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Meteor explodes…over 1,000 hurt Ten-ton rock spreads panic at hypersonic speed MOSCOW, Feb 15, (Agencies): A meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over Russia’s Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb Friday, its sonic blasts shattering countless windows and injuring about 1,100 people. The spectacle deeply frightened many Russians, with some elderly women declaring that the world was coming to an end. Many of the injured were cut by flying glass as they flocked to windows, curious about what had produced such a blinding flash of light. The meteor — estimated to be about 10 tons — entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 54,000 kph

(33,000 mph) and shattered into pieces about 30-50 kms (18-32 miles) above the ground, the Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement. Amateur video showed an object speeding across the sky about 9:20 am local time, just after sunrise, leaving a thick white contrail and an intense flash. “There was panic. People had no idea what was happening,” said Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelyabinsk, a city of 1 million about 1,500 kms (930 miles) east of Moscow. “We saw a big burst of light, then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud, thundering sound,” he told The Associated Press by telephone. The meteor hit less than a day before asteroid 2012 DA14 is to make the closest recorded pass by the Earth for a rock of its size — about 17,150 miles (28,000 kms). But the European Space Agency said its experts had determined there was no connection — just cosmic coincidence. The meteor released several kilotons of energy above the region, the Russian science academy said. According to NASA, it was about 15 meters (49 feet) wide before it hit the atmosphere, about one-third the size of the passing asteroid. Some meteorite fragments fell in a reservoir outside the town of Chebarkul. The crash left an eight-meter (26-foot) wide crater in the ice. The shock wave blew in an estimated 100,000 square meters (more than 1 million square feet) of glass, according to city officials, who said 3,000 buildings in the city were damaged. At one zinc factory, part of the roof collapsed. The Interior Ministry said about 1,100 people sought medical care after the shock wave and 48 of them were hospitalized. Most of the injuries were caused by flying glass, officials said. There was no immediate word on any deaths or anyone struck by space fragments.

Sonic booms

In this photo provided by a meteorite contrail is seen over Chelyabinsk on Feb 15. The meteor streaked across the sky of Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and reportedly injuring around 1,100 people, including many hurt by broken glass. (Inset): A handout photo taken on Feb 15, and provided by Chelyabinsk region police department shows people standing near a sixmetre (20-foot) hole in the ice of a frozen lake, reportedly the site where the meteor fell. (AP/AFP)

‘We are in a shooting gallery’


Asteroid buzzes...misses Earth

WASHINGTON: Iran tried to smuggle thousands of specialized magnets through China for its centrifuges, in an effort to speed its path to reaching nuclear weapons capability, according to a new US report. The report, by a renowned American nuclear scientist, said the operation highlighted the importance of China as a transit point for Iran’s nuclear program, and called for sanctions against any Chinese firms involved. The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) report said an Iranian front company used a Chinese commercial website to try to acquire 100,000 ringshaped magnets, which it is banned from importing under United Nations sanctions, in late 2011. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

MANAMA: Bahrain’s police fired tear gas at an opposition rally Friday marking the Continued on Page 8

US$/KD 0.28190/00

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Euro/KD 0.377

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+13.32 pts at closing, Feb 14

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+8.37 pts at closing, Feb 15

Yen/KD 0.003

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▼ Nasdaq ▼ FTSE

-0.90 pts at closing, Feb 15

▼ Nikkei ▼ Gold ▼ ▼

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$1,612.25 per oz (London)

NYMEX crude $95.45 pb Brent crude $117.43 pb 3-month $ LIBOR rate 0.29%

A Yemeni girl takes part in the opening ceremony of the Hala shopping festival in Kuwait City on Feb 15. The annual festival, which takes place until March 9, attracts thousands of people in the streets of Kuwait as it coincides with the National and Liberation Day celebrations. (AFP)

See Page 3

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida, Feb 15, (AP): An asteroid hurtled through Earth’s backyard Friday, coming within an incredible 17,150 miles (27,599 kms) and making the closest known flyby for a rock of its size. In a chilling coincidence, a meteor exploded above Russia’s Ural Mountains just hours before the asteroid zoomed past the planet. Scientists the world over, along with NASA, insisted the meteor had nothing to do with the asteroid since they appeared to be traveling in opposite directions. The asteroid is a much more immense object and delighted astronomers in Australia and elsewhere who watched it zip harmlessly through a clear night sky. “It’s on its way out,” reported Paul Chodas of NASA’s Near-Earth Object program at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Asteroid 2012 DA14, as it’s called, came closer to Earth than many communication and weather satellites orbiting 22,300 miles (35,887 kms)

up. Scientists insisted these, too, would be spared, and they were right. The asteroid was too small to see with the naked eye even at its closest approach around 2:25 pm EST (2025 GMT), over the Indian Ocean near Sumatra. The best viewing locations, with binoculars and telescopes, were in Asia, Australia and eastern Europe. Even there, all anyone could see was a pinpoint of light as the asteroid buzzed by at 17,400 mph (28,000 kph). As asteroids go, this one is a shrimp. The one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was 6 miles across. But this rock could still do immense damage if it ever struck given its 143,000-ton heft, releasing the energy equivalent of 2.4 million tons of TNT and wiping out 750 square miles (1,942-sq-km). By comparison, NASA estimated that the meteor that exploded over Russia was much smaller — about 49

Ancient Aussie asteroid ‘changed face of Earth’ SYDNEY, Feb 15, (RTRS): A strike from a big asteroid more than 300 million years ago left a huge impact zone buried in Australia and changed the face of the earth, researchers said on Friday. “The dust and greenhouse gases released from the crater, the seismic shock and the initial fireball would have incinerated large parts of the earth,” said Andrew Glikson, a visiting fellow at the Australian National University. The asteroid was bigger than 10 km (6 miles) in diameter, while the impact zone itself was larger than 200 km (120 miles) – the third largest impact zone in the world. “The greenhouse gases would stay in the atmosphere for tens of thousands of years,” Glikson told Reuters. The discovery was made after another researcher alerted Glikson to some unusual mineral deposits in the East Warburton Basin in South Australia. Glikson and colleagues analysed quartz grains drawn from deep beneath the earth’s surface in research starting in 2010 and the crater itself was recently identified, he added.

Continued on Page 8

Less salt could save thousands NEW YORK, Feb 15, (RTRS): The United States could prevent up to half a million deaths over the next decade if Americans cut their salt intake to within national guidelines, according to a US study. That finding, which comes the week New York City announced success toward its goals of cutting salt levels by one-quarter by 2014, is based on computer simulations using data from various studies on the effects of extra sodium on blood pressure and heart risks. The Institute of Medicine recommends most healthy people get 1,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day, with an upper limit of 2,300 mg. But the average American eats something like 3,600 mg a day, largely through processed food. “Reducing sodium intake is Continued on Page 8

Continued on Page 8

Online ‘sales tax’ bill revived in US

In this photo provided on Feb 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 2013 World Press Photo of the year by Paul Hansen, Sweden, for Dagens Nyheter, shows two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad who were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. Their father, Fouad, was also killed and their mother was put in intensive care. Fouad’s brothers carry his children to the mosque for the burial ceremony as his body is carried behind on a stretcher in Gaza City, Palestinian Territories, Nov 20, 2012. (AP) — See Page 8

WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (RTRS): US states could collect millions of dollars in online sales taxes, with members of both parties in Congress sponsoring legislation on Thursday that would resolve states’ decadeslong struggle to tax businesses beyond their borders. “Small businesses and states alike are suffering from the inability to collect due – not new – taxes from purchases made online,” said Republican Representative Steve Womack, from Arkansas, adding the legislation is a “bipartisan, bicameral, commonsense solution that promotes states’ rights and levels the playing field for our Main Street businesses.” Legislation on the Amazon tax, nicknamed for the colossal Internet retailer, has languished in Congress for years. Continued on Page 8

Meteors typically cause sizeable sonic booms when they enter the atmosphere because they are traveling so much faster than the speed of sound. Injuries on the scale reported Friday, however, are extraordinarily rare. “I was driving in the car across the square. Suddenly the square lit up with a bright, bright light, not a normal light,” said Chelyabinsk resident Vasily Rozhko. Witnesses of the falling meteor over the Russian Urals spoke of their shock and horror Friday at seeing a giant bright light in the sky that many thought was a crashing plane, followed by a loud explosion that blew out windows in many buildings. “There were literally three or four seconds of bright light, then back to normal,” Rozhko told Russian television. “As I could see from the car, this trail appeared. Then when I was driving, the explosion went off.”

Speculation Officials initially made no announcement about the source of the explosion, sparking frenetic speculation among locals, as members of the public turned to the Internet to post homemade videos. “It was as if a super-fast rocket flew past. One rocket flew past and then another one,” one caller, Galina Mikhailova, the told Echo of Moscow in Chelyabinsk radio station soon after the incident. “We were so scared, we ran out into the hallway... we heard booming explosions,” said another caller to the station, who did not give her name. The first to report the incident were members of the public, the acting head of the emergency situations ministry in the neighbouring Sverdlovsk region, Valery Ustinov, told regional news website. “At 9:20 am (0320 GMT) the calls began that people had seen a fiery trail and possibly unidentified objects falling to Earth.” Witnesses posted videos filmed on cell phones showing the flash and the white trail across the blue morning sky. Gulnara Dudka filmed the trail of the meteorite over Chelyabinsk, as witnesses shouted “Did something blow up?” and “What was it — a plane?” in a video she posted on YouTube. A minute-and-a-half after she began filming, a huge explosion rolled, triggering a Continued on Page 5




Other countries urged to follow suit

UN official lauds Kuwait’s humanitarian efforts in Mideast MADRID, Feb 15, (KUNA): A senior official of the United Nations has lauded Kuwait’s role on the regional arena particularly its substantial humane efforts for cooperation among states of the Gulf and Middle Eastern regions. The UN Alliance of Civilizations High Representative, President Jorge Sampaio, in a statement to KUNA

recently, expressed satisfaction at outcomes of the Kuwait-hosted international about conference for Syria, held on January 30, that was organized in response to calls by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon. Kuwait’s generosity in the humanitar-

ian field is an example that should be followed, said Sampaio, on sidelines of an international forum on diplomatic mediation in the Mediterranean. The UN representative expressed gratitude to Kuwait’s bids aimed at establishing peace, realizing freedoms and stability in the Middle East, namely its solidarity with the Syrian people and hastily support

for them at the hard times. He also hinted that he could not fathom wisdom behind the international community’s abstention from taking action to halt the blood spilling in Syria, a country torn apart with the ongoing violence. Kuwait, as expected, occupies the top status at the regional and Gulf levels in the field of freedoms of the press.

Moreover, Kuwait has been a pioneer in embracing democracy, respecting human rights, and freedom of expression. According to a recently-released report by the renowned international organization, Doctors Without Borders, Kuwait ranked 77th, among 179 countries, in the realm of freedom of the press

in 2012, thus it became the first in this respect at the Gulf and regional levels and the third among the Arab nations. Kuwait, at the recent conference for Syria, pledged to contribute with $300 million to aid the Syrian people. An equal sum was pledged by the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The conference was aimed at securing up to $1.5 billion to aid them.

‘Democratic development tied to free press and party system’ We need to change path in which we are moving: Al-Mulaifi By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s envoy, the Advisor at the Amiri Diwan Mohammad Abdullah Abu Al-Hassan delivered a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (KUNA)

‘They are lawmakers’

Delegation unhappy with envoy’s behavior KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: The Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation has lamented the behavior of Kuwait’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as they were preparing to meet His Royal Highness the Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, reports Al-Shahed daily. Kuwait’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sheikh Thamer Al-Jaber asked the Parliament Speaker Ali Al-Rashed about his accompanying delegation to which the latter replied (although the question looked provocative)

‘They are lawmakers’. They said the ambassador then gave instructions how to behave in front of HH the Saudi Crown Prince, affirming they are lawmakers from the tribes and must know well the traditions and how to deal in such situations. One of the members of the accompanying delegation inquired if Sheikh Thamer dares behave like this with (former Parliament Speakers Jassem) Al-Kharafi or (Ahmed) AlSaadoun or teach them how to behave in such circumstances.

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: If the government has an institutional vision to deal with the situation, it would have benefited from the security session that was held last month and sent a message indicating it is concerned with the security and stability of the citizens and the country, MP Ahmed Al-Mulaifi said in a press statement. He explained, managing the country and achieving a desired development must be based on a mutual thought and a strategic plan “a level that we have not yet reached because we still live in a closed circuit because the state’s institution is thinking in a wrong way.” Mulaifi asked, “Does our democracy evolve forward or we live a political and intellectual setback? He added, “perhaps what happened after the liberation has brought us to what we are suffering today in spite of the achievements and failures experienced by Kuwait before that period.” He pointed out some of the practices in the post-liberation period has significantly damaged the homeland through the conversion of the national tenderness into a material exchange and linking money with many issues until every work in favor of the country becomes associated with a material exchange.” He added, this period began with sowing seeds of sectarian friction “by some who are trying to win some of the small battles, but in the end the society loses the real battle - that is the development.” He noted, “Any democracy cannot achieve the desired development unless with two wings — the free press and a parliamentary party system.” He doesn’t believe the electoral system can put Kuwait out of the situation which it is currently experiencing “even the electoral system based on one vote may bring us back to square one of the problems that we have experienced after two legislative rounds because the thought or power of thinking is still imbued with tribal and sectarian thought that is incapable of dealing with democracy and freedom in the right way,” he stressed. He added, “There is a problem in the mindset, the cultural and political elite, tribal and family groups “who are more than just election constituencies because the society lives in a thought of crisis and it needs sincere intentions to change the reality in which we live.” He added, “We need to change the path in which the state is moving by dealing with issues through rehabilitation of the educational institution to instill the correct values as well as the need to check the role of the elites in taking their national responsibilities to change the tribal, sectarian and factional thought which predominate the society.” On another issue, MP Yaqoub AlSane affirmed there is no genuine intention on the part of the government or some former MPs to reform the electoral system. He pointed out he has presented a daft bill calling on the Interior Ministry to work every two months to delete the name of every person from the voters register of persons who commit a felony or a crime of dishonesty or moral turpitude so as to avoid any confusion during the election process. He asked, “Is there a real intention to establish an electoral system that is in the public interest, whether through the executive authority or some members of the legislature. He added the law of five constituencies and geographical distribution method has reinforced sectarian, tribal and factional favoritism in the system. He said Article (2) of the Election Law prohibits any voter who has criminal records or committed crimes that involve moral turpitude from participating in the electoral process,” adding, “Why the Ministry of Interior has failed to manage this matter properly by preventing any participation of either a candidate or voter in the electoral process during the pre-election periods.” He added it is a shame that a candidate registers to contest the elections and then the Interior Ministry prevents him, after he places adverts and bears the expenses of the elections. He added, “This is unacceptable and it shows that there is no seriousness on the part the legislative authority to put in place a good system that contributes to the development of the electoral system.” In conclusion Al-Sane advised in order to create an electoral system, this must be on sound foundations, opinion poll and thorough studies of past negativities and other things that do not consolidate proper electoral system “So we have to sit down and talk to know what we want in public interest and have a practical electoral system,” he added.

Photo by Anwar Daifallah

The Chairman of the Higher Committee in charge of organizing International Defense Conference for Technology and Logistic Systems Bader Al-Adwani said during a press conference held recently at Holiday Inn Hotel in Sharq that the conference and exhibition will be the greatest event in the Middle East. He indicated that this conference is being held in Kuwait for the first time and will be participated by 800 exhibitors from Arab and other countries around the world.

The Kuwaiti side with their Azerbaijan counterparts at the meeting

FM lauds strong Kuwaiti-Azeri relations Kuwait Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah AlKhaled Al-Sabah hailed the developing bilateral relations between Kuwait and Azerbaijan. Speaking at the second session of the Joint Kuwaiti-Azeri Higher Committee, held in Baku, the Kuwait top diplomat said this meeting shows both countries’ strong desire to take bilateral ties to new heights. He added that he had handed the

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydar Oglu Aliyev a letter from HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, noting that the letter was focused on means to bolster bilateral cooperation particularly in the economic, investment and trade sectors. The Kuwaiti minister also thanked the Republic of Azerbaijan for their vote for Kuwaiti membership in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the period

between 2013 and 2015 as well as for its participation in the recently Kuwait-hosted International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria. He pointed out that the two countries signed three cooperation agreements in the fields of crime combat, cultural exchange, customs and a partnership pact between the political institutes of each of their foreign ministries. (KUNA)

Kuwait Today Prayer Timings Fajr .............................................................. 05:07 am Sunrise ............................................................... 06:27 Zohr .................................................................... 12:02 Asr .................................................................03:13 pm Maghrib ............................................................. 05:38 Isha ................................................................... 06:55

Civil ID info: 1889988 Site for checking travel ban


Weather Expected weather for the next 24 hours: By Night: Cold with light to moderate south easterly wind, with speed of 08-30 km/h and some scattered clouds will appear. By Day: Partly cloudy with light to moderate south easterly wind, with speed of 12-32 km/h with a chance for scattered light rain. Station Max Min Rec Exp Kuwait City 23 16 Kuwait Airport 25 12 Nuwaiseeb 24 12 Wafra 28 11 Salmi 25 11 Abdaly 26 11 Jalaliyah 25 12 Failaka 21 14 Ahmadi Port 19 16 Qaruh Island 21 19 Umm Al-Maradem 20 18

4-days forecast - Weather Saturday, Feb 16 Expected weather.......partly cloudy + scarred rain Max Temp ........................................................27C Min Temp .........................................................12C Wind Direction ...................................................SE Wind Speed..........................................12-32 km/h Sunday, Feb 17 Expected weather .........partly cloudy + rising dust Max Temp ........................................................23C Min Temp .........................................................11C Wind Direction..................................................NW Wind Speed..........................................20-40 km/h Monday, Feb 18 Expected weather ..........sunny + scattered clouds Max Temp ........................................................22C Min Temp .........................................................09C Wind Direction ..............................................NW-N Wind Speed..........................................08-28 km/h Tuesday, Feb 19 Expected weather ..........sunny + scattered clouds Max Temp ........................................................23C Min Temp .........................................................11C Wind Direction ...............................................N-NE Wind Speed..........................................08-28 km/h

Marine Forecast Station

South Dolphin Ahmadi L/V Beacon M28 Beacon N6 Qaruh Island Umm Al-Maradem Sea island Buoy Salmiyah

Max Exp

Min Rec

Sea Surf

20 17 19 21 21 20 19 20

13 08 13 11 19 18 15 14

16 16 18 17 -

Today’s Waves Ht Direction

4ft 4ft 4ft 4ft 4ft 4ft 4ft 4ft

4-days forecast - Marine


Khaless Abdullah Mehailan Al-Hajri, 80 years old, buried on Friday. Condolences: (Men) Ahmadi, Block 2, St 3, House 569, opp Clinic, Tel: 99031051-99182555. Abdul Razaak Ali Abdul Razaak Al-Lahew, 65 years old, buried on Friday. Condolences: (Men) Shamiya, Block 8, St 89, House 14, Tel: 24843737(Women) Qosour, Block 1, St 18, House 41, Tel: 99892882. Abdul Aziz Ali Husein AlTamaar, 71 years old, buried on Friday. Condolences: (Men) Shamiya, Diwan AlTamaar, Block 6, St 63, House 5, Tel: 99609360, (Women) Yarmouk, Block 4, St 1, House 61, Tel: 99603688. Fe Abdul Wahab Nabeel Al-Eraifan, 5 months old, buried on Friday. Condolences: (Women) Qadisiya, Block 3, St 31, House 10, only on Saturday, Tel: 225406000. Noora Rashed Deaij Al-Rekaibi, 58 years old, wife of Sultan Samah Al-Mutairi, to be buried on Saturday after Asr prayers. Condolences: Saad Al-Abdullah, Block 10, St 44, House 37, Tel: 99045640-6662229. Ghazi Muhsen Faraah Al-Assqa AlBedaini, 68 years old, buried on Friday. Condolences: Sulaibiya, Block 7, St 11,

House 18, Tel: 99441404-66040308. Sabeeka Mohammad Al-Mesailem, 83 years old, widow of Yousef Rashed AlMesailem, to be buried on Saturday at 09:00 am. Condolence: (Men) Rawda, Block 3, St 38, House 13, Tel: 99811100, (Women) Mishref, Block 3, St 4, House 10, Tel: 99411250. Khaled Jamaan Mohammad Al-Azemi, 40 years old buried on Friday. Condolences: (Men) Bayan, Block 11, St 1, Avenue 6, House 21, Tel: 99411112, (Women) Salwa, Block 2, St 8, House 48, Tel: 25631020. Abdullah Husein Musa Mohammad Ali, 70 years old, buried on Friday. Condolences: (Men) Sharq, Al-Huseiniya Al-Jafariya, behind Sawaber Complex, Tel: 99080288-97888212, (Women) Rumaithiya, Huseiniyat Aqaila Al-Talebeen Mrs Zainab, Block 5, Al-Aqsa Mosque St House 30, Tel: 24886104-24807757. Faisal Hamad Husein Barjes Al-Muthla, 21 years old, to be buried on Saturday after Asr prayers. Condolenes: (Men) Fahaheel, Block 9, Bin Tamima St House 4, Tel: 99451115, (Women) Riqqa, Block 6, St 13, House 184, Tel: 66625838.

Feb 15, 2013 Saturday, Feb 16 Expected weather ..........partly cloudy + scattered Sea state ..................................slight to moderate Wave height ..................................................2-4 ft Max Temp .......................................................27C Min Temp ........................................................12C Wind Direction ..................................................SE Wind Speed.........................................12-32 km/h Sunday, Feb 17 Expected weather ................partly cloudy + rising Sea state .................................moderate to rough Wave height ..................................................3-6 ft Max Temp .......................................................23C Min Temp ........................................................11C Wind Direction.................................................NW Wind Speed.........................................20-40 km/h Monday, Feb 18 Expected weather .........sunny + scattered clouds Sea state ..................................slight to moderate Wave height ..................................................1-4 ft Max Temp .......................................................22C Min Temp ........................................................09C Wind Direction .............................................NW-N Wind Speed.........................................08-28 km/h Tuesday, Feb 19 Expected weather .........sunny + scattered clouds Sea state ..................................slight to moderate Wave height ..................................................1-4 ft Max Temp .......................................................23C

Min Temp ........................................................11C Wind Direction ..............................................N-NE Wind Speed.........................................08-28 km/h

Tide times at Shuwaikh Port 1st high tide:.................................................03:45 2nd high tide:................................................15:30 1st low tide: ..................................................21:45 2nd low tide: .................................................09:45 Sunrise: ........................................................06:27 Sunset: .........................................................17:37

Recorded yesterday at Kuwait Airport Max temp........................................................23C Min temp.........................................................12C Max Rh...........................................................60% Min Rh............................................................14% Max Wind..............................................N 50 km/h Total Rainfall in 24 hrs ...............................00 mm

Recorded yesterday at South Dolphin Min/Max/ Air Temp .....................................13/20C Min/Max Rel Hum .....................................38/71% Wind Direction/Wind Speed..................N/48 km/h Prev Wave Dir/Max Wave Ht.......................N/ 1 ft Min/Max Sea Surface Temp ......................16/17C Sea Current ..........................................Downdraft — Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Meteorological Department




‘Procedures faulty in referring visa traffickers to prosecution’

hala february 2013

Tougher penalty eyed on attackers of men in uniform KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: “Many Ministers of Justice and Social Affairs in the country have tried to apply law on visa racketeers and human traffickers but the reality is that the courts never jailed any of the suspects”, reports AlSeyassah daily quoting Lawyer Ali Al-Asfour as saying.

Photos by Anwar Daifallah

Top: Al-Jarallah (center), speaks at the ceremony, and (above) one of the employees being honored.

Course on human rights held Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with International Organization for Migration organized a graduation ceremony for employees who participated in the course titled ‘Human Rights: Fight against Human Trafficking’ from February 10-12, 2013. The Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Ministry Khalid Al-Jarallah stressed the importance of the course for diplomatic

work that the graduates of both genders have to carry out either inside the ministry or overseas. He indicated that such a course is part of the national developmental plan adopted by the ministry particularly since the issue related to human rights is sensitive and important for diplomatic relations both inside and outside the country.

Number of Kuwaiti victims hits 39

10 Kuwaitis killed in Syria during months of Jan, Feb Al-Seyassah Report KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: Ten Kuwaiti citizens died in Syria during the months of January and February, which has increased the number of Kuwaiti victims killed in the two-year Syrian revolution to 39 so far. According to Syrian Human Rights Watch, Abu Sulaiman Al-Kuwaiti, a Kuwaiti citizen, died during a fierce battle between the Syrian government forces and fighters of Al-Nasra Islamic Front in Shadadi town of AlHiska Governorate near the northwestern border of Syria. Meanwhile, leaders of Free Syria Army revealed that Abu Sulaiman AlKuwaiti was killed during an attack on Syrian Army security building, adding it is uncertain whether AlKuwaiti died during the combat or in the hands of a suicide bomber. The news about Abu Sulaiman’s death follows the announcement of the death of the 23-year-old Kuwaiti citizen Khalid Hadi Al-Daihan in Deir Al-Zour Area during a similar combat between Al-Nasra Islamic Front and Syrian regime forces. Sources of Syrian regime from Lebanon identified nine Kuwaiti citizens who died during the fierce combat between Free Syria Army and regime forces in Damascus countryside last month. The following are the names of the

Kuwaiti martyrs who died in the Syrian revolution so far: 1. Abu Sulaiman Al-Kuwaiti 2. Khalid Hadi Al-Daihan 3. Yasin Al-Batti 4. Mahmoud Al-Juwaid 5. Abdulillahi Ahmad Huza’ 6. Mohammad Asaf Al-Mutairi 7. Khalid Dhudan Al-Mutairi 8. Jazaa’ Masood Al-Duweish 9. Mut’eb Mos’ab Al-Mureikhi 10. Manur Barghash Al-Jabali 11. Eyad Manokh Al-Maimouni 12. Turki Ajlan Al-Hamili 13. Mohammad Muwais Al-Mutairi 14. Nasser Dali Al-Mutairi 15. Abdulkareem Nashmi Al-Ardi 16. Eyad Rasheed Al-Moreikhi 17. Khalaf Kifaaya Al-Sinjari 18. Nasser Qoud Al-Silmi 19. Harbi Khalaf Al-Jashmai 20. Meshal Al-Humaidi Al-Dufairi 21. Faleh Hur Al-Jassemi 22. Thuweir Raikan Al-Dufairi 23. Hani Sayed Al-Barazi 24. Turki Ghazi Al-Enezi 25. Mamduh Ghashim Al-Jabali 26. Eyad Ghasham Al-Jabali 27. Abdallah Abdulsattar 28. Salim Al-Onaizi 29. Khalid Al-Mutairi 30. Hisaam Al-Mutairi Sources added that the list also includes nine Kuwaiti martyrs killed in Damascus who have not yet been identified.

NUKS-USA to hold Al-Seef Celebration festival in Calif WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (KUNA): The National Union for Kuwaiti Students (NUKS) USA-Branch announced here recently that a festival for this year’s Kuwaiti national celebration, entitled “AlSeef Celebration,” was set to be held from Feb 22 to 24 in Huntington Beach, California. The festival would be a valuable opportunity for everyone to express their volume of love and loyalty for Kuwait, Abduallah Bu Hamad, chairman of the student committee of NUKS-USA told KUNA, adding that it would also be an opportunity to strengthen the spirit of national unity among Kuwaiti students. Also, Bu Hamad noted the festival was held annually in different US cities and attended by a large number of Kuwaitis

studying in various US states, pointing out that this year’s festival would include many activities, events, and surprises. On his part, Dhari Al-Howaila, chairman of media committee at NUKS-USA, announced that a special website was to be launched on union’s festival of national celebration, expecting that this years’ festival would be the second biggest the union organizes following NUKS’ annual conference in November of every year. Furthermore, Al-Howaila said that AlSeef Celebration would include a photo contest for Kuwaiti students via instagram that aimed at expressing their spirits of patriotism abroad and their love for Kuwait, affirming that a photo exhibition would also be held showcasing best taken photos during the festival.

Al-Asfour disclosed that people have been discussing this issue extensively, adding that errors have been made in the procedures for referring visa racketeers to the prosecution. He indicated that the prosecutors do not have sufficient evidences to convict the suspects, which result in the latter’s acquittal. He further indicated that even when there are sufficient evidences to prosecute the suspects, the method of search and arrest without proper warrant and legal procedures is faulty in most cases. Regarding the general perception about cases involving visa trading, he stressed that the officials have discovered numerous bogus companies but the government have not yet jailed anyone to serve as deterrent to others. He pointed out that the expatriates, some citizens and the nation are eventually victims in the visa trading crime, adding that the image of the country and citizens is affected due to the illegitimate activities of few citizens who do not have conscience. Prosecute “We plead to concerned officials to prosecute the visa traders in the court with substantial evidences in order to deprive them of any escape route from the wrath of law”, insisted Lawyer AlAsfour. Meanwhile, four lawmakers have submitted an amendment to Law No 16/1960 to toughen the penalty on persons who attack men in uniform to 15 years imprisonment, reports Al-Seyassah daily. According to the amendment which will be added to Article 134 of law No 16/1960, the penalty will be 15 years imprisonment minimum and KD 15,000 minimum fine or one of the two for persons caught attacking or humiliating police personnel or military men or the National Guard. They have added the paragraphs to Article No 135 to read as follows: ■ If the victim is one of the police personnel, the penalty is minimum 10 years imprisonment and fine of minimum KD 10,000 or one of them. ■ If the police force is attacked during rallies or demonstration or parade or a gathering with the aim of resisting while performing official duties, the penalty shall be minimum 15 years imprisonment and fine of minimum KD 15,000. The two decisions are to be applied in case any of the military personnel, securitymen or the National Guard is attacked. This decree of law No 12/2008 cancels any verdict or law opposing this draft law.

Photos by Ahmad Al Naqeeb and Mishaal AlOkla

Above: some photos from the celebrations.

Hala February 2013 celebrations kick off By Abdullah Sahood Special to the Arab Times The Hala February 2013 celebrations which are scheduled to last until March 9 kick-started on Feb 15 on the Salem Al-Mubarak Street in Salmiya in the presence of a large number of citizens and residents and releasing of hundreds of

balloons in the air. The celebrations began with a performance by an international circus and a performance by local and international artistes. A large number of Arabs living in the country took part in the carnival which ostensibly included a large number of GCC citizens who have come to take part in Kuwait’s National

and Liberation days celebrations. It is worth mentioning the state ministries also took part in the celebrations in the form of exhibitions. The Interior Ministry played a substantial role in these celebrations to maintain law and order and organize traffic flow. Moreover, the facilities were presented to people with special needs.





a digest of public opinion

‘Confrontation and deterrence the appropriate solutions to corruption’

‘Don’t gloat over opposition differences’

The Iranian Embassy in Kuwait, led by Ambassador Rouhollah Kahramani and his wife, organized a get-together Monday to celebrate the revolution festival at Salwa Hall in Marina Hotel. Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Khaled Al-Jarallah, diplomats, other prominent personalities and members of the Iranian community attended the event.

Small scale business owners ‘criticise’ bill Certain jobs unsuitable for Kuwaitis By Najeh Bilal Special to the Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: Several small business owners have criticized certain provisions in the bill related to supporting national workforce in the private sector. Even though they affirmed that the private sector should take up its role in combating the unemployment crisis, they insisted that the small business owners should be exempted from this requirement, as their businesses are based on general trading and contracting. They indicated that the national workforce should be employed in large companies with huge capitals, taking into consideration that the ‘national manpower’ support law cannot be implemented on small industrial businesses. Businessman Saad Sharar Al-Azmi, who owns three business licenses — two for scrap-yards in Amghara and third for producing fiberglass material, indicated that the Ministry of Labor has set several obstacles on artisanship companies, which are not suitable for employment of national manpower in those areas. “I am ready to employ national manpower but the problem is they cannot work in such areas. Because of this, I am forced to employ expatriates from a certain country in order for me to run my business properly”, indicated Al-Azmi. He pointed out, “According to the law, Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor forces us to pay huge sum of money to employ expatriates, as though they want to punish small establishments for not employing citizens of

Kuwait. However, the fact is Kuwaitis refuse to work for such kind of jobs”. Al-Azmi is forced to pay almost KD 4,000 annually for renewing the work permits of his 25 expatriate employees. He refused the idea of phony employment of Kuwaiti citizens who will receive financial support from the government when in reality they will not work in his company. Businessman Naji Al-Khatlan, who is concerned about the political affairs of Kuwait, affirmed that Kuwaiti youths are interested in working in the private sector. He revealed that he was ambitious about working in the private sector, adding that he was ready to do even hard labor in scrapyard. He stressed that if the youths’ perception is nurtured in a positive manner, they will be ready to accept jobs in any field in the private sector. Al-Khatalan pointed out that companies that receive huge contract deals are usually conditioned to employ national labor to execute such contracts but the problem arises when these companies impose same conditions on their subcontractors. He said there are big companies that receive tenders for laundering money, which is why they end up settling for a small profit margin. Head of Trading and Contracting Companies Union Dr Saleh Bursli said the ‘national manpower support law’ should be used as a tool to create equality in the private sector in order for the sector to positively support solving the unemployment crisis that the country is going through. He indicated that this law should exempt small businesses because such businesses are unable to employ Kuwaiti citizens as manual and field laborers.

News in Brief Banks offering discounts: Some banks are offering discounts of up to 15 percent on the loan interests to their customers who are unable to pay off their loans, reports Al-Jaridah daily quoting informed sources. They explained that these customers will be given discounts between 10 to 15 percent on the loans interests in order to encourage them to pay back the loans. They indicated that even though not all customers will be able to benefit from this offer, an analysis revealed that owners of certain companies and some individuals will be able to avail of this offer to pay off their loans. ❑ ❑ ❑ Iran visa sees cut: The Iranian Air office in Kuwait recently announced that visas to Iran and its main cities are affordable and aims to encourage religious and therapeutic tourism, while promoting relationships between the two countries, reports Al-Anba daily. Director of the office Golam Abass Raissi said the price of visa was reduced from KD 3 to KD 1.5, adding the office is set to issue visa on condition that the passport is valid for more than 6 months at the time of applying for the visa. Also, applicants must include a recent colored

photo and a fee of KD 12. ❑ ❑ ❑

MoE withdraws books: Ministry of Education has issued a directive directing the sector withdraws all books containing information about HIV/Aids from the schools and return them to the Warehousing Administration, reports Al-Shahed daily. The decision came after several complaints the ministry received about the books involving sex education, which the statement stressed is not beneficial to the students. ❑ ❑ ❑ Envoy presents credentials: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Serbia Fawzi AlJassem presented his credentials to the President of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic as non-resident Ambassador in the capital Cetinje. Ambassador Al-Jassem told KUNA that he conveyed greetings and good wishes of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to President Vujanovic. President Vujanovic expressed, in return, his happiness for Al-Jassem’s appointment, noting that he is looking forward to the development of his country’s relations with Kuwait.(KUNA)

“IT LOOKS like some ministers are pleased to see differences among local opposition currents,” columnist and Chairman of Al-Rai Board of Directors Jassem Bodai wrote for the daily Friday. “But we fear the government shall set up its strategy on the basis of these differences and ignore its basis tasks — the projects of the country, laws and reforms. In other words we fear the government shall concentrate only on exhausting and weakening the opposition considering it a victory for itself. “Oh government ministers, you have to keep in mind that the differences among the opposition currents is something healthy, natural and normal, because no current which is striving to achieve more freedoms and democracy will try to impose ‘one color’ on the other opposition currents. However, if this happened, then the relevant current shall lose a lot of its credibility. “Apart from the above, you have to realize that agreements or disagreements among youth groups in dealing with the general framework of the organizational structure of various groups in the country, is something that has been determined by it. “In other words, the youth groups shall take necessary action that may be required to mobilize the public with the help of a roadmap that has been designed by it. “In the meantime, the government must bear in mind that the opposition currents actually are one on major issues although they may differ on the manner to be followed in dealing with their moves. “Once again, we say the differences among the opposition groups are something healthy, natural and normal, given the fact the local arena as well as the foreign arenas witness this type of differences among opposition groups. But the question is: Will these differences help to weaken the opposition Bodai ranks here and there. “However, the answer to the above question lies with various opposition currents and not with us, simply because these currents will define the nature of their move. “In the meantime we have to bear in mind that all opposition currents are Kuwaitis irrespective of the differences among them and the interests of the nation govern the political march of these currents, but not the division among them. “But the most important point that drew my attention is when I saw some ministers relatively pleased because some news was leaked about the differences among opposition ranks. “Personally speaking, I do believe that these members and the pro-government people in general at the moment are suffering from color blindness, simply because they are focused only on the differences among opposition currents and ignored the differences among members of the ruling family and closed an eye to such practices from ‘minor’ members from the ruling family who have been blowing things out of proportion and in this context we have seen a hectic competition to grab power even if it comes at the expense of abusing each other, the Kuwaiti political regime and even the nation at large. “It is needless to say the differences among opposition currents or between the latter and progovernment currents seem to be normal. These differences can be seen as part and parcel of the natural, normal and logical political action and this means these differences are justified, but crossing the redlines by some ‘minors’ (members) from the ruling family and exchanging accusations among them even accusing others of ‘treason’ is not acceptable. “Such being the case, those who are pleased about the differences among the opposition current must change their mind, review their pattern of thinking and keep in mind that the differences among opposition currents, irrespective of their kind, may weaken or even nip in the bud their political project, but the behavior of some members of the ruling family shall exhaust and weaken the regime of the country and the State at large.”

Also: “The changes that have surfaced recently on the local political arena, signifies that some parties from the so-called parliamentary majority are at last determined to get themselves involved in reviewing the past phase from all aspects,” columnist and the Chairman of Democratic Development Society Nasser Al-Abdali wrote for Al-Kuwaitiah daily Friday. “However, this review and the prospective outcomes, emphasize one fact that these parties are attempting to contain all contradictions in one ‘crucible’ to achieve a periodical objective which may not succeed, lest to say this review is likely to weaken the main demands. “We presume both the government and the popular currents will learn a lesson from the past from all aspects and eventually keep in mind that the violation of a ‘social contract’ that has been concluded between the two parties — the government or the popular currents — will be categorically turned down. “In other words, the two parties will have no choice, but to abide by the Constitution, because the commitment to the latter constitutes the sole way for achieving reforms, provided these reforms are based on tact and sound constitutional basis. “During the past period, the government had proved a deficit in dealing with the changes that had surfaced on the local political arena. Not just that, it had dealt with these changes through an angle at the expense of other angles and aspects. “In other words, if the government had dealt rationally with the changes in question, then the country would have not reached the current phase which is full of contradictions but would have managed to overcome all obstructions. “Meanwhile, we have observed that some of the popular currents had failed to co-exist with the atmospheres of the new reality and therefore got involved weaving illogical collations against both the laws and the Constitution.” ❑

“The political adversaries have a common factor which they use in their political slogans. This common factor is epitomized in the public fund which is being treated like a ‘donkey’ — the donkey that everyone beats on the back to move for-

ward,” columnist Dr Hassan Abdullah Jowhar wrote for Al-Jaridah daily. “All of them attack each other under the slogan of the public funds. Accordingly, the accusation of robbing public money has become common means to distort the reputation of political activists, wrongfully or rightfully and it started with the well-known case of the Kuwait Oil Tankers Company (KOTC) and theft of Kuwaiti investments overseas during the Iraqi invasion. “Add to this the case of calcified coke, the fourth oil refinery, the Dow Chemicals, the Sabah Al-Salem University and Al-Subbiya Bridge. There are also cases of sudden inflation in the bank balances of some lawmakers and overseas transfers besides the latest case — the huge budget in the country’s development plan. “Apparently, the government is satisfied with the position our country is in and therefore, it opposes the legislations which can control this ‘donkey’.” ❑

“Unfortunately, corruption has spread everywhere including the government institutions and this has spoiled our lifestyle. However, we keep hoping the next few days will be better but when corruption ‘invades’ our health and our patience then that cannot be the means for reform,” columnist Adel Naif Al-Mez’al wrote for Al-Watan Arabic daily. “Confrontation and deterrence are the appropriate solutions in such cases because health is the most precious thing for a person. Accordingly, patience becomes useless when a person deliberately targets our health by supplying inedible foodstuffs into the markets in broad daylight. “The million dollar question is: Who has imported the spoiled meat and supplied it in the markets? What about deterrence and punishment that we so loudly talk about? “Although the lab tests proved this meat was unfit for human consumption; it was supplied to the shops in the markets and sold for half the value to poor consumers who look for cheap foodstuffs because the sky high prices have put this consumer in a desperate situation. “The names of those who imported this meat or those who import inedible foodstuffs must be disclosed and they should be punished.” ❑

“The Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyab, has declared openly in a statement that when he met the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the Islamic summit which was held in Egypt that AlAzhar refuses Iranian interferences in the internal affairs of the GCC states, particularly Bahrain,” columnist Sultan Ibrahim Al-Khalaf wrote for AlAnba daily. “Sheikh Al-Tayyab demanded that Iran stop spreading the Shiite ideology among Sunnis and the culture of insulting the Mothers of Faith — wives of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as well as respecting the rights of Sunnis in Iran, particularly in Ahwaz. “This clear stance which Al-Azhar espouses is a clear-cut message to the Iranian government that the behavior of the latter has reached the height of exaggeration. The president was also told Tehran cannot help build good relations between Iran and Egypt or the Arab countries. “Ahmadinejad was definitely surprised from this clear and public stance taken by the greatest Islamic reference in the Muslim Sunni world because he did not expect the criticism to be announced publicly.” ❑

“The senior citizens of Kuwait who are above 60 years of age are well aware that the government is run by HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jabir Al-Mubarak. They know that those who try to set obstacles for the Prime Minister do not have good intentions for Kuwait and its people,” columnist Saleh Othman Al-Saeed wrote for AlShahid daily. “HH the Prime Minister does not need me or any one else to defend his work and sincerity; his work schedule and dedication does not allow him to respond to such shenanigans; in fact, he has no time for rivalry. He does not have time to waste in becoming a victim of hearsay. “We had lost one of our noble people Sheikh Nasser Al-Muhammad because of your shenanigans and rumors. Now you want to see the same thing happen to HH the Prime Minister through your use of slogans that have no roots in our Kuwaiti culture and traditions. “What we really need is cooperation and tolerance between the parliament and the government. We need to give enough time to those who are working on achievements and not to those who engage themselves with unproductive debates that almost pushed Kuwait into a ditch. What Kuwait and its people need right now is political stability.” ❑

“For decades, the Kuwaiti society has been known for moderation. Moreover, the people had never allowed given anyone an opportunity to spread extremism in the country and the same goes with bad intentions and desires,” columnist, former MP and general manager of the Scope Satellite TV Talal Al-Saeed wrote for AlSeyassah daily. “Even if some crisis provokers are able to serve their interests, most people are refusing to fall in their trap because it is known the Kuwaiti community is homogenous and turns down calls for division and racism. “A part of HH the Amir’s recent speech said the country was almost lost. By these words HH the Amir did not mean there was external danger that threatened the country, but he referred to people inside who had indulged in issues which are alien to this country. “We should not forget that by joining forces we were able to defeat the fourth most powerful army in this world, of course, with the help of other countries because of our national unity that was always taken as an example by other countries which we are referring to. “We should not allow clashes to divide our nation because at the end the only loser will be the country — the citizens — no matter which group he/she belongs to. We must put aside our affiliations to tribes and sects and focus on our work how to develop the country and take it on the brink of progress.” ❑

“When I read some reports issued by some international organizations, I was sad to see the situation of Kuwait because the critics who had issued these reports had detailed how people’s freedoms had been suppressed, something which we had never heard of before in this country,” columnist Ahmad Al-Maimouni wrote for Alam Alyawm daily. “I don’t know until when the circumstances in which the people are living will continue and I don’t think it requires much government efforts to enter into reconciliation with the nation to bring things back to normal. “What we witnessed recently — children being dragged to the court in handcuffs — is something which has crossed the red lines, something which shocked all the people. It was something that put the country in an embarrassing situation after those pictures were published by newspapers all over the world. “It is time for the concerned authorities to revise the actual situation of the country because it seems things have begun to run out of control. It should also be said that if the situation is not fixed, the consequences will be fatal and undesired.” ❑

“Politics is also known as the ‘art of possibility’ but the practical definition entails adventure and the implication of which is unpredictable,” Attorney Riyadh Al-Sane wrote for Alam Alyawm daily. “Unpredictable politics is often observed in the Arab world. Arab governments lack proper administrative planning and they have a plethora of ridiculous policies. They depend on the West when it comes to dealing with financial and economic issues; thereby, putting them in the bottom of the global ranking in development and literacy, as well as the fight against poverty, crime and political or social problems. “On the so-called ‘dignity’ revolutions, we have to admit it is difficult to define the term ‘dignity’. It may mean right to live in a dignified manner so everybody is equal before the law; hence, equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. “Meanwhile, Arabs cannot fathom the causes of a social disease at a time when awareness is the only cure. Awareness is possible through a critical study of the situation, instead of keeping the voters busy with endorsing the campaign slogans of politicians.” ❑

“I heard the proposal of Iran in the meeting of the so-called 1+5 countries, which invited Iranian officials to deliberate on the Iranian nuclear file. Iran proposed there and then that the meeting should also tackle the Syrian and Bahraini issues,” Dr Wa’el Al-Hasawi wrote for Al-Rai daily. “Several analysts consider the action a mixing up of cards. Why is Iran concern with Bahrain? What could be the link between the Iranian and Bahraini files? Does Iran intend to link its demand for the international community to allow the continuation of its nuclear program so that it refrains from interfering in the internal affairs of Bahrain and Syria? Is this not proof that Iran caused the internal crisis in Bahrain? “I do not know until when the Arabs will remain passive towards Iran which seems keen on perpetrating heinous actions in the region while challenging others without shame. Even when Kuwait invited Iran to the meeting of Syrian friends last month, the Iranian officials remain adamant in their stand to support the Syrian government.” ❑

“Is the incumbent government a match to its legislative counterpart? Has the National Assembly started underestimating the Cabinet just because the lawmakers have noticed neglect and disdain in the latter?” Dr Naji Saud Al-Zaid wrote for Al-Qabas daily. “Is it reasonable for a minister to order her colleagues out of the session to avoid discussing an issue in the National Assembly? Did the minister succeed in making the Prime Minister rush other ministers out of the session through her personal efforts? Where is this government heading to? When will the authority stop giving unrestricted freedom to whomever wishes to control it? Where is the dignity? Why opt for boycott instead of demanding for postponement or facing the challenge? “The government and the National Assembly must slow down. They have to stop taking manipulative actions because the country has been suffering from paralysis and strange epidemic for a long time. Bribery, cheating and stealing have become part of citizens’ daily affairs. What else do you want after the distribution of spoilt meat and salmonella-infected chicken to local stores, visa trading, wastage of public funds, and questionable awarding of contracts?” ❑

“Bravo MP Abdulhamed Dashti for coming in agreement with MP Hamad Al-Dousari on the significance of noble Kuwaitis complying with HH the Amir’s directives, but he forgot to mention those revolting against the Amir and unyielding to his directives must be governed in an exceptional manner,” Abdullatif Al-Duaij wrote for Al-Qabas daily. “It’s either I didn’t understand the statement or I just don’t want to understand. It sounds as if honorable MP Dashti is saying that only Kuwaitis who comply with the Amir’s directives are noble and those who do not comply are not noble, and probably, they are not even Kuwaiti. It does not matter whether am noble or not, but I prefer not to be noble so that I would not fall under the rationality of the MP, as regards who is noble or not. “I am liberal. Actually, this is the first time I am saying so publicly. The Amiri policies and decisions could be right or wrong, and sometimes, it can succeed or fail to achieve the intended objective based on advice and opinion, which could be correct or wrong. The right to oppose or challenge Amiri decree is protected by Article 54 of the Constitution. “Therefore, I denounce the statement of honorable MP Dashti, and call upon him to apologize to all the people of Kuwait-especially the ‘noble ones’ whose opinion of nobility doesn’t correspond with that of the MP who believes it’s a must to comply with the directives of HH the Amir.’’

— By Zaki Taleb




Use of dimensions of strategic planning vital: official

Kuwait’s anti-corruption experience displayed in Jordan AMMAN, Feb 15, (KUNA): President of the Kuwaiti Transparency Society Salah AlGhazali reviewed here recently the society’s perspective and its primary role to achieve its goals towards a Kuwaiti civil society free of corruption in all its forms and manifestations. Al-Ghazali said before a conference dubbed (Promotion of citizenship and the fight against

corruption in the Arab region) organized by Jordanian Transparency Center, that in order for the Kuwaiti society to achieve its goals, it carries out activities and programs aimed at making the State of Kuwait free of corruption in cooperation with all society institutions and individuals. He pointed to the areas of work enabling the Kuwaiti society to

achieve its goals, including administration, economy, legislation, the judiciary and the community domain. For his part, President of the Jordanian Transparency Center Samih Al-Awamlah said that the conference, believes that corruption is a phenomenon rooted in Arab societies, where people, mind and the regimes in the Arab world are facing a real challenge

with this phenomenon. He added that the fight against corruption can not be resolved through individuals, but through the use of the dimensions of strategic planning at the level of thinking, practical implementation and the contribution of research centers in the Arab world which care about issues of corruption scientifically and professionally.

Indians ‘least problematic’ community in Kuwait: envoy

Koike (center), with the KCCI officials

Ex-Japanese defence minister visits KCCI Deputy Board Chairman of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Khalid Abdullah Al-Saqer recently received in his office former Japanese Minister of Defense and Environment Yuriko Koike, along with the Japanese

Ambassador to Kuwait and other members of the delegation. KCCI Director General Rabah Abdul Rahman Al-Rabah also attended the meeting which focused on the mutual interests of the two countries and ways to strengthen their ties.

Bid to give govt chance to work

‘Need for MPs to use their constitutional tool slowly’ KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: Several lawmakers have reiterated that HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak resents the number of interpellation requests presented against the ministers within this short period and without giving the government a chance to work, reports Al-Anba daily. At a recent meeting, Sheikh Jaber had stressed the need for lawmakers to use their constitutional tool slowly to give the government opportunity to achieve its tasks. In this context, sources confirmed the Cabinet has agreed to suspend two grilling inquests that had been scheduled to take place during the next session, in proportion to the internal byelaws of Parliament and the Constitution. The Prime Minister has also asked for the formation of a committee comprising three ministers to deal with the

trend of ‘parliamentary race’ observed in the number of interpellation requests submitted by the lawmakers at a time when the government isn’t getting enough time or chance to carry out its duties. Sources added a report will be referred to the government on the relationships between the government and National Assembly, as some lawmakers are intending to grill the Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shimali on the issue of loans. Sources disclosed the State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Rola Dashti will submit a request to the National Assembly to suspend grilling submitted against the First Deputy Premier, Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad AlHumoud, as he’s unlikely to return to Kuwait before next Tuesday until he has completed his medical examination.

Meteor explodes

But an astronomer at Russia’s Academy of Sciences, Sergei Barabanov, poured doubt on that report. He said there was no evidence to support the theory that the meteor had travelled with the asteroid or had broken off from it. The European Space Agency, on its Twitter microblog, also said its experts had confirmed there was no link. The regional governor in Chelyabinsk said the meteorite shower had caused more than $30 million in damage, and the Emergencies Ministry said some 300 buildings had been affected. One piece of meteorite broke through the ice of nearby Cherbakul Lake, leaving a hole several metres wide. Despite warnings not to approach any unidentified objects, some enterprising locals were hoping to cash in.

Continued from Page 1 chorus of car alarms, followed by several smaller blasts. “My God!” Dudka can be heard saying. “I thought it had already fallen.” She wrote on YouTube that she began filming a couple of minutes after seeing the flash in the sky. Life News website posted video footage of children screaming in Chelyabinsk School Number 15 corridor and glass and pieces of wood from blown-out windows lying on the floor. “First there was an unreal light that lit up all the classrooms on the right side of the school. That kind of light doesn’t happen in life, only at the end of the world, then a trail appeared like from a plane but only 10 times bigger,” teacher Valentina Nikolayeva, told Life News. “First I thought it was a plane falling, but there was no sound from the engine... after a moment a powerful explosion went off,” said another Chelyabinsk witness, Denis Laskov. “In a lot of the houses on our street the windows were blown out.” “Panic has begun in the city because it knocked out many windows. People are freezing, you can imagine there aren’t windows in hundreds of apartments,” an unnamed witness in Chelyabinsk said in a televised phone call.

Bang “There was such a bang, it felt absolutely as if there had been an explosion a few floors higher. The room literally started shaking, a thick layer of dust fell on the floor, furniture and windowsills,” Chelyabinsk journalist Yelena Borisova told Channel One television. The leader of rock band Smysloviye Gallyutsinatsii from the Urals main city of Yekaterinburg, Sergei Bobunets wrote on a social networking site that he saw the flash from Yekaterinburg. “I was smoking outside the door when I looked up at the sky and suddenly the sky lit up with a bright light and something that looked like the Sun fell somewhere to the south of Yekaterinburg. Did anyone see it? What was it?” he wrote. No deaths were reported but the Emergencies Ministry said 20,000 rescue and clean-up workers were sent to the region after President Vladimir Putin told Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov to ease the disruption and help the victims. The Interior Ministry said about 1,200 people had been injured, at least 200 of them children, and most from shards of glass. The region of Chelyabinsk has long been a hub for the Russian military and defence industry, and it is often the site where artillery shells are decommissioned. A local Emergencies Ministry official said meteor storms were extremely rare and Friday’s incident may have been connected with an asteroid the size of an Olympic swimming pool that was due to pass Earth.

Auction “Selling meteorite that fell on Chelyabinsk!” one prospective seller, Vladimir, said on a popular Russian auction website. He attached a picture of a black piece of stone that on Friday afternoon was priced at 1,488 roubles ($49.46). The early morning blast and ensuing shock wave blew out windows on Chelyabinsk’s central Lenin Street, buckled some shop fronts and rattled apartment buildings in the city centre. “I was standing at a bus stop, seeing off my girlfriend,” said Andrei, a local resident who did not give his second name. “Then there was a flash and I saw a trail of smoke across the sky and felt a shock wave that smashed windows.” Chelyabinsk city authorities urged people to stay indoors unless they needed to pick up their children from schools and kindergartens. A wall was badly damaged at the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant but a spokeswoman said no environmental threat resulted. In 1908, a meteorite is thought to have devastated an area of more than 2,000-sq-km (1,250 miles) in Siberia, breaking windows as far as 200 kms (125 miles) from the point of impact. The Emergencies Ministry described Friday’s events as a “meteor shower in the form of fireballs” and said background radiation levels were normal. It urged residents not to panic. Simon Goodwin, an astrophysics expert from Britain’s University of Sheffield, said that roughly 1,000 to 10,000 tonnes of material rained down from space towards the earth every day, but most burned up in the atmosphere. “While events this big are rare, an impact that could cause damage and death could happen every century or so. Unfortunately there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop impacts.” The meteor struck just as an asteroid known as 2012 DA14, about 46 metres (yards) in diameter, was due to pass closer to Earth — at a distance of 27,520 kms (17,100 miles) — than any other known object of its size since scientists began routinely monitoring asteroids about 15 years ago.

Amir’s Special Envoy addresses students/scholars in N. Delhi NEW DELHI, Feb 15, (KUNA): Around 650,000 Indians living in Kuwait are the biggest foreign community, and the least problematic one as well, contributing immensely towards development of Kuwait, said Special Envoy of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah and Advisor at the Amiri Diwan Mohammad Abdullah AbulHasan here Friday. He was interacting with students/scholars at the Indo-Arab Cultural Centre situated at the world famous Jamia Millia Islamia University in the Indian capital. Addressing the students/scholars, he said it was his seventh visit to India, and acknowledged age-old strong bilateral ties between the two nations. “We have had very cordial relations with India all these years, and intend to build even stronger and closer ties with New Delhi in future. There are nearly 110 different communities living in Kuwait from different countries, but Indians acquire a special space. They are brilliant, least problematic, and work in different sectors like health, trade and commerce for the overall development of Kuwait,” he said, much to the encouragement of all those present on the occasion. To a question from a student about oil exports to India, he said that his country has always stood strongly behind India as far as meeting its energy needs are concerned. “In past whenever other countries stopped oil exports to India, Kuwait always pitched in. India has always been a prominent consumer of Kuwaiti oil. Over the past few years, Kuwaiti oil exports to India have increased from 200 million barrels to 400 million barrels.” On role of women in Kuwaiti politics, he said that women were playing a key role in politics, business, diplomacy and overall governance. “Today, we have a lady ambassador in Chile, as many as 10 diplomats at different Kuwaiti embassies across the world, several women heading different government committees, and also Members of Parliament,” he elaborated. He further added: “We respect gender equality in Kuwaiti politics.” Earlier in the day, Abul-Hasan met Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed at the latter’s office to deliver a letter for President of India Pranab Mukherjee. The letter sheds light on promoting bilateral ties in various fields and latest developments on regional and international arenas. The Kuwaiti Amir’s envoy also held talks with the Indian minister about the $2-billion fund set up to finance projects in as many as 32 non-Arab Asian countries. Kuwait has committed to contribute $300 million towards the fund. Speaking to KUNA, Khursheed said: “today I met the Kuwaiti Amir’s envoy. We discussed how to operationalize the fund set up for development projects in 32 nonArab Asian countries.”

DFCA ‘denies’ news of withdrawing One-Alpha KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15, (KUNA): Drug and Food Control Administration (DFCA) denied news of withdrawing drug drops of vitamin D (One-Alpha) used for the treatment of patients with vitamin D deficiency. The administration conducted a study and evaluated the product, which turned out to be a registered medicine in the State of Kuwait and approved by the Ministry of Health, the administration’s registration and release observer Rami Sadiq Behbehani told KUNA on Friday. He said that the administration approached the Danish manufacturer (LEO Laboratories Limited) regarding the safety and risk of One-Alpha, and in return, it confirmed that the product was not pulled off the Gulf markets. The company has a special department responsible for the follow-up of any side-effects that may occur to the pharmaceutical substances it produces and withdrawing them, he added.

Dwarf Red Honeybee

PAAAFR has variety of specially grown indigenous plants

Dwarf Red Honeybee is the ‘only’ naturally growing species in Kuwait By Valiya S. Sajjad Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: This is the flowering season in Kuwait and Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) is ready with a variety of specially grown indigenous plants to attract the bees and the butterflies. Speaking to the Arab Times on Tuesday, Entomology Specialist at PAAAFR, Mohammed Marafie, said as a result of a project undertaken four years ago to revive and protect local species of plants, the authority’s premises in Ardiya now have a rich collection of native plants some of which could have gone extinct if not for the timely intervention of environmental experts. About 13 indigenous species are growing under secure conditions in PAAAFR. These species will be used to rehabilitate Kuwaiti deserts and for landscaping purposes. Some of the most valued plants include Arfaj, Rimth, Artha and Labbaith. Most of these plants are flowering plants and with onset of the flowering season, entomologists are excited at the prospect of the spurt in insect life. As an apiculturist, Mohammed Marafie sees an opportunity to study more about bees in this season. The most widely sighted bee in Kuwait is the Dwarf Red Honeybee, which is of a wild type. PAAAFR gets frequent calls from people harassed by this variety of bee. It’s an aggressive bee. Marafie says that surprisingly

these wild bees compete with the cultured bees to gather nectar from the same blossoms, “which is an interesting sight to watch.” Summer and winter in Kuwait are hard for bees to survive, and so their activities are minimal during these seasons. Marafie said that hobbyists resort to artificial methods to create conducive environments for bees to survive during non-seasons, and produce honey. The Dwarf Red Honeybee is the only naturally growing bee species in Kuwait. These bees are very hardy bees and are believed to have flown into Kuwait via Saudi Arabia, originally hailing from Thailand. Artificial All the other species of bees in Kuwait are grown by apiculturists through artificial methods as there are few trees or plants that bees can subsist on. Bees can’t survive in the deserts. In summer, the bees will die of heat if not placed in climatecontrolled environs. Apiculturists in Kuwait prefer areas that are shaded and away from wind to pursue their hobby. Thickly wooded areas are ideal for bees as such areas remain cool in summer and warm in winter. The Dwarf Red Honeybees are spread all over Kuwait and seen in large concentrations in Khaldiya, Bayan, Khaitan and Mishref. They are known to invade houses. They are highly adaptive, and colonize areas of houses such as a window in the kitchen, or places that are cold and moist. They build hives on trees or attics, which are shaded and

abandoned. They are also known to build hives on palm trees and different ornamental trees. Talking about the entomological scene in Kuwait, Marafie noted that deserts in Kuwait are almost fully destroyed, and the indigenous species are probably finding it so hard to survive. When the plants are destroyed, nature is so interconnected that even the fauna gets destroyed. Marafie said that people don’t have any restrictions, they just go out into the desert and drive over the plants and shrubs and destroy them. “When you kill the plants, you kill the insects. There is a preserve in the North of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Preserve. There are a lot of plants, animals and insects preserved there. “The recent project undertaken by PAAAFR is an effort to preserve Kuwait’s biodiversity.” Marafie cited the example of people camping in the deserts. “Earlier the camping period in the deserts was only 15 or 20 days. But now it extends from October to March. So people spend more time in the deserts, and as a result the environment is getting more destroyed. “It’s a whole natural cycle. When it rains in the desert, there is vegetation, they bear fruits, animals and birds eat them and scatter the seeds. The seeds get buried in the soil and when the next rain comes, they sprout. This way cycle of life continues. But that’s not happening now. The plants are dead before they bear seeds and the cycle is disrupted.”

News in Brief Congratulations sent: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a cable of congratulations to the President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, as his country marks National Day. Their Highnesses the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah and the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah sent cables of like sentiment on this occasion to the head of state. (KUNA) Meanwhile, His Highness the

Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah sent a cable of congratulations to the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, as his country marks National Day. Their Highnesses the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah and the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah sent cables of like sentiment on this occasion to the head of state. (KUNA) ❑

Al-Mutairi appointed: Assistant Undersecretary for Legal Affairs

Abdulmohsen Al-Mutairi was appointed undersecretary of the Social Affairs and Labor Ministry during the recently-concluded meeting of the Cabinet, report AlKuwaitiah daily quoting sources. Sources explained the appointment is in line with the retirement of incumbent Undersecretary Mohamed Al-Kandari. On the other hand, sources confirmed the appointment of Abdulhameed Al-Qattan as undersecretary of the Ministry of Communications in place of Abdulmohsen Al-Kharafi.




Hearing on State Security case against Al-Daihani delayed until March 7

Court withdraws custody right of woman over 4 children By Jaber Al-Humoud Special to the Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: The Personal Status Court presided over by Magistrate Abdulmohsin Al-Ajeel withdrew the custody right of a citizen woman over her four girls after she got married to another man. Court files indicate the father of the four girls filed a case through Lawyer Mariam Al-Bahar and demanded custody right of his daughters after their mother got married to another man. Lawyer Al-Bahar said the defendant had presented two verdicts from the

Court of First Instance and Appeals Court to prove the four girls have been placed in her custody, with the final verdict obliging the ex-husband to pay KD 200 as monthly allowance and house rent, KD 45 for the services of a housemaid, and one-time payment of KD 400 to employ a housemaid. On behalf of the plaintiff, Lawyer AlBahar demanded custody of the four daughters based on the fact that their father makes permanent settlement and caters for their expenses after the defendant has gotten married to another person. ❑

Hearing delayed: The Criminal Court adjourned until March 7 the hearing on a State Security case against Nasser AlDaihani who had been charged with defaming the Amiri Status on Twitter and misusing his mobile phone for that purpose. Case files indicate, Al-Daihani, a public school teacher, was arrested last year for attacking the Amiri Status through his Twitter account but was released on bail of KD 1,000 after the interrogation. ❑

Appeal rejected: The Cassation Court has rejected the appeal filed by an invest-

ment portfolio director against the verdict of the Court of Appeals, which ordered the director to pay back the variation incentive charges of KD 8,083,997, which he had awarded himself. According to the court files, the portfolio owner (plaintiff) had requested appointment with an expert for explanation on the reason for value increase of his shares in order to determine if it was caused by the portfolio management or by market activity and whether the portfolio director (defendant) deserves incentive option fees of the stock increase. Earlier, the First Instance Court had rejected the case; however, Lawyer

Abdulhameed Al-Sarraf appealed against the verdict. He claimed that the ‘First Instance Court’ had erred its verdict because it misunderstood the article of the contract, which clearly states that the investment portfolio director will not be entitled to any incentive fee except when the value of the shares increase due to market trading operations, in which the director was involved. It also states that the fees will be calculated from the net profit of the portfolio. The Cassation Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s verdict by obligating the director of the investment portfolio to return back incentive option fees, which

he had deducted from his client who is the owner of the portfolio. ❑

Court acquits man: The Court of Appeals presided by Judge Mohammed Al-Khalaf has acquitted a Kuwaiti man of the charge of insulting a bodybuilder on the YouTube website. The Public Prosecution had charged the suspect with insulting the plaintiff and downloading his picture and placing an offensive and mocking caption underneath the picture. Attorney Wasmiya AlRayyas told the court there was no evidence to pin the accusation at her client.

Six citizens ‘perish’, 9 expats hurt in Friday traffic accidents Men, women held for liquor use; shots fired at citizen By Meshal Al-Sanousi Special to the Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: Six Kuwaiti citizens died while nine expatriates sustained injuries due to traffic accidents that occurred throughout the country on Friday. Photo by Iehab Qurtal

The vehicle in which 4 citizens died.

Photo by Mahmoud Jadeed

The stolen vehicle set on fire.

Stolen vehicle set on fire By Meshal Al-Sanousi Special to the Arab Times Unknown individuals deliberately set a stolen vehicle on fire recently in the area between Taima and Naseem in Jahra Governorate. According to security sources, when the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior received information about a vehicle on

fire, firefighters rushed to the location with securitymen and extinguished the fire before it spread further. Investigations revealed that the vehicle was reported as stolen and the unknown suspects deliberately set it on fire to hide their crimes. A case was registered and investigations are ongoing to arrest the unknown suspects.

2 held for consumption of intoxicants

Contents of 7 vehicles stolen, sold for half price at Amghara By Munaif Nayef and Meshal Al-Sanousi Special to the Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: A Bedoun youth and a GCC national were arrested recently for stealing contents of seven vehicles in Taima. According to security sources, when securitymen received several complaints from Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates about the thefts of contents of their vehicles in Taima, they formed a team for investigations. After carrying out necessary investigations, they arrested the GCC expatriate and a Bedoun youth. During interrogations, they confessed that they stole the contents of seven vehicles and

sold it in Amghara Scrapyard at half the price. Necessary legal action was taken against them and they were referred to the Public Prosecution. Meanwhile, a Kuwaiti citizen and a GCC national were arrested recently on Mutla Road for consumption of intoxicants. Reportedly, while Jahra securitymen were patrolling Mutla Road, they noticed a vehicle being driven recklessly. They stopped the vehicle and checked the details of the two occupants to discover the driver is a Kuwaiti citizen while his passenger is a GCC national. When securitymen discovered that the two suspects are intoxicated, they arrested and referred them to the police station of the area for investigations.

Crime Briefs Expat injured in fall: An Egyptian expatriate sustained serious injuries when he fell from an under-construction building of Jaber Hospital in Surra, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily. When the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior received information about the incident, paramedics rushed to the location and referred the victim to Mubarak Hospital for treatment. A case was registered. ❑ ❑ ❑ Woman insults police officer: A police officer has lodged a complaint at Adan Police Station against a Kuwaiti woman who insulted him while he was on duty, reports Al-Anba daily. A case was registered and securitymen will summon the suspect to the police station for investigations. ❑ ❑ ❑ Woman harassed: A young Kuwaiti woman has filed a complaint with the Salmiya Police Station accusing an unidentified motorist of harassing her while she was driving in the area, reports Al-Rai daily.

The woman has provided police details about the suspect and his car. ❑ ❑ ❑ Acting weird: Traffic in a suburb of Shamiya was disrupted for quite some time when an unidentified motorist got out of his vehicle and acted weird, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily. The man was spotted kneeling on the ground and appeared to be praying. ❑ ❑ ❑ Woman stuck in lift: A Kuwaiti woman who got trapped in the elevator of the Ministries Complex was taken to the Amiri Hospital for treatment of asphyxiation, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily. Without going into details the daily said the woman was rescued by firemen. ❑ ❑ ❑ Nepali hurt: A 29-year-old Nepali who inhaled smoke when his grocery caught fire in a suburb of Al-Zahra, has been admitted to a hospital, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily. The cause of the fire is not known. The fire sources are investigating.

In details, four Kuwaiti citizens died when their vehicle crashed into a tanker in Jula’ia. Securitymen rushed to the location and referred their corpses to the Forensics Department. Investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the accident. Meanwhile, a 37-year-old Kuwaiti citizen died when his vehicle collided with another on Umm Safaq Road in Wafra. When the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior received information about the accident, securitymen and paramedics rushed to the location with firefighters. Firefighters pulled out the Kuwaiti citizen who was trapped inside his vehicle. They examined him and discovered that he had died. His corpse was referred to the Forensics Department. A case was registered for investigations and the driver of the other vehicle was referred to the police station of the area. Furthermore, a Kuwaiti citizen in his 40s died when a vehicle ran over him in Rahya desert. According to security sources, when the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior received information from Jahra Hospital administration that a Kuwaiti citizen died after another Kuwaiti citizen admitted him in the hospital, securitymen rushed to the location. They arrested the other Kuwaiti citizen and he revealed during investigations that he was driving his vehicle in Rahya desert when the victim stepped in front of him. He was unable to stop the vehicle on time and hit the victim. He provided first-aid to the victim and rushed him to Jahra Hospital; however the victim died after reaching the hospital. Securitymen detained the suspect in police custody. In addition, three Asian expatriates and an Egyptian expatriate sustained injuries when two vehicles collided on King Fahad Expressway. Paramedics rushed to the location and referred them to Adan Hospital for treatment. Five Syrian expatriates including two women sustained injuries when two vehicles collided on Ghazali Road. Paramedics rushed to the location and referred the five victims to Sabah Hospital for treatment. ❑ ❑ ❑ 4 men, women held: Two Kuwaiti citizens and two Arab women were arrested recently in Salmiya for consumption of liquor and possession of an imported bottle of liquor. According to security sources, while Hawally securitymen were patrolling Salmiya at night, they noticed a vehicle with two men and two women from which loud music was being played. Securitymen stopped them and checked their details to discover the two men are Kuwaiti citizens while the two women are Arab nationals. Sensing the smell of alcohol from them, securitymen checked the vehicle and found an imported bottle of liquor. They were arrested and referred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal action against them. ❑ ❑ ❑ Motorist fires at citizen: A 22year-old Kuwaiti citizen narrowly escaped death when an unknown individual fired at him in Fintas and ran

MoI photos

Top: Officers pose for a group picture, and (above) officers who attended the course receive their certificates.

MoI concludes training course for officers The Ministry of Interior recently concluded the training course for officers, which was held under the title ‘Powerboats Commanders’ at the specialist training center at the

Border Security Sector. The course began on Nov 11, 2012 and ended on Feb 14, 2013. The event was held under the auspices of the Assistant

Undersecretary for Borders Security Affairs Major-General Sheikh Mohammad Al-Yousef of the Ministry of Interior in the presence of many senior officials.

Names of prisoners to be announced next week

Amiri Pardon panel holds marathon meet KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: The Amiri Pardon Committee held a marathon meeting to discuss the files of prisoners who fulfill the conditions for release, reports AlSeyassah daily. According to security sources the names of prisoners who have ‘qualified’ for release will be away. According to security sources, the Kuwaiti citizen filed a case at Fintas Police Station and informed securitymen that he was crossing the road when a vehicle passed him and the driver requested him to stop. When he stopped on the other side of the road, the unknown individual started shooting randomly towards him and fled from the location. However, none of the bullets hit the citizen and he rushed to the police station to report the incident. Securitymen noted the description of the vehicle and investigations are ongoing to arrest the suspect. ❑ ❑ ❑ 2 Syrians assault 2 citizens: Two Syrian expatriates were arrested recently for hitting two Kuwaiti citizens during a quarrel in Jleeb AlShuyoukh. According to security sources, when the Kuwaiti citizens stopped their vehicle near a grocery store to purchase some items, two youths stopped near them and looked at them in a strange manner. Feeling intimidated, one of the Kuwaiti citizens ordered the

announced next week. The committee comprises of two members each from the Ministry of Interior, the Amiri Diwan and the Public Prosecution. The list of names of prisoners to be pardoned on account of the National and Liberation days will driver of the vehicle to move but the youths retaliated in an impolite manner. A quarrel rose between them which eventually developed into a physical fight. When the owner of the grocery store informed the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior, securitymen and paramedics rushed to the location and referred the two Kuwaiti citizens to Farwaniya Hospital for treatment, as they had sustained several injuries and bruises on their bodies. The owner of the grocery store informed securitymen that the suspects ran away before their arrival. Securitymen noted the details of the suspect’s vehicle using which they identified the driver, who is a Syrian expatriate. They arrested the two Syrian suspects and detained in police custody for necessary legal action against them. ❑ ❑ ❑ Egyptian bitten by dog: A 29-yearold Egyptian expatriate was bitten by a mad dog recently in Shuwaikh Industrial Area. According to security sources, when

be submitted to HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed for approval. It has been reported the Amiri pardon in addition to immediate release from prison also includes reduction in prison sentence, cancellation of deportation order and writing off financial fines. the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior received information from a passerby that a mad dog bit an individual, securitymen and paramedics rushed to the location and discovered the victim lying on the ground and bleeding from his leg. Paramedics referred the victim to Sabah Hospital for treatment. ❑ ❑ ❑ Robbery bid foiled: An unknown individual wearing military uniform attempted to steal cash from a grocery store in Mangaf by impersonating as a police officer. According to security sources, when a Syrian expatriate informed the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior that an individual, wearing military uniform and claiming he is police officer, was checking his grocery store, securitymen rushed to the location. The owner of the grocery store informed securitymen that the suspect had demanded for his Civil ID and his wallet, after which he was checking the grocery store. However, when the suspect noticed him contacting the Operations Room, he fled from the location.

Securitymen arrest 19 people; seven women held for begging

Ministry seizes 10 tons of ‘rotten’ meat from three shops By Meshal Al-Sanousi Special to the Arab Times and Agencies KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: Jahra securitymen arrested 19 individuals and seized 22 vehicles recently during a security campaign that was launched on Salmi desert under the instructions of Jahra Security Director Major General Ibrahim Al-Tarrah. According to security sources, the securitymen arrested 12 individuals

with expired residency and seven who were using their vehicles to sell food items and fireworks beside the road. Necessary legal action was taken against the suspects. Sources said securitymen will continue such campaigns to arrest violators of law and traffic rules. ❑ ❑ ❑ ‘Rotten’ meat seized: In the ongoing crackdown on shops and eateries for selling inedible food to consumers, the Supervision Department of the

Ministry of Commerce and Industry affiliated to the Capital Governorate has reportedly seized 10 tons of ‘rotten’ meat from three stores, reports AlSeyassah daily. According to reliable sources the meat is of Australian origin and was distributed to the stores in the Capital Governorate by an unidentified company. The owner of the company has been referred to the Commercial Prosecution. ❑ ❑ ❑

7 held for begging: During a crackdown of hawkers, police from the Faiha Police Station have arrested seven women for begging for alms, reports Alam Alyawm daily. According to security sources two of the women — an Arab and an Asian — were arrested for begging for alms in front of a cooperative society. While five women — two Syrians and three Asians — were arrested also for begging for alms. They were caught in front of unidentified banks.




Smith warns Australia’s friendly ties at risk

Israel’s use of foreign passports under microscope SYDNEY, Feb 15, (AFP): In January 2010 a suspected Mossad hit squad assassinated a top Hamas militant in Dubai. It emerged afterwards — to the fury of Canberra — that some of the cell were using Australian passports. Current defence minister Stephen Smith, foreign minister at the time, summoned the Israeli ambassador and warned that the countries’ friendly ties were at risk. The explosive revelations this week surrounding so-called “Prisoner X” who died in a Tel Aviv jail has again raised concern over the Israeli spy agency’s use of foreign passports. The man, identified by media as Australian-Israeli Mossad agent Ben

Zygier, committed suicide in December 2010 while in isolation at Ayalon prison in a case Israel went to extreme lengths to cover up. His arrest in February 2010 came just a week after Dubai police publicly accused Mossad agents of carrying out the Hamas hit, saying they were looking for around a dozen people with Western passports — four of them Australian. The speculation is that Zygier was on the verge of revealing details about Mossad’s use of Western passports, among other sensitive operational issues. An unnamed Australian security official familiar with the case told the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday that Zygier

“may well have been about to blow the whistle, but he never got the chance”. The newspaper said he was one of at least three dual Australian-Israeli citizens who emigrated to Israel in the past decade whose cases were investigated by Australia’s overseas espionage agency ASIS. It alleged that in each case the men used their Australian passports to travel to Iran, Syria and Lebanon — countries that do not allow Israelis to enter. Zygier denied he was a spy. Former Australian intelligence officer Warren Reed said passports from countries such as Australia were particularly useful to Israel. “It’s a clean country, it has a good image like New Zealand. There aren’t

many countries like that so our nationality and anything connected with it can be very useful in intelligence work,” he said. Reed added that it was not just Israel recruiting people to make use of their passports for espionage activities. “It’s not only Israel doing it, but the Israeli intelligence system possibly depends on this sort of thing more than anyone else,” he told Sky News. “If Ben was going to blow the whistle on something like that, that’s a key operational factor and they wouldn’t want that to get out. “One wonders though whether the passport thing is at the centre of this. It may be just one component.”

In March 2004, two suspected Mossad agents were arrested in New Zealand and later convicted for fraudulently trying to obtain passports from the country, prompting diplomatic sanctions. When the Dubai story broke in 2010, former Mossad case officer Victor Ostrovsky was quoted in Australian media as saying the agency regularly faked Australian passports for its agents. “They need passports because you can’t go around with an Israeli passport, not even a forged one, and get away or get involved with people from the Arab world,” he said. “So most of these (Mossad) operations are carried out on what’s called false flag,

which means you pretend to be of another country which is less belligerent to those countries that you’re trying to recruit from.” He said Mossad had a “very, very expensive research department” dedicated to manufacturing the fake documents which simulates different types of paper and ink, although Israel has dismissed his claims. At the time of the Dubai incident, then foreign minister Smith said: “This is not the first occasion where there has been misuse of an Australian passport by Israeli agencies.” Canberra is reviewing the Zygier case and Smith Friday refused to comment.

Palestinian protesters clash with Israelis in West Bank Dozens injured in solidarity for prisoners event RAMALLAH, Feb 15, (Agencies): Palestinians around the West Bank on Friday staged solidarity events for prisoners held by Israel and on hunger strike, with dozens injured in clashes with Israeli security forces. Near the West Bank city of Ramallah, some 3,000 Palestinians held a protest march to the Ofer military prison that erupted into violent clashes with soldiers, an AFP correspondent said.

Some photos from the event

680 prizes distributed

Heritage festival closes KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: The Third Folkloric Popular Heritage Festival dropped its curtains Friday evening after continuous activities for one month, during which nearly 680 prizes were given out to the winners of various camel and falcon contests. The closing ceremony was attended by a huge audience and tribesmen. The Amiri Advisor Daifullah Sharar extended appreciation to HH the Amir for patronizing the festival. He affirmed the festival has achieved its desired objectives and hopes for more achievements in coming annual festivals. For his part, the head of supreme organizing committee of the festival Sheikh Dari Al-Fahad expressed gratitude to HH the Amir, as he distributed prizes to the winners. Also, he honored the Ministry of

Information crew for immense role they played in covering the event. The head of referee committee of the last day of festival Sheikh Sabah Fahad AlNasser presented several certificates to over 5,000 contestants — among them Kuwaitis who won in various events. This indicates the event was successful. He hopes for more participants in the next annual festival. It is noteworthy the folkloric popular heritage festival is an annual festival that kicked off Jan 15 until Feb 15. The event aims to enhance ties between the regional countries by inspiring the historic heritage of their forefathers and keeps on attracting more and more participants each year. This makes it more competitive and entertaining at the same time.

Palestinian medical sources and eyewitnesses said two demonstrators were wounded by live gunfire, and 20 more by rubber-coated bullets. A military spokeswoman confirmed live bullets were fired in the air after soldiers felt they were in “immediate danger” from stones hurled by Palestinians. At the Jalama checkpoint at the northernmost tip of the West Bank, 1,000 Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers, an AFP correspondent said, with four injured by live gunfire and 20 by gas. Another 10 were arrested. An Israeli army spokeswoman said 150 Palestinians threw stones at soldiers, and confirmed 10 were detained. In the east Jerusalem village of Issawiya, hundreds of Palestinians clashed with police. Palestinians said one demonstrator was wounded in the eye by a rubber bullet. Four Palestinians are currently on long-term hunger strike — Samer Assawi, Jaafar Ezzedine, Ayman Sharawneh and Tareq Qaadan. International Quartet representative Tony Blair on Friday expressed “concern” over the “deteriorating health condition of the four prisoners, one of whom has been on a hunger strike for over 200 days.” “Israel must respect the human rights of all prisoners and provide them with all necessary medical assistance and legal recourse to due process according to international standards,” Blair said in a statement. Speaking at a solidarity tent near the International Committee of the Red Cross offices in El-Bireh, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas promised that “our brave prisoners will top the agenda” in his meetings with US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, expected in the region soon. According to Israeli rights watchdog B’Tselem, at the end of 2012 more than 4,500 Palestinian detainees and prisoners were held in Israeli jails. Meanwhile, an Israeli court on Thursday found two senior Hamas members who had taken refugee in Red Cross east Jerusalem offices guilty of “membership of a terror organisation” and staying in Israel without permits. Former Palestinian minister for Jerusalem affairs Khaled Abu Arafeh and Hamas MP Mohammed Totah had barricaded themselves in the International Committee of the Red Cross offices on July 1, 2010, but were arrested on January 23, 2012. The ICRC compound is in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied east Jerusalem. According to police, the two men both had their Israeli ID cards revoked 18 months before their arrest, meaning they were not legally entitled to be in the city. The Thursday ruling at the Jerusalem district court, provided to AFP, was part of a plea bargain the two reached with the prosecution. Sentencing is due to begin on February 26. Israel has stepped up arrests of Hamas members in the West Bank, in part to prevent a rising tide of lowintensity conflict and civil unrest from turning into an uprising. Last week, 25 Hamas members were arrested in raids across the West Bank, three of them members of the Palestinian parliament. Palestinian security forces rounded up at least 25 more. Hamas has 74 members in the 132seat Palestinian Authority Legislative Council, which is based in Ramallah. Twelve Hamas lawmakers are currently being held by Israel. In another incident, suspected Jewish extremists scrawled anti-Arab graffiti on the headstones in an ancient Muslim cemetery in west Jerusalem, police and witnesses told AFP on Thursday.

In this photo provided on Feb 15 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize General News Single by Rodrigo Abd, Argentina, for The Associated Press, Aida cries while recovering from severe injuries she received when her house was shelled by the Syrian Army. Her husband and two children were fatally wounded during the shelling in Idib, north Syria, March 10. (AP)

Iranian-US pastor imprisoned in Tehran

US urges Iran to free Christian WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (AFP): US lawmakers on Thursday pressed for the release of an Iranian-American pastor imprisoned in Tehran over his work with underground churches, urging the use of all diplomatic efforts. In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, 84 senators and House members across the political spectrum urged him “to exhaust every possible option” to secure the release of naturalized US citizen Saeed Abedini. Representative Trent Franks, a conservative Republican from Arizona who helped lead the effort, said in a statement that Abedini’s case needed Kerry’s “immediate and personal attention.” Representative Henry Waxman, a left-leaning Democrat from California, said that Abedini’s detention “exemplifies Iran’s flagrant violation of human rights and religious freedom.” “We hope that this letter, with its deep support from all across America, will show Saeed Abedini that he is not alone and that we have not forgotten

him,” Waxman said. Abedini, who converted from Islam to Christianity, was arrested in September on a return trip to Iran. He was sentenced last month to eight years in prison on charges of disrupting national security by promoting underground churches. Abedini’s family said he took part in house churches when they were largely tolerated a decade ago under reformist president Mohammad Khatami. The family said he abided by an agreement he made in 2009 after a previous detention to halt such activity. Iran’s constitution following the 1979 Islamic revolution recognizes the rights of several religious minorities including Christians, but the clerical regime has targeted converted former Muslims. Recently, security forces on Monday arrested two daughters of opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi who along with his wife is under house arrest, an opposition website reported. “Security forces raided the home of

Zahra and Narges, and arrested them in the morning,”, which is close to Mousavi, said without citing a source. The judiciary is yet to comment on the report. Mousavi was a leading figure guiding opposition protests against the result of the 2009 presidential election, which gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second four-year term. Mousavi and fellow reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi said the election was rigged and have guided a string of protests against Ahmadinejad. They pair — branded by authorities as “leaders of the sedition” which sought to overthrow the Islamic regime after the 2009 election - are both under house arrest since February 2011. The report of the arrests comes as Iran prepares to hold in June its next presidential election to find a successor for Ahmadinejad, who by law cannot run for a third consecutive term.

Mideast Brief Ex-gens testify in Turkey: Six retired generals testified on Thursday in an Ankara court as part of an ongoing probe into the 1997 coup that ousted an Islamic-leaning government, local television reported. They were summoned to testify a day after four ex-generals including a navy chief were detained pending trial for their alleged role in the coup, the latest development in a standoff between the military and Turkey’s current Islamist-rooted government. Prosecutors are preparing an indictment for around 90 suspects, including 60 retired and active military officers, as part of the probe launched in 2011. The events of Feb 28, 1997 are widely referred to in Turkey as a “post-modern coup” since they involved no troops and the deposed cabinet was not replaced by a military administration. Then prime minister Necmettin Erbakan was forced to step down after a series of warnings from the army, which ordered scores of tanks to roll through the streets of Ankara in what was seen as a show of power against the government. The once-powerful military, considered the self-appointed guardian of Turkish secularism, has staged four coups in half a century. Tensions have been rising for years between the military and the

current government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a disciple of Erbakan. Hundreds of suspects, including army officers, journalists and lawmakers, are being tried in separate cases over their alleged roles in plots to topple Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has sought to decrease the army’s influence in politics. In September more than 300 retired and active military officers received prison sentences of up to 20 years after the court ruled that a military exercise dubbed “Sledgehammer” in 2003 was an undercover coup plot. Pro-government circles have praised the investigations as a step toward democracy but critics have branded them witch-hunts aimed at stifling opposition. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Turkey detains: Turkey’s staterun agency says police have briefly detained the two brothers and a sister of a man wanted for questioning over the death of a New York city woman killed while vacationing alone in Turkey. The body of 33-year-old Sarai Sierra was found near ancient city walls in Istanbul on Feb 2, 12 days after she disappeared. Police say the mother of two sustained a fatal blow to the head.

The Anadolu agency says Friday the three were taken into custody in the northern city of Karabuk and released after being questioned about the possible suspect’s whereabouts. It says their DNA samples were taken. Police in Karabuk refused comment. Turkish news reports say police want to question a scrap paper collector who used to hang around the city walls. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Clashes in Turkey: A Turkish news agency says demonstrators have clashed with police during protests marking the 14th anniversary of the capture of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. The Dogan news agency says police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a group of protesters who threw stones and firebombs at riot police in two towns in the mainly Kurdish Hakkari province. Similar clashes broke out in other provinces while a group of militants set two buses on fire in Istanbul in an act believed to be in protest of Ocalan’s continued imprisonment. The pro-Kurdish news agency, Firat News, said three people, including a journalist, were injured in the clashes. Ocalan was captured in Kenya in 1999 and returned to Turkey where he is serving a life term in prison. (AP)




Asteroid fly-by, meteor ‘bang’ just cosmic coincidence

Sky fall: Meteorites strike Earth every few months BERLIN, Feb 15, (AP): A meteor exploded in the sky above Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday, causing a shockwave that blew out countless windows and injured hundreds of people with flying glass. Here’s a look at those objects in the sky: Question: What’s the difference between a meteor and a meteorite? Answer: Meteors are pieces of space rock, usually from larger comets or asteroids, which enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Many are burned up by friction and the heat of the atmosphere, but those that survive and strike the Earth are called meteorites. They often hit the ground at tremendous speed — up to 30,000 kms an hour (18,650 mph) — releasing a huge amount of energy, according to the European Space Agency. Q: How common are meteorite strikes? A: Experts say smaller strikes happen five to 10 times a year. Large meteors such as the one in Russia on Friday are rarer, but still occur about every five years, according to Addi Bischoff, a mineralogist at the University of Muenster in Germany. Most of them fall over uninhabited areas where they don’t injure humans. Q: How big was Friday’s bang in Russia, and why did it cause so many injuries? A: Alan Harris, a senior scientist at the German Aerospace Center in Berlin, said most of the damage would have been caused by the blast — or blasts — as the meteor broke up in the atmosphere. The rapid deceleration of the meteor released a huge amount of energy that would have

Asteroid buzzes Continued from Page 1 feet (15 meters) wide and 7,000 tons before it hit the atmosphere, or one-third the size of the passing asteroid. As for the back-to-back events, “this is indeed very rare and it is historic,” said Jim Green, NASA’s director of planetary science. “These fireballs happen about once a day or so, but we just don’t see them because many of them fall over the ocean or in remote areas. This one was an exception.” As the countdown for the asteroid’s close approach entered the final hours, NASA noted that the path of the meteor appeared to be quite different than that of the asteroid, making the two objects “completely unrelated.” The meteor seemed to be traveling from north to south, while the asteroid passed from south to north — in the opposite direction. Most of the solar system’s asteroids are situated in a belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and remain stable there for billions of years. Some occasionally pop out, though, into Earth’s neighborhood. NASA scientists estimate that an object of this size makes a close approach like this every 40 years. The likelihood of a strike is every 1,200 years. The flyby provides a rare learning opportunity for scientists eager to keep future asteroids at bay — and a primetime advertisement for those anxious to step up preventive measures. Friday’s meteor further strengthened the asteroid-alert message. “We are in a shooting gallery and this is graphic evidence of it,” said former Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart, chairman emeritus of the B612 Foundation, committed to protecting Earth from dangerous asteroids. Schweickart noted that 500,000 to 1 million sizable near-Earth objects — asteroids or comets — are out there. Yet less than 1 percent — fewer than 10,000 — have been inventoried. Humanity has to do better, he said. The foundation is working to build and launch an infrared space telescope to find and track threatening asteroids. If a killer asteroid was, indeed, incoming, a spacecraft could, in theory, be launched to nudge the asteroid out of Earth’s way, changing its speed and the point of intersection. A second spacecraft would make a slight alteration in the path of the asteroid and ensure it never intersects with the planet again, Schweickart said. Asteroid DA14 — discovered by Spanish astronomers only last February — is “such a close call” that it is a “celestial torpedo across the bow of spaceship Earth,” Schweickart said in a phone interview Thursday. NASA’s deep-space antenna in California’s Mojave Desert was ready to collect radar images, but not until eight hours after the closest approach given the United States’ poor positioning for the big event. Scientists at NASA’s Near-Earth Object program at California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory estimate that an object of this size makes a close approach like this every 40 years. The likelihood of a strike is every 1,200 years.

Online ‘sales tax’ Continued from Page 1 In 1992 the Supreme Court decided the patchwork of state tax laws made it too difficult for on-line retailers to collect and remit sales taxes. Currently, states can only tax Internet sales made by companies with a physical presence within state borders. In practice, that means online retailers such as Inc collect sales tax in some states and not in others. The bills introduced on Thursday reconcile differences in legislation that the House of Representatives and Senate considered last year. The nearly identical details in the bills and strong bipartisan support mean the final bill could be sent to President Barack Obama to sign into law this year. Members of Congress recently assured state lawmakers they would pass a law in 2013. In the last decade, Internet sales have

been heard and felt many miles away. Witnesses say it shattered windows and sent loose objects flying through the air. While estimates of the mass of the meteor range from 10-100 tons, and it is still unclear if it was made of rock or iron, “the explosive force of the airburst might have been some 10 kilotons of TNT,” said Harris. But he noted that since the blast occurred several miles above the Earth, the damage isn’t comparable to an explosion of that magnitude on the Earth’ surface. By comparison, the US bomb dropped over Hiroshima during World War II had an explosive force of about 15 kilotons, but it detonated just 2,000 feet above a densely populated city. Q: Is there any link between this meteor and the asteroid fly-by taking place later Friday? A: No, it’s just cosmic coincidence. According to NASA, the trajectory of the Russian meteorite was significantly different than that of asteroid 2012 DA14. “In videos of the meteor, it is seen to pass from left to right in front of the rising sun, which means it was traveling from north to south. Asteroid DA14’s trajectory is in the opposite direction, from south to north,” the US space agency said. Q: When was the last comparable meteorite strike? A: In 2008, astronomers spotted a meteor similar to the one in Russia heading toward Earth about 20 hours before it entered the atmosphere. It exploded over the vast African nation of Sudan, causing no known injuries. The largest known meteor in recent times caused the “Tunguska event” —

Explosion spawns endless theories

1908 Tunguska Event Russia’s greatest cosmic mystery MOSCOW, Feb 15, (AFP): The stunning burning-up of a meteor over Russia on Friday that unleashed a shockwave injuring hundreds of people appears to be the country’s most dramatic cosmic experience since the historic Tunguska Event of June 1908. The Tunguska Event was an explosion that went off in a remote region in Siberia on June 30, 1908, near the river Podkamennaya Tunguska in the north of current Krasnoyarsk region. Most scientists believe it was caused by a massive meteorite, an asteroid or even a comet although the failure to find fragments from the impact created a mystery that has spawned sometimes endless theo-

ries. The few people closest to the supposed impact area of the Tunguska meteorite were the indigenous Evenki hunters. Assuming the crater was caused by an impact from space, the body estimated as being of up 70 metres in diameter caused a seismic wave and lit the sky above Siberia for several days. The sound of its impact was heard about a thousand kilometres away and the overall effect knocked people and livestock off their feet. However, some theories suggest that there was in fact no rock, because no fragments of it were ever found. One of such theories looks at the possible escape of methane gas

from the ground. The incident remains a source of multiple wilder hypotheses, ranging from an encounter with a black hole, a landing of a UFO or experiments by the celebrated physicist and inventor Nikola Tesla thousands of kilometres away in New York. The event still tickles the imagination of Russians and is a tourist attraction for those bold enough to make it to the Podkamennaya Tunguska area. Black and white early photos taken around the supposed impact area show fallen taiga, which the first explorers measured to spread out from the epicentre for up to 30 kilometres.

The remoteness of the swampy Tunguska area, and the fact that Russia was enveloped in several wars and the Bolshevik Revolution in the early 20th century, meant that only a limited number of people managed to travel there. The first scientist who ventured to look for the meteorite was mineralogist Leonid Kulik, who made several expeditions, starting in 1927, scavenging for metal remains over hundreds of kilometres in extreme conditions precipitated by lack of money and constant illnesses in the team. Despite digging and draining scores of apparent craters, nothing resembling a meteorite was recovered.

flattening thousands of square miles of forest in remote Siberia in 1908. Nobody was injured by the meteor blast, or by the Sikhote-Alin meteorite that fell in eastern Siberia in 1947. Scientists believe that a far larger meteorite strike on what today is Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula may have been responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. According to that theory, the impact would have thrown up vast amounts of dust that blanketed the sky for decades and altered the climate on Earth.

Q: What can scientists learn from Friday’s strike? A: Bischoff says scientists and treasure hunters are probably already racing to find pieces of the meteorite. Some meteorites can be very valuable, selling for up to $670 per gram, depending on their origin and composition. Because meteors have remained largely unchanged for billions of years — unlike rocks on Earth that have been affected by erosion and volcanic outbreaks — scientists will study the fragments to learn more about the early universe.

Harris, of the German Aerospace Center, says some meteorites are also believed to carry organic material and may have influenced the development of life on Earth. Q: What would happen if a meteorite hit a city? A: A blast at low altitude or on the surface would result in many casualties and cause serious damage to buildings. The exact extent would depend on many factors, including the mass of the meteorite, its speed and composition, said Harris. Scientists have been discussing for

several years how to prepare for such an event — however remote. European Space Agency spokesman Bernhard von Weyhe says experts from Europe, the US and Russia are working on way to spot potential threats sooner and avert them. But don’t expect a Hollywood-style mission to fly a nuclear bomb into space and blow up the asteroid, like the movie “Armageddon.” “It’s a global challenge and we need to find a solution together,” he said. “But one thing’s for sure, the Bruce Willis ‘Armageddon’ method won’t work.”

Clashes near Syria airport kill 150: anti-govt activists

Glikson, co-author of a study published in the journal Tectonophysics. The impact happened before the dinosaurs, he said. The announcement of the discovery came just before a newly discovered asteroid about half the size of a football field was set to pass some 27,520 km (17,200 miles) from Earth.

Continued from Page 1

Turkey fires back after shell hits

important for everyone, not just a small subset of people who are salt sensitive,” said study lead author Pamela Coxson, at the University of California, San Francisco. Although the health effects of cutting back on salt may be small for the average person, she said, the results show they add up when projected across millions of Americans. Coxson and her colleagues ran three salt-reduction scenarios through models that predicted how a lower-sodium diet would have an impact on a person’s risk of having high blood pressure or dying of cardiovascular disease. The most realistic scenario was a gradual decline in the average sodium intake over ten years to about 2,200 mg per day. That goal would be “optimistic but potentially achievable,” the researchers wrote in the journal Hypertension.

BEIRUT, Feb 15, (Agencies): Intense clashes between the Syrian army and rebel fighters near the country’s secondlargest airport killed around 150 people in recent days, anti-regime activists said Friday, pointing to the significance both sides in the country’s civil war place on controlling key infrastructure. The battle for the international airport near Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, resembles other battles over strategic assets that could provide an edge in the larger fight for the country.


This week, rebels seized a hydroelectric dam and a major oil field, cutting off President Bashar Assad’s regime from key resources necessary for its long term survival. On Friday, activists also reported that rebels seized an air defense base and fought near two other army installations in Syria’s north. Rebels have been trying for months to capture Aleppo’s international airport, which lies east of the city in a complex with a smaller military airfield and an army base charged with protecting the area. The base, home to the Syrian army’s 80th Brigade, fell to rebel forces on Wednesday, and fighting has continued over the airports since, with both sides shelling each other’s positions. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday that some 150 people had been killed in the fighting over the last two days, roughly half of them rebels and half of them government troops.

Control “The operation will continue until we control the airport and Nairab,” Col Abdul-Jabbar al-Aqidi, commander of the rebels’ Military Council in Aleppo, told pan-Arab Al-Arabiya TV. If the rebels were to capture the two airports, it would be a symbolic blow to the regime and could shift the strategic balance in northern Syria. The regime has used the airports to ferry supplies to its forces bogged down in the stalemated fight for Aleppo, though recent clashes near the airport have halted air traffic. Rebel leaders hope their forces will someday use the airports to fly in aid and other supplies - a scenario that for the moment appears unlikely. Meanwhile, Turkish artillery struck back on Friday after a shell fired from neighbouring Syria ploughed into Turkish territory without causing any casualties, the state-run news agency reported. The shell fell near the town of Yayladag in Hatay province near the border with Syria and Turkish forces retaliated immediately, Anatolia said. Since Syrian fire killed five Turks on Oct 3, Turkey has systematically retaliated to every cross-border shelling. On Monday, 14 people were killed when a minibus packed with explosives blew up in a buffer zone between Syria’s and Turkey’s border. gone from 1.6 percent of all US retail sales to more than 5 percent, according to Commerce Department data, a proportion that will likely grow as shoppers turn more to handheld devices to make purchases. In the third quarter of 2012, retail “e-commerce” sales were $57 billion, the department said. Large Internet retailers are worried the tax could drive up the cost of doing business. They would also have to create new systems and software to collect the sur-

Less salt could

Continued from Page 1

In this photo provided on Feb 15 by World Press Photo, the 3rd prize General News Stories by Daniel Berehulak, Australia, for Getty Images, shows pine trees, uprooted during last year’s tsunami, lay strewn over the beach. As the one year anniversary approaches, the areas most affected by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami that left 15,848 dead and 3,305 missing according to Japan’s National Police Agency continue to struggle. Thousands of people still remain without homes living in temporary dwellings. The Japanese government faces an uphill battle with the need to dispose of rubble as it works to rebuild economies and livelihoods in Rikuzentakata, Japan, March 7, 2012. (AP)

‘It’s a picture I will never forget’

Swede wins World Press Photo award AMSTERDAM, Feb 15, (AP): Swedish photographer Paul Hansen won the 2012 World Press Photo award Friday for newspaper Dagens Nyheter with a picture of two Palestinian children killed in an Israeli missile strike being carried to their funeral. The picture shows a group of men marching the dead bodies through a narrow street in Gaza City. The victims, a brother and sister, are wrapped in white cloth with only their faces showing. “The strength of the pictures lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children,” said jury member Mayu Mohanna of Peru. “It’s a picture I will not forget.” World Press Photo, one of photojournalism’s most prestigious contests, issued awards in nine categories to 54 photographers of 32 nationalities. Hansen’s Nov 20 shot won top prize in both the spot news single photograph category and the overall competition. It portrays 2-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her 3-year-old brother Muhammad, charges, adding to their costs. Amazon said in July it prefers having the tax issue resolved at the federal level. When the 2007-09 recession caused states’ revenues to collapse, both Republican and Democratic governors advocated for the tax as a financial solution that would not require the federal government to provide direct aid. A leader in the Republican party, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell went so far as to assume the state will soon bring in online tax revenue in his recent plan for overhauling the state’s transportation funding. “The revenue states are losing out on is

who were killed when their house was destroyed by the Israeli attack. They are being carried by grieving uncles, as their father Fouad was also killed, and his body can be seen in the background of the picture. The children’s mother, whose name was not provided, was in intensive care. “This prize is the highest honor you can get in the profession,” Hansen told The Associated Press. “I’m very happy, but also very sad. The family lost two children and the mother is unconscious in a hospital.” “These situations are so visually complex,” he added. “It’s difficult to convey the emotions, to translate what is happening. The light is harsh and there are a lot of people. “But in the alley the light bounced off the walls, so I thought this is a place where you can see that it’s a procession. ... You get the depth in the image, and the bouncing light.” Violence in the Middle East, and its effect upon civilians, was the dominant theme in the hard news categories. The Associated Press won eight legally owed, but because of a pre-Internet Supreme Court ruling, states aren’t able to collect it,” Deb Peters, a Republican state senator in South Dakota, said in a statement. States and cities say they can recoup billions of dollars with the tax. Fitch Ratings estimates that states currently lose out on $11 billion in revenues. Some states are considering their own legislation. Florida is currently debating a bill that advocates say could bring the state more than $400 million. Small retailers, meanwhile, have said the sales tax will will allow them to compete with massive online retailers.

awards in all, including top prizes for a spot news series for Bernat Armangue of Spain for photos he took in Gaza during November; and for Rodrigo Abd of Argentina for general news single photograph, with a picture of a woman with a bloodstained face weeping in Idib, Syria, on March 10. She was identified as Aida, and her photo of silent grief is in some ways a reverse image of Hansen’s winning shot. She received severe injuries when her house was shelled by the Syrian Army, killing her husband and two children. In other categories, Wei Seng Chen of Malaysia won in the sports singles category with a shot of what might be considered a local “extreme sport”: a man clutching the tails of two bulls as they pull him through a watery rice field in Batu Sangkar, Indonesia. The competition also includes portrait series, scenes from everyday life, and nature photography, among others.

See Also Pages 7, 9, 10, 17, 22, 46 & 49 “While store owners collect and remit state and local sales taxes their digital competitors are off the hook – and benefiting because of it,” said David French, the National Retail Federation’s senior vicepresident for government relations, in a statement.

Ancient Aussie Continued from Page 1 The strike may have been part of an asteroid impact cluster which caused an era of mass extinction, wiping out primitive coral reefs and other species, added

second anniversary of a Shiite-led uprising against the kingdom’s Sunni rulers, witnesses said, a day after two people died when protests turned violent. Police also used sound bombs to disperse thousands of opposition supporters who staged a mid-afternoon demonstration on the Boudaya highway that links a string of Shiite-populated villages with the capital Manama, witnesses said. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

DETROIT: Chrysler Group LLC said on Friday it is recalling 4,278 Dodge Viper sports cars globally to fix a part that could cause the airbags to inadvertently deploy, expanding a recall from last fall. The US automaker, controlled by Fiat SpA, is recalling 3,660 of the Vipers in the United States from model years 2003 and 2004 to address a potential for the front airbags or seat belt pretensioners to mistakenly deploy. Also affected are 440 cars in Canada, 10 in Mexico and 168 in the rest of the world. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑ DETROIT: BMW is recalling more than 30,000 SUVs to fix an oil leak that can knock out the power-assisted braking. The German automaker says the recall covers X5 SUVs in the US from the 2007 through 2010 model years. The vehicles were made between Sept. 12, 2006, and March 18, 2010. They have eight-cylinder engines. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

LONDON: Lombard Medical Technologies has won United States approval for its device to treat abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), giving it access to the world’s largest market for the product and boosting its shares by 31 percent. The Aorfix stent, a tube that is inserted into a swollen artery to prevent rupture, has been approved for patients with angulations at the neck of the aneurysm up to 90 degrees, the British company said on Friday. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑ LONDON: A fourth person in Britain has contracted a potentially fatal SARS-like virus which was unknown in humans until a few months ago, but health officials said on Friday the risk to the population remained very low. Confirming the third British case this week of infection the new virus — known as novel coronavirus, or NCoV — the Health Protection Agency said the patient was one of a cluster of three in the same family. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

GENEVA: More than 100 people have died in the past six months in a worsening outbreak of hepatitis E among refugees in South Sudan, the UN’s refugee agency warned Friday. “Hepatitis E is endemic in the region, but among refugees has contaminated 6,017 people and led to 111 deaths since July,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters in Geneva. (AFP)




Activists accuse govt of trying to cover-up

Egypt military offers apology for child death CAIRO, Feb 15, (AP): Egypt’s military made a rare admission and apology on Thursday for mistakenly shooting and killing a 12-year-old street vendor in Cairo, a day after activists accused the government of trying to cover up the death. The boy, Omar Salah, was killed on Feb 3 near the US Embassy and Tahrir Square during clashes in the area. Activists discovered his death coincidentally as they were searching for missing protesters in hospitals. “The Armed Forces apologizes for the mistaken killing of the child and pledges to take all legal measures against the culprit,” military spokesman Ahmed Mohammed Ali said on his official Facebook page. Opposition activists on Wednesday accused officials of trying to cover up abuses. There are also broader accusations of intensifying police abuse harkening back to the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak. that Activists in Egypt’s second largest city, Alexandria, raised a new allegation on Thursday that a detainee among more than 30 rounded up following a protest last week died in detention because he was denied medical treatment. The Interior Ministry spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. In the case of the child killed, the military appeared to be trying to distance itself from the allegations of covering up abuse. The spokesman said a soldier had shot and killed Salah while inspecting his weapon, denying it was during clashes. He also denied claims there was an attempt to cover up the

‘Court ruling unenforceable’

Egypt regulator appeals against YouTube ban CAIRO, Feb 15, (RTRS): Egyptian authorities appealed on Thursday against a court order banning the video file-sharing site YouTube for a month over an amateur video that denigrates the Prophet Mohammad, saying the ruling was unenforceable. “The National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority has presented an appeal to halt implementation of the verdict,” said a statement from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Egypt’s administrative court ordered the ministries of communication and investment to block YouTube, owned by Google , inside the country because it had carried the film “Innocence of Muslims”, said the state news agency MENA.

The low-budget 13-minute video, billed as a film trailer and made in California with private funding, provoked a wave of anti-American unrest in Egypt, Libya and dozens of other Muslim countries in September. A statement issued after talks between ministry officials and the telecoms regulator said it was technically impossible to shut down YouTube in Egypt without affecting Google’s Internet search engine, incurring potentially huge costs and job losses. “The government cannot carry out the contents of the verdict within Egypt’s borders,” the statement said. The only step the authorities could take was to block the offending film within Egypt, which had already been done.

death, saying the military reported it to civilian authorities. During its 17-month rule of Egypt before the election of Morsi, the military was accused of using violence against protesters, including in one incident driving over protesters with armored vehicles. But it has never apologized or admitted abuses. Since Morsi came to power, the military retreated from the streets. In another case, the state’s chief forensic doctor appeared

to backtrack from earlier statements denying that a detained activist died of torture at the hands of security forces remarks that had also sparked opposition accusations of attempts to whitewash abuse. The statements by the doctor and the military appeared designed to ease public anger at a time of heightened tension between the government of President Mohammed Morsi and its opponents.

Thousands of Sunnis protest against Iraq’s Shiite-led govt Tensions in Iraq troubling: US general BAGHDAD, Feb 15, (Agencies): Tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims rallied on Friday in several Iraqi cities to protest what they describe as unfair treatment by the country’s Shiite-led government, extending concerns over rising sectarian tension in the country.

er-terrorism regulations. They also want authorities to rescind policies they say discriminate against Sunnis.

Protestors had hoped to move their demonstrations from predominantly Sunni provinces to Baghdad on Friday, but they backed off that plan after the government rejected their request and imposed tough security measures. Government security forces blocked roads leading from Sunni-dominated provinces and sealed off all Sunni neighborhoods. In the western cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, former insurgent strongholds, demonstrators Sunnis have staged mass protests since late December. They are demanding that blocked the main highway to Jordan and Syria to perform Friday noon prayers. Others gathShiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki step down, and are calling for the release of ered in main squares in the northern cities of Samarra, Mosul and Kirkuk. Local residents ralthousands of Sunnis they say were rounded up arbitrarily under the guise of count- lied outside a prominent Sunni mosque in the Baghdad. “Where is the partnership you are talking about? Sunnis are only seeing genocide and marginalization,” shouted cleric Saad alFayadh in front of thousands of worshippers in Ramadi. His speech was interrupted many times by demonstrators who pumped their fists in the air and shouted: “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great.” The cleric accused the Shiiteled government of letting Iranian influence grow in Baghdad, saying Iranian pilgrims can travel to the country easily and Iranianbacked Shiite militias have marched in the streets. “Am I foreigner? Are we second-class citizens? Are we your enemies? We are Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninevah and Salahuddin,” he said, referring to Sunni provinces in western and northern Iraq. Some protesters vowed to yet take their rallies to the capital by holding banners read: “Baghdad, be patient,” and “Baghdad, not yet.” To ease tension, the government formed a committee to consider the Sunnis’ demands. It has released about 3,000 detainees and is working on clearing thousands of Saddam Hussein-era officials to allow them to take their pensions or sell properties that were blocked after 2003 USled invasion. Hours before Friday prayers, three mortar rounds landed in a Iraqis gather during a demonstration in the city of Samarra on Jan 15, 2013 demanding the ousting of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. military base in Fallujah, but Thousands of people in Sunni-majority areas of Iraq called for the government’s fall amid a spike in violence that has accompanied a there was no word on casualties, political stalemate two months before provincial polls. (AFP) according to police and army officers. The officers spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to release information. Meanwhile, sectarian tensions and political discord in Iraq signal a “troubling” trend in the country since US troops withdrew a year ago, a top American TUNIS, Feb 15, (AFP): Prime Minister Hamadi President Moncef Marzouki’s centre-left country, and the parties will be held responsible general warned on Thursday. Jebali was Friday consulting with a raft of party Congress for the Republic Party, and two other for its success or failure,” he said. Iraq has remained stable but leaders as he hammered out a government of parties, in proposing that the new cabinet com“The parties must realise that there can be no “fragile,” said General Lloyd technocrats designed to pull Tunisia out of its prise both politicians and independents. bargaining for this initiative to go through. They Austin, who was the last US worst political crisis since the revolution. Jebali was expected to meet the party leaders can, however, present their opinion which is norcommander in Iraq before all his Jebali has promised to announce the new govfrom 1500 GMT Friday at a palace in the Tunis mal in a democracy.” Tunisia’s media on Friday forces withdrew in December ernment on Saturday and says he will resign if it suburb of Carthage. said the country was witnessing a “turning 2011. is rejected by the National Constituent “On Saturday I will announce the new govpoint”, while urging a resolution of the impasse. Austin offered his assessment Assembly, which is dominated by his own ernment line-up and if it is rejected I will submit “Our hope is that the voice of reason and conwhen pressed by Republican Islamist Ennahda party. my resignation to the president,” Jebali told sensus will emerge triumphant,” said the La Senator John McCain, a hawk on The prime minister announced his intention to reporters on Thursday. Presse. The Arabic daily Essabah said Jebali’s the Iraq war who has heavily form an apolitical government after Tunisia was “Tomorrow ... (Friday) I will meet all the par“courageous” move if successful could “redraw criticized President Barack plunged into political turmoil on February 6 ties who have, or have not, accepted this initiathe political map of the country and redefine its Obama for pulling out American when prominent leftist leader Chokri Belaid was tive,” he added. priorities”. troops. assassinated outside his home in a Tunis suburb. The prime minister is sticking to his guns that Most of the secular parties backing the initia“So do you believe Iraq is The plan has been met with resistance by the the criteria for inclusion in the new cabinet is tive are in the ranks of the opposition but headed in a positive or negative Ennahda but has won support from a number of non-partisanship as well as a firm commitment Ettakatol, a secular ally of Ennahda headed by direction?” McCain asked the secular parties. by future ministers not to run in the next elecparliamentary speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar, has general. The Islamists have joined ranks with tions. “This is the proposal I am making for the also thrown its weight behind Jebali.

Tunisia’s Jebali to quit if assembly rejects govt

In this photo provided on Feb 15, 2013 by the World Press Photo, the 2nd prize Spot News Stories by Fabio Bucciarelli, Italy, for Agence France-Presse, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter takes position during the clashes against Syrian government forces in Sulemain Halabi district in Aleppo, Syria, Oct 10, 2012. (AP)

Anti-Gaddafi uprising

Libyans fear violence on revolt anniversary BENGHAZI, Libya, Feb 15, (Agencies): Pro-autonomy leaders in eastern Libya urged followers to cancel planned rallies against central authorities on Friday for fear they could ignite violence as the country marks two years since the start of its revolution. Various opposition and interest groups in Benghazi, fount of the 2011 uprising that ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi, have prepared mass demonstrations later in the day to demand better security and investment for Libya’s second biggest city. “Everyone is carrying weapons in Benghazi and there is still general chaos and confusion,” activist Zeid el-Ragas said. “As activists it’s our responsibility to minimise harm in our city, so we will stay home on Feb 15.” While Sunday will be the actual two-year anniversary of the start of the anti-Gaddafi revolt, celebrations were Zeidan to begin later on Friday in remembrance of the arrest of a human rights lawyer in Benghazi that kindled unrest. Many Libyans, particularly those in the east, have been urging citizens to take to the streets to voice their discontent over the Tripoli government’s inability to provide security by disarming militias or moving towards writing a constitution. As part of the increased security measures over the weekend, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said overland borders with Tunisia and Egypt would be closed. Security is a particular headache in Benghazi where violence against foreigners and police assassinations by inchoate Islamist militant groups have become regular occurrences. On Jan 25, Britain urged their nationals to leave Benghazi, citing a “specific and imminent” threat to Westerners days after a deadly attack by Islamist militants on a natural gas complex and taking of hostages in neighbouring Algeria. In Benghazi, the base of the

rebel leadership during the 2011 war, daily life has been disrupted by violence and unrest on top of demands for greater autonomy or investment in a region separated from Tripoli 1,000 kms (620 miles) away to the west. This has led to calls in the region — where most of Libya’s oil wealth lies — for a return to a federal political structure, that is, more regional autonomy, which Libya had before Gaddafi seized power in a coup in 1969. Federalist groups say they have come under harsh criticism from the central government and even religious leaders accusing them of calling for a separation of the east from the west of Libya, something they deny they want to do. “We have been demonised in the state media as traitors and if anything goes wrong on February 15 we will be blamed for it, so it is better if we stay home,” Ragas said. It was not clear how many people would still rally in central Benghazi squares after Friday prayers. In September, civilians stormed militia bases in Benghazi after a militant assault on the local US diplomatic mission in which the US ambassador was killed. This happened after an anti-militia “Save Benghazi” rally. Fearing a repeat, militias have been keeping a low profile in the run-up to the weekend, some of them removing weapons from their bases. More security checkpoints were set up around town. Long a pro-autonomy hotbed behind earlier attempts to unseat Gaddafi, Benghazi is now the focal point of a widespread sense that the new Tripoli authorities are still ignoring and neglecting the east of the vast North African state. The over-arching issue is what status Benghazi will have in the new Libya and what stake in national oil supplies of 1.6 million barrels a day — much of it extracted in the east. “We don’t feel like it is a real celebration in Benghazi,” said student Samia Ali, 22. “The revolution started here and it is not over yet. We need so many things fixed and Tripoli doesn’t listen to our needs — especially our economy.”

News in Brief

PM in last-ditch bid to form cabinet

Tribunal making progress

‘Hariri killers to be punished’ BEIRUT, Feb 15, (AFP): The killers of Lebanon’s former premier Rafiq Hariri will be punished “sooner or later,” his son Saad said on Thursday’s eighth anniversary of his father’s death, for which four Hezbollah members are being tried in absentia. “The (UN-backed) Special Tribunal for Lebanon is making progress and the criminals will be punished sooner or later. But is it possible that Hezbollah will continue with its ostrich policy of refusing... to surrender the accused?” he asked, in a televised address to a crowd of supporters in Beirut. Hariri was killed along with 22

others when a massive truck bomb engulfed his motorcade on the Beirut seafront on Feb 14, 2005. The tribunal, set up by a UN resolution in 2007 to probe Hariri’s death and try those responsible, issued arrest warrants last year for four members of the powerful Shiite movement and ordered them to be tried in absentia. The trial has provisionally been scheduled to start on March 25. Hezbollah has denied any responsibility for the attack, and its leader Hassan Nasrallah has dismissed the tribunal as a US-Israeli conspiracy, vowing that none of the suspects will be arrested.

Drug scam in Lebanon:

Turkey ‘urges’ EU to extradite Kurds ANKARA, Feb 15, (AFP): Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called for the extradition of more than 20 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) arrested in multiple police raids in France and Spain. “As long as these terrorists aren’t handed over to us, the steps taken make no sense to us, because what we want is results,” the premier said during a press conference in Ankara. The PKK, which took up arms in its campaign for autonomy in southeast Turkey in 1984, is branded a terrorist group.

16 injured in Turkey: An official says a tour bus carrying tourists from China has skidded and flipped while traveling on a wet road, injuring 14 of the passengers, their Turkish guide and the bus driver. Tuncay Sonel, the governor for the district of Seydisehir, central Turkey, says the accident occurred Friday on a stretch of road between the Mediterranean coastal resort of Antalya and the city of Konya, home of the shrine of the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi. He says two of the injured are in serious condition. Sonel says the driver lost control of the bus in slippery road conditions but that an investigation is under way. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑ Lebanon’s state-run news agency says the brother of a Lebanese Cabinet minister has turned himself in after being named in an arrest warrant that links him to a medicine scandal. The National News Agency says a judge issued the arrest warrant on Friday against Abdullatif Fneish, who is charged with importing counterfeit drugs into Lebanon with forged stamps. It’s unclear when he will go on trial. (AP) He is the brother of Mohammed Fneish, a Hezbollah official and Minister of State for Administrative Affairs. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri speaks via a video link from Paris during a ceremony to mark the eighth anniversary of the assassination of his father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri, in Beirut, Lebanon, Feb 14. Rafik Hariri was killed in a massive truck bombing in Beirut in 2005. (AP)

‘Charges likely’: The circumstances surrounding the death of an Australian-Israeli

Probe underway

Egypt seizes 2 tons explosives EL-ARISH, Egypt, Feb 15, (AP): Egyptian security officials say they have seized two tons of explosives headed to the Sinai Peninsula. They say the explosives were seized Friday in the main Suez Canal transport tunnel Sinai to the rest of Egypt. The truck driver is being questioned. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. Lawlessness has been rife in Sinai since the ouster of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. In the past two years, Egypt’s Interior Ministry has confiscated hundreds of weapons smuggled from Libya. Officials say some of these weapons are then moved into Gaza. man known as “Prisoner X” in an Israeli jail is likely to lead to negligence charges, the justice ministry said on Friday. An Israeli probe into the death in December 2010 of the prisoner identified in Australian media as Ben Zygier, a 34-year-old Australian Jew recruited by Israel’s Mossad spy agency, found it was a case of suicide. (AFP)




Iran denies transferring arms to rebels

Somalia urges UN to lift arms embargo UNITED NATIONS, Feb 15, (AP): Somalia’s foreign minister urged the UN Security Council on Thursday to lift the 20year-old arms embargo on the country so that its armed forces can fight off al-Qaeda linked militants and consolidate peace. The foreign minister addressed the council amid allegations that Iran and Yemen have supplied weapons to the Somali militant group al-Shabab. Iran rejected those allegations as an “absurd fabrication.” A report by a UN-appointed committee monitoring sanctions against Somalia and Eritrea report links Iran and Yemen to the supply of weapons to al-Shabab, according to a UN diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been made public. Iran’s UN Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee, in a letter to the Security Council obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, said the allegations were part of a “malicious campaign.” He said the monitoring group put forward “unfounded allegations and strange fabrications” without first informing the Iranian government and said the contents were leaked “for propaganda purposes.” He urged the monitoring group to “address this unfair move and remedy the issue.” Urging the Security Council to lift the arms embargo, Somalia’s Foreign Minister Fawzia Y. H. Adam, who is also deputy prime minister, told members that the government will institute measures “to ensure that armaments do not fall into the wrong hands.” UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Taye-

Insurgents repeat threats to kill 5 more

Somali Islamists execute Kenyan hostage NAIROBI, Feb 15, (AFP) -Somalia’s Shabab insurgents claim to have executed a captured Kenyan soldier and repeated threats to kill five other hostages, the extremists said Friday. “While the mujahedeen have executed the serving KDF (Kenya Defence Force) soldier, there is still a chance of securing the release of the remaining five prisoners,” the Shabab said in a statement. The claims could not be verified. Last month the al-Qaeda-linked insurgents issued a Feb 14 deadline ordering Kenya — whose troops are fighting the Shabab inside Somalia — to release “all

Muslim prisoners held on so-called terrorism charges in Kenya”. The Shabab, who have previously released videos of Kenyan civil servants they have kidnapped, have said they would execute five hostages within three days unless the Kenyan government buckles to their demands. Kenya has been hit by a spate of attacks including hand grenade and bombs since it invaded southern Somalia in late 2011 to attack Shabab bases, following a string of kidnappings inside Kenya blamed on the Islamists.

Brook Zerihoun reported to the council earlier Thursday on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s suggestion last week for “a calibrated approach” to the relaxation of the arms embargo. It would take into account key factors including “the pressing need to support the development of Somali forces while avoiding the proliferation of uncontrolled weapons

that could exacerbate the security situation,” Zerihoun said. Somalia is trying to establish its first functional government after two decades of chaos since 1991, when warlords overthrew longtime dictator Siad Barre and then turned on one another. Al-Shabab rebels have been pushed out of the cities of southern and central Somalia by African Union forces, but they are not yet defeated.

Gunmen refuse to leave in Malaysian border standoff Drama threatens to spark diplomatic tension KUALA LUMPUR/MANILA, Feb 15, (RTRS): About 100 armed men holed up in a village in the Malaysian state of Sabah are refusing to leave, saying they have links with the Sultanate of Sulu in the Philippines which has a historic claim over the northern tip of Borneo island.

Malaysia police and army officials have formed a tight security ring around the village, media said, with navy boats patrolling nearby islands. The gunmen landed near the coastal town of Lahad Datu on Tuesday. The drama on Borneo island has threatened to spark diplomatic tension between the Southeast Asian neighbours whose ties have been periodically frayed by security and migration problems caused by a porous sea border. “They demand to be acknowledged as citizens of the Sultanate of Sulu,” Abdullah Kiram, a son of the Sultan of Sulu, Ismael Kiram the II, told Reuters in Manila. Sulu is an archipelago in the southern Philippines. Today, it is a province but the old sultanate covered a wider area that included the northern tip of Borneo, which is now the Malaysian state of Sabah. In an arrangement that stretches back to British colonial times, Malaysia pays a token amount to the sultanate each year for the “rental” of Sabah. “They want to be acknowledged as citizens of their own land. They own Sabah,” said Kiram. Sultans in the Muslimmajority Philippine south have no power but generally enjoy the respect of the people. Malaysian officials said they suspected the men were a faction of a Philippine Muslim rebel group. Philippine officials said they were unarmed Filipinos who had been promised land. A spokesman for the Philippine Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Malaysia had given an assurance that efforts were underway to get the men to leave peacefully.

Concerned In this photo provided on Feb 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Sports — Sports Features Stories by Jan Grarup, Denmark, for Laif, shows the Somali basketball association pays armed guards to watch over and protect Suweys and her team when they play. In Mogadishu, the war-torn capital of Somalia, young women risk their lives to play basketball. Suweys, the 19-year-old captain of a women’s

basketball team, and her friends defy radical Islamist views on women’s rights. They have received many death threats from not only al-Shabab militias and radical Islamists, but some male members of their own families. ‘I just want to dunk,’ said Suweys. It is on the basketball court she feels happiest. ‘Basketball makes me forget all my problems,’ Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb 21, 2012. (AP)

Austin warns Teleban waiting to offer test

US general backs keeping Afghan forces WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (RTRS): The US general nominated to oversee a vast region that includes Afghanistan on Thursday backed keeping Afghan forces at a peak strength of 352,000, contrary to current plans to shrink them after NATO declares the war over next year. General Lloyd Austin, nominated to lead the US military’s Central Command, said at his Senate confirmation hearing that a more robust Afghan force, while more costly, would “hedge against any Taleban mischief” following America’s longest war. “Keeping the larger-size force would certainly reassure the Afghans, it would also reassure our NATO allies that we remain committed,” Austin said. The comments came two days after President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address that 34,000 US troops — roughly half of the current US force in Afghanistan —

would be withdrawn by early 2014. Obama reassured Americans that the costly, unpopular war was coming to an end, but he left unanswered bigger questions about America’s exit strategy, including how many US troops would stay in the country beyond 2014 to help train and advise the Afghans and to battle remnants of al Qaeda. Obama also did not discuss the future size of the Afghan forces, although a White House fact sheet sent out after his address noted they would remain at 352,000 until “at least” early 2015. Austin warned the Taleban would be waiting to test them. “You could reasonably expect that an enemy that’s been that determined, that agile, will very soon after we transition begin to try to test the Afghan security forces,” Austin said. Under current plans, the United States and its NATO allies will help build up the Afghan

Nigeria state signs law

Kidnappers to face death penalty YENAGOA, Nigeria, Feb 15, (RTRS): Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s home state of Bayelsa signed a law on Wednesday approving the death penalty for convicted kidnappers, in a region were abductions by criminal gangs are common. Kidnapping for ransom in the southern Niger Delta and offshore of the oil region is a multi-million dollar business. The vast majority of people taken are Nigerians, although foreigners are also regularly targeted. The finance minister’s 82-year-old mother was abducted in December

but released five days later. Five Indian sailors were freed last month after spending weeks in captivity. “It is morally indefensible for young people ... armed with illegal weapons ... to forcefully abduct and rough handle people and take them as an article of trade,” Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson said when signing the law on Wednesday. “Most people know that when I say something, I do it. I will not hesitate to sign a certificate of execution.” Dickson said the security forces had several people in custody facing kidnapping charges.

armed forces to 352,000 personnel, a number they are approaching, but the size of the force — which the allies will continue to fund — will be trimmed to 230,000 after 2015. The hearing frequently moved away from questions about the Afghan war and other current events to questions about Austin’s past role as commander in Iraq, when a failure to strike an immunity deal for US troops led to their total withdrawal in 2011. Obama administration officials have warned that failure to strike an immunity deal with Afghanistan would also result in a pullout, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai and US officials have expressed confidence a deal can be reached. Republicans, who have criticized Obama’s drawdown strategy in Afghanistan, noted that the president would have left a much smaller force in Iraq than Austin recommended, even if a deal had been struck.

“We therefore urge these concerned individuals to return to their homes and families,” said spokesman Raul Hernandez said. Malaysia’s police chief said on Thursday the situation was not tense and the men appeared to be “behaving well”. “Discussion is proceeding well and we have told them to leave Sabah peacefully, as we do not want any situation which can threaten the security of the people,” Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar told a news conference, according to state news agency Bernama. The Philippine embassy in Kuala Lumpur has sent a team to Sabah to coordinate with authorities there and to ascertain the identities of the men. Sabah has a history of militants attacks in more remote parts of the state. The United States had issued travel warnings in the past to Sabah’s east coast which has diving sites. In 2000, a group of militants from the southern Philippines kidnapped 21 tourists from diving resort on Sipadan island. In 1985, 11 people were killed when gunmen believed to be from the southern Philippines entered Lahad Datu, shooting at random before robbing a bank.

Somalis appeal Japan sentence TOKYO, Feb 15, (AFP): Two men who attempted to hijack a Japanese tanker off the coast of Oman have appealed against their 10 year jail sentence, reports said Friday. The two Somali nationals, who were convicted earlier this month in the first piracy case to be heard in Japan, filed the appeal with the Tokyo High Court Thursday, according to Kyodo News. Tokyo District Court meted out the 10-year jail term, saying that Mohamed Urgus Adeysey and Abdinur Hussein Ali’s acts were “heinous” and typical of Somali pirates, who seek to obtain a ransom by taking hostages on the high seas.

In this Jan 14, 2013 photo, a female member of Afghan special forces (center), searches a woman during a training exercise on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s army is training female special forces to take part in night raids against insurgents despite cultural taboos as foreign combat troops take the backseat ahead of their eventual departure at the end of 2014. In a country where women traditionally are expected to stay home, their participation in the special forces is breaking new ground in ultraconservative Afghanistan. (AP)

A French soldier at a check point frisks a man trying to enter Gao on Feb 14. Mali’s army is struggling to restore security after a Frenchled military intervention helped it push out al-Qaeda-linked rebels who had seized the country’s north last year and brought in strict Sharia Islamic law. (AFP)

Attacks trigger up to secure town

Counter-insurgency task ties down French in Gao GAO, Mali, Feb 15, (RTRS): By the slow-moving Niger River at Gao, the north Malian town retaken by French troops from Islamist rebels last month, men repair fishing nets beside beached pirogues, women wash pots and children splash naked in the muddy water. The scene looks tranquil enough but the French soldiers and their allied troops from Niger on the riverbank are alert, fingering their weapons and squinting southwest across the water to the village of Kadji, shrouded by eucalyptus trees. Locals living along the bank have identified Kadji as a hotbed of al-Qaeda-allied jihadists who last weekend surprised the French, Malian and Nigerien troops in Gao with two suicide bombings and a daring raid into the heart of the town.

Hunting Since Sunday’s attack, the French and their African allies have been busy hunting down rebel suspects and dismantling bomb-making factories in the sprawling mud-brick Saharan town in a counter-insurgency operation that is tying them down. “After Sunday, securing Gao is our priority,” said a French officer who, like many involved in the operation, asked not to be identified. “Once we have done this, we will move out of town to help the Malians Hollande neutralise these pockets of Islamists.” The house-to-house searches, sandbagging of fixed defensive positions and reliance on tip-offs from locals already have the hallmarks of an arduous counter-guerrilla operation. The need to secure Gao, hundreds of kilometres behind the French forward lines where commandos are hunting for French hostages believed to be held in rebel mountain hideouts, is robbing momentum from France’s five-week-old campaign. France’s military operation which started in Bamako, the southern capital, and drove 1,700 kms (1,050 miles) northwards to Tessalit near the Algerian border, initially forced the bulk of the Islamist forces from the main northern towns of Gao and Timbuktu, earning global plaudits for French President Francois Hollande. The United States and Europe praised a decisive move against Mali-based jihadists threatening international attacks. But following the recent Gao attacks, French spokesmen are increasingly having to fend off suggestions that the 4,000 French soldiers in Mali could risk getting mired in a long and debilitating war, in a tough and hostile battleground. “I don’t think we can talk for the moment about getting bogged down,” French army spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard told reporters on Thursday in Paris. “Bamako-Tessalit, that’s like the distance from Paris to Rome,” Burkhard said, stressing the speed of the French campaign, which has cost the life of only one French serviceman so far - a helicopter pilot killed early in the operation. But others see clear “mission-creep” risks in Mali. “It’s very much going to be an insurgency on the ground like we’ve seen in Iraq and like we’ve seen in Afghanistan,” Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird said on Tuesday, explaining why Canada was not likely to send troops to support the French. Conscious of the task facing the French to stabilise north Mali, Gao citizens who spent months living alongside Islamist occupiers under the yoke of severe sharia law are coming forward with informa-

tion on the jihadist gunmen and their arms caches. “We know the fighters. We are keeping an eye on them. We are ready to denounce them,” said Seydou Maiga, speaking beside his riverside hut, in full view of Kadji. The attention of the French and their African allies is focusing on suspected jihadist hotspots like Kadji. Authorities say Sunday’s raiders slipped across the river in canoes while soldiers were distracted at checkpoints by suicide bombers. A joint French-Nigerien military patrol picks up the latest information on the riverbank from locals such as Maiga. The informants tell the troops a group of children acting as scouts for the Islamists had slipped across the river by canoe hours earlier, raising fears of fresh rebel infiltrations. Malian troops convinced the children to lead them to the people they were meant to meet in town. As a result, four youths, suspected collaborators with the insurgents, were arrested in the market, Maiga said. “We have mobilised residents to inform authorities whenever they see people they don’t recognise,” Gao Mayor Sadou Diallo told Reuters. He said this early warning system from the local population helped the military to intercept Sunday’s raiders before they could carry out more suicide bombings. The attacks have soured the mood of the town, ending the post-liberation euphoria. Shops have been shuttered and French and African forces have stepped up their patrols, their jeeps and armoured vehicles rumbling through the sandy streets. At checkpoints outside Gao, jittery soldiers search passengers on buses and check the papers of anyone riding motorbikes, used by Islamists in their suicide attacks. Around the government army base in town, and other potential targets like checkpoints, civilians have been cutting down trees and shrubs to reduce cover for would-be attackers. Following a tip-off from locals, French troops on Wednesday made safe homemade explosives found inside a house in Gao, which they said was a bomb-making factory, abandoned by fleeing Islamists when the town was liberated nearly three weeks ago. Inside, unused shell casings and shreds of a black Islamist flag with Koranic inscriptions in white lay on the floor. Surfaces were littered with tools for making homemade explosives from fertiliser, including an oxygen tank, and utensils for measuring out powder. “When the Islamists left, we went into the house and inside we found rockets, buckets with wires coming out and bullets,” said Mahamadou Kabare, who lived opposite the building.

Revolt When Islamist militants swept down through northern Mali last year accompanying a Tuareg separatist revolt, which they later hijacked, hundreds of thousands of people fled their harsh sharia Islamic rule. Tapping into poverty and pockets of fundamentalism, rebels were able to recruit fighters locally. But many in the occupied towns, while lacking weapons to fight the Islamists, were proud to show passive resistance. “We burned tyres. We sang the national anthem,” said Amadou Sarr, who used to work for aid agencies in Gao but is now a leader of “Gao’s Patrollers”, whose members take to the streets nightly to protect houses and businesses. Sarr said that hundreds of people had been identified as suspected Islamists or collaborators by his network. But he said Mali’s army and their allies from France and Niger were too thinly stretched to follow up immediately on all the reports.




‘All the money in the world won’t bring him back’

Bloody Sunday families offered $77,500 compensation BELFAST, Feb 14, (AFP): The families of 13 people killed by British soldiers in Northern Ireland on Bloody Sunday have been offered £50,000 ($77,500; 58,000 euros) each, it emerged on Thursday. Paratroopers opened fire on a civil rights march in Londonderry in 1972 in one of the darkest chapters in the three decades of sectarian unrest in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles. Thirteen others seriously injured have also been offered £50,000 each as part of a total compensation package from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) worth around £1.3 million. Kate Nash, whose brother William was killed and father Alex injured, said: “My brother cannot be replaced and all the money in the world won’t bring him back.” Lawyers for the victims and their familes and for the MoD have held months of discussions about the compensation levels. The move comes three years after a landmark inquiry into the shootings found that the British army had fired first and without provocation. Police in Northern Ireland said last year said they will launch a major investigation into the deaths.

2 others killed

Third climber dies in British avalanche LONDON, Feb 15, (AFP): A third climber has died after an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands that killed two people on Thursday, police said on Friday. Scottish police said the man had died of his injuries after the avalanche in the Cairngorms killed another man and a woman on Thursday. The area is popular with hill walkers and is home to three of Scotland’s five ski resorts. “This is another stark and tragic reminder of the dangers on our mountains,” said Scotland’s First Minister

Alex Salmond, head of the devolved government. “They are one of the most beautiful places on Earth but they can also be inherently dangerous with treacherous and changeable conditions.” It was the third serious avalanche to hit the Scottish mountains this year. Four climbers were killed in an avalanche near the west coast in January. In the Cairngorms, a hillwalker died earlier this week, while three men survived a 150-metre (500-foot) fall in the mountain range’s Coire an t-Sneachda area earlier this month.

A spokesman for Belfast-based law firm Madden and Finucane, which represents many of the Bloody Sunday relatives, said: “Negotiations in respect of compensation are continuing with the MoD and their legal representa-

tives. “The contents of those negotiations shall remain confidential between the families of those murdered and the wounded whom we represent and the MoD.”

Britain finds ‘horsemeat’ in school meals, hospitals Horsemeat in 29 out of 2,501 beef products in UK LONDON, Feb 15, (Agencies): Tests have found horsemeat in school meals, hospital food and restaurant dishes in Britain, officials said Friday, as the scandal over adulterated meat spread beyond frozen supermarket products. Whitbread PLC, Britain’s largest hotel and restaurant company, said horse DNA had been found in lasagna and burgers on its menus. The company, whose outlets include Premier Inn hotels and the Brewers Fayre and Beefeater Grill restaurant chains, said it was “shocked and disappointed at this failure of the processed meat supply chain.” Officials also said horsemeat was present in cottage pies delivered to 47 schools in

Lancashire county, northern England, and in hospital meals in Northern Ireland. David Bingham, of the health service’s Business Services Organization, said the hospital meals, from a supplier in the Republic of Ireland, had been withdrawn. Several British supermarket chains, including Morrisons and Tesco, said Friday that tests on their products had so far been negative for horsemeat. Duncan Campbell, a senior British food inspector, said the results would give a snapshot of the extent of the horsemeat contamination, which already has seen products pulled from supermarket shelves across Europe. But, he told the BBC, “I think there will be still more discoveries to be made.” “The more people have looked for horsemeat, the more products have been found containing it. I don’t think we have got to the bottom of it yet,” he said. Officials from the European Union countries decided Friday to go ahead with a plan for more intensive checks to detect horsemeat in food labeled as beef. In addition, horsemeat will be tested for phenylbutazone, or bute, an anti-inflammatory veterinary drug that’s illegal to use in animals used for food. EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg welcomed the approval, saying, “consumers expect the EU, national authorities and all those involved in the food chain to give them all the reinsurance needed as regards what they have in their plates.”


A butcher arranges different sorts of horsemeat on sale at his shop in Bremen, northern Germany on Feb 14. The scandal over horsemeattainted food spiraled after Britain announced the discovery of a potentially harmful drug in horsemeat sent to France and Germany. (AFP)

Policeman held in British corruption probe

BBC announces staff shake-up after Savile LONDON, Feb 15, (AFP): The BBC announced a staff shake-up on Thursday in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, including the replacement of the head of news who was criticised for her handling of the crisis over child sex abuse. Helen Boaden came under fire in an official report into the broadcaster’s response to revelations that Savile, one of the BBC’s top television and radio presenters who died in 2011, was a prolific paedophile. She will move to a new position as director of BBC radio on April 15. The change was announced by incoming director-general Tony Hall, who was put at the helm of the world’s largest public service broadcaster after the resignation of George Entwistle over the Savile scandal. Hall also announced that James Purnell, a former BBC executive who served as culture minister under the last Labour gov-

ernment, would return to the corporation as director of strategy and digital. A police investigation last month concluded that Savile was a predatory sex offender who abused youngsters as young as eight over more than 50 years, using his fame to rape and assault victims on BBC premises, in schools and hospitals. The revelations sparked a crisis at the BBC, both over how he was able to carry out such attacks and about the broadcaster’s failure to report the claims against him when they were first raised in the weeks after his death aged 84. Also: LONDON: A British policeman was on Thursday arrested on suspicion of leaking confidential information to the media, as part of a corruption probe arising from the News of the

World phone-hacking scandal. The 51-year-old, a member of London’s Metropolitan Police force, was arrested in a dawn raid at his home in Wiltshire, western England. He was questioned before being bailed on Thursday evening, a police statement said. He has also been suspended from his job. The arrest was made under Operation Elveden, the investigation into corrupt payments to police officers and other public officials following the phone-hacking scandal at the former News of the World tabloid. “Today’s arrest, however, relates to the suspected release of confidential information but not alleged payment,” police said. A total of 61 public officials and journalists have been arrested as part of the Elveden investigation.

Meanwhile, twenty-nine beef products out of 2,501 tested in Britain have been found to contain more than one percent horsemeat, the Food Standards Agency said on Friday. FSA chief executive Catherine Brown said: “The overwhelming majority of beef products in this country do not contain horse. The examples we have had are totally unacceptable, but they are the exceptions.” All of the 29 products containing horsemeat have already been withdrawn from sale, she added. These include lasagne and spaghetti bolognese sold by Aldi supermarkets, burgers sold by Co-op stores, and burgers and spaghetti bolognese sold by Britain’s leading supermarket chain Tesco. Beef lasagne made by the frozen foods giant Findus, as well as burgers for the catering industry produced by Irish firm Rangeland, were also on the list. Brown stressed that the results were “still far from the full picture” and that testing continued on other products. Pub and hotel group Whitbread on Friday became the latest company in Britain to admit horse DNA had been found in its food, saying two of its products — meat lasagnes and beefburgers — had been affected.

See Also Page 17

Woodhead suffers sunburn

Missing backpacker found safe in Outback SYDNEY, Feb 15, (AFP): A British backpacker missing for three days in Australia’s harsh Outback was found safe and well Friday following a major rescue operation, police said. Samuel Woodhead, 18, was last seen on Tuesday evening setting off from the Upshot Station homestead, about 130 kms (80 miles) from the far-flung central Queensland town of Longreach. “He was found early this afternoon. He’s been found safe and well apart from suffering from a little bit of sunburn,” a Queensland police spokesman told AFP. “We understand he’s in the process of being transported to Longreach Base Hospital,” he said, adding that Woodhead had no major injuries but was being taken to the clinic as a precaution. Police said Woodhead was found on Upshot

Station, a property that sprawls across 3,200 acres (1,300 hectares), but had no details on how he was found, and could not confirm reports that he became lost after going for a run. “The assumption was made that he must have gone for a run,” the spokesman said. “But he didn’t tell anyone where he was going. That seems to have been the problem.” Australian authorities had held grave fears for the man’s survival in a region where heat, a lack of water, venomous snakes and the possibility of injury could prove deadly. Planes, motorbikes, and four-wheel drives were being used in the search, with neighbours also combing the area on foot and horseback and an emergency services helicopter dispatched with medical staff.

Vicky Pryce (right), ex-wife of former British energy minister Chris Huhne, arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London, on Feb 14. The jury retired to consider its verdict Thursday in the case against Pryce, in which she is charged with perverting the course of justice by taking her ex-husband’s speeding points in 2003. (AFP)

Britain’s Prince of Wales, president of the Prince’s Trust, delivers a speech as he attends a Prince’s Trust Invest In Future reception with supporters and beneficiaries, in a central London hotel, on Feb 14. (AP)

Syria ‘top destination’

Britain warns of Western jihadists LONDON, Feb 14, (Agencies): Islamic extremists from Western countries who have gone to fight in Syria could carry out terrorist attacks when they return home, British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned on Thursday. Hague said war-torn Syria had become the “number one destination” for jihadists from around the world. “They may not pose a threat to us when they first go to Syria, but if they survive some may return ideologically hardened and with experience of weapons and explosives,” he said. “The longer the conflict continues, the greater this danger will become,” he added in a wide-ranging speech setting out Britain’s plans to tackle terrorism without compromising human rights. British trainee doctor Shajul Islam and another man, Jubayer Chowdhury, are due to go on trial in Britain in June charged with the kidnapping of two Western journalists who were held by Islamic extremists in Syria. British photographer John Cantlie has said he and Dutch Hague journalist Jeroen Oerlemans were held for a week last July by some 30 Islamic militants from countries including Britain, Pakistan and Chechnya. Hague warned that a prolonged war in Syria — which has already suffered 22 months of unrest, claiming some 70,000 lives — would also increase the risk of chemical or biological weapons being used. He called on Russia and China — who have previously blocked action against Syria at the United Nations Security Council — to work with other countries to negotiate a new Syrian government formed from the opposition and elements of the regime. Build In terms of wider British foreign policy, Hague said Britain would build “justice and human rights partnerships” to help share intelligence with countries with suspect rights records without this leading to suspects being tortured. “A large part of our effort to counter terrorism is now overseas where terrorists train and plan for attacks against the UK or our interests abroad,” he said. “We cannot do this without working with other countries.” Hague said Britain had not lost faith in the Arab Spring revolutions that in the last two years have deposed four autocratic leaders, but warned that Syria was the most acute case of the movement being “hijacked” by militants. Hague, in a speech outlining British counter-terrorism strategy, labelled Syria the “number one destination for jihadists anywhere in the world today”. “This includes a number of individuals connected with the United Kingdom and other European countries,” he told reporters at London’s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) defence think-tank. “They may not pose a threat to us when they first go to Syria but if they survive some may return ideo-

logically hardened and with experience of weapons and explosives,” he said. “The longer the conflict continues, the greater this danger will become, a point that should not be lost on policymakers in Russia and elsewhere,” he added. Hague urged Russia and China to back UN Security Council efforts for a negotiated solution to the conflict involving the opposition and “elements of the regime”, or face the growing risk of the use of Syrian chemical or biological weapons. Syria sits in a volatile region of Middle East conflict, with neighbours including Iraq, Lebanon and Israel. Urge At an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels next week, Britain will urge counterparts to review an EU arms embargo on Syria, which rolls over on March 1, to allow more help for the Syrian opposition seeking Assad’s ouster. Hague highlighted the potential risk from Syria in the context of a new policy framework on how to cooperate on intelligence with countries suspected of human rights abuses. Britain has long wrestled with how to uphold its opposition to all forms of torture while ensuring it can gather information about planned attacks by militants, some of which might have been obtained through ill-treatment of suspects. That has led to accusations of collusion in torture and a number of embarrassing legal defeats. In December Britain agreed to pay more than £2 million ($3.1 million) to the family of a leading opponent of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who said Britain was involved in his rendition to Tripoli where he was tortured. Setting out the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, Hague argued that Britain faced a dilemma over whether to work with states unable to guarantee suspects won’t be abused. He said many countries would be able to give “credible assurances” that they will not mistreat suspects. “Where this is not the case, we face a stark choice. We could disengage, or we can choose to cooperate with them in a carefully controlled way while developing a more comprehensive approach to human rights adherence. “This approach brings risk, but I am clear that the risks of the first option, of stepping back, are greater still, placing our citizens at greater risk of terrorist attack,” he added. Hague outlined formal safeguards and conditions for cooperating with countries with poor human rights records, a plan experts say is a way of trying to avoid the legal battles and controversy such collaboration has resulted in the past. “There’s an awareness that we have to have our legal back covered somewhat more, that we have to have a framework in place that will not leave us firefighting after the fact,” said Shashank Joshi, security expert at RUSI. “There’s no choice. In every serious theatre of counter-terrorism, you always have regimes that will never meet the human rights standards William Hague has outlined.”




‘Petrol bombs can’t remove elected president’

Thousands of Islamists rally against violence in Egypt CAIRO, Feb 15, (RTRS): Thousands of Islamists protested in Cairo on Friday against violence that has marred anti-government demonstrations, showing support for President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood politician elected head of state last year. The “Together against Violence” rally was called by a hardline Salafi Islamist group that waged an armed revolt against the state in the 1990s. Al-Gama’a al-Islamiya, whose leadership renounced violence more than a decade ago, has entered mainstream politics since autocratic president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011. The Muslim Brotherhood and its

Premature pregnancies

Women face horror of war TRIPOLI, Lebanon, Feb 15, (AFP): Syrian women waiting for pre-natal care at a Lebanese clinic know their pregnancies may end prematurely due to stress and fear, and that they may be unable to provide for their babies. Many of the women are unable to cover the high cost of hospital care in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, home to thousands of Syrians uprooted by the conflict that has ravaged their country for nearly two years. Instead, the refugees flock to a clinic run by a charity. Gynaecologist Nashwa Shakfi says that although they are safe from the bombardment and fighting across the border, many of the women give birth prematurely. “Even here, stress and fear can cause miscarriages,” says Shakfi, adding that she sees dozens of pregnant women each day and works extra hours to try cover the demand. In a small, bare ward, Shakfi attends to women who have travelled long distances to escape the violence. Some of them, she says, have come to Lebanon from the far north of their country. Needs “Many of them think they won’t be able to pay for their baby’s needs, so they prefer to abort,” says Shakfi. Shakfi’s French-trained colleague, Ghazi Aswad, says he believes that many women who give birth at the clinic have suffered sexual violence at the hands of militias. “There are women who give birth here whose babies we believe were conceived as a result of rape committed by militiamen in Syria,” says Doctor Aswad. “But even the women don’t talk about it, because Syria’s conservative society views (rape) as taboo,” he adds. Women still in Syria suffer other complications too, says Shakfi. “The number of C-sections has exploded in Syria, because many women in the late stages of pregnancy fear going into labour at night, when it would be impossible to get to a hospital,” says Shakfi. “They talk advantage of lulls in fighting to have a C-section, often before their babies are due.” In the war-stricken central Syrian city of Homs, 25-year-old Umm Nura was terrified throughout her ninth month of pregnancy that she would need to go to hospital at night. She ended up seeking a Cesarean section at Homs’ only functioning hospital, she told AFP over the Internet. Fire “When I came to from the anaesthetic, the first thing I heard was the sound of machinegun fire just outside,” says Umm Nura, an architecture graduate. Her journey to the hospital had been a terrifying adventure, she says. “We crossed many checkpoints to get there, and I pretended my baby was on its way to get through. Even the maternity ward was full of soldiers,” says Umm Nura. Activists say the army routinely detains injured people whom they believe may be fighters or dissidents. According to the international humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF), more than 40 percent of births in Syria are by Csection. Cesarean sections “can give rise to complications for a second pregnancy”, and they are dangerous if the patient is not given a blood transfusion and proper post-natal care, MSF’s Franz Luef told AFP. Before the conflict erupted in March 2011, Syrians had a free and “good health system,” says Luef, head of mission for MSF in rebelcontrolled areas of northern Syria. Now, however, “the public health system has collapsed,” he adds. “If emergency obstetric care is not provided in cases where it is needed, both the mother and the child will most certainly die.”

Freedom and Justice Party said it backed Friday’s rally in a symbolic way but did not mobilise supporters for the event, meaning the numbers were smaller than at previous Islamist protests. Around 60 people have been killed in Egypt since late January in unrest touched off by the anniversary of the uprising against Mubarak and exacerbated by a court ruling that sentenced 21 people to death over a soccer stadium disaster a year ago. Worst It has been the worst bloodshed since Morsi assumed office, underlining the instability that continues to thwart government efforts to restore a sense of normalcy and

revive an economy in crisis by attracting fresh investment and tourism. The unrest has been stirred by anger at Morsi and his Islamist backers, who the opposition says have betrayed the revolution and sought to monopolise power - accusations dismissed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Repeating the pattern of recent weeks, Morsi’s opponents rallied again on Friday, this time gathering outside El-Quba, one of the presidential palaces in the northern suburbs of Cairo. The activists dubbed it “Checkmate Friday”. The protesters numbered several hundred by early afternoon. Recent protests have routinely

turned violent, with government buildings, police stations and the presidential palace coming under fire from petrol bombs and rocks. But, “the person who came (to power) through ballot boxes will not leave by petrol bombs,” said a cleric who led the crowd in Friday prayers as the rally got under way outside Cairo University. “He who came to power by direct, free choice will not leave by the rocks thrown by children.” The crowd grew to several thousand after prayer. “No to Violence. Yes to sharia (Islamic law),” declared a banner held aloft from the crowd. “With our blood and souls we will sacrifice ourselves for Islam!” chanted the

crowd. “The people want an iron fist,” read another banner. Cheers Some people journeyed in from the provinces for the rally. At one point, the mother of Khaled al-Islambouli, one of the Islamists behind President Anwar Sadat’s 1981 assassination, appeared on stage, drawing cheers as she waved to the crowd. “Mohamad Morsi is a legitimate leader who was elected by the will of the people,” said Mohamad Omar, from Mansoura, north of the capital. He came on a bus chartered by al-Gama’a al-Islamiya. “The opposition’s methods of violence, petrol bomb-throwing, igniting fires and causing destruction is not accepted by the Islamists,”

added Alaa Abdulwahab, a 45-year old who had travelled from Minya, a four-hour journey south of Cairo. Morsi’s most prominent liberal and leftist opponents have distanced themselves from the violence, saying they support only peaceful agitation. Islamist leaders and their rivals all renounced violence at crisis talks on Jan 31 chaired by al-Azhar, a Sunni Muslim seat of religious learning. Islamist groups such as alGama’a al-Islamiya were repressed by Mubarak during his 30 years in power. But they have moved into the heart of public life since his fall, alarming secular-minded Egyptians who worry they aim to dominate the new Egypt.


Syrians carry a body of a fighter during a funeral after Friday prayer in the northeastern city of Aleppo on Feb 15. Syria’s army and rebels were preparing for a major battle for control of strategic airports in Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, four days after insurgents launched assaults on airbases in the northern province. (AFP)

Trade in gold and other precious metals on the table

Powers plan to ease Iran sanctions WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (RTRS): Major powers plan to offer to ease sanctions barring trade in gold and other precious metals with Iran in return for Iranian steps to shut down the nation’s newly expanded Fordow uranium enrichment plant, Western officials said on Friday. The officials said the offer is to be presented to Iran at Feb. 26 talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and they acknowledged that it represents a relatively modest update to proposals that the six major powers put forward last year. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the officials said their decision not to make a dramatically new offer in part reflected skepticism that Iran is ready to make a deal ahead of its June 14 presidential election. The group, which includes Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — and is known as the P5+1 — wants Iran to do more to prove that its nuclear program is for only non-military purposes and to permit wider UN inspections. Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons but has refused, in recent years, to halt its uranium enrichment, a process that can produce fuel for nuclear reactors or, ultimately, for bombs. Israel, which is regarded as the Middle East’s only nuclear power and which views a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat, has raised the possibility of taking military action to halt the Iranian atomic program.

While stressing he wants to resolve the dispute with Iran through diplomacy, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday repeated a veiled military threat, saying “we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon.” Expansion The core of the new offer revises last year’s demand that Iran stop producing higher-grade uranium, ship any stockpiles out of the country and close down its underground enrichment facility at Fordow, near the holy Iranian city of Qom. “The next proposal is remarkably close to the old one,” said one official who spoke on condition of anonymity, describing it as “a way to test whether they are serious or not.” “We don’t think the Iranians have given us reason to do much more,” he said. “It’s basically an update ... so it does require a little bit more from Iran in terms of cooperation with the (International Atomic Energy Agency) and at Fordow.” According to the IAEA’s November report, Iran has increased the number of centrifuges at Fordow, an underground plant that could be largely impervious to attack from the air, by 644 to 2,784 since mid-August. It has been enriching uranium at Fordow with one quarter of the total, or 696, centrifuges. Western diplomats say Iran is technically

ready to sharply expand enrichment at Fordow but that, as of last week, it was not believed to have done so. In further defiance of international demands that it scale back uranium enrichment, Iran this week said it was installing advanced enrichment machines at its main plant at Natanz, adding to Western worries it may be able to refine uranium even faster. According to an IAEA report released in mid-November, Iran has a stockpile of 134.9 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium, bringing it closer to the ability to produce the 90 percent uranium needed to provide fissile material for atomic bombs. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year said Iran must not be allowed to amass enough enriched uranium for a single weapon, suggesting it would do so by the spring or summer of 2013 and implying a decision on whether to use military force against Iranian nuclear sites would have to be made by then. Western officials said their new demands take into account the advances at Fordow as well as their desire that Iran cooperate more broadly with the IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog. While declining to provide exact details on what the P5+1 members would demand of Iran, a second Western official said the group wanted the steps to “build in buffer time” to ensure that it would take Iran “more time to

restart Fordow.” “We use very careful wording such as ‘decreasing readiness of Fordow’. These are face-saving words,” this official said. Easing precious metals sanctions The added inducement for Iran in the new offer is to suspend sanctions on trade in gold and precious metals, something that could be used as part of barter transactions that might allow Iran to circumvent increasingly tight financial sanctions. It goes beyond last year’s proposal, in which the powers offered sanctions relief on aviation spare parts, fuel for a medical reactor and other civil nuclear cooperation. The Western officials described their new proposal as “more for more” — meaning that they are seeking more steps to curtail Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for greater inducements on their part, but they admitted it is not a dramatic shift. More “It’s still more for more, (but) not much more,” said the second Western official. Iran has so far been unwilling to embrace any of the P5+1’s offers, including one made in October 2009 under which Iran would ship out much of its enriched uranium in exchange for fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor that produces medical isotopes. The United States and the European Union have over the last

14 months put in place increasingly tough sanctions on Iran that directly target its lifeline oil industry. The EU last year imposed an embargo on its members buying Iranian crude, while the United States moved to force other nations to curtail their oil imports from Iran with the threat of cutting off their banks from the US financial system. In a step to close a loophole under which third countries could barter for oil, US President Barack Obama last July signed an executive order that would allow him to penalize any company that helped Iran acquire gold or other precious metals. Any companies that did so could have their assets under US jurisdiction frozen and be denied access to the US financial system, a powerful deterrent to any bank or trading company. The European Union bars trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with Iranian public bodies and with the central bank. The Western officials declined to specify precisely how the United States and European Union might ease such sanctions. It is unclear whether the Iranians would find such an offer appealing or even the basis for further talks, or whether they might hold out for a much more comprehensive offer that the P5+1 do not, at present, appear ready to put on the table. “It’s not the crown jewel,” said one Western official of the sanctions relief now on offer.




Italian defence boss resigns over India bribe scandal

India puts $750m chopper deal on hold NEW DELHI, Feb 15, (Agencies): India’s Defense Ministry said Friday that it has put a $750 million contract to purchase helicopters from Italian company Finmeccanica on hold amid allegations that bribes were paid to obtain it. The ministry said a formal notice has been sent to Finmeccanica’s AgustaWestland helicopter division seeking cancellation of the contract. The company has a week to respond to the Indian notice. “With today’s show cause notice, the operation of the contract has been put on hold. The company has been asked to reply to the notice in seven days,” the ministry said in a statement. India signed the contract with AgustaWestland for the purchase of 12 helicopters in February 2010. Three of the helicopters were delivered in December. India has launched its own investigation into the 60 million euro ($750 million) deal after the Italian defense and aerospace giant’s chief executive was arrested in Milan on Tuesday on charges he paid bribes to obtain the contract. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO of Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, chief of AgustaWestland, are being investigated on charges they paid bribes in India. Indian Defense Ministry officials have said the contract includes an integrity clause against bribery or the use of undue influence. Under the terms of the clause, if any person or the company is found to have bribed officials or made any kind of payoff, the agreement can be scrapped and the firm blacklisted.

20 tents gutted: official

Tent fire kills priest at India’s Kumbh festival NEW DELHI, Feb 15, (AFP): A fire at India’s massive Kumbh Mela festival killed a Hindu priest in the second deadly tragedy to mar the gathering in a week, officials said on Friday. “Fire broke out in one of the tents when some priests were cooking. The tent caught fire and spread swiftly,” said R. S. Rathore, an administrator at the festival in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. “Twenty tents were gutted and one priest has died,” he told AFP. Rathore said that strict instructions had been issued beforehand against lighting fires in tents at the festival,

which at its height last Sunday drew a crowd of 30 million people, making it the world’s largest gathering. Thirty-six people were killed on Sunday night in a crush at a train station in the town of Allahabad as pilgrims headed home from the Kumbh Mela. The 55-day festival on the banks of the River Ganges has seen tens of millions of Hindus take a dip in the sacred waters in a bid to cleanse them of their sins. The Kumbh Mela, which ends in March, takes place every 12 years in Allahabad while smaller events are held every three years in other locations around India.

The Defense Ministry has already put on hold the delivery of the remaining nine helicopters. Italian prosecutors suspect that kickbacks worth around 10 percent of the deal or 50 million euros ($68 million) were paid to Indian officials to ensure AgustaWestland won the contract, press reports say. The latest move by the defence ministry is seen as an attempt by the government to contain the fall-out from the

corruption scandal ahead of elections in the first half of next year. Defence Minister A.K. Antony ordered an Indian police investigation on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the head of Italian defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, resigned on Friday in a bribery scandal over the sale of helicopters to India as investigators questioned him in prison.

Indian troops kill Pakistani soldier near Kashmir border Strict curfew imposed in most of Kashmir SRINAGAR, India, Feb 15, (Agencies): Indian troops shot dead a Pakistani soldier along the de facto border in the disputed Kashmir region in the first deadly exchange since a truce was agreed a month ago, officials said Friday.

Pakistani killed in car crash with US diplomat

Provincial leader survives assassination bid northeast of Peshawar, which is on the edge of Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt, known as a haunt of Taleban and al-Qaeda linked militants. The umbrella Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) faction said it was behind the attempt on Hoti’s life as well as a series of bombings in the northwest on Thursday that killed at least 16 people. “We claim responsibility for today’s attack on Chief Minister Hoti. We also claim responsibility for yesterday’s attacks,” TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location. “Be sure that we will carry out more such

Jamaat supporters attack securitymen

4 die in Dhaka war crimes protest DHAKA, Feb 15, (AFP): Clashes between Bangladeshi police and hardline Islamists killed four people Friday during a new round of protests over war crimes trials as the unrest spread to the country’s main tourist resort. Police said violence erupted at Tarabunia in the southeastern Cox’s Bazaar region as 5,000 supporters of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party took to the streets to protest at the trials of their leaders by a governmentappointed court. Jamaat supporters armed with homemade firearms and bombs and stones attacked the security forces who retaliated with gunfire, said police officers.

“So far four people have died in the clashes,” Nur Jahan, a local police officer, told AFP. A district administrator said three of the deceased were Jamaat supporters. “There were up to 5,000 protesters. They suddenly attacked us with homemade guns and bombs. We fired back in self defence,” local police chief Jashim Uddin told AFP, adding three of the dead were shot. At least 13 people have now died during clashes over the ongoing trials in which a host of senior Jamaat figures — including the party’s leader and deputy leader — are being tried over their role in the 1971 independence war.

Pakistani official said Friday. The embassy said in a statement that the accident happened on Thursday evening in the Pakistani capital. The employee’s vehicle collided with a motorcycle carrying two Pakistani citizens, injuring both men. One of the men later died from his injuries. The second is receiving medical treatment. The American diplomat was treated for minor injuries and released, the embassy said. “The US Embassy wishes to extend its heartfelt condolences to the families affected by this tragedy,” the statement said. “We have and will continue to cooperate fully with the appropriate Pakistani authorities on the investigation.”

Also: SRINAGAR, India: Authorities re-introduced a strict curfew across most of Indian-controlled Kashmir ahead of Friday prayers, as residents simmered with anger over the secret execution of a Kashmiri man in the Indian capital. Police drove through the streets of Srinagar, the main city, ordering residents to stay indoors. Despite the curfew, clashes and protests broke out in several places, police said.

US, UN urge free polls in Maldives WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (AFP): The United States and the United Nations called Thursday for free elections in the Maldives, after the Indian Ocean archipelago’s former leader took refuge in the Indian embassy. “We urge all sides to remain calm, reject the use of violence and avoid rhetoric that could increase tensions,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement. The United Nations echoed her comments.

In this Feb 2, 2013 photo, Pakistani driver makes his way through slums of Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan youth leader Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi has an innovative plan to counter the relentless message of violence spewed forth by radical Islamic groups in the country and is stealing a trick from their playbook to do it. (AP)

‘... not a bullet’

An Indian army spokesman said that the soldier had been killed in a firefight in which one Indian soldier was also wounded, and an AK47 rifle was discovered by his side when the body was recovered.

“We detected some suspicious movement yesterday near the LoC (Line of Control) inside our territory and the challengers from our side fired and in the ensuing firefight he was killed,” Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Kalia, a spokesman for the Indian army’s northern command, told AFP. “At that time we did not know he was a Pakistani soldier. We killed an infiltrator,” the spokesman added. The Pakistani military condemned the killing, saying the soldier had become lost and crossed the LoC “inadvertently” and that civilians at the scene had seen him being questioned by the Indians. “We condemn such an inhuman and brutal act of killing our soldier after he had identified himself and explained his position,” a spokesman said. “This is not the first such event. We have returned Indian soldiers in the past, who had similarly strayed.” The spokesman later confirmed that the Indians had handed the soldier’s body to the Pakistani army. Pakistan’s foreign ministry demanded an investigation into the incident. “Pakistan calls upon the Government of India to carry out a thorough investigation into this unfortunate incident and to ensure that such incidents do not recur,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. It was the first fatal exchange between troops in the region since the two armies agreed a Kashmiri students shout slogans during a protest against the execution of a Kashmiri Mohammed Afzal Guru and continuous curfew in the ceasefire on Jan 16. Kashmir valley, in New Delhi, India, Feb 15. Authorities re-introduced a strict curfew across most of Indian-controlled Kashmir ahead of Friday Pakistan has asked India to prayers, as residents simmered with anger over the secret execution of Guru in the Indian capital. Guru had been convicted of involvement carry out a thorough investigain a 2001 attack on India’s parliament that killed 14 including five gunmen. (AP) tion into the incident and ensure it does not recur. But the Indians blamed the Pakistani soldier, saying he had begun firing when confronted by their troops. Lt Col Rajesh Kalia, a spokesman for the Indian army in Kashmir, said the soldier was killed in a firefight with Indian PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Feb 15, (Agencies): “The target of the attack was the chief min- attacks.” troops in which an Indian soldier The chief minister of a restive northwestern ister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He and other Meanwhile, an American diplomat in was injured. He said Indian Pakistani province on the frontline of the fight associates remained safe in the attack,” he Pakistan got in a car crash with two Pakistanis troops had seen “suspicious against homegrown militants survived a told AFP. on a motorcycle that resulted in the death of a movement” in the Nowshera secTaleban suicide bombing assassination bid on Mardan lies around 50 kms (30 miles) Pakistani civilian, the US Embassy and a tor of the line of control.

Friday. Ameer Haider Khan Hoti was travelling to a political rally when the attacker threw a grenade at his car before blowing himself up, senior local official Zaka Ullah told AFP, but no one was hurt. The attack came less than two months after the Pakistani Taleban killed Hoti’s number two Bashir Bilour in a suicide bombing at a political meeting in Peshawar, the main city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which is frequently hit by shootings and bombings. Danishwar Khan, police chief for Mardan, where the attack took place, confirmed it was a suicide bombing.

A Nepalese woman receives tilak or vermilion powder mixed with rice, on her forehead from a priest as her child looks outside a Hindu temple meant for Goddess Saraswati to mark Saraswati Puja festival, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Feb 15. Saraswati Puja is a special day for students when they show their respect to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and learning. Children are given their first writing and reading lessons during this festival. (AP)

Bangladeshi activists participate in a candle light vigil demanding the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah and others convicted of war crimes during the nation’s independence war in 1971, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Feb 14. They urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to review a verdict sentencing the senior leader of Bangladesh’s largest Islamic party to life in prison for killings and other crimes. (AP)

Eye-catching rickshaws promote peace in Pakistan KARACHI, Pakistan, Feb 15, (AP): Pakistani youth leader Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi has a plan to counter the relentless message of violence spewed forth by radical Islamic groups in his country - and he is stealing a gimmick from the hard-liners’ own playbook to do it. His weapon: the threewheeled motorized rickshaws that buzz along Pakistan’s streets carrying paying customers. Radical Islamists have long used the rickshaws as a canvas to market slogans in support of religious warfare in neighboring India and Afghanistan and to foster hatred against the United States. Zaidi is turning that strategy on its head with a fleet of rickshaws emblazoned with peace slogans and decorated with colorful designs similar to those found on many trucks and buses in the country. Peace “We need to take back this romanticized art form and use it for peace sloganeering and conflict resolution,” said Zaidi, head of the Pakistan Youth Alliance. Pakistan could certainly do with more peace. Domestic Taleban militants and their allies have waged a bloody insurgency across the country in recent years that has killed thousands of people. The nation is also home to many militants who have focused their fight on US-led forces in Afghanistan and have battled India for control of the disputed territory of Kashmir. Zaidi chose to begin his “peace rickshaw” project in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, a swirling cauldron of 18 million people wracked by ethnic, political and sectarian violence. Over 2,000 people were murdered last year in the city, located on Pakistan’s southern coast. The Pakistan Youth Alliance held workshops with over 200 students in some of Karachi’s most conflict-prone areas to come up with designs and slogans for the rickshaws. Common Some take common Urdu street expressions, such as “Hey dude, don’t tease,” and give them a peaceful twist: “Hey dude, don’t fight.” Others cite snippets of Sufi poems, phrases from Islam’s holy book, the Holy Quran, or messages of interfaith harmony: “Respecting other religions brings respect for your religion.” One of the most direct is: “I’m driving a rickshaw, not a bullet.” To produce eye-catching designs for the rickshaws, Zaidi’s organization enlisted the help of a truck artist in Karachi, Nusrat Iqbal, a celebrity in his field because

he once decorated a bus in London and a tram in Sydney. With initial funding of nearly $25,000 from a donor who did not wish to be credited, the group has decorated five rickshaws so far and has plans for 50 more in Karachi. It hopes to spread the fleet to Pakistan’s other major cities as it gets more funding. “I agreed to work on the program because everyone needs to do their part to spread peace and love in the country,” said Iqbal, standing outside his small shop in the middle of a truck yard in Karachi’s dusty and poor Sohrab Goth area. Hard-line Islamic groups such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa have long used rickshaws to promote their message, minus the colorful decorations. The group is believed to be a front for a militant organization that carried out attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people. Many rickshaws in the eastern city of Lahore, where Jamaat-ud-Dawa is based, carry anti-India messages sponsored by the group, such as “War against India will continue until the liberation of Kashmir.” Slogans Jamaat-ud-Dawa pays the drivers about $5 each to carry their slogans, said Zaidi. The Pakistan Youth Alliance pays about $100 to decorate each rickshaw and is appealing to drivers to participate in the campaign by telling them they will attract more customers. While buses and trucks across Pakistan are often festooned with flowers, tigers, peacocks and other images made with colorful paint, stickers and metalwork, many rickshaws are relatively unadorned. Iqbal, the rickshaw artist, used similarly eye-catching decorations with a propeace twist. One was covered with white and orange peace symbols, with the words “Peace Not Pieces” painted on the front in English. Another has images of local newspaper articles discussing violence in the country that are overlaid with colorful flowers and slogans preaching peace. Some have signs that light up at night that say “Aman Sawari,” or “Peace Rickshaw,” along with a steel heart with wings that says “Love, Peace, Tolerance.” Mohammed Salahuddin, a driver of one of the peace rickshaws, says the campaign has been good for his business. “People like the design and choose my rickshaw over others when they have a choice,” he said.




World News Roundup Crime Enemy No. 1

Cartel kingpin new ‘Capone’ CHICAGO, Feb 15, (AP): A drug kingpin in Mexico who has never set foot in Chicago has been named the city’s new Public Enemy No. 1 — the same notorious label assigned to Al Capone at the height of the Prohibition-era gang wars. The Chicago Crime Commission announced the move Thursday, saying it considers Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman even more menacing than Capone because he’s the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, which supplies most of the narcotics sold in the city. “What Al Capone was to El Chapo beer and whiskey during Prohibition, Guzman is to narcotics,” said Art Bilek, the commission’s executive vice president. “Of the two, Guzman is by far the greater threat. ... And he has more power and financial capability than Capone ever dreamed of.” The commission — a non-government body that tracks city crime trends — designated Capone Public Enemy No. 1 in 1930. It has declared other outlaws public enemies, but Capone was the only one deemed No. 1. Until now. Guzman is thought to be holed up and guarded by a personal army in a Mexican mountain hideaway. And there’s nothing to indicate he’s ever been anywhere near Chicago, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, which joined the commission in affixing the title to Guzman. Still, for all practical purposes, Guzman should be treated as a local Chicago crime boss for the havoc his cartel creates in the nation’s third-largest city, said the head of the DEA’s Chicago office, Jack Riley. The point of singling out Guzman now, added Bilek, is to inspire more public support for going after him.

US President Barack Obama uses a spy glass to play with a young girl during a visit to College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Ga, on Feb 14. (AP)

Obama pushes preschool plan, won’t discuss cost President Barack Obama on Thursday rolled out a plan to vastly expand government-funded early childhood education while keeping the price tag a secret. Obama has raised hopes among parents who want preschool for all. But Republicans are wary of high costs and have made clear they have reservations about funding universal

preschool. Obama set up yet another clash with Republicans over spending and the proper scope of government in this week’s State of the Union address when he proposed working with states to make highquality preschool available to every American child. Recently, he played blocks and gave fist-bumps to kids in a preschool

classroom in the state of Georgia, casting the plan as part of a moral imperative to give every child a shot at success. “The size of your paycheck shouldn’t determine your child’s future,” Obama told about 600 teachers and parents at the Decatur Community Recreation Center, singling out Georgia as a model for making univer-

sal preschool a priority. “Let’s fix this. Let’s make sure none of our kids start out the race of life already a step behind.” The White House offered the first details about Obama’s plan Thursday, describing it as a “continuum of high-quality early learning for a child, beginning at birth and continuing to age 5.” The government would

fund public preschool for any 4-yearold whose family income is 200 percent or less of the federal poverty level — a more generous threshold than the current program known as Head Start, which generally serves kids from families below 130 percent of the poverty line. All 50 states and the federal government would chip in. (AP)

Empire “Ninety-nine percent of the people in the United States have never heard of this man,” he said. “Concerted action ... must be taken now against Guzman before he establishes a bigger network and a bigger empire in the United States.” Capone based his bootlegging and other criminal enterprises in Chicago during Prohibition, when it was illegal to sell alcohol in the US. He gained the greatest notoriety for the 1929 St Valentine’s Day Massacre when assassins wielding Thompson machine guns shot dead seven of his rivals in a downtown garage. Yet Riley said Guzman — whose nickname means “shorty” in Spanish — is more ruthless than Capone, whose nickname was “Scarface.” “If I was to put those two guys in a ring, El Chapo would eat that guy (Capone) alive,” Riley told The Associated Press in a recent interview at his office, pointing at pictures of the men. Riley described Chicago as one of Sinaloa’s most important cities, not only as a final destination for drugs but as a hub to distribute them across the US. “This is where Guzman turns his drugs into money,” he said. Cartels, blamed for more than 50,000 deaths in Mexico in recent years, are rarely directly linked to slayings in Chicago. But Bilek said Thursday that cartel-led trafficking is an underlying cause of territorial battles between street gangs that are responsible for rising homicide rates. Guzman “virtually has his fingerprints on the guns that are killing the children of this city,” Bilek told a news conference.

Also: MIAMI: A banker and attorney on the run for 26 years after his conviction in a major South Florida marijuana smuggling case has been captured in Mexico. The US Marshals Service reported Thursday that 61-year-old Manuel Lopez-Castro was arrested this week in Cancun, Mexico, and is back in Miami to face justice. Lopez-Castro fled in 1986 rather than show up at a Florida prison to begin serving a 27-year sentence for marijuana smuggling and other convictions. Authorities say Lopez-Castro was captured after officers including Mexican Federal Police did a staged traffic stop. It’s believed he lived in Spain, Costa Rica, Argentina, Venezuela and Panama before settling in Mexico. Lopez-Castro was part of a pot smuggling ring responsible for importing some 600,000 pounds of marijuana into the US from 1977 to 1984.

Drones Public deserves to know more on drones: Obama

US moves on creating 6 test sites Heather Cronk, holds a photograph of her cousin of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim teacher Victoria Soto, as she wipes her eye during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn, Feb 14. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP)



America Remains ID’d as fugitive ex-LA cop: Officials say the burned remains found in a California mountain cabin have been positively identified as a fugitive former cop who launched a deadly revenge campaign against the Los Angeles Police Department. Jodi Miller, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County sheriff-coroner, said Thursday the identification was made through Christopher Dorner’s dental records. Miller did not give a cause of death. The search for Dorner began last week after authorities said he had launched the revenge campaign for his firing five years ago, warning that he would bring “warfare” to LAPD officers and their families. The manhunt brought police to Big Bear Lake, 80 miles (129 kms) east of Los Angeles, where they found Dorner’s burned-out pickup truck abandoned. His footprints disappeared on frozen soil and hundreds of officers who searched the area and checked out each building failed to find him. Five days later, but just a stone’s throw from a command post authorities had set up in the massive manhunt, Karen and Jim Reynolds said they came face to face with Dorner inside their cabin-style

WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (Agencies): Federal officials Thursday solicited proposals to create six drone test sites around the US in a major step toward opening domestic skies to thousands of unmanned drones. The Federal Aviation Administration also posted online a draft plan for protecting people’s privacy from the eyes in the sky. The plan would require each test site to follow federal and state laws and make a privacy policy publicly available. Privacy advocates worry that a proliferation of drones will lead to a “surveillance society” in which the movements of Americans are routinely monitored, tracked, recorded and scrutinized by the authorities. The military has come to rely heavily on drones overseas. Now there is tremendous demand to use drones in the US for all kinds of tasks that are too dirty, dull or dangerous for manned aircraft. Drones also are often cheaper than manned aircraft. The biggest market is expected to be state and local police departments. The FAA is required by a law condo. The couple said Dorner bound them and put pillowcases on their heads. At one point, he explained that he had been there for days. “He said ‘I don’t have a problem with you, so I’m not going to hurt you,’” Jim

enacted a year ago to develop sites where civilian and military drones can be tested in preparation for integration into US airspace that’s currently limited to manned aircraft. The law also requires that the FAA allow drones wide access to US airspace by 2015, but the agency is behind schedule, and it’s doubtful it will meet the deadline, the Transportation Department’s inspector general said in a report last year.

Evaluate The test sites are planned to evaluate what requirements are needed to ensure the drones don’t collide with planes or endanger people or property on the ground. Remotely controlled drones don’t have a pilot who can see other aircraft the way an onboard plane or helicopter pilot can. There’s also concern that links between drones and their on-theground operators can be broken or hacked, causing the operator to lose control of the drone. Military drones use encrypted GPS signals for navigation, which protects them from hacking, but the GPS sigReynolds said. “I didn’t believe him; I thought he was going to kill us.” (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Ruling means release of docs: Documents related to a disgraced Roman Catholic organization called the Legion of

nals used by civilian drones don’t have that protection. “Our focus is on maintaining and improving the safety and efficiency of the world’s largest aviation system,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “This research will give us valuable information about how best to ensure the safe introduction of this advanced technology into our nation’s skies.” The test sites are also expected to boost the local economy of the communities where they are located. About two dozen government-industry partnerships have been formed over the past year to compete for the sites. “Today’s announcement by the FAA is an important milestone on the path toward unlocking the potential of unmanned aircraft and creating thousands of American jobs,” said Michael Toscano, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. “States across the country have been eager to receive this FAA desigChrist could soon be unsealed and available to the public following a decision Thursday by the high court in the state of Rhode Island. The state’s Supreme Court issued an order declining to delay the release of the sealed documents, which are related to a

nation because they recognize the incredible economic and job creation potential it would bring with it,” he said in a statement.

Also: WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama said Thursday that Americans needed more than just his word to be assured he was not misusing his powers in waging a secret drone war overseas. The president was asked about the debate over the deadly tactic, a backbone of the US campaign against alQaeda, and whether the Constitution allows the use of drones against Americans who have turned against their country. “It is not sufficient for citizens to just take my word for it that we are doing the right thing,” Obama told an online forum sponsored by Google. The president, who has said he is working with Congress to provide more oversight of the clandestine drone war against Al-Qaeda, was also asked what was to stop the US government from using unmanned aerial vehicles at home. lawsuit contesting the will of a woman who left $60 million to the Legion. The Legion had argued that the records should remain under court seal because their contents could taint a future jury. The documents could be available as early as Friday. (AP)

‘End violence against women, girls’

‘Billion Rising’ spans the globe

A woman dances during The National Organization for Women (NOW) rally for an end to violence against women and girls worldwide in Washington, DC, Feb 14. (AFP)

LOS ANGELES, Feb 15, (AP): Thousands danced in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Hundreds chanted in South Africa, carrying signs and candles. The Philippines held a 24-hour dance party. Scores of students in India gathered for a candlelight vigil. Organizers say these were among thousands of events taking place in 205 Ensler countries Thursday as part of One Billion Rising, an international call led by Eve Ensler’s V-Day organization to end violence against

women and girls. Ensler, author of “Monologues,” announced the campaign last year, urging women and men around the world to walk out of work or school on Feb 14, 2013, and dance to raise awareness of the troubling UN statistic that one in three women worldwide will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. “It’s happening, and what we’re seeing is really huge uprisings,” Ensler said Thursday in a telephone interview from Congo. “It’s amazing because it goes from huge events like in Collins Square in London to six girls in a living room in Iran. That’s what’s so beautiful about it, like the whole world’s doing it in the way they can do it.”




Security US diplo missions

158 posts may not meet rules WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (Agencies): More than half the US diplomatic posts overseas may not fully meet security standards, a senior US official told a hearing on Thursday that follows an attack on the mission in Benghazi in which the US ambassador and three other Americans died. Pat Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management at the State Department, told a House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee that the United States had a diplomatic presence at 283 locations around the world. He said 97 safe and secure facilities had been completed since the 1999 passage of a US law authorizing additional funding for security upgrades, including 70 Kennedy full replacements of embassies or consulates, as well as some building of Marine guard quarters and office annexes. “There remain approximately 158 posts that have facilities that may not fully meet current security standards,” he said. “Many of these facilities were built or acquired prior to the establishment of the current security standards, and others are subject to authorized waivers and/or exceptions.”

A view of Capitol Hill from the window of Air Force One on Feb 14, in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama traveled to Georgia to promote economic and educational initiatives he spoke about in this week’s state of the Union. (AFP)


Testimony Kennedy was giving written testimony at a closed hearing of the subcommittee that oversees the State Department, but his comments were posted afterwards on a House website. The issue of embassy security has been under particular scrutiny since the Sept 11, 2012 Benghazi attack. In December, an independent review described security precautions at the US mission in the eastern Libyan city as “grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place” there. Another State Department official said a variety of factors, including increased costs of fuel and construction, contributed to the delay in upgrading security for diplomatic posts. “To accommodate our building requirements, collocate staff, and achieve required setback (from the property perimeter), we seek sites of about 7 to 10 acres of buildable land. These can be challenging to find in a capital city,” the official told Reuters. One of the lawmakers who attended the hearing said part of the problem was that many posts are located directly on streets. This makes them more vulnerable to car bombs and other attacks. “The problem is, there are a good number of our embassies that are right at the street,” Representative Nita Lowey, the panel’s ranking Democrat, told Reuters. “So ideally, you’d want to find new land to move them. So they are looking at all kinds of different methods.” The 1999 law on embassy security construction was passed after the deadly bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania a year earlier in which hundreds of people were killed. In addition to providing funding for security upgrades, the 1999 law contained some new security requirements, including a mandate that any new embassy or consulate building be no less than 100 feet (30 meters) from the compound’s perimeter. Kennedy said Congress had appropriated about $10 billion for the embassy security construction effort since 1999, and that 37 projects were currently in design or construction. Following the Benghazi attack, the State Department asked in December for more than $1 billion to be reprogrammed in the current fiscal year to improve security at diplomatic missions.

Also: WASHINGTON: Draconian budget cuts set to kick in automatically in two weeks will severely hinder American diplomacy at a time of growing threats around the world, US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned. A program of $85 billion in toxic cuts, known as sequestration, will automatically be applied from March 1 across all government agencies, if no deal is reached between the Obama administration and a quarrelsome Congress. Most attention has focused on the Defense Department, which will bear the brunt of the pain, having to slash around $46 billion from its budget. But in a letter to Senator Barbara Mikulski, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, Kerry revealed the State Department would also need to find $2.6 billion in savings this year, and urged Congress to act.

Want ‘to get the hell out of town’: Panetta

Hagel confirmation vote stalled Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laughs as Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta jokes prior to Clinton receiving the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service during a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, Feb 14. (AFP)



America Intel budget classified: US spy agencies are making preparations for potentially sweeping budget cuts that could drastically limit their ability to respond to crises, the top US intelligence official said on Thursday. In an interview, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Reuters that cuts required under a budget sequestration plan which Congress approved in 2011 would be the “budgetary equivalent of emergency amputations.” “It’s an accurate statement to say this profoundly limits our flexibility and our ability to respond to crises,” Clapper said. Clapper is the latest in a growing roster of top Obama administration officials to declare publicly that implementation of the current sequestration legislation, which requires across-the-board budget cuts, would lead to dire consequences. The cuts are scheduled to take effect March 1 unless Congress comes up with alternative deficit reduction measures. It is rare for a senior intelligence official to complain publicly about threats to the intelligence budget, which is classified except for an overall figure of $72 billion. Among intelligence activities that might have to be cut back, Clapper said, are “human intelligence” which covers recruiting and handling of undercover informants and “overhead collection” which includes electronic eavesdropping and image-producing satellites — among the most critical US intelligence collection systems. Sequestration could also result in fewer counter-intelligence and security personnel — meaning fewer resources to identify, track down and neutralize efforts by foreign spy services, “bad actors” and disgruntled insiders to compromise US intelligence activities, he said. Intelligence analysis - evaluation and translation of information collected by both human spies and technical systems also would have to be cut “dramatically” under sequester plans, Clapper said in the telephone interview. While the “sheer size of the cuts are going to create for me a crisis situation,” Clapper said he would try to mitigate and work around the cuts. These mitigation efforts would include trying to minimize, if not avoid altogether, the need to furlough employees, a step

WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (Agencies): By delaying a confirmation vote on Chuck Hagel to be US defense secretary, Senate Republicans have forced Leon Panetta to remain on the job he is eager to give up. But they’ve also given the White House an opportunity to cast the Republicans as obstructing President Barack Obama’s assembly of a second-term national security team. Senate Republicans temporarily blocked a Hagel confirmation vote on Thursday, insisting that the administration must first answer more questions about its handling of a terrorist attack last September on a US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, called it “political posturing.” “Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, it got worse,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said after the Republicans forced the delay. The Senate action amounted to a parliamentary maneuver, with Democrats needing 60 votes for Hagel’s confirmation to move forward. It fell two votes short. Still, Hagel is likely to win confirmation on a mostly party-line vote after the Senate returns from next week’s recess. Sen. Lamar Alexander said he expects many of his Republican colleagues to join him then to end the debate. Alexander stopped short of predicting Hagel will be confirmed, but that is almost assured if he only needs a simple majority, and Democrats control the Senate by a 55-45 margin. Alexander called Thursday’s vote “unfortunate” and “unnecessary” because Hagel’s nomination came up on the Senate floor that was considered and planned for during a budget crisis in 2011, Clapper said. Other current and former officials said spy agencies may have to cut personnel, travel and contractors and would lose flexibility to adapt to new missions. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

too quickly — just two days after it was approved by a divided Armed Services Committee. The unprecedented stall tactic against a defense secretary nominee raised the anger of frustrated Democrats, who immediately accused Republicans of threatening security and said they unnecessarily undercut US credibility abroad. “The world is too dangerous to have this period of uncertainty,” said Carl Levin, Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The nomination of John Brennan as CIA director was also delayed. The Senate Intelligence Committee pushed off a vote amid Republican demands that the White House turn over more details about drone strikes against terror suspects and about the Benghazi attack.

Confirmed In contrast, the Senate swiftly confirmed John Kerry to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state. The Pentagon and CIA will continue under their current leadership, and Panetta will stay on as defense secretary until his successor is confirmed. At a Pentagon award ceremony for Clinton, Panetta said he looked forward to the chance to “get the hell out of town.” Reid said he hoped to proceed with an up-or-down vote on Feb. 26 and suggested that the Republicans’ maneuvers have left the Pentagon leaderless. “What does that do to our standing in the world community?” he asked in remarks on the Senate floor. Panetta will be back in the Pentagon next week. His press secretary, George Little, said Panetta will fly to Brussels for a NATO meeting late next week, where allies will consider the size and scope of a post-combat mission in

Sen won’t seek re-election: Senator Frank Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who at 89 is the US Senate’s oldest member, said on Thursday he will not seek re-election to a sixth term next year. His decision opens a clearer path to the seat for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the

Afghanistan. The US is hoping allied nations will contribute troops and money for continued training of Afghan security forces, which are to be fully responsible for security by the end of 2014. Obama himself suggested that Hagel’s absence from the Brussels meeting could hurt the war effort. He also criticized Republicans for blocking the Hagel nomination and forcing him to win 60 votes instead of the usual majority. “It’s just unfortunate that this kind of politics intrudes at a time when I’m still presiding over a war in Afghanistan, and I need a secretary of defense who is coordinating with our allies to make sure that our troops are getting the kind of strategy and mission that they deserve,” the president said in an online chat sponsored by Google. Republicans, led by Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain, insisted the White House tell them more about how Obama handled the Benghazi crisis. The White House responded to a Feb 12 letter from Graham, McCain and Sen. Kelly Ayotte to Obama asking whether he spoke to any Libyan government official during the Sept 11 assault about getting assistance. Republicans have sought to portray Obama as being out of touch during the attack. Clinton called Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf on Obama’s behalf on Sept. 11 to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya, White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler wrote in the Feb 14 response. Obama spoke to Magariaf on the evening of Sept. 12, she said. front-runner for the Democratic nomination for Senate in 2014. Booker said he would seek the seat before Lautenberg announced his intentions. Lautenberg, a self-made multimillionaire businessman who became a leading liberal voice in the Senate, offered no reason for his decision to retire from

Senators craft bill

Tax on US carbon

Cuban immigrant Judy Lacosta holds her baby Melody Grace, 6 months, while sitting with her husband Ed, also from Cuba, at a special Valentine’s Day naturalization ceremony for married couples on Feb 14, in Tampa, Florida. The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) held the Valentine’s Day ceremony in Tampa for 28 married couples from 15 different countries. (AFP)

WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (AFP): US senators proposed a tax on carbon emissions Thursday amid growing calls for action on climate change, but the bill is expected to face strong opposition from conservatives. Two days after President Barack Obama urged Congress to tackle the emissions blamed for rising temperatures, two senators laid out a plan that would for the first time set a price on carbon throughout the United States. The plan by staunch environmentalists Barbara Boxer and Bernie Sanders would charge $20 per ton of carbon from major polluters such as coal mines and oil refineries, rising 5.6 percent annually over 10 years.

With a feuding Senate holding up approval of his successor, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday joked that he hoped he would be allowed “to get the hell out of town” and retire as planned. At an event honoring recently retired Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 74year-old Panetta said he was anxious to relinquish the reins as Pentagon chief and expressed envy that Clinton had been liberated from her duties. “She’s made it. And, you know, I’m going to have as broad a smile as she does, hopefully, in a few days,” he told military officers and diplomats at the Pentagon. “My office is packed up,” he said, and his wife, Sylvia, was packing up his home in Washington. “I’m ready to go. It’s like, ‘All right.’” In the meantime, Panetta has gone ahead with a series of farewell events over the past two weeks and planned to fly to California Thursday to have a Valentine’s dinner with his wife. But his aides said Panetta would remain fully engaged as defense secretary until his successor was in place. At Thursday’s ceremony, Panetta’s sarcasm about his delayed retirement revealed more than a hint of exasperation with Congress, which he has slammed repeatedly for failing to break a budget impasse due to partisan politics. Panetta praised Clinton for her work as the top diplomat, and the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, presented her with a medal for “exceptionally superior service.” Panetta called the award ceremony a “great Valentine’s Day present” for the Defense Department. Congress, but vowed to keep working for constituents until his Senate term ends in January 2015. “This is not the end of anything, but rather the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals, and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey,” he said in a statement. Booker, 43, is a rising star in the Democratic Party, known as much for his rescue of a woman from her burning home last year as he is for running a city troubled by high crime and unemployment. Booker announced he would explore running for Lautenberg’s seat in December, then filed papers in January, drawing criticism from Lautenberg supporters who suggested the mayor should focus on his own struggling city. “Senator Lautenberg has been a strong model of leadership and service to me since before I even considered entering elected office,” Booker said in a statement after Lautenberg’s announcement. “I look forward to continuing to work with him for the remainder of his term in the Senate and for many years to come.” A survey by Public Policy Polling released in November found most New Jersey Democratic voters wanted to see Lautenberg retire at the end of his term in 2014 rather than seek re-election. The same survey found Booker leading the pack of potential Democratic candidates for the Senate seat, with six in 10 voters saying they want to see him run. (RTRS)




World News Roundup Bilingual ‘English only’

Boria’s ‘push’ for Spanish rebuffed DORAL, Florida, Feb 15, (AP): In many parts of Miami, Spanish is used as frequently – or more often – than English. That’s certainly case in the neighboring suburb of Doral, where an influx of immigrants from Latin America have transformed an idle community near the city’s airport into flourishing neighborhood with cafeterias and businesses echoing the tastes and sounds of home. Enter any restaurant and customers are usually greeted first in Spanish. Some complain it can be Boria hard to find anyone who speaks perfect English. But when Doral’s mayor tried to make Spanish the official second language on Wednesday, he was rebuffed by every council member and numerous constituents. And it wasn’t from the small group of non-Hispanic residents who live here. It was largely from immigrants themselves. “Our parents and some of us that are up here came from Latin America and other countries knowing that the United States has English as the language,” Councilwoman Ana Maria Rodriguez said. “We came here knowing we had to adapt to the language of this country.” Nationwide, the Latino population has ballooned and the number of Spanish-language services has grown as a result. An estimated 34.5 million people in the United States speak Spanish at home – about 10 percent of the population – and everyone from small businesses and retail chains to politicians have taken note. When Florida Sen Marco Rubio delivered the Republican response to the president’s State of the Union address, he gave speeches in both languages.

The cruise ship Carnival Triumph is towed into Mobile Bay near Dauphin Island, Ala, Feb 14. The ship with more than 4,200 passengers and crew members has been idled for nearly a week in the Gulf of Mexico following an engine room fire. (Inset): Kendall Jenkins (left), of Houston, celebrates with Brittany Ferguson, of Houston, after getting off the Carnival Triumph in Mobile, Ala, Feb 14. (AP)

Tour Escape from ‘horrible’ US cruise cheered

Passengers disembark crippled ship

Immigration But few cities have responded by declaring themselves officially bilingual. Far more states, and politicians, have adopted Englishonly policies. That has been reaffirmed in the recent immigration reform debate, with both Democrats and Republicans supporting English as a requirement for citizenship. “Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship, a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally,” President Barack Obama said Tuesday. The United States has never declared English as its official language, though more than two dozen states have taken that step. Only one state – Hawaii – has adopted a second official language, naturally Hawaiian. Along the USMexico border, there is sporadic use of Spanish and English for public affairs, but no state is considered officially bilingual. One Texas city, El Cenizo, adopted Spanish as its official language in 2006. “With growing ethnic and racial diversity, we see more cases of people making suggestions about what should be the language of their local government,” said Nestor Rodriguez, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin. “These issues are always emotional and very symbolic. It’s about who we are as people and who we are as a country.”

Exiles Florida itself is an interesting case study: Miami-Dade County, which includes the city of Miami, declared itself bilingual 40 years ago after a wave of Cuban exiles fled island and settled in South Florida. That ordinance was later overturned, but the rejection was thrown out in 1993. The state voted to make English the official language in 1988. In Doral, nearly 80 percent of the population is Hispanic and almost 90 percent speak a language other than English at home. The city is affectionately known as “Doralzuela” because of its large number of Venezuelan residents. Doral Mayor Luigi Boria, elected earlier this year, is a Venezuelan immigrant whose first language was Italian. He is an elegant, graying man who owns a successful computer technology business and speaks halting English. He says he is still learning the language.

Coffee served in a foam cup is held for an illustration Feb 14, at a restaurant in New York. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has taken on smoking, sugary drinks and salt, talked about banning food packaging made from polystyrene foam from stores and restaurants in his annual State of the City address on Thursday. (AP)



America Pot’s OK but Styrofoam is ‘terrible’: Billionaire New York mayor Michael Bloomberg promised eye-catching changes Thursday for his last days in office, including reduced penalties for marijuana possession and a ban on Styrofoam cups. Cheerleaders danced and the Jay-Z and Alicia Keys hit “Empire State of Mind” blasted out as the three-term mayor came to the podium to give his final annual State of the City speech. The razzmatazz honored Bloomberg on his birthday but also the start of the countdown to his departure from City Hall, where he took office at the start of 2002 and will step down next January. Bloomberg, who became one of America’s richest people by creating the financial news and data company named after himself, used the speech to trumpet his achievements. He said every part of the Big Apple was “better off today than ever before.” But the mayor, who has won national fame for his sometimes controversial crusades against smoking, unhealthy diets and guns, stressed: “We have unfinished business and only 320 days to complete it. “As the countdown clock in City Hall says: we’re going to Make Every Day Count.” Among many much larger scale initiatives, Bloomberg’s strong support for reducing marijuana possession from a criminal misdemeanor to a less serious violation category stood out. “Right now, those arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana are often held in custody overnight. We’re changing that,” he said. “Effective next month, anyone presenting an ID and clearing a warrant check will be released directly.” (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

$1b gambling losses stun city: The gambling losses reached more than $1 billion. The former mayor of a major U.S. city appears to blame the spree on a brain tumor.

MOBILE, Ala, Feb 15, (Agencies): Thousands of relieved passengers poured ashore from a stinking cruise ship on Friday after five days adrift in the Gulf of Mexico with overflowing toilets and stench filled cabins. Exhausted passengers lined the ship’s decks, waving towels and flashlights, cheering and singing “Sweet Home Alabama” as tug-boats pulled the stricken Carnival Triumph into the port of Mobile, Alabama. Some travelers kissed the ground when they walked off, others disembarked wearing the ship’s white bath robes, part souvenir and part protection against a chilly night. With only one working elevator, it took several hours to get the more than 4,200 people off the ship, Carnival said. Passengers were greeted dockside with warm food, blankets and cell phones to call family and friends. About 100 buses waited to carry passengers on a seven-hour bus ride to Galveston, Texas, while others buses departed for shorter rides to New Orleans, as well as hotels in Mobile, before eventually flying home.

Saga The end of the saga, documented live on US cable news stations, was another public relations disaster for cruise giant Carnival Corp. Last year, its Costa Concordia luxury liner grounded off the coast of Italy, killing Maureen O’Connor acknowledged in federal court on Thursday that she took $2.1 million from her late husband’s charitable foundation during the decade-long gambling binge. O’Connor, former mayor of San Diego, pleaded not guilty to a money laundering charge in an agreement with the Justice

32 people. Carnival officials said the Triumph, which entered service in 1999, would be towed to a Mobile repair facility for damage assessment. The 893-foot (272-metre) vessel was returning to Galveston from Cozumel, Mexico on the third day of a four-day cruise when an engineroom fire knocked out power and plumbing across most of the ship on Sunday. Passengers described a gutwrenching stench on parts of the ship and complained to relatives and media by cellphone that toilets and drainpipes overflowed, soaking many cabins and interior passages in raw sewage. “The stench was awful,” said Robin Chandler, a 50-year-old from Dallas who spent her birthday on the ship. “A lot of people were crying and freaking out.” “This is my first and last cruise,” passenger Kendall Jenkins said. “It was horrible, just horrible” said Maria Hernandez, 28, tears welling in her eyes as she talked about waking up to smoke in her lower-level room Sunday and the days of heat and stench that followed. She said her group hauled mattresses to upper-level decks to escape the heat. Frustrated by slopping sewage and nonworking toilets, people used the bathroom in plastic bags. Jacob Combs, an Austin, Texasbased sales executive with a healthDepartment that defers prosecution for two years while she tries to repay the foundation and receives treatment for gambling. “There are two Maureens — Maureen No. 1 and Maureen No. 2,” O’Connor told a news conference. “Maureen No. 2 is the Maureen who did not know she had a tumor growing in her brain.” The tumor

care and hospice company, praised the ship’s crew. “Just imagine the filth,” said Combs, 30. “People were doing crazy things and going to the bathroom in sinks and showers. It was inhuman. The stewards would go in and clean it all up. They were constantly cleaning,” he said.

Criticism Facing criticism over the company’s response, Carnival Cruise Lines Chief Executive Gerry Cahill boarded the ship to personally apologize to passengers. “I know the conditions on board were very poor,” he told reporters, sounding shaken in a brief media appearance before he boarded the ship. “I know it was difficult. I want to apologize for subjecting our guests to that,” he said. “We pride ourselves with providing our guests with a great vacation experience and clearly we failed in this particular case,” Cahill added. Operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, the flagship brand of Carnival Corp, the ship left Galveston a week ago carrying 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew. It was supposed to return on Monday. Some passengers said conditions deteriorated rapidly on the Triumph earlier in the week, saying people were getting sick and passengers had been told to use plastic “biohazard” bags as makeshift toilets. was diagnosed in 2011. O’Connor, 66, once had a personal fortune that her attorney estimated between $40 million and $50 million, inherited from her husband, Robert O. Peterson, founder of the Jack in the Box Inc. fast-food chain. She is now virtually broke, living with a sister. O’Connor began gambling around

Media hit

Cyber attacks rise

The casket of Sarai Sierra is prepared for her wake at Christian Pentecostal Church, Feb 14, in the Staten Island borough of New York. The 33-year-old mother of two disappeared Jan 21, and her body was discovered 12 days later near Istanbul’s ancient city walls. Police say she suffered a fatal blow to the head. (AP)

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 15, (RTRS): Cyber attacks against journalists and media organizations around the world have increased over the past few years as criminal hackers provide a cheap and easy way of censoring the press, a media rights group said on Thursday. The Committee to Protect Journalists said media cyber attacks, such as those that recently occurred at The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, were simply part of a growing global trend. “We have seen distributed denial of service attacks against individual journalists and against individual news outlets increasing over the last few years,” Robert Mahoney, the rights group’s deputy director, told reporters.

“It wasn’t a vacation anymore it was like survival mode. Eat what you can. Snack when you can. It was awful,” said passenger Tammy Garcia. Smoke from the engine fire was so thick that passengers on the lower decks in the rear of the ship had to be permanently evacuated and slept the rest of the voyage on the decks under sheets, passengers said. Some passengers said they tried to pass the time playing cards and organizing Bible study groups and scavenger hunts for the children on board the ship. Cahill has issued several apologies and Carnival, the world’s largest cruise company, said passengers will be reimbursed in full plus transportation expenses, a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for this voyage, plus a payment of $500 a person to help compensate them. Chandler, the passenger, scoffed at the compensation offer. “There are lost wages, I’ve got a baby sitter at home and I had to take off work,” she said. Some passengers said conditions improved on Thursday after a generator was delivered to the ship, providing power for a grill to cook hot food. Passengers said toilets began flushing again on Thursday and the ship served steaks and lobster — a relief after a steady diet of cold sandwiches of cucumber and cheese. 2001 as she struggled with pain and loneliness from the death of her husband from leukemia in 1994 and the passing of several close friends, said her attorney, Eugene Iredale. He called it “grief gambling” in a court filing. O’Connor won about $1 billion from 2000 to 2009, according to winnings that casinos reported to the Internal Revenue Service, but lost even more. The U.S. attorney’s office said O’Connor’s medical condition influenced the decision to strike a deal, saying it may have been impossible to bring the case to trial. The tumor was removed, but doctors submitted letters detailing significant ailments. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Son of ex-police chief charged: The son of a former Puerto Rico police chief is facing a federal drug trafficking charge. Jose Toledo Bayouth is accused of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez says a confidential source this week gave Toledo some 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of cocaine for delivery in Puerto Rico and resale in the mainland U.S. Rodriguez says Toledo had offered to hide the cocaine at his father’s farm in central Puerto Rico because of its high-end security system. It is unclear if Toledo has an attorney. He is the son of Pedro Toledo, who died in December and had served as the U.S. territory’s police chief from 1993-2000 and 2005-2009. (AP)




Vatican Math misleading

‘Cardinals to pick reformer’ VATICAN CITY, Feb 15, (AFP): What would appear at first glance to be a cakewalk for a staunch conservative, to follow in the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI, will be anything but Vatican experts say. Of the 117 cardinal electors, 67 were named by the outgoing pontiff, and the other 50 by his beloved predecessor and ideological soulmate John Paul II. More than half of them are European including 28 Italians, which Benedict points strongly to a successor in the same mould as Benedict, who yearned for a rebirth of Christian faith on the Old Continent. But the arithmetic is misleading, given the water that has flowed under the bridges of the Tiber since the 2005 conclave that elevated the Polish pope’s German protege after just four voting sessions. The gaffes and scandals that came to characterise Benedict’s papacy, combined with unflattering comparisons between the introverted German and the charismatic Pole, have laid the foundations for divisions and dissent. Benedict, who took office as the Roman Catholic Church appeared cut adrift, proved unable to quell public relations disasters, came up short in addressing an avalanche of scandals over child sex abuse by priests and made only modest progress in efforts to clean up the Vatican’s murky financial dealings. But insiders have pointed to the “Vatileaks” scandal, in which the pope’s butler stole documents containing revelations about corruption and mismanagement that turned up in a tell-all book, as the last straw.

In this photo provided on Feb 15 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Daily Life Stories by Fausto Podavini, Italy, shows Mirella who despite her husband’s life-threatening disease, devoted her life to assisting Luigi, trying to be positive and reassuring, look-

Elect What is more, Benedict reinstated an old rule requiring a twothirds majority to elect the next pope — or 78 of the 117 possible this time. South African cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, who is among the handful dubbed “papabile” or possible successors, said the Church was in a state of “profound crisis” and needed a new pope to bring about “spiritual renewal”. “The determining factor is he must have the wisdom and energy to confront the challenges that await the Church in every corner of the globe,” he told Italian daily La Stampa. “Church institutions should help evangelisation, not slow it down,” he said. “People, and young people in particular, are waiting for words of truth from the Church.” Magister, like many Vatican watchers, dismissed the chances of an African or Latin American rising to the top, predicting that the race would come down to Milan Archbishop Angelo Scola, 72, versus Marc Ouellet, the 67-year-old former archbishop of Quebec who heads the influential Congregation of Bishops. London bookmaker Paddy Power makes Ouellet, described as “good pals” with Benedict, the frontrunner, with Scola as his main contender.

beautiful moments. But over the last six years things changed: Mirella lived with her husband Luigi’s illness, Alzheimer’s, and devoted her life to him as his caregiver, Rome, Italy, June 1, 2010. (AP)

Food Minister says evidence points to negligence

Spanghero boss attacks French govt

Stamp More than any of the other crises, Vatileaks underscored the cerebral Benedict’s failure to stamp his authority over the Curia, the Church’s secretive and powerful governing body dominated by feuding Italian clerics. “The scandals that brought enormous pain to Benedict XVI had the effect of digging up divisions,” Franca Giansoldati wrote in the Rome daily Il Messaggero on Thursday. A “wave of emotion” over the death of John Paul II speeded Benedict XVI’s election, she said, something that cannot be matched for someone who is simply retiring at the age of 85. When they gather for the conclave in mid-March, the cardinals will be under pressure to choose a reformer, someone to fix the “central machinery” of the Curia, said Sandro Magister, a Vatican expert and staunch supporter of Benedict who writes for the Italian weekly L’Espresso. “A great majority are in favour of a strong leader with a strong public presence and a capacity to govern,” Magister told AFP, noting that cardinals outside the Curia — most of them bishops in overseas dioceses — “will weigh very heavily in favour of reform”. The 28 Italian cardinals are not the “compact group” that they once were, he added.

ing after him with intense love and respect. Everyday care, usually done in a few minutes, takes hours when it concerns someone with dementia. Mirella, 71, spent 43 years of her life with the only person she loved, with all of life’s difficulties, laughter, and

Spanghero’s sales director Christophe Giry answers reporters questions on Feb 15, in Castelnaudary, southern France. (AP)



Europe ‘Forces lack necessary resources’: Military experts said Sweden was probably unable to defend itself on its own in the event of an invasion, in a report published Thursday, saying the armed forces lacked necessary resources. “Can We Defend Ourselves For a Week?” the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences asked in the title of its report. Sweden is not a member of NATO and has a policy of military non-alliance, though it does participate in the Alliance’s Partnership for Peace programme. The report echoed comments made by Sweden’s chief of the armed forces Sverker Goeranson in the media in early January, when he said the Scandinavian country would only be able to hold off an attack for “about a week”, following repeated cuts to the defence budget. Goeranson has been on sick leave for exhaustion since making his remarks. The Academy’s study, conducted in 2011 and 2012, supported his analysis of the situation. “We think the military does not have a credible ability to defend all of Sweden ... In the event of a possible attack against Sweden, we would always need help from abroad,” it wrote. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Cyprus braces for vote: Cyprus’ heated presidential election campaign winds down at midnight on Friday ahead of a crucial ballot to pick a leader tasked with steering the recession-weary island away from bankruptcy. Nicos Anastasiades, 66, of the rightwing main opposition Disy party, is tipped to win Sunday’s first round when just over half a million Cypriots are to cast ballots. Analysts say he could pull off a first round win if, as expected, absenteeism is high, fringe candidates do badly, and if centre-right Diko party faithful back him. “I urge you to give me a strong mandate,” Anastasiades told his last major campaign rally. “Success in the first round is what this country needs, so that from Monday I can address the dangers of debt

CASTELNAUDARY, France/AMSTERDAM, Feb 15, (Agencies): The president of French meat processor Spanghero promised on Friday to disprove allegations that his firm knowingly sold horsemeat labelled as beef, and accused the government of being too quick to point the finger. In a widening scandal involving horsemeat in ready meals sold across Europe, Dutch inspectors began taking samples to discover whether shipments contained a drug given to some horses that is banned for animals intended for human consumption. French Consumer Affairs Minister Benoit Hamon on Thursday released details of an investigation into Spanghero which he said indicated the firm was the likely culprit in a scandal that has enraged consumers across the continent and implicated traders and abattoirs from Cyprus to Romania. “I don’t know who is behind this, but I can tell you it’s not us. I’m astonished,” Spanghero boss Barthelemy Aguerre told Europe 1 radio. “I think we will prove our innocence and that of my associates. I think the government has been too quick.” The French inquiry found that Spanghero labelled meat as beef when it knew what it was processing may have been horse. Hamon said Spanghero could not have failed to notice the meat it was importing was much cheaper than beef, and there was no indication that a Romanian firm supplying the meat had mislabelled what was in sustainability.” Diko has endorsed Anastasiades but some of its supporters are uneasy about his credentials on the Cyprus issue as their party has a tough stance on peace talks with the island’s Turkish-occupied north. Anastasiades’ closest challenger is former health minister Stavros Malas, 45, a

fact horse. Outside Spanghero’s factory - a red and white corrugated ironclad building in the town of Castelnaudary near the southwestern city of Toulouse - workers were throwing carcasses, sausages and burgers into a dumper truck on Friday, although it was not immediately clear why they were doing so. The privately owned firm, which was founded by brothers of 1970s French rugby captain Walter Spanghero, has had its operating licence suspended and will face legal action if the suspicions are confirmed. The Paris prosecutor is now reviewing the investigation. In the Netherlands, health inspectors have begun taking samples at 100 meat companies to determine whether shipments of beef contained horse or the drug phenylbutazone, the Economic Affairs Ministry said. Officials have stressed that horsemeat itself poses no specific health threat. However, the drug commonly known as bute - an antiinflammatory painkiller for sporting horses - is banned for animals intended for eating by humans because it is potentially harmful. Slaughtered Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) said six horses slaughtered in the UK that tested positive for the drug were exported to France and may have entered the human food chain. Speaking on behalf of British-educated independent who has the support of the ruling communist AKEL party. Anastasiades, who leads Malas by 20 percentage points in polls, is seen as someone the Europe Union can do business with, while his stance on the Cyprus issue is more flexible than his rivals.

Spanghero’s employees, Marketing Director Christophe Giry said the firm had cooperated with French investigators, who had reassured him the problem had not come from Spanghero. An emotional Giry expressed concern about the livelihoods of company employees and their families. “As soon as our licence was suspended, all our clients who had until then had complete trust in us, pulled their business. This verdict by Hamon and Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll has condemned to death 300 families as well as our partners,” he said. Scapegoats “We’re being used as scapegoats for politicians and everybody,” he added. “They needed to find a head.” Aguerre earlier said his company had analysed the meat as soon as the scandal broke and discovered that some had been a mixture of beef and horsemeat. “It shows that Spanghero is not behind this deception. It comes from elsewhere,” he said. Hamon told Europe 1 radio that it was not up to him to say who was guilty, but added that it was clear something was not right at Spanghero. “There are sufficient facts which show that at the very least there was a lot of negligence,” he said. “Millions of consumers have been duped so we had to act quickly.” Ready-made lasagne meals sold in Norway have been found to contain horsemeat, top retailer First of all, however, Cyprus’ next president will have to agree terms with a troika of lenders on a bailout to save the island’s Greek-exposed banks and failing economy. The European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund are waiting for the elec-

49-year-old man sets self on fire

Women demonstrate for the world-wide campaign ‘One Billion Rising’ at the Brandeburg Gate in Berlin on Feb 14. The campaign is demanding an end to violence against women as well as equal treatment and rights. It was initiated by US artist and feminist Eve Ensler in September 2012. (AFP)

PARIS, Feb 15, (AFP): A 49year-old jobless man set himself on fire in Paris on Friday, just two days after another man died following a similar incident to protest his exclusion from unemployment benefits, officials said. The man sprayed himself with inflammable liquid and then stepped on some clothes he had set alight in front of his home in the northern district of SaintOuen, the local municipal office said. But passers-by called emergency services and the man was taken to hospital with first- and second-degree burns. A local official reported the man had linked his suicide attempt to the fact that he was taken off unemployment benefits but added that he also had “personal and family problems.”

Norgesgruppen said on Friday, the first confirmation that the Europewide meat scandal has reached the Scandinavian nation. The scandal, which has triggered recalls of ready meals and damaged confidence in Europe’s vast and complex food industry, erupted last month when tests carried out in Ireland revealed that some beef products also contained horsemeat. Norgesgruppen, Norway’s biggest retailer with several food store chains, took the lasagne meals affected, sold under the “First Price” label, off store shelves at the end of last week, when suspicions first arose that they may contain horsemeat. Austria pulled a beef tortelloni dish distributed by German chain Lidl from the shelves on Friday after its food safety agency said traces of horsemeat were found in the product. It was the first time the Europewide scandal of horsemeat sold as beef in ready-to-eat meals spread to Austria. “Undeclared horsemeat has been found in the Tortelloni Rindfleisch product of German manufacturer Gusto GmbH” sold at Lidl stores, the country’s food agenc said in a statement. It said it had not yet established the proportion of horsemeat in the product and would provide full details on Monday. Lidl said it was in the process of withdrawing the product in Austria following orders from the health ministry. See Also Page 11 tion result before offering the terms for a 17 billion-euro ($23 billion) lifeline. Malas, who is is confident of seeing off the challenge of 52-year-old former foreign minister George Lillikas and reaching a second round next week, argues for “softer” austerity measures. President Demetris Christofias sought a bailout in June, and talks dragged on as the outgoing leader, who is not standing for re-election, resisted measures including privatisation and reopened talks with Russia on topping up a 2.5 billion-euro loan. On the political front, the international community will also expect the next Cypriot president to pick up the pieces of a deadlocked UN push for peace. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Greek police chiefs arrested: Two Greek district police chiefs have been arrested in the space of two days on suspicion of blackmailing migrants from Pakistan, a police source said on Thursday. The latest arrest came on Wednesday after a Pakistani man complained to police that an officer had stopped his car and illegally seized 4,000 euros ($5,400) he was carrying. The officer later turned out to be the police chief of the working-class district of Renti near Piraeus, the police source told AFP. On Tuesday, another senior officer was arrested after allegedly attempting to extort money from a Pakistani tobacconist. (AFP)




World News Roundup Bosnia Bosnian war

Book names 95,940 dead SARAJEVO/BELGRADE, Feb 15, (RTRS): Mirsad Tokaca calls it the “crowning achievement” of 10 years of painstaking research — thousands of grey pages bearing the names of 95,940 victims of the Bosnian war, where they died and when. Published last month, war crimes researchers say The Bosnian Book of the Dead represents the most comprehensive statistical analysis yet of the bloodshed in Bosnia after federal Yugoslavia fell apart at the close of the 20th century. For Tokaca, 58, it’s the ultimate answer to political leaders Tokaca across the countries carved from Yugoslavia who still dispute the crimes committed, the numbers killed and who bore the blame when their joint state collapsed. “You can’t deny the crime if you determine the exact number of victims,” the former journalist and businessman told Reuters. “Nobody has done anything like this. It’s unique.”

Accurate Rights activists say an accurate picture of what went on in the Bosnian, Croatian and Kosovan wars of the 1990s is vital to the slow process of reconciliation in the Balkans, a region still scarred but seeking to join the European mainstream. The European Union’s external borders will reach Bosnia in July, when neighbouring Croatia becomes the bloc’s 28th member. But the book, whose title recalls the funerary texts that ancient Egyptians believed guided the deceased in the afterlife, almost never came about. For years, a state commission tasked with gathering data on war crimes was starved of funding by Bosnia’s central government, an uneasy alliance of the Serb, Croat and Muslim former warring sides. With thousands of files at risk of falling into disrepair, Tokaca, a former member of the commission, established the Identification and Documentation Centre and launched the book project in 2003 with the help of foreign donors. He took on the records, but was shunned by the state when he asked for funding to continue the research, “probably because they couldn’t dictate what it would look like,” he said. Amid a row with donors over how the money was being spent, the book was finally published with the help of the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Centre, run by Serbian rights campaigner Natasa Kandic.

A Serbian Army soldier stands guard during a ceremony at the monument of the Unknown Soldier on mount Avala near Belgrade, on Feb 15, on Serbia’s Statehood Day, a celebration of the 209th anniversary of the first Serbian uprising and the creation of the modern Serbian state. (AFP)

Russia Theatre no stranger to scandal

Bolshoi show goes on after acid horror Kyrgyz soldiers lay a wreath at a monument to the Kyrgyzstan born Soviet soldiers killed in Afghanistan while fighting against the Afghan rebels in the 1980s during a commemorative ceremony in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on Feb 15. The ex-Soviet nation of Kyrgyzstan marked the 24th anniversary of the Soviet troops with drawal from Afghanistan. (AFP)

Documentation “The (Bosnian) state was never interested in taking on that huge documentation,” Kandic told Reuters in Belgrade. “If it wasn’t for Tokaca, I believe the files would have fallen apart.” The book’s four hardback volumes list almost 100,000 dead, civilian and military, in alphabetical order, their ethnicity, and when and where they died. It provides a chilling picture of the 1992-95 Bosnian war. Roughly half the dead were civilians, while 82 percent of those were Bosnian Muslims (known as Bosniaks). Some 10,000 women were killed, again the majority Bosniaks. Of 24,000 Serb dead, 20,000 were soldiers. The facts do not alter the narrative of the war as accepted in the West. But it is another part of a campaign by the likes of Kandic and Tokaca to reconcile Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks around a common view of what went on when Bosnian Serb forces, with the backing of Belgrade, seized and “ethnically cleansed” swathes of Bosnia after it voted to secede from Yugoslavia. They laid siege to the once multiethnic capital Sarajevo for 43 months, killing, according to the book, 14,000 people. Croatia, too, helped foment the fighting on behalf of the Bosnian Croats. Kandic said a similar project was underway in Kosovo and another planned in Croatia, with the aim of creating a complete registry of the dead from Yugoslavia’s collapse. “It will be a first in the history of the Balkans and the world, and we will know what our legacy is,” Kandic said. “Names close down the room for manipulation of numbers, for minimising other victims and inflating one’s own.” Tokaca’s research had already halved the estimated number of Bosnian war dead from an earlier figure of 200,000, stirring controversy in a country still hamstrung by ethnic division and conflicting narratives of the conflict. Besides the book’s 95,940 dead, another 5,100 are named but the circumstances of their deaths have yet to be established.



Europe Serbia uncovers plot: Serbian authorities said they had uncovered a plot by “criminal clans” to bring down a government plane carrying a national leader, in the latest twist to a murky row over the links between mafia and politicians. In a statement, the Interior Ministry said Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, who is also interior minister, had nevertheless decided to board one of the government’s two planes for his return to Belgrade from Dublin on Thursday evening. Dacic is at the centre of a row over links between him and his aides to an alleged drug smuggler, following a series of revelations in the Serbian press this month that have rocked the six-month-old ruling coalition. He has admitted meeting Rodoljub Radulovic, known as Misha Banana, in 2008 and 2009, but denied any wrongdoing. Dacic says he is being targeted by forces trying to halt the government’s fight against organised crime and corruption. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Accession, reforms agreed: The leaders of Slovenia’s parliamentary parties agreed on Thursday to speed up the ratification of Croatia’s EU accession treaty and carry out needed reforms despite the political crisis caused by the break up of the ruling coalition. “The parliamentary parties’ leaders agreed they will try to ratify in time Croatia’s EU accession treaty,” Slovenian President Borut Pahor told after meeting prime minister Janez Jansa and all the parliamentary leaders. Slovenia has warned it will not ratify Croatia’s EU accession treaty unless Zagreb agrees to resolve a decades-old row over Croatian savings in Slovenia’s Ljubljanska Banka (LB) before the former Yugoslavia collapsed in the 1990s. Despite recent progress in bilateral negotiations over the LB row, the worsening Slovenian government crisis and the possibility of early elections could delay the ratification of Croatia’s accession. Croatia is set to join the European Union July, but it still needs all member states to ratify an accession agreement. Pahor said, the leaders of the seven parlia-

MOSCOW, Feb 15, (RTRS): Principal dancer Artem Ovcharenko seems to defy gravity as he glides through the air, then lands silently with a flourish of his arm during a rehearsal at Russia’s revered Bolshoi Theatre. Other dancers spin through the air behind him, a few warm up at the side and two ballerinas walk on their toes while Viktor Barykin, the repetiteur or dance coach, barks instructions. “One, two, three. One, two, three — up! That’s not bad,” Barykin shouts into a microphone from a seat perched on the front of the stage, taking a male dancer through his steps. On the surface, it is business as usual at one of the world’s great theatres as the dancers prepare for a performance of Yuri Possokhov’s contemporary ballet “Classical Symphony”. But dance has also, for some, become a way to escape a drama behind the scenes that has had more twists than many an on-stage plot in the month since a masked attacker threw acid in the face of Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director. Intrigue and misfortune are nothing new to an institution whose name translates at The Grand Theatre: it has burnt down three times since being built in 1776 under Catherine the Great and was also bombed in World War Two. But the dancers are now struggling to come to terms with the brutality of the Jan 17 attack, which has left Filin fighting for his sight and the Bolshoi battling to mend a reputation tarnished by rumours of rivalries, resentments and intrigues. “It affects some people more, the ones who are more emotional, but on stage you forget everything, you cut yourself off. That’s what I do because I can’t let it affect me,” Ovcharenko, 26, mentary parties also agreed to “make sincere efforts” over the constitutional changes needed to reduce the use of referendums and to carry on with the much needed labour reforms. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

EU raps Macedonia: The European Union’s enlargement commissioner cancelled a visit to Macedonia next week over a

said during a break in the rehearsal. Ovcharenko, a rising star at the Bolshoi since joining in 2007, embodies the motto that the show must go on. He says the rigours of a work day that often lasts from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. leave dancers little time to dwell on the attack. With more roles available than in the past because the Bolshoi now performs more often, there is less reason for envy. But although he says morale has not been affected, the troupe has clearly been shaken by the attack and by a public row it provoked between the Bolshoi’s general director, Anatoly Iksanov, and Nikolai Tsiskaridze, a veteran lead dancer. “Some people came up with hypotheses, some started suspecting people ... I say ‘Forget it, and get back to work’,” Ovcharenko said. “I just want peace at the theatre.” But these are not peaceful times at the Bolshoi. It is hard for dancers to put the attack out of their minds when police are milling around at rehearsals, asking questions, and now treat some of the troupe as suspects. “Having all these people backstage and in our classes is a bit different,” said Joy Womack, the first American to graduate from the Bolshoi Ballet’s main training programme. Her words are not without a touch of understatement.

Competition She does not conceal that competition for roles and for influence over productions is intense at the Bolshoi and says people with different artistic visions “will butt heads”; but, in that, she sees it as not unusual in the ballet world. “The Bolshoi is certainly filled with political dispute that he warned could undermine the ex-Yugoslav republic’s bid to start membership talks with the bloc. Macedonia’s main opposition Social Democrats have been boycotting parliament since they were thrown out of the assembly by security during a brawl in late December. Accusing the rightist government of authoritarianism, the Social Democrats are now threatening to boycott local elections on

histories and little skeletons packed away in the cupboard,” the Californian added. “But every organisation is like that.” Like Ovcharenko, she is trying to forget the attack through her dancing, including as a swan in Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”. But if her personal drive and ambition are anything to go by, it is no surprise that the Bolshoi is as competitive as it is. “I have crazy goals. That’s how I got here in the first place,” she said, promising to show she can achieve what others had said was impossible. “It’s just a matter of how much you want it and how much time you are prepared to put into it.”

Scandal Scandal has long been endemic behind the cream-coloured, eightcolumned facade close to Red Square which reopened to great fanfare in 2011 after a $700-million, six-year renovation that restored the theatre’s opulent tsarist beginnings, doused its interior in gold-leaf and introduced cutting-edge acoustics. The theatre’s history is laced with tales of tricks to put off rivals: needles left in costumes; crushed glass in ballet shoes; an alarm clock timed to go off during a particularly intense dance sequence; even a dead cat thrown on stage. Management of the theatre has also seen controversy: in 1995, the departure of the artistic director sparked a wildcat strike by dancers, in turn prompting jeering and foot-stamping from an angry audience that had paid to see “Romeo and Juliet”. In 2003, world media had a field day when Bolshoi bosses tried to fire ballerina Anastasia Volochkova for being too heavy. And in 2011, deputy ballet March 24. EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule had planned to visit next week to assess the small Balkan country’s reform progress, but said on Friday this would no longer be “appropriate”. “I am frustrated by the lack of progress in putting an end to the political stalemate,” Fule said in a statement. He warned the situation was “putting at risk” an opportunity for

Hamas deputies

3 ordered out

People dance against sexual violence towards women and girls as part of the worldwide ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign on Feb 14, in Warsaw. In more than 200 countries worldwide, people took part in the campaign. (AFP)

SOFIA, Feb 15, (RTRS): Bulgaria ordered three visiting Palestinian lawmakers from the Islamist movement Hamas to leave the country on Friday, saying they posed a security risk to the EU member state. The expulsion came a week after Bulgaria blamed Hezbollah, a Lebanese Islamist group, for a bomb attack in the Black Sea city of Burgas last July that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver, fuelling an EU debate over whether it should be blacklisted alongside Hamas. The European Union, like the United States, has branded Hamas a terrorist group for suicide bombings.and other attacks on Israelis since the mid-1990s

director Gennady Yanin — then seen as a candidate for the artistic director post — quit after pornographic images of him appeared on the Internet. Dirty tricks are far from unheard of throughout public life in post-Soviet Russia. But never before has a member of the Bolshoi Theatre had sulphuric acid thrown in his face. Filin, 42, says he thinks he knows who was behind the attack and that it may be linked to his work as artistic director, but he has named no names in public and police have made no arrest. One of his predecessors, Alexei Ratmansky, said it was no coincidence that Filin had been attacked and described an atmosphere of intrigue and passion, ticket speculators and halfcrazed fans ready to cut the throats of an idol’s rivals. Events since the attack have unfolded like a page-turning whodunit, with the motives still a subject of speculation and no shortage of theories and possible clues. Complicating matters is the fact that Filin says he had his car tyres slashed and emails hacked in the two weeks before the attack, and had received repeated nuisance calls from someone who stayed silent when he answered. Was it artistic rivalry? Filin is at odds with some of his colleagues over the direction the ballet is heading in, and his role gives him the power to make or break dancers’ careers. Could it be connected to power struggles behind the scenes? Filin’s job is much coveted and he has seen off rivals for his position, which he secured in 2011. Such is its importance that a group of cultural figures wrote to President Vladimir Putin last November demanding Filin be replaced by Tsiskaridze. Macedonia to clinch the start of membership talks. Macedonia’s efforts to join the EU and NATO have been hostage to a dispute with neighbouring Greece over Macedonia’s name, which it shares with a northern Greek province. Greece wants it changed. Mindful, however, of the threat of instability in a country that flirted with civil war in 2001, there have been growing signs that the EU’s 27 members might agree to open accession talks even without first resolving the name dispute. Diplomats say the lack of headway towards the European mainstream, and the attendant economic and travel opportunities, is fuelling discontent in Macedonia particularly among ethnic Albanians who comprise a quarter of the two million population. They waged an insurgency in 2001 until Western diplomacy pulled the country from the brink of full-blown civil war. Some of the former guerrillas are now in coalition government with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, but tensions continue to simmer. The Social Democrats (SDSM) have conditioned their return to parliament on a postponement of the communal elections until April 28 and a deal that if the opposition wins, the government should call a snap parliamentary election for September. Gruevski’s VMRO-DPMNE party has rejected both conditions. “We appeal to the SDSM to give up blackmail and the setting of conditions,” VMRO-DPMNE said in a statement on Friday. “We call on them to stop harming the country and to return to the state institutions.” (RTRS)




Focus N. Korea choice

China dilemma grows ‘worse’ BEIJING, Feb 15, (Agencies): North Korea’s third nuclear test presents China under its new leader Xi Jinping with an unwelcome choice — confront its defiant ally or accept having an uncontrollable atomic state on its border. Beijing is the North’s most important backer, providing its neighbour with trade and aid that have enabled the regime to survive since the 1950-53 Jinping Korean War, which historians estimate killed as many as 400,000 Chinese troops. In China’s strategic thinking, North Korea is a “buffer zone” that prevents the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea encroaching on its own border. But with Kim Jong-Un’s government again the subject of international fury, the relationship risks increasingly becoming an irritant for Beijing, analysts say. “More and more people realise that North Korea is more like a security liability than a security asset to China,” said Jia Qingguo, an expert on China’s foreign relations at Peking University. “China treasures stability in the Korean peninsula. But the problem is, North Korea’s action is very destabilising.” He added that Beijing’s thinking on the North would not “change overnight” and that Xi’s ascent — he now heads the Communist Party, and is due to become state president next month — was unlikely to drive a new approach in itself. Many social media users in China want a tougher line against North Korea. One this week likened Pyongyang to a “crazy dog” that had humiliated Beijing.

A Chinese woman prepares to attach a Buddhist blessing tablet with wishes for the new year written on it to a sacred tree at the Dongyue Temple in Beijing on Feb 15. China is welcoming the Year of the Snake and tradition proclaims that a snake in the house is a good sign because it means the family will not starve and children born in the Year of the Snake will be cunning and wise. (AFP)

North Korea Isolated regime says not afraid of further sanctions

Pyongyang tells China N-test ready

Calm But while expressing “firm opposition” to Tuesday’s blast, China’s foreign ministry reiterated calls for calm and restraint and did not mention potential reprisals, echoing its statements after the North’s tests in 2006 and 2009. As then, it stated its support for denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula and backed a six-party dialogue that groups China, the United States, both Koreas, Japan and Russia. However, the forum has been moribund since 2009. Meanwhile the official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary that the latest blast was an attempt by a “desperate DPRK” (North Korea) to keep a perceived external threat at bay, stressing its “strong sense of insecurity”. “I think China probably needs to act somehow, at least do something to show that this time China is serious,” said Jing-Dong Yuan, an Asia security expert at the University of Sydney. “There also needs to be serious discussion within Chinese leadership” about the strategic value of their wayward neighbour, he added. Relations with the North are largely the preserve of the Communist Party’s international liaison department and the People’s Liberation Army. Both are believed to back the longstanding policy of support, despite the strains. As Pyongyang’s primary energy supplier, any move by Beijing to turn off the taps, even partially and temporarily, would have immediate impact. But China fears that a crisis in North Korea would bring refugees flooding across the border, a US-backed escalation in the region, or even ultimately a unified Korea with a US military presence on its doorstep.

Also: SEOUL: South Korea says it has so far failed to detect radioactive elements that may have leaked from North Korea’s third nuclear test. Seoul said Friday it will stop sea operations to collect samples but will continue monitoring at land stations. China and Japan have also been collecting air samples but have so far reported no success. Analysis of airborne samples is crucial in determining whether Tuesday’s detonation used uranium or plutonium. A uranium test would be seen as a major step forward for Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Chinese traders let off fireworks to acknowledge the ‘god of wealth’ outside the Silk Market and bring their businesses prosperity and good fortune on the fifth day of the ‘Year of the Snake’ in Beijing on Feb 14. (AFP)



Asia Kerry awaits Lavrov call: US Secretary of State John Kerry is still waiting for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to return a telephone call to discuss North Korea’s nuclear test, a top US official confirmed Thursday. But, three days after Pyongyang’s underground explosion triggered global outcry, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the new top US diplomat was “relaxed” about the fact that Lavrov had not called back. “The secretary would like to talk to him. It’s up to him whether he wants to take that opportunity,” Nuland said. Lavrov has been traveling in Africa, and did issue a condemnation of North Korea’s nuclear tests in the hours after it was carried out and called for “an adequate response” by the UN Security Council. “It’s not all that unusual in our recent experience that when Foreign Minister Lavrov is traveling he does not always engage in international phone calls on other subjects,” Nuland added. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

BEIJING, Feb 15, (RTRS): North Korea has told its key ally, China, that it is prepared to stage one or even two more nuclear tests this year in an effort to force the United States into diplomatic talks with Pyongyang, said a source with direct knowledge of the message. Further tests could also be accompanied this year by another rocket launch, said the source who has direct access to the top levels of government in both Beijing and Pyongyang. The isolated regime conducted its third nuclear test on Tuesday, drawing global condemnation and a stern warning from the United States that it was a threat and a provocation. “It’s all ready. A fourth and fifth nuclear test and a rocket launch could be conducted soon, possibly this year,” the source said, adding that the fourth nuclear test would be much larger than the third at an equivalent of 10 kilotons of TNT. The tests will be undertaken, the source said, unless Washington holds talks with North Korea and abandons its policy of what Pyongyang sees as attempts at regime change. North Korea also reiterated its long-standing desire for the United States to sign a final peace agreement with it and establish diplomatic relations, he said. The North remains technically at war with both the United States and South Korea after the Korean war ended in 1953 with a truce. Initial estimates of this week’s test from South Korea’s military put its yield at the equivalent of 6-7 kilotons, April 2009 for a long-range test widely seen as a failure. The area has a new flame trench covering, which would protect large rockets from exhaust gases, that has a design similar to one used at the Semnan launchpad in central Iran, the website said. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

‘Regime fall will change North’: North Korea can never be made to aban-

although a final assessment of yield and what material was used in the explosion may be weeks away. North Korea’s latest test, its third since 2006, prompted warnings from Washington and others that more sanctions would be imposed on the isolated state. The UN Security Council has only just tightened sanctions on Pyongyang after it launched a longrange rocket in December. The North is banned under UN sanctions from developing missile or nuclear technology after its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests.

Ready North Korea worked to ready its nuclear test site, about 100 kms (60 miles) from its border with China, throughout last year, according to commercially available satellite imagery. The images show that it may have already prepared for at least one more test, beyond Tuesday’s subterranean explosion. “Based on satellite imagery that showed there were the same activities in two tunnels, they have one tunnel left after the latest test,” said Kune Y. Suh, a nuclear engineering professor at Seoul National University in South Korea. Analysis of satellite imagery released on Friday by specialist North Korea website 38North showed activity at a rocket site that appeared to indicate it was being prepared for an upcoming launch ( don its nuclear weapons programme, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said Friday, arguing that only regime collapse could remove the threat from Pyongyang. As the UN Security Council continues to debate how to punish the North for its latest nuclear test, the outgoing president suggested the best way forward was to try to foment unrest among the North Korean people.

Sanctions Sanctions have so far not discouraged North Korea from pursuing its nuclear ambitions, analysts said. “It is like watching the same movie over and over again,” said Lee Wooyoung, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. “The idea that stronger sanctions “It has become impossible to have North Korea give up its nuclear weapons through dialogue and negotiations”, Lee told a meeting of senior dignitaries including former government ministers and religious leaders. “We cannot hope the North will part with its nuclear programmes until its regime changes or collapses”, he said. “We can help change the North Korean people, if not the North Korean regime

Nuclear test fails to ruin graduation day

N. Korea ‘makes progress’: Already under fire for its latest nuclear test, North Korea has been making preparations at a launchpad that could pave the way for firing a long-range missile, a US think tank said Thursday. 38 North, a blog of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, analyzed satellite photos that it said showed possible assistance from Iran at the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground in northeastern North Korea. 38 North said that a commercial satellite photograph taken on January 5 showed “important progress” since the area was hit with typhoons last year and indicated activity that was consistent with preparations for a launch. But the website said there was not enough evidence to support speculation that North Korea could raise the stakes by testing its KN-08, a new missile with potential intercontinental range first displayed in a parade in April. The website said that North Korea likely was preparing to test much larger rockets by the time the site is completed in 2016. The launchpad was last used in

President Barack Obama pledged after this week’s nuclear test “to lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats” and diplomats at the UN Security Council have already started discussing potential new sanctions. The North has said the test this week was a reaction to what it said was “US hostility” following its December rocket launch. Critics say the rocket launch was aimed at developing technology for an intercontinental ballistic missile. “(North) Korea is not afraid of (further) sanctions,” the source said. “It is confident agricultural and economic reforms will boost grain harvests this year, reducing its food reliance on China.” North Korea’s isolated and small economy has few links with the outside world apart from China, its major trading partner and sole influential diplomatic ally. China signed up for sanctions after the 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests and for a UN Security Council resolution passed in January to condemn the latest rocket launch. However, Beijing has stopped short of abandoning all support for Pyongyang.

South Korean Army K-9 155mm self-propelled Howitzers fire live rounds during a live fire drill in Cheorwon, 70 kms northeast of Seoul, on Feb 15. North Korea can never be made to abandon its nuclear weapons programme, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said on Feb 15, arguing that only regime collapse could remove the threat from Pyongyang. (AFP)

DEMILITARISED ZONE, South Korea, Feb 15, (AFP): Shadowed by a nuclear test, guarded by armed soldiers and with a two-star general handing out prizes, Kim Min-Jung’s elementary school graduation was a moment to savour. “I knew that despite the event, our graduation would take place as planned, and I’m happy I got so many presents and awards,” Kim told reporters after the ceremony Friday. The “event” was a 6-7 kiloton nuclear test by North Korea three days before, which triggered global outrage but failed to scupper graduation day at Kim’s school, despite its unique location slap in the middle of the world’s last Cold War frontier.

make North Korea stop developing nuclear programmes isn’t effective in my view.” The source with ties to Beijing and Pyongyang said China would again support UN sanctions. He declined to comment on what level of sanctions Beijing would be willing to endorse. “When China supported UN sanctions ... (North) Korea angrily called China a puppet of the United States,” he said. “There will be new sanctions which will be harsh. China is likely to agree to it,” he said, without elaborating. He said however that Beijing would not cut food and fuel supplies to North Korea, a measure that it reportedly took after a previous nuclear test. He said North Korea’s actions were a distraction for China’s leadership, which was concerned the escalations could inflame public opinion in China and hasten military build-ups in the region. The source said that he saw little room for compromise under North Korea’s youthful new leader, Kim Jong-un. The third Kim to rule North Korea is just 30 years old and took over from his father in December 2011. He appears to have followed his father, Kim Jong-il, in the “military first” strategy that has pushed North Korea ever closer to a workable nuclear missile at the expense of economic development. “He is much tougher than his father,” the source said. itself.” Lee is set to leave office in 10 days at the end of a five-year term marked by an almost complete breakdown in contacts between Seoul and Pyongyang. Lee had always promised to take a harder line than his predecessors, making continued aid to the impoverished North conditional on progress in talks on its nuclear programme. His successor, president-elect Park Geun-Hye, campaigned on a policy of greater engagement with Pyongyang, but Tuesday’s nuclear test will almost certainly see that policy shelved for months, if not longer. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Lawmaker loses seat: A South Korean lawmaker known for criticism of the Samsung conglomerate has forfeited his seat in parliament after the Supreme Court ruled he violated communications laws by publishing incriminating wiretaps of conversations between Samsung officials on the Internet. South Korea’s top court upheld a lower court’s conviction of lawmaker Roh Hoechan and a suspended prison sentence. He published transcripts of conversations between an aide to Samsung Electronics Co. chairman Lee Kun-hee and Lee’s brother-in-law that were recorded by the national intelligence agency. The conviction disqualifies Roh from being a lawmaker. A press release issued by Roh in 2005 included a transcript of the conversations, which revealed the names of prosecutors who were showered with cash by Samsung. He also posted the transcript to his website. (AP)




World News Roundup Singapore ‘No longer afraid’

Protest puts political risk in ‘future’ of Singapore SINGAPORE, Feb 15, (RTRS): Gilbert Goh is an unlikely radical. But as anger swells over living costs and immigration in Singapore, one of Asia’s richest and most expensive countries, the bespectacled 51-year-old unemployment counsellor is moving beyond the fringe of political activism to the centre of a rancorous debate over the nation’s future. In a country where nearly all media are state-linked and open dissent can easily fall foul of the long-ruling government, Goh’s call for a public protest on Saturday is striking a nerve. It is also raising the once-absurd prospect of political risk in one of the world’s biggest finanLoong cial and trading centres that has been built on a reputation of stability. Goh set up a Facebook page in early February calling for the protest after the government said the island’s population of 5.3 million could grow by as much as 30 percent by 2030, mostly through foreign workers to offset a chronically low birth rate. Since then, more than 5,300 people have said they will or may go to what Goh has billed as a peaceful, non-political demonstration at Speakers’ Corner, a park exempt from otherwise strict controls on assemblies in the regimented citystate. Such numbers would make it one of the largest demonstrations since Singapore’s independence from Britain in 1963. “We want to have human rights to be able to speak freely without the fear of reprisal,” said Goh, a former social worker who runs a support group for the unemployed and ran for election in 2011 for the opposition National Solidarity Party. “I think I have a little bit more guts than your average Singaporean and I love my country a lot.”

Vision The protest reflects growing disquiet over the vision of the country set forth by the People’s Action Party (PAP) that has ruled for five decades. Founded by Lee Kuan Yew, the father of the current prime minister, the PAP is credited with transforming Singapore from a colonial outpost in the 1960s into a global business centre with world-class infrastructure, clean streets, an efficient civil service and the world’s highest concentration of millionaires. Part of that success is built on cheap foreign labour and a consumer class full of expatriates. Immigrants make up nearly 40 percent of the population, up from about 25 percent in 2000. But many Singaporeans now struggle to get by on an average monthly wage of about S$4,100 ($3,300). High taxes have inflated the price of the cheapest new car to about S$110,000 and housing prices have doubled in a decade. Fluent in social media, a new generation is openly questioning the ruling party’s wisdom. Many are emboldened by a surprising by-election in Punggol East, a relatively young ward where the Workers’ Party took a seat in parliament from the PAP last month by a convincing margin of nearly 11 percent. “Many Singaporeans are no longer afraid of the PAP,” said Bridget Welsh, an associate professor of political science at Singapore Management University. “The erosion of political support reflects a lack of trust in the leadership. The PAP is following old formulas based on materialism and depending on technocrats for solutions. They’ve lost the political skills of engag-

ing and persuading.” In many ways, the PAP is a victim of its own success. Between the 1970s and 1990s, Singapore was Asia’s economic star, growing 8 percent a year on average. Wages, affluence and expectations rose just as fast. Emerging from its top-notch schools, Singa-poreans are very accustomed to stability and efficiency in a region beset by graft and polluted megacities. Now online forums bristle with criticism of the government’s white paper on population released in January. One number in that document — 6.9 million — set off a debate over how many people can fit onto an island half the size of London and how much the national identity will be diluted. The government insists though that the 6.9 million figure is not a target, but a scenario helping it plan for the future. “The conversation on population does not end today and we do not yet have answers to all the problems,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on his Facebook page last week as the white paper cleared parliament after a heated five-day debate. “I hope Singaporeans will continue to give us your feedback to allow us to improve our policies and Singaporeans’ lives.” A senior government official declined to comment on the issues surrounding the white paper.

Participants dance during one of the One Billion Rising Movement dancing events in Hong Kong on Feb 14. The events staged on Valentine’s Day aims at raising awareness to end violence against women and have participants dancing in different locations in the city from 15 minutes to all day long. (AFP)

‘No health effects from Fukushima’

Japan PM to meet Obama

Chance The PAP holds 80 of 87 elected seats in parliament and there is little chance it will lose power in the next general election in 2016. The Workers’ Party, despite recent gains, has expressed its desire to work constructively with the government. But gone are the days when political risk was simply not an issue. Stung in 2011 by its worst election showing in history, when 40 percent of voters went against the PAP, the government has become more open in seeking input from citizens and factoring their views into policymaking. To address the discontent, it has restricted the influx of lower-skilled foreign workers and tried to cool property prices. Steps to encourage parenthood include more spending on housing grants, subsidised childcare and cash gifts for newborns. But some question if the government is really listening. “The 6.9 million population plan was an announcement, not a conversation, not debate, not a dialogue,” Seth Heng wrote in a Facebook post ahead of Saturday’s demonstration. That sentiment is echoed in online forums and the letters pages of newspapers. “Do we really need to increase our population by that much?” Chang Wei Meng wrote in a letter to The Straits Times. “What happened to achieving the Swiss standard of living?” Top factors influencing voters who switched from the PAP in the Punggol East by-election were the cost of living, the government not listening and the affordability of housing, according to a survey by local consultants Blackbox Research. “If this phenomenon is repeated elsewhere, it could represent a real challenge for the government in the run-up to the next general election,” it said. Goh, the organiser of Saturday’s protest whose Facebook page features quotes from US civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr and US president John F. Kennedy, expects the PAP to lose 10 to 12 seats in the 2016 election. The Workers’ Party and others are not ready to form a government, he said, but could keep the PAP on its toes. “They have been in power too long to know what to do to change,” Goh said. “We still have faith in the government but we want more opposition voices.”

A couple puts up a bamboo-note to mark Valentine’s Day in Pingshi, the New Taipei City, on the fifth day of the lunar new year on Feb 14. At least 600 couples celebrated their Valentine’s Day via releasing sky lenterns on the lunar new year of snake. (AFP)



Asia Cold water poured on challenge: Australia’s former prime minister Kevin Rudd, who was dramatically ousted by his own Labor Party in mid-2010, on Friday dismissed mounting speculation he will again challenge for the leadership. As Australians prepare to vote in September polls, the popular Rudd rejected comments from high-profile opposition politician Malcolm Turnbull that he will lead the government into the election, telling him to take an “ice bath”. “Give us a break,” Rudd told Channel Seven when asked about his aspirations. “I said a week or so ago everyone should take a long cold shower “What I’d say to Malcolm ... is it’s time to jump in the ice bath. And stay there.” Turnbull, himself a popular former leader of the conservative opposition Liberal Party who was ousted in a party room vote, said he suspected Labor would likely reinstall Rudd in place of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. “The Gillard government goes from one catastrophe to another,” he said. Rudd challenged Gillard, the woman who ousted him, to a leadership contest a year ago but since then has ruled out a further tilt despite polls indicating he is the more popular of the two with the public. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

HK probes online database: Hong Kong said Friday it is investigating an online database containing the identity card numbers of over 1,100 residents, including some of the city’s tycoons, published to protest a proposed privacy law. The database was compiled by corporate governance activist David Webb and includes the identity numbers of the two sons of Asia’s Richest man Li Ka-shing. Mr Webb posted the database online to protest a proposed law which will restrict access to information on company directors, reports said. “ID numbers should not be regarded as secrets,” said Webb’s database website, which said the information had been gathered from various online sources available to the public. “They tell you virtually nothing about a person — they are identifiers, not personal data”, the website said referring to the identity card numbers. However, the city’s privacy commis-

TOKYO, Feb 15, (AFP): Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold talks with US President Barack Obama in Washington on Feb 22, with North Korea high on the agenda, the top government spokesman said Friday. Abe will leave Tokyo next Thursday on a four-day US visit, accompanied by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who is planning to meet new US Secretary of State John Kerry, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news briefing. Abe and Obama will use their first summit to “exchange views on wideranging issues, not only bilateral relations but also the situation in the AsiaPacific region including the North Korean question, and to clearly demonstrate an enhanced Japan-US alliance,” he said. Abe, who took power after his conservative party won an election landslide in December, is expected to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade initiative amid antipathy at home toward the US-led scheme. The two leaders held telephone talks on Thursday and agreed to seek tougher sanctions on North Korea two days after the communist country carried out its third nuclear test in defiance of international opposition. ❑ ❑ ❑ A Japanese government-backed researcher said Friday no health effects from radiation released by the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have been seen in people living nearby. The pronouncement by Kazuo Sakai of Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Sciences is the latest by authorities seeking to quell fears over the long-term effects of the disaster. But it was dismissed by campaign group Greenpeace who said the government should not seek to play down health worries. “Since the accident in Fukushima, no health effects from radiation have been observed, although we have heard

reports some people fell ill due to stress from living as evacuees and due to worries and fears about radiation,” Sakai said. “We know from epidemiological surveys among atomic-bomb victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that if exposure to radiation surpasses 100 millisieverts, the risk of cancer will gradually rise. “To put it the other way round, we can’t say risk of cancer will rise if you are exposed to radiation lower than 100 millisieverts,” he said, adding that most people measured had radiation exposure of 20 millisieverts or less. Sakai said radiation is not at “the level we have to worry about its health effect,” for people in Fukushima, taking into account exposure from the atmosphere and ingestion from food. His comments came as the Fukushima prefectural government panel said this week three people who were 18 or younger when the nuclear crisis erupted in March 2011 have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Radioactive iodine released in nuclear accidents tends to accumulate in thyroid glands, particularly in young people. In the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, a noticeable increase in thyroid cancer cases was detected among children in the affected area. Referring to the thyroid cancers reported in Fukushima, Sakai said “there is no clear link between the cancers and exposure to radiation, as empirical knowledge says it takes several years before thyroid cancer is detected after exposure to radiation.” “It is important, however, to monitor these cases,” he added, noting that comparison with the pre-accident situation and other regions was necessary. Kazue Suzuki, nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace, who is not a scientist, said Japan should not try to play down the potential dangers. “Japan should pour more energy into prevention of diseases including thyroid cancer than talking down the risk of lowlevel radiation.”

“Even if there is no comparative epidemiological data, the government should err on the side of caution and carry out more frequent health checks among residents not only in Fukushima but in other prefectures,” she said. A massive undersea earthquake in March 2011 sent a huge tsunami crashing into Japan’s northeast, crushing whole communities and sending nuclear reactors on the coast into meltdown. Around 19,000 people were killed by the natural disaster, but no one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the radiation that spewed from the crippled units in the following months.

sion, which is investigating the database for “possible personal data breach”, said it could pose a risk to privacy. “If ID card numbers coupled with other personal data such as names and home address fall into the wrong hands, the

affected person could be at risk of identity fraud,” the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data said in a statement. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Activists push for ban: Animal rights activists on Friday protested a traditional ritual in which the swine are forcefed before being sacrificed in public. Facing criticism from animal rights activists, temple officials have previously said they will end the generations-old competition in 2017. “The temple’s chief executive revealed the plan for the first time last year, but since then the board of the temple hasn’t discussed the proposal. I fear it’s only lip service,” activist Chen Yu-min said. She added that while she respected the participants’ traditions, temple authorities should not encourage the weight competition which she described as “abusive and brutal”. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Thai policemen arrange packages of methamphetamine on a table before a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb 15. Thai police seized nearly 2 million methamphetamine pills from smugglers near the country’s northern border Thursday in one of this year’s largest drug busts. (AP)

An 11-year-old boy has died after throwing himself under a train in Japan, in an apparent suicide in protest at plans to close his school, police and press reports said Friday. The boy, whose name was withheld, jumped onto tracks from a platform at a station in Daito, near Osaka on Thursday afternoon, police said. “We are investigating the case as a possible suicide as eyewitnesses said the boy jumped onto the tracks by himself,” a Daito police spokesman said by telephone. “There was a (suicide) note near his rucksack left on the platform.” Media reports said the child was upset about a plan to close his elementary school and send its pupils to two other institutions, part of a rationalisation made necessary by Japan’s low birthrate. “Please stop the plan to abolish and merge schools in exchange for the death of an innocent person,” the suicide note read, according to the Asahi and Mainichi newspapers quoting the boy’s relatives. The boy reportedly sent a message to his mother’s cell phone, saying: “Thank you for everything. I love you all very, very much.” A ceremony to mark his school’s closure had been planned for Sunday but it was cancelled after his death.

1.97m meth tablets seized: Thai police have seized nearly 2 million methamphetamine pills from smugglers near the country’s northern border in one of this year’s largest drug busts. Police Col Panudet Boonruang said Friday that authorities arrested three ethnic minority Hmong men after chasing two pickup trucks near the Thai-Myanmar border in Chiang Rai province Thursday night. Police confiscated 1.97 million tablets of methamphetamine and 20 kilograms of crystal meth hidden in one of the pickups. (AP)




Africa Zuma vows tax reform: President Jacob Zuma on Thursday unveiled plans to review taxes, part of a plan to build a South African economy fit for the next decade and ease crippling unemployment that has spurred violent social unrest. In his annual state of the nation address Zuma recommitted to big project spending, which would be paid for in part by a review of taxes and mining sector royalties. The move is the clearest announcement by the state that royalties paid by the industry — the bedrock of Africa’s wealthiest nation — will be reassessed as the country struggles to rally a sluggish economy. Battling a “heavy Zuma flu”, Zuma said a tax review study would be carried out later in the year “to make sure that we have an appropriate revenue base to support public spending.” “Part of this study will evaluate the current mining royalties regime, with regard to its ability to suitably serve our people.” The speech came just months after Zuma won another five year term at the head of the ruling African National Congress. His backers will hope the address — televised live on multiple channels — helped shift the narrative away from government’s failings and offer a vision for the future. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Drones could deploy to DRC: Surveillance drones could be used by peacekeepers in the rugged hills of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the first such deployment of unmanned aircraft in a UN mission, as early as June, Congo’s prime minister said on Thursday. The Security Council approved their use last month in Congo’s porous and volatile borderlands, where UN experts claim a year-old rebellion has received support from neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda, a charge both countries deny. “The process of acquiring drones has already been launched. By June or July they should be operational,” Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon told reporters after returning from New York where he met Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. A spokesman for Congo’s UN peacekeeping mission, known as MONUSCO, said he was not aware of a deployment date for the drones. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

In this Feb 12, 2013 photo, a youth rides his bicycle past the restored USS Maine monument in Havana, Cuba. The monument was erected in 1925 in honor of US sailors who died in 1898 when the USS Maine ship sank off the Havana Harbor. (AP)

Cuba USS Maine monument restoration project fraught with symbolism

Havana restores monument to victims

Thousands flee CAR: More than 8,500 refugees have fled the Central African Republic for the Democratic Republic of Congo since last week for fear of attacks by rebels, a Congolese official said Thursday. Between Feb 7 and 13, “8,646 people have fled Mobaye”, a Central African border town close to positions held by the rebel Seleka coalition, which signed a peace accord with the government last month, Willy Isekusu, local district commissioner for DR Congo’s North Ubangi province, told AFP. “According to several sources, we now have more than 11,000 Central African refugees in several parts of North Ubangi”, added Simplice Kpandji, a spokesman for the United Nations’ refugee agency in Kinshasa. A large number of the refugees are children, many of them unaccompanied, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). UN agencies on Thursday began an evaluation mission, mainly to consider setting up a humanitarian site and establish a crossing place for the refugees. Many of those who have fled are being hosted by Congolese families. Refugees started crossing the Oubangui river, which forms part of the 800-kilometre (500-mile) border, on Feb 7 to flee shooting blamed on the Seleka coalition, which last Friday acknowledged that there had been an incident but said it was over. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Court lacks jurisdiction: Kenya’s High Court said Friday it lacked the jurisdiction to rule whether presidential hopeful Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces a crimes against humanity trial, is eligible to run for office next month. With little time left before the March 4 election, the ruling effectively clears the way for Kenyatta to contest the polls, in which he is seen as one of the leading candidates for the country’s top job. “The High Court lacks jurisdiction to deal with a question relating to the election of a president,” the panel of five judges said in a statement read to a packed courtroom, saying only the Supreme Court could rule on the case. Kenya is less than three weeks from a presidential election, the first since polls five years ago erupted into bloody ethnic violence that left more than 1,100 people dead and hundreds of thousand displaced. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Norway court jails Rwandan: An Oslo court on Thursday sentenced a Rwandan man to 21 years in prison for his role in the massacres of more than 1,000 Tutsis in three “beastly” attacks during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Sadi Bugingo, a 47-year-old Hutu who has lived in Norway since 2001, was found guilty of being an accessory to genocide for ensuring that orders issued for the killings were carried out. He did not face any charges of having carried out any killings himself. The 21-year-sentence demanded by prosecutors is the maximum available in Norway. The case centred on several events in April 1994: a massacre in a municipal building, another within the grounds of a Catholic church, and on several different occasions, the killing of people who had sought refuge in a hospital. “The murders were meticulously planned and the accused undoubtedly acted with premeditation,” the three Oslo district court judges said in the ruling. “He made sure the massacre of (Tutsi) refugees was carried out in line with plans,” they said, citing numerous witness testimonies. (AFP)

In this Jan 29, 2013 photo, people attend a rally supporting the reelection of President Rafael Correa in Quito, Ecuador. Correa, 48, has brought political stability to a traditionally unruly nation that cycled through seven presidents in a decade, from 1997-2007. If re-elected on Sunday, on Feb 17, this fouryear term will be his last unless the constitution is changed. (AP)

HAVANA, Feb 15, (AP): It was a little before 10 pm that February night in 1898 when a fiery explosion roiled the normally calm waters of Havana Harbor, blowing out windows in the city and sinking the USS Maine to the bottom of the bay, just the mast and some twisted metal wreckage left to poke above the waves. Havana’s monument to the 266 US sailors who died that night was dedicated 27 years later as a tribute to lasting Cuban-American friendship, a thank-you for Washington’s help in shedding the yoke of Spanish colonial rule, which was known for its cruelty. But the years since have been unkind to the twin-columned monument, and to US-Cuba ties. While relations between Washington and Havana remain in a deep freeze, the monument, at least, is now getting a facelift. The restoration project is fraught with symbolism, and the monument’s scars tell the story of more than a century of shifts in the complex relationship and changing interpretations of the marble structure.

Monuments Bonilla


Lat/Am Guatemalan lawyer killed: A prominent lawyer who received threats after handling high-profile cases is dead after being shot by two men riding on a motorcycle. Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said lawyer Lea Marie de Leon was killed Thursday as she left her office, and he thinks a drug cartel was responsible. But Hernandez said that a prosecutor’s office employee could be behind the killing. De Leon is married to Edin Hernandez, editor of the Prensa Libre newspaper. The attorney represented Maria del Rosario Melgar, whom prosecutors had accused of involvement in the killing of former Interior Ministry adviser Victor Rivera. She was also a defense lawyer for two men implicated in the 2009 killing of Rodrigo Rosenberg, a lawyer who accused the country’s president in a video made before his death. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

“Of the monuments in Havana, that’s one that really is struggling to contain all of these different historical episodes,” said Timothy Hyde, a historian of Cuban architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. “It doesn’t just symbolize any longer this single moment of the sinking of the Maine. It symbolizes all these periodic moments of antipathy and hostility and challenges between the two nation-states.” Soon after the USS Maine’s sudden sinking off the coast of this Caribbean capital 115 years ago Friday, the United States accused Spanish colonial authorities of responsibility for Thursday, condemning what they say is the Caribbean nation’s meddling in their country’s affairs while President Hugo Chavez remains on the island undergoing cancer treatment. Some students exchanged shoves with

the blast. “Remember the Maine!” became a rallying cry in the States, and after the US victory in the monthslong Spanish-American war, Spain ceded control over Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. The Maine monument was inaugurated in 1925 and bears the names of all 266 sailors. Two statues standing shoulder-to-shoulder at the base represent a maternal America guiding the maiden Cuba into independence. Words etched into the marble quote an 1898 US congressional resolution recognizing Cuba’s right to be free, and the massive bronze eagle that long capped the monument faced due north in a symbol of Washington’s promise to return home after helping the island break from Spain. “To me it signifies a legacy of loyalty ... friendship between two peoples,” said Julio Dominguez Santos, the monument’s night watchman of 17 years. But things didn’t work out as that earlier Congress had hoped. Many Cubans resented the 1901 Platt Amendment, which said Washington retained the right to intervene militarily as a condition of ending the postwar US occupation. The US did in fact intervene several times, and American business and mafia gangs came to dominate many aspects of the island in the run-up to the 1959 revolution — leading many Cubans to feel like the eagle had never flown back north. Soon after Fidel Castro’s rebels marched victoriously into Havana, the tense marriage rapidly careened toward divorce and diplomatic ties were severed in 1961. Following the doomed, US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion months later, the more than 3-ton eagle was ripped from the monpolice in anti-riot gear outside the embassy. Protesters sang the Venezuelan national anthem, wearing chains and cords wrapped around their bodies and bound with locks in a representation of what they view as a government beholden to Cuba’s interests.

Venezuelan students protest: Venezuelan students protested in chains outside the Cuban Embassy in Caracas on

Inscription Castro’s government added a new inscription to the base of the broken monument alleging the Maine victims had been “sacrificed by imperialist greed in its zeal to seize the island of Cuba,” a reference to speculation that the US deliberately blew up the Maine to justify a war against Spain. Historians say the explosion was probably an accidental ignition of the Maine’s own munitions, but the conspiracy theory still commonly circulates in Cuba even among the intellectual class and official media. Communist Party newspaper Granma has written that the Maine victims were “immolated to serve as a pretext for American intervention that in 1898 prevented the island from gaining true independence” — ignoring the fact that Cuban rebels had failed to oust the Spanish on their own for decades. The Maine eagle’s head was mysteriously delivered to Swiss diplomats, who had agreed to act as protectors of US property in Cuba. Today it hangs in a conference room at the US Interests Section, which Washington maintains in Havana instead of an embassy. After relations were partially reestablished in 1977, longtime foreign service officer Wayne Smith, who had “We demand respect for our sovereignty. We don’t want any more Cuban meddling in Venezuela’s affairs,” said Gabi Arellano, a student leader. Arellano said the students are also protesting against Chavez’s long absence

$46 mln check

Chile battles huge fire: A forest fire that engulfed a hill in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso destroyed at least 70 homes and forced the evacuation of more than 500 families, officials said on Thursday. Chile’s emergency office, ONEMI, issued a red alert after the blaze broke out on the city’s San Roque hill, some 75 miles (120 kms) northeast of the capital, Santiago. Strong, changing winds and high temperatures at the peak of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer holiday season stoked the fire. Valparaiso Regional Gov Raul Celis called it “the city’s worst blaze in two decades.” Local television stations aired images of a towering plume of smoke billowing over Valparaiso. The smoke kept firefighting aircraft grounded while more than a dozen firefighter units, 700 policemen and several army platoons continued to battle the fire five hours after it started. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

ument during an anti-American protest and splintered into pieces. “The eagle was torn down after the triumph of the revolution because it’s the symbol of imperialism, the United States, and the revolution ended all that,” said Ernesto Moreno, a 77-yearold Havana resident who remembers waking up one day and seeing the statue gone. “I found it to be a very good thing, and I think most Cubans agreed at the time.”

Suggestion denied

Handout picture taken from Venezuelan Interior Minister Ernesto Villegas’ Twitter account on Feb 15, of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez surrounded by his daughters at hospital in Havana and holding an issue of Cuban newspaper Granma, one of the first images published after his last hospitalization. Villegas dated the pictures as been taken on Feb 14. (AFP)

CARACAS, Venezuela, Feb 15, (AP): A top Venezuelan official has denied suggestion that a $46 million check found on Iran’s former central bank chief when he was detained recently in Germany was going to be used to skirt international economic sanctions against Iran. Public Banking Minister Rodolfo Marco Torres said Wednesday that the check issued in the local currency known as the bolivar by the state-run Banco de Venezuela was signed by a representative of Iran’s Kayson Company, a Tehran-based construction business that is building homes for the Venezuelan government. Venezuela has developed close ties with Iran under the leadership of Hugo Chavez.

been in Havana in 1961, returned and arranged to see the body, wings and tail, which are currently out of sight in a musty storage room of the Havana City History Museum. “I have been the faithful custodian of the body,” City Historian Eusebio Leal, told The Associated Press. “Smith told me that until the body and the head are reunited, there won’t be good relations between Cuba and the United States.” US diplomats also possess the monument’s original eagle, toppled by a hurricane in 1926. Since 1954 that earlier bird has presided over the immaculate gardens of the Interests Section chief’s official residence. A plaque at the base calls the eagle “a symbol of the enduring friendship” between Cuba and the US. “I’m just happy we have it. I don’t know how it got here. Somebody got ahold of it, saw it and gave it to us,” said John Caulfield, the Interests Section chief since 2011. Coincidentally, the US State Department recently sent two specialists down to repair the first eagle, which was cracked and tarnished green. Like many structures in Havana, the monument on the seafront Malecon boulevard had become seedy from decades of neglect. Marble lion heads were damaged or looted, and the fountains used as trash receptacles by passers-by. Workers in blue jumpers recently removed scaffolding that had shrouded the columns for months, revealing gleaming-white marble scrubbed clean of grime. Gone are the rusty stains beneath the two 10-inch guns that were salvaged from the Maine. The statues are a lustrous bronze again after corrosive salt air turned them bright green for years. and the way it has been handled by the government. “We can’t continue in uncertainty and adrift,” she said. Top opposition leader Henrique Capriles on Thursday also criticized the lack of information about Chavez’s condition, speaking separately at a news conference. Chavez remains in Havana undergoing unspecified treatments following his fourth cancer-related operation on Dec 11. He has hasn’t been seen or spoken publicly in more than two months. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Woman marries twin’s killer: This was a Valentine’s Day wedding that the bride’s family wanted no part of: An Argentine woman married the man convicted of killing her twin sister. Neighbors were against it as well. A mob gathered outside the civil registry office where Thursday’s wedding took place, throwing stones and eggs. The bride, 23-year-old Edith Casas, says Victor Cingolani is innocent of killing her twin sister Johana more than two years ago, despite his conviction and 13-year prison sentence. The groom says he is innocent and will be absolved on appeal. They both want to have children but that will have to wait. Cingolani, 28, was taken back to prison in handcuffs immediately after the nuptials. Edith Casas waited for hours until the crowd dispersed and it was safe to leave. (AP)




World News Roundup Ecology ‘Contaminants’

Drugs ‘alter’ fish behavior BOSTON, Feb 15, (AP): What happens to fish that swim in waters tainted by traces of drugs that people take? When it’s an anti-anxiety drug, they become hyper, anti-social and aggressive, a Swedish study found. It may sound funny, but it could threaten the fish population and upset the delicate dynamics of the marine environment, scientists say. The findings, published online Thursday in the journal Science, add to the mounting evidence that minuscule amounts of medicines in rivers and streams can alter the biology and behavior of fish and other marine animals. “I think people are starting to understand that pharmaceuticals are environmental contaminants,” Kolpin said Dana Kolpin, a researcher for the US Geological Survey who is familiar with the study. Calling their results alarming, the researchers who did the study suspect the little drugged fish could become easier targets for bigger fish because they are more likely to venture alone into unfamiliar places. “We know that in a predator-prey relation, increased boldness and activity combined with decreased sociality ... means you’re going to be somebody’s lunch quite soon,” said Gregory Moller, a toxicologist at the University of Idaho and Washington State University. “It removes the natural balance.” Researchers around the world have been taking a close look at the effects of pharmaceuticals in extremely low concentrations, measured in parts per billion. Such drugs have turned up in waterways in Europe, the US and elsewhere over the past decade. They come mostly from humans and farm animals; the drugs pass through their bodies in unmetabolized form. These drug traces are then piped to water treatment plants, which are not designed to remove them from the cleaned water that flows back into streams and rivers.

In this photo provided on Feb 15, by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Nature Stories by Paul Nicklen, Canada, for National Geographic magazine shows Emperor Penguins. Even though they have evolved an incredibly advanced bubble physiology the greatest challenge they face is the loss of sea ice that supports their colonies and ecosystem. New science shows that Emperor Penguins are capable of tripling their swimming speed by releasing millions of bubbles from their feathers. These bubbles reduce the friction between their feathers and the icy seawater, allowing them to accelerate in the water. They use speeds of up to 30 kms per hour to avoid leopard seals and to launch themselves up onto the ice, Ross Sea, Antarctica, on Nov 18, 2011. (AP)

Education US pupil attends school using ‘VGo’

My classmate ... the robot

Drugs The Associated Press first reported in 2008 that the drinking water of at least 51 million Americans carries low concentrations of many common drugs. The findings were based on questionnaires sent to water utilities, which reported the presence of antibiotics, sedatives, sex hormones and other drugs. The news reports led to congressional hearings and legislation, more water testing and more public disclosure. To this day, though, there are no mandatory US limits on pharmaceuticals in waterways. The research team at Sweden’s Umea University used minute concentrations of 2 parts per billion of the anti-anxiety drug oxazepam, similar to concentrations found in real waters. The drug belongs to a widely used class of medicines known as benzodiazepines that includes Valium and Librium. The team put young wild European perch into an aquarium, exposed them to these highly diluted drugs and then carefully measured feeding, schooling, movement and hiding behavior. They found that drug-exposed fish moved more, fed more aggressively, hid less and tended to school less than unexposed fish. On average, the drugged fish were more than twice as active as the others, researcher Micael Jonsson said. The effects were more pronounced at higher drug concentrations. “Our first thought is, this is like a person diagnosed with ADHD,” said Jonsson, referring to attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. “They become asocial and more active than they should be.”

Impact Tomas Brodin, another member of the research team, called the drug’s environmental impact a global problem. “We find these concentrations or close to them all over the world, and it’s quite possible or even probable that these behavioral effects are taking place as we speak,” he said Thursday in Boston at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Most previous research on trace drugs and marine life has focused on biological changes, such as male fish that take on female characteristics. However, a 2009 study found that tiny concentrations of antidepressants made fathead minnows more vulnerable to predators. It is not clear exactly how longterm drug exposure, beyond the seven days in this study, would affect real fish in real rivers and streams. The Swedish researchers argue that the drug-induced changes could jeopardize populations of this sport and commercial fish, which lives in both fresh and brackish water.

In this Jan 24, 2013 photo, Devon Carrow attends Winchester Elementary School from home while operating a robot in the school, in West Seneca, NY. (AP)



Science Cosmic ray mystery lifted: Cosmic rays — fast-moving particles that constantly pummel our planet — come from the explosion of supernovae, new research confirmed Thursday, resolving an astronomical mystery. Protons make up 90 percent of these rays that pelt Earth’s atmosphere and were discovered a century ago by the Austrianborn physicist Victor Franz Hess. Scientists had suggested two possibilities for the origins of these protons — supernovae explosions within our Milky Way galaxy or strong jets of energy from black holes elsewhere in the universe. The recent consensus among scientists has pointed to supernovae remnants as the source, but this remained unproven, said Stefan Funk, astrophysicist at Stanford University and a co-author of the new findings. The report was presented at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston and will also appear in Friday’s issue of the journal Science. “In the last century we’ve learned a lot about cosmic rays as they arrive here,” Funk said in a statement announcing the findings. “We’ve even had strong suspicions about the source of their acceleration, but we haven’t had unambiguous evidence to back them up until recently.” Using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, researchers over the course of four years analyzed data from two supernova remnants thousands of light years away and found the proof they were looking for. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑ T-rex going home to Mongolia: A nearly complete 70-million-year-old tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton will be returned to Mongolia following the highprofile prosecution of a Florida paleontologist by federal authorities in New York,

WEST SENECA, New York, Feb 15, (Agencies): In a school hallway, a US teacher takes her students to the library, leading a single-file line of giggling boys and girls that’s perfectly ordinary until you get to a sleek white robot with a video screen showing the face of a smiling, chubby-cheeked boy. Devon Carrow’s life-threatening allergies don’t allow him to go to school. But the robot with a wireless video hookup gives him the school experience remotely, allowing him to participate in class, stroll through the hallways, hang out at recess and even take to the auditorium stage when there’s a show. What’s most remarkable is how unremarkable this technology is viewed by his classmates. In a class of 7-year-olds raised on video games, avatars and remote-controlled toys, they don’t see a robot. They just see Devon. Just before class one recent day, a girl leaned toward the robot to tell Devon the joke making the rounds at school: Why did the boy eat his homework? The teacher told him it was a piece of cake. While making get-well cards for him during a hospital stay last year, his classmates all drew him as a boy, not a bot. “In the classroom, the kids are like, ‘Devon, come over, we’re doing Legos. Show us your Legos,’” says teacher Dawn Voelker.

US authorities said on Thursday. A New York federal judge ordered the skeleton and other fossils forfeited to the US government this week after the paleontologist pled guilty in December to fraud and conspiracy.

“I wondered how the little kids would take to him, thinking they’d be amazed,” adds Principal Kathleen Brachmann. “But I think kids are so tech-savvy now that they accept it more than we do.” Even Devon doesn’t quite get what all the fuss is about. Steering the fourwheeled robot through school and spinning around to see the classmates is just another mouse-and-keyboard challenge.

Survive “It’s so cool because it’s like playing a game on the computer,” says the boy. “It’s like your objective is to just survive.” For a year now, Devon has attended school using “VGo,” a robot shaped a little like a chess pawn. Since it was introduced in 2011 by VGo Communications, a handful of students across the country have used it. It’s also attracting attention in the medical and business worlds, allowing doctors to consult with patients and workers to virtually pop into the office, even while traveling. For Devon, it was a chance to go to school for the first time in his life. He has eosinophilic esophagitis, caused by an allergic white blood cell that grows in his stomach and esophagus. He’s also got anaphylactic shock syndrome, which causes life-threatening allergic reactions to triggers including milk and peanuts.

Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said his office would return the 8-foot-tall (2.4 metre), 24-foot-long (7.3 metre), mostly reconstructed cousin of the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Even though attacks have put him in the intensive care unit twice in the past 18 months, Devon is outgoing and energetic, whose personality better suits him to the school experience rather than home-schooling. But after teachers at Devon’s previous school in New York state resisted the idea of having the VGo’s camera in the classroom, his mother persisted, and Devon was welcomed at another school. It was added to Devon’s special education plan, and the cost — about $6,000 for the robot and $100 in monthly service fees — is being paid out of the district’s budget. The technology broadens Devon’s school experience beyond what would be possible through a video chat. The only restrictions are physical. The robot senses stairs and stops, but even they aren’t insurmountable because, at 18 pounds (8 kilograms), the robot is light enough for a teacher to lift. On a recent weekday, Devon positioned himself in front of his home computer’s camera and dialed in to Mrs Voelker’s room for the 9:10 am start of school. He controls the VGo alongside teacher Sheri Voss, who comes to his house daily to help navigate and keep him on task. Classmate Daisy Cook said it was a bit awkward at first, and it didn’t quite seem fair that Devon got to stay home and go to school.

Mongolian officials demanded the skeleton’s return after paleontologist Eric Prokopi sold it at a Manhattan auction last spring for $1.05 million. Mongolia suspected the skeleton had been smuggled out of its fossil-rich Gobi

Japan to launch space telescope

In this photo provided on Feb 15, by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Nature Single by Christian Ziegler, Germany, shows the endangered Southern Cassowary feeding on the fruit of the Blue Quandang tree. Cassowaries are a keystone species in northern Australian rainforests because of their ability to carry so many big seeds such long distances, Black Mountain Road, Australia, on Nov 16, 2012. (AP)

TOKYO, Feb 15, (AFP): Japan is to send a space telescope into orbit around the Earth to observe Venus, Mars, and Jupiter, officials said Friday, as they look to unlock the secrets of our own planet’s atmosphere. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to launch a satellite later this year equipped with an ultraviolet telescope that will probe the gases surrounding three of our nearest neighbours in the solar system. Scientists hope this will help them understand the conditions that created the dense, life-supporting atmosphere of Earth, JAXA said in a statement. They also want to understand if solar winds have any effect on Jupiter’s magnetosphere, the area of space around the planet where the particles fall under the sway of its magnetic field.

“But now it’s kind of cool,” she said, her eyes widening, “because we can communicate together. It’s like he was never on the VGo.”

Also: PARIS: Even before they can talk, infants as young as seven months who grow up in bilingual homes acquire a special ability to distinguish between languages, researchers said on Thursday. Scientists are still baffled by the mechanics of language learning, and how bilingual infants master their mother tongues as efficiently as monolinguals do. A new study to shed light on the subject revealed that children who learn two languages at the same time develop the ability, which monolinguals do not, to identify a language through the duration and pitch of words, and their position in a sentence. The study, reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience, examined seven-month-old children who grow up with two languages with inverse word orders — such as English and Japanese. In languages like English, Italian or Spanish, prepositions and articles typically precede “content words” like nouns (to London/the house) while in other tongues they follow them (Tokyo ni — ‘Tokyo to’ in Japanese, or etxe bat — ‘house a’ in Basque), and the pitch of the content word is higher.

desert. US authorities filed charges against Prokopi and seized the skeleton, which is fossilized bones welded to a metal frame. In announcing the seizure, Bharara called Prokopi a “one man black market in prehistoric fossils.” Authorities accused Prokopi of having lied on US customs forms when he declared the fossilized bones were worth $19,000. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

Reptiles at risk – study: Almost one in five of the world’s reptile species are in danger of extinction as their habitats are cleared away for farming and logging, a report said Friday. An assessment by more than 200 experts of 1,500 randomly-selected species of snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tortoises and other reptiles, found that 19 percent were threatened, said the report in the journal Biological Conservation. Of these, more than a tenth of species were listed as critically endangered, 41 percent endangered, and nearly half as vulnerable. The freshwater turtle is particularly at risk, with nearly half of species believed to be close to extinction, said the report compiled by the Zoological Society of London and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission (IUCN). Among freshwater reptiles as a group, a third were estimated to be close to extinction. (AFP)

‘Safe Haven’, ‘Beautiful Creatures’ to battle for 2nd

‘Die Hard’ big gun at hearty holiday box office


LOS ANGELES, Feb 15, (RTRS): For all the hearts and flowers associated with Valentine’s Day, it’s Bruce Willis blowing up Moscow in “A Good Day to Die Hard” that is expected to dominate the long holiday weekend at the box office. As Valentine’s Day fell on Thursday — and President’s Day on Monday — Hollywood is offering four wide openers. Relativity’s “Safe Haven,” the latest Nicolas Sparks adaptation to hit theaters, is the most overtly romantic and Warner Bros’ “Beautiful Creatures,” a supernatural love story set in the South, will also be

date-night fare for the young crowd. The Weinstein Company is debuting its animated “Escape From Planet Earth” for the kids, and then there’s “Good Day to Die Hard” from Fox. Willis’ fifth goround as John McClane could bring in as much as $50 million over the five days, say bullish industry analysts, though studio estimates are more conservative. Second place will be a battle between “Safe Haven,” “Beautiful Creatures” and last week’s No. 1 film, Universal’s “Identity Thief” they say, all of which are likely to do between $20 million and $25 million. It’s been

more than five years since the last “Die Hard” movie, and this could be the latest classic franchise to find new life, as the “Mission Impossible” and James Bond series did with “Ghost Protocol” and “Skyfall,” respectively.

Help In this one, McClane travels to Russia to help his estranged son (Jai Courtney) get out of prison, but gets caught in the crosshairs of a terrorist plot. John Moore (“Max Payne”) directs from a Skip Wood screenplay and Alex Young and Wyck Godfrey are the producers. It cost $92 million to make.

Fox has it in a market-high 3,546 theaters. The only thing that could keep “Good Day” from matching the $134 million domestic total of “Life Free or Die Hard,” which was rated PG-13, would seem to be its R-rating, but that shouldn’t affect its opening. Starting with the original film in 1988, which made $148 million worldwide, each successive “Die Hard” movie has made more money than the last at the global box office. “Live Free or Die Hard” made $383 million in 2007. In all, the “Die Hard” franchise has taken in $1.13 billion globally.

This one is already on its way overseas. It took in $10 million last weekend from a handful of Asian debuts, and will open in more than 55 markets this weekend. Russia, where “A Good Day to Die Hard” was filmed, is expected to be a particularly hot spot.

Mysterious “Safe Haven” stars Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel and is directed by Lasse Halstrom (“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”). Hough plays a mysterious young woman who lands in the small town of Southport, N.C., and is reluctantly drawn into a relation-

ship, only to have a dark secret arise from her past. With so much competition, “Safe Haven” won’t be matching the $41 million debut that another romance, “The Vow,” posted the weekend before Valentine’s Day last year. But the built-in audience for Sparks’ bestsellers is undeniable, as illustrated by 2010’s “The Last Song,” which opened to $16 million and did $62 million domestically, and that same year’s “Dear John,” which debuted to $30 million and topped out at $80 million domestically. And the Valentine’s opening date for “Safe Haven” is ideal.



This publicity film image released by 20th Century Fox shows Bruce Willis as John McClane (left), Jai Courtney as his son Jack (center), and Sebastian Koch as Komarov in a scene from ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’. (AP)

Film ‘Good Day to Die Hard’ feels like a real letdown


SYDNEY: Hollywood superstars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may be heading to Australia if the government is successful in bringing “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo” Down Under, it emerged Friday. Pitt, one half of the power couple dubbed “Brangelina”, is being sought for the lead role of Ned Land and Sydney’s Daily Telegraph said industry sources indicated he would bring his family with him to shoot in Australia. Arts Minister Simon Crean said he was meeting with Disney executives on Friday to attempt to secure the blockbuster, which would reportedly be the biggest production ever made in Australia. “We’ve still got to seal the deal,” Crean told commercial radio before the meeting. “The deal is not yet done, but it’d be fantastic if we can lock it in.” The remake of the 1954 film starring Kirk Douglas, based on the novel by Jules Verne, is ready to go into pre-production and Disney staff have scouted locations in New South Wales and Queensland, the Telegraph said. (AFP) ❑ ❑ ❑

LOS ANGELES: Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence will add their star power to this year’s Oscar telecast, the show’s producers said Thursday. Both Chastain and Lawrence are considered leading contenders for the Best Actress statue for their performances in “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Silver Linings Playbook” respectively. Affleck was snubbed by Oscar voters for directing “Argo,” but industry sympathy has grown for his omission in the weeks that followed the nominations. The Middle East political thriller is considered to be the front-runner for the Best Picture prize, having picked up top honors at the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild Awards and

Does Bruce Willis still have it? LOS ANGELES, Feb 15, (RTRS): “A Good Day to Die Hard” unfolds in Russia, but based on the savage reviews, critics want to send the mega-grossing Bruce Willis franchise to Siberia. The fifth film in the action series opened Thursday with Willis returning to his iconic role as wiseacre cop John McClane. In the latest sequel, our hero finds himself embroiled in a terrorist plot after traveling to the icy region to spring his son from prison. The movie, however, is in stuck in the critical gulag, with most reviewers grumbling that the film is a tired rehash of previous installments and hinting that it is time for Willis to hang up the Glock. “A Good Day to Die Hard” was deemed “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes, eking out a deplorable 14 percent favorable rating. In TheWrap, Alonso Duralde carped that the film spends too much time exploring movie-of-the-week absent-daddy issues. Twenty five years after the first “Die Hard” hit theaters, Duralde writes that the series is showing few signs of aging gracefully. “This latest caper feels like a real letdown in what has generally been an intelligent and exciting series — where previous criminal plans were twisty and ingenious, this one’s awkward and nonsensical, and while earlier action sequences may have been improbable and over-the-top, they at least made some logical sense within the plot, something the latest screenwriter apparently couldn’t be bothered to address,” Duralde writes. A.O. Scott also bemoaned the film’s lack of wit — something he said distinguished the franchise’s initial entrants. The

many other major awards shows. Affleck won an Oscar in 1997 for co-writing “Good Will Hunting” with Matt Damon. Chastain received her first nomination last year for her supporting role as a spirited housewife in “The Help,” and Lawrence received her first

New York Times critic wrote that “A Good Day to Die Hard” represents the worst excesses of an increasingly globalized film business; one that eschews character development for pyrotechnics. “Though it will most likely scare up some domestic business in the pre-Oscar lull (happy Valentine’s Day!), ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ is squarely aimed at the overseas marketplace,” Scott writes. “About a third of the dialogue is already subtitled, and the rest would take a competent translator about 15 minutes to render.”

Dull Christy Lemire of the Associated Press also wishes that Willis had sat out this sequel and curled up with the latest copy of AARP Magazine. She writes that despite an overabundance of explosions, the film is dull and numbing. “‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ is pointless and joyless, a barrage of noise and chaos, an onslaught of destruction without the slightest mention of consequence,” Lemire writes. “Dozens of people should be dead from one lengthy car chase alone; ‘Die Hard’ keeps on driving.” In the Chicago Tribune, Michael Phillips calls the film the worst of the series and lays the blame for its hectic editing squarely at the director’s feet. “Director John Moore leaves nothing to the imagination, unimaginatively, and with a misjudged reliance on absurd digital effects,” Phillips writes. “Moore shoots and cuts mayhem like a pluperfect hack: All his previous assignments — remakes of ‘The Omen’ and ‘Flight of the Phoenix,’ the mechanical ‘Max Payne’ — have taught him little about pacing or mapping out a rangy

nomination in 2010 for her leading role as a downtrodden teenager searching for her father in “Winter’s Bone.” (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

LOS ANGELES: The South by Affleck


Southwest Film Conference and Festival has announced that Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling’s

action sequence.” Kenneth Turan did not spare Bruce Willis in his drubbing of the film, writing in the Los Angeles Times that the actor appeared to be “going through the motions.” “As written by Skip Woods, ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ is certainly twisty enough, but the pro-forma nature of Willis’ performance — even his traditional ‘yippee ki yay’ sounds muted — doesn’t help a film that cannot be described as inspired,” Turan writes. “Victory laps can be pleasant enough, but if no one’s heart is in them, what’s the point?” Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post quips that Bruce Willis is “armed and ludicrous” in a film that’s jingoism is out-ofstep with current political mores. Look elsewhere for cutting edge geopolitical commentary, she implies.

Also: NEW YORK: “Spring Breakers”, a tale of spring break plans gone awry that stars Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and James Franco, will open in theaters one week earlier than planned. A24 will release Harmony Korine’s movie on March 15 in New York and Los Angeles in advance of a nationwide expansion on March 22. Best known for writing “Kids” and making “Gummo”, Korine returns with a film starring Gomez, Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine as best friends who go down to Florida to party away Spring Break in a haze of booze, parties and other scantily clad youths. They don’t have the money for the trip, so they hold up a restaurant but end up in jail. Local rapper and drug dealer Alien (James Franco) bails them out and brings

“The East” has been selected as the closing night film, while organizers also unveiled the complete conference lineup with the addition of A Conversation with Danny Boyle. “The East”, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month, was co-written by and stars Marling as an opera-

them into the world of crime. In its limited release, the film will compete against a wide range of movies, from comedy “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” starring Steve Carell, to A24’s own drama “Ginger & Rosa”. When the movies goes wide, it will vie against DreamWorks Animation’s “The Croods”, which Fox will release, FilmDistrict’s “Olympus has Fallen” and Focus Features’ romantic comedy “Admission”. ❑

Wolfe Releasing has acquired “Four,” Joshua Sanchez’s directorial debut based on award-winning playwright Christopher Shinn’s play of the same name. The film stars Wendell Pierce, whose performance earned him a nomination for Best Actor at the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards. Pierce, best known for his work on HBO’s “The Wire” and “Treme,” stars as Joe, a middle-aged married man who goes on a date with a young man he meets on the Internet. Emory Cohen plays the young man while Aja Naomi King and E.J. Bonilla round out the cast. Pierce also produced the movie with Christine Giorgio while Neil LaBute and Allen Frame are executive producers. Sanchez, who has made a series of shorts, adapted the movie for the big screen. Wolfe will release the movie in theaters and then on VOD and DVD. “‘Four’ is a powerful new American indie,” Wolfe president Maria Lynn said in a statement. “It’s full of the poetic and tender human drama of great theatre. We’re really proud to be releasing such an accomplished and beautiful film.”

tive for an elite private intelligence firm that is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group responsible for covert attacks on major corporations. Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page and Patricia Clarkson co-star in the thriller, which is director Batmanglij’s second collaboration with Marling.

Their first, “Sound of My Voice”, was selected for the 2011 SXSW festival. The addition of “The East” makes a total of 133 features being presented at this year’s festival — 78 of which are world premieres, 13 are North American premieres and nine are US premieres. (RTRS)




People & Places

Music Foals shine with ‘Holy Fire’

Kaufmann expands Wagner repertoire NEW YORK, Feb 15, (Agencies): Jonas Kaufmann, “Wagner” (Decca) Just about anything the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann does these days is special, and he sounds in particularly fresh voice as he ventures into some new and some familiar territory on this album of excerpts from Richard Wagner’s operas. He brings youthful exuberance to the “Forest Murmurs” scene from “Siegfried,” then switches seamlessly to the mature bitterness of Tannhaeuser’s “Rome Narrative,” an opera he has yet to add to his repertoire. His rendition of the prayer from the last act of Wagner’s early opera “Rienzi” is especially lovely. One track offer a welcome surprise: His “Grail Narrative” from “Lohengrin” includes the second verse, which Wagner himself cut before the premiere and which has rarely been recorded. This extra four minutes of music helps fill out the opera’s final scene and allows the hero a better explanation of his past. Also included are the five Wesendonck songs in the Felix Mottl orchestration. Though these were written for a female voice, Kaufmann makes them his own with unflagging lyricism. The melodies and harmonies in these songs prefigure “Tristan und Isolde,” an opera that Kaufmann will surely tackle in a few years. The singer gets strong support by the Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin conducted by Donald Runnicles. ❑

The Wayne Shorter Quartet, “Without a Net” (Blue Note) Saxophonist Wayne Shorter ranks among jazz’s greatest composers, but when his quartet performs live — as on this album — his compositions are mere frameworks for daring improvisations that take off in unexpected directions without a safety net. His acoustic quartet includes three leaders in their own right — pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade — who’ve developed an almost telepathic interplay after 12 years together. On “Without a Net,” his first Blue Note recording in 43 years, the 79year-old Shorter remakes two earlier compositions, “Orbits,” written for the Miles Davis Quintet, and “Plaza Real,” created for his jazz-fusion band Weather Report. “Flying Down to Rio,” from the 1933 film that first paired Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, is transformed into a harmonically complex, other worldly exploration. There are six new Shorter compositions, ranging from the hypnotically melodic “Starry Night” to the 23minute chamber jazz, tone poem, “Pegasus,” performed with The Imani Winds quintet that walks a tightrope between written and improvised music. ❑

Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters played house band for Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty and Rick Springfield at a sold-out concert in New York City. Nicks, Fogerty and Springfield performed at the Sound City Studios in California in the late 1960s through the early 1990s. They are the subjects of Grohl’s just-released directorial debut, the documentary “Sound City.” Grohl kicked things off Wednesday night with Alain Johannes. The crowd at the Hammerstein Ballroom then roared as Lee Ving of Fear, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine took the stage. Grohl played guitar and drums, and he sang background during the 25-minute sets. ❑

Foals, “Holy Fire” (Warner Bros. Records) One thing you can say about the Foals is that they always mix it up. Their first album, “Antidotes,” was loaded with heavy drumbeats, while “Total Life Forever” was more melancholic with beautiful lyrical prowess. The British band sticks to their wild formula on the new album, “Holy Fire.” It opens with “Prelude,” a 4-minute long instrumental that blasts into “Inhaler,” showcasing a rockier side to the band. There are howling guitars and shouting vocals, courtesy of Yannis Philippakis. “My Number” is addictive and could have jumped straight from a Talking Heads record. It is funky, uplifting and playful, and the lyrics illustrate optimism: “I feel the love, feel the love.” Melancholia isn’t far away though, as the record swings back down with “Bad Habit,” which is a soulful lament. “I’m a bad habit, one you cannot shake,” sings Philippakis. ❑

Various Artists, “Wagner: Die Walkuere” (Mariinsky) There’s no shortage of classic recordings of the second and most

popular opera in Wagner’s four-part “Ring” cycle. This new version — first installment of a projected complete “Ring” cycle from the historic Mariinsky Theatre in Russia — is a worthy addition, thanks to the rapturous sweep that conductor Valery Gergiev achieves with the orchestra and to the deluxe cast, headed by today’s reigning Bruennhilde, Swedish soprano Nina Stemme. She has the warmth as well as the steely strength to embody the warrior goddess who learns compassion at the cost of her immortality. Bass Rene Pape brings his trademark silken smoothness to the role of Wotan, and if one or two high notes sound effortful, he more than compensates with his deeply felt interpretation as an unusually brooding and introspective god. Tenor Jonas Kaufmann and soprano Anja Kampe are just about ideal as the twins Siegmund and Sieglinde, while mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova is a plush-voiced Fricka who sounds at times uncannily like the great Christa Ludwig. The only slight drawback is bass Mikhail Petrenko as Sieglinde’s thuggish husband, Hunding. He sings beautifully but doesn’t sound quite menacing enough. “Wagner: Die Walkuere” is a fourCD box set. ❑

Veronica Falls, “Waiting for Something to Happen” (Slumberland) The second full-length album from indie pop’s Veronica Falls is a tasteful guitar pop set, brighter in tone than their first. The London foursome takes a communal approach to singing their lovely melodies and there is nothing remotely discordant about the affair. The lyrics glorify the moments in between and aligned with the music play like anthems for the indecisive on “Waiting for Something to Happen.” These are songs about tiring of the people you hang out with, last conversations, the shortcomings of connectivity and the intersection of early adulthood. It’s not that Veronica Falls shun responsibility (“They say act your age”) or compromise (“Driving late at night/I let you listen to the music you like”), they just don’t want to settle down (“Bury me alive”). A few tracks take subtly winsome turns: the drizzle of classic British folk in the opener, the elliptical harmony on “Shooting Star” and the chorus on “Falling Out” blossoming into their catchiest moment to date.

This CD cover image released by Decca shows ‘Runnicles’, by Kaufmann Wagner. (AP)

Irish composer likes ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’

Deane talks Achill, Alma

Also: NEW YORK: The US Library of Congress on Wednesday unveiled a plan to preserve historically significant and imperiled sound recordings and make important ones more accessible to the public. The plan calls for the on-demand streaming of out-of-print recordings, the construction of a secure long-term storage facility and a directory of recorded-sound collections. Recordings with high historical value, including music, speeches and interviews, have gone missing, been destroyed or decayed over time, the Library of Congress said. “Our collective energy in creating and consuming sound recordings has not been matched by an equal level of interest in preserving them for posterity,” Librarian of Congress James Billington said in a statement. The statement did not say how much the plan would cost. Congress appropriates between $1 million and $1.5 million annually for the library’s film and sound recording preservation projects. The Library of Congress cited several historically important recordings that have gone missing or were destroyed because it lacked a preservation plan. A World War Two wire recording of the Enola Gay crew members as the plane dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, is missing, as are key recordings by American composer George Gershwin. Recordings by singers and silver screen actors Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra are also lost, while some personal collections by recording artists were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy last year. It is estimated that more than half of cylinder records, the most-used format in the first two decades of the US recording industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, no longer survive, the library said. A lack of storage capacity, disparate copyright laws pertaining to historical recordings and other problems have stood in the way of preserving important sound recordings, according to the library. Part of the plan would to be to apply US copyright law to recordings created before 1972, which would let the library legally stream recordings online for educational purposes.

Musician Dave Grohl performs on stage at the Sound City Players concert at The Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom, Feb 13 in New York. (AP)

Lil Wayne


Variety NASHVILLE, Tenn: A cousin of the late Emmett Till wonders if Lil Wayne understands just how damaging it was when he rapped a vulgar reference to the black US teen whose death in 1955 became a significant moment in the civil rights movement. Airickca Gordon-Taylor says Till’s family would like an apology from Lil Wayne for the brief but disturbing lyric on Future’s “Karate Chop” remix. But more than that, she’d like the platinum-selling New Orleans rapper to understand how his comparison of a sex act to the 14-yearold Chicago native’s torture death in Mississippi is hurtful to the black community. “It was a heinous murder,” GordonTaylor said in a phone interview Thursday from Chicago. “He was brutally beaten and tortured, and he was shot, wrapped in barbed wire and tossed in the Tallahatchie River. The images that we’re fortunate to have (of his open casket) that ‘Jet’ published, they demonstrate the ugliness of racism. So to compare a woman’s anatomy – the gateway of life – to the ugly face of death, it just destroyed me. And then I had to call the elders in my family and explain to them before they heard it from some another source.” The Future remix with Weezy guesting was leaked on the internet over the weekend. Epic Records said Wednesday it regretted the unauthorized remix version and that it was employing “great efforts” to pull it down. The brief reference – just seven words – will be stricken from the song when it’s officially released later. The rapper made a crude reference to rough sex and used an obscenity. He indicated he wanted to do as much damage as

DUBLIN, Feb 15, (RTRS): Irish composer Raymond Deane chafes at what he sees as a lack of recognition in his homeland for classical composers in a country better known for traditional fiddling and rock supergroup U2 than for notes on staves. “Classical music means Mozart and Beethoven and when you say Irish classical music their eyes just widen,” Deane, who recently turned 60, told Reuters over lunch at a French-style bistro in Dublin. “Classical music doesn’t do much for the tourist industry except frighten off the tourists.” Deane, who also is an activist who has taken up the causes of East Timorese and Palestinian human rights and campaigns to get artists to boycott Israel, described the Irish composer’s plight in the 1990s as “the honour of non-existence”. Though he can rattle off the names of more than a half dozen Irish men and women composers of international stature, he says little has changed. The difference is this year, Deane’s often haunting, sometimes playful chamber pieces got an airing at a birthday celebration in a Dublin church, one of his orchestral works was played at the National Concert Hall and September will see a concert staging of a new opera, “The Alma Fetish”. The last, a collaboration with librettist Gavin Kostick, is a musical treatment of a theme that probably — actually, undoubtedly — would have been banned in Roman Catholic Ireland not too many years ago. It is based on the love affair between composer Gustav Mahler’s widow Alma, a femme fatale for many a European intellectual, and the Austrian painter Oskar Kokoschka. He became so enamoured of her he ordered up a life-size doll shaped, in all respects, like Alma.

Although the performance will be a concert staging, Deane said the doll will be there in some form or other, possibly in projections. “You couldn’t not have it, because it’s absolutely central,” he said, adding that he was in part attracted to the story of Alma’s and Kokoschka’s affair because of the Olympia doll character in Offenbach’s opera “The Tales of Hoffmann”. Alma also seduced Oskar to the main theme of one of Deane’s favourite operas, Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”. “Alma seduced Oskar to the ‘liebestod’ but in my version she sings and plays it as a Viennese waltz,” he said. In a sign of the pan-European roots of his inspiration, Deane has quoted and used themes from composers as diverse as Mahler, Mussorgsky and Stockhausen in a musical career that began at about age 10 when his family moved from scenic but rustic Achill Island, off Ireland’s west coast, to Dublin, and Deane began writing down improvisations at the piano. “It’s ridiculous, everyone is immature at the age of 10 but I was a particularly immature 10-year-old, and to think I’ve stood by a decision I made then, there’s really something absurd about it.” Here’s what else he had to say about getting a musical education via the BBC’s classical station Radio 3, what he did or didn’t learn from his professors and why he makes no secret about liking ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”: Question: You studied under some of the musical greats of the 20th century, including the eternal enfant terrible Karlheinz Stockhausen. What did that do for you? Answer: “‘Study’ in quotation marks — anybody else who would have gone through my particular curriculum vitae, studying with (composer) Gerald Bennett

in Switzerland, Stockhausen in Cologne...would have made some use of them, seen them as opportunities. To a large extent I wasted all the opportunities that were offered to me by these people, quite perversely.” Q: So where did you learn your craft, or more simply, how did you become a composer? A: “I went to the usual university, did a degree at Maynooth (National University of Ireland), a doctorate. But my main musical education really was BBC Radio 3. When we came to Dublin in my early teens I had this old transistor radio that was really my main connection to the outer world and it wasn’t linked up to anything so the reception from the BBC was diabolical. The static was amazing and sometimes it would disappear completely. I would tune in and hear ‘tssshh’ and through this I would hear the music and then ‘tssshhh’. Sometimes it would disappear and I would try to imagine what I was missing. I think a lot of the kind of perverse quality of some of those early pieces of mine stems from that — a distant relationship and a rather distorted relationship to something.” Q: Plus you and your composer friend Gerald Barry, in the days a quarter of a century ago before you swore off the drink, used to have some late evenings in which he’d play Rod Stewart and you’d pick ABBA, particularly “Dancing Queen”. A: “I was a big fan of ABBA, I still have a lot of time for ABBA, I have a lot of time for the Beatles, a lot of time for Neil Young ... Bruce Springsteen. My CD and record collection has a lot of nonclassical stuff in it. I probably draw the line at rap.”

had been done to Till. Gordon-Taylor says Epic Chairman and CEO LA Reid personally reached out to

her on a conference call Wednesday evening that included the Rev Jesse Jackson to explain and apologize. Jackson

said in a phone interview Thursday that Reid said on the call that Future and Lil Wayne were cooperative. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

ST PETERSBURG, Florida: Rock and roll legend Chubby Checker is twisting mad over a software application that allowed women to estimate the size of a man’s genital organ based on his shoe size. The singer, whose real name is Ernest Evans, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Hewlett Packard and Palm Inc in federal court in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Tuesday, saying that the app “adversely affects Chubby Checker’s brand and value.” The app, which was called “The Chubby Checker,” was an unauthorized use of Checker’s name and trademark, the lawsuit alleges. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

In this photo made available Feb 14, Australian musician Nick Cave performs on stage with his band The Bad Seeds in Berlin, Germany, Feb 13, where they presented their new album ‘Push the Sky Away’. (AP)

VIENNA: The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra announced Thursday it will perform a series of concerts in Toronto and New York starting later this month. The two-stop tour begins on Feb 27 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, followed by three shows at New York’s Carnegie Hall on March 1-3, the prestigious orchestra said in a statement. (AP)




Film ‘Dark Blood’

Phoenix final flick finished BERLIN, Feb 15, (Agencies): American actor River Phoenix has returned to the big screen 20 years on from his death after “Dark Blood” director George Sluizer salvaged the footage of his incomplete 1993 film and filled in the gaps with voiceovers. Phoenix was considered one of the most promising performers of his generation before he died suddenly of a suspected drug overdose aged 23, 10 days before shooting on “Dark Blood” was scheduled to finish. British actor Jonathan Pryce, who starred alongside Phoenix and Judy Davis in the story of a couple who get lost in the American desert, said he had no reason to suspect the young star was taking drugs during six weeks of filming together. “I found him a remarkable young man,” Pryce told reporters after a press screening in Phoenix Berlin. “I can’t believe now looking back that he was only 23 at the time, a kind of old head on young shoulders. He was absolutely delightful and wonderful to work with.

(Left to right): Composer Florencia di Concilio from Uruguay, US cinematographer Edward Lachman, Dutch director and producer George Sluizer and Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce pose during a photocall for the film ‘Dark Blood’ presented in Competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin on Feb 14. (AFP)


Memory “In all the weeks we were together in Utah ... at no time did I experience him using drugs or abusing drugs in any way, shape or form. I’m not a drug user myself but I’d have known. It was a time in his life when he was very committed to not using drugs. I loved him a lot and I love his memory.” In “Dark Blood”, Phoenix plays Boy, a disturbed young widower of Native American extraction, who rescues wealthy couple Harry and Buffy, played by Pryce and Davis, when their vintage Bentley breaks down in the middle of the desert. Fearful of the forbidding landscape of scrub and canyon and the fierce heat, the couple are relieved, and Buffy is initially attracted to the dark, brooding loner who lives in an isolated wooden shack on the top of a hill. But their unease begins when he shows them a candle-lit bunker carved into a canyon where he believes he and a mate can be saved from the end of the world, and that unease turns to fear when he refuses to take them to the nearest town.

Miracle The fact that “Dark Blood” was ever made is a minor miracle in itself. In 1999, Sluizer discovered the film reels were about to be destroyed by the company that insured the movie and so flew from the Netherlands to Los Angeles just in time to rescue them. In 2007 the Dutch filmmaker, who is now 80, suffered a serious illness and so decided to try and finish what he had started. He estimated that 25 percent of the footage was missing, and sound and image often did not match. Sluizer was forced to adjust his script to fit what he had, and to add voiceovers explaining the gaps in the action, but the overall effect is surprisingly coherent. Whether wider audiences will be able to watch the completed film remains to be seen, with Sluizer yet to cut a deal with the company controlling the rights. “They are very tough,” he said. “They are billionaires, money market people apparently who by mistake I would say have in their stock ... a film, and they don’t care about movies and they don’t care about culture, they care about money.” Sluizer said he had once joked with Phoenix, whom he called a “gentle actor”, about whether he minded working with a director much older than himself. “And he said: ‘George, I respect people who are older than myself because they are wiser and more experienced’,” he said. The picture, shot in Utah and New Mexico, underwent an odyssey after Phoenix’s death when an insurance company took possession of the unfinished footage. But he said that beyond the footage that he was unable to shoot due to Phoenix’s death, key reels also went missing in the intervening years. “It made it necessary to rethink the story and what could be told to eventually make it understandable for an audience and pleasurable to watch,” he said. Phoenix shot to stardom with brooding performances in hits such as Rob Reiner’s “Stand By Me” and as a narcoleptic gay hustler in Gus Van Sant’s “My Own Private Idaho” in which he played opposite a young Keanu Reeves.

Indian flick about cricket, love & politics

‘Kai Po Che’ bowls over Berlinale Korean actress Jung Eunchae poses during a photocall for the film ‘NuguUi Ttal-Do Anin Haewon’ (Nobody’s Daughter Haewon) competing in the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale in Berlin on Feb 15. (AFP)

Variety NEW YORK: Freddie Wong and the team behind the blockbuster web series “Video Game High School” have shattered the record for a film campaign on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site that has helped a number of aspiring and established filmmakers secure financing for their projects. Wong, Brandon Laatsch and Matt Arnold, who created “Video Game High School,” raised $808,341 from more than 10,000 backers as of Monday night, when the campaign ended. The money will be used for the second season of the show, which began production last week. Certain projects on Kickstarter have raised millions of dollars, the most famous being the Pebble Watch, but this project takes the cake on the film side. It has raised close to double the amount as the next two most successful campaigns for a film or video project, Blur Studio’s “The Goon,” and Charlie Kaufman’s “Anomalisa.” “Kickstarter has shifted from funding creative projects to funding products and videogames; the biggest funded are consumer electronics and video game projects,” Wong told TheWrap. “So we’re very happy it can support us in this way. Not only do we have direct access to an audience in terms of being able to get feedback, but direct access in terms of being able to have projects funded so we can try and take some of the risk out of film production.” The “VGHS” team had set a goal of $636,010 - the full cost of Season One, which they broke down to the dollar on their own site, RocketJump. That season, which raised almost $275,000 on Kickstarter, attracted more than 50 million viewers last summer between YouTube and, a proprietary site that will also host Season Two. Most of the extra money the campaign raised will be used on production. Wong, Laatsch and Arnold have already begun on Season Two, filming on location and using YouTube’s new studio space in Los Angeles. They have also brought on highprofile sponsors, like Dodge, to defray the costs of costly action scenes. This new season will take viewers further inside the world of the eponymous high school for videogame savants. Wong compared it to the evolution of “Harry Potter,” as the story went from revealing that a wizard world exists to exploring the social lives of the wizards and the existence of several other schools around the world. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑ LOS ANGELES: Tom Cruise’s $50 million lawsuit against Bauer Publishing Company, the publishers behind In Touch and Life & Style, will touch on the publishing company’s alleged pattern of religious discrimination, according to court papers filed Thursday. A Joint Rule 26(f) Report, filed by Cruise and Bauer in US District Court in

BERLIN, Feb 15, (AFP): “Kai Po Che”, an Indian film about cricket, love and politics set against a tumultuous backdrop of brutal sectarian violence and an earthquake, bowled over the crowd at the Berlin film festival Thursday. In a year in which the main Berlinale competition has failed to inspire much passion, “Kai Po Che” (Brothers For Life) sparked cheers and tears from a packed cinema as it screened ahead of its global general release next week. Based on the best-selling book “The Three Mistakes Of My Life”, the film charts the ups and down of three ambitious young Indian men as they set up a sport shop and cricket coaching academy in the Gujurati capital Ahmedabad. After a slow start, business begins to boom — helped by a gripping test series between India and Australia that sees cricket kit fly off the shelves — and they uncover a precocious young batsman, Ali, whose talent they nurture. Expand They expand their business, opening new premises in a swanky mall, but their world is shattered by the 2001 Ahmedabad quake which reduces their shop to rubble and destroys all their stock. The devastating earthquake also strains the trio’s friendship, as cricket coach Ishaan (Sushant Singh Rajput) steals their remaining savings to pay to shore up Ali’s house, causing the others to expel him from the partnership. Inevitably it is cricket that brings them back together, as they bond again while watching India’s astonishing test victory against Australia in 2001, only the third match in history where a team following on has gone on to win. The trio begin to rebuild from the ruins. The more business-minded Govind (Rajkumar) expands the sports equipment and coaching model into schools, with the help of Ishaan, while Omi (Amit Sadh) finds himself drawn into politics. Meanwhile, Ali rises through the ranks of Indian cricket with a series of sparkling innings inspired by his mentor Ishaan while Govind falls in love with the coach’s beautiful sister played by Amrita Puri. But again, upheaval intervenes, this time in the form of the 2002

Central California on Thursday, lays out the parameters of the discovery process for the trial, offering hints at what tactics both sides might employ. In the report, Cruise’s legal team says that it believes discovery will need to be taken regarding “Bauer’s history of bigotry and hatred toward minority religious groups and their members.” On Thursday, an investigative report by TheWrap uncovered Bauer Media Group’s deep connections to Neo-Nazi magazines

Iran’s Panahi defies filmmaking ban to take part

Leading ladies dominate Berlin awards buzz BERLIN, Feb 15, (RTRS): If older women can’t find work in Hollywood they might want to come to Berlin, where this year’s film festival has been studded with performances by seasoned actresses that have put them and their movies in the running for top prizes. The 11-day cinema event, centred around the main competition of 19 films but showcasing hundreds more, winds up with an evening awards ceremony on Saturday. Jude Law, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Matt Damon have hit the red carpet, and Nicolas Cage and Catherine Deneuve are still to come, while after a string of critical flops at the start of the festival the reception has picked up. The two frontrunners for the coveted Golden Bear for best picture, which can help bring a lowbudget movie to an international audience, centre around strong women in their 50s and 60s who overshadow the men around them. “Gloria”, arguably the biggest hit at the 63rd Berlin film festival, stars Paulina Garcia as the eponymous Gloria, a 58-year-old divorcee living alone in Santiago where she is determined to enjoy life to the full. She goes out dancing on singles nights, drinks, smokes, has affairs, stays in touch with her children and works full time. Director Sebastian Lelio said his inspiration for the character was his mother and her generation,

rarely tackled in cinema which tends to be obsessed with youth. “We all face crossroads in our lives where we can retreat into ourselves or we can hit the dancefloor,” he said. The Chilean cast agreed that sex scenes between Gloria and her 60-something boyfriend Rodolfo may prove shocking to some, but should not be. “I don’t think people should be shocked,” said Sergio Hernandez, who plays the charming but weak foil to Gloria’s indomitable spirit. “It’s always been there...adults making love as they never have before, perhaps better than they ever have before.” Another favourite for best film and best actress is “Child’s Pose”, about a wealthy 60-year-old Romanian mother whose obsessive love for her son sees her try to buy his freedom when he accidentally knocks down and kills a boy. Jay Weissberg, critic for the Variety trade publication, called the performance of Romanian veteran Luminita Gheorghiu as Cornelia a “tour-de-force”. There was also a warm critical reception for French star Juliette Binoche in a film about the tragic story of sculptress Camille Claudel, who spent the last 29 years of her life wrongly confined by her family to a mental asylum. Compatriot Deneuve’s “On My Way”, in which she plays a grandmother who sets off on a road trip across France, screens later on Friday. “Directors seem to have discovered the value of maturity and

been anxious to explore the female face and psyche as they age, gracefully or otherwise,” said Deborah Young of trade publication The Hollywood Reporter. “Child’s Pose” also picks up on another theme running through the festival — Eastern European directors looking at the postCommunist world for their inspiration, and arguing that the ills of old have been taken over by fresh injustices and abuse. Russian film “A Long and Happy Life”, for example, follows an idealistic young farmer who refuses to sell his land to a wealthy developer, with dramatic consequences. And Bosnian drama “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker”, about a man struggling to get enough money for his partner’s life-saving operation, packs the added emotional punch of having the real-life subjects in the main roles. Iranian entry “Closed Curtain” received mixed reviews, but because it was co-directed by Jafar Panahi in defiance of a 20year ban on filmmaking, it commanded centre stage for much of the festival. US entries created little excitement this year, partly because so many of them had already premiered at the Sundance film festival. The exception was “Prince Avalanche”, a charming, low-key tale of two misfits, played by Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, who head into nature where they talk, drink, squabble and fight yet in the end emerge the better for it.

Gujarat riots. Omi’s parents are burned alive when a group thought to be Muslim extremists torches a train carrying Hindu pilgrims and activists in the Gujarat town of Godhra, killing 58 people. This unleashes a wave of brutal sectarian violence that draws in all three friends, rips apart their town of Ahmedabad and ends up pitting Omi, son of a Hindu priest, against the family of the Muslim rising cricket star Ali, with tragic results. Director Abhishek Kapoor told reporters he wanted to make a different type of Indian film and shied

away from the traditional Bollywood mix of song, dance and music, although the film contains plenty of the colour and spice of India. “I don’t think it’s a Bollywood film, it’s an Indian film,” said Kapoor. He said he hoped the film’s format, which intersperses TV footage from the historic 2001 IndiaAustralia test series and features a cameo by Indian cricket star Aday Jadeja, would appeal to a wider audience. “The world over, people are interested in Indian film. People are curious and want to see more

films. But somehow Bollywood films don’t connect with people,” he said. While the politics, religious tension and cricket were important, ultimately the film is about the unbreakable bond between the three stars, said Kapoor. “Politics in India is in every area. This is what India is about: cricket, politics, religion and movies. But actually this film is about friendship. “I think it is a very important story for India.” The 63rd Berlinale runs until Sunday. “Kai Po Che” is screening in the festival’s Panorama section.



and pornography, with titles such as “Inglorious Bitches” and “Band of Bastards.” The report’s reference to minority religious groups presumably would pertain to Cruise’s standing as a Scientologist. It also says that Cruise’s side expects that discovery will need to be taken regarding “Bauer’s policies and practices with respect to publishing stories about Tom Cruise, Suri Cruise and Scientology or other minority religious groups.”

The report also says that discovery will probably be sought regarding the “identity of Defendants’ sources, and communications with those sources,” though that will most likely be met with resistance by Bauer. “Based upon the discovery that Plaintiff has propounded, Defendants anticipate asserting the applicable shield law(s) and other privileges that protect the identification of confidential sources,” the report reads. (AP)



Pick up few tips like ‘Goodfellas’ guide to razor-thin garlic

Chefs pick ‘scenes’ for best screen cuisine SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 15, (AP): What happens when you ask a group of food world luminaries to come up with their picks for Best Food Scene in a movie? You get some unexpected responses. Who knew “Pulp Fiction” was such a foodie flick? You pick up a few tips, like the “Goodfellas” guide to truly razor-thin garlic. Oscar-worthy examples of screen cuisine, along with a trio of cocktail recipes to help you toast this year’s winners on Feb. 24 in those other categories, like Best Picture. Fabio Viviani, “Top Chef” Season 5 “Fan Favorite” and host of Yahoo’s Chow Ciao, took a practical approach for his choice, opting for the “Goodfellas”

scene that shows Paulie slicing garlic with a razor. “What a way to get the perfect thin garlic! You can almost smell the garlic and tomatoes and meat cooking in the scene.” His takeaway? “Doesn’t matter if you’re a criminal or just a normal guy, there is nothing better than breaking bread with friends and family and sharing food. That is what’s most important in life.” No one suggested scenes from classic “food movies” like “Big Night” or “Tampopo,” perhaps not surprising considering that those kind of films don’t exactly qualify as escapism to a cook. As Colman Andrews, editorial director of put it, “maybe it’s just that I devote so much of my time to

food — writing about it, editing a food website, cooking and eating it — that when I relax away from the table, food is the last thing I want to think about.” Memorable food scenes are the ones that “sneak up on me, in non-food movies,” he says, like the old-fashioned bread-baking process shots from “The Baker’s Wife,” a French classic from the 1930s. ❑ ❑ ❑ Spain’s famous elBulli restaurant will temporarily reopen later this year as renowned chef-owner Ferran Adria trains actors for a movie based on his iconic but shuttered eatery. The location is still being determined,

In this Dec 5, 2003 file photo, Spanish chef Ferran Adria examines ingredients in his kitchen workshop in Barcelona, Spain. (AP)

Adria told The Associated Press on Thursday. It could reopen at its original seaside location in Roses, where Adria presided over an impressive Michelin three-star status for more than a decade. Or they might recreate the restaurant elsewhere to train the as yet unchosen actors for “El Bulli,” a film that will mix fact and fiction about Adria and restaurant’s final year. elBulli, which Adria closed in July 2011, was rated the world’s best restaurant five times by British magazine The Restaurant. Adria, whose modernist approach to cooking pushes the boundaries of avant-garde, often has been described as the planet’s most talented and imaginative chef.



travel saturday, february 16, 2013 airport inquiry tel: 161

LIMA: The United States warned its citizens on Thursday to exercise caution in visiting Peru's famed Machu Picchu ruins through at least the end of the month and restricted State Department personnel from traveling there because of the threat of kidnappings. The US Embassy in Lima said it had information a criminal group could be planning to kidnap American tourists visiting Machu Picchu and the Cusco region where the ruins are tucked into the mountains, according to a statement. Machu Picchu, which was built around the 1450s and was an important site during the Incan empire, draws hundreds of thousands of tourists to Peru every year. Part of the Cusco region lies in a clutch of jungle valleys known as the VRAEM, where remaining members of the Maoist Shining Path insurgency have hidden out and now oversee cocaine trafficking. Peru said on Wednesday it would start eradicating coca plants from farms in the VRAEM for the first time. Last year, rebels kidnapped 36 Peruvian natural gas workers in La Convencion, Cusco, about 100 miles (160 kms) from Machu Picchu. The hostages were later released unharmed. The State Department did not mention the Shining Path or any political motives for potential kidnappings. (RTRS)

‘Alpine Skiing … a goldmine waiting to be exploited’

Booming India sets sights on ski success SCHLADMING, Austria, Feb 15, (AFP): Hindi may still be a rare language at the World Ski Championships but with one sixth of the world’s population and mountains higher than the tallest peaks in the Alps, India is planning to rival traditional ski nations in the near future. Among the Austrians, Swiss and French, a small contingent in orange, white and green ski outfits — the colours of the national flag — has been spotted all over Schladming over the last 10 days. The start lists for the women and men’s slalom and giant slalom events this week will also include four athletes with names like Arif Khan and Varsha Devi. This is just a starting point for Roshan Lal Thakur, who hopes to turn India into a skiing powerhouse and boost his northern region’s economy. “It’s my dream to develop skiing in India on a mass basis, not one or

two,” says the small and cheery head of India’s winter games federation. “By bringing one or two athletes (here), they can be role models to other children in schools or colleges, so that way we can motivate more and more people towards skiing. “Also on the other side, it can boost our tourism in winter.” Compared to rich competing nations like host Austria or the United States, whose athletes reside in luxurious accommodation and are chauffeured to and from races, Thakur and his skiers reside in a modest hotel 20 minutes away from the course and take the local bus to training and back. “We cannot think of a medal but participation, and to compete in races, is my goal and through this maybe they can participate in the next Olympics in Sochi,” Thakur said. India’s winter games federation has 600 registered skiers and already sent

athletes to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and two world ski championships, but funding remains a major problem. The team has no private sponsors and much of the money for trips to events like the world championships comes from the athletes’ parents, with further funds provided by the national federation and the International Ski Federation (FIS). Although India’s image is mostly one of a hot country with spicy food and Bollywood movies, the northern regions of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and the resort of Auli in Uttarakhand are high in the Himalayas with snow for months on end in the winter. Still, infrastructure is limited — “they have lifts but a lot still needs to be done,” says Thakur — so India’s skiers often train in Europe, including Austria. This could soon change. India was close to hosting a FIS race this sea-

son, and might do so next year. In 2011, it already welcomed the first South Asia Winter Games, with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal among the participants, and courses homologated by FIS. A large ski resort is also being planned and with a few thousand Swiss francs of FIS money, the Indian federation has invited coaches from Italy and Japan to raise the level of its athletes. “Those teams started a long time back, we are still in infant stages,” Thakur acknowledges. With backing from the government at last, India’s ski chief is trying to build partnerships with European ski associations to promote athlete exchanges, and with ski manufacturers to secure much-needed sponsorship and expensive equipment. There is still a long way to go before alpine skiing attains the same following as cricket — the national sport of India — but it is a goldmine

waiting to be exploited, he says confidently. Indeed, with India’s economy booming and exposure to winter and adventure sports through mass media on the up, more and more people are coming to the mountains and trying out skis. And this increase in winter tourism will be a boon for locals in the northern tip of the country, where opportunities are scarcer than in the cities. For Thakur, who learnt to ski at age 12, attending the world championships with Indian skiers is already an achievement. “It’s a big change. For a long time I was just skiing with wooden, handmade skis and today we are skiing with world class people. My gold medal is already here.” And even if the timeframe is still unclear, India will soon become a ski nation, up there with the best, he said. “It will take time but I’m sure one day it will happen.”


PARIS: Airbus has dropped lithiumion batteries of the type that forced the grounding of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and will use traditional nickel-cadmium batteries in its crucially important next passenger jet, the A350. The European planemaker said on Friday it had taken the decision to adopt the batteries used on existing models such as the A380 superjumbo in order to prevent delays in the A350's entry to service next year. Reuters had reported that Airbus was considering such a move to limit the risks surrounding the development of its $15 billion airliner. "We want to mature the lithium-ion technology but we are making this decision today to protect the A350's entry-into-service schedule," an Airbus spokeswoman said. Industry executives, insurance companies and safety officials had told Reuters the technology's predictability was being questioned at senior levels as investigators struggle to find the cause of incidents that led to the grounding of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. These included a fire on board a parked 787 in Boston and an in-flight problem on another plane in Japan. The A350 is due to enter service in the second half of 2014 compared with an initial target of 2012 when it was launched as Europe's answer to the lightweight 787 Dreamliner. The industry's fear is that the failure to identify the "root cause" of the burning battery incidents leaves too much uncertainty over whether regulators will certify planes as safe when relying on the powerful but temperamental power packs. Airbus, which has said the A350 timetable is "challenging," can ill afford such doubts over its largest ever civil plane project and so has opted to eliminate its exposure to the risk that regulators might change the rules. Airbus will use the lithium-ion batteries for a maiden flight in mid-year and early flight trials but switch to traditional batteries in time for certification and delivery. Uncertainty over whether Airbus can be sure of certifying the A350 with the new batteries, in time for delivery in the second half of next year, illustrates the scale of the task Boeing faces in persuading US regulators to let it fly the 787. People familiar with the matter say it has developed a fix involving a tough casing for the lithium-ion battery. Without a clear cause for the battery problems and based on the same broad facts that are available to its arch-competitor Airbus, Boeing would need to demonstrate the risks are minimal. Lithium-ion batteries have been in consumer products such as mobile phones and laptop computers for years but are relatively new to industrial applications such as back-up batteries for electrical systems in jets or energy storage on wind farms. (RTRS)

BERLIN: Thousands of air travelers are stranded in Germany after security personnel walked off the job at two airports in a wage dispute. Security workers at Hamburg and Cologne airports went on strike Friday, causing more than 200 flights to be canceled at the airports. The country's main hubs, Frankfurt and Munich, were not affected. The ver.di union called the strike after the latest round of negotiations with employers ended last week without an offer they found acceptable. Airport workers in recent months have staged several such daylong "warning strikes," which are often used to increase pressure in German wage negotiations. The union seeks a roughly 30 percent pay increase for the private security workers. Employers have offered a 9 percent raise. (AP)

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao: Police on the tiny island of Bonaire said Thursday that two pieces of luggage from a missing plane that was carrying the CEO of Italian fashion house Missoni has washed up on a local beach. In Curacao, Bonaire police spokesman Hans Baltus confirmed that two bags found earlier this week on a rocky beach were from the missing plane carrying Vittorio Missoni, his wife and four others. Baltus declined to provide information about the nametags on the battered bags, citing an ongoing investigation. However, Missoni family friend Claudio Verna in Italy said that authorities in Bonaire phoned him Tuesday to tell him that two bags were found that belonged to the missing CEO. He said the bags were discovered Tuesday by a local newspaper reporter on the tiny island off Venezuela. Baltus said police were in contact with Verna as a family representative. (AP)

This undated image provided by Visit South Walton shows the picturesque town of Seaside, located in the Florida Panhandle. Seaside is known for its pastel-colored homes and beautifully landscaped walkways and public areas. Developed in 1981 as a planned resort community, Seaside was the setting of the 1998 film, ‘The Truman Show,’ starring Jim Carrey. (AP)

Region flags laid-back vibe, southern hospitality and family atmosphere

Florida Panhandle offers fun for budget travelers PENSACOLA, Fla, Feb 15, (AP): The gleaming white sand beaches and turquoise waters of Florida’s Panhandle draw millions of visitors each year, but this area isn’t known for glitz, glamour and high-end hotspots like some of Florida’s other beaches. Instead, the Panhandle offers a laid-back vibe, Southern hospitality and family atmosphere. The region caters to budget-conscious travelers who often drive from nearby Southern cities like Atlanta, Birmingham or New Orleans. Hotel and restaurant costs climb during the peak summer months, but even the priciest Panhandle resorts are generally less expensive than Miami Beach, Naples or the Florida Keys. And the Panhandle offers many opportunities for great memories visiting local attractions that cost nothing at all.

beaches offer free outdoor concerts. Pensacola Beach offers live music every Tuesday night from April to October, ds.php .

National Naval Aviation Museum The museum is located on Pensacola Naval Air Station and is open to the public 9 am — 5 pm daily, The museum offers an extensive collection of vintage military aircraft from all

eras of flight and has numerous handson displays that give visitors a taste of what it was like to be a naval aviator through the generations. On most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings March through November, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., the US Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron practices in the skies above the museum, plore/blue-angels-practices. Visitors are treated to a full, jaw-dropping performance by six of the world’s best fighter

Beaches From Pensacola in the western Panhandle to Apalachicola in the east, you’ll find more than 200 miles (about 320 kms) of relatively undeveloped beaches. Walk the sand in the early morning or late day to glimpse a spectacular sunrise or sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Because the beaches don’t get lots of traffic — except for a few towns that draw college spring breakers in March — shell seekers often make unique finds such as small conch shells and sand dollars. Beachgoers often glimpse pods of dolphins frolicking in the distance and schools of stingrays gliding just offshore. During the busiest months, some

pilots. Team members gather inside the museum after some practices for an autograph session with visitors.

Seaside The picturesque village of Seaside — — is located on the Gulf of Mexico between Destin and Panama City and includes some of the priciest beach homes in the region. Developed in 1981 as a planned resort community, Seaside was the setting of the 1998 film, “The Truman Show,” starring Jim Carrey. Seaside is known for its pastel-colored beach bungalows built in the old Florida tradition and for its beautifully landscaped walkways and public areas. The town has a selection of upscale boutiques and restaurants, but there is lots of fun to be had in Seaside without spending any money. Seaside often has live concerts during the evenings in its outdoor amphitheater. Visitors are encouraged to pack a picnic and enjoy the music; details at nts-calendar/ .

Wentworth Museum and Historic Pensacola

This undated image provided by West Florida Historic Preservation Inc shows the exterior of the T.T. Wentworth Jr Florida State Museum in Pensacola, Fla. (AP)

A collection of historic homes, museums and other sites— — highlights Pensacola’s history dating to the mid-1500s under Spanish, French, British, Confederate and American control. Admission to the T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum — gallery_images6fec.cfm — is free. The

museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For a look inside the historic homes in Historic Pensacola Village, you can take a tour for $6. The University of West Florida Archaeology department often conducts digs in the area and visitors can get a close-up look at a dig in progress.

The Destin Docks The sign welcoming visitors to the well-known Panhandle resort city of Destin calls Destin “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” The sign is an homage to a time when the area was known for its fine snapper fishing and shrimping rather than high-rise condos, but fishing remains a huge part of local culture. Destin has a large charter boat fleet and visitors can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars searching for marlin and mahi on a deep-sea fishing expedition. For visitors who don’t have their sea legs or who don’t want to spend serious money trying their luck at offshore fishing, Destin’s fishing docks still offer an entertaining stroll. Fishermen unload and clean their catch and display the fish for passers-by to view, and the large grouper, snapper and other fish are usually an impressive sight. Harborwalk Village and the Emerald Grand resort — — located on the west end of Destin, have a variety of seasonal events year-round and make a fun place for visitors to stroll before or after checking out the day’s catch.



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NEW YORK: Influencers finish up New York Fashion Week on Thursday with a taste of what’s to come next fall, their appetite whet by some tough, some tailored and many black looks. But there were flashes of bright colors and earth tones, too. There were sleek minimalist shapes and some oversized, slouchy ones. For every bouncy miniskirt there was a ladylike pencil, and broad-shouldered military coats were offset by gently molded oversized ones. What shoppers can take away from New York is the idea that the runway is a tool to present fanciful options, not to be used to dictate a specific look. “This season is going to help the person out there who is trying to get dressed in the morning. You can wear anything, just do it with conviction and confidence,” said Linda Wells, editor-in-chief of Allure magazine. Marc Jacobs and fellow heavy hitters Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein by Francisco Costa closed out Fashion Week. Jacobs courted glamorous screen sirens who wore beaded PJs by day and lame gowns by night, lit in sepia for half the show in a cavernous armory. Lauren had a strong woman in mind with a mix of military looks and regal gowns, all with a hint of the Russian Revolution. “The trend, really, was the strength of women,” Wells said. Largely absent this season were the bohemian and disco-era 1960s and ‘70s that seemed to have a permanent place on the runways, said Jennifer Wheeler, vice president of designer apparel for Nordstrom.

Calvin Klein

NEW YORK Above and below: Models display creations by Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Le Smurfette and Juan Carlos Obando at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Feb 14, in New York. (AFP)

from the early ‘60s, an era the designer enjoys. Sui noted that time coincided with the revival of Chanel, and that a sort of chic ladylike dress — albeit a very young lady — was a prevailing theme. She liked it even more that director Jean-Luc Godard used the same key players in many of his movies. “That’s sort of how I work. I like to be surrounded by the people who I like and admire,” Sui said. Top models always turn out for Sui: Karlie Kloss, Jessica Stam and Hilary Rhoda among them for this show. There were a few black pieces, such as a fuzzy Mongolian faux fur and black suede pants with grommets, but this was a celebration of color — in hot pink, aqua uren blue, Ralph La red and sapphire green.

Ralph Laure n

Ralph Lauren Lauren didn’t just have a muse for fall. He had a heroine. His models seemed as if they stepped out of the pages of a gripping Russian novel. The story? A woman who through strength finds herself and, in the final chapter, discovers love. “I was inspired by the spirit of a romantic revolutionary — a timeless heroine, independent and bold, a woman who revels in her individuality and personal style,” Lauren told The Associated Press in an email.

Also: LONDON: Fashionistas

Calvin Klein Costa said the collection was loosely based on the 1960s Russian film “Ivan’s Childhood,” set during World War II. It was about the coming together of masculine military looks and feminine softness. It’s a “modern uniform,” Costa said in his notes. Geometric shapes are ndo familiar ground for Costa, rlos Oba Juan Ca but the more refined tailoring and menswear-driven fabrics are a shift for the designer who recently has experimented more with raw edges and looser shapes. These clothes couldn’t have been sharper.

Proe-nza Scho-uler Once again Lazaro Herna-ndez and

don’t do excitement ‚Äî they’re too cool for that. But even the frostiest fashion editor might be allowed a little smile of anticipation at the lineup for this year’s London Fashion Week. A debut design showcase by singer Rihanna and designer Tom Ford’s first proper catwalk show in London are headlining the five-day style extravaganza that begins Friday. Their star power is piling an extra dose of buzz and glamour onto a growing biannual event that already features industry leaders including Burberry, Vivienne Westwood and others. Securing a major designer like Ford is a big coup for London Fashion Week, but it’s the slew of hot young talent based in the capital that keeps the international fashion pack coming back for more. (AP)

lein Calvin K

lein Calvin K rich and soft but also mind-bendingly complex in their construction, to hear the designers describe it.

uren Ralph La

Ann Sui

Jack Mc-Collo-ugh came up with somet-hing new and fascinating. In a long shuttered, 19th-century building said to have been the first high-rise in New York City, the designers displayed a restrained color palette of white, black

uren Ralph La and subtle pastels that included mint and peach.

That enabled them to place the focus squarely on the beautiful fabrics, not only

Sui’s dresses matched the tights, which matched the shoes, which matched the jewelry. The concept blossomed after Sui caught a French New Wave film — and then many more French New Wave films —



Horoscope By Jacqueline Bigar Happy birthday for Saturday, Feb 16, 2013: This year you might say one thing yet do something else. If you get feedback regarding this issue, it would be wise to work on resolving it; otherwise, people might not know what to expect when interacting with you. Once you become clearer, the possibility of getting involved in a dynamic relationship will be enhanced. If you are single, the first couple of choices you make for a potential sweetie might not be the right match for you. Trust yourself. If you are attached, the two of you will become closer if you accept yourself and are willing to transform. PISCES can irritate you. The Stars Show the Kind of Day You’ll Have: 5Dynamic; 4-Positive; 3-Average; 2-So-so; 1Difficult

Capricorn - (Dec 22 - Jan 19) **** Use your imagination, and you’ll make an

ordinary day far more interesting. Know that you might not be able to cheer up a depressed friend, as he or she is set on being glum. Remain sensitive to a child or loved one who feels left out. Tonight: Paint the town red.

Aquarius - (Jan

20 - Feb 18)

*** You could be overwhelmed by everything that you have to do. In fact, you might not want to answer your front door or any incoming calls. This is an excellent idea that will allow you to emerge later feeling much better. Indulge a loved one. Tonight: Stay in your fortress.

Pisces - (Feb 19 - Mar 20) **** Make plans only with those you want to hang out with. News from a distance could be a problem. Know that you might have missed a detail. Discuss the situation with someone else who is involved. Together, you’ll come up with answers.

home decor

drawer planter One of the best uses of old drawer is to transform it into a planter. Many of us don’t have the time to paint or wallpaper the old drawer and yet we hesitate to throw them. So, here is the best alternative for these old drawers. Place them on the balcony and use them as planters. They not only save a lot of pot space as each drawer can be used for different plants, but will also add a garden look to your balcony. If you have individual drawers take them and paint them with fun colors or give them a slightly aged look and you can turn the drawers into small planter boxes.

Tonight: Dinner at a local spot.

Aries - (Mar 21 - Apr 19) **** Revise your plans if there is a last-minute change to take into consideration. You might disappoint someone, or perhaps you could invite this person to join you. Your strength and sense of direction encourage others to follow your lead. Tonight: A must appearance.

Taurus - (Apr 20 - May 20) **** An emotional collision encourages you to head in a different direction. Put on your rainy-day emotional gear and do something else. You’ll discover that a friend delights in your company. Go to the movies and have a late lunch afterward. Tonight: As you like.

Gemini - (May 21 - June 20)

*** Look beyond what is happening, and understand why others are reacting the way they are. You might decide not to make the same judgment call. Help them to see the bigger picture, and they will be more comfortable as a result. Tonight: Vanish, but don’t tell everyone.

Cancer - (June 21 - July 22) **** A loved one causes uproar in a way that causes you to distance yourself. Of course, if you are single, this behavior could emanate from a potential love interest. Stop and rethink your choices. Avoid reacting, and choose to do nothing. Tonight: Keep it light.

Leo - (July 23 - Aug 22) **** Head out the door. Whether you go to put in overtime at work or take off to visit a friend makes no difference. By distancing yourself from your personal life, you will be able to get some perspective.

indoor gardening

crocus A crocus bulb is actually a corm. Corms produce beautiful cup-shaped blooms in purple, lavender, white or yellow — plain or striped — each with a bright orange stigma. All have slender, upright leaves that are green and white striped. Site: Does best in bright indirect sunlight and high humidity Temperature: 40-65°F. Water: Keep soil evenly moist at all times. Requires reduced watering in the fall and winter.

You also just might need a change of scenery. Tonight: A force to be dealt with.

Scorpio - (Oct 23 - Nov 21)

Virgo - (Aug 23 - Sept 22):

*** You might be holding back a concern, and you could become very tight-lipped and rigid as a result. You might want to consider discussing this reservation, especially as it could be affecting others. Do not underestimate your importance. Tonight: Play it low-key.

**** Reach out for feedback, even if you don’t like what you hear. Sit on your opinions for now, and understand their role in the question at hand. Take a drive in the country with a loved one. You’ll gain a new insight as soon as you detach. Tonight: Let someone else decide.

Libra - (Sept 23 - Oct 22) *** Your willingness to have a discussion and get to the bottom of the other person’s issue will be appreciated. Are you ready to discuss what is on your mind, too? A tight budget or an emotional issue might be coloring your mood. Try not to think about it. Tonight: Avoid crowds.

Sagittarius - (Nov 22 - Dec 21) *** Pace yourself, but don’t linger on what might be defined as a difficult moment. Your strong drive marks your decisions, especially with domestic matters. Ask a loved one for his or her impression. Be aware that this person could have strong opinions. Tonight: Go off with friends.

Born today: Tennis player John McEnroe (1959), singer Sonny Bono (1935), singer/songwriter Andy Taylor (1961)

beauty tips

taste buds

tips for filing your nails

fish pate

Nails should be always dry while filing because wet nails tend to split more easily. Make a proper angle of 45 degree to bottom side of the nails tips while filing your nails. Do not hold in the perpendicular position to the nail tip. It is important to file your nails so that they are even in length and are well shaped. Filing should be done in one direction only and not in a sawing motion as this could cause weak nails to split. Use a nail clipper to clip the bigger nail portions to get the basic nail shape of square shape or oval shape. Don’t clip in the center of the nail, but use two cuts, one on each side of the nail. Clipping the nail makes your filing process easier.

Ingredients: 1-1/2 pounds whitefish fillets; 1-1/2 pounds pike fillets; 4 medium sweet onions, peeled and diced (about 2 pounds); 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil; 4 large eggs; 2 cups cold water; 6 tablespoons matzoh meal; 1 tablespoon salt or to taste; 2 teaspoons ground white pepper; 2 tablespoons sugar; 2 large carrots, peeled and grated; Parsley for garnish. Method: Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with vegetable oil. Place whitefish and pike fillets in the bowl of a food processor, pulse to a fine grind, but do not puree. Gently saute the sweet onion in the oil until translucent. Let cool to room temperature. Combine fish, onion, eggs, water, matzoh meal, salt, pepper, carrot and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer for about 15 minutes. Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour. Remove, cover with aluminum foil and bake an additional 1 hour or until center is solid. When done, let cool on a rack or trivet for 5 minutes, then invert gelfilte fish onto a serving platter. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Dear Abby Wife musters courage to leave abusive man By Abigail Van Buren Dear Abby: I have lived in an abusive marriage for 11 years. Now, when I have finally mustered the courage to leave, everybody says I must stay “for the children” as he is a “changed man.” I no longer love him and he refuses to give me a divorce. He also refuses to admit there is anything wrong in the marriage and says I’m exaggerating everything. I have tried counseling and therapy alone because he refused to join me. I do not want my four children to be affected by my choice and wish for a mutual discussion, but he doesn’t want to discuss divorce. I am afraid to stay and afraid to leave. I have no support system here. — Wants out in Illinois Dear wants out: After 11 years of abuse and counseling and therapy alone because your husband would not accompany you, his wishes should no longer affect your decision. Pick up the phone and contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800799-7233. That’s the place to find information about how to form an escape plan for yourself Abigail Van Buren and your children. Whether your husband is willing to discuss divorce or not, he cannot force you to remain married to him. An attorney can help you with the process once you are out of there. ❑ ❑ ❑ Dear Abby: I’m a 23-year-old woman with a university degree, a fulfilling job, downtown apartment and a busy social life. I am also heavily tattooed. My tattoos bring me a great deal of happiness. I work in a field where visible tattoos are acceptable, and I’m very good at covering them when necessary. My problem is how to politely deal with strangers who criticize my tattoos when I’m out in public. I have been told I have “ruined” myself, that I have no future, that I’ll never find a husband, that I am ugly, an insult to women and trashy. I do not dress scantily and, in my opinion, these comments are uncalled for. I usually tell people that I am affecting only myself and that I’m happy, but this usually results in scoffs or more rude remarks. Part of me wants to be rude back because I am offended. What should I say the next time I am inevitably picked on? — Inked and irked in Calgary, Canada Dear inked and irked: I printed a letter last spring about a Canadian woman who insisted that people north of the border are nicer than people in the U.S.A. Your letter shows that’s not necessarily the case. The next time someone makes an unkind remark about your body art, look the person in the eye and say, “That you would say something so hurtful to me shows you are uglier on the inside than you think I am on the outside.” ❑ ❑ ❑ Dear Abby: My boyfriend and I have been dating for 11 months. He’s 18 and I’m 17. Every date we go on is initiated and planned by me. For once, I’d like to be surprised and swept off my feet by his actually planning a date. I don’t know how to go about this. I want to tell him without hurting his feelings. — Getting a little bored in Quakertown, PA Dear getting a little bored: The basis for a successful relationship is communication. While I don’t advise you to tell your boyfriend that you’re “getting a little bored,” I do think it would be helpful to express that you’d like HIM to plan your dates once or twice a month so you don’t have to do all the work in maintaining the relationship. That’s not hurtful; it’s truthful. ❑ ❑ ❑ 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)

A flyer of the event

A flyer of the event

what’s on today ■ ‘AMG presents Dido & Aeneas’: Ahmadi Music Group (AMG) presents ‘Dido & Aeneas’ by Henry Purcell on Feb 14, 15 and 16 at 7:00 pm at the Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyyah, Maidan Hawalli. For details log on to ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ Qattan art workshop: The Khalifa AlQattan’s Children & Youth Fine Arts Workshop will be held for three days from Feb 14 till Feb 16, Thursday through Saturday at the AbdulAziz Hussain Cultural Center in Mishref, by the co-op. The workshop will take place during the morning from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and afternoon from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Participation age is from 4 to 14 years old and is for free. We only require the young artist to come and draw. The application form is printed behind the painting for easy recognition of the owner of the painting. Each child is allowed one entry only. This is the one that will be judged by the panel of judges who will select the winning paintings. After the paintings are collected, a committee of veterans artists will choose the best paintings of all age groups. The maxi-

mum number is 100 paintings. And since we are against competition, we do not have first, second or third place, all the paintings which have been selected (all 100) are winners! They are all awarded the Khalifa Al-Qattan Certificate of Excellence, a Trophy, and a gift of art supplies during the grand opening of the exhibition. The Khalifa Al-Qattan Children & Youth Fine Arts Exhibition will be held in the same Center in Mujeb Al-Dosary’s Art Hall, on 12th of March at 5:00 pm. ❑ ❑ ❑

Items for the What’s On page can be sent directly to the Arab Times, P.O. Box 2270, 13023, Safat or faxed to 24818267 or e-mail to All items on this page are published as a courtesy to the public. These announcements can include birthday greetings, weddings, social functions or any other non-commercial events. Photographs of all events are welcome.

■ TKK picnic: Tulu Koota Kuwait under the leadership of Ramesh Kidiyoor is proud to announce the “Family Picnic” scheduled to be held today at Mishref Garden from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. 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 ❑ ❑ ❑

■ Remembrance: 15 years of separation could not lessen constant pain and tears, helpless we could not respond to your last call, your untimely departure cannot be forgotten till the day we join you. “Iss Dil Pe Laga Ke Thais, Jaane Woh Kaunsa Des Jahan Tum Chale Gaye.” Nabeel we will Nabeel miss you forever and ever.

emergency number 112

Aqil, Nighat, Nageen, Adil and MS ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ St. Paul’s Anglican Church: St Paul’s Anglican (Episcopal) Church of Kuwait has worship services in English, every Friday at 10:30 am and every Sunday at 6:30 pm at its church building in Ahmadi. The Chinese worship service is also held on Fridays at 10:30 am in Ahmadi. On Saturdays an Anglican worship is held at Hall of Hope No. 2 of NECK in Kuwait city at 5.15 pm. Bible classes for children and teens are held during the Friday worship in Ahmadi. You are invited to come and enjoy the services and fellowship after the worship services. Please visit our website: For more information, you may call 66396539, 23985929 or email at ❑ ❑ ❑ ■ KLT auditions: Auditions for the Kuwait Little Theatre’s (KLT) summer musical ‘Grease’ will be held at the theatre on Friday 15th February 11am – 2pm, Saturday 16th February 3-5pm and Monday Feb 18, from 7-9pm. For more information log on to



Electronic pet with ‘L.i.f.e.’

Tamagotchi back as app

This video game image released by Sega shows a scene from ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines.’ (AP)

‘Don’t run’

‘Colonial Marines’ a joy for ‘Aliens’ fans By John Kosik


ou’re entering a tight corridor filled with menacing shadows. Is that breathing you hear? Well, don’t run. Clanging metal walkways and staircases always give your position away. You might be playing a first- or third-person shooter — or watching the

film “Aliens.” Every science fiction/horror game of the last 20 years — from the granddaddy of them all, Id’s “Doom,” to recent titles such as Electronic Arts’ “Dead Space” series — owes a debt to the first two films in the “Alien” franchise, Ridley Scott’s moody 1979 original and James Cameron’s action-packed 1986

sequel, “Aliens.” “Aliens: Colonial Marines” (Sega, for Xbox360, PS3, $59.99; for PC, $49.99) is the follow-up that fans have been craving. (Forget about “Alien 3” and “Alien: Resurrection.”) Developed by Gearbox Software, maker of the fantastic “Borderlands” series, it offers a strong story that fits

perfectly within the mythology of the franchise. Taking place shortly after the events of Cameron’s sequel, “Colonial Marines” puts you right into the thick of the action on the planet LV-426. You play as Cpl Christopher Winter, who arrives with his Marine unit at the planet in response to a distress call from the

LOS ANGELES, Feb 15, (AP): Tamagotchi is re-hatching as an app. Bandai Co and Sync Beatz Entertainment are hoping to revive the electronic pet craze of the 1990s with a new mobile app launched Thursday for Android devices. The app duplicates the eggshaped plastic toy that became a must-own sensation like Beanie Babies, Tickle Me Elmo and Furby after it was first released in 1996 in Japan. Sync Beatz, which has licensed Tamagotchi from Bandai, is calling the app “Tamagotchi L.i.f.e.” — with “L.i.f.e.” standing for “love is fun everywhere.” Much like the original doodad, the app tasks users with taking care of a virtual pet by pressing buttons that simulate feeding, disciplining and playing with the critter on screen. If a Tamagotchi is neglected, it dies. “The idea was to base the gameplay on the original Tamagotchi that everyone knows and loves,” said Shin Ueno, chief marketing officer at Sync Beatz. “As we move along, every two months, we’ll refresh the app, and it will evolve.” The colorful app, which Ueno said will later be available for Apple devices, features unlockable characters, backgrounds and shells. It’s split between two modes: an old-school one that

USS Sulaco — the ship Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley is aboard at the close of the second film. Your mission is to find out why the Sulaco is still orbiting LV-426. If you can survive the xenomorphs. Some attack you from the ceiling. Some spit acid. Some explode when you get too

This photo shows the app mode screenshot of mobile app ‘Tamagotchi L.i.f.e.’ (AP)

works like the original — right down to three buttons on the shell — and an app mode that utilizes the touchscreen and allows users to play rock, paper, scissors with their pets. The “Tamagotchi L.i.f.e.” app is free, and a version without ads costs 99 cents. While there have been a few Tamagotchi clones available for mobile devices, this marks the first official Tamagotchi app to come from Bandai, which has released updated versions of the toy since the first Tamagotchi hatched 16 years ago.

close. When a face-hugger leaps at you for the first time, it’ll make you jump out of your seat and laugh at the same time. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑ Online:

Cinema Cinema programme from Thursday 14/2/2013 to Wednesday 20/2/2013

Bullet To The Head (Dig)

A Good Day To Die Hard (Dig)

(Silvester Stallone, Jason Momoa)

(Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney)

Sharqia 1

13:30, 00:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Muhalab 1 13:30, 00:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 15:30 (Daily) Fanar 1 18:00, 22:00 (Daily) Marina 2 00:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Avenues 1 12:45 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 17:15, 21:45 (Daily) 00:05 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 360° 7 14:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16:15, 18:30, 20:45, 22:45 (Daily) 00:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Al-Kout 4 20:00 (Daily) 00:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Grand cine 4 13:30, 15:30, 17:30, 20:30, 22:30 (Daily)

Safe Haven (Dig) (Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel) Sharqia 1 Muhalab 1 Fanar 3

15:45, 20:00 (Daily) 17:30, 19:45, 22:00 (Daily) 13:30, 23:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 19:30 (Daily) Marina 1 16:30, 20:45 (Daily) Avenues 5 13:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 18:30 (Daily) Avenues 10 13:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16:00, 18:15, 20:30, 22:45 (Daily) 01:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 360° 9 17:15 (Daily) 360° 11 12:45 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 17:15, 19:30, 21:45 (Daily) 00:05 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Al-Kout 4 13:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 17:30, 22:15 (Daily) Bairaq 2 16:15, 20:30 (Daily) Grand cine 3 14:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:30 (Daily)

Gambit (Dig) (Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz) Sharqia 1 Fanar 1

18:00, 22:30 (Daily) 13:45, 00:05 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 20:00 (Daily) Marina 2 15:45, 22:15 (Daily) Avenues 2 13:15 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15:15, 01:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 17:15, 19:15, 21:15, 23:15 (Daily) 360° 2 14:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16:15, 18:15, 20:15, 22:15 (Daily) 00:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Al-Kout 3 13:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 17:45, 22:00 (Daily) Bairaq 3 13:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 17:30, 21:45 (Daily) Grand cine 2 13:00, 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:15 (Daily) 00:30 (Thu, Fri)

14:15, 00:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 20:15 (Daily) Muhalab 3 14:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18:30, 22:45 (Daily) Fanar 4 16:45, 20:30, 22:30 (Daily) 00:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Marina 3 18:30, 20:30 (Daily) 00:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Avenues 4 12:30, 23:45 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 14:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 17:00, 19:15 (Daily) 21:30 (Sun to Fri) Avenues 11 13:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15:45, 18:00, 20:15, 22:30 (Daily) 00:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 360° 10 13:15 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15:30, 17:45, 20:00, 22:15 (Daily) 00:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 360° 12 12:30 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 14:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 17:00, 21:30 (Daily) 19:15 (Sat to Thu) 23:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 360° 13 13:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16:00, 18:15, 20:30, 22:45 (Daily) 01:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Al-Kout 2 13:00 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 15:00, 01:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 21:00, 23:00 (Daily) Bairaq 2 14:00, 00:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18:30, 22:45 (Daily) Laila 16:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 22:30 (Daily) Grand cine 6 13:00, 15:30, 18:00, 20:15 22:30 (Daily) 00:45 (Thu, Fri) Grand cine GC 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:00 (Daily) 00:15 (Thu, Fri)

How to find us

Sharqia 2

1. 360°

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

2. Ajial

Ajial Complex, Fahaheel

3. Al Bairaq

Between Jaber Al Ali East & Al Agalia West

4. Al Fanar

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

5. Al Kout

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

6. Al Muhalab

Al Muhalab Complex, Behind Hawalli Clinic, Hawalli

7. Al Sharqiya

Arabian Gulf Street, Souq Sharq, near the Amiri Hospital

Sharqia 2 Muhalab 3 Fanar 5

Marina 2 Avenues 5 Avenues 6

360° 1

18:00, 22:30 (Daily) 20:30 (Daily) 00:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 13:00 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 15:15, 00:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 17:30, 19:45, 22:00 (Daily) 13:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 17:45, 20:00 (Daily) 16:00, 21:00 (Daily) 23:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 12:30 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 17:30, 20:00, 22:30 (Daily) 01:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 13:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16:15, 18:45, 21:15 (Daily)

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

Lokpal (Dig-Malayalam) Ajial 4

9. Laila Gallery

Salem Al Mubarak Street, near Sultan Center, Salmiya

Metro 1

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

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

360° 9

Al-Kout 1 Bairaq 1 Plaza Laila Ajial 2

Grand Al-Hamra, tel: 22270333,

23:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 12:30 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 14:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 19:45, 22:15 (Daily) 00:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18:15, 22:30 (Daily) 17:45, 20:00, 22:15 (Daily) 00:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 15:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 21:45 (Sat, Sun, Tue, Wed) 18:00 (Daily) 19:45, 22:00 (Daily)

Mama (Dig) (Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) Sharqia 3

Muhalab 2 Fanar 2

12:30 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 14:30, 01:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 20:45 (Daily) 13:45, 00:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 20:15 (Daily) 14:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon)

(Ivan Okhlobystin, Nyusha) Sharqia 2

18:15, 22:45 (Daily) 12:30 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 23:00 (Daily) 01:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Avenues 3 14:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16:15, 18:30, 20:45, 23:00 (Daily) 01:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 360° 8 13:00 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 00:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 15:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 17:30, 19:45, 22:00 (Daily) Al-Kout 1 20:30 (Daily) 00:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Bairaq 3 19:30 (Daily) 23:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Grand cine 1 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:15 (Daily) 00:30 (Thu, Fri) Marina 1

Broken City (Dig) 16:30, 22:45 (Daily) 15:45, 22:15 (Daily) 16:00, 20:15 (Daily) 00:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Marina 3 22:30 (Daily) Avenues 7 13:00 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15:30, 21:30 (Daily) 00:05 (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) Al-Kout 3 15:30, 19:45 (Daily) 00:05 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Laila 20:15 (Daily) Grand cine 7 13:30, 16:00, 19:45, 22:00 (Daily) 00:15 (Thu, Fri)

Save Your Legs! (Dig) (David Lyons, Brenton Thwaites) Sharqia 3 Muhalab 2 Fanar 3 Marina 1 Avenues 8 360° 5

‘Safe Haven’ starring Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders is now showing in Kuwait cinemas.

Al-Kout 2

18:45 (Daily) 18:00 (Daily) 17:30, 21:45 (Daily) 18:45 (Daily) 18:15, 20:15, 22:15 (Daily) 15:15 (Fri, Sat) 17:15 (Tue to Sun) 19:15, 21:15, 23:15 (Daily)

01:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 19:00 (Daily)

The Guilt Trip (Dig)

(Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen) 16:00 (Daily) Fanar 1 Marina 1 Avenues 1

14:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 15:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 19:30 (Daily) 360° 15 13:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15:45, 18:00, 22:30 (Daily) Al-Kout 2 17:00 (Daily) Grand cine 8 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:15, 22:15 (Daily)

Snowflake, The White Gorilla (Dig) (Claudia Abate, Pere Ponce) Fanar 3 15:45 (Daily) Marina 3 Avenues 8 360° 3 Al-Kout 4 Bairaq 3 Ajial 2

15:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 14:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16:15 (Daily) 13:00 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 17:00, 19:00 (Daily) 15:45 (Daily) 15:30 (Daily) 16:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18:00 (Daily)

Special 26 (Dig) (Hindi) (Kajal Agarwal, Manoj Bajpai) Avenues 7 18:30 (Daily) 360° 14 Ajial 3

17:30 (Daily) 16:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 19:00, 22:00 (Daily)

Warm Bodies (Dig) (Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer) Avenues 8 00:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 360° 15

IMAX Imax film programme at The Scientific Centre Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am Tornado Alley 3D 10:30 am, 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm To The Artic 3D 11:30 am, 3:30 pm Flight of Butterflies 3D 12:30 pm, 6:30 pm Born to be Wild 3D 4:30 pm, 8:30 pm

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


(Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe) Sharqia 3 Muhalab 2 Fanar 2

15:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18:45, 21:45 (Daily) 15:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18:30, 21:30 (Daily)


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

15. Grand Cinemas

18:30 (Daily) 21:45 (Thu, Fri, Mon) 15:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18:30, 21:30 (Daily) 15:45, 22:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18:45 (Daily) 21:45 (Sun, Tue, Wed)

(Mohanlal, Kavya Madhavan)

Abraq Khaitan, off the Old Airport Road

The Snow Queen (Dig-3D) 12:30 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 16:15 (Daily) Muhalab 3 13:00 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 16:45 (Daily) Fanar 4 13:00 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 15:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 18:45 (Daily) Marina 3 13:15 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 16:45 (Daily) Avenues 9 13:00 (Thu, Sat, Mon, Tue) 15:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 17:00, 19:00 (Daily) 360° 5 13:15 (Sat) 360° 6 14:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00 (Daily) Al-Kout 1 12:45 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 14:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 16:30 (Daily) Bairaq 1 12:30 (Thu, Sat, Mon) 14:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 16:00 (Daily) Grand cine 5 13:00, 14:00 (Daily)

20:30 (Daily) 23:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon)

8. Granada

3Ala Gosety (Dig) (Ahmed Helmi, Ghada Adel, Edward, Hasan Hosny)

(Vivek Oberoi, Neha Sharma) 14:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue) 360° 14

20:15 (Daily) 00:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon)

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Dig-3D) (Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton) Avenues 9 20:45, 22:45 (Daily) 00:45 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) 360° 3 21:00, 23:00 (Daily) 360° 6 00:05 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Grand cine 5 17:00, 20:30, 22:30 (Daily)

Jayanta Bhai Ki Luv Story (Dig-Hindi)

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

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

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

Friday Fires of Kuwait 2:30 pm Tornado Alley 3D 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 8:30 pm To The Arctic 3D 4:30 pm, 7:30 pm Born to be Wild 3D 6:30 pm Flight of Butterflies 3D 9:30 pm

Saturday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am Flight of Butterflies 3D 10:30 am, 1:30 pm, 8:30 pm Tornado Alley 3D 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm To The Arctic 3D 12:30 pm, 6:30 pm Born to be Wild 3D 3:30 pm Journey to Mecca 4:30 pm 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

TiVo partners with Flingo, adds apps from Showtime, TMZ NEW YORK, Feb 15, (RTRS): Select TiVo customers will now have access to more than 70 streaming on-demand video applications from the likes of Showtime and TMZ courtesy of a new deal with Flingo, a leading publisher of apps for Smart TVs. TiVO has integrated Flingo’s LaunchPad video platform into the latest versions of its new set-top box, Premiere. The apps on that

platform include everything from recaps of Showtime TV shows like “Homeland” to new videos from Funny or Die to recipe demonstrations form Saveur. “People are demanding access to online streaming content from the comfort of their own living room, and TiVo’s offerings has evolved to support that demand,” Tara Maitra, SVP and general manager of content & media sales at TiVo, said in a

statement Thursday announcing the deal. “Flingo’s platform and wide range of apps makes it possible for TiVo to offer even more choices to our viewers, and we’re excited to work with Flingo.” TiVo will use LaunchPad to replace its own platform called TivoCast. Flingo’s dozens of apps will be available to the roughly three million customers with the new Premiere box, but not for customers

who get TiVo through their regular cable company. Anyone with the box can access the web video from the main TiVO menu. “TiVo is still one of the most successful standalone set-top box companies,” Flingo CEO Ashwin Navin told TheWrap. “They’ve turned the corner in terms of being able to coexist with cable companies and we were brought in to revamp their web video platform. Anyone with web

video can now publish an app to TiVo very quickly and monetize it.” While Flingo marks itself as a publisher of apps for Smart TVs, it also makes them available for settop boxes like TiVo and Roku. Flingo’s apps now span about 20 million households, as it has partnered with almost every major Smart TV manufacturer and the settop box crowd. Though Navin co-founded his

company as a believer in the Smart TV revolution, he acknowledged it has yet to materialize. “The Smart TV moment has been a big disappointment because Smart TV sits in a separate bucket from traditional TV. That’s a mistake,” Navin said. “Smart interface is one that identifies content and brings relevant content from the web into your viewing experience without leaving traditional TV.”

tv highlights Animal Planet 06:00 Call Of The Wildman 06:20 Escape To Chimp Eden 06:45 Michaela's Animal Road Trip 07:35 Wildlife SOS 08:00 Meerkat Manor 08:25 Dogs 101 09:15 Crocodile Hunter 10:10 Michaela's Animal Road Trip 11:05 Monkey Life 11:30 Dick 'n' Dom Go Wild 12:00 Extraordinary Dogs 12:25 The Really Wild Show 12:55 Wildest Arctic 13:50 Wildest India 14:45 Wildest India 15:40 Wildest India 16:35 Wildest Arctic 17:30 Wildest Arctic 18:25 Wildest Arctic 19:20 Wild France 20:15 Wild France 21:10 How Sharks Hunt 22:05 Wildest Arctic 23:00 My Cat From Hell 23:55 Karina: Wild On Safari 00:20 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 00:50 Untamed & Uncut 01:45 How Sharks Hunt 02:35 Animal Cops Houston 03:25 Wildest Arctic 04:15 My Cat From Hell 05:05 Karina: Wild On Safari 05:30 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 05:55 Animal Cops Houston

BBC Lifestyle 05:45 Living In The Sun 06:35 Homes Under The Hammer 07:30 Homes Under The Hammer 08:20 Homes Under The Hammer 09:10 Homes Under The Hammer 10:00 Homes Under The Hammer 10:55 The Boss Is Coming To Dinner 11:15 The Boss Is Coming To Dinner 11:40 Come Dine With Me 12:30 Come Dine With Me: South Africa 13:25 Rick Stein's Spain 14:20 New Scandinavian Cooking 14:50 The Hairy Bikers USA 15:15 The Hairy Bikers USA 15:40 Antiques Roadshow 16:30 Bargain Hunt 17:15 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 18:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 19:55 Come Dine With Me: Supersize 21:30 Come Dine With Me: South Africa 22:25 Antiques Roadshow 23:15 Bargain Hunt 00:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 01:20 Homes Under The Hammer 02:10 Homes Under The Hammer 03:00 Homes Under The Hammer 03:50 Homes Under The Hammer 04:45 Homes Under The Hammer 05:35 Rick Stein's Spain 06:25 New Scandinavian Cooking


Boomerang 06:00 Bananas In Pyjamas 06:25 Gerald McBoing Boing 06:45 Jelly Jamm 07:00 Lazy Town 09:00 Krypto The Superdog 09:25 Bananas In Pyjamas 09:40 Cartoonito Tales 09:55 Ha Ha Hairies 10:10 Jelly Jamm 10:25 Gerald McBoing Boing 10:45 Lazy Town 11:05 Krypto The Superdog 11:30 Baby Looney Tunes 11:55 Ha Ha Hairies 12:20 Jelly Jamm 12:45 Gerald McBoing Boing 13:10 Lazy Town 13:35 Krypto The Superdog 14:00 The Garfield Show 14:50 Pink Panther And Pals 15:15 Pink Panther And Pals 15:40 Tom And Jerry Tales 16:30 Taz-Mania 16:55 Taz-Mania 17:20 Johnny Bravo 18:10 Dexter's Laboratory 19:00 Looney Tunes 19:30 Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries 19:55 Taz-Mania 20:20 The Looney Tunes Show 20:45 Tom & Jerry 21:00 The Garfield Show 21:25 Pink Panther And Pals 21:50 What's New Scooby-Doo? 22:15 Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries 22:40 Puppy In My Pocket 23:05 The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop 23:30 The Addams Family 23:55 Droopy: Master Detective 00:20 Yogi's Treasure Hunt 00:45 Duck Dodgers 01:10 Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries 01:35 Dastardly And Muttley 02:00 Popeye 02:25 Wacky Races 02:50 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 03:15 The Flintstones 03:40 The Jetsons 04:00 What's New Scooby Doo? 04:20 Taz-Mania 04:45 The Looney Tunes Show 05:10 Tom & Jerry Tales 05:35 Johnny Bravo 06:00 Bananas In Pyjamas

Cartoon Network

Disney XD

E! Entertainment

06:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 06:25 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 06:40 Suite Life On Deck 07:05 A.N.T. Farm 07:30 Wizards Of Waverly Place 07:55 Phineas And Ferb 08:05 Phineas And Ferb 08:20 Fish Hooks 08:45 Good Luck Charlie 09:10 Shake It Up 09:35 Shake It Up 10:00 Austin And Ally 10:25 A.N.T. Farm 10:50 Gravity Falls 11:15 Frenemies 12:40 Phineas And Ferb 12:55 Wizards Of Waverly Place 13:20 Suite Life On Deck 13:45 Good Luck Charlie 14:10 Gravity Falls 14:35 Phineas And Ferb 14:45 Phineas And Ferb 15:00 Prank Stars 15:10 Prank Stars 15:25 Shake It Up 15:50 Shake It Up 16:15 Jessie 16:40 A.N.T. Farm 17:00 Cheetah Girls 18:20 Prank Stars 18:30 Prank Stars 18:45 Phineas And Ferb 18:55 Phineas And Ferb 19:10 Wizards Of Waverly Place 19:35 Shake It Up 20:00 Austin And Ally 20:25 Prank Stars 20:35 Prank Stars 20:50 A.N.T. Farm 21:15 Jessie 21:40 Jessie 22:05 Good Luck Charlie 22:30 Good Luck Charlie 22:55 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 23:20 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 23:45 Stitch 00:10 Stitch 00:35 A Kind Of Magic 01:00 A Kind Of Magic 01:25 Replacements 01:50 Replacements 02:15 Emperor's New School 02:40 Emperor's New School 03:05 A Kind Of Magic 03:30 A Kind Of Magic 03:55 Replacements 04:20 Replacements 04:45 Emperor's New School 05:10 Emperor's New School 05:35 A Kind Of Magic 06:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 10:15 THS 11:10 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Scouted 14:05 Giuliana & Bill 15:00 Giuliana & Bill 16:00 Opening Act 17:00 Opening Act 18:00 E! News 19:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 20:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:00 Married To Jonas 21:30 Fashion Police 22:30 E! News 23:30 Chelsea Lately 00:00 Dirty Soap 00:55 Style Star 01:25 E! Investigates 02:20 E! Investigates 04:10 THS 05:05 Extreme Close-Up 05:30 Extreme Close-Up 06:00 THS

Disney Junior

BBC World 06:00 BBC World News 06:10 Weekend World 06:30 The Bottom Line 07:00 BBC World News 07:10 Football Focus 07:30 Horizons 08:00 BBC World News 08:10 My Country 09:00 BBC World News 09:10 World Features 09:30 Newsnight 10:00 BBC World News 10:10 Weekend World 10:30 Our World 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 Equestrian World 12:00 BBC World News 12:15 Sport Today 12:30 Fast Track 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 Dateline London 14:00 BBC World News 14:10 World Features 14:30 Changing Fortunes 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 Our World 16:00 BBC World News 16:30 Final Score 17:00 BBC World News 17:30 Fast Track 18:00 BBC World News 18:15 Sport

MBC Action

Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery 21:00 Just Married 23:00 Pathfinder 02:00 The Omen 03:00 The Boondock Saints pII: All Saints Day 05:00 Stakeout

08:30 Australia 11:00 The Astronaut's Wife 13:00 Accepted 15:00 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 17:00 The Last Airbender 19:00

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 23:15 A Poem Is... 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

Disney Channel

00:00 NEWSHOUR 01:00 News 01:30 Counting the Cost 02:00 NEWSHOUR 03:00 News 03:30 Inside Story 04:00 Revolution Through Arab Eyes 05:00 NEWSHOUR 06:00 News 06:30 101 East 07:00 News 07:30 Talk To Al Jazeera 08:00 News 08:30 News 09:00 Witness 10:00 News 10:30 Inside Story 11:00 News 11:30 Listening Post 12:00 News 12:30 Counting the Cost 13:00 NEWSHOUR 14:00 News 14:30 Inside Story 15:00 The Cafe 16:00 NEWSHOUR 17:00 News 17:30 South2North 18:00 NEWSHOUR 19:00 News 19:30 People & Power 20:00 News 20:30 Inside Syria 21:00 NEWSHOUR 22:00 News 22:30 Listening Post 23:00 Al Jazeera World


— See Page 44 —

07:00 Pokemon: BW Rival Destinies 07:20 Kick Buttowski 07:45 Phineas And Ferb 08:10 Rekkit Rabbit 08:35 Lab Rats 09:00 Ultimate Spider-Man 09:30 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 09:55 Kickin It 10:20 Crash & Bernstein 10:45 Pair Of Kings 11:10 Mr. Young 11:35 Scaredy Squirrel 12:00 Slugterra 12:30 Phineas And Ferb 12:40 Phineas And Ferb 13:00 Toy Story 14:20 Almost Naked Animals 14:35 Phineas And Ferb 14:45 Phineas And Ferb 15:00 Kickin It 15:25 Fort Boyard - Ultimate Challenge 15:50 Lab Rats 16:15 Slugterra 16:40 Mr. Young 17:05 Almost Naked Animals 17:30 Crash & Bernstein 17:55 Pair Of Kings 18:20 Kickin It 18:45 Kickin It 19:10 Kickin It 19:35 Lab Rats 20:00 My Babysitter's A Vampire 20:25 Zeke & Luther 20:50 Mr. Young 21:15 Lion King 2 22:35 Scaredy Squirrel 22:47 Cars Toons 22:55 Kick Buttowski 23:20 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 07:00 Pokemon: BW Rival Destinies


09:00 Cold Case 09:45 CSI 10:30 Bones 11:15 Most Daring 12:00 WWE Superstars 13:00 CSI 13:45 Cold Case 14:30 Bones 15:30 Action Ya Dawry 16:30 V For Vendetta 18:00 Hawaii Five-O 19:00 Knockout Sportsworld 20:00 Final Destination 22:00 Action Ya Dawry 00:00 Batman Begins 02:00 Action Ya Dawry 04:00 Final Destination 05:30 Knockout Sportsworld 06:30 Eureka 07:45 Bones 08:15 Human Target

Sports TV listings

06:05 American Guns 07:00 Mythbusters 07:50 Magic Of Science 08:15 Time Warp 08:45 Life On A Wire 09:40 Ultimate Air Jaws 10:30 Ultimate Survival 11:25 Animal Cops South Africa 12:20 Gold Rush 13:15 Gold Rush 14:10 Gold Rush 15:05 Gold Rush 16:00 Gold Rush 16:55 Gold Rush 17:50 Fast N' Loud 18:45 Around The World In 80 Ways 19:40 Gold Divers 20:35 Sons Of Guns 21:30 Auction Kings 21:55 Auction Kings 22:25 Auction Kings 22:50 Auction Kings 23:20 Auction Kings 23:45 Auction Kings 00:15 Auction Kings 00:40 Auction Kings 01:10 Auction Kings 01:35 Auction Kings 02:05 How It's Made 02:30 How Do They Do It? 03:00 How It's Made 03:25 How Do They Do It? 03:55 How It's Made 04:20 How Do They Do It? 04:50 How It's Made 05:15 How Do They Do It? 05:40 How It's Made 06:05 How Do They Do It?

Discovery Channel

06:00 Watching The Detectives 07:00

Crime & Investigation


Murder Casebook With Fred Dinenage 08:00 The FBI Files 09:00 Psychic Detectives 09:30 Psychic Detectives 10:00 Crime Stories 11:00 Crime Town USA 11:30 Crime Town USA 12:00 Crime Town USA 12:30 SWAT 13:30 Crimes Of Passion 14:00 Snapped: Women Who Kill 14:30 Snapped: Women Who Kill 15:00 Snapped: Women Who Kill 15:30 Snapped: Women Who Kill 16:00 The FBI Files 17:00 Psychic Detectives 17:30 Psychic Detectives 18:00 Crime Stories 19:00 The Devil You Know 20:00 The Devil You Know 21:00 Crime Stories 22:00 I Didn't Do It 23:00 I Survived 00:00 Psychic Detectives 00:30 Psychic Detectives 01:00 The Wolf Man 02:00 Snapped: Women Who Kill 02:30 Snapped: Women Who Kill 03:00 Psychic Detectives 03:30 Psychic Detectives 04:00 I Survived 05:00 The Wolf Man 06:00 I Didn't Do It

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 Jungle Junction 08:30 Little Einsteins 08:55 Lazytown 09:20 Imagination Movers 09:45 Timmy Time 09:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 10:20 The Hive 10:30 Doc McStuffins 10:45 Zou 11:00 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 11:15 Cars Toons 11:20 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 11:45 Art Attack 12:10 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies 12:35 Lilo And Stitch 13:10 Timmy Time 13:20 The Hive 13:30 Doc McStuffins 13:45 Doc McStuffins 14:00 Zou 14:15 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 14:30 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 14:55 Minnie's Bow Toons 15:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 15:15 Cars Toons 15:30 Minnie's Bow Toons 15:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 16:00 Minnie's Bow Toons 16:05 The Hive 16:20 Mouk 16:35 Zou 16:50 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 17:05 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 17:20 Doc McStuffins 17:35 Doc McStuffins 17:45 Art Attack 18:10 Lazytown 18:40 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 19:05 Mouk 19:20 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 19:35 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 20:00 Cars Toons 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 Zou 21:30 Mouk

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 Grim Adventures Of... 08:45 Total Drama Island 09:10 Total Drama Island 09:35 Ben 10: Ultimate Challenge 09:55 Level Up 10:15 Transformers Prime 10:35 Ben 10: Omniverse 11:00 Thundercats 11:25 Mucha Lucha 11:50 Adventure Time 12:40 Regular Show 13:35 The Amazing World Of Gumball 14:20 Johnny Test 15:10 Total Drama Island 15:35 Total Drama Island 16:00 Level Up 16:25 Level Up 16:50 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 17:15 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 17:40 Transformers Prime 18:30 Hero 108 18:55 Hero 108 19:20 The Amazing World Of Gumball 19:45 Adventure Time 20:35 Regular Show 21:00 Mucha Lucha 21:25 Total Drama Island 21:50 Total Drama Island 22:15 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


tv today

OSN Movies Action HD 06:00 Bending The Rules 08:00 True Justice: Street Wars 10:00 Sucker Punch 12:00 Goal! 14:00 True Justice: Street Wars 16:00 Biker Boyz 18:00 Goal! 20:00 Get Rich Or Die Tryin' 22:00 Interview With A Hitman 00:00 Dread 02:00 Get Rich Or Die Tryin' 04:00 True Justice: Street Wars 06:00 Goal!

OSN Cinema 05:00 The Wild Thornberrys Movie 07:00

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 Chef Hunter 23:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 23:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:40 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:30 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 01:55 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 02:20 Unwrapped 02:45 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:10 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:20 Kid In A Candy Store 04:50 Unique Sweets 05:15 Charly's Cake Angels 05:40 Chopped 06:30 Iron Chef America

Fox TV 06:00 The Block 07:00 Baby TV 08:00 Ugly Betty 09:00 Ugly Betty 10:00 October Road 11:00 The Listener 12:00 The Listener 12:30 Movie: No Problem 15:00 Movie: 12 Men Of Christmas 17:00 Scrubs 18:30 CSI Miami 18:30 The Block 19:15 Al Qalb Al Maftooh 20:00 MasterChef Australia 21:00 Happy Endings 21:30 Happy Endings 22:00 Scrubs 22:30 CSI Miami 23:30 MasterChef Australia 00:30 Al Qalb Al Maftooh 01:30 Modern Family 02:00 Modern Family 02:30 Happy Endings 03:00 Happy Endings 03:30 Ghost Whisperer 04:30 CSI Miami 05:30 Modern Family 06:00 Modern Family

Investigation Discovery 06:20 Ghost Lab 07:10 Murder Shift 08:00

Today 18:30 Click 19:00 BBC World News 19:10 My Country 20:00 BBC World News 20:30 Dateline London 21:00 BBC World News 21:30 BBC World News 22:00 BBC World News 22:10 World Features 22:30 Middle East Business Report 23:00 BBC World News 23:10 World Features 23:30 Equestrian World 00:00 BBC World News 00:30 Dateline London 01:00 BBC World News 01:10 My Country 02:00 BBC World News 02:30 Newsnight 03:00 BBC World News 03:30 Click 04:00 BBC World News 04:30 India Business Report 05:00 BBC World News 05:30 Fast Track 06:00 BBC World News

CNN International 06:00 Quest Means Business 06:45 CNN

The Tourist 09:00 Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer 11:00 Eva 13:00 A Dog Named Duke 15:00 33 Postcards 17:00 Something Borrowed 19:00 Hanna 21:00 Cowboys & Aliens 23:00 Dirty Girl 01:00 Something Borrowed 03:00 Eva 05:00 A Dog Named Duke

OSN Movies Comedy 06:00 The Search For Santa Paws 08:00 The Family Stone 10:00 Desperately Seeking Santa 12:00 Below The Beltway 14:00 The Tooth Fairy 2 16:00 Desperately Seeking Santa 18:00 Morning Glory 20:00 The Dilemma 22:00 Loser 00:00 MacGruber 02:00 The Dilemma 04:00 Morning Glory 06:00 Desperately Seeking Santa

Killer Outbreaks 08:50 Street Patrol 09:15 Street Patrol 09:40 Real Emergency Calls 10:05 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 10:30 On The Case With Paula Zahn 11:20 Murder Shift 12:10 Disappeared 13:00 Killer Outbreaks 13:50 Street Patrol 14:15 Street Patrol 14:40 Forensic Detectives 15:30 On The Case With Paula Zahn 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 On The Case With Paula Zahn 20:30 Disappeared 21:20 Nightmare Next Door 22:10 Couples Who Kill 23:00 Blood Relatives 23:50 I Married A Mobster 00:15 I Married A Mobster 00:40 Evil, I 01:05 Evil, I 01:30 Ghost Lab 02:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 03:05 Blood Relatives 03:55 I Married A Mobster 04:20 I Married A Mobster 04:45 Evil, I 05:10 Evil, I 05:30 Ghost Lab 06:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner

ITV Granada 06:00 Doc Martin 07:00 The Jonathan Ross Show 2013 08:00 60 Minute Makeover 09:00 Emmerdale 11:00 Coronation Street 13:00 60 Minute Makeover 14:00 White Van Man 14:30 Miranda 15:00 Doc Martin 16:00 The Jonathan Ross Show 2013 17:00 Sorority Girls 18:00 Are You An Egghead? 19:00 Britain's Best Dish - Celebrity Special 20:00 Dancing On Ice & Skate Off 22:00 Coach Trip 00:00 Seven Dwarves 01:00 Sorority Girls 02:00 Are You An Egghead? 03:00 Britain's Best Dish - Celebrity Special 04:00 Dancing On Ice & Skate Off 06:00 Coach Trip

Nat Geo Adventure HD 06:15 Walking The World 07:10 Departures 08:05 Departures 09:00 Treks In A Wild World 09:55 Treks In A Wild World 10:50 Amish: Out of Order 11:45 Travel Madness 12:10 Travel Madness 12:40 On Surfari 13:05 On Surfari 13:35 David Rocco's Dolce Vita 2 14:00 David Rocco's Dolce Vita 2 14:30 Amish: Out of Order 15:25 Banged Up Abroad 16:20 Departures 17:15 Treks In A Wild World 18:10 Treks In A Wild World 19:05 Bondi Rescue 19:30 Bondi Rescue 20:00 Walking The World 21:00 Departures 22:00 Don't Tell My Mother 22:55 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 23:50 By Any Means 00:45 Market Values 01:10 Market Values 01:40 Into The Drink 02:05 Into The Drink 02:35 Ultimate Traveller 03:30 David Rocco's Dolce Vita 2 03:55 David Rocco's Dolce Vita 2 04:25 One Man & His Campervan 04:50 Street Food Around The World 05:20 Amish: Out of Order 06:15 On Surfari

Nat Geo Channel HD 06:00 Naked Science S2.5 07:00 Nordic Wild 08:00 Jurassic C.S.I. 09:00 Nefertiti's Odyssey 10:00 Darwin's Lost Voyage 11:00 Animal Mega Moves 12:00 Shark Men 13:00 Departures 14:00 Naked Science S2.5 15:00 Access 360° World Heritage 16:00 Jurassic C.S.I. 17:00 Diving The Labyrinth 18:00 Hunt for the Giant Squid 19:00 Into The Crystal Cave 20:00 Shark Men 21:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 22:00 Naked Science S2.5 23:00 World's Deadliest Animals 00:00 Great Migrations 01:00 Megastructures 02:00 Engineering Connections 03:00 Jurassic C.S.I. 04:00 Shark Men 05:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 06:00 Naked Science S2.5

Nat Geo Wild HD 06:30 Hooked 07:25 Megafish 08:20 Caught In The Act 09:15 World's Deadliest Animals 10:10 Ultimate Animal Countdown 11:05 Man v. Monster 12:00 Dangerous Encounters 13:00 Secret Brazil 14:00 World's Deadliest Animals 15:00 Man v. Monster 16:00 Animal Intervention 17:00 Unlikely Animal Friends 18:00 Ultimate Animal Countdown 19:00 Dangerous Encounters 20:00 Secret Brazil 21:00 World's Deadliest Animals 22:00 Man v. Monster 23:00 Animal Intervention 00:00 Unlikely Animal Friends 01:00 Ultimate Animal Countdown 01:55 Bears Of Fear Island 02:50 Ultimate Animal Countdown 03:45 The Pack 04:40 Man v. Monster 05:35 Kenny And Zoltan's Venom Quest 06:30 Dangerous Encounters

NDTV Good Times 06:00 Tele Shopping 06:30 Yogacity 07:00 Chakh Le India 07:30 Ten Things To Do Around The World 08:00 Ten Things To Do Around The World 08:30 Whatever Whenever Wherever 09:00 Great Drives 09:30 The Muse 10:00 Travelling Diva 10:30 Vicky Goes Veg 11:00 2 For The Road 11:30 Lock Stock And Two Smoking Tikkas 12:00 Confessions Of A Travel Bag 12:30 Love Bite With Joey 13:00 Chakh Le India – Kacha Rasta 13:30 Highway On My Plate 14:00 Yoga City 14:30 I am Too Sexy For My Shoes 15:00 Tech Grandmasters 2 15:30 Tech Grandmasters 2 16:00 Whatever Whenever Wherever 16:30 Model TV Classic 17:00 Chakah Le India –

Marketplace Africa 07:00 The Situation Room 08:00 World Sport 08:30 Cnngo 09:00 World Report 09:15 CNN Marketplace Africa 09:30 Backstory 10:00 World Report 10:15 CNN Marketplace Middle East 10:30 Business Traveller 11:00 World Sport 11:30 Mainsail 12:00 The Best Of The Situation Room 13:00 Amanpour 13:30 The Brief 14:00 World Report 14:30 Inside Africa 15:00 Talk Asia 15:30 Eco Solutions 16:00 World Report 16:30 Inside The Middle East 17:00 News Special 17:30 Backstory 18:00 International Desk 18:30 African Voices 19:00 CNN Marketplace Europe 19:15 CNN Marketplace Africa 19:30 The Brief 20:00 World Sport 20:30 Living Golf 21:00 International Desk

Kacha Rasta 17:30 Highway On My Plate 18:00 Vicky Goes Foreign – Canada Tadka 18:30 Royal Reservation Project Living 19:00 Gadget Guru 19:30 Heavy Petting 20:00 CCL Glam Night 2013 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 00:30 Tele Shopping 01:00 Tele Shopping 01:30 Tele Shopping 02:00 Tele Shopping 02:30 Tele Shopping 03:00 Tele Shopping 03:30 Tele Shopping 04:00 Tele Shopping 04:30 Tele Shopping 05:00 Tele Shopping 05:30 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 Parks And Recreation 09:30 30 Rock 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 2 Broke Girls 14:30 Modern Family 15:00 30 Rock 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 Parks And Recreation 18:30 Baby Daddy 19:00 The Neighbors 19:30 Modern Family 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live 23:00 Veep 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Saturday Night Live 02:30 Veep 03:00 Parks And Recreation 03:30 Baby Daddy 04:00 Less Than Perfect 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Less Than Perfect 06:00 Seinfeld

OSN First 05:00 Good Morning America 08:00 Emmerdale 08:30 Coronation Street 09:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 10:00 Jane By Design 12:00 American Idol 13:00 Glee 14:00 Jane By Design 15:00 Smash 16:00 Live Good Morning America 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Top Gear (US) 20:00 Criminal Minds 21:00 C.S.I. Miami 22:00 Strike Back 00:00 Criminal Minds 01:00 C.S.I. Miami 02:00 Strike Back 03:00 Top Gear (US) 05:00 Jane By Design 06:00 Good Morning America

OSN Aksyon TV 05:45 Metro Sabado 07:45 Bilang Tao 08:00 Sagupaan! UFL Philippines Playoff Series 12:00 Dekalibre 12:30 Balitang 60 13:30 Rescue 5 14:00 PBA Games 16:30 Aksyon 17:00 PXC 35 20:00 Pinoy Explorer 21:00 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 01:00 Aksyon 01:30 Astig 01:45 Balitang Alas Singko 02:45 Buhay OFW 03:00 Kung May Hirap, May Ginhawa 04:00 PXC 35 06:30 Pinoy Explorer

OSN GMA Life TV 06:25 Tim Yap Show 06:40 Home Base 07:05 Golden Heart 07:35 When All Is Gone 08:05 Kusina Master 08:30 Quickfire 08:40 Sarap At Home 08:50 Pinoy Sine Klasika 10:30 Balitanghali 11:10 Aha! 11:35 Sarap Diva 12:15 Day Off 12:50 Today With Francis 13:20 Reel Life 15:10 Balitanghali 15:50 Let's Fiesta 16:40 Fashbook 17:05 Weekend Getaway 17:40 Sarap Diva 18:20 Day Off 19:00 Kausaban: The 700 Club Bisaya 20:00 Reel Life 22:00 Taste Buddies 22:30 Fashbook 23:00 Ang Pinaka 23:40 Go Negosyo 00:00 Balitanghali 00:40 PJM Forum 01:10 My Chubby World 01:35 Tropang Pochi 02:00 Pinoy M.D. 02:40 Sarap Diva 03:20 Pop Talk 03:50 Let's Fiesta 04:35 Golden Heart Weekend Catch-Up 06:40 Reel Life

OSN GMA Pinoy TV 05:10 24th DIBT "Game 3" 07:25 Para Sa'yo Ang Laban Na Ito 08:25 Magpakailanman 09:25 Indio Marathon 12:00 Eat Bulaga 14:05 Startalk 15:35 Idol SA Kusina 16:10 Bubble Gang 17:10 24 Oras Weekend 18:10 Pepito Manaloto, Ang Tunay Na Kuwento 19:05 Eat Bulaga 21:20 Startalk 22:50 Celebrity Bluff 23:40 24 Oras 00:20 Walang Tulugan W/ Master Showman 02:05 Idol SA Kusina 02:40 Bubble Gang 03:40 Wish Ko lang 04:25 Family TV Mass 05:25 Temptation Of Wife Marathon

OSN Kapatid TV5 06:00 Ang Latest 06:30 Game 'n Go All Stars 08:30 Alabang Housewives 09:00 Jeepney Jackpot: Pera O Para 09:30 Wow Mali 10:30 Face To Face 11:30 Ang Latest 12:00 Never Say Goodbye 12:45 Kidlat 13:30 Wowowillie 15:30 Cocktales 16:00 Balwarte 17:00 Pinoy Explorer 18:00 Kwentong Kanto 18:15 Aksyon 18:45 Wowowillie 20:45 Kanta Pilipinas 21:45 Ang Latest 22:15 Pilipinas News 22:45 Rescue 5 23:00 Face To Face 00:00 Ang

21:30 Inside Africa 22:00 International Desk 22:30 Cnngo 23:00 The Best Of The Situation Room 00:00 World Report 00:30 News Special 01:00 Mainsail 01:30 World Sport 02:00 World Report 02:30 Talk Asia 03:00 World Report 03:30 Amanpour 04:00 CNN Marketplace Europe 04:15 CNN Marketplace Africa 04:30 The Brief 05:00 CNN Presents 06:00 CNN Newsroom

OSN News 06:00 MSNBC The Last Word W/ Lawrence O'Donnell 07:00 NBC Nightly News 07:30 ABC World News With Diane Sawyer 08:00 NBC Nightly News 08:38 ABC Nightline 09:06 MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 10:00 MSNBC The Ed

OSN Movies Festival

04:00 Jane Eyre 06:00 Unmatched

05:00 The Insider 07:30 Sunny And The Elephant 09:15 Oceans 11:00 The Eagle 13:00 Restless 15:00 Oceans 17:00 Boy 19:00 The King's Speech 21:00 Black Swan 23:00 Seabiscuit 01:15 The Last Gamble 03:15 Black Swan 05:00 The King's Speech

OSN Movies Kids

OSN Movies HD 06:00 The Birth Of Big Air 07:30 Tim Richmond: To The Limit 09:00 Happy Feet Two 10:45 New Year's Eve 12:45 Jane Eyre 14:45 Backwash 16:15 Happy Feet Two 18:00 Source Code 20:00 Waiting For Forever 22:00 A Dangerous Method 00:00 A Little Bit Of Heaven 02:00 Source Code

06:00 Arrietty 08:00 Maroons 10:00 Cheaper By The Dozen 11:45 Sammy's Adventure: The Secret Passage 13:15 Princess Lillifee 14:30 Snow Day 16:15 Olentzero Christmas Tale 18:00 Cheaper By The Dozen 20:00 The Adventures Of Don Quixote 22:00 Princess Lillifee 23:30 Olentzero Christmas Tale 01:00 Maroons 02:45 The Adventures Of Don Quixote 04:30 Olentzero Christmas Tale 06:00 Princess Lillifee

OSN Premiere 06:00 Ice Dreams 08:00 Rising Stars 10:00 12 Dates Of Christmas 12:00 The

Latest 00:30 Cocktales 01:00 Pilipinas News 01:25 Reaksyon 01:45 Untold Stories 02:30 Takeout 02:45 Balwarte 04:15 Kidlat 07:45 Pilipinas News

OSN MnITV 06:30 NBI Files 07:30 The Daily Top 10 08:30 Prototaloy 09:30 Honorabol 11:30 Ikaw SA Puso Ko 13:00 M&L Presents 15:00 Sha Mismo 16:00 The OPM Show 16:30 Stop, Talk And Listen 17:30 Soundcheck 18:00 M&L Libre 20:00 Bida Cinema Gold 22:00 Soundcheck 22:30 Go Channel 23:00 Especially For You 23:30 The Daily Top 10 00:30 The OPM Show 01:00 Stop, Talk And Listen 02:00 Bida Cinema Gold 04:00 Kalipay SA Kasakit 04:30 Honorabol 05:00 The Daily Top 10 05:30 Mustard Seed 06:30 Ikaw SA Puso Ko

OSN Pinoy Extreme 05:00 Greatest Games MVP 07:00 Stoplight TV 08:00 PBA Classics 10:00 Road To Bakbakan 11:00 Greatest Games MVP 13:00 PBA Greatest Games 15:00 Road To Bakbakan 16:00 Inside Grand Prix 16:30 Motoring Canada 17:00 Greatest Games MVP 19:00 PBA Classics 21:00 Inside Grand Prix 21:30 Motoring Canada 22:00 Road To Bakbakan 23:00 Greatest Games MVP 01:00 PBA Classics 03:00 Oras Ng Himala 04:00 Tukaan 05:00 Greatest Games MVP

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

The Style Network 06:10 Chicagolicious 07:05 The Amandas 08:00 Videofashion News 08:30 Videofashion News 09:00 Videofashion Daily 10:00 Big Rich Texas 10:55 Big Rich Texas 11:50 The Amandas 12:50 The Amandas 13:50 Giuliana & Bill 14:45 Giuliana & Bill 15:45 Giuliana & Bill 16:40 Giuliana & Bill 17:35 How Do I Look? 18:30 How Do I Look? 19:25 Big Boutique In The City 19:55 Big Boutique In The City 20:25 Designer Marathon 21:20 Designer Marathon 22:15 Tia And Tamera 23:10 Tia And Tamera 00:05 Fashion Police 01:00 Videofashion Specials 01:30 Videofashion Specials 02:00 Chicagolicious 02:55 Videofashion Daily 03:50 Big Boutique In The City 04:20 Jerseylicious 05:15 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 06:10 Married Away

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

TFC Kapamilya Channel 2 06:00 Salamat Dok 07:00 Kabuhayang Swak na Swak 07:30 Honey Watch Out 08:00 I Got It 08:30 Ni Hao Kai Lan 08:50 El Tigre 09:15 Planet Sheen 09:35 Spongebob Squarepants 10:00 Be Careful With My Heart Sabado Rewind 12:00 It's Showtime 15:00 Showbiz Inside Report 16:00 Soco 16:45 Failon Ngayon 17:30 TV Patrol Weekend 18:00 Kapamilya Deal or No Deal 18:45 Wansapanataym 20:00 Maalaala Mo Kaya 21:30 Toda Max 22:30 Banana Split 23:30 The Bottomline 00:30 Sports Unlimited 06:00 The Healing Eucharist

Show 11:00 MSNBC Morning Joe 14:00 MSNBC Caught On Camera 15:00 Live NBC Saturday Today Show 17:00 MSNBC Up With Chris Hayes Saturday 18:57 Live MSNBC Hardball With Chris Matthews 19:38 Live MSNBC The Ed Show 20:19 Live MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 21:00 Live ABC 20/20 22:00 MSNBC Weekends With Alex Witt Saturday 00:00 MSNBC News 02:00 ABC World News Now With David Muir 02:30 Live NBC Nightly News (Sat-Sun) 03:00 ABC World News Now With David Muir 03:30 Live NBC Nightly News (Sat-Sun) 04:00 Live NBC Saturday Today Show 06:00 Live ABC 20/20

Beaver 14:00 Three Inches 16:00 Rising Stars 18:00 Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes 20:00 Waiting For Forever 22:00 Love And Other Impossible Pursuits 00:00 Nomads 02:00 Rising Stars 04:00 12 Dates Of Christmas 06:00 Three Inches

TCM 06:00 Travels With My Aunt 08:00 The Swan 09:45 The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn 11:15 Travels With My Aunt 13:05 In This Our Life 14:40 Ivanhoe 16:25 Texas Carnival 17:40 The Biggest Bundle Of Them All 19:30 Kismet 21:25 Agatha 23:00 Cat On A Hot Tin Roof 00:45 Captains Courageous 02:40 Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid 04:35 The Naked Spur 06:05 Mr. Imperium




Sherman’s Lagoon — By J. P. Toomey





Mutts — By Patrick McDonnell

Hagar The Horrible — By Chris Browne

Beetle Bailey — By Mort Walker

Scratch pad

odds ’n’ ends

Garfield — By Jim Davis

Baby Blues — By Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

This image provided by SeaWorld San Diego shows mom and baby killer whales swimming together at SeaWorld San Diego’s Shamu Stadium, on Feb 14, in San Diego. Kasatka, a killer whale who is approximately 37 years old, gave birth to the calf Thursday under the watchful eyes of SeaWorld’s zoological team. The calf is estimated to weigh between 300 and 350 pounds and measures 6 to 7 feet. The gender of the calf is not yet known. (AP)

Conceptis Sudoku


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

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

Yesterday’s solution


Answer to yesterday’s puzzle

Today’s Challenge Time 9 Minutes 26 Seconds Your Working Time __ Minutes __ Seconds

Word by Word



Everybody’s business is no nobody’s business. Wajeb al jameei laisa wajeb ahad.



Six thousand and forty five Setat alaaf wa khamsa wa arbaoun

contract b r i d g e By Steve Becker

NEW YORK: Nearing 1 billion views on YouTube, “Sesame Street” is headed for Justin Bieber territory. The children’s program is closing in on the kind of digital milestone usually reserved for the likes of pop stars and cat videos. “Sesame Street” will soon pass 1 billion views on YouTube, and it’s celebrating the mark with a campaign to get it there. “Sesame Street” on Thursday will post a video featuring the character Telly Monster, urging viewers to click the show past the final 20 million views and unlock a “top secret video.” Naturally, for the nonprofit children’s series, it’s a teaching moment, too. Don’t be surprised if Count von Count shows up to ponder such a big number. For “Sesame Street,” the milestone - a first on YouTube for a nonprofit or US children’s media outlet - reflects the increasingly multimedia nature of kid entertainment. Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch are now about as likely to be watched on an iPad, phone or laptop as they are on PBS. “We have this theory that if we get content on multiple platforms and devices, it gives kids and families a chance to reinforce and experience the curriculum multiple times,” says Terry Fitzpatrick, executive vice president of content and distribution for Sesame Workshop, who emphasizes videos are best co-viewed with child and parent. “It blows me away to think about how popular and strong a platform (YouTube) has become for us.” “Sesame Street,” a mainstay on PBS since 1970, launched its YouTube channel in 2006, but has continually expanded its mindfulness of online and mobile viewers. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑ PARIS: Love was definitely not in the air for Parisian officials on Valentine’s Day as they swooped in to remove the growing mass of padlocks that love-struck couples have shackled to the side of a bridge over the River Seine. A growing tradition has seen lovers flock from all over world to the French capital to adorn its already groaning bridges with locks labelled with messages of love. For city authorities, however, the romantic tokens have brought nothing but heartache, as the sheer weight of metal tempts thieves who remove them using wire cutters, causing structural damage as they work. Even on Valentine’s Day, an operation was in full swing to replace damaged panels adorned with years’ worth of the locks. Die-hard romantics were undeterred by the whirring of saws on Thursday and continued attaching locks in full view of toiling officials. (RTRS)




Cuts put key medical research at risk: US official

Australian court supports patents on human genes CANBERRA, Feb 15, (Agencies): An Australian court ruled on Friday that two technology companies could hold a patent on genetic material related to cancer, in a case similar to one before the US Supreme Court that has implications for gene-based medicine worldwide. Cancer support groups said the finding could stifle new breast cancer research and treatment. Australia’s Federal Court ruled that US company Myriad Genetics Inc and Melbournebased Genetic Technologies Ltd had the right to hold a patent on human genetic material. The material is known as BRCA1, a mutation associated with higher risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The US Supreme Court will consider the same issue, which could affect millions of people worldwide, later this year. In Australia, trial judge John Nicholas found the material could be subject to a patent because it could not exist naturally on its own inside or outside the human body. He found those who develop a way of isolating it should have the right to a patent and to reap the financial rewards. “It would lead to very odd results if a person whose skill and effort culminated in the isolation of a micro-organism ... could not be independently rewarded by the grant of a patent,” Nicholas said. The finding disappointed cancer support groups, consumer organisation

Device helps restore vision

FDA OKs 1st retinal implant for rare eye disease

This undated product image provided by Second Sight Medical Products shows new implantable device that takes the place of damaged cells inside the eye. The Food and Drug Administration on Feb 14, approved the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System as the first treatment for an inherited disorder that causes the breakdown of cells in the retina, a membrane inside the eye. (AP)

Cancer Voices, and Brisbane woman Yvonne D’Arcy, who challenged the patents in the Federal Court. Lawyer Rebecca Gilsenan, who represented D’Arcy and Cancer Voices, said the decision could limit new research because researchers would need the companies’ permission to study BRCA1. “In its isolated form, it is private

CHICAGO, Feb 15, (RTRS): The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first artificial retina, an implanted device that replicates some of the function of the retina, helping to restore vision to people blinded with a rare genetic disorder, the agency said Thursday. The device, made by privately held Second Sight Medical Products Inc of Sylmar, California, is intended to replace the function of light-sensing cells in the retina destroyed by retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited degenerative disease that affects about 100,000 people nationwide. In a healthy eye, the retina, which lines the back of the inner eye, works a bit like film in a camera, converting images that come through the eye’s lens into electronic signals that are relayed to the optic nerve in the brain.

To replicate this, the Argus II device consists of special glasses outfitted with a video camera and a video processing unit that sends signals to a wireless receiver implanted in the eye. Although it does not completely restore vision, the implant helps with daily activities, such as locating objects and recognizing large letters and shapes. “In the patients that have been implanted to date, the improvement in the quality of life has been invaluable,” said Mark Humayun of the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine and USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering, who helped develop the device. The Argus II was approved for use in Europe in 2011 and has been implanted in 30 patients in a clinical trial that began in 2007.

In October, advisers to the FDA voted unanimously to approve the device. Brian Mech, vice-president of business development at the company, said the system will cost more than $100,000 when it is launched in the United States, sometime this year. Mech said the company is working with insurance companies and Medicare to win coverage and ease out of pocket expenses for patients. The Argus II is intended to replace the function of light-sensing photoreceptor cells, which gradually become degraded in retinitis pigmentosa. To restore vision, signals from the camera are sent to the retina, where they travel to the optic nerve in the brain. The brain then receives these signals and interprets them as a visual picture.

property of the companies. If researchers want to access it now, they need to get permission or pay for it,” Gilsenan told Reuters.

could fight every strain of influenza without needing a yearly shot. Research into potentially life-saving products like these will be delayed and newer discoveries shelved if Congress can’t avert impending budget cuts that the director of the National Institutes of Health warns will have far-reaching effects.

“All diseases will feel the consequences, I’m afraid,” Dr Francis Collins told The Associated Press. “We’re in this amazing revolution,” Collins added. The faster promising leads are funded, “the more lives are saved.” The NIH, the leading funder of biomedical research, will lose $1.6 billion

Also: WASHINGTON: Better cancer drugs that zero in on a tumor with fewer side effects. A universal flu vaccine that

this year, about 5.1 percent of its budget, if automatic cuts go through next month, Collins said. That means hundreds of medical research projects around the country may go unfunded, while multi-year projects already under way could be scaled back. The ripple effect, Collins said: About 20,000 jobs nationwide could be lost in university and other research laboratories nationwide. President Barack Obama argued the economic value of preserving medical research in his State of the Union address, saying every dollar the government invested to map the human genome returned $140 to the economy. Other health impacts from the planned cuts, as outlined in a letter to lawmakers by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: ■ Health departments will give 424,000 fewer tests for the AIDS virus this year. ■ About 7,400 fewer HIV patients will be able to get life-saving medication through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. ■ The Food and Drug Administration will conduct 2,100 fewer inspections of food manufacturing firms this year. ■ More than 373,000 seriously ill people may not receive needed mental health services. Also, Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly, is slated for a 2 percent cut in payments to service providers.

Qatar lowers April al-Shaheen 06:00 Bloomberg Game Changers 07:00 Charlie Rose 08:00 Bloomberg Game Changers 09:00 Bloomberg Game Changers 10:00 Insanity 10:30 Mop H20 X5 11:00 Insanity 11:30 Mop H20 X5 12:00 Insanity 12:30 Insanity 13:00 Ab Circle 99 13:30 Sonicrafter 14:00 Risk Takers 15:00 Bloomberg Game Changers 16:00 Bloomberg Game Changers 16:30 Sportfolio 17:00 Techstars 17:30 Techstars 18:00 Risk Takers 19:00

Bloomberg Enterprise 20:00 High Flyers 20:30 Sportfolio 21:00 Risk Takers 22:00 High Flyers 22:30 Innovators 23:00 Bloomberg Enterprise 23:30 Eye To Eye 00:00 Bloomberg Game Changers 01:00 Bloomberg Enterprise 01:30 Innovators 02:00 High Flyers 02:30 Techstars 03:00 Risk Takers 04:00 Bloomberg Enterprise 04:30 Innovators 05:00 Bloomberg Game Changers 06:00 Bloomberg Game Changers

tv today Market Movements HONG KONG S. KOREA PHILIPPINES ??


Hang Seng KRX 100 All Shares

Change +31.31 +1.07 +10.06

Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Co, or Tasweeq, sold seven cargoes of alShaheen crude for April loading at weaker premiums than the previous month, traders said on Friday. Tasweeq sold al-Shaheen at $0.80 to $1.40 a barrel above Dubai quotes, traders said, adding that most were sold on top of the range. It had

Iran pista ban

sold March cargoes in the $1.60-$1.90 range last month. Traders said premiums were weaker as demand is expected to be lower from north Asian refiners which are heading into maintenance in the second quarter, as well as because of sharp cuts in official selling prices by producers. (RTRS)

Iran has ordered a six-month ban on pistachio exports to try to control the price of the nut, which doubled in the past month. Pistachios are among Iran’s top non-oil exports and widely consumed at home, bringing in an average of $1.5 billion a year and providing work for hundreds of thousands of people. Iran was long the world’s largest pistachio exporter, with over 200,000 tons a year. (AP),

OPEC crudes OPEC’s daily basket price stood at $114.67 a barrel Thursday compared with $114.94 pb the previous day, according to a report in the Friday bulletin of the cartel. 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). (KUNA)


Closing pts 23,444.56 4,247.18 4,101.44



Sensex Nikkei All Ordinaries DAX CAC 40 Euro Stoxx 50

Change -29.03 -133.45 -2.60 -37.68 -9.23 -20.09

Closing pts 19,468.15 11,173.83 5,054.60 7,593.37 3,660.37 2,615.26


Negotiations expected to be finalised during International Petroleum meet

Bahrain term fuel oil talks start; Bapco seeks $3 premium SINGAPORE, Feb 15, (RTRS): State-run Bahrain Petroleum Co has started negotiations for its 2013-2014 term fuel oil exports, asking for a $3 premium above Middle East quotes while buyers are indicating their interest at discounts, industry sources said on Friday. The company has offered cargo sizes of 40,000 tonnes, 60,000 tonnes or 80,000 tonnes 380-centistoke (cst) fuel oil for loading over April 2013 to March 2014, they said. Bapco typically exports about one cargo of fuel oil a month. The negotiations were expected to be finalised during the International Petroleum week in London, which starts on Feb. 18, one of the largest gatherings of the oil and gas industry. Details on Bapco’s 2012-2013 term

contract for fuel oil are not known but it was likely done at a single-digit discount, an Asia-based source said. Bapco’s fuel oil exports could be cut in the years ahead as the company may need to produce more asphalt or bitumen for roads to be built before the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar in 2022, a Middle East-based source said. “Demand for asphalt is booming as there’s a lot of construction, especially in places like Doha,” the source said. Doha is the capital of Qatar, which plans to spend $11 billion on a new airport, $5.5 billion on a deepwater seaport, and $36 billion on rail projects over the next decade or so, partly to prepare to host the world’s premier soccer event. Bapco will also likely try to re-negoti-

rating action Moody’s

Agency maintains review

Ratings of 5 Egypt banks downgraded By Melina Skouridou Analyst, Moody’s Financial Institutions Group LIMASSOL, Feb 15: Moody’s Investors Service has today downgraded the ratings of five Egyptian banks. The affected banks are: ■ National Bank of Egypt SAE, Banque Misr SAE and Banque Du Caire SAE: Moody’s has lowered these three government-owned banks’ standalone credit assessments to caa2 from b3 and downgraded their long-term local-currency deposit ratings to B3 from B2, and their foreign-currency deposit ratings to Caa1 from B3. The ratings remain on review for downgrade. ■ Commercial International Bank (Egypt) SAE: Moody’s has lowered the bank’s standalone credit assessment to b3 from b2, and downgraded the long-term local-currency deposit rating to B3 from B2 and foreign-currency deposit ratings to Caa1 from B3. The ratings remain on review for downgrade. ■ Bank of Alexandria SAE: Moody’s has lowered the bank’s standalone credit assessment to b3 from b2, and downgraded the long-term local-currency deposit rating to B1 from Ba3 and foreign-currency deposit ratings to Caa1 from B3. The ratings remain on review for downgrade. The downgrade of the banks’ ratings follows the downgrade of Egypt’s government bond rating to B3 from B2 on 12 February (please refer to “Moody’s downgrades Egypt’s government bond rating to B3, maintains review for further possible downgrade”) and is driven by (1) the increased risks posed by the banks’ very high (and increasing) exposure to government securities; (2) Moody’s expectations of worsening asset-quality deterioration because of the renewed weakness in the operating environment; and (3) the weakening capacity of the Egyptian authorities to support the government-owned banks. Moody’s maintains the review on the banks ratings, in line with the review on Egypt’s B3 government bond ratings, and expects to conclude its review following the conclusion of the sovereign rating review. For a full list of affected ratings, please refer to the end of this press release.

Ratings rationale The main factors driving today’s rating actions are: (1) The weakening of Egypt’s creditworthiness as indicated by the downgrade of the government bond ratings to B3 from B2. The banks’ high — and increasing — exposures to Egyptian government securities and related instruments link the banks’ credit strength to the sovereign’s creditworthiness and heighten the banking system’s susceptibility to event risk; (2) The weakening operating environment, which will exert additional pressure on banks’ asset quality, profitability and liquidity metrics; and (3) The weakening capacity of the Egyptian authorities to support the government-owned banks. The rating action reflects the direct

linkages between the banks’ balance sheets and sovereign credit risk, which raise the banking system’s susceptibility to event risk in the context of Egypt’s eroding credit fundamentals. Moody’s says that according to the banks’ latest financial statements, exposures to government securities ranged between 800%-900% of Tier 1 capital for the government-owned banks (National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, and Banque du Caire), 277% for Bank of Alexandria and around 180% for Commercial International Bank. These high exposures to government securities link the banks’ standalone credit profiles to the sovereign’s creditworthiness and make the banks vulnerable to potential event risk at the sovereign level. In addition to the direct linkages, the downgrade also reflects Moody’s assessment of the continued impact of the weakening operating environment, which will exert additional pressure on banks’ asset-quality and profitability metrics, and strain the banking system. Moody’s says that the operating environment is subject to high volatility, with ongoing unsettled political conditions and intensified civil unrest, despite the transition to civilian rule in June 2012. The volatile operating environment exerts additional pressure on banks’ asset quality and capitalisation. In this respect, Moody’s believes that the government-owned banks remain more vulnerable, given their lower capitalisation levels and limited lossabsorption capacity (despite some recent improvements). The rated private-sector banks (Commercial International Bank and Bank of Alexandria) maintain relatively stronger capitalisation buffers and more robust risk-management practices. The downgrade of the sovereign rating indicates the government’s reduced capacity to support the banks. Nevertheless, given their 100% government ownership, their systemic importance and high linkages with the government, the deposit ratings of these three government-owned banks (National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, and Banque du Caire) still incorporate two notches of systemic support to B3, in line with the sovereign rating. Bank of Alexandria’s B1 deposit ratings continue to incorporate two notches of parental-support uplift from Intesa Sanpaolo Spa (rated deposits Baa2 negative, standalone C/baa2 negative). This takes into account Intesa’s 70.25% ownership of the bank and strong operational support. Moody’s review of the banks’ ratings will focus on an assessment of the implications of deteriorating sovereign creditworthiness for the banks, through both their sizable holdings of government securities and their susceptibility to weakening operating conditions. For the governmentowned banks, the review will also focus on an assessment of the government’s capacity to provide support, in case of need. For Bank of Alexandria, the review will also focus on an assessment of the parent bank’s capacity and willingness to provide support, in case of need.

Lebanon launches gas exploration pre-qualification round BEIRUT, Feb 15, (RTRS): Lebanon launched a pre-qualification round for oil and gas exploration in its Mediterranean waters on Friday, the first step towards the planned award of contracts by March next year. Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said bids must be submitted by March 28 and the names of pre-qualified companies would be issued by April 18. That represents a further slippage in a

process which has been dogged by delays since Lebanon started moves to attract international firms - several years behind its southern neighbour Israel, which has already discovered huge gas reserves. Bassil told representatives of international oil and gas firms that Lebanon still aims to issue its first exploration and production agreement by February next year, and hoped the country could “enter

the development phase starting 2016.” “The government of Lebanon is committed to ensure a secure investment climate, with full transparency in the evaluation process throughout the bidding round,” Bassil said, addressing concerns that Lebanon’s political and sectarian rivalries could undermine the work. He said 29 companies had already expressed interest in bidding. A quarter

of them were US firms, and European and Asian companies had also sought details from seismic surveys. Delegates at an oil and gas conference in Beirut in December said Lebanese waters could contain between 30 trillion and 40 trillion cubic feet of gas. Bassil said in September that one southern bloc alone could hold 12 trillion cubic feet and this was enough gas to produce electricity for Lebanon for 99 years.

ate premiums for its April to December gasoil term contracts at a higher level than what was negotiated for the first

quarter, the Gulf-based source said. The company negotiated its 2013 gasoil term contract with several buyers,

while reserving the option to renegotiate term premiums after the first quarter. Bapco sold first-quarter term gasoil at

a premium of $3 a barrel to Middle East quotes, which traders have said was unusually high.

Turkey to Iran gold trade wiped out by US sanction New provisions makes gold-for-gas deal almost impossible ISTANBUL, Feb 15, (RTRS): Tighter US sanctions are killing off Turkey’s gold-for-gas trade with Iran and have stopped state-owned lender Halkbank from processing other nations’ energy payments to the OPEC oil producer, bankers said on Friday. US officials have sought to prevent Turkish gold exports, which indirectly pay Iran for its natural gas, from providing a financial lifeline to Tehran, largely frozen out of the global banking system by Western sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Turkey, Iran’s biggest natural gas customer, has been paying Iran for its imports with Turkish lira, because sanctions prevent it from paying in dollars or euros. Iranians then use those lira, held in Halkbank accounts, to buy gold in Turkey, and couriers carry bullion worth millions of dollars in hand luggage to Dubai, where it can be sold for foreign currency or shipped to Iran. Halkbank had also been processing a portion of India’s payments for Iranian oil. A provision of US sanctions, made law last summer and implemnted from Feb 6, effectively tightens control on sales of precious metals to Iran and prevents Halkbank from processing oil payments by other countries back to Tehran, bankers said. “Halkbank can only accept payments for Turkish oil and gas purchases and Iran is only allowed to buy food, medicine and industrial products with that money,” one senior Turkish banker told Reuters. “The gas for gold trade is very difficult after the second round of sanctions. Iranians cannot just withdraw the cash and buy whatever they want. They have to prove what they are buying ... so gold exports will definitely fall,” he said. Trade in Turkish gold bars to Iran via Dubai was already drying up as banks and dealers declined to buy the bullion to avoid sanctions risks associated with the trade. Reuters first reported the boom in Turkish gold sales to Iran via Dubai last year.


Specialist Joe Parisi works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. (AP)

See Page 42

We are proud to receive this recognition: Alrayes

GFH wins ‘Best Islamic Investment Bank’ award BAHRAIN, Feb 15: Gulf Finance House (GFH), parent company of Leeds United Football Club owners GFH Capital, has been named the ‘Best Islamic Investment Bank’ for 2012 at the prestigious Awards. Based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, GFH was recognised for its steadfast approach to investing primarily in high quality infrastructure and private equity projects that help provide sustainable growth opportunities in the region. An innovative approach to Islamic financial structures and recent recognised restructuring activities for the bank and its projects that benefit all stakeholders have placed GFH as a leading example of modern Islamic finance. Following on from the global financial crisis and bank restructuring, GFH welcomed the successes of 2012, in which it demonstrated resilience and the ability to thrive in all climates, diversity and the scope to compete on the world stage. It returned to profitability and success along with moving to new innovative areas of investment including its subsidiary GFH Capital’s acquisition of Leeds United Football Club. Hisham Alrayes, Acting CEO of GFH, said: “We at GFH are proud that the Bank

has been recognised and awarded the ‘Best Islamic Bank in Bahrain’ by Capital Finance International. “Receiving this award is a testament of GFH’s commitment to formulate and operate in niche and profitable areas. Over the years we have earned a formidable reputation for securing innovative investment opportunities that reward investors with excellent returns, in recent years we have excelled in restructuring activities and reigniting the business and we are proud to receive this award in recognition.

Unique “We always continue to identify and create investment opportunities that balance risk with reward with an aim to provide unique Islamic investment banking offerings to our investors and shareholders.” A London-based print journal, Capital Finance International’s Award programmes identify and applaud individuals and organisations that add true value with their operations in niche areas. Initial nominations are based on input from readers, subscribers and visitors to with a judging committee selecting the winners. Gulf Finance House (GFH) was estab-

lished in 1999. GFH has raised funding of more than $5 billion to invest in Islamic financial institutions and infrastructure projects harnessing the enormous potential offered by the region’s dynamic economies. GFH has established some of the region’s leading financial institutions including First Energy Bank, the world’s first Islamic investment bank focused exclusively on the energy sector. Other financial institutions founded by GFH include Khaleeji Commercial Bank in Bahrain, QInvest in Qatar, Arab Finance House in Lebanon, First Leasing Bank in Bahrain and Asia Finance Bank in Malaysia. GFH projects include GFH’s Financial Harbours in the Kingdom of Bahrain and Tunisia and Energy Cities in Qatar and India. GFH’s ordinary shares are listed on the Bahrain Stock Exchange, the Kuwait Stock Exchange and the Dubai Financial Market. Since 2007, its GDRs have been listed on the London Stock Exchange. GFH receiving the following awards Euromoney’s Best Islamic Investment Bank 2005; Best Investment Bank 2005, 2006 and 2007 from Banker Middle East; and Deal of the Year 2008 from Banker Middle East.

Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Calayan signalled a decline in the trade last week when he said that, while Turkey would not be swayed by US pressure to halt gold exports to Iran, Tehran’s demand for the metal was expected to fall. “You could say that the United States has achieved its aim,” said a western diplomat. “If Turkey is going to continue energy imports from Iran, there is no other way to go than trading sanction-free goods.” Washington says Tehran is enriching uranium to levels that could be used in nuclear weapons and has been trying to ratchet up economic pressure on Tehran. Iran says the programme is for peaceful purposes. Turkish ministers had acknowledged the “gold-for-gas” trade but said it was carried out entirely by the private sector and was not subject to US sanctions. Turkey like China, India and Japan is heavily dependent on imported energy and, while it has cut back on oil from Iran, has made clear it cannot simply stop buying Iranian oil and gas. “With so many restrictions, Iran’s cash may accumulate in Halkbank accounts... they may have difficulty getting some of that money out of Turkey,” another senior Turkish banker said. That could mean Tehran will look elsewhere for allies willing to try to get round the US sanctions, although it may struggle to continue to receive gold as a payment method. “The gold trade may switch to countries that support Iran politically but Russian banks, for example, would be very cautious because they are very much in the global banking system,” the second banker said. “China may be another option. But I can say that the gold trade is over for Turkey.” Turkey, which is not a major gold producer, was a net gold, jewellery and precious metals importer in 2011 but swung to being a net exporter last year. Analysts said Iranian demand had prompted both the high imports two years ago — which were largely sold on to Iran — and the surge in exports last year. Gold exports to Iran rose to $6.5 billion in 2012, more than ten times the level of 2011, while exports to the United Arab Emirates — much of it for onward shipment to Iran or conversion to hard currency — rose to $4.6 billion from $280 million.



37 ex-Stanford execs jailed

06:00 Investing Edge 06:30 On The Money With Maria Bartiromo 07:00 Business Poland 07:15 Business Turkey 07:30 Investing Edge 08:00 Managing Asia 08:30 On The Money With Maria Bartiromo 09:00 Investing Edge 09:30 Business Poland 09:45 Business Turkey 10:00 Access: Middle East 10:30 CNBC Documentaries 11:00 CNBC Originals: Billions Behind Bars 12:00 CNBC Originals: Love At First Byte 13:00 CNBC Originals: Code Wars 14:00 CNBC Originals: Investigations Inc 15:00 Money In Motion: Currency Trading 15:30 Access: Middle East

16:00 Target: Inside The Bullseye 17:00 CNBC Originals: Trash Inc 18:00 CNBC Originals: Billions Behind Bars 19:00 CNBC Originals: Pepsi’s Challenge 20:00 CNBC Originals: Liquid Assets 21:00 CNBC Originals: The Coffee Addiction 22:00 CNBC Originals: American Tax Cheat 23:00 CNBC Originals: House Of Cards 01:00 CNBC Originals: Dangerous Liaison 02:00 CNBC Originals: Dreamliner 03:00 CNBC Originals: Supermarkets Inc 04:00 CNBC Originals: The Facebook Obsession 05:00 CNBC Originals: Cigarette Wars 06:00 CNBC Originals: Ford

The last two defendants convicted for helping disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford bilk investors out of more than $7 billion in one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in US history were each sentenced to 20 year prison terms by a federal judge on Thursday. Lawyers for Gilbert Lopez Jr, the ex-chief accounting officer for one of Stanford’s companies, and Mark Kuhrt, the ex-global controller for another company, had asked for lesser prison terms, saying their clients were not as culpable as two other former executives who received significantly smaller sentences. Jack Zimmermann, Lopez’s attorney, told US District Judge David Hittner that his client was “down the chain” of Stanford’s business empire and “had no decision making authority in any of the things that ran this fraud.” (AP)

Canada vulnerable to housing debts Canada’s economy remains vulnerable to rising household debts, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday, and a further tightening of mortgage rules may be necessary to cool its hot housing market. The housing sector is “an important source of vulnerability, noting the rising household debt-toincome ratio,” IMF directors said in a report. Ottawa has tightened the rules for government-backed

mortgage insurance and mortgage lending standards four times since late 2008. The measures have helped slow the pace of home price and mortgage debt increases, but the IMF said prices are still elevated. Its directors “concurred that, should the household debt-toincome ratio continue to rise, additional measures may be needed” in order to avoid amplifying impacts of a shock to the economy. (AFP)

tv today Baghdad resists paying Pashmerga salaries

Iraq budget battle opens new front in Kurdish feud BAGHDAD, Feb 15, (RTRS): A dispute between Iraq’s government and the autonomous region of Kurdistan over oil rights is delaying this year’s national budget, jeopardising much-needed investment, as the country’s finances have become a new front in the long-running feud. Iraq’s cabinet approved the $118.6 billion budget in October, but infighting among Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions this week scuttled attempts by lawmakers to pass the draft legislation in parliament. A year after the last US troops left, Iraq’s economy is improving and should grow 9 percent this year, the central bank projects, as oil production expands. However, it still needs investment in

everything from infrastructure to transport to rebuild the economy, and key oil and investment laws languish in parliament because of political turmoil. Lawmakers will try again next week to reach agreement on the 2013 national budget. Further delays would postpone major infrastructure projects and payments to regional authorities in the OPEC producer whose state coffers are financed almost entirely by crude exports. The budget, which foresees a deficit of $15.5 billion, includes $45.5 billion for investment projects and has allocated $644 million for companies working in Kurdistan. Iraq has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and oil resources are at the heart

Unions say ready to help

Challenges await Parker after US airlines merger DALLAS, Feb 15, (AP): US Airways CEO Doug Parker has landed the big merger he sought for years. Now the soon-to-be CEO of the new American Airlines has to make it work. The fleet needs new planes and new paint. Frequent flier programs have to be combined. American’s ontime performance must improve. And the airline needs to win back business travelers who have drifted to competitors. But Parker’s nothing if not persistent. After months of courting, the companies on Thursday announced an $11 billion merger that will turn American into the world’s biggest airline, with 6,700 daily flights and annual revenue of roughly $40 billion. It’s a coup for Parker, who runs the much-smaller US Airways Group Inc. and believes that mergers help airlines achieve higher revenue and consistent profits. When the deal closes later this year, the four biggest US airlines — American, United, Delta and Southwest — will all be the products of mergers that began in 2008. Those deals have helped the industry control seats, push fares higher and return to profitability. But it’s not easy to stitch two airlines together.

Protection Some of Parker’s work has already been done. American parent AMR Corp. has cut costs and debt since it filed for bankruptcy protection in late 2011. Pilots from both airlines have agreed on steps that should make it easier to combine their groups under a single labor contract, a big hurdle in many airline mergers. But when the deal closes — expected by September as part of AMR’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection — there will still plenty to do. The new company will have to combine the separate computer systems that American and US Airways use for reservations and other functions, while avoiding the glitches that have plagued United since it switched to Continental’s system. The airline will have to fly better. Last year, American ranked 14th out of 15 airlines for on-time performance, according to government statistics. It canceled flights at a higher rate than its closest rivals. It had the second-worst rate of complaints, better only than United, which was hit by periodic computer outages. The executive likely to be charged with making the airline run more smoothly is US Airways’ chief operating officer, Robert Isom. He said his company fixed similar problems in 2007 through regimented maintenance schedules, stricter rules on how long to wait for connecting passengers, and using bonuses to encourage workers to hit performance goals. US Airways ranked fifth in on-time arrivals last year. Leaders of American’s unions say they’re ready to help the airline perform better. They should be — after all, they helped kick American’s current management to the curb by supporting a merger with Parker running the combined company. “Without us, a merger would not have occurred in bankruptcy,” said Keith Wilson, president of the Allied Pilots Association. “We think we’re going to get a change of culture,” added Laura Glading, president of the flight attendants’ union at American. The union leaders say employees will have more job security at a larger airline that’s better able to compete with United and Delta. Their support of a merger was critical because the unions held three of the nine seats on the committee of AMR’s bankruptcy creditors. A lawyer who advised that committee, Jay Goffman of Skadden,

Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, said the influential committee became convinced that a merger would produce an airline that could boost revenue faster than American by itself. “And frankly, the fact that the unions were fully supportive of a merger made a big difference,” Goffman said. Over the past year, Parker and AMR CEO Tom Horton were adversaries who had wildly different strategies for their companies. Parker raided Horton’s turf to enlist American’s labor unions in his campaign for a merger. Horton seemed more aloof, preferring that American remain on its own. As the airlines held private discussions during the fall and into winter, speculation centered on which man would end up running the company if there were a merger. Those differences were set aside Thursday when the men stood before TV cameras for a news conference at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. A backdrop was splashed with the logos of both airlines. Parker and Horton traded banter about each other’s looks and about working at adjoining cubicles at American 25 years ago. Horton called Parker “my good, longtime friend,” and Parker said Horton was “the best — he knows this business.” If Horton was disappointed in not getting to run the new American, he didn’t admit it. “I don’t think it would be fair to say my goal was to run the biggest and best airline,” Horton said. “My goal was to make sure American Airlines is the best airline in the world. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen here.” Parker said, “This isn’t about me or Tom. This is about doing what’s best for the combined companies.” He said the CEO title was just one of many decisions they had to make. “It’s one that I’m very happy with, one that Tom has told you he’s happy with,” Parker said. He thanked Horton for agreeing “to hang around and help me with that transition.” “Well, best of luck,” Horton interjected, as employees of both airlines laughed.

Approval The deal needs approval by AMR’s bankruptcy judge, federal antitrust regulators, and US Airways shareholders. Parker, Horton and most analysts predict smooth sailing. Even if they’re right, American and US Airways will continue operating as separate airlines for months or even a couple years. Officials promised that frequent-flier programs would continue untouched. The merger follows Delta’s acquisition of Northwest in 2008, the United-Continental deal in 2010, and Southwest’s purchase of AirTran Airways in 2011. The rapid consolidation has allowed the remaining airlines to lure high-paying business travelers with better route maps. And it has helped them limit the supply of seats, pushing up fares and fees. That concerns some consumer advocates, but Parker argued that competition will increase, not decrease. “There are two very large airlines right now and this creates a third,” Parker said in an interview, referring to United and Delta, currently the world’s two biggest airlines. “It provides good competition to those two.” Mary Gorman, who was at Miami International Airport on Thursday for a flight home to Virginia Beach after a cruise with her husband, said she hoped that together the airlines would offer better service than either does by itself.

of the broad dispute over territory, oilfields and political autonomy between Baghdad’s Arab-led government and Kurdistan, where ethnic Kurds run their own regional administration. While Kurdistan has a regional government and armed forces, it contributes its oil to national exports and relies on Baghdad for 17 percent of the federal budget, which is financed almost completely by the sale of crude. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition, Sunni-backed Iraqiya Bloc and some other political blocs this week called for Kurds to get no more than 12 percent of the budget based on their minority population, increasing tensions with the northern Kurdish enclave.

The political blocs in Baghdad say Kurdistan’s portion should also be cut to make up for the deficit after the autonomous region stopped oil shipments in protest over Baghdad’s failure to compensate companies working there. Kurds say US authorities assigned them 17 percent based on their estimates after the 2003 invasion. Lawmakers said the political blocs also disagree on the amount owed to those oil companies and over the payment of Kurdistan’s Peshmerga armed forces. “Maliki is trying to use the budget to twist our arm,” said Kurdish MP Rawaz Khoshnaw. “It’s just a political tool that they are using against the Kurdistan regional government.”

The ongoing turf war over oil and land rights escalated late last year to the point that both the central government and the autonomous region deployed troops to reinforce positions along their disputed internal border. Maliki’s supporters say the budget dispute has also revived a disagreement between the central government, Shi’ite and Sunni blocs over the Peshmerga’s role in Iraqi security. “Peshmerga pointed their guns to the chests of the Iraqi military personnel, and now they want us to equip them and pay their salaries,” said Mohammed alSayhood, a lawmaker in Maliki’s coalition. Payments to oil companies operating in

Kurdistan is still the biggest disagreement in the budget. Kurds says they are owed more than 4 trillion Iraqi dinars, or $3.5 billion, by Baghdad to cover the costs accumulated by oil companies over the past three years. But the Iraqi government allocated just 750 billion Iraqi dinars ($644.33 million), accusing the Kurdish of illegally shipping some of its oil out of the country instead of contributing to the national budget. The central government in Baghdad says it alone has the authority to exploit and export the country’s crude, but the Kurds say their right to sign deals is enshrined in Iraq’s federal constitution and have granted contracts to companies such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total .

US factory output drops on weak auto production Minimum wage hike may hurt corporate profits: Obama December. Output In mining, the category that covers oil and gas drilling, fell 1 percent. Utility output jumped 3.5 percent, as a cold snap led more households to turn up their heat. Factory output, the most important component of industrial production, was dragged lower by a steep 3.2 percent decline in auto and auto parts production. The auto industry Manufacturing output fell 0.4 percent in January from December, the Federal is coming off its best year for sales in five years, one of the few bright spots in an otherReserve said Friday. The decline followed increases of 1.1 percent in December wise bleak manufacturing sector. Sales continue to rise, so production will likely rebound in February. and 1.7 percent in November. Overall industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in January compared with Still, many factories outside the auto industry have been hurt by a slowdown in consumer spending and weaker global growth that has dampened demand for US exports. Economists expect healthier output in 2013, partly because US companies are sitting on large amounts of cash and appear poised to invest some of it in equipment and machinery. Economies in Europe are also healing, and growth in Asia is expected to improve. “Global growth will still be fairly weak this year, which will prevent industry from firing on all cylinders. But there’s no denying that industrial conditions have recently improved,” said Paul Dales, senior US economist at Capital Economics. While manufacturing output was down in January, analysts noted there were big revisions that made November and December look even better than first reported. For the fourth quarter as a whole, manufacturing output rose at an annual rate of 1.9 percent, a significant improvement from the earlier estimate of a slight 0.2 percent rate. A second report Friday showed that manufacturing activity in the New York area posted a big gain in February. The New York Federal Reserve’s Empire State survey rose to 10.04 in February, compared with a negative 7.78 in December. It was the biggest one-month improvement in this index in more than two years. And a closely watched survey released earlier this month suggests overall manuIn this file photo, a Nissan employee reaches for a seat module to insert into a Titan truck at its Canton, Miss., manufacfacturing conditions are improving. turing plant. The Federal Reserve reports on production from factories, mines and utilities in January on Feb 15. (AP) Manufacturing activity grew last month at the fastest pace since April, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Factories saw growth in new orders, hired more workers and boosted their stockpiles after two months of declines, the survey noted. Slower growth in stockpiles was a key reason the economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the OctoberDecember quarter, the first contraction in about a global corporation that has IOWA CITY, Iowa, Feb 15, (AP): State claim otherwise. 3-1/2 years. Deep cuts in defense spending numerous subsidiaries. I’m not sure and local officials promised an Egyptian The plant would employ 165 workers and fewer exports also contributed to the how anyone would have found that.” company $200 million in tax breaks to and support more than 2,000 temporary decline. Orascom had disclosed the lawsuit build a fertilizer plant in Iowa without construction jobs, backers say. Critics Still, economists expect that figure will previously, saying it owns 40 percent of knowledge of a pending lawsuit allegsay the subsidies were too generous per be revised in the coming months to show a a venture being sued by the United ing one of the company’s subsidiaries job and wondered whether the project small increase. That’s because December States, according to copies of its annual defrauded US taxpayers out of millions would’ve come to Iowa without them. trade data, which wasn’t available when reports reviewed by AP. Orascom says it of dollars, officials told The Associated Orascom created a subsidiary in the government calculated its first estimate has “strong substantive reasons” to Press. Delaware called the Iowa Fertilizer for fourth-quarter growth, showed solid deny the allegations, and that any resoThe Iowa Economic Development Company before applying for incengrowth in exports. lution shouldn’t significantly impact its Authority and Lee County approved the tives. In its application, Orascom stratefinancial statements. Also: incentives for a subsidiary of Cairogic planning director Kevin Struve based Orascom Construction Industries, attested that the Iowa Fertilizer Lawsuit WASHINGTON: President Barack which is planning to invest $1.4 billion Company had not broken any laws. Obama said on Thursday that raising the The lawsuit alleges Contrack and two to build the plant near Burlington. Their Branstad’s administration promised minimum wage, as he has proposed, might other companies collaborated to win failure to uncover the lawsuit — distax credits worth more than $100 miltrim corporate profits, but he added that USAID-financed contracts to build closed by Orascom in its annual report lion as well as a $1.6 million loan. A US firms were enjoying robust earnings Egyptian infrastructure for which they — raises questions about the research state transportation commission agreed and needed customers with money to should have been ineligible. They that went into the deal, which has been Tuesday to spend $5 million on improvspend. formed a secret, joint venture to conceal criticized as rushed and overly genering the roads around the plant. Lee “It might have some modest impact on that one of the partners was an Egyptian ous. County waived the plant’s property their profits,” he said in an on-line video company, the lawsuit alleges, because Orascom didn’t tell Iowa officials — taxes for 20 years in lieu of payments question and answer session sponsored by only US contractors were eligible. and were not required to — that it is totaling $16.5 million — an estimated Google+. Sawiris, the Orascom CEO who contesting a lawsuit filed by the federal $130 million break. “But the fact of the matter is, if we’re recently appeared with Branstad at the government in 2004 alleging its subIn addition, Orascom is borrowing going to have a society in which we’ve got plant’s groundbreaking, was designated sidiary, Virginia-based Contrack $1.2 billion from a bond program creatbroad-based prosperity, those same busias Contrack’s representative on the venInternational, was part of a joint venture ed by Congress in 2008 to help the US nesses also have to worry about do those ture’s executive committee, records that improperly won $332 million in Midwest recover from floods and tornacustomers have money in their pockets.” show. He has not been personally US-financed construction contracts in does — a subsidy that could shave $300 Corporate profits are at record highs, accused of wrongdoing. Some employEgypt, officials said. million off interest payments, said Sen. helped by increases in US worker producees working on the Iowa project are The state’s vetting also did not Joe Bolkcom, an Iowa City Democrat. tivity, Obama said. At the same time, employed by Contrack. uncover the lawsuit, which seeks to “This company is pushing, pushing, wages and income have remained stagDurham said Orascom’s performance nant, he added. recover funds spent by the US Agency pushing and they have taken taxpayers would be closely monitored, noting “There are a lot of countries that are for International Development, to the cleaners,” he said. Bolkcom said Iowa could revoke incentives if it fails competing very well — some of our Authority Director Debi Durham told state officials conducted an “amateur to build the plant or hire workers as toughest competitors, countries like the AP. hour” negotiation with Orascom, and promised. She said she didn’t consider Germany for example — who have seen “It did not come up in our due dilishould look into the lawsuit’s allegathe federal allegations important and greater wage and income growth,” he said. gence,” she said. “But you’re talking tions. critics were “pulling at straws” if they

WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (Agencies): US factories slowed production in January after two solid months of cranking out goods. The weakness mainly reflected a big drop in output at auto factories that is likely temporary.

Orascom’s performance will be closely monitored: official

US unaware of Egypt co fraud




Vatican’s new bank chief has military ship links The Vatican was drawn into a new controversy over its embattled bank Friday after acknowledging that the institution’s new president is also chairman of a shipbuilder making warships for Germany. The Vatican announced to great fanfare Friday that Pope Benedict XVI had signed off on one of the last major appointments of his papacy, approving Ernst von Freyberg as president of the Vatican’s bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works

(IOR). The Vatican spokesman was caught off-guard when a journalist noted that the German shipbuilder von Freyberg chairs, Blohm + Voss, has a military component. The Rev. Federico Lombardi demurred and defended the selection. He later issued a statement saying the company repairs and transforms cruise ships and builds yachts — and is currently part of a consortium that is building four frigates for the German navy.

Michael Brasse, spokesman for Blohm + Voss in Hamburg, said that von Freyberg is chairman of the executive board of Blohm + Voss Shipyards, a unit that concentrates on building civilian ships. But before Blohm + Voss Shipyards and other non-military units of Blohm + Voss were sold in 2011 to Star Capital Partners, its military shipbuilding unit, Blohm + Voss Naval, had contracted with the German Defense Ministry for four new frigates. Blohm +

Voss Naval subcontracted the actual construction of those vessels to Blohm + Voss Shipyards. Though Blohm + Voss Naval is now known as ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH, and is entirely separate from the other Blohm + Voss units, the Shipyards unit is still constructing the frigates under the legacy contract. After they are built, however, the company plans to concentrate entirely on non-military ships. (AP)

Germany warns against ‘currency wars’ Germany’s finance minister on Friday warned of the dangers of countries intervening in the foreign exchange markets, as top officials from the group of 20 met amid fears of a “currency war”. Speaking as the meeting opened in Moscow, Wolfgang Schaeuble told German radio: “We do not want state intervention in exchange rates. We want exchange rates that are determined by the markets.”

“I am actually very confident that will also be the joint position of all G20 countries in Moscow,” Schaeuble added in an interview on Germany’s Inforadio. The meeting of the G20 finance ministers was expected to be dominated by the controversial decision of Japan’s central bank for “monetary easing” to boost its economy, which also has the effect of weakening the yen on the markets. (AFP)

Weidmann says euro not seriously overvalued

ECB officials rebuff FX targeting as G20 meets FRANKFURT, Feb 15, (RTRS): The head of the European Central Bank and its two German policymakers pushed back against political pressure to target the euro’s exchange rate ahead of meeting of Group of 20 financial leaders on Friday. Speaking ahead of the meeting in Moscow, ECB President Mario Draghi said recent loose talk on currencies was “inappropriate, fruitless and selfdefeating”. Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann, a strong voice on the ECB’s 23-man Governing Council with whom Draghi

in the past has been at odds, earlier weighed in to say the euro was not seriously overvalued and that the ECB would not change monetary policy based on its impact on inflation alone. “All this chatter that has been undertaken in the past few weeks is either inappropriate or fruitless — in all cases it’s self defeating,” Draghi said in opening remarks at a news conference after meeting with Russian central bank officials. The Italian head of the bank had said last Thursday that the ECB would monitor the economic impact of the

UK economic woes continue

Weak sterling offers Britain no panacea Anatole Kaletsky is a Reuters columnist but his opinions are his own. — Editor ❑ ❑ ❑

By Anatole Kaletsky


irror, mirror on the wall, who’s the weakest of them all? As G20 finance ministers warn of the threat of a “global currency war” at their meeting in Moscow this weekend, two odd features of this looming financial conflict tend to be overlooked. The first is that every country’s objective in this war is to “lose” by making its currency weaker. This is because a weak currency tends to support exports, employment and economic growth (if all other things are equal, which they never quite are). The second oddity is that the clear winner in this global currency war has not been Japan, Switzerland, China or any of the other usual suspects, but a country rarely accused of financial aggression: Britain. Since the global financial crisis started in mid-2007, the pound sterling has been, by a wide margin, the weakest major currency. The Bank of England’s tradeweighted sterling index fell by a record 30 percent in early 2009 and, despite a modest rebound in 2010-12, it remains 24 percent below its level of mid-2007. Japan, by contrast, has endured a rise in its trade-weighted exchange rate of 60 percent from July 2007 to late last year, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe committed his new government to a more competitive rate. Japan is therefore fully entitled to resent other countries’ accusations of currency warfare, when it has in fact been a long-suffering pacifist, exposing its export companies to the full burden of other countries’ post-crisis currency adjustments.

Winner But let us return to the biggest “winner” in the post-crisis currency wars, Britain. Sterling’s devaluation has clearly been no panacea. Britain has done worse on most measures of economic performance since 2008 than any G7 country apart from Italy. That, however, may have been inevitable. London’s dominant role in international finance made Britain more vulnerable than any other major economy to the greatest banking crisis in history. And once that was over, Prime Minister David Cameron imposed on his country the toughest budgetary austerity in the G7. Whether this policy was wise is an interesting question, discussed in several previous columns. A more important issue today is what may happen next to Britain. Recent events in the foreign exchange market suggest a possible answer. Since the end of last year the pound has weakened dramatically against all other major currencies, apart from the yen. The British and Japanese currencies seem to be falling for similar reasons. Those countries’ economies have experienced almost no growth since 2009, and their governments are becoming increasingly desperate to end this long-term stagnation. As a result, both the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan are undergoing radical management changes. Previously unthinkable concepts in monetary and fiscal policy are suddenly open for debate, as demonstrated by Shinzo

Abe’s suggestions that the Bank of Japan’s monetary expansion should directly finance record-breaking new public investment programs, and by the speech on “helicopter money” delivered by Adair Turner, chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority last week. All these political and monetary upheavals are occurring in Britain and Japan just when political uncertainties are subsiding in the US, China and the euro zone. Japan, of course, is used to policy uncertainty and political upheavals, having dealt with six prime ministers in the past five years. But for investors and businesses in Britain, the new unpredictability of politics and economic policy may come as a rude shock. Starting with monetary policy, there are three reasons to expect Mark Carney, the next governor of the Bank of England, to experiment with new and potentially more aggressive versions of monetary policy when he takes over in July.

Monetary First, Carney, currently head of the Bank of Canada, has repeatedly said that monetary policy could do more for growth in Britain, in sharp contrast to Mervyn King, the present governor, who believes the effectiveness of monetary stimulus has been exhausted. Second, Cameron presumably took the unprecedented decision to appoint a foreign citizen to the BoE for a reason, most likely to have the option of blaming the BoE ancien regime for the economy’s disappointing performance. For such a charge to stick, the new BoE management would have to adopt a discernibly different monetary policy. Finally, Carney himself is known to be interested in a political career in Canada. His chances of success would be greatly enhanced if he could return to Ottawa as the British economy’s radical savior, not just an anonymous central banker. Regarding fiscal policy, it is now almost impossible for the British government to hit its budgetary targets, and the political risks of imposing any further tax hikes or spending cuts are overwhelming as the election approaches. The path of fiscal policy is now more uncertain in Britain than in the US or most of the euro zone - and most market analysts expect Britain to lose its triple-A credit rating sometime this year. Finally, political uncertainty is bound to intensify in Britain, even as it subsides in the rest of Europe and the US In the three years since Cameron’s election in May 2010, Britain has had the most stable and predictable government in Europe. This will change as the election approaches, the present Conservative-Liberal coalition splinters and the many permutations of Conservative, Labour or coalition governments with their myriad of policy agendas come into view. In short, Britain is in the process of transformation from a haven of political and economic stability into one of the world’s most unpredictable economies. Small wonder, then, that the pound has again started falling after its modest rebound since 2010. That points to at least one consolation from all the new uncertainties: Britain could again become a quiet winner in the global weakcurrency war. (RTRS)

strengthening euro, feeding expectations the climbing currency could open the door to an interest rate cut. Both Weidmann and Joerg Asmussen, the German member of sixmember Executive Board that forms the nucleus of the Governing Council, said the ECB would not target the euro’s exchange rate. “I don’t think that Mario Draghi was trying to talk the euro up or down,” Weidmann said, adding that the ECB “will abstain from manipulating or directly targeting the exchange rate.” French President Francois Hollande

last week raised the possibility of political interference in exchange rate policy when he called for a medium-term target for the euro’s value, a move to counter its recent appreciation. “I fear a politicization of the exchange rate,” Weidmann told news agency Bloomberg in an interview. “I saw indications of that in Japan but you could as well refer to recent statements by European politicians not too far from here,” he added in a thinly veiled rebuff of Hollande’s call for a currency target. The G20 forum, which put together a huge financial backstop

to halt a market meltdown in 2009, is back in the spotlight after a week in which the Group of Seven rich nations tried, and spectacularly failed, to speak on currencies with one voice. The G7 issued a joint statement on Tuesday reaffirming “our longstanding commitment to market determined exchange rates”. Yet the show of unity was quickly undermined by off-therecord briefings critical of Japan. “In the last couple of days the Group of Seven biggest industrial nations made clear once again that currency exchange rates should be market-based

and that we have no exchange rate targets and that’s true for us at the ECB too,” Asmussen told Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio. The euro hit a 15-month peak of $1.3711 on Feb 1, before easing slightly. The euro’s strength “is one factor among many in determining future inflation rates”, Weidmann, who heads Germany’s Bundesbank said in the Bloomberg interview conducted on Feb 13. He added: “We will certainly not justify any monetary policy decision with one single factor.”

G-20 poised to ‘dilute’ major powers’ currencies demands Communique won’t single out Japan on forex MOSCOW, Feb 15, (RTRS): G20 officials will disregard key parts of a currency statement issued this week by the Group of Seven powers, according to a communique drafted for finance leaders meeting in Moscow, and will not single out Japan. A G20 delegate who has seen the draft — put together by deputy finance ministers for their bosses — said it would also make no direct mention of new debt-cutting targets, something Germany is pressing for but which the United States wanted struck out. If adopted by G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Moscow on Friday and Saturday, the wording will confirm that Japan will escape any censure for its expansionary policies which have driven the yen lower and drawn demands for action from some quarters. The currency market was thrown into turmoil this week after the G7 — the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Italy — issued a joint statement stating that domestic economic policies must not be used to target currencies. Tokyo said that reflected agreement that its aggressive monetary and fiscal policies were appropriate but the show of unity was shattered by off-the-record briefings critical of Japan. The G20 draft merely sticks to previous G20 language on the need to avoid excessive foreign exchange volatility, the delegate said.

Firmed The yen has fallen by around 20 percent since November. Having firmed earlier on Friday, it turned tail and dropped 0.6 percent against the dollar and euro in response to the communique details. One senior G20 source said any reference to targeting exchange rates was not be acceptable to China, which is now the world’s second-largest economy and holds much of its $3.3 trillion in foreign reserves in US Treasury bonds. Officials lined up to pour cold water on talk of a currency war featuring competitive devaluations. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said recent sparring over currencies was “inappropriate, fruitless and self-defeating” and US Treasury official Lael Brainard warned against “loose talk”. Draghi also said the euro’s exchange rate was in line with long-term averages, a point endorsed by International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde. “The current talk of currency wars is overblown,” she told the G20 ministers and central bankers. “There is no major deviation from fair value of major currencies.”

Fiscal Other policymakers in Moscow said Japan’s aggressive fiscal and monetary expansion aimed at raising the inflation rate to 2 percent was to be welcomed if it boosted growth. “There is no competitive devaluation, there are no currency wars,” Russia’s finance “sherpa”, Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak, told reporters. “What’s happening is market reaction to exclusively internal decision making.” Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan indicated support for Japan’s monetary policy saying “everybody’s got a stake” in its ability to foster growth. And Indonesia, one of the rising AsiaPacific economies, said it was also less concerned about the exchange rate of the yen than about Japanese growth. “If the Japanese increase their domestic demand it will help Indonesia, especially from the export side,” said Hartadi

Japan says not intervening directly in forex mkts

Currency latest threat to economy LONDON, Feb 15, (AP): The world economy faces a new threat. Instead of a banking collapse or too much debt, fears are growing that countries are using their currencies as an economic weapon. History suggests that’s never a good thing. If too many countries try to weaken their currencies for economic gain – sparking a so-called “currency war” – then the fragile global economic recovery could be derailed and the international financial system thrown into chaos. Financial representatives from the world’s leading 20 industrial and developing nations are gathering in Moscow for a meeting this weekend that looks set to be dominated by these concerns and they will have their work cut out to douse the fires. Question: Why is everyone suddenly talking about currencies? Answer: During the financial crisis of the past few years, the value of currencies wasn’t a high priority – governments and central banks around the world co-operated to fix the global economy. But, five years down the line, a full recovery is still a long way off. To encourage their consumers and businesses to keep spending, central banks in the US, Europe and beyond have made it a priority to keep interest rates extremely low. One way of doing this is to use their power to print money to buy up large quantities of bonds. Boosting the amount of currency in circulation also has a knock-on effect: it can drive down the value of that currency. Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, is currently facing charges that it is trying first and foremost to lower the value of its currency, the yen, to stimulate its economy and get the edge over other countries. The new government is trying to get Japan, which is in recession, motoring again after a two-decade bout of stagnant growth and deflation. Earlier this week, the yen fell to a 21-month low against the dollar and a near three-year trough against the euro. As the yen falls, its exports become cheaper and those of Asian neighbors South Korea and Taiwan, and further afield in Europe, become relatively more expensive. Q: Is Japan trying to weaken the yen? A: Yes and no. Though it’s not directly intervening in the foreign exchange markets by selling yen and buying other currencies, the new Japanese government has embarked on an economic course it hopes will finally kick-start the economy. The government has already pushed the Bank of Japan to accept a higher inflation target. This has triggered speculation the bank will create more money. The prospect of more yen in circulation has been the main reason behind the yen’s recent fall to a 21-month low against the dollar and a near three-year record against the euro.

Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso doesn’t appear to be holding back on the success of the policy. Though he insists the government hasn’t been directly intervening in the currency markets, he says the world “has been awed” by the recent surge in share prices and that the weakening yen has “brought huge benefits to the export sector.” Q: Will a lower yen help Japan? A: It can help exporters, such as Sony and Toyota, thereby lifting growth. A lower currency can also stoke inflation by making imports more expensive. For a country that’s seen prices fall for a large chunk of the past two decades, that may be no bad thing. But if other countries respond to the falling yen by devaluing their currencies, Japan will struggle to achieve its objectives – back to square one. Q: Have other countries been manipulating their currencies? A: In Sept. 2011, Switzerland took action to arrest the rise of its currency, the Swiss franc. The rise was triggered by the debt crisis afflicting the 17-country eurozone – investors were looking for somewhere safe to park their cash and the Swiss franc has traditionally fulfilled that role. The Swiss intervention was viewed as an attempt to protect the country’s exporters. The appropriate level of currencies was a hot topic of debate before the financial crisis. For years, US politicians have accused China of keeping its currency artificially weak in order to industrialize fast And the US was widely seen to have abandoned the “strong dollar” policy at the core of the Clinton administration’s economic policy in a dash for growth. Q: So why the fears that Japan might start a new currency war? A: Getting an edge from a lower currency may be seen as an easy way of “trying to spark economic recovery,” according to Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital. It’s the desire to eke out growth that’s behind the talk of currency wars and the focus on the yen. So far, Europe has felt the impact of the falling yen the most At the height of the eurozone’s financial crisis last year, the euro was worth $1.21 – to the potential benefit of big exporters like BMW or Airbus. However, this week it’s at $1.33 even though the eurozone is still the laggard of the world economy. Figures Thursday showed that the economic output of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro shrank at an annualized rate of around 2.5 percent in the last quarter of 2012. A rise in the value of the euro, which is also partly to do with the diminishing threat of a collapse of the currency, will do little to help companies in the eurozone – and will hardly help getting it

growing again. Politicians have voiced concerns about the euro’s value – notably French President Francois Hollande, who indicated he was open to calls for a more managed exchange rate. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said last week that the bank will monitor the economic impact of the euro’s rising value. Several analysts took that to mean the ECB could cut interest rates to bolster growth, which in theory could weaken the euro – an indirect tit-for-tat response to the yen’s fall, some say. Earlier this week, the volatility in the currency markets prompted the Group of Seven leading industrial nations, which includes the US, Germany as well as Japan, to warn that volatile movements in exchange rates could adversely hit the global economy and to reaffirm their commitment to market-driven exchange rates. Q: How bad could a currency war get? A: Since World War II, one of the key objectives of international economic policymaking has been to avoid a repeat of the 1930s, when countries around the world engaged in a tit-for-tat battle with their exchange rates. That decimated global trade, accentuating the depression and providing another catalyst to war. Assuming the world doesn’t descend into a similar abyss, a currency war can still harm the global economy. For example, central banks, particularly in the developing world, may resort to controlling the amount of capital that can be moved out of a country to affect exchange rates. “Increasing impediments to the free flow of capital might be thought to lower the potential growth of the world economy,” said Stephen Lewis, chief economist at Monument Securities. And even if capital controls are avoided, violent fluctuations in the value of currencies sparked by a currency war don’t encourage businesses to invest– raw materials and components shipped in from abroad would become increasingly difficult to cost and the value of any money invested in a country could quickly be wiped out. Q: Can the world’s leaders and central bankers calm the situation? A: No doubt, a communique will emerge from this weekend’s G-20 meeting in Moscow that pours scorn at competitive devaluations. Most of the action, though, is likely to take place behind-thescenes with pressure expected to be put on the Japanese finance minister and central bank governor not to allow the yen to fall much further. “Expect smoke and mirrors,” said Simon Evenett, a professor of economics at the University of St Gallen in Switzerland and a former World Bank official. “It’s not the G-20’s style to point fingers.”

Sarwono, deputy central bank governor. Others have noted that the United States has created new money in a very similar way to the Bank of Japan, although Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke insisted the US central bank was acting in line with the G7 statement, “using domestic policy tools to advance domestic objectives”. Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said he would defend Tokyo’s bold approach to monetary easing, saying the policies were aimed at stabilising the domestic economy. He also said the bout of yen weakness merely reflected receding risk aversion among investors globally. The meeting in Moscow of finance

officials from the G20 nations, which account for 90 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and two-thirds of its population, also looked set to lay bare differences over the balance between growth and austerity policies.

backstop to halt a market meltdown in 2009 but has failed to reach those heights since. At successive meetings, Germany has pressed the United States and others to do more to tackle their debts. Washington in turn has urged Berlin to do more to increase demand. “It’s very important to calibrate the pace of fiscal consolidation,” Brainard said. “It’s ... important to see demand in the euro area and some of that must take place through internal rebalancing.” The draft reaffirms G20 commitments to draw up credible medium-term fiscal plans but will also make allowance for the near-term economic downturns facing some countries, the G20 delegate said.

Promise The draft communique reflected a row brewing between Europe and the United States over extending a promise to reduce budget deficits beyond 2016. A pact struck in Toronto in 2010 will expire this year if leaders fail to agree to extend it at a G20 summit of leaders in St Petersburg in September. The G20 put together a huge financial




Britain’s retail sales decline unexpectedly Cameron may fly into Shell India tax row LONDON, Feb 15, (RTRS): British retail sales unexpectedly fell in January hurt by heavy snow, reviving worries that the economy may be slipping into a third recession since the onset of the financial crisis. Sales volumes slipped 0.6 percent in both monthly and annual terms, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday, confounding economists’ expectations for growth. “The underlying picture is that the economy is bouncing along the bottom, so weather disruptions can easily tip it into negative territory,” said Rob Wood, economist at Berenberg Bank. Britain’s economy has endured two recessions since the 2008 financial crisis and contracted again at the end of last

year, coming closer to its third slump, although stronger recent economic data has raised hopes of modest growth in early 2013. “This release brings a dip back on the table,” Wood said. Another recession would pile pressure on Britain’s Conservative-led government, which has had to defend its austerity programme against criticism it is stifling growth. The government says cuts are necessary to shrink a swollen deficit, but it also needs solid growth to meet its budget targets and bolster its chances of winning a 2015 election. The pound hit a half-year low against the dollar and British government bonds extended gains after the retail data release. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.4 percent rise in sales on the month and a 0.8 percent increase on the

year. The ONS also revised December’s numbers down. Weather is not the only problem facing British consumers. High inflation has eroded their spending power in recent years, with real wages now at their lowest since 2003. Little respite is on the cards. The Bank of England warned on Wednesday that inflation would remain high until 2016 and economic growth would be slow. In a sign that it was not just the bad weather that is weighing on consumers, sales between November and January posted their steepest fall compared to the previous three months since March 2010. In expenditure terms, retail sales account for roughly one fifth of Britain’s gross domestic product. The ONS said weak food sales, which posted their biggest monthly fall since

May 2011, were the main reason behind the overall sales drop, with bad weather forcing some small grocers to close. “Given it has come early in the quarter, there is some chance of catch-up in February and March,” said David Tinsley, economist at BNP Paribas. “But of course forgone food sales are not necessarily made good,” he said, adding that a scandal over horse meat sold as beef might also hurt sales. Unemployment figures next week will provide further clues about the state of the economy at the turn of the year. One major British retailer has showed shoppers might be getting back to spending in February. John Lewis said on Friday that sales at its department stores jumped by more than a fifth last week compared to a year earlier. However, that number was flattered by heavy snowfall in February

2012. The ONS said the quantity of food sold fell by 2.6 percent compared with January last year, touching its lowest volume since April 2004. Meanwhile, the share of online food sales jumped by nearly a third, probably another reflection of the bad weather that kept shoppers at home. The increase in online shopping helped big retailers, the ONS said. Retail sales excluding fuel fell 0.5 percent on the month but were 0.2 percent higher than in January 2012 — much weaker than economists’ forecasts for rises of 0.4 percent on the month and 1.4 percent on the year.


Oil company Royal Dutch/Shell has asked the British government to raise the subject of a tax dispute

with India during Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit there next week, according to a source familiar with the request. The dispute blew up earlier this month when tax authorities revalued by $2.7 billion a 2009 transaction by Shell with a wholly-owned subsidiary, and claimed a tax payment was due. It comes as India seeks to balance its need to shore up its finances by raising tax receipts with its desire to encourage foreign investment. The Anglo-Dutch oil group’s run-in with tax officials follows a long-running $2 billion Indian tax claim on British mobile telecoms group Vodafone which has dented foreign investor confidence in the country. Finnish phone maker Nokia earlier this week became the latest international company to protest against an Indian tax investigation.




India hopes to seal EU free trade deal by April India expects to sign a “balanced and ambitious” free trade agreement with the European Union by April, an official statement said on Thursday. Chief negotiators for India and its largest trading partner will meet next month, capping a series of 15 rounds of talks, India’s Trade Minister Anand Sharma said in a statement released by his ministry. “Loose ends, if any, will be dealt with at the ministerial level in April,” Sharma said, adding “both sides

expect to be able to close negotiations by April 2013”. India and the EU are hoping “for a balanced and ambitious agreement,” Sharma said. Sharma made the comments in a meeting with the French Minister for External Trade, Nicole Bricq, during talks in New Delhi, the statement said. Bricq is part of a delegation led by French President Francois Hollande who is on a two-day visit to India.

India and the 27-member EU have been negotiating the market-opening pact since June 2007 to boost bilateral commerce. But progress has been stymied by differences over intellectual property rights and efforts by Brussels to link trade with environmental issues and India’s social sector performance in areas such as child labour. India has opposed incorporation of what it calls “extraneous” non-trade issues into the EU talks. (AFP)

ex-Hanlong Mining exec jailed in Australia for insider trading A former executive of private Chinese firm Hanlong Mining Investment Pty Ltd was sentenced to two years and three months in jail by an Australian court on Friday for insider trading, Australia’s corporate watchdog said. Bo Shi Zhu, who was also known as Calvin Zhu, pleaded guilty last July to three counts of insider trading carried out between 2006 and 2011, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said. Zhu is a former vice-president of

Hanlong Mining Investment Pty Ltd (Hanlong Mining), which has been facing long delays in trying to secure Chinese government approval for a $1.4 billion takeover of Australia’s Sundance Resources. The charges he pleaded guilty to included trading in shares of Sundance and another Hanlong takeover target, Bannerman Resources, when he was at Hanlong. Zhu, an Australian citizen, was among several Hanlong executives

whom the corporate watchdog targeted in a probe into insider trading in Sundance and Bannerman. He also admitted to trading in shares of credit risk provider Veda Advantage while he was at financial advisory firm Caliburn Partnership when he knew about a planned private equity bid, and to trading in wholesaler Funtastic Ltd when he knew about a private equity bid while he was an associate at Credit Suisse. (RTRS)

New Delhi suspends $750 million deal over bribe claim

New Finmeccanica head faces fallout from India crisis MILAN/NEW DELHI, Feb 15, (RTRS): The new head of Italian defence group Finmeccanica has inherited a corruption crisis over a $750 million helicopter deal with India that risks hurting the company’s business in other foreign markets. India’s defence ministry confirmed on Thursday that it had suspended payments following allegations that Finmeccanica paid bribes to swing the deal for the sale of 12 luxury helicopters. Finmeccanica promoted company insider Alessandro Pansa to the top job at a hastily convened board meeting on Wednesday night. Police in northern Italy arrested CEO and Chairman Giuseppe Orsi the previous day. Orsi, who is being held in jail but has not been charged, faces allegations of paying bribes to win a 560-million-euro ($750-million) contract for the company’s AgustaWestland unit to supply helicopters for use by senior Indian politicians. He denies any wrongdoing and will be questioned on Friday. Finmeccanica shares fell 1.7 percent on Thursday and have lost 12 percent in the aftermath of Orsi’s arrest. Concerns over the potential long-term damage to sales around the world from the taint of corruption claims outweighed relief at swift action to fill the management vacuum. “The speed at which the company tried to fix the corporate governance issues is a

positive,” Italian bank Mediobanca said. “We still see reputational risk and we wonder if some other countries may try to cancel orders,” it said. India, the world’s largest weapons importer, has threatened to scrap the deal and blacklist Italy if bribery allegations are proven. It will not take delivery of the remaining nine helicopters until a probe by its Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is complete. Finmeccanica unit Alenia Aermacchi is hoping to bid for a contract to supply over 50 military transport aircraft to India in competition with European aerospace group EADS. In India, where national elections are due next year, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lambasted the Congress-led government for not acting sooner over the allegations. An internal defence ministry investigation last year found no foul play in the purchase of the helicopters, destined for use by India’s political elite. Critics say the government did too little to follow up later media disclosures that the Italian investigation linked India’s former air chief S.P. “Shashi” Tyagi and three of his cousins to the alleged bribery. Tyagi denies any wrongdoing. On Thursday, one of the cousins, Sanjeev “July” Tyagi, denied allegations in the Italian arrest warrant that he had taken 100,000 euros in cash bribes and

Banks eye ‘PC off’ rule

South Koreans battle for civilised working hours SEOUL, Feb 15, (AFP): A growing number of South Korean corporations are turning their backs on a workaholic culture once seen as indispensable but increasingly viewed as unhealthy, unproductive and inefficient. Long working hours, often followed by intense late-night drinking sessions with the boss, have long been a feature of the Korea Inc that transformed a war-ravaged nation into Asia’s fourthbiggest economy in a matter of decades. Rapid development has brought new values and new priorities, with employees demanding a better work-life balance than the previous generations who were told their patriotic duty lay in pulling the country out of poverty. For more than two decades, Yie Jong-Man, a 53-year-old bank manager in Seoul, could only dream of sitting down at home to a family dinner after work. “I used to work until 10, 11 at night or even later because there was so much work to do, or simply because my boss wouldn’t go home,” said Yie, who has worked for the state-run Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) since 1986. “I couldn’t spend enough time with the family when my two kids were growing up. They were nearly always asleep when I went home,” he told AFP. But things started to change in 2009 when the IBK, the fourth largest bank by assets, adopted the unprecedented policy of shutting down all office computers at 7:00 pm to ensure people went home. The “PC off” rule was a success and many other banks are set to follow suit this year. In 2011, an average South Korean worker put in 44.6 hours a week, the second highest after Turkey among members of the 34nation Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Exhausted But the exhausted workers ranked only 28th in terms of productivity. And a report last year by consulting firm Towers Watson showed that only 17 percent of South Korean workers were “highly engaged” in their work, far lower than the average of 35 percent among the 28 advanced nations surveyed. The impact of long-working hours on family life has been partly blamed for a sliding birthrate that has made South Korea one of the world’s most rapidly aging societies — a trend that is expected to take a heavy economic toll. A recent UN report showed those aged 60 or over will account for 39 percent of the South’s population by 2050, up from 17 percent

last year, while the size of its youth population will be halved by 2060. “Part of the reason for the falling birthrate is both men and women here absolutely lack the time for proper childcare,” said Lee SamSik, researcher at The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs. “There’s an urgent need to change our culture of overwork in order to boost the birthrate, strengthen the long-term competitiveness of the country and, more than anything else, make this country more livable,” Lee said. During last year’s presidential election, all the main candidates vowed to cut overtime and improve people’s quality of life. The winner, Park Geun-Hye, promised to bring working hours down to the OECD average by 2020. Concessions And even the giant family-run conglomerates, or “chaebols”, that dominate the national economy have started to make concessions — albeit slowly. The South’s top automaker Hyundai Motor agreed to cut working hours for some 30,000 plant workers and to dump its decades-long graveyard shift, 10 years after negotiations started with the labour union. And 35 banks and other financial firms — with a combined workforce of more than 100,000 — recently agreed with the industry’s umbrella union to embrace the “PC off” rule by the end of 2013. “Some say fewer work hours means less profits, but I don’t believe that is the case anymore,” Sung Nak-Jo, spokesman for the Korean Financial Industry Union. “We used to be working long hours in a constantly exhausted and unfocused state... Now is the time to do something to achieve more sustainable, effective and humane growth,” he told AFP. As the clock passed 6:30 pm at the IBK branch in the busy shopping district of Dongdaemun, Yie Jong-Man and the other managers started calling out to their staff: “Everybody, please wrap things up! Let’s go home!” Those wanting to work after 7:00 pm need special permission from their supervisors, whose performance is evaluated on not only how much revenue they earn but also how early their subordinates go home. “Now I can have dinner with my wife... but I wish I had done that when my kids were little. Now they are all grown up,” Yie said. “Things will be better for younger fathers at our bank... I guess that’s how we become a better nation not only in economic terms but in cultural and social terms.”

Italian executives in India bribe scandal face arraignment ROME, Feb 15, (AFP): Two top Italian defence executives arrested in a bribery scandal over the sale of 12 helicopters to India faced arraignment on Friday, as leaks revealed the alleged payments went to India via Tunisia. The former chief executive of Italian defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, and the former head of its helicopter division Agusta Westland, Bruno Spagnolini, were due to appear before a judge. Bribes amounting to 20 million euros ($27 million) were paid through two

Switzerland-based intermediaries, Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, who are officially fugitives, Italian media said citing investigative documents. Total bribes paid for the 556-millioneuro deal were 30 million euros, investigators believe. Investigators say payments were made through Tunisia-registered companies controlled by Haschke and Gerosa and were then transferred to accounts in India and Mauritius belonging to a company called Aeromatrix, the reports said.

“The money was destined for intermediaries and to remunerate corrupt public officials,” Orsi’s arrest warrant was quoted by Il Messaggero daily as saying. Italian police have so far arrested two people, Orsi and Spagnolini, and carried out 37 raids including on the two execs’ homes and offices. The two are accused of international corruption and tax fraud. Italian prosecutors have requested the extradition of Haschke and Gerosa. During a raid on Haschke’s moth-

er’s house, La Repubblica daily said police had found details of a plan to pay an Indian general referred to as “Saini” a 0.5-percent commission, around five million dollars, for a helicopter deal. The discovery was first reported by Il Fatto Quotidiano daily. La Repubblica quoted from a transcript of a bugged phone conversation involving Orsi in which the CEO could be heard saying: “They’re talking about the Indian general? Shit, are they talking about the 0.5 percent?”

introduced company representatives to the air chief on several occasions to discuss the helicopter deal. “I have nothing to do with this, they are lying,” he told CNN-IBN television, adding he and his brothers were consultants to the power industry. “Never, ever in the defence sector.” In Italy, elections are only just over a week away and all sides are trying to make political capital from the latest in a series of corruption cases to shake the Italian business world. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has fought a series of

legal battles himself over his business empire and private life, has said that overzealous prosecutors risked harming Italian business. The Italian state remains the largest shareholder in Finmeccanica with a stake of about 30 percent. Centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani, whose group was ahead in the last opinion polls published before the Feb 24-25 election, said on Thursday it was the wrong moment to consider further privatisations. “In this moment it would be crazy... I am talking about Eni, Enel, about

Finmeccanica,” Bersani said when asked about potential privatisations in a television interview, referring to oil giant Eni and utilities group Enel. Ratings agency Moody’s confirmed its rating of Finmeccanica debt after Pansa’s appointment but cut the outlook to negative from stable. “The negative outlook reflects heightened challenges in achieving a stronger operating and financial profile that is consistent with expectations for the Baa3 rating,” it said. Moody’s cited a soft outlook for defence spending and the need for

Finmeccanica to sell off more assets. Pansa, who joined the company in 2001 as chief financial officer, will be supported by Guido Venturoni, 78, a former admiral who becomes vice chairman and who was the senior independent director on the Finmeccanica board. Shareholder meetings will be held in April to finalise the new board which is when a new chairman could be appointed to work alongside Pansa. The heavily indebted group is trying to sell units including its AnsaldoEnergia power engineering business to focus on its core aerospace and defence activities.

Bejing plays by its own rules while going global Chinese loans to Venezuela totals $36 bln since 2008 MEXICO CITY, Feb 15, (AP): When Venezuela seized billions of dollars in assets from Exxon Mobil and other foreign companies, Chinese state banks and investors didn’t blink. Over the past five years they have loaned Venezuela more than $35 billion. Elsewhere around the Caribbean, as hotels were struggling to stay afloat in the global economic slowdown, the Chinese response was to Bankroll the biggest resort under construction in the Western Hemisphere — a massive hotel, condominium and casino complex in the Bahamas just a few miles from halfempty resorts. All over the world, from Latin America to the South Pacific, a cash-flush China is funding projects that others won’t, seemingly less concerned by the conventional wisdom of credit ratings and institutions such as the World Bank. The Chinese money is breathing life into government infrastructure projects that otherwise might have died for lack of financing. For commercial projects such as the Caribbean resort, China is filling a gap left by Western investors retrenching after the 2008 financial crisis. But some in the Bahamas worry what will happen if the sprawling Baha Mar project fails. They picture an economy saturated with hotels, dragged down by an expensive Chinese white elephant. Likewise, the infrastructure loans are loading financially shaky countries with more debt and letting them avoid economic reforms that other lenders would likely have demanded. “The Chinese play by other rules,” said Kevin Gallagher, a Boston University international relations professor who has studied Chinese lending to Latin America. “We’ll give you financing with no conditions, and we’ll finance things the International Monetary Fund won’t fund, things others won’t fund anymore, like big infrastructure projects. It allows countries to shop around, which has good and bad sides.”

Higher Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez talked up his independence last year while highlighting another $4 billion in Chinese loans, part of a wave of money that has translated into new railways, utilities and other projects. “In a few days, they’re going to deposit 4 billion little dollars more from Beijing,” Chavez told reporters, holding up four fingers for emphasis. “Fortunately, we don’t depend on the dreadful bank. What’s that one called that you mentioned? The World Bank. Poor are those countries that depend on the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund.” Venezuela’s Oil and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez says China has loaned his

A Chinese woman prepares to attach a Buddhist blessing tablet with wishes for the new year written on it to a sacred tree at the Dongyue Temple in Beijing on Feb 15. China is welcoming the Year of the Snake and tradition proclaims that a snake in the house is a good sign because it means the family will not starve and children born in the Year of the Snake will be cunning, intelligent and wise. (AFP)

country $36 billion since 2008, and others put the figure even higher. The Spanish-language version of a report coauthored by Gallagher, “The New Banks in Town: Chinese Finance in Latin America,” estimates it at $46.5 billion. The loans have added to Venezuela’s $95.7 billion in public foreign debt as of mid-2012, which has risen even as the country rakes in record-high oil revenue. Some analysts say the spending helped Chavez win re-election in October, despite battling cancer. China has emerged in recent years as the largest provider of development loans not only to Venezuela but also to Ecuador and Argentina, according to the Gallagher report. All three are junk bond countries, ratings agencies say. In contrast, the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank remain larger lenders in Brazil and Mexico, both countries with higher bond ratings. In cases such as the tiny South Pacific islands of Tonga, China is lending enormous sums to countries few expect will be able to repay. What has surely given the Chinese banks courage is the trillions of dollars in reserves the country holds in US Treasury bonds, investments that pay almost nothing in interest. Making that money work harder for a return overseas has become nothing less than a national priority, part of China’s trumpeted “going out” strategy. China’s economy is the second largest after the US, and many of the deals stipu-

late repayment in oil and natural gas, locking in the commodities China will need to sustain its growth for decades to come. In 2009 and 2010 alone, the China Development Bank extended $65 billion in such loans to energy companies and government entities from Ecuador to Russia and Turkmenistan, according to a report by Erica Downs, a China expert at the Brookings Institution, a US think tank.

Lending “If you’re lending tens of billions of dollars to a borrower ..., you want to make sure that loan is secured against something,” she said. “In the case of Venezuela, it’s the most valuable thing they can offer. It’s just one way to ensure they get paid.” In dozens of cases, the Chinese have also demanded that their own companies build the infrastructure that will help governments extract and ship the commodities used to pay back the loans. In Argentina, that means agreements to bring in Chinese companies to revamp the country’s decrepit rail system, which would speed up shipments of soy to Chinese consumers. “The money goes from one account in the China Development Bank into the hands of small- and medium-sized businesses in China,” Gallagher said, while noting the majority involve big state companies. The Chinese also hold a valuable trump card: They’re betting that Chavez

and other financial pariahs won’t dare alienate their last source of affordable money by defaulting on Chinese loans or seizing Chinese assets. “The Chinese have the upper hand,” Downs said. “The China Development Bank sees this country that’s thumbed their nose at the IMF. And if they borrowed from the IMF and had to be subjected to IMF conditionality, the regime would fall.” Perhaps with that in mind, more than 30 Chinese consultants toured Venezuela and handed Chavez a thick binder with recommendations on everything from exchange rate reform to agriculture. While news cameras clicked, Chavez held up the book, thanked his Chinese benefactors and pledged to study the prescriptions. Unlike IMF loans, however, the Chinese recommendations weren’t a requirement, and Chavez has shown no sign of curbing public spending. The investments and loans have contributed to a substantial shift in commerce toward China. Venezuela, for example, saw its trade with the US drop from 26 percent of its GDP in 2006 to 18 percent in 2011, according to an Associated Press analysis of IMF databases. Meanwhile, Chinese trade grew from virtually nothing in 2001 to nearly 6 percent a decade later, much of it in the form of oil to repay loans. But the money doesn’t necessarily save countries from their own bad financial bets.




filing shows Icahn holds stake in Herbalife The divide between billionaire investors Carl Icahn and William Ackman is getting deeper. A regulatory filing Thursday shows that Icahn holds a 12.98 percent stake in nutritional supplement distributor Herbalife Inc and intends to have discussions with its management on business and strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including the possibility of going private.

Herbalife has become part a long-running feud between the two activist investors that led to a shouting match on live television last month. The two Wall Street titans traded barbs on CNBC about an old investment deal that ultimately led to a fight over Ackman’s position on Herbalife. Hedge fund manager Ackman said in December that he believes Herbalife is pyramid scheme and

he took a short position in the stock. Short-sellers make money when the stock they’re betting against declines. Icahn has said publicly that it was no secret that he neither liked nor respected Ackman and didn’t like how he had approached his short position in Herbalife, which he said was “getting a room full of people to bad mouth the company.” (AP)

Buffett’s firm discloses stakes in ADM, Verisign Warren Buffett’s company disclosed new investments in the Archer Daniels Midland Co and Verisign Inc on Thursday as part of a busy quarter. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. filed the update on its US stock portfolio as of the end of 2012 with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. Berkshire said it held nearly 6 million shares of ADM, which makes

food ingredients and animal feed, and 3.7 million shares of Verisign, which manages the databases that house “.com” domain names, at the end of the year. Those were the newest additions to Berkshire’s $75.3 billion US portfolio. Besides those new investments, Berkshire added to stakes in General Motors, DaVita, Liberty Media, DirecTV, IBM, Wal-Mart, National Oilwell Varco, Wabco Holdings,

Precision Castparts and Wells Fargo. Berkshire also cut its Kraft Foods holdings to 1.7 million shares at the end of 2012. Last fall, Berkshire held 30.5 million Kraft shares. But Berkshire seemed more fond of the Kraft spin-off Mondelez because Buffett’s company held 12.8 million shares of Mondelez, which includes Krafts snacks and dessert brands like Oreo cookies, Cadbury and Nabisco. (AP)

Soros, Robertson and PIMCO cut gold stakes

Paulson & Co held on to gold in 4th quarter NEW YORK, Feb 15, (RTRS): Prominent hedge fund manager John Paulson continued to hold significant gold investments in the fourth quarter of 2012, even as other investors pulled out. Notable institutional investors, including George Soros, Julian Robertson and Allianz’s PIMCO reduced their bets on gold during the quarter, when bullion posted its biggest quarterly loss in more than four years. Paulson & Co owned 21.8 million shares in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust , at the end of December, unchanged from Sept. 30, a filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission showed on Thursday. “That’s a good sign as he’s a big player. It shows that he still has long-term faith in the market,” said Bill O’Neill, a partner in commodities investment firm LOGIC Advisors. Paulson is by far the biggest shareholder of the SPDR gold ETF. He has often

advocated gold to offset risks related to currency exposure and US dollar depreciation. The value of Paulson’s SPDR ETF holdings, however, dropped to $3.54 billion in the fourth quarter from $3.75 billion in the third, resulting in a paper loss of $215.5 million for his fund. The decline was because of a 5 percent, or $100, drop in the price of spot gold during the fourth quarter. Some analysts cited year-end hedge fund redemption for gold’s pullback in the quarter. In December, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney recommended that its financial advisers pull client money out of a Paulson fund. Earlier in the year, Citigroup’s private bank decided to withdraw $410 million from Paulson & Co. Besides the gold ETF, Paulson’s firm also held onto significant stakes in the shares of major gold mining companies, including Barrick Gold Corp, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd and about half a dozen others.

Barrick says no new mine builds now, costs too high TORONTO, Feb 15, (RTRS): Barrick Gold Corp posted stronger-than-expected results on Thursday and boosted confidence in its troubled South American project even as it booked a $3.8 billion charge to write down the value of an African mine. The world’s largest gold miner’s shares climbed as much as 5 percent as it offered evidence that it may have turned a page after a year of struggling with rising costs, project delays and long-term production cuts as the gold price flattened. “It’s just a company that’s been disappointing for several quarters in terms of

expectations,” Morningstar analyst Elizabeth Collins said, explaining the rise in a stock that had fallen more than 36 percent from the beginning of 2012 until Wednesday’s close. “It’s a reversal of the trend.” The writedown on Lumwana, the Zambian copper mine Barrick acquired in 2011, is the latest in a series of huge charges taken by miners around the world that spent heavily on boom-year takeovers that soured as metal prices stagnated and costs climbed. Barrick also said that it will not proceed

with an expansion that would have doubled output at Lumwana, touted as the crown jewel in the hugely unpopular C$7.3 billion ($7.28 billion) takeover of Equinox Minerals. “It’s been a disaster from a due diligence point of view. It’s not the copper price — the copper price is doing fine, thank you very much — but the actual assets that were bought are not as advertised,” said George Topping, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus. Indeed, Barrick said it had no immediate plans to build any more mines. A

notable — and expensive — exception is the massive Pascua-Lama mine on the border of Argentina and Chile, where production is targeted for the second half of 2014. The company confirmed that development costs there are still expected to be $8 billion to $8.5 billion, soothing investor fears of another cost overrun at the embattled mine. Barrick reported massive capital cost increases at Pascua-Lama in 2012 and twice delayed the start-up of the mine, which is expected to be a major new source of gold and silver.

He also had a stake in Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. Some other well-known managers were more bearish. George Soros, who called gold “the ultimate bubble” in 2011, reduced his position

in SPDR Gold by more than a half to 600,000 shares in the fourth from 1.32 million in the third quarter. Tiger Management’s Julian Robertson dissolved his entire stake in Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF, while he held onto the

Junior Gold Miners ETF. Recent signs of recovery in the US housing and jobs markets also diminished gold’s appeal as a hedge against economic uncertainty, analysts said. “If the equities market continue to roll

higher here, investors could divert more money away from gold in the near term,” O’Neill said. Year to date, gold is down around 2.5 percent. It traded at $1,635 an ounce on Thursday, just $10 above a six-month low.

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 12, 2013 KD 1.022 1.021 Feb 5, 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 Feb 6, 2013 USD 22.730 22.400 Jan 30, 2013 Diversified Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Feb 6, 2013 USD 17.500 17.440 Jan 30, 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 Feb 6, 2013 USD 32.520 32.550 Jan 30, 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 Feb 07, 2013 USD 2.829 2.860 Jan 31, 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 12, 2013 EGP 196.760 196.730 Feb 11, 2013 Commercial Int’t Bank Fund II (Istethmar) CI Asset Management Weekly Feb 07, 2013 EGP 62.940 61.600 Jan 31, 2013 CIB and Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt Fund CI Asset Management Weekly Feb 07, 2013 EGP 43.270 42.450 Jan 31, 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




LSE shares fall as LCH results disappoint Shares in London Stock Exchange (LSE) fell sharply on Friday as weak underlying earnings from its takeover target LCH Clearnet raised fresh concerns over the deal. The LSE plans to pay 366 million euros ($488.3 million) for 60 percent of LCH, which as a clearing house makes its money by acting as a middle man in financial trades and guaranteeing to complete deals if one of the parties involved can’t. The acquisition offers the LSE


Russia exchange earns disappointing $4.2bn valuation

more than offset by investments in infrastructure and regulatory-driven demands. Phil Dobbin, analyst at Espirito Santo Investment Bank, said while the headline revenue figure — which was up 24 percent on a net basis — was OK, the underlying performance was less so. “EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) fell on the year and that is what you take into the deal, which is disappointing,” said Dobbin. (RTRS)

diversification from its equities base into the many debt and currency markets in which LCH operates, but the exchange has already cut its offer price after regulatory demands that clearing houses like LCH hold more capital. Results from LCH showed underlying operating profit fell 13 percent to 92.8 million euros in 2012. Operating costs rose 8 percent to 298.7 million, as savings from a transformation programme were

2011 merger of the MICEX and RTS trading floors — said the price for the initial public offering had been set at 55 rubles after a 10-day roadshow in Moscow and abroad. The upper end of its initial 55-63 ruble-per-share range would have valued the company at $4.6 billion (3.4 billion euros). The stock slipped to 54.70 rubles at the open before clawing back losses and trading at 55.07 at 1100 GMT.

The Moscow Exchange was priced Friday at $4.2 billion in a disappointing flotation that valued Russia’s main bourse at the lowest end of its own estimates. The valuation was a blow President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to transform Moscow into a global financial centre and underscores analyst mistrust of a bourse now mired by low volumes and regular trading in just a few big stocks. The exchange — formed in a

Company officials put a brave face on the situation by pointing out they met their main goal of raising $500 million that will go toward IT improvements and boosting the capitalisation of its clearing subsidiary. “What we are selling is more than just our organisation,” said Moscow Exchange board chairman Alexander Afanasyev. “Our success in many way determines the success of the development of the Russian market.” (AFP)

bottomline Wall Street flat despite improved data; yen falls on G20 statement

NORTHFIELD, Illinois: Kraft Foods

Commerzbank says it’s making progress in reshaping its business but still has “a long way to go” as higher shipping loan losses and low interest rates continue to squeeze profits. The bank provided detail Friday on its fourth-quarter earnings announced Feb. 4. It lost 716 million euros ($954 million) largely due to one-time losses of 185 million euros on its sale of Bank Forum in Ukraine and 560 million euros in tax accounting charges. For all of 2012, net profit was a meager 6 million euros as loan losses increased and interest earnings shrank. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

expects fourth-quarter adjusted earnings above analysts’ current estimates, but it foresees lower revenue than a year ago. The US-based company, whose brands include Oscar Mayer and Miracle Whip, also raised its 2013 earnings forecast Friday. Kraft anticipates quarterly earnings of about 15 cents per share. Excluding charges, however, adjusted earnings would be 57 cents per share. That easily tops the 23 cents that analysts polled by FactSet expected. The company said its earnings included charges of approximately 24 cents per share related to its pension fund strategy, about 14 cents per share in restructuring charges and 4 cents per share in unrealized losses from hedging activities. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Oil slides to about $117 a barrel NEW YORK, Feb 15, (Agencies): The yen fell against the euro and dollar on Friday on expectations that Group of 20 finance leaders this weekend will avoid targeting Japan over policies that have weakened its currency, while oil prices sank on signs of lagging economic activity.

OSLO, Norway: Higher revenues have helped Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA return to profit in the fourth quarter of 2012. Europe’s fastest growing budget airline says Friday it made a net profit of 23.6 million kroner ($4.3 million) during the period in contrast to 2011’s equivalent loss of 133 million kroner. Revenues spiked more than 22 percent to 3.1 billion kroner ($563 million) from 2.5 billion kroner. CEO Bjoern Kjos says he is pleased with the results as the airline expanded in 2012 when it took delivery of 13 new Boeing 737-800 planes. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

MIAMI: Burger King’s fourth-quarter net income nearly doubled, in part because of lower expenses and strengthening results in the US and Canada. The US-based hamburger chain’s adjusted earnings and revenue topped Wall Street’s expectations. Shares climbed more than 3 percent in premarket trading Friday. 3G Capital, the private investment firm that owns a majority stake in the company, has been working to turn around Burger King’s business since purchasing it in 2010. 3G has been shifting to an entirely franchisee-owned model to cut down on overhead costs and boost profit margins For the three months ended Dec 31, Burger King earned $48.6 million, or 14 cents per share. That compares with $25 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Wall Street retreated from initial gains to trade little changed as the strength of this year’s stock rally injected a cautious tone. Data on Friday underscored the stillbumpy rose to economic recovery. The New York Federal Reserve reported an expansion in manufacturing in New York state, and a survey shoed a surprisingly rise in US consumer sentiment in February. But US industrial production unexpectedly dipped in January, spurring the concerns about economic activity. Oil prices sank, with Brent futures heading for their first weekly loss since mid-January. The yen tumbled on a draft communique prepared for G20 finance leaders at their meeting that begins later on Friday in Moscow. The draft omits part of this week’s Group of Seven statement declaring fiscal and monetary policy may only be used for domestic economic aims, a G20 delegate said. A measure of global equity activity, MSCI’s all-country world index, traded slightly lower at 355.35. The benchmark S&P 500, up almost 7 percent this year, is facing strong technical resistance near the 1,525 level. But investors, expecting further advances in the quarter, have held back from locking in profits and kept stocks from tumbling. The S&P is on track to register its seventh straight week of gains by the close of trading Friday, a feat not seen since a run of consecutive weekly gains that ended in January 2011. A surge in merger and acquisition activity, with more than $158 billion in deals announced in the first 45 days of the year, has supported the equity market as it indicates healthy valuations and a bright economic outlook. In commodities markets, Brent futures for April delivery tumbled to a low of $116.28 per barrel, down $1.72, before recovering slightly to $117.04.

MILAN: Italian oil and gas company Eni says fourth quarter profits were more or less flat as a recovery of production in Libya was offset by higher taxes and lower investment profits. Eni says Friday its net profit for the quarter ending Dec 31 was 1.52 billion euros ($2 billion) against 1.54 billion euros a year earlier. Eni says 2012 was a record year for exploration with discovered resources of 3.64 billion barrels of oil equivalent, or six times annual production. Progress was made in Mozambique, West Africa, Indonesia and the Barents Sea. Oil and natural gas production for the year was 1.7 million barrels a day, up 7 percent from 2011. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

NEW YORK: The insurer MetLife Inc., which sold its bank deposits in January, says it is no longer a bank holding company. MetLife said Thursday that it received approval for the status change from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and the board of governors of the Federal Reserve. It had been a bank holding company since 2001, and as a result it faced tougher regulation after the financial crisis and was subject to the Federal Reserve’s “stress tests,” which assessed how banks would weather another serious downturn. MetLife failed those tests, and as a result the Fed has not allowed MetLife to increase its dividend or buy back shares. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

FRANKFURT: Sportswear firm Puma said it is pulling out of the sailing market to concentrate on other sports such as soccer and running to rebuild its flagging business, leaving an Americas Cup team seeking a new sponsor. The German company, which on Thursday reported a 70 percent drop in its annual profit, is going through its biggest reorganisation in 20 years to restore the business and get its products back in fashion in the United States, Europe and China. The group is closing stores, cutting product lines and last month said it would stop sponsoring rugby union football in Europe, no longer providing kit for Ireland’s team after the next season. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

LONDON: Anglo American slid to its first net loss for more than a decade in 2012 after profits fell across all units and the global miner wrote $4 billion off the value of its flagship Minas Rio iron ore project in Brazil. Anglo, like rival Rio Tinto a day earlier, promised caution in future spending. Its 44 percent drop in operating profit to $6.2 billion was expected, but the impairments linked to Minas Rio and Anglo’s bruised platinum unit resulted in a net loss, or loss attributable to shareholders, of $1.5 billion. Minas Rio, where delays and permit troubles have driven costs to more than three times original estimates, has been seen as Anglo’s most significant failure of recent years. Anglo had already said last month that it would write $4.6 billion off the value of both Minas Rio and platinum projects. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

MUMBAI: India’s troubled wind energy giant Suzlon posted its biggest-ever quarterly loss Thursday, hit by a combination of hefty debt and declining global demand for turbines. The firm, once a star of India’s green technology, reported its net loss quadrupled to 11.55 billion rupees ($211 million) in the three months to December, from a loss of 2.86 billion rupees a year earlier. The figures marked Suzlon’s fifth straight quarterly loss. Suzlon’s chief financial officer Kirti Vagadia said the company’s business performance was “adversely hit due to our abnormal operating environment, leading to a significant loss for the quarter”. (AFP)

FRANKFURT, Germany: Germany’s

when it rose less than 0.2 percent. The benchmark index, up nearly 7 percent so far this year, is facing strong technical resistance near the 1,525 level. But investors, expecting the index to advance further in the quarter, have held back from locking in profits. Wall Street’s gain thus far in 2013 has largely been driven by strong corporate earnings, while data indicated some weakening in economic conditions. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 11.27 points, or 0.08 percent, at 13,984.66. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.32 points, or 0.02 percent, at 1,521.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.51 points, or 0.05 percent, at 3,200.17. The benchmark S&P 500 is up 0.2 percent for the week and is on track to register its seventh straight week of gains by the close of trading Friday, a feat not seen since a run of consecutive weekly gains between December 2010 and January 2011. Herbalife shares pared earlier gains and were up 8.5 percent to $41.53, a day after billionaire investor Carl Icahn said in a regulatory filing that he now owns 13 percent of Herbalife and was ready to put it in play. MeadWestvaco Corp climbed 10 percent to $34.90 as the biggest percentage gainer on the S&P index after activist investor Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management LP said in an SEC filing it had bought about 1.6 million shares of the packaging company.

the United States. At the close, the FTSE 100 was up 0.90 points, at 6,328.26, with strength in the healthcare sector counteracted by weakness in miners and energy stocks. Drug maker Reckitt Benckiser, manufacturer of Strepsils throat lozenges, added the most points to the index, gaining 1.5 percent after HSBC raised its target price on the stock. That took its gains to the week to 5.7 percent after the company beat earnings forecasts on Wednesday, prompting a wave of broker upgrades.

Asia Asian stocks were mixed while the euro eased on Friday as data showed the eurozone slipped deeper into recession at the end of last year, while markets await the start of a Group of 20 meeting in Russia. Tokyo fell 1.18 percent, or 133.45 points, to 11,173.83 hours before G20 finance ministers gather for a weekend summit where Japan’s controversial monetary policy will figure prominently. Hong Kong gained 0.13 percent, or 31.31 points, to 23,444.56 while Seoul ended flat, edging up 1.57 points to 1,981.18. Sydney also finished flat, nudging down 3.0 points to 5,033.9, although it is still sitting around 34-month highs. Shanghai and Taipei are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. Investor confidence was hit by news that recession in the 17-nation eurozone deepened sharply in the final three months of 2012 as the debt crisis continued to sap growth. In other markets: ■ Singapore closed down 0.22 percent, or 7.40 points, at 3,283.07. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation dropped 0.40 percent to Sg$9.99 while property developer Capitaland gained 0.26 percent to Sg$3.91. ■ Manila gained 0.13 percent, or 8.23 points, to 6,521.64. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. gained 0.53 percent to 112 pesos while SM Investment Corp. fell 1.00 percent to 987 pesos. ■ Wellington ended 1.00 percent lower, sliding 42.46 points to 4,196.74. Auckland Airport slumped 5.78 percent to NZ$2.77, Fletcher Building was off 1.77 percent at NZ$8.87 and Telecom was steady at NZ$2.22. ■ Jakarta closed up 0.46 percent, or 21.11 points, at 4,609.79. Telekomunikasi Indonesia rose 2.05 percent to 9,950 rupiah and Bank Negara Indonesia gained 0.57 percent to 4,400 rupiah but Bank Permata lost 0.68 percent to 1,470 rupiah. ■ Bangkok lost 0.34 percent, or 5.22 points, to end at 1,521.52. Coal producer Banpu shed 1.04 percent to 379.00 baht, while PTT Plc fell 1.38 percent to 357.00 baht. ■ Kuala Lumpur eased 0.18 percent, or 2.96 points, to 1,627.93.

Europe Europe’s main stock markets retreated on Friday while the dollar and euro rose against the yen as Group of 20 finance ministers met amid growing talk of “currency wars”. Solid US industrial output and consumer sentiment data helped European stocks push into positive territory for a while in afternoon trading, but fell back as the closing bell approached. London’s FTSE 100 index of leading companies ended flat at 6,337.07 points, with news that British retail sales sank 0.6 percent in January from December, instead of a forecasted 0.6-percent gain, weighing on sentiment. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 shed 0.49 percent to 7,593.51 points, and in Paris the CAC 40 lost 0.25 percent to 3,660.37 points. Madrid’s IBEX 35 index dropped 1.18 percent to 8,150.2 points and Milan’s FTSE MIB gave up 0.33 percent to 16,490 points.



US stocks were little changed on Friday as investors once again found few reasons to make big bets with the S&P 500 on track to close out a seventh straight week of gains. Equities have struggled for direction recently, with major indexes moving only slightly in the past several sessions. The biggest daily move for the S&P in the past five sessions was on Tuesday,

Gains in heavyweight healthcare stocks were unable to take Britain’s blue chip share index back to five-year highs on Friday as weak commodity stocks capped the market’s rise. The index managed a weekly gain but did not test five-year highs set earlier in the week, as a late locking in of profits ahead of the weekend pared gains made on the back of encouraging data out of

CIMB fell 1.1 percent to 7.08 ringgit, rival Malayan Banking shed 0.8 percent to 8.91 while Bumi Armada gained 1.6 percent to 3.83. ■ Mumbai fell 0.15 percent, or 29.03 points, to 19,468.15. Wind energy giant Suzlon Energy slid 8.63 percent to 21.7 rupees, while drug firm Dr Reddy’s Labs fell 3.55 percent to 1,811.5 rupees.

Oil Oil prices sank on Friday and Brent futures were heading for their first weekly loss since mid-January after an unexpected dip in US industrial production spurred concerns about lagging economic activity. US crude prices also fell hard as traders sold positions ahead of the US holiday weekend. “We gave (US) oil many chances to get above $98 and test $100 a barrel. And it becomes a situation where we can’t rally, so we sell it,” said Richard Ilczyszyn, chief market strategist at LLC in Chicago. Brent futures for April delivery tumbled to a low of $116.28 per barrel, down $1.72, before recovering slightly to $116.83 by 11:00 am EST (1600 GMT). The contract was heading for its first weekly loss since the first half of January. US crude shed $1.77 to $95.54 per barrel, on its way to its second straight weekly loss after eight weeks of gains, a day after the previous month’s options expired. Wednesday saw a record in open interest for West Texas Intermediate futures, as CME Group Inc said on Thursday it had reached 1,665,014 contracts. Broader commodities markets were hit hard on Friday, as gold fell to a six-month low, with a slate of economic figures suggesting the world economy would not expand as rapidly as anticipated. A floor under oil prices was maintained with supply concerns stemming from worries over Iran’s nuclear program. Talks between Iran and the United Nations appear to have failed as inspectors returned from talks in Tehran with no deal on reviving a nuclear investigation and no date for a new meeting.

Gold Gold prices extended losses on Friday to more than two percent when it broke below a key chart support level at $1,600 an ounce to its lowest level since August, after earlier declines triggered technically-driven selling. Softer appetite for the precious metal from investors and a dearth of physical demand from China during the Lunar New Year holiday put the metal on track to slip 3 percent this week, its biggest weekly drop since June. Spot gold hit a low of $1,598.04 an ounce, its weakest since Aug 16, and was at $1,603.70 by 1555 GMT, down 1.83 percent. US gold futures for April delivery were off $31.7 an ounce at $1,603.80, a 1.93 percent drop.

exchange rates – Feb 14 US dollar BEC Muzaini Dollarco Commercial Bank Gulf Bank NBK Burgan Bank ABK Oman KBE

Sterling pound

Transfer .280450 .282600 .282800 .282550 .281400 .283500 .281150 .283250 .281400 .283500 .281200 .283300 .281400 .283500 — — .282600

Cash .433145 .442145 — .442000 .434000 .447000 .435613 .449446 .435200 .444240 .434500 .443530 .431460 .444000 — .467000 —

Muzaini Dollarco Commercial Bank Gulf Bank NBK Burgan Bank ABK Oman KBE

BEC Muzaini Dollarco Gulf Bank ABK KBE

Euro Cash .375045 .382045 — .381000 .376000 .384000 .373307 .385570 .376560 .385160 .339010 .347320 .373450 .384750 — — —

Japanese yen Cash .294500 .312500 — .004550 — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Transfer .294500 .312500 .003025 .004050 .003009 .003032 .003010 .003060 .030051 .030422 .003588 .003636 .029975 .030464 — .003200 —

Buy Sell Sell Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Sell

Buy Sell Sell Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Sell

Cash .469210 .519210 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Cyprus Pound

Yemeni riyal

Thai baht

South African rand

Buy Sell Sell Sell Buy Sell Buy Sell Sell

Transfer Cash Draft — — — — — — — — — .693000 .693100 .693100 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Cash Draft Transfer .128400 .127400 .127400 .136400 .137400 .137400 — .001320 .001320 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Cash Draft Transfer .091350 .090790 .090790 .096850 .096790 .096790 — .094900 .094900 — — — — — — — — — — – — — — – — — —

Cash Draft Transfer .025948 — — .034448 — — — — — — — — — — — — .032051 .032051 — — — — — — — — —

Draft .280450 .282600 .282800 .282550 .281400 .283500 .281150 .283250 .281400 .283500 .281200 .283300 .281400 .283500 .287900 .287900 .282600

Danish kroner BEC

Transfer .432145 .441145 .441450 .439385 .436916 .440176 .439521 .446295 .436700 .441240 .436000 .440530 .435900 .440990 — .475000 —

Cash .278700 .282850 .281600 .283000 .274000 .284000 .278650 .285250 .276400 .285000 .276200 .274800 .278900 .285000 — — —

Draft .469210 .519210 — — .050686 .051065 .050446 .051360 .050620 .051130 .046462 .046997 .050340 .051750 — — —

Indian rupee

Transfer .469210 .519210 — — .050686 .051065 .050446 .051360 .050620 .051130 .046462 .046997 .050340 .051750 — — —

travellers cheques BEC Commercial Bank Gulf Bank Al-Ahli Bank

Draft .432145 .441145 .441450 .439385 .436916 .440176 .439521 .446295 .436700 .441240 .444600 .436000 .435900 .440990 .444400 .475000 —

Cash .004919 .005320 – .005450 .004000 .006750 — — — — — — — — — — —

US dollar .2828000 .2840000 .2854580 .2831500

Draft .005179 .005254 .005245 .005237 — .005286 — .005324 — — .005094 .005093 .005182 .005270 — — .005252

Transfer .005179 .005254 .005245 .005237 — .005286 — .005324 — — .005094 .005093 .005182 .005270 — — .005252

Sterling .4445000 .4510000 .4549210 .4444000

Draft .375045 .382545 .381070 .378245 .378216 .381038 .376656 .382866 .378060 .382160 .380190 .340510 .377330 .382110 .378620 .382570 .385600

Transfer .375045 .382545 .381070 .378245 .378216 .381038 .376656 .382866 .378060 .382160 .380190 .344320 .377330 .382110 .378620 .382570 .385600

Pakistani rupee Cash .002605 .002885 — .003100 — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Euro — .3870000 .3853120 .3836200

Draft .002852 .002892 .002879 .002872 — .002900 — .002915 — — — — — .002949 .002951 .003175 .002889

Draft .294500 .312500 .003025 .004050 .003009 .003032 .003010 .003060 .030051 .030422 .003588 .003636 .029975 .030464 — .003200 —

Sri Lanka rupee

Transfer .002852 .002892 .002879 .002872 — .002900 — .002915 — — .003233 — — .002949 — 003175 .002889

Cash .001953 .002533 — .002950 .002000 .003500 — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .001933 .002238 .002232 .002227 — .002250 — .002266 — — .002546 — — .002307 — .002510 .002245

Transfer .001933 .002238 .002232 .002227 — .002250 — .002266 — — .002546 — .002307 — .002510 .002245

local gold BEC Muzaini Exchange

Swiss franc Cash .302306 .311806 — .310000 .305000 .315000 — — .302400 .312710 .279180 .289100 — — — — —

Draft .303306 .310306 .309580 .306815 .306820 .309110 .304703 .310810 .306400 .310210 .283180 .286600 .305470 .310530 — — —

Transfer .303306 .310306 .309580 .306815 .306820 .309110 .304703 .310810 .306400 .310210 .297119 .299506 .305470 .310530 — — —

Bangladesh taka Cash .003287 .003887 — .003850 — — — — — — — — — — — .004250 —

Draft .003531 .003586 .003567 .003562 — .003602 — .003615 — — — — — — — .004170 .003574

Transfer .003531 .003586 .003567 .003562 — .003602 — .003615 — — .004017 — — — — .004170 .003574

Korean won Cash — — — — — — — — —

Draft — — — — — — — — —

Gold 999 kg — 15,060.000

Transfer — — — — — — — — —

Canadian dollar Cash .277100 .285600 — .288000 .279000 .290000 — — — — .277897 .282890 — — — — —

Draft .275100 .284100 .283370 .285900 .280965 .283061 .279140 .284472 .280640 .284010 .286988 .277020 .279980 .284320 — — .287900

Transfer ..275100 .284100 .283370 .285900 .280965 .283061 .279140 .284472 .280640 .284010 .286988 .277020 .279980 .284320 — .267000 .287900

Philippine peso Cash .006937 .007217 — .007200 — —

Draft .006498 .006968 .006958 .006946 — .007031 — — .007070 — — — — — .006449 — — — — — .007289 .006000 .006467 — — — .006995

Transfer .006498 .006968 .006958 .006946 — .007031 — .007070 — — .006449 — — .007289 .006467 — .006995

Syrian pound Cash Draft Transfer .003153 .003153 .003153 .003373 .003373 .003373 — — — — — — — .003073 .003073 — — — — — — — — — — — —

Gold 999 10 tola 1,802.3400 1,772.000

Gold ounce — 483.000

Swedish kroner Cash .409200 .459200 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .409200 .459200 — — .044735 .045069 .043978 .044793 .044660 .045140 .041155 .041482 .044444 .045600 — — —

Transfer .409200 .459200 — — .044735 .045069 .043978 .044793 .044660 .045140 .041155 .041482 .044444 .045600 — — —

Saudi riyal Cash .074777 .075360 — .077000 .072000 .076000 .074148 .076208 .073970 .076660 .073684 .075774 .074060 .076150 — — —

Australian dollar Cash .285438 .296038 — — .298900 .300000 — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .275100 .284100 — — .291249 .293423 .289725 .295155 .291080 .294530 .284712 .286988 .290190 .294710 .237000 — —

Transfer .275100 .284100 — — .291249 .293423 .289725 .295155 .291080 .294530 .284712 .289490 .290190 .294710 .237000 — —

Draft — — — — — — — — —

Gold gm 22k — 13.785

Transfer — — — — — — — — —

Transfer .074827 .075467 .075444 .075310 .075060 .075620 .074880 .075674 .074970 .075660 .074280 .075640 .074820 .075630 — — .075518

Hong Kong dollar Cash .034388 .037138 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Iranian tuman Cash .000161 .000162 — — — — — — —

Draft .074827 .075467 .075444 .075310 .075060 .075620 .074880 .075674 .074970 .075660 .075640 .072340 .074820 .075630 — — .075518

Draft .033888 .036988 .036468 — .036286 .036556 .036118 .036706 — — — — .036290 .036560 — — —

Transfer .033888 .036988 .036468 — .036286 .036556 .036118 .036706 — — — — .036290 .036560 — — —

UAE dirham Cash .076014 .077163 — .077100 .076325 .077092 .075720 .077830 .076390 .077160 .075223 .077374 .076325 .077092 — .078600 —

Draft .075514 .076964 .077036 .076905 .076644 .077216 .076467 .077285 .076560 .077240 .077237 .074510 .076340 .077250 .078390 — .077045

Transfer .075514 .076964 .077036 .076905 .076644 .077216 .076467 .077285 .076560 .077240 .075832 .077237 .076340 .077250 — .078390 .077045

Singapore dollar Cash .225729 .231792 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Draft .224792 .230792 .230290 — .227688 .229387 .226168 .230050 .227430 .229680 .216673 .218433 .227020 .230120 — — —

Transfer .224792 .230792 .230290 — .227688 .229387 .226168 .230050 .227430 .229680 .222630 .216673 .227020 .230120 — — —

Lebanese pound

Malaysian ringgit

Cash Draft Transfer .000138 .000173 .000173 .000238 .000193 .000193 — .189800 .189800 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Cash Draft Transfer .090033 .087431 .087431 .096033 .094431 .094431 — — — .093500 .091250 .091250 — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Gold gm 21k — 13.150

Gold gm 18k — 11.275

100 gm 999 – —

10 gm 999 – 157.000

Bahraini dinar Cash .743677 .751677 — .750000 .743611 .751084 .737559 .758083 .744270 .751750 — — — — — — —

Draft .743177 .751677 .751430 .748045 .746716 .752289 .748380 .752723 .745920 .752690 .740873 .750398 .744450 .752830 — — .751300

Transfer .743177 .751677 .751430 .748045 .746716 .752289 .748380 .752723 .745920 .752690 .740873 .750398 .744450 .752830 — — .751300

Jordanian dinar Cash .393486 .400966 — .400000 .390000 .405000 — — — — — — — — — .415000 —

Transfer .393010 .400510 .399520 .398295 — .400990 — .401203 — — .394853 .398939 .395500 .402090 .401670 .415000 —

Transfer .393010 .400510 .399520 .398295 — .400990 — .401203 — — .394853 .398939 .395500 .402090 .401670 .415000 —

Indonesian rupiah Cash .024000 .030000 — — — — — — —

Draft .024000 .029000 — — — .000030 — — .000029

Transfer .024000 .029000 — — — .000030 — — .000029

Omani riyal Cash .728513 .734193 — — .728978 .736304 .722171 .742451 .729620 .736960 .735741 — — — .752000 — —

Draft .723013 .734013 .734830 — .731194 .736651 .729298 .737246 .730430 .736940 .734440 .722120 .728850 .738170 .748000 — —

Transfer .723013 .734013 .734830 — .731194 .736651 .729298 .737246 .730430 .736940 .734440 .719020 .728850 .738170 .759930 — —

Egyptian pound Cash .039401 .042100 .042100 .042500 .042000 .047000 — — — — — — — — — .056000 —

Draft .039926 .041956 .041929 .041930 — — — .042363 — — .047830 .049026 — .042660 — — .041937

Transfer .039926 .041956 .041929 .041930 — — — .042363 — — .047830 .049026 — . 042620 — — .041937

New Zealand dollar Cash .233644 .243144 — — — — — — —

Draft .231644 .241644 — — .235406 .240350 .237270 .241440 —

Transfer .231644 .241644 — — .235406 .240350 .237270 .241440 —

All rates in KD per unit of foreign currency


finger tips

Emergency 112


Fire Brigade 100, 105 … Traffic violation inquiry 198 … Consumer protection hotline 24820281/25720252 Labour complaints hotline 24344954 – Fax: 24347562 – The Scientific Center 1848888 Awqaf & Islamic Affairs ........................... 22480000 Commerce & Industry .............................. 22480000 Communications ....................................... 24819033 Defense ..................................................... 24848300 Education .................................................. 24817702 Health ........................................................ 24877422 Higher Education ...................................... 22401300 Electricity & Water ................................... 25371000 Finance ...................................................... 22480000 Foreign Affairs .......................................... 22425141 Housing ..................................................... 25301000 Information ............................................... 22415301 Justice, Legal & Administrative Affairs ... 22480000 Energy ....................................................... 22415201 Planning .................................................... 22428200 Social Affairs & Labour ........................... 22480000 Public Works ............................................. 25385520 IMMIGRATION OFFICES Farwaniya ................................................ 24341770 Shuwaikh ................................ 24839380, 24839607 Hawalli ..................................... 25712637/25712635 Jahra .......................................................... 24555600 Ahmadi ..................................................... 23986761 Mubarak Al-Kabeer .................................. 25415071 MEDICAL SERVICES Central .......... 4722000 Ambulance Central Adan ............................ 23940600/23941455 Amiri Hospital .......................................... 22422366 Da’iya ........................................................ 22510854 Fahaheel .................................................... 23919098 Farwaniya .................................................. 24883000 Farwaniya .................................................. 24725149 Jahra .......................................................... 24570583 Mubarak Al Kabir ..................................... 25311437 Sabah ......................................................... 24815000 Salmiya ..................................................... 25739011 Shuaiba ..................................................... 23261927 Public Hospitals Adan .......................................................... 23940600 Allergy ...................................................... 24849252 Amiri ......................................................... 22450005 Amiri Casualty .......................................... 22450005 Blood Bank ............................................... 25336538 Burns Centre ............................................. 24840300 Cancer Control Centre .............................. 24849100 Chest Diseases ......................... 24838990/24849400 Drug Control ............................................. 24837245 Farwaniya ................................ 24883000/24888000 Ibn Sina ..................................................... 24840300 Infectious Diseases ................................... 24870351 Islamic Medicine Centre ........................... 24849000 Jahra .......................................................... 24575300 Kidney Centre ........................................... 24840027 Maternity ................................................... 24848067 Military ..................................................... 24729911 Mubarak Al Kabir ................................. 25312700/ 9 Opthalmology ........................................... 24840300 Psychiatric Centre ..................................... 24843900 Quarantine ................................................. 24873272 Razi ........................................................... 24846000 Sabah ............................................... 24812000/5000 Sulabikhat Orthopedic .............................. 24874240 Transplant Centre ...................................... 24840300 Private Hospitals Ahmadi ..................................................... 23985174 Dar Al Shifa .............................................. 22423151 Hadi ........................................................... 25312555 Mowasat .................................................... 25711533 Rashed ....................................................... 25624000 Salam ............................................... 22533177/3254 Hadi Private Clinics International Clinic ................................... 25745111 Kuwait Clinic ............................................ 25739277 Maidan ...................................................... 22450001 Soor Center ............................................... 22901677 DOCTORS & DENTISTS IN PRIVATE PRACTICE Andrology, Male Infertility and Impotence Specialist Abdullatif A. Al Salim .............................. 25334438 Dentists & Oral Surgeons Ahmed Al Balool ...................................... 22622211 Badri K. Al Rayes ..................................... 25742557 Duha Al Shaqan ........................................ 22644614 Ebraheem Behbehani ................................ 25730000 Farida Al Herz .......................................... 22573883 Maria Blanaru ........................................... 25730000 Najat Essa-Bahman ................................... 22624595 Najeeb Kassim .......................................... 25739277 Salwa A. Abdulsalam ................................ 25730000 Kuwait Medical Center .......................... 25759044/5 Endrocrinologists Latifa Al Dowaisan ................................... 25728004 Kamal Abdulaziz Al Shome ..................... 25329924 Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons Hossam Eldin Abdulfattah ........................ 25745056 Abdulmohsen Mousa Jafar ....................... 25655535 Dermatologist & Venereologists Fahad I. Al Othman .................................. 22665166 Taibah M. Almonayes ............................... 25737477 Dr. Mohamed Bo Hamra .......................... 22665166 Gastroenterologist Mohamed A. Al Shimali ................5322030/2639955 Eurologist Fawzi Taher Abul ...................................... 25650064 Ali Yousef Mehdi ...................................... 25333501 General Practitioner Dina Al Rifai ............................ 25333501/25333502 Obstetricians & Gynecologists Samira Al Awadi ....................................... 25738055 Ma’asouma Maksheed .............................. 25731275 Mohamed Gamal ...................................... 25349077 Mai Al Snan .............................................. 25321171 Psychological and Sociological Services Fahad Mubarak & Nisirine Aboul-Hosn .. 25659800 Al-Razi Counseling & Assessment Center 25711411, 97656522 Dr Kazem Abal, Ph.D., Clinical. ................25737773 Dr Vincenza A. Tiberia, Ph.D., Licensed....99816522 Dr Samira Al Dehrab, Ph.D. .......................66169099 Zainab Kahn, MA Clinical..........................25737773 Soor Center ................................22901677/22901688 Dr Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. .......................22901677 Dr Jeremy Alford .......................................22901677 Dr Sabahat Shah ........................................22901677 Dr Siddiqa M. Hussain ..............................22901677 Susannah Schuilenberg, MA.......................22901677 Amal Al-Shatti, MSc ..................................22901677 LizNoël Duncan, MSW ..............................22901677 Zaina Al-Zabin, MSc ..................................22901677 Bonnie Robertson, MSc..............................22901677 Kevin Carrico, MA .....................................22901677 William Schuilenberg, MPCP.....................22901677 Ahmad Boustanji, BSc................................22901677 Dr Kazem Abal, Al-Razi Center 25711411/25737773 Rheumatologist Dr Sukhbir Uppal, MD,FRCP (UK)........22232188/ .....................................................22232000 Ext 2189 MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS TELEPHONE FOR TEST & COMPLAINTS Jabriya (Surra) .......................................... 25310000 Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh .................................... 24310000 Old Jahra ................................................... 24770000 New Jahra & Abdaly ................................ 24570000 Hawally ..................................................... 22610000 Ras Al-Salmiya ......................................... 25710000 Al-Riqa ..................................................... 23940000 Salmiya ..................................................... 25610000 Shuwaikh .................................................. 24810000 Sabah Al-Salem (Messila) ........................ 25510000 Sulaibiya ................................................... 24670000 Sulaibikhat ................................................ 24870000 South Sabahiya ......................................... 23610000 Fintas ......................................................... 23900000 Zoor ........................................................... 23950000 Ahmadi ..................................................... 23980000 Ardiya ....................................................... 24880000 Fahaheel .................................................... 23910000 Farwaniya .................................................. 24710000 Kuwait City ............................................... 22400000 Mishref ...................................................... 25380000 Manqaf ...................................................... 23710000 Nuzha ........................................................ 22510000 Umm Al Haiman & Wafra ........................ 23280000 Shuaiba ..................................................... 23260000 TRAFFIC HOTLINE ................................. 1884141 KAC BOOKINGS ............................................. 171 AIRPORT .......................................................... 180 CIVIL ID .................................................... 1889988 POLICE STATIONS Abu Halifa ................................................ 23717656 Ahmadi ..................................................... 23980304 Ardiya ....................................................... 24881273 Bayan ........................................................ 25387762 Dahar ......................................................... 23830500 Dahiya ....................................................... 22560855 Dasma ....................................................... 22531917 Fahaheel ..................................................... 23912959 Faiha ......................................................... 22552693 Farwaniya................................................... 24711977 Ferdous ..................................................... 24890583 Fintas ......................................................... 23904388 Hawalli ...................................................... 22641116 Jabriya ....................................................... 25315855 Jahra Ind. Area ......................... 24575565/24587392 Jahra North ................................................ 24552295 Jleeb Al Shouyoukh .................................. 24311234 Keifan ........................................................ 24832839 Kheitan ...................................................... 24722590 Mina Abdullah .......................................... 23261144 Nugra ........................................................ 22616662 Omariya .................................................... 24742160 Qadsiya ..................................................... 22574386 Qurain ....................................................... 25423772 Rabiah ....................................................... 24742160 Rawda ....................................................... 22560058 Riqqa ......................................................... 23941958

Rumaithiya ................................................ 25624123 Sabah Al-Salem ........................................ 25517229 Sabahiya .................................................... 23615619 Salhiya (Kuwait City) ............................... 22427157 Salmi ......................................................... 24576576 Salmiya ..................................................... 25726950 Salwa ......................................................... 25626950 Shamiya .................................................... 24845953 Sharq ......................................................... 22442466 Sulaiba Ind. Area ...................................... 23261789 Shuwaikh ................................. 24813726/24844842 Sulaibekhat ............................................... 24876555 Sulaibiya ................................................... 24670672 Sulaibiya Ind. Area ................................... 24672728 Surra .......................................................... 25312220 Tayma’a .................................................... 24571700 Wafra ......................................................... 23810412 Waha ......................................................... 24557902 Zour ........................................................... 23950160 CAR RENTALS Europcar .................................................... 24842988 Al-Mulla ................................................... 22421660 Avis ........................................................... 22465082 Budget ....................................................... 24810844 Al-Sayer .................................................... 22441425 Rent a Honda ............................................ 24838470 Hertz .......................................................... 24319326 Sanbouk .................................................... 22446297 Autoleas .................................................... 24846999 United Hospitality For Limousine............. 22407777 National ..................................................... 24343139 Internaitonal Car Rental Co ...................... 22453827 Al-Zamel Auto Est. ................................... 24832626 FOREIGN EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Tel. Fax Afghanistan 25329461 25326274 Algeria 22519220 22519497 Argentina 25379211 25379212 Australia 22322422 22322430 Austria 22552532 22563052 Bahrain 25318530 25330882 Bangladesh 25316042/3 25316041 Belgium 25384582 25384583 Bhutan 22516640/50 22516550 Bosnia 25392637 25392106 Brazil 25328610 25328613 Bulgaria 25314458 25321453 Canada 22563025 22564167 China 25333340 25333341 Cuba 22549361 22549360 Cyprus 22433075 22402971 Czech 22529018 22529021 Denmark 25341005 25341007 Egypt 22519956 22563877 Ethiopia 25334291 25331179 Eritrea 25317426 25317429 Finland 25312890 25324198 France 22582020 22582055 Georgia 25352909 25354707 Germany 22520827 22520763 Greece 24817101 24817103 Hungary 25323901 25323904 India 22530600 22571192 Indonesia 24839927 24819250 Iran 22560694 22529868 Italy 25356011 25356030 Japan 25312870 25326168 Kenya 25353314 25353316 Korea 25339601 25312459 Lebanon 22562103 22572182 Libya 22575183 22575182 Malaysia 22550394/5/6 22550384 Mauritania 25312943 25327245 Morocco 25312980/1 25317423 Netherlands 25312650 25326334 Niger 25652943 25640478 Nigeria 25320794 25320834 Oman 22561956 22561963 Pakistan 25327651 25328013 Philippines 25329316/8 25329319 Poland 25311571 25311576 Qatar 22513606 22513604 Romania 24845079 24848929 Russia 22560427 22524969 Saudi Arabia 22400250 22420654 Senegal 22573477 22542044 Slovakia 25353893/5 25353894 Somalia 25394795 25394829 South Africa 25617988 25617917 Spain 25325829 25325826 Sri Lanka 25339140 25339154 Switzerland 25340172/5 25340176 Syria 25396560 25396509 Thailand 25317530 25317532 Tunisia 22526261 22528995 Turkey 22531785 22560653 United Arab Emirates 22528544 22526382 United Kingdom 22594320 2 Chancery 22594339 Commercial Section 22594368 Management Section 22594352 Visa Section 22594361 Foreign & Commonwealth Office website: Ukraine 25318507 United States of America 22591001 Venezuela 25324367 25324368 Vietnam 25311450 25351592 Yugoslavia 25327548 25327568 Zimbabwe 25621517 25621491 WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS Name & Website/Address Tel. No. Social Work Society of Kuwait 25375031 (Human Rights Organization) Fax: 5375032 E-mail:; http://www, CHARGES FOR EXPATRIATES Visitors Residents C.T. Scan KD 95 KD 70 Angiogram KD 140 KD 90 I.V.P KD 55 KD 40 MCUG KD 55 KD 40 Asc Urothrogram KD 55 KD 40 Sinogram KD 40 KD 40 Sialogram KD 40 KD 40 H.S.C. KD 40 KD 40 Barium Enema KD 50 KD 35 Barium Meal KD 45 KD 30 O.C.G. KD 45 KD 30 Ultrasound KD 15 KD 10 Ultrasound destruct KD 130 KD 65 M.R.I. KD 245 KD 180 Bed in Public Ward: KD 2 per day Source: MPH LIBRARIES Name and address Tel. No. Kuwait National Public Library 22415181 Al-Mubarakia, Souk Al-Mubarakia Kuwait University Library 24816497 Khaldiya Heritage Manuscripts & Documents Center 25320900 Jabriya, Block 5, Street 3 British Council 22515512 Mansuriyah, Block 2, Street 2 Library of Gulf University 22645806 Hawalli, Musa Bin Naseer Street Al Ahmadi Public 23987086 Ahmadi Al Dae’ah Public 22515686 Al Dae’ah, Block 4 Dahiyat Abdulla Al Salem Public 22548878 Block 3, beside Co-op Al Dasma Public (Women) 22530842 Dasma Al-Faiha’a Public 22540898 Al-Faiha’a, Block 5 Al Farwaneia Public 24720570 Al-Farwaniya, behind Police Station Al Fehaheel Public 23913810 Fahaheel, in front of Post Office Al Khaldia Public 24813331 Khaldia Al Qadseia Public 22515298 Qadsia Al Rumaitheia Public 25610399 Rumaitheia, Block 7 Al Shameia Public 24818343 Shameia Al Sabaheia Public 23619328 Sabaheia Hawally Public 22644738 Hawalli, Tunis St., beside Gulf Bank Kaifan Public 24815724 Kaifan, Block 1 Kheitan Public 24712691 Kheitan Al-Babtain Central Library 22474010 Gulf Road, Next to Ministry of Planning MUSEUMS Name and address Tel. No. Bait Al-Bader Est. 22429158 Kuwait City, beside National Museum Kuwait House Museum 24846336 Shuwaikh, B17, Str 7, beside Public Theatre, Villa No. 32 Kuwait National Museum 22451195 Gulf Road Mohd Al-Shaybani Museum 25320901 Jabriya, Block 5, Street No. 3 Tareq Rajab Museum 25339063 Jabriya, Block 12, Street No. 5 Educational Science Museum 22421268 Merqab, Abdullah Al Mubarak Str. Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyah 22400992 In Kuwait National Museum, Gulf Str. KOC Display Centre 23982393 Ahmadi Sadu House 22432395

In Kuwait National Museum, Gulf Str. Popular Traditional Museum 22429158 In Kuwait National Museum, Gulf Str. Bayt Al-Qurain 25430343 Al-Qurain, Block 4, Street 3, House 59 THEATERS Name and address Tel. No. Abdulaziz Hussein Cultural Center 1804500 Mishref, beside Co-op Al Dasma Theater 22521059 Al Dasma, Al-Qahera Street, Block 4 Al-Shameia Theater 24845737 Shamiya, in front of Shamiya Union Co-op Al-Tahreer Theater 24813376 Kaifan, Block 1 Kuwait Public Theater 24816222 South Shuwaikh, Bl 7, Str 71, House 43 Kuwait Elizabethans (Eng. lang.) 25631725 Salwa Kuwait Players (Eng. lang.) 25625316 Rumaithiya The Little Theater (Eng. lang.) 23982680 Ahmadi Sha’ab Theater 25613777 Sha’ab Leisure Park ext. 228 Kuwait Theater 25720983 Salmiya, Block 5, Street No. 3 THE BEST RESTAURANTS & CAFÉS JAPANESE CUISINE Name and address Tel. No. Bonsai Japanese Restaurant 22510999 Le Méridien Kuwait Hotel, Gulf Rd. Kei 22422650 J. W. Marriott Kei 22244630 Marina Crescent Edo 22659590 Shaab, Block 8, Str. 80, Villa 5 Kamikaze 1824060 The Palms Beach Hotel & Spa Maki 25733561 Salmiya, Plajat Str. Sushi Club 25712144 Salmiya, Plajat Str., Al Saraf Complex Wasabi 22494000 Kuwait City, Al Mashoora Tower Hashi 22996414/5 Kuwait City, Salhiya Plaza THAI CUISINE Blue Elephant – Royal Thai Cuisine 23716113 Hilton Kuwait Resort Thai Chi 22253120/1 Al-Bedaa, next to Regency Hotel PIZZA RESTAURANTS Domino’s Pizza 1800800 Sbarq 25743180 Salmiya, Salem Al Mubarak Str., opp. Al Fanar Complex Prego 25737500 Salmiya, Salem Al Mubarak Str., opp. Al Rabea Bldg. Pizza Express 23719866 Mangaf, Hilton Resort Villa Pizza 25715452 Salmiya, Salem Al Mubarak Str. Peppe’s Pizza 25744442 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf Str., Beside Holiday Inn Hotel. The Pizza Company 1800400 Salmiya, Souk Salmiya Pizza Inn 24924400 Salmiya, Al-Rai, Fintas GREEK CUISINE Zorba’s Green Taverna 25715124 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf Street MEXICAN CUISINE Chi-Chi’s 25625811 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf Str., Sultan Center Restaurant Castello 1806666 Fintas, Restaurants Str. Burrito 22552233 Bneid Al Qar, 2nd Road, Behind Al-Salam Hospital SPANISH CUISINE Viva Espanole 25755668 Salmiya, Salem Al Mubarak Str., Al Thuraya Complex, Mezzanine INDIAN CUISINE Caesars 22411711 Kuwait City, behind Sheraton Hotel Mughal Mahal 22425131/2 Sharq, opp. Khaleejia Bldg. Dawat 22411685 Bneid Al Gar, beside Al Kazmi Tower Asha’s 2244502/3 Marina Mall, Crescent Side Rangoli 25673000 ‘Radisson Blu’ Hotel Winner’s 25739954 Salmiya, Hamad Al-Mubarak, Al-Tahreer Complex TAAL 22253142/3 Al-Bidaa, Gulf Road ITALIAN CUISINE Johnny Carino’s Kitchen 22663050 Sha’ab, Arabian Gulf Street Nino 22541900 Sharq, Arabian Gulf Street Pizza Express 22560273 Al-Bedaa, next to Regency Hotel Piano Piano 22533993 Mansuriyah, Mansuriyah Co-op Society Loranzo 22400747 Kuwait City, Beside Sheraton Hotel Ciro’s Pomodoro 22424004 Kuwait City, Al-Watiah, Behbehani House La Piazza 22426639 Kuwait City, Al-Watiah, Behbehani House Biella 22244662 Marina Mall – Crescent Side Spago 1808060 Sharq, Arabian Gulf, at Opp. Souk Sharq Tosca 1824060 The Palms Beach Hotel & Spa SEA FOOD Danah 25756284 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf St., Opp. Sheikha Complex Al-Marsa 22510999 Le Meridien Hotel, Bneid Al-Gar Totally Fish 22244960 Marina Mall – Crescent Side Al Boom 25673000 ‘Radisson Blu’ Hotel INTERNATIONAL CUISINE Olas Restaurant 1830083 Costa Del Sol Hotel The Jungle 25750647 Salmiya, Salem Al Mubarak St., Landmark Store Fresh 25625838 Salmiya, Al-Khalid Complex Lamarine 22426672 Sharq, Arabian Gulf Street, Souk Sharq Bait 7 22450724 Kuwait City, Al-Watiah, Behbehani House Sultan Center Jean’s 25625811 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf Street Jeans’ Grill 22409846

Bus No. 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 29 31 32 34 36 38 39 40 41 51 59* 66

Sharq, Arabian Gulf Street, Souk Sharq Bredz 22407707 Sharq, Arabian Gulf Street, Souk Sharq Square 22437681 Kuwait City, Al-Watiah, Behbehani House Ritz 25755668 Salmiya, Salem Al Mubarak St., Al-Thuraya Complex Teatro 23725500 Hilton Kuwait Resort Ext 7309 Jamaica Blue 25747686 Salmiya, Salem Al Mubarak St., Marina Mall Water Lemon 22244797 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Marina Mall Richoux 22244815 Salmiya, Salem Al Mubarak St., Marina Mall Bays 24610033 Movenpick Hotel Lebresserie 22455550 J.W. Marriott Avenue Restaurant 1844444 Kempinski Julai’a Resort, King Fahad Highway, Road 245 Sea Shell 1844444 Kempinski Julai’a Resort, King Fahad Highway, Road 245 Teatro 23725500 Hilton Kuwait Resort Ext 7309 Astra Lounge 22629779 Shaab, Behind Abha Complex La Marina 22426672 Sharq, Arabian Gulf St., Souk Sharq Al Bustan 25673000 ‘Radisson Blu’ Hotel Flavors Restaurant 25455555 Al Aqeelah Beach – Seashore 209 CASUAL CUISINE Hard Rock Cafe 25710004/5 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf Street, Opp. Sultan Center Chili’s 22452200 Sharq, Arabian Gulf Street, Beside Kuwait Towers Johnny Rockets 25754040 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St. Fuddruckers 22407103 Sharq, Arabian Gulf Street, Beside Kuwait Towers TGI Fridays 22544300 Bneid Al-Gar, Arabian Gulf Street Applebee’s 22407536 Sharq, Arabian Gulf Street, Beside Kuwait Towers Buffalo’s Café 25728989 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf Road, opp. Scientific Center Ruby Tuesday 24444454 Sharq, Arabian Gulf Street, Beside Aqua Park Subway 25748974 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St. Opp Land Mark Burger Boutique 22997775 Sharq, Al-Raya Complex, 2nd Floor The Burger Hub 22464818 Kuwait City, Arabian Gulf St., Opp Al-Seif Palace Chit Chat Restaurant & Cafe 25455555 Al Aqeelah Beach – Seashore 209 STEAK HOUSE The Gaucho Grill 25667370 The Palms Beach Hotel & Spa Terrace Grill 22455550 J.W. Marriott Le Entrecote 25729600 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Al-Fanar Mall Ponderosa 23983113 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Beside Marina Mall Cascade Restaurant Steaks & Grills 1831831 Le Méridien Tower Kuwait ARABIAN CUISINE Berdawni Palace 25661117 Salmiya, Al-Khalid Complex Al-Saraya Palace 25711101 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf Street Mais Al Ghanim 22460456 Sharq, Arabian Gulf Street, Opp. Kuwait Towers Villa Fayrouz 22652030 Sha’ab, Bl 8, St., 80, Bld 1 Al-Bustan 25652589 Sha’ab, Arabian Gulf Street Classical Cafe & Restaurant 25740077 Salmiya, beside Marina Mall Yaldez Palace 22455212 Kuwait City, Al-Shohada St., Beside Marriott Hotel Palm Palace 25715283 Salmiya, Hamad Al-Mubarak St. Veranda Cafe & Restaurant 25727120 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf Road, Behind Showbiz Burj Al-Hamam 22529095 Arabian Gulf Street Kababji 22550964 Al-Adeiliya, Beside Kazma Sport Club Zaatar W Zeit 22244944 Marina Mall – Crescent Side Sarai 22253180/1 Al-Bedaa, next to Regency Hotel Awtar 22244815 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Beside Marina Mall Al-Safadi 25753555 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Beside Marina Mall Fircej Suweileh 25755991 Salmiya, Beside Marina Mall Al Roshinah Restaurant 25455555 Al Aqeelah Beach – Seashore 209 FRENCH CUISINE Le Notre 1805050 Paul 22244588 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Marina Mall Dalloyau Paris 25712541 Salmiya, Al-Fanar Complex PQ (Le Pain Quotidien) 25633684 The Palms Beach Hotel & Spa PQ (Le Pain Quotidien) 22244941/2 Marina Mall, Crescent side Cafés Starbucks Coffee 22409755 Sharq, Souk Sharq,Arabian Gulf Street Costa Coffee 25728199 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Galleria 2000 Second Cup 25731671 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Marina Mall Song Bird Cafe 23725500 Hilton Kuwait Resort Ext 7314 Casper & Gambini’s 22430054/6 Kuwait City, Al-Watiah, Old Arabic Houses Diva’s Restaurant & Cafe 25723083/4 Salmiya, Blajat Street

METROPOLITAN AREA BUS ROUTES Origin Destination Orthopaedic Sharq Orthopaedic Sharq Kheitan* Mirgab Messila Mirgab Salmiyah* Mirgab Kheitan* Jahra Gate Salmiyah Sharq Orthopaedic Mirgab Al-Jleeb Sharq Al-Jleeb* Mirgab Al-Jleeb Sharq Kheitan Mirgab Salmiyah Mirgab Jahra Gate Jabriya Sulaibiya Sharqq Al Jleeb Mirgab Kheitan Sharq Jabriya Sharq Salmiyah Sharq Al-Jleeb Salmiyah Messilah Jahra Gate Kheitan Sharq Fahaheel Sharq Kheitan UN Al Jleeb* Mirgab Al-Jleeb* Mirgab Al-Jleeb Salmiya



Civil ID

101 102 103 105 139 501 502 506 507 602 999

Fahaheel Fahaheel Jahra Fahaheel Jahra Gate Airport Fahaheel Al-Jleeb Al-Jleeb Fahaheel Jahra

Mirgab Mirgab Mirgab Al-Jleeb Fahaheel Mirgab Mirgab Jahra Gate Sharq Fahaheel Fahaheel

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

Cafe Rio 25732226 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Al-Fanar Complex Numi Tea House 25725870 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St. (beside Layla Gallery) Lazord 22420837 Kuwait City, Salhiya Complex Jamaicablue 25747686 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Fanar Complex Jamaicablue 22412114 Sharq, Souk Sharq Milano Plaza 25727172 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Plaza Complex Chateau Cafe 22426802 Sharq, Souk Sharq, front of Sultan Center Zahra Cafe 25717064 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Zahra Complex Chocolate Bar 22244880 Marina Mall – Crescent Side Lina’s Cafe 22244966 Marina Mall – Crescent Side Cafe Blanc 22244644 Marina Mall – Crescent Side Shay W Nanaa 22452055 Sharq, Arabian Gulf St., in front of Seif Palace Columbus Cafe 25720186 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Al-Fanar Complex Danish Cafe 1805544 Kuwait City, Sour St., beside NBK Tea Lounge 24610033 Movenpick Hotel The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf 25714174 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., beside Al-Fanar Complex Astra Lounge 22629779 Shaab, Arabian Gulf St., Abha Complex Hangout Lounge 25755588 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Galleria 2000 Café Supreme 25758858 Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak St., Al Bustan Mall Arabic Cafés Latino Cafe 25652770 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf Road, beside Sultan Centre Rest. Puerto Banus Cafe & Restaurant 22456650 Sharq, Arabian Gulf Street, beside Souq Sharq Port Cafe 22456651 Sharq, Arabian Gulf Street, beside Souk Sharq Classical Cafe & Restaurant 25740055 Salmiya, beside Marina Mall Balbak Cafe & Restaurant 25750588 Salmiya, beside Marina Mall Veranda Cafe & Restaurant 25727120 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf Road, behind Showbiz HOME DELIVERY Burger King 1844466 Domino’s Pizza 1800800 Hardee’s 1888333 KFC 1888666 Kebabjee 1861616 Little Ceasars Pizza 1888855 Piza Hut 1815050 Shrimpy 1802662 Chicken Tikka 1822833 Turkish Grill 25654402 Zaatar W Zeit 1800333 Hotels in Kuwait Name & Website/Address Tel. No. Hilton Kuwait Resort 22256222 Fax: 2256292 Kempinski Julai’a Hotel & Resort 1844444 Sheraton Hotel 1835555 ‘Radisson Blu’ Hotel 25673000 Fax: 25750155 JW Marriott Hotel Kuwait City 22455550 Costa Del Sol Hotel 1830083 Fax: 22662972 Crowne Plaza 24742000 Sakura, Layla Gallery 25744447 Noukhaza, Abu Halifa 23733377 Sakura, Abu Halifa 23733388 Ruby Tuesday, Abu Halifa 23734440 Ruby Tuesday, Sharq 22444454 Ruby Tuesday, Salmiya 25711171 Peppes Pizza, Hawally 22665550 Peppes Pizza, Salmiya 25744442 The Palms Beach Hotel & Spa – Kuwait 1824060 Kuwait Palace Hotel 22571030 Swiss Inn Plaza Hotel Kuwait 22436686 Four Points Sheraton Kuwait 22242205 Courtyard by Marriott Hotel 22997000 Safir Heritage Village, Failaka 1881118 Safir International Hotel Kuwait 22530000 Marina Hotel Kuwait 22230030 Fax: 22244972 Mövenpick Hotel Kuwait 24610033 Ramada Kuwait Hotel 1821111 Holiday Inn Down Town 1841000 Holiday Inn Salmiya 1847777 Tang Chao, Ayman Zaman, L’a Roma Café Le Meridien Tower Kuwait 1831831 Fahed Al Salem Street, Kuwait City Oasis Hotel 22465489 Imperial Hotel 22528766 Spring Continental Hotel 25742620 New Park Hotel 25634760 Safir Airport Hotel 24722670 Le Meridien Kuwait Hotel 22510999 Arabian Gulf Rd., Bneid Al Gar Royal Suite 22530700 Bneid Al-Gar, Gulf Str., Sea Side Ritz Sharq Boutique 22499911 Sharq, Al-Shuhadaa Str. Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a Kuwait 22253100 Fax 22253101 Website: Safir Hotel & Residences 25455555 Suites Refad Palace Suite Hotel 23908630 Al-Fentas, Fahaheel Highway, Exit No. 209 Ritz Salmiya Boutique 25711001 Salmiya, Qatar St. Corniche Suites 25740006 Salmiya, Arabian Gulf Road Kuwait Continental 22527300 Carlton Tower 22452740 Second Home 22532100 Bneid Al Gar, Behind Safir Int’l Hotel Apartments Mirage Hotel Apartment 25750001 Salmiya Bahrain Str. Royal Residence 25710057 Salmiya Bahrain Str. Safari House 22443136 Merqab, beside Merqab Post Office Farah Motel 22442104 Hala Motel 22560927 Bneid Al Gar, behind Safir Int’l Motel Maha House 22523211 Bneid Al Gar, behind Safir Int’l Safir Hotel & Residences 25455555 Country Code Time-GMT Afghanistan 93 +4-1/2 Algeria 213 GMT American Samoa 684 –11 Angola 244 +1 Antigua 1268 –4 Argentina 54 –3 Australia 61 +10 Austria 43 +1 Bahamas 1242 –5 Bahrain 973 +3 Bangladesh 880 +6 Barbados 246 –4 Belgium 32 +1 Belize 1501 –6 Benin 229 +1 Bermuda 1441 –4 Bhutan 975 +5-1/2 Bolivia 591 –4 Botswana 267 +2 Brazil:

– (Eastern & Coastal) 55 –3 Brunei 673 +8 Bulgaria 359 +2 Burma 95 +6-1/2 Burundi 257 +2 Cameroon 237 +1 Canada+ 1 –5 Cent. African Rep 236 +1 Cape Verde 238 –1 Cayman Islands 1345 –5 Chad 235 +1 Chile 56 –4 China 86 +8 Colombia 57 –5 Comoros 269 +3 Congo 242 +1 Cook Islands 682 –10-1/2 Costa Rica 506 –6 Croatia 385 – Cuba 53 –5 Cyprus 357 +2 Czech Republic 420 +1 Dahomey 229 – Denmark 45 +1 Diego Garcia – +5 Djibouti 253 +3 Dominican Republic 1809 –4 EIRE (Irish Rep) 353 GMT Ecuador 593 –5 Egypt 20 +2 El Salvador 503 –6 Ethiopia 251 +3 Falkland Islands 500 –4 Fiji 679 +12 Finland 358 +2 France 33 +1 French Polynesia 689 – Gabon Republic 241 +1 Gambia 220 GMT Germany 49 +1 Ghana 233 GMT Gibraltar 350 +1 Gilbert Islands 686 – Greece 30 +2 Greenland 299 –2 Grenada 1473 –4 Guatemala 502 –6 Guinea 224 GMT Guinea-Bissau 245 GMT Guyana 592 –3 Haiti 1509 –5 Honduras 504 +6 Hong Kong 852 +8 Hungary 36 +1 Iceland 354 GMT India 91 +5-1/2 Indonesia 62 +7 Iran 98 +3-1/2 Iraq 964 +3 Ireland 353 GMT Italy 390 +1 Ivory Coast 225 GMT Jamaica 1876 –5 Japan 81 +9 Jordan 962 +2 Kazakhstan 7 – Kenya 254 +3 Kiribati 686 +12 Kuwait 965 +3 Laos 856 +7 Latvia 371 +2 Lebanon 961 +2 Leeward Islands 1 – Lesotho 266 +2 Liberia 231 GMT Libya 218 +2 Lithuania 370 +2 Luxembourg 352 +1 Macau 853 +8 Madagascar 261 +3 Malawi 265 +2 Malaysia 60 +7-1/2 Mali 223 GMT Malta 356 +1 Martinique 596 –4 Mauritania 222 GMT Mauritius 230 +4 Mexico 52 –6 Monaco 377 +1 Mongolia 976 +8 Montserrat 1664 –4 Morocco 212 GMT Mozambique 258 +2 Myanmar 951 +6-1/2 Namibia 264 +2 Nepal 977 +5-1/2 Netherlands 31 +1 New Caledonia 687 +11 New Herbrides 678 +12 New Zealand 64 +12 Nicaragua 505 –6 Niger 227 +1 Nigeria 234 +1 Norway 47 +1 North Korea 850 – Oman 968 +4 Pakistan 92 +5 Palestinian Territories 970 – Panama 507 –5 Paraguay 595 –4 Peru 51 –5 Philippines 63 +8 Poland 48 +1 Portugal 351 GMT Puerto Rico 1787 –4 Qatar 974 +3 Reunion 262 +4 Romania 40 +2 Russia 7 +3 Rwanda 250 +2 Sao Tome 239 GMT Saudi Arabia 966 +3 Senegal 221 GMT Seychelles 248 +4 Sierra Leone 232 +GMT Singapore 65 +7-1/2 Solomon Islands 677 +11 Somalia 252 +3 Slovakia 421 +1 South Africa 27 +2 South Korea 82 +9 Spain 34 +1 Sri Lanka 94 +5-1/2 Sudan 249 +2 Sweden 46 +1 Switzerland 41 +1 Syria 963 +2 Taiwan 886 +8 Thailand 66 +7 Turkey 90 +2 United Arab Emirates 971 +4 United Kingdom 44 GMT United States 1 –5 Vatican City 39 – Venezuela 58 –4 Yemen 967 +3 Zaire (DRC) 243 +1 Zambia 260 +2 Zimbabwe 263 +2 CONVERSION FACTORS Length To convert Multiply by Inches to centimeters 2.540 Feet to meters 0.3048 Yards to meters 0.9144 Miles to kilometers 1.6093 Centimeters to inches 0.3937 Meters to feet 3.2808 Meters to yards 1.0936 Kilometers to miles 0.6214 Area To convert Multiply by Sq. inches to sq. cms. 6.4516 Sq. feet to sq. meters 0.0929 Sq. yards to sq. meters 0.8361 Sq. miles to sq. kilometers 2.590 Acres to hectares 0.4047 Sq. cms to sq. inches 0.1550 Sq. meters to sq. feet 10.76 Sq. meters to sq. yards 1.196 Sq. kilometers to sq. miles 0.3861 Hectares to acres 2.471 Volume To convert Multiply by Cu. inches to cu. cms 16.39 Cu. feet to cu. meters 0.02832 Cu. yards to cu. meters 0.7646 Cu. inches to liters 0.01639 Gallons to liters 4.5460 Cu. cms to cu. inches 0.06102 Cu. meters to cu. yards 1.308 Cu. meters to cu. feet 35.31 Liters to cu. inches 61.024 Liters to gallons 0.21997 Weight To convert Multiply by Grains to grams 0.0648 Ounces to grams 28.35 Pounds to grams 453.59 Pounds to kilograms 0.45359 Long tons to Kilograms 1016.05 Grams to grains 15.43 Grams to ounces 0.03527 Grams to pounds 0.0022046 Kilograms to pounds 2.20462 Kilograms to long tons 0.0009842




‘The wrestling nations must work together on this’

USA-led group tries to save Olympic wrestling WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (AP): USA Wrestling executive director Rich Bender knows it will take an international push to save Olympic wrestling. To that end, the Americans have formed a star-studded group designed to help get their sport back on the Olympic program. USA Wrestling has announced that a group led by former world champion Bill Scherr will work to fight the IOC’s decision earlier this week to eliminate wrestling from the 2020 Olympics. Scherr’s brother, former US Olympic Committee head Jim

Scherr, will take part along with World and Olympic champions Bruce Baumgartner, John Smith, Rulon Gardner and Dan Gable and two-time Olympians Kerry McCoy and Clarissa Chun. USA Wrestling also plans to lean on international business leaders and public relations experts as it formulates a strategy to petition for reinclusion. “It’s an opportunity for our sport to have a platform and talk about the characteristics of wrestling. The demographics of our sport. The broad-based participation of our sport. The history of our sport. All

the things that are great about our sport,” Bender said. The newly-formed group doesn’t have much time to change the IOC’s mind. The IOC executive board will

OLYMPICS meet in May in St. Petersburg, Russia, to choose which sport or sports to propose for inclusion in 2020. The final vote will be made at the IOC general assembly in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Wrestling has now been lumped with a combined bid from baseball and softball, as well as bids from karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and the martial art of wushu. The first major face-to-face meetings between international wrestling officials will come next week in Tehran, site of the upcoming World Cup tournament. Bender, who leaves Monday for Iran, said he intends to meet with leaders from Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Georgia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Belarus. “We must form a coalition. We

must. The wrestling nations must work together on this,” Bender said. “It’s critical that we are all on the same page. And directing the energies of the wrestling communities and their countries to one common cause, and that’s obviously to convince the International Olympic Committee that wrestling belongs on the program.” Bender said the Russian, Iranian and Japanese wrestling federations have also begun their own plans to fight the IOC’s decision, adding that he spoke about strategy with Russian and Japanese officials over the phone on Thursday.

Bender said an international summit could also be on the table, though more solid plans will likely be formed in the coming weeks. Though Bender knows that sports that are removed from the Olympic program don’t usually earn immediate re-inclusion, he sees wrestling as a unique case. “This might be taken the wrong way. But historically, sports like wrestling haven’t been challenged like this,” Bender said. “The reality of it is that our sport belongs in the program. Our sport has one of the biggest histories and traditions within the Olympic movement.”

Serena becomes oldest number 1 Nadal wins at Brazil Open DOHA, Feb 15, (AFP): Serena Williams on Friday became the oldest woman to claim the world number one ranking when she reached the Qatar Open semi-finals with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Petra Kvitova. Williams, 31, will take over from Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka as the world’s best player on Monday, returning to the top spot for the first time in over two years. Chris Evert at 30 was the previous oldest world number one. Williams, who was on the verge of tears for large parts of the deciding set, was 4-1 down before reeling off six of the

WTA Qatar Open Aljazeera Sport +10 (15:00 local)

A participant displaying his skills.

Gravity-defying stunts on show

Freestylers thrill crowd in Kuwait By Iddris Seidu Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: The important thing about the event is that it will show people that motocross is a dangerous game but with all the safety precautions underlined by the international federation of Motorcycles and Automobiles in place, it can be pulled off without incident. It is an extreme kind of sport, but the safety equipment make it very safe. “So the message we’re putting out there is that safety is not a wimpy kids’ motto,” said Sheikh Al-Sabah, Chairman of Kuwait Quarter Mile Automobile and Motorcycle Club, as he spoke to Arab Times on the sidelines of the Red Bull X-Fighters Jams Freestyle Motocross competition held late Friday evening at the Kuwait towers. The event co-sponsored by Red Bull and Nissan/Al-Babtain and held under the cooperation of the Kuwait Quarter Mile Club often left people rubbing their eyes in disbelief at the gravity-defying stunts on show. The Red Bull X-Fighters Jams is a series of exhibitions worldwide that offers thousands of people around the globe the opportunity to witness the best freestyle motocross action in the world. Four of the finest international riders Nick Franklin, from New Zealand, Martin Koren from Czech Republic, Chris Brock from England and Daniel Bodin from Sweden were on hand to thrill the crowd with stunts that can only be described as jaw-dropping. The four freestylers rocked the venue with their jaw-dropping gravity-defying

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jumps full of big air-tricks executed with scientific precision. Chris Pfeifer, a world champion in his own right in stunt motor biking from Germany was also around to perform some amazing ground shots on his BMW motorbike that emulate the aerial performances. The event, according to Sheikh Al-

Sabah, was organized to promote and give some exposure to the motocross sport and also provide some fun to people enjoying the national holidays weekend around the Kuwait Towers and beyond. What’s more important with this event is that it will show people that

One of the riders in action.

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09:00 The FA Cup Preview Show 09:30 Bundesliga VfL Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich 11:00 Serie A AC Milan vs Parma 12:45 French League 1 Lille vs Rennes 14:30

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motocross is a dangerous game but with all the safety precautions underlined by the international federation of Motorcycles and Automobiles, it can be pulled off without incident. It is an extreme kind of sport, but the safety equipment make it very safe. “So the message we’re putting out there is that safety is not a wimpy kids’ motto,” Sheikh Al-Sabah. Martin Koren, a motorcycle rider since age four with 26 years experience behind the handle bars, spoke to Arab Times stating that the Red Bull XFighters Jams which is an exhibition of freestyle motorcross. The Red Bull freestyle motocross is the biggest freestyle motocross competition in the world. Freestyle motocross, a competitive sport dear to the hearts of motorsports enthusiasts is a source of entertainment with freestylers traveling the world in the spirit of the enjoyment of the sport. “Performing in the freestyle motocross for the first time ever in Kuwait at no less a place than the respected world monument like the Kuwait towers is a blessing for us and on top of that, it is a completely different experience as the people in Kuwait will see for the first time in their lives with their own eyes and not on TV,” noted Koren. One of the best things about the sport is that you don’t have to understand the rules or know the names of the tricks, it’s just you enjoy when you see it because of its so spectacular and even though it make look easy, do not try it at home, he added. The Red Bull X-Fighters Jams was hosted by famous Lebanese TV presenter Michel Kazzi, better known as Micho. Magazine Show 2013: Episode #1 18:55 French Ligue 1 2012/13: Lille vs Stade Rennes 15/02/13 21:00 UCC Cricket 360 2013

Fox Sports Middle East 06:00 NHL: Dallas Stars at Vancouver Canucks 08:30 Courtside Jones 09:00 Feherty - Graeme McDowell 10:00 Golf Central International 10:30 Being John Daly - The New John Daly 11:00 Being John Daly - Aloha, PGA Tour 11:30 GolfNow - New York City 12:00 Big Ten Wrestling Ohio State at Michigan 14:00 Golf Central International 14:30 NHL: Dallas Stars at Vancouver Canucks 17:00 European Tour Africa Open Rd. 3 20:30 NHL: Dallas Stars at Vancouver Canucks 22:30 Conference USA Men’s Basketball SMU at Tulane 00:30 Conference USA Men’s Basketball Houston at Tulsa 02:30 European Tour Africa Open Rd. 3 06:00 Golden Boy Classic Fights Oscar de la Hoya vs Javier Castillejo

last seven games, taking the match with an ace down the middle. Williams will be the world number one for a 124th career week, a total only bettered by Steffi Graf (377), Martina Navratilova (332), Evert (260), Martina Hingis (209) and Monica Seles (178). World number one Victoria Azarenka and third-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova moved into the Qatar Open semi-finals on Friday. Azarenka moved closer to a successful title defence for the second tournament in a row when she survived a weird umpiring incident and overwhelmed Sara Errani, the French Open finalist, 6-2, 6-2. The Belarussian’s surprisingly emphatic win over the Italian means she has now dropped a mere nine games in three

ATP 500 – Rotterdam Aljazeera Sport +8 16:00 local matches, and looks the part of the favourite even though the quarter-final line-up contained the four best players in the world. Errani’s fighting qualities manifested themselves after she thought she had been unfairly denied a point with an overruled line decision in the sixth game, with the umpire oddly asking Azarenka to “help her out”. An argument of several minutes ensued with Errani contending that the incorrect “out” call had interfered with her attempt to return the ball, and the umpire apparently unable to remember if Errani had hit the ball or not. Errani had indeed done so, but may have been unable to return the ball in court anyway. Australian Open champion Azarenka, however, kept quiet about what she had witnessed, and Errani worked herself up into a feverish sense of injustice. She duly held serve and continued to play spiritedly in many long rallies, without ever being able to find weaknesses in Azarenka’s game. The top seed got 72 percent of her first serves in, enabling her to force the issue in the rallies more often, and struck 26 clean winners. More surprisingly, Azarenka also won all of the 14 rallies where she came to the net, not normally one of her strongest areas.

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Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka celebrates after winning against Sara Errani of Italy in their WTA Qatar Ladies Open tennis quarterfinal match in Doha, Qatar, Feb 15. (AP)

She may though have to contend with Sharapova, who has won the Qatar title twice and remains unbeaten in Doha after reaching the semi-finals in the other half with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Sam Stosur, the former US Open champion from Australia. It was Sharapova’s 12th win in three Doha tournaments, and after trampling her way through the first three-quarters of the match, responded well when Stosur finally found a higher gear and almost regained parity just before the end. In Sao Paulo, Spain’s Rafael Nadal cruised to a two-set victory in his singles debut at the Brazil Open here late Thursday but then the 11-time grand slam winner blasted the ATP Tour for its choice of balls. The former world number one needed only 78 minutes to prevail over Brazilian Joao Souza, ranked 104th in the world 6-3, 6-4. Nadal advanced to the quarter-finals against Argentine Berlocq on Friday. “It was an important victory for me,” Nadal said. “the conditions are very difficult. The court is very fast, the ball too. The 26-year-old Spanish star said the Brazilian organizers of the event were not to blame. He said he made a “good decision” by withdrawing Wednesday from a scheduled doubles match he was to have played with Argentina’s David Nalbandian against Argentine Horacio Zeballos and Austrian Oliver Marach. Nadal said he was able to rest his knee, after a tough week of play in Chile last week, and made clear that his priority here was to play the singles event. The $455,775 Brazil Open is part of the Latin American clay court circuit, along with the Vina del Mar and the Mexico Open in Acapulco where Nadal plans to play later this month. In Rotterdam, Netherlands, Unseeded Grigor Dimitrov came from a set down to beat Marcos Baghdatis 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/0), 6-3 on Friday to reach the semifinals of the Rotterdam World Tennis tournament. The Bulgarian’s performance showed that he is returning to the kind of form he produced at the start of the year, when he reached the final in Brisbane before losing to Andy Murray. Dimitrov had also beaten Baghdatis in three sets in that tournament, and here he repeated the feat to set up a last-four showdown against either second seed Juan Martin del Potro or Finn Jarkko Nieminen. 06:00 Golfing World 07:00 European PGA Tour 11:30 ICC Cricket 360 12:00 Pro 12 14:00 Super League 16:00 ICC Cricket 360 16:30 Total Rugby 17:00 Live Top 14 19:00 Trans World Sport 20:00 ICC Cricket 360 20:45 Live Super League 22:45 Top 14 01:00 Total Rugby 01:30 Pro 12 03:30 Premier League Darts 07:00 European PGA Tour

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SPORTS Maryland downs Clemson

Blue Devils outclass Virginia Tech 77-33 BLACKSBURG, Va, Feb 15, (AP): Midway through the second half of a 77-33 victory at Virginia Tech, Hokies’ fans began screaming in the direction of Joanne P. McCallie. They wanted the coach of No. 5 Duke to call off the dogs and get her dominating starters out of the game. McCallie ignored them, and kept shuttling her stars in until less than 5 minutes remained. Turns out, the Blue Devils (23-1, 13-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) have dominated every team but one on their schedule, and the game they lost wasn’t close — a 79-49 drubbing at No. 3 Connecticut on Jan. 21. That game stays with Duke still. Elizabeth Williams and Haley Peters each matched their career high with 25 points Thursday night as No. 5 Duke took a big early lead against overmatched Virginia Tech and cruised to its seventh straight victory, 77-33. The Blue Devils forced 18 first-half turnovers and led 40-14 at the half in winning their 29th consecutive road victory against an unranked opponent. Alyssa Fenyn led Virginia Tech with seven points and Lauren Evans had six. The game got out of hand almost immediately. Maryland 75, Clemson 45 In College Park, Md, when No. 7 Maryland needed a spark against Clemson on Thursday night, Terrapins coach Brenda Frese knew she could rely on Tianna Hawkins to provide it. Hawkins posted her 12th double-double of the season with 30 points and 12 rebounds and Maryland continued its dominance of Clemson with a 75-45 victory Thursday night. Hawkins played a seasonhigh 40 minutes and was 11 of 18 from the field. Alyssa Thomas added 17 points for the Terrapins, who bounced back from a 71-56 Peters loss to No. 5 Duke on Monday night. Maryland has won 13 consecutive games against the Tigers. The Terrapins (20-5 overall, 11-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) have not lost to Clemson since a 63-61 setback on March 7, 2003, in the ACC Tournament. North Carolina 76, Wake Forest 56 In Chapel Hill, NC, Xylina McDaniel scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the No. 14 North Carolina women to a 76-56 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over Wake Forest. The victory was the third in a row for the Tar Heels (23-3, 112), who extended their winning streak at Carmichael Arena against the Demon Deacons (11-14, 4-9) to 18 in a row. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt came off the bench to score 13 points for North Carolina, whose reserves outscored Wake Forest’s 37-12. The Tar Heels, who lead the nation in steals with 14.3 per

BASKETBALL game, had 12 against the Demon Deacons, helping them amass 20 points off 23 Wake Forest turnovers. North Carolina turned the ball over 18 times, but that resulted in just nine Wake Forest points. Purdue 68, Wisconsin 58 In Madison, Wis, KK Houser scored 20 points, Drey Mingo added 12 points and eight rebounds, and No. 18 Purdue rallied in the closing minutes for a 68-58 victory over Wisconsin. Houser was just 6 of 14 from the floor but was 5 of 9 from 3point range for the Boilermakers (19-5, 8-3 Big Ten), who rebounded from last week’s losses at No. 8 Penn State and at Michigan. Jacki Gulczynski led the Badgers (11-14, 3-9) with 19 points. Nicole Bauman scored 14, and Cassie Rochel had nine points, 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots. NC State 76, Florida State 69 In Tallahassee, Fla, Kody Burke scored 26 points, tying her career high, to lead North Carolina State to a 76-69 victory over No. 19 Florida State on Thursday night. Len’Nique Brown added 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Wolfpack (13-12, 5-8 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot 52.6 percent (30 of 57) in their first road win over a ranked team since 2006. Delaware 86, Old Dominion 62 In Newark, Del, Elena Delle Donne scored 17 of her 26 points in the first half and posted seven boards and six assists to spark No. 20 Delaware women past Old Dominion 86-62 Thursday for its 16th straight win.


Gonzaga beats Saint Mary’s Colorado hits Arizona 71-58 MORAGA, California, Feb 15, (AP): Gary Bell Jr, Kevin Pangos and the Gonzaga Bulldogs took a big step toward taking back the conference title that Saint Mary’s wrestled away from them a year ago. Bell scored 20 points and helped fuel a fast start to the second half that helped No. 5 Gonzaga take a stranglehold on the West Coast Conference race with a 77-60 victory over Saint Mary’s on Thursday night. Pangos added 18 points and Kelly Olynyk scored 17 for the Bulldogs (24-2, 11-0), who have a two-game lead over the Gaels (21-5, 102) in the loss column after sweeping the season series. Saint Mary’s ended Gonzaga’s 11-year run at the top of the conference by winning both the regular season and tournament titles last year. Matthew Dellavedova scored 19 of his 22 points in the first half and Stephen Holt added 17 for the Gaels, who are still looking for that

BASKETBALL signature win to boost their chances to make the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history. Saint Mary’s has won 13 of 15 games but both losses have come against Gonzaga. The Bulldogs took control early in the second half, getting a 3-pointer from Bell to start a 7-0 run in the opening 1:06 to take the lead for good. They extended the advantage to 4637 when Bell hit a 3-pointer after Gonzaga got two offensive rebounds on the trip and Olynyk’s 3-pointer as the shot clock ran down made it 52-37 with under 15 minutes to go to cap the 20-4 run to open the half. Colorado 71, Arizona 58 In Boulder, Colorado, this time, there was no collapse or controversy that would sting Colorado with a bitterness that was hard to shake. This time, there were fans storming the court in celebration. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 21 points and freshman Xavier Johnson added a season-high 19 points and nine rebounds as Colorado avenged a painful overtime loss at Arizona with a 71-58 rout of the ninth-ranked Wildcats on Thursday night. On Jan 3, the Buffaloes’ apparent game-winning 3-pointer in Tucson was waived off at the end of regulation even though replays showed Sabatino Chen’s shot was taken in time. The smarting Buffaloes got smoked in overtime, then went into a prolonged funk, dropping three of their next four. Louisville 72, St John’s 58 In Louisville, Kentucky, Russ Smith has seen enough valleys in his Louisville career to know the importance of returning to the peak in the next game. Thursday night provided another example of the heights the Cardinals guard can reach when his game is on. Smith scored 21 second-half points, including 12 straight over a 3:03 stretch that put No. 12 Louisville ahead for good and helped the Cardinals beat St. John’s 72-58. He finished with a game-high 24, a huge recovery from Saturday night’s 104-101, five-overtime loss at Notre Dame that included several ill-advised shots. Ohio State 69, Wildcats 59 In Columbus, Ohio, usually, the two certain-

Texas’ Myck Kabongo (12) shoots over Iowa State’s Will Clyburn (21) and Melvin Ejim (right), during the first half of an NCCA college basketball game, on Feb 13, in Austin, Texas. Kabongo returned for his first game of the season after a 23-game NCCA suspension. (AP)

ties at Ohio State each winter are snow and a win whenever Northwestern comes to town. For 37 minutes that certainly wasn’t the case Thursday night. Deshaun Thomas scored 11 of his 22 points in the last 7 minutes and the 13th-ranked Buckeyes used a late 12-0 run to hold off the short-handed Wildcats 69-59. It was their 32nd consecutive home win against the Wildcats, dating o Feb. 24, 1977 when another big underdog, ‘’Rocky,’’ would win the Oscar for Best Picture and Jimmy Carter was in the White House.

Minnesota 58, Wisconsin 53 In Minneapolis, Andre Hollins had a talk with the boss. Over lunch, coach Tubby Smith reminded his streaky sophomore point guard which shots the Gophers want and how they need him to run their offense. One day later, Hollins made clear he was listening. Hollins hit the go-ahead 3-pointer midway through overtime to finish with 21 points and lead Minnesota to a 58-53 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin on Thursday night, the third straight overtime game for the Badgers. Austin Hollins added 11 points for the Gophers (18-7, 6-6 Big Ten), who held the Badgers without a basket for 11 minutes until Jared Berggren’s putback with 10 seconds left in the extra period. Andre Hollins went 4 for 4 from the free-throw line over the final 18 seconds of overtime to seal it.

California 76, UCLA 63 In Berkeley, California, Allen Crabbe extended his arms out wide and flashed three fingers on both hands. David Kravish and Richard Solomon chest-bumped each other, screaming in celebration. Mike Montgomery just took a seat on the bench and smiled. At long last this season, California has the

Oregon’s Carlos Emory (33) tries to block a shot by Washington’s Abdul Gaddy (0) in the second half of an NCCA college basketball game, on Feb 13, in Seattle. (AP)

look of a consistent winner. Kravish had a career-high 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, Solomon added 17 points and eight rebounds, and California coasted past UCLA 76-63 on Thursday night behind a big first half. Cal sure made it look that way. Crabbe, the Pac-12’s leading scorer entering the game, had 15 of his 16 points in the first half to help the Golden Bears (15-9, 75) sprint out to a 28-point lead before the break. He finished with five assists and five rebounds as Cal held off the Bruins (18-7, 84) for its fourth win in five games, including three over the conference’s top teams. St Mary’s 84, Bryant 70 In Emmitsburg, Md, Sam Prescott scored 44 points, nearly five times more than his season average of 9.2 per game, to lead Mount St. Mary’s past Bryant 84-70 Thursday night. The junior guard, who transferred from Marist, where his high was 34 points, made 10 of 14 3-pointers, tying the school record for 3s in a game accomplished twice by Scott Murphy. Julian Norfleet added 11 assists. Prescott’s total was the most for the Mountaineers (11-13, 6-7 Northeast Conference) since they moved to Division I in the 1988-89 season, and their highest since Mike Tate scored 44 against Kutztown State the previous season. Jack Sullivan set the school record of 55 points in 1957.




Real host capital neighbours Rayo

Barcelona wary of Granada MADRID, Feb 15, (AFP): Barcelona full-back Adriano has said they won’t be taking their trip to Granada this weekend lightly, despite holding a 12-point advantage at the top of the table. The Catalans stretched their lead with a 6-1 demolition of Getafe last weekend and the Brazilian believes it is better to maintain that kind of form heading into their Champions League tie against AC Milan next Wednesday than rest players. “We know we have a good advantage over Atletico and Real Madrid, but we cannot forget the league,” he said. “If we take our foot off the accelerator they will be there. We cannot stop. Every game we go for it 100 percent. “We know we are entering the final straight of the Champions League, but we have an important match on Saturday,” he added, with the southern side having beaten Real Madrid and Deportivo in the last fortnight. “It will be a difficult match, they are in very good form coming off the back of two consecutive victories.” However, with matches against Sevilla and a Copa del Rey semi-final second-leg against Madrid to follow their trip to Italy in midweek, the 28-year-old accepts it will be a tiring spell for his side. “The calendar is very difficult and this month it does not stop,” he said. “The truth is when there are more rest days between matches, above all the important ones, you are thankful for it.” Barca will be without David Villa on Saturday as he has been taken back into hospital with kidney stone pain, while Xavi remains on the sidelines despite returning to light training on Wednesday. Granada welcome the league leaders in the midst of their best

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Real vs Rayo Aljazeera Sport +3 23:00 (Sunday)

Espanyol vs Betis Aljazeera Sport +8 23:00 Local (Sunday) spell of the season with three wins from four games and, following their 1-0 defeat of Madrid in their last home outing, former Barca striker Nolito believes they can spring another surprise. “We are preparing for a normal match. The same way that we

prepared against Madrid or against Depor,” he said. “Football is 11 against 11. We can beat them. They have to lose someday.” Granada coach Lucas Alcaraz will have to do without Dani Benitez though as the winger has been ruled out for six weeks after undergoing a hernia operation earlier in the week. Real Madrid meanwhile will try to keep up their chase of Barcelona when they host capital neighbours Rayo Vallecano on Sunday night. Rayo did Real a favour when they beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 last weekend to reduce Atleti’s advantage over Jose Mourinho’s men to just four points. And with Rayo riding high themselves in sixth place, midfielder Roberto Trashorras believes they can claim another sensational three points. “We are going with the intention of playing a good game. We are not going to take it as lost and the first impression is that we believe we can win,” he told the club’s website. “We need to try and play our football and go there full of hope.” Mourinho is expected to give Xabi Alonso a rest after he played through the pain of a back injury in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United in the Champions League and Madrid are also without the suspended Alvaro Arbeloa, Luka Modric and Gonzalo Higuain. Atletico meanwhile will be able to recall Diego Costa from suspension as they aim to win for the first time in six away league games when they travel to Valladolid on Sunday afternoon. Malaga entertain Athletic Bilbao at La Rosaleda on Saturday, while Valencia are at home to struggling Mallorca on Sunday, and the meeting of Espanyol and Betis brings together two of La Liga’s form teams.

Europa League holders Atletico, Napoli stunned LONDON, Feb 15, (RTRS): Europa League holders Atletico Madrid and Serie A title challengers Napoli were upset at home but Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala and Zenit St Petersburg opened up commanding first-leg advantages in other last 32 ties on Thursday. Rubin Kazan’s Gokdeniz Karadeniz scored after six minutes and Pablo Orbaiz struck deep into added time to give the Russians, who played the entire second half with 10 men, a shock 2-0 win at Atletico. Goals from Vladimir Darida, Frantisek Rajtoral and Stanislav Tecl upset Napoli while Anzhi beat Hanover 3-1 and Zenit won 2-0 at home against five-times European Cup winners Liverpool. Brazilian Oscar spared European champions Chelsea’s blushes late on against Czechs Sparta Prague to give the Londoners a 1-0 lead to take back to Stamford Bridge for the second leg next Thursday. Inter Milan, three times European champions, beat Champions League dropouts CFR Cluj 2-0 though the win was soured when injury-prone forward Diego Milito lasted just six minutes and cried as he left the pitch with a knee problem. There were impressive wins for Spanish club Levante, who beat runaway Greek league leaders Olympiakos Piraeus 3-0 at home and Ajax Amsterdam, 2-0 victors against former European champions Steaua Bucharest in the Netherlands.

Scudetto remains Juventus priority

2nd Prize in Sports Action Stories

Roma showdown looms MILAN, Italy, Feb 15, (AFP): Juventus defender Martin Caceres says the Italian champions must forget their Champions League success over Celtic and concentrate on dealing with a potentially “ruthless” Roma on Saturday. Juve’s comprehensive 3-0 victory over the Scottish champions in Glasgow midweek gave them a huge boost ahead of the second leg in Turin in three weeks’ time. But Caceres insists the Scudetto remains their priority, and resumes by defending their five-point lead over Napoli against a Roma side which, he believes, could turn recent off-field events to their advantage. “Roma are a great team. They’ve

Genova vs Udinese Aljazeera Sport+7 17:00 local (Sunday)

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Catania vs Bologna Aljazeera Sport+9 17:00 local (Sunday)

Chievo vs Palermo Aljazeera Sport+1 Roma vs Juve Aljazeera Sport+3 22:00 local

Fiorentina vs Inter Aljazeera Sport+1 22:00 local (Sunday)

Siena vs Lazio Aljazeera Sport+1 22:00 local (Monday) In this photo provided on Feb 15, by World Press Photo, the 2nd prize Sports — Sports Action Stories by Sergei Ilnitsky, Russia, for European Pressphoto Agency, shows Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt (top), in action against Peter Joppich of Germany (center), during their Men’s Foil Individual Round 16 match for the London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Britain, July 31, 2012. (AP)

Lyon face tough trip to Bordeaux

PSG turn attention to Sochaux PARIS, Feb 15, (AFP): After a week dominated by David Beckham and a fine Champions League win in Spain, Paris Saint-Germain must focus their minds on the return to domestic duty ahead of their trip to play Sochaux on Sunday.

Bordeaux vs Lyon Aljazeera Sport+4 15:30 local (Sunday)

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Montpellier vs Nancy Aljazeera Sport+4 Sochaux vs PSG Aljazeera Sport+4 22:30 local (Sunday) The Ligue 1 leaders are in a strong position to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a 2-1 victory against Valencia in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday.

A day later, Beckham trained with his new team-mates for the first time, drawing crowds of journalists from across the world to PSG’s base in the western Paris suburbs. The capital club’s coach Carlo Ancelotti hinted last week that the 37-year-old Englishman — who agreed a five-month contract at the end of January — might make his debut at the mundane surroundings of Sochaux’s Stade Bonal, in the shadow of the Peugeot works that are the the small eastern town’s raison d’etre. Just in case he does turn out, members of the world’s media will again be present and there will be a sell-out crowd of 20,000 in attendance. But Beckham should just be a sideshow to PSG’s quest for another win that would see them maintain a healthy lead over Lyon and Marseille at the top of the table. They started the weekend six points clear of OL, and are on a run of 13 games unbeaten in all competitions which includes 12 wins. “The team is in good shape just now. We have built up lots of confidence,” said Ezequiel Lavezzi, who netted the opening goal in Valencia. Sochaux, meanwhile, lie in the relegation zone. “Everybody knows that PSG are a great team,” said Sochaux’s Algerian international playmaker Ryad Boudebouz. “But if we play without fear we will have a chance of winning the game.” Ancelotti has a doubt over Brazilian Lucas for the encounter, while it looks like Thiago Silva will need more time yet before returning from a thigh

injury. Second-placed Lyon had kept pace for such a long time, but their chances have been seriously undermined by back-toback league defeats against Ajaccio and Lille. They have a tough trip to Bordeaux on Sunday in a game that comes less than 72 hours after both clubs faced tough away ties in Europe. OL were in London to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League Round of 32 first leg on Thursday, while Bordeaux had a long trip to Ukraine to take on Dynamo Kiev. Lyon will be without injury-prone former Bordeaux playmaker Yoann Gourcuff for the game, and possibly for up to three weeks, because of a thigh problem. Marseille have also seen their form take a dip since the winter break, but they will hope that being out of Europe turns out to be an advantage for them. The south-coast club will be seeking revenge when they play host to Valenciennes, who thumped them 4-1 in the reverse fixture in September. They have won just once in five league outings in 2013, however. “We are the biggest threat to our own chances,” warned coach Elie Baup. “It is up to us to beat Valenciennes. Taking all three points is imperative because we have dropped a lot since the winter break.” OM are now looking over their shoulders, with Saint-Etienne and Rennes both just three points behind them in the race for Champions League qualification.

recently changed their manager and this usually produces greater desire and ruthlessness,” Uruguayan Caceres told “But we’ll be going there for the win.” He added: “Our first objective is clearly to defend our title, but we’ll have one eye on the Champions League, even though we know it will be tough to go all the way.” Roma sacked veteran coach Zdenek Zeman two weeks ago and replaced the 65-year-old Czech with Aurelio Andreazzoli on a caretaker basis. Andreazzoli’s first full game in charge, however, ended in a 3-1 defeat away to Sampdoria last week, dropping Roma to ninth. Roma have injury concerns after striker Pablo Osvaldo quit training early Thursday with a recurrence of pain in his right knee while midfielder Daniele De Rossi also left early as a precaution due to tightness in his left calf. Midfielder Claudio Marchisio, meanwhile, is set to miss out with an injury although Juve coach Antonio Conte should welcome back midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah after the Ghanaian’s recent return from the Africa Cup of Nations. So far, and despite the resurgence of AC Milan — who are still 14 points off the leading pace — Napoli have been widely regarded as the only real challengers to title-holders Juve since the festive break. Napoli are bidding for only their third Serie A title but welcome a resurgent Sampdoria two days after they suffered a shock 3-0 defeat to Viktoria Plzen in the Rossi Europa League. Sampdoria have enjoyed a rich run of form lately, scoring nine goals in their last three games although six of them came in the 6-0 rout of Pescara. However this game comes days after head coach Delio Rossi was handed a two-

Inter Milan’s Slovenian goalkeeper Samir Handanovic (top), jumps to save the ball with Inter Milan’s Argentinian defender Matias Augustin Silvestre during the UEFA Europe League football match between Inter Milan and CFR Cluj at San Siro Stadium in Milan, on Feb 14. (AFP)

FIFA plans biological profiling at World Cup ZURICH, Feb 15, (RTRS): FIFA plans to use biological profiling of players at this year’s Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup in its efforts to tackle doping, soccer’s governing body on Friday. “FIFA is developing plans to introduce this new tool, including a steroid profile through urine and a blood profile, for the Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup Brazil, where in and out-of-competition tests would be conducted on all participating players,” FIFA said in a statement. FIFA began a pilot project in 2011 to capture players’ individual steroid profile with tests on the participants at the World Club Cup in Japan. It said that 178 outof-competition tests were conducted in 2011 and 184 at the same tournament in 2012. FIFA added that it was developing the hormonal profiling project, a new initiative in co-operation with the WADAaccredited laboratory in Switzerland. “FIFA was the first international organisation for team sport to start with longitudinal profiles,” said Michel D’Hooge, head of FIFA’s medical committee. “We have been testing this at the World Club Cup in 2011 and 2012, we will continue at the Confederations Cup 2013 with blood testing unannounced at training camps and games. “It’s our commitment to have all play-

ers participating at the 2014 FIFA World Cup having biological profiles.” Football has long viewed itself as largely immune from the use of performance enhancing drugs which has badly tarnished other sports such as cycling. However, Arsene Wenger, manager of English Premiership side Arsenal, said last week that the sport needed more blood tests. “It is very difficult for me to believe that at a World Cup, where you have 740 players, you come out with zero problems. Yet mathematically that is what happens every time,” he said. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey met his FIFA counterpart Sepp Blatter on Thursday and said he was satisfied with FIFA’s efforts.

match ban for sticking his middle finger up at Roma defender Nicolas Burdisso at the end of last week’s win. Rossi was famously sacked by Fiorentina last year after he physically attacked his own player, Adem Ljajic, after the Serbian’s sarcastic reaction to being substituted. After Sunday’s incident Rossi apologised, only then to respond to comments made afterwards by Burdisso by saying: “Someone who elbows and spits at play-

ers should keep their mouths shut.” Meanwhile, Lazio can ill afford to drop points away to Siena, who handed Inter a 3-1 whopping at their Artemio Franchi ground two weeks ago. Vladimir Petkovic’s side are now 11 points behind Juventus after last week’s 11 draw at home to Napoli, a match they should have won, but could feel the effects of their commendable 3-3 draw away to Borussia Moenchengladbach in Thursday’s Europa League.

SOCCER “We are very interested in continuing the work on biological profiles,” he said in the FIFA statement. “WADA is very satisfied with the commitment of FIFA on the biological profiles.” “There is always more which can be done in the fight against doping, but we know FIFA has always been serious in this domain,” he added. “We think the domestic leagues can complement what FIFA is already doing.”




Coaches from Glasgow Celtics F.C. are visiting the Premier Goal Academy this week to deliver coaching sessions and coach education programmes here in Kuwait. The visit is under the patronage of the Minister of Education, Dr Nayef Falah AlHajraf and H.E. the British Ambassador Mr Frank Baker and is sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Porsche Center Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Go Sport, Wrigleys Extra and Aquafina. Pictured are players from the P.G.A. participating in the weekend coaching sessions. Pictured are participants of the event.

Man City ‘aim’ to avoid more misery

Premier Goal Academy

Samaras doubtful

Celtic ready for Parkhead visit GLASGOW, Feb 15, (AFP): Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew has warned his team-mates that Dundee United’s new management team will make them a dangerous proposition when they visit Parkhead on Sunday. United’s new manager, Jackie McNamara, and his assistant Simon Donnelly are familiar faces at Celtic Park having both turned out for the Glasgow giants during their playing days. McNamara will return to the club he captained with his United side on a high after seeing off both Rangers and Hearts in his first two matches since taking charge of the Tannadice side. But with his former teammate Neil Lennon’s Celtic side holding an 18-point lead as they cruise to this year’s Scottish Premier League title this will be McNamara’s toughest test to date. Mulgrew played alongside McNamara when they were at Wolves together in the 2006/07 season and is wary of the impact he could make at United.

SOCCER “I played with him when he had just left Celtic so he had years of experience behind him and obviously that helped me. “He has all the attributes to be a good manager, you could see that when he was a player. He has some great knowledge of the game. He’d left Aberdeen by the time I’d signed but he was at Celtic when I was a youth player. “Growing up a Celtic fan I obviously watched him through the years, he was a great player for the club and I think he can do just as well as a manager. Celtic hold an almost insurmountable lead at the top of the SPL and dished out a 4-0 defeat to United just last month. But after the Tannadice club held them to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season, Mulgrew knows they are capable of taking more points off them on Saturday. “United always produce a tough game, with a new manager in charge especially,” the Scotland international said. Celtic have almost a full squad to call on with Georgios Samaras the only injury doubt, but McNamara has been dealt a blow with the news that Gavin Gunning will miss the rest of the season through injury. Fixtures Saturday Celtic vs Dundee Utd, Hearts vs Kilmarnock, Motherwell vs Inverness CT, Ross County vs St Johnstone, St Mirren vs Hibernian

Everton can’t afford to be below par vs Oldham LONDON, Feb 15, (Agencies): Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta insists his side are determined to avoid becoming the latest high-profile victims of the FA Cup’s giant-killing tradition when they face Leeds in the fifth round. Participants preparing for training session.

‘Perumal a primary source of evidence’

Singaporean reveals fixing secrets By John Leicester PARIS, Feb 15, (AP): When police arrested Wilson Raj Perumal in Finland, it didn’t take long for him to realize that his criminal buddies had ratted him out. He’s been exacting revenge ever since — by ratting on them, too. Since his arrest in 2011, Perumal has been talking to police, prosecutors and journalists about the shadowy world of fixing soccer matches, in which he was an active participant, and the millions of dollars that can be made in betting on them. The Singaporean was convicted in the Lapland District Court of bribing players in the Finnish league, forgery and trying to flee from officials guarding him, and was sentenced to two years in prison. Perumal told police that he could be in danger for betraying his former colleagues. But Perumal also reasoned that by fingering him to the Finns, his associates broke the cardinal rule of criminals not cooperating with law enforcement. “It’s not in my nature to sing like a canary,” he wrote in a letter from jail. “If I had been arrested under normal circumstances, I would have been back in Singapore to serve my time as a guest of the state with my mouth tightly shut.” European investigators and prosecutors say Perumal has provided an invaluable window into the realm of match-rigging, which is corroding the world’s most popular sport. They say he has revealed who organizes some of the fixing in football, as the sport is known in most countries, and how money is made wagering on outcomes prearranged with players, referees and officials who have been bribed or threatened. “He’s not the only operating matchfixer of this style or this size in the world, but he’s the first to be really captured in the way he was and now to cooperate the way he is,” said Chris Eaton, who was head of security of FIFA, soccer’s governing body, at the time of Perumal’s arrest. “He put two and two together and realized he’d been traitored,” Eaton said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It took several days before he decided that it was in his best interests to cooperate.” Police from Italy investigating

Perumal detailed to authorities how the syndicate is structured, how it places bets, and how it moves bribemoney around the world, they said. Italian prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Tan and listed him as the No. 1 suspect in their match-fixing investigation. Prosecutor Roberto Di Martino told the AP there are about 150 people under investigation, including Tan, but none of them has been indicted. AP could not contact Tan in Singapore. Five phone numbers identified as his by Italian prosecutors were disconnected, and no one answered the door at an apartment the Italians listed as his address. Perumal told Finnish police that the


Liverpool FC’s football player Steven Gerrard reacts during UEFA Europa League round of 32 football match between FC Zenit St Petersburg and Liverpool FC in St Petersburg on Feb 14. (AFP)

dozens of fixed Italian games and a prosecutor looking into 340 suspect games elsewhere in Europe both traveled to Finland to question Perumal as a witness. One investigator on those trips told the AP that Perumal provided “very good interviews,” that he is still cooperating even after his release from prison in Finland, and that evidence he provided has checked out. Another investigator told AP that Perumal alerted authorities to two fixes in progress — the matches, the referees — and that his information was “100 percent” right in both cases. That investigator called Perumal “a massive help.” Both investigators spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss their work publicly. Perumal declined an AP request for an interview. In court filings, Italian prosecutors described Perumal as their “primary source of evidence” on Tan Seet Eng, also known as Dan Tan, a Singaporean they allege is the leader of the syndicate that fixed matches in Italy.

syndicate has six shareholders — including himself — from Singapore, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Hungary, and he said they divide up income from gambling on fixed matches. The syndicate places bets mainly in China, Perumal said, according to a transcript of his May 18, 2011, police interview obtained by the AP. He said the group fixed “tens of matches around the world” — in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas — from 2008 to 2010. He estimated the group’s total profits after expenses at “several millions of euros, maybe 5-6 million.” “Perumal is key, because he provides a view into how it all fit together,” Di Martino told the AP. Investigators said Perumal has a long history as a match-fixer and a broad array of contacts in soccer. He boasted in a letter from prison: “I can pick up the phone and call from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.” When arrested, he had numbers stored in his phone for people in 34 countries. He carried a business card with a FIFA logo that described him as “executive manager.” Perumal wrote from prison that he started fixing matches in Asia in the early 1990s. “I grew up in a region where football betting and match-fixing was a way of life. Gradually I developed the ability and the expertise to execute the job myself,” he said.

This season’s competition has already provided a host of memorable moments with several members of the Premier League’s elite suffering shock defeats against lower league opposition. While the Cup is now regarded by many in the Premier League as something of an inconvenience, it remains a beacon of hope for those outside the lucrative top-flight and Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Norwich and QPR have all fallen prey to an uprising from the underdogs this season. Only seven Premier League teams made it out of the fourth round last month and there are several opportunities for more upsets this weekend. English champions City look especially vulnerable as they prepare to host Championship club Leeds, winners against Tottenham in the last round, on Sunday. City’s 3-1 defeat at Southampton last weekend left Roberto Mancini Mancini’s out-of-form side 12 points behind leaders Manchester United in the Premier League title race. Yet Zabaleta claims the spirit in the camp is still very positive. “We will learn from the Southampton defeat and use the deflated feeling we had afterwards as an inspiration to maybe try and re-discover the sort of spirit we had last season,” Zabaleta said. “We need to stand together, battle and show what we are really capable of. We will aim and get back to winning ways in the FA Cup and that is our immediate focus now.” Arsenal will also have to be on their guard against Championship side Blackburn. Arsene Wenger’s side have already bowed out of the League Cup against League Two side Bradford this season and, with a Champions League tie against Bayern Munich looming on Tuesday, the Gunners could be distracted. Wenger’s players would do well to heed the words of the club’s German defender Per Mertesacker, who cautioned against looking ahead to the Bayern clash. “Bayern are doing superb this year and that is a big challenge for us,” Mertesacker said. “But we still have an important cup game on Saturday. We absolutely want to advance in the FA Cup and that is why the preparations for Bayern are not that intense yet.” After beating Liverpool in the fourth round, League One strugglers Oldham will aim to complete a rare Merseyside giant-killing double at home to Everton. Leighton Baines, Everton’s England leftback, concedes his team can’t afford to be below par against opponents who will be fired up to claim another scalp. “We saw what a tough game they gave to Liverpool in the last round,” Baines said. “We played them ourselves a few seasons

Chelsea vs Brentford Aljazeera Sport+3 14:30 local (Sunday)

Oldham vs Everton Aljazeera Sport+3 Luton vs Mill Wall Aljazeera Sport+3 15:00 local

Man City vs Leeds Aljazeera Sport+3 17:00 local (Sunday)

Arsenal vs Blackburn Aljazeera Sport+3 18:00 local

Leicester vs Wigan Aljazeera Sport+3 18:45 local

United vs Reading Aljazeera Sport+3 22:00 local (Monday)

back and they beat us, so we know what those cup ties are all about. It’s just about getting through.” Luton, seventh in the fifth-tier National Conference, are also looking to cause another shock after becoming the first non-league side to beat a top-flight team in the FA Cup since Sutton in 1989. Only six other teams from outside England’s Football League have made it this far in the competition since the Second World War and the Hatters host Millwall on Saturday knowing a win over the second-tier side would make them the first non-league outfit to reach the quarter-finals in 99 years. With Millwall’s last FA Cup trip to Luton in 1985 ending in an infamous riot that saw visiting fans ransack Kenilworth Road, both clubs will hope the focus remains on the pitch. “I think we’ve moved on as a society, let alone moved on in football,” Luton chief executive Gary Sweet said. Everton manager David Moyes will wait until the end of the season before deciding whether to commit his future to the Premier League club, he said on Friday. Moyes, 49, has spent 11 years at Goodison Park but his current contract is up at the end of the campaign, with speculation intensifying about his future. The Scot has been widely applauded for keeping Everton consistently challenging in the top half of the Premier League on a limited budget. English media reports have linked Moyes with a close-season switch to Chelsea. “I’ve spoken with the chairman (Bill Kenwright) and I want to see how the team do,” Moyes told reporters. “I want to see how we do in the cups and the league and it is more than likely that I won’t make a decision until the end of the season. “You can ask me every week but I will probably give you the same answer.” Everton, who face third tier Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday, are sixth in the Premier League having lost only four games all season. They have a number of injury concerns after their league defeat to Manchester United on Sunday. Striker Nikica Jelavic, however, is pushing for a recall after finding himself on the bench in recent weeks. “I don’t know what it does for anybody but you hope that they sit back and look at exactly what they have to do to get back into the team and get their real form back,” Moyes said. “It’s part of football. “Hopefully when he gets his opportunity he will be ready to take it. Maybe a little bit of a rest at times can help.”

Clark axes Zigic from Blues squad

Best of the Rest FIFA to discuss proposals: FIFA is to discuss “concrete proposals” for combating racism over the next few months and plans to put them into effect in May, soccer’s governing body said on Friday. The proposals will be chewed over by FIFA’s executive committee at its next meeting in March and then presented to the annual Congress in Mauritius in May which is expected to have the final say, FIFA said. “I am very pleased with the ideas that have evolved today and look forward to the deliberations with the executive committee next month,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter following a meeting of the strategic committee. “The aim is to present to the FIFA Congress in Mauritius in May concrete actions, as well as strong sanctions which will really have an impact.” FIFA did not elaborate on what the

proposals were. Blatter has previously suggested that points deductions and even relegation could be used as sanctions for teams whose supporters are found guilty of racist behaviour. (RTRS) ❑ ❑ ❑

FIFA announces Cup prize money: FIFA will pay $4.1 million in prize money to the Confederations Cup winner, and Tahiti is guaranteed $1.7 million from the June 15-30 tournament. FIFA says $20 million in total prize money will be shared among eight teams playing in the World Cup warm-up event in Brazil. The prize fund was $17.6 million at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa. There, Brazil got $3.75 million for winning. FIFA says the beaten finalist will receive $3.6 million; the third-place team earns $3 million and the fourth-

place team gets $2.5 million. (AP) ❑ ❑ ❑

Blackburn sign Bentley, Rekik: Tottenham Hotspur flop David Bentley rejoined former club Blackburn Rovers on loan on Friday and Manchester City’s Dutch teenager Karim Rekik has also moved to the English second tier side on a short-term deal. Winger Bentley was Tottenham’s record signing when he arrived from Blackburn for 17 million pounds ($26 million) in 2008 but failed to make any impact at White Hart Lane and has spent loan spells at Birmingham City, West Ham United and Russia’s FC Rostov. The 28-year-old, who has seven England caps, could make his debut against boyhood club Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday, mid-table Blackburn said in a statement. (RTRS)

Roman Bednar of Sparta Praha (right), vies for a ball with Frank Lampard of Chelsea FC during the UEFA Europa League football match AC Sparta Praha vs Chelsea FC on Feb 14, in Prague, Czech Republic. (AFP)

LONDON, Feb 15, (AFP): Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic has been axed from the squad for Saturday’s match against Watford after manager Lee Clark said he’d turned in “the worst training session...I have ever come across”. Towering Serbian forward Zigic still earns a reported £50,000-plus per week following Birmingham’s relegation from the English Premier League. And he remains something of a fans’ favourite at the Midlands club after heading the opening goal in the 2011 League Cup final win over Arsenal. Nevertheless, the 32-year-old has been used sparingly by Clark this season, making nine starts and 13 substitute appearances for a return of six goals. But he will not get the chance to improve those figures when Watford visit St Andrew’s for a second-tier Championship clash on Saturday, even though he was in line to start because of Marlon King’s knee injury.




Widespread doping among professional athletes

Frustration follows in wake of Australia’s ‘blackest day’ SYDNEY, Feb 15, (RTRS): It was dubbed the “blackest day” in Australian sport but one week after a government report said doping was widespread among professional athletes, frustration and anger had replaced soul-searching as the prevailing mood. The incendiary report, the result of a year-long probe by Australia’s top criminal intelligence unit, said it had found evidence of performance-enhancing substance abuse across several sports and increasingly dangerous links with criminal figures. Anger that names were not named in the report and the scandal therefore tainted all sports in Australia was not long in finding expression, and by the week’s end was dominating the media landscape. “It’s a big enough issue to be investigated, but as a playing group we were a little bit disappointed at how it was put out to the public,” rugby union player Dave Dennis told Reuters this week in a typical contribution to the debate. “I don’t think it’s a fair reflection of the Australian sporting landscape. I think we’ve always been known for being tough, hard-working athletes. For a country of 20 million people, we always compete well and honestly and fair,” added the New South Wales Waratahs captain. “I honestly feel sorry for a lot of other sports, because we all end up getting tarred with the same brush, which I think

is tough.” Even Malcolm Speed, the former head of cricket’s world governing body the International Cricket Council, said he thought the “hysteria” surrounding the release of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) report could have been avoided. Speed, now chairman of the representative body for major professional sports (COMPSS), said the elements of performance-enhancing and recreational drugs as well as crime and the spectre of match-fixing guaranteed sensational headlines. “I think on reflection (our) view is there could have been things that were done better,” he said after a meeting of COMPSS in Melbourne on Thursday. “It’s fair to say there’s some irritation but there’s also a realisation that we don’t yet know the full story...” Asada interviews Some have even suggested last Thursday’s news conference, presided over by Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare and Sports Minister Kate Lundy, was an attempt by a government gearing up for an election to manipulate the news agenda. The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), meanwhile, have confirmed the “scope and magnitude” of the probe was “unprecedented”. “ASADA anticipates interviewing about 150 players, support staff and

Australia union plans to boost anti-doping efforts MELBOURNE, Feb 15, (RTRS): Australian rugby will look to strengthen its anti-doping regime and boost investment in testing in the wake of an explosive government report on the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in sports Down Under. Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief Bill Pulver told Reuters he was relieved his code was not in the firing line of investigations which have rocked rugby league and Australian Rules football, but said it could ill afford to be complacent. “Fundamentally we have put in place a very solid programme but I have no doubt we will need further investment and further rigour in our testing procedures going for-

ward,” Pulver said. “This year we will have greater than 220 tests done across our Wallabies population and our five Super franchises and two sevens teams which I think is pretty comprehensive. “But there will, I suspect, be broader programmes we will want to put in place.” The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) is conducting interviews with about 150 players, coaches and support staff in the top-flight National Rugby League and the indigenous Australian Football League. The report, the result of a year-long probe by Australia’s top criminal intelligence unit, said it had found “widespread” use of

administrators from two major sporting codes based on current information,” it said in a statement on Thursday. “The number of interviews may grow if the investigation uncovers new lines of inquiry. The investigation is both complex and wide-ranging and will take many months to complete.” The two sports being investigated are rugby league, the main winter sport on the East Coast, and Australian Rules, which dominates in the southern states. One Australian Rules club, Essendon, has been identified and betting on their season-opening match in the AFL

banned drugs among professional and amateur athletes, with teams and players implicated across multiple codes. World Anti-Doping Agency chief John Fahey told Reuters last week that Australia’s sports had not ploughed enough resources into their anti-doping regimes, and said they needed to spend more money on a greater quantity and quality of tests. Australia’s five teams in the southern hemisphere’s Super Rugby competition each have around 35 players on their rosters, meaning most would receive just one drug test in a season if averaged out under the ARU’s 220 tests. Pulver, who succeeded John O’Neill as chief executive and started the new role last

was suspended amid speculation they may struggle to field a team if multiple players were stood down or suspended for doping offences. National Rugby league (NRL) clubs Manly, Cronulla, Newcastle, Penrith, North Queensland and Canberra have been briefed by ASADA this week, prompting a slew of comments from the teams that they had little or no case to answer. Both sports are gearing up for their new seasons, which has offered players and coaches plenty of opportunity to vent their frustration at the pace of the investigation.

week, said the ARU’s anti-doping programme had been endorsed by ASADA. “Obviously I was rather relieved to know that the initial investigations had not focused on rugby and that we were not initially in that spotlight,” he said. “I was relieved in my first meeting down in Canberra when the chief executive (Aurora Andruska) of ASADA actually looked at me and said, ‘Bill, your programme is actually in pretty good shape.’ “She was actually quite complimentary of the steps we have taken but we really are trying to avoid to be complacent about that and obviously need to be even more rigorous going forward.”

But while there is criticism of the process of the release of the report and the execution of the probe, many are still keen to get to the heart of the matter. “Sport has been damaged this past week because a roller brush of suspicion was run over every athlete,” influential columnist Patrick Smith wrote in the Australian. “But if we use that to walk away from the issues identified by the ACC and ASADA then we as a sporting community have failed our future athletes comprehensively. And unforgivably.”




England lick Lions wounds

Rebels hold off Force 30-23 in season-opener MELBOURNE, Feb 15, (Agencies): The Melbourne Rebels held off an undisciplined Western Force 30-23 to win the season-opening match of Super Rugby at the Rectangular stadium in Melbourne on Friday. Winger Alfi Mafi scored a try in each half for the Perth-based Force, but the visitors were made to pay when they had two men sent off in the space of five minutes in the second half on a balmy evening. Replacement loose forward Richard Brown scored a late try with 10 minutes left to bring Force back within four points, but Rebels fullback James O’Connor capped a perfect night with the boot with a third penalty to give the hosts enough breathing space. “I think we did make pretty hard work there for ourselves,” the Rebels Welsh captain Gareth Delve said in a pitchside interview. “We trusted our systems and the work we’d done over the pre-season. “I’m happy with the win, not particularly happy with the performance.” In a contest between two of the Godwin cellar-dwelling sides of 2012, the match failed to live up to spectacular heights, with both teams shaking off a lot of rust. The Rebels opened their third season in the southern hemisphere provincial competition particularly poorly, surrendering possession with a litany of handling errors in the first half and seeing hot-headed flanker Scott Higginbotham sin-binned in the 23rd minute for throwing a punch. Inside centre Kyle Godwin knocked over the resulting penalty and the visitors capitalised further with an overlap that allowed Mafi to canter over the line at the left corner.

First Prize in Sports Action Single

RUGBY Trailing 11-0, the Rebels finally held onto the ball long enough to pressure the Force defence and hooker Ged Robinson was driven over the line with seven minutes left in the half. The home side came out fired up after the break and Hugh Pyle crossed at the right corner in the 46th minute, the lock thundering over unopposed after receiving a brilliant offload from winger Richard Kingi. Mafi hit back for Force three minutes later when he bolted over at the left corner to trim the lead back to a point, but the wheels fell off when flanker Chris Alcock and scrumhalf Alby Mathewson were both sent off. Alcock was yellow-carded in the 57th minute for rough play and Mathewson followed him off soon after, having petulantly dragged scrumhalf Nick Phipps to the turf during a stoppage. With the two-man advantage, the Rebels quickly spread the ball to the right wing, where winger Richard Kingi dived theatrically over the line after receiving a beautifully weighted pass from O’Connor. Improbably, the Force resisted further damage and sniffed an unlikely victory when Brown bundled over. O’Connor, however, slotted the late penalty to finish with 15 points and six straight kicks and the Rebels defence stood firm in the final minutes.

Also: LONDON: Warren Gatland has assured England coach Stuart Lancaster selection for this year’s British and Irish Lions tour of Australia will be based solely on merit. The Lions boss had suggested an excess of England players in the combined side could lead to the kind of media “circus” that engulfed the Red Rose’s doomed 2011 World Cup campaign in New Zealand. But since then Lancaster has replaced Martin Johnson at the helm of what is a youthful side that have beaten the world champion All Blacks and now lead the Six Nations as the only country in this season’s Championship with a chance of completing the Grand Slam after wins in the first two rounds. However, since sparking an unwanted furore Gatland has been at pains to stress the “best players would always be selected” and the New Zealander even went so far to say he’d happily field an entire England XV for the first Test against the Wallabies in June. Gatland had long been scheduled to meet with Lancaster on Thursday but the recent remarks, for all he has since disowned them, had turned what should have been a routine encounter into a near diplomatic “peace” summit. Afterwards a relieved Lancaster, who has worked hard to improve England’s offfield as well as on-field behaviour, said: “I’ve had a good chat with Warren and he reassured me that selection would be based on merit. I’ve obviously relayed that to the squad and I’m comfortable with that.” England assistant coaches Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell will both be involved in Gatland’s backroom team in Australia and the Kiwi enjoyed meeting his new deputies on Thursday. “I had a great welcome and after sitting down with Stuart Lancaster and his coaches for a chat I was able to sit in on the debrief of the (12-6) win over Ireland in Dublin (last weekend). “The English camp is a very friendly, open, disciplined and courteous environment and I was very impressed by what I saw. “I have frequently put on record my admiration for the way in which Stuart Lancaster has gone about his business since taking over the top job in England. “He has set high standards, proper parameters and is getting the players to respond accordingly. “The fact my visit coincided with all the furore over comments I made to a journalist about wanting to protect the English players in the Lions party from external forces made it all the more apt.

In this photo provided on Feb 15, by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Sports – Sports Action Single by Wei Seng Chen, Malaysia, a jockey, his feet stepped into a harness strapped to the bulls and clutching their tails, shows relief and joy at the end of a dangerous run across rice fields. The Pacu Jawi (bull race) is a popular competition at the end of harvest season keenly contested between villages in Batu Sangkar, West Sumatra, Indonesia, Feb 12. (AP)

‘Justice served’

Katusha granted license on appeal MOSCOW, Feb 15, (RTRS): Katusha will be able to compete on the elite World Tour this year after the Russian team succeeded in their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn the rejection of their original application. “CAS has upheld the appeal by Katusha against the International Cycling Union (UCI),” the Lausanne-based court said in a statement sent to Reuters on Friday. Katusha, who finished second in the World Tour standings last year, appealed to CAS in December after the UCI rejected their application to compete in the top flight because of the team’s doping record over the past four years. “Following the hearing, the CAS Panel did not reach the same conclusions as the UCI Licensing Commission and decided to uphold the appeal,” CAS said.

CYCLING The decision means Katusha, who have world number one Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain riding for them, will now be able to take part in all of cycling major races, such as the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, the Tour of Spain, as well as several top one-day and one-week races in 2013. “Undoubtedly, this is one of our biggest victories,” said Igor Makarov, president of the Russian Cycling Federation and Katusha boss. “All of us are very happy that justice has finally triumphed.” With the season having already started, the UCI is in an uncomfortable position as only 18 teams are allowed in the World Tour. “The UCI will now evaluate the consequences of this ruling and will communicate further in coming days, as soon as such evaluation has taken place,” the governing body said in a statement. In rejecting Katusha’s original application, the UCI’s licence commission said the Russian outfit have had the most doping cases among all the Pro Tour teams, citing four cases between 2009 and 2012. One such case involved Katusha’s top sprinter Denis Galimzyanov, who tested positive for the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO) last April. Katusha General Manager Vyacheslav Ekimov has flatly denied the allegations. “The UCI said Katusha don’t do enough tests within the team to catch doping cheats,” he told reporters in December. “They also blamed us for Galimzyanov’s positive test, even though the rider had admitted that it was his own mistake.” Ekimov, a long-time team mate of disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong, also rejected his own involvement in doping.

Isles rally past Rangers Caps winning streak hits 3 NEW YORK, Feb 15, (Agencies): The New York Islanders overcame a two-goal deficit to grind out a 4-3 shootout victory over city rivals New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. The victory enabled the Islanders (57-1) to end a five-game losing streak, while the Rangers (7-6-1) were consigned to a first defeat in four contests. The game was tied at 3-3 at the end of overtime before Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored for the Islanders in the shootout while Marian Gaborik and Rick Nash both missed for the home team. The Rangers made a flying start when they scored twice in the opening period, with Dan Girardi grabbing a first goal of the season and Gaborik celebrating his 31st birthday by putting his team 2-0 ahead. However, the Islanders rallied to seize control in the second period, scoring three times in a seven-minute spell to surge ahead. Colin McDonald netted 29 seconds into the period before Tavares made it 2-2 when he scored after the Islanders had killed off back-to-back penalties, including 33 seconds with a two-man disadvantage. Brad Boyes then gave the Islanders the lead when he steered a wrist shot past Martin Biron, who made 28 saves. “We responded in the second and we made some changes with our lines and I liked the way we responded and played well,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano told reporters. The Blueshirts tied it at 3-3 in the final period when Carl Hagelin scored a powerplay goal that was confirmed on review, but were unable to find another way to get the puck past the Evgeni Nabokov, who stopped 36 shots. Capitals 4, Lightning 3 In Tampa, Fla, Eric Fehr scored two goals, Mathieu Perreault had three assists and Washington beat Tampa Bay for its third straight win. Troy Brouwer and Jay Beagle had the other Capitals goals. Martin St Louis, Teddy Purcell and Nate Thompson scored for the Lightning, who have lost six in a row (0-5-1). Tampa Bay backup goalie Mathieu Garon got the start in place of Anders Lindback, who is ill. Garon finished with 35 saves. Hurricanes 3, Maple Leafs 1 In Raleigh, NC, Joe Corvo had a goal and an assist, and Carolina won its third consecutive game by beating Toronto. Jussi Jokinen scored the go-ahead goal and Jeff Skinner had two assists for Carolina. Jordan Staal also scored for the Hurricanes, and his brother Eric Staal extended his point streak to an NHL-lead-

NHL Results/Standings WASHINGTON, Feb 15, (RTRS): Results from the NHL games on Thursday: NY Islanders 4 NY Rangers 3 (SO) Carolina 3 Toronto 1 Washington 4 Tampa Bay 3

Montreal Nashville Colorado

1 Florida 3 Phoenix 4 Minnesota

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Atlantic Division New Jersey Pittsburgh NY Rangers Philadelphia NY Islanders

W 8 9 7 6 5

Boston Montreal Toronto Ottawa Buffalo

W 8 8 8 7 5

L 2 5 5 7 7

OTL 3 0 1 1 1

Central Division GF 35 45 36 34 40

GA 28 34 34 40 46

PTS 19 18 15 13 11

GF 32 36 40 35 39

GA 25 33 36 27 48

PTS 18 17 16 16 11

Chicago Nashville Detroit St. Louis Columbus

W 10 7 7 7 4

Vancouver Minnesota Edmonton Calgary Colorado

W 8 6 5 4 5

Northeast Division L 1 4 6 5 8

OTL 2 1 0 2 1

L 0 3 4 5 7

W 8 6 5 4 5

L 4 6 6 6 8

OTL 1 1 1 3 1

OTL 3 4 2 1 2

GF 44 28 36 43 30

GA 28 26 36 43 41

PTS 23 18 16 15 10

GF 35 30 29 33 27

GA 25 36 34 39 32

PTS 18 14 13 11 11

GF 42 36 34 35 26

GA 33 29 36 38 32

PTS 19 17 15 14 10

Northwest Division L 2 6 5 4 6

Southeast Division Carolina Tampa Bay Winnipeg Florida Washington

0 (OT) 0 3 (SO)

OTL 2 2 3 3 1

Pacific Division GF 41 49 32 30 40

GA 37 40 40 47 49

PTS 17 13 11 11 11

Anaheim San Jose Dallas Phoenix Los Angeles

W 9 7 7 6 4

L 2 3 6 6 5

OTL 1 3 1 2 2

Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

ing 11 games with an assist on Corvo’s goal, the first of three for the Hurricanes in the second period. Canadiens 1, Panthers 0, OT

In Sunrise, Fla, Rene Bourque scored 2:10 into overtime to give Montreal a victory over Florida. Bourque’s winner came on a tip-in just in

front of the net. The puck drifted in front of the crease and Shawn Matthias couldn’t clear it for Florida. Instead, it bounced off goalie Jose Theodore’s pad and Bourque poked it in. Carey Price made 26 saves for his 17th career shutout and second against the Panthers. The Canadiens won their second straight on the road. Predators 3, Coyotes 0 In Nashville, Tenn, Pekka Rinne made 19 saves for his second consecutive shutout to lead Nashville over Phoenix. Gabriel Bourque, Nick Spaling and


Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty (67) falls after a collision with Florida Panthera defenseman Mike Weaver (43), during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Feb 14, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP)

Mike Fisher had the goals for the Predators. Rinne has shutouts in three of his past four starts and has not allowed a goal in his last 137 minutes, 41 seconds of action. Bourque scored the game’s first goal at 2:40 of the third period. Avalanche 4, Wild 3, SO In St Paul, Minn, Milan Hejduk and Matt Duchene scored in the shootout to lift Colorado over Minnesota. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu in the shootout to get the win.




Ligety joins elite club with treble Birthday bash

Asian Tour takes swipe at OneAsia SINGAPORE, Feb 15, (AFP): Golf’s Asian Tour outlined a glittering vision for the future and took a swipe at rival OneAsia as it held celebrations to mark the start of its 10th season on Friday. CEO Mike Kerr said by 2023, the Asian Tour aimed to offer more than US$100 million in prize money and up to 39 events a year. He hoped Asia would have three players in the top 10, three more major-winners and at least one Olympic medal. But both Kerr and executive chairman Kyi Hla Han said Asian golf’s development in the last decade had been badly affected by the dispute with OneAsia, the region’s alternative circuit which emerged in 2009. And any rapprochement in the lunar year of the snake, marked by a lion dance during a gala lunch at Singapore’s swanky Kerr Laguna National Golf and Country Club, looked unlikely as Kerr said no formal contacts had been made between the two bodies. “Absolutely,” Kerr told AFP, when asked if Asian golf would be in a stronger position without the arrival of OneAsia. “Like any competitive threat, like any business that has a competitor, it’s taken market share. But ultimately it’s a relatively small market share,” he said. “Certainly in the last few years, there’s been no growth (for OneAsia). The damage that was done in 2009 still to this day hasn’t been replaced, in terms of prize fund. “The events themselves that are on OneAsia have not increased in terms of global profile, whether it’s in prize purse or whether it’s in world ranking points. “So I see them as competition, I respect them as competition but I don’t

United State’s Ted Ligety passes a gate during the first run of the men’s giant slalom at the Alpine skiing world championships in Schladming, Austria, on Feb 15. (AP)

Hirscher claims silver SCHLADMING, Austria, Feb 15, (AFP): US ski star Ted Ligety produced two majestic runs to defend his world giant slalom title on Friday and join an elite club of skiers to have won three or more gold medals at a world championships. Riding the thin line between risktaking and smart tactics to perfection, Ligety laid down a solid foundation in his first run, which was a massive 1.30sec faster than Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal. The 28-year-old American then nailed a slightly more conservative second run to clock an aggregate of 2min 28.92sec, 0.81sec ahead of Austrian Marcel Hirscher, with Italian Manfred Moelgg claiming bronze at 1.75sec. “I’m super pumped,” beamed Ligety, already a gold medallist here in the superG and super combined. “It’s such a cool feeling and I’m glad to have got it. “I don’t know how easy it was. It was on the limit, and I took some risks, it was dark and bumpy. “I heard the cheering in the finish area (when Hirscher briefly took the lead), but I didn’t feel pressure. I had a 1.3sec lead.” Ligety became the first male skier in

SKIING 45 years to win triple gold at one World Ski Championships. The illustrious quartet to have won three or more golds that Ligety joined were Austrian Toni Sailer (four golds in 1956, three in 1958), French duo JeanClaude Killy (four, 1968) and Emile Allais (three, 1937), and Norway’s Stein Eriksen (three, 1954). It was also a fourth individual gold medal to equal the absent Bode Miller’s US record, and saw the US team regain their place on top of the medals table. “If you want to call me the king of Schladming, that’s cool with me,” Ligety said. “It’s been a crazy, unbelievable week and definitely far exceeded my expectations. To win three gold medals is awesome and it’s a really cool feeling to join some of the legends of the sport.” Ligety was a shock winner of the opening super-G and then showcased his slalom skills to claim super-combined gold, suitably filling the void felt in the US camp by the absence of the injured Lindsey Vonn. His victory in the giant slalom, his favoured event, was not unexpected: Ligety has totally dominated the discipline on the World Cup circuit, winning four of the five giant slaloms so far this season. With Austrian hopes for a first individual gold medal resting squarely on the young shoulders of Hirscher, the 23year-old produced a no-holds barred quickest second run. But he was left ruing two errors on his first run that saw him start with a 1.31sec deficit on Ligety. “It was defintiely one of toughest races I’ve ever competed in,” Hirscher said. “Yesterday I had back problems and at 2 am this morning I was thinking about whether it made sense to compete. “I was looking pretty bad today - a bad hair day! But I mobilised every energy in my body, it means a lot for me. “The whole country’s watching me, they want to see me winning. I’ve got a silver medal, it’s perfect.” Svindal was edged off the podium and into fourth by Moelgg, the giant Norwegian thus missing out on his bid for his own third medal of these championships following downhill gold and super-G bronze.

No pain in the neck for Jobe

Flawless Kuchar takes control at Riviera PACIFIC PALISADES, California, Feb 15, (RTRS): Matt Kuchar, revitalized after a three-week break, took advantage of ideal early scoring conditions to charge into a one-shot lead in the first round of the Northern Trust Open on Thursday. With hardly a breath of wind on a glorious morning of unbroken sunshine at Riviera Country Club, the 34-year-old American fired a flawless seven-underpar 64 to take control of the PGA Tour event. Kuchar made a sizzling start with birdies on his first three holes and picked up four more to finish one ahead of Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who carded a 65 late in the day as fog began to roll across the course. Play was eventually suspended in fading light with 18 players yet to complete the opening round. “It was a great day,” four-times PGA Tour winner Kuchar, who has spent the last three weeks in Palm Springs and Hawaii on a family holiday, told reporters with a smile. “It’s always fun to have bogey-free days, especially around this golf course. I got off to a great start, birdied my first three and all three were kick-in birdies. “Just drove it well today which is a big key around here. The greens are pretty tricky and pretty firm this year so coming out of the rough, it’s difficult to get a ball to stop close to the hole.” Garcia, making his first appearance of the year on the PGA Tour, was delighted with his round which, like Kuchar’s, featured birdies on his first three holes. “It was nice to start like that,” said Garcia who teed off at the par-four 10th. “I hit my drivers pretty good. “Overall I managed to hit some nice chips and hit some nice putts here and there, so I’m very pleased with the round.”

Neck injury

Brazilian Da Silva fires 62 for first-round lead EAST LONDON, South Africa, Feb 15, (AFP): Brazilian Adilson da Silva twice holed chips on Friday en route to a 10-under-par 62 and a four-stroke first-round lead in the Africa Open. Da Silva was among a large group of golfers unable to complete their first round at East London Golf Club on Thursday because of a three-hour delay due to winds that reached 30 kilometres an hour. Overnight clubhouse leader Jaco van Zyl of South Africa retained second place on 66 and John Parry of England held third spot after carding a 68 over the par-72, 6,066-metre course that overlooks the Indian Ocean. Those on 69 include South

Had to fight to make pars and I’m pretty fortunate, I think, to shoot even par.” Fellow American Bill Haas, who played in the same group with Mickelson, launched his title defense with a 70 while Masters champion Bubba Watson surprisingly struggled to a six-bogey 77. British world number eight Lee Westwood and American veteran Jim Furyk returned matching 68s while thirdranked Englishman Luke Donald carded a 69. Donald heads a strong field at Riviera this week which includes 12 of the world’s top 20 players, and 25 of the top 50. Meanwhile, having spent six months on the sidelines because of a lingering neck injury, Brandt Jobe could not wipe the grin off his face after making a strong start to the Northern Trust Open on

Africans Oliver Bekker, Wallie Coetzee, Andrew Curlewis, Derik Ferreira, Darren Fichardt and James Kingston, Ignacio Garrido of Spain, Tommy Fleetwood of England, Michael Jonzon of Sweden, Mark Tullo of Chile and Phillip Price of Wales. South Africa-based Da Silva birdied five of his first six holes Thursday and was six under after eight holes when bad light stopped play just before 1900 local time. He birdied the ninth when play resumed early Friday, picked up an eagle on the 15th and back-toback birdies completed a memorable round over a short course, whose chief defences are thick bush bordering fairways, and the

Thursday. The 47-year-old American, who has had two nerve block procedures to help him cope with severe inflammation and a loss of control in his hands, fired a fiveunder-par 66 at Riviera Country Club to end the opening round two shots off the pace. Competing in only his second PGA Tour event since the AT&T National last July, journeyman Jobe surged into contention with four consecutive birdies in his last five holes. “I played a solid round of golf,” Jobe told reporters after finishing two strokes behind pacesetting American Matt Kuchar. “I saw some good things which makes me happy, which is what we are all trying to do. Round one accomplished. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. It’s a good start

American Brandt Jobe, who is playing the PGA Tour on a major medical exemption this year because of a lingering neck injury, carded a 66 in only his second tournament since the AT&T National last July. Briton David Lynn and Americans James Hahn and Charlie Beljan opened with 67s while Riviera fan favorite Fred Couples, a twice champion who is competing in the event for a record 31st time, was among a group of 11 players knotted

to the week.” Jobe, who is playing the PGA Tour on a medical exemption this year due to a herniated disc, accepts he still has a long road ahead of him because of his assorted injury problems. “The last swing I took (last year) was July 1 at the AT&T, Tiger’s event,” he said. “I couldn’t close my hands. That’s how bad it got. I knew there was a problem. “My disc looked all right, a few degenerative areas, but what was bad was my nerve canal. I was so inflamed. They (doctors) were surprised that it didn’t hurt more than what it did. “I basically didn’t touch a club until the first part of about December 1, end of November. That was a good layoff, but I had to for the procedures that I had done.”

necessarily believe that they are a growing competitive threat.” Asia is the big growth area for world golf but despite years of development, players often lag the standards of their non-Asian rivals and the region’s biggest tournaments are co-sanctioned by the European or US PGA Tour. After Y.E. Yang’s surprise major victory at the 2009 PGA Championship, big wins have been rare, with some experts blaming Asia’s inter-tour dispute for spooking sponsors and putting off players. “It could have been better,” said Kerr. “You can see in 2009 there was a real impact on golf in Asia-Pacific and really to some extent the Asian Tour has recovered, we’re back up to where we were in 2009. “But golf as a whole has been affected and it’s difficult to get over that. It’s because there was an organisation who felt they could do something different or better caused a serious impact that we’ve yet to recover fully from.” Kyi Hla agreed the stand-off had “definitely” affected Asian golf and said the Asian Tour was still considering appealing November’s ruling, when a Singapore court judged that it had illegally restrained trade by barring players from OneAsia events. “Competition’s always there so we’re not going to get too worried about it,” Kyi Hla told AFP, when asked about the chances of the two tours working more closely together. “We’ll see if we can cooperate, we’ll see if we have to compete.” And Kerr, a week before the Asian Tour’s 10th season starts with the Zaykabar Myanmar Open in Yangon, made it clear that joining hands with OneAsia was not high on his agenda. “To think that somebody has come into the market, set something different up to compete against the establishment and then feel that the establishment should somehow accept them into the fold because they’re a competitive threat, that’s not necessarily the way it works,” he said.

Shin, Ko share second

Uribe leads at Australian Open

GOLF on 68. “I actually played very, very well,” said the 53-year-old Couples, champion here in 1990 and 1992. “It’s always fun playing here. “Last year I opened up with a 69 and this year with a 68, so I hope to come out and play well tomorrow, hit the ball solid and have another good round.” Twice champion Phil Mickelson, who clinched his 41st PGA Tour title at the Phoenix Open two weeks ago, offset four birdies with four bogeys to start out with a level-par 71. “It could have been better but it could have been a lot worse, and I’ll certainly take it,” the American left-hander said after bogeying his penultimate hole, the par-four eighth. “I hit the ball pretty solid (in practice) yesterday. I felt like I was on the right track, and when I came out this morning, it was a little bit off. “I was hitting some pull-hooks, I was hitting some block cuts and so I put myself in some not great spots off the tee.

wind. South African Major winners Louis Oosthuizen (twice) and Charl Schwartzel won previous editions of the Africa Open since it was cosanctioned by the European Tour and Sunshine Tour. But neither entered the championship this year as they are preparing for the World Golf Championship-Accenture Match Play Championship in Dove Mountain, Arizona, next week. Fellow South Africans Richard Sterne, winner of the Joburg Open last weekend, George Coetzee and Branden Grace are absent for the same reason, raising the prospect of a first foreign winner of the Africa Open.


Matt Kuchar hits his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club on Feb 14, in Pacific Palisades, California. (AFP)

CANBERRA, Australia, Feb 15, (AP): Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe shot a sixunder 67 on Friday to overtake South Korea’s Jiyai Shin and overnight leader Lydia Ko and claim the second-round lead at the LPGA Tour-opening Women’s Australian Open. Uribe opened with a birdie after teeing off on the par-4 10th and made four more at Royal Canberra, including at the sixth and seventh as she moved to 15-under 131 and a one-stroke lead. Two-time British Open-winner Shin fired eight birdies against two bogies for 67, sharing second with 15-year-old amateur Ko, who followed an opening round 63 with a 69. Ko had five birdies in her round, but squandered a chance to retain a share of the lead when she dropped a bogey on the par-4 14th. “I just thought 6-iron would be the club and I hit it well, but it just took a big bounce and it went straight over the green,” she said. Uribe, who turned pro in 2009, is chasing her first LPGA title and played a blemish-free round to follow her 64 Thursday. She had a chance to extend her lead, but lipped out with a birdie putt on her second-last hole, then narrowly missed another on her final hole - thepar-4 9th after just avoiding a fairway bunker with

her tee shot. “I saw it was a good bounce, and that’s the way it’s been this week,” she said of her drive on No. 9. “I believe in things that are meant to be and I feel it’s meant to be for me to play good this week. Hopefully it stays like that for the weekend.” Ko was grouped with top-ranked Yani Tseng (71), who finished eight strokes off the lead, and Michelle Wie, who looks likely to miss the cut after rounds of 74 and 73. South Korean-born, New Zealandbased Ko won the New Zealand Women’s Open last Sunday for her third victory in a professional tournament. Last year, she won the New South Wales Open in Australia to become the youngest player to win a pro tour event and the Canadian Open to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner. She also won the US Women’s Amateur. “Four under is a pretty good score out there,” Ko said. “It’s not an easy golf course. I’m pretty sure it is a pretty good score for me ... I putted well out there and played well.” Shin took an early lead after the morning session, despite conceding bogeys on the 9th and 5th holes. “I made a couple of bogeys today but I made more birdies,” she said.




Controversy rages over Kallis dismissal

Five-wicket Saeed Ajmal puts Pakistan on top CAPE TOWN, Feb 15, (AFP): Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took all five wickets as Pakistan finished on top on a controversial second day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands on Friday. South Africa were struggling at 139 for five at the close, still 199 runs behind Pakistan’s first innings of 338 after Ajmal had finished with five for 41. “Pakistan are ahead of the game,” admitted South African assistant coach Russell Domingo. Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore admitted that his side should never have been written off despite being mauled by 211 runs in the first Test in Johannesburg. “It’s a totally different game in totally different conditions,” he said “The home team were not under much pressure at all in Johannesburg. Here they are confronted with a total of 300-plus on a wicket which is totally different. We are very pleased with the way this match is going so far.”

Three of Ajmal’s wickets came after the use of the decision review system, including a controversial dismissal of star South African batsman Jacques Kallis. South Africa captain Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla were both out leg before wicket after being given not out by umpire Steve Davis. Kallis was given out caught at short leg and immediately called for a review,

CRICKET which showed that the ball had not touched his bat before looping off his pad to the fielder. But he was then given out leg before on the advice of television umpire Billy Bowden, although replays showed the ball was only brushing the outside of his leg stump, in the area known as “umpire’s call”. South Africa team manager, Mohammad Moosajee, said that he had

South African vs Pakistan Scoreboard

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Feb 15, (AP): Scoreboard Friday at stumps on second day of the second cricket test between South Africa and Pakistan at Newlands: PAKISTAN Mohammed Hafeez c Smith b Steyn ....17 Nasir Jamshed c de Villiers b Philander .3 Azhar Ali c de Villiers b Morkel................4 Younis Khan c de Villiers b Philander ..111 Misbah-ul-Haq c Elgar b Morkel..............0 Asad Shafiq c Smith b Philander .........111 Sarfraz Ahmed c Peterson b Philander.13 Tanvir Ahmed c Philander b Peterson...44 Umar Gul lbw b Philander ...................... 0 Saeed Ajmal not out ..............................21 Mohammad Irfan b Peterson...................6

been satisfied with the explanation he had received. “All we did was seek clarity from the

Extras: (5lb, 3nb) .....................................8 TOTAL: (all out) ...................................338 Overs: 116.2. Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-21, 3-33, 4-33, 5252, 6-259, 7-266, 8-268, 9-332, 10-338 Bowling: Dale Steyn 25-7-55-1, Vernon Philander 26-10-59-5, Morne Morkel 20.36-59-2, Jacques Kallis 19.3-2-52-0, Robin Peterson 23.2-0-94-2, Dean Elgar 2-0-140. SOUTH AFRICA Graeme Smith lbw b Ajmal....................19 Alviro Petersen c Ali b Ajmal .................17 Hashim Amla lbw b Ajmal......................25 Faf du Plessis c Younis b Ajmal ............28 Jacques Kallis lbw b Ajmal ......................2

umpire, which we were happy with,” he said. “The rule states that if an umpire has

AB de Villiers not out.............................24 Dean Elgar not out.................................11 Extras: (2b, 5lb, 6nb).............................13 TOTAL: (for 5 wickets).........................139 Overs: 60. Fall of wickets: 1-36, 2-50, 3-84, 4-102, 5-109. Bowling: Umar Gul 11-3-32-0, Tanvir Ahmed 9-4-17-0, Mohammad Irfan 10-132-0, Saeed Ajmal 25-8-41-5, Mohammad Hafeez 5-1-10-0. Toss: South Africa. Umpires: Steve Davis and Bruce Oxenford, Australia. Third umpire: Billy Bowden, New Zealand. Match referee: Jeff Crowe, New Zealand.

given a batsman out and the batsman appeals, he can be given out for something else.”

Controversy apart, it was a superb display by Ajmal who bowled 25 overs unchanged into a stiff south-easterly wind, varying his flight and mixing offspin with cleverly disguised top spinners and doosras which turned away from the right-handed batsmen. It was a productive day for Ajmal, who helped fellow tailender Tanvir Ahmed put on 64 for the ninth wicket to take Pakistan comfortably past the 300 mark. Their eventual total seemed unlikely when Vernon Philander took three wickets in his first three overs to reduce the tourists to 268 for eight. “It was very important to get as many runs as we could on a pitch which we think will get more difficult to bat on,” said Whatmore. Ajmal came on after 11 overs had been bowled in South Africa’s innings. He struck with his ninth delivery when Smith missed a sweep and Pakistan successfully sought a review.

England ‘thrash’ New Zealand in T20 decider Hales produces batting masterclass WELLINGTON, Feb 15, (AFP): Alex Hales produced a batting masterclass as England dominated New Zealand with both bat and ball to race to a 10-wicket win in the T20 series decider in Wellington on Friday.

Spanish cyclist of Katusha Team Joaquim Rodriguez Olivier (right), UK cyclist of Sky Procycling Team Christopher Froom (actual leader) (center), and Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador of Saxo Tinkoff team ride their bikes during the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman,from Al Alam Palace to Ministry of Housing in Boshar, on Feb 15, in Oman. (AFP)

Contador 2nd overall

Froome retains Oman lead BOSHAR, Oman, Feb 15, (AFP): Chris Froome of Britain won the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman cycle race on Friday to retain the overall leader’s red jersey. At the end of the 144 kilometre stage from from Al Alam Palace in Muscat to Boshar, Sky rider Froome crossed the line half a wheel’s length ahead of Spain’s Alberto Contador, with another Spaniard, Joaquim Rodriguez, a close third. Australia’s Cadel Evans finished four seconds back in a group of six riders to confirm, after his third-place finish in Thursday’s mountainous fourth stage, that he is already in form after a fivemonth spell away from competitive action. In the overall standings, with one stage to go, Froome is 27 seconds ahead of Contador and 39 seconds clear of Evans, who drops back to third. Rodriguez, winner of the fourth stage, is fourth, 50 seconds off the pace. The stage included three climbs of the Bousher Almarat in succession, and Contador and Evans had both broken away from Froome on the final ascent. However, Froome and Rodriguez eventually caught up with Contador, as Evans tailed away, and the British rider edged across the line first after a sprint

CYCLING finish into the wind. Belgian Philippe Gilbert, the world champion, and last year’s Tour of Oman winner Peter Velits of Slovakia, both came home in a group 34 seconds behind, but the stage turned out to be another struggle for Bradley Wiggins. Froome’s Sky team-mate was more than eight minutes off the pace, as was Swiss star Fabian Cancellara. Earlier, Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, who had won back-to-back stages in the Sultanate on Tuesday and Wednesday, abandoned the race before the stage began. The race ends on Saturday with the sixth and final stage, another 144km ride, from Hawit Nagam park in the south of the emirate, and finishes in Muscat along the Matrah corniche. Results Stage 1. Christopher Froome (GBR/Sky), 3hr 29min 19secs, 2. Alberto Contador (ESP) same time, 3. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) s.t., 4. Daryl Impey (RSA) at 4sec, 5. Zdenek Stybar (CZE) s.t., 6. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) s.t., 7. Johann Tschopp (SUI) s.t., 8. Cadel Evans (AUS) s.t., 9. Jesus Hernandez (ESP) s.t., 10. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) at 8sec. Selected 14. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) at 34sec, 20. Peter Velits (SVK) s.t., 29. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) s.t., 70. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) 8:07, 75. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) s.t., 77. Taylor Phinney (USA) 12:48, 110. Tom Boonen (BEL) s.t. Overall 1. Christopher Froome (GBR/Sky) 20hr 4min 13secs, 2. Alberto Contador (ESP) at 27sec, 3. Cadel Evans (AUS) 39, 4. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) 50, 5.

‘This isn’t over’

Spain to maintain ‘anti-doping’ bid BARCELONA, Spain, Feb 15, (AP): Spain’s sports authorities have vowed to maintain their campaign to end the country’s reputation for widespread doping as the long-awaited Operation Puerto trial reaches its midway point. Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and four other defendants are facing charges that they endangered the health of cyclists by allegedly helping them to cheat through blood transfusions. But anti-doping watchdogs are also interested in the large amounts of evidence not being presented at Madrid’s Criminal Court. Spain’s anti-doping agency says it will follow the World Anti-Doping Agency’s lead by also requesting that the court finally hand over the more than 200 blood bags discovered in police raids in 2006 so they can be analyzed and help identify athletes who doped. “When the trial finishes, this is not over. We will go to work,” Ana Munoz, the head of Spain’s anti-doping agency, told The Associated Press. “I am very aware of the doubts that exist abroad about Spain’s anti-doping fight. I spend 80 percent of my time trying to change this image, not just with words, but with acts.” The Spanish agency has to wait until the trial is over to request the evidence since it was founded in 2008, after the police investigation began. For years Spanish courts have denied WADA access to this evidence that could possibly open a floodgate of doping suspensions and reveal to what extent doping practices have spread beyond cycling and into other sports. The Italian Olympic Committee, one of the trial’s other plaintiffs, was the only sports body able to get access to some samples, leading to doping bans for Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde and Italian cyclist Ivan Basso. The other 50 cyclists implicated, including two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, have never been punished. The trial is limited to the health risks involved in blood transfusions because doping was not illegal when the police began their investigations in the operation that Fuentes supposedly masterminded.

Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) 1:13, 6. Johann Tschopp (SUI) s.t., 7. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) 1:19, 8. Kenny Elissonde (FRA) 1:34, 9. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) 1:44, 10. Maxime Bouet (FRA) 2:00. Selected 20. Peter Velits (SVK) 3:02, 21. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) 3:04, 42. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) 11:08, 68. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) 18:46, 73. Taylor Phinney (USA) 19:34, 91. Tom Boonen (BEL) 26:17.

Stung by a heavy loss in the second match in Hamilton on Tuesday, England bounced back to restrict New Zealand to 139 for eight after sending the home team into bat, with Stuart Broad and Jade Dernbach bagging three wickets apiece. Hales and fellow opener Michael Lumb then dismantled the New Zealand attack to overhaul the 140-run target in just 12.4 overs in front of a stunned Wellington crowd. Hales scored 80 off 42 balls, including four sixes and nine fours, while Lumb notched 53 off 34 deliveries, sending the

CRICKET ball onto the roof of Westpac Stadium to bring up the winning runs with his fifth six of the night. Opener Martin Guptill (59) top-scored for New Zealand but the Black Caps struggled for runs and their bowlers allowed England to score at will, giving them no chance of defending their modest total. “I’m delighted we could put on a display like that. The bowlers were fantastic then the batsman entertained,” Broad said. “We’ve played hard-fought cricket.” Despite admitting he was wrong to make the Black Caps bat first in Hamilton, Broad again elected to bowl after winning the toss, aware the chasing side has won all four previous T20 internationals at Westpac Stadium. The gamble paid early dividends when he enticed Hamish Rutherford (11) into a pull shot with a short-pitched delivery in the fourth over which sailed to Dernbach in the field for an easy catch. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and Guptill steadied the innings. But they struggled for runs before McCullum tried to break the shackles and was caught on 26 attempting to cart James Tredwell over the boundary. Incoming batsman Ross Taylor managed the first six of the innings in the next over off the bowling of Joe Root before being caught out. It capped a disappointing T20 series for Taylor, who has averaged less than eight in three innings since he returned to the international fold after being dropped as captain late last year. With Grant Elliott (15) and Colin Munro (1) failing to produce, the pressure was on Guptill to play out a big innings for the Black Caps. He managed 59 off 55 balls and looked

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum jumps to take a catch off of England’s Alex Hales but drops it during the International Twenty20 cricket match between New Zealand and England played at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Feb 15. (AFP)

threatening in the latter stages of the innings before Broad caught and bowled him for his third wicket. Dernbach mopped up in the last over,

NZ vs England Scoreboard

WELLINGTON, Feb 15, (AFP): Scores in the third and final T20 international between New Zealand and England in Wellington on Friday. NEW ZEALAND H. Rutherford c Dernbach b Broad........................................11 M. Guptill c&b Broad................59 B. McCullum c Bairstow b Tredwell ................................26 R. Taylor c Bairstow b Root .......6 G. Elliott c Finn b Dernbach ....15 C. Munro c Root b Broad...........1 J. Franklin c Tredwell b Dernbach .................................................15 N. McCullum c Buttler b Dernbach ...................................0 I. Butler not out ..........................1 Extras (lb 1, b 4) ........................5 Total (8 wkts, 20 overs) .........139 Fall of wickets: 1-17 (Rutherford), 2-62 (B. McCullum), 3-70 (Taylor), 4-95

(Elliott), 5-99 (Munro), 6-128 (Guptill), 7-130 (N. McCullum), 8-139 (Franklin) Bowling: Finn 4-0-18-0, Broad 4-0-15-3, Dernbach 4-0-36-3, Wright 2-0-19-0, Tredwell 4-0-311, Root 2-0-15-1 ENGLAND M. Lumb not out.......................53 A. Hales not out .......................80 Extras (w 5, lb 5) .....................10 Total (0 wickets, 12.4 overs) ..143 Bowling: Boult 2-0-20-0, McClenaghan 3-1-38-0, Butler 2.4-0-41-0, N. McCullum 4-0-320, Franklin 1-0-7-0 Result: England win by 10 wickets, taking the series 2-1 Umpires: Gary Baxter (NZL), Chris Gaffaney (NZL) TV umpire: Derek Walker (NZL) Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI)

dismissing Nathan McCullum for a golden duck and dismissing James Franklin for 15 with the final ball of the innings. New Zealand’s disappointments con-

tinued in the field as Taylor and McCullum both missed difficult catches in the opening overs and the England batsmen punished lacklustre bowling.

Posthumous award for Taiho TOKYO, Feb 15, (AFP): Japan is to give one of its highest honours to a late sumo wrestler who dominated the sport in the 1960s and came to symbolise a golden era when homegrown stars ruled, an official said Friday. Taiho, whose real name was Koki Naya, died of heart failure in hospital in Tokyo last month. He was 72. His name is synonymous for many Japanese with the high energy growth and economic excitement of a decade when sumo wrestlers were unconditionally respected as heroes and the sport was untainted by the damaging scandals of recent years. Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the government had decided to grant Taiho the “People’s Honour Award”, which is given to figures who inspire the nation. He praised Taiho, a yokozuna, or “grand champion”, for “his shining record in the sumo world, including his victories in a record 32 tournaments, which was achieved by his diligence and

hard training”. He said the award would be made in recognition of “a national hero that many Japanese admired and loved”. Born on the then Japanese-occupied island of Sakhalin off the Russian far east to a Japanese mother and a Ukrainian father, Naya was raised on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, reportedly in poverty. After making his debut in 1956, he won his first championship in 1960 and became the youngest wrestler to reach sumo’s top rank in 1961 when he was 21 years old. Sandwiched between the Yomiuri Giant baseball team and a kind of rolled omelette that became a school lunchbox must-have, his name was part of a catchphrase of children’s three favourite things: “Kyojin, Taiho, tamagoyaki”. Sumo’s popularity has declined in recent years amid scandals including match-fixing, marijuana use, illegal betting by the wrestlers, and the death of an apprentice due to hazing by seniors at their sumo stable.


ARAB TIMES, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2013 saturday— (all times are kuwait local) 11:30 live super rugby ...................................... osn sport 1 13:00 wwe superstars 2013 ................................ ten sports 14:30 nhl: dallas vs Vancouver ..................... fox sports me 15:00 wta qatar-tennis ............................. aljazeera sprot+3 16:00 atp 500-rottendam tennis ............... aljazeera sport+8 18:00 arsenal vs blackburn-football ......... aljazeera sport+3 19:00 malaga vs athletic-football ............. aljazeera sport+2 21:00 oldham vs everton .......................... aljazeera sport+3


Sports ‘Blade Runner’ faces life in prison

Pistorius sobs in court after murder charge PRETORIA, Feb 15, (RTRS): South African ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, broke down in tears on Friday after he was charged in court with shooting dead his girlfriend in his Pretoria home. The 26-year-old Olympic and Paralympic superstar stood with head bowed in front of magistrate Desmond Nair to hear the charge that he had murdered model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius then started sobbing, covering his face with his hands. “Take it easy,” Nair told him. “Come take a seat.” The case has stunned a nation that revered ‘the fastest man on no legs’ as a hero who managed to compete at the highest levels of sport despite being born without a fibula in either leg. Prosecutors told the Pretoria court the shooting of 30year-old Steenkamp in the early hours of Thursday was premeditated. Pistorius faces life in prison if found guilty. Pistorius He did not enter a plea but a statement issued by his family and London-based agent said the charge was disputed “in the strongest possible terms”. “He (Pistorius) has made it very clear that he would like to send his deepest sympathies to the family of Reeva,” the statement said, in the first message attributed to him since his arrest. Steenkamp was found shot dead in Pistorius’s plush home in the middle of a heavily guarded gated complex in the northern outskirts of the capital, police said. The Afrikaans-language Beeld newspaper said she was hit four times, in the head, chest, pelvis and hand. “The security guards found Pistorius by Steenkamp’s body in the bathroom,” the paper said on its website, citing a neighbour. “The door had bullet holes right through it.”

Traumatised Defence lawyer Kenny Oldwage said his client had an “extremely traumatised state of mind”. He did not request bail before proceedings were adjourned until Feb. 19. Early reports of the shooting suggested Pistorius may have mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder, but police said neighbours had heard noises before the shots and there had been previous “domestic” incidents at the house. Pistorius said nothing during the 40-minute hearing. His father, Henke, and brother, Carl, sat directly behind him in the packed court-room, occasionally leaning forward to give him a pat on the shoulder. His mother died in 2002 when he was 15 years old — a tragedy that he said spurred him on in his quest to compete as an able-bodied athlete. Along with Lance Armstrong’s recovery from testicular cancer to win the Tour de France — an achievement now brought low by his admission of doping — Pistorius’ tale of triumph over adversity was one of the most powerful in the history of sport. South African newspapers plastered Steenkamp’s killing across their front pages, reflecting shock and dismay at the fall of a man who commanded rare respect on all sides of the racial divides that persist in Nelson Mandela’s “Rainbow Nation” 19 years after the end of apartheid. “Golden Boy Loses Shine” ran a front page headline in the Sowetan, beside a picture of Pistorius, head bowed in a grey hooded tracksuit being led away from a police station. Callers to morning radio shows expressed grief at the death of Steenkamp, who had been due to give a talk at a Johannesburg school this week about violence against women. There was also widespread disbelief at the fate of a sportsman regarded as a genuinely “good guy”. “How is it possible for one so high to fall so low so quickly?” Talk Radio 702 host John Robbie said. South Africa’s M-Net cable TV channel immediately pulled adverts featuring Pistorius off air but most of his sponsors, including sports apparel group Nike, said they would not make any decisions until the police investigation was completed. Pistorius’ endorsements and sponsorships, which also include British telecoms firm BT, sunglasses maker Oakley and French designer Thierry Mugler, are thought to be worth as much as $2 million a year. He reached the pinnacle of his fame in London 2012 when he became the first double amputee to run in the Olympics, reaching the 400-metres semi-finals.

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (left), shoots as Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan defends during the first half of their NBA basketball game, on Feb 14, in Los Angeles. (AP)

LeBron ends record run Heat beat Thunder OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, Feb 15, (Agencies): LeBron James powered the Miami Heat to a 110-100 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday, but fell just short of extending a record-breaking scoring run. James finished with 39 points and shot 58 percent from the field in a rematch of last year’s NBA finals which the Heat won in five games. In Miami’s six previous wins, James did what no NBA player had ever achieved — scoring at least 30 points each game while shooting at least 60 percent from the field. “All good things have to come to an end at some point,” James said. “It was a good run but we got the win tonight and that is the most important thing.” The reigning playoff MVP was his usual dominant self Thursday at

BASKETBALL Chesapeake Energy Arena as he grabbed 12 rebounds and had seven assists, leading the Heat to their seventh consecutive win. He appeared to be heading for his seventh straight 30-60 game but failed to connect on a three-point shot in the fourth quarter and had to settle for 14-of24 shooting from the field. Chris Bosh finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade had 13 points and eight assists for the Heat, who have won seven straight and 12 of their last 14. James, Wade and Bosh will represent Miami in the 62nd All-Star Game on Sunday in Houston. Thursday’s contest was the first of a four-game road trip for Miami and the last game before the all-star break. Kevin Durant had 40 points on 12-of24 shooting, while Russell Westbrook finished with 26 points, 10 assists and five rebounds for the Thunder, who had their seven-game win streak at home snapped Thursday. At one point, Durant fell to the floor and landed with a heavy thud. He strug-

NBA Results/Standings

Fmr Oly champ admits doping

WASHINGTON, Feb 5, (RTRS): Results from the NBA games on Thursday.

NY Knicks Brooklyn Boston Philadelphia Toronto Indiana Chicago Milwaukee Detroit Cleveland Miami Atlanta Washington Orlando Charlotte

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L 32 18 31 22 28 24 22 29 21 32 Central Division W L 32 21 30 22 26 25 21 33 16 37 Southeast Division W L 36 14 29 22 15 36 15 37 12 40

gled early in the game and didn’t make his first field goal until just over four minutes left in the second quarter. James said double teaming Durant on defence was one of the keys to the win. “You can’t guard him one-on-one,” James said. “You have got to have help behind you. Defensively we were able to

PCT .640 .585 .538 .431 .396

GB 2-1/2 5 10-1/2 12-1/2

PCT .604 .577 .510 .389 .302

GB 1-1/2 5 11-1/2 16

PCT .720 .569 .294 .288 .231

GB 7-1/2 21-1/2 22 25

Miami LA Clippers

pick up a couple of charges on him.” It marked just the fourth loss at home for Oklahoma City to go with 23 wins. The Thunder were eliminated by the Heat in the playoffs and lost the first regular season rematch, 103-97, on Christmas Day in Florida. Durant and Westbrook will represent

Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) his shot after a foul by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Sergio Ibaka (9) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, on Feb 14. (AP)

Editorial Office: Airport Road, Shuwaikh P.O. Box 2270, 13023 Safat, Kuwait

Telephones: 24813566 & 24849144 Fax: 24818267 E-mail:

Oklahoma City LA Lakers

Western Conference Northwest Division W L Oklahoma City 39 14 Denver 33 21 Utah 30 24 Portland 25 28 Minnesota 19 31 Pacific Division W L LA Clippers 39 17 Golden State 30 22 LA Lakers 25 29 Sacramento 19 35 Phoenix 17 36 Southwest Division W L San Antonio 42 12 Memphis 33 18 Houston 29 26 Dallas 23 29 New Orleans 19 34

100 101

PCT .736 .611 .556 .472 .380

GB 6-1/2 9-1/2 14 18-1/2

PCT .696 .577 .463 .352 .321

GB 7 13 19 20-1/2

PCT .778 .647 .527 .442 .358

GB 7-1/2 13-1/2 18 22-1/2

the Thunder in the all-star showdown. Clippers 125, Lakers 101 Chris Paul had 24 points and 13 assists, Blake Griffin scored 18 of his 22 points in a spectacular first quarter and the Clippers cemented their supremacy in Los Angeles with an easy victory over the Lakers. Chauncey Billups hit five 3-pointers while scoring 21 points for the Clippers, who roared into the All-Star break by clinching the season series in their city rivalry for the first time in 20 years. The Clippers have won the Staples Center co-tenants’first three games of the season, with Los Angeles’ longtime underdogs burying the 16-time champions in this latest meeting under a wave of 16 3-pointers. Kobe Bryant had 20 points and 11 assists for the Lakers, who head to the break in 10th place in the Western Conference. Caron Butler had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who lead Golden State by seven games atop the Pacific Division standings after their fourth straight victory. The Lakers had won eight of 11 overall heading into this meeting, but the Clippers scored the first 15 points and never trailed.

BERLIN, Feb 15, (RTRS): Former East German Olympic shot put champion and threetimes world record breaker Udo Beyer has admitted doping in a new documentary film about the lives of top athletes in the socialist state. In the film, “I will not lose”, showing at this year’s Berlin film festival, Beyer who won gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and was athletics team captain says, “I knew about everything that was happening to me. I decided for myself.” East Germany won 40 gold medals at the Montreal Olympics, putting it second in the medals table behind the

OLYMPICS Soviet Union. The much larger West Germany won only 10. Two years earlier, Manfred Ewald, leader of East Germany’s sports federation, launched a top-secret centralised doping programme. It was a time, at the height of the Cold War, when every socialist gold was an ideological victory over the west. Experts believe that during the 1970s and 1980s up to 10,000 sportsmen and women were doped, the overwhelming majority without their knowledge. Results came swiftly. East Germany, a country of some 17 million, almost doubled its gold medal tally from one Olympics to the next. The film was directed by Sandra Kaudelka, herself a diver who became unwillingly entangled in the state’s competitive sports machine - which identified promising youngesters, and put them through punishing training schemes and also dished out the infamous “little blue pills” which contained anabolic steroids.

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