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


NO. 14962


150 FILS

Kuwait hits rights report…HRW out of touch Forum raps Gulf crackdown

Obama rules out raising Medicare eligibility

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12, (AFP): Human rights conditions deteriorated in Kuwait last year as police used excessive force against protesters and the government clamped down on online activists, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. The setback in the human rights situation came amid a bitter political crisis in the oil-rich Gulf state between the opposition and the government, HRW said in a statement. “Kuwait’s political crisis had a negative impact on the country’s human rights record as security forces cracked down on protests Continued on Page 14

Iranian actress Maryam Moghadam (right), and Iranian director Kamboziya Partovi pose during the photocell of their film Parde (closed curtain) during the 63rd Berlinale Film Festival on Feb 12. (AFP)

Panahi defies ban, opens ‘Closed Curtain’ on Iran ‘Don’t know what future holds’ BERLIN, Feb 12, (AP): A new movie from dissident Iranian director Jafar Panahi, which defies a ban on filmmaking and reflects his frustration at being unable to work officially, makes its debut at the Berlin film festival Tuesday. “Closed Curtain” is co-directed by Panahi and his fellow Iranian filmmaker and longtime friend, Kamboziya Partovi. Panahi, who has won awards at several major film festivals in the past, was sentenced to house arrest and a 20-year ban on filmmaking in 2010 after being convicted of “making propaganda” against Iran’s ruling system. Partovi presented the movie at the Berlin festival, where it’s one of 19 films competing for the top Golden Bear award. The new film, made by a very small team, is filmed entirely inside an isolated seaside villa, much of the time with the curtains drawn. The two directors are the lead actors: Partovi playing an increasingly paranoid man trapped in the house as police search the area, and Panahi playing himself as the director of that story.

WASHINGTON, Feb 12, (RTRS): President Barack Obama has ruled out raising the age that Americans become eligible for Medicare, the government health insurance program for seniors, as a way to reduce the government’s deficit, a White House spokesman said on Monday. Republicans in Congress, who have focused on cutting spending, have said they want to see the eligibility age raised to 67 from the current age of 65, but

many Democrats have opposed the idea vehemently. “The president’s made clear that we don’t believe that that’s the right policy to take,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. The White House and Congress have been grappling with how to avoid a March 1 deadline when $85 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts are to take effect. Continued on Page 14

34,000 in US Afghan drawdown Withdrawal will take year WASHINGTON, Feb 12, (Agencies): US President Barack Obama was to announce in his State of the Union address Tuesday that he will pull 34,000 US troops home from Afghanistan in the next year, a source familiar with his

speech said. The move will effectively halve the size of the current 66,000 strong US force in Afghanistan, ahead of a final withdrawal of most foreign combat troops by the end of 2014. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity so as not to preempt Obama’s

remarks, said the president would undertake to make the withdrawals around the time of his next State of the Union speech next year. There were no immediate details of how quickly the drawdown would take place and the timetable will impact the number of troops NATO will have in place to fight the

Taleban after the spring thaw in Afghanistan. Debate is also taking place within the administration on the size of a residual force, to train Afghan soldiers and to conduct anti-terror missions, that will remain behind after the formal withdrawal. Continued on Page 14

Details Page 27

CFAAIR wraps up first confab

Israeli policy under attack at conference By Joana Saba Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: The second session of the First International Conference of the Council for Arab and International Relations took off on Tuesday morning, addressing the topic of Arab relations with neighboring countries. In particular, the first part of the conference discussed Arab relations with Turkey and Iran. It raised the various issues that have obstructed the materialization of optimum relations between the Arab world and the two countries. Specifically, the tensions resulting from Iran’s involvement in Syria, the Gulf and other countries was a major point of contest, with Secretary General of the Arab-Iranian Dialogue Forum Dr Mohammed Al-Husseiny stating that Iran will continue to support change in Syria, under Bashar Al-Assad, being that he is a leader of resistance.

A man leads a herd of camels taking part in the camel decoration contest for white camels at the ongoing Folkloric Popular Heritage Festival.

Push on for eastern oil city

Condemnations Moreover, the second part of the session raised deep condemnations of Israeli policy and actions, with Henry Seigman declaring that Benjamin Netenyahu had no intention of allowing for the existence of an independent Palestian state. The first part of the session, moderated by Dr Mohammed AlSabah, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Relations, saw Turkish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Naci Koru commend the deepening bilateral relations between Tukey and Arab countries. Koru looked forth to strengthening relations, calling for the establishment of a GCC mechanism that would elevate the relationship between Tukey and the Gulf from the level of consultation to that of a strategic partnership. Further, in light of the recent developments in the Arab world, he stated that Turkey does not seek to be a role model for the region, as each country has specificities, and a general template cannot be applied. Rather, he stated that Turkey seeks to share, and to show the compatibility of democracy, equality and Islam. Further, he affirmed the importance of resolving the Palestinian crisis, noting that the blockade on Gaza must be lifted. Koru also Continued on Page 6

Syrian rebels capture military airport DAMASCUS, Feb 12, (Agencies): Rebels on Tuesday overran a military air base and captured warplanes, a day after seizing control of Syria’s largest dam as they pushed an assault on strategic targets in the north of the country. The military advance came as prospects for a political solution to Syria’s civil war faded and as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged President Bashar alAssad’s regime to accept an offer of dialogue by an opposition leader. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels captured a military airport at Al-Jarrah in Aleppo province, and

in the process seized for the first time a fleet of deployable warplanes including MiG fighter jets. During their assault on the airport, the rebels killed, injured or imprisoned dozens of troops, the Britain-based watchdog said, adding that as the rest of the troops pulled out, they left behind ammunition and warplanes. Soon afterwards, the air force used fighter jets to bombard the airport to try to dislodge rebels there, the Observatory said, adding warplanes also carried out raids near the international airport which has come under a rebel assault. Speaking to AFP on condition of

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KUWAIT CITY: Iraq’s state airline will resume flights to Kuwait this week for the first time since former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invaded the Gulf oil state in 1990, Kuwait said on Tuesday, in a sign of improved bilateral ties. “Iraqi Airways (is) to resume flights to Kuwait on Feb 16 after 22 years of suspension,” Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA said in an SMS alert late on Tuesday without giving further details. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

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The lights are on in Pope Benedict XVI’s apartment overlooking St Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, early Feb 12. With a few words in Latin, Pope Benedict XVI did what no pope has done in more than half a millennium, stunning the world by announcing his resignation Monday and leaving the already troubled Catholic Church to replace the leader of its 1 billion followers by Easter. (AP)

MANAMA: Bahrain’s opposition groups, expecting little from a renewed national dialogue, plan to stage protests this week to mark the second anniversary of a Shiite-led uprising that was crushed by security forces. Continued on Page 14

anonymity, a military source in Aleppo confirmed the rebel capture “after 48 hours of fierce combat”, but downplayed the importance of Al-Jarrah. “It is a very small airport, used for training purposes,” he said. “There are only small amounts of unusable ammunition left there, and several planes that have long been out of action.” Activists meanwhile reported the launch of rebel offensives on the Aleppo international airport and Nayrab military airport nearby, although the military source denied any such assaults. Closed since Jan 1, “Aleppo’s interna-

‘Qaeda targets US consulate’ BANGKOK, Feb 12, (AP): Thai authorities have tightened security measures at the US Consulate in the northern province of Chiang Mai following reports that it was a possible target of attack from al-Qaeda and Salafist terrorist groups this month, officials said Tuesday. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters she had been informed about the reports and that she had ordered security agencies to add more forces to provide safety at the facility, 570 kms (350 miles) north of Bangkok. “The US Embassy in Continued on Page 14

tional airport has in the past suffered attacks, but tightened security measures and the Syrian army’s bravery has stopped armed men from getting anywhere near there,” said the army source. The Observatory also reported a rebel capture of the main road linking Aleppo province to neighbouring Raqa and parts of a military base tasked with securing the area’s airports. Activists in Aleppo have told AFP that fighters in the north have shifted their focus from city battles to the capture of military airports and bases. Continued on Page 14

Amir condoles King

Riyadh governor dead RIYADH, Feb 12, (Agencies): Riyadh governor Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, a half brother of the Saudi king, died on Tuesday, state news agency SPA reported without saying what caused his death. SPA quoted a royal statement as saying that Prince Sattam, who was in his 70s, would be buried in the Saudi capital on Wednesday. The brief report gave no other details about why and where the death occurred. Prince Sattam was appointed Riyadh governor after his half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, was named defence minister in October 2011. Meanwhile, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a letter of condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, in which he expressed his sincere sorrow and condolences for the death of Prince Sattam, praying to the mighty Allah to bestow his mercy upon him and and upon his family with patience and solace. His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah sent similar letters to the Saudi King. In March last year, he decided to allow single men in Continued on Page 14




Cabinet reviews progress in health sector over last 3 mths MoH expands capacity of several hospitals, centers

KUNA photo

HH the PM Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah chairs the Cabinet.

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12, (KUNA): The Cabinet reviewed here Tuesday a report by the Ministry of Health which focused on the progress of the country’s health sector in the past three months. After the Cabinet weekly meeting chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Hamad AlSabah, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Minister of State for Municipality Affairs Sheikh Mohammad AlAbdullah Al-Mubarak AlSabah said that Minister of Health Dr Mohammad AlHaifi briefed the Cabinet on the ministry’s accomplishments in the previous months.

KUNA photo

Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah (left), hands over the letter to Prince Abdulaziz.

Amir’s envoy hands letter to Saudi Monarch Envoy of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah arrived in Riyadh Tuesday to hand in a letter from His Highness the Amir to Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

The letter focused on means to bolster bilateral relations and also touched upon development within the region and the world. The letter was received by Deputy Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Saud. (KUNA)

He indicated that the minister of health pointed out that emergency centers in the public health sector have increased by one clinic per hospital and health-center. The health minister told the Cabinet that a number of healthcenters have extended their operations to work around the clock, said Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, adding that the Health Ministry has expanded the capacity of several hospitals and health clinics to better accommodate patients. The opening of the Sabah Al-Ahmad Urology Center and specialized health clinics in the country as well as establishing a twitter account for the Health Ministry was also mentioned in the Ministry’s report delivered by Dr Al-Haifi, said Sheikh Mohammad. Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammad said that the Cabinet reviewed a letter addressed to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah from Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman. The letter focused on bolstering bilateral relations in all possible domains. The Cabinet also discussed issues pertaining to parliament and its agenda as well as developments in the region and the world, said the official.

MoH to exempt visiting official teams from medical ‘fees’ KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Health Minister Dr Mohammed Al-Haifi recently issued a decision to exempt members of official delegations visiting the country from paying medical fees in case they fall sick during their stay here, reports Al-Anba daily quoting sources. Sources explained this step is in line with the government’s commitment to better serve the foreign dignitaries on official visit to Kuwait. In another development, sources confirmed the ministry, in collaboration with the directors of health districts, hospitals and health centers, has finalized procedures for the distribution of health cards to the elderly to provide them with the necessary medical services, in addition to giving them priority in terms of treatment and X-ray. Moreover, the ministry has instructed the distributors of medicines, nutritional supplements and pharmaceutical products in the country to sell their products at not more than 45 percent of the purchase price. Sources said the minister’s decision in this regard includes a stipulation on the equal distribution of profits between the local agent and the pharmacy, while both parties must shoulder the administrative fees.


Photos by Anwar Daifallah

The British Ladies Society organized a Mini Valentines Bazaar on Monday at the British Ladies Society premises in Sheikha Complex on the Gulf Road. The event was held as part of the weekly coffee morning to provide an opportunity for members and the public to buy gifts for their loved ones.

Kuwait Today Prayer Timings Fajr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .05:09 am Sunrise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .06:29 Dohr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12:02 pm Asr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .03:12 Maghreb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .05:36 Isha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .06:53 Weather Expected weather for the next 24 hours: By Night: Cool with moderate freshening at ties north westerly wind, with speed of 20-45 km/h causing rising dust over open areas. By Day: Sunny with moderate to fresh north westerly wind, with speed of 25-45 km/h causing rising dust. Station Max Min Rec Exp Kuwait City . . . . . . . . . . . .26 . . . . .16 Kuwait Airport . . . . . . . . . .26 . . . . .14 Nuwaiseeb . . . . . . . . . . . .25 . . . . .14 Wafra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 . . . . .13 Salmi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 . . . . .12 Abdaly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 . . . . .11 Jalaliyah . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 . . . . .11 Failaka . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 . . . . .14 Ahmadi Port . . . . . . . . . . .22 . . . . .17 Qaruh Island . . . . . . . . . . .20 . . . . .16 Umm Al-Maradem . . . . . . .20 . . . . .16 4 days forecast - Weather Wednesday, Feb 13 Expected weather . .sunny+raising dust Max Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23C Min Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12C Wind Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .NW Wind Speed . . . . . . . . . . . .25-45 km/h Thursday, Feb 14 Expected weather . .sunny+raising dust Max Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23C Min Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11C Wind Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .NW Wind Speed . . . . . . . . . . . .20-50 km/h Friday, Feb 15 Expected weather . . . . . .mostly sunny Max Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24C Min Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11C Wind Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . .NW-SE Wind Speed . . . . . . . . . . . .06-28 km/h Saturday, Feb 16 Expected weather . . . . .partly cloudy to

Civil ID info: 1889988 Site for checking travel ban

deaths Husein Abbas Husein Qali, 47 years old, buried on Tuesday. Condolences: (Men) Rumaithiya, Maqamis Mosque, Block 10, Tel: 97818010. (Women) Rumaithiya, Block 10, Maath Bin Jabal St Avenue 105, House 1, Tel: 25637912. Moutha Jaloud Medeth Abdullah, 85 years old, widow of Mezyed Khalaf Abu Shaiba, buried on Tuesday. Condolences: (Men) Farwaniya, Block 2, St 140, House 23, Tel: 97171051. (Women) Omariya, Block 2, St 6, House 43, Tel: 24715333. Jumma Abdul Karim Al-Obaid, 72 years old, buried on Tuesday. Condolences: (Men) Kaifan, Block 1, St 12, House 20, Tel: 97699336-99016031. (Women) Abdullah AlMubarak, Block 5, St 504, House 15, Tel: 99895648. Waleed Khaled Abdul Razaq Al-Bedaiwi Al-Saidi, 23 years old, buried on Tuesday. Condolences: (Men) through the, Tel: 50736546. (Women) Salwa, Block 8, St 104, House 335, Tel: 55612002. Sabeeka Husein Ali Ahmad, 75 years old, wife of Ali Mansour Al-Khaleel Al-Failakawi, to be buried on Wednesday after Asr prayers. Condolences: (Men) Qurain, Block 3, St 25, House 8, Tel: 66402940-25428586. (Women) Qurain, Block 3, St 18, House 9, Tel: 96667611-25420920. Jabra Faleh Shafi, 73 years old, widow of Heraimees Falah Al-Azemi, buried on Tuesday. Condolences: Rabiya, Block 1, St 35, House 6, Tel: 66691101.

Feb 12, 2013 cloudy+scattered rain Max Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26C Min Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14C Wind Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SE Wind Speed . . . . . . . . . . . .15-38 km/h Marine Forecast Station Max Min SeaToday’s Rec Exp Surf Waves Ht Dir South Dolphin 22 17 16 6ft SE Ahmadi L/V 17 08 - 6ft SE Beacon M28 19 17 16 6ft SE Beacon N6 25 15 - 6ft SE Qaruh Island 20 16 18 6ft SE Umm Al-Maradem 20 16 - 6ft SE Sea Island Buoy 20 17 17 6ft SE Salmiyah 22 17 - 6ft SE 4-days forecast - Marine Wednesday, Feb 13 Expected weather . . .sunny+rising dust Sea state . . . . . . . . .moderate to rough Wave height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-7 ft Max Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23C Min Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12C Wind Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .NW

Wind Speed . . . . . . . . . . . .25-45 km/h Thursday, Feb 14 Expected weather . .sunny+raising dust Sea state . . . . . . . . .moderate to rough Wave height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-6 ft Max Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23C Min Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11C Wind Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .NW Wind Speed . . . . . . . . . . . .20-45 km/h Friday, Feb 15 Expected weather . . . . . .mostly sunny Sea state . . . . . . . . .slight to moderate Wave height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-3 ft Max Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24C Min Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11C Wind Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . .NW-SE Wind Speed . . . . . . . . . . . .06-28 km/h Saturday, Feb 16 Expected weather . . . . .partly cloudy to cloudy+scattered rain Sea state . . . . . . . . .slight to moderate Wave height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-5 ft Max Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26C Min Temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14C Wind Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SE

Wind Speed . . . . . . . . . . . .15-38 km/h Tide times at Shuwaikh Port 1st high tide: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01:30 2nd high tide: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14:15 1st low tide: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .08:15 2nd low tide: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20:30 Sunrise: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .06:29 Sunset: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17:36 Recorded yesterday at Kuwait Airport Max temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25C Min temp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13C Max Rh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85% Min Rh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29% Max Wind . . . . . . . . . . . . .SE 50 km/h Total Rainfall in 24 hrs . . . . . . . .00 mm Recorded yesterday at South Dolphin Min/Max/ Air Temp . . . . . . . . . .17/20C Min/Max Rel Hum . . . . . . . . . . .58/95% Wind Direction/Wind Speed .S/55 km/h Prev Wave Dir/Max Wave Ht . . . .N/1 ft Min/Max Sea Surface Temp . . .16/17C Sea Current . . . . . . . . . . . . . .upwelling — Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Meteorological Dept.




Sheikh Mohammad hails Govt Summit in Dubai

AL preps plan for women’s illiteracy in region Representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Amiri Diwan Advisor Mohammad Abdullah Abul-hasan delivered, on Tuesday, a letter from His Highness the Amir to South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak concerning promoting bilateral ties on all domains. The letter also shed light on the latest developments on the regional and the international arenas. The letter was received by South Korea’s Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik. (KUNA)

‘Fair trade pillar of the economy’ Al Saleh visits HQ of fund AMMAN, Feb 12, (KUNA): Fair trade is of utmost importance in international commercial exchanges, Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh stressed here at the Arab Consultation Forum organized by the Economic Policy Development Forum (EPDF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The forum was successful in delivering an Arab political and economic vision that could be carried out with WTO, the minister told KUNA, late Monday, after meeting with top Jordanian officials during a social event held at the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Jordan’s home, Dr Hamad Al-Duaij. Al-Saleh noted that his meeting with Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, on the fringes of the forum, was fruitful since they discussed an array of joint cooperation issues, matters concerning Kuwaitis residing in Jordan as well as Kuwaiti investments that forms the biggest portion of investments in the Arab country. On his part, Jordan’s Minister of Industry and Trade Hatem Halawani praised the commercial and economic ties with the state of Kuwait and stressed on further cooperation in this realm. Meanwhile, Al-Saleh visited the main office of Jordanian initiative Mena Apps, an investment fund dedicated to supporting small business projects run by young entrepreneurs. The minister was accompanied by the Chief Executive Malik Abdul-Jaber of the initiative, which currently hosts around 13 projects and is providing job opportunities to around 50 people. “The Kuwaiti government is keen to apply the idea at home by witnessing first-hand some of the success stories that have resulted from the Jordanian initiative,” Al-Saleh told KUNA. MENA Apps, a UAE investment fund in Jordan was founded in 2011 by a group of leaders and top professionals from the telecom, applications, media and banking industry who share the vision with regards to the need to open the door for young entrepreneurs from the MENA regions to apply their innovation and creativity and offer this to consumers.

CAIRO, Feb 12, (KUNA): The social committee of the Economic and Social Council of the Arab League discussed on Tuesday preparations for the upcoming Arab summit which will be held at the end of next March in Doha. Arab League’s Assistant Secretary General for Social Affairs Faeqah AlSaleh said in a statement that the Committee has forwarded a number of recommendations to the Economic and Social Council at the level of senior officials tomorrow and to the ministerial meeting on Thursday. Al-Saleh also pointed that the commit-

tee discussed the project plan to combat illiteracy among women in the Arab region. She also said that the committee submitted a recommendation to the Economic and Social Council as a prelude to its referral to the Arab leaders at their upcoming summit to take the necessary decision. Al-Saleh added that the committee has followed up the implementation of social and developmental decisions issued by the recent Baghdad Summit in 2012, chiefly issues pertinent to reduction of poverty, unemployment, improvement of health care and the development of education.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah said in Dubai Tuesday that the first Government Summit in the Arab World was “distinctive and well-organized”. This came in a statement made by the minister to KUNA before leaving Dubai, after participating in the first Government Summit in the Arab world, which kicked off on Monday, and concluded on Tuesday with the participation of 2, 500 senior figures of government work in the region and the world.

Sheikh Mohammad expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum for the kind invitation to participate in the summit. He also thanked the ministers of the Emirati government. The experiences and ideas raised at the summit will be discussed by the Kuwaiti government in order to take further measures that are in favor of facilitating government services provided to the citizens and residents, Sheikh Mohammad concluded.




Khurainej submits query to health minister on ‘hepatitis B’ infection Proposal eyed to open files of violations in AOC deal KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Mubarak Al-Khurainej, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament has submitted a query to Minister of Health Mohammed Barrak Al-Haifi asking about the number of Kuwaiti citizens in general infected with hepatitis B and youths applying for the military in

particular, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily.

He asked the minister to provide the number of Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis infected with hepatitis B; the mode of spread, procedures adopted by the ministry to deal with infection and precautionary measures the ministry takes-as regards the patients infected with the disease. He also asked if medication for Hepatitis B is available in Kuwait. Meanwhile, Al-Khurainej commended appreciable role HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah is playing to strengthen collaboration between the National Assembly and Government. For his part, MP Abdulhamed Dashti stated many lawmakers will submit a proposal at the next parliamentary session to demand the State Audit Bureau to open the files of violations detected in the Asian Olympic Council contract, reports Al-Rai daily. He indicated the lawmakers will vote on the proposal by name to let Kuwaitis know the lawmakers supporting the proposal and those standing against it. He stressed they had called KUNA photo for the State Audit Bureau to HH the Deputy Amir (center), with the members of Kuwait House for National Works. open the file but some MPs launched a barrage of accusaDeputy Amir receives members of Kuwait House for Nat’l Works tions against them and even accused him of receiving KD ing the culture of Kuwait was tion at an exhibition in the UK. His Highness the Deputy Amir Sheikh 2,000,000 from MP Marzouq appreciated. HH Sheikh Nawaf lauded efforts Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah The meeting was attended by of the Kuwait House for National received at Seif Palace Tuesday Al-Ghanim. Undersecretary at the Diwan of His Works in showcasing Kuwaiti herchairman and members of the Kuwait He argued that food for his Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh itage and culture on a regional and House for National Works. horses in the stables costs nearly Mubarak Sabah Al-Salem Alglobal scale, affirming that its misThe members briefed His KD 1,000,000. Humoud Al-Sabah. (KUNA) sion in preserving and documentHighness on the house’s participa-

Syrian rebels Continued from Page 1

“They are important because they are an instant source of ammunition and supplies, and because their capture means putting out of action the warplanes used to bombard us,” Aleppo-based activist Abu Hisham said via the Internet. Though the rebels have yet to take a major city in the war-ravaged country almost two years into the revolution, advances in northern Syria were remarkably speedy on Tuesday, the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman said. “After events in Aleppo on Tuesday, it became clear ever more clear that the regime’s insistence on an imminent victory is false,” he told AFP. Assad meanwhile on Tuesday called for “collective action” by the state and Syrian citizens to limit the effects of the country’s crisis, state news agency SANA reported. Assad also accused “groups that target Syria” of trying to destroy the country’s infrastructure. His comments came as the UN’s Ban urged Damascus to view an offer for talks with Syrian National Coalition chief Moaz al-Khatib as “an opportunity we should not miss — a chance to switch from a devastating military logic to a promising political approach”. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Ban described as “courageous” Khatib’s offer for talks. 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. The UN Security Council, currently divided over Syria, “must no longer stand on the sidelines, deadlocked, silently witnessing the slaughter,” said Ban. According to UN figures, more than 60,000 people have been killed in violence across Syria since the eruption of an antiAssad revolt in March 2011. Meanwhile, the Syrian rebels are launching a major operation to take control of the strategic eastern city of Deir al-Zor after pushing out government forces from oil-producing areas around it, a rebel commander said. If they seize the city, the rebels will control a whole province for the first time in the 22-month-old Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Ibrahim Abu Baker, leader of the powerful Al-Qadisiyah Brigade, said his rebel force, along with Islamists from Jabhat al-Nusra and Arab fighters, had surrounded Deir alZor on four sides in the build-up to the operation. “The countryside is liberated, what is left of the province (of Deir al-Zor) is the city itself,” he told Reuters from the province via Skype. “All brigades are taking part in this... We are in charge of the eastern side of the city.” Deir al-Zor extends northwards along the Euphrates River from the border with western Iraq, home to Sunni Muslim tribes which support the Syrian rebels. Another rebel from Abu Baker’s brigade said on Monday that fighters had started the first stage of the operation by targeting tank fire against three military targets inside the city and besieging the final army stronghold on its outskirts. “We are now surrounding (the army’s) ‘113 Brigade’ which is the last point in the countryside before we are totally focused on the city,” said the rebel fighter who used the name Abu Mazen. “When we liberate the city some brigades will stay to take care of it and the rest will march to Damascus”. Abu Baker said for months the rebel

forces had only limited access to the city, which contains powerful security branches and a military airport. But two weeks ago, with help from Jabhat al Nusra, they captured a security branch located near a strategic bridge on the Euphrates, opening the eastern bank to the rebels. “After liberating the bridge we started sending aid and weapons to the fighters inside the city.. And also sending reinforcements,” he said. “Now there is nothing to stop us from entering the city.” The Qadisiyah Brigade is one of the most influential in the province and has fought fierce battles with government forces. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Tuesday said the international community should allow Syrians to “defend themselves” against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime if it is unable to intervene on their behalf. “If the international community is not willing to do anything, then they must allow Syrians to defend themselves,” Prince Saud al-Faisal told reporters. “The (Syrian) regime’s savage aggression demands allowing the people to do so.” Despite being a close US ally, regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia had not shared Washington’s position against arming Syrian rebels who have been locked in a 23months bloody conflict with troops loyal to Assad. On Friday the White House defended its decision not to arm Syrian rebels to ensure that weapons provided by Americans did not end up in the wrong hands and to shield Syrian civilians, Israelis and its own security. Saudi Arabia, joined by Qatar, has repeatedly called for arming the rebels. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that a powerful blast in a minibus on the Syrian border which killed 14 people was a bomb attack. “A vehicle loaded with bombs was able to reach our customs gate because the customs gate on the Syrian side is not working and is not being controlled,” Erdogan told parliament after Monday’s incident. The vehicle exploded on Monday in the buffer zone between Turkey’s Cilvegozu border crossing and Syria’s Bab al-Hawa post, which was seized by Syrian rebels in July. “What we see in the footage that it is a crowded parking lot filled with pedestrians... Anybody can see the death toll would be heavy,” Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin told reporters earlier. “So we believe civilians are the clear targets,” Ergin added. “I curse this act of terror.” Turkish authorities are looking into all possibilities, including claims that the attack might have been carried out by Syrian intelligence, local media reported.

Saudi capital Continued from Page 1

Riyadh to visit shopping malls during peak hours, easing restrictions aimed at stopping harassment of women. Under the rules of succession in Saudi Arabia, power passes from brother to brother, respecting the law of birthright among the sons of the kingdom’s founder Abdul Aziz bin Saud. Sattam was among the most high profile Saud sons considered as future monarchs. King Abdullah II’s age and frequent hospitalisation have raised concerns about the future leadership of the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom, a key player in the Middle East and a major exporter of oil. Analysts believe the aging Al-Saud dynasty will have to contemplate passing the baton to a new generation, the grandsons of the kingdom’s founder.




Mystery solved as ‘missing’ girl found staying in hotel with mom Pakistani woman jumps to her death in family row KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Police have solved the mystery of the three-year-old girl, identified only as Zainab, who was reportedly kidnapped by unidentified persons, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily. Intensive investigations conducted by securitymen revealed the toddler had not been kidnapped as it had been mentioned on the social networking websites. The daily added the girl was well and with her mother.

By Munaif Nayef Special to the Arab Times A huge fire engulfed Sabah Al-Nasser Cooperative Society and other stores around it, resulting in heavy smoke in the area. Huge material losses worth hundreds of thousands of dinars were reported from this fire incident but no casualties were reported. According to sources, the fire initially broke out in a transformer in the area and spread to nearby commercial stores, from where the fire spread to the building of the cooperative society, covering an approximate area of 1,200 meters. Four fire teams rushed to the location and extinguished the fire, which lasted for almost 1.5 hours.

6 Kuwaitis among 10 hurt in accidents By Munaif Nayef Special to the Arab Times KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Ten individuals including six Kuwaiti citizens sustained injuries due to traffic accidents that occurred throughout the country on Tuesday. In details, an Indian expatriate sustained injuries when his vehicle collided with another in Adaliya. Paramedics rushed to the location and referred the victim to Amiri Hospital for treatment. Meanwhile, two Kuwaiti citizens sustained injuries when a vehicle toppled after colliding with another on Kabad Road. Paramedics rushed to

the location and referred the victims to Adan Hospital for treatment. A Kuwaiti man and woman sustained injuries when two vehicles collided at the intersection between Second Ring Road and Istiqlal Road. Paramedics rushed to the location and referred the victims to Amiri Hospital for treatment. Similarly, two Kuwaiti citizens sustained injuries when two vehicles collided on Airport Road near Khaldiya. Paramedics rushed to the location and referred the victims to Sabah Hospital for treatment. Two expatriates, a Bangladeshi and Egyptian, sustained injuries when two

vehicles collided on Mutla Road. Paramedics rushed to the location and referred the victims to Jahra Hospital for treatment. In addition, an Egyptian expatriate fractured his leg and sustained other injuries when his vehicle toppled on Wafra Road. Paramedics rushed to the location and referred the victim to Adan Hospital for treatment. An Indian expatriate fractured his foot and sustained other injuries when his vehicle toppled on Sixth Ring Road near Farwaniya. Paramedics rushed to the location and referred the victim to Farwaniya Hospital for treatment.

The investigations also revealed the Arab mother had a problem with her Kuwaiti husband and she took the girl with her and was staying in a hotel in Hawalli. Acting on such information, police rushed to the hotel and seized the mother and the daughter and ‘returned’ them to the Kuwaiti. A security source said it was not a case of kidnapping and moreover, the Kuwaiti man filed a missing persons report against his wife. ❑ ❑ ❑ Woman jumps to death: A Pakistani woman who is believed to be in her 40s recently ended her life by jumping from the balcony of her sixth floor apartment in Khaitan, reports AlRai daily. Acting on information police and paramedics rushed to the scene of the incident and found the woman in a pool of blood. The woman was reportedly involved in an argument with her husband. According to the man there was nothing special in the argument. He called it another argument another day. He added, after the argument he left her alone and went to his room. He told police he learned about the ‘suicide’ when his children - one 8years-old and the other 9, told him that the mother had jumped from the balcony. The corpse of the victim has been referred to Forensics. ❑ ❑ ❑ Man found dead: The remains of a Kuwaiti citizen have been referred to Forensics to identify the cause of death, reports Al-Rai daily. According to security sources the remains were partially decomposed. A Lebanese man became curious when he got the rotten stench from a car and when he peeped inside he saw the man slumped over a seat.

Call for ban on Valentine’s Day KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Head of Da’wa and Islamic Sharia Orientation Unit in the Social Reforms Society Dr Essa Al-Zafiri has advised the public to be aware of the dangerous repercussions of adopting non-Muslim practices and celebrations, reports AlSeyassah daily. Al-Zafiri also condemned the media hype on such celebrations by inciting people to exchange gifts or SMS on Valentine’s Day — a practice that originated from Rome. He

attributed the spread of such practices in Muslim communities to the alleged loss of the Islamic identity amongst some of them. He said celebrating occasions which are not part of Islam is considered an imitation of the West. He also appealed to the media to refrain from misleading the people, pointing out that the concerned authorities must take serious measures to ban celebrations which are not part of Kuwaiti traditions and customs.




Panel OKs amendment to DIWANIYA pre-trial detention period

a digest of public opinion

‘Need to avoid unnecessary bloodshed’

Future Bloc formally announced By Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Nihal Al-Sharaf Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: The Legal and Legislative Committee in the Parliament on Tuesday amended the period of pre-trial detention in +the Public Prosecution from 10 days to 21 days and four days in the police station instead of 48 hours.

KUNA photo

Kuwaiti Speaker Ali Al-Rashed (left) with Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Defense Minister Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz.

Kuwaiti Speaker on Saudi trip Saudi Crown prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz received on Tuesday the visiting Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly (Parliament) Ali Al-Rashed and his accompanying delegation at the Crown Prince bureau in the Saudi capital. Prince Salman warmly welcomed Al-Rashed and his delegation. The speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament conveyed to Prince Salman greetings of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

and HH the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah. The meeting was attended by Special Advisor and Supervisor of Bureau of the Crown Prince, Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Chairman of the Shura Council Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammad AlSheikh, and the Kuwaiti ambassador to the kingdom, Sheikh Thamer Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. Earlier, Al-Rashed held official talks with Dr. Al-Sheikh. (KUNA)

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Committee member MP Khalid Al-Shatti disclosed the representatives of the Interior Ministry and the Public Prosecution expressed their views on the proposed amendment, after which the panel approved it and then asked the government to submit a written statement in this regard. He was quick to add though that he is against the amendment as he considers it suppression of freedom, but he respects the points of view of the committee and the government. Meanwhile, members of the Future Bloc, in a press conference Tuesday, formally announced the formation of the new bloc and explained its objectives and future agendas. The bloc elected MP Saleh Ashour as coordinator and Yakoub Al-Sanei as spokesperson. It consists of seven members — Khalil Al-Saleh, Nawaf Al-Fuzai, Hisham Al-Baghli, Abdullah AlTameemi, Ahmed Al-Mulaifi, Yakoub Al-Sanei and Saleh Ashour. Al-Sanei disclosed the bloc’s objectives include working in accordance with the fundamentals of parliamentary work, strengthen the constitutional bases, and focus on the future, as well as the legislative and oversight aspects. He said the bloc believes in the significance of maintaining national unity and detests sectarian and tribal sentiments. He added a special bylaw has been put in place to deal with grilling requests and the issue of loans interests to avoid differences on some issues. He stressed that the bloc’s members have various fields of specialization; hence, they will enrich the Parliament, especially since they are keen on working in the interest of the public. Al-Ashour pointed out the bloc was formed at a time when the nation needs political and parliamentary groups to direct political work towards the right path, to ensure outstanding performance for the legislature and to stabilize the country. He hopes the next stage will be for achievements as the bloc is willing to cooperate with the Parliament to better serve the nation. Al-Mulaifi explained the rationale behind the name of the bloc. He said, “It is called the ‘Future Bloc’ because some people want to push us back to the past and roam around a closed circle. Yes, we should not forget the past but we must not ignore the future”. He added they will work towards the realization of development goals to meet the needs of the citizens.

Priorities Top & above: Dignitaries and senior KU officials at the event.

Focus on impact of development

KU hosts global confab on social sciences, progress KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12, (KUNA): Under the auspices of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlSabah, represented by Sheikh Salem AlJaber Al-Sabah, the College of Social Sciences at Kuwait University on Monday inaugurated the Fifth International Conference themed “Social Sciences: Partners in Development”, in the presence of Dean of College Professor Abdul-Redha Al-Aseeri, coordinator of the conference Dr Jassem AlAli and several other academic staff members of the university. The three-day event gathers celebrated academics from around the globe including Prof Frank Poirier from the Ohio State University in Columbus, the United States and Dr Jane P Shears from the UK University of Hertfordshire. Prof Poirier, an anthropologist, presented to the opening session a paper on the history of Kuwait and the impact of real estate development and the oil industry on the historical sites in the country, as well as national identity versus sub-identity. On her part, Dr Shears addressed in her paper the status quo of the psychological health services from a social perspective. The second session of the conference addressed the childhood issues with Dr Barakat Al-Barmawi, of Egypt’s Menya University, analyzing the types of parental treatment to children. The conference aims to show the role of social sciences in developing the society in general and our local community in particular; enhance communication variables and meet with all other sciences through activating collaborative studies and promoting their practical application; shed light on the modern academic accomplishments in the social sciences as well as the more prominent research in this domain; and recognize the most prominent challenges and obstacles that

Book tells parents ways for childcare KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12, (KUNA): Kuwaiti children league published “My Child” booklet to educate parents on how to take care of their children’s health since birth, and will be distributed free of charge in health centers around the country. The aim of this booklet is to spread knowledge among parents on how to act when confronted with any medical problem, Head of Kuwaiti children league, Maha Bouresli, told KUNA. She added “This booklet explains the basic information pertaining to child care, common diseases in children and answers frequently asked questions in clinics with its educational topics.” “The most divine gift any newly-weds receive is a healthy baby, and of course, the first moments after birth are the happiest they experience with their child,” said Bouresli, noting that there must be a booklet that teaches parents how to deal with any accidental medical problem their children may face as medical recommendations change with time.

face human communities, especially regional and local communities as well as their impact on development plans. Under the four axes of; Sociology and Social Work; Psychology; Political Science; Geography; and Library and Information Science, the conferees are scheduled to debate a host of issues. These include the roles of political science, political philosophy, political and social democracy, and the civil society in development and the impacts of political stability, corruption, multi-national companies on development plans in the Arab world.

According to Al-Mulaifi, the bloc has set its priorities for the next stage and some of its members, who have announced their plan to present grilling requests against certain ministers, will present their interpellations later to deal with them as per its bylaw. He went on to say that this bloc is different from political organizations or parties, indicating that “it is just natural to disagree on a certain idea, but we agree on the importance of a coordinated vision for parliamentary work”. In another development, the Health and Social Affairs Committee postponed discussions on the proposal of the government to amend the labor force public authority bill for further study. Committee Rapporteur MP Hani Shams said the panel has rejected the recommendation of the government to put the recruitment of foreign workers under the sole jurisdiction of the authority, instead of the employers. He said the committee will meet the business owners and private sector representatives on Sunday to tackle the issue. Meanwhile, MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan confirmed that he will push through with his grilling against Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah. “It doesn’t matter if I am alone because those with principles usually stand firm by their decision even if they do it on their own. We are afraid of the possibility that information on Kuwait’s security is now in Tel Aviv,” he said. Al-Duwaisan admitted he is not satisfied with the minister’s response to his question on the Canadian security company that is originally Israeli. “When it comes to Kuwait’s security, we should all take a stand. Do you know who Eitan Livneh is? He is the Director of the Israeli company — Magal Security Systems — tasked to install the security equipment in the North and South borders. It is the same company which built the Israeli segregation wall and dispersed the Palestinians. The equipment will be installed facing Saudi Arabia, so the Iraqis were reassured they are not the concerned party,” he alleged.

Taming putsch in Arab world “IN A previous article, I had cited some examples from the revolutions which had occurred during the past two centuries to signify these revolutions could be transformed into a destructive power that would spoil everything unless the leaders of these revolutions were aware of what they were doing, wise and sincere, sincere enough to rectify the deviations that had surfaced in the wake of these revolutions,” columnist, the Dean of the College of Technological Studies at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) and the Deputy Chairman of Islamic Heritage Revival Society Dr Wael Al-Hasawi wrote for Al-Rai daily Tuesday. “Not just that, peaceful revolutions sometimes can turn into a bloody street ‘battle’ like the one that happened in China during the revolution that was Al-Hasawi led by Mao Tsetung what came to be known as the Cultural Revolution during which he got rid of many of his comrades. During this revolution as many as 32 million Chinese perished. “Apart from the above, the revolution may reinstate former regimes as it happened in France. The revolution had reinstated the monarchy. Yet other revolutions may give birth to dictators and the example of this is previous Arab revolutions. Hence, the attitude in dealing with the revolution should be rational, interests of the nation should be considered and corrupt practices avoided. “In Egypt, for instance, the opponents of the revolution can be classified into many categories because some of them belong to the former regime and they don’t like to see the people getting out of the Hosni Mubarak cloak, while some others have rejected the revolution motivated by their principles and thoughts. “Apart from the above, there is another category of people which rejects the revolution because of the group that is in power particularly the Muslim Brotherhood Group in the belief the latter is likely to lead Egypt to a catastrophe. However, as a matter of fact, the above pattern of thinking seems to be wrong, because the regime which has been overthrown by the people cannot be reinstated. “Speaking of the new leadership of the Egyptian revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood Group and taking over of power by this group can be attributed to the fact that this was the sole group within the revolution that was well-organized and so it alone harvested the fruits of the revolution. “However, as long as the people are determined to maintain a free system of elections to prevent those who are striving to leap over the popular gains, then it would have been natural to see the country witnessing radical changes through which new parties and blocs could take over the power. “But if some people still insist to go head and attempt to bring down an elected government on the pretext it is inefficient and unqualified to rule the country, then we suggest these people are conspiring to subvert the democratic experiment and abort their revolution intentionally or unintentionally supporting the traitors and foes of the nation. “In this context, I would like to point out that recently I listened to the episodes produced by Tharwat Al-Kharabawi over the Muslim Brotherhood Group and I found these episodes are full of instigative tendency to such an extent he has mixed the right stories with fiction in a bid to prove that the Muslim Brotherhood has reached the helm of power by virtue of support from the United States of America. “He also went on to say that the Muslim Brotherhood will cause damage to Egypt if the group stayed in power for a longer time. However, although, I don’t belong to the Group, certainly I don’t like to see my thoughts being killed by what has been promoted by some people to pursue baseless issues. “Anyway, we are not here to stress on what has been occurring in the Arab world over the past two years in the form of Arab Spring, rather these events can be deemed explosive that had surfaced due to pressures, injustice and persecution practiced by the former regimes of the respective countries against their peoples. “Such being the case, we pray to the Almighty Allah to see these Arab revolutions remaining committed to the directions they have adopted and avoid a series of prospective bloody changes which mostly go against the desires of the nation.”

Also: “The democracy is not a luxury or

a strange project that can create a state of tension in the Arabian Gulf as some people in this part of the world believe. Democracy rather represents an actual need and something expected in politics which all Gulf governments must deal with seriously because democracy is the safety valve for these regimes in the long-term, because we know it is impossible for the grandsons to be a replica of their forefathers even if the people in the Gulf states are striving to maintain obsolete mechanisms,” columnist and Chairman of Democratic Development Society Nasser Al-Abdali wrote for AlKuwaitiah daily Tuesday. “To reach this democratic phase is a historical inevitability that most countries have passed through the awareness of their political leaderships and their commitment to the mechanism of evolution. “Take for example, the late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem - we pray to Almighty Allah to rest his soul in peace — who preceded his age and ingrained constitutional rules in his country providing necessary requirements for each phase of political evolution in the country. This happened although some countries have paid the price for identical transitions in the form of tears and blood. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at the moment witnesses a peaceful move, given the fact the symbols of this move are known and its demands are obvious and aimed at protecting the rights of all parties in the Kingdom. “Such being the case, we wonder why this move did not constitute a nucleus of a futuristic national project, provided the pivots of the national dialogue should revolve around this project and the relevant parties should keep in mind that the march of one thousand miles can be covered rapidly if the first step is intact and sound. “Meanwhile, we say the peaceful moves in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have begun with a petition being submitted to evolve political reality in the country, but this move is still looking for a solution. “However, I don’t think the obstructions and the difficulties currently facing the UAE project are more complicated than that of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and this means the solution should be found as swiftly as possible. “Speaking of Bahrain, the situation looks more difficult, but the current circumstances are appropriate than previous times to hold a national dialogue through which all components which reflect the Bahraini community should merge together as long as the government intends so shut down the tragic dossiers for good.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “The decision to form a national opposition bloc through unification of different political blocs was essential even though its implementation was delayed. It is one of the most important steps taken in the political history of Kuwait and will benefit the future of all Kuwaiti citizens,” columnist Dr Hassan Abdullah Jowhar wrote for AlJaridah daily. “I do not think we need any evidences or indicators of the level of corruption practiced in most public services provided to the Kuwaiti citizens. The lack of unbiased application of law and political unrest has jeopardized the nation’s entity particularly after the national unity was torn apart. “Irrespective of whether we confess this or not, the fact is we are to be blamed for such dangerous situation of the country because we were interested in achieving our own personal interests at the expense of the country. In addition, the government is also to be blamed for this legal, constitutional, political and moral plague. It has also played a substantial role in backing the practice of corruption at the expense of Kuwait. With this fact in mind, it is high time such a national opposition bloc was formed and it should not ever be suspended.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “Before the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Egypt to attend the 12th Islamic Summit Conference, he stated \he will try to open doors to develop the Egyptian-Iranian bilateral relations,” columnist and Professor at Kuwait University’s Political Science Department Dr Haila Al-Mekaimi wrote for Annahar daily. “According to President Ahmadinejad, if his country and Egypt work towards development of their relationship, most geo-political issues in the region will change their bearing and the Palestinian agenda will begin to take a positive shape towards solution. “I wonder what geo-political and Palestinian issues President Ahmadinejad is talking about when his term is about to end. Of what

benefit was the Iran-Syria alliance to the region apart from interfering into internal issues of sovereign states? “Perhaps, Iran is looking for new allies to replace Syria since Damascus is on the verge of total collapse. Earlier, during the Islamic summits the Arabs were divided between moderates and resistance forces; currently, the Arab countries are united to fight Islamic groups that have recently come to power.’’ ❑ ❑ ❑ “All nations that respect themselves are keen to separate politics from the judiciary to keep the latter protected from the political bargains. Yet, the situation in Kuwait is a bit different because we have some individuals who try to involve the judiciary in political conflicts,” columnist, former MP and general manager of the Scope Satellite TV Talal Al-Saeed wrote for AlSeyassah daily. “These individuals persist in involving the judiciary in their political conflicts even if they are suspects. Therefore, they spare no efforts to defend themselves in a political manner in front of the court. Such arguments are proper inside election headquarters, not in front of the court that is keen to base its verdicts on evidences as per the law not political arguments. “Some individuals think wrongfully that they are able to convert the areas of courts into political auditoriums through which they can address the street to achieve personal interests against their political adversaries particularly after they were deprived of ‘using’ the Abdullah Al-Salem Hall.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “During the last meeting the socalled dissenters from the Al-Nahaj group suddenly decided to return back to the arena and continue their movement to put pressure to achieve their big dreams which are based on false allegations,” columnist Hassan Al-Mehaimzi wrote for Al-Sabah daily. “However, those who had resented the moves of the parent body later realized that ‘comprehensive disobedience’ will backfire on the ‘mother’ movement which had been shifting its venues from one place to another according to its priorities until it lost its credibility. “Surprisingly these people are bent on imposing their will on others disregarding the constitutional principles and the State of law and institutions which can bring harmony to citizens.” ❑ ❑ ❑ “I saw the speech of the Sheikh of Azhar and praise God we do not want any to criticize His Holiness particularly any clergyman to criticize or attack us because they don’t have any authority over us,” columnist Mishari Abdullah Al-Hamad wrote for Alam Alyawm daily. “His Holiness talked about three points regarding not allowing the Shiites to increase their influence and non-interference in the affairs of the Gulf States particularly Bahrain and granting Sunnis their rights in Iran. “Our colleague Dr Salah AlFadhli in Kuwaitiah daily focused in his article on one point about the Shiite influence in the Sunni states. I agree with Dr Fadhli one hundred percent but I do not think on those lines because of the strictness we live in and the technology sweeping the world that there is a fear of anyone increasing their influence or although there are those who want to change the doctrine between him and God. “But Dr Fadhli don’t you think that you were supposed to consider the rest of the statement of Sheikh of Al-Azhar? Don’t you think that the claim of non-interference in the Gulf affairs is a must? It is in harmony with the request of the kings and princes of the Gulf who in their recent summit have stressed on noninterference in the affairs of the Gulf States? Or is it really that Iran does not interfere in Gulf affairs but the country which is against the GCC states?” ❑ ❑ ❑ The last gathering of the Egyptians which came on the first of the month, ‘The Friday of elimination from the Muslim Brotherhood’ because the Egyptians have suffered much tragedies during this rule,” columnist Dr AbdulMohsen Hamada wrote for Al-Qabas daily. “The last ‘few’ months in power have demonstrated their failures in the state administration and their failure to deal with community groups, especially with those who are opposed to their policies. “Egypt, the country which is the important state in the region and home to the oldest civilization is facing a severe crisis on the political and economic arenas and this scenario could mean the collapse of the state.”

— Compiled by Zaki Taleb




Indian held for drinking hangs himself to death ‘Tech-savvy’ motorist in custody By Meshal Al-Sanousi Special to the Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: A 32-year-old Indian expatriate committed suicide inside the bathroom of Al-Zour Police Station after he was arrested for consumption of liquor. According to security sources, securitymen arrested the drunk expatriate during their patrol duty and referred him to the police station. However, the latter hanged himself using his shirt inside the bathroom of the police station. His corpse was referred to the Forensics Department and a case was registered for investigations.

Agencies add: Motorist held: An unidentified motorist was arrested recently and his vehicle was seized after traffic officers discovered that the suspect was able to hide the number plate of his vehicle using a remote control. According to press statement issued by the Ministry of Interior, the motorist had committed several traffic and public security violations including speeding after ensuring that the number plate was hidden to avoid being detected by the radar camera. Media Security Department warned motorists to avoid such actions particularly hiding the number plate of the vehicle, indicating that the concerned security authorities will take strict action against such violators for the protection of road users. ❑


nabbed: A Kuwaiti citizen, two Bedoun, a GCC national and two Arab nationals were arrested recently for breaking into a house in Jabriya and stealing valuables. According to press statement issued by the Ministry of Interior, officers from General Department for Criminal Evidences carried out investigations for three months to find these suspects after they received information about the incident. Sources explained that the armed suspects jumped the wall surrounding a house in Jabriya and trespassed into the house. They locked the housemaids inside a room after threatening to hurt them using knives. They then stole several items in the house including expensive clocks, gold accessories, electrical and electronic appliances, mobile phones and a vehicle. After three months of investigations, officers finally managed to identify the suspects and obtained information about them to confirm their act of burglary. After taking necessary legal measures, they arrested the suspects and raided their houses in Sulaibiya, Khaitan and Qairawan. During interrogations, the suspects admitted that they burgled the house and sold the contents outside the country, after which they distributed the money among themselves. The housemaids were summoned to identify the suspects. After they confirmed the suspects, the latter were referred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal action against them. ❑

Caught in act: The Hawalli police have arrested a Kuwaiti youth and an unidentified young woman for making love inside a parked car in front of a school in Al-Zahra, reports Al-Rai daily. The arrest came after an unidentified person saw the couple in a tight embrace and called the Operations Department of the Interior Ministry. Police rushed to the spot and caught the lovers in act. According to police records the parents have filed a missing persons report on the woman at a local police station. ❑

Road closure: The General Traffic Department has announced that part of the Salem Al Mubarak Street from the Amr Ibn Al-Aas intersection to Centrepoint Complex will be closed beginning from Thursday, Feb 14, 2013, 6:00 pm, due to preparations being carried out for the 2013 Hala February Festival, reports Annahar daily.

133 citations issued, 58 cars seized in raid KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Officers from Ahmadi Security Directorate launched security campaigns in several areas of the governorate recently, during which they arrested three individuals with expired residencies, seized 58 vehicles and issued 133 traffic violations. According to press statement issued by the Ministry of Interior, the officers seized 58 vehicles out of which one was involved in a case and referred to the concerned authorities while 35 vehicles were used for

reckless driving and causing traffic jams. These vehicles were referred to the Seized-Vehicle Garage in Abdullah Port. Ahmadi Security Directorate confirmed they will continue such campaigns to arrest the violators of law and traffic rules. Media Security Department appealed to Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates to follow the instructions of securitymen and stressed the importance of carrying Civil ID cards at all times, which they are supposed to present to securitymen when

required. ❑

Nepotism galore: The social networking websites continue to circulate the decisions issued by the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Zhikra Al-Rashidi who is said to have appointed her sibling in government office, reports Al-Seyassah daily. The sites published the decision issued by the minister appointing her sister to work in the office in replacement to Adel Al-Azmi.




Grilling of officials in Argentina bomb probe denied

Iran rejects allegations of shipping arms to Yemen TEHRAN, Iran, Feb 12, (Agencies): Iran is rejecting accusations that weapons seized on a ship in Yemen last month and allegedly bound for Shiite insurgents there were exported from Iran. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday that reports on the ship and the weapons are “incorrect and a lie.” On Saturday, Yemen’s interior minister said that an investigation had determined that the Iranian-made missiles, rockets and other weapons confiscated on the vessel were loaded onto the ship in Iran and destined for Yemeni insurgents. Mehmanparast called the accusations “irresponsible” and said Iran respects the sovereignty and integrity of Yemen. He warned that such allegations could damage future cooperation. For years, Yemen has been fighting Shiite Muslim insurgents near the country’s border with Saudi Arabia. Iran is the region’s Shiite power. Meanwhile, Iran denied Tuesday that Iranians facing international arrest warrants for their alleged roles in the 1994

bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish centre will be questioned by an Argentinian judge, as announced by Argentine’s foreign minister. “The matter of questioning of some of the Iranian officials is a sheer lie. It seems that those who are concerned by the actual agreement are spreading such reports,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at his weekly press conference. Mehmanparast’s remarks come after Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said that seven Iranians with international arrest warrants against them will be questioned by an Argentine judge in Tehran concerning the bombing. Timerman had stressed that he had “made sure (Iran Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi) will have to be present when the judge questioned them and he will be.” Last month Argentine President Cristina Kirchner announced an agreement with Iran to create an independent commission to investigate the bombing. Argentina has long accused Iran of masterminding the attack and since 2006 has

Vehicle packed with explosives hits Mosul

Eleven killed in series of attacks in Iraq BAGHDAD, Feb 12, (Agencies): A series of attacks mostly targeting security forces, including a suicide car bomb at an army base, killed 11 people, officials said Tuesday, updating a previous toll. In the deadliest of Monday’s incidents, a vehicle packed with explosives was detonated by a suicide attacker in

the main northern city of Mosul, killing six soldiers and wounding seven others, according to security and medical officials. The blast struck near a military base in the Al-Muthanna area of the city, 350 kms (220 miles) north of the capital. Also in Mosul, a real estate developer, his wife, and the visiting bodyguard

of a provincial council member were all stabbed to death inside the businessman’s home late on Monday, officials said. It was not immediately clear why the group were targeted. Even as unrest has declined nationwide from its peak in 2006 and 2007, Mosul and surrounding Nineveh province remain one of the most violent

regions of the country on a per capita basis, according to the Iraq Body Count watchdog. Also on Monday, a roadside bomb in the northern city of Kirkuk killed a policeman and wounded two others, while four separate bombings and shootings in Baghdad left one person dead and three people wounded.

sought the extradition of eight Iranians, including former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, apart from Vahidi. Iran has repeatedly denied involvement in the bombing which killed 85 people, and has refused to arrest the suspects.


Qom during a ceremony Sunday marking the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. The Emrooz daily and other Iranian newspapers said Tuesday that several lawmakers, including Alaeddin Boroujerdi from the influential committee on national security and foreign policy, condemned the

incident. The semiofficial Ilna news agency says about 100 protesters chanted against Larijani and some even threw their shoes at him. Larijani has been a longtime rival to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who last week accused the speaker of abusing his authority.

TEHRAN: Senior Iranian lawmakers are demanding an investigation into the incident involving the country’s parliament speaker in the seminary city of Qom. Ali Larijani was stopped from delivering a speech by chanting protesters in

Libya govt gets support for ‘enhanced security’ Tripoli to close borders during revolt ’versary PARIS, Feb 12, (Agencies): Top Libyan and Western officials on Tuesday agreed on a plan to improve security following the 2011 ouster of Muammar Gaddafi, including tighter borders, disarming former fighters and training troops.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud bin al-Faisal (right), and Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger hold a joint press conference after the end of their meeting in Riyadh on Feb 12. (AFP)

Move boost for PM

Tunisia’s Ennahda says may quit TUNIS, Feb 12, (AFP): Tunisia’s ruling Ennahda party said Tuesday it could leave power, throwing Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali a lifeline in his quest to form a government of technocrats and steer the country out of its crisis. “Ennahda could quit power if Jebali maintains his proposal. Everything is possible. It is not inevitable for Ennahda to stay in the government,” Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem said. “Dialogue continues. The doors are not closed,” Abdessalem, a son-in-law of Ennahda party chief Rached Ghannouchi, said on the pan-Arab news channel AlArabiya. Abdessalem’s remarks were the first by a key Ennahda official suggesting that the Islamist party, which controls 89 of the 217 seats in the National Constituent Assembly after an October 2011 election, could back down. Jebali has been seeking political support for his plan to form a non-partisan cabinet of technocrats, after the assassination last week of a leftist opposition figure threw Tunisia into turmoil. But Jebali has been facing stiff resistance from Ennahda, which has been blamed for the cold-blooded murder of Chokri Belaid who was a staunch critic of the government. Jebali was warned of chaos and threatened to quit if he is unable to go form a new government by the middle of the week.

Critical Assembly speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar earlier said that he would “strongly support” Jebali, adding that the country was in a “critical situation” following Belaid’s murder. Ben Jaafar, the leader of the secular Ettakatol, an ally of Ennahda, said he was ready to hand over all ministerial positions controlled by his party, including finance, tourism and education. “It’s make or break, but we don’t want to break it,” he said, adding he hoped Ennahda would put “national interests above partisan interests”. Ghannouchi had also opened the door for a possible compromise on the future government. “The government that can save the situation in the country... is a government of national coalition,” he said, insisting however that it must “represent all the political forces”. Jebali, meanwhile, has been holding consultations with politicians and legal experts. Ben Jaafar said talks were under way with around six allies of Ennahda including Ettakatol and President Moncef Marzouki’s centre-left Congress for the Republic party (CPR) which had threatened to pull out of the government. CPR chief Mohamed Abbou, however, told reporters on Monday: “We have decided to freeze our decision to withdraw our ministers from the government, but if in one week we don’t see any changes, we will quit the government”. On Monday, hundreds of Tunisians protested outside the national assembly demanding the government’s resignation, among them Belaid’s widow, Besma Khalfaoui who called for the resignation of the Islamist-led government.

News in Brief Saudi beheads 2: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded one its nationals convicted of murder as well as a Syrian convicted of smuggling drugs into the kingdom, the interior ministry announced. The Saudi, Mohammed al-Qahtani, shot dead fellow national Mueed alQahtani in a fight, the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA. He was beheaded in the southwestern Aseer region. In a separate case, Nabil Abu Khanjar, a Syrian, was beheaded in the northern Al-Jawf province after he was convicted of smuggling “large amounts of amphetamines,” SPA reported. Tuesday’s executions bring to 12 the number of people beheaded in Saudi Arabia so far this year. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Obama in Jerusalem March 20: US President Barack Obama is expected to arrive in Jerusalem on March 20 for a three-day trip which will also take him to the West Bank city of Ramallah, media reports and a Palestinian official said. According to a draft itinerary published in Israel’s top-selling Yediot Aharonot, Obama will begin his firstever visit to Israel as president on March 20. He was expected to land at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv then hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the day. The next day, he would spend the morning holding talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas at his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Israel okays Turkish convoy: Israel has authorised Turkey to send staff and equipment to a new hospital which is under construction in the Gaza Strip following a diplomatic request from Ankara, an Israeli official said on Tuesday. An Israeli newspaper considered close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the approval was a gesture aimed at thawing relations between the one-time allies which became icy following a 2010 Israeli raid on a ship seeking to break the Jewish state’s Gaza blockade, in which nine Turkish activists were killed. “This appears to be an important step in helping produce reconciliation between Turkey and Israel,” Israel Hayom said. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Kerry seeks to unblock $700m: Secretary of State John Kerry is working to try to free up almost $700 million in aid for the Palestinians which has been held up in Congress, a top US official said Monday. “The secretary feels extremely strong that it is time now to get this support to the Palestinian Authority,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.


Archaeologist found ‘dead’ CAIRO, Feb 12, (AP): Egyptian officials said on Tuesday that they are investigating the death of a French archaeologist who was found dead in his Cairo apartment. The officials said there was no sign of forced entry into the apartment of 60-year-old Michel Wuttmann, who led a department at the French archaeological institute in Cairo. Wuttmann’s body was discovered a day earlier, with injuries around his mouth. Investigators said he appeared to have been smothered to death. They added that his cell phone and laptop were stolen but no money. Investigators suspect that two young men who visited Wuttmann Monday night may be behind his death. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. The institute expressed its condolences in a statement posted its website. The department was working with Congress “to get appropriated money released for the Palestinian Authority because we think it’s very, very important that they remain effective in supporting the needs of the Palestinian people.” (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Egypt court jails Israeli: An Egyptian court sentenced an Israeli man to two years in prison for crossing illegally into the Sinai peninsula, court sources said on Tuesday. Egypt said in December it had arrested the man after he slipped into the Sinai’s Taba region and took photographs of security buildings. State media at that time identified the man, Andrei Pshenichnikov, as a 24-year-old army officer. Israeli media said he was a civilian and a proPalestinian activist. The ruling by the court in the Nuweiba area of Sinai was issued on Monday. The court sources said Pshenichnikov had not given a convincing explanation for why he crossed into Egypt illegally when he could have entered as a tourist. Sinai has suffered from lax security since Egypt’s 2011 uprising, which overthrew President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt regained the peninsula, which Israel occupied during a 1967 war, after the two signed a peace deal in 1979. (RTRS)

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was joined for the talks by his Libyan counterpart Mohamed Abdulaziz and other top Libyan officials as well as the foreign ministers of Britain, Italy, Denmark, Turkey and Malta. “Much has already been achieved but issues remain, including border security, weapons, the rule of law, human rights, etc,” Fabius said. He said international support for the Libyans came in many forms including “the rapid deployment of European experts to train Libyan security forces and police and help to rebuild the army, navy and air force.” Diplomatic sources said the talks were the result of serious concerns over Libyan security, including over the flood of weapons from Gaddafi’s storage depots across the region since his regime’s demise. Islamist rebels who took control of Mali last year are among those believed to have benefited from the looting of Gaddafi’s vast weapons storehouses. “The security of North Africa is an integral part of the security of the Mediterranean as a whole,” Libyan Foreign Minister Abdulaziz said, pointing out that his country’s borders stretched over 6,000 kms (3,750 miles).

Terrorism “Organised crime is very active, terrorism is very active,” he said, calling for “a united front against terrorism.” A statement issued after the talks said an EU mission to help better border management would be deployed by June. Tripoli has pledged to reform its judiciary, reform the prison system and promote national reconciliation through truth-seeking processes and trying to identify and locate missing persons. Several Western governments have been alarmed at the deteriorating security situation in Libya’s second city Benghazi and many ordered their nationals to evac-

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (right), addresses reporters during a joint press conference with his Libyan counterpart Mohamed Abdulaziz (left), at the end of a conference on Libya held at the foreign ministry in Paris, on Feb 12. (AP)

uate last month citing fears of terrorist attacks to avenge France’s military intervention in Mali to rout Islamist rebels in the vast arid north. Abdulaziz had earlier said a spillover from Mali’s crisis could undermine security in Libya with weapons and foreign Islamist fighters flowing back to the country. He said on Tuesday that a government team was in the eastern city last week to hear local grievances and improve things, saying: “We are really trying to control the situation. “Some uncontrolled elements are trying to exploit the situation,” he added. Benghazi is cradle of the uprising that toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but also the city where a US ambassador was killed in an attack in September. Abdulaziz said the situation in Benghazi was a legacy of Gaddafi’s rule. “Benghazi and the east were very much marginalised. The same paradox exists in the south that also produced some kind of extremism.” Meanwhile, Libya will close its borders with Egypt and Tunisia for four days from Thursday as it marks the second anniversary of the start of the revolution that ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi, officials said. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said international flights will also be suspended at all airports except for those of the capital Tripoli and second city Benghazi in the east, the official Lana news agency reported on Tuesday. The “preventive” measures were

decided after repeated calls for protests to be held nationwide, including some who have demanded a “second revolution” in protest at what they say is the new Libyan rulers’ failure to push for reforms. “On Monday night, a cabinet meeting decided a series of security measures concerning the protection of borders, air traffic control... from 2:30 am (0130 GMT) Thursday and until February 18,” Zeidan said in the statement. He said overseas flights will be suspended except for those taking off from the Tripoli and Benghazi airports.

Also: TRIPOLI: Libya appealed on Tuesday against an order to hand over Muammar Gaddafi’s former spy chief to an international tribunal, saying it is capable of trying Gaddafi-era officials at home. Judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague have said Libya must extradite Abdullah alSenussi over his alleged role in orchestrating reprisals against protesters in the 2011 uprising that overthrew Gaddafi. They would decide later how to respond if the North African state continues to hold Senussi, the judges added. The court has the power to refer the matter to the UN Security Council. Ahmed al-Jehani, the Libyan lawyer who liaises between the Libyan government and the ICC, said Libya would continue to push for its right to judge Senussi.




Saudi govt official still faces arrest in US

UN takes charity founder off Qaeda list GRANTS PASS, Oregon, Feb 12, (AP): A Saudi Arabian government official who started an Islamic charity in the state of Oregon has been taken off a United Nations list of people subject to sanctions for ties to al-Qaeda but remains on a similar US list. The UN Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against al-Qaeda removed Soliman al-Buthe, who now is a consultant to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Municipalities, from the list Monday. Al-Buthe still faces arrest if he returns to the United States. A federal indictment alleges he smuggled $150,000 in cash collected by Al Haramain Islamic Foundation in Ashland to Saudi Arabia in 2000 to help terrorists in Chechnya. His co-defendant, Iranian-American tree surgeon Pete Seda, is serving 33 months in prison after being convicted of conspiracy and tax fraud. Al-Buthe’s attorney Tom Nelson said the UN action is some vindication for his client, but al-Buthe is still trying to get off the US terrorism list. “It all goes back to the days immediately after 9/11, when the government embarked on a crusade to find terrorists under every bed,” Nelson said. “A lot of innocent people got sucked in and harmed very significantly as a result. More and more of those cases are coming out all the time.” Al-Buthe said in a statement that all he ever wanted was a fair chance to clear his name. “While the Americans still refuse to disclose reasons behind their actions, the United Nations now prohibits unfair practices. It was this change that allowed me to clear my name.”

11 to testify via video from Pakistan

Florida imam’s money not for Taleban: witness MIAMI, Feb 12, (AP): Testifying via video from Pakistan, a man accused by the US of conspiring with an elderly Miami-based Muslim cleric to funnel thousands of dollars to Taleban terrorists insisted Monday the money was for innocent purposes, including a potato chip factory run by the cleric’s son-in-law. Ali Rehman was the first of as many as 11 witnesses expected to testify from an Islamabad hotel in defense of 77-year-old Hafiz Khan, who faces four terrorism support and conspiracy counts. Rehman is named in the same indictment and refused to come to the US. Other witness-

es were unable to get US visas in time. Rehman said he handled three separate $10,000 transactions for Khan in 2008 and 2009. Most of the money, he testified, went to Anayat Ullah, who is married to Khan’s daughter Husna and started the potato chip business with his father-in-law as an investor. Rehman said he has known Ullah since they were children in Pakistan’s Swat Valley and wanted to do him a favor. “That favor was that his father was sending him some money, and I used to deliver it to him or sent it to him,” said Rehman.

He and Al Haramain remain on the Treasury Department’s al-Qaeda sanctions list. The foundation disbanded after the department froze its assets in 2004 for allegedly aiding terrorists in Chechnya and Albania. A federal appeals court upheld the listing, but not the assets freeze. Nelson said Treasury has not responded to his application to be taken off the list since he filed it two years ago. Treasury spokesman John Sullivan said people are taken

off the list, but he did immediately respond to questions about whether al-Buthe’s request to be removed had been received or why Nelson has received no response. The reasons al-Buthe was taken off the UN list were not given by the committee, which said in a statement only that it considered a request submitted through the committee’s ombudsperson, and the ombudsperson’s comprehensive report.

Al-Qaeda branch calls for ‘holy war’ in Mali Obama OKs $50 mln to assist France GAO, Mali, Feb 12, (Agencies): Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has called for jihad in Mali, a monitoring group said Tuesday, after four days of suicide attacks and guerrilla fighting in territory French-led forces reclaimed from Islamist rebels. The call to holy war from AQAP, the global network’s Yemen-based branch — which US officials have labelled al-Qaeda’s most dangerous franchise — came as

troops sought to tighten a security lock-down in Gao, the largest city in northern Mali and the target of a string of Islamist attacks. AQAP condemned France’s month-old military intervention against Islamist groups in the partially desert nation as a “crusader campaign against Islam”, and called on Muslims everywhere to join the fight against it, the SITE Intelligence agency said. “Supporting the Muslims in Mali is a duty for every capable Muslim with life and money, everyone according to their ability,” AQAP’s Sharia Committee said in a statement reported by US-based SITE, which monitors extremist Internet forums. It said jihad is “more obligatory on the people who are closer” to the fight and that “helping the disbelievers against Muslims in any form is apostasy”. The statements were an apparent reference to north African countries, notably Algeria, where Islamist gunmen attacked a gas field after the government agreed to let French warplanes use Algerian airspace, unleashing a hostage crisis that left 37 foreigners dead.


This photograph taken from a helicopter shows an aerial view of the Hazrat-e-Ali shrine in Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh province on Feb 4. Once known as the ‘mother of cities,’ the ancient city of Balkh was a popular destination along the ancient Silk Route. Balkh was destroyed by Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan during his rule, with the city’s ruins remaining as a tourist attraction today. (Inset): Pedestrians walk past a section of the old city as snow is pictured on the ground in Ghazni province on Feb 12. Ghazni, located in eastern Afghanistan along the Kabul-Kandahar road, is one of the thirty-four provinces and one of Afghanistan’s major cities with an estimated population of 141,000 people. (AFP)

‘Fed up with atrocities’

Afghan villagers rise up against Taleban KAKARAN VILLAGE, Afghanistan, Feb 12, (AFP): Dozens of Afghan villagers have taken up arms against the Taleban in one of their key southern heartlands, the latest in a series of such uprisings, villagers and officials say. Analysts caution that the movements could be attempts by local militia leaders to reassert their authority ahead of the 2014 withdrawal of NATO troops, or could be orchestrated as part of a government strategy. The uprising in Kandahar province, the birthplace of the Islamist militants, was launched by a tribal elder at the weekend after the militia threatened to kill one of his sons for joining a USbacked community police force. Haji Abdul Udood, a tribal chief in the province’s troubled Panjwayi district, said the vil-

lagers were fed up with Taleban “atrocities”, including roadside bombings that kill more civilians than troops. More than 60 youths had joined the movement in just two days, Udood told AFP in Kakaran village, about 10 kilometres (six miles) west of Kandahar city. In their first encounter with the Taleban on Sunday night — in an attack backed by police — three Taleban were killed and dozens were forced to flee to the mountains, Udood and a police official said. General Abdul Raziq, the provincial police chief in Kandahar, said he had provided the villagers with arms and ammunition. “Right now we are providing training to the villagers. We have provided guns and bullets and

we are supporting this,” Raziq told AFP. He said that the youths taking part in the uprising would be recruited to the Afghan Local Police (ALP), a US-sponsored community police force assigned to fight the Taleban in remote villages. The police chief said the move was effective in the battle against the Taleban and that it could deal the militants with a major blow. Udood said he started the uprising after the Taleban tried to kill one of his sons, accusing him of joining the ALP. “I and my eight sons took up our guns and told the Taleban we will fight you. Three other villagers who had lost members of their family to Taleban bombings joined us, more people joined us,” he added.

France launched its operation in Mali on Jan 11, after the interim government requested help against Islamist insurgents who had seized the north for 10 months and were advancing into southern territory. Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama is spending up to $50 million from the Pentagon’s budget to assist Chad and France in their efforts to combat militants in Mali in North Africa. The United States has been supporting the French military’s operations in northern Mali by providing refueling services for French forces and airlift support for French and Chadian forces. Obama issued a memorandum to the State and Defense departments Monday advising them of his directive to use the $50 million. The State Department already had notified Congress of Obama’s intent to tap Pentagon funds. A White House national security official said France is reimbursing the US for fuel. The US has supported French efforts to knock out terrorist sanctuaries in Mali, but has avoided direct involvement. In other news, Britain announced a £5 million ($7.8 million, 5.8 million euros) aid package on Tuesday to buy food, medical supplies and clean water for civilians caught up in the conflict in Mali. The aid will also help the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide physiotherapy for disabled Malians and psychological care for those affected by the conflict, Britain’s international development ministry said.

Pakistan Taleban eulogises Laden

American, British fighters killed: TTP ISLAMABAD, Feb 12, (AFP): The Pakistani Taliban have included a Briton and an American in a slideshow of fighters killed in battle that also eulogises Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden. According to the US monitoring service SITE, the 12-minute, 56-second video was posted on jihadist websites on February 6 and was prepared by Umar Studio, the media wing of Pakistan’s umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) faction. It identifies the American by the name of Inaam and the Briton as Abbas, whom SITE said had been identified by the TTP in a prior video as Omar alBritani and who gave a speech in English. No date or location was listed for their deaths. It showed a photograph of Abbas wearing a black tur-

ban and sporting a thick black beard. Inaam was shown smiling slightly The video starts with a recitation of Koranic verses, before showing photographs of the slain fighters while they were alive or in death. It also includes a photograph of bin Laden, who was shot dead by US Navy SEALs in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad on May 2, 2011. “He faced a lot of hardships in this world, but he got martyrdom with the blessing of Allah,” said TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud of bin Laden. The TTP is blacklisted as a terror organisation in the United States and was accused of training Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad, who was sentenced to life in prison for trying to bomb New York’s Times Square in May 2010.

A Malian soldier arrests a man at a checkpoint one day after Islamist gunmen battled French and Malian troops, on Feb 11 in Gao. (AFP)

Pakistani driver assistants chat while sitting on a truck carrying NATO Humvees at a terminal on the Pakistani-Afghan border in Chaman, Pakistan, on Feb 11. The US says it has started using the land route through Pakistan to pull American military equipment out of Afghanistan. (AP)

‘Change microphones’

Gitmo hearing halted to prevent ‘eavesdropping’ GUANTANAMO BAY US NAVAL BASE, Cuba, Feb 12, (RTRS): A pretrial hearing for five prisoners accused of plotting the September 11 attacks was halted on Monday so technicians could tinker with courtroom microphones to prevent eavesdropping on confidential attorney-client conversations. The war crimes court at the Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base convened for a little over an hour and then recessed until Tuesday to address defense lawyers’ concerns that the courtroom microphones are sensitive enough to pick up conversations among themselves and with their clients. “Under the rules of ethics you can’t have communications if you aren’t confident that they’re confidential,” said David Nevin, an attorney for the alleged masKhalid termind of the hijacked plane plot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Defense lawyers said they had recently learned that even when their defense table microphones were turned off, other nearby microphones picked up enough sound for stenographers to hear their conversations and include them in the transcript. Under trial rules, the prosecution is in charge of the transcripts. While no defense table conversations have appeared in the unofficial transcripts that are released to the public, defense attorney Cheryl Bormann, who represents defendant Walid bin Attash, said it was “incredibly disturbing” that they potentially could become part of the official record, which remains sealed. The judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, halted the proceedings so that technicians could change the microphones.

Instead of pushing a button to mute them, lawyers would have to push a button to activate them. The compromise, agreed to by all sides, was aimed at ensuring there are no live microphones capable of picking up the private conversations. The microphones are a small part of a bigger issue that has stymied efforts to move forward in the case. The defendants, who could face the death penalty if convicted of crimes that include murdering 2,976 people, were held and interrogated in secret CIA prisons for three or four years before they were sent to Guantanamo in 2006. All have claimed they were tortured. Their lawyers want to know if the intelligence agencies are listening in on supposedly confidential conversations not only in the courtroom but also in the cells where they meet with their clients. Prosecutors insist they are not. “No entity of the United States Government is listening, monitoring or recording communications between the five accused and their counsel at any location,” they said in court documents dated Feb 7. The judge has acknowledged that national security agencies are monitoring the hearings from outside the courtroom and said that should not be surprising. Defense lawyers contend that if those agents are hearing the same unfiltered audio feed as the stenographers, then the same people who captured and detained their clients could be listening in on defense table conversations. Witnesses are scheduled to provide additional information on Tuesday about the high-tech courtroom audio system, which has 29 microphones, and about any listening capability in the cells where lawyers meet with the defendants.

Sidelights Drone kills cleric: A drone strike in the eastern Yemeni province of Shabwa last month killed the top religious cleric for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a source close to AQAP said on Tuesday. “A drone strike had targetted Sheikh Adel al-Abab’s vehicle but he escaped and fled to a mountainous region where a raid by another drone killed him immediately,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity. Abab had graduated from an Islamic studies centre, the Dawa Centre, in Sanaa and had served as AQAP’s top religious cleric. US drone strikes against alQaeda militants are frequent in Yemen, home to the franchise seeen by the United States as the jihadist network’s deadliest and most active. AQAP is led by Nasser alWuhayshi, who in July 2011 reaffirmed the group’s allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, head of the worldwide al-Qaeda network since the killing in May of its founder, Osama bin Laden. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

6 militants killed: Russia said security forces had killed six militants on Tuesday in a raid on a forest hideout and a firefight at a house in the North Caucasus, a mainly Muslim region where the Kremlin is fighting an Islamist insurgency. More than a decade after Moscow reasserted federal control over Chechnya following two separatist wars, it is still struggling to contain violence by insurgents seeking to carve out an Islamic state in Russia’s south. Russia’s Anti-terrorism Committee (NAK) said five militants, including wanted rebel leaders, were killed in a forest on the border of the Derbent and Tabasaran districts of Dagestan, the current focus of insurgent violence. It said one of the insurgent leaders committed a series of murders last year, including the shooting of two village officials and the director of a local middle school. The NAK said another militant was killed in a raid on a home in the village of Galashky in the

Polio killings

‘Three journalists’ charged – police KANO, Nigeria, Feb 12, (AP): Police in northern Nigeria arrested and charged three radio journalists for allegedly being responsible for the killings of at least nine women gunned down while trying to administer polio vaccines, officials said Tuesday. Police claimed on-air comments about a vaccination campaign in the area sparked the attacks. The allegations against the journalists working for Wazobia FM show the continuing struggle over free speech in Nigeria, a nation that only came out of military rule in 1999 and where simply taking photographs on the street can get a person arrested. Though Nigeria has a rambunctious free press, threats and attacks against journalists remain common and unsolved killings of reporters still haunt the country. On Friday in Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north, gunmen in three-wheel taxis attacked women preparing to give the oral-drop vaccines to children, killing at least nine in the assault, police said. Witnesses later said they saw at least 12 dead from the attack. nearby province of Ingushetia after a person inside opened fire on security forces, the NAK said. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Terror suspect jailed: A suspected Islamist detained last week for allegedly plotting terrorist attacks in Spain and elsewhere in Europe was remanded in custody on Monday, a court official said. Police detained Mohamed Echaabi, a 22-year-old Moroccan, on Thursday in the eastern city of Valencia. (AFP)




Fitzsimons would be key beneficiary

Britain, Iraq to sign prisoner swap deal BAGHDAD, Feb 12, (AFP): Baghdad said Tuesday it has authorised the justice minister to sign a prisoner swap deal with Britain that could see a British security guard convicted of murder in Iraq head home to serve the rest of his life sentence. Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari and British officials have been discussing the deal, which would allow the transfer of convicts between the two countries, since at least January. A key beneficiary would be Danny Fitzsimons, who became the first Western contractor to be convicted of a crime by an Iraqi court when he was sentenced to life in prison in February 2011 for killing a Briton and an Australian in Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone in August 2009. An Iraqi cabinet statement on Tuesday said ministers had given Shammari “the power to negotiate and sign a draft agreement for transferring convicted prisoners between Iraq and Britain”. It did not say when such an agreement would be signed, or give any details about its provisions. Fitzsimons, a former British soldier who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, had insisted throughout his trial that he had acted in self-defence during an alcoholfuelled brawl. He told the court in west Baghdad that fellow Briton Paul McGuigan and Australian Darren Hoare had burst into his room and pinned him down before

UK holds inquest into Hetherington death

Photojournalist killed in Libya ‘humanitarian’ LONDON, Feb 12, (AFP): British photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed covering the Libyan uprising, was a “wonderful humanitarian”, his mother Judith said following Monday’s inquest into his death. The Oscar-nominated film-maker and war photographer, a US dual national, was photographing clashes between Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi forces and rebel fighters in Misrata when he was caught in a mortar attack on April 20, 2011. “He was an image maker and storyteller, that is how he liked to be described,” his mother said after the inquest into his death at Westminster Coroner’s Court in central London. “He was a wonderful humanitarian.” In England, inquests are held to examine sudden or unexplained deaths, but they do not apportion blame. Deputy Westminster coroner Shirley Radcliffe record-

ed a verdict of unlawful killing. “He was not a soldier, he was an innocent photographer,” she said. She determined the cause of death as a “massive haemorrhage” caused by shrapnel from mortar fire which injured his legs. He died alongside Chris Hondros, a 41-year-old US photographer for Getty. The photojournalist, who lived in New York, worked for magazine Vanity Fair and received plaudits in recent years for his work in Afghanistan. He was nominated for an Oscar for the documentary, “Restrepo”, which followed a platoon of US soldiers deployed to a remote operating base in Afghanistan. Hetherington won the World Press Photo of the Year award in 2007 for a picture of an exhausted US soldier on the frontline in Afghanistan.

pointing an M4 rifle at his face, prompting him to use his pistol to kill them. He also wounded an Iraqi guard before being detained. Foreign security contractors had not been

subject to Iraqi law until the beginning of 2009, when a security agreement between the United States and Iraq lifted their immunity.

British, EU officials seek to contain ‘horsemeat scandal’ Supermarkets pull frozen food LONDON, Feb 12, (Agencies): British and European Union officials will try to work out on Wednesday how to contain a scandal over horsemeat sold as beef which has shocked consumers and exposed flaws in European systems of food safety control. The scandal, affecting a growing number of European countries and retailers, began in Ireland when its food safety authority discovered horsemeat in frozen beef burgers. The revelations raised questions about the food supply chain and prompted governments

to send out an EU-wide alert. Owen Paterson, Britain’s Environment Secretary, told parliament on Tuesday he would meet EU officials in Brussels on Wednesday to work out an action plan. “It is clear from my conversations with European ministers and Commissioner (Tonio) Borg that the European Commission ecognises the urgency of the current incidents,” he said. The issue first came to light on Jan 15 when during routine tests the Food Safety Authority in Ireland discovered horsemeat in frozen beef burgers produced by firms in Ireland and Britain and sold in supermarket chains including Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer. It has caused particular anguish in Britain, where eating horse flesh in virtually taboo. Concern grew last week when the British unit of frozen foods group Findus began recalling its beef lasagne on advice from its French supplier, Comigel, after tests showed concentrations of horsemeat in a range from 60 to 100 percent. Food experts say globalisation has helped the industry grow but has also given rise to a complex system which has raised the risk of adulteration, either by those looking to fraudulently pass off cheaper products, or by neglect.


Local school boys run off from the start of their age group’s race before the running of the annual Shrove Tuesday women’s trans-Atlantic pancake race, in the town of Olney, in Buckinghamshire, England, on Feb 12. Every year women clad in aprons and head scarves from Olney and the city of Liberal, in Kansas, USA, run their respective legs of the race with a pancake in their pan, flipping it at the beginning and end of the race. According to legend, the Olney race started in 1445 when a harried housewife arrived at church on Shrove Tuesday still clutching her frying pan with a pancake in it. Liberal challenged Olney in 1950 after seeing photos of the race in a magazine. (AP)

Killings spark outcry in Britain

Accused police killer changes plea to guilty LONDON, Feb 12, (Agencies): A British man on Tuesday admitted murdering two policewomen in a gun and grenade attack that shocked the country and sparked debate about whether its officers should be armed. In a dramatic change of plea, 29-year-old Dale Cregan told Preston Crown Court in northwest England that he killed unarmed constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, after luring them to a house last September. One-eyed Cregan had previously pleaded not guilty to the killings in Tameside, near the northwestern English city of Manchester. He continues to deny murdering David Short, 46, and his 23-year-old son Mark in

separate attacks. Bone and Hughes died after they went to investigate a bogus telephone call by Cregan to emergency services, reporting a break-in at the house. He fired 32 shots at them with a handgun before throwing a military grenade as they lay bleeding on the floor, the court heard. The killings sparked an outcry in Britain, with thousands lining the streets of Manchester for the officers’ funerals in October. Their deaths reopened a long-running debate about whether British police should regularly carry weapons like their counterparts in the United States and many other

countries. Cregan handed himself in to a police station after the police officers were killed. The court heard that he had put on new clothes and had a haircut before handing himself in, saying: “I’m wanted by the police and I’ve just done two coppers.” The change of plea came on the fourth day of his trial. The policewomen’s families had wept in court as the trial opened, but were not present to hear him plead guilty to the killings. Prosecutors said Cregan — who had made the false emergency call — waited for police to arrive, then opened fire with a Glock pistol.

Mark Woolfe, a former senior food safety official, said the European Commission’s decision to reclassify a product which closely resembled mince as “mechanically separated meat” had forced suppliers to seek cheap alternatives elsewhere. “The FSA (Food Standards Agency) bullied by the Commission issued a moratorium on desinewed meat, which was a perfectly good ingredient for value products,” he told reporters. “Manufacturers who were using that for value products had to leave the UK food chain and go and look at overseas suppliers at a price similar to desinewed meat or even lower.” Meanwhile, Dutch supermarkets on Tuesday became the latest European shops to remove frozen meals from their shelves amid fears they may contain horsemeat disguised as beef. “PLUS supermarkets have withdrawn frozen lasagne of the Primafrost brand from shelves as a precaution,” spokeswoman Debbie Huisman told AFP. She said the withdrawn products were not dangerous but could contain horsemeat without it being marked on the packaging. Boni supermarkets have withdrawn the same product, said Roel Vincken, spokesman for the Dutch Food and Goods Authority (NVWA). “This is a decision that the supermarkets are taking themselves, we have to wait for the results of the enquiry to take official decisions,” he told AFP.

List dominates business leaders, politicians

Queen tops Britain’s female power list LONDON, Feb 12, (AP): She commands obedience only from her staff and her corgis, but Queen Elizabeth II has been named Britain’s most powerful woman by a BBC radio program. The monarch topped the list of 100 female figures announced Tuesday on “Woman’s Hour,” though she is above party politics and her role in government is limited to formalities. The list was dominated by business leaders and politicians. Home Secretary Theresa May — Britain’s interior minister — ranked second, followed by Ana Botin, chief executive of Santander UK bank. The top five also included Supreme Court judge Brenda Hale and Elisabeth Murdoch, chair of television company Shine Group and daughter of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The list was assembled by a panel that included

journalist Eve Pollard, politicians Priti Patel and Oona King and crime novelist Val McDermid. Pollard said those in the list “were judged to have power because they had reached a place where they have control — of policy, of direction, of influence, of staff.” She said she hoped the roster would “shine a light on those sectors where too few women are getting to the top, like politics, FTSE companies, the military and journalism.” Others who made the list included Justine Roberts and Carrie Longton, founders of the website Mumsnet; Random House CEO Gail Rebuck; and “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling. Among those omitted was the former Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William. Pollard said the judges felt Kate had enormous influence — but not, yet, power.

In this Dec 18, 2012 file photo, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II looks up and waves to members of staff of The Foreign and Commonwealth Office as she ends an official visit which is part of her Jubilee celebrations in London. (AP)

Gerry McCann, father of missing girl Madeleine McCann and a victim of phone hacking, speaks during a conference organised by the Hacked Off campaign, on the eve of the publication of the longawaited Conservative proposal for a ‘Royal Charter’ for press regulation in Central London, on Feb 11. (AFP)

Horsemeat sales rise

‘Scandal’ piques Briton’s interest LONDON, Feb 12, (RTRS): Speciality meat suppliers in Britain have seen a surge in sales of horse burgers, with a scandal over the discovery of horsemeat in beef burgers and ready meals apparently piquing the curiosity of some shoppers. Viewed as a delicacy in some European countries, in South America and in east Asia, horsemeat is generally not eaten in Britain where a horse loving public has traditionally viewed the idea of consuming it with some distaste. The discovery of horse DNA in beef burgers and spaghetti bolognese sold by Britain’s retailers, including market leader Tesco, and in beef lasagne made by frozen foods group Findus, has drawn widespread condemnation, with government ministers blaming an “international criminal conspiracy”. However, extensive media coverage of the Europe-wide scandal and an outbreak of horse jokes on twitter, e-mail and texts has also sparked interest in the consumption of horsemeat and other even more adventurous meats.

Cart “While people are putting horse into their shopping cart on the website they are also putting in things like zebra, llama and alpaca,” said Paul Webb, director of central England-based speciality meat supplier Exotic Meats. Horsemeat, which has a sweet, gamey flavour, is cheaper and healthier than beef, containing half the fat, more Omega 3, and high in protein and iron. Though none of Britain’s supermarkets sell horsemeat, it is available through speciality meat suppliers and is on the menu of a few notable restaurants, such as L’escargot Bleu in Edinburgh. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has also heralded it. Exotic Meats has seen sales of horsemeat burgers, steaks and mince increase ten-fold since the scandal erupted on Jan 15. “People are inquisitive, intrigued by what it tastes like,” said Webb, noting horsemeat products were proving popular for dinner party hosts who wanted to provide “a good talking point.” Exotic Meats’ horsemeat is sourced from either France, Spain or Italy and

processed in Britain by an EU approved plant. Last week in response to the Findus scandal the firm posted on its website a recipe for horsemeat lasagne. Berwickshire, Scotlandbased Kezie Foods, which sells horsemeat products alongside elk, kangaroo and crocodile, has seen horsemeat sales double over the last three weeks, with strong demand from restaurants as well as individuals. “Whenever you have issues to do with alternative meats you either have people who decide that’s not for them or people who want to exercise their right to eat whatever they choose to eat,” said director Walter Murray. For some the idea of eating horse remains abhorrent.

Concept “For many horse owners, eating horsemeat is as repulsive a concept as eating cat or dog,” said Victoria Spicer, editor of Horse & Country TV. “The horse has been an integral part of Britain’s history and culture, and we owe our equine friends much more than this.” The British Retail Consortium, whose members represent 80 percent of the UK retail industry, said although there was no evidence of consumers avoiding beef they were being more selective in beef burger purchases, with more interest in fresh burgers rather than frozen ones. “What we’re hearing from our members is that there hasn’t been any drastic change in customers’ buying patterns as a result of any of this because they’re clear that this is not a safety issue,” said a BRC spokesman. However, independent butchers said they have seen an upturn in recent trade. “Independent butchers are experiencing greater footfall at the present time,” said Roger Kelsey, CEO of the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders, which represents Britain’s traditional high-street butchers. “That’s basically because in the eyes of the general public local traders are a better source of supply, due to their on site controls, because they tend to source product from local sources and they produce their own products on site.”

News in Brief Carney supports Everton: Mark Carney, who will soon become the head of the central bank in soccer-mad Britain, revealed on Tuesday he is a supporter of English Premier League football club Everton. Carney, currently governor of the Bank of Canada, disclosed his allegiance to the club — known as the Toffees — when asked at a Canadian parliamentary committee whether he followed traditional heavyCarney weights Manchester United or Chelsea. Everton, based in the northwes t city of Liverpool, is sixth in the Premier League. The team last won the title in 1987. “I am an Everton supporter ... I have got some cousins in Liverpool,” said the governor, a Canadian who played ice hockey at university and who also follows the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers. “It’s been more enjoyable being an Edmonton Oilers supporter than it has been being an

Everton supporter of late, but since the Oilers are coming back strong this year let’s hope the Toffees (do). In fact, Everton’s doing okay,” he said. Carney will take over from Mervyn King as Bank of England governor on July 1 this year. The Premier League season ends in May. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

BP names 4th killed: BP has named Stephen Green as the fourth member of its staff who was killed during a terrorist assault on an Algerian gas plant last month. The company said Tuesday that 47-year-old Green was killed when terrorists took control of the Ain Amenas plant. Officials said his name could not be released until an inquest had been completed. BP had earlier named three other employees killed in the attack as Seb John, Carlos Estrada and Gordon Rowan. The Ain Amenas facility is jointly run by BP, Algeria’s Sonatrach and Norway’s Statoil. The Jan 16 attack, which led to a four-day standoff between alQaida-affiliated militants and the Algerian army, left at least 37 foreign workers and 29 militants dead. (AP)




Growing irritation at interference

‘Rising power’ Qatar stirs unease among some peers DUBAI/DOHA, Feb 12, (RTRS): In the centre of Cairo, young men hold up a burning flag for the cameras to show their fury at a nation they believe is meddling in their country and the wider Middle East. It’s a familiar image. But it’s not the US flag they are waving, it is that of Qatar, the Gulf state that has used its billions to spread its influence in the wake of the Arab Spring. For most Western governments and officials, the influence of Qatar emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani’s government is seen as broadly positive. Qatar’s neighbours are uneasy, however. In Egypt, Libya and Syria, where Qatar tried to play a role post-Arab Spring, it finds itself blamed for much that has gone wrong on a local level. Close ties to Egypt’s new leaders, the Muslim Brotherhood, have alarmed countries like the United Arab Emirates, where the Islamist group is still banned and which in January said it had foiled a Brotherhood-linked coup plot. Senior officials in the UAE have long believed Qatar has long-term strategy to use the Brotherhood to redraw the region. “There is both greater apprehension and appreciation for Qatar two years after the Arab awakening in the region,” said Taufiq Rahim, Executive Director of Dubai-based geopolitics consultancy Globesight. “While prior to the revolutions, Qatar was seen more as a mediator, its foreign policy recently has been much more proactive and in some cases partisan.” Some Western analysts and diplomats believe Qatar’s leaders have been effectively improvising their way through the new landscape, experimenting to see what they can achieve with the massive wealth generated by its natural gas reserves over the past 15 years. An estimated $17 trillion in monetisable natural gas riches still remain in the ground. Others, however, see a much more deliberate strategy. “What we are seeing here is a highstakes poker game for the future of the Middle East,” said one Gulf-based Western diplomat on condition of anonymity.

Reputation Even supporters are concerned the country may be overstepping its boundaries and getting a reputation for playing favourites. “There is widespread appreciation of the positive role that Qatar has played in the region,” said Ari Ratner, a former advisor on the Middle East at the State Department and now fellow at the Washington-based Truman National Security Project. “At the same time there is a broad consensus that the Qataris themselves would be better served by fully delivering on their pledges of aid and working through established governments rather than their preferred factions.” The emirate has long been a country of sometimes baffling contradictions. While in many ways one of the most conservative of the Gulf states, it has also proved the most enthusiastic about the changes wrought by the Arab Spring. Of the 1.9 million people who live there, only some 250,000 are ethnic Qataris, most of whom practise Wahhabism, the austere form of Islam also practised in Saudi Arabia. Sheikh Hamad and his glamorous second wife Sheikha Mozah have gained a reputation as modernisers in recent years, however, raising the country’s profile significantly with the launch of the Al Jazeera television network and successful hosting of the 2006 Asian Games, as well as initiating the country’s World Cup bid. The emirate has always made a point of keeping as many diplomatic doors open as possible and has relished its role at the centre of regional diplomacy. Of all the members of the regional Gulf Cooperation Council, it has long been the closest to Iran even as it courted Washington and hosted US forces. It has been trying to inject new life into peace efforts between Sudan and rebel groups in Darfur with offers of development aid. Its links to the Muslim Brotherhood may be similarly pragmatic and flexible. But some believe Qatar has made a risky bet to put the movement at the heart of its regional strategy. The emirate has clearly emerged as something of a focal point for the group, originally founded in Egypt in 1928 and now with national chapters across much of the Islamic world. Several key current or former members — including televangelist Yousef Al-Qaradwi, a former senior Brother widely watched across the region — reside in the country having

Kuwait hits Continued from Page 1 and the government grew intolerant of dissident speech,” Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at HRW told a news conference. Kuwait’s information ministry blasted the New York-based rights group, saying it was “out of touch” with reality. “Human Rights Watch is clearly out of touch with the reality on the ground in Kuwait. These are the same, tired accusations we saw last year and they continue to show a lack of understanding of Kuwait,” the ministry said in a statement. Since mid-2012, prosecutors have charged at least 35 online activists and former MPs with speech-related crimes such

fled other states. Western officials who have worked with the Qataris in Libya and Syria say they have invariably favoured groups with Brotherhood connections. Sandhurst-trained Sheikh Hamad is seen broadly sympathetic to the movement, diplomats say, while heir apparent Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is widely believed to be closer still. As early as 2009, senior officials from the UAE were briefing their US counterparts that they believed Doha’s rulers were using the group to destabilise their neighbours. According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan told US officials Qatar was simply “part of the Brotherhood”. Senior Brotherhood officials deny any regional conspiracy; national chapters in different countries say they share ideology but have no direct links. In their very occasional public statements, Qatari officials deny any special relationship with the group. Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani also rejected suggestions of a wider regional agenda from Qatar.

Interfere “We have a clear policy which is not to interfere in the internal affairs of any state,” he told Kuwait’s al-Rai newspaper in a September 2012 interview. Few take that statement at face value, however. Qatar’s funding and direct support — including weaponry and the deployment of special forces — were key to building the capacity of opposition fighters first in Libya. As President Mohammed Mursi’s government in Egypt has struggled with mounting economic woes, Qatar has stepped up as an increasingly vital financial backer. In Syria, it has been a leading supplier of rebel arms. But already, Qatar is feeling the heat for its actions. In Libya, Qatar is being blamed for an increasingly destabilising rise in Islamist intolerance and violence. In Egypt, it finds itself caught up in the popular dissatisfaction with Morsi and accusations of economic imperialism: a multibillion dollar Suez Canal investment deal was described by protesters as a foreign attempt to seize control of vital national assets. In Syria, critics say its shipments of arms to rebels has become a chaotic free-for-all. Current and former Western officials say Qatari officials and rich Arabs from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere have been cutting ad hoc deals on the Turkish-Syrian border with a disparate collection of opposition groups. Even Al Jazeera — which played a crucial role in spreading the word of the 2011 unrest — is facing complaints of mounting and usually proBrotherhood bias. While the Englishlanguage service is seen as more neutral, the station’s Arabic service is widely viewed as openly espousing a pro-Muslim Brotherhood agenda. Diplomats say Qatari officials have been surprised at the pushback. One problem, those who watch Qatar closely say, is that with only a handful of senior royals and officials controlling policy it is all but impossible for the outside world to know what their strategy is.

Answer Officials rarely answer media requests for information and there is no foreign ministry or government spokesman. For the handful of foreign media based in Doha, the only way of getting official comment is to accost officials at public events, and even then they are often tight-lipped. No Qatari official was available to comment on this story. “They are simply not explaining what they are doing properly,” said one Doha-based analyst on condition of anonymity. “Conspiracy theories are rife.” Western governments and corporations with an eye on Qatar’s vast gas wealth and investment portfolio have so far tended not to concern themselves too much with its politics. A higher profile is bringing with it greater scrutiny, however. The arrest and sentencing of a local poet to life imprisonment late last year for writings critical of the government spurred widespread international condemnation and accusations of double standards. Indeed, Qatar’s problems with its neighbours may be only just beginning. “People asking questions are met with walls of silence,” said the Dohabased analyst. “That doesn’t wash very well with an Egyptian who has just been shot in the leg in Tahrir Square.” as “offending the Amir” and for posting remarks on Twitter or giving speeches during protests, HRW said. “The government should reverse this trend in 2013, by dropping all speechrelated charges against online activists and former members of parliament...,” said Houry. But the information ministry dismissed the HRW claims. “Human Rights Watch wrongly claims the government has become ‘intolerant of dissident speech’. In reality Kuwait’s strong democracy was founded on freedom of speech,” the ministry said. “We have also seen in recent months the government repeatedly grant permits for peaceful demonstrations,” it added. Kuwaiti rights activists who attended the HRW news conference said that “at least 300” opposition activists are being prose-

Tehran says converting uranium, easing bomb fears

Iran may allow UN team to visit Parchin TEHRAN, Iran, Feb 12, (Agencies): Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday raised prospects that Tehran may allow inspectors from the UN nuclear agency to visit a military site where the country is suspected of conducting nuclear-related experiments. A ministry spokesman said the upcoming talks with a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency could lead to a visit to the site – if a “deal” was struck with the Iranian side. The IAEA inspectors are due for talks in Tehran on Wednesday in hopes of restarting a probe into the country’s disputed nuclear program, which the West fears masks ambitions to obtain a nuclear weapon. The agency in particular wants to visit Parchin, southeast of Tehran, where Iran is suspected of testing components needed to

develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies any such activity, insisting that Parchin is only a conventional military site. “Discussion over visiting Parchin could be part of a deal” with the IAEA inspectors, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters on Tuesday. He did not say when a visit to Parchin could take place. “The prospect of reaching an agreement with the agency is bright, if Iran’s nuclear rights are recognized,” Mehmanparast added. Iran acknowledged on Tuesday that it was converting some of its higher-grade enriched uranium into reactor fuel, a move that could help to prevent a dispute with the West over its nuclear programme hitting a crisis in mid-2013. Conversion is one way for Iran to slow

the growth in its stockpile of material that could be used to make a bomb. That stockpile is currently projected to reach a level intolerable to Israel in mid-year, just as Iran’s room for negotiation is being limited by a presidential election in June. Iran denies that it is seeking a weapon and says its nuclear programme serves only peaceful purposes such as electricity and the production of medical isotopes. Iran on Tuesday scorned as a “laughing matter” comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Tehran is moving closer to making a nuclear bomb. “The claim of the Zionist regime, is a laughing matter,” Mehmanparast said at his weekly news conference. He added that the “Zionist regime is a great violator and an illegitimate regime”

Obama rules

Dorner possibly involved in robbery: reports

Continued from Page 1

Fugitive ex-US cop, police in shootout LOS ANGELES, Feb 12, (Agencies): Fugitive former US cop Christopher Dorner exchanged gunfire with police Tuesday near a Californian ski resort where his burnt-out truck was found, reports said. At least one officer has been shot, local TV affiliate NBC 4 reported, while CNN said that police were involved in a car chase near Big Bear, two hours’ drive east of Los Angeles. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department issued an advisory saying Dorner was possibly involved in a robbery in which a couple were tied up and the suspect fled in a truck. There was no confirmation that the suspect was Dorner. The 33-year-old was involved in the shooting after he tried to burglarize a home near Big Bear, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a law enforcement source. There was no official confirmation of the reported incident, which came cuted. Kuwaiti courts have in the past few weeks sentenced at least seven opposition activists and former MPs to between two and 10 years in jail on charges of insulting the Amir. HRW called on the Kuwaiti government to drop the charges against the activists. It also urged the government “to address the citizenship claims of Bedouns (stateless Arabs), and protect migrant workers by ratifying the Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers.” The information ministry said Kuwait is “dedicated to providing services and opportunities to all our people, citizens and illegal residents (stateless Arabs) alike,” in addition to a “set of social services to all people living in Kuwait including education and health care.” The opposition has been demonstrating in protest against the amendment of the electoral law and to demand the dissolution of the parliament elected on December 1 on the basis of the amendment.

Also: KUWAIT CITY: A Gulf civil society group on Tuesday condemned a security crackdown on pro-democracy activists by all Gulf states and called for the immediate release of detainees. “We condemn the wave of arrests by security agencies in all Gulf states in the face of popular and reform demands,” the Gulf Forum for Civil Societies (GFCS), a body of liberal activists in the region, said in a statement. “We strongly reject the use of the judiciary to silence and imprison opposition activists,” the Forum said. It called for the release of all people jailed for opinion-related crimes and demanded that all “Gulf leaders curb their security agencies which use illegal means to arrest and put on trial any one they want”. The Forum specifically mentioned 17 Omani prisoners, including two women, who began a hunger strike recently in protest against their detention, in addition to the arrest of tweeters in almost all Gulf States. It said the movements in the Gulf are pressing for legitimate democratic demands including a real transformation towards democracy, a civil state and the rule of law. The energy-rich six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have been ruled for centuries by monarchies which have resist democratic demands, especially since the outbreak of the Arab Spring revolutions.

34,000 in US Continued from Page 1 Last month, US officials suggested it was theoretically possible that Washington would leave no troops in the country, though some observers saw that move as a negotiating tactic with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in town. Obama has made ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the centerpiece of his presidency, and often declares a long decade or more of American war is almost over. Obama will be looking across a vast partisan divide Tuesday night as he reports to Congress and the nation with his annual State of the Union speech, which is closely monitored as the blueprint for his goals for the year. They include job creation and a push for the ambitious progressive plans he outlined in his second inaugural address three weeks ago. Obama hopes he can encourage lawmakers to join him in reforming laws on gun ownership and immigration and boosting taxes to raise government spending power. The president’s priorities also include easing back on spending cuts and addressing climate change. He’ll also address the news from North

on the sixth day of a massive manhunt for Dorner, accused of killing three people and threatening to kill more police officers in a chilling online manifesto. Earlier, hundreds of tips prompted by a $1 million reward poured in to authorities seeking help finding the most wanted man in America, an exLos Angeles police officer who was charged with murdering a Riverside policeman. With thousands of officers around Southern California searching for Dorner, prosecutors in Riverside announced charges for last week’s killing. Dorner also was charged Monday with attempted murder for wounding another officer and firing at two others, Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach said. Authorities obtained a no-bail arrest warrant, which allows Dorner to be apprehended anywhere, Zellerbach said. Korea, which said it successfully detonated a nuclear device Tuesday in defiance of UN warnings. The White House said the president would make the case that the nuclear program had only further isolated the impoverished nation. Aware of the partisan gridlock gripping Washington, Obama is banking on his popularity and the political capital from his convincing re-election in November as he calls on Americans to join him in his vision for what he calls a fairer country with greater opportunity for all.

‘Qaeda targets Continued from Page 1 Thailand has not requested any extra measures but we have to monitor the situation attentively,” Yingluck said. Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung refused to give details about the threats, but said the reinforced measures had been put in place since Feb. 6 and will continue until the end of multinational military exercises, called Cobra Gold, on Sunday. “They are focusing on staging an attack during the Cobra Gold exercise,” Chalerm said. “Some might have come to the country as tourists, but we have indepth information and are definitely following them.” Chalerm said that some of the groups’ members have fled Thailand after knowing that authorities had learned about their plots. “Some of them remained here, but I believe they can’t carry out any attacks.” The United States is among the seven nations participating in the exercises, which kicked off on Monday in Chiang Mai. The other countries involved are Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. Chalerm said the reports came from domestic sources and were deemed “dangerous.” “There are several reasons (for the warning) but I must keep them confidential,” Chalerm told reporters. US Embassy spokesman Walter Braunohler in Bangkok said the US Consulate-General remained open for business but said precautions will be taken to protect US facilities.

Riyadh governor Continued from Page 1 Riyadh to visit shopping malls during peak hours, easing restrictions aimed at stopping harassment of women. Under the rules of succession in Saudi Arabia, power passes from brother to brother, respecting the law of birthright among the sons of the kingdom’s founder Abdul Aziz bin Saud. Sattam was among the most high profile Saud sons considered as future monarchs. King Abdullah II’s age and frequent hospitalisation have raised concerns about the future leadership of the ultraconservative Gulf kingdom, a key player in the Middle East and a major exporter of oil. Analysts believe the aging Al-Saud dynasty will have to contemplate passing the baton to a new generation, the grandsons of the kingdom’s founder.

Syrian rebels Continued from Page 1 “They are important because they are an instant source of ammunition and supplies, and because their capture means putting out of action the warplanes used to bombard us,” Aleppo-based activist Abu Hisham said via the Internet. Though the rebels have yet to take a major city in the war-ravaged country almost two years into the revolution,

that had “illegally stockpiled nuclear warheads.” “They threaten to use these nuclear warheads against other countries,” he said, adding that Israel was the “biggest obstacle” to the creation of a nuclear-free Middle East. Netanyahu said on Monday that Iran was now closer to crossing the “red line” after which it would be able to build a nuclear weapon, but had not yet reached that stage. He also asked for “stronger pressure and harsher sanctions” on Iran to prevent it from crossing the line. Netanyahu has publicly aired his differences with President Barack Obama who favours diplomacy and international sanctions against Iran to rein in its atomic programme.

The manhunt for Dorner, 33, began last Wednesday when he was named the suspect in the Orange County murders of a former Los Angeles police captain’s daughter and her fiance the previous weekend. Hours after police announced they were looking for him, Dorner first fired at two Los Angeles Police Department officers, then ambushed the Riverside officers. “By both his words and conduct, he has made very clear to us that every law enforcement officer in Southern California is in danger of being shot and killed,” Zellerbach said at a news conference that was guarded by four officers armed with rifles. Police say Dorner wrote a lengthy manifesto that was posted to Facebook after the double murder. He vowed deadly revenge on those in the LAPD responsible for his firing years earlier, and their families. Police now are providing protection for some 50 families thought to be targets. advances in northern Syria were remarkably speedy on Tuesday, the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman said. “After events in Aleppo on Tuesday, it became clear ever more clear that the regime’s insistence on an imminent victory is false,” he told AFP. Assad meanwhile on Tuesday called for “collective action” by the state and Syrian citizens to limit the effects of the country’s crisis, state news agency SANA reported. Assad also accused “groups that target Syria” of trying to destroy the country’s infrastructure. His comments came as the UN’s Ban urged Damascus to view an offer for talks with Syrian National Coalition chief Moaz al-Khatib as “an opportunity we should not miss — a chance to switch from a devastating military logic to a promising political approach”. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Ban described as “courageous” Khatib’s offer for talks. 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. The UN Security Council, currently divided over Syria, “must no longer stand on the sidelines, deadlocked, silently witnessing the slaughter,” said Ban. According to UN figures, more than 60,000 people have been killed in violence across Syria since the eruption of an antiAssad revolt in March 2011.

Control Meanwhile, the Syrian rebels are launching a major operation to take control of the strategic eastern city of Deir al-Zor after pushing out government forces from oil-producing areas around it, a rebel commander said. If they seize the city, the rebels will control a whole province for the first time in the 22-month-old Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Ibrahim Abu Baker, leader of the powerful Al-Qadisiyah Brigade, said his rebel force, along with Islamists from Jabhat alNusra and Arab fighters, had surrounded Deir al-Zor on four sides in the build-up to the operation. “The countryside is liberated, what is left of the province (of Deir al-Zor) is the city itself,” he told Reuters from the province via Skype. “All brigades are taking part in this... We are in charge of the eastern side of the city.” Deir al-Zor extends northwards along the Euphrates River from the border with western Iraq, home to Sunni Muslim tribes which support the Syrian rebels. Another rebel from Abu Baker’s brigade said on Monday that fighters had started the first stage of the operation by targeting tank fire against three military targets inside the city and besieging the final army stronghold on its outskirts. “We are now surrounding (the army’s) ‘113 Brigade’ which is the last point in the countryside before we are totally focused on the city,” said the rebel fighter who used the name Abu Mazen. “When we liberate the city some brigades will stay to take care of it and the rest will march to Damascus”. Abu Baker said for months the rebel forces had only limited access to the city, which contains powerful security branches and a military airport. But two weeks ago, with help from Jabhat al Nusra, they captured a security branch located near a strategic bridge on the Euphrates, opening the eastern bank to the rebels. “After liberating the bridge we started sending aid and weapons to the fighters inside the city.. And also sending reinforcements,” he said. “Now there is nothing to stop us from entering the city.” The Qadisiyah Brigade is one of the most influential in the province and has fought fierce battles with government forces.

Obama has urged Congress to postpone the cuts by raising revenue from ending long-standing tax breaks for oil companies, private equity firms and corporate jet owners — steps that would help Congress “buy time” to come up with a budget. He has said he is willing to include some reforms on Social Security, the government pension program, as part of a “big deal” with Republicans to reduce the deficit. Those reforms would include slowing the rate of annual payment increases for Social Security by changing the calculation of inflation used to set the new payment. But any change needs to be part of a larger plan that splits deficit reduction between spending cuts and revenue increases, Carney said. “How do you explain to a senior that we’re doing this, asking you to sacrifice, but we’re not saying that corporate jet owners should lose their special tax incentive?” Carney said.

Newswatch Continued from Page 1 The Feb 14 Revolution Youth Coalition, a clandestine cyber group and Al-Wefaq, the main Shiite opposition, have called separate protests, which the authorities say are attempts to put pressure on the dialogue called by King Hamad. The coalition has urged sympathisers to go on strike and take to the streets and squares on Thursday and march to the site of the former Pearl Square on Friday. For its part Al-Wefaq has called for a major rally on Friday outside of Manama. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

WASHINGTON: Chuck Hagel faced his first major hurdle in his bid to become US defense secretary as a bitterly divided Senate Armed Services Committee pushed toward a vote Tuesday on his nomination. “The time has come for the committee to act on this nomination,” Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, told the panel at the start of a session certain to be filled with lengthy speeches. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑ CAIRO: Security forces sprayed protesters with water hoses and tear gas outside the presidential palace as Egyptians marked the second anniversary of the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak’s with angry demonstrations against his elected successor. The forces were trying to disperse a small crowd of protesters on Monday evening, after some of them attempted to cross a barbed wire barrier meant to block them from the palace gate. Some protesters chanted: “The people want to bring down the regime.” Others threw stones. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

MANILA: The Philippine government has released $45 million to spruce up its newest airport terminal in a bid to boost tourism. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said Tuesday that the completion and upgrade of Terminal 3 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport will ease traffic on the 32-year-old Terminal 1. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

MUSCAT: Oman’s Muscat International Airport has reopened after closing on Monday because a Pakistan International Airlines plane crash-landed on the runway, the airport said on Tuesday. The landing gear of the Boeing 737 collapsed on Monday as the plane landed. All 70 people on board the Islamabad-Muscat flight were unhurt, a statement from the airport said. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑ SOFIA: Bulgaria has given Europol the names of two of the people suspected in a bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists last year, with hopes that the police agency can trace their movements and uncover how they financed the attack, the country’s interior minister said Tuesday. The European country also has requested that Lebanese authorities arrest and extradite the two suspects, who are believed to be living in Lebanon, an official said. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

LONDON: An Australian man committed suicide in a high-security Israeli jail in 2010 after being held for months in great secrecy, Australia’s ABC channel said on Tuesday, throwing new light on a case that has rattled Israel. The unsourced ABC story named the man, known previously only as “prisoner x”, as Ben Zygier. It added that it “understood” the 34-year-old from Melbourne had been previously recruited by the Israeli spy agency Mossad. Within hours of the report surfacing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office summoned Israeli editors to ask them not to publish a story “that is very embarrassing to a certain government agency”, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

MOSCOW: Russian flag-carrier Aeroflot has grounded four out of its 10-strong fleet of Russian made Sukhoi Superjets due to technical problems, the manufacturer said on Tuesday. Sukhoi Civil Aviation, which makes the plane along with international partners, said that all the planes would be resuming flights by the end of the month at the very latest. (AFP)




Tens of thousands of troops patrol streets of Kashmir

Guru’s hanging leads to fears of new unrest SRINAGAR, India, Feb 12, (AP): Anger and protests over the execution of a Kashmiri man convicted in a deadly attack on India’s Parliament have stirred fears the volatile Himalayan region could again descend into a cycle of violence after two years of relative peace. Kashmir has been rocked by anti-India protests, despite a rigid curfew, since Mohammed Afzal Guru was hanged in New Delhi early Saturday. Three protesters have died so far in clashes with security forces. Tens of thousands of troops patrolled the streets of Indiancontrolled Kashmir on Tuesday, confining residents to their homes. Police reported more than two dozen protests Tuesday, with many demonstrators chanting anti-India slogans and “Return Afzal Guru’s body.” Shops, businesses and government offices were closed, streets ringed with barbed wire were deserted, and the region’s nearly 60 newspapers were unable to publish for a third day. Cable television and mobile Internet services were shut down in most areas. Nevertheless, police said the curfew was relaxed at several places in Kashmir on Tuesday evening for the first time since the execution. Violent clashes and rigid curfews were long routine in Indian-held Kashmir, where insurgents have been fighting for more than two decades, demanding either a separate state or merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan. The region is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in its entirety by both. However, a slew of measures ranging from a harsh security crackdown to the government’s use of sports, economic development and culture to promote goodwill toward India have helped authorities maintain relative calm in Kashmir

‘His body should be brought back to Kashmir’

Guru’s family snubs India’s offer to visit jail grave NEW DELHI, Feb 12, (AFP): The family of a Kashmiri separatist who was executed at the weekend has rejected an offer by Indian authorities to pray at his graveside inside a prison, insisting the body be buried in his home state. Home Secretary R.K. Singh made the offer Tuesday and said that the belongings of Mohammed Afzal Guru, an Indian Muslim who was executed and buried at Tihar Jail on Saturday, would be handed over to his family members. “We have no problem if the immediate family of Afzal Guru wants to come and offer prayers at his grave in Tihar jail. Belongings of Afzal will be returned to the family,” Singh told reporters in Delhi. However a relative of Guru said that the family had no intention of visiting his grave, insisting that the body be brought back to Kashmir.

“As Muslims we can pray for Afzal from here,” the separatist’s cousin Yasin Guru told AFP from the family’s hometown of Sopore in the Kashmir Valley. “We will go to Tihar only if the government of India is kind enough to hand us his body for burial here.” The announcement comes amid criticism of the government for failing to inform the family about the execution before he went to the gallows. A letter sent from the government announcing that his mercy plea had been rejected only arrived at the family’s home on Monday morning. Kashmir’s Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, normally an ally of the government, has been among those criticising the handling of the execution, saying he found it “very difficult” to reconcile himself to the fact that Guru was not given the opportunity to see his family for the last time.

over the past two years. During that time, the region received a record number of tourists. But the region remains a tinderbox, and many fear Guru’s execution could be the match that lights it. Many Kashmiris believe Guru did not get a fair trial, and the government’s surprise execution of the man — with his family only finding out afterward — only exacerbated the anger here. “Please understand that there is more than one generation

of Kashmiris that has come to see themselves as victims, that has come to see themselves as a category of people who will not receive justice,” Omar Abdullah, Indian Kashmir’s top elected official, told reporters. “Whether you like it or not, the execution of Afzal Guru has reinforced that point that there is no justice for them, and that, to my mind, is far more disturbing and worrying than the short-term implications for the security front,” he said.

12 killed as unrest mounts in India’s northeast – officials Rioters set fire to 100 homes; 20 people injured GUWAHATI, India, Feb 12, (RTRS): Indian troops shot dead 10 people while two others died in clashes as machete-wielding rioters protested against local elections in the country’s restive northeast, officials said Tuesday.

Official in Assam said some 100 homes were burned and 20 people, including a police official, were injured as rioters brandishing machetes went on a rampage in two districts of the oil- and tea-rich state that borders Bangladesh.

“Twelve deaths have been reported of which 10 were killed in firing by troops while two others died in clashes between rival groups,” Bhupen Bora, a senior Assam home ministry official, said in Guwahati, the state’s main city. Soldiers have fanned out to try and quell the violence that erupted in Goalpara, some 120 kms (75 miles) from Guwahati, he said, adding that security forces have also slapped a curfew on violencehit regions. “Army soldiers have been deployed in the troubled areas to stop the violence from spreading,” Bora told AFP. Security forces opened fire when rioters from an ethnic tribal group and a rival community opposing the elections began setting fire to villages and attacking government officials with machetes and spears, Bora said. Television channels showed images of men and women torching houses and engaging in widespread arson. “The situation is very critical and volatile,” said Bora. Rabha and Hasong tribal villagers are demanding local autonomy and reject government rule in the area. The protesters said the polls for “panchayat” or village councils that were held Tuesday undermined the authority of their own Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council. Northeast India has seen decades of friction among ethnic and separatist groups, although some rebels have recently startBangladeshi activists hold placards as they protest to demand the death penalty for Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah in Dhaka, ed peace talks with the governBangladesh, Feb 11. The protesters urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to review a verdict sentencing a senior leader of Bangladesh’s ment. largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, to life in prison for killings and other crimes. Placards read, ‘We can’t go back without executions, More than 10,000 people Bangladesh will fight against the war criminal.’ (AP) have lost their lives to unrest in the the tea- and oil-rich state of Assam over the last two Bangladesh cabinet approves changes to war crime laws decades. The government imposed curfews in many parts of the district and state Home Secretary G.D. Tripathy said polling was suspended in 100 polling stahead and deputy head and two senior officials of However rival protests by supporters of an DHAKA, Feb 12, (AFP): Much of Bangladesh tions. the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Islamist party whose leaders are on trial over their fell silent for three minutes on Tuesday as part of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Party (BNP), are also being tried by the tribunal. role in the 1971 independence war against a growing mass public campaign to demand the called the violence “unfortunate” Most of the cases are at an advanced stage. Pakistan turned violent in the Bangladeshi capital. execution of defendants who are being tried for and said arrangements would be Both Jamaat and BNP have labelled the cases The editor of the country’s biggest-selling war crimes by a domestic tribunal. made to hold elections in the “show trials” aimed at barring the leaders from daily among the dozens injured while at least Government offices emptied while shopkeepaffected areas at a later date. upcoming polls. International rights groups have two people suffered bullet wounds. ers closed for business to stand on the sides of Members of the Rabha tribe questioned the proceedings. “It was a resounding success. People of every the normally bustling streets of Dhaka at 4:00 were protesting the elections During the clashes in Dhaka, protesters hurled segment, profession and party joined the protest pm (1000 GMT). Similar scenes were repeated because they have their own home-made bombs and attacked vehicles with to demand quick execution of the war crimiin other towns and cities across the country. autonomous council in the area. bricks as police fought back with rubber bullets nals,” said Imran Sarker, an organiser, told AFP. Tens of thousands of people stood in silence The election Tuesday was for viland tear gas in the Karwan Bazaar and Motijheel The demonstrations calling for executions at one key intersection in central Dhaka, where lage councils that would overlap commercial districts. began after the country’s war crimes tribunal last protesters have been staging demonstrations for their area of authority. Earlier on Monday, Bangladesh’s cabinet week handed down a life sentence to Abdul the last eight days demanding that war criminals Violence hit the area in recent approved changes to war crime laws to ensure Quader Molla, the fourth-highest ranked leader be hanged. days, with houses burned and opposition leaders on trial for alleged atrocities of the Jamaat-e-Islami party — a term critics Play in the Bangladesh Premier League was during the nation’s 1971 independence war can roads blocked by cut down condemned as too lenient. halted as cricketers expressed their solidarity be swiftly executed if convicted. Eight other Jamaat officials, including its with the protesters. trees.

Campaign to demand execution of war criminals

India’s ruling Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi (second right in front), shakes hands with supporters over a bamboo barricade during an election campaign rally for the upcoming Tripura state assembly elections in Sonamura, 75 kms (47 miles) from Agartala, India, Feb 11. The northeastern state of Tripura goes to polls on Feb 14. (AP)

Nepalese workers splash holy color offered by devotees on the Boudhanath Stupa on the first day of the New Year of the Sherpas, the Tamangs and the Tibetans in Kathmandu, Nepal, Feb 11. Members of the three communities in Nepal are welcoming the year of the snake. (AP)

Dispute over invite to Taleban

Pakistani, Afghan clerics bicker over peace summit ISLAMABAD, Feb 12, (AP): Pakistani clerics threatened Tuesday to boycott a peace conference in Afghanistan after a dispute over whether to invite the Taleban, another sign of how hard it will be for the two states to cooperate on a deal to end the 11-year-old Afghan war. The dispute followed talks between Pakistani and Afghan clerics in Islamabad that ended Monday. The visiting Afghan delegation, which sought to play down the disagreement, was in town on a seemingly simple mission to finalize plans for a conference of religious scholars in Kabul next month meant to denounce suicide attacks and other forms of violence in the name of Islam. Kabul and Islamabad announced the plan for the conference in November as a sign of improving relations. But the latest talks seemed to do more to highlight longstanding disKarzai putes, especially over the Taleban. Pakistan helped the Taleban seize control of Afghanistan in the 1990s. Afghan officials have accused Pakistan of maintaining ties to the group an allegation denied by Islamabad. Many analysts agree that the Pakistani military continues to view the Taleban as an important counterweight to Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government, which is seen as too close to Pakistan’s archenemy, India.

Accused Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, head of the All Pakistan Ulema Council and also the chief of Pakistan’s five-member delegation, accused the visiting Afghan clerics of trying to use the upcoming conference to denounce the Taleban and elicit support for the Afghan government. He insisted the Taleban be invited to the event to advance the peace process. “I want to make it clear that there is consensus among almost all the Islamic scholars that this conference of clerics will be worthless if the Taleban

are not invited to participate,” Ashrafi told The Associated Press. He accused the Afghan clerics of being too close to the government and threatened Pakistani religious leaders would boycott the upcoming meeting because of differences between the two sides. Ashrafi is seen as close to Pakistan’s security establishment. A member of the Afghan delegation, Aminullah Muzafery, painted the meeting in a more positive light and sought to downplay Ashrafi’s comments, although he never mentioned him by name.

Sabotage “There was a person who tried to sabotage the process,” Muzafery said at a press conference Tuesday in Kabul. “The Pakistani side was also not happy with what he was saying and they didn’t want him in the meeting. When he was told not to attend, he said things to the media that were his own opinion.” Ashrafi, whose group represents thousands of Pakistani clerics, disputed Muzafery’s comments. But another member of the Pakistani delegation, Qari Roohullah Madni, took a more moderate line and said it was up to the Afghans to decide who to invite to the conference. The two sides agreed the conference would be held in Kabul in March after another planning meeting on Feb 21 in the Afghan capital, according to a press release distributed by the Afghans. The conference would include 250 clerics each from Pakistan and Afghanistan and 500 clerics from other Muslim nations. It will focus on peace and security in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as in other Muslim countries. “The conference will not be in support of or against anyone and/or any group,” said the press release. Muzafery made clear to the AP that the Afghans could not invite the Taleban to the meeting. He said he asked the Pakistanis whether they would invite the head of the Pakistani Taleban if the conference was in Islamabad. The group is at war with the Pakistani government.

News in Brief

Allegations being probed 2 Tamil students freed: Sri

India removes 2G case prosecutor over leaked tape NEW DELHI, Feb 12, (AFP): Indian police have removed a key prosecutor in the country’s biggest corruption trial after he was allegedly heard on a leaked tape discussing courtroom strategy with the accused. India’s CNN-IBN news channel aired a recorded conversation which it said were the voices of public prosecutor A.K. Singh and Sanjay Chandra, one of the accused in the case relating to the sale of telecom licences in 2008. According to the transcript, the prosecutor told Chandra, who heads property giant Unitech which was among the firms to buy a licence, that he was “acting only to save you”. Unitech’s shares fell by more than 20 percent on Tuesday. The company denied it was Chandra’s voice on the recording, but Singh was immediately replaced on the prosecution case hearing the trial which started in 2011. “While these allegations are being probed... the

said prosecutor has already been removed from the 2G case trial’s prosecution team,” the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which named the prosecutor, said in a statement late Monday. “2G” refers to the second-generation of telecom networks which continue to be used alongside more recent technology. Chandra, along with former telecom minister A. Raja and a string of other government officials and corporate executives, have been charged with conspiracy, forgery and cheating over the 2008 sale of telecom licences. Raja is accused of favouring certain firms and twisting the selection criteria in exchange for bribes in a scandal that the national auditor estimated cost the treasury up to 176.64 billion rupees ($32 billion). The two companies ended their association last October.

Lanka’s president has ordered the release of two ethnic Tamil university students detained for nearly three months for honoring fallen fighters from the defeated Tamil Tiger rebel group. The office of the presidential spokesman said Tuesday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa made the decision in response to appeals by the students’ parents while on a visit to Jaffna in the northern Tamil heartland. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Valentine’s Day protested: Indian family members searching for missing relatives look at photos of people killed, during an overnight stampede at the main railway station, outside a morgue in Allahabad on Feb 11. The chief organiser of India’s massive Kumbh Mela festival quit after a stampede killed 36 people as the emergency services came under fire for their handling of the tragedy. (AFP)

Supporters of Pakistan’s main religious party staged a noisy protest against Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, denouncing it as unIslamic and calling for a “day of

modesty” instead. The student wing of Jamaate-Islami rallied outside the press club in the northwestern city of Peshawar, chanting slogans against Valentine’s Day, saying it had “spread immodesty in the world”. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

‘Slap’ criminals - cop: A senior Indian policeman suggested on Tuesday that citizens should “slap” suspected criminals to help his officers bring them to justice. Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh told a function on women’s safety that he and his force are finding it hard to catch culprits because they are not allowed to slap. (AFP)




World News Roundup Crime ‘Honor student’

2 charged in girl’s ‘death’ CHICAGO, Feb 12, (AP): Two Chicago gang members charged Monday in the death of a 15-yearold honor student mistook her and her friends for members of a rival gang and attacked the group in retaliation for a shooting that wounded one of the men over the summer, according to police. Hadiya Pendleton died after being shot in a park about a mile (1.6 kms) from the Chicago home of President Barack Obama on Jan. 29, just days after she performed during his inauguration festiviMichelle ties in Washington. Her death was among dozens of homicides in Chicago last month, though her background and ties to Obama thrust her death into the national headlines. Not only did the first lady attend the teen’s funeral, but the girl’s parents were set to sit with Michelle Obama during the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Obama is scheduled to return to Chicago three days later to discuss gun violence. Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were taken into custody late Saturday, while on their way to a strip club — and just hours after first lady Michelle Obama and other dignitaries attended Pendleton’s funeral. Both men are now charged with firstdegree murder, two counts of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Monday night. “Ward confessed and indicated Hadiya was not the intended target. They got it all wrong,” McCarthy said. Pendleton, a popular high school majorette, was with a group of friends who took cover during a rainstorm under a canopy in a park about a mile from the Obama home on the city’s South Side. Police said a man hopped a fence, ran toward them and opened fire with a handgun before fleeing in a waiting car. Pendleton was struck in the back and died later that day. Two others were wounded.

Utility workers cut trees from Peach Street in Hattiesburg, Miss, Feb 11, after a tornado ripped through the area Sunday afternoon. (Inset): Roof debris from Westminster Presbyterian Church and power lines sit in the street after a tornado touched down yesterday. (AP/AFP)

Storms Storm injures 80 but no lives lost

Twister carves path of wreckage

Rival McCarthy said Ward told investigators he thought he was shooting into the crowd of a rival gang, and that the shooting was meant as retaliation for Williams being shot in the arm in July. Police said neither Pendleton nor her friends were affiliated with gangs. Williams, who refused to cooperate with authorities after the July shooting, was driving the getaway car, McCarthy said. He added that both men were arrested while on their way to a strip club to celebrate a friend’s birthday Saturday night. Pendleton’s death was one of more than 40 homicides in Chicago in January, a total that made it the deadliest January in the city in more than a decade. But her murder attracted national attention and helped put Chicago at the center of a national debate over gun control. Homicides in Chicago topped 500 last year for the first time since 2008, stoking residents’ concerns about gun violence and leading the police department to put more officers on the street and to focus more on combatting gangs. McCarthy, who is pushing for tougher gun laws that would increase minimum sentences for gun crimes, noted that Ward was arrested in January 2011 on a gun charge but he received probation after pleading guilty to unlawful use of a weapon. If Chicago had laws like those in New York City, McCarthy said, Ward would not have been on the streets. “This has to stop. Gun offenders have to do significant jail time,” said McCarthy, who rose through the ranks of New York City’s police and is the former police director in Newark, New Jersey. McCarthy said the arrests occurred after police figured out that the description of the car in which the shooter fled matched the description of a vehicle in which Williams had been pulled over a day before the shootings. The police superintendent noted it didn’t come from a tip from the community. “I’m sad to point out we did not get our target audience to step up,” he said. Just as the December killing of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, brought renewed scrutiny of the nation’s gun laws, the death of the popular Chicago teen has cast Chicago’s gun violence problem in a new light.

US Vice-President Joseph Biden delivers remarks following a roundtable discussion with law enforcement officials to discuss gun safety on Feb 11, at Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. President Barack Obama’s administration is pushing for new gun control measures in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. (AFP)




HATTIESBURG, Mississippi, Feb 12, (AP): Mississippi residents are marveling that no one died after a powerful tornado tore a path across at least three counties, injuring more than 80 people. Officials said several circumstances converged to ensure no lives were lost in what should have been a deadly storm: Sirens and TV broadcasts gave people as much as 30 minutes of warning; the University of Southern Mississippi was emptier than usual because of Mardi Gras; and most businesses were either closed or quiet because it was a Sunday. Forecasters were able to closely track where the storm was headed and had confirmed reports from both people on the ground and from radar, making it easier to give warning, said weather service meteorologist Chad Entremont. The sheer scope of the damage made it difficult to do a full assessment. Some 50 roads were closed at one point because of felled trees, downed power lines and debris. About 570 homes and mobile homes were damaged or destroyed, with another 100 apartments left uninhabitable. Several thousand remained without power, though the electricity was expected to be restored to most customers later Monday, Mississippi Gov Phil Bryant said. Bryant said the twister carved a

path of destruction roughly 75 miles (120 kms) long, though National Weather Service officials have not yet determined the tornado’s exact path or how long it was on the ground. However, early indications show it was an EF3 tornado with wind speeds reaching 145 mph (233 kph) in parts of Hattiesburg, Entremont said.

Faster This twister was part of a storm cell moving faster than usual, meaning it was likely to cover more ground. Many tornadoes travel just a few miles (kilometers), Entremont said. In Hattiesburg, Jeff Revette said he ran from his car and lay facedown in the grass next to the redbrick wall of a church as a tornado roared toward him, with debris scattering and electrical transformers exploding. Twenty seconds later, bricks were strewn across a flattened pickup truck a mere 10 feet (three meters) away amid toppled trees and power lines. Revette, a 43-year-old National Guard soldier who returned from a deployment to Afghanistan about a year ago, stood up unharmed. A woman who had been driving the smashed pickup and had taken cover near him was pinned by some insulation and other debris, but she was OK after Revette lifted the wreckage off her. “It’s just amazing,” he said. “God

is real. I am one blessed man.” While more tornadoes were not in the forecast, heavy rain was expected into Tuesday. And that could make cleanup efforts even more difficult, said National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Bryant in Jackson, Mississippi. On Monday, rain seemed to be adding to the misery as people tried to put tarps over leaky roofs and move belongings to dry ground. Chainsaws could be heard around Hattiesburg as people tried to cut up trees that fell onto homes. Crews were removing debris, but flooding and blocked roads hampered their work. John Cline was among those trying to salvage his already damaged home as he worked to find a way to shut off a broken pipe filling his house with water. A massive pine tree about 4 feet (1.2 meters) around split his home nearly in two. Cline had just gotten home from work Sunday when he turned on the news and realized the tornado was headed his way. He said he opened the back door and could hear the roar, so he ran to a closet in the hallway. He said it wasn’t long before the tree came crashing through the ceiling and landed about three feet (one meter) to his right. He struggled to keep the closet door closed because the wind kept pulling it open. “I was fighting the tornado,” he said.

Biden says he senses urgency: US Vice-President Joe Biden, speaking hours after a fatal shooting at a courthouse in his home state of Delaware, said on Monday there was an unprecedented sense of urgency among police and officials to enact gun control laws. “The one thing that came across to me in talking with the mayors and law enforcement officers that are here is a real sense of urgency,” Biden said after meeting Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, police chiefs, three US representatives and a US senator. He cited the shooting in Wilmington, Delaware, in which three people died and two were wounded in the New Castle County Courthouse. He also referred to the Dec 14 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children and six adults died. “We can’t wait, we cannot wait, the images of those innocent little children being riddled with bullet holes has gripped the conscience of the nation, and the nation is demanding that we act responsibly,” he said. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

cial Monday that shows images of the aftermath of four mass shootings and an on-camera appeal by Giffords for congressional action. She’s recovering from a head wound suffered in a January 2011 shooting in

Tucson. The ad specifically calls for universal background checks of gun purchasers. Americans for Responsible Solutions says the ad is airing in Washington and in home districts and states of congressional

Father charged in fatal shooting: A Texas man has been charged with mur-

Lotto winner’s death

More tests sought

Giffords group starts airing ‘ad’: A former Arizona Congresswoman who survived being shot in the head is taking to the airwaves in hopes of persuading Congress to approve gun-control measures. A political action committee formed by Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly says it began airing a TV commer-

leaders in San Francisco, Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Louisville, Kentucky. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Law enforcement officials and investigators gather outside the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington, Del on Feb 11, after three people died Monday morning in a shooting at a courthouse, including the shooter, authorities said. (AP)

CHICAGO, Feb 12, (AP): The brother of a Chicago man poisoned with cyanide shortly after winning the lottery said Monday he is the family member who asked authorities to reconsider the initial finding that his sibling had died of natural causes. Imtiaz Kahn said he had nightmares about his brother before his death and that his suspicions about the death lead him to push coroner’s officials to conduct more tests. Urooj Khan, 46, an immigrant from India, died July 20 as he was about to collect his $425,000 in Illinois State Lottery winnings. Imtiaz Khan said Monday in a telephone interview that he began demanding more tests be conducted immediately after coroner’s officials said his brother had died of natural causes.

der in the fatal shooting at a crash scene of a suspected drunken driver who authorities say plowed into his sons as they helped push their family’s broken-down pickup truck along a dark, narrow, rural road. David Barajas, 31, and his sons, 12year-old David Jr. and 11-year-old Caleb, were about 50 yards (40 meters) from their Houston-area home when a car crashed into them. David Jr. died at the scene, while Caleb died later at a hospital. Neighbors said they heard gunshots minutes after the Dec. 7 crash near Alvin, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Texas man freed: A 58-year-old Texas man who spent half his life in prison for a murder conviction has been freed after DNA testing pointed to another suspect. Randolph Arledge was allowed to go free Monday by a judge. Arledge was convicted in 1984 of stabbing a woman more than 40 times and leaving her body on a dirt road. He was given 99 years in Arledge prison. But prosecutors and Arledge’s attorneys with the national Innocence Project agreed that Arledge should be released after DNA tests on a hairnet found in Carolyn Armstrong’s car turned up a near-perfect match for another man, who’s still at large. Judge James Lagomarsino agreed with the attorneys’ recommendations, which must be approved by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑ 1 held, 1 sought in shooting: A 23-year-old man faces four counts of attempted first-degree murder for the weekend’s quadruple shooting on Bourbon Street during the final weekend of revelry counting down to and culminating with Mardi Gras festivities, police said in New Orleans. Deron Bridgewater, of Marrero, surrendered Monday after seeing his photograph on a television newscast Sunday night, said New Orleans police spokesman Frank B. Robertson III. He’s cooperating with investigators, Robertson said. It was not immediately known whether Bridgewater had an attorney. The shooting came on the last weekend of partying before Mardi Gras, the city’s signature tourist event of the year. Bridgewater and two other men are believed to have gotten into an argument with someone before gunshots erupted late Saturday night on a jam-packed Bourbon Street in the city’s historic French Quarter. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑ Gunman slays two, killed: A gunman murdered two women in a Delaware courthouse Monday before police shot him dead, officials said in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “A lone gunman walked into the lobby area and opened fire. Two civilian females were killed in the shooting,” a police spokesman in the town of Wilmington, Delaware, told a televised news conference. Police officers on duty engaged the shooter and two were wounded before the shoot-out, involving “multiples” of bullets, at the New Castle county court building ended. The injured officers’ “conditions now are not life threatening. The gunman is dead inside the lobby,” the spokesman said, adding that a search had begun in the building “floor to floor, room to room.” (AFP)




Fiscal Pressure on Hill

Cuts would hit security: Dems WASHINGTON, Feb 12, (RTRS): Funds to beef up security at US diplomatic posts would be slashed by an estimated $168 million this year under spending cuts due to kick in shortly, congressional Democrats said. The funds would be axed from the State Department’s budget for embassy and diplomatic security if the across-the-board cuts to the US budget, known as “sequestration,” go ahead on March 1, said Matt Dennis, spokesman for the Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee. The cuts will take place unless lawmakers and President Barack Obama reach an agreement to stop them. The cuts would total about $85 bilObama lion this year across the entire US budget. With a deal to avoid them looking less and less likely, lawmakers are trying to figure what this could mean to various programs. The $168 million would come out of the State Department’s “Worldwide Security Protection” and “Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance” accounts, which together received a little over $2 billion in fiscal 2012, House Democrats said. “This funding is used to enhance safety and security through construction upgrades and hiring trained and reliable local security personnel,” Dennis told Reuters. Armed militants attacked the US mission in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi last Sept 11, killing US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Recommend An independent inquiry into the attack recommended the United States strengthen security in highrisk diplomatic posts such as Benghazi beyond the security traditionally provided by host governments. A State Department official said the cuts would hit vital programs and force difficult trade-offs, but offered no details on particular embassies or facilities that might be affected. “Such cuts would be detrimental to our comprehensive efforts to provide the best possible security for all of our diplomats and development experts in the field,” the official said. The White House has warned the government spending cuts would have harsh consequences for ordinary Americans and the US economy, and has sought to turn up the pressure on Congress to produce a plan to avoid them. Cutting government spending remains a high priority for Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, and some Republicans have said they would have no qualms letting sequestration kick in. A description of the affected accounts in the State Department’s written justification backing up its budget request for this year says the funding supports local guard programs, security technology, armored vehicles, cyber security, facility protection and diplomatic couriers. For example, “WSP (Worldwide Security Protection) funding supports a worldwide guard force of approximately 30,000 guards to protect 285 overseas diplomatic missions and residence and 125 domestic facilities,” the department said.


Senate Democrats plan to unveil this week a series of targeted spending cuts and tax increases on the topearners to replace deep, across-theboard federal spending cuts due to begin on March 1, a senior Democratic aide said on Monday. The proposals are expected to be rejected by Republican leaders, who so far have fought any new tax increases to help bring down budget deficits that have topped $1 trillion since 2009. As a result, the planned spending cuts known as “sequestration,” which would total $1.2 trillion over a decade, are expected to trigger in about three weeks. The first round of cuts would total about $85 billion over seven months. The Democratic aide, who asked not to be identified, said the approximately $120 billion in combined new tax revenues and spending cuts would allow for a 10-month delay — until Dec 31 — to the indiscriminate spending cuts contained in a budget law enacted in 2011.

Revelers yell for beads and trinkets during the Krewe of Orpheus Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, on Feb 11. (AP)

Diplomacy ‘This is a complicated time in world’

Kerry eyes EU, Mideast for 1st trip In this file Feb 8, file photo, Secretary of State John Kerry holds a bilateral meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, at the State Department in Washington. Sealing his transition from legislator to diplomat, Kerry is immersing himself in unresolved global problems: Egypt in chaos, Syria engulfed in civil war, Tunisia rocked by political assassination and a moribund Arab-Israeli peace process. (AP)



America Obama may issue defense order: US President Barack Obama plans to release a long-awaited executive order aimed at improving the nation’s defenses against cyber attacks as early as Wednesday, according to sources familiar with the matter. The order, drawn up after Congress failed to pass cyber defense legislation last year, is meant to improve the protection of critical industries and infrastructure from cyber intrusions. Concerns about cyber attacks, which have hit a succession of major US companies and government agencies in recent months, also could be raised by Obama in his annual State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday evening. One of the White House’s major goals is to improve information-sharing about attacks among private companies, and between companies and the government. “Our biggest issue right now is getting the private sector to a comfort level so they can report anomalies, malware, incidents within their network” without undue fear of being “outed” as victims, said FBI Executive Assistant Director Richard McFeely, head of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. The order is expected to give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the lead role in protecting critical US infrastructure, according to a government official who had seen a final draft of the order’s executive summary. DHS will be tasked with setting up a system for sharing cyber threats with private industry and be responsible for protecting critical infrastructure, the official said. Most of the critical US infrastructure is run by private industry. “We know the executive order isn’t going to go as far as legislation could or will go, but it’s a good start,” the official said. Some Republicans had wanted the Department of Defense to play the lead role instead of DHS. Cyber security experts say the executive order – which does not have the same force as a law – is a step in the right direction and indicates Obama takes the problem seriously. “I think this can fairly be described as a down payment on legislation,” said Stewart Baker, former National Security Agency general counsel and a past assis-

WASHINGTON, Feb 12, (AP): Secretary of State John Kerry has been presented with a full plate of global crises as he plots his maiden voyage abroad: Egypt in chaos, Syria engulfed in civil war, moribund Mideast peace talks and North Korea threatening to detonate an atomic bomb while Iran moves closer to developing one of its own. As he seals his transition from legislator to diplomat with his first official trip overseas, Kerry will have to deal with all of these unresolved diplomatic crises even as he looks to put his personal stamp on American foreign policy by cementing traditional transAtlantic ties with US allies and preparing for President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to the Middle East. Washington-based diplomats say the former senator and 2004 presidential candidate is likely to embark on his first trip as secretary to Europe and the Middle East in the last week of February. The exact itinerary has yet to be determined, but Kerry is expected in several European capitals and Israel, the Palestinian territories and possibly Egypt, according to the diplomats. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The State Department declined to comment on Kerry’s potential travel plans.

Issues The trip will highlight some of the issues Kerry has been most deeply engaged in over 28 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the last four as chairman: US-European cooperation over such issues as pacifying Afghanistan and fighting climate change, addressing the rising terror threat from North Africa and finally pressing Israelis and Palestinians into finding some kind of path toward a tant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security. Stewart said he thought the executive order would make a difference in policy and practical terms “but whether it will

two-state peace agreement. With each problem, there is no easy answer — an old adage of diplomacy that Kerry learned well as an unofficial Obama envoy to Pakistan, Syria and elsewhere, but never before as the point-man for administration policy. Just hours before Kerry was sworn in to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton, militants provided a stark reminder of the inherent danger in American diplomacy as a suicide bomber struck the US Embassy in Turkey. And in the days since, Japan claimed that China locked weapons-targeting radar on a Japanese destroyer and helicopter amid an escalating maritime dispute between the Asian powers. “This is a complicated time in the world,” Kerry told a visiting group of college students in marked understatement on his third day at the State Department. Thus far, he has spent most of his time to getting to know his staff and speaking to foreign leaders, and little time publicly talking geopolitics. He echoed the White House’s call last week for tougher European Union action against Hezbollah and decried Pyongyang’s threat of a third nuclear test. And at his first official news conference Friday, he warned Iran to seriously approach upcoming nuclear talks with world powers and declared that the Obama administration was exploring new options — primarily diplomatic — to stem the violence in Syria. Going abroad will be a bigger challenge.

Withdrawn In Europe and the Mideast, Kerry will come face-to-face on foreign soil with demanding allies and estranged partners. He’ll have to introduce himself — again — to people around the world who may often distrust America’s overwhelming military and provide practical protection from cyber attacks is still in doubt.” The executive order will make it easier for people at private companies to get security clearances so classified informa-

diplomatic power, or fear a more withdrawn US foreign policy might empower international rivals such as China or rogues like Iran to expand their international influence. For the US, the powder keg of the Middle East is providing particular concern right now. The attack in Turkey, while blamed on leftist militants and not Islamic radicals, raised the specter yet again of the deadly Sept 11, 2012, siege on a US outpost in Benghazi, Libya, for which no one has been brought to justice five months later. And there has been instability across the countries where the Arab Spring was supposed to usher in a new era of democracy. Egypt is struggling to plow forward while the Muslim Brotherhood-led government and opposition battle over the future shape of their political system. Hardline clerics are trying to justify sexual assaults on women protesters and issuing death edicts against opposition leaders. In Syria, the regime of President Bashar Assad — whom Kerry previously tried to coax into closer relations with the United States — is locked in fierce clashes with rebels across the country in some of the heaviest fighting in months. Some 60,000 people have been killed in the Arab country’s two-year civil war and the violence is increasingly threatening to expand beyond Syria’s borders, as illustrated by Israel’s recent strike against a weapons convoy headed for Hezbollah. Obama called for Assad to leave power in August 2011, but the US has yet to devise a strategy to make that happen. “We’re taking a look at what steps, if any, diplomatic particularly, might be able to be taken in an effort to try to reduce that violence and deal with that situation,” Kerry said last week, tion can be shared, according to earlier drafts that were leaked and posted online. It will also make companies work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to come up with sector-spe-

‘Port contract’

Emails tried donation

The signature of President Abraham Lincoln is seen on the 13th Amendment in a display at the Tennessee State Museum on Feb 11, in Nashville, Tenn. The 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, is on display along with the Emancipation Proclamation as part of an exhibit titled Discovering the Civil War. (AP)

WASHINGTON, Feb 12, (AP): Emails between the office of the new head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Homeland Security Department describe efforts by his staff in January to thwart US donations of cargo-screening equipment to the government of the Dominican Republic. Donated equipment could have jeopardized a port security contract benefiting a close associate and fundraiser of the lawmaker. The emails came six months after Sen Robert Menendez raised concerns about the Dominican government’s port security in a Senate hearing with senior officials from the State and Commerce departments. A company run by Dr Salomon Melgen, Menendez’s biggest political donor, has pushed to secure a lucrative port security contract with the Dominican government.

speaking to reporters for the first time as secretary of state. The US, meanwhile, is trying to shore up its alliance with its closest ally in the region — Israel.

Focus The White House announced last week that Obama will make his first presidential visit to the country in the spring. Kerry’s solo trip to Israel is meant as a preparatory visit, but neither he nor the president will unveil any new initiative to end more than six decades of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, US officials said. Instead, the talks will focus on building trust for longer-term peace efforts between the parties, as well as shared US-Israeli concerns over Syria and Iran. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The same subjects are likely to be main topics of conversation when Kerry hosts Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, a key mediator between Israelis and Palestinians, on Wednesday. Kerry then welcomes Thursday to the State Department the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, through whom the US has directed its diplomacy with Iran over its disputed nuclear program. The United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are sending senior negotiators to meet with an Iranian delegation in Kazakhstan on Feb 26, hoping to end years of stalemate with the Islamic republic over uranium enrichment activity that much of the world sees as the foundation to future nuclear weapons production. Iran insists its program is designed for peaceful energy and medical research purposes. cific standards for cyber security and will then require companies to engage with their regulators to decide how those standards are implemented. “Companies aren’t going to, at first, be required to do anything. These are voluntary standards, except for a few critical infrastructure companies,” said James Lewis, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “If you’re regulated, the regulator will be able to say, ‘Here are some new standards.’ If you’re not regulated you won’t be touched at all.” (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

17.5 years term urged: The US government is recommending a 17-1/2-year prison term for an American security guard who admits he tried to sell secret photos and other secret information to China’s Ministry of State Security after the guard lost $159,000 in the stock market. The Justice Department says in Washington Bryan Underwood took photographs of restricted areas at the new US consulate in Guangzhou and planned to use them to help China eavesdrop on US officials. Underwood drafted a letter expressing his desire to work for the China ministry, but was turned away when he attempted to deliver it. Underwood came under suspicion when a polygraph examination by US law enforcement agents detected deception in some of his answers. He pleaded guilty to attempting to communicate national defense information to a foreign government. (AP)




World News Roundup Military ‘Drones shift’

US military weighs cuts LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Virginia, Feb12, (AP): The Pentagon for the first time is considering scaling back the massive buildup of drones it has overseen in the past few years, both to save money and to adapt to changing security threats and an increased focus on Asia as the Afghanistan war winds down. Air Force leaders are saying the military may already have enough unmanned aircraft systems to wage the wars of the future. And the Pentagon’s shift to Asia will Gates require a new mix of drones and other aircraft because countries in that region are better able to detect unmanned versions and shoot them down. If the Pentagon does slow the huge building and deployment program, which was ordered several years ago by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, it won’t affect the CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere against terror suspects. Those strikes were brought center stage last week during the confirmation hearing for White House counterterror chief John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s pick to lead the CIA. Gen Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command, said senior leaders are analyzing the military’s drone needs and discussions are beginning. But he said the current number patrolling the skies overseas may already be more than the service can afford to maintain.

Unmanned Overall, Pentagon spending on unmanned aircraft has jumped from $284 million in 2000 to nearly $4 billion in the past fiscal year, while the number of drones owned by the Pentagon has rocketed from less than 200 in 2002 to at least 7,500 now. The bulk of those drones are small, shoulderlaunched Ravens owned by the Army. The discussions may trigger heated debate because drones have become so important to the military. They can provide 24-hour patrols over hotspots, gather intelligence by pulling in millions of terabytes of data and hours of video feeds, and they can also launch precisely targeted airstrikes without putting a US pilot at risk. The analysis began before Brennan’s confirmation hearings, where he was questioned sharply about the CIA’s use of drones to kill terror suspects, including American citizens overseas. The CIA has its own fleet of drones that it uses on its counterterror missions, and any decision to stop building drones would be unlikely to have any effect on that program. The Air Force discussions are focused more on whether the military’s drone fleet is the right size and composition for future conflicts. There has been a seemingly insatiable appetite within the military for the unmanned hunter/killers, particularly among top combat commanders around the world who have been clamoring for the drones but have seen most resources go to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

US President Barack Obama awards Army Staff Sargent Clinton Romesha the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House Feb 11. (Inset): A military aid holds the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House Feb 11, in Washington, DC. (AFP)

Obama honors Afghan war vet for gunbattle heroics President Barack Obama praised the humble heroism of US soldier Clinton Romesha on Monday, awarding him a Medal of Honor for his actions in one of the most desperate firefights of the Afghan war. Army Staff Sergeant Romesha, 31, fought off fierce enemy fire despite being wounded, in a 12-hour siege of

mountains above, and they were unleashing everything they had, rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns, mortars, snipers taking aim,” Obama said. Despite shrapnel wounds to his hip, an arm and his neck, Romesha repeatedly charged into enemy fire — once through a 100-meter hail of bul-

lets, to rescue wounded Americans and the bodies of the dead. “These men were outnumbered, outgunned and almost overrun,” Obama said, at an emotional ceremony in the East Room of the White House in which he conferred America’s highest individual military honor on Romesha.

“Looking back, one of them said, ‘I’m surprised any of us made it out.’” Obama said the scale of heroism shown on that day was evidenced in the list of decorations conferred in the aftermath, including 37 Army Commendation Medals, 27 Purple Hearts, 28 Bronze Stars and nine Silver Stars. (AFP)

Military ‘Kyle a man, myth and legend’

Ex-Navy SEAL remembered as servant

Christopher Kyle’s wife, Taya, and his two children follow behind his casket during the procession of a memorial service for Kyle at Cowboys Stadium, Feb 11, in Arlington, Texas. (AP)

Operate Hostage, interviewed in his office at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, amid the intermittent roar of fighter jets overhead, said the military’s new focus on the Asia-Pacific region will require a different mix of drones and other aircraft. Unlike in Afghanistan, where the US can operate largely without fear of the drones being shot down, there are a number of countries in the Pacific that could face off against American aircraft — either manned or unmanned. Right now, Predator and Reaper drones that pilots fly remotely from thousands of miles away are completing 59 24-hour combat air patrols a day, mostly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and areas around Yemen and the Africa coast. The standing order is for the Air Force to increase that number of air patrols to 65 a day by May 2014, although officials say that is an arbitrary number not based on an analysis of future combat requirements. The staffing demands for that increase have put a strain on the Air Force, as they would require nearly 1,700 drone pilots and 1,200 sensor operators. Currently there are fewer than 1,400 pilots and about 950 sensor operators.

an exposed mountain outpost in 2009 in which 53 American soldiers were pinned down by 300 Taleban fighters. Eight Americans died and 22 were wounded in fighting that Obama described “as one of the most intense battles of the entire war in Afghanistan.” “The attackers had the advantage, the high ground, the

ARLINGTON, Texas, Feb 12, (AP): As military service members carried the flag-draped coffin out of a football stadium, the sounds of bagpipes echoed and people saluted Chris Kyle, an ex-Navy SEAL sniper who wrote a best-selling book called “America’s Sniper” and dedicated his post-military career to helping other veterans. Iraq War veteran Eddie Ray Routh, 25, has been charged in the Feb. 2 killings of Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a Texas gun range. Routh is being held on $3 million bond. Nearly 7,000 people attended the service, including former Republican vice-presidential candidate and Alaska gov Sarah Palin and her husband. Dozens of military personnel and others were seated in front of the podium near the Dallas Cowboys’ star at midfield, where Kyle’s coffin was placed at the beginning.

Trembling Panetta


America Many benefits extended: The Pentagon announced on Monday in Washington it would extend more of the benefits offered to spouses of heterosexual troops to those of gay personnel but acknowledged some key benefits, like housing, would still be off-limits, at least for now. The step came 17 months after the Pentagon scrapped its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on openly serving homosexuals in the US military and will affect the day-today lives of their spouses in ways big and small - from allowing them to finally get military I.D. cards to granting hospital visitation rights. But outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in a memorandum explaining the move, noted his actions were limited by US law, specifically the Defense of Marriage Act, which is now being reviewed by the Supreme Court and which defines marriage as a union between a man and woman. “There are certain benefits that can only be provided to spouses as defined by that law,” said Panetta, who is expected to retire in the coming days. “While it will not change during my tenure as secretary of defense, I foresee a time when the law will allow the department to grant full benefits to service mem-

Widow Taya Kyle spoke through tears earlier, surrounded by her husband’s military friends, her voice bers and their dependents, irrespective of sexual orientation.” Pentagon officials estimated the cost of the policy change would be negligible,

trembling as she described to a crowd of thousands what “my slowtalking Texas man” had meant to his family, friends and country. “Chris, there isn’t enough time to tell you everything you mean to me and everything you taught me,” the widow said Monday during a twohour memorial service for Kyle, a decorated sniper and best-selling author who was slain earlier this month at a gun range. She described herself as broken but said the family will “put one foot in front of the other” to get through their grief. She told her two children that they will remember Kyle’s silly side, Texas twang and prayers they prayed together. His friends and fellow service members told mourners that Kyle was more than an excellent sniper feared by US enemies - he was a dedicated family man known for his sense of humor, compassion, selflessness and generosity. Kyle completed four tours of duty in Iraq. Some who served with him said that Kyle was a man, myth and legend because he would do anything since it would only affect around 9,000 spouses of active duty and reserve members and another 8,000 retirees. They hoped the changes would go into effect by the end of

for his fellow SEALs. Childhood friends recalled his mischievous side, and one said he and Kyle played with BB guns as kids - and Kyle “wasn’t a good shot back then.”

Passion Bo French, an executive at Craft International, the security training company Kyle started after he left the Navy, told those gathered that Kyle had a passion for helping others. Kyle also founded a nonprofit, FITCO Cares, that provides at-home fitness equipment for emotionally and physically wounded veterans. Pictures of Kyle with his family and SEALs were shown on a large screen in the stadium. The back page of the memorial service program included copies of handwritten notes from Kyle’s young kids: “I will miss your heart. I will love you even if you died” from his daughter, and “I miss you a lot. One of the best things that has happened to me is you” from his son. The children signed them “Baby Girl” and “Bubba.” After Taya Kyle’s eulogy, country August. The announcement came on the eve of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and just weeks after he made

Date at Carnegie

‘Orchestra’ in NY

In this image released by the US Coast Guard on Feb 11, a small boat belonging to the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous patrols near the cruise ship Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico, Feb 11. The Carnival Triumph has been floating aimlessly about 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula since a fire erupted in the aft engine room early Sunday, knocking out the ship’s propulsion system. No one was injured and the fire was extinguished. (AP)

SCARSDALE, New York, Feb 12, (AP): For these young people from Afghanistan, it’s the perfect trip to America. They get to scarf down New York pizza, go ice skating – and take the stage at Carnegie Hall. The Afghan Youth Orchestra, many of whose members are not far removed from eking out a living on the streets of Kabul, is on the New York leg of a US tour that melds Western classics with traditional Afghan music. About 50 players held a joint rehearsal Monday with 25 members of the Scarsdale High School orchestra, which meant that young musicians from a war-torn country where music was banned for several years by the Taliban were playing alongside those from one of New York’s toniest suburbs.

singer Randy Travis sang “Whisper My Name,” which he said Taya Kyle had told him was a meaningful song for the couple, and “Amazing Grace.” Kyle’s funeral service is scheduled for Tuesday. He will be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin after a 200-mile (320-km) funeral procession. Taya Kyle spoke kindly of Littlefield during the service Monday, saying he was the “effortless, no expectations” friend that her husband needed. Many said before Monday’s service that they didn’t know the 38year-old Chris Kyle. Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Phillips said he came from his Fort Worth home to honor “a brother in arms.” Esperanza Meza, who is in the Texas State Guard, said: “I’m here to pay my respects to him, and also for all of those who have fallen while serving this country.” Travis Cox, director of FITCO Cares, has said the men apparently had been helping Routh work through post-traumatic stress disorder. history by becoming the first US president to praise progress on gay rights in his inaugural address. “Secretary Panetta’s decision today answers the call President Obama issued in his inaugural address to complete our nation’s journey toward equality,” said Allyson Robinson, head of the advocacy group OutServe-SLDN and an Army veteran. The moves will substantially improve the quality of life of affected spouses, she said. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Obama moves to elevate gen status: The Obama administration is moving to elevate the status of the general who leads soldiers in the Pacific to four stars. US Army Pacific has been led by a three-star general for years. The Pentagon said Monday in Washington, that President Barack Obama is nominating Third Army commander Lt Gen Vincent Brooks to become the new Army Pacific commander and for a promotion to four stars. Putting a four-star general in charge of US soldiers in the Pacific would put the Army on par with the Navy and Air Force in the region. Both services are led by fourstar commanders in the Pacific. Brooks currently leads soldiers in the US Central Command area. Lt Gen Francis Wiercinski, the current US Army Pacific commander, plans to retire after 34 years of service. (AP)





Long-shot pope

Hope for Filipino cardinal grows MANILA, Feb 12, (RTRS): With attention turning from Europe to the “new” world, worshippers in the Philippines prayed quietly and took to social media on Tuesday in the hope their cardinal might be chosen as the next leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. Many Catholics in the Philippines, the largest Christian community in Asia, were shocked by Pope Benedict’s resignation, including their charismatic leader, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. “Pope Benedict XVI’s renunciation of the ministry as Bishop of Rome on Feb Tagle 11, 2013 came as a surprise,” Tagle said in a statement. “The announcement also brought sadness to us. We felt like children clinging to a father who bids them farewell,” he said, praising Benedict’s “humility, honesty, courage and sincerity”. Stunning as it was, Benedict’s resignation has thrown the papal spotlight outside the Church’s European heartland, now home to only 25 percent of the Catholic population. The post once reserved for Italians is now open for all, although about half the cardinals who will vote for the next pope after Benedict’s reign ends on Feb. 28 are from Europe. Latin America represents the largest single bloc in the Church with 42 percent of Catholics, putting Latin Americans and African cardinals among the front-runners to succeed 85-year-old Pope Benedict. Tagle’s close alignment to Pope Benedict, an uncompromising conservative on social and theological issues, could work in his favour, with the Philippines a bulwark of Catholicism in a mainly Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist region. He offered a glimpse of that conservatism in comments published after his elevation to cardinal in November: “The Church must discover the power of silence. “Confronted with the sorrows, doubts and uncertainties of people, she cannot pretend to give easy solutions,” he said.

Worse Many Filipinos felt the Church could do worse than choose Tagle, at 55 relatively young, as its next leader. “The Filipino cardinal, Luis Antonio Tagle, will be a long-shot but he could be considered because he is also known as a Vatican insider and a former adviser of the Pope,” said Joselito Zulueta, a teacher, journalist and analyst of church affairs in the Philippines. Tagle’s personal appeal has been compared to that of the late Pope John Paul and he worked with Pope Benedict at the International Theological Commission. Father Francis Lucas of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said a Filipino pope would be like “a dream”. “He is humble, he’s meek, he’s simple, he’s spiritual, he’s media savvy, he’s very bright.” But Tagle’s youth, and the fact that he only became a cardinal late in 2012, may work against him. “What we should do is not pray for Cardinal Tagle but pray for the right pope, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, to be elected by the cardinal members of the conclave,” Lucas said. The Twitter hashtag “#Tagleforpope” appeared within hours of Benedict’s statement, with one comment among scores posted on Tuesday saying of Tagle: “Archbishop of Manila in 2011, Cardinal in 2012, Pope in 2013?” “Cardinal Tagle is qualified, young and can bring more energy to the Catholic Church,” said Maria Paz Balagot, a sales executive in Manila’s financial district. While hope grew in the Philippines, Australia’s Cardinal George Pell, a conservative supporter of Benedict’s among the conclave of cardinals, cautioned against seeing Benedict’s resignation as the start of a new era for the Church. “Every pope presents a change,” Pell said in an internal video interview conducted by the Church in Australia. “I’m pretty confident that there’ll be a basic continuity.”

A view of the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, (right), next to the Tower of San Giovanni, inside the Vatican State where Pope Benedict XVI is expected to live after he resigns, on Feb 12. (AP)

Vatican ‘Benedict will have no influence on election of successor’

Retiring Pope in uncharted territory

A lightning strikes St Peter’s dome at the Vatican on Feb 11. (AFP)

Europe Appeals court convicts 2: A Milan appeals court on Tuesday convicted two former Italian spy chiefs for their role in the kidnapping of a terror suspect as part of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. The court overturned the acquittals of a lower court and sentenced Nicolo Pollari, the former head of Italian military intelligence, to 10 years, and Marco Mancini, a former deputy and head of counterintelligence, to nine. Three other Italian agents also were convicted and handed six-year sentences. All the convictions can be appealed. Earlier this month, another Italian appeals court vacated the acquittals and convicted in absentia three Americans, including the former Rome CIA station chief, in the same case. A lower court had acquitted them due to diplomatic immunity. In all, 26 Americans, most CIA agents, have been convicted in absentia in the 2003 kidnapping of Egyptian Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, with sentences ranging from six to nine years. It is unlikely any will serve time. US officials have never commented on the case. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑ Assembly passes gay marriage: France’s lower house of parliament approved a sweeping bill on Tuesday to legalize gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children, handing a major legislative victory to President Francois Hollande’s Socialists on a divisive social issue. The measure, approved in the National Assembly in a 329-to-229 vote, puts France on track to join about a dozen mostly European nations that allow gay marriage and comes despite a string of recent demonstrations by opponents of the so-called “marriage for all” bill. Polls indicate a narrow majority of French support legalizing gay marriage, though that support falls when questions about the adoption and conception of children come into play. The Assembly has been debating the bill, and voting on its individual articles in recent weeks. The overall legislation now goes in the coming weeks to the Senate, which also is controlled by the governing Socialists and their allies. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

VATICAN CITY, Feb 12, (AP): For months, construction crews have been renovating a four-story building attached to a monastery on the northern edge of the Vatican gardens where nuns would live for a few years at a time in cloister. Only a handful of Vatican officials knew it would one day be Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement home. On Tuesday, construction materials littered the front lawn of the house and plastic tubing snaked down from the top floor to a cargo container. The restoration has become even more critical following Benedict’s announcement that he will resign Feb 28 and live his remaining days here in prayer. From a new name to this new home to the awkward reality of having a reigning pope and a retired one, Benedict is facing uncharted territory as he becomes the first pontiff in six centuries to retire. Strings The Vatican on Tuesday tried to quash any notion that Benedict aimed to pull strings behind the scenes. The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a top spokesman, said Benedict will have no influence on the election of his successor. “The pope will surely say absolutely nothing about the process of election,” he told reporters. The 85-year-old Benedict said Monday he was stepping down simply because he simply no longer had the strength in mind or body to carry on. Lombardi on Tuesday also revealed for the first time that Benedict has had a pacemaker for years and had its battery replaced just a few months ago. Although no date for a conclave to choose the next pope has been announced, it must begin within 20 days of his Feb 28 retirement. That means a new pope will likely be elected by the College of Cardinals by Easter – March 31 this year. The decision immediately raised questions about what Benedict would be called, where he would live – and how that might affect his successor. The Vatican’s senior communications adviser, Greg Burke, said Tuesday the fact that Benedict had chosen to live in a monastery is significant. “It is something that he has wanted to do for a while,” Burke said. “But I think it also suggests that his

Celestine’s ‘Great Refusal’

Did mediaeval predecessor inspire Pope’s retirement LONDON, Feb 12, (RTRS): Pope Benedict XVI gazed out on the crowd packing the piazza of a small Italian town. Below him lay the bones of Celestine V, the last pontiff to choose to retire; above rose sunlit crags where the “hermit pope” took refuge from a troubled mediaeval world. A few weeks after that visit in July 2010 to Sulmona, in the Abruzzo mountains, the then 83year-old Benedict told a fellow German he would not hesitate to become the first pope since Celestine in 1294 to resign of his own free will, if he was no longer able — “physically, psychologically and spiritually” — to meet the demands of running the billionstrong Catholic Church. Did the example of Celestine’s “Great Refusal” inspire his ageing successor to consider the alternative to death in office? The working day Benedict spent in Sulmona, on July 4, 2010, was part of a typically busy schedule for the leader of one of the world’s great faiths; he met hundreds of people and said mass for the 800th birthday of Pietro Angelerio, a monk who lived in local caves before and after his five troubled months as Pope Celestine V during a conflict between Church factions. Some of Benedict’s words that day may in retrospect betray a sense of weariness and a longing for a cloistered retirement.

In a homily to the crowd of 10,000 in the main square, he said: “A beautiful expression of St. Paul ... is also a perfect spiritual portrait of St. Peter Celestine: ‘Far be it from me to glory, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.’” Later, meeting young people at Sulmona cathedral, where a mosaic showing Benedict with Celestine was unveiled, he praised those with the courage of conviction and recalled the pope whose rejection of the Holy See was seen by some as sinful: “St. Celestine V,” he said, “Was able to act according to his conscience in obedience to God, hence without fear and with great courage even in difficult moments ... not fearing to lose his dignity but knowing that it consists in existing in truth.” He also defended Celestine’s retreat into seclusion: “In his choice of the hermit life might there not have been individualism or an escape from responsibility? This temptation does of course exist. But in the experiences approved by the Church, the solitary life of prayer and penance is always at the service of the community, open to others,” Benedict said. “Hermits and monasteries are oases and sources of spiritual life

from which all may draw.” Three weeks after his Sunday in Sulmona, the pope was taking his summer retreat at the papal residence at Castelgandolfo, in the hills outside Rome, and spent hours talking to German journalist Peter Seewald between July 26 and 31. As recorded in Seewald’s book of conversations “Light of the World”, the former Joseph Ratzinger was asked whether he might resign in the face of criticism over his handling of sexual abuse by priests: “When the danger is great one must not run away,” he said. “Now is certainly not the time to resign. “One can resign at a peaceful moment, or when one simply cannot go on,” he added. “If a pope clearly realises that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.” Celestine’s founding of a great monastic order, his humility and piety, at a time when the Holy See was prey to the self-serving ambitions of Europe’s kings, earned him sainthood, even though some called his resignation at the age of about 80 a betrayal of God. A figure condemned to the antechamber of hell in Dante’s poem “Inferno” is sometimes identified as Celestine.

role is going to be a very quiet one, and that is important so you don’t have a situation of ... two different popes at the same time, and one influencing the other. “I think the obvious thing is when he says retirement, it really means retiring,” he said. As for his name, Burke said Benedict would most likely be referred to “Bishop of Rome, emeritus” as opposed to “Pope Emeritus.” Lombardi also said Benedict would take some kind of “emeritus” title. Other Vatican officials said it would probably be up to the next pope to decide Benedict’s new title, and wouldn’t exclude that he might still be called “Your Holiness” as a courtesy, much as retired presidents are often referred to as “President.” It was not clear whether the retired pope will retain the name Benedict –

or revert to being called Joseph Ratzinger again. Benedict had important unfinished business before his retirement: He has been widely expected to issue his fourth encyclical, concerning faith, before Easter. But Lombardi ruled out that the encyclical would be ready before his retirement. Schedule Already, Benedict was changing his schedule to take into account his new circumstances. He had been scheduled to go to a church on Rome’s Aventine hill for the annual Ash Wednesday service this week starting the church’s Lenten season; the service will take place in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome instead. Lombardi said a larger space was needed to accommodate the throngs

expected to greet the outgoing pope – but observers suspect the Vatican may have also wanted to spare Benedict from the crowds along the hill. Immediately after his resignation, Benedict will spend some time at the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo, overlooking Lake Albano in the hills south of Rome where he has spent his summer vacations reading and writing. By March, the weather may start to warm up and he should be able to enjoy the gardens and feed the goldfish in a pond near a statue of the Madonna where he often liked to visit. If he’s interested, he can do some star gazing; The Vatican Observatory is located inside the palazzo, complete with a telescope and a world-class collection of meteorites.


Vote to protect bullfights: Spain’s parliament is expected to vote Tuesday on a petition demanding bullfighting be declared a key part of the country’s cultural heritage, a year after the practice was banned in the independence-minded region of Catalonia. The petition organised by the Catalan Bullfighting Federation signed by nearly 600,000 people states that “bullfighting belongs to Spain’s global culture, and to the historical and cultural patrimony common to all Spaniards”. Approval of the petition would pave the way for the centuries-old tradition to be

declared an “asset of cultural interest”, which would give bullfighting greater legal and financial protection. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative Popular Party, which holds a majority in parliament following a landslide general election win in November 2011, backs the petition, virtually guaranteeing its approval. The move will likely stoke tensions with the government of the wealthy

northeastern region of Catalonia which has promised to hold a referendum on independence from Spain next year. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Germany charges Turkish man:



German prosecutors say they have charged a 46-year-old Turkish man with membership in a terrorist organization on allegations he led the European finance opera-

tions of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that Abdullah S., whose last name was not released in accordance with privacy laws, was charged Jan. 23 and has been in custody since last April. Using the alias Hamza, he’s alleged to have run the PKK’s finances in Europe from sometime after June 2007 to 2010. (AP)




World News Roundup Adoption Agencies closing

Adoption joy to US moms MOSCOW, Feb 12, (Agencies): After a nerve-wracking month in Moscow, fearing their adoption bids might be foiled by a diplomatic spat, two US families are now able to take their adopted Russian children home. Jeana Bonner, 29, Rebecca Preece, 34 and their husbands had spent around a year trying to adopt two Russian orphans, both with special needs, only for their applications Obama to be stalled at the final stages when Russia banned Americans adopting in December. The ban was part of Russia’s retaliation for US sanctions on suspected human rights abusers and marked a low point for President Barack Obama’s bid to improve relations with the former Cold War foe. Even when courts ruled in January that Bonner and Preece’s adoptions could go ahead as they had already been approved, the families had to wait for a month and feared the process could hit further obstacles. However the final decree was issued and the adoptive parents have now collected their new children and will take them home this week.

People shelter from the snow under umbrellas whilst walking along the Charles bridge in Prague, on Feb 12. Snowfall and freezing temperatures hit the Czech Republic Tuesday. (AP)


Protective “In every mother there’s a mama-bear, you’re protective of your children,” Preece said as her 4-year-old adopted son Gabriel Artur romped around their hotel room in Moscow. “I felt this wasn’t right, he was supposed to be in our family and I was going to do everything it took until that happened.” Bonner said she was looking forward to introducing her two biological children to their new Russian sister Jaymi Viktoria. “She’s the sweetest most fun little girl. I’m so excited to get her home so her sisters finally meet her — we’ve been talking about her for a year now and they’re going to have so much fun together,” she said. Both families have biological children with Down’s syndrome and decided to adopt orphans with the same condition from Russia’s crowded orphanages, where children with serious illnesses or disabilities have less chance of finding homes. While they will return to the United States with the children on Wednesday, other American families, who were less far along the legislative process, were not as lucky. More than 650,000 children are considered orphans in Russia, and 110,000 of them lived in state institutions in 2011, official data shows. There were about 7,400 adoptions by Russian families in 2011, compared with 3,400 adoptions by families abroad. American families adopt more Russian children than those of any other country, with more than 60,000 cases since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, including 962 in 2011. Moscow said its ban was justified by the deaths of 19 Russianborn children adopted by US parents in the past decade, and what they perceive as lenient treatment of them.

Also: NEW YORK: The lone US adoption agency accredited in Kyrgyzstan is shutting down due to financial troubles, a sudden new setback for about 15 American families battling since 2008 to complete adoptions there. At the same time, another US agency, which specializes in adoptions from Russia, also is closing. “We see no other choice but to close our doors,” said Christian World Adoption, which had handled Kyrgyz adoptions, in an email to the waiting families. The agency, based in Fletcher, N.C., said an array of factors, in Kyrgyzstan and elsewhere abroad, had boosted its costs and cut its income to the point where it would file for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Adoption ARK, based in Buffalo Grove, Ill., said it would shut down, blaming Russia’s recently imposed ban on adoptions by Americans. It said its program in Russia had provided more than half of its income.

Browder pushes to blacklist RussiaN officials

Magnitsky fund brings campaign to Europe A University student blows her whistle and holding a banner written ‘From us’ in Budapest’s on Feb 11, during a demonstration to protest against the Hungarian government’s education policy. (AFP)



Europe Russia’s former ‘gas king’ dies: Rem Vyakhirev, the chief executive who turned Russian state gas firm Gazprom into a global giant after the collapse of the USSR, has died, the company announced. He was aged 78. Vyakhirev, dubbed the “gas king” in Russia for his domination of the gas sector, was appointed to head the newly restructured Joint Stock Company Gazprom in 1992 by then president Boris Yeltsin. He stepped down after a tumultuous decade in charge that saw the company partially privatised in chaotic circumstances and order restored after Russia brushed with economic meltdown in 1998. After his resignation as chief executive, Vyakhirev became Gazprom board chairman but resigned after the shortest of periods in 2002 and was thereafter virtually invisible in public life. Vyakhirev began his energy career in the 1950s in the Volga region before rising to be deputy gas industry minister of the USSR in 1983. Reports said that he died at his dacha outside Moscow from heart problems late on Monday. Gazprom grew out of the USSR’s gas industry ministry and was partly privatised from 1993 in the much-criticised sale of state assets in post-Soviet Russia. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

PARIS, Feb 12, (AFP): The investor pushing to blacklist Russian officials implicated in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky has brought his campaign to Europe’s capitals, in a move that could have far-reaching implications for their relations with Moscow. The London-based head of Hermitage Capital Management, William Browder, was in Paris on Monday to push for a French version of the US Magnitsky Act, a December law that blacklisted Russian officials tied to Magnitsky’s prison death. The law has prompted a crisis in US-Russia ties, with Moscow retaliating by banning US adoptions of Russian orphans. Ahead of talks with French lawmakers, Browder told AFP he was sure that within a year European capitals would have followed Washington’s lead in imposing sanctions on Russian officials. “The Russian government tortured and murdered Sergei Magnitsky, our lawyer, after he uncovered a massive corruption scheme,” Browder said. “The Russian government has taken every step to cover up the involvement of the officials... and then attack the victim. It has become clear to us that we have to get justice outside of Russia.” Magnitsky died in 2009 at the age of 37 of untreated pancreatitis after to extradite the former president. The garrison military court of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, which tried Bakiyev in absentia, said in a statement that he had been found guilty of abuse of office and inflicting grave damage to the state as a member of a criminal group. It gave no further details. Bakiyev’s brother Zhanysh, who headed his security service and has also been reported to be hiding in Belarus, was sentenced by the same court in absentia to

almost a year in pre-trial detention following his arrest on fraud charges. He had been detained after reporting to Russian authorities an alleged $235 million tax fraud by state officials involving the falsification of returns belonging to Hermitage, then a major investor in Russia.

Denied Magnitsky was charged with the very crimes he claimed to have uncovered and his death in detention — which Hermitage says saw him denied medical treatment — became a rallying point for critics of corruption in Russia. Browder, who has since abandoned investing in Russia, has led an international campaign to punish officials allegedly involved in the original crime and Magnitsky’s prosecution. US lawmakers took the first major step in December by approving the Magnitsky Act, which compels Washington to freeze the assets and deny entry to those tied to the case. Moscow slammed the law as an “unfriendly and provocative attack” and retaliated with the adoption ban, widely regarded as the toughest piece of anti-US legislation during President Vladimir Putin’s 13 years in power. After meeting with officials in Germany on Friday, Browder was to life imprisonment for kidnapping, premeditated murder and other grave crimes. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Tax evasion trial delayed: A Ukrainian court on Tuesday delayed the tax evasion and embezzlement trial of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko in Kiev after she refused to attend the hearings, citing poor health. Tymoshenko, the main political oppo-

Original Hermitage created an original list of 60 names linked with the case in 2010 — including figures as high up as Russia’s deputy prosecutor general and deputy interior minister — but the number continues to grow as legal action continues against Magnitsky despite his death. In a bizarre twist, Russian prosecutors have continued to pursue their case against Magnitsky following his death. The trial began late last month and was adjourned to Feb 18 after his lawyers refused to participate. nent of President Viktor Yanukovich, was sentenced to seven years in prison in October 2011 in a separate abuse-of-office trial but has been treated in a state-run hospital since last May for back trouble. Her case has soured Ukraine’s diplomatic ties, with many in the West viewing it as an example of selective justice and urging her release. “The hearings are delayed until March 5,” Interfax news agency quoted Judge Kostyantyn Sadovsky as telling the court

Ban foreign accounts

‘Bill submitted’

Ex-leader gets long jail term: A court in Kyrgyzstan has sentenced fugitive former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to 24 years in prison for abuse of office, and handed a life term to his brother for murder and other crimes. The verdicts announced on Tuesday in Bishkek give the authorities legal grounds to resume demanding the ex-president’s extradition from Belarus. Bakiyev was granted political asylum by Minsk after crowds seized his government headquarters in an April 2010 revolt in which about 90 people were killed when security forces opened fire on opposition protesters. Belarus, run by the authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, has repeatedly rejected Kyrgyzstan’s demands

see members of the French National Assembly and Senate this week to build up support for a French version of the Magnitsky Act. “Our main objective now is to replicate what we’ve done in America in Europe, particularly in France”, where many Russian officials own property, he said. While the US law was an important precedent, he said, a French decision to ban entry and seize assets would have far more impact on those allegedly involved in Magnitsky’s prosecution and death. “That’s something that would touch them in a profound way,” he said. “The UK and France are the two most popular destinations for people to own property and have second homes in Europe among the elite of the Russian criminal world.”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (right), shakes hands with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, on Feb 12. Niinisto is on a visit to Russia. (AFP)

MOSCOW, Feb 12, (AP): President Vladimir Putin has submitted a bill that would ban Russian Cabinet members and other senior officials from having foreign bank accounts and owning foreign stock, the Kremlin said Tuesday. The proposal also applies to the officials’ wives and underage children. The Kremlin said that the measure is aimed at “ensuring national security, establishing order in lobbyist activities, increasing investment in the national economy and raising efficiency of anti-corruption efforts.” Putin first mentioned the move in his state-of-the nation address in December, casting it as part of efforts to make officials accountable to the public.

Browder, a 48-year-old US-born British citizen, is also a defendant in the case in absentia. Russia has also continued to take action against the United States following the adoption of the Magnitsky Act and last month announced plans to ban all US meat imports and the termination of a longstanding bilateral drug control agreement. Browder described Russia’s reaction to the law as “extremely cowardly”, in particular for its decision to ban the adoption of often disabled and troubled Russian orphans by US citizens. “Putin did the most cowardly thing a man can do, he picked a group that can have no voice, no power whatsoever, the most vulnerable, weak group that can exist in society, which is disabled Russian orphans, and he attacked them”, Browder said. “It’s truly the sign of a completely morally bankrupt man,” he said. He said Russia’s reactions and the continued prosecution of Magnitsky were keeping the case in the spotlight and he was confident that European parliaments would soon join the US in backing sanctions. “Every step that they take to defile Sergei’s name in posthumous prosecutions, and so on, only fuels the fire of this story,” he said. “I’m sure that within 12 months we will have sanctions in Europe.” in the city of Kharkiv. Tymoshenko’s second trial, based on charges that date back to the 1990s when she ran a large gas trading business, has been repeatedly delayed since last April due to her refusal to attend. Her initial conviction was related to a 2009 gas supply deal with Russia which she brokered as prime minister. Yanukovich’s government says the contract saddled Ukraine with exorbitantly priced fuel and is dragging on the economy. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Azerbaijan accused: Human Rights Watch accused the government of Azerbaijan on Tuesday of intimidating a writer at the center of a public row over his depiction of violence between Azerbaijanis and Armenians. The New York-based group said that foreign governments should urge oil-rich Azerbaijan to investigate what it described as threats against Akram Aylisli. Aylisli’s novel “Stone Dreams” is set in part during the wake of a bitter war in the 1990s between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed territory of NagornoKarabakh. The book makes allusions to instances of mob violence by Azerbaijanis against helpless Armenians. Many see the work as a condemnation of the Azerbaijani people. The Azerbaijani government has long laid all the blame for the war on Armenia. In a decree stripping the 75-year-old writer of state honors and his monthly $1,270 pension, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan said that Aylisli was trying to cast Azerbaijanis in an inhumane light. (AP)




CTBTO Actual threat distant

North nuke test sends message VIENNA, Feb 12, (RTRS): North Korea’s nuclear test may be aimed at showing its foes it can deliver a missile with a warhead but it is still a long way from being able to threaten the United States, experts said. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), an international monitoring agency, said an explosion-like event that North Korea described as a nuclear test had a magnitude of 5.0. This was bigToth ger than similar tests it carried out in 2006 and 2009. CTBTO executive secretary Tibor Toth said the action “constitutes a clear threat to international peace and security and challenges efforts to strengthen global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation”. North Korea said the test, which drew swift international condemnation, had used a miniaturized device. If it was such a device, “that suggests a weapon that could more easily be delivered by missiles, something that is especially concerning to the US, Japan, South Korea and others,” said Shashank Joshi, a senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.

A South Korean official explains seismic waves of North Korea’s nuclear test which were measured in South Korea, at the Korea Meteorological Administration in Seoul, South Korea. (Inset): Copies of an extra edition of a Japanese newspaper reporting North Korea’s nuclear test are handed out to passers-by in Tokyo, Feb 12. (AP)

North Korea

Strategic Nuclear proliferation expert Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London said: “It won’t be possible to confirm from afar, but the claim of a successful miniaturized device is consistent with expectations that the test would be of a warhead that can fit in the nose cone of one of its missiles.” Jim Walsh of Massachussets Institute of Technology said: “It seems as if Pyongyang wants to send the message — true or not — that it can employ a missile with a nuclear warhead and that previous problems with their nuclear tests have been overcome.” However, North Korea still had a long way to go before it could credibly threaten the United States with nuclear weapons, said Daryl Kimball from the Arms Control Association, a US-based research and advocacy group. “It is likely to be years away from fielding an ICBM, which could deliver a nuclear warhead to the US mainland. There is still time to halt and reverse current trends before North Korea’s nuclear capabilities become more substantial.” An international test-ban treaty was negotiated in the 1990s but has not yet taken effect because not all holders of nuclear technology have ratified it. The Viennabased CBTBO monitors possible breaches, looking out for signs of atomic tests, including seismic waves and radioactive traces.

Obama denounces ‘highly provocative act’

N. Korea conducts third nuke test This handout photo taken in the 1940s and released by the office of Yukio Hatoyama on Sept 12, 2009 shows Japan’s incoming Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (left), and his mother Yasuko in Tokyo. The mother of former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama, who was dubbed the ‘Godmother’ of a powerful political and business clan, has died, her younger son’s office said on Feb 12. She was 90. Yasuko Hatoyama, the daughter of the founder of tyremaker Bridgestone, married into the Hatoyamas, a powerful political family sometimes dubbed ‘Japan’s Kennedys’. She married former foreign minister Iichiro Hatoyama, whose father was a prime minister shortly after World War II. (AFP)

Detect Experts say it can take days or more to detect possible radioactive signs that would confirm with absolute certainty that a nuclear test had taken place. Seen as a cornerstone of efforts to free the world of atomic bombs, the test ban treaty enjoys wide support around the world. But of the five officially recognised nuclear weapon states, the United States and China have yet to ratify it. “Though confirmation will take some time, given the seismic signature and the important fact (North Korea) has never lied when it comes to nuclear tests, I think we can take them at their word and assume this was the explosion of a nuclear device,” a Western diplomat in Vienna said. Kimball also said the test was an embarrassment for China’s leadership and Pyongyang may have jeopardized the aid and diplomatic support it receives from Beijing. China criticised the previous tests but did not roll back on aid. But Beijing had signaled that if North Korea undertook further tests, it would not hesitate to reduce assistance. “Indeed, Beijing could do much more to apply pressure. Past Chinese diplomatic and economic support has allowed North Korea to ignore world opinion, in spite of the desperate state of its economy and hunger-ravaged population. It is important that Beijing now demonstrate its last warning was sincere,” Kimball said.



SEOUL, Feb 12, (RTRS): North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on Tuesday in defiance of UN resolutions, angering the United States and Japan and prompting its only major ally, China, to call for calm. The North said the test had “greater explosive force” than the 2006 and 2009 tests that were widely seen as small-scale. Its KCNA news agency said it had used a “miniaturized” and lighter nuclear device, indicating that it had again used plutonium which is more suitable for use as a missile warhead. North Korean leader Kim Jongun, the third of his line to rule the country, has presided over two longrange rocket launches and a nuclear test during his first a year in power, pursuing policies that have propelled his impoverished and malnourished country closer to becoming a nuclear weapons power. US President Barack Obama termed the test a “highly provocative act” that hurt regional stability. “The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies,” Obama said in a statement.


Asia One of Japan’s Kennedys dies: The mother of former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama, who was dubbed the “Godmother” of a powerful political and business clan, has died, her younger son’s office said Tuesday in Tokyo. She was 90. Yasuko Hatoyama, the daughter of the founder of tyremaker Bridgestone, married into the Hatoyamas, a powerful political family sometimes dubbed “Japan’s Kennedys”. She married former foreign minister Iichiro Hatoyama, whose father was a prime minister shortly after World War II. Her sons both became parliamentarians, with the older, Yukio, becoming prime minister in 2009 as the leader of the centre-left Democratic Party of Japan. He stepped down after less than nine months amid widespread complaints about his dithering and his weak leadership style. Yasuko Hatoyama was for a long time seen as the real power in the family, which led to her being dubbed the “Godmother”, a play on the 1972 US mafia movie “The Godfather”. She continued to be a controversial figure in Japanese politics, allegedly gifting hundreds of millions of yen to her sons in Bridgestone shares and in cash. This was probed as a possible illegal political donation, but no charges were ever laid against her. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the test was a “grave threat” that could not be tolerated. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the test was a “clear and grave violation” of UN Security Council riage half-on a platform in Hyogo prefecture. A spokesman for the local police confirmed the accident and said the injury toll of 16 may rise. “A train and a trailer collided at a crossing near Arai station on the Sanyo

resolutions. China, which has shown signs of increasing exasperation with its neighbour, repeated calls for the “denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula and urged its client state and others to react calmly, while pressing Pyongyang not to ramp up tension further, something the North had threatened in the run-up to the test. “We strongly urge North Korea to abide by its non-nuclear commitment and not to take any further actions that would worsen the situation”, it said in a statement. South Korea, still technically at war with the North after the 1950-53 civil war ended in a mere truce, said the size of the seismic activity indicated a nuclear explosion slightly larger than the North’s two previous tests at 6-7 kilotons, although that is still relatively small. The Hiroshima bomb was around 20 kilotons. The US Geological Survey said that a seismic event measuring 5.1 magnitude had occurred on Tuesday, with North Korea later confirming the nuclear test. “It was confirmed that the nuclear test that was carried out at a high level in a safe and perfect manner using a miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously did not pose any negative impact on the surrounding ecological environment,” KCNA said. The test prompted the UN Security Council to call for an emergency meeting later on Tuesday. Despite the tame official response, it line in Takasago city at around 3:50 pm (0650 GMT),” a spokesman said. “Sixteen people including the drivers of the truck and the train were injured. There is a possibility that the number of injured will increase.”

Patriotic North Korea trumpeted the announcement on its state television channel to patriotic music against the backdrop of an image of its national flag. It linked the test to its technical prowess in launching a long-range rocket in December, a move that triggered the UN sanctions, backed by China, that Pyongyang said prompted it to carry out Tuesday’s nuclear test. The North’s ultimate aim, Washington believes, is to design an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could hit the United States. North Korea says the programme is aimed merely at putting satellites in space. North Korea used plutonium in previous nuclear tests and prior to Tuesday there had been speculation it would use highly enriched uranium so as to conserve its plutonium stocks as testing eats into its limited supply of the material that could be used to construct a nuclear bomb. Despite its three nuclear tests and long-range rocket tests, North Korea is not believed to be close to manufacturing a nuclear missile capable of hitting the United States. “The train’s driver was seriously injured but is not in a life-threatening situation,” a spokesman for the railway company said. There were about 70 passengers on the train, one report said. The Yomiuri said the driver of the train

Iran voices concern

‘End nuke arms’

Japan train hits truck: An express passenger train hit a truck at a level crossing in Japan on Tuesday, police said, with footage and reports from the scene showing it had mounted a station platform. A picture published online by the bestselling Yomiuri Shimbun showed a car-

likely to be a major embarrassment for Beijing, the North’s sole major economic and diplomatic ally. “The test is hugely insulting to China, which now can be expected to follow through with threats to impose sanctions,” said Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank.

A passenger train of the Sanyo Electric Railway is derailed after the train hit a truck at a level crossing in Takasago city in Hyogo prefecture, western Japan on Feb 12. (AFP)

TEHRAN, Iran, Feb 12, (AFP): Sanctions-hit Iran on Tuesday called for the destruction of all atomic weapons in the world after North Korea announced that it had staged its most powerful nuclear test yet. “We need to come to the point where no country has any nuclear weapons and at the same time all weapons of mass destruction and nuclear arms need to be destroyed,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said when asked for a response to Pyongyang’s claim to have detonated a “miniaturised” device. “At the same all countries should have the right to make use of nuclear activities for peaceful purposes,” Mehmanparast said at his weekly press briefing.

Japan immediately called for more sanctions against North Korea and South Korea’s defence ministry said additional nuclear tests and rocket launches by the North should not be ruled out. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said Pyongyang had informed China and the United States of its plans to test on Monday, although this could not be confirmed. When new leader Kim, now aged 30, took power after his father’s death in December 2011, there were hopes the he would bring reforms and end Kim Jong-il’s “military first” policies. Instead of which, the North, whose economy is smaller than it was 20 years ago and where a third of children are believed to be malnourished, appears to be trapped in a cycle of sanctions followed by further provocations. “The more North Korea shoots missiles, launches satellites or conducts nuclear tests, the more the UN Security Council will impose new and more severe sanctions,” said Shen Dingli, a professor and regional security expert at Shanghai’s Fudan University. “It is an endless, vicious cycle.” But options for the international community appear to be in short supply, as North Korea is already one of the most heavily sanctioned states on earth. Tuesday’s action appeared to have been timed for the run-up to Feb. 16 anniversary celebrations of Kim Jong-il’s birthday, as well as to achieved maximum international attention. was badly injured in the accident in which the first and second carriages of the sixcar train jumped the tracks, moving around 200 metres (yards) before coming to a halt at the end of a station platform. The accident occurred some 800 metres from the municipal office. “According to people in the neighbourhood, the trailer stalled at the crossing and the express train crashed into it,” the paper said. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

US believes Japan: The US says it believes its ally Japan’s allegation that China activated its weapons-guiding radar last month in an escalation of tensions between the two Asian powers in the East China Sea. China denies Japanese claims that Chinese naval vessels locked their radar on to a Japanese destroyer and helicopter. It accuses Japan of fabricating reports to smear China. But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday that the US was briefed by Japan, and quote, “we have satisfied ourselves that it does appear to have happened.” China and Japan are embroiled in a territorial spat over a cluster over tiny islands called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. Washington says it takes no stance in the sovereignty dispute, but opposes “unilateral actions” undermining Japan’s administration of the islands. (AP)




World News Roundup Asia US senator faults Taiwan: The US senator leading a drive to persuade President Barack Obama to disregard Beijing’s concerns and sell new F-16 fighters to Taiwan faulted the island for what he said was a failure to push hard enough for the planes. “When it comes to Taiwan’s military capabilities, there seems to be a puzzling sense of complacency in Taipei,” said Senator John Cornyn in Washington. Cornyn, a Texas Republican, is responsible for rounding up his party’s votes in the Senate. He has sought to force the Obama administration to sell Taiwan the 66 F16C/D models it has sought in the past. The planes are produced at a Fort Worth, Texas, plant by Lockheed Martin Corp. Cornyn Cornyn voiced disappointment that Taiwan “seems to have backed off of its pursuit for new F-16s.” Taipei has agreed to a US offer to upgrade its fleet of 145 older-model F-16 fighters as part of a projected $3.7 billion deal. “Without aggressive and consistent advocacy by Taiwan for its own interests, it will be nearly impossible for its friends in Congress to push through the sale of F16s or other advanced weapons,” he said in remarks read in his absence at a panel discussion Friday at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group. The office that represents Taiwan’s interests in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations have held off on Taiwan’s standing request for new F-16s amid warnings from China, which deems the self-ruling island a rogue province subject to return to its fold, by force if necessary. Taipei must find the political will to boost Taiwan’s defense budget, Cornyn said in his statement. He said it had been cut each year from 2009 through 2011. “Taiwan’s leaders also need to stop allowing themselves to be bullied by the Obama Administration,” he said. Some Taiwan officials have shown interest in leapfrogging the F-16C/D models to buy Lockheed Martin’s nextgeneration, radar-evading F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The F-35 is in early production. Cornyn has used his senatorial powers twice in past two years to delay consideration of Obama’s nominees for senior jobs at the US State Department and Defense Department in an effort to push the sale of new F-16s. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Coal mines record fewer deaths: China says the death toll in its notoriously deadly coal mines fell by more than 30 percent last year as a result of stricter management. The official Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday in Beijing that 1,384 people were killed in coal mine accidents in 2012, down from 1,973 the previous year. That showed the success of new rules holding managers accountable for the lives of miners, stricter checks on licenses and ventilation equipment, and better training, Xinhua said, citing Huang Huang Yi, chief engineer of the State Administration of Work Safety. Huang said accidents killed 37 workers for every 100 million tons of coal mined last year, a declined from the 2011 level of 56.4 deaths, but still well above the US level of 1.9 deaths per 100 million tons of coal. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Coca-Cola habit a factor in death: A New Zealand woman’s 10-litre (2.2 gallon) a day Coca-Cola habit was a major factor in her death, a coroner found Tuesday in Wellington, urging the soft drink giant to put health warnings on its caffeinated products. Natasha Harris, a 30-year-old mother of eight from Invercargill in southern New Zealand, drank huge amounts of the fizzy beverage for years before her death in February 2010, coroner David Crerar found. He said Harris suffered from a number of health conditions which could be linked to the “extreme” amounts of Coke she downed, playing a role in the cardiac arrhythmia that finally killed her. “I find that when all the available evidence is considered, were it not for the consumption of very large quantities of Coke by Natasha Harris, it is unlikely that she would have died when she died and how she died,” he found. He added that Harris’s Coke habit “was a substantial factor that contributed to the development of the metabolic imbalances which gave rise to the arrhythmia”. A pathologist found Harris, who did not drink alcohol, had an enlarged liver due to fatty deposits caused by excessive sugar consumption and low potassium levels in her blood, which can affect cardiac function. Her family said she complained of a “racing heart” before her death and they considered her addicted to Coke, which she drank throughout her waking hours. “(She would) go crazy if she ran out... she would get the shakes, withdrawal symptoms, be angry, on edge and snappy,” her mother-in-law Vivien Hodgkinson told the inquest into her death last year. Harris’s family told the inquest she had all her teeth removed after they went rotten due to excessive soft drink consumption and at least one of her children was born with no enamel on its teeth. Crerar said the family had not considered her Coke habit dangerous because the drink did not carry any health warnings. He recommended “that Coca-Cola give consideration to the inclusion of advice as to quantity of caffeine on labels (in) its products and... adding appropriate warnings related to the dangers of consuming excessive quantities of the products”.

Local residents burn joss sticks and pray for good fortune while celebrating the third day of the Lunar New Year, at a temple in Hong Kong on Feb 12. (AP)

Myanmar Suu Kyi willing to help ethnic peace process

Govt denies hacking journalist emails Myanmar Vice-President Sai Mauk Kham delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of Union Day on Feb 12, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. (AP)



‘Muslim flight ban’ A New Zealand politician has labelled young Muslim men a terrorist threat who should be banned from Western airlines, sparking condemnation from Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday. Richard Prosser, of the New Zealand First party, also labelled Islam in derogatory terms in a magazine column, claiming that most terrorists were “angry young Muslim men who hate the West”. “If you are a young male, aged between say about 19 and about 35, and you’re a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim, or you come from a Muslim country, then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West’s airlines,” he wrote. He added: “I will not stand by while my daughters’ rights and freedoms, and those of other New Zealanders and Westerners, are denigrated.” Key said Prosser’s comments were “appalling”, while the right-wing lawmaker’s party leader, Winston Peters, rejected them as extreme and one-sided. “It’s an extremist view on a very extremist issue, but you can’t lump everyone in the same boat,” Peters said. “Where’s the side that says ‘I’m not talking about this group of people, the mass majority of Islamic people who are law-abiding and peaceful’?” Peters did not say if Prosser would face disciplinary action. Key said Prosser, who has previously called for the burqa to be banned, had deliberately set out to offend in the column for conservative current affairs magazine “Investigate”. “It’s stupid and it was premeditated because he wrote it in an opinion piece. It’s clearly what New Zealand First think of other New Zealanders,” he told reporters. (AFP)

He also said authorities should examine whether health warnings were needed and consider lowering the maximum amount of caffeine allowed in carbonated beverages. However, the coroner also said all the ingredients of Coke were “entirely legal (and) are enjoyed by millions.” “Coca-Cola cannot be held responsible for the health of consumers who drink unhealthy quantities of the product,” he

YANGON, Myanmar, Feb 12, (AP): Myanmar’s government denied on Monday that it was behind a possible attempt to hack into the email accounts of journalists working for foreign and local media who Google warned might have been the targets of “state-sponsored attackers.” At least 12 reporters, including a Yangon-based correspondent for The Associated Press, received messages from Google last week when they tried to access their Gmail accounts. The messages said hackers “may be attempting to compromise your account or your computer.” A spokesman for Google, Taj Meadows, confirmed the company issues such warnings to protect users. But he said he could not disclose how Google knows the activity is “statesponsored” without giving away information that would help attackers avoid detection. Meadows said users in other countries have also received similar warnings since the company began issuing them in June, but he declined to specify which ones or say which state was behind the recent alleged hacking attempts. Myanmar presidential spokesman Ye Htut called on Google to identify those responsible “because the vague reference to state-sponsored attackers hurts the image of the government.” “There is no state-sponsored attack on individual accounts,” said Ye Htut, who is also the nation’s deputy information minister. “That’s not a policy of our government.” said in a written finding. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Youths to sue Australia: Twentythree Indonesian youths plan to sue Australia for illegal detention after being jailed in adult prisons for people-smuggling when they were minors, a child rights agency said on Tuesday in Jakarta. Australian authorities detained the boys as adults between 2008 and 2011,

Ye Htut said he also received one of hacking warnings on his own Gmail account on Monday, about one week after most of the Myanmar journalists received theirs. He posted a screen photo on his Facebook page to back up the claim. Google’s warnings spooked journalists in Myanmar, and raised concerns about the status of newfound press freedoms in a country that until recently was considered one of the most censored in the world. For decades, journalists in Myanmar were subjected to routine state surveillance, telephone taps and censorship so intense that independent newspapers could not even publish on a daily basis.

Restrictions Many of those restrictions were eased drastically after President Thein Sein’s administration took power two years ago. Over the last year, his government has significantly relaxed media controls, abolishing an official policy of censorship and allowing reporters to print material that would have been unthinkable during the previous era of absolute military rule, such as photographs of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. However, reporters complain that the harsh laws which enabled the government to jail them remain on the books, and old misgivings linger. Some local journalists keep separate email accounts for dealing with the government, for fear their sources may be compromised. following wrist X-ray tests to determine they were over 18 years old — a method which has been criticised by some experts as outdated and unreliable. “The plaintiffs are looking for compensation and an apology from Australia so they can receive an education and live normal lives,” Indonesia’s National Commission for Child Protection deputy chief Apong Herlina told AFP. The commission is working on the

The reporters who received the recent hacking warnings from Google include Burmese correspondents for Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Kyodo News. Journalists working for Yangon-based The Voice Weekly and the Eleven Media Group also received the warnings, as did Thailand-based author Bertil Lintner, who has written extensively on Myanmar.

Received Author and government adviser Thant Myint-U said on his Facebook page that he had received the same message last week. “It’s difficult to pinpoint which group has done that, but it is very obvious that those who did that do not appreciate freedom of expression and the democratic reform process in the country,” said Wai Phyo, chief editor at Eleven Media’s Weekly Eleven news journal. “We can only assume that some of them could be from the military.” The Gmail warnings have prompted speculation that the hacking attempt could be related to critical recent coverage of fighting in northern Kachin state, where government forces have launched aggressive artillery attacks against ethnic rebels. The government has complained publicly that coverage of the conflict has been one-sided. “Targeting the media for not reporting what they like is not a good sign,” said Kyaw Min Swe, chief editor of The Voice Weekly. “Our security concerns are high and every journalist case with an Indonesian and an Australian lawyer to file the civil suit in an Australian court. Australia’s human rights commission reported last year that 180 Indonesians in Australia suspected of people-smuggling claimed to be minors, some of whom were obviously children and were immediately repatriated. But 48 boys — aged 14 to 17 — were jailed with adults based on the wrist test

Maritime boost

Manila to get boats

An Indonesian worker stands between ships at Sunda Kelapa port in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Feb 12. (AP)

MANILA, Feb 12, (AFP): The Philippines said Tuesday it expected to get 10 new Japanese patrol boats within 18 months, as it seeks to boost its maritime defence capabilities amid a deepening territorial row with China. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the boats were 40-metre (131-foot) vessels to be used by the Philippine coast guard. He did not specify how much each boat would cost. The Nikkei, a Japanese business daily, reported on Monday that Japan planned to donate patrol boats costing $11 million each to the Philippines, a move it linked to regional efforts to monitor China’s maritime activity.

must be alert to this.” Myanmar has seen a rash of hacking attempts recently. The Voice Weekly’s Facebook page has been disabled by a hacker since Feb 4, and the website and Facebook page of Eleven Media were also hacked, journalists at those organizations said. But the apparent cyberwar has gone both ways. The website of the president’s office was shut down briefly last week by hackers, and Ye Htut said the attack was traced to an Asian country, though it remains unclear who was responsible.


Also: Myanmar:

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi offered Tuesday to help negotiate an end to conflicts between the government and the country’s ethnic minority groups, a challenge the country’s president called essential to building democracy. Suu Kyi made the offer in a video address to members of her National League for Democracy party on Union Day, which marks when her late father Gen Aung San signed a 1947 agreement with leaders of the country’s ethnic minorities to gain independence from Britain together. Rebellions by ethnic minorities striving for greater autonomy were hard for a democratic parliamentary system to deal with, which increased pressure for strong central authority and helped lead to an army takeover in 1962. Military rule persisted until 2011. and had therefore been illegally detained, the report said. Herlina said many of the boys appeared to be older according to the Xray test because daily laborious work as fishermen had made their wrists “more developed”. A spokesperson from the Australian Attorney-General’s Department said the government had not received any formal notification of the claim. Indonesia has long been a transit country for illegal migration to Australia. Crew that take rickety boats out on the perilous journey often come from poor fishing communities. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Police about to arrest murderers: Papua New Guinea police say they are about to make their first arrests almost a week after a mob stripped, tortured and bound a woman accused of witchcraft, then burned her alive in front of hundreds of horrified people in the South Pacific nation’s third largest city. More than 50 members of the mob doused the 20-year-old mother with gasoline and then set her alight on a pile of car tires and trash in Mount Hagen last Wednesday. She had been accused of sorcery by relatives of a 6-year-old boy who had died in the local hospital the previous day. Police spokesman Dominic Kakas on Tuesday said suspects had been identified through witness interviews. He said there will be as many as 50 arrests on charges of murder by Wednesday. (AP)




Africa US condemns Sudan: The United States has strongly condemned Sudan’s granting of a presidential pardon to a man convicted in the jailbreak of four men sentenced to death for killing two US embassy staffers. The pardoning of Mubarak Mustafa runs counter to previous assurances by Sudan that it would hold accountable all those involved in the murders, or who were responsible in any way, a statement from the American embassy said late Monday in Khartoum. John Granville, an American working for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and his driver, Abdelrahman Abbas Clinton Rahama, a USAID employee, died in a hail of bullets on New Year’s Day 2008 in Khartoum. Their killers, along with two co-conspirators, were convicted of murder in 2009 and sentenced to death. In June 2010, the four escaped by burrowing a tunnel, killing a Sudanese police officer and wounding another. One of the men was later recaptured, while a second was believed to have been killed in Somalia in May 2011. “Mubarak Mustafa was convicted of assisting the men to escape,” the embassy said. In November Sudan’s foreign ministry listed as top priorities the ending of US economic sanctions and removing Khartoum from the US State Department’s sponsors of terrorism list. Then-president Bill Clinton imposed the trade restrictions in 1997 over Sudan’s support for international terrorism, efforts to destabilise neighbouring governments, and human rights violations. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑ Somalia arrests 2nd reporter: Somali police have arrested a journalist who criticised the jailing of a colleague and a woman he interviewed who said she was raped by security forces, colleagues and rights groups said Tuesday in Nairobi. Daud Abdi Daud, who works for Radio Kulmiye, was arrested on February 5 shortly after speaking out at the sentencing for one year of reporter Abdiaziz Abdinuur and the alleged rape victim he interviewed. The initial case sparked international alarm and widespread criticism, with United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon saying he was “deeply disappointed”. But since then rights groups and Somalia’s journalist union have warned security forces have continued to crack down on the media. Human Rights Watch, quoting credible sources, said Daud had spoken out following the sentencing of his colleague and the woman “saying that journalists have the right to interview people.” (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Afewerki says no fear of unrest: Eritrea’s President Isaias Afewerki sought on Monday to calm fears of unrest, and in his first reaction to the storming of the information ministry ago by dissident troops three weeks, blamed “bankrupt enemies” for being behind the attack. Eritrean soldiers, backed by tanks, took over the ministry on Jan. 21 and obliged the director general of state television to appeal for all political prisoners to be freed. Calm soon returned in the capital, but Eritrean opposition activists in neighbouring Ethiopia say there is growing dissent within the army, Africa’s second biggest, over economic hardship. The incident sparked protests by exiled Eritreans in Europe, who briefly occupied embassies in London, Rome and other cities last month to express support for the mutinous soldiers. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Odinga taunts vote rival: Raila Odinga, the frontrunner in Kenya’s presidential election, taunted his rival Uhuru Kenyatta in a debate on Monday in Nairobi, asking how he would be able to rule from the Hague, where Kenyatta goes on trial shortly on charges of crimes against humanity. The presidential television debate — the first ever held in the country — failed to produce a clear winner, but gave an early taste of what is expected to be a highlycharged contest to run East Africa’s economic powerhouse. Former finance minister Kenyatta has been summoned to appear at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague a month after the March election to face charges he helped direct ethnic clashes that erupted after a disputed 2007 vote. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Life sentence sought: South African prosecutors will oppose bail and seek a maximum sentence of life in prison for two men accused of the murder, gang rape and disembowelment of a teenage girl, a spokesman said Monday. The case against one of the accused Johannes Kana, 21, was rolled over in the small town of Bredasdorp until Tuesday when he will appear with co-accused Jonathan Davids, 22. “They are going to appear tomorrow together,” said Eric Ntabazalila, regional spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority. “It’s likely to be postponed because the investigation is still at an early stage. But if they do try to apply for bail, as the state we will oppose bail.” (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

UN leader condemns killing: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Monday the slaying of three North Korean doctors knifed to death in northeastern Nigeria. The doctors, as well as other health workers slain earlier, “were working selflessly to provide basic life-saving interventions to the most vulnerable people,” Ban said in a statement released by his spokesman Martin Nesirky in United Nations. “These acts of outrageous violence toward health workers around the world are unacceptable,” said Ban, who encouraged “all countries to protect health workers so that they can continue to better the health of populations and save lives.” (AFP)

Performers from the Unidos de Vila Isabel samba school parade during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Feb 12. (Inset): A performer from the Beija Flor samba school parades during carnival celebrations. (AP)

Brazil Samba schools vie for title

Rio’s carnival reaches crescendo A teacher helps a child at the Jean Paul Genie primary school during the year’s first day of classes, in Managua, on Feb 11. (AFP)



Lat/Am Farmers learn how to remove mines: When she was 15, an anti-personnel mine blast nearly killed Gloria Nancy Vasquez as she traveled in rural northwestern Colombia. Now she’s learning how to unearth the deadly explosives. Vasquez, 23, has joined a team of local volunteers being trained by a British organisation to remove landmines from the heavily forested hillsides of El Retiro, in the coffee-producing department of Antioquia. Leftist guerrilla groups, paramilitary fighters and government soldiers have battled in the area for decades, making Antioquia one of Colombia’s most heavily mined regions. The mule that Vasquez was riding “stepped on the landmine, and the blast affected mainly the left side of my body,” she told AFP. “The mule died and they took me to the hospital, unconscious.” Vasquez survived, but suffered multiple scars on her face. She received skin grafts to her left leg, her waist and left arm. “I nearly lost all vision from my left eye and the hearing from my left ear.” Vasquez now wants to help clear the mines. “At the beginning, I thought it was risky,” she said. “I like it a lot, because I’ve been through this and I don’t want what happen to me to happen to anyone else.” Colombia under its President Juan Manuel Santos has the world’s second highest number of landmine victims after Afghanistan, according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Over the years fighters from all sides planted landmines, which are hard to detect and can detonate decades after they were buried. Between 1990 and December 2012 land mines killed more than 2,100 people in Colombia and wounded more than 8,000, according to government figures — and the highest number of victims by far are in Antioquia. The Colombians being trained to clear mines “are basically farmers from the same hamlets where the mines are located. They are men and women that know their territory,” said Nathaly Ochoa with the British non-governmental group Halo Trust, which is training the farmers. Each volunteer gets $325, room and board, transportation and medical and life insurance, said Ochoa, who hopes that by the end of 2013 some 200 Colombian farmers will have been trained to remove landmines. Halo Trust has been carrying out de-

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 12, (Agencies): Rio’s Carnival festivities reached their crescendo late Monday with a final night of samba school parades, part of a contest appropriately dubbed the greatest show on earth. The top dance schools showcased elaborate floats decked with scantilyclad beauty queens writhing to the beat of samba music blasted from giant speakers on flatbed trucks. The showdown at the city’s Sambodrome was to compete for the coveted title of Carnival champion, and the 72,500 spectators that managed to get a ticket for the event cheered their favorite schools with the same passion reserved for soccer in this football-mad country. “It’s beautiful, marvelous! I love carnival, it brings out everything that’s good in life!” gushed Maria Concepßao dos Santos, 71, who came from southern Brazil to see her favorite school compete. The Sao Clemente samba school opened late Monday with an homage to Brazil’s most popular soap operas, and included a float with a giant TV set. Unlike the ubiquitous Carnival street parties that are open to all, the Sambodrome parades are mainly for the wealthy and foreign tourists.

Culmination The final day of partying is the culmination of a blowout that began in Rio 15 days ago with some 700 street parties that sent residents of this city of six million out to dance. 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. Carnival is Brazil’s most important festival and is celebrated with equal mining operations for the past 25 years in 15 countries, including places like Afghanistan, Angola, Laos and Somalia. The training “allows us to make a contribution for the good of our families. We’re all going to feel safer,” said Jhoan

gusto across the country. Rio de Janeiro’s samba schools vied for the title of the year’s best Monday in an over-the-top, all-nightlong Carnival parade at the city’s iconic Sambadrome. The powerful percussion sections, larger-than-life floats and nearly nude samba dancers of six top-tier schools paraded, while six other schools, including reigning champion Unidos da Tijuca, had their moment in the sun on Sunday. Results will be announced later in the week. One of the oldest and most traditional schools, Mangueira, wowed the crowd with its parade dedicated to the central Brazilian city of Cuiaba. Thousands of dancers streamed through the Sambadrome in elaborate costumes kitted out with headdresses depicting local fauna in Cuiaba, like ant eaters, armadillos and snakes. Samba dancers wearing only feather headbands, artfully draped beads and shimmering gold body paint danced atop a 24-karat float embellished with glinting sculptures of Indian warriors. When, due to some apparent technical snafu, the sound went out, the crowd clapped to the rhythm and the dancers continued their fancy footwork. Another historical school, Beija Flor, paid homage to a Brazilian race of horse, the Mangalarga Marchador, in its parade. Floats included a giant Trojan horse and one decorated with Mesopotamian carts. The Sambadrome parades are the highlight of Rio’s six-daylong Carnival extravaganza, which also includes hundreds of block parties which attract hundreds of thousands of costumed revelers. Carnival wraps up on Ash Wednesday. Meanwhile, sipping drinks, corpoHenao, 23, another volunteer mine remover. In 2000, Colombia signed the AntiPersonnel Mine Ban Convention, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, aimed at eliminating all anti-personnel landmines.

rate executives in shorts and company T-shirts ogle Carnival samba queens as the women clad in sequins, feathers and glittery make-up strut their stuff at Rio’s Sambodrome. The atmosphere at “Samba Carioca” is laid-back and those present are mostly executives for the French energy giant GDF-Suez, Brazilian bankers and bosses of multinational oil companies lured by Brazil’s huge underwater oil reserves.

Biggest Carnival may be the biggest party in the world, but it is also a colorful networking venue for Brazil’s business elite, complete with top-flight alcohol and first-rate food. “This the only exclusively corporate booth at the Sambodrome,” the hallowed parade ground for the city’s top samba schools, says promoter Alexis de Vaulx, a French businessman who built a successful furniture business in Brazil. “Business people are in a hurry, Here, they have eight hours to get to know each other, network. And since everything is at a standstill during Carnival, that’s the only thing they can do,” he adds. The night parades of floats packed with beauty queens wearing huge headgear, body paint and little else mark the highlight of Rio’s five-day Carnival extravaganza and are broadcast to a global television audience. “The Rio Carnival is the greatest show on Earth and the one that lasts the longest,” says de Vaulx, who founded the Tok&Stok furniture store chain in 1978 but later switched to the event management business. “Compare this with Roland Garros (the French Open in Paris), where you pay more than $2,000 to watch a match. And you don’t talk to anyone, The treaty commits countries to destroy their landmines 10 years after ratifying the treaty, but Colombia had its deadline extended to 2021. “It’s true that the government — the army — has their own capacity to remove mines,” said Grant

‘Show employment

Rebels want proof

A Honduran army soldier mans a GPMG (general purpose machine gun) as he stands guard on a vehicle in position on a roadon the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, on Feb 11. President Porfirio Lobo ordered the execution of the Freedom Operation, aiming to pacify low income and suburban areas of the capital and of San Pedro Sula, 240 kms northward, two of the world most dangerous cities. (AFP)

BOGOTA, Feb 12, (RTRS): Colombia’s second-largest guerrilla group has asked for proof that two German men it holds hostage are tourists and not intelligence agents, the rebels said on Monday. The National Liberation Army, known as the ELN, captured the two men in November 2012, the government says, in a sparsely populated area near the Venezuelan border but only made the kidnapping public earlier this month. Germany said that the two were retirees and had been traveling as tourists. “We ask their families to send us truthful evidence that clarifies their ties with the captured men. Also we ask the German company which, is said, these gentlemen work or worked for, to show proof of their employment ties,” the group said in a statement published on Monday on its website.

except for 30 minutes while having a drink.” At the Sambodrome, individual seats cost around $2,500 a night, with a little discount for companies that buy large block of tickets for their staff. With their gyrating hips and feet that move so fast they dissolve into a blur, samba instructor Carla Campos’ students are barely distinguishable from the swarms of scantily clad dancers in Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival parades. What’s make them different is where they come from: abroad. While non-Brazilians have long shelled out hundreds of dollars for the right to dress up in over-the-top costumes and boogie in Rio’s samba school parades, which wrapped up Monday in an all-night extravaganza, few in the so-called “alas dos gringos,” or “foreigners’ wings,” know how to dance the samba well. They tend to bop along goofily in the parades while waving at the crowds of spectators. Campos’ students, mostly blonde women from northern Europe and the United States who stand out in a land of dark-haired dancers, are a different story altogether. Campos has built a career out of debunking the widespread myth that only those born and bred in Rio, the birthplace of samba, can actually learn the notoriously complicated and lightning-fast dance. “I swear I have seen foreigners who not only danced as well as your average person here in Rio, but some who are even better than good dancers from here,” said Campos, looking the part of a samba instructor in her unitard with white and electric blue stripes. “Sure, it’s a hard dance, but it’s ridiculous to think there’s anything genetic to it. It’s about hard work.” Salisbury, the Colombia director of Halo Trust. “But the government realizes that this does not suffice.” Colombian soldiers stopped placing anti-personnel landmines when their country signed the treaty in 2000, and since 2005 an army battalion has been assigned the full-time duty of removing landmines. But officials say most of the landmines are buried by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest leftist rebel group. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Puerto Rican pastor charged: Authorities say in San Juan that a Puerto Rican pastor allegedly sexually assaulted three boys at his home. The US Department of Justice has identified the 47-year-old suspect as Nelson Santiago Colon. He is the pastor of a church in Santa Isabel, a small city in southern Puerto Rico. Santiago was arrested Monday by US agents and Puerto Rico police. Puerto Rico police allege the boys were sexually assaulted at Santiago’s home in Ponce. Authorities say two of the boys were 14 and one was 12. He faces federal charges of transporting minors with the intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct. It was not known if Santiago had a lawyer. The phone at the pastor’s church went unanswered Monday. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. (AP)




World News Roundup Buildings Radical refit

‘Buildings’ to create power SANDVIKA, Norway, Feb 12, (RTRS): Two office blocks by the Oslo fjord will generate more power than they use from 2014 after a radical refit meant to show that the world’s energy-squandering building sector can do more to fight climate change. Geothermal and solar energy generated on site will make the 1980s buildings “energy positive” in a tiny step to cut demand from the building sector that burns about 40 percent of world energy Brandtzaeg and emits a third of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. So far, most focus in green energy has been on new buildings, not refits. Yet about 80 percent of existing buildings in developed nations will still be standing in 2050, by when governments are planning deep cuts in emissions. “There is a huge global potential” in renovations, said Svein Richard Brandtzaeg, chief executive of Norwegian aluminium group Norsk Hydro which is a partner in the Powerhouse alliance behind the 110 million crown ($20 million) project near Oslo. “We believe this is the first time in the world that a normal office block is being renovated to such strict standards,” he said of the 3 and 4-storey blocks in Sandvika, south Norway, with space for more than 200 workers.

Renovation The renovation will use a heatretaining black wooden facade, an interior design that makes air flow without fans, and high-grade insulation to cut energy use by up to 90 percent. Backers say it will make long-term economic sense by eliminating bills for heating and lighting. And an energy-positive refurbishment in Norway, where winter cold pushes up heating bills and scant sunlight makes solar panels inefficient, would show that they can be achieved anywhere in the world. “We see it ... as a big possibility for us to take a strong market position,” Brandtzaek said, hoping for new orders if successful. Aluminium will be widely used, such as in window frames. The European Union says that new buildings owned by public authorities will have to be “near zero energy” from 2019 and other new buildings from 2021. California has a “net zero energy” standard by 2020 for residences. The UN Environment Programme says the building sector has the biggest potential of any sector — from industry to transport — for big and money-saving cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases that are released by burning fossil fuels. In rich nations, the rate of renovations would have to triple from one percent of buildings a year to meet goals of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, said Peter Graham, head of the Global Buildings Performance Network. Meanwhile, emerging economies led by China and India need stricter codes for new buildings and cities, he said. “For Europe and the United States more than 80 percent of the existing building stock will still be around in 2050. In China and India, 80 percent of the buildings in 2050 have yet to be built,” he said.

In this July 13, 2012 photo released by Shackleton Epic, expedition members pull their boat ashore on Elephant Island during their training. (AP)

Team braves wet, cold retracing Shackleton’s steps 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

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

frostbite in his right foot after the journey. He 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 221/2 feet (6.8 meters) 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 and cold and they all arrived with varying degrees of trench foot.” (AP)

Ecology ‘It’s a love story of one species helping another species’

Some dogs help cheetahs survive In this Nov 29, 2012 photo, Johari, a three-and-half-year-old female cheetah, chases after a toy during a performance on the Cheetah Run at Safari Park, in Escondido, California. Johari is at top speed when her ears disappear for optimum wind resistance. One of the most popular draws at Safari park is the 100-meter cheetah run where the public gets to see firsthand the speed of ‘nature’s perfect sprinter.’ (AP)

Energy Big clean energy building projects include Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, to be run on solar and renewable energy. Nations from China to France have some zero or positive energy new buildings. In New York, the 39-storey United Nations headquarters is being renovated to a “gold” standard of energy use, just below a top “platinum” rating under a US system called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. In Norway, one problem is that tall elm and ash trees shade the coastal site, where workers are tearing out insulation and other fittings this month. “There aren’t optimal conditions for solar energy,” said Fredrik Daehli, project manager at construction group Skanska. Other partners are Norsk Hydro, Norwegian architects Snohetta, environmental group Zero and property owners Entra Eiendom. After the renovation, an environmental and architecture consultancy, Asplan Viak, will move in from February 2014. The on-site electricity will more than cover lighting and heating and the energy used to produce and recycle building materials.

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 (1,300 kilometers) 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


LOS ANGELES, Feb 12, (AP): It may sound like a doomed love story, but some dogs love big cats. Cheetahs are the fastest mammals in the world, but they also are the world’s biggest scaredy-cats — so much so that they don’t breed easily and are in danger of extinction. Some zoos are introducing “companion dogs” to serve as playmates and to provide the cats with an example. “It’s a love story of one species helping another species survive,” said Jack Grisham, vice president of animal collections at the St. Louis Zoo and species survival plan coordinator for cheetahs in North America. “It is all about comforting and reassuring the cheetah,” said Janet RoseHinostroza, animal training supervisor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park — the top US breeder of cheetahs in captivity. In the past 40 years, 135 cheetahs have been born at there. The cheetahs most often found at zoos and wildlife parks are not considered good breeding candidates because they don’t relate well to other cheetahs, or they are abandoned by

their mothers, Rose-Hinostroza said. But they seem to take easily to companion dogs and look to the dogs for play and example. Of the 19 cheetahs at Safari Park, four have dogs. Four of the San Diego Zoo’s cheetahs also have dogs. The dogs, usually from animal shelters, and cheetah pups generally are introduced when they are about 3 months old.

Protect “In this relationship, the dog is dominant, but we look for dogs that want to be a buddy,” Rose-Hinostroza said. “Dogs worry about their cats. They protect their cats,” she added. One of the most popular draws at Safari Park is the 100-meter cheetah run where the public gets to see firsthand the speed of “nature’s perfect sprinter.” “Speed is incredibly important. It is their survival technique, in a nutshell,” Rose-Hinostroza said. A cheetah’s claws don’t retract, so they have footing that takes them from “zero to 60 (miles per hour, 96 kph) in

3.4 seconds,” she said. “That’s faster than every single car on the market, and it only takes three steps,” Rose-Hinostroza said. Cheetahs use their tails like a rotor to balance while they are running. Their top speed is 60 to 70 mph, based on size, but they can run that fast only for 20 or 30 seconds. Extending that to a minute or more can be lethal. “Overexertion, heat exhaustion can literally cook their organs at that speed,” Rose-Hinostroza said. She added the average cheetah chase in the wild is 200 to 300 meters. Safari Park’s cheetahs chase a lure for 100 meters, a sprint that seldom exceeds 6 seconds.

Extinct A century ago there were 100,000 cheetahs in the wild, Grisham said. Today there are fewer than 12,000. The species has become extinct in at least 13 countries. There are about 280 captive cheetahs in zoos across the United States. As efforts to save the species continue, Grisham worries there is no wild to send them home to because habitat

is being swallowed up by developers and poachers are killing the cats for their fur. Cheetahs live 12 to 15 years in captivity. Males weigh 120 to 150 pounds, and females 100 to 120 pounds. The dogs come in all sizes. At Safari Park, the smallest and sweetest is Hopper, a male mutt who weighs 18 kilos. He’s teamed with Amara, the toughest female cheetah on the team, Rose-Hinostroza said. Cheetah females don’t go into heat like other cats. Instead, they have to be brought into estrus by a male cheetah, the experts explained. That’s why breeding is so hard. Cheetahs live independently and they seldom hang out with one another. Although the dogs and cats live together, the dogs also have play dates with other dogs and humans. Mealtimes always are spent apart. The dogs eat kibble, and the cheetahs eat steak. “The dogs are the bosses in these relationships,” Rose-Hinostroza said. “If they ate together there would be one really fat dog and a really skinny cheetah.”



“This data is a key tool for monitoring climate change and has led to the improvement of human and biodiversity health, energy and water management,

urban planning, disaster recovery and agriculture monitoring — all resulting in incalculable benefits to the US and world economy,” NASA Administrator Charles

Bolden said in a statement. NASA scientists say the sensors aboard the latest spacecraft, which joins the Landsat 7 satellite, will allow for observa-

Earth observation sat launched: The United States launched its latest Earth observation satellite Monday, enhancing an array of orbiting eyes that help with everything from climate change study to urban planning. The satellite was launched into space atop an Atlas rocket fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, NASA said. The Landsat Data Continuity Mission, or Landsat 8, was the latest in a line of satellites used since 1972 to continuously gather imagery from space of the Earth’s land surface, coastal areas and coral reefs. The new satellite separated from the rocket an hour and twenty minutes after liftoff, and the peep of its first signal was received three minutes later at a ground station in Norway. The satellite will reach its operational orbit 438 miles (705 kms) over the Earth within two months. It is designed to have a minimum fiveyear life span, although it is fueled for a 10-year run in space, orbiting the Earth about 14 times a day. The satellite is the eighth in a series that has been instrumental in tracking the changing face of the planet.

‘Underworldly names’

Pluto contest announced

This file image provided by NASA on Feb 22, 2006 from it’s Hubble Space Telescope shows Pluto and three of it’s five moons. (AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida, Feb 12, (AP): Want to name Pluto’s two tiniest moons? Then you’ll need to dig deep into mythology. Astronomers announced a contest Monday to name the two itty-bitty moons of Pluto discovered over the past two years. Pluto is the Roman equivalent of the Greek’s Hades, lord of the underworld, and its three bigger moons have related mythological names: Charon, the ferryman of Hades; Nix for the night goddess; and the multi-headed monster Hydra. The two unnamed moons — up to 20 miles (32 kilometers) across — need similarly shady references. Right now, they go by the bland titles of P4 and P5. Online voting will last two weeks, ending Feb. 25. Twelve choices are available at the website

tions more sensitive to changes in the landscape over time. “USGS’s policy of offering free and open access to the phenomenal 40-year Landsat data record will continue to give the United States and global research community a better understanding of the changes occurring on our planet,” said Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Telescope costs inflate: The estimated cost of the first construction phase of the world’s largest radio telescope has jumped to 400 million euros ($530 million), the project’s director general said Tuesday in Paris. The increase of 50 million euros takes six years of accumulated inflation into account, and the figure could escalate further once additional costs of splitting the project between Africa and Australia are factored in. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, with thousands of receptors spread over an area of a square kilometre (0.4 square miles). Once completed, the project will allow astronomers to study distant galaxies in their quest to answer some fundamental questions about our Universe — how it began, why it is expanding and whether it contains life beyond our planet. (AFP)

Academy Awards could look a little more like the Grammys

‘Chicago’ cast to join Oscar performers: producers


LOS ANGELES, Feb 12, (AP): Academy Awards producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have run out of rehearsal space. Dressing rooms, too. The award-winning production duo is planning the most performance-filled Oscar show ever. They promise a “wow moment” in each of its 13 acts, so the show demands a more dynamic stage and more dressing rooms and rehearsal time than previous Oscar productions. “I don’t think any Oscars have been as performance-based,” Meron said. It’s no surprise, given the pair’s hit-filled history: They produced 2003’s best picture, “Chicago,” and count TV’s “Smash” and the recent Broadway revival of “How

to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” among their credits. With an unprecedented number of performances, this year’s Oscars could look a little more like the Grammys, which is typically like a three-hour all-star concert with a few awards thrown in.

Easier The Grammys have it easier, of course: It’s a show about music wherein the nominees are accustomed to live performances, plus the Recording Academy gives out the bulk of its 81 awards during an untelevised ceremony that precedes the main event. The Oscars televise the presentation of all 24 of its awards and have traditionally relied on clip packages to show-

case the cinematic achievements of its honorees. Packing the Academy Awards with performances of various kinds should up the entertainment factor. “Some of them are musical, some of them are dramatic and some of them are comedic,” Zadan said, adding that running out of space for their A-list roster of performers — including Barbra Streisand, Adele and Norah Jones — is “a great problem.” “When you do an Oscar show, you don’t have a dressing room problem. The presenters don’t get dressing rooms. And how many people perform on the Oscars, like one or two?” he said. “We have a staggering amount of performers, and each of them needs a dressing

room... We’re measuring the magnitude of how big the show is by the fact that we don’t have (enough) dressing rooms.” Just added to the list of stars who may need spots? The cast of “Chicago.” The producers announced Monday that Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah and Richard Gere will reunite on the stage where “Chicago” won its Oscar 10 years ago.

Celebration “In a night of celebration of the music of the movies, we find it very appropriate,” Meron said. So will the musical cast sing? “We can’t talk about what they’re going to do!” Zadan said. Here’s what they will talk about:

■ Expect a dynamic, screen-filled set to accommodate the moviefocused numbers: “We’re using a lot of cutting-edge technology with new LED screens of different sizes, shapes and configurations... It’s kind of thrilling what we’re doing with screens,” Zadan said. “There will be, too, the regular screen that you have to use each year... but then we have all kinds of other screens that we’re using in the show that are completely unique and different and allow us to do stuff with cinema, so it’s not a concert thing where somebody comes out and sings a song. It’s all integrated into movies.” ■ Look for a lot of host Seth MacFarlane: “He’s going to be very present as a host, as a host

should,” Meron said. ■ And expect to hear him show off his chops: “Seth will sing. He’s got a great voice,” Zadan said. “Seth really does understand and have great reverence for the music of the movies,” Meron added. “He loves it.” ■ And about those “wow moments?” Among them will be a celebration of the James Bond film franchise, a tribute to movie musicals, Streisand, Adele, a “special appearance” by Daniel Radcliffe, Charlize Theron, Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and maybe something from the cast of “Chicago.” “We think seeing the cast of ‘The Avengers’ is pretty wow,” Meron said. Better book them a dressing room.



A model wears a design by Kaufmanfranco during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2013 collections on Feb 11, in New York. (AFP) – See Page 31

Film Scandinavian directors find mutual admiration


LOS ANGELES: “Argo,” which seems to have been snatching up every award in sight lately, would be the frontrunner in this one, too, if it existed: Best Use of a Sudden Slew of Honors. Ben Affleck’s Iran hostage thriller has been in release since Oct 12, but following the Oscar nominations on Jan 10 — and subsequent honors from the Producers Guild, Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild and BAFTA — the box-office grosses have risen in four of the last five weeks. It’s domestic total is $123.7 million, and nearly $14 million of that has come since the nominations — in weeks 14 through 18. “Argo” established itself as a hit when it opened in 3,232 theaters, its largest distribution to date, to $19 million and two weeks later took the No. 1 weekend spot in its third week. It cemented that status in late November when it crossed the $100 million mark, but that was quite a while ago. And in the first week of 2013, “Argo” nearly dropped out of sight. It was down to 302 theaters, grossed less than $800,000 and fell out of the top 20 films. But this past weekend, it grossed $2.5 million after Warner Bros added 470 theaters to raise the location count to 1,405, and returned to the top ten for the first time since Thanksgiving. For some exhibitors, this is the second booking for “Argo,” and that’s unusual. “It’s an extraordinary situation,” Warner Bros executive vice-president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein told TheWrap, “but then this has been an extraordinary ride for an extraordinary film.” Since its seven Oscar nominations, with Warner Bros steadily upping its screen count, “Argo” has posted week-toweek percentage gains of 59, 80, 12 and, this past weekend, 23 percent. Goldstein said that he would like to add more screens this

How Oscar played matchmaker LOS ANGELES, Feb 12, (RTRS): Two Scandinavian directors. Nikolaj Arcel, nominated for his smart Danish costume drama “A Royal Affair,” and Espen Sandberg. TheWrap: Co-director with Joachim Roenning of the Norwegian epic “Kon-Tiki,” had never met before this awards season — but when both films were nominated for Oscars and Golden Globes, the two men began to find themselves at the same events in Los Angeles, far from where they grew up. Is there a kinship between Scandinavian filmmakers? Sandberg: Absolutely. It is a small scene, and I think every Scandinavian movie that does well helps me. Arcel: When we heard the Oscar nomination announcements, me and my friends were in the room, and obviously at first we were screaming about our own nomination. But then we immediately went into talking about how fantastic it was that “Kon-Tiki” got nominated, too. For two Scandinavian countries to be in one nomination pool is quite good for us. Sandberg: It’s a phenomenon. A small one, but still Arcel: There is also something worth mentioning, which is that me and Espen and Joachim are sort of alike in the way we work. We are very un-Scandinavian. I think they are known in Norway as being the Hollywood guys in Norway, and I am known as the Hollywood guy in Denmark. We’re both lovers of Hollywood films, and I think it’s fun that we both have these big films at the same time. Sandberg: I totally agree. We make movies sort of in the vein of the movies that they used to make here. They’re the kind of movies we grew up with, and we miss.

week, but it could be tough because of the four openers crowding the market. On Valentine’s Day, his studio is rolling out the drama “Beautiful Creatures,” Relativity debuts its romance “Safe Haven,” the Weinstein Company has its animated “Escape From Planet Earth” and Fox has “Good Day

Arcel: Some of the other Scandinavian directors are arthouse directors, more inspired by the French Wave and by filmmakers like Godard. Our generation, we are slightly younger, and we are inspired by Spielberg and Scorsese and Coppola. TheWrap: Both of your stories are very dear to the countries you come from: “A Royal Affair” is about Johann Struensee, the German doctor who became the lover of the queen and helped push for human rights in Denmark, and “Kon-Tiki” is the story of a voyage by the legendary Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl. Were you thinking of the international audience when you made them, or were you just trying to please your home countries? Sandberg: We were thinking about both. We even shot a version in English, which was a demand from the financiers, and we also knew that the story, when it happened, was an international phenomenon. But we of course knew that we had to succeed at home first. Arcel: Didn’t it make you go crazy that you actually had to edit two films? Sandberg: Yeah, but we did the Norwegian one first. And then we matched the English and then adjusted slightly. Arcel: I have to say, we didn’t think about the international stuff, other than we knew that it had to be big in Germany — which was the only country where it totally flopped, by the way. It’s a period drama in Danish, and I never thought it would travel outside of Northern Europe. TheWrap: Was it hard to pull off a period drama on a limited budget? Arcel: It was extremely difficult. It was the most difficult thing I ever had to do, and I think I will never do that again. It was $7 million to do the film, and I had to do five or six big scenes a day. So we worked 14, 15, 16

to Die Hard.” “Argo” comes out on DVD on Feb 19, so the post-nominations box-office run for the movie, which cost about $45 million to make, will likely slow. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑ Affleck



hours a day. And we didn’t focus so much on the surroundings. It’s still a little bit of a chamber piece. I have to say, I am even more impressed with the work that the guys did on “KonTiki,” because that looks like a $150 million Hollywood film. I still can’t figure out how you guys are doing that. Sandberg: Thank you. We are very proud of the effects work. I don’t think the effects houses made any money on this. I think they thought, like the actors did, ‘This is our chance to show the world what we can do.’ And they did. We sort of promised them that this movie can really break out, so it’s great now that we’ve come so far. We had to be very well-prepared. We had to storyboard everything and make pre-visualizations of the scenes that had a lot of effects work. We shot digital, so we could shoot more with the actors in a shorter time. And then we were just being very economical about everything. We shot the two versions, the Norwegian version and the English version, in 59 days in six countries. It was very, very hard work, and four of those weeks were open sea. TheWrap: Casting somebody to play Thor Heyerdahl, a national hero, must have been a big job. Sandberg:Yeah, it’s tough on the actor. We knew [PÂl Sverre Hagen] from beforehand, because he also plays a smaller part in Max Manus. He’s an amazing actor; he looks the part, but he was actually on his way to study biology when he got accepted to theater school. So I knew he would understand Thor on a deeper level. He is interested in the things that Thor was interested in. We knew very early on that it had to be him, and we cast around him. Arcel: I was actually wondering about these specific moments in “Kon-Tiki.”

Aniston is joining Owen Wilson in Peter Bogdanovich’s comedy “She’s Funny That Way,” Red Granite Pictures announced in Berlin. She will play a therapist with a mother in rehab for alcoholism in the Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach-produced the film following a married

Whenever he gets faced with a real tough challenge, the actor has this little smile on his face, like ‘I can beat this.’ Was that something that Thor Heyerdahl was known for? Sandberg: Yes. He put on a smile whenever things got tough. Arcel: That was a great touch. You guys must have felt a little bit of the same thing that I did, because as much as Thor is a huge icon in Norway, in Denmark Streunsee is equally known and a very iconic character. TheWrap: You must have felt the same pressure, that if you do this up the whole country’s going to hate you! Sandberg: Yes. TheWrap: You’re both living in Los Angeles these days. Are you looking to do Hollywood films? Arcel: Absolutely! Sandberg: When Joachim and I started out making movies, we were watching American movies. That was what we dreamt of since we were kids. We always wanted to do that. We would love to do a movie here, and preferably a studio movie. We’re getting close. We’ll see how it goes. Arcel: I’m getting some very interesting things as well. But I have a process that’s very important to me. I need to develop my own stuff. Otherwise I have a problem steering the ship. So I’m looking for things that I can write — or maybe books, maybe scripts that are not good so I can fix them and rewrite them. So I don’t think I’m going to be directing right now. I might take a year or so and write. Sandberg: I was very happy to hear that you and your writing partner also work as scriptwriters. I would love to have you write something... Arcel: Oh yeah. Any time. Absolutely. Sandberg: Let’s make a deal here in the room. Anybody have a napkin?

Broadway director (Wilson) who falls for a prostitute-turnedactress, then helps advance her career. Jason Schwartzman, Cybil Shepherd, Eugene Levy, Kathryn Hahn and Brie Larson co-star in the comedy (also known as “Squirrels to Nuts”) written by Bogdanovich

and Louise Stratten. Red Granite International, the foreign sales arm of LAbased Red Granite Pictures, will handle international sales of the film. They announced the casting on Sunday. Production is scheduled to start in New York City in June. (RTRS)




People & Places Obit ‘Jazz trumpeter’

Donald Byrd dies aged 80 DOVER, Delaware, Feb 12, (AP): Jazz musician Donald Byrd, a leading hard-bop trumpeter of the 1950s who collaborated on dozens of albums with top artists of his time and later enjoyed commercial success with hit jazz-funk fusion records such as “Black Byrd,” has died. He was 80. He died Feb 4 in Delaware, according to Haley Funeral Directors in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Michigan, which is handling arrangements. It didn’t have details on his death. Byrd, who was also a pioneer in jazz education, attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit, played in military bands in the Air Force Byrd and moved to New York in 1955. The trumpeter, whose given name was Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II, rose to national prominence when he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers later that year, filling the seat in the bebop group held by his idol Clifford Brown. He soon became one of the most in-demand trumpeters on the New York scene, playing with Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. He also began his recording career by leading sessions for Savoy and other labels. In 1958, he signed an exclusive recording contract with the Blue Note label and formed a band with a fellow Detroit native, baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, making their label debut with the 1959 album “Off to the Races.” The band became one of the leading exponents of the hard-bop style, which evolved from bebop and blended in elements of R&B, soul and gospel music. A 1961 recording, “Free Form,” brought attention to then 20-year-old pianist Herbie Hancock.

Jack White (left), performs on stage at the 55th annual Grammy Awards, in Los Angeles. (AP)

Music Music awards draw 28 mln TV viewers

Melody “Donald had this beautiful tone and had a very lyrical sense of playing and a real sense of melody,” said Hancock, who two years later joined Miles Davis’ famed quintet and later formed his own Grammywinning jazz-funk band. In a telephone interview Monday night, Hancock said Byrd was a key influence earlier in his career. He said Byrd took him “under his wings” when he was a struggling musician newly arrived in New York, even letting him sleep on a hide-a-bed in his Bronx apartment for several years. “He was the first person to let me be a permanent member of an internationally known band,” Hancock added. “He has always nurtured and encouraged young musicians. He’s a born educator, it seems to be in his blood, and he really tried to encourage the development of creativity.” Hancock also said Byrd encouraged him to make his debut album for Blue Note and hooked him up with Mongo Santamaria, who turned Hancock’s tune “Watermelon Man” into a chart-topping hit. He also urged him to accept Davis’ offer to join his quintet. In the 1960s, Byrd, who had received his master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, turned his attention to jazz education. He studied in Paris with composer Nadia Boulanger, became the first person to teach jazz at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and started the jazz studies department at Howard University in Washington, DC. Byrd began moving toward a more commercial sound with the funk-jazz fusion album “Fancy Free” in 1969, taking a path followed by fellow trumpeters Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. He teamed up with the Mizell brothers to release “Black Byrd” in 1973, a blend of jazz, R&B and funk that became Blue Note’s highest selling album at the time.

Creative Jazz critics panned Byrd for deviating from the jazz mainstream, but he was unperturbed. “I’m creative; I’m not re-creative,” Byrd told the Detroit Free Press in a 1999 interview. “I don’t follow what everybody else does.” Byrd invited several of his best students at Howard to join a jazzfusion group called the Blackbyrds that reached a mainstream audience with a sound heavy on R&B and rock influences. The band landed in the Top 10 on the R&B charts with the mid-’70s albums “Street Lady,” ‘’Stepping Into Tomorrow” and “Place and Spaces.” Hancock said the Blackbyrds “laid the groundwork for the direction” that led him to form his own jazz-funk band, The Headhunters, and eventually record the Grammywinning instrumental single “Rockit.”

Grammys happy to spread love Justin Timberlake performs at his Post Grammy Concert at the Palladium, in Los Angeles. (AP)



Variety LOS ANGELES: Singer Beyonce says she wants to give her baby daughter a normal childhood with “sprinklers and ... slumber parties.” In a Vogue magazine interview released on Monday she also teased her next, as yet untitled, album saying the music is “a lot more sensual ... empowering” thanks to motherhood. The Grammy-winning singer, 31, who is married to rapper Jay-Z, took a year off her music career to care for her first child, Blue Ivy Carter, who was born in January 2012. “At some point it’s very important to me that my daughter is able to experience life and run through the sprinklers and have slumber parties and trust and live and do all the things that any child should be able to do ... School visits and lemonade stands and all that stuff. It’s very important for me,” she told Vogue in an interview for its March issue. The singer, who is making a comeback with a world tour starting in April, talked about bringing her daughter to work, saying, “She’s my road dog. She’s my homey, my best friend.” (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

LOS ANGELES, Feb 12, (Agencies): Unlike last year, when the Grammys became the Adele show, each of the leading nominees in a diverse and eclectic field got a chance to bask in the spotlight of music’s biggest night. Fun., whose anthemic and semidark jam “We Are Young” dominated the charts in 2012, won song of the year. Gotye’s massive and oddball pop hit, “Somebody I Used to Know,” picked up record of the year. And folk-rockers Mumford & Sons won album of the year for their platinum-selling “Babel.” Fun. also won best new artist, besting Frank Ocean in an upset. The Recording Academy had a clear message at its 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night: There are a lot of top acts today with both mainstream appeal and an edge to their music, and the academy was happy to spread the love. “One after the other, it was like, ‘And the Black Keys...,’ so I think we just sort of resigned ourselves to like, last year was Adele’s year and this year would be the Black Keys,” said lead singer Marcus Mumford, who thought his band would lose album of the year to the Black Keys. Then Mumford added in a loud scream once he learned they won: “It’s (expletive) awesome!” Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, the night’s big winner with four trophies, was one of six acts with the most nominations – six each. He won

The 10-piece band from Cornwall had become unlikely favorites in England, signing a lucrative recording contract and

non-classical producer of the year, while the Black Keys earned the best rock album, song and performance honors.

Dominated “Thank you to our families and everybody in Akron, Ohio, and everybody in Nashville,” the band’s drummer, Patrick Carney, said. The Black Keys dominated the rock category, while Jay-Z and Kanye West did the same in the rap area. But the pop, country and R&B categories were a reflection of the top four honors, with no single act dominating. Winners in those categories ranged from Adele to Paul McCartney, Carrie Underwood to the Zac Brown Band, and Usher to Miguel. Ocean, Mumford & Sons, Jay-Z, Kanye West and fun. were also the top nominees of the night, and they won multiple Grammys. But Ocean – who was anticipated to win best new artist – won two trophies and was restricted to the urban categories. It was another year the Grammys dissed a rap or R&B artist from the top awards. Last year, West lost in an upset and in 2011 it was Eminem. Ocean’s official studio debut, “channel ORANGE,” did win best urban contemporary album. He also won best rap/sung collaboration for “No Church In the Wild” with West, Jay-Z and The-Dream. But the R&B singer released one of

releasing a top-10 album. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

CHARLESTON, West Virginia: A

Predict “You know what, I thought I’d get used to it, but I tripped over every word when I was up there. I felt like I

cast member of the MTV reality show “Buckwild” is facing a drug charge. Twenty-four-year-old Salwa Amin was

Autopsy expected

Auctioneer dead

LONDON: The popular British sea shanty singing group Fisherman’s Friends has been devastated by the death of its tour manager and grave injuries to a singer. Singer Trevor Grills was said by band mate Jon Cleave Monday to be “fighting for his life” after a pre-concert accident that killed tour manager Paul McMullen on Saturday. Police say both men were trapped underneath a door at the loading bay of a concert venue in Guildford, 35 miles (55 kilometers) southwest of London. St. George’s Hospital said Monday that Grills is in critical condition. He reportedly suffered severe head injuries.

the year’s most critically revered albums last year, which made several best-of-the-year lists. He also made headlines when he revealed his first love was a man shortly before the album’s release. Ocean’s loss to fun. for best new artist was a shock, but the band’s win was understood. The pop-rock trio had two of the year’s biggest hits with “We Are Young” and “Some Nights.” Their sophomore album, “Some Nights,” is also near-platinum. “Making music for 12 years – you don’t think you’ll get Grammy-nominated,” lead singer Nate Ruess said backstage. “Radio and mainstream just kind of picked up on (us) and it feels good for us after 12 years of people kind of just ignoring you and always feeling like you’re kind of the bridesmaid.” Like fun., Gotye had a monstrous hit with the Kimbra-assisted “Somebody that I Used to Know,” and it won record of the year and best pop duo/group collaboration. His album, “Making Mirrors,” won best alternative music album. Gotye’s three wins were joined by Black Keys, West, Jay-Z and Skrillex, who picked up the same trophies he won last year.

Recording artist Josh Groban poses for a photo after his performance at HeartRadio Theater on Feb 11, in New York City. (AFP)

LOS ANGELES, Feb 12, (RTRS): Mark Balelo, a Southern California auction house owner featured on the reality television show “Storage Wars,” was found dead at his place of business on Monday, the Ventura County coroner’s office said. He was 40. Balelo, whose company, Balelo Inc, specialized in asset liquidations and closeout sales, was found by an employee in the garage of his auction house in Simi Valley, a suburban community northwest of Los Angeles, said Armando Chavez, senior deputy medical examiner. Chavez declined to provide any information about the circumstances or apparent cause of death. He said an autopsy was expected to be performed Tuesday morning.

just wanted a pool of ice water and just couldn’t even breathe or think,” said the electronic-DJ, who won best dance recording, dance/electronica album and remixed recording. “It was crazy. I think it was even crazier than last year.” Double winners included Ocean, fun., Mumford & Sons, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding and Matt Redman.

Also: LOS ANGELES: Some 28.1 million Americans watched the Grammy Awards show on television, a predictable 30 percent drop from last year’s emotion-filled ceremony following the death of singer Whitney Houston, according to ratings data on Monday. Despite the lower numbers, Sunday’s 3-1/2-hour show broadcast live on CBS was the second-largest TV audience for the music industry’s big night since 1993, and many critics gave the show a thumbs up. “For the first time in too long, the Grammys telecast was a good time in and of itself – a refreshingly coherent celebration of our increasingly incoherent popscape,” wrote Chris Richards of the Washington Post. “There were A-game performances, trophy-hoarders who deserved to win them and very few reasons to wince, grouse or wish you were watching ‘Downton Abbey’,” Richards added.

arraigned Monday in Nicholas County Magistrate Court on felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. She’s being held at a West Virginia jail on $200,000 bond. West Virginia police say a task force arrested Amin and two others late Sunday at a home in Summersville after receiving a tip from an informant. Officers say they found oxycodone pills and heroin. Jail Administrative Sgt. Rick Drake says Amin doesn’t want to talk to the media. MTV spokeswoman Candice Ashton says the network doesn’t have any comment. “Buckwild” shows wild young West Virginians. It has drawn criticism for what some see as a negative portrayal of the state’s youth. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

NEW YORK: Don Johnson has ended his lawsuit against the company that coproduced his series “Nash Bridges” after it paid him $19 million. In 2010, Rysher Productions was ordered to pay Johnson $23 million in profits for the show and interest. Rysher was also ordered to pay an additional $28.5 million in interest. But Rysher appealed, alleging jury misconduct and that the amount of interest to which Johnson was entitled was calculated incorrectly. Jurors had initially decided to award Johnson $15 million before deciding, through their calculations, that he was entitled to far more. (RTRS)




Film ‘Romantic story’

Couple back in ‘Midnight’ BERLIN, Feb 12, (Agencies): Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprise the roles of Jesse and Celine in “Before Midnight”, the third but not necessarily the last movie in their long-running series based on the same characters as they age over time. In this film, set 18 years after “Before Sunrise”, the couple is on holiday in Greece and we learn that they live with their twin daughters in Paris while Jesse’s son has stayed with his mother in Chicago. Screening at the Berlin film festival on Monday, “ B e f o r e Midnight” examines how life’s twists have taken their toll on the American tourist and French student who met on a Linklater train bound for Vienna in 1995 and again in Paris nine years later in “Before Sunset”. They still love each other but this time they are older, heavier, and bicker more, and the forces pulling Jesse back towards his teenage son and Celine’s determination to pursue her career in France test that bond to its limits.

Actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke arrive for the screening of the film Before Midnight at the 63rd edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin, Feb 11. (AP)


Organic Director Richard Linklater, on board throughout the series, underlined the organic nature of the “Before...” films when he was asked whether there might be a fourth instalment, presumably some time around 2022. “The fact that we’ve made two sequels, I guess it begs the question, but I think I speak for the group here, I’m sure we have absolutely no idea what that (sequel) could possibly be,” he told reporters at the 11-day film festival. “We probably won’t for another six years. Who knows the future?” French actress Delpy joked that the final film in the series would be a remake of Michael Haneke’s Oscar-nominated drama “Amour”, about an elderly couple aged in their 80s facing the inevitability of imminent death. Critical reaction to “Before Midnight” has been mixed. In its review, the Guardian newspaper said the movie felt forced, but The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “Though this stage is harder to watch, audiences who have aged along with Celine and Jesse will treasure this new episode.”

Embarked Hawke said he, Delpy and Linklater, who jointly developed the script over two years, felt the weight of expectation as they embarked on the third part of a story which many viewers identified with so closely. “I haven’t met a director in the last nine years that didn’t tell me what he or she thought the third film should be. So we knew we were up against a lot of people having an agenda about where Jesse and Celine should be. That agenda is stifling.” “Before Midnight” consists of a handful of long, single-shot scenes focussing on the couple as they navigate a life complicated by broken families, work pressures and the familiarity of living together. In the first scene Jesse sees his son off at the airport in an awkward exchange that underlines how the two have grown apart. In the next Jesse and Celine discuss children, work and their relationship in frank and often funny exchanges. At one point Celine says men measure themselves against leading figures from history. When Jesse counters that women do too, he mentions Joan of Arc. Hawke and Delpy said they feel like they’ve grown up with their slow-burn romantic trilogy after the latest instalment, “Before Midnight”, charmed the Berlinale Monday, and that they’re mulling a fourth film. Delpy said it sometimes surprised her how broad the interest in the story remained considering how personal the project had become, and that she relished having a kind of time capsule of her own life. “There’s an element of time in our lives as well which is really unusual for actors and writers to be able to revisit,” she told reporters. “Each segment is in the moment but within this period of time of 18 years. It’s kind of special to do that as actors or writers.” Hawke, sporting platinum blond hair for a Broadway role, joked: “Every time I try to push Julie into doing a full-blown film. That’s what I want to do, is just where Jesse and Celine, we really push the boundaries of cinema in a pornographic way and really explore all their relationship.” Delpy rolled her eyes and quipped: “In the seventh part, when I’m 80.”

Berlin fest unveils filmmaker’s cry for freedom

Director Panachi defies Iran ban

Actress Maryam Moghadam arrives for the the photo call of the film Closed Curtain at the 63rd edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Feb 12, 2013. (AP)

Variety LOS ANGELES: Roger Deakins won the top feature-film award from the American Society of Cinematographers on Sunday night for “Skyfall,” meaning that “Argo” only went two-for-three on a weekend of film awards ceremonies. While “Argo” won at the Scripter Awards on Friday and the BAFTA Awards earlier Sunday, it was not even nominated for an ASC Award, where Deakins’ work on the James Bond movie “Skyfall” won out over Danny Cohen for “Les Miserables,” Claudio Miranda for “Life of Pi,” Janusz Kamninski for “Lincoln” and Seamus McGarvey for “Anna Karenina.” All except Cohen are nominated for the cinematography Oscar. In Cohen’s place, Robert Richardson was nominated by the Academy’s Cinematographers Branch for “Django Unchained.” The win was the third competitive ASC Award for Deakins. He also received the ASC’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, though he is 0-for-9 in Oscar nominations going into this year’s show. Deakins was not in attendance at the awards. Earlier in the day, Miranda won a BAFTA Award for “Life of Pi” but had opted to attend the ASC Awards rather than the BAFTAs, where “Pi” director Ang Lee accepted on his behalf. “Life of Pi” is considered the favorite to win an Oscar in two weeks, though the category is exceptionally competitive and Deakins is long overdue for an Academy Awards win. Films winning the ASC Award have gone on to win the Oscar slightly less than half the time in the awards’ 26-year history, including five times in the last 10 years. When Deakins, left in file photo, won the ASC Award for “The Shawshank Redemption” in 1995, he lost at the Oscars to “Legends of the Fall”; when he won for “The Man Who Wasn’t There” seven years later, he lost the Oscar to “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” In the television categories, ASC voters were deadlocked in the One-Hour Episodic Series category, where Balazs Bolygo and Kramer Morgenthau tied for episodes of “Hunted” and “Game of Thrones,” respectively. Bradford Lipson won the ASC’s HalfHour Episodic Series Award for an episode of FX’s “Wilfred,” while Florian Hoffmeister won the Television Movie/Miniseries honor for PBS Masterpiece’s “Great Expectations.” (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑ VATICAN CITY: The Italian director of a film which tells the story of a pope who resigned spoke in an interview on Tuesday of his uncanny foresight after Pope Benedict XVI announced he will step down.

BERLIN, Feb 12, (RTRS): Iran’s Jafar Panahi has defied a 20-year ban on filmmaking to secretly co-direct “Closed Curtain”, a multi-layered portrayal of how restrictions on his work and movement have brought on depression and even thoughts of suicide. The movie, in competition at the Berlin film festival, has its premiere on Tuesday, but Panahi was not expected on the red carpet despite festival organisers saying the German government had requested he be allowed to travel. His co-director and compatriot Kamboziya Partovi did attend a press conference along with actress Maryam Moghadam, but would not be drawn on what the consequences of making the movie could be for Panahi or others involved. “Nothing has happened up until now,” he said, speaking through an interpreter. “We do not know what the future holds for us.” Moghadam acknowledged she was taking a risk by acting in a project involving Panahi, a darling of the Western film festival circuit and best known for his 2000 movie “The Circle” and “Offside” released six years later. His socially engaged films about issues such as women’s rights in Iran and support for the political opposition have made him a target of the Iranian authorities.

Banned In 2010 he was banned from making films for 20 years and sentenced to six years in prison for “propaganda against the system”, although he is now under house arrest. Moghadam, who has dual Swedish and Iranian nationality, told Reuters she would try to continue travelling to Iran, where she had family. “I am not the only one (taking risks),” she said. “Closed Curtain” is the second picture Panahi has made in defiance of the ban, and it remains to be seen whether the 52-year-old faces further punishment for a movie that has drawn major attention in Berlin. “This is Not a Film”, made in 2011, was reportedly smuggled out of the country on a USB stick hidden inside a cake. “Closed Curtain” is set in an empty villa in Iran, presumably beside the Caspian Sea. A man, played by Partovi, arrives with his dog, and proceeds to draw the curtains and black out the windows, sealing himself off from the world outside and preventing the authorities — real and imagined — from seeing what was happening. When the dog accidentally switches on the television, we see footage of stray dogs being rounded up and killed, explaining why he had to be smuggled in inside a bag and kept indoors. A young man and woman, on the run from the police, burst in and the woman stays, but her existence and that of the man becomes unclear as viewers must decide if they are fictional characters in Panahi’s script or actual people.

“Sometimes cinema can anticipate reality,” award-winning filmmaker Nanni Moretti, whose latest movie “Habemus Papam” starring Michel Piccoli as the pope went on general release in 2011, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Moretti said the resignation in St Peter’s Square that ends his film was a powerful image “as if a simple gesture, after all just a few steps back for a man, could bring down St Peter’s basilica or even the Church

Mom’s obsessive love revealed in film at Berlin

Crash movies expose young countries’ rifts BERLIN, Feb 12, (Agencies): Fatal car crashes lay bare social tensions in two very different countries in upheaval, South Africa and Romania, in new movies in competition at the 63rd Berlin film festival Monday. “Layla Fourie”, a thriller about a single black mother in postapartheid South Africa, and “Child’s Pose”, centred on a wealthy son in Romania after communism, see both protagonists trying to pick up the pieces after deadly car accidents they caused. Tired of working odd jobs, Layla is pleased to land a steady position at a casino that uses lie detector tests to vet potential employees. But while en route with her young son from Johannesburg to her new place of employment, her car hits a white man on a dark road. Layla tries to take him to hospital but he dies on her back seat and when she goes to tell the police what happened, she panics and races off to dispose of the body at a garbage dump. She eventually meets her victim’s wife and son and the film spotlights race-based fears and mistrust, as Layla wrestles with her guilt but is terrified about the potential consequences of confessing. “It is a very violent society. Life is cheap, there’s enormous poverty,” said Terry Norton, a white South African who plays the victim’s wife. “Everybody thought that with rec-

onciliation it was going to be this Rainbow Nation. It’s not as simple as that. It’s going to take time. “I hope that we will come through. That’s why I’m so grateful for this opportunity to be telling our stories with this film.” Johannesburg-born, Berlin-based director Pia Marais, who shows the white family living behind security bars and with fierce German shepherds to ward off home invaders, said anxiety about crime only sharpened social stratification. “I think that the new way of kind of barricading yourself behind high walls and electric fences, it’s a new kind of apartheid, isn’t it?” she told reporters after a press screening that met with polite applause. “Child’s Pose” by Calin Peter Netzer got a warmer reception at the festival, with its own look at a young democracy breaking with the past. Actress Luminita Gheorghiu plays a domineering mother trying to save her son from jail in “Child’s Pose”, a stark family drama from Romania competing in this year’s Berlin film festival. The movie, directed by Calin Peter Netzer, shines an unforgiving light on the casual corruption and flashy materialism of post-communist Romania’s upper middle class which expects to be able to buy itself out of any difficulty. Netzer belongs to a group of young Romanian directors who have emerged since the death in

1989 of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu who had controlled the arts with an iron hand. With its black humour, social satire and a remorseless focus on its protagonists’ neuroses, the film stands firmly in the tradition of Romanian new wave cinema that has wowed Western audiences over the past decade. But Gheorghiu said the film’s theme is universal, not local. “I don’t think this is a problem specific to Romania. There are mothers like this everywhere ... who are victims of their unconditional love for their child,” she told a news conference after the film’s world premiere on Monday. Gheorghiu’s character Cornelia hopes to win back the love of her son Barbu by using her social connections and splashing cash around liberally after he accidentally knocks down and kills a boy while speeding along a road outside Bucharest. Barbu, 30, traumatised by the accident, faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted but he is also desperate to escape a mother who has always tried to run his life and refuses to let him grow up. Cornelia, 60, always immaculately turned out in designer outfits and jewellery, lives in a plush villa in Bucharest where the bookshelves are lined with unread works by, among others, Romanian-born Nobel literature laureate Herta Mueller.

The layers of reality multiply as Panahi himself arrives, and posters advertising some of his past movies are revealed beneath sheets before being covered up again. In the allegory of Panahi’s life under house arrest and inability to work freely, we see him walking into the sea at one point, a reference to taking his own life. Suicide “He was not constantly thinking about suicide, no, because then he wouldn’t have been able to make the film,” Partovi said. “But if I imagine myself unable to work and just sitting at home, then I am sure I would start to think about suicide.” According to Partovi, “Closed Curtain” was made out of a desire to express oneself, even though it was unlikely to be seen by people inside Iran. “It’s difficult to work, but not being able to work is even more difficult, and especially when you are at the height of your career. You become depressed, and I believe this is shown in the film and it comes through.” The mood is one of frustration, fear and anger, as young people are rounded

up for having parties and drinking alcohol. “She is a young woman like many other women in my country,” Moghadam said of her character Melika. “She is a symbol of many other young women who struggle,” added the actress, who was wearing a hat to cover her hair. She said her character represented “the dark side of his (Panahi’s) mind ... that part that doesn’t hope any more and wants to give up.” The director, who has picked up a clutch of prizes at major international festivals for socially critical movies that are outlawed in Iran, has been feted abroad as one of the most original voices of the Iranian new wave. Though he was prevented from coming to present the film in Berlin, Panahi appears on screen during the second half of the picture and it remains unclear whether the two fugitives are not just a figment of his imagination as the action moves from reality to fiction and back again. Partovi, who also plays the role of the man with the dog, said Panahi had been

deeply depressed due to the official restrictions when they started working on the project, which he said was aimed at “bridging this hard period”. “It’s difficult to work but not being able to work is even more difficult, particularly at the height of your career,” he said. Partovi said it was unclear what consequences the new picture, which got a mixed reception in Berlin, would have for them in Iran. “Nothing has happened until now but we don’t know what the future has in store for us,” he said. Maryam Moghadam, the lead actress, said her character represented Panahi’s desperation. “She’s the dark side, the hopelessness of every person and specifically the director in the movie,” she said. “The dark side of his mind, the hopeless power — that part that doesn’t hope any more and wants to give up.” Cannes, Berlin and Venice invited him to sit on their juries in 2010 and 2011 but because he was barred from leaving the country, organisers left a symbolic empty chair for him to remind film-goers of his plight.



itself”. “Even though it did not seem topical or believable, I told myself it was the story I wanted to tell. Not reality as it is but as it could be. And now here we are,” said Moretti, who has also made a comedy about Silvio Berlusconi. “Habemus Papam” talks about a papal nominee, Cardinal Melville, who suffers a panic attack when he is due to appear before a crowd in St Peter’s Square immediately after his election by a secret con-

clave of cardinals. The cardinals recruit a psychoanalyst played by Moretti to ease his depression but he fails and the pope-to-be announces he will not take the post. “I wanted to tell the Story with a capital ‘S’ of a man who refuses to give precedence to his role, however sacred and powerful, over his human nature,” he said, adding that he doubted that the pope had actually seen the film. (AFP)



Awareness Month (NBCAM). The primary purpose is to promote self examination and screening mammography as the most effective way to save lives by detecting breast cancer at early stage. For more information visit:

click Drinking problem?: You are no longer alone! Confidential helpline 99641389. ❑ ❑ ❑ Narcotics Anonymous: NA can help with addiction problems. Totally confidential: 94087800 English/Arabic. ❑ ❑ ❑ 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


Students from the Year 5 Ministry Social Studies class at Kuwait English School recently took part in a field trip to the KOC site at Ahmadi to investigate the oil industry in Kuwait. The students were shown around an impressive Display Centre and listened keenly to a talk on how the whole operation worked. A visit to a small recycling unit was a particular highlight of the trip. The school looks forward to more educational visits to this highly important facility.

IBL registration: Indian Bowling League Season 4 will commence in March 2013. Kindly register your teams before that. It’s a mix of different nationalities and open to all. It’s fun and a good indoor sport. You will learn many things about it that you never knew. Email your applications to IBL Season 3 – =a.10151366929589939.510911..5125449 38&type=1&l=63ddf1e93d Continued on Page 30



‘My nature is more conservative’

Perelman offers pointers for great recipe hunting NEW YORK, Feb 12, (RTRS): Deb Perelman, author of “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook,” believes there are no bad cooks, only bad recipes. “I think a really great recipe should be able to lead someone who has never cooked before through a dish so they could make it as perfectly as that recipe’s writer the first time,” said Perelman, a proudly self-taught home cook, tireless recipe hunter and successful food blogger. The 100 recipes collected in Perelman’s first book are mostly new, except a few favorites from her celebrated Smitten Kitchen website. Perelman, 36, spoke to Reuters about her pursuit of great recipes, her blog-to-book deal, and why her tiny New York City kitchen is “smitten.” Question: Were you expecting a book deal when you started your Smitten Kitchen blog? Answer: “I wasn’t’ really looking for a book deal. Mostly I just wanted to do the website.” Q: Why? A: “I wanted to have a place that I could share recipes that I thought were perfect: Go-to recipes that were easy, with accessible ingredients that I thought exceeded expectations.” Q: What makes a recipe good? A: “First, the recipe should work. Many recipes don’t. Beyond that it should be great. Most of us work and we don’t have a lot of time to cook so it’s really nice that when we come home we can cook something that’s

‘Soil surprise’ Tanabe’s pride and joy

Intrepid Tokyo diners delight in dirt degustation TOKYO, Feb 12, (RTRS): French-style seafood was always the big seller at Toshio Tanabe’s Tokyo restaurant, but the chef for many years had a secret passion — soil. Now his long interest in soil cuisine has finally culminated in a feast he’s been offering to customers the last few weeks, starting with an amuse bouche of soil soup and ending with a soil sorbet. “Man didn’t create the sea, the air or the soil. They’re simply all part of nature, and in a sense they are alive in their own right,” said Tanabe. “What I’m trying to do is reflect that feeling in food.” A professional bantamweight boxer

in his youth, Tanabe turned his hand to cooking in his twenties and left to train in France. For the last 20 years he has run a French restaurant in downtown Tokyo, and over the last eight has been slowly introducing his customers to samples of soil-inspired cuisine. At first, though, the search for a clean and chemical-free main ingredient was tough work. “I had to go all over the place to find soil, into the mountains and places like that. Places where there was no farming,” he said. “Then of course I had to dig it up from deep under the ground.” Now Tanabe sources his soil through a Tokyo-based supplier which delivers about a kilo (2.2 lbs) of dirt a day, pre-

checked for harmful substances. Previously, limited supplies had meant he could only serve an occasional soil dish or two. After the dirt arrives, he lightly cooks it to release the flavour, then runs it through a sieve to remove any stray grains of sand. The six-course soil extravaganza starts with an amuse bouche of soil soup, served with the merest fleck of dirt-engrained truffle, and ends with soil sorbet and a sweet dirt gratin. But Tanabe’s pride and joy is the “soil surprise,” a dirt-covered potato ball with a truffle centre. The feast is not especially cheap, running to 10,000 yen ($110) a diner.

Many are surprised by the unusual dining experience. “It was my first time to have soup made from soil,” said Hiromi Fujie, a nearby resident. “It was a bit gritty but not at all unpleasant, a little like vegetable soup. I liked it.” If Tanabe is to be believed, it’s healthy too. He says his soil aids the digestion and is full of healthy minerals. “Humans used to eat soil, back in the day,” he said, though he had to ruefully acknowledge that not all customers are fans. “Animals eat is as well, so I suppose there’s this impression that soil’s a bit too dirty to eat. We do have some customers who completely avoid it.”

great. Third, I think a lot of recipes leave out detail. There’s a presumption that you might know these steps or directions already. I think there’s no harm to putting in a little extra detail ... Finally I think that a recipe should have accessible ingredients. You shouldn’t have to run out to specialty stores to cook great food.” Q: You say you’re not a trained chef and you’ve never been to cooking school. Where did you learn to cook? A: “People in my family cook. My grandmother cooked. My mother taught herself to cook by cooking her

way through Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French cooking.” But the obsessiveness in chasing down what I consider recipes that are worth it , I think, is more my personality.” Q: What jobs have you held? A: “I’ve been everything from a barista to an art therapist. I was an IT reporter for a little while. I had a lot of jobs. I wasn’t particularly good at any of them.” Q: Why did your call your blog “Smitten Kitchen?” A: “I was always tickled by the word. I liked the duality of it ... Prior

to having Smitten Kitchen as a website I had one just called Smitten, a blog with stories that spun off into the cooking site.” Q: Do you have a tip for the aspiring home cook? A: “I think that if you are somebody who doesn’t’ cook but would like to, it really helps to start with a thing that nobody else makes well. Because the truth is if you are really craving a certain kind of tomato soup or casserole and you can’t find it, this is the thing that you need to get in the kitchen and make for yourself.”

Q: What are your future plans? A: “I have zero plans. I don’t plan that far ahead. My nature is more conservative. I’m really not interested in saying, ‘Well, I have a best seller now and it will change my life.’ I kind of just want to keep doing what I’m doing. And I’ve always enjoyed doing the website. So I look forward to having a little more time to update it now.” Plum poppy seed muffins - yield: 12 standard muffins (excerpted from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook”) 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melt-

Appreciative”. What are the other meanings of As-Shakour? What are the implications of understanding and putting into action this realization? How does Allah thank us yet He is our creator, cherisher and sustainer? Everything we enjoy is given to us by Him. To learn more about this beautiful attribute of Allah (SWT), you are welcome to the AWARE Center on February 17, at 7:00pm. The speaker will be Hassan Twaha (AWARE Education Manager.) For more information, please call 25335260/80 or e-mail:

click Continued from Page 28

Latest Feb 14

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 21

Bangladesh Embassy closure: The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will remain closed on Thursday, Feb 21 on the occasion of the Shahid Dibash and International Mother Language Day. Feb 22

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom: Indian Youth

Go Healthy with TIES: ‘Why say so!! Join our healthy cooking classes to discover the beautiful taste of healthy bite!! For reservation please call us on 25231015/6 or 97228860 or visit our website Thursday Feb 14, 2013, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Feb 15

Curtorcares tourney: Curtorcares United Club will hold their One Day Seven-a-Side tournament on Feb 25 at Sabah Hospital ground, Shuwaikh. Clubs desiring to field two teams please contact Nicholas Rebello on 97993276 or Seby 99053718. Draw of the tournament will be held on Feb 15 at Sabah Ground after the first match of the ongoing tournament. ❑ ❑ ❑ TKK picnic: Tulu Koota Kuwait under the leadership of Ramesh Kidiyoor is proud to announce the “Family Picnic” scheduled to be held on Friday 15th February 2013 at Mishref Garden from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Tulu Koota Kuwait will assure you a day of outing with your family with fun, refreshing memories of Tulunadu sports and games in addition with some innovative outdoor games. Please plan your day ahead and don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to participate and applaud our enthusiastic members as they strive to show excellence on the ground. You can sign up your teams in advance for the kabaddi, volleyball and throw ball and ensure your participation with our Sports Secretary Ronald D’Souza Tel: 99865712 and membership renewal. Please contact TKK Pro Paustine Pinto, Tel: 66614622 For more details pls. contact 97875789 Our Web Mail ID ❑ ❑ ❑ 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. ❑ ❑ ❑ SIK presents Art: SIK (Staged in Kuwait Productions), presents the Tony award winning comedy ART, by Yasmina Reza, at the Mousetrap theatre in Jabriya

ed and browned and cooled, plus butter for muffin cups 1 large egg, lightly beaten; 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugarl 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed dark or light brown sugar; 3/4 cup (180 grams) sour cream or a rich, full- fat plain yogurt; 1/2 cup (60 grams) whole-wheat flour; 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour; 3/4 teaspoon baking powder; 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon table salt; Pinch of ground cinnamon; Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg; 2 tablespoons (20 grams) poppy seeds; 2 cups pitted and diced plums, from about 3/4 pound (340 grams) Italian prune plums (though any plum variety will do); Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter 12 muffin cups. Whisk the egg with both sugars in the bottom of a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter, then the sour cream. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and poppy seeds, and then stir them into the sourcream mixture until it is just combined and still a bit lumpy. Fold in the plums. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Rest muffins in the pan on a cooling rack for 2 minutes, then remove them from the tin to cool them completely. Perelman said the muffins surprised her by being twice as moist, with more developed flavors, on the second day.

Photos by Meshal Nayef

A photo from the event

Feb 25

Endeavor hopes to cater to leisure, business and religious travel

Lots of Hotels launched in Kuwait By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Lots of Hotels, an online accommodation booking service and subsidiary of Webjet, Australia & New Zealand’s largest Online Travel Agency was launched in Kuwait in partnership with Mawasem Wings Travel and Tours agency. “Lots of Hotels is a business to business online facilitation of hotel bookings. It is a subsidiary of Webjet which is an online market leading agency in Australia and New Zealand”, John Guscic, Managing Director of Webjet, stated, at a press conference held at the JW Marriott, Monday evening.

and a very dynamic one, “It has great growth rates and the population here travels extensively. We thought it was a great opportunity as one of our foundations of our Lots of Hotels family.” He informed that across the broader Middle Eastern region, travel growth was being looked at as double the GDP growth as a general rule. “So if GDP is growing somewhere between 5 and 10 percent, you expect travel to grow between 15-20 percent. As people become wealthier, travel is an aspirational opportunity for them to broaden

Society brings another unique show “JhoomBarabarJhoom” featuring world famous ghazal and qawwali singer Sabri Brothers and his team on Feb 22 at 6:30 pm sharp at Kuwait Medical Association Auditorium, beside Mubarak Al Kabeer hospital, Jabriya, Kuwait. Young talents from Kuwait will be another attraction of the evening. For more details, please contact: 66127231, 69674121, 66869007, 67738135 and 99225378. Email; Web Page:

their horizons and hopefully Lots of Hotels will help that.” The endeavor hopes to cater to leisure, business and religious travel. “We are going to focus on hopefully having a broadest range of inventory, great pricing, great service and easy to use technology”, said Guscic.

Contracts Webjet is an Australian publicly listed company and was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in March 2000. In August 2012, Webjet

Opportunity He added that the company had recently expanded by acquiring the number one online travel agency in Hong Kong and Singapore, “We are launching initially in Kuwait today followed by Dubai and Turkey and we anticipate that we will be in more than a dozen markets in the next six months and we are excited about what it brings to the market itself.” Kuwait, he stated, was one of the larger travel markets in the Middle East

announced results to 30 June, 2012 of over AUD$750 million. Lots of Hotels sources content from multiple suppliers and via direct contracts with global hotel chains and independent properties, offering rooms at more than 100,000 hotels world-wide. The Lots of Hotels supply model ensures customers find the best yearround rates and availability when they want to travel, where they want to travel. Ranging from one to five star rated hotels, Lots of Hotels allows customers to find the best hotel deals within their budget. And with 365 day booking flexibility customers can book and stay today or up to 12 months in advance. With a diverse range of payment options, Lots of Hotels hopes to provide a simple and efficient way of searching, comparing and booking hotel accommodation. Ahmed Al Faramawi, General Manager — Middle East & Africa of Lots of Hotels expressed great optimism, “The plans and dreams are endless. We are looking for Lots of Hotels to be one of the major leaders and suppliers globally of this kind of accommodation and travel services.”

India Embassy closure: The Embassy of India will remain closed on the following days during the month of February 2013: Feb 25, 2013 – Monday, National Day of Kuwait Feb 26, 2013 – Tuesday, Liberation Day of Kuwait ❑ ❑ ❑

HMWA organizes grand prog: Hyderabad Muslim Welfare Association is going to organize a grand yearly programme on the life of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) titled “Prophet Mohammed Greatest Social Reformer on 25th feb 2013 soon after Friday prayer in Masjid-e-Abdullah Al Mehri next to famous Edi Stores and in front of Titanic building in Salmiya. Prominent scholars from kuwait will speak on the selected topics focusing life of Prophet (PBUH) and his message to whole humanity and in particular to Muslim Umma. Dear Brothers it is yet again a great opportunity to learn more and more about Seerah of our beloved Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). And to show our Passion, love and respect to our beloved religion of Islam and enlightened our lives with good deeds preached by Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) HMWA executive committee request all the members and people from Hyderabad and other areas to participate in great numbers and bring your near and dear ones and get educated ourself with the message of Islam which is Peace, love and service to humanity. For further details Contact 99481599, 50605074, 66605881 Feb 28

YMCA membership campaign: (NES campus) from Wednesday, Feb 13 to Friday Feb 15 at 7:30 pm. Tim Waddell, Hassan Rawas and El Elsharif star as the three friends whose relationships go awry when one spends a small fortune on a piece of abstract, modern art. Tickets for each production can be booked via our website at Feb 16

TIES Book Club: Join our first Book Club session on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013, from 10:30 am to 11:30 am. For all Passionate Readers are welcome!! Stop in and meet new friends and welcoming

The new office of Lots of Hotels was opened at the Mezzanine floor of Nasser Tower in Kuwait City. environment. To sign up or for more information contact us on 97228860 or email us ❑ ❑ ❑

TIES Desert Camp: All are welcome for an outdoor event like never before! Its TIES Center all day Desert Camp on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Transportation will be provided.

Don’t miss out!! For reservation please call us on 25231015/6 or 97228860 or visit our website Feb 17

AWARE eighth diwaniya: You are cordially invited to AWARE’s eighth monthly diwaniya presentation entitled, “The meaning of “As-Shakour = ready to appreciate service,” which is among the

99 names and attributes of Allah on Sunday February 17, 2013 at 7:00pm. Knowing Allah necessitates knowing the meanings of His names, being affected by them and applying those meanings in your daily life. Knowing and understating those beautiful names and attributes will have a strong impact on your life in this ephemeral world. It will also determine your destiny in the Hereafter. The more you delve into the names and attributes of Allah, the more you love Him, which leads to exerting your utmost efforts in getting closer to Him in worship. Among Allah’s 99 attributes is AsShakur is translated into “The

YMCA Kuwait is conducting membership Campaign until Feb 28. Persons who wish to become a member of YMCA Kuwait and persons who would like to contribute their time, efforts and services for the society and humanitarian causes may please contact – 97542985. Aug 30

Konkani Drama: M.A. Production is all set to present a Konkani Drama (Tiatr) “MOJE DHUVENCHEM KAZAR” to be staged on 30 August 2013 with an emotionally charged storyline, humour and music, written by M.Dias and directed by

Continued on Page 32





Fashio n

Caroli na He rrera

Betse y John son

NEW YORK: Rain, snow, ice. There’s a lot of grumbling about the stiletto-adverse weather as New York Fashion Week hit Day 5 on Monday. But there’s a silver lining: cozy coats, especially styles with oversized fur hoods, never looked better. Phillip Lim, for his 3.1 brand, sent out his big coats in navy and black during a show in a cavernous space south of the Lincoln Center tents. Houndstooth set off one of Tommy Hilfiger’s coats for women. On a bomber jacket, he moved the comfy lining to the outside, putting the traditional Prince of Wales plaid on the inside. In a romantic violet, Ralph Rucci sent out a coat in sable, while Alexander Wang stayed mostly with grays for big coats paired with fur hand warmers to the elbow. Belstaff’s coats were tempting in earthtone shearlings for every lifestyle, and KaufmanFranco wrapped a tough-girl muse in a little luxury, lining a black leather driving coat with mink. There were some yummy coats at Carolina Herrera. One of the nicest came in angora, with a fox collar. It was paired with a sandstone wool jacket and matching pant. She also had a set of fox fur sleeves — just the sleeves — worn over a wool and silk blouse and silk skirt. Brandon Holley, editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine, said she’s never seen so much fur in a runway season — and New York is only halfway done with its previews.

Carolina Herrera Her entire fall collection was inspired, she said, by a piece of classical music that she specifically commissioned for the show, by the English composer Tom Hodge. “I started out light, just like the piece, and I reached a crescendo with my more dramatic clothes,” Herrerra explained. The piece, “Capriccio for Carolina,” was in turn inspired by Beethoven’s Kreutzer Violin Sonata. As for the clothes, Herrera said she was inspired by the 1940s, especially in the shapes of sleeves and in the small waists of the garments.


NEW YORK Above and below: Models present creations by Betsey Johnson; MM6 Maison Martin Margiela; Reem Acra; Carolina Herrera; Donna Karan; Pamella Roland and Prabal Gurung during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, in New York, Feb 12. (AFP)

wallpaper-inspired florals. He hit on a few of the trends that seem to be emerging from these previews, including peplums and structured rounded shoulders, but his collection was not done with a heavy hand, leaving a pleasant trail of almost vintagelike looks.

Reem Acra

Zac Posen Posen presented his smallest show in years, taking a breath from a whirlwind few months that included joining the TV fashion designer competition show “Project Runway” as a judge. For a designer who thrives on flashbulbs, cameras and frenzy, the change might seem odd, but he said his intimate show at the Plaza Hotel was the best way to sharpen his focus in a collection that was thoughtful and intellectual. “My fantasies about glamour or about society, errera about H a n li travel, Caro all took place here growing up in New York. When you drive by great historical backgrounds, this is where Halston did his first shows, where Oscar de la nson h o J y e Renta used to show,” Bets Posen said.

Donna Karan The designer herself test drove pieces of her fall collection before she sent them down the catwalk. “I took it last night. I couldn’t wait to wear it,” Karan said in a postshow interview after greeting guests Uma Thurman, Gretchen Mol and longtime friend Bernadette Peters. The goal, she explained, was clothes that work for the woman always on the go, with many interests, demands and pleasures. That sure sounds like Karan. She called the collection “Sensual, Soulful, Roland Sculptural,” and there’s an Pamella emphasis on sculptural, making a dedication in her notes to her late husband, sculptor Stephan Weiss. “His art and soul — is a part of me.”

3.1 Phillip Lim You always have a feeling at one of Lim’s shows that you’re at one of the hipper events of New York Fashion Week. You can feel it in the audience, which has

Betsey Johnson

ra Reem Ac a gray pullover, a khaki shirt, and shorts — again in grapefruit neoprene.

Thakoon urung Prabal G

a decidedly downtown, indie-music vibe, and you can see it in the clothes. A big sartorial theme was embossed neoprene. Lim began with an overcoat in that fabric, in a fresh grapefruit color. Like

ra Reem Ac many of his inventive creations it had something detachable, in this case a

leather bib. Motorcycle jackets were big, too, and Lim showed a peplum version, paired with

Nubby, shiny material familiar to varsity athletes surprisingly made sense on a coat that was paired with a goatskin collar shawl, lace-inset blouse and stretch-wool seamed pants. But Thakoon Panichgul put together a cohesive catwalk of seemingly unrelated modern neoprene, a space-age dandelion print, beaded dragonfly embroidery and

The tireless 71-year-old designer, best known for punky prom dresses and a lot of pink, introduced her fall collection as a theatrical exercise video for the Style Network program “Betsey and Lulu,” which follows the lives of Johnson and her daughter. It was a catwalk of energetic, giggly models in active wear chatting on cellphones as they waved to attendees, then an exercise routine led by the designer that included running in place, yoga and pullups. Rows of pink yoga mats were strewn on the runway, each accompanied by a pair of high-top sneakers, towels and wine bottles. (AP)



Dar Al Athar Monumental inscriptions face environmental problems

Prof O’Kane takes a look at epigraphy in medieval Cairo By Chaitali B. Roy Special to the Arab Times


e have in Cairo an unbroken sequence of inscriptions on major monuments from the 9th century onwards. Given the hundreds of monuments and thousands of inscriptions that have survived, this permits us to analyze them in a variety of ways, such as the visual aesthetics of texts, their relative lengths, the sizes of the scripts used, issues of legibility or the lack of it, and the exploration of the make-up and design of the inscriptions from their textual contents to the non-literary uses that they served’ said Bernard O’Kane, Professor of Islamic art and architecture at the American University of Cairo in his introduction to a presentation titled, ‘Medium and Message in the Monumental Epigraphy of Medieval Cairo’ held under the auspices of Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyyah at the Al Maidan Cultural Centre at Maidan Hawally at 7 pm on Tuesday Feb 12.

Prof Bernard O’Kane

Islamic Cairo with its impressive material witness to the political, intellectual, commercial, artistic development is a popular subject in the Dar lecture series. With more than 500 classified monuments dating from 7th to the 20th centuries distributed across the urban fabric, medieval Cairo’s rich heritage has enthralled

scholars and tourists alike. One of the world’s oldest Islamic cities, with its famous mosques, madrasas, hamams and fountains, Cairo has undergone several changes reflected in architecture since its founding in the 7th century at al Fustat by Caliph Omar. During the Abbasids Al Fustat was replaced by al-Askar followed by al-Qatai in 870. Under the powerful Fatimids, Egypt acquired a new capital with the founding of al-Qahira in AD 969. The mosque of al-Azhar built during this time bears witness to this interesting period in Islamic history. In 1172, Egypt fell into the hands of Saladin, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty followed by the Mamluks. As the director and principal investigator of the Egyptian Antiquities Project, affiliated to the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), Prof O’Kane has led and worked on the project titled, ‘ Documentation of the Inscriptions in the Historic Zone of Cairo,’ which aims at preserving and documenting inscriptions and

epigraphs on Islamic monuments in the city up until the 1800s. In his interesting presentation, Prof O’Kane who has dedicated 14 years to studying, documenting and preserving the epigraphic evidence presented highlights of the work undertaken to conserve information for posterity. A sought-after speaker and noted participant in international conferences, Prof O’Kane is also the author of many books, the latest being ‘The Illustrated Guide to the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo’.

Inscriptions The importance of the written word is undisputed in Islamic art. Epigraphy, a study of inscriptions or texts traced upon hard substance such as a building, stone, metal, coin and ceramic is important for a more precise reconstruction of early and medieval Islamic history. A systematic study of visual, non verbal functions of monumental inscriptions has provided historical and social context, with important information regarding the patrons of

these buildings, their date of erection, and the purpose they served. But these monuments with their inscriptions and epigraphs are facing problems caused by time and environment. “One major problem today in assessing the impact that inscriptions had on the viewer is the extent to which their legibility would originally have been much greater. In addition to the degradation caused by natural abrasions, wind erosions, and layers of dust, we should remember that the originals would have been enhanced by the application of color.” The contents of inscriptions on medieval buildings are mostly Quranic showing the importance of religion in individual and state life and sanctifying the building on which they are placed. The Nilometer, which bears the earliest monumental inscription in Cairo, the verses refer to God’s munificence in sending down water that in turn leads to prosperity. The inscription on the Nilometer interestingly and unusually

shows detailed information on method used to select the content of the inscription, the concern for legibility including the use of lapis lazuli in the background and the function of the monuments, noted Prof O’Kane.

Ornamentation The arrival of Fatmids brought about major changes in monumental inscriptions. The style of lettering changed along with the content with an emphasis on making it more viewer friendly. Prof O’Kane went on to speak about the use of different styles of calligraphy and the introduction of the craftsman’s signature into his work. Amongst inscriptions highlighted by Prof O’Kane, the epigraphy on Sultan Hasan’s complex, built during the Mamluk period, stands out for its extraordinary beauty. Written in broken cursive or Eastern Kufic, the carved ornamentation stand silent testimony not only to the power of the written word, but also to the magical quality invested by the Muslim artisan who elevated the art of calligraphy to something wondrous.

Int’l artistes to perform on Feb 15

KCP to open concert season 2013

George Aoun, GM, JW Marriott and Gustavo Bravo, Charge d’Affaires, Peruvian Embassy.

Photos by Mahmoud Jadeed

A photo from the event.

Fest to showcase Peruvian artistry, gastronomy

Peru Food Festival planned in Kuwait By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: The First Peruvian Food Festival in Kuwait is being organized at the La Brasserie restaurant of the JW Marriott to be held from March 10-15 with the collaboration of the Embassy of Peru and the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters in Kuwait. George Aoun, Cluster General Manager of JW Marriott Hotel Kuwait and Gustavo Bravo, Charge d’ Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Peru in Kuwait announced at a press conference that the festival apart from showcasing Peruvian gastronomy will also feature Peruvian artistry with performances by a Peruvian dancing troupe brought to Kuwait exclusively for the event. “For the first time, Kuwaitis and Kuwait will have the opportunity to try a world class cuisine which is an undiscovered gem in the region. Recently, Europe and South America has been discovering the variety that Peruvian food has to offer on account of its geography and immigration that has made the cuisine, a rich one”, said Bravo. The organizers pointed out that Peru was recently hailed as a ‘gastro-

nomic superpower’ by the Financial Times and the Peruvian cuisine maintain a high position at the top of the culinary agenda. Peru was awarded the ‘World’s Leading Culinary Destination’ at the 19th World Travel Awards held in New Delhi, India on Dec 2012, bagging the award for its ingredients and traditional dishes after beating other nominees that included China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and USA. They stressed that Peru continues to stand out internationally as an epicurean destination, with its food festivals attracting record visitor numbers, and Peruvian chefs showcasing their local cuisine around the world. The destination is being increasingly recognized for its culinary tours, food safaris, world class cooking schools, and foodie fiestas including the Mistura Food Festival, which attracted more than 500,000 people to Lima, the Peruvian capital, in September 2012. It was also highlighted that the leading British magazine “Stylist” named Lima one of “the ten locations where the culinary-minded should be heading this year”. Also, according to Stylist’s “10 holidays for the food obsessed” list, Peru is Latin

America’s most gourmet cuisine. “During the festival, we are going to experience for the first time in Kuwait, the excellence of the Peruvian food here in our hotel through the coordination of Chef Javier Morante, a renowned culinary master with a wide range of national and international experience with Chef Joseph D’costa, Executive Chef of the JW Marriott. They have been working together in the last couple of months, preparing the menus for this festival and arranging all the ingredients”, Aoun added. Bravo informed that each day of the six-day festival will feature a different menu to display the variety and peculiarity of each geographical region from the coast of the Pacific Ocean to the highlands of the Andes even to the Amazon forest. It is hoped that the festival would improve outbound tourism to Peru. Bravo stated, “Since the opening of the Embassy, we have issued a couple of hundreds of visas for those interested in visiting Peru. This is not a small number but we are planning to have not only hundreds but thousands of visitors to Peru from Kuwait. The potential and projection of the Embassy after this event is immense and we expect the best.”

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: The Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia (KCP) kicks off the Concert Season 2013 with a Special Gala Concert on Friday, Feb 15, 2013, 20:00 hours at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Al-Hashemi II Ballroom. Taking part in the concert are internationally renowned artistes Hanan El-Guindi (mezzo soprano) — soloist from the Cairo Opera House and Bartolomiej Rybak (piano accompaniment) - renowned Polish pianist, composer and pedagogue based in Kuwait and Indian Sid Ramchander (piano solo). The program includes composition by L. Van Beethoven, G. Bizet, Franz Chopin, Franz Lehar, S. Rachmaninoff, C. Saint-Saints and Franz Schubert. Hanan El-Guindi graduated from the Music Conservatory in Cairo, Egypt, under Dr Ratiba El-Hafny and from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria under Professor Horiana Branisteanu. Since 1993 she has participate in the most prestigious Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth-Germany and many concerts in Italy, Austria, Egypt, etc. In Cairo Opera House she has performed several leading roles in operas by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Massenet and Gounod. El-Guindi is a lecturer in the College of Basic Education at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) in Kuwait. Sid Ramchander, who moved to Europe at the age of 16 to study music, is as much international as a Gulf pianist. As a young prodigy and winner of the Young Musicians of the Gulf Award in 2008, Sid chose a career as a soloist and enrolled at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Brussels where he has been a student for the past four years under Prof Aleksander Madzar and is currently doing his Masters. Sid regularly attends Master Classes in Europe and has been tutored by late Karl-Heinz Kammerling, Evegeny Mogilevsky, Prof Andrzej Jasinski and Maestro Eugen Indjic. He has performed in concerts in France, Italy, Austria, Spain and Bahrain and has been counted among the youngest entrants in prestigious international music competitions. A familiar face in Bahrain, Sid’s

Sid Ramchander

first performance as a soloist with orchestra was when he was just 13, at the Bahrain’s illustrious Festival of Culture, with the visiting Mink Youth Orchestra, under Conductor Vladimir Perlin. Performing in Kuwait is an opportunity that Sid looks forward to showcase his talent as one of the recognized pianists from the Gulf region. The Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia expresses special thanks to His Excellency Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium Damien Angelet for his support. April 12

click Latest Continued from Page 30 Sylvester Vaz & M.Dias to be held at Kuwait Medical Association Auditorium (near Blood Bank), Jabriya. Popular actors and singers will be flown from India including Seby de Divar – Goa’s singing sensation, John D’Silva – Goa’s best known comedian and character artiste, Yvonne – new sensation in comedy, Fr Nevel Gracias (Vell’lekar) – well known actor and writer, Sylvester Vaz – Hitman of Konkani stage, besides a few prominent well established actors and singers from the tiatrist fraternity in Kuwait. The proceeds of this drama will be sent to Old Goa Retreat Centre. Please make note in your diary to attend this must-to-see by all parents and children, and support this noble cause. Await for more details how to obtain your entry passes or email: Tel: +965 66698257, 99616965, 65095345. moje-dhuvenchem-kazar.html

Konkani drama: Comedian Agostinho will present in Kuwait his new Konkani drama ‘Corruption Kabar?’ on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm at the Kuwait Medical Association Hall, Jabriya. The star cast includes veteran Sabina Fernandes, Jessica Gomes, comedian Janet, Jr Nelson, Salu de Loutolim, Jaju Fernandes, Filipe Almeida, Sylvester Vaz, comedian Selvy Correia, comedian Agostinho Temudo and above all the singing sensation Seby de Divar. For more details, contact tel 99923176, 99540232 or e-mail ❑

KTMCC elects officers: The 57th annual general body meeting of the Kuwait Town Malayalee Christian Congregation (KTMCC) held at the National Evangelical Church in Kuwait (NECK). M. Mathews, president of KTMCC, presided the meeting, secretary K. P. Koshy presented the annual report of KTMCC for its 60th jubilee year 2012 and John M. John, treasurer presented the statement of accounts

The sponsor of the event is SEED (Security Equipment Distributor). The sponsors of the season are Radisson Blu, Khorafi Business Machines, Tanagra, British School of Kuwait, New English School, and English School Fahaheel. Tickets for the event are priced at KD 8. For reservation call Radisson Blu Hotel 25673000 or it can be done at the door. The organizers request the concert goers to come 15 minutes early. For more info log on to for the period from Jan 1 till Dec 31. The general body elected Babu Varughese as president, Roy K. Yohannan as secretary and P. John Mathew as treasurer for the year 2013. Also, the general body elected K. P. Koshy, John M. John, Thomas John M., Raju C. Nianan, Gibi Varghese Tharakan, Cyriac George, Mathew Chrisostom, Rajan Peter, Abey Mathew, Shaji Cherian John, Abraham C. M. and Mathew George P. as executive committee members. Auditors for 2013 are Blesson Varghese, Sunny Andrews and Babu Mathew. The common council members to NECK for 2013 from KTMCC will be K. P. Kosy, Roy K. Yohannan and Shaji Cherian John. The newly elected secretary, Roy K. Yohannan informed KTMCC will have regular worship service at NECK on every Wednesday at 7:30 pm and welcomes those interested to attend the meeting. Adv John Mathew expressed vote of thanks.

Sports KLL registration: Kuwait Little League (KLL) has kicked off registration for the 20122013 baseball and softball season. The various divisions and corresponding age groups are as follows: Tee Ball: Boys and Girls — 5 to 7 years old; Minors:

April 9

NPIS organizes annual fun fair: New Pakistan International School is going to organize annual fun fair at Sha’ab Park on March 9 from 8 :00 am to 4:00 pm. All are welcome. You can buy tickets from the school office during working hours.




Continued on Page 33



‘Login with Facebook required’

No date for Valentine’s Day? New apps may help TORONTO, Feb 12, (RTRS): Singles who believe in love at first sight can turn to new apps that will match them with potential dates in time for Valentine’s Day, but only if each person has expressed an interest. With the new dating apps, users simply flip through photos of people in nearby locations and express their interest in dating someone. If there’s a mutual attraction, the app connects them for a conversation. If not, their feelings remain anonymous.

“It limits the conversations to people you’ve actually expressed an interest in. So each of those conversations starts at a very deep level,” said Sean Rad, co-founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based company Tinder, which developed the app of the same name.

Replicate Makers of the Tinder app, which is available worldwide for iPhone, said it has matched more than 10 million

couples since it was launched in September. The app pulls in member photos of people from Facebook, and then it’s as simple as anonymously indicating interest in that person. If both people like each other, messages can be sent between the two users. Rad said most users are between 18 and 30 years old. Let’s Date, which was released across the United States last week for the iPhone, is a similar app. But rather

than simply focusing on the photo, the app provides the person’s interests from Facebook for a broader view of the potential date. “Our goal was to create an app that replicated the real world experience of going to a party or bar full of potentially eligible people,” said Sean Suhl, founder of Let’s Date. “You’re put into a crowd of people and if someone catches your eye and they catch your eye, then a conversation is struck up and then someone

might ask the other person out on a date,” he added. The app resulted from a frustration with other dating apps, according to Suhl, who described them as “artificial and laborious”.

Identity “We’re just presenting you the daters and you’re just saying yes or no,” he added. Both apps require a login with Facebook, so people must use their

real identity. Let’s Date also stipulates that users must have been active on Facebook for a year, and have at least 50 friends before signing up. Although the apps can set people up quickly, it still could take a while to find the right person. “People are literally getting dates the same night, but you might want to give yourself enough time to find the right Valentine,” Rad said. Both companies plan to release Android apps.

Dog Show click Sports Continued from Page 32 Boys and Girls — 8 to 10 years old; Majors: Boys and Girls — 11 to 12 years old; Juniors: Boys and Girls — 13 to 14 years old; Seniors: Boys and Girls —15 to 18 years old; Softball: Girls only — 11 to 18 years old. Challenger* – Boys and Girls — 7 to 12 years old (for children with special needs). Persons who deem themselves eligible as volunteer baseball coaches, umpires or team parents are also welcome to register. For registration and more information please visit www.Q8LL.ORG. ❑ ❑ ❑

Football Coaching Course: The next P.G.A. Everton Football Coaching Course at the new location by Abdullah Al-Rujaib High School, Bayan Block 7, Masjed Al-Aqsa Street. Courses are available for boys and girls aged from 3 to 18 years. For further details see or contact academy Director Mike on 99981327 or Executive Director Baker on 66918666. ❑ ❑ ❑ Kwt-Brits football supporters: A new football supporters website for British expats living and working in Kuwait has been set up by an Everton supporter, Trevor Powell. The Kuwait Brits Football Supporters Association (KBFSA) site aims to provide contact information for supporters of each others’ whereabouts and also in the future hopes to organise social events such as quizzes and even five-a-side matches on a home international teams basis. We need expats to register their support and hence we can then start to cast around for a suitable meeting venue. The site can be accessed at ❑ ❑ ❑

Judge Joan P. Scott (right) looks at Rein, an American Eskimo Dog, with handler Sandy Ray (left) at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Feb 11 in New York. (AFP)

Linda Scott, of Odessa, Texas, grooms Pink a 2-year-old bulldog. (AP)

A Shih Tzu prepares to compete in the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. (AFP)

Owen, a standard Poodle, is groomed before judging at the dog show. (AFP)

Angel, a 2-year-old Toy Poodle from Houston, Texas, is groomed. (AP)

Kuwait Cricket for schools: Kuwait Cricket, the apex body of cricket in Kuwait would like to invite school cricket teams to participate in their tournaments which are planned to be held at the turf ground at Sulaibiya. Kuwait Cricket intends to conduct two cricket tournaments for U-15 and U-18 school children who should have valid Kuwait residence and be a student of their respective school. Physical Education officials or Managers of various schools in Kuwait are hereby requested to contact Murali Kutticode on 99542107 for more information. The tournaments will be played on Saturdays at Sulaibiya grounds and the matches will be 30 overs. Participation of school cricket teams will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the open cricket tournament and we look forward to your confirmation of attendance. Any inquiries may be directed to the contact phone numbers or email addresses mentioned below: A meeting of School representatives will be arranged shortly and please feel free to contact Kuwait cricket with your positive feedback. Contact details: Murali Kutticode, Director, Junior & Corporate cricket Tel: 99542107 or

Courses NYF – yoga classes: Yoga classes available for all age groups and different health problems, weight reduction, depression etc by well experienced Indian female yoga teacher near Al-Rashid Hospital, Salmiya. Separate workshop, meditation, advanced breathing exercise classes, healing courses available according to the requirements of different schools, hospitals and organizations at your place. For more details contact 99838117, 99315825. ❑ ❑ ❑ Salsa & jive classes: If you want to stay fit – Take the dive, with salsa and jive, two left feet won’t stop the beat. Join now as individual or couple. Unleash your potential. Individual attention to all students guaranteed. For details contact: 97979816/94445711. ❑ ❑ ❑

Free Arabic course: IPC and all its branches is opening Free Arabic Language Course for non-Arab Ladies accessible in beginners and advance levels. Class in Islamic and Quran courses are also presented in different languages. Registration is on! Call the nearest IPC branch: Rawdah: Offers 2 alternatives for Level 1 — Call: 22512257. 1. Once a week class (4-month course); 2. Twice a week class (2-month course) Salmiyah: 25733263, 97533263; Continued on Page 35

Pollyanna, a Maltese, is groomed for her judging session. (AFP)

Chino, a Keeshonden, is groomed before judging. (AFP)

Fiona, a 2-year-old Red Dilute Brush Coat, waits in the benching area. (AP)

A Bischons Frises waits for its judging session. (AFP)

A little ego can go a long way at US’s pooch pageant

Westminster winners walk the walk NEW YORK, Feb 12, (AP): Banana Joe has this little quirk. The affenpinscher with the monkeylike face shakes his oversized head so hard, he sometimes loses his balance. That’s OK. At this level of competition at the Westminster dog show, having a big head helps. “He has a huge impression of himself,” handler Ernesto Lara said. Ditto for Jewel, the American foxhound that likes vanilla milkshakes. While her entourage fussed over her early win Monday night, she looked around Madison Square Garden for more action. “Right now, in her mind, she’s thinking this is exactly how it should’ve happened,” said John Miller, son of coowner Lisa Miller. “She knows she’s awesome.” A little ego can go a long way at America’s top pooch pageant, especially heading into the best in show pick Tuesday night. Banana Joe won best of breed for the third straight year, then took the toy group. Jewel was the top hound and Honor the bichon frise won the nonsporting group - Ellen Charles co-owns both dogs. “My lucky night,” she said.

Honors An old English sheepdog earned herding honors. It was quite a surprise by Westminster standards - 90-pound (40-kilogram) Swagger is just 20 months old and had only entered three previous dog shows. “Such a cool dog,” breeder-ownerhandler Colton Johnson said. The top working, sporting and terriers come Tuesday, and judge Michael Dougherty was set to choose the best in show shortly before 11 pm on the USA Network. A Doberman playfully called

Cosmetic surgery isn’t permitted

Primping pooches: Do’s & don’ts at Westminster NEW YORK, Feb 12, (AP): Scissors, blow dryers, bobby pins - they’re as much a part of the Westminster dog show as commands, crates and treats. Take Sophie, for example. With perfectly trimmed pompoms and fluffed out fur, she’s the very essence of poodle pulchritude. What Westminster won’t tolerate, though, are PEDs - performanceenhanced dogs. That means no tattooing a boxer’s nose to make it more black, no braces for a pointer to straighten its teeth, no removing a basset hound’s inner eyelid to improve its appearance. “It goes against the spirit of showing dogs in their appropriate state,” Westminster President Sean McCarthy said Monday, the opening of the twoday show. Cosmetic surgery isn’t permitted, either, along with steroids. Yet detecting

illegal drugs is virtually impossible while a dog has its few minutes in the ring. “Our judges are not all veterinarians,” longtime Westminster television host and breeder David Frei said. “They can’t tell if a dog is on greenies.” There were 2,721 entries this year, though some missed out after getting stranded by the recent blizzard that hit the Northeast. The 137th Westminster features dogs in 187 breeds and varieties with a pair of newcomers, the treeing Walker coonhound and the Russell terrier. A highly ranked American foxhound known as Jewel that likes vanilla milkshakes won the hound group Monday night at Madison Square Garden. “I call her my tomboy princess,” coowner, breeder and handler Lisa Miller said. A bichon frise called Honor won the nonsporting group. He is co-owned by

Ellen Charles, also the co-owner of Jewel. “My lucky night,” Charles said. An affenpinscher called Banana Joe took the toy group. Known for his monkeylike face, he earlier won best of breed honors for the third straight year. An old English sheepdog earned herding honors. It was quite a surprise by Westminster standards - 90-pound (40-kilogram) Swagger is just 20 months old and had only entered three previous dog shows. “Such a cool dog,” breeder-ownerhandler Colton Johnson said. Jewel, plus a Doberman playfully called Fifi and a big-winning wire fox terrier called Sky were among the favorites to walk off with the prized silver bowl. Sophie the standard poodle did her best, yet didn’t advance. She sure got a lot of attention backstage, with little

girls petting her white coat and nuzzling her muzzle. When co-owner Jay Ponton of Norfolk, Virginia, moved close, Sophie chawed on his nose and licked his face. There were pump and spritz sprays on the tables in the poodle grooming area, but none of the heavy-duty aerosol hairspray cans that are a no-no. It takes plenty of primping to get poodles ready to compete, though there are limits. “If you’re putting in teeth, that’s a different beast. It’s a different animal,” said Roxanne Wolf of Baltimore. She’s the fiancee of Sophie’s handler, Kaz Hosaka, who guided a miniature poodle to the 2002 Westminster crown. Some things are OK. Corn starch is often used to get water off a coat, and that helped on a rainy Monday as dogs piled into the halls on the Hudson piers for early judging.

Fifi and a big-winning wire fox terrier called Sky were among the favorites to walk off with the prized silver bowl. There were 2,721 entries this year, though some missed out after getting stranded by the recent blizzard that hit the Northeast. The 137th Westminster features dogs in 187 breeds and varieties with a pair of newcomers, the treeing Walker coonhound and the Russell terrier. Sophie left without any ribbons. But with perfectly trimmed pompoms and fluffed out fur, she was the very essence of poodle pulchritude. Scissors, blow dryers, bobby pins -

they’re as much a part of the Westminster dog show as commands, crates and treats. What Westminster won’t tolerate, though, are PEDs - performanceenhanced dogs. That means no tattooing a boxer’s nose to make it more black, no braces for a pointer to straighten its teeth, no removing a basset hound’s inner eyelid to improve its appearance. “It goes against the spirit of showing dogs in their appropriate state,” Westminster President Sean McCarthy said. Cosmetic surgery isn’t permitted,

either, along with steroids. Yet detecting illegal drugs is virtually impossible while a dog has its few minutes in the ring.

month in Birmingham, England. In a year or so, that event might change regulations that have been in place for nearly a century. “The Kennel Club set up a working party to look at the rules surrounding the use of hairspray, chalk and other products at dog shows, and whilst this review goes on the strict prohibition of these substances remains in place, including for Crufts 2013,” club secretary Caroline Kisko said. “The Kennel Club regulations state that the use of products that could ‘alter the natural color, texture or body of the coat’ may not be used,” she said.

Regulations “Our judges are not all veterinarians,” longtime Westminster television host and breeder David Frei said. “They can’t tell if a dog is on greenies.” Some things are OK. Corn starch is often used to get water off a coat, and that helped on a rainy Monday as dogs piled into the halls on the Hudson piers for early judging. Crufts, the largest dog show in the world, expects to draw 25,000 dogs next



Horoscope By Jacqueline Bigar Happy birthday for Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013: This year the unexpected runs rampant in your day-to-day life. It prevents boredom, and it helps you identify your priorities. You might have difficulty walking away from drama. Rather than fight the trend, let the exciting dynamics roll right past you. If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it is change, and it is right around the corner. If you are single, you could have a sequence of intense potential sweeties. Take your time deciding, and you will benefit. If you are attached, the two of you have a great time together. When you relax, you are like two kids playing together. ARIES makes you laugh. The Stars Show the Kind of Day You’ll Have: 5Dynamic; 4-Positive; 3-Average; 2-So-so; 1-Difficult

Capricorn - (Dec 22 - Jan 19) **** Get back to the basics, and understand what is happening with a family member. You really don’t

need to ask questions. Just trust in this person’s ability to work through these issues. You have a little too much energy for your own good. Go for a jog. Tonight: At home.

Aquarius - (Jan

20 - Feb 18)

**** You’ll speak your mind. Others will either brainstorm with you or decide to counter your thoughts. Perhaps they even might choose to ignore you. Make a call to a relative you no longer can avoid. Have a gossip session if you want to keep the peace. Tonight: Paint the town red.

Pisces - (Feb 19 - Mar 20) *** You could have a different opinion from a friend about a money matter. This situation could blow up in your face or evolve into a major power play. Decide which way to go, or consider a different option. Your mind can be unusually resourceful.

home decor

Tonight: Keep it low-key.

Aries - (Mar 21 - Apr 19) **** Put your best foot forward, even in an unpredictable situation. You tend to help others feel a lot more relaxed and at ease. Claim your power, and do what you want. Someone who pushes you hard will respect you more as a result. Tonight: Do your own thing.

Taurus - (Apr 20 - May 20) *** Read between the lines rather than immediately react. In fact, the less said, the better. You might have difficulty getting past a problem or a bad mood. Just let time do its thing. Someone at a distance could be exceptionally difficult. Tonight: Get some extra R and R.

Gemini - (May 21 - June 20)

***** Look at what is going on in a meeting. Note the different roles others play. These roles are interesting in that they reflect each person’s issues. You might be so detached that others could feel uncomfortable with you. Recognize your limits. Tonight: Only where the crowds are.

Cancer - (June 21 - July 22) *** Take a stand and know what you want to do. Somehow others easily misunderstand you. You could feel as if someone is bullying you. Walk away. You might take a strong stand in a key matter. Realize that you might be the one creating a problem. Tonight: Take the lead.

Leo - (July 23 - Aug 22)

***** Take the lead in a situation before someone can interfere. The unexpected occurs, and it floors you and many others. A meeting points your attention in the right direction. Pressure comes from your schedule and its demands. Tonight: Go to a favorite

indoor gardening

spot that has music.

Virgo - (Aug 23 - Sept 22): ***** Deal with someone you care about directly. The interaction might surprise you at first, and then could delight you later. You need that type of dynamic in a bond in order to stay interested. Understand your need for change. Tonight: Play “follow the leader.”

Libra - (Sept 23 - Oct 22) ***** Defer to others, and avoid an argument. A power play might get the best of you if you get involved in it. The smart move is to steer clear and do what is necessary. Do not respond. If you continue to say nothing, the game might end. Tonight: Say “yes” to an invitation.

Scorpio - (Oct 23 - Nov 21)

beauty tips

*** You might try to bypass a problem when the unexpected occurs. Recognize that you can do only so much. Do not attempt a power play or any other type of manipulation. You know what is acceptable. Tonight: Opt for a foot rub or a massage, should someone offer.

Sagittarius - (Nov 22 - Dec


***** Your playfulness emerges when speaking to friends and loved ones. You express your love of the good life by living in the moment. Pressure builds around your finances. Someone might have an expectation you can’t seem to meet. Tonight: Celebrate the moment.

Born today: Musician Peter Gabriel (1950), talk-show host Jerry Springer (1944), actress Kim Novak (1933)

taste buds

diy rag rug

sinningia speciosa

Vitamin B for beautiful body

potato soup

Supplies: Strips of quilting fabric Non-skid rug mat Round-pointed peg Latex-based adhesive Instructions: Cut the fabric strips to about 1 inch x 5 inches. Poke a hole in one corner and push one end of a strip through until it protrudes by just under half. Poke a second hole four threads along (about 1cm/ 1/2in) and insert the other end of the strip through this hole. Poke one end of another strip into the same hole as the last. Make a further hole four threads along and push the other end of this second strip through. Continue working in straight rows, 4cm/ 1-1/2in apart. Check the density after a few rows. Finish edges by applying latex-based adhesive and folding over a double hem.

Sinningia speciosa produces big, ruffled, bellshaped blooms that are available in a rich range of colors — red, burgundy, pink, white, violet and purple. Its velvety flowers are carried on slender stems above a rosette of large, oval, hairy leaves with scalloped edges. Site: bright light, but no direct sun. Moderate humidity. Temperature: average room temperatures 6075°F/16-24°C. Water: keep soil evenly moist.

Vitamin B is important for healthy and beautiful skin, hair, and eyes. People who have a deficiency of B vitamins could have one or more of the following: greasy hair, dandruff, dry skin, scaly lips, poor hair growth, and grey hair. So try and include some of the following foods in your diet to ensure you not only are healthy but also look great: ■ Whole grain cereals, wheat ■ Nuts ■ Green leafy vegetables ■ Molasses ■ Meat ■ Liver

Ingredients: 1 cup onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 3 cups potatoes, diced 3 cups water 3 chicken bouillon cubes 3 tablespoons flour 1 (354 ml) can evaporated 2% milk Method: In a large pot, sautee onion and garlic with 2 tbsp oil. Add potatoes, water, bouillon cubes to pot. Heat to boiling, then cover and simmer until potatoes are cooked. Mix flour with a small amount of evaporated milk, making a paste. Gradually stir in remaining milk. Add to potato mixture. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Stir often to ensure the soup doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot.

Dear Abby Friends stunned with the state of marriage By Abigail Van Buren Dear Abby: My daughters are attractive young women, both doing well in their professional careers. “Melanie,” who is 27, is married to “Sam,” an extremely attractive and successful man. My 30-year-old daughter, “Alicia,” has been divorced for a year. Her marriage failed two years ago because she and her husband had an appetite for sex outside their marriage. While I was disturbed about that, I was horrified to learn that Melanie allows her sister to occasionally have sex with Sam. Melanie’s argument is that Sam is less likely to cheat given this situation. When I asked her and Sam about it, he said it wasn’t his idea. My current husband says any man who would refuse this “set-up” would be nuts. Alicia claims she “doesn’t have time” to date right now, and after she finishes her MBA, she’ll seek out a more normal relationship. I am distraught about this mess. Melanie says she wants to start a family soon. She says Abigail Van Buren she loves Sam, who can “handle everything,” and she enjoys seeing “everyone happy.” She says Alicia won’t sleep around now and, maybe, one day she’ll marry a handsome man like Sam who will “return the favor”! I can’t believe these girls are my daughters. Should I continue to protest or let it go? Is this relaxed attitude about sex prevalent in young people today? I cannot understand Melanie’s lack of desire to defend her turf. — Heartbroken mom in Florida Dear mom: Your daughters appear to be into the concept of open marriage. Clearly, they do not view marriage and relationships the same way you do. Melanie is naive to think that encouraging Sam to have a sexual relationship with her sister will discourage him from seeking other partners. Far from it. And as for her wanting to start a family, has she considered what will happen if her husband impregnates Alicia at the same time — or first? But back to your question: Are you right to protest? You certainly are. That’s what mothers are for — to inject a dose of sanity when everyone around her is losing theirs. ❑ ❑ ❑ Dear Abby: The other day at work, my girlfriend overheard a group of people in the break room talking about what they’d do first if they won the lottery. Without exception, everyone in that room said the first thing they would do is get a divorce. My girlfriend was stunned. Have you ever done an informal reader survey on this subject? Is the state of marriage in America really that bad? I’m also curious if answers would differ along gender lines. Let me know what you think, and thanks. — Happily single but still a believer in marriage Dear happily single: No, I have not done a reader survey on this subject. But I’m glad you asked, because I think what your girlfriend heard is a sad commentary on the state of the marriages of her co-workers. Readers, if you’d care to chime in on this, I’m sure it would be enlightening. ❑ ❑ ❑ 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)

The new executive committee of Kuwait Kannada Koota for 2013 started its activities for the year with a bang on Variety entertainment program. The program of devotional and patriotic music and a comedy drama was held at the Indian Community School Khaitan. After the beautiful rendition of the invocation song by Mrs Vasantha Ashok Kumar and Mrs Madhavi Kulkarni the activities of the evening were flagged off by lighting the traditional lamp by the members of the Executive committee (Dinesh

R., Vijayakumara Kairangala, Ramesh P., Ramesh Chikkanna) and their spouses. Dinesh R, the president of the Koota welcomed the audience for the program. The musical program was presented by the invited Hindustani musician Vidwaan Vaagish Bhatt of Bangalore. His impeccable diction and beautiful voice mesmerized the audience. He was ably supported on sitar by Vidwan Srinivasan, on tabla by VidwaN Sudatta and Srinath. The second part of the program was a comedy play titled Mooru Muttu (Three pearls) presented by visiting troupe

Roopakala of Kundapura, Karnataka. The drama is a hugely successful comedy with around 883 shows so far all over the world. The Kuwait Kannada Koota members. Manjeshwar Mohandas Kamat, Srinivas Prabhu and Suresh Neramballi surprised the audience with their acting abilities with training of less than two days by participating in the drama in some important roles. The program was compeered by Mrs Shailaja Hombali, Mrs Veena Kulkarni and Ananth Mangalagi, Ramesh P., the General Secretary proposed a vote of thanks.

what’s on today 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 email 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.

■ KLT presents Daisy Pulls It Off: 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 today, Thursday 14th February and Friday 15th February at 7.30pm. To book your tickets, please e-mail Don’t forget to include which show date you are booking for, how many tickets 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! ❑ ❑ ❑

■ Quiz Night for Ladies: TIES Center Ladies Club invites all ladies to the educative & entertaining session of quiz night (2nd Wednesday of every month). Time: 6 pm till 8 pm. You can come with your family and enjoy the quiz night together. Refreshments will be provided. For more information/registration,contact 25231015/6 or 97228860 or visit ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ Islamic classes in French: The Enlightenment into Islam is offering Islamic Classes in French for ladies. Timings 4:30 to 7 pm. Every Wednesday. Please register at the office (Women’s Section), 2nd floor. For more information please contact us. Telephone 25362684, 99789954, 99507076, 97743327. Fax 25342573 (attention — Enlightenment into Islam) ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ English Course at TIES Center: TIES Center announces new English Course Classes from Jan 9th 2013 to Feb 13th 2013, every

Wednesday 6 pm to 8 pm. The course would be conducted by an instructor with vast experience in teaching English Mohammad Abdullah Cathcart, native English speaker, California/Minnesota accent and TEFL Certified English teacher. The classes would be at TIES Center in Al Shuhada, for more information please call 97228860 or you contact us through the following email address

Dear Alvi Koshy, wishing you a very happy birthday. May God bless you always and keep you safe, keep smiling and take care. Love from all your near and dear ones.

Dear Aurora, many, many happy returns of the day. May God bless you and keep you happy always. May all your dreams come true. Hugs and kisses from your loving friend Janet Mendonca.

Dear Monica, mummy and aunty, on this special day, we wish you all the best, all the joy you can ever have and may you be blessed abundantly. Happy birthday!!! lots of love and wishes from Kevin, Evin, Swaara and Aldrin.

emergency number 112 ❑ ❑

■ First AG Church Meetings: First Assembly of God Church Kuwait Worship Meetings on all Fridays from 9:30 am - 12:15 pm and Fasting Prayer on all Thursdays from 7 pm - 9:15 pm at NECK Compound (Hall of Hope, Ground Floor, Front of Baptism Pool) Kuwait City. Cottage meetings on all Mondays from 7.30 pm - 9 pm at scheduled places. Fasting prayer on third Wednesday, Thursday & Friday of every month. Sunday School on all Fridays from 7.30 am - 9 am at Abbasiya Parsonage (Abbasiya Supermarket bldg). Ladies prayer meeting on Wednesdays from 5 pm - 7 pm at scheduled places. C.A Youth Meeting on last Thursday of every month from 7 pm - 9 pm. Transportation provided to all parts of Kuwait. For more information contact Pastor V.D Thomas (97251639/24312630), Bro Abraham George (99384503/24768495). E-mail: ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ 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. Dr Lesch acquired her doctorate from Columbia University and joined AUC as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2004. As co-founder of the Palestinian American Research Center, Dr Lesch’s research interests cover Palestinian, Egyptian, and Sudanese politics. Dr Lesch has published 60 academic articles and book chapters, and authored 10 books that focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict and interArab relations.




Ugandans register with UIK: Are you a Ugandan living and working in Kuwait? Would you like to get in touch with other Ugandans in Kuwait both socially and professionally? Then please get in touch with us. We would like to invite you to register with the Ugandans in Kuwait (UIK) association, an informal organization of Ugandans living and working in Kuwait. The purpose of this exercise is to get together as Ugandans and to consider taking the first steps to establishing a more formal organisation. This association is voluntary. It is designed to create a forum for Ugandans in Kuwait to foster a sense of community, to communicate more effectively with each other and to encourage Ugandans out here to work together. We are also planning a celebration to mark 50 years of Ugandan’s Independence this year. If you have any questions regarding this association or if you are interested in registering, then please send us an email at We hope to hear from you soon. ❑ ❑ ❑

Courses Continued from Page 33 Kheitan: 24730137, 99285459; Mangaf: 23723002 ext 124/123; Jahra: 24558830, 97533948. ❑ ❑ ❑

TIES Russian Classes: TIES Center Russian Club is glad to announce the start of Russian Language Courses. We offer classes for all levels, from beginners to advance level. TIES Russian Courses are intended for all Arabic speakers who wish to learn Russian as a second language or simply as a hobby. Throughout the course the students will learn how to read and write in a friendly, relaxed and welcoming environment. For more information/registration kindly contact us 97226650. ❑ ❑ ❑ TIES Arabic course: TIES Center offers Arabic classes. We offer classes for all levels, from beginners to advance. TIES Arabic classes are intended for all expatriates who wish to learn Arabic (business, basic communication, hobby, fun, etc…). Throughout the course the students will learn how to read, write and speak Arabic in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. For more information please contact 25231015-6; mobile 97228860/96682792 or visit our website at ❑ ❑ ❑

Indian urged to register: Kozhikode

AWARE Winter Arabic course: ‘The AWARE Management is glad to inform you that Winter 2 Arabic language courses with new textbooks and curricula begins today and runs until March 18, 2013. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed and courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. We cater to teachers, travelers and those working in the private business sector. Arabic classes at the AWARE Center are unique because students are provided with the chance to

A flyer of the event practice their Arabic through various social activities that aim at bringing Arabs and Westerners together. AWARE Arabic courses highlight: ■ Introductory to Level 5 Arabic language basics ■ Better prepare you for speaking, reading and writing Arabic ■ Combine language learning with cul-

A flyer of the event

tural insights ■ Taught in multi-nationality group settings ■ Provide opportunities to interact with Western expatriates and native Kuwaitis/Arabs. Note: Due to some of our clients’ busy schedules during week days, AWARE Center has decided to offer Arabic classes

every Saturday for beginners (Introductory Arabic) with effect from Feb 9, 2013 until March 16, 2013. Don’t miss this opportunity! For more information, please call 25335260/80 or log onto: ❑ ❑ ❑

General AWL registration: Ladies, all nationalities, wishing to join the American Women’s League (AWL) of Kuwait should call 99039723 and visit their Facebook page. ❑ ❑ ❑

District NRI Association (KDNA), registered with Indian Embassy Kuwait is urging all Indian nationals in Kuwait to register their name in Indian Embassy official website. Association reminded all the Indians to utilize the facility provided in the embassy website Association understands that more than 600,000 Indians are living in Kuwait but about 4,000 nationals have only registered their details until now. Association has already started the registration for its members. Complete data of Indian nationals in Kuwait will help to get easy reference about the person moreover can find out their Indian contact details in case of any individual emergency. Sometimes, it is apparent that due to lack of this updated data we face the difficulty of tracing the details of the person. This registration will pave the way for Embassy to have reliable data. It is important that we do our part, to help the Embassy to serve its community. Please visit embassy website:

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)

12.45, 14.45, 16.45, 18.45 (Daily) 360° 3 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 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

4. Al Fanar

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

(Claudia Abate, Pere Ponce) Muhalab 2 Fanar 3

Marina 3

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)

Al Muhalab Complex, Behind Hawalli Clinic, Hawalli

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

Al-Kout 2

Grand Al-Hamra, tel: 22270333,

Broken City (Dig)

360° 1

360° 9

Al-Kout 3

(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)

Bairaq 3 Laila Grand Cine

15.00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, 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 Avenues 7

12.30 (Mon, Thur, Fri, Sat) 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)

Quartet (Dig) 360° 15

19.30 (Daily)

ABCD (Dig) Hindi (Prabhu Deva, Salman Khan) 360° 15

16.30, 21.30 (Daily)

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

Silent Hill: Revelation (Dig)

Muhalab 2 Fanar 2 Marina 3 Avenues 2

360° 3 360° 5 Grand Cine

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

(Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon)

(Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington) 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)

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


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

00.45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 13.00 (Sat) 15.00 (Fri & Sat) 17.00 (Sun, Tue, Wed, 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))

IMAX Sunday

14. The Scientific Center Opp Holiday Inn, Salmiya, Gulf Road IMAX

360° 5

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

Imax film programme at The Scientific Centre

6. Al Muhalab

Sharqia 2

Sharqia 3

(Mammotty, Dileep)

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

15. Grand Cinemas

Kammath & Kammath (Dig) Ajial 4 Metro 1

5. Al Kout

(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)

Ajial 3

1. 360°

Snowflake, The White Gorilla (DIG) Sharqia 2

23.30 (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun) 15.45, 18.45, 21.45 (Daily)

Avenues 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) (Kajal Agarwal, Manoj Bajpai) ‘Bullet to the Head’ starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater is now showing in Kuwait cinemas.

Fanar 3 Avenues 7 360° 14

18.30, 21.30 (Daily) 15.30, 21.30 (Daily) 14.30, 17.30, 20.30 (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



Couch slouch

CNN slots Tapper show, cuts length of Blitzer’s ‘Situation Room’ LOS ANGELES, Feb 12, (Agencies): CNN slotted new anchor Jake Tapper’s upcoming show for 4 pm on weekdays, cutting Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room” back one hour, a CNN spokeswoman told TheWrap. Tapper, lured away from ABC News in December, was CNN boss Jeff Zucker’s first major hire since taking charge of the network. Now, with his own show coming

in March, Blitzer’s program will but cut from three hours to two as it moves to the 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. time slot. A CNN spokeswoman told TheWrap Tapper’s show has no specific starting date yet because it is still in development. Last month, Turner Broadcasting posted LinkedIn job openings for a senior producer at a new daily program called “Tapper.”

And on Monday, CNN named Federico Quadrani, MSNBC’s executive producer of “Jansing and Company,” as the show’s new executive producer. Choosing Quadrani — who served as an Emmy-winning producer for NBC’s “Today” show from 2003 to 2009 — is one of Zucker’s higher profile hires as the former “Today” producer attempts to replicate his morning show success at

CNN. After taking charge of the show in 1992, Zucker led “Today” to its ratings highs before Katie Couric’s departure for CBS. The subsequent exit of Meredith Vieira, who replaced Couric, made it vulnerable to rival “Good Morning America.” Late last month, CNN announced that it had bought “20/20” anchor and former “GMA” host Chris Cuomo to lead a new

morning show with Erin Burnett. ❑

Amanda Knox, the college junior who spent four years in an Italian prison after being accused of murdering her British roommate, is telling her story to ABC News. The network says the exclusive interview will air on a prime-time special on April 30. It also will be featured on other

ABC News programming. Knox was an American student studying in Italy when, in 2007, she became the center of a murder case that seized the world’s attention. She was convicted in 2009. But after an appeal, she was acquitted and released in October 2011. The interview is timed to the publication of Knox’s book, “Waiting to Be Heard.”

tv highlights Animal Planet 05:55 Call Of The Wildman 06:20 Escape To Chimp Eden 06:45 Shamwari: A Wild Life 07:10 Shamwari: A Wild Life 07:35 Wildlife SOS 08:00 The Really Wild Show 08:25 My Cat From Hell 09:15 Dogs 101: Specials 10:10 Animal Airport 10:35 Animal Airport 11:05 Wildest Africa 12:00 Animal Cops Phoenix 12:55 Call Of The Wildman 13:20 Wildlife SOS 13:50 Wildlife SOS 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 Weird Creatures With Nick Baker 19:20 Breed All About It 19:45 Breed All About It 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 Mutant Planet 23:55 Amba The Russian Tiger 00:50 Animal Cops South Africa 01:45 Your Worst Animal Nightmares 02:35 I'm Alive 03:25 Wildest Africa 04:15 Mutant Planet 05:05 Amba The Russian Tiger 05:55 Call Of The Wildman




BBC Lifestyle

tv today Crime & Investigation 06:00 Watching The Detectives 07:00 Murder Casebook With Fred Dinenage 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 I Didn't Do It 13:00 The Devil You Know 14:00 Evil Up Close 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 Paranormal State 23:30 Paranormal State 00:00 Psychic Detectives 00:30 Psychic Detectives 01:00 Charles Starkweather: Born To Kill 02:00 Watching The Detectives 03:00 Psychic Detectives 03:30 Psychic Detectives 04:00 Paranormal State 04:30 Paranormal State 05:00 Snapped: Women Who Kill 06:00 Watching The Detectives

Sports TV listings — See Page 50 — 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 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

Who On Earth Did I Marry? 10:30 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 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 American Greed 23:50 I Almost Got Away With It 00:40 I Almost Got Away With It 01:30 Dr G: Medical Examiner 02:20 Ghost Lab 03:05 American Greed 03:55 I Almost Got Away With It 04:45 I Almost Got Away With It 05:30 Dr G: Medical Examine

Disney XD

06:00 Monroe 07:00 Moving On 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 Martina Cole's The Runaway 14:00 Monroe 15:00 Moving On 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 The Jury 22:00 Dirk Gently 23:00 Cirque Du Soleil Zaia 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 The Jury 06:00 Dirk Gently

07:00 Kickin It 07:25 Phineas And Ferb 07:50 Almost Naked Animals 08:15 Crash & Bernstein 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 Kick Buttowski 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 Kickin It 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 Crash & Bernstein 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 SpiderMan 23:05 Kick Buttowski 23:30 Scaredy Squirrel 00:00 Programmes Start At 7:00am KSA 07:00 Kickin It

06:10 House Swap 06:55 Gino D'acampo: An Italian In Mexico 07:20 Gino D'acampo: An Italian In Mexico 07:45 Indian Food Made Easy 08:10 Homes Under The Hammer 09:00 Bargain Hunt 09:45 Bargain Hunt: Famous Finds 10:30 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 11:50 MasterChef 12:15 Perfect Day 12:40 Perfect Day 13:05 Come Dine With Me 13:55 Baking Made Easy 14:20 10 Years Younger 15:10 Bargain Hunt 15:55 Bargain Hunt: Famous Finds 16:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 18:00 Homes Under The Hammer 18:50 Rick Stein's Spain 19:45 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 20:10 French Food At Home 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 03:00 10 Years Younger 03:50 MasterChef 04:45 Bargain Hunt 05:30 Living In The Sun

06:05 American Guns 07:00 Mythbusters 07:50 Bear Grylls 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 Flying Wild Alaska 12:45 Man, Woman, Wild 13:40 Finding Bigfoot 14:35 Border Security 15:05 Auction Kings 15:30 Auction Kings 16:00 Unchained Reaction 16:55 Masters Of Survival 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 Magic Of Science 21:55 Time Warp 22:25 Mythbusters 23:20 Mythbusters 00:15 Magic Of Science 00:40 Time Warp 01:10 Mythbusters 02:05 Mythbusters 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

06:00 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 Taz-Mania 19:05 Moomins 19:30 Pink Panther & Pals 19:45 The Garfield Show 20:00 Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries 20:20 Tom And Jerry 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 Scooby-Doo? 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 ScoobyDoo 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

06:15 Suite Life On Deck 06:40 My Babysitter's A Vampire 07:05 Phineas And Ferb 07:30 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 The Hive 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 15:00 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 00:10 Hannah Montana 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

Cartoon Network 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

06:00 Jungle Junction 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 Zou 17:10 Zou 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 Zou 19:50 Zou 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


BBC World

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

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

Dinosaurs 21:00 William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet 23:00 Catwoman 01:00 Interview With The Vampire 03:00 The Last King Of Scotland 05:00 The League Of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse

Ceremony 17:00 Game Of Death 19:00 Super 8 21:00 Martha Marcy May Marlene 23:00 Casino Jack 01:00 Game Of Death 03:00 Garfield's Pet Force 05:00 Riddles Of The Sphinx 07:00 Ceremony

OSN Movies Action HD

OSN Movies Comedy

06:00 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle 08:00 Judge Dredd 10:00 True Justice: Dead Drop 12:00 Warbirds 14:00 Judge Dredd 16:00 Rage Of The Yeti 18:00 Warbirds 20:00 RoboCop 2 22:00 The Perfect Host 00:00 The Killing Room 02:00 RoboCop 2 04:00 Judge Dredd 06:00 Warbirds

06:00 Envy 08:00 Rebound 10:00 It's Kind Of A Funny Story 12:00 Wayne's World 2 14:00 In Her Shoes 16:15 It's Kind Of A Funny Story 18:00 Sleepless In Seattle 20:00 The Waterboy 22:00 Eurotrip 00:00 Big Fat Important Movie 02:00 The Waterboy 04:00 Sleepless In Seattle 06:00 It's Kind Of A Funny Story

09:00 BC action 09:00 Cold Case 09:45 CSI 10:30 Bones 11:15 Most Daring 12:00 Driven 13:00 CSI 13:45 Cold Case 14:30 Bones 15:30 Action Ya Dawry 16:30 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 18:00 NCIS 19:00 WWE Superstars 20:00 Assassins 22:00 The Mentalist 23:00 Action Ya Dawry 00:00 House Of Wax 02:00 Action Ya Dawry 03:00 Rome 04:00 Assassins 05:30 WWE Superstars 06:30 The Mentalist 07:45 Bones 08:15 Law & Order

MBC 2 08:30 Gone Fishin’ 10:00 The Bodyguard 12:30 Pay It Forward 14:30 (500) Days Of Summer 16:30 The Lost World: Jurassic Park 19:00 Ice Age: Dawn Of The

Discovery Channel

Disney Junior

OSN Cinema 07:15 Nothing Like The Holidays 09:00 Treasure Island 12:00 Garfield's Pet Force 13:30 Riddles Of The Sphinx 15:15

E! Entertainment 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 Opening Act 09:15 Opening Act 10:15 THS 12:05 Khloe And Lamar 12:35 Khloe And Lamar 13:05 Married To Jonas 13:35 Married To Jonas 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Style Star 15:30 THS 16:30 Behind The Scenes 17:00 Giuliana & Bill 18:00 E! News 19:30 E!es 20:00 E!es 21:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 22:00 E! News 23:30 Chelsea Lately 00:00 Dirty Soap 00:55 Style Star 01:25 20 Acts Of Love Gone Wrong 03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme CloseUp 04:10 THS 05:05 E!es 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 Charly's Cake Angels 23:25 Charly's Cake Angels 23:50 Unique Sweets 00:15 Unique Sweets 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 Charly's Cake Angels 03:10 Charly's Cake Angels 03:35 Unique Sweets 04:00 Unique Sweets 04:20 Kid In A Candy Store 04:50 Unique Sweets 05:15 Charly's Cake Angels 05:40 Chopped

Fox TV 07:06:30 Flash Forward 07:00 Baby 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 Listener 15:00 According to Jim 15:30 According to Jim 16:00 Lie To Me 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 Glee 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 Ghost Whisperer 02:30 Glee 03:30 Ghost Whisperer 04:30 CSI Miami 05:30 Ghost Whisperer 06:30 Flash Forward

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

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

OSN Movies Festival 07:00 Bright Star 09:00 Lord Of The Dance 11:00 Dear John 13:00 I've Loved

ITV Granada

Nat Geo Adventure HD 06:15 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 3 06:40 Food Lover's Guide To The Planet 07:10 Exploring The Vine 07:35 Kimchi Chronicles 08:05 Around The World For Free 09:00 A World Apart 09:55 Long Way Down 10:50 Banged Up Abroad 11:45 City Chase: Argentina 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 Exploring The Vine 14:55 Kimchi Chronicles 15:25 Around The World For Free 16:20 A World Apart 17:15 Long Way Down 18:10 Banged Up Abroad 19:05 City Chase Rome 20:00 Exploring The Vine 20:30 Kimchi Chronicles 21:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 3 21:30 Food Lover's Guide To The Planet 22:00 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 22:55 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 3 23:20 Food Lover's Guide To The Planet 23:50 Eccentric Uk 00:15 Eccentric Uk 00:45 Amish: Out of Order 01:40 Meet The Natives: USA 02:35 Bondi Rescue 03:00 Bondi Rescue 03:30 Bondi Rescue 03:55 Bondi Rescue 04:25 Travel Oz 04:50 Travel Oz 05:20 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 06:15 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 3

Nat Geo Channel HD 06:00 Departures 07:00 Engineering Connections 08:00 Naked Science S2.5 09:00 The Known Universe 10:00 The Known Universe 11:00 Departures 12:00 Jurassic C.S.I. 13:00 Shark Men 14:00 Departures 15:00 Engineering Connections 16:00 Naked Science S2.5 17:00 The Known Universe 18:00 The Known Universe 19:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 20:00 Situation Critical 21:00 Shark Men 22:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 23:00 Engineering Connections 00:00 Naked Science S2.5 01:00 Fight Masters 02:00 Crash Science 03:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 04:00 Situation Critical 05:00 Shark Men 06:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy

Nat Geo Wild HD 05:35 Untamed Americas 06:30 Triumph of Life 07:25 Dangerous Encounters 08:20 World's Deadliest Animals 09:15 I, Predator 10:10 World's Worst Venom 11:05 How Big Can It Get 12:00 Monster Fish 13:00 Triumph of Life 14:00 Dangerous Encounters 15:00 World's Deadliest Animals 16:00 Salmon Wars 17:00 Dangerous Encounters 18:00 Hunter Hunted 19:00 Fish Warrior 20:00 Dangerous Encounters 21:00 World's Deadliest Animals 22:00 I, Predator 23:00 Dangerous Encounters 00:00 Hunter Hunted 01:00 Monster Fish 01:55 Restless Planet 02:50 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 03:45 The Pack 04:40 Triumph of Life 05:35 Great Migrations

NDTV Good Times 06:00 Tele shopping 06:30 Yogacity 07:00 Chakh Le India 07:30 Gourmet Central 08:00 Confessions Of A Travel Bag 08:30 Love Bites With Joey 09:00 A Whole New World 09:30 A Whole New World 10:00 I Am Too Sexy For My Shoes 10:30 Vicky Goes Veg 11:00 Heavy Petting 11:30 Lock Stock And Two Smoking Tikkas 12:00 Whatever Whenever Wherever 12:30 Love Bites With Joey 13:00 Chakh Le India Kacha Rasta 13:30 Highway On My Plate 14:00 Yogacity 14:30 Gadget Guru 15:00 2 For The Road 15:30 Vicky Goes Foreign Canada Tadka 16:00 Lock Stock And Two Smoking Tikkas 16:30 Tech Grandmasters 2 17:00 Breaking Bread With Rahul Akerkar 17:30 Highway On My Plate 18:00 Ten Things To Do Around The World 18:30

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 News Special 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Report 11:00 World Sport 11:30 Inside Africa 12:00 World Business Today 13:00 Amanpour 13:30 Cnngo 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 Cnngo 21:00 International Desk 22:00 Quest Means Business 23:00 Amanpour

You So Long 15:00 Lord Of The Dance 17:00 Shanghai 19:00 Grace Of My Heart 21:00 Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate 23:00 Munich 01:45 The Man Who Came With The Snow 03:00 Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate 05:00 Grace Of My Heart 07:00 I've Loved You So Long

OSN Movies HD 07:00 StreetDance 2 09:00 The Adventures Of Tintin 11:00 The Vow 13:00 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 14:45 Real Steel 17:00 The Adventures Of Tintin 19:00 The Descendants 21:00 Martha Marcy May Marlene 23:00 Contraband 01:00 13 03:00 The Adventures Of Tintin 05:00 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 06:30 Real Steel

Ten Things To Do Around The World 19:00 Vicky Goes Foreign Canada Tadka 19:30 Royal Reservation Project Living 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 04:30 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 With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Seinfeld 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 Raising Hope 19:00 Allen Gregory 19:30 The Mindy Project 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 Louie 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 Louie 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 In Plain Sight 14:00 Jane By Design 15:00 Live Good Morning America 17:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 The Finder 20:00 Franklin & Bash 21:00 Awake 22:00 The Carrie Diaries 23:00 Six Feet Under 00:00 Franklin & Bash 01:00 Awake 02:00 The Carrie Diaries 03:00 The Finder 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 Presinto 5 12:15 Bilang Tao 12:30 PBA Games 17:00 Astig 17:15 Andar Ng Mga Balita 18:15 PBA Games 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 Bilang Tao 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 Astig 05:45 Relasyon

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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 Rescue 5 01:00 Pilipinas News 01:25 Reaksyon 01:45 Loko Moko U 02:45 Pinoy Explorer 03:45 T3 Reload:

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Health Average salt use still high

Sodium subtly cut from many foods NEW YORK, Feb 12, (AP): Salt has quietly been slipping out of dozens of the most familiar foods in brand-name America, from Butterball turkeys to Uncle Ben’s flavored rice dishes to Goya canned beans. A Kraft American cheese single has 18 percent less salt than it did three years ago. The salt in a dollop of Ragu Old World Style pasta sauce is down by 20 percent. A handful of honey Teddy Grahams has 33 percent less salt. A squirt of Heinz ketchup is 15 percent less salty. Their manufacturers are among 21 companies that have met targets so far in a voluntary, New York City-led effort to get food manufacturers and restaurateurs to lighten up on salt to improve Americans’ heart health, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday. While it’s unclear whether consumers have noticed the changes, campaigns aim to get more salt out of the national diet in the coming years — a challenge for an ingredient that plays a role in the taste, preservation and even texture of food. Salt reduction has become a recent focus of public health campaigns in the city and elsewhere. Salt, or sodium chloride, is the main source of sodium for most people.

Pressure Sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure, a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Dietary guidelines recommend no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, equal to about a teaspoon of salt; the American Heart Association suggests 1,500 milligrams or less. But average sodium consumption in the US is around 3,300 milligrams, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found. Officials said the first step was a meaningful one. “The products they’re making healthier are some of America’s most beloved and iconic foods,” noted Bloomberg, a fan of Subway’s meaty Italian BMT sandwiches, which are now 27 percent less salty. At a Manhattan grocery store, shoppers said they hadn’t noticed the salt falloff, either because they didn’t taste the difference or because they eschew prepared foods to begin with. “A decrease is good — not putting anything in there is even better. People should add their own salt,” shopper Lynne Davis said. Fashion design student Vanndy Pan said she doesn’t think about the salt in her food, though her mother has high blood pressure. “Maybe I should,” the 26-year-old said as she bought a loaf of sandwich bread, but “I’m a student. At this point, I only buy the cheap food.” Health officials say Americans get the vast majority of their salt from processed and prepared foods, and not necessarily the foods they’d imagine: Bread and rolls are the No. 1 source. “The problem is not the salt on the table. The problem is the salt on the label,” city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said. The amount of salt in any given food item can vary widely. A slice of white bread can have 80 to 230 milligrams of sodium, for example. A cup of canned chicken noodle soup has 100 to 940 milligrams. A 1-ounce bag of potato chips ranges from 50 to 200 milligrams. In one of a series of healthy-eating initiatives on Bloomberg’s 11-year watch, the city announced voluntary salt guidelines in 2010 for various restaurant and store-bought foods. Besides trimming salt levels in the foods by 25 percent by 2014, the campaign aimed to reduce consumers’ overall sodium intake by 20 percent in the same timeframe. Interim targets for the foods were set for 2012. For instant hot cereals, as an example, the guidelines called for a 15 percent salt reduction by last year and a 31 percent cut by 2014. A company can hit the target for a category, such as canned soup, even if not every product makes the mark.

Suppliers Boston-based cafe chain Au Bon Pain lowered salt in sandwiches and breads by getting suppliers to use fresh vegetables, whole grains and herbs, CEO Sue Morelli said in a release. Kraft Foods Inc squeezed salt out of products ranging from steak sauce to bacon partly by substituting potassium chloride, research VicePresident Russ Moroz said. It’s also salty-tasting, but potassium lowers blood pressure, and most Americans don’t get enough of it, Farley said. The switch works up to a point — generally, about 10 to 15 percent of the sodium content — before potassium chloride causes a bitter or metallic taste, Moroz said. Northfield, Illinois-based Kraft can use other flavors to mask that, but maintaining the taste is “really the challenge in continuing to reduce sodium,” he said. “If you don’t make foods that taste good, people don’t buy them, and, in the end, we haven’t really done anything to impact the diet in the country,” Moroz said. Bloomberg has seized on improving New Yorkers’ eating habits as a public health priority, leading charges that have banned trans fats from restaurant meals, forced chain eateries to post calorie counts on menus and limited the size of some sugary drinks. He and city officials say they’re making pioneering, reasonable efforts to save lives and cut health care costs. Some food industry interests and consumers have said New York is turning into a nutrition nanny. The salt effort has been less controversial, although the Salt Institute,

Chronic diseases

Firms impair health policy LONDON, Feb 12, (RTRS): Multinational food, drink and alcohol companies are using strategies similar to those employed by the tobacco industry to undermine public health policies, health experts said on Tuesday. In an international analysis of involvement by so-called “unhealthy commodity” companies in health policy-making, researchers from Australia, Britain, Brazil and elsewhere said self-regulation was failing and it was time the industry was regulated more stringently from outside. The researchers said that through the aggressive marketing of ultra-processed food and drink, multinational companies were now major drivers of the world’s growing epidemic of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Writing in The Lancet medical journal, the researchers cited industry documents they said revealed how companies seek to shape health legislation and avoid regulation. This is done by “building financial and institutional relations” with health professionals, non-governmental organisations and health agencies, distorting research findings, and lobbying politicians to oppose health reforms, they said. They cited analysis of published research which found systematic bias from industry funding: articles sponsored exclusively by food and drinks companies were between four and eight times more likely to have conclusions that favoured the companies than those not sponsored by them. “Regulation, or the threat of regulation, is the only way to change these transnational corporations,” wrote the researchers, led by Rob Moodie from the University of Melbourne in Australia. Ian Gilmore, special adviser on alcohol to Britain’s Royal College of Physicians said the findings were “a final nail in the coffin” of the idea that involving the alcohol industry in public health measures could work. “Any government serious about public health should in future divorce its public health activities from industry involvement,” Gilmore, who was not involved in study, said in a statement. Responding to the study’s criticisms, UNESDA, which represents the non-alcoholic drinks industry in Europe, said experts recognise obesity has many causes including diet, lack of exercise, genetics and lack of nutritional knowledge. It added that, within the EU, the European Commission had opted to take a “multistakeholder approach gathering governments, industry, the healthcare community and civil society to work together to teach people how to eat better, take more exercise and lead healthy, balanced lifestyles”.

a trade association, calls it misguided. There has been some scientific debate in recent years over how dangerous dietary salt is. “If (Bloomberg’s) goal is to improve health, we recommend that he seek a second opinion based on the available peer-reviewed scientific evidence,” institute President Lori Roman said Monday. Some companies, meanwhile, have embarked on their own salt-reduction plans. ConAgra, which makes Chef Boyardee and Marie Callender’s products, is following its own 2009 commitment to shave the amount of sodium in its foods by 20 percent by 2015. Salt was simply reduced in some recipes; others have swapped some table salt with potassium chloride or sea salt, which has lower sodium levels, said Mark Andon, vice president of nutrition at Omaha, Nebraskabased ConAgra Foods Inc. Another technique is using finer salt particles, which spread the taste over more surface area; that approach has reduced salt in its Orville Redenbacher and Act II popcorn by 25 percent.

In this Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 photo, Dr Ricardo Bello talks to a reporter about informational bracelets for heart patients at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Bellow, a cardiac surgeon at Montefiore Medical Center, leads a program that aims to keep patients recovering from heart surgery from having to be rehos-

pitalized. A new study shows parts of New York have among the nation’s highest readmission rates. To help, Montefiore opened a clinic last fall to check on patients’ recovery a week after they go home, and patients wear a bracelet with a 24-hour phone number to call the cardiac unit at the first sign of problems. (AP)

PSA test aids help clarify their values

Decision tools may help men

Skin-lightening products are pictured on Oct 10, 2008 in Dakar. The Nuul Kukk (‘All Black’) citizen’s movement was created in 2012 in Senegal to demand the removal of billboards advertising products claiming to light en black skin ‘in 15 days’. (AFP)

NEW YORK, Feb 12, (RTRS): Giving men decision-making tools to help them consider the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening changed how they valued different possible outcomes but did not affect how many chose to be tested, in a new study. A report last month suggested that one in four family doctors regularly screens men for prostate cancer without asking their permission. When doctors do discuss screening with patients, using any decision aid could help men make better choices about what’s important to them — such as catching extra cancers, possibly reducing their risk of death or avoiding unpleasant side effects — researchers said. “It’s critical to determine how best to help men make these difficult decisions, especially when they’re weighing different factors,” said Dr. Craig Pollack, who has studied doctors’ attitudes toward prostate cancer screening at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, but wasn’t involved in the new research. Last year, the government-backed US Preventive Services Task Force recommended against prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests for normal-risk men, saying there is no evidence screening has more benefits than harms.




Health ‘Firm keeping animal health biz’: Eli Lilly and Co’s chief executive said his company had no intention of following Pfizer’s lead by spinning off or selling the company’s lucrative Elanco animal health unit. “We’re comfortable with that business and we’re going to keep it,” Lilly CEO John Lechleiter said definitively on Monday during a question and answer session at the BIO CEO & Investor conference in New York. Pfizer earlier this month spun off its animal health business through an initial public offering that raised $2.2 billion, though Pfizer will control roughly 80 percent of the new company, leading to speculation that other drugmakers would follow suit. But Lechleiter said his company was very happy with a business that was posting industry leading growth rates. He said livestock and pet care products now accounted for about 10 percent of total company sales, up from 5 percent to 6 percent a few years ago, and that the percentage could become even bigger. While overall sales at Lilly declined about 7 percent in 2012, primarily due to generic competition for its once top-selling Zyprexa schizophrenia drug, the animal health unit saw sales jump 21 percent to $2 billion, with a 30 percent rise in the United States. Lechleiter also said the company had no plans to make a push into so-called orphan drugs - medicines for serious conditions that affect few people but command astronomical prices. Many drugmakers have found this to be an attractive option as they try to find ways to make up for former big sellers facing generic competition. “We’re still focused on big diseases that kill the most people,” he said, mentioning cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Lilly has a pair of high profile Alzheimer’s drugs in development. It is conducting a third late stage study of its solanezumab at the request of U.S. health regulators after the first two failed to meet the main goals of the trials but showed promise in patients with a mild form of the disease. The drug works by blocking a protein called beta amyloid that causes toxic plaques to build up in the brain. It also has a drug in Phase II testing from a promising class called beta secretase, or BACE, inhibitors. “I’m hopeful within the next 10 years, or sooner than that, we will have something that slows progression,” Lechleiter said. While the root cause of the brain wasting, memory robbing disease is not known, many researchers believe brain plaques are a main culprit. “I think the amyloid plaque hypothesis is the best shot we’ve got,” the CEO said. Meanwhile Lilly has several other shots on goal in its development pipeline. The company currently has 13 drugs in Phase III testing - the most at any one time in its history - and expects key data on eight of them

Although it’s unclear whether screening saves lives, further tests after a positive screen, such as invasive biopsies, can lead to complications including impotence and incontinence. Screening is still acceptable, according to the USPSTF, if the man being tested understands the possible outcomes — good and bad — and makes the personal decision to get tested. “One of the elements of a good decision is that a man’s own values are incorporated into the process,” said Dr. Michael Pignone, who worked on the new study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “In some cases, the evidence isn’t so clear that one option is best.” PSA testing is one of those cases, he told Reuters Health. For the new study, Pignone and his colleagues tested three possible decision aids to help 911 US and Australian men think about the possible benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening. Those aids had men rank the importance of catching a cancer or not becoming impotent, for example, or asked them this year. It also has 23 drugs in midstage testing. “We’ve tried to make R&D (research and development) more sustainable and not return to the cupboard is bare” that Lechleiter said was the company’s plight in 2004. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

New virus infects 10: A new virus from the same family as SARS that sparked a global alert last September has been found in another patient in Britain, health officials said on Monday in London. The latest case of infection with the new virus known as a coronavirus brings the total number confirmed globally to 10, of whom five have died.

Daylight slows nearsightedness progression

Winter may worsen kids myopia NEW YORK, Feb 12 (RTRS): Nearsighted children had their vision deteriorate faster when days were shortest and more slowly during the summer months, according to a Chinese study investigating whether daylight may slow the worsening of children’s vision. “Most likely it is the light exposure that causes the reduced myopia progression during periods with longer days,” said lead author Dongmei Cui, an ophthalmologist at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. Cui and his colleagues analyzed data from a clinical trial that included more than 200 children aged 8 to 14 years old with myopia, or nearsightedness, in Denmark, where day length ranges from seven hours in winter to almost 18 hours in summer. Researchers, whose findings appeared in Ophthalmology, looked at changes both in the children’s ability to see and in the shape of their eyes. Over the six months with the least daylight, nearsightedness progressed by 0.32 diopters - a measurement of the optical power of a lens and the increment used in eyeglasses prescriptions. In comparison, children’s vision deteriorated by 0l28 diopters over the sunniest months. As the length of the eyeball increases from front to back, nearsightedness tends to get worse. During the winter, eye length in the study participants increased by an average of .18 millimeters, compared to .14 mm over the summer.

The researchers did not analyze how much time the children spent outside, just how much they probably did based on the season. Danish children spend much more time outdoors in summer, and very little in winter, when temperatures hover around freezing for four months, according to Cui. Past research on nearsightedness in children in the United States found the condition deteriorated more during the six months of the school year and less during the six months that include summer, Cui and his colleagues note. But another study in Singapore, where days are about the same length all year, found no seasonal difference in the progression of nearsightedness. Cui said his team’s findings are the first to link nearsightedness progression with hours of available daylight. Even when the sky is overcast, light from the sun is much more intense than indoor light, he told Reuters Health in an email. The idea that daylight might protect children from worsening nearsightedness is a relatively new theory, said professor Jeffrey Cooper of the College of Optometry at the State University of new York in Manhattan. Studies in mammals and birds have found that light exposure plays a role in the development of the eye, and that animals reared from a young age with frequent exposure to high intensity light may be somewhat protected from myopia. No similar effect has been seen with light exposure in adulthood.

to choose — in various formats — their preference for different possible outcomes of screening or not screening. The decision tools led to some variation in what men considered most important and how they weighed the risk of dying from prostate cancer against possible side effects of testing, the researchers reported Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. But after using any of the aids, about three-quarters of men said they planned to get screened. The one exception, the researchers found, was that men were more likely to choose a no-screening option when the choices weren’t marked specifically as PSA versus no PSA. “The PSA label and the testing label has been something that men have associated with positive characteristics that aren’t

necessarily true or real,” Pignone said. About one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society, and one in 36 will die of the disease. “I have these conversations with my patients, and they are conversations that can be hard to have, and so having tools that help patients understand the risks and benefits and help clarify their values can be helpful,” Pollack told Reuters Health. “What this study says is, it’s not just having a decision aid but also figuring out the best way to help patients clarify their values,” he added. “It’s important for men to try to understand the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening so they can try to make the best decision for their own life.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) under its director general Margaret Chan said the latest infection was “a sporadic case” and did not alter the WHO’s risk assessment. It added, however, that the new case “does indicate that the virus is persistent”. The British patient, who recently had traveled to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, is receiving intensive care treatment in hospital in the city of Manchester, northern England. The new virus, which the WHO refers to as novel coronavirus or NCoV, 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.

Symptoms include severe respiratory illness, fever, coughing and breathing difficulties. The WHO said the new patient, who is a resident of the United Kingdom, developed symptoms on January 26. A series of laboratory tests of respiratory specimens showed the patient had contracted both an H1N1 swine flu infection and a confirmed NCoV infection. NCoV was identified when the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued an international alert in September 2012 saying a virus previously unknown in humans had infected a Qatari man who had recently been in Saudi Arabia. Britain’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) said among the 10 laboratory confirmed cases to date, five had been in Saudi Arabia, with three deaths; two were in Jordan, where both patients died; two were in Britain, where both are receiving treatment; and one was in Germany in a patient from Qatar who had since been discharged from medical care. The agency said in a statement it was providing advice to ensure the latest patient was treated appropriately and healthcare staff were protected. Anyone who had contact with the patient was being tracked to have a health checkup. “Our assessment is that the risk associated with novel coronavirus to the general UK population remains extremely low and the risk to travelers to the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries remains very low,” the HPA said. Based on the current situation, the WHO said all member states should continue surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and investigate any unusual patterns. “Testing for the new coronavirus of patients with unexplained pneumonias, or patients with severe, progressive or complicated illness not responding to treatment, should be considered - especially in persons residing in or returning from the Arabian peninsula and neighboring countries,” it said. (RTRS)

Health officials burn culled ducks after more than 1,000 ducks in the area died from bird flu, in Padang Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia. Bird flu has killed at least 360 people worldwide since 2003, 160 of them in Indonesia, making it the country hardest-hit by the deadly virus. (AP)




‘Many hospitals completely unprepared for cost questions’

Need surgery? Good luck getting hospital cost information CHICAGO, Feb 12, (AP): Want to know how much a hip replacement will cost? Many hospitals won’t be able to tell you, at least not right away — if at all. And if you shop around and find centers that can quote a price, the amounts could vary astronomically, a study found. Routine hip replacement surgery on a healthy patient without insurance may cost as little as $11,000 — or up to nearly $126,000. That’s what researchers found after calling hospitals in every state, 122 in all, asking what a healthy 62-year-old woman would have to pay to get an artificial hip. Hospitals were told the made-up patient was the caller’s grandmother, had no insurance but could afford to pay out of pocket — that’s why knowing the cost information ahead of time was so important. About 15 percent of hospitals did not provide any price estimate, even after a researcher called back as many as five times. The researchers were able to obtain a complete price estimate including physician fees from close to half the hospitals. But in most cases, that took contacting the hospital and doctor separately. “Our calls to hospitals were often greeted by uncertainty and confusion,” the researchers wrote. “We were fre-

Susan Harrison, 63, of Lawrence ville, Ga, (left) and Vea Gaby, 73, of Athens, embrace after telling their stories about complications from having surgical mesh placed in their pelvic cavities following an interview in their attorney’s office. The Georgia women are some of the thousand of women nationwide who have sued manufacturers of the surgical mesh, claiming they’ve suffered severe complications and intense physical pain when the flexible plastic mesh hard ened inside their bodies. (AP)

quently transferred between departments, asked to leave messages that

were rarely returned, and told that prices could not be estimated without

an office visit.” Many hospitals “are just completely unprepared” for cost questions, said Jaime Rosenthal, a Washington University student who co-authored the report. Most hospitals aren’t intentionally hiding costs, they’re just not used to patients asking. That’s particularly true for patients with health insurance who “don’t bother to ask because they know insurance will cover it,” said co-author Dr. Peter Cram, a researcher at the University of Iowa’s medical school. But he said that’s likely to change as employers increasingly force workers to share more health care costs by paying higher co-payments and deductibles, making patients more motivated to ask about costs. The study was published online Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. A California study published last year about surgery to remove an appendix found similar cost disparities. Commenting on the study, American Hospital Association spokeswoman Marie Watteau said hospitals “have a uniform set of charges. Sharing meaningful information, however, is challenging because hospital care is unique and based on each individual patient’s needs.” She said states and local hospital associations are the best source for

pricing data, and that many states already require or encourage hospitals to report pricing information and make that data available to the public. US insurance companies typically negotiate to pay less than the billing price. Insured patients’ health plans determine what they pay, while uninsured patients may end up paying the full amount. The study authors noted that Medicare and other large insurers frequently pay between $10,000 and $25,000 for hip replacement surgery. Sean Toohey, a grains broker at the Chicago Board of Trade, had hip replacement surgery last summer at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill. An old sports injury had worn out his left hip, causing “horrendous” pain on the job, where he’s on his feet all day filling orders. Toohey, 54, said his health insurance covered most of the costs, and it didn’t occur to him to ask about price beforehand. He was back at work two weeks later and is pain free. That’s what matters most to him. “I never really looked or paid attention” to the cost, he said. He paid about $7,900, but wasn’t sure what the total bill amounted to. The average charge for hip replacement surgery at Loyola is about $42,000, before the negotiated insur-

ance rates. The most expensive items on a typical hip replacement bill include about $11,000 for the hip implant, said Richard Kudia, Loyola’s vice-president of patient financial services. Kudia said some patients do ask in advance about costs of surgery and other medical procedures, and those questions require “a little bit of research” to come up with an average estimate. Costs vary from center to center because “there is no standard pricing among hospitals across the country. Each hospital develops its own pricing depending on its market,” he said. An editorial accompanying the hip replacement study said “there is no justification” for the huge cost variation the researchers found. A few online sites provide price comparisons for common medical procedures, but the editorial said that kind of information “is of almost no value” without information on hospital quality. A proposed federal measure that would have required states to force hospitals to make their charges public failed to advance in Congress last year but could be revived this year, the editorial says. “It is time we stopped forcing people to buy healthcare services blindfolded,” the editorial said.

Sipchem signs $280m deals

Kuwait watchdog urges better Islamic finance oversight The number of Islamic financial firms, which obey religious principles such as a ban on the payment of interest, has increased substantially in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Gulf over the past decade. The companies have in-house sharia boards of scholars who rule on whether their products and activities are sharia-compliant, and sharia compliance officers who check whether guidelines are being

Islamic financial institutions in Kuwait should hire enough personnel to ensure they comply with sharia standards, and work with the personnel in a transparent way, the country’s market watchdog said on Tuesday. The statement by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) appeared to be in response to concern about uneven self-regulation by the institutions.



Sensex All Ordinaries Nikkei KRX 100 Hang Seng CAC 40 DAX

Change +100.47 +1.20 +215.96 +46.99 +38.16 +36.00 +26.45

Closing pts 19,561.04 4,981.50 11,369.12 4,177.40 23,215.16 3,686.58 7,660.19

followed on a day-to-day basis. But around the Gulf, the industry has been hampered by shortages of experienced scholars and qualified staff, and by rulings by sharia boards at different companies that sometimes conflict with each other, confusing investors. The CMA’s statement on Tuesday called for “the appointment of a sufficient number of legal observers in accordance with the size of the


- Euro Stoxx 50 - All Shares

Change +26.22 -2.94

Closing pts 2,648.83 4,065.54

institution”. It urged institutions to provide “full transparency” in their communications with compliance officers. The watchdog also urged companies’ sharia boards to take more care to issue rulings that were in line with each other. The CMA’s statement was a recommendation, not a new set of regulations. CMA officials could not be reached for comment. (RTRS)

Three affiliates of Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) have refinanced loan facilities worth 1.04 billion riyals ($276 million) which were used to fund their key projects, Sipchem said on Tuesday. International Acetyl Company, International Vinyl Acetate Company and International Gas Company have converted dollardenominated loans raised in 2008 to

build respective manufacturing plants into new long-term facilities denominated in riyals, the statement to the Saudi bourse said. Riyad Bank was the lead arranger of the deal, which carried a “competitive variable interest rate” as well as a six-month grace period. The first instalment is due to be repaid in the second half of 2013, with the loan to be paid off in four years, the statement added. (RTRS)


‘Uncertain global economy will not halt Emirates’ development projects’

UAE PM says employment for citizens is top priority DUBAI, Feb 12, (RTRS): Finding jobs for United Arab Emirates citizens is one of the government’s top priorities, the prime minister told hundreds of state officials on Monday during a forum to discuss his economic policies. The unusual event underlined the urgency with which leaders in the UAE and other oil-rich Gulf states are trying to boost employment among their citizens, to avert political discontent and prepare for any future downturn in oil prices. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid alMaktoum, dressed in a golden gown, addressed some 1,700 government

employees at the two-hour forum, pacing the stage and sometimes calling on ministers to respond to particular points. The public could pose questions to the prime minister through a website. “It’s a priority of the entire leadership. We are pressing ahead with this,” Sheikh Mohammed, who is also Dubai’s ruler, said in answer to a question about employment policy. “We are facing different challenges but this will remain unchanged.” Sheikh Mohammed said the government was working on a project to employ 120,000 UAE nationals, but

did not give details. He also urged private companies to hire more UAE citizens, but did not announce new incentives or requirements for them to do so. “I call on my colleagues in the private sector that have benefited greatly from this country to extend a helping hand in the process of Emiratisation, even in a tiny percentage, to make a contribution to growth of this country,” he said. Just over 11 percent of the UAE’s estimated 8.3 million people are local citizens, and most of the rest are foreign workers. The unemployment rate among locals is officially put at 14 per-

cent. While the government can easily afford to pay unemployment benefits to its citizens and bear the cost of hiring foreigners while oil prices are high, it knows its finances could be strained in the long term if oil prices come down. The government faces the same prospect in neighbouring Oman, where the ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, is conducting a month-long tour of the country to discuss economic policies with his people. Employment has been a major subject in those discussions and last week, the Omani government announced it

would limit the number of foreign workers while raising the minimum wage for local employees of the private sector in an effort to attract more Omanis into the workforce. Oman has experienced sporadic street protests over issues including employment. The UAE has escaped such unrest, though last month the government ordered 94 citizens to be tried on charges of seeking to seize power in the Gulf Arab state. Asked how he saw prospects for stability of the UAE, the world’s third biggest crude oil exporter, given social challenges in the Arab world, Sheikh

Mohammed said: “Empowering people, education and nationalisation. These are the key words.” Dubai suffered a crippling debt crisis in 2008-2010 but in recent months has announced a series of huge economic development projects, including plans for a tourism and retail development with 100 hotels and the world’s biggest shopping mall. Asked whether it was risky for Dubai to have such projects in the pipeline given the uncertain global economic environment, Sheikh Mohammed said: “We cannot embark on any business without risks.”

New issue premium is back in GCC bond mkt Pace of issuance in Gulf slowing down considerably DUBAI, Feb 12, (RTRS): After largely disappearing last year, the new issue premium is back in the Gulf’s bond market — a prospect which is likely to slow though not halt debt sales by a wide range of issuers this year.

The picture shows the facade of Gulf Bank head office.

Gulf Bank launches special celebration competition on Instagram Gulf Bank has announced plans to celebrate Kuwait’s National Day and Liberation Day through the launch of a special celebration competition on Instagram, and by decorating the Head Quarters with the colours of the Kuwait national flag. The competition, which is open to anyone living in Kuwait, is to share pictures on Instagram which show what people do on these two special occasions. The most creative pictures expressing the love of Kuwait by incorporating the national flag’s colours into the picture will be judged

and the top five pictures chosen will win a KD 500 Al Danah voucher each. The competition started on Sunday, Feb 10 and ends on Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013. The winner will be announced on Feb 28. To enter, participants need to follow the Bank’s account on Instagram at, and upload a picture accordingly. Each user will be entitled to upload one picture per day. Entries must include a hashtag #GBNL2013 as well as tagging Gulf Bank (@Gulf_bank). Participants should also make sure

not to privatize their accounts, as this will cause difficulty for verification purposes. Gulf Bank’s National Day and Liberation Day Instagram competition is a great way to record special moments during the days which mark this important holiday. The Bank has a long term commitment to involving and supporting the Kuwaiti community, and to celebrate National Day and Liberation Day with Kuwaitis, and expatriates living in Kuwait, is a special a way for the Bank to mark its pride and love for Kuwait.

Fluctuations are temporary, says Titus

Favorable exchange rate to India seen By Valiya S. Sajjad Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: The coming days are good times for money remittances to India with exchange rates heading to settle between Rs 53 and Rs 55 against the US Dollar, says Titus ED, Director and General Manager of Bahrain Exchange Company (BEC). Titus was talking to the Arab Times Tuesday as fluctuations in exchange rates continued to arouse concerns among Indian remitters. Titus said the fluctuations are temporary and not unusual ahead of the Indian budget, which is going to be out soon. Currently, the exchange rate of rupee is hovering at Rs 191 against the Kuwaiti Dinar. By next month the rate

will stabilize between Rs 189 and Rs 195. Titus further saw SBI’s announcement of a half percent increase in interest rates on deposits as a favorable sign for remittance. “There is no reason to expect a big fall in the Indian rupee in the near future.” Titus had rightly predicted in the middle of last Titus year the drop in rupee’s exchange rate to 200 against 1 Kuwaiti Dinar, advising remitters to hold back for more opportunistic remittances.

Since last year, money remittance to India has seen a growth of 8 to 9 % annually, Titus noted. Some of the reasons for this increase are more influx of Indians into Kuwait, and the unwillingness of expatriates to hold back money. Asked if the fear of political instability in Kuwait is driving expatriates to repatriate their savings, Titus replied in the negative. Public perception of instability in Kuwait was never very high, and there was never a panic remittance any time in the recent years, even when revolutions were rocking neighboring countries. Moreover, the stock indices are recovering fast in all international bourses, including the US. Titus saw this as a sign of revival and a general surge in economy.

Economy to benefit from major industrial investments

Bahrain expects sharp rise in GDP this year DUBAI, Feb 12, (RTRS): Bahrain’s economic growth is expected to pick up sharply this year on the back of a stronger oil sector, large industrial investments and a robust regional economy, the government said on Tuesday. The Economic Development Board predicted gross domestic product would expand 6.2 percent this year before easing to 3.4 percent in 2014. It estimated GDP grew 3.9 percent in 2012, up from 1.9 percent in 2011. The economy of the tiny island kingdom has been recovering gradually since it was hit hard in the first quarter of 2011 by pro-democracy protests led mainly by majority Shi’ite Muslims.

The government crushed those protests but scattered unrest has continued since then, weighing on foreign investment and the tourism industry. GDP growth decelerated for most of last year, from 5.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to 3.1 percent in the third quarter, the board said without giving a number for fourth-quarter growth. Output from the Abu Safa oil field which Bahrain shares with Saudi Arabia was below normal for most of 2012 because of technical problems, hurting growth, the board said. Bahrain relies on the field for some 70 percent of its budget revenue. But the technical problems were fixed

in November and this will boost economic growth in 2013, along with higher output from an onshore Bahraini oil field, the board said. Meanwhile, the economy will benefit this year from major industrial investments, including a $4.8 billion oil refinery upgrade and the building of a $2.2 billion production line at Aluminium Bahrain, it said. Most of the non-oil private sector grew solidly last year and bank lending began to pick up, setting the sector up for strong growth in 2013, the board added. After the unrest erupted in 2011, wealthier Gulf Arab states pledged $10 billion in aid to Bahrain over 10 years.

For six months or so, Gulf issuers only had to pay a tiny premium above the secondary-market yields of their outstanding bonds when they issued new debt — or in many cases, no premium at all. That was because of record-low US Treasury yields as well as the dramatic improvement of the Gulf’s image in the eyes of international investors, as Dubai and other economies recovered from the global financial crisis. In the last couple of weeks, however, it has become clear that a back-up in US Treasury yields and strong global equities mean new Gulf issuers will once again have to pay substantial premiums. Mood “We have to take into account the global headwinds and investors’ mood, as there are periods when the markets go through periods of softness, as the one we are witnessing now in the global markets,” said Sami Mahfouz, head of Standard Chartered’s global markets business for the United Arab Emirates. “This needs to be taken into consideration given that significant demand is also from the global investors and not just regional.” In a sense, the Gulf is paying a price for the increase in the popularity of its bonds among international investors last year. Previously, when almost all demand for bonds came from cashrich institutions within the region, pricing of new issues was partially insulated from global trends; now the global environment cannot be ignored. After a massive rally at the beginning of this year, emerging market hard currency bond funds experienced outflows for the first time in 35 weeks in the week to Feb. 6, according to data from EPFR Global. For some analysts and investors, the shift in the bond market is not a shortterm phenomenon but the start of a long-term process. “The great bull market in bonds is coming to an end. People get anchored on a view that a particular asset class is going to give double-digit returns all the time,” Gary Dugan, chief investment officer for Asia and the Middle East at Coutts, the private banking arm of Royal Bank of Scotland, said at an event in Dubai last week. “There is a serious risk that you can lose money in bonds or sukuk this year, so we are telling clients to start looking at equity instruments.” A very few emerging bond markets have been able to ignore the trend. One is Turkey, where Akbank was able to command very tight pricing of its 1 billion lira ($530 million) Eurolira bond at the end of January. The Gulf is not one of those markets, however. The current mood means issuers will need to “leave something on the table for investors to put in the big orders”, said one region-

Themar incurs KD 5.12 m loss

Manafae Investment Co chalks red during 2012 KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Kuwait Stock Exchange announced that the Capital Markets Authority approved Manafae Investment Company (Manafae) annual financial statements of the company for the year ending Dec 31, 2012, dated Feb 11, 2013. Particulars Dec 31, ’12 Profit (Loss) (KD) (2,793,981) Earnings per share (fils) (14.88) Total current assets 12,141,160 Total assets 18,321,283 Total current liabilities 158,925 Total liabilities 745,259 Total shareholders’ equity17,576,024

Dec 31, ’11 (2,726,639) (14.17) 12,732,308 21,689,672 128,744 540,401 21,149,271

The total revenue from transactions is worth KD 10,553 and total expenses from transactions with related parties amounting to KD 577,453. The Board of Directors of the company recommended not to distribute dividends for the fiscal year ending Dec 31, 2012. Note that these recommendations are subject to approval by the shareholders and the competent authorities.

Feb 12, 2013. The company reported a profit of KD 12,872 for the three months ending Dec 31, 2012 compared to a loss of KD 4,015,165 incurred during the same period of 2011. Particulars Dec 31, ’12 Dec 31, ’11 Profit (Loss) (KD) (5,125,283) (6,938,546) Earnings per share (fils) (5.06) (6.85) Total current assets 6,941,099 8,797,177 Total assets 149,272,871 145,965,766 Total current liabilities 61,498,233 61,460,736 Total liabilities 61,606,291 61,545,525 Total shareholders’ equity 87,666,580 84,420,241 ❑ ❑ ❑

The Board of Directors approved Mena Real Estate Company (Mena) financial statements of the company for the nine months ending Dec 31, 2012, dated Feb 11, 2013. Mena reported a loss of KD 194,912 for the three months ending Dec 31, 2012 compared to a loss of KD 282,491 incurred during the same period of 2011.

The Board of Directors approved Al Themar International Holding Company’s (Themar) financial statements of the company for the nine months ending Dec 31, 2012, dated

Particulars Profit (Loss) (KD) Earnings per share (fils) Total current assets Total assets Total current liabilities Total liabilities Total shareholders’ equity

al fixed income trader. Another trader estimated borrowers would now need to pay a 15 to 20 basis point new issue premium for longer-dated bonds. That may be an underestimate; Russia’s VimpelCom had to pay a new issue premium estimated at between 25 bps and 40 bps on the dollar tranches of its $2 billion bond sale last week. Dubai paid no new issue premium — it actually priced inside its outstanding bonds — when it raised $1.25 billion from a two-tranche bond sale in late January. But the bonds soon came under selling pressure in the secondary market. The 3.875 percent 10-year sukuk, which priced at par, has traded below par since issue and was bid at 98.0 cents on the dollar to yield 4.116 percent on Tuesday. Bond The change in the bond market’s tone already seems to be influencing Gulf issuers. There have been no conventional bond or sukuk deals from the region since Emirates airline priced a $750 million, 12-year amortising bond in late January. Just a few weeks ago, the market was expecting the first quarter of this year to be a busy period for new issues. One potential borrower is state utility Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), which has said it plans a sukuk issue of up to $1 billion in the first quarter. Reuters reported last month that the company had mandated banks for the

deal, but chief executive Saeed Mohammed al-Tayer said on Monday that the timing of the issue was still to be determined. “We are studying it and will decide on it next week,” Tayer said, without giving any indication of the tenor. DEWA’s existing $1.5 billion, 7.375 percent bond maturing in 2020 was yielding 4.0 percent on Tuesday, about 40 bps wider than a month ago. “Tightening spreads are good for borrowers but the region has been mainly considered as a yield play, and investors are interested in generating yield from creditworthy names,” Standard Chartered’s Mahfouz said. The return of the new issue premium while not deter Gulf issuers forever; yields are still a couple of percentage points or more below their level a year ago, and after a period in which they judge whether the new market environment is here to stay, issuers are likely to return to the market. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank announced this week that it had mandated banks for a bond sale of at least $500 million, while National Bank of Abu Dhabi is to consider issuance of convertible bonds and other instruments at a meeting next month. But issuers may feel more pressure to come to the shorter end of the market to minimise the premiums they pay. “Long-dated bonds are going to be tough (to issue) at the moment, but the right type of names can still come to the market. Investors are looking for the yield in the short end,” said a regional trader.

Dec 31, ’12 Dec 31, ’11 (678,099) (463,516) (3.49) (2.39) 6,468,861 3,597,395 27,957,427 27,131,327 8,066,233 4,951,962 11,307,393 7,956,734 16,565,913 19,089,577




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downside risks to global macro recovery have diminished: Moody’s The downside risks facing the global economic recovery have diminished since the end of last year, says Moody’s Investors Service in its latest macro-risk report, but a slow pace of economic growth is still likely in many economies. The new report, entitled “Global Macro Outlook 2013-2014: Downside Risks Have Diminished”, can be accessed by subscribers on via the link provided at the end of this press release. The report updates Moody’s baseline forecasts

for 2013-14 and discusses the downside risks to the forecasts. It supersedes the rating agency’s previous Global Macro Risk Scenarios report, which was published in November 2012. With the US having avoided the full scale of potential disruption implied by the socalled ‘fiscal cliff’, the easing of financing stresses in the euro area, and increasing signs that key emerging markets will avoid a hard landing, Moody’s believes there are now fewer potential stumbling blocks on the

path to global recovery. However, the balance of risks to the macro outlook still remains skewed to the downside, stemming from: (1) a deeper than currently expected recession in the euro area accompanied by deeper credit contraction, particularly if triggered by a further intensification of the sovereign debt crisis; (2) weaker-than-expected growth in major emerging markets following the recent slowdown; and (3) an escalation of geopolitical tensions, resulting in adverse economic developments.

Earnings per share clocks 7.07 fils, total assets at KD 168.3 mln

UIC posts KD 3.35 mln net profit in 2012 KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: United Industries Company (UIC), a member of Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) Group, posted KD 3,346,799 in net profit for 2012. This represents an increase of 176 percent over 2011, when the company had reported KD 1,210,449 in profit. Earnings per share for 2012 stood at 7.07 fils, compared to 2.46 fils for 2011. For the fourth quarter (Oct 1 to Dec 31, 2012), net profit increased 163 percent to stand at KD 494,326 compared to KD 188,000 for the same quarter last year. UIC’s total assets came to KD 168.3 million. The share of income from associates came to KD 8.06 million due to the increase in share of income from SADAFCO by 11 percent (KD 0.442 million) to stand at KD 4,619,413. This is compared to KD 4,177,909 for last year and is mainly attributed to SADAFCO’s improved sales and operational profit during the period. Share of income from QPIC came to KD 3,446,624. Investment in associates increased 5 percent (KD 7.7 million) to KD 152.7 million compared to KD 145 million on December 31, 2011due to profit share from SADAFCO and QPIC as well as share in fair valuation of QPIC investments.

Share Commenting on the results, UIC’s Chairman, Sheikh Sabah Mohamed Abdul Aziz Al Sabah said that the Board of Directors approved the financial report for 2012 and recommended the distribution of 5 percent in cash dividends, or 5 fils per share. This recommendation is subject to the approval of relevant authorities and the General Assembly. He added: “I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to our valued shareholders for their trust and support. We hope to continue to prosper and succeed with our future plans.” The Company invests its resources in the downstream industries sector in Kuwait and GCC countries. Authorized and paid-up capital of UIC currently stands at KD 49,546,875 ($177,587,400). The core investments of the Company are concentrated in: ■ Saudi Dairy and Foodstuff Company (SADAFCO) ■ Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company United Industries Company is a member of the KIPCO Group — one of the largest diversified holding companies in the Middle East and North Africa. KIPCO has significant ownership interests in a portfolio of over 60 companies operating across 26 countries. The company’s main business sectors are financial services and media. Through the subsidiaries and affiliates of its core companies, KIPCO also has interests in the industrial, real estate, education and the management & advisory sectors. KIPCO’s financial services interests include holdings in commercial and investment banking, asset management and insurance companies. The Group’s core operating companies in this sector include Burgan Bank, United Gulf Bank and Gulf Insurance Company. In the media sector, the Group has a presence through the Orbit Showtime Network, the leading pay-TV operator in the region. UIC is committed to capitalize on its capabilities and expertise in establishing a portfolio of shares of industrial companies listed on Kuwait Stock Exchange. At UIC we are committed to developing the capabilities of those Kuwaitis who seek to develop their professional skills and to advance their career through tangible achievements. ❑


❑ visit:

‘Kuwait Baitok’

Move in line with broader goal

KFH launches a special competition on Instagram

HPCL looks to replace Iran with Iraqi imports

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Public Relations and Media Senior Manager at Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Saeed Tawfiqi announced that KFH launched a competition on Instagram under the name of ‘Kuwait Baitok’ on the sideline of the 52nd Independence Day, and 22nd Liberation Day anniversaries. He added that the competition that was launched on KFH’s Instagram account at kfhgroup ends on Feb 17 and all people from all ages can take part in it. The best 10 pictures will be selected by a judging panel on Tuesday, Feb 19 but only KFH followers on Instagram will be eligible to vote. Participants must send only one picture to, and winners will receive Blackberry Z10, Galaxy Note II, and iPad Mini that are highly preferred for their features that allow social communication. It is worth noting that KFH kicked-off this month by illuminating its main office, Baitok Tower, and other strategic buildings using the colours of the Kuwaiti flag, not to mention congratulation messages on billboards at malls. KFH vehicles have also been decorated to suit the event. KFH will also take part Tawfiqi in sponsoring religious, social and cultural events. Moreover, Tawfiqi stated that Kuwait Kuwait managed during 52 years of independence to establish a social and economic development that is applauded worldwide, such as the development evident in various economic sectors, including the banking sector that KFH and other banks are part of.

Omantel Q4 profit falls DUBAI, Feb 12, (RTRS): Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) reported a 10 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, missing analysts’ estimates as revenue from text messages and international calls declined. The former monopoly’s profit drop follows a prolonged slump at smaller rival Nawras, a unit of Qatar Telecom (Qtel), as Internet-based services including instant messaging and VoiceOver-IP phone (VoIP) calls hurt margins. This trend, while global, is more pronounced among Gulf telecoms companies due to the region’s large expatriate population, which is increasingly shifting away from conventional calls and texts to contact home. Omantel made a net profit of 26.19 million rials ($68.03 million) in the three months to Dec 31, down from 29.2 million rials in the year-earlier period, according to Reuters calculations. Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Omantel would make a quarterly profit of 29.31 million rials. Omantel said market conditions were “challenging”, adding revenue from international calls and text messages had fallen. Fourth-quarter revenue was 116 million rials. This compares with 119.5 million rials a year ago.

NEW DELHI, Feb 12, (RTRS): HPCL, India’s third-biggest buyer of Iranian crude in the current fiscal year, plans to slash its purchases and replace them with Iraqi oil as sanctions on Tehran bite harder, a source with direct knowledge of the refiner’s plans said. The move is in line with a broader goal set by India, the world’s fourth-largest oil importer and Iran’s second-biggest client after China, to cut deliveries from Tehran, and comes as a tough new US condition on funding such purchases has been imposed. State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) had an annual deal with Iran to buy 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) and an option for another 20,000 bpd for the year ending March 31. It has lifted about 44,000-46,000 bpd in the current year. HPCL aims to have a contract for only token volumes from Iran in the year that starts in April, the source said, partly because of growing concerns insurance for installations, including refineries, handling Iranian crude might be hard to find because of the tighter sanctions.


The photo shows the facade of Baitok Tower.

Mashreq sees 10-15% profit rise DUBAI, Feb 12, (RTRS): The chief executive of Dubai’s Mashreq, the emirate’s second-largest bank by market value, said on Tuesday he was “optimistic” about the bank’s performance this year and expects profits to grow by between 10-15 percent. Mashreq reported last week a 67-percent jump in net profits in 2012, on the back of lower provisioning and higher fee income. While not reaching such heights this year, Abdulaziz Al Ghurair said the bank would still see healthy growth in earnings. “I’m optimistic about our performance in 2013 ... profits will be anything between 10 to 15 percent higher,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.

Ghurair said he was hopefully that provisioning at the bank would continue to recede in 2013 — they dropped to 826.5 million dirhams ($225 million) in 2012 from 1.2 billion dirhams in the previous year. Dubai lenders were hit hard by impairments on bad loans in the wake of the a collapse in the local real estate market, which saw prices slump more than 50 percent from their 2008 peak, and the need for state-linked entities to restructure billion of dollars of debts. However, most restructurings have been completed and recent months have seen signs of a recovery in Dubai’s property market, leading to optimism the worst is behind the emirate’s banking sector.

“Volumes from Iran depend on the impact of sanctions. If sanctions are eased or if the government helps on the insurance issue, then Iran imports may go up. But at this moment no one wants to take the risk,” the source, who is not authorised to speak to the media, told Reuters. HPCL wants to increase its annual deal with Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) to about 60,000 bpd in the year starting in April from 45,000 bpd in the current year, the source added. HPCL may buy some Basrah crude volumes through stakeholders other than SOMO, the source added. Indian refiners have been compensating for lost Iranian volumes with crude from Iraq and Latin America. Iraq replaced Iran as the country’s No. 2 supplier after Saudi Arabia in the year that ended in March 2012, as Tehran ceded a position it had held for five years. Sanctions on Tehran aimed at curbing its nuclear program have also prompted its other major Asian clients — China, Japan and South Korea — to cut imports and secure a waiver which allows them continued access to the US financial system. Iran says its nuclear programme is entirely for peaceful purposes. Refiners are already finding it difficult to import because of an EU ban on insuring vessels carrying Iranian oil. Moreover, under new US sanctions from Feb 6, payments for Iranian crude must be held in a bank account in India in rupees, which are not freely traded on international markets. India is aiming to cut deliveries from Tehran by 10-15 percent in the year beginning in April after reductions of about 15 percent in the current year. Indian refiners, both private and state-run, have already cut imports by about 19 percent in April-December 2012 to around 270,700 bpd. HPCL shipped in about 17 percent of that, with fellow state-run refiner MRPL and privatelyowned Essar the top buyers.




Saudi to supply full March crude volumes to Asia buyers Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, will supply full contracted volumes of crude oil to at least three Asian term buyers in March, unchanged from February, industry sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The move was expected as the OPEC kingpin has supplied full contractual volumes to most Asian buyers since late 2009. “The supplies were as usual,” one

of the sources said. “We did not receive supplies that were different from what we had requested.” 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. Asian buyers of Saudi crude are entitled to an operational tolerance

clause in contracts to load up to 10 percent more or less oil than their contracted volumes, depending on the loading programme and the availability of tankers. But one of the three buyers in Asia had no plans to buy oil on top of the contracted volumes though the steep cuts in its Asian official crude selling prices (OSP) made it look attractive, one of the sources said. (RTRS)

small Russian banks help Iran’s oil exports Small Russian banks are participating in schemes to finance Iranian oil exports, which are the target of US and European sanctions against Tehran, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday. “Large (banks) are not taking part. Small ones are, yes,” Novak told reporters, in the first such confirmation by a top Russian official. “Major banks are not involved as

they have taken into consideration the possibility of any sanctions to which they might become subject.” In 2011, the US Congress passed a law requiring buyers of Iranian oil to make significant cuts to their oil purchases, or risk being cut off from the US financial system. The European Union followed suit by imposing sanctions last July against Iran’s oil and shipping industries which barred Europe-

based insurers from covering tankers that carry Iranian oil. Later, it also added bans on financial transactions and on sales to Iran of shipping equipment, among other measures. Novak, who spoke after meeting Iranian Foreign Ali Akbar Salehi in Moscow, declined to name either the banks involved or the scale and nature of their possible financing of oil exports from Iran. (RTRS)

Saudi market review KAMCO Research

TASI rebounds on new budget boost A

lthough the Saudi economy slowed down in 2012 compared to 2011 and FY-12 earnings were not up to expectations, the Saudi Market was able to follow its GCC peers and end the month of January on a positive note on speculations that the recent budget announced will help support the economy continue to post growth. As a result, the TASI was up 3.56 percent in January to breach the psychological 7,000 mark and end at 7,043.55 points. By the end of the month, market breadth skewed heavily towards the gainers with an advancer-to-decliner ratio of 101-to-49 and 7 stocks unchanged. Accordingly, TADAWUL market capitalization rose 2.85 percent adding SAR 40 bn ($10.7 bn) to reach SAR 1.44 trillion ($383.9 bn) as compared to SAR 1. 4 trillion ($373.3 bn) recorded at the end of December-12, as all sectors in the market increased with the exception of Insurance and multi-investment sectors. Market heavyweight Petrochemical Industries added 3.83 percent to its market cap to reach SAR 456.8 bn ($121.8 bn) while the Banks and Financial sector was up 4.35 percent to SAR 320.8 bn ($85.5 bn) and the Telecommunications & IT sector gained 0.46 percent to SAR 153.5 bn ($40.9 bn). Trading indicators rose during the month with volume traded increasing 6 percent to 4.7 bn shares distributed over 2.8 mn transactions while value traded gained 3.4 percent to SAR 128.1 bn from SAR 124 bn in December-12. The TASI began the year strong with investors betting on better than expected

earnings. Buying pressure on blue-chips, specifically the banking sector, helped push the TASI higher to a 15 month high on Jan. 7 to reach 7,015 points. However, the Saudi bourse failed to maintain this bullish momentum in the market to slip from a multi-month high as investors began to book gains, with petrochemical stocks leading the declines; and as Q4-12 earnings started to flow into the market, the selling pressure was more evident in the market, dragging the TASI lower as earnings missed expectations. Profitability in the banking sector was hit by more provisions that were booked by banks, hampering growth in their bottom line. Adding more to the pressure were stocks in the cement sector after Q412 earnings released were mixed. Profitability on a yearly basis was hit due to lower cement realization prices which are capped at 240 riyals per ton by the government. As a result the index fell to a near three week low and just below the 7,000

mark on Jan 22 to hit 6,985 points, marking the lowest level since Jan 2. During the month, Fitch Ratings said an expansionary 2013 budget based on a conservative oil price will support another year of healthy economic growth for Saudi Arabia and a further strengthening of the sovereign’s net creditor position. However, overall growth will slow due to a decline in oil production that was already evident in recent months. The 2013 budget projects record spending of $219 bn (34 percent of GDP), up by almost 20 percent on the 2012 budget. Budgeted capital spending is 28 percent higher than in 2012, though the government has struggled to achieve its capital spending targets in recent years. Education and healthcare remain the focus of spending, accounting for 37 percent of the total. TADAWUL Corporate Earnings FY2012: 154 out of 157 companies announced FY-12 earnings with aggregate earnings inching 1.5 percent higher in 2012 to SAR

97 billion versus SAR 95.6 billion in 2011 supported by the banking and telecom sectors, which reported an 11.9 percent increase to SAR 28.6 billion and 4.3 percent to SAR 11.4 billion, respectively. The positive growth helped offset market heavyweight petrochemical sector’s 16.8 percent drop in earnings to SAR 33.9 billion in 2012 from SAR 40.7 billion in 2011 as it was pressured by SABIC and SAFCO posting a 15.5 percent and 5.9 percent fall in earnings, respectively. In the banking sector, Al Rajhi Bank FY-12 net profit stood at SAR 7.9 billion, compared with SAR 7.4 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 7 percent. Total operating income increased 12 percent to SAR 14 billion from SAR 12.5 billion in 2011 while net profit of financing and investments were up 5 percent to SAR 9.5 billion in 2012 up from SAR 9.1 billion in 2011. Al Rajhi Bank said the reason for the rise in full year profits for the current period compared with the same period of pre-

vious year is due to higher operating income. SAMBA’s FY-12 net profit increased a marginal 0.6 percent SAR 4.33 billion from 4.3 billion in 2011 on the back of an increase in operating income. The total operating income in 2012 stood at SAR 6.7 billion, compared with SAR 6.6 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 2 percent. In the petrochemical sector, heavyweight SABIC, the world’s biggest petrochemicals group by market value, reported a 15.5 percent fall in FY-12 net income to SAR 24.7 billion. Although SABIC posted an 11.3 percent rise in Q4-12 net profits to SAR 5.83 billion compared to SAR 5.24 billion in Q4-11; Q4-12 results marked a 7.6 percent fall from Q3-12 net earnings. SABIC, 70 percent state-owned, cited a “higher cost of sales and lower sales prices for certain products, despite higher sales and production volumes and reduction in financial charges” for its fall in 2012 net income. In the telecom sector, STC reported a

4.9 percent decrease in FY-12 earnings to SAR 7.4 billion compared to SAR 7.7 billion in 2011. STC said its net income during Q4-12 amounted to SAR 468 million compared to SR 2.3 billion in Q4-11 marking a 79 percent slump. On the other hand, Etihad Etisalat reported an 18 percent increase in 2012 earnings to SAR 6 billion from SAR 5.1 billion in 2011. Slowdown in GDP:Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 6.8 percent in 2012 compared with the 8.5 percent growth in 2011, data from the Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI) showed. The statistics department has revised the 2011 GDP figure upward to 8.5 percent from the earlier 7.1 percent. The world’s largest crude exporter saw growth in the oil sector slow to 5.5 percent in 2012 compared to 10.4 percent in 2011 when the Kingdom ramped up production to make up for disruptions in Libyan output. GDP growth in the government sector was at 6.3 percent in 2012 compared with 8.7 percent in the previous year while the private sector grew at 7.5 percent compared with 7.8 percent in 2011. Furthermore, the unemployment rate in the Kingdom stood at 12.2 percent in 2012 with over 588,000 jobless Saudis out of the more than 4,800,000 citizens in the working age group, a study said. “Of the total Saudi citizens in the working age group, 3,900,000 are men. They represent 80.6 percent of the labor force,” said a survey on the Saudi labor force published in the 2012 bulletin of the Central Department of Statistics and Information.

Moody’s downgrades Egypt, cites unrest and IMF doubt Government to delay fuel subsidy rationing CAIRO, Feb 12, (RTRS): Ratings agency Moody’s cut Egypt’s credit rating on Tuesday, citing doubts about its ability to secure International Monetary Fund support and the economic impact of a new round of political unrest.

Oil price down 8 cents

OPEC lifts 2013 world demand growth forecast LONDON, Feb 12, (Agencies): World oil demand will grow faster than previously thought in 2013, producer group OPEC said on Tuesday, citing signs of a recovery in the world economy. Consumption of oil will expand by 840,000 barrels per day (bpd) this year, the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its monthly report, 80,000 bpd more than previously expected. The report adds to signs that oil demand is outstripping expectations in early 2013, and supporting prices. Oil hit a nine-month high above $119 a barrel on Friday, supported by stronger-than-expected demand growth in China. “While a tentative recovery in the global economy is visible, a number of fiscal-related issues in the developed countries remain and are likely to impact growth in the coming months,” OPEC said.

Higher Due to higher demand, and little change in supply expectations from producers outside the group, OPEC expects demand for its crude to average 29.78 million bpd in 2013, up 130,000 bpd from the previous estimate. While the report suggests oil markets are in surplus, it points to a narrower gap between global supply and demand in the first half of the year as OPEC further trims production towards its target level of 30 million bpd. Demand for OPEC crude will average 29.20 million bpd in the first half of 2013, the report estimated, while OPEC in January

lowered its output by about 21,000 bpd to 30.32 million bpd according to secondary sources. That implies inventories could build up by about 1.12 million bpd in the first half should OPEC maintain January’s output rate, less than the 1.3 million bpd stockbuild indicated in last month’s report. Saudi Arabia told OPEC it produced 9.05 million bpd in January, little changed from 9.025 million bpd in December, confirming figures provided last week by an industry source. OPEC’s is the first of this month’s three closely watched supply and demand reports to be released. The US government’s Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its latest update later on Tuesday. The International Energy Agency, adviser to 28 industrialised countries, issues its report on Wednesday. Price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes was down eight cents on Monday to $114.36 a barrel, compared to $114.44 the previous day, OPEC said Tuesday. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). The OPEC reports indicate average basket price for January had reached $109.28 compared to December’s $106.55 per barrel.

The rating agency also cited a further weakening in Egypt’s external payments position given a large drop in foreign exchange reserves in January as the country battles to stave off a currency crisis. The central bank has said that these fell to $13.6 billion in January, below the $15 billion level needed to cover three months worth of imports. It said the escalation of civil unrest two years after the ousting of president Hosni Mubarek was the main factor behind the downgrade. “The polarization and divide between the democratically elected government and those in opposition appears to be deepening, thereby casting doubt over the government’s ability to govern effectively, restore social stability and avert a worsening of the already severe economic disruptions,” the agency said. Moody’s pointed to the declaration of the state of emergency in Ismailia, Suez and Port Said following violence last month in its statement.

Uncertainty It also said that there was “continued uncertainty surrounding the Egyptian government’s ability to secure financial support” from the IMF. The Egyptian government in December postponed final ratification of a $4.8 billion loan agreement with the IMF because of political unrest in the country at the time. The money would help it stem further trouble on foreign exchange markets where the central bank has been struggling to halt or at least slow the fall of Egypt’s pound for months. Egypt’s government will delay by up to three months a rationing of subsidised fuel initially set for April as part of austerity measures to secure a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF, its oil minister said on Tuesday. The quotas, to be implemented through a system of smart cards allowing drivers a limited amount of subsidised fuel, were due to start in April, just as the country is set to hold parliamentary elections. “The usage of smart cards for petroleum products will be implemented in the period between April and July,” Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Osama Kamal told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event. The Islamist-led administration that took office in July vowed to push through a reform of subsidies, which swallow as much as a quarter of the state budget, to lower its

Subordinated issues might not be expensive for Islamic lenders

Turkey banks mull sukuk issues ISTANBUL/SYDNEY, Feb 12, (RTRS): Strong investor demand and a need to improve capital adequacy ratios are causing Turkey’s Islamic banks to consider issuing subordinated sukuk, bankers and analysts say. Ibrahim Oguducu, head of the financial institutions business at Bank Asya, the country’s largest Islamic bank, said longer-tenor subordinated sukuk would help balance mismatches between the maturities of banks’ liabilities and assets, while diversifying their funding sources. “A public subordinated sukuk transaction would definitely attract more investor appetite than murabaha,” said Oguducu, declining to say whether his bank specifically was considering such an issue. Turkey’s four Islamic banks have so far issued only two sukuk; both were from Kuveyt Turk, which is 62 percent owned by Kuwait Finance House and raised a total of $450 million in 2010 and 2011. That is likely to change soon. Bank Asya said in December that it was finalising a 100-150 million lira sukuk issue and also planned a $200-300 million dollar-denominated sukuk in the next two or three months. Officials at Al Baraka Turk, a unit of Bahraini lender Al Baraka, have been talking about a $200 million sukuk issue for over a year. The Turkish government’s landmark issue last September of a $1.5 billion sukuk, which drew massive demand, may be the trigger for such plans finally to go ahead.

While subordinated instruments are more expensive for issuers than their secured counterparts, the current appetite for Turkish debt seems strong enough to translate into favourable pricing for the banks, protecting their profit margins in the increasingly competitive banking sector. And with Basel III global banking standards expected to be phased in from this year, some Turkish banks could consider subordinated instruments to raise capital, according to Alex Roussos, counsel at the Norton Rose law firm in Dubai. “Current capitalisation levels of certain banks and the desire for innovation would encourage them to consider such a structure,” Roussos said. “Where the underlying credit is solid and the issuer can present a good story, the hike in pricing of a subordinated sukuk will not be as painful. Issuers know they will still be able to get a decent pricing despite the subordinated nature of the instrument.” Turkey’s Islamic banks, which describe themselves as “participation banks” because of domestic political sensitivities and to adhere to local law, have in the past obtained their funding mostly from retail deposits and short-term, syndicated murabaha loans. Murabaha is a common cost-plus-profit arrangement in Islamic finance. Subordinated sukuk could give them a welcome alternative to these sources, while classifying the sukuk as Tier 2 capi-

tal would help the banks meet the regulator’s minimum 12 percent capital adequacy requirement as a proportion of assets. Although Turkish Tier 2 bonds have in the past priced about 85 basis points higher than comparable Eurobonds, a Tier 2 sukuk could see tighter pricing, a Londonbased banker estimated. “This spread may be a little bit narrower as sukuk investors are of a different style and may accept a narrower spread,” he said. In many parts of world, sukuk have been pricing slightly tighter than conventional bonds because of a shortage of supply relative to the size of cash-rich Islamic funds. Turkey’s Islamic banks have enjoyed a jump in assets over the last year, but profitability and capital adequacy remain concerns. The banks held a combined 68.9 billion lira ($38.8 billion) of assets in November, or 5.2 percent of the country’s banking assets, according to Turkish brokerage IS Investment. This represented 24.7 percent growth from a year earlier, compared to 10.2 percent growth for the overall banking sector. But net income for Islamic banks grew only 10 percent in the same period versus a 37 percent increase for the overall banking sector, the report showed. The capital adequacy ratio (CAR) for the Islamic banks combined stood at 13.68 percent in November, a fall of 0.34 percentage point from a year earlier, data from the regulator showed. The ratio for the overall banking sector was 17.39 percent, up 1.02 percentage point.

deficit but is reluctant to hurt voters. It eliminated subsidies on 95-octane gasoline, the highest grade available, late last year, prompting many motorists to switch to subsidised lower-octane fuel. Egypt, which has endured two years of political instability since the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak, reached a preliminary agreement with the IMF in November for the $4.8 billion loan to support its struggling economy. Cutting the deficit is a condition to secure the loan. But the government is still considering steps to curb spending on fuel subsidies as well as changes to the tax system that would target the wealthy. Government subsidies for energy products for the first half of the financial year (2012-2013) cost around 55 billion Egyptian pounds ($8.19 billion). Kamal said he expects the cost of energy subsidies for the full year to rise by 5

percent to 120 billion pounds from 115 pounds last year. Egypt’s main agricultural bank is launching Islamic retail services this month to meet increasing demand in rural areas, a bank official told Reuters. “We are launching sharia-compliant retail banking this month with a portfolio of 50 million pounds ($7.5 million) and can raise that to 100 million” next June based on demand, said Abdel Rahman Al Kafrawi, head of Islamic transactions at Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit (PBDAC). Government-owned PBDAC will offer retail finance at 18 Islamic branches through murabaha and musharaka structures, he said. The bank has offered Islamic finance on a very small scale for several decades at 10 branches, and in 2012 won the central bank’s approval to raise the number to 24 branches.

Al Kafrawi said the new Islamic services would cover areas including purchases of durable goods and agricultural equipment, the setting up of clinics and medical laboratories, and the financing of education fees. The bank has 1,210 branches across the country. Its chairman Muhsin Al Batran told reporters last September that the bank would expand its Islamic services since a considerable proportion of farmers declined to take conventional loans because of Islam’s ban on interest. Of 5.8 million farmers who owned land, only about a million had borrowed from the PBDAC, he said, adding that the bank aimed to raise this to 3 million by increasing Islamic finance and other services. The share of Islamic business in the bank’s overall business is likely to remain tiny for the foreseeable future, however, as its total credit portfolio was 26 billion pounds in June.





US lists new sanctions on several firms Chinese companies penalized for supplying material and support to Iran’s missile program WASHINGTON, Feb 12, (RTRS): The United States on Monday announced new sanctions on a Chinese businessman and several companies for selling to Iran items banned under US laws aimed at curbing that country’s missile program. A notice published on the Federal Register website marks at least the third time since 2006 that Li Fangwei, also known as Karl Lee, has faced US penalties for supplying material and support to Iran’s missile development. The notice said Li and a firm called Dalian Sunny Industries “have engaged in missile technology proliferation activi-

ties that require the imposition of missile sanctions” under the US Arms Control Act and the Export Administration Act. A separate sanction notice listed Li, Dalian Sunny, and three other Chinese firms, including Poly Technologies Incorporated, as being sanctioned for violations of the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act. The other two Chinese firms, BST Technology and Trade Company and China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC), were on a list that also included companies from Belarus, Iran, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela. The decision to impose sanctions was taken on December 20 and took effect on February 5, said the notices.

The notices did not specify what banned products were sold to Iran, Syria or North Korea. But they said the sales violated rules of the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other international programs aimed at curbing the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Poly Technologies Inc, a major arms firm, did not answer telephones in Beijing on Monday, a national holiday in China. But China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency carried a statement from Poly Technologies saying the accusations against the subsidiary of the state-owned conglomerate China Poly Group Corporation were baseless.

“We have never helped any countries or regions develop any banned weapons, nor have we exported or promised to export weapons or technologies to any countries or regions that are under United Nations Security Council Resolutions Sanctions,” the firm was quoted as saying. “We hereby demand the US side to respect the fact and immediately lift the sanctions,” said Poly Technologies. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, in a statement published on the ministry’s website on Monday, said the new US sanctions decision “seriously violates the norms of international relations and harms China’s interests.” Hua’s statement did not address the

specific allegations behind the sanctions or mention any companies by name. “China urges the United States to immediately correct its mistaken policy and revoke these irrational sanctions toward the relevant companies and individuals and cease taking actions that harm China’s interests and China-US relations,” the statement said. A US State Department official told Reuters Li and Dalian Sunny were being sanctioned “for proliferation to Iran.” “Certainly the sales are from more recent times, since 2009,” - when Li was placed under sanctions for similar sales of banned items - the official said. Li has previously denied that he has exported illegal items to Iran. In 2006, the US Treasury barred Li and

the LIMMT Economic and Trade Company Ltd from the US financial system for selling goods with potential military uses to Iran - something US officials said Li denied. Three years later, the New York County District Attorney unsealed a fraud indictment against Li and the Dalianbased LIMMT Economic and Trade Company Ltd, for using false names to process further payments for sales to Iran through US banks. Dalian Sunny Industries and LIMMT Economic and Trade Company Ltd are two of more than 25 names used by the LIMMT Metallurgy and Minerals Company Ltd, according to the Iran Watch website of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control.




India industrial output drops for 2nd month in Dec India’s industrial output fell for the second straight month in December, government data showed Tuesday, adding to worries over a marked slowdown in Asia’s third-largest economy, now predicted to grow at its slowest rate in a decade. The production index measuring manufacturing, mining and electricity edged down 0.6 percent in December from a year earlier,

more than the November contraction of 0.1 percent, according to the Central Statistics Office. India’s once-bright economic outlook has been dimming recently amid high inflation, weak consumer spending and delays in economic reforms that have chilled investment. Gross domestic product growth has slumped from over 9 percent in early 2011 to a projected growth of only 5 per-

cent for the fiscal year ending in March. Falling industrial production seemed to back up that pessimistic GDP forecast issued last week by the statistics office, which sparked an unusual controversy within the government, with Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram saying the gloomy outlook is overblown and 5.5 percent growth is still achievable. (AP)

India IT exports picking up steam Exports by India’s flagship IT outsourcing industry are set to grow by 12 to 14 percent in the next financial year, an industry group said on Tuesday, suggesting signs of recovery. Higher global spending on information technology and opportunities stemming from the adoption of new technologies are likely to propel the growth, Nasscom President Som Mittal told reporters.

“India is likely to export software and services worth $84 billion to $87 billion” in the fiscal year that starts in April, the National Association of Software and Services Companies, or Nasscom, said in a statement. India’s top software firms TCS, Infosys and Wipro all reported betterthan-expected quarterly earnings last month, despite tough global business conditions. “The Indian IT-BPM (Business

Process Management) industry has demonstrated resilience and agility in the past year,” said Nasscom chairman and TCS chief executive N. Chandrasekaran. India’s IT exports are likely to have grown by 10.2 percent in the current fiscal year to March, down from a previous estimate of 11 percent in November, after global firms from western nations slowed IT spending. (AFP)

CBI investigation may not have any impact on helicopter deal: source

India orders probe into Italy bribe allegations NEW DELHI, Feb 12, (AFP): India on Tuesday launched an inquiry into reports of alleged bribery of government officials by Finmeccanica after the Italian aerospace giant’s chief was said to have been arrested by Italian police. Giuseppe Orsi was reportedly arrested earlier in the day on charges of corruption and embezzlement in relation to alleged bribes given to the Indian government in the sale of 12 AgustaWestland helicopters to India in 2010. “A probe by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has been ordered,” Indian defence ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar told AFP. Separately, India’s defence ministry in a statement said it had sought the CBI inquiry because it had received no information from the Italian and British government about the allegations. “Since no specific input has been received so far from the two governments, the ministry of defence has decided to refer the case to the CBI for inquiry,” the defence department statement said.

An Indian defence ministry source told AFP that the reported arrest of Orsi and the Indian CBI investigation may not have any immediate impact on the helicopter deal. “The ministry will wait and see before taking a final call on taking delivery of the remaining helicopters,” the source said. The Press Trust of India said the ministry has decided to “put on hold the receipt of the remaining nine of the 12 helicopters.” Defence ministry spokesman Kar declined comment on the report. Orsi has denied any wrongdoing in the $748-million deal, signed in February 2010 for the delivery of the choppers between January and July of this year. India’s defence minister A.K. Antony told parliament last year the Congress-led government, which has been buffeted by a string of corruption scandals, would slap “suitable penalty measures” in the event of wrongdoing by Finmeccanica. Antony said after reports of alleged kickbacks surfaced in the Indian media,

Finmeccanica CEO arrested in corruption probe MILAN, Feb 12, (AP): Italian police arrested the chief executive of Italy’s largest defense and aerospace group on Tuesday as part of an investigation into alleged international corruption. Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi is under investigation in a case involving the payment of bribes in the 500 million euros ($670 million) sale of 12 helicopters to the government of India. Prosecutors in Busto Arsizio, north of Milan, ordered a search of Orsi’s home, as well as the headquarters of Finmeccanica’s AgustaWestland heli-

copter division. Authorities also ordered the house arrest of AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini. Meanwhile, in India, the country’s Defense Minister has ordered a separate investigation. The ministry, in a statement, said that the deal included provisions against bribery and “the use of undo influence.” Finmeccanica, which is 30-percent owned by the Italian government and was once considered a jewel among the country’s companies, said in a statement that it

will continue operating as usual and expressed support for the executives. The statement called the measures against Orsi and Spagnolini “precautionary.” Orsi has repeatedly denied paying any bribes. Orsi’s lawyer, Ennio Amodio, told reporters that the arrest orders were “devastating because it decapitates two of the largest companies in our country,” Italian news agencies quoted him as saying. Finmeccanica shares dropped 8.4 percent to 4.36 euros in Milan trading despite an order by the market watchdog banning

short-selling of the company’s stock. Short-selling is when traders sell stock they do not actually own, hoping to buy it back at a lower price. Finmeccanica and its executives have been the target of a wide-ranging, yearslong investigation into alleged corruption in the awarding of international contracts. In 2011, Orsi took over at the helm of Finmeccanica when the previous chairman and CEO, Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, was also implicated in the bribery investigation.

the defence ministry, which is spending billions of dollars in upgrading its outdated military equipment, sought details from the Italian government. But he said Rome had replied it had “no official position... in view of the independ-

ence of the (Italian) judiciary”. An Indian foreign ministry spokesman reiterated Antony’s statement on Tuesday. India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party said there “many Indian names” allegedly involved in the sale and

accused the government of dragging its heels in seeking to identify them. “That is why it is finding excuses in the Italian government not supplying information,” BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

In the 1980s, a previous Congress government led by then-prime minister Rajiv Gandhi collapsed over charges of kickbacks paid to Indian officials by the Swedish group Bofors to clinch a $1.3-billion artillery deal.

G7 fires warning shot over currencies, Japan sanguine Leaders say market must set FX rates LONDON/WASHINGTON, Feb 12, (RTRS): The Group of Seven nations endeavoured on Tuesday to take the heat out of growing international tension over exchange rates, declaring that fiscal and monetary policies must not be directed at devaluing currencies. The intervention — which actually produced a flurry of market volatility — follows a barrage of rhetoric about a currency war, prompted by Japan’s new government pressing for an aggressive expansion of monetary policy which has seen the yen weaken sharply.

Japan said the statement gave it a green light to continue efforts to reflate its economy but a G7 official said it was aimed squarely at Tokyo, prompting the yen to surge. “The G7 statement signalled concern about excess moves in the yen,” the official said. “The G7 is concerned about unilateral guidance on the yen. Japan will be in the spotlight at the G20 in Moscow this weekend.” G20 finance ministers and central bankers meet in Moscow on Friday and Saturday. Some have previously pointed out that the United States has adopted similar policies to Japan. The G7 powers — the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy — reiterated their commitment to market-determined exchange rates and said they would consult closely to avoid disorderly and volatile market moves which could hurt economic and financial stability. “We reaffirm that our fiscal and monetary policies have been and will remain oriented towards meeting our respective domestic objectives using domestic instruments, and that we will not target exchange rates,” said the statement, released by Britain which chairs the G8 (G7 plus Russia) forum this year. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said that was a recognition that Tokyo’s policy steps were not aimed at affecting foreign exchange markets. “It was meaningful for us as (the G7) properly recognises that steps we are taking to beat deflation are not aimed at influencing currency markets,” Aso told reporters. US and European officials have been concerned about comments from Japanese officials that suggested Tokyo was targeting a specific level for the yen. But US Treasury official Lael Brainard said on Monday that while competitive devaluations should be avoided, Washington supported Tokyo’s efforts to reinvigorate growth and end deflation.


Traders work under a screen indicating the US dollar is trading at 93.530 yen on the foreign exchange market in Tokyo. Against the dollar, the yen is near a three-year low and looks set to weaken further as the Bank of Japan falls into line with the new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to break Japan’s domestic economy out of its deflationary slump with very loose monetary policy — creating more money. One US dollar is now buying more than 94 yen compared with 77-80 yen for much of 2012. (AP)

German industry sees 0.7 pct economic growth

French budget target called to question PARIS, Feb 12, (Agencies): France has only a slim chance of meeting ambitious budget targets intended to stabilize the country’s economy and meet European requirements, the national auditor warned Tuesday. A pillar of the 17 group of European Union countries that uses the euro, France is the world’s fifth-largest economy. Investors and economists have been scrutinizing the country’s ability to control its finances and make it more competitive on a global stage. Tuesday’s report was the first national audit under Socialist President Francois Hollande, who has argued that new spending was needed to stimulate growth. The report, however, said that health care and military expenses were rising while tax revenues were failing to keep up. The administration has laid out a series of deficit-reduction targets to bring France in line with the limit set by the European Union of 3 percent of the country’s annual economic output by 2014. But Tuesday’s report predicted that the deficit could rise as high as 4.5 percent compared to a eurozone average of 3.3 percent. “It’s imperative to continue the effort and at the same time pull back on spend-

ing,” Didier Migaud, the leader of the France’s state auditing council, told Le Monde newspaper. The audit added that French debt was likely to grow beyond 90 percent of the country’s economic output for 2012. In response, French President Francois Hollande promised to lower growth predictions in coming days. “There’s no point in having goals if they can’t be achieved,” he said. Despite the warning, Hollande’s government is likely to come under pressure to spend more — not less. The French military launched a campaign in Mali with costs estimated at 50 million euros and rising. And unemployment continues to mount, forcing the government to pay out benefits to jobless workers. The report said rampant government waste is contributing to the problem. The audit singled out a controversial project to limit environmental damage to the landmark Mont-Saint-Michel monastery on the Atlantic Coast which it said was poorly managed and was unclear who will fit the bill for the 185 million euros plan. It also criticized payroll policies and perks at state-controlled utility giant Electrite de France, saying salaries con-

tinued to grow over the last decade even as private sector salaries stagnated amid economic slowdown. The report also recommended cuts to subsidies for newspapers and magazines, estimating that the French government spent 5 billion euros from 2009-2011 in subsidies with “limited results.”

Also: BERLIN: This year promises to be a good year for German industry given brighter export prospects and a stabilisation in corporate investment and hiring, one of the country’s top business organisations said on Tuesday. “2013 has it in it to be a good year in economic terms,” said the head of the DIHK chambers of commerce federation, Martin Wansleben. “Company expectations are brightening, particularly with regard to exports. Their investment and hiring plans are stabilising,” he said, presenting the results of DIHK’s twice-yearly economic survey. Based on the results of the poll, which questioned a total 28,000 businesses around the country, DIHK said it is pencilling in gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 0.7 percent this year, the same rate of growth as last year.

The dollar traded at 94.28 yen before the comment from the G7 official and plunged to a session low of 93.26 after it. “Rather than calm the markets, the poorly communicated statement has significantly raised volatility and now we have to wait to see the actual outcome of G20 on the weekend,” said Richard Gilhooly, fixed-income strategist at TD Securities in New York. Bank of Canada chief Mark Carney said the G20 meeting was crucial. “It’s important that we as a G7 go in united and forcefully to the G20 to enlarge that commitment as quickly as possible amongst the major emerging economies in the G20, some of whom entirely ascribe to flexible exchange rates and are supportive, others who have a lot of work to do in this regard,” he told a Canadian parliamentary committee. Separately, the Swiss National Bank reiterated its determination to keep a lid on the strong franc, rejected charges it was contributing to a currency war, and said it expected the franc to keep weakening. Last week, France went as far as calling for a medium-term target to be set for the euro out of concern the exchange rate had become too strong. Berlin rejected that suggestion. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici made little headway at a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday although Germany’s finance minister did sound a note of concern. “There’s no foreign exchange problem in Europe,” Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters at the end of a European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels. “There are concerns that there could be something like this in other parts of the world.” Since late last year, the euro has climbed more than 10 cents from below $1.27. It has eased 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.

Cos eye stability, shallow seas

Inhospitable Arctic draws oil investment ANCHORAGE/OSLO, Feb 12, (Agencies): It may not be this year, but Royal Dutch/Shell and other oil companies will be back to drill in northern Alaska’s seas, drawn by political stability and shallow waters. Weary of Middle Eastern turbulence, alarmed by Argentina’s nationalisation of Spanish group Repsol’s assets, and shocked by the Islamist siege of an Algerian gas plant, companies are looking to unexploited parts of the Arctic. Drilling in the cold, remote waters is technologically difficult and expensive but dwindling reserves elsewhere have forced oil firms to look deeper offshore, which is also costly. Alaskan seas so shallow a walrus can hunt on the bottom are now looking competitive and the prize is an estimated 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its gas. “A lot of these (oil) companies want to go somewhere with less political risk,” said Emily Stromquist of global political risk research and consulting firm Eurasia Group. Exxon Mobil is at the centre of a dispute in Iraq, oil is regularly stolen from Shell’s Nigeria pipelines by armed gangs, and BP and Statoil are reviewing operations in Algeria and Libya after a deadly Sahara gas plant siege. The offshore Arctic has no such risks. Border disputes between the eight politically stable Arctic Council are peaceful. Its very isolation offers a security of sorts. “The Arctic is so inhospitable, you are not going to get maritime threats,” added Fraser Bomford, an intelligence analyst at security firm AKE Group. “It is not near land where there are lawless areas, like the Gulf of Guinea or the Gulf of Aden.” Nevertheless, storms and daytime temperatures averaging minus 30 degrees centigrade on the northern coast in January make it a challenging place to operate. Setbacks Shell has suffered a series of setbacks since it bought the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea leases in 2005. In the latest of these, three out of four engines on a brand new tug failed in near hurricane conditions on New Year’s Eve 2012, allowing the Kulluk rig to break free from its towline and run aground. The company has yet to decide whether to drill in 2013, and on Monday sent the Kulluk to Asia for repairs. But Chief Executive Peter Voser was adamant last week that Shell, and others, would be back. The Beaufort and Chukchi Seas alone contain some 23 billion barrels of recoverable oil, according to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Leaving aside associated gas which may be hard to bring to market given the weak outlook for U.S gas prices - that’s twice the contents of Shell’s producing oil and gas wells, which are emptying at a rate of 1.2 billion boe a year. Shell first drilled in the Arctic at 150 feet in 1982 when the offshore industry was still proud of reaching the 400 feet depths of the North Sea.

It abandoned the area in the late 1990s as oil prices slumped. The deepest offshore wells now start at over 5,000 feet and are twice as costly as established parts of the North Sea and shallow offshore finds on the scale promised by Shell’s Arctic licenses are long gone elsewhere. Some 77 billion boe of oil and gas are set to be developed in deepwater zones between now and 2020 at a cost of $650 billion, according to research by Macquarie Equities Research - an indication of industry confidence in profitability. And at $35-$40, an Arctic barrel’s cost can be on a par with those deepwater barrels, according to Lars Lindholt, a researcher at Statistics Norway. International Energy Agency (IEA) figures also show Arctic and deepwater costs overlap. Tested However, the Arctic price tag has yet to be tested where Shell is working, and where it has spent $5 billion since 2005 without a barrel to show for it. While onshore Alaskan development and work in milder Norwegian seas has defied the cold and remoteness for decades, Shell’s plans push the boundaries much further. Daytime temperatures are colder than a similar latitude in Norway and storms and currents cause ice surges called “ivus” that push and throw car-sized ice blocks inland. One once crushed a dwelling, killing its inhabitants. A 2012 report by the think tank Chatham House analysed storm tracks dating back to 1950s that suggest climate change - while opening up the seas - may be worsening the Arctic weather, producing more storms like the “Blizzicane” that struck western Alaska in 2011. Melting permafrost is damaging pipelines and coastal infrastructure ashore, and the retreating ice could result in larger icebergs, more coastal erosion, and bigger waves on a more open sea, the report says. Experts say offloading oil to tankers from the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas looks unfeasible, even during the July-to-October season in which Shell wants to work. Shell says it has completed pipeline projects in Russia, Canada and Norway in “similar” conditions, yet no subsea pipeline of the length required has been attempted in the area it targets despite an established onshore industry close by with some modest offshore development. Then there are the kit requirements. While a North Sea platform will typically operate with just three or four supply and support vessels, most Arctic regulations require a back-up rig and as many as a dozen response vessels. Rigs need expensive hydraulic fluids to cope with the temperatures. They also need to be winterised to protect people and pipes, and supplies have to move huge distances. Rigs of all types are in short supply. Support vessels are also hard to come by. Russia’s Yamal liquefiednatural-gas (LNG) project in the Kara Sea alone will need up to 16 ice-capable LNG vessels plus several ice breakers.

Continued on Page 45




British unpaid work scheme breached law: court England’s Court of Appeal ruled Monday that a government scheme requiring unemployed people to work without pay was unlawful, following a claim that it breached laws on forced labour. Three top judges at the London court ruled that the regulations under which most of the British government’s socalled “back-to-work” schemes were created were unlawful and quashed them.

University graduate Cait Reilly took her case to the court, claiming the requirement on her to work for free breached laws on forced labour. In November 2011, Reilly, 24, from Birmingham in central England, had to leave her voluntary work at a museum and work unpaid at Poundland, a chain store where all items cost £1 ($1.55, 1.15 euros). She was told she would lose her unemployment welfare payments if she

did not carry out the work placement. Reilly stacked shelves and cleaned floors for two weeks. Reilly said she was delighted with the judgement. “I knew it was wrong when I was prevented from doing my voluntary work in a museum and forced to work in Poundland for free for two weeks,” she said. “Those two weeks were a complete waste of my time as the experience did

British inflation steady

not help me get a job. “I wasn’t given any training and I was left with no time to do my voluntary work or search for other jobs. The only beneficiary was Poundland. “Later I found out that I should never have been told the placement was compulsory. “I agree we need to get people back to work but the best way of doing that is by helping them, not punishing them.” (AFP)

British 12-month inflation stood at 2.7 percent in January for a record fourth month in a row, official data showed on Tuesday. “The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) annual inflation grew by 2.7 percent in January 2013, unchanged for the fourth month in a row,” the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. The Bank of England’s government-set target rate for annual inflation stands at 2.0 percent. The CPI meanwhile fell by 0.5 percent in January on a month-on-month basis, the ONS added. Both the monthly and annual data were in-line with analyst consensus forecasts. (AFP)

President small business advisor leaves govt

Obama’s likely Treasury chief faces budget tests WASHINGTON, Feb 12, (Agencies): The to-do list that awaits Jacob Lew, President Barack Obama’s choice to be Treasury secretary, is daunting. Bridge disputes in Congress on taxes and spending. Shrink budget deficits. Manage tense economic ties with China. Press Europe to reduce debts while fighting a recession. Defend the US financial overhaul law. Prevent a global currency war. And those are just the obvious challenges. Lew’s job isn’t quite as perilous as the one that greeted the now-departed Timothy Geithner four years ago. As Treasury secretary, Geithner had to help stabilize a teetering US banking system after the worst financial crisis since the 1930s and help lift the economy out of a deep recession. The economy and banking system are far healthier now. But if the Senate backs Lew’s nomination after a committee hearing Wednesday, he will likely have to marshal all his strengths as a budget specialist and perhaps overcome inexperi-

ence in some areas to achieve significant success. The federal budget is sure to preoccupy Lew’s early weeks, and it’s also likely to dominate his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. Republicans are expected to use the hearing to stress their differences with the administration over deficits and taxes. Sen Orrin Hatch, the panel’s top Republican, said he would press Lew on “what kind of plan Law the Obama administration has to confront our skyrocketing debt and our broken entitlement programs.” Lew, 57, will likely be well-prepared to spar over taxes and spending. He has twice served as a White House budget director — once during the Clinton administration and once under Obama

before becoming White House chief of staff. Going back to his days as an aide to House Speaker Tip O’Neill in the early 1980s, Lew has amassed three decades of experience at the top levels of Washington policy-making. He isn’t expected to have trouble winning Senate confirmation, despite the likely arguments from Republicans that the administration isn’t doing enough to contain “entitlement” programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security whose costs are straining the federal budget. After Wednesday’s hearing, committee members will have two days to send questions to Lew to answer before they vote. The full Senate could vote on the nomination late this month. That would give Lew little time before his first budget challenge — the March 1 date when deep spending cuts in defense and domestic programs will kick in unless Congress and the administration agree on some way to avert them. The second challenge would come

March 27, when much of the government would shut down if Congress doesn’t extend a temporary measure authorizing funding. And the nation’s borrowing limit must be raised by May 18 or the government could default on its debts. Few are optimistic that negotiators will strike a “grand bargain” to simultaneously resolve the budget rifts, avoid slashing spending too much for now and shrink the deficit over the long run. “You will get little deals along the way but not much else,” said Stanley Collender, a budget expert at Qorvis Communications. “I don’t see them having the time or the inclination to do a grand bargain.” Collender thinks a temporary government shutdown will occur once the current budget measure runs out March 27. A shutdown could force the two sides into a compromise over spending cuts and the need to fund the government for the rest of the budget year. Sen Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Budget Committee, has already expressed opposition to the nomination.

Barclays pledges fresh course, axes 3,700 jobs CEO says bank to put ethics above earnings after series of scandals LONDON, Feb 12, (RTRS): Barclays’ new chief executive pledged a fresh course for the British lender on Tuesday, axing at least 3,700 jobs and pruning its investment bank as he seeks to rebuild its reputation and boost profitability after a series of scandals. In an attempt to distance Britain’s third biggest bank from the aggressive, high-risk culture championed by his predecessor, Antony Jenkins said Barclays would put ethics above earnings at the bank, which has become a focus for public anger at the excesses of the financial sector. “Barclays is changing. There will be no going back to the old way of doing things. We are changing the way we do business. We are changing the type of business we do,” Jenkins said.

Cynicism “I understand why there is cynicism and scepticism out there, given the track record of banks in the past. You should judge us by what we deliver in the next one, two, five or 10 years,” he said at a news conference. Jenkins unveiled his grand plan, dubbed “Project Transform”, at London’s Royal Horticultural Halls, an Edwardian exhibition space well away from the bank’s skyscraper headquarters in Canary Wharf and just a short walk from parliament, where lawmakers have heavily criticised the bank for its misdeeds. Keen to show change is afoot, Jenkins cut pay for investment bankers, halted speculative trading in agricultural commodities and closed a profitable tax advisory unit, which one lawmaker said advised clients on “industrial-scale tax avoidance”. Jenkins, wearing a bright blue tie and sober grey suit, gave a precise presentation but rarely strayed into awkward territory. He declined to answer questions about the future of Rich Ricci, head of the investment bank and one of the last remaining senior executives of the previous era. “I can’t predict the future,” Jenkins said. He committed to keeping the investment bank, which contributes more than half of group earnings, and did not go as far as rivals such as UBS or RBS in cutbacks in this area. He said the division was one of “an increasingly small group” of firms winning business and should deliver future returns on equity of 14-15 percent. Investors applauded the bank’s plans to raise its dividend and cut £1.7 billion ($2.7 billion) in annual costs, including eliminating 1,800 jobs in corporate and investment banking and

‘Austerity policies could be self-defeating if they derail growth’

Fed taking ‘forceful action’ on economy WASHINGTON, Feb 12, (RTRS): The Federal Reserve’s aggressive easing of monetary policy is warranted given the still-battered state of the US labor market, Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen said on Monday. In an address to the politically influential AFL-CIO, the largest US labor group, Yellen, a potential successor to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke next year, bemoaned the unusually weak nature of the economic expansion. “The gulf between maximum employment and the very difficult conditions workers face today helps explain the urgency behind the Federal Reserve’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the recovery,” Yellen said. “We have taken, and are continuing to take, forceful action to increase the pace of economic growth and job creation.” The US economy contracted slightly in the fourth quarter of 2012 and, while that decline is seen as temporary, continues to grow at or below 2 percent, far below the rate economists say is needed to bring down the 7.9 percent unemployment rate. Yellen pointed to erratic US budget policy as one source of weakness in the recovery. “I expect that discretionary fiscal policy will continue to be a headwind for the recovery for some time, instead of the

tailwind it has been in the past,” she said. In response to the deep financial crisis and recession of 2007-09, the Fed lowered interest rates effectively to zero and bought over $2 trillion in mortgage and Treasury securities in an effort to keep down long-term interest rates. It began a new, open-ended round of $85 billion monthly bond purchases in September. Austerity policies in the United States and Europe that sharply cut spending to reduce budget deficits could be self-defeating if they derail economic growth, Yellen said. “Both for the United States and for Europe ... fiscal austerity does raise unemployment, weaken the economy and ... in addition undermines the goals for which it is designed to achieve,” Yellen said. Yellen argued that the primary cause of high unemployment is a shortage of demand due to the ebb and flow of the business cycle, not structural factors. That suggests monetary policy can be helpful to offset the labor market’s troubles. Long-term unemployment is a serious problem not only for those affected, but also for the economy as a whole since it could hurt the nation’s growth potential, Yellen said. Some analysts worry the Fed’s stim-

ulus policies will spark future inflation, but the central bank maintains it has all the tools it needs to remove liquidity from the financial system when the time comes. Policymakers do not think that is any time soon. They have vowed to keep purchasing assets as long as the US employment outlook fails to make substantial improvement and to keep rates near zero until the jobless rate falls to 6.5 percent, as long as inflation remains under control. Yellen said that, when the time comes to tighten monetary conditions, the Fed has the necessary tools, particularly the ability to pay interest on bank reserves to remove liquidity from the financial system. Asked about the role of a large US trade deficit at a time when some analysts have voiced fears of competitive exchange rate devaluation or “currency wars,” Yellen sounded an optimistic note. “For quite some period of time now, the US dollar has been depreciating very gradually in real terms and I think it has made a very substantial difference to the US current account deficit that has come down a long way and is no longer on what I would to refer to as an unsustainable course,” Yellen said. “So I think that we have made progress in that regard.”

1,900 in its European retail and business banking. He aims to cut compensation to around 35 percent of earnings, from 38 percent last year and 42 percent in 2011. “This statement redresses the balance. It is not just about the (dividend) payout ratio going up, it is also a function of the compensation ratio going down,” said Dominic Rossi, chief investment officer for Fidelity Worldwide Investments, one of the bank’s 15 biggest investors. “That was of course what shareholders had been arguing for ... (The) balance of distribution between staff and shareholders was inappropriate and disproportionate towards employees,” Rossi told Reuters. Barclays shares surged to close up 8.6 percent at 327.35 pence, their highest level for two years and helping pull the European bank index up 2 percent. The bank’s shares are up 75 percent since Jenkins took the helm at the end of August, lifting its value to $62 billion. Jenkins, 51, has said he expects “Project Transform”, his plan to

revamp the bank, to take five to 10 years and has told staff they should leave if they do not want to sign up to the new standards. He cut the average bonus for investment bankers to £54,100 for last year, down 17 percent on the year. It will pay a total £1.85 billion in bonuses, down 14 percent. “We need to give our investors a bigger share of the income we generate,” he said.

businesses in continental Europe and Asia. He said his “root and branch” review of 75 business units will result in four being closed, covering old assets held in fixed income and European corporate and retail loans. A further 17 units, which contribute £2 billion of income, could be sold or will need a significant transition to make the grade, including the tax unit and a raft of European retail operations. Another 15 units will need restructuring, while 39 are performing well and will get investment to grow, the bank said. Jenkins aims to cut the bank’s cost base to £16.8 billion in 2015, excluding one-off costs to achieve that of 2.7 billion over the next three years, and lift its dividend to achieve a 30 percent payout ratio. The bank will pay a dividend of 6.5 pence per share for 2012 from 6p in 2011, or a payout ratio of 19 percent, which analysts said was an encouraging signal for it and UK rivals, given that regulators are telling banks to conserve capital.

Warned But he warned there would be no quick fix and the bank would not deliver his target of a return on equity above 11.5 percent until 2015. Jenkins will focus investment in Britain, the United States and Africa, and cut back in continental Europe and Asia. Nearly one in three Barclays branches across Italy, Spain, Portugal and France will close, or about 340 branches and sales centres, and remaining retail operations there will focus on affluent customers. Jenkins will scale back the investment bank’s equities and advisory

S&P open to settling Justice Department suit NEW YORK, Feb 12, (AFP): Standard & Poor’s intends to vigorously contest the US lawsuit on its mortgage bond ratings, but is open to a “reasonable settlement,” a company official said Tuesday. “We are always open to a reason-

able settlement,” executive vice president and general counsel Ken Vittor said in a conference call. “If there is a reasonable settlement made to us in any case, we are open to discuss it.” The remarks came in response to a

question during a conference call to discuss earnings results for S&P parent McGraw-Hill. The call was dominated by queries about the Department of Justice lawsuit filed last weeek alleging S&P

knowingly misrepresented credit ratings on mortgage securities in order to win business from issuers. Thirteen states have filed concurrent actions with the federal case, while other states are conducting investigations.

Sessions argues that Lew was less than forthcoming as Obama’s budget director in describing the magnitude of the government’s budget deficit. And House Republican officials who negotiated with Obama’s team over a deal to raise the federal debt ceiling in 2011 have accused Lew of using budget gimmicks to demonstrate phantom cuts in spending. “Lew is obviously very knowledgeable on budget matters, but he may lack the diplomatic skills to forge a compromise with Congress,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University. But Collender said he saw the Republican criticism as signaling that Lew was a tough negotiator. Lew will enjoy at least one major negotiating advantage — his close relationship with Obama. Lew would be the first Treasury secretary to take the job after being a president’s chief of staff since James A. Baker III served as Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff before

becoming Treasury secretary in 1985.

Also: WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Monday said Karen Mills, his cabinet-level chief of the Small Business Administration, was leaving his government, and praised her role in helping revive the US economy. “I knew she had the skills and experience to help America’s small businesses recover from the worst economic crisis in generations — and that’s exactly what she’s done,” Obama said in a statement. “Over the last four years, Karen has made it easier for small businesses to interact with the federal government by reducing paperwork and cutting through red tape. “She has played a leading role in my administration’s efforts to support startups and entrepreneurs.” Mills, who prior to entering government had a private sector career, becomes the latest member of Obama’s administration to depart at the natural dividing point of the start of the president’s second term.

Oil spill worst fear

Arctic investment seen at $100 bln over next decade Continued from Page 44 Nevertheless, Chatham House estimates Arctic investments, mostly in offshore oil and gas extraction, could total $100 billion over the next decade. Italy’s Eni is meanwhile spending $6.7 billion on Goliat in the Barents Sea north of Norway, and Novatek and Total may put $20 billion into Yamal LNG. Rosneft and ExxonMobil also plan Kara Sea work, and Norway will sell 72 blocks in the Barents Sea this summer. Elsewhere in the north Alaska offshore, ConocoPhillips, Statoil, Eni, Repsol and Total also have Chukchi and/or Beaufort leases and plans to drill in 2014 and 2015. An oil spill is everybody’s worst fear. “For the past 20-30 years, drilling technology has improved by leaps and bounds but oil spill response remained at fairly basic levels,” said Knut Oerbeck-Nilssen of Det Norske Veritas, a firm that certifies oil and shipping equipment. “You will see lots of shovels on the beaches and oil collection on water.” Ports are distant, communication patchy, and workers tire fast in the cold and dark. The environment is fragile.

Difficulty “While particular risk events - such as an oil-spill - are not necessarily more likely in the Arctic than in other extreme environments, the potential environmental consequences, difficulty and cost of clean-up may be significantly greater,” the Chatham House report said. Shell says it is taking every precaution. Its 2011 response plan for a spill in the Beaufort shows nine support vessels. Alaska’s Governor Sean Parnell has spoken out in support of Shell’s plans despite the Kulluk grounding.

“Many wells have been safely drilled in the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS),” he said. “We believe it is strongly in the state’s and the nation’s interest that we continue to responsibly explore the vast hydrocarbons known to be available in the shallow waters of the Arctic OCS.” Some locals are less sure. “It might not be wise to conclude that oil operations can be conducted safely in the offshore Arctic just because we have learned, more or less, how to function on land,” said Willie Hensley, an Inupiat Eskimo and longtime Alaska Native leader. “It’s a big gamble to try to operate with the wind, water and ice. It’s like going to the casino. You think your next doggone spin might do it. And so it is out there.”

Also: OSLO, Norway: Norwegian energy company Statoil ASA says it plans to build a new oil terminal on the country’s Arctic coast to process oil from a recent discovery in the Barents Sea. Statoil chose a development concept Tuesday that envisions transporting oil from the Skrugard field, which is expected to come on stream in 2018, through a 174-mile (280-km) pipeline to the new terminal outside Honningsvaag, on Norway’s northern tip. Statoil vice president Oeystein Michelsen says the project “may spark off a new industrial era” in northern Norway. In 2011 the company announced large oil finds in the Skrugard and nearby Havis fields in the Barents Sea, which is seen as Norway’s new frontier for offshore oil and gas. Statoil says production is expected to reach almost 200,000 barrels per day.




Qatar sovereign fund boosts Tiffany stake to 8.7 pct Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, which was already the single largest shareholder in Tiffany & Co, has raised its stake in the US luxury jeweler by one percentage point, according to a regulatory filing. The fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), increased its holding in Tiffany at the end of December, bringing its stake to 8.7 percent, according to the filing made on Wednesday.

QIA first disclosed a stake in Tiffany, of 5.2 percent, last April. The sovereign wealth fund has been looking increasingly to buy minority equity stakes in large companies since last year. It has taken small stakes in companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, luxury conglomerate LVMH and oil company Total . It amassed a near 12 percent stake in London miner Xstrata in a series of market purchases last year and

demanded better terms on the miner’s planned merger with Glencore in a rare move for a sovereign fund. The fund, believed to have assets in excess of $100 billion, has been the most active of the region’s sovereign wealth funds in recent years, deploying the Gulf nation’s plentiful natural gas riches in assets ranging from German sports car maker Porsche to British bank Barclays. (RTRS)

UK regulator fines UBS over investment funds Britain’s financial regulator fined Swiss bank UBS £9.45 million ($14.8 million) Tuesday for exposing customers to unacceptable risk in the selling of an investment fund and for failing to deal properly with complaints that followed. The Financial Services Authority says UBS AG placed some 2,000 customers’ money in a fund that the bank had not properly reviewed, the so-called AIG Enhanced Variable

Rate Fund. When AIG ran into trouble in 2008 as a consequence of the global credit crunch and the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers, there was a run on the fund. The FSA says that UBS failed to carry out adequate due diligence, “so UBS had an inadequate understanding of the nature of the fund’s assets and the consequent risks.” “Firms such as UBS should be

under no illusion about the standards expected of them,” said Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime. “UBS’s conduct fell far short of what its customers deserved and what the FSA requires. It failed to ensure it understood the product it was selling, failed to recommend it to the right customers and failed to take effective action in the financial crisis when the problems with the fund came to the fore.” (AP)

Saudi index climbs 0.4 pct to near two-week high

Egypt gains on muted protests; Dubai ends lower DUBAI, Feb 12, (RTRS): Egypt’s index marked its biggest gain in nine days on Tuesday after protests marking the second anniversary of the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak a day earlier were smaller and less violent than expected. Most other Gulf markets also rose, but Dubai’s main index continued its retreat from Sunday’s threeyear high. Demonstrators demanding the departure of President Mohamed Morsi clashed with police outside his palace on Monday, but these appeared more subdued than previous bouts of anti-Morsi unrest. “Retail appetite was the main driver for the market today - every-

body was cautious yesterday and thought there would be further escalation of violence but it was not as bad as expected,” said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities. Investors also placed bets that there may be a cabinet reshuffle more in favour of the opposition. Egypt will hold parliamentary elections in April. “A cabinet reshuffle is possible but very unlikely before the elections,” says a Cairo-based trader on condition of anonymity. Cairo’s index rose 1.1 percent in its biggest gain since Feb. 3 and eighth advance in the past 10 sessions. Palm Hills Development and El

Saeed Contracting Co climbed 2.4 and 3.9 percent respectively. Citadel Capital added 1 percent. In Saudi Arabia, the index climbed 0.4 percent to a near two-week high. Banks and petrochemical stocks supported gains. Heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) added 0.5 percent and lender SABB rose 2.8 percent. Yanbu Cement surged 4 percent to a five-year high after the firm’s board recommended a 50-percent increase in capital to 1.57 billion riyals. It will issue one share for every two shares held, pending approval. It will also add 262.5 million riyals to statutory reserves, according to a bourse statement. Elsewhere, Dubai’s measure fell

and Abu Dhabi ended flat as some investors booked profits on fears that an early-year surge has left stocks over-priced. Dubai’s index slipped 0.5 percent, its second decline since Sunday’s 38-month high. “People are starting to worry because there’s no solid catalyst to push equity prices higher,” said a Dubai-based trader who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Valuations are beginning to get stretched.” Emaar Properties fell 1.2 percent to 4.9 dirhams, down for a second day since Sunday’s four-year peak. Lender Emirates NBD dropped 2.1 percent. Abu Dhabi’s index ended flat, matching Monday’s 35-month high

and up 11.1 percent in 2013. Abu Dhabi’s Commercial Bank International, which rarely trades, surged 14.8 percent. A tentative recovery in property prices and fewer bank provisions in the last quarter has helped the UAE market mount an early-year rally, yet some worries remain. “The most important thing is sustainability in revenues and that’s not confirmed yet,” the trader added. Egypt

■ The index slipped 0.5 percent to 1,888 points.

■ The index rose 1.1 percent to 5,756 points.

■ The index gained 0.2 percent to 5,869 points.

Saudi Arabia


■ The index rose 0.4 percent to 7,057 points.

■ The index eased 0.06 percent to 1,085 points. See Also Page: 47


Abu Dhabi ■ The index ended flat at 2,924 points.

Kuwait ■ The index climbed 0.6 percent to 6,357 points.

Qatar ■ The index edged up 0.06 percent to 8,776 points.


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 11, 2013 KD 0.840 0.841 Feb 5, 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 Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.847 0.847 Dec 31, 2012 Al-Imtiaz Real Estate Fund Al-Imtiaz Investment Company Quarterly Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.889 0.889 Dec 31, 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 Jan 31, 2013 KD 0.949 0.991 Dec 31, 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 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Feb 11, 2013 Feb 11, 2013

Today’s closing value 204.22 199.62 86.70 335.60 94.06 24.43 55.80 143.11 285.15 278.82 154.12 248.27 6,357.06 1,517.01 2,387.88

Prev 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

% change 0.69% 0.71% 1.82% 0.25% 0.92% 0.00% 0.94% 0.41% 1.01% 0.98% 0.41% -0.04% 0.57% -0.06% -0.39%

1-week change -0.64% -0.62% -0.20% -2.13% 1.28% 10.92% 0.24% -0.79% 0.08% 0.13% -1.44% -1.29% 0.30% 1.42% 0.22%

3-month change 5.80% 5.37% 17.67% 2.08% 18.13% 28.45% 1.59% 7.04% 7.78% 14.19% 4.41% 6.70% 9.60% 10.37% 8.50%

YTD change 3.08% 2.99% 13.12% 0.85% 6.40% 14.04% 4.19% 1.62% 4.14% 5.20% 2.58% 6.50% 7.12% 8.17% 4.92%

12-month change 8.13% 6.53% 23.04% 5.40% 38.69% -24.89% 28.05% -2.70% 6.77% 22.57% 8.07% 30.18% 6.91% 12.99% 6.65%

24-month change -9.14% -10.74% 14.58% -9.85% 87.03% 0.01% 25.76% -18.23% -15.67% 12.27% -6.26% 17.08% -5.67% 14.13% 4.29%


Suez Canal revenue Revenue from Egypt’s Suez Canal fell to $405.1 million in January, down 4 percent on the previous month and almost 10 percent compared to a year earlier, the state information portal said on Tuesday. Revenue in December was $424.6 million. In January 2012 it was $445.8 million. The waterway is one of the main sources of foreign currency for an Egyptian economy struggling to head off a currency crisis, alongside tourism, oil and gas exports and remittances from Egyptians living abroad. (RTRS)

The exchange rate of the US greenback was up against the Kuwaiti dinar, trading for KD 0.282 Tuesday, and the EU’s euro was also up to KD 0.377, according to the daily bulletin of the Central Bank of Kuwait. The bulletin said the pound sterling was down to KD 0.441. (KUNA)

Zain rises 10 fils; Gulf Cables retreats

Kuwait index extends rally as volume swells By John Mathews Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Kuwait stocks pulled higher Tuesday adding to the gains in the last two sessions. The index, after a tame start, rallied 36.09 pts to 6357.06 points — the highest level in ninemonths. The advance was broad based even as the banks remained largely subdued. The KSX 15 measure, climbed 4.2 pts to 1033.73 points whereas weighted index edged 1.41 pts higher. The volume turnover meanwhile rebounded further helped mostly by speculative trading in select counters. 612.16 million shares changed hands — a 29.36 percent increase from Monday. It had soared past the 800 million mark to hit a one- year high on Feb 7. The sectors swung mostly higher during the session. Healthcare outshone the rest with 2.63 percent rally whereas banks edged 0.25 percent lower — the biggest loser of the day. In terms of volume, real estate garnered the highest market share of 38.09 percent and financial services stood close behind with 37.39 percent. United Projects Group rose 20 fils to KD 0.590 and Hilal Cement climbed 30 fils. National Industries Group added 2

fils to end at KD 0.216 after stagnating in the day before. Aref Energy Holding Co gained 6 fils and Kuwait Food Co took in 2 fils to wind up at KD 1.840. The stock is unchanged from start of the month while year-to-date, it has rallied 100 fils. Zain rose 10 fils to KD 0.810 after closing flat in the previous session while Wataniya Telecom pared early losses to close steady at KD 2.420. Agility added 10 fils on back of 0.79 million shares to close at KD 0.550. The stock is up 10 fils from start of the month while year-todate, it has gained 60 fils. The market opened flat and moved sideways in early trade. The index hovered around the opening mark before slipping to the day’s lowest level of 6312.59 points. It picked up momentum thereafter amid surge in buying in select counters and closed with strong gains.

Spiked Top gainer of the day, Hilal Cement Co spiked 18.75 percent to KD 0.190 and Salbookh Trading Co climbed over 9 percent to stand next. Gulf Petroleum Investment Co shed 7.14 percent, the steepest decliner of the day, and Investors Holding Group topped the volume with 107.63 million shares. Metal and Recycling Co rose 6 fils and Burgan Well Drilling Co edged 2 fils higher with thin trading. Jazeera Airways was up 5 fils recouping the losses on Tuesday. The carrier has chalked a net profit of KD 13.94 million

of 14.1 fils in 2012. The Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend payout of 7 percent. Burgan Bank was unchanged at KD 0.540 and Boubyan Bank too paused at KD 0.660. Kuwait Finance House added 10 fils whereas Commercial Bank dropped 10 fils with thin trading. Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the global local and foreign-currency deposit ratings of CBK to ‘A3/Prime-2’ from ‘A2/Prime-1’. International Financial Advisors rose 4 fils on back of 26.4 2 million shares whereas National Investment Co was flat at KD 0.154 off early lows. KIPCO was down 5 fils at KD 0.405 erasing the gains on Monday whereas Securities House Co added 4 fils. The counter saw 24.32 million shares change hands. Photo by Anwar Daifallah

Trading in progress at Kuwait Stock Exchange. The index extended gains on Tuesday

and earnings per share of 38.37 fils in 2012 and the Board of Directors has recommended no dividend payout for the fiscal year. On the downside, Gulf Glass Manufacturing Co dropped 20 fils to KD 0.880 and Gulf Cables followed suit to end at KD 1.040. National Industries Co fell 10 fils to KD 0.320 and Automated Systems Co was down by same measure. Kuwait Gulf Links eased 2 fils after trading over 1 million shares. In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait was flat at KD 0.990 off early

lows and Gulf Bank too did not budge from its earlier close of KD 0.410. The bank’s income before provisions amounted to KD 121.4 million, up 13 percent from the year before while net profit was almost flat at KD 30.9 million. The Board has recommended the distribution of 5 percent bonus shares. Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait was unchanged at KD 0.580 whereas Ahli United Bank pulled 10 fils lower to KD 0.820. Kuwait International Bank fell 5 fils. The bank has recorded a net profit of KD 13.16 million and earnings per share

Rose Securities Group Co rose 4 fils while International Finance Co and Kuwait Financial Centre took in 2 fils each. Bayan Investment Co paused at 37 fils. The company has won the approval of the Capital Market Authority on its request to sell own shares amounting to 34,499,385 over a period of 6 months. Tamdeen Real Estate Co slipped 4 fils to KD 0.216 and Union Real Estate too has down by same measure. UREC has logged a net profit of KD 2.74 million and earnings per share of 14.78 fils as against KD 1.45 million earnings and 7.85 fils EPS in the year before. The Board of Directors has recommended a

cash dividend of 7 percent. Kuwait Cement Co was flat at KD 0.430 and Kuwait Portland Cement followed suit. ALAFCO stagnated at KD 0.340. The company has earned KD 11,148,431 and earnings per share 14.30 fils in the quarter ending 31/12/2012 as compared to KD 14,903,127 profit and earnings per share of 19.11 fils in the same period last year The bourse has been upbeat so far during the week and has gained 68.34 pts in last three sessions. The index has soared 111.95 pts from start of the month and is trading over 7.12 percent higher year-to-date. 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 cash dividend payout of 15 percent. 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 percent or 30 fils per share. 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.




Total says sought to avoid illegal surcharges on Iraq oil An investor watches a share price board in Tokyo on Feb 12. Japan’s share prices rose 215.96 points to close at 11,369.12 points at the Tokyo Stock Exchange after the yen hit a fresh low in New York and following a long weekend in Japan, while investors look to a G20 meeting later this week. (AFP)


other defendants in the trial include the Swiss oil trader Vitol and 18 individuals including Total’s chief executive. “Our point of view was, ‘We won’t pay surcharges’,” said Total’s general secretary, JeanJacques Guilbaud, a member of the executive committee who is representing the company in the case. “In spite of all the precautions, perhaps indirectly, we contributed to surcharge payments,” he added. Total is accused of bribing foreign agents between October 2000 and 2002 and influence peddling and its concealment between 1999-

France’s Total told a Paris court on Monday that it had taken precautions to avoid illegal payments to the Iraqi government during the UN oil-for-food programme, but had been thwarted by an opaque system of middlemen that it only discovered later. The energy giant, France’s second-largest company by market capitalisation, is accused of bribery, complicity and influence peddling at the time of the programme, designed to allow Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to buy humanitarian goods through United Nations-controlled oil sales at a time of international sanctions. The

2000. An independent inquiry led by the former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker found in 2005 that the 1996-2003 programme had been undermined by kickbacks and payments to prominent individuals with access to Iraqi oil. Iraq’s 2000-2002 policy of levying so-called “surcharges” on each barrel of oil - in general 10 to 30 cents per barrel - put some $228.8 million in the pocket of the government, the report found. Iraq also gave oil allocations to prominent individuals who it hoped would lobby on its behalf to reduce sanctions. (RTRS)

bottomline Wall Street almost flat ahead of Obama speech; yen strengthens

NEW YORK: American Airlines and US Airways are close to striking a merger deal that would create the largest airline in the United States in the latest bout of consolidation in the US aviation industry. Officials from the two companies declined to comment, but The Wall Street Journal reported that their boards are scheduled to meet separately on Wednesday, and a deal could be disclosed by Thursday. “Discussions are still ongoing but no decision has been made,” a person familiar with the talks told AFP. A merger would assemble a powerful fleet of about 1,530 mainline and regional aircraft flying some 6,428 daily flights. Combined revenues of $38.7 billion in 2012 would put them slightly ahead of United and Delta Airlines. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

about £550 million ($861 million). The company began taking orders for the offer under a bookbuilding process on Feb 1 at a price range of 195 pence to 230 pence per share. Order books on the sale of the mix of new and existing shares, which the company has said will result in the float of at least 35 percent of its issued share capital, will close on Tuesday, with pricing expected on Wednesday. The 50-year-old firm said it would return to the stock market last month, five years after it was taken over as a result of the market crash. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Oil rises after OPEC raises demand outlook NEW YORK, Feb 12, (Agencies): The yen swung wildly on Tuesday, reversing the previous day’s late sell-off against the dollar and euro after an official with the Group of Seven said it is worried about excess moves in the Japanese currency.

LONDON: G4S settled a months-long dispute with the organisers of the London Olympics, having failed to supply enough security guards for the 2012 Games, and said on Tuesday it will take a £70 million ($110 million) loss on the contract. The world’s No. 1 security firm said just weeks before the Games began that it could not provide all 10,400 guards needed for the event, forcing the government to call on military and police personnel to cover the shortfall. G4S, which had to explain its failure to parliament and saw two directors resign after an internal report into the affair, had estimated the loss on the contract, worth about £240 million, to be about £50 million. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

DUBLIN: Irish no-frills airline Ryanair said Tuesday that the European Commission would block its takeover bid for rival carrier Aer Lingus on grounds of unfair competition, adding it would appeal against the decision. “Ryanair...was notified this (Tuesday) morning at a state-of-play meeting with the EU Commission, that the EU Commission intends to prohibit Ryanair’s offer for Aer Lingus, despite the fact that Ryanair has met every competition concern raised in the EU’s statement of objections and during the review process,” it said in a statement. Aer Lingus added separately that it had not received any official notification but argued that the Ryanair bid should never have been made. It added that Ryanair’s first attempt was also prohibited on competition grounds in 2007. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

World stock markets edged higher, led by European shares. US indexes were little changed, with the S&P 500 index holding near multiyear highs ahead of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. The G7, in a statement, urged countries to refrain from competitive devaluations, saying it remained committed to “market-determined” exchange rates. This was in reaction to weeks of concern that the new Japanese government’s monetary easing policy, which has also weakened the yen, could trigger farreaching currency wars. However, the market interpreted the statement as a sign that the G7 supported Japan’s moves, prompting an official from a G7 nation to say later that the group “is concerned about unilateral guidance on the yen.” The comments — meant to clarify the G7 statement — sparked a rally in the yen against the dollar and euro. Tokyo is likely to come under serious pressure when G20 finance ministers and central bankers meet in Moscow at the end of the week, not least because the United States is employing similar policies. MSCI’s global share index was up 0.5 percent at 356.55. European shares gained 0.6 percent to close at 1161.46, led by UK banks after Britain’s thirdbiggest lender, Barclays, unveiled cost cuts and a strategic overhaul. The euro rose 0.4 percent to $1.3462, accelerating gains after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said there is no such thing as a currency war and that Spain was on the right track toward economic recovery. Brent oil rose 14 cents to $118.27 a barrel. Spot gold clawed back from its lowest in over a month and was last at $1,652 an ounce. Financial markets showed a muted reaction to news that North Korea has conducted a nuclear test and said it would never bow to UN resolutions.

STOCKHOLM: Swedish energy group Vattenfall said Tuesday that a sluggish economy and growth in renewable energy had brought European energy prices down to “a new normal”, as it posted a rise in full-year profit. “Demand is still low as a result of the economic recession. At the same time, new capacity is being added, especially in renewable energy production, which has led to low electricity prices,” chief executive Oeystein Loeseth said in a statement. “Previous market forecasts have been overturned, and what used to be considered ‘normal’ no longer applies. This is the new normal,” he added. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

FRANKFURT: German heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp said Tuesday it is forecasting sluggish sales and earnings this year as it continues to suffer from weak steel demand in Europe. “Our business performance in the 2012/2013 fiscal year will be characterised to a very large extent by the continued absence of a global economic recovery, with an unsolved debt crisis in particular in the eurozone and slower growth in the emerging economies,” ThyssenKrupp said in a statement. The group said it expected sales “to remain at the prior-year level of around 40 billion euros ($53.6 billion), provided there are no major dislocations on the raw materials markets.” (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

TOKYO: Japan’s Olympus on Tuesday cut its full-year earnings forecast citing weak demand for digital cameras as the troubled company looks to jump back to profitability after an embarrassing accounting scandal. The camera and medical equipment maker said it now expected a net profit of 6.0 billion yen ($64 million) in the fiscal year to March, down from an earlier 8.0 billion yen forecast. Sales would be 740 billion yen, down 2.2 percent from a previous estimate. However, for October-December, Olympus said it booked a net loss of 391 million yen, well below a 756 million yen net loss in the same quarter a year earlier. Quarterly sales were 26 percent lower at 155.46 billion yen, it said. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

LONDON: Lenders to Britain’s General Healthcare Group (GHG) are in talks to restructure its around £2 billion ($3.1 billion) of debt, in a process which threatens to leave them nursing heavy losses, banking sources said. The company, one of Britain’s largest independent healthcare services providers, was bought in 2006 by a consortium comprising Apax Partners, Brockton Capital, London & Regional Properties and Netcare. The latter subsequently bought Brockton’s share of the business, bankers said. The 2006 deal was backed by £2 billion of borrowings, split 315 million at the operating business (opco) - known as BMI Healthcare - and 1.65 billion at the property arm (propco), according to Thomson Reuters LPC data. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

SYDNEY: Australia’s central bank on Tuesday announced the sale of its stake in scandal-hit note printing firm Securency and said an independent governance review had cleared it of “inappropriate” insight. The Reserve Bank of Australia sold its 50 percent holding in Securency, accused of taking bribes to win contracts in Asia, to British venture partner Innovia Films for Aus$65 million ($66.7 million). “The sale of the bank’s interest in Securency is in accordance with the bank’s long-standing intention to exit from the joint venture once Securency had established itself as a viable longterm supplier in the international market,” the RBA said in a statement. (AFP)

LONDON: British housebuilder Crest Nicholson has narrowed the price range for its share float on the London Stock Exchange to between 210 pence and 220 pence per share, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday. The new range would value Crest at

US Stocks edged higher in midday trading Tuesday following mixed earnings reports from companies including Avon, Goodyear and Coca-Cola. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33 points to 14,004 by noon (1700 GMT). The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up one point at 1,518. The Nasdaq composite was down five at 3,187. Avon, a direct seller of beauty products, jumped $3.38, or 20 percent, to $20.66 after the company posted a

plans to slash annual costs by up to 2 billion pounds ($3 billion). The bank plans to prune its investment bank and axe at least 3,700 jobs. It also raised its dividend and reported a 26 percent rise in adjusted pretax profit for 2012. Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland were the second and third biggest gainers, rising 5.1 percent and 4.1 percent respectively, with traders citing the implications of the Barclays news for a sector seeking to reassure investors after years of crisis. The FTSE 100 closed up 61.32 points, or 1 percent higher, at 6,338.38 points, with banks alone adding over 27 points to the index.

fourth-quarter loss that wasn’t as bad as analysts had expected. Avon also hopes to save $400 million by slashing costs. Michael Kors, a luxury clothing and accessories seller, rose $5.40, or 10 percent, to $62.40 after reporting earnings that beat analysts’ predictions. Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage company, fell $1.17 to $37.45 after reporting fourth-quarter revenue that fell short of analysts’ forecasts. Goodyear Tire & Rubber sank 21 cents, or 1.5 percent to $13.70 after the company cut its forecast for full-year earnings, blaming weakness in the European economy. About 70 percent of companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings for the fourth quarter. Analysts are projecting that earnings will rise 6.4 percent for the period, an improvement from the 2.4 percent growth reported in the third quarter, according to S&P Capital IQ. A start-of-the-year rally that pushed indexes close to record highs has slowed down. The S&P 500 is up 1.4 percent this month, following a 5 percent gain in January. The Dow has advanced 1 percent in February, after surging 5.8 percent a month earlier, logging its best January in almost two decades. Investors may have become too optimistic about the outlook for stocks, said Uri Landesman, president of hedge fund Platinum Partners. “The market is priced for perfection,” said Landesman. “The odds of a disappointment are very, very high.” Landesman predicts that the S&P 500 will climb past its record and rise as high as 1,600 by April before then slumping as low as 1,300 as company earnings start to disappoint investors. The record close for the S&P 500 is 1,565, reached in October 2007. Stock advanced at the start of the year after lawmakers reached a last-minute deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of sweeping tax increases and spending cuts. Investors are also becoming more optimistic that the housing market is recovering and that hiring is picking up. Among other stocks making big moves: ■ Masco jumped $2.57, or 14 percent, to $20.36 after the home improvement and building products company reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations thanks to strong demand in North America. ■ Dun & Bradstreet, a provider of credit and business data, fell $5.46, or 6.4 percent, to $79.81 after the company reported that a fourth-quarter profit that came in below market expectations.

Europe European stock markets rose on Tuesday, with a G7 countries warning of foreign exchange volatility pushing up the yen, while dealers also digested news of job cuts across the banking, airlines and telecoms sectors. London’s FTSE 100 index of leading companies rose 0.98 percent to close at 6,338.38 points, while Frankfurt’s DAX 30 added 0.35 percent to 7,660.19 points and in Paris the CAC 40 climbed 0.99 percent to 3,686.58 points. Markets shrugged off a defiant North Korea staging its most powerful nuclear test yet and warning of “stronger” action to follow if the ensuing wave of global condemnation translated into tougher sanctions. In Paris, France Telecom shares fell 0.67 percent to 7.83 euros after Orange Poland, which it controls, said it would axe 1,700 this year.

Asia Asian markets were mixed in holidaythinned trade Tuesday, with Tokyo boosted by a weaker yen, while Seoul was lower after news that North Korea had successfully tested a nuclear bomb. With several regional markets still closed for Lunar New Year celebrations, trading was quiet, while dealers look ahead to a meeting of the Group of 20 top economic power at the end of the week. Tokyo climbed 1.94 percent, or 215.96 points, to 11,369.12, while Sydney closed flat, nudging down 0.5 points to 4,959.0 after peaking earlier in the day at a 34-month high. Seoul, which was already flat after the North Korea reports, was off 0.26 percent, or 5.11 points, at 1,945.79. Wellington ended flat, dipping 2.38 points to 4,218.12. Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur were closed for public holidays. Japanese shares were the big gainers as the yen tumbled against the dollar in New York on Monday after US Treasury official Lael Brainard praised Tokyo’s efforts to boost growth and counter deflation. In other markets: ■ Manila closed flat, edging up 1.92

UK A surge in Barclays’ shares led Britain’s benchmark index past the psychologically important 6,300 level on Tuesday, as the blue chip bank’s planned overhaul raised hopes for the troubled sector’s revival. Barclays gained 8.4 percent, leading FTSE 100 gainers and adding over 12 points to the index alone, after unveiling

points to 6,459.93. ■ Jakarta ended up 1.00 percent, or 45.00 points, to 4548,24. Astra International gained 0.65 percent to 7,750 rupiah, and Semen Indonesia jumped 1.83 percent to 16,700 rupiah. ■ Bangkok fell 0.01 percent or 0.16 points to 1,488.95. Telecoms company True Corp. dropped 6.29 percent to 6.70 baht, while department store operator Central Pattana added 4.65 percent to 90 baht. ■ Mumbai rose 0.52 percent or 100.47 points to 19,561.04 points. Energy explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) rose 3.81 percent to 320.15 rupees while vehicle maker Tata Motors rose 2.65 percent to 298.3 rupees.

Oil Oil prices rose on Tuesday as OPEC raised the outlook for the amount of crude it will need to pump this year to keep supply and demand in balance. The 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its monthly market report that world oil demand will grow faster than previously thought this year. Brent crude rose 12 cents to $118.25 a barrel by 10:39 a.m. EST (1539 GMT) after settling down 77 cents on Monday. US crude was up 46 cents to $97.49 a barrel. Supply worries stemming from conflict in the Middle East persisted on Tuesday, as investors eyed Iran’s nuclear program more than North Korea’s third nuclear test. Tensions eased on Tuesday when Iran acknowledged it was converting some of its higher-grade enriched uranium into reactor fuel, a move that could help prevent a dispute with the West over its nuclear program hitting a crisis in mid2013.

Currencies The yen is gaining strength against the dollar after the Group of Seven countries said that volatile currency movements could hurt the global economy. In midday Tuesday trading, the US dollar dropped to 93.17 yen, down from 93.70 yen late Monday. The yen had been trading at its lowest level compared to the US dollar since 2010. The euro also gained strength against the US dollar, edging up to $1.3460 versus $1.3389 Monday.

Gold Gold clawed back from its lowest in over a month on Tuesday, as the dollar fell following a statement from the Group of Seven industrialised countries reaffirming commitment to marketdetermined exchange rates. However the market still struggled to regain positive territory as investors concentrated on a brighter global economic picture. Gold also failed to reprise its safe-haven role after North Korea confirmed it had conducted an underground nuclear test.

exchange rates – Feb 12 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 .278300 .283200 .281800 .283500 .274000 .284000 .278850 .285450 .276600 .285200 .276200 .274800 .279100 .285200 — — —

Buy Sell Sell Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Sell

Cash .467000 .517000 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Buy Sell Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Sell

Cash .542500 .555500 — — — — — —

Draft .280700 .282800 .283000 .282200 .281600 .283700 .281350 .283450 .281600 .283700 .281200 .283300 .281600 .283370 .287900 .287900 .282800

Sterling pound

Transfer .280700 .282800 .283000 .282200 .281600 .283700 .281350 .283450 .281600 .283700 .281200 .283300 .281600 .283370 — — .282800

Cash .436500 .446500 — .445000 .438000 .454000 .438458 .454921 .439180 .448240 .434500 .443530 .436090 .447910 — .467000 —

Danish kroner BEC Muzaini Dollarco Commercial Bank Gulf Bank NBK Burgan Bank ABK Oman KBE

Draft — — — — .050528 .050905 .050365 .050945 .050460 .050970 .046462 .046997 .050290 .051410 — — —

Cash .004940 .005380 – .005450 .004000 .006750 — — — — — — — — — — —

Cyprus Pound BEC Muzaini Gulf Bank ABK KBE

travellers cheques BEC Commercial Bank Gulf Bank Al-Ahli Bank

Transfer .435500 .444500 .444590 .443065 .440873 .444161 .442389 .451734 .440680 .445240 .436000 .440530 .440620 .444840 — .475000 —

Indian rupee

Transfer — — — — .050528 .050905 .050365 .050945 .050460 .050970 .046462 .046997 .050290 .051410 — — —

Draft — — — — — — — —

Draft .435500 .444500 .444590 .443065 .440873 .444161 .442389 .451734 .440680 .445240 .444600 .436000 .440620 .444840 .444400 .475000 —

Transfer — — — — — — — —

Draft .005146 .005241 .005241 .005310 — .005295 — .005401 — — .005094 .005093 .005195 .005284 — — .005258

Transfer .005146 .005241 .005241 .005310 — .005295 — .005401 — — .005094 .005093 .005195 .005284 — — .005258

Euro Cash .373500 .382500 — .385000 .375000 .385000 .370729 .385312 .375340 .383920 .339010 .347320 .372880 .383310 — — —

Draft .373500 .381000 .380350 .382705 .377034 .379846 .374053 .382612 .376840 .380920 .380190 .340510 .376750 .380680 .378620 .382570 .384300

Japanese yen Transfer .373500 .381000 .380350 .382705 .377034 .379846 .374053 .382612 .376840 .380920 .380190 .344320 .376750 .380680 .378620 .382570 .384300

Pakistani rupee Cash .002730 .003010 — .003100 — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .002860 .002890 .002884 — .002907 — .002933 — — — — — .002948 .002951 .003175 .002885

Cash .292000 .310900 — .004550 — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft — — .003003 .004015 .002991 .003013 .003015 .003069 .029859 .030226 .003588 .003636 .029869 .030242 — .003200 —

Transfer — — .003003 .004015 .002991 .003013 .003015 .003069 .029859 .030226 .003588 .003636 .029869 .030242 — .003200 —

Sri Lanka rupee

Transfer .002860 .002890 .002884 .002882 — .002905 — .002933 — — .003233 — — .002951 — 003175 .002884

Cash .002114 .002694 — .002950 .002000 .003500 — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .001934 .002236 .002235 .002238 — .002252 — .002272 — — .002546 — — .002309 — .002510 .002245

Transfer .001934 .002236 .002235 .002238 — .002252 — .002272 — — .002546 — .002309 — .002510 .002245

Yemeni riyal

Thai baht

South African rand

Cash Draft Transfer .129000 — — .137000 — — — .001321 .001321 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Cash Draft Transfer .091400 .090600 .090600 .098400 .096600 .096600 — .094710 .094710 — — — — — — — – — — — – — — —

Cash Draft Transfer .025370 .025370 .025370 .033870 .033870 .033870 — — — — — — — .032138 .032138 — — — — — — — — —

US dollar .2828000 .2840000 .2854580 .2831500

Sterling .4445000 .4510000 .4549210 .4444000

Euro — .3870000 .3853120 .3836200

local gold BEC Muzaini Exchange

Swiss franc Cash .301300 .310800 — .313000 .304000 .315000 — — .301520 .311810 .279180 .289100 — — — — —

Draft .302300 .309300 .308620 .310390 .305954 .308236 .304532 .313133 .305520 .309310 .283180 .286600 .305520 .309560 — — —

Transfer .302300 .309300 .308620 .310390 .305954 .308236 .304532 .313133 .305520 .309310 .297119 .299506 .305520 .309560 — — —

Bangladesh taka Cash .003310 .003960 — .003850 — — — — — — — — — — — .004250 —

Draft .003524 .003563 .003556 — .003644 — .003684 — — — — — — — .004170 .003565

Transfer .003524 .003563 .003556 .003553 — .003648 — .003684 — — .004017 — — — — .004170 .003569

Korean won Cash — — — — — — — —

Draft — — — — — — — —

Gold 999 kg — 15,060.000

Transfer — — — — — — — —

Canadian dollar Cash .276300 .284800 — .286000 .278000 .289000 — — — — .277897 .282890 — — — — —

Draft .274300 .283300 .282150 .283835 .279809 .281896 .278908 .286387 .279450 .282800 .286988 .277020 .279480 .282960 — — .286900

Transfer .274300 .283300 .282150 .283835 .279809 .281896 .278908 .286387 .279450 .282800 .286988 .277020 .279480 .282960 — .267000 .286900

Philippine peso Cash .006940 .007220 — .007200 — —

Draft .006493 .006958 .006947 .006931 — .007023 — — .007161 — — — — — .006449 — — — — — .007294 .006000 .006467 — — — .006990

Transfer .006493 .006958. 006947 .006931 — .0070232 — .007161 — — .006449 — — .007294 .006467 — .006990

Syrian pound Cash Draft Transfer .003200 .003200 .003200 .003400 .003400 .003400 — — .003073 .003073 — — — — — — — — — — — —

Gold 999 10 tola 1,802.3400 1,770.000

Gold ounce — 483.000

Swedish kroner Cash .399000 .449000 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft — — — — .043995 .044323 .043437 .044558 .043920 .044390 .041155 .041482 .043780 .044700 — — —

Transfer — — — — .043995 .044323 .043437 .044558 .043920 .044390 .041155 .041482 .043780 .044700 — — —

Saudi riyal Cash .074830 .075520 — .077000 .072000 .076000 .074201 .076262 .074020 .076710 .073684 .075774 .074110 .076210 — — —

Australian dollar Cash .281600 .293100 — — .287000 .300000 — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .279600 .291600 — — .288541 .290690 .289917 .293251 .288390 .291810 .284712 .286988 .288420 .291370 .237000 — —

Transfer .279600 .291600 — — .288541 .290690 .289917 .293251 .288390 .291810 .284712 .289490 .288420 .291370 .237000 — —

Draft — — — — — — — —

Gold gm 22k — 13.785

Transfer — — — — — — — —

Transfer .074880 .075520 .075497 .075215 .075113 .075674 .074933 .075728 .075020 .075710 .074280 .075640 .074880 .075680 — — .75570

Hong Kong dollar Cash .034410 .037160 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Iranian tuman Cash .000161 .000162 — — — — — —

Draft .074880 .075520 .075497 .075215 .075113 .075674 .074933 .075728 .075020 .075710 .075640 .072340 .074880 .075680 — — .75570

Draft .033910 .037010 .036490 — .036309 .036558 .036112 .036700 — — — — .036320 .036320 — — —

Transfer .033910 .037010 .036490 — .036309 .036558 .036112 .036700 — — — — .036320 .036320 — — —

UAE dirham Cash .076670 .077120 — .077200 .076379 .077147 .075774 .077885 .076450 .077220 .075223 .077374 .076379 .077147 — .078600 —

Draft .075570 .077020 .077091 .076810 .076699 .077271 .076521 .077339 .076620 .077290 .077237 .074510 .076390 .077300 .078390 — .077100

Transfer .075570 .077020 .077091 .076810 .076699 .077271 .076521 .077339 .076620 .077290 .075832 .077237 .076390 .077300 — .078390 .077100

Singapore dollar Cash .224480 .228980 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .223480 .228980 .228230 — .226448 .228137 .226866 .229476 .226090 .228330 .216673 .218433 .226080 .228700 — — —

Transfer .223480 .228980 .228230 — .226448 .228137 .226866 .229476 .226090 .228330 .222630 .216673 .226080 .228700 — — —

Lebanese pound

Malaysian ringgit

Cash Draft Transfer .000179 .000183 .000183 .000191 .000190 .000190 — .189900 .189900 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Cash Draft Transfer .088410 .087410 .087410 .094410 .094410 .094410 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Gold gm 21k — 13.150

Gold gm 18k — 11.275

100 gm 999 – —

10 gm 999 – 157.000

Bahraini dinar Cash .744210 .752210 — .749000 .744139 .751617 .738088 .758570 .744800 .752280 — — — — — — —

Draft .743710 .752210 .751960 .747120 .747247 .752819 .745367 .753255 .746450 .753220 .740873 .750398 .744980 .753360 — — .751800

Transfer .743710 .752210 .751960 .747120 .747247 .752819 .745367 .753255 .746450 .753220 .740873 .750398 .744980 .753360 — — .751800

Jordanian dinar Cash .393330 .400830 — .400000 .390000 .405000 — — — — — — — — — .415000 —

Transfer .393290 .400790 .399800 .397805 — .401273 — .401487 — — .394853 .398939 .395780 .402380 .401670 .415000 —

Transfer .393290 .400790 .399800 .397805 — .401273 — .401487 — — .394853 .398939 .395780 .40238 .401670 .415000 —

Indonesian rupiah Cash .026000 .032000 — — — — — —

Draft .025000 .031000 — — .000030 — — .000029

Transfer .025000 .031000 — — .000030 — — .000029

Omani riyal Cash .729030 .734710 — — .729496 .736827 .722690 .742972 .730140 .737480 .735741 — — — .752000 — —

Draft .723530 .734530 .735350 — .731714 .737170 .729817 .737766 .730950 .737460 .734440 .722120 .729370 .738690 .748000 — —

Transfer .723530 .734530 .735350 — .731714 .737170 .729817 .737766 .730950 .737460 .734440 .719020 .729370 .738690 .759930 — —

Egyptian pound Cash .039430 .042530 .042100 .043000 .042000 .047000 — — — — — — — — — .056000 —

Draft .040021 .042041 .042035 .041993 — — — .042417 — — .047830 .049026 — .042690 — — .042033

Transfer .040021 .042041 .042035 .041993 — — — .042417 — — .047830 .049026 — . 042690 — — .042033

New Zealand dollar Cash .229900 .239400 — — — — — —

Draft .227900 .237900 — .234897 .237599 .234760 .238210 —

Transfer .227900 .237900 — .234897 .237599 .234760 .238210 —

All rates in KD per unit of foreign currency




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 SYDNEY:

Garfield — By Jim Davis

Baby Blues — By Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

Conceptis Sudoku


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

contract b r i d g e

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.

By Steve Becker

Yesterday’s solution


Answer to yesterday’s puzzle

Today’s Challenge Time 10 Minutes 7 Seconds Your Working Time __ Minutes __ Seconds

Word by Word



East or west home is best. Mahma sharaqt aw gharabt falan tajed khairan men al watan.



Two lions born in captivity twenty days ago, play with their mother at the zoo in Cali, Valle del Cauca department, Colombia, on Feb 11. (AFP)

Six thousand and forty two Setat alaaf wa ethnan wa arbaoun

“Cassius” has reclaimed his crown as the world’s biggest crocodile in captivity after his rival for the title died, with the huge reptile’s handler in Australia saying Tuesday it will boost business. The 5.48-metre (17 ft 11ins) crocodile, kept in a park on an island off Australia’s Queensland, held the record until “Lolong”, a 6.17-metre suspected man-eater, was caught in the Philippines 17 months ago. But with Lolong’s death from a mystery illness on Sunday, Cassius is once again on top. “The Guinness Book of World Records contacted us as soon as Lolong died,” Billy Craig, a croc wrangler at Marineland Melanesia where Cassius lives, told AFP. “They said the record will revert back to us. It’s definitely good for business. “We changed the sign to the largest crocodile in captivity in Australia, so I guess we can now just remove the Australia part and put it back to the whole world,” he added. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑ MANILA: Philippine veterinarians conducted an autopsy Tuesday on the world’s largest saltwater crocodile ever caught, amid concerns it died of mistreatment in a small pen where it was on show for tourists. “Lolong”, who measured 6.17 metres (20.24 feet), died from a mystery illness on Sunday inside his small enclosure in the southern Philippines, where he had been on display since being caught in marshlands in 2011. “We want to find out the real cause of death so there will be no misinformation and speculation,” Mundita Lim, head of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, told AFP, explaining why the autopsy was carried out. Lim said that the full results would not be known until the end of the week. However the veterinarians found no traces of foreign material inside Lolong, debunking prominent press reports that it died after eating a plastic and nylon cord. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑ KOBE, Japan: A sea turtle that lost her front legs to a shark attack was bidding to match “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday, as she donned the latest in artificial flipper technology in Japan. Yu, an approximately 25-yearold female loggerhead turtle, was test-driving her 27th pair of artificial front legs around her home aquarium near Kobe in western Japan, where she proves a draw for the crowds. The rubber limbs are attached to a vest slipped over her head, said the aquarium’s curator, Naoki Kamezaki. (AFP)




‘ATP not worried about players’ health’

Nadal renews criticism of hard courts, number of games SAO PAULO, Feb 12, (RTRS): Former world number one Rafa Nadal has renewed his attack on hard courts as he prepares for the second tournament on his comeback trail at the Brazil Open. The 26-year-old Spaniard, who returned to competitive action at the Chile Open last week after a left knee condition sidelined him for seven months, said the number of tournaments played on hard surfaces would limit players’ careers. He also criticised a move to speed up matches by strictly enforcing the 20-second rule between points at grand slams. “Hard courts are aggressive on the knees, back and ankles,” the 11-times grand slam champion, told reporters in Sao Paulo. “That is a theme among the players and doctors. To make a change like that (reduce the amount of hard court events) it won’t be possible in this generation but

I think that the ATP has to work to think of how to lengthen tennis players’ careers. “Can you imagine football players playing on cement?” Nadal has often been criticised for the length of time he takes between points but warnings for slow play have been few and far between.

TENNIS ATP chiefs recently agreed that umpires would be expected to enforce the 20-seconds between points rule at grand slams, prompting criticism from leading players. “Rule changes should be made to improve the sport,” he said. “I don’t think the players in the dressing room are happy with the new rule and we’d like it to be modified and that the ref-

Russia counting on Sharapova, Kuznetsova MOSCOW, Feb 12, (AFP): Russia’s Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev said Tuesday he is still hopeful that top players — Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova — will be available for April’s Fed Cup semi-final against Slovakia. “I need to study the playing schedules of our girls before starting to plan the line-up for the match with Slovakia,” Sport Express daily quoted eree interpret when you can take longer rather than it be something mathematical. “People want to see long rallies and hard-fought points. Twenty five seconds is not enough.”

Tarpishchev as saying. “Of course Sharapova would strengthen our team a great deal, but we should never forget about her personal interests. We must try to minimise any losses for those who are battling for the top places in the rankings.” Russia’s top player Sharapova has played just three Fed Cup ties in her career so far, making her debut in 2008 to help satisfy Olympic Games qualifi-

cation criteria. After playing again in 2011, she also featured in the quarter-final win over Spain in 2012 in the run-up to the London Games. Tarpishchev said that Sharapova had expressed her desire to play for Russia in this season’s Fed Cup campaign, and that he had been keen to call her into his squad for the later stages of the competition.

Seven-times French Open champion Nadal was surprisingly beaten by Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos in the final of the Chile Open, raising concerns about his recovery. He said on Tuesday that his

knee was still painful most of the time but was improving. “I am a little tired after a tough week in Chile that came after weeks without competing,” he said.

“But I am motivated to play and that gives me energy. Physically, it isn’t that I am bad, it’s just that the knee hurts some days.” “The positive thing iS that if a month ago 80 percent of the time my knee hurt, now it is 70 percent of the time and next week or next month it will be 50 percent of the time. In Sao Paulo, the ATP was not doing enough to protect players’ health and the increase in hard-court events will lead to long-term injuries that will affect players long after they retire, Rafael Nadal said on Tuesday. “The ATP worries too little about the players,” said Nadal, who was in Brazil to play his second tournament after a long layoff from a left-knee injury. “It should care more for them.” The 11-time Grand Slam winner said he doesn’t expect major changes anytime soon, but thinks it’s time tennis officials start thinking about ways to help improve the players’ long-term health.

Serena into 3rd round Sharapova downs Garcia DOHA, Qatar, Feb 12, (Agencies): Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova easily reached the third round of the Qatar Open on Tuesday, dominating their opponents with straight-set victories.

Allen Moore, of Two Rivers, Alaska, poses with his lead dogs Quito (left), and Olivia after winning the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, Feb 11, in Fairbanks, Alaska. (AP)

Allen Moore wins Yukon Quest Musher Allen Moore was vindicated Monday when he lengthened his lead against defending champion Hugh Neff to win the 2013 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. Moore, 55, of Two Rivers, crossed the finish line in downtown Fairbanks at 6:54 am Monday, to win the 30th running of the 1,000-mile sled dog race, which is either run from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, or the reverse, depending upon the year. The race was run from Whitehorse to Fairbanks this year. For winning, Moore receives $18,930 of the $100,000 race purse. The race looked like it was going to again come down to a battle between Moore and Neff, who won last year’s Yukon Quest by just 26 seconds. That finish was the closest in race history with Neff overtaking Moore at the end. Moore didn’t let his team get caught this year. He left the Two Rivers checkpoint after a mandatory eighthour rest with about only a 15-minute lead on Neff but managed to widen the gap, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner ( A small group of race officials and

spectators greeted Moore in the predawn darkness at the finish line on the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks. Among them was Moore’s wife, veteran Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher Aliy Zirkle, who won the Quest in 2000. She finished second in the Iditarod last year. Moore said he practiced running his team on the trail from his home in Two Rivers to Fairbanks so that he would know every turn coming into Fairbanks. Neff finished at 8:10 am Monday, more than an hour later. To position themselves in a fight for the finish again this year, Moore and Neff had to successfully get their teams over Eagle Summit, a 3,685foot peak. The summit has caused big problems for both mushers before. One of Neff’s dogs died going up Eagle Summit two years ago. This year his lead dog turned around after failing to get the team to the top. Neff hooked up Walter, an older and more experienced dog, that marched his team over the top. Moore said his team followed Neff’s over the summit despite very deep snow and blowing winds. “It’s like the dogs were wallowing in the snow,” he said. (AP)

Best of the Rest Vergeer retires: One of the most successful athletes of all time, Dutch wheelchair tennis star Esther Vergeer, announced her retirement on Tuesday after an astonishing unbroken run of 470 wins spanning more than 10 years. “A special day: officially stopping tennis,” Vergeer, 31, wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter. Vergeer, who won four Paralympic tennis singles gold medals and three golds in doubles, held a news conference alongside the ATP Rotterdam Open, telling journalists: “It can’t get any more beautiful than this.” (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑ Recognition held off: All India Tennis Association chief Hironmoy Chatterjee said Tuesday the national body will decide on the recognition of a newly launched players’ association only after it has a clear understanding of its objectives. “It is too premature at this juncture to consider recognizing the new body,” Chatterjee told The Associated Press. “They’ll have to put together their rules and objectives and go through

the entire process of getting a body in place before we consider recognizing it.” Chatterjee said the players were yet to get in touch with the AITA. “They have not given anything in writing yet. A clear picture will emerge only after we start interacting with them and get to know their plans,” he added. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Biological passports: World number two Roger Federer has called for the introduction of biological passports in tennis similar to those used in cycling to detect possible doping. “A blood passport will be necessary as some substances can’t be discovered right now but might in the future, and that risk of discovery can chase cheaters away,” the 31-year-old Swiss said on the opening day of the World Indoor Tournament in Rotterdam. “But there also should be more blood tests and out of competition controls in tennis,” he added. (RTRS)

tv today


Aljazeera Sport 06:00 Lyon vs Lille (R), Aljazeera Sport +4 06:30 Celtic vs Juventus (R), Aljazeera Sport +5 07:45 Valencia vs PSG (R), Aljazeera Sport +4 09:30 Alcorcon vs Las Palmas (R), Aljazeera Sport +5 11:15 Sporting vs Maritmo (R), Aljazeera Sport +5 12:00 Nancy vs Remis (R), Aljazeera Sport +4 13:45 Rennes vs Toulouse (R), Aljazeera Sport +4 14:00 Celtic vs Juventus (R), Aljazeera Sport +5 15:00 WTA Qatar Open - Tennis, Aljazeera Sport +10 15:30 Valencia vs PSG (R), Aljazeera Sport +4 16:00 Alcorcon vs Las Palmas (R), Aljazeera Sport +5 17:30 Argentinos Juniors vs Velez Sarsfield (R), Aljazeera Sport +4 17:45 Bolton vs Burnley (R), Aljazeera Sport +5 19:45 Historic Match 2 (R), Aljazeera Sport +4 20:00 Celtic vs Juventus (R), Aljazeera Sport +5 21:30 Brazil vs Venezuela - Beach Soccer, Aljazeera Sport +7 22:00 Bonetsk vs Dortmund - Football, Aljazeera Sport +5 22:00 Real Madrid vs Man United Football, Aljazeera Sport +3 22:45 Argentina vs Paraguay - Football, Aljazeera Sport +7 22:45 France-Women vs Germany-Women - Football, Aljazeera

Williams, who will regain the No. 1 ranking if she reached the semifinals, showed no signs of the back or ankle problems that troubled her at the Australian Open during her 6-2, 6-1 win over Russian qualifier Daria Gavrilova. Williams broke the Russian to go up 4-2 in the first set and then jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second. WTA Qatar Open Aljazeera Sport +10 (15:00 Local)

Williams then saved five break points before serving out the match when the 160th-ranked Gavrilova hit a forehand long. The third-ranked Sharapova, who won the tournament in her two previous appearances, downed French qualifier Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2. Sharapova broke the 172nd-ranked Garcia twice go up 3-0 in the first set. Garcia won the next two games but Sharapova then broke for a third time. The second set went with serve through the first five games until Sharapova broke to go up 4-2, and she clinched the victory when the Frenchwoman hit a forehand long. “I was quite happy with the way I played, because my opponent has already played a few matches here so she’s been able to get in that match atmosphere,” Sharapova said. “So I wanted to start really strong. I had a tough match against her in my previous encounter where I played three sets. I really wanted to start better this time as opposed to last time.” Sharapova was joined in the third round by 11th-ranked Marion Bartoli, who downed former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 7-6 (5), 6-3. The loss leaves Schiavone, who has fallen to 54th in the rankings, winless in four matches this year. The Italian had the upper hand early, racing out to a 4-1 lead. But Bartoli turned things around, saving five break points to make it 4-2 breaking back in the next game when Schiavone doubled faulted. She then decided the tiebreaker with a return winner. After trading breaks early in the second set, Bartoli took advantage of Schiavone’s errors to go up 4-2. She closed out the match when she chased down a volley and fired a backhand winner down the line. “The first set was extremely tough,” Bartoli said. “It was a hard battle. I knew from coming from indoor clay court I wouldn’t play my best tennis for the first 30 minutes. ... But I felt I really fought really hard on the court. I didn’t show any frustration.” The only seeded player to lose Tuesday was No. 12 Maria Kirilenko of Russia, who retired with a right shoulder injury against fellow Russian Ekaterina Bychkova after falling behind 3-0.

Sport +6 (R) Indicates Recorded

ESPN 09:00 Eredivisie Review 10:00 ESPN Kicks - Scottish Football 10:15 ESPN Kicks - Barclays Premier League 10:30 ESPN FC Press Pass 11:00 FA Cup Leicester City vs Huddersfield Town 12:45 ESPN Kicks - Bundesliga 13:00 ESPN Kicks - Serie A 13:15 Eredivisie Review 14:15 ESPN Kicks - Scottish Football 14:30 ESPn Kicks - Barclays Premier League 14:45 French Ligue 1 Review 15:45 ESPN Kicks Bundesliga 16:00 NBA Tonight 16:30 ESPN FC Press Pass 17:00 Serie A Review 17:30 Eredivisie Review 18:30 ESPN Kicks - Bundesliga 18:45 ESPN Kicks - Scottish Football 19:00 NBA Portland at Miami 21:00 ESPN FC Press Pass 21:30 Barclays Premier League World 22:00 ESPN Kicks Bundesliga 22:15 ESPN Kicks - Extra 22:30 Nascar Now 23:00 NBA Tonight 23:30 Snowboard FIS World Cup Magazine 00:00 (Thu) TTR World Snowboard Tour Highlights 00:30 (Thu)

Caroline Garcia of France serves the ball to Maria Sharapova of Russia during their match on the second day of the WTA Qatar Open in the capital Doha on Feb 12. (AFP)

Russian weightlifter stripped of bronze medal

S. Korean footballer to get Oly medal LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Feb 12, (AP): A South Korean footballer who inflamed tensions with Japan by displaying a political banner after the third-place match at the London Olympics will get his bronze medal, the IOC decided Tuesday. Park Jong-woo was issued with just a warning for his actions after his team’s 2-0 victory over Japan, the IOC executive board ruled. The South Korean Olympic committee will also be warned and required to educate its athletes about competition rules. Park must receive his medal “without fanfare or publicity,” as a condition of the sanction, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said. The IOC withheld Park’s medal after

the Aug. 10 incident pending a disciplinary hearing, which was held Monday in Lausanne. Park displayed a sign in national colors after the bronze medal match in Cardiff, Wales, which was played amid sensitive diplomatic relations at home. The slogan said “Dokdo is our territory” in Korean to support his country’s sovereignty over islets also claimed by Japan. IOC and FIFA rules prohibit on-field political statements, but South Korean officials argued Park had not planned a protest and merely picked up a banner thrown on the field by a fan. ❑ ❑ ❑ Russian weightlifter Oleg Perepetchenov was on Tuesday

stripped of his 2004 Olympic bronze medal by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a doping offence. The Uzbekistan-born weightlifter — a two-time world championships silver medallist in 2001 and 2002 — is the latest athlete from the Athens Games to be disqualified because his stored sample yielded a positive test. “Oleg Perepetchenov is found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to article 2.1 of the IOC Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens in 2004 (presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s bodily specimen),” said an IOC statement.

Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium also withdrew from the tournament with a lower back injury, as did Varvara Lepchenko of the United States with an upper respiratory illness. ❑ ❑ ❑ Frenchman Julien Benneteau joined compatriot Gilles Simon in the second round of the Rotterdam World Tennis on Tuesday as he beat lucky loser Tobias Kamke of Germany 6-3, 6-2. Their progress — Simon eased through on Monday — offset the disappointment of their number one JoWilfrid Tsonga going out on Monday to unheralded Dutchman Igor Sijsling 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-4.

The victory over Kamke, who was drafted in to the tournament proper when another Frenchman Michael Llodra pulled out through illness, sets Benneteau up nicely to reach the quarter-finals for the third time here. He next faces Romanian Victor Hanescu. Dutch players enjoyed mixed fortunes on Tuesday, with Thiemo de Bakker moving into the second round as Russian opponent Mikhail Youzhny was forced to retire in the third set with a hip problem. De Bakker will await the winner from Wednesday’s match between top seed and holder Roger Federer and Grega Zemlja of Slovenia.

Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis admitted he had little to lose in his comprehensive defeat of Dutchman Robin Haase 6-2, 6-1, which took just 50 minutes with the winner breaking four times. Gulbis, who reached a career-high ranking of 21st two years ago, now stands 132 and finished out of the ranking top 100 last season for the first time since 2006. “I’m sorry Holland for beating a local,” joked the Latvian. “I played well and had almost perfect timing. I really didn’t give him any chances. “I don’t have many expectations, my ranking is so low I barely got into qualifying anyway.”

ISOC Snocross; Daedwood Shoot Out 01:00 (Thu) UFC - The Ultimate Fighter - Jones vs Sonnen 02:00 (Thu) ESPN FC Press Pass 02:30 (Thu) Barclays Premier League World 03:00 (Thu) Live: Copa Libertadores - Boca Juniors vs Toluca 05:00 (Thu) ESPN Kicks Bundesliga

Fox Sports Middle East 06:00 NHL: Minnesota Wild at Vancouver Canucks 08:30 Rolex Spirit of Yachting Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 09:00 Morning Drive 10:00 Golf Central International 10:30 Academy: Greg Norman: Driver 11:00 Golf Fitness - All Around Fitness 11:30 Golf Fitness - Adam Scott 12:00 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Penn State at Nebraska 13:00 Lucas Oil on the Edge Demolition Derby 14:30 Wrecked Dominating The Market 15:00 Sports Unlimited 16:00 Super Bowl Highlights: I: Green Bay v Kansas City 16:30 Super Bowl Highlights: II: Green Bay v Oakland 17:00 America’s Game: 1966 Green Bay Packers 18:00 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Penn State at Nebraska 20:00 NHL: New York Rangers at Boston

Bruins 22:30 NHL: Minnesota Wild at Vancouver Canucks 01:00 Sports Unlimited 02:00 Golf Central International 02:30 Courtside Jones 03:00 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Nebraska at Indiana 05:00 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Purdue at Illinois

Ten Sports 05:00 WWE After Burn 2013 06:00 WWE Vintage Collection 2013 07:30 UEFA Champions League - Celtics vs Juventus 09:00 UEFA Champions League Valencia vs PSG 11:00 HSBC Sevens World Series 11:30 Man City TV: Southampton vs Manchester City 14:30 WWE Bottomline 2013 15:30 UEFA Champions League - Celtic vs Juventus 17:30 UEFA Champions League Valencia vs PSG 19:30 WWE Bottomline 2013 20:30 WWE Vintage Collection 2013 21:25 UEFA Champions League - S. Donetsk vs B. Dortmund

12:00 NFL Gameday 12:30 Trans World Sport 13:30 Super League 15:30 ICC Cricket 360 16:00 Live Snooker The Welsh Open 20:00 European Tour Weekly 20:30 Inside The PGA Tour 21:00 Trans World Sport 22:00 Live Snooker The Welsh Open 01:00 European Tour Weekly 01:30 Inside The PGA Tour 02:00 Cricket International Twenty20 05:00 Trans World Sports 06:00 European PGA Tour Highlights

OSN Sport 2 05:00 Super League 07:00 Trans World Sport 08:00 Rugby League NRL 10:00 Futbol Mundial 10:30 Snooker 13:30 Live Cricket Twenty20 16:30 HSBC Sevens World Series 19:30 Cricket Twenty20 22:30 PGA European Tour Weekly 23:00 Inside The PGA Tour 00:00 Trans World Sport 01:00 HSBC Sevens World Series 03:30 Premier League Darts 07:00 Cricket Twenty20

OSN Sport 1 HD

OSN Sport 3

06:00 PGA Tour Highlights 07:00 Snooker The Welsh Open 10:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 11:00 PGA Tour Highlights

06:00 Golfing World 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 09:00 World Pool Masters 10:00 World

Pool Masters 11:00 Top 14 Highlight 13:00 Top 14 Highlight 13:30 Golfing World 14:30 World Pool Masters 15:30 World Cup of Pool 16:30 Pro 12 18:30 Pro 12 20:30 Spirit of a Champion 21:00 Spirit of a Champion 21:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 22:30 Top 14 Highlight 23:00 Futbol Mundial 23:30 Golfing World 00:30 World Pool Masters 01:30 World Cup of Pool 02:30 Super League 04:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 05:30 Futbol Mundial 06:00 Top 14 Highlight

OSN Sport 4 05:00 NHL 07:00 WWE Vintage Collection 08:00 WWE NXT 09:00 Ping Pong World Championships 10:00 US Bass Fishing 11:00 NHL 13:00 WWE SmackDown 15:00 WWE Vintage Collection 16:00 UAE National Race Day Series 17:00 V8 Supercars Highlights 19:00 UFC TUF 20:00 UFC Ultimate 100 Knockouts 23:00 WWE Experience 00:00 WWE Vintage Collection 01:00 NHL 03:00 Ping Pong World Championships 04:00 US Bass Fishing 05:00 NHL

Note: All timings local Other TV Listings Page 36




LEAF bag weekly high series award

Cozmo-2 emerge as PBAK pacesetters By Miguel Carlos

Indians hook Bourn

Special to the Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: The fourth round of the on-going PBAK 2013 Winter Tenpin Bowling League being held at the Cozmo Bowling Center in Khaifan saw new pacesetters emerging from the rubbles of the fierce tenpin competition as the entertainment magnates of Cozmo-2 took over the leaders board supremacy from erstwhile front runners NLB after brushing aside the All Star Strikers. Not to be outdone was the feat of the green thumbs of LEAF who bagged the weekly high series award in their winning stint over the Lucky Strikers neophytes. Joining Cozmo-2 and LEAF in the week 4 winner’s circle of this tournament sponsored by United Logistics Company, Kabayan Shopping Center and Al Baha Supermarket were Asian Air Safari, United Amco, Klasmeyts, 300 Bowleros, Siete Pares, K2E2, Nusantara and Android Rollers.

Verlander says no to ‘World Classic’

Defending League Champions Cozmo 2

Leaf-4th round team high series award winners

Eyeing an unprecedented third consecutive PBAK league title, the Cozmo-2 lane masters looked headed in that direction as the entertainers turned back the equally strong All Star Strikers 2898-2821. In game one and


BOWLING with lady kegler Norie Sairat at the helm, All Star Strikers also bannered by Aseel Al Roomi, Fadel Qassem, Aziz Aslawi and Alfred Avila held on to a slim lead in eking out a hard earned 954-913 victory. In a change of strategy, team prexy Fahad Abul fielded in three lady bowlers in the next game and with the vastly improved Ronell Valencia leading the way Cozmo stormed in front via a 981-926 decision. Ahead by 14 pins 18941880, Cozmo-2 went on to win the match by trouncing All Star Strikers in the third and final game 979-941. Sharing the limelight in this fruitful outing of the Cozmo-2 squad were Jackie Guitang, Jeanette Angeles, Noe Mahayag, Jun Hosmillo, Fahad Abul and Mariam Qabandi and Merhdad Tabizadeh. While Cozmo-2 were stretched to the limit by All Star Strikers, the green thumbs of LEAF on the other hand were having a hey day with their light assignment opposite the Lucky Strikers. Out to give their rivals a free on the spot bowling lesson, the LEAF landscapers easily defeated the Lucky Strikers in the opening game 941-763. Spearheaded by team captain Lito

ORLANDO, Florida, Feb 12, (Agencies): Major League Baseball right-handed ace pitcher Justin Verlander said Monday that he has turned down an offer to join the United States team at next month’s World Baseball Classic. Verlander, the 2011 American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner as best pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, said he did not feel his arm would be ready for competition in early March when the US team begins play. “I don’t want to have to feel rushed to catch up to where I need to be,” Verlander said. Verlander threw 266 innings last season, including a playoff run that saw the Tigers reach the World Series before losing to the San Francisco Giants. That heavy workload prompted Verlander to delay the start of his off-season arm training in order to allow for proper rest. Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez was added to the US roster last weekend but the Americans still seek a top pitcher after the withdrawal of

The All Star Strikers bowling team

Mercado who drilled in a 3-game series score of 580 pin falls, LEAF posted two more walk in park 956-734 and 1004-669 victories. The rest of the scoring chores in LEAF’s 2926-2166 final winning tally were Joe Presenta, Marjorie Mercado, Cris Carungay, Rocky Castil, Rey Ualat and Reygan Percy. Suiting up for Lucky Strikers in this match were Jessica Lorino, Bader Abdullah, Kevin Andaya, Zairus Javellana, Karl Andaya, and Krestylle Mae Andaya. Meanwhile, Klasmeyts covered up their dismal week 1 and 2 performances as they streaked to their second win in a row this time over erstwhile league leaders NLB who lost for the second time in as many weeks. Looking more like the team who have won the title a couple of times in the past, Klasmeyts did not give the water jet specialists much chance in sweeping the 3-game series via 920-790, 934808 and 906-862 scores. Carrying the scoring load for Klasmeyts in their 2785-2460 total pin falls victory were Bong Bermillo, Bene Crucero, Emma

Gatus, Rudy Zablan, Romy Fermil, Joan Gonzales and Romy Daus. Manning the lanes for NLB in this outing were Mike Garcia, Lee Mills, Madel Garcia, Elvie Sotio, Nelson de Leon, Philip Marimla, Ted Yap and Ric Marimla. Like the other teams that dished out below par performance in the first two weeks of the tournament, Asian Air Safari are slowly but surely making their way back into serious contention for one of the ten finals berth at stake in the elimination round. In this match Xpress Rollers drew first blood as Toto Abear, Liza Catapia, Tony Zuleta, Caloy Garay and Hermie Saliba eked out a close 917-873 win in game 1. With their key bowlers getting familiar with the tricky oiling pattern week after week, the Air Safari explorers came back strong in games 2 and 3 to beat Xpress Rollers 984-842 and 950-894. Through this convincing victories made possible by the combined efforts of Sonia Mathews, Myra Manalo, Mousa Abdullah, Lito Michael, Al Bautista and Mandy

The Nusantara Pin Busters before their game

Manalo, Asian Air Safari emerged with a 2832-2653 total pin falls victory. In another exciting match, United Amco headed by Obet Cabrera, Agnes Noble, Eddie Pena, Perly Virly, Jess Tolentino, Rod Dulay and Jess de Vera overcame an opening game loss in beating the stubborn D’ Islanders 2827-2761. After Orly Reyes, Marilyne Mariano, Bert Pantanilla, Danny Doctor and Rolly David handed D’ Islanders a 942-897 win in game one, United Amco quickly retaliated with a 976-923 decision of the own before closing out with another 929896 victory in the final game of the match. In the other completed games of the week, 300 Bowleros stopped De Lima Blazers 2789-2646, K2E2 grounded the Swooping Eagles 27302587, Nusantara clobbered the PhiEm Strike Force 2742-2164, Siete Pares subdued World Class 2695-2564 and the Android Rollers beat Cozmo-1 2554-2392. In the Individual and Team High scores the early record holders are as follows: Individual High Game-Men

Class O-Mike Garcia 279, Men Class A-Lito Michael 237, Men Class B-Lito Mercado 220, Ladies Class A- Nasha King 227, Ladies Class B-Jessica Balagat 178; Individual High AverageMen Class O-Mike Garcia 204, Men Class A-Rod LLait 196, Men Class BDanny Doctor 176, Ladies Class AFatima Al Shatti 179, Ladies Class BJessica Balagat 166; Team High Game (Scratch Score)-NLB 1015; Team High Series (Scratch Score + Handicap)NLB 2905. The team standings after the three weeks are as follows (read as rank, team name and average score per game), 1. Cozmo 2-932, 2.K2E2-919, 3. LEAF-919, 4. NLB-904, 5. Xpress Rollers-903, 6. 300 Boweros -903, 7. D ‘Islanders -892, 8. De Lima Blazers 889, 9.Klasmeyts -888, 10. Siete Pares886, 11. Asian Air Safari-874, 12. United Amco-861, 13. All Star Strikers-860, 14. World Class -858, 15. Nusantara -852, 16. Swooping Eagles848, 17. Cozmo 1 -844, 18. Android Rollers-828, 19. Philippine Embassy736, 20. Lucky Strikers-706.

Atlanta’s Kris Medlen. The Classic, a 16-team event that begins March 2 in Japan and Taiwan, features top major league players and global talent from around the world playing for their homelands. Japan won the first two editions of the event. Big-spending Cleveland Indians continued their bold offseason by acquiring free agent outfielder Michael Bourn, the team said on Monday. Bourn, who was an All Star for the Atlanta Braves last season, has agreed to a four-year deal worth $48 million, according to local reports, to join the American League pending his physical. The deal is just the latest splash by the Indians who have also hired manager Terry Francona and picked up free agent Nick Swisher. The 30-year-old Bourn will bring instant speed on the base paths as he captured the National League stolen base crown from 2009-2011. Bourn batted .274 with nine home runs, 57 RBIs and 42 steals for the Braves last season. The Indians finished 68-94 in 2012 and fired manager Manny Acta just before the end of the season.




Peter Sagan wins second stage in Oman, takes overall lead AL BUSTAN, Oman, Feb 12, (AFP): Slovakia’s Peter Sagan won the second stage of the Tour of Oman on Tuesday and moved into the overall lead, following a 146-km run from Fanja in Bidbid to

Al Bustan, close to the Oman Sea. The 23-year-old Cannondale rider broke free from the pack in the final kilometre to finish 9secs in front of Frenchman Tony Gallopin, with Swiss rider Martin Elmiger

a further two seconds back. Sagan, the defending Slovakian champion, also won stage two on last year’s race and counts three stages wins to his name on both the Tour de France and Tour of Spain

in a career that continues to flourish. Last year’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins endured a frustrating start to his challenge during stage one on Monday as he came in last over a minute

behind stage winner Marcel Kittel. The popular British rider was delayed by a pile-up in the last few kilometres of the 162-km stage and came in 1min 30sec adrift of the leaders. However Team Sky

are confident they will win an appeal on the basis that according to rules governing crashes, he should be awarded the same time as those riders he was riding within the closing 3-km of a stage.




Sahin calls for big improvement

Klopp determined Dortmund to fire against Shakhtar DONETSK, Ukraine, Feb 12, (Agencies): Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp has insisted his side will bounce back at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday in their Champions League Last 16 first leg clash following a heavy home defeat by Hamburg. Dortmund went down 4-1 at home on Saturday as they conceded four goals without reply at the hands of Hamburg and now face a tough trip to Ukraine. The German champion’s pressing game deserted them as Hamburg found plenty of space to attack down the wing with South Korea’s Son Heung-Min and Latvia’s Artjoms Rudnevs both scoring twice. “We weren’t good against Hamburg and deserved to lose, we’ll be better on

Wednesday,” said Klopp with his side looking to reach the last eight for the first time since 1998, when as defending champions they lost in the semifinals against Real Madrid. Having finished unbeaten on top of

Donetsk vs Dortmund Aljazeera Sport +5 (22:00 local) Group D with eye-catching wins over Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax at home, Klopp’s side must prove they can again forge a result away from home in the first-leg clash at the Donbass Arena. Shakhtar are looking for a third win in four home matches in this season’s competition after beating both Danish

champions Nordsjaelland and holders Chelsea before a 1-0 home defeat to Juventus in October, cost them first place in Group E. Dortmund have impressed on the road so far in Europe, picking up a 4-1 win at Ajax, and they were only denied victories at City and Madrid by late equalisers. They will be without German winger Kevin Grosskreutz, who was hospitalised at the weekend with pneumonia, while defensive midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is doubtful as he is carrying a thigh and toe injury. Klopp received a boost on Sunday, as centre-back Neven Subotic passed a fitness test after a long lay off while Germany left-back Marcel Schmelzer is fit to be included after a throat infec-

‘Threat of becoming the dirty game’

Soccer faces epic fight against match-fixing web ZURICH, Feb 12, (AP): Soccer is falling under a cloud of suspicion as never before, sullied by a multibillion-dollar web of match-fixing that is corrupting increasingly larger parts of the world’s most popular sport. Internet betting, emboldened criminal gangs and even the economic downturn have created conditions that make soccer — or football, as the sport is called around the world — a lucrative target. Known as “the beautiful game” for its grace, athleticism and traditions of fair play, soccer is under threat of becoming the dirty game. “Football is in a disastrous state,” said Chris Eaton, director of sport integrity at the International Centre for Sport Security. “Fixing of matches for criminal gambling fraud purposes is absolutely endemBlatter ic worldwide ... arrogantly happening daily.” At least 50 nations in 2012 had matchfixing investigations — almost a quarter of the 209 members of FIFA, soccer’s governing body — involving hundreds of people. Europol, the European Union’s police body, announced last week that it had found 680 “suspicious” games worldwide since 2008, including 380 in Europe. Yet experts interviewed by The Associated Press believe that figure may be low. Sportradar, a company in London that monitors global sports betting, estimates that about 300 soccer games a year in Europe alone could be rigged. “We do not detect it better,” Eaton said in an interview with the AP. “There’s just more to detect.” Globalization has propelled the fortunes of popular soccer teams like Manchester United and showered millions in TV revenue on clubs that get into tournaments like Europe’s Champions League. Criminals have realized that it can be vastly easier to shift gambling profits across borders than it is to move drugs or other contraband. “These are real criminals — Italian mafia, Chinese gangs, Russian mafia,” said Sylvia Schenk of corruption watchdog Transparency International. Ralf Mutschke, FIFA’s security chief, admits that soccer officials had underestimated the scope of match-fixing. He told the AP that “realistically, there is no way” FIFA can tackle organized crime by itself, saying it needs more help from national law enforcement agencies. “The scale is such that no country can deal with the problem on its own,” said EU Sport Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou. Gambling on sports generates hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and up to 90 percent of that is bet on soccer, Interpol chief Ronald Noble told the AP. Eaton, the former FIFA expert, has cited an estimated $500 billion a year. Match-fixing — where the outcome of a game is determined in advance — is used by gambling rings to make money off bets they know they will win. Matches also are rigged to propel a team into a higher-ranking division where it can earn more revenue. FIFA has estimated that organized crime takes in as much as $15 billion a year by fixing matches. In Italy alone, a recent rigging scandal is estimated to have produced $2.6 billion for the Camorra and the Mafia crime syndicates, Eaton said. Soccer officials are well aware that repeated match-fixing will undermine the integrity of their sport, driving away sponsors and reducing the billion-dollar value of lucrative TV contracts. FIFA earned $2.4 billion in broadcast sales linked to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and already has agreed to $2.3 billion in deals tied to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has proclaimed “zero tolerance” for match-fixing. Computer experts working for FIFA and UEFA — the European soccer body — monitor more than 31,000 European games and thousands of international matches every year, trying to sniff out the betting spikes that can reveal corruption.

So far, however, sports authorities are “proving to be particularly helpless in the face of the transnational resources” available to organized crime, according to a 2012 study on match-fixing. The report warned that the risk of soccer “falling into decay in the face of repeated scandals is genuine and must not be underestimated.” Match-fixing has been around for decades, of course, and is not limited to soccer. It has also infected sports like cricket, tennis, horse racing and even volleyball. The US has its own sordid history of gambling scandals, from baseball’s Black Sox in the 1919 World Series to a handful of point-shaving schemes in college basketball over the years, to an NBA referee taking money from a professional gambler for inside tips on basketball games, including some that he officiated in 2007. Still, nothing approaches the scale of the allegations now hitting soccer because of the sheer number of games played and the enormous Asian betting interest in European games, according to David Forrest, an economist at the UK’s University of Salford Business School, one of the co-authors of the 2012 report. In January alone, FIFA banned 41 players in South Korea from soccer for life due to match-fixing. That follows 51 worldwide bans last year — 22 of them for life. Eaton attributes the surge in matchfixing to an exponential rise in online gambling — “at least 500 percent, and likely far more” — in the last decade. Criminals have targeted every level of the game: the World Cup, regional tournaments such as the Champions League, high-powered divisions like England’s Premier League and Italy’s Serie A, “friendly” exhibition contests between national teams, all the way down to semipro games. Match-fixing has also branched out from traditional hotbeds of corruption — Asia and the Balkans — to places like Canada, Finland and Norway, among the least corrupt nations in the world. And with the rise of online spot betting — wagers made during the game — criminal gangs can also make money on bets like how many goals are scored, when they are scored, or who will take a penalty kick. These live bets can “be particularly advantageous for criminals,” according to Forrest’s report, because they increase the number of wagers placed on the same fixed game. The vast majority of the world’s wagering originates in Asia, according to Forrest, but its own bettors shun that continent’s games because Asian soccer has been so corrupt for years. In 2011, China’s main TV network refused to broadcast the country’s soccer games because match-fixing was so widespread. Last year, two former heads of China’s soccer federation were sentenced to 101/2 years in prison. As former Balkan warlords and Chinese businessmen have discovered, owning a club means players don’t need to be paid extra to fix matches; they can just be ordered to lose. “There is an increasing worry about gangs taking over football clubs as a way to further match-fixing ... and then they could also use the club to launder money,” Forrest said. An American diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks quoted the US Embassy in Bulgaria as reporting that “Bulgarian soccer clubs are widely believed to be directly or indirectly controlled by organized crime figures who use their teams as a way to legitimize themselves, launder money and make a fast buck.” In Turkey last year, 93 people went on trial for match-fixing — and only 14 of them were players. Serbian player Boban Dmitrovic says he saw many times where two Serbian clubs simply agreed upon the outcome in advance. “Right before the match, a note was handed to the players. They had to cooperate because their careers would be jeopardized,” Dmitrovic told FIFPro, the soccer players’ union. In the past, the perception was that greedy players were behind match-fixing. Yet a study of eastern Europe by the FIFPro union portrayed a region where players often are not paid for months and are intimidated, blackmailed or beaten up.

tion and a bruised foot. The Ukraine league and cup double winners are backed by mining billionaire Rinat Akhmetov and have ambitions to become one of Europe’s major forces. Coach Mircea Lucescu said his team will have to produce something special to beat Dortmund. “Dortmund won the strongest group in this season’s competition and that gives you an idea of how good they are,” said the Romanian. “Maybe you wouldn’t call Borussia superstars but their team play has been perfectly fine tuned. “No one else in the Bundesliga plays such a passing and flowing game as Dortmund, but we have to think about our own preparations before thinking

of the other team. “I hope the class and experience of our players will allow us to approach the Borussia games in top shape and so qualify for the quarter-finals.” Lucescu revealed Donetsk were beaten by Dortmund in 2010 for the signature of striker Robert Lewandowski and the Shakhtar defence will have to work hard to keep the Poland international quiet. Lewandowski scored his 19th goal of the season and was sent off against Hamburg on Saturday. “He’s an excellent player, it’s a shame he didn’t come to us five years ago when he was 19. He’s a dangerous player and we have to respect him,” said Lucescu. The return leg is at Dortmund’s

Signal Iduna Park stadium on Tuesday March 5. Playmaker Nuri Sahin has pleaded for a reaction from Borussia Dortmund in Wednesday’s Champions League tie at Shakhtar Donetsk after the Germans lurched to a home defeat by Hamburg SV in the Bundesliga at the weekend. “It was a very painful defeat because we should not be letting in four goals at home,” Sahin told reporters. “We can make it all good again on Wednesday but we have to be very focused because Shakhtar are a team that will punish us if we make mistakes. “There has to be a marked improvement in our performance,” added Sahin who returned to the club last month following unsuccessful spells at Real Madrid and Liverpool.

Gerrard’s penalty miss triggers Reds meltdown

Liverpool’s Danish defender Daniel Agger (right), is challenged by West Bromwich Albion’s Congolese defender Youssuf Mulumbu during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on Feb 11. West Bromwich won the match 2-0. (AFP)

West Brom stun Liverpool LIVERPOOL, Feb 12, (AFP): Liverpool crashed to a dismal 2-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion on Monday as Steven Gerrard’s penalty miss triggered an Anfield meltdown. Brendan Rodgers’ side looked set to secure their first win in four Premier League matches when Gerrard stepped up to take a late penalty, but the Liverpool captain’s effort was saved by Ben Foster and Albion went on to take full advantage of that escape.

SOCCER Gareth McAuley headed the opener with nine minutes remaining and Romelu Lukaku’s stoppage-time strike secured Albion’s first league victory in seven attempts and lifted them above Liverpool into eighth in the table. “The players gave everything, but we just couldn’t make the breakthrough and the longer it goes on, it gives West Brom a wee bit more encouragement,” Rodgers said. “I can’t fault the players. We weren’t at our best but we certainly were on the front foot. We just needed that first goal.” Albion’s third successive win against Liverpool was also sweet revenge for manager Steve Clarke, who was the Reds’ assistant manager under Kenny Dalglish last season before being sacked at the end of the campaign. “Since the turn of the year things haven’t gone our way, so it’s a terrific win for us,” Clarke said. “To come here and play a Liverpool team, probably playing as well as they have all season, I’m absolutely delighted for the players.” Liverpool made the running for most of the match without ever hitting peak form. They had the ball in the net early on when Foster failed to deal with a long-

range dipping Glen Johnson effort and Jonjo Shelvey pounced to tap in the rebound, only for the linesman to correctly rule the midfielder offside. Daniel Agger then went close with a header from a Stewart Downing corner but Foster tipped the Danish defender’s effort over the crossbar. Rodgers’ side became increasingly desperate as the half wore on and Luis Suarez appealed in vain for a penalty after the Liverpool striker tumbled when challenged by McAuley. Liverpool tried to up the tempo in the second half and Jordan Henderson almost rounded off a flowing move with a clever backheel that Foster blocked with his legs. The Reds kept pressing and Downing laid the ball off to Fabio

Borini, who tested Foster with a curling low shot that the former Manchester United keeper did well to keep out. Gerrard also forced Foster into a fine one-handed stop to prevent the England captain’s powerful effort hitting the back of the net. The hosts’ pressure finally seemed to have paid off when Suarez went down in the Albion penalty area under pressure from Jonas Olsson in the 75th minute. West Brom’s players were unhappy but referee Jon Moss was quick to award the penalty. Gerrard stepped up to take it, but his low strike wasn’t hit with enough power, allowing Foster to plunge to his left and make the save.

Rodgers tried to spark Liverpool back into life by sending on Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho for his debut, but it was Albion who stole the points. Youssouf Mulumbu’s stinging drive forced Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina to concede a corner in the 81st minute and from Chris Brunt’s setpiece, McAuley rose highest to power his header past Reina via the crossbar. As Liverpool poured forward in search of an equaliser they were left exposed at the back in stoppage-time. James Morrison released Lukaku and the on-loan Chelsea forward showed impressive pace and power to surge clear of Agger before driving his shot through Reina’s weak attempted save.

EPL Standings

West Bromwich Albion’s Scottish midfielder James Morrison (front), vies with Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on Feb 11. West Bromwich won the match 2-0. (AFP)

LONDON, Feb 12, (AFP): English Premier League table after Monday’s match. P W D L GF GA Pts Man Utd 26 21 2 3 62 31 65 Man City 26 15 8 3 48 24 53 Chelsea 26 14 7 5 55 28 49 Tottenham 26 14 6 6 44 30 48 Arsenal 26 12 8 6 50 29 44 Everton 26 10 12 4 40 32 42 Swansea 26 9 10 7 38 29 37 West Brom 26 11 4 11 36 35 37 Liverpool 26 9 9 8 44 34 36 Stoke 26 7 12 7 26 31 33 West Ham 26 8 6 12 29 38 30 Fulham 26 7 8 11 36 42 29 Sunderland 26 7 8 11 28 34 29 Norwich 26 6 11 9 25 40 29 Southampton 26 6 9 11 36 45 27 Newcastle 26 7 6 13 34 46 27 Aston Villa 26 5 9 12 25 50 24 Reading 26 5 8 13 33 48 23 Wigan 26 5 6 15 30 51 21 QPR 26 2 11 13 19 41 17 Note: Standings read as played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points.




FILBACK family pose for a group shot.

Top clubs to be in action

FILBACK to inaugurate 4-day badminton tourney By Jose Gabriel Special to the Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Most of the top Filipino Badminton Club in Kuwait (FILBACK) members will be seen in action on the courts this week when FILBACK inaugurates a four-day tournament at the Al Nasr Sports Club Friday. The FILBACK-Al Ektasad Cup 2013 will be held over four Fridays, starting on Feb 15, with the first three days set aside for the ranking games or the Elimination Round and the last Friday for the championship matches. The tournament will be see action in the following five categories: Level AQ, Level B, Mixed B, Mixed C and Mixed D. While all the players will see action during the category matches, only the top players will be selected for the next round which will involve the single knockout round, the double knockout round, the se3mifinals and the finals. This event is being made possible through the efforts of FILBACK Director Leo Regner, FILBACK Tournament Director Renato Calanog, Alpha Phi Omega Kuwait Alumni Association (APO KAA-153)

and all the office bearers who work hard throughout the year to not only provide quality tournaments but also promote friendship and sportsmanship among the members of these organizations. FILBACK tournaments are aimed at getting the Filipino expatriate community for a day of fun after the long stressful week and also to ensure that the community gets to know each other better.

BADMINTON Tournaments are regularly conducted where in each tournament running for four to five Fridays and the proceeds going to the organization’s projects and humanitarian works, such as educational visual aids and reading material for nominated schools through “The Adopt A Hometown School Program of the ABS-CBN Foundation” in the Philippines, and for the needs of some of the distressed Filipina workers housed in the Philippine Embassy - Kuwait. The organizers have, meanwhile, announced that all the members will be required to abide by the following

rules during the whole tournament: 1. Follow all the FILBACK rules while playing 2. Present a valid FILBACK I.D. on the first and second day of tournament before playing. 3. Do not wear unnecessary shirts or skirts which attract attention. 4. Wear the FILBACK uniform while playing. 5. The tournament fee must be settled on the 2nd day of the Tourney. 6. Follow the time schedule as posted. (posted on FILBACK Facebook page) 7. The last day of registration will be the second day of the tournament. 8. Inform officers at least a day before the schedule regarding any delay or conflict in work schedule. (only work related issues will be considered) 9. During any absence with a reasonable excuse — 2 default games will be given instead of 4 games default. And those without notice will be given 4 default games. 10. No default on the first day of tourney. Default will be implemented on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th days of tournament 11. Any absence of a partner will see a Joker (replacement) in action

from the same category. The absent player or players could also be replaced by a designated official joker player (applicable in the elimination game only). 12. During the knockout games, all the players without permanent partners will be played by a Joker from a lower category (in only). 13. If the players are not available for the following Friday due to the unpredictable working schedule, they will be allowed to play their matches in advance (maximum of 6 games only, depending on the availability of partners and opponents,). 14. During the championship game, players without permanent partners will be given a right to select a Joker from the eliminated players of the same category (after winning the knockout first game). However in case the Joker reaches the final round and wins, he/she will not be entitled any trophy, medals only. 15. Late players are not allowed to play in the initial set once the game have started but they could play in next set. 16. The umpires will be taken from the next scheduled game. He/she will

McCullum fires NZ to win in 2nd Twenty20 England punished


HAMILTON, New Zealand, Feb 12, (AFP): New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum inspired his team to a crushing 55-run win over England in the second Twenty20 international in Hamilton on Tuesday, levelling the series 1-1. Determined to make amends after being humbled in the opening fixture, New Zealand made 192 for six after being sent into bat then bowled out the tourists for 137.

CRICKET McCullum led from the front with a captain’s knock of 74, including five sixes and six fours, as the Black Caps made the most of the short Seddon Park boundaries to punish the England attack. The hosts also produced a much improved display in the field to have England reeling at 47 for five at one point before a feisty 54 from Jos Buttler and a 22-run cameo by James Tredwell helped to make the scoreline respectable. “Credit to New Zealand, they played fantastically and took the game away from us with the bat,” England captain Stuart Broad said. “We didn’t execute our skills 100 percent right. At the half-way point we thought we were in with a chance but obviously losing early wickets like we did meant we were always chasing the game.” New Zealand openers Martin Guptill (47) and Hamish Rutherford (40) provided a solid platform for McCullum to blast away late in the innings in a display that included three sixes off a Stuart Broad over. Between them the three scored 10 sixes as New Zealand reached its fourth highest T20 total. New Zealand’s momentum appeared to have slowed significantly when Ross Taylor (4), Colin Munro (7) and Grant Elliott (4) were dismissed cheaply, until McCullum unleashed a big-hitting onslaught against Broad. He brought up his half century in style, sending Broad’s delivery

New Zealand’s Grant Elliott hits a shot against England during the International Twenty20 cricket match at Snedden Park in Hamilton on Feb 12. (AFP)

over the boundary for six, then followed up with another in the next ball. He was at it again two balls later, thumping the ball over extra cover to take his third six of the over. He fell in the penultimate ball of the innings, although James Franklin still managed a four off the final delivery. Jade Dernbach was the pick of the England bowlers, taking three wickets for 38 runs. But England made a disastrous start to their innings when Mitchell McClenaghan clean bowled Alex Hales for five in the second over then dismissed Luke Wright, one of the heroes of the Auckland win, for

a golden duck with his next ball. Jonny Bairstow followed three overs later, tentatively dabbing an Ian Butler short ball to McClenaghan to leave the tourists at 24 for three. Michael Lumb tried to lift the over rate but was bowled for 17 after charging down the wicket at a Nathan McCullum delivery, with dangerman Eoin Morgan falling to Butler in the next over for 13. Trent Boult turned the screws by running out Samit Patel in spectacular fashion, firing the ball directly into the stumps from the mid-off boundary. A forgettable night for Broad, who leaked 53 runs from four overs

HAMILTON, New Zealand, Feb 12, (AFP): Scores in the second T20 international between New Zealand and England in Hamilton on Tuesday. NEW ZEALAND M. Guptill c Hales b Tredwell ............47 H. Rutherford c Buttler b Wright .......40 B. McCullum c Lumb b Dernbach.....74 R. Taylor c Bairstow b Wright..............4 C. Munro c Bairstow b Dernbach........7 G. Elliott b Dernbach...........................4 J. Franklin not out ...............................6 N. McCullum not out ...........................0 Extras (lb 3, b 1, w 6) .......................10 Total (6 wkts, 20 overs)...................192 Fall of wickets: 1-75 (Rutherford), 2105 (Guptill), 3-124 (Taylor), 4-139 (Munro), 5-154 (Elliott) 6-188 (B.McCullum) Bowling: Tredwell 2-0-20-1, Broad 40-53-0, Finn 4-0-33-0, Dernbach 4-038-3, Wright 4-0-24-2, Patel 2-0-20-0 ENGLAND M. Lumb b N.McCullum....................17 A. Hales b McClenaghan....................5 L. Wright c Guptill b McClenaghan.....0 J. Bairstow c McClenaghan b Butler ..8 E. Morgan c Munro b Butler .............13 J. Buttler c Taylor b Franklin.............54 S. Patel run out Boult .........................6 S. Broad c Guptill b Franklin ..............1 J. Tredwell b Franklin .......................22 S. Finn not out ....................................5 J. Dernbach c Butler b Franklin..........0 Extras (w 3, lb 3) ................................6 Total (all out, 19.3 overs) ................137 Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Hales), 2-9 (Wright), 3-24 (Bairstow), 4-43 (Lumb), 5-47 (Morgan), 6-62 (Patel), 7-80 (Broad) 8-115 (Buttler), 9-137 (Tredwell), 10-137 (Dernbach) Bowling: Boult 4-0-40-0, McClenaghan 4-0-24-2, Butler 4-0-9-2, N.McCullum 3-0-26-1, Franklin 3.3-015-4, Elliott 1-0-20-0 Result: New Zealand win by 55 runs, levelling the three-match series 1-1 Umpires: Gary Baxter (NZL), Derek Walker (NZL) TV umpire: Chris Gaffaney (NZL) Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI)

with the ball, ended when he was caught for one after facing just three deliveries. Buttler and Tredwell showed glimpses of what England’s batting line-up is capable of late in the innings but by then too many wickets had fallen and any chance of victory had long since evaporated. The final match of the series will be played in Wellington on Friday.

be in charge of the match. Their decisions are official and final on all issues. 17. The linemen will be taken from the next scheduled game. They will be responsible for the “inside and outside” points, and the decisions of the linemen, not the umpires, will be final. 18. 15 minutes late arrival will be considered a default, with the loser getting 20 points and the winner 50 points. 19. A toss shall be conducted before a game starts. After winning the toss a pair can either choose either the service or the court. 20. Proper serving and over reaching will be strictly observed, (1st call warning, 2nd call considered points) 21. The spectators are not allowed to distract the attention of the competing players during the game 22. Insulting opponents or partners by any action, facial expressions and bad mouthing are strictly prohibited. 23. While serving the players are required the correct position of the receiver and server, otherwise a fault will be declared . 24. Always give a friendly shake

hand after every game to display sportsmanship 25. In case of any complaint, please directly inform the FILBACK Chairman, Vice Chairman and designated Tournament Director FILBACK has also announced that following are its set of office-bearers, headed by the founding father of the club — Caloy Abesamis, for the years 2013-14: Chairman: Caloy Abesamis Vice-Chairman: Leo Regner Tournament Director: Renato Calanog Technical Director: Noel Candolesas Secretary/Treasurer: Ninnette Regner. Biverly Malvar Officers: Gomer Imperial, Nestor Farinas, Jess Sibunga, Edison Delacruz, Roy Satore, Albert Nuguit, Ronald Brizuela, Beck Briones, Rey Orje, Romeo Trillanes, Sherwin Perez, Rhommel Torres, Richard Amoto, Ramon Pablo, John Martin Pecson, Aleks Hernandez, Arnel Miguel, Michelle Defelipe Magbanua and Adolfo Diaz Advisers: Noel Amador, Mayeen Abesamis, Raffy Ilejay and Nico Contreras

Clarke says line-up ‘very open’

Australia St broadcaster not to cover India Tests SYDNEY, Feb 12, (AFP): Australia’s public broadcaster Tuesday said it will not broadcast or report live from the upcoming cricket Test series in India after deciding not to pay inflated rights fees. The ABC said it could not afford the broadcast rights fees demanded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), understood to be much higher for the four-Test series beginning Feb 22 than previous Australian tours. It had still intended to send veteran radio commentator Jim Maxwell, but the BCCI refused him accreditation. “It is really disappointing,” an ABC spokeswoman told AFP. “It will result in it being covered through the news Clarke just like a news item but there won’t be any feeds, certainly not ballby-ball coverage.” As a general rule, ABC covers Australia’s Test matches in India, although it did not broadcast the 2010 series as it clashed with the Commonwealth Games. The ABC said its managing director Mark Scott was negotiating with the Indian High Commission in Australia to reverse Maxwell’s accreditation decision. “We are leaning on Cricket Australia to help out because this means that there is no free-to-air broadcast of what’s happening over there,” the spokeswoman said. Maxwell said the BCCI instead offered him a place in a VIP box for the entire series. However, he said this invitation came “with the proviso that if I wish to report on proceedings, because I am not a rights holder, I’ll have to leave the ground”. “So, obviously that is unacceptable to the ABC and we’ve decided not to go,” he told the broadcaster. “Essentially it seems as though the fact that we didn’t take up the rights, they feel as though as a radio reporter I don’t have a position there. I am not able to report live from the ground.” The development follows a rights dispute between some media organisations and the BCCI over England’s tour of India last year. News agencies including AFP, Thomson-Reuters and the Associated Press suspended text and photo coverage of the England series over the BCCI’s decision to bar photo counterparts such as Getty Images and Action Images. Meanwhile, Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke declared himself

fighting fit as he left for India Tuesday, saying the line-up for the first Test since the retirement of Michael Hussey was “very open”. Clarke, who missed the final oneday international against the West Indies in Melbourne with a hamstring strain, voiced confidence he would be ready for the first Test in Chennai on Feb 22. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that I will be fit for the first Test match,” he told reporters, adding that he hoped to play in the second opening tour game to get used to conditions on the subcontinent. “I think I’ve been lucky throughout my career to be honest, with the degeneration in my back, to have played 80odd Test matches and not missed one is something I’m very proud of.” The skipper said it remained “very open” on who would play in the first Test, the first since Hussey called it quits which followed veteran Ricky Ponting’s decision to retire late last year. Clarke said the two opening tour games provided a good opportunity for the Australian players to prepare themselves for the tricky conditions they will face in the four-Test tour. “There are 17 guys in the squad, we’re all fighting for a spot — unfortunately, you can only pick 11,” he said. “Runs and wickets (in the opening

CRICKET tour games) will certainly play a big part in picking the side. “But for a lot of the guys it’s more about preparation and seeing (Indian) conditions.” Selectors will be faced with where to place vice-captain Shane Watson, who returns from injury and who has put himself forward as an opener. “Obviously, Shane needs to come back into the line-up,” Clarke said. “It’s a lot different now that Watto is not bowling. As an all-rounder, I think he walks into any team. “As a batsman, there is a much bigger pool of players so we’ve got to work out what our best batting line-up is.” Clarke said David Warner and Ed Cowan, who opened for the Tests against South Africa and Sri Lanka, had “put their hand up against the No.1 Test team in the world (South Africa)”. “I think it’s a really positive sign that we’ve got so many options in our squad,” he said. Clarke, who made his Test debut with a century in India in 2004, said he would also be happy to bowl his off-spin. “I’m more than happy to bowl as much as I need to bowl,” he said.




Australian rugby Wild Blue Jackets Six league clubs probed wallop Sharks 6-2 ‘Confidential process’

MELBOURNE, Feb 12, (RTRS): Anti-doping officials have met with six top-flight Australian rugby league clubs named in a national probe into the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs that has sent shockwaves through the sports-mad country. The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) briefed National Rugby league (NRL) clubs Manly, Cronulla, Newcastle, Penrith, North Queensland and Canberra on their investigation process on Tuesday after the clubs confirmed they were under scrutiny in the wake of an explosive report released last week. The report, the result of a year-long investigation by Australia’s top criminal intelligence unit, had already implicated two Australian Rules football teams, rocking a country long proud of its image as a nation that plays fair. ASADA met with the affected NRL clubs as a group and individually on Tuesday, the NRL said, and senior officials at the teams put on a brave face after the briefings. “We’re probably a low-to-medium risk around this,” Manly CEO David Perry told reporters. “It’s going to take a bit of time. It’s a confidential process. “Even those that (investigators) do speak to aren’t necessarily guilty of any wrongdoing, it’s just a process that we go through. “If it’s bigger than we think, well, you know, then we need to clean the game up, but based on my discussions today I’m Australia’s Con Foley vies with Kenya fairly confident that we’re all OK.” Penrith boss Phil Gould, who last week defender during Day 3 of the USA Sevens Vegas HSBC Sevens World Series slammed investigators for releasing the Las Round 5 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las doping report without providing details of Vegas, NV, Feb 10. (AFP) affected clubs and players, said he understood it would be a drawn-out process. “I’ve been well informed of what they are looking at and how long this process will take and how serious it is and at the end of the day we totally support the process and totally support the work the NRL is doing,” he told reporters. Al-Hajri wins medal: Athlete

Hurricanes blow out Islanders

Best of the Rest


Chris Butler #44 of the Calgary Flames knocks Cal Clutterbuck #22 of the Minnesota Wild off his feet during the NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on Feb 11, in Calgary, Canada. (AFP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb 12, (AP): Brandon Dubinsky had a goal and an assist and the Columbus Blue Jackets had their biggest offensive output of the season against the NHL’s stingiest defense in a 6-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night. James Wisniewski and Nikita Nikitin added goals, Cody Goloubef picked up his first NHL goal and Vinny Prospal and Mark Letestu tied a franchise record by scoring 8 seconds apart in the third period. Nick Foligno and Matt Calvert each had two assists.

ICE HOCKEY Columbus scored 43 seconds into the game, added two goals 1:11 apart in the second period and then scored three goals in the opening 5:45 of the final period. Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski scored for the Sharks, who have lost five in a row after a 7-0 start. Hurricanes 6, Islanders 4 In Uniondale, New York, Alexander Semin netted his 200th NHL goal, Jiri Tlusty scored twice and had two assists, and Carolina scored four third-period goals and overcame three deficits to send New York to its fifth straight loss. Semin got help on his milestone goal as his shot from the right-wing boards hit the helmet of Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic and caromed off the post past goalie Rick DiPietro at 5:33 of the third period. Carolina tied it 3-3 just 30 seconds into the third when Semin fed a pass to Tlusty for his first goal. Eric Staal scored at 9:09 to make it 5-3, and Tlusty added an empty-netter with 10.3 seconds remaining to give him a four-point night. Former Islander Tim Wallace and Jeff Skinner also had goals for the Hurricanes, who are 3-1-1 on a trip that ends Tuesday at New Jersey. Maple Leafs 5, Flyers 2 In Toronto, Colton Orr and Matt Frattin scored goals 28 seconds apart in the second period and Toronto got its second victory in six games at home this season. Dion Phaneuf, Clarke MacArthur and James van Riemsdyk, against his former team, also scored for Toronto.

NHL Results/Standings WASHINGTON, Feb 12, (RTRS): Results and standings from the NHL games on Monday. Toronto 5 Philadelphia 2 Carolina 6 NY Islanders 4 Columbus 6 San Jose 2

Los Angeles


St Louis




Colorado (OT)




Calgary (SO)


Western Conference

Eastern Conference

Central Division

Atlantic Division New Jersey Pittsburgh NY Rangers Philadelphia NY Islanders

W 8 8 6 5 4

L 1 5 5 7 7

OTL 3 0 0 1 1

GF 33 41 29 31 36

GA 24 32 27 38 43

Pts 19 16 12 11 9

GF 29 39 31 31 39

GA 21 33 23 30 46

Pts 17 16 14 13 11

Chicago Detroit Nashville St Louis Columbus

Boston Toronto Ottawa Montreal Buffalo

L 1 5 4 4 7

OTL 1 0 2 1 1

Vancouver Edmonton Minnesota Calgary Colorado

W 6 6 5 4 3

L 4 5 5 6 8

OTL 1 0 1 1 1

OTL 2 1 4 1 2

GF 42 33 24 39 30

GA 25 32 26 40 41

Pts 22 15 14 13 10

W 7 5 6 3 4

L 2 4 5 4 6

OTL 2 3 1 3 1

GF 33 28 26 26 23

GA 24 30 30 35 29

Pts 16 13 13 9 9

GF 39 36 35 26 26

GA 31 28 35 28 32

Pts 17 16 14 13 10

Pacific Division

Southeast Division Carolina Tampa Bay Winnipeg Florida Washington

L 0 4 3 5 7

Northwest Division

Northeast Division W 8 8 6 6 5

W 10 7 5 6 4

GF 34 43 30 25 30

GA 34 32 37 40 41

Pts 13 12 11 9 7

Anaheim San Jose Phoenix Dallas Los Angeles

W 8 7 6 6 4

L 2 3 5 5 5

OTL 1 2 2 1 2

Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

But the win came at a cost. James Reimer stopped 12 shots before being replaced by Ben Scrivens early in the second period with what appeared to be a left leg injury. Scrivens finished with 32 saves. Kings 4, Blues 1 In St Louis, Jeff Carter scored twice for the first time since the Stanley Cup clincher, helping Los Angeles keep slumping St Louis down.

Brian Elliott made 19 saves in a surprise start for the Blues a day after Jaroslav Halak was activated from injured reserve. Jonathan Bernier was solid with 21 saves in just his second start of the season for the Kings. Davis Drewiske made it 3-0 at 13:22 of the second period with his first goal of the season on a power play and Jarrett Stoll’s second goal of the season that made it 4-1 early

John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders in action against the Carolina Hurricanes during their game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Feb 11, in Uniondale, New York. (AFP)

in the third. Coyotes 3, Avalanche 2 In Denver, Shane Doan scored his second goal of the game at 4:01 of overtime and Mike Smith stopped 41 shots, helping Phoenix rally for the win over slumping Colorado. With time winding down, Avs defenseman Greg Zanon tried to clear the puck from behind his net, but it hit a referee’s stake in the corner and bounced to Kyle Chipchura. He quickly passed it over to a wideopen Doan, who shot it over the shoulder of Semyon Varlamov. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the game-tying goal for the Coyotes midway through the final period as the team won for the fourth time in five games. Wild 2, Flames 1, SO In Calgary, Alberta, Mikko Koivu scored the winner in the shootout and Minnesota got its first road victory of the season. With each team having scored once in the shootout, Koivu sped in on Leland Irving and made a sharp move to his forehand to beat the Flames goaltender. Alex Tanguay was then stopped by the pad of Niklas Backstrom, sending Calgary to its eighth straight shootout defeat. Kyle Brodziak scored late in the second period for Minnesota.

The meeting came after Australia’s sports minister warned the country faced a grim fight to stamp out doping, which Australia’s top criminal intelligence unit said was fuelled by organised crime. “Sports would be foolish to think that they didn’t need to take the integrity of their sport seriously,” sports minister Kate Lundy told reporters. “The substance of the issue here is that we do have a fight on our hands. It’s a serious one. “Australians take their sport extremely seriously and as sport minister I will not stand by to allow this kind of thing to go on in Australian sport unchecked.” The revelations have plunged both rival football codes into crisis ahead of the start of their seasons in March. The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) report said it had found “widespread” use of banned performanceenhancing drugs among professional and amateur athletes, with links to gambling and organised crime. The report drew fire from elite athletes and some politicians, who demanded investigators name and shame offenders to protect the reputations of clean sportspeople. Lundy hit back at the criticism, however, and said it was up to others Gould to come forward or come clean. “I think it’s been frustrating for everybody,” she said. “Let’s remember it is in the hands of each club who believes it may have a problem, to put their hand up and be part of the solution.” Only one club out of the eight implicated came forward, the rest denying drug problems or claiming they were unaware of any. The Melbourne-based Essendon Bombers, one of the country’s oldest and most popular Australian Rules clubs, called a media conference last week to announce they had thrown themselves at the mercy of anti-doping authorities after becoming concerned about the legality of supplements administered to their players. Governing body, the Australian Football League, has declined to name the second Australian Rules club in the probe but has confirmed one of its players is under suspicion. Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett said auditors had spent a number of days going through his club’s records dating back to 2005. “They want us to confess to something. I’m racking my head what we’ve got to confess to,” Bennett, one of the league’s most successful coaches, told reporters. “I’ve been through the staff, I’ve checked with all the players ... Whatever they’re looking for, it hasn’t happened in the past 18 months. So after that I’ve got no idea.” Penrith captain Kevin Kingston said he was confident his club was clean. “We trust our sports scientists. We don’t take anything out of the ordinary. I barely take protein myself,” he told reporters at Sydney airport. “I don’t think there is a drug problem at our club.” NRL chief executive David Smith, however, said his administration had been working with ASADA for a “number of weeks”. “I can’t comment on the outcome on the information we have so far. What I can say is that they’re serious matters,” he told reporters.

Mohammad Al-Hajri won the gold medal of junior category of the international Taekwondo Trelleborg Open 2013 held in Sweden. Head of Kuwait sports club’s delegation to the tournament, Waleed Al-Mershad told KUNA via phone that Al-Hajri won the medal after displaying some outstanding skills in the Korean martial art. As for the Kuwaiti team, the official lauded the performance of the group which did considerably well in the international competition which saw the participation of 1,130 Taekwondo practitioners from 45 states. (KUNA) ❑ ❑ ❑

Ex-SA assistant coach jailed: The former assistant coach of South Africa’s national team has been sentenced to three years in prison for trying to fix a game. Phil Setshedi was sentenced Tuesday after he tried to bribe a man he thought was a referee with 2,000 rand ($220) to influence the outcome of a league promotion playoff in 2011. The man posing as the referee was an undercover police officer. South Africa’s National Prosecuting Agency says Setshedi received three years in prison with another five years suspended. He was found guilty of corruption in December. The NPA says it is South Africa’s first conviction and sentencing for match-fixing in football. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑ Kaplan to retire in 2013: Jonathan Kaplan, rugby’s most experienced test referee, will retire at the end of the 2013 season. The South African Rugby Union says the 46-year-old Kaplan will leave after 21 years on South Africa’s elite referee panel. Kaplan has taken charge of a record 68 tests and refereed more Super rugby (99) and Currie Cup (150) matches than anyone else. Kaplan says on Tuesday “rugby has been my life for the past few decades and I’ve made the decision with a tinge of sadness. But the time has come to move on.” The South African officiated at four World Cups, in three Super rugby finals and five Currie Cup finals. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑ Pakistan ‘A’ beat Afghanistan: Gulbodin Naib’s maiden hundred at any level failed to stop Pakistan ‘A’ winning the second one-day match against Afghanistan by six wickets here on Tuesday, as the hosts took the series 2-0. Naib, 21, hit a 93-ball 100 at number eight to lift Afghanistan from a precarious 77-6, hitting 13 boundaries and three sixes in a fighting 93-ball knock after pacemen Wahab Riaz (3-30) and Imran Khan (3-35) wrecked the visitors. Naib added 93 for the seventh wicket with Mirwais Ashraf who made 37 as the pair guided Afghanistan to 207-9 in their 50 overs. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Showdown moved to April: A showdown of National Hockey League division leaders postponed from last Saturday by a blizzard that struck the northeastern United States has been rescheduled for April 25, the NHL announced on Monday. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins and NHL referees were in place to play the game, but the emergency conditions in the entire New England region made travel for arena staff and spectators risky. The Bruins, 8-1-1, lead the Northeast division while Tampa Bay, 6-5, tops the Southeast division. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑ Vick restructures deal: The Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback job is up for grabs with Michael Vick taking part in the competition after restructuring his contract in order to remain in Philadelphia, the team said on Monday. Vick was due to make $15.5 million this season, a high price tag given his production the last two seasons, and the club had been expected to cut him if a restructuring was not agreed. Newly hired head coach Chip Kelly, who featured an up-tempo offense at the University of Oregon, told reporters he had examined Vick’s game film and thought he could be a good fit for what he has in mind with the Eagles. (RTRS)




‘Oly exit will hit sport’s finances’

Wrestling in shock as IOC votes to axe it from Games LAUSANNE, Feb 12, (RTRS): Wrestling was in a state of shock after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made a surprise recommendation on Tuesday to drop the sport from the 2020 Games. Contested in the first modern Olympics in 1896 and part of the ancient Games in Olympia, wrestling will now join seven other candidate sports battling for one spot in a revamped programme. It is unlikely, however, that it will get a reprieve when the IOC session in Buenos Aires votes on the recommendation in September. “This is not the end of the process, this is purely a recommendation,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told reporters following an Executive Board meeting. “It is the session which is sovereign. “It was a decision to look at the core sports, what works best for the Olympic games. This was the best programme for the 2020 Olympics. This is not about

what’s wrong with wrestling but what is good for the Games.” The vote came as a major surprise after other sports, including modern pentathlon and taekwondo, were seen as at risk of losing out due to their lower global appeal. “FILA was greatly astonished by today’s recommendation of the IOC Executive Board not to maintain

OLYMPICS wrestling among the 25 core sports for the 2020 Olympic Games,” the international wrestling federation said in a statement. It said the federation was represented in 180 countries, “with wrestling being the national sport in a fair amount of them and the only possibility for athletes to represent their country at the Olympic Games, thus contributing to their univer-

sality. “FILA will take all necessary measures to convince the IOC... of the aberration of such decision against one of the founding sports of the ancient and modern Olympic Games,” it said, adding it would meet next week to discuss its next steps. Board members were given a report on each of the Olympic sports which provided details on 39 criteria such as popularity, finances, tickets sold and governance, before a secret vote. “There were different rounds of voting necessary to come to this conclusion,” said IOC Vice President Thomas Bach. “It is an extremely difficult decision to take.” “I cannot look into the heads of my colleagues. Such a decision is never based on one single reason. It is always a series of reasons. Of course different members take a different approach.” “The common understanding is the purpose of this was to modernise, to look

into the future of the Olympics,” added Bach, a potential IOC presidential candidate later this year. While pentathlon and taekwondo have the support of senior IOC members, wrestling is not strongly represented in the IOC’s decision-making body. IOC sources told Reuters that in the secret ballot there were four sports battling to avoid the cut: field hockey, modern pentathlon, taekwondo and wrestling. “I am very surprised by the result,” board member and president of the International ice hockey federation Rene Fasel told Reuters. “Personally, I do not know why but that is what the majority wanted.” The IOC said 25 of the 26 Olympic sports were elected as core sports for the 2020 Games which will also include rugby and golf, making their first appearance in 2016. Wrestling joins baseball and softball, making a joint bid, martial arts karate and

wushu, rollersports, wakeboarding, squash and sports climbing as candidates for the one empty spot. Baseball and softball were taken off the programme in 2005. The IOC executive board will meet in St Petersburg in May to determine which of these will be put to the vote in September. Wrestling had 344 athletes at the London Olympics, competing in grecoroman and freestyle disciplines. Women’s events were introduced at the Athens 2004 Olympics. Russian wrestling federation chief Mikhail Mamiashvili was shocked by the decision but was confident his sport would remain in the Games. “I’m absolutely convinced this ancient sport will retain its status,” Mamiashvili, who won an Olympic gold medal in 1988, told Reuters. “But FILA (the world amateur wrestling federation), the whole wrestling community must take a more active role in the process. We need to

make some drastic changes in the sport, make it more attractive, especially for TV audience,” he said. Olympic exclusion will be a major blow to the sport’s popularity and financial stability as the Games are a global platform for the promotion of smaller, less established sports. “It is very unfortunate,” Satpal Singh, coach of India’s twice Olympic medal winner Sushil Kumar, told Reuters. “It is being played from the first Olympics and is played all over the world.” International Modern Pentathlon Union president Klaus Schormann welcomed the news. “In the last few years we acted and took decisions to make our sport more telegenic and more compact,” Schormann told Reuters. “So every good news is further motivation for us.” Madrid, Tokyo and Istanbul are bidding to host the 2020 Olympics with a decision also to be taken in September.

Austria win 1st ‘gold’ at worlds Germany edge Canada for 3rd SCHLADMING, Austria, Feb 12, (Agencies): Slalom star Marcel Hirscher led Austria to gold in the team event at the World Ski Championships on Tuesday with a convincing 4-0 victory over Sweden in the final. It was a much-needed tonic for the host nation which had garnered just two bronze medals after the opening six events. However, there were a host of medal winners and big names missing from the team event, even though Hirscher and women’s super-combined gold medallist Maria Hoefl-Riesch did choose to compete. It was a dramatic, high-octane spectacle for a raucous, flag-waving, horn-blowing, bell-ringing crowd of 20,000, four mixed-sex parallel slaloms raced between 15 teams in a quick-fire, knock-out format. The parallel slalom down the brightly floodlit Planai course featured blue and red gates on either side, with matching dye sprayed in crescents onto the snow to help the racers, a visual feast for ski lovers. First up for Austria in the final was Nicole Hosp, who opened Austria’s medal count here


The teams of Sweden, silver, Austria, gold, and Germany, bronze (from left), celebrate during the flower ceremony for the Nations Team event at the Alpine skiing world championships in Schladming, Austria, Feb 12. (AP)

Inter fined for fans’ racist chants about Balotelli

‘Racists may have gone step too far’ JERUSALEM, Feb 12, (Agencies): The torching of Beitar Jerusalem’s offices by fans angry at the signing of two Muslim players has sparked a major outcry which both supporters and ex-players hope could end decades of open racism at the club. Last week arson attack, which caused heavy damage to a room used as the club’s museum, came just hours after prosecutors filed charges against four fans accused of racist chants aimed at the two new players from Chechnya. Along with trophies, pictures and other memorabilia, a pair of boots and a jersey worn by former Beitar and Israel star Eli Ohana went up in smoke. But for Ohana it will be a small price to pay if it ends up spelling an end to years of xenophobia. “If it will be the straw that

SOCCER breaks the camel’s back and fixes the problem, then they can burn another two rooms,” he told Maariv newspaper. “If this can be wiped out, it will be worth even this price.” And many of the fans feel the same. “They burned the past, don’t let them burn our future,” the official supporters’ website wrote in a report on the attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the arson as “shameful.” “Lately, we have seen displays of extremism that we find unacceptable. These must be uprooted, of course, from the world of sports,” the Israeli leader said on Sunday. “I am pleased that the prime minister for the first time referred to this issue,” said Ohana, who retired from the

Real thrash Utd in financial stakes MADRID, Feb 12, (RTRS): Since Real Madrid last played Manchester United, getting a 6-5 aggregate win in the 200203 Champions League quarter-finals, the Spanish side have given their English rivals a thorough drubbing in the financial arena. United, who play at Real’s Bernabeu stadium in Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg, topped Deloitte’s Money League for eight years between 1997 and 2004. Then the Spanish champions surged past and they have led the way in annual income ever since. Real became the first club to surpass the 500-million-euro

pitch in 1998. “It is a sign that the issue has reached the highest levels.” Former Beitar and Israel midfielder Danny Neuman said the trouble was caused by a hardcore of around 500 to 1,000 fans who

($669-million) threshold last season, according to Deloitte’s latest rankings published last month. Their earnings of 513 million euros beat La Liga rivals Barcelona into second place on 483 million, with United a distant third on 396 million. “The Spanish club’s revenue growth has been remarkable,” Deloitte wrote. Real have used a large chunk of those extra earnings to strengthen their squad, including buying Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo from United in 2009 for a record fee of 94 million euros. According to the latest transfer review by Prime Time Sport,

belong to a supporters group called “La Familia” which makes up about 10 percent of the regular crowd. ❑

Inter Milan have been fined

This July 8, 2007 file photo shows people playing soccer in the mud of the Elbe River near Brunsbuettel, some ten kilometers off the North Sea, northern Germany. Soccer is falling under a cloud of suspicion as never before, sullied by a multibillion-dollar web of match-fixing that is staining increasingly larger parts of the world’s most popular sport. (AP)

Real have spent 428 million euros on players over the past four seasons, more than double United’s 193 million. While United have failed to keep pace with Real in revenue growth in recent years, they did seal a record $559-million deal with General Motors for Chevrolet to become their shirt sponsor for seven years beginning in 2014/15. That, and success on the pitch in domestic and continental competition, could see them challenging Real and Barca, who earn far more than United from television rights, for the top spots again in the future, Deloitte said.

15,000 euros ($20,100) after fans chanted racist slogans about their former striker Mario Balotelli during a Serie A match on Sunday. Balotelli, who joined rivals AC Milan from Manchester City last month, was the target of abuse by Inter fans during their 3-1 home win over Chievo Verona. Serie A said in a statement that Inter had been fined because their fans “directed insulting chants and expressions of racial discrimination towards the player of another team.” Balotelli, who joined Inter in 2007 before moving to City in 2010, had upset Inter fans during his time at the club by wearing an AC Milan shirt on a television programme. Milan and Inter are due to meet in Serie A on Feb 24 and Inter president Massimo Moratti said he hoped there would be no repeat of the abuse. “I am very sorry,” he told reporters when asked about Sunday’s events. “I hope it doesn’t happen in the derby.”

with a super-combined bronze. Any threat was nullified when her opponent Maria PietilaeHolmner skied out. Then came Hirscher, the defending World Cup overall champion, who scorched down the icy slope in 19.08sec to beat Mattias Hargin and hand his team a 2-0 lead. Michaela Kirchgasser trumped Frida Hansdotter to send the crowd wild with the gold in the bag, while Philipp Schoedrghofer was awarded victory in his tie after Andre Myhrer had skidded into his path. Germany stole bronze from Canada thanks to Fritz Dopfer’s victory by 0.01sec over Philip Brown in the fourth race of their third-place run-off. After Lena Duerr had beaten Brittany Phelan, Michael Janyk pulled one back for Canada with a close-fought win over Felix Neureuther. Erin Mielzynski then edged Hoefl-Riesch, but Dopfer saved the day with his run. Neureuther, Germany’s big hope for the men’s individual slalom was given an early scare when Croatian Filip Zubcic took him out in the opening round. The Croat lost his edge and slid with full force into the German, who lost a ski in the impact and was left nursing a sore right knee, hardly the preparation he needed for the worlds-ending slalom on Sunday. But Neureuther came back to help Germany scrape past defending champions France by four-hundredths of a second in the quarterfinals after Tessa Worley had trumped HoeflRiesch and the tie ended 2-2. Austria racked up a morale-boosting 4-0 victory over Germany in the semifinal, with Lena Duerr and Hoefl-Riesch both skiing out as Hirscher and Schoerghofer ruled the roost over Neureuther and Dopfer. Sweden had dispatched Canada, for whom Janyk again performed well to send out a warning that the men’s slalom would not be all about Hirscher. “That was cool, I had a super feeling,” said Hirscher, who is among the favorites in the individual giant slalom and slalom events later this week. “It was good fun and I think we all

Austria’s Michaela Kirchgasser celebrates winning the gold medal during the Nations Team event at the Alpine skiing world championships in Schladming, Austria, Feb 12. (AP)

US ski team enjoying

Funding scheme seen paying off SCHLADMING, Austria, Feb 12, (RTRS): Even without their two biggest names, Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller, the American ski team are enjoying a great world championships, with two golds for Ted Ligety and a bronze for Julia Mancuso. Behind their success lies a well-financed back-up scheme, launched more than a decade ago for the Salt Lake City Olympics, that makes the United States Alpine ski team one of the richest in the world. Since the scheme was set up ahead of the 2002 Winter Games, money has been pouring into the sport in the US thanks to a board of trustees comprising business leaders and fans which collects funds for the country’s ski association (USSA). As a result, the annual budget of the USSA is estimated at 25 million dollars, one of the largest in the Alpine ski world, and has allowed the team to build state-ofthe-art equipment and training facilities. A superb training centre was constructed in Park City to help the racers get the best possible pre-season physical training and the advice of full-time medical staff.

performed really well.” Hirscher said winning the first gold was important for the team ahead of the technical races. “It’s a huge relief for us,” Hirscher said. “Our achievements were not all that bad but we had several fourth places and they don’t count at world championships.”

Boost anti-drugs effort: WADA LONDON, Feb 12, (AFP): Football must do more in the global battle against drugs in sport, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey said on Tuesday, supporting claims by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that current policy was too lax. Amid questions about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in a number of sports, Wenger recently called for greater use of biological passports and increased testing for the blood-booster erythropoetin (EPO) in “the world game.” “Whatever the sport, wherever it is in the world, more can be done,” Fahey told a news conference in London, against the backdrop of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal that saw the US cyclist stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for drug use. “I saw some examples recently, in tennis, where senior players were saying they were not tested terribly regularly,” Fahey said. “I would say tennis can do more, as can football do more,” the Australian added. “We’re not in the business — and nor is any anti-doping

agency — of reacting to rumour. “On the other hand, on a daily basis we get frequently anonymous information at our headquarters and we ensure the appropriate body is given that information to follow up. “So we don’t ignore it but one has to work on facts and it is not unusual for a losing team to blame something other than the ability of themselves for the reason for their defeat so you have to be a little bit careful and work on the facts. “I simply say this about football — they are not testing enough for EPO. They can do more and we encourage them to do more. “Again, use intelligence, not just more tests. While testing is a good deterrent factor and may be an effective way of catching people, I would argue the athlete biological passport is a very effective tool. “Why isn’t football using it? Again, why aren’t the four football codes (football, rugby union, rugby league and Australian rules) in my country (Australia) using it?




Georgetown tops Marquette

Jayhawks overwhelm Kansas State 83-62 LAWRENCE, Kan, Feb 12, (AP): Ben McLemore celebrated his 20th birthday. Jeff Withey celebrated another record. Kansas celebrated things getting back to normal. After struggling through their longest losing streak in eight years, a maddening three-game skid, the 14th-ranked Jayhawks returned to the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse on Monday night and took out all their pent up frustration on in-state rival Kansas State. McLemore, serenaded by the raucous crowd, scored 30 points. Withey had 17 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks to break Greg Ostertag’s school record for career rejections. And the high-flying Jayhawks got back to their winning ways with an 83-62 rout of the 10th-ranked Wildcats, forging a tie with them for first place in the Big 12. Played it for the first time in a while. The Jayhawks had lost three straight for the first time since February 2005, a stretch that included a loss to TCU, which

still hasn’t defeated anybody else in conference play. Their offense had been abysmal, their defense not much better, and fans were starting to worry. This one ought to set them at ease. The Jayhawks used two big runs in the first half to take a 47-29 lead at the break, and then thwarted every rally the veteran Wildcats tried to muster down the stretch.

BASKETBALL The result has become predictable: Kansas won for the 11th time in 12 games between the schools, and for the 46th time in their last 49 meetings, prompting the student section to chant “This is our state!” once again in the closing minutes. Rodney McGruder had 20 points and Angel Rodriguez added 17 for the Wildcats. But they never seemed to be in the game, despite riding a four-game winning streak and coming into one of college basketball’s best venues as the high-

er ranked team for the first time since Feb 20, 1982. They were outrebounded 41-23. They watched Kansas outscore them 19-2 on second-chance baskets. They were dominated in the paint, 34-16. Most of the Jayhawks’ struggles the past two weeks have centered on their offense, which had produced just 13 points in the first half of that embarrassing loss to TCU last Wednesday night. That wasn’t much of a problem against the Wildcats. McLemore was 9 of 13 from the field and 6 of 10 from 3. Kevin Young had 13 points, Travis Releford added 10, and Naadir Tharpe had seven points with eight assists and only one turnover. Then there was Withey, whose 263 blocks not only broke Ostertag’s school record but drew him within one of the Big 12 record, held by Chris Mihm of Texas. He’ll have plenty more chances as the Jayhawks (20-4, 8-3 Big 12) pursue their ninth straight Big 12 championship, a title

Charlotte Bobcats’ Byron Mullens (22) holds onto the ball as Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce (34) falls on him during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, NC, Feb 11. (AP)

the Wildcats (19-5, 8-3) are also eyeing. Kansas made life miserable for the Wildcats from the opening tip. Young, their all-energy forward, started their big first-half with a dunk off a nifty feed from Tharpe, one of six assists he had in the first half. Withey was the recipient of Young’s feed on the next trip, and McLemore’s 3 from the wing forced the Wildcats to call time out. It didn’t do much to ebb the tide. Kansas put together another 14-3 run a few minutes later, and then used a 12-3 charge fueled by Tharpe and McLemore to take a 40-19 lead with 3:26 remaining in the first half. Kansas ended up shooting 58.6 percent from the field, and 5 of 10 from beyond the arc, in taking a 47-29 halftime lead. It was the most points the offensively troubled Jayhawks had scored in a half since putting up 53 in the first half against American on Dec. 29. Kansas State got within 58-43 early in the second half, but Withey stopped the

comeback. Georgetown 63, Marquette 55 In Washington, Georgetown coach John Thompson III was so focused on the details of the game that he claimed not to notice a momentum swing when Marquette counterpart Buzz Williams was called for a technical foul in the second half. But his point guard felt it. “Yeah, absolutely,” the Hoyas’ Markel Starks said. “Absolutely.” The 18th-ranked Golden Eagles were making a run at No. 15 Georgetown, having closed a 10-point deficit to three when Williams got T’d up for arguing an out-ofbounds call along the baseline with 12:13 to play. The Hoyas responded with an 8-1 run immediately after the call, and Marquette didn’t get closer than eight points the rest of the way in Georgetown’s 63-55 victory Monday night. “I was just hollering at somebody that

would respond,” Williams said. “We can make a big deal out of it if you want. I got a technical. I’m sorry. I may get a technical again next year — that’s my average — and it’ll probably be on the road.” Otto Porter scored 11 of his 21 points after the technical, Starks finished with 16 points, and Georgetown scored 24 points off 19 turnovers to move into a tie with the Golden Eagles for second place in the Big East. The Hoyas (18-4, 8-3 Big East) won their sixth straight and avenged a 49-48 loss at Marquette on Jan. 5. Jamil Wilson scored 13 points to lead the Golden Eagles (17-6, 8-3), who fell out of a first-place tie with Syracuse (8-2). Chris Otule scored eight of Marquette’s first 11 points but had only three the rest of the game. Williams indeed has five technical fouls in his five seasons at Marquette, according to the school, but this was a case of using up his reservoir of goodwill long before the call that cost him.

Oklahoma forward Romero Osby (rear), and TCU forward Adrick McKinney (front), reach for a loose ball in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla, Feb 11. (AP)

Bobcats halt Boston’s streak N. Dame downs McGraw disappointed

Louisville 93-64

Minnesota goes back to winning ways CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, Feb 12, (AP): Byron Mullens had 25 points and 18 rebounds, and the Charlotte Bobcats defeated Boston 94-91 Monday night to snap the Celtics’ seven-game winning streak. Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics, but missed a key 18-footer that would have given Boston the lead late in the game. Paul Pierce and Avery Bradley had chances to send the game into overtime in the final seconds, but missed open 3-pointers. Ramon Sessions had 19 points for the Bobcats, including the go-ahead jumper from 18 feet with 25.7 seconds left. Kemba Walker had 18 points, six assists and six rebounds, and Gerald Henderson chipped in with 16 points. Charlotte snapped a sevengame skid. Jeff Green had 18 points for the Celtics and Paul Pierce finished with 13 points, eight assists and eight rebounds. Timberwolves 100, Cavaliers 92 In Cleveland, Luke Ridnour scored 21 points, Ricky Rubio added 13 and 10 assists and Minnesota snapped an eight-game road losing streak. Ridnour dropped a critical 3-pointer with 1:43 left for the banged-up Timberwolves, who hadn’t won on the road since Jan. 3 star center Kevin Love’s last game before he was lost indefinitely with a broken hand. Nikola Pekovic added 16 points and 10 rebounds as Minnesota ended a four-game losing streak and improved to just 4-16 since losing Love. Kyrie Irving scored 20 points and Tristan Thompson had 16 for the Cavs, who were within 82-81 in the fourth before Ridnour sparked a 10-2 run by the Timberwolves. Ridnour had 13 points in the final 12 minutes. Clippers 107, 76ers 90 In Philadelphia, Chris Paul had 21 points and 11 assists, Blake Griffin scored 20 points and the Clippers cruised past Philadelphia. Jamal Crawford also scored 20 points and Matt Barnes had 11 for the Pacific Divisionleading Clippers. Eric Bledsoe scored 10 points while DeAndre Jordan grabbed 10 rebounds. Los Angeles closed out its season-high eight-game road trip at 4-4, including consecutive wins at New York and Philadelphia. The Clippers won the finale with ease without guard Chauncey Billups and forward Caron Butler. Both players were nursing sore lower backs and were replaced in the starting lineup by Matt Barnes and Willie Green. Nick Young led the Sixers with 29 points while Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Jeremy Pargo had 10 each. Spencer Hawes had 10 rebounds. Nets 89, Pacers 84, OT In Indianapolis, Brook Lopez scored 25 points and Brooklyn opened overtime on a 93 run to pull away from Indiana.

Play interrupted by fan violence

Red Star beat Partizan in Cup final KRAGUJEVAC, Serbia, Feb 12, (AP): Red Star beat Partizan 78-69 in Serbia’s basketball cup final that was played Monday in an empty arena after clashes between rival fans stopped play at the weekend. Violence Sunday erupted in the third quarter when fans invaded the court and hurled smoke bombs during the match between the Belgrade archrivals. The score was tied at 43-43.

Because of the clashes, the match was continued without fans on Monday. Violence at sports events is frequent in Serbia despite new laws that include prison terms for those involved and heavy fines for the clubs. Similar violence marred the Greek Cup final in Athens on Sunday, forcing the game to be suspended for an hour before Panathinaikos finished off an 81-78 win over archrival Olympiakos.

The Nets ended a five-game losing streak at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and won for just the second time in games overall despite playing without injured guard Deron Williams. Indiana lost its second straight home game in overtime, the losses coming on the heels of a 15-game home winning streak. George Hill scored 22 points and Roy Hibbert added 12 on a night the Pacers shot just 34.4 percent from the field and All-Star Paul George finished with five points. Hornets 105, Pistons 86 Auburn Hills, Michigan, Ryan Anderson scored 31 points, Robin Lopez had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and New Orleans won for the third time in eight games. New Orleans had lost of five of seven coming in, but was in control for the final 40 minutes even though Eric Gordon sat out to rest his knee. Wearing their purple, green and gold Mardi Gras jerseys, New Orleans finished with 10 blocks to just three for the

Pistons. Al-Farouq Aminu added 12 points and 14 rebounds. Wizards 102, Bucks 90 In Milwaukee, Rookie Brandon Beal scored a season-high 28 points to help Washington to a rare road win. The Wizards have won four consecutive games and 11 of 18. They are 10-7 since John Wall returned from injury and won for only the fourth time in 25 road games this year. Monta Ellis had 24 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for Milwaukee, and Ersan Ilyasova added 19 points and nine rebounds. Leading-scorer Brandon Jennings was held to seven points, missing 14 of 17 shots. The Bucks have dropped four consecutive games and six of seven, but hold the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They didn’t lose any ground to the team closest to them as Philadelphia lost 107-90 to the Los Angeles Clippers. Spurs 103, Bulls 89

In Chicago, Kawhi Leonard had a careerhigh 26 points and Danny Green scored 18 on Monday night, helping the short-handed San Antonio Spurs beat the Chicago Bulls 103-89 without their three biggest stars. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were all out with injuries, and swingman Stephen Jackson also missed the game due to “personal business,” according to the team. And the NBA-best Spurs still had enough talent to beat one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams in its building. Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter had 16 points

Miami vs Oklahoma ESPN (04:00 Local, Thursday) LA Clippers vs LA Lakers ESPN (06:30 Local, Thursday) apiece for San Antonio, which improved the league’s best road record to 19-10. Nando De Colo, subbing for Parker, had nine points and seven assists in his second career start. Nate Robinson scored 20 points and Richard Hamilton had 16 for the Bulls. Hawks 105, Mavericks 101 In Dallas, Josh Smith had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Devin Harris made a key steal in the final minute for Atlanta, Al Horford had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Jeff Teague scored 20 points to help the Hawks win for just the second time in their last 10 road games. With the Hawks up 99-98, Harris poked the ball from a driving O.J. Mayo and saved the ball from going out of bounds with 23.9 seconds left. Atlanta preserved the victory by hitting its final six free throws.

SOUTH BEND, Indianapolis, Feb 12, (AP): Second-ranked Notre Dame got its inside game going in the second half and overwhelmed No. 10 Louisville. The Fighting Irish outrebounded the Cardinals 26-8 in the second half and outscored them 26-10 in the paint in the final 20 minutes en route to a 93-64 victory Monday night, the 18th straight win for Notre Dame. Natalie Achonwa led the Irish with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds. “We just really got the transition game going,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “We had a great rebounding effort in the second half. Defensively tightened up quite a bit. Shot the ball well. We really did everything we absolutely wanted to do.” Louisville managed to cut Notre Dame’s lead to seven points early in the second half, but the Irish quickly responded with a 10-0 run and the Cardinals didn’t threaten again. Playing on the same court where the McGraw two schools’ men’s teams played a five overtime game two nights earlier, the women’s game never came close to matching that intensity as the Irish dominated most of the way. Notre Dame (23-1, 11-0 Big East) improved to 7-1 against ranked opponents this season, its only loss coming against No. 1 Baylor in December. It also was the 118th victory for the senior class, the most in school history. McGraw was asked if that’s what she expected when she recruited Skylar Diggins, who finished with 21 points and seven assists. “I didn’t think we’d lose any,” McGraw joked. “I’m a little disappointed.” The loss ended a six-game winning streak for Louisville (205, 8-3), its second longest Big East winning streak since joining the league in 2005-06. Bria Smith, who led the Cardinals with 18 points, blamed Louisville’s defensive play. “‘’We were just unfocused on defense. They went on their runs and we didn’t know exactly what we were doing,” she said. “I mean we have a play to go by. We just didn’t execute well.” Achonwa said the Irish were more physical and aggressive in the second half, noting that the Irish had 26 free throw attempts to seven for the Cardinals. Louisville coach Jeff Walz noticed that as well.

NBA Results/Standings WASHINGTON, Feb 12, (RTRS): Results and standings from the NBA games on Monday. LA Clippers 107 Philadelphia 90 Charlotte 94 Boston 91 Minnesota 100 Cleveland 92

NY Knicks Brooklyn Boston Philadelphia Toronto

Indiana Chicago Milwaukee Detroit Cleveland

Georgetown guard Markel Starks (5) celebrates after a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Marquette, Feb 11, in Washington. (AP)

Miami Atlanta Washington Orlando Charlotte

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L 32 17 30 22 27 24 22 28 19 32 Central Divison W L 31 21 30 21 25 25 20 33 16 36 Southeast Division W L 34 14 28 22 15 35 15 36 12 39

Brooklyn New Orleans San Antonio Washington Atlanta

PCT GB .653 .577 3-1/2 .529 6 .440 10-1/2 .373 14

Oklahoma City Denver Utah Portland Minnesota

PCT GB .596 .588 0-1/2 .500 5 .377 11-1/2 .308 15

LA Clippers Golden State LA Lakers Sacramento Phoenix

PCT GB .708 .560 7 .300 20 .294 20-1/2 .235 23-1/2

San Antonio Memphis Houston Dallas New Orleans

89 105 103 102 105

Indiana Detroit Chicago Milwaukee Dallas

Western Conference Northwest Division W L 39 12 33 19 28 24 25 26 19 30 Pacific Division W L 37 17 30 21 24 28 19 33 17 35 Southwest Division W L 41 12 32 18 28 25 22 29 18 34

84 (OT) 86 89 90 101

PCT GB .765 .635 6-1/2 .538 11-1/2 .490 14 .388 19 PCT .685 .588 .462 .365 .327

GB 5-1/2 12 17 19

PCT GB .774 .640 7-1/2 .528 13 .431 18 .346 22-1/2


ARAB TIMES, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2013 wednesday— (all times are kuwait local) 10:00 espn kicks-scottish football ............................... espn 11:00 hsbc sevens world series ........................... ten sports 13:30 live cricket twenty20 ............................... osn sport 2 14:30 world pool masters ................................ osn sports 3 15:00 wta qatar open-tennis .................. aljazeera sport+10 22:30 pga tour ................................................ osn sport 2 22:45 argentina vs paraguay-beach soccer ...... aljazeera sport+7 22:45 france vs germany-soccer ................ aljazeera sport+6



Juve deflate dominant Celtic PSG triumph at Valencia GLASGOW, Feb 12, (Agencies): Juventus secured a largely undeserved 3-0 win over Celtic in their Champions League last 16 first-leg tie on Tuesday after an otherwise backs-to-the-wall display to silence almost 60,000 passionate home fans at Parkhead. Alessandro Matri took advantage of a mistake by Celtic’s Efe Ambrose, who won the African Nations Cup with Nigeria on Sunday, to hand the Italians a thirdminute lead with Kelvin Wilson’s attempt to clear the ball on the line coming too late.


The Scottish champions, who beat Barcelona in the group stage, launched a series of assaults on Juve’s goal for the rest of the first half but Kris Commons wasted several chances and two penalty appeals against Stephan Lichtsteiner were ignored. The pace eased in a less frantic second period and the Serie A leaders increased their advantage through Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic late on to be perfectly placed to reach the quarter-finals when they host the return in Turin on

March 6. In Valencia, Spain, Paris Saint-Germain will take a 2-1 lead into the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Valencia, but a dramatic late turn of events handed the Spanish side a lifeline. Going into the 90th minute here at the Mestalla on

SOCCER Tuesday, the French league leaders appeared in cruise control thanks to first-half goals from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore. However, French international centre-back Adil Rami found the net in the final minute to keep Valencia in the tie, before PSG had Zlatan Ibrahimovic controversially sent-off for a studs-up challenge on Andres Guardado. The Swede, who has been criticised in the past for failing to produce his very best in the Champions League knockout stages, will now miss the return leg at the Parc des Princes next month, but at least PSG will have a lead to defend in that game. Despite the ending, for much of the evening this was a classic away European performance from the French league leaders, as Carlo Ancelotti’s side ceded possession to their hosts but were always a threat on the counter-attack. History suggested that this would be a major test for PSG, who were playing a knockout tie in Europe’s top club competition for the first time since 1995. Since then, Valencia had reached two Champions League finals, and had never been beaten by French opposition at their Mestalla home. However, PSG backed by massive investment from their Qatari owners are emerging as a major continental force, and they travelled to Spain with their confidence buoyed by a run of 12 matches without defeat in all competitions. Valencia have considerably improved since Ernesto Valverde took over as coach two months ago, and they had held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in their last home outing. However, they got off to a nightmare start to this game,

PSG’s midfielder Clement Chantome (left), vies with Valencia’s Mexican midfielder Jose Andres Guardado (right), during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match Valencia CF vs Paris Saint Germain at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia on Feb 12. (AFP)

with the lively Lucas Moura crashing a shot from 25 yards off the post as a prelude to the visitors’ opening goal. Lavezzi has been outstanding during PSG’s superb recent run, and it was no great surprise to see the Argentine break the deadlock as he played a lovely one-two with Pastore before sending in a shot that Vicente Guaita in the home goal really should have kept out. PSG allowed Valencia to dominate possession after that, but they were always a menace on the break, especially down the home side’s left, where the attack-minded Guardado had been forced to fill in for the injured Aly Cissokho and Jeremy

Mathieu. Lucas forced a save from Guaita at the end of a quick break, and Pastore was also denied after again combining neatly with Pastore, while all Valencia could offer in return was a Jonas header that passed high over the bar. They then fell further behind when Lucas turned the unfortunate Guardado inside-out on the right flank before picking out Pastore, whose first-time shot was too good for Guaita. Valverde made a double change at half-time, with Sergio Canales and Nelson Valdez replacing Ever Banega and Jonas, but the pattern of the game remained much the same.

Ronaldo faces former club

The Spanish side had plenty of the ball, but PSG came closest to scoring again, with Lavezzi squandering a glorious chance after being picked out by a brilliant Marco Verratti pass. Ibrahimovic almost netted a classy third goal after a onetwo with substitute Clement Chantome, who then saw his follow-up effort disallowed for offside. But then Valencia finally found a route back into the contest as Rami appeared unmarked in the area to head home a trademark dead-ball delivery from Tino Costa before Ibrahimovic was given his marching orders.

Keshi withdraws resignation

Clash of titans as Real host United Nigeria arrive home MADRID, Feb 12, (AFP): The world’s richest football clubs Real Madrid and Manchester United meet on Wednesday here in a Champions League last 16 first-leg tie described by Jose Mourinho as “the match the world is waiting for”. Alex Ferguson takes his United side to the Spanish capital after extending their lead at the top of the Premier League to 12 points with Sunday’s 2-0 win at home to Everton. “The world is not waiting for other matches in the Champions League so I hope we can give the world what they are waiting for,” purred Madrid boss Mourinho. The meeting also marks the latest instalment in the FergusonMourinho duel with the Scot emerging triumphant last time the pair locked horns as United disptached Mourinho’s former employers Inter Milan 2-0 on aggregate at the same stage of the 2008-09 competition. His current Madrid side is sixteen points behind Barcelona in La Liga and only the delivery of a tenth Champions League title to the famous old club would be enough to appease his critics in the Spanish capital. Mourinho’s reign at Madrid has been a tumultuous one this season, with a series of dressing room disputes between the Portuguese coach and his players. However, one of the club’s captains Sergio Ramos feels the tension in the Madrid camp has been overplayed and that his team are motivated for the United game. “It’s more a case of things that people said that weren’t true than a

reality of conflicts in the dressing room,” Ramos told English Sunday newspaper ‘The Observer’. “If there are problems in the dressing room or if the relationship is bad and stories are published that can create issues and affect you, it generates a problem.

Real vs United Al Jazeera Sport +3 22:00 local Donetsk vs Dortmund Al Jazeera Sport +5 22:00 local “But when there are no problems and people invent it, it does not matter,” added Ramos, who was dropped by Mourinho and told to train apart from the squad for sev-

eral weeks earlier this season. Despite the problems Madrid are enjoying some good form, losing only once in twelve outings in all competitions, and it is two years since they lost a Champions League game at the Santiago Bernabeu when Barcelona were the victors. Cristiano Ronaldo will face his old club on the back of another hat-trick in the 4-1 win over Sevilla on Saturday and his attacking partner Gonzalo Higuain is convinced their side can beat United in the Bernabeu. “With our individual quality and counter-attacking play we can do a lot of damage to United. We have to keep it solid at the back and find our winning mentality and team spirit,” he said. Madrid are almost at full strength and the inclusion or not of Portuguese centre-half Pepe is

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal (2nd left), runs with some of his teammates during a training session in Madrid, Spain, Feb 12. Real Madrid will play Manchester United Wednesday in the 1st leg of a round of 16 Champions League soccer match in Madrid. (AP)

Mourinho’s big dilemma. Pepe has recovered from an ankle injury in time, but has not played a minute since the turn of the year and only started training again last week. French youngster Raphael Varane or the experienced Ricardo Carvalho are the alternatives to partner Ramos in the centre of defence. The return of Xabi Alonso in midfield will be key for the Spaniards. He was rested against Sevilla after suffering discomfort last week and he missed the Spain friendly against Uruguay in midweek but trained on Monday and should be ready. United rested Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young and Shinji Kagawa against Everton, but with rivals Manchester City losing on Saturday, Ferguson did not introduce the wholesale changes he had promised. United are undefeated in fourteen games and Ferdinand told that former team-mate Ronaldo is the key man to stop. “You get as many people around the ball when he’s got it as possible, but Madrid are that good a side you have to make sure you’re set up right and that your team are in good positions all over the pitch to defend. “The fans appreciated him when he was here and since he’s been gone they sing his name. He came here a young boy and left a worldclass player. He showed a lot of respect when he left and still does,” Ferdinand added.

See Also Page 53

to heroes welcome ABUJA, Feb 12, (AFP): Nigeria’s Super Eagles arrived back home here on Tuesday, after winning the country’s first Africa Cup of Nations trophy in nearly two decades and were welcomed by adoring crowds ahead of meeting the president. Hundreds welcomed the team back at the airport in the capital of Abuja before an ceremony later in the afternoon at the National Stadium. They were also due to attend a reception on Tuesday, to be hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan. Along the road from the airport toward the city, school children dressed in their uniforms waited for the team convoy and waved Nigerian flags. Keshi The Nations Cup victory in South Africa has thrilled Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation but where the team has in recent years failed to play up to its potential. A 1-0 win over Burkina Faso, thanks to a winner from Sunday Mba, gave the football mad nation its first African championship since 1994. Meanwhile, Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has withdrawn his resignation after he guided the country’s team to a third Africa Cup of Nations triumph, he said on Tuesday. In a statement signed by the coach and made available by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Keshi said he will continue as the Super Eagles’ coach after the country’s sports minister intervened. “I have had cause to express my displeasure over some issues that happened in the course of our participation in the AFCON 2013, which my team won by the grace of God, especially concerning my relationship with the

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SOCCER Soweto, South Africa, on Sunday, has a fouryear contract. Nigeria’s unlikely hero in the final of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Sunday Mba, has said he hopes he has done enough to earn a dream move to Europe. On Sunday in Johannesburg, the 24-yearold Warri Wolves forward scored the goal that ended Nigeria’s 19-year wait for a continental glory as they won their third Nations Cup trophy at the expense of Burkina Faso. In the 1994 final in Tunisia, Emmanuel Amuneke came off the bench to fire two goals past Zambia and give the Super Eagles their second Nations Cup triumph after they first won the tournament on home soil in 1980. Amuneke, who was then playing for top Egyptian side Zamalek, would subsequently move to Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon and eventually Barcelona. “I hope I can also get a deal in Europe after what I achieved at the Nations Cup,” said the former Nigeria U17 star, who was also the match winner against star-studded Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals of the competition.

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Nigerian Football Federation, I have since had opportunity to discuss the various issues with all concerned. “I am therefore pleased to say that I have reconsidered my position and have decided to continue with my job,” according to a statement signed by Keshi. “I want to thank the Honourable Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, for his swift and kind intervention.” The 51-year-old Keshi, who took over as Nigeria coach in November 2011 and oversaw the team’s 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso in

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