Page 1



Egypt’s top court on strike over Islamist ‘pressure’

MOHARRAM 19, 1434 AH

Giant US sequoia tops a neighbor after review

Bollywood shines at Marrakech film fest

Beckham ends American adventure with second title


NO: 15646

150 FILS

7Opposition 13 39 18 up in arms to down new Assembly Former liberal MPs challenge one-vote decree By B Izaak and Agencies

from the editor’s desk

Tactical error By Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan


t was quiet refreshing to see so many new faces of independent individuals who are not part of a large tribe, political coalition or a multimillion corporation. Many of the well-known political faces decided to boycott this elections for different reasons. The tribals and the religious MPs after all the demonstrations and chaos they caused decided to boycott in retaliation to the one-man-one-vote decree. On the other side, some liberal MPs decided to boycott the elections to show their disappointment at the way the decision was taken. They believe that the emergency law to change the voting system was unnecessary at this point and such a change should have taken place via the channels of parliament. The elections went smooth with a 40 percent participation in comparison to the usual 60 percent and this is a victory for the government. Some people were skeptical about the numbers of voters and what the reports stated and I heard a lot of people saying why are people with around 5,000 votes leading the elections when last year candidates needed at least 6,000 to possibly get 10th place. Well, the answer is simple - one vote means candidates will only get a quarter of the votes they got last time around. Just think about it - when a candidate has 5,000 supporters and he is in a coalition with another 3 candidates who have 5,000 each, then they will get a total of 20,000 votes each in the old 4-vote system. But under the new one-vote system, they will only get 5,000 each, which is the original number of their supporters. I wonder if the tribals feared that their numbers will look low and whoever had 30,000 earlier will only get seven or eight thousand and that will show the true level of support they each have and it will allow other independent candidates to compete for some of the 10 seats available in the constituency. In my opinion, many of the opposition MPs survived by sharing votes with popular members of their group. As for the liberals, I feel that some of them feared the same and could not secure their passage to parliament with the one-vote system that has rendered these coalitions useless. In all honesty I truly believe that boycotting the elections as a means of opposing this decision was a huge tactical mistake by the opposition MPs who have now left the ball in the government’s court. The government and these new MPs have a glorious chance to place Kuwait back on track and get the wheel of development rolling again. If this parliament produces positive tangible results for Kuwait, then these MPs might prove to be popular powerhouses in the next elections and the popularity of the previous MPs will be at stake. The opposition should have participated in these elections to prove that they can overcome this challenge and possibly change back the voting system via democratic channels rather than playing street wars. If they had succeeded in the one-vote system, then I can easily say they would have proven their point.

Dubai again dreams big DUBAI: Dubai is back in the business of unveiling mega projects, three years after a severe financial crisis crippled its booming property sector, but doubts still linger over finance and feasibility. Just as the economy in the glitzy city-state begins to look promising, despite a large debt burden dating back to the years when growth appeared endless, Dubai has once again set its sights on building superlatives. “We do not anticipate the future. We build it,” Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, architect of its meteoric rise into a regional tourism and services hub, boasted last week as he unveiled plans to build a “city” carrying his name. Among the attractions of the new mega plan is a mall touted to be the largest in the world, not far from what is already the world’s largest shopping and Continued on Page 15

Max 20º Min 09º High Tide 01:16 & 15:44 Low Tide 08:31 & 20:08

RAMALLAH: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he arrives to address the crowds as Palestinians celebrate his successful bid to win UN statehood recognition in this West Bank city. — AFP

Abbas returns to hero’s welcome after win at UN RAMALLAH: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas returned to the West Bank yesterday after winning upgraded UN status for the Palestinians, telling cheering crowds: “Yes, now we have a state.” “Palestine has accomplished a historic achievement at the UN,” Abbas added, three days after the United Nations General Assembly granted the Palestinians non-member state observer status in a 138-9 vote. “The world said in a loud voice... yes to the state of Palestine, yes to Palestine’s freedom, yes to Palestine’s independence, no to aggression, no to settlements, no to occupation,” Abbas told the ecstatic crowd. Abbas pledged that after the victory at the United Nations, his “first and most important” task would be working to achieve Palestinian unity and reviving efforts to reconcile rival factions Fatah and Hamas. “We will study over the course of the coming days the steps necessary to achieve reconciliation,” he said, as the crowd chanted: “The people want the end of the division.” In Gaza, Hamas official Salah Bardawil said the group was calling “for urgent meetings to achieve reconciliation”. “We are interested in achieving

Palestinian reconciliation and Hamas has presented several positive initiatives to protect the unity of the Palestinians,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP. The return was a moment of triumph for Abbas, who last year tried and failed to win the Palestinians full state membership at the United Nations. The bid stalled in the Security Council, where the veto-wielding United States has vehemently opposed it. The United States, Israel and a handful of other countries also opposed the Palestinian bid to upgrade their status to that of a non-member observer state, but with no vetoes available in the General Assembly, the measure easily passed. The move gives the Palestinians access to a range of international institutions, including potentially the International Criminal Court, and raises their international profile after years of stalled peace talks with Israel. Abbas was received with a full honour guard, descending from his car to walk along a red carpet at the Ramallah presidential headquarters known as the Continued on Page 15

KUWAIT: The opposition reiterated yesterday that it will continue with street protests until the newly-elected National Assembly is scrapped and the controversial one-vote decree is withdrawn. A day after Saturday’s controversial polls, organizers of the three big demonstrations before the elections said on their Twitter account yesterday they plan to stage a new protest but without setting a date or time for it to press for scrapping the Assembly. “We announce the launch of a new phase of protests and processions against the forces of corruption ... and aggression against the sovereignty of the nation and its dignity,” said a statement on the Twitter. “It is an irreversible peaceful battle until the nation restores its sovereignty and dignity,” the organizers said. The opposition held an emergency meeting after the ballots closed on Saturday and declared that the election was unconstitutional and that the new Assembly is illegitimate. Former MPs and opposition figures have vowed to continue using all peaceful and constitutional tools to bring down the Assembly. The opposition also said that based on their monitoring, the voter turnout was a meagre 26.7 percent whereas the Information Ministry website reported a 38.8 percent turnout. The ministry later yesterday said that turnout was 40.3 percent based on a report by an international observer team that monitored the Kuwaiti election. Participation in the past three elections was about 60 percent. The ministry praised the Kuwaiti people for voting despite repeated calls for boycott. In Saturday’s election, 17 candidates from the Shiite minority won seats for the first time ever. Shiites more than doubled their strength compared to seven seats in the 2012 scrapped Assembly and nine seats in 2009. Three women were also elected for the second time while Sunni Islamists, who held 23 seats in 2012 Assembly, were reduced to just four. Continued on Page 15

UAE’s security ‘sacred’, warns Sheikh Khalifa ABU DHABI: Emirati President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan warned yesterday against undermining UAE’s security as he promised to widen the decision-making process in the nation where some 60 Islamists have been detained this year. “This country’s security is sacred and any attempt to undermine its foundations is a red line,” warned Sheikh Khalifa in statements marking the 41st anniversary of the union of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. “We are gradually moving towards expanding popular participation in decision-making, to reach Continued on Page 15

Bodies found in collapsed Japan tunnel OTSUKI, Japan: Japanese rescuers found five charred bodies and a trucker was pronounced dead after being pulled from his vehicle following the collapse of a highway tunnel yesterday, which crushed cars and triggered a blaze. At least three vehicles - including a car, a truck and a wagon - were buried when concrete panels came crashing down inside the nearly five-kilometre-long tunnel, police said, according to Jiji Press news agency. Witnesses spoke of terrifying scenes as at least one vehicle burst into flames, sending out clouds of blind-

ing, acrid smoke. For several hours rescuers were forced to suspend their efforts to reach those believed trapped under the more-than one tonne concrete ceiling panels that crashed from the roof as engineers warned more debris could fall. Emergency crews who rushed to the Sasago tunnel on the Chuo Expressway, 80 km west of the capital, were hampered by thick smoke billowing from the entrance. Dozens of people abandoned their vehicles on the Tokyo-bound Continued on Page 15

RUMONGE, Burundi: This photo taken on Nov 13, 2012 shows descendants of Omani immigrants in Burundi. —AFP

Omanis stateless in Burundi RUMONGE, Burundi: It was around a centur y ago when Sultan Salum’s ancestors left Oman for the east African spice island of Zanzibar, before setting off westwards into the interior for Burundi. But while the exact date of his forebears’ arrival in the small central African nation will never be known, he still does not have proper documents to make him Burundian, and now he wants to go to his ancestral home in Arabia. “What is said in the family, is that our ancestors came from Oman via Zanzibar to Kigoma,” Salum said, referring to a town on the eastern Tanzanian shores of Lake Tanganyika. “Finally they

landed in Burundi.” Generations have passed, and Sultan Salum, 50, now runs a cafe in the town of Rumonge, some 60 km south of the capital Bujumbura. But, like some other 1,200 people of Omani origin living in Burundi, he lives in limbo. Bujumbura says they are foreigners, while Oman is hesitant to issue passports for the forgotten children of those once part of a powerful Omani trading empire that criss-crossed the Indian Ocean in the 19th century. “We have neither papers from Oman or Burundi,” said Salum. “I want a passport from my home in Continued on Page 15

OTSUKI, Japan: Rescue workers and police gather outside the Sasago tunnel along the Chuo highway in Yamanashi prefecture after part of the tunnel collapsed. — AFP




Third constituency winners

KUWAIT: Thekra Al-Rashid was thrilled with her win in the tribal stronghold in the 4th constituency. She is seen celebrating with supporters.

First constituency winners KUWAIT: Justice Saad Al-Safran announced the 10 winners of the 2012 elections. He announced the winners as: Kamel Al-Awadhi with 5757 votes, Adnan Abdulsamad with 4949 votes, Faisal Al-Duwaisan with 4741 votes, Yusuf Zaizala with 3500 votes, Maasouma Al-Mubarak with 3227 votes, Abdulhameed Dashti with 2723 votes, Saleh Ashour with 2202 votes, NawwafAlFuzai’ with 2133 votes, Khaled Al-Shatti with 1885 votes and Hussein Al-Qallaf with 1696 votes. Kamel Al-Awadhi: Born in 1957, Al-Awadhi graduated with a diploma from Kuwait’s Saad AI-Abdallah Police and Security Sciences Academy in 1978. He held numerous high-profile positions in the Interior Ministry, including Director of the Interior Ministry Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs’s Office in 1986, Director of the Interior Ministry Undersecretary for Assisting Security Affairs’ Office in 1988, Director of the Traffic Test Authority in The Capital Governorate in 1990 and Director of the Hawally Immigration Department in 1991. He retired from the Interior Ministry as a Police Lieutenant General. Faisal Al-Duwaisan: Born in 1964, holds a high school degree. He worked at Kuwait Radio, and headed channel three in Kuwait Television. He was named deputy director general of private Al-Watan TV and was also appointed as media

advisor in the National United Media Company. He was elected MP in 2009 and 2012. Yousef Zalzalah: Born in 1959 and holds a PhD in statistics from the University of Colorado. He held the position of assistant dean for academic affairs and research at Kuwait University. He is a member of the Kuwait Human Rights Society and Kuwait Journalists’ Association. He was elected MP in 2003, .and 2009, and was appointed Minister of Commerce and Industry in 2005 2006 Maasouma Al-Mubarak: She holds a PhD in the philosophy of international relations from Denver University, Colorado. She also holds a master’s degree in international relations, and another in political sciences. She holds a diploma in planning and a bachelor’s degree in political sciences. She is a lecturer at Kuwait University and a visiting professor at Denver University (1986-1988), and the University of Bahrain (1990-1991). She became Kuwait’s first female minister when she was appointed Minister of Planning and State Minister for Administrative Development Affairs in 2005. She was appointed Minister of Communications in 2006 and Minister of Health in 2007. She was one of four women elected as MPs for the very first time, in the 2009 parliamentary elections Abdulhameed Dashti: Voted into the most recently dissolved parliament. Dashti was born

Second constituency winners KUWAIT: Justice Bader Al-Houti announced results of parliamentary elections 2012. He said the winners are: All Al-Rashed with 3041 votes, Adnan Al-Mutawwa’ with 2607 votes, Abdulrahman Al-Jeeran with 2335 votes, Bader Al-Bathali with 1919 votes, Adet At-Kharafi with 1834 votes, Ahmad Lari with 1791 votes, Khalaf Dmaitheer Al-Enezi with 1553 votes, Khalil Al-Saleh with 1475 votes, Hamad Saif AlHarhshani with 1043 votes, Salah AlAteeqi with 910 votes. Ali Al-Rashed was born in 1976 and holds a degree and a higher diploma in law. He held a number of public positions, and was member of the bureau investigating the crime of the ousted Iraqi regime in 2000: Al-Rashid became a member of the National Assembly in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2009. He was appointed State Minister for Cabinet Affairs. Adnan Al-Mutawa was born in 1954 and holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Leeds. He words at Kuwait Stock Exchange and was an engineering consultant for the Public Industry Authority in 2006-2007. He was elected MP in 2009. Abdulrahman Al-Jeeran was born in 1962. He has a PhD on Islamic theology from Glasgow University, a master’s in Islamic culture from Cairo’s supreme Islamic institution of Al-Azhar University and a bachelor’s in Sharia studies from Kuwait University. He is employed in the Ministry of Education’s curriculums department and the strategic Islamic studies department in Kuwait’s Basic Education College. Bader Al-Bathali was born in 1960. He has a bachelor’s degree in police sciences and is employed in the Ministry of Interior. Adel Al-Kharafi was born in 1959. He

has a Civil Engineering bachelor’s degree. Al-Kharafi was voted a municipal representative in 2005 and has since been holding a number of positions including President of the Paris-based World Federation of Engineering Organisations and President of the Arab Engineers Union. He is also a member of the Kuwait Journalist Association and a former member of the Kuwait Engineers Society. Ahmad Lan was voted into parliament on three occasions in 2006, 2008 and the most recently dissolved parliament earlier in 2012. He was born in 1955 and has a bachelor’s degree in statistics from Kuwait University. Before becoming an MP, he was a municipal representative for three consecutive years from 1993. Khalaf Dmaitheer Al-Enezi was born in 1952 and holds a teaching diploma. He was a member of the National Council in 1990 and was elected a member of the National Assembly in 1981, 1985, 1992, and 2009 2008, 2006, 2003 1999, and 1996. Khalil Al-Saleh was born in 1958. He is a licensed commercial aeronautical pilot. He worked as an aviation instructor before being appointed director of HH the Amir’s flight crew. Al-Saleh is a member of the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations, Kuwait Aircraft Engineers and Pilots Associations and the Kuwait Airways’ trade union. Hamad Saif Al-Harshani was born in 1965. He has a high-school certificate and is a businessman Salah Al-Ateeqi holds a master’s degree in general health from Harvard University after bachelor’s degrees in medicine and surgery and another in law from Egypt’s Alexandria University. He is currently employed as regional head of Al-Sabah area in the Ministry of Health, is a member of the Muslim Health Organisation and held the title of President of the Kuwait Medical Association. —KUNA

in 1954, he holds a PhD in Law and is a lawyer in both of Kuwait’s Court of Cassation and the Supreme Constitutional Court. He is also a member of the Kuwait Bar Association, the Arab Lawyers’ Union and the Arab Association for Human Rights. Internationally, he held the position of President of the Geneva-based former International Council Supporting Fair Trial and Human Rights Saleh Ashour: Born in 1953, he holds a diploma in communications, a bachelor’s degree in economy, and a diploma in military sciences. He was formerly a colonel in the air force and an engineer in the Ministry of Communications. He was a National Assembly member in 1999, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012 NawafAl-Fuzai: Born in 1974, Al-Fuzai holds a bachelor of Laws. He is currently a lawyer, a newspaper columnist and is a member of both the Kuwait Lawyers Association and the Kuwait .(Journalists Association (KJA) Khaled Hussein Al-Shatti: Born in 1970, AlShatti holds a bachelor of Law, worked in ministries of Finance and Communications. He is a member in Kuwait Bar Association, KJA and the Arab Bar Union Hussein Al-Qallaf: Born in 1958, he holds a degree in law and Islamic Sharia. He was elected National Assembly member in 1996, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009 and 2012. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Justice Saleh Al-Hammadi announced the results of the 2012 parliamentary elections. He said the winners are: Ali Al-Omair with 5850 votes, Khalil Abdullah Ali Abdullah with 3887 votes, Ahmad Al-Mulaifi with 2984 votes, Safa’ AlHashem with 2622 votes, Hesham Al-Baghli with 2016 votes, Abdullah Al-Maayouf with 1945 votes, Nabeel Al-Fadhl with 2159 votes, Yaaqoub Al-Sane’ with 1371 votes, Mohammad Al-Jabri with 1250 votes. Ali Al-Omair was born in 1958 and holds a PhD in analytical chemistry and taught in the UAE University in 1990 and 1991, at Kuwait University between 1992 and 1994, and at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training between 1994 and 1997. He was elected MP in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012. Khalil Abdullah was born in 1965 and holds a PhD in computer science. He was a professor in Kuwait University and is member in Kuwait Engineers Society. Ahmad Al-Mulaifi was born in 1956 and holds a Masters in law from the US. He was a former MP in the parliaments in 1996, 2003, 2006 and 2008. He worked a legal supervisor at the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and head of the legal office in the parliament. He was head of the legal departments in the Kuwait Stock Exchange and Kuwait Finance House. He was a Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education in 2011.

Safa’ Al-Hashem was born in 1964 and holds a Masters in business administraiton. She worked in the Ministry of Higher Education in 1994 then was board chairperson of Advantage Company. Saadoun Hammad Al-Otaibi was born in 1959 and holds a bachelor degree. He was former MP in parliaments of 2006, 2008 and 2009. He was also a former member in the National Council in 1990. Hesham Al-Baghli was born in 1969 and holds a Masters in engineering sciences. He was a Municipal Council member in 2008 and was chairman of the environment committee. Abdullah Al-Maayouf was born in 1953 and holds a Master in military science. He is a retired army brigadier and is a member in Kuwait Journalist Association (KJA), Kuwait Red Crescent Society and Kazma Sports Club. Nabeel Al-Fadhel was born in 1949 and was a pilot in Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC). He was an MP in the 2012 parliament. Yaaqoub Al-Sane’ was born in 1976 and holds a PhD in constitutional law. He works as a lawyer, member in the Arab Bar Union, chairman of human rights committee in Kuwait Bar Association and member of the public fund protection society. Mohammad Nasser Al-Jabri was born in 1974 and holds a bachelor degree in information systems, and works in Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC). He was former board chairman of Khaitan Cooperative Society.—KUNA

KUWAIT: Shiite candidate Khaleel Al Saleh celebrates with supporters following his victory in the parliamentary elections.

Winners of Fifth constituency KUWAIT: Justice Anwar Al-Enezi announced results of Fifth constituency of 2012 parliamentary elections. Justice Al-Enezi said winners are: Faisal Al-Kandari with 3570 votes, Abdullah Al-Tamimi with 2899 votes, Nasser Al-Marri with 1672 votes, Hani Hussein Shams with 1646 votes, Essam Al-Dabboos with 1303, Khaled Adwa Al-Ajmi with 860 votes, Taher Al-Faflakawi with 833 votes, Hammad Al-Dosari with 823 votes, Saad Al-Boos with 809 votes and Nasser Abdullah AlShammari with 520 votes. Faisal Al-Kandari was born in 1970 and holds a master degree in business administration. He worked as assistant CEO of Al-Bilad Real Estate Investment company. Abdullah Al-Tamimi was born in 1965 and holds a high-school degree. He works in Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) member of KOC’s labor union. Nasser Al-Marri was born in 1961 and holds a bachelor degree in finance, and worked in the private sector. Hani Hussein Shams was born in 1970 and holds a bachelor degree in accounting. Essam Salman Al-Dabboos was born in 1962 and holds a bachelor degree in Arts. He was former MP in parliaments of 2003, 2006 and 2008. Khaled Adwa Al-Ajmi was born in 1959 and holds a bachelor degree in Islamic Sharia. He was an MP in the parliaments of 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2006 and 2009. He was a teacher in Kuwait Ministry of Education. Taher All Al-Failakawi was born in 1958 and holds a Masters in strategic studies. Worked in ministry of defense and retired with a rank of air chief marshal. Hammad Al-Dosari was born in 1966 and holds a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering. He works in ministry of electricity and water. Saad Fahad Al-Boos was born in 1964 and worked in Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). Nasser Abdullah Al-Shammari was born in 1965 and holds a diploma in communications. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Candidate Safaa Al-Hashem celebrates with her supporters after she won in the parliamentary elections in Kuwait City early yesterday.

KUWAIT: Yaqoub Al-Sanea celebrates with supporters following his victory in the parliamentary elections in Kuwait City early yesterday. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Fourth constituency winners

KUWAIT: Former MP and candidate Ali Al-Rashed celebrates with supporters following his victory in the parliamentary elections in Kuwait City yesterday.

KUWAIT: Justice Abdulkareem Ramadhan announced winners of the 2012 elections. He said the winners are: Askar Al-Enezi with 2517 votes, Saad Khanfour Al-Rashidi with 2474 votes, Saud Nashmi Al-Huraiji with 2125 votes, Mubarak AlKhurainej with 1768 votes, Khaled Al-Shulaimi with 1251 votes, Mohammad Al-Barrak with 1214 votes, Husseini with 1126 votes, Mubarak Al-Orf with 1120 votes, Mubarak Saleh Al-Nejada 1090 votes. Askar Al-Enezi was born in 1971 and holds a diploma in management. He is an employee of the Communication Ministry. He also won a chair in the Municipal Council in 2005. He was elected MP in and 2009, 2008. Saad Ali Khalid Khanfour Al-Rashidi was born in

1965 and holds a high school degree. He was an employee of the Interior Ministry, and was elected MP in 2008 and 2009. Saud Al-Huraiji was born in 1962 and holds a bachelor degree. He is a member in the crafts people union. Mubarak Al-Khurainej was born in 1948 and holds a high school degree. He worked at the Foreign Ministry as a political attache. He was elected MP in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2006 and 2009. He was a member of the National Council in 1990. Thikra Ayed Al-Rashidi holds a master degree in law and is a lawyer. She is a member in many civil service societies. Khaled Al-Shulaimi was born in 1961 and holds a bachelor degree in education. Mohammad Al-Barrak Al-Rashidi was born in

1970 and holds a bachelor degree in social services. He worked in the general traffic department and is currently a businessman. Meshari Al-Husseini was born in 1966 and holds a PhD in educational leadership and policies and is a teacher at Kuwait University. Mubarak Bneyya Al-Oil was born in 1953 and holds a law degree. He is a retired major-general and was board chairman of Al-Jahra Cooperative Society between 1982-85. Mubarak Saleh Al-Nejada was born in 1969 and holds a high-school degree. He worked in Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) and in Al-Koot satellite channel. He is a member in the cultural and social society. —KUNA



Observers praise Kuwait for fair, transparent elections Important phase in Kuwait history By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: A team of international observers, which was invited by the Kuwait Transparency Society (KTS) to Kuwait to observe the Dec 1 elections, finished its report and made certain recommendations which were made public yesterday by the Ministry of Information. The inspectors represented various organizations including the Arab Network for the Monitoring of Elections, Arab Organization for Transparency and Integrity, National Democratic Institute and Lebanese Association for Democratic Election among others. The Undersecretary of Ministry of Information, Sheikh Salman Al-Homoud AlSabah, expressed his satisfaction at the conduct of elections that reflected the functioning democracy in Kuwait. “We are glad that this election did not witness any problems. The elections went smooth without any complications and it is considered an important phase in Kuwait’s history. We feel sorry for the two Japanese journalists who had come to cover the elections and unfortunately met with an accident. They are now in a hospital receiving medical treatment,” he noted. Dr. Salah Al-Ghazali said that this election was positive compared to the previous poll. “Before this election, we received only five complaints of vote buying while during the previous election, we had received 47 complaints of the same nature. This means a 90 percent drop in such crime. The elections went off smoothly despite the fact that the government granted the opposition a license for their protest held just a day before the elections. Thus, the opposition was given an advantage though it was against the norms of pre-election silence. Still, the voting process was satisfactory,” he pointed out.

The total voting percentage in all the five constituencies was 40.3 while it was 59.5 during the previous election. The Arab and international team members observed and monitored the elections from November 29 till yesterday. The team met with representatives of the Ministry of Information, the higher national committee for elections, some candidates, and some of those boycotting the elections. The Arab international delegation comprised 22 experts from NGOs hailing from 15 Arab countries, besides Holland and the United States. They went on field visits to all the five electoral constituencies and visited more than 150 committees. They issued their statement after the electoral process was concluded. The formation of the national higher committee for elections, which is completely independent, was a key positive point that figured in the team’s observations. Formation of this committee was in line with an earlier recommendation of the Arab and International team, and is a positive step to strengthen the transparency and ensure independence of elections. The report also appreciated the application of international standards of integrity in elections and the decision to follow international principles for local observers. It also appreciated inclusion of the clause about maintaining electoral silence, just before actual balloting, to the law no. 21/2012. This proviso decreases the pressure and tension among the candidates. The elections went off smoothly without the policemen appearing inside the voting rooms. The ballot centers were well equipped with facilities for the media, health, and security services, besides provision of facilities for the disabled. In general, the elections went well as all institutions cooperated and provided all facilities to

the voters. The team noticed kind and respectful treatment being meted out to the voters. The team appreciated the organizational arrangements and noticed that the electorate lists were well-prepared with voters’ names organized. The voters received due instructions and the committees were placed in a transparent manner. Furthermore, the report mentioned that international criteria specified for elections were followed. These include maintaining the secrecy of balloting, ensuring correct voting procedures by the judges, and allowing the KTS along with the Arab and international monitoring team to monitor the elections. Among the negative observations made in regard to the elections law was the unequal division of voters in the five constituencies, as there are 47,772 voters in the second constituency while the fifth constituency has 118,461 voters, though all constituencies have the same number (ten) of seats. The report also criticized the criteria for media and advertizing for elections and described these as not being clear. It noted that election campaign speeches were being broadcast even on the day of the election. It also criticized the upper age limit for voters and candidates. In addition, the report found the number of voters in some committees as being very high, which resulted in a longer wait. The international norm for the number is between 400600 voters. “All the previous negative observations were not in the category of any suspicions about correctness of procedure or transparency of the electoral process. We hope that next elections will be held according to the new election law that takes into account our recommendations,” Talib Awad from the Arab delegation said after reading out the report.

KUWAIT: Shiite candidate and former MP Adnan Al-Mutawa celebrates with supporters following his victory in the parliamentary elections.

Foundation for a new start of development, cooperation

Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah

KUWAIT: Kuwaitis went to the polls yesterday with 40.3 per cent casting their ballots, according to the report of international election observers, in the nation’s 85th democratic election. The independent National Electoral Commission is currently certifying the results of Saturday’s parliamentary elections in which 306 candidates vied for 50 seats. Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak AlSabah, Kuwait’s Minister of Information, said: “Kuwait has witnessed a success of democracy as citizens practiced their constitutional rights to

choose their representatives for the next parliament. The election result is the foundation for a new star t of development and cooperation between the legislative and executive powers to advance Kuwait and all its people.” Chief Justice Ahmad Al-Ajeel, head of the National Electoral Commission, said: “The electoral commission actively monitored the voting at polling stations across Kuwait and we are extremely pleased to report that we investigated thoroughly the limited reports of irregularities and are confident in the results.”

Those who fought elections big winners, says analyst By Sajeev K Peter KUWAIT: The candidates who took up the challenge of democracy and contested the parliamentary elections are the big winners while those who sought to boycott elections are big losers, said a geopolitical analyst here yesterday. Prof M D Nalapat, who was an election observer from India during the closely-watched Kuwait parliamentary election that took place on Saturday, told the Kuwait Times that he is quite happy with the outcome of the polls. “As a consequence of the election, the National Assembly has become more balanced. The earlier system enabled and organized minority to capture seats disproportionately to the unorganized majority,” said Prof Nalapat, who is a professor of Geopolitics at Manipal University, India . “Across the world, the trend is to vote for a single candidate. Either it should be voting for one candidate or 10. Putting a limit of four makes no sense. Hence today, those who took up the challenge of democracy and con-

tested elections have been the big winners while those who avoided democracy through boycott are the big losers,” Prof Nalapat pointed out. It is good for Kuwait if the newly-elected

Prof M D Nalapat

Assembly lasts a full term and also ensures economic growth and sound justice in the country, he mentioned. Prof Nalapat is also UNESCO Peace Chair and a renowned academician. The former Coordinating Editor of the Times of India, Prof Nalapat writes extensively on security matters and international affairs, and is a columnist for the Sunday Guardian and the Pakistan Observer. Elaborating further his point of view, he said, the US politics shows the harm done when rival political groups consider themselves to be enemies. As a consequence, policy gets paralyzed. The same thing happened in Kuwait after the February 2012 elections when many legislators opposed everything that the government did. In a democracy, there should be no enemies, and in matters of public welfare, there should be united action. “I have full confidence that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will nominate a Cabinet that is talented, hardworking and honest so that Kuwaitis get the government they deserve,” he added.

KUWAIT: Shiite candidate and former MP Ahmad Lari celebrates with supporters following his victory in the parliamentary elections.

Kuwait elections harbinger of hope KUWAIT: There is no question that all eyes are on Kuwait, given the recent elections and results. The nation has always been viewed as a beacon of democracy in the region, given its long history of parliamentary experience. Hence, the people of Kuwait should enable this process to move forward. The recent parliamentary elections have been one of the most significant in the history of Kuwait. The opposition groups had carried out an extensive campaign, calling on voters to boycott the polls. This has come following the recent change in voter representation structure. The opposition had alleged that the new voting rules favoured pro-government candidates and labelled them “unconstitutional”. Official numbers following the election showed a turnout of around 40 per cent. The previous election in February showed a turnout of around 60 per cent. There are a number of groups that have gained

MEW collects overdue from top state officials KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) recently started collecting unpaid power and water consumption bills from senior state officials, MEW’s assistant undersecretar y for consumer affairs, Abdullah Al-Hajri, said. Al-Hajri added that most officials voluntarily started paying their bills while others were warned that water and power supplies would be disconnected unless they paid. Further, Al-Hajri pointed out that as part of implementation of law 48/2005, those who do not pay would be prosecuted and their names would be referred to

KUWAIT: Volodymyr Tolkach, Ukraine Ambassador to Kuwait, right, with Leonid Gural, head of the delegation, talking with the local reporters yesterday at their embassy in Jabriya.

Some members of the delegation posing for a photograph. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

Ukrainian business delegation looks forward to higher trade volumes By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: A business delegation from Ukraine is currently visiting Kuwait to promote the Khmelnitsky region - a developing region in southwest Ukraine. The team headed by Leonid Gural included four representatives of the government of Khmelnitsky region and four private businessmen representing their individual businesses from food and beverages to agricultural sectors. At a press conference held yesterday at their Embassy in Jabriya, Volodymyr Tolkach, Ukraine

Ambassador to Kuwait, said the visit was aimed at further strengthening cooperation between the two countries especially in the economic field since trade figures for 2011 were rather disappointing. “We are quite unsatisfied and worried about the volume of trade between two countries, especially last year when we recorded a trade volume of just US $3.5 million only, perhaps the lowest in our history. However, it was understandable since some of our products coming into Kuwait are actually outsourced from a third country and hence we are unable to record these

Ukrainian products, especially if they are already recorded in other countries,” he disclosed. However, Tolkach noted that in 2012, the trade has already increased and is now US$ 15 million. “ We witnessed spectacular growth this year, reaching USD 15 million in trade. It was a great outcome in the span of just one year. The real trade volume should be around US $100 million and we hope to reach that figure once again,” he noted. The Ukrainian envoy also mentioned that trade and investment cooperation agreement between

the two countries will be signed in the first quarter of 2013. A business forum will be conducted today (Monday) at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industr y and a meeting with their counterparts at the Ministr y of Trade and Commerce is also on cards. Khmelnitsky region hosts one of the biggest cement factories in Europe and also has a growing number of industries and agricultural products. Khmelnitsky region, with a population of 1.3 million, is reportedly one of the many cities which are least affected by the global financial crisis.

ground. The groups that have done the best are the liberals, conservatives and Shiites, with the latter winning the most seats in the 50-seat parliament. In addition, women also won seats regardless of the fact that there were not many who had registered to run in the elections. Unquestionably, this election has been one of the most decisive ones, given the repercussions following the change in the voting rules. Yet, what is important now is the fact that the country needs to build on its parliamentary experience. It is not practical or reasonable to nullify an entire process and a rich democratic history. In fact, these differences of positions on policies were responsible for stalling the parliament. It is therefore crucial for all forces in Kuwait to rally for democracy and the institutionalisation of the political process. For any participatory system to be successful, it has to be inclusive.

the cabinet for taking proper measures. Health minister Well-informed sources said that the exercise to choose a cabinet member from the newly elected members of parliament has already started even though the elections happened only on December 1. The source added that the most probable choice would be MP Dr. Salah Al-Ateeqi, who might replace the incumbent minister, Ali Al-Obaidi. Al-Obaidi faced criticism from most of the new MPs during their electoral campaigns.

Kuwait donates $5m for Syria through local IICO KUWAIT: The International Islamic Charity Organisation (IICO) was thankful for HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s instructions to the Cabinet to allocate $5 million in aid for the Syrian people via the Kuwait-based charity. ‘The IICO wishes to express its utmost gratitude and appreciation for HH the Amir ’s trust in the IICO, its humanitarian role and relief efforts for people in distress around the world,’ IICO President Abdullah Al-Maatouq said on behalf of the charity. HH the Amir has placed much emphasis on relief efforts for the Syrians, overseeing the creation of several special charity programs through the IICO dedicated to health, education and psychological relief in a number of refugee camps in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, noted Al-Maatouq. He also mentioned IICOís broad range of charity projects which cover 136 countries. — KUNA

Abdullah Al-Maatouq



LOCAL kuwait digest

kuwait digest

I wish I was Chinese

Waiting for Godot

By Ghassan Al-Otaibi By Ahmad Al-Sarraf came across a piece of news the other day which I found exciting, but then it also made me sad at the same time. It was about a Chinese company’s plans to build the world’s tallest tower within a mere 90 days at an estimated total cost of $628 million which is half of the construction cost for Burj Khalifa. Billed as Sky City, the 220-storey, earthquake-resistant building is projected to stand at 838-meters in height, a full 10 meters higher than Burj Khalifa. It will have luxury apartments, low-cost apartments, offices and retail spaces. All of it is to be constructed within a span of 90 days. This news left me excited, but also made me sad when I compared the projections with the situation in our country where streets remain dug up for over five years. It is indeed sad when one realizes that getting any state department in Kuwait to process a document requires as much time as a Chinese company takes to build the world’s tallest building. Now I have to ask this question: what if Kuwait signed a contract with this Chinese company to come and finalize construction projects here? Think of a deal in which a com-


Given the ratio of its size and economic power, Kuwait is supposed to be a heaven on earth. It is a shame that the country is still home to areas synonymous with pollution and corruption, such as Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Hasawi. It is also a shame that Kuwait’s streets are choked with traffic most of the time, and road construction projects remain incomplete for years. pany is ready with all projected construction plans and is given a one year ultimatum to execute them. I am thinking of many skyscrapers, ports, metro subway, malls, national parks and others that workers of this company could perhaps carr y out within that time. How can Kuwait house the large workforce required to bring these project to fruition, all together? Well, Kuwait had half a million soldiers on its soil during the Liberation War in 1991. It would not really be a dilemma. Given the ratio of its size and economic power, Kuwait is supposed to be a heaven on earth. It is a shame that the country is still home to areas synonymous with pollution and corruption, such as Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Hasawi. It is also a shame that Kuwait’s streets are choked with traffic most of the time, and road construction projects remain incomplete for years. We remain underdeveloped in civilization, science and culture to a point where we have rendered ourselves unable to utilize the loads of money that we have for the development of our country and improving its civic amenities. I have always dreamt of a beautiful Kuwait where people come from all over the world to witness its beauty and glamour, visit its great libraries, seek treatment at its state-of-the-art hospitals or spend memorable time along its majestic and magnificent beaches. I am not losing hope that my dream could someday come true. —Al-Qabas

recently noticed an unusual increase in the number of luxury cars in my neighborhood, an area mostly inhabited by state employees. And since none of them has recently won a lottery as far as I know, the most probable explanation I could think of is that their financial conditions have suddenly improved following a steep hike in salaries last year, prompting a majority of them to buy brand new cars. Of course, such a scenario, if true, would be considered as featuring unwise decisions taken by people as an ‘unusual’ result of an illogical pay increase. This reminds me of a story I was once told about a farmer who worked hard every day in his field until one day the king’s minister stopped him. The minister saw him while he was passing by and asked if he needed any help. The farmer thanked the minister for his offer, saying he was completely satisfied with his situation. The minister then asked him how much he makes every day from his hard labor, to which the farmer said he earns a small amount of money, a quarter of which is spent on food, another on household needs, another quarter on his sick sister and the remaining quarter goes as rent to the landowner. Feeling astonished about the farmer’s high sense of contentment, and the fact that he was even looking after his sister though his earnings were so little, the minister ordered to buy the land from its owner and gift it to the farmer. A few days later, the farmer sold the land, divorced his wife and traveled to Thailand. Such decisions can only result in such a behavior. What I am trying to say is that buying people’s approval through pay increases, writing off loans, increasing the cap on housing and marriage loans etc., will only result in corrupting them and the destruction of their families. This behavior has already led many citizens to become mostly dependant on the government which continues to encourage more consumption. If the government really wants to improve citizens’ quality of life, it should improve the quality of public services such as building new medical facilities and schools, improving educational curriculums, constructing safer roads, building better theaters and opening richer libraries. And these are only some of the things that citizens lack and as a result live poorer lives; the same kind of things that the farmer lacked which the minister failed to provide for him. However, such projects require a lot of work, planning, and supervision; stuff that the government finds boring as it takes years to accomplish, if it is accomplished at all in the first place. Instead, they resort to ‘buying’ people’s support and loyalty through financial gifts. The government finds it unnecessary to go through the trouble of planning, working and supervising, so let us all go to Thailand because waiting for the above to happen is like waiting for Godot to show up. —Al-Qabas


kuwait digest

Reshape entire political scene By Thaar Al-Rashidi ince the last eight years, unlike the genie that comes out of it every now and then, we seem to be stuck inside a bottle, or rather a bottleneck. This could only mean two things - either the bottleneck is longer than the bottle itself, or our political bottle has nothing but a neck. Every time a candidate opens his mouth, he tells us that “we must get out of the bottle neck” or “we are trying to get out of the bottle neck”. Our problem is not about a bottle or its neck. We are living through times where we have been getting out of one bottle to get stuck in another. There is no other solution except to reshape the entire political scene. We need to take some basic steps that can lead us towards this change. This has been happening over the past three weeks, and we may agree politically or disagree. Kuwait is today at the brink of a political solution that could be the ideal way of getting out from this dark tunnel. One of the indications that we are indeed marching towards a scenario that would be a sea change in the political


scene is that one of the high ranking officials has switched off his mobile and is no more answering calls from NA Council candidates. That means implementation of the law would now start happening at the very top. Another candidate kept trying for more than five days to meet certain VIPs to seek their help in the current elections, but those close to the decision makers, refused to grant him an audience. That is an indication that law may now be applied without discrimination. It could be a first of sorts in our democratic history. NOTE: For sure, I understand that it is good for the legal train in this country to run in a neutral fashion, without fear or favour, for only then it can be understood to be running on the correct political track. Even if it started late, and due to the issue of boycott, no one is noticing its progress or the hopes it has generated, still it will show results by the time the next election happens. Its effects in the current elections may not be very clear, since the political scene is foggy and most political stakeholders are facing sharp divisions. —Al-Anbaa

kuwait digest

Not if, but why By Dr Hassan Abbas t is the first time in Kuwait’s history that a vertical split happened in the society over the issue of whether to vote in the elections or boycott them, instead of discussing how to elect the best among the nominees. But in my opinion, the society was actually divided not into two halves but into four teams, depending on the reasons on which each party based its decision. The first team voted because its advocates believe that Kuwait is passing through a crucial time and a commitment to the constitution and the rule of law is the only way out. Therefore, this team believes that HH the Amir’s vision is correct, and that his intervention in the form of an emergency decree was necessary to help Kuwait overcome the critical juncture at which it finds itself. HH the Amir’s intervention is seen by this team as a matter of urgent necessity to end the three-year long political turmoil. The second team boycotted the elections because in the opinion of its adherents, emergency decrees are only used in circumstances that arise during the parliament’s absence and cannot wait till the parliament resumes its activities. Meanwhile, this team argues that emergency decrees should not be invoked to allegedly “rob the people of their will by manipulating election results,” something they describe as not only “utterly unacceptable”, but also “a stab in the heart of democracy.” Members of this


team support their arguments by quoting the government’s recent controversial steps, namely the Gulf Cooperation Council’s security treaty and the decree for establishing the anti-corruption general authority. In my opinion, both the teams have logical and solid justifications to buttress their arguments, which is why I personally never had a problem with any of them. Instead, I have a problem with the other two teams. The third team was for voting ‘gloatingly’ because of the opposition’s decision to voluntarily stay away from the political scene. This team is completely indifferent, whether intentionally or inadvertently, to the repercussions of its decision because “eliminating Islamists regardless of consequences” was the only thing on their mind on the voting day. The fourth team comprises people who took the decision to boycott the election only because Waleed AlTabtabaei, Jamaan Al-Harbash, Faisal Al-Mislem and others are doing the same, regardless of whether they were right or wrong. Members of this team have not taken the slightest bit of trouble to consider the approach of those who commit to the constitution only selectively, and deal with the society in a discriminatory way. I believe that this team is really problematic. So the real question today is not whether you voted or boycotted, but the reasons that prompted your decision. — Al-Rai

kuwait digest

Freedom of expression By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah any ideas and meanings get lost when we choose wrong words to express them. Some suitable terms lose their intrinsic value when used to express futile and bad ideas. This leads to what is called today ‘the dialectics of pronunciation and meaning’. People are more prone to making mistakes when they seek to derive meanings from words instead of thinking of the idea first before expressing or writing it using appropriate words. Meanings are the reflection of appropriately used words. Also, meanings and ideas could be misunderstood when unsuitable expressions are used to express them. Things could get even worse when offensive words are used for expression. Freedom of expression involves the concept of rationality between meaning and words. No one can deny people’s right of proper expression because it is part of their general rights like access to food, housing and work. But freedom of expression is not absolute. It is limited by regulations that protect the freedom of people from the oppression of others who misuse their freedom when rationality and morals are lost in favor of personal interests and desires. Offending other people or undermining them through ideology or speech is not freedom. Therefore, it is important to have values on the basis of which our life is organized, including state laws that protect freedoms and organize its principles. These freedoms include freedom of expression that people cannot be deprived of but which must always go in line with the law and public morals. And despite the fact that people’s lives should be based on these principles, violating them in the name of freedom of expression has become common in many societies today. There is no doubt that the freedom of expression is connected to culture, knowledge and morals. That is how freedom of expression is generally comprehended. The behavior of many that we see today actually reflects a gross misunderstanding about what freedom of expression entails. Unfortunately, the foul language employed in public speech and writing by people to offend others has today become a dominant trend instead of tolerance and coherent speech which characterized the society in pre-oil Kuwait. We need to make an effort to stop this misuse of freedom of expression by instilling values in the younger generation. Our educators and media outlets must work collectively to boost a culture of tolerance and respect in society. —Al-Rai




Liberals officially challenge Kuwait single-vote decree Court urged to reinstate old system By A Saleh KUWAIT: National Action Bloc members Abdullah Al-Roumi, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Adel Al-Saraawi and Aseel Al-Awadhi have officially challenged an emergency decree which altered the voting mechanism before last Saturday’s elections. The four former lawmakers said in a statement after filing their petition at the Constitutional Court yesterday that they will “respect and honor” the verdict regardless of the outcome. Meanwhile, fellow liberal former MP Saleh Al-Mulla announced plans to submit a similar petition before the Constitutional Court today. Both challenges argue that the Amiri decree issued last September that ended the four-votes-per-voter system in favor of a single-vote system, was unconstitutional.

The challengers urged the Court to reinstate the old system and effectively annul Saturday election’s results. If the Court allows their plea, it would pave the way for new elections that will have to be held as per the old system. Liberal groups had joined the opposition, comprising mostly Islamist and tribal groups, in their decision to boycott the elections in protest against the emergency decree. The opposition says that the government sought through the decree to limit their chances and allow for the election of a parliament dominated by a pro-government majority. On the other hand, the government argued that the single-vote system helps eliminate problems experienced in the past few elections such as primary elections, vote shifting and under-the-table alliances that led

to an unfair advantage to opposition nominees. Separately, newly elected MP Badr AlBathali announced plans to run for the speaker’s post, a rather unusual move by a debutant lawmaker. Al-Bathali joins Ali Al-Rashid, Ahmad Al-Mualifi, Saad Al-Khanfour and Essam Al-Dabous who have already announced their intention to run for the same post, and could also be joined by Ali Al-Omair who said that he contemplates taking a similar decision. Meanwhile, MPs Maasouma AlMubarak and Saadoun Hammad Al-Otaibi announced their plans to run for the deputy speaker’s post, joining MPs Mubarak AlKhurainej and Askar Al-Enezy who made similar announcements earlier. The inaugural session of the parliament is set to be chaired by MP Dr. Saleh Al-Otaiqi, being the oldest lawmaker aged of 71.

NA renews optimism for economic boom KUWAIT: A top American financial services company believes that Kuwait’s private and investment sec tors have good chances of growth due to the expected improvement in the relationship between the Cabinet and parliament, ending years of political stalemates blamed for lack of development in recent years. The Standard and Poor’s Rating Services did not expect at the same time a change in Kuwait’s sovereign rating, currently AA/A-1+, in the medium term - that is, between 6 months and two years. However, the agency, answering Al-Qabas newspaper’s queries, said Kuwait’s sovereign credit rating could drop under one of the three conditions: if the local political stability deteriorates, if geopolitical risks in the region are realized, or if the government’s foreign assets suffer chronic erosion. S&P recognizes its future vision for Kuwait as “reflecting very strong budget and robust foreign financial status,” yet dealing with “political deadlock, lack of economic diversity and lack of transparency regarding government assets.” The election of a new parliament featuring no presence of the opposition which chose to boycott the polls had increased optimism about the Development Plan finally getting under way without any interruptions. The government had always argued that the 5-year plan which became effective as of February 2010 faced multi-

ple obstacles in projects’ execution as a result of the parliament’s opposition. But with potential elimination of such obstacles, many in the economic field are still hesitant to believe that the private sector and the economy in general are set for a major boost. Their concerns are backed by the lack of a clear roadmap for development during election campaigns, due to which it cannot be said with certainty that the current parliament is going to give priority to the economy. Regardless of whether economic topics figure on top of lawmakers’ agenda, the parliament will be faced with an important task as soon as it holds its first session when lawmakers would be required to vote on emergency decrees passed by the cabinet during the parliament’s absence, including economy-oriented laws such as the private companies law. This new law has for years been neglected by the parliament despite the fact that politicians agreed that it was necessary to replace the outdated law issued in 1960. According to economists Al- Qabas spoke with recently, the main legislative priorities they expect the parliament to enforce are: amendment of the buy-operate-transfer (BOT) law, amendment to the privatization law and amendment to the foreign investors’ law in order to make the projects covered under each of them more attractive to private companies.

In that regard, Al-Qabas reported yesterday quoting government insiders that the Ministry of Commerce formed a committee to study formation of the executive list for the new companies’ law. A committee assigned to eliminate overlapping duties between the MCI and the Capital Market Authority also decided to put on hold any further meetings until the list is finalized. Meanwhile, Al-Qabas spoke with presidents of several companies dealing in real estate, contracting and building material, about their opinion regarding the new amendment to the housing law. The amendment allows private companies to bid for 26 percent of shares for companies established to build major residential city projects, while 24 percent are to be owned by the government and the remaining 50 percent are given to citizens through an initial public offering. Some officials believe that the “bold step” benefits the private sector as it offers oppor tunities to make higher profits, while at the same time expedites the process of finalizing housing projects so that the government can meet the increasing demand for housing more effectively. On the other hand, other officials feel that the amendment still falls short of unshackling the law from “governmental restrictions”, and that is why they think that it will not have a positive impact. —Al-Qabas

Drug dealer in custody By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Drug enforcement men arrested a Bangladeshi man for possessing 3kg of heroin. Authorities received information about the suspect being very active in drug trade. After verifying the tip off and completing all legal protocols, the suspect was arrested. He confessed to owning a large amount of heroin. Officers searched the place he used to store drugs and found 3kg of heroin and an electronic scale besides nylon bags for retail usage. He confessed he was working for an Asian drug dealer who is already on the target of drug enforcement men.

Gulf Bank presents attractive discounts to reward customers KUWAIT: Gulf Bank announced yesterday its exclusive partnership with Atyab Al Marshoud, one of the most highly regarded perfumeries in Kuwait. The partnership gives all Gulf Bank’s credit card and red(tm) debit cardholders a 15% discount on any purchase from Al Marshoud outlets from Dec 1, 2012 to June 1, 2013. Gulf Bank’s Rewards Program is the most extensive of its kind in Kuwait, pro-

viding customers with flexibility and convenience when shopping, as well as offering great discounts, which apply to over 90 merchants at more than 126 outlets. The Bank’s Rewards Program regularly features carefully selected offers that have particular appeal to a wide range of customer groups, such as this partnership between Gulf Bank and Atyab AlMarshoud.



Four trying to sneak into Kuwait arrested at airport Drunk man harasses volunteers KUWAIT: Three men were arrested at the Kuwait International Airport while trying to enter Kuwait using forged passports. Police also discovered after verifying the true identity of the two Bangladeshis and one Nepali citizen that they had been deported from Kuwait previously, and were trying re-enter using fake identities. They were taken to the proper authorities for further action. Meanwhile, airport officials apprehended a Sri Lankan woman when she arrived from a neighboring Gulf state since they found that she was wanted by the authorities as she was reported missing by her employer a few months ago. The woman was deported to the country she came from. Mentally unstable woman A mentally unstable woman escaped from the Psychiatric Hospital but Salmiya police were able to find her within hours of receiving missing person reports from her family and the hospital

authorities. Detectives fanned out as part of an intensive search operation for the woman, a Kuwaiti in her forties. The hospital also notified the police that the woman could cause harm to herself and others. She was eventually found at a spot in the area, but in a bad shape since she could not find a shelter where she could have stayed for a long time. Doctors tended to her immediately after she was admitted back to the Psychiatric Hospital. Drunk man held A man who harassed female volunteers at a voting site in the second constituency on election day was arrested. He approached a number of female representatives of a candidate while being under the influence of liquor and harassed them verbally. The man was taken to the Salmiya police station where he was being held pending legal procedures. Fugitive caught A fugitive who was pulled over

for driving in the wrong lane in Jahra fell into the police’s net when patrol officers found contrabands in his vehicle. As patrol officers verified his identity, they found that the suspect was wanted in money-related cases. The officers then decided to search his car and found a 9mm pistol, live ammo and drug pills. The man was taken to the proper authorities to face charges. Drug addicts Two men were arrested in AlSulaibikhat for possessing hashish and drug paraphernalia. The duo, one Kuwaiti and the other a Saudi national, were pulled over in a street for reckless driving before patrol officers found out that they were under the influence. The officers searched their car and found 500 grams of hashish, as well as drug paraphernalia and KD4500 in cash. The two were taken to the Drug Control General Department for further action.

Kuwait presents two motions at ISESCO conference RIYADH: The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) continued its General Conference here yesterday, after the inauguration of the 11th session Saturday night under the aegis of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and with a Kuwaiti delegation taking part, headed by the Secretary General of the National Committee for Education, Sciences, and Culture Abdelletif Al-Baijan Al-Baijan said the Kuwaiti team had presented two proposals to the meeting. The first concerns opening of new offices and centers for the organization in the respected region, while the second was involving the private sector and

allowing it to contribute to ISESCO budgets and funding, much overextended at present. So far into the session, the members approved the working plan and budget for 2013-2015, five reports by the Director General on activities of the 10th and 11th session, along with programs and activities which had focused on Palestine and Al-Quds between 2009 and 2011. They also discussed performance for 2007-2009, 2010-201 2, final accounts, audit and financial supervisory committee reports for 20092011, members’ contributions to ISESCO budget, and measures related to fiscal 2009-2011, and a number of administrative and legal

issues A demand was also made that members delinquent in financial obligations pay up their quotas to enable the organization to meet its mandate with adequate financial resources The members also approved amendment of the organization’s logo, and were given a review of the ISESCO executive council’s report to the General Conference. The ISESCO General Conference includes members’ specialized ministers and meets every three years with attendance of representatives of a great number of regional and international organizations. The bloc currently has 51 members, and three other “observer” states. — KUNA

KUWAIT: A number of participants from the army, police, national guards and customs administration besides two delegates from Saudi Arabia and the UAE are attending a specialized course for protection from mass destruction weapons in Kuwait. The course for civil defence officers of GCC countries is being held under the patronage of assistant undersecretary for operational affairs, Lt Gen Abdullah Yousuf AlMuhanna.

Boecker sponsors 2013 Horeca Kuwait KUWAIT: Boecker Public Health will be participating as a diamond sponsor in the 2013 Horeca Kuwait, an exhibition of hotel, hospitality and catering equipment, which will be held from January 28-30, 2013. Organized by the Leaders Group for Counseling and Development, in cooperation with Lebanon’s Hospitality Services Company, the event will take place at the Raya Ballroom in Court Marriott Hotel. “The exhibition offers great opportunities for multiple activities that Kuwait’s hospitality field market needs, including public health and food safety services,” Managing Director of Boecker Kuwait, Robert Shahatah, said in a recent statement.

He added that his company plans to showcase various products and services during the exhibition, including sterilization and rodent control. Meanwhile, General Manager of Boecker Kuwait, Dr. Mohammad Hassan, said that one of the main systems his company plans to showcase during the event is a special food quality control “which maintains food quality on par with the highest international standards”. Boecker Kuwait managed to earn the trust of many customers in the industrial, commercial and housing fields in Kuwait, and also has a presence in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and most recently, Ghana.

Dr Mohammad Hassan

LuLu Exchange opens branches in Farwaniya, Mahboula

Boubyan’s booth at the Fair

Boubyan Bank platinum sponsor for GUST Job Fair KUWAIT: Boubyan Bank (The Fastest Growing Bank in Kuwait) announced its participation as a platinum sponsor in GUST Job Fair which was recently organized. This step comes in manifestation of the bank’s continuous support for the Kuwaiti youth from all sections and categories; especially, students approaching graduation and looking to enter labor market. Adel Al-Hammad, GM- Human Resources Group at the Bank said: “As usual, Boubyan Bank is always keen on participating in the activities and events aiming at supporting labor market and providing it with distinguished national cadres needed to achieve economic development in Kuwait.” “Boubyan Bank represents an example for the private sector in general and the banking sector in particular as to the care given to national cadres and the keenness to create more distinguished opportunities for them in a way that contributes to achieving human development as planned and sought by the state,” he added. Al-Hammad pointed out that the bank’s participation this time is different from the previous times as it comes in the wake of launching ITQAN Academy in cooperation with GUST to serve as a training and development center for the Bank’s

human resources in an academic manner through providing the most advanced specialized courses, administrative sciences and programs accredited by international agencies, which correspond with the Bank’s work environment and complies with the Islamic Shari’ah. In addition, Al-Hammad said that the staff present at the Bank’s booth from those who joined ITQAN Academy as well as the specialized academic cadre will be in direct communication with GUST youth; especially those approaching graduation to show them the key advantages of ITQAN Academy and the job and learning opportunities it provides to promising Kuwaiti youth. Boubyan Bank’s booth will give GUST students the chance to know about the experience of ITQAN Academy’s youth by meeting them and getting acquainted with their experience in the Academy; especially considering that they represent the kernel for the Academy launched last July. The Academy provides the Bank’s staff with training opportunities throughout a whole year in many fields comprising specialized training programs in financial management, financial statements analysis, business administration, communication skills, human resources development, as well as advanced, distin-

guished programs in customer service and professional sales of banking products. Boubyan Bank strives to be the employer of choice for Kuwaiti fresh graduates by providing a work environment that encourages the development of young capabilities and gives opportunities for career development to skilled trainees in a carefully thought-out academic way under the supervision of ITQAN Academy’s work team. In addition, ITQAN Academy’s programs are based on Blended Learning Approach which includes training courses, on-job training, rotation among departments, guidance and instruction, e-learning and assessment centers. ITQAN Academy provides training courses and academic materials for the Kuwaiti youth which correspond with the banking business and qualifies them to obtain part of the MBA program as trainees satisfying certain conditions will be able to obtain 24 accredited academic credits of the MBA at GUST, representing 53% of the program’s total accredited hours, which suit the key work requirements in Boubyan Bank. Trainees will also be given the opportunity to complete the remaining academic credits of the MBA program at GUST to obtain the certificate, in case they so desire.

KUWAIT: Leading global remittance and foreign exchange brand, LuLu Exchange simultaneously opened two new branches, at Farwaniya and Mahboula, on Thursday. With the opening of new branches, the total number of Lulu Exchange outlets has now risen to six. Speaking on the occasion, Adeeb Ahamed, CEO of LuLu Exchange said, “LuLu Exchange’s increasing popularity as the preferred and most trusted exchange house coupled with enabling smart and stable money transfer services in the State of Kuwait has also charted its growth plan. The success of our growth depends on the excellent customer service and satisfaction that we have been tirelessly delivering.” “With millions of expatriates residing here, Kuwait has emerged into a very important market for us in the GCC region. The new branches will further strengthen our net-

work in the country and extend more convenience and value to customers, thus bolstering the trust among customers,” added Ahamed. LuLu Exchange, despite having an outlet in Farwaniya, opened its second outlet in the area to reinforce its commitment to improving customer accessibility and customer delight. LuLu Exchange’s firm belief in its commitment to enhance customer experience by identifying customer requirements has allowed it to take money transfer services closer to its target customers in the interior regions. The new branches at Farwaniya and Mahaboula focuses the company’s prime objective to making high-quality remittance services available to the interior regions in Kuwait, where there is a growing need for timely and accessible finance transfer services. LuLu Exchange features a potent mix of highly competent and committed

workforce paired with latest technologies to deliver the best possible customer satisfaction. Ahamed further stated, “We have, as a socially responsible organization, ensured fair business practices, including rigorous compliance to global anti-money laundering protocols, in the best interest of our regulators and customers. We dedicate these two new branches to the service of our esteemed customers, who have always supported and encouraged us to deliver the best”, he stated. LuLu Exchange has strategic partnerships with Western Union Worldwide Remittance Services, and Transfast, which only further guarantees that clients’ hard earned money reaches its destination in a fast and secure way. Currently the exchange house caters to markets world over with direct online remittance arrangements to India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal,


Bomb atttack in Syria’s Homs kills 15 civilians Page 8

Two dead in bus crash into overpass at Miami airport Page 9

‘Black Day’ as Egypt top court on strike

CAIRO: Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi protest in front of Egypt’s top court, (background), in Cairo, Egypt, yesterday. Egypt’s top court announced yesterday the suspension of its work indefinitely to protest “psychological and physical pressures,” saying its judges could not enter its Nile-side building because of the Islamist president’s supporters gathered outside. — AP

CAIRO: Egypt’s top court began an open-ended strike yesterday in what it called a “black day” for the judiciary af ter suppor ters of President Mohamed Morsi blocked the courthouse ahead of a key ruling, amid a tense standoff between the president and the judges. The Supreme Constitutional Court said it would “suspend work for an indefinite period... and until there is no more psychological and material pressure.” Hundreds of pro -Morsi demonstrators blocked off a main road that runs along the Nile to the courthouse and surrounded entrances to its precincts. The court was due to rule on the legality of an Islamist-dominated panel that drew up a controversial draft constitution. The new charter, which has become the focal point of Egypt’s biggest political crisis since Morsi was elected in June, is to be put to a referendum set for December 15. “The will of the people is stronger than the will of a few judges,” said

demonstrator Ismail Ahmed, 39, alluding to the accusations of Morsi supporters that the judiciary remains dominated by holdouts from the era of Hosni Mubarak, the veteran strongman ousted early last year. The judges responded by calling an “administrative delay” to yesterday’s session, prompting the protesters to head home from the courthouse, an AFP correspondent reported. An interior ministry official denied it was impossible for judges to enter the courthouse, saying some judiciary officials had in fact got in thanks to security forces guarding the entrances. A ruling by the cour t yesterday would have defied Morsi’s presidential decree that barred any judicial body from dissolving the constituent assembly, which adopted the draft charter in the face of a boycott by liberals and Christians. The November 22 decree sparked popular unrest, with the constitution, which had been due for more deliber-

ation, being rushed through days later amid the commotion. Opposition groups said they would rally on Tuesday outside the presidential palace to protest against the referendum, the constitution and Morsi’s new powers, in a march dubbed “the final warning”. The controversial charter-which has been criticised for paving the way to a strict interpretation of Islamic law and failing to secure key rights-prompted rival rallies by Morsi opponents and supporters. Hundreds of thousands of Islamist protesters gathered on Saturday in suppor t of Morsi, his sweeping powers and the draft constitution, a day after crowds thronged to Cairo’s Tahrir Square to denounce his “dictatorial” decree. “One nation, two peoples,” read the front page of Sunday’s edition of the Al-Shuruq newspaper, while Al-Masri al-Youm ran with “Egypt at the mouth of a volcano.” The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters have branded the anti-Islamist opposition enemies of

the 2011 revolution, and Sunday’s protesters chanted against secular and liberal opposition leaders. The National Rescue Front-a coalition of opponents led by Mohamed ElBaradei, the former UN nuclear watchdog chief; ex-Arab League chief Amr Mussa; and former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi-has called on opponents of the decree to keep up the momentum of the protest movement. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have raised concerns about the draft charter. On Thursday, Morsi stressed his new powers would expire as soon as the constitution has been ratified, a point Islamists have repeatedly made in his favour. In 2011, the Brotherhood and the secular-leaning opposition stood side by side in Tahrir Square as they fought to bring down Mubarak and his regime. But since Mubarak’s downfall in February 2011, the Islamist movement has been accused of monopolising power. —AFP



NATO to give go-ahead to Patriot deployment in Turkey BRUSSELS: NATO foreign ministers meeting tomorrow and Wednesday in Brussels are expected to signal support for alliance member Turkey by giving the go-ahead to deploy Patriot missiles near its border with Syria. The 28-nation alliance is more than likely to agree to Turkey’s November 21 request for cover from aerial attack, diplomatic sources said. NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Friday that a decision would be made “in the next few days.” It may come tomorrpw, on the first day of the NATO talks. The ministers will also discuss the situation in Syria. Last Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was weighing what further help it can give Syrian opposition rebels. “This is a complex question,”

said a diplomat who asked not to be named. “Western nations realise that should they fail to provide the rebels with more help they might have no influence on them if the regime falls.” Syria will also be raised during an informal NATORussia meeting over lunch tomorrow between the ministers and their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Lavrov recently warned against the deployment of the Patriots, saying it could create a temptation to use the weapons. “The more arms are being accumulated, the greater the risk that they will be used,” he said. Both NATO and Turkey have insisted that the deployment of the US-made surface-to-air missiles was a purely defensive move. Turkish President Abdullah Gul said

last week that it was a “precautionary measure”. “An attack (by Turkey on Syria) is out of the question,” he added. The NATO spokeswoman said “such a deployment would augment Turkey’s air defence capabilities to defend the population and territory of Turkey (...) It would serve as a deterrent to possible threat”. Ankara asked its NATO partners to deploy the missiles after a series of cross-border shellings, including an attack that left five civilians dead on October 3. The PAC3 type Patriots, made by US firm Lockheed Martin, are not intended for that sort of threat but to intercept ballistic missiles, such as the Scuds owned by Syria. A team of NATO experts has been in Turkey to survey sites near the Syrian border that would serve as suitable

locations for the deployment of the missiles. It is not yet clear where and how many Patriots would be deployed, but possible locations include the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir or Sanliurfa or Malatya in the east, which already hosts an early warning radar as part of NATO’s missile defence system. Military sources in Turkey have said NATO is considering the deployment of up to six Patriot batteries and some 300-400 foreign troops to operate the missiles. The missiles would likely be supplied by Germany, The Netherlands or the United States.The two-day NATO talks will also touch on Afghanistan as well as the situation in Georgia and in the Western Balkans where NATO has troops in Kosovo. — AFP

Bomb atttack in Syria’s Homs kills 15 civilians Fierce fighting erupts in several villages

HURGHADA: A picture shows the wreckage of one of the two mini-buses that crashed inside a resort near the Egyptian popular tourist destination of Hurghada yesterday, killing five German tourists and two Egyptians. A number of tourists were also wounded in the crash. — AFP

German airline crew dead in Egypt accident CAIRO: Several Germans and three Egyptians have been killed in a road accident south of the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, but Egypt and Germany were at odds over the death toll. The TUIfly airline and the German government said four Germans were killed and two injured. Egypt’s official news agency said five died. The Germans were airline crew members on their way to the Hurghada airport early Sunday, police said. “We are stunned and shocked. Our sympathy goes to the relatives of the deceased. We are doing everything to help the two injured colleagues,” TUIfly managing director Dieter Nirschl said in a statement. MENA said one of the injured crew died in hospital, bringing the number of dead to five, but Germany’s government dis-

puted that. “The German ambassador has reached the scene of the accident. He has also spoken with the two injured at the hospital,” said a German Foreign Ministry official. He declined to be named in line with German government policy. The accident happened when the microbus carrying the Germans entered a main road and crashed into a passing tourist microbus. Both Egyptian drivers were killed. The police official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters. Egypt’s roads are considered among the most dangerous in the world due to lax enforcement of traffic laws and inadequate infrastructure. About 16,000 people are killed in road accidents each year. — AP

Israel must explain ‘targeting’ journalists JERUSALEM: Israel must provide an “immediate and detailed explanation” for its targeting of journalists and media buildings during last month’s Gaza conflict, the Committee to Protect Journalists said yesterday. In a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the watchdog said it was “gravely concerned that Israeli airstrikes targeted individual journalists and media facilities in the Gaza Strip between November 18 and 20.” The New-York based CPJ noted that two cameramen for Hamas’s Al-Aqsa television station and the director of the private Al-Quds Educational Radio were killed by Israel during its eight-day military campaign to halt rocket fire from Gaza. At least three media buildings, including one housing AFP’s Gaza office, were hit during the conflict. “Israeli officials have broadly asserted that the individuals and facilities had connections to terrorist activity but have disclosed no substantiation for these very serious allegations,” the letter reads. The group says it has made repeated requests to Israel’s military and defence ministr y seeking explanations. “ We request your government provide an immediate and detailed explanation for its actions,” CPJ executive director Joel Simon wrote. Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev said Israel would reply to the CPJ’s letter via Israel’s US ambassador. He stressed to AFP that “Israel made every effort possible to avoid killing journalists caught up in the crossfire.” “There were a number of situations where terrorist operatives used journalists as human shields, in those cases we acted as surgically as humanly possible,” he said. He blamed Gaza rulers Hamas, as well as militant group Islamic Jihad for adopting “a delib-

erate policy of using journalists as human shields.” “People concerned about the wellbeing of journalists should possibly raise these concerns with both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but I suppose one doesn’t have high expectations of terrorist groups,” he said. CPJ said all journalists “regardless of the perspective from which they report” were entitled to protection under international law. “The Israeli government does not have the right to selectively define who is and who is not a journalist based on national identity or media affiliation,” the group wrote. Regev said “nobody is targeted because of their opinions,” but his office and the Israeli military could not provide details on the alleged non-media activities of the journalists targeted. “Many times we cannot share sensitive information with the broad public,” army spokesman Aryeh Shalicar said, insisted those targeted were militants. “Not only were they terrorists, they were using the cover of the press to continue their actions,” he told AFP. “Based on our sources, we know exactly who we hit, and stand behind our actions.” Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton yesterday urged Israel to annul plans to build 3,000 new settler homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, saying it would be “an obstacle to peace”. “The European Union has repeatedly stated that all settlement construction is illegal under international law and constitutes an obstacle to peace,” Ashton said in a statement. “I ask the government of Israel to show its commitment to the early renewal of negotiations to end the conflict and the occupation by not taking forward these plans,” she added. —AFP

60 samples taken in Arafat poison probe GENEVA: Around 60 samples were taken from the remains of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for a probe into whether he was poisoned by polonium, a Swiss newspaper reported yesterday, quoting a lead investigator. The samples were distributed among three teams doing separate analyses eight years after Arafat’s death in a French hospital, Patrice Mangin told Le Matin Dimanche. A Palestinian pathologist was the only person allowed to touch the body when Arafat’s grave was opened tomorrow in the West Bank city of Ramallah. He was able to “take all the samples that were wanted, around 60 in total,” said Mangin, the director of the Swiss University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne. A French team is carrying out a

separate probe at the request of Arafat’s widow Suha, while a Russian team was appointed by the Palestinian authority. Mangin said the investigation would take three or four months. Speaking shortly after the exhumation process was completed, Tawfiq Tirawi, who heads the Palestinian investigation into Arafat’s death, said Ramallah would petition the International Criminal Court in The Hague if it found proof that the veteran leader was poisoned. The investigations were set up after evidence emerged that abnormal amounts of polonium, a radioactive substance, were found on Arafat’s personal effects. Polonium was the substance that killed Russian ex-spy and fierce Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. — AFP

DAMASCUS: A car bomb rocked Syria’s third largest city Homs yesterday killing 15 people, state edia said, as the army hammered rebel positions around Damascus in a strategic assault aimed at securing the capital. Shell fire from Syria, meanwhile, hit a Turkish border town late Saturday, without causing casualties. It was the first cross-border shelling since Ankara requested that NATO deploy Patriot air defence missiles on the restive frontier. “A terrorist attack struck the Hamra district of Homs,” the state SANA news agency said, adding that it killed 15 people and wounded 24 in the government-held neighbourhood. State television said it was a car bombing. The Britainbased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported a car bombing in Homs. “At least seven civilians were killed in a car bomb explosion near the sports stadium,” it said, adding that many of the wounded were in a critical condition and the death toll was likely to rise. “The Hamra neighbourhood has been under regime control throughout the revolt,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. “The blast hit an area where there is a large vegetable market. The closest checkpoint is some 500 metres (yards) away.” Amateur video footage posted online by opposition activists showed the bodies of at least three victims, including a woman buried in the rubble of a building as a car burned not far away. Another video showed an injured child lying in hospital, wailing in pain. Homs was one of the cradles of the armed uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, earning it the monicker of “capital of the revolution” from opposition activists. The city suffered devastating violence early this year, but for the past six months the army has opted to keep mainly Sunni Arab rebel-held districts around the centre under siege rather than launch an all-out assault. Assad’s forces on Sunday hammered rebel positions around Damascus with artillery fire and air strikes, in an offensive aimed at securing a perimeter around the capital including the main highway to the international airport that has been under sustained rebel assault, a watchdog said. “The Syrian army has opened since Thursday morning the gates of hell to all

ALEPPO: A general view shows destruction in the Bastan Al-Basha neighbourhood of Syria’s northern city of Aleppo yesterday. Syrian rebels virtually cut off roads to Aleppo from neighbouring Raqa province last week, severing regime supply lines as France announced it had earmarked financial aid for the opposition coalition. — AFP

those who even consider getting close to Damascus or of attacking the capital,” proregime newspaper Al-Watan said. Fierce fighting erupted in several villages in the eastern suburbs and the army shelled rebel positions in the larger towns of Douma and Harasta, as troops sought to secure the airport highway, the Observatory said. “Violence in areas near the road is rife, but the airport road itself is open,” said Abdel Rahman. “Even if it is open, I don’t know whether it’s safe.” Flights from the airport resumed only on Friday, a day after a series of attacks on traffic on the 27-kilometre (17-mile) road from the capital, one of them deadly, were brought to an end by a major ground assault. But a military source said several more days’ fighting were needed to fully secure the highway. Nationwide, a total of 49 people were killed on Sunday, among them 23 civilians, according to a preliminary toll from the Observatory. They add to a death toll that already tops 41,000 over the past 20 months.

On the Turkish border, tensions flared for the first time since Ankara asked its NATO allies for the deployment of Patriot missiles last month in the wake of a series of cross-border fire incidents, some of them bloody. Shells fired from Syria hit the Turkish border town of Reyhanli late Saturday amid clashes between Assad’s troops and rebels around the nearby Bab al-Hawa border post, Turkey’s staterun Anatolia news agency reported. They caused no casualties, it said, without specifying whether Turkish forces had retaliated as they have to previous incidents. Damascus has reacted furiously to Ankara’s appeal to NATO, accusing it of bringing the violence upon itself by giving shelter to the rebels and funnelling arms deliveries from Gulf Arab states with Western blessing. NATO foreign ministers meeting tomorrow and Wednesday in Brussels are expected to signal support for Turkey by giving the go-ahead to deploy the missiles, diplomatic sources in Brussels said. — AFP

Despite Israeli warnings, many civilians died in Gaza GAZA CITY: The phone rang at 3:00 am: “You have five minutes to evacuate the house,” an Israeli officer said in flawless Arabic. Within minutes, an Israeli drone fired a warning shot. The Israeli military employed a range of warnings to civilians during its November 14-21 bombardment to halt rocket fire into Israel by Gaza militants, but nevertheless civilian deaths were high. During the offensive, 174 Palestinians were killed-including more than 100 civilians, among them at least 37 children and 14 women-and six Israelis, two soldiers and four civilians including a woman, according to both sides. “The Israeli army called on the cell phone and gave us five minutes to get out,” said Ayman al-Ahmad Khouli, who was living with his brothers and their families, 45 people in all, in a three-storey house in Zeitun, a neighborhood of Gaza City near the border with Israel. “In five minutes we got together and we went out into the street,” he continued, “then a drone fired a missile at one of the apartments as a warning, to show they were serious and that it was not a joke. “Five minutes later, two missiles were fired by an F-16 aircraft; we saw the building collapse,” he recalled. Behind the ruins of the razed house, the strike, which caused no casualties, took away the facade of the adjoining building, revealing a painting of the Dome of the Rock, in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, on the wall of a room. “We returned to the building the same day with five youngsters,” Khouli said. “Again they fired a warning drone, then there was a new F16 raid.” A few days before a truce between the sides went into effect the Israeli air force dropped leaflets across several districts of Gaza City near the border, urging people to evacuate their homes “immediately”. On its website and in its press statements, the Israeli military detailed the “methods of avoiding civilian casualties,” it used, even though “these warnings ruin the element of surprise and can help the enemy to escape or

call for his neighbors to serve as human shields”. In addition to the phone calls and leaflets, it cited “diverting missiles in mid-flight”, “pinpoint targeting” and a technique called “knocking on the roof,” in which the air force targets a building with “a loud but non-lethal bomb which warns civilians... to leave the area” before the actual hit. Despite these precautions, more than 1,000 Palestinian civilians were hurt. The day before the raid on the Khouli home, a strike against another building in the vicinity killed four people, including two women and a child, and wounded dozens. “This is not a warning, this is a demolition,” resident Khalil Mohammed says bitterly, sitting in front of the rubble with his eightmonth-old son on his knees. Ayman al-Khouli

says the warnings served a public relations objective for the Israelis. “They phoned us with a media objective, in order to tell the world they give warnings. If there was someone there of an armed group, Fatah, Hamas or another, they bomb without advance notice.” According to witnesses, there was no warning shot before a strike that killed 12 people on November 18, among them 10 members of the Dallu family-mostly women and children but including Mohammed Jamal al-Dallu described by the military as “a known terrorist, belonging to the military wing of Hamas”. “I am 100 percent sure that there was no warning, by telephone or in any way whatsoever,” says Abdelkarim Dallu, a relative. “If someone tells you he will kill you, should you stay there or flee?” — AFP

AMMAN: King Abdullah II of Jordan, right, receives Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, yesterday. Abbas has said he hopes the UN bid with help restart frozen peace talks with Israel over a future Palestinian state but he refuses to negotiate so long as Israeli settlement construction continues. — AP



Gunmen assassinate peasant leader in Paraguay ASUNCION: Gunmen early Saturday murdered one of the surviving leaders of a peasant movement whose land dispute with a powerful politician prompted the end of Fernando Lugo’s presidency last June. Vidal Vega, 48, was hit four times by bullets from a 12-gauge shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver fired by two unidentified men who sped away on a motorcycle, according to an official report prepared at the police headquarters in the provincial capital of Curuguaty.

A friend, Mario Espinola, told The Associated Press that Vega was shot down when he stepped outside to feed his farm animals. Vega was among the public faces of a commission of landless peasants from the settlement of Yby Pyta, which means Red Dirt in their native Guarani language. He had lobbied the government for many years to redistribute some of the ranchland that Colorado Party Sen. Blas Riquelme began occupying in the 1960s. By last May, they finally lost patience and moved onto the land. A

firefight during their eviction on June 15 killed 11 peasants and six police officers, prompting the Colorado Party and other leading parties to vote Lugo out of office for allegedly mismanaging the dispute. Twelve suspects, nearly all of them peasants from Yby Pyta, have been jailed without formal charges since then on suspicion of murdering the officers, seizing property and resisting authority. The prosecutor had six months to develop the case and will present his findings Dec. 16.

Vega was expected to be a witness at the criminal trial, since he was among the few leaders who weren’t killed in the clash or jailed afterward. He wasn’t charged because he was away getting supplies when the violence erupted at the settlement erected by the peasants inside Riquelme’s ranch, the Naranjaty Commission’s secretary, Martina Paredes, told the AP. “We think he was assassinated by hit men who were sent, we don’t know by whom, perhaps to frighten us and frustrate our fight to recover the state

lands that were illegally taken by Riquelme,” she said. Riquelme, who died of natural causes about a month after the battle in June, occupied the land during the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner, whose government gave away land for free to anyone willing to put it to productive use. A local court in Curuguaty upheld Riquelme’s claim to the land years later. Lugo’s government later sought to overturn the decision, but the case remains tied up in court. — AP

Two dead in bus crash into overpass at Miami airport Bus was too tall for entrance to arrivals area

SACRAMENTO: Motorist make their way along streets in Sacramento, California. The second in a series of storms slammed Northern California on Friday as heavy rain and strong winds knocked out power, tied up traffic and caused flooding along some stretches. — AP

North California towns brace for storm, flooding SAN FRANCISCO: Residents of Northern California braced for flooding as another powerful storm brings heavy rains to a region already soaked by two major weather systems in recent days. The latest storm came ashore Saturday night and was expected to force several rivers over their banks as it saturates the region Sunday, National Weather Service forecasters said. With rivers and streams already running high, the weather service issued flood warnings for both the Napa and Russian rivers, two rivers north of San Francisco with a history of flooding. “Some roads will become inundated and some of the agricultural areas will take on some water,” said Mark Strudley, a hydrologist with the weather service. The Napa River was expected to flood near St. Helena and Napa around noon yesterday, while the Russian River was expected to flood near Guerneville early Monday morning, Strudley said. The Napa River overwhelmed downtown Napa in 2005, flooding or destroying about 1,000 homes and forcing thousands of residents to leave the area. With that in mind, residents worked to fill 700 bags with 10 tons of sand, city official Danny Lerma said.”When you see it happen, you always remember, and you say, ‘I’m going to be better prepared,’” Lerma told KGO-TV. “And that’s what they’re doing right now.” Farther north, forecasters said the

Truckee River near Lake Tahoe was expected to crest above flood level by yesterday morning. The threat of flooding prompted officials in Truckee, a small town of about 16,000, to set up an evacuation center. A flash flood watch was also in effect for a wide area of Northern California through Sunday evening. Just across the border in Nevada, a state of emergency was declared in Reno, Sparks and Washoe County due to the expected flooding. The weather also prompted cancellations of Christmas parades and tree lightings in Sparks and Truckee. Officials were also warning people to be careful along beaches. A high surf advisory was issued by the weather service, with swells expected to be 14 to 16 feet along the Northern California coast. In Southern California, high surf was predicted in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. In San Diego, the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier was closed because of big waves and high tides. At the peak of Friday’s storm, some flooding was reported and thousands of people in Northern California were without power. The stormy weather may be behind a crash that involved several cars on Interstate 280 outside of San Francisco on Saturday morning, as well as the death of a Pacific Gas & Electric worker in West Sacramento who was killed after his truck crashed into a traffic signal pole during the stormy weather Friday. — AP

US instructor fought son in arrow attack CASPER: Gravely wounded by an arrow fired into his head, a college instructor still managed to wrestle with his 25-year-old son who carried out the attack and give his students time to flee the classroom, say police who hailed the actions as heroic. More grisly details of the horrific murder-suicide in Wyoming came to light Saturday, a day after the younger man killed his father’s live-in girlfriend and then barged into his father’s computer science class and shot him in the head with a highpowered bow and arrow. As James Krumm, 56, then fought with son Christopher Krumm during Friday’s attack, the handful of students in the Casper College classroom escaped. Christopher Krumm had just stabbed to death 42-year-old Heidi Arnold at the home she shared with James Krumm two miles away. When police arrived at the classroom, they found Christopher Krumm bleeding from self-inflicted knife wounds and taking his last breaths. James Krumm was dead, Casper Police Chief Chris Walsh said. “I can tell you the courage that was demonstrated by Krumm was absolutely without equal,” he said, adding that the instructor’s actions could offer some measure of comfort to those affected by the killings. Authorities believe “around six” students were in the classroom when Christopher Krumm entered, Casper police spokesman Justin Smith said. No students were hurt. Walsh said police still were trying to figure out what motivated Christopher Krumm to attack his father and Arnold, a math instructor at the college. Arnold died of multiple stab wounds. After shooting his father with the arrow, Christopher Krumm stabbed himself, then fatally stabbed his

father in the chest in a struggle in the classroom, Walsh said. Police began getting reports about the attack on Arnold soon after they responded by the dozen to the campus attack. Authorities locked down the campus for two hours while they scoured the grounds for any other attackers. They were reassured that Christopher Krumm acted alone. He had smuggled the compound bow a type much more powerful and effective for hunting than a simple, wooden bow onto campus beneath a blanket, Walsh said. He said Christopher Krumm also had two knives with him, and the knife used was “very large.” Arnold’s body was found in the gutter of her street, and evidence suggested much of the attack occurred outside the home, Walsh said. Investigators said Christopher Krumm had recently driven to Casper from Connecticut and had been staying at a local hotel. He had no significant history of encounters with police. Authorities were uncertain what went awry in his relationship with his father. “It’s difficult to say. I don’t think it was very close,” Walsh said. In Vernon, Connecticut, police Sgt. Timothy O’Connor said officers executed a search warrant at Christopher Krumm’s last known address Friday to help authorities in Casper. He didn’t know what investigators were looking for or may have found at the home. “Whatever was recovered will be turned over to Wyoming because it is an active investigation,” O’Connor said. Casper, population 56,000, is about 250 miles (402 kilometers) northwest of Denver and Wyoming’s second-largest city after the state capital, Cheyenne. Wyomingites refer to Casper as the “Oil City” because it is a hub of the state’s oil industry. —AP

MIAMI: At Miami International Airport, two large signs warn drivers of large vehicles not to pass beneath the 8-foot-6 inch concrete overpass. Authorities say two passengers are dead and others have been critically injured after a too-tall charter bus smashed into the overpass, crumpling metal. One of the signs attached to the top of the concrete barrier reads: “High Vehicle STOP Turn Left.” The other, placed to the left of the driveway and several feet in front of the barrier, says all vehicles higher than the 8-foot-6 threshold must turn left. Authorities said the large, white bus carrying 32 members of a church group hit the overpass after the driver got lost Saturday, killing two male passengers and leaving three other passengers critically injured. Airport spokesman Greg Chin said the bus was too tall for the entrance to the arrivals area and that buses are supposed to go through the departures area because of its higher clearance. The bus was going about 20 mph when it struck the overpass Saturday morning, Chin added. News photographs showed the front of the vehicle’s rooftop crumpled beneath the overpass. Osvaldo Lopez, an officer with the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, said he heard a loud noise Saturday morning and rushed to help. He said he went inside the bus and found several passengers tossed into the center aisle. He said the passengers, many of whom were elderly, remained calm. “It was just very bloody,” he added. Police said that one man, Serafin Castillo, 86, of Miami, died at the scene. A second man identified by authorities as Francisco Urana, 56, also of Miami, died later at a hospital. Chin said passengers told him they were part of a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses headed to

MIAMI: Law enforcement officers watch as a bus which hit a concrete overpass at Miami International Airport is hauled away, Saturday, in Miami. The vehicle was too tall for the 8-foot-6-inch entrance to the arrivals area, and buses are supposed to go through the departures area which has a higher ceiling, according to an airport spokesperson. — AP West Palm Beach. Police said in a news release that the group had chartered the bus to take them to a church convention there. The group was made up of congregation members of Sweetwater’s Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, said Sweetwater Mayor Manny MaroÒo. “This is a tragic accident that has affected many families, as well as, our Sweetwater family,” MaroÒo said in a statement. A phone number listed for the center in Sweetwater went unanswered in the hours after the crash. Three people were at hospitals in critical condition. The other 27 surviving passengers were hurt, but their injuries were less extensive, authorities said. Eight of the 14 patients initially taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital were in

stable condition while two others were in critical, said hospital spokeswoman Lidia Amoretti. Local reports said three people with lesser injuries were later released. A majority of the injuries were facial due to the frontal impact, said Miami-Dade Police spokesman Det. Alvaro Zabaleta. He said the driver was not familiar with the airport area and it was too early to say if charges would be filed. Investigators said they had conducted interviews Saturday with the driver, who suffered minor injuries. “The preliminary info tells us that he wasn’t too familiar with the area surrounding the airport, and that’s what led him to take perhaps the wrong ramp that led him onto the property of the airport, and because of not being familiar with the airport, did not

know or really see the height requirement in order for that bus to clear the overpass,” Zabaleta said. The bus was privately owned and typically used for tours, authorities said. Markings on the bus show it was owned by Miami Bus Service Corp. The company owns three motor coaches, according to the records. Miami Bus Service Corp. officials did not immediately respond to a phone message Saturday. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records found online show the company has had no violations for unsafe driving or controlled substances and alcohol. It also had not reported any crashes in the two years before Oct. 26, 2012. The records show it did receive three citations related to driver fatigue in April 2011. — AP

Mexico swears in president amid violent protests MEXICO CITY: Enrique Pena Nieto took the oath of office as Mexico’s new president Saturday vowing to restore peace and security and take on the vested interests that have hindered economic prosperity. As several hundred protesters threw fire bombs at police and smashed plate glass windows, Pena Nieto marked the return of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, with a 13point plan heavy on old-party populist handouts but with reforms designed to boost the economy and modernize the education and justice systems. “Mexico has not achieved the advances that the population demands or deserves,” Pena Nieto said in an inaugural speech unusual for its heavy emphasis on policy. “It’s time for us together to break the myths and paradigms and all else that has limited our development.” Inaugural events were marred all day by protesters opposed to the return of the PRI after a 12-year hiatus. Inside and outside the congressional chambers where he took the oath of office, his opponents called his inauguration an “imposition” of a party that ruled for 71 years using a mix of handouts, graft and rigged elections. At least 76 people were treated for injuries, including 29 who hospitalized, as the result of clashes between protesters and tear-gas firing police, the Red Cross said. City officials said 103 people were detained, including 11 minors. Vandals smashed windows of stores, banks and a hotel and made bonfires of furniture dragged into the streets. One downtown bank office where all the windows were broken had the words “Welcome Pena” painted across the facade in green. Pena Nieto countered with a speech full of specifics, from creating an integrated crime prevention program to ending the patronage and buying of teacher positions that rule the public education system. He said he will put security at the center of all policies for Mexicans and their families and will work to ensure that roads and cities are again “peaceful areas where Mexicans can travel safely without fear of loss of their liberty or life.” Mexico

MEXICO CITY: A protestor injured in clashes with riot police is carried away by Red Cross workers outside the National Congress, where Mexico’s new president Enrique Pena Nieto took the oath of office, in Mexico City. Protests against the new president began early Saturday morning with violent confrontations in the streets and protest speeches from opposition parties inside the congress. — AP has suffered a spike in violence since outgoing President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against organized crime upon taking office six years ago. Some 60,000 people have been killed by drug violence since then, according to some estimates. While officials first said most of the victims were involved in organized crime, the killings and kidnapping spread to innocent civilians as drug gangs came to rule entire towns and even parts of some states. Pena Nieto turned to his usual style of resultoriented governing with the list, having started his term as governor of Mexico State with 608 projects that he promised to complete. The tone of his speech was conciliatory, an attempt to alleviate fears about a return to the PRI’s autocratic past. “I will respect every voice,” he said. “I will run an open government that speaks with honesty, seeks opinion, listens to its citizens

... I will be a president who is close to the people.” Many of his proposals harkened back to the old populist PRI, promising pensions for the elderly, life insurance for single mothers to support their children through college, a program to end hunger and a new system of passenger trains. Political analyst Jesus Silva-Herzog Marquez marveled at the specificity. “It was as if the president took a pencil and drew the train route and how much it would cost to Toluca,” Silva-Herzog said. “It was very concrete, very practical, zero ideology ... this is Pena Nieto. I think Pena Nieto is not a person who thinks in abstract terms.” Many remain to be convinced. Before he took the oath of office, leftist congressional members inside the chamber gave protest speeches and hung banners, including a giant one reading “Imposition consummated. Mexico mourns.”— AP



British PM to meet newspaper editors, owners LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron will meet national newspaper editors and owners next week to urge them to agree a timeframe for setting up a new press watchdog, a government spokesman said yesterday. The meeting follows proposals set out by judge Brian Leveson in a major report into press ethics in Britain, conducted in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, which was published on Thursday. The meeting, tomorrow, will be hosted by Maria Miller, the culture minister who has responsibility for the media. Miller will appeal to the powerful group not to “drag its feet” in estab-

lishing a new regulator, the culture ministry spokesman said. Cameron hopes the new body will help quash claims that a new law is needed to make it truly effective. The main agenda will be trying to “set a timeframe for a response” from the newspaper industry to Leveson’s recommendation for independent selfregulation of the press, the spokesman added. Britain’s press currently regulates itself through the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), a body staffed by editors. Its critics say it is toothless and partly responsible for a failure to punish journalists for harassment, invasion of privacy and the hacking of voicemail

messages. Parliament will debate Leveson’s proposals on Monday afternoon when Miller will make a statement to fellow lawmakers, the spokesman added. Miller ’s special adviser Joanna Hindley told AFP that Miller would press the newspaper industry figures to come up with a timetable for setting up a new regulator “within a few weeks”. “She will be holding their feet to the fire,” Hindley said, adding that Miller would tell the industry “that the status quo is not acceptable.” Hindley confirmed that Richard Desmond, proprietor of the mid-market Daily Express and Daily Star tabloid, would be at the meeting. Desmond, one of Britain’s

most controversial media barons, owns a media empire that also includes celebrity magazine OK!, Channel 5 television and several adult channels. Hindley said Miller will lead further cross-party talks on the Leveson recommendations today and tomorrow mornings. Cameron’s government is divided on the future of the press. The Liberal Democrats, junior partners in the Conservative-led coalition, said they would join forces with the opposition Labour party and support a new law. The rift was sparked by the publication of Leveson’s report which proposed a new independent self-regulatory body backed by law. Leveson pro-

poses a beefed-up watchdog staffed by independent members, with the power to fine newspapers up to £1 million ($1.6 million, 1.23 million euros). While Cameron warned that legislation could threaten press freedom, his deputy Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, insisted statutory oversight was essential to guarantee the independence of the new watchdog. “Hacked Off”, a group for victims of press intrusion, says over 89,000 people have signed its online petition which calls on Cameron, Clegg and opposition leader Ed Miliband to work together to implement Leveson’s findings in full. The petition was launched on Friday.—AFP

Gunmen attack DR Congo camp, forces take over Goma 600 govt soldiers are on their way to Goma

PIACENZA: Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the center-left Democratic Party, arrives with his wife Daniela, second from left, and his daughters Elisa and Margherita, right, for a primary runoff, in Piacenza, Italy, yesterday. Italians are choosing a center-left candidate for premier for elections early next year, an important primary runoff given the main party is ahead in the polls against a center-right camp in utter chaos over whether Silvio Berlusconi will run again. — AP

Italian centre-left party holds decisive primary ROME: Several million Italians voted in a run-off primar y election yesterday to choose the centre-left candidate for prime minister in next spring’s national elections. The contest will decide whether Pier Luigi Bersani, 61, or Matteo Renzi, 37, stands for the Democratic Party (PD) against a still-tobe-chosen centre-right candidate to take over from Prime Minister Mario Monti. Thousands of voting stations, many of them white canvas gazebos on street corners, will close at 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) and exit polls will be released shortly afterwards. US-style party primaries are relatively new to Italy and have been welcomed by many as a departure from the past, when the party hierarchy chose the candidate for prime minister. Most opinion polls say the slow-speaking, bald, professorial Bersani will defeat Renzi, who bounces around platforms at rallies in open shirts and jeans. More than three million supporters of the PD voted in the first round a week ago-which eliminated three other candidates-and a similar number was expected to turn out for the final vote. Some people queued for hours. Some 100,000 people who did not vote last week asked to vote on Sunday but only some 7,000 requests were accepted because they had what party rules considered legitimate reasons for having missed the first round, such as health problems. While markets are wary of Bersani’s alliance with a party called Left, Ecology and Freedom, both men have pledged to continue budget discipline started by Monti. They would put more emphasis on economic growth and easing burdens on workers and pensioners. Bersani, who says he represents experience, won 44.9 percent of the vote in a first-round last Sunday. Renzi, who paints himself as a Kennedy-esque reformer and insists the Democratic Party (PD) needs a big shake-up, took 35.5 percent. Three other candidates divided the remaining votes. A poll by the SWG organisation said Bersani, who is PD leader, would get 53-57

percent in the run-off and Renzi, mayor of Florence, 43-47 percent. “I don’t ask you to like me. I ask you to believe me,” Bersani told supporters at a rally on Saturday night, repeating in his stump speech that a steady, experienced hand was what Italy needed in tough financial times. The past week has seen bitter argument between the two candidates over whether Renzi violated contest rules by taking out privately-funded advertising urging those who did not participate in the first round to vote for him in the run-off. Bersani tried to put the spat behind them, saying the party did not need to inflict “friendly fire” on itself. Renzi touted his determination to be a reformer. “As mayor of Florence, I cut costs, I eliminated office cars for city employees,” Renzi told a rally on Saturday night in his trademark style, wandering across the stage with a long-lead microphone. “As prime minister, I will do the rest,” he said. Renzi accused the older generation of the Democratic Party of failing to present a credible alternative, allowing former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s centre right to govern for so long. “If the other side wins, nothing will change. If we win tomorrow night, there will be a new Italy,” he said. Monti, favourite of the business community, has insisted that he will not be a candidate next year but has said he will come back if the election does not provide a clear winner. Another possible future role for him is as president of the republic and guarantor that austerity reforms agreed with Italy’s European partners continue. Italy’s gross public debt is equivalent to 126 percent of national output, according to the IMF. Berlusconi’s scandal-plagued right, forced from government by the financial crisis a year ago, is in disarray. Berlusconi said on Monday he would wait to see who wins the centre-left primary before deciding whether to run himself. He has repeatedly changed his mind in the last few weeks on whether to do so. — Reuters

MUGUNGA CAMP: Authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern city of Goma assumed gradual control of the mining hub yesterday after a rebel pullout, but tensions were running high with gunmen attacking a nearby camp for displaced people. UN refugee agency officials reported cases of looting and rape in the attack late Saturday on the giant Mugunga camp, which lies about 10 kilometres (six miles) west of Goma and is home to up to 35,000 displaced people. The attack came hours after the withdrawal of M23 rebel fighters in line with a regionally brokered deal to end their occupation of Goma which had stoked fears about stability in the war-blighted area that borders Rwanda and Uganda. “It’s a step in the right direction,” government spokesman Lambert Mende told AFP of the withdrawal, adding that President Joseph Kabila would soon start “listening to the grievances” of the mainly Tutsi rebels as part of peace negotiations. Security in the volatile region remains fluid following the M23’s 12-day occupation of Goma, despite over 160 police reinforcements arriving by boat at the lake port to beef up some 300 colleagues who arrived Saturday. Alongside United Nations peacekeepers, a few police patrols were seen on the streets of Goma, a city of around one million people that is the hub of the resource-rich area. Some 600 government soldiers are also reported to be on their way to Goma. The UN-backed Radio Okapi has also been jammed since late Saturday, officials said, after it aired an interview with M23 political leader Jean-Marie Runiga. While the rebels’ lightning seizure of Goma last week-eight months after they launched their uprising-sparked fear of a wider war and major humanitarian crisis, their pullout raised hopes it signalled a move back from further conflict. The region has already been the cradle of back-to-back wars that embroiled other nations from 1996 to 2003 fought largely over its vast wealth of copper, diamonds, gold

GOMA: A Congolese national police officer prepares to disembark from a boat at the port in the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, yesterday. After M23 rebels pulled out of Goma yesterday, 166 government police officers arrived this morning from Bukavu. — AFP and key mobile phone component coltan. Residents were wary of the arrival of government soldiers, who, like the rebels, have been accused of abuses including killings of civilians, rape and looting during the latest unrest. “They used to intimidate you and ask you for money,” said Angeline, a Goma resident who only gave her first name. “Of course we’re a little worried... what we want is peace,” she added, sitting at her small market stall, empty of goods. Singing songs and waving guns, M23 fighters crammed on to a convoy of looted trucks left Goma on Saturday, taking heavy weaponry and ammunition seized when Congo’s army fled in disarray from their advance. But the rebels remain just outside Goma, having pledged to withdraw only 20 kilometres (12 miles) under a regionally brokered deal, with complex negotiations now to focus on their demands, which include political reform. Jason Stearns, an independent

be reached for comment. Boko Haram has often targeted churches in its bloody insurgency, as well as police and other symbols of the establishment in Nigeria. On November 25, 11 people were killed in twin suicide bombings targeting a church at a military barracks in the northern town of Jaji. Violence linked to the Boko Haram insurgency in northern and central Nigeria is believed to have left some 3,000 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces. Two weeks ago leaflets were circulated round Gamboru Ngala by suspected Islamists saying that women were required to wear the Muslim veil and banning the sale of cigarettes, residents said. “A tailor named Adamu was shot dead last week by some suspected Boko Haram members for making clothes for women the group consider obscene,” said resident Hajara Umar. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is a sin” in the northern Hausa language, has claimed many attacks in northern and central parts of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and top oil producer. Nigeria’s population of some 160 million is roughly divided between the mainly Muslim north and the predominantly Christian south. — AFP

Decades of conflict between multiple militia forces-as well as meddling by regional armies-have ravaged Congo’s east. UN experts have accused Rwanda and Ugandawhich played active roles in DR Congo’s 1996-2003 wars-of supporting M23, a charge both countries deny. Britain on Friday froze $33.7 million (25.9 million euros) in aid to Rwanda following what it said was “credible and compelling reports of Rwandan involvement with M23”. Aid agencies are struggling to cope with the newly displaced, with some 285,000 people having fled their homes since the rebels began their uprising in April. A UN report said Wednesday their work had been hampered by the closure of Goma airport. The instability in DR Congo’s east was exacerbated by the aftermath of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when Hutus implicated in the killing of some 800,000 mostly Tutsi victims fled across the Congolese border after Tutsi leader Paul Kagame came to power. — AFP

Slovenians vote new president LJUBLJANA: Slovenians started voting yesterday in a presidential run-off with polls favouring former prime minister Borut Pahor, despite his promise to help an increasingly unpopular centreright government lead the eurozone country out of the crisis. Pahor, 49, pulled off an upset

on November 11 when he won the first round with 39.9 percent of the vote ahead of the favourite, incumbent President Danilo Turk, 60, who tallied 35.9 percent. Pahor is backed by centre-left opposition party the Social Democrats (SD). A good-looking, relaxed, people’s politician, he

Gunmen burn churches, border posts in Nigeria KANO: Suspected members of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram set fire to churches and border posts in northeastern Nigeria yesterday, residents said, but it was not immediately known if there were casualties. Around 50 gunmen in cars and on motorcycles carried out the attacks on three churches and border posts with neighbouring Cameroon, opening fire on police and chanting Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest), residents said. Among the security posts burned were offices for immigration, customs and the secret police and a quarantine building in the city of Gamboru Ngala, about 140 kilometres (80 miles) from the Boko Haram stronghold of Maiduguri. “They opened fire on the security personnel but it is hard to say if anybody was hurt or killed,” resident Modugana Ibrahim told AFP. Another resident, Hamidu Ahmad, said the gunmen went into town “chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and burnt down the divisional police station and three churches”. Residents reported gun battles between the assailants and police reinforcements who arrived from Maiduguri. The sources did not say whether worshippers were in the churces at the time of the attacks, and police and the army could not immediately

analyst, warned the withdrawal “is just a tactical retreat and the war is far from over.” Kris Berwouts, another independent analyst, added that while “there may be new negotiations, it is not going to solve anything long term,” noting the rebellion was sparked by the failure of earlier peace deals. UN peacekeepers, who were unable to stop the rebel sweep across the east, said they had no plans to boost its current force of 1,600 troops in Goma, said spokesman Madnodje Mounoubai. Under the deal agreed by the rebels, the M23 will post 100 men at Goma airport alongside similar numbers of government troops, soldiers from neighbouring Tanzania and UN peacekeepers. M23 was founded by former fighters in a Tutsi rebel group whose members were integrated into the regular army under a 2009 peace deal that they claim was never fully implemented. Several of its leaders have been hit by UN sanctions over alleged atrocities.

SEMPETER: A voter casts his ballot at the polling station in Sempeter, Slovenia, yesterday. Small, crisis-hit EU member Slovenia is choosing a president in an atmosphere of uncertainty and growing discontent with cost-cutting measures designed to avoid an international bailout. — AP

appeared to have won voters over by repeatedly admitting that some of his decisions as prime minister had been wrong. Turk is running as an independent candidate with the backing of the largest centre-left opposition party, Positive Slovenija (PS). Most commentators considered he had lost most of the candidates’ televised debates, despite his attacks on the government’s unpopular austerity measures. The latest polls, published Friday by the private Planet TV and independent weekly Mladina, suggested Pahor would win a little over 60 percent of the vote yesterday, to 40 percent for Turk. Eurozone member Slovenia, once seen as a star new member in the European Union, is suffering one of the deepest recessions in the eurozone, while problems with its banks have raised fears it may need a bailout. Analysts say that a wave of protests against the government’s austerity measures over the last week could reflect on the results. “Turk’s victory would be a big surprise... but he still has some chances,” Vlado Miheljak, a political specialist at Ljubljana University, told AFP. It might be possible for him to “ride the wave” of social dissatisfaction with austerity, he said. “People do not want their president to be excessively soft, they want somebody who can point his finger at the govern-

ment,” he argued. A week after the first-round vote, 30,000 people attended a rally in Ljubljana called by the country’s main unions to protest the government’s austerity measures. Several others followed over the week. At the latest, on Friday, police in Ljubljana used tear gas and water cannons and detained over 30 protestors after violence erupted at the end of a largely peaceful demonstration. “ The government’s austerity measures have caused great damage.... The government should radically change its course,” Turk said at a debate with his rival on Tuesday. But Pahor, whose centre-left government suffered a no-confidence vote in 2011, has defended Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s policy of austerity. There is no other option, he argues. “We should not lose any more time speculating about possible alternatives,” Pahor said during one debate. “We should collaborate without further delaying the important decisions the government has to take.” The Slovenian president has little power. But analysts argue that the prime minister would benefit from collaborating with the country’s head of state-particularly if the opposition and unions succeed in calling referendums to try to prevent the implementation of new austerity or reform measures.—AFP



Iran pushes out Afghans as regional power-play heats up HEART: Ghaus worked in Iran for five years but has nothing to show for it. All he has are memories of being jailed, beaten and sent home to Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s oil-rich western neighbour has for years been a destination for Afghans seeking work or fleeing war. Afghanistan and Iran share a language, and cultural and historical links. But hostility to the US role in Afghanistan, regional ambitions and an economy choked by Western sanctions have persuaded Iran to cast out Afghan migrants, to the dismay of those forced home and their government. In May, Iran threatened to expel Afghan refugees and migrant workers, in all about 2.4 million people, if Afghanistan signed a strategic security pact with the United States. The deal was struck. “Afghan refugees and migrants are becoming the victims of big political games played between the Iranian and U.S. powers,” said Abdul Samad Hami, Afghanistan’s deputy minister for refugees. Few of the migrants, who pay smugglers about $700 to get across the 1,000 km (620 miles) border into Iran, know they have been caught up in a geopolitical power play. Barefoot and wearing a sunbleached silver turban, Ghaus was huddled with about 20 other expelled migrants at a UN centre in the western Afghan city of Herat after being dumped out of a bus on the border.

“Suddenly, my life came to an end,” the soft-spoken bricklayer told Reuters. Ghaus is one of 191,121 unregistered Afghan migrants forced out of Iran from January to Sept. 30 this year, according to the U.N. refugee agency, up 29 percent from last year. About 1.4 million migrant workers remain in Iran but hundreds of them are being expelled every day. There are also nearly a million Afghan refugees who are allowed to live there. Shuffling home through Herat’s Islam Qala border checkpoint, most of the returning migrants are young men dressed like Iranians in jeans and brightly coloured bomber jackets, but with bulging suitcases and bed-rolls on their heads. Many migrants have called Iran home for decades, part of an exodus of nine million Afghans - a third of the population - who fled to neighbours Iran and Pakistan, beginning with the Soviet invasion in 1979, through to the austere Taliban rule of the 1990s. The expulsions represent not just a burden for Afghanistan but also a loss of income, and could even spell more instability ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign troops by the end of 2014. Afghan migrants in Iran send home about $500 million a year, a considerable sum for one of the world’s poorest countries. The funds will become more important as foreign aid shrinks with the departure of Western forces.

Iran says migrant workers pose a security threat. But Afghan politicians and analysts say Iran is pushing them out to show it can ratchet up the pressure when it doesn’t get its way. As the United States reduces its role in Afghanistan, neighbours are competing for influence. Iran already backs a third of Afghan media and builds schools and clinics to boost its sway, according to Afghan officials. Iran’s economic influence in Afghanistan is palpable in Herat, which enjoys robust trade over the nearby border and boasts smoothly paved roads and bustling markets. Iran offers Afghan migrants menial work, often on construction sites. Many of the men return home addicted to opium after being paid in the drug instead of cash. This is not only because it is cheaper for employers to pay in opium, but also because the depreciation of Iran’s rial, in the face of international sanctions over its nuclear programme, has made opium more attractive than cash for the workers.“We were allowed to choose money or drugs. Over time, drugs seemed the better option,” said Rasool, a grey-bearded man who guarded a construction site in Iran’s secondlargest city of Mashhad for 15 years. Like Ghaus, Rasool was briefly imprisoned in Iran before being expelled.Some migrants end up in prison after getting home. “We’ve noticed an increase in the number of

migrants coming back here with drug addictions,” said General Shah Mir, who oversees Herat’s provincial prison, where almost 300 former migrant workers are doing time for opium trafficking. Health officials estimate there are 1 million Afghans addicted to opium or heroin, or about 8 percent of the adult population, making it the world’s top user per capita. It is also the top producer of opium and its refined form, heroin. But it is not just the migrant workers that Iran wants out. It is also making moves to force out the majority of the 930,000 legal Afghan refugees and is stepping up a campaign to make them feel unwelcome, Afghan officials and rights group say. Last month, Iran’s Interior Ministry said a decision had been made to “end the status of asylum for 700,000 Afghans” by March 21, 2015. An Interior Ministry spokesman declined to comment on the reason for the decision. Faraz Sanei, Iran researcher at the New York-based Human Rights Watch, said Iran gets tough on repatriating Afghans when it feels pressured in the regional manoeuvring for influence. “When political tension between Tehran and Kabul is high, for example, with regard to the U.S. role in Afghanistan, Tehran has stepped up its tough talk,” Sanei said. Iran and Afghanistan, along with the United Nations High Commissioner for

Refugees, agreed on a voluntary repatriation programme in 2002 in the belief that with better security at home, the refugees should choose to go back. “Though this has been the official government line, we have seen an increase in the restrictive measures against Afghan refugees in recent years that has made life in Iran increasingly difficult,” said Sanei. Iran has been increasing the number of “no-go areas” for Afghans, which authorities say is part of a strategy to secure its borders. Afghans are now allowed in 12 of Iran’s 31 provinces, down from 14 last year. “Even within the allowed areas, movement of Afghans is restricted and there are only certain jobs they can do,” said Hami, the deputy minister for refugees. Afghans have even been banned from certain public parks, Iranian media has reported. Hami said Afghanistan had been preparing for the expulsion of refugees for some time and was mapping out a “contingency plan” with the UN refugee agency that should be ready by January. For Herat member of parliament Qazi Nazir Ahmad Hanfai, the reason Iran is putting pressure on Afghans living there is clear: Iran is punishing Afghanistan for defying its call to reject the US security pact. “The Iranians warned the Afghans ... and now we’re seeing the result of that threat,” Hanfai said. — Reuters

US-Afghan base attacked in eastern Afghanistan Nine attackers took part in the assault

DHAKA: Bangladeshi garment workers participate in a protest to mourn the death of the victims of the fire in a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday. Bangladesh’s government said Saturday it will give 200,000 takas ($2,500) to the families of those who died in a garment factory fire last week and 50,000 takas ($625) to those who were injured. — AP

Bangladesh workers clash with police in fire protest DHAKA: Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas yesterday in clashes with thousands of Bangladeshi workers protesting over the deaths of 110 people in one of the country’s worst factory fires and the sacking of labourers. Industrial police deputy director Baser Uddin said the sacking of scores of workers at a plant triggered the latest demonstration following the deadly blaze last weekend at Tazreen Fashion in the Ashulia industrial area north of the capital Dhaka. “We shot rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them,” Uddin said, adding that the protestors blocked a key highway, torching furniture and tyres. Protesters fought back with stones, police said, turning the industrial area, home to hundreds of plants which make clothing for Western retailers, into a battleground. He said Tazreen Fashion workers joined the protest, demanding their wages and justice for the victims of the fire. “The Tazreen workers were told that they would be paid their November salary on Saturday. The owners did not keep their word. There was no payment even yesterday,” he said. Scores of factories declared an impromptu holiday on Sunday, which

is a workday in Muslim majority Bangladesh, fearing the protests would spread and turn into larger-scale labour unrest, he said. Survivors of the blaze told AFP how workers, most of them women, tried to escape the burning Tazreen Fashion factory, which supplied clothes to a variety of international brands including US giant Walmart and Dutch retailer C&A. Authorities said the nine-storey factory had permission for three floors, while firefighters said all three of the fire exits led to the ground floor, where the blaze started, meaning staff upstairs were effectively trapped. There have also been accusations that managers told employees to stay at their work stations when the fire broke out and that the activation of a fire alarm was only a routine drill. Police have arrested three managers and questioned the owner and managing director of the factory, Delwar Hossain. Around 700 garment workers have been killed in dozens of fires since 2006, according to the Clean Clothes Campaign, an Amsterdambased textile rights group. None of the owners have been prosecuted over previous blazes. — AFP

CHENGDU: In this photo taken on November 30, 2012 a young ethnic Tibetan boy plays with a toy on a street in Chengdu in China’s southwest Sichuan province. More than 20 Tibetans set themselves alight in November in protest at China’s rule, beginning in the run-up to the Chinese Communist Party’s setpiece congress, with many Tibetans in China accusing the government of religious repression and eroding their culture, as the country’s majority Han ethnic group increasingly moves into historically Tibetan areas. — AFP

KABUL: Taleban suicide bombers attacked a joint US-Afghan air base in eastern Afghanistan early yesterday, detonating explosives at the gate and sparking a gunbattle that lasted at least two hours with American helicopters firing down at militants before the attackers were defeated. The attackers and at least five Afghans were killed, officials said. Taleban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack. It was the largest clash at the Jalalabad air base since February, when a suicide car bombing at the gate triggered an explosion that killed nine Afghans, six of them civilians. In yesterday’s attack, two vehicles packed with explosives barreled toward the main gate of the base around 6 a.m. local time. The first vehicle, a four-wheel-drive car, blew up at the gate, said Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. Guards started shooting at the second vehicle before it too exploded, he added. It was unclear if the explosives were detonated by the attackers themselves or by shooting from the guards. Two Afghan students from a private medical school were caught up in the attack and killed, as were three other Afghans working at the base, Mashreqiwal said. He did not know if the base workers were private guards, members of the security forces or civilian employees. Nine attackers took part in the assault in total, he said, three of whom were killed in the suicide blasts and another six gunmen who died in the ensuing fighting that lasted a few hours. Maj. Martyn Crighton, a spokesman for the international military force in Afghanistan, said that helicopters “were deployed and

used” but it was unclear if they were key to killing the militants. The NATO military coalition described the attack as a failure. “We can confirm insurgents, including multiple suicide bombers, attacked Jalalabad Airfield this

Afghan security forces was killed. Several foreign troops were wounded, but Messer did not give any numbers or details. “The final assessment of what happened this morning is not yet complete, but initial

JALALABAD: Bodies of Afghan civilians, who were killed during an attack by Taleban suicide bombers on a joint US-Afghan air base, are seen in an ambulance, in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. — AP morning. None of the attackers succeeded in breaching the perimeter,” Lt. Col. Hagen Messer, a spokesman for the international military coalition, said in an email. He said that the fighting had ended by midmorning and that reports showed one member of the

reports indicate there were three suicide bombers,” Messer said. In the south, meanwhile, a NATO service member was killed in an insurgent attack, the international coalition said in a statement. It did not provide further details. — AP

Pakistan seizes 14 tonnes of bomb-making chemical QUETTA: Pakistani authorities seized nearly 14 tonnes of potassium chlorate, a key ingredient in bomb-making, from a bus in the country’s violent and unstable southwest on Sunday, officials said. The haul was made when officials acting on a tip-off stopped a bus just outside the city of Quetta loaded with the volatile substance hidden under cartons of food, an official with the government paramilitary force said. “We have seized some 13,900 kilograms of potassium chlorate from a bus and arrested five people,” Frontier Corps Captain Johar Sarwar told AFP. “The substance was hidden in sacks under various food items.” Frontier Corps spokesman Murtaza Baig confirmed the haul and said the substance could be used to make bombs and was so dangerous that only a simple detonator was needed to make a deadly device. The bus was bound for the remote town of Naushki, around 110 kilometres (65 miles) west of Quetta, he said, adding that bomb disposal officers were summoned to check for detonators, but they found none. Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, is frequently hit by bomb attacks. The oil and gasrich area borders Iran and Afghanistan, and suffers from sectarian violence, attacks by Taliban militants and a tribal insurgency.

Baluch rebels rose up in 2004, demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region’s mineral resources. Baluchistan has also been a flashpoint for violence between majority Sunnis and Shiites, who make up around 20 percent of the population. Meanwhile, rescuers have found three more bodies after landslides in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, officials said yesterday, taking the confirmed death toll to 15, with three people still missing. A military and civilian rescue operation was launched after heavy snows on Friday triggered two landslides at a remote outpost in the Kel area of the disputed territory near the de facto border with India. “Despite bad weather and heavy snowfall rescuers found three more bodies yesterday (Saturday) and are searching for three more who are still missing,” local administration official Raja Saqib Muneer told AFP. “So far 15 bodies have been recovered, including nine soldiers and six civilians.” Disputed Kashmir has been the cause of two of the three wars between India and Pakistan since their independence from Britain in 1947. But with separatist violence having dropped sharply following the start of a peace process in 2004, the greatest dangers facing soldiers stationed at remote outposts are often landslides and extreme weather

conditions. In April, 140 Pakistani soldiers were buried when a huge wall of snow crashed into the remote Siachen Glacier base high in the mountains in Kashmir. They have all been declared dead, although some of the bodies remain buried. That tragedy renewed debate about how much sense it made for a country where millions live below the poverty line to maintain outposts in Siachen, dubbed “the world’s highest battleground”, at immense cost when vio-

lence had decreased. And in February, at least 16 Indian soldiers on duty in the mountains of Kashmir were killed when two avalanches swept through army camps. In Friday’s accident, a wall of mud and snow hit the outpost in the early hours. An 18strong team was quickly dispatched to search for the soldiers at the outpost, which is 130 kilometres (80 miles) from Pakistanadministered Kashmir’s main town of Muzaffarabad. — AFP

QUETTA: Pakistani paramilitary soldiers escort an arrested suspect into a police station in Quetta yesterday, after police recovered tonnes of potassium chlorate from a bus. Pakistani authorities seized nearly 14 tonnes of potassium chlorate, a key ingredient in bomb-making, from a bus in the country’s violent and unstable southwest yesterday, officials said. — AFP


i n t e r n at i o n a l

Corruption the killer in China rail crash: US family SHANGHAI: More than a year after a train crash in China left his parents dead and his brother disabled, American Leo Cao still feels bitter grief, but also anger at what he sees as the real killer-corruption. Leo left China as a 10-year-old, as his parents closed their small hardware shop and sought a better life in the United States. His first trip back, 20 years later, was to identify their bodies. The Cao family became US citizens and worked hard to make their way in their new home, both adults taking jobs as caretakers at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, and saving up to treat themselves to occasional trips to their native land. Before boarding the second carriage of train D301 in Beijing, bound for his ancestral province of Fujian, Erxing Cao proudly took a photo of a gleaming bullet train on his mobile phone. It was part of the largest high-speed rail network in the world-seen by Beijing as a symbol of China’s advance. Hours later the 56-year-old lay dead in twisted wreckage, killed instantly by massive head injuries when his train smashed into another. “He had a passion to see China develop and become a global power, but it’s the same development that pretty much killed him,” said his son. His mother Zeng Rong Chen, also 56, was pronounced dead at the hospital. A pouch holding

$10,000 in cash she was carrying disappeared, haunting family members who fear looting may have delayed her medical treatment. “I just hate to think that whatever my mother was carrying might have contributed to her deathif something might have happened between the crash site and the hospital,” Leo said. His parents were among at least 40 people killed in the accident near Wenzhou on July 23 last year, China’s worst since 2008. It put the spotlight on the country’s breakneck development-and rampant government corruption. China has more than 7,700 kilometres (4,800 miles) of high-speed rail lines and plans to more than double that by 2015. A new line between the northern cities of Dalian and Harbin opens Saturday, to be followed soon by another between Beijing and the southern city of Guangzhou. A government report on the Wenzhou crash blamed it on design flaws and poor management, saying former railways minister Liu Zhijun-architect of the high-speed system-was responsible for “irregularities” in design and safety. He had been removed from his job five months before the accident, and days ahead of a Communist Party congress earlier this month he was formally expelled from the organisation for “serious disciplinary violations”.

That cleared the way for his prosecution for taking massive bribes in return for awarding contracts, though a trial date has yet to be announced. After the Communist congress Xi Jinping, the newly proclaimed head of the ruling party, said corruption could “kill” the country if not addressed. But while officials have vowed repeatedly to tackle the problem, campaigns have stopped short of rooting out graft at the very top beyond a few individuals. Leo sees institutionalised graft as the real culprit of Wenzhou, beyond a single individual. “Corruption killed my parents-the rapid expansion (of the railway network) and the ‘business as usual’ system in China where bribes are a way to conduct business,” he told AFP in an interview in Shanghai. “I have no personal qualms with that guy,” he said, referring to Liu. “It’s the system. The signal system went into operation without testing and that only happens when bribes are paid.” Nearly 200 people were injured in the crash, among them his older brother Henry Cao, 33. The last thing Henry remembers before the collision was an uncontrollable jolting, like an earthquake. “The train car was shaking-lights were off-it felt like I was falling and I said a prayer,” he told AFP. “Then I was in a dreamy state. It was like I was trapped in pain but I couldn’t escape.” He lost his

spleen and a kidney, among other injuries. Now he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and recently had part of his intestine removed because of complications. “Looking at him breaks my heart. He’s half the man he used to be, mentally and physically,” said Leo, who is seeking what he deems fair compensation from the Chinese authorities. The government’s Ministry of Railways offered $145,000 each for his parents the same level as Chinese victims-based on 20 years of average salary in Zhejiang province, where the crash occurred. The ministry offered Henry Cao $85,000 based on his earnings from running a trading business-which has collapsed as a result of his injuriesand has refused an increase. “We’re a humble family in the US. My parents were janitors. We’re not seeking the moon. What I’m doing is trying to get some compensation for my brother,” said Leo, a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina. “We’re pretty much a striving immigrant family that pursued the American Dream and sort of made it until the crash.” He is now contemplating lodging a lawsuit through a Shanghai court, which he fully expects to lose. “Corruption killed my parents,” he repeated. “Unfortunately, I can’t take the Chinese to court for corruption.” — AFP

North Korea plans new rocket launch South calls launch ‘grave provocation’

NARATHIWAT: The son (C) of a slain Muslim official cries as the body of his father is brought to hospital after he was shot dead by suspected separatist militants in Thailand’s restive southern province of Narathiwat yesterday. — AFP

Philippines braces for powerful typhoon MANILA: Philippine officials say fishermen and villagers in landslide- and flood-prone areas have been warned to take precautions as a powerful Pacific typhoon blows toward the country’s south. Government forecaster Aldczar Aurelio says Typhoon Bopha was 870 kilometers (540 miles) off southern Surigao del Sur province late Sunday with sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour (115 miles per hour) and gusts of 200 kph (124 mph). The storm may still strengthen over sea and is expected to make landfall tomorrow. Benito Ramos, who heads the government’s disaster response agency, says provincial officials have placed food packs and other emergency equipment in areas where the typhoon may pass. Ramos says evacuations of villagers may be carried out as it becomes clear where the typhoon will hit. Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific fishing experts yesterday warned against depleting tuna stocks, saying the region needs to reduce its catch of the vulnerable bigeye species by 30 percent. Participants at the conference of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) said action must be taken not only to preserve tuna resources but also other marine life that are accidentally caught with them. Some tuna varieties are overfished while others are near their limits, participants at the meeting said. Additionally, tuna fishers often catch sharks, rays and other fish in their nets, depleting their numbers as well. The area covered by the WCPFC provides more than 50 percent of all the tuna catch in the world, said Asis Perez, head of the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries. The commission, which groups over 30 countries and territories ranging from the United

States, China and Australia to small Pacific island nations, has a special role in protecting tuna, he added. Because tuna is a migratory species that moves from one country’s territory to another, cooperation is crucial to sustaining the resource. WCPFC executive director Glenn Hurry said bigeye tuna, one of the most caught species, was reaching its limits and measures must be taken to limit the catching of this species. “This is the one we’re worried about. The catch is too big. We need to find a way to reduce that,” he told reporters. Hurry said the region was producing about 151,000 tonnes of bigeye tuna annually which was too high. “We need to reduce that catch by 30 percent,” he said. But the catching of the other popular varieties like skipjack, yellowfin and Pacific albacore-should not increase either, Hurry warned. Skipjack tuna catch was about 1.4 million tonnes last year, while yellowfin tuna catch was at about 550,000 tonnes in 2010, Hurry said, adding it should ideally be at 450,000 tonnes a year. “We want to develop a conservation measure for the catching of bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack tuna,” he said. Among the proposed measures is extending controls on “fish aggregating devices”-floating objects which attract fish in the high seas, making it easier for fishing boats to haul them in. Such devices often result in the catching of immature tuna as well as other species like sharks, rays and sea turtles, participants said. The forum will also take up possibly closing the the so-called “highseas pockets” in the Pacific where tuna fishing is permitted but where there are reports of some fishing boats violating commission rules. — Agencies

China court denies jailing government ‘interceptors’ BEIJING: A Chinese court has asked for an apology from a newspaper which said it jailed 10 “interceptors” who illegally held petitioners attempting to lodge complaints with the government, state media reported yesterday. The state-run Beijing Youth Daily reported yesterday that 10 were imprisoned for illegally detaining people from the central province of Henan who had travelled to Beijing to complain about local government abuses. The widely-circulated report struck a chord among many Chinese dissatisfied with the age-old “petitioning” system, which allows citizens to request the central government to investigate disputes such as land grabs and unpaid wages. Officials, eager to protect their reputations, often employ “interceptors” to catch petitioners and detain them in secret facilities known as “black jails” to prevent them from lodging complaints. The newspaper said a Beijing court handed down sentences ranging from several months to a year-and-a-half in prison for “illegal imprisonment”, the first time such workers have been sentenced in the capital. But a court spokeswoman branded the report, which was carried by most major Chinese news websites and widely spread on Chinese social networking websites, as

“fake news”, another state-run newspaper, the China Daily, reported. The spokeswoman, who was not named, “confirmed a case involving city officials from Henan had been heard”, but “denied judges had handed down any verdict”, the paper said. Beijing’s Chaoyang District Court, which reportedly handed down the verdict, is “in negotiations with Beijing Youth Daily over the printing of an apology and explanation”, the paper said. The China Daily’s website appeared to remove the report later on Sunday, but the official microblog account of the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of China’s ruling communist party, also issued a denial of the Beijing Youth Daily story. “A People’s Daily reporter understood from the Beijing high court that there has not been a verdict on the case, and the news was inaccurate,” a post on the microblog said. Users of Sina Weibo, a microblogging website similar to Twitter, expressed disappointment that the interceptors, who are widely reviled figures in China, had not been jailed. “This news made people so happy, how could it turn out to be fake?” one user wrote. “I look forward to this news really coming true,” wrote another. Calls to the Chaoyang District Court went unanswered yesterday. —AFP

SEOUL: North Korea said it would carry out its second rocket launch of 2012 as its youthful leader Kim Jong-un flexes his muscles a year after his father’s death, in a move that South Korea and the United States swiftly condemned as a provocation. North Korea’s state news agency announced the decision to launch another space satellite on Saturday, just a day after Kim met a senior delegation from China’s Communist Party in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. China, under new leadership, is North Korea’s only major political backer and has continually urged peace on the Korean peninsula, where the North and South remain technically at war after an armistice, rather than a peace treaty, ended the 1950-53 conflict. China’s Foreign Ministry said it was deeply concerned by the move, but urged calm. “North Korea has a right to the peaceful use of space, but this right has been restricted by UN Security Council resolutions. (China) hopes all sides can do more to benefit peace and stability on the peninsula, and hopes all sides handle it calmly to avoid the situation escalating,” ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement. In Washington, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned the launch plan as a provocative threat to the Asia-Pacific region that would violate United Nations resolutions imposed on Pyongyang after past missile tests. “A North Korean ‘satellite’ launch would be a highly provocative act that threatens peace and security in the region,” she said in a written statement. North Korea has notified its neighbours of the proposed flight path, an unnamed South Korean official told Yonhap news agency on Sunday, saying that it would take a similar path to a failed rocket launch in April this year. That was supposed to take the rocket over seas separating China and the Korean peninsula where the first stage of the rocket would drop into the sea, then to pass over Okinawa. The second stage was to fall in seas off the Philippines. Pentagon spokesman George Little said, “North Korea must abide by its international obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions that clearly articulate what it can and cannot do with respect to missile technologies.” Seoul’s foreign ministry called the move a “grave provocation.” Japan’s Kyodo news agency said Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had ordered ministries to be on alert for the launch. “North Korea wants to tell China that it is an independent state by staging the rocket launch and it wants to see if the United States will drop its hostile policies,” said Chang Yong-seok, a senior researcher at the Institute for Peace Affairs at Seoul

SEOUL: South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, center, presides an emergency meeting about North Korea’s rocket launch at Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, yesterday. — AP National University. North Korea is banned from conducting missile or nuclear-related activities under U.N. resolutions imposed after earlier nuclear and missile tests. The country says its rockets are used to put satellites into orbit for peaceful purposes, but that assertion is not widely accepted outside of Pyongyang. Washington and Seoul believe that the impoverished North is testing long-range missile technology with the aim of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Pyongyang’s threats are aimed, in part, at winning concessions and aid from Washington, analysts say. The failed April rocket launch took place to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung and the latest test will take place close to the Dec. 17 date of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il. It will also come as South Korea gears up for a Dec. 19 presidential election in a vote that pits a supporter of closer engagement with Pyongyang against the daughter of South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee. The April test was condemned by the United Nations, although taking action against the North is hard as China refuses to endorse further sanctions against Pyongyang.

North Korea is already one of the most heavily sanctioned states on earth thanks to its nuclear programme. Pyongyang has few tools to pressure the outside world to take it seriously due to its diplomatic isolation and its puny economy. The state that Kim Jong-un inherited last December after the death of his father boasts a 1.2 million-member military, but its population of 23 million, many malnourished, supports an economy worth just $40 billion annually in purchasing power parity terms, according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. “The North’s calculation may be that they have little to lose by going ahead with it at this point,” said Baek Seung-joo of the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Seoul. Baek said the test planned for December would likely be no more successful in launching a satellite than the April one that crashed into the sea between China and North Korea after flying just 120 km (75 miles). “Kim Jongun may be taking a big gamble trying to come back from the humiliating failure in April and in the process trying to raise the morale for the military,” Baek said. North Korea’s space agency said on Saturday that it had worked on “improving the reliability and precision of the satellite and carrier rocket” since April’s launch. — Reuters

Singapore deports Chinese bus drivers SINGAPORE: Singapore yesterday deported 29 mainland Chinese bus drivers involved in the citystate’s first industrial strike in 26 years. The drivers, working for state-linked transport operator SMRT, staged the strike last Monday and Tuesday over a salary dispute and to demand better working conditions. Their work permits had been revoked ahead of their deportation. “The Ministry of Home Affairs confirms that all 29 former SMRT bus drivers have been repatriated to their home country,” the ministry said in a statement. “They were cooperative and the process took place without incident,” it said, adding that Chinese embassy officials and SMRT staff assisted in the repatriation. Four other drivers were charged in court and authorities said they would lodge charges against a fifth today for their involvement in the work stoppage which the government ruled was illegal. If found guilty, they could be jailed for up to a year, fined a maximum of Sg$2,000 ($1,640) — the equivalent of two months’ wages-or both. The strike, the first since 1986 and which caught the government by surprise, has highlighted tightlycontrolled Singapore’s heavy dependency on migrant labour to drive its economic growth amid a labour shortage resulting from falling birth rates. Strikes are illegal in the affluent island-state for workers in “essential services” such as transport unless they give 14 days’ prior notice and meet other requirements. Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said Saturday the workers broke Singapore law, but also chided SMRT saying the company “could have done better in managing their labour grievances and concerns”. SMRT has promised to look into the strikers’

demands, fumigate their bedbug-infested dormitory rooms, find alternative housing in 2013 and open permanent communication lines with its Chinese workers. “Valuable lessons have been learnt from this incident which are being addressed by the management,” SMRT said in a statement Saturday, pledging to be “more proactive, responsible and sensitive to the needs” of its

drivers. A total of 171 drivers launched the strike November 26 by refusing to report for work and staying in their dormitories, with the number falling to 88 on the second day. Sinapan Samydorai, director for Southeast Asian affairs at civil rights group Think Centre, on Saturday criticised the government action as “a bit too harsh”. — AFP

CHENGDU: In this photo taken on November 30, 2012 ethnic Tibetans carry goods down a street in Chengdu in China’s southwest Sichuan province. More than 20 Tibetans set themselves alight in November in protest at China’s rule, beginning in the run-up to the Chinese Communist Party’s set-piece congress, with many Tibetans in China accusing the government of religious repression and eroding their culture, as the country’s majority Han ethnic group increasingly moves into historically Tibetan areas. — AFP



Giant sequoia tops a neighbor after review FRESNO, California: Deep in the Sierra Nevada, the famous General Grant giant sequoia tree is suffering its loss of stature in silence. What once was the world’s No. 2 biggest tree has been supplanted thanks to the most comprehensive measurements taken of the largest living things on Earth. The new No. 2 is The President, a 54,000-cu-ft gargantuan not far from the Grant in Sequoia National Park. After 3,240 years, the giant sequoia still is growing wider at a consistent rate, which may be what most surprised the scientists examining how the sequoias and coastal redwoods will be affected by climate change and whether these trees have a role to play in combating it. “I consider it to be the greatest tree in all of the mountains of the world,” said Stephen Sillett, a redwood researcher whose team from Humboldt State University is seeking to mathematically assess the potential of California’s iconic trees to absorb planet-warming carbon dioxide. The researchers are a part of the 10-year Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative funded by the Save the Redwoods League in San Francisco. The measurements of The President, reported in the current National Geographic, dispelled the previous notion that the big trees grow more slowly in old age. It means, the experts say, the amount of carbon dioxide they absorb during photosynthesis continues to increase over their lifetimes. In addition to painstaking measurements of every branch and twig, the team took 15 half-centimeter-wide core samples of The President to determine its growth rate, which they learned was stunted in the

abnormally cold year of 1580 when temperatures in the Sierra hovered near freezing even in the summer and the trees remained dormant. But that was an anomaly, Sillett said. The President adds about one cubic meter of wood a year during its short six-month growing season, making it one of the fastest-growing trees in the world. Its 2 billion leaves are thought to be the most of any tree on the planet, which would also make it one of the most efficient at transforming carbon dioxide into nourishing sugars during photosynthesis. “We’re not going to save the world with any one strategy, but part of the value of these great trees is this contribution and we’re trying to get a handle on the math behind that,” Sillett said. After the equivalent of 32 working days dangling from ropes in The President, Sillett’s team is closer to having a mathematical equation to determine its carbon conversion potential, as it has done with some less famous coastal redwoods. The team has analyzed a representative sample that can be used to model the capacity of the state’s signature trees. More immediately, however, the new measurements could lead to a changing of the guard in the land of giant sequoias. The park would have to update signs and brochures - and someone is going to have to correct the Wikipedia entry for “List of largest giant sequoias,” which still has The President at No. 3. Now at 93 feet in circumference and with 45,000 cubic feet of trunk volume and another 9,000 cu ft in its branches, the tree named for President Warren G Harding is about 15 percent larger than Grant, also known as America’s Christmas Tree.

Sliced into one-foot by one-foot cubes, The President would cover a football field. Giant sequoias grow so big and for so long because their wood is resistant to the pests and disease that dwarf the lifespan of other trees, and their thick bark makes them impervious to fast-moving fire. It’s that resiliency that makes sequoias and their taller coastal redwood cousin worthy of intensive protections - and even candidates for cultivation to pull carbon from an increasingly warming atmosphere, Sillett said. Unlike white firs, which easily die and decay to send decomposing carbon back into the air, rot-resistant redwoods stay solid for hundreds of years after they fall. Though sequoias are native to California, early settlers traveled with seedlings back to the British Isles and New Zealand, where a 15-foot diameter sequoia that is the world’s biggest planted tree took root in 1850. Part of Sillett’s studies involves modeling the potential growth rate of cultivated sequoia forests to determine over time how much carbon sequestering might increase. All of that led him to a spot 7,000 feet high in the Sierra and to The President, which he calls “the ultimate example of a giant sequoia.” Compared to the other giants whose silhouettes are bedraggled by lightning strikes, The President’s crown is large with burly branches that are themselves as large as tree trunks. The world’s biggest tree is still the nearby General Sherman with about 2,000 cu ft more volume than the President, but to Sillett it’s not a contest. “They’re all superlative in their own way,” Sillett said. — AP





Founder and Publisher

YOUSUF S. AL-ALYAN Editor-in-Chief

ABD AL-RAHMAN AL-ALYAN EDITORIAL : 24833199-24833358-24833432 ADVERTISING : 24835616/7 FAX : 24835620/1 CIRCULATION : 24833199 Extn. 163 ACCOUNTS : 24835619 COMMERCIAL : 24835618 P.O.Box 1301 Safat,13014 Kuwait. E MAIL Website:


Notrth Korea defies critics, challenges South with launch By Jung Ha-Won

orth Korea’s new rocket launch plans are a dramatic gesture of defiance towards the international community, and a major challenge to the winner of South Korea’s upcoming presidential elections, analysts say. Pyongyang announced Saturday it was preparing to carry out its second long-range rocket launch of the year ostensibly aimed at placing a satellite in orbit - following a much-hyped but failed attempt in April. The announcement was made in the face of a UN Security Council warning just days before that going ahead with the launch would be “extremely inadvisable”. The United States and its key Asian military allies, South Korea and Japan, insist the launch is a disguised ballistic missile test that violates UN resolutions triggered by Pyongyang’s two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. Professor Yang Moo-Jin of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul warned that North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-Un were embarking on a high-stakes game of brinkmanship with the international community. The launch, and in particular a successful launch, would likely draw sanctions, either from individual countries or concerned nations acting as a bloc. “The North then would react strongly, probably upping its nuclear activity and possibly carrying out a third nuclear test,” Yang said. “And so we get into a vicious circle of escalating tensions.” Both of North Korea’s previous nuclear tests were held one to three months after missile tests. Condemnation of the North’s plans to launch a rocket between Dec 10 and 22 was rapid, with both the United States and South Korea denouncing what they termed a “highly provocative” act. “Devoting scarce resources to the development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles will only further isolate and impoverish North Korea,” US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. Tokyo said it was postponing talks between senior Japanese and North Korean diplomats scheduled to take place in Beijing this week. The North’s announcement comes at a time of transition for four of the countries involved in the stalled six-country talks on North Korea. Japan will hold a general election on Dec 16, while South Korea will elect a new president on Dec 19. China, North Korea’s main source of economic aid, has just completed its once-in-a-decade transition to a new leadership, and US President Barack Obama is preparing to start on his second term in office. The launch window provided by Pyongyang also coincides with the one-year anniversary of leader Kim Jong-Un’s assumption of power following the death of his father Kim Jong-Il on Dec 17. The potential political impact is particularly strong for South Korea, where the two main presidential candidates have both signalled the need for greater engagement with Pyongyang. Analysts say the ruling conservative party candidate Park Geun-Hye, daughter of the late former military strongman Park Chung-Hee, is most likely to benefit if a rocket launch pushes voter sentiment towards a harder line with the North. “The launch will make more South Koreans feel disappointed and disillusioned about the North... which eventually helps Park,” said Baek Seung-Joo of the Korea Institute of Defence Analyses. Although Park has expressed a willingness to build bridges with Pyongyang, her party is seen as the more hawkish, especially compared to the opposition Democratic United Party of her liberal rival Moon Jae-In. “Even if Park really wants reconciliation with the North, she will get little backing from her party and main constituents,” said Paik HakSoon, a senior analyst with the Sejong Institute think tank. “So she faces a really tough road ahead in cross-border ties for the next five years,” Paik told AFP. Moon is best known as a top aide to former president Roh Moo-Hyun, whose administration had continued the “sunshine policy” of engagement and aid to North Korea pioneered by his predecessor Kim Dae-Jung. —AFP


All articles appearing on these pages are the personal opinion of the writers. Kuwait Times takes no responsibility for views expressed therein. Kuwait Times invites readers to voice their opinions. Please send submissions via email to: or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

Neither constitutional nor revolutionary By Omar Mekki wo months before the second anniversary of Jan 25 revolution in Egypt, President Mohamed Morsi issued an unanticipated “constitutional declaration” allowing him to reopen the investigations and prosecutions in the cases of the murder and the injuring of protesters as well as the crimes of terror committed against the revolutionaries by the Mubarak regime’s figures (Article 1) and immunizing the Constituent Assembly and the Shura Council- the upper house of Egyptian bicameral Parliament (Article5), as well as immunizing his own decisions (Article 2) from any judicial challenges. The declaration further authorizes the president to dismiss the prosecutor general and to immediately appoint a new one (Article 3) and undertake any executive measures to protect the goals of the revolution if he believes the country is in danger (Article 6). Issuing this declaration makes Egyptians not sure if President Morsi is actually planning to install himself as what Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei has called him “new pharaoh” or whether he is committed to an inclusive democratic vision for the country which he believes needs exceptional measures, much like those Abraham Lincoln undertook back in the days in the US. The President framed his declaration as indispensable to achieve the demands of the Jan 25 Revolution and to root out remnants of the old regime from Egypt’s state institutions. He also claimed that this declaration was issued for the building of a “new legitimacy built on a constitution” to promote “principles of freedom, justice and democracy”. Frankly speaking, many activists, including opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), criticize the judiciary as


crammed with judges and prosecutors sympathetic and loyalist to Mubarak. Also, MB supporters accuse the courts of trying to block their revolutionary agenda. However, liberal politicians instantaneously criticized the declaration as dictatorial and that it is designed to split a nation already reeling from months of turmoil following the overthrow of the Mubarak regime. Some opponents held that the powers he provided to himself surpass the powers once enjoyed by the ousted President Mubarak. President Morsi’s mind told him that the finest way to address Egypt’s transitional catastrophes is to monopolize the entire political process. I do believe he is convinced that having the constitution done, no matter what its content, and thus regulating Egypt’s legal setting, is the only solution to the hindered transition. Furthermore, Morsi repeatedly announced that stability is the only way to attract investment and hence boost the economy of the nation, and an authorized constitution - from his perspective - is the road to stability. So in order to acquire this stability, he decided to quieten the streets by ordering the retrial of Mubarak and other accused killers of the revolutionary protesters, and to focus on having a constitution as soon as possible by immunizing the Constituent Assembly against dissolution and his own decisions against judicial challenges at this “critical stage.” In my opinion, President Morsi’s declaration signifies the president’s political immaturity. As it gives Egyptians a distorted preamble that cheers the revolution and its objectives of enshrining freedom and attaining democracy and rule of law and claims that the presidency’s goal is to combat corruption and purge state institutions. However, contrary to the principles stated in this preamble, the articles of the declaration cement tyranny and establish a new authoritarian regime, providing the president - in addition to the executive and legislative authorities which he already held the power to interfere in the judiciary as well. Consequently, the balance, democracy, rule of law and separation of powers in Egypt has thereby been absolutely smashed. Moreover, this declaration raises plenty of questions that I personally consider as major political hazards. Is the military going to remain silent? Are the police going to support

Morsi’s decision in the long run? These two particular institutions do not entertain a moral loyalty to anyone, specifically to a president who is affiliated to MB. Therefore, the response to these questions rests on the upshots of the current and likely future conflicts. Additionally, the success of the opposing powers to mobilize the people on a large scale against president Morsi and the on-going deterioration of the political conditions are leaning us all towards launching a coup; regardless of what legal form it might take. As far as I’m concerned, this tendency will have disastrous repercussions for the prospect of our revolution. As it will be very possible for the feloul (remnants of Mubarak regime) to be reproduced as totally acceptable actors in the political scene, and hence the likelihood of the Mubarak regime making a comeback in a worse form. As for me the real problem in Egypt’s political realm nowadays is the structure of Morsi’s opposition - not to mention the failures of the current government. This problem is due to the absence of a major coherent revolutionary bloc, Morsi’s opposition is a hodgepodge of powers that belong to the corrupt ancient regime and other centrist-liberal-reformist-populist powers. If this opposition brings Morsi down with a coup I believe that it will result in an even worse dictatorship whose chief goal will be to eliminate all opposition to save the country from an “imminent danger and so on” and it will keep happening for ever. Certainly for President Morsi to become a great leader and bring on democracy and a victorious transition from a gloomy dull era to a better one for Egypt, he needs to continue to challenge the difficulties that disallow our country to go further and accomplish the goals of the revolution. Nevertheless, the recent constitutional declaration will never achieve the revolution objectives. Rather, it merely codifies policies of impunity and provides for the continued absence of a state based on institutions and governed by the rule of law. There must be a deal or rather a compromise to end this crisis. On the one hand, the opposition has to find a set of demands that is not predicated on denying Islamists the fruits of electoral victory or bringing the president down. But on the other hand, the president has to back down on parts of last week’s dictatorial moves.

Steel reprieve comes at price for Hollande By Mark John rancois Hollande’s bid to rescue steel furnaces in France’s historic industrial heartland was to be the mark of a president on the side of the workers and a state with the courage to bring a multinational to heel. But the two-month stand-off over steel giant ArcelorMittal’s Florange plant in Lorraine has unnerved investors in the euro zone’s second largest economy, confused France’s unions and exposed his six-month-old government to international ridicule. His Socialist allies have hailed as a victory a late-Friday compromise under which ArcelorMittal agreed to invest Ä180 million to expand the site near the German border over five years and hold off making forced redundancies. But as the European steel sector struggles to cope with over-capacity, the furnaces themselves will remain shuttered for now, and questions remain over the exact fate of the some 630 workers employed there and further funding needed for expansion. With unemployment at 14-year highs of 10 percent and his popularity ratings at record lows for a president only half a year into his mandate, there was clear political advantage for Hollande to lock horns with Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. But the result is at best a no-score-draw, and the tactics used - anti-business rhetoric and the threat of nationalisation - could damage his wider reform effort. While his pugnacious, micro-managing predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy led from the front, Hollande let his ministers lead the fight, creating confusion over who runs industrial policy. Arnaud Montebourg, the firebrand leftist industry minister who pushed the nationalisation option hardest, declared Mittal a persona non grata in France and revealed he had


found an anonymous potential buyer ready to invest in the plant. That was lapped up by international critics including London mayor Boris Johnson, who told executives in New Delhi that the “sans culottes” revolutionaries had taken control in Paris and advised them to bring their investment rupees to Britain. Montebourg later retracted his personal attack on Mittal but then had to watch as aides of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who

announced the final accord, briefed media that his putative investor was neither “credible or solid”. Facing opposition calls to resign, Montebourg went on local television on Saturday to announce he had Hollande’s support and insist he felt “not betrayed, merely let down” by the outcome. But worse than the damage done to the credibility of one of Hollande’s most high-profile ministers, many fear the cacophony further shakes France’s image as a place to do business just when it needs all the help it can get to avert recession. “It has been a disaster,” a senior French banker said last week as the episode unfolded. “Even for sophisticated investors who understand that in France there is a difference between the rhetoric and the reality, this is hugely unnerving.” Elie Cohen, economist at the CNRS public research institute, told the commercial i>Tele television network that by raising the option of nationalisation, Montebourg risked encouraging copycat demands by workers at other struggling sites. It is still too early to say whether the Florange wrangling will hurt foreign investment in France, which Bank of France data show has grown modestly since the 2008/2009 global turndown to hit Ä30 billion or 1.5 percent of output last year. Barely noticed last week, US online giant Amazon said it was opening a new distribution centre in northern France that will create up to 2,500 jobs - four times the number at the Florange furnaces and a reminder that 80 percent of France’s economy is now in the services sector. Vital to France’s long-term prospects is whether Hollande obtains in coming weeks the overhaul of the country’s unwieldy and expensive labour regulations which he has

tasked employers and unions to achieve in negotiations by year-end. For that, France’s trade unions must make unprecedented concessions to allow business more flexibility in hiring and firing. But the government handling of the Florange tussle has left many labour leaders feeling betrayed. “Until the last minute, basically, we were made to believe that temporary nationalisation was essentially a given,” Edouard Martin, head of the Florange chapter of France’s large CFDT union, told RTL radio. “We did not understand this last-minute fix-up in which Jean-Marc Ayrault unveils an option never before discussed ... We get the feeling he was lying to us all along.” A big test now will be whether unions have been riled so much that they stonewall in the labour reform talks. It could also make some more prone to protest if the government makes the extra public spending cuts that analysts say could be needed next year to ensure France hits its deficit-cutting target. For now, both sides hope the battle of Florange is over. ArcelorMittal has welcomed a deal that includes commitments on voluntary redundancies and re-deployment of furnace workers elsewhere in its French activities that go little beyond what it would likely have offered without government intervention. Hollande’s office concedes he did not manage to get the furnaces re-opened as he promised during his election campaign, but argue the deal to expand activity in the current poor economic climate is a victory of sorts. Whether the accord goes ahead in its entirety partly depends on variables outside the two parties’ control, including Ä400 million worth of European Commission funding. It may not be quite the end of the story. Referring to the nationalisation threat, one Hollande aide noted: “We are still keeping that revolver on the table.” —Reuters



A member of Hamas’ Palestinian National Security personnel blows fire during a graduation ceremony in the destroyed Al-Saraya headquarters in Gaza City yesterday. — AP

Omanis stateless in Burundi Continued from Page 1 Oman, to live on the land of our ancestors.” In Bujumbura, the association of Stateless Omanis in Burundi defends the rights of the community, and has battled for decades with the authorities in Muscat for passports. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has also been looking at their case, although like the Burundian authorities, it says the ethnic Omanis are technically not yet stateless. “We are trying to solve the problem,” said Jean-Bosco Nduwimana, from Burundi’s national refugee authority. UNHCR is creating a profile of the population, which will be presented to both Burundi and Oman to help “resolve the issue amicably,” said UNCHR representative Catherine Huck. If, after that, no country “issues their papers, they are stateless,” she said. For now, the ethnic Omanis have temporary Burundian papers valid for a year. Before, they often lived with forged documents paid for by gold. According to historians, their ancestors from Oman arrived in Burundi in the second half of the 19th century, travelling from the Omani-controlled Zanzibar archipelago, searching for slaves and ivory in the interior of Africa. But slave traders, the historians say, would have been blocked from actually moving into Burundi by the spears and arrows of the warriors of King Mwezi Gisabo, and instead operated from the nearby shores of Lake Tanganyika. It was only later, after German and then Belgian colonisation, that they would permanently establish themselves as traders in the country.

“A break between the Omanis from Oman and these Omanis, combined with the end of slavery, forced them to become traders and allies of the colonial powers,” said historian Emile Mworoha. “They sold cotton, salt, and became intermediaries or agents of the Germans and then the Belgian king,” he added. Those today in Burundi tend to hide any slave trader ancestors, with many saying that their family roots lie in poorer traders who arrived in a second wave in the 1920s. “At that time, Oman had not yet found oil,” said Nassor Mohamed, an ethnic Omani in Bujumbura, speaking in the library of one of the community’s mosques, where a plaque commemorates the visit in 2007 by Oman’s Grand Mufti. In Bujumbura’s Asian quarter, those of Omani origin mingle alongside those with ancestors from Yemen or Pakistan. They too have problems with their papers, but do not find not so difficult to obtain passports from their country of origin, says Mohamed. The Omani community does not understand the resistance of Muscat: in some families, some siblings may have a passport but not others, or parents with documents but not their children. All say they have family in Oman. In frustration, the community just wants an answer to their origin either way, so that they can move ahead with a decision by Muscat, said computer technician Hamed Salim. As they wait, Bujumbura is working on ratification of international conventions protecting stateless people - even if such a move still hangs on a decision from Oman as to whether it will welcome back its wandering sons and daughters. — AFP

UAE’s security ‘sacred’, warns Sheikh Khalifa Continued from Page 1 a political system that would reflect reality and suit the nature of the society,” said Khalifa in remarks published by local media. Last year, Emirati activists signed a petition calling for political reforms, including direct elections and broadening the powers of the toothless UAE legislature, the Federal National Council. Some of the activists were arrested but later released. The UAE, a federation of seven emirates led by oil-rich Abu Dhabi, has not seen any of the widespread protests calling for reform that have swept other Arab countries, including fellow Gulf states Bahrain and Oman. But authorities have stepped up a crackdown on voices of dissent and calls for democratic reforms. Khalifa affirmed his country’s “support to the choices of the people” in Arab Spring countries, while “rejecting any intervention in their internal affairs”. On July 15, the UAE announced it had dismantled a group it said was plotting against state security and challenging the constitution of the Gulf state. Dubai police chief General Dahi Khalfan had repeatedly accused the Muslim Brotherhood -which came to

power after the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia - of plotting against Gulf monarchies, claiming the 61 Islamists detained were linked to the group. The detainees had condemned “false accusations” of challenging the political system and renewed allegiance to the leadership of the federation of seven hereditary sheikhdoms. Last month, the Gulf country issued a new law toughening penalties for cyber crimes to include jail terms for anyone who calls for regime change or mocks its rulers. Separately, Khalifa renewed his country’s calls for Iran to settle a territorial dispute over three strategic Gulf islands by ‘dialogue and accept international arbitration to resolve this issue”. Iran and the UAE are at loggerheads over the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb, which lie in the strategic Strait of Hormuz entrance to the Gulf. Iran took control of them in 1971 when colonial-era Britain withdrew from that part of the Gulf. The Islamic republic says the islands are a historic part of its territory, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in April visited them to reassert that position. However, the UAE claims ownership in line with an agreement signed with Britain, and it has won support from other Arab states in the Gulf and its ally the United States. — AFP

Dubai again dreams big Continued from Page 1 entertainment destination, the Dubai Mall. Mohammed bin Rashid City will sprawl over a large swathe of the emirate’s desert and have gardens 30 percent larger than London’s Hyde Park, in addition to 100 hotels, and a Universal Studios theme park. No price tag was attached to the project which is to be developed by the ruler’s Dubai Holding conglomerate and Emaar, which built Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower. This week, Dubai also announced a 10 billion dirham ($2.7 billion) leisure centre and theme parks. Dubai appears keen to capitalise on its growing tourism sector which it said is expanding 13 percent a year, with hotel occupancy rate hitting 82 percent last year. Sheikh Mohammed said the emirate must stay ahead of expanding demand and match its ambitions. “The current facilities available in Dubai need to be scaled up in line with the future ambitions for the city,” he said, highlighting a constant rise in tourism and the business of hosting forums and exhibitions. “A large part of these projects are linked to expanding Dubai’s capacity in core sectors with comparative advantage, such as tourism, which is positive,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at EFG-Hermes investment bank in Dubai. But the source of funding for such grandiose projects remains vague. “We do have our own resources and way to finance... We are sure that these projects will be achieved,” the Arabian Business online magazine quoted Hani Al-Hamli, Dubai Economic Council secretary general, as saying. Beyond general assurances, Dubai continues to deal with the burden of maturing debt, after it racked $113 billion in borrowings during years of extensive investments, with $9.8 billion reportedly com-

ing due next year and $3 billion in 2014. “Banks remain wary about lending to real estate developments at a time when they still have to make major provisions against non-performing real estate loans from the last development boom,” said real estate consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle in a statement Thursday. However, “the fact that these projects have long-term time lines is positive as they can be developed alongside demand, both domestically and internationally, so as not to build overcapacity,” Malik told AFP. “The funding of these plans is important and should be matched with revenue growth potential,” she added. Dubai’s economy contracted 2.4 percent in 2009 when it rattled global markets over its debt crisis before receiving a $10-billion bailout from Abu Dhabi, its oilrich partner in the Emirates, and reaching restructuring deals with lenders. The economy has since made a comeback, growing 2.8 percent in 2010, 3.4 percent in 2011, and 4.1 percent on an annual basis in the first half of this year, as tourism, trade and transport keep expanding. But real estate - a main engine of rapid growth before the crisis - lags behind other sectors, with growth of just 1.5 percent in the first six months of 2012. The sector crashed in 2009 as the global crisis dried up finance and investors walked away from planned projects, many of which were eventually put on hold or cancelled. “Encouragingly, there are indications that some of the lessons of the last real estate crisis have been learned,” said Jones Lang LaSalle. “The most important of these is the need to adopt a longterm and coordinated approach, rather than developing too much real estate too quickly.” — AFP

Bodies found in collapsed Japan tunnel Continued from Page 1 section of carriageway, and ran for one of the emergency exits or for the mouth, where they huddled in bitter winter weather. Emergency workers equipped with breathing apparatus battled around a third of the way into the tunnel, where they found 110 m of concrete panels had come crashing down, crushing several vehicles. Hours after the collapse, engineers warned the structure could be unstable, forcing rescuers to halt their work as a team of experts assessed the danger. It was during this inspection that accompanying police officers confirmed the first deaths. “What we found resembled bodies inside a vehicle, they were blackened. We have visually confirmed them but have yet to take them out for closer examination,” an official told AFP. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency confirmed there were five bodies, adding another vehicle had also been burned. Police later said a man had been rescued from a truck buried under the concrete but that he was pronounced dead in hospital, according to Jiji Press. Rescuers had initially said they believed at least seven people were missing in the collapse. One man who fled the tunnel told Jiji Press he had watched in horror as concrete crashed down onto a vehicle in front of him, leaving little more than a mound of dust and debris. Voices cried out “Help” and “Anyone please help” from the pile before a young woman emerged with her clothes torn, he was reported as saying. She could not stop trembling, he told the agency, as he asked her how many had been inside the vehicle. “She said: ‘All of my friends and my boyfriend...Please help them,’” said the

man, adding the flames were too strong. Footage from security cameras in the late afternoon showed large concrete panels in a V shape, apparently having collapsed from the middle, with teams of men in protective gear scrambling over them. Chikaosa Tanimoto, professor emeritus of tunnel engineering at Osaka University told NHK the concrete panels are suspended from pillars. “It is conceivable that the parts connecting the ceiling panels and pillars, or pillars themselves, have deteriorated, affected by vibrations from earthquakes and passing vehicles,” he said. Earthquakes are common in Japan, though none were reported in the area at the time of the collapse. An official from highways operator NEXCO said material degradation was a possibility, adding the risk of further collapse remained. His colleague said the ceiling had undergone its regular five-yearly inspection in September this year. An AFP reporter said two large orange tents had been erected at the tunnel mouth and a helicopter remained nearby, ready to ferry the injured to hospital. The tunnel, which passes through hills near Mount Fuji, is one of the longest in Japan. It sits on a major road connecting Tokyo with the centre and west of the country. A man in his 30s, who was just 50 m ahead of the caved-in spot, recounted details of the terrifying experience. “A concrete part of the ceiling fell off all of a sudden when I was driving inside. I saw fire coming from a crushed car. I was so frightened I got out of my car right away and walked one hour to get outside,” he told NHK. Japan has an extensive web of highways with thousands of tunnels, usually several hundred metres long. Millions of cars use the network every day. — AFP

Opposition up in arms to down new Assembly Continued from Page 1 The three largest bedouin tribes, the Awazem, Mutair and Ajman, which together have a population of over 430,000, won only one seat compared to an average of 17 in previous assemblies. The other seats were bagged by smaller tribes which got the opportunity to win seats with the new one-vote system. The new Assembly must meet within two weeks of announcing the results officially. This will be made by the newly-established National Election Commission. The Cabinet delayed a planned resignation yesterday until the Commission announces the results. Under Kuwaiti law, the Cabinet must resign after every election to pave the way for forming a new Cabinet. “The election result is the foundation for a new start of development and cooperation between the legislative and executive powers to advance Kuwait and all its people,” Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah said. Four former liberal MPs meanwhile yesterday submitted a challenge against the one-vote decree at the constitutional court, saying the decree breached the constitution. Another challenge is planned today by former liberal MP Saleh Al-Mulla through lawyer Abdullah Al-Ahmad. Ruling on the two challenges may take months and may result in rendering the new National Assembly unconstitutional. “It is a pro-government parliament. Now the government can do all the things it wanted to, which it said it was prevented from doing. The question now is, will it do it?” said Kuwait University professor of political science Shafeeq Ghabra. “While it has a parliament that does not oppose it, there is a population which is on the opposition’s side,” he said, refer-

ring to the turnout and protests. “The formula has got more complicated.” Member of the scrapped 2012 Assembly Faisal AlYahya said yesterday that the new Assembly will not survive for a long time and called for dissolving it quickly. He said on his Twitter Account that the Assembly does not enjoy any constitutional legitimacy and does not truly represent the will of the nation. He said the results of the unconstitutional election will be a major turning point in Kuwait’s political history and will furnish the popular movement with a new momentum. Yahya also stressed that regardless of whatever the government does, “it will not succeed in covering up the political and popular success of the boycott”. Former liberal MP Abdulrahman Al-Anjari called for focusing on the main issues of legalizing political parties, an elected government, rotation of power and the independence of judiciary. “We will continue with our national and peaceful protests under the umbrella of the constitution to bring the downfall of the new parliament,” Islamist opposition leader and former MP Faisal Al-Mislem said. “We will use all peaceful and constitutional tools, including demonstrations and gatherings,” said Mislem. “The majority of the Kuwaiti people sent a direct and transparent message to the Amir ... rejecting the new measures adopted by the government and calling for the new Assembly to be abolished,” he said. Yesterday, HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the crown prince and prime minister congratulated the newly-elected lawmakers. But a majority of the Kuwaiti people heeded opposition calls to boycott the election on Saturday, “which is evident from the fact that voter turnout was less than 27 percent,” Mislem argued.

Abbas returns to hero’s welcome after... Continued from Page 1 Muqataa, where he shook hands with waiting dignitaries. He laid a wreath and said a brief prayer at the grave of the iconic late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who is buried within the presidential complex, later dedicating the UN victory to the former president’s memory. Abbas called the approval a milestone in Palestinian history, saying it was the achievement of Palestinians everywhere. “Our people everywhere, raise your heads up high because you are Palestinians,” he said. “You are stronger than the occupation... because you are Palestinians. “You are stronger than the settlements because you are Palestinians,” he added. “You are making history and Palestine will be drawn on the map very soon.” Abbas’ return drew supporters from across the West Bank, including Bajis Bani Fadl from the northern town of Nablus. “I came to celebrate this day because

the Palestinian leadership accomplished a great achievement, and this is a joy we haven’t experienced in our lives,” he told AFP. “President Abbas... took us from a historical stage to a new stage, although it won’t be easy to become a state on the ground,” Mohammed Bani Audeh, 54, added. “I know that the pressures will increase on us now, but these pressures don’t mean anything, particularly if we achieve our unity.” While the Palestinians have expressed satisfaction and joy over the success of the bid, it has not been without repercussions. Washington has warned it could withhold funds to the already cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, and Israel said Sunday it would not transfer millions of dollars it collects in tax funds for the Palestinians in response to the UN bid. And on Friday, Israel revealed plans to build 3,000 settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank in response to the bid. — AFP


sp orts First 2012 title for Kaymer

Premier League corporation tax

Athlete Gitau wins in Japan

JOHANNESBURG: Germany’s Martin Kaymer won his first title this year after a final round three-under-par 69 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge yesterday, beating South African Charl Schwartzel by two strokes. The 27-year-old sunk four birdies at the 7,162-metre Gary Player Country Club and came out ahead of Schwartzel despite a doublebogey on the third immediately after his eagle on the par-five second. “The eagle at the second hole was a bonus-two great shots and a nice putt. The third obviously wasn’t so good as I hit a bad tee shot and got into trouble,” said the relieved former world number one. “But for me the biggest luck today was definitely on 14 with my tee shot, and then making a birdie. I could very easily have made a six or a seven, so that was very lucky that I found that ball in the perfect position and could chip it down the fairway and make four from there,” he said. — AFP

LONDON: English Premier League clubs made more than 150 million pounds ($240.40 million) profit but paid less than three million pounds corporation tax in their most recent accounts, Britain’s Independent newspaper has said. Although the clubs have done nothing illegal, the newspaper’s investigation has led to criticism of the Premier League by some British politicians. The news comes in the wake of big multi-nationals such as Starbucks, Google and Amazon being criticised by UK lawmakers for not paying more tax in Britain. Labor member of Parliament and former sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe told the newspaper: “Even though this isn’t illegal, it’s not right. I will be raising this issue with the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee this week, as a matter of urgency.” Simon Hughes, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats who form Britain’s governing coalition with the Conservatives, said: “Whatever the accounts of these clubs say, everyone knows that the Premier League is awash with money. This and many other examples that have emerged over recent months demonstrate that the Government should conduct a serious review of our corporate tax regime.” The Independent on Sunday, which noted that the 150 million of profit came off turnover of about 2.2 billion a year, said Manchester United were among five clubs not to pay any corporation tax in their most recent accounts. — Reuters

TOKYO: Kenyan Joseph Gitau produced an upset victory in the Fukuoka International Marathon after former world record holder Haile Gebrselassie pulled up after 32-kilometres of yesterday’s race. The 24-year-old clocked a winning time of two hours, six minutes, 58 seconds with Japan’s Hiroyuki Horibata runner-up in 2:08:24 and Henryk Szost of Poland third in 2:08:42. “I never imagined I could win this race,” the Japan-based Gitau told reporters after his first marathon victory. “My past results haven’t been good. “But I wanted to sharpen my focus on the marathon and I’ve been running in Japan since high school so the environment suits me.” Gebrselassie ran in February’s Tokyo Marathon in a bid to launch his bid for an Olympic swansong in London but flopped to a fourth-place finish and eventually failed to make the cut. The 39-year-old Ethiopian, twice Olympic and four-times world 10,000 metres gold medallist, had even less joy on his return to Japan. — Reuters

NBA results/standings Miami 102, Brooklyn 89; Portland 118, Cleveland 117 (OT); Chicago 93, Philadelphia 88; Oklahoma City 100, New Orleans 79; Houston 124, Utah 116; Milwaukee 91, Boston 88; San Antonio 99, Memphis 95 (OT); Dallas 92, Detroit 77; LA Clippers 116, Sacramento 81; Golden State 103, Indiana 92. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT NY Knicks 11 4 .733 Brooklyn 11 5 .688 Philadelphia 10 7 .588 Boston 9 8 .529 Toronto 4 13 .235 Central Division Milwaukee 8 7 .533 Chicago 8 7 .533 Indiana 8 9 .471 Detroit 5 13 .278 Cleveland 4 13 .235

Miami Atlanta Charlotte Orlando Washington

Southeast Division 12 3 .800 9 5 .643 7 8 .467 5 10 .333 1 13 .071

GB 0.5 2 3 8 1 4.5 5

2.5 5 7 10.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 14 4 .778 Utah 9 9 .500 Denver 8 9 .471 Minnesota 7 8 .467 Portland 7 10 .412

5 5.5 5.5 6.5

Pacific Division Golden State 10 6 .625 LA Clippers 10 6 .625 LA Lakers 8 8 .500 Phoenix 7 10 .412 Sacramento 4 12 .250

2 3.5 6

Southwest Division Memphis 12 3 .800 San Antonio 14 4 .778 Houston 8 8 .500 Dallas 8 9 .471 New Orleans 4 11 .267

0 4.5 5 8

McDowell in control at Sherwood THOUSAND OAKS: Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell, who relishes playing golf in California, edged closer to his first win in two years by ending the third round of the World Challenge with a two-shot lead. The Northern Irishman, who despite several close calls has endured a barren title run worldwide since his playoff victory at the World Challenge in 2010, fired a flawless four-under-par 68 on Saturday to post a 13under total of 203. “I played very solidly again today,” McDowell told reporters after sinking two long-range birdie putts early on to maintain his grip on the tournament. “Bogey free is always nice on any golf course. McDowell said he was very happy with the way he has been hitting the golf ball. “It’ll be a nice way to finish the year if I can get a good win tomorrow, but there will be a few guys on that board that will have a little something to say about it for sure,” he said. McDowell’s closest challenger was first-round leader Keegan Bradley who matched the day’s best round with a six-birdie 67 at a rain-soaked Sherwood Country Club to finish at 11 under. Tournament host and defending champion Tiger Woods, bidding for his fourth victory this year, was a further three strokes back after narrowly missing a seven-foot birdie putt at the last to card a 69. Woods failed to birdie any of the five par-fives on the hilly course that winds its way below the Santa Monica mountains as he ended the day level with fellow American Bo Van Pelt, who birdied the par-four last for a 70. “It was wet out there,” Woods said about the saturated Sherwood layout after mixing four birdies with a lone bogey. “It was a little sloppy early, and overall I thought it was tough to get the ball close today. “I didn’t play the par-fives well and didn’t play (hole) eight well again. I missed a few opportunities out there. I felt like I played decent enough to get to 10 under, to get to double digits, and just didn’t do it. “As of right now I’m five back. I’m going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow and see what happens.” On a soggy morning, 2010 U.S. Open champion McDowell began the third round with a commanding three-shot lead but that was swiftly trimmed to just one after the fast-starting Bradley birdied two of the first three holes. — Reuters

Spurs down Grizzlies in OT SAN ANTONIO: Tony Parker scored 30 points, Tim Duncan had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs shook off a “disappointing” $250,000 fine by the NBA to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 99-95 in overtime Saturday night. Coach Gregg Popovich said before the win he doesn’t know if the Spurs will appeal the NBA’s stiff penalty for sending Duncan, Parker and two others home to rest Thursday instead of them suiting up against the Miami Heat in a nationally televised game. Popovich said he was disappointed by Commissioner David Stern’s decision. He also didn’t rule out sitting out players again in the future. Marc Gasol led Memphis with 20 points. Zach Randolph had 17 points and 15 rebounds and was one of three Memphis players with double-doubles. Mike Conley had 18 points and 12 assists, and Rudy Gay had 15 points and 10 rebounds. The unprecedented fine announced Friday overshadowed the first meeting this season between two of the West’s successful teams. Heat 102, Nets 89 In Miami, Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 34 points, LeBron James added 21 points and Miami rallied from a 14point deficit to beat Brooklyn. Ray Allen scored 13 and Norris Cole finished with 12 for the Heat, who won their sixth straight and remained atop the Eastern Conference. Miami held the Nets to 30 points in the second half. Andray Blatche scored 20 points for Brooklyn, which had won five in a row. Gerald Wallace had 13 points, Joe Johnson added 12 and Deron Williams finished with 10 points and 12 assists. The Nets were 10 for 31 from the field in the second half and lost to Miami for the 12th straight time. Trail Blazers 118, Cavaliers 117 In Cleveland, Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in the second overtime gave Portland a victory over Cleveland. Trailing 117-115 with 2.5 seconds remaining, Portland called timeout and inbounded near midcourt. Damian Lillard passed to Batum, who hit a fadeaway jumper from the right corner in front of Cleveland’s bench. With time only for a tip-in attempt, the Cavaliers couldn’t get a shot off before time expired. Lillard led Portland with 24 points while Batum added 22. Alonzo Gee paced the Cavaliers with 22 points, but missed a free throw that would have given them a three-point lead before Batum’s shot. Anderson Varejao had 19 points and 17 rebounds.

Rockets 124, Jazz 116 In Houston, Patrick Patterson scored 20 points, Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin had 19 apiece and Houston beat Utah. James Harden finished with 18 points for the Rockets, who shot 55 percent (46 of 83) and hit half of their 3-point shots at 11 of 22. Greg Smith and Carlos Delfino each scored 13. Gordon Hayward had 13 of his 21 points in the second half and Al Jefferson and Randy Foye each

Anderson had 21 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, but was only 3 of 11 on 3-point attempts, normally his strength. Robin Lopez added 12 points and Roger Mason Jr. 11 for the Hornets, who have lost nine of 10. Bucks 91, Celtics 88 In Milwaukee, Larry Sanders had 18 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots, and Milwaukee rallied for a victory

22 in a 101-78 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Richard Hamilton added 15 points for the Bulls, who played the 76ers for the first time since last season’s firstround playoff series. Joakim Noah had 12 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and Carlos Boozer had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Boozer has double-doubles in six of his past eight games. Jrue Holiday led the 76ers with 23 points. Thaddeus Young added 22 points and seven rebounds. Mavericks 92, Pistons 77 In Dallas, OJ Mayo broke out of a shooting slump with 27 points and Dallas celebrated Derek Fisher’s Mavericks debut with a victory against Detroit. Mayo was coming off consecutive games with season lows and started 0 for 4 before taking over in the third quarter. He scored 16 points in a 17-4 run that eventually stretched into a 25-6 surge as Dallas snapped a three-game losing streak. Fisher got the start a day after the 16year veteran’s first practice with the Mavs. His presence seemed to spark Darren Collison, the struggling young point guard he was brought in to help. Collison had eight assists and no turnovers. Brandon Knight led Detroit with 20 points, including 18 in the first half.

LOS ANGELES: Clippers forward Blake Griffin (right) scoops up a loose ball after guard Chauncey Billups (left) stripped the ball from Sacramento Kings Francisco Garcia (center) in the first half of an NBA basketball game. —AP scored 20 for Utah. The Jazz lost despite shooting 51 percent (48 of 94) overall and going 11 for 20 from 3-point range. Omer Asik had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Houston. He briefly left the game after taking an elbow from Hayward, but returned for the final minutes. The Rockets have won five straight home games. Utah has dropped three of its last four road games. Thunder 100, Hornets 79 In New Orleans, Kevin Durant scored 20 points, Russell Westbrook added 18 points and 10 assists, and Oklahoma City won its fifth straight game. The two Thunder stars did all their work in first three quarters, resting for the final period after helping their club build a 27-point lead. Kevin Martin added 19 points and Nick Collison 12 in reserve roles for Oklahoma City, which has won nine of 10, including its last four by double digits. Ryan

after Boston scored the first 17 points of the game. Monta Ellis had 17 points and seven assists for the Bucks, while Ersan Ilyasova added 15 points and five rebounds. Brandon Jennings had a big 3pointer in the fourth quarter. Paul Pierce paced the Celtics with 19 points, and Kevin Garnett added 17 points and seven rebounds. Boston played without point guard Rajon Rondo, who served the second of his two-game suspension for his role in a scuffle during a game against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. Courtney Lee, who started in Rondo’s place, had 13 points, and Jason Terry finished with 15 points and 11 assists. Bulls 93, 76ers 88 In Chicago, Luol Deng scored a gamehigh 25 points and Chicago beat Philadelphia. Deng also had a seasonhigh seven assists and has led the team in scoring in consecutive games. He scored

Warriors 103, Pacers 92 In Oakland, Stephen Curry had 20 points and a season-high 11 assists to lead Golden State over Indiana. Klay Thompson scored 22 points for the surprising Warriors, who have won three straight and remain tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for first place in the Pacific Division. David Lee added 13 points and 12 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season. Golden State led by 16 in the third quarter, then held off a mini-rally by Indiana at the start of the fourth before pulling away for the win. David West scored 23 points and George Hill had 19 for the Pacers. Clippers 116, Kings 81 In Los Angeles, Jamal Crawford scored 17 points off the bench, leading seven Clippers in double-digit scoring, and Los Angeles rested all of its starters in the fourth quarter of a blowout. The Clippers beat Sacramento for the fourth straight time. Blake Griffin had 14 points and nine rebounds, Chris Paul had 14 points and five assists, and DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and six rebounds. Marcus Thornton scored 20 points for the Kings, and Jason Thompson had 16 points and 12 rebounds. —AP

Aussies, Dutch, draw as England upset Germany MELBOURNE: Field hockey powerhouses Australia and the Netherlands played out a scoreless draw to keep open the fight for top spot in Pool B at the Champions Trophy in Melbourne yesterday. In the day’s other matches, England created history by defeating Germany for the first time at the eightnation tournament 4-1, while Pakistan looked impressive in downing Belgium 2-0. India remained unbeaten in Pool A following their 4-2 win over New Zealand in the day’s late game. The draw means that Australia, the Dutch and Pakistan can all still finish on top of their pool with one more round of matches remaining on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s quarter-finals. Number two ranked Australia will be particularly frustrated with the result given they dominated much of the game, failing to convert numerous penalty corner opportunities against third-rated Dutch. Having eight penalty corners to only one, Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann proved to be the difference, producing several magnificent goal saves. Australian penalty corner specialist Kieran Govers said: “We need to make more of our chances, we are creating them but the goalkeeper had a good game but that is no excuse. “We still need to put some goals in after the number of circle penetrations we had.” Stockmann said despite his brilliant game he was disappointed his team didn’t come away with the win. “Zero goals against is always the goal for a goalkeeper, but it is a team performance and we didn’t win so that is disappointing,” he said. Earlier England pulled off an upset against the world number one Germans. It was the first time England had defeated Germany at the Champions Trophy and they controlled the match from the opening whistle, scoring their first goal through Adam Dixon on six minutes.

England continued to press the Olympic champions and scored again through Harry Martin in the 10th minute. Things improved slightly when Germany pulled one back four minutes later through an own goal, but England regained their two-goal buffer with an own goal two minutes before half time and rounded it off with a fourth goal to Darren Cheesman. “You have never seen a bad German team. Whatever tournament they go to however experimental it is they are a good team,” England captain Barry Middleton said. Pakistan made amends for Saturday’s disappointing 3-1 loss to the Netherlands by overcoming Belgium. The result leaves the Belgians as the only winless team in Pool B while Pakistan still have a chance to fin-

ish on top of the pool. After a goalless first half, Pakistan lifted their tempo after half time, and a goal to Abdul Haseem Khan was followed by another from Shafqat Rasool to put the result beyond doubt. “Yesterday we actually played good hockey but we missed our chances. Today we missed some chances but we managed to score as well, so this is very good experience for our young players,” Shakeel Abbasi said. India are in the box seat to finish on top of Pool A after defeating New Zealand and will do so if they defeat Germany in their final pool match on Tuesday. After conceding the opening goal from a costly turn over, India dominated the remainder of the first half to take a 3-1 half-time lead. — AFP

MELBOURNE: New Zealand goalkeeper Devon Manchester (right) desperately tries to block a shot by Gurwinder Singh Chandi of India (left) during their Pool A match at the Men’s Hockey Champioships Trophy. —AFP


sp orts

South Africa on brink of clinching series in Perth

KHULNA: Bangladesh cricket captain Mushfiqur Rahim celebrates after winning the second one day international cricket match between Bangladesh and The West Indies at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium. —AFP

Bangladesh thrash West Indies KHULNA: Opener Anamul Haque struck his maiden international century as Bangladesh crushed West Indies by 160 runs in the second one-day international yesterday to record their biggest win in the 50-over format. Playing only his second one dayer, right-handed batsman Anamul smashed 120 off 145 balls to help Bangladesh post 292-6 before the hosts skittled out West Indies for 132 for a comprehensive win that put them 2-0 up in the five-match series. “I have scored 10 hundreds in 11 months this year (in domestic cricket and at under-19 level),” Anamul told reporters. “The difference is in the experience of the bowlers, they bowl fewer loose balls and they have variations. There’s crowd pressure and you are playing for your country. “There’s a lot of difference between scoring hundreds anywhere else and one for the Bangladesh team. I had thought about such a thing, but it was only in my fantasies that I would score a century in my second international match.” The victory at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna bettered Bangladesh’s 146-run win against Scotland in Dhaka in 2006. Anamul shared 174 runs with skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (79), a record for Bangladesh for the third wicket, which lifted the hosts after West Indies had put them in and reduced them to 21 for two inside seven overs.

The duo fell just one run short of Bangladesh’s highest ever ODI partnership set by Habibul Bashar and Rajin Saleh against Kenya in 2006 when Rahim was out after his 87-ball knock. Anamul, the top scorer in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in August, had a nervous wait for his century but eventually reached his ton with a single off Ravi Rampaul in the 47th over of the innings. The opener, who turns 20 on Dec. 16, took 23 balls to go from 90 to 100 but compensated by hitting Andre Russell for two sixes and a four in consecutive balls in the next over. Rampaul, pick of the West Indies bowlers with career-best figures of 5-49, eventually dismissed Anamul who hit 13 boundaries and two sixes in his 145-ball knock. West Indies were under pressure right from the beginning as the first four overs produced only five runs despite the presence of destructive batsmen Chris Gayle (15). Opener Lendl Simmons (9) fell to offspinner Sohag Gazi (3-21) and the visitors’ problems were compounded when Gayle was dismissed caught behind off paceman Mashrafe Mortaza. Gazi struck another crucial blow by removing Marlon Samuels (16) before left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak (3-19) broke the back of the West Indies batting order. The teams travel to Dhaka for the third match on Wednesday. —Reuters

PERTH: Hashim Amla scored 196 and AB de Villiers 169 in a batting exhibition that drove South Africa to a commanding lead of 631 runs before they were dismissed for 569 on the third day of the third test against Australia yesterday. Australia were left needing to better the record for a successful fourth-innings chase by 213 runs to record an improbable win or bat for two more days to force a draw and save the series. The hosts had eaten into their target to the tune of 40 runs without loss by the close of play with openers David Warner (29) and Ed Cowan (nine) having survived a sometimes nervous last hour. After the first two tests in Brisbane and Adelaide ended in draws, South Africa only needed a third in Ricky Ponting’s last test to ensure they remained the world’s number one side. They will now be expected to do considerably better than that and become the first team since the West Indies in the 1980s and early 1990s to win consecutive series in Australia. De Villiers said the Proteas were taking nothing for granted, however. “We know we have a lot of hard work to do tomorrow, it’s a good wicket. If the test match goes the full length, they will come close,” he told reporters. “We are not arrogant in any way whatsoever. It won’t be easy. We know the Australian batsmen are dangerous players and won’t be giving it away.” Amla’s brilliant innings was one for the purists, while de Villiers started slowly before accelerating after he reached his fifty to bludgeon the Australian bowlers with every shot in the book. Picking up where he left off on Saturday when he helped the tourists plunder 206 runs in the extended third session, Amla got the single he needed to reach his 18th test century from the third delivery of the day. Peppering his innings with some sublime cover drives for a good few of his 21 boundaries, Amla’s comfort at the crease had echoes of his unbeaten 311 against England at the Oval in July. Australia’s pace unit, acclaimed after ending South Africa’s first innings for 225, toiled in the sunshine looking for a breakthrough but their best efforts only slowed the flow of runs. It took a brilliant catch from Mitchell Johnson off his own bowling to dislodge Amla shortly before tea as the 29-year-old was approaching a double century after 350 minutes and 221 balls. Johnson (4-110) found a little bit of extra pep with the new kookaburra and when the South African drove the ball back at him, he snatched it out of the air for a second superb caught and bowled of the innings. Dean Elgar was despatched lbw by Johnson four balls later for a pair of ducks on his debut but the day already belonged to

South Africa’s batsmen. De Villiers had moved reasonably cautiously to his 50, with the exception of one huge six off spinner Nathan Lyon that hit the second deck of the stand at long on. He upped the pace with a string of quickfire boundaries to reach 89, then graduated to his 14th test century in stunning style with three successive reverse sweeps for four,

again off Lyon. Faf du Plessis (27) and Robbie Peterson, who failed to score, came and went before Johnson’s fellow left-armer Mitchell Starc (6-154) finally removed de Villiers caught behind. The 28-year-old was clearly furious with himself for having fallen short of the double century after his innings of 169 off 184 balls with 21 fours and a trio of sixes. — Reuters

PERTH: South African batsman AB de Villiers throws his bat in the air as he leaves the field after being dismissed on 169 runs on day three of the third cricket Test between South Africa and Australia at the WACA ground. —AFP

SCOREBOARD Scoreboard at the close of play on the third day of the third and final test between Australia and South Africa at the WACA in Perth yesterday: South Africa won the toss and elected to bat South Africa first innings 225 Australia first innings 163 South Africa second innings (overnight 230-2) A. Petersen c & b Johnson 23 G. Smith c Lyon b Starc 84 H. Amla c & b Johnson 196 J. Kallis c Johnson b Starc 37 AB de Villiers c Wade b Starc 169 D. Elgar lbw Johnson 0 F. du Plessis c Clarke b Johnson 27 R. Peterson c Johnson b Starc 0 V. Philander not out 14 D. Steyn c Wade b Starc 8 M. Morkel b Starc 0 Extras (b-4, lb-4, w-3) 11 Total (all out, 111.5 overs) 569 Fall of wickets: 1-28 2-206 3-287 4-436 5-436 6-

538 7-539 8-557 9-569 Bowling: Starc 28.5-3-154-6 (w-1), Watson 9-324-0, Johnson 25-1-110-4, Hastings 19-1-102-0 (w-1), Lyon 22-2-128-0, Hussey 4-0-26-0 (w-1), Warner 3-0-14-0, Ponting 1-0-3-0. Australia second innings E. Cowan not out 9 D. Warner not out 29 Extras (lb-2) 2 Total (without loss, 13 overs) 40 To bat: S. Watson, R. Ponting, M. Clarke, M. Hussey, M. Wade, M. Johnson, M. Starc, J. Hastings, N. Lyon. Bowling: Steyn 5-2-14-0, Philander 5-0-15-0, Morkel 3-0-9-0 Series all square after drawn tests in Brisbane and Adelaide.

SCOREBOARD KHULNA: Scoreboard of the second one day international between Bangladesh and West Indies at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna, Bangladesh yesterday: Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal c Pollard b Russell 5 A Haque c Narine b Rampaul 120 Naeem Islam c Narine b Rampaul 6 MRahim c Simmons b Rampaul 79 Nasir Hossain c Gayle b Rampaul 4 Ml Haque c Pollard b Rampaul 31 Mahmudullah not out 3 Mashrafee Mortaza not out 18 Extras (lb-6 w-19 nb-1) 26 Total (six wickets; 50 overs) 292 Did not bat: Sohag Gazi, Abul Hasan, Abdur Razzak. Fall of wickets: 1-9 2-21 3-195 4-201 5265 6-265. Bowling: Rampaul 10-1-49-5 (w-4 nb-1), Russell 9-0-58-1, Sammy 5-0-35-0, Narine 10-1-48-0 (w-2), Smith 9-0-460(w-1), Samuels 7-0-50-0 (w-2). West Indies: L. Simmons c Tamim b Gazi


C. Gayle c Rahim b Mortaza 15 D. Bravo c Rahim b Razzak 28 M. Samuels c Rahim b Gazi 16 D. Smith lbw b Razzak 0 K. Pollard b Naeem 25 D. Thomas b Razzak 0 D. Sammy c Sub b Mahmudullah 12 A. Russell run out 9 S. Narine c Tamim b Gazi 10 R. Rampaul not out 0 Extras (lb-2 w-6) 8 Total (all out; 31.1 overs) 132 Fall of wickets: 1-11 2-32, 3-63 4-65 578 6-78 7-100 8-111 9-132. Bowling: Sohag Gazi 7.1-2-21-3(w-1), Mashrafee Mortaza 6-0-26-1(w-1), Abdur Razzak 5-0-19-3(w-1), Abul Hasan 1-0-9-0(w-1), Naeem Islam 7-0-28-1(w1), Mahmudullah 5-0-27-1(w-1). Bangladesh lead five-match series 2-0.

Trout stops Cotto NEW YORK: Undefeated American Austin Trout jabbed his way to a unanimous points decision victory over Miguel Cotto to retain his WBA light middleweight title at New York’s legendary Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Two judges scored the fight 117111, with the third awarding it 119109 all for Trout, known as ‘no doubt’, with Cotto’s face left bruised and swollen after the contest. “Miguel Cotto is a great champion. It’s just an honour to be in the same ring with him. To have my hand raised with a kingpin like Cotto is a dream come true,” Trout said from the ring after the win. The taller Trout 26-0 (14 KOs) started the bout confidently, keeping Cotto at bay with a long southpaw jab and fluid left hand punches to the body. By the third, however, Cotto began to close the distance and forced Trout to retreat, backing him up against the ropes and digging to the body and head with left hooks. After five rounds, the challenger,

coming off an exciting points decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr in Las Vegas in May, seemed to be growing more comfortable, confidently walking Trout down and blocking his opponent’s punches with his gloves. At the midway point of the contest, Trout, who entered the contest as the underdog against a man whose 20 most recent fights had all been world title bouts, once again discovered his rhythm. He returned to peppering Cotto, 37-4 (30 KOs), with jabs and combinations and limited his opponent’s ability to land punches inside by tying him up whenever the Puerto Rican was in close range. By the end of the contest, except for a few rallies when the two men exchanged combinations, Cotto was in retreat, his face swollen and he accepted the result at the final bell. “If I agree or not, it was the decision,” he said. Asked if he would fight again, he said, “Probably,” before leaving the ring and walking back to the dressing room. —Reuters

Pakistan School & College advance to semis Kuwait Cricket’s U-18 School Cricket KUWAIT: In an exciting match, Pakistan School & College, Salmiya overpowered the talented bunch of Future Star cricket academy team to reach the semifinal of the ongoing Gulf Four U18 cricket tournament organized by Kuwait Cricket Under the auspices of ACC development program. Pakistan School & College captain Abdul Jabbar called the coin correctly and decided to bowl first. Devastating fast bowling by Nidal accounted for both the Future star openers but the talented Zakharia Liaqat Ali and dependable Future star captain Ali Zaheer slowly build up the total to 79 when Ali Zaheer’s sudden rush of blood saw him deceived by a beauty of the delivery from Abdul Jabbar and wicket keeper did the rest. Zakharia’s innings was a stamp of a class as he on drove and pulled with authority to score a solid 49 runs with 2 sixes and 4 hits to the fence. Mustaq played a polishing innings of 20 to take Future Star total to 112 runs for 9 wickets in 20 overs. Nidal 2-13 & Abdul Wahab 2-21 were the pick of Pakistan School & College bowl-

ing. Stocky Abdul Wahab & hard hitting opener Qasim opened the innings for Pakistan School & College and in the second over, Qassim was well caught at deep third man for 1. Thereafter, Abdul Jabbar & Abdul Wahab combined to play quality cricket as the duo excelled in their running between the wickets and punched with awesome power to post a century partnership to notch up victory in the 15th over. Abdul Wahab clouted two huge sixes & 3 fours to remain unbeaten with a gritty 49 runs while the stylish Abdul Jabbar played an elegant knock of 44 runs with 5 boundaries. Mustaq & Zakharia took a wicket each for Future Stars academy. Mohammed Tahir Khan, Director of Future Star Cricket Academy presented the Player of the match trophy to Abdul Wahab of Pakistan School & College for his all round performance with bat & ball. While the match was supervised by Riaz Choudhry and Imran Mustafa. In the second match Star studded Friends XI yet again displayed their talents to score a comfortable victory over Cricket Coaching club and advanced to

Iqbal Rajpurkar presenting the Player of the match award to Ahmed of Friends XI. the next round. Winning the toss & batting first CCC were soon in trouble as Friends XI fast bowler Salman ran through the top order. Allen with 13 runs & Ilham with 14 runs were the only batsmen to show some resistance as CCC were skittle out for 80 runs. Right arm spinner Ahmed was the pick of the Friends XI bowlers as he spun the ball viciously to bag 4 wickets for 14 runs. Salman bowled well to take 3 for 21 runs. CCC did well to capture the wicket of Zahid & Nabeel cheaply but Husnain ( 17 runs) and yet

The winning Friends XI team posing with Match officials.

another swash buckling innings of 41 runs in 13 balls by Mudassar enabled Friends XI to notch up victory in the 8th over. Mudassar played a cameo innings as he struck 3 huge sixes & three fours to the delight of the spectators and led the team for an emphatic victory. Clive, Andrew & Chris took a wicket each for CCC. Abdul Qayoum and Naimatullah Nadeem were the umpires. Iqbal Rajpurkar a senior cricketer of Kuwait handed over player of the Match award to Ahmed of Friends XI for his excellent bowling.



sp orts

Kansas City Chiefs’ Belcher in fatal double shooting KANSAS CITY: Kansas City Chiefs starting linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend to death, then drove to the team training facility and killed himself in front of the coach and general manager in a burst of violence on Saturday that stunned the NFL and its fans. There was no immediate indication from police or others what prompted the 25-year-old Belcher to shoot Kasandra Perkins, 22 with whom he had a 3-month-old child, in the house they shared in Kansas City about 2 miles (3 km) from the Chiefs’ home field at Arrowhead Stadium. Police spokesman Darin Snapp said Perkins’ mother witnessed the killing and called police. Perkins had suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at a hospital. The mother told investigators that Perkins and Belcher had quarreled just before the shooting but that Belcher had never before been physically abu-

sive with her daughter, Snapp added. Belcher then drove his car to the team’s training facility near the stadium, where he encountered head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli, then shot himself in the head just as police arrived. “As officers pulled up and were getting ready to get out of their car, they heard a gunshot,” Snapp said. “The individual, it appears, took his own life.” Snapp said Belcher had made no threats to Crennel, Pioli or other employees when he arrived. “He was just talking to them and thanking them for everything they had done for him,” the police spokesman said. The suicide of Belcher followed a recent string of former National Football League players who have taken their own lives, including Junior Seau in May, Ray Easterling in April and Dave Duerson last year. Those deaths heightened growing

concerns about the risk of brain injury from repeated concussions suffered by veteran NFL players in a game that some critics say has grown too aggressive and brutal. At a news conference later in the day, Kansas City Mayor Sly James decried the violence as “part of the tragedy of urban living in this country.” “Handguns all over the place, people blowing themselves away, and others. At some point, we have to get a handle on this kind of stuff. We are not doing a good job of it,” he said. He also expressed bewilderment at what drove Belcher to such violent behavior. “A young man in a high-profile position, for whatever reason, felt the end of the world had come, and he had to act in the way he did,” James said. “What kind of burden was he under to do that?” Although news of the murder-suicide stunned the tight-knit NFL com-

munity, the Chiefs announced later their game against the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead would be played on Sunday as scheduled. The Chiefs have won just one of 11 games this season, the worst record in the NFL. In a message on the social media network Twitter, Chiefs’ tight end Tony Moeaki wrote: “Devastated. One of everyone’s favorite team mates including one of mine. Great great great team mate. We will miss him forever.” Belcher was signed by the team in 2009 after he was overlooked in the NFL draft and established himself as a regular starter in his second season. Earlier this year, he signed a one-year deal worth just under $2 million. This season, Belcher started 10 of 11 games, making 38 tackles. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chiefs and the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, adding that professional coun-

selors were being made available to team members and their families. The Chiefs’ chairman, Clark Hunt, issued a statement offering sympathy and condolences to “the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy.”“We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities and work to ensure that the appropriate counseling resources are available to all members of the organization,” he wrote. Condolences from others throughout the NFL sprang up on Twitter, where NFL Players Association assistant executive George Atallah wrote, “There is nothing profound or comforting to say that can help us understand or explain a situation like this.” Defensive end Justin Tuck, a twotime Super Bowl winner with the New York Giants, tweeted, “Man prayers go out to the KC Chiefs community and families after this mornings tragic incident.” —Reuters

Beckham basks in glory of another title

CHICAGO: Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) is tackled by Chicago Bears free safety Chris Conte in the first half of an NFL football game. —AP

Alabama hold off Georgia ATLANTA: Alabama is heading back to college football’s championship game after a thrilling 32-28 win over Georgia in the Southeast Conference championship game on Saturday. Quarterback A.J. McCarron threw a 45yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper with 3:15 remaining to put Alabama ahead, and the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide just held on. After an apparent game-clinching interception by Alabama was overturned on a video review, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray completed a 15-yard pass to Arthur Lynch, a 23-yarder to Tavarres King and a 26-yarder to Lynch, who was hauled down at the Alabama 8-yard line as the clock continued to run. The Bulldogs were out of timeouts. Instead of spiking the ball to stop the clock and gathering themselves, the Bulldog snapped the ball with 9 seconds to go. Murray’s attempted pass into the corner of the endzone was deflected at the line but wound up in the arms of Chris Conley. Surprised to get the ball, he slipped down at the 5-yard line and the No.3-ranked Bulldogs did not have time to get off another play. Alabama celebrated as confetti fell from the Georgia Dome roof. The Bulldogs collapsed on the field, stunned they had come so close to knocking off the team that has won two of the past three national titles. The Tide will get a chance to make it three out of four when they face top-ranked Notre Dame for the BCS crown on Jan. 7 in Miami. “I’m ready to have heart attack here,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “They played a tremendous game out there. That was a great football game, by both teams. It came right down to the last play.” For the Bulldogs (11-2), the consolation prize will likely be a spot in the Capital One Bowl, though they certainly looked like a team fully deserving of a

BCS bid. Georgia coach Mark Richt said his team had the play it wanted at the end, but Alabama ruined it by getting a hand on the ball. “I told the guys I was disappointed, but I’m not disappointed in them,” Richt said. “They’re warriors. We had a chance at the end. We just didn’t get it done.” In a back-and-forth second half that looked nothing like a game in the defensiveminded SEC, Georgia looked like winners when they went up 21-10 as Alec Ogletree returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown in the third quarter. Alabama rallied behind a punishing running game, finishing with 350 yards on the ground, an SEC championship game record. Eddie Lacy rumbled for 181 yards on 20 carries, including two TDs. Freshman T.J. Yeldon added 153 yards on 25 carries, also scoring a TD. But the Tide won it through the air. With Georgia stacking the line, McCarron fooled the Bulldogs with play action and delivered a perfectly thrown pass to Cooper, who beat Damian Swann in single coverage down the left side. The Bulldogs punted the ball back to Alabama with 2:25 left, relying on their defense to finally stop the Tide. Georgia used up its final two timeouts, forced a punt and got the ball back at its 15 with 1:16 remaining. Alabama broke into a celebration when a pass down the middle for Conley was deflected and Dee Milliner appeared to make a diving interception. But the replay showed the ball hit the ground, so Murray and the Georgia offense trotted back on the field for their last drive, which fell agonizingly short. Todd Gurley led Georgia with 122 yards rushing, including a couple of TDs. Murray was 18 of 33 for 265 yards with one touchdown and one interception. McCarron was 12 of 21 for 162 yards with an interception, just his third of the season. —AP

England win over All Blacks LONDON: England’s rugby players awoke to headlines of “The Incredibles” and “World Beaters” yesterday after ending New Zealand’s 20-test unbeaten run in one of the most jaw-dropping international results in years. The 38-21 victory at Twickenham shook up the established rugby order, giving the English renewed hope of success at the 2015 World Cup that they will host. In the short term, however, the result and dominant performance will have reignited belief among the home unions that the British & Irish Lions can end a 16-year barren streak when they tour Australia next year. With Wales also pushing the Wallabies mightily close Saturday, losing 14-12 after conceding a last-minute try, Australia coach Robbie Deans has seen close up what his side will be facing in June and July. “I think we have seen from the two encounters that the Lions series is going to be huge,” Deans said. “These (Australia) players have earned some respite, a good break, but I’m sure at the back of their minds that it’s looming. “It won’t be just them that’s excited about it. It’s going to be a great series.” Saturday’s results may have altered the thinking of Warren Gatland, the New

Zealand-born Wales coach who will also lead the Lions to Australia. Many pundits have been predicting the Welsh will provide the biggest contingent of players to the Lions, having won the 2012 Six Nations and also been the only British team to reach the semifinals of last year’s World Cup. However, they have now come unstuck in their last 16 matches against the southern hemisphere giants - a run that includes eight straight losses to Australia and the team’s composure in critical moments has been found wanting. Suddenly, it is a young England side under the calm, progressive stewardship of Stuart Lancaster - that appear to have the brightest future, with the likes of flyhalf Owen Farrell and locks Geoff Parling and Joe Launchbury coming of age against the All Blacks. While the autumn test matches have given Gatland some pointers, it will be the Six Nations tournament across February and March that will finalize his decisions. “No-one’s pencilled in,” Gatland said. “Of course, there’s people who you’ve been keeping an eye on, and England winning (against New Zealand) was a great result for them. We’ll have a good look at that. — AP

LOS ANGELES: David Beckham wrapped up a six-year stint in America by playing his final game in the MLS Saturday, capping his time with the Los Angeles Galaxy with back-to-back championship titles. The former England captain Beckham went out with bang, not only leading the Galaxy to a 3-1 win over Houston and their fourth MLS Cup crown, but his presence has helped the league achieve unprecedented growth and newfound respect overseas. Beckham is now set to begin a new chapter with another club in a brilliant football career that has allowed him to also win titles in his final games with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Beckham deflected questions Saturday about where his next stop would be. “I have no idea,” Beckham said. “More important I am happy wearing this uniform today. I am happy I been successful with this club.” At 37, Beckham’s career is coming to a close but he has been careful not to mention the word retirement. He is expected to make a decision on where he will end up

playing next by the end of the year. Sources close to the player have confirmed an approach by Monaco. He has also been linked with a possible move to Ligue 1 high-flyers Paris Saint-Germain where he would team up again with Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti and team director Leonardo, whom he knows from his two previous loan stints with AC Milan. There have also been offers from China, Russia and Brazil for the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player, who says he could not see himself playing in the Premier League for anyone other than Manchester United. Beckham celebrated in the Galaxy dressing room with his teammates, taking turns spraying each other with bottles of Korbell champagne. Both happy and relieved, Beckham paused at one point during the post-match press conference, after losing his train of thought then said, “Too much champagne already.” “At the end of the day, winning a championship in my last game at Manchester United and winning a championship in my last game with Real Madrid and then winning

CARSON: Los Angeles Galaxy’s David Beckham (top center) of England, poses with his sons (from left) Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz after the Galaxy’s 3-1 win in the MLS Cup championship soccer match against the Houston Dynamo. —AP championship here in my last ing for the Galaxy in 2007. The game it never gets old,” Beckham league has expanded from 12 to 19 said. “The feeling of making the teams and it has more than doufinal, the preparation, the feeling bled its overall attendance. around the club it never gets old. I Beckham hopes to get back into am 37 and I have been able to play the league one day as an owner of in quite a few finals and champi- an MLS team. “It is better going out onship games. I still love it like I did with two titles than one,” Beckham said. “It has been a successful six when I won my first.” Even before Saturday’s victory, years here with reaching three MLS Beckham had made a huge impact Cup finals. I will enjoy this one on the league since he began play- tonight. — AFP

AVC, UFC and Indian Strikers in last eight Santos United hold Skynet Raiders in KIFF league KUWAIT: Santos United held mighty Skynet Raiders, while AVC Sports & Cultural Association, United Friends Club and Indian Strikers registered comfortable wins in the penultimate week of matches in the league stage of the KIFF league for the J.P. D’Mello Trophy organized by Kuwait Indian Football Federation and played last Friday at the MOH Grounds in Shuwaikh. In an important qualification match, AVC overwhelmed CRC Chinchinim 6-0 in a largely one sided match that both teams had to win to qualify for the quarterfinal stage. Strong title contenders, AVC took complete control of the match right from the start with Liston Raju along with Vincy controlling and dictating terms in the defense. In form Kevin Vaz, Savio Fernandes, Anthony Rodrigues, Reagen, Sydney Monteiro and Melwin scored to ensure AVC who have the same points as Goa Maroons, topped group D on better goal difference. Diminutive Sydney Monteiro was declared Man of the Match and received his award sponsored by Integrated Logistics Company, from the hands of ex-Salgaocar player Pascoal Fernandes. In the second match at 8:15am, DHL FC, last year’s runners-up, needing only a draw in group C went down fighting to a strong United Friends club (UFC) 0-2. In the group of death which

also featured last year’s champions Don Bosco Oratory who failed to qualify, UFC needed a win to ensure progress to the next round and ever dependable Remedio put them in the lead in the first half when towered above the DHL defense and

for Santos United who went on to secure a famous 2-2 draw against their more fancied opponents Skynet Raiders. Skynet Raiders needing a win to have any chance of qualification for the next stage were in for a surprise when the very talented

Man of the Match Martin Dias of UFC

Man of the Match Shaun Pereira of Santos United

headed brilliantly of a corner kick taken by new signing Elvis. John Kennedy added a second when the DHL keeper misjudged his shot from just outside the penalty area. DHL came back strongly in the second half, with Binoj and Terence playing their hearts out, but it was the ever dependable Martin Dias in the UFC goal who stood in their way. Martin who pulled off at least three important saves was declared man of the match and received his award from Pravin Kumar the President of Sparks Football Club. Shaun Pereira and Peter D’souza were the stars

Shaun Pereira put Santos United in the lead in the first half after a dazzling solo run. Dominic of Skynet equalized, but Santos United took the lead again through Peter D’Souza. Just when it seemed that Santos United would secure full points, Manual DÁosta found the unexpected equalizer for Skynet Raiders when his cross was fumbled by Santos keeper and the ball slipped into the goal. The draw meant that Skynet Raiders and Santos United both failed to qualify in group B. Young Shaun Pereira was declared the man of the match and received his award from VK

Skynet Raiders

Vohra, the ex-president of KIFF. In the last match of the day, Indian Strikers shocked Curtorcares United 2-0 in an engaging match that effectively ended the campaign of Curtorcares United in group A. Needing at least a draw, Curtorcares United missing a few important players who are on vacation were no match for the strong and skilful Indian Strikers. Lawrence and Haris Kunnammal scored for Indian Strikers. Aivey Kochappiley of Indian Strikers who was a constant threat to the Curtorcares defense was rightly awarded the Man of the Match Award and received it from Tome Gracias , an important patron of soccer activates in Kuwait. Coming Friday, 7/12/2012, the last match between Kerala Challengers and Skynet Raiders will be played at 6:30am to decide the finals standings in group B . The eight teams that have now qualified for the knock out stage are: Group A: Indian Strikers and Real Betalbatim, Group B: Kerala Challengers and Navelim Youth Centre, Group C: United Friends Club and Kuwait Goan Association, Group D: AVC and Goa Maroons. Friday will also see the start of the KIFF affiliated United Goans Centre regular eleven a side tournament with the inaugural match being played between Goa Maroons and Santos United at 8:30am followed by Navelim Youth Centre versus Don Bosco Oratory at 10:15am.

Santos United FC




Wenger under scrutiny after worst Arsenal start LONDON: Following the poorest start to a Premier League season in his 16 years as Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger finds the wisdom behind his methods being questioned as never before. Saturday’s 2-0 loss at home to Swansea City was Arsenal’s fourth defeat of the season, their third game without a win, and left them 10th in the table. An afternoon that began with a fan protest against the Arsenal board ended with a chorus of boos, as Wenger stalked down the Emirates Stadium tunnel bracing himself for fresh questions about his capacity to lead the club. Many supporters are aggrieved that Arsenal’s reluctance to invest money in new signings means the players that swept the club to glory in the first

half of Wenger’s reign have not been adequately replaced. “It is more down to shareholders and that is not my job,” Wenger said when asked about the resources at his disposal on Saturday. “It’s difficult to answer that straight away after a game like that, but I believe the support from the board is there to spend the money if we find the players.” Despite the supporters’ concerns, chief executive Ivan Gazidis says Arsenal’s financial stability and projected revenue growth will soon put them “in the top five clubs in the world”. Last week, Arsenal announced a £150 million ($239 million, 185 million euros) extension of their shirt sponsorship agreement with Emirates Airlines. The sales of star players Cesc Fabregas,

Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie and Alex Song, meanwhile, have raised in the region of £90 million, but the players signed to take their places have enjoyed only qualified success. Of the glut of players who arrived in the 2011 close-season transfer window, only Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker have managed to nail down first-team places, and this season’s new signings have also enjoyed mixed fortunes. While Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla has been a revelation, it has taken French striker Olivier Giroud time to find his feet and Lukas Podolski has shone only in fits and starts. For all of Cazorla’s evident class, and the vast potential of youth-team graduate Jack Wilshere, there are fears that Wenger’s famed ability to spot a

player may be deserting him. Arsenal have gone seven and a half years without winning a trophy, but while they used to be able to take solace in the quality of their football, Wenger’s side are no longer the swashbuckling team of old. They continue to enjoy more possession of the ball, on average, than any of their rivals (59.9 percent, according to the website, but after 15 games of the current campaign, their attack is only the seventh most potent in the division. At the Emirates on Saturday, it was Swansea, not Arsenal, whose passing football drew gasps of admiration from British media pundits. As Swansea coach Michael Laudrup noted: “Arsenal are still moving the ball around well, but we play that way as

well.” Wenger has at least guided Arsenal into the last 16 of the Champions League for the 13th successive season, but they have gone beyond the quarter-finals only once since losing to Barcelona in the 2006 final. Deepening the gloom around the Emirates on Sunday morning was the news that long-serving chairman Peter Hill-Wood had been admitted to hospital after suffering a heart attack. The 76-year-old was one of the men responsible for bringing Wenger to Arsenal in 1996, in a move that was to change the face of English football. Sixteen years on, Wenger has established a legacy that cannot be tainted, but with the club’s rivals streaking into the distance, he is under more pressure to react than ever.—AFP

Norwich leave Sunderland dangling above drop zone Norwich 2

Sunderland 1

Marko Arnautovic celebrates in this file photo.

Bremen thrash Hoffenheim BERLIN: Marko Arnautovic hit a hattrick as Werder Bremen beat Hoffenheim 4-1 yesterday to close in on the Europa League spots, a day after Bayern Munich drew with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga’s star clash of the weekend. Bremen jumped ahead 2-0 in the first half hour with goals by Sebastian Proedl in the 21st minute and Arnautovic eight minutes later. Bremen missed a number of chances to make it 3-0 before Sejad Salihovic pulled a goal back for Hoffenheim in the 50th minute. But Austrian striker Arnautovic curled in a free-kick in the 73rd minute and struck again eight minutes later. Bremen now have 21 points and are in eighth place-two points from a European spot-while Hoffenheim, on 12 points, remain rooted in the relegation zone. “We dominated the game in the first half but struggled to find our way in the second half. Then we made it 3-1 and that was the game,” said Arnautovic. Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf added: “We want to see goals from Marko. Now he needs to continue doing that.” Also Sunday, Wolfsburg and Hamburg split the spoils in a 1-1 draw as Maximilian Beister gave Hamburg the lead after 26 minutes before Simon Kjaer equalised in the 69th. On Saturday, Bayern and defending champions Dortmund played out a high-quality 1-1 draw as Bayern stayed 11 points ahead of their third-placed rivals on 38 points and eight points ahead of Bayer Leverkusen. Munich, who at least snapped their four-game losing streak to Dortmund, went ahead in the 67th minute through Toni Kroos before Mario Goetze equalised in the 74th minute. “I would swap the goal for a victory,” said Kroos. “I think we did enough to get the victory, and we deserved to win.” Bayern had a series of chances in the final five minutes but Dortmund

keeper Roman Weidenfeller pulled off a number of fine saves. “I think we could have taken another point. But we are satisfied with the one point. The championship is not decided. We saw today that we can keep track with this team,” said Weidenfeller. Bayer Leverkusen did just enough to beat Nuremberg 1-0 as Stefan Kiessling hit the only goal in the 37th minute for the team’s fourth straight victory. “We have to remain calm and happy that we have a little streak,” said Kiessling, who has scored nine goals this season. “It’s a nice moment but we have a lot of important games ahead of us and we don’t want to think about Bayern. We have to worry about ourselves, and that’s it.” Schalke continued their struggles with a 1-1 at home against Borussia Moenchengladbach. Timo Hildebrand replaced Lars Unnerstall as Schalke’s keeper and looked less than impressive on Igor de Camargo’s goal for Gladbach in the 62nd minute. Julian Draxler equalised for Schalke in the 85th minute. “We were relieved to have at least picked up the point. If we had lost things would have been bad here,” said Draxler. Fourth-placed Schalke, however, have not won in four games and are on 25 points. Adam Szalai’s goal in the 89th minute gave 10-man Mainz a 2-1 victory at home over Hannover in a battle of teams fighting for European spots.—AFP

Matches on TV

English Premier League Newcastle v Wigan Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5


Hoffenheim 1 (Salihovic 50) Werder Bremen 4 (Prodl 21, Arnautovic 29, 73, 79); VfL Wolfsburg 1 (Kaejer 68) Hamburg 1 (Beister 26) Played Saturday Mainz 05 2 (Mueller 10, Szalai 89) Hanover 1 (Schulz 28); FC Augsburg 1 (Werner 9) SC Freiburg 1 (Schmid 29); Furth 0, VfB Stuttgart 1 (Okazaki 45); Schalke 04 1 (Draxler 86) M’gladbach 1 (De Camargo 62); Bayer Leverkusen 1 (Kiessling 37) Nuremberg 0; Bayern Munich 1 (Kroos 67) Dortmund 1 (Goetze 74). Played Friday Fortuna Dusseldorf 4 (Reisinger 38, Fink 42, Nando 58, Bellinghausen 85) Eintr. Frankfurt 0. German league table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): 2 3 6 4 3 2 4 3 3

1 3 2 4 5 6 5 6 6

41 28 30 25 27 21 17 26 16

6 19 16 19 26 18 24 24 18

38 30 27 25 24 23 22 21 21

LONDON: Norwich City’s Ryan Bennett (left) vies with Sunderland’s Danny Rose during their English Premier League football match at Carrow Road in Norwich.—AFP Their best chance arrived just before the hour, with defender Matt Kilgallon spooning the ball over an open goal from 10 yards after Gardner’s swerving 25-yard free-kick came back off the post.

Javier Garrido then had to hack a Gardner effort clear from just in front of the Norwich goal, while Bunn saved from Stephane Sessegnon, who also flashed an overhead kick wide. Sunderland

substitute Connor Wickham, a half-time replacement for injured top scorer Steven Fletcher, then had the ball in the net, only for his celebrations to be cut short by the assistant referee’s flag.—AFP

EPL results/standings Norwich 2 (Bassong 8, Pilkington 37) Sunderland 1 (Gardner 44) Played Saturday: Arsenal 0, Swansea 2 (Michu 88, 90); Fulham 0, Tottenham 3 (Sandro 55, Defoe 72, 77); Liverpool 1, (Agger 43) Southampton 0; Man City 1 (Tevez 43-pen) Everton 1 (Fellaini 33); QPR 1 (Mackie 18) Aston Villa 1 (Holman 8); Reading 3 (Robson-Kanu 8, Le Fondre 19, Morrison 23) Man Utd 4 (Anderson 13, Rooney 16-pen, 30, Van Persie 34); West Brom 0, Stoke 1 (Whitehead 75); West Ham 3 (Cole 63, Diame 86, Maiga 90) Chelsea 1 (Mata 13). English Premier League table after yesterday’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Man Utd Man City Chelsea Tottenham West Brom Everton Swansea West Ham Stoke Arsenal

15 12 15 9 15 7 15 8 15 8 15 5 15 6 15 6 15 5 15 5

0 6 5 2 2 8 5 4 7 6

3 0 3 5 5 2 4 5 3 4

37 28 25 28 24 25 23 19 14 24

21 11 16 23 19 19 17 17 12 16

36 33 26 26 26 23 23 22 22 21

Liverpool 15 Norwich 15 Fulham 15 Newcastle 14 Wigan 14 Aston Villa 15 Sunderland 14 Southampton15 Reading 14 QPR 15

4 4 4 3 4 3 2 3 1 0

M’gladbach 15 5 SC Freiburg 15 5 Hanover 15 6 Fortuna Dusseldorf15 Nuremberg 15 4 VfL Wolfsburg 15 4 Hoffenheim 15 3 FC Augsburg 15 1 Furth 15 1

6 5 2 4 4 4 3 5 5

4 5 7 6 7 7 9 9 9

22 20 28 5 14 14 22 11 10

25 17 27 18 21 23 36 26 26

21 20 20 19 18 16 16 12 8 8

7 7 5 5 2 5 7 3 6 6

4 4 6 6 8 7 5 9 7 9

19 13 25 14 15 12 13 21 19 11

18 21 26 21 25 23 18 32 27 27

19 19 17 14 14 14 13 12 9 6

Hibs knock Hearts out of Scottish Cup

(Local Timings)

German League results/standings

Bayern Munich15 12 Leverkusen 15 9 Dortmund 15 7 Schalke 04 15 7 Eintr. Frankfurt15 7 Mainz 05 15 7 VfB Stuttgart 15 6 Werder Bremen15 6 Hamburg 15 6

NORWICH: Norwich City extended their unbeaten run to eight Premier League games with a 2-1 win at home to Sunderland yesterday that left the visitors just a point above the relegation zone. Goals from Sebastien Bassong and Anthony Pilkington put Norwich 2-0 up and although Craig Gardner replied before halftime, Martin O’Neill’s side could not find an equaliser despite a spate of second-half opportunities. Sunderland remain one place above the bottom three, albeit with a game in hand on most of the teams around them, while Chris Hughton’s Norwich climb one place to 12th. Beaten only once in their previous seven home games, Norwich began brightly at Carrow Road and went ahead in the eighth minute. Robert Snodgrass’ inswinging free-kick glanced off the arm of Sunderland defender Carlos Cuellar and into the path of Bassong, who charged in to volley past Simon Mignolet from close range. Sunderland threatened through Danny Rose, whose low strike from a corner forced a smart save from Mark Bunn, but in the 37th minute, the hosts doubled their lead with a neat goal. Bradley Johnson’s pass released Pilkington and he showed excellent composure to flick the ball inside Cuellar before curling a shot into the bottomright corner. Sunderland were floundering, but they grabbed a lifeline on the cusp of half-time when Gardner beat Bunn with a 20-yard shot from Adam Johnson’s lay-off. Pilkington stung Mignolet’s palms with an ambitious volley early in the second half but Sunderland were soon pressing their hosts back in search of an equaliser.

EDINBURGH: Hibernian scored late on to finally break their Edinburgh derby hoodoo as they defeated city rivals Hearts 1-0 to knock the holders out of the Scottish Cup. The home side had started the fourth round tie against Hearts at Easter Road as favourites thanks to an excellent start to the season that sees them sit in second place in the Scottish Premier League. However, despite their financial worries and inconsistent league form Hearts hadn’t been beaten in the previous 12 derby matches-a run spanning three and a half years. Both sides had chances in an entertaining first half with Hibs keeper Ben Williams making good saves from Calum Paterson and a deflected Marius Zaliuskas header. The frantic pace fell away in the second half and the game looked to be heading for a replay until David Wotherspoon’s 83rd minute strike took a wicked deflection off Hearts captain Zaliuskas to seal a famous win and gain some revenge for their 5-1 Scottish Cup final defeat to Hearts in May. Hibs manager Pat Fenlon was delighted with the win. “It’s been a difficult couple of seasons for the club so we will enjoy today. It wasn’t a great game but in cup football you take what is going,” Fenlon said. Hearts manager John McGlynn felt his side deserved a replay. “I don’t think we deserved to lose the game that’s for sure. I thought we had the better of the first half and their goalkeeper had a couple of good saves,” he said. Hibernian named an unchanged side for the fifth game running while Hearts made two changes from their defeat to Celtic with Mehdi Taouil in for Jason Holt and Arvydas Novikovas replacing Dylan McGowan. Hearts may be struggling for form in the

league but they came within a whisker of going ahead in the second minute when Williams made a great save to deny Paterson’s bullet header from Novikovas’ accurate cross. Hibernian then seized the initiative with Tawio slicing a shot high and wide after Wotherspoon had used his chest to lay the ball off to him in the box before Leigh Griffiths fired in a free-kick from the right that Jamie MacDonald punched clear. Williams then produced another fine save after Zaliukas’ header from a corner was diverted towards goal off the chest of Hibs defender Paul Hanlon. Hearts’ Jamie Walker showed good control and quick feet to skip past two defenders in the box before firing and angled shot across the six-yard box that trickled wide. The Easter Road side began to look more dangerous going forward and again Doyle was the culprit as he couldn’t connect with Wotherspoon’s superb cross into the box. Hibs finally broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute through Wootherspoon. The Hibs midfielder collected a cross field pass from substitute Ivan Sproule and stepped away from Kevin McHattie before firing in a shot that took a wicked deflection off Zaliukas and flew into the net past the helpless MacDonald. In late yesterday’s other game, fallen Glasgow giants Rangers progressed to the fifth round with a 3-0 win over fellow Third Division side Elgin City at Ibrox. Dean Shiels fired the Gers into a first-half lead and Kevin Kyle’s 68th minute header from a Barrie McKay corner doubled their advantage. Kai Naismith rounded off the scoring in the 85th minute after coming on as a substitute with a low finish past John Gibson.—AFP

Ben Williams

Norwich leave Sunderland dangling above drop zone

Aussies, Dutch, draw as England upset Germany




Wenger under scrutiny after worst Arsenal start

Page 19

ITALY: Lazio’s French defender Modibo Diakite (left) fights for the ball against Parma’s French forward Jonathan Ludovic Biabiany during their Italian Serie A football match.—AFP

Garcia gifts Inter victory MILAN: An own goal from Palermo defender Santiago Garcia saved Inter Milan’s blushes in a narrow 1-0 win over the Sicilians at the San Siro yesterday, while both Roma and Lazio claimed precious wins. Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni had called on his side to relaunch their campaign after some recent jitters and the pressure was on the hosts after Napoli had cemented second place earlier with a 5-1 rout of Pescara. Despite creating a number of scoring chances the Nerazzurri failed to find a way through the visitors’ defence until Garcia stuck his leg out and deflected Andrea Ranocchia’s cross past his own keeper in the 74th minute. “We weren’t at our best but the team were persistent and kept plugging away,” said Stramaccioni, who explained why he did not field Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder as indicated on Saturday. “There are players in better form than him (Sneijder) and it’s my job to put the best team together.” After their 10th win in 15 games Inter remain third on 31 points, two shy of Napoli and four adrift of

Juventus following the Turin giants’ 3-0 rout of Torino in the ‘Derby della Mole’ on Saturday. Palermo slipped to fourth from bottom and coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who lasted only five games before being sacked as Inter coach last season, said: “We gifted them the goal. It’s a pity because we had a decent game.” Lazio’s 2-1 win over Parma moved the Biancocelesti up from fifth although Fiorentina can reclaim fourth from Vladimir Petkovic’s side if they beat Sampdoria in yesterday’s late match. Biava Giuseppe opened his account for Lazio from close range and after Parma were not awarded a penalty after a Miroslav Klose handball the German squeezed their second through the legs of onrushing keeper Antonio Mirante. Parma were finally awarded a penalty just after the hour mark and Ishak Belfodil needed two attempts before beating Albano Bizzarri in the Lazio goal. However Lazio held on for a ninth win of the season which keeps them among the European places. “It wasn’t one of our best performances,” said

Petkovic. “But it was crucial for us to get all three points and we did what we had to.” An improved second half performance which included a brace from Mattia Destro helped Roma transform a potential banana skin into a valuable 3-1 win away to Siena. The Giallorossi were a goal down on 25 minutes after Luis Neto rose to head past Mauro Goicoechea in the Roma net for his first goal of the season. Destro claimed Roma’s equaliser on 63 minutes and after Simone Perrotta’s 81st minute strike gave them the lead Destro capped the win by slotting into a virtually empty net from Miralem Pjanic’s cross. Udinese, meanwhile, hammered Cagliari 4-1 to dominate the day’s mid-table battle while an Alberto Paloschi hat-trick allowed Chievo to move further away from the relegation zone with a 4-2 victory away at Genoa. Bologna secured only their fourth win of the campaign with a precious 2-1 win at home to Atalanta thanks to Manolo Gabbiadini’s late winner. Earlier, a brace apiece from Gokhan Inler and Edinson Cavani helped Napoli demolish Serie A basement side Pescara 5-1.—AFP

Vonn sweeps Lake Louise LAKE LOUISE: Lindsey Vonn achieved her second successive Lake Louise treble when she won yesterday’s Super-G, the third race on the weekend programme at the Canadian resort. The American clocked one minute and 22.82 seconds to snatch her 14th victory at her favourite skiing venue, her seventh in succession, but she confessed the effort had worn her out. “I’m just shattered, I’m running on low battery,” said Vonn, who collapsed at the feet of second-placed teammate Julia Mancuso in the finish area. With 56 victories, the four times World Cup champion is now the second most successful skier in history behind Annemarie Moser-Proell, whose record of 62 wins is in serious jeopardy. But the downhill Olympic champion can already claim to have won more actual races than the legendary Austrian, whose record included seven combineds, which at the time were mere additions of a downhill and a slalom held separately. Mancuso completed a clean sweep by the U.S. Ski team at the weekend by finishing second, 0.43 behind, emulating compatriot Stacey Cook, runner-up in both Friday’s and Saturday’s downhills behind Vonn. Austria’s Anna Fenninger took the last podium spot, 0.02 seconds behind Mancuso. Tina Maze retained the overall World cup lead by finishing a solid fourth, 0.62 off Vonn’s pace. The

Slovenian now leads the standings with 397 points, ahead of Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch on 319, while Vonn is back in third place with 310 points. Maze saw her fourth place as a real satisfaction because, unlike Vonn, she does not like the Lake Louise course. “The end section is so long that I kept singing to myself not to get too bored,” she said. Vonn did not have an ideal preparation for the weekend, suffering previously from a stomach bug which weakened her, and she said she would have to save energy this season to focus on her main goals. “It’s going to be a hard-fought season because Tina is really motivated and she can score points in every event,” said the American, who said she considered skipping a number of slaloms this winter, especially the town races held in Munich, Zagreb and Moscow. The World Cup circuit returns to Europe next weekend with a giant slalom and two super-G’s in St Moritz. After her new show of strength in Canada, the question of whether Vonn should be allowed to race with the men remains. Swiss coach Hans Flatscher jokingly said there was an excellent reason to let her compete in the men’s ranks in the future. “This way,” he said, “there will be three available places on the podium in Lake Louise instead of two.” Meanwhile, Ted Ligety was again far

Italian League results/standings Napoli 5 (Inler 9, 78, Hamsik 15, Cavani 58-pen, 63) Pescara 1 (Birkir 18); Siena 1 (Neto 25) Roma 3 (Destro 63, 90+1, Perrotta 86); Udinese 4 (Pereyra 33, Angella 39, Danilo 48, Pasquale 66) Cagliari 1 (Dessena 80); Genoa 2 (Said Said 40, Jankovic 56) Chievo 4 (Paloschi 14, 22, 45+1, Stoian 89); Bologna 2 (Diamanti 16, Gabbiadini 70) Atalanta 1 (German 50); Inter Milan 1 (Garcia 74-og) Palermo 0; Lazio 2 (Biava 25, Klose 34) Parma 1 (Belfodil 66). Played Saturday Juventus 3 (Marchisio 57, 84, Giovinco 67) Torino 0 Played Friday Catania 1 (Legrottaglie 11) AC Milan 3 (Stephan El Shaarawy 53, 90+2, KP Boateng 56) Italian league table ahead of yesterday’s late match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Juventus Napoli Inter Milan Lazio Fiorentina Roma AC Milan Parma Udinese Catania Atalanta Sampdoria Cagliari

15 11 15 10 14 10 15 9 14 8 15 8 15 6 15 5 15 4 15 5 15 6 14 5 15 4

2 3 1 2 4 2 3 5 7 4 2 2 4

2 2 4 4 2 5 6 5 4 6 7 7 7

32 28 27 24 25 34 24 18 22 19 15 17 14

10 12 16 18 12 24 19 20 24 23 22 19 24

35 33 31 29 28 26 21 20 19 19 18 16 16

Torino 15 3 7 5 15 17 15 Chievo 15 4 3 8 17 27 15 Bologna 15 4 2 9 17 20 14 Palermo 15 3 5 7 14 22 14 Genoa 15 3 3 9 16 26 12 Siena 15 4 5 6 14 17 11 Pescara 15 3 2 10 10 30 11 Note: Sampdoria (one point), Torino (one point), Atalanta (two points) and Siena (six points) all docked points for involvement in ‘Calcioscommesse’ illegal betting scandal

Top-flight FA Cup draw for United and Chelsea LONDON: Manchester United, Arsenal and holders Chelsea were all handed ties with fellow Premier League sides in the draw for the FA Cup third round yesterday. Chelsea, winners of four of the last six tournaments, will travel to Southampton, while current league leaders United face an away game at West Ham United, who eliminated Alex Ferguson’s side in the fourth round in 2001. Arsenal, meanwhile, face a swift reunion with Swansea City, whose 2-0 success at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday bumped Arsene Wenger’s men down to 10th place in the English top flight. In the only other all-Premier

League tie, Queens Park Rangers were drawn at home to West Bromwich Albion, with English champions Manchester City due to face second-division Watford. Liverpool, runners-up to Chelsea last season, face an away game at either Lincoln City or Mansfield Town, two former league clubs who now play in the fifth-tier Conference National. Tottenham Hotspur will play League One (third division) side Coventry City in a repeat of the 1987 final, which saw Coventry prevail through an extra-time own goal by Spurs defender Gary Mabbutt. The ties are scheduled to be played on the weekend of January 7-8, 2013.

FA Cup third-round draw:

BEAVER CREEK: Ted Ligety of the United States, is airborne on the course during the men’s World Cup downhill ski race.—AP too strong for the opposition as he cruised to his second giant slalom victory of the season at Beaver Creek yesterday. The win, in a combined time of two minutes 25.59 seconds, was the American’s 13th in the discipline and the third at Beaver Creek, when he again pleased home fans with two blistering runs. The giant slalom world champion, who won the season opener in

Soelden with a record lead of 2.75 seconds, was a little less impressive this time, but sill left second-placed Marcel Hirscher a huge 1.76 behind. Italy ’s Davide Simoncelli was third, 2.07 adrift, for his first podium in more than two years. Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal was sixth and retained his overall World Cup lead with 400 points ahead of Ligety, who is on 320. —Reuters

Crystal Palace v Stoke City Brighton and Hove Albion v Newcastle United Tottenham Hotspur v Coventry City Wigan Athletic v Bournemouth Fulham v Blackpool Aston Villa v Ipswich Town Charlton Athletic v Huddersfield Town Barrow or Macclesfield Town v Cardiff City Barnsley v Burnley Manchester City v Watford Swansea City v Arsenal Leicester City v Burton Albion Millwall v Preston North End Cheltenham Town or Hereford United v Everton Derby County v Tranmere Rovers Crawley Town v Reading Aldershot Town v Rotherham United or Notts County

Middlesbrough v Harrogate Town or Hastings United Accrington Stanley or Oxford United v Sheffield United Southampton v Chelsea Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion Peterborough United v Norwich City Lincoln City or Mansfield Town v Liverpool Bolton Wanderers v Sunderland Nottingham Forest v Oldham Athletic West Ham United v Manchester United Hull City v Leyton Orient Blackburn Rovers v Bristol City Leeds United v Birmingham City Bury or Southend United v Bradford City or Brentford Luton Town v Wolverhampton Wanderers Sheffield Wednesday v MK Dons. —AFP

Investors turn to car parks as H K property cools Page 22

New 80 Inch AQUOS LED TV, latest Double French Refrigerator in Kuwait Page 25


Gulf Bank wins prestigious ‘Bank of Year 2012’ Award Page 26

Zain Group appoints Scott Gegenheimer CEO Page 23

MAZAR-I-SHARIF: An Afghan child laborer works at a food factory in Mazar-i Sharif, Balkh province yesterday. The economy of Afghanistan can be categorized as poor and unstable as it lacks proper industrialization and there is a lack of well-developed manufacturing and infrastructure facilities, and it is dependent on foreign aid and assistance.— AFP

US could go over a ‘fiscal cliff’: Geithner ‘Automatic tax hikes’ less than month away WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama’s top fiscal negotiator pressed Republicans yesterday to offer specifics on deficit reduction, and predicted they would agree to raise tax rates on the rich to secure a year-end deal to avoid possible economic doom. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said “I can’t promise” that the United States won’t go over a looming “fiscal cliff,” triggering automatic tax hikes for most Americans and deep spending cuts in early 2013. He insisted it is up to Republicans. “That’s a decision that lies in the hands of the Republicans that are now opposing an increase in tax rates” for the wealthiest Americans, a key sticking point in negotiations for a broad deficit-reduction deal, Geithner told “Fox News Sunday.” With polls showing most Americans favor raising tax rates on the wealthy and cracks starting to appear in what had been a wall of Republican opposition to such a move, the Obama administration figures it has the upper hand. But the top US Republican, Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner, stood firm and renewed his stand against increased tax rates. “Here’s the problem,” Boehner said in a separate appearance on Fox. “When you go and increase rates, you make it more difficult for our economy to grow.” Besides, Boehner said, if Republicans agreed to give Obama a

proposed $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue, “He’s going to spend it,” not reduce the deficit. With the public and financial markets worried about the fiscal cliff, Boehner used the TV appearance to try to soothe concerns, not increase them. “I don’t want any part of going over the cliff. I’m going to do everything I can to avert that,” Boehner said. But he said the two sides remained far apart with the deadline less than a month away, adding “We’re nowhere.” He again refused to offer specific deficit reduction proposals, other than to repeat that one option would be to close a number of unspecified tax deductions. “The president has seen a lot of options from us. There are a lot of them on the table and I’m hopeful that the conversation will continue,” Boehner said. In a blitz of television appearances on five Sunday talk shows, Geithner insisted that tax rates on the richest must go up, and dismissed much of the contentious rhetoric from last week as “political theater.” “The only thing standing in the way of (a deal) would be a refusal by Republicans to accept that rates are going to have to go up on the wealthiest Americans. And I don’t really see them doing that,” Geithner told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The comments mark the latest round of high-stakes gamesmanship

focusing on whether to extend the temporary tax cuts that originated under former President George W. Bush beyond their Dec. 31 expiration date for all taxpayers, as Republicans want, or just for those with incomes under $250,000, as President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats want. Republicans, who control the House but are the minority in the Senate, have expressed a willingness to raise revenues by such steps as limiting tax deductions, but they have largely held the line on increasing rates. A handful of House Republicans have voiced flexibility beyond that of their party leaders about considering an increase in tax rates for the wealthiest, as long as that action is accompanied by significant spending cuts. But most House Republicans refuse to back higher rates, preferring to raise revenue through tax reform. “There’s not going to be an agreement without rates heading up,” Geithner said bluntly on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The scheduled expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and automatic reductions in government spending set to take hold early next year would suck about $600 billion out of the economy and could spark a recession. The Obama administration and Congress are engaged in talks to avoid the fiscal cliff with a less-drastic plan to reduce US budget deficits. — Reuters

Kuwait gives back early gains; Egypt advances MIDEAST STOCK MARKET DUBAI: Egypt’s index rose yesterday, recouping some of last week’s steep losses, after fears of clashes between supporters of President Mohamed Morsi and his opponents over the weekend proved unfounded. Middle East markets were mixed, with Saudi Arabia up for a third session since Tuesday’s 10month low, while Kuwait gave back early gains as a post-election bounce proved short-lived. Egypt’s Morsi on Saturday called a Dec. 15 referendum on a new constitution, hoping to end protests over a decree expanding his powers, as at least 200,000 of his Islamist supporters rallied in Cairo. Islamist groups demonstrated at Cairo University, avoiding clashes with opponents staging an open-ended sitin at Tahrir Square, the centre of protests that ultimately forced former president Hosni Mubarak from power. “There was an aggressive sell-off last week on expectations of bloodshed over the weekend,” said Mohamed Radwan, head of equities at Pharos Securities in Cairo. “The market is making a relief rally, also on the referendum announcement.” Investors hope the referendum will help soothe political tensions, he added, speaking before the Supreme Constitutional Court postponed its work indefinitely after a protest by Islamists outside its headquarters.

The main index ended 1.8 percent higher after rising by as much as 2.8 percent intraday. It fell 11.6 percent last week. Orascom Construction Industries climbed 3 percent, tracking gains in its London-listed global depository receipt (GDR), which rose 5.7 percent on Friday. Commercial International Bank and Ezz Steel were other notable gainers, adding 1 and 2.8 percent respectively. Kuwait’s index slipped 0.03 percent to 5,942 points, trimming its gains since early November’s eight-year low to 5.2 percent after hitting an intraday high of 6,004. Kuwaitis voted in a new parliament on Saturday that may prove to be more government-friendly after the opposition refused to stand in the election. “We came into work today thinking the market would be positive, but we were quickly reminded that it’s still a retail-dominated, lackluster market investors are cautious and any trigger can send it lower,” said a Kuwait-based trader who declined to be identified. “Some retail investors were trying to create some positive momentum to get other investors to come in - it didn’t look like there was any government money in the market, otherwise we would have seen more movement in the bigger names.” Stocks rallied from the November low as a government fund bought bluechip stocks, leading retail investors to

do likewise, but the latter have now cashed in some of these gains. National Bank of Kuwait fell 1 percent, while telecom operators Zain and Wataniya dropped 2.4 and 0.9 percent. Yesterday, Zain said it had appointed a former Wataniya chief executive as its new CEO. “I do see more positivity around the corner if the government does something concrete in terms of starting new development projects, but words are not enough - investors have heard enough promises, they want to see some actual agreements signed,” said the trader. In 2010, Kuwaiti newspapers reported government plans for a KD30 billion ($106.50 billion) development plan, but little has happened since, sending stocks into a long-term slump. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark rose 0.3 percent, taking its gains to 3.8 percent since Tuesday’s milestone low. The benchmark had made a sustained slump following lacklustre thirdquarter earnings, worries over Saudi King Abdullah’s health and political turmoil in Egypt. But oil price gains November was crude’s first monthly rise since August - and the king’s appearance on state television on Wednesday has helped convince equity investors to buy back into local shares. Markets in the United Arab Emirates were shut for a holiday. — Reuters



Investors turn to car parks as Hong Kong property cools

Global investors should be optimistic for 2013 By Hayder Tawfik

HONG KONG: Curbs on buying property in Hong Kong have cooled a market pushed sky-high by mainland Chinese investors. But the steps have sparked a craze for an unlikely new investment-the car parking space. The Asian financial hub slapped new taxes on residential properties in late October to rein in prices, amid growing complaints from Hong Kongers that buying even a tiny flat was now out of their reach. Mainland Chinese buyers were largely blamed for the increase in prices, which have skyrocketed 90 percent since 2009, as they flocked to the city with their new wealth amid the country’s economic boom. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying hoped the curbs would calm anger over the issue in the space-starved southern city of seven million, after previous promises of making more land available did little to help the situation. The curbs appear to be working but have also had unusual side-effects, with the city’s imaginative investors now focusing on car parking spaces, which analysts say could hit an all-time high. The issue grabbed the public’s attention with a single sale of parking spaces for HK$1.3 million ($166,666) last month, according to reports. It was the most expensive sale when tycoon Li Ka-shing’s flagship Cheung Kong Holdings offloaded 514 car park slots for a total of HK$600 million. Some of the slots, located in the New Territories area of Hong Kong bordering mainland China, were reportedly quickly resold for profits of up to HK$300,000 each. People who sell the spaces said they had seen a surge in activity, which they believed was because the slots are not affected by the new taxes, as well as being maintenance-free and relatively cheaper than buying a property. They say car parking spaces were not previously a popular investment in a city which only has about half a million private cars and is well-connected by a vast public transport system. “Parking was a very unattractive investment in the past. It’s not easy to get rid of it so it’s not a very tradable product,” Josh Wong, who runs online car park trading website said. High property prices is just one source of rising tensions between natives of the

less than one percent, Lau said. In Taikoo Shing, an area near the city centre that is popular with Japanese expatriates, the average per-square-foot price has dropped two percent to HK$10,920 ($1,409), according to estate agent Centaline. The fall has made savvy investors turn to car parking spaces, but Centaline research head Wong Leung-sing warned that it was a risky investment. “Once the economy

semi-autonomous southern Chinese city, a former British colony, and the mainland Chinese who are arriving in increasing numbers. The curbs-a 15-percent stamp duty on non-permanent residents and corporate buyers as well as a higher stamp duty on the resale of property within three years-appear to have cooled the property market in general. New home sales have fallen nearly 50

HONG KONG: A man exits a parking garage in Hong Kong yesterday. Curbs on buying property in Hong Kong have cooled a market pushed sky-high by mainland Chinese investors. But the steps have sparked a craze for an unlikely new investment — the car parking space. — AFP slows, the first thing people do is to sell their cars, not their house,” he said. “But people have nowhere else to park their capital so they turn to high-risk products like this.” Nevertheless, he believed the average price of a second-hand car parking space looked likely to break its historic high of HK$660,000 recorded in late 1997 before the Asian financial crisis. The average price of a space in the third quarter of this year was HK$640,000, he said. — AFP

percent since they were introduced and prices are also edging down, albeit slowly, estate agents say. “Definitely it has had quite a significant impact on the transaction volume,” said analyst Buggle Lau from Midland Realty. There were only 1,054 sales of first-hand residential properties in the month to November 29, down 49 percent from the same period in October, according to a Midland survey that used official land registry figures. Prices had fallen, but by an average of

Kuwait’s crude oil exports to Japan jump 25.3% TOKYO: Kuwait’s crude oil exports to Japan jumped 25.3 percent in October from a year earlier to 8.19 million barrels, or 264,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the first expansion in two months, the government said here. As Japan’s fourth-biggest oil provider, Kuwait supplied 8.1 percent of the Asian nation’s total crude imports, compared with 6.2 percent in the same month of last year and 7.3 percent in September, the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency said in a preliminary report. Japan’s overall imports of crude oil went down 3.6 percent year-on-year to 3.28 million bpd for the second consecutive monthly drop. Shipments from the

Middle East stood at 2.72 million bpd, and accounted for 81.1 percent of the total, down 3.2 percentage points from the year before. Saudi Arabia seized the top spot, with imports from the Kingdom growing 1.0 percent on the year to 1.04 million bpd, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 725,000 bpd, down 1.6 percent. Qatar ranked third, but its shipments declined 12.9 percent to 309,000 bpd and Russia was fifth with 202,000 bpd, up 11.4 percent. Although the Japanese government has decided to provide insurance for tankers carrying Iranian crude bound for Japan, imports from Iran plunged 40.2 percent last month to 157,000 bpd. The legislation enables the world’s No.3 oil

consumer to continue importing Iranian oil even after new European Union (EU) sanctions against Iran starting from July, which ban insurance firms of EU countries from covering Iran’s exports. Japan has already secured a waiver from US financial sanctions against Iran in return for cutting its imports of Iranian crude oil. Resources-poor Japan is the world’s third-largest oil consumer after the US and China, and it relies on crude oil imports for about 50 percent of its energy needs. Shipments of direct-deal, which prices are based on the average spot price of Dubai crude, the benchmark for Asia, account for about 80 percent of Japan’s crude imports. — KUNA

sually you get a good indication of where the markets are heading when you are faced with a lot of bad news but ignored by investors and markets keep going up i.e. most of the time the bad news are discounted in the market. However, international investors should always do their job properly to find out how much of the bad news and in which market is discounted. I would like to talk about the rationale behind my optimism and list the reasons why I am encouraged about the outlook for the international stock markets for 2013. Let’s not dismiss all the bad news which is out there talked about on daily basis. However, the bad news is always there and will be there. We have all heard the negatives about the economies and different stock markets. The media loves to play on this recycled news. Economy is weak, youth are not finding jobs and the overall unemployment is high and rising, banks refuse to lend, euro-zone in crisis, Japan is in deflation. So if you want to be a pessimist then there is plenty of news to cheer you up. You could have said the same since 2008 and you would have missed lots of great investments opportunities and good returns. So, let’s focus on the reasons why international investors should be optimistic for 2013: 1. Long and short term global interest rates are low and could even go lower. This is very good news for those who can borrow and invest. But obviously is not good for savers. Big global multinational companies and governments have taken advantage of these low rates and have borrowed aggressively throughout this year. US corporates have accumulated over US$2.5trillion in cash, UK corporates have about $1.5trillion in cash and so it goes on. The very low rates are very positive for anyone who is in debt and there are plenty of those around. 2. Global inflation is low and could even go lower but let’s hope that it does not go into negative growth. Oil price has been on average around US$90 to US$100 over the last 5 years. The prices of many other industrial commodities have fallen sharply over the last 2 years also of those agricultural commodities too. These kinds of falls will help to improve the profit margins for those companies which are producing goods and manufacturing products, hence consumers’ purchasing power should increase further. 3. Global equity valuations are low and in some markets actually are very cheap. When we talk about the cheapness of these valuations obviously we compare them on historical basis. So on average we can say the US and European markets are trading around a Price Earnings Ratios of 12x against historical valuations of say just over 15x. Some will say historical is literally what it means and the future is uncertain. Valid point but we heard the same in the past too. I talked above about


the huge cash piles accumulated by the global multinationals and the chance of some of these companies returning some of that cash to shareholders. 4. Dividend yields on stock are much higher than deposits and even in some cases higher than long term government bonds. This is a historical event I am not sure it can last for much longer. Since 2008 investors poured billions into government and corporate bonds and far less into stocks and at some time in the coming months we should expect some switch from bonds into equities. This will have very big impact onstocks. 5. The emergences of new consumers around the world. This has been ongoing process and it has opened up huge new markets around the world for global multinationals with international brands. Consumers in Asia, Middle-East, Russia, Brazil and obviously China have more money to spend than ever. These new markets are gradually making more contribution to global growth, which is a healthy process in rebalancing the global economy. These new consumers appetite for anything produced in the west has not limit. Multinationals that produces goods and offer services such as cars, electrical and electronic goods, white goods smartphones, clothing and luxury goods, and health and educations services will benefit the most. I think the new consumers around the world which makes up more than 70% of the world’s population will be the targeted by global multinational companies. 6. International companies have been reporting good results and higher profits over the last 2 years. This may explain why the markets have been going up. I expect their profits to rise further in the coming couple of years. The environment never been so good for the global multinationals and indeed investors have rewarded them handsomely. 7. Exposure to international equities has been falling for the last 4 years. This to me should be good news for equities going forward for the reasons I mentioned above. At some stage in the coming months long term investors will start the process of increasing their exposure once again to stocks. These investors will have to make sure in the process they are not shooting themselves in the foot by dumping bonds into the markets, so the process will be measured and will take time. This is good for international investors to position themselves ahead of the event. It is all about timing when you invest in stocks. Equity investors should think rationally and try hard to ignore their emotions when investing in stocks. This is easy said than done. That is why I have listed the above fundamental reasons, hoping that investors think for themselves and avoid the media headlines or the herd mentality. — Hayder Tawfik - Executive Vice President of Asset Management, at Dimah Capital

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Egyptian pounds

.2750000 .4480000 .3630000 .3010000 .2810000 .2910000 .0040000 .0020000 .0763110 .7434790 .3880000 .0720000 .7288490 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2811000 GB Pound/KD .4500130 Euro .3650510 Swiss francs .3028770 Canadian dollars .2826970 Danish Kroner .0489410 Swedish Kroner .0422260 Australian dlr .2931870 Hong Kong dlr .0362700 Singapore dlr .2302210 Japanese yen .0034090 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0765630 Bahraini dinars .7459200 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0749800 Omani riyals .7304140 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - transfer Irani Riyal - cash

3.440 5.183 2.923 2.165 3.260 232.130 36.452 3.447 6.901 9.204 0.271 0.273

.2850000 .4600000 .3680000 .3080000 .2910000 .3000000 .0067500 .0035000 .0770780 .7509510 .4070000 .0770000 .7361740 .0510000 .2832000 .4533750 .3677780 .3051400 .2848090 .0493070 .0425410 .2953780 .0365410 .2319410 .0034340 .0052480 .0021820 .0029440 .0034980 .0771350 .7514930 .4005660 .0755400 .7358710 .0070010

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 75.363 77.653 734.050 750.630 76.955

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 47.900 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.175 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.318 Tunisian Dinar 180.570 Jordanian Dinar 398.650 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.896 Syrian Lier 3.864 Morocco Dirham 33.631 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 282.500 Euro 370.080 Sterling Pound 455.960 Canadian dollar 285.930 Turkish lire 157.910 Swiss Franc 306.730 Australian dollar 296.630 US Dollar Buying 281.300 GOLD 332.000 167.000 86.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria


298.100 750.880 3.690 287.900 554.500 46.000 50.200 167.800 47.950 371.300 37.120 5.450 0.032 0.161 0.246 3.520 400.120 0.191 95.310 45.500 4.340 235.400 1.829

51.000 733.410 3.080 7.100 78.100 75.390 232.860 34.820 2.689 456.500 43.400 308.500 3.700 9.560 198.263 76.980 282.700 1.360

733.230 2.940 6.927 77.670 75.390 232.860 34.820 2.169 454.500 307.000 3.700 9.390 76.880 282.300

GOLD 1,830.830

10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar



TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 454.500 282.300


296.600 750.880 3.450 286.400

232.900 46.179 369.800 36.970 5.185 0.031


Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro US Dollar Sterling Pound Japanese Yen Bangladesh Taka Indian Rupee Sri Lankan Rupee Nepali Rupee Pakistani Rupee UAE Dirhams Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Jordanian Dinar Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal

298.81 288.66 309.32 370.20 281.90 455.43 3.50 3.470 5.187 2.171 3.256 2.927 76.82 750.60 46.15 401.61 733.67 77.85 75.38


298.000 289.000 310.000 369.000 283.150 455.800 3.690 3.580 5.400 2.300 3.650 3.150 77.500 750.000 47.750 399.50 732.000 77.850 75.900

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 400.090 0.190 95.310 3.260 233.900

Rate for Transfer

Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

282.250 284.495 452.865 367.560

Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit

304.250 747.250 76.825 77.475 75.230 397.875 46.155 2.162 5.180 2.918 3.454 6.888 692.360 4.430 9.275 4.380 3.275 92.510

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

US Dollar Pak Rupees Indian Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso UAE Dirhams Saudi Riyals Bahraini Dinars Egyptian Pounds Pound Sterling Indonesian Rupiah Yemeni Riyal Euro Canadian Dollars Nepali rupee

282.300 2.923 5.205 2.175 3.457 6.940 76.965 75.410 750.500 46.154 458.200 2.990 1.550 371.500 290.400 3.190

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change

281.900 369.650 454.350 286.150 3.470 5.181 46.135 2.164 3.456 6.895 2.925 750.650 76.600 75.275


BUSINESS weekly report

Six reasons not to quit your job By Lama Ataya ith jobs for life rendered to a bygone era and with the continuous rise of new industries and new job titles, and the increasing flexibility of the job market, professionals not only have more opportunities to change Lama Ataya their job but can change their entire career if need be. But how effective is this? Is it really a good idea to be changing jobs frequently? When is a job change necessary and when should it be avoided? To help you answer these questions, the career experts at, the Middle East’s leading job site, provide you below with six things to consider if you are seriously thinking of leaving your job without a better career prospect at hand.


1. Managers change Survey after survey shows that the prime reason for professionals quitting their job is a poor relationship with a direct manager. In fact in a’s poll on “Reward Programs and Employee Engagement in the Middle East” 8.6% of professionals said that a good relationship with their manager or supervisor is what they need most to make them feel more engaged at work and in a separate poll, 7.2% of professionals claimed what they need most to succeed in their career is “a better boss”. If you are in a company you respect and admire doing work you find meaningful and satisfactory that compensates you fairly, it is probably well worth your while to make a serious effort to address the issues and salvage that relationship via constructive win-win dialogue and open communications, before you think of quitting. Remember also that bosses leave companies, change roles and are promoted; so if the relationship is bearable, the bigger picture is attractive and your long-term interests can be protected, you may want to put up with a less than exemplary management style. A poll on “Hiring Management in the MENA” showed that most MENA professionals (63.2%) find senior management more stable than their junior colleagues; however as per the 2012 MENA Salary Survey, on average, MENA professionals stay with a particular employer a little over 5 years. 2. Your lifestyle isn’t as healthy as it could be Sometimes you tend to overlook the real causes; is the source of your unhappiness really your job? It may well be that the real source of your discontent lies in a poor diet or exercise regime or a generally unhealthy lifestyle. You may want to revisit your lifestyle holistically and rebalance your physical and mental spaces and habits and activities before you blame your job fully for your dissatisfaction.’s recent ‘Work-Life Balance in the MENA’ poll shows that 57% professionals admit that they are unable to spend enough time exercising. In a separate poll, 31.7% of professionals feel that their eating habits are not very healthy at work. 3. There is still some learning in it for you Have you really learned all there is to learn on the job? If the answer is yes, consider you may perhaps be limited only by the boundaries of your own initiative and imagination. If the answer is that there is still plenty of learning potential, you may want to really reassess the value of that learning to you before you consider quitting. Many jobseekers, particularly in early stages of their career, or those considering career transitions, will actually pay for essential learning, especially if it is imparted from respected industry veterans and market practitioners, and will even work for free if the learning gradient is steep and the potential for growth and visibility is attractive. In a poll, over 30% of polled professionals indicated what is most needed to succeed in ones career is the “willingness to learn” and 21% indicated what they most want in their career is “to be known and respected as a true expert” in their field. 4. You own your job You may have a boss, but then so does your boss, and no one really controls your job description, performance and upward trajectory in the long run as much as you do. If you can be at peace with the fact that you are the master of your own destiny, you can amend your performance and expectations and with a little patience, planning, professional communication and prime performance, make the most out of your job and long-term career. 5. The grass is not always greener If you are leaving a job without truly understanding the reasons you are leaving and without a constructive game-plan for making the next career round better, you may well encounter the very same problems all over again. Understand exactly what irked you and how you will avoid that in the future before you seek that change. Many times the reason is as much about you as it is about external factors. Taking a few assessment tests or psychometric tests is a good idea to reassess and reevaluate your career game plan and view matters with a fresh perspective. 6. Tomorrow is another day Results of’s ‘Work-life Balance in the MENA’ poll indicated that 35.4% of professionals very often end up working outside work hours by choice and 27.8% admit that they work outside work hours due to necessity. If the overtime is chronic, talk to your manager and suggest an alternate solution you would be happy with; if it’s a seasonal or temporary issue, you may want to smile and bear it while you ensure that your efforts are not going in the least bit unnoticed, unappreciated or unrewarded. On tough work days remind yourself of all the wonderful reasons you took that job in the first place and think of all the different things that inspire you to a better life.

Zain Group appoints Scott Gegenheimer CEO A 24-year telecom veteran with impressive regional experience KUWAIT: The Board of Zain Group announces that it has appointed Scott Gegenheimer as the new Chief Executive Officer of Zain Group effective yesterday (December 2). Gegenheimer replaces Nabeel Bin Salamah, who announced towards the end of October this year that he would not be renewing his contract. Gegenheimer’s appointment follows a comprehensive search both domestically and internationally. Asaad Al-Banwan, Zain Group Chairman said: “Scott Gegenheimer is very capable and experienced leaders in the industry and I am confident this appointment will be instrumental to Zain Group reaching the next level of its strategic development. Zain is a dynamic company, and with the right leadership team in place it has every chance of maintaining its wellentrenched position in the region. Gegenheimer has proved himself as a decisive and gifted telecom leader, and brings a wide cross section of telecom experience, spanning international and regional exposure.” Al-Banwan continued: “The Board of

Director and I are delighted that Gegenheimer has joined Zain and we look forward to supporting him as he brings his considerable knowledge and expertise to the company. He is no stranger to Kuwait and the region, and we believe it shall take very little time for him to become familiar with the Zain culture and start having a material impact on the company’s operations. A US national, Gegenheimer has a 24year working history in the telecom sector, having spent 10 years in various senior management and leadership positions at regional operators. Gegenheimer has also spent time working for technology heavyweights including Cisco Systems and Motorola, and has also enjoyed a stint in the financial services industry in the US. Regarding his appointment, Gegenheimer said: “I am looking forward to the opportunity to work within this great organization, and to make my contribution to its progress. Having worked in the telecom sector in Kuwait and the region before, I have a great deal of respect for what Zain has

Asaad Al-Banwan

Scott Gegenheimer

achieved domestically and regionally, and it shall be exciting to now see things from inside the company and further leverage it’s multitude of advantages.” Gegenheimer added: “I would like to thank the Chairman, Asaad Al-Banwan, and the Board of Directors for the faith they have placed in me, and I look for-

ward to dedicating all my energies to making this already great company even more successful. This is a crucial time in the evolution of the telecom sector. I shall be relying on the team around me and all Zain employees to make sure we take advantage of the opportunities that arise.”

ECB to hold fire on rates as euro-zone gloom deepens FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank will lower its growth forecasts for the euro area at its last policy meeting of the year, but also argue that cutting rates is not the appropriate response yet, analysts predict. With ECB interest rates already at record lows and its latest anti-crisis weapon ready and primed for action, central bank chief Mario Draghi will insist once again that the ball is in the court of the governments to find a way out of the long-running crisis, economists said. Draghi said as much in a French radio interview on Friday. “We will succeed on condition that governments act,” he told Europe 1 radio. “We will do what is needed, and we are ready to intervene again if it is necessary... even to an unlimited extent”. But it was essential that governments get their economies and finances in order, Draghi said. “The ECB perceives its job-both on conventional and unconventional policy-as just about done,” said UniCredit chief

Tunisia economic growth hits 3.4% TUNIS: Tunisia’s economic growth rate hit 3.4 percent in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period of last year, Minister of Regional Development and Planning Jamaleddine Gharbi said here Friday. The minister ascribed this economic growth to the positive development of the added value, especially in agriculture and fishing by 4.1 percent, services by 5.8 percent and chemical industries by 21 percent. This rate was achieved despite the continuing negative growth of textiles, garments, mechanical and electrical industries and dwindling oil output with export prices amounting to 112 US dollars from early 2012 to late October, he added. Consumer price index hiked by 5.5 percent in the first ten months of this year against 3.4 percent in the same period of last year, the minister noted. Joblessness in Tunisia dropped from 18.1 percent in the first three months of this year to 17.6 percent in the third quarter of the same year, he said. Allocations to the tune of 6.5 billion Tunisian dinars have been earmarked for the North African country’s development blueprint, the minister pointed out. —KUNA

Saudi Maaden in deals with US firms KHOBAR: Saudi mining firm Maaden signed deals worth 977 million Saudi riyals ($260 million) with US firms Fluor Corp and Bechtel to help develop an industrial city in the country’s north, it said. Saudi Arabia, home to the world’s largest oil reserves, is keen to develop its mining industry to diversify the economy away from relying on oil. Under one contract, worth 745 million riyals, Fluor Arabia will provide engineering consultancy services and manage the construction of a new phosphate project for Maaden, called Umm Wual in Waad Al-Shimal City for Mining Industries, Maaden said in a bourse statement issued late on Saturday. Maaden also signed two other contracts worth 232 million riyals with Bechtel Arabia to monitor and manage the project to develop the city as well as preliminary designs of the infrastructure of the Waad Al-Shimal city. The contracts run through late 2016, when phosphate production is expected to start from the mega project estimated to cost 26 billion riyals. The scheme will have a production capacity of 16 million tons per year of phosphate concentrate, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, as well as plants to produce calcium monophosphate and calcium diphosphate. Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved in February the establishment of the new city. The Umm Wual project would add nearly 1.5 million tons annually of phosphorus oxide to Maaden’s planned phosphate capacity. — Reuters

euro-zone economist Marco Valli. Market tensions have indeed eased since the ECB unveiled its anti-crisis bazooka in September, the so-called OMT bond-purchase program. The scheme is credited with marking a turning point in financial market sentiment towards the crisiswracked euro even though it has not actually been used. In fact, the ECB has kept its gunpowder dry since then, keeping interest rates at their all-time low of 0.75 percent and also holding fire on other emergency anticrisis measures, after pumping vast amounts of liquidity into the markets earlier this year. But with the central bank scheduled to publish its updated economic forecasts for 2012 and 2013 and its preliminary estimate for 2014, the spotlight is back on whether there is room for more rate cuts, analysts said. “Conventional monetary policy will stay centre stage” at the ECB governing council meeting on Thursday, said

UniCredit’s Valli. There is some debate, however, on the effectiveness of further monetary easing since the rate cuts so far have not been feeding through to the countries that would benefit from them most, notably the debt-wracked countries. “A rate cut remains off the agenda, partly because a rate cut would not ease what the ECB regards as the most urgent problems-the fragmentation of the financial markets,” said Commerzbank economist Michael Schubert. “The problem is not the level of key interest rates per se, but the failure to pass on rate cuts to lending rates in the periphery,” he argued. Following last month’s policy meeting, Draghi said that additional rate cuts had not even been discussed. Analysts suggested that this month could be different, however, given that the ECB is scheduled this month to publish its latest economic forecasts and they are expected to be gloomy. — AFP



The ‘fiscal cliff saga continues, dollar mixed NBK WEEKLY MONEY MARKETS REPORT his week, markets saw German retail sales weakness and German Bundestag approving the Greek bailout package, by 473 to 100. The outcome came after finance minister Schaeuble warned that a default in the country could trigger the collapse of the single currency. Euro-zone unemployment numbers were at 11.7% in October. The euro-zone is hoping that Greece will be able to repurchase at least EUR 40 billion with private investors, yet the Euro could not make a new high and the currency slipped when Moody’s downgraded the ESM to AA1 from AAA and the EFSF to AA1 from AAA. Globally, commodity currencies were under some pressure. Canadian GDP


disappointed given both quarterly GDP and monthly growth were less than expected, while the Australian Dollar held strong over the week despite talks of easing from the Reserve Bank of Australia. Hopes in the US continue over the fiscal cliff resolution despite the public fiscal fighting between President Obama and Boehner this week, financial markets closed the week almost flat. In summary, the euro started the week trading at 1.2771 levels then dropped to a low of 1.2878 before turning around and hitting a high of 1.3027 on Friday and ending sessions at 1.2986. The Japanese yen hit a seven-month low against the euro and fell against the US dollar on Friday, extending losses

amid speculation that Japanese monetary policy could be aggressively eased when a new government is formed. USD/JPY opened the week at 82.39 and then dropped to 81.67 only to find support and rally back toward 82.74, closing the sessions trading at 82.46 The sterling pound had a range bound performance as it opened at 1.6030 levels, and then dropped to 1.6023, before gaining some strength and trading as high as 1.6062 on Friday, the currency closed the session at 1.6010. Commodities continue to trade cautiously with gold slipping on Thursday over $30.00 and oil trading with a Middle-East risk premium. Gold ended the week at 1,714.19 while oil at 88.91.

US new home sales New home sales edged down 0.3% in October after posting modest improvement earlier in the year. The slight drop in new home sales was concentrated in the Northeast and the South. However, Inventories of new homes rose slightly for the month but remain low by historical standards. Even with the weaker sales in October, the housing market recovery remains intact, with sales up 19.8 % over last year’s levels US GDP The US gross domestic product expanded at a 2.7% annual rate, as inventories accumulated and export growth offset weak consumer spending also helping to boost the GDP was stronger corporate profit growth for the quarter, rising to $67.3 billion from $21.8 billion in the second quarter. The Fed’s Beige Book indicated that US economic activity expanded at a measured pace in recent weeks. Hurricane Sandy and concerns about the fiscal cliff were main factors hampering growth during the surveyed period. While the housing market performed better, manufacturing activities weakened with seven districts reporting either slowing or outright contraction. Business owners explicitly stated that worries over the fiscal cliff delayed their business decisions. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago reported on Friday its index of Midwest business activity rose in November to 50.4 from 49.9 in October. The Better than expected Data came due to advances in Production, Employment, and Supplier Deliveries that led the Business Barometer higher. Euro-zone finance ministers and the IMF reached an agreement on allowing the release of financial aid to Greece. The aid disbursement will not only include the EUR 31.5 billion that should have been released in Q2, but also the additional EUR 12.2 billion of aid that is scheduled for disbursement in Q3 and Q4. They also decided on steps to cut Greek debt to 124% of gross domestic product by 2020, and promised further measures to lower it below 110% in 2022. However, there are still some hurdles that need to be cleared, as the latest revision to Greece’s bailout programs still requires the approval of seven Euro area parliaments, including Germany, Finland and the Netherlands, as well as the head of the International Monetary Fund. On Friday, one main hurdle was cleared, as the German lawmakers

approved the latest bailout for Greece by a large majority, despite growing unease about the cost to taxpayers. The parliamentary floor leader of Merkel’s Christian Democrats, Michael Grosse, said he was happy with the result of the vote, adding: “Greece must now continue its efforts to reduce its debts and carry out structural reforms.” Europe’s unemployment rate rose to a record in October as the fiscal crisis and tougher austerity measures deepened the region’s economic crisis. The unemployment increased to 11.7% from 11.6% in September, marking its highest level since the data series started in 1995. The jobless report showed that 18.7 million people were unemployed in the Euro area in October, up 173,000 from the previous month. At 26.2%, Spain had the highest overall jobless rate. Portugal’s unemployment rate was 16.3%, while Ireland reported a jobless rate of 14.7%. German retail sales German Retail Sales Indicator was down 2.8% on the month in real terms and 0.8% on an annual basis, the data came well below market expectation of a drop of 0.2% on the month and a gain of 1.2% on the year. The worse than expected retail sales data dented hopes that private consumption could compensate for the impact of the euro-zone crisis on export. The Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney will take over from Sir Mervyn King next June. He was praised for his “pragmatic” response to the financial crisis and global recession, with Canada one of the few leading nations to

escape without a bank bailout. He is considered more “hawkish” than Sir Mervyn after raising interest rates in Canada to offset a housing bubble. Japan The Japanese retail sales fell 1.2% in October from a year earlier, adding to mounting evidence that the economy has fallen into a mild recession. The fall compared with a median estimate for a 0.7% annual decline, according to the latest economic polls. Gold loses steam Gold had its biggest weekly drop in more than four months on concern that US lawmakers may not be capable to reach a settlement in talks aimed at avoiding tax increases and budget cuts known as the fiscal cliff. Gold traded as low as $1,705.64 an ounce before recovering slightly and closing the week at 1,715.19 as signs of global economic slowdown and fears of US recession dented the gold’s inflation hedge appeal. Oil rises Light crude oil prices rose 84 cents to settle at $88.91 a barrel, bringing prices up 3.1% for the month of November. The oil rally was boosted by optimism that US lawmakers would reach a deal on the budget and by increasing tensions in the Middle East that might cause disruption to oil supplies. Kuwait Kuwaiti Dinar at 0.28165 The USDKWD opened at 0.28165 yesterday morning.

Britain set to slash growth forecasts in budget update Weaker growth to slash future tax receipts LONDON: Britain is expected to cut the country’s growth forecasts this week in a key budget update, as finance minister George Osborne increasingly faces calls to rein in the government’s tough austerity measures. Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne was to deliver his Autumn Statement before parliament on Wednesday, alongside the latest growth and borrowing forecasts from Britain’s Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) fiscal watchdog. Experts predicted that the OBR would cut its forecasts for Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP) with the country’s economy buffeted by state austerity, inflationary pressures and the debt crisis in key trading partner the euro-zone. Weaker economic growth would slash future tax receipts, hitting the coalition government’s purse and sparking upward revisions to its official borrowing targets, analysts say. Osborne had in March forecast that the economy would grow by a weaker-than-expected 0.8 percent this year, followed by 2.0 percent in 2013 and 2.7 percent in 2014. “The growth forecast will have to be revised down, not only because the euro area and hence exports will remain weak, but also because real household incomes continue to decline partly due to the persistence of higher than expected inflation,” Daiwa Capital Markets economist Chris Scicluna told AFP. “Overall, I think it will be difficult to justify a growth forecast much above 0.5 percent in 2013. “Against the backdrop of the flatlining economy, the chancellor would be ill-advised to try to tighten fiscal policy,” he added. Recent official data showed Britain had escaped from recession in the third quarter of this year, with its economy growing 1.0 percent thanks to the London Olympics and rebounding activity after public holidays in the second quarter. However the outlook is clouded by the euro-zone’s long-running debt drama, despite it easing somewhat last week after debt-plagued Greece was granted its latest tranche of bailout cash. “Disappointing news has become an unfortunate feature of recent Autumn Statements and again this year the chancellor will have to accept downgrades to the OBR’s growth projections,” said KPMG chief economist Andrew Smith. “These will not be as

savage as last year... but nevertheless point to further slippage in the fiscal position.” Britain’s public finances could exceed official estimatesAlongside Osborne’s annual budget in March, the OBR predicted that public sector net borrowing (PSNB) as a proportion of economic output would begin to fall in 2015/2016, after peaking at 76.3 percent of GDP in 2014/15. And it forecast state borrowing would reach £120 billion ($192 billion, 148 billion euros) in the 2012/2013 financial year ending in March, compared with £121.4 billion in 2011/2012. However, with PSNB already standing at £73.3 billion and four months of the financial year to go, Osborne could breach the target. Britain’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat government, which rose to power in 2010, has imposed a series of painful austerity measures to slash a record deficit that was inherited from the previous Labor administration. The coalition blamed the recession largely on the debt crisis in the neighboring euro-zone, but the main opposition Labor party claims that the downturn was mainly owing to hefty cuts in state spending. “At best, the prospects remain uncertain and achieving sustainable above-trend economic growth remains a distant

prospect,” said Neil MacKinnon, economist at VTB Capital financial group. “Achieving the right balance between successful fiscal consolidation and durable economic growth remains a challenge for policymakers.” The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development last week urged Osborne to push back his debt reduction targets rather than drive through more growth-damaging austerity measures. Away from economic forecasts-and in a populist move-Osborne may on Wednesday decide to announce a crack down on multinationals like Google and Starbucks, who stand accused of paying insufficient corporation tax in Britain. Osborne “will need to be seen to be active in response to recent public outrage at apparent abuses of the (tax) system,” said analyst Scicluna. “But these initiatives will hardly provide reliable sources of new revenue.” He added that Osborne’s recent appointment of Canadian central bank chief Mark Carney to head the Bank of England “will hardly provide a magic remedy” to Britain’s economic ills. “Indeed, the Autumn Statement will provide a reminder that the government’s economic policy locker is pretty much empty.” — AFP

Romania on tightrope to secure growth: Analysts BUCHAREST: Romania, still recovering from a painful austerity drive, will have to walk a tightrope between cutting spending and spurring growth no matter who wins polls on December 9, analysts warn. “Caution seems to be the key word” for both the ruling left-wing USL and the opposition centre-right ARD, said economist Cristian Grosu. “There is hardly any money left for ideologies to make a difference,” Grosu said. “With recession threatening the euro-zone and the fiscal pact forcing member states to keep their budget deficit below 3.0 percent, Romania will have tremendous difficulties to finance itself,” he added. Junior finance minister Liviu Voinea, of the USL Social-Liberal Union, said Romania will have no choice but to continue fiscal consolidation. If USL wins the general elections as opinion polls predict, “we will cut inefficient expenses, tighten financial discipline and step up the fight against tax evasion,” Voinea told AFP. The austerity program imple-

mented in 2010 by a centre-right government, which cut public sector wages by 25 percent and hiked value added tax by five points to 24 percent, “was necessary in so far as it brought macroeconomic stability,” he said. “But the steps chosen were not appropriate, due to their steep social cost.” The cuts were part of a bailout deal concluded in 2009 with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union which provided the Balkan country with a 20 billion euro ($25.9 billion) lifeline and helped it emerge from a severe crisis. The IMF has commended Romania on its newly gained stability but stressed that the focus should now be on steps to achieve sustainable growth. “Romania has managed a rare performance, cutting its public deficit from 7.4 percent in 2009 to 2.2 percent this year,” Voinea said. He said the deficit will continue to fall by 0.5 points every year until a balance between public spending and revenue is finally reached. —AFP




Al-Yousifi United General Trading Co & Sharp MEA launch

New 80 Inch AQUOS LED TV and latest Double French Refrigerator in Kuwait KUWAIT: Sharp along with their Kuwaiti partners AlYousifi United General Trading & Sons Company announced the introduction of the region’s first commercially available 80 inch Aquos LED TV, and its latest Double French Refrigerator to Kuwait. The new offerings are Sharp’s way to demonstrate a luxurious modern lifestyle to its Kuwaiti customers. Sharp’s LED TV line-up offers unrivalled picture quality and impressive functionality exhibiting industry leading energy-efficiency. While it’s new Double French Refrigerator carves a niche in the high-end luxury kitchen segment with its bigger size, attractive functions and impressive specifications. The two new products are part of the “From Bigger to Biggest” products line-up which reiterates Sharp’s position as the leader in LCD/LED TV category. In its 100th year since foundation, Sharp is dedicating its latest offerings to modern Kuwaiti families and their high-end urban needs. On one hand, Sharp’s large TV products enhance Fred Yamaguchi — the customer’s home enterChairman at Sharp tainment experience with Middle East the optimization provided by smart TV features. While on the other hand, it offers cutting edge appliances for today’s sophisticated kitchen where the modern family increasingly spends more time together. 80 Inch “Real as life” Home Entertainment: The full HDJapanese made panel, Sharp’s flagship 80 inch modelLC-80LE940Xprovides more than twice the screen area of an average 55-inch TV. It features Sharp’s 4th Generation Quattron technology for better 3D viewing, plus direct LED backlighting and Aquo-motion Pro (240Hz) to decrease blur during fast-moving videos. It also boasts advanced Wi-Fi capabilities, which are further strengthened by Sharp’s smart TV interface, allowing customers to enjoy applications such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The interface also allows customized preferences which allow users to send photos, music and videos wirelessly. “Our Big AQUOS series fulfills the demand for bigger screens while maintaining affordable prices and energyefficiency”, said Mr. Fred Yamaguchi - Chairman at Sharp Middle East FZE. “The 80-inch AQUOS LED TV meets the consumer’s need for bigger flat panel TV. It is stylish, offers stunning picture quality, sound quality and we are proud to introduce it for the first time to the Middle East”, continued Mr. Yamaguchi. “We are always seeking to strengthen our presence in the GCC and Levant Region and our team is going through continued year-on-year growth supported by strong sales of our LCD TVs and other consumer electronics pillar products such as fridges, ACs, and PCI products. More regional offices are being established to better cater to key markets across Africa and we are also growing as a team with more than 100 staff working for us in the MEA CIS region”, he adds. “Kuwait and its citizens are at the forefront of sociocultural development in the region and this is leading to rapid modernization of the typical Kuwaiti household” said Mr. Amjad Fayad- Sharp department manager at Easa Husain Al-Yousifi& Sons Company. “Sharp has always been a brand of choice for our customer’s looking for lifestyle upgrades and the 80 inch AQUOD LED is another first from Sharp that promises real-as-life entertainment and sports right in customer’s living rooms”, added Mr. Fayad

Al-Yousifi United General Trading Co. staff in a photo with Sharp Middle East staff.

Wael Deeb (center) with Mr. Fred Yamaguchi (left) and Mr. Amjad Fayyadh (right)

Must-have for any modern Kitchen Sharp’s new Double French Refrigerator SJFS85Vfeatures 4 doors, a touch panel control and ecofriendly and long lasting LED lighting. It offers a total of 724liters of usable capacity for food and beverages storage. In addition, the refrigerator is equipped with Sharp renowned Plasmacluster Ion technology (PCI) to ensure hygienic refrigeration and help keep food fresh for longer. PCI Technology reduces levels of undesirable contaminants in the refrigerator’s interior such as airborne mold, fungi and adhering bacteria.

The newly unveiled Sharp products

Amjad Fayyadh- Sharp product manager

Guests at the event.

Omar Massouh- Al-Yousufi’s marketing manager

The new Sharp Double French Refrigerator (interior)

Wael Deeb General Manager (center) with Sharp MEA officials




Gulf Bank wins prestigious ‘Bank of Year 2012’ Award Chairman extends congratulations

ABK announces 7th draw winners of ‘Update your Info’ campaign KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait announced the third draw winners of its “Update your Info Campaign”. The campaign is related to customers being rewarded for updating their personal profile in the Bank. The lucky winners were Ali Abdelmonem Mohamed Eldaba from Al-Sabah Hospital branch who won KD 500, Osama Fawzi Shaker Marqas from Galleria 2000 branch who won KD 500, Virginia Hermano Orena from AlJahra branch who won Samsung Galaxy S lll and Emad Mohamad Al-Lethi Alkhouli from Hawalli branch who won iPad 3. Customers that update their personal information at any ABK branch located across Kuwait will automatically be entered into a draw for a weekly chance to win an iPad 3 or a Samsung Galaxy S III and a monthly draw to aim to win cash prizes. Lockie said, “By updating our customers’ information we get a better

understanding of their needs and lifestyle which helps us upgrade the safety of their cards and banking procedures. We guarantee all the information provided is treated with utmost confidence and will only be used in accordance with banking requirements and for the benefit of our customers.” Lockie added, “We are excited about the seventh draw winners of this Update Your Info Campaign with ABK. There are more weekly and monthly draws coming up, so I would suggest for everyone to update their info as soon as possible, so as to get a chance to win any of these valuable prizes.” For more information regarding updating your information or to learn about any of our other services, please visit to talk directly with one of our Account Managers through Al Ahli Chat Service or call Ahlan Ahli on 1899899.

KUWAIT: On the occasion of the “Bank of the Year 2012” award won by Gulf Bank, Mahmoud Abdul Khaleq Al-Nouri, Chairman of the Bank, said: “On behalf of the Board Members, I would like to extend our congratulations to the Shareholders of Gulf Bank for winning the prestigious “Bank of the Year 2012” Award from “The Banker”, the leading magazine of Financial Times. On this occasion, I would also like to extend our thanks and appreciation to all members of the Bank’s executive management, led by Michel Accad, Chief Executive Officer & Chief General Manager, all General Managers, Deputies and Assistants, as well as all the Bank’s employees, for their tremendous efforts, which were conducive to winning this important award. Our appreciation also goes to all the Bank’s corporate and individual customers for their constant support and contribution to the growth of our Bank. Their continuous loyalty and use of our products and services helped our Bank attain this deserved foothold in the

banking sector. We assure our customers that they will always be on top of our priorities, and will keep our promise to provide them with the best and fastest services.”

Burgan Bank’s winners of Yawmi Account draw KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced yesterday the names of the five lucky winners of its Yawmi account draw, each taking home a prize of KD 5,000. Winners’ names will also be announced through Marina FM on a daily basis during their prime shows. The lucky winners for the five daily draws took home a cash-prize of KD 5000 each, and they are: • 1. Iman Ahmad Mohammed Al-Qallaf • 2. Hussain Hameed Ahmad Mohammad • 3. Maha Ahmed Saleh Alsalih • 4. Khaled Mobarak Issa Alwazan • 5. Ali Fadhel Mohammad Alsharaf The newly re-launched Yawmi Account is

better, easier and faster than any day before. With its new and enhanced features, the Yawmi Account has become more convenient, easier, and faster for customers to benefit from. Now, customers will be eligible to enter the draw after 48 hours only from opening the account. Customers are also required to deposit KD 100 or equivalent only to enter the daily draw, and the coupon value to enter the draw stands at KD 10. The newly designed Yawmi account has been launched to provide a highly innovative offering along with a higher frequency and incentive of winning for everyone. Today, the Yawmi account is a well understood product, where its popularity can be seen from the

Al-Tijari announces winners of daily draw with Najma Account Eyeball announces South India Property Show 2012 in Kuwait KUWAIT: ‘Eyeball Media Private Ltd’, the prominent organizer of lifestyle events in South India in association with ‘Response Events & Exhibitions Kuwait’, announced South India’s largest property exhibition, ‘South India Property Show’, a two-day property fair, that will be held on the 7-8 December, 2012, at the Ramada Hotel in Riggae, Kuwait. The event will showcase several real estate developers who will present properties in various segments from Apartments, Row houses, Lifestyle residential properties, villas to residential plots from top South Indian cities, including Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Mangalore, Coimbatore, Tirupati and others. According to a joint report from Jones Lang LaSalle & Confederation of Indian Industry conducted recently, the residential markets of South Indian cities have remained resilient in the past few quarters, relative to the significant decline in the sales volume of Mumbai and NCR. On an average, southern cities recorded nearly onethird of the country’s new launches in the past five quarters. Research further shows that residential market in Chennai is witnessing new trends. Chennai, which was predominantly a 2BHK and 3BHK apartment market is slowly seeing more villas being launched, further, the rental and capital values have increased across different sub-markets, especially in suburbs of Chennai. The geographic expanse of each of the capital cities in south India, rising migrant population with increasing job opportunities, timely implementation of physical infrastructure initiatives in the form of road and rail network, have helped the attractiveness of the region as a favorable residential

investment market. Taking into consideration, the market potential, South India Property Show 2012 is bringing together over 30 builders and banks on the same platform to cater to the demand in all segments of NRI Home Buyers. Speaking about the exhibition, G Shakthi, MD, Eyeball Media, said, “South India Property Show 2012 will be a one-stop destination offering a wide range of budget and luxury properties from top cities of South India under one roof. This event was specifically conceptualized to cater to the NRI’s living in Kuwait to showcase

KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al-Najma Account daily draw on 2nd December 2012. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry represented by Saquer Al Manaie. The winners of the Najma daily draw are: • Jameel Shaddad Duaij Shnat KD 7000, • Ahmad Wadah Amin AlOlabi KD 7000, • Ibrahim Fathalla Ali KD 7000, • Suad Saad Mohammed Al-Enezi KD 7000, • Nowead Maseh Hayat Maseh KD 7000. The Commercial Bank of Kuwait announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new Najma

account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD 7,000 daily prize which is the highest in the country and another 4 mega prizes during the year worth KD 100,000 each on different occasions: The National Day, Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and on the 19th of June which is the date of the bank’s establishment. With a minimum balance of KD 500, customers will be eligible for the daily draw provided that the money is in the account one week prior to the daily draw or 2 months prior to the mega draw. In addition, for each KD 25 a customer can get one chance for winning instead of KD 50. Commercial Bank of Kuwait takes this opportunity to congratulate all lucky winners and also extends appreciation to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for their effective supervision of the draws which were conducted in an orderly and organized manner.

Merkel does not rule out Greek ‘haircut’ in future the enormous investment potential that these market have in terms of growth. Besides, this show for the first time in Kuwait, will be an exclusive platform of only south Indian properties starting from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 crore, showcasing a wide array of real estate projects for NRI’s living in Kuwait.” The participants this year include prominent names like, True Value Homes, Real Value Promoters, Vasavi Housing, Arihant Builders, Unitech, Arun Excello, Phoenix Hodu Developers, Shanders, S&S Foundations, Olive Builders, BSCPL Ltd, Mahabaleshwara Properties and Land Trades among others. Top Home Loan provider HDFC (Housing Development Finance Corporation) is also participating in this show offering home loans to the NRIs.

Mahmoud Abdul Khaleq Al-Nouri

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday did not rule out a so-called “haircut”, or write-down, of Greek debt in the next few years, marking an apparent softening in position. After being vehemently opposed to accepting a “haircut”, Merkel said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag weekly that it could be considered from 2014 if Athens’ financial situation improves. “If Greece can get by on its income one day again without taking on new debt, then we must look at and assess the situation. That won’t be the case before 2014/15 if everything goes according to plan,” she told the paper. Opposition politicians have accused Merkel of playing down the need for a writedown of Greek debt holdings by public institutions such as other euro-zone governments and the European Central Bank because of federal elections expected to take place on September 22, 2013. In the Bild interview, Merkel contested the

charge that she had refused a “haircut” because of the looming elections. “The current aid program for Greece runs until 2014. For the achievement of certain budgetary goals we have given the Greeks two years more time until 2016,” she said. Many in Germany consider a write-down of Greek debt holdings inevitable, which would mean German taxpayers footing part of the bill. Norbert Barthle, budgetary spokesman for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, told German radio last week: “It could be the case, according to the current planning, that a haircut could occur in 2020.” But on Friday, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said speculation on a “haircut” sent “the wrong incentive” to Greece because it reduced the pressure on the Athens government to enact structural economic reforms. He has previously said that the “haircut” under consideration by the International Monetary Fund would not be possible for legal reasons. —AFP

number of increasing account holders. Burgan Bank encourages everyone to open a Yawmi account and/or increase their deposit to maximize their chances to becoming a daily winner. The more customers deposit, the higher the chances they receive of winning the draw. Opening a Yawmi account is simple, customers are urged to visit their nearest Burgan Bank branch and receive all the details, or simply call the bank’s Call Center at 1804080 where customer service representatives will be delighted to assist with any questions on the Yawmi account or any of the bank’s products and services, or log on to Burgan Bank’s for further information.

VIVA launches highly anticipated HTC 8X Windows Mobile in Kuwait KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s newest and most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider, announced yesterday the launch of the HTC 8X Windows Mobile in Kuwait with a subsidized annual plan tailored to suit its customer’s needs. Abdulrazzaq AlEssa, Senior Communication Manager at VIVA said: “Providing the latest and highly anticipated HTC 8X Windows Mobile in Kuwait affirms VIVA’s position as the most advanced telecom service provider in Kuwait. We believe that part of our responsibility towards our customers and the Kuwaiti community entails being proactive and offering unprecedented services and products. The HTC 8X Windows Mobile package come with local calls, local SMS text messages and internet data services. Customers are urged to take advantage of the discounted price of the device and the high speed reliable internet service. Customers will enjoy free activation, welcome pack of 300 SMSs as well as a free vanity number. The postpaid annual plan will be for KD30 with a 12 month contract. The HTC 8X Windows Mobile features a 4.3-inch 1,280 x 720 Super LCD 2 display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, 1GB RAM, dual 2.1-megapixel front-facing and 8-megapixel rear cameras, and HTC ImageChip. In addition, it also features an exclusively built in amplifier for Beats Audio(tm) to enjoy uncompromised sound for the ultimate entertainment experience. To find out more about VIVA’s numerous competitive promotions, products and packages visit any of the 14 VIVA branches or visit our website at or contact its 24 hour call center at 55102102.

La T7aty customers can now make use of Warba Bank’s credit cards KUWAIT: Warba Bank , the most recently opened Islamic bank in Kuwait, introduces the opportunity to experience the unique features of its credit cards by its customers, including the “La T7aty” clients. By transferring a salary account during the “La T7aty”campaign period, a customer is entitled to receive instant valuable gifts, in addition to one or two chances to win a brand new Mini Cooper. Today, “La T7aty” customers can also enjoy the features of the bank’s different credit cards by applying for the product with optimum leniency. Warba Bank offers three types of credit cards: Classic, Gold and Platinum through which customers can choose their preferred type of payment: installments or full payment. Commenting on the cards, Adnan Salman

Al-Salem, Chief Retail Banking Officer of Warba Bank, said, “ Warba Bank ’s credit cards are unique for their granted credit ceiling that suits our customers’ different needs. Clients can also make use of the free SMS service that allows them to track their transactions on the spot. Moreover, they can apply for an extra card for a family member as an addition to the basic card. The extra card shares the credit limit with the main card and allows easy control over the balance.” He added, “The bank offers two payment methods without any added costs, which complies with the principles of the Islamic Sharia. Besides their distinctive contemporary design, the cards operate with the latest smart chip technology, providing trust and security for the

client when used locally or internationally.” In addition, Warba Bank offers the ‘ VISA Platinum’ card which offers ‘Priority Pass’ membership and allows unconditional access to over 600 VIP airport lounges and more than 90 international airports in 300 cities with the full utilization of the leisure ser vices offered, regardless of the type of the air carrier and the ticket booked. Warba Bank also offers the VISA prepaid card, which is topped up from personal account transfers, helping a customer control their amount of spending by determining the ceiling of their expenditure. The card provides maximum security features to enjoy shopping locally, internationally, or via the internet. It can also be used for local cash withdrawal from

Warba Bank’s ATMs, or internationally from any ATM machine that carries the international VISA logo. Warba’s credit card holders can also enjoy ‘My Box’ service from Posta Plus, the delivery service company in Kuwait. ‘My Box’ provides two local delivery addresses in the US and UK, which can be used to direct all online purchases and regular mails to the subscriber ’s doorstep in Kuwait, that is if the website used does not offer a direct deliver y ser vice to Kuwait. Customers can learn more about Warba Bank’s services and products by visiting its branches, booths, or by calling 182-5555. Moreover, Warba Bank communicates directly with its customers via its SMS service.




Finding right workforce to bring technology to market US entrepreneurs facing challenge

WASHINGTON: A woman looks at a computer site this week in Washington. Just in time for the holidays, Microsoft and Google have become embroiled in a bitter dispute over who is the fairest of them all for online shopping, stepping up the battle between the tech giants. —AFP

Microsoft, Google in catfight over online shopping WASHINGTON: Just in time for the holidays, Microsoft and Google have become embroiled in a bitter dispute over who is the fairest of them all for online shopping, stepping up the battle between the tech giants. Microsoft threw the first punch when it launched a campaign for its Bing search engine “to highlight Bing’s commitment to honest search results.” The campaign also seeks “to help explain to consumers the risks of Google Shopping’s newly announced ‘pay-torank’ practice,” a Microsoft statement said. Microsoft created a Web page called “Scroogled,” which points out that its rival has reversed course on its pledge at the time of the Google stock offering to avoid paid ad inclusion for search results. “Google Shopping is nothing more than a list of targeted ads that unsuspecting customers assume are search results,” Microsoft claims. Google announced earlier this year it would revamp its product search to become a shopping service with paid listings. This eliminated merchants which opted not to pay, including some notable ones like Amazon. Google said it completed the transition October 17 in the US, and will be rolling out the same model in Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland. “We think this will bring the same high-quality shopping experience to people -and positive results to merchants-around the world,” a Google blog posting said. Microsoft is promoting its campaign online and offline with ads “demonstrating why consumers should be concerned and helping them take action” on the Google shift, a Microsoft statement said. “We’re also calling on Google to stop this ‘pay-to-rank’ system for their shopping results and give shoppers what they expect-an honest search.” Google maintains that merchants cannot improve their rank simply by paying more, and that sellers who have a financial stake in the results will keep their information up to date. “Google Shopping makes it easier for shoppers to quickly find what they’re looking for, compare different products and connect with merchants to make a

purchase,” said an email from a Google spokeswoman. But some analysts say both companies are less than transparent about how their shopping engines work, and that Microsoft is not without blame. Danny Sullivan, analyst with the website Search Engine Land, said of the Microsoft effort: “Great campaign, if it were true. It’s not. Bing itself does the same things it accuses Google of.” Sullivan told AFP that “at least Google has the fine print that you can read; Microsoft doesn’t have it at all.” Microsoft, according to Sullivan, excludes new merchants from Bing search results if they don’t pay for inclusion with its partner,, even though this is not fully transparent to consumers. “Payment is a factor for ranking,” in Bing, said Sullivan, who maintains that Microsoft’s campaign is misleading. Microsoft said its own shopping results through Bing are not influenced by payment. “Bing includes millions of free listings from merchants and rankings are determined entirely by which products are most relevant to your query,” said Stefan Weitz, senior director at Bing, in an emailed statement. “While merchants can pay fees for inclusion on our third party shopping sites and subsequently may appear in Bing Shopping through partnerships we have, we do not rank merchants higher based on who pays us, nor do we let merchants pay to have their product offers placed higher in Bing Shopping’s search results.” Sullivan argues that Google, ironically, may have moved to paid listings to deflect attention from regulators and others who complain it had been skewing its search results. “If you have people complaining you search results are unfair, you can turn them into ads,” he said. But Sullivan noted that Google merely adopted the same policies of most shopping sites, which use paid listings even if they appear to be an impartial search. The overall message from the latest row, according to Sullivan: “You need to shop around. Use multiple search engines. All of them that suggest that they are gathering stuff from across the Web but may not be doing that.” —AFP

Deal or no deal? Online discounters face woes NEW YORK: It looks like a tough sell for the online daily deals sector. After much excitement last year and a hyped public offering from Groupon, the main players are now focusing on saving money themselves as consumers show deal fatigue. Sector leader Groupon, which went public a year ago with an offering at $20 a share, has seen its stock slide some 80 percent. This week, chief executive Andrew Mason kept his job despite swirling rumors that he was to be ousted. Rival Living Social said meanwhile it was cutting 400 jobs, or nearly 10 percent of its staff, in a retrenchment which follows big losses for the company. Lou Kerner of The Social Internet Fund said these firms are in trouble because of a “bubble” which inflated their value based on unrealistic expectations. “Shoppers are very excited about the coupons at first, but over time they get fatigued and usage drops off. The business model needs to evolve,” Kerner said. The firms aim to make money by selling members deals for discounts on activities, items or services and then splitting the money with the businesses involved. Both firms have been seeking to diversify, but have been struggling to become profitable. “People dramatically overestimated the value of their email lists,” Kerner said. “They have a lot of emails, which is

valuable, and people like deals... But they need to get better deals that work better for merchants, that are more attractive to the buyers.” LivingSocial spokesman Andrew Weinstein said in an email that the Washington-based firm is seeking to realign costs “after two years of hypergrowth” in a move to “help us set the company on a path for long-term growth and profitability.” LivingSocial remains privately held, but Amazon, which owns a stake in the firm, has been forced to take a writedown of $169 million recently on that investment under accounting rules requiring a charge against earnings to reflect the lower estimated value of the company. Groupon in November reported a loss of $3 million in results that came up shy of most analyst forecasts for a small profit, creating more pressure for the Chicago-based firm. Groupon remains plagued by concerns about its accounting methods, as well as its strategy as it moves into direct retail sales. Living Social claims to have 70 million members worldwide, and Groupon more than 200 million. But analysts say those numbers don’t necessarily lead to profits. “The type of customer attracted to these deals is often not the type of customer that the retailers want,” said technology analyst and consultant Rob Enderle. —AFP

NEBRASKA: Local inventor Randy Jones sensed a problem when, for the third time, he sponsored an employee with a green card granting access to the United States. The issue wasn’t that Jones was recruiting engineers for his Sarpy County business from places like China, India and Canada. They were just what he was looking for as he added 12 positions in the last year: highly skilled workers who could transform mathematical principles into mechanical and electronic products. But Jones, president of Resonance Innovations LLC, which creates parts for magnetic resonance imaging - or MRI - machines under the name ScanMed, wondered why those kind of hardware engineers weren’t coming out of the two state universities in his backyard. “The only way I have to fill that void is to recruit from another state or recruit from another country,” he said. Finding the right workforce is just one of the challenges faced by Jones and others involved in highly specialized technology fields based in Nebraska. His journey as an entrepreneur in an ever-evolving industry highlights how complex the process of bringing ideas to fruition can be. And he provides a glimpse of what University of Nebraska officials hope can be achieved by the Innovation Campus now under construction in Lincoln: to see “technology transfer” as scholars branch off, start their own companies and create jobs. Jones’ latest company, located in an unassuming office space off 144th Street and Interstate 80, houses about 25 workers. Part of his business works to bring his inventions to life, while the other part serves as a repair shop for all kinds of MRI equipment. Almost everyone in the business is a mechanical or electrical engineer, and some have technology degrees. His company’s latest creation one he showed at an international radiology trade show in Chicago last week - is a diaper-like antenna set that scans reproductive organs. It replaces the need to scan that area of the body with an existing innercavity probe, a device that, Jones said, by its name is pretty cringeworthy. “It’s been about two years where I’ve been keeping an eye on this particular part of the medical imaging market,” said Jones, who has patented at least 10 of his past MRI antenna ideas and finished the patent for this latest just weeks ago. “I wasn’t seeing a lot of improvements, and with lots of disdain for the probe and in talking to colleagues, we just decided to go for it,” he said. Jones was introduced to the medical industry more than two decades ago during his time at Texas A&M, where he simultaneously earned a doctorate in engineering and an MBA. While spending most of his college career researching and learning tools for business management, Jones met a professor who specialized in MRI technology. The possibilities in developing MRI parts appeared endless. Jones remembers reading back then that medical imaging was one of the most complex technologies ever invented by mankind, only behind the supercollider and the space shuttle. “That’s not bad,” he thought. “That’s pretty cool stuff.” The MRI professor quickly became Jones’ adviser, and he spent his last nine months in Texas learning everything he could. He tinkered with MRI machines and the antennas that attach to the skin, dreaming up ways the devices could better diagnose patients. But the machines were still in their infancy. The first imaging units

were coming out in the late 1980s, and Jones did much of his Ph.D. work on archaic imaging systems that are no longer in service today. The notion that more work was to be done fueled Jones’ ambition to continue inventing. After college, he moved to Milwaukee to pursue a job in MRI product development. But the Thedford, Neb., native wanted to move closer to home so that his children could grow up with their grandparents nearby. He saw NU’s growing technology capabilities, so he and his family made the move to Omaha, joining the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1993 as its first physicist, a part-time role he held while also developing MRI products through its technology licensing arm, UNeMed Corp. Through UNeMed, which was founded in 1991 to build connections between medical researchers and businesses, Jones carried out his plan to start ScanMed, an earlier version of his business today. The relationship with the university allowed Jones to use UNMC’s MRI

has been a work in progress for many years, said James Linder, president of the University Technology Development Corp., the organization that oversees the process of developing research findings into commercial products at NU’s four campuses. To Linder, the issues facing Nebraska’s growing tech community are not challenges but opportunities. “Like a lot of things, it’s a process, not an event,” said Linder, whose appointment as NU’s head of innovation and economic competitiveness meant a more pointed focus on turning research findings into marketable products. And he sees progress. “If you look at, say, where Nebraska was in 2003 compared to where it is today, in 2003, the faculty disclosed about 50 inventions. In 2011, it was over 200.” Linder attributes each to a faculty member’s willingness to dive into the bottomless pool of possibilities that entrepreneurship and development offer. “When you have faculty who have that kind of mental attitude

They aren’t the hardware engineers people who can work on everything from the back end of a computer to its physical parts - Jones is seeking. They’re not the radio frequency and product engineers he needs, either. What he’s looking for are hybrid engineers, part mathematical wiz and part builder who can look at circuits and transmission lines and make them workable products for the medical industry. That leaves Jones responsible for training his employees. These days, he spends about three-fourths of his time working on the bench and teaching how to solve technical problems. That takes away from nurturing his company’s business development end, he said. Wisconsin, Ohio and Minnesota’s medical technology landscapes are much further ahead of Nebraska’s, said Mark Richards, vice president of operations of ScanMed. The medical imaging giant General Electric was based in the Milwaukee area for years, and one of the original companies that developed MRI scanners came out of a Cleveland suburb. Smaller startups and spin-offs

NEBRASKA: Resonance Innovations LLC, near 144th Street and Interstate 80, creates parts for magnetic resonance imaging machines under the name ScanMed. Shown here testing a ScanMed device are, from left, Sammy Bagdady, design engineer; Jon Powles, lead engineer; and Doug Fischbach, tech sales manager. The company brings the inventions of its president, Randy Jones, to life. scanners and in-house knowledge from radiologists who encountered problems with existing technology and suggested things they’d like to see changed. His first patent - a neck coil that sold about 10,000 units globally was issued in November 1992. Eight more followed, including, more recently, an MRI device that can better diagnose eye ailments. Jones estimated he’s developed some 20,000 products that are used in about 15 countries and on every continent excluding Antarctica. He’s never been short for ideas, noting he’s always had more ideas than capital to support them. Earlier this year, he received $1.2 million through Invest Nebraska, a nonprofit group supported by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, investors and others to help “high impact” Nebraska entrepreneurs find venture capital. Invest Nebraska CEO Mark Crawford said the group saw high growth potential for ScanMed because of its specific, booming industry. The investment has allowed Jones to hire more workers and delve into more development, which he said paid off at the trade show. He left there with contracts from some of the industry’s major manufacturers who are interested in marketing his latest invention. In the past, Jones has faced hurdles as he competed against the biggest MRI manufacturers in the country, and sustaining his business

and when students are in their programs, they experience that and they get excited,” he said. “The students and faculty are progressing through this cultural change together.” Though Jones is no longer part of the UNeMed agency, he retains a relationship with the medical center, using its equipment when necessary to test his inventions and tap into radiology expertise available there. The benefit for the university is accessibility to equipment that is typically tens of thousands of dollars, said Craig Walker, chairman of radiology at the Nebraska Medical Center. “He can help solve problems we have,” he said. Out of the partnership, for example, Jones developed a niche set of surface coils for pediatric patients who need brain and spine scans. Before Jones’ invention, there were just two separate coils to do the job. His invention allowed the process to happen simultaneously, a “significant development” for the medical industry, Walker said. UNeMed CEO Michael Dixon said Jones has “really been able to help grow our tech community.” But Jones sees room for improvement here. The engineers he sees graduating from the University of NebraskaLincoln and University of Nebraska at Omaha collaborative Kiewit Institute are software engineers.

have since developed in Minneapolis, he said. Successful university and economic development relationships and subsequent spinoffs have been contributors in some of those cases, Dixon said. The country’s first technology transfer office followed the 1920s discovery by a University of Wisconsin biochemist of how to make vitamin D a commercial product. In the 1960s, researchers at the University of Florida developed Gatorade. Richards hopes the Nebraska medical industry grows and makes similarly well-known contributions. “Nebraska has a lot of interesting things going on in tech companies and startup companies,” he said. “We do what we can do single-handedly, but we’re a growing company - and that’s good - but is it going to become a hub by just us doing that? Probably not.” Jones agrees. Though it’s taking time, he likes what he’s seeing. Google expanding across the river in Iowa is good news, he said, and the amount of investment and infrastructure planned for the Innovation Campus is even better news. He believes the center will draw the kind of students he needs, potentially solving his recruitment problem. “We’ve got a long ways to go, there’s no doubt about it,” he said, “but the investment is going in the right direction.” —-MCT

IT can provide some answers to energy problem CHICAGO: At the peak of the technology bubble in March of 2000, spending on Internet infrastructure had exploded, Cisco Systems had a market cap of $578 billion, and venture capitalists were pumping millions into anything that ended in “.com.” Over the next three years, 655 telecom companies would go bankrupt, and $5 trillion in market cap would vanish from stock exchanges. A disaster, right? It felt like one at the time. Raising money for an Internet startup became nearly impossible on Silicon Valley’s Sand Hill Road. Yet all that investment in the infrastructure of the Internet-the switches, the routers, and the fiber optic cable-drastically reduced the costs of bandwidth and made possible the applications layer, the things we love about the InternetTwitter, streaming movies, cloud computing. Today we use information technology to do things we didn’t imagine circa 2000, like buying

shoes without trying them on first. All this was accomplished with software and clever ideas for better using the available infrastructure. We see in this story important analogies with clean energy. Advanced biofuels, electric cars, and solar power are living through their own boom and bust times. The cost of solar panels has fallen from over $4.00 per watt to less than $1.00 in just four years. That’s bad for solar investors, and panel makers are struggling to survive. Some have gone out of business. But at the same time, infrastructure is being built. Spending on solar, wind, and other forms of renewable energy has exploded, reaching $250 billion per year. Raising venture capital for capital-intensive clean tech, especially for early-stage companies involved in new types of energy production, has become increasingly difficult. That has investors like us thinking about new ways to apply our dol-

lars to the energy problem. We believe the next opportunity is what we call the “cleanweb”-a form of clean tech that takes advantage of the Internet, social media, and mobile communications to alter how we consume resources, relate to the world, interact with each other, and pursue economic growth. We think that IT and fast-growing Web business models can expand the use of renewable energy. These days the challenges that industries like solar, wind, and biofuels face are often not about fundamental science. Many of the big breakthroughs have already taken place, and in some circumstances, electricity from wind and solar is already cheaper than electricity from fossil fuels. What hampers these industries now is poor sales channels, complex financing and incentives, and a failure to communicate with consumers. —MCT



health & science

Adventurer to recreate Shackleton’s exploits Expedition to ‘save Antarctica from man’ SYDNEY: A polar explorer who famously retraced Douglas Mawson’s Antarctic trek launched an ambitious new challenge yesterday-recreating Ernest Shackleton’s perilous crossing of the Southern Ocean. Tim Jarvis, a renowned British/Australian adventurer who in 2007 re-enacted Mawson’s 1912 odyssey across the frozen continent, is planning a simi-

made it across the hostile ocean with little more than the clothes on their backs and the most basic of rations and battled across the rugged island to a whaling station to raise the alarm. It was a two-year ordeal that “well and truly bookmarked the end of the heroic era of exploration that started in 1895 when the first

PORTSMOUTH: This image shows members of the expedition crew onboard the expedition vessel “Alexandra Shackleton” (from clockwise) Barry Gray, Tim Jarvis, Paul Swain, Nick Bubb, Ed Wardle and Seb Coulthard. —AFP lar trip in 2013 to follow Shackleton’s dramatic 1916 voyage. Jarvis described the perilous 800 nautical mile (1,300 kilometre) Southern Ocean crossing in a spartan lifeboat and punishing traverse of South Georgia Island with very basic gear and rations as “the biggest survival journey of them all”. Shackleton had hoped to complete the first land crossing of the Antarctic when his ship, the Endurance, was crushed by ice, triggering a desperate mission on a lifeboat from nearby Elephant Island to South Georgia for help. The adventurer and five other men

person set foot on the Antarctic and finished with the First World War”, Jarvis said. Inspired by the story and hoping to map the dramatic changes that global warming has brought to the region, Jarvis and a crew of five sailors will repeat the ocean crossing in a replica boat with all the same privations. They will be without navigational aids or any modern equipment, live off the same lard rations as Shackleton’s men and wear the same clothes as they battle high seas and icy, bleak conditions to reach Stromness on South Georgia. “I’m expecting constant hardship and

vigilance; there are periods of darkness down there, we’re on a boat with absolutely no modern navigational aids whatsoever, we’ll just be going into darkness,” Jarvis told AFP at the crew’s official farewell from Sydney yesterday. “Icebergs can loom up on the horizon, we wouldn’t even see them until they’re on us, there are whales, it’s big, big sea,” he added. “It’s a very, very challenging boat journey and we’ll require the luck that he had I think. Expect the worst, hope for the best.” Along with Norway’s Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole in 1911, Australian explorer Mawson and Briton Robert Falcon Scott-his patron-turned-rival-Shackleton was among the great Antarctic explorers. Though his first polar expedition was with Scott in 1901, Shackleton and his mentor went on to part ways, sparking an intense rivalry that overshadowed his career. Scott perished on his return journey from the pole in 1912, having been beaten to the milestone by Amundsen five weeks earlier. Shackleton died of a heart attack off South Georgia in 1922 during his fourth Antarctic expedition, aiming to circumnavigate the continent. He is buried on the island and Jarvis said it would be “be fantastic to feel that he was there with us”, almost 100 years on from his original mercy dash. The men will set off in their replica lifeboat, named the Alexandra Shackleton after the explorer’s granddaughter, in early January 2013 from South America and expect the journey to take two months. It has taken six years and Aus$2.5 million ($2.6 million) to plan. The sailors are currently undertaking basic mountaineering training in the French Alps “testing gear and learning how to pull themselves out of crevasses with virtually no equipment-we’ve only got a tiny section of rope”. A support vessel, the Australis, a modern and fully equipped steel-hulled motor boat will trail the lifeboat, but will only go to its aid in the event of a serious emergency. As well as honouring Shackleton’s legacy, Jarvis hopes to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on the polar regions. “The irony is that Shackleton tried to save his men from Antarctica,” he said. “We are now trying to save Antarctica from man.” —AFP

Asperger’s dropped from revised diagnosis manual CHICAGO: The now familiar term “Asperger’s disorder” is being dropped. And abnormally bad and frequent temper tantrums will be given a scientificsounding diagnosis called DMDD. But “dyslexia” and other learning disorders remain. The revisions come in the first major rewrite in nearly 20 years of the diagnostic guide used by US psychiatrists. Changes were approved Saturday. Full details of all the revisions

will come next May when the American Psychiatric Association’s new diagnostic manual is published, but the impact will be huge, affecting millions of children and adults worldwide. The manual also is important for the insurance industry in deciding what treatment to pay for, and it helps schools decide how to allot special education. This diagnostic guide “defines what constellations of symptoms” doctors

recognize as mental disorders, said Dr Mark Olfson, a Columbia University psychiatry professor. More important, he said, it “shapes who will receive what treatment. Even seemingly subtle changes to the criteria can have substantial effects on patterns of care.” Olfson was not involved in the revision process. The changes were approved Saturday in suburban Washington, DC, by the psychiatric

MIAMI: Two nine-month old Cheetahs are seen after they were released into a quarantine facility at Zoo Miami. The two sub-adult brothers who arrived were captive-born of this year at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre just outside of Pretoria, South Africa. —AFP

association’s board of trustees. The aim is not to expand the number of people diagnosed with mental illness, but to ensure that affected children and adults are more accurately diagnosed so they can get the most appropriate treatment, said Dr David Kupfer. He chaired the task force in charge of revising the manual and is a psychiatry professor at the University of Pittsburgh. One of the most hotly argued changes was how to define the various ranges of autism. Some advocates opposed the idea of dropping the specific diagnosis for Asperger’s disorder. People with that disorder often have high intelligence and vast knowledge on narrow subjects but lack social skills. Some who have the condition embrace their quirkiness and vow to continue to use the label. And some Asperger’s families opposed any change, fearing their kids would lose a diagnosis and no longer be eligible for special services. But the revision will not affect their education services, experts say. The new manual adds the term “autism spectrum disorder,” which already is used by many experts in the field. Asperger’s disorder will be dropped and incorporated under that umbrella diagnosis. The new category will include kids with severe autism, who often don’t talk or interact, as well as those with milder forms. Kelli Gibson of Battle Creek, Michigan, who has four sons with various forms of autism, said Saturday she welcomes the change. Her boys all had different labels in the old diagnostic manual, including a 14-year-old with Asperger’s. —AP

UTTAR PRADESH: This file photograph shows an Indian sloth bear owner, Shamsher Sheikh walking with his bear, Ramu, 4, looking for paying customers who want to watch his bear dance. —AFP

‘Dancing bears’ retire in animal rights victory NEW DELHI: The sight of poorly fed and badly treated bears being forced to dance on the streets of India is a thing of the past as a campaign to wipe out the practice has finally borne fruit, activists say. The tradition of forcing sloth bears to dance for entertainment dates back to the 13th century, when trainers belonging to the Muslim Kalandar tribe enjoyed royal patronage and performed before the rich and powerful. Descendants of the tribe from central India had kept the tradition alive, buying bear cubs from poachers for about 1,200 rupees ($22) and then hammering a heated iron rod through their sensitive snouts. After removing the animal’s teeth and claws, the bear trainer threaded a rope through its snout and then headed for the streets where onlookers would pay a few rupees for a show in which the bear would sway and jump around. “It’s taken us many years but all the tribesmen we keep track of have moved on to different livelihoods,” Vivek Menon from the non-profit Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), told AFP on the sidelines of a bear conference in New Delhi last week. “The tradition might still be present in people’s minds, of course, but we don’t know of any cases where Kalandars are still practising it.” The World Society for the Protection of Animals ( WSPA) and India-based Wildlife SOS, which runs sanctuaries for bears, have also declared an end to the practice in the last few months — 40 years after a government ban in 1972. The key, say the donation-funded groups, has been bringing the Kalandars on board, providing them with money and incentives to re-train in other professions. The success points the way for other campaigns, such as the one to rid India of its snake charmers who can still be spotted illegally plying their trade, often with the snakes’ mouths sewn shut. “It was very difficult to convince the bear trainers to give up their work. Most of them were very scared, they have never known any other way of life but this,” WSPA campaign coordinator Aniruddha Mookerjee told AFP. One of the owners to give up was Mohammed Afsar Khan, a 30-year-old father of three girls who used to work with his father and brother travelling across central India with three bears in tow. He says he used to earn about 300

rupees a day until he gave up the job six years ago. “It’s a hard life. You can never settle in one place, your children can’t go to school, you end up feeling trapped. Then you are always worried about police harassing you for bribes,” he said. He handed over his bears to Wildlife Trust of India officers, who offered his family financial assistance and helped him and his younger brother learn driving skills. He used the funds to rent a tractor and ferry bricks from kilns to construction sites in Chhattisgarh state. Today, he owns his tractor and earns about 500 rupees a day. Declining bear population The bears recovered by the animal groups were often in a wretched state, suffering from infected snouts, root canal problems, even diseases such as tuberculosis which they contracted from humans. The sloth bears also suffer from malnutrition after being fed bread, lentils and milk for years, leading to an extremely reduced life span. Menon from WTI say that the dancing bear industry was also “a dominant cause behind the disappearance of the sloth bear”-a focus at the bear conference which focused on conservation and welfare. In the last three decades, the number of sloth bears-a species native to South Asia-has fallen by at least 30 percent, according to the IUCN-SSC Bear Specialist Group (BSG). There are now less than 20,000 of them. “The widespread poaching of bear cubs and the killing of mother bears clearly affects the population of the species,” Menon told AFP. “India is changing rapidly and this is an outmoded, inhumane tradition. The trainers themselves realise now that it is far easier for them to earn a living doing other jobs,” Menon said. Aziz Khan is another former bearowner who never expected to leave his ancestral trade but was happy for the way out offered by WTI when officers approached him and his friends more than a decade ago. “I didn’t earn much, but I was afraid to leave it. I didn’t know how else I would be able to feed my three kids,” the 45-year-old told AFP. WTI helped retrain Aziz Khan and his friends as bakers. They now run their own bakery, producing 350 loaves of bread each day. “I have no regrets today, it was a dead-end job and I am glad I was able to move on,” he said. —AFP

Similar to a tree, growth rings show lobster age PORTLAND: For the first time, scientists have figured out how to determine the age of a lobster - by counting its rings, like a tree. Nobody knows how old lobsters can live to be; some people estimate they live to more than 100. But knowing rather than simply guessing - their age and that of other shellfish could help scientists better understand the population and assist regulators of the lucrative industry, said Raouf Kilada, a research associate at the University of New Brunswick who was the lead author of a scientific paper documenting the process. Before now, scientists deduced a lobster’s age judging by size and other variables. But it’s now known that lobsters

and other crustaceans, such as crabs and shrimp, grow one ring per year in hiddenaway internal spots, Kilada said. “Having the age information for any commercial species will definitely improve the stock assessment and ensure sustainability,” he said after presenting his findings Thursday at a scientific conference in Portland. Scientists already could tell a fish’s age by counting the growth rings found in a bony part of its inner ear, a shark’s age from the rings in its vertebrae and a scallop or clam’s age from the rings of its shell. But crustaceans posed a problem because of the apparent absence of any permanent growth structures. It was thought that when lobsters and other crustaceans

molt, they shed all calcified body parts that might record annual growth bands. For their research, Kilada and five other Canadian researchers took a closer look at lobsters, snow crabs, northern shrimp and sculptured shrimp. They found that growth rings, in fact, could be found in the eyestalk - a stalk connected to the body with an eyeball on the end - of lobsters, crabs and shrimp. In lobsters and crabs, the rings were also found in the socalled “gastric mills,” parts of the stomach with three teeth-like structures used to grind up food. To find the growth bands, the scientists dissected the eyestalks and the gastric mills, cut out sections and viewed them

under microscopes. Lobsters don’t lose reproductive capabilities or organ functions or exhibit signs of aging as they get older, but nobody knows for sure how old they can live to be. “We’ve thought lobsters could live to 100 years old, and this new aging technique will be a way to document that,” said Bob Bayer, executive director of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute. The paper was published in this month’s Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, a well-regarded peer-reviewed scientific journal based in Ottawa, Ontario, that has been published since 1901. Kilada’s was one of more than 50 scientific presentations at the confer-

ence, attended by more than 100 lobster scientists from the US, Canada and Europe. Bayer agreed that this is the first time scientists have a direct method to place an age on crustaceans. “Right now we’re just guessing at their age,” he said. Kilada said he saw lobster specimens that were 16 or 17 years old during his research. He estimates that there are lobsters 60 or 70 years old living in the wild. Susan Waddy, a lobster researcher with Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, said she has kept lobsters in her laboratory that are more than 30 years old. She suspects they live to be 40 or 50. “We know they don’t live forever,” she said. —AP



health & science

Ice sheets are melting at poles faster than before WASHINGTON: Fueled by global warming, polar ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are now melting three times faster than they did in the 1990s, a new scientific study says. So far, that’s only added about half an inch to rising sea levels, not as bad as some earlier worst case scenarios. But the melting’s quicker pace, especially in Greenland, has ice scientists worried.

grown from about 55 billion tons a year in the 1990s to almost 290 billion tons a year recently, according to the study. “Greenland is really taking off,” said National Snow and Ice Data Center scientist Ted Scambos, a co-author of the paper released Thursday by the journal Science. Study lead author Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds in England, said their results

ice sheets, but hasn’t kept pace with the rate of melting. Because the world’s oceans are so big, it takes a lot of ice melting about 10 trillion tons - to raise sea levels 1 inch. Since 1992, ice sheets at the poles have lost nearly 5 trillion tons of ice, the study says, raising sea levels by about a half inch. That seemingly tiny extra bit probably worsened the flooding

GREENLAND: This image shows surface melt water rushing along the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet through a supra-glacial stream. —AP One of the biggest wild cards in climate change has been figuring out how much the melting of the massive sheets of ice at the two poles would add to the seas. Until now, researchers haven’t agreed on how fast the mile-thick sheets are thawing - and if Antarctica was even losing ice. The new research concludes that Antarctica is melting, but points to the smaller ice sheet in Greenland, which covers most of the island, as the bigger and more pressing issue. Its melt rate has

provide a message for negotiators in Doha, Qatar, who are working on an international agreement to fight global warming: “It’s very clear now that Greenland is a problem.” Scientists blame man-made global warming for the melting. Burning fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that trap heat, warming the atmosphere and oceans. Bit-by-bit, that erodes the ice sheets from above and below. Snowfall replenishes the

from an already devastating Superstorm Sandy last month, said NASA ice scientist Erik Ivins, another co-author of the study. He said the extra weight gives each wave a little more energy. “The more energy there is in a wave, the further the water can get inland,” Ivins said. Globally, the world’s oceans rose about half a foot on average in the 20th Century. Melting ice sheets accounts for about one-fifth of sea level rise. Warmer water expands, contributing to the rise along with

water from melting glaciers outside the polar regions. Just how much ice is melting at the two poles has been difficult for scientists to answer. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change did not include ice sheet melt in its calculations of future sea level rise because numbers were so uncertain. It’s an important factor because if all the polar ice sheets somehow melted - something that would take centuries - global sea levels would jump by more than 200 feet, said Pennsylvania State University ice scientist Richard Alley, who wasn’t part of the research. Some past studies showed melting on the polar ice sheets, while others said that the Antarctic ice sheet was growing and offsetting melting in Greenland. The new work by 47 scientists around the world combines three methods and measurements from 10 satellites to come to a scientific consensus on what’s happening to the polar ice sheets. In the 1990s, the two ice sheets combined on average lost 110 billion tons of ice each year to melting, the researchers reported. That increased and by 2005 to 2010, they were losing three times as much - 379 billion tons yearly. The numbers don’t include the summer of 2012 when Greenland experienced a melt that hadn’t been seen in more than a century, researchers said. The consensus says that as a whole the Antarctic ice sheet is melting. Part of the issue is that the southern continent is not reacting to climate change uniformly, with some areas growing and others shrinking. The entire Antarctic ice sheet is about the size of the US and Mexico combined. NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati, one of the few top ice researchers who wasn’t part of the study, praised the work. “Understanding how and why the ice sheets are changing today better equips us for understanding and predicting how much and in what ways they will change in the future,” he said. —AP

GRAPEVINE, Texas: This T-shirt promoting electronic cigarettes is sold at The Vapor Bar in Grapevine, Texas, puffs on an electronic cigarette. —MCT

Texas shop sells ‘vaping’ as alternative to smoking GRAPEVINE, Texas: Schell Hamel found it a lot easier to switch than to quit. That’s why she joined a growing number of tobacco addicts who switched to “vaping,” the process of inhaling a nicotine-carrying vapor dispensed by electronic cigarettes. “Most smokers don’t want to quit,” she said. “They’re just tired of being treated like second-class citizens.” So many smokers have switched that Hamel opened The Vapor Bar in Grapevine, Texas. It’s her second store and one of a handful of shops in the Dallas area that specialize in high-end electronic cigarettes and the liquids they dispense. Despite the name, Hamel’s shop isn’t a bar. But it is a place where people can relax and sample up to 90 vapor flavors before deciding whether they want to buy. Electronic cigarette vapors not only satisfy the physical nicotine addiction, but also the psychological addiction, said Mike Wright, founder of North Texas Vapers. “Two kinds of people are addicted to smoking,” he said. “One kind is addicted to nicotine; the others are addicted to the oral sensation.” Hamel added that switching to an ecigarette provides an alternative to tobacco smoke that eliminates the tar and thousands of chemicals contained in cigarettes. That’s one of the reasons vaping is better than cigarette smoking, said Dr. Glenn Hardesty, D.O., an emergency medicine physician at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.

“In a perfect world, it would be great not to have any nicotine at all,” he said. But for someone who’s determined to ingest nicotine, e-cigarettes are better if for no other reason than the absence of second-hand smoke, Hardesty said. “The dangers to children in secondhand smoke are clear,” he said. “Children’s asthma can often be traced back to or worsened by exposure to tobacco smoke at home.” The liquids sold in The Vapor Bar contain whatever level of nicotine a customer wants and are tested before they’re sold, Hamel said. Nothing is sold to anyone younger than 18, she added. The products are not subject to Food and Drug Administration regulations, according to a December 2010 federal court ruling. However, the FDA intends to propose a regulation that would extend the agency’s authority to cover products that are similar to tobacco, said FDA spokeswoman Jennifer Haliski. “Further research is needed to assess the potential public health benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes and other novel tobacco products,” she said. Unfortunately, some e-cigarettes likely wouldn’t get FDA approval if tested, Wright said. That’s part of the reason he formed North Texas Vapers, starting the club about seven months ago as an online information forum. —MCT




SEND US YOUR INSTAGRAM PICS hat’s more fun than clicking a beautiful picture? Sharing it with others! This summer, let other people see the way you see Kuwait - through your lens. Friday Times will feature snapshots of Kuwait through Instagram feeds. If you want to share your Instagram photos, email us at


Landmark Group’s ‘Beat Diabetes’ Walkathon a big success andmark Group the region’s leading retail and hospitality conglomerate, witnessed a positive response for ‘Beat Diabetes’ Walkathon from its supporters, sponsors and residents of Kuwait as thousands turned up to show their support and care towards the cause. The event, which was held under the patronage of the Ministry of Health and Dasman Diabetes Institute, marked a successful completion of its second consecutive walkathon. The walkathon took place on Saturday, November 17, 2012. US Ambassador Matthew H Tueller was also a part of this walkathon and delivered a few encouraging words on health to the audience.


Jleeb drainage, road problems assured solution n adequate solution in the problems which the expatriate community in different parts of the country especially in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area will be considered in a high priority level, said Eid AlMutairi, Director of Farwaniya Governorate, Ministry of Public works and Maintenance Administration. A second time delegation led by Joy Mundakatt, General Convener of the Action Committee formed by the initiative of KUDA for taking care of the community welfare with Raju Zacharias, Secretary, Abbassiya public leader HiDine Thomas, members of NORKA welfare board Varghese Puthukulangara and Sharfudeen Kanneth, Hamsa Payyannoor, ILF president Thomas Panicker, Iasco chairman SA Labba, also participated in the meeting with the concerned authorities to discuss and find a solution to the neglected condition of the expatriates in the area. ‘Government is fully aware of the bad living conditions and environments of the expatriates especially in Abbassiya area. A very positive and considerate solution will be found and done in an emergency basis,’ assured Al-Mutairi. Al-Mutairi said his department will clear the garbage as an emergency matter with in a short time of hours. The remaining road maintenance work also will start within days. The action committee leader HiDine Thomas will guide the maintenance team in Abbassiya area.


Saibal Basu, Chief Operating Officer, Landmark Group, said: “We were extremely pleased to see the remarkable results as we concluded ‘Beat Diabetes’. We thank every person who joined us at the walk to spread the message and support the campaign. “We are thankful to all those who participated and special thanks to our co-sponsor Burgan Bank, support sponsors: Mais Al-Ghanim, Boushahri Group, Vitatop Wellness & Diet Centre, Future Communications, Safwan Gen Trading and Indian Doctors Forum, media sponsors: Al-Rai, Al-Watan, Al-Qabas, Al-Seyassah Al-Anba, Arab Times, Kuwait Times, Al-Jarida, Alam AlYoum, Al-Nahar, Al-Yaqza, Ahlan,

Student Talk, The Talk, Al-Hadaf, Bazaar, Mondanite, Lana, Sarab, Al-Masaref & Layalina and the other entities that extended their support to the Beat Diabetes initiative” further concluded Saibal. The ‘Beat Diabetes’ Walkathon was well received by the residents, a few commented by saying: “I participated in the walkathon last year and am happy to say that it was organized even better this year. I am proud to be a part of this noble cause;” “Sometimes we do not have time to go to the local clinics, this way I am quite happy to get myself examined;” “The advice I got from the doctors when I discovered that I am diabetic was quite

useful;” “It is good to know Landmark Group is raising awareness for a very important cause and is always involved in doing such good community welfare events. They should hold such campaigns more often.” Landmark’s Group Beat Diabetes campaign is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, which conducted tests for over three thousand people in Kuwait. The event took place not only in Kuwait but the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and India Landmark Group has a presence across all categories within the retail sector and has diversified to areas such as hospitality and leisure.

Announcements TASK general body meeting echnical Staff Association of Kuwait (TASK), Kuwait are conducting their General Body meeting on December 7, 2012 Friday 4:00 pm at Hi-Dine Auditorium. Election will be conducted for selecting new office bearers for the year 2013. The committee is inviting all members and technical staff non-residents from India in Kuwait to join hands with TASK and strengthen the association.


Goan Culinary Club he Goan Culinary Club - Goa encourages you to log on to their website where you can find a video of Odette and Joe Mascarenhas sharing their thoughts on Goan cuisine. These videos were recorded at the launch of the Goan Culinary Club in Goa on March 3, 2012. Thanks to support from all at the Goan Culinary Club, we have made great progress in six months.


Basketball Academy he new Premier Basketball Academy offers coaching and games every Friday and Saturday from 10 am onwards for 6 to 18 year olds, boys and girls. Located in Bayan Block 7, Masjed Al-Aqsa Street by Abdullah Al-Rujaib High School. Free Basketball and Tee Shirts for all participants, with certificates and special awards on completion of each 6 week course. Qualified and experienced British and American Coaches, Everyone Welcome.


Marina Hotel Kuwait offers exciting packages n lieu of the upcoming holiday season, Marina Hotel Kuwait will celebrate by offering valuable tailor-made packages this year. The special promotion runs from December 15, 2012 to January 5, 2013 to guarantee a memorable experience. Pamper yourself and your loved one this month and enjoy the charm of genuine Arabian hospitality with a room for two persons starting from KD 77 net, inclusive of buffet breakfast. Guests whose taste palettes crave for unique and


diverse cuisines can experience a luxurious escape, and indulge themselves at the hotel’s two renowned restaurants with their freshly prepared, appetizing delicacies. Enjoy the international breakfast buffet at The Six Palms’ restaurant. The Atlantis restaurant specializes in international and mediterranean cuisines, which would be an exceptional choice for the mouth-watering aroma of its fresh menu choices with a magnificent sea view. With a multitude of facilities and services, guest can

break the daily routine and enjoy the vibrant white sands of the private beach along with the state of the art Coral Reef Health Club facilities and amenities all in close proximity to Marina Mall and the Crescent, which is an ideal location for family leisure. Marina Hotel Kuwait offers the perfect venue for the holiday season under the twinkling lights and the cool breeze of the Arabian coast.

Winter 2012 AMIE examination

Rapturous wedding reception ovember 13, 2012 was a special occasion as everyone was entranced to meet the stars of the reception at India International School Kuwait. Invitees of the day Vaninder Singh, son and daughter-in-law of Vice Principal Narinder Kaur, C K Mohammed from the dept of chemistry, Prajesh from the dept of Physical education and Mohammed from dept of Arabic. The joyous occasion commenced with the recitation of holy Quran by Muneer. Principal FM Basheer Ahmed addressed the gathering with a formal introduction and good wishes for the spe-


cial guests of the occasion. School Director Malayil Moosa Koya presented exquisite handmade cards and enchanting gifts as a token of love and appreciation to the newly wed couples. Following this the special guests extended their heartfelt thanks and congenial approach of the management in recognizing this exceptional reception which is surely going to emboss in their sweet memories.

Arabic courses WARE will begin Winter 1 Arabic language courses with new textbooks and curricula on from December 2, 2012 until January 24, 2013. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed & courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. For more information or registration, please log-on to our website.


he AMIE Winter 2012 examinations will be held between Dec 01-07, 2012 as follows:

Section A (Diploma) - December 1-4, 2012 Section A (Non-Diploma) - December 1-7, 2012 Section B - December 1-7, 2012 The last date for submission of examination application forms are given hereunder: Candidates not appeared at Summer 2012 Exam: Aug 21 - Sept 21, 2012 Candidates appeared at Summer 2012 Exam: Sept 21 - Oct 19, 2012 Candidates who intend to appear for the Winter 2012 examination must apply directly to Kolkata by filling the prescribed application form along with requisite amount of demand draft in favour of The Institution of Engineers (India), payable in Kolkata.


Feast of St Francis Xavier or the first time “the Church of St Therese of Child Jesus” Salmiya, Kuwait will venerate & honour Goa’s patron saint St Francis Xavier. The St Francis Xavier choir group invites you all for the grand feast mass (in Konkani) today 3rd December 2012 at 7.30 pm. All are invited for the blessed occcasion.


Joy of Christmas


Write to us Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: Fax: 24835619 / 20

hristmas is the Season of new beginnings and second chances! Headlines of disease, disaster and death slowly but surely acclimatize us to permanently anticipate the darker side of life. Men’s Voice Kuwait and Choral Society has always carried the message of love, hope and unity, touching the hearts of thousands, regardless of age, creed or religion. Every year we look forward to ring the Christmas season with a night of joyous music. Popular 12-year-old choir draws us to the brighter side with the “The Joy of Christmas” a wonderful Concert on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 7 pm at Carmel School Auditorium, Khaitan.

ABCK Christmas extravaganza he American Business Council of Kuwait (ABCK) will be hosting its annual Christmas celebration on Friday, December 7 at


the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 6:00 pm. The evening will be full of surprises and entertainment for the family, with a special appearance of Santa

distributing gifts and treats to all. You will be treated to a seasonal Christmas dinner and an exciting raffle draw.




Embassy Information

A view of the Suad Al-Sabah publishing pavilion.

Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah (third from left) is seen at the pavilion.

Dr Suad Al-Sabah releases poetry night CD large number of International Book Fair visitors stopped by the Suad Al-Sabah publishing pavilion to view various publications that reflect distinguished cultural works of Arab writers collected by Dr Suad Al-


Sabah’s efforts for more than 25 years. The special releases include the deluxe edition for the Resalah magazine of Egypt, which comes in 40 volumes gathering an elite selection of issues published between the thirties and fifties of

the past century. The publishing house also released for the first time this year a DVD containing audio and video material for a poetry night Dr Suad Al-Sabah gave in Beirut, Lebanon in 1997.

EMBASSY OF AUSTRALIA The Australian Embassy Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visas and immigration matters in conducted by The Australian Consulate-General in Dubai. Email: (VFS) (Visa Office); Tel: +971 4 355 1958 (VFS) - +971 4 508 7200 (Visa Office); Fax: +971 4 355 0708 (Visa Office). In Kuwait applications can be lodged at the Australian Visa Application Centre 4B 1st Floor, Al-Banwan Building Al-Qibla Area, Ali Al-Salem Street, opposite the Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait. Working hours and days: 09:30 - 17:30; Sunday - Thursday. Or visit their website www.vfs-au-gcc-com for more information. Kuwait citizens can apply for tourist visas on-line at visa/e676.htm. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Canadian Embassy in Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visa and immigration matters including enquiries is conducted by the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE Individuals who are interested in working, studying, visiting or immigrating to Canada should contact the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, website: or, E-mail: The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakei St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 7:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed for lunch from 12:30 to 13:00. Consular services for Canadian citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00, Sunday through Wednesday. ■■■■■■■

MMF Kuwait holds media seminar and conference alayali Media Forum (MMF), Kuwait held a media seminar and conference on Friday in which well-known Indian journalist J Gopikrishnan spoke about ‘Indian Media: Challenges and Opportunities.’ The mega event titled, ‘MMF Media Seminar & Conference 2012’ brought together several media persons, Indian community representatives and business leaders who deliberated on the gravity of value erosion taking place in the media world and discussed ways to cleanse it from corruption and dishonesty. During the media seminar, Gopikrishnan, the journalist who unearthed the 2G Spectrum scandal in India, spoke about the unholy alliance between corporates and media in advancing and covering up corruption in


India. He said Indian media today faced a grave challenge of fighting value erosion and media fraternities could help resist such trends and cleanse it from further decay. The seminar, held from 10 am till 1 pm at Caesars Dakshin Restaurant Abbassiya, was moderated by General Convener Sajeev K Peter. Convener Girish Ottapalam welcomed the participants. In the evening, the media conference was inaugurated by Vidhu P Nair, Deputy Chief of Mission, Indian Embassy Kuwait at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Auditorium, Abbassiya. Gopikrishnan, in his keynote speech, gave a snapshot of the emerging trends in Indian media following the spurt of several social media networks. He also shed light on the alarming scale of corruption in India where corporate mafia

and people in high places collude with media barons to further their shady deals. Program Coordinator Sathar Kunnil welcomed the gathering that consisted of eminent members from Indian Diaspora, leaders of various organizations, cultural activists and business leaders. Gulfmart Country Head Dr T A Remesh released a souvenir by handing over the first copy to Souvenir Convener Sam Painummoodu. BEC Director and GM, E D Titus delivered a felicitation speech. Guest of honor Gopikrishnan presented a memento to Vidhu P Nair. Siddique Valiyakath presented a memento to Dr Remesh while Thomas Kadavil honored Titus. Johnarts Kalabhavan unraveled a caricature of Siddique Valiyakath on the occasion. General Convener Sajeev K Peter presided over

the conference while Convener Girish Ottapalam proposed a vote of thanks. Sheetal Rajeev Menon anchored the event. Cultural program that followed the conference opened with a Mohiniyattom dance recital by Bhavan’s Rhythmscapes teachers Kalamandalam Reshma Gopinath, Kalamandalam Manju and Archana Kalakshetra. A dazzling Bharatanatyam dance was presented by the Rhythmscapes students. Musical program was presented by singers of Strings Kuwait, Anwar Sarang, Sai, Julia, Sheetal and Sreekumar and Faizal. The cultural program was coordinated by Cultural Convener Nixon George.

EMBASSY OF CYPRUS In its capacity as EU Local Presidency in the State of Kuwait, the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus, on behalf of the Member States of the EU and associated States participating in the Schengen cooperation, would like to announce that as from 2nd October 2012 all Schengen States’ Consulates in Kuwait will use the Visa Information System (VIS). The VIS is a central database for the exchange of data on short-stay (up to three months) visas between Schengen States. The main objectives of the VIS are to facilitate visa application procedures and checks at external border as well as to enhance security. The VIS will contain all the Schengen visa applications lodged by an applicant over five years and the decisions taken by any Schengen State’s consulate. This will allow applicants to establish more easily the lawful use of previous visas and their bona fide status. For the purpose of the VIS, applicants will be required to provide their biometric data (fingerprints and digital photos) when applying for a Schengen visa. It is a simple and discreet procedure that only takes a few minutes. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the Schengen visa application form, will be recorded in the VIS central database. Therefore, as from 2nd October 2012, first-time applicants will have to appear in person when lodging the application, in order to provide their fingerprints. For subsequent applications within 5 years the fingerprints can be copied from the previous application file in the VIS. The Cypriot Presidency would like to assure the people of Kuwait and all its permanent citizens that the Member States and associated States participating in the Schengen cooperation, have taken all necessary technical measures to facilitate the rapid examination and the efficient processing of visa applications and to ensure a quick and discreet procedure for the implementation of the new VIS. ■■■■■■■

TEMBASSY OF KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya wishes to inform the Kenyan community residents throughout Kuwait and the general public that the Embassy has acquired new office telephone numbers as follows: 25353982, 25353985 - Consular’s enquiries 25353987 - Fax Our Email address: ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF MYANMAR Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar would like to inform the general public that the Embassy has moved its office to new location at Villa 35, Road 203, Block 2, Al-Salaam Area in South Surra. The Embassy wishes to advice Myanmar citizens and travellers to Myanmar to contact Myanmar Embassy at its new location. Tel. 25240736, 25240290, Fax: 25240749, ■■■■■■■

Writer and novelist Mona Shafei visits GUST he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) Department of Humanities and Social Sciences welcomed Kuwaiti writer and novelist Mona Shafeia as a part of its program in teaching “Kuwaiti Modern Literature.” Shafei wrote on her Facebook wall: “With a kind invitation and an elegant move from Dr Salah Eddine Arkadan - a family member at GUST in Kuwait - was the meeting with his students. Dr Salah, who cares about the “Kuwaiti Modern Literature” and teaches it as one


of the Faculty of Human Sciences courses for the third year, made my stories and writings a part in teaching his course. The meeting with the students was fun, rich and had the flavor of creativity. “ Dr Arkadan and the students were very appreciative of the visit and the kind words she wrote on the same. They all agreed that the meeting was an exceptional opportunity. And Dr Arkadan, noted: “It’s an opportunity for our students to taste real Kuwaiti modern literature through a novelist who shared with them her

experience with all its transparency stages and the challenges that she overcame. They spent together a few hours after they have met her on the pages of the story and the aimed novel. On behalf of my students and colleagues in the department, we thank you and wish you the best hoping your visit to our university was fruitful and prosperous.”

EMBASSY OF UKRAINE The Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait would like to remind that the external polling station No 90046 was created in the Embassy’s premises at the following address: Hawalli, Jabriya, bl.10, str. 6, build. 5. The working hours of the polling station: Sunday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Monday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Tuesday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Wednesday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Thursday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Friday from 10.00 to 13.00 pm; Saturday from 10.00 to 13.00 pm On October 28, 2012 the working hours of the polling station from 8.00 am to 20.00 pm. Please be advised to refer to the Embassy to check your data in the Electoral Register as well as to pick up your personal invitation from the polling station if you did not receive the document by post.



00:50 I’m Alive 01:45 Animal Cops Philadelphia 02:35 Biggest And Baddest 03:25 Shamwari: A Wild Life 04:15 Squid Invasion 05:05 Wild France 05:55 Animal Cops Philadelphia 06:45 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 07:35 Wildlife SOS 08:00 Monkey Life 08:25 Pandamonium 09:15 Dogs 101: Specials 10:10 World’s Ugliest Dog Competition 11:05 Wild France 12:00 Last Chance Highway 12:55 Dolphin Days 13:20 Dolphin Days 13:50 Wildlife SOS International 14:15 E-Vets: The Interns 14:45 Animal Cops Philadelphia 15:40 Wild France 16:35 Going Ape 17:00 The Really Wild Show 17:30 Must Love Cats 18:25 Animal Planet’s Most Outrageous 19:20 Cats 101 20:15 Monkey Life 20:40 Bondi Vet 21:10 Call Of The Wildman 21:35 Going Ape 22:05 Wild France 23:00 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 23:25 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer

01:10 Come Dine With Me 02:55 MasterChef Australia 09:25 Celebrity Fantasy Homes 10:10 Celebrity Fantasy Homes 11:00 Bargain Hunt 11:45 Antiques Roadshow 12:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 13:20 Come Dine With Me 14:10 Gok’s Fashion Fix 15:00 Gok’s Fashion Fix 15:50 Bargain Hunt 16:35 Antiques Roadshow 17:30 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 18:10 Come Dine With Me 19:00 Baking Made Easy 19:30 Indian Food Made Easy 20:00 Rhodes Across Italy 20:45 Come Dine With Me 21:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 22:20 Antiques Roadshow 23:15 Bargain Hunt

00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:30 02:45 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 04:45 05:00 05:30 05:45 06:00 06:30 06:45 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 08:45 09:00 09:30 09:45 10:00 10:30 10:45 11:00 11:30

BBC World News Horizons BBC World News Mishal Husain Meets Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday India Business Report Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Asia Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Asia Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Hardtalk BBC World News World Business Report BBC World News BBC World News World Business Report BBC World News BBC World News World Business Report BBC World News BBC World News World Business Report

11:45 BBC World News 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 Hardtalk 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 World Business Report 13:45 BBC World News 15:00 GMT With George Alagiah 16:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 BBC World News 18:30 Hardtalk 19:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:30 BBC Focus On Africa 21:00 BBC World News 21:30 World Business Report 21:45 Sport Today 22:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 23:00 BBC World News 23:30 World Business Report 23:45 Sport Today

00:05 00:20 00:45 01:10 01:35 02:00 02:25 02:50 03:15 03:40 04:00 04:25 04:50 05:15 05:40 06:00 06:25 06:50 07:00 07:30 07:55 08:10 08:35 08:50 09:05 09:30 09:55 10:20 10:45 11:10 11:35 12:00 12:25 12:50 13:00 13:15 13:40 13:55 14:20 14:35 14:50 15:20 15:45 16:10 16:35 17:00 17:25 17:50 18:15 18:40 19:05 19:30 19:45 20:00 20:15 20:40 20:55 21:20 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:40

Popeye The Addams Family Duck Dodgers Puppy In My Pocket Tom & Jerry Kids Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Flintstones Pink Panther And Pals Looney Tunes Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch Dexter’s Laboratory Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes The Scooby Doo Show Johnny Bravo The Flintstones The Jetsons Wacky Races Dexter’s Laboratory Baby Looney Tunes Jelly Jamm Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Ha Ha Hairies Tom & Jerry Kids A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Puppy In My Pocket Wacky Races Looney Tunes Duck Dodgers Popeye Top Cat The Flintstones Dastardly And Muttley Ha Ha Hairies Gerald McBoing Boing Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Cartoonito Tales Moomins Dexter’s Laboratory Johnny Bravo Tom & Jerry Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show What’s New Scooby Doo? Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Tom & Jerry Tales The Looney Tunes Show Taz-Mania Pink Panther And Pals Moomins The Garfield Show Ha Ha Hairies Gerald McBoing Boing Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Bananas In Pyjamas Puppy In My Pocket The Garfield Show What’s New Scooby Doo? Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Tom & Jerry Tales The Looney Tunes Show

00:40 01:30 01:55 02:20 02:45 03:10

Chowder Bakugan Battle Brawlers Bakugan Battle Brawlers Foster’s Home For... Foster’s Home For... Courage The Cowardly Dog

04:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 04:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:50 Adventure Time 05:15 The Powerpuff Girls 05:40 Generator Rex 06:05 Ben 10 06:30 Ben 10 06:55 Angelo Rules 07:00 Cow & Chicken 07:30 Casper’s Scare School 08:00 Eliot Kid 08:45 Johnny Test 09:05 The Powerpuff Girls 09:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:20 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:45 Courage The Cowardly Dog 11:35 Adventure Time 12:00 Regular Show 12:25 Transformers Prime 12:50 Ben 10: Omniverse 13:15 Courage The Cowardly Dog 14:05 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 14:30 Young Justice 14:55 Codename: Kids Next Door 15:45 Ben 10: Alien Force 16:10 Ben 10: Alien Force 16:35 Powerpuff Girls 17:00 Angelo Rules 17:20 Young Justice 17:40 Hero 108 18:00 Ben 10: Omniverse 18:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 18:50 Johnny Test 19:15 Adventure Time 19:40 Regular Show 20:05 Green Lantern: The Animated Series 20:30 Ben 10: Omniverse 20:55 Generator Rex 21:20 Level Up 21:45 Grim Adventures Of... 22:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 23:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:50 The Powerpuff Girls

00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 10:00 11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00 13:30 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 20:30 21:00 22:00 23:00 23:30

World Report World Sport World Report Open Court World Report World Report World Sport Backstory Talk Asia Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN Newsroom I Report For CNN Going Green World Sport Inside Africa World Report World Report World Sport Going Green World Business Today Backstory African Voices World One Fareed Zakaria GPS News Stream World Business Today International Desk Global Exchange World Sport African Voices International Desk Quest Means Business Amanpour CNN Newscenter

00:40 Sons Of Guns 07:00 Wheeler Dealers 07:50 Mythbusters 08:45 Ultimate Survival 09:40 Border Security 10:05 Auction Kings 10:30 How Stuff’s Made 10:55 How It’s Made 11:25 Tallest Tower: Building The Shard 12:20 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior:...


13:15 14:10 14:35 15:05 15:30 16:25 17:20 18:15 19:10 19:40 20:05 20:35 21:00 21:30 22:25 23:20

Wheeler Dealers Border Security Auction Kings Auction Kings Ultimate Survival Wheeler Dealers Hillbilly Handfishin’ Mythbusters How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made Border Security Dirty Money Auction Kings Outback Truckers Deadliest Catch Gold Divers

00:15 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 01:05 Colony 01:55 Colony 02:45 Weird Or What? 03:40 Punkin Chunkin 2010 04:35 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 05:25 Brave New World 06:15 Junk Men 06:40 Junk Men 07:05 Meteorite Men 08:00 Killer Robots 08:50 How Do They Do It? 09:15 How Do They Do It? 09:40 Head Rush 09:43 Things That Move 10:10 How Stuff’s Made 10:40 Joao Magueijo’s Big Bang 11:30 The Gadget Show 11:55 The Tech Show 12:20 Mega World 13:10 The Gadget Show 13:35 The Tech Show 14:00 Curiosity 14:50 Prototype This 15:45 Weird Connections 16:10 How Do They Do It? 16:35 How Do They Do It? 17:00 Head Rush 17:03 Things That Move 17:30 How Stuff’s Made 18:00 Engineered 18:50 The World’s Strangest UFO Stories 19:40 Prototype This 20:30 Mega World 21:20 Brave New World 22:10 The Gadget Show 22:35 The Tech Show 23:00 Mega World 23:50 Brave New World

00:10 00:35 01:00 01:25 01:50 02:15 02:40 03:05 03:30 03:55 04:20 04:45 05:10 05:35 06:00 06:15 06:40 07:05 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:45 09:00 09:25 09:35 09:45 10:00 10:25 10:50 11:15 11:40 12:05 12:30 12:55 13:20 13:45 14:10 14:35 15:25 15:50 16:15 16:40 17:00 17:30 17:55 18:20 18:45 20:10 20:30 20:50 21:15 21:40 22:05 22:30 22:55 23:20 23:45 23:55

Stitch A Kind Of Magic A Kind Of Magic Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School A Kind Of Magic A Kind Of Magic Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School A Kind Of Magic Phineas And Ferb Suite Life On Deck Suite Life On Deck A.N.T. Farm Recess So Random Good Luck Charlie Doc McStuffins Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Mouk Jonas So Random Hannah Montana Fish Hooks Kim Possible Shake It Up Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas And Ferb Hannah Montana Hannah Montana So Random Suite Life On Deck Shake It Up Austin And Ally Jessie A.N.T. Farm Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Suite Life On Deck Austin And Ally Pixel Perfect Jessie That’s So Raven Cory In The House Kim Possible Hannah Montana Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Fish Hooks Fish Hooks

00:25 Chelsea Lately 00:55 Style Star 01:25 E!es 02:20 THS 04:10 E!es 05:05 Extreme Close-Up 05:30 Extreme Close-Up 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Married To Jonas 09:45 Married To Jonas 10:15 THS 12:05 Ice Loves Coco 12:35 Ice Loves Coco 13:05 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 14:30 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E!es 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Fashion Police 17:55 E! News 18:55 E!es 19:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 20:55 Opening Act 21:55 Married To Jonas 22:25 Married To Jonas 22:55 THS 23:55 Scouted

00:15 Great Crimes And Trials 00:40 Fatal Encounters 01:30 Police Women Of Memphis 02:20 Deadly Women 03:05 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 03:55 Great Crimes And Trials 04:20 Great Crimes And Trials 04:45 Fatal Encounters 05:30 Police Women Of Memphis 06:20 Mystery Diagnosis 07:10 Disappeared 08:00 Mystery Diagnosis 08:50 Street Patrol 09:40 Real Emergency Calls 10:05 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 10:30 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 11:20 FBI Case Files 12:10 Disappeared 13:00 Mystery Diagnosis 13:50 Street Patrol 14:15 Street Patrol 14:40 Forensic Detectives 15:30 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 16:20 Real Emergency Calls 16:45 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 17:10 FBI Case Files 18:00 Disappeared 18:50 Forensic Detectives 19:40 Street Patrol 20:05 On The Case With Paula Zahn 20:55 Stalked: Someone’s Watching 21:20 Nightmare Next Door 22:10 Couples Who Kill 23:00 I Married A Mobster

01:25 03:25 05:15 06:50 08:20 09:55 11:35 13:05 14:40 16:10 17:39 19:10 20:40 22:00 23:30 23:45

The War At Home Toy Soldiers Pale Blood Steel And Lace Solarbabies Hannibal Brooks Danielle Steel’s Full Circle Timestalkers Submarine X - 1 Rage (1992) Submerged Still Of The Night Zelig While Justice Sleeps Mgm’s Big Screen Women In Love

00:30 01:25 02:20 03:15 04:10 06:00 08:00 2009 08:55 09:50 10:45 11:40 12:35 13:30 14:25 15:20 16:15 17:10 18:05 19:00 19:55 20:50 21:45 22:40 23:35

Kelly Slater: Letting Go TNA: Greatest Matches M1 Challenge Transworld Sessions The Cool Guy Files Blood, Sweat And Gears Ride Guide Mountainbike MTB Project Asian X Games 2012 Blood, Sweat And Gears Fantasy Factory Pro Bull Riders 2011 Mantracker Superstars USA World Combat League Fantasy Factory MTB Project Asian X Games 2012 Mantracker Pro Bull Riders 2011 Superstars USA World Combat League Monster Jam Enfusion

00:40 Dark Of The Sun 02:20 Zabriskie Point 04:15 Ada-PG 06:00 The Sea Of Grass-PG 08:00 36 Hours-PG 09:50 All The Fine Young Cannibals 11:45 The Happy Years-FAM 13:35 Julie-PG 15:10 Love Me Or Leave Me-PG 17:10 Seven Brides For Seven Brothers-FAM 18:50 The Swan-FAM 20:35 The Dirty Dozen 23:00 Blow-Up

00:15 Delinquent Gourmet 00:45 Endurance Traveller 01:40 Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys 02:35 Street Food Around The World 03:00 Market Values 03:30 Travel Madness 03:55 Travel Madness 04:25 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 04:50 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 05:20 Into The Drink 05:45 Into The Drink 06:15 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3 06:40 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3 07:10 Delinquent Gourmet 07:35 Delinquent Gourmet 08:05 Endurance Traveller 09:00 Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys 09:55 Street Food Around The World 10:20 Market Values 10:50 Travel Madness 11:15 Travel Madness 11:45 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 12:10 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 12:40 The Green Way Up 13:05 The Green Way Up 13:35 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 4 14:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 4 14:30 Delinquent Gourmet 14:55 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 15:25 Endurance Traveller 16:20 Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys 17:15 Street Food Around The World 17:40 Market Values 18:10 Travel Madness 18:35 Travel Madness 19:05 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 19:30 Young Global Hotshots 20:00 Delinquent Gourmet 20:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 21:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 4 21:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 4 22:00 Into The Drink 22:25 Into The Drink


00:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Doomsday Preppers Aftermath Cruise Ship Diaries Animal Mega Moves World’s Deadliest Animals Cruise Ship Diaries Trapped Doomsday Preppers Doomsday Preppers Aftermath Cruise Ship Diaries Aftermath World’s Deadliest Animals Untamed Americas Big, Bigger, Biggest Doomsday Preppers Ultimate Disaster Clash Of The Continents Departures Ape Genius World’s Deadliest Animals Departures Trapped

00:00 Inside: The Tiger Trade 01:00 The Last Lioness 01:55 Desert Seas 02:50 Crocs Of Katuma 03:45 Caught In The Act (aka Caught In The Act GPU Rever 04:40 Built for the Kill 05:35 Hidden Worlds 06:00 Hidden Worlds 06:30 Desert Seas 07:25 Crocs Of Katuma 08:20 Caught In The Act (aka Caught In The Act GPU Rever 09:15 Mystery Gorilla 10:10 Swamp Troop 11:05 Animal Autopsy (AKA Inside Nature’s Giants) 12:00 Strike Force 13:00 Untamed Americas 14:00 When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs 15:00 Caught In The Act (aka Caught In The Act GPU Rever 16:00 I, Predator 17:00 World’s Deadliest GPU 18:00 Untamed Americas 19:00 Desert Seas 20:00 Crocs Of Katuma 21:00 Caught In The Act (aka Caught In The Act GPU Rever 22:00 Mystery Gorilla

00:00 D.E.B.S-18 02:00 Empire-18 04:00 Icarus-18 06:00 Spider-Man-PG 08:00 Riddles Of The Sphinx-PG15 09:45 Warriors Of Heaven And Earth-PG15 11:45 Largo Winch 2-PG15 13:45 Riddles Of The Sphinx-PG15 15:30 Kingdom Of Heaven-PG15 18:00 Largo Winch 2-PG15 20:00 Machete-18 22:00 Botched-18

01:00 City Rats-18 03:00 The Warlords-PG15 05:00 Footloose-PG15 07:00 Feed The Fish-PG15 09:00 The Warlords-PG15 11:00 Footloose-PG15 13:00 Big Fat Liar-PG 15:00 Soldier Love Story-PG15 17:00 What’s Wrong With VirginiaPG15 19:00 Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer-PG15 21:00 Your Highness-18 23:00 Spread-R

00:00 Napoleon Dynamite 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23 02:00 Eastbound & Down 02:30 Family Guy 03:00 Breaking In 03:30 Hot In Cleveland

04:00 Samantha Who? 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 06:30 Friends 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Samantha Who? 08:30 Breaking In 10:00 Two And A Half Men 10:30 Best Friends Forever 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Friends 12:30 Samantha Who? 14:00 Hot In Cleveland 14:30 Best Friends Forever 15:00 Two And A Half Men 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Friends 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Breaking In 18:30 Hot In Cleveland 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 Best Friends Forever 20:00 The Cleveland Show 20:30 Napoleon Dynamite 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Body Of Proof The Killing Sons Of Anarchy The Tudors Bones The Killing Body Of Proof Emmerdale Coronation Street White Collar The River Bones Emmerdale Coronation Street White Collar Body Of Proof Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar Burn Notice Revenge Justified Boardwalk Empire The Tudors

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:15 11:00 13:00 15:00 PG15 17:00 19:00 21:00

Wrong Side Of Town-18 Wake Wood-PG15 Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle In The Line Of Fire-PG15 Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle Men In Black-PG15 Jesse Stone: Innocents LostAll Star Superman-PG15 Assassination Games-18 The Godfather-18

00:00 Coldblooded-PG15 02:00 Stuck On You-PG15 04:00 Zookeeper-PG15 06:00 Joe Dirt-PG15 08:00 Scooby-Doo! Curse Of The Lake Monster-PG 10:00 The American President-PG15 12:00 Zookeeper-PG15 14:00 Below The Beltway-PG15 16:00 The American President-PG15 18:00 Jumping The Broom-PG15 20:00 Nacho Libre-PG 22:00 The Breakfast Club-PG15

01:15 02:45 05:15 07:30 09:45 11:15 13:30 15:45 17:15 19:00 PG15 21:00 23:45

Home-PG15 Biutiful-18 The Terminal-PG15 2001: A Space Odyssey-PG15 Ice Dreams-PG15 The Natural-PG A L’origine-PG15 Ice Dreams-PG15 Light It Up-PG15 When A Man Loves A WomanMunich-18 Bloodworth-18

00:45 Sunshine State-PG15 03:15 Elevator Girl-PG15 05:00 Backwash-PG15 06:45 Courageous-PG15 09:00 Labor Pains-PG15 11:00 Sammy’s Adventure: The Secret Passage-FAM 13:00 Lord Of The Dance-PG 15:00 Lies In Plain Sight-PG15 17:00 Labor Pains-PG15 19:00 Vampires Suck-PG15 21:00 One Day-18 23:00 Hereafter-18

01:00 The Three Bears: Dreadful Dangers-FAM 02:45 Barbie: A Perfect Christmas 04:30 Winner & The Golden Child: Part I-FAM 06:00 Mars Needs Moms-PG 08:00 Free Birds-FAM 09:45 Mr. Popper’s Penguins-PG 11:30 Princess Sydney: The Three Gold Coins-FAM 12:45 Arthur And The Revenge Of Maltazard-PG 14:30 Barbie: A Perfect Christmas 16:15 Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown-PG 17:30 Mr. Popper’s Penguins-PG 19:30 Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate-PG 21:45 Free Birds-FAM 23:15 Arthur And The Revenge Of Maltazard-PG

02:00 Rugby Union International 04:00 ICC Cricket 360 04:30 Trans World Sport 05:30 Live Cricket Test Match 13:30 Futbol Mundial 14:00 PGA European Tour Weekly Review 15:00 Trans World Sport 16:00 HSBC Sevens World Series 19:00 Cricket Test Match

00:00 03:00 03:30 06:30 07:00 09:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 16:00 16:30 19:00 20:00 22:30 23:00 23:30

Live NFL NFL Game Day HSBC Sevens World Series Futbol Mundial Top 14 HSBC Sevens World Series PGA European Tour Weekly Trans World Sport Rugby Union International NFL Game Day NFL UFC The Ultimate Fighter NFL NFL Game Day Futbol Mundial WWE Experience

02:00 Pro 12 04:00 Fukuoka Marathon 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 NedBank Golf Challenge 13:30 Golfing World 14:30 AFL Premiership Highlights 15:30 Spirit of a Champion 16:00 Live Snooker UK Championship 21:30 Top 14 Highlights 22:00 Live Snooker UK Championship

02:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 09:30 11:30 13:30 14:00 15:00 17:00 20:00 22:00

V8 Supercars UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed WWE Bottom Line WWE Experience V8 Supercars V8 Supercars V8 Supercars WWE This Week WWE NXT WWE SmackDown Prizefighter V8 Supercars V8 Supercars

Classifieds MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2012

CHANGE OF NAME I, Robino Joao Novals, holder of Indian Passport No: H0590686 issued in Kuwait, change my name to Robino Joao Novais. (C 4235) 1-12-2012 I, Wahid Hussain, s/o Abdul Hakim Ansari, Vill & PO. Nawada, P/S Barauli, Dist. Gopal Ganj, Bihar, India, is declaring that my name, Vahid Husen Abdul Hakim Ansari (Surname to Given name order), written in my Passport (No. K7916220) is wrong. The correct name is Wahid Hussain. (C 4233) 26-11-2012

SITUATION VACANT Required a decent babysitter for a small Pilipino family in Hawally. Contact: 60387734. 3-12-2012

THE PUBLICAUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988

Ministry of Interior


website: Kuwait Parliament

The Public Institution for Social Security

Ministry of Interior

Public Authority of Industry

Public Authority for Civil Information

Prisoners of War Committee

Kuwait News Agency

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affair

Kuwait Municipality

Ministry of Energy (Oil)

Kuwait Electronic Government

Ministry of Energy (Electricity and Water)

Ministry of Finance

Public Authority for Housing Welfare

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Education

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Information

Supreme Council for Planning and Development

Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation

112 No: 15646

Prayer timings Fajr:














Arrival Flights on Monday 3/12/2012 Flt Route



205 574 772 267 539 148 6130 620 211 853 305 138 67 612 170 770 503 157 412 206 53 302 855 121 132 55 301 352 213 436 344 1306 6521 165 403 404 610 871 219 57 472 672 500 546 140 561 788 257

0:15 0:30 0:35 0:45 0:50 1:00 1:45 1:45 1:50 2:35 2:45 3:01 3:05 3:10 5:15 5:30 5:55 6:40 6:45 7:40 7:45 7:55 8:40 9:05 9:10 9:15 9:20 9:50 9:55 10:05 10:40 11:00 11:10 11:20 11:30 11:55 12:45 12:50 13:35 13:50 14:10 14:10 14:30 14:30 14:45 14:50 14:55 15:05



284 134 645 535 118 857 303 640 215 510 777 127 982 542 177 3553 786 438 63 405 618 742 674 104 774 647 61 572 389 618 129 146 401 229 402 136 221 307 859 135 576 59 372 975 327 239 217 185 981 43 636


15:10 15:30 15:40 16:25 16:35 16:40 16:50 16:55 17:15 17:20 17:45 17:55 17:55 18:05 18:15 18:20 18:30 18:40 18:45 19:15 19:20 19:30 19:35 19:35 19:50 19:55 20:00 20:10 20:20 20:25 20:35 20:45 20:50 20:55 21:20 21:25 21:30 21:35 21:40 21:50 21:55 22:00 22:00 22:30 22:45 22:45 22:50 23:05 23:25 23:45 23:55



Time 0:05 1:00 1:10 1:20 1:30 1:35 2:25 2:25 2:45 2:55 3:15 3:45 3:50 4:00 4:10 4:50 6:05 6:55 7:00 7:35 7:45 8:15 8:25 8:45 9:05 9:15 9:25 9:35 9:45 9:55 10:00 10:05 10:30 10:40 10:50 11:30 11:50 12:10 12:15 12:20 12:30 12:55 13:00 13:00 13:45 13:50 14:15 14:20 14:30

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


673 473 501 617 141 773 741 646 238 304 538 135 858 641 216 184 511 128 3554 134 982 64 439 404 62 648 331 571 351 120 619 402 171 230 403 308 137 222 301 361 60 860 575 373 205 147 502 328 218 411


15:05 15:10 15:45 15:45 16:15 16:25 16:30 16:40 17:15 17:35 17:40 17:45 17:50 17:55 18:15 18:30 18:35 18:40 19:00 19:05 19:10 19:25 19:30 20:15 20:40 20:55 20:55 21:10 21:10 21:15 21:25 21:50 21:50 21:55 22:20 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:40 22:50 22:55 23:00 23:00 23:10 23:35 23:45 23:50 23:55


s ta rs CROSSWORD 27

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) Close relationships and other ties between people become a focus for much of your energy now. You try your strength against someone today, and learn to cooperate or seek to conquer. Travel, education and city-related information may keep you busy planning, studying and keeping up with others. You may find you will need to investigate some information to confirm the accuracy before making any decisions. You are in good health and your energy is high. You will be successful in the art of persuasion this afternoon. You are able to withstand a barrage of questions and you gain good results. You have a great deal of support from those around you. An animal that belongs to you, or is near you, brings you much laughter this evening.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Your interest may turn to scientific and humanitarian thoughts this Sunday. You may give or receive advice and you may have sudden intuitive ideas. You are sensitive to things of the imagination and you may enjoy some sort of science fiction story or investigating new types of technical equipment. Your activities may involve the spiritual as well as the scientific world. Perhaps a planetarium or museum may be on schedule this afternoon. You are most sympathetic and understanding toward those in need and look for ways to be helpful. You have a determined frame of mind to complete a promise—perhaps a charity obligation. A walking routine is a good habit to get into this winter; enthusiasm reigns. You will make some fantastic discoveries.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. The cry made by sheep. 4. Any of various long-legged carrion-eating hawks of South and Central America. 12. A doctor's degree in education. 15. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 16. Locked in by ice. 17. The syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization. 18. Someone who is morally reprehensible. 19. A straight line that intersects a curve at two or more points. 20. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 22. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 24. A light strong gray lustrous corrosionresistant metallic element used in strong light-weight alloys (as for airplane parts). 25. In or relating to the duodenum. 27. A quantity of no importance. 28. Great coolness and composure under strain. 30. Towards the side away from the wind. 35. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 38. A public promotion of some product or service. 41. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 43. Of or relating to an inability to urinate. 45. Growing in two parts or in pairs. 48. Used of a single unit or thing. 49. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 50. An edge tool with a heavy bladed head mounted across a handle. 51. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 53. Elder brother of Krishna. 56. The compass point that is one point east (clockwise) of due north. 58. A ductile gray metallic element of the lanthanide series. 59. Large antelope with lightly spiraled horns of desert regions of North Africa. 62. Leaves of the tobacco plant dried and prepared for smoking or ingestion. 65. One thousandth of a second. 67. (Old Testament) The minister of the Persian emperor who hated the Jews and was hanged for plotting to massacre them. 70. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 72. An anti-TNF compound (trade name Arava) that is given orally. 73. (usually followed by `to') Having the necessary means or skill or know-how or authority to do something. 74. A woman of aristocratic family. 76. Being one more than two. 77. A cut of meat taken from the side and back of an animal between the ribs and the rump. 78. Very small species of shrubs of southern hemisphere. 79. A lipoprotein that transports cholesterol in the blood. DOWN 1. Back and sides of a hog salted and dried or smoked. 2. (Babylonian) A demigod or first man. 3. Combined or joined to increase in size or quantity or scope.

4. An alliance made up of states that had been Soviet Socialist Republics in the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution in Dec 1991. 5. Any organic compound formed by adding alcohol molecules to aldehyde molecules. 6. Directions for making something. 7. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 8. One of the dwelling units in a condominium. 9. Occurring in or appropriate to the season of autumn. 10. A radioactive gaseous element formed by the disintegration of radium. 11. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 12. A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause). 13. (Irish) Mother of the Tuatha De Danann. 14. Tropical woody herb with showy yellow flowers and flat pods. 21. Mar or spoil the appearance of. 23. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 26. A Russian river. 29. A unit of length of thread or yarn. 31. Any of various dark heavy viscid substances obtained as a residue. 32. Constituting the full quantity or extent. 33. Pertaining to or containing any of a group of organic compounds of nitrogen derived from ammonia. 34. Usually elongate cluster of flowers along the main stem in which the flowers at the base open first. 36. Any plant of the genus Erica. 37. Obvious and dull. 39. An informal term for a father. 40. A large faint constellation in the southern hemisphere containing most of the Small Magellanic Cloud. 42. The cardinal number that is the sum of five and one. 44. Game in which matchsticks are arranged in rows and players alternately remove one or more of them. 46. After the expected or usual time. 47. The seed of flax used as a source of oil. 52. Big-eyed scad. 54. A city in western Germany near the Dutch and Belgian borders. 55. American and Asiatic trees having edible one-seeded fruit. 57. The dialect of Malay used as the national language of the Republic of Indonesia or of Malaysia. 60. A sloping mass of rocks at the base of a cliff. 61. (computer science) A system of worldwide electronic communication in which a computer user can compose a message at one terminal that is generated at the recipient's terminal when he logs in. 63. A platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it. 64. City in southwestern Colombia in a rich agricultural area. 66. Suggestive of the supernatural. 68. (often followed by `for') Ardently or excessively desirous. 69. Horny plate covering and protecting part of the dorsal surface of the digits. 71. The month following March and preceding May. 75. A soft silver-white or yellowish metallic element of the alkali metal group.


You have a strong need for enhanced communication and socializing opportunities. Emotions can influence your thinking. You have an increased selfconfidence to try new things and although you yearn for socializing opportunities you also look for greater independence, perhaps in making your own choice. It is a time of change, stimulating friends and new acquaintances. Write out a list of things that you want to accomplish and the types of people you want to enjoy as new friends and begin now to merge those into your life. This would be a good use of your spare time and bring joy and laughter and pleasant surprises to you when you least expect them. Plan to see something you have never seen before: a play, a contest, comedy club, artwork, etc.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Affairs of the heart could be a rough row to hoe just now. Self-control and setting limits are important in love and games of chance: think long-term and be realistic in your approach to these things. Spend a little time today thinking about three things you can do or begin now, to accomplish your dreams. Home, family and real estate are some of the interests that require a lot of discipline and responsibility now. If you get serious about these things and think long-term, you come out ahead. You cannot do anything you do not KNOW you can do—so believe and dare to make it happen! Charisma and the development of personal power play a bigger role in your life now. You successfully take control in young people’s activities tonight.

Leo (July 23-August 22) A sense of self-worth becomes important at this time. A fear of asserting yourself can hold you back—as can coming on too strong. Practice building your confidence at home, in front of a mirror and a tape recorder or video recorder, etc. Watch and listen and then fine-tune your techniques. Within a reasonable amount of time, you will be ready. Communication is at a high with regard to neighbors. You are now embarking on a trek into a land of dreams—not passive daydreams, but vibrant visions of what may be. The time has come to stop wondering why the world is the way it is. Now is the time to imagine the world as it could be, and to dare to make your vision real with questions of, “Why not?” Tonight you contact people in faraway places.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You desire mental stimulation and will benefit taking up a new course of study, reading a book, visiting a museum or just exploring ideas with a friend. It may be time for that special trip the family has been planning. Whatever the case, you will enjoy some time with friends or family and time away from your normally busy schedule. Your social life prevails and others will find you spontaneous and friendly. Close relationships have a big impact on your life at this time. Old friends will be transformed and new ones will come on like gangbusters. There are some forceful beginnings that may have you planning some new goals, inventions, method of operating or hobbies, etc. Make sure your new activities are positive—this energy is very strong.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) You are so good at finding lost items that a friend may want your help today. Later you may find yourself playing sports on a team with your friends. You enjoy the time spent in competitive play. You seem ready to expand your horizons—you might consider a class or two in some new subject; even a craft might help you to broaden your scope of interests. You will be pleased at the confidence you gain when you quickly learn something new. Believe and dare to make things happen! This may mean expanding your mind, your talents, your belief system, your whole base of knowledge and experience. Time is moving quickly—let no grass grow between your toes! This is a good time to examine and think about what is important and of lasting value.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Lovers, children and other people or things dear to your heart are on your mind this month. You will want to get the right gift and you want to be appreciated for the gifts that you find for each person. These are powerful feelings but you must not put all your hopes and emotions in one basket. Taking chances can bring big rewards. Romantic opportunities are available now and throughout the holidays. If you are not married, there could be something blocking your view. If you are married, a new member of the family may be in your life soon—perhaps, by next holiday season. This is a great time to reflect and understand your own situation, just how you feel about yourself. Your feelings and the feelings of those around you are very clear today.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You may find that people count on your mental strength—they need your help. This afternoon the tasks that you set out to do now have a way of falling into place quickly. Interruptions that keep you from your personal goals are easy to handle—patience for your own needs may be a requirement. Obtaining and exchanging information takes on a great deal of significance. Being more involved with neighbors or sibling(s) satisfies a deep emotional need. You may find yourself serving to guide someone younger than you in matters of importance. There are several opportunities to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love. General good feelings and a sense of support make this a happy time.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Finances and budgeting have your attention. Also your attention may move to any joint funds you have that may need a budget. You could plan to cut back on some of your purchases for the next couple of weeks in order to save for a special gift that a loved one may enjoy. People around you show their appreciation of you and the contributions you make to society. Your enhanced popularity has a lot to do with your ability to make the best of any situation through the process of helping others. Learning and communicating scratch an instinctive itch and you may decide to take or teach a continuing education class to bring in a little extra support. You will enjoy a social get-together with your friends this afternoon. This evening it is time to relax.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your mind may be occupied with thoughts other than the usual focus of this day. You enjoy the company of your loved ones today and enjoy the creative expression of the young people around you this Sunday. There may be a need to adjust some schedules so that all that want can enjoy a museum, movie or library and afterward share the most impressive sight or experience. You might chat about a special exhibit or art show you saw when you were young. You are never at a loss for words and this evening you may talk your family into playing some sort of word game. Word games may not interest some people, but possibly a prize would encourage participation. A prize might be the winning of time or the release from a chore.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Errands for you and your family keep you busy. There is much socializing and quite a lot of communication over the fence and on the phone. Taking action to complete your tasks comes into full swing this afternoon. Travel and education are scheduled for your near future and you could find that these plans will come into focus as you talk with family members this evening. Positive results will occur as you begin the mental plans now. You are always curious and may have recently been browsing through a junior college class schedule. You may be able to talk a friend or family member into joining you in taking a class. Perhaps an astronomy class would be fun . . . a whole group of you could enroll in this sort of class.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution


i n f o r m at i o n For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 GOVERNORATE Sabah Hospital


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Kaizen center














Abdullah Salem




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Gar






Ayoun Al-Qibla







Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy Ibn Al-Nafis Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241



Te el.: 161



Issue Time


Cold with light to moderate north westerly wind, with speed of 08 - 28 km/h and some scattered clouds will appear


Sunny with light to moderate north westerly to light variable wind, with speed of 08 - 26 km/h and some high clouds will appear


No Current Warnings arnin a



21 °C

14 °C


19 °C

09 °C



22 °C

10 °C




22 °C

08 °C




18 °C

06 °C




19 °C

07 °C

Maidan Hawally



19 °C

07 °C




19 °C

12 °C


19 °C

13 °C




19 °C

17 °C

W Hawally



19 °C

08 °C





New Jahra





West Jahra




sunny + high clouds

South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb






MAX. Temp.





MIN. Temp.

11 °C




71 %






29 %

N Khaitan




MAX. Wind

N 46 km/h







02/12/2012 1200 UTC

4 DA AY YS FORECAST Temperatures Wind Speed

Wind Direction



20 °C

09 °C


08 - 26 km/h



partly cloudy

20 °C

12 °C


06 - 28 km/h



partly cloudy + scattered rain

22 °C

14 °C


20 - 45 km/h



partly cloudy

21 °C

12 °C


10 - 30 km/h



All times are local time unless otherwise stated.

20 °C

00 mm

02/12/12 14:06 UTC




Psychologists /Psychotherapists


Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321

Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Salem soso

22618787 General Surgeons

Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil


Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan


Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688


















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh














Expected Weeather for the Next 24 Hours

Plastic Surgeons


Ext.: 26 2627 - 2630


Ophthalmologists Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor 25622444 Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea 25752222 Dr. Masoma Habeeb 25321171 Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy 25739999 Dr. Mohsen Abel 25757700 Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl 25732223 Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly 25732223 Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner 24555050 Ext 510 Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali 25644660 Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel 25646478 Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah 25311996 Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory 25731988 Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary 22620166 Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz 25651426 General Practitioners Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi 24555050 Ext 123 Dr. Yousef Al-Omar 24719312 Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem 23926920 Dr. Kathem Maarafi 25730465 Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah 25655528 Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi 24577781 Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae 25333501 Urologists Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 22641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 22639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi 22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Dr. Leons Joseph 66703427


Fax: 24348714




25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard


Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


(1) Ear, Nose and Throat (2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada)


Dentists Dr Anil Thomas


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


Neurologists Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Kaizen center 25716707

Endocrinologist Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman


Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888 Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr 25329924 Physiotherapists & VD Dr. Deyaa Shehab


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi


Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Consultant Cardiologist Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123


William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677

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 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



LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Martin finds new

home on small screen icky Martin is saying goodbye to Broadway’s “Evita.” But don’t cry for him. The Latin superstar has a slew of new projects in the works, including two television series and a children’s book. “It’s about growing,” Martin said in an interview Friday. “It’s a moment in my life where I just need to absorb and be surrounded by amazing actors and musicians and grow as an entertainer. I think this is going to be an amazing year for that.” Martin takes his final bow in the Andrew Lloyd Webber revival on Jan. 26. Then he heads down under to join the second season of the Australian edition of “The Voice.” But the Grammy winner says not to expect any biting, Simon Cowellesque critiques on the TV singing competition. “I don’t believe in tough love. I believe in love, and I believe in being nurturing to new talented men and women,” he said at an M.A.C. Viva Glam event for Saturday’s World AIDS Day. Martin partnered with the cosmetics brand to raise awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS programs worldwide. The “Livin’ la Vida Loca” singer is developing a new series for NBC, expected in 2013. He’s producing, writing and will star in the currently untitled dramedy, where he hopes to tackle social issues with humor. He’s also writing his second book and admitted he didn’t have to look far for inspiration. “I think it’s time to write about things that I’ve been through with my kids that I’m sure many daddys out there will understand,” said the father of 4-year-old twins Matteo and Valentino. The family-friendly story about self-esteem is slated for release next summer.


Campbell considering more live shows in 2013 len Campbell may be wrapping up a goodbye tour but that doesn’t mean he’s done with the stage. Campbell is considering scheduling more shows next year after playing more than 120 dates in 2012. The 76-year-old singer has Alzheimer’s disease and has begun to lose his memory. He put out his final studio album, “Ghost on the Canvas,” in 2011 and embarked on the tour with family members and close friends serving in his band and staffing the tour. Campbell’s longtime manager Stan Schneider said in a phone interview from Napa, Calif, where the tour wrapped for the year Friday night, that recent West Coast shows have been some of the singer’s strongest. Campbell will break for the holidays and if he still feels strong he’ll begin scheduling more shows.


Eastwood’s daughter named Miss Golden Globe he Hollywood Foreign Press Association has named its newest Miss Golden Globe. Francesca Eastwood was introduced as the 2013 honoree Thursday at Cecconi’s restaurant in West Hollywood. The 19-year-old is the daughter of Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood. Miss Golden Globe is traditionally the child of a celebrity who is invited to help during the ceremony. Previous honorees include Rumer Willis, Laura Dern, Melanie Griffith and Joely Fisher. Francesca


Eastwood is an actress who also stars with her stepmother, Dina Eastwood, her halfsister, Morgan Eastwood, and the South African boy band Overtone in the E! Reality series “Mrs Eastwood and Company.” She’s currently enrolled at the University of Southern California. Nominations for the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards will be announced Dec 13. The ceremony is set for Jan 13.

Lopez marries Mazza M

Lewis back with ex? eona Lewis has got back together with ex-boyfriend Dennis Jauch. The ‘Lovebird’ hitmaker - who is believed to have been dating One Direction singer Liam Payne for around a month - has reportedly reconciled with the German dancer after the pair were spotted hand-in-hand following a romantic meal at Bluebird in Chelsea, London, on Thursday night. A source told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: “They arrived at the restaurant hand-in-hand and as soon as they sat down they were laughing and sitting very close. It was clear to see the spark had been reignited. “After they came out of the restaurant they jumped in a cab and Dennis put his arm around Leona and was cuddling her. He looked very protective of her. They whizzed off to Chinawhite nightclub.” A friend of Dennis added: “Dennis always carried a torch for Leona and hoped she would come back to him. They split because they were apart a lot. Dennis is now trying to spend as much time with Leona as possible.” On Friday night, Dennis took to his Twitter account to tweet a picture of his “dinner for one” shortly after retweeting a message stating: “The most precious possession that ever comes to a man in this world is a woman’s heart. Last month, Leona, 27, told how she wasn’t bothered about an age gap between her and 19year-old Liam and insisted the pair have plenty in common. She said: “You’d be surprised how much we have in common. He’s great. We see each other when we can. It’s very flattering to get compliments like that. It’s cute... I’m not saying [if we’re together]. I’m having fun and enjoying myself.”

ario Lopez has married longtime girlfriend Courtney Mazza. The ‘X Factor’ USA co-host tied the knot with the Broadway dancer at Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis’ $30 million Punta Mita estate in Mexico, and the couple - who have two-year-old daughter Gia - exchanged vows, which they penned for one another, under a white gazebo by the sea. The pair’s family and friends attended the ceremony, including former ‘Desperate Housewives’ star Eva Longoria, who told ‘Extra’ she felt emotional as she watched them tie the knot. After the ceremony - which saw a string quartet play followed by a mariachi band to round off proceedings - Eva told the newlyweds: “I’m so happy for you guys. I love you so much.” Mario, 39, and Courtney - who started dating in 2008 after meeting on the Broadway stage in the revival of ‘A Chorus Line’ - both walked Gia, who was their flower girl for the day, down the aisle. The former ‘Saved By The Bell’ actor - who has Mexican parents - popped the question last New Year’s Eve while holidaying in Ixtapa, Mexico, and the couple are now looking forward to expanding their family. Mario joked to PEOPLE: “We’re working on that. Right after the wedding. We’ll wait for the guests to leave and then we’re getting right on that!” The pair’s nuptials will be screened on TLC’s ‘Mario & Courtney’s Wedding Fiesta’ on Saturday. Mario previously tied the knot to Ali Landry in Mexico in 2004 but their marriage was annulled after just two weeks and he later revealed he had cheated on her at his bachelor party just days before their nuptials. He previously said: “At that point I was not ready to settle down. I wasn’t man enough to know how to go about handling it.”


Prince William will be a hands-on father he 30-year-old royal - who married Duchess Catherine 19 months ago - is eager to start a family and wants to bring up his kids without the help of a team of nannies, one of his wife’s pals has claimed. Catherine’s friend Jessica Hay said: “William is very much like his mother Princess Diana and will definitely be a hands-on dad and not rely heavily on nannies to raise his and Catherine’s children. “They both try to be as normal as possible in their private lives and that of course is going to continue when they have children.” Catherine and William’s friends all think the couple will make wonderful parents. Jessica added to Life & Style magazine: “Everyone’s always said what great parents they’ll be, since they are such a caring couple and very relaxed. They will lavish love on their children.” Emeli Sande’s most nerve wracking moment of 2012 was appearing at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. The ‘Heaven’ singer was lucky enough to perform at both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 games in London - seen by millions of people around the world - and was understandably nervous before her big moments. She told Q magazine: “My highlight of the year was stepping out to sing ‘Abide With Me’ at the Olympics Opening Ceremony. That was a huge moment. And the most nerve wracking of my life, not just the year. Partly because at the dress rehearsal, in front of 16,000 people, my mic wasn’t working. “However, I felt very calm when I stepped out. You can’t really see people, you can only see lights. Everybody went very quiet. It was like being underwater. “ Another highlight of Emeli’s year has been getting to work with one of her idols, Alicia Keys, and they clicked instantly when they sat together for a writing session. Alicia said: “I have to say, myself and Emeli Sande - when we met and we really began to write together, it was instant magic and that doesn’t happen all the time. “There’s about three songs on my album that we did together and they are, all three, unbelievably special.” —Agencies


Parton thinks Clumsy dancer Kelly Osbourne Hemsworth a K ‘beautiful boy’

olly Parton thinks Liam Hemsworth is a “beautiful, nice boy”. The country singer - who is Liam’s fiancee Miley Cyrus’ godmother - loves the ‘Hunger Games’ star and thinks he is a perfect match for the ‘So Undercover’ actress. She said: “I have met him and he’s a beautiful, nice boy.” Dolly also revealed she is protective of Miley and wishes people would be less critical of the young star. She told In Touch Weekly magazine: “I love Miley to death and people are mean about her all the time. She’s just trying to grow up and find her spot. “It grieves me when people talk bad about her. I wanna smack them! Knock it off and let the kid grow up.” Miley recently admitted one of the worst things about being in the public eye is being the subject of internet death hoaxes which “freak out” her mother Tish. She said: “I die every week. It really freaks my mum out, because people will text her about it and she’s a nervous wreck.”


elly Osbourne has turned her clumsiness into a dance move. The ‘Fashion Police’ star constantly falls over because she is double jointed but Kelly, 28, says it has helped her perfect the act of falling, which she now pretends is part a dance. She said: “I’m double-jointed everywhere, I think that’s why I’m so accident prone. Tight jeans and high heels equals one of my hips popping out and my face on the floor. “As a result of this curse, I can fall perfectly. I turn it into a dance move.” Kelly also admitted she is worried she is suffering from “social anxiety”. She told Us Weekly magazine: “I hate leaving my apartment which is starting to make me believe I have some sort of social society. “I’m considered a role model and it scares me to death. Believe me, I’m not perfect!” Kelly was recently involved in an accident but it wasn’t because of her clumsiness. She was given $1,000 bottle of champagne after rocks fell on her head in a minor construction work accident, but pledged to give the pricey tipple to her mother Sharon Osbourne because it’s her favorite brand. Writing on her twitter page, Kelly revealed: “I love it when rocks fall on my head from construction - just got given a $1,000 bottle of champagne & flowers from the hotel as an apology!” She added: “I’m gonna give the champagne to my Mumma as it is her favorite kind! (sic)” The Saturdays missed baked beans and marmite when they were in the US. The girl group - comprising Mollie King, Vanessa White, Frankie Sandford, Rochelle Humes and Una Healy - have been working out in the States on a new reality TV show as they launch their careers there and they admit they were left craving their favorite home comforts. Asked what they missed, Mollie said:” Family and tea! Baked beans. They don’t have them there, that was awful.” Vanessa added: “Marmite.” Although they enjoyed their time in Los Angeles, the quintet are happy to be home and don’t even miss the sunshine. Mollie said: “Everyone has been so lovely but it’s good to be home.” Frankie added: “I’m loving the cold.” The ‘Ego’ hitmakers claim to be “dreading” watching footage of their show, ‘Chasing The Saturdays’, but think it will be “nice” for fans to see. Asked what fans can expect from the show, Frankie said: “I dread to think! I think it will be nice, honest and open.” Mollie added: “You do see everything.”



LIFESTYLE T r a v e l

The Makapala Store is a colorful fixture along the road to the Pololu Valley overlook in North Kohala on Hawaii’s Big Island. This raincatching side of the extinct Kohala volcano is lush and green. —MCT photos

North Kohala wood sculptor Greg Pontius, a Washington native, looks over one of his artworks of a green sea turtle. It’s carved in milo, a Hawaiian hardwood.

Big Island’s lush, isolated North Kohala nurtures music and arts By Brian J Cantwell

ou don’t get to North Kohala unless you mean to, or you’ve made a wrong turn. All the better for local musicians and artists to hide away and find


plantation that was Kohala’s economic lifeblood for 100 years. “That makes the community a little tight place. They’re sweet, tolerant, forgiving people. Kohala is literally and figuratively the end of the road for some.”

Husband and wife Matthew and Rosalind Kupuka’a play for a visitor to the North Kohala village of Niulii, where they grew up on Hawaii’s Big Island.

beach, and an ancient burial ground from a long-ago village. As we hike back up the well-trodden trail, Gomes points at a distant ridge on the valley’s far side. “See that lone pine? That’s where there was a still back in the Prohibition era ... They made okolehao moonshine, from ti leaf root. And the high trees on the ridge there? That’s Awini, where Kamehameha was taken as a baby when fleeing the chiefs.” In North Kohala, Hawaiian history can crop up on every horizon.Hawaii is known as the Pacific melting pot, with several musical traditions evolving from other cultures. One is the falsetto style of singing once heard at every luau. “My understanding is it came from vaqueros and the cowboy yodeling tradition, but the Hawaiians took that and tweaked it and made it something very sweet,” says Matthew Kupuka’a, a falsetto singer and guitarist who performs with his wife, hula dancer, singer and ukulele player Rosalind Kupuka’a. They come from native Hawaiian families and grew up as friends in the North Kohala village of Niulii, where they still live. Vaqueros were Mexican cowboys brought to the Big Island in the 1800s to help manage cattle that were a gift to Kamehameha from explorer Capt George Vancouver. As a young singer, Matthew was mentored by a neighbor, the late Clyde “Kindy” Sproat, a famed Hawaiian falsetto singer honored in 1988 with a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. “We’d go to sing at his place for a couple hours, and it would end up four or five hours,” Matthew recalls of his youth, in a time and place where if kids misbehaved in town “our parents or grandparents would know before we got home!” “I asked him how it comes so naturally that he can sing like that,” Rosalind tells me. “And he told the story of when we were young kids and climbing on vines and he said he wanted to try to be Tarzan.” Today, their music regularly entertains visitors at the Big Island’s Waikoloa Beach Resort, a 45-minute drive south of Hawi. But mostly the couple, now grandparents, trill songs such as “Magic Island” at small community events around North Kohala (see this story online for a video performance). “For us it’s passionate, because it’s about us and our heritage,” Rosalind says. “It’s not a show, it’s a life story-of our

upbringing, the kind of songs that were in our upbringing.” Wood sculptor Greg Pontius was born in Seattle and grew up in Eastern Washington. But he’s lived in North Kohala long enough to raise a 15-year-old son who gives a sweet Hawaiian-style hug when introduced to a female visitor from the mainland. Pontius and his family live on the edge of Halawa Gulch, one of many little streambed ravines the road elbows its way around on its way to Pololu. Each gulch is an organic riot of banana trees, giant ferns, palms, breadfruit and more. From his home’s second-story deck, Pontius can pluck papayas. He shows me a gleaming native-wood sculpture he’s just completed of a green sea-turtle in a swimming pose. His artistic visions come from real experiences, of marine life he’s seen while diving or kayaking. He recounts an early experience in his artistic career. “We were a mile or so offshore in a kayak and a humpback whale came up right beside us, and it was so inspiring, we chased that humpback for an hour or so!” From that, he started one of his first wood projects. He rarely buys wood. Around Kohala and the Big Island he can find fallen logs or driftwood for his art. A chunk from the dusty woodpile outside his workshop can become a thing of beauty. “One of my jobs is to help people see,” Pontius says. “That’s what artists do-I help people get the same joy and fulfillment I get. And turning nothing into something is a wonderful thing.” That the community and beauty of the place inspired John Keawe, a born-andbred Kohala musician, is plain in the name of the first song he ever wrote: “Kohala, I Love You.” Keawe is a talent in slack-key guitar, another Hawaiian music style that evolved from the time of the vaqueros, who brought guitars to Hawaii. Keawe, who has recorded 10 CDs and has toured the United States, contributed to a collection of slack-key music that won a Grammy in 2005. With tuning adapted to the rhythms of Hawaiian dancing and the structures of Hawaiian music, slack-key delivers a warm and lilting sound. I first hear Keawe during his weekly performance at a shopping plaza at the Waikoloa Beach Resort. A silver mane of hair and salty beard frame his walnut-tan face, pinched in concentration as he plays

beneath a grass roof in a courtyard between Tiffany’s and Crazy Shirts. His lyrics are simple (“the grass is green, the beaches clean”); it’s the rich, twangy guitar that astonishes. From one instrument, he seems to coax the music of a small orchestra. Keawe tells a gathering of tourists about the origins of slack-key, or what locals call “taro-patch tuning,” which he demonstrates when I visit him at his modern home high on a slope above Hawi. The view is of Maui’s peak, Haleakala, beyond corduroy-ridged waves. Right next to the house he built in 2000 is the simple tin-roofed cabin where he grew up, which he has preserved along with the ti leaf and hibiscus garden his late mother planted, so Keawe isn’t far from his modest roots. Though visits to the fancy resort help pay the bills, he intimates that he’s just as happy that most tourists stay at the beaches farther south. “North Kohala is still a beautiful place, it still has no traffic lights, you don’t have to stop and wait _ I hope that never changes.” It’s a happy seclusion. But occasionally a lucky traveler, maybe thanks to a wrong turn, gets to share in the inspiration.

If you go Hear and see the work of North Kohala musicians and artists at these Big Island locations: David Gomes plays classical guitar most Sundays at the Lighthouse Delicatessen ( in the Kohala Trade Center, Hawi. To arrange a visit to his workshop: Matthew and Rosalind Kupuka’a perform for free 5-6 p.m. most Saturdays at the Queens’ MarketPlace and 4:30-6:30 p.m. most Thursdays at the Hilton Grand Vacations Kings Land time-share, both part of the Big Island’s Waikoloa Beach Resort: See the work of wood sculptor Greg Pontius at Isaacs Art Center in Waimea ( or the L. Zeidman Gallery in Hawi. His website: John Keawe performs for free 7-8 pm most Tuesdays at Kings’ Shops mall at Waikoloa Beach Resort: His website: —MCT

Vendors offer local produce at the Saturday farmers market under a giant banyan tree in the town of Hawi on Hawaii’s Big Island. their Polynesian muses. This lush district at the Big Island of Hawaii’s north shore is isolated from the busy Kona Coast by the ranch-dotted, horse-heaven hill that is Kohala, an extinct volcano. On its windward side, it squeezes up like an accordion into deep and wild valleys navigated only by ancient trails. A two-lane road transits the frozen-intime, tin-roof towns of Hawi and Kapa’au and ends at an overlook and trailhead above the kiwi-green Pololu Valley. Nearby, on a windswept point looking toward Maui, King Kamehameha I was born in the 1750s. To protect him from chiefs jealous of his royal destiny, protectors fled with the infant to raise him in the remote backcountry beyond Pololu. To this day, North Kohala cradles island culture and intact native families, and this road less traveled nurtures the souls of musicians and artists whose work is emblematic of Hawaii. “The important thing about Kohala is it’s a dead-end road and you have to have a reason to come up here,” says David Gomes, a musician whose Portuguese great-grandparents came from the Azores to work a now-defunct sugar

Gomes, who grew up with the remote valleys as his playground and who still loves to hike them, spends peaceful days crafting masterful guitars and ukuleles in a cluttered workshop off a quiet lane above Hawi (say “Huh-vee”). He has a dual cultural connection to the ukulele: Before being popularized in Hawaii in the 1800s, ukuleles came from Portugal. Visitors can hear him play one of his instruments at a local cafe or a gallery opening. Make an appointment to visit his workshop and he might show off his pride and joy, a koa-wood guitar with an inlaid maile-vine lei of New Zealand abalone braided up the neck. When I visited he showed how he assembles a bass ukulele, his own invention (see this story online for video). His instruments can be found in the hands of musicians from Tokyo to New York. At the head of each guitar he builds, Gomes carves a deep notch, a little trademark representing the Kohala valleys he loves. Before saying goodbye, he takes me on a quick hike down into Pololu Valley, where we find the last decaying remains of a World War II landing craft just off the

Waves pound the beach at Pololu Valley, as seen from the trail at road’s end on Hawaii’s Big Island.


lifestyle M U S I C



Two faces of Syrian cinema on show in Paris or half a century Syria’s filmmakers were forced to work under a numbing state censor or choose exile. But a flow of images beamed online from the conflict zone, spotlighted in Paris this week, may contain the seeds of a new Syrian cinema. The French capital’s Forum des Images film centre is showcasing some of the gems to have slipped past the censors since the 1970s, alongside raw and urgent images born of the revolution. “There are ways to shoot movies in Syria, but you have to be brave,” explained Meyar Al-Roumi, who once resorted to bringing along TV-star friends as decoys to be able to film untroubled by police. Other times he was not so lucky: in 2007 while working on a portrait of six Damascus taxi drivers, he was denounced by one of them-who turned out to be secret service worker moonlighting as a taxi service. In his 2001 documentary “Un Cinema Muet” (Cinema on Mute) the Paris-based Al-Roumi describes how Syria’s National Cinema Organisation managed to choke off homegrown filmmaking since it was founded in 1963. He tells of talented directors like Ossama Mohammad or Mohamed Malasscreened at the festival-who manage to make just one or two films in a lifetime, ground down by the Kafkaesque requirements of the state. “The regime managed to kill off Syria’s cinema just as it was being born,” summed up Charif Kiwan, who founded a production company called Abounaddara in Damascus in 2010 to broadcast emerging talent directly online. “Today it is a field of ruins. There are no cinemas, no funding, filmmakers have to look to foreign festivals and broadcasters-therefore to an audience that


is not their own.” That is the case of AlRoumi or the late documentary maker Omar Amiralay, who chose to shoot films without official approval for broadcast on the Al-Arabiya or Al-Jazeera networks, or the Franco-German Arte. ‘A totally free and uninhibited generation’ But the advent of the Internet-and the sense of urgency brought by the Syrian

between one and five minutes in length. The 44-year-old Kiwan, who coordimates the network from his current base in Paris, pays tribute to the people brave enough to point a camera at a soldier to bear witness to abuses. But he also says a key goal is to counterbalance the flow of raw images coming out of the conflict zone, relayed by foreign TV networks who buy up hard drives of footage to illustrate their reports. “That had

Al-Roumi poses at the Forum de Images in Paris during the fourth edition of the ‘Un etat du monde... Et du cinema’ (A state of the world... And cinema) festival. — AFP conflict-has thrown things wide open. Each Friday since April 2011, a collective of volunteers formed by Abounaddara has posted a haiku-like little film on the net,

disastrous consequences,” said Kiwan. “Activists started filming with the aim of getting their images on Al-Jazeera, shooting only what they wanted to see: a soldier

firing at the crowd, a minaret hit by bullets.” “And so the revolution was reduced to a stock image: of people being shot at like rabbits by barbarous soldiers.” “That is a terrible reality. But if you reduce the revolution to that-none of it makes any sense.” Kiwan works with a network of self-taught filmmakers in Syria, aged 20 to 40, a majority of them women, linked up the Internet. “Our idea is to show why people decide to take to the streets, what is going on in their heads, the whole social side of the movement.” Many of the films rely on first-person testimony-from army defectors or ordinary Syrians-their faces obscured. Others are more poetic in approach, though the conflict is always centre-stage. “You have a generation that acquired a film culture on social networks, on YouTube, who are totally free and uninhibited,” Kiwan said. “The revolution brought them together, and I think the future of Syrian cinema will come from them.” Al-Roumi, who has been unable to return to Syria since 2010, is closely watching the output of this new generation. “There have been some wonderful films” he said. “Syrians are making cinema from reality. New filmmakers are bound to emerge from this-although for now the work is still quite raw.” While openly supportive of the Syrian rebels, Abounadarra is determined to keep its film-making open-minded. “We run films critical of both sides,” Kiwan said. “We use humour, derision, we want to make normal cinema with all sort of ingredients.” Their latest post, “The Unknown Soldier”, shows a defector from the government forces turned rebel fighter, speaking softly of atrocities he says he witnessed, and committed, for both sides. —AFP

‘Music for Sleeping Children’ turns teen angst into song rama and the adolescent girl: a combo upon which entire industries are built. If the success of Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry and Rihanna tells us anything, it’s that high drama equals high impact. Swift has built her fortune by speaking to the confusion of youth, first crushes and desire, Bieber by manifesting the same. “Music for Sleeping Children,” a recent online project that its creators, Charlie White and musician Bryan Hollon, describe as “an artwork, an archive, and an album,” visits similar terrain (www. But it addresses the emotional landscape through very different means: via the true voices of teenage girls openly discussing matters of the heart and the pressures of high school life, all seamlessly arranged as magnetic pop songs. “Sabrina” begins as a funky, slow house track, with a big beat and synthetic hand claps, and introduces the namesake girl as an overachiever whose biggest fear is “not realizing my dreams, kind of.” We learn about “Georgia” through an ‘80s-style dance pop jam, which opens with Georgia explaining that “a lot of people say that I’m really popular, and it makes me happy, I guess.” “Baylee” is introduced as a seventh-grader anticipating eighth; Hollon has given her a joyful beat and looped her singing “shimmyshimmy cocoa pop” while she gazes into the future. Combined, the work is not only a glimpse into the thoughts and feelings of girls today but on a bigger scale is an examination of what White describes as “both types and archetypes” of the American teen. What’s best, these fascinating confessions have been arranged as pop songs perfect for slumber parties. White is a professor at the University of Southern California Roski School of Fine Arts, known in music circles for his remarkable 2004 video for Interpol’s “Evil,” which featured a freaky puppet dealing with the consequences of a car crash. As an artist, White has long examined teen life, most recently as part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s exhibit, “The Sun and Other Stars.” His animated pieces, “A life inBTween” and “OMG BFF LOL,” employ cheap 1970s-style animation suggestive of Saturday morning cartoons and feature teen girls as cartoon characters in


Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro star in the new film, ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ from the Weistein Company. — MCT

Robert De Niro wears his game face in ‘ Silver Linings

obert De Niro constructs a highly memorable sports-fan character in David O. Russell’s new dramedy “Silver Linings Playbook,” playing a Philadelphia Eagles supporter so superstitious he believes the positioning of the remote can affect a game’s outcome. The real-life De Niro? He’s not exactly a team colors face-painter. “People can watch certain football players and get genuinely excited about it, and I just don’t understand it,” he said. “I’ve never been that interested.” When people around De Niro turn on sports programming, said the man who’s played boxer Jake LaMotta and is signed on to a biopic about Vince Lombardi, he usually finds other things to do. Among those things is honing his acting skills, which are on full display in “Silver Linings,” Russell’s follow-up to his boxing film “The Fighter” that opens Friday. After years of big-budget comedy sequels like “Little Fockers” and a bevy of tepidly received genre and indie pictures, De Niro, 69, comes back in a big way with his supporting role in “Silver Linings.” His turn in the film, which won the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, had pundits calling it one of the best performances of the two-time Oscar winner’s career. De Niro had plenty to work with in Russell’s script about a boisterous Italian American family, which can veer from “Flirting With Disaster”-style farce to heartfelt family moments. The Weinstein Co. production centers on Pat Solitano Jr (Bradley Cooper), a bright but bipolar man with no verbal filter who, after a stay in a mental hospital, returns home to suburban Philly to live with his parents (De Niro and Jacki Weaver). There, Pat Jr begins the delicate and sometimes comic process of connecting with his family and a new love interest, the similarly troubled Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence). With Pat Solitano Sr-a passionate Eagles fan who moonlights as a bookie-De Niro convincingly moves between selfish and loving, with quirks that never feel put on. In spots De Niro’s performance channels his comedic chops from “Analyze This”; in others, it can be “Goodfellas”-style serious. De Niro had never worked with Russell before but says he was drawn to the director’s balance of comedy and drama. The actor also alludes to a child of his with difficultiesDe Niro has six kids, ranging in age from 1 to 41 — that fueled his interest. “There’s a helplessness because there’s not much you can do about it,” he said. “I don’t want to say too much more and get personal. But it can be very upsetting.” (Adding to the family feel: De Niro has formed a close personal friendship with Cooper, with whom he starred in the 2011 pharma drama “Limitless.”) As he continues to act in several movies per year, De Niro said he doesn’t necessarily see this as a comeback part. In fact, he thinks there are other recent roles that didn’t get the recognition they deserve-like the 2009 family drama “Everybody’s Fine”-owing to distribution and other market forces. But he said “Silver Linings” has charged him up to continue taking on meaty parts, wherever they might be found. “I’d like to be playing young leading men, to be honest,” he said, cheekily. “But these days it’s fathers. And soon it will be grandfathers. If I’m lucky, it will be great-grandfathers.” — MCT


Artists Charlie White, left, and Brayn Hollon in the living room of Hollon’s home in South Pasadena, California. — MCT service of short pieces that are both tributes to and satires of the desires of mall culture. “Sleeping Children” is the product of what he describes as “a building desire to create a teen pop album. That was an abstract concept to start with, because there was no notion of what that would sound like, or what that would be.” Rather than write songs and search for a particular voice, he contacted Hollon, who, under the moniker Boom Bip, is a well regarded musician and producer. As half of the group Neon Neon (with Welsh songwriter Gruff Rhys), Hollon was nominated in 2008 for Britain’s prestigious Mercury Prize, which honors the best album of the year. Hollon and White first worked together in 2009 for a remix related to “OMG BFF LOL.” “Sleeping Children” required real teens from across Southern California, so White hired a casting agent,

who booked individuals to sit down with White-and on a few occasions, Hollon too-in a recording studio (along with parents/ guardians). With microphones running, White’s goal was to create a “comfortable, safe space to talk about things.” As such, White didn’t photograph the girls and doesn’t identify their last names. In the best cases, says Hollon, sitting with White in the dining room of Hollon’s South Pasadena home, ideas gelled while the microphones were on. “You could hear them working out how they felt about these subjects for the first time.” The less successful sessions lacked similar honesty or overlapped thematically with more effective ones. When they were finished, each girl had unloaded a few hours’ worth of information, a tiny portion of which became the lyrics and voices of the songs. —MCT

Monkees are just trying to be friendly, 40 years on

he Monkees haven’t toured together in more than four decades, so it seemed only logical that at a rehearsal last week in North Hollywood, the band’s three surviving members might not be in sync. But two days ahead of a short reunion tour that began Thursday in Escondido, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork communicated in a secret language as if it were still 1969.


Monkees band members Mike Nesmith, left, and Micky Dolenz perform during a rehearsal concert at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, California.

Projected on a screen is a 60’s-era photo of Monkees band members including Peter Tork, from left, Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith. — MCT photos

In the middle of a long jam, Nesmith, 69, took his hands off his vintage-style Gretsch guitar and began addressing Dolenz in an elaborate sequence of arm and hand signals (think of ground crew guiding a plane in at LAX). Dolenz, 67, quickly answered in similar body language from behind his gold metal-flake drum kit. Tork smiled. Nesmith, who hasn’t taken part in a full-fledged US tour with the other Monkees since 1969, then translated. “This means,” he said haltingly as he continued gesturing, “chili ... dog ... with ...

cheese.” You can take the man out of the Monkees, but ... well, you know where this is going. Humor is a key element in the camaraderie among these men, who along with the late singer Davy Jones vaulted to fame in 1966 with their hit TV show “The Monkees” and the string of recordings they made for each week’s episode. Even though they were originally hired to portray a zany famous rock band on TV, the songs made bona-fide pop stars out of the four amateur actors-musicians. Following their first run-through of the whole set at a dress rehearsal Wednesday in Escondido, Nesmith exhibited genuine curiosity, and a little nervousness, when he asked a visitor how the show would come across: “Do you think Monkees’ fans will like it?” Nesmith has reason to question how they’ll be received since the band will be touring without one of its lead singers, who was the British heartthrob of the band in the TV series. The reunion tour follows Jones’ death this year of a heart attack. He’d toured periodically with Dolenz and Tork since the Monkees released their final album in 1970 and is being saluted in this round of shows through photos, film footage and recordings of some of his songs. “Of course we miss Davy,” Tork, 70, said, “and it’s sad to be playing without him. But when Davy, Micky and I were touring, it was sad to play without Mike.”

Over the years Nesmith skipped most of the Monkees reunions, citing commitments related to his solo career-including running the Pacific Arts music and video label he launched in the ‘70s, producing films (including “Repo Man”) and writing two novels. (Nesmith trivia: He produced music videos for Lionel Richie’s 1983 single “All Night Long (All Night)” and Michael Jackson’s 1987 hit “The Way You Make Me Feel.”) But behind the scenes, Jones made remarks during the ‘97 British tour that hinted at tension with Nesmith, and the 2011 Monkees tour ended prematurely because of reported disagreements Dolenz and Tork had with Jones regarding business facets of the tour. That’s all water under the bridge. “This show, it’s not about a loss, it’s not a memorial,” Nesmith said. “It’s acknowledging the gain and the contribution that David made. At this time of our lives, we don’t have illusions about what this is: It’s about the good work we did.” The Monkees’ career lasted barely four years but yielded four No. 1 albums, half a dozen Top 10 singles, three of which reached No. 1, a TV series that’s become a comedy classic that still airs around the world and the avant-garde 1968 film, “Head,” which reflected the anarchic zeitgeist of the late-’60s while satirically relating the story of the Monkees’ rise from creative puppets to masters of their own fate. —MCT


lifestyle M U S I C



Indian actors Shahrukh Khan, Sharmila Tagore, French actress Catherine Deneuve, Indian film actor Amitabh Bachchan, pose among others during the tribute to Hindi cinema at the 12th Marrakech International Film Festival on December 1, 2012 in Marrakech. — AFP photos

Bollywood shines at Marrakech International film festival he 12th Marrakech International film festival this year pays tribute to Indian Cinema which is currently in its 100th year. The red carpet witnessed thousand fans who braved through the untimely drizzle and biting cold to catch their favorite star. Among the Indian contingency, superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who has one of his films (Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam) playing in the festival, came in and charmed the crowds. In 2003, he was honored by the festival for his contribution to Indian Cinema. This year, he claims, the festival has become prominent. He said, “The biggest honor is that a foreign country is celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema. It shows the importance of our films and how much the world loves us. I hope it continues to be this way.” Director Karan Johar who was attending the film festival for the first time was excited to walk the red carpet. He was amazed at the kind of love the locals had for Indian Cinema. According to him, the entire credit goes to


Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. He said, “They are clearly the two icons of our generation.” He added, “People all around the world have connected to my work as well as a result of these two superstars. I’m so excited about the fact that people in my hotel where I’m staying know about my movies.” Karan also mentioned an interest in shooting his future films in Morroco. “This place is stunning. I’ve actually put people in my team to go and check out the locations.” Karan was accompanied by his Student of The Year team: Aalia Bhatt, Siddharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan. For newcomers to have their debut film being screened at a festival is a big deal. All three of them rightly agreed. “Hindi films are known for songs, dance and drama and SOTY has all of it,” said Aalia. Varun added, “It’s great that we can show our film to different countries. Indian emotions are very strong and I hope people catch onto that.” “People here aren’t going to understand the language, so hopefully they’ll

understand the movie better with subtitles. We’re going to have a lot of fun,” said Siddharth. Hrithik Roshan is the only actor who has four of his films Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam, Agneepath, Jodha Akbar and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara which are being screened at the festival. His excitement was infectious. “I’m still a student of cinema. My industry and cinema is being honoured and it feels great to be a part of it,” he said accompanied by his wife Sussane. —

Indian film actor Amitabh Bachchan poses after receiving an award from French actress Catherine Deneuve during the tribute to Hindi cinema.

French actor Lambert Wilson

French actress Catherine Deneuve arrives for the tribute.

French actress Nathalie Baye

Morocco’s Prince Mouley Rachid presents a medal to Indian actor Shahrukh Khan.

French actress Anne Marivin and Axelle Laffont

Shahrukh Khan speaks with Italian actress Monica Bellucci.

Shahrukh Khan surrounded by Indian actors stands during the tribute to Hindi cinema.

German film director Jan Ole Gerster, actor Tom Schilling and producer Marcos Kantis

British actress Gemma Arterton

Indian actor Shahrukh Khan performs at Place Jemaa el Fna.

Two faces of Syrian cinema on show in Paris



Runners dressed in Father Christmas costumes take part in the annual five kilometer Santa Dash in Liverpool, north-west England, yesterday. Many runners wear a blue suit, usually supporters of Everton FC, who refuse to run in the colors of their city rivals Liverpool FC. — AFP

Louvre masterworks to light up ex-mining town he Louvre will shine the light of high culture on a depressed former mining town this week, as the Paris museum opens a gleaming new satellite among the slag heaps of northern Lens. President Francois Hollande will cut the ribbon tomorrow on the Japanese-designed new museum, set to host masterpieces by Delacroix and Raphael for its first year of existence. And Leonardo Da Vinci’s newly restored “The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne” will leave its Paris home for the first time in two centuries for a three-month vacation at the Lens site, which opens to the public on December 12. Blighted by the closure of the region’s last mines 20 years ago, with unemployment at a stubbornly high 16 percent, Lens is hoping for a renaissance of its own from the glass and polished-aluminum structure. Following in the footsteps of Paris’s Pompidou Centre modern art museum,


which opened a satellite in eastern Metz in 2010, the Louvre says its chief goal is to win over the local population. “Two things would spell failure in my eyes,” the Louvre’s director Henri Loyrette told AFP. “The first would be if the population doesn’t take ownership of the museum. The second would be if the Louvre’s existing visitors don’t go.” Just one hour by train from Paris, the Louvre-Lens’ director Xavier Dectot hopes to attract 700,000 visitors for its first year, and half a million per year after that, compared to nine million annual visitors for the Louvre itself. “We are banking on a lot of visitors who have never set foot in a museum,” said Loyrette. “We recognize that it is not easy. When we started with the project the words Louvre and Lens just didn’t fit together-a great Parisian institution and a town ravaged by war and industrial crisis.” The museum’s five sober buildings were

intended by the Japanese agency Sanaa to blend into the former industrial site, with the rail tracks that once linked up its pits

turned into access roads for instance. From within its giant glass cube entrance hall, visitors can glimpse the giant slag heaps at

Employees work on the Louvre-Lens museum construction site on November 28, 2012 in Lens, northern France. — AFP

Loos-en-Gohelle, the largest in Europe, and the Bollaert stadium, home to the local football team, Racing Club de Lens. The Nord-Pas-De-Calais region financed 60 percent of the 150-million-euro project. “We need so badly to lift our heads, to look at the horizon, to show our people the way forward,” said Daniel Percheron, the regional president, of the heavy investment. For its first five years, the museum’s 125-metre (yard) central gallery will showcase 200 works spanning from Antiquity to 1850 — offering a walk through the history of the Louvre. The main gallery will be free to access for the first year, while a second space will host temporary paying exhibitions, the first of them focused on the Renaissance, from Italy to Flanders. “It’s about giving people keys to understand,” explained Genevieve Bresc, the exhibit’s curator and head of the Louvre’s sculpture department. — AFP

Hot springs in Alps make for luxury Swiss caviar hen thinking of Switzerland many things may come to mind, but caviar-making sturgeon frolicking in hot Alpine springs is perhaps not one of them. Yet, a tunnel project that unexpectedly uncovered hot springs in the Bernese Alps a decade ago is gradually turning the land of exquisite watches and sumptuous cheese and chocolate into a producer to reckon with of luxury caviar. “We could produce the first Swiss caviar a year ago,” Andreas Schmid, who heads marketing at Tropenhaus Frutigen, a company using geothermal energy from the Loetschberg rail tunnel to produce exotic fruit and now sturgeon meat and caviar. Near the tiny village of Frutigen, in a valley flanked by towering, snow-dusted peaks, around 35,000 greyish black Siberian sturgeon bask in pools filled with naturally heated Alpine spring water. This year, the company will produce up to 800 kilos (1,763 pounds) of caviar, selling on average at 3,000 Swiss francs ($3,232, 2,492 euros) a kilo, but it ultimately aims to have 60,000 sturgeon and an annual production of


Black Siberian sturgeons are seen in a breeding pool at Tropenhaus Frutigen.

three tonnes of the black gold. Standing in a production room, chilled to exactly four degrees Celsius (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit), Tropenhaus Frutigen’s production manager Tobias Felix gently slits open the slimy, silver-white belly of a large sturgeon to reveal an abundance of tiny black eggs. Another worker, who like Felix is wearing a hair net, face mask, white rubber boots and work clothes covered with protective blue plastic, steps forward and carefully sink his gloved hands into the fish to pull out several large handfuls of the pearly eggs, glimmering with silver under the florescent lights. “From the time the sturgeon is killed, it takes about 10 minutes for the caviar to be salted”-the last step in a process carried out entirely by hand, Felix explains. Placing the precious eggs in a large metal bowl, he washes them with icy water before pouring them into a strainer and allowing them to drip dry for a few minutes. Felix sprinkles on an exactly measured amount of Bex salt, mined in the Swiss canton of Vaud, and gently mixed it into the delicate eggs, before briefly lifting aside his blue face mask to taste the caviar. Satisfied, he carefully distributes the caviar into dainty metal containers in different sizes, ranging from 30 up to 500 grams, and labeled: “Pure Swiss Alpine Caviar”. The smallest tin, holding enough for a large mouthful of the slightly salty, bursting eggs, sells on site for 68 Swiss francs. a complex tunnel project turns into caviar But how did caviar production come to this windswept mountainous land in the heart of Europe, far from the sea? It is an unlikely story that begins a project to build an Alpine rail tunnel about a decade ago. Engineers working on the Loetschberg tunnel were thrown when 18degree Celsius water began pouring into the cav-

Tobias Felix, production manager at Tropenhaus Frutigen, a company using geothermal energy from the Loetschberg rail tunnel to produce exotic fruit, sturgeon meat and caviar, shows caviar boxes in the Alpine village of Frutigen.

Caviar boxes are displayed, in the Alpine village of Frutigen. —AFP photos ity at a rate of 70 litres (18.5 gallons) per second. They were desperate to get rid of the water, but since it was so hot, it was impossible to divert it to the nearby river, where it would certainly harm the fish and plant life. Chief tunnel engineer Peter Hufschmied, who was married to a Russian woman and well-versed in the joys of Russian caviar, came up with a surprising solution: to use the water to create a sturgeon farm. Siberian Sturgeon, which when grown measure around a meter (3.2 feet) and can weigh up to 200 kilos (440 pounds), “very easily adapt to water temperatures and also like warm water,” Schmid explained. It was a lucrative business idea: the precious eggs make up a full 10 percent of the body weight of the large fish, which are relatively easy to farm even though they take years to reach maturity.

Employees of Tropenhaus Frutigen collects eggs from the abdomen of a Siberian sturgeon. Raised in captivity, female sturgeon do not begin producing eggs until the age of six. The first baby fish, purchased in France and Hungary, had arrived in Frutigen in 2005 — two years before the Loetschberg tunnel opened, Schmid said, pointing out that Tropenhaus Frutigen had thus been able to produce the first Swiss caviar last year. In 2011, the nearly 200 kilos of caviar

was sold mainly on the domestic market, but Schid said the company was quickly broadening its focus and aimed to eventually sell two thirds of the black gold internationally. But exporting sturgeon-based products is no simple matter. Since the Siberian sturgeon have been overfished in their natural habitat, the market is strictly regulated by CITES, an UN-linked organization charged with protecting endangered species. Permits are required to sell products based on farmed sturgeon, while CITES often puts in place moratoriums on wild sturgeon products due to lacking quota accords between the countries surrounding the Caspian Sea. The sturgeon “is not endangered but it could be threatened if there are not strict controls,” David Morgan, who heads CITES scientific team, told AFP. Sturgeon farming, which has existed elsewhere in Europe since the 1970s, is a good thing since it “reduces pressure on the wild species,” he said. However, the practice could also have a flipside, he cautioned, pointing out that it could push down the value of the wild sturgeon and thus remove a major “incentive to keep the waters clean.” —AFP

3 Dec  

Kuwait Times

3 Dec  

Kuwait Times