress. Another big color on Lam’s runway this season: luxurious camel. A classic, loose coat in camel cashmere opened the show, and a roomy cashmere duffle coat looked glamorous with sunglasses of the same color. Camel was also used for a wool cashmere pullover, a wool-and-cashmere dress and a big boucle cape. i c c Capes in general were a popular item. Ralph Ru One particularly nice look was an elbowlength black leather cape that tied in front. His vintage-inspired day looks evoke A red, knee-length fox fur vest, paired many eras, from the 1940s to the 1960s, with wine-colored flat boots, was by far and were mostly separates of turtlenecks the most flamboyant item in the show. A paired with loose leather trousers and faux shorter, navy fox vest was more understatfur vests in muted colors such as white, ed and in line with the rest of the collecblack and camel. tion. It was paired with a navy crochet One ensemble included a pointed-toe dress and brown ankle boots. (AP) flat in a penny loafer style, a surprise inclusion given fashion’s love for the high heel. Siriano explained it as a way to ensure its wearability, and also because he “wanted it to be a bit more demure, a bit




‘Les Miz’ bags most awards

‘Argo’ tops at baftas Honors widely distributed

LONDON, Feb 11, (Agencies): Iran hostage crisis drama “Argo” won the best film prize at Britain’s BAFTA awards on Sunday in a further boost for US actordirector Ben Affleck’s movie ahead of the Oscars later this month. At a rainy but celebrity-packed ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London, Affleck also won the best director award, highlighting the fact that he has been snubbed in the same category at the Academy Awards. Daniel Day-Lewis boosted his status as Oscar favourite as he was named best actor for his presidential turn in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln”, while 85-year-old French screen legend Emmanuelle Riva won best actress for “Amour”. Anne Hathaway won best supporting actress for her performance in the musical “Les Miserables” while Christoph Waltz won best supporting actor for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s blood-soaked western “Django Unchained”. Dozens of stars defied the sleet and wind of a typical British winter evening to sashay down the red carpet for the awards, which are widely viewed as a bellwether for the Oscars on Feb 24. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards, or BAFTAs, have picked the same best film as the Oscars for the last four years in a row, and for five of the last 10 years in total.

Winners LONDON, Feb 11, (AP): Winners of the 2013 British Academy Film Awards, presented Sunday: Film — “Argo” British Film — “Skyfall” Director — Ben Affleck, “Argo” Actor — Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln.” Actress — Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour” Supporting Actor — Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained” Supporting Actress — Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables” Rising Star — Juno Temple British Debut — Bart Layton and Dimitri Doganis, “The Imposter” Original Screenplay — Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained” Adapted Screenplay — David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook” Film Not in the English Language — “Amour” Music — Thomas Newman, “Skyfall” Cinematography — “Life of Pi” Editing — “Argo” Production Design — Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson, “Les Miserables” Costume Design — “Anna Karenina” Sound — “Les Miserables” Visual Effects — “Life of Pi” Makeup and Hair — “Les Miserables” Animated Feature — “Brave” Short Film — “Swimmer” Short Animation — “The Making of Longbird” Documentary — “Searching for Sugar Man” Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema — Tessa Ross Academy Fellowship — Alan Parker

Freshly Veteran British actress Helen Mirren stole the show with freshly dyed pink hair, while US star Jennifer Lawrence blew a kiss to television audiences during the ceremony, just as Brad Pitt did last year. “Les Miserables” won the most awards with four including Hathaway’s gong, plus prizes for production design, sound and hair and make-up, followed by “Argo” with three, also including editing. But it is “Argo” that now has the wind in its sails for the Oscars. The movie, about a CIA mission to rescue diplomats in Tehran in 1979, also won the top Golden Globe awards last month against all the odds, beating “Lincoln”. Affleck took the best director award from the Directors Guild of America a week ago as well. Glossing over his own Oscar snub, Affleck said the BAFTA best director award was a second chance for him after a career that took off when he starred in the 1997 picture “Good Will Hunting” with Matt Damon. “I want to say this is a second act for me and you’ve given me that, this industry has given me that and I want to thank you and I’m so grateful and proud,” he said as he accepted the award from British actor Ian McKellen. Riva’s best actress award for her role as a dying woman in “Amour” — which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes last year — came after the movie by Austrian director Michael Haneke also won the best foreign language film award at the BAFTAs. French star Riva is the oldest ever nominee for the best actress award at the Oscars.


From top left column): Grand Heslov (2nd, left), Ben Affleck (right), and George Clooney pose with Best Film award for ‘Argo’ and presenter Samuel L. Jackson; producer Simon Chinn, (2nd left), Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul (2nd right), pose with actors Henry Cavill (left) and Martin with Best Documentary for ‘Searching for Sugarman’; director Bart Layton (left), producer Dimitri Doganis (right) pose with their award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer with Billy Connolly; Will Anderson (2nd left), Ainslie Henderson (2nd right) pose with Short Animation awards for ‘The Making of Longbird’; (Left to right): Best Sound winners John Warhurst, Lee Walpose, Jonathan Allen, Mark Paterson, Andy Nelson and Simon Hayes pose with awards and US actress Jennifer Garner; (Right column from top): US actor Daniel Day-Lewis with Leading Actor Award for ‘Lincoln’; AustrianGerman actor Christopher Waltz with best supporting actor award for ‘Django Unchained’; US actress Anne Hathaway with Best Supporting Actress award for ‘Les Miserables’; director Ang Lee with Best Director award for ‘Life of Pi’; British film director, producer and writer Alan Parker poses with BAFTA Fellowship award; British director Danny Boyle (left) and producer Tessa Ross pose with Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award; Irish


Britain’s Day-Lewis meanwhile added to a trophy cabinet that already contains the Golden Globe and a Screen Actor’s Guild award for his role as US president Abraham Lincoln, but it was the only BAFTA for the movie. Cult director Tarantino won the award for best original screenplay for “Django Unchained” and David O. Russell picked up the best adapted screenplay award for romantic comedy “Silver Linings Playbook”. In a rare accolade for the James Bond series despite its enduring appeal over the past 50 years, “Skyfall” was named best British film and the score won the best original music prize. “Skyfall” is Britain’s highest grossing film ever. The BAFTAs ceremony ended with the awarding of a special fellowship to filmmaker Alan Parker, the director of movies including “Midnight Express”, “Birdy”, “Angel Heart” and “Bugsy Malone”. Long a highlight of the British film industry calendar, the BAFTAs have been growing in stature over the years and are now seen as one of the key indicators of Oscar success. Day-Lewis — a famously intense actor who reportedly stayed in character as the 16th US President throughout the “Lincoln” shoot — cracked a joke as he was given his prize. He said that in anticipation of having to make an acceptance speech, “I’ve actually stayed in character as myself for the last 55 years.”

The British awards, known as BAFTAs, are increasingly glamorous — despite a well-earned reputation for dismal weather — and ever-more scrutinized as an indicator of likely success at the Hollywood Oscars. In recent years they have prefigured Academy Awards triumph for word-of-mouth hits such as “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.” This year they spread their honors widely, with multiple trophies for “Life of Pi,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Amour” and “Django Unchained,” as well as “Argo.” Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden thriller “Zero Dark Thirty” was shut out of the prizes, despite five nominations. This season’s movie with momentum is crowd-pleaser “Argo,” which has been building steam with big prizes at ceremonies such as the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild and the Directors Guild of America Awards. It is now considered a front-runner for the best picture award at the Oscars on Feb. 24, even though Affleck was not nominated for best director there. “Argo” marks a change for Affleck, whose first two features as director — “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town” — were set in his native Boston. In “Argo” he stars as Tony Mendez, a CIA agent who poses as a sci-fi filmmaker in a risky plot to rescue Americans in Tehran. “I wanted to get as far away from Boston as I could,” Affleck said. “I ended up in Iran.”

baftas on fox movies Feb 13, (20:15 local) “Skyfall,” the highest-grossing film in the Bond series’ 50-year history, was named best British film — rare awardsseason recognition for an action movie. Thomas Newman’s score also won the best-music prize. Director Sam Mendes said he was accepting the trophy on behalf of the “1,292 people” who worked on “Skyfall.” “We all had high expectations for this film and it’s fair to say all of them have been exceeded,” Mendes said. “Here’s to the next 50 years.” Quentin Tarantino picked up the original screenplay award for “Django Unchained,” and Christoph Waltz was named best supporting actor for playing a loquacious bounty hunter in Tarantino’s slave-revenge thriller. Waltz said his victory was entirely due to Tarantino — “you silver-penned devil, you.” Tarantino also revealed that he plans another film that sets out to right an historical wrong, after anti-Nazi saga “Inglourious Basterds” and “Django Unchained.” “I think there is something about this that begs a trilogy,” he said. “I don’t know what the third one’s going to be yet.” Hathaway said she was “overjoyed” at being named best supporting actress for her brief but powerhouse performance in “Les Miserables.” She said she was so taken aback that “I almost walked past George Clooney without hugging him.” She also expressed sympathy for costar Eddie Redmayne, who had been due to present an award but — co-presenter Sally Field informed the audience — was vomiting backstage. “Feel better,” Hathaway said. “I mean I’d be holding your hair back, but, you know...” Writer-director David O. Russell won the adapted screenplay prize for “Silver Linings Playbook,” a comedy about characters confronting mental illness. “Les Mis” also took trophies for production design, sound and makeup/hair, and “Life of Pi” received honors for cinematography and visual effects. Before the ceremony, stars including Clooney, Affleck, Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper braved a chilly rain that turned to snow outside the Royal Opera House. For once it was hair, even more than frocks, that drew attention — many stars opted for dark colors, though Marion Cotillard defied the dull weather in a canary-yellow gown. Beards were de rigeur among male stars including Clooney, Affleck and Cooper, while Helen Mirren turned heads with a pink ‘do, sported in honor of breast cancer awareness.

presenter Laura Whitmore and ‘Life of Pi’ actor Suraj Sharma arrive for BAFTA awards. (AP/AFP)


Paloma Faith

Alicia Vikander

Samantha Banks

Emilia Fox

Rebecca Wang

Juno Temple

Anne Hathaway

Sarah Jessica Parker

Andrea Eiseborough

Marion Cotillard

Rafe Spall and wife Elize du Toit

Amanda Byram

Sally Field

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Lawrence

Thandie Newton

Caroline Flack

Helen Mirre n

Brave fashion choices

Celebrities light up ‘drab’ London day

Jessica Chastain

Sally Farmiloe (left) and Jade Farmiloe

LONDON, Feb 11: The Baftas are our home-grown version of the Oscars. They’re the Oscars with British eccentricity substituted for American earnestness — and London rain instead of the Californian sunshine. Regrettably, the weather can sometimes have the effect of slightly dimming the star wattage on show but thanks to brave fashion choices and some of our best British design talent, it wasn’t the case at this year’s ceremony. Gracing the rain-logged red carpet at the Royal Opera House on Sunday night were the stars of Les Misérables, Life of Pi and Skyfall. All had to run the gauntlet of the judgemental fashion press in their red carpet finery, while simultaneously staving off potential hypothermia. Our American guests must have felt a long way from Hollywood. So who made the best of a bad sartorial situation? In a sea of long black dresses, Marion Cotillard stood out for all the right reasons in her summer bright yellow gown by Dior. It featured a fashionable over-sized frill and some strategically placed sheer panelling and was a flash of sunshine on a drab London day. She just about won the Dior wars with Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence who also shone in her strapless dress from the French design house.

Great Two other stars of the red-carpet who opted for British designers and looked great for it were Juno Temple in monochrome Stella McCartney and Laura Bailey in burnt orange Roksanda Illinic. In terms of those who fared less well, the failings were more down to the barnet than the outfit. Paloma Faith’s up-do resembled something you would purchase from a French patisserie and Dame Helen Mirren’s pink rinse reminded me of my own teenage home-dye experiments-gone-wrong. There were mistakes from a couple of newcomers too, who chose to wear overly fussy confections. There was Zawe Ashton (of Fresh Meat fame) who looked like she’d lost a fight with the bottom half of her Julien Macdonald dress and Alice Eve (star of the forthcoming Star Trek film) who just looked like she’d got lost on her way to the Dancing on Ice studios.

Daniel Day-Lewis (left) and niece Charissa

Sarah Silverman







People & Places TV Decade after ‘ER’

Edwards back with new series NEW YORK, Feb 11, (AP): A decade after Dr Mark Greene hung up his white lab coat for good on “ER,” Anthony Edwards is back as the star of a new television series. He plays Hank Galliston, a magazine publisher wrapped up in an historical mystery after his wife is kidnapped on ABC’s “Zero Hour,” which premieres Feb 14 at 8 pm EST. The action thriller requires an audience to concentrate as the story unfolds layer by layer. The road back to series Edwards television took Edwards many miles to travel — literally thousands upon thousands. Edwards’ character Greene was the heart of what was then television’s most popular drama before the actor bowed out after eight years. Upon leaving, “I didn’t really have a plan other than I knew I wasn’t going to jump into a series again and I knew that I was really tired and burnt out,” he said. Professionally, maybe. Personally, Edwards had a clear strategy. The California native moved his wife and four children to New York. He was going to spend time raising his kids and give his artist wife time to establish her career, before they took off on a dream adventure. While fellow actors George Clooney and Julianna Margulies left “ER” quickly to try other things, Edwards committed himself to a four-year contract. At the time, the commitment seemed huge — four years seems a lot longer at age 36 than it does now, when he’s 50 — but the decision set him up financially for life. He bought a plane and took the family (and two teachers) on a 310day trip around the world, through Africa, India, Southeast Asia and just about every exotic place you could imagine.

Actress Tamsin Egerton poses at the photo call of the film ‘The Look Of Love’ at the 63rd edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, on Feb 10. (Inset): German actress Martina Gedeck (right), and French actress Louise Burgion pose during a photocall for the film ‘The Nun’ (‘La Religieuse’) presented in the Berlinale Competition of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin on Sunday. (AP/AFP)

Film ‘The Nun’ focuses on liberty struggle

Women headline fest’s breakout hits

Business “It sounds like ‘Howdy Doody,’” Edwards said. “But I’ve never met the older man who wishes he had spent less time with his kids while they were young. You don’t meet anybody who says, ‘God, I wish I had worked harder and was gone more.’” He had an opportunity that few people have. “I’ve always been able to pay for what I needed and always done what I’ve wanted,” he said. “It got crazy when it was, yeah, we can buy a plane and go around the world, but that wasn’t the goal. That was no more excessive than when I was 20 and I could buy a $150 pair of boots because I wanted them. It feels extravagant in the same way.” He didn’t leave the business. Edwards was always comfortable behind the scenes, and had been close to leaving acting for directing before getting the “ER” job. He has his own production company, Grand Central Entertainment, and was an executive producer of HBO’s “Temple Grandin.” He did some film acting, in “Zodiac” and the memorable flop “Motherhood.” Showtime’s loss proved ABC’s gain. Grand Central developed a series about a high-end public relations firm that Edwards had planned to act in and when Showtime passed, he found himself with free time. Edwards started looking at other scripts and found “Zero Hour” to be “a total page-turner.” Zack Estrin, one of the show’s four executive producers, couldn’t believe his luck. “It’s an honor when somebody who could have his choice of shows chooses yours,” he said. “It’s like, the prom queen chooses you to have a dance.” Having a well-known actor attach himself to your project has its obvious benefits, and Estrin hopes some viewers try out “Zero Hour” just to see what Edwards is doing. The danger is that television has its cases of actors being so defined by an overwhelmingly successful role that viewers have a hard time seeing them do something else. Edwards believes the characters he has chosen guard against that. “My career has never been based on the fact that I was an action hero or a specific kind of comedian,” Edwards said. “What’s fun about it is it appears a little bit boring, but for me the subtleties of what is going on is what makes it fun.”

Character In many ways, Mark Greene was designed to be a person that viewers can relate to. Same thing with Galliston. The show needs a character to steady the boat, Estrin said. “That’s what Anthony is,” he said. “He’s somebody who’s solid and dependable, somebody the audience can trust. On a show where you don’t know who you can trust and who you can believe, it’s important to have somebody at the center you know you can.”

Actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke pose for photographers during the photo call for the film Before Midnight at the 63rd edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin on Feb 11. (AP)



Variety LOS ANGELES: “Argo” was named the best book-to-screen adaptation of 2012 at the USC Libraries Scripter Award, winning an award that was shared by screenwriter Chris Terrio and authors Joshua Bearman and Antonio J. Mendez. The Scripters, which were handed out at a black-tie ceremony and dinner in the Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library at USC on Saturday night, go to both the writer of an adapted screenplay and to the author or authors of the work on which the screenplay is based. “Argo” screenwriter Chris Terrio was honored alongside Joshuah Bearman, who wrote the original Wired magazine article on which the film was partially based, and Antonio Mendez, the former CIA agent whose memoir “Master of Disguise” was adapted and who Affleck played in the film. “Argo” was selected over “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Life of Pi,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by a jury of film critics, authors, screenwriters and academics chaired by Naomi Foner and Howard Rodman. All of the nominees except “Perks” are also in the running for the adapted-screenplay Oscar, where the race appears to be tight between “Argo,” “Lincoln” and “Silver Linings.” But with “Argo” adding yet another victory to a string that also includes the Producers Guild, Directors Guild and Screen Actors Guild ensemble awards, Ben Affleck’s drama is looking like an unstoppable awards juggernaut. “As a journalist, I’m totally behind this idea,” he said of the Scripter philosophy of honoring the authors of the original material. “I think it’s great,” said Bearman, accepting the award. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

BERLIN, Feb 11, (Agencies): Fierce performances by lead actresses lit up the screens Sunday at the 63rd Berlinale which, after Cannes shunned female filmmakers in its competition last year, also has three women directors in the race. In the first real favourite to emerge at the 11-day festival, the bittersweet Chilean film “Gloria” drew loud cheers at its world premiere, followed by an enthusiastic reception for France’s “The Nun” starring Isabelle Huppert and Belgian breakout star Pauline Etienne. Paulina Garcia turns in what critics called a luminous performance in “Gloria”, which tells the story of a divorcee pushing 60 who is determined to seek happiness despite the knocks life has in store for her. “Gloria is like Rocky: she takes a hit, picks herself up and gets back out there,” said director Sebastian Lelio, 38, who said he took inspiration from his mother’s friends. “Hitting your 60s doesn’t mean the same thing as it used to mean in the old days. No, a new chapter of your life can begin. “There are Glorias in France, Italy, Spain... there are Glorias all over the place. It’s about the fundamental rights of a certain generation.”

Deals A mother of two grown children who love her but have their own lives, Gloria deals with her loneliness by going to dance parties for mature singles where she meets a former military officer in his 60s, Rodolfo (Sergio Hernandez). They begin a passionate affair, shown in explicit love scenes, yet he is still entangled in the lives of his estranged wife and adult daughters who phone him incessantly at inopportune moments. Torn between what he sees as his tra-

Fox is counting on big things from “Good Day to Die Hard.” Starting with the original film in 1988, which made $148 million worldwide, each successive movie has made more money at the global box office.

ditional family responsibilities and his budding love, Rodolfo repeatedly lets Gloria down and then begs her forgiveness until one day he goes too far. “There have been huge changes in recent times for women, and some men have got rather left behind, they haven’t been so free, mature, emotionally intelligent and so on so as to keep up with these changes,” Hernandez said. Although the film never overtly deals with Chile’s two-decade-long military dictatorship, it forms a constant backdrop to the intensely personal portrait of a woman who, like her country, is seeking a new beginning. “These are people who have seen all the changes that Chile has been through,” Garcia said. “That is what we were trying to say with ‘Gloria’, not only that you can survive those bad times — anything that you can go through including a coup — but that you can reinvent yourself.” “Gloria” is the first Chilean film in the Berlinale competition since 1991. Beyond a raft of films centred on female protagonists, three women directors are competing in Berlin including Malgoska Szumowska, who made a well-received drama about a gay priest, as well as Pia Marais with the South African thriller “Layla Fourie” and Emmanuelle Bercot’s “On My Way” starring Catherine Deneuve. Cannes drew protests last May for its all-male slate of prize contenders. The Berlinale jury president, Chinese director Wong Kar Wai, will hand out the festival’s awards at a gala ceremony Saturday. ❑

Two adolescents’ experiences of reading the French 18th century novel ‘The Nun’ lie at the heart of new film of Denis Diderot’s book, in which a teenage girl is sent to a convent and browbeaten into taking the veil.

The last one, “Live Free Or Die Hard,” made $383 million in 2007. In all, the “Die Hard” franchise has taken in $1.13 billion. Fox also opened “Lincoln” in seven new markets, contributing to the DreamWorks’

Confusion Pauline Etienne, the 23-year-old Belgian actress who plays Suzanne, conveys with force the anger, confusion and vulnerability of the young nun, whose eyes blaze rebelliously beneath her veil, yet who seems trapped within her voluminous habit. She escapes from torture and incarceration at the hands of one mother superior only to find herself subject to a fresh form of abuse in her second convent from another senior nun, played by Isabelle Huppert, who becomes infatuated and preys on her, craving her affection. “The novel left a very strong impression on me as an adolescent ... I wanted to make a film, but tried to find the right angle,” Nicloux told a press conference in Berlin. “I asked my daughter if she thought it was still relevant and she said she recognised much in it of women’s situation and struggles today.” “I was worried about the anti-clerical aspect, and so wanted to go back to the essence of the story as it is, as an ode to liberty, which is something universal,” he said. Huppert’s performance is unsettling. ❑

historical drama’s roughly $10 million weekend overseas, in which it played in 51 territories. Australia was the top new market with $1.8 million for “Lincoln,” which has brought in $47.6 million from foreign mar-

American tops chart

‘Thrift Shop’ hit

LOS ANGELES: “Good Day to Die Hard” is off and running overseas. The Bruce Willis action film took in more than $10 million in its debut in seven Asian markets for Fox. “Django Unchained” was the top international moneymaker for the fourth consecutive week, adding $18.7 million from 66 markets. Quentin Tarantino’s slave saga has now brought in $187 million overseas. “Good Day to Die Hard” opens Thursday in North America. The leading market was Korea, where it made $4.2 million. It broke a Fox record in Indonesia with $1.4 million and was the biggest of the franchise openings in Hong Kong with $1.2 million.

The first is that of director Guillaume Nicloux himself, who read the book as a youngster just as he was embarking on his own personal rebellion after a religious education. The second is that of his teenage daughter, who convinced him the story of Sister Suzanne’s struggle still resonated in the modern world. The resulting film, one of 19 competition entries at this year’s Berlin film festival, is a bleak depiction of Suzanne’s forced entry into religious life, the abuses and humiliations she suffers, but also the endurance of her will to return to the outside world.

Indian Bollywood film actress Madhu Shah (second right), with her daughters during the ‘Hello! Classic Derby Race 2013’ in Mumbai on Feb 10. (AFP)

LONDON, Feb 11, (RTRS): American hip-hop artist Macklemore topped Britain’s pop charts on Sunday with “Thrift Shop”, a track hailing the pleasures of second-hand clothes shopping, the Official Charts Company said. The release, featuring producer Ryan Lewis and singer Wanz, climbed one place to take the best-seller’s crown. A YouTube hit with more than 90 million views, it has already scored number one spots in the United States, Australia, New Zealand. British garage band Disclosure soared 26 places to number two with “White Noise”, featuring London electronic duo AlunaGeorge.

British actor Steve Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom reunite for “The Look of Love”, a biopic of pornography publisher and night club impresario Paul Raymond that brings to the screen the sleaze, success and tragedy in his life. Dubbed the “king of porn”, or, more politely, the “King of Soho” after the London area where his empire was based, Raymond began amassing his fortune in 1958 with the opening of the “Raymond Revuebar” and expanded to theatre and men’s magazines. The club played host to the likes of The Beatles and Frank Sinatra in its heyday and Raymond was named Britain’s wealthiest man by 1992, the year his daughter and heir apparent Debbie died of a drug overdose aged 36. “I thought he was an interesting character who was sort of largely ignored because he was associated with porn,” Coogan told reporters at the Berlin film festival where “The Look of Love” was screened outside the main competition. “His character was ignored in pop culture for that reason, because the British have got a very difficult relationship with sex in a way that the Germans and the French (do not).” Coogan said Raymond dealt candidly with sexuality while British filmmakers struggled to handle sex in an interesting way. “The Look of Love” features plenty of nudity — on stage, in bed at photo shoots — and Coogan plays Raymond and his playboy lifestyle. But the actor also attempts to convey his subject’s sense of loss and bewilderment at the death of a daughter he had cared for materially if not emotionally. “The Look of Love” is the fourth time Winterbottom and Coogan have collaborated following “24 Hour Party People” about music producer.

kets overall. “Les Miserables,” like “Lincoln” and “Django” a Best Picture Oscar nominee, also brought in roughly $10 million over the weekend, from 46 markets. The musical’s international gross now stands at $215 million. Paramount’s 3D action fantasy “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” added $11.6 million from 46 regions and has now brought in $84 million at the foreign box office. Disney’s video game-inspired animated film “Wreck-it Ralph” raised its overall international total to $207 million by adding another $11.7 million from 66 foreign markets. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

NEW YORK: Beyonce calls the making of her upcoming HBO documentary “Life is But a Dream” a therapeutic process. She tells the March issue of Vogue, “this movie healed me in so many ways” and thinking about it makes her “want to cry.” The film addresses topics that the notoriously private singer normally doesn’t address in public. It chronicles her 2011 decision to no longer have her father Matthew Knowles as her manager, her miscarriage and even the rumors that she was faking her pregnancy with daughter Blue Ivy by really using a surrogate. “That was very odd,” says the singer. “Life is But a Dream” airs Feb 16 on HBO. (AP)



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Kuwait Little Theatre (KLT) is proud to present Daisy Pulls It Off by Denise Deegan. Daisy Pulls It Off is a hilarious parody of wholesome adventure stories. Set in a 1920s girls’ English boarding school, new girl Daisy Meredith, a girl from a poor background, is forced to face and overcome snobbish prejudice and schoolgirl pranks from the wealthier girls. Along the way she and her new best friend Trixie Martin, search for missing treasure, perform a daring rescue, and make an amazing discovery. Come and join Daisy and Trixie on Wednesday 13th February, Thursday 14th

Cancer online support group: If you are Cancer patient or family member fighting with this deadly disease, come join our online support group. Best way of dealing with this disease is providing support and share our experience with each other. There are lot of things which even doctors can’t tell so be member of this website and start sharing your experiences which may help others. October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). The pri-

The HR management and the staff of Al Muzaini Exchange Company gave a warm farewell to the departing Head of the Planning & Business Development and Chief Compliance Officer, Sadavisa Rao. Al Muzaini HR Manager Hussain, coordinator A.K Muhammad, Ms. Omaima, Essam, Mrs. Zakira, Ms Idunil and others wished him all success in his future endeavor. In his reply, Rao said sincere and honest work done collectively will bring progress.

Indian Lawyers Forum office bearers met the visiting Indian Minister E. Ahmad and discussed subjects of mutual interests. The delegation of ILF included President Adv Thomas Panicker, Secretary Adv Jeseena Bashir, Executive Member Adv Thomas Stephen and General Convenor Adv Muhammed Bashir.

Continued on Page 31





people & their pets By Valiya S. Sajjad Arab Times Staff

Look out for the Arab Times series, the Pet Palace, and read about how people and their animals enrich each other’s lives.


itu is dead, and so Titu is lonely and sad. As a pair they were called TituMitu, together. And not as Titu and Mitu. Nobody could even conceptualize them as two separate entities. Nawfil is sad too, more for Titu than the dead Mitu. Death is probably the only phenomenon in the world that affects those around it more than the one who embraces it. Titu was close by when Mitu one day fell on his back, feathers scattered and two wiry feet raised skywards as if in a desperate prayer. Titu will die too, said a wise relative to Nawfil. And Nawfil believed him - not in deference of his wisdom - from what he could actually see in front of his eyes. Titu was losing weight and his

The Palace welcomes submissions by our readers. If you’d like to tell the world about your pet, send us a photograph and accompanying article for publication.

— Editor

wings weighed heavily on his fragile body, as if gravity plotted to rip them off. And he would walk in his cage dragging his wings like a forlorn lawyer in his robe. The ear-splitting squeals were gone, and food remained as supplied into the cage. The gloom inside the cage was spreading to the whole house. Nawfil and his wife were gloomy too, at times overcome by disbelief that the bereavement of so tiny a heart could take such large proportions. Thanks to Nawfil’s prayers, a few days later, Titu began to become normal. Nawfil was asking God to let Titu die soon and peacefully if that’s what is destined for him, or to let him recover from the hurt at the earliest. God chose to go with the second option. Titu began eating and gained back his weight. Meek sounds started erupting from the once

silent cage. Soon, the ear-splitting squeals too came back. Today, Nawfil is happy. Titu comes out of the cage every day to the dictates of the clock and flaps his wings to take small glides in the air, and hops around exercising his limbs. He pecks grains from Nawfil’s palm, and tickles him with his thin claws. There are times when he slips into some uncanny calm. That’s a little disturbing to see, as he memories of Mitu have suddenly possessed him. When you mingle closely with animals you get rare insights into their behavior. And it’s hard not to interpret them anthropomorphically. Nawfil knows that birds carry memories, and that they feel emotional pain. “You don’t have to be an animal scientist to know it. You just need to be good friends with animals.”


New Look

‘Not a bad idea’

Brisk walk may ‘deter’ cold, flu NEW YORK, Feb 11, (RTRS): Sniffles, runny noses and flu-like symptoms can deter, delay and even derail many exercisers just when enthusiasm for that New Year’s resolution is beginning to flag. Health and fitness experts advise to starve a fever of exercise. But feeding a cold moderately, with a brisk walk, may not be a bad idea. “The classic line from every sports medicine doctor is, ‘If you can do it, do it. If you can’t, don’t,’” said Dr Lewis G. Maharam, author of “Running Doc’s Guide to Healthy Running.” Usually if symptoms are confined to above the neck, exercising is OK, he explained. But if you’re running a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius) or higher, skip it. Body heat rises during exercise due to increased metabolism, explained Maharam, who practices medicine in New York City. If you start high, your body’s way of cooling you down is out of balance. “If fever gets too high, you break down proteins, maybe in the kidneys or liver,” he said. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 425 million case of colds and flu occur annually in the United States. The average person has about three respiratory infections per year. Dr David C. Nieman, a professor of health sciences at Appalachian State University, North Carolina Research Campus, said research shows that regular, moderate aerobic exercise strengthens the immune system, and that people who exercise report fewer colds than their inactive peers.


Khalid Adel Al Ibrahim

Invasion changes his outlook on life

Khalid an epitome of young generation This is the first in a series of articles on civil engineer Khalid Adel Al Ibrahim, a young pioneer in his own right. – Editor

By Lidia Qattan Special to the Arab Times


hange begins with individuals who have the knowledge, stamina and gut to fight the prevailing system and break the resistance to innovations. Civil Engineer Khalid A. Al Ibrahim with a master’s in business administration is an epitome of the young generation of Kuwaitis eager, willing and able to play a decisive role in furthering the development of their country, not waiting for but creating their own chances for going ahead and proving their worth. Such individuals being sure of them are not afraid of facing a reality that might intimidate others. Khalid Al Ibrahim was born in Kuwait of a Kuwaiti father and an Italian mother; the third in his family of four children he grew up nurtured on the best of both cultures and trained to become a responsible young adult at an early age. One of his father’s methods of training his children for life was giving them a weekly allowance, leaving them free to budget their money for entertainment or other things till the next allowance. At the same time he spurred them to earn anything they wanted with having good grades in school and doing odd jobs in the house; he himself set them an example with his ability in solving problems and repairing things

around the house. Holiday Every summer holiday was spent in Italy with the other part of the family; that too was part of the children training, for they were encouraged to help in cleaning, washing, cooking and lending a hand in the carpentry workshop belonging to the family; at the same time they were becoming fluent in the Italian language and enjoying the luscious greenery and the enticing beauty of the Apennine mountains. Those early experiences helped them to mould their character into reliable, emotionally mature young people, openminded, sure of themselves, not afraid to work or take initiatives. This training became particularly useful during the Iraqi invasion in which Khalid and his elder brother got involved in community service; with other young people of their district they were working at the local cooperative, distributing food to families till it ran out, then doing other jobs. Khalid even got engaged collecting garbage and disposing them of. In spite he was only eleven years old at the time, he started a business selling food; at first it was to fill the time, but then he felt the subtle satisfaction of how to deal with people while learning the trade. The whole experience he underwent during the invasion transformed his outlook on life, making him more open to social involvements, to getting to know people and how to interact with them, thereby spurring the development of his growing up.

During his schooling Khalid never had any problem in getting good grades though he disliked math, but when he was in the third and fourth class of his intermediate schooling he had a dedicated math teacher passionate about his job. Jaber Al Khayat’s unique method in imparting knowledge to his students made them appreciate math. Khalid actually fell in love with the subject, which since then became his favorite; at graduation from high school he majored in math and chose civil engineer as a career when entering the Kuwait University . Development University life was another stepping stone in his mental and emotional development preparing him for a full-fledged adult life and its responsibilities. He became involved in the students’ union and three times he was elected member of the board and once to presidency. His university experience enhanced his ability to communicate and socialize with others and to look at problems and situation in prospective; he also gained an insight into politics and became more aware of what was going on in the country. Incidentally at the time he attended the Kuwait University it was still mixed, giving to boys and girls the chance of getting to know one another as young adults, sharing their thoughts and ideas, appreciating their individuality and mental inclination; in itself that was encouraging the development of a healthy social interaction. Khalid and his companions strongly resisted the implementation of the new policy

separating sexes at university level because of the deleterious effect it would have had on society, but their protests fell on deaf ears. Respect During his university study he himself had the chance of meeting and getting to know the girl who later became his loving wife and they settle down to a happy married life based on mutual understanding and respect. At graduation in civil engineering in 2001, Khalid sought employment right-a-way sending his credentials to companies in the private sector; for, his main purpose was to gain first-hand experience on construction management, which he could hardly get in the government sector because of the system taking little consideration of fresh graduates, or hardly giving them the opportunity of a job through which they could develop their potentials. Incidentally most Universities and Technical Colleges around the world are spurring undergraduates to gain experience through direct involvement in jobs related to their field of study, during their summer break; this policy is not practiced at the Kuwait Lidia Qattan University. Khalid’s early training in life programmed him to accept nothing for granted and to rely on himself in get-

ting what he wanted; so when after one month he received no reply from the Project Management Company, he sought to meet the General Manager and owner of the company, Dr Nabil Al Caddumi, a Kuwaiti who like most of his colleagues was skeptical about hiring young Kuwaitis. However when he met Khalid he was so impressed by his sincerity of intention and eagerness to work and gain experience in the field in which he majored, that he gave him the chance to work in a construction management project with one of the best international companies in the business. Khalid was the only Kuwaiti in the group and felt happy to be treated like the rest of the staff. Given the advantage of being exposed to international management and how to work with the company’s system, being a quick learner he soon gained the experience he needed in developing his potentials. Feeling reassured in his career in 2002 Khalid decided to get married and settle down with the mutual agreement of his lady to live on the income he had, till the financial situation improved. At the same time he continued his study at another university in Kuwait for his Master’s in Business Administration. Subsequently, grateful for the experience he gained and the best of training he received from the company of Dr Nabil Al Caddumi, Khalid engaged in a more business oriented career choosing Real Estates as his new involvement. Currently he is the Business Development Manager of a Real Estate company. To be continued

Nieman said five days or more of aerobic activity per week was found to be a powerful factor in lowering the number of sick days. “Even three to four days was effective. To be avoided was being sedentary,” he explained. But when animals infected with a systemic virus are forced to exercise in fever and pain, studies show that their symptoms are exacerbated, prolonged, and sometimes lifethreatening. “It’s very dangerous.” said Nieman, who has written about the impact of exercise on the common cold. “If you have flu or virus with fever and pain, the best remedy is bed rest. The worst thing is to sweat it out with exercise.” He said common cold and flu viruses can stay on objects, such as door handles, treadmills and computer keyboards, for hours. The main route to infection is through touching one’s mouth or nose with unwashed hands. Patrick Strait, of Snap Fitness, a franchiser of gyms with locations worldwide, said this time of year fitness centers step up cleaning efforts because they see a lot more traffic and so many people catch colds and the flu. “It’s a public place where a lot of people are sweating,” said Strait. “We tell manager/owners to clean once an hour, wash down the equipment with bleach, etc.”

Dictate He urged clients to wipe down equipment and wash hands often. “And if you’re sick, don’t come to the gym,” he said. Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise, said some days symptoms dictate scaling back your workout or, if you’re contagious, skipping the gym entirely. “Always listen to your body,” she said. “It might be a good idea to exercise at home or privately.” Nieman said that while moderate exercise strengthens the immune system, elite athletes will experience a rise in stress hormones and a dip in immunity after about 90 minutes of high-intensity activity. Maharam said the immunity of marathoners is decreased for up to 72 hours after a race. During that time, the athletes are more susceptible to colds, flu, and, most commonly, the so-called “marathon sniffles.”



A flyer of the event you require, your full name, contact number and e-mail. Alternatively, you can call our Box Office on 99373678 between 9am and 4pm or send us a text anytime!


Feb 14

Latest Continued from Page 28 February and Friday 15th February at 7.30pm. To book your tickets, please email Don’t forget to include which show date you are booking for, how many tickets

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AAM medical camp: Anti Alcoholic Movement (AAM), a spiritual organisation of Indian Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Kuwait is conducting a seminar on common cardiovascular problems in NRIs by Dr Madhu Paulose MD DM (Head St Gregorios Cardio-Vascular Centre, Parumala) on Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at Indian Central School, Abbassia and a

free medical camp in association with Indian Doctors Forum and Kuwait Heart Foundation on Friday, Feb 15 at Indian Central School, Abbassia from 9am to 1pm. For registration and other details contact Mathai T. Varghese - 97442630, Jose Kunju - 66392358; Johnson Zacharia - 66347396; Mathew K.A. - 66504107; John K.V. - 66151095; Roy N.K. 66396204; Anu Varghese - 97474649; Varghese Mathew - 97901528. Note: 1. Those who need diabetes and cholesterol test have to come with 12 hours fasting. 2. Those who are not able to attend this camp after registration are requested to inform us at least one day before, so that we can accommodate

somebody else in your place. Feb 15

Valentine Dance 2013: Come 15th February to celebrate the most awaited musical presentation ‘A Valentine Dance 2013’ will be organized by ‘Kitchen of RockBank’ with special guests. Musicians and bands: New Version Band, Selda Band, and Free Fall Band at the Asia Asia Royal Hall, Al Watiya Complex, Kuwait City from 7:00 pm onwards. The event is sponsored by KORG. For more info, please contact 55633740, 90098427 or 50942441. Celebrate the day with music and songs to meet the sentiments.

AUK lecture THE Center of Gulf Studies (CGS) at AUK will be holding a lecture about the transformation of the political landscape in Egypt and its challenges to adapt to the changes caused by the revolution. The talk will be held on Wednesday on February 13 at 6:30 p.m. and will take place at the AUK Auditorium. The lecture is open to public.

The talk will be presented by Dr Ann Lesch, professor of Political Science and the Associate Provost of International Programs at the American University of Cairo (AUC). The lecture will highlight and address the struggles and obstacles faced by the Egyptian people and the region’s attempts to transition.

Cinema Cinema programme from Thursday 07/2/2013 to Wednesday 13/2/2013

Bullet to the Head (DIG) (Sylvester Stallone, Jason Momoa) Sharqia 1

13.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 20.00 (Daily) 00.05 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Muhalab 1 12.45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 15.45 (Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu) 19.45 (Daily) 23.45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Fanar 1 13.00 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 19.00, 23.00 (Daily) Marina 2 13.30 (Fri) 20.00 (Daily) 00.15 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) Avenues 3 13.15 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15.15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 17.15, 19.15, 21.15, 23.15 (Daily) 01.15 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) Avenues 5 18.30 (Daily) 360° 8 14.15, 16.15, 18.15, 20.15, 22.15 (Daily) 01.15 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) Al-Kout 4 17.30, 21.45 (Daily) 00.05 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) 360° 10 00.45 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) Bairaq 2 16.15, 20.15 (Daily) 00.15 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) Grand Cine 13.30, 16.00, 18.30, 20.30, 22.30 (Daily) 00.30 (Thu, Fri)

The Guilt Trip (DIG) (Barbara Streisand, Seth Roger) Sharqia 1 Muhalab 1

15.45, 22.00 (Daily) 14.45 (Fri, Sat, Mon) 17.45 (Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu) 21.45 (Daily) Fanar 1 15.00, 21.00 (Daily) 01.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Marina 1 13.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 17.30, 22.45 (Daily) Avenues 4 17.30 (Daily) Avenues 10 14.00, 16.15, 18.30, 20.45 23.00 (Daily) 01.15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 360° 10 13.45, 16.00, 18.15, 20.30, 22.45 (Daily) 360° 11 12.45, 15.00, 17.15, 19.45 (Daily) 00.05 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Al Kout 2 13.00 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 20.15, 22.15 (Daily) Bairaq 2 14.15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18.15, 22.15 (Daily) Grand Cine 14.00, 16.00, 18.00, 20.00, 22.15 (Daily)

Warm Bodies (Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer) Sharqia 1 Muhalab 2 Fanar 1 Marina 1

17.45 (Daily) 20.00 (Daily) 17.00 (Daily) 15.30 (Daily) 00.45 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) Avenues 1 13.15 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15.30, 17.45, 20.00, 22.15 (Daily) 00.30 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) 360° 2 14.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16.45, 17.00, 21.15 (Daily) 23.30 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) Al Kout 3 16.15, 20.30 (Daily) Grand Cine 13.00, 15.30, 18.00, 20.30, 22.30 (Daily)

13.45, 15.45, 17.45, 19.45, 21.45 (Daily) Al-Kout 4 13.45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 15.45 (Daily) Bairaq 3 13.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat,Mon) 15.30, 17.30 (Daily) Ajial 2 16.00, 18.00 (Daily) Grand Cine 13.00, 15.00, 17.00, 20.00, 22.00 (Daily)

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (DIG) (Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton) Sharqia 2

14.15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 22.30 (Daily) Muhalab 3 18.15 (Daily) 00.45 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) Fanar 2 16.15, 20.30 (Daily) Marina 3 22.30 (Daily) Avenues 9 14.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16.45, 19.00, 21.15, 23.30 (Daily) 360° 6 13.15, 15.30, 17.45, 20, 22.15 (Daily) 00.30 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) 360° 13 14.15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16.30, 18.45, 21.00, 23.15 (Daily) Al-Kout 1 13.30 (Fri) 17.45 (Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu) Bairaq 1 14.45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 19.45 (Daily) Laila 18.15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue) Grand Cine 13.00, 15.00, 17.30, 20.30, 22.30 (Daily) 00.15 (Thu, Fri)

3Ala Gosety (Dig)

How to find us 1. 360°

Zahra’a Area, South Surra, 6th Ring Road, corner of King Faisal Highway

2. Ajial

Ajial Complex, Fahaheel

3. Al Bairaq

Between Jaber Al Ali East & Al Agalia West

(Claudia Abate, Pere Ponce) Sharqia 2 Muhalab 2 Fanar 3

Marina 3 Avenues 2

12.30 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 16.15 (Daily) 20.00 (Daily) 13.00 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 15.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 16.45 (Daily) 12.30, 16.30 (Daily) 12.45, 14.45, 16.45, 18.45 (Daily)

(Mammotty, Dileep)

Al Fanar Complex, Salem Al Mubarak Street, near Sultan Center, Salmiya

5. Al Kout

Al-Kout Complex, at the end of the Coastal Road, Fahaheel

7. Al Sharqiya

Arabian Gulf Street, Souq Sharq, near the Amiri Hospital

8. Granada

Abraq Khaitan, off the Old Airport Road

9. Laila Gallery

Salem Al Mubarak Street, near Sultan Center, Salmiya

10. Marina

Marina Mall, Between Salem Al Mubarak Street & Arabian Gulf Street, Salmiya

11. Metro

Metro Complex, Farwaniya, near Crowne Plaza Hotel & Farwaniya Garden

12. Plaza

Salem Al Mubarak Street, near Sultan Center, Salmiya

13. The Avenues

The Avenues Mall, Al Reggai near Al Rai, 5th Ring Road & Ghazali Road Intersection


14. The Scientific Center Opp Holiday Inn, Salmiya, Gulf Road IMAX NB: Friday no show before 1:30 pm On Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday no show before 3.30 pm and after 11.15 pm in Sharq, Mohalab, Fanar, Marina, Al Kout, Bairaq, 360 and Avenues. On Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday no show before 5:30 pm in Plaza, Laila, Ajial, Metro and Granada. Regular show KD3:000; 3D-Digital — KD3.500; VIP show — KD6.000. ‘On Monday, price is KD1.500 except Digital movies. Movies inquiries and Fax Back hotline 1803456

Grand Al-Hamra, tel: 22270333,

(Ahmed Helmi, Ghada Adel) 18.00, 20.15 (Daily) 00.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Muhalab 3 14.15, 20.15, 22.30 (Daily) Fanar 4 12.45, 15.00, 19.30, 21.45 (Daily) 00.05 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Marina 2 13.00 (Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu) 15.30, 17.45, 22.00 (Daily) Avenues 4 12.30, 20.00, 22.30 (Daily) 01.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Avenues 11 13.45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16.15, 18.45, 21.15 (Daily) 23.45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 360° 4 13.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16.00, 18.30, 21.00 (Daily) 23.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 360° 9 20.00 (Daily) 360° 12 12.30, 15.00, 17.30, 20.00, 22.30 (Daily) 01.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Al-Kout 1 13.15 (Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu) 15.30, 19.45, 22.00 (Daily) Bairaq 1 12.30 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 16.45, 21.15 (Daily) 23.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Laila 16.00, 20.15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue) Ajial 2 19.45, 22.00 (Daily) Metro 1 21.30 (Daily)

Al-Kout 2

Thu, Fri, Sat) 21.15, 23.15 (Daily) 01.15 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) 15.15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 00.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon))

Broken City (Dig)

360° 1

360° 9

(Mark Wahlberg, Russel Crowe) Sharqia 3 Muhalab 2

Fanar 2 Marina 3 Avenues 5

Avenues 6

16.00, 20.30, 22.45 (Daily) 01.00 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) 13.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 15.45, 22.00 (Daily) 00.15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18.15, 22.30 (Daily) 00.45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 14.15, 20.15 (Daily) 00.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 13.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16.00, 21.00 (Daily) 23.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 12.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon,

Al-Kout 3

Bairaq 3 Laila Grand Cine

Tue) 17.30, 20.00, 22.30 (Daily) 01.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 13.45, 16.15, 18.45, 21.15 (Daily) 23.45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 12.30, 15.00, 17.30, 22.30 (Daily) 01.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 14.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18.15, 22.30 (Daily) 12.45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 19.30, 21.45 (Daily) 00.05 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) 22.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue 14.00, 17.00, 20.00, 22.15, (Daily) 00.30 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue)

The Last Stand (Dig) (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eduardo Noriega) Fanar 3

12.30 (Mon, Thur, Fri, Sat)

Avenues 7 360° 3 360° 5 Grand Cine

13.15 (Daily) 0030 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) 23.45 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) 19.00 (Daily) 13.00, 15.00, 17.30, 20.00, 22.15 (Daily)

Gangster Squad (Dig) (Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling) Fanar 4 Avenues 8 360° 15 Al-Kout 4 Grand Cine

17.15 (Daily) 12.45 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 14.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 00.30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 19.30 (Daily) 14.30, 17.00, 20.00, 22.30 (Daily)

Lincoln (Dig) (Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field) Fanar 5 Marina 1 Avenues 8 00.15 360° 7 Al-Kout 2

14.45, 17.45, 20.45 (Daily) 23.45 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) 19.45 (Daily) 15.15, 18.15, 21.15 (Daily) (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) 14.00, 17.00, 20.00 23.00 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat) 17.15 (Daily)

360° 15

19.30 (Daily)

ABCD (Dig) Hindi 360° 15

(Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington) Muhalab 2 Fanar 2 Marina 3 Avenues 2 360° 5

14.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18.30 (Daily) 18.00 (Daily) 14.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18.15 (Daily) 20.45, 22.45 (Daily) 00.45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 13.00 (Sat) 15.00 (Fri & Sat) 17.00 (Sun, Tue, Wed,

Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am Born to be Wild 3D 10:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm To The Arctic 3D 11:30am, 5:30pm, 8:30pm Flight of Butterflies 3D 12:30pm, 6:30pm, 9:30pm The Last Reef 3D 2:30pm Journey to Mecca 4:30pm

Monday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am To The Arctic 3D 10:30am, 4:30pm, 9:30pm Flight of Butterflies 3D 11:30am, 2:30pm, 7:30pm Born to be Wild 3D12:30pm, 5:30pm, 8:30pm The Last Reef 3D 3:30pm, 6:30pm

Tuesday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am Flight of Butterflies 3D 10:30am, 5:30pm, 8:30pm The Last Reef 3D 11:30am, 3:30pm, 9:30pm To The Arctic 3D 12:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 2:30pm, 7:30pm

Wednesday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am To The Arctic 3D 10:30am, 2:30pm, 5:30pm, 9:30pm Flight of Butterflies 3D 11:30am, 6:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 12:30pm, 8:30pm Journey to Mecca 3:30pm The Last Reef 3D 4:30pm, 7:30pm

Thursday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am Born to be Wild 3D 10:30am, 3:30pm, 6:30pm To The Arctic 3D 11:30am, 5:30pm, 8:30pm Flight of Butterflies 3D 12:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm, 9:30pm The Last Reef 3D 2:30pm

Friday Fires of Kuwait Flight of Butterflies 3D Born to be Wild 3D The Last Reef 3D To The Arctic 3D

2:30pm 3:30pm, 5:30pm, 8:30pm 4:30pm 6:30pm 7:30pm, 9:30pm

Quartet (Dig) (Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon)

(Prabhu Deva, Salman Khan) Sharqia 3

15.45, 18.45, 21.45 (Daily) 15.30, 18.30 (Daily)


Al Muhalab Complex, Behind Hawalli Clinic, Hawalli

Sharqia 2

Ajial 4 Metro 1

Imax film programme at The Scientific Centre

6. Al Muhalab

15. Grand Cinemas

Ajial 3

15.30, 21.30 (Daily) 14.30, 17.30, 20.30 (Daily) 23.30 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun) 15.45, 18.45, 21.45 (Daily)

Kammath & Kammath (Dig)

4. Al Fanar

Silent Hill: Revelation (Dig) Snowflake, The White Gorilla (DIG)

Avenues 7 360° 14

360° 3

16.30, 21.30 (Daily)

Mirchi (Dig) (Telugu) (Prabhas, Anushka, Shetty) Muhalab 1 Plaza Ajial 1 Metro 2

16.45 (Fri, Sat, Mon) 15.30, 18.30, 21.30 (Daily) 15.30, 18.30, 21.30 (Daily) 15.45, 18.45, 22.00 (Daily)

Special 26 (Dig) Hindi) ‘Gangster Squad,’ starring Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone is now showing in Kuwait cinemas.

(Kajal Agarwal, Manoj Bajpai) Fanar 3

18.30, 21.30 (Daily)

Saturday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am To The Arctic 3D 10:30am, 1:30pm, 7:30pm Flight of Butterflies 3D 11:30am, 2:30pm, 6:30pm, 8:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 9:30pm Journey to Mecca 4:30pm The Last Reef 3D 5:30pm Notes: All films are in Arabic. For English, headsets are available upon request. “Fires of Kuwait” is in English. Arabic headsets are available upon request. Film schedule is subject to changes without notice. For information call 1848888 or visit



Horoscope By Jacqueline Bigar Happy birthday for Tuesday, February 12, 2013: This year you alternate between being emotionally detached and being oversensitive. If you have an artistic talent, it is likely to emerge. This ability could be profitable. Your communication with others becomes more important than it has been in many years. If you are single, someone could come into your life unexpectedly. This bond could be very passionate if you meet before July. If you are attached, you often have very emotional talks. A new interest in communication could add new clarity and warmth to your bond. PISCES knows how to spend your money well. The Stars Show the Kind of Day You’ll Have: 5-Dynamic; 4-Positive; 3-Average; 2So-so; 1-Difficult. **** Initiate conversations and schedule meetings. You might need to revise your plans once you hear certain news. A meeting

might take on a very serious tone. Find out what is going on beyond someone’s grim expression. Talking helps. Tonight: Get some fresh air.

Aquarius - (Jan

20 - Feb 18)

*** Have you overcommitted yourself? Deal with this issue as soon as you can. You know what is happening in day-to-day matters. Detach, and gain a better perspective. A boss seems reticent to have a conversation. Don’t read more into this than is there. Tonight: Out and about.

Pisces - (Feb 19 - Mar 20) **** News coming in from a distance could set you back. You might not have the whole story yet. Be willing to get to the bottom of what is happening. Not knowing could make you edgy, unless you assume a positive stance. A meeting keeps you on track! Tonight: Do

home decor

some shopping.

Aries - (Mar 21 - Apr 19) *** You might feel a bit off in the morning. Postpone key discussions, as others seem unwilling to move forward or change their ideas. Tomorrow is another day. The best use of your time is to choose what you can do by yourself. Tonight: Join a friend. Have some fun together.

Taurus - (Apr 20 - May 20) **** Use the daylight hours to the max. At this point in time, you will get people to stand behind you and your ideas, and if you move quickly, you just might get the OK on a key project. If not, you’ll have to wait until the end of the week. Tonight: Not to be found.

Gemini - (May 21 - June 20)

**** Claim your power, but understand that you might encounter some backlash. Do you really care? Move forward with a project that has been sitting on the back burner. Tomorrow is another day, when others might be more flexible. Tonight: Do only what you want.

Cancer - (June 21 - July 22) **** Reach out to a friend at a distance. The conversation you have will be quite enlightening. Your creativity might be falling flat. Try to brainstorm with friends for solutions. A child or loved one could be overserious. Tonight: Act as if you don’t have a care in the world.

Leo - (July 23 - Aug 22) *** Your romantic side emerges, and you might wonder how best to communicate your feelings. You come from a place of security, yet you question your ability to get past someone’s

indoor gardening

stern demeanor. If you hit a roadblock, try to get a new perspective. Tonight: Near music.

Virgo - (Aug 23 - Sept 22): *** Others want to understand your position. You might not be very clear, so be sure to share more openly. Avoid being too serious, or you could end up creating distance between you and someone you care a lot about. Tonight: Check your budget before making a purchase.

Libra - (Sept 23 - Oct 22) *** Dive right in, and get as much done as possible. Allow greater give-and-take in the process of resolving a personal problem. You have a way of telling someone to drop dead without that person even realizing it until hours later. Tonight: Let the party begin at your place.

Scorpio - (Oct 23 - Nov 21)

beauty tips

***** Focus on meetings and get-togethers with others. Fatigue could be an issue. Slow down a little, take a cat nap and eat well. You will become re-energized quite quickly that way. Try not to be so serious with a loved one. Tonight: Take the dog for a walk —you need a little exercise.

Sagittarius - (Nov 22 - Dec 21) *** Your sluggishness will pass quickly. How you respond to that slow energy says a lot about you. A discussion allows more openness between you and a loved one. This exchange will encourage you to make a couple of confidential calls and do research. Tonight: Strut your stuff!

Born today: Former US president Abraham Lincoln (1809), originator of the biological theory of evolution Charles Darwin (1809), author Judy Blume (1938)

taste buds

rubber mat decor

columnea gloriosa

age spots

angel food cake

Supplies: Rubber doormat Scrapbook paper Scissors Hot glue gun Instructions: Pick out a rubber mat with geometrically or flowery patterns on it. Lay the mat on the scrap paper and trace out the patterns the sections you want to add colour to. Cut off the paper and hot glue it to the mat. Allow it to dry completely before hanging it on the wall.

Columnea gloriosa or Goldfish plant gets its common name from the long, tubular orange-red flowers that look like leaping fish. Long stems can reach up to 3 ft (90 cm) and are densely covered with thick, waxy, dark-green leaves. It belongs in a hanging basket or in a pot where its trailing stems can be allowed to hang freely. Site: Bright light – avoid direct sunshine. Temperature: Average or above average warmth in summer. Keep fairy cool in winter – minimum temperature 55°F or 15C°. Water: Water freely from spring to autumn – sparingly in winter. Use tepid water.

Cut a slice of lemon and hold it directly on the spot for ten minutes, then rinse with warm water. Repeat this daily until the spots lighten or disappear completely. Rub fresh aloe vera juice on the spots twice daily for two months. Rub castor oil on the spots every morning and evening. Mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with one teaspoon of orange juice. Apply on a cotton pad and bandage it to the area. Apply organic buttermilk to the spots. The lactic acid in buttermilk helps to restore the skin. Every evening mash about 1/3 cup of chickpeas and make a paste by adding a little water. Leave it on until it completely dries, and then wash it off.

Ingredients: 1 cup cake flour (spooned and leveled) ; 1/4 tsp salt; 12 large egg whites, room temperature; 1 tsp cream of tartar; 1-1/4 cups sugar; 2 tsp vanilla extract. Method: Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour and salt into bowl, and set aside. With a mixer, beat egg whites on medium-high until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Continue to beat, gradually adding sugar; beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla; beat to combine. Gently transfer eggwhite mixture to a large, wide bowl. And fold the mixture. Gently spoon batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan with a removable bottom; smooth top. Bake until cake is golden and springs back when lightly pressed, 35 to 40 minutes.

Technical Seminar on World’s Leading Structural Analysis and Design Software ‘STAAD. Pro V8i/RAM & ProStructures’ was jointly conducted by Gulf Spic General Trading & Contracting Co WLL, and Bentley Systems Inc, at Safir Hotel & Residency Fintas on Feb 7, 2013. The morning session started with welcome address by Vice Chairman Dr Abdulhadi Al Awadi. Technical Team from Bentley Systems Kareem Sherif, Regional Sales Manager, Ali Alkhalifa Regional Account Manager and John Paul Dela Rosa, Applications Engineer - Structural

moderated the Technical Seminar with entirety. Bentley Systems is the global leader in engineering software for information modelling through integrated projects for infrastructure for Bridges, Roads, Rail and Transit Networks, Power Plants, Water and Wastewater Utilities, Offshore Structures, Construction Simulation, Collaboration Services, Process Plant Operations, Structural Analysis and 3D City Modelling joined hands with Gulf SPIC producing success for the past several years in promoting Bentley Products in Kuwait. Gulf SPIC with expertise in all engineer-

ing discipline helps to support the users of Bentley Software. One thing it was highlighted in the seminar is Bentley Iinstitute training and all the engineers attended the seminar shown over whelming response to learn for career development. The enthusiastic Engineers from Ministry of Public Works, KNPC, KOC, PIC, EQUATE, National Guard & other consultants like SSHI, Gulf Consult and KEB etc., were attended the seminar. Bill Dewald Sr. Director, Gulf SPIC., concluded the seminar with vote of thanks.

Dear Abby Betrayed to learn of past abortion By Abigail Van Buren Dear Abby: I just found out that my girlfriend of nearly four years had an abortion when she was in high school. I overheard her during a conversation she was having with someone. I later asked her what was implied when the name of her ex-boyfriend from high school was brought up. She proceeded to tell me what had happened and then said, “I never told you that?” Obviously, she never mentioned it to me because I certainly would have remembered something of that magnitude. My reaction is feelings of disgust, betrayal and of having been lied to. Am I overreacting or are my feelings warranted? — Feels betrayed in Connecticut Dear feels betrayed: That depends upon whether you ever had a conversation with your girlfriend about her sexual history during which you were supposed to tell each other “everything.” If so, then the omission was deliberate. If not, she was under no Abigail Van Buren obligation to reveal that she had terminated a pregnancy during high school. Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision for women. Ultimately, I am told, most women feel a sense of relief after an abortion. However, many do not feel that it is something to celebrate and may not be comfortable sharing that they have had one. ❑ ❑ ❑ Dear Abby: My husband gives me gift cards for my birthday and special occasions, but with it comes, “I want to know everything you buy!” I tell him it’s a gift and I shouldn’t have to tell him what I use it for. If I do tell him what I bought, he invariably says, “Did you really need that?” It ruins the whole thing for me when I must reveal what I bought with the card. So who’s right — he or I? — Reluctant recipient in Alaska Dear reluctant recipient: You are, for the reason you stated. The object of a gift is to bring pleasure, and there are few comments your husband could make that would put a bigger damper on your purchase than, “Do you really need that?” The next time he asks what you bought, tell him, “None of your beeswax!” ❑ ❑ ❑ Dear Abby: My stepmother was in a fatal car accident. She was very dear to me. A few days after the funeral, Dad told me the best way to handle grief is to clean house — so we began cleaning house like crazy, stopping to cry every now and then. We ran out of towels, so I went to fetch more from the guest bathroom where they are kept. Seeing a penny on the sink, I grabbed it and threw it in the wastebasket. (I wondered where it had come from because I hadn’t noticed it there earlier in the day.) Suddenly, I remembered the letters in your column from people saying if you find a penny after you have lost a loved one, it means they are sending you a message of love from heaven. I quickly reached into the wastebasket to retrieve the penny, praying that it was newly minted — and it was! I showed it to Dad, explaining the significance, and we both had a good cry. We keep it in my stepmother’s china cabinet to remind us that love is eternal. To us, that penny is priceless. Thank you for running those “pennies from heaven” stories. — Reader in Connecticut Dear reader: You’re welcome. To me your experience is priceless. ❑ ❑ ❑ Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. (Source: Universal Uclick)

what’s on today ■ Bayt Lothan Exhibition: Bayt Lothan, a platform for artists to display their creations is proud to host Muneera Hamed AlSharhan’s first solo exhibition. The Kuwaiti jewelry artist is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Recently, this young designer’s talents were recognized as she was awarded the ‘Sherif De Mode’ award from Bijorcha — Eclat De Mode Paris for her Sadu collection. Muneera creates contemporary jewelry inspired by Islamic architecture and aesthetic. Through her designs, she links Kuwait’s history to the present. The exhibition opened on Feb 10, at 7:30 pm. This exhibition will be held from February 10-12, 2013. Opening hours: 09:00-13:00, 17:0021:00 For more details, please call 25755877/66 or email ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ AWARE diwaniya: You are cordially invited to our diwaniya presentation entitled, “Subsidizing energy products in Arab countries; pros and cons,” by Dr Mohammed Al-Forgi today at 7:00pm. Dr Alforgi will address issues involved in energy consumption in the Arab World and whether it should be subsidized. Revenues derived from oil and gas exports represent the major portion of the total revenues for many Arab countries and constitute the backbone of their economy. Domestic consumption if not carefully monitored, could quietly “eat-up” a large portion of oil and gas production and deprive these countries of an essential income. Dr Alforgi will examine the current trend of domestic consumption in the Arab World and look at the long term effects of subsidizing energy prices on oil and gas revenues. Dr Alforgi graduated from the University of Tulsa, Tulsa Oklahoma with a BSc. in Petroleum Engineering and an M.S in engineering management. He also holds a PhD. in Petroleum Engineering from the

University of Wyoming, USA. Dr Alforgi has taught petroleum engineering at the College of Technological Studies in Kuwait, University of Al- Fateh in Libya, United Arab Emirates University, and the University of Wyoming. For more information, please call 25335260/80 or log onto: ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ Basic teachings in Islam: TIES Ladies Club cordially invites all ladies to the new classes of basic teachings in Islam and Seerah. These classes will provide a good opportunity for all Muslim ladies to refresh their basic teachings in Islam and Hadiths of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). An interaction of day-to-day live achievements, challenges and ideas can be shared among the ladies to learn from

Happy birthday to Affan Arif Kazi. May God bless you. With best wishes from all family members and Fankaar Arts Kuwait.

Items for the What’s On page can be sent directly to the Arab Times, P.O. Box 2270, 13023, Safat or faxed to 24818267 or e-mail to All items on this page are published as a courtesy to the public. These announcements can include birthday greetings, weddings, social functions or any other non-commercial events. Photographs of all events are welcome. each other. Basic teachings in Islam from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon (every Saturday); Seerah from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm (every Tuesdays). All classes are free of charge.

Happy birthday to our dear Winny uncle. May God bless you always and keep you safe. Keep smiling. Love from Thambu & Shambu – Srambical

emergency number 112

For more information please contact us on 25231015-6; mobile 97228860 or visit our website at ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ Redeemed Christian Church: The Redeemed Christian Church of God (HOD Parish) worship in English. Celebration Service: Friday 9 am – 11 am; Divine encounter: Sunday, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm; Digging Deep (Bible studies): Tuesday, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm; Night vigil every last Friday of the month from 10 pm. Venue: New Mishref. For more information and direction please call 9927-6603, 6557-7482. Email: ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ Free fitness classes: Free fitness classes at B.FIT studio in Salmiya! Classes include Zumba, Masala Bhangra workout, aerobics, toning & much more. Contact +965-65077062 for further information. Hurry and enroll now !” ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ KTCC activities: Worship service – every Wednesday 7:00-9:00 pm at North Tent, NECK. Children’s Bible School – every Wednesday 7 to 9 pm at Activity Building, NECK. Communion Service – every 3rd Wednesday. The Following meeting are held at our KTCC Prayer House: 1) ISOM – Batch 1 Class Tuesdays – 7 to 9 pm and Batch 2 Class Fridays – 4 to 6 pm. 2) Women’s Prayer – (Abbasiya) – 3rd Sunday – 6:30 to 8:30 pm and (Salmiya) 4th Tuesday – 6:30 to 8:30 pm. 3) Fasting Prayer – every 3rd Friday from 12:00 Noon – 3:30 pm. Welcome to all Tamil known people to participate in our regular activities to worship the Lord in our own mother tongue and be blessed! For details or for any prayer needs contact Tel No: 66920350 / 99432849.



Couch slouch NBC’s ‘The Office’ to get send-off on May 16

Recovering ‘Good Morning America’ host Roberts sets return LOS ANGELES, Feb 11, (RTRS): “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts will rejoin the ABC morning television show on Feb. 20 after treatment for a rare blood disorder, the show has said.

Roberts’ doctors deemed her healthy enough to return to work five months after receiving a bone marrow transplant to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disorder triggered by treat-

ment for breast cancer five years ago. “I’m excited to rejoin my wonderful ‘GMA’ family,” Roberts, 52, said in a note posted online on Thursday. “I’m also looking forward to thanking you ...

for your many prayers and well wishes. Your compassion has been an enormous source of comfort to me and my family.” ❑

Emmy-winning comedy “The Office” will pack up its pencils and staplers after eight years with a one-hour finale on May 16, US broadcaster NBC has said. Producers have promised that the

episode will tie up several loose storylines on the workplace mockumentary, which debuted on US television in 2005 as an adaptation of the British series of the same name created by comedian Ricky Gervais.

tv highlights Animal Planet 05:55 Call Of The Wildman 06:20 Escape To Chimp Eden 06:45 Clinically Wild: Alaska 07:10 Clinically Wild: Alaska 07:35 Wildlife SOS 08:00 The Really Wild Show 08:25 Too Cute! 09:15 Dogs 101: Specials 10:10 Crocodile Hunter 11:05 Wildest Africa 12:00 Animal Cops Phoenix 12:55 Call Of The Wildman 13:20 Wildlife SOS 13:50 Shamwari: A Wild Life 14:15 Shamwari: A Wild Life 14:45 Animal Precinct 15:40 Wildest Africa 16:30 Escape To Chimp Eden 17:00 The Really Wild Show 17:30 Dogs 101: Specials 18:25 Animal Airport 18:50 Animal Airport 19:20 My Cat From Hell 20:15 Bondi Vet 20:40 Safari Vet School 21:10 Call Of The Wildman 21:35 Escape To Chimp Eden 22:05 Wildest Africa 23:00 Wildlife SOS 23:55 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 00:50 Animal Cops South Africa 01:45 Killer Crocs 02:35 I'm Alive 03:25 Wildest Africa 04:15 Wildlife SOS 05:05 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 05:55 Call Of The Wildman

BBC Lifestyle 05:30 Living In The Sun 06:20 House Swap 07:10 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 07:35 Gino D'acampo: An Italian In Mexico 08:10 Homes Under The Hammer 09:00 Bargain Hunt 09:45 Antiques Roadshow 10:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 11:55 MasterChef 12:50 Come Dine With Me: South Africa 13:45 New Scandinavian Cooking 14:15 Holmes On Homes 15:05 Bargain Hunt 15:50 Antiques Roadshow 16:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 18:00 Homes Under The Hammer 18:50 The Hairy Bikers USA 19:15 Baking Made Easy 19:45 Rhodes Across The Caribbean 20:30 Come Dine With Me 21:20 Perfect Day 21:45 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 22:30 Bargain Hunt: Famous Finds 23:15 Bargain Hunt 00:00 Homes Under The Hammer 00:50 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 02:10 Come Dine With Me 02:55 Holmes On Homes 03:45 MasterChef 04:10 Indian Food Made Easy 04:35 Bargain Hunt 05:20 Living In The Sun 06:10 House Swap


Boomerang 06:00 Bananas In Pyjamas 06:25 Gerald McBoing Boing 06:45 Jelly Jamm 07:00 Ha Ha Hairies 07:25 Baby Looney Tunes 07:50 Lazy Town 08:15 Krypto The Superdog 08:40 Jelly Jamm 09:05 Gerald McBoing Boing 09:30 Cartoonito Tales 09:55 Bananas In Pyjamas 10:20 Ha Ha Hairies 10:45 Lazy Town 11:10 Krypto The Superdog 11:35 Baby Looney Tunes 12:00 Jelly Jamm 12:25 Gerald McBoing Boing 12:50 Cartoonito Tales 13:15 Krypto The Superdog 13:40 Lazy Town 14:00 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 14:25 Tom And Jerry Tales 14:50 Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries 15:20 Johnny Bravo 15:45 Tom & Jerry 16:10 Pink Panther And Pals 16:35 The Garfield Show 17:00 What's New Scooby-Doo? 17:25 Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries 17:50 Tom And Jerry Tales 18:15 The Looney Tunes Show 18:40 TazMania 19:05 Moomins 19:30 Bugs Bunny's 1001 Rabbit Tales 20:45 Moomins 21:10 Dexters Laboratory 21:20 Johnny Bravo 21:35 Puppy In My Pocket 22:00 The Garfield Show 22:25 What's New ScoobyDoo? 22:50 Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries 23:15 Tom & Jerry Tales 23:40 The Looney Tunes Show 00:05 Taz-Mania 00:30 Pink Panther And Pals 00:55 Moomins 01:20 Tom & Jerry Kids 01:45 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 02:10 Puppy In My Pocket 02:35 Wacky Races 03:00 Looney Tunes 03:25 Duck Dodgers 03:50 Dastardly And Muttley 04:00 Dexter's Laboratory 04:30 Wacky Races 04:55 Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries 05:20 Tom & Jerry 05:45 The Garfield Show 06:00 Bananas In Pyjamas

Discovery Channel 06:05 American Guns 07:00 Mythbusters 07:50 Life On A Wire 08:45 Finding Bigfoot 09:40 Border Security 10:05 Auction Kings 10:30 Auction Kings 10:55 How Do They Do It? 11:25 How It's Made 11:50 Gold Rush 12:45 Gold Divers 13:40 Around The World In 80 Ways 14:35 Border Security 15:05 Auction Kings 15:30 Auction Kings 16:00 Bear Grylls 16:55 Finding Bigfoot 17:50 Mythbusters 18:45 American Guns 19:40 How Do They Do It? 20:05 How It's Made 20:35 Auction Kings 21:00 Auction Kings 21:30 Flying Wild Alaska 22:25 Man, Woman, Wild 23:20 Finding Bigfoot 00:15 Flying Wild Alaska 01:10 Man, Woman, Wild 02:05 Finding Bigfoot 03:00 Mythbusters 03:55 Border Security 04:20 Auction Kings 04:50 Auction Kings 05:15 How Do They Do It? 05:40 How It's Made 06:05 American Guns

Disney Channel 06:15 Suite Life On Deck 06:40 My Babysitter's A Vampire 07:05 Phineas And Ferb 07:15 Phineas And Ferb 07:30 Phineas And Ferb 07:40 Phineas And Ferb 07:55 Jessie 08:20 Good Luck Charlie 08:45 Doc McStuffins 09:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:25 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 09:35 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 09:45 Mouk 10:00 Jonas 10:25 So Random 10:50 Hannah Montana 11:15 Sonny With A Chance 11:40 Kim Possible 12:05 Shake It Up 12:30 Wizards Of Waverly Place 12:55 Phineas And Ferb 13:20 Austin And Ally 13:45 Suite Life On Deck 14:10 A.N.T. Farm 14:35 Phineas And Ferb 14:45 Phineas And Ferb 15:00 Phineas And Ferb 15:10 Phineas And Ferb 15:25 Shake It Up 15:50 Austin And Ally 16:15 Jessie 16:40 A.N.T. Farm 17:00 Good Luck Charlie 17:30 Gravity Falls 17:55 Suite Life On Deck 18:20 Austin And Ally 18:45 Phineas And Ferb 18:55 Phineas And Ferb 19:10 A.N.T. Farm 19:35 Good Luck Charlie 20:00 Jessie 20:30 That's So Raven 20:50 Cory In The House 21:15 Phil Of The Future 21:40 Hannah Montana 22:05 Good Luck Charlie 22:30 Good Luck Charlie 22:55 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:20 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:45 Hannah Montana Forever 00:10 Hannah Montana Forever 00:35 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 01:00 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 01:25 Replacements 01:50 Replacements 02:15 Emperor's New School 02:40 Emperor's New School 03:05 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 03:30 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 03:55 Replacements 04:20 Replacements 04:45 Emperor's New School 05:10 Emperor's New School 05:35 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 06:00 Phineas And Ferb 06:15 Suite Life On Deck

Disney Junior

06:00 Watching The Detectives 07:00 Murder Casebook With Fred Dinenage


BBC World

00:00 NEWSHOUR 01:00 News 01:30 Viewfinder Latin America 02:00 NEWSHOUR 03:00 News 03:30 Inside Story 04:00 Witness 05:00 NEWSHOUR 06:00 News 06:30 People & Power 07:00 News 07:30 The Stream 08:00 News 08:30 News 09:00 Al Jazeera World 10:00 News 10:30 Inside Story 11:00 News 11:30 The Stream 12:00 News 12:30 Viewfinder Latin America 13:00 NEWSHOUR 14:00 News 14:30 Inside Story 15:00 Revolution Through Arab Eyes 16:00 NEWSHOUR 17:00 News 17:30 The Stream 18:00 NEWSHOUR 19:00 News 19:30 Earthrise 20:00 News 20:30 Inside Story 21:00 NEWSHOUR 22:00 News 22:30 The Stream 23:00 Al Jazeera World

06:00 BBC World News 06:30 World Business Report 06:45 BBC World News 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 World Business Report 07:45 BBC World News 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 Hardtalk 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 Sport Today 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 BBC World News 11:00 GMT With George Alagiah 11:30 GMT With George Alagiah 12:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 12:30 Impact With Mishal Husain 13:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 13:30 Hardtalk 14:00 BBC World News 14:30 BBC World News 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 World Business Report 15:45 Sport Today 16:00 BBC World News 16:30 BBC Focus On Africa 17:00

MBC action

23:00 The Lost World: Jurassic Park 01:30 The Last King Of Scotland 03:30 Blood Diamond 06:30 Man Of The Year

06:05 Ben 10 06:30 Ben 10 06:55 Angelo Rules 07:00 Casper's Scare School 07:30 Casper's Scare School 08:00 Mucha Lucha 08:25 Johnny Test 08:45 Adventure Time 09:05 Total Drama World Tour 09:30 Total Drama World Tour 09:55 Ben 10: Omniverse 10:20 Young Justice 10:45 Thundercats 11:10 Regular Show 12:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 12:50 Foster's Home For... 13:15 Foster's Home For... 13:40 Courage The Cowardly Dog 14:30 Powerpuff Girls 15:20 Angelo Rules 16:10 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 16:35 Young Justice 17:00 Ben 10: Omniverse 17:20 Transformers Prime 17:40 Johnny Test 18:00 Level Up 18:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 18:50 Adventure Time 19:15 Regular Show 19:40 Mucha Lucha 20:05 Total Drama World Tour 20:30 Total Drama World Tour 20:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 21:20 Hero 108 21:45 Bakugan: Mechtanium Surge 22:10 Grim Adventures Of... 23:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:50 The Powerpuff Girls 00:40 Chowder 01:30 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 01:55 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 02:20 Foster's Home For... 02:45 Foster's Home For... 03:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 04:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 04:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:50 Adventure Time 05:15 The Powerpuff Girls 05:40 Generator Rex 06:05 Ben 10

Crime & Investigation


08:00 The FBI Files 09:00 Psychic Detectives 09:30 Psychic Detectives 10:00 Crime Stories 11:00 Snapped: Women Who Kill 12:00 The First 48 13:00 The Devil You Know 14:00 Curious & Unusual Deaths 14:30 Curious & Unusual Deaths 15:00 Murder Casebook With Fred Dinenage 16:00 The FBI Files 17:00 Psychic Detectives 17:30 Psychic Detectives 18:00 Crime Stories 19:00 The FBI Files 20:00 Murder Casebook With Fred Dinenage 21:00 Snapped: Women Who Kill 22:00 The Devil You Know 23:00 I Didn't Do It 00:00 Evil Up Close 01:00 Born To Kill 02:00 Watching The Detectives 03:00 Evil Up Close 04:00 I Didn't Do It 05:00 Snapped: Women Who Kill 06:00 Watching The Detectives

06:15 Jungle Junction 06:30 Little Einsteins 06:50 Special Agent Oso 07:05 Special Agent Oso 07:15 Jungle Junction 07:30 Jungle Junction 07:45 Handy Manny 08:00 Special Agent Oso 08:15 Imagination Movers 08:40 Cars Toons 08:45 Handy Manny 09:00 The Hive 09:10 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 09:35 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 09:50 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 10:05 Doc McStuffins 10:20 Doc McStuffins 10:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 11:00 Lilo And Stitch 11:30 Cars Toons 11:35 Mouk 11:45 Art Attack 12:10 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies 12:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 13:00 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 13:10 Doc McStuffins 13:25 Handy Manny 13:40 Jungle Junction 13:55 Timmy Time 14:05 The Hive 14:15 Mouk 14:30 Little Einsteins 14:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 15:20 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 15:45 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 16:00 The Little Mermaid 16:25 Lilo And Stitch 16:55 Imagination Movers 17:20 Handy Manny 17:35 The Hive 17:45 Lilo And Stitch 18:10 Doc McStuffins 18:25 Doc McStuffins 18:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 18:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 19:10 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies 19:35 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 20:05 Timmy Time 20:15 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 20:25 Doc McStuffins 20:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 20:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 21:10 The Hive 21:20 Timmy Time 21:30 Mouk 21:45 Handy Manny 22:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 22:25 The Hive 22:35 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 23:00 Timmy Time 23:10 Animated Stories 23:20 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship

Cartoon Network


tv today

09:00 Cold Case 09:45 CSI 10:30 Bones 11:15 Most Daring 12:00 Top Gear USA 13:00 CSI 13:45 Cold Case 14:30 Bones 15:30 Top Gear USA 16:30 Armored 18:00 WWE Raw 20:00 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 22:00 NCIS 23:00 Action Ya Dawry 00:00 Assassins 02:00 Action Ya Dawry 03:00 Rome 04:00 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 05:30 Top Gear USA 06:30 NCIS 07:45 Bones 08:15 Law & Order

MBC 2 09:00 Encino Man 10:30 The Man In The Iron Mask 12:30 National Treasure 14:30 Swordfish 16:30 Eat Pray Love 18:30 Pay It Forward 21:00 (500) Days Of Summer

OSN Movies Action HD 06:00 Hackers 08:00 Barricade 10:00 The Stool Pigeon 12:00 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle 14:00 Barricade 16:00 True Justice: Dead Drop 18:00 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle 20:00 RoboCop 22:00 Unknown 00:00 Outcast-R 02:00 RoboCop 04:00 Barricade 06:00 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

OSN Cinema 07:00 Certain Prey 09:00 Love Finds A Home 10:45 We Bought A Zoo 13:00 What's Wrong With Virginia 15:00 Nothing

Sports TV listings

NDTV Good Times

— See Page 48 — 23:30 Jungle Junction 23:45 Handy Manny 23:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 00:20 Little Einsteins 00:50 Special Agent Oso 01:00 Special Agent Oso 01:15 Lazytown 01:40 Jungle Junction 01:55 Jungle Junction 02:10 Handy Manny 02:20 Handy Manny 02:30 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 03:00 Lazytown 03:25 Special Agent Oso 03:40 Special Agent Oso 03:50 Imagination Movers 04:20 Handy Manny 04:30 Handy Manny 04:40 Special Agent Oso 04:50 Special Agent Oso 05:00 Timmy Time 05:10 Lazytown 05:35 Little Einsteins 06:00 Jungle Junction 06:15 Jungle Junction

Disney XD 07:00 Kickin It 07:25 Phineas And Ferb 07:50 Almost Naked Animals 08:15 Pokemon: BW Rival Destinies 08:40 Slugterra 09:05 Scaredy Squirrel 09:30 Ultimate Spider-Man 09:55 Zeke & Luther 10:20 Kick Buttowski 10:45 I'm In The Band 11:10 Rekkit Rabbit 11:35 Rated A For Awesome 12:00 Iron Man Armored Adventures 12:25 American Dragon 12:50 Kick Buttowski 13:20 Pair Of Kings 13:45 Zeke & Luther 14:10 Scaredy Squirrel 14:35 I'm In The Band 15:00 Kick Buttowski 15:25 Pair Of Kings 15:50 Phineas And Ferb 16:15 Phineas And Ferb 16:40 Kickin It 17:05 Lab Rats 17:30 Slugterra 18:00 My Babysitter's A Vampire 18:25 Scaredy Squirrel 18:50 Phineas And Ferb 19:00 Phineas And Ferb 19:15 Phineas And Ferb 19:25 Phineas And Ferb 19:40 Mr. Young 20:05 Slugterra 20:30 My Babysitter's A Vampire 20:55 I'm In The Band 21:20 Rated A For Awesome 21:45 Rekkit Rabbit 22:10 Phineas And Ferb 22:35 Ultimate Spider-Man 23:00 Cars Toons 23:05 Kick Buttowski 23:30 Scaredy Squirrel 00:00 Programmes Start At 7:00am KSA 07:00 Kickin It

E! Entertainment 06:00 30 Best & Worst Beach Bodies 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 Giuliana & Bill 09:15 Giuliana & Bill 10:15 THS 12:05 Married To Jonas 12:35 Married To Jonas 13:05 Ice Loves Coco 13:35 Ice Loves Coco 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 14:30 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E!es 16:30 Behind The Scenes 17:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 18:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 19:00 THS 20:00 Married To Jonas 20:30 Giuliana & Bill 21:30 Giuliana & Bill 22:30 Fashion Police 23:30 Chelsea Lately 00:00 Dirty Soap 00:55 Style Star 01:25 THS 02:20 THS 03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 E!es 05:05 THS 06:00 THS

Food Network 05:40 Chopped 06:30 Iron Chef America 07:10 Unwrapped 07:35 Unwrapped 08:00 Food Network Challenge 08:50 Kid In A Candy Store 09:15 Unwrapped 09:40 Food Crafters 10:05 Barefoot Contessa Back To Basics 10:30 Barefoot Contessa Back To Basics 10:55 Cooking For Real 11:20 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 11:45 Easy Chinese 12:10 Mexican Made Easy 12:35 Mexican Made Easy 13:00 Iron Chef America 13:50 Tyler's Ultimate 14:15 Unique Sweets 14:40 Unique Sweets 15:05 World Cafe Asia 15:30 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 15:55 Easy Chinese 16:20 Food Crafters 16:45 Chopped 17:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 19:15 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 19:40 Charly's Cake Angels 20:05 Guy's Big Bite 20:30 Chopped 21:20 Chopped 22:10 Iron Chef America 23:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:50 Guy's Big Bite 00:15 Guy's Big Bite 00:40 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:30 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 01:55 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 02:20 Unwrapped 02:45 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:10 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:35 Guy's Big Bite 04:00 Guy's Big Bite 04:20 Kid In A Candy Store 04:50 Unique Sweets 05:15 Charly's Cake Angels 05:40 Chopped

Fox TV 08.00 Ghost Whisperer 09.00 AlMaw3ed Al3emyani 10.00 Flash Forward 11.00 CSI Miami 12.00 The Block 13.00 Al Qalb Al Maftooh 14.00 The Killing 15.00 Chef Bila 7dood 16.00 What About Brian 17.00 Scrubs 17.30 CSI Miami 18.30 The Block 19.15 Al Qalb Al Maftooh 20.00 According to Jim 20.30 According to Jim 21.00 The Listener 22.00 Scrubs 22.30 CSI Miami 23.30 According to Jim 00.00 According to Jim 00:30 Al Qalb Al Maftooh 01.30 Lie To Me 02.30 The Listener 04.30 CSI Miami 05.30 Lie To Me

Investigation Discovery 05:30 Dr G: Medical Examiner 06:20 Ghost Lab 07:10 Murder Shift 08:00 Mystery Diagnosis 08:50 Street Patrol 09:15 Street Patrol 09:40 Real Emergency Calls 10:05 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 10:30 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones

BBC World News 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 18:30 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 19:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 19:30 World Business Report 19:45 Sport Today 20:00 Business Edition With Tanya Beckett 20:30 Hardtalk 21:00 BBC World News America 21:30 BBC World News America 22:00 Newsday 22:30 Asia Business Report 22:45 Sport Today 23:00 Newsday 23:30 Asia Business Report 23:45 Sport Today 00:00 Newsday 00:30 Asia Business Report 00:45 Sport Today 01:00 BBC World News 01:30 Asia Business Report 01:45 Sport Today 02:00 BBC World News 02:30 Asia Business Report 02:45 Sport Today 03:00 BBC World News 03:30 Like The Holidays 16:45 Treasure Island 19:45 Vampires Suck 21:15 Bel Ami 23:00 Powder Blue 00:45 Treasure Island 03:45 Vampires Suck 05:15 What's Wrong With Virginia 07:15 Nothing Like The Holidays

OSN Movies Comedy 06:00 The Breakfast Club 08:00 Robots 10:00 Envy 12:00 Zathura: A Space Adventure 14:00 Rebound 16:00 Envy 18:00 Wayne's World 2 20:00 Bad Teacher 22:00 The Banger Sisters 00:00 Griff The Invisible 02:00 Bad Teacher 04:00 Wayne's World 2 06:00 Envy

OSN Movies Festival 05:30 The Roommate 07:00 Hindenburg

11:20 Murder Shift 12:10 Disappeared 13:00 Mystery Diagnosis 13:50 Street Patrol 14:15 Street Patrol 14:40 Forensic Detectives 15:30 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 16:20 Real Emergency Calls 16:45 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 17:10 Disappeared 18:00 Murder Shift 18:50 Forensic Detectives 19:40 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 20:30 Disappeared 21:20 Nightmare Next Door 22:10 Couples Who Kill 23:00 Couples Who Kill 23:50 Deadly Women 00:40 I Almost Got Away With It 01:30 Dr G: Medical Examiner 02:20 Ghost Lab 03:05 Couples Who Kill 03:55 Deadly Women 04:45 I Almost Got Away With It 05:30 Dr G: Medical Examiner

ITV Granada 07:00 Durham County 08:00 60 Minute Makeover 09:00 Jeremy Kyle USA 10:00 Emmerdale 11:00 Coronation Street 12:00 Come Dine With Me Ireland 12:30 Coach Trip 13:00 Agatha Christie's Marple 15:00 Durham County 16:00 60 Minute Makeover 17:00 Jeremy Kyle USA 18:00 Emmerdale 19:00 Coronation Street 20:00 Come Dine With Me Ireland 20:30 Coach Trip 21:00 Martina Cole's The Runaway 22:00 Monroe 23:00 Moving On 00:00 60 Minute Makeover 01:00 Jeremy Kyle USA 02:00 Emmerdale 03:00 Coronation Street 04:00 Come Dine With Me Ireland 04:30 Coach Trip 05:00 Martina Cole's The Runaway 06:00 Monroe

TFC Kapamilya Channel 2 08:00 Kris TV 09:00 Inazuma 11 09:30 Blue Dragon 09:45 You’re Still The One 10:20 Oh La La Couple 11:00 Minute To Win it 11:30 Be Careful with my Heart 12:30 It’s Showtime 14:30 May Isang Pangarap 15:30 Precious Hearts Romance: Paraiso 16:15 A Gentleman’s Dignity 16:45 Pinoy True Stories 17:15 Rooftop Prince 17:45 Kahit Konting Pagtingin 18:30 TV Patrol World 19:30 Juan dela Cruz 20:15 Ina Kapatid Anak 21:00 Apoy Sa Dagat 21:45 Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw 22:15 Bandila 23:00 XXX 04:15 Patrol ng Pilipino 05:00 Umagang Kay Ganda 08:00 Kris TV

Nat Geo Adventure HD 06:15 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 3 06:40 Food Lover's Guide To The Planet 07:10 Delinquent Gourmet 07:35 Delinquent Gourmet 08:05 Adventure Wanted 09:00 Bondi Rescue: Bali 09:25 On Surfari 09:55 Cycling Home From Siberia With Rob Lilwall 10:20 Destination Extreme 10:50 Racing To America 11:45 Market Values 12:10 The Best Job In The World 12:40 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 13:35 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 3 14:00 Food Lover's Guide To The Planet 14:30 Delinquent Gourmet 14:55 Delinquent Gourmet 15:25 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 15:50 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 16:20 Bondi Rescue: Bali 16:45 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 17:15 Cycling Home From Siberia With Rob Lilwall 17:40 Destination Extreme 18:10 Racing To America 19:05 Market Values 19:30 The Best Job In The World 20:00 Delinquent Gourmet 20:30 Delinquent Gourmet 21:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 3 21:30 Food Lover's Guide To The Planet 22:00 A World Apart 22:55 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 3 23:20 Food Lover's Guide To The Planet 23:50 Exploring The Vine 00:15 Kimchi Chronicles 00:45 Around The World For Free 01:40 A World Apart 02:35 Long Way Down 03:30 Banged Up Abroad 04:25 City Chase: Argentina 05:20 A World Apart 06:15 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 3

Nat Geo Channel HD 06:00 Adventure Wanted 07:00 Engineering Connections 08:00 Naked Science S2.5 09:00 Jurassic C.S.I. 10:00 Great Migrations 11:00 Adventure Wanted 12:00 Animal Mega Moves 13:00 Shark Men 14:00 Adventure Wanted 15:00 Engineering Connections 16:00 Naked Science S2.5 17:00 Jurassic C.S.I. 18:00 Great Migrations 19:00 Departures 20:00 Jurassic C.S.I. 21:00 Shark Men 22:00 Departures 23:00 Engineering Connections 00:00 Naked Science S2.5 01:00 The Known Universe 02:00 The Known Universe 03:00 Departures 04:00 Jurassic C.S.I. 05:00 Shark Men 06:00 Departures

Nat Geo Wild HD 05:35 Untamed Americas 06:30 Expedition Wild 07:25 Swamp Men 08:20 Caught In The Act 09:15 Maneater Manhunt 10:10 Secrets Of The King Cobra 11:05 Anaconda: Queen Of The Serpent 12:00 The Pack 13:00 Expedition Wild 14:00 Swamp Men 15:00 Caught In The Act 16:00 Man v. Monster 17:00 Shane Untamed 18:00 Animal Mega Moves 19:00 Man v. Monster 20:00 Swamp Men 21:00 Caught In The Act 22:00 Maneater Manhunt 23:00 Shane Untamed 00:00 Animal Mega Moves 01:00 The Pack 01:55 Triumph of Life 02:50 Dangerous Encounters 03:45 World's Deadliest Animals 04:40 Outback Wrangler 05:35 Untamed Americas

Hardtalk 04:00 BBC World News World Business Report 04:45 BBC News 05:00 BBC World News World Business Report 05:45 BBC News 06:00 BBC World News

04:30 World 05:30 World

CNN International 06:00 Quest Means Business 07:00 The Situation Room 08:00 World Sport 08:30 African Voices 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Report 11:00 World Sport 11:30 Talk Asia 12:00 World Business Today 13:00 Amanpour 13:30 News Special 14:00 World One 15:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 16:00 News Stream 17:00 World Business Today 18:00 International Desk 19:00 Global Exchange 20:00 World Sport 20:30 News Special 21:00 International Desk 22:00 Quest Means Business 23:00 10:00 Bound By A Secret 11:30 Quiz Show 13:45 Bright Star 15:45 Bound By A Secret 17:15 Dear John 19:00 Romeo Is Bleeding 21:00 Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind 23:00 Vincere 01:15 Gardens Of The Night 03:00 Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind 05:00 Romeo Is Bleeding 07:00 Bright Star

OSN Movies HD 07:00 33 Postcards 09:00 The Help 11:30 X-Men: First Class 13:45 African Cats: Kingdom Of Courage 15:15 StreetDance 2 16:45 The Help 19:15 The Vow 21:00 The Darkest Hour 23:00 The Rum Diary 01:00 Attack The Block 03:00 The Vow 05:00 African Cats: Kingdom Of Courage 07:00 StreetDance 2

06:00 Tele shopping 06:30 Yogacity 07:00 Chakh Le India 07:30 Lock Stock And Two Smoking Tikkas 08:00 Free Fall 08:30 Do it Sweet 09:00 Vicky Goes Foreign Canada Tadka 09:30 Ten Things To Do Around The World 10:00 Ten Things To Do Around The World 10:30 Vicky Goes Veg 11:00 Royal Reservation Project Living 11:30 Lock Stock And Two Smoking Tikkas 12:00 Warrior Tribes Of Nagaland 12:30 2 For The Road 13:00 Chakh Le India Kacha Rasta 13:30 Highway On My Plate 14:00 Yogacity 14:30 Whatever Whenever Wherever 15:00 Royal Reservation Project Living 15:30 Do It Sweet 16:00 Gourmet Central 16:30 Tech Grandmasters 2 17:00 Heavy Petting 17:30 Highway On My Plate 18:00 Chakh Le India Kacha Rasta 18:30 A Whole New World 19:00 A Whole New World 19:30 I Am Too Sexy For My Shoes 20:00 Yogacity 20:30 Life Is a Beach 21:00 Model TV Classic 21:30 Bikini Destinations 22:00 Tele shopping 22:30 Tele shopping 23:00 Tele shopping 23:30 Tele shopping 00:00 Tele shopping 01:00 Tele shopping 01:30 Tele shopping 02:00 Tele shopping 02:30 Tele shopping 03:30 Tele shopping 04:00 Tele shopping 04:00 Tele shopping 04:30 Tele shopping 05:00 Tele shopping 05:30 Tele shopping 06:00 Tele shopping

OSN Comedy 06:00 Seinfeld 06:30 Hope & Faith 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Less Than Perfect 08:30 Less Than Perfect 09:00 The Simpsons 09:30 How I Met Your Mother 10:00 Modern Family 10:30 Hope & Faith 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Seinfeld 12:30 Less Than Perfect 13:00 Less Than Perfect 13:30 Hope & Faith 14:00 Raising Hope 14:30 Modern Family 15:00 How I Met Your Mother 15:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 16:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 16:30 Seinfeld 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 Raising Hope 19:00 How I Met Your Mother 19:30 Modern Family 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The League 22:30 American Dad 23:00 Eastbound & Down 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 The League 02:00 American Dad 02:30 Eastbound & Down 03:00 The Simpsons 03:30 Raising Hope 04:00 Less Than Perfect 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Less Than Perfect 06:00 Seinfeld

OSN First 08:00 Emmerdale 08:30 Coronation Street 09:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 10:00 Jane By Design 13:00 Private Practice 14:00 Jane By Design 15:00 Live Good Morning America 17:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 20:00 In Plain Sight 21:00 Homeland 22:00 World Without End 23:00 Six Feet Under 01:00 Homeland 02:00 World Without End 03:00 In Plain Sight 04:00 Six Feet Under 05:00 Good Morning America 08:00 Emmerdale

OSN Aksyon TV 05:45 Relasyon 07:45 Wanted With Raffy Tulfo 09:45 Punto Asintado 11:45 Aksyon Solusyon 13:45 Cristy Ferminute 14:45 T3 Reload: Balita't Serbisyo, Ora Mismo! 15:15 Aksyon 16:00 Dekalibre 16:30 Presinto 5 17:00 Bilang Tao 17:15 Andar Ng Mga Balita 18:15 Sagupaan! UFL Philippines Playoff Series 23:00 Pilipinas News 23:25 Reaksyon 23:45 T3 Reload: Balita't Serbisyo, Ora Mismo! 00:15 Medyo Late Night With Jojo A. All The Way 00:45 Aksyon 01:30 Astig 01:45 Good Morning Club 03:45 Andar Ng Mga Balita 04:45 T3 Reload: Balita't Serbisyo, Ora Mismo! 05:15 Pilipinas News 05:40 Bilang Tao 05:45 Relasyon

OSN GMA Life TV 05:40 Personalan 06:25 Tim Yap Show 06:40 Taste Buddies 07:05 Golden Heart 07:35 When All Is Gone 08:05 Kusina Master 08:30 Quickfire 08:40 Sarap At Home 08:50 Pinoy Sine Klasika 10:30 Balitanghali 11:40 Quickfire 11:50 Sarap At Home 12:00 Golden Heart 12:30 When All Is Gone 13:00 Reel Life 1 14:50 Balitanghali 16:00 Camera Cafe 16:05 Personalan 16:50 Kusina Master 17:10 Reel Life 2 19:00 The 700 Club Asia 20:00 Mars 20:35 Personalan 21:20 Tim Yap Show 21:40 Balitanghali 22:45 Golden Heart 23:15 When All Is Gone 23:45 Camera Cafe 23:50 Kusina Master 00:10 Reel Life 1 02:05 The 700 Club Asia 03:05 Reel Life 2 05:00 Camera Cafe 05:05 Mars 05:40 Personalan

OSN GMA Pinoy TV 05:10 Unang Hirit 07:45 Kaya Mong Gawin 08:20 Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga 08:50 Forever 09:20 Reporters Notebook 09:50 Paroa 10:20 Yesterday's Bride 10:50 Pahiram Ng Sandali 11:25 Eat Bulaga 13:20 Imbestigador 14:10 24 Oras 15:20 Forever 15:50 Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga 16:20 Kaya Mong Gawin 16:50 Paroa 17:20 Temptation Of Wife 17:50 Indio 18:20 24 Oras 19:30 Pahiram Ng Sandali 20:00 Yesterday's Bride 20:30 Eat Bulaga 22:15 Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho 23:05 Idol SA Kusina 23:40

Amanpour 23:30 CNN Newscenter 00:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson 01:00 Amanpour 01:30 World Sport 02:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 03:00 World Report 03:30 World Sport 04:00 Anderson Cooper 360 05:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 06:00 Quest Means Business

OSN News 06:00 MSNBC The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell 07:00 NBC Nightly News 07:30 ABC World News With Diane Sawyer 08:00 NBC Nightly News 08:38 ABC Nightline 09:06 MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 10:00 MSNBC The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell 11:00 ABC World News Now 11:30 Live ABC World News Now 12:00 NBC Early Today 12:30 ABC America This Morning

OSN Movies Kids 06:00 A Very Fairy Christmas 08:00 Free Birds 10:00 Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back 11:30 Puss In Boots 13:00 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil 14:30 Twigson 16:00 Olentzero And The Magic Log 18:00 Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back 20:00 Shark Tale 22:00 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil 23:30 Olentzero And The Magic Log 01:00 Free Birds 02:45 Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back 04:30 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil 06:00 Shark Tale

OSN Premiere 06:00 The Borrowers 08:00 Evan Almighty 10:00 Tomorrow, When The War Began 12:00 Harry Potter And The Deathly

Saksi 00:15 Imbestigador 00:50 Temptation Of Wife 01:25 Indio 02:00 Yesterday's Bride 02:35 Pahiram Ng Sandali 03:10 Wish Ko lang 04:05 Kaya Mong Gawin 04:45 Saksi 05:10 Unang Hirit

OSN Kapatid TV5 06:00 Ang Latest 06:30 Good Morning Club 08:30 Alabang Housewives 09:00 Jeepney Jackpot: Pera O Para 09:30 Sharon 10:30 Face To Face 11:30 Ang Latest 12:00 Never Say Goodbye 12:45 Kidlat 13:30 Wowowillie 15:30 Face To Face 16:30 Alabang Housewives 17:00 Jeepney Jackpot: Pera O Para 17:30 Aksyon 18:15 T3 Reload: Balita't Serbisyo, Ora Mismo! 18:45 Wowowillie 20:45 Never Say Goodbye 21:30 Kidlat 22:15 Pilipinas News 22:40 Reaksyon 23:00 Face To Face 00:00 Ang Latest 00:30 USI (Under Special Investigation) 01:00 Pilipinas News 01:25 Reaksyon 01:45 Mondo Manu 02:00 Wow Mali 02:45 Kung May Hirap, May Ginhawa 03:45 T3 Reload: Balita't Serbisyo, Ora Mismo! 04:15 Aksyon 05:00 Sharon 06:00 Ang Latest

OSN MnITV 05:30 In The Fishbowl 06:30 Ikaw SA Puso Ko 07:00 Especially For You 07:30 The Daily Top 10 08:30 M&L Presents 10:30 Sabarday Night 11:30 Kalipay SA Kasakit 12:00 Honorabol 12:30 Ikaw SA Puso Ko 13:00 Pinoy Movie Fiesta 15:00 Iskul Bukol 16:00 The OPM Show 16:30 Stop, Talk And Listen 17:30 Kalipay SA Kasakit 18:00 Honorabol 18:30 NBI Files 19:30 Ikaw SA Puso Ko 20:00 Pinoy Movie Fiesta 22:00 Especially For You 22:30 The Daily Top 10 23:30 The OPM Show 00:00 NBI Files 01:00 Stop, Talk And Listen 02:00 Pinoy Movie Fiesta 04:00 Kalipay SA Kasakit 04:30 Honorabol 05:00 The Daily Top 10 05:30 In The Fishbowl

OSN Pinoy Extreme 07:00 Stoplight TV 08:00 Greatest Games MVP 10:00 Kamao Kontra Kamao 11:00 Greatest Games MVP 13:00 PBA Greatest Games 15:00 Kamao Kontra Kamao 16:00 Inside Motoring 17:00 Greatest Games MVP 19:00 Greatest Games MVP 21:00 Inside Motoring 22:00 Kamao Kontra Kamao 23:00 Greatest Games MVP 01:00 Greatest Games MVP 03:00 Oras Ng Himala 04:00 Kamao Kontra Kamao 05:00 PBA Greatest Games 07:00 Inside Motoring

The History Channel 06:00 Pawn Stars 06:30 American Restoration 07:00 Soviet Storm: WWII In The East 08:00 Storage Wars 08:30 Storage Wars 09:00 Storage Wars 09:30 Storage Wars 10:00 Storage Wars Unlocked 11:00 Storage Wars 11:30 Storage Wars 12:00 Storage Wars Unlocked 13:00 Pawn Stars 13:30 Cajun Pawn Stars 14:00 American Restoration 14:30 American Restoration 15:00 Storage Wars Unlocked 16:00 Storage Wars 16:30 Storage Wars 17:00 Pawn Stars 17:30 Cajun Pawn Stars 18:00 American Restoration 18:30 American Restoration 19:00 Storage Wars Unlocked 20:00 Storage Wars 20:30 Storage Wars 21:00 Storage Wars 21:30 Storage Wars 22:00 Storage Wars Unlocked 23:00 Storage Wars 23:30 Storage Wars Texas 00:00 American Pickers 01:00 Storage Wars 01:30 Storage Wars 02:00 Storage Wars Unlocked 03:00 Storage Wars 03:30 Storage Wars Texas 04:00 American Pickers 05:00 Storage Wars 05:30 Storage Wars 06:00 Storage Wars Unlocked

The Style Network 06:10 Chicagolicious 07:05 The Amandas 08:00 Videofashion News 08:30 Videofashion News 09:00 Videofashion Daily 10:00 Open House 10:30 Big Boutique In The City 11:00 Top 10 11:25 Top 10 11:55 Giuliana & Bill 12:55 Tia And Tamera 13:50 Videofashion News 14:20 Videofashion Collections 14:50 Dress My Nest 15:15 Dress My Nest 15:45 How Do I Look? 16:40 How Do I Look? 17:35 Giuliana & Bill 18:30 Giuliana & Bill 19:25 Tia And Tamera 20:25 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 21:20 The Amandas 22:15 The Amandas 23:10 Jerseylicious 00:05 Chicagolicious 01:00 Fashion Police 02:00 Videofashion News 02:25 Videofashion Collections 02:55 Big Rich Texas 03:50 Big Boutique In The City 04:20 Jerseylicious 05:15 Glam Fairy 06:10 Chicagolicious

Travel Channel 06:00 Planet Food 07:00 Sophie Grigson In Thailand 07:30 Sophie Grigson In Thailand 08:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Off Limits 10:00 Departures 11:00 Globe Trekker 12:00 World's Greatest Motorcycle Rides 13:00 Eden Eats 14:00 Sophie Grigson-Home Counties 14:30 Sophie Grigson-Home Counties 15:00 International House Hunters 15:30 International House Hunters 16:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 17:00 Globe Trekker 18:00 World's Greatest Motorcycle Rides 19:00 Bizarre Foods America 20:00 Globe Trekker 21:00 Off Limits 22:00 Hotel Impossible 23:00 Hotel Impossible 00:00 World's Greatest Motorcycle Rides 01:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 02:00 Off Limits 03:00 Hotel Impossible 04:00 Hotel Impossible 05:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 06:00 Eden Eats

13:00 ABC America This Morning 13:30 Live ABC America This Morning 14:00 Live ABC America This Morning 14:30 MSNBC First Look 15:00 Live NBC Today Show 18:57 Live MSNBC Hardball With Chris Matthews 19:38 Live MSNBC The Ed Show 20:19 Live MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 21:00 Live MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports 22:00 MSNBC Newsnation 23:00 MSNBC The Cycle 00:00 MSNBC Martin Bashir 01:00 MSNBC Hardball With Chris Matthews 02:00 MSNBC Politicsnation 03:00 Live NBC Nightly News 03:30 ABC World News With Diane Sawyer 04:00 MSNBC The Ed Show 05:00 MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 06:00 MSNBC The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell Hallows Pt.2 14:15 Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story 16:00 Evan Almighty 18:00 The Art Of Getting By 20:00 Crazy, Stupid, Love. 22:00 Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows 00:15 Shadows & Lies 02:00 The Art Of Getting By 04:00 Tomorrow, When The War Began 06:00 Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story

TCM 05:45 The Brothers Karamazov 08:00 Gone With The Wind 11:35 The Night Of The Iguana 13:40 Clash By Night 15:25 The Brothers Karamazov 17:50 Bombshell-U 19:25 The Merry Widow 21:10 The Big Sleep 23:00 Brass Target 01:05 Wild Rovers 03:15 Splendor In The Grass 05:00 Across The Pacific 06:35 Stars In My Crown-U




Sherman’s Lagoon — By J. P. Toomey





Mutts — By Patrick McDonnell

Hagar The Horrible — By Chris Browne

Beetle Bailey — By Mort Walker

Scratch pad

odds ’n’ ends

Garfield — By Jim Davis

Baby Blues — By Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

A three-month-old baby Chimpanzee is seen at the National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 10. The baby Chimpanzee was born in November 2012. (AFP)

Conceptis Sudoku


The grid must be so completed that every row, column and 3x3 box has every digit from 1 to 9 inclusive.

By Steve Becker

DIRECTIONS: Fill each square with a number, one through nine. ■ Horizontal squares should add to totals on right. ■ Vertical squares should add to totals on bottom. ■ Diagonal squares through center should add to total in upper and lower right.

Yesterday’s solution


Answer to yesterday’s puzzle

contract b r i d g e

Today’s Challenge Time 2 Minutes 7 Seconds Your Working Time __ Minutes __ Seconds

Word by Word



Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Al nawm bakeran wa al nohoud bakeran yokseban al marei seha wa thara wa hekma



Six thousand and forty-one Setat alaaf wa wahed wa arbaoun

MANILA, Philippines: A remote southern Philippine town has gone into mourning over the death of the world’s largest saltwater crocodile in captivity, even though it was blamed for the deaths of several villagers. Bunawan town plans to preserve the remains of the 1-ton crocodile, named Lolong, in a museum to keep tourists coming and stop the community from slipping back into obscurity, the mayor said Monday. Lolong was declared dead Sunday after being found floating on its back with a bloated stomach in a pond in an ecotourism park which had begun to draw tourists, revenue and development because of the immense reptile, Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said. “The whole town, in fact the whole province, is mourning,” Elorde said. “My phones kept ringing because people wanted to say how affected they are.” Wildlife experts will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death, he said. Guinness World Records had proclaimed it the largest saltwater crocodile in captivity last year, measuring the giant at 6.17 meters (20 feet 3 inches). The reptile took the top spot from an Australian crocodile that measured more than 5 meters (17 feet) and weighed nearly a ton. Estimated at more than 50 years old, the crocodile was named after a government environmental officer who died from a heart attack after traveling to Bunawan in Agusan del Sur province to help capture the beast. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑ OTEPAA, Estonia: Hundreds of people popped into as many saunas and ice holes as possible on Sunday in an all-day marathon event in Estonia. A total of 600 participants in four-man teams took part in the annual European Sauna Marathon in the southern town of Otepaa, with a goal of visiting every sauna in record-time. “Fantastic event. We took part in the sauna marathon because it’s a great way to see so many tourism resorts here in one day, so we know what to pick when we return for a longer holiday,” Joosep Merelaht, 22, told AFP. Competing for gift certificates to saunas and spas and concert tickets, participants had to visit 22 saunas and could also hop into nine ice holes and five outdoor warm and cold pools. “The more places they visit the more points they get, so the target for the teams is not just to reach the finish line sooner,” organiser and Otepaa cultural official Sirje Ginter told AFP. (AFP)




Health Hospitals penalised

No one fix to prevent hospital readmission WASHINGTON, Feb 11, (AP): More than 1 million Americans wind up back in the hospital only weeks after they left for reasons that could have been prevented — a revolving door that for years has seemed impossible to slow. Now Medicare has begun punishing hospitals with hefty fines if they have too many readmissions, and a top official says signs of improvement are beginning to emerge. “We’re at a very promising moment,” Medicare deputy administrator Jonathan Blum told The Associated Press. Nearly 1 in 5 Medicare patients is hospitalized again within a month of going home, and many of those return trips could have been avoided. But readmissions can happen at any age, not just with the over-65 crowd who are counted most closely. Where you live makes a difference, according to new research that Successful recovery shows how much room for improvement there really is. In parts of Utah, your chances of being rehospitalized are much lower than in areas of New York or New Jersey, says a report being released this week from the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.

Tips to prevent hospital return

Explore The AP teamed with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to explore, through the eyes of patients, the myriad roadblocks to recovery that make it so difficult to trim unneeded readmissions. The hurdles start as patients walk out the door. “Scared to go home,” is what Eric Davis, 51, remembers most as he left a Washington hospital, newly diagnosed with a dangerous lung disease. His instructions: stop smoking. He didn’t know how to use his inhaler or if it was safe to exercise, until a second hospitalization weeks later. There is no single solution. But what’s clear is that hospitals will have to reach well outside their own walls if they’re to make a dent in readmissions. Otherwise a slew of at-home difficulties — confusion about what pills to take, no ride to the drugstore to fill prescriptions, not being able to get a post-hospital check-up in time to spot complications — will keep sending people back. “This is a team sport,” says readmissions expert Dr Eric Coleman of the University of Colorado in Denver. It requires “true communitywide engagement.”

Penalties Pushed by those Medicare penalties, hospitals are getting the message. “It’s made hospitals go, ‘Oh my gosh, just because they’re outside my door doesn’t mean I’m done,’” said nurse practitioner Jayne Mitchell of Oregon Health & Science University, who heads a new program to reduce readmissions of patients with heart failure. In a pilot test, her hospital is sending special telemedicine monitors home with certain high-risk patients so that nurses can make a quick daily check of how these patients are faring in that first critical month. Too often, families don’t realize that many readmissions can be prevented. In Fort Washington, Md., Reggie Stokes started asking questions after his 84-year-old stepmother was hospitalized four times in a row, for transfusions to treat a rare blood disorder. He found a specialist in another city who said a bigger dose of a common medication is all she needs. The hospital “could have helped her and saved money” by doing that legwork, Stokes said. His advice: “You have got to go out and do research for yourself.” That’s hard when you’re feeling ill, said Lincoln Carter, 50, of New York, who didn’t think his pneumonia was under control when the hospital discharged him.

Regular But, Carter said, “I didn’t even really know the questions to ask.” Nor could he get to his regular doctor’s office. When “you can’t breathe, the last thing you want to do is sit on the subway.” A few days later, he was back in the hospital. Patients don’t have to be powerless, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation this week begins an effort called “Care About Your Care,” which offers consumers tips to guard against unnecessary readmissions. “Everyone has to understand their role in improving the quality of care, including families,” said Dr Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the foundation’s president. “This could be a time when we turn the corner.” Rehospitalizations are miserable for patients, and a huge cost — more than $17 billion a year in avoidable Medicare bills alone — for a nation struggling with the price of health care. Make no mistake, not all readmissions are preventable. But many are, if patients are given the right information and outpatient support. The new Dartmouth Atlas evaluated Medicare records for 2008 to 2010, the latest publicly available data, to check progress just before Medicare cracked down. In October, the government began fining more than 2,000 hospitals where too many patients with heart failure, pneumonia or a heart attack had to be readmitted in recent years. “Change is hard and comes slowly,” said Dartmouth’s Dr David Goodman, who led the work. Of seniors hospitalized for nonsurgical reasons, 15.9 percent were

COLORADO, Feb 11, (AP): Patients too often leave the hospital without knowing how to care for themselves, leading to a preventable return. Here are tips to improve your chances of a successful recovery at home: ■ Be sure you understand your illness and the care you received in the hospital. ■ Ask if you will require help at home. Can you bathe yourself? Climb stairs? Will you need bandages changed or shots? If so, do you have a caregiver to help, or will you need to arrange a visiting nurse? ■ Repeat back your care instructions, to be sure you understand them. ■ Ask for a written discharge plan that lists your medical conditions, your treatments, and the plan for your ongoing care. ■ Get a list of all medications, how to use them, and what to do if you experience side effects. Be sure to ask whether to continue medications you were taking before this hospitalization. ■ Ask what symptoms suggest you’re getting worse and what to do if that happens, especially at night or during the weekend. ■ What follow-up appointments will you need and when? Ask if your hospital will make the appointments for you, and send your records. ■ Do you have transportation home, to follow-up appointments, and to the drugstore? ■ If you have a regular physician, make sure the hospital sends a report of your hospital stay. ■ If you are uninsured or will have difficulty affording prescriptions, a hospital discharge planner or social worker may be able to link you to community resources that can help. ■ Get a name and number to call if questions about your hospitalization or discharge arise.

readmitted within a month in 2010, barely budging from 16.2 percent in 2008. Surgery readmissions aren’t quite as frequent — 12.4 percent in 2010, compared with 12.7 percent in 2008. That’s probably because the surgeon tends to provide some follow-up care. Medicare’s Blum told the AP that the government is closely tracking more recent, unpublished claims data that show readmissions are starting to drop. He wouldn’t say by how much or whether that means fewer hospitals will face penalties next year when the maximum fines are scheduled to rise. Some 18 percent of nonsurgical patients, the highest rate, are readmitted within a month in the New York City borough of the Bronx. Rates are nearly that high in Detroit, Lexington, Ky., and Worcester, Mass. Yet the readmission rate in Ogden, Utah, is just 11.4 percent. Half a dozen other areas — including Salt Lake City, Muskegon, Mich., and Bloomington, Ill. — keep those rates below 13 percent. For surgical patients, Bend, Ore., gets readmissions down to 7.6 percent. Some studies suggest part of the variation is because certain hospitals care for sicker or poorer patients, especially in big cities. Yet Minneapolis, for example, has readmission rates just below the national average. Goodman said whether local doctors’ stress outpatient care over hospitalization, and how many hospital beds an area has play big roles, too. Readmissions don’t always happen because the original ailment gets worse. It could be a new problem — the pneumonia patient who’s still weak and falls, breaking a hip. Yale University researchers recently reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that people face a period of overall vulnerability to illness right after a hospitalization, because of weakness, sleep deprivation, loss of appetite and side effects of new medications. But ask returning patients what went wrong, and Coleman, the readmissions expert, said nonmedical challenges top the list.

This photo taken Jan 30, 2013 shows adult nurse practitioner Jayne Mitchell watching at right as patient Marlena Bechtel-Rysdam, from Elgin, Ore, practices using an electronic monitoring device called a Health Buddy, at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Ore. Hospitals are under new pressure from Medicare to

slow a pricey revolving door — the number of people who are rehospitalized only weeks after they left for problems that could have been prevented. In Mitchell’s program, patients with heart failure get extra education before they’re discharged and some are tracked at home with special telemedicine monitors. (AP)

Counseling treatments show most promise

What heals traumatized kids?

Dorothy Onyango, founder of Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya (WOFAK) is seen at her book launch on Feb 8, in Nairobi. Onyango, who lives with HIV, said she felt robbed after failing to be nominated in the recent political party primaries for the slot of Member of Parliament to represent HIV and AIDS victims in Kenya. She cited a lack of clear definition of people living with HIV as a special interest group in the country’s new constitution as the greatest challenge in achieving equal representation in national governance as she launched her book, entitled ‘Beyond public confessions – Woman’s struggle to conquer HIV and AIDS’ which is a collection of testimonies of challenges faced by affected women in society and elective politics circles. (AFP)



Health 2 infected with bird flu: Two people in southwest China have tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus and are critically ill, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday, citing the Chinese health ministry. A 21-year-old woman and 31-year-old man in Guiyang had tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus on Sunday after developing symptoms on February 2 and February 3 respectively, Xinhua cited health authorities as saying. “They are in critical condition and medical workers are carrying out emergency treatment,” the health ministry was quoted as saying. “No epidemiological connections have been found between the two cases.” Millions of Chinese are currently travelling in crowded buses and trains across the country to celebrate the Lunar New Year, raising the risk of the spread of infectious diseases. People who had close contact with the patients are under medical observation but none have fallen ill, the news agency said. The pair did not have contact with fowls before they fell ill, Xinhua said. In most cases, victims had direct contact with infected birds, mostly chickens. The virus is especially abundant in the faeces and respiratory secretions of affected birds. The H5N1 virus mainly affects birds, but occasionally jumps to people. Experts fear it may mutate into a form that could spread easily among humans who have no natural immunity against it. The H5N1 virus has infected more than 600 people since it was first detected in Hong Kong in 1997 and is usually fatal. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

CHICAGO, Feb 11, (AP): Shootings and other traumatic events involving children are not rare events, but there’s a startling lack of scientific evidence on the best ways to help young survivors and witnesses heal, a government-funded analysis found. School-based counseling treatments showed the most promise, but there’s no hard proof that anxiety drugs or other medication work and far more research is needed to provide solid answers, say the authors who reviewed 25 studies. Their report was sponsored by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. According to research cited in the report, about two-thirds of U.S. children and teens younger than 18 will experience at least one traumatic event, including shootings and other violence, car crashes and weather disasters. That includes survivors and witnesses of trauma. Most will not suffer any long-term psychological problems, but about 13 percent will develop symptoms of posttraumatic stress, including anxiety, behavior difficulties and other problems related to the event. The report’s conclusions don’t mean that no treatment works. It’s just that no one knows which treatments are best, or if certain ones work better for some children but not others.

Action “Our findings serve as a call to action,” the researchers wrote in their analysis, published online Monday by the journal Pediatrics. “This is a very important topic, just in light of recent events,” said lead author Valerie Forman-Hoffman, a researcher at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has two young children and said the results suggest that it’s likely one of them will experience some kind of trauma before reaching adulthood. “As a parent I want to know what works best,” the researcher said. Besides the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, other recent tragedies involving young survivors or witnesses include the fatal shooting last month of a 15-year-old Chicago girl gunned down in front of a group of friends; Superstorm Sandy in October; and the 2011 Joplin, Missouri, tornado, whose survivors include students whose high school was destroyed.

Treatment Some may do fine with no treatment; others will need some sort of counseling to help them cope. Studying which treatments are most effective is difficult because so many

Swine flu kills 1: A fisherman has died of swine flu in the Western Sahara region of Rabat, where 11 others have been tested H1N1 positive, the Moroccan health ministry said on Sunday. The victim, a 40-year-old, had been

Increased use of contraceptives

Teen births continue to fall in US NEW YORK, Feb 11, (RTRS): The number of US babies born to teen mothers dropped to record lows in 2011, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fewer women also gave birth in their 20s than in prior years, researchers found - but the birth rate increased for those in their late 30s and early 40s. “The economy has declined, and that certainly is a factor that goes into people’s decisions about having a child,” said CDC statistician Brady Hamilton, lead author of the new report. “Women may say to themselves, ‘It’s not a particularly good time right now … let’s wait a little bit,’” he told Reuters Health. Older women, however, are typically more secure in their employment, he said - and understand that they don’t have as long to wait if they want to get pregnant. The new data were published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. They showed an eight-percent drop in teen births between 2010 and 2011. Just over three percent of 15- to 19-yearolds had babies during that period. Hamilton and his colleagues calculated that 3.6 million more babies would have been born to women in that age group over the last two decades had the teen birth rate not been falling since a peak in 1991. On the other end of the spectrum, the birth rate among 35- to 39-year-

olds increased by three percent over 2010 figures. In 2011, 4.7 percent of women in their late 30s and just over one percent in their early 40s had a baby, the CDC team found. Other results from the vital statistics report showed a continued decline in babies born prematurely or small, and an unchanged rate of infant deaths. Black and Hispanic mothers continued to be more likely to have a premature baby than white women, but rates declined among all races. Infant mortality was more than twice as high among babies born to black mothers as in babies of white moms, death records showed. Hamilton said the decline in teen births, in particular, is especially “welcome news” and reflects the efforts of programs and policies targeting that age group. “It’s definitely consistent with the trends that we’ve seen, and it’s obviously good news overall,” said Dr Krishna Upadhya, who studies teen pregnancy at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. “I think the main thing behind this is increased contraceptive use, and better contraceptive use,” Upadhya, who wasn’t involved in the new research, told Reuters Health. However, she added, there are still some parts of the country where both condoms and long-acting forms of contraception, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs), are harder for teens to access.

things affect how a child or teen will fare emotionally after a traumatic event, said Dr Denise Dowd, an emergency physician and research director at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri, who wrote a Pediatrics editorial. One of the most important factors is how the child’s parents handle the aftermath, Dowd said. “If the parent is freaking out” and has difficulty controlling emotions, kids will have a tougher time dealing with trauma. Traumatized kids need to feel like they’re in a safe and stable environment, and if their parents have trouble coping, “it’s going to be very difficult for the kid,” she said. The researchers analyzed 25 studies of treatments that included anti-anxiety and depression drugs, school-based counseling, and various types of psychotherapy.

The strongest evidence favored schoolbased treatments involving cognitive behavior therapy, which helps patients find ways to cope with disturbing thoughts and emotions, sometimes including talking repeatedly about their trauma. This treatment worked better than nothing, but more research is needed comparing it with alternatives, the report says. “We really don’t have a gold standard treatment right now,” said William Copeland, a psychologist and researcher at Duke University Medical Center who was not involved in the report. A lot of doctors and therapists may be “patching together a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and that might not add up to the most effective treatment for any given child,” he said.

suffering from a “chronic disease” but the other 11 fishermen are not in serious condition, the ministry said in a statement. The World Health Organisation under its director Margaret Chan declared the swine flu pandemic over in August

2010, more than a year after the H1N1 virus that emerged from Mexico sparked panic and killed thousands of people around the world. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

A tanning bed is seen in North Vancouver on March, 20, 2012. Quebec is set to become the latest province to ban the use of tanning beds for people under the age of 18. (AP)

FDA rejects insulin drugs: Novo Nordisk AS under its president Lars Rebien Sorensen says the Food and Drug Administration rejected its applications for approval of once-per-day insulin drugs to treat diabetes. The Danish drugmaker says it received a “complete response letter” from the FDA regarding its applications for approval of Tresiba and Ryzodeg, or insulin degludec, on Friday. Such a letter indicates the agency determined the application cannot be approved in its current form. In November, panel of federal health advisers recommended that the government approve degludec. The FDA is not required to follow the group’s advice, but it often does. Tresiba contains long-acting insulin, and Ryzodeg contains both long- and short-acting insulins. Diabetics either do not produce enough of the hormone insulin or do not use it efficiently, allowing excess sugar, or glucose, to accumulate in the blood. (AP)




‘Pexa-Vec treatment induced an immune response against tumour’

Genetically engineered virus kills cancer, says study PARIS, Feb 11, (AFP): A geneticallyengineered virus tested in 30 terminallyill liver cancer patients significantly prolonged their lives, killing tumours and inhibiting the growth of new ones, scientists reported on Sunday. Sixteen patients given a high dose of the therapy survived for 14.1 months on average, compared to 6.7 months for the 14 who got the low dose. “For the first time in medical history we have shown that a genetically-engineered virus can improve survival of cancer patients,” study co-author David Kirn told AFP. The four-week trial with the vaccine Pexa-Vec or JX-594, reported in the journal Nature Medicine, may hold promise for the treatment of advanced solid tumours. “Despite advances in cancer treatment over the past 30 years with chemotherapy and biologics, the majority of solid tumours remain incurable once they are metastatic (have spread to other organs),” the authors wrote. There was a need for the development of “more potent active immunotherapies”, they noted. Pexa-Vec “is designed to multiply in and subsequently destroy cancer cells, while at the same time making the patients’ own immune defence system attack cancer cells also,” said Kirn from California-based biotherapy company Jennerex. “The results demonstrated that PexaVec treatment at both doses resulted in a

Battery-driven alternatives may pose health hazards

Smoking out tobacco: The rise of electronic cigarettes PARIS, Feb 11, (AFP): The camera zooms in on a stubble-bearded hunk dragging on a cigarette and blowing out a thick cloud of smoke with what seems to be great satisfaction. It resembles the TV smoking ads of yesteryear, now banned in most of the world, yet this modern-day offering is approved for American television viewers. “You know what the most amazing thing about this cigarette is? It isn’t one,” explains a narrator as the modern-day Marlboro Man fixes the viewer with a broody stare before returning the reusable smoke to a container that resembles the traditional pocketsized cardboard pack. The NJOY “cigarette” is electronic — its tip lights up with the help of an LED and what appears to be smoke is actually water vapour. The actor is not smoking, but “vap-

ing”. “Cigarettes, you have met your match,” proclaims the ad for a product that claims to mimic “the look, feel and flavour of the real thing” — minus the tar, ash, smoke and most toxins. NJOY is one of a flurry of e-cigs entering the market as tobacco prices skyrocket and smokers become ever more concerned about the toxins they inhale. But the jury is still out on whether the gadgets are safe or not. “Without question, e-cigarettes are safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes,” said Joel Nitzkin, of the American Association of Public Health Physicians. “They deliver nicotine, with only the tiniest traces of other toxic chemicals.” But there are concerns that these battery-driven alternatives, officially called electronic nicotine delivery sys-

reduction of tumour size and decreased blood flow to tumours,” said a Jennerex statement. “The data further demonstrates that

Pexa-Vec treatment induced an immune response against the tumour.” Pexa-Vec has been engineered from the vaccinia virus, which has been used

tems (ENDS), may pose health hazards we are not even aware of yet — just like cigarettes before their ill-

effects became clear. “The safety of ENDS has not been scientifically demonstrated,” the World Health Organisation said in response to a query. “The potential risks they pose for the health of users remain undetermined.” The UN’s health organ said some testing “suggests the presence of other toxic chemicals, aside from nicotine”, and “strongly advised” consumers not to use them. E-cigs first emerged in China in 2003 as an alternative to tobacco, which kills nearly six million people each year. Just like their predecessors in the 1950s and 60s, electronic cigarettes are being advertised with attractive women and rugged, virile men — hinting at a better, more popular you. It’s a strategy that seems to work. A study in the American Journal of

Preventive Medicine (AJPM) last month said 80 percent of users questioned in the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia believed e-cigarettes to be less harmful than their tobacco counterparts. NJOY chief executive Craig Weiss told AFP that industry predictions are for electronic cigarette sales, which have doubled in the United States every year since 2008, to reach $1 billion (about 750,000 euros) in 2013. “Growth in the category has occurred as a result of the millions of smokers who are actively seeking an alternative to cigarettes,” he said by email. The company would not comment on the health aspects. According to Nitzkin, the hazard posed by traditional tobacco cigarettes is about 100 times higher than today’s smokeless tobacco alternatives.

as a vaccine for decades, including in the eradication of smallpox. The trial showed Pexa-Vec to be well tolerated both at high and low doses,

with flu-like symptoms lasting a day or two in all patients and severe nausea and vomiting in one. The authors said a larger trial has to con-

firm the results. A follow-up phase with about 120 patients is already underway. Pexa-Vec is also being tested in other types of cancer tumours.

A file picture taken on May 25, 2009 in Beijing shows a display of electronic cigarettes. (AFP)

KIB re-launches International Visa Prepaid card Kuwait International Bank (KIB), a leading Islamic bank in the country, re-launched its International Visa Prepaid card service, which was first released last year on the occasion of Kuwait’s national celebrations. The re-launch came through an exclusive campaign which includes a variety of services and offers, in addition to customer related social initiatives that cement the bank’s position as a leading financial institution in the Islamic banking sector. Commenting on the card’s re-launch, Entisar Al-Suwaidi, the General Manager of the Retail Banking Department, said: “The new International

The promo visual shows KIB’s International Visa Prepaid Card.



Change +46.99 +38.16 +4.07 +1.08

KRX 100 Hang Seng All Shares CAC 40

Closing pts 4,177.40 23,215.16 4,068.48 3,650.88

Visa Prepaid card generated a positive response with our customers, which highlights the success behind our campaign as well as the confidence of our valued customers in KIB and its services. The card now offers both financial flexibility and controlled spending that can be easily monitored by visiting any KIB branch in Kuwait, in addition to our website and by calling our contact center, “AlDawli Wiyak” on 1866866.” The bank’s International Visa Prepaid card is available for both KIB customers in addition to general consumers, with features that cater to their needs and are compliant with Islamic

Sharia law. Additionally, cardholders can withdraw money from any ATM machine in the world that accepts Visa and make online payments with ease and security. On the occasion of this year’s national celebrations, KIB is also organizing a series of events to enhance its role as a socially conscious corporation in Kuwait, and as a response to their customers’ confidence in the bank and its offering, KIB continues to work diligently to improve its services through a variety of initiatives that ensures the delivery of high quality service standards.



Sensex All Ordinaries Nikkei DAX Euro Stoxx 50

Change -24.20 -9.10 -203.91 -18.40 -7.69

Closing pts 19,460.57 4,980.30 11,153.16 7,633.74 2,622.61


KSE market review KAMCO Research

Small caps propel KSE during January D

espite the lack of economic fundamentals from the country and the lower than expected FY-12 earnings announced so far, the Kuwaiti bourse was able to reverse last month’s fall and begin the year to the upside, trailing its GCC peers. Although trading was focused on small cap stocks as investors were targeting quick gains, the KSE Price Index ended as the third best performing market following Dubai Financial Market and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange to end the month gaining 5.24%. On the other hand, the KSE Weighted Index rose 3.48% while the KAMCO TRW Index advanced 2.42%. During the month of January 2013, the market capitalization of Kuwait Stock Exchange added 3.12% or around KWD 909 mn ($3.2 bn) to record KWD 30 billion ($106.1 bn) at the end of the month, supported by heavyweight Banking and Telecom sectors adding KWD 257.4 mn ($910.7 mn) and KWD 249.5 mn ($882.8 mn), respectively. Compared to December-12, trading indicators ended the month mixed with volume increasing 15% to 8.24 bn shares from 7.16 bn shares in December-12; while value traded decreased 11% to KWD 651 mn down from KWD 730 mn in December-12. During the majority of the month, small cap stocks dominated trading as investors continued to focus on short term gains rather than investing in blue-chips, a sign that indicates investors remain worried. The purchasing of small caps helped push the Kuwaiti Bourse to record its longest winning streak in 16 months on Jan. 13, marking 8 consecutive days of gains, to

close at the highest level since June 2012 at 6,109 points. Although trading was focused on small caps, trading above the psychological level of 6,000 may help spur further buying and improve overall sentiment on the back of better than expected Q4-12 earnings, higher dividend expectations and political stability in the country. Furthermore, with projects being implemented in the country, investors were more confident that a recovery may be evident during 2013. A GDF-Suez -led consortium has won a contract to build and run a 1,500 megawatt (MW) gas-fired power and seawater treatment plant in Kuwait. GDF-Suez, together with partners Sumitomo of Japan and Abdullah Hamad Al Sagar & Brothers of Kuwait, was the successful bidder for the Az Zour North Independent Water & Power Project (IWPP), which will be able to turn sea water into up to 486,000 cubic meters of potable water each day. Once operational in 2015, the plant will make up around 12% of

Kuwait’s installed power generation capacity and about a quarter of its desalination capacity. Output from the plant will be purchased by the government under a 40 year long-term deal. The uptrend was sustainable during the month taking the index to levels above the 6,200 mark on Jan. 27 to end at 6,211 and mark the highest level since May 2012. Once again, small cap stocks played a key role in this bullish run during January coupled with investor sentiment being replenished gradually as the political turmoil diminished and investors were looking for quick gains. Overall, the bullish market performance may hold steady in the near future but may witness slight corrections as investors hurry to book profits amid a solid run. Regarding corporate earnings, 15 out of 200 companies reported FY-12 earnings with aggregate earnings increasing 3.2% to KWD 429.6 million in 2012 compared to KWD 416.4 million in 2011. Banks’ earn-

ings inched 3.2% higher to KWD 384.6 million from KWD 372.6 million in 2011 while the industrial sector witnessed a 28% slump to reach KWD 30.1 million in 2012 from KWD 41.9 million. The oil and gas sector returned to profits of KWD 7.1 million after posting losses amounting to KWD 4.3 million in 2011. In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), reported a marginal increase in 2012 net profits to KWD 305.1 million compared to KWD 302.4 million in 2011. NBK highlighted 2012 was a remarkable year on the strategic level. During the year, NBK continued to deliver on its income diversification efforts through a major strategic move increasing its stake in Boubyan Bank to 58.4% transforming it into a subsidiary of NBK group. This move is key to strengthening the Bank’s presence in Kuwait’s Islamic banking market and opens new growth prospects for the Group. Additionally, NBK continued to strengthen its positioning in its regional and interna-

tional markets with more focus on GCC operations. NBK’s international banking profits recorded a year-on-year growth of 22.7% in 2012. Total operating income remained strong at KWD 650 million in 2012 up from KWD 540 million a year earlier. It is worth mentioning that NBK’s total operating income in 2012 includes revaluation gains of KWD 81.5 million resulting from the consolidation of Boubyan Bank. Also, Gulf Bank’s (GBK) FY-12 net income was flat at KWD 30.9 million versus KWD 30.6 million in 2011; whereas 2012 income before provisions amounted to KD 121.4 million, up 13% versus 2011. GBK successfully completed its 2-year Turnaround Plan and embarked on its new 2012-2015 Plan that focuses on expanding the Bank’s activities across three main pillars: “Solidifying gains, accelerating growth, and surpassing limits”. Meanwhile on the economic front, data released by the Ministry of Finance indicated that Kuwait’s budget surplus for the first

eight months (April 2012 - November 2012) of fiscal year 2012/2013 reached KWD 14.7 billion, exceeding the KWD 11.6 billion surplus recorded during the same period of FY 2011/2012. Revenue stood at KWD 21.6 billion at end of November 2012, far exceeding the budgeted amount of KWD 9.3 billion. Oil revenue continues to make up almost all of the government’s income, accounting for nearly 95% of the total revenue. Kuwait traditionally underestimates oil prices and set it at just $65.0 pb in the FY 2012/2013 budget plan, resulting in a low revenue projection. Oil prices (Brent) averaged at $111.9 pb in 2012. Non-oil revenue surpassed the budgeted amount for the period by KWD 367.0 million, reaching KWD 1.1 billion. Expenditure fell short of the budget target for the period by KWD 7.2 billion; reaching just KWD 6.9 billion. Government spending was also slightly down on the same period of FY 2011/2012 when it reached KWD 7.1 billion. Although wages expenditure grew by 24.7% y-o-y to KWD 1.9 billion, transfers declined by 23.0% while capital spending fell by 20.3% to just KWD 577 million. This compares with budgeted capital expenditure of KWD 2.6 billion for the full year. Moreover, the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) expects inflation will slow to 4.3% in 2012 and 4.1% in 2013 from 4.8% in 2011, in comments carried by state news agency KUNA. Inflation in the major oil exporter has been slowing gradually since mid-2011, mostly due to lower food prices. Consumer prices rose 2.3% from a year earlier in November.

Gulf economies continue to perform well – S&P report Structural issues still weigh on sovereign ratings LONDON, Feb. 11: Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services believes that the Gulf economies remain insulated from economic and political turbulence in the broader MENA region, and globally. This is according to a report titled “The Gulf Economies Are Going Strong, But Structural Issues Still Weigh On The Sovereign Ratings,” published today on RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal. We rate seven sovereigns in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Ras Al Khaimah, and Saudi Arabia. All have a stable ratings outlook. However, despite the GCC’s relative wealth, and our forecast for 4.6% GDP growth in 2013, structural challenges continue to constrain sovereign ratings.

Policy “There are still particular shortcomings in the effectiveness and predictability of policymaking in the GCC,” Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Dima Jardaneh said. “Weaknesses include the quality of policy debate; the strength and depth of institutions; transparency of decision-making; data monitoring and reliability of information; legal frameworks and the rule of law; and succession risks.” Under our criteria, the lack of monetary policy flexibility is also a ratings constraint for the GCC, particularly in terms of exchange rate regimes, the credibility of monetary policy, and the effectiveness of the transmission mechanism via the financial system and capital markets. The report also notes the possibility that oil reserves could peter out in some GCC countries much earlier than in others. “The oil endowment varies significantly across the GCC,” said Ms. Jardaneh. “Reserves at the current production levels will last about 90 years in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, and 70 years in Saudi Arabia, but are considerably lower in Oman and Bahrain where, at current production levels, supplies could run out in the next two decades.”

game changing program The Boston Consulting Group

Refocus on core strategies for profitable growth

Cos need to evolve continuously T

he Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, announced today that it will launch a year-long program focused on the theme of “Game Changing” to help mark the company’s fiftieth anniversary in 2013. The Game Changing program will tackle the most fundamental dynamics facing leaders in an age of unprecedented turbulence, and it will develop and promote action-oriented breakthrough ideas for transforming the fortunes of business and society. The program will explore paths to success through content partnerships with other top-tier organizations, BCG publications, and an online and offline forum series that will foster debate between business leaders, policymakers, the media, and the public. “The global economy is undergoing the most radical transformation since the Industrial Revolution,” said Rich Lesser, who became BCG’s president and chief executive officer on January 1. “The rapid rise of the emerging markets, extraordinary technological advances, hyperconnectivity, dramatic demographic change, fiscally constrained public sectors-all of these are forcing companies to rethink and revamp the way they do business. To capitalize on the opportunities created by accelerating change, leaders need to be proactive and challenge the status quo. In short, they need to change the game.” (For more on Lesser’s appointment, click here.) As part of the Game Changing program, BCG has identified five key issues or “dimensions” for successfully managing in an age of accelerating change:

■ The New Growth-Value Equation. Growth wasn’t effortless before the financial crisis, but few executives would disagree that it’s become much more difficult since then, particularly in developed markets. Now leaders need to refocus on the core strategies for creating profitable growth in order to create longterm value: entering new markets or expanding into existing ones and investing in innovative products and services, processes, and business models. ■ The Fit-to-Compete Factor. In an increasingly complex and competitive world, companies and countries need to be not just fit for purpose but fit to compete. They must develop “smart rules” for managing complexity and gaining competitive advantage-becoming leaner and more operationally efficient, simpler and more organizationally effective, and better able to attract the best talent.

Reshape ■ The Adaptive Mindset. Companies must continuously reshape their organizations in order to not only respond to rapid change but also leap ahead of competitors. Likewise, public sectors have to develop agile ways of reforming their institutions in order to enhance essential services, such as health and education, and meet the changing needs of their people. ■ The Two Halves of Connectivity. To succeed, companies and countries need to harness the tools of hyperconnectivity: not just digital technology but also bridges, roads, railroads, and airportsparticularly in the fast-developing economies (“the forgotten half of connectivity”). By doing so, they can realize the

true potential of ever more connected consumers, markets, and society. ■ The Perpetuity Principle. Leaders must display the skills of stewardship, developing sustainable and trusted businesses with a vision of their companies’ longterm legacy-to meet the growing expectations of society, ensure value creation, and improve well-being for the future. Publications, Partnerships, and Special Events To explore the Game Changing theme and each of the five dimensions, BCG will release a steady stream of new research and commentary throughout 2013. The first publications of the seriesThe Most Innovative Companies 2012, Ending the Era of Ponzi Finance, and Allies and Adversaries: 2013 BCG Global Challengers-have just been released. So, too, has a new eBook, Shaping the Future in a Time of Accelerating Change, which highlights some of the key issues facing business and society today. BCG is also partnering with a number of highly influential organizations. Last week, BCG’s latest work with the World Economic Forum was presented at the WEF’s annual summit in Davos, Switzerland. In addition, BCG is establishing partnerships to cohost events that will bring together top business leaders and thinkers, to create exclusive reports and forums, and to curate a traveling photography exhibition with a worldrenowned photo agency. For information on the Game Changing program, please go to, follow @BCGPerspectives on Twitter, or like BCG Perspectives on Facebook.

Details expected in coming weeks

ICD fund begins talks to refinance $2b loan DUBAI, Feb 11, (RTRS): Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) has begun talks with banks over a $2 billion loan it is scheduled to repay in August, with refinancing the most likely option, four banking sources told Reuters. The loan is the second tranche of a $6 billion facility that the sovereign fund raised just as Lehman Brothers’ collapse sent the global economy into freefall in September 2008. The first $4 billion was repaid in 2011. ICD is Dubai’s flagship investment vehicle, holding stakes in some of the emirate’s best-known companies, including Emirates airline, the bank Emirates NBD and Emaar Properties. Talks are at an early stage and more detail is expected to emerge in the coming weeks about how ICD plans to handle the loan’s maturity, the bankers said on Monday. Unfavourable market conditions meant that ICD did not take up a refinancing package for the previous $4 billion, opting instead to repay the full amount, but bankers believe that improved sentiment towards Dubai as a borrower will make the pricing more attractive and a new loan more likely this time.

“The market is there for them if they want to refinance,” one Dubai-based banker said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They didn’t do it last time because the pricing benchmark would have been too high - but it’s better now.” In 2011 ICD picked five banks to arrange a $2.8 billion loan that would have gone towards refinancing the $4 billion tranche due that year. After marketing the deal to other lenders, however, the fund decided to repay the full amount from internal cash resources. Dubai’s standing has improved since then and its five-year credit default swap - an indicator of how likely it is that a debt payment will be missed - has dropped from 327 basis points on Aug. 3, 2011, to 219 basis points on Monday. ICD’s Chief Executive Mohammed alShaibani told Reuters in May that the fund was likely pay off the loan, though it was still evaluating its options. The fund, which has Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid alMaktoum as its chairman, controls assets worth about 108 billion dirhams ($29.4 billion), according to a bond prospectus for the Dubai government, published on Jan. 17.




06:00 Asia Edge 07:00 Bloomberg West 08:00 Bloomberg West 09:00 Countdown 10:00 Countdown 11:00 On The Move 12:00 The Pulse 13:00 The Pulse 14:00 Bloomberg Surveillance 15:00 Bloomberg Surveillance 16:00 In The Loop With Betty Liu 17:00 In The Loop With Betty Liu 18:00 Market Makers 19:00 Market Makers 20:00 Lunch Money 21:00 Money Moves With Deirdre Bolton 22:00 Charlie Rose 23:00 Street Smart 00:00 Street Smart 01:00 Charlie Rose 02:00 Bloomberg West 03:00 First Up 04:00 On The Move Asia 05:00 On The Move Asia 06:00 Asia Edge

07:00 Fast Money: Half Time Report 08:00 Capital Connection 09:00 Squawk Box Europe 12:00 Worldwide Exchange 14:00 Us Squawk Box 17:00 Squawk On The Street 19:00 European Closing Bell 20:00 Fast Money: Half Time Report 21:00 Us Power Lunch 22:00 Us Street Signs 23:00 Us Closing Bell 01:00 CNBC Originals: Best Jobs Ever 02:00 Us Street Signs 03:00 Asia Squawk Box 04:00 The Call Asia 05:00 Cash Flow 07:00 Fast Money: Half Time Report

tv today

tv today

WTO Arab Consultation Forum kicks off in Amman The World Trade Organization’s Arab Consultation Forum kicked off here Monday with a large participation from Arab and world trade sectors. “The Forum serves as a platform for exchanging views of Arab trade officials and experts as well as to outline an Arab trade policy,” Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas AlSaleh, who heads Kuwait’s delegation to the event, told KUNA. “I hope the forum’s outcome would live up to high expectations of bolstering pan-Arab trade to achieve the economic integration among Arab

countries,” he added. The Arab Consultation Forum, organized by the Amman-based Economic Policy Development Forum (EPDF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), inaugurated by Jordan’s Minister of Industry and Trade Hatem Halawani and WTO’s Director General, Pascal Lamy. At the opening session, Jordanian Minister Halawani urged Arab countries to coordinate stances in the currently-held World Trade Organization negotiations in Doha to include the Arab views in the WTO conventions and regula-

tions. He also called for more Arab efforts to overcome the challenges facing the regional economy as a result for the implementation of the free trade agreements. The Forum witnesses the participation of Arab governmental delegations representing economic and business sectors, ministers, experts in trade and industry, finance and planning, chambers of commerce, central banks and economic organizations and businessmen, as well as representatives of the Arab countries in the World Trade Organization. (KUNA)

Bank’s net income after tax stood at $20.9 mln

GIB posts fourth quarter net profit of $117.9 million KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: At their meeting on Thursday, 7th February 2013, the Board of Directors of Gulf International Bank B.S.C. (GIB) approved the consolidated financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2012. GIB recorded consolidated net income after tax of $117.9 million being $13.4 million or 13 per cent up on the prior year. Net income after tax in the fourth quarter was $20.9 million compared to $19.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Year-on-year increases were recorded in all income categories, with the exception of other income. Net interest income, which at $149.4 million represented the Bank’s principal income source, was $5.6 million or 4 per cent up on 2011. During 2012, loans and advances, the principal source of the Bank’s net interest earnings, increased by $358.5 million or 5 per cent. The growth in the loan portfolio reflected the leveraging of GIB’s expertise to serve the Bank’s large and mid-cap customers. The growth in loans in 2012 followed year-on-year decreases in the loan volume since 2007 as the Bank implemented deleveraging and derisking initiatives. The renewed growth in 2012 reflected the success of the transformation of

HE Jammaz bin Al-Suhaimi, GIB Chairman.

Yahya bin Abdulla Alyahya, GIB Chief Executive Officer.

GIB’s wholesale banking activity and effective engagement with the Bank’s customers to meet their financing requirements. Fee-related income at $56.7 million was $8.2 million or 17 per cent higher than the previous year. As a result, feebased income comprised almost one quarter of total income, reflecting further

positive progress in the implementation of GIB’s strategic focus on non-asset based, relationship-orientated services. Trade finance-related commissions in particular recorded a 27 per cent year-onyear growth following a 42 per cent yearon-year increase in the prior year. In addition, foreign exchange income at $21.3 million for the year was $11.0 million or

more than double the prior year level. Foreign exchange income principally comprised profits generated on customerinitiated foreign exchange contracts. The substantial year-on-year increase reflected a focus on the cross selling of treasury products to clients and the introduction of new products and services to meet client needs. Trading income at $14.3 million for the year was $7.0 million up on, or almost twice the prior year level. This was principally attributable to profits on investments in emerging market debt. There was particularly strong growth in the emerging markets during 2012 and the Bank was well positioned to benefit from the positive sentiment in this market sector. Other income of $13.3 million was $3.7 million lower than in the prior year. Other income principally consisted of dividends received from equity investments, profits realised on the sale of investment securities, and recoveries of impaired loans. Prior year other income included an exceptional profit arising on the repurchase of the Bank’s own senior and subordinated debt. Total expenses of $136.1 million for the year were 14 per cent up on the prior year. The year-on-year increase in

expenses reflected ongoing investment in the implementation of GIB’s GCCfocused universal banking strategy. A net provision release of $2.3 million was recorded for 2012. The absence of a net provisioning requirement for a second consecutive year reflected the prudent and conservative provisioning actions taken by the Bank in previous years. GIB’s Chairman H.E. Jammaz bin Abdullah Al-Suhaimi, commented “I am pleased with the progress made in the implementation of GIB’s new strategy, which aims at a total transformation of the way the Bank conducts its business and will take it into new frontiers of sophisticated banking. The strategy aims to transform GIB into a pan-GCC universal bank incorporating a unique retail bank offering. The strategy implementation has involved the restructuring of the wholesale banking activity and preparations for the launch of a new retail banking business which are now in an advanced stage.” H.E. Al-Suhaimi continued “We believe that these measures will, within a few years, achieve the levels of profitability and return on equity in line with the expectations of our shareholders. The new institution will also benefit from more diversified and stable funding, thus

reducing volatility and minimising the effects of external shocks. I am confident that the Bank is well placed to take advantage of new business opportunities, continue its key role in Saudi Arabia and the region as a leading financial institution, and ensure prosperity for all its stakeholders.” Dr. Yahya bin Abdullah Alyahya, GIB’s Chief Executive Officer stated “We are delighted to report continued profitability growth in 2012 despite increased costs associated with the investment in the future of the Bank through new strategic initiatives. GIB’s robust funding position during 2012 reflected the confidence that the Bank’s customers and counterparties have in its strong ownership and financial strength. This was clearly demonstrated when GIB issued a $500 million 5-year senior unsecured bond in December at one of the lowest coupons for a US$ 5-year senior unsecured debt issue by a bank in the MENA region. The bond issue was 3.5 times oversubscribed, even at a highly competitive pricing level, providing a conclusive endorsement of the international investor’s confidence in GIB’s strong financial position.” Continued on Page 40

SEC affirmed ‘AA-’ rating

Economic performance seen to Fitch assigns SHB ‘A-’, outlook stable improve through mega projects SAUDI ARABIA, Feb 11, (RTRS): Fitch Ratings has affirmed Saudi Hollandi Bank’s (SHB) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A-’ with a Stable Outlook and Viability Rating (VR) at ‘bbb’. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary. Rating drivers and sensitivities - IDRs, support ratings and support rating floor. SHB’s IDRs, Support Rating and Support Rating Floor reflect Fitch’s view that there is an extremely high probability that the Saudi Arabian authorities would support the bank, if needed. This view is based on the Saudi authorities’ strong track record of support for the banking system and SHB’s well-established corporate and commercial banking franchise. These ratings are therefore sensitive to a rating action on the Saudi sovereign rating (‘AA-’/Stable) or a change in Fitch’s assumptions around the propensity of the Saudi authorities to provide timely support to SHB. The affirmation of the VR reflects SHB’s healthy asset-quality, improving profitability and sound liquidity position, while also considering the concentrations on both sides of SHB’s balance sheet and uncertainty relating to its future ownership. A 40% stake in SHB is currently held by the Royal Bank of Scotland N.V. (RBSNV; ‘A’/Stable). This stake is considered non-strategic and is likely to be sold in due course. In 9M12, net income grew 17% yoy and SHB continues to report healthy profitability ratios (operating ROAA of 2.1% and ROAE of 16.5%). Operating revenues were supported by 16% loan growth during 9M12, good growth in fee income and well contained operating costs. Fitch expects operating profitability to continue its positive trend in 2013, supported by the benign operating environment and a pick-up in loan growth across the banking sector.

Reserve SHB’s loan book is concentrated, both by name and industry, as is common in the region. However, at end-9M12, the nonperforming loan (NPL) ratio was low at 1.7% and the reserve coverage strong at 143%. NPLs will remain well contained in the short to medium term, in Fitch’s view. Customer deposits (up 18% in 9M12) represent about 95% of SHB’s total non-equity funding. As is common in Saudi Arabia, a large portion of SHB’s deposit base is non-remunerated, which supports margins. The deposit book is highly concentrated, but a high proportion is government-related, which has proven stable despite the short-term maturities. At end-9M12, cash, interbank placements and liquid investments totalled about 30% of total assets (equivalent to 38% of customer deposits), which provides an ample liquidity cushion. At end-9M12, the regulatory Tier 1 and Fitch core capital ratios were 11.4% and 13.0%, respectively. Capitalisation is slightly lower than the Saudi average, but should be sufficient to support modest business growth. In November 2012, SHB successfully raised SAR1.4bn in Tier 2 capital via a sukuk issuance, with a seven-year maturity. The bank’s capital base is well protected from impairment losses given its strong reserve coverage ratio. An upgrade of the VR would require better diversification of the loan book and a stronger capital cushion that is more in line with its domestic peers. An end to the uncertainty surrounding SHB’s ownership could also positively affect the VR. The VR could be downgraded if the current

volatile global economic backdrop affected the Saudi Arabian economy, translating into notable deterioration in asset quality. Fitch does not view this as likely at present. The VR could also face downward pressure from excessive lending growth that may result in lower capital ratios. SHB was founded in 1926 as the Netherlands Trading Society, and is one of three joint-venture banks in Saudi Arabia. In 2007, a consortium of banks acquired the ABN AMRO group and, as a result, a 40% shareholding in SHB. The stake, which is still ultimately owned by the consortium, is now held by RBSNV (formerly ABN AMRO Bank N.V. ) and considered non-strategic. The rating actions are as follows: Long-term IDR affirmed at ‘A-’; Outlook Stable Short-term IDR affirmed at ‘F2’ Viability Rating affirmed at ‘bbb’ Support Rating affirmed at ‘1’ Support Rating Floor affirmed at ‘A-’ ❑ ❑ ❑ Fitch Ratings has affirmed Saudi Electricity Company’s (SEC) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating at ‘AA-’. The Outlook on the Long-term IDR is Stable. Fitch has also affirmed SEC’s Sukuk issues at ‘AA-’.

Key Drivers ■ Rating Alignment With Saudi Arabia: SEC’s ratings are aligned with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA, ‘AA’/Stable), based on strong legal, operational, and strategic links, in accordance with Fitch’s Parent and Subsidiary Rating Linkage methodology. KSA directly owns 74% of SEC (and indirectly owns another 7% through Saudi Aramco, a state-owned enterprise). SEC has been instrumental in executing the Kingdom’s policies on electrification. Through its council of ministers, the government is responsible for approving the electricity tariffs that SEC can charge its customers. Currently, the electricity tariffs for residential customers are deeply subsidised. ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ Low-risk Business Profile: SEC’s key credit strengths are its monopolistic position in the electricity transmission and distribution sector and a dominant position in the electricity generation segment within KSA. Low generating capacity utilisation (a function of the market dynamics) and limited visibility in the cost structure remain key rating concerns. In addition, lack of clarity about the future settlement of the subsidised fuel costs payable to Saudi Aramco creates uncertainty about longterm cash flow visibility and stability. In the past, the KSA government assumed the payment of fuel costs onto the account of the Ministry of Finance. ■ Continued State Financial Support Critical Historically, state financial support has been very strong. Currently, SEC is drawing down upon the government approved SAR51bn soft loans to partially finance its capital projects through 2015. SEC will spend approximately SAR150bn through 2015 on various segments of the electricity infrastructure in the KSA. Fitch notes that the massive capital spending programme under the current tariff regime will adversely affect the credit metrics. Future government support through soft loans and assumption of fuel-related costs will be critical for the company’s financial position.

Kuwait govt planning series of tactical and strategic ventures KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11, (KUNA): The year 2013 is forecast to witness revival of activity in the economic and investment sectors due to planned launch of mega development projects that would pump liquidity into the finance market, according to Kuwaiti experts. Chairman of the Saudi Holding Projects Group Walid Al-Houti said, in an interview with KUNA conducted as part of a report released by the news agency’s Economic and Petroleum Affairs Department, said the current year would witness “development that would help stumbling companies to step over their predicaments, namely the forecast launch of development ventures and resumption of liquidity pumping by major investors into the finance market.” Tactical The Kuwaiti government is planning a series of tactical and strategic ventures, such as construction of a network of bridges, a metro network, and de-centralization of public services and utilities. In his remarks to KUNA, Al-Houti shed light on economic conditions in 2012, noting that companies’ profits rose from KD 900 million on Sept 30, 2011, to KD 1,100 on Sept 30, 2012. The same year also witnessed rise of surplus in the state budget by $30 billion, with the price of oil soaring to $105 per barrel, compared to the state projection, upon which the budget was set up, of only $65 pb. This in turn resulted in record rise of the state’s reserves to $300 billion. Elaborating, he said price index of Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) slightly rose, reaching level of 5,874 points - less than the 6,000-point psychological ceiling witnessed in recent sessions of the national bourse. Giving opinion on diverse aspects of the national economy, which are generally inter-related, the company chairman called for “strict laws” to regulate state expenditures, which rose from $23 billion to $70 billion in 2012, due to hike in salaries, thus pushing inflation dramatically higher.

Need to give more role for private sector: Citibank CEO

‘Kuwait catching up in economic development KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11, (KUNA): Kuwait’s draw-up of the development strategy came at a time the country is in great need for catching up with remarkable economic development with other countries of the Gulf region and diversifying non-oil sources of income and slashing dependence on the oil sector, said the Chief Executive Officer of Citibank (Kuwait). In an exclusive with KUNA, Ozgur Kutay said the development plan comes at the right time as Kuwait needs it to be on par with the other countries in the region. The plan will ensure a more dynamic economy and will push the private sector to invest in the country’s growth, diversifying away from oil. Nowadays most of the GCC countries rely on oil for growth in addition to the private sector’s role. However, there is a need to diversify the economy and give the private sector the chance to obtain a larger share in economic projects to be able to play an active role in raising the country’s GDP, added the Citibank CEO. Citi is certainly aware of the development plan which serves as a platform of projects for the infrastructure and economic prosperity of Kuwait. “We took several roles earlier that focused primarily on advising the Kuwaiti government on these projects and plans that included privatization of Kuwait Airlines. As a partner in economic progress, we will also be interested in offering solutions for financing the oil industry, other infrastructure developments through interna-

tional capital markets products, and bank lending, “he told Kuwait’s national news agency. The Kuwaiti National Assembly had initially approved the development plan up to 2013/14 — the first plan since 1986. It was approved with an estimated KD 37 billion n ($125 billion) focusing on both oil and non-oil economic sectors. The plan aims at turning Kuwait into a regional trade and finance hub, in line with directives and wishes of His Highness the Amir, through sustaining economic development, economic diversification, and GDP growth. The plan envisages mega ventures such as a business hub, also branded as Silk City, with an estimated cost of USD 77 billion, a major container harbor and a 25-km causeway, railway and metro networks, additional spending on new cities, infrastructure and services; particularly in health and education, in addition to KD 25 billion of oil sector investments to raise production capacity and modernize current facilities. Elaborating in his remarks to KUNA, Kutay touched on Citibank services in Kuwait, which include corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, private banking, and wealth management products. “We also offer direct custody and clearing which plays an integral role in the capital markets by providing the clearing and settlement services required for broker dealers and global custodians to support trading and investing activities around the world. Citibank caters to both the public

sector and top tier corporate clients. “We recently celebrated our 200th year anniversary as the first branch opened in 1812 in New York and at the same time celebrated our presence in Kuwait for the sixth year.” Asked to “evaluate the Citibank relationship with the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) and Kuwaiti banks”, he responded, “We have a direct and positive relationship with CBK officials, and CBK is among many central banks in the region which are also our clients in the United States, Citi being the principle dollar correspondent bank for them. “Competition with the Kuwaiti banks exists of course, but the relationship is mostly complementary, since many of these banks are also our clients, so we enjoy a two-sided relationship with them. I see the competition as a healthy thing because it keeps the momentum going for innovative solutions, products, and services.” Asked for an opinion on the current economic status in the US after four years of crises, he said the US economy has “grown itself out of the crisis and stabilized dramatically since 2009. Growth expectations for 2013 are predicting a better year than 2012 for the US. “I do believe that the economy will continue to grow, albeit gradually. I think that the economy has weathered through the tough times due to the US government and Fed’s timely policy responses. The general perception is more hopeful for 2013 due to positive economic signs such as the improvement of the share prices in Citi and other banks.”

Mohammad Ramadan, the deputy chairman of the research department of Senyar Capital Company, meanwhile said that most predictions of 2012 were positive regarding the Kuwaiti banks’ allocations related to the financial crisis of 2008. These allotments had been forecast to drop, gradually, thus the year 2013 was expected to be a normal year regarding these allotments. However, there were extraordinary and huge financial allocations. The year 2012

had also witnessed a series of acquisitions, namely the acquisition by Qtel of more than 40 percent of Wataniya telecom stake. He hoped that 2013 would “be the year of real development, political stability” with forecast high earnings for the companies listed with KSE, as well as hike of stock prices, whetting the appetite of traders. Meanwhile, Director-General of Mena Consultancy Adnan Al-Dulaimi said performance of the local stock market was mixed, in the second half of 2012, and

indices restored the same levels that had existed at start of the year, without major changes. “This signals continuity of speculative operations in addition to lack of improvement of stock prices in general,” he added. Elaborating, he indicated at snags in the process of privatization of the bourse, and affirmed that the forecast development projects would result in shoring up the economy and restoring banks’ financing and lending.

Investors see emirates as a safe haven

Arab Spring fund flows to UAE exceeds $8b DUBAI, Feb 11, (RTRS): About 30 billion dirhams ($8.2 billion) of funds have flowed into the United Arab Emirates over the past two years from countries hit by the Arab Spring uprisings, the UAE’s prime minister said on Monday. “We received 30 billion dirhams from the Arab,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid alMaktoum, who is also Dubai’s ruler, said in answer to a question by a member of the public at an open forum of government officials. Large amounts of capital fled Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen and other Arab

countries in search of safe havens after political and economic turmoil erupted in those countries in early 2011. Because of its political stability and Dubai’s status as an international business centre, the UAE attracted a large share of the capital. Sheikh Mohammed’s figure was believed to be the first public estimate of the amount by a top official. He insisted, however, that it would be wrong to think the UAE was benefitting from the Arab Spring, as stability in countries hit by the unrest would benefit the whole region including the UAE.

“If we had peace and stability, we would have more than 30 billion coming from those countries,” Sheikh Mohammed said. He did not specify in what forms the money had entered the UAE; part is believed to have come in the form of short-term bank deposits, and part as direct investment in businesses and real estate. Dubai’s real estate market began to recover last year from a crash in the previous few years, partly because foreign investors saw the emirate as a safe haven, property analysts said.

The UAE attracted $7.68 billion of foreign direct investment from all countries in 2011, up from $5.50 billion in 2010, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Sheikh Mohammed also said the UAE had invested much more than 30 billion dirhams in countries hit by the Arab Spring. The oil-rich UAE has pledged billions of dollars in aid to help stabilise cash-strapped Arab states since the uprisings began, and UAE companies have shown interest in investing in North Africa.




Fujairah storage capacity to rise by 2 mcm Oil storage capacity in the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah is expected to rise by 2 million cubic metres (mcm) this year to just over 6 mcm, port data shows. The port outside the Strait of Hormuz, a vital Gulf oil export route which Iran has threatened to block, has seen a boom in storage facility building since late 2009. But the pace of construction has slowed over the last year, several traders said, with the looming threat of overcapacity and lower forward prices for oil making storage unat-

tractive. Fujairah had 4.07 mcm of oil storage capacity at the end of 2012, port figures show, with Vopak Horizon Fujairah accounting for about half. Another 2 mcm is expected to come online in 2013, including capacity additions from existing companies such as the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), GPS Chemoil and Socar Aurora, along with new port investors such as Gulf Petrochem. (RTRS)

Union earns KD 2.74m in 2012 The Board of Directors approved Union Real Estate Company’s (Union) annual financial statements of the company for the year ending Dec 31, 2012, dated Feb 11, 2013. Particulars Dec 31, Dec 31, 2012 2011 Profit (Loss) (KD) 2,747,431 1,459,023 Earnings per share (fils) 14.78 7.85 Total current assets 2,164,011 2,089,365 Total assets 32,198,282 30,144,827 Total current liabilities 507,418 385,178

SWCC to build plant

Total liabilities 705,725 553,033 Total shareholders’ equity 31,492,557 29,591,794 The Board of Directors of the company recommended cash dividends of 7 percent of the nominal value of the shares ie 7 fils per share for the year ending Dec 31, 2012 to shareholders registered in the company’s records. Note that these recommendations are subject to approval by the shareholders and the competent authorities.

Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corp. (SWCC) plans to build a new water desalination plant in Rabigh, on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, state media reported on Monday. The plant will have a capacity of 600,000 cubic meters per day of desalinated water and is in the state utility’s budget for this year, SPA reported without providing a cost for the project due to be completed in 2018. SWCC has said it plans to nearly double energy-intensive desalinated water production to almost 6 million cubic metres per day by the end of 2015 as water consumption in the desert kingdom is increasing rapidly. (RTRS)

Traders expect higher output later in the year

Saudi oil buyers don’t want more, Feb output seen flat LONDON/DUBAI, Feb 11, (RTRS): Oil companies that buy Saudi Arabian crude have not requested extra supply and sources in the kingdom say production policy is unchanged — indicating steady output despite a jump in prices to $118 a barrel. Sources at oil companies in Europe, China and Japan told Reuters they have not asked to buy more crude for March, and also that Saudi state oil company Saudi Aramco has not offered extra barrels. Industry sources in Saudi Arabia say the kingdom’s production policy is unchanged: the supply response will be

driven by demand not price. If consuming countries do not order more oil, then Riyadh will not raise output. OPEC’s biggest exporter responded to slower demand at home and abroad by lowering supply by around 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) over the last two months of 2012, a reduction that coincided with a rise in crude prices. Saudi Arabia is expected to open the taps again in coming months due to higher global demand in the second half of 2013 and a seasonally higher need for crude in domestic power plants. Extra supply may not been seen this month or next, though.

Reserves reach critical level

US says Egypt needs to mend economy fast CAIRO, Feb 11, (RTRS): The United States has urged Egypt to move fast to agree a loan deal with the IMF, reform its energy sector and guarantee investors against “arbitrary acts” to avert a deeper slide in its economy. In unusually blunt comments, US Ambassador Ann Patterson said Egypt’s government and opposition must stop ignoring economic problems and work together to fix them. “The most catastrophic path is for the government and the political leadership of the country — whether in power or in opposition — to avoid decisions, to show no leadership, to ignore the economic situation of the country,” she said in a speech delivered in Alexandria on Sunday, according to a text posted on the embassy’s website. “The talks with the International Monetary Fund need to be brought to closure.” Egypt has been negotiating for months on a $4.8 billion IMF loan but talks have been repeatedly delayed due to the Muslim Brotherhood-led government’s reluctance to cut goods and fuel subsidies on which poor Egyptians rely, an IMF source said. Prime Minister Hisham Qandil met IMF chief Christine Lagarde in Davos, Switzerland, last month and said an IMF mission would return to Cairo within two weeks to conclude an agreement, but there has been no sign of a resumption of talks and the government has yet to issue an updated fiscal plan.

Dwindling Patterson highlighted Egypt’s dwindling foreign reserves and a growing reliance on imported food and energy as warning signs, noting that these were key determinants of social stability. “Egypt’s numbers paint a bleak picture,” she said. “Currency reserves are at a critical level, roughly $14 billion or three months’ worth of imports.” The reserves are kept afloat only due to regular injections of cash by Qatar and Turkey, she said, noting that a black market for dollars was growing and the exchange rate “needs to respect fundamental laws

GIB posts fourth Continued from Page 39 He added, “GIB has been frequently recognised for its commitment to professionalism and excellence, and the very best in customer service. In 2012, the Bank was presented with a number of awards, including two awards from Banker Magazine: Most Innovative Investment Bank in the Middle East, and “Deal of the Year” for Islamic Finance Middle East category. New York-based Global Finance magazine also selected GIB as Best Investment Bank in Bahrain for 2012, the second year in which GIB has been selected for this award.” Dr. Alyahya continued, “Underscoring GIB’s financial performance was the reaffirmation of the Bank’s long-term issuer ratings by Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Also, and most importantly, in March 2012 the Fitch rating agency upgraded GIB’s Viability Rating to ‘BBB-’ from ‘BB+’, i.e. upgraded the Viability Rating to investment grade. Fitch’s Viability Rating represents an evaluation of the Bank on a standalone basis excluding shareholder support. The upgrade in the rating reflected Fitch’s view that there had been a significant improvement in the Bank’s risk profile and a transformation in its balance sheet, as well as having a strong liquidity position. It was particularly pleasing as it represented one of the very few rating

of economics”. The falling value of the pound, which has lost about 8 percent against the dollar since Dec. 31, pushed annual consumer price inflation up to 6.3 percent in January. Prices climbed by 1.7 percent in the month — the biggest monthly jump since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak two years ago. “These numbers do not take into account the billions that the government is in arrears to oil companies,” Patterson said. London-based consultancy Executive Analysis puts Egypt’s accumulated debt to oil and gas producers at $9 billion. As a result, several foreign energy producers have cut production in Egypt or are refusing to invest in raising output or to issue letters of credit, industry sources said. Senior liberal opposition politician Amr Moussa, a former Arab League chief, called for the government and opposition to agree to postpone parliamentary elections expected in April for six months and work together on the economy.

Stumbling Citing the falling currency reserves and stumbling IMF talks, Moussa called in a statement for an urgent “reordering of priorities to mobilise all capacities to confront the present serious situation”. He suggested that President Mohamed Mursi’s government and the opposition, made up of liberal, social democratic, leftist and Salafi parties, agree on a four-point initiative to restore public finances, reschedule the energy debt, revive tourism and investment and shield the poor from extra burdens. Moussa said Egypt needed a $12 billion credit line, with money from the IMF, World Bank, United States, European Union and other friendly states, listing Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore, Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia. He suggested the energy debt should be handled by negotiating a rescheduling of Egypt’s arrears so it could resume exports and stop importing expensive oil and gas.

upgrades of a bank since the financial crisis of 2007/2008. The rating agencies noted GIB’s strong ownership and capitalisation, improved liquidity, and conservative provisioning. Such recognition constitutes a positive independent endorsement of the proactive and conclusive actions taken by GIB and its shareholders to address the challenges created by the global financial crisis.” Dr. Alyahya also highlighted “The Bank’s Basel 2 Total and Tier 1 capital adequacy ratios at 31st December 2012 were 20.1 per cent and 17.4 per cent respectively. These are both exceptionally high by international comparison, underscoring the Bank’s intrinsic financial strength. With these strong capital ratios and as a result of the actions taken to strengthen the Bank’s liquidity position, GIB is already in full compliance with almost all of the Basel Committee’s Basel 3 guidelines that are planned to be implemented over the next few years. Consolidated total assets at Dec 31, 2012 were $17.7 billion. The asset profile at the 2012 year end reflected a high level of liquidity that is being maintained as a precautionary measure in the prevailing market environment. Placements and liquid assets amounted to $6.6 billion at the year end, representing a very high 37 per cent of total assets. In addition, investment securities, which principally comprise highly rated and liquid debt securities issued by major financial institutions and regional government-related entities, amounted to $3.6 billion.

“The bottom line is Saudi exports will rise again,” said a source who tracks oil flows for a major oil company. “But this is unlikely in February.” The Saudi cutback in December supported the market, although a senior Saudi oil ministry adviser said the move was not aimed at lifting prices, which Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi says he would like to see around $100. So far, Saudi output has not increased. Oil production was steady in January at 9.05 million bpd, an industry source said this week, and supply to the market nudged up to 9.26 million bpd due to deliveries from storage.

The drop in output in Saudi and some other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has brought the group’s supply down in January to 30.53 million bpd, according to a Reuters survey — the closest it has yet been to OPEC’s 30 million bpd target adopted a year ago. An official at a Gulf OPEC country saw no need for an increase in production despite the rally in Brent crude to $118, since output was still above OPEC’s ceiling and the expected demand for OPEC crude. “It is already higher than what has been agreed, so I don’t think there needs

to be an increase,” said the official, who declined to be identified. Oil buyers in Asia, which buys the bulk of Saudi crude, and Europe said demand remains seasonally low so there was no need to ask for more. A buyer in China said it planned to ask for “normal volumes” of Saudi crude in March, while two customers in Japan said they nominated contractual volumes. None of them was offered extra crude. “Refiners are due to submit their nomination for March supply today, but they are unlikely to seek more as Asia’s demand is expected to fall in the second

quarter with the end of peak winter demand and as the maintenance season will start,” a Singapore-based trader said on Friday. “Plus, if refiners want additional supply, they can buy spot cargoes as prices are weak.” In Europe, sources with two Saudi customers also said they were not looking to buy more crude and other traders said they were not seeing any sign of extra Saudi supplies. “At the moment I would say no,” said a customer in Europe. “It doesn’t appear a more aggressive strategy to sell more volumes.”

Kuwait Energy presses on in Iraq, no Kurdish plans Production from Siba, Mansuriyah gas fields on track for 2014 LONDON, Feb 11, (RTRS): Kuwait Energy says it is firmly fixed on pumping gas and finding oil in southern Iraq and will not risk aggravating Baghdad by seeking contentious deals with the northern autonomous region of Kurdistan. Sara Akbar, chief executive of Kuwait Energy, says strong ties with Baghdad are core to its strategic investment in southern Iraq. “It’s very simple. From the beginning, our ambition was to be able to develop gas in Iraq and to export some of that gas to Kuwait,” she said in an interview. Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Total, at work on giant projects in the south, have upset the central government by signing exploration contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) - deals Baghdad regards as illegal. The contracts have increased tension between the central government and the Kurds in a long-running dispute over oil, territory and political autonomy. The export of Iraq’s gas is still sensitive because, nearly a decade after the US-led invasion, Baghdad still can supply only a few hours of power each day. “The time is not right now (for exporting gas to Kuwait), because Iraq needs gas for itself,” Akbar said.

Future “In the future, we hope to be able to do so. And for that, we need our relationship to strengthen and develop with Baghdad. And that will achieve our objective rather than working against them and being in Kurdistan.” OPEC member Iraq is expected to be the world’s biggest source of new energy supplies over the next few years. It plans to open up more rounds of auctions for oil and gas blocks. And Akbar said Kuwait Energy, which already has an oil exploration block, will go after more rights to look for gas. Iraq played a fleeting role as gas exporter to Kuwait from the mid-1980s until it invaded its neighbour in 1990. The retreating Iraqi army set fire to Kuwaiti oil wells, and Akbar, a petroleum engineer, joined the firefighting squads to put out the flames. More than two decades on, the two countries are moving to deepen ties across the energy sector. Kuwait Energy made a big push during Iraq’s third licensing round in 2010, banding together with Turkish state-owned oil company TPAO to win a contract to develop the southern Siba gas field, near the Kuwaiti border.

Weaker pound pushes inflation higher

Egypt dollar auction volume lowest to bolster what it warned were critically low foreign reserves following a flight into dollars by Egyptians worried about their country’s political turmoil. Reserves dipped further in January to $13.6 billion — below the $15 billion needed to cover three months’ worth of imports. Meanwhile, in unusually blunt comments, Anne Patterson, the US ambassador to Egypt, said Egypt’s government and opposition must stop ignoring economic problems and work together to fix them, including securing a $4.8 billion IMF loan that has been under negotiation for months. “The talks with the International Monetary Fund need to be brought to closure,” she said in a speech delivered on Sunday, a copy of which was published on the US embassy’s website.

CAIRO, Feb 11, (RTRS): Egypt’s central bank sold fewer dollars to banks on Monday than it has since introducing forex auctions in December to avert a currency crisis, as the United States urged Cairo to complete an economic aid deal with the IMF. The central bank sold $37.8 million for Egyptian pounds at the auction, less than the $40 million it had offered. The cut-off price at Monday’s sale was 6.7082 Egyptian pounds to the dollar, fractionally weaker than the price of 6.7043 at the last dollar auction held on Thursday. A shortage of dollars meant the volume of hard currency changing hands in interbank trade was low, said one foreign exchange dealer, noting that the pound continued to trade on the black market at levels weaker than official rates. Official rates have fallen to historic lows, with the pound having lost 8 percent of its value against the dollar since the central bank introduced the auctions in late December. The amount the pound can move in official trade is now limited by a 0.01 piastre trading band imposed by the central bank last week after new governor Hisham Ramez took office. “Interbank volumes are very low because all banks are short of dollars,” said a trader, speaking on condition of anonymity. In official trade, the pound was bid at around 6.72 to the dollar following Monday’s auction. The prices bid by banks at the auction determine the official exchange rate. “In the black market we are hearing 6.95,” the dealer said. “The demand is high. There are some orders accumulating from around a month (ago). We are trying to fulfil demand but it is difficult.” The auction was the 20th since the central bank initiated the dollar sales in a bid

Patterson highlighted Egypt’s dwindling foreign reserves and a growing reliance on imported food and energy as warning signs, noting that these were key determinants of social stability. The reserves are kept afloat only due to regular injections of cash by Qatar and Turkey, she said, noting that a black market for dollars was growing and the exchange rate “needs to respect fundamental laws of economics.” Price inflation for Egypt’s urban consumers rose to 6.3 percent in the 12 months to January from an annual 4.7 percent in December, official data showed on Sunday, an increase economists attributed to a weakening of the Egyptian pound. Urban inflation was 1.7 percent in the month of January, the data showed — a monthly rise economists said was the biggest in more than two years as the pound lost about 8 percent of its value against the US dollar. “We see inflation pressures continuing

to build up because we see further weakening of the Egyptian pound,” said Mohamed Abu Basha, an economist at EFG-Hermes, an investment bank. “Price appreciation was recorded amongst various items in the consumer basket as the impact of the weakening EGP was quickly reflected in prices, with traders opting to (use) the beginning of the year to pass on the impact of the weaker EGP,” EFG-Hermes added in a research note. The consumer price index for January was 127.9, it said. The index for December 2011 was 125.7, CAPMAS said last year. In separate inflation data, the central bank said core inflation rose to 5.23 percent in January on a year ago, up from 4.44 percent in December. Core inflation strips out subsidised goods and volatile items including fruit and vegetables. The Egyptian economy has taken a hit after two years of political instability, following the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak. Foreign reserves were down to $13.6 billion last month from $36 billion on the eve of the uprising and political uncertainty has driven a flight into dollars. “If you want to look at the future, certainly inflation will go up. Luckily, international global food prices are not expected to rise drastically this year,” said Samir Radwan, a former finance minister. Maximum yields at auctions of threeand 10-year Egyptian treasury bonds dipped very slightly on Monday from the last such auction two weeks ago, the central bank said. The maximum yield on the three-year bond was 14.52 percent, compared to 14.58 at the last auction of three-year bonds on Jan 28. The central bank accepted bids for 1.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($223.41 million) worth of the bonds.

It also secured a stake in a gas field project at Mansuriyah in the restive Diyala province near Iran, where TPAO is operator. For its part, Iraq hopes eventually to restart exports to Kuwait, which is now buying gas from multinationals, and the non-associated Siba gas field in Basra province could provide a new opportunity. “From an economic point of view, it’s

a very logical project that will tie the two countries together,” said Akbar, who spent a decade working in the oilfields of Kuwait. Production from Siba and Mansuriyah is on track to start up in the first half of 2014. The company plans “heavy expenditure for Iraq this year and next”, she said. About $400 million will be spent over

the next two years to drill wells and build pipelines and surface facilities at the gas fields. A further $125 million is targeted for fast track exploration at Block 9, which Kuwait Energy snared in last year’s fourth licensing round. Dragon Oil PLC is its minority partner in the promising southern oil block, which straddles the border with Iran.


Iraq cuts March Basra Light oil price to US, Asia

Israel firms invest in US energy search off Cyprus NICOSIA, Feb 11, (Agencies): Israeli firms Delek and Avner signed an agreement on Monday to acquire a 30 percent stake in exploration rights for gas and oil off Cyprus’s southern shore carried out by US company Noble Energy. Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis told reporters that the signing provided a “new era of Cyprus-Israeli strategic cooperation which includes economic and political dimensions”. Noble Energy Inc was the first to drill when awarded Block 12 after Cyprus launched its energy search in 2007. In December 2011, Noble said it had discovered gas reserves of up to 8 trillion cubic feet (226.5 billion cubic metres), with an estimated value of 100 billion euros. This would satisfy domestic needs for decades and could enable Cyprus to

become a regional player by exporting gas to Europe from 2019. Delek Drilling and Anver Oil and Gas Exploration own majority rights in Israel’s own large gas finds in the nearby Leviathan and Tamar fields. The latest deal move comes less than a week after Cyprus signed an agreement with French energy giant Total to conduct exploratory drilling for gas and oil in two blocks off its southern shore. Cyprus aspires to become a regional energy hub with the prospect of oil as well as natural gas being tapped beneath the sea bed. Total signed a deal to exploit blocks 10 and 11 that are adjacent to a large natural gas find in block 12 and said it seeks to proceed in drilling for oil as well as gas reserves. Turkey has protested strongly against

Nicosia’s energy search, branding it illegal and beginning its own exploratory drilling off the breakaway north of the island. Ankara has warned that companies involved in the Cyprus process could be shut out of Turkey’s energy investment. Sylikiotis said that having countries such as France, the United States, Israel and Italy involved in the island’s hydrocarbon exploration acted as a “political shield” against Turkish threats. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third in response to an Athensengineered coup in Nicosia aimed at union with Greece. It is estimated that there could be around 60 trillion cubic feet of gas lying in the 13 blocks that make up Cyprus’s 51,000 square kilometre (20,000 square mile)

exclusive economic zone. Cyprus is banking on its energy bonanza to eventually rescue it from recession as it seeks a European Union bailout. It plans to bring gas onshore in 2018 and to build a liquefied natural gas plant. Also: BAGHDAD: Iraq cut the price of Basra Light crude to US buyers for March by 15 cents to $2.55 per barrel below the Argus (ASCI) benchmark, but increased prices to Europe, the State Oil Marketing Organisation said on Sunday. The price of Basra crude for European buyers was set at a discount of $4.85 to the North Sea spot benchmark BFOE, versus $5.10 below the benchmark the previous month. The price of Basra Light to Asia was cut by $1.15 to a discount of $1.05 to the average of OmanDubai.




G-20 to skirt potholes, eyes growth Poor Q4 data is store, but China looks up LONDON, Feb 11, (RTRS): With the road ahead looking a bit smoother, G20 finance ministers will be happy to ignore the wreck in the rearview mirror when they meet this week to steer a course for the world economy. The euro zone as a whole and a clutch of its members, including France, Italy and the Netherlands, are expected to report that their economies shrank last quarter — joining Germany and the United States — while Japan’s barely grew,

according to economists polled by Reuters. But the Group of 20 leading economies, which meets in Moscow on Friday, should be able to take heart from a pair of more timely indicators — a New York Fed manufacturing survey and a University of Michigan poll on consumer sentiment. Economists expect both to show an improvement, despite the gnawing uncertainty of how long-running US deficit reduction negotiations will affect taxes and spending. Luca Paolini, chief strategist at Pictet Asset Management in London, said he was more positive on the global outlook on balance but a sense of perspective was needed. Buoyant markets risked getting

ahead of themselves. “Our own leading indicators are going up, but we don’t think we’re in a strong growth environment. We see weak growth, and that’s not going to change this year,” he said. Simon Hayes, an economist with Barclays Capital, broadly agreed. “On the whole, recent activity data have been encouraging of our view that the global economy is improving, albeit slowly,” he said in a report.

Hobbled January US retail sales figures are likely to underline this point. Hobbled by the Jan 1 increase in payroll taxes, economists expect a rise of just 0.1 percent on the

month. By contrast, US capital spending is finally perking up from a low level as corporations, realising that protracted costcutting is hurting productivity and growth prospects, give the green light to pent-up investments, Paolini said. “But we’re not overly optimistic because investment is based on confidence. You can have all the money you want, but you’re not going to invest if you expect growth to be weak. So if we have any kind of shock — it can be politics or something else — investment will fall again,” he said. China delivered a boost to confidence on Friday with a batch of strong trade and money data for January.

Economists are wary of reading too much into China’s figures at the start of the year because of distortions due to the variable timing of the long Lunar New Year holidays. But Ting Lu, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s chief China economist, said they supported his view that gross domestic product growth could accelerate to 8.3 percent in the first half of this year from 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. China is not the only developing economy that is doing its bit for global growth. Rebound Mark Williams, chief Asia economist with Capital Economics in London, said there had been signs of a rebound across the emerging world in the past month.

Goldman Sachs, too, said there had been a marked improvement in consumer confidence across emerging markets coming into 2013. “It had been the case that Latin America and Asia were looking up at the end of last year but emerging economies in Europe were still looking very weak. But even they are now joining in the recovery. So it’s looking increasingly broad-based,” Williams said. One obvious pothole on the road to recovery is the threat of a spate of competitive devaluations, as growth-hungry countries seek to give their exporters an edge by talking down their currencies or actively pushing them lower by bold monetary easing.




rates on German debt positive Interest rates on Germany’s sixmonth debt were back in positive territory for the first time since June, the country’s central bank or Bundesbank announced on Monday. The yield, or rate of return, at the auction of six-month debt of socalled “Bubills” was 0.0203 percent, compared with minus 0.0091 percent at the previous auction at the beginning of January, said the Bundesbank, which organised the

sale. Germany sold 3.385 billion euros’ ($4.5 billion) worth of the sixmonth paper but received 6.575 billion euros’ worth of bids, a sign of strong demand. Since the middle of last year, yields on Bubills and other German bonds of varying maturities have been negative, meaning investors are actually paying to lend Germany money as they are afraid of parking it elsewhere amid continued eurozone market turmoil. (AFP)

German economy over the worst Germany’s economy, the biggest in Europe, should see brighter days ahead after tumbling in the fourth quarter of last year, the economy ministry said on Monday in its regular monthly report. “The prospects for the German economy are gradually improving. Forward-looking indicators point to a possible end to the current weak phase,” the report said. “The low point of the global economic weakness appears to be already past,” the ministry added,

noting also that the situation on the international financial markets had also calmed considerably. Broadly speaking, the German economy has weathered the eurozone debt crisis better than many of its neighbours. But with a large part of its all-important exports going to fellow eurozone countries, Germany has not been immune to the turbulence and gross domestic product expanded by a mere 0.7 percent last year after 3.0 percent in 2011. (AFP)

risks for Europe remain high The risks for Europe’s economy remain too serious to allow Switzerland’s central bank to change its currency cap, a member of its governing body said in an interview published on Monday. “The economic environment worsened again at the end of last year and the growth outlook was lowered,” Fritz Zurbruegg told the daily Aargauer Zeitung, adding that exchange-rate risks were still on the cards as a result.

“For that reason, the minimum exchange rate remains key,” said Zurbruegg, who joined the governing body of Switzerland’s central bank in August 2012. In September 2011, the central bank fixed a minimum exchange rate of 1.20 Swiss francs to the euro. Investor flocked to the Swiss franc, traditionally regarded as a safe-haven currency, as worries grew over the debt crisis in the eurozone. (AFP)

‘Final victory over the gang near’

Russia pipeline boss signals battle with traders, Summa MOSCOW, Feb 11, (RTRS): The head of Russia’s state oil pipeline monopoly, Transneft, signalled on Monday it was lining up for battle against private magnates who built their fortunes around the company’s export infrastructure. The moves described by Transneft chief Nikolai Tokarev, depicted by Russia’s media as a former KGB spy who served with Vladimir Putin in Germany, target traders who have sold Russian oil to Europe using Transneft pipelines and have won lucrative contracts to build and renovate its vast network. Russia’s biggest oil company, Rosneft, under Kremlin ally Igor Sechin, had already struck at traders operating on Transneft’s “Druzhba” pipeline, which extends from Russia to Germany, by

signing several direct deals to supply customers such as Poland’s PKN Orlen. “A team of traders has taken shape over the years who are middlemen between sellers and buyers. Usually they are dug in at the border, and that was how it was until recently,” Tokarev told the Kommersant business newspaper in an interview. “LUKOIL battled them for nearly a year by not giving them any volumes,” he said, referring to Russia’s second-largest crude oil producer. “None of these little structures will remain. The final victory over that gang is near.” By taking business away from those traders, Rosneft’s move - announced on Feb. 1 - already marked a significant redistribution of control over some of the

Insight Company bets on ‘mega-platform’

Has VW discovered the Holy Grail of carmakers? BERLIN/DETROIT, Feb 11, (RTRS): Ulrich Hackenberg isn’t yet a household name but if Volkswagen’s $70 billion bet on his big idea pays off, he may join the likes of Henry Ford, Alfred Sloan and Taiichi Ohno in the canon of auto industry pioneers. Since the heyday of Henry Ford and his Model T, the world’s automakers have considered the “global car” to be their Holy Grail — the same basic design that can be built, in subtle variations, and sold in different markets. Take that fundamental concept, stretch it across many different vehicle types, sizes and brands, then build them by the millions, and you begin to sense the enormity of Volkswagen’s rapidly evolving “mega-platform” strategy and its potential impact on competitors around the globe. Auto engineer Hackenberg nurtured this bright idea for three decades, after early pitches to auto executives were largely ignored, until somebody finally bought it wholesale. The man who bit was Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn. Hackenberg’s fundamental rethink of vehicle platforms, the industrial Lego from which cars are designed and made, is helping power the German company to the top of the global sales charts several years ahead of its 2018 target. It could also make VW one of the most profitable carmakers in the world. Strategy The strategy is not without risk. It could, for instance, expose Volkswagen to the threat of a massive global recall if a single part, used in millions of cars, fails. But rivals have taken note of the power behind its move. Volkswagen’s modular platforms are being benchmarked by most of the world’s top automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp and Ford Motor Co, according to company executives. “We’d be crazy not to,” said a senior Ford official, requesting anonymity because of the proprietary nature of the subject. VW’s work on its largest megaplatform, known internally as MQB, began in earnest in 2007 and is being implemented over the next four years at a cost of nearly $70 billion, estimates Morgan Stanley. The potential payoff is compelling: Projected annual gross savings by 2019 of $19 billion, according to the bank, with gross margins approaching 10 percent. The automaker is expected to announce a record profit for 2012 of more than $30 billion later this month (Feb 22), according to Bernstein Research, whose senior analyst, Max Warburton, observes: “VW looks to have unstoppable momentum — in China, the US, Europe and most of the rest of the world.” That momentum has been building for some time, even before the initial deployment last year of Hackenberg’s brainchild. Industry-leading levels of commonality — the proportion of parts that can be shared among different models — are nothing new to VW. At a gathering in Japan five years ago, Renault and Nissan executives lifted the hoods on several VW Group vehicles side by side — including models from Skoda, Seat

and Audi brands — and saw trouble. “They had the same engines, the same clutches, the same ventilation — all identical parts,” says an executive who attended the presentation. “It was a level of commonality that didn’t exist at Renault-Nissan.” Late in 2011, as the outlook darkened for French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, its board was given a similar demonstration, and a similar shock, at the company’s highsecurity research center in Velizy, southwest of Paris. Technicians took apart the front ends of two different VW cars and swapped most of their components. “They were a little dumbstruck by the realization that there was a whole new world out there — and their development was 10 years behind,” recalls one participant.

largest, most stable flows of crude oil to Europe. Among those to lose business on the Druzhba is Summa, whose trading arm Souz did not receive its usual volumes in January. Tokarev also said the state monopoly had moved to reduce the influence of the Summa Group, the vehicle of magnate Ziyavuddin Magomedov, at Russia’s largest port group, Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port Group. State oilmen such as Tokarev and former military translator Sechin, both of whom worked with Putin in St Petersburg and moved on to government in Moscow as Putin rose to become president, look set to challenge Magomedov’s ambitions to buy state shares in the port group.

Like Putin, both Tokarev and Sechin project themselves as staunch defenders of Russia’s vital interests through their careful husbandry of its vast natural resources and, increasingly, its infrastructure. In a profile by the Vedomosti newspaper on Monday, Tokarev was portrayed as a father figure to Putin during their time working for the KGB in the German city of Dresden. “Almost all the residents in Dresden lived around one stairwell. Everyone left their doors open and everyone was constantly visiting,” a source who served with the two men was quoted as saying. “Once we were at Tokarev’s and a pale, shy, quiet guy came in. “This is Vova,” Tokarev said”, the source recount-

Continued on Page 43

small one in Transneft itself. Russian media quoted Russia’s state property chief, Olga Dergunova, as saying on Friday that 30 bidders were set to contend for the Novorossiisk stake. Among Transneft’s quarrels with Summa, Tokarev said it had asked Transneft to offer cut-price logistics services under a plan to create a hub for trade in Russia’s Urals crude oil in Rotterdam at a Summa-built terminal. Vitol is a partner in the venture. He also suggested Summa’s construction business, whose state construction contracts ranged from Transneft pipelines to renovation of the Bolshoi theatre, was no longer a major contractor for Transneft.

Eurozone tackles debt bailout for Cyprus, recent euro gains ‘Strong euro is a sign of returning confidence’ BRUSSELS, Belgium, Feb 11, (AFP): Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem began his first eurozone meeting in the chair Monday, taking up a difficult debt bailout for Cyprus amid concerns that recent gains in the euro could further dampen the struggling economy.

Flexible After a six-year gestation, VW has just begun to implement its sophisticated and highly flexible platform with the deceptively simple label MQB, a German acronym for “modular transverse matrix.” Virtually all of the group’s small and medium front-wheel-drive family models, including the latest generations of the VW Golf and Audi A3, are being designed around MQB as their base. The new platform features a far greater degree of plug-and-play modularity, flexibility and parts commonality than at Toyota, General Motors Co, Ford and other competitors. MQB “could be the single most important automotive initiative of the past 25 years,” says Michael Robinet, managing director of IHS Consulting in Northville, Michigan. “It really changes the game.” With the new mega-platform strategy supporting its 12 brands, from spartan Skoda to Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini, VW is poised to snatch the global sales crown from Toyota as early as next year, according to investment bank Morgan Stanley. VW envisions enormous leverage from MQB. The plan is to boost global sales to 10 million or more, with roughly two out of every three cars — some 40-plus models totaling 6.3 million sales a year — built on some variation of the MQB platform, according to US research firm IHS Automotive. None of VW’s competitors has the diversity of brands, the breadth of technology, the sweeping geographic footprint or the deep pockets necessary to support and take advantage of such a wide-reaching initiative as MQB. Even Toyota, the current global sales leader, is playing catch-up with its German rival. “There’s no doubt we have fallen behind,” says a senior Toyota executive who declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the subject. “We have not even begun to make the fundamental structural changes that VW has” in designing and applying flexible vehicle platforms. The sense from competitors and auto analysts is that VW’s rollout of MQB is likely to be as influential as such earlier innovations as Ford’s adaptation of standardized parts, GM’s “ladder” of brands and Toyota’s streamlined production system.

ed, using the diminutive for Vladimir and referring to Putin. “Someone said, Vova, sit down, have a drink. ‘No,’ Tokarev said, ‘Vova doesn’t drink’.” Russia privatised its oil industry, the world’s largest, under late President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s, but around 40 percent of crude oil output will be in Rosneft’s control following the sale of BP’s Russian joint venture to state player Rosneft. State commodity export infrastructure is now set for privatisation in the second round of major state sell-offs aimed at raising $20 billion for the budget. Tokarev and Sechin have both opposed plans to sell some of those assets, including a stake in Novorossiisk group and a

“It might be a subject at the Eurogroup meeting, quite right,” Dijsselbloem said of concerns about the euro as he went into the talks. “We will discuss as usual the economic state in the eurozone and the issue might rise there.” Asked if the eurozone needed an exchange rate policy, as suggested by France, he said: “I certainly won’t comment on that now; we will see whether it comes up.” The debt crisis Dijsselbloem inherits has eased greatly since the European Central Bank vowed last year to intervene in the markets to tame borrowing costs and EU leaders agreed tough steps to bolster the euro’s defences. Those measures seem to have done the job, even leading to a rise in the recent weeks which has sparked fears it could make eurozone exports less competitive and so undercut badly needed growth. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici called last week for a debate on the euro’s exchange rate and wants the eurozone to consider setting a target level, which the ECB would then have to defend.


Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras (left), speaks with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde before an Eurogroup Council meeting on Feb 11, at EU Headquarters in Brussels. (AFP)

Govt to cut red tape for those starting own businesses

Spain jobless spawns entrepreneurs VALLADOLID, Spain, Feb 11, (AFP): Two years after being laid off from her job as a health and safety consultant, Ana Luis has found a new, quite different occupation. The blue-eyed, blonde-haired 46year-old stands busy in the window of her very own dress shop in Valladolid, northeastern Spain, deftly fixing clothes on a dummy. For Ana, it was a childhood dream come true — one born of the nightmare of redundancy. Left jobless like millions of others in Spain’s recession, she did what many are also doing, for want of an alternative: launched her own business. “I had a choice: stay sitting at home and do nothing, or throw myself into a project that I like,” she says. She opened the store less than four months ago using part of her redundancy pay and savings — a total investment of 30,000 euros ($40,000). She is one of a wave of Spaniards trying to create jobs for themselves in the recession that has driven the unemployment rate above 26 percent. The crisis sparked by the collapse of Spain’s building boom had wiped out a lot of self-employed entrepreneurs: 625,000 between 2008 and 2011, says Lorenzo Amor, president of the small entrepreneurs’ associa-

tion ATA. But in 2012, as the unemployment rate climbed to record highs, their number grew for the first time in the five-year crisis, with 53,000 new registered self-employed, he says, citing government figures. These entrepreneurs created 72,000 jobs, he added — just about the only sector to do generate any. “For the next few months it is going to be easier to create your own job than to find one,” Amor said. “In Spain, every hour 67 people register as self-employed. Unfortunately, half of those don’t manage to keep their business running for more than three years.” Despite everything, they are having a go. In a trendy district of central Madrid, serving staff bustle at the coffee machine in “La Bicicleta”, a novel bicycle-friendly cafe where cyclists can park their bikes. Crammed Its tables are crammed with customers even though the cafe only opened days ago, under the management of Tamara Marques, 29, and Quique Arias, 35. “I had other job plans. I wanted to be an air traffic controller. But the labour market is nothing like it was,” said Tamara. “The way the economy is, I prefer to invest in something I really like and which will bear fruit, rather than

wait for the government to do something for me.” She and Quique launched their plan in late 2011 and managed to open their cafe, with its rough industrialstyle decor and deliberately shabby armchairs, more than a year later. They raised the 100,000 euros they needed through a rare bank loan and help from their families — no thanks, they say, to Spanish bureaucracy. “We’re not even talking about getting subsidies or making it easier to get a loan,” says Quique. “We’re talking about much simpler things, like just getting the paperwork done.” Among its various emergency reforms, the conservative government says it is working on a law to cut the red tape for people launching their own businesses. Ana, Tamara and Quique say they are covering their costs but relying on their families to live. Yet theirs are rare tales of hope in a crisis that aid groups has thrown millions into poverty. “I think there is a growing dynamism. We are seeing just the tip of the iceberg,” says Javier Sanz, director of an MBA programme at Madrid’s Complutense University. “In the next five years people are going to realise more and more that to find the perfect job they are going to have to make one up. For that you need to be an entrepreneur.”

“Exchange rates must reflect economic fundamentals ... (they) must not be subject to the whims of speculators,” Moscovici said as he arrived in Brussels. “I think that we ought to argue at the international level for a coordinated approach.” But Germany, Europe’s paymaster, and the ECB are uncomfortable with such talk given that the central bank’s mandate is to ensure price stability, not manage the forex markets. “For Germany a strong euro is a sign of returning confidence in the euro,” one EU diplomat said. Luxembourg’s Luc Frieden made a similar point. “A strong euro is the best sign that it will survive,” Frieden said, recalling how at the height of the debt crisis, the currency’s future had appeared in doubt several times. “I am very happy that we have succeeded in stabilising the currency,” he added. Dijsselbloem said ministers would try to make progress on Cyprus but that with presidential elections there shortly, a final decision would not be made until March. Cyprus has asked for a bailout of about 17 billion euros ($23 billion), equal to its annual economic output, but there are deep misgivings about its banking system and money laundering. At the same time, there are concerns about letting Cyprus fail as that could badly compromise the credibility of the euro and threaten recent progress. Asked about reports that some private creditors would controversially see their investments written down as part of a Cyprus deal, Dijsselbloem said ministers will “look at the various instruments we might have to use.” Dijsselbloem has several other difficult issues on his plate — continued weak growth and political uncertainty ahead of elections in Italy and Germany. Ministers will also review progress on the key measures agreed last year — a single regulator for the banks and the working of the European Stability Mechanism, the bloc’s bailout backstop. Officials say ministers will also honour former Eurogroup head JeanClaude Juncker of Luxembourg who served for eight years, stepping down in January after overseeing a difficult overhaul of the euro’s shaky foundations. The 17 eurozone finance ministers will be joined by their 10 non-eurozone colleagues for more talks on Tuesday.




Norway sovereign wealth fund enters US property market Norway’s Government Pension Fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, said Monday it had entered the US real estate market by investing $600 million (448 million euros) in five office properties. The fund bought a 49.9 percent stake in five office buildings in Washington DC, New York and Boston after forming a joint venture with the seller, TIAA-CREF, a pension fund.

The US fund will retain a 50.1 percent holding and will be responsible for managing the properties, it said. “As the world’s largest real estate market, the US will be an important part of the fund’s long-term property portfolio,” said Karsten Kallevig, chief investment officer for real estate at the Norwegian central bank unit responsible for managing the fund’s assets.

“We will initially seek to invest in key east coast cities,” he added. The Government Pension Fund is the main investment vehicle for Norway’s oil revenue and is estimated by the US-based SWF Institute to be the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. The value of its assets currently stands at around 3,892 billion kroner (527.2 billion euros or $707.4 billion). (AFP)

Barclays bank set to slash costs, axe 2,000 jobs Troubled British bank Barclays is set to axe annual costs by £2.0 billion ($3.1 billion; 2.3 billion euros) and cut 2,000 investment bank jobs, media reports said Monday on the eve of its 2012 results. The Financial Times newspaper, which cited bank insiders and analysts, said that the cuts — equivalent to ten percent of the group’s cost base — would focus on a retrenchment of investment bank

operations particularly in Asia. The scandal-hit lender will also announce a partial wind-down of retail and commercial banking in parts of Europe, such as Italy. The FT added that as many as 2,000 jobs would be axed at its investment banking division, with thousands more positions at risk in other parts of the business. A group spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter. The Sunday Times

newspaper had reported over the weekend that the bank would close its Structured Capital Markets division, which gained notoriety for its advice to multinational companies on reducing their tax bills. Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins will present Tuesday’s results and strategic overhaul as he bids to transform its reputation following last year’s Libor rate-rigging crisis. (AFP)

Draft industry code will circulate until mid-April

UK in-house auditors face more scrutiny after scandal LONDON, Feb 11, (RTRS): Internal auditors, under fire from regulators for failing to spot how banks were rigging the Libor interest rate, should report directly to company boards and have enough resources to do the job, a British industry body said on Monday. Auditors employed by companies to assess if big risks have been properly identified, controlled and reported, are not subject to direct external regulation and have been discredited by a string of banking scandals. Internal audit is separate from independent, external book-checking that listed companies must undergo. Some internal auditors say privately that regulatory scrutiny will help strengthen their role and make them more relevant. A new draft code for the industry, written by the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors in consultation with the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority (FSA), goes out to public consultation until mid-April. The draft code, designed specifically

to give guidance to the financial industry, says internal auditors should not be barred from assessing the management of any risk and their scope should be unlimited. “To ensure its independence and authority, the primary reporting line of internal audit should be to the chairman of the board of directors, not to the chief executive,” the draft said. Internal audit should also be adequately resourced, it said. Many of the changes to the existing code reflect guidance from the global Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued in June last year. Britain’s accounting regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), started a separate public consultation on Monday over when to ban external accounting firms from using internal auditors in their work. “Permitting the direct use of internal auditors involves agreeing lower independence standards for some members of the audit engagement team...,” said Nick

Insight Toyota playing catch-up

VW’s MQB could be a real game changer Continued from Page 42 VW’s suppliers see MQB as a watershed event, a break with a past when really big vehicle platforms might have yielded orders for as many as 5 million or 6 million identical components over their typical six- to seven-year life cycle. Now, with the implementation of MQB, “they’re being asked for quotes on 35 million parts,” says a senior European industry executive. More importantly, the modularity enables VW to design, engineer and build a wide variety of vehicle size and shapes — from a subcompact Polo hatchback to a full-size, sevenpassenger crossover that’s due in the United States in 2015. The flexibility of the MQB system also allows VW to create more cars that are more tailored for specific markets at a lower cost, and it doesn’t have to sell so many units to break even, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Stuart Pearson. MQB isn’t the only weapon in Hackenberg’s arsenal. Larger Audi, VW and Porsche models with longitudinal engines — mounted in a north-south configuration — will use a similar set of components dubbed MLB that already underpins a number of Audi vehicles. And many of the group’s ultra-luxury and performance brands will employ a third component set called MSB, designed for premium rearand all-wheel-drive vehicles such as the Porsche 911, the Bentley Continental and the Lamborghini Gallardo.

Variations Each of the three modular component sets will come in different variations that will enable enormous flexibility in terms of product design, while accommodating a wide range of powertrain options, from gas and diesel engines to electric motors and batteries. “Modular platforms have grown beyond the technology (alone) to become a management tool which helps support the brands’ development. The toolkits help the brands to preserve their character and sharpen their individuality,” said Hackenberg, now development chief for the Volkswagen brand. The modular toolkits seem like the ideal complement to VW’s other strengths, not the least of which is the company’s sheer size: Group revenue this year is projected by Bernstein Research to top $275 billion. But the huge volumes planned for the MQB derivatives alone could also expose the group to the same sort of mass recalls of millions of cars experienced in recent years by Japanese rival Toyota. If a single part has a problem, and that part is in many different models, a recall affects many more vehicles. Analysts, including Morgan Stanley’s Pearson and Frankfurtbased Metzler Bank analyst Juergen Pieper, also express concern about VW’s growing reliance on emerging markets, notably China, for future growth. The company was an early investor in China and the only European automaker to form joint ventures with that country’s top two manufacturers, FAW Group and

Shanghai Auto. Now, China accounts for 30 percent of VW’s global sales. The German group operates 10 assembly/component factories in China and plans to pump another $13 billion with its JV partners over the next three years into plants, equipment and models. Excess exposure to a single market such as China contradicts VW’s philosophy of spreading growth evenly and potentially makes it vulnerable to negative market developments and possible government interference, says Pieper. To hedge its potential emergingmarkets exposure, VW also has overhauled its loss-making North American operations - an estimated $4-billion investment, according to Morgan Stanley, that could more than double US sales by 2018 to 1.3 million. Even then, it would remain a midlevel player in the US market dominated by GM and Ford, which sell nearly 5 million vehicles a year between them.

RBS execs focused on its ‘cardiac arrest’, not Libor LONDON, Feb 11, (RTRS): Royal Bank of Scotland’s management failed to spot the manipulation of benchmark interest rates by traders because they were focused on keeping the bank alive, the head of its investment bank told British lawmakers. “When we took control of the bank it had had a cardiac arrest. We had to prioritise dealing with the existential threat to the bank,” John Hourican, who is leaving RBS in the wake of the Libor interest rate scandal, told an influential lawmakers panel.

Appearing before the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards on Monday, Hourican said it was important that the bank learnt its lessons from the affair. “I have told people who are prepared to listen that they shouldn’t waste my death,” he said. Peter Nielsen, head of RBS’ markets division, said the bank was unlikely to have made money out of the manipulation, though he admitted it was too slow to respond to the wrongdoing. He said he had discussed resigning with Hourican in the

wake of the affair, but decided to stay on. Hourican said he had told Chief Executive Stephen Hester that Nielsen should stay, arguing: “The bank is better served by Peter remaining at RBS”. The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards also interviewed Johnny Cameron, who ran RBS’s investment bank under disgraced former Chief Executive Fred Goodwin. Cameron said the bank had attempted to impose ethical values on

its traders but couldn’t control their behavior. “You can’t impose moral standards on those that don’t wish to be moral,” he said, adding Libor manipulation had not been seen as a potential danger for banks. “It just didn’t occur to anyone that this was a rate that could be fiddled,” he said. RBS agreed to pay $612 million to US and British authorities last Wednesday to settle allegations it manipulated benchmark interest rates.

Land, an FRC board member. “Accordingly, the FRC has concluded that this should no longer be allowed.” Marek Grabowski, FRC head of audit

policy, told Reuters the ban was intended to apply to annual reports for 2014. Last week, Royal Bank of Scotland was fined $612 million for rigging the

London interbank offered rate (Libor), for several years under the nose of internal auditors. In 2011, the bank’s internal auditors

told the FSA that issues raised by a review of Libor setting were being addressed and “adequate systems and controls” were in place.

Is the US stock market’s 2013 strong start bound to fizzle? Europe’s economic troubles still pose a risk NEW YORK, Feb 11, (AP): The pattern looks eerily familiar. The US stock market hits historical heights to start the year, then gets knocked on its back. Last year, worries about Greece and the U.S. economy helped flatten a rally by June. The year before, it was an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, along with a political fight in Washington. This year, the stock market raced off to its best start since 1997. So, what could squash the good cheer this time?

The top candidates are two of the same culprits from the previous years: Europe and Washington. But the big difference is that the US economy, Corporate America and Europe are all in much better shape, investors say. A slump this year shouldn’t be as bad. “Even if we’re tired of hearing about the dangers, dismissing them hasn’t been a smart thing to do for the past few years,” says Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at the brokerage BTIG. History never repeats itself, exactly, but people who play with numbers for a living see patterns. Last year, strong corporate earnings and steady growth in the US economy drove the S&P 500 index up 8 percent by the middle of February. Less than three months later, fears that Greece would drop the euro currency and a surprisingly weak employment report left the index back where it started. In 2011, the broad-market index staggered higher to start the year, reaching a peak in May with a 9 percent gain. By August, it was all gone. That echoed the year before, and the year before that. “It’s funny how at the beginning of the year everybody gets excited and then by the middle of the year it’s, ‘Everything stinks,’” Greenhaus says.


Growth VW is supporting its recent growth spurt with additional production capacity, including a new Audi assembly plant in Mexico, expansion of VW’s existing facility in Puebla and a potential increase at the new Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. The latter two plants will be updated to accommodate new models that use the MQB platform - the latest Golf in Puebla and the big crossover in Chattanooga, according to VW executives. Top managers are scanning other overseas markets where the company lacks local production facilities, including Africa, much of Latin America and most of the ASEAN region, where VW’s modest presence is dwarfed by that of market leader Toyota.

Capacity VW is in the process of boosting global capacity, including the investments in China and the United States, to nearly 12 million by 2015, from 8.6 million in 2010, according to Morgan Stanley. The full rollout of MQB may not be accomplished until the end of the decade, estimates Pearson. By then, the chief stewards of VW’s corporate strategy - CEO Winterkorn and Chairman Ferdinand Piech - may be retired and the next generation of management moved into the top slots. The Austrian-born Piech, 75, is a third-generation auto executive. A mechanical engineer by training, he is the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, the legendary Austrian designer of the original VW Beetle. VW’s supervisory board has yet to clearly anoint potential heirs to Piech and Winterkorn, 65, and it won’t be easy, particularly since much of the power has been closely held by the two patriarchs since Winterkorn became CEO in 2007. As for the company’s strategic vision after Piech steps down, Morgan Stanley’s Pearson says: “His legacy is (building) the world’s largest and most successful auto company. I don’t think the strategy will change any time soon.”

Trader Peter Costa (left), works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. (AP)

US, Europeans concerned about Japan’s comments on yen

G7 currency statement expected this week LONDON, Feb 11, (RTRS): The Group of Seven nations are considering a statement this week reaffirming their commitment to “market-determined” exchange rates in response to heating rhetoric about a currency war, G20 officials said on Monday. The language, which could be subject to change, implies that the major powers would not indulge in unilateral currency devaluation and reads very similarly to the last statement issued by the G7 on currencies in 2011. “It focuses on a commitment to market-determined exchange rates and (governments) not using policies to drive currencies,” one official said. Two officials from different countries told Reuters that if agreed, the statement could be released around the time G20 finance ministers and central bankers meet in Moscow on Friday and Saturday. US and European officials have expressed concern about comments from Japanese officials that they are targeting a specific level for the yen. Japan’s new government has pressed for aggressively expansionary monetary policies, which have prompted the yen to weaken sharply. Last week, France went as far as calling for a medium-term target to be set for the euro. Berlin rejected that suggestion

and said it did not view the currency as being overvalued as things stand. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said he and his euro zone peers would discuss closer cooperation on exchange rate policy at a meeting on Monday. “We should have — I have insisted that this debate takes place — a coordinated approach between us that will allow for us to argue for exchange rate stability, especially within the G20,” he said upon arrival in Brussels.

Problems The EU’s top monetary official, Olli Rehn, made a similar call at the weekend, noting the particular problems a strong euro would pose for southern, highly indebted members of the euro zone. But any action beyond a bland statement remains a long way off. Some analysts said the very fact those problem countries in the currency bloc had not gone away could send the euro into reverse, negating the need for any policymaker action. “The pace of the euro’s gains in January made me feel uncomfortable, it was too far, too fast ... if news from Cyprus, Spain and Italy is not good we could see $1.30 again,” said Jane Foley,

senior currency strategist at Rabobank. Since late last year, the euro has climbed more than 10 cents from below $1.27 before subsiding in recent days after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi indulged in a bit of gentle verbal intervention, saying he would monitor the impact of a strengthening currency. On Friday, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said the yen had weakened more than intended during its recent decline to around 90 against the dollar from around 78 yen a few months ago. The US Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan are expanding their balance sheets rapidly by printing money, while the ECB’s balance sheet is tightening, partly due to banks paying back early cheap money the central bank doled out last year. All else being equal, that could drive the euro yet higher as others explicitly or implicitly follow policies that will drive their currencies down — the last thing a struggling euro zone economy needs. Any pain will be just as acute in emerging markets. As newly minted cash pours into developing economies in search of higher yields, either their exchange rates will rise, making exports less competitive, or they will have to cut interest rates and/or intervene to hold down their currencies.

Over the past week, Europe’s troubles have recaptured investors’ attention. In Spain, charges of bribery have put pressure on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to resign. In Italy, polls show strong support for Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister, in elections later this month. The scandal-plagued Berlusconi has called for billions in tax rebates and amnesty for Italians who haven’t paid them. Both developments have heightened concerns about whether the two countries will be able to handle their struggling banks as well as their debts. As a result, interest rates for Spanish and Italian government bonds have edged higher over recent days. But the damage won’t be as deep as in prior years. Borrowing costs for Spain and Italy remain far below levels reached last year, thanks to the European Central Bank’s pledge to stand behind the hardest hit countries and protect the euro currency. Last July, for example, the cost for Italy’s government to borrow from the bond market for 10 years topped out at 7.5 percent. On Friday, after creeping higher all week, it was 4.5 percent. The European debt crisis no longer has Wall Street’s investment banks on a leash. Back in October 2011, fears that Greece would be unable to get another lifeline from lenders helped push Goldman Sachs’s stock as low as $84.27. It’s now $151.11. Jeffrey Kleintop, the chief market strategist at LPL Financial, says the ECB’s pledge largely removed the prospect of a financial crisis spreading from Europe to the rest of the world. But even though the scariest threat is gone, Europe’s economic troubles still pose a risk. If Germany, for instance, gets pulled into a recession with the rest of the region, the pain is bound to spread, Kleintop says. Added together, the 17 countries that use the euro rank as the world’s second-largest economy. Europe is also China’s top customer for exports. The other major concern for investors stems from Washington, where drawnout budget battles have turned into an annual event. Steep spending cuts are scheduled to kick in March 1, unless Congress and the White House find a way to avoid them. Previous high-stakes talks have rattled financial markets. In August 2011, a fight over raising the government’s borrowing limit ended with the country losing its top credit rating and panicked investors fleeing for safety. Worries that lawmakers would fail to avoid budget cuts known as the “fiscal cliff” were blamed for the stock market’s swoon last fall.




US economy picks up, China might slow: OECD indicator Economic activity in the United States is rising, in the eurozone it is steadying, but in China and India the growth trend is slowing, leading indicators from the OECD showed on Monday. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said that its index of leading indicators suggested that the economic growth in the United States was “firming”. Activity in Britain was also firming

remain weak.” The OECD, which is a policy forum for 34 advanced economies but also monitors some other important economies, said that China and India appeared to be on a growth path but “below trend compared with more positive signals in last month’s assessment.” The indicators for Canada and Russia continued to signal growth that was below trend, the OECD said. (AFP)

but at a slower pace than seemed to be the case a month ago, the OECD said in its monthly report on composite leading indicators which are considered a reliable pointer to activity in six months’ time. In Japan and Brazil signs were emerging “of growth picking up.” For the 17 members of the eurozone, and notably in Germany and Italy, the leading indicators “point to a stabilisation in growth prospects” but in France “growth is expected to

Zimbabwe to crack down on offshore cash harding the practice “contributed to the prevailing liquidity crunch in the market.” Mpofu said failing to remit export proceeds within 90 days as required by central bank rules was “a serious violation of exchange control regulations.” The bank did not cite the offending companies but warned traders, tourism operators and cross border transport operators it would launch a probe to bring “culprits to book”. The central bank last month said

Zimbabwe’s central bank on Monday warned it would go after local businesses stashing foreign currency in offshore accounts as it seeks to claw back much-needed revenue. The Reserve Bank expressed “great concern” that some exporters were “unnecessarily keeping export proceeds offshore,” Morris Mpofu, a senior bank official said. “This has resulted in a staggering overdue amount of $360 million as at Feb 4, 2013,” said Mpofu adding that

Zimbabwe’s economy remains fragile with low export earnings, lack of credit lines and foreign direct investment resulting in the liquidity crunch. Zimbabwe is still suffering the effects of a nearly decade-long economic downturn in which companies closed or downsized while cash and basic goods were in short supply. The situation was worsened by hyper-inflation which hit 231 million percent three years ago, the rate has now stabilised at 2.9 percent. (AFP)

Dubai retreats; Abu Dhabi index at 34-month high

Egypt bourse dips, remains resilient despite turmoil DUBAI, Feb 11, (RTRS): Egypt’s benchmark index fell in thin trading on Monday but the Cairo bourse’s resilience in the wake of prolonged political turmoil suggests the prospect of further unrest is already priced into stocks. Other Gulf markets were mixed, with Dubai in slight retreat, neighbouring Abu Dhabi at a 34-month high and Saudi Arabia up. Egypt’s index fell 0.3 percent to 5,694 points, trimming year-to-date gains to 4.2 percent. Less than 62 million shares traded, a February low. “There is a lack of strong selling pressure as the market declines,” said Saleh Nasser of Pharos Holding in Cairo. “This should be viewed as a posi-

tive signal. Nonetheless, there is still weakness in the market as bulls are unable to push the market through important resistance at 5,900-6,000.” Egypt’s new Islamist rulers are contending with a rise in militant activity and also struggling to contain street protests that have sometimes turned deadly. “Under normal circumstances, we should have seen this market falling sharply because of the uncertainty about the future of the country,” adds Nasser. “So the ability to maintain at current levels can be viewed as if the market already discounted all of these bad events.” In Saudi Arabia, the share index rose 0.3 percent, trading within a 125point range for the past four weeks.

The measure has lagged other Gulf markets over that period because of disappointing quarterly earnings from banks and petrochemicals, the kingdom’s two main sectors, according to Hesham Tuffaha, a Riyadh-based fund manager. “Investors are willing to take on risk and trade the mid- and small-cap stocks, but are keeping away from the bluechips,” said Tuffaha. He said valuations were low relative to historical norms, predicting the Saudi bourse would again pick up by late February in a catch-up play with other Gulf and global markets. “As other markets rally, Saudi becomes more attractive in terms of valuations,” said Tuffaha. “You can

get dividend yields of about 6 percent and that will bring investors back to the Saudi market.” In December, Saudi announced a record budget for 2013, but doubts remain over whether the planned spending hike will translate into higher corporate profits. “People are over-estimating the amount of money the Saudi government will spend and the impact of this,” said a Dubai-based senior trader who spoke on condition of anonymity. He distinguished between government spending to boost consumption - putting more money in regular Saudis’ pockets - and capital spending that would increase industrial output.

“More money is going on consumption spending and that doesn’t translate into anything like the earnings per share growth (EPS) that people had hoped for,” said the trader. “The market doesn’t like EPS growth based on volume expansion, but on pricing power.” The Saudi banking index climbed 0.5 percent, trimming its losses since Jan. 12’s four-month high to 3 percent. Dubai ■ The index fell 0.1 percent to 1,897 points. Abu Dhabi ■ The index rose 1 percent to 2,924 points.

Kuwait ■ The index climbed 0.4 percent to 6,321 points. Saudi Arabia ■ The index rose 0.3 percent to 7,031 points. Egypt ■ The index fell 0.3 percent to 5,694 points. Qatar ■ The index rose 0.06% to 8,776 pts. Oman ■ The index fell 0.1% to 5,856 pts. Bahrain ■ The index slipped 0.04 percent to 1,086 points. See Also Page 45

investment funds Funds Fund Manager Valution Valued date Currency Net Asset Prev NAV Prev NAV Dated Value (NAV) ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

National Bank of Kuwait

Private Equity Funds

Money Market Funds

Watani KD Money Market Fund NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Feb 5, 2013 KD 1.377 1.377 Jan 29, 2013 Watani KD Money Market Fund (Islamic) NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Feb 5, 2013 KD 1.161 1.161 Jan 29, 2013 Watani Foreign Currency Money Market Fund NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Feb 5, 2013 USD 1.284 1.284 Jan 29, 2013 Watani Foreign Currency Money Market Fund (Euro) NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Feb 5, 2013 Euro 1.236 1.237 Jan 29, 2013 Watani USD Money Market Fund (Acc NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Feb 5, 2013 USD 1.091 1.090 Jan 29, 2013 to Islamic Shariah principles) Equity Funds NBK Gulf Equity Fund NBK Weekly Jan 31, 2013 USD 1.049 1.038 Jan 23, 2013 NBK Kuwait Equity Fund NBK Weekly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.656 0.653 Jan 23, 2013 NBK Qatar Equity Fund NBK Weekly Jan 31, 2013 USD 1.357 1.342 Jan 23, 2013 Islamic Ijara Fund IX Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly Dec 31 2012 USD 10.000 10.000 Nov 30, 2012 Islamic Ijara Fund X Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly Dec 31 2012 USD 10.000 10.000 Nov 30, 2012 Islamic Ijara Fund XI Wafra Capital Partners LP Cayman Islands Monthly Dec 31 2012 USD 10.000 10.000 Nov 30, 2012 Thahabi Ijara Fund V Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly Dec 31 2012 USD 10.000 10.000 Nov 30, 2012 Thahabi Ijara Fund VI Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly Dec 31 2012 USD 10.000 10.000 Nov 30, 2012 Thahabi Ijara Fund VII Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly Nov 30, 2012 USD 10.000 10.000 Oct 31, 2012 Islamic KD Ijara Fund I Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly Dec 31 2012 KD 10.000 10.000 Nov 30, 2012 Islamic KD Ijara Fund II Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly Dec 31, 2012 KD 10.000 10.000 Nov 30, 2012 Islamic KD Ijara Fund III Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly Dec 31, 2012 KD 10.000 10.000 Nov 30, 2012 Islamic KD Ijara Fund IV Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly Dec 31 2012 KD 10.000 10.000 Nov 30, 2012 Islamic KD Ijara Fund V Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly Dec 31 2012 KD 10.000 10.000 Nov 30, 2012 Alternative Funds Watani US Real Estate Income & Growth Fund NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Monthly Sept 30, 2012 USD 1,000.000 1,000.000 June 30, 2012 Watani European Real Estate Fund NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Quarterly Sept 30, 2012 Euro 1,000.000 1,000.000 June 30, 2012 Central European Real Estate Fund NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Quarterly Sept 30, 2012 Euro 10,000.000 10,000.000 June 30, 2012 Islamic European Real Estate Fund – A Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Quarterly Sept 30, 2012 USD 1,000.000 1,000.000 June 30, 2012 Islamic European Real Estate Fund – B Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Quarterly Sept 30, 2012 USD 1,000.000 1,000.000 June 30, 2012 Islamic Asian Real Estate Fund Wafra Investment Advisory Group Inc Quarterly Sept 30, 2012 USD 1,000.000 1,000.000 June 30, 2012 Islamic China India Real Estate Fund Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Quarterly Sept 30, 2012 USD 1,000.000 1,000.000 June 30, 2012 R.Estate Security Funds Islamic Global RE Securities Fund Class A Wafra Capital Partners L.P. Monthly Dec 31, 2012 USD 1,062.376 1,048.180 Nov 30, 2012 Islamic Global RE Securities Fund Class B Wafra Capital Partners L.P. Monthly Dec 31, 2012 USD 1.017.974 1.013.814 Nov 30, 2012 Islamic Turkey Real Estate Fund Wafra Capital Partners L.P. March 19, 2008 USD 1,000.000 Multi Asset Funds Thahabi Multi Asset Fund – Con Portfolio Frontier Capital Management (Jersey) Ltd Monthly Dec 31, 2012 USD 93.044 92.730 Nov 30, 2012 Thahabi Multi Asset Fund – Mo Portfolio Frontier Capital Management (Jersey) Ltd Monthly Dec 31, 2012 USD 82.671 82.140 Nov 30, 2012 NBK Frontier Multi Asset Fund – Con Portfolio Frontier Capital Management (Jersey) Ltd Monthly Nov 30, 2012 USD 92.730 92.410 Oct 31, 2012 NBK Frontier Multi Asset Fund – Mo Portfolio Frontier Capital Management (Jersey) Ltd Monthly Nov 30, 2012 USD 82.140 81.586 Oct 31, 2012 NBK Frontier Multi Asset Fund – Plus Portfolio Frontier Capital Management (Jersey) Ltd Monthly Nov 30, 2012 USD 66.330 65.623 Oct 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Gulf Bank Al Basha’er GCC Equity Fund Kwt. Fin. & Inv. Co. & Gulf Fin. House Monthly Jan 31, 2013 USD 7.270 6.9878 Dec 31, 2012 Coast Fund Coast Investment Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.644 0.643 Dec 31, 2012 Sanaya Dow Jones Kuwait Index Fund Industrial & Financial Investment Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.629 0.614 Dec 31, 2012 Markaz Capital Preservation Programs 1 Monthly Nov 30, 2012 KD 0.959 0.959 Oct 31, 2012 Markaz Capital Preservation Programs 2 Monthly Nov 30, 2012 KD 0.960 0.995 Oct 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Commercial Bank Tijari Islamic Fund Commercial Bank of Kuwait Tw. Monthly Feb 7, 2013 KD 0.325 0.325 Jan 23, 2013 Tijari Indian Fund Commercial Bank of Kuwait Weekly Feb 5, 2013 KD 0.841 0.841 Jan 31, 2013 ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Al Ahli Kuwaiti Fund Al Ahli Bank Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.943 0.928 Dec 26, 2012 Al Ahli Gulf Fund Al Ahli Bank Monthly Jan 28, 2013 KD 0.824 0.794 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Boubyan Bank Boubyan KD Money Market Fund Boubyan Bank Weekly Feb 5, 2013 KD 1.021 1.021 Jan 29, 2013 Boubyan Sukuk Fund Boubyan Bank Daily Dec 25, 2013 USD 770.110 1,001.180 May 11, 2011 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Burgan Bank Burgan Financial Fund Burgan Bank Daily Jan 2, 2013 KD 1.009 1.009 Dec 31, 2012 Burgan Equity Fund Burgan Bank Monthly Jan 27, 2012 KD 1.845 1.828 Dec 23, 2012 ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Local Fund

Al Raed Fund Kuwait Investment Co Monthly Feb 7, 2013 KD 0.991 0.998 Jan 31, 2013 Kuwait Investment Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.651 0.624 Dec 31, 2012 Al Hilal Fund Kuwait Investment Co Monthly Feb 4, 2013 KD 0.583 0.583 Jan 31, 2013 KIC Bond Fund Kuwait Investment Co Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.930 0.929 Dec 31, 2012 Al Atheer Fund Kuwait Investment Co Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 1.072 1.044 Dec 31, 2012 International Global Bond Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Jan 30, 2013 USD 22.400 22.870 Jan 16, 2013 Diversified Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Jan 30, 2013 USD 17.440 17.310 Jan 16, 2013 European Fund Kuwait Investment Co Monthly Jan 31, 2013 Euro 15.800 15.500 Dec 31, 2012 Pacific Equity Fund Kuwait Investment Co Monthly Jan 30, 2013 USD 32.550 32.280 Jan 16, 2013 Al-Awaed Fund Kuwait Investment Co Monthly Jan 31, 2012 KD 0.917 0.914 Dec 31, 2012 North American Equity Fund Kuwait Investment Co Tw. Monthly Jan 31, 2013 USD 13.870 13.210 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

lnternational Financial Advisors Local Fund

IFA Islamic Fund International Financial Advisors Monthly Oct 21 2012 KD 0.200 0.195 Sept 30, 2012 IFA Investment Fund International Financial Advisors Monthly Oct 22, 2012 KD 0.284 0.275 Sept 18, 2012 International IFA International Guaranteed Fund International Financial Advisors Monthly Dec 31, 2010 KD 9.040 0.703 Nov 30, 2010 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

National Investment Co. (NIC) Equity Funds

Al- Wataniya Fund NIC Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.617 0.599 Dec 31, 2012 Al-Safwa Fund NIC Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.461 0.457 Dec 31, 2012 Al-Darji Fund NIC Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.461 0.453 Dec 31, 2012 Mawarid Fund NIC Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.555 0.537 Dec 31, 2012 Zajil Fund NIC Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.745 0.733 Dec 31, 2012 Al Mada Investment Fund NIC Monthly Jan 31, 2013 USD 0.650 0.615 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Al Mal Investment Al Huda Islamic Fund Al Mal Investment Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.399 0.395 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Coast Investment Co. Coast Investment Fund Coast Investment Co Daily Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.664 0.643 Dec 31, 2012 Coast Pearl Fund Coast Investment Co Dec 31, 2012 KD 0.790 0.789 Nov 30, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) Mumtaz Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Feb 07, 2013 KD 4.164 4.250 Jan 31, 2013 MIDAF Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Feb 07, 2013 KD 3.080 3.116 Jan 31, 2013 Islamic Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Feb 07, 2013 KD 1.633 1.657 Jan 31, 2013 Markaz Arabian Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Jan 31, 2013 USD 2.860 2.840 Jan 24, 2013 FORSA Financial Fund Kuwait Financial Center Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 3.996 0.963 Dec 31, 2012 Energy Fund Kuwait Financial Center Quarterly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.772 0.772 Dec 31, 2012 Real Estate Fund Kuwait Financial Center Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 1.374 1.375 Dec 31, 2012 Markaz Fixed Income Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Jan 31, 2013 USD 10.740 10.750 Jan 24, 2013 Markaz Idikhar Fund Kuwait Financial Center Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.447 0.446 Dec 31, 2012 Markaz Islamic Income Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Oct 31, 2012 KD 0.219 0.218 Sept 30, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Kuwait & Middle East Financial & Inv. Co. Al Rou’yah Fund KMEFIC Monthly Jan 21, 2013 KD 1.423 1.367 Dec 31, 2012 Gulf Gate Fund KMEFIC Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.857 0.824 Dec 31, 2012 Al Awsat Money Market Fund (USD) KMEFIC Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.688 0.688 Dec 31, 2012 Al Awsat Money Market Fund (USD) KMEFIC Monthly Jan 31, 2013 USD 4.787 4.784 Dec 31, 2012 Amwal Islamic Money Market Fund KMEFIC Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.549 0.549 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Global Investment House

Money Market Funds Islamic Real E. Funds

Kuwait Finance & Investment Co (KFIC) Al Wasm Fund KFIC Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.396 0.384 Nov 30, 2012 Al Basha’er GCC Equity Fund KFIC & Gulf Finance House Quarterly Jan 31, 2013 USD 7.270 6.988 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

KAMCO KAMCO Investment Fund KAMCO Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.977 0.940 Dec 31, 2012 Kuwait Private Equity Opportunities Fund KAMCO Quarterly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.678 0.678 Dec 31, 2012 Kuwait Education Fund KAMCO Quarterly Jan 31, 2013 KD 1.428 1.428 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Al Madar Finance Shuwaikh Real Estate Fund Al Madar Bi-weekly Dec 31, 2012 KD 1.438 1.486 Sept 30, 2012 US Index Fund Al Madar Monthly Jan 25, 2013 KD 1.825 1.653 Nov 23, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Al Madina Finance & Investment Co. India Fund Al Madina Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.873 0.845 Dec 31, 2012 Al Madina Fund Al Madina Quarterly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.473 0.473 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Wafra International Investment Co. Wafra Equity Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.855 0.819 Dec 31, 2012 Wafra Bond Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 1.001 0.998 Dec 31, 2012 Fajir Islamic Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.619 0.589 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Shuaa Capital Co. Saudi Gateway Fund Shuaa Capital Weekly Jan 28, 2013 USD 8.470 8.470 Dec 20, 2012 The Arab Gateway Fund Shuaa Capital Monthly Feb 05, 2013 USD 24.180 24.160 Jan 29, 2013 Emirates Gateway Fund Shuaa Capital Monthly Feb 05, 2013 AED 7.340 7.270 Jan 29, 2013 Qatar Gate Fund (Q) Shuaa Capital Monthly Jan 31, 2013 QAR 94.840 89.110 Dec 31, 2012 Qatar Gate Fund (N) Shuaa Capital Monthly Jan 31, 2013 QAR 93.200 87.830 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Investment Dar Co. Al Dar Real Estate Fund Tharwa Investment Co Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 1.134 1.133 Dec 31, 2012 Al Dar Funds of Fund Al Dar Asset Management Weekly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.470 0.470 Dec 31, 2012 Al Dar Money Market Fund Al Dar Asset Management Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.872 0.868 Jan 21, 2013 Al Dar Securities Fund Al Dar Asset Management Weekly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.550 0.524 Dec 31, 2012 Al Nokhba Fund Al Dar Asset Management Monthly Dec 31, 2012 KD 0.406 0.408 Nov 30, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Global Umbrella Fund - US Global Umbrella Fund - Asia/Japan Global Distressed Fund Zenith Fund Mayur Hedge Fund Global KD Bond Fund GCC Large Cap Index Fund Al-Mamoun Fund A Al-Mamoun Fund B GCC Large Cap Fund Al-Noor Fund Global Saudi Equity Fund Global KD Money Market Fund Global USD Money Market Fund Global US Real Estate Fund GCC Real Estate Fund Global Asia Real Estate Fund Global Real Estate Ijarah Fund

Al Aman Islamic Fund Al Aman Investment Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.471 0.452 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Housing Finance Co (ISKAN) Masaref Investment Fund ISKAN Weekly Feb 7, 2013 KD 0.911 0.906 Jan 31, 2013 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Gulf Investment Corp. Gulf Bond Fund Gulf Investment Corp Weekly Jan 31, 2013 USD 13.910 13.950 Jan 25, 2013 Gulf Premier Fund Gulf Investment Corp Weekly Jan 31, 2013 USD 21.630 21.460 Jan 27, 2013 Gulf Islamic Fund Gulf Investment Corp Weekly Jan 31, 2013 USD 6.700 6.650 Jan 24, 2013 GIC KD Bond Fund Gulf Investment Corp Monthly Jan 31, 2013 USD 0.980 0.980 Jan 24, 2013 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Ahli United Bank (formerly BKME)

Kuwait Investment Co.

Fixed Income Funds Index Funds Equity Funds

Global Opportunistic Fund Global Quarterly Sept 30, 2009 USD 106.060 107.180 Global Opportunistic Fund II Global Quarterly Sept 22, 2009 USD 110.920 110.390 June 30, 2009 Private Equity Fund Global Quarterly Sept 30, 2009 KD 0.829 0.859 June 30, 2009 Global Buyout Fund Global Monthly Sept 30, 2009 USD 564.740 603.390 June 30, 2009 Country Fund Palestine Dedicated Fund Global Monthly Dec 31, 2012 USD 86.740 91.810 Sept 30, 2011 Global Egypt Fund Global Monthly Jan 31, 2012 USD 38.740 38.110 Dec 31, 2011 Sectoral Funds EPADI Fund Global Weekly Jan 29, 2013 USD 108.550 107.870 Jan 22, 2013 Islamic Funds Global GCC Islamic Fund Global Weekly Jan 29, 2013 USD 89.250 88.450 Jan 22, 2013 Al-Durra Islamic Fund Global Monthly Feb 07, 2013 KD 1.168 1.190 Jan 31, 2013 Global Islamic Fund of Funds Global Weekly Dec 31, 2012 USD 67.276 76.860 Aug 31, 2011 Global Islamic Fund Global Monthly June 28, 2012 KD 1.271 1.286 March 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Al Aman Investment

Al Ahli Bank

Hedge Funds

Funds Fund Manager Valution Valued date Currency Net Asset Prev NAV Prev NAV Dated Value (NAV) ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Global Global Global Global Global Global Global Global Global Global Global Global Global Global Global Global Global Global

Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Weekly Monthly Weekly Weekly Weekly Bi-weekly Bi-weekly Bi-weekly Weekly Monthly Quarterly Quarterly Quarterly

Nov 30, 2012 Nov 30, 2012 Nov 30, 2012 Nov 30, 2012 Dec 31, 2012 Jan 31, 2013 Feb 07, 2013 Feb 07, 2013 Feb 07, 2013 Jan 29, 2013 Feb 10, 2013 Feb 10, 2013 Feb 10, 2013 Feb 05, 2013 June 30, 2012 June 30, 2009 June 30, 2009 Dec 31, 2008


148.640 114.260 168.060 94.840 94.020 0.824 1.319 0.534 0.534 120.160 168.016 166.442 1.114 134.320 0.265 0.675 0.850 850.790

152.630 117.130 167.850 94.910 92.180 0.819 1.331 0.539 0.539 118.210 168.573 166.016 1.114 134.440 0.378 0.710 0.857

Sept 30, 2012 Sept 30, 2012 Sept 30, 2012 Oct 30, 2012 Nov 30, 2012 Dec 31, 2012 Jan 31, 2013 Jan 31, 2013 Jan 31, 2013 Jan 22, 2013 Feb 05, 2013 Feb 05, 2013 Feb 05, 2013 Jan 29, 2013 March 31, 2009 March 31, 2009 March 31, 2009

Al Awasat Money Market Fund Ahli United Bank Monthly April 30, 2012 KD 1.132 1.104 Sept 30, 2010 Al Amin Islamic Market Fund Ahli United Bank Jan 31, 2013 KD 1.142 1.142 Dec 30, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Bayan Investment Co Ea’mmar and Estethmar Fund Bayan Investment Co Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.442 0.411 Dec 31, 2012 Al Themar Securities Fund Bayan Investment Co Weekly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.452 0.445 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Tharwa Investment Co. Tharwa Investment Fund Tharwa Investment Co Weekly Jan 31, 2013 KD 1.212 1.193 Jan 10, 2013 Tharwa Islamic Fund Tharwa Investment Co Monthly Jan 31 2013 KD 0.683 0.682 Jan 10, 2013 Tharwa Arab Investment Fund Tharwa Investment Co Monthly Jan 31, 2013 USD 1.422 1.251 Jan 10, 2013 Tharwa World Fund Tharwa Investment Co Weekly Jan 31, 2013 USD 1.073 1.042 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Bank Al-Bilad Al Seef Fund Bank Al-Bilad Daily Feb 3, 2013 KD 0.524 0.528 Jan 27, 2013 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Commercial International Bank Commercial Int’t Bank Fund I CI Asset Management Weekly Feb 06, 2013 EGP 194.4450 196.390 Feb 05, 2013 Commercial Int’t Bank Fund II (Istethmar) CI Asset Management Weekly Jan 17, 2013 EGP 61.760 63.260 Jan 10, 2013 CIB and Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt Fund CI Asset Management Weekly Jan 24, 2013 EGP 42.620 42.540 Jan 17, 2013 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Noor Financial Inv. Co. Noor Islamic Fund Noor Financial Investment Co Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 1.678 0.676 Dec 31, 2012 Noor Real Estate Income Fund Noor Financial Investment Co Monthly July 31, 2013 KD 1.124 1.126 June 30, 2012 Noor Kuwait Islamic Equity Fund Noor Financial Investment Co Monthly June 30, 2013 KD 0.633 0.636 May 31, 2011 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Kuwait Real Estate Investment Consortium Kuwait Real Estate Fund Kuwait Real Estate Investment Consortium Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 1.692 1.685 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Manafae Investment Co. Manafae First Fund Manafae Investment Co Monthly Dec 31, 2012 KD 0.665 0.665 Dec 26, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Al Zumorroda Investment Co. Zumorroda GCC Fund Al Zumorroda Investment Co Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.558 0.528 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Al Safat Investment Co. Al Safat Local Shares Equity Fund Al Safat Investment Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.201 0.204 Nov 30, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Al-Imtiaz Investment Co. Al-Imtiaz Investment Fund Al-Imtiaz Investment Company Quarterly Dec 31, 2012 KD 0.847 0.847 Nov 30, 2012 Al-Imtiaz Real Estate Fund Al-Imtiaz Investment Company Quarterly Dec 31, 2012 KD 0.889 0.937 Nov 30, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

BankMuscat BankMuscat MSCI Kuwait Fund BankMuscat Daily Feb 6, 2013 USD 0.429 0.431 Feb 5, 2013 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Al-Muthana Investment Co. Muthanna Islamic Index Fund (MUDX) Al-Muthana Investment Company Daily Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.384 0.376 Dec 31, 2012 Muthanna GCC Islamic Banks Fund Al-Muthana Investment Company Weekly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.636 0.615 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

CapCorp Investment Co. CapCorp Local Fund CapCorp Investment Company Weekly Feb 7, 2013 KD 0.924 0.936 Jan 31, 2013 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Amar Finance & Leasing Co. Amar Real Estate Fund Amar Finance & Leasing Company Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.901 0.901 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Al-Dhow Investment Co.

Waed Real Estate Fund Al-Dhow Real Estate Company Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.906 0.922 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Al-Fouz Investment Co.

Al-Fouz Real Estate Fund Al-Fouz Investment Company Annual Sept 30, 2012 KD 0.997 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Securities House Co.

Diyar Real Estate Investment Fund Securities House Company Monthly Dec 31, 2012 KD 0.991 1.002 Nov 30, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

A’ayan Leasing & Investment Company

Awa’ed Real Estate Fund A’ayan Leasing & Investment Co. Quarterly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.680 0.680 Dec 31, 2012 Makaseb Estate Fund A’ayan Leasing & Investment Co. Quarterly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.716 0.724 Dec 31, 2012 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Industrial & Financial Investment Company Direct investment Fund

Industrial and Financial Investment Co. (IFIC)

Jan 31, 2013




Dec 31, 2012




Name: Kuwait Sharia Compatible Indices

Providers: Al Madar Finance & Investment Co.

Description: Index of Sharia compatible companies traded on the KSE


Index name Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Composite Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Kuwait Only Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Active Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Banking Sector Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Investment Sector Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Insurance Sector Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Real Estate Sector Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Industrial Sector Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Services Sector Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Food Sector Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Islamic Sector Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Non Kuwaiti Sector Kuwait Stock Exchange Index - Price S&P 500 DJ Islamic Index.


Today’s value as of February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 11, 2013 February 10, 2013 February 10, 2013

Today’s closing value 202.82 198.22 85.15 334.76 93.21 24.43 55.28 142.52 282.29 276.11 153.50 248.38 6,320.97 1,517.93 2,397.16

Prev closing value 203.02 198.48 85.12 337.64 92.13 23.43 55.08 142.41 281.64 278.63 153.99 245.86 6,292.97 1,517.93 2,396.28

% change -0.10% -0.13% 0.04% -0.85% 1.17% 4.28% 0.36% 0.08% 0.23% -0.90% -0.32% 1.02% 0.44% 0.00% 0.04%

1-week change -1.27% -1.32% -1.09% -2.03% -0.88% 8.46% -0.35% -2.43% -0.86% -0.88% -1.58% 0.86% 0.18% 0.31% -0.47%

3-month change 5.21% 4.81% 14.64% 2.46% 18.51% 21.42% 0.37% 6.88% 6.76% 11.62% 4.23% 5.12% 8.69% 9.99% 8.51%

YTD change 2.37% 2.27% 11.10% 0.59% 5.42% 14.04% 3.22% 1.20% 3.09% 4.18% 2.17% 6.55% 6.52% 8.24% 5.33%

12-month change 8.70% 7.00% 22.37% 6.34% 40.43% -24.89% 28.31% -3.24% 7.40% 21.30% 8.97% 34.65% 7.06% 13.06% 7.07%

24-month change -9.76% -11.37% 12.53% -10.08% 85.32% 0.01% 24.59% -18.56% -16.51% 11.17% -6.64% 17.13% -6.20% 14.83% 4.85%


Jordan inflation Jordan’s year-on-year consumer price inflation rose to 6.7 percent in January from 4.8 percent a month earlier, Department of Statistics figures showed on Monday showed. Inflation has picked up since November after the government lifted fuel subsidies on gasoline and other petroleum products, though remaining government subsidies on bread have helped curb some food costs. (RTRS)

The exchange rate of the US greenback was unchanged against the Kuwaiti dinar, trading for KD 0.281 Monday, and the EU’s euro was also still at KD 0.376, according to the daily bulletin of the Central Bank of Kuwait. The bulletin said the pound sterling was also unchanged at KD 0.445. (KUNA)

Wataniya Telecom soars 40 fils; Jazeera Airways slips

KSE ends 28 points up in choppy trade By John Mathews Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: Kuwait stocks revved up on Monday, extending the gains to the second consecutive day. The index climbed 28 pts in choppy trade to 6320.97 pts – the highest level since May 2012. The focus was largely on low and middle level stocks whereas the heavyweights closed mixed. The bourse had gained over 310 pts during whole of January. The KSX 15 benchmark dropped 4.05 pts to 1029.53 pts and has shed almost 16 pts so far during the month while the weighted index inched 0.61 pts lower to 427.9 pts. The volume turnover surged 31.42 percent to 473.22 million after falling sharply in the previous session. The sectors closed mostly in the positive territory. Technology outpaced the rest with a 5.56 percent spike whereas oil and gas slipped 1.56 percent – the worst performer of the day. Volume wise, real estate topped with 40.76 percent market share while financial services and industrials followed with 29.93 percent and 17.26 percent respectively. Automated Systems Co spiked 50 fils to KD 0.550 and while Kuwait National Cinema Company was up 10 fils at KD 0.860. ALAFCO rose 5 fils on back of 1.1 million shares and Kuwait Gulf Links edged 2 fils higher to KD 0.104. The stock has eased 2 fils so far during

plus 5 pct bonus shares. National Industries Group gyrated in narrow range before settling unchanged at KD 0.216. Kuwait Portland Cement Co closed flat at KD 1.160 off early lows and Kuwait Foundry Co followed suit to wind up at KD 0.310. Kuwait Food Co (Americana) shed 20 fils to end at KD 1.820.

the month and is trading 18 fils higher year-to-date. Zain held the ground unchanged at KD 0.800 off early highs whereas Wataniya Telecom soared 40 fils to KD 2.420 after stagnating in the day before. Agility retreated 10 fils to KD 0.540.

Drifted The market opened wavy drifted in broad range in early trade. The index climbed to the day’s highest level of 6323.25 amid buying in select counters but failed to hold on to the gains. It retreated thereafter and slipped below the red almost half way into the session to bottom at 6292.97 pts. It clawed back in the final minutes and closed with modest gains. Top gainer of the day, Automated Systems Co rallied 10 percent to KD 0.550 and Wethaq Takaful climbed 9.62 percent to stand next. Investors Holding Group slid 11.11 percent, the steepest decliner of the day, and the stock also saw the highest volume turnover of 130.39 million shares. Mirroring the day’s gain, the market spread was skewed towards the winners. 70 stocks advanced whereas 32 closed lower. Of the 141 counters active on Monday, 39 closed flat. 6847 deals worth KD 29.89 million were transacted – a 28.62 percent increase in value from the day before. “The index (is in) overbought territory while the odds for a retracement lower have increased,” Reuters quoted Bruce


Photo by Anwar Daifallah

Photo shows a segment of ticker board at Kuwait Stock Exchange. The bourse gained 28 pts on Monday.

Powers, a technical analyst with Orpheus Capital earlier in the month. “However, so far there are no signs of it. The next higher price levels to watch for resistance are around 6,251, followed by 6,329, consisting of prior resistance from March 2012 and the 78.6 percent Fibonacci retracement of the downtrend off the May 2012 high, respectively,” he added. On the downside, Gulf Petroleum Investment Co retreated 10 fils after trading over 26 million shares and ACICO Industries was up 6 fils at KD

0.228. Jazeera Airways pulled 5 fils lower after stagnating in the previous session. The carrier has chalked a net profit of KD 13.94 million and earnings per share of 38.37 fils in 2012. United Industries Co dropped 4 fils to KD 0.110 while Kuwait Cement Co was down 5 fils at KD 0.110. Gulf Glass Manufacturing Co tumbled 30 fils. The company has posted a net profit of KD 2.60 million and earnings per share of 64.69 fils in the full year 2012. The Board of Directors recommended a cash dividend 45 percent or 45 fils per share

In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait was flat at KD 0.990 whereas Gulf Bank edged 5 fils lower to KD 0.410. Ahli United Bank added 10 fils. AUB has sold 37,374,000 shares of AlAhli Bank of Qatar’s shares at 60 rials/ share with a total value of QAR 2,242,440,000. The company has realized a profit of QAR 775,227,154 . Commercial Bank of Kuwait dropped 20 fils to close at KD 0.700 and Al Ahli Bank shed 20 fils. Burgan Bank was unchanged at KD 0.540. The lender has obtained the approval of Central Bank of Kuwait to extend permission to buyback or sell up to 10% of own issued shares over a period of 6 months commencing from February 5. Kuwait International Bank took in 5 fils after stagnating on Sunday while Kuwait Finance House erased 20 fils after trading over 2 million shares. Boubyan Bank paused at KD 0.660. The bank has recorded KD 10.05 million net profit and earnings per share 5.75 fils in the full year 2012 and the Board of Directors have recommended a dividend

payout of 5 % bonus shares. KIPCO rose 5 fils and Securities House Co was up by same measure to end at KD 0.410. National Investment Co added 4 fils whereas Kuwait Financial Centre Co (Markaz) edged 2 fils lower. First Investment Co took in 2 fils with thin trading and Al Maal Investment ticked 1 fils up. The index has been grinding higher so far during the week and has added 32.25 pts in last two sessions. The index has rallied 75.86 from start of the month and is trading over 6 percent higher year-todate. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the bourse related news, Mashaer Holding has announced a net profit of KD 4.31 million and earnings per share of 25 fils in the 2012 as against KD 5,20 profit and earnings per share of 29 fils in the year before. The Board of Directors recommended a dividend payout of: cash 15 % (Fils 15). Independent Petroleum Group has posted a net profit of KD 5.83 million and earnings per share of 40.35 fils in 2012 as against KD 6.05 million and loss per share of 41.89 fils during last year. The Board has recommended a cash dividend payout of 30 % or 30 fils. INOVEST has logged an annual net loss KD 2.53 million and loss per share of 8.91 fils in 2012 as compared to KD 6.54 loss and 22.96 fils LPS in 2011. The Board of Directors recommended no dividend payout for the fiscal year.




India’s new stock exchange starts trading India’s third stock exchange began trading on Monday, competing for market share in a country where the number of small investors in shares is still low. The MCX-SX started trading in equities and derivatives, with blue chip stocks such as oil explorer Reliance Industries and State Bank of India being among the first shares traded. The Mumbai-based exchange has several local banks as shareholders and its flagship index


will be the SX40 made up of 40 largecap stocks representing a cross-sector of the economy. India’s investment community is hopeful that the MCX-SX can help reduce trading costs by spurring competition among India’s three bourses to reduce the cost of brokerage membership fees. They also hope that the exchange will create new investment products. The launch of the MCX-SX will provide “us an opportunity to contribute in development of India’s capital mar-

ket”, Jignesh Shah, vice-chairman of the new exchange, said in a statement. Indians — largely seen to be riskaverse — have traditionally preferred to invest in gold and property rather than in equities and derivatives. Only five out of 100 people invest in the stock markets directly or through mutual fund schemes, regulatory data shows. The National Stock Exchange based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay)

Philippine tycoon’s banks merge

was set up by local financial institutions in 1994 with government backing and quickly became a rival to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The NSE is now India’s biggest exchange with the value of shares traded totalling $526 billion last year according to industry data. That is triple the value of shares traded on the BSE, Asia’s oldest exchange which dates from 1875 when brokers first started trading under banyan trees. (AFP)

Two large banks controlled by one of the Philippines’ richest men have merged, strengthening their position in the country’s recovering economy, it was announced Monday. The near-century-old Philippine National Bank (PNB) and Allied Bank, both controlled by tycoon Lucio Tan, announced their merger, with PNB eventually to become the surviving entity. The merged bank, to be the country’s fourth largest, will have total assets of 500 billion pesos ($12.2

billion) with 654 domestic branches and 378 billion pesos in deposits, said PNB marketing chief Emmanuel Tuazon. PNB, founded in 1916, was once state-owned but in 1989 the government began privatising it. The bank was eventually acquired by Tan and his allies in 1999. Allied Bank, started in 1977, has long been controlled by Tan who was listed by Forbes in 2012 as the second richest man in the Philippines. (AFP)

bottomline Wall St slips from multi-year

PARIS: The FBI is investigating allega-

highs; euro off two-week low

authorised France on Monday temporarily to rescue car-maker PSA Peugeot Citroen to the tune of a six-month 1.2billion-euro guarantee. But the EU executive said in a statement that it wanted to see within six months a restructuring plan for the entire group. Approval of “this guarantee was necessary to ensure access to the market of Banque PSA Finance (the banking arm) and avoid contagion of the French banking system that would affect banks’ cost of financing,” the statement said. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

tions of corruption involving a British unit of aerospace group EADS over a contract in Saudi Arabia for the UK’s Ministy of Defence, the Financial Times said on Monday. US authorities have yet to decide whether to launch an investigation against the unit, GPT Special Management Systems, the paper said. A spokesman for EADS said the company had not been contacted by the FBI. The newspaper said the FBI had interviewed a witness and acquired documents in connection with allegations that GPT, which sells communication equipment to the Saudi National Guard through the UK defence ministry, bribed Saudi officials. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Brent crude trims decline; gold falls NEW YORK, Feb 11, (Agencies): The euro rose on Monday, coming back from lows as a European policymaker dismissed talk of intervening to weaken the currency, while US stocks faltered after hitting multi-year highs.

FRANKFURT: The German construction and engineering company Bilfinger said on Monday it expected business to continue to develop this year after it met all its targets in 2012. “We achieved the goals we set ourselves in 2012 and we anticipate positive developments in all business segments in the year 2013,” the firm said in a statement. Last year, output rose by 2.0 percent to 8.648 billion euros ($11.6 billion) and incoming orders rose by 7.0 percent to 8.348 billion euros, the statement said. Net profit dropped by 30 percent to 275 million euros, but the year-earlier figure included operations which Bilfinger has since sold. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

NEW YORK: Dell said Monday its proposed $24.4 billion private equity buyout plan is “in the best interests of stockholders,” brushing aside criticism from a key investor that it undervalues the tech giant. In a statement filed with securities regulators, Dell released a brief comment which it said was in response to inquiries on the matter. It said a special committee of its board considered “an array of strategic alternatives” and had “retained a prominent management consultant to help it assess the company’s strategic position.” “Based on that work, the board concluded that the proposed all-cash transaction is in the best interests of stockholders,” the statement said. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Tensions over whether some countries are deliberately trying to weaken their currencies were in focus, with French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici saying euro zone countries need closer cooperation on exchange rate policy. But that was offset by comments from European Central Bank policymaker Jens Weidmann, who said that discussions about an overvaluation of the euro are simply a diversion from governments’ task of sorting out their economies. After three days of declines, the euro was lifted by investors looking to buy at low levels, and the currency accelerated its gains after Weidmann’s remarks. Wall Street was little changed as a lack of major economic news on Monday gave investors little reason to push the market higher, for now. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen was due to speak about the economic recovery at 1 pm (1800 GMT). Investors will get some insight into President Barack Obama’s plan for spurring the economy in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Encouraging US and Chinese data last week helped push US equities higher, sending the tech-focused Nasdaq to a 12year closing high and the S&P 500 to a five-year peak. Less than two months into the year, the S&P 500 is up more than 6 percent, but the rally has stalled with the S&P and Dow industrial indices near record highs. MSCI’s world equity index was down 0.3 percent, and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended down 0.7 percent. Brent crude prices trimmed losses after earlier dropping below $118 a barrel as concern about the euro zone economy eclipsed stronger-than-expected demand growth in China. Trade data out of China had sent Brent crude to a nine-month high on Friday.

MUMBAI: Indian mobile phone firm Reliance Communications (RCom) on Monday announced it has awarded a $1billion, eight-year contract to Swedish telecom equipment-maker Ericsson to run some of its networks. Ericsson will manage the daily operations of RCom’s wireline and wireless networks in northern and western India, the companies said in a joint statement. The awarding of the contract follows a similar RCom deal announced last month with US-French telecom equipment supplier Alcatel-Lucent, to deliver voice and data communication services to RCom’s networks in southern and eastern India. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

LONDON: Britain’s accountancy regulator said it was investigating the financial reports of British software firm Autonomy before it was bought by Hewlett-Packard, a deal that was later subject to accusations of fraud. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), an independent watchdog that sets standards for accountants and auditors, said on Monday it would investigate Autonomy’s published accounts between Jan 1 2009 and June 30 2011, two months before the deal was announced. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

MUMBAI: State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), India’s biggest energy explorer, reported on Monday thirdquarter net profit fell 17.5 percent as earnings suffered from subsidies given to fuel retailers. Net profit for the October to December quarter slid to 55.63 billion rupees ($1.03 million) from 67.41 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Under government rules, ONGC must sell discounted fuel to state-run refineries which in turn provide diesel, petrol and other fuel products at cheaper rates to the public. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

THE HAGUE: Dutch retail giant Ahold said on Monday that it was selling its majority stake in Scandinavian supermarket chain ICA to Stockholm-based Hakon Invest in a deal worth more than two billion euros. The deal will result in Hakon, which already owns 40 percent of ICA, becoming the sole owner of the grocery chain which operates 2,215 shops, mainly in Sweden but also in Norway and the Baltic states. ICA had a turnover of over 11.2 billion euros in 2012. Hakon Invest will fuse with ICA to become a single company called ICA Gruppen. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

ALGIERS: Algerian judicial authorities are investigating allegations of corruption involving state energy firm Sonatrach and Italy’s Eni SpA, the Algiers public prosecutor said. The announcement of the probe came days after Milan prosecutors said they had put Eni head Paolo Scaroni under investigation in a probe into alleged bribes paid to win contracts in Algeria for Saipem SpA, in which Eni holds a 43 percent stake. The Algiers court “informs public opinion that the revelations reported by some national and foreign media relate to the investigation that has already been launched by a special court,” Algiers public prosecutor Belkacem Zeghmati said in a statement carried on the official APS news agency late on Sunday. (RTRS)

COPENHAGEN: Shares in the world’s biggest insulin producer Novo Nordisk plunged by up to 15 percent on Monday after the company said US drug authorities had rejected its applications for two new insulin treatments. The Danish company said it had received a letter from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stating “that approvals for Tresiba and Ryzodeg cannot be granted” until the company provides additional information. The FDA requested more cardiovascular data, which Novo Nordisk said it was unlikely to be able to provide this year. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

BRUSSELS: The European Commission

US US stocks drifted lower in Monday trading, pulling the Standard & Poor’s 500 index back from its five-year high. The S&P 500 slipped one point to 1,517 shortly after noon. Eight of the 10 industry groups within the S&P 500 dropped. Financial and technology stocks, the exceptions, were barely higher. The broad stock index ended last week at its highest level since November 2007, and has climbed higher for six weeks in a row. Now, with major market indexes nearing record highs, many say the stock

market is ready for a pause. “The consensus seems to be that we’re due for a correction,” said Brian Gendreau, market strategist at Cetera Financial Group. “If you compound the increase we’ve had so far, this year would be the best year ever for stocks. And nobody thinks that that’s going to happen.” The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 27 points to 13,965 in early afternoon trading. Home Depot led the Dow lower, dropping 73 cents to $66.28. The Nasdaq composite fell five points to 3,188. No economic reports are scheduled to be released Monday. And few big companies are scheduled to report earnings. Loews Corp said Monday morning that it lost $32 million in its fourth quarter, hurt by insurance losses from Superstorm Sandy and sliding prices for natural gas. The holding company, which has dealings in insurance, oil and gas and hotels, is largely controlled by the Tisch family of New York. Its stock sank 34 cents to $43.51. The stock market raced to a stunning start in January. A last-minute deal in Washington to avoid tax hikes and spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff” eased fears that the budget cuts could lead the US into a recession. Markets soared in relief. The Dow and the S&P 500 are up more than 6 percent for the year. The Nasdaq is up more than 5 percent. Among other companies in the news Monday: ■ Apple’s stock gained following reports over the weekend that the tech giant is developing a wristwatch-like gadget, a smart watch. The device would reportedly run the same operating system used for iPhones and iPads. Apple rose $8.55 to $483.63. ■ Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk dropped 14 percent. The US Food and Drug Administration refused to approve the company’s proposed diabetes treatments until it received more data, which the drug maker said it couldn’t supply this year. Novo Nordisk’s depositary receipts lost $27.57 to $164.72.

percent, their worst fall in four years after US regulators requested more tests on its key new insulin drug, potentially delaying the approval by several years and threatening the Danish firm’s longterm financial targets. The unexpected announcement prompted investors to ditch what had been one of the most expensive European pharma stocks, with some instead snapping up French rival Sanofi, whose own insulin drug now faces less competition in the near term. On a national basis, Spain’s IBEX was the worst performer outside of Scandinavia, down 1.2 percent as a corruption scandal drove support for Spain’s governing People’s Party to a 20-year low.

UK Britain’s FTSE 100 was lifted on Monday by strength in energy stocks and food retailers, but the index was still struggling to break through the four-anda-half year highs hit at the start of February. London’s blue chip index gained 13.13 points, or 0.2 percent at 6,277.06, holding within the 70-point range of the last five days and below the psychologically important 6,300 level. Energy shares finished the day strongly with heavyweight Royal Dutch Shell rising 1.0 percent after BP backed a move by the firm to head off a liquidity crunch in the Brent crude market. Consumer staples such as food retailers added 4.5 points to the FTSE 100 with Tesco up 1.5 percent after Exane BNP Paribas upgraded the firm to “neutral” from “underweight” on valuation grounds, and saying that downside risks have also been reduced. Online grocer Ocado jumped 7.5 percent, extending recent gains following its trading update last week and on rehashed talk of a large retailer without online presence possibly making a bid for the company.

Asia Stock markets in Hong Kong, mainland China and Seoul were among those closed Monday for the Lunar New Year holiday. Japanese markets were also shut for a public holiday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 close 0.2 percent lower at 4,959.50, although a positive earnings report from retailer HB Hi-Fi Ltd helped to limit losses and boost retail stocks. JB Hi-Fi surged 17.1 percent after reporting its first half net profit had risen 3 percent to 82 million Australian dollars ($84.6 million). David Jones rose 2.7 percent and Myer Holdings added 3.1 percent. Key stock indexes in Thailand and New Zealand also fell. Markets in Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam were closed for holidays.

Europe European equities eased on Monday, pursuing the previous week’s retreat from multi-month peaks and dragged down by Novo Nordisk after a regulatory set-back for a new drug. The weakness in European equities was fairly broad with all but three sectors in the red. Energy and mining stocks were hit by falling commodity prices while political turbulence in Italy and Spain is still weighing on banks and on their national indexes. The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed down 0.7 percent, at 1,154.31 points, continuing a correction from 2year highs set at the end of January which analysts said could have further to run in coming sessions. Shares in Novo Nordisk plunged 13

Oil Oil prices fell in London on Monday as dealers took profits from recent gains, but the market rebounded in New York

as the euro strengthened against the dollar after supportive comments from the Bundesbank. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March fell 42 cents to $118.48 per barrel in London late afternoon deals. The contract on Friday scaled a ninemonth peak at $119.17 a barrel on healthy economic data — and owing to geopolitical concerns after crude producer Iran rejected a US offer on nuclear talks, traders said. Meanwhile on Monday, New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for March or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), rebounded by $1.02 to $96.74 a barrel, clawing back earlier losses. “With the Lunar New Year holidays across many Asian countries, traders found an excuse this morning to book profit on their long crude positions they had opened in recent weeks,” said GFT Markets analyst Fawad Razaqzada. “But in the afternoon, WTI recovered as the buyers emerged around the $95 support level. “This (was) preceded (by) a sharp rally in the euro/dollar after the Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann warned policy makers against trying to weaken the single currency.

Currencies The dollar is advancing against the yen as the Japanese currency continues to weaken on speculation that Japan’s new government will seek to boost its economy by providing more stimulus. The dollar rose to 93.45 against the yen, from 92.83 late on Friday. The US currency is at its highest against the Japanese currency in almost three years. The yen has slumped almost 8 percent against the dollar this year after Japan elected Shinzo Abe in December. The euro edged higher to $1.3414 in Monday afternoon trading from $1.3363 late Friday. The dollar rose against the British pound to $1.5676 from $1.5797. The dollar was little changed against the Swiss franc, trading at 0.9200, compared with 0.9172 Swiss franc Friday.

Gold Gold fell to a one-month low on Monday, hit by technical selling after prices slid through key support levels, and as investment appetite for the metal was hurt by a sluggish price performance in the year to date. Lack of liquidity during the Asian Lunar Year also exacerbated volatility, exaggerating downward moves. China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea were among the major regional markets that are closed this week. Spot gold fell as much as 1.4 percent to $1,643.24 an ounce, its lowest since Jan 7. Sell stop orders were triggered as the metal fell out of its recent range between $1,660 and $1,680 and as selling accelerated as the metal broke below its late January low of $1,651.93, traders said.

exchange rates – Feb 11 US dollar BEC Muzaini Dollarco Commercial Bank Gulf Bank NBK Burgan Bank ABK Oman KBE

Buy Sell Sell Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Sell

Cash .278100 .283000 .281550 .283500 .274000 .284000 .278850 .285450 .276350 .284950 .276200 .274800 .278850 .284950 — — —

Buy Sell Sell Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Sell

Cash .466000 .516000 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Buy Sell Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Sell

Cash .542000 .555000 — — — — — —

Draft .280400 .282550 .282750 .282200 .281350 .283450 .281350 .283450 .281350 .283450 .281200 .283300 .281350 .283450 .287900 .287900 .282500

Sterling pound

Transfer .280400 .282550 .282750 .282200 .281350 .283450 .281350 .283450 .281350 .283450 .281200 .283300 .281350 .283450 — — .282500

Cash .440200 .450200 — .445000 .442000 .455000 .438458 .454921 .442840 .451930 .434500 .443530 .439750 .451650 — .467000 —

Danish kroner BEC Muzaini Dollarco Commercial Bank Gulf Bank NBK Burgan Bank ABK Oman KBE

Draft — — — — .050429 .050805 .050365 .050945 .050340 .050860 .046462 .046997 .050160 .051270 — — —

Cash .004930 .005370 – .005450 .004000 .006750 — — — — — — — — — — —

Cyprus Pound BEC Muzaini Gulf Bank ABK KBE

travellers cheques BEC Commercial Bank Gulf Bank Al-Ahli Bank

Transfer .439200 .448203 .448020 .443065 .444533 .447851 .442389 .451734 .444340 .448930 .436000 .440530 .443100 .448550 — .475000 .451800

Indian rupee

Transfer — — — — .050429 .050805 .050365 .050945 .050340 .050860 .046462 .046997 .050160 .051270 — — —

Draft — — — — — — — —

Draft .439200 .448203 .448020 .443065 .444533 .447851 .442389 .451734 .444340 .448930 .444600 .436000 .443100 .448550 .444400 .475000 .451800

Transfer — — — — — — — —

Draft .005193 .005263 .005262 .005310 — .005308 — .005401 — — .005094 .005093 .005200 .005289 — — .005272

Transfer .005193 .005263 .005262 .005310 — .005308 — .005401 — — .005094 .005093 .005200 .005289 — — .005272

Euro Cash .372700 .381700 — .385000 .374000 .384000 .370729 .385312 .374610 .382160 .339010 .347320 .372130 .382550 — — —

Draft .372700 .380278 .379870 .382705 .376277 .379086 .374053 .382612 .376110 .379910 .380190 .340510 .375990 .379920 .378620 .382570 .383400

Japanese yen Transfer .372700 .380278 .379870 .382705 .376277 .379086 .374053 .382612 .375120 .379910 .380190 .344320 .375990 .379920 .378620 .382570 .383400

Pakistani rupee Cash .002720 .003000 — .003100 — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .002880 .002889 .002885 .002882 — .002907 — .002933 — — .003233 — — .002948 — .003175 .002885

Cash .297000 .315000 — .004550 — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft — — .003056 .004015 .003040 .003063 .003015 .003069 .030357 .030733 .003588 .003636 .030357 .030690 — .003200 —

Transfer — — .003056 .004015 .003040 .003063 .003015 .003069 .030357 .030733 .003588 .003636 .030357 .030690 — .003200 —

Sri Lanka rupee

Transfer .002860 .002892 .002885 .002882 — .002907 — .002933 — — .003233 — — .002948 — 003175 .002885

Cash .002112 .002692 — .002950 .002000 .003500 — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .001933 .002234 .002233 .002238 — .002250 — .002272 — — .002546 — — .002307 — .002510 .002245

Transfer .001933 .002234 .002233 .002238 — .002250 — .002272 — — .002546 — .002307 — .002510 .002245

Yemeni riyal

Thai baht

South African rand

Cash Draft Transfer .128000 — — .136000 — — — .001320 .001320 — — — — — — — — — — — — — .001550 .001550

Cash Draft Transfer .091100 .090800 .090800 .098100 .096840 .096840 — .094850 .094850 — — — — — — — – — — — – — — —

Cash Draft Transfer .025340 .025340 .025340 .033840 .033840 .033840 — — — — — — — .032138 .032138 — — — — — — — — —

US dollar .2825500 .2840000 .2854580 .2831500

Sterling .4482030 .4510000 .4549210 .4444000

Euro — .3870000 .3853120 .3836200

local gold BEC Muzaini Exchange

Swiss franc Cash .301900 .311400 — .313000 .304000 .315000 — — .301910 .312210 .279180 .289100 — — — — —

Draft .302900 .309915 .309020 .310390 .306348 .308635 .304532 .313133 .305910 .309710 .283180 .286600 .305750 .309790 — — —

Transfer .302900 .309915 .309020 .310390 .306348 .308635 .304532 .313133 .305910 .309710 .297119 .299506 .305750 .309790 — — —

Bangladesh taka Cash .003320 .003970 — .003850 — — — — — — — — — — — .004250 —

Draft .003517 .003560 .355200 .003553 — .003644 — .003684 — — .004017 — — — — .004170 .003565

Transfer .003517 .003560 .355200 .003553 — .003644 — .003684 — — .004017 — — — — .004170 .003565

Korean won Cash — — — — — — — —

Draft — — — — — — — —

Gold 999 kg — 15,060.000

Transfer — — — — — — — —

Canadian dollar Cash .276300 .284800 — .286000 .278000 .288000 — — — — .277897 .282890 — — — — —

Draft .274300 .283347 .282610 .283835 .280062 .282152 .278908 .286387 .279670 .283020 .286988 .277020 .279650 .283140 — — .287100

Transfer .274300 .283347 .282610 .283835 .280062 .282152 .278908 .286387 .279670 .283020 .286988 .277020 .279650 .283140 — .267000 .287100

Philippine peso Cash .006940 .007220 — .007200 — —

Draft .006492 .006953 .006943 .006931 — .007022 — — .007161 — — — — — .006449 — — — — — .007288 .006000 .006467 — — — .006990

Transfer .006492 .006953 .006943 .006931 — .007022 — .007161 — — .006449 — — .007288 .006467 — .006990

Syrian pound Cash Draft Transfer .003200 .003200 .003200 .003400 .003372 .003372 — .003073 .003073 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Gold 999 10 tola 1,800.750 1,770.000

Gold ounce — 483.000

Swedish kroner Cash .399000 .449000 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft — — — — .043700 .044027 .043437 .044558 .043610 .044070 .041155 .041482 .043470 .044380 — — —

Transfer — — — — .043700 .044027 .043437 .044558 .043610 .044070 .041155 .041482 .043470 .044380 — — —

Saudi riyal Cash .074760 .075450 — .077000 .072000 .076000 .074201 .076262 .073960 .076650 .073684 .075774 .074040 .076140 — .076800 —

Australian dollar Cash .283200 .294700 — — .288000 .300000 — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .281200 .293217 — — .289833 .291996 .289917 .293251 .289620 .293060 .284712 .286988 .289720 .292670 .237000 — —

Transfer .281200 .293217 — — .289833 .291996 .289917 .293251 .289620 .293060 .284712 .289490 .289720 .292670 .237000 — —

Draft — — — — — — — —

Gold gm 22k — 13.785

Transfer — — — — — — — —

Transfer .074810 .075435 .075430 .075215 .075047 .075607 .074933 .075728 .074960 .075650 .074280 .075640 .074810 .075610 .076800 — .075490

Hong Kong dollar Cash .034380 .037130 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Iranian tuman Cash .000161 .000161 — — — — — —

Draft .074810 .075435 .075430 .075215 .075047 .075607 .074933 .075728 .074960 .075650 .075640 .072340 .074810 .075610 .076800 — .075490

Draft .033880 .036982 .036461 — .036277 .036548 .036112 .036700 — — — — .036280 .036550 — — —

Transfer .033880 .036982 .036461 — .036277 .036548 .036112 .036700 — — — — .036280 .036550 — — —

UAE dirham Cash .076600 .077050 — .077200 .076379 .077147 .075774 .077885 .076380 .077150 .075223 .077374 .076379 .077147 — .078600 —

Draft .075500 .076951 .077023 .076810 .076631 .077230 .076521 .077339 .076550 .077220 .077237 .074510 .076330 .077230 .078390 — .077020

Transfer .075500 .076951 .077023 .076810 .076631 .077230 .076521 .077339 .076550 .077220 .075832 .077237 .076330 .077230 — .078390 .077020

Singapore dollar Cash .225200 .229700 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .224200 .231960 .228760 — .227207 .228903 .226866 .229476 .226860 .229110 .216673 .218433 .226970 .229520 — — —

Transfer .224200 .231960 .228760 — .227207 .228903 .226866 .229476 .226860 .229110 .222630 .216673 .226970 .229520 — — —

Lebanese pound

Malaysian ringgit

Cash Draft Transfer .000179 .000183 .000183 .000191 .000190 .000190 — .189800 .189800 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Cash Draft Transfer .088320 .087320 .087320 .094320 .094324 .094324 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Gold gm 21k — 13.150

Gold gm 18k — 11.275

100 gm 999 – —

10 gm 999 – 157.000

Bahraini dinar Cash .743540 .751540 — .749000 .744139 .751617 .738088 .758570 .744140 .751620 — — — — — — —

Draft .743040 .751544 .751300 .747120 .746584 .752156 .745367 .753255 .745790 .752560 .740873 .750398 .744320 .752700 — — .751000

Transfer .743040 .751544 .751300 .747120 .746584 .752156 .745367 .753255 .745790 .752560 .740873 .750398 .744320 .752700 — — .751000

Jordanian dinar Cash .392970 .400470 — .400000 .390000 .405000 — — — — — — — — — .415000 —

Transfer .392940 .400439 .399450 .397805 — .400919 — .401487 — — .394853 .398939 .395430 .402020 .401670 .415000 —

Transfer .392940 .400439 .399450 .397805 — .400919 — .401487 — — .394853 .398939 .395430 .402020 .401670 .415000 —

Indonesian rupiah Cash .026000 .032000 — — — — — —

Draft .025000 .029000 — — .000030 — — .000029

Transfer .025000 .029000 — — .000030 — — .000029

Omani riyal Cash .728380 .734060 — — .729496 .736827 .722690 .742972 .729500 .736830 .735741 — — — .752000 — —

Draft .722880 .733883 .734700 — .731064 .736521 .729817 .737766 .730300 .736810 .734440 .722120 .728720 .738040 .748000 — —

Transfer .722880 .733883 .734700 — .731064 .736521 .729817 .737766 .730300 .736810 .734440 .719020 .728720 .738040 .759930 — —

Egyptian pound Cash .039390 .042490 .042100 .043000 .042000 .047000 — — — — — — — — — .056000 —

Draft .040009 .042039 .042022 .041993 — — — .042417 — — .047830 .049026 — .042650 — — .042020

Transfer .040009 .042039 .042022 .041993 — — — .042417 — — .047830 .049026 — . 042650 — — .042020

New Zealand dollar Cash .229800 .239300 — — — — — —

Draft .227800 .237940 — .234897 .237599 .233990 .237430 —

Transfer .227800 .237940 — .234897 .237599 .233990 .237430 —

All rates in KD per unit of foreign currency




Tunisia Islamist leader says unity govt imminent

Egypt protests on anniversary of Mubarak ouster CAIRO, Feb 11, (Agencies): Egyptian police fired water cannon at stone-throwing protesters outside the presidential palace on Monday as the opposition held rallies to mark the second anniversary of Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow. The clashes broke out after several hundred protesters marched to the palace, the site of increasingly frequent clashes, on a day of marches against Egypt’s new Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi. Opposition groups called for the protests to demand that Morsi fulfill the goals of the revolution which brought him to power along with his long-banned

Muslim Brotherhood movement. Among their key demands are a new unity government, amendments to a controversial Islamist-drafted constitution and the sacking of Egypt’s prosecutor general. Activists are also furious that no one has been held accountable for the deaths of dozens of protesters in past months in clashes with police. “Down with Brotherhood rule,” the protesters chanted as they made their way to downtown Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the symbolic heart of protests that toppled Mubarak. Other marches converged on

Panel nod

Syria’s Assad vows to resist as border blast kills twelve

Continued from Page 1 which several meetings will be held with ministries and the Fatwa and Legislation Department until the committee reaches the fact and submits its report to the Parliament for deliberation. In the meantime, the Legal and Legislative Committee will meet on Tuesday to discus the proposed amendment to the period of pre-trial detention and another bill on anti-terrorism. Member of the committee, Khaled AlShatti has expressed his opposition to the amendment bill which he said is aimed at reducing the period of pre-trial detention. He stressed his support for the one approved by the annulled 2012 Parliament “because it protects the freedoms and favors citizens, residents and the society as a whole,” he explained. He added, “I support any thing that reduces powers of the executive authority and its influence. He urged the current government not to pass the new amendments and leave the law as approved by the previous Parliament. Meanwhile, MP Hussein Al-Qallaf denied he intends to withdraw a grilling request against Minister of Communication Salem Al-Utheina that will come up for discussion on Feb 19, 2013. He assured that, since the beginning of his parliamentary career, he had never withdrawn any grilling request which he had filed. He added the motion can be withdrawn if the minister resolves the issues cited before the debate session. On another note, MP Askar Al-Enezi proposed the establishment of an authority for administrative oversight that is under the jurisdiction of the National Assembly. The purpose of the authority, Al-Enezi said, is to monitor the administrative work of the government authorities and fight administrative corruption, develop the services provided to citizens and administrative management and hold officials accountable for any violations that are committed.

Obama due in Continued from Page 1 a sensitive topic during the conference. The conference commenced on Monday morning with a speech by the President of the Council, Mohammed Jassim Al-Saqr, who declared that: “Despite the spiritual, intellectual and civilizational brilliance of the Arab and Islamic civilization, its political involvement has nonetheless been limited to issues of leadership and succession. As such, it is not surprising that Arab civil society lacks institutions that address foreign relations. “In light of this lack, a group of individuals interested in the Arab concern decided to form the Council of Arab and International Relations (CAAIR) as an independent body, stemming from Arab civil society,”Al-Saqr added, also affirming his thanks to HH the Amir, and his progressive role in the formation of the council, noting that were it not for Kuwait’s role and hospitality there would not be a council. He noted that the council’s inception came with the first sparks of the Arab Spring, and despite the future of Arab relations that is fraught with uncertainties, certain issues and factors can still be raised due to their certain role in affecting both the internal and international Arab relations. “There is no doubt that we are today an oppressed [Arab] nation; this is a truth we must admit, and that we must refuse, in order to free ourselves of it. We are a nation oppressed by the West, when it succeeded in dividing it in an unprecedented way. We are a nation let down by intolerance, failing to catch up with the course of modernity. We are a nation that wronged itself when it insisted on heading to the future through a decline to the past,” added Al-Saqr. Qatari Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem AlThani affirmed that the conference would provide more opportunity for international involvement, nothing that “Despite what is taking place in the Arab world in terms of revolutions and uprisings, the Arab world still holds the potential to be an active player on the global scale, in light of its position, resources, history and civilizational contributions. He further noted the importance of defining precisely what the Arab world is; whether a group of countries divided by borders and internal strife and conflict, or a geographical entity in the center of the world that is capable of self-sufficiency and unity. Further, Al-Thani noted that revolution is not a prerequisite for reform, noting that countries are capable of reforming without struggle. He added that reform is not simply political, but should also take place on all economic and social fronts. In particular he emphasized the importance of revolutionizing an educational system that is fast becoming timeworn. Further adding that the League of Arab Nations required reform to find means to seek Arab interests, stressing the importance of cooperating with international

the palace. Earlier, protesters briefly blocked a major bridge as well as trains in a central Cairo metro station, scuffling with passengers and metro police, witnesses and state media reported. Two years ago, Egyptians poured onto the streets to celebrate after an aide to Mubarak announced the veteran president’s resignation, buoyant that democratic change was within reach.

Also: CAIRO: Muslim clerics from Al-Azhar, Egypt’s premier religious institution,

chose the country’s top Islamic jurist in a direct and secret ballot on Monday that was the first such vote in six decades. An official statement by the 24-member Senior Scholars Authority says that it elected Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim, a professor in Islamic jurisprudence, to the post of Grand Mufti. The selection is now expected to be ratified by President Mohammed Morsi, which will make it final. Previously, the Grand Mufti was appointed by the president. But after the ouster of longtime president Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s interim military rulers

amended Al-Azhar’s bylaws. ❑ ❑ ❑ An agreement is imminent on a new national unity government for Tunisia to resolve the simmering political crisis brought on by the assassination of an opposition politician, the leader of the powerful Islamist party told The Associated Press Monday. Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, said a new government is expected to be announced in two or three days, as the country that kicked off the 2011 pro-

Rebels seize largest dam DAMASCUS, Feb 11, (AFP): President Bashar al-Assad vowed on Monday not to bow to mounting pressure and “plots”, almost two years into a deadly revolt in Syria, as at least 12 people were killed when a car exploded just inside the Turkish border. On the warfront, rebels seized control of Syria’s largest dam, a monitoring group said. “Syria will remain the beating heart of the Arab world and will not give up its principles despite the intensifying pressure and diversifying plots not only targeting Syria, but all Arabs,” Assad said, quoted by state news agency SANA. National Coalition opposition chief, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, meanwhile, said he had received “no clear response” from Damascus over his offer of dialogue. Khatib said in late January he was prepared to hold direct talks with regime representatives without “blood on their hands,” on condition the talks focus on replacing Assad. The Assad regime has said it was open to talks but without conditions attached. Khatib, speaking to reporters in Cairo, proposed that direct talks with regime representatives could take place in “liberated areas” of rebel-dominated northern Syria. Just across the border from northern Syria, at least 12 people were killed and dozens wounded when a car exploded just inside Turkey, Turkish officials said, although the cause was not immediately clear. A Syrian-registered car is believed to have been at the centre of the blast in a buffer zone at the frontier, a foreign ministry official told AFP, adding that the likelihood of it being a terrorist attack was “51 percent”. The official said the dead included four Turks and six Syrians. He said the blast barely 40 metres (yards) into the buffer zone from the Cilvegozu crossing triggered a fire that damaged around 15 humanitarian aid vehicles. “There are up to 50 wounded people, so the number of dead could go up.”

Blast Another Turkish foreign ministry official said a suicide bomber might have been involved in the blast that smashed apart the gates at the crossing, opposite Syria’s Bab al-Hawa post. The explosion comes after a suicide bomber attacked the US embassy in Ankara on Feb 1, killing a Turkish security guard and wounding three others. That attack was claimed by a radical Turkish Marxist group. Monday’s blast also came less than three weeks after NATO declared that a battery of US-made Patriot missiles had become operational on Turkey’s border with Syria. Turkey, a one-time Syria ally which is now vehemently opposed to Assad’s regime, has taken in almost 200,000 refugees from the conflict and serves as a transit point for rebel fighters. On the ground, rebels on Monday seized control of the largest dam in Syria, a vital barrier along the Euphrates River in the northern province of Raqa that generates 880 megawatts of power, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. “This is the biggest economic loss for the regime since the start of the revolution,” which the United Nations says has cost more than 60,000 lives since it broke out in mid-March 2011, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. Rebels from the jihadist Al-Nusra Front and the Awayis al-Qurani and Ahrar al-Tabqa battalions met little resistance in the area, as loyalist security chiefs fled on board military helicopters, he said. unions and continental associations, and further suggesting the formation of apparatus to join it with the EU and African Union, amongst others. He further noted the importance of cultural exchange internationally, and stressed that Arab media must evolve greatly to bring coverage of Arab events to the world from an Arab perspective. He stated that the freer Arab media is, the more respect and consideration it receives in bringing Arab causes to international attention. He further suggested the formation of a joint independent Arab News Agency, affiliated with the Arab League. Al-Thani affirmed the importance of resolving the Palestinian crisis, condemning Israel’s illegal settlements and attacks. He also noted that Africa could as

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officer Bernabe Ortiz holds a pistol as he searches for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner in Big Bear Lake, Calif, on Feb 10. (Inset): Recent image released by Irvine Police Department in California on Feb 8 show suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner. (AP/AFP)

Dedication to catch killer steadfast: mayor

‘Hunt’ keeps LA area on edge IRVINE, California, Feb 11, (AP): The search for a fugitive ex-police officer wanted in the slayings of three people took police to a Los Angeles home improvement store and to the home of a possible target in a quiet Southern California suburb. Small towns remained on edge from the din of police helicopters and cruisers staking out schools as authorities searched for Christopher Dorner. Authorities have been working to protect dozens of families in the area considered targets based on Dorner’s Facebook rant against those he held responsible for ending his career with the Los Angeles Police Department five years ago. Among those the 33-year-old Dorner is suspected of killing is a police officer, and on the fourth day of the manhunt, authorities put up a a great investment opportunity for the Arab world. On Iranian-Arab tension, he stated this must be resolved through diplomacy and negotiation, and commended relations with Turkey. He also called for major reforms in the UN, and in particular the security council. On Arab relations with the US, Prince Turki Al-Faisal recalled President Obama’s first inauguration speech, and his following Cairo speech, noting that it was a source of hope for the changing relations with the Arab world. Prince stressed importance of the United States adopting a comprehensive policy to deal with all hot issues in the region and work for a peaceful Middle East that is free of weapons of mass destruction. He stated that as there was no excuse for the attacks in 9/11, there was similarly no excuse for the deeply condemnatory reaction that came out of it. He noted that this led to tragedy in Afghanistan, and has left Iraq devastated and incapable of building a unified state. Al-Faisal declared that this case showed the flaws in the idea of a forcing democracy, insisting that countries must be self-determining. He also stated that withdrawal from Afghanistan should not be an abandonment, but that a clear plan should be in place. He further stated that a major obstacle in Arab-American relations remains to be the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, noting that there have been many efforts to resolve it, but that these have failed due to Israel’s stubbornness and arrogance. He added that this remains a large cause for Arabs’ animosity towards the USA. As such, he requested that the US support the Arab Peace Initiative. This

$1 million reward for information leading to his capture. “Our dedication to catch this killer remains steadfast. Our confidence remains unshaken,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a news conference alongside police chiefs and mayors from Irvine and Riverside. “We will not tolerate this reign of terror.” Several tips came in within a few hours after the award announcement, including a reported Dorner sighting that had police surrounding and evacuating a Lowe’s Home Improvement store in LA’s San Fernando Valley, police spokesman Gus Villanueva said. A search of the store yielded no evidence that Dorner was there or had been there. After days without resolution, Dorner’s fugitive status caused concern among some and downright includes obliging Israel’s cease of attacks on Palestine and Lebanon, as well as decisive action to end the Syrian crisis (military aid). In addition, it includes serious work towards a Middle East free of WMDs, also calling for negotiations with Iran not to occur without the presence of GCC states. For his part, Former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, during his input, said that President Barack Obama will visit the Middle East next month, preceded by a visit by the new Secretary of State John Kerry, pointing to the importance attached by the US administration to the Middle East. On recent statements by Hilary Clinton regarding relations with Arab states, Armitage claimed the term “pivoting” relations is incorrect phrasing. He stated that the US is rather rebalancing relations after coming out of two unpopular wars. He added that they are not turning their backs on traditional friends, as even a purely cold calculation of interests would not allow it. Further, he affirmed commitment to the Middle East peace process, and to the Palestinian plight, noting that in order to resolve the conflict President Obama must maintain closer relations with the Israeli Prime Minister. Moreover, in terms of US observations, he stated that two things have become clear in the region. The first is the re-ignition of Sunni-Shiite strife. The second was the changing understanding of the Arab uprisings. And in light of the apparent loss of favor of the Islamists, he noted that there is a middle path, pointing to the Turkish model. On Iran, Armitage stated that if the US is to be fully involved, they must ensure that Iran does not have nuclear weapons,

fear among others in Irvine, an upscale community that the FBI consistently ranks among the safest cities in the US. “If he did come around this corner, what could happen? We’re in the crossfire, with the cops right there,” said Irvine resident Joe Palacio, who lives down the street from the home surrounded by authorities protecting a police captain mentioned in Dorner’s posting. The neighborhood has been flooded with authorities since Wednesday. Residents have seen police helicopters circle and cruisers stake out schools. Some have responded by keeping their children home. Others no longer walk their dogs at night. Police also were looking into a taunting phone call to the father of the woman they believe Dorner killed last week. adding that a military solution is not off the table to ensure this. Regarding Syria, he stated that there is a difference of opinion between US and other present states, further adding that it is not a lack of weapons that has hindered the opposition, but rather a lack of coherence. Further, he stated that the US is committed to involvement in resolving the Palestine/Israel conflict. He noted that non-involvement could galvanize radicalization against the UD, and affirmed the US’s commitment to Israel living with secure borders. On Arab-European relations, Dr Kristian Coates-Ulrichsen, Co-Director of the Kuwait Program at LSE drew parallels between the uprisings in the Arab world and the situation in some of the EU countries (particularly South European countries). In particular, he discussed the differing effects and causes of both crises, highlighting the differences as well as overlaps. In addition, he spoke of the effects of migration out of North Africa and into Europe, noting that current events have increased the desirability of the former whilst decreasing the desirability of the latter. He also noted that the crisis in South European states had created an investment opportunity for the Gulf states, which have less social/political baggage.

Infirm Pope Continued from Page 1 obvious front-runner — the same situation when Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II.

democracy uprisings of the Arab Spring teeters on the edge of a political crisis. “We are on the road to an understanding,” he said. “We are moving toward forming a government of national union.” Last week’s assassination of leftist lawyer Chokri Belaid resulted in days of rioting after many people held the government responsible for his death, at a time when negotiations to widen the governing coalition were deadlocked. The assassination was the culmination of weeks of rising political violence in which many opposition parties had been attacked by thugs. The Vatican stressed that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict’s decision, that he remained fully lucid and took his decision independently. “Any interference or intervention is alien to his style,” Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said. It has been obvious to all that the pope has slowed down significantly in recent years, cutting back his foreign travel and limiting his audiences. He now goes to and from the altar in St. Peter’s Basilica on a moving platform to spare him the long walk down the aisle. Occasionally he uses a cane. His 89-year-old brother, Georg Ratzinger, said doctors had recently advised the pope not to take any more trans-Atlantic trips. “His age is weighing on him,” Ratzinger told the dpa news agency. “At this age, my brother wants more rest.” Benedict emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope requires “both strength of mind and body.” “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited” to the demands of being the pope, he told the cardinals. “In order to govern the bark (ship) of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary — strengths which in the last few months, have deteriorated in me,” he said. Popes are allowed to resign but church law says the decision must be “freely made and properly manifested.” Still, only a handful have done it. The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism, a dispute among competing papal claimants. The most famous resignation was Pope Celestine V in 1294; Dante placed him in hell for it. Caroline Neumayer, a resident of the tiny German town of Marktl am Inn, birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI, still fondly remembers the moment she met her hometown’s most famous son. “When he was in Marktl in 2006, he got out of his popemobile and came up to me and my friends. He took us by the hand. It was a beautiful and meaningful moment,” said the 18-year-old. She told AFP she thought the sudden announcement Monday that Benedict will resign later this month was a “carnival joke” as much of Germany swings into festive carnival mood in the run-up to the Christian period of Lent. “I find it sad because he wasn’t pope for very long,” she said. With tears rolling down her face, an older resident of the Bavarian town, Karin Frauendorfer, 60, said the resignation was “a bad thing in itself, but justified given his poor state of health”. “I think that what he did deserves a lot of respect,” she added, noting that a potential successor might find the burden of the papacy easier to bear with Benedict still there to help him. “I have of course been to see the Urbi et Orbi,” she sobbed, referring to the papal address given in the Vatican. See Also Page 17

Laden SEAL Continued from Page 1 nervous about revenge attacks on his family and how he would make a living as a civilian. Because he separated from the Navy after 16 years in uniform, he does not qualify for a pension that is awarded only to those who remain for at least 20 years of service. “He gave so much to his country, and now it seems he’s left in the dust,” his wife says. “I feel there’s no support, not just for my family but for other families in the community. I honestly have nobody I can go to or talk to. Nor do I feel my husband has gotten much for what he’s accomplished in his career,” she says.

Newswatch Continued from Page 1 WARSAW: A mine exploded on a road in northern Iraq as a car carrying Poland’s ambassador drove past, the Polish foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday, adding that no one was injured. The blast occurred on Saturday “as two vehicles with several people including ambassador Lech Stefaniak drove through on their way to Baghdad,” spokesman Marcin Bosacki said. The incident took place around noon some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the northern city of Kirkuk. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑ KHARTOUM:

About 400 Sudanese marched on Monday accusing the Sudanese government of not handing over compensation paid for Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. “We want our money,” read one sign carried by the protesters, who stopped at a local United Nations office and then at a television network before dispersing. “We want to send a message to the UN that the money it transferred to the Sudanese government didn’t reach us,” said a protest leader, Ahmed Hamid. The UN’s Compensation Commission was created in 1991 to handle claims for losses and damage caused by Iraq’s invasion and occupation. (AFP)




Mickelson finishes 18 shots off the pace

Sizzling Snedeker triumphs at Pebble Beach LOS ANGELES, Feb 11, (RTRS): FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker finally reaped just reward for his redhot early form on the PGA Tour this year when he eased to victory by two shots at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday. Runner-up behind Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in his two previous starts on the US circuit, the American world number six closed with a sevenunder-par 65 to post a tournament record low of 19-under 267. Co-leader overnight with compatriot James Hahn, Snedeker took control with an eagle on the second hole and never relinquished his grip on a glorious day of late winter sunshine on the picturesque Monterey Peninsula. American Chris Kirk sank a 16-foot birdie putt at the last for a 66 to finish alone in second, with PGA Tour rookie Hahn (70) a further three strokes back at 14-under in a three-way tie for third. It was Snedeker’s fifth career victory on the PGA Tour and his second in

won five times out here now. The most important thing now is to win majors.” On a chilly, sun-splashed morning at Pebble Beach, Snedeker moved one stroke in front of playing partner Hahn at 14-under after sinking a four-foot eagle putt at the par-five second. Hahn, who had missed an eagle chance of his own at the second from seven feet, then lipped out with a fivefoot birdie attempt at the third to remain one behind. Snedeker remained one ahead after he and Hahn both birdied the fourth before being handed a two-shot advantage when his playing partner bogeyed the par-three fifth after finding a greenside bunker off the tee. Further birdies followed for Snedeker at the sixth and the scenic par-three seventh, where he rolled in a 16-footer, as he moved three strokes clear at 17-under. The pacesetting American surprisingly bogeyed the par-four ninth, where he three-putted from 22 feet, to reach the turn in four-under 32, two

his last six starts, dating back to the Tour Championship in September when he also landed FedExCup honours. “It’s kind of crazy to think about what’s happened the last four months,” a smiling Snedeker told CBS after sealing victory with a par at the last before pumping his right fist in celebration and taking off his cap to acknowledge the crowd.

GOLF “And to finish the West Coast (swing) off to win this way. It’s such a special place. To win at Pebble Beach on a beautiful day like this ... you can’t make this stuff up. It’s just too perfect.” Top priority Snedeker, who had recorded three top-three finishes in his first four events on the 2013 PGA Tour, said winning a first major title was now his top priority.

Brandt Snedeker poses with his wife Mandy and his children Lily and Austin after his two-stroke victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Pebble Beach Golf Links on Feb 10, in Pebble Beach, California. (AFP)

“Finishing off a tournament like this with a win, it gives me a ton of confidence going into the Masters, the US

Open, all the great venues we have this year,” the 32-year-old said. “And that’s next on my list. I’ve

ahead of the chasing pack at 16-under. Long regarded as one of the game’s best putters, Snedeker immediately rebounded with consecutive birdies, sinking a 26-footer at the 10th and a 16-footer at the 11th to stretch his lead to four shots. Though Kirk applied pressure with back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14, Snedeker stayed in control with rock solid golf over the closing stretch. He recorded his sixth birdie of the day at the par-three seventh after hitting a superb seven-iron to 10 feet and coolly sinking the putt, then safely parred the 18th to secure the win. Snedeker’s closing 65 was his 10th consecutive round under 70 on the PGA Tour, and he will climb to a career-high fourth in the world when the rankings are issued on Monday. Defending champion Phil Mickelson closed with a level-par 72 to finish a distant 18 shots off the pace, his lowlight of the day a double-bogey at the 18th where he twice hit into the ocean.

Devils repeat 3-1 win over Penguins Austria take Germany shocked

Sochi ticket

Hawks win NEW JERSEY, Feb 11, (Agencies): The New Jersey Devils dished out a second 3-1 defeat in as many days against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday to strengthen their position at the top of the Eastern Conference.

AUSTRIA, Feb 11, (RTRS): Germany’s men’s ice hockey team failed to qualify for the Winter Olympics for the first time on Sunday when they were pipped to a 2014 Games spot by neighbours Austria, who were joined by Latvia and Slovenia. The Germans, who have qualified for every Olympic ice hockey tournament apart from bans in 1920, 1924 and 1948 due to the two world wars, won 3-2 in overtime against Austria but they needed a regular time victory to go through. After Slovenia secured their first Olympics slot on Friday, Latvia became the last team to qualify for Sochi after winning Group E on home ice in Riga. For Austria it will be their first participation since the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. “What we accomplished is absolutely unbelievable. I am so happy for the team that showed such character,” said Austria coach Manny Viveiros. Austria’s Markus Peintner, who scored their crucial 2-2 equaliser in the third period, heaped praise on his nation’s goaltender Bernhard Starkbaum.

A day after beating their Atlantic Division rivals by an identical score in New Jersey, the Devils repeated the feat in Pittsburgh on the back of one goal from Ilya Kovalchuk and two from David Clarkson, who took his tally to nine for the season. The win was the fifth in a row for the visitors and improved their record to 8-13, while the Pens dipped to 8-5-0. “It’s just confidence, the more years you play in the league you get a bit more comfortable and you try to make plays,” Clarkson told reporters. “My line is helping me a lot and it’s just finding the areas of the ice and the puck just seems to be going in right now.” Clarkson opened the scoring after 13 minutes, showing great stick work on a quick break to slam home the puck in an opening period dominated by the Penguins. The Devils improved after the break and wrapped up proceedings in a twominute spell midway through the second period when Kovalchuk scored and Clarkson rammed home a rebound from a Patrik Elias shot for a 3-0 lead. “I think we are a team that is a bit meat and potatoes. We get it in deep and work hard and I can’t say enough about our penalty kills, they were phenomenal tonight,” Clarkson said.



tv today


“I think we are just working as a team and buying into the system.” Blackhawks 3, Predators 0 In Nashville, Tennessee, the Blackhawks are so very ready to be back in Chicago, and they only want to make themselves as at home at the United Center as they have everywhere else during their season-high six-game road trip. Marcus Kruger and Jonathan Toews each scored 66 seconds apart in the second period, and the Chicago Blackhawks remained the NHL’s lone undefeated team in regulation by beating the Nashville Predators 3-0 Sunday night. “We’ve done some good things on this road trip,” Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said. “We want to carry that momentum back home. It’s going to be difficult to be back home, so we’re excited now to get home and play as hard and take that energy back we have on the road back home.” Patrick Kane also added a goal in the third as the Blackhawks wrapped up this trip with their fourth straight win and improved to 10-0-2 overall and 8-0-2 away from Chicago. The Blackhawks now get to play just their third game at home Tuesday night against Anaheim when they start a seven-game homestand. “I think we’re all excited to get home and sleep in our own beds,” Keith said. “It’s going to be good. It’s going to be exciting to play in front of our fans and play hard for them.” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) blocks a shot by Nashville Predators center David Legwand (11) in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Feb 10, in Nashville, Tennessee. (AP)

they’ve talked about not wanting to change anything. “We don’t want to feel like we’re at home now and let the air out,” he said. Goalie Corey Crawford got Chicago’s first shutout of the season and the sixth of his career making 17 saves. The shutout ended a long drought for Chicago and especially Crawford whose last shutout in the regular season was March 23, 2011. Bruins 3, Sabres 1 In Buffalo, New York, turns out, Mother Nature could only delay the Boston Bruins from continuing what’s become their hottest start in franchise history. A day after Boston’s home game against Tampa Bay was postponed because of a blizzard, the Bruins traveled to Buffalo to pick up their pace with a 31 win over the Sabres on Sunday night. “Yesterday, we were ready to play, so I guess it gave us a day to rest,” center Patrick Bergeron. “We got here, and we knew Buffalo played last night, so we tried to take advantage of that.” Bergeron capitalized on a fortunate carom off the end boards to score the goahead goal on a power play 7:52 into the third period. Milan Lucic clinched the win with an empty-netter in the final minute in helping the Bruins improve to 8-1-1.

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05:30 Duronto vs Rangpur (R) Cricket +3 06:30 Spanish League Summaries (R) +2 07:30 Real Madrid vs Sevilla (R) +2 08:30 The Global Game +3 09:15 Real Zaragoza vs Real Sociedad (R) +2 09:30 Omni Sport 10:00 UEFA Champions League Magazine +3 10:30 France vs Wales (R) Rugby +3 11:00 Spanish League Summaries (R) +2 12:00 Barcelona vs Getafe (R) +2 12:30 Khulna vs Sylhet (L) +3 13:45 Real Betis vs Sevilla (R) +2 14:00 WTA Qatar Open Tennis +10 15:30 Spanish League Summary (R) +2 16:00 The Football League Show (R) +3 16:30 Dhaka vs Barisal (L) +3 16:30 Real Madrid vs Sevilla (R) +2 18:15 Levante vs Malaga (R) +2 20:00 Rayo Vallecano vs Atletico Madrid (R) +2 21:30 Valencia vs PSG football 21:45 +7 21:30 Brazil vs Uruguay WC qualifier Beach Soccer +7 21:45 Real Betis vs Real Valladolid (R) +2 22:00 Celtic vs Juventus +3 22:30 Leicester vs Huddersfield FA Cup +6 22:45 Argentina vs Chile WC qualifier Beach Soccer +7


NHL Results/Standings WASHINGTON, Feb 11, (RTRS): Results from the NHL games on Sunday. Detroit 3 Los Angeles 2 Edmonton 3 Columbus 1 Eastern Conference

Boston NY rangers New Jersey Chicago

3 Buffalo 5 Tampa Bay 3 Pittsburgh 3 Nashville Western Conference Central Division

Atlantic Division New Jersey Pittsburgh NY Rangers Philadelphia NY Islanders

W 8 8 6 5 4

L 1 5 5 6 6

OT 3 0 0 1 1

GF 33 41 29 29 32

GA 24 32 27 33 37

PTS 19 16 12 11 9

Boston Toronto Ottawa Montreal Buffalo

L 1 5 4 4 7

OT 1 0 2 1 1

GF 29 34 31 31 39

GA 21 31 23 30 46

PTS 17 14 14 13 11

W 10 7 5 6 3

Chicago Detroit Nashville St Louis Columbus

Vancouver Edmonton Minnesota Calgary Colorado

09:00 Clydesdale Bank Premier League 10:30 ESPN FC Press Pass 11:00 ESPN Kicks - Serie A 11:15 Eredivisie PEC Zwolle vs FC Twente 13:00 Bundesliga Review 14:00 Rules of the Game: Shrovetide Football 15:00 AVIVA Premiership Rugby Highlights 16:00 NBA Tonight 16:30 ESPN FC Press Pass 17:00 Barclays Premier League Review 18:00 Clydesdale Bank Premier League 19:30 ESPN Game of the Week 20:00 Eredivisie Review 21:00 ESPN FC Press Pass 21:30 ESPN Kicks - Barclays Premier League 21:45 ESPN Kicks Bundesliga 22:00 ESPN Kicks - Scottish Football 22:15 Live: FA Cup Leicester City vs Huddersfield Town 00:45 ESPN Kicks Bundesliga 01:00 ESPN Kicks - Scottish Football 01:15 ESPN Kicks - Barclays Premier League 01:30 Copa Libertadores Highlights 02:00 ESPN FC Press Pass 02:30 Nascar Now 03:00 Planet Speed 03:30 Live: NBA Portland at Miami 06:00

W 6 5 5 4 3

L 5 4 5 6 8

OT 0 1 1 1 1

OT 2 1 4 1 2

GF 42 33 24 38 24

GA 25 32 26 36 39

PTS 22 15 14 13 8

W 7 5 5 3 4

L 2 4 5 4 6

OT 2 3 1 2 0

GF 33 28 24 25 21

GA 24 30 29 33 26

PTS 16 13 11 8 8

GF 39 34 26 32 22

GA 31 22 28 33 31

PTS 17 16 13 12 8

Pacific Division

Southeast Division Tampa Bay Carolina Winnipeg Florida Washington

L 0 4 3 4 7

Northwest Division

Northeast Division W 8 7 6 6 5

1 1 1 0

GF 43 28 30 25 30

GA 32 30 37 40 41

PTS 12 11 11 9 7

Anaheim San Jose Dallas Phoenix Los Angeles

W 8 7 6 5 3

L 2 2 5 5 5

OT 1 2 1 2 2

Note: Overtime losses (OT) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

UFC - The Ultimate Fighter - Jones vs Sonnen

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“Germany were better, we have to be admit that. Starkbaum kept us in the game. But as underdogs we did not give up and now we are over the moon,” said Peintner. Germany, whose “hearts are in pain” according to their ice hockey federation general secretary Franz Reindl, were stunned after their streak of 16 consecutive Games’ appearances was ended. “Having to listen to the national anthem after having failed to qualify is the worst thing I have experienced,” said defender Felix Petermann. After Latvia comfortably beat Britain 6-2 and squeezed past Kazakhstan 3-2 in the earlier rounds, they lost 3-2 to France in overtime on Sunday but still topped the group, a point ahead of the Kazakhs. One shot “I’m really proud of the leadership and the maturity of some of our players that played in this game,” said Latvia head coach Ted Nolan. “In a tournament like this it’s not like a seven game series, it’s a one shot deal and you either win or go home.” Latvia captain Sandis Ozolins, who won the Stanley Cup in 1996, said the tiny Baltic nation’s power and togetherness had been the key. “I don’t really know how (we did it). We’re a small country but we’ve got a lot of strength. We can really respond and play hard when we have to, and it’s an honour to play with this group,” said Ozolins. Slovenia, who upset more fancied Belarus and Denmark 4-2 and 2-1 respectively to seal their qualification on Friday, crushed Ukraine 6-1 on Sunday to win Group F. Ranked 18th by the world ice hockey federation, Slovenia will take on world champions Russia, Slovakia and the United States in Sochi next February after being drawn in Group A. Austria have been drawn in Group B, along with 2010 Olympic champions Canada, Finland and Norway, while Latvia will face Sweden, Switzerland and Czech Republic in Group C. Germany’s women provided some cheer for their nation by bagging one of two spots up for grabs. They will be joined by Japan, who beat Denmark 5-0 to make it to the Olympics for only the second time.

06:00 Golfing World 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Trans World Sport 09:00 World Cup of Pool 10:00 World Cup of Pool 11:00 Top 14 Highlight 11:30 Pro 12 13:30 Golfing World 14:30 World Cup of Pool 15:30 World Cup of Pool 16:30 Premier League Darts 20:00 Trans World Sport 21:00 Golfing World 22:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 23:00 World Cup of Pool 00:00 World Cup of Pool 01:00 Dubai World Cup Carnival 05:30 Top 14 Highlight 06:00 Golfing World

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Real Betalbatim qualify for semis

Former Champs Goa Maroons, Navelim knocked out KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: Defending champions Navelim Youth Centre and former champions and hosts Goa Maroons were knocked out in the pre-quarter final stages, while Real Betalbatim scraped through to their first semi-final in the 19th edition of the ongoing G.O.A Rolling Trophy organized by Goan Overseas Association (Goa Maroons) and played at the MOH Grounds in Shuwaikh on 8th February 2013 under the auspices of Kuwait Indian Football Federation. In the day’s first match, Don Bosco Oratory subdued mighty Goa Maroons 2-0 in an end to end action encounter. Both the goals were scored in the second half when Loyed Mascarenhas outran James in the Goa Maroons defense to slot home from an acute angle. Few minutes later, classy Michael Dias made it 2-0 when he latched on to a defense splitting pass from Vicky to score past the diving Maroons keeper to ensure their progress into the quarters. Goa Maroons who started the game very well and had the

SOCCER better chances in the first fifteen minutes could not keep the tempo in the second half. Any chance of equalizing faded when Sandy’s fierce volley in the second half was well blocked by DBO keeper Alido. The match was ably handled by Francis, John and Sharma. A hugely improved Real Betalbatim defended well and missed several chances themselves to hold favorites DHL Football Club to a goalless draw. DHL FC missing their star central midfielder Vico made few good moves but were goal shy and the Real Betalbatim defense led by Theodore Pinto stood firm. In the ensuing tie-breaker Terrence D’Costa missed his penalty for DHL FC to give Real Betalbatim their first semi-final slot in this prestigious tournament. The match was officiated by Nicholas, Sharma and Sarto. In the last match of the day, United Friends Club held their nerves in a heart stopping penalty shootout to win 3-2 (normal time score 1-1) against Navelim Youth Centre. The match was played at a blistering pace and UFC were the first to score when Jamnas’s header bounced its way to the goal beating the Navelim defense and goalkeeper Britto. Navelim however led by Cruzedio and Duarte Ferrao fought back strongly and go the equalizer in the second half when Ivo Rodrigues managed to squeeze on past goalkeeper Martin Dias in a goalmouth melee.

Santos United

Don Bosco

United Friends Club

Real Betalbatim

FIFA bans Canada forward Olivier Occean for 6 matches ZURICH, Feb 11, (Agencies): FIFA has ordered Canada forward Olivier Occean to serve a six-match ban after being sent off and then insulting the referee during a World Cup qualifier against Cuba. Occean was sent off after a scuffle during Canada’s 3-0 victory in Toronto last Oct 12. FIFA says Occean was guilty of “committing an act of unsporting conduct” then “using offensive language toward match offi-

Navelim brought in their super sub, Gasper Crasto in the last fifteen minutes of the game hoping to use his experience to find the winner,

cials.” FIFA’s disciplinary panel also ordered the 31-year-old Eintracht Frankfurt player to pay a fine of 8,500 Swiss francs ($9,250) plus costs of the proceedings. Occean served the first of his sixmatch sanction days after the incident, when Canada lost 8-1 against Honduras and was eliminated from the 2014 World Cup. Occean must serve his ban at com-

but to no avail and the match ended in a draw. In the tie-breaker, Martin Dias of UFC was the hero when he saved the sixth penalty to move his

petitive matches, starting with the Gold Cup tournament in July. Meanwhile, Brazilian soccer agent Renato de Moura Ricardo has been fined 7,000 Swiss francs ($7,600) by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee after being found guilty of violating the players’ agents regulations and the code of professional conduct. Renato has also been ordered to pay costs for the case which was referred by the FA to FIFA in June

team to the quarter finals. The match was officiated by Pascoal, Francis and Alvaro of IFRA. The quarter final matches of this

2011 and relates to the transfer of goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to Tottenham Hotspur from PSV Eindhoven in July 2008, soccer’s world governing body said in a statement on Monday. “In addition, Mr Renato de Moura Ricardo has been issued with a warning ... and also informed that a further breach of the players’ agents regulations will result in more severe sanctions to be determined

prestigious tournament continue on 15th February 2013, as Kuwait Goan Association take of United Friends Club at 6:45 am, followed by AVC

by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, which can lead to a suspension or even a withdrawal of the players’ agent licence,” the statement said. Another agent, Leon Angel, was given a similar punishment and warning by FIFA last week as part of the same case. Gomes moved on loan last month to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim for the rest of the season.

playing Santos United at 8:15 am. The last match of the day will feature Kerala Challengers versus Don Bosco Oratory at 9:45 am.




‘It was never about health’

Jaksche casts doubt on Fuentes defence in Puerto trial MADRID, Feb 11, (RTRS): German cyclist Joerg Jaksche told the Operation Puerto trial on Monday that the treatment he received from Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes was designed to beat doping controls and had nothing to do with genuine health issues. On the first day of testimony from professional riders before the judge in Madrid, Jaksche’s evidence could have a bearing on whether the court decides that Fuentes, who denies doping, and his four fellow defendants violated public health laws. Jaksche was the first cyclist to

admit blood doping in connection with the Puerto investigation, which made it to court last month almost seven years after Spanish police seized anabolic steroids, transfusion equipment and blood bags. The rider told German magazine Der Spiegel in June 2007 that he had used banned substances over a 10-year period and confirmed that from 2005 he was a client of Fuentes and that going to see him was like “going for an oil change”. As Spain’s current anti-doping legislation was not in force in 2006 when the police raids took place, the accused, including Fuentes’s

sister Yolanda, are being tried for violating health laws and the prosecutor has asked for jail sentences of two years. Jaksche told the court on Monday that as well as performing blood transfusions, Fuentes had supplied him with banned drugs

CYCLING including the booster erythropoietin (EPO). He had also given him an unidentified “white powder” to contaminate urine samples, he added.

“It was never about health,” Jaksche said. “I knew it was prohibited in sporting terms, legally I don’t know.” The proceedings have attracted international scrutiny because antidoping authorities are hopeful they will finally lead to evidence of wrongdoing by athletes in sports other than cycling being made available. Fuentes told court last month he had clients in sports including soccer, tennis, athletics and boxing. When he offered to identify them Judge Julia Santamaria said she would not prevent him but would also not oblige him to do so, saying

it would infringe the rights of those implicated. Testifying by video link from his training base in Tenerife, Italian rider Ivan Basso told the court on Monday he had blood extracted on three occasions at the clinic of another doctor implicated in the case but never had any reinjected. Basso, a double Giro d’Italia champion, said he had decided to undergo the blood procedure because of his desire to win the Tour de France in 2006. Along with other riders linked to Fuentes and his associates, he was excluded from the Tour that year and later served a two-year ban

after admitting “attempted doping”. “I dreamed of being the best cyclist ever since I was a child,” Basso said. “Fuentes told me that you could work with your own blood and that it was a valid procedure and I accepted it.” The trial continues on Tuesday and Alberto Contador, the Spaniard stripped of one of his three Tour de France titles after testing positive for a banned substance, is due to testify in court on Feb 22. Disgraced American rider Tyler Hamilton is due to give evidence by video link on Feb 19.




Photos by Hans Up

FBAA members pose for a family photo.

Toyo Tires, AMEC trail

NADEC take lead in Toyo Tires Cup By Jose Gabriel

and Nancy crushed Marivic and Maria 15-12, 15-4 while Nancy and Gerlie overcame Maria and Ahmad 15-9, 17-15 and Kenneth with Gerlie overpowered Marivic and Ahmad 15-4, 15-11.

Special to the Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: NADEC players were in the best of forms to take the lead in the 27th FBAA Conference, 8th Toyo Tires Cup badminton tournament at Fahaheel Sports Club, Friday. While NADEC were at the top after collecting 94 points, only one point away in second place were Toyo Tires with AMEC a further 12 points behind in third place.

NADEC vs Eton-Metlife

Aileen Diaz

Aireen Valencia

Allan Bondoc

Ahmad Stecky

The FBAA players are in action in 8 categories: Cat 1 —Men’s A (MA) , Cat 2 —Men’s B (MB), Cat 3 -Men’s Lower B -Men’s Higher C (MLB-MHC), Cat 4 — Men’s Higher C2 (MHC2), Cat 5 — Men’s Lower C-LadiesA1 (MLC1-LA1) , Cat 6-Men’s Lower C2-Ladies A2(MLC2-LA2), Cat 7-Ladies B-Men’s Lower C3 (LB-MLC-3) and Cat 8-Mixed D (MD).

AMEC vs McDonalds AMEC compiled 5-2 wins while scoring 46-32 points against McDonalds in their matches of various categories. Cat 1 Both teams had 2 wins and 6 points each .For AMEC Joms and Jong edged Joenel and Arnel while Marlad and Noel thumped Anthony and Rommel 15-10, 15-12. For McDonalds, Joenel and Anthony brushed aside Joms and Marlad 15-11, 15-12 while Arnel and Rommel beat Jong and Noel 11-15, 17-15, 15-12.

JM Marasigan

Allan Co

April Fernandez

Beth Millado

Beth Marisigan

Jonathan Rimando

Kat Go

Mohammad Talat

Nysa Valdez

Ron Margate

BADMINTON Cat 2 McDonalds scored 2 wins but 7-5 points against AMEC after Hans and M. Shahbaz thumped Gene and Ryan 15-10, 15-11 while Charles and Alvin outclassed Jeth and Jeanette 15-7, 15-12. For AMEC , Gene and Jeth outlasted Hans and Charles 11-15, 15-5, 16-14 and Ryan with Jeanette overcame M. Shahbaz and Alvin 16-14, 15-10. Cat 3 AMEC scored 2 wins and 8-4 points against McDonalds as Keesha and Jellica overpowered Roma and Cris 15-8, 15-9 while Rico and Keesha thumped Nichols and Roma 15-12, 15-12. For McDonalds, Nichols and Shiraz edged Rico and Sonny 9-15, 15-10, 15-6 while Shiraz and Cris beat Sonny and Jellica 15-13, 11-15, 15-13. Cat 4 McDonalds shared 2 wins and scored 7-5 points against AMEC driven by Cris and Michael who overpowered Rommel and Danilo 15-10, 15-9 while Michael and Gerry tamed Danilo and Nihar 15-11, 15-12. AMEC retaliated through Bala and Nihar overcame Regina and Gerry 18-16, 15-10 while Rommel and Bala outlasted Cris and Regina 11-15, 15-7, 16-14. Cat5 AMEC collected 2 wins and 8-4 points against McDonalds through Vanessa and Joseph who tamed Werin and Bien 19-18, 15-9 while Ell and Joseph overwhelmed Ayla and Bien 15-10, 15-13. McDonalds scored when Gerry and Ayla edged Beng and Ell 15-6, 13-15, 15-9 while Gerry and Werin beat Beng and Vanessa 16-14, 18-19, 15-9. Cat 6 AMEC pulled off a 3-0 win and 8-1 points against McDonalds as Maureen and Stella overcame Emz and Beth 17-15, 1513 , Stella and Marivic thumped Beth and Jade 15-7, 16-14 and Maureen and Marivic edged Emz and Jade 15-13, 8-15, 15-12. Cat 7 AMEC scored a 2-1 win and 6-3 points against McDonalds when Marivic and Maria outclassed Psyche and Lei 15-9, 1513 while Maria and Ahmad thrashed Lei and Stefan 15-9, 15-6. McDonalds scored through Psyche and Stefan who brushed aside Marivic and Ahmad 15-11, 15-8.

Eton-Metlife vs Toyo Tires

15-17, 15-8, 15-9. Cat 3 Toyo Tires scored 2 wins but collected 8-4 points against Eton-Metlife as Lawrence and Allan brushed aside Sultan and Vicente 15-10, 15-8 while Ketz and Cheyenne thumped Medo and Anne 15-12, 15-13. For Eton-Metlife, Sultan and Medo beat Lawrence and Ketz 11-15, 16-14, 1513 while Vicente and Anne outlasted Allan and Cheyenne 10-15, 15-13, 15-8. Cat 4 Both the teams had 2 wins and 6 points. For Eton-Metlife , Rico and Swamy overcame Modesto and Dodong 15-10, 18-16 while Holden and Shy edged Cedric and Nasser 15-11, 15-17, 15-11. Toyo Tires retaliated through Modesto and Cedric who tamed Rico and Holden 19-17, 15-12 while Dodong and Nasser edged Swamy and Shy 15-10, 13-15, 16-14. Cat 5 Once again both the teams had 2 wins and 6 points. Eton-Metlife scored through Nelia and April who thumped Belinda and Gay 15-8, 15-11 while Felina and April edged Gren and Gay 11-15, 15-12, 15-13. For Toyo Tires, Riyadh and Gren beat Elsie and Felina 15-12, 6-15, 15-8 while Riyadh and Belinda brushed aside Elsie and Nelia 15-13, 15-13. Cat 6 Eton-Metlife achieved a 3-0 win and 8-1 points against Toyo Tires through April and Cecille who outclassed Welmyn and Ritz 15-13, 15-12 while Cecille and Tanette overpowered Ritz and Irene 15-9, 15-7 and the tandem of April and TAnette edged Welmyn and Irene 17-15, 9-15, 15-9. Cat 7 Toyo Tires scored a 2-1 win and 5-4 points against Eton-Metlife after Tet and Loren outlasted Ayem and JM 10-15, 1510, 15-8 while Wendy and Loren edged JM and Antonette 15-10, 11-15, 15-13. For Eton-Metlife, Ayem and Antonette beat Wendy and Tet 15-12, 11-15, 15-11.

Eton-Metlife players were in excellent form for a 4-3 win but could only manage 38-40 points against Toyo Tires. Cat 1 Toyo Tires pulled off a 3-1 win and collected 8-4 points against Eton-Metlife as Eduard and Ahmad overwhelmed Gerry and Kiesha 15-7, 15-10 , Joshua and Eduard overcame Sherwin and Gerry 16-14, 15-12 and Marvin with Ahmad outlasted James and Kiesha 15-11, 11-15, 15-4. Eton-Metlife scored when Sherwin and James thrashed Joshua and Marvin 15-5, 15-9. Cat 2 Both the teams tied with 2 wins and 6 points. For Eton-Metlife , Jonathan and Joey overcame Jojo and Cesar 17-15, 156 while Janette and Joey edged Jonathan and Cesar 13-15, 15-5, 15-6. For Toyo Tires, Joel and Jonathan brushed aside Roman and Janette 15-13, 15-8 while Joel and Jojo beat Roman and Jonathan

NADEC acquired a 5-2 win and collected 45-33 points against Worley Parsons. Cat 1 NADEC scored a 3-1 win and 7-5 points against Worley Parsons through Ron and Anthony who edged Bon and Michael 1015, 15-7, 15-10 while Albert and Ron beat Leeforp and Bon 15-10, 9-15, 15-11 and Allan with Anthony brushed aside Sunil and Michael 15-12, 15-7. Worley Parsons were saved by Leeforp and Sunil who outclassed Albert and Allan 15-13, 15-9. Cat 2 Worley Parsons compiled a 3-1 win and 9-3 points against NADEC driven by Saravanan and Joel who brushed aside Talat and Kenjie 15-9, 15-13 while Aldrin and Tim overcame Eric and Franklin 1614, 15-6 and Joel and Tim outlasted Kenjie and Franklin 16-14, 5-15, 15-10.

NADEC vs Worley Parsons

NADEC scored through Talat and Eric who beat Saravanan and Aldrin 15-10, 12-15, 15-11. Cat 3 NADEC achieved a 3-1 win and 7-5 points against Worley Parsons as Tony and Mark edged Ethelbert and Jun 9-15, 15-13, 15-4 while Ernel and Roxanne beat Brehn and Aileen 15-10, 16-18, 15-13 and Tony with Ernel overpowered Ethelbert and Brehn 15-9, 15-5. Worley Parsons scored through Jun and Aileen who overcame Mark and Roxanne 15-8, 17-15. Cat 4 Worley Parsons scored 2 wins but collected 7-5 points against NADEC through Jeanette and Rochelle who overcame Citadel and Lorelie 15-9, 19-18 while Jay and Jeanette edged Butch and Citadel 18-19, 15-13, 15-11. For NADEC , Butch and Elmer outlasted Jay and Danny 10-15, 15-9, 15-11 and Elmer with Lorelie beat Danny and Rochelle 5-15, 15-12, 15-5. Cat 5 NADEC pulled off a landslide victory against Worley Parsons when Lito and Sheryl overcame Jennie and Bet 15-13, 19-17 while Daisy and Art tamed Shirly and Irwin 15-6, 17-15, Lito and Daisy thumped Jennie and Shirly 19-17, 15-13 and Sheryl and Art tamed Beth and Irwin 19-17, 15-13. Cat 6 NADEC gained a 2-1 win and 6-3 points against Worley Parsons as Arlene and Kristine thumped Myline and Noraiza 15-5, 15-12 while Arlene and Julie edged Myline and Catherine 11-15, 15-13, 15-12. For Worley Parsons, Noraiza and Catherine outlasted Kristine and Julie 6-15, 15-10, 15-6. Cat 7 NADEC collected a 2-1 win and 5-4 points against Worley Parsons as Carlos and Jedric beat Kenneth and JM 7-15, 1510, 15-11 while Jedric and Luisa crushed Kenneth and Miguel 15-11, 15-12. Worley Parsons scored through JM and Miguel who overcame Carlos and Luisa 15-10, 16-14.

and Jojo edged Hans and Charles 15-11, 11-15, 15-11 and Jonathan with Cesar overcame M. Shahbaz and Alvin 16-14, 15-13. McDonalds scored through Hans and M. Shahbaz who overcame Joel and Jonathan 16-14, 15-7. Cat 3 Toyo Tires generated a 3-1 win and 93 points against McDonalds as Lawrence and Allan outlasted Nichols and Shiraz while Ketz and Cheyenne overpowered Danny and Roma 15-11, 15-10 and Lawrence and Ketz thumped Nichols and Danny 15-11, 15-6. McDonalds scored through Shiraz and Roma who beat Allan and Cheyenne 3-15, 16-14, 15-10. Cat 4 Toyo Tires scored a landslide win against McDonalds when Modesto and Dodong beat Cris and Michael 16-14, 15-12 while Cedric and Nasser routed Regina and Gerry 15-3, 15-11, Modesto and Cedric crushed Cris and Regina 1510, 15-13 and Dodong with Nasser edged Michael and Gerry 8-15, 15-12, 15-8. Cat 5 Toyo Tires had a total victory against McDonalds as Riyadh and Gren overpowered Gerry and Ayla 15-13, 15-8 ; Belinda and Gay thumped Werin and Bien 15-13, 15-7, Riyadh and Belinda crushed Gerry and Werin 15-8, 15-7 and Gren with Gay thrashed Ayla and Bien 15-7, 15-4. Cat 6 McDonalds scored a 2-1 win and 6-3 points against Toyo Tires after Beth and Jade brushed aside Ritz and Irene 15-9, 1510 while Emz and Jade outlasted Welmyn and Irene 12-15, 15-13, 15-9. Toyo Tires scored through Welmyn and Ritz who beat Emz and Beth 16-14, 10-15, 15-11. Cat 7 Toyo Tires acquired a 2-1 win and 5-4 points against McDonalds through Wendy and Tet who edged Psyche and Lei 11-15, 15-9, 15-10 while Tet and

Toyo Tires vs McDonalds Toyo Tires generated a 5-2 win and 53-25 points against McDonalds. Cat 1 Both the teams scored 2 wins but McDonalds had 7-5 points when Joenel and Arnel thumped Joshua and Marvin 1512, 15-12 while Joenel and Anthony brushed aside Joshua and Eduard 15-13, 15-11. For Toyo Tires, Eduard and Ahmad outclassed Anthony and Rommel 15-13, 15-8 while Marvin and Ahmad edged Arnel and Rommel 15-7, 13-15, 15-13. Cat 2 Toyo Tires pulled off a 3-1 win and collected 8-4 points against McDonalds after Jojo and Cesar overwhelmed Charles and Alvin 15-7, 15-12 while Joel


Remonte thumped Lei and Stefan 15-6, 15-8. McDonalds scored through Psyche and Stefan who crushed Wendy and Loren 15-7, 15-6.

Worley Parsons vs AMEC Worley Parsons gained a 5-2 win and 43-35 points against AMEC. Cat 1 AMEC generated a 3-1 win and 9-3 points against Worley Parsons after Joms and Jong edged Leeforp and Sunil 1517,16-14, 15-10 while Marlad and Noel thumped Bon and Michael 15-12, 15-8 and Joms with Marlad brushed aside Leeforp and Bon 15-12, 15-8. Worley Parsons scored through Sunil and Michael who outlasted Jong and Noel 159, 11-15, 16-14. Cat 2 Worley Parsons had 2 wins but 7-5 points against AMEC when Saravanan and Joel beat Gene and Ryan 15-8, 12-15, 15-7 while Saravanan and Aldrin overpowered Gene and Jeth 15-13, 15-3. For AMEC, Jeth and Jeanette edged Aldrin and Tim 11-15, 15-5, 15-7 while Ryan and Jeanette edged Joel and Tim 13-15, 15-8, 15-11. Cat 3 Both the teams had 2 wins and 6 points. For AMEC , Rico and Sonny overcame Ethelbert and Jun 16-14, 15-12 while Rico and Keesha edged Ethelbert and Brehn 13-15, 15-10, 15-6. Worley Parsons won when Brehn and Aileen overwhelmed Keesha and Jellica 15-8, 15-11 while Jun and Aileen outlasted Sonny and Jellica 10-15, 15-11, 15-5. Cat 4 Once again both the teams had 2 wins and 6 points. For AMEC, Rommel and Danilo overcame Jay and Danny 19-18, 15-12 while Rommel and Bala edged Jay and Jeanette 15-12, 13-15, 15-10. Worley Parsons scored through Jeanette and Rochelle who edged Bala and Nihar 15-6, 10-15, 15-11 while Danny and Rochelle outclassed Danilo and Nihar 15-11, 15-6. Cat 5 Worley Parsons pulled off a landslide victory against AMEC after Jennie and Beth edged Beng and Ell 15-6, 10-15, 1614 while Shirly and Irwin outlasted Vanessa and Joseph 15-8, 11-15, 16-14, Jennie and Shirly beat Beng and Vanessa 15-9, 5-15, 15-4 and Beth with Irwin thumped Ell and Joseph 15-9, 15-12. Cat 6 AMEC scored a 2-1 win and 6-3 points against Worley Parsons as Maureen and Stella overpowered Myline and Noraiza 15-8, 15-8 while Maureen and Marilou routed Myline and Catherine 15-10, 1510. For Worley Parson,Noraiza and Catherine tamed Stella and Marilou 159, 15-9. Cat 7 Worley Parsons had a 3-0 win and 90 points against AMEC after Kenneth

NADEC amassed 5-2 wins and 50-28 points against Eton-Metlife. Cat 1 NADEC won 3-1 and collected 8-4 points against Eton-Metlife through Albert and Allan who overwhelmed Sherwin and James 15-13, 15-7 while Ron and Anthony thumped Gerry and Kiesha 15-13, 15-7 and Allan with Anthony edged James and Kiesha 15-11, 15-17, 15-11. For Eton-Metlife ,Sherwin and Gerry who thumped Albert and Ron 15-13, 15-6. Cat 2 NADEC scored a 3-1 win and collected 7-5 points against Eton-Metlife when Talat and Kenjie hammered Roman and Janette 15-9, 15-12 while Talat and Eric edged Roman and Jonathan 9-15, 15-12, 15-13 and Kenjie with Franklin outlasted Janette and Joey 15-12, 12-15, 15-12. For Eton-Metlife , Jonathan and Joey overwhelmed Eric and Franklin 15-10, 15-11. Cat 3 Eton-Metlife gained a 3-1 win and 7-5 points as Sultan and Vicente brushed aside Tony and Mark 15-10, 15-12 while Medo and Anne edged Ernel and Roxanne 15-8, 13-15, 15-13 and Vicente with Anne outlasted Mark and Roxanne 15-9, 16-18, 15-11. For NADEC , Tony and Ernel overwhelmed Sultan and Medo 15-9, 15-10. Cat 4 Both the teams scored 2 wins but NADEC collected 7-5 points as Citadel and Lorelie thumped Holden and Shy 15-10, 15-7 while Elmer and Lorelie outclassed Swamy and Shy 15-10, 15-12. For Eton-Metlife, Rico and Swamy edged Butch and Elmer 12-15, 15-10, 159 while Rico and Holden overcame Butch and Citadel 15-8, 17-15. Cat 5 NADEC pulled off a landslide victory against Eton-Metlife when Lito and Sheryl thrashed Elsie and Felina 15-7, 15-8 while Daisy and Art beat Nelia and April 15-10, 15-12, Lito and Daisy overcame Elsie and Nelia 15-10, 16-14 amd Sheryl with Art routed Felina and April 16-14, 15-10. Cat 6 Eton-Metlife scored a 2-1 win but could only get 4-5 points against NADEC when April and Cecille edged Arlene and Kristine 10-15, 16-14, 17-15 while April and Tanette beat Arlene and Julie 15-10, 9-15, 16-14.For NADEC , Kristine and Julie outclassed Cecille and Tanette 15-13, 15-10. Cat 7 NADEC gathered a 2-1 win and 6-3 points against Eton-Metlife as Carlos and Jedric overcame Antonette and Ayem 1614, 15-9 while Jedric and Luisa hammered JM and Antonette 15-10, 15-10. For Eton-Metlife, Ayem and JM brushed aside Carlos and Luisa 15-13, 15-12.

Mixed D In the Mixed category, Alene and Aireen overpowered JM and Nadia 1510, 15-6 before they thumped Raiza and Cathy 15-6, 15-10, overcame Celine and Carlo 15-9, 16-14, and outclassed Aileen and Melissa 15-6, 15-11 while Raiza and Cathy edged Kris and Miguel 12-15, 15-12, 15-8 and JM and Leala overwhelmed Celine and Carlo 159, 15-10 before taming Kris and Miguel 15-6, 15-9, thrashing Raiza and Kathy 15-7, 15-4, and beating JM and Nadia 1511, 15-10. Meanwhile ,Aileen and Melissa hammered Ahmed and Bassam 15-7, 15-6; Celine and Carlo outlasted Ahmed and Bassam 14-15, 15-14, 15-8 before they outlasted Raiza and Kathy 15-9, 10-15, 15-13; Johnny and Gerry beat Aileen and Melissa 7-15, 15-8, 15-1;JM and Nadia won by default against Ahmed and Bassam before they edged Aileen and Melissa 15-8, 14-15, 15-4, and overpowered Johnny and Gerry 15-7, 15-8 ; and Kris and Miguel brushed aside Johnny and Gerry 15-9, 15-10.

Overall 8th Toyo Tires Cup standings Rank Team 1 2 3 4 5 6

Nadec Toyo Tyres AMEC Worley Parsons Eton-Metlife McDonalds

Team w l won pts Team 4 Team 6 Team 2 Team 5 Team 3 Team 1

2 1 1 1 1 0

0 1 1 1 1 2

33 32 26 24 23 18

94 93 81 76 66 57

FBAA organizers would like to thank Toyo Tires - Abhay Chaturverdi and Sunild Nanda, Abdulhadi Almailem exclusive Distributors of Good Year, Toyo, Continental & Hankook Tires, McDonalds -Fadi Rezek, Safer Al Maousherji & Arnold Saad, Amec Amir Khan & Alan Armstrong, Worley Parsons - Martin Davies & Richard Ferfon, NADEC - Jun Panaguiton, Eton Properties - Alene Valencia and Metlife Alico - Kris Clarinan.




Orioles dominates Juniors Division

Frozen Ropes to conduct skill camp at KLL By Iddris Seidu Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: Frozen Ropes International, a USbased Baseball/Softball trainer is to conduct a 4-day skill camp for Kuwait Little League (KLL) players, coaches and parents at the KLL complex at the Hunting and Equestrian Club from Feb 22-25, 2013. Speaking to Arab Times on the sidelines of the weekend’s KLL games, Dr Abdul-Aziz Boujarwah, a KLL official said Tony Abbatine, Frozen Ropes founder and director will personally be conducting the camp which will cover all aspects of baseball and softball including Position-specific defensive skills, Mental skills training, Defensive speed of play, Age-appropriate strength stations, Pitching and throwing, absolutes for baseball and softball and Building blocks for hitters of all ages. There will be four hours each of morning and afternoon sessions for the training with the morning sessions slated for age groups 7-12 years stretching from 9:00 am to 1.00 pm while the afternoon session, 1:30 pm-5:30 pm will be for children 13 years and older. There’d also be evening workshops for players, parents and coaches that will include College-Bound, a college selection process in the United States for Softball and Baseball players. The evening workshop will also be dealing with level-one coaching issues for firsttime coaches and parents as well as advanced coaching and skills development issues for children 12 years and older. Meanwhile in the KLL weekend games, Berlitz Orioles won an exciting game Friday morning against Vitamin Marlins in the Juniors division. Fahad Al-Ayoub, Jose Madrid, and Tarek Jaafar pitched for the Marlins with Ashraf Khalil catching. After the first inning, the Marlins led by a score of 82 and it looked like the Orioles were facing their first loss of the season. Poor fielding in support of Oriole starter Zak Little and some timely hitting by the Marlins resulted in the early lead. However, facing defeat, the Orioles slowly gained momentum with a combination of walks and hits. Saif Chowdhury knocked in two runs with singles just passed second baseman Gavin Brewer and Saif made several excellent plays at first to be player of the game for the Orioles. Another run was scored when Afif Bizri hit a sacrifice fly to deep center caught by center fielder Saalim Al Sabah. Arlis Troutman came on in relief and held the Marlins to only two runs. In the bottom of the last inning, second baseman Yousef Kowdan threw to catcher Adam Little to cut down a Marlin player at the plate sending the game into extra innings tied at 10-10. The Orioles scored five runs with Abdullah Al-Tahan and Zenon Kulchitsky walking before power hitters Adam Little and Arlis Troutman drove in the winning runs to finish 1510 in their favor. It was a big win for the Orioles to win the first half of the Junior Division season. Saturday’s afternoon game was played between the BSBC Padres and the Vitamin Marlins. The Padres ended the game with a win. Juniors Standings Team W L T Orioles* 6 0 0 Padres 1 2 1 Marlins 0 5 1 Elsewhere in the Majors division, Agility Marlins came back from behind in the last inning to upset the Rays in the Friday morning game. The home team Rays took an early 4-0 lead in the first inning with starting pitcher Abishek Brindhaban striking out the first three Marlins batters in the first inning and Rays player Jordyn Wilder hitting a 2 RBI grounder to center field. The Marlins gained three runs in the second inning with two of the runs coming from steals to home by Min Gyun Kim and Fernando Reyes, but the Rays scored another run by an in-park home run hit to right field by Abishek Brindhaban. Marllins catcher, Hassan Sakkez saved a possible second home run hit from Rays KieJuan James by

tagging him out at home from a relay throw by second baseman Maha Agha. Both teams scored one run each in the third inning with an RBI by Min Gyun Kim of the Marlins and Muhammed Abu-gumasha crossing the plate for the Rays. Down 4-6 going into the last inning, with their last chance to stay alive the Marlins took to the bats. Two walks by the Rays gave the Marlins a much needed tie and with bases loaded Logan Roberts hit a triple to left field scoring in three Marlins giving the Marlins a 96 lead and then went on to steal home. Single RBI’s were hit by Kim and Maha Agha and another steal to home gave the Marlins a 13-7 lead. The Rays tried to come back valiantly getting an RBI from Wilder, but the Marlins defense and pitching by Sakkez held them back to give the Marlins their third win of the season. Brindhaban, Wilder and Billy Baker pitched for the Rays while Reyes, Roberts and Sakkez pitched the Marlins. The Saturday morning game was played between the KEO Red Sox against the Rays with the Red Sox winning. Majors Standings Team W L

Mears quits

England emerge as ‘pacesetters’ DUBLIN, Feb 11, (AFP): As the Six Nations Championship takes a two-week break, it is England who have emerged as the pacesetters with Stuart Lancaster’s men the only side with a 100 percent record after two matches. In beating world champions New Zealand 38-21 at Twickenham in December, England put themselves in the spotlight. But they have responded to the burden of expectation with contrasting wins over Scotland (38-18) and Ireland (12-6). If the Calcutta Cup clash showed their attacking game to good effect, Sunday’s ‘ugly’, try-less win at a rain-lashed Lansdowne Road would, in some ways, have been even more pleasing for Lancaster. “Coming into the Six Nations we had to back up that performance against New Zealand,” said England forwards coach Graham Rowntree. “We did that last week (against Scotland) and then we had to do it away from home, because that defines you as a group of players. “Going forward it will be fantastic to get that under their belts. They upped their game because they knew it would be a massive challenge.” With fly-half Owen Farrell demonstrating a maturity well beyond his 21 years and the side again well led by impressive flanker Chris Robshaw, England achieved a first Six Nations victory in Dublin since their last Grand Slam in the Red Rose’s World Cupwinning year of 2003. Of course, pitfalls remain, not least a Championship finale against Wales. As the unheralded Lancaster soaks up the plaudits, former France captain turned coach Philippe Saint-Andre faces questions over his selection policy in keeping half-backs Morgan Parra and Francois Trinh-Duc on the bench while persisting with the misfiring duo of Maxime Machenaud and Frederic Michalak.

BASEBALL Marlins 3 1 Red Sox 4 2 Rays 1 5 Majors2 action had the Curtis Giants up against home team Kefan Optics Indians with the Indians coming out tops. The afternoon game with the Cardinals and the Selem Red Sox saw the Cardinals continue their winning streak ending with a 4-0 record and still in the lead for the Majors2 division. Majors2 Standings Team W L Cardinals 4 0 Red Sox 2 2 Indians 2 2 Giants 0 4 The Minors division was a very close game throughout with Agility Rangers facing the Gloria Jean’s Coffees Astros. After a 1-0 game almost till the end, the Rangers took the victory. The next game saw the visiting Indians and the home team Police Eyewear Braves locked in battle. The Indians won, making it their third win of the season. Minors Standings Team W L T Rangers 3 0 1 Indians 3 1 0 Braves 1 2 1 Astros 0 4 0 In the Seniors division ASAR Nationals played a double header Thursday night and Friday afternoon. Thursday night was against the Reds and Friday was against the Cuz Creations Red Sox. The weekends belonged to opposing teams, but in this division it is still very close on who is going to be the first half season champion. Seniors Standings Team W L Reds 3 2 Red Sox 3 3 Nationals 2 3 Four softball teams battled it out Friday afternoon with the early afternoon game pitting Mirmar Marlins against home team Fluor Rangers. The Malins won the game giving them a 41 division lead. Gloria Jean’s Coffees Red Sox emerged winners in their clash against Taco Bell Mets. Softball Satndings Team W L Marlins 4 1 Red Sox 2 2 Mets 1 2 Rangers 1 3 As always, the six Tee-Ball division players delighted parents and fans alike. The Selem Jays and BioConservacion Rays played the early morning game followed by the Gloria Jean’s Coffees Angels and the NBK Marlins. The last game played in the morning featured Al Atraf Reds against Al Tamimi Tigers. The Challenger players supported by their Midas “Buddies” continue to show their improved skills as the weeks wear on. The four teams combined for the game are made up of the BSBC Padres, Midas Giants, NBK Red Sox and Wataniya Marlins. The KLL Challengers division is the first Challengers team in the Middle East and Africa region and is in its third year.


A Ray and Marlin in action as an official watches

A participant poses with family members

A minor prepares to bat

Parents watch anxiously as their children play

Best of the Rest Healy cited for alleged stamp: Ireland prop Cian Healy has been cited for allegedly stamping on England’s Dan Cole during the teams’ Six Nations match in Dublin. The case will be heard before a disciplinary committee in London on Wednesday, with Healy facing being suspended for Ireland’s away match against Scotland on Feb 24. Healy’s use of the boot on Cole - a likely teammate on this summer’s British and Irish Lions tour to Australia - in the 14th minute of Sunday’s game at Lansdowne Road sparked a mass brawl. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Samp coach sorry over gesture: Sampdoria coach Delio Rossi has issued an apology to Argentine Nicolas Burdisso after making a rude hand gesture to the Roma defender during Sunday’s 3-1 Serie A win in Genoa. Rossi courted controversy when he

stuck his middle finger up at Burdisso at the end of the game. Sampdoria immediately issued Rossi with a fine, which the coach has accepted and will donate to charity. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

(Left to right): players in action

Santos joins Gremio on loan: Arsenal left back Andre Santos has joined Brazilian club Gremio for the remainder of the season after becoming surplus to requirements, the Premier League club said on Monday. The 29-year-old, who joined Arsenal in 2011, has made 36 appearances for the Gunners although he has struggled to adjust to the demands of English football. Manager Arsene Wenger signed Spaniard Nacho Monreal on the final day of the January transfer window, unwilling to promote Santos to firstchoice left back in the absence of the injured Kieran Gibbs. (RTRS)

A minor watches after hitting a shot

Major player about to pitch

Photos by Mohammoud Jadeed

An official fixing the field

Saturday’s 16-6 defeat by Wales in Paris witnessed a desperately sluggish display by 2011 World Cup finalists France, who came second best to a Welsh side ending a run of eight straight defeats. For all the concerns about foreign players in France’s top 14, they are not short of home-grown talent which makes the fact they are currently bottom of the Six Nations table, having suffered a shock first round loss to Italy, all the more outstanding. “We must not be scared,” SaintAndre said of France’s match away to England at Twickenham on Feb 28, “Rugby can always produce surprises and we must go there with our heads held high.” Whether Wales can, in the words of full-back Leigh Halfpenny, “now carry on with our mission to retake that title as champions” remains to be seen but at least they have eased the pressure on interim head coach Rob Howley, in charge while Warren Gatland is seconded to the British and Irish Lions. Italy surpassed all expectations in beating France but the difficulty of playing away from the Olympic Stadium was emphasised by a comprehensive 34-10 defeat by a resurgent Scotland. However, the fact both nations are increasingly competitive after years of monopolising the wooden spoon between them can only be good for the tournament. As for Ireland, stringing two wins together remains an elusive goal. But, as Ireland coach Declan Kidney said after the England match: “There’s still a hell of a lot to play for. Let’s get to eight points and see where we are at the end of it.” In London, former England hooker Lee Mears has retired from rugby on the advice of doctors after an abnormality was detected during a cardiac screening. “There is a significant potential risk of developing further complications if he continues to perform the prolonged strenuous exercises required to be an elite rugby player,” read a statement on his club Bath’s website on Monday. “This is not how I saw it ending but I feel enormously proud to have played for such a club so many times,” Mears, 33, said on the website ( “This will be a tough period but the memories I have and the friends I have made over the years will be of huge support. Thank you to the club and to the supporters, I’ve loved every minute.” Mears played 42 times for England, featuring in the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, and also played for the British and Irish Lions in South Africa in 2009. He made his final international appearance off the bench in last June’s draw with South Africa in Port Elizabeth. He has been at Bath since 1997.




Azarenka braced for another Williams assault

Wozniacki, Ivanovic into Qatar Open second round DOHA, Qatar, Feb 11, (Agencies): Former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic eased into the second round of the Qatar Open with straight-set victories Monday. The 10th-ranked Wozniacki beat qualifier Mervana Jugic-Salkic of Bosniz-Herzegovina 6-1, 6-2. The Dane had a poor start, losing her serve in the first game. But she broke right back and then cruised from there, wrapping up the win in just over an hour. The 13th-ranked Ivanovic beat Tamira Paszek 6-1, 6-2. Ivanovic broke the 26th-ranked Austrian twice in the first set, then saved three break points to go up 4-2 in the second. She broke Paszek again to make it 5-2 and sealed the victory when the Austrian hit a

return long. World number one Victoria Azarenka has insulated herself against any potential disappointment, should Wimbledon and US Open champion Serena Williams takes away her top ranking during the Qatar Open this week. The Belarussian has only beaten the American once in 12 attempts but has her thoughts prepared for twin scenarios which could cause her significant setbacks at the $2,369,000 tournament. Williams only needs to win three matches to regain top spot, and might also fancy herself to take away Azarenka’s title if they meet in Sunday’s final if the seedings go to form. “Well I’m not happy about it,”

Azarenka admitted when her head-tohead record against Williams was mentioned. “But I don’t really think about it that way anyway. “It’s in the past, and I never really

WTA Qatar Open Aljazeera Sport +10 15:00 Local look in the past. I make room for new memories in the future you know — to have my full focus, my full attention, to live in the present and in the future.” The immediate future suggests a last 16 meeting with Dominika Cibulkova, the tenacious Slovakian, a quarter-final with Sara Errani, the vastly improved Italian, and a semi-final against

Agnieszka Radwanska, the world number four from Poland with whom she had a contentious match here last year. An encounter with Williams could affect the positive mindset that Azarenka has developed since winning the first of her two Australian Open titles 13 months ago, but she declared she is unaffected. “For me It doesn’t matter if I have to play Serena in any tournament. I would love to play her on any given day,” she claimed. “I think she is a great champion and a great challenge to have. “If it happens here, it happens here, and if it happens any other week, it’s another week. I’m just looking forward to accepting any challenge that is thrown at me.” Azarenka also claimed that capturing a Grand Slam title - as she did in her

last tournament at Melbourne - is more important than the world number one ranking. Winning any tournament is always the main aim, she said, with the ranking “just a bonus” which comes with it. This means that she attempts to see Williams with a similar mindset as for other opponents. “I don’t try to think about who’s going to stop me, you know,” she said, when asked who might do so. “Whoever is in front of me, I’m trying to beat them. I will never think of who is going to stop me. I’m just going to think that whoever I have on the other side of the net can’t stop me.” Another player who could take away Azarenka’s number one ranking this week is Maria Sharapova, though that would require Azarenka to fail to reach

the final and Williams to fail to reach the semi-final. The Russian diva had mental defences at the ready for the three-way rivalry which is attracting the media. “It certainly makes for an exciting story-line, but from a personal perspective, you know, the further you go in the week the better chance you give yourself to regain that ranking,” she said. “It will also be depending on other players’ results, so it’s tough to focus on it (the number one ranking) too much. I think all of us will be focusing on just taking one step at a time.” The only other player to challenge for the top spot recently is Caroline Wozniacki, who was number one for 15 months until losing it to Sharapova here a year ago.

Ligety clinches 2nd world gold Kostelic claim silver

DHL team

Participants pose with fans

SCHLADMING, Austria, Feb 11, (AFP): American Ted Ligety showed all his technical expertise on Monday to add the world super-combined title to the super-G crown he won earlier in the championships. In the absence of Lindsey Vonn, injured in her opening super-G event, Ligety’s second gold was a major boost for the US team, which now tops the overall medals table. The 28-year-old overcame a 0.72sec deficit in the downhill to produce a stunning second-fastest slalom run for an aggregate time of 2min 56.96sec.


(Left-right): Participants preparing for action

Wilhelmsen surprise Aramex to qualify for the finals The S.F.Ex champions cup witnessed a lot of surprises. The third phase of the tournament drew a lot of supporters, who had come to support their teams. In the first game Wilhelmsen surprised Aramex, who displayed some awesome team work to win 5-3. Both teams played some very exciting soccer, but the Wilhelmsen striker Mishaal was determined to win the game for his

team and scored in frequent intervals. With this win Wilhelmsen now move into phase four of the S.F.Ex and play Al Rashed. Marshall the Wilhelmsen team manager was impressed with his team performance and excited that for the first time his team has reached the finals of the S.F.Ex Champions Cup. In the second game of the Champions cup, Al Rashed took on

crown favorites DHL, again a very entertaining game, but Al Rashed had a clear game plan. The Al Rashed strikers Abdul Lateef and Luciano displayed what team work was all about and scored 4 goals to defeat DHL. Manoj the team manager was excited with his team performance and promised his supporters that they would be crowned S.F.Ex 2013 champions. Exciting games to follow this week,

with Al Rashed playing Wilhelmsen and DHL playing Aramex. Results of the S.F.Ex Shield will be available in the next edition of the Arab Times. The organizers would like to thank all the supporters and teams for making the tournament such a great success. A special thanks goes out to the Arab Times, your favorite newspaper for all the support.

Zeballos wins ATP Tour final

Nadal denied in comeback tournament VINA DEL MAR, Chile, Feb 11, (AFP): Horacio Zeballos denied Rafael Nadal a fairytale finish to his comeback tournament on Sunday, rallying to hand the Spaniard a rare clay court defeat in the $410,200 ATP event here. Zeballos, ranked 73rd in the world and playing in just his second ATP Tour final, rallied to beat the former world number one 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (8/6), 6-4. He became just the third player — along with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer — to beat Nadal in a clay court final, quite an achievement for the Argentinian despite the fact that Nadal was playing his first tournament in seven months. “It’s a dream for me,” said Zeballos. “To be able to play a final against Nadal was already good enough for me. It’s a moment that will stay in my memory for the rest of my life.” Nadal was back in action this week for the first time since a surprise second-round exit at Wimbledon in June. Since then he had been sidelined by a torn tendon and inflammation in his left knee, with his return this year further delayed by a virus. Now ranked fifth in the world, 11-time Grand Slam champion Nadal was the top seed and had lost just 14 games en route to the final. “It was a great tournament for me,” Nadal said. “If we take everything, it was positive.

only break chances of the opening frame. He dominated the tiebreaker but once again in the second set Nadal couldn’t break through against Zeballos’ potent serve. Zeballos saved two break points in the fourth game, and worked out of a 15-30 jam in the 10th to hold serve and knot the set at 5-5. Looking poised in the second-set tiebreaker, Zeballos gave himself two set points with a service winner for 6-4. Nadal saved both, but Zeballos gained another chance with a sizzling service return for 76 and duly pocketed the set. “I’ve worked really hard because I really wanted to be at this level,” Zeballos said. “For some months, I’ve been playing at a high level and I think I’m at the best moment of my career. I’m very strong physically and psychologically.” Nadal returned to the court later, teaming with Argentina’s Juan Monaco where they lost in the doubles final to Italians Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace 6-2, 6-4. The 26-year-old had played down his

expectations coming into the week, saying he still felt some pain in the knee and just wanted to get in as many matches as possible to regain his sharpness. He plans to compete in clay court events in Brazil and Mexico before playing ATP Masters hard court events at Indian Wells and Miami and then heading to Europe for clay events in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome ahead of the French Open. Nadal’s triumph at Roland Garros last year was his 11th Grand Slam victory — and his most recent title. Zeballos, who posted his first win over a top 10 player in three attempts, joined Aussie Bernard Tomic as first-time winners on the tour this year. Meanwhile, Roger Federer welcomed the return of Rafael Nadal, but will not spend much time worrying about his rival’s progress as he concentrates on his own game with a late Wednesday start at the Rotterdam World Tennis. The Swiss top seed, who is defending his trophy at the Ahoy stadium, put in a full day of public relations and photo op work

TENNIS “It’s true I wanted to win the final but it wasn’t possible. He made things better than me and I didn’t play my best match. “I just need to keep working, practising with hope, motivation and the right attitude. I hope it’s the beginning of a lot of good things for me.” Neither player managed a break of serve in the first two sets. They traded breaks in the first two games of the third before Zeballos — clearly gaining confidence — broke Nadal at love in the final game to wrap up the victory in two hours and 46 minutes. Nadal had saved two break points in his first service game of the first set — the

Argentine Horacio Zeballos returns the ball to Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal at the ATP Vina del Mar tournament final singles match, in Vina del Mar, about 120 kms northwest of Santiago, on Feb 10. Zeballos won 6-7 (2/6), 7-6 (8/6) and 6-4. (AFP)

before getting down to another serious training session on Monday. The world No.2 said he has arrived relaxed and eager as he plays for the first time since losing a tight Australian Open semi-final to Andy Murray, then taking time off with his family in his homes in Dubai and Switzerland. “I saw a few pictures of Rafa, last week,” said Federer, who joked: “I see he’s still a left-hander - and his shirts looked good.” But beyond the obvious natural curiosity, the 31-year-old with 17 Grand Slam titles has plenty on his own plate as he begins a run of events this week to be followed by the Dubai Open and the Indian Wells Masters next month in California. “I’m happy to see him back and playing on the Tour,” said the two-time Rotterdam champion, “That’s a good thing. “He seems to have good energy. I was surprised he lost a final against a player ranked outside the top 50. It’s nice to see him playing well again. “I’m sure he got a lot of information about his game last week (in Chile). He knows now how much strain he is putting on his body and how he is dealing with it.” While Nadal plays on clay in Sao Paulo, Federer will be bidding to make it a trophy hat-trick in Rotterdam, when he begins in the first round against Slovenia Grega Zemlja, On court on opening day, French fifth seed Gilles Simon earned a 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 spot in the second round over German qualifier Daniel Brands, while compatriot Paul-Henri Mathieu fell to Slovak Martin Klizan 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 Romanian Victor Hanescu accounted for the week’s first seed with his defeat of number seven Jerzy Janowicz 7-6 (7/4), 63. The Pole had made a breakthrough last autumn at Paris Bercy by reaching the final from a qualifying start. Federer takes the top seeding ahead of Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, whom he beat for the title a year ago. France’s JoWilfried Tsonga is seeded third, Federer took the opportunity to rebut criticism that he has abandoned Switzerland to its Davis Cup fate by opting out of the tie which his nation lost to the champion Czech Republic a week ago.

“After that downhill, I was in a really good position,” Ligety said. “In the slalom I just tried to be smart because it would have been easy to go out. “I’ve been racing for nine years, so I’m used to the pressure situations.” Croat veteran Ivica Kostelic claimed silver at 1.15sec, while Austrian Romed Baumann, who led after the downhill, took bronze, a further two-hundredths adrift. “I’m very happy, it was a lucky medal,” Kostelic said. “I didn’t deserve it in the slalom. I think it’s the first time I’ve won a combined medal thanks to my performance in the downhill.” Under bright floodlights, the Planai slope was the perfect stage to showcase the nail-biting nature of the super-combined, a real test of the best all-round skier. The speed specialists who set the fastest times in the downhill earlier in the day came down in the slalom in reverse order, the pressure building to perform and safeguard their deficits in the more technical event. A carnival-like atmosphere welcomed the racers down the slope, cow bells and air horns competing with an energetic DJ playing thumping music to keep the 20,000-crowd moving as the temperature dipped to -10 degrees Celsius. Even the skiers got into the act, playing up to the awaiting television cameraman in the Kostelic finish area, waving and applauding the crowd to help draw even more raucous cheers. In claiming a second gold in these championships, Ligety denied a similar chance to Norway’s defending champion Aksel Lund Svindal, the downhill gold

US Ted Ligety celelbrates after the slalom event of the men's super combined at the 2013 Ski World Championships in Schladming, Austria on Feb 11. (AFP)

medallist straddling a gate in the tricky, tight middle section of the slalom. “I straddled and that’s a mistake that can happen to anyone,” said a phlegmatic Svindal, who has also won super-G bronze here. “Ted was so good in the downhill and that lay the foundation for this combined victory. He then just crushes guys like Ivica Kostelic in the slalom, so an impressive day by Ted Ligety.” French hopes for a fourth championships medal went up in smoke after Alexis Pinturault’s costly mistake in the downhill. The 21-year-old came out blazing in the slalom, setting the fastest time of 53.68sec, 1.18 faster than Ligety. But it was not enough, and he was left to rue that slip-up earlier in the day as he finished sixth overall at 1.45sec. Pinturault’s teammate Adrien Theaux, fourth fastest in the downhill, skied out, soon to be followed by Italian Christof Innerhofer, leaving the course clear for Svindal and Baumann to launch themselves down the slope. After Svindal straddled a gate, Baumann held on to pip Finland’s Andreas Romar for bronze and send the medal-expectant Austrian nation wild. The host nation had given a collective sigh when veteran Benjamin Raich, combined world champion in 2005 and World Cup crystal globe winner in that discipline in 2010, straddled a gate halfway down the course. His failure to finish, along with a big mistake from Matthias Mayer, set hearts a-beating, but Baumann, leader after the downhill, held on to double Austria’s medal count — Nicole Hosp won a bronze in the women’s combined.

Super Combined Results Results from the World championship Men’s Super Combined after run 2 on Monday Downhill Slalom Overall 1. Ted Ligety (US) 2:02.10 54.86 2:56.96 2. Ivica Kostelic (Croatia) 2:02.75 55.36 2:58.11 3. Romed Baumann (Austria) 2:01.38 56.75 2:58.13 4. Andreas Romar (Finland) 2:02.93 55.37 2:58.30 5. Sandro Viletta (Switzerland) 2:03.17 55.21 2:58.38 6. Alexis Pinturault (France) 2:04.73 53.68 2:58.41 7. Silvan Zurbriggen (Switzerland) 2:03.01 55.41 2:58.42 8. Carlo Janka (Switzerland) 2:02.41 56.24 2:58.65 9. Dominik Paris (Italy) 2:02.07 56.81 2:58.88 10. Matthias Mayer (Austria) 2:02.16 57.21 2:59.37 11. Ondrej Bank (Czech Republic) 2:04.26 55.43 2:59.69 12. Klemen Kosi (Slovenia) 2:02.81 58.12 3:00.93 13. Adam Zampa (Slovakia) 2:05.56 55.68 3:01.24 14. Kevin Esteve (Andorra) 2:04.91 58.21 3:03.12 15. Martin Vrablik (Czech Republic) 2:06.37 57.18 3:03.55 16. Maciej Bydlinski (Poland) 2:04.64 58.97 3:03.61 17. Nikola Chongarov (Bulgaria) 2:06.15 58.62 3:04.77 18. Paul de la Cuesta (Spain) 2:05.10 59.82 3:04.92 19. Yuri Danilochkin (Belarus) 2:05.91 59.07 3:04.98 20. Maarten Meiners (Netherlands) 2:07.81 58.43 3:06.24 21. Igor Laikert (Bosnia & Herzegovina) 2:07.05 59.45 3:06.50 22. Cristian Javier Simari Birkner (Argentina) 2:10.34 58.22 3:08.56 23. Alexander Khoroshilov (Russia) 2:13.75 55.42 3:09.17 24. Arjan Wanders (Netherlands) 2:07.28 1:05.12 3:12.40 25. Marc Berthod (Switzerland) 2:03.12 1:10.13 3:13.25 26. Rostyslav Feshchuk (Ukraine) 2:11.61 1:02.35 3:13.96 27. Marc Oliveras (Andorra) 2:05.82 1:09.86 3:15.68 28. Matteo Marsaglia (Italy) 2:02.43 1:16.66 3:19.09 - Thomas Biesemeyer (US) 2:04.41 DNF DNF - Douglas Hedin (Sweden) 2:04.18 DNF DNF - Benjamin Raich (Austria) DNF - Adrien Theaux (France) DNF - Christof Innerhofer (Italy) DNF




Coaching casualties loom after disappointments

Burkina Faso face huge WC salvage operation SOWETO, Feb 11, (AFP): Africa Cup of Nations runners-up Burkina Faso return home Monday after an amazing campaign to face the reality that their chances of playing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are remote. The Stallions made a poor start to Group E, drawing 0-0 at home to Congo Brazzaville and losing 1-0 away to Gabon, and the lone point they collected disappeared after FIFA ruled that they fielded an ineligible player.

SOCCER Cameroon-born full-back Herve Zengue did not meet eligibility requirements, accoring to the world governing body, and a goalless turned into a 3-0 defeat for the Burkinabe. With two of the six rounds played, the Stallions anchor the table with no points and a minus-four goal difference, while Congo have six points and Niger and Gabon three each. Burkina Faso face Niger (home/away) during March and June, Congo (away) also in June and Gabon (home) in September and could need an unlikely maximum 12 points to top the winner-takes-all group. But even that miraculous recovery would not guarantee Belgian coach Paul Put and his stars a ticket to Brazil as the

10 group winners will be paired and the victors of five home-and-away ties qualify for the tournament. New Cup of Nations champions Nigeria are much better placed as they seek a return to the World Cup having made a disappointing 2010 exit in South Africa after losses to Argentina and Greece and draw with South Korea. They started Group F last June with a narrow home win over Namibia followed a week later with a precious draw away to Malawi and appear likely winners of a mini-league completed by under-achieving Kenya. However, difficult tasks loom for Mali and Ghana — who finished third and fourth respectively at the Cup of Nations — if they are to survive the first round. The Malian Eagles are third in Group H, level on points with Algeria and one behind Benin, in a pool that looks like it could go to the wire with the three countries having realistic hopes of progressing. Ghana are in a tough pool and after slamming seven goals past hapless Lesotho at home they lost by a solitary goal away to shock 2012 Cup of Nations champions Zambia. Sudan, who defeated Zambia in Khartoum, top Group D with four points and Ghana and Zambia have three each, but a series of boardroom decisions could have a vital bearing on the final standings.

Burkina Faso celebrates despite final defeat JOHANNESBURG, Feb 11, (Agencies): Burkina Faso celebrated despite defeat in Sunday’s final of the African Cup of Nations, with fans parading on the streets back home and coach Paul Put saying his underdog team had made the small West African country proud. Burkina Faso lost its first major final 1-0 to Nigeria but only after gallantly making it through to the decisive game at Soccer City and surprising much bigger teams on the way. At home, supporters came out in cars and on motorbikes to show their

pride and joy, even after Nigeria’s victory, and fireworks even lit up the sky in one part of the capital, Ouagadougou. Fans also crowded the house of star player Jonathan Pitoipa’s father to show their support after Pitroipa was chosen as the player of the tournament in South Africa to cap the Burkina Faso team’s fairytale ride. “We need to be united around the players because we have achieved our goals,” Jean Baptiste Pitroipa, father of forward Jonathan, said. Before this year, Burkina Faso had

only made it out of the group stage at the African Cup once before, when it reached the semifinals on home soil in 1998. This time, the team surged into the final after eliminating defending champion Zambia in their group and beating Emmanuel Adebayor’s Togo and title contender Ghana in the knockouts. “We did our best and if we got into the final it’s because we deserved it,” captain Charles Kabore said. The players were to be greeted on their return home on Monday and

were invited to a lunch with Burkina Faso president Blaise Compaore on Tuesday, when the head of state was set to give them medals. Supporters painted in the red, green and yellow of the country’s flag were still happy after the final whistle and the narrow loss, with some blowing horns, while national celebrations were planned for Monday and the team’s return. “How many people can live these kind of happy moments during a month?” Oumar Ouedraogo of the national supporters association said.

FIFA ruled that Sudan used an ineligible player against Zambia and changed a 2-0 victory into a 3-0 defeat, but the east Africans have appealed to the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Ivory Coast, who failed for a fifth consecutive Africa Cup of Nations tournament to justify the tag of title favourites, top Group C thanks to a home victory over Tanzania and an away draw against Morocco in a section completed by modest Gambia.

In Johannesburg, Tunisian Sami Trabelsi was the first coaching casualty of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa and more will surely follow. He quit after a first round exit and others in danger of the axe include Frenchmen Didier Six of Togo and Sabri Lamouchi of Ivory Coast, whose teams were eliminated at the quarter-finals stage. Former Aston Villa wide man Six far exceeded expectations by taking the Sparrow Hawks to the last eight at the

expense of Mahgreb duo Tunisia and Algeria. But his efforts did not win any praise from Tottenham Hotspur striker and talismanic Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor, who has a huge influence over the national team. “The coach was not a help. I was on the pitch so I could not do both jobs (coaching and playing,” he told French radio station RFI after Togo suffered an extra-time defeat by Burkina Faso in the

quarter-finals. “I tried to do my best, but it is true that he did not help us,” was the scathing criticism levelled at Six by the 2008 African Footballer of the Year in the aftermath of the last-eight exit. When then-coach Stephen Keshi clashed with Adebayor during the Cup of Nations in Egypt seven years ago, the Nigerian was dumped and missed out on the 2006 World Cup after successfully guiding Togo through a tough qualifying campaign.

Keshi says quits as Nigeria coach


Nigerians find unity in soccer glory JOHANNESBURG, Feb 11, (AFP): Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi told a South African radio station Monday that he had resigned after leading his country to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations title. “I gave the national football federation my letter of resignation immediately after the final, but I have not heard from them,” Keshi revealed to public broadcaster SABC.

(From left): Nigeria’s midfielder John Obi Mikel, Nigeria’s defender Joseph Yobo and Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama hold the trophy as they celebrate winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final against Burkina Faso on Feb 10 at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. (AFP)

All Stars team

Keshi dropped hints last week of his unhappiness with Nigerian football officials in Durban before the semi-final drubbing of Mali, telling a media conference he would “pack his bags and leave” if unwanted. “If, back home, they do not like what I am doing, well, you cannot force someone to like you,” said only the second Nations Cup-winning coach after the late Egyptian Mahmoud El Gohary to also achieve the feat as a player. Keshi captained Nigeria to victory over Zambia in the 1994 final and guided his country to a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso Sunday in a Soweto final settled by a Sunday Mba goal five minutes before half-time. The coach was reportedly furious when he discovered that Nigerian officials had booked a flight home for the squad immediately after the quarter-final against title favourites Ivory Coast. He viewed this action as a lack of confidence in his ability to plot the downfall of a star-stacked Ivorian side skippered by African football legend Didier Drogba. Nigeria deservedly won the match 2-1 with their younger, hungrier mix of local and foreign-based stars running the ageing Elephants ragged and Mba snatched a late match-winner.


CAF congratulates hosts South Africa JOHANNESBURG, Feb 11, (AFP): The African football governing body Monday congratulated South Africa for hosting a “largely successful” Africa Cup of Nations with record ticket sales organised in just a few months. “We are tremendously happy with the outcome. We had certain expectations and the LOC (Local Organising Committee) exceeded those expectations,” said Confederation of African Football (CAF) secretary general Hicham El Amrani. South Africa jumped in to organise the Cup in under a year after political upheaval prevented Libya from hosting. CAF congratulated the country for “making it happen in such a short time”, said El Amrani. “Having in total 857,000 tickets given or sold is a tremendous achievement,” he added. “South Africa has set a benchmark in the history of the tournament since it started. Morocco now will have to do beter,” he added, setting the bar for the hosts of the next event in 2015. He slammed critics of poor attendance at some games. Meanwhile, Champions Nigeria supply five of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations All Stars team chosen by the CAF technical study group and announced Monday. Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, defender Efe Ambrose, midfielders John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses and striker Emmanuel Emenike were selected after the Super Eagles defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 in the final. Burkinabe defender Bakary Kone and midfielder Jonathan Pitroipa also made the team plus one star each from losing semifinalists Mali and Ghana and quarter-finalists Cape Verde and Ivory Coast.

Keshi spoke highly of Mali last week, saying he would not mind returning to a country he coached at the 2010 Cup of Nations in Angola only to be fired after a first-round elimination. “It is a place that I love, Malians are wonderful people. Should the chance arise, I will go back there,” said the 51-year-old who also had two spells with Togo before replacing sacked Samson Siasia as Nigeria coach two years ago. His playing career spanned clubs in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Belgium, France, the United States and Malaysia, and he was an outstanding centre-back for the national team. Calls to Keshi went unanswered and no Nigerian official was immediately available for comment. The triumphant squad are scheduled to arrive home Tuesday. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s third Africa Cup of Nations title, clinched here Sunday against Burkina Faso, was a huge personal triumph for coach Stephen Keshi — although the man himself would be loathe to admit it. Big Boss, as the captain of the 1994 title-winning side is affectionately known, was hitting the continental jackpot as a coach at the third time of asking, after first-round knockouts with Togo in 2006 and Mali in 2010. Part of the key to the Super Eagles’ 2013 success has been the 51-year-old’s bold yet heavily criticised gamble in calling up local-based players. And, fittingly, it was one of this number, Sunday Mba, drawn from Nigerian league outfit Enugu Rangers, who got the decisive goal in the 1-0 victory to follow up his winner in the quarter-final win over Ivory Coast. Keshi had described his players as “his Hollywood stars” after sending Didier Drogba and company packing — but he, too, deserves an Oscar for defying the tens of millions of ultra-critical wannabe national managers back home in Lagos. At times charismatic, belligerent, terse and witty, but never dull, the former bull of a centre-back gained entry to an exclusive club of those to be crowned kings of Africa as both a player and a coach.

Nigeria’s forward Brown Ideye (right), vies with Burkina Faso’s midfielder Abdou Razack Traore during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final football match Nigeria vs Burkina Faso, on Feb 10, in Johannesburg. (AFP)

Nigeria leads convoy

African soccer reaches crossroads JOHANNESBURG, Feb 11, (RTRS): Nigeria cemented their position as the best team at the African Nations Cup with a deserved title victory on Sunday in a tournament offering further evidence that soccer in the continent has reached a fascinating crossroads. The 1-0 win over outsiders Burkina Faso, who also defied the odds to reach the final with a series of performances that continually exceeded expectations, was completed with a young and inexperienced squad that surprised many seasoned observers. Coach Stephen Keshi, under intense pressure back home to lift the cup for the first time since he himself captained the last Super Eagles side to victory in 1994, ignored the critics and picked a squad in which 14 of his players were 24 or under.

SOCCER And if proof was needed that Keshi had got it right, the stunning cup-winning goal was scored by 24-year-old Sunday Mba, a midfielder with just a handful of caps to his name who still plays domestically in Nigeria. Nigeria’s performance reflected that of the tournament’s progress. The competition started slowly with 12 draws in the opening 24 group matches, before the real excitement started in the knockout stage. The eventual champions were also slow out of the blocks with draws against Burkina Faso and Zambia before two late Victor Moses penalties gave them a 2-0 win over Ethiopia. They then hit form with their 2-1 quarter-final win over tournament favourites Ivory Coast and reached their peak with a 4-1 demolition of Mali in the semi-finals. Their win in the final was measured, mature and tactically astute, with the Super Eagles surviving a desperate

onslaught from the Burkinabe in the final minutes. But while the tournament was an undoubted success for Nigeria, who Keshi maintains “have only reached 80 percent” of their potential, it also represented something of a triumph for a number of the continent’s middle-ranking or emerging nations. As Keshi said earlier in the tournament: “You can no longer differentiate so much between which teams are better. “In the old days, you could predict how many goals one team was going to score against the other but now you don’t know what is going to happen. You might think one side will win but you don’t know. I think this is wonderful for African football. “The competition is so tight. You look at the likes of Ethiopia and Cape Verde and some of Keshi the other countries. I am very impressed with their performances and the standard they are reaching.” Golden generation Burkina Faso led the way for the emerging teams, a country that before this tournament had never won a Nations Cup finals match on foreign soil and had gone 17 matches without a victory since they reached the semi-finals at home in 1998. Others followed suit, including tiny Cape Verde on their finals debut and a spirited Ethiopia, who did not look out of place in the tournament despite a 31-year absence. Also impressing were first-time quarter-finalists Togo and Mali, who lifted spirits in the impoverished and conflictridden country by finishing with the

bronze medal for the second successive tournament. Naturally there were failures too. Pre-tournament favourites Ivory Coast flattered to deceive by becoming the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals with a match to spare, before suffering an upset in Rustenburg when Mba scored his first superb goal of the tournament. The defeat was a painful and significant one as it leaves Ivorian soccer closer to a dead end than a crossroads. Their “golden generation” led by striker Didier Drogba, and including Salomon Kalou, Emmanuel Eboue, Didier Zakora, and Yaya and Kolo Toure are now set to end their careers without adding an international honour to their many successes at club level. Champions Zambia may have exited the tournament unbeaten but they failed to repeat last year’s fairytale victory with draws in their group games against Ethiopia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso not enough to see them advance to the knockout stage. Ghana, who have waited 31 years to win their fifth African crown, were also eliminated, technically at least, without losing a game. Disappointing hosts The Black Stars, who had high hopes of improving on last year’s fourth place, began with wins over Mali and Niger, and a draw with DR Congo, before ending the fairytale of coach Lucio Antunes and his Cape Verde dreamweavers in the quarter-finals. However, they failed to overcome the resilience of Burkina Faso in the semifinals and were eliminated on penalties after being held to a 1-1 extra-time draw. In the end they finished fourth again and although they were one of the quartet of West African sides that made up the last four, the fact that rivals and nearneighbours Nigeria went on to win is as big a body blow as their semi-final exit.

SOWETO, Feb 11, (AFP): Runners-up Burkina Faso were among the success stories of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa while perennial title favourites Ivory Coast headed the list of losers after ‘choking’ yet again. Winners Burkina Faso Qualifying for final defied logic considering 16 of the 23-man squad were at the 2012 tournament and made a timid first-round exit after three losses in a row. Take a bow, Belgian coach Paul Put, for an amazing transformation. Caf Officials from the much-maligned body acted swiftly and correctly over the ‘Jdidigate’ affair to ensure justice was done and innocent red-card victim Jonathan Pitroipa got to play in the final. Cape Verde After holding former champions South Africa and Morocco, the ‘Blue Sharks’ snatched victory over Angola and a last-eight place, and could have beaten Ghana in the quarter-finals with more luck and goalmouth composure. Nigeria Welcome back to the big time, African champions. Coach Stephen Keshi deserves much credit for giving a chance to local stars, with Sunday Mba scoring great winners against Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. Referees While suspended Tunisian Slim Jdidi hogged the headlines and there were several other poor performances, the general standard varied between good and excellent. Too much criticism came from those viewing endless replays. Spectators Those lucky to be present for the Ivory Coast-Tunisia, South AfricaMorocco, Ivory Coast-Nigeria and Burkina Faso-Ghana matches will have left the stadia beaming after watching African football at its best. TV Audiences Every game in high definition, excellent work by multiple cameramen and knowledgable commentaries and analysis from former stars like Ruud Gullit meant stay-at-home fans received fivestar treatment. Losers Emmanuel Adebayor Didier Six becomes first coach to take Togo into quarter-finals and what thanks does he get? A verbal lashing from ungrateful stars like Emmanuel Adebayor and Kossi Agassa. Ghana Once again among the title favourites and once again semi-final losers to seemingly inferior opponents. Coach Kwesi Appiah and absent Marseille midfield star Andre Ayew need to mend their differences, and quickly. Ivory Coast A squad with so many stars like captain Didier Drogba, brothers Kolo and Yaya Toure and Didier Zokora will go down in history as the great Cup of Nations ‘chokers’, and they have no one but themselves to blame. Maghreb No northern region team in the last eight for the first time since 1992 was a shock. Poor finishing cost Morocco and Tunisia and Algeria, touted as potential champions, were the biggest flops with just one point from a possible nine. Opening Day It was wet at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, it was cold, and the football was woeful in goalless draws between South Africa and Cape Verde and Angola and Morocco. An evening to forget. Instantly. Slim Jdidi No referee can be expected to get every decision correct, but the unsmiling Tunisian made so many mistakes, from a soft penalty to a red card which never was, that Burkina Faso had to believe they were facing 12 men against Ghana. Zambia While it was unrealistic to expect the Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) to retain the title won so unexpectedly last year, more was expected of a seemingly stronger squad this year than a meek first round exit.




‘Parkhead is a fortress’

Celtic bank on home comfort against Juventus GLASGOW, Feb 11, (AFP): Celtic manager Neil Lennon hopes his side can continue their unbeaten home record in Europe this season when they take on Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash at Parkhead on Tuesday. The Glasgow giants have seen off HJK Helsinki, Helsingborgs, Benefica, Spartak Moscow and the mighty Barcelona at Celtic Park this season in their best European run since 2008. Lennon knows they face a mammoth task if they are to get past the Italian league leaders and qualify for the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time. But he hopes his side can take inspiration from their support and fine home form to build up a decent advantage to take to Turin in three weeks’ time.

Celtic vs Juventus Aljazeera Sport +3 (22:00 Local) “Everyone is excited about this, particularly the supporters because they have been waiting a few years,” the Celtic manager said. “The crowd spurs our players on and can intimidate other teams. Parkhead is a fortress again and that’s what I wanted.” Lennon has already been part of a Celtic team that stunned Juventus, playing in a 4-3 win over Marcello Lippi’s side in 2001. But the Hoops boss, who watched Juventus take on Genoa a couple of weeks ago, reckons the current crop of Serie A stars are even better. “Lippi’s team had more flair with Trezeguet, del Piero, Nedved and Davids. This team is more workmanlike, without being disrespectful to them,” Lennon said. “But in the final third they are clinical and they are probably also better defensively than Barcelona. They are strong, organised and very difficult to break down. “They have three strong players in midfield and up front Mirko Vucinic is a great player who takes everything into feet. “He links very well with Seb Giovinco. Giovinco also likes to drop a little deeper and do damage there. Juventus are very pragmatic but clinical in the final third.

The Premier Goal Academy in association with Everton F.C. under the patronage of H.E. the British Ambassador, Mr Frank Baker, offers Girls Football Coaching every Sunday at Bayan from 5-6.30 pm. Coach Carly Stevens has previous playing experience with Arsenal Ladies in the English Womens League and leads the weekly coaching sessions for the girls aged from 10 to 16 years. The program is sponsored by by Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company, and the girls are looking forward to regular matches to demonstrate their improving skills and techniques. For further details about the P.G.A Girls Football Coaching Programme contact Academy Director Mike Finn on 99981327 or Executive Director Baker Al-nazer on 66918666.

We believe we can get at them though.” The Celtic boss will have almost a full squad to pick from after he revealed James Forrest and Emilio Izaguirre will be fit while Georgios Samaras will be given every chance. Keeper Fraser Forster returned after a three match absence in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Newell’s down Independiente

River, Boca win in start of ‘Argentine season’ BUENOS AIRES, Feb 11, (Agencies): Two second half goals helped ten-man River Plate to a 2-1 victory over Belgrano, while archrivals Boca Juniors won 3-2 against Quilmes on Saturday in the opening round of fixtures in Argentina’s Torneo Final championship. The games marked the return of famous managers to the Buenos Aires giants, with Ramon Diaz moving back to River and Carlos Bianchi to Boca in the offseason. In other results on Sunday, Newell’s Old Boys got a 3-1 victory against Independiente and Rafaela defeated Racing 3-0. On Saturday, All Boys and Godoy Cruz drew 1-1, Tigre won 3-1 against Estudiantes and San Martin drew 0-0 against San Lorenzo. In previous spells with River, Diaz won the league title five times, the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana. It took until the 67th minute for his side to break through, with Leonel Vangioni striking a fierce left foot shot into a corner of the net from 25 yards (meters). Carlos Luna doubled the lead in the 88th when he latched onto a flick on from a long ball and finished. Guillermo Farre pulled a goal back for Belgrano from close range one minute later. Celtic’s English goalkeeper Fraser All the goals came after River’s Forster takes part in a training sesLeonardo Ponzio was sent off right after sion at Lennoxtown Training facility, halftime. near Glasgow, Scotland, on Feb 11, Bianchi has won four league titles and ahead of their UEFA Champions three Copa Libertadores for Boca, but his League last sixteen football match team was 2-0 down inside 10 minutes. against Juventus on Feb 12. (AFP) Wilfredo Olivera headed in the first for Quilmes in the 5th and Cristian Menendez increased the lead with a chipped finish in the 9th. Walter Erviti got one back for Boca in the 38th from close range, before Guillermo Burdisso handed Boca the victory with a second half double. His equalizer came in the 68th from a CAIRO, Feb 11, (KUNA): The freekick swung in from the right, and his official spokesperson of the second was a volley drilled in from the Egyptian Football Association edge of the penalty area. (EFA) Azmi Mujahid confirmed Ignaccio Scocco scored in the 17th and an EFA initial agreement on 77th for Newell’s Old Boys with Pablo holding an international friendly Perez wrapping up the scoring in the match between the Egyptian 82nd. team and Kuwait national Independiente’s goal came in the 21st team, set for late February. through Cristian Tula. Contacts are underway Lucas Bovaglio converted a penalty between the Egyptian and Kuwaiti associations to deterfor Rafaela’s first in the 28th, with mine the date of the match Sebastian Grazzini adding the second,

Kuwait-Egypt ‘eye’ friendly

and to reach an agreement on the final arrangements for it, Mujahid told KUNA, Monday. The Egyptian team will take part in this match as part of its preparation for its match on March 22 with the team form Zimbabwe in the African qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will take place in Brazil. The Kuwaiti team is playing the match as part of its preparation for qualifying for the Asian Cup. This friendly coincides with the Kuwait National Day, Liberation Day celebrations and the official opening of Jaber AlAhmad International Stadium, which can accommodate more than 60,000 spectators. Organizing such game reflects the extent of cooperation and interaction between Egypt and Kuwait in general and the two countries’ athletes and sports figures in particular.

SOCCER again from the penalty spot, on the stroke of halftime. Jonathan Lopez got the third for Rafaela four minutes into the second half. Oscar Ahumada rescued a point for All Boys with a goal in the 77th, after Facundo Castillon had given Godoy Cruz the lead in first half injury time. Tigre’s goals came from Ruben Botta in the 28th, Alejandro Donatti in first half stoppage time and Gabriel Penalba in the 76th. Marcos Gelabert had given Estudiantes the lead in the 9th. San Martin and San Lorenzo played out a scoreless draw with few chances. In Friday’s games, reigning champion Velez Sarsfield defeated Argentinos Juniors 1-0, with Lucas Pratto scoring in first half stoppage time.

but defender Efe Ambrose is likely to have to make do with a place on the bench after the Nigerian took part in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final in South Africa. Many of Lennon’s players have come in for plaudits with their European performances this season but the manager singled out Victor Wanyama, Gary

Hooper and Charlie Mulgrew as big players for him in the match. “At any set-piece, with the quality of delivery and height we have, we can be a threat to anyone,” Lennon said. “Charlie is very important. People wonder why I play him in all the games. It’s not just for his delivery, Charlie can play. He is brave on the ball and has a

goal in him. Victor brings strength, power and reads the game very well. “He is a threat from set-pieces and rises to the occasion as he showed against Barca. Hooper is a goalscorer and quality player.” Juventus, who beat Fiorentina 2-0 in Serie A on Saturday to stay five points clear of Napoli, saw Paolo De Ceglie limp off with a muscle strain that will rule

him out of the Celtic match. Vucinic also picked up a knock to his knee in that game, but is in the squad travelling to Glasgow along with Kwadwo Asamoah who returns from international duty with Ghana. Nicolas Anelka is also included, though the January signing is yet to make his Juventus debut.

Struggling Valencia take on heavy-spenders PSG Battle of the haves and have-nots MADRID, Feb 11, (Agencies): Paris St Germain’s trip to Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday pits the wealthy French team against one of many La Liga clubs struggling to stay competitive after years of financial struggle. The contrast is less than flattering for Valencia who, rather than splurging hundreds of millions of euros on top players, have been forced year-in year-out to sell leading performers like David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata. Valencia vs PSG Aljazeera Sport +7 (22:45 Local) They are now effectively owned by the Valencia government after the club’s foundation was unable to keep up with payments on a bank loan guaranteed by the regional administration that was used to buy a stake in the club. The club had debts of almost 400 million euros ($535 million) in the 2010-11 season, according to a recent study by an accounting professor at the University of Barcelona, and a new stadium under construction has been left half built. Qatari-backed PSG, by contrast, have used their financial windfall to hire Champions League-winning Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti and players such as Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Brazil defender Thiago Silva and Argentina forward Ezequiel Lavezzi. According to the latest transfer review by Barcelona-based Prime Time Sport, the French club spent 249 million euros on players over the last four seasons, putting them fourth in the major European leagues behind Barcelona (278 million), Real Madrid (428 million) and Manchester City (442 million). PSG are riding high at the top of Ligue 1 after Friday’s 3-1 win at home to Bastia while Valencia are improving but still down in fifth place in La Liga and in danger of missing out on a Champions League spot next season. Unlike last-16 counterpart Ancelotti, Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde did not rest key players at the weekend with captain Roberto Soldado, playmaker Ever Banega and winger Sofiane Feghouli featuring in Saturday’s last-gasp 1-0 win at Celta Vigo. Striker Nelson Valdez came off the bench and headed the winner in the third minute of added time as Valencia’s form continued to pick up under Valverde who replaced the sacked Mauricio Pellegrino in December.

Dangerous players Valencia full back Joao Pereira told a news conference on Sunday that PSG are

‘Violence, racism? Not on our field’

Muslim makes Israeli soccer debut JERUSALEM, Feb 11, (AP): Under heavy security, a Muslim football player whose signing with a Jerusalem club sparked a violent uprising by a hardcore group of racist fans made his much anticipated debut Sunday to a rousing ovation. Hundreds of police deployed around Beitar Jerusalem’s stadium, two days after a suspicious fire believed to be set by angry fans destroyed the team’s main offices. Tensions remained high as the team faced off against Bnei Sakhnin, an Arab team whose fans have clashed before with Beitar’s. But the thousands of fans and foes who flooded to Teddy Stadium presented a show of strength against a rising tide of racism among Israeli soccer fans. “I came today to show that not all Beitar fans are punks and racists,” said Yair Sina, a 49-year-old lifelong Beitar fan. “I won’t let them take away my love for the team.” The fire, which destroyed historic

not just Ibrahimovic and 10 other players. The Swede, who once spent a season with Valencia’s La Liga rivals Barcelona, has been in scintillating form this term and tops the Ligue 1 scoring charts with 21 goals in as many appearances. Pereira said he and his team mates should not be obsessed with thwarting

trophies and mementos, marked the height of a violent campaign by fans upset with the team for signing two Muslim players from Chechnya. But in contrast to the previous taunts and jeers directed at the players, the crowd of thousands erupted into a rousing standing ovation when Gabriel Kadiev, a 19year-old defender recently brought over from FC Terek Grozny, entered the game in the 80th minute. Every time he touched the ball the crowd cheered wildly, mostly drowning out a smattering of boos. The trend continued when a few minutes later Beiter scored a late goal to secure a 2-2 tie. Kadiev’s Chechen teammate, 23-year-old Zaur Sadayev, was injured and not included in the team lineup. The goodwill was felt throughout the stadium with banners reading “Violence and racism? Not on our field” and fliers explaining the sen-

Ibrahimovic as the PSG squad was full of dangerous players. “They are all very good footballers and we have to be very focused to try and stop them,” Pereira added. “They have a lot of stars and are building a team. They have signed some great players and the more time they spend

Bnei Sakhnin’s supporters chant slogans during an Israeli championship football match between Beitar Jerusalem and Bnei Sakhnin at the Teddy Kollek Stadium in Jerusalem on Feb 10. The Beitar Jerusalem soccer club hosted the Israeli Arab team Bnei Sakgnin in a highly charged atmosphere, only three days after indictments were filed against Beitar fans over charges relating to racism. (AFP)

sitivity of the game and beseeching the fans to behave. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said more than 500 policemen were deployed inside and outside the stadium to prevent disturbances. Officers were on horseback and others escorted the Sakhnin players into the field to make sure they were safe. “It is now clear to any reasonable person in the country where racism can lead. I came here to strengthen Beitar in their battle against racism,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, one of several dignitaries at the game. “This is a historic process and it is clear that what was once cannot be again.” Beitar has long tried to contain a tightly knit fan group called “La Familia” whose behavior has had the team docked points and forced it to play before empty stadiums. The group is routinely abusive toward opposing players, taunting them with racist and anti-Arab chants.

playing together the better the team will be.” PSG’s latest signing, former England captain David Beckham, is expected to be in the stands for the first leg at the Mestalla on Tuesday. Probable teams: Valencia: 1-Diego Alves; 12-Joao Pereira, 20-Ricardo Costa, 4-Adil Rami, 17-Andres Guardado; 24-Tino Costa, 21Daniel Parejo; 8-Sofiane Feghouli, 7Jonas, 10-Ever Banega; 9-Roberto Soldado PSG: 30-Salvatore Sirigu; 26Christophe Jallet, 13-Alex, 3-Mamadou Sakho, 17-Maxwell; 7-Jeremy Menez, 24-Marco Verratti, 14-Blaise Matuidi, 27-Javier Pastore; 11-Ezequiel Lavezzi, 18-Zlatan Ibrahimovic Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (Italy) Champions League last 16 fixtures Champions League last-16 first leg fixtures (all 1945 GMT kick-offs): Feb 12 At Glasgow Celtic (SCO) vs Juventus (ITA) 22:45 (Local) At Valencia Valencia (ESP) vs Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) 22:45 (Local) Feb 13 At Madrid Real Madrid (ESP) vs Manchester United (ENG) 22:45 (Local) At Donetsk, Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) vs Borussia Dortmund (GER) 22:45 (Local)


ARAB TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013 tuesday— (all times are kuwait local) 10:00 golf central int’l ....................................... fox sports 12:00 big 12 basketball ...................................... fox sports 13:00 bundesliga preview ........................................... espn 16:00 nba tonight ....................................................... espn 20:00 ufc ....................................................... osn sports 2 22:00 live snooker ............................................ osn sport 1 22:30 fa cup ............................................ aljazeera sport +6 01:00 nhl ......................................................... osn sport 4


Sports James ‘sets record’ as Heat sink Lakers Spurs clip Nets MIAMI, Feb 11, (AP): LeBron James scored 32 points on 12-for-18 shooting, Dwyane Wade scored 30 and the Miami Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-97 on Sunday for their fifth straight win. It was James’ fifth straight game with at least 30 points, a franchise record. He’s shot better than 60 percent in all five of those games. Mario Chalmers scored 13 and Chris Bosh finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat. Kobe Bryant had 28 points and nine assists for the Lakers, who also got 18 points from Earl Clark. The Lakers had eight turnovers in the fourth quarter, while Miami had none. With the win, Miami moved 2¬ games clear of the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference standings. The Knicks lost to the Los Angeles Clippers earlier Sunday. Dwight Howard and Steve Nash each scored 15 for the Lakers. Wade also shot 12 for 18 for Miami, which shot 55 percent as a team and held a 38-29 edge in rebounding. James scored 20 in the second half and Wade had 18 in the final two quarters. Spurs 111, Nets 86 In New York, Tony Parker had 29 points and 11 assists in another brilliant performance without his two sidekicks, and San Antonio dominated the second half to beat Brooklyn. Two nights after a loss in Detroit ended their 11-game winning streak, the Spurs got back on track quickly behind Parker, who fell short of his third straight 30-point game only


Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard (0) and Orlando Magic’s Jameer Nelson (14) go after a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Feb 10, in Orlando, Fla. Orlando won the game 110-104. (AP)

It’s such a big match: Mou

‘World waiting for Real vs United clash’ LONDON, Feb 10, (Agencies): Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho ran the rule over Manchester United on Sunday before declaring that Wednesday’s Champions League clash between the sides was “the match the world is waiting for”. The last 16 first-leg game at the Bernabeu pits old adversaries Mourinho and Alex Ferguson head to head and Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo faces his former club. The plot-lines are rich and Mourinho, who once famously danced a jig of joy along the Old Trafford touchline when his Porto side got the better of United, seemed genuinely excited to be part of the showpiece occasion. “We have to feel very privileged to play this match,” Mourinho, who sat in the directors’ box as United opened up a 12-point lead in the Premier League with victory over Everton, told MUTV. “People think we’re under pressure

Real vs United Al Jazeera Sport+3 (22:00 Local, Wednesday) because one of the big teams will soon be out of the biggest competition. “But Real Madrid and Manchester United staff, as well as the players, feel privileged. It’s the kind of match you want to play and we have to prepare as best we can. “It’s such a big match,” added the Portuguese. “Everybody wants to play. Nobody will be tired. It’s a match the world is waiting for. They are not waiting for other matches in the Champions League. So I hope we can give the world of football what they’re waiting for.” Ferguson has rarely got the better of Mourinho, winning just two of the matches when they have sat in opposing dugouts, but clearly has plenty of time for the former Chelsea manager. “I had a chat with Jose before the game, he was in good form,” Ferguson said. “We’re both looking forward to the game on Wednesday. It’ll be terrific.” The engraver is sharpening his blade. Bookmakers are already paying out. And Manchester City’s players have a look of resignation in their eyes.

Is the Premier League title race already over? Last season’s finale was arguably the most exciting in the history of English football, memorably going down to the final minute of the final game. The way things are panning out this time round for Manchester United, the championship could be settled a month early. United landed what many believe was the knockout punch at the weekend by surging into a 12-point lead – the biggest this season – over City, the beaten and bruised challenger. Even the Premier League’s incessant PR machine is struggling to hype this one up. Alex Ferguson’s assessment that United is in a “fantastic position” looks to be the understatement of the century. His team is unbeaten in 14 matches and has the hottest strikeforce in the league. No team has blown such a big lead at this stage of a season. Just what has happened to City? OK, they’ve lost only three league games this season – one in unfortunate circumstances against United – and are attempting to chase down a rival that has made its best-ever start to a Premier League campaign. But that doesn’t tell

Rayo Vallecano’s Guinean forward Lass Bangoura scores (bottom left), during the Spanish league football match Rayo Vallecano vs Atletico de Madrid at the Vallecas Stadium in Madrid on Feb 10. (AFP)

the whole story. The attacking spark that was the catalyst to their title charge last season has disappeared, with Mario Balotelli’s departure leaving City short-hand up front and Carlos Tevez failing to live up to expectations. Defensively they have been suspect, never settling on a first-choice centerback partner for captain Vincent Kompany. Even goalkeeper Joe Hart is making mistakes, his latest blunder coming in Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Southampton when he conceded a goal by spilling a straightforward catch. When star midfielder Yaya Toure is putting in below-par performances, as he did against Southampton, you know the game is up. Ruffling his hair, City manager Roberto Mancini had a haunted look to him as he faced the media post-match, giving his team a “10 percent” chance of retaining the title and bemoaning its “worst game in two or three years.” He has vowed to ring the changes in the last 12 games to find players “who are ready for the fight” but the biggest change at the club may come at the end of the season. With potentially only the FA Cup left to play for, Mancini’s job is on the line. “I am very angry with a lot of my players” he said, “because it is impossible to play the way we did. “Every team that plays against us treats it like a Champions League final, but we should know this, it is normal.” Ah, the Champions League. Mancini would have been wise not to bring that up. Another failed campaign in Europe’s top competition saw City pick up just three points from six games – a sorry total for England’s champion side – and raised more question marks about Mancini’s coaching credentials at the very highest level. He flopped in the Champions League when coach of Inter Milan, too. And while United is now preparing for a last-16 match at Real Madrid in the Champions League this week, City’s players are left kicking their heels ahead of a match against second-tier Leeds in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday. That just about sums up the state of the two teams at the moment.

because he was so good he sat out the final minutes of the rout. Danny Green added 14 points and Tiago Splitter had 13 for the Spurs, who were again without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili because of injuries as they beat the Nets for the 19th time in 20 meetings. Joe Johnson scored 19 points and Brook Lopez had 18 for the Nets. Thunder 97, Suns 69 In Phoenix, Thabo Sefolosha made a career-high 5 3pointers and Oklahoma City routed Phoenix for the second game in a row. The 28-point blowout followed a 127-96 romp over the Suns in Oklahoma City on Friday night. Russell Westbrook scored 24 points in 28 minutes in the Thunder’s 10th straight victory over Phoenix, the longest active streak for any Suns opponent. Sefolosha added 20 points, two shy of his career high. Kevin Durant scored 18, 11 below his NBA-leading season average (29.1), in limited duty in the Thunder’s fourth straight win. Markieff Morris was the only Phoenix player in double figures with 12 points. Clippers 102, Knicks 88 In New York, Chris Paul scored 25 points in his second game back from injury and reserve Jamal Crawford had 27 to lead Los Angeles over New York. Carmelo Anthony had 42 points — his fifth 40-point game this season — for the Knicks, but made only one basket in the fourth quarter as 40-year-old Grant Hill came off the bench to defend him. Blake Griffin finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who bounced back from a 22-point loss in Miami on Friday to win for just the fourth time in 12 games. They finish off their eight-game road trip Monday in James Philadelphia. Raymond Felton scored 20 points for the Knicks, who lost for the second time in eight games. Celtics 118, Nuggets 114, 3 OT In Boston, Paul Pierce had a triple-double with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists, and Boston extended its winning streak to seven games with a triple overtime win over Denver. The loss ended Denver’s winning streak at nine games. Pierce made a 3-pointer in the second overtime, sending the game to a third extra period with the score tied at 107. Kevin Garnett had 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, while reserve Jason Terry scored a season-high 26 points for the Celtics, who remain unbeaten since Rajon Rondo’s season-ending knee injury. Ty Lawson scored 29 points to lead the Nuggets. Magic 110, Blazers 104 In Orlando, Fla, J.J. Redick scored 22 points, Nikola Vucevic added 17 points and 19 rebounds, and Orlando snapped a 12-game losing streak with a win over Portland. The Magic shot 50 percent from the field in earning their first win since Jan 16. They play their next two games at home. Reserve Gustavo Ayon had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando. LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 25 points. Nicolas Batum added 19 points and Wesley Matthews chipped in with 17. The Blazers, who have lost three in a row overall, fell to 17 in their last eight road games. They play at Miami on Tuesday and New Orleans on Wednesday before the All-Star break. Grizzlies 105, Timberwolves 88 In Memphis, Tenn, Tayshaun Prince scored 18 points, hitting all eight of his shots from the field, and Memphis pulled away in the second quarter before coasting to a win over Minnesota. Three other Memphis players — Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Austin Daye — each finished with 16 points. Conley also handed out eight assists, while Randolph grabbed eight rebounds to help the Grizzlies win their second straight. Luke Ridnour and Ricky Rubio led the Timberwolves with 17 points apiece, and both finished with four assists. Mickael Gelabale scored 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Alexey Shved had 10 points and nine assists for Minnesota, which has lost 15 of 17 — including eight straight on the road. Raptors 102, Hornets 89 In Toronto, John Lucas scored 10 of his 19 points in the

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NBA Results/Standings WASHINGTON, Feb 11, (RTRS): Results from the NBA games on Sunday. LA Clippers 102 NY Knicks 88 Miami 107 LA Lakers 97 Boston 118 Denver (OT) 114 Toronto 102 New Orleans 89 Orlando 110 Portland 104 Memphis 105 Minnesota 88 San Antonio 111 Brooklyn 86 Oklahoma City 97 Phoenix 69 Sacramento 117 Houston 111 Standings Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT GB NY Knicks 32 17 .653 Brooklyn 29 22 .569 4 Boston 27 23 .540 5-1/2 Philadelphia 22 27 .449 10 Toronto 19 32 .373 14 Central Division W L PCT GB Indiana 31 20 .608 Chicago 30 20 .600 0-1/2 Milwaukee 25 24 .510 5 Detroit 20 32 .385 11-1/2 Cleveland 16 35 .314 15 Southeast Division W L PCT GB Miami 34 14 .708 Atlanta 27 22 .551 7-1/2 Orlando 15 36 .294 20-1/2 Washington 14 35 .286 20-1/2 Charlotte 11 39 .220 24 Western Conference Northwest Division W L PCT GB Oklahoma City 39 12 .765 Denver 33 19 .635 6-1/2 Utah 28 24 .538 11-1/2 Portland 25 26 .490 14 Minnesota 18 30 .375 19-1/2 Pacific Division W L PCT GB LA Clippers 36 17 .679 Golden State 30 21 .588 5 LA Lakers 24 28 .462 11-1/2 Sacramento 19 33 .365 16-1/2 Phoenix 17 35 .327 18-1/2 Southwest Division W L PCT GB San Antonio 40 12 .769 Memphis 32 18 .640 7 Houston 28 25 .528 12-1/2 Dallas 22 28 .440 17 New Orleans 17 34 .333 22-1/2

fourth quarter to match his season high and Rudy Gay had 20 points to lead Toronto over New Orleans. Kyle Lowry had 14 points and 10 assists, and Amir Johnson scored 14 points for the Raptors, who won consecutive games for the first time since beating Philadelphia and Charlotte on Jan 9 and 11. Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 10 rebounds as the Raptors blew open a close game by outscoring the Hornets 33-23 in the final quarter. Robin Lopez scored 19 points, Greivis Vasquez had 17 and Ryan Anderson 15 for the Hornets, who lost for the first time in three games. Brian Roberts had 13 points for New Orleans. Kings 117, Rockets 111 In Sacramento, Calif, Isaiah Thomas scored 17 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and John Salmons also had 23 points to help rally Sacramento to a win over Houston. The Kings trailed by 10 early in the fourth quarter but outscored the Rockets 17-7 over a four-minute stretch to tighten things up. Kings center DeMarcus Cousins had 20 points despite sitting out much of the second half with foul trouble. Jason Thompson scored 12 points, and Francisco Garcia came off the bench and had 11, including six points in the fourth quarter when the Kings outscored Houston 33-25. James Harden had 30 points, six rebounds and four assists for Houston.

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Sacramento Kings forward John Salmons (right), pulls the ball away from Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif, Feb 10. The Kings won 117-111. (AP)

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12 Feb  

Arab Times

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