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Music turns house into a museum



At least 22 killed in Saudi gas truck blast


Tower of Polish power knocks down Murray

43 Max 31º Min 15º

NO: 15615- Friday, November 2, 2012

Hero’s welcome For Barrak See Page 7

KUWAIT: Former opposition MP Musallam AlBarrak reacts as he is cheered by supporters yesterday after he was freed from the central jail in Sulaibiya. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Local Spotlight

How do expats see Kuwait these days? By Muna Al-Fuzai

uwait is certainly not passing through the best of times and that is quite clear to every Kuwaiti, no matter whether in the country or outside, but this is not the time to feel sorry for either Kuwait or Kuwaitis. Demonstrations and protests are happening almost every day along side heated debates and verbal clashes in the media, including television channels, about who is with the government and who is against. I know that some think that the entire nationwide fracas was sparked by the decision to change the voting process but this was not the cause but rather the outcome of a situation that was left to its own fate for years, namely the corruption in the entire system. We have been facing and dealing with a failure in all aspects of life in Kuwait with no one doing a thing to change this situation, not even at least asking that this needs to be put an end to. Be careful, be cautious, follow the news, avoid gossiping through the Internet and chatting sites you may be in trouble if you were to be found viewing or saying something that may seem improper even though it may be a totally innocent comments. Some expats have been living in Kuwait for many years, a few even more than thirty years. They have seen the good times as well as bad during the 1990 invasion, and for a while, they thought it was a nightmare which was never going to happen again. The current situation, however, seems like a second invasion, one that has come from within, in which Kuwaitis are taking sides and are being divided right where they stand. Each group is having its own calculations, agenda, interests and wishes. These elements are not alone, but are associated with religious beliefs and personal interests. That is the real scary part and it is where most civil conflicts start. Chaos like this rarely ends easily until it destroys everyone. Kuwait is a very small though rich country and has never suffered such inner conflicts like the current one in its entire history, at least not one of the people versus people variety. That is what we are facing now and we should not be fool ourselves into assuming that a new election will usher in a miracle and bring peace to us all. Reforms need time, effort and sacrifice. Right now, not enough efforts are being made to bring peace to the table and many still lack the vision and think that the problem is merely about a change in the voting process. They disregard the fact that it was just a spark, not the fire. My advice to all expats here is to avoid being near any place of demonstrations at night, especially after 9 pm. There is no need to be part of something that can jeopardize your safety and life. This is not your country and you are only a guest here and whatever is going on is not your problem. Why would you wish to be a part of it?


KUWAIT: The setting sun is seen behind a speed bumb sign. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat Kuwait’s my business

Should you buy a franchise? By John P Hayes

an you help me buy a franchise?” I hear that question several times a month from people in Kuwait, and while I’m willing to help, most people do not understand what’s involved in owning a franchise. People operate franchises in more than 100 countries, and it’s extremely popular in Kuwait, but franchising doesn’t work for everyone, and it might not work for you. Before I offered to help you, I’d want to know about your entrepreneurial drive. Imagine for a moment a horizontal line that measures entrepreneurial drive. At the far left of the line is the number 1 (indicating no to little entrepreneurial drive); at the far right is the number 10 (indicating high entrepreneurial drive). Where are you on that scale? Go ahead, identify your entrepreneurial drive. If you selected a number below 5, your entrepreneurial drive may be too low to own a business, franchised or not. Keep your job, or get one! If you selected a number higher than 8, your entrepreneurial drive may be too high. Create a business and franchise it rather than buy someone else’s concept. If you selected a mid-scale number, 5 to 8, you may be the perfect franchisee candidate. Mid-range entrepreneurial drive provides just enough initiative without providing too much creativity. But since there’s no scientific proof to this exercise, you still have a lot of homework to do. Continue by answering these questions: 1. If you bake a cake, are you more likely to follow a recipe, including measuring the ingredients, or will you guess at both the ingredients and the measurements? 2. Would you rather lead or follow?


3. Are you trainable? To succeed as a franchisee, your answers should have been: recipe, follow, yes. Here’s why: Franchising relies on systems (or recipes) to operate outlets successfully. More than anything, franchising is a series of systems for marketing, selling, and distributing products and services. Without specific systems, the business fails. Franchisors expect franchisees to implement their systems without question. That’s why franchisees must be good followers! Systems are the treasured recipes of franchising. Franchisees also must learn the franchisor’s systems, so they must be trainable. Franchise companies train new franchisees for several days to several weeks initially. Success depends on the franchisor transferring knowledge to the franchisee. Untrainable people will not learn the systems and follow them. There are many other questions to ask before you buy a franchise, but you’re off to a good start. The next obvious question: “Which franchise should I buy?” Look for answers in a future column. Note: How can you improve your business? Dr. John Hayes will help you discover points of opportunity. Free analysis for qualifying businesses. Send a paragraph describing your business; selected businesses may be featured in Kuwait’s My Business. Dr. Hayes has worked with an impressive international list of independent and franchised businesses. He is a professor in the College of Business at GUST. Contact him at, or via Twitter @drjohnhayes.

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Music aficionado Pius Joseph’s collection of musical instruments.

By Sunil Cherian


rom Senegalese kora to Russian balalaika and from Arabian oud to Nepalese sarangi, this house in Mangaf is a musical museum. The curator is Pius Joseph, a violinist who admits he’s still a learner of many multi-traditional music instruments. His collection of about 150 instruments, mostly hanging on his walls, is a resounding legacy. He tries his hand and mouth on many instruments taking lessons from YouTube and music teachers. His first instrument, an Indian violin gifted to him by his father when he was at school is one of the 4 violins - including Chinese and Japanese ones - he treasures at his home. His musical inquiry is still on. He is on the lookout for a German violin, the best among violins

he says. This summer he bought an angklunk, an 8-piece percussion instrument in bamboo. Not all his musical instruments are on his house wall though. Nadaswaram, a South Indian wind instrument Pius bought 4 years ago is well kept covered in cloth. Pius also has a storeroom full of instruments he said he cannot keep at home for lack of space. “I plan to open a museum of traditional music instruments from various countries,” Pius said. “My plan is to equip the museum with the sound of each instrument for the visitors plus giving the history and growth of the instrument”. As Pius was talking to Kuwait Times, he also played many of the instruments. He ran a stick over the batik, a wooden percussion instrument in the shape of a frog. He played a 12-stringed African harp, admiring the artistic decorations of the Africans on the instru-

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

ments. He played rebab, oud and the Malaysian fiddle among others. He showed a string instrument called bullbull which he said is no longer manufactured. He also sang an Arabic song which he learnt recently along with his wife Sheeba while his friend Santhosh Kuriyannoor busily hunted the house walls taking photos of the mounted instruments. Sheeba runs an online jewelry network business. Pius said his hunt for traditional music instruments is still on. My next trip to Nepal is for buying strings for a sarangi I bought in Kuwait, he said.

Pius regrets having no time for playing his favorite instrument, the violin. He is the proprietor of Shade Arabia, a company that makes shades for parking lots and playgrounds. “Perhaps that’s why I mounted my instruments. At least I can see them when I come home”, he said. His children Josh, 14 and Julia, 12 are learning music. “That’s my hope. Our traditional music should live for future generations. Hope they’ll have time,” Pius said.

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Kuwait urges Switzerland to tackle discrimination GENEVA: Kuwait recommended to Switzerland yesterday in front of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that it adopt a clear law prohibiting incitement to racial and religious hatred in accordance with Article 20, paragraph II of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Kuwait called on the Swiss government, as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of its case before the UN, to increase the assistance provided to developing countries to 0.7 percent of its national income in line with the

relevant UN recommendations. In addition, Kuwait urged Switzerland to take the necessary measures to harmonize the Swiss laws at the federal provincial level to be compatible with Switzerland’s human rights international obligations. The report prepared by the Troika followup team in Switzerland expressed concerns over the growing forms of racism, intolerance and xenophobia that often Muslim immigrants are the victims of, said Haidar Abulhassan, the third secretary of the Kuwaiti

permanent mission at UNHRC. The Kuwaiti diplomat stressed the importance of taking all measures to control discrimination and the significance of enacting comprehensive legislation to combat such issues based on UNHRC’s recommendations of freedom of religion or belief in 2009. He also emphasized that Kuwait is considering with great interest the importance of restricting access of religious freedom to an unjustified extent as confirmed by the UNHRC. Furthermore, he pointed that

Switzerland’s national report shows that it does not hesitate in providing aid to poor and developing countries, and it appears that the parliament has taken a positive step to raise the proportion of development aid to 0.5 percent of the gross national income by 2015. Kuwait carefully briefed on the report made by the Swiss authorities in order to review it in front of the UNHRC, and has taken note of the actions it adopted to promote human rights since the first UPR four years ago, Abulhasan concluded. — KUNA

Kuwaiti athletes injured in Greece road accident Amir orders full help and care THESSALONIKI, Greece: Over a dozen members of the Kuwaiti men’s water polo team were injured in a road accident, one of them seriously, near the northern city of Thessaloniki, local police said yesterday. Fourteen of the athletes and the team’s Greek driver were hospitalised in Thessaloniki overnight, though none are in immediate danger. Four were still in hospital yesterday, including 31-year-old Adnan Khan who has multiple fractures, local officials said. The accident occurred on Wednesday on a rural road outside the city when the team’s minivan glanced off an incoming car and overturned. The car’s Georgian driver was later arrested

after being confirmed drunk, police said. The Kuwaiti team was in Thessaloniki for a friendly against the Greek national squad. “All the team members are in good health conditions, except for three including the Slovak coach who is treated from broken ribs,” the Kuwaiti Embassy in Athens said the statement. The other two players have been lightly injured and will leave the hospital after making medical checks and completing treatment, the statement added. “The team coach has been transferred to a specialized hospital for more treatment,” it noted. The statement said that the Kuwait

Embassy in Athens has offered all care and help for the national team members. “Upon directives from His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Ambassador Raed Abdullah Al-Rifaie, Head of Consular Affairs at the Embassy Mashari Al-Mazyed, several embassy staff have rushed to the city of Thessaloniki to offer all required help and care for the members of the Kuwaiti water polo team and ensure their safety and health condition,” read the statement. Rifaie noted that several Greek officials and relatives of the Kuwaiti players have contacted him to ask about the health of the team members. — Agencies

TEHRAN: Kuwait’s Ambassador to Iran Majdi Al-Dhefiri speaks on the sidelines of Iran’s 19th International Exhibition of Press and News Agencies. — KUNA

Kuwaiti media receives local, regional kudos TEHRAN: Kuwaiti media, especially Kuwait Television, has received regional attention and appreciation due to its credibility and professionalism, a Kuwaiti diplomat noted yesterday. Kuwait’s Ambassador to Iran Majdi Al-Dhefiri told KUNA on the sidelines of Iran’s 19th International Exhibition of Press and News Agencies that the Kuwaiti state-run television station has become popular during the past 50 years due to it actively engaging in covering local, regional and international events. The Kuwaiti envoy described the Iranian media as versatile and enjoying a wide margin of freedom, especially in recent years. Iran’s media has developed itself in the past eight years by utilizing satellite television and increasing the number of TV stations and newspapers, Dhefiri noted. Media outlets are considered major strategic tools for governments - therefore he hoped that the Iranian media would translate its country’s international stances to serve its diplomatic ties appropriately. Dhefiri concluded by saying that he would not describe media bilateral ties with the Persian country other than “very good”, since state-run media bodies have been marginalized in light of the emergence of the quicker and faster Internet and electronic media. — KUNA

Maid arrested while selling stolen jewelry KUWAIT: A maid was arrested for stealing $100,000 worth of gold jewelry from an American family she worked for in Salwa, said security sources. Case papers indicate that a US citizen reported the theft ten days ago and investigations led to a Filipina - who had been working as a part-time maid for the family - selling some of the loot at some goldsmith stores. The maid was tracked and arrested in a cafe. KUWAIT: Kuwait National Guard (KNG) and the US Army hold a joint military exercise yesterday. — KUNA

KNG, US Army hold joint exercise KUWAIT: Kuwait National Guard (KNG) and the US Army concluded yesterday a joint military exercise aimed at protecting military convoys. Head of support operations at KNG

Brigadier Falah Shuj’a Falah told the press that the exercise aimed at boosting cooperation between the US Army and KNG and coordinate efforts on military convoys’ protection. The offi-

cial lauded the KNG’s troops’ performance during the exercise which focused on replicating attacks on military convoys in charge of logistics and cargo. — KUNA

Lover busted An Asian was arrested while clambering into a citizen’s house in Saad Al-Abdullah to reach the housemaid’s bedroom, said security sources. Case papers indicate that the lady of the house spotted the lover climbing into the house and immediately recorded his foray into the maid’s bedroom with her mobile camera. She then showed it to her husband who broke into the ‘love nest’ and caught the lover.

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Bourse sinks to 8-yr low on political unrest KUWAIT: Intensifying political turmoil in Kuwait, where police used teargas to disperse protesters a day earlier, triggered another sell-off on the country’s main index yesterday, dragging it down to its lowest level since Aug 2004. Kuwait’s benchmark fell 1.9 percent to 5,658 points, falling below the previous eight-year low hit in August this year. “The political instability is directly impacting the short-term and long-term outlook for Kuwait,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage services at Global Investment House. “In the past, we had day traders who were willing to gamble on a quick resolution of the political scene. But unfortunately, the problem is becoming fiercer and the opposition is becoming more vocal.” “The market was responsive to the latest political

developments in the country which dragged its indices to very low levels,” Financial Analyst Mohammad AlTarrah told KUNA. He however expected a “technical” rebounding for the top losers by mid next week. Police used teargas and smoke bombs on Wednesday night to disperse thousands of protesters marching on the central jail where opposition leader Musallam Al-Barrak was being held on charges of insulting HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The growing tension between the opposition protesters and police has gravely impacted the Kuwait stock market. Many worried traders had rushed to offload their equities fearing more retreats in the market. The weighted index of Kuwait Stock Exchange was down at closing yesterday to reach 402.84 points, a loss

of 4.03 points. The price index amounted to 5,655.43 points with a slip of 111.53 points. The KSX 15 reached 974.53 points - a loss of 4.96 points. Trades came to 3,514 transactions worth KD 15,575,173.893 with 174,706,746 shares changing hands. “The market needs reassurances to help restore traders and investors’ confidence,” Financial Analyst Adnan Al-Dulami told KUNA. He admitted that the political turmoil has overshadowed the market trading, noting that most shares ended the week trading in the red zone. Economist Maitham Al-Shakhis said urgent measures are needed to help the market overcome the current crisis. “We hope the market will rally gradually and the traders, particularly small ones, restore their confidence in it again,” Shakhis said. — Agencies

MoI adopts hard line on protests By Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: A suspect accused of running over a number of Special Forces agents during the demonstration that took place on Wednesday evening was arrested, the interior ministry announced yesterday. Security sources said the suspect, who will be facing charges of attempted murder, had used an SUV with a non-Kuwaiti number plate in the incident and escaped from the scene of the crime. The ministry said it has rounded up several rioters and agitators without giving a specific number while activists put the number at around 20. Meanwhile, the ministry also issued a statement condemning the march that started from several areas on Wednesday night and made it clear that no leniency would be shown towards those planning, organizing or participating in such illegal marches that jeopardize national security. The ministry also expressed its exasperation at those who are adamant to go out on such illegal rallies despite its statements and instructions. “Some instigators took advantage of the rallies and incited the youth to riot, indulge in violence, assault and try to kill security men,” the ministry’s statement said, underlining that the agents provocateurs about whom the Ministry of Interior had repeatedly warned, ran over a number of special forces agents, injuring four of them and then fled the scene. The statement explained that a Jahra patrol police officer was also run over by a 4x4 Ford vehicle just before the march started. The vehicle was stopped and its driver arrested for taking part in the demonstration. “This shows that somebody is trying to push the young people towards violent encounters with the police, destroying public facilities and blocking roads,” stressed the statement. Finally, the Ministry warned that any further rallies, marches or demonstrations taking place outside the Irada Square would be dealt with strictly. The ministry also stressed that any attempt to assault or kill security agents will not be tolerated, no matter what the reasons or motives.

KUWAIT: Opposition ex-MPs meet at the diwaniya of former MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei in Kaifan yesterday. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Barrak released on bail after nightlong clashes Only 9 more candidates register KUWAIT: A special court yesterday accepted a petition by former opposition MP Musallam AlBarrak and released him on a KD 10,000 bail after two days in police custody following nightlong clashes between protesters calling for his release and police. The opposition meanwhile strongly lashed out at the oppressive and police actions of the government against peaceful demonstrations and reiterated their determination to continue to stage peaceful protests against the government. Barrak was greeted by around 200 of his supporters when he was released from the central jail after a stay of only 24 hours. On his way back home, he insisted to visit a roundabout in Sabah Al-Nasser which the protesters named as Freedom Roundabout following confrontations with police. He also invited supporters for a dinner banquet yesterday on the occasion of his release. Barrak was arrested on Monday and after interrogations on Tuesday, the public prosecutor ordered his detention for 10 days and sent him to the central jail, sparking one of the largest demonstrations in Kuwait’s history. He was accused of undermining the status and authorities of HH the Amir for which he faces jail for a maximum of five years. In a statement issued following an emergency meeting, the opposition described the measures against demonstrators on Wednesday as “unprecedented” claiming that Kuwait was sliding to become a police state. The statement, signed by 11 opposition political and youth groups, called on the government to immediately cease all oppressive and police measures against demonstrators and to allow peaceful gatherings and processions. The groups called on the government to abolish the amendment of the elec-

toral constituency law in order to defuse the rising tension in the country. The opposition meeting came after fierce clashes between protesters and riot police who used tear gas and stun grenades in a bid to disperse the protesters who marched on the central jail where Barrak was serving his 10-day detention ordered by the public prosecution. The protests which began in Andalous, where Barrak’s residence is located, spread quickly to nearby neighbourhoods of Sabah Al-Nasser, Firdous and Ardhiya and close to the central jail in Sulaibiya. Around midnight, protests were staged near Ahmadi and in Jahra. Riot place raided several homes in Sabah AlNasser where it chased young activists into homes, at times firing tear gas grenades into

homes. Dozens of people were rushed to hospital for treatment from inhaling gases. Clashes also broke in Sabahiya but the protest in Jahra passed peacefully. The clashes continued until around 4.00 am yesterday. The opposition insisted that it will go ahead with plans to stage a new demonstration on Sunday to protest the amendment of the electoral constituency law. Only nine candidates registered for the Dec 1 polls yesterday on the second day of registration compared to 47 in the last elections. One candidate who registered on the first day withdrew, bringing the total number of candidates to just 37 compared to around 155 in the first two days of the previous elections held in February. The low number of candidates is due to a decision to boycott the elections by almost all opposition groups.

KUWAIT: Former opposition MP Musallam Al-Barrak reacts as he is cheered by supporters yesterday after he was freed from the central jail in Sulaibiya.

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Yemen’s swap marriages: A recipe for disaster SANAA: The deal is simple: I marry your sister and you marry mine. No dowry necessary. But if one marriage fails, the other must end as well. Such is Sheghar, or swap marriage, a widely practised tradition in impoverished Yemen. Beyond tying the knot between two people, it links the future of two families in a potentially disastrous arrangement. In a country where child marriages remain customary, swap marriage is also rife, particularly in rural areas of the Arabian Peninsula nation, despite the often destructive consequences of the practice. Muslim scholars have ruled that Sheghar marriage is not Islamic, but many in Yemen’s conservative society believe that it cements family ties, and keeps the inheritance within the family as most swaps take place between relatives. Ahmed Abdullah, 70, described swap marriage as a “marriage of regret” as he painfully narrated the story of his son who could not cope with losing his wife over his sister’s divorce. “I agreed with my dearest friend to arrange

a marriage for our two sons in this way ... After two years, my daughter and her husband could not get on well,” which led to her returning to her parents’ home, he said. “The moment she returned, my son’s wife left his house. The problem is that he really loved her,” he said, adding that eventually both couples were forced to divorce. “My son lost his mind because of the pressure we put on him to divorce his wife,” he said. One of the reasons leading to the spread of swap marriages in rural areas is the lack of education for women who remain too weak to reject the will of their male-dominated families. Most women in Yemen do not have the option of disobeying the family because that would amount to challenging the whole clan, which is far more concerned about preserving its honour than it is about the life of a woman on the verge of losing her family. Ali and Nasser married each other’s sisters. After several years, Ali divorced his wife. But when his sister refused to leave Nasser, her family and cousins stormed her house and

Mideast left disappointed with Obama CAIRO: Three years after he promised a rapt Cairo audience a shift in his country’s unpopular Middle East policy, US President Barack Obama goes to the polls leaving disappointment in a region swept by the Arab Spring. Obama’s critics say he has not honoured his pledges, such as settling the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, or improving relations with Muslim countries. A survey in June by the US-based Pew Research Centre reported Obama’s popularity had fallen in five Muslim countries, including Egypt, where he was down by 13 points in a year. During Obama’s presidency, four Middle Eastern dictators were toppled in popular uprisings, including Hosni Mubarak, who had hosted him in Cairo. Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed by rebels helped by air strikes by the US and other NATO allies. Grievances against the United States have changed little since Obama pledged, in a speech delivered at Cairo University on June 4, 2009, “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world”. Israel, with US backing, continues to dominate Palestinian lands, Obama’s critics say. Totalitarian Arab Gulf states, also with US backing, repress human rights. And anti-US sentiment runs high - violent protests sparked by a crude movie insulting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), produced by a Coptic Christian in the United States, targeted US missions and institutions across the region in September. In Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, suspected Islamist militants attacked the US consulate killing Ambassador Chris Steven on September 11, exactly 11 years after Islamist militants from US allies such as Saudi Arabia destroyed the World Trade Centre. The Benghazi attack became a heated campaign issue between Obama and his rival Mitt Romney, as did Iran’s nuclear program, another major security concern in the region. “People aren’t very impressed with Obama, but they’re not impressed with Romney either,” said Issandr El Amrani, a Cairo-based analyst. “They see him as more in the (former president George W) Bush mould,” El Amrani said of the deeply unpopular president who was regionally viewed as a warmonger. But the Arab world is more focused on Obama’s failed attempts to resolve the Palestinian issue, and how he dealt with the impact of the Arab Spring. “I met Obama in Feb 2010 in the White house, and until then I was optimistic,” said Gamal Eid, a prominent Egyptian rights lawyer who heads the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. Eid says he has since become disappointed. —AFP

forced Nasser to divorce her. The dispute led to armed clashes between the two families which resulted in the death of Nasser’s brother-in law. “The revenge is yet to be settled between the two families,” said Saeed Al-Waeli, a relative of the victim. Swap marriages are not reserved for the poor and illiterate in Yemen. College graduates may also be forced into them. Thirtyfive-year old university graduate Mohammed Saeed said that although he was fully aware of the dangers of swap marriages, he was forced into one by his family so that his older sister could be married. “My parents realised that they could hit two birds with one stone,” he said. “I suffered endless problems for seven years, and so did my sister. When I couldn’t bear it any longer I divorced my wife. She took my son and daughter with her. I haven’t seen them in four years,” he said. “My sister also returned to her parents’ place along with her three children,” he added. Sociologist Amani Maysari argues that the spread of Sheghar marriage is because

of “exaggerated dowries”. “Increased poverty, as well as the rise in marriage costs, force some families into swap marriages,” she said. Human rights minister Huriya Mashhour agreed that high dowries were a main motive behind swap marriages, pointing out that families see it as a “solution for those who cannot afford the cost of marriage”. She underscored the dilemma that women in such marriages face. “The woman loses her right to receive a dowry, and if her counterpart gets divorced, she finds herself in the same situation as her family collapses,” she said. But Mashhour also played down the spread of this type of marriage, saying that studies prove that it takes place mainly in rural areas. “The percentage doubles in rural areas because of traditions,” she said. Islamic jurist Mohammed Al-Omrani said that Sheghar marriage does not abide by the rules of Islam. “When a wife can be divorced only because the other woman got divorced ... This means this marriage is haram (prohibited),” he said. — AFP

Saudi truck blast kills at least 22 Neighbouring building levelled RIYADH: At least 22 people were killed when a fuel truck crashed into a flyover in the Saudi capital Riyadh yesterday, triggering an explosion that brought down an industrial building and torched nearby vehicles, officials and state media said. Health ministry spokesman Saad AlQahtani said 135 people were injured in the disaster. He told state television they were mostly men and included some foreigners. The civil defence department said a gas tanker had hit a bridge in eastern Riyadh, causing a gas leak and an explosion in a nearby heavy machinery and vehicles warehouse, according to the state news agency SPA. “The truck driver was surprised by a road accident on its route, causing it to crash into one of the pillars of the bridge,” spokesman Captain Mohamed Hubail Hammadi said. Although the incident took place near the headquarters of the Saudi Arabian National Guard and the Prince Nayef Arab College for Security Sciences, officials speaking on state television said it was an accident. The civil defence chief, Saed Al-Tweijri, said the fire had been brought under control. He blamed the tanker driver for the accident. The warehouse, several storeys high, was levelled by the blast, which also caused severe damage to other neighbouring buildings. Rubble, twisted metal and shattered glass littered a wide stretch of the surrounding area. “I was inside the building when the blast came. Then boom, the building collapsed. Furniture, chairs and cabinets blasted into the room I was in,” said survivor Kushnoo Akhtar, a 55-year-old Pakistani worker, who was covered in dirt and bleeding from multiple cuts on his face and hands. “My brother is still inside under the rubble. There are lots of peo-

ple in there.” The blast, which struck at around 7.20 am local time, was on Khurays Road - one of the capital’s busiest roads - but because Saudi Arabia is still observing the Eid al-Adha holiday, traffic was lighter than normal. An hour after the explosion, fires still raged in cars and

blackened corpse was visible in the remains of a truck. More than 100 emergency personnel were combing the wreckage on the flyover and searching for victims in the rubble of the building, which housed the operations of Zahid Tractor, a distributor of heavy machinery. A bus that had been gutted by the fire

RIYADH: Saudi rescue workers are seen at the site where a truck transporting gas exploded yesterday. — AFP trucks nearby and a column of black smoke billowed over the area. Dozens of burnt-out vehicles surrounded the scene of the blast, including a small bus and other cars on top of the flyover, which was left buckling after the incident. Television footage and pictures posted on social media showed a body lying by smoking vehicles and at least two charred bodies seated in a car. Another

stood idle on the flyover, with witnesses saying that the vehicle had been transporting workers whose fate remained unknown. Another truck fell off the bridge due to the impact of the explosion, the witnesses said. Amateur video footage posted on the Internet showed thick black smoke billowing from different spots around the flyover whose pylons were also damaged. — Agencies


Israel admits Arafat deputy assassination


Rebel attacks kill 28 soldiers in Syria


China bans toy planes, pigeons to secure congress


NEW JERSEY: In this photo, workers try to clear boats and debris from the New Jersey Transit’s Morgan draw bridge Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012, in South Amboy. — AP

Limited train service returns to NY Death toll up, gasoline lines grow in monster storm’s wake NEW YORK: New Yorkers awoke to the rumble of subway trains for the first time in four days yesterday and the death toll continued to rise from the former hurricane Sandy, one of the biggest and most devastating storms ever to hit the United States. Lines formed at gas stations amid fuel shortages around the US Northeast and emergency utility crews struggled to reach the worst hit areas and restore power to millions of people. At least 82 people in North America died in the superstorm, which ravaged the northeastern United States on Monday night, and officials said the count could climb higher as rescuers searched house-to-house through coastal towns. More deaths were recorded overnight as the extent of destruction became clearer in the New York City borough of Staten Island, where the storm lifted whole houses off their foundations. Authorities recovered 15 bodies from Staten Island. Among those still missing were two boys aged 4 and 2 who were swept from their mother’s arms by the floodwaters, the New York Post reported. In all, 34 people died in New York City.

In hard-hit New Jersey, where oceanside towns saw entire neighborhoods swallowed by seawater and the Atlantic City boardwalk was destroyed, the death toll doubled to 12. New Jersey favorite son Bruce Springsteen, along with Jon Bon Jovi and Sting, will headline a benefit concert for storm victims Friday night on NBC television, the network announced. Sandy started as a late-season hurricane in the Caribbean, where it killed 69 people, before smashing ashore in the United States with 80 mph (130 kph) winds. It stretched from the Carolinas to Connecticut and was the largest storm by area to hit the United States in decades. About 4.7 million homes and businesses in 15 US states were without power yesterday, down from a high of nearly 8.5 million, which surpassed the record 8.4 million customers who went dark from last year’s Hurricane Irene. Sandy made landfall in New Jersey with a full moon around high tide, creating a record storm surge that flooded lower Manhattan. Yesterday, the storm had dissipated over the North American mainland.

In New York, limited train service returned on some train and subway lines, but more than half of the gas stations in the city and neighboring New Jersey remained shut due to power outages and depleted fuel supplies. Even before dawn, long lines formed at gas stations that were expected to open. Fuel supplies into New York and New Jersey were being choked off in several ways. Two refineries that make up a quarter of the region’s refining capacity were still idle due to power outages or flooding. The New York Harbor waterway that imports a fifth of the area’s fuel was still closed to traffic, and major import terminals were damaged and powerless. In addition, the main oil pipeline from the Gulf Coast, which pumps 15 percent of the East Coast’s fuel, remained shut. Matthew Gessler of Brooklyn went to Breezy Point, a New York neighborhood where fire destroyed 111 homes, to inspect damage to his mother’s house. Like others, he likened it to a war zone. He said you could take a picture of the devastation and say it was the Middle East “and no one

would doubt you at all.” In Jersey City, across the Hudson River from New York, drivers negotiated intersections without the aid of traffic lights. Shops were shuttered and lines formed outside pharmacies while people piled sodden mattresses and furniture along the side of the roads. The city has issued a curfew on people as well as a driving ban from 7 pm to 7 am. New Yorkers faced an easier commute as the subway system resumed limited operations. But four of the seven subway tunnels under the East River remained flooded and there was no service in Manhattan below 34th Street, where the power is still out. Subway rides were free as authorities encouraged commuters to use mass transit rather than drive. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and state Governor Andrew Cuomo said private cars must carry at least three people in order to enter New York, after the city was clogged by traffic on Wednesday. LaGuardia airport in New York was scheduled to reopen yesterday with limited service. John F Kennedy and Newark, New Jersey, airports reopened with limited service on Wednesday. — Reuters

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Israel admits Arafat deputy assassination Mossad responsible for Abu Jihad’s death Iraq court hands Sunni VP 2nd death sentence BAGHDAD: An Iraqi court yesterday unexpectedly convicted the country’s fugitive Sunni vice president on charges of instigating bodyguards to assassinate a senior government official and sentenced him to death. The verdict was the second death sentence for Tariq Al-Hashemi in less than two months, and is likely to stoke further resentment among Iraq’s minority Sunni Muslims against the Shiite-led government. The sentence is unlikely to be carried out any time soon because Al-Hashemi has exiled himself in neighboring Turkey. He fled Iraq in December 2011 after the government accused him of playing a role in numerous attacks. The criminal court in Baghdad also sentenced Al-Hashemi’s son-in-law, Ahmed Qahtan, to death on the same charges, said Supreme Judicial Council spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar. He said the two men were convicted of encouraging bodyguards to kill an official by sticking a bomb to his car. Al-Hashemi’s top lawyer said he was surprised to hear about the ruling because the vice president’s legal team had not been made aware of this case. The attorney, Muayad Obeid Al-Ezzi, immediately questioned the legality of the decision. “None of Al-Hashemi’s lawyers attended this trial, which was done quickly. What happened today is another negative sign that the judiciary system in this country is not fair,” he said. “Nobody contacted us regarding this trial, and this proves again that the cases against Al-Hashemi are politically motivated.” Al-Hashemi is a long-time opponent of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, a Shiite Muslim. The government has accused the vice president of playing a role in 150 bombings, assassinations and other attacks from 2005 to 2011. That was a period when Iraq was mired in retaliatory sectarian violence that followed the 2003 US-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein’s Sunni regime. The allegations sparked a political crisis when they were announced the day after US troops withdrew from the country last December. — AP

9 Iranian female prisoners on hunger strike DUBAI: At least nine Iranian women political prisoners have gone on a hunger strike to protest snap body searches and abuse by prison guards at the main prison in Tehran, according to an Iranian opposition website. The reported late Wednesday that the women started the strike after female guards at Evin prison in northern Tehran carried out unannounced inspections that included body searches, beating and verbal insults of the prisoners. The report said the prisoners were mainly political activists and journalists convicted in the wake of mass street protests that followed the disputed 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The website says the strikers have demanded an apology and guarantees that the guards would not undertake similar actions in the future. Their strike coincides with that of internationally renowned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been refusing food in the same prison since last week to protest mistreatment by authorities. Prison authorities have banned Sotoudeh, 46, from having family visits by her husband and children. A lawyer who represented imprisoned Iranian opposition activists, Sotoudeh was as detained in 2010 and a court sentenced her to six years in prison on security charges. Britain’s Middle East minister Alistair Burt expressed concern Wednesday over the health of Sotoudeh and urged Iran to review her case. A delegation from the European Union last week cancelled a visit to Tehran after Iranian authorities rejected its request to meet Sotoudeh and dissident filmmaker Jafar Panahi. The European Parliament awarded the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to both in October.— AP

JERUSALEM: Israel has for the first time admitted assassinating the PLO’s former number two, Abu Jihad, in a raid on the movement’s Tunis headquarters in 1988, a newspaper reported yesterday. The report, published in Israel’s top-selling Yediot Aharonot, said the operation was planned by the Mossad spy agency and carried out by the Sayeret Matkal elite commando unit. Abu Jihad, whose real name was Khalil Al-Wazir, was shot dead in the early hours of April 16, 1988 in a commando raid on the PLO headquarters by what was presumed to be Israeli agents. “Israel killed the number two man in the PLO, Abu Jihad, in Tunis in 1988, it can now be reported. The intelligence part of the assassination was overseen by the Mossad, and the operational side was carried out by Sayeret Matkal,” the paper said. The operation was commanded by Nahum Lev who, in an interview before his death in 2000, spoke frankly about his role in the operation although it was never published. “I had read every page of the file on him,” he said. “Abu Jihad was connected to horrific acts against civilians. He was marked for death. I shot him with no hesitation.” Mossad did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the article. A long-time friend and deputy to the veteran leader Yasser Arafat who headed the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Abu Jihad had played a leading role in directing the 1987-1994 intifada uprising against the Israeli occupation. According to details in the article, 26 Sayeret Matkal commandos arrived on the beach in Tunis on the evening of April 15

and separated into two groups who were transported by car to a spot less than 500 metres (yards) from Abu Jihad’s house. Lev and another commando disguised as a woman approached the house as if they were a couple out for an evening stroll. On finding the first bodyguard dozing outside in a car, Lev shot him in the head with a gun equipped with a silencer that had been hidden in a large box of chocolates. “When the other combatants received the signal that the outside guard had been neutralised, the members of the second group approached with equipment to break open the villa’s door. They rushed inside, wearing masks,” it said.

One of the agents ran up the stairs with Lev behind him. “He shot Abu Jihad first,” Lev said. “It looked like he was holding a gun. Then I shot him, a long burst, careful not to hurt his wife who showed up. He died. Other combatants confirmed the kill.” A second bodyguard and a gardener who was sleeping in the basement were also killed. “It was too bad about the gardener,” Lev said. “But in operations like this, you have to ensure that all potential resistance is neutralised.” Publication of the interview and details about the operation were made possible after six months of negotiations between Yediot Aharonot and Israel’s military censorship, the paper said.— AFP

AMMAN: A February 10, 1986 file photo of Khalil Al-Wazir, better known as Abu Jihad, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s military chief is seen in Jordan. — AP

Tunisia security officers protest against violence TUNIS: Hundreds of officers from several Tunisian security forces demonstrated yesterday against attacks on them, particularly by Salafists, and protested at the lack of resources to protect themselves. Police, national guard, civil defence and the presidential guard officers protested for an hour in front of the interior ministry, an AFP reporter said. “We denounce the violence against the

officers and urge the government to take steps quickly to protect them and their families who are at risk,” Sami Gnaoui, an official at the General Union of the National Guard, told AFP. The protesters were demanding they be given appropriate equipment and proper instructions to enable them to ensure their own safety when attacked. The discontent was triggered after the

TUNIS: Tunisian members of different security services demonstrate in front of the interior ministry offices yesterday.— AFP

head of the area’s public security brigade was assaulted in Manouba by a Salafist. A suspect was arrested, which sparked violence on Tuesday in which Islamists attacked two guard posts in the Tunis suburb of Manouba. In the ensuing clashes an attacker was killed and two policemen wounded. Yesterday, Imam Khaled Karaoui of Manouba’s Ennour mosque, who was among those who attacked the national guard posts, died of wounds sustained that night, local national guard commander Nizar Badis said. Demonstrators also criticised human rights activist Radhia Nasraoui, who has consistently denounced abuses in police stations since the 2011 revolution that ousted former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and who attended the rally. “She does not stop insulting us and she comes to a gathering of the security forces,” said a police officer. Since Ben Ali’s ouster, radical Islamists have carried out a number of attacks, including against security forces and on cultural events. The opposition accuses the government, led by Islamist party Ennahda, of failing to rein in violence by Salafists, a hardline branch of Sunni Islam.— AFP

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Rebel attacks kill 28 soldiers in Syria Syria war puts anti-US alliance on the defensive

HAREM: A rebel fighter fires his machine-gun at Syrian government troops at the citadel in the town of Harem, on the Turkish border. — AFP

Taxi drivers duck snipers in Syria ALEPPO: Taxi driver Abu Mohammed cheated death when the sniper opened fire. The bullet whistled past his right temple and shot his female customer on the back seat of his yellow cab. Like scores of drivers in Aleppo, he risks his life every day to ferry passengers across the frontlines of Syria’s vicious civil war, battling to stay alive and feed their families. “I was coming back across Ramousa bridge when the sniper shot at me. The bullet whizzed straight past my face,” he says, miming with his hand the trajectory of the bullet racing millimetres (inches) from his brain. “It wounded my sister-in-law in the arm. After that, the sniper fired another three or four bullets. I didn’t stop for another three or four kilometres, then when I did, I made a tourniquet for her arm,” he says. That was two weeks ago. Now his wife worries every time he leaves the small flat, praying to God that he will return safe and sound at the end of his shift. A fellow taxi driver, the son of a friend, has already been killed. Bullet holes and shattered windscreens are not uncommon to see on Aleppo taxis.”I am afraid and I take a lot more care now,” says Abu Mohammed, who at 52 is a grandfather six times over and still has a 14-year-old son living at home. But it’s not just snipers he has to worry about. Fuel prices have doubled since the conflict began and he’s convinced that marketeers dilute it with water. He says he takes home half the money he used to. Then there is the problem of navigating checkpoints, where rebels and regime agents alike flag down vehicles on the lookout for spies. Passengers can be arrested. For those who live in rebel-held areas, dealing with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) or the plethora of other armed groups is straightforward. It’s the questions and the checks they endure at the hands of the government that worry them. “In the FSA areas, they say ‘as-salaam aleikoum and can I see your ID’. He looks at it and then says you can go,” says another taxi driver, Abu Mahmoud, also 52. “But in the areas under regime control, they ask ‘where are you going, where have you come from’ and search the boot and everything in the car... Then they search and check the passengers. Some of them have been arrested.” He fears the snipers, shelling, air strikes and the planes that circle overhead, panicking about where they will drop their deadly payloads. But he is also frightened for his two sons, currently doing their national service for President Bashar alAssad’s army, which has refused to de-enlist the eldest. “I’m scared for my sons. I live in a liberated area and they’re in Damascus. I’m afraid because the army doesn’t let them come on leave. One son has now been kept on a year and three months after his service finished,” he said. Abu Mahmoud works from 7:00 am to 4:00 or 5:00 pm-basically until dusk which falls earlier now as winter sets in. He doesn’t think it’s safe to work at night. “This is a good job for me. I’ve got six children and I earn 5600 Syrian pounds ($6-7) a day. It’s not enough, life is very expensive but it’s better than sitting around doing nothing,” he said. Families are divided across enemy lines. Many have abandoned homes held by the rebels for the relative safety behind government lines, where the opposition lacks the arsenal to cause major damage. They take taxis to visit abandoned homes in shattered apartment blocks, check their possessions haven’t been stolen and retrieve winter clothes. Mattresses are then strapped to the taxi roof and bags crammed into the boot. As many as four women, heavily veiled, can be crammed into the back seat with assorted children; another child perched on the knee of a father in front. —AFP

BEIRUT: Syrian rebels killed 28 soldiers in attacks on military checkpoints in northern Idlib province yesterday, just hours after a wave of bombings hit Damascus and its outskirts, activists said. The Britainbased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels attacked three military checkpoints near the town of Saraqeb, killing the troops. Five rebels also died in gun battles following the attacks, according to the Observatory, which relies on reports from activists on the ground. There was no official confirmation of the deaths from the authorities. The relentless fighting in Syria has killed more than 36,000 people according to activists since March 2011, when the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime began. It started as peaceful protests inspired by the Arab Spring but quickly morphed into a bloody civil war. The rebels fighting to topple Assad often complain they are outgunned by the military, which has in recent days intensified airstrikes on opposition strongholds following the failure of a UN-backed truce over a four-day holiday weekend that never took hold. On Wednesday alone, activists said more than 100 were killed nationwide in airstrikes, artillery shelling and fighting. Much of the violence took place in rebellious suburbs of the capital Damascus and in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and a major front in the 19-month conflict. In Damascus, “terrorists detonated” three bombs in Al-Mazzeh district late Wednesday night, targeting a mosque, a sports club and a shop, state-run news agency SANA said. One person was killed in the explosion near the district’s AlHouda mosque, and two were wounded, the agency reported yesterday. Six people, including a child, were injured in the two other explosions, according to the report. The government refers to rebels fighting to topple Assad as terrorists and accuses them and opposition supporters of being part of a foreign plot to destroy Syria. Also according to SANA, authorities raised the death toll from another bombing Wednesday evening in a Damascus suburb that houses a Shiite Muslim shrine to 12, after one more victim died of wounds. Many Syrians, particularly those in Damascus where fighting and demonstrations have been relatively light, fear that Islamic extremists that have fought alongside rebel units may be targeting the capital more frequently to help drive Assad out of power. Eyewitnesses of Wednesday’s blast said the assailants picked random spots to detonate explosives and stoke panic among residents. “There was a very loud bang and then I saw the kiosk, which sold watches, engulfed in flames,” said Abu Rami, a 44year-old civil servant and resident of AlMazzeh area. Abu Rami, who only gave his nickname for fear of reprisals, said security forces arrived in the area minutes after the explosion and sealed it off. Another resident in the area where the explosions occurred said security must have been compromised as the district is patrolled by troops.

“I find it strange that three explosions occurred in a residential area that is completely under the control of Syrian security forces,” said the shop owner, who only gave his first name, Wael. “There are security checkpoints at the entrances and exits to Al-Mazzeh, it’s very strange.” Elsewhere in the country, 116 people were killed on Wednesday, according to Rami AbdulRahman, the head of the Observatory. Of those, 41 people were killed in Aleppo and 35 died in heavy fighting in the suburbs of Damascus, he said. Last week, more than 500 people were killed in fighting during what was supposed to be a four-day truce timed to coincide with a major Muslim holiday. The

failure to at least temporarily halt fighting has left the international community at a loss about how to stop the war. Yesterday, China called for a phased-in cease-fire and negotiations on a gradual political transition to end the bloodshed. The four-point proposal issued by the Foreign Ministry stopped short of calling for Assad’s ouster and omitted mention of any measures to compel compliance. Alongside Russia, China has steadfastly blocked any outside intervention that could force Assad from power. The proposal called on the international community to support the work of the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, who pushed for the failed cease-fire. — AP

ALEPPO: Kamal, the father of an eight-year-old girl who was fatally wounded along with his son Hamed (sitting at left on background), cries while being treated in a local hospital. — AFP

Risk of death nearing in Turkish hunger strike ISTANBUL: Jailed Kurdish militants on hunger strike in Turkey may start to die within the next 10 days, Turkey’s main medical association warned yesterday, saying the prime minister’s dismissal of the protest as a “show” risked hardening their resolve. The hunger strike entered its 51st day yesterday, with some 700 prisoners refusing food in dozens of prisons across Turkey, demanding the government grant greater Kurdish minority rights and better conditions for their jailed leader. But the inmates are consuming sugar, water and vitamins that would prolong their lives and the protest by weeks. The main demand of the protesters, mostly convicted members of the armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, is improved jail conditions for PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned on an island in the Marmara Sea south of Istanbul. The protests follow a surge in violence between Turkey and the PKK, which took up arms 28 years ago to try to carve out a Kurdish homeland in Turkey’s southeast and which is designated a terrorist group by Ankara, the United States and European Union. “Our worry is that after around 40 days lasting damage begins to emerge and after 60 days deaths may begin,” Ozdemir Aktan, head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), which represents 80 percent of the nation’s doctors, told Reuters. Dozens of leftist prisoners died in a previous hunger strike over a decade ago, but Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has played down the latest action, saying only one prisoner was on a “death fast” and was being monitored medically. “Currently there is no such thing as a hunger strike. This is a complete show,” he told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday. He has said the inmates were being manipulated by “merchants of death”, a reference to the PKK and Kurdish politicians, and said he would not be pressured into meeting their demands.—Reuters

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Nigerian forces making Islamist insurgency worse Military says report ‘biased’ ABUJA: Human rights abuses committed by Nigeria’s security forces in their fight against Islamist sect Boko Haram are fuelling the very insurgency they are meant to quell, Amnesty International said yesterday. Boko Haram says it wants to create an Islamic state in Nigeria and its fighters have killed hundreds in bomb and gun attacks targeting security forces, politicians and civilians since launching an uprising in 2009. The sect has become the No 1 security threat to Africa’s top energy producer. The Amnesty report said Nigeria’s security forces acted outside the rule of law and their brutal tactics could build support for Boko Haram outside its extremist core. A Nigerian military spokesman contacted by Reuters rejected the report as “biased and mischievous”. “The cycle of attack and counterattack has been marked by unlawful violence on both sides, with devastating consequences for the human rights of those trapped in the middle,” said Salil

Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International. “Every injustice carried out in the name of security only fuels more terrorism, creating a vicious circle of murder and destruction.” The report is likely to add to calls for Nigeria’s military to change its heavy-handed approach to tackling the insurgency, which critics have long said is driving desperate youths into the arms of Boko Haram. It details cases of abuses stretching back to the start of the Boko Haram uprising in 2009. The report said a “significant number” of people accused of links with Boko Haram had been executed after arrest without due process, while hundreds were detained without charge or trial and many of those arrested disappeared or were later found dead. “People are living in a climate of fear and insecurity, vulnerable to attack from Boko Haram and facing human rights violations at the hands of the very state security forces which should be protect-

ing them,” Shetty said. Amnesty said it had spoken to witnesses who described seeing people who were unarmed and lying down with their hands over their heads shot at close range by soldiers. In one case, a widow described how soldiers put a gun against her husband’s head three times and told him to say his last prayers before shooting him dead. They then burned down their home. She now fends for her seven children alone. Defense spokesman Colonel Mohammed Yerima said that Nigerian forces only kill Boko Haram suspects during gunfights, never in executions. “We don’t torture people. We interview a suspect, if he is not involved we let him go. If he is involved we hand him to the police,” he said. “I totally disagree with this report. It is biased and it is mischievous.” Amnesty said it had sent a delegation to the states worst affected by the insurgency, Kano and Borno, between February and July to investigate reported atrocities. — Reuters

Prisoners rot on death row in South Sudan JUBA: Kenneth Kaunda says that the only reason he is on death row in a jail in South Sudan is because he reported a corpse he found on the road four years ago with a knife stuck in its chest. “Whether you killed or didn’t kill, you get sentenced to deaththis is the situation in South Sudan,” he said, as others crowding around nod and clamour to tell similar stories of injustice. In the ramshackle capital of the world’s newest nation, over 100 people await execution in filthy and crowded conditions, which human rights activists say break basic freedoms, with many never having even seen a lawyer. “The judge told me I’m the one who killed this person. I said: ‘Let him show me the evidence’, but he refused,” Kaunda said. He is one of eight death row inmates interviewed by AFP, none of whom had money for a lawyer. Accused of murdering her husband, mother-of-six Stella Juwa Felix was allegedly beaten for 17 days by police, while three other suspects with lawyers were released before the trial. The court’s decision to sentence her to death took just five minutes and like most, she claimed she was not given the chance to speak in her defence. “They said that my sentence was to hang me,” Felix said. “Now what am I to do? I just pray to God.” Prison officials demand that photos taken by journalists of shackles, or disturbed prisoners left naked, locked in dank cells or smeared in their own excrement are deleted. But prison and government officials keen for outside help are quick to point out flaws in the system, from poor infrastructure, to untrained police absorbed from rebel movements. Impoverished South Sudan was left in ruins after decades of war with Sudan before separating in 2011 after a landslide independence referendum. But like so much in the country, the legal system was left in tatters, with sometimes conflicting, overlapping systems of justice. Lawyers and judges are few and often inexperi-

JUBA: Photo shows female inmates sitting in rows during a visit at the prison yard of Juba’s central prison in South Sudan. — AFP enced, while those who have served for years trained in the Islamic-based laws of the Arab-speaking north, who sometimes cannot read new laws now written in English. “There’s a very high chance that people have been executed that have not received those fair trial protections and may in fact not be guilty of the charges brought against them,” said Jehanne Henry of Human Rights Watch. Apart from confirming two hangings publicised in August, officials could not say how many people face the death penalty or have been executed this year. Fears the innocent are being sent to the gallows are glossed over, and Andrew Monydeeng, the deputy director for prisons, claims that appeals are dealt with within 14 days, and after that “fate is fate”. But Kaunda, a former rebel soldier who fought for South Sudan’s independence, says he has received no response to an appeal filed in 2009. Like many others, he scoffs at the likelihood of the legal system

saving him. “I cannot believe in this system,” he said, waving at the overcrowded prison, bursting with almost 1,250 inmates, almost three times the maximum number it was built for in the 1950s. “What they are doing is not law, but playing games.” Shackled in chains-to show that she faces a death sentence for the killing of a relative — 45-year old Mary Sezerina says that the prison is like a “pit of hell.” “There was independence....but nothing has changed here in the prison”, she said, adding she has not heard back from appeals made after her arrest in 2005. During the civil war, firing squads were used, but as David Deng of the South Sudan Law Society notes, officials in the rebel movement-turned-government still see the death penalty as a useful tool. “For them capital punishment is an indispensable deterrent to try to keep a lid on some of the crime in South Sudan”, Deng said, pointing out that the country is awash with guns. — AFP

7 kidnapped sailors freed in Nigeria LAGOS: Kidnappers freed six Russian sailors and an Estonian who had been abducted from a ship off Nigeria’s southern delta, a French oil and gas services company and the military said yesterday. Paris-based Bourbon SA said in a statement that the sailors were in good health despite facing “difficult conditions while in captivity.” The company said the men would leave Nigeria in several days after undergoing medical tests and psychological examinations. The company statement said Bourbon would not take any questions regarding the sailors’ release and did not say if a ransom had been paid to free them. Typically, foreign companies operating in Nigeria’s Niger Delta pay cash ransoms to free their employees after negotiating down kidnappers’ demands. Foreign hostages can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece. Military spokesman Lt Col Onyema Nwachukwu said the hostages were freed Wednesday night and were taken under guard to Port Harcourt, the major city in the Niger Delta. The Russian Foreign Ministry said yesterday that the six Russian sailors freed “feel well and are being provided with everything necessary.” The kidnapping happened during an attack Oct. 15 on a Bourbon ship near the Niger Delta, where the company works closely with oil companies like Chinese-owned Addax Petroleum. Gunmen apparently attacked the Bourbon Liberty 249 and seized the sailors before escaping, the company said. Another nine sailors onboard the vessel sailed safely away to the company’s port in Onne in Nigeria’s Rivers state, the company said. The attack occurred near the Pennington River off Bayelsa state, military officials later said. That’s close to the Pennington Export Terminal run by US-based Chevron Corp., which loads crude onto large oil tankers for export to the West. Foreign oil companies have pumped oil out of the Niger Delta, a region of mangroves and swamps the size of Portugal, for more than 50 years. Despite the billions of dollars flowing into Nigeria’s government, many in the delta remain desperately poor, living in polluted waters without access to proper medical care, education or work. The poor conditions sparked an uprising in 2006 by militants and opportunistic criminals who blew up oil pipelines and kidnapped foreign workers. That violence ebbed in 2009 with a governmentsponsored amnesty program that offered ex fighters monthly payments and job training. However, few in the delta have seen the promised benefits and sporadic kidnappings and attacks continue. The last major kidnapping happened in August, when gunmen attacked a vessel operated by Sea Trucks Group, another oil and gas contractor, and abducted four workers. The workers were later released unharmed. Bourbon operates support vessels for offshore oil rigs and provides repair, inspection and maintenance services for undersea oil fields, and has a smaller unit that ships commodities like coal, grain and timber worldwide. The company had revenues of ?1 billion ($1.3 billion) last year. The company has been targeted by kidnappers in Nigeria before. In October 2008, pirates near Cameroon’s border with Nigeria kidnapped 10 Bourbon workers, all of whom were later released. Pirates also kidnapped and later released nine Bourbon workers seized off Nigeria’s coast in January 2009. In another attack on Bourbon, attackers armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles clashed with Nigerian navy forces in a failed bid to take over an offshore oil platform, then kidnapped three French employees of Bourbon in September 2010. The workers were later released. — AP


International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Halloween party crush kills three in Madrid Panic sets in after flare thrown at crowd

SEOUL: South Korean men relax at a downtown park yesterday. — AFP

The real politics of ageing in S Korea SEOUL: South Korea’s rapidly ageing population is redrawing the electoral landscape of a country where half a century of tumultuous change has honed sharp generational divides. The pronounced demographic shift triggered by a plummeting birth rate and soaring life expectancy is seen as one of the greatest challenges facing Asia’s fourth largest economy in the future. In the shorter term, it is an issue preoccupying the three main candidates in December’s presidential election, as they seek any advantage in what is looking like an increasingly tight race. As is the general rule of thumb in most democracies, younger Korean voters lean towards the liberal side of the political spectrum while older voters are seen as more conservative. Where South Korea stands out, is in the dramatic shift in the size of these electoral blocs. Voters aged below 40 make up 38 percent of eligible voters this year-a sharp drop from 48 percent a decade ago when they helped liberal candidate Roh Moo-Hyun to the presidential Blue House. At the same time, the segment of voters aged 50 to 69 has grown from 30 percent to 40 percent of the total electorate. “Demographically speaking, this is a favorable change for the conservatives,” Jeong Han-Wool, analyst at the East Asia Institute, told AFP. The chief beneficiary is Park GeunHye, the candidate of the ruling New Frontier Party and daughter of South Korea’s late military strongman Park Chung-Hee. A recent poll by Gallup Korea showed about 60 percent of voters aged 50 to 69 support Park, with the added bonus that older voters traditionally turn out in greater numbers on polling day than their younger counterparts. Park’s main rivals, Moon Jae-In of the liberal opposition Democratic United Party, and the independent Ahn CheolSoo, a left-leaning software mogul, are keenly aware of the implications. Young voters generally cast their ballots late and both Moon and Ahn have sought to level the playing field by demanding that polling booths be kept open for several hours beyond the existing 6:00 pm deadline. Moon argued that millions of temporary workers on shift work would be unable to cast their votes, while Ahn called the current 6:00 am to 6:00 pm voting window outdated, saying it should be revised “immediately”. Park’s campaign team has rejected the proposal, saying the December 19 polling day was too close for such a significant alteration which, it added, could only be implemented at substantial financial cost. A change in the voting schedule would require parliamentary approval-impossible without the support of Park’s ruling party. — AFP

MADRID: Partygoers stampeded at a huge Halloween event in Madrid in the early hours yesterday, creating a terrifying human crush that killed three young women, Spanish police said. Many young people were in tears as they battled against a human tide for the exits doors in a panic apparently sparked by someone throwing a flare, according to police and witnesses. Some of the doors to the Madrid Arena stadium, which has a capacity for up to 10,500 people, had been sealed, one witness at the “Thriller Music Park” party said. The crush, apparently in a passageway in the stadium, killed three women aged between 18 and 25 and left another two women with grave injuries, police officials said. A witness described chaos with people fighting for a single door, a waiter trying to resuscitate one of the victims on the bar, and security agents pulling at fleeing youngsters. “It seems to have been provoked by a flare that someone threw into the stadium,” a police spokesman said. Police said they began fielding telephone calls at about 4:30 am (0330 GMT) about a crush at the party which had promised a “theatrical atmosphere” and a costume contest based on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. “There was a human blockage at the one exit they had because the others were closed so that no-one could go out that way,” one of the youngsters at the party, Sandra, told Cadena Ser radio. “There was only one

door, there was a human blockage with a lot of security staff pulling people,” she added. “People were crying, crushed, and there was no-one to help that girl: the waiter got up on to the bar and tried to resuscitate her.” Officers, who completed an evacuation of the stadium by 7 am, had already opened an investigation into whether the site had respected safety rules. Fernando Prados, duty chief of Madrid emergency services, was on duty at the time of the disaster. “We received a call at about 4:00 am saying that there were several unconscious girls and when arrived there were five girls between 18 and 25 in respiratory arrest,” Prados said.

“We performed resuscitation on them and we managed to get a pulse for three of them,” he said. One of those women, however, died on the way to hospital, he told Cadena Ser. “There were some stairs,” another witness told public television. “There was an avalanche of people and people fell over each other and amassed there and there was a crush.” An employee from a nearby club said he believed there may have been too many people inside. A police van and several police cars were at the stadium, which was closed off as police inspected the site under the scrutiny of a crowd of photographers and television cameras. — AFP

MADRID: A picture shows a doll head and rubbish at the car park of the Madrid Arena stadium yesterday. — AFP

Northern Ireland prison guard slain in gun ambush DUBLIN: A veteran Northern Ireland prison officer was killed yesterday in a gun ambush as he was driving to work, the first slaying of a security-force member in the British territory in 18 months. Police said they weren’t certain yet whether David Black was killed by gunfire or after his car crashed into fencing. They said several bullets struck his car as he drove onto the M1 motorway southwest of Belfast. Police found the attackers’ suspected getaway car burned out in the nearby town of Lurgan, a power base for two Irish Republican Army factions opposed to Northern Ireland’s peace process, the Real IRA and Continuity IRA. No group claimed responsibility. Politicians said IRA die-hards were almost certainly to blame, and the government of the neighboring Republic of Ireland pledged to help hunt down those responsible. “I know that I speak for every decent man, woman and child on this island, north and south, in expressing revul-

sion at this act,” said Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore. Gilmore said police in both parts of Ireland would crack down anew on IRA extremists, many of whom live in the Irish Republic near the border. “There will be no return to the dark and violent days of the past,” he said. And Sinn Fein, the Irish nationalist party that persuaded the Provisional IRA to renounce violence and disarm in 2005, said today’s IRA remnant offered no coherent path forward. “It is patently obvious that the peace process will not be derailed by incidents like this. It hasn’t in the past and it won’t in the future,” said Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd, education minister in the unity government that has run Northern Ireland since 2007. He said IRA splinter groups should recognize reality and “bring an end to these pointless actions.” The Northern Ireland Prison Service said Black had been a prison guard for nearly 30 years and was due to retire

soon. Finlay Spratt, director of the Northern Ireland Prison Officers Association, described Black as “a very nice fellow to work with. He always ensured he did his job to the letter. He was a very good officer.” But Spratt lambasted the weakening of security provisions for prison officers, who live in civilian areas and still face death threats from extremists on both sides of Northern Ireland’s sectarian divide. Spratt said the Northern Ireland and British governments “have stripped away all the security around prison officers. They treat us now as if we live in normal society, “ he said. The victim worked at Maghaberry Prison, where dozens of IRA inmates have been waging protests for more than a year, including smearing their cells with their own excrement. The prisoners want to receive “political” status, the same symbolic issue that spurred 10 Irish republican inmates to starve themselves to death in 1981. — AP

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

China bans toy planes, knives, pigeons to secure congress Taxi drivers told to remove window handles

KUALA LUMPUR: Myanmar ethnic Rohingya refugee Mohd Alam sorts out metal items to recycle in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur yesterday.— AFP

Myanmar’s neighbours urged to let in refugees KUALA LUMPUR: Myanmar’s neighbours should prepare to accept refugees from the country’s Rohingya minority who may try to flee abroad to escape bloody communal violence, refugee organisations said yesterday. Clashes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state pitting Buddhists against members of the Muslim Rohingya minority have left at least 180 dead since violence broke out in June, swamped refugee camps and forced tens of thousands to flee the bloodshed. Rohingya have for years trickled abroad to neighbouring Bangladesh and, increasingly, Muslim-majority Malaysia by boat. The violence has sparked warnings of a potential surge in refugees opting for the dangerous sea voyage. “We are appealing to countries to keep borders open and to ensure safe access and whatever assistance they can provide,” said Vivian Tan, Asia-Pacific spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “The main thing is that they have a safe place to land,” she said. Tan said Myanmar’s neighbours also should ensure that the UNHCR is granted access to any Rohingya who have legitimate claims to refugee status. The Muslim minority, who speak a Bengali dialect in mainly Buddhist Myanmar, claim decades of persecution. The government views the roughly 800,000 Rohingya in Rakhine as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and denies them citizenship. Bangladeshi police say about 130 people are missing after a boat sank Sunday while carrying Rohingya refugees heading for Malaysia. Decades-old animosity between Buddhists and Rohingya exploded in June after the apparent rape and murder of an ethnic Rakhine woman sparked a series of revenge attacks. Human Rights Watch warned this week of a potential “dramatic increase in the number of Rohingya taking to the sea this year” in the wake of the unrest. ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan, meanwhile, has warned the bloodshed could leave the Rohingya minority “radicalised and the entire region could be destabilised, including the Malacca Straits”, the vital shipping lane between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. He declined yesterday to further elaborate to AFP. Aid and refugee agencies said the violence does not appear to have triggered a large-scale Rohingya exodus yet, but they urged nearby countries to prepare. “Countries need to show their generosity and compassion at this time of crisis,” said Sharuna Verghis, co-founder of Malaysian refugee help organisation Health Equity Initiative. The UNHCR in Malaysia has registered some 24,000 Rohingyas as refugees but community leaders estimate actual numbers in the country could be double that. Malaysia largely turns a blind eye, allowing them into the country but denying them any sort of legal status that would allow access to health care, education, jobs, and other services, activists say. That leaves many Rohingya like Nur Jahan, 54, on society’s margins. Nur Jahan arrived from Rakhine state four months ago and she and her seven children have scraped out a tough existence scouring through trashbins on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur for scrap items they can sell. Her husband is sick and going blind. “Life is very difficult here... We cannot work because we don’t have documents. How do we survive? I don’t have any hope and I cannot hope to return (to Myanmar),” she told AFP through an interpreter. Malaysia must prepare for more arrivals and provide access to basic services, said Verghis. “It is a humanitarian crisis. That’s why a regional solution is needed, and part of the solution must be that everyone does their bit,” she said. —AFP

BEIJING: Don’t roll down the taxi windows. Don’t buy a remote-controlled plane without a police chief’s permission. And don’t release your pigeons. Beijing is tightening security as its all-important Communist Party congress approaches, and some of the measures seem downright bizarre. Kitchen knives and pencil sharpeners reportedly have been pulled from store shelves, and there’s even a rumor that authorities are on the lookout for seditious messages on pingpong balls. The congress, which begins Nov 8, will name new leaders to run the world’s most populous country and second-largest economy for the next decade. Most of the security measures have been phased in in time for yesterday’s opening of a meeting of the Central Committee, the roughly 370-member body that is finalizing preparations for the congress. China always tightens security for highprofile events, like much of the rest of the world. London, for instance, restricted air traffic during the Olympics. But many of Beijing’s rules seem extraordinary, perhaps in an effort to smooth a once-a-decade transition that has already been bumpy. Bo Xilai, once a candidate for the allpowerful Politburo’s Standing Committee, suffered a spectacular fall from grace in which his wife was convicted of murder. One of President Hu Jintao’s closest aides was demoted, apparently after his son was killed alongside two partially dressed women in an accident in his Ferrari. Meanwhile, protests over pollution, land seizures and local corruption continue across the country. Human rights groups report that activists and petitioners are being rounded up ahead of the congress. But the broader security measures may best illustrate how China is trying to leave absolutely no room for disruptions. The government has blocked searches for the phrase “18th Party Congress” on websites including China’s popular Twitter-like Sina Weibo. Internet posters manage to get around that by using characters that sound like “party congress.” One substitute: “Sparta.” Taxi drivers have been told to remove window handles, to avoid sen-

sitive parts of the city and not to open their windows or doors if they pass “important venues.” Some taxi drivers, but not all, have been told to ask passengers to sign a “traveling agreement” if they want to go near Tiananmen Square. A man who answered the phone at Wan Quan Si taxi company in the south of the capital said the rule applies to all taxi companies in Beijing. He declined to give his name. Beijing investment company worker Li Tianshu said she didn’t believe colleagues’ claims that door handles had

er to electronic window buttons would also be cut. A memo circulating on Weibo warned taxi drivers to be on guard against passengers who may want to cast balloons with slogans or throw “pingpong balls with reactionary words.” It was unclear who issued the memo and its authenticity could not be confirmed. A man who wouldn’t give his name at Tong Hai taxi company in central Beijing said it had received orders “from higher authorities” to reinforce security measures and a memo, but he wouldn’t elaborate.

BEIJING: A window handle on the door at the back seat is seen removed in a taxi in Beijing yesterday.— AP been removed until she got into a taxi herself the other day. “There were no handles for three of the four windows,” she said. “The driver told me that their company asked them to do it to prevent passengers spreading leaflets. The driver complained that if they don’t take the handles away or the passengers throw leaflets out of the taxis, they will be fired.” Citizens have taken to Weibo to post photos of doors with handles crudely ripped off. Liu Shi, a client manager in a mass communication company, wrote that the taxi driver had told him that pow-

Police in the capital are asking that Chinese show their ID cards and foreigners their passports when buying remote-controlled model aircraft over safety concerns, the official Global Times newspaper reported Tuesday. One toy store owner said authorities had told him to stop selling medium and large-sized planes. “This kind of plane can’t fly over long distances and it can hardly carry anything,” said Chen Ziping, holding up a model about half a meter (half a yard) long. “They just told me to stop selling it and I have to follow the order.”—AP

Photos show second China stealth fighter prototype BEIJING: China has test flown a second model of a prototype stealth fighter, aviation experts said yesterday, in a sign of its aircraft industry’s growing sophistication. Photos posted to the Internet yesterday showed the radar-avoiding aircraft airborne near the northeastern city of Shenyang with its landing gear still down. Two Chinese-made J-11 fighters accompanied it on the flight, which Chinese military enthusiast websites said took place Wednesday and lasted about 10 minutes. Ross Babbage of Australia’s Kokoda Foundation and Greg Waldron of Fliightglobal magazine in Singapore said the plane known as the J-31 appeared to be a smaller version of the J-20 prototype that was tested last year

in the southwestern city of Chengdu. While both planes feature stealth design features, their true capabilities in terms of sensors, radar-absorbing coatings, and other key factors remain unknown. It isn’t known when, or if, either plane will go into production. “I think it’s a fairly straight forward evolution to develop advanced fighters at this time, but you can’t read too much into it in terms of capabilities,” Waldron told The Associated Press. The smaller and nimbler J-31 appeared intended for a fighter-interceptor role similar to the US Joint Strike Fighter, while the heavier J-20 would target airfields, warships and other ground targets, he said. The technical barriers and development costs for such aircraft are enor-

mous and the US has struggled for years to deliver on their potential. Another major challenge for China is developing engines for its fighters that are reliable and capable enough for such cuttingedge aircraft, Babbage said. China remains overwhelmingly reliant on Russia for engines for its latest J-10, J-11, and J-15 models, the last two of which were developed from Russian Sukhoi fighter-bombers. “The demands in the engine area are very substantial,” Babbage said. Despite that, the ability to develop two prototype stealth fighters at the same time demonstrates an impressive capability on the part of the Chinese industry, he said. “It’s a very interesting development. It shows how rapidly they’re moving ahead.” —AP

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Lanka ruling party moves to impeach senior judge Move marks escalation in tension with judiciary

CHENNAI: Children run on the beach as an Indian Coast Guard HAL Chetak helicopter flies over the oil tanker ship Pratibha Cauvery during search operations after the ship ran aground October 31 off the coast yesterday.— AFP

Cyclone displaces 150,000 in India CHENNAI: A tropical storm weakened yesterday after slamming into southern India, bringing heavy rain and a storm surge and displacing 150,000 people. Six deaths have been reported in India and Sri Lanka. Just before the storm made landfall Wednesday, an oil tanker with 37 crew ran aground off Chennai. One of its lifeboats capsized in the choppy waters, and one crewmember drowned, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Yesterday, two helicopters searched in the Bay of Bengal for the four missing crewmembers, said coast guard officer Gurdip Singh, adding that 32 crewmembers were rescued from the tanker. Andhra Pradesh state said two people died there when their homes collapsed due to heavy rain Wednesday night in Nellore and Chittoor districts, and PTI reported another death in Tamil Nadu state, a 46-year old man who slipped into the rough sea from a pier and drowned. Sri Lanka reported two deaths earlier from the cyclone. The cyclone had maximum winds of 75 kph (45 mph) after landfall but had weakened to a tropical depression. A storm surge of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) was forecast to flood low-lying coastal areas, the India Meteorological Department said. Power supply was disrupted to parts of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state, PTI said. Heavy to very heavy rain expected, and fishermen were asked to stay at shore. State authorities turned 282 schools into relief centers in Chennai and the city’s port halted cargo operations. Twenty-three ships were moved to safer areas. About 150,000 people were moved to shelters in Nellore, district official B Sridhar said.In Sri Lanka, 4,627 people were displaced by flooding and 56 fled because of a landslide threat in the island’s central region. One woman died Tuesday after a tree branch fell on her while another person was killed in flooding, the nation’s Disaster Management Center said. Floods also damaged about 1,000 houses, it said. — AP

COLOMBO: Ruling party lawmakers submitted a motion to impeach Sri Lanka’s most senior judge yesterday as President Mahinda Rajapakse moved to crush another of his former allies after vanquishing Tamil rebels. Days after the foreign minister said Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake had flouted the constitution, officials confirmed Rajapakse’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had submitted a resolution to have her sacked. “Government MPs have handed over a motion calling for the impeachment of the chief justice,” Chandima Weerakkody, parliament’s deputy speaker, told reporters. The resolution itself has not yet been made public. The move marked a dramatic escalation in tensions with the judiciary on the day that a UN committee considered Sri Lanka’s rights record. The head of a watchdog who claimed there was a plot to destroy the courts’ independence is currently recovering after being stabbed by unknown attackers last month. The government denies involvement. There was no immediate reaction from the chief justice whom ministers said had been guilty of misconduct. “The allegations against the chief justice relate to her misconduct both in her official and personal capacities,” Technology Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told reporters. She declined to elaborate. Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said there had been “disagreements” between the government and chief justice stretching back over a period of time. “The government group believes that the judiciary is overstepping... its authority,” Rambukwella said. The impeachment motion is the latest sign of efforts by the government to tighten its grip after crushing the Tamil Tigers in 2009 at the end of a 37-year conflict, as well as its willingness to pursue one-time allies. Sarath Fonseka, the army chief regarded as a national hero for overseeing the Tigers’ defeat, was jailed after trying to run against Rajapakse in 2010. He was freed in May but remains barred from contesting elections. Rambukwella said the speaker of parliament Chamal Rajapakse, who is

the president’s eldest brother, would appoint a panel to look into charges against the chief justice and she would have an opportunity to defend herself. The information minister said 117 UFPA MPs had signed the impeachment resolution by yesterday morning, including himself. An impeachment motion only needs a minimum of 113 of the 225 lawmakers to succeed, although the process could take months. “We are working according to the constitution. We are using the process set out in the constitution to remove a judge,” Rambukwella said. “When there are disagreements with the judi-

as head of the Judicial Service Commission. Although the government did not raise objections to Tilakaratne’s appointment back in May, reports say it was irked by his statement last month that there was a “conspiracy to destroy the independence of the judiciary”. Tilakaratne, who is also a high court judge, has not spoken publicly since he was stabbed in a suburb of Colombo last month. Analysts say the government was also infuriated by Bandaranayake’s decision to shoot down a bill that sought to give more powers to the economic development

COLOMBO: This handout photo shows President Mahinda Rajapakse (left) presenting a letter of appointment to Shirani Bandaranayake who became Sri Lanka’s first woman chief justice. — AFP ciary and the legislature, we need to take action so that we can move forward.” Bandaranayake, a former law professor, was appointed as Sri Lanka’s first woman chief justice in May last year having been handpicked by Rajapakse’s government. She has another 11 years in office unless impeached. Her husband was also appointed to politically sensitive posts in state financial institutions but he now faces corruption charges. The writing was on the wall for the 54-year-old after Foreign Minister G L Peiris told MPs last week she had “violated the constitution” by naming Manjula Tilakaratne

ministry which is headed by the president’s younger brother Basil. The government’s stand-off with the judiciary comes as it faces heightened international scrutiny of its rights record amid allegations that up to 40,000 civilians were killed in the final months of fighting in 2009. The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva starts its four-yearly review of Sri Lanka later yesterday. It is the first debate on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC since a US-led resolution earlier this year urged Colombo to probe war crimes allegedly committed by its troops, to ensure reconciliation and good governance.— AFP

Pak parents murder daughter with acid MUZAFFARABAD: A mother and father in Pakistan-administered Kashmir killed their 15-yearold daughter by dousing her with acid after seeing her talking to a young man, police said yesterday. Local police officer Tahir Ayub told AFP the father, Mohammad Zafar, had had suspicions about his daughter Anvu Sha and became enraged when he saw her with a boy outside their home on Monday. “Zafar beat her up and then poured acid over

her with the help of his wife. She was badly burnt but they did not take her to hospital until the next morning, and she died on Wednesday,” Ayub said. Doctor Mohammad Jahangir of the state run Kotli hospital confirmed the death, saying the girl was brought to hospital in a “very critical condition” with almost 70 percent burns. Anvu Sha’s married elder sister alerted police and demanded they investigate the incident in

Khoi Ratta district, 140 kilometres (87 miles) north of the state capital Muzaffarabad. “The parents have confessed, saying that they suspected the girl had illicit relations with a boy,” Ayub said. “We have registered a murder case against the girl’s father and mother.” Pakistan is a deeply conservative country, where women, especially in poor rural areas, enjoy few rights and protection by the police. — AFP

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

VP Ryan? Prof Ryan? GOP nominee’s future unclear

Victorious Chavez looks to Venezuela

Ryan could be White House contender in 2016 JANESVILLE: Professor Ryan? Lobbyist Ryan? Maybe back to plain-old Congressman Ryan or future President Ryan? If Paul Ryan loses his bid to become vice president, he is still a man with options. The wonky chairman of the House Budget Committee is one of the Republicans’ best voices in explaining fiscal issues. Should Mitt Romney’s presidential bid fail, Ryan will be a much-sought-after figure in political and business circles. Even in failure, the 42-year-old Wisconsin native’s best days might be ahead of him. “I refer to Paul Ryan as the Paul Revere of the next generation,” said Ohio Gov John Kasich, who was chairman of the House Budget Committee when Ryan was an aide there. “I tell you, he’s just getting started,” Kasich said of Ryan before a recent rally in Ohio. “He’s getting started in the process of helping America and building a much stronger America.” That could be through public education or lobbying, back in his day job as a congressman or biding his time until a presidential run of his own. Unlike his Democratic counterpart, 69-year-old Joe Biden, Ryan is nowhere near retirement; a Biden loss would probably send him home to Delaware. Publicly, Ryan and his closest allies maintain that momentum is behind the Romney-Ryan ticket. They aren’t entertaining any talk about anything different from Ryan settling into the vice president’s residence in January. Ryan already has met once with Mike Leavitt, the former health and human services secretary who is building a government-in-waiting for a Romney administration, Ryan advisers said. But Ryan’s biggest boosters realize he probably can write his own ticket, win or lose on Nov 6. These Ryan allies spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private proposals they were preparing for Ryan. They insist Ryan himself is not worried about anything

JANESVILLE: Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep Paul Ryan poses for a photo with his family (from left) Charlie dressed up as the Unknown Phantom, Liza as Katy Perry, Janna, as a witch, Sam as the Grim Reaper, his sister-in-law Zoe Ryan and her daughter Zaydee May while out trick or treating, Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012, in Janesville, Wis. — AP beyond the election and is not planning anything except being a governing partner to Romney. They say that if he fails, Ryan’s instincts will be to return to the House he is running for re-election to his House seat at the same time he’s Romney’s running mate - and resume his role as the head of the Budget Committee. He would go back to the gym with his workout buddies - fellow congressmen, mostly - and reclaim the healthy lifestyle that is much more difficult to maintain during a national political campaign. Senior Republicans caution it might not be that easy. If Romney loses, Ryan will be seen as one of the leading White House contenders in 2016. He will be a national party figure even without being a top member of the House leadership. That could breed resentment among current Republican leaders and perhaps splinter coalitions within the already fractured GOP alliances at the top of the House.

A return also would make Ryan a leading target for Democrats. For the next few years, Democrats would lay traps in legislation, forcing him to take sides on measures that could come back to haunt him during a presidential bid. That is why some of Ryan’s biggest boosters are considering whether it wouldn’t be better for Ryan to resign from the House. He could write a book “saving America” is a theme often bandied about - or teach at a university. After all, on the campaign trail, Ryan is as much lecturer as campaigner. Aides routinely set up giant video screens so Ryan can use visual aids to walk his audiences through the minutiae of budget politics. Graphs and charts are as common as yard signs and American flags at some events, with Ryan settling into his role as explainer in chief. It’s no accident he embraces the “wonk” label aggressively. It could make him an attractive figure as a guest lecturer or visiting professor. —AP

CARACAS: A newly re-elected Hugo Chavez will try to finish off the opposition in December regional elections, targeting important state governorships now held by top rivals, analysts say. With 23 governorships and dozens of legislative seats at stake, the December 16 elections will be a key test of the opposition’s viability after its defeat in the October 7 presidential election. It also will test the depth of Chavez’s mandate to broaden his socialist agenda and shift power in the states to community councils he controls. “The opposition’s goal is to retain the five states that are the symbols of its power,” said Jose Vicente Leon, who heads the polling firm Datanalisis. “The government’s goal is to deliver a death blow by winning in Miranda and Zulia, the country’s most powerful states, now in opposition hands,” he said. The 58-year-old president, who has been in power since 1999, will also try to win the “rebel states,” governed by onetime allies who turned on him, “to show that anyone who crosses him will be punished,” Leon said. In the 2008 regional elections, the opposition won the governorships of the five richest and most populous states, as well as two others whose governors had switched sides. The winner of an eighth state turned against Chavez but remained independent. “The opposition will try to hang onto the governorships it has and will consider it a triumph if they win any others and consolidate their positions in other regions,” said Mariana Bacalao, a professor at the Central University of Venezuela. “Chavez, on the other hand, is seeking to reaffirm the results of October 7,” when he won another six-year term in office with 55 percent of vote, with a majority in 22 out of 23 states. “Obtaining a big majority in many governorships will send the message that he has total support to deepen socialism and advance toward a communitarian state,” she said. Low turnout could be key But the government and opposition both face a tough slog getting supporters to the polls, fearing a lower turnout than in the presidential vote, in which a soaring 81 percent took part. “What could end up producing low turnout in the opposition is the high frustration or demoralization level after losing the presidential vote,” said political analyst Farith Fraija. The government will meanwhile have to insure its supporters do not grow complacent after their victory last month, he said. “In the local election, fewer people vote... We are expecting two million fewer than the 15 million who voted in the presidential election,” Leon said. “A lot of the people who do not vote are pro-government,” Leon stressed. “So the challenge for the opposition is to get over the (presidential) loss, and the disappointment, and get out to vote.” The charismatic Chavez, who has made few public appearances since winning re-election, will have to hit the campaign trail again to rally supporters in states where ruling party governors have seen their popularity wane. —AFP

Mexico’s Day of Dead brings missing memories MEXICO CITY: Maria Elena Salazar refuses to set out plates of her missing son’s favorite foods or orange flowers as offerings for the deceased on Mexico’s Day of the Dead, even though she hasn’t seen him in three-and-a-half years. The 50-year-old former teacher is convinced that Hugo Gonzalez Salazar, a university graduate in marketing who worked for a telephone company, is still alive and being forced to work for a drug cartel because of his skills. “The government, the authorities, they know it, that the gangs took them away to use as forced labor,” said Salazar of her then 24-year-old son, who disappeared in the northern city of Torreon in July 2009. The Day of the Dead - when Mexicans traditionally visit the graves of dead relatives and leave offerings of flowers, food and candy skulls - is a difficult time for the families of the thousands of Mexicans who have disappeared amid a wave of drug-fueled violence. With what activists call a mix of denial, hope and desperation, they refuse to dedicate altars on the Nov 1-2 holiday to people often missing for years.

They won’t accept any but the most certain proof of death, and sometimes reject even that. Numbers vary on just how many people have disappeared in recent years. Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission says 24,000 people have been reported missing between 2000 and mid-2012, and that nearly 16,000 bodies remain unidentified. But one thing is clear: just as there are households without Day of the Dead altars, there are thousands of graves of the unidentified dead scattered across the country, with no one to remember them. An investigation conducted by the newspaper Milenio this week, involving hundreds of information requests to state and municipal governments, indicates that 24,102 unidentified bodies were buried in paupers’ or common graves in Mexican cemeteries since 2006. The number is almost certainly incomplete, since some local governments refused to provide figures, Milenio reported. And while the number of unidentified dead probably includes some indigents, Central American migrants or dead unrelated to the drug war, it is clear

that cities worst hit by the drug conflict also usually showed a corresponding bulge in the number of unidentified cadavers. For example, Mexico City, which has been relatively unscathed by drug violence, listed about one-third as many unidentified burials as the city of Veracruz, despite the fact that Mexico City’s population is about 15 times larger. Consuelo Morales , who works with dozens of families of disappeared in the northern city of Monterrey, said that “holidays like this, that are family affairs and are very close to our culture, stir a lot of things up” for the families. But many refuse to accept the deaths of their loved ones, sometimes even after DNA testing confirms a match with a cadaver. “They’ll say to you, ‘I’m not going to put up an altar, because they’re not dead,” Martinez noted. “Their thinking is that ‘until they prove to me that my child is dead, he is alive.” Martinez says one family she works with at the Citizens in Support of Human Rights center had refused to accept their son was dead, even after three rounds of DNA testing and the exhumation of the remains. —AP

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Storm washes away ‘Jersey Shore’ town SEASIDE HEIGHTS: The waterfront rides on Casino Pier are gone, swallowed by the sea. A roller coaster bobs lazily in the waves. Sand, leaves and debris choke roads lined with houses that rest on their sides. The barrier island home to Seaside Heights and other communities where legions of vacationers from New Jersey and beyond made summer memories is a scene of devastation days after superstorm Sandy’s surge enveloped it. Seaside Heights, where families have walked the boardwalk, eaten fried dough and ridden amusement park rides for generations, is in ruins. The boardwalk made famous by MTV’s hit reality show “Jersey Shore” has been destroyed, with parts of it sticking straight up. Sand pushed up from the beach fills the road parallel to it. The rides at Casino Pier, a waterfront amusement park, vanished under the Atlantic Ocean’s power. A roller coaster from the Funtown Pier sat in the ocean. Roofs were ripped off houses, and utility poles were snapped in two, with their power lines tangled like shoelaces. The house where the “Jersey Shore” cast lived appeared to avoid any damage. But elsewhere on the island - technically a long, narrow peninsula - boats had been tossed like toys, resting atop houses and cars.

One lay next to a motel. About 300 people have been taken off the island since the storm passed, public safety officials said. About 70 remain and will be ordered to leave and not allowed to return to the island until at least the weekend. “We have to get everyone off the island because there is total devastation,” Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd said Wednesday at a news conference. In Ortley Beach, a section of the community of Toms River, sinkholes swallowed roads, roofs caved in and homes lay on their sides, separated from passable roads by pools of water. One sinkhole had swallowed a red truck whose bed stuck up at a 45-degree angle, two tires resting on the road. A house was washed into the middle of Route 35, the main road through the island. Messner and his daughter rode out the storm at their home in Ortley Beach. They and their dog walked over a bridge Wednesday, carrying a few bags. A friend greeted them on the other side. They had planned to evacuate, but it took longer than they expected to board up their house, and they thought the bridge was closed. “It was like being at

ground zero - the wind, the rain,” Messner said. “At one point a patrolman told us the dunes breached, and within minutes we had 10 feet of water in front of our house,” he said. In Brick Township, on the northern edge of the island, fire or water destroyed more than 50 homes, officials said. As many as 27 natural gas fires burned there Wednesday afternoon, Police Chief Neils R. Bergquist said. There hasn’t been looting in Seaside Heights, but a group of people who stayed on the island during the storm broke into a deli because they had no other food, Boyd said. “Sandy destroyed Seaside - our second home,” said “Jersey Shore” cast member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi in a statement to MTV News. “It’s devastating to see our boardwalk and favorite spots ruined. My prayers go out to everyone affected by the storm.” Messner said a telephone pole and tree nearly landed on his house. He and his daughter rode out the storm on the second floor and, somehow, their house sustained little water damage. He was shocked by what he saw walking to the bridge and over. “You can’t even imagine,” he said. — AP

Obama to use ‘affirmative’ message in closing pitch New campaign funds go to ‘ground game’ WASHINGTON: After three days of focusing on superstorm Sandy, President Barack Obama will return to the campaign trail with a more “affirmative” message to win over undecided voters in the final days of the race for the White House. With polls showing a tight contest between the Democratic incumbent and Republican challenger Mitt Romney before Tuesday’s election, Obama will use trips to political battleground states to make a closing appeal for a second term. That argument will touch on points he has made for months about the choice between competing Republican and Democratic visions, Obama advisers said, but it will put more weight on Obama’s ideas for the future and could resurrect some of the hopeful themes that helped him win election in 2008. “You’re going to see him lift up ... the vision of what we’re fighting for,” senior campaign strategist David Axelrod said in an interview last week before the storm, adding the construction of Obama’s “stump” speech would alter slightly in the final days. “We’ll still address what the choice is. You have to address the choice. But I think it’ll tilt toward the affirmative, toward the future.” Obama was to have started his closing argument on Monday during a rally in Florida, but he skipped that event to return to Washington to help coordinate storm relief. The massive storm pummeled New York City and other parts of the US Northeast. The president has not given a traditional campaign speech since Saturday - an unusually long period this close to Election Day - but has remained in the public eye with daily remarks in Washington and a trip to New Jersey to survey storm damage. Romney, who also canceled some political rallies because of the storm, limited his attacks on the president while campaigning on Wednesday in Florida. Obama won the 2008 election using the themes of “hope” and “change,” which

ATLANTIC COUNTY: President Barack Obama, meets with people who evacuated their homes and are currently taking shelter in the Brigantine Community Center in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy in Atlantic County, NJ, Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012. — AP resonated with voters disgruntled with the to that operation, rather than to television policies of Republican President George W advertising. “Anything I get online, it goes right out Bush. This year, Obama used “Forward” as his slogan, but his message - and that of to the ground,” Messina said in an interhis surrogates - has included stinging view, contrasting that strategy with attacks on Romney, a former private equi- Romney’s team. “They’re still dumping ty executive and Massachusetts governor. money trying to get a bigger advantage Republicans charge that Obama’s mes- on TV,” he said. His philosophy is evident sage has been negative because his record in the campaign’s Chicago-based headon the economy is weak. Democrats quarters. The office, once bustling with counter that Romney, who has leveled his hundreds of people, is thinner now as staff share of negative attacks at Obama, has members leave to spend the final days of twisted the truth about the president’s the race working in key states, getting applause from their colleagues as they record and run away from his own. depart. Messina said television was less important in the final stretch than having Final push While Obama starts a tour of swing volunteers get voters to the polls. “The states including Nevada, Colorado and final days, I think TV is way less relevant,” Ohio, his campaign is focusing intensely Messina said. “We have always banked on on its get-out-the-vote effort, which the endgame to put us over the top. That’s Democrats believe will give them an edge where we are, and we continue to feel on Election Day. Campaign manager Jim very confident that interaction between Messina, who built the Obama “ground our neighborhood leaders and their game” of volunteers, said online dona- friends and neighbors is how you pertions coming in now were going straight suade people at the end.” — Reuters

Mayor says NYC Marathon to go on in wake of Sandy NEW YORK: Inspiring or inappropriate? New Yorkers and runners from around the world debated whether a marathon should be run with disaster for a backdrop. The New York City Marathon is a go for Sunday, with many logistical questions to be answered. “To us the marathon really epitomizes the spirit of New York City, the vitality, the tenacity, the determination of New Yorkers,” New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg said Wednesday shortly before Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed that the race was on. “Now our every effort is to once again tell the world that New York City, as the mayor would say, is open for business, and we welcome the support of the world at this trying time.” Race organizers were trying to assess how the widespread damage from Superstorm Sandy might affect plans, including getting runners into the city and transporting them to the start line on Staten Island. Easing their worries a bit was news that 14 of the city’s 23 subway lines were expected to be operating by Thursday morning - though none below 34th Street, an area that includes the terminal for the ferries that go to the island. “I think some people said you shouldn’t run the marathon,” Bloomberg said at a news briefing. “There’s an awful lot of small businesses that depend on these people. We have to have an economy. There’s lots of people that have come here. It’s a great event for New York, and I think for those who were lost, you’ve got to believe they would want us to have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind.” Runners like Josh Maio felt torn about whether the race should go on. “It pulls resources and focus away from people in need,” said Maio, who dropped out due to an injury but is coaching about 75 runners. He agrees the race is a boost to local businesses hurt by the storm - it brings an estimated $340 million to the city - but is uncomfortable with devoting so much attention to an “extracurricular” event. Top American Meb Keflezighi, the 2009 men’s champion, regards the marathon as “something positive ... because it will be motivation to say, ‘Look what happened, and we’ll put on the race, and we’ll give them a good show.’” Wittenberg said organizers planned to use more private contractors than in past years to reduce the strain on city services. Many people have offered to work as volunteers and could fill in gaps, and many runners and fans plan to raise money to help victims of the storm. She compared this year’s race to the 2001 marathon, held seven weeks after the Sept 11 terrorist attacks, as a way to inspire residents and show the world the city’s resilience. Jonathan Cane ran in that race, working for the Police Department at the time as a fitness instructor, and says it was “an amazing experience.” But like Maio, he had mixed feelings about holding this year’s marathon. —AP

Business FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Barclays rocked by fresh investigation

Indebted Japanese city puts its name on sale



TOKYO: President of Japan’s electronics maker Sharp, Takashi Okuda (left), speaks as the company announces their first half financial results at the Tokyo Stock Exchange yesterday. — AFP

TV maker Sharp fears for future Panasonic shares dive 19 percent

TOKYO: Struggling Japanese TV maker Sharp Corp warned it might not be able to survive on its own, as it almost doubled its full-year net loss forecast to $5.6 billion, and said it was considering alliances with other companies. In a statement, the company said it booked massive second-quarter losses and is seeing “serious negative operating cash flow.” “This raises serious doubts about (our ability) to continue as a going concern,” it said, adding it was taking steps, from pay cuts and asset sales to voluntary redundancies, to generate cash flow. Sharp has been in talks for months with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd about the Taiwanbased group becoming its biggest shareholder. Sharp said yesterday it expected an agreement on that before a March deadline, but added it was considering other alliances as well. “Perhaps it will not fail within this year, but I don’t think Sharp has a viable business in the next 3-5 years,” said Tetsuro Ii, CEO of Commons Asset Management in Tokyo. “The company hasn’t got much time left and they need to cut off businesses that they can, conserve cash and ... produce something that’s really competitive.” Sharp CEO Takashi Okuda told reporters: “We have lots of great technology and we want to tap that asset to revive and make money, but I can’t say we are now a company with that vitality.” SONY PROFIT Bigger Japanese rival Sony Corp, which blazed a trail in the early 1980s with its Walkman portable music players, made a small operating profit in

July-September, helped by the sale of a non-core chemicals business, and kept its forecast for a fullyear profit of $1.63 billion. But the maker of Bravia TVs, Vaio laptops and PlayStation game consoles said it expects to sell fewer of its hand-held PSP and Vita consoles this year - 10 million - than it previously estimated. It also cut forecasts for sales of its TV sets - to 14.5 million - and compact digital cameras - to 16 million - but kept its PlayStation home console sales estimate at 16 million, and

maintained its forecast to sell 34 million smartphones. The grim tale from brands that led a consumer electronics boom from the 1970s came a day after Panasonic Corp said it will lose almost $10 billion this business year as it writes down goodwill and assets and prepares for more restructuring. The maker of Viera brand TVs also skipped its dividend for the first time in more than six decades and cut its full-year TV sales forecast by more than a quarter to 9 million sets. Panasonic

Glencore outlook ‘gloomy’ ZURICH: Swiss commodities giant Glencore said yesterday that its performance in the third quarter had been good, but cautioned that there was no sign that global macro conditions would improve soon. “Overall performance in (the third quarter) was good, despite generally weaker commodity prices,” the company said in a statement. Although Glencore, based in Baar in central Switzerland, did not publish any numbers for its third quarter, it stressed that it had seen solid growth during the quarter, especially in its metals and agricultural products units. It also hailed the “robustness” in its marketing division, which is in charge of selling commodities on world markets. Glencore said its industrial activities unit performance meanwhile “reflected lower prices, but nevertheless delivered a sequential and year-on-year overall volume improvement,” with particularly strong growth in

the energy products sector. Its thermal coal production for instance nearly doubled to 33 million tons over the first nine months of its accounting year, while it pumped up nearly 17 million barrels of oil during the same period. Glencore did not say how its oil production compared to the same period a year ago. In metals, Glencore’s zinc production slipped 5.7 percent to 511.9 million tons during the first nine months, while copper production fell 16.3 percent to 394.2 million tons. Nickel extraction meanwhile swelled 16.1 percent to 25.8 million tons over the same period. over the same period. Glencore also said its agricultural product production grew 11 percent to 5.5 million tons. But the outlook going forward is far from rosy, the company said, pointing out that “we are not assuming any short term material improvement in global macro conditions.” —AFP

shares slumped by nearly a fifth yesterday, wiping $3 billion off its market value. By March, the three companies - all under new leadership after racking up combined losses of $20 billion last year - expect to have axed close to 60,000 jobs and are selling assets and closing facilities. While battling weak demand and fierce competition from Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics, the Japanese brands are also up against a strong yen and bumps in China, where growth has slowed and Japanese goods have been targeted in sometimes violent protests in a dispute over ownership of islands in the East China Sea. “Consumer needs have been changing and for too long Japanese electronics firms, like Sharp, with their size and heavy reliance on past successes, have been too slow to adapt,” said Yuuki Sakurai, CEO of Fukoku Capital Management. WHAT WILL DRIVE SONY? Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has pledged to rebuild the company around gaming, digital imaging and mobile devices, and nurture new businesses such as medical devices, as the TV business shrinks. In late-September, Sony agreed to pay 50 billion yen to become the biggest shareholder in Olympus Corp, a world leader in medical endoscopes. “The areas in which Sony is continuing to focus are of course high-risk, high-return markets,” said JP Morgan analyst Yoshiharu Izumi ahead of the quarterly earnings. “Although we expect (full-year) margin improvement in electronics, we think it’s too early to appraise a sustained recovery.” —Reuters

Business FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Indebted Japanese city puts its name on sale TOKYO: A debt-ridden Japanese city is offering to rename itself after the highest bidder, an official said yesterday. The city in the western prefecture of Osaka-currently called Izumisano owes its creditors well over 100 billion yen ($1.25 billion), the official said, adding the presence of nearby Kansai International Airport was partly to blame. “The city spent a lot of money building roads and other infrastructure because the airport was built in this relatively remote place,” he said on condition of anonymity. “The mayor believes the city govern-

ment needs to seek new ways to make profit.” Izumisano, which is known mainly for its towel-making industry and proximity to the airport, is looking for a sponsor prepared to stump up at least a billion yen. Suitors will also need to sign a ten-year contract affirming a connection with the city, for example by moving their headquarters there. Officials originally announced the plan in June but had no takers, the official said, adding so far the bulk of inquiries had been from some of the city’s 103,000 residents annoyed about the plan. “They say

the name of the city has its history and is not something you can sell or buy.” Many of Japan’s regional governments are saddled with enormous debts after decades of infrastructure projects of sometimes dubious value. A rapidly ageing society means an increasing number of pensioners need to be supported by a dwindling workforce and a shrinking tax base. The far-northern city of Yubari was declared bankrupt in 2007 with debts of 63.2 billion yen. Bids for a new name for Izumisano will be accepted until November 30, the official said. — AFP

Dana Gas in talks after missing bond deadline DUBAI: Dana Gas said it was in talks with bondholders to amend and extend the terms of a $920 million sukuk after becoming the first United Arab Emirates company to fail to repay a bond on maturity. The UAE’s largest listed natural gas firm, hit by payment delays from Egypt and Iraq’s Kurdistan region, said yesterday it had also missed a $18.75 million accrued profit payment due on Oct 30. Dana, which was floated on the Abu Dhabi bourse in 2005 by parent Crescent Petroleum, had a $1 billion sukuk maturing on Oct 31. It repurchased about $80 million of the sukuk in 2008, leaving $920 million outstanding. “Dana Gas is in ongoing discussions with an ad-hoc committee of sukuk holders over terms to amend and extend the sukuk,” it said in a bourse statement. Sources told Reuters on Tuesday the Sharjah-based firm would not repay the sukuk upon its Oct. 31 maturity. They said the two sides had entered a socalled standstill, valid for up to six months, in early October to allow talks to continue. Bondholders are yet to issue a formal statement. Dana’s problems worsened in 2011 after political unrest in the region led to payment delays from Egypt and Iraq’s Kurdistan region. It had

outstanding receivables of 754 million dirhams ($205 million) in Egypt and 1.33 billion dirhams in Kurdistan as at Sept 30. The five-year sukuk, which was issued with a 7.5 percent coupon, has gained international interest as a majority of the debt is said to be owned by large investment firms including BlackRock Inc and Ashmore Group. Dana said liquidity challenges, mainly due to non-payments from Egypt and Kurdistan, are “shortterm” and it is committed to finding a consensual solution with the bondholders. “Telling investors that they have successfully paid all coupon payments thus far and are committed to a consensual arrangement is pretty lame. Bottom line is that they (Dana) didn’t pay the $920m that was due yesterday,” Chavan Bhogaita, head of markets strategy at National Bank of Abu Dhabi said. In May, Dana said it had hired Blackstone Group, Deutsche Bank and law firm Latham & Watkins as advisers. Investors have hired Moelis and law firm Linklaters as advisers. Dana’s shares and bond have been under pressure on investor worries of non-payment of the outstanding bond. The shares rose 4.9 percent on the Abu Dhabi bourse yesterday. —Reuters

Top headache for China’s new leaders: Job creation SHENZHEN: The factories that have powered China’s economic miracle are reeling from the global slowdown, presenting the incoming leadership in Beijing with a restless workforce at a defining moment in the country’s growth story. In the sprawling Foxconn factory in the industrial hub of Shenzen, where 500,000 people churn out electronics for Apple and others, the squeeze from slackening demand in Western markets is preying on hardpressed workers’ minds. The timing could not be worse for the Communist Party, whose legitimacy stands on its record of lifting hundreds of millions from poverty through rapid-fire job creation and economic development. For the decade under President Hu Jintao, who will step down after a party congress starting November 8, this objective was largely met as an unprecedented boom propelled China from sixth to second spot in the world economy. But China’s leaders are all too aware of the pressure to keep that up. In his 2010 book “Decision Points”, former US president George W. Bush writes that he once told Hu his biggest worry was another terror attack on the United States. Hu replied that he lost sleep in worrying about the need to create “25 million jobs a year” to sustain China’s growth, Bush confides. Economic growth averaged over 10 percent annually for most of Hu’s time in office. This year, however, it is expected to slip to around 7.5 percent, the lowest since 1999. “We are currently having a lot of difficulties. Factories along the coast are slowly stopping production. So we need to look to the leaders for policy,” 30-year-old Foxconn worker Wu Yuanguang said. Wu, an unmarried production line worker at the giant plant that makes products for global firms including Apple, Sony and Nokia, lives in a crowded dormitory in a nearby high-rise in a seedy industrial district of Shenzhen.—AFP

TOKYO: Honda Motor mini-vehicle’s ‘N-ONE’ are displayed at a press preview in Tokyo yesterday. Honda Motor announced it will begin sales of the N-ONE, the third model of the new N Series mini-vehicle today at dealerships across Japan. — AFP

Asian factories show signs of slow recovery Chinese orders suggest moderate recovery BEIJING: Big Asian economies are slowly picking up after a year spent battling against global headwinds, according to business surveys and data released yesterday that showed renewed vim from China’s factory sector and a rebound in South Korean exports. A US factory survey later - closely watched in Asia as a pointer towards export and production trends - is likely to show more evidence of a sluggish recovery with a second straight month of expansion in manufacturing. The downturn in Britain’s manufacturing sector worsened in October as companies received fewer orders and costs rose at a faster pace, reviving worries about the country’s fragile recovery. India, hammered as much by internal politics as the global downturn, also showed signs of a modest revival in manufacturing in a survey released yesterday. Data over the past month has shown the health of the global economy remains fragile, with retail sales and the housing market pointing to an improvement in the United States while debt-hobbled Europe remains mired in crisis. “Overall sentiment is brightening and Chinese orders are suggesting a moderate recovery,” said Hirokazu Yuihama, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo. The Chinese economy, the motor of global growth in recent years, appears to have gathered pace in October after slowing to its weakest pace in more than three years in the third quarter. China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 50.2 from 49.8 in September, just below a 50.3 forecast by a Reuters poll last week and suggesting an acceleration of output that will help lift fourth-quarter GDP growth above the 7.4 percent annual rate recorded in the third quarter. The US Institute of Supply Management PMI, due at 1400 GMT, is forecast to come in at 51.2, slightly behind September’s 51.5 but still

above the 50-point line that divides accelerating from slowing activity. Reports covering the major euro-zone countries are due for release today and expected to show a continued contraction. FINE TUNING Beijing has been following a program of pro-growth fine tuning of economic policies for a year and analysts broadly expect that to remain in place when a new leadership line-up at the top of the ruling Communist Party is unveiled this month. “The return of the PMI above 50 suggests economic momentum has indeed picked up. It indicates the effect of policy easing may have been stronger than the consensus expected,” Zhiwei Zhang of Nomura said in a comment emailed to Reuters. “We believe macro data will continue to surprise on the upside in coming months, as the government continues to ease policy through the period of leadership transition.” Also yesterday, the final reading of the Chinese HSBC PMI rose to 49.5 in October from 47.9 in September. The reading was the highest since February and deviated more than usual from the October flash, or preliminary, reading of 49.1 released last week. The official PMI generally paints a rosier picture of the factory sector than the HSBC PMI as the official survey focuses on big, state-owned firms, while the HSBC survey targets smaller, private firms that have limited access to bank loans. South Korea, another of Asia’s manufacturing powerhouses, posted the first annual rise in exports in four months in October, adding to hopes for a turnaround after a year-long slump in global trade. Stronger demand from China and Europe led the small but meaningful 1.2 percent gain in exports last month on an annual basis, data from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy showed.—Reuters

Business FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Refining underpins Shell Q3 as output stalls LONDON: World No 2 oil company Royal Dutch Shell, seen as having some of the best output growth assets in the business, joined its peers in suffering lower production in the third quarter. Profits came in ahead of expectations thanks to the temporary strength in refining margins that have masked a poor quarter so far in terms of pointers for the long term prospects of the world’s top oil companies. Shell reported current cost of supply (CCS) net profit of $6.1 billion, down from $7.2 billion a year ago. Stripping out the charges based on an asset writedown for weak US gas prices, UK tax changes and other factors, the result was $6.6 billion, ahead of analysts predictions of $6.3 billion, with better than expected refining margins delivering most of the

outperformance. “The upstream was profit delivered as everybody had expected but beneath that volumes are actually quite weak, below 3 million barrels a day for the first time in three years in what’s supposed to be a growth year.” said Royal Bank of Canada analyst Peter Hutton. Production shut-ins in Nigeria due to security breaches there contributed to a fall in global liquids production of 5 percent. Gas output fell 4 percent. Even accounting for these factors and other one-offs, Shell’s oil and gas output grew only 1 percent. The struggle for output growth has been a feature of the third quarter earnings season for all the top oil companies so far. Exxon Mobil is due to report later. Shell said the net charge for the quarter, at $432 million against a net gain of $245

Gold steady as investors await US data, election SINGAPORE: Gold traded flat yesterday, shrugging off data showing China’s economy was perking up, as investors looking for more clarity on the global economy focused instead on US employment data due today. Gold had climbed to near $1,800 an ounce in early October after aggressive stimulus measures announced by central banks including the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank fuelled a rally. But the momentum has fizzled, and gold has been stuck in a narrow range in recent days as investors stayed put ahead of the release of the US nonfarm payrolls data today, and the presidential election next week. Gold barely moved after data was released showing that China’s economy is finally regaining traction, although the recovery remains sluggish. “The reason for gold to rise is uncertainty. If PMI numbers rise, that adds to confidence in the market, which is probably negative to gold,” said Jeremy Friesen, commodity strategist at Societe Generale in Hong Kong. But he added that an improving Chinese economy would encourage more gold buying, which would help boost demand for the precious metal and support prices. In addition, the global economic outlook remains uncertain as the euro zone debt crisis drags on and the US economy has yet to show signs of a substantial recovery. “There is still enough uncertainty out there, and central banks will still have to do some heavy-lifting, and it should be supportive of gold,” Friesen said. Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,721.41 an ounce by 0656 GMT, after hitting a one-week high of $1,725.55 in the previous session. US gold inched up 0.2 percent to $1,722.10. Technical analysis suggested that spot gold may rebound marginally to $1,736 an ounce, as indicated by a falling channel and a Fibonacci retracement analysis, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao. The anaemic performance has also led to sluggish activity in the physical market in Asia. “There is some preparation for Christmas going on, but overall not much is happening as prices are stuck in a range,” said a Singapore-based dealer. In Singapore, gold bar premiums stood at 80 cents an ounce above London prices, she added. Investors are also waiting for US auto sales data due later in the day. Sales are set to rise 11 percent in October, led by Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co which benefited from increased demand for compact cars as gasoline prices remained high across the country. An improved auto market will help underpin sentiment in platinum group metals that are widely used to produce catalysts to clean vehicle exhaust. Spot palladium rose 1.2 percent to $607.47, moving close to a one-week high of $609.5 hit in the previous session. Spot platinum gained half a percent to $1,569.49. — Reuters

million a year earlier, also included $134 million for “legal and environmental provisions”. Shell paid out a third quarter dividend of 0.43 cents, unchanged from the second quarter and against 0.42 a year ago. US WRITEDOWN Some analysts said Shell’s US impairment charge might have been worse. “Impairments were more limited than some could have feared. Given Shell’s position onshore gas in the US and given competitors’ massive write down in Q2-12, some were fearing that Shell would have to carry the same exercise,” said Cheuvreux analyst Dominique Patry in a note. Shell shares were up 0.56 percent in early trade at 2,137 pence, slightly outperforming the sector index which was down 0.3 percent. — Reuters

HAMPSHIRE: A man fills his car with unleaded fuel at a Shell petrol station in Fleet, Hampshire in southern England. Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell reported yesterday a 2.0-percent rise in net profit to $7.139 billion (5.514 billion euros) in the third quarter, saying it had faced “volatile energy markets”. — AFP

Japanese govt tries to avoid ‘fiscal cliff’ US, Japan, euro crisis main economic risks TOKYO: Japan’s government is ready to compromise with the opposition to pass a crucial bill needed to prevent a crippling funding shortfall, Vice Finance Minister Tsutomu Okubo said yesterday, urging the opposition to spell out terms. The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has been pressing Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to call an early election, using the funding issue to beggar the government into submission at a time when the world’s third largest economy stands at risk of sliding into recession. “If we were to choose one bill that we wanted to enact in the current session, it would be the deficit bond bill,” Okubo told Reuters in an interview. “The situation could turn into a Japanese fiscal cliff.” That term was coined to describe massive tax hikes and cuts to public spending that could hit the United States at the start of 2013 if the Congress fails to act. To prevent something similar happening in Japan, Noda called an extra parliament session running until Nov. 30 to pass the bill to issue deficit-financing bonds, but needs backing from the opposition, which controls the upper house and can block legislation there. Otherwise, Japan could run out of money by the end of this month and would have to stop debt auctions in December. The government is already delaying some spending on tax grants to rural governments, some government affiliate agencies and universities to avoid running out of cash. Without more funds, the government would have to dip into reserves to service debt and avoid a default, and could be forced to cut benefits to unemployed,

salaries for civil servants, and transfers to rural governments. Credit ratings agencies have warned over the dangers posed by political deadlock. Moody’s yesterday reiterated its concern with the prolonged standoff that left the government unable to borrow 38.3 trillion yen ($479.17 billion) needed to cover the budget deficit and finance about 40 percent of its spending for the fiscal year ending in March 2013. Okubo said passage of the bill was the utmost priority for the government, aware that a failure to do so would have grave consequences for markets and the economy. “I want ruling and opposition parties to sit at a negotiating table and come up with concrete proposals. We should then quickly respond after looking at those proposals,” Okubo said. The opposition had forced Noda in August to promise an election “soon”. But with his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) scoring poorly in opinion polls, Noda has been coy on the exact timing of an election that must be held by August 2013. Some opposition lawmakers have suggested a compromise was possible if the government met other demands, such as cutting some spending in the current budget. Okubo said it was premature to make any response. “I’m aware some people say we should tweak the budget to cut spending, but the Liberal Democratic Party as a whole has not made such a proposal yet. We cannot respond until we look at a concrete proposal.” STABILITY Speaking ahead of a Group of 20 finance chiefs’ Nov. 4-5 meeting in Mexico, Okubo also said fiscal problems of Japan and the United States

along with Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and the slowdown in emerging market economies all posed major risks to global economy. While Tokyo has not intervened in the currency market for nearly a year, Japan has long argued that one of the unwanted side effects of the euro crisis was capital flight to the relative safety of the yen, driving it beyond levels that its exporters can cope with. “If there’s a discussion (at G20), we want to maintain the need for currency stability as excess volatility and disorderly movements hurt the economy,” Okubo told a news conference later yesterday, after speaking to Reuters. The G20 meeting was also likely to discuss the impact of US financial regulation, including a so-called Volcker rule setting limits on banks’ own-account trading, Okubo said. Turning to the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing earlier this week and an unprecedented joint statement with the government pledging continued efforts to battle deflation, Okubo said the move demonstrated resolve to beat deflation and deal with a strong yen. Due to a decline in long-term yields, Obuko said there was no pressing need for the BOJ to consider extending maturities of bonds bought under its asset purchase program, something he had urged earlier. But, he added that it could remain an option in the longer-run. He did, however, recommend that the central bank bought bonds of utilities as part of its corporate debt purchases. “I personally hope that the BOJ will steadily buy bonds issued by electricity companies, which are the weakest but most influential in the corporate bond sector,” Okubo said. — Reuters

Business FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Britain’s Cameron hit by EU budget defeat LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron was battling to reclaim authority yesterday, after rebels in his Conservative party delivered his first major parliamentary defeat by defying him over the EU budget. Lawmakers passed a motion late Wednesday urging Cameron to insist on a real-terms cut in the European Union’s trillion-euro 2014-2020 budget at a summit in Brussels next month. While the vote is not binding, it is the most significant defeat for the Conservative-led coalition since it came to power in 2010. Cameron had attempted to stave off a rebellion by promising to veto any above-inflation increase of the EU budget, which has become increasingly contentious as austerity measures bite across the continent. He insists that a seven-year EU budget freeze in real terms is the best Britain can realistically expect next month, as most of the bloc’s 27 member states support a budget increase. But in a humiliating blow to his authority, 53 Conservative lawmakers defied the prime minister and voted for a budget cut. After heated debate in the House of Commons, the vote passed by 307 votes to 294, to loud cheers from the rebels. The Telegraph newspaper described the defeat as a “Halloween horror” for Cameron, while the i newspaper summed the situation up as: “Nightmare on Downing Street”. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, leader of the Conservatives’ junior coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, said there was “absolutely no hope” of a realterms cut in EU spending. “The coalition government’s position remains the same-we will not accept an increase, above inflation, to the EU budget,” he was due to say in a speech at the Chatham House think-tank yesterday. “That is the toughest position of any European country,” the draft speech added. Clegg, like Cameron, warns that if a sevenyear deal is not struck next month the EU will have to revert to annual budgets, which they say would be more costly for Britain. “The Prime Minister and I may have our differences on Europe, but on this we are absolutely united,” said Clegg, a former Member of the European Parliament whose centrist party is more pro-EU than the Conservatives. But ministers face a battle to get any EU budget deal approved by parliament. Mark Reckless, a leading Conservative rebel, said Cameron could not afford to return from Brussels with anything less than a real-terms budget cut. “If the government comes with anything except a cut in the EU budget then they are not going to be able to get that through parliament-and they are going to need to get it through parliament in this case,” Reckless told BBC television. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, wants a budget of 1.03 trillion euros ($1.33 trillion) for 20142020, up 5.0 percent on 2007-2013, but seven major contributor states have balked at the increase at a time when they are having to cut spending at home. It rejected on Tuesday a 50-billion-euro cut suggested by Cyprus, the current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency. But Germany and France have joined Britain in insisting that the EU cannot expect to get more when national governments have to make do with less, demanding cuts in the 2014-2020 budget of 100 billion euros or more. Wednesday’s parliamentary revolt puts renewed pressure on Cameron after months of blunders and U-turns by the coalition, which is halfway through its five-year term, and whisperings of a possible leadership challenge. He is not the first Conservative premier to be haunted by Europe, an issue that has bitterly divided the party for decades. Infighting over the bloc plagued the leadership of Britain’s last Conservative Prime Minister John Major, and was central to the downfall of Major’s predecessor Margaret Thatcher. Europe is also likely to be an issue in the next general election, scheduled for 2015, amid growing scepticism about the EU among British voters. Many Conservatives have called for a referendum on ending Britain’s membership of the bloc altogether. Cameron opposes an “in-out” referendum, but has hinted at a public vote on adjusting Britain’s relationship with the EU. Cameron warned European Council president Herman van Rompuy at talks in London last week that Britain, which does not use the euro currency, could not support a sharp increase in the EU budget. In December, Cameron dramatically parted ways with the bloc over the EU fiscal compact, which laid down the lines for tighter coordination of tax and spending policy amid the euro-zone crisis.— AFP

Spain ‘bad bank’ struggles to lure property investors Investors likely to shun almost 2/3 of assets LONDON: Spain’s “bad bank” will struggle to find buyers for swathes of empty land, unfinished housing projects and doubtful loans left over from a property crash, hindering Madrid’s attempts to overcome the wider economic crisis. Real estate consultants predict that almost two-thirds of assets that the government’s newly-created bad bank is due to take over from commercial banks will fail to attract investors, at least in the short term and possibly ever. Spain is setting up the bad bank, known by the acronym SAREB, under a plan to cleanse the banking system of toxic property assets. SAREB aims eventually to buy up to 90 billion euros ($117 billion) of the assets at deep discounts and then sell them to investors over 15 years. Buyers are likely to snap up the likes of prime holiday homes and completed properties, commercial and residential, which already have tenants. But that leaves a majority of assets that will be much harder to shift. Between 60 and 65 percent of the foreclosed property and bad loans to be hived off by the banks will relate to undeveloped land and half-built projects, according to forecasts compiled for Reuters by real estate consultants Jones Lang LaSalle and CBRE. CBRE gave the higher figure for this category which investors will probably shun, put off by high risks and costs such as having to rip down abandoned shells of buildings that no one would ever want to occupy. Together with Ireland, Spain has suffered Europe’s biggest

property crash, leaving the banks with 184 billion euros of bad real estate debt and incomplete developments around the country. This has brought much of Spain’s property market to a halt. “In the last five years there has been virtually no value for land,” said Rafael Powley, a Madrid-based director of strategic consulting at JLL. “There are no buyers and if you want to sell it right now, there is no price for it.” CBRE and JLL are the world’s biggest property advisers and helped consultant Oliver Wyman prepare a report this year that examined how exposed Spain’s banks were to souring property loans after the bubble burst. The crash has put Spain centre-stage in the euro zone debt crisis, now in its third year, as investors believe a high budget deficit, soaring state debts, and a deepening economic contraction will force Madrid to seek more external help. Spain has already secured up to 100 billion euros of European aid to rescue the banks worst hit by the property collapse. Madrid may now have to take a full sovereign bailout, with the state assuming the bad real estate assets unless it can find private sector investors to buy stakes in SAREB itself. On Monday the Bank of Spain said property loans would be moved into the bad bank at an average discount of 45.6 percent in the hope of attracting investors. The figure would be 63.1 percent for foreclosed assets and 79.5 percent for empty land. The central bank declined to comment on the CBRE and JLL forecasts.—Reuters

LONDON: A man walks past a branch of Barclays bank in central London. British bank Barclays, which was rocked by a rate-rigging scandal earlier this year, said it fell into a nine-month net loss as it took a vast charge on the value of its own debt. — AFP

Barclays rocked by fresh investigation Shares down as much as 4.9 percent LONDON: Barclays, already rocked by an interest-rate rigging scandal, on Wednesday disclosed new US regulatory investigations into the bank’s financial probity and also said its profit was hit by charges for mis-selling insurance. Its shares fell almost 5 percent, hurt by a weaker performance in investment banking than most of its Wall Street rivals and fears that legal problems would handicap its new chief executive’s efforts to overhaul the company. Following investigations in the UK over its dealings with Qatari investors, Barclays said the US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission were probing whether it was complying with US laws in its relationships with third parties who help it win or retain business. The bank is under investigation by Britain’s financial regulator and fraud prosecutor into payments to Qatari investors after it raised billions of pounds from the Gulf state five years ago to save it from taking a taxpayer bailout. Barclays revealed the Financial Services Authority (FSA) investigation in July and confirmed the Serious Fraud Office had launched a probe the following month.

Barclays also said the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could be close to fining it over an investigation into the manipulation of power prices in the western United States from late 2006 until 2008. Later on Wednesday, FERC issued an order saying it may seek a $435 million civil penalty and roughly $35 million in disgorgement from Barclays. On top of that, the power market regulator said it may fine four Barclays traders a total of $18 million. The bank and its traders have 30 days to show why they should not be hit with the violations and penalties. Earlier in the day, Barclays said it would “vigorously” defend this matter. The investigation was first announced in April, alleging the bank took substantial electricity market positions to move daily index settlements. In March, the agency fined Constellation Energy a record $245 million over power market manipulation activities as part of a crackdown on power market rigging. New Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins, who took over at the end of July when Bob Diamond quit after the bank admitted rigging Libor interest rates, is in the midst of a review to change culture and lift profitability, due to be unveiled in February.—Reuters

THEY ARE THE 99! 99 Mystical Noor Stones carry all that is left of the wisdom and knowledge of the lost civilization of Baghdad. But the Noor Stones lie scattered across the globe - now little more than a legend. One man has made it his life’s mission to seek out what was lost. His name is Dr. Ramzi Razem and he has searched fruitlessly for the Noor Stones all his life. Now, his luck is about to change - the first of the stones have been rediscovered and with them a special type of human who can unlock the gem’s mystical power. Ramzi brings these gem - bearers together to form a new force for good in the world. A force known as ... the 99!

THE STORY SO FAR : Dr. Ramzi sends DARR THE AFFLICTER, BARI THE HEALER, and RAHEEMA THE MERCIFUL to America to help a seriously withdrawn psychiatric patient. But Darr becomes angry when he learns the patient’s identity: William Danforth, the drunk driver who caused the death of Darr’s parents and left him confined to a wheelchair.

The 99 ® and all related characters ® and © 2012, Teshkeel Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Analysis FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Crunching the numbers to boost odds against cancer By Ludwig Burger


oftware engineers are moving to the fore in the war on cancer, designing programs that sift genetic sequencing data at lightning speed and minimal cost to identify patterns in tumours that could lead to the next medical breakthrough. Their analysis aims to pinpoint the mutations in our genetic code that drive cancers as diverse as breast, ovarian and bowel. The more precise their work is, the better the chance of developing an effective new drug. Ever since James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA in 1953, scientists have been puzzling over how genes make us who we are. The confluence of computing and medicine is accelerating the pace of genetic research. But making sense of the swathes of data has become a logjam. That, in turn has created an opportunity for computer geeks and tech firms such as Microsoft, SAP and Amazon. Oncology is the largest area of therapy in the global drugs market with market researcher IMS predicting it will increase to $83-$88 billion by 2016 from $62 billion in 2011. Computational genomics - using computers to decipher a person’s genetic instructions and the mutations in cancerous cells - is emerging as the driver of this growth. Life Technologies Corp and Illumina Inc are among firms developing equipment that can extract a person’s entire genetic code - their genome - from a cell sample. The newest machines are about the size of an office printer and can sequence a genome in a day, compared with six to eight weeks a few years ago. They can read the 3.2 billion chemical “bases” that make up the human genetic code for $1,000, compared with $100,000 in 2008. Growing numbers of software engineers are needed to help make sense of all this data. “Many labs can now generate the data but fewer people or labs have the expertise and infrastructure to analyse it - this is becoming the bottleneck,” said Gad Getz, who heads the Cancer Genome Analysis group at the Broad Institute in Boston, jointly run by MIT and Harvard. Getz is one of a new generation of computational biologists who develop algorithms to parse data from tens of thousands of cell samples, shared with research institutes around the globe. He and his team of 30 are trying to establish recurring patterns in the mutations and how they are linked to tumour growth. They are using some 1,200 processing units, each with 4-8 gigabytes of random access memory - about the computing power that comes with most desktop PCs. Harvesting Knowledge Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter sees potential for progress. “We are starting to harvest the knowledge that we gained through the sequencing of the human genome, our understanding of human genetics, disease pathways. We’ve got new tools that we can use in the laboratory to help us get to an answer much, much faster,” said Lechleiter, whose firm is co-owner of the rights to bowel cancer drug Erbitux. Approved drugs that take genetic information into account include Amgen’s Vectibix and AstraZeneca’s Iressa. But both these drugs derive from a single mutation. Sequencing has laid bare many more mutant genes - often hundreds in any given tumour - and highlighted the need for a subtler approach to cancer treatment. Roche, the world’s largest maker of cancer medicines, has spent several million euros on information technology for a pilot scheme examining how cancer cells in petri dishes react to new drugs. The scheme involves crunching hundreds of terabytes of gene sequences. “It’s the first large-scale in-house sequencing project for Roche and we expect more to follow in the near future,” said Bryn Roberts, Roche’s head of informatics in drug

research and early development. Roberts said the project, which uses processing power equivalent to hundreds of high-end desktop PCs, was self contained but there were plans to draw in external data. This would require advances in cloud computing - using software and computing power from remote data centres - but Roberts said the technology would soon be available. “The scale of the problem means the solution will be on an international collaborative scale,” he said. Opportunities in Clouds The trend of using cloud computing networks to allow commercial and public researchers to share cancer data is promising for the likes of IBM and Google which according to GBI Research are already established providers of cloud computing to drug makers’ research efforts. Amazon, with its cloud computing unit AWS, said it is benefiting as life science researchers rethink how data is stored, analysed and shared. “We are happy with the growth we are seeing,” a spokesman said, declining to

modifying SAP database software so that certain cancer diagnostic tests, which now keep a network of super computers busy for days, can be run on a desktop PC within hours. Genetic analysis has revealed that types of cancer, now treated as one because they are in the same organ and look the same under the microscope, are driven by different genetics. Hans Lehrach at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin says every single tumour should be seen as an “orphan disease”, using a term for rare illnesses that typically prompt drug regulators to make drug approval easier. He has designed a software he describes as a virtual patient. It suggests a drug or a mix of drugs based on each tumour’s genetic fingerprint. A single case can take several days to be processed. Lehrach, a geneticist who says he has written software code throughout his scientific career, likens his approach to that of a meteorologist who regards every day’s set of readings as unique. Taking the analogy further, he says the convention of stratifying cancer patients is equivalent

provide figures. Microsoft said it was dedicating “significant resources” to the expansion of cloud computing in the health and life sciences markets. “Pharma R&D will be working with other technology companies, like Microsoft, in developing new algorithms, methodologies and indeed even therapies themselves,” said Les Jordan, chief technology strategist at Microsoft’s Life Sciences unit. The world’s largest business software company SAP has teamed up with German genetic testing specialist Qiagen. They are

to a weather forecast based on simple rules such as ‘red sky in the morning, sailor take warning’. At a unit of Berlin’s Charite university hospital, 20 patients left with no other treatment options for their aggressive type of skin cancer are being diagnosed based on Lehrach’s computer model. The trial is exploratory and there are no results yet on the overall treatment success, but the project, like many others, is driven by the hope that cancer can be wrestled down by sheer computing power. — Reuters


In this Tues., Oct. 23, 2012 file photo, Taylor Swift performs on ABC's "Good Morning America," in New York. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood co-hosted the CMA awards show yesterday, live on ABC from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. From Taylor Swift's army of empowered young women to the power-drinking party boys who prefer Church and Jason Aldean, country's audience is much different than it was 10 years ago and that's reflected in the awards. — AP


Cooking with



eighborhood children may think of trick-or-treat candy and crunchy leaves in the fall. But for neighborhood cooks, osso buco comes to mind. This is a great time of year to cook with bones. Rich, meaty dishes such as braised short ribs and oxtail soup warm up the kitchen on the chilly nights of November and December. Consider cooking up a cauldron of short ribs, veal shanks or oxtails for reasons of flavor, economy and ease. BONES ADD FLAVOR TO BRAISED MEAT DISHES As bone-in cuts slowly cook in water, bone marrow melts into the braising liquid, giving it exquisite flavor. Collagen, the connective tissue between muscle fibers, breaks down, thickening and enriching a soup or sauce. BONES ARE A BARGAIN Cuts such as short ribs and oxtail cost no more a pound than stew meat, and deliver rich returns in flavor. Veal shanks cost a little more, but compared to other dinner party-worthy items such as filet mignon and rack of lamb, they’re a bargain if you want to serve an impressive and meaty dish on a budget. IT’S HARD TO OVERCOOK A SHORT RIB One of the reasons that short ribs, oxtails and other bone-in meats are relatively inexpensive is that they contain a lot of connective tissue, which makes them tough unless they are cooked for a long time. You can’t just throw a lamb shank on the grill on the spur of the moment. But long cooking time doesn’t have to be a negative. Once you’ve put together your braise, you can forget about it for a few hours. And if you let your short ribs or osso buco go an extra half an hour because you’re on the phone or folding laundry, there will be no harm done. BONES CAN BE BRAISED IN ADVANCE Most recipes made with braised bone-in meat taste even better the next day, as flavors meld overnight. Another advantage to refrigerating your dish and reheating it: Excess fat rises to the surface and solidifies, making degreasing a breeze. Just discard the fat, reheat and serve. COOKING BONES COULDN’T BE EASIER Bones are scary if you’ve never cooked with them, but

once you’ve done it, you’ll see that there is nothing to be afraid of after all. 1. Read your recipe carefully and note how the bones need to be cut. Then, head to the butcher. Most oxtail soup recipes call for lengths of 2 to 3 inches. Sometimes, short ribs are cut into shorter or longer lengths. Unless you have a bone saw in a kitchen drawer, you will want your butcher to do the cutting. Ideally, all pieces should be about the same size, so they cook at the same rate. Bones freeze well, so if you only visit the butcher occasionally you might want to pick up some short ribs along with your veal shanks and freeze them for a cold

and rainy day. 2. Do take a few minutes before fixing and forgetting your short ribs, osso buco or oxtail soup to brown the meat. The caramelization that occurs during this extra step will add yet another layer of flavor to your dish. 3. When cooking bones, low and slow in a moist environment is the rule. The collagen that holds together the muscle fibers in the meat surrounding bones is extremely tough. Miraculously, when it is cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees it begins to dissolve, rendering the meat tender. But the only way to get the internal temperature of your meat to 160 without drying it out is to simmer gently in liquid. Eventually, the meat will get hot enough to fall apart, but will also stay moist as it bathes in the sauce as well as its own melted collagen and fat. To test for doneness, gently insert a sharp paring knife into the meat at a few points. If it slides in very easily, it is done. If the meat is still tough in parts, let it cook another 30 minutes and check again. 4. If you’d like to store your cooked bones overnight before serving, separate the meat and sauce into two containers. Skim the solidified fat from the sauce an hour before you want to eat, transfer the meat on the bone to a baking dish and top with the sauce, cover with heavy duty foil, and reheat at 325 degrees until the meat is warmed through and the sauce is gently bubbling, about 45 minutes. SHORT RIBS BRAISED IN COFFEE Serve these meltingly tender short ribs in their flavorful sauce over soft polenta, rice, or egg noodles. 3 pounds (3-inch-long) short ribs Salt Ground black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 large chipotle chili in adobo, finely chopped 1 cup strong brewed coffee 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle short ribs with


salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ribs and brown on both sides, turning once, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and discard all but 2 tablespoons grease from pot. 2. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and chili and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add coffee and bring to a boil, stirring up brown bits from bottom of pot. 3. Stir in oregano. Return ribs to pot. Cover and place in oven until tender and falling off bone, about 2 hours. Remove ribs from pot and cover with foil to keep warm. Degrease sauce, season with salt and pepper, pour over ribs, and serve. Makes 4 servings. BEEF MARROW CROSTINI WITH GREMOLATA Roasted beef marrow has been described as “meat butter” and “poor man’s foie gras.” These nicknames will give you an idea of how rich and delicious it is. This recipe is the exception to the slow cooking rule. If you roast marrow bones at a high heat for just 20 minutes, the heat will melt the marrow to a spreadable consistency, perfect for spreading onto toasted slices of baguette. 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided 2 cloves garlic, peeled, divided 4 (3- to 4-inch-long) center-cut beef marrow bones (about 2 pounds) Salt 2 bay leaves 1 sprig fresh rosemary 2 (14-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle veal shanks with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown shanks until golden on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. 2. Lower heat to medium. Put remaining olive oil in pan. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 3. Stir in tomatoes, wine, water, bay leaves and rosemary and bring to a boil, stirring up brown bits from bottom of pot. Place veal shanks on top of liquid, making sure bone is facing up so marrow doesn’t drain out during cooking. Cover and place in oven until tender and falling off bone, about 2 hours. 4. Remove shanks from pot and cover with foil to keep warm. Stir beans into sauce and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Spoon bean mixture into 4 shallow soup bowls. Place a veal shank on top of each portion. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Ground black pepper 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley Lemon wedges for serving 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baguette rounds on a baking sheet, lightly brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and bake until light golden, about 12 minutes. Rub lightly with 1 clove garlic and set aside. 2. Turn heat to 450 degrees. Line another baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. Place bones on sheet, cut sides up. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until marrow is softened but not yet running out of bones, about 20 minutes. 3. While bones are roasting, combine lemon zest, parsley, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. 4. Scoop marrow out of bones and spread onto toasts.

Sprinkle with parsley mixture and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side. Makes 4 appetizer servings. OSSO BUCO WITH WHITE BEANS Place the shanks bone-side up so the marrow will stay put, and you can enjoy it along with the meat at dinner. 4 (10-ounce) crosscut veal shanks, tied with butcher’s twine Salt Ground black pepper 1 cup flour 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 2 yellow onions, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes 1 cup dry white wine 1 cup water

OXTAIL AND BARLEY SOUP 2 pounds oxtails, cut into 1-inch pieces, rinsed and patted dry Salt Ground black pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 ribs celery, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 tablespoon tomato paste 10 cups water 1 cup pearl barley 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces 1 bay leaf 3 sprigs thyme 1. Sprinkle oxtails with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven and brown oxtails on all sides, 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and discard all but 2 tablespoons fat. 2. Add onion, celery and garlic to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook another minute. Bring to a boil and scrape up any browned bits. 3. Return oxtails to pan along with water, bring to a simmer and skim off any foam that rises to surface. Add barley, carrots, bay leaf and thyme, cover, reduce heat and simmer until meat and barley are tender, about 1 hour. Remove meat from bones and return to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 8 servings. — MCT

Beauty FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Show off your pearly whites What you should know


efore you consider teeth whitening methods, it’s important to understand how they work, in order to make an informed decision that best suits your teeth whitening needs. Choosing a whitening method for your teeth can be confusing and overwhelming, with so many teeth whitening products available on the market today. Over-the-counter or from your dentist, it is often challenging, deciding what teeth whitening option is best for your situation. Learn about the three methods used for teeth whitening, and decide which one will best suite your teeth whitening needs. What is professional in-office teeth whitening? Professional in-office teeth whitening is exactly that; professionally done by your dentist. Often regarded as the best option available for teeth whitening, because it is done in a controlled environment and is supervised by a dentist using a high concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide . This method is perfect for someone that desires the optimum results in the shortest amount of time, since results are seen in as little as one hour. Although considered expensive and it is not typically covered under a dental insurance plan, the convenience and results achieved may prove worth the extra cost.


ith a variety of tooth whitening methods available, whitening your teeth has never been more accessible. Are you dreaming of a white smile? Before considering whitening your teeth, book an appointment for a check-up and cleaning with your dentist. Surface stains will need to be removed before whitening to achieve optimum results. Your dentist will then determine if you are a candidate for tooth whitening. Are you a candidate for tooth whitening? Not everyone can use tooth whitening solution. Circumstances that may prevent the use of tooth whitening product are: Teeth that have restorations , such as veneers or having been bonded with white fillings, cannot be whitened with hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. These materials do not whiten past the color they were originally made. The color of these types of restorations were determined by the surrounding teeth. If the surrounding teeth are whitened, the restorations will stand out and look artificial. Replacing old or discolored restorations will allow you to change their appearance. Teeth that have internal staining, discoloration from developmental conditions or have been root canalled may not be affected by the typical whitening process. Internal tooth whitening or permanent restorations may be an option to consider. Natural tooth colors that are brown or gray in hue may not produce desired results. Typically, teeth with a yellow hue will produce the best results. Pregnant or nursing mothers should avoid whitening their teeth as there is not enough research to determine the safety of tooth whitening products dur-

ing pregnancy or lactation. People with hypersensitive teeth should avoid tooth whitening, because this process may enhance the level of sensitivity they experience. How are teeth whitened? Enamel, the first layer of tooth surface, is actually semi-translucent, or clear. The layer underneath the enamel, known as dentin, is typically yellow, but may be gray, brown or black. This hue is what is seen penetrating through the enamel. In order to whiten the dentin, a peroxide solution is placed on the enamel. This process opens the pores of the enamel, allowing the solution to reach the layer of dentin. The solution will then begin to lighten the dentin, resulting in the appearance of whiter teeth. Several brands of tooth-whitening products are on the market that all promise one thing-noticeable results. Professional in-office whitening, professional take-home whitening and over-the-counter whitening products remain the most common ways to whiten your teeth. It is important to have realistic expectations when evaluating your final results; it may take several treatments to achieve a whiter smile. Whitening results may not be permanent, as your teeth will naturally pick up stain from foods or beverages or from tobacco use. Remember to brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and examinations. Tooth whitening results will vary from person to person, so chose an option that will suit your specific need and budget. How is professional in-office teeth whitening done? Professional teeth whitening delivers opti-

mum whitening results in a short amount of time. Available under the supervision of a dentist, this method of tooth whitening is gaining popularity, despite the fact that it is considered the most expensive method of chemically whitening your teeth. You may expect the following during your professional in-office teeth whitening appointment, but not limited to: Teeth are polished with pumice, a grainy material used to remove any plaque on the surface of the tooth. Your mouth will be isolated with gauze to keep your teeth dry during the procedure. Retractors may also be used to keep your cheeks, lips and tongue away from the whitening solution. A barrier is placed along your gumline to protect it from the whitening solution. The teeth are then coated with the whitening solution on the front surface of the tooth. Your office may choose to use either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent. Many whitening products require a curing light or laser to be used to add heat to the solution to activate the peroxide. It will then be left on the teeth for 30 to 60 minutes, or reapplied in specific increments of time for up to one hour, depending on the brand. Once the optimum shade has been reached, or the maximum application time has passed, the teeth are rinsed with water and a fluoride application may be used to help ease the sensitivity some people experience with tooth whitening. You will be instructed to avoid foods and beverages that have a high level of pigment, such as coffee, tomato sauce or juice, yellow mustard and tobacco use for 24 hours after the procedure to allow the enamel pores to close to prevent re-staining.

Books FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

The best of

Paulo Coelho Manual of The Warrior of Light



t’s a collection of Paulo Coelho’s teachings summed up into one volume. It includes proverbs, extracts from the Tao Te Ching, the Bible, the book of Chuang Tzu, the Talmud and various other sources, and is written in the form of short philosophical passages. This book is written as if it were an actual handbook for a supposedly Templar or Paladin warrior, the warrior however being a metaphor not for those who serve a certain lord, an ideal or the weak, but for those in pursuit of their dreams and who appreciate the miracle of life. The manual describes the challenges the warrior faces and solutions to the problems, including paradoxes (such as the section “sometimes the Warrior behaves like a rock” is followed directly by “sometimes the Warrior behaves like Water”. Rock (stability) and Water (flexibility) are given as opposite metaphors in Taoism).


t tells the story of Brida O ‘Fern, a 21-year-old irish girl in search of magic and hidden powers. During her search, she meets a wizard who promises to guide her by the Tradition of the Sun, which explains everything by nature and its divine manifestations. But Brida decides to take Wicca as a teacher, a beautiful woman who teaches through the Tradition of the Moon, the ancient tradition of witches, which explains the universe through Wisdom and Time.

Veronika Decides to Die

The Pilgrimage


he book is a recollection of Paulo’s experiences as he made his way across Northern Spain on the Pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela in 1986. It starts as he fails his initiation into the order Regnus Agnus Mundi (RAM) and is then told he must complete the pilgrimage to gain rite of admission. He begins his journey with a guide, also a member of RAM, who goes by the alias Petrus. During the journey Petrus shows him meditational exercises and introduces him to some of the more down to earth elements of Western mystical thought and philosophy.


t tells the story of 24 year old Veronika, who appears to have everything in life going for her, but who decides to kill herself. This book is partly based on Coelho’s experience in various mental institutions. It is based around the subject of madness. The gist of the message is that “collective madness is called sanity”.

The Valkyries: An Encounter with Angels


t deals with the exorcism of personal demons and discovering one’s strength. It also deals with relationships among people, in this case, Paulo and his wife. The plot involved Paulo going to the Mojave desert to meet “the Valkyries” themselves, a group of warrior women who travel the desert. At the beginning of the story, “J”, Coelho’s master in RAM, shows him a copy of the poem by Wilde that says “we destroy what we love” and this theme is central to the story.

The Devil and Miss Prym


he book tries to find an answer to a question that arises in the human mind at times of distress, rejection or betrayal. Put simply, the question is “Are people bad?”. For almost 15 years, old Berta had spent every day sitting outside her front door, watching over the little, idyllic village Viscos, occasional-

ly talking with her deceased husband. She is waiting for the devil to come, as her husband has predicted to her. Then one day a stranger appeared with the intention of staying one week in the village. Somewhere in the wood he buries a treasure - 11 bars of gold. On the way back, he meets Chantal Prym,

a young and rather beautiful barmaid, who is bored of the idyllic scenery and slow pace of life. The stranger shows her the buried treasure and promises that it will belong to the villagers if they agree to kill someone until the week is over.

Technology FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Trade in your icons for tiles What’s new with Windows 8


ince Windows 95 hit the market, PC users have become used to seeing an empty desktop, a toolbar and a Start button for calling up programs when turning on their computers. With Windows 8 there are tiles instead of icons, apps alongside well-known programs and no Start button. There’s no cause for panic however, says Windows expert Wolfram Gieseke. “In terms of control, the new start screen is really just a facade over Windows 7,” he says. The old desktop lies underneath the new tiles, accessible by pressing the key-combination of Windows-D. “I can do a lot of things just the way I used to,” says Gieseke. The growing popularity of tablets is the main reason for the changes, he says. “In a few years, it’s possible that more tablets than PCs will be sold. Microsoft had to react to that.” Windows 8 is an attempt to create a seamless operating system for tablet and desktop machines. The first smartphones with Windows Phone 8 are not too far off. That would users the same interface on all their gadgets. Using the same system everywhere creates security risks though, says Harald Goerl, a professor of operating systems and computer architecture at the German Bundeswehr University in Munich. “Since the basic technology is the same, it creates a larger area for malware to attack,” Goerl says. Theoretically, that increases the risk that a cleverly designed virus or other harmful program could access all the devices belonging to a single user. Since all Windows versions will use the same interface, it means PCs will now be optimized for touch controls. Gieseke says anyone using a touch screen device such as a monitor or an allin-one PC or a notebook will want to consider an update. “This is really a quantum leap.” Windows 8 can also be controlled the old-fashioned way,

with a mouse and keyboard. “Of course, that means less of an adjustment,” Gieseke says. The tiles require some practice - it takes a while to get used to switching between programs. Additionally, many key functions don’t even make themselves known until the user puts the mouse in a certain spot. The mouse controls have received some low grades in tests, with some calling it impractical and not intuitive enough. “Things have merged here that don’t

belong together,” says Axel Vahldiek of German computer magazine c’t. “It’s confusing if you can’t precisely see where you have to click.” He says many other changes in Windows 8 will interest only the more advanced users, though almost everyone should be interested in the speech package add-ons and improved support for USB 3.0. Computers boot up faster with Windows 8. “If that’s not so important for you, there’s no rea-

son to switch to Windows 8,” says Vahldiek. Windows 8 is pre-installed on Windows-based computers sold after October 26. The software on its own can be downloaded for 40 dollars. Those who purchased a Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 can upgrade to Windows 8 for a reduced fee. The elaborate version, Windows 8 Pro, includes some network functions and data encryption, with Windows Media Centre available as an add-on. —dpa

Facebook, other social media can lead to Internet addiction


he stereotype of an internet addict is a slightly nerdy young man or teenager, spending all his time in front of some kind of online role-playing game. The reality is more diverse, with recent studies showing that plenty of young women are also at risk of Internet addiction, primarily due to social networking sites like Facebook. Just about all girls diagnosed with the addiction trace their problems to social networking sites, says Bernd Werner, from the German Foundation for Media and Online Addiction. “They’re always thinking about what’s going on right now in the network,” he says. They use such sites to chat with others in their clique. “There’s pressure from within the peer group.” The problem is that many parents have not yet tuned in to the addiction danger, warns Werner. They are more prone to sound

the alarm when children - primarily boys show signs of addiction. The signs parents would note for online addiction are the same for girls on social networking sites as for boys involved in online gaming. “For one thing, there’s a loss of control,” says Werner. “I can no longer control how long I stay on the Internet.” The second indicator is a change in tolerance levels. “I consciously tolerate the fact that my behaviour leads to stress with my parents or worsening marks at school.” The most serious sign is when a girl starts to ignore friends, hobbies or basic hygiene. Statistically, Internet addiction is more of a masculine problem. One German study showed that 0.7 per cent of people aged 25 to 64 had trouble breaking away from games or social networks. Taking into account the whole

population, about 1.0 per cent of men suffered from addiction, almost double the figure for women, at 0.4 per cent, the federal appointee for addiction issues, Mechthild Dyckmans, reported. The job of monitoring a child’s internet usage is made easier if the computer is not set up in their room. “Instead, put it somewhere where parents often walk by,” recommends Werner. It’s also not a good idea to allow boys and girls to have their own smartphones too early, regardless of protestations that ‘Everyone else has one.’” Set computer usage time limits with your children. “And take a real interest in what your daughter is doing on Facebook,” says Werner. Such topics can easily be discussed during family meals. What’s important to remember is that comments like “I don’t like that” are best avoided by parents when it’s time to discuss the matter. —dpa

Lifestyle FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012


Legendary comic creator Stan Lee, right, looks over a drawing by Savannah College of Art and Design sequential art student Jen Hickman while visiting the college in Savannah. — AP


lobster in the black and orange colors of Halloween has taken up residence at the US Aquarium in Boston, just in time for trick-or-treating. The one-pound (450 gram) female “split” lobster was caught last week in Atlantic waters off Salem, Massachusetts-the city best known for 17th century witch trials-and presented to the aquarium over the weekend. “It’s the real thing,” aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse told AFP bytelephone Wednesday, referring to the exceptionally rare crustacean that is black down its left side and orange down the right. Thank to its odd coloring-which marine biologists believe is the result of a complete cellular split when a

lobster egg is fertilized-it will not wind up in a steaming pot. Instead, it is expected to go on public display next month, once it clears quarantine at the aquarium where LaCasse said it is “doing well.” “Split lobsters are roughly estimated to occur once in every 50 to 100 million lobsters,” the aquarium said on its website (, adding that this year has seen a larger number than usual of odd-colored lobsters.—AFP

This October 31, 2012 image released by the New England Aquarium, shows a onepound (450 gram) female ‘split’ lobster, which was caught last week in Atlantic waters off Salem, Massachusetts, and presented to the aquarium. — AFP

efore he scripted the first adventures of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, a young Stan Lee launched his career in comic books as a lowly sidekick. To hear Lee tell it, the artists he worked for as a teenage assistant in 1940 might as well have dubbed him the Anonymous Eraser-Boy. “They gave me a big eraser and I had to go over the pages to make sure the pencil marks didn’t show,” after artists finished their drawings in black ink, Lee said Wednesday as he revealed this to an awe-struck classroom of art students on the Georgia coast. “You guys are actually drawing. I never got past erasing.” It doesn’t take a comics geek to know Lee leaped beyond erasing to became the head writer and editor of Marvel Comics in the 1960s, when his collaborations with artists unleashed the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men and Iron Man among a seemingly endless parade of superheroes. Half a century later, at age 89, Lee is arguably comics’ biggest superstar. He also remains a font of inspiration to Hollywood which finally has the technology to recreate Lee’s wildest ideas - and to a new generation of comic book artists. It was the movies that brought Lee to Georgia, where Tuesday night he received an award at the Savannah Film Festival. But as “The Amazing Spider-Man” was screened Wednesday, Lee slipped away to hobnob with students at the Savannah College of Art and Design. “It’s not a throne?” Lee quipped as he sat in a plastic chair at the head of a table surrounded by 11 students, each one with broadsheets pages of their works-in-progress, bottles of ink and an iPad. If Lee himself possessed a superpower, it would be his ability to conquer the generation gap. The young artists he met seem as familiar with Lee as they are with his costumed heroes. “You see Stan Lee and everyone knows who he is,” said art student Dan Glasl. “Every kid has this part of their life where they’re this awkward, geeky sort of kid. And Spider-Man is the character every kid can put themselves into.” Quizzed about the early days at Marvel and the source of his ideas, Lee’s answers were rarely glamorous. At parties, Lee said, he would often tell people he was a writer - or a magazine writer if they pushed for details. And like SpiderMan, who after battling Doctor Octopus would resume worrying about how to pay Aunt May’s bills, Lee said making a living was always a chief concern. “We just hoped that a book we were drawing would sell so we could keep our jobs and pay the rent,” he said. “We never for one minute thought there would be schools where they teach this.” Lee kept things light and lively, generously pouring over pages of students’ art and heaping praise on them. “Oh, man, that’s all we need is a lot more competition.” When the talk turned to digital comics created for tablets and smartphones he groaned, “Boy, do I feel like a caveman.” Lee caught 25-year-old student Jen Hickman off guard when he appeared in the door of a room where she was drawing in her Halloween costume. She came to school dressed as a certain bat eared, caped crusader who belongs to Marvel’s biggest competitor, DC Comics. “You’re a Batman fan, obviously,” Lee told Hickman. “I’m not talking to you.” Lee and his handlers left just before classes ended. Students clutching backpacks rushed to the door. “Is Stan outside? Is he standing outside?” Then they ran

outside to wave at the tinted windows of the shuttle bus taking Lee to his next stop. Anthony Fisher, who heads the Savannah art college’s sequential art department, said he suspects his students relate both to the timelessness of Lee’s comic book characters and to the creator’s bottomless enthusiasm. Though Lee turns 90 this December, he still heads up POW!Entertainment - a company that creates characters ready to spin off into movies, TV shows and comics. “Stan’s passionate really about story and character and that never dies over time,” Fisher said. “I think when he meets the younger generation, he sees their passion and their drive and he just feeds off of it.” While Hollywood can now realistically render the most eye-popping superpowers and epic battles, Lee said he doesn’t see comic books fading into obscurity. “Whether it’ll be on the printed page or on an iPhone screen or an iPad - there are so many places they can go,” Lee said. “But I think with comics there’s something about drawings mixed with dialogue that people enjoy. The comic book format, people enjoy that. And I think it’ll be around a long time.”— AP

This image released by Starpix shows Marvel Comics scribe and film producer Stan Lee at a special signing, hosted by Choice Collectibles, a publisher of Marvel fine art, during New York Comic Con at Jacob K Javits Convention Center in New York. — AP photos

Lifestyle FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

George Clooney is distant cousin of Abraham Lincoln I A

unt Rosemary was not George Clooney’s only famous relative. You can add a certain Civil War American president to the Oscar-winning actor’s family tree. Politics has apparently run in the activist actor’s blood for centuries, as website yesterday revealed that the “Ocean’s 11” star is distantly related to President Abraham Lincoln. According to, Clooney is the half-first cousin five times removed from Lincoln, the 16th president. The genealogy website breaks down the connection, explaining the “half” means that two of their ancestors were half-siblings - Lincoln’s mother Nancy Hanks was the half-sister of Clooney’s 4th great-grandmother Mary Ann Sparrow. Hanks and Sparrow shared the same mother, Lucy Hanks, but had different fathers. Lucy Hanks was Lincoln’s maternal grandmother as well as the 5th great-grandmother of Clooney. Clooney’s aunt was singer and actress Rosemary Clooney, who died in 2002. Clooney, long noted for his political activism, is a major Hollywood backer of President Barack Obama. He hosted a Democratic Party fundraiser at his Los Angeles home in March that raised $15 million. Lincoln, a Republican, is considered one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States. He led the country through the Civil War and is credited with the abolition of slavery, which officially became law in 1865 after his assassination. He is the subject of an upcoming Steven Spielberg film “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role, which is to open in the United States next week. is offering free access to more than 20,000 documents showcasing Lincoln’s life, his family tree and the most pivotal moments of his presidential career. The details can be found at—Reuters

Bill Dees, ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ co-writer, dead at 73


inger-composer Bill Dees, best known for his songwriting collaboration with Roy Orbison on the hits “Oh, Pretty Woman” and “It’s Over,” has died at age 73 in Mountain Home, Arkansas, according to an obituary posted online by a local funeral home. Dees, a Texas native who got his start in the 1950s with a high school band called the Five Bops, is credited with writing scores of songs in all, some recorded by such performers as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Glen Campbell. But Dees’ most fruitful collaboration was his work with fellow Texan Orbison, with whom he teamed up to write Orbison’s signature 1964 hit, “Oh, Pretty Woman.” which was featured years later in the soundtrack to the movie “Pretty Woman,” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. The band Van Halen also scored a hit with a cover version of “Oh, Pretty Woman.” According to various accounts, the song’s refrain grew out of an offhand comment Dees made when Orbison’s wife, Claudette, walked into the room where the two men were writing together, and Orbison asked her if she needed any money. Dees cracked, “Pretty woman never needs any money,” and the song took shape from there, with the bulk of the composition coming together in less than hour. As recounted in one biography posted on Dees’ official website, Dees also contributed uncredited harmony vocals on the record. “Oh, Pretty Woman” went to No. 1 in United States and topped the charts in Britain, as did the 1964 Orbison ballad cowritten by Dees, “It’s Over,” a considerable achievement given the dominance of the Beatles and other British groups on both sides of the Atlantic at the time. —Reuters

France honours Bollywood’s Rai Bachchan

ndian Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was to be honored by France yesterday, her birthday, with a prestigious civilian award for her contribution to the arts, the French embassy said. Ambassador Francois Richier was due to confer the honor of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) on Rai Bachchan at a hotel in the entertainment hub Mumbai. “This prestigious distinction comes in recognition of her invaluable contribution to the world of cinema and the development of Indo-French cooperation in cinema, art, and culture,” a release from the embassy said. Rai Bachchan, who turned 39 yesterday, took the Miss World crown in 1994 and made her acting debut in the late 1990s, going on to become one of the most famous Bollywood faces abroad as well as in India. A regular on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, she has starred in more than 40 mostly Indian films as well as few foreign movies, including The Pink Panther 2. She married fellow actor Abhishek Bachchan in 2007 and they had their first child in November last year. Her father-in-law, superstar actor Amitabh Bachchan, was awarded France’s highest civilian award, the Legion d’Honneur in 2007. Reports said Rai Bachchan was supposed to receive her French award in 2009, but the honor was post-

George Jones cancels US concert due to health


Minnesota casino says legendary country singer George Jones is ill and has canceled a concert scheduled this week. Jones was scheduled to perform Friday at the Shooting Star Casino, Hotel and Event Center in Mahnomen. That concert had been rescheduled from April, when Jones needed more time to recover from an upper respiratory infection. Shooting Star released a statement from Jones’ management team, saying the 81-year-old singer has gotten a virus and is being treated by doctors. Jones apologized to his fans for the inconvenience. Shooting Star says there are no plans to reschedule the performance. Ticket-buyers will receive a refund. — Reuters

Rihanna is crowned the queen of the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnival at Greystone Manor on Wednesday in West Hollywood, Calif. — AP

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan poned because her father was ill. Then it was rescheduled for 2011 and was again put off due to the Mumbai bombings. In September Rai Bachchan was named as an ambassador for the United Nations AIDS agency, which tasked her with raising awareness to prevent HIV among children. — AFP

Ne-Yo makes surprise appearance with Tim McGraw


e-Yo feels right at home in Music City. The silky-voiced R&B star joined Tim McGraw for a surprise performance Wednesday night. The two sang a pair of duets for a crowd of a few hundred invited guests at a private event on the eve of the Country Music Association Awards. “For me, I feel like in another life I might’ve been a country artist,” Ne-Yo said in an interview after the performance. And he’s not joking. He’s found lots to love about country music since first joining McGraw for a Nashvillestyle songwriting session a few years back. “Faith Hill actually made me fried chicken,” Ne-Yo said. “She cooked fried chicken for me and it was fantastic. I knew I was coming out here to write, so I was expecting to go to like a studio and hear some skeletal track and then just go from there. I went to Tim and Faith’s house. It was me, Tim and a guy with a guitar in the living room as the kids ran around, and it was the greatest writing experience I’ve ever had in my life.” The two sang McGraw’s “Only Human” from his “Emotional Traffic” album. Then they wrapped up with Ne-Yo’s “She Is” from his Nov. 6 release “R.E.D.” A loose, upbeat McGraw threw the party to debut new material from his first Big Machine Records album “Two Lanes of Freedom,” out Feb. 5. He will perform new single “One Of Those Nights” on the CMA Awards and will join Hill in a tribute to Willie Nelson. Ne-Yo can’t make it to the show Thursday night. He’s shooting a video for “Forever Now.” But he vowed to return to Nashville soon. “We’re definitely going to do it again,” he said. “I met a lot of very important people in there. I met Tim’s management and the Big Machine people, and just expect to see some more of this cross-pollination happening.” — AP

Lifestyle FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012


Legendary comic creator Stan Lee, right, looks over a drawing by Savannah College of Art and Design sequential art student Jen Hickman while visiting the college in Savannah. — AP


lobster in the black and orange colors of Halloween has taken up residence at the US Aquarium in Boston, just in time for trick-or-treating. The one-pound (450 gram) female “split” lobster was caught last week in Atlantic waters off Salem, Massachusetts-the city best known for 17th century witch trials-and presented to the aquarium over the weekend. “It’s the real thing,” aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse told AFP bytelephone Wednesday, referring to the exceptionally rare crustacean that is black down its left side and orange down the right. Thank to its odd coloring-which marine biologists believe is the result of a complete cellular split when a

lobster egg is fertilized-it will not wind up in a steaming pot. Instead, it is expected to go on public display next month, once it clears quarantine at the aquarium where LaCasse said it is “doing well.” “Split lobsters are roughly estimated to occur once in every 50 to 100 million lobsters,” the aquarium said on its website (, adding that this year has seen a larger number than usual of odd-colored lobsters.—AFP

This October 31, 2012 image released by the New England Aquarium, shows a onepound (450 gram) female ‘split’ lobster, which was caught last week in Atlantic waters off Salem, Massachusetts, and presented to the aquarium. — AFP

efore he scripted the first adventures of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, a young Stan Lee launched his career in comic books as a lowly sidekick. To hear Lee tell it, the artists he worked for as a teenage assistant in 1940 might as well have dubbed him the Anonymous Eraser-Boy. “They gave me a big eraser and I had to go over the pages to make sure the pencil marks didn’t show,” after artists finished their drawings in black ink, Lee said Wednesday as he revealed this to an awe-struck classroom of art students on the Georgia coast. “You guys are actually drawing. I never got past erasing.” It doesn’t take a comics geek to know Lee leaped beyond erasing to became the head writer and editor of Marvel Comics in the 1960s, when his collaborations with artists unleashed the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men and Iron Man among a seemingly endless parade of superheroes. Half a century later, at age 89, Lee is arguably comics’ biggest superstar. He also remains a font of inspiration to Hollywood which finally has the technology to recreate Lee’s wildest ideas - and to a new generation of comic book artists. It was the movies that brought Lee to Georgia, where Tuesday night he received an award at the Savannah Film Festival. But as “The Amazing Spider-Man” was screened Wednesday, Lee slipped away to hobnob with students at the Savannah College of Art and Design. “It’s not a throne?” Lee quipped as he sat in a plastic chair at the head of a table surrounded by 11 students, each one with broadsheets pages of their works-in-progress, bottles of ink and an iPad. If Lee himself possessed a superpower, it would be his ability to conquer the generation gap. The young artists he met seem as familiar with Lee as they are with his costumed heroes. “You see Stan Lee and everyone knows who he is,” said art student Dan Glasl. “Every kid has this part of their life where they’re this awkward, geeky sort of kid. And Spider-Man is the character every kid can put themselves into.” Quizzed about the early days at Marvel and the source of his ideas, Lee’s answers were rarely glamorous. At parties, Lee said, he would often tell people he was a writer - or a magazine writer if they pushed for details. And like SpiderMan, who after battling Doctor Octopus would resume worrying about how to pay Aunt May’s bills, Lee said making a living was always a chief concern. “We just hoped that a book we were drawing would sell so we could keep our jobs and pay the rent,” he said. “We never for one minute thought there would be schools where they teach this.” Lee kept things light and lively, generously pouring over pages of students’ art and heaping praise on them. “Oh, man, that’s all we need is a lot more competition.” When the talk turned to digital comics created for tablets and smartphones he groaned, “Boy, do I feel like a caveman.” Lee caught 25-year-old student Jen Hickman off guard when he appeared in the door of a room where she was drawing in her Halloween costume. She came to school dressed as a certain bat eared, caped crusader who belongs to Marvel’s biggest competitor, DC Comics. “You’re a Batman fan, obviously,” Lee told Hickman. “I’m not talking to you.” Lee and his handlers left just before classes ended. Students clutching backpacks rushed to the door. “Is Stan outside? Is he standing outside?” Then they ran

outside to wave at the tinted windows of the shuttle bus taking Lee to his next stop. Anthony Fisher, who heads the Savannah art college’s sequential art department, said he suspects his students relate both to the timelessness of Lee’s comic book characters and to the creator’s bottomless enthusiasm. Though Lee turns 90 this December, he still heads up POW!Entertainment - a company that creates characters ready to spin off into movies, TV shows and comics. “Stan’s passionate really about story and character and that never dies over time,” Fisher said. “I think when he meets the younger generation, he sees their passion and their drive and he just feeds off of it.” While Hollywood can now realistically render the most eye-popping superpowers and epic battles, Lee said he doesn’t see comic books fading into obscurity. “Whether it’ll be on the printed page or on an iPhone screen or an iPad - there are so many places they can go,” Lee said. “But I think with comics there’s something about drawings mixed with dialogue that people enjoy. The comic book format, people enjoy that. And I think it’ll be around a long time.”— AP

This image released by Starpix shows Marvel Comics scribe and film producer Stan Lee at a special signing, hosted by Choice Collectibles, a publisher of Marvel fine art, during New York Comic Con at Jacob K Javits Convention Center in New York. — AP photos

Lifestyle FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012


Fashion Week

These photos taken yesterday show China fashion house CATERNITY Tang Jie Collection during the bi-annual China Fashion Week in Beijing. The seven-day fashion extravaganza will highlight works of hundreds of designers from hundreds of designers from both domestic and international fashion houses. — AFP photos

Lifestyle FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Winehouse Brazil fashion industry dresses stolen from London home struggles to take flight S


wo dresses belonging to the late British soul singer Amy Winehouse, including the one she wore to her wedding, have been stolen from her home in London, a spokesman said yesterday. The dresses, which were due to be sold to raise money for charity, are thought to have been taken by someone entering the Camden property during events after her death in July last year, not as the result of any break-in. The house where the 27-year-old died is currently on the market. “A lot of clothes and items were left and they were being catalogued when it was realized these two were missing,” said a spokesman for the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which was set up by her family to support young people. “They were going to go to the foundation but somebody might be trying to sell them for their own profit. People need to know they are not supposed to be out there on the market and they should not try to buy them.” The spokesman said the white minidress printed with red anchors that Winehouse wore to her 2006 wedding to Blake Fielder-Civil in Miami had been expected to sell for £100,000 at a forthcoming New York fundraiser. The other dress, a newsprint cocktail dress, was expected to fetch a further £30,000, he said, adding that both items “are part of Amy’s story”. Her family is working with police to secure their return. The dress Winehouse wore on the cover of her best-selling second album ‘Back To Black’ sold for £40,000 (about $65,000, 50,000 euros) for the foundation last year, while another dress sold for £30,000, he said. — AFP

ao Paulo’s Fashion Week is in full swing, giving Brazil the chance to celebrate its status as the world’s fifth largest producer of textiles and the fourth biggest producer of finished garments. But Brazil also wants to be a major player on the global fashion stage, a breakthrough which has eluded it so far. Sao Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW), the top such event in Latin America, kicked off Monday to present joyful and colorful designs of its 2013 winter collection. But organizers of the fashion showcase acknowledge with consternation that fully 95 percent of clothes made in Brazil are produced for a domestic market, and only five percent for export. According to the Brazilian Association of Textile and Apparel (ABIT), Brazil’s fashion industry sold 63 billion dollars of goods in 2011 — mostly garments worn by Brazilians themselves. “Brazil is a major producer and a major consumer of textiles, but still not a big player in the global apparel market,” Fernando Pimentel, one of the association’s senior managers, told AFP. Fashion experts offer differing opinions on why this country-on the cusp of military greatness and an emerging economic powerhouse-limps along in the world of couture. Some blame what they say are governmentimposed barriers, including high taxes on manufacturers here, for preventing them from selling more of their wares overseas. “Manufactured goods here still suffer from the so-called ‘Brazil surcharge,’” said clothing manufacturer Oskar Metsavah, one of about 20 companies set to show its creations during Fashion Week. The “surcharge” refers to “high taxes, poor transportation infrastructure” and outdated labor laws which make it harder to export Brazilian goods for a reasonable price, he said. But Metsavah said the costs are not the only issue holding back Brazilian wares. “Why do so few Brazilian labels manage to get sold by stores overseas? In my opinion, it’s because of the lack of originality and the lack of quality in the vast majority of them,” he said. His company, Osklen, is one of a handful of Brazilian firms that has

managed to get a toehold in overseas markets, with its clothes sold on racks in the United States, Argentina and Japan. Metsavah said that not all designers here have figured out how to create designs with an international appeal. Joao Pimenta, a menswear designer who attended Fashion Week, said that part of the problem was a lack of willingness to innovate. “Brazilian fashion is still very afraid to experiment,” he said. “I think it’s the most important thing happening in Brazilian fashion industry, allowing us to find our place in the world.” The organizers of the Fashion Week are doing their part to help re-position the clothing industry in Brazil for a big breakthrough on the world fashion stage. For one thing, they have lengthened the interval between the fall and spring shows, to give designers and manufacturers more time to perfect the tailoring of their collections. The simple tweaking of the schedule has gone a long way to help “professionalize” and expand an industry that is still “very young,” said Fashion Week’s organizer Paulo Borges. “It is a maturity thing, because it is a young industry that is just discovering its personality,” he said. But Borges also agreed that “Brazilian fashion has failed to establish itself as product and brand in the global marketplace because of high costs and problems getting financing.” There is a consensus in the industry that in order to bring their clothes to a bigger overseas market, Brazil will have to reduce barriers to credit, bring down the cost of overpriced labor and improve infrastructural limitations. “Goods produced here are expensive, labor is pricey and the taxes that have to be paid by businesses are very high,” said Fabienne Muzy, head of planning for Luminosidade, a group which organizes major fashion events in Brazil told AFP. “If you compare a product made in Brazil with international brands such as Prada and Chloe, you’ll see they have about the same price,” said the French-born Muzy. “Which are you going to buy?” she asked rhetorically. “The choice is clear: Prada.” —AFP


Al-Madena Al-Shohada’a Al-Shuwaikh Al-Nuzha Sabhan Al-Helaly Al-Fayhaa Al-Farwaniya Al-Sulaibikhat Al-Fahaheel Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Ahmadi Al-Mangaf Al-Shuaiba Al-Jahra Al-Salmiya

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Hospitals Sabah Hospital


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Clinics Rabiya














Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






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At the heart of hawking

‘I love being a part of nature, a part of what’s real’

Steve Hughes releases Hobie, one of a pair of Harris hawks Hughes owns, prior to a January hunt in Union County, North Carolina. — MCT


teve Hughes stopped at the edge of the woods and planted a tender kiss on his Lady’s head. You could see the devotion as she waited for his command. Hughes raised his arm ever so slightly, Lady flapped her wings and away she glided to a branch high in a bare tree. The hunt was about to begin. “Life,” Hughes said, “is not how many times your heart beats, but how many things make your heart skip a beat. In the scheme of things, not many people get to go out in the wild and watch a bird catch a prey.” Not many people go out in the wild anymore to hunt, but you’ll find Hughes, who is 60, in the woods several times most weeks with his two Harris hawks. He has been flying hawks since he was a boy of 14, living near a horse farm not far from what is now the Cotswold neighborhood in Charlotte, NC. As a licensed falconer, he is allowed to raise birds of prey in captivity, train them and take them into the wild to hunt for food. You could call it his passion, but it might best be described as his way of life. As unusual as falconry may seem, with only a handful of licensed falconers in the Charlotte area, a few thousand in the United States, it is an ancient sport with modern applications. JFK International Airport in New York has used falcons to chase away birds likes the ones that flew into the path of Flight 1549 before it plunged into the Hudson River on Jan 15. Farmers in Connecticut have used them to protect blueberry crops from starlings. Toronto used falcons, as well as hawks, to control the city’s gull and pigeon population. Hughes trained Lady and her companion, Hobie, simply for the sport. “I love being a part of nature, a part of what’s real,” said Hughes, who is married with three children, two Harris hawks, one goshawk , three horses, three dogs, five pigeons, a turkey, two call ducks, four bantam chickens, 25 snakes, a wood turtle, a chinchilla and two marsupials called sugar gliders. “We’re here,” he said, pointing to the woods, “in a whole little world inside of a world that has a life and death struggle going on every day.” It was a chilly morning, and the sound of traffic near Indian Trail punctuated the stillness as Hughes released Hobie to fly

free with Lady into that struggle. The birds perched on different trees for a few moments, then without warning flew off. Lady landed on top of a clump of twigs and leaves, a squirrel’s nest, tucked into a crevice between branches. Hobie waited close by as Lady, the bigger of the two and a gorgeous chocolate-brown, rooted around for a squirrel. Finding none, she and Hobie flew deeper into the woods to another nest, at the top of another tree. From nest to empty nest, they soared, Hughes following on foot. “Falconry,” he said, “is one of the oldest sports known to man.” The Chinese used raptors for hunting as far back as 2000 BC. Genghis Khan’s army marched in the 12th century with thousands of falconers to hunt meat for the soldiers. In medieval England, birds of prey became status symbols, and birds signified rank. The king flew a falcon, priests had sparrowhawks and servants, kestrels. Harris hawks, the ones Hughes trains, are among the most popular today because they’re social birds and bond with their trainers. A Harris hawk can cost $400 to $700, a falcon up to $10,000, but only a licensed falconer can legally buy a bird of prey. “Next to horses and dogs,” Hughes said, “birds were the most cherished animals. You could be hung if you stole a falcon back in the middle ages.” His reverie was broken when Lady and Hobie swooped away, dodging branches and tree trunks as if they had radar. Hughes jumped over logs, sprinting to catch up. From a nearby field came a raspy “keeer-r-r, keeer-r-r,” the cry of a wild red-tailed hawk also searching for food. In the woods, Lady and Hobie lost sight of whatever rabbit or squirrel they had spotted and abandoned their hunt as quickly as it began. Hughes refused to give up. He shook a dead tree trunk, thinking it might be hiding the creature. Nothing emerged. He peered deeper into the woods. “There’s a good nest,” he shouted. In the distance, a dark mass of twigs and leaves rested on a scrawny cedar. “Nest!” Hughes cried. “Nest!” Lady and Hobie know their names and recognize words of the hunt. This time, though, as the poet Yeats wrote in “The Second Coming,” the falcons could not hear the falconer. “Nest!” Hughes shouted louder. “Nest!” A squirrel dodged out, and jumped to a tree.

“Lady,” a Harris hawk, drops a squirrel after being bitten on the claw by the squirrel. — MCT “Up! Up! Up!” Lady and Hobie zoomed forward like missiles on target. The squirrel jumped into a pine, scampering higher and higher, to smaller and smaller limbs, until it reached the topmost and could climb no more. Swoosh! Down Lady dove, knocking the squirrel in a spiral off the branch. Lady gave chase in a blur, down, chestnut wings thrust back, yellow talons forward, down, down, reaching the ground as the squirrel gathered itself up to race away. Lady grabbed it in a death-grip. Hughes followed, a few seconds behind. He flung himself to the forest floor, knife drawn and slit the underbelly of the squirrel. That way, he explained, the squirrel suffered a quick death and Lady was less likely to be injured as she was a few weeks earlier when another squirrel nipped her leg. Hobie sat patiently on a limb until Hughes invited him down for a share of the catch. “I’m sure some people won’t like to see this,” Hughes said as the birds ripped off tiny pieces of flesh with their beaks. “But I’m sure they don’t think about that cow got on their plate, or that baby lamb. This sport is not for everybody.” Hughes doesn’t take Lady and Hobie into the woods, he said, to see squirrels and rabbits killed. He does it to witness the majesty of hawks in pursuit, the way nature intended. — MCT



Aries (March 21-April 19) Today may be the day you wear the hat of your boss. Someone may have put you in charge. Many people are watching but you will reign as you walk through these next few days with patience, routine and an open mind. You may think you are in charge, but others have their ideas and need your attention. You could be reminded of previously volunteered responsibilities and when you remember who wears the boss hat, you will be able to allocate some of the work duties. A meeting with someone older is at hand this afternoon. Satisfactory agreements can be reached with this person. You could find that you are appreciated and valued for your ability to act and get things done. Make a new place for your keys to stay when you are not using them.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Someone could challenge you on some issue today. Your attention on this matter could distract you from your usual work. However, if you express the desire to contemplate what is said, you will be able to think through your response or answer without much time wasted. With time to think, you can be very practical. This afternoon you may find yourself with friends. These friends may be people you have not seen in some time and you have your attention focused on the need to have more visits like this. You are reminded of a neighborhood meeting for later this evening and find that it is time to concentrate on some problem regarding recycling, decorating or helping to cleanup the neighborhood for the holidays. You may be thinking of a new project.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) In the workplace, self-discipline and a sense of selfworth become important issues. A fear of asserting yourself can hold you back from advancing in the workplace. If you are finding important information that will be helpful in advancing the company for which you work, go to the source material and present your findings. Higher-ups will take the information and go forward from this. Make sure your name is on the information so that you get the credit—make a copy and record who received the information. Cooking less fatty foods gets your attention this season and you spend a lot of time in the evening looking for tasty but healthy food. Your family and friends appreciate your thoughtfulness. A young person or a mate is willing to help you.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You could successfully work in a job that involves the arts and theater, in sports, or with the ultimate self-expression—children. If you are not working today, some situation will occur that will cause you to be cast into a teaching position. Teaching may be your best expression. If you are looking for a job, use your imagination and look for a job in which you could uniquely use this teaching talent. This could be as a tutor or a teacher of religious subjects or a guide through some historic site or on some city restoration group. Creativity is important to your life expression and you may find yourself leaving things unfinished for the day in order to complete a craft or art project this afternoon. Your artist expression also shows up in your professional work.

Leo (July 23-August 22) This is a good time for solving problems. It is quiet this morning and you are in a serious frame of mind. Puzzling matters come to your attention. You will most likely find new ways to clear away old debts, for you or your company. You may be very persuasive—making clear decisions that affect many people. Your whole base of knowledge and experience lends itself to positive outcomes with most any task you undertake. Overall, you prosper through new insights, inventions and an independent point of view. This afternoon is a good time to spend with a loved one. Emotions are up and you may find yourself pondering a bit on the meaning of life. You feel at one with your situation. You are entertained by new music this evening.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You keep very busy today. There are a lot of things to do in order to stay ahead for the holidays. A friend in need or something you believe in that will suffer from a lack of your support may come to your attention before the noon hour. You may be called upon to lend a helping hand. A quick trip to help someone during your lunch hour can really get your adrenaline going. In helping someone you may find new ways to make your own dreams come true. Travel continues to look good throughout the remainder of this year and now may be time when you will want to either take that needed vacation or enjoy a few short trips with the family. Consider a coastal vacation to view the whales. This evening you may wish to be with friends.

COUNTRY CODES Libra (September 23-October 22) Intellectualism and the exchange of ideas have a special appeal and importance where you work and where you live. You could find yourself teaching others about the art of handling money. It is surprising how little a high school graduate may know about how to survive in the world. Careful, do not become too carried away—they will learn about government economy soon enough. You could make a little extra money during the winter school break tutoring students in math. This may be a topic of conversation around the lunch table this afternoon. Later today you may find some time to do a little shopping, or at the least, some list making for those hard-to-buy-for people. Tonight is a good time for a family meeting regarding the purchase of gifts.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Good eye-hand coordination and a sustained effort make almost any task run well. Today your concentration is on one thing at a time and it looks as though you will be finishing up jobs that have been ongoing for some time. You may decide that you need more education, but not necessarily learning what is on paper. There could be an opportunity to learn by being an apprentice of sorts. Although this apprentice activity may be on your own time, it will lead to beneficial and better paying job results. You are on your own and this period marks the start of increased responsibility and accountability. Deep thoughts about goals come into play—review of self. You may find that you appreciate just how far you have come.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You may appear very much at ease on this busy morning. In-depth discussions and probing conversations within groups find you at your mental best. Meetings, conferences, lectures and teaching roles are all performed in a positive and productive light. Your analytical abilities are at a high point. This afternoon you could find yourself in hobby stores buying parts, games or an addition to your favorite pastime. Before you begin to play with those hobbies of yours, clean out some of the collections that do not serve a purpose. Some young person may enjoy the items you no longer use or play with anymore. Friends may visit you this evening and you could find yourself involved in the old pickthings-up-before-others-see-the-mess routine.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This is not the best time for career or vocational decisions. Problems, however, are valued for the lessons they represent, not the obstacles they could become. Whatever business negotiations come across your path today will be met with your enthusiastic attitude to get things accomplished. You love your friends, keeping in touch, catching up on their lives, etc. Family, home and the other roots in your life give you a sense of mission. There is growth and gain through these things. Being appreciated and admired for your gifts and talents are powerful needs and you hustle this afternoon to do the little extra things for the holidays that make people smile. There are many opportunities for self-expression as your family or friends enjoy your presence.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Work is intense now—there is a rush to complete projects. It is important to take your breaks and get some fresh air. After the noon break you encourage others to plow through some difficult task and you lend a hand where you can. A sense of support and harmony makes this a good time—teamwork. Although you are organized, others are not as organized and may need some sort of itinerary from you this day. Take time when you get home this afternoon to relax and lean back in a comfortable chair or sofa. If you have a problem sitting still you might rummage through a photograph album and do a little updating. Friends or relatives give you a lot to ponder this evening—a period of great mental activity and heightened communication with others.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) This morning is devoted to cleaning up the work still unfinished from yesterday. Files need to be put away. You may have even decided to come into the workplace a bit early today, basically to get hold of the day and accomplish any necessary catching up. Perhaps a time to think and study as well—you have a real appreciation for thoughts. You may find yourself enjoying long conversations with coworkers or higher-ups later today. Progress is inevitable and now is the time to fit progress into your professional life. This could mean new equipment, adjustment to a new environment or working with a new time schedule. There is also the possibility of sudden insight into your self-image or into your goals. Your home environment gets your attention later.

Afghanistan 0093 Albania 00355 Algeria 00213 Andorra 00376 Angola 00244 Anguilla 001264 Antiga 001268 Argentina 0054 Armenia 00374 Australia 0061 Austria 0043 Bahamas 001242 Bahrain 00973 Bangladesh 00880 Barbados 001246 Belarus 00375 Belgium 0032 Belize 00501 Benin 00229 Bermuda 001441 Bhutan 00975 Bolivia 00591 Bosnia 00387 Botswana 00267 Brazil 0055 Brunei 00673 Bulgaria 00359 Burkina 00226 Burundi 00257 Cambodia 00855 Cameroon 00237 Canada 001 Cape Verde 00238 Cayman Islands 001345 Central African Republic 00236 Chad 00235 Chile 0056 China 0086 Colombia 0057 Comoros 00269 Congo 00242 Cook Islands 00682 Costa Rica 00506 Croatia 00385 Cuba 0053 Cyprus 00357 Cyprus (Northern) 0090392 Czech Republic 00420 Denmark 0045 Diego Garcia 00246 Djibouti 00253 Dominica 001767 Dominican Republic 001809 Ecuador 00593 Egypt 0020 El Salvador 00503 England (UK) 0044 Equatorial Guinea 00240 Eritrea 00291 Estonia 00372 Ethiopia 00251 Falkland Islands 00500 Faroe Islands 00298 Fiji 00679 Finland 00358 France 0033 French Guiana 00594 French Polynesia 00689 Gabon 00241 Gambia 00220 Georgia 00995 Germany 0049 Ghana 00233 Gibraltar 00350 Greece 0030 Greenland 00299 Grenada 001473 Guadeloupe 00590 Guam 001671 Guatemala 00502 Guinea 00224 Guyana 00592 Haiti 00509 Holland (Netherlands)0031 Honduras 00504 Hong Kong 00852 Hungary 0036 Ibiza (Spain) 0034 Iceland 00354 India 0091 Indian Ocean 00873 Indonesia 0062 Iran 0098 Iraq 00964 Ireland 00353 Italy 0039 Ivory Coast 00225 Jamaica 001876 Japan 0081 Jordan 00962 Kazakhstan 007 Kenya 00254 Kiribati 00686

Kuwait 00965 Kyrgyzstan 00996 Laos 00856 Latvia 00371 Lebanon 00961 Liberia 00231 Libya 00218 Lithuania 00370 Luxembourg 00352 Macau 00853 Macedonia 00389 Madagascar 00261 Majorca 0034 Malawi 00265 Malaysia 0060 Maldives 00960 Mali 00223 Malta 00356 Marshall Islands 00692 Martinique 00596 Mauritania 00222 Mauritius 00230 Mayotte 00269 Mexico 0052 Micronesia 00691 Moldova 00373 Monaco 00377 Mongolia 00976 Montserrat 001664 Morocco 00212 Mozambique 00258 Myanmar (Burma) 0095 Namibia 00264 Nepal 00977 Netherlands (Holland)0031 Netherlands Antilles 00599 New Caledonia 00687 New Zealand 0064 Nicaragua 00505 Nigar 00227 Nigeria 00234 Niue 00683 Norfolk Island 00672 Northern Ireland (UK)0044 North Korea 00850 Norway 0047 Oman 00968 Pakistan 0092 Palau 00680 Panama 00507 Papua New Guinea 00675 Paraguay 00595 Peru 0051 Philippines 0063 Poland 0048 Portugal 00351 Puerto Rico 001787 Qatar 00974 Romania 0040 Russian Federation 007 Rwanda 00250 Saint Helena 00290 Saint Kitts 001869 Saint Lucia 001758 Saint Pierre 00508 Saint Vincent 001784 Samoa US 00684 Samoa West 00685 San Marino 00378 Sao Tone 00239 Saudi Arabia 00966 Scotland (UK) 0044 Senegal 00221 Seychelles 00284 Sierra Leone 00232 Singapore 0065 Slovakia 00421 Slovenia 00386 Solomon Islands 00677 Somalia 00252 South Africa 0027 South Korea 0082 Spain 0034 Sri Lanka 0094 Sudan 00249 Suriname 00597 Swaziland 00268 Sweden 0046 Switzerland 0041 Syria 00963 Taiwan 00886 Tanzania 00255 Thailand 0066 Toga 00228 Tonga 00676 Tokelau 00690 Trinidad 001868 Tunisia 00216 Turkey 0090 Tuvalu 00688 Uganda 00256 Ukraine 00380 United Arab Emirates00976

L e i s u re

Yesterday始s Solution


8 4 3


ACROSS 1. Young sheep. 5. A Loloish language. 9. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is opened and a section of a blood vessel is grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart. 13. Type genus of the Amiidae. 14. A soft heavy toxic malleable metallic element. 15. (usually followed by `to') Having the necessary means or skill or know-how or authority to do something. 16. A city in central Georgia southeast of Atlanta. 17. Date used in reckoning dates before the supposed year Christ was born. 18. A city of central China. 19. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 22. On or toward the lee. 23. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 25. Rock that in its molten form (as magma) issues from volcanos. 27. Talks a great deal about uninteresting topics. 30. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 33. A drug combination found in some over-the-counter headache remedies (Aspirin and Phenacetin and Caffeine). 36. Not only so, but. 40. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 41. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 43. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group. 45. An accidental hole that allows something (fluid or light etc.) to enter or escape. 47. A material effigy that is worshipped as a god. 49. An narrative telling the adventures of a hero or a family. 52. A warning against certain acts. 54. A Bantu language spoken by the Chaga people in northern Tanzania. 57. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 58. South American tamarin with a tufted head. 61. 300 to 3000 megahertz. 62. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 63. Of or related to genetically distinguished groups of people. 64. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. DOWN 1. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 2. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 3. Any of various minerals consisting of hydrous silicates of aluminum or potassium etc. that crystallize in forms that allow perfect cleavage into very thin leaves. 4. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 5. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 6. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 7. One who works hard at boring tasks. 8. A public promotion of some product or service. 9. Any of several plants of the genus Manihot having fleshy roots yielding a nutritious starch. 10. A promontory in northern Morocco opposite the Rock of Gibraltar.

11. (Scottish) Bluish-black or gray-blue. 12. A self-replicating protein molecule that occupies a fixed place on a chromosome. 20. A label made of cardboard or plastic or metal. 21. (medicine) Chilly. 24. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 26. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 28. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 29. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 31. An official language of the Republic of South Africa. 32. A large bundle bound for storage or transport. 34. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 35. A small cake leavened with yeast. 37. A city in the Saxony region of Germany on the Saale River. 38. Genus of New Zealand mat-forming herbs or subshrubs. 39. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 42. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 44. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 45. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 46. A civil or military authority in Turkey or Egypt. 48. Rounded like an egg. 50. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 51. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 53. The month following March and preceding May. 55. Goddess of the dead and queen of the underworld. 56. A user interface based on graphics (icons and pictures and menus) instead of text. 59. A state in southeastern United States. 60. Being one more than one hundred.

Yesterday始s Solution

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

IOC opens probe into Armstrong’s Olympic medal LONDON: The IOC formally opened an investigation yesterday that could result in Lance Armstrong being stripped of his Olympic bronze medal for doping. The IOC is looking into the Olympic involvement of Armstrong, other riders and officials implicated in the US Anti-Doping Agency report detailing “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, last week formally stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles from 1999-2005. Armstrong could now also lose the bronze medal he won in the road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. “The IOC will now immediately start the process concerning the involvement of Lance Armstrong, other riders and particularly their entourages with respect to the Olympic Games and their future involvement with the games,” the International Olympic Committee said in a statement. Levi Leipheimer, a former Armstrong teammate who won the time-trial bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games, could also have his medal revoked. One of the key witnesses in the USADA’s case against Armstrong, the American confessed to doping. The medals could come up for review at the IOC’s executive board meeting next month in Lausanne, Switzerland. Meantime, the IOC is also monitoring the UCI’s plans for an independent investigation to examine allegations about the federation’s own conduct and relations with Armstrong raised by the USADA report. “The IOC has taken note of the UCI’s decision and welcomes all measures that will shed light on the full extent of this episode and allow the sport to reform and to move forward,” the IOC said. “We await the findings of the independent commission which will look into the UCI’s role, and the recommendations they will make to ensure a healthy future for cycling.” In the case of Armstrong’s medal, the IOC will have to study whether the eight-year statute for revising Olympic results applies or not. IOC vice president Thomas Bach recently said that the USADA report took an “intriguing approach” that leaves the eight-year period open to discussion. “What we would have to check is whether this would also work under Swiss law or whether we find a way to apply US law,” Bach said. Armstrong finished behind winner and US Postal Service teammate Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia and Jan Ullrich of Germany. Fourth place went to Abraham Olano Manzano of Spain, who stands to move up to bronze if Armstrong is stripped of the medal. Finishing fourth behind Leipheimer in 2008 was Alberto Contador, the Spaniard who was stripped of the 2010 Tour de France title after testing positive for clenbuterol. Leipheimer is currently serving a reduced, six-month suspension after cooperating with the USADA probe. He was fired by the Belgium-based Quick Step team last week “in light of the disclosures.” In August, the IOC stripped Tyler Hamilton - a former Armstrong teammate of his gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics after he admitted to doping. Ekimov was upgraded to the gold.— AP

S Africa captain Smith joins Surrey as skipper LONDON: South Africa cricket captain Graeme Smith has joined Surrey as their new skipper, the English county announced yesterday, in a move that will prompt fresh speculation about his international future. Smith, currently leading the Proteas on their tour of Australia, will join Oval-based Surrey after the conclusion of South Africa’s home series against Pakistan in March, in time for the start of the 2013 English domestic season. The 31-year-old opener stood down as South Africa’s one-day captain after last year’s World Cup and no longer plays Twenty20 internationals. But he insisted that he still wanted to continue representing his country, despite signing a three-year deal with Surrey. “I am excited about what we can achieve at Surrey going forward and would like to state very clearly that I will balance my new role alongside my continuing commitments to the Proteas and I look forward to continuing to represent my country for many years to come,” he said in a statement issued by the First Division county. Smith has been South Africa captain since 2003, having first led his country aged just 22, and this year guided the Proteas to the top of the world Test rankings after a series win in England. It was at The Oval in June where Smith, who has been captain in an extraordinary 94 of his 102 Tests, became only the seventh player in history to score a hundred in his 100th Test, when he made 131. He replaces Rory Hamilton-Brown who stood down as Surrey captain, and who has since joined Sussex, following the death of his friend and team-mate Tom Maynard in June. — AFP

EDENBRIDGE: Artist Frank Shepherd (top) poses with his creation of US cyclist Lance Armstrong who has been unveiled as this year’s Edenbridge Bonfire Society celebrity guy, during an unveiling for the media in Edenbridge, England. The Edenbridge Bonfire Society has a long tradition of building symbolic effigies of famous people to burn during their Guy Fawkes bonfire night, and this year it will be disgraced Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong who gets torched for his villainy in sport. — AP

McLaren bid to put brakes on Red Bull ABU DHABI: The McLaren team go into this weekend’s unique ‘day-night’ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix believing they can prevent the runaway Red Bull express from clinching the constructors’ world championship with two races to go. McLaren sporting director Sam Michael said that differing track characteristics from one circuit to another could see rampant Red Bull’s advantage wiped out and give other teams a chance to win.But he admitted that it will be very difficult to catch them in the title race. After four consecutive wins, including last Sunday’s comprehensive demonstration of supremacy from defending drivers champion Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull sit atop both championships after 17 of this year’s 20 races. Vettel, who has reeled off those four straight wins for the Milton Keynes-based team, has 240 points to lead nearest rival two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, on 227, by 13 points with three races remaining. In the teams’ title race, Red Bull lead by 91 points with 407 ahead of Ferrari on 316 and McLaren on 306 — and will take the title if they leave Abu Dhabi with a lead of 86 points, or 87 if a McLaren driver wins the race. This allows for many different permutations for title success, but the minimum for Red Bull is to finish first and eighth, or second and third, to take the title.

Michael, however, believes there is a good chance that McLaren, or Ferrari, can postpone any celebrations in the paddock on Sunday night. “The performance can swing from one track to another by a couple of tenths,” he explained. “There are two or three tenths in terms of qualifying and, if you have that performance from (starting on) the front row, then you have a better chance. “So if no-one upgraded cars, there would still be a reasonable chance you can have a go at (Red Bull). But in terms of the overall championship it is quite different, because they need to have DNFs (did not finish) for people to take the title and the chances of that happening are pretty slim.” McLaren have demonstrated competitive pace and consistency in recent races, but will need to find some additional performance to threaten to wreck Red Bull’s dream of claiming a third consecutive constructors’ championship and then seeing Vettel crowned as the youngest triple champion of all time. Michael added: “There is a swing from one circuit to another, and it is not to do with the developments you put on the car. In days gone by, when you had a one second advantage over other cars, you could be confident you would not get those trends. But now there are no favorite tracks, so you don’t know if you are going to be competitive until you get there.”

If McLaren finish Sunday’s race in the points, they will set a new record of 56 consecutive points finishes-moving one ahead of Ferrari. That record may be enjoyed, but it will hardly be celebrated by a team that is desperate for major success and has felt outshone in recent years by Red Bull’s surge to glory-an era of domination that began when Vettel seized his first title at the amazing Yas Marina Circuit two years ago. Since then Vettel has made a record-breaking impact on Formula One and revelled in overcoming all challenges including clocking up 205 consecutive laps as race leader since taking charge of the Singapore Grand Prix on lap 23 on September 23. He is currently just 100 laps behind Italian Alberto Ascari’s all-time record and could, if he keeps dominating the sport, overhaul it later this month at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. This Sunday’s contest in the twilight event is run over 55 laps from bright sunshine into the night, with falling temperatures, and could be a major examination of his and Red Bull’s ability to continue performing at such a high level. Vettel is sure to face fierce opposition with Alonso determined to realize his belief that he will lift the title in the final race in Brazil on November 25 and both his Ferrari team and McLaren doing their utmost to end the Red Bull run.— AFP

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Figure Skating Preview

Chinese duo hope to shine in Shanghai SHANGHAI: Skating duo Pang Qing and Tong Jian are hoping a home crowd will propel them to glory at the Cup of China, the third event on the ISU Grand Prix tour that begins today. China’s Olympic silver medalists enter the three-day event in Shanghai as strong favourites to take the pairs title. Pang and Tong won silver at the 2012 Skate America last month, but are expected to go one better at Shanghai’s Oriental Sports Centre to secure their place in next month’s Grand Prix final.

“The most important goal for us in Shanghai is to win the ticket to the final. We want the gold medal here,” Tong told state-run China Radio International. “I hope all the Chinese skaters, especially the young ones, will have a good performance here in the home rink.” Reigning European Champions Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat are top seeds in the ice dance category, while Skate America silver medalists Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev from

Russia are expected to give a strong performance. Men’s world silver medalist Daisuke Takahashi and two-time women’s World Champion Mao Asada lead a particularly strong Japanese team. Japan’s Skating Federation decided on Sunday to take part in the event following concerns of simmering anti-Japan sentiment in the host country over a long-running territorial row between Beijing and Tokyo. Athletes have since pulled out of several sporting events in both

countries due to safety concerns. Skaters can only compete in two of the season’s six Grand Prix events, which must be nominated in advance. Missing the Cup of China would have made it difficult for the Japanese to make the final, which features the top six point scorers in each category. This year’s International Skating Union final will be held at the venue selected for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi. — AFP

Tokyo Games bid healing Japan’s wounds: Takeda

CALIFORNIA: An exercise rider rides Pool Play during a training session for the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. — AP

Horse racing - the race that intoxicates a city MELBOURNE: A report released yesterday came to a conclusion that will come as no surprise to anyone who has been in Australia’s second most populous city on the first Tuesday in November - the Melbourne Cup is the “booziest” sporting event of the year. The richest two-mile handicap in the world, the latest version of which will be contested for a purse of A$6.2 million ($6.43 million) next week, is traditionally known as “the race that stops a nation” and the people of the state of Victoria get a public holiday to enjoy it. It has also become the state’s “most notorious event associated with

acute alcohol intoxication, assaults and accidents”, according to VicHealth and Eastern Health Turning Point’s report “Drinking Cultures and Sporting Occasions”. The report recorded ambulance call-outs, the number of people turning up at hospital emergency departments and police data on assaults and traffic incidents in Melbourne from 2000 to 2009. VicHealth chief executive Jerril Rechter said the advertising of alcohol was at least in part to blame for the amount of drunkenness and knock-on social and health problems. “Alcohol is promoted heavily in the lead up to sporting events because,

unfortunately, it’s engrained in Aussie culture to binge drink on these occasions,” she said in a news release. “It’s crazy that a loophole in the law allows alcohol advertising on TV during the day if it’s part of live sports broadcast. “This means that kids watching the Cup and other major sporting events see countless ads for alcohol. Is it any surprise this is the lead sporting event in the Victorian sports calendar for youth binge drinking?” Local health experts and emergency services are urging the people of the city to drink responsibly in the lead up to the race. — Reuters

PARIS: Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games is helping to heal the wounds left by the massive quake and tsunami that killed nearly 19,000 people in Japan last year, the bid leader Tsunekazu Takeda said. The 65-year-old who was elected to the International Olympic Committee prior to the London Olympics this year - added the economic spin-off from winning the right to host the Games would also have a hugely positive effect on the country. “This bid is a vivid demonstration of the power of sport with athletes and sport playing a key role at the heart of society after a difficult time,” Takeda told AFP in an interview. “The Bid process - and ultimately having the chance to host the Games - is helping Japan heal and re-unite after a difficult 2011. “Without a doubt, Tohoku (the region affected by the tsunami), and the rest of Japan, will benefit from the Games. “According to calculations provided by the city of Tokyo, the economic effect on the nation as a whole is estimated to amount to $38 billion.”Even when the cost of hosting the Games is taken into account, being named host city will have a net positive impact on the Japanese economy. “The studies conducted by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Bid Committee, in cooperation with Mitsubishi Research Institute, show that the Games would create more than 150,000 jobs nationwide.” Takeda, who like his late father Prince Tsuneyoshi Takeda was an accomplished show jumper, said whilst many might have Tokyo as the frontrunner for the threerunner race - Istanbul and Madrid are the other candidates - he had little time for such tags. “Bidding for the Olympic and Paralympic Games is no mere event,” he said. “We believe that each of the cities bidding to host the Games is incredibly motivated and has some very interesting concepts. “I’m not interested in whether Tokyo is today’s frontrunner. I want Tokyo to be tomorrow’s winner.” Takeda, who along with his team will learn their fate at the vote of the 100+ IOC members in Buenos Aires on September 7 next year, believes this Tokyo bid has learnt from the previous one which came third to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 edition. “Tokyo 2020 is an enhanced bid; we kept the best and improved the rest. “We have revised our plans in a number of key areas: the main stadium, new village location and better use of transportation and other infrastructures. “We have a new committee, a new team and new plans.” On that note Takeda, who is the great grandson of Emperor Meiji who ruled Japan from 1867-1912, said despite the recent resignation of the charismatic and unpredictable Shintaro Ishihara as Governor of Tokyo the bid retained support at local level. “Despite Shintaro Ishihara’s resignation as Governor of Tokyo, we are confident that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will continue providing support for the bid and that Ishihara’s resignation will have no impact on our campaign.” — AFP

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Oosthuizen and Scott share lead at HSBC Champions

SAN FRANCISCO: San Francisco Giants fans cheer at City Hall during the baseball team’s World Series victory parade. — AP

San Francisco goes orange, and black for Giants parade SAN FRANCISCO: Ecstatic baseball fans packed the streets of San Francisco on Wednesday for a confettidrenched parade and rally honoring the World Series champion Giants - a Halloween treat made even sweeter as a repeat performance from 2010. Tens of thousands of people decked out in the team’s holiday-appropriate orange and black stood 30 deep behind barriers, climbed trees, camped out overnight and mounted rooftops for a chance to see their favorite players wave from convertibles and get serenaded by Tony Bennett singing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Giants Manager Brice Bochy, who hoisted the World Series trophy from the back of a gold Rolls Royce during most of the 1 1/2-mile procession, credited fans and his players’ “unselfish play” for helping to lift San Francisco to its second World Series victory in three years, an improbable double play for a franchise that had not won the title since 1954. “In 2010, we characterized the club as misfits that came together and got it done,” Bochy told the roaring hordes gathered for the rally in Civic Center Plaza. He said the tagline of the 2012 Giants was “never say die,” a reference to the team’s come-frombehind, post-season dominance. “I thank you for always being there, for never giving up,” he said. “Thank you for showing up wherever we’ve been and making this one of the greatest moments of my life.” As with the 2010 parade, this year’s two-hour edition drew a cross-section of the region’s diversity, from children who were allowed to skip school to older couples who had been Giants fans since the team arrived in San Francisco from New York in 1958. Series MVP Pablo Sandoval, who swatted three

home runs in his first three at bats in Game 1, and second baseman Marco Scutaro, who batted in the winning run of the game that clinched the title, addressed the throngs at the rally in Spanish. “This is the second, but there are going to be a lot more,” Sandoval said, expressing special thanks to the Bay Area’s Latino community. “You should enjoy this and feel this in your hearts.” Casandra Buenrostro, 25, who arrived at the plaza at 5 a.m. so she could get pictures of Sandoval, did. “He made me cry,” Buenrostro said. “He’s an inspiration.” Earlier in the day, clouds of black, orange and white confetti were shot from cannons positioned on roofs and along the canyon-like, skyscraper-lined street. It showered spectators and parade participants, who included leg-

endary Giants alumni Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal and politicians such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The unifying energy of the Giants’ latest victory was evident as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith drove the car carrying Giants pitcher Matt Cain and his family, while 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh did the honors for the Giants’ Brandon Belt. The convertibles gave fans clean views along the parade route that began at the foot of Market Street near San Francisco Bay and ended on the steps of City Hall, across from the overflowing plaza. Star reliever Sergio Romo, wearing a T-shirt that read, “I just look illegal,” whipped the roaring crowd into a frenzy when he got out of his convertible and mingled. — AP

SAN FRANCISCO: A cast member from Americas longest running musical ‘Bleach Blanket Babylon’ performs on stage in front of City Hall during the San Francisco Giants victory parade and celebration in San Francisco. — AFP

SHENZHEN: Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott both shot a 7-under 65 yesterday to share a oneshot lead after the opening round of the HSBC Champions. Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open winner, played a bogey-free round with seven birdies, while Scott finished his round with two birdies and an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole. Two-time HSBC Champions winner Phil Mickelson was in a tie for third one shot back, along with Bubba Watson, Peter Hanson and Shane Lowry. Both Oosthuizen and Scott took advantage of the pristine conditions and the five par-5 holes on the Jose Maria Olazabal-designed course at Mission Hills. Oosthuizen birdied all five, while Scott had four birdies to go along with his eagle. “It was a solid day that all of a sudden turned into a really good day,” Scott said. “With five par-5s, it kind of sets up well for my game and the plan is to just take advantage of the 5s and hopefully hang in there with the leaders all week.” The Australian, ranked sixth in the world, is still looking for his first tournament win of the year. He nearly captured his first major at the British Open in July before blowing a four-shot lead over Ernie Els with four holes to play. His best finish since that collapse was a tie for sixth place at the BMW Championship in September. Oosthuizen also said the key to his game was hitting solidly off the tee on the par-5s, something he’ll need to do all week if he’s going to stay atop the leaderboard. “If I can keep doing what I’m doing on the par5s, you know, hitting the fairways and leaving myself with the irons or a 5-wood or something, you’ve got a good chance,” Oosthuizen said. Hanson backed up his big win at the BMW Masters in Shanghai last weekend with a superb opening round in Shenzhen, making seven birdies against one bogey. The Swede is second on the European money list, within striking distance of leader Rory McIlroy. If the Swede wins the $1.2 million paycheck at Mission Hills this weekend, he will overtake McIlroy with only four events left on the calendar. “It’s nice to get off to a good start, of course, coming off last week. You try to save a bit of energy the last couple of days and try to be ready for today,” Hanson said. “I’ve been on the road now for three or four weeks. Just need to keep your head fresh and this is a very demanding golf course. You can make some easy mistakes around here,” he said. Mickelson was further off the pace before sinking a 25-foot putt for eagle on the same hole as Scott_the par-5 ninth_to finish off his round of 66. “It was a great way to finish with an eagle. I was hoping just to make birdie on the last hole,” Mickelson said. “I think the reason I was so calm today was I drove the ball extremely well and hit every fairway.” Lowry, meanwhile, stuttered down the stretch. After making birdies on the 15th and 16th holes to take a two-stroke lead over the field, the Irishman had bogeys on his final two holes - missing nearidentical 10-foot putts - to drop him back into a tie for third. “Felt like I had the ball on a string all day and felt like it came very easy to me today,” Lowry said. “Just to bogey those last two was disappointing.” Dustin Johnson shot a 67 to sit two strokes off the lead with Thailand’s Prom Meesawat. Defending champion Martin Kaymer was in a group of seven golfers tied for ninth at 4 under, along with England’s Luke Donald and American Jason Dufner. — AP

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Rockets thump Pistons 105-96 Clippers overcome Grizzlies PORTLAND: James Harden had 37 points and 12 assists in a stirring debut for Houston, and Carlos Delfino made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lift the Rockets to a 105-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. Detroit led 83-72 early in the fourth, but Harden and Delfino brought the Rockets back. Houston acquired Harden on Saturday night in a trade with Oklahoma City and agreed Wednesday on a five-year, $80 million contract extension with him. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year certainly looked worth it in the season opener. Harden fell just short of his career high of 40 points, and his 12 assists were a career best. Brandon Knight led Detroit with 15 points. TRAIL BLAZERS 116, LAKERS 106 Dwight Howard’s 33 points and 14 rebounds were not enough for the Lakers in a loss to the inspired Trail Blazers. Nicolas Batum had 26 points and the Blazers led by as many as 19 in handing the Lakers their second straight loss to open the season. Damian Lillard, the sixth overall pick in the June draft, had 22 points and 11 assists in his NBA debut for Portland. The Lakers’ troubles were compounded by the loss of guard Steve Nash to what appeared to be a left knee injury late in the first half. Nash, acquired by the Lakers this summer, collided with Lillard and limped to the locker room.

ATLANTA: Miami Marlins Giancarlo Stanton follows through with a two-run home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves . — AP

NBA results/standings Indiana 90, Toronto 88; Philadelphia 84, Denver 75; Houston 105, Detroit 96; Chicago 93, Sacramento 87; San Antonio 99, New Orleans 95; Utah 113, Dallas 94; Golden State 87, Phoenix 85; LA Clippers 101, Memphis 92; Portland 116, LA Lakers 106. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Philadelphia 1 0 1.000 Toronto 0 1 0 Boston 0 1 0 Brooklyn 0 0 0 NY Knicks 0 0 0 Central Division Cleveland 1 0 1.000 Indiana 1 0 1.000 Chicago 1 0 1.000 Detroit 0 1 0 Milwaukee 0 0 0 Southeast Division Miami 1 0 1.000 Washington 0 1 0 Atlanta 0 0 0 Charlotte 0 0 0 Orlando 0 0 0

GB 1 1 0.5 0.5 1 0.5 1 0.5 0.5 0.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Utah 1 0 1.000 Portland 1 0 1.000 Denver 0 1 0 Minnesota 0 0 0 Oklahoma City 0 0 0 Pacific Division 1 0 1.000 1 0 1.000 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 Southwest Division San Antonio 1 0 1.000 Houston 1 0 1.000 Dallas 1 1 .500 New Orleans 0 1 0 Memphis 0 1 0 Golden State LA Clippers Phoenix LA Lakers Sacramento

1 0.5 0.5 1 1.5 1 0.5 1 1

CLIPPERS 101, GRIZZLIES 92 Jamal Crawford scored 29 points in 30 minutes in his first official game with his new team, and the Los Angeles Clippers converted 21 turnovers into 29 points in a victory that extended the Grizzlies’ NBA-record streak of openingnight losses to 12. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, who had 12 assists, were among six Clippers to score in double figures. The Clippers are 20-23 in season openers, 12-17 since moving from San Diego to Los Angeles in 1984. The Grizzlies are 2-16 on opening night, 0-12 since the franchise shifted from Vancouver to Memphis in 2001. The Grizzlies got 25 points from Rudy Gay and 20 from Marc Gasol. Zach Randolph, who missed more than two 2 1-2 months last season after tearing the MCL in his right knee and undergoing surgery, had 15 points and 16 rebounds. PACERS 90, RAPTORS 88 George Hill scored the go-ahead basket with two seconds left, completing the Pacers’ rally for a season-opening win over the Raptors. David West scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and Paul George had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Pacers, who trailed 84-74 with just under six minutes left. Roy Hibbert added 14 points for Indiana. Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 21 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 10 rebounds in his NBA debut. Andrea Bargnani had 16 points, and Jose Calderon added 15 for the Raptors. SPURS 99, HORNETS 95 Tim Duncan scored 24 points, Tony Parker hit a huge 3-pointer, and the Spurs opened the season with a victory over the Hornets in the debut for top draft pick Anthony Davis. Davis scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds, a promising start for the player who spent only one year at Kentucky, leading the Wildcats to the national title. But the wily Spurs showed the rebuilding Hornets a thing or two. After Davis made two free throws with 1:08 remaining to

give New Orleans its final lead, 95-94, the Spurs closed strong. Parker connected from beyond the arc with 49.6 seconds left, finishing with 23 points. After Greivis Vasquez missed an open 3, Duncan padded the lead with two fouls shots. BULLS 93, KINGS 87 Joakim Noah scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Bulls got off to a good start without Derrick Rose, beating the Kings in the season opener. Richard Hamilton added 19 points, while Carlos Boozer chipped in with 18 points and eight rebounds. The Bulls are out to show they can get by while their superstar recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and this was promising even if it was a struggle. Chicago led by 14 after a 10-0 run in the third quarter and hung on in the fourth after the Kings closed within three several times. 76ERS 84, NUGGETS 75 Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the 76ers to a win over the Nuggets. Hawes had a crowd of nearly 20,000 fans chanting “Spen-cer Hawes!” in the fourth quarter after he turned back the Nuggets with a string of big baskets and blocked shots. Coming off the bench, Hawes had five blocked shots. Jrue Holiday had 14 and 11 assists, and Dorell Wright scored 14 points. The Sixers won the opener with center Andrew Bynum out with a bone bruise on his right knee. Ty Lawson led Denver with 16 points in his first game since signing an $18 million, four-year extension. Andre Iguodala scored 11 points in his first game since the Sixers traded him to Denver in the four-team deal that netted them Bynum. JAZZ 113, MAVERICKS 94 Mo Williams and Marvin Williams each scored 21 points to lead the Jazz to a victory over the Mavericks. Paul Millsap added 15 rebounds and 13 points. Al Jefferson also had a double-double with 14 rebounds and 12 points. The score was tied at 70 before Mo Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers then scored on a driving layup. Marvin Williams followed with his second 3-pointer, putting Utah up 11 points with 2:57 left in the third. The Jazz led by as many as 20. Darren Collison scored 17 points for the Mavs, who pulled off an upset win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday but couldn’t match Utah’s pace in the second half. The Jazz held a 44-30 advantage on points in the paint and 6140 edge in rebounds as Dallas continued to play without 11-time All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki and 7-0 center Chris Kaman. WARRIORS 87, SUNS 85 Carl Landry scored 14 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and the Golden State Warriors overcame an awful post-contract night by Stephen Curry to beat the Suns in the teams’ season opener. Curry, who earlier in the day agreed to a four-year, $44 million extension with the Warriors, missed his first 10 shots from the field and wound up 2 of 14 with five points. He missed two free throws with 4.4 seconds left to allow the Suns a chance at a game-winning shot, but Sebastian Telfair’s 3-point attempt came after the buzzer, and misfired anyway. Goran Dragic had 17 points and Luis Scola added 15 points and 11 rebounds in the Suns’ first game in the post-Steve Nash era.— AP

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Goals may flow as Utd, Van Persie host Arsenal LONDON: Manchester United and Arsenal, who have scored and conceded a total of 41 goals between them in eight matches since Oct. 20, promise a feast of football tomorrow as Robin van Persie faces his ex-club for the first time. Arsenal will be desperate to stop their former talismanic striker, who scored 37 goals for the Gunners in all competitions last term before joining United in August where he has continued to find the net ahead of the 1245 GMT Old Trafford clash. The Londoners, though, had no trouble without him on Tuesday when they sealed a remarkable 7-5 extra-time win at Reading in the League Cup after trailing 4-0 at one stage in an extraordinary match. Winger Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick and boss Arsene Wenger says he can play as a striker, a sticking point in contract negotiations, but a berth up front at United seems too soon. “I always said that he will be a striker, so we are on the same wavelength there,” Wenger told reporters having struggled to replace Van Persie. “Secondly, I believe he knows where to be in the box on the rebounds. I like that - that’s a quality of a striker that you cannot give to anybody. You feel it or you don’t.” The last time United scored as many as seven in a game was August last year when they beat Arsenal 8-2 at home but they have netted consistently this season, losing Wednesday’s League Cup last 16 clash 5-4 at Chelsea after extra time. Arsenal are sixth while United will start tomorrow’s Premier League encounter in second after their controversial 3-2 win against leaders Chelsea last Sunday in the first of two back-to-back games between the sides. United raced into a quickfire 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge last Sunday with an own goal from David Luiz after four minutes and Van Persie’s ninth goal of the season eight minutes later. Chelsea clawed the score back to 2-2 before Javier Hernandez’s offside winner for United in a match which encapsulated United’s season so far - strong in attack and fragile at the back. The League Cup game, albeit with many reserves playing, mirrored that. “From a spectator’s point of view it was a terrific game of football. You’re getting your money’s worth with nine goals, there’s no doubt about that,” United manager Alex Ferguson said. “We only have ourselves to blame, really.” Wenger will be wondering which Arsenal show up at Old Trafford - the one that played so poorly in the first half at Reading or the one that powered their way to an incredible victory even if it too was a much-changed side for the cup. Chelsea lost their unbeaten league record when they were beaten by United but remain top by a point even if life is rarely plain-sailing for the European champions, who visit Swansea City tomorrow (1500). After losing to United, Chelsea accused match referee Mark Clattenburg of using “inappropriate language” to Nigerian John Obi Mikel. The fallout has dominated English soccer all week with both the English FA and the Metropolitan Police now investigating the allegations. ERRATIC WEST HAM Chelsea travel to Wales without their skipper John Terry, who will serve the last game of four-match domestic ban for racially insulting Anton Ferdinand of Queens Park Rangers last year. What impact this week’s trauma will have on the team remains to be seen after their up-and-down League Cup win but Chelsea will be looking to do better than the 11 draw they achieved at the Liberty Stadium last season if they are to stay top. If Chelsea do slip up, champions Manchester City, as well as Manchester United, would be looking to capitalize with City visiting erratic West Ham United for tomorrow’s late match (1730 GMT) at Upton Park. City were not distracted by the League Cup in midweek as they were eliminated by Aston Villa last month but coach Roberto Mancini will be looking for a huge improvement on their jaded performance against Swansea last weekend which ended with a narrow 1-0 win thanks to a well-taken goal by Carlos Tevez. They will be without England defender Micah Richards, who is set to miss the next four months following surgery on a knee injury picked up against Swansea. Tottenham Hotspur will also be looking to consolidate their place in the top four after five wins from their last six league matches when they face Wigan Athletic at White Hart Lane tomorrow (1500). —Reuters

Di Matteo rails at referees despite League Cup victory LONDON: Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo has questioned his team’s treatment at the hands of match officials in the wake of the club’s controversial Premier League defeat by Manchester United at the weekend. Di Matteo’s side gained swift revenge by beating Alex Ferguson’s men 5-4 after extra time to reach the last eight of the League Cup on Wednesday-three days after the 3-2 loss that was marked by the dismissal of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres by referee Mark Clattenburg. Chelsea subsequently lodged a formal complaint to the Football Association about comments directed by Clattenburg towards John Mikel Obi. Di Matteo refused to discuss that matter, which is also being investigated by the police. But, drawing parallels with the defeat at Queens Park Rangers 12 months ago, which also ended with the dismissal of two Chelsea players, Di Matteo questioned whether his side were being treated fairly. “It’s incredible we got two players sent off in one game,” he said. “At QPR, one was correct and one was probably not correct. “And on Sunday (against United) one was harsh and probably correct and the second one was 100 percent not correct, so it’s incredible that always it’s Chelsea Football Club. So maybe that’s something to think about, you know?” Chelsea were awarded two penalties by referee Lee Mason in the second meeting with United on Wednesday, the second of which was converted by Eden Hazard in the final seconds to take the tie into extra time. But Di Matteo believes his side were denied a legitimate third penalty when Juan Mata’s cross hit United centre-back Michael Keane on the arm. And he added: “We just want to be treated fairly by everybody. Nobody is talking about the handball in the second half when we should have had a penalty.”

The Blues manager, though, does not believe Chelsea will suffer a reaction from match officials because of the decision to make a complaint against Clattenburg. “I think the referees should be going into the games with the most confidence they can have,” he said. “You know we’re under pressure here-the players, the officials, the coaching staff-to perform, and I don’t think there is any prejudice from that point of view.” Chelsea fought back three times as first Ryan Giggs, Javier Hernandez and then Nani put United ahead, with the hosts replying through David Luiz’s penalty, Gary Cahill’s header and then Hazard’s late spot-kick. Daniel Sturridge and Ramires put the hosts in control in extra time and Giggs’ 120th-minute penalty came too late to affect the outcome. Ferguson was left frustrated at Nani’s failure to keep the ball in the final seconds of extra time. Ferguson said: “We gave the ball away for the third goal. We were in control of the match at that point. We were playing good football and all we needed to do was to keep possession. “But Nani decided to try and beat a player, lost the ball, and that allowed Chelsea to get at us. I don’t know if it was a penalty kick or not but nonetheless... “(Nani) is experienced but he is an individual; he’s a player who wants to beat men and we are not going to discourage him from that, but in that situation, if he had kept the ball near the corner flag, then the game’s over.” Ferguson fielded young centre-backs Scott Wootton and Michael Keane and admitted that their inexperience told. “We had to gamble in terms of the young centre-backs,” he said. “It’s not easy. You can use young forwards but playing young central defenders away from home in a game of this magnitude is not easy and that’s how it proved.”— AFP

LONDON: Chelsea’s Ramires (left) celebrates his goal with Victor Moses, during the English League Cup soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012. — AP

Chelsea drawn against the giant-slayers Leeds LONDON: Chelsea were drawn to face Leeds United in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday, shortly after beating Manchester United 5-4 at Stamford Bridge to reach the last eight. Leeds, English football’s fallen giants, have beaten Premier League opposition in the two previous rounds, sinking Everton in round three before Tuesday’s 3-0 win at home to Southampton. Bradford City, of third-tier League Two, were rewarded for beating top-flight Wigan Athletic on penalties with a home tie against Premier League powerhouses Arsenal.

After winning 3-1 at Liverpool, Swansea City will face secondtier Middlesbrough, while the only all-Premier League tie of the round sees Norwich City host Aston Villa. The matches are due to take place in the week beginning December 10, although Chelsea’s trip to Leeds will take place on December 19 due to the European champions’ involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup. Quarter-final draw for the English League Cup: Leeds United v Chelsea; Swansea City v Middlesbrough; Norwich City v Aston Villa and Bradford City v Arsenal.

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

PSG’s Ibrahimovic fresh ahead of Etienne game PARIS: St Etienne might have thought playing in the League Cup a day earlier would be an advantage before travelling to Paris St Germain but, bad news for Les Verts, Zlatan Ibrahimovic enjoyed a full week’s rest ahead of tomorrow’s league clash. The prolific Sweden striker was rested for Wednesday’s 2-0 French League Cup last 16 win against arch rivals Olympique Marseille and he is expected to be fresh against St Etienne as PSG aim to open a six-point gap at the top of the standings. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have 22 points from 10 matches and lead second-placed Toulouse, who travel to Girondins Bordeaux on Sunday, by three points. The other bad news for St Etienne is that Javier Pastore, who had been in terrible form in recent weeks, showed great signs of improvement against OM with several classy touches. Should the Argentine playmaker be near his best, Ibrahimovic can be expected to profit from his supply line and add to his tally of 10 goals. The PSG defense is also looking more impressive by the day with Thiago Silva being almost unbeatable in the box. They may give another run-out to striker Peguy Luyindula, who played a few minutes against Marseille after being left out of the squad for over six months because of a contract disagreement. St Etienne are expected to be without defender Jean-Pascal Mignot, who picked up a groin injury in his team’s 3-0 league cup win at Sochaux on Tuesday. Marseille, who have now lost their last three games in all competitions, travel to promoted AC Ajaccio on Sunday. They will once again sorely miss the injured Andre-Pierre Gignac, who is not expected back before the end of next month. Olympique Lyon, who like Marseille have a game in hand after their game last weekend was called off because of strong winds, will be looking to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat at Nice in the League Cup on Wednesday when they host Bastia on Sunday. Champions Montpellier, on the other hand, will be looking to confirm they are back on track after two wins in a row before their trip to second from bottom Troyes tomorrow.—Reuters

Unfit Tomic looks like ‘lost soul’: First coach SYDNEY: Bernard Tomic looks like a “lost soul” out on the tennis court and is simply not fit enough to compete at the top level of tennis at the moment, according to his first coach. After a breakthrough year in 2011 and rising to number 27 in the world earlier this year, Australian Tomic has suffered a slump in form and a long run of first round losses. Neil Guiney, who nurtured Tomic’s talent from the age of seven, said he could barely watch his former protege play any more. “There is no inventiveness, there is no change of game,” Guiney told the Australian newspaper. “There is just this constant plod, plod, plod. I think that is in his mind. He is not fit enough to do what he is trying to do and once his bubble is burst or he loses a set, it just gets worse. You don’t see him dig in. “It is every match now. I can hardly bear to watch him. He is not out there fighting. He is going through the motions and going nowhere.” That lack of staying power has earned the German-born 20year-old the nickname “Tomic the Tank Engine” and problems with police off the court have only compounded his miserable year. With Australian tennis still looking to Tomic as their great hope for the future, there have been several calls for him to dump his father John as coach. Guiney said he thought the relationship now looked “dysfunctional”. “One of his problems is Bernard knows a lot more about it than his father now,” he added. “His father is there calling the tune and screaming and yelling and Bernard just shuts his ears. “So you have got a terrible situation there. He is out of his depth and I think John is out of his depth.” Tomic, who turned 20 only last week, reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last year and put in an impressive performance against Roger Federer in the last 16 of the Australian Open at the start of 2012. After his recent run of form, though, Guiney said it was time for Tomic to make some tough decisions about his future. “He is just floundering at the moment,” the 80-year-old said. “He goes out there and he is really not competing. Once the pressure really comes on, he just folds. No one knows exactly what is going on in Bernard’s mind, but he looks to me like a lost soul out there. “There is a hell of a lot at stake at the moment and he is really at that point in the road where he has got to take stock.”— Reuters

ALCOY: Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema from France (centre) is congratulated by teammate Kaka from Brazil (second right) after scoring a goal against Alcoyano during their Copa del Rey soccer match at the Collao stadium in Alcoy, Spain. — AP

Benzema and Kaka steer Real to King’s Cup victory Madrid rout third-tier Alcoyano 4-1 MADRID: Karim Benzema and Kaka guided a weakened Real Madrid to a 4-1 win at third-tier Alcoyano in a King’s Cup last32 first leg on Wednesday. The small town of Alcoy just north of Alicante, whose entire population of around 60,000 would fit inside Real’s Bernabeu stadium, were out in force to watch their side take on the nine-time European champions. The hosts survived until the 20th-minute when Benzema headed the opener and the France striker set up Brazil midfielder and captain for the day Kaka to score the second with a low shot across the goal. Real youth team player Jose Rodriguez curled in the third in the 66th minute, and after Alcoyano’s Javi Lara had beaten Antonio Adan at his near post with a free kick, Kaka set up Benzema for the fourth

near the end. Atletico Madrid, Malaga and Real Zaragoza all won while Rayo Vallecano and Celta Vigo fell to lower league opposition. The second legs are scheduled for Nov 28. Europa League winners Atletico extended their unbeaten run to 23 games in all competitions with a 3-0 victory at Segunda B side Jaen. The hosts had defender Dani Torres sent off for handball in the area after 27 minutes after which Diego Costa netted from the spot. Substitute Adrian Lopez bagged the second with a fine run and shot, and Raul Garcia nodded in a third at the end. Malaga had a tougher time beating third-tier Cacereno 4-3 needing a double from Roque Santa Cruz to see them through after the hosts came back from two goals down to level at 2-2 just before halftime. Cacereno had their goal-

keeper sent off just after the re-start but a late strike from Esteve kept their hopes alive for the return leg. Second division Almeria upset promoted Celta Vigo 2-0 at home, the visitors having to play the last half hour with 10 men following a red card for Jonathan Vila. Another second division side La Palmas also sprung a surprise with a 1-0 win at home to Rayo, who had goalkeeper Dani Gimenez sent off after only five minutes for handling the ball outside the area. In the only all-La Liga tie of the night Zaragoza made the most of home advantage to beat Granada 1-0 with a late goal from Carlos Aranda. The defeat piled the pressure on beleaguered new Granada coach Juan Antonio Anquela who has only managed two wins in 10 games so far this season— Reuters

Bayern boosted by ‘PR show’ BERLIN: With Claudio Pizarro and Arjen Robben back in goal-scoring form, Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich roll into Hamburg brimming with confidence ahead of tomorrow’s derby. The pair, dubbed the ‘PR show’ after notching all the goals in Wednesday’s 4-0 German Cup victory over Kaiserslautern, made sure Bayern rebounded in style after suffering their first league defeat last week. Peruvian Pizarro, who at 34 returned for a second spell at Bayern to play a back-up striking role, has not featured much with top scorer Mario Mandzukic grabbing the starting spot in place of the injured Mario Gomez. On Wednesday,

however, when coach Jupp Heynckes fielded a second string team, Pizarro grabbed his chance with both hands, scoring twice and setting up the other two for Robben, who had returned from a month-long injury break only days earlier. The Dutch winger’s first start since a back injury that had ruled him out for more than four weeks showed he is racing back to his best just when Bayern need him most. Bayern’s 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen last weekend snapped their record eightwin start to the season but their Cup performance showed they have learned from their implosion at the same stage

last year when they squandered a big lead to end a second straight season with no silverware. “Despite the many changes in the team, they worked like a unit, with a lot of enthusiasm and discipline,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. “They earned it themselves.” Heynckes will need all the players he can muster against Hamburg, with the northern club in sparkling form after a bad start to the season. With three wins in their last four league games, Hamburg are giving their fans something to smile about, lifting themselves out of the basement and into seventh place. — Reuters


Rockets thump Pistons 105-96

Page 45

ALCOY: Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema from France (left) is congratulated by teammate Ricardo Carvalho from Portugal after scoring a goal against Alcoyano during their Copa del Rey soccer match at the Collao stadium in Alcoy. — AP

Benzema, Kaka steer Real to Cup victory Page 47

2nd Nov  

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