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US film protests bring boom for Pakistan flag makers

THULQADA 18, 1433 AH

US intel effort named citizens, not terrorists

Morocco mission to rescue last of the Atlas lions

Ronaldo at the treble as Real Madrid sink Ajax

NO: 15588

to dissolve 2009 Assembly


150 FILS

14approves 20 12Cabinet 29 decree Oppn welcomes move, warns against electoral changes

Max 42º Min 24º High Tide 01:24 & 14:46 Low Tide 07:57 & 19:49

By B Izzak

Saudi religious police to lose some powers RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will curb the powers of its notorious religious police charged with ensuring compliance with Islamic morality but often accused of abuses, a newspaper report said yesterday. “The new system will set a mechanism for the field work of the committee’s men which hands over some of their specialisations to other state bodies, such as arrests and interrogations,” Al-Hayat daily quoted religious police chief Sheikh Abdullatiff Abdel Aziz Al-Sheikh as saying. Agents of the body known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice will also be banned from carrying out “searches without prior approval from the governor”, he said. Okaz daily also reported that the religious police agents will be prohibited from “standing at the entrances of shopping malls to prevent the entry of any person”, referring to attempts by agents to ban women who do not comply with the Islamic dress code and unmarried couples from entering malls. Relatively moderate Sheikh, appointed in January as the new chief of the religious police, has raised hopes that a more lenient force will ease draconian social constraints in the Islamic country. Two weeks into his post, Sheikh banned volunteers from serving in the commission which enforces the kingdom’s strict Islamic rules. In April he went further, prohibiting the religious police from “harassing people” and threatening “decisive measures against violators”. In June, Sheikh came out strongly against one of his men who ordered a woman to leave a mall because she was wearing nail polish. The woman had defied the orders as she filmed her argument with the policeman and posted it on YouTube. — AFP

TEHRAN: An Iranian firefighter extinguishes a burned motorcycle in a street near Tehran’s old main bazaar yesterday after police clashed with protesters demonstrating against Iran’s plunging currency. — AP

Clashes in Iran over plunging currency TEHRAN: A protest and scuffles with police occurred in central Tehran yesterday in the first sign of public unrest over Iran’s plunging currency, which has lost more than half of its value since last week. Hundreds of police in antiriot gear stormed the capital’s currency exchange district of Ferdowsi, arresting illegal money changers and ordering licensed exchange bureaux and other shops closed, witnesses told AFP. Several arrests were seen, carried out by uniformed police or plain-clothes security officers. Police also fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Smoke was seen in two places in the area. Some appeared to come from at least two dumpsters set on fire,

one of which was near the British embassy - evacuated last year after pro-government demonstrators stormed it. The source of the other smoke could not be determined, with police directing pedestrians and vehicles away. Individuals threw stones at police officers and a police car before running away, witnesses said. A protest in Tehran’s historic Grand Bazaar - a maze-like complex of shops vital to the city -also took place but was quickly put down by police. “We closed because we don’t know what is going to happen” in terms of the currency market, one shopkeeper said. A police commander, Colonel Khalil Helali, was quoted by Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: The Cabinet yesterday approved a draft decree for dissolving the 2009 National Assembly just over three months after it was reinstated by the constitutional court in a landmark ruling. The decree is expected to be issued by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah today to officially put to bed the pro-government house which was tainted with allegations of corruption. Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah said the decision to approve the decree was taken at an extraordinary Cabinet meeting which reviewed the inability of the house to meet and a letter from Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi to the Amir that the Assembly could not convene. He added that the decision was based on the inability of the Assembly to meet. The 2009 Assembly was dissolved by the Amir in Dec 2011 following street protests by youth activists who demanded the dissolution of the house and the resignation of former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. But on June 20, the constitutional court, whose rulings are final, nullified the legislative polls held in February on the grounds that the decrees that dissolved the 2009 Assembly and called for fresh polls were flawed. Accordingly, the court scrapped the 2012 Assembly and reinstated the 2009 house, insisting that it must be given full authority to carry out its duties. After the new decree is issued, fresh elections must be held within 60 days in accordance with the constitution. The opposition welcomed the government’s decision, saying it was long overdue but warned it against issuing any emergency decrees to amend the electoral constituency law by either redrawing the constituencies or changing the voting system. MP Faisal AlMislem welcomed the decision “although it was delayed” and called for holding the fresh elections on the basis of the existing laws. MP Falah Al-Sawwagh charged that certain quarters are still conspiring against the country and its laws. The opposition believes that any change in the voting system to reduce the number of votes allowed to voters will negatively affect their chances of winning a majority of seats.

Central Bank cuts discount rate to 2% KUWAIT: The Central Bank of Kuwait announced yesterday it has cut its benchmark discount rate by 50 basis points to 2.0 percent, its first reduction in 32 months. Governor Mohammad Al-Hashel said the reduction - the seventh since Oct 2008 - was taken to make borrowing cheaper, the official KUNA news agency reported. The cut, the first since February 2010, will be effective from today. Under Central Bank regulations, interest rates on loans cannot exceed three percent above the discount rate. Hashel said the measure was aimed at boosting growth in the non-oil sector and part of efforts to strengthen confidence in the national economy and accelerate growth. He also noted a decline in inflationary pressures, KUNA added. — AFP

Triple blasts tear into Aleppo TOKYO: Japan’s high-tech giant Hitachi’s researcher Yasuyuki Takada demonstrates the world’s first boarding gate with a built-in explosive detection device at the company’s laboratory yesterday. — AFP

Japan plane ticket reader sniffs bombs TOKYO: Plane passengers could soon be scanned for bombs as they swipe their boarding pass, a Japanese company said yesterday, unveiling the world’s first explosivedetecting departure gate. Engineers from hi-tech firm Hitachi showcased a machine that blows a short puff of air at a passenger’s hand as he scans his pass. It then sucks in that air - along with all the minute particles that have been blown off the hand - and instantly analyses whether there are any explosive substances present, said senior Continued on Page 13

Nearly 50 dead • Shells kill 5 inside Turkey ALEPPO: Three car bombs tore yesterday into the heart of Syria’s second city Aleppo, killing almost 50 people, mostly troops, as the regime launched an offensive against rebels near Damascus, a watchdog said. Rebel fighters killed at least 15 soldiers, when they attacked military posts in the northwest of the country, triggering fierce clashes, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. And the bloodshed spilled across the Syrian border when several shells from the conflict crashed into the Turkish town of Akcakale, killing at least five people and wounding nine, witnesses said. “Five people, including a mother and her three children, were killed. We also have nine wounded,” said Abdulhakim Ayhan, mayor of Akcakale, where the shells exploded after being fired from Tall alAbyad just across the border in Syria.

In Aleppo, two car bombs went off in quick succession around Saadallah AlJabiri Square near a military officers’ club, ripping off part of a hotel’s facade and flattening a two-storey cafe, an AFP correspondent reported. A man, whose family owns a coffee shop overlooking the square, described the sound of the blasts as “terrifying”. “I ran to my parents’ room and found their faces covered in blood,” said the man, who identified himself only as Omar. “Most of the people rescued from under the rubble of the hotel were soldiers.” A third bomb exploded soon afterwards at an entrance to the Old City in the nearby district of Bab Jnein, the Observatory and a military official said. At least 48 people were killed and almost 100 wounded, the Britain-based Continued on Page 13

ALEPPO: Destroyed buildings are seen at the scene of car bomb explosions that hit this northern Syrian city yesterday. — AFP

Dubai property treads recovery path

SADAD, Bahrain: A Bahraini anti-government protester throws a petrol bomb toward riot police firing tear gas and stun grenades yesterday. Clashes erupted at the end of a mourning procession for Ali Hussein Niema, 17, who was shot dead last week by riot police. — AP

DUBAI: Dubai’s property sector, which went into free fall when the global financial crisis hit, looks like it might be on a path to recovery, with prices starting to bottom out and a few developers daring to roll out new projects. At the annual Cityscape Global show, which served over years of property frenzy as a launchpad for grandiose projects, a handful of developers displayed scale models for seaside and desert developments to test the appetite of the market. The threeday international show began on Tuesday. “We have seen demand increasing since the beginning of 2012,” said Mohammed AlKhayat, commercial director at Meydan Group, owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh

DUBAI: People look at a construction model by Meydan Group yesterday at the annual Cityscape Global show. — AFP (See also Page 21)

Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, as he unveiled proposed new projects. Hadaeq (Gardens of ) Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid is planned to stretch over around 5.09 million sq m and is slated to feature neighbourhoods like “those found in the English and French countryside and the Japanese gardens of the East,” the company boasted in a statement. Another of Meydan’s projects is the Meydan Tower, a new “vertical community” with a combination of offices, retail, serviced residential units and a hotel. But the proposals remain at a concept stage. The group, which built the emirate’s grandiose new Meydan Racecourse as part Continued on Page 13



iPhone 5 users in Kuwait could face 4G troubles Frequencies for data transfer KUWAIT: Users of Apple’s newest smart phone in Kuwait might not be able to benefit from all of its features due to a delay in operating the 4G network in the country. This network is already available in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. According to a report published yesterday, accessing the 4G network through iPhone 5 or any other smart phone that supports this service in Kuwait may face difficulties, depending on the frequencies for data transfer that the Ministry of Communications eventually adopts. Given the different frequencies in countries where the 4G network is operational, Apple released three different ver-

sions of iPhone 5, each compatible with a certain frequency that the other devices are incompatible with. One version with the serial number A1428 works on the GSM system, and has been imported by some electronic companies in Kuwait from the United States and Canada. The second version carries the serial number A1429 and works on the CDMA system that is used only in the United States and Japan. The third version also carries the serial number A1429 but works on the GSM system, and is available in Kuwait. According to unidentified sources quoted in Al-Rai’s report, some local companies imported iPhone 5 devices

without paying attention to the serial numbers, which led to two versions of the phone being available in the local market, one of which might turn out to be incompatible with the frequencies that the Ministry of Commerce will eventually adopt to operate the 4G network. In order to avoid this problem, the sources indicated that the ministry may need to adopt both frequencies used by two different versions. Other GCC states succeeding in avoiding this problem by launching the 4G network before the phone’s release, and thus only the compatible version was shipped to their respective markets.

KUWAIT: The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Kim Kyung Sik hosted a reception at Marina Hotel on the occasion of National Foundation and the Armed Forces day. High-ranking officials, diplomats and media people attended the reception. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

GCC heading towards union, needs to solve key issues KUWAIT: Talks between the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to establish a union have made large strides but there are some issues that needed decisive decisions and common conviction, Kuwait foreign undersecretary Khaled Al-Jarallah said Tuesday. “The GCC statute affirms that coordination and cooperation between the GCC countries lead to unity and this is the destiny of the GCC countries,” Al-Jarallah told reporters on sidelines of a reception by the Korean Embassy marking its national day and armed forces day. On issues to be discussed by the Asian Cooperation Dialogue summit, due in Kuwait in mid-October, AlJarallah said “we believe the summit will be very important and influence the cooperation between the Asian countries.” Kuwait, he added, sought to activate inter-Asian dialogue. Al-Jarallah said there would be many issues that

would foster cooperation between the Asian countries. Asked to comment on deputy premier and foreign minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah’s statement that conflict in Syria would lead to a civil war in Syria, AlJarallah said Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled was not the only person to have this feeling. “It is an anxious feeling everybody feels.” Al-Jarallah hoped the conflict in Syria would not trigger a civil war “because it will cause massive destruction not only in Syria.” On possible Israeli strike against Iran, AlJarallah said the State of Kuwait “always seek to be ready for such possibilities,” adding there were plans for such scenarios. Meanwhile, Al-Jarallah said relations between Kuwait and South Korea were “historic, distinguished and old.” He affirmed that South Korea has shown “honorable” support for Kuwait’s just causes. — KUNA

Inspectors confiscate rotten meat KUWAIT: Ministry of Commerce and Industry inspectors seized yesterday 1,440 kg of frozen rotten sheep meat in a store belonging to an importing food company in Shuwaikh industrial district. The Ministry’s superviser for the capital Governorate, Faisal Al-Ansari, said during the inspection tour yesterday that the confiscated meat is of Australian origin, and unfit for human consumption. Offenders have been referred to the commercial prosecution, he added. Al-Ansari explained that examination of a sample of the meat in the laboratories of the Ministry of Health showed change in their natural properties, specially smell and color. “Based on the medical report of the Ministry of Health, we confiscated the quantity,” he said. He expressed hope that the Ministry of Health open food laboratories during the evenings, in addition to the morning shifts. Al-Ansari stressed that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry entirely depends on reports from the laboratories of the Ministry of Health to ensure the health and safety of food before seizing any suspicious amount. — KUNA

Inspection campaigns at Ahmadi By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The operations and patrol administration at Ahmadi governorate continued its inspection campaigns in different areas across the governorate, resulting in the arrest of two wanted persons, and of 19 persons found without identification or whose residency permits had expired. Eight vehicles were also found in violation and were sent to detention garage at Mina Abdullah and 54 citations were handed out. The administration officials emphasized that such campaigns will continue round the clock to track down all outlaws.


in brief

Murder suspects escape KUWAIT: A recent amendment in the penal courts and proceedings law about reducing the precautionary detention period was the reason why two suspects in a murder and a public fund violation case were able to escape the clutches of the law. Informed sources said both the suspects had to be released because investigations remained incomplete at the end of the maximum detention period of 40 days. The sources said though there was a ban on the suspects traveling, the two have vanished and are not expected to show up in court to face the trial. Toman makes 60% losses KUWAIT: The Iranian currency, Toman has been suffering considerable losses in the local exchange market since the beginning of the year with current rate being 10,000 Tomans per one KD. In January, the same was sold for KD 2.5. “This is 60 per cent loss,” observers said. They explained that the Toman witnessed sharp drops last week, affected by the international sanctions imposed on Tehran. Notably, as one of the largest expat communities in Kuwait, the Iranians suffered a great deal from this slide. Many local money exchangers said in view of the plummeting prices of Toman, they were currently withholding the sale, hoping that prices would get better and they would be able to cut losses considerably. On the other hand, many Iranians increased the amount of money they sent back home benefitting from the low price. Some others preferred retaining their savings in Kuwaiti Dinar, US dollar or Euro to avoid the loss. Science Fair in May KUWAIT: Secretary General of Kuwait Scientific Club Youseef Al-Hamad said preparations for Kuwait’s Science and Engineering Fair for pre-college students are ongoing. Al-Hamad, also Vice Chairman of the organizing committee, said during his meeting, early yesterday, with science supervisors of Ministry of Education, that this fair for pre -college level, targets students aged between 14 and 18. Explaining, he added, it is a scientific contest, based on presentation of a research in either sciences or engineering. It is a pathway for INTEL annual competition, held in the United States, annually. INTEL competition, that has been organized in the US since 1950, is the largest contest in scientific research in the world. Culture links peoples KUWAIT: Culture is one of the strongest bridges linking peoples and stays in minds more than politics and economics, a senior Kuwaiti official said yesterday. Mohammad Abulhassan, Amiri Diwan Advisor and Chairman of the Media Committee of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue summit, was speaking to reporters while opening the Japanese cultural days, part of activities preceding the summit. “We have chosen culture to pave way for the summit ... because it has great effect to building bridges of confidence between peoples,” he said. Six countries with cultural agreements with Kuwait will be holding festivities before the summit, he noted. Abulhassan commended the unique culture and tradition of Japan. Mergab building accident KUWAIT: A building under demolition caved in on a nearby house in Mergab area, Kuwait Fire Service Directorate said. Fortunately the residents of the house were out at the time of the accident which left no casualties, KFSD Deputy Director General Brig. Khaled Al-Mekrad revealed. “The contractor who was conducting the demolition process of the building failed to meet the safety regulations and didn’t inform the concerned departments of the accident,” Brig. Al-Mekrad said. The KFSD used police dogs to verify that nobody was under the debris, he added.

KUWAIT: The Warrent Officers Institute receiving new cadets yesterday.

GCC states eager to boost work in cancer fighting CAIRO: The Secretary General of the Gulf Union for Fighting Cancer (GUFC) Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Saleh said yesterday that the GCC states are keen on bolstering integration in their fight against cancer. “Cooperation is essential for GCC state’s efforts to control cancer,” Al-Saleh said in a speech during the 59th Session of the Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean, currently held in Cairo. He pointed out that the Kuwait Society for Preventing Smoking and Cancer have cooperated with the Kuwaitbased International Islamic Charity for the foundation of regional center for offering high-level training for GCC and Arab doctors operating in this sector. He added that Saudi Arabia Kingdom has also founded an international center for alternative medicine and will set an ambitious project for cancer fighting. “The UAE, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain have also interna-

tional centers for controlling different kinds of cancer,” he said, stressing that the cooperation between all these centers give impetus for the region’s efforts to counter this deadly disease. The Regional Committee meeting reviews strategies to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases in the Middle East region. Noncommunicable diseases, notably cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory conditions, represent major causes of death. Globally, noncommunicable diseases alone cause more deaths than those caused by all other causes and they strike the populations of the developing communities the hardest. These diseases have reached epidemic levels. In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, noncommunicable diseases account for 53 percent of all deaths and this percentage may be as high as 80 percent in some countries in the Region. — KUNA




in brief

167 flights for pilgrims KUWAIT: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced yesterday that some 167 flights would be ready to transport pilgrims wishing to perform Hajj this year. Director of Air Transport Nader Al-Beloushi said in a statement that Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) would operate 74 flights including 55 to Jeddah and 19 to Madinah compared to 70 flights to be operated by the Saudi Airlines, 15 by Nas and eight by Jazeera Airways. Additional flights will be operated during the Eid Al-Adha holidays, he concluded. New UNICEF ambassador KUWAIT: The Union of Arab ambassadors for children has issued a decree selecting Dr Nasser Saud Abdulaziz Al-Mune’a, Professor at the Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences in Kuwait University, as ambassador for the UNICEF, General Counsel of the Union and Union board Member. Kuwait University said in a press statement today that the selection of Dr. Al-Mune’a came in appreciation for his role in the preservance of national responsibility towards the Arab childhood in the Arab world. The Union of Arab ambassadors for children aims to develop community awareness for the best interest of Arab societies. Praise for Amir’s initiative MANAMA: Bahraini Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa praised initiative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah of holding the first summit Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD). Sheikh Mohammad commended efforts of Kuwait in furthering economic ties among Gulf and and Asian countries, under current global economic circumstances. He was speaking during a meeting with Kuwaiti’s ambassador to Bahrain Sheikh Azzam Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah here yesterday. Sheikh Azzam stressed on the bilateral ties of common history between Kuwait and the Kingdom of Bahrain. Incentive for hard work KUWAIT: Retirement should not dispense people with expertise but it should rather be an an incentive for hard work, Minister of Information and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah noted yesterday. This remark was made during a retirement ceremony held, late Tuesday, for former Director-General of the Fire Services Directorate Major General Jassim Al-Mansuri and former Deputy Director-General Major General Amin Abideen. “Retirement is the beginning of making the most use of the retirees’ experiences to better the performance of services in the country,” Sheikh Mohammad added. Moral recognition of 40 years in service should be highly appreciated,” he stressed. He, then, thanked the retirees for putting their lives on the line of the public. On their parts, the retirees expressed their appreciation to the fire service directorate for providing a friendly and familial environment for all firefighters who work under the harshest circumstances to provide safety and security for the public.

Nigeria-Kuwait ties founded on strong mutual understanding Ambassador lures investors By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: The Nigerian Ambassador to Kuwait, Haruna Garba, is skeptical about linking the extremist sect, Boko Haram, to the killings in a college residence in northeast Nigeria late Monday. Boko Haram is widely considered as the most serious security threat in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil exporter. The reports said that the assailants shot and stabbed to death 27 students at the Federal Polytechnic Mubi in the remote Adamawa state. The attackers invaded the student accommodation outside the campus between 10 pm Monday and 3 am Tuesday. Speaking at a press conference held yesterday at their embassy in Mishref after officially presenting his credentials to HH the Amir, Garba said the killings could be the work of crazy (mad men) people who, he said, could be found anywhere, including the United States. Ambassador Garba, a former Nigerian senator, said it was very important to improve the lives of individuals in Nigeria so that people didn’t go crazy and indulge in killing innocent civilians. “We are not condoning such an attack. What we are saying is that we should improve the life of the ordinar y man so that he doesn’t become crazy. These are crazy acts and, unfortunately, it is happening all over the world,” he pointed out. He stressed that it was not appropriate to attribute such an action to Boko Haram, which was quickly blamed by some for the killings. The police in Adamawa state said the gunmen had inside knowledge, but

maintained that the motive behind the attack was still not clear. “We need to ask (ourselves) why do these people kill? The Nigerian government is very concerned about what was happening and you are all well aware that there is no way the government will support the killings and then invite foreign investors to come to our country. In the last ten years, the government has been investing heavily to ensure long term security for Nigerian individuals

KUWAIT: Nigerian Ambassador to Kuwait Haruna Garba (center) speaking with local reporters yesterday at their Embassy in Mishref. — Photo by Joseph Shagra

MoI condemns bedoon riot KUWAIT: The Interior Ministry yesterday denounced the bedoons’ unauthorized protest and riot in Timaa neighborhood in Jahra late Tuesday. In a press statement, the MoI said that photos and video footages of the protest, taken by photographers at the scene, showed deliberate blatant violations of law, order and norms by the protesters. I t noted that the rioters have blocked and set fire at roads, violently assaulted security personnel, attacked public and private properties in the Timaa neighborhood.

and foreign investors,” he added. At the same press conference, Garba also invited Kuwaiti business investors to invest in Nigeria, especially in the non-oil sectors like mining, agriculture, solid mineral development, telecommunications, aviation industry, iron and steel, railways and roads. “Nigeria provides a ready market for goods and services. The returns on the capital investment in Nigeria are reputed to be the highest in the world.

The security forces have practiced self-restraint but it was forced to intervene to stop attacks on public and private properties and to reopen blocked roads, the statement added. It denounced the protests’ behavior, stressing that the Ministry and all security bodies are keen on countering such unauthorized gatherings that lead to riots and attacks on police. It expressed hopes that all people would abide by law and cooperation with state bodies to retain security and stability as well as the higher interests of the State. — KUNA

The opportunities to invest in Nigeria are too good to be ignored,” he opined. Garba also lauded President Jonathan’s efforts in tackling corruption head-on, and spoke of the country’s crusade against corruption and other related issues like human trafficking, drug abuse and advance fee fraud. Nigeria and Kuwait enjoy cordial and warm relations that started in 1971 at the level of a Charge de Affairs. The ties between the two countries were founded on strong mutual understanding and respect. The two countries are also members of international bodies like the UN, the OIC, the OPEC as well as the Non-Aligned Movement and support each other in these global spheres. The two countries had recently signed bilateral agreements which included the avoidance of double taxation, prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes and income on capital, encouragement to and reciprocal protection of investments. Garba had also outlined President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda Policy which was poised to transform the Nigerian economy and bring it at par with the world’s top twenty economies by 2020. “Our President is determined to pursue robust policy measures to reinvigorate the critical sectors of Nigerian economy, especially the key development areas such as power, security, wealth and job creation, education and transportation,” the envoy said. Though he arrived in Kuwait on June 29, 2012, the new Nigerian envoy presented his credentials to HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah only on Sept 18.

Self-sponsorship to foreign investors? KUWAIT: The Finance Ministry’s Kuwait Foreign Investment Bureau is considering a proposal to allow foreign investors to obtain residencies in Kuwait under article 19 of the labor law which entitles them to self-sponsorship. However, it will be linked to the investor’s plans to establish businesses in Kuwait as the residency would be valid for one year, the time required by the investor to issue a license for his company in the local market. This was reported by Al-Rai quoting “official sources” privy to the development. “An agreement is in place between the KFIB, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor to take this step as

part of efforts to achieve HH the Amir’s vision of turning Kuwait into a financial and commercial hub in the region,” the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said. The step comes after local sensed that the need for finding a Kuwaiti sponsor was the main problem discouraging investors from investing in Kuwait. “Since the foreign investors service office was opened last July, the KFIB detected many inquiries focused on what investors believe is an unjustified require to find a sponsor, combined with a growing believe that Kuwait’s isn’t serious about attracting foreign investors to the local market,” the sources said.— Al-Rai



LOCAL kuwait digest

kuwait digest

Necessity of reform

MPs’ reactions make it worse

By Abdul-Aziz Al-Fadhly

ast week, I wrote about the frustration that people can experience when reading what Twitter users in Kuwait post on the microblogging website. This week, the overall atmosphere has become too frustrating, and, unfortunately, it has all happened because of both, the people and their representatives in the parliament. A citizen, Safaa Al-Hashim, has announced that she was contemplating legal action against another citizen, Mohammad Al-Ajmi, over certain Tweets that she believed, included defamatory remarks against her. Taking a legal recourse was a civilized step adopted by Al-Hashim on the basis that legal action is a right available to everyone under the law of the land. But since Al-Hashim is a political activist who was actively opposing the opposition, and since Al-Ajmi is one of the most active media persons affiliated with the opposition, the oppositionists - led by Mubarak AlWa’lan and Falah Al-Sawagh, as usual - have strongly criticized what they described as “AlHashim’s threats”. This situation, though unfortunate, is not something I would call unexpected. However, I believe it cannot be ignored since those who oppose Al-Hashim’s right to exercise her legal choice are the same people who often demand action against others for holding opinions different from their own. Their opposition includes


The opposition was not the only group which messed up in this case. Their opponents, specifically those who formed a minority in the annulled 2012 parliament, naturally and openly stood by Al-Hashim’s side. It was as much a support for her right to take legal action as it was to score a point against the opposition. forcing the government to shut down newspapers or prosecute media houses. The same group which has no hesitation in filing grilling motions against ministers for failing to prosecute media outlets, are now terming Al-Hashim’s legal move a “crime”. The opposition was not the only group which messed up in this case. Their opponents, specifically those who formed a minority in the annulled 2012 parliament, naturally and openly stood by Al-Hashim’s side. It was as much a support for her right to take legal action as it was to score a point against the opposition. The whole case was supposed to remain a legal battle confined to two Kuwaiti citizens, Safaa Al-Hashim and Mohammad Al-Ajmi. While the opposition has gotten its hands dirty with its blatant and unjustified support to the person accused of offending Al-Hashim, their opponents have further kept the fight going by stating their position openly. —Al-Qabas

uwaitis often get to hear criticism from their brothers in other Gulf countries who believe they do not value the welfare they enjoy when they join any anti-government demonstrations. The arguments that they often encounter go something like this: “You have got good salaries, sprawling houses, and so much more. Enjoy what you have and forget about political reforms, democracy and parliamentary functioning.” Other arguments characterize the demonstrations as being “a cause of public disturbance and disobedience” that need to be shunned. The movements that we are part of in Kuwait are a form of reforms, which is the highest of goals in any society. In religion, the message from all Prophets focused, after monotheism, on reforming the societies that suffer from different kinds of corruption. The Islamic history shows that the Caliphs and Tabi’un (followers, people who helped spread the message of Islam following the death of Mohammad (PBUH)) followed in the Prophet’s footsteps by actively fighting corruption and demanding reform. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself was a strong advocate of reform, as he glorified the death of a person who was killed by an oppressive


By Abdullatif Al-Duaij

kuwait digest

A comic grilling! By Dr Hassan Abdullah Jouhar otwithstanding the timing of the recently this motion, his colleagues in the majority and filed grilling motion, it seems to have been their supporters on the streets towards all the filed retroactively through the 2009 parlia- aforementioned ones was that the ones filed ment members. The grilling motion comes in the involved a clear defiance of “the ruler; HH the aftermath of a possibility of the dissolution of the Amir”. They also hold that those grilling the gov2012 parliament. The question is whether it was ernment in the 2009 parliament were trouble makplanned at the regular meetings of these 2009 ers and tension creators who rejected the outcome parliament members who never ceased to meet of democracy and were only interested in seeking or was it a result of only a personal effort of the dissolution of the parliament. lawmaker filing it? Yes, we do have a lot of differences among variThis grilling motion, filed recently against the ous parliamentary blocs that will remain even PM during the ‘extra time’ of the 2009 parliament, after the forthcoming elections. Future parliacan only be called a ‘politments will also not be ical joke’ and must not be grilling-free, including the We are passing through a politiallowed to pass without a motions that may be filed cally comical situation that is comment or without a criagainst the Prime Minister. tique of its presenter and The people, be they MPs full of worries, carries pessimist his constitutional right to or voters, have every right outlook about the future, and is file it. We are passing to accept or reject a politimarked by chaos and political through a politically comcal stance. What is tension. ical situation that is full of improper and dangerous worries, carries pessimist is to drag the Amir’s name outlook about the future, and is marked by chaos into any dispute, attack the basic principles, and political tension. Nevertheless, one cannot accuse others of betrayal or use the doctrinal or help but laugh at some of what is happening. sectarian dimensions to either promote or reject a Regardless of the number of those presenting stance at the expense of the people and without the motion, be it an individual or a group, the regard to the security of the whole country. move involves an endless number of contradicTo complete the funny picture that is emergtions that can only be perceived as ‘political Halal ing in connection with the new grilling motion and Haram’ (taboos and okays). The new grilling that we all know was born dead, I expect that the motion is in addition to a number of others filed interpellator will use the statements made by the during 2009 and all were either discussed behind 2012 MPs in reaction to the government’s perdoors, postponed, referred to the constitutional formance, and will also bring in those made by court or fizzled out with the dissolution of the the 2009 MPs. Alternatively, I call upon all the parliament as happened to the famous bribery activists to do the job themselves so that we case. Kuwaitis can realize what kind of a black comedy However, the response of the lawmaker filing we are passing through. —Al-Jarida


The movements that we are part of in Kuwait are a form of reforms, which is the highest of goals in any society. In religion, the message from all Prophets focused, after monotheism, on reforming the societies that suffer from different kinds of corruption. leader he had approached to demand an end to injustice. In the Holy Quran, God Almighty makes a connect between a society’s welfare and the presence of reformists there (Surat Hud, verse 117 [11:117]). These are all examples that prove that reform is a necessity rather than a luxury as some citizens in the Gulf region suggest. The Arab Spring revolutions brought reform that eradicated corruption spread by the tyrant regimes which had accumulated wealth at the expense of the people, and had attempted to strip societies of their Islamic and Arab identity. In Kuwait, we still have something to be proud of - freedom of movement and calls for political reforms. The Iradah Square has become a symbol of this freedom after becoming a place for genuine movements seeking to end the country’s decline when it came to development and public services. After seeing incomplete or unexecuted projects, multimillion corruption scandals, paralyzed parliament and other problems, Kuwaitis came out on the streets to stand by those who advocated reforms. One can only respect those who raise the banner of reform, both inside and outside Kuwait, and are in the forefront to protect the people’s freedoms and dignity even if doing so attracted persecution or action under defamation laws. They should be proud because they are following in the footsteps of God’s Prophets. —Al-Rai

in my view

An exciting moment for Turkey By Amir Taheri ith the Grand National Assembly (parliament) returning this week from its summer recess, the firing shot will be sounded for an exciting, and dangerous, moment in Turkey’s quest for redefining its identity under Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan. Erdogan is likely to enter history as one of his country’s greatest political leaders since the establishment of the republic in October 1923. Slated to be at the centre of an adulatory exercise during the current congress of his Justice and Deelopment Party (AKP), Erdogan could justly murmur to himself: so far, so good! During his stewardship of the government, Turkey has broken out of the vicious circle of poverty and inflation, to start building a modern economy. Erdogan’s political record is no less impressive. He has brought the Islamist fringe into the mainstream by developing the theme of “an Islamic society with a secular state”. Abroad, he has gained a new voice for Turkey in its geopolitical habitat, especially the Middle East. Thus, it is no surprise that Erdogan is seeking to celebrate his record by leaving behind two monuments. The first would be a mosque in Istanbul, already described as “the biggest in the world”, to dwarf the one constructed under Suleiman the Magnificent. The second is a new Constitution to create a presidential system in the hope that Erdogan would be the first president in a post-Kemalist Turkey. How the planned mosque will turn out and whether or not it would rival the architectural beauty of numerous Ottoman edifices in Istanbul is anybody’s guess. Nor does that really matter in the bigger scheme of things. The same cannot be said about a new constitution. Most people agree that the current constitution, enacted under the military in 1982 and amended twice, would benefit from substantial re-writing. The question is: what kind of re-writing? Concocting a new constitution simply to allow Erdogan to rule as president, rather than as prime minister, is not a convincing argument for reform. One could even argue that a parliamentary system in which executive power is exercised by a prime minister and his cabinet would better suit Turkey’s needs. Such a system provides for greater political participation and flexibility in adjusting policies through parliamentary give-and-take. It also reduces the risk of conflict between a parliamentary majority and a president from a rival camp. However, the problems that Erdogan and, ultimately, wouldbe authors of a new constitution face are not limited to such concerns. Perhaps, the most daunting problem they face concerns the question of identity. The modern Turkey that emerged from the debris of the Ottoman Empire adopted an identity in line with the 19th century European Zeitgeist in which the world was divided into nations. Suddenly, the rump of a multinational, multi-faith empire was


declared to be a European-style nation-state. Turkey was defined as a “nation” although it was composed of peoples with many different national backgrounds. The successive constitutions of the Kemalist republic are full of references to the nation, nationalism, national interests, national culture, and “the absolute supremacy of the will of the nation”. Nevertheless, all successive texts contain key contradictions. Chief among these is the definition of the state as a republic and the system of the government as democracy. And yet, concepts such as republic and democracy are best suited to a system in which citizenship and popular will are emphasized. A democracy could be multi-national, as is the case in the United Kingdom or Turkey’s own neighbor Iraq. A republic belongs to its citizens, regardless of ethnic and/or national backgrounds, as is the case with the United States where double-barrel self-definitions transcend national identities. Limiting Turkey’s identity to its ethnic-linguistic Turkish component means denying the Kurdish self-definition of at least 20 per cent of the citizens. Whether anyone likes it or not many loyal and law-abiding Kurdish citizens of the Turkish Republic do not feel they are part of a Turkish nation or that their aspirations are reflected in Turkish nationalism. How to deal with that conundrum? One way is to deny its existence, as do some pan-Turk nationalists. Any attempt at defining Turkey as a bi-national republic could produce a political backlash and, perhaps, even a return to military rule. Another is to preach Kurdish secession as does the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which, its denials notwithstanding, dreams of a separate nationalist, this time Kurdish, state in eastern Anatolia. A third and, perhaps, more sober way, is to define Turkey as a democratic republic in which all citizens enjoy equal rights and responsibilities regardless of their diverse national self-identifications. Logically, Erdogan should be sympathetic to this last view. The reason is that, at least in private, Erdogan defines himself as a practicing Muslim. As such he would know that Islam has never felt comfortable with the modern concept of nationalism, shaped in 19th century Europe. At the same time, Erdogan knows that few even in his own party would agree to define Turkey as part of an Islamic ummah. The best way out is not to imprison Turkey either into an outdated nationalistic identity or the even more illusory one of ummah. Common sense suggests a constitution based on Turkey’s existential reality as a society that enjoys a rich diversity of ethnic backgrounds, languages, cultures and degrees of belief and unbelief- a society bound together by the concept of citizenship based on the rule of law in a democratic republic. An exciting moment awaits Turkey. What the leadership elite do with it remains to be seen.



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Flaws in Kuwait electoral law need to be amended NA dissolution soon? KUWAIT: With the parliament’s dissolution only waiting certain technicalities, speculation about the emerging political scenario has now shifted to the process on the basis of which the new elections will be held. The new elections will be held either as per the current electoral law that divides Kuwait into five constituencies and entitles each voter to a maximum of four votes, or through a different system enforced by an emergency decree. The newspaper Al-Qabas yesterday reported that HH the Amir “has reservations” about holding fresh elections based on the current system, which he believes has some “negative aspects and flaws that need to be amended.” “The issue highlights the ongoing discussions about finding a way out of the sixth month-long ordeal,” Al-Qabas yesterday quoted the source as saying. The paper further indicated that HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah met with a team of MPs on Tuesday which included Khalaf Al-Dumaitheer, Saadoun Hammad, Khalid Al-Adwah, Mikhled Al-Azmy, and Dulaihi Al-Hajri. He also held meetings with public fig-

a delegation from the Mutair tribe appealed to the two owners of AlWatan TV, who happen to be members of the ruling family, urging them to drop the case. In a related move, the Majority Bloc, a name given to a coalition of 34 oppositionists who dominated majority seats in the annulled 2012 parliament, has decided to form a legal team to defend the suspects. This was announced by MP Mubarak Al-Wa’lan following a meeting at his dewaniya on Tuesday night that was attended by Falah Al-Sawagh, Khalid Al-Tahous, Dr. Faisal Al-Mislem, Mohammad AlKhalifa, Mohammad Hayef, Ali AlDeqbasi, Musallam Al-Barrak, Dr. Jamaan Al-Harbash and Dr. Waleed AlTabtabaei. The meeting also discussed the issue of demonstrations held by stateless residents in the Taima district of Al-Jahra on Tuesday. In a statement released after the meeting on behalf of all participants, Al-Wa’lan rejected the Interior Ministry’s action to break up the protest by force, and said the stateless residents had a right of expression.

ures from the Jahra Governorate, some journalists and columnists. The electoral law was upheld last week by the Constitutional Court which rejected the cabinet’s challenge to the law’s constitutionality. The cabinet had argued that it breaches equality regarding the demographic distribution within constituencies. The cabinet forwarded a motion to dissolve the 2009 parliament, reinstated by a key ruling last June, to HH the Amir yesterday, and dissolution is speculated to take place as early as today (Thursday) or next week. Meanwhile, MP Husain Mizyed confirmed that he met HH the Amir on Tuesday. The discussion at the meeting focused on a 2-year jail sentence handed to nine young members of the Mutair tribe found guilty in the case of Al-Watan T V building’s storming reported last January. After the meeting, the MP declared that all the convicts “will soon be released,” and also reiterated that the incident amounted to an act by “emotionally charged youth reacting to what they considered an insult.” Reports had earlier speculated that

Friendship committee formed to promote ties with China KUWAIT: Head of Kuwait House of National Works Yousef Al-Amiri said yesterday the Kuwaiti-Chinese Friendship Committee was established for strengthening bilateral relations with China at the cultural and social levels. Al-Amiri indicated that he spearheaded efforts for formation of the commission, while attending the China-Arab Friendship conference, held in the Chinese city of Yinchuan, last September. He said that the committee will charged with organizing exchange of delegations’ visits every two years, build bridges of cooperation between Kuwait and China in health, education, trade, economy, tourism and youth. Members of the commission are looking forward to develop communication between governments of the two countries to pave way for new twinning accords between Chinese provinces and cities with Kuwait. He explained that he took the opportunity of participation in the fourth session of the China-Arab Friendship Conference in Yinchuan city to announce establishment of the committee that will reflect Kuwait’s interest in promoting cultural ties with other countries, including China. The conference called on Arab

countries to encourage other countries to establish Arab-China friendship associations and intensify mutual visits and follow-up exchanges and cooperation agreements signed between China and the Arab governments in the cultural and commercial fields in addition to promoting the

CAIRO: Kuwait Journalist Association confirms Kuwait’s full support to the Arab Journalists Union and backs that its premises remain in Cairo, said Faisal Al-Qunai, Secretary General KJA (second right). Adnan Al-Rashed, Treasurer KJA (right) is also seen attending the meeting.







establishment of Chinese cultural centers in the Arab countries, he said. The Kuwait- China Friendship Committee is headed by Al-Amiri and includes a number of media, cultural figures, businessmen, researchers and experts from the two countries. — KUNA





























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Rape victim deceived by fake policeman Hajj murderer pardoned KUWAIT: A rape victim, who was hospitalized recently with several stab wounds, told the police that the suspect was dressed in a police uniform on the day of the assault and took her into custody on the pretext of violating labor regulations. Narrating her ordeal to the police at the Mubarak Hospital after her condition stabilized, the Filipina woman said she was with a friend at the parking lot of a mall on the Sixth Ring Road when they were approached by a man wearing a police uniform. The suspect ordered her to get into his vehicle after noticing that she was registered as a domestic worker, allegedly for the purpose of investigation on the suspicion of violating the residency law. The woman got into the car willingly, expecting to be taken to a police station but was instead taken to a location in South Surra where she was assaulted physically and sexually, before being left with several stab wounds. The detectives believe that the woman fell victim to a fake officer who apparently uses a police uniform to deceive his victims. Police has launched a search for the suspect based on the description provided by the victim. Body found The detectives at the Al-Ahmadi Port are investigating the reasons behind the death of a man whose body was discovered at the beach on Tuesday. The body, believed to be of an Asian origin man, was found by the Kuwait Petroleum

Corporation security men. It was tied with a rope and had been thrown into the sea. The crime scene investigators have referred the body to the forensic department. Investigations are on and detectives were waiting for the autopsy report to determine the cause of death. Saudi pardon A Kuwaiti man sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for killing a Saudi citizen during last year’s Hajj season was set to be released following a pardon after blood money was paid to the victim’s family. The local newspapers reported yesterday, quoting in turn the Saudi newspaper ‘Sabq’, that a 30 million riyals Diyya (blood money in Islamic law) was paid before the victim’s father pardoned the death-row convict. The incident had happened in Makkah when the Kuwaiti pilgrim, who was in his twenties, stabbed his opponent with a knife during a fight. Three injured Three Kuwaiti youngsters had to be hospitalized after an accident on the Al-Gous street reported on Tuesday. The victims, aged between 20 and 22, were rushed in ambulances to AlAdan Hospital after police and paramedics responded to an emergency call about a vehicle that had overturned. At least one of the victims suffered serious injuries. An investigation was started to determine the circumstances that led to the accident.

Meanwhile, a motorcyclist was rushed to Amiri Hospital with serious injuries following an accident on the Second Ring Road Tuesday. The man was hospitalized after paramedics arrived at the scene along with police following a report about a motorcycle losing balance and falling off. Investigations are underway. Drug addict A drug addict was arrested in Al-Adan on Tuesday after his father filed a complaint against him with the police. The father said his son had turned a drug addict after meeting certain friends who provided him drugs. The officers later visited the man’s house arrested the son. Some drugs and related paraphernalia were found at the scene. Explosives deactivated Bomb squads diffused explosives found in two different locations last Monday night in Kuwait. The first report about the explosives came from an open area near the Jaber Stadium. The Farwaniya police summoned an explosive expert after identifying a foreign object half buried in the sand as a mortar shell. The second report came from the Salmi desert where a landmine was discovered and successfully deactivated. Preliminary investigations indicated that both explosives were remnants from the 1990-91 Iraqi invasion period. — Al-Watan,Al-Anba

Two in custody for high school fire By Hanan Al Saadoun

KUWAIT: Working in collaboration, the security men and criminal detectives have finally tracked a brother duo involved in the fire incident in a high school project under construction at Sabah Al Salem area. The two Asian brothers were arrested in the case, and both have confessed to their involvement. The first suspect opened the main gate of the project and drove inside in his car, accompanied by the second suspect, his brother. The second suspect then helped the first suspect and offloaded the gasoline can from the car, and kept an eye out lest

anyone was watching them, while the first suspect connected the electric circuits and placed them all over the project, setting the timer to explode and set off the blaze after eight hours, thus timing it for around 2:30 am early Saturday. He then closed the main gate and ran away. He has told the police that he worked as an electrical supervisor with the project contractor and he did all this to avenge a dispute between him and the company. It is worth noting that this fire had remained a sort of mystery and it had become imperative to find those behind it and their reasons. A special investigation committee was formed for the purpose.

Joyalukkas ‘Think Pink’ for breast cancer awareness gets bigger and better with Zulekha Hospital KUWAIT: Joyalukkas is reinforcing their commitment to build awareness, educate and fight breast cancer under their ‘Think Pink’ initiative during the month of October. Joyalukkas has associated with the renowned Zulekha Hospital in Dubai this year to make the initiative bigger and better. The month of October is considered world-wide as the month of building awareness, educating and empowering women on breast cancer. To complement the global drive, Joyalukkas launched ‘Think Pink’ in the year 2011, which they intend to continue every year as one of the key activities under their CSR drive. According to World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, comprising 16 percent of all female cancers. Due to the stigmatization of the disease, lack of information and fear of positive diagnosis, many women don’t get screened, increasing the risk of letting cancer develop. The Joyalukkas ‘Think Pink’ in association with Zulekha Hospital will strive to drive awareness and educate everyone on the various aspects of breast cancer via various media and in-store activities. This initiative at Joyalukkas is a non-profit motive with the single minded objective to educate and inform all on the disease. “We decided to continue with ‘Think Pink’ as one of the key initiatives of our CSR division. We recently organized our 25th Blood Donation drive and during the month of October we relaunched ‘Think Pink’. Breast cancer affects a lot of women and the disease, if detected early can be completely cured. Our aim with ‘Think Pink’ is to build awareness, educate and empower women on this disease. We hope our drive helps to get more people aware and make them take necessary steps towards prevention and cure,” said Joy Alukkas, Chairman & MD, Joyalukkas Group. Joyalukkas ‘Think Pink’ was launched with an official function on Oct 2 at Zulekha Hospital, Dubai where pink balloons were released as a symbolic gesture towards the cause. Dr. Amer Sharif, Acting

CEO (Hospitals sector), Dubai Health Authority (DHA) attended the function as chief guest and renowned breast cancer research specialist, Dr Pamela Munster, Professor, Department of Medicine (Haematology/ Oncology), University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Director, Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit and Leader, Developmental Therapeutics Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; addressed the audience. DHA officials, executives from Joyalukkas and Zulekha hospital, and eminent doctors from the field of breast cancer research were all present at the occasion. During the month of October, Joyalukkas will release a mass media campaign under the ‘Think Pink’ banner to build awareness and educate women on breast cancer. In addition to this, Joyalukkas will distribute free breast consultation vouchers at Zulekha Hospital. A special booklet also will be distributed all over UAE, which will detail self detection methods and enable women and families to understand all the key facts of the disease. “We are happy to associate with the esteemed Joyalukkas in building awareness for breast cancer. The emphasis of this initiative is to build awareness about breast cancer and educate them on taking preventive measures. While women over 40 years of age are globally the most affected, younger women now are also being diagnosed with the disease, women as young as 19 to 30 have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the UAE. We hope ‘Think Pink’ will add to the activities undertaken by various bodies to build awareness, educate and protect women” said Dr. Zulekha Daud, Managing Director, Zulekha Healthcare Group. Doctors of Zulekha Hospital will also interact and answer various queries on breast cancer on popular radio stations in the UAE. Only a qualified doctor can ultimately diagnose, but regular self-checks can help women to detect early signs and take immediate measure to prevent and cure. “Joyalukkas is strongly committed to fight breast

cancer, hence we have decided to further our activities under the ‘Think Pink’ banner. We are happy to associate with the renowned Zulekha Hospital in furthering our drive and make it more relevant for the population of the UAE. As a group, we are committed to take up causes that help and assist mankind and we hope we manage to strengthen the fight against breast cancer this October,” added John Paul Joy Alukkas, Executive Director, Joyalukkas Group.

Zain launches breast cancer awareness campaign KUWAIT: Zain, the leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, is holding a Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in October, the month dedicated to raising awareness about the disease, as part of the organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility program. Zain has committed to this cause “Breast Cancer Awareness”, five years in a row. This year it will be launched from Oct 4 in partnership with 360 MALL. A Zain Wing will be managed by BreastCare Kuwait at the 360 MALL , Ground Level Main Atrium. Medical staff, volunteers and breast cancer survivors will be available at the booth to show support to women and families who have inquiries regarding breast cancer. At the booth which is open to the public there will be free consultations that will help direct women to proper testing. Zain will also provide a photo studio that will aim to emphasize the importance of family unity and the effect that any illness has on all family members, not only on the mothers and sisters; in alignment with Zain press ad. A celebrity Pink Carpet will be available for those willing to meet various supporters and breast cancer survivors. On a special board anyone will be able to post a remark or comment reflecting their contribution to fighting breast cancer through the medium of art. Most importantly Zain will be distributing free mammograms. Waleed AlKhashti, Corporate Communications and Relations at Zain said” the Company’s continuous support for such campaigns is within the framework of the organization’s CSR program that aims to help various community groups. This charitable event with a focus on early detection aims to help save lives. He further said “Zain remains committed to promoting social responsibility initiatives as part of its CSR program. Being one of the biggest corporate entities in the region, Zain shares a big responsibility to the community. Zain is performing its social mission by further strengthening the relationship between the company and the community.

KUWAIT: A girl is looking for job opportunities sin an online forum. This file image is used for illustrative purposes.

Hospitality industry virtual job fair, a resounding success KUWAIT: successfully held the first hospitality industry edition of its popular Virtual Job Fair (VJF) concept, from Sept 23 to 27. The VJF, held on’s website, focused specifically on employers and jobseekers in the hospitality industry, giving them the opportunity to interact in an efficient, practical online platform. Professionals looking for jobs had the opportunity to chat with employers, learn more about them, download media, and apply to vacancies from the comfort of their own home or office, completely for free. More than 58,700jobseekers participated in the event. The Hospitality Industry Virtual Job Fair was supported by event sponsors Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC and Marriott International Inc., alongside media sponsors Khaleej Times and Al Arab Al Youm. “Our Virtual Job Fair concept has proved very popular amongst jobseekers and employers, and our hospitality-focused event was no different. We successfully united industry specialists from both sides of the employment sphere, proving that online recruitment has a pivotal role to play in the way that employers engage with potential employees,” said SuhailMasri, VP of Sales, “ is dedicated to creating the most convenient, successful ways for employers and jobseekers to interact, so that everyone can benefit from maximum exposure to the people who matter to them. Our website and VJF events allow job seekers to easily find the newest and most exciting jobs in the Middle East, from more than 40,000 registered premium employers.” The VJF is extremely popular with employers at the forefront of the recruitment industry, who see the benefits and importance of state-of-the-art employerbranding activities. They are prepared to tap into the most advanced technologies to harness the power of the web to interact with top talent on a real-time basis in order to hire the region’s best. Many top employers participated in the event, including Food International, Mˆvenpick, The Meat Co, and TribesME. Over the past two years, has hosted more than 14 successful online job fairs, which have welcomed job seekers and professionals from across the Middle East. For the fair, constructs animated 3D ‘virtual booths’ on the website

for the different participating companies. The virtual booths, like physical job fairs, are branded with the exhibitor’s name and logo and provide visitors access to a range of information about that particular company. “ The Hospitality Industry Virtual Job Fair was a very successful and effective virtual event, which has helped us at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Hotels to interact and engage with job seekers from different countries. We also managed to answer career-related questions, communicate the company culture and explain the uniqueness of each brand within the company’s portfolio. I can say that we have been through a true career job fair experience with no need to leave our offices,” said Robert Dodds, Vice President - Human Resources, Marriott International Inc. and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company L.L.C, Middle East and Africa Continent. The Virtual Job Fair offers a variety of significant advantages to job seekers and employers alike. For jobseekers, the VJF saves time off work and travel and logistical costs associated with visiting physical job fairs, while providing professionals complete confidentiality and the convenience of participating in the job fair from the comfort of their home or office. In terms of employer benefits,’sVirtual Job Fair is the ideal forum to increase brand awareness and visibility, allowing organisations to advertise their job vacancies on the Middle East’s number one job site, which already has over 8.75 million registered users from over 94 industries and 185 countries. Participating in the online job fair also minimises the hassle, time, and resource requirements often associated with event management at a physical job fair; allows for cost savings of up to 50% and can maximise an organisation’s HR ROI. After the event, employers that participated will have the option to measure the success of their presence in the Virtual Job Fair with advanced and accurate reporting tools. “Our team found the Virtual Job Fair very beneficial in replenishing our talent pool, and in sourcing a diverse selection of candidates. It is an innovative and smart way of recruiting,” said Marianna Couvaras, Head of HR, Food Fund International, an employer who used the Hospitality VJF as a platform to reach relevant candidates.

KUWAIT: Ahmadi Governor Sheikh Dr Ibrahim Al-Duaij Al-Sabah met a team from the Islam Presentation Committee recently at his office in the governorate’s dewan. The two sides reviewed the IPC’s activities in Ahmadi and means to overcome obstacles facing the organizations such as shortage in Islamic preachers.

Increased interest in pages on Prophet KUWAIT: Amid all the attempts of slander against Islam and the recent inflammatory film on prophet Muhammad, PBUH, the pages posted by Kuwaiti Al-Najat Charitable Society on the prophet and content posted in response to the film are both being met by great and increasing interest. The charity, in a statement yesterday, pointed out its specialized ìDaawa Networkî offers access to a wealth of information on the life and legacy of the prophet in many world languages. There is particular focus on content of interest to people who recently embraced Islam. This project and campaign consists of several articles and pages on the prophet, his life, teachings, and other related information in addition to six videos that address the misguiding representation of prophet Mohammad in the inflammatory film.

There is also a special section devoted to testimonies by Non-Muslims about the ethics and morals the prophet instilled in his followers and instructed them to promote as the proper conduct for a dignified Muslim. The section stresses how this inspired many new Muslims and even scientists in the west on issues relating to the environment, education, social equality, womenís rights, and even health and hygiene. The six videos were produced to answer some of the most pressing and most repeated questions and accusations brought up by anti-Islamic media, and they could be viewed on the societyís channel on YouTube. The webpages all provide opportunity for visitors to post questions and inquiries which are to be answered by a specialized team and then posted in many languages, the statement pointed out. — KUNA


French First Lady shuns TV job, regrets Royal tweet

Egyptians divided over Morsi’s 100 days in office Page 8

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WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) shakes hands with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul (L) during the opening of the US-Afghanistan Bilateral Commission at the State Department yesterday in Washington, DC. The US and Afghanistan launched the bilateral commission for talks regarding future relationship between the two nations. — AFP

Nigeria hunting student killers Troops search house-to-house for massacre suspects KANO: Nigerian soldiers moved house to house yesterday in an urgent bid to hunt down attackers responsible for the massacre of 40 people who were shot or had their throats slit in a student housing area. The raid in the early hours of Tuesday near a polytechnic university shook the town of Mubi, located in Nigeria’s volatile northeast, where Islamist extremist group Boko Haram has carried out scores of previous attacks. Last week in Mubi, Nigeria’s military conducted a high-profile raid targeting the group, killing a senior Boko Haram figure and arresting 156 suspected members. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan called the gruesome off-campus attack “sad and shocking” but its motives remained unclear, with some officials suggesting the massacre may have been linked to a recent student election. Jonathan has ordered Nigeria’s security agencies to investigate, his spokesman Reuben Abati told journalists. Police have given an official death toll of 25, saying at least 22 of the victims were students. A school official said Wednesday that the death toll was at least 40, but he could not immediately say how many were students. “Based on accounts from locals, at least 40 people were killed in the attack,” the official from the polytechnic school said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly. “Twenty-five were the ones taken to the morgue. At least 15 of the victims whose families are in

Mubi were taken away by relatives.” Abubakar Ahmed, head of the Red Cross in Adamawa state, where Mubi is located, said troops were going door-to-door looking for suspects on Wednesday. Police spokesman Mohammed Ibrahim said security forces had blanketed Mubi, a commercial hub and university town located near the border with Cameroon. “There’s a heavy deployment of soldiers, police and (secret police) personnel in Mubi following the killings,” he said. “They are combing all parts of the town in the hope of tracking down the killers.” According to Ibrahim, the attackers knew their victims and called them out by name in a student housing area off-campus of Federal Polytechnic Mubi, an ethnically mixed school with several thousand students. Victims were shot or had their throats slit, he said. Residents said it seemed the victims were both Muslim and Christian, but police had not commented as is often the case in Nigeria, where ethnic and religious divisions regularly lead to unrest. The town had already been under a 3 pm to 6:00 am curfew in the wake of last week’s raid, and it remained in place on Wednesday. The suggestion that the killings were linked to the student election raised questions over how and why the dispute would have turned so violent. There were suggestions of ethnic tensions between the mainly Muslim Hausas and predominately Christian Igbos involved in the vote, and a spokesman for the National Emergenc y

Management Agency said some of the victims were candidates. At the same time, Boko Haram has continually widened its targets and its attacks have become increasingly sophisticated. A rights activist and expert on religious violence in northern Nigeria, Shehu Sani, said investigators should first concentrate on the role potentially played by the Islamist insurgents. “ There is no student rivalry in the history of Nigeria that has ever led to this kind of massacre,” said Sani. Nigerian officials have been seeking to show success in the fight against Boko Haram with a number of raids and arrests. There had been a lull in major attacks in recent weeks. The Islamist extremists have been blamed for more than 1,400 deaths since 2010 as part of their insurgency in northern and central Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south. Maxwell Dukku, a spokesman for Adamawa’s deputy state governor, said the state’s political leaders “really don’t know why this has happened.” Boko Haram has claimed to be seeking an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, but its demands have repeatedly shifted and it is believed to include a number of factions with varying aims. Imitators and criminal gangs are also believed to have carried out violence under the guise of the group. — AFP

US charges 11 in Russian military exports ring NEW YORK: The United States announced criminal charges yesterday against 11 members of an alleged ring illegally exporting $50 million worth of high-tech military electronics to Russia under the guise of civilian deals. “The microelectronics allegedly exported to Russia are subject to strict government controls due to their potential use in a wide range of military systems, including radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems, and detonation triggers,” the federal prosecutor’s office for Brooklyn, New York, said. The alleged scheme ran between 2008 and the present, with defendants posing as civilian manufacturers. A Texas-based company called Arc Electronics, owned by Russian-American defendant Alexander Fishenko, allegedly told US suppliers that it made traffic lights.

In reality, the defendants were procuring hightech products which are rare in Russia on behalf of the Russian military, prosecutors said. In addition to being charged under military export laws, Fishenko is accused of being “an unregistered agent of the Russian government.” Officers arrested seven people in Houston, Texas, early Wednesday and an eighth on Tuesday. Another three were in Russia, out of reach of US law enforcement, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said. Search warrants were executed Wednesday at seven residences and businesses, officials said, and five bank accounts were seized. To mask their illegal business, documents and websites used by Arc and its partners were allegedly altered to remove military references. For example, another Russian-American working for Arc, Alexander Posobilov, allegedly told a

Russian procurement company to make sure the end use export certificate read “fishing boats, and not fishing/anti-submarine ones.... Then we’ll be able to start working.” Charges were filed against Arc and a Russian company, Apex, with both companies facing large fines if found guilty. The 11 individual defendants face multiple prison sentences if found guilty. In addition, the Department of Commerce put 165 foreign individuals and companies on its Entity List, which places restrictions on their ability to export from the United States and can amount to a blacklist. The scheme was described by prosecutors as “a surreptitious and systematic conspiracy to obtain advanced, technologically cutting-edge microelectronics.” —AFP



Hezbollah buries commander reportedly killed in Syria BEIRUT: A senior Hezbollah commander was buried in the east Lebanese Bekaa valley, the Shiite movement said on Tuesday, as Syrian rebels claimed he was killed in Syria. “Hezbollah and the people of the village of Buday...held a funeral for the martyred commander, Ali Hussein Nassif, known as Abu Abbas,” according to a Hezbollah-affiliated website, “He died while per forming his jihadist duties,” the web report added,

without specifying how, when or where the commander was killed. Damascus ally Hezbollah is one of Lebanon’s main political parties and the country’s most powerful military force. In recent months, Hezbollah has announced several similar burials, without elaborating on the circumstances of its members’ deaths. Lebanon’s opposition March 14 movement and Syrian rebels have frequently accused Hezbollah of aiding the

Syrian regime of President Bashar alAssad militarily. Speaking to AFP by telephone, a Syrian rebel commander in the central province of Homs who identified himself only as Abu Moayed said: “The commander known as Abu Abbas and two of his escorts were killed by a home-made landmine near Qusayr,” a rebel-held, besieged town, located in the province. The rebels laid homemade landmines near a large army checkpoint in the area, said Abu

Moayed, after they heard a senior army convoy would be arriving there late last week. “The Syrian army and security checkpoint at Zaraa was preventing us from smuggling in supplies and smuggling out the wounded,” said Abu Moayed, adding that the rebels did not as such intend to specifically target Hezbollah officials. “A Syrian army official who has not defected but who is collaborating with the (rebel) Free Syrian Army informed us, after our operation, that among

those killed were three Hezbollah members, including the commander,” he added. It was impossible to independently verify the reports, and several Hezbollah officials contacted by AFP did not comment. Under Syrian military and political domination for almost 30 years, Lebanon is politically divided over the Syrian revolt. Hezbollah, which is allied to Iran, backs Assad’s regime, while the proWestern March 14 movement supports the revolt. — AFP

Egyptians divided over Morsi’s 100 days in office ‘Nothing tangible has changed’

GAZA CITY: In this July 9, 2007 file photo, Palestinian prisoners line up in the exercise yard at the Hamas-controlled Saraya prison in Gaza City. In a report released yesterday international rights group Human Rights Watch says Hamas’ security forces in Gaza are committing severe abuses, including torture of detainees, arrests without warrants, forced confessions, unfair trials and mock executions. —AP

HRW slams Hamas over ‘torture, unfair trials’ GAZA CITY: Human Rights Watch yesterday accused Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement of “extensive” rights violations, including torture, warrantless and arbitrary arrests, and unfair trials. In a report entitled “Abusive System: Criminal Justice in Gaza,” the New York-based watchdog alleged that Hamas security services also failed to inform relatives of the whereabouts of detainees, and had arrested and abused lawyers. “After five years of Hamas rule in Gaza, its criminal justice system reeks of injustice, routinely violates detainees’ rights, and grants impunity to abusive security services,” HRW’s deputy Middle East director Joe Stork said in a statement. “Hamas should stop the kinds of abuses that Egyptians, Syrians and others in the region have risked their lives to bring to an end.” Spokespeople for Hamas did not immediately respond to requests for comment. HRW said it had interviewed victims of torture and other abuses, along with their relatives and lawyers, as well as judges and local rights groups. “Witnesses reported that the Internal Security agency, the drugs unit of the civil police force, and police detectives all torture detainees,” the group said, adding that one local rights group received 147 complaints of torture by the three forces in 2011 alone.

The report also criticised the use of military courts to try civilians, and noted that several people had been executed after military trials resulted in death sentences, despite credible evidence they had been tortured. “The military judiciary did not throw out any criminal cases against detainees because of due process violations, and ignored or failed to investigate credibly detainees’ claims they had been tortured,” the group said. Three criminal defence lawyers told Human Rights Watch that they had also been detained, with two saying they had been “abused or tortured,” the report said. The group acknowledged that Hamas had allowed the heads of three Palestinian rights organisations “ad hoc” access to detainees, but called on the government to expand that access. It also noted that Hamas had reportedly disciplined some police officers accused of abuses, but that it had not made public details of the punishments. Rights groups and activists have long accused Hamas of various rights violations, charges the government rejects. It accuses the rival West Bank government of president Mahmud Abbas of mistreating Hamas members there. Human Rights Watch acknowledged that the West Bank government is also responsible for rights abuses. — AFP

US urges EU to shelter Iran dissidents stranded in Iraq BRUSSELS: A US official urged European nations yesterday to offer shelter to Iranian dissidents housed for decades in a camp in Iraq and last week removed from a Washington terrorist blacklist. US Ambassador Daniel Fried told a media briefing he was in Europe for talks in Geneva and in Brussels on relocating some 3,200 members of the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran who were settled in Iraq some 30 years ago. On Iraq’s insistence, some 3,000 members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) have been moved out of their historic paramilitary camp of the 1980s-Camp Ashraf-to a transit camp close to Baghdad called Camp Liberty. But “moving people from one place in Iraq to another place in Iraq will not solve the problem,” Fried said. “The issue will be resolved when the residents are out of Iraq.” The US official said that at talks in Geneva the previous day, the United States and a number of European countries had agreed to resettle the Iranians “in a spirit of solidarity and burden-sharing.” Both Washington and European officials had begun reviewing the exiles at Camp Liberty “but it’s true that a great many were formerly residing in Europe,” he said in a plea to move forward with resettlement. He also said a US decision Friday to remove the group from its blacklist of designated terror groups “had nothing to do with our differences with Iran.”“The Department of State has serious concerns about MEK as an organisation,” he said. “Our interest in the MEK is purely humanitarian, our interest is in the individuals who are in Camp Liberty, not in the MEK as an organisation.” He said some 200 members of the group had been authorised by the Iraqis

to remain in Camp Ashraf until the end of last month to sell off vehicles and property but that 100 were due to leave shortly. Asked whether there was a deadline for the last group of 100 to leave, he said there was “no time limit. However the Iraqis have made the very valid point that the sooner the process of resettlement starts the better. “It’s important that both the Iraqi government and MEK see that the international community is ready to step up and help these people,” he said, praising Baghdad’s patience throughout a months-long process of emptying Camp Ashraf. Also visiting Brussels, MEK leader Maryam Rajavi urged European Union nations to “end the policy of appeasement with the criminal rulers of Iran” who were supplying weapons to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while working on building nuclear arms. “From the West we seek neither money nor weapons, We only want the West to be neutral,” she said. A statement issued later by European parliamentarians gathered in the Friends of a Free Iran group accused the Iraqi authorities of planning “to plunder” assets of the group left behind at Camp Ashraf. Saying the camp was the product of the work of thousands of people over 26 years and was worth 500 million dollars, the MEPs said after meeting Rajavi that Baghdad “intends to plunder Ashraf residents’ property and actively prevents their transfer and sale.” “The US and the EU must force the government of Iraq to stop putting any further pressure on them and to recognize their ownership rights and allow them to sell their movable and immovable properties,” the statement said. — AFP

CAIRO: President Mohamed Morsi came to power with ambitious plans to solve the country’s woes, but his first 100 days have left Egyptians divided over his achievements so far. Some say he is off to a good start, others say he has dashed their hopes of tangible change, while still others praise his defiance of the powerful military. During his electoral campaign, Morsi laid out a detailed 64-point plan to provide quick solutions to the country’s chronic problems in a bid ease the daily struggle of millions of Egyptians within 100 days in office. The issues he listed included traffic, security, rubbish, bread and fuel. The pledge prompted activists to set up the Morsi Meter website to track the fulfillment of the president’s promises. With the end of the period just round the corner, the site whose Facebook page garnered more than 100,000 “likes”, said that Morsi, who ran on the ticket of the power ful Muslim Brotherhood, had fully achieved four points and started work on 24 others since taking office on June 30. It said 43 percent of respondents in an online survey it conducted were satisfied with his achievements. It did not give details of the poll. Another survey conducted by a cabinet think tank and published in the state-owned Al-Ahram daily said 37.2 percent of Egyptians had not even heard of the 100-day pledge, while 46.2 percent believe that he will have achieved only parts of his promises. Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said Morsi will announce “all that has been achieved in his first 100 days in office with full transparency and clarity.” On the Egyptian street, reviews were mixed. “Nothing tangible has changed in the first 100 days,” said investment banker Karim Mohammed, as his car rolled slowly in Cairo’s notorious gridlock during his one and half hour daily commute to work. “The traffic crisis has eased in some areas but it is still the same in others,” he told AFP. “It will not be resolved in 100 days, it needs a lot more time, Morsi made a mistake by promising to resolve the daily issues in 100 days,” said Mohammed, who voted for Morsi in the second round of presidential elections in June. As part of his plan, Morsi vowed to rid the streets of the piles of rubbish building up across the country. “The country could have been managed better than the way Morsi is handling it,” said Ragia Tarek, 22, who works for a dairy company. She said she still has to walk past garbage

on her way to work every day from her home in the working class Imbaba neighbourhood. “Nothing has changed, except for the security situation, but things are still bad,” she added. In the past three months, Egypt has experienced increased power cuts that sometimes last for hours, while a fuel and diesel crisis has

years cannot be resolved in 100 days.” Fady Girgis, a government employee, said he waits for two hours at a petrol station every time he tries to fill his battered old orange car with diesel. “Things have not improved since before the revolution” that toppled president Hosni

CAIRO: A general view shows the traffic around Tahrir Square in Cairo yesterday. President Mohamed Morsi came to power with ambitious plans to solve the country’s woes, but his first 100 days have left Egyptians divided over his achievements so far. Some say he is off to a good start, others say he has dashed their hopes of tangible change, while still others praise his defiance of the powerful military. — AFP at times paralysed the country, with mile-long queues forming outside petrol stations. Prices for gas cannisters-used in many homes for cooking and heating-have spiked. Housewife Ilham Mostafa said she buys her gas cannisters on the black market for 50 Egyptian pounds (nearly eight dollars), a tenfold increase over their official selling price of five Egyptian pounds. “I buy bread that costs five times more than the government subsidised bread, which Morsi promised to improve because it is not fit for human consumption,” she added. The Morsi Meter website said the president had failed to address the bread problem and the independent Al-Shorouk daily said that five people were killed in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria as they fought to get to the front of the bread queue. “I don’t see any improvement in any area where he promised reform,” said Mostafa but conceded that “the problems of the past 30

Mubarak last year. But Girgis, who took part in the protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, said that despite all that, Morsi managed to remove military rule. “That is one thing to his credit,” he told AFP. On August 12, Morsi forced the leadership of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forceswhich oversaw the transition from Mubarak’s rule-into retirement. Morsi had been involved in a bitter power struggle with the SCAF, which had issued a constitutional document granting the army sweeping powers. That document was later revoked by Morsi. “Its’ enough that Morsi rid us of the military council, this was not expected at all,” enthused Essam Abdel Hamid, 48, who owns a mobile telephone shop in Cairo. Abdel Hamid said the rest of the crises facing Morsi “need people to stand together.” As for Mohammed Said, 65, who owns a small grocery store, Morsi has dashed people’s hopes. “Nothing has changed,” he said. — AFP

Questions mount over Benghazi attack WASHINGTON: Three weeks after a deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi little is known about how and why the assault happened or who was behind it, amid mounting concern over possible security lapses. Four Americans died in the hours-long assault when the US compound and a nearby annex in the eastern Libyan city came under sustained mortar and gunfire. Among those killed was Chris Stevens, the first US ambassador to be killed on duty in more than 30 years. But amid three separate investigations, the US administration has remained tight-lipped, trickling out often contradictory statements. It first described the attack as being part of a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam

film before finally conceding last week “that some of those involved were linked to groups affiliated with, or sympathetic to Al-Qaeda.” The lack of information, coupled with the shock of the attack, has turned the events into a political football ahead of the November 6 elections, with Republicans slamming the Obama administration on security and foreign policy. Yet among all the posturing and US newspaper headlines, many legitimate and serious questions remain unanswered. What was Stevens doing in Benghazi on September 11, the 11th anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the United States? What was the security around the compound? Was it a long-planned or an opportunistic attack? Was Stevens

BRUSSELS: President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran Maryam Rajavi reacts as she attends a media conference at the European Parliament in Brussels, yesterday. It is Rajavi’s first public address since the removal of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran from the list of terror organizations by the US State Department. — AP

on an Al-Qaeda hit list as he reportedly wrote in his diary? How exactly did the main compound catch fire? And why, three weeks on, has a team of FBI investigators still failed to visit Benghazi to search the blackened ruins of the compound? On Tuesday, a leading Republican congressman called on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to provide answers at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee next week. Representative Darrell Issa also detailed a dozen attacks or threats against US and Western staff in Benghazi in the months before the attack-including two bomb attacks on the consulate. One was a small explosion by a homemade bomb in April. The second blew a hole in the north gate. It was claimed by an alleged Libyan jihadist group and injured one person. In her reply, Clinton said a review board she has set up was “charged with determining whether our security systems and procedures in Benghazi were adequate” and properly implemented. She promised to work with Congress as she also wanted “a full and accurate accounting of the events and a path forward to prevent them happening again.” “I think the key word here is opportunism,” said William Lawrence, a former White House advisor and now North Africa project director for the International Crisis Group. Security in Benghazi had been bad since Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi was ousted last year, with militias becoming the de facto security forces in the absence of a working, functional army or police. And the

US compound “had nothing like the type of security posture or security structure in place to defend it the way that a diplomatic compound normally gets defended,” Lawrence told AFP. An AFP reporter said before the attack there had been no major security presence outside the consulate, despite its high walls covered by barbed wire. “I think on the spectrum between a totally planned, long-term AlQaeda attack on a diplomatic facility and a completely spontaneous, angry crowd protest about the film gone awry... this falls in the middle,” Lawrence said. “It’s all a question of threat levels, and threat assessments, and what you think the bad guys are going to target next. And Chris didn’t feel like he was going to be targeted next. And frankly I don’t think he was being targeted to die in an embassy fire, of asphyxiation. “In the end this attack wouldn’t have happened that way, except for a confluence of disconnected things that weren’t expected.” People who knew Stevens well said the Arabic speaker, who was appointed envoy to Benghazi before Kadhafi fell, felt very at home in Libya, and liked to get out and about to meet people. Republican veteran Senator John McCain has heaped scorn on the initial US administration assessment. “A first year cadet at West Point will tell you that that kind of attack is not a spontaneous demonstration. Here, darling, let’s go to a demonstration, bring the mortars,” he said sarcastically on CNN on Sunday. — AFP


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NJ triple murder victims’ kin gird for final trial NEWARK: In a Newark courtroom this week, 12 jurors and a packed gallery will hear how four college-bound friends gathered at a schoolyard one summer night to drink sodas and listen to music, their young lives full of promise and potential. Then they’ll hear about the aftermath, the carnage that followed: Three of the four friends slumped against a wall where they’d been forced to kneel, pools of blood surrounding their bodies; deep slash marks from a machete crisscrossing one victim’s head and face. Six suspects were arrested within two weeks of the murders. Three have been convicted at trial with the help of testimony from the survivor, who has earned a college degree since the attacks. Two other defendants have pleaded guilty.

US begins flying home deported Mexicans SAN DIEGO: The US government began flying Mexican deportees home on Tuesday in a two-month experiment aimed at relieving Mexican border cities overwhelmed by large numbers of people ordered to leave the United States, some who fall prey to criminal gangs. The flights will run twice a week from El Paso, Texas, to Mexico City until Nov. 29, at which time both governments will evaluate the results and decide whether to continue. The first flight left Tuesday with 131 Mexicans aboard. The flights are not voluntary, unlike a previous effort from 2004 to 2011 to deport Mexicans arrested by the Border Patrol during Arizona’s deadly summer heat. The US government will pay for the flights, and the Mexican government will pay to return people from Mexico City to their hometowns. Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretary said late Tuesday that more than 2,400 passengers will be flown to Mexico City during the next two months. Mexicans from the country’s northern border states are not eligible. The experiment comes as Mexican cities along the US border are grappling with large numbers of deportees who have no roots, few job prospects and sometimes limited Spanish. Many are deported to cities that are among the hardest hit by organized crime in Mexico, particularly across the border from Texas in the state of Tamaulipas. “The newly repatriated, often with no means to return home, are susceptible to becoming part of criminal organizations as a means of survival,” Gustavo Mohar, Mexico’s interior undersecretary for population, migration and religious affairs, said in a statement released by ICE. ICE Director John Morton said the flights “will better ensure that individuals repatriated to Mexico are removed in circumstances that are safe and controlled.” ICE, which is managing the flights, said passengers will include Mexicans with criminal convictions in the United States and those who don’t have any. They will be taken from throughout the United States to a processing center in Chaparral, N.M., before being put on flights at El Paso International Airport. President Barack Obama’s administration has made migrants with criminal convictions a top priority among the roughly 400,000 people of all nationalities who are deported each year. The Department of Homeland Security said nearly half of the 293,966 Mexicans deported in its last fiscal year had criminal convictions in the United States. The policy has fueled concern in Mexican cities along the US border that deportees are being victimized, turn to petty crime or are recruited by criminal gangs. In February, Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Mexican Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire announced plans for a pilot program, which was to begin April 1, but negotiations delayed the start until Tuesday. Homeland Security officials said the time was needed considering the complexities and logistics of the effort. The Border Patrol will not participate in the flights, which is called the Interior Repatriation Initiative, said ICE spokeswoman Nicole Navas.— AP

Opening statements are expected Thursday morning in the trial of Gerardo Gomez, who turned 15 on the night of the slayings but is being tried as an adult, as were two other juveniles. In the more than five years since Shalga Hightower lost her daughter, Iofemi, in the brutal slayings in this violence-scarred city, she and the other victims’ families have doggedly sat through three lengthy trials as well as hearings, guilty pleas and sentencings almost too numerous to count. United by unspeakable tragedy, they vowed early on to see the process all the way through, no matter how painful . “It’s without a doubt something we talked about from the beginning,” Hightower said Tuesday. “We stuck it out this long because we had to as parents; those were our chil-

dren. And, because we needed to see for ourselves how the justice system works and that justice would be served.” At the time of her death, 20-year-old Iofemi Hightower was working two jobs and considering attending at Delaware State University, where the other three were already enrolled. Dashon Harvey, also 20, was a social work major who fancied himself a fashion maven; 18-year-old Terrance “ T.J.” Aeriel was already an ordained minister. A fourth victim who survived being shot and stabbed is not being named by The Associated Press because of sexual assault charges against two of the defendants. They were the type of kids any parent could be proud of, but particularly in a city where so many have been lost to the lure of the streets. That fact jolted the

city, which had reached a 10-year high in murders the year before. If earlier trials are an indication, there will be graphic descriptions of wounds suffered by all four victims, and photos of each. Hightower has left the court in tears as the slashing wounds to her daughter have been described, but has always returned. The families’ resolve has made a deep impression on the prosecutors who have worked on the case since 2007. “It’s been a long and complicated case, and over a period of five years, over every step, those families were there to bear witness for their loved ones,” First Assistant Prosecutor Thomas McTigue said. “It’s very unusual and very touching to see that. If there’s ever any doubt about why you’re doing

this job, all you need to do is look out in the gallery.” The emotional toll hasn’t been the only cost borne by Shalga Hightower. She said she lost her job in 2008 due to frequent absences to attend court hearings, and later was evicted from her home in nearby Irvington. She said she has a new job and a new home in Newark, and said although she wouldn’t change what she’s done the last five years, it will be a relief when the last trial is over and she can get her life back. “People ask, ‘You’re still going through this?’” she said. “I’ve actually had people say to me, ‘You have to let it go.’ I tell them it’s not that I haven’t tried to or don’t want to; I can’t move on because this is 2012 and I’m still stuck in ‘07, and I’m still going through this.” — AP

Romney looks to revive campaign in debate Race remains tight ahead of Nov 6 vote DENVER : President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney came face to face for the first time in the presidential campaign last night for a high-risk nationally televised debate that offers the challenger his best opportunity to revive his struggling presidential campaign. Romney, running short on time to reverse his fortunes, is angling for a breakout performance in the three 90-minute presidential debates scheduled over the next three weeks. Obama, well aware that the remaining five weeks of the race still offer enough time for Romney to catch up, is determined to avoid any campaign-altering mistakes as he presses his case for a second term. The candidates will be speaking to a TV audience of tens of millions in one of those rare moments when a critical mass of Americans collectively fix their attention on one event. Fifty-two million people tuned in to the first debate four years ago, and 80 percent of the nation’s adults reported watching at least a bit of the debates between Obama and Republican John McCain. Though polls show the race remains tight ahead of the Nov. 6 vote, Obama clearly has momentum and the edge not only in national polls, but in the battleground states that will effectively decide the election. Romney’s campaign is looking to regain ground on Obama after falling further behind in the wake of a secretly recorded video showing the Republican telling campaign donors that 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax and believe they are victims who are entitled to government assistance. As a candidate, he said, “my job is not to worry” about them. Recent polls show Obama with a modest lead in many of the nine battleground states that will decide the election, and all but two of those states have early voting, meaning more people are already locking in their votes every day. The most important of those states, Ohio, started early voting Tuesday. But Republicans with access to Romney’s polling data said Tuesday that he has begun regaining some support among independent

voters, enabling him to cut into the president’s advantage. Because the presidential election is not decided by popular vote but rather by in a state-by-state contest, a handful of so-called battleground states, which do not reliably vote either Republican or Democratic, will likely decide the race. The faceoff between Obama and Romney on domestic policy, moderated by Public Broadcasting Service newsman Jim Lehrer at the University of Denver, is sure to offer a blend of choreography and spontaneity: Both men have spent hours rehearsing with proxy opponents - yet know to expect the unexpected. “That’s what so tricky about this,” says Alan Schroeder, author of a book

DENVER: In this photo taken Sept 28, 2012, speech pathologist Kelly Kuehl walks her dog at right in Denver. Once a supporter of President George W. Bush, Kuehl, who relocated to Denver from Minnesota in 2005, become a solid Democratic vote. “The issues that I feel strongly about are pretty central to the Democratic Party,” she said, citing health care, same-sex marriage and the environment. She added that she’s been pleasantly surprised at the diversity of political views in her adopted state. — AP

Chavez calls for pre-dawn turnout at Venezuela vote YARITAGUA/CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged his supporters to vote early at Sunday’s election, saying the key to him winning another six-year term as leader of South America’s biggest oil exporter was organization and logistics. Chavez, 58, is in a close race with 40-yearold state governor Henrique Capriles, and both camps are now focused on their final rallies and getting their supporters to the polls. The socialist president, a former army officer, called on his followers to rouse their neighbors with trumpets and bugles in a militarystyle, pre-dawn wake-up call that has been used in previous elections. “It should be at 3 am. Get some nice coffee, some good chocolate, an early breakfast. We have to work very hard in the logistics, the deployment. Water, food for the troops, transport to the polls, to the voting centers,” Chavez told thousands of red-shirted “Chavistas” in the central city of Yaritagua. “We have to take good care of all these aspects, the strategy the tactics ... What’s at

BARQUISIMETO: Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez dances with his daughter Maria Gabriela during a campaign rally in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Tuesday. — AP

on presidential debates. “There’s never a template for preparing because each one takes its own direction.” Half of the six, 15minute debate segments have been allotted to topics related to the economy. The last three segments will focus on health care, the role of government and governing. Romney has pinned his campaign on the argument that Obama has failed to adequately juice up the U.S. economy. But this effort has been complicated by recent polls showing growing public optimism about the economy and the president’s leadership. In recent days, Romney has emphasized criticism of the president’s foreign policy,

stake is too important: the next 100 years of the fatherland.” Among the half dozen or so major local pollsters, most put Chavez ahead, but Capriles has been creeping up thanks to an energetic campaign. Two surveys gave him a slight edge. Chavez has stepped up his campaign in recent days, although he is still recovering from three cancer operations and various treatments since June 2011. If he wins, questions will remain about his health, and the lack of a clear successor from his ruling Socialist Party. Capriles, who would be Venezuela’s youngest leader if he wins, is expected to end heavy intervention by the president in the economy. Capriles has also said he would steer foreign relations away from Chavez’s alliances with nations such as Iran and Belarus, which the West views with suspicion over their human rights records. Many Venezuelans are concerned that a close result in the election would be contested by either side. That could lead to confrontation and violence in a country awash with millions of firearms. Three opposition activists were shot dead at the weekend. Chavez has repeatedly accused Capriles’ camp of plotting to unleash violence and “reject the peoples’ triumph” if they lose on Sunday, but says they would be defeated. Opposition activists, meanwhile, say they are worried that the president may refuse to step down if he loses. “Chavez will probably not have political room to reject the election results completely (if he loses narrowly), but his followers could mobilize and try to erode Capriles’ legitimacy.” Eurasia Group said in a research note. “The government could also use claims of fraud to justify taking measures in the months before Capriles takes office on Jan. 10 that would hinder Capriles’ ability to govern (though they would probably do this if his victory was large as well).” The opposition leader told a rally he would complete public works that he says were commissioned by Chavez but then neglected. He has mocked Chavez’s pledge to crack down on inefficiency in the government as too little, too late. — Reuters

particularly in the Middle East, where a terrorist attack at the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead. Republicans tried to frame the economic debate in their terms Tuesday by pointing to Vice President Joe Biden’s passing reference to “a middle class that has been buried the last four years” at a campaign stop Tuesday in North Carolina. They cast the vice president’s comments as an unwitting acknowledgement that Obama’s economic policies have devastated average Americans. “We agree,” Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan declared in Iowa. “That means we need to stop digging by electing Mitt Romney the next president of the United States.” Obama’s camp countered that it was the policies of the president’s Republican predecessors that had caused the damage. Biden, at a later campaign event, was careful to say that “the middle class was buried by the policies that Romney and Ryan supported,” calling their economic plans an amped-up rework of those from the George W. Bush years. In a quadrennial pre-debate ritual, each campaign has worked overtime to raise expectations for the opponent while lowering the bar for its own candidate. The thinking is that it’s better to exceed lukewarm expectations than to fail to perform at an anticipated level of great skill. But both men are seasoned debaters: Obama has been here before, facing off with McCain in 2008. Romney hasn’t gone oneon-one in a presidential debate, but he got plenty of practice thinking on his feet during the 19 multi-candidate debates during the Republican primaries. On a long day of debate prep - Romney in Denver and Obama in Henderson, Nevada, near Las Vegas - both candidates tried to blow off some steam Tuesday. The president made a tourist’s visit to nearby Hoover Dam, reinforcing his emphasis on government’s vital role in building key infrastructure, and Romney fit in a lunchtime outing to a Mexican grill for a burrito bowl.— AP


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Saakashvili rejects giving up Georgia presidency ‘Georgian society voted for change’

A file photo taken on May 20, 2012 in Chicago shows French President Francois Hollande’s partner Valerie Trierweiler during an official visit to the United States. Trierweiler admitted yesterday she had made a mistake in firing off a tweet snubbing Hollande’s ex-companion and said she regretted it. — AFP

French First Lady shuns TV job, regrets Royal tweet PARIS: France’s “First Lady” is dropping plans to relaunch a TV career but says that she will not quit as a journalist at Paris Match magazine because she wants to raise her children without depending on President Francois Hollande for money. Valerie Trierweiler, whose debut in the role of presidential partner was marred when she took a political swipe at the woman who had four children with Hollande, said in an interview she regretted that faux-pas and was still finding her way. Career-wise, the twice-divorced mother of three told Ouest France newspaper she was abandoning plans to work again with a TV channel that she left in the run-up to the May 6 election of Hollande, to whom she is not married. “It was a beautiful project with a humanitarian aspect but I understand that being the president’s partner and working for a television channel may be problematic or even fuel suspicion for some people,” the 47-year-old Trierweiler said. She insisted, however, that she saw no such difficulty with continuing a 22year career at weekly news and showbiz magazine Paris Match, where she first crossed paths with Hollande as a political reporter and now writes an arts column. “I have my children to look after and do not know how I could do it without a salary,” said Trierweiler. “My feeling is that

maintaining financial independence is also a healthy way to keep my feet on the ground.” Trierweiler acknowledged she made a mistake when she tweeted her support last June for the man who days later won an election battle against Segolene Royal, who had four children with Hollande and announced their formal separation in 2007, shortly after her own failed bid to become president. “It was a mistake and I regret it,” said Trierweiler. “I had still not got to grips with the fact that I was no longer just a simple citizen. It won’t happen again,” she said. Trierweiler had three children before meeting Hollande, with whom she lives most of the time in the Paris apartment that they shared before his election. Hollande, who successfully marketed himself as a “Mr Normal” leader who would do away with the flashy ways of predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, has cut his own wage by 30 percent to around 15,000 euros ($19,400) a month and is also seeking to cut running costs at the presidential Elysee Palace, where Trierweiler has an office and says she has a staff of three. “My solitary work as a journalist is something I do from the home where we still live,” Trierweiler said. — Reuters

KISMAYO: Kenya Defense Force (KDF) sniper Enock Ogeto takes a position in the Somali port city of Kismayo yesterday. Blasts rocked the Somali port city of Kismayo on Tuesday as Kenyan troops from the African Union force and their allies entered the former Islamist bastion of Al-Qaeda linked Shebab fighters. — AFP

AU troops bolster gains in Somali port MOGADISHU: African Union troops and allied Somali forces bolstered positions yesterday in the former Islamist bastion of Kismayo, residents said, a day after entering the Somali port city amid heavy explosions. Wary shopkeepers, who had shut down business since Al-Qaeda linked Shebab abandoned the city on Saturday, reopened for the first time, as patrols of Somali and AU forces moved through the town. “There was shooting last night and a curfew in place until dawn, but today things have been quiet, no fighting, and we hope the situation is returning to normal,” said shopkeeper Abdirasak Hassan. “I have opened my shop but business is not so busy, as many people are staying in their homes to see if the (AU and Somali) forces are well disciplined.” The hardline Shehab claimed responsibility for a heavy blast on Tuesday, while AU forces detonated several homemade bombs discovered as they seized control of the town’s airport and harbour. Attackers also hurled a grenade into a tea shop late Tuesday, wounding seven people, according to residents. Long lines of Kenyan troops-part of the AU missionmarched in force into the southern port city on Tuesday, alongside a mix of Somali militia forces crammed into pickup trucks mounted with machine guns. “KDF (Kenyan Defence Forces) and SNA (Somali National Army) troops continue to consolidate the gains,” the Kenyan army

said yesterday. Somali forces also include the Ras Kamboni militia, commanded by former warlord Ahmed Madobe, who switched from supporting the Shebab to fighting alongside the AU. “Somali soldiers, mostly fighters from Ras Kamboni, are patrolling the streets, and have set up checkpoints stopping vehicles and are making security checks,” said Ahmadey Abdulahi, a resident. Residents in Kismayo-relatively peaceful under four years of authoritarian rule by the Shebab-are reportedly fearful of violence between rival Somali clans in potential power struggles for control of the port. While the Ras Kamboni are largely drawn from the Ogadeni clan, powerful forces from the Marehan as well as the Majertan clan are also influential in the region. Kenyan forces have also pushed in by land from the west, where they have trekked in for some 200 kilometres (125 miles) after an invasion force of troops and tanks crossed the border last year, before later joining the 17,000-strong AU force. The Shebab used Kismayo as an export hub for the illegal charcoal trade. Its loss is a major blow to the fighters, and marks the latest in a string of defeats since they abandoned fixed positions in the capital Mogadishu last year. The hardline insurgents still control the town of Jowhar, some 500 kilometres (300 miles) northeast of Kismayo, and one small port town, Barawe, lying some 230 kilometres (140 miles) up the coast from Kismayo. —AFP

TBILISI: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party yesterday rejected calls for him to resign following the stunning opposition election victory that will transform Georgia’s political landscape. The victor y of the Georgian Dream coalition of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili in parliamentary polls will give Georgia a new government and may cool tensions with its top foe Russia which cautiously welcomed the result. Saakashvili had gracefully conceded a surprise defeat in Monday’s vote and promised to facilitate the formation of the next government, a rarity in an ex-Soviet region used to revolutions and autocrats who cling to their chairs. But the opposition leader, who may himself become prime minister, has already called on the president to resign immediately-a demand that Saakashvili’s party warned could cause confrontation. “Speaking about snap presidential polls today shows disrespect to the Georgian people and violates the constitution,” the outgoing chairman of parliament from the ruling party, David Bakradze, told a news conference. He said he hoped it was “just an isolated incident amid euphoria caused by electoral victory” and would not lead to “crisis and confrontation”. Despite his party’s defeat, Saakashvili is due to remain in office until presidential polls in a year’s time. Georgia’s arch foe Russia, which has refused to speak to Saakashvili since the brief war between the two countries in 2008, said it hoped

the opposition win would help to restore diplomatic relations. “Clearly Georgian society voted for change,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement. “We hope that in the end it will let Georgia move to a normalisation and establishment of constructive and respectful relations with their neighbours. Russia would welcome this development,” he said. Unlike the president, Ivanishvili has personal ties to Russia, where he made his colossal fortune in the 1990s and resided until 2003. In his first post-poll news conference

Tuesday, Ivanishvili promised to maintain Georgia’s pro-Western orientation and continue with its bid to join NATO but also to mend ties with Russia. But the next government is unlikely to stop calling for the return of two Georgian breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, where thousands of Russian troops have been stationed since Moscow recognised the rebel provinces as independent states after the war. Monday’s polls, which set the scene for a rare peaceful transfer of power in the former Soviet Union, were described as an “important step” for Western-backed Georgia’s

TBILISI: A young man wearing T-shirt with logo of the Georgian Dream opposition coalition smiles as he walks in Tbilisi, yesterday. Georgia was preparing today for a big political transition after the opposition’s shock victory over President Mikheil Saakashvili’s long-dominant party in parliamentary elections. — AFP

Vatican police testify in trial of pope’s butler VATICAN CITY: Members of the Vatican police force have testified that they found thousands of pages of documents - about Freemasonry, secret service security forces and internal Vatican letters - inside the Vatican City apartment of Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler, who is on trial for aggravated theft. Their testimony continued yesterday a Vatican courtroom in the trial of Paolo Gabriele, the 46-year-old father of three who faces four years in prison if convicted. On Tuesday, Gabriele declared himself innocent of the charge, but acknowledged he photocopied the pope’s private correspondence, in broad daylight and in the presence of others, using the photocopier in the office he shared with the pope’s two private secretaries. “I declare myself innocent concerning the charge of aggravated theft. I feel guilty of having betrayed the trust of the Holy Father, whom I love as a son would,” he said. Prosecutors say Gabriele stole the pope’s letters and documents alleging power struggles and corruption inside the Vatican and leaked them to a journalist in an unprecedented papal security breach and one of the most damaging scandals of Benedict’s seven-year papacy. During Tuesday’s hearing, Gabriele’s attorney Cristiana Arru complained that her client spent his first 20 days in Vatican detention in a room so small he couldn’t stretch his arms out and with lights kept on 24 hours a day. Vatican police swiftly defended their treatment of Gabriele, but the Vatican prosecutor opened an investigation regardless. Prosecutors have said Gabriele, 46, has confessed to leaking copies of the documents to Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, because he wanted to expose the “evil and corruption” in the church. They quoted him as saying in a June 5 interrogation that even though he knew taking the documents was wrong, he felt inspired by the Holy Spirit “to bring the church back on the right track.” Judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre asked Gabriele on Tuesday if he stood by his confession. Gabriele responded: “Yes.” Gabriele insisted he had no accomplices, though he acknowledged that many people inside the Vatican, including cardinals, trusted him and would come to him with their problems and concerns. He said he felt inspired by his faith to always give them a listen. The pope’s main secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, testified Tuesday that he began having suspicions about Gabriele after he realized three documents that appeared in Nuzzi’s book could only have come from their shared office. “This was the moment when I started to have my doubts,” Gaenswein said. Gaenswein said he never noticed documents missing from his desk, but immediately recognized original letters when he went to the Vatican police station after the gendarmes searched Gabriele’s home on May 23. They carted off 82 boxes of documentation, though only a fraction of it was papal correspondence. Gaenswein said he saw both original and photocopied documents dating as far back as 2006, and that he could tell the originals from the stamps and seals that are affixed to letters when they are processed by his office. In an indication of the respect Gabriele still feels for Gaenswein, he stood up from his bench when Gaenswein entered the courtroom and then again when he exited. Gaenswein didn’t acknowledge him. On Tuesday, two members of the Vatican gendarmes testified that they spent more than seven hours in Gabriele’s apartment sifting through his documentation, trying at first to take only what was pertinent to the case. As the night wore on, though, they decided to cart it all off because there was too much to go through and they didn’t want to inconvenience Gabriele’s family through the night. They said they found documentation about the secret services, the Freemason secret society and the case of a prominent Catholic editor who was forced to resign after a smear campaign in the Italian press accusing him, based on forged documents, of having pursued a homosexual liaison. Some of that documentation appeared in Nuzzi’s book “His Holiness: Pope Benedict XVI’s secret papers.”—AP

fledgling democracy by international election observers and were praised by Tbilisi’s main ally Washington. The EU also praised the vote but called on the country’s main political rivals to “work together in the interests of Georgia”. Analysts however said the transition of power could be fraught with difficulties. “It will be taking place in a political culture with an aversion to compromise, where the two sides just recently declared each other mortal enemies,” Caucasus expert Thomas de Waal wrote in ‘Foreign Policy’ magazine. After 97 percent of electoral precincts declared results, Georgian Dream was leading Saakashvili’s United National Movement by 55 to 40.27 percent in the proportional ballot that will decide just over half of the parliamentary seats. According to partial results, the opposition bloc also appeared set to take more than half of the firstpast-the-post constituencies which will make up the rest of the parliament, and to win all 10 seats in its stronghold Tbilisi. Ivanishvili says he intends to become prime minister, a role that will take on wide -ranging new powers when the presidency ’s remit is reduced in constitutional changes that go into force after Saakashvili steps down in 2013. But under the constitution, he will have to be nominated for the role by his rival Saakashvili whose United National Movement party has ruled since the 2003 “Rose Revolution” but which will now go into opposition. — AFP

Police evidence delayed at S Africa death inquiry RUSTENBURG: A South African inquiry investigating a police crackdown that killed 34 platinum miners delayed potentially pivotal police testimony yesterday to allow victims’ families to get to the hearings. The Marikana Commission of Inquiry delayed hearing evidence from police forensic experts and crime scene investigators after lawyers argued that it would prejudice the victims’ families if that evidence was to be led in their absence. Many of the miners hail from South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, hundreds of miles away from the northwestern Rustenburg town where the hearing is taking place. The families are not expected to reach the town until Monday, according to one of their lawyers, Dumisa Ntsebeza. “This commission is about dead people,” said Ntsebeza, arguing for the relatives of the slain miners to be bussed to the hearing. “It’s a matter of grave importance that this matter should not proceed without them.” He said most of the victims’ relatives live in far-flung areas of South Africa where they have no access to TV and had not seen the video footage of the killings. “While expedition is important, there should be a level of sensitivity,” he said. “It can’t be correct that we inquire into the dead and their families are not here.” Former Supreme Court of Appeal judge Ian Farlam viewed that request as fair, and was due to announce on Wednesday, the next hearing date. Farlam said waiting for the arrival of the slain miners’ relatives could also give the commission more time to obtain media footage it has requested.. “I made an appeal to the representatives of the media, ...(but) I understand there has not been full response to that,” he said. Dali Mpofu, representing the 270 miners who were arrested and charged with the murder of their own colleagues under an obscure “common purpose doctrine”, before authorities gave in to intense pressure and freed

them, warned that “haste may result in us having a half-baked and rushed product.” “There is nobody in this country who is more keen for the finalisation of this commission than the victims,” he said. Renowned human rights lawyer George Bizos added his voice to support the postponement of the hearing of police evidence. “We don’t want to deprive the families of any of their fundamental rights,” said Bizos, asking for a comment from the police in a discussion that lasted more than an hour. Police lawyer Theboko Frank Mothibedi’s responded saying they were not ready to present their evidence on Wednesday. “At this stage we are not yet ready to present a version of the account of the police,” he said. But on day three of the deliberations over the August 16 violence, the court did receive post-mortem reports for 33 of the 34 miners killed by police. One of the reports was not yet ready, while two of those turned in still required identity verification. “What the nation is expecting from us is a proper investigation, not a superficial one,” evidence lawyer Mbuyiseli Madlanga said when he handed in the pathology reports. On Tuesday, Farlam toured the dusty plateau region where 34 miners were gunned down by police on August 16 in the bloodiest day of violence seen in the country since the end of apartheid. Violence at mining giant Lonmin’s Marikana site, in which 46 people died over the course of six weeks of unrest, was sparked by a stand-off between miners and mine owners over pay. That strike ended with a hefty pay rise for Lonmin’s 28,000 workers and prompted a wave of strikes in the mining sector. Experts estimate some 80,000 miners are on some form of a work stoppage in South Africa.— AFP

MANCHESTER: The coffin of police Constable Nicola Hughes is carried into Manchester Cathedral, Manchester, England after a procession along the city’s Deansgate lined with police officers and members of the public yesterday. Police Constables Nicola Hughes, 23, and her colleague Fiona Bone, 32, were killed as they responded to what they thought was a routine burglary call in Mottram, Greater Manchester and were murdered in a gun and grenade attack.— AP



Philippines, Muslim rebels close to peace accord ‘If we cannot conclude it successfully, we will be in trouble’ MANILA: The Philippine government and Muslim rebels have resumed talks on resolving final differences in a preliminary peace accord they hope to conclude soon, in what is expected to be a major breakthrough toward ending a decades-long rebellion. Government negotiators met with representatives of the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday to attempt to seal what they call a “framework agreement” on major issues, including the extent of power, revenues and territory to be granted to a Muslim-administered region. It would be the most significant progress in years of negotiations on ending a rebellion that has left more than 120,000 people dead and held back development in the southern Philippines. Western governments have long worried that rebel strongholds could become breed-

ing grounds for al-Qaeda-affiliated extremists. Rebel negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said at the talks’ resumption that they are “now on the home stretch and the smell of success is reinforced every day.” Iqbal warned that if the negotiations are not concluded soon, opponents might endanger a final deal. A breakaway rebel group has opposed the talks, and some Christian politicians, wary of losing land and power to minority Muslims, have been accused in the past of undermining the negotiations. “If we cannot conclude it soon successfully, now that we are at the brink of the exercise, we will be in trouble,” Iqbal said. “The greatest source of risk comes from spoilers, leaders, and parties who believe that these ... negotiations threaten their power and interests.” Government negotiator Marvic Leonen said that “to state that what we hope to be

able to do again in the next few days is historical is definitely an understatement.” “We are on the brink of layering the written predicates that can frame the process of building trust as we usher in an era of peace, of hope and of recovery,” Leonen said. But he added that both sides “must always remain guarded in our optimism” because of the challenges in implementing the political solution contained in the agreement. The Moro rebel group has been fighting for self-rule for minority Muslims in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation’s south. It dropped a demand for a separate Muslim state and now seeks an expansion of an existing Muslim autonomous region and more powers and resources to rehabilitate the violent, poverty-wracked area. The initial accord is to contain general agreements on key issues. — AFP

MANILA: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) officials link arms during the opening of the 3rd ASEAN Maritime Forum in Manila yesterday. Senior Southeast Asian foreign ministry officials met in the Philippines yesterday to find ways of bolstering maritine cooperation amid sea disputes that threaten regional stability. Discussions during the three-day ASEAN Maritime Forum will focus on maritime security, sea piracy and ensuring “freedom of navigation” in the seas they share, the foreign department said in a statement. — AFP

Philippines defies church to push family planning MANILA: Philippine President Benigno Aquino is squaring off against his country’s powerful Catholic church in a bid to give people free access to the means to limit the size of their families. The predominately Catholic country has one of Asia’s fastestgrowing populations together with significant levels of chronic poverty. While neighbours have accelerated towards prosperity, the Philippines has lagged. Economists say high population growth is a primary factor for that, but the church disagrees. It says population growth is not a cause of poverty and that people need jobs, not contraception. Aquino, a Catholic like 80 percent of the population, has thrown his support behind a reproductive health bill that will, if passed by the two houses of Congress, guarantee access to free birth control and promote sex education. That’s something that Liza Cabiya-an might have benefited from, if she’d had the opportunity. Cabiya-an, 39, has 14 children. The oldest is 22, the youngest just 11 months. Their home is a hut in a Manila slum. “It’s tough when you have so many children,” said Cabiya-an, a shy smile revealing poor teeth. “I have to count them before I go to sleep to make sure no one’s missing.” At one time Cabiya-an had access to contraception but Manila mayor Jose Atienza, a devout Catholic, swept contraceptives from the shelves of city-run clinics in 2000. After that, Cabiya-an’s efforts to limit the size of her family were patchy, restricted by her meagre resources. She went on and off the pill and resorted to an illegal abortion more than once. With income of about 7,600 pesos ($180) a month from doing laundry and her husband’s pay as a labourer, Cabiya-an has only been able to send five of her children to school. The others would appear doomed to join the quarter of the country’s 95 million people stuck below the poverty line. Contraceptives are generally available in the Philippines although they are not used as much as elsewhere. In the Philippines, 45-50 percent of women of reproductive age, or their partners, are using a contraceptive method at any given time. Indonesia’s rate is 56 percent and Thailand’s 80 percent. Population growth mirrors that. The Philippines population is increasing by 1.9 percent a year, while Indonesia’s is 1.2 percent and Thailand’s is 0.9 percent. China’s population is growing at an annual rate of 0.6 percent. “If you increase access to contraceptives for women ... you will have births averted,” said Josefina Natividad, director of the University of the Philippines’ Population Institute. Though available in most places, the cost of contraceptives is prohibitive for many people. But that should change if the reproductive health bill is passed. Aquino’s government has promised what it calls inclusive growth and it sees slowing population growth as key to that. “The president has already, at the risk of alienating the church, declared that the bill is a priority,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said. “That message is very clear.” But it’s a message the church doesn’t like. It says

artificial contraception is immoral, and the bill will pave the way to legalising abortion. The bill does not legalise abortion though it seeks to improve care for women suffering from complications after an illegal abortion. The church says people should use natural family planning. It says poverty is a cause, not effect, of a high birth rate. Children are being born into homes without enough food to eat because of the government’s failure to end corruption and provide jobs, the bishops say. “It’s our firm belief that contraceptives will never be the answer,” said Father Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Family and Life. “They are poor not because they have no access to contraceptives but because they have no work. Give them work and it will be the most effective birth spacing means for them.” Economists say the church’s persistent opposition has been the most important factor influencing population policy. “The state ... has been immobilised from effectively addressing the issue by the Catholic hierarchy’s hardline position,” a group of 30 economists from the University of the Philippines said in a recent paper. But despite the arguments of the church and political opponents who decry using state funds to finance contraception, a poll last year showed about 70 percent of people support the bill. Its backers want it passed during the term of this congress, which ends in June. Economists say if the Philippines is ever to take advantage of a “demographic dividend”, when a large, young workforce is generating the savings and investment to give the economy a sustained boost, it will have to bring down the fertility rate. The median age in the Philippines is only 22.2 compared with 25 in Malaysia, India’s 25.1 and Indonesia’s 27.8. Unlike aging countries such as Japan, where the elderly put a burden on the working population, in the Philippines it’s the children who command the resources that could otherwise be diverted to savings and investment. There are 58 dependents for every 100 working-age people in the Philippines, according to World Bank data, compared with 40 in Indonesia and 29 in Thailand. “The demographic window will only open if fertility rates are going to go down in such a way that the young-age population will grow at a slower rate than the working-age population,” said Arsenio Balisacan, socio-economic planning secretary. Aquino might seem an unlikely champion of free contraception. His late mother, Corazon Aquino, rose to power at the head of a people power revolution, fostered by the church, that swept away old dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Marcos had made reining in population growth a priority beginning in the 1960s and enshrined family planning in a 1973 constitution. But Corazon Aquino, mindful of the church’s help in the democracy movement, scrapped that clause when the charter was rewritten in 1987. — Reuters

Vietnam premier’s future uncertain as communists meet BANGKOK: The political future of Vietnam’s prime minister is hanging in the balance as communist party chiefs gather for talks overshadowed by financial scandals and economic malaise, experts say. Nguyen Tan Dung, 62, has had little reason to celebrate since the communist-controlled parliament formally approved his appointment for a second five-year term in July 2011. Hit by a string of scandals and a growing list of economic problems, observers say his leadership may be in danger, although his removal appears unlikely in the immediate future. Rising public dissatisfaction over slowing economic growth, resurgent inflation, rampant corruption and banking turmoil have put Dung under growing pressure as the Communist Party’s 175-member Central Committee meets this week. The gathering is likely to see “a showdown between the prime minister and his critics”, according to Vietnam expert Carl Thayer, emeritus professor at Australia’s University of New South Wales. “At the very least it is likely that the Vietnam Communist Party will attempt to cut back on the enormous powers accumulated by the prime minister and his office,” he wrote in a report on Tuesday. “The big question is whether the prime minister’s critics will push for his dismissal,” Thayer added. The secretive Communist Party’s Central Committee meeting began on Monday and is expected to last two weeks-twice as long as usual-highlighting the growing to-do list facing Vietnam’s political mandarins. “It is rare for so many subjects to be on the menu of a plenum and for it to last so long,” Communist Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong, seen as one of Dung’s main rivals, was quoted as saying by party mouthpiece Nhan Dan. “Most of the topics that we have to

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung discuss and make decisions on are very important, difficult and sensitive,” he added. Experts noted that the Central Committee, which includes Dung, has the power to oust any member from its ranks or from the powerful 14-member Politburo, comprising top leaders. Vietnam’s authoritarian government is struggling to keep a lid on growing public discontent because of the rising popularity of blogs and other social media sites as an outlet for political expression. The authorities have sought to crack down on bloggers with a series of harsh jail sentences, but online political blogs remain a hugely popular news source in the heavily censored country. “Never before has a prime minister been so vigorously attacked in public because of economic problems and corruption,” a Communist Party official said on condition of anonymity. — AFP



US film protests bring boom for Pakistan flag makers RAWALPINDI: As Pakistan’s mullahs railed against a US-made anti-Islam film, Naveed Haider’s print works went into overdrive, running off hundreds of US flags for angry protesters to burn at demonstrations.

Weeks of protests in Pakistan over the crudely made “Innocence of Muslims” have killed more than 20 people and caused serious damage to major cities, but for Haider business is booming.

RAWALPINDI: This photo taken on October 1, 2012 shows Pakistani shopkeeper Nadeem Mahmood Shah showing a US flag at his shop in Rawalpindi. The boom in the flag market, sold mostly to demonstrators hoping to burn them at protests, has accompanied a surge in anti-American feeling in Pakistan, which has been battered and bruised by Taleban violence and US drone strikes since joining Washington’s “war on terror” in late 2001. — AFP

When the mobilisation against the US film began, “I knew the tills would start ringing”, said the manager at Panaflex printers, housed in a dilapidated building in Rawalpindi, the twin city of Islamabad and headquarters of the military. “Whenever we have these demonstrations, I make 10 times as much money as normal,” he told AFP in a tiny room that stank of ink, as two huge rollers spat out Stars and Stripes. Sold for between 120 and 1,500 rupees ($1.25 to $16) depending on size and quality, the flags have been snapped up for demonstrations against the film in recent weeks, and Haider watched in delight as his products went up in smoke day after day on the TV news. The boom in the flag market has accompanied a surge in anti-American feeling in Pakistan, which has been battered and bruised by Taleban violence and US drone strikes since joining Washington’s “war on terror” in late 2001. So much so that the United States has replaced traditional rival India as enemy number one in public opinion-at least according to the flag-sellers. “It’s been a long time since I sold an Indian flag,” said shopkeeper Nadeem Mahmood Shah as people piled into his Rawalpindi store to stock up on American flags, as a few tattered old samples fluttered outside.

In Shah’s shop 1,500 rupees will get you a three-square-metre Stars and Stripes in cloth, with a guarantee it will catch light with no problems-a key concern for protesters, particularly with TV cameras around. For Asim, a waiter in a seafood restaurant, burning the US flag has become a vital part of any protest. He has set four alight in a month. “It brings me such pleasure,” said the rangy 22-year-old. “It’s not a crime, but a means of expression like any other.” Protests against the film have led to more than 50 deaths across the Muslim world since the first demonstrations erupted on September 11. Pakistan experienced the worst of the violence when nationwide rallies mobilised more than 45,000 in September. At least 21 people were killed and 229 wounded, mainly in clashes with police. Last month, Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour placed a $100,000 bounty on the head of the filmmaker, calling on the Taleban and Al-Qaeda to join the hunt and help accomplish the “noble deed”. Most young flag-burners are attached to political or religious groups. Jamaat-eIslami, one of the country’s largest religious parties, actually provides its members with American and Israeli flags “so

they can voice their anger”, explained Sajjad Abbas, a party official in Islamabad. “We have arrangements with printers and we supply them with the cloth,” he said. A well-drilled setup like this enables political groups to make their statement as cheaply as possible and to quickly exploit even the smallest spike in tension with the United States. Jamaat-ud-Dawa, blacklisted by the United Nations and the United States as a front for terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, says it has a “special team” dedicated to making US and Israeli flags for demonstrations. “They end up costing us 50-60 rupees each,” said Asif Khurshid, one of the group’s officials in Islamabad. The Majlise-Wahadatul Muslimeen, a Shiite Muslim party active in recent protests, utilises its student wing to organise the flags with partner printers. “We turn out 500 an hour,” boasted Mazhar Shigri, group spokesman in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city. The group’s “flag cell” is now preparing a major publicity stunt: a US flag 500 metres long and 60 wide, which will be laid out this month in a busy street, for the ultimate Muslim insult of being trodden under foot. Shigri revels in the plan: “All the cars and pedestrians can defile it as they pass over.” — AFP

Outrage over human errors in Hong Kong boat crash Collision knocked people from their seats HONG KONG: When two boats filled with people collided on Hong Kong’s busy waterways, the impact knocked a hole in one vessel’s engine room and the water poured in too fast to stop it from sinking. Passengers struggled to find life vests and dozens drowned in the turbulent waters. Rather than rush to help, however, the crew of the other vessel, a ferry, seemed paralyzed, according to witnesses. After pausing briefly near the doomed ship filled with holiday revelers, the ferry continued on to its berth. Shock over Monday’s crash, which left 38 dead, gave way to outrage Wednesday over what experts concluded was human error. Investigators have not publicly offered a theory of how the collision occurred but have arrested seven crew members, including both captains. The ferry company denied accusations that the boat left immediately after the crash, but did not say whether its crew did anything the help the other vessel as it rapidly sank. The captain of the Sea Smooth ferry was in a hospital with rib injuries yesterday, said Nelson Ng, general manager of Hong Kong and Kowloon (Ferry) Holdings. He said staff members tried to talk to the captain, but he added, “We have to wait for the psychologist’s report. ... He doesn’t really want to say anything.” When asked whether the captain blames himself for the accident, Ng said, “He’s very emotionally depressed, so I believe he probably does.” The collision, Hong Kong’s deadliest maritime accident since 1971, has hit at the heart of the semiautonomous territory’s identity. Fleets of ferry boats form the backbone of the transport network, and much of Hong Kong’s economy relies on its reputation as a well-managed shipping hub. “We cannot help but be shocked and angry,” the English-language South China Morning Post said in an editorial Wednesday. It said “pinpointing fault and ensuring that there is no repeat” would be a matter of “safety, reputation and financial well-being.”

All 38 people killed had been on the Lamma IV, a boat owned by utility company Hong Kong Electric, which was taking about 120 of its workers and their families to watch fireworks in celebration of China’s National Day and mid-autumn festival. Survivors from both boats said that after the collision knocked people from their seats, there was chaos as people rushed to find life jackets. About 100 people on both vessels,

and I think no (one) can make a response in two minutes,” Yeung said. “So I think it’s difficult. Except for Superman, no people can escape so easily.” Ferry passenger Chris Head said he was thrown off his feet on the open upper rear deck. He said the collision felt like “walking into a lamppost.” “Then someone else on the boat pointed out a dark shape moving away from us and said, ‘I think we

HONG KONG: A relative (C) leaves the Kwai Chung public mortuary after identifying a victim of a boat collision in Hong Kong yesterday, two days after a ferry collided with a pleasure boat killing at least 38 people a short distance from Lamma island. More than 120 passengers and crew were on the Hong Kong Electric company’s Lamma IV to watch a huge National Day fireworks display in Victoria Harbour when the accident occurred just off Lamma, an island to the southwest of Hong Kong. — AFP

but mostly from the Lamma IV, were taken to hospitals for injuries. Ng, the ferry company manager, told reporters that two young relatives of his were among the dead. “Two children have already left us,” he said, pausing to wipe away tears. Three days of mourning were to begin across the territory Thursday, with condolence books set up in each of Hong Kong’s 18 districts. Capt. Tony Yeung Pui-keung, manager of the Maritime Services Training Institute in Hong Kong, said the large number of fatalities was due to Lamma IV’s rapid partial sinking, which occurred in minutes after the engine room was breached and flooded. “I think it was all of the sudden

just hit a boat,’” said Head, a teacher who has lived on nearby Lamma island for 18 years. The other boat was already listing, and aside from two tiny lights it “just was not lit at all. We couldn’t see anyone on it,” Head said. He said he couldn’t be sure that the lights had been off before the crash. After Head and the other passengers put on their life jackets, he saw that the other boat had started to “go into a sort of Titanic pose vertically.” Head said the ferry itself was listing slightly and taking on water. He said the captain kept the ferry in the area for five to 10 minutes before leaving. But he added, “I’m not saying that he was making any effort to res-

cue. I don’t know about that.” Capt. Yeung, who is not involved in the investigation, said standard maritime protocol requires ships to stay with other damaged boats and help if they can, even if only to call for help. He said the Sea Smooth’s captain might not have been aware of this duty or may have panicked, worried about his own passengers. “I will leave it to the judge to decide whether the captain is guilty or not, but I personally cannot accept (that he left the scene),” he said. Yeung said it was too early to know what caused the accident but that weather didn’t seem to be a factor on the relatively clear and calm night. He said the lights of the skyline and other ships might have obscured the navigation lights on one or both of the ships that crashed, but that the biggest factors appeared to be “careless mistakes” by both crews. Three crew members from the Lamma IV and four from the Sea Smooth were arrested; all have been released on bail except the hospitalized Sea Smooth captain. Police Commissioner Tsang Waihung said both crews are suspected of having not “exercised the care required of them by law,” but he did not elaborate. Yeung said he suspects the ferry captain may not have been paying enough attention. “If people run on the same route every day, several times a day, they become overconfident. They become very slack,” he said. At the same time, he said the Lamma IV’s captain might have been moving too fast to secure a good position for the fireworks show. It was 8:23 p.m. when the crash occurred; the fireworks were scheduled to start at 9. If the boat traveled as fast as ferries move in the area, it would have taken about a half-hour for it to reach the harbor. Hong Kong Electric spokeswoman Elaine Wong declined to release any information about the Lamma IV’s captain yesterday. Salvage crews raised the Lamma IV and towed it to shore. Part of the passenger compartment was torn away at the stern, and railings were bent and twisted.—AP

Cambodian parties team up to fight PM PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s two main opposition parties have joined forces to challenge Prime Minister Hun Sen’s 27-year grip on power at a general election next July, a spokesman for the new group said yesterday. The Cambodia National Rescue Party, formed by the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party, received official approval from the interior ministry on Tuesday, said spokesman Pol Ham. It will be headed by opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is seen as Hun Sen’s main rival but who lives in France to avoid prison for a string of convictions that critics contend are politically motivated. “We hope that if Sam Rainsy can return we can win the election... or at least make it a closer race,” Pol said, adding that many grassroots party members supported the move to team up. For now, both parties will remain separate so that their elected officials can keep their seats until the next polls, Pol said. At the last parliamentary election in 2008, Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party won 90 of the 123 seats in the National Assembly. The Sam Rainsy Party took 26 seats and the Human Rights Party just three.Hun Sen, 61, has ruled the country since 1985 and has vowed to stay in power until he is 90. His government is regularly accused of suppressing political freedoms and mistreatment of rights campaigners. Speaking to supporters via videolink on Tuesday, Sam Rainsy, 63, vowed to return to Cambodia by December. But the government insists he will have to serve time in jail if he does. —AFP

AHMEDABAD: An Indian police officer detains a protester during a demonstration against an anti-Islam film in Ahmedabad yesterday. A low-budget, US-produced “Innocence of Muslims” movie has incited a wave of bloody anti-American violence in Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen and in several other countries across the Muslim world. — AFP

PAWAN: A South Korean policeman instructs Afghan policemen how to aim a weapon at the Afghan National Police training centre in Pawan yesterday. Afghan security forces are dying at five times the rate of NATO soldiers according to the latest available figures provided by ISAF this year. — AFP

Afghan detectives train at CSI Kabul KABUL: Blood is spattered around a thick blade in the back of a body hunched over on the ground, the head bowed and hands clutching a bag of white powder. But this time the victim is a mannequin and gathered around in a spartan wood-panelled classroom in a run-down neighbourhood on the outskirts of the Afghan capital are a dozen senior Afghan police, most in uniform but some in worn grey suits. The detectives are being taught how to solve a crime by using physical evidence and witness statements, rather than by extracting a confession, perhaps with excessive force, as rights groups often complain. “If the crime scene is like this we know the victim is already dead,” says Mohammad Zahir, a grizzled veteran detective turned student at the Crime Scene Management College. Overseeing the class at the back of the room are two uniformed members of the European Union’s police mission in Afghanistan. With pistols on their thighs and arm bands dotted with EU stars, the two are training their Afghan counterparts in advanced crime-scene analysis. Zahir explained how he would go about collecting evidence at a murder scene, summing up the lesson he has learned that day. “It’s all through this evidence we can prove that the suspect is guilty. For example, we can say we found a bullet casing or a fingerprint that belonged to him at the scene,” he said. More than 800 students have passed through Kabul’s school for detectives as Afghanistan’s Western allies prepare to hand over full responsibility for security to the Afghan military and police by a 2014 withdrawal date. “Everything we do has sustainability and transition in mind,” says David Thomson, a British policeman who commands the college run by members of the EU’s 350-strong international police team in Afghanistan, known as EUPOL. “There’s no point in us doing everything and then leaving.” Afghan instructors shadow the class to pick up the skills they will need to replace the Western officers when they withdraw. The day’s crime scene management class involves a dozen students but many others peer in from a dusty yard. Students are all fully trained police, some with decades of field experience, and almost all are men. There are a few women in the Afghan police, but most who succeed in joining tend to remain in support roles. Although the college gets regular bomb threats and from time to time has been evacuated because of security alerts, teaching staff say threats have not dampened the appetite of the students to learn. “What’s most impressive about this group is they are challenging each others’ ideas and from that they are growing,” says

Mick Serbatoio, an Australian instructor who has taught in other police academies around the world. Some students don’t just challenge their peers, they are also prepared to challenge their mentors. An Afghan detective leading a student team bristles and erupts into a loud defence of his action when told by an Australian instructor that he has just walked over some foot prints that could be evidence. An increasing number of so-called insider attacks by members of the Afghan security forces on Western advisers and soldiers has made many people edgy. But the heated moment passes and all seem prepared to accept that evidence gathering is a crucial part of detective work. “The crime scene is the key to solving cases,” said Zahir. Meanwhile, an Afghan man who was wounded in a bomb blast while working as an interpreter for British forces won a reprieve on his asylum application yesterday, hours after reports that his request was rejected. The UK Border Agency said it had withdrawn its initial decision and will fully review the application of Mohammad Rafi Hottak, 25, who worked as an interpreter for the British military in Afghanistan for five years. “Now I feel like the pressure is slowly getting off my shoulders and something is really going to happen,” Hottak told The Times newspaper. “I feel as though I am getting my freedom. Hopefully, this decision will also bring some help to the other interpreters (in Afghanistan) who are waiting for help,” he said. Hottak was involved in a bomb attack in November 2007 when stationed in Helmand, the strife-torn southern province which has been an epicentre for insurgent activity in Afghanistan. The blast also killed a British captain. “The increased level of publicity around this case has led to new and significant information, which was not provided during the application process, coming to light,” a spokeswoman for the UK Border Agency said. “As a result of this additional information, we have informed Mr Hottak that we have withdrawn our decision and will fully review his application.” Hottak was initially denied asylum, more than a year after applying, because of “significant inconsistencies” the Border Agency said were in his claim. The agency said he had failed to provide sufficient proof that he had worked with British troops or was threatened by the Taleban. Hottak is living in the city of Leicester in central England on just £36 ($58, 45 euros) a week. The Times said that even if Hottak’s claim of being a British interpreter is accepted, the Border Agency may still not consider him in danger from the Taleban if he returns to Afghanistan since he no longer works for foreign forces. — Agencies


NEWS Triple blasts tear into Aleppo Continued from Page 1 Observatory said, citing medics. “Most of them were regime troops,” it added. An official in Aleppo put the toll at “37 dead and dozens injured”. “We heard two enormous explosions, as though the gates of hell were opening,” Hassan, a 30-year-old employee of a nearby hotel, told AFP. “I saw thick smoke, and I helped a woman on the pavement whose arms and legs were completely dislocated,” said Hassan, who gave only one name. The owner of a shop a block away from the officers’ club said: “I pulled out from the rubble a child less than 10 years old who

Clashes in Iran over plunging currency

has lost a leg.” Rebels also attacked a political intelligence branch in Aleppo as well as an old vegetable market where a large number of troops were posted, said the Observatory, which relies on a network of activists on the ground. Overnight, rebels also destroyed two tanks. “The rebels are now attacking regime troops in the heart of the city,” Observatory director Abdel Rahman told AFP. “Before, the centre was spared from violence. Now, we can say that barring some districts, Aleppo is no longer a safe city. This is part of the decisive battle, and the regime can no longer claim to control the city,” he added. —AFP

Dubai property treads recovery path Continued from Page 1 of its Meydan City in the middle of the Gulf emirate’s desert, sold 40 percent of 63 plots for signature villas in less than a year recently, Khayat said. “The market is picking up... There is a heavy traffic of tourists. Many from Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding that many tourists with time decide to buy secondary property in Dubai. The increase in visitors could be behind a new seaside retail project that broke ground recently and is being built by Meraas, another developer owned by Dubai’s ruler. Meraas revealed its plan for The Beach retail centre that will occupy the last empty plot in the upmarket district known as The Walk, which sits on the shores of the Gulf. Property prices in the glitzy emirate took severe beating when the crisis hit, shedding more than half of their peak values registered in mid 2008 after five years of breakneck-speed growth fueled by speculative investments. But investors are back on the look and have pulled prices up

in different areas. There is also talk around town that people escaping Arab Spring countries, mainly Egypt and Syria, have pushed prices up by choosing to move to the stable emirate. “We do see a recovery. It is a selective or partial recovery and certainly not across the market,” said Craig Plumb, head of Middle East and North Africa research at Jones Lang LaSalle property services firm. He said demand for offices remains stagnant, while the residential, retail and hotel sectors have bottomed out and are in the recovery stage. He warned, however, that recovery depends on the quality of assets and cannot necessarily be expected across board. “It is not for every asset, but for the best-quality projects in each of those classes,” he said. The company said the purchase prices of apartment units in prime buildings went up four percent in the third quarter of 2012 from a year earlier, while rental rates were up five percent. But prices of villas jumped 23 percent year-on-year and are expected to continue their upward trend in prime areas, it said in a report. Reports said that prices of villas stand now at their 2007 levels. —AFP

Continued from Page 1 the Mehr news agency as saying police were going to take action against shopkeepers who closed their businesses, for “disturbing” the situation. The head of the national police, Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam, was quoted by the Fars news agency as saying a special unit comprised of police chiefs and government economic officials had been created “to combat those perturbing the currency market”. He added that many people were keeping stashes of foreign currency and gold at home, “which is having a negative effect on the economy”. The crackdown was an apparent bid to halt a dramatic plunge in the value of Iran’s currency this week. On Tuesday,

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Western sanctions were mostly to blame. But rivals said his mismanagement of the economy was the main cause. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed again yesterday that his country would not cede to Western pressure over its disputed nuclear program. “The aim of the pressure against the Iranian people is to make it yield. But it will never yield. That’s why the enemy is angry,” he said in a speech reported by the ISNA news agency. “Everyone wants to buy dollars and it’s clear there’s a bit of a bank run,” said a Western diplomat based in Tehran. “Ahmadinejad’s announcement of using police against exchangers and speculators didn’t help at all. Now people are even more worried.” . —AFP

Japan plane ticket reader sniffs bombs Continued from Page 1 chief researcher Minoru Sakairi. All that takes about one to two seconds, short enough to keep people moving through the gate and onto the plane, he said. “This allows screening of all passengers and can make air travel safer,” Sakairi said. The device is intended as an extra layer of security on top of existing measures, such as metal detectors, pat-downs and x-ray scanners, he said. The gate is most effective in finding those who may have hidden non-metal-based bombs on their bodies, like the man who concealed plastic explosives in his underwear on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit in 2009. “Since the Detroit incident, searches on individuals have become more stringent to pick up people who may carry explosives on them,” Sakairi said. “This boarding gate should serve as an important tool to scan particles

on all passengers,” he said. Explosive materials are highly adhesive and can stay for some time on anyone who has handled them, or on their clothing, bags and any other items they may have touched, Hitachi researchers said. The technology can also be used for gates at train stations and concerts, government buildings and sporting venues such as Olympic stadiums, Hitachi said. They acknowledged that the machine also picks up people who legally work with chemicals with explosive characteristics, such as farmers using fertilisers and angina patients who take nitroglycerin. The company plans further experiments at airports and train stations before deciding whether to commercialise the prototype device, Sakairi said. Hitachi teamed up with the Nippon Signal Co and the University of Yamanashi to develop the prototype boarding gate with a 290 million yen ($3.7 million) grant from the government. —AFP

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Georgian Dream to ease, not end Russia nightmare By Maria Antonova he defeat in Georgia’s parliamentary polls of Russia’s bitter foe President Mikhail Saakashvili may remove some poison from venomous bilateral relations, but Moscow should not expect major policy changes from Tbilisi. Despite opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili’s former Russian business interests, the head of victorious Georgian Dream party will be no outright cheerleader for the Kremlin, analysts said. While a new personality will give Moscow an opportunity to mend some bridges with its small neighbour following their brief 2008 war, “Russia will not get much from the opposition’s victory in the polls,” said analyst Alexander Konovalov of the Institute for Strategic Assessments. Once post-Soviet allies, Moscow and Tbilisi drifted apart following the 2003 rise of Saakashvili to power, and have been arch-enemies since the 2008 war. The war ended with a crushing Russian victory and Moscow recognised two impoverished Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent, to the fury of Saakashvili and the Georgian population. “The problem of Abkhazia and South Ossetia will forever remain in the relationship between Russia and Georgia. No Georgian leader will recognise their breaking away, and Russia will never renounce their recognition,” Konovalov said. Georgia’s richest man Ivanishvili, a likely prime minister after victory of his party in the polls, offered on Tuesday a carefully balanced strategy of both “normalising relations with Russia” and “becoming a NATO member”. Such a strategy of pleasing everyone may turn out to be overly cunning, given that Moscow watches any moves by exSoviet states to join the Western military alliance with the greatest suspicion and as anything but normal. Unlike Western-educated Saakashvili, Ivanishvili has left an extensive Russian trail: he was known in the country by the Russian name Boris, and held Russian citizenship until relinquishing it in late 2011. His fortune grew from an electronics firm in Moscow in the early post-Soviet capitalism years, to a vast empire spanning across Russia which included assets in banking, pharmaceuticals and mining. Saakashvili’s campaign frequently painted the tycoon as an agent of Russian influence, a label Ivanishvili fought hard to shake off by selling all Russian business ahead of the vote to prove his domestic credentials. While his Russian allegiances were “campaign legends”, Ivanishvili is still more likely to be approached by Moscow than Saakashvili, said Vladimir Zharikhin, deputy head of the Moscowbased CIS Institute. “Ivanishvili is more approachable for talks,” he said, expecting this factor to cause a slight “thaw” in relations. Both President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have denounced Saakashvili as a criminal and refused to ever meet with the man. A new face in Georgia’s leadership may lead to easing trade and visa barriers, which have hurt Georgia’s economy and its vast diaspora in Russia, analysts said. Visibly absent on Russian supermarket shelves are Georgia’s prized mineral water and wine exports, which Moscow has banned on the grounds of health at a huge cost for the Georgian economy. Medvedev, who was president at the time of the 2008 war, on Tuesday made friendly overtures to Ivanishvili, saying his party’s victory “seems to mean that the parliament is filling with more constructive and responsible forces”. “Something will change: Ivanishvili is no stranger to Moscow,” said Alexei Malashenko of Moscow Carnegie Centre. Still, the status of Georgia’s breakaway provinces will remain a “hopeless” sticking point, he said. “Some things are irrevocably lost, pieces of Georgia were hacked off,” he said. “Two or three generations will need to pass to smooth this out.” — AFP


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China yuan foray augurs geopolitical strains By Alan Wheatley t’s our currency and your problem,” US Treasury Secretary John Connally famously said of the dollar in 1971. More than 40 years later, China is doing something about it. Fed up with what it sees as Washington’s malign neglect of the dollar, China is busily promoting the cross-border use of its own currency, the yuan, also known as the renminbi, in trade and investment. The aim is both narrowly commercial - to reduce transaction costs for Chinese exporters and importers - and sweepingly strategic. Displacing the dollar, Beijing says, will reduce volatility in oil and commodity prices and belatedly erode the ‘exorbitant privilege’ the United States enjoys as the issuer of the reserve currency at the heart of a post-war international financial architecture it now sees as hopelessly outmoded. Zha Xiaogang, a researcher at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said Beijing wants to see a better-balanced international monetary system consisting of at least the dollar, euro and yuan and perhaps other currencies such as the yen and the Indian rupee. Competition among major currency issuers and a wider menu of options when investing, trading or seeking a store of value would produce better results for the world economy, Zha argued. “The shortcomings of the current international monetary system pose a big threat to China’s economy,” he said. “With more alternatives, the margin for the US would be greatly narrowed, which will certainly weaken the power basis of the US.” Zha’s comments were in a paper prepared for a seminar in Bahrain this week on the geopolitics of currencies organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a


London think tank. The great financial crisis, alongside the ascent of China and other emerging markets and the existential threat to the euro, is prompting policymakers in the West, too, to question the established monetary order. Change is in the air. But with no obvious alternative to the dollar for now, the timing and extent of any shifts in the existing order are inherently unpredictable, much like exchange rates themselves. While Beijing sees opportunities in using the yuan beyond its borders, others see risks - not least to China itself: relaxing capital controls so foreigners can reinvest their accumulated yuan in China’s securities markets is one of the preconditions of reserve currency status. Yet allowing market-driven money flows to drive exchange and interest rates would weaken the ruling Communist Party’s tight grip on two of the main economic levers, potentially sowing the very instability it abhors. John Williamson, one of the foremost academics on exchange rates, went back to basics and questioned the assumption that reserve currency status confers vast benefits. Whereas China, Brazil and others have lambasted the United States for deliberately cheapening the dollar through loose monetary policies, Williamson argued that US exchange-rate flexibility is actually limited because the dollar is the anchor of the system. It is other countries that adjust their rates; the dollar then adjusts as a “residual”. Of course, the United States gets to finance its payments deficits more cheaply because of demand for dollars from reserve managers, but this might not be enough to outweigh the loss of freedom to manage its exchange rate. “It is not surprising that many economists have therefore concluded that a reserve currency role is not advisable,” said Williamson, a

senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. He identified only two ways that US power in the world economy is enhanced by the dollar’s dominant role, which he does not expect to be challenged in the next quarter century. First, the $3.2 trillion in official reserves that China has accumulated in maintaining the yuan’s semi-fixed peg to the dollar tie Beijing’s policy hands. That is because any hostile gesture, such as a threat to shift out of dollars, would destroy Chinese wealth. Second, because of the extensive private use of the dollar globally, the United States is better able to enforce a financial blockade, such as the one now directed against Iran. “I have the impression that the additional national power which stems from commanding an international currency tends to be exaggerated by strategic thinkers,” he wrote. Yuriko Koike, a former Japanese defence minister, sees the power of currencies through a different prism. She said China was already using its economic might to build a “new model mercantilist imperialism” in Africa. Turning to Asia, Koike said China’s rise was likely to continue to incite as many fears as it does hopes. Beijing’s economic clout was one more reason for Japan to put its financial house in order soon. “So far, Chinese purchases of Japanese government bonds have been negligible, but the potential for China to gain influence over Japan in this regard is real and should be acknowledged,” Koike, who was not present to discuss her paper, wrote. Not surprisingly, Zha, the Shanghai researcher, saw the blossoming of the yuan as the currency equivalent of China’s peaceful rise in foreign policy. Before long, the renminbi would be the de facto common currency of a more economically and financially integrat-

ed East Asia that would thus speak with a “more consensus-oriented” regional voice in international affairs. The consensus, he implied, would be set out by China, whose economy would be at least twice as big as Japan’s within a decade. Harsha Vardanha Singh, deputy directorgeneral of the World Trade Organization, said the yuan was the currency most likely to acquire reserve status in years to come. But, because of the changing patterns of trade and the increase in supply chains, other currencies important in regional trade would assume a much larger significance on the global stage, he argued. “These various developments will create a much more extensive multi-polar currency world than is usually anticipated,” Singh said. What does it all mean for the markets? The phrase “currency wars” inevitably springs to mind as rising economies show their resentment of incumbents, notably the United States, which they view as resorting to maximum monetary stimulus without worrying about the global spillovers. Surjit Bhalla, an Indian economist, believes massive undervaluation of the yuan was a major reason for China’s meteoric rise and the deep economic imbalances that led to the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis and the 2008 global crash. But Bhalla, author of a new book “Devaluing to Prosperity”, is convinced that China is shedding its mercantilist skin and switching its development model from exports to consumption-led growth. He sees little merit in greater international use of the yuan but expects Beijing to push up its real exchange rate by 3-5 percent a year in order to help lift private consumption to at least 50 percent of national output over time from around just 35 percent now. —Reuters

US intel effort named citizens, not terrorists By Eileen Sullivan multibillion-dollar information-sharing program created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced little valuable intelligence on terrorism, a US Senate report concludes. It portrays an effort that ballooned far beyond anyone’s ability to control. What began as an attempt to put local, state and federal officials in the same room analyzing the same intelligence has instead cost huge amounts of money for data-mining software, flat screen televisions and, in Arizona, two fully equipped Chevrolet Tahoes that are used for commuting, investigators found. “The ... investigation could identify no reporting which uncovered a terrorist threat, nor could it identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot,” the report said. When the program did address terrorism, it sometimes did so in ways that infringed on civil liberties. The fusion centers have made headlines for circulating information about the American Civil Liberties Union, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters and advocates of gun rights. One fusion center cited in the Senate investigation wrote a report about a Muslim community group’s list of book recommendations. Others discussed American citizens speaking at mosques or talking to Muslim groups about parenting. The bipartisan report is a scathing evaluation of what the Department of Homeland Security has held up as a crown jewel of its security efforts. The report underscores a reality of post-9/11 Washington: National security programs tend to grow, never shrink, even when their money and manpower far surpass the actual subject of terrorism. Much of this money went for ordinary local crime-fighting. Homeland Security says the report is outdat-


ed, inaccurate and too focused on information produced by the program, ignoring benefits to local governments from their involvement with federal intelligence officials. Because of a convoluted grants process set up by Congress, Homeland Security officials don’t know how much they have spent in their decade-long effort to set up so-called fusion centers in every state. Government estimates range from less than $300 million to $1.4 billion in federal money, plus much more invested by state and local governments. Federal funding is pegged at about 20 percent to 30 percent. Despite that, Congress is unlikely to stop the funding. That’s because, whether it stops terrorists, the program means politically important money for state

and local governments. A Senate Homeland Security subcommittee reviewed more than 600 unclassified reports over a one-year period and concluded that most had nothing to do with terrorism. No evidence of criminal activity was contained in those reports. The government did not circulate them, but it kept them on government computers. The federal government is prohibited from storing information about First Amendment activities not related to crimes. “It was not clear why, if DHS had determined that the reports were improper to disseminate, the reports were proper to store indefinitely,” the report said. Homeland Security Department spokesman Matthew Chandler called the

This Aug 25, 2004 file photo shows unidentified analysts at the Combined Intelligence and Fusion Center for NORAD/Northcom in Colorado Springs. — AP

report “out of date, inaccurate and misleading.” He said that it focused entirely on information being produced by fusion centers and did not consider the benefit the involved officials got receiving intelligence from the federal government. The report is as much an indictment of Congress as it is the Homeland Security Department. In setting up the department, lawmakers wanted their states to decide what to spend the money on. Time and again, that set-up has meant the federal government has no way to know how its security money is being spent. Inside Homeland Security, officials have long known there were problems with the reports coming out of fusion centers, the report shows. “You would have some guys, the information you’d see from them, you’d scratch your head and say, ‘What planet are you from?’” an unidentified Homeland Security official told Congress. Until this year, the federal reports officers received five days of training and were never tested or graded afterward, the report said. States have had criminal analysis centers for years. But the story of fusion centers began in the frenzied aftermath of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks. The 9/11 Commission urged better collaboration among government agencies. As officials realized that a terrorism tip was as likely to come from a local police officer as the CIA, fusion centers became a hot topic. But putting people together to share intelligence proved complicated. Special phone and computer lines had to be installed. The people reading the reports needed background checks. Some information could only be read in secure areas, which meant construction projects. All of that cost money. Meanwhile, federal intelligence agencies were under orders from Congress to hire more analysts. That meant state and local agencies had to compete for smart counterterrorism thinkers. — AP


sp orts Stoner to return from injury for Japanese GP AUSTRALIA: MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner will return from injury at the Japanese Grand Prix on Oct. 14, the Australian said yesterday. Stoner has missed the last three races after breaking his right ankle in a crash during qualifying at Indianapolis in August. “It has been another quiet week here in Australia. I’ve been resting, having some physio and following doctor’s orders to recover,” the double world champion told his Repsol Honda team website ( “The good news is that I feel I can race in Motegi (Japan) and will be rejoining my team next week. I can’t wait.” Stoner, who will retire at the end of the season, had ankle surgery on Aug. 30 in Australia. He is 104 points behind championship leader Jorge Lorenzo of Spain and, with four races remaining, is out of contention for the title.—Reuters

Pakistan cricketer banned LONDON: Pakistan bowler Abdur Rehman has been given a 12-week ban after testing positive for cannabis while playing for Somerset in the English county season, the England and Wales Cricket Board said yesterday. Rehman, the 32-year-old left-arm spinner, failed the drugs test on Aug. 8 during a county championship match against Nottinghamshire, the ECB said in a statement. The suspension will run until midnight on Friday, Dec. 21. Rehman said: “I apologise to my family, the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board), the ECB, Somerset County Cricket Club, my team mates and my fans. “It was an error of judgement on my part that will cost me dearly and I would like it to be a lesson to all others in

sports and elsewhere. “I will do my best to stay fit and focused during my suspension and, god willing, will be available for selection for the India series should the PCB see fit for me to be selected.” Somerset chief executive Guy Lavender said: “Somerset fully supports the action taken by the ECB. “The club does not condone the use of illegal drugs in any circumstances and all Somerset players are made fully aware of this policy on a regular basis.” The PCB has withdrawn Rehman’s name from the Sialkot Stallions squad due to play in the Champions League Twenty20 qualifying tournament in South Africa starting on Oct. 9. Rehman has played 17 tests and 25 one-day internationals for Pakistan.—Reuters

Defender gets suspended sentence for own goal ROME: Former Bari defender Andrea Masiello was given a suspended 22-month prison sentence yesterday after admitting he deliberately scored an own goal to help local rivals Lecce avoid relegation from Serie A in May last year. The 26-year-old, who is currently without a club, saved himself from an immediate custodial sentence after negotiating a plea-bargain arrangement at a magistrates court in Bari. His associates in the scam Gianni Carella and Fabio Giacobbe, who bet on a number of fixed matches, were handed suspended sentences of 17 months. Bari had already been relegated when they met Lecce, who were still fighting to avoid the drop to Serie B, and his suspicious own goal 10 minutes from time guaranteed them a 2-0 win.—Reuters

Cardinals roll, Dodgers stumble ST. LOUIS: The St. Louis Cardinals clinched baseball’s final postseason berth Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to San Francisco. The defending World Series champions were beaten by Cincinnati 3-1 but wrapped up the second NL wild card hours later when the Giants won 4-3 at Dodger Stadium. St. Louis will play at Atlanta on Friday in the new one-game playoff between wild-card teams. The Dodgers’ loss left them two games behind St. Louis with one game to go.

SEATTLE: Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout yells out after striking out swinging against the Seattle Mariners in the ninth inning of a baseball game.—AP

Yankees edge Red Sox NEW YORK: Raul Ibanez tied it with a pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning then had an RBI single in the 12th, helping the Yankees remain a game up on Baltimore in the AL East with one game to go by beating the Boston Red Sox 4-3 on Tuesday night. With a second comeback spurred by Ibanez in the last 10 days, the Yankees need a win or Orioles loss on the final day of the season to secure their 13th division title since 1996. The Orioles beat Tampa Bay 1-0 earlier. If the teams end up even after late yesterday’s games, they’ll play a tiebreaker Thursday in Baltimore. The Yankees kept missing chances on a misty night. They were 0-58 when trailing after eight innings this season, then rallied in the ninth. Orioles 1, Rays 0 In St. Petersburg, Chris Davis homered for the sixth straight game and the Orioles overcame a club-record 15 strikeouts by James Shields to beat the Rays, pushing the AL East race to the final day of the season. Baltimore trails the New York Yankees by one game. Orioles rookie Miguel Gonzalez (9-4) limited the Rays to two singles over 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander walked two and struck out seven before manager Buck Showalter turned the game over to the bullpen. Davis joined Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson as the only Baltimore players to homer in six consecutive games, connecting off Shields (15-10) in the fourth. The Orioles managed only one other hit - Nate McLouth’s sixth-inning single - in Shields’ third complete game. Athletics 3, Rangers 1 In Oakland, Travis Blackley allowed one run over six innings in a strong bounce-back performance that helped the Athletics move into a first-place tie in the AL West with Texas and set up a one-game showdown for the division title. A night after holding a raucous celebration after clinching their first playoff berth since 2006, the A’s erased the last piece of what had been a 13-game deficit in the division race on June 30 to take a share of first place for the first time since March 29. Blackley (6-4) gave up three hits and struck out five a week after the Rangers knocked him out with a five-run first inning in the shortest start of his career. He allowed only an RBI double to Josh Hamilton in what was the latest surprising performance in an improbable season for the low-budget A’s. Royals 4, Tigers 2 In Kansas City, Miguel Cabrera had two hits and drove in two runs before leaving in the fifth inning, and the Royals rallied to beat his AL Central champion Tigers. With one game remaining in the regular season, Cabrera leads the American League in aver-

age (.331), home runs (44) and RBIs (139), putting him on the brink of becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Alcides Esocbar and Jeff Francoeur went deep for Kansas City, and Salvador Perez provided the go-ahead RBI in the fifth inning. Jeremy Guthrie (5-3) lasted six innings to improve to 5-0 with six no-decisions in his final 11 starts, the Royals winning 10 of them. Doug Fister (10-10) allowed three runs on seven hits in 4 1-3 innings for Detroit. Indians 4, White Sox 3 In Cleveland, Jason Donald singled home the winning run with two outs in the 12th inning, lifting the Indians over the White Sox. Lonnie Chisenhall doubled with one out against Matt Thornton (4-10), who then intentionally walked Russ Canzler. Right-hander Nate Jones came on to face announced pinch hitter Matt LaPorta, who was then replaced by lefty swinging Jack Hannahan. Jones struck him out before Donald hit a liner into the left-field corner. Chris Seddon (1-1) pitched a scoreless 12th for the win, Cleveland’s seventh in 17 meetings with Chicago. It was the left-hander’s first victory since July 24, 2010, when he was with Seattle. Blue Jays 4, Twins 3 In Toronto, Chad Jenkins earned his first major league win, Kelly Johnson hit a two-run home run and the Blue Jays beat the Twins. Making his third career start, Jenkins (1-3) allowed two runs and five hits in five-plus innings. The right-hander walked one and struck out two. Three-time batting champion Joe Mauer went hitless in three at-bats, dropping his average to .320. Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera is leading the batting race, hitting .331. Angels rookie Mike Trout is second. Aaron Loup, Steve Delabar and Darren Oliver all worked one inning before Casey Janssen finished for his 22nd save in 25 chances, handing the Twins their fourth straight defeat. Mariners 6, Angels 1 In Seattle, Kyle Seager became the first Seattle batter to hit 20 home runs in a season since 2009 with a solo shot in the first inning and the Mariners beat Mike Trout and the Angels. The penultimate game of the season came a night after the Angels were eliminated from the AL wild card chase. And they played like a team with nothing tangible left to play for, tying their season high with three errors, including a pair in the sixth inning by right fielder Mark Trumbo that helped two runs score. Trout had one hit in five at-bats to see his average drop to .324. He’s seven points behind leader Miguel Cabrera.—AP

Giants 4, Dodgers 3 In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated from playoff contention, their wild-card hopes dashed to Barry Zito and the Giants. The defeat left the Dodgers two games behind St. Louis with only one game left in the regular season. Los Angeles had won six in a row to stay in the race for the second NL wild-card spot, but Mark Ellis lined out to center field with a runner on second base to end it. The defending World Series champion Cardinals will open the playoffs Friday at Atlanta in a one-game matchup. Mat Latos won his fourth straight decision to finish the regular season and Scott Rolen homered off Chris Carpenter, helping the Cincinnati Reds keep the St. Louis Cardinals’ postseason plans on hold with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night. The Cardinals’ magic number for clinching the second NL wild card remained at one with a game to go, and they were left in the uncomfortable position of watching the Dodgers on television and rooting for a loss for the second straight night. Los Angeles, which began the day two games back with two remaining, played at home against the Giants later Tuesday. The 37-year-old Carpenter (02) has a wealth of big-game experience and went 4-0 in the postseason last fall for the World Series champions, memorably outdueling Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay in Game 5 of the NL division series. Marlins 4, Mets 3 In Miami, New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey struck out one -shot wonder Adam Greenberg, but also gave up two homers in his final start of a Cy Young-hopeful season and the Mets lost to the Marlins. The Marlins’ Greenberg struck out on three pitches against Dickey when he batted for the first time in seven years in the sixth inning. Greenberg signed a one-day contract before the game, his first since he was beaned in his major

league debut in 2005. Donovan Solano hit a gamewinning, bases-loaded one-out single off Collin McHugh (0-4). In his bid for his 21st victory, Dickey left after six innings trailing 3-0, but the Mets rallied with three runs in the eighth to tie the game. After Marlins rookie Jacob Turner allowed one run in 7 2-3 innings, beleaguered former All-

pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Garrett Jones homered and the Pirates won consecutive games for the first time in four weeks, beating the Braves. The Pirates (79-82) tied for their most wins in a season since their North American major professional sports record streak of 20 losing seasons began in 1993. The 1999 Pirates went 79-83.

the Cubs, who fell to 60-101. Brewers 4, Padres 3 In Milwaukee, rookie Martin Maldonado hit a grand slam and the Brewers used 10 newcomers in beating the Padres. Maldonado connected against Anthony Bass (2-8) in the third inning for his first career slam and eighth home run of the year. The

PHOENIX: Colorado Rockies’ Jonathan Herrera (left) dives safely back to the base before Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (right) can field the throw in the ninth inning.—AP Star Heath Bell helped blow their lead. Nationals 4, Phillies 2 In Washington, a smile crept across Adam LaRoche’s face while he rounded the bases Tuesday night after hitting his career-high 33rd homer to become the third Nationals player with 100 RBIs in a season, another celebratory moment for NL East champion Washington during a victory over the Phillies. When the Nationals Park gates opened, early-arriving fans in the crowd of 33,546 were treated to a video montage of alcohol-spraying and general mirth-making from a night earlier, when the home team clinched its first division title since moving from Montreal in 2005. Even the guy playing the national anthem on his bat-violin Tuesday wore a gray T-shirt marking the accomplishment. Pirates 5, Braves 1 In Pittsburgh, Kevin Correia

A day after being eliminated from the NL East division title race, the wild-card Braves rested several regulars and shuffled players in and out of the lineup throughout the game. Atlanta will host the NL wild-card game Friday. Astros 3, Cubs 0 In Chicago, Bud Norris pitched six shutout innings, Jason Castro homered and the Astros beat the Cubs in a matchup of 100-loss teams. The season-ending series between NL Central clubs marks the first meeting of 100-loss team in the majors since 1962, when the Cubs played the New York Mets. Houston (55-106) threw its third straight shutout and won for the fifth time in six games. The Astros have already matched last year’s franchise-worst loss total with one game left. Norris (7-13) scattered four hits and won back-to-back starts for the first time since May. Chris Volstad (3-12) took the loss for

backup catcher was in a 1-for-16 slump since Sept. 10 when he delivered. Jim Henderson (1-2) pitched a perfect seventh inning. John Axford worked the ninth for his 35th save in 44 chances, getting Logan Forsythe to ground out with a runner on the third to end it. D’backs 5, Rockies 3 In Phoenix, Aaron Hill hit a game-winning three-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Diamondbacks over the Rockies. Jordan Pacheco had hit a tworun double in the top of the eighth to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead. Rafael Betancourt (1-4) blew his second save in as many nights. John McDonald hit a one-out single to left and Gerardo Parra singled to left one out later. Hill then drove the first pitch he saw into the left-field stands for his 26th home run of the season. Brad Ziegler (6-1) pitched the ninth for the victory.—AP

Cabrera in pursuit of triple crown

MLB results/standings NY Yankees 4, Boston 3 (12 Innings); Cleveland 4, Chicago White Sox 3 (12 Innings); Washington 4, Philadelphia 2; Pittsburgh 5, Atlanta 1; Toronto 4, Minnesota 3; Baltimore 1, Tampa Bay 0; Miami 4, NY Mets 3 (11 innings); Houston 3, Chicago Cubs 0; Kansas City 4, Detroit 2; Milwaukee 4, San Diego 3; Cincinnati 3, St. Louis 1; Arizona 5, Colorado 3; Oakland 3, Texas 1; Seattle 6, LA Angels 1; San Francisco 4, LA Dodgers 3. American League Eastern Division NY Yankees Baltimore Tampa Bay Toronto Boston

W 94 93 89 72 69

L 67 68 72 89 92

PCT .584 .578 .553 .447 .429

Detroit Chicago W Sox Kansas City Cleveland Minnesota

Central Division 87 74 .540 84 77 .522 72 89 .447 68 93 .422 66 95 .410

Oakland Texas LA Angels Seattle

Western Division 93 68 .578 93 68 .578 89 72 .553 74 87 .460

GB 1 5 22 25 3 15 19 21 4 19

Washington Atlanta Philadelphia NY Mets Miami

National League Eastern Division 97 64 .602 93 68 .578 81 80 .503 73 88 .453 69 92 .429

4 16 24 28

Cincinnati St. Louis Milwaukee Pittsburgh Chicago Cubs Houston

Central Division 97 64 .602 87 74 .540 83 78 .516 79 82 .491 60 101 .373 55 106 .342

10 14 18 37 42

San Francisco LA Dodgers Arizona San Diego Colorado

Western Division 94 67 .584 85 76 .528 81 80 .503 75 86 .466 63 98 .391

9 13 19 31

KANSAS CITY: Miguel Cabrera sat in front of his locker in the corner of the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, bantering in Spanish at a table full of teammates. There were no television cameras hovering over him. No microphones stuck in his face. None of the commotion that could be reasonably expected as the soft-spoken Detroit Tigers slugger from Venezuela closes in on Major League Baseball’s first triple crown in 45 years - the season leader in batting average, home runs and runs batted in. “The entire baseball world should be here right now,” said Justin Verlander, the reigning American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner. “We’ve got, sorry to say, the regular guys. I think he’s been relatively under the radar for what he’s done, for what he’s doing. It hasn’t happened in 40-some years,” Verlander continued, his voice rising. “It kind of annoys me. I don’t know about anybody else. I don’t know about him. It probably doesn’t annoy him.” It certainly doesn’t annoy Cabrera, who

will politely answer just about any question posed to him, but would just as soon spend his time hanging out with his compadres. The perfect example came on Monday, shortly after Cabrera had four hits and a home run in a 6-3 victory over Kansas City that clinched the AL Central division. He was asked about contributing so much to it, and Cabrera deflected the attention back on his teammates. “We got it done with the first one (division title),” he said quietly. “That was our goal.” Now, though, the spotlight shifts squarely to the broad shoulders of Cabrera, who started at third base in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss at Kansas City. He had a pair of singles and drove in two runs in his first two at-bats before flying out to right and leaving the game in the fifth inning. Cabrera leads the American League in batting average (.331), homers (44) and RBIs (139) - the triple crown, last achieved by Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout and Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer are giving chase for the batting title, which

Cabrera won last year, while Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton trails him by a single home run. With Wednesday being the last day of the regular season, Cabrera is on the footstep of history, poised to join a club that counts just 13 members, among them Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig and Ty Cobb. “It’s just extremely difficult to do, to be the complete hitter, to be a run-producer in terms of RBIs, to be a power hitter in terms of home runs, and then lead the league in average,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. “I don’t know when the next time is we’ll see it happen.” Tigers manager Jim Leyland is content to sit on the bench and take in Cabrera’s quiet pursuit of MLB histor y, right beside Verlander and the rest of the team. “They all want him to win it. They want it bad, and you can tell that, and certainly he’s no exception,” Leyland said. “They’re pulling so hard for him, you know? Hopefully we’ll have some fun with it the next couple days and hopefully he’ll get it done.”—AP


sp orts

After big driver moves, F1 returns at Japanese GP TOKYO: In his first race since confirmation he will leave McLaren for Mercedes next season, Lewis Hamilton must get his focus back on track and the Formula One championship fight at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. Mercedes announced last Friday that Hamilton will replace seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher in a major shake-up that also has Sergio Perez going to McLaren. Hamilton has two wins and three non-finishes from his past five races, with that inconsistency leaving him in fourth place in the standings, 52 points behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso with six races to go. He led the previous race in Singapore until he suffered a gearbox failure on lap 23 of 59 and had to retire. “In terms of the championship, there’s nothing to

be really gained by analyzing the points tables,” Hamilton said. “From now on it’s simply gloves-off. As in Singapore, I’ll come out fighting, I’ll just be hoping for a better result.” Hamilton has spent his entire F1 career with McLaren - the team he first began an association with at age 13 - and won the 2008 title, but the team was unwilling to match a lucrative offer from Mercedes. For Schumacher, Hamilton’s move could mark the end of the most decorated career the sport has seen - and a three-year comeback that has seen him fail to duplicate the success of his prime - although there is speculation the 43-year-old German could replace Perez at Sauber next season. Despite the distractions, Schumacher said he was looking forward to the

Japanese GP, a race he has won six times. “My motivation is still very high after the news from last week, especially as Suzuka very clearly is one of the highlights in the calendar for me,” Schumacher said. But Schumacher will be faced with a 10-place grid penalty at Suzuka for causing a spectacular crash with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne during the Singapore GP. Like Hamilton and Schumacher, Perez will be eager to get the focus back on the track after a disappointing result at Marina Bay where he finished 10th. “After underperforming in Singapore, in Japan I am expecting our car to again be as good as it used to be and we should be strong in the high-speed corners,” the Mexican driver said. Hamilton’s McLaren teammate Jenson Button won

here last year and kept a pulse in his faint title hopes by taking second place in Singapore but will drop five places on the grid due to changing a gearbox. It’s the same gearbox problem that forced Hamilton to retire in Singapore. Hamilton will also get a new selector but escapes any penalty because he did not finish in Singapore. Defending champion Sebastian Vettel won in Singapore, a result that allowed the German to replace Hamilton in second place in the standings, where he trails Alonso by 29 points. The Red Bull driver has done well at Suzuka over the years, taking the checkered flag in 2009 and 2010 and finishing third last year to claim his second straight drivers’ championship. — AP

Vettel can turn the heat on Alonso at Japanese GP

Floyd Landis

World cycling body hails court victory over Landis GENEVA: The International Cycling Union said a Swiss court ruling has prohibited Floyd Landis from repeating claims that UCI leaders corruptly protected Lance Armstrong from a doping case. “The judgment upholds and protects the integrity of the UCI and its presidents,” the world cycling body said in a statement released with copies of the court document. In a Sept. 26 ruling published yesterday, Landis is ordered to pay UCI President Pat McQuaid and predecessor Hein Verbruggen 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,667) each, plus legal costs totaling 4,600 Swiss francs ($4,900). The ruling forbids Landis from stating that “Patrick (Pat) McQuaid and/or Henricus (Hein) Verbruggen have concealed cases of doping, received money for doing so, have accepted money from Lance Armstrong to conceal a doping case, have protected certain racing cyclists (and) concealed cases of doping.” Landis is also required to pay to announce the judgment in the Wall Street Journal, French sports daily L’Equipe and several cycling websites. The daily De Volksrant in Verbruggen’s native Netherlands and Geneva daily Le Temps are also included on the court’s list. Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping, was sued in the district court in Vevey - near the UCI’s headquarters in Aigle - after telling a German television station in November 2010 that the UCI protected some star riders from doping claims. The same court is scheduled to hear another defamation case brought by the UCI, against Irish journalist Paul Kimmage on Dec. 12. Kimmage, a former Tour de France rider and anti-doping campaigner, has claimed the UCI and its leaders protected Armstrong from an alleged positive test for the blood-boosting hormone EPO at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland. The UCI sued Kimmage last month after he made comments to L’Equipe and published an interview with Landis in British newspaper The Sunday Times. “False accusations are unacceptable and unlawful, and the UCI will continue to defend itself against all such accusations,” the governing body said yesterday. An American cycling website,, launched a defense fund to help pay Kimmage’s legal fees. Yesterday, it had pledges of more than $50,000. Landis has been given 10 days from receiving the court ruling to appeal, after which “the judgment shall become final and binding.” The document, headlined as a “Judgment by Default,” stated that he faces further fines for failing to comply. However, Landis was not an active party in the civil court proceedings and it remains unclear how the orders would be enforced. — AP

SUZUKA: Sebastian Vettel won his second Formula One title in Suzuka last year but it will take more than another Japanese Grand Prix victory this weekend to put the Red Bull driver back on top of the world. The Red Bull driver, revved up after winning under the Singapore floodlights, lags Ferrari’s championship leader Fernando Alonso by 29 points with six races remaining and everything to play for. Consistency is the key, with Red Bull plagued by alternator failures and Vettel’s win nine days ago only his second in a season full of surprises. The 25-year-old has been on pole at Suzuka for the past three years, however, winning there in 2009 and 2010, and will fancy his chances even if Alonso, second last year, has a knack for appearing on the podium. “I love the Suzuka circuit. In short, it has the most amazing corners and brilliant fans, I really like coming here,” Vettel said in a team preview. “I wish I had won in 2011, it was my third Formula One race on my favourite track and it still bothers me a bit that I took my world title with a third place.” McLaren’s Jenson Button, who considers Japan a home from home due to his Japanese girlfriend and long association with Honda, denied Vettel victory last year but will have a five-place handicap on the grid this time around due to an unscheduled gearbox change. His team mate Lewis Hamilton remains the talk of the paddock after the 2008 world champion’s move to Mercedes next season in place of Michael Schumacher was announced

Sebastian Vettel

last week to end months of speculation. McLaren will want to shield Hamilton as far as possible from all the attention, with the Briton their best shot at the title even if his retirement in Singapore while leading left him 52 points adrift of Alonso. “Clearly there will be cause to be distracted in the next days and weeks,” team principal Martin Whitmarsh, who has already signed Mexican Sergio Perez from Sauber to replace Hamilton, told reporters last week. “We’ve got to try and protect him from

that. “If I know Lewis, he wants to win this year’s world championship, he wants to win the remaining six races. “He’s assured me that he’s a McLaren man for the rest of this year and that he’s going to be completely focused on winning and we are going to try and create as much protection of him and the environment in which he can do that.” Schumacher, the seven times world champion who has enjoyed some of his most memorable career celebrations at Suzuka, will also

Final observations from the Ryder Cup MEDINAH: The PGA Tour supplied the best tonic possible Tuesday to cure the Americans of a Ryder Cup hangover. It staged a press conference to mark the official one-year countdown to the Presidents Cup, the one team event that Americans still seem capable of winning. Then again, it was held at Muirfield Village, where in 1987 they lost the Ryder Cup on home soil for the first time. It hasn’t been the same since. These days, the closest the Americans ever get to that 17-inch trophy is the emblem of it stitched on their team uniforms. Europe now has won seven of the last nine times in the Ryder Cup, and the only reason the dominance isn’t even greater is because Justin Leonard knocked in a 45-foot putt on the 17th hole at The Country Club. The other win was in 2008 at Valhalla, even though the Americans didn’t have Tiger Woods. Or maybe they won because he didn’t play. The immediate question is who the PGA of America will select as the next captain, but that’s assuming the decision will have a bearing on the outcome. In some corners, the captain’s role is overrated - until a team loses, and the fans and media need someone to blame. The next Ryder Cup will be in 2014 in Scotland, which officials referred to as the home of golf. That’s true, although the bagpipes surely will sound a little different on a golf course at Gleneagles designed by Jack Nicklaus. Before looking ahead, it’s worth looking back with a few observations about one of the best Ryder Cup competitions ever: Was this really the “Miracle at Medinah?” The best slogans are built around alliteration, and this could be called the “Meltdown at Medinah,” depending on your colors. It was remarkable, no doubt, because six of the 12 singles matches could have gone either way. By the

numbers, Europe matched a Ryder Cup record by rallying from a 10-6 deficit on the final day, same as the Americans at Brookline in 1999. The difference is that Europe did this on the road. And the American comeback was easier because Europe had three Ryder Cup rookies who did not hit a shot until Sunday singles. This Ryder Cup had 24 of the top 35 players in the world. Throw in 18-hole matches, and there’s no such thing as a sure thing. Remember, Europe had a three-point lead going into the final day at Wales before a home crowd and it came down to the last match. The lesson going forward is that no lead is safe. The only “miracle” reference should be to Saturday afternoon, when the Americans had a 10-4 lead and was ahead in the final match. It looked as though they would have an 11-5 lead at worst until Ian Poulter birdied his last five holes and Europe picked up an invaluable point - and the momentum. Rory McIlroy is a sure thing Boy Wonder might be the only guy who can roll out of a bed and win a singles match at the Ryder Cup. McIlroy didn’t sleep in, he just got the time zones mixed up. But there was a feeling that whoever the Americans had facing him didn’t stand a chance. Jim Furyk referred to McIlroy as the “present day Tiger Woods,” and he might be right. Even with the match all square, there was never a sense that McIlroy was going to lose. Man of the match Martin Kaymer holed the putt that clinched the Ryder Cup for Europe, but there was no mistaking its star. Ian Poulter became the first captain’s pick to go 4-0, and he might have won them all if Jose Maria Olazabal had not held him out Friday afternoon. There were only four matches all week when a team or a player was

SCOTLAND: Paul Lawrie during the photo call at Gleneagles Golf Club in Perthshire, Scotland. Lawrie handed over the newly retained Ryder Cup trophy to Gleneagles club to mark the countdown to the 2014 Ryder Cup. — AP

behind at any point on the back nine and rallied to win. Poulter was involved in two of them. His career record is now 12-3, the highest winning percentage of any European player in history. Poulter effectively locked up a spot on the team for the next several years, and Lee Westwood even went so far as to jokingly suggest a change to the qualifying process for Europe. “It’s nine spots, two picks, and Poults,” he said. Tiger Woods as the anchor Curtis Strange was criticized in 2002 for sending out Woods in the 12th and final match Sunday at The Belfry for two reasons. His point might be irrelevant at that stage (it was) and he would not be able to contribute to any momentum from an earlier spot in the lineup. Davis Love III did the same at Medinah. Woods actually was in the right spot. He just didn’t deliver. The Americans needed to see Woods take control of his match against Francesco Molinari, knowing they would be assured a point in that anchor match. Woods fell behind two holes early. He took the lead for the first time on the 13th hole, and the match was still square with two holes remaining. The last time Woods was in that spot, in 2002, he built a 2-up lead early against Jesper Parnevik, didn’t put him away and actually trailed after 15 holes. His half-point was irrelevant as far as who won the cup. It could have, and perhaps should have, meant something. Rookies The PGA of America devotes an entire page to rookie records in the Ryder Cup. Love said all week, and the PGA of America should take note, that there really are no rookies in the Ryder Cup. Webb Simpson (US Open) and Martin Kaymer (PGA Championship) had won majors the year they made their Ryder Cup debut. Yes, the pressure is more intense at the Ryder Cup than any tournament, but it’s that way for the veterans, too. The four American “rookies” went 9-6. Two of their best players were rookies - Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley, both of whom were 3-1. Dufner might have won all four of his matches except for Poulter finishing a fourballs match with five straight birdies. The next captain Paul McGinley is the leading candidate for Europe, a decision with strong influence by the players. Nothing is clear for the US team, a decision by the PGA of America. There seems to be a template for the US team that captains be former major champions in their late 40s. That would point toward David Toms, who played on three losing teams. Fred Couples gets a lot of attention, but the Presidents Cup is far less stressful than the Ryder Cup, and he doesn’t have a lot of support from within the PGA of America. Larry Nelson is a popular choice because he was overlooked. He’ll be 67 in 2014. And there is some thought to let Paul Azinger be captain again. The last American who was captain more than once was Jack Nicklaus. That was in 1987 at Muirfield Village, and that didn’t turn out very well. — AP

be in the limelight at what could be his farewell to the Japanese circuit. “My motivation is completely intact after the news last week, especially because Suzuka is one of the season’s highlights for me,” Schumacher said in a team preview. “I enjoy the circuit, it has sections that challenge you as a driver like almost nowhere else. Then there are the fans: They love motor racing and it is fun to feel their passion.” Kimi Raikkonen, who still holds the race lap record from his McLaren days in 2005 when he came from 17th on the grid in one of his finest victories, will also be a man to watch in the Lotus. The Finn has yet to win this season, despite being third overall, but Suzuka offers probably his best chance of the remaining races. “You need an aerodynamically strong car there, and a solid car to go through those fast, long sweeping corners. I think that suits the E20,” he said. Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi will be the local hero, with Japanese fans more revved up than ever after he put his car on the front row in qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix little more than a month ago. No Japanese has ever won his home grand prix but Kobayashi, whose team mate Perez has had three podium finishes this season including two second places, will have some dreaming of what might be possible. “I’m very much looking forward to my home Grand Prix in Suzuka. I think our car should be very fast there,” said Kobayashi, who will have a new front wing and aerodynamic package on his Sauber. — Reuters

Kaymer eyes Dunhill Links ST. ANDREWS: Ryder Cup winner Martin Kaymer hopes to repeat history in the Dunhill Links Championship starting today. Two years ago, the German followed a Ryder Cup victory by winning at St. Andrews by three strokes, including an approach shot off a road that set up birdie on his final hole. After making the clinching putt for Europe at Medinah on Sunday, he’s back with manager Johann Elliot as his amateur partner for the pro-am. “The first time I played in the Ryder Cup I came here a week later and won the Dunhill Links and it would be nice to do that again,” Kaymer said. “I know that Johann is really looking forward to the week and so am I. “So now after the wonderful ride and the journey last week it’s time to focus on this week’s tournament.” That won’t be easy after such a high. Also, Europe teammates Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson are in the field, along with American Ryder Cup player Dustin Johnson to stir up memories. Kaymer has admitted countryman Bernhard Langer was on his mind as he stood over the six-foot putt to win the Ryder Cup. Langer missed a putt of similar length to concede the cup in 1991. Langer talked to the team last Wednesday, but Kaymer was keen to know more about his experiences and asked him on Friday night for a one-on-one on Saturday. “So we sat down for an hour and talked about a bunch of stuff, and that was very nice and it inspired me more,” Kaymer said. “It gave me the right attitude for the Sunday.” When the match set up for him to win it, Kaymer brushed aside the pressure. “It was such a fine line between being the hero or the biggest idiot,” Kaymer said. “Fortunately, it went the right way.” The normally self-controlled Kaymer was embarrassed later with how he reacted, by running and jumping into the arms of teammate Sergio Garcia. “I asked my brother if I looked ridiculous on TV because I was in a complete new zone, and I have never seen myself like this,” Kaymer said. “He said, ‘No, no, you’re fine.’ He even said it did not look ridiculous, and it’s a good thing, because it came natural. It’s how you felt, it’s a true feeling, it doesn’t matter. “So I’ve watched my reaction a few times on TV and YouTube and stuff. Yeah, it’s didn’t look that bad.” The Dunhill Links is played over three holes, finishing at St. Andrews. South Africans Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington are playing, and among the amateurs are swimmer Michael Phelps, double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius, actor Greg Kinnear, footballer Johan Cruyff and cricketers Ian Botham, Shane Warne, and Brian Lara. — AP


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New Zealand bars Tyson from entry WELLINGTON: New Zealand cancelled a visa for Mike Tyson because of his rape conviction, days after Prime Minister John Key spoke out against the visit by the former heavyweight champion. Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said yesterday she was also influenced by a charity that would have benefited from his appearance wanting nothing to do with Tyson. Tyson said he had been looking forward to meeting New Zealand’s indigenous Maori, the inspiration for his notorious facial tattoo. But his whole Down Under speaking tour, scheduled for next month, was threatening to fall apart: Australian immigration authorities said

they’ve yet to decide whether to let him in. Tyson’s 1992 rape conviction would normally prevent his entry in New Zealand and could be grounds for denial in Australia as well. Tyson was to speak at a November event in Auckland, the “Day of the Champions,” which is being promoted by Sydney agency Markson Sparks. Yesterday the agency continued to promote tickets for appearances in New Zealand and five major Australian cities. Wilkinson said in a statement her approval was “a finely balanced call,” but then the Life Education Trust charity withdrew its support on Tuesday. The charity’s chief executive, John

O’Connell, however, said it long ago decided not to accept any money from the event due to its concerns over Tyson’s character. O’Connell said a volunteer trustee mistakenly sent a letter to immigration authorities supporting Tyson’s plans. Promoter Max Markson said he’s continuing to sell tickets - from 69 to 300 Australian dollars ($70 and $310) - and will give refunds if Tyson cannot appear. He said he had been “hoping it might be a smoother run,” but remained confident Australia would grant Tyson a visa and that New Zealand would reverse its decision when he found another suitable charity.

“He’ll only be in the country for 20 hours, I don’t think he’s a danger to anybody, and thousands of people want to see him,” Markson said. Would-be visitors to Australia normally must pass a character test. Those who have a “substantial criminal record” including people who, like Tyson, have been sentenced to more than a year in prison - fail the test. But the department can use its discretion to grant such people visas. Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison for the 1991 rape of an 18 yearold woman in an Indianapolis hotel room. He served three years before being released on parole. A spokesman

for Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship said, “I can tell you that a decision is still pending” on Tyson’s application. Speaking to the APNZ news agency this week from Las Vegas before his New Zealand visa was cancelled, Tyson said his tattoo was inspired by those worn by Maori. In pre-European times, many Maori wore elaborate facial tattoos as a sign of their status. These days, some Maori who identify strongly with their traditional culture get similar tattoos. Tyson told the agency that, aside from their tattoos, he knew little about Maori, “so I’m looking forward to come down there and see them.”—AP

Pietersen, England reach agreement on recall

TOKYO: Andy Murray of Britain returns a shot to Lukas Lacko of Slovakia during their second round match of the Japan Open tennis championships.—AP

Murray demolishes Lacko TOKYO: Defending champion Andy Murray overpowered Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko 6-1 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the Japan Open yesterday with all the panache of a grand slam winner. The Olympic gold medallist, playing his first tournament since capturing his first grand slam title at last month’s US Open, completed the rout in just 56 minutes. “I started the match almost perfect,” Murray told reporters after stretching his winning streak to nine matches and setting up a quarter-final with Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka. “I only lost a couple of points in the first four or five games,” added the Scot. “Once I got the break in the second set I started to play better.” Murray mixed up his game to good effect against Lacko with the centre court roof closed as rain from an approaching typhoon lashed Tokyo Bay. An array of drop shots and sliced passing shots from mid-court left Lacko shaking his head in disbelief, Murray putting him out of his misery with a sweet drop volley. Murray, who reached the final of this year’s Wimbledon before exacting revenge on Wawrinka’s buddy Roger Federer in the

Olympic final in London, is not counting his chickens yet. “He is playing very well just now,” Murray said of the seventh-seeded Wawrinka. “I think hard courts are a good surface for him. I expect another tough match.” Wawrinka blew three match points in the second set tiebreaker but came through to beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 7-6 6-7 7-5 in two hours, 37 minutes. “It wasn’t easy having (wasted) three match points in the tiebreak,” said the 2008 Olympic doubles gold medallist, who served 19 aces. “You need to be ready to still play the third set and to fight.” Wawrinka praised Murray for breaking his grand slam duck after losing his first four major finals. “He is playing great,” said the Swiss. “He won the Olympics, he won the U.S. Open and he always plays great here. It’s going to be tough for sure.” Late starters Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic and Argentine Juan Monaco won their first round matches yesterday. Third seed Janko Tipsarevic, resplendent in a pair of bright orange goggles, beat France’s Gilles Simon 46 6-3 6-1 to avenge his loss in last week’s Bangkok semi-finals.—Reuters

Djokovic in China quarters BEIJING: Novak Djokovic was happy to reach the China Open quarter-finals in straight sets yesterday as he targets his fourth title of the season and presses his bid to be crowned year-end world number one. The Serb, second in the world rankings behind Roger Federer, dismantled unseeded Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-1, 6-3 to extend his unbeaten record at an event he won in 2009 and 2010 and missed last year through injury. Djokovic is playing his first tournament since losing last month’s US Open final to Andy Murray, and looked ring-rusty in the first round when he was taken to three sets by Germany’s Michael Berrer.

BEIJING: Serbia’s Novak Djokovic waves to the crowd after defeating Carlos Berlocq of Argentina in their men’s singles tennis match of the China Open tennis tournament.—AP But the five-time Grand Slam-winner, 25, won the first set against Berlocq in only 25 minutes and raced to a 5-0 lead in the second. He then lost three games carelessly and was relieved to wrap it up without playing a third set. “It was an interesting couple of games at the end of the match where he came up with some good shots and we played some entertaining points,” Djokovic said.

“I should have done a better job in winning those games and winning this match earlier but in the end I won in straight sets. That’s what matters the most.” The top seed will play Austrian Jurgen Melzer in the next round. Melzer knocked out sixth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov in three sets. Djokovic’s main challenger for the title, third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, enjoyed an easy passage when his opponent Nikolay Davydenko pulled out ahead of their match citing an injury. In the women’s draw, world number two Maria Sharapova coasted through her second-round match, while defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska came from behind to defeat Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain. The third seed required physio treatment on her right thigh early in the match and looked to be heading out. However, she rallied to a 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory and will play either Li Na or Peng Shuai in the quarter-finals. Russian tennis queen Sharapova made simpler progress as she beat Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, ranked 29th, 6-2, 6-2. “I thought I served really well today, much better than the first round,” the four-time Grand Slam champion said. “She (Cirstea) is someone that likes to be aggressive, get the first shot and hit it really hard. I was happy I took her time away. It was important to try to take that away from her,” Sharapova added. The 25-year-old will face Slovenia’s Polona Hercog, 90th in the rankings, in the third round. However, there was a shock in the last 16 when the 69th-ranked Romina Oprandi of Switzerland beat former world number one Ana Ivanovic in straight sets to progress to the quarter-finals. Oprandi, who only got a place in the tournament after Serena Williams’ late withdrawal, defeated the 11th seed from Serbia 6-4, 6-3. “I really struggled to find my rhythm out there today, especially on the forehand,” said Ivanovic, the world number 12. “The ball was coming without much pace and I wasn’t really efficient moving forward and taking advantage of that,” she added. “It was the unforced errors that made a big difference.” Ivanovic’s compatriot Jelena Jankovic was also knocked out, losing to Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 6-4. Navarro will play France’s Marion Bartoli in the quarter-finals after the ninth seed overcame Julia Goerges of Germany 6-3, 7-6 (7/2).—AFP

LONDON: Kevin Pietersen will be slowly reintegrated into the England side after the brilliant but controversial batsman settled his drawn-out rift with team management, earning him a short-term central contract. Pietersen has been out of favor with England since being dropped for sending provocative phone messages to South Africa players about then-test captain Andrew Strauss in August, disrupting the unity of the team and leaving him an outcast. But after lengthy talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board, Pietersen will undertake a program of reintegration after which selectors “will consider Kevin for future matches,” effectively putting him on probation. “It’s been a horrible situation for all involved but thankfully we have drawn a line under it,” the 32-yearold Pietersen said at a news conference in Colombo yesterday. “Playing cricket for England is the pinnacle of any cricketer’s career, and I want an opportunity to do that again as soon as possible. “I’m entirely committed to completing the reintegration process we have agreed . and resuming my England career in all formats, I hope, until the World Cup in 2015 as long as my body allows.” Pietersen has signed an initial four-month central contract which can be extended to Sept. 30, 2013 “on the completion of the reintegration program,” said ECB chairman Giles Clarke, who flanked Pietersen at the news conference. The South African-born batsman wants to resume his international

career in time for upcoming tour of India, with England leaving for the subcontinent - via a training camp in Dubai - on Oct. 25. Returning for the start of that tour is unlikely, although the five-match one-day series against the Indians at the beginning of January is more possible. If the reintegration process is successful - it is being overseen by England coach Andy Flower -

Pietersen should certainly be back by the time the team travels to New Zealand in Februar y for a twomonth tour. “I want my son growing up seeing me playing for England and I hope one day he will put an England shirt on himself,” Pietersen said. Pietersen, who averages nearly 50 in test matches and is the most prolific batsman in the world when

LONDON: In this Friday, Aug.19, 2011 file photo, England’s Kevin Pietersen celebrates his century during their fourth Test match against India, at The Oval cricket ground.—AP

at his best, missed out on selection for the World Twenty20 currently taking place in Sri Lanka because of the controversy. He is working as a television pundit over there but England could have done with him on the pitch as its defense of the T20 trophy ended on Monday with a loss to Sri Lanka in the Super Eights stage. England also relinquished its No. 1 test ranking by losing the summer series to South Africa. Pietersen has been engaged in talks with management and new test captain Alastair Cook in recent weeks after pledging his commitment to his adopted country, which had been in doubt this year as he sought a new contract that would free him up for commitments in the lucrative Indian Premier League. That began the rift and it was continued when he used text messages to communicate with South Africa players about Strauss. “Kevin conceded that the messages exchanged were provocative,” the ECB said in a statement. “ECB is satisfied . that to the best of his recollection, Kevin did not convey any messages which were derogatory about the England captain, the England team director (Flower), the ECB or employees of the ECB. “Furthermore, there was no tactical information whatsoever provided to members of the South African touring party.” The eventual return of Pietersen would bulk up the England batting lineup following the retirement last month of Strauss, who stressed his decision was not linked with his disagreement with Pietersen.—AP

Jayawardene defends captaincy switch, calls it a ‘tactical move’ COLOMBO: Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene is baffled by the reaction to his team’s captaincy switch in Monday’s World Twenty20 match against England and thinks there is nothing wrong with the “tactical move”. Regular skipper Jayawardene sent Kumar Sangakkara for toss in the match to avoid the threat of a ban because of a second possible slow over rate offence. Jayawardene, however, continued to take the decisions on the field, triggering a debate whether or not the move was against the spirit of the game. The International Cricket Council (ICC) said all playing conditions and conduct would be reviewed after the tournament. “Like I said myself including the management and everyone else, we felt that we tried to

do something as we wanted to handle a certain situation,” Jayawardene told reporters yesterday. “I know different people will have different opinions about it. There is no malice in what we did. “I spoke to (England captain) Stuart (Broad) as well when I walked in before the match. He was okay with that and I can’t stop people thinking and questioning whether it’s a right spirit or not.” The hosts were fined for a slow over rate during their match against West Indies and under the ICC rules Jayawardene will face a one-match suspension if Sri Lanka infringe again in the next 12 months under his captaincy. “I haven’t done anything wrong by any team or any player or any individual,” the stylish righthanded batsman said.

“We just did a tactical move like what we would have done in a match, bowling change or a batting change or something like that, we just changed our captain. Regular vice-captain Angelo Mathews was also under a warning for the same offence in a match against Pakistan, so Sri Lanka had to revert to Sangakkara. “He (Sangakkara) is a reputed player as well. Kumar has been a leader for us. We have been blessed with two, three captains in the team. So we can use whoever we want,” Jayawardene said. “He is part and parcel of the squad. We did not bring somebody from out of the squad to lead the team.” The hosts will play Pakistan in the first semi-final of the World Twenty20 today. —Reuters

Mystery spinners crack T-20 code

COLOMBO: Pakistan’s captain Mohammad Hafeez prepares to throw a rocket ball during a training session ahead of their semifinal match against Sri Lanka in the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup.—AP

COLOMBO: Modern bats and the crash-bang format of 20-over cricket may suggest other wise but Ajantha Mendis and fellow practitioners of unorthodox spin bowling have proved they are not in the World Twenty20 just to play cannon-fodder. Field restrictions and the batsman’s freedom stemming from the format’s brevity make 20-over cricket indubitably the most batsmanbiased of the game’s three formats. Denied the luxury of close-in fielders, spinners often retreat into a defensive shell, sacrificing flight to embrace the safer method of darting flat and faster deliveries for a possible dot ball. However, the likes of Mendis, Saeed Ajmal and Sunil Narine have proved in the ongoing World Twenty20 that they not only possess the craft to escape any batting carnage but can actually emerge as genuine match-winners. Mendis has returned from a back problem to bowl all five variations, including the “carrom ball”, which he flicks using his middle finger, to be Sri Lanka’s best bowler in the tournament claiming nine wickets from four matches.

Off-spinner Ajmal has played the same role for Pakistan, grabbing eight wickets from five matches, using his ‘doosra’ - the delivery which spins the other way - to bamboozle batsmen. Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene insisted both Mendis and Ajmal are much more than just mystery spinners. “Those guys are playing for five-six years. So I don’t know whether there is enough mystery (left) in it. Lot of the guys have played them,” Jayawardene told reporters yesterday. “You have to give them credit, they’ve been two quality spinners. People have analysed them and seen videos of them. But all these guys are quality spinners. They have got some talent and they have been showcasing that.” So has been West Indies offspinner Narine whose bag of tricks makes the 24-year-old tweaker from Trinidad quite a handful in the sub-continent. “Sunil is our trump card, he’s done well for us in that format,” West Indies captain Darren Sammy said. “In Sri Lankan conditions if he’s got assistance he will be a handful.”—Reuters



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KIFF announces commencement of season 2012-2013 KUWAIT: Kuwait Indian Football Federation announces the much awaited final countdown for season 2012-2013. After the customary summer break all soccer loving Indian expatriates will begin their vigil from Oct 5, 2012 at the Al-Sabah Football grounds every Friday mornings to watch their favorite teams battle it out in the KIFF League for the Late JP D’Melo Rolling Trophy for season 2012-2013. 18 teams grouped in 4 groups will participate in the KIFF league which will be played on round robin league format with the top 2 teams qualifying for the knockout quarterfinals stage. KIFF President Fidelis Fernandes who has been elected unopposed for

a record consecutive fourth term along with the KIFF Managing Committee cordially invites all the former KIFF Presidents to take part in the opening ceremony at 7am on 5th October 2012 at the Al Sabah Football Grounds. Tony D’Costa, IFRA referee and a famous personality of Indian Expatriate soccer in Kuwait will be the special invitee as he departs for good after more than three decades in Kuwait. The KIFF Managing Committee also invites all the Presidents and members of the 18 affiliates to take part in the opening ceremony. KIFF season 2012-2013 will be officiated by IFRA, an Indian professional refereeing body in the State of Kuwait. It may be noted that Kuwait Indian Football

Federation is the only Indian expatriate federation in the entire Middle East with registered players on their rooster and also supported by GFA and AIFF. The opener to the season will be between the defending Champions Don Bosco Oratory and runners up DHL Football Club. The man of the match awards for the KIFF League are sponsored by Integrated Logistics Co and Al Mailem Group of Companies and will be judged by personalities specially selected by KIFF MC. Adding spice to the KIFF league will be the Housie Snowball with a special prize of an air ticket on sector Kwt-Mum-Kwt on Jet Airways sponsored by Al Qatan Travels. The KIFF Managing Committee

for season 2012-2012 is headed by the Hon. President Fidelis Fernandes (KGA) along with Hon. Vice President Derrick Gomedes (RBFC) Hon. Gen. Secretary Praveen Kumar (Sparx) Hon. Sports Secretary Kevin Vaz (AVC) Hon. Treasurer Adly D’Lima (UG) Hon. Registrar Stevin Fernandes (DBO) Hon. PRO Julio Cardozo (GOA) Hon. Asst. Sports Secretary Joseph Gomes (DHL) and Hon. Reliever Seby Dias (Curtocares United) The 18 affiliates comprises of Goan Overseas Association, United Goans Centre, YRC Rising Stars, Navelim Youth Center, CRC Chinchinim, Curtorcares United, United Friends Club, Kuwait Goans Association, FC Sparx, Indian Strikers FC, DHL Football

Club, AVC Overseas Sports and Cultural Association, Skynet Raiders Soccer Club, Santos United, Don Bosco Oratory, Malabar United FC, Real Betalbatim Football Club and Kerala Challengers. The KIFF Managing Committee wishes all the 18 affiliates the very best for a grueling season 2012-2013. All the soccer loving fans are cordially invited for the opening ceremony and the matches to follow during the new season. Schedule of 1st day matches 1st Match 07.00 am Don Bosco Oratory V/S DHL Football Club 2nd Match 08.30 am Malabar United Fc V/S Cutorcares United 3rd Match 10.00 am Navelim Youth Center V/S Skynet Raiders FC

Barcelona’s Puyol sidelined

MINSK: Bayern Munich players Dante (left), Franck Ribery (second from left) and Daniel Van Buyten (second from right) train in this file photo. —AP

Bayern vow to return to winning ways after defeat BERLIN: Bayern Munich swallowed the bitter taste of unexpected defeat to BATE Borisov in the Champions League and vowed to return to their winning ways yesterday. “We now have to stick with it, keep working,” said Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer after the 3-1 loss to the Belarussian champions in Minsk on Tuesday. “We have to win the two upcoming games against Lille and then with nine points things will look up again. Obviously for us it is very bitter to lose 3-1.” The defeat ended Bayern’s nine-game winning streak and the four-times European champions, who beat Valencia in their opener, found themselves in an unexpected three-horse race in Group F. Bayern, Champions League finalists last season, are on three points the same as Valencia who beat Lille 2-0 on

Tuesday. BATE are top with six. The Bavarians spent more than 70 million euros ($90.54 million) on the transfer market in the close season in an effort to go one step further than last year when they lost to Chelsea on penalties in the final in Munich. However, neither holding midfielder Javi Martinez, picked to start over Bastian Schweinsteiger, nor forward Mario Mandzukic made any impact in Minsk. After a largely one-sided first half when they should have scored at least twice, Bayern, playing without the injured Arjen Robben, lacked pace and creativity and were unable to get back into the game after BATE took a 2-0 lead in the 78th minute. Coach Jupp Heynckes said the team should learn a lesson from the defeat. — Reuters

MADRID: Carles Puyol’s dislocated elbow will keep him out of action for about two months and means Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova faces another unwelcome defensive conundrum for Sunday’s La Liga ‘Clasico’ at home to Real Madrid. In his first game back after a knee injury, Puyol landed heavily in the second half of Tuesday’s 2-0 Champions League Group G victory at Benfica and the La Liga club said yesterday he would be sidelined for about eight weeks. The shaggy-haired 34-year-old, whose regular central defensive partner Gerard Pique has not played since hurting his foot two weeks ago, was taken to hospital for checks before flying back to the Catalan capital. He spent the night under observation in a clinic and appeared in good spirits yesterday. “Good day! The sun always comes out again... thanks for all your messages! A big hug,” he wrote on his Twitter feed. Barca will sorely miss Puyol’s experience and inspirational do-or-die attitude on Sunday and if Pique does not recover in time, Vilanova may again be forced to deploy new signing Alex Song alongside fellow converted midfielder Javier Mascherano. Neither were convincing in Barca’s 3-2 comeback win at Sevilla in La Liga at the weekend and Song has yet to settle properly after joining from Arsenal in the close season. Vilanova also has the option of throwing youth academy graduates Marc Bartra or Andreu Fontas into the fray, although it would be a major gamble given the importance of the game. Victory for Barca, who have won all six of their La Liga games and top the standings by two points from Atletico Madrid, would put them 11 points clear of their bitter rivals. Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid side, who play at Ajax Amsterdam in Champions League Group D lat-

er on Wednesday, have already lost twice in La Liga, the same number of defeats as in the whole of their title-winning campaign last season. “I have always said it, we have always had

Real did get the better of Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup, winning the second leg of the traditional season-opener at the Bernabeu stadium 2-1 to level the tie at 4-4 and take the

Barcelona’s Carles Puyol lies on the pitch after dislocating his elbow in this file photo. problems in central defence but we will get through it,” Vilanova told a news conference after the Benfica match. “It’s not just a question of what Barca loses for the Clasico on Sunday but also what it loses in terms of all the other matches,” he added. Barca had been forced to “convert players into positions which are not theirs”, he said, but could potentially count on “homegrown players, which is what we have them for”. Puyol’s injury took some of the shine off yet another victory for Vilanova’s men, who have won all eight of their matches in La Liga and the Champions League this season.

trophy on the away goals rule. There was at least some good news on Tuesday for Vilanova on the fitness of Andres Iniesta, who returned from Spain duty last month with a muscle strain but came on in place of Cesc Fabregas for the final 20 minutes of Tuesday’s game. Forward David Villa, who is gradually coming back from a broken leg sustained in December and came off the bench to score the winner at Sevilla, replaced Pedro with about 10 minutes left and looks to be back to something close to his best. —Reuters

Gladiators Fighting Championship KUWAIT: The Gladiators Fighting Championship was held in Kuwait recently with 10 free fighting and kick boxing matches between Kuwaiti and Arab champions for the GFC belts. The championship concluded with the main event between world champion in kick boxing and Kung Fu from Egypt Ahmad Ibrahim, and world champion in fighting American Ray Ilby. Around 2,200 fans saw the matches in addition to a large number of dignitaries. The free fighting 75 kg belt was won by Ahmad Qadhamani, kick boxing 54 kg, belt by Sari Al-Abbad. Free fighting belt 79 kg was claimed by Nawaf AlOtaibi, kick boxing 57 kg Jarrah Al-Shimmari, free fighting 83 kg belt was taken by Ahmad Hayati, kick boxing 68 kg belt won by Abdelrahman Al-Qattan, kick boxing 71 kg by Fahad Al-Shimmari, free fighting 87 kg belt went to Nasser Al-Qattan, and kick boxing belt 92 kg was taken by Abdallah Al-Turaihi. The main event was won by the Egyptian Ahmad Ibrahim.




City salvage draw

GERMANY: Montpellier’s Garry Bocaly (right) and Schalke’s Julian Draxler challenge for the ball during the Champions League Group B soccer match. —AP

Late Camara strike grabs 10-man Montpellier a point GERMANY: A 90th-minute equaliser from striker Souleymane Camara saw ten-man Montpellier take an unexpected point in a 2-2 draw at Schalke 04 in the Champions League yesterday. Schalke were 2-1 up and cruising to their second Champions League win of the season when Senegal international Camara stunned the Veltins Arena crowd with a curling effort round Royal Blues goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall. It earned his team their first Champions League point and leaves Arsenal top of Group B on six points after their 2-1 win over Olympiakos. Montpellier’s Morocco forward Karim Ait-Fana had given his side an early lead, but Schalke teenager Julia Draxler equalised - who only turned 19 at the beginning of last month and became the youngest ever German scorer in Champions League history. The game turned Schalke’s way in the 52nd minute with the score locked at 1-1 when Garry Bocaly felled Draxler in the area and Russian referee Sergey Karasev showed no hesitation in awarding a penalty and showing a red card. Draxler had to be taken off in obvious discomfort after landing heavily on his

arm and Holland striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar slammed the penalty into the bottom left hand corner to put the hosts ahead for the first time. Ait-Fana had given the visitors the initiative when he curled in a goal from distance with only 13 minutes gone. But Draxler, who has been on the fringes of the Germany team, levelled. Huntelaar’s pass split the defence to put Draxler into space and the teenager darted around Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren before he slotted home. The hosts started to extert their authority and despite a split share of possession finished with 19 shots on goal compared to the French team’s four. Huntelaar, Schalke’s Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Finland striker Teemu Pukki all had chances to score as Montpellier began to tire. The Dutch striker, the Bundesliga’s top scorer last season, squandered a golden chance to score the Royal Blues third with 88 minutes gone when he fired just wide seconds before Camara finished off the decisive counter-attack. Schalke face a tough tie in London at Arsenal on October 24, the same night Montpellier host Olympiakos. —AFP

MANCHESTER: Mario Balotelli’s last-minute penalty secured Manchester City a 1-1 Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund that they scarcely deserved here yesterday. A goal from Marco Reus looked to be enough to secure victory for Jurgen Klopp’s team and leave a major dent in City’s hopes of progressing from Group D and into the knockout phase. But with just two minutes left Neven Subotic was penalised for handball and Balotelli converted from the spot to earn City a point that could prove crucial. They now face a double-header against Ajax before hosting Real Madrid and then travelling to Dortmund for their final match. But on this evidence Dortmund must be strong favourites to progress along with Real. City are still waiting for a first clean sheet of the season and have managed just three wins in their nine matches. On their last visit to England, Dortmund were easily beaten by Arsenal last season but Klopp’s side looked a far more mature side in the opening period at the Etihad Stadium. Samir Nasri had a shot saved by Roman Weidenfeller after just 25 seconds. But the Germans were soon in the ascendency. Robert Lewandowski headed wide from a Marcel Schmelzer cross and did the same with a ball in from deep from fellow Pole Lukasz Piszcek. David Silva has struggled since the turn of the year but the Spaniard looked on form again, clipping over the top for Sergio Aguero, who was denied by Weidenfeller before Pablo Zabaleta lifted over from Silva’s pass. After a rare mistake by Vincent Kompany in midfield, Lewandowski slid through for Gotze, whose shot was pushed on to the post by Hart. Ilkay Gundogan and Neven Subotic both missed with shots from outside the area as the German side continued their dominance. City suffered a further blow just after the half-hour mark when Javier Garcia limped off to be replaced by Jack Rodwell. Silva created another fine opportunity when he drifted in from the right and guided a pass through for Aguero, whose effort was blocked by the goalkeeper. Yet another patient Dortmund passing move resulted in Gotze being played in behind the City defence and he was only denied by a fine block from Hart. Seconds later the England goalkeeper pulled off another fine stop when he pushed on to the bar with yet another effort from Gotze. But City almost struck just before the interval

when Zabaleta’s cross was missed by Edin Dzeko and, at full stretch, Silva volleyed over from a couple of yards out. After the restart, Dzeko worked Weidenfeller once again when he controlled a Toure pass on his chest and had a half volley saved by the Dortmund goalkeeper. But it was still Dortmund that were creating

Blaszczykowski prodded a pass through for Reus and Hart came up with an impressive block. The England goalkeeper also swatted away a curling shot from Gundogan as Dortmund pressed hard. Lewandowski should have killed the game with a quarter of an hour remaining but he prodded wide after he was picked out by

LONDON: Manchester City’s Gael Clichy (left) fights for the ball against Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Gotze during their Champions League Group D soccer match.—AP the dangerous chances, with Piszczek clipping a ball back for Gotze to once again have a driven effort pushed wide by Hart. Just after the hour they pulled ahead thanks to an error from Rodwell. The England midfielder’s weak pass to Matija Nastasic was easily cut out by Reus, who burst through and hit a shot with enough power to finally beat Hart. They threatened once again when Jackub

Blaszczykowski. Aguero had a header from Zabaleta’s crossed pushed away by Weidenfeller. But with two minutes remaining, City got a reprieve when Aguero’s flick hit Subotic’s hand and referee Pavel Kralovec pointed to the spot. Balotelli made no mistake from the spot to pull City level but Hart had to make another great save from Lewandowski to preserve the point. —AFP

Europa League

Liverpool’s youngsters set for Udinese test

BRUSSELS: Spain’s Malaga player Eliseu (second right) celebrates with teammates after scoring against RSC Anderlecht during the Group C Champions League soccer match. —AP

Malaga tops Anderlecht BRUSSELS: Eliseu scored two great goals to lead Malaga past Anderlecht 3-0 and give the Spanish club the lead in Group C of the Champions League. On the stroke of halftime, the Portuguese international unleashed a 22 meter left-foot volley to break open the game, and after Joaquin had scored a 57th minute penalty, Eliseu put the game beyond doubt with a looping lob out of reach of goalie Silvio Proto. With its defense yet to concede a goal in the Champions League, Malaga took the group lead with six points, ahead of AC Milan on four. Milan beat Zenit St. Petersburg 3-2 earlier Wednesday. The victory extended Malaga’s good start to the season after financial worries over the summer looked set to weaken the club.

But once the club’s Qatari owners made it clear they had no intention of selling and shook up the front office, everything has gone Malaga’s way. It stands in third place in the league and has looked impressive in the Champions League. Anderlecht came in with high hopes of taking the joint lead in the group, but never got a challenge going. When the Belgian champion was given some space early on, its forwards Milan Jovanovic and Dieumerci Mbokani couldn’t break through when faced with a staunch defense led by Martin Demichelis. As soon as Malaga decided to increase the pace and push forward, the momentum swung. Proto made some sterling saves to keep the visitors at bay, but the match was effectively over when Eliseu scored his first. —AP

Champions League table PARIS: Champions League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): FC Porto PSG Dynamo Kiev Dinamo Zagreb

2 2 2 2

Group A 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0

0 1 1 2

3 4 3 0

0 2 4 4

6 3 3 0

Arsenal Schalke Montpellier Olympiakos

2 4 2 2

Group B 2 0 2 1 0 1 0 0

0 1 1 2

5 0 3 2

2 4 4 5

6 3 1 0

BATE Borisov Valencia Bayern Munich Lille

2 2 2 2

Group F 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0

Malaga AC Milan Anderlecht Zenit

2 2 2 2

Group C 2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0

0 0 1 2

6 3 0 2

0 2 3 6

6 4 1 0

Barcelona Celtic Benfica Spartak

2 2 2 2

Real Madrid B Dortmund Man City Ajax

2 2 2 2

Group D 2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0

0 0 1 2

7 2 3 1

3 1 4 5

6 4 1 0

Man United CFR Cluj Sporting Braga Galatasaray

2 2 2 2

Played Tuesday Group E Chelsea 2 1 1 0 Shakhtar 2 1 1 0 Juventus 2 0 2 0 Nordsjaelland 2 0 0 2

6 3 3 0

2 1 3 6

4 4 2 0

0 1 1 2

6 3 3 1

2 2 4 5

6 3 3 0

Group G 2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0

0 0 1 2

5 3 0 4

2 2 2 6

6 4 1 0

Group H 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0

0 1 1 2

3 3 2 0

1 2 2 3

6 3 3 0

LONDON: Liverpool is relying on its youngsters to get the club through to the knockout stage of the Europa League. On current evidence, it could well be a successful policy. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers saw a team comprising youngsters and fringe players begin the groupstage campaign with a pulsating 5-3 win at Swiss side Young Boys two weeks ago. So happy has Rodgers been with the development of young players such as Spanish playmaker Jesus Fernandez Saez, right back Andre Wisdom and winger Raheem Sterling that he has included them for Premier League games, too. Next for the youngsters is Udinese at Anfield, the standout match of 24 in the Europa League today. “They have played with no fear, but I always say young players will run through a barbed wire fence for you. You have seen that in games,” Rodgers said. “For me, status does not matter. It is what you are like as a player. It doesn’t matter how much money you have come for. I will play a 17-year-old if he fights and he has quality.” Of all the youngsters, Sterling’s progress has been most impressive. Seen as simply a star of the future after some promising substitute appearances under Kenny Dalglish last season, he has played in every league game so far under Rodgers and has even earned a call-up by Roy Hodgson to the England squad. Fernandez Saez, commonly known as “Suso,” and Wisdom - a scorer against the Swiss club Young Boys - are the latest to graduate to the senior team, making their first league starts in the 5-2 thrashing of Norwich on Saturday. That was Liverpool’s first league win of the season after the club’s worst start to a campaign in more than a century. “I’ve been very, very pleased by the impact they’ve made,” Rodgers said. Leading players such as Luis Suarez and Steve Gerrard are likely to be rested for Thursday’s match against a Udinese side which is also languishing near the bottom of the domestic standings. A 0-0 home draw to Genoa left Udinese fifth from last in Serie A, with coach Francesco Guidolin leaving out star striker and captain Antonio Di Natale for disciplinary reasons. “There wasn’t a rift between Toto and I,” Guidolin said. “But I am someone who has to always try to steady the ship and there are rules which have to be respected. I won’t say anything else on the matter.” Udinese started its European campaign with a 1-1 home draw with Anzhi Makhachkala of Russia, which is at home to Young Boys in Group A. Defending champion Atletico Madrid will aim to follow its 3-0 win at Hapoel Tel-Aviv with another victory, this time at home to Viktoria Plzen. —AFP

Dynamo defeats Dinamo zagreb KIEV: Oleh Blokhin made a winning start in his first Champions League match as Dynamo Kiev coach, the Ukrainian team beating Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 in the group stage yesterday. Dynamo Kiev midfielder Oleh Gusev found the net in the third minute, and Dinamo Zagreb defender Josip Pivaric scored an own goal in the 33rd from Taye Taiwo’s cross into a crowded box. Blokhin signed a four-year contract at Kiev last month and will shortly relinquish his duties as Ukraine national team coach Kiev has three points from two games in Group A, while Zagreb side remains without a point. FC Porto leads the standings with 6 points after beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the other group game. PSG has three points. —AP

PORTO: Paris Saint Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (center) from Sweden, challenges Porto’s Nicolas Otamendi (left), Lucho Gonzalez (second right) both from Argentina, and Maicon Roque, from Brazil, during their Champions League Group A soccer match.—AP

Rodriguez’s late show gives Porto victory PORTO: An 83rd-minute goal by James Rodriguez earned Porto a 1-0 home win over Paris Saint-Germain in Champions League Group A yesterday that ended the French side’s unbeaten start to the season. The trip to Estadio do Dragao was PSG’s most testing assignment of the campaign to date and they had to withstand heavy pressure before Colombian international Rodriguez swept home to reward the home side’s attacking endeavor. PSG had won their previous five matches in all competitions and seemed to be building up a head of steam, but ahead of Sunday’s trip to arch rivals and league leaders Marseille in Ligue 1, their momentum has been checked. The result leaves Porto three points clear of PSG in the pool, while the club from the French capital have now gone 10 successive games without a win in Europe’s elite club competition. PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti made five changes to his star-studded line-up, with Nene replacing Javier Pastore in the most noteworthy adjustment, but it was Porto who made the early running. Visiting goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu was called into action as quickly as the third minute to field a poked effort from Rodriguez, while Joao Moutinho shot into the side netting moments later after Jackson Martinez had robbed Marco Verratti. Most of the damage was being inflicted down PSG’s right flank, where Gregory van der Wiel was making his competition debut for the club, and Sirigu had to produce a fine save in the 28th minute to repel Rodriguez’s low drive after the Colombian drove into the area from that side.

Porto left gaps at the back, however, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic twice squandered good opportunities to make them pay. In the 12th minute he headed wide of the near post from Nene’s left-wing cross and eight minutes later he opted for a curious looping flick after Jeremy Menez picked him out in the Porto box, allowing Helton to touch the ball over the crossbar. It was PSG’s only attempt on target of the first half-against five for their hostsand the song remained the same in the second period. Rodriguez shaped a left-footed halfvolley narrowly wide shortly before the hour and seconds later, Sirigu had to sprint from his line to block with his legs from Silvestre Varela after Moutinho released his Portugal team-mate. Ancelotti withdrew van der Wiel and Menez, replacing them with Christophe Jallet and Ezequiel Lavezzi, and former Napoli man Lavezzi could have put his side ahead in the 76th minute had he not curled the ball straight at goalkeeper Helton. Jallet did not fare much better. The France right-back was completely skinned by Varela shortly after, but the winger’s fierce left-foot shot was repelled by Sirigu. It appeared PSG had done enough to salvage a point, but Rodriguez would not be deterred. After Fernando’s left-wing cross was allowed to reach the back post, the Colombian opened his body superbly to guide a fine shot around Sirigu’s outstretched right hand and put Vitor Pereira’s side in control of Group A. —AFP

City salvage draw in Champions League

Murray demolishes Lacko




Vettel can turn the heat on Alonso at Japanese GP

Page 16

AMSTERDAM: Real Madrid player Karim Benzema scores with a bicycle kick before Ajax player Tobias Sana (left) can stop him during the Champions League Group D soccer match. — AP

Ronaldo’s treble deflates Ajax AMSTERDAM: Cristiano Ronaldo was in treble form as Real Madrid tuned up for this weekend’s Clasico with a stylish 4-1 win at Ajax here yesterday to maintain their perfect start to the fledgling Champions League campaign. Ronaldo, who had bagged the late winner in the Spanish champions’ opening Group D win over Manchester City, was joined on the scoresheet by Karim Benzema, with Ajax’s lone strike coming from Niklas Moisander. The scoreline would have been even more lopsided but for a series of fine saves by Ajax’s goalkeeper, Kenneth Vermeer. In front of a near-capacity 50,000 crowd,

Madrid were quick out of the starting blocks, winning a series of corners in the first 10 minutes but failing to capitalise on their early dominance. Ronaldo went close to putting the Spanish giants in front on the quarter-hour. Pouncing on Kaka’s pass, the Portuguese forward found himself clean through on goal and was only thwarted by Vermeer’s quick thinking, the Ajax keeper charging off his line to produce a goal-saving block. Vermeer proved his mettle again shortly after to deny attempts from Kaka- given his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the 5-1 weekend La Liga rout over Deportivo La Coruna-and Benzema. On a rare incursion into

Spanish territory, Ajax captain Siem de Jong fired wide from outside the penalty area. Vermeer continued to keep the Spanish giants at bay until three minutes from the interval, when Benzema broke down the left side and cut the ball back for Ronaldo to prod home from close range. It was due reward for Jose Mourinho’s men after no fewer than 14 first-half shots on Vermeer’s goal, of which Ronaldo was responsible for six. In contrast, Ajax striker Ryan Babel was having his work cut out trying to puncture Madrid’s back line. Ajax took to the pitch for the second half determined to avoid losing to Real in the group

Zenit gift Milan victory ST PETERSBURG: An own goal by Tomas Hubocan consigned Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg to a cruel 3-2 defeat in their Champions League group match with AC Milan here yesterday. Zenit - who have been riven by internecine discord over the wages being paid to big money signings Hulk and Axel Witsel which has led Russian national captain Igor Denisov to being dropped - had done well to level the game after being 2-0 down early on. Defeat, though, leaves them pointless in the group while Milan’s win eases the pressure on Massimiliano Allegri after a disappointing start to the season in Serie A and sees them move onto four points after two games. Malaga - who beat Zenit in the opener a fortnight ago - play Anderlecht, who began with a creditable 0-0 draw in Milan, later on Wednesday. “It’s a very important win for us,” Allegri said. “It was not easy to beat Zenit on their home turf. After we scored twice we had to resist very serious pressure. Our goalkeeper played very well. “I consider Zenit to be a club which is in the vanguard of European football from any point of view.” Milan hit the hosts with two goals in three minutes as first Urby Emanuelson’s freekick took a huge deflection off Roman Shirokov and left Zenit ‘keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev stranded. Emanuelson was to go close seconds later as he ghosted in at the backpost but the Dutch international went with his preferred left leg when the right would have been the better option and it went the wrong side of the post. However, the visitors doubled their lead in the next attack with a superb solo run by Stephan El Shaarawy as the youngster, who turns 20 later this month, rode two tackles and beat a one-paced defence to slot the ball past Vyacheslav Malafeev for his fifth goal in four games. Zenit rallied and but for several brilliant saves by Milan ‘keeper Christian Abbiati - especially from a header by Shirokov and Hulk - in the last 10 minutes of the half they could have gone in level at half-time. Hulk had done his popularity with his team-mates little good earlier in the half when he produced a storming run but opted to shoot instead of looking up and seeing Alexander Kerzhakov, one of the players most upset with his and Axel Witsel’s huge wage packets, who was unmarked in the penalty area. However, he made up for that oversight as he got free on the left side of the area in time added on in the first-half and made no mistake shooting into the far corner giving Abbiati no chance. The hosts maintained that momentum right from the start of the second-half and drew level in the 48th minute as Shirokov headed home from Hulk’s corner - Abbiati’s indecision as to whether to come for it or stay on his line proving fatal. The hosts bad luck, though, continued as

ST. PETERSBURG: AC Milan’s Luca Antonini (left) fights for the ball with Zenit’s Aleksandr Anyukov during their UEFA Champions League, Group C soccer match. — AP having fought back to level terms they were undone by another deflection this time it went down as an own goal to Hubocan. His knee connected with a tame effort by Giampaolo Pazzini and wrongfooted Malafeev to restore Milan’s lead and they held on to pile the misery on the Russian side. “It’s a very sad evening for me,” said Zenit head coach Luciano Spalletti. “This defeat ruined the work that we were doing for so long. Unfortunately we lost this match. “We started the match badly again. My players avoided responsibility and, like what happened in Malaga. we conceded two early goals. “The Champions League is a completely different competition if compared to the Russian championship. You need to perform solidly throughout the match and be more skilful and crafty but we failed to tick those boxes.” — AFP

stage at home for the third consecutive season. But their fate was all but sealed three minutes after the restart by an audacious overhead kick from Benzema. It was the climax of a superb move begun by Marcelo, who found Kaka on the right, the Brazilian then floating in a lovely cross for Benzema to work his aerial magic by the far post. Ajax reduced the deficit on 56 minutes when Christian Eriksen’s corner was headed past Iker Casillas by Moisander to give the hosts some much needed hope. Benzema had a great chance to restore his team’s two-goal lead on the hour mark, only for

the France striker to head high after another inch-perfect cross from Kaka. Madrid came under severe late pressure from Ajax, but Ronaldo put the game to bed, curling in a shot past Vermeer in the 79th minute, then two minutes later chipping in substitute Sami Khedira’s pass over the hapless goalkeeper’s head for his first ever treble in the competition. Beaten Champions League semi-finalists in the past two seasons, Madrid now top the group by two points from Borussia Dortmund and will go into Sunday’s clash against arch rivals and La Liga leaders Barcelona with a spring in their step. —AFP

Podolski sinks Olympiakos as Arsenal bounce back LONDON: Lukas Podolski maintained Arsenal’s 100 percent start to their Champions League campaign as the Gunners recovered from a lack lustre opening to beat Greek side Olympiakos 3-1 yesterday. Arsene Wenger’s side were below their best for long periods at the Emirates Stadium, but Germany for ward Podolski made the crucial contribution as he put Arsenal ahead after Gervinho’s opener was cancelled out by Olympiakos striker Kostas Mitroglou. Aaron Ramsey’s late strike ensured Arsenal, who defeated Montpellier in their opening Group B fixture, remain firmly on course to qualify for the last 16. But Wenger will know there is still plenty of room for improvement, especially in a defence which struggled to cope with Olympiakos’s relatively limited forward line. Wenger admitted this week that his players were still feeling down after suffering their first defeat of the season against Chelsea on Saturday and he had challenged them to show they are mentally strong enough to cope with negative results. In the circumstances, Olympiakos, who lost at Schalke in their opening group match, should have been welcome opponents for Arsenal, who had beaten the Greek side at home in the Champions League twice in the last three seasons. But Wenger, watching from the stands as he served a European touchline ban, must have been concerned in the early stages. The Gunners looked short of confidence and almost self- destructed when Vito Mannone and Thomas Vermaelen make a hash of a short kick out, only for Olympiakos to squander the opportunity. Santi Cazorla’s inswinging free-kick forced Balazs Megyeri into action for the first time. But a succession of misplaced passes from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mikela Arteta brought a chorus of disapproval from the frustrated home fans.

That anxiety was creeping into Arsenal’s play as well and Laurent Koscielny was fortunate to escape with a booking after launching into a needless two-footed lunge on Paulo Machado. Olympiakos were starting to scent blood and Mitroglou’s first-time shot had Mannone scrambling to save. Leonardo Jardim’s side went even closer when Arsenal’s statuesque back-four failed to deal with a Giannis Maniatis cross, but from point-blank range Machado somehow managed to scoop his miscued shot well wide. Out of nowhere Arsenal sparked into life and took the lead through Gervinho’s fifth goal of the season in the 42nd minute. Podolski directed a cross towards the edge of the Olympiakos penalty area and Arteta disrupted the visitors’ attempts to clear, allowing Gervinho to pounce on the loose ball before driving in a low shot that beat the slow to react Megyeri. But Arsenal’s lead was short-lived as Olympiakos levelled on the stroke of half-time. Leandro Greco curled over a teasing cross and Mitroglou, granted too much space between Koscileny and Vermaelen, rose to glance a superb header over Mannone and into the far corner. Cazorla should have put the hosts back in front in the opening moments of the second half, but the Spanish midfielder side-footed wide from Podolski’s cross. There would be no need for any recriminations however as Podolski showed his team-mate how to do it in the 56th minute. Ger vinho’s initial cross was blocked by Kostas Manolas, but the rebound fell into the Ivorian’s path and he flicked a pass towards Podolski, who turned sharply before planting a powerful low strike under Megyeri. That blow seemed to shatter Olympiakos’s spirit and Wales midfielder Ramsey came off the bench to seal the win with a cool chipped finish from fellow substitute Olivier Giroud’s flick in stoppagetime. —AFP


US auto sales record best month in years Page 25

Shares slide on growth concerns, uncertainty


Page 24

Poorest of India’s poor march for land rights

Iran curbs free market amid sinking currency Page 22

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DUBAI: Emiratis look at a scale model of a construction project by Meydan Group yesterday at the annual Cityscape Global show, which served over years of property frenzy as a launchpad for grandiose projects in the Gulf emirate of Dubai. — AFP

Dubai builders revive shelved plans Cityscape projects include $1 billion Taj Mahal replica DUBAI: Developers unveiled billion-dollar projects and new high-end residential developments at Dubai’s Cityscape property show this week, as optimism returned to the emirate’s battered real estate sector. Companies at the glitzy annual property event revived extravagant projects shelved in the aftermath of the market bust, including the Taj Arabia complex, a $1-billion replica of India’s Taj Mahal that includes a 300-room hotel. “I don’t see why there will be no demand,” said Arun Mehra, a director at builder Link Global. “The Taj is made as a monument of love and we hope to promote this in Dubai as a major wedding destination.” The mood at the exhibition, which attracts property developers and investors from around the region, is at its most upbeat since 2008, just before a bubble in Dubai’s real estate market burst and sent prices plunging 60 percent. The emirate

has restructured billions in debt since 2009 and seen its trade and tourism sectors benefit from its safe-haven status during the Arab Spring political unrest in the region. But while the property sector has recovered in pockets of the city with prices rising, the market is still grappling with a glut of oversupply. “We see a momentum and the market is improving. Developers are more wise now and banks are much more mature,” said Mohammed Al-Shaibani, the deputy chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee who was tasked with resolving the emirate’s debt mess. Among projects launched at Cityscape was the Meydan Tower, the largest new project by a Dubai developer since the property market collapsed four years ago. The tower is part of state-owned Meydan’s ongoing $3.8 billion residential development project, which includes man-made canals, lagoons

and horse -riding trails, and will be financed through pre-sales. Meydan is home to a racecourse and hotel development that hosts the world’s richest horse race with a $10 million purse. Developer Nakheel, whose extravagant projects helped trigger Dubai’s 2009 debt crisis and which has written off about $21 billion from its portfolio since the crash, pitched its third new project this year. “If there’s no demand we would have not launched the project,” Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said at the launch. “The best sign is that property worth 880 million dirhams ($239.59 million) sold in the first day of sales.” Long line ups last month to purchase new property from bluechip developer Emaar Properties were reminiscent of Dubai’s real estate heyday when buyers hired people to stand in queue overnight to snap up new projects. Industry watchers

say such images suggest the excesses of the past, when speculative investors flooded into the market, could return. “You have to look at these launches and how quickly these units have been sold out and realize that there’s again some speculative buying,” said Matthew Green, head of research at consultancy CBRE, which forecasts another 49,000 homes will come on the market by 2015. “This is a bit scary considering what the market has seen before.” For potential buyers, there is more choice at Cityscape after three bleak years when few or no new projects were announced by cash-strapped developers. But investors are wary after the bust left some with neither property nor money after builders cancelled projects, or went under. “People won’t buy easily. It all depends on what rules and laws are set up for the safety of investors,” said Roy Simon, who has bought property in the emirate. — Reuters


in brief

Nokia might sell HQ HELSINKI: Struggling Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia might sell its headquarters on the outskirts of Helsinki, a senior company official was quoted as saying yesterday. “We are exploring different options for our property assets. This includes a possible sale of our headquarters,” Nokia’s financial director Timo Ihamuotila told the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat. “However we have no plans to move our head office,” he added. The sale of property by a company which then rents the same assets from the buyer is a well-established strategy used by companies needing to raise cash. Nokia, once the leader in mobile phones, has been losing market share as consumers move to smartphones powered by Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating system. It has tied its future to using Microsoft’s Windows Phone smartphone operating system, but has yet to produce a major hit with consumers. The company, in the midst of a major restructuring plan, posted a net loss of 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in the second quarter of this year, but had a cash pile of more than 4.0 billion euros.

Kingfisher shares slide MUMBAI: Shares of India’s ailing Kingfisher Airlines slid nearly five percent yesterday as all of its flights remained cancelled for a third straight day amid mounting fears for the carrier’s survival. Kingfisher shares slumped 4.89 percent to 14.6 rupees after India’s civil aviation regulator said the company cannot fly again until it submits a revival plan and meets all safety norms. The stock has now fallen 9.42 percent this week. The carrier, which has a debt of nearly $1.3 billion and is desperately scouting for a foreign airline to pump in fresh capital, declared a partial lockout on Monday night, blaming unrest by striking workers. The Bangalore-headquartered airline said a minority group of “recalcitrant employees” had forced a “complete paralysis” of operations, leading to the cancellation of all flight operations for three days. Kingfisher’s engineers went on strike last Friday to protest against not being paid since March, with some pilots and other employees joining the walkout on Monday, according to media reports. The airline’s chief executive Sanjay Agarwal was summoned to meet the aviation regulator chief on Tuesday in New Delhi.

Qatar Islamic Bank launches 5-yr sukuk

SHIZUOKA: This photograph shows a Japanese bullet train 500-type travelling in front of Mount Fuji in Shizuoka. India is in talks to buy its first bullet trains for its creaking and accident-prone network. — AFP

India to buy bullet trains NEW DELHI: India is in talks to buy its first bullet trains for the nation’s creaking and accident-prone network, but the new fleet will run at only a fraction of its top speed, a report said yesterday. The government is speaking to Japanese, French and German manufacturers to purchase six new trains, which are capable of running at speeds of

up to 325 kilometers per hour, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported. “Such projects have a long gestation period, but one has to start somewhere,” the newspaper quoted an anonymous official as saying in its report headlined: “Soon: Bullet trains for tortoise tracks”. India’s fastest train, the Bhopal Shatabdi,

which carries passengers between the capital Delhi and the central Indian city of Bhopal, runs at a maximum speed of 150 kilometers per hour. The dilapidated railways, still the main form of long-distance travel in India despite fierce competition from airlines, run thousands of passenger and freight

trains and carry millions of people daily. India’s train system has a notoriously bad accident record, with a recent official report revealing that almost 15,000 people are killed each year while crossing rail tracks-a figure the government described as a “massacre”. Derailments, collisions and other accidents are also common. — AFP

DUBAI: Qatar Islamic Bank, the Gulf Arab state’s largest sharia-compliant lender, returned to global debt markets after two years yesterday with a new five-year sukuk, taking advantage of strong liquidity for regional issues. The lender launched a $750 million Islamic bond after completing investor meetings earlier this week in London, with order books for the deal over $6 billion ahead of launch, according to arranging banks. The sukuk was launched at 175 basis points over midswaps, at the tighter end of revised guidance released earlier yesterday, an indication of the investor appetite for the deal. QIB, whose biggest shareholder is the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, received approval for a new $1.5 billion sukuk program last month, and this issue will be the first sale under it. While Qatari banks are extremely liquid, much of this cash is in Qatari riyals. With a number of infrastructure projects in the pipeline, as the country builds towards hosting soccer’s 2022 World Cup, banks are keen to secure longer-term dollar funding to support these schemes.




Gold hits near 11-month high Investors eye more central bank moves, US data SINGAPORE: Gold held near an 11-month high yesterday, as uncertainty over Spain’s bailout plan kept investors on their toes while they wait for a key US job market report to shed light on the effectiveness of the latest stimulus measures. Gold barely moved from the end of last week after posting a fourth straight month of gains in September, spurred by the aggressive stimulus measures of central banks, including the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank. But the momentum has fizzled in the absence of a fresh catalyst. Investors are eyeing Spain, now the centre of the euro zone debt crisis, after the country’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy denied a Reuters report of an imminent request for bailout. “The real challenges will again drive the market,” said Jeremy Friesen, a commodity strategist at Societe Generale in Hong Kong. “We are going through a bit of a consolidation period until we see what happens. My suspicion is that we’ll get more monetary policy responses from other central banks as the Fed program kicks off and the ECB program starts,

probably by the end of this month. That’s bullish for commodities like gold.” Gold is forecast to reach an average of $1,800 an ounce in the first quarter of 2013 as a result, he added. Spot gold was little changed at $1,772.69 an ounce by 0624 GMT. It hit $1,791.20 this week, its highest level since last November. US gold traded nearly flat at $1,775.10. Data from China and Australia showing further weakness in those economies added to expectations for more action from central banks, after Australia’s surprise rate cut on Tuesday. The dollar index rose as the global outlook darkened, weighing on commodities priced in the greenback by making them more expensive for buyers holding other currencies. Technical analysis suggested that spot gold could fall to $1,737.50 an ounce during the day, Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said. Trade was thin as key player China is closed for the entire week for a public holiday, and investors turned cautious ahead of the US job market report due on Friday. Job growth is likely to have improved only slightly in

September as businesses remained cautious out of fear a sharp tightening of the government’s budget could deliver a big blow to the economic recovery early next year. Elsewhere in Asia, the sale of physical material from Indonesia ebbed after rupiah-priced gold hit a record high earlier in the week, dealers said. “There was much selling earlier and now it’s drying up slowly,” said a dealer based in Singapore. Anglo American Platinum, the world’s top platinum producer, warned on Tuesday that security had worsened at its strike-hit South African mines as several thousand gold miners rallied over pay in the dispute-plagued industry. Strong US auto sales data helped platinum group metals, widely used in making autocatalysts. Sales last month posted their best showing in 4-1/2 years, helped by cheap financing, rising consumer confidence and a major rebound by Toyota Motor Corp. Spot platinum was little changed at $1,667.99 and spot palladium slipped 0.6 percent to $643.10. — Reuters

Low cost flying arrives in luxury loving Japan NARITA: Japan has a reputation for loving expensive things like overpriced real estate, gourmet melons and luxury brands. But the nation is finally discovering the joy of flying cheap, with the arrival this year of three lowcost carriers. The takeoff of AirAsia Japan, Peach Aviation and Jetstar Japan could change lifestyles. No longer will air travel be mostly confined to business trips and fancy once-in-a-lifetime vacations to places such as Hawaii. Flying is suddenly growing more casual, including for weekend dining, visits with friends, even day trips. Ticket prices are plunging by about half, to 16,000 yen ($200) trips to the southwestern resort island of Okinawa or a 5,000 yen ($60) hop to Seoul. The airlines are not only out to woo Japanese away from regular leisure activities such as spending money at Disneyland or watching a movie. They are also out to convince the notoriously workaholic Japanese not to work so hard. They may revitalize Japan’s 3 trillion yen ($38 billion) aviation market - already the world’s third largest, comprising about 5.5 percent of global traffic and 11 percent of industry revenues - that critics say is untapped for its tremendous potential. Helping to drive the change is the expansion of two Tokyo airports, Haneda and Narita, which has opened up more landing slots for airlines. Twenty-two-year-old graduate student Chie Kodama recently used Jetstar for an urban planning research trip to Okinawa, and was surprised at how the planes were “normal,” like any other airline’s. “And it is so cheap you forgive any shortcomings,” she said. As with other low-cost carriers around the world, flyers get charged for meals and extra

luggage. Efficiency is critical and so the airlines use online advertising and reservations, fit more seats into each jet, and take off quickly after landing. Booking early is a must for the best deals, and refunds and schedule changes aren’t allowed. The gates are typically at the farthest end of airports. Flights are sometimes delayed. The wait feels longer because LCC users have to check in extra early. Masato Yamaguchi, 22, said his friends had to run like mad when their AirAsia flight back to Tokyo from Okinawa was delayed, and they barely had time to catch the last bus. As he noted: What would be the point of having to pay hundreds of dollars for a cab home, if they had endured the cramped space of a low cost carrier to pinch pennies? “There was no way to cross your legs,” Yamaguchi grumbled. “You wouldn’t want to use it if you’re going someplace far away.” Still, the carriers are doing well so far. During the nation’s Obon holidays in August, domestic flights at Peach were 94 percent filled, those at AirAsia were at 91 percent and at Jetstar, 89 percent. The companies are hoping to do as well for the year-end and New Year’s holidays. “It’s not that the meals on standard fares were ever free. The charge was just part of the ticket price,” Kazuyuki Iwakata, president of AirAsia Japan, told The Associated Press. “With us, people pay only for what they need.” As a marketing ploy, AirAsia Japan, which started operations in August, offered tickets for just 5 yen (5 cents) to the first 10,000 people. They quickly sold out. During the go-go “bubble years” of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japanese were especially seen as finicky consumers who delighted in 3,000 yen ($30) cups of fancy coffee and snatched up

500,000 yen ($5,000) designer bags. Such spending has lost some of its glamor as Japanese become less status-conscious, perhaps poorer and look for discounts. Such shifts in consumer tastes is underlined in the popularity, for instance, of Fast Retailing Co.’s no-nonsense Uniqlo clothing chain, which is also opening shops in the US. — AP

TEHRAN: An Iranian street money changer holds Iranian banknotes with a portrait of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in the main old Bazaar of Tehran, Iran. — AP

Iran curbs free market amid sinking currency DUBAI: Iran is working to shrink and eventually eliminate the free market in its tumbling rial currency, the economy minister was quoted as saying amid signs that foreign exchange trade outside a government-sanctioned centre was drying up. “The unofficial currency market will be gathered up,” Shamseddin Hosseini was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency yesterday. “The foreign exchange centre is being completed step by step, and its development will eventually lead to the elimination of the tricksters’ market.” Hosseini was speaking after the rial plunged to a record low against the US dollar on Tuesday, losing about a third of its value in a week and exposing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to accusations in parliament that he was not competent to manage the economy. Western sanctions imposed over Iran’s controversial nuclear energy program have slashed its export earnings from oil, giving the central bank less firepower to support its currency. Panicking Iranians have scrambled to buy hard currencies, pushing down the rial. The rial hit a record low of around 37,500 to the dollar in the free market on Tuesday, from about 24,600 just eight days earlier, foreign exchange traders in Tehran said. Yesterday, Mehr reported the free-market rate had opened at 36,100. But traders in Tehran did not respond to telephone calls from Reuters and there were signs that

they had halted business. The website of, a Tehran-based moneychanger, said: “To comply with the policies of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and to help organize the currency market of Iran, Sarafi Jalali for now will not announce any rates. Subject to permission from the central bank, the announcement of a new rate will be made.” It did not elaborate. A message on the website of Mazanex, which provides real-time rial prices, read: “Unfortunately access to this site and several similar sites has been closed.” Several foreign exchange traders contacted by Reuters in Dubai, a major centre for business with Iran, said they were no longer quoting the rial because they had lost contact with their counterparts in Tehran. The rial has been falling for over a year and has lost about two-thirds of its value since June 2011. In an effort to stabilize the currency, the government last week launched an “exchange centre” to supply dollars to importers of basic goods. Initially at least, the effort failed; according to a central bank statement, the centre supplied only $181 million in its first week, not nearly enough to satisfy demand. But Hosseini said yesterday that authorities would continue using the centre in order to replace the volatile free market, which the government says has been manipulated by speculators. — Reuters

Egypt holds off oil subsidy reform

NARITA: In this combination of three undated photos, planes of Japan’s low-cost airlines (from top) AirAsia Japan, Peach Aviation and Jetstar, are shown in Japan. — AP

CAIRO: Egypt is holding off on reform of its costly state energy subsidy regime until it completes more studies and holds a “social dialogue” on the issue, the country’s oil minister said. Reducing state expenditure by targeting subsidies more toward the needy is seen as vital for Egypt to secure a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to plug an unmanageable budget deficit. In an interview, Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal said Egypt would have a major economic problem until the subsi-

dies bill, which represent about a quarter of state spending, is cut. “Every day we delay restructuring subsidies bleeds state resources,” said Kamal, though he declined to give a timeframe for the reform, saying the government needed to “complete all studies and conduct a social dialogue”. Cutting the budget deficit is a crucial component of Egypt’s negotiations with the IMF, which began well over a year ago as the country ’s economy slid towards a crisis following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. — Reuters

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

.2740000 .4500000 .3590000 .2960000 .2830000 .2900000 .0040000 .0020000 .0761350 .7417630 .3870000 .0720000 .7271670 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2804500 GB Pound/KD .4539780 Euro .3612900 Swiss francs .2988120 Canadian dollars .2853730 Danish Kroner .0484560 Swedish Kroner .0425660 Australian dlr .2917660 Hong Kong dlr .0361700 Singapore dlr .2282490 Japanese yen .0036110 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0763860 Bahraini dinars .7441950 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0748070 Omani riyals .7287250 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 Malaysian Ringgit

3.616 5.358 2.968 2.184 3.340 230.290 36.384 3.438 6.757 9.170 92.220

.2860000 .4610000 .3650000 .3070000 .2930000 .2990000 .0058500 .0035000 .0769000 .7492180 .4100000 .0780000 .7344750 .0510000 .2825500 .4573780 .3639950 .3010490 .2875100 .0488190 .0428850 .2939510 .0364410 .2299580 .0036390 .0053290 .0021800 .0029940 .0034750 .0769580 .7497680 .3996460 .0753670 .7341820 .0067950

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 75.257 77.543 733.010 749.570 76.846

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 47.550 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.211 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.317 Tunisian Dinar 180.250 Jordanian Dinar 398.140 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.893 Syrian Lier 4.923 Morocco Dirham 33.543 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 282.100 Euro 365.600 Sterling Pound 456.720 Canadian dollar 288.150 Turkish lire 157.400 Swiss Franc 302.260 US Dollar Buying 280.900 GOLD 331.000 167.000 86.000

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


291.700 749.160 3.730 289.700 553.200 45.900 49.700 167.800 47.980 367.500 37.030 5.440 0.032 0.161 0.242 3.700 399.200 0.191 94.180 45.100 4.330 235.600 1.825

50.400 731.720 3.090 6.970 77.920 75.210 229.890 36.370 2.683 458.100 43.400 304.000 4.100 9.450 196.263 76.810 282.100 1.350

10 Tola

GOLD 1,879.270

Sterling Pound US Dollar

731.540 2.985 6.762 77.490 75.210 229.890 36.370 2.180 456.100 302.500 4.100 9.360 76.710 281.700


TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 456.100 281.700


290.200 749.160 3.435 288.200

229.900 46.186 366.000 36.680 5.380 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

296.55 290.92 304.42 365.28 281.25 458.35 3.69 3.447 5.346 2.174 3.356 2.976 76.64 748.87 46.20 400.69 731.98 77.67 75.21


296.000 291.000 305.000 364.500 282.400 458.500 3.690 3.620 5.450 2.290 3.530 3.150 77.350 748.500 47.650 398.100 735.000 78.000 75.650

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 399.170 0.190 94.180 3.380 234.100

Rate for Transfer

Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

281.850 286.925 455.460 361.975

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

299.360 746.190 76.715 77.365 75.125 397.310 46.261 2.180 5.332 2.966 3.444 6.732 691.380 4.615 9.225 4.370 3.425 91.600

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

281.600 2.964 5.386 2.189 3.449 6.795 76.775 75.250 748.625 46.140 459.600 2.990 1.550 369.000 291.900 3.395

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

281.150 366.000 456.900 288.600 3.640 5.345 46.140 2.176 3.445 6.753 2.965 749.000 76.600 75.100



NY suit against JPMorgan makes ripple, not splash Mortgage bond investors seeking billions from banks WASHINGTON: New York state’s lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co alleging fraud in mortgage-backed securities sold by Bear Stearns may be one of the broadest cases to come out of the financial crisis, but its impact is likely to be limited. The biggest beneficiaries may be investors who have taken out private lawsuits against the bank. The civil suit, brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, is the first from a federal-state financial fraud task force. It did not unearth any previously unknown details or attempt to assign criminal liability. Instead, it largely follows in the footsteps of private suits from investors who have accused Bear Stearns and other firms of deceptively selling toxic mortgage-backed securities. While the state could extract a monetary settlement out of JPMorgan that rivals other financial-crisis cases and government officials pledged more cases will follow, the biggest outcome of the New York state suit will be to add firepower to multibillion-dollar private litigation dogging Wall Street. “With the tools available to the attorney general...we have a better prospect of getting the whole story

out,” said Don Hawthorne, a New York lawyer who has brought cases against banks on behalf of bond insurers. New York state’s suit gives private plaintiffs more leverage to extract settlements from the banks they are targeting. It also could give investors more evidence as litigation unfolds. The lawsuit, filed late Monday, accused Bear Stearns of deceiving investors by leading them to believe the quality of loans in the mortgagebacked securities had been carefully evaluated, even though they had not been. It charges that Bear systematically ignored defects in the loans and kept investors in the dark. The suit differs from prior government financialcrisis suits, such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s case that accused Goldman Sachs of misleading investors on one subprime mortgage product in 2007. That case was settled. The 31-page complaint against JPMorgan more closely resembles a less-detailed version of dozens of private cases out there, including a lawsuit from bond insurer Ambac Assurance Corp against the Wall Street bank. US banks face billions of dollars in potential liability from investors who bought now-soured mortgage-

backed securities and from insurers who were stuck with losses from the bonds. But experts did not think New York state’s suit would immediately add to banks’ risk. “We do not see this litigation as a game changer as it is similar to many of the civil suits that already are pending,” Jaret Seiberg of Guggenheim Partners said in a Tuesday investors note. JPMorgan’s stock price barely reacted to the news, dipping just 0.1 percent on Tuesday to close at $40.92. Through the lawsuit, New York wants JPMorgan to return profits obtained through the alleged fraud and pay damages. JPMorgan said in a statement late Monday it would contest the allegations, and noted that the suit does not target JPMorgan’s activity in the leadup to the crisis. The suit “relates to Bear Stearns, which we acquired over the course of a weekend at the behest of the US Government. This complaint is entirely about historic conduct by that entity,” the statement said. MORE TO COME Schneiderman and federal authorities discussed the case during a press conference in Washington on Tuesday and said more actions were coming,

SAN FRANCISCO: An exterior view of JPMorgan Chase offices is shown in San Francisco. — AP although they declined to provide specifics. “We are looking forward to more cases,” Schneiderman said at the US Justice Department’s headquarters. The civil lawsuit against JPMorgan was brought under a powerful New York state law known as the Martin Act, which generally does not require proof of intent, a major stumbling block in most fraud cases. The statute allows the New York attorney general’s

office to pursue both criminal and civil cases, although the 2006 and 2007 conduct in the JPMorgan complaint appears to fall outside the statute of limitations of two years for misdemeanors and five for felonies. The civil statute of limitations is six years. The New York attorney general’s office has for years been investigating misdeeds related to the packaging and sale of home loans. — Reuters

UK scraps flawed rail deal in an embarrassing U-turn FirstGroup shares fall 18 percent

NEW DELHI: Members of India’s rural communities, including the landless, poor farmers and the tribal community, take part in ‘Jan Satyagraha’, a march to New Delhi, to highlight the problems of India’s landless in Gwalior, India. — AP

Thousands of peasants march for land rights NEW DELHI: Tens of thousands of Indian peasants began a 350-kilometre march yesterday to New Delhi to protest the plight of marginalized communities excluded from the country’s economic development. The gathering of the poorest of the poor left the central city of Gwalior and is set to reach India’s capital in 26 days, the organizing activist group Ekta Parishad (Unity Forum) said in New Delhi. “Some 35,000 people have started off from Gwalior and by the time they reach New Delhi we expect the number to swell to 100,000,” Parishad spokesman Aneesh Thillenkari said. Parishad chairman PV Rajagopal put the number at 50,000 with people drawn from 25 states of India. The trek is the second since 2007 when 25,000 poor and debt-ridden farmers travelled the same route on foot to press for land rights. Eleven of them perished en-route, organizers said. The marchers comprised

small farmers, people from marginalized tribes, “untouchable” Hindus from the lowest castes and fishermen, with some 2,000 advocacy forums spearheading the march-for-land drive. “We demand that agriculture land must be used exclusively for farming and a national land reforms policy, which currently does not exist, is made,” Thillenkari said. “When the poor wants land the central government says it is a state subject, but it acquires land for use by corporates or to set up Special Economic Zones,” he argued. The clash between India’s industrial expansion and small landowners has become a test of how the government deals with development that is transforming Asia’s third largest economy. Some 73 percent of India’s billion-plus population live off the land, but major industrial projects-seen as vital by the government to create jobs-are frequently delayed or even abandoned due to land acquisition problems. — AFP

KASHMIR: Kashmiri Muslim villagers thrash paddy after a harvest in Beerwah, some 38 kilometers northwest of Srinagar, India yesterday. — AP

Oil falls as weak economic data dims demand outlook LONDON: Crude oil prices fell yesterday as weak economic data from Europe and China dimmed the outlook for demand, adding to concerns arising from Europe’s festering debt crisis. Brent November crude futures had fallen 96 cents to $110.61 a barrel by 1054 GMT. US November crude shed 56 cents to $91.33 a barrel. China’s official purchasing managers’ index for the services sector fell to 53.7 in September from 56.3 in August as growth in the manufacturing industry stabilized at a slower pace. In Europe, dwindling new orders and faster layoffs marked a worsening decline for euro zone companies last month, according to business surveys that dent hopes the econo-

my will return to growth before 2013. Yesterday’s purchasing managers indexes (PMIs) suggested it was almost inevitable that the euro zone returned to recession in the third quarter. Highlighting the impact of the faltering economy on oil consumption, retail sales in the euro-zone barely rose in August as motorists cut back spending on fuel during the normally busy driving months of the European summer. “There’s little to be cheerful about. There’s worry about whether Spain will ask for a bailout or not and there’s major uncertainty around China,” said Filip Petersson, analyst at SEB in Stockholm. “It’s difficult to be bullish at the moment.” — Reuters

LONDON: Britain has torn up a deal awarding one of its biggest rail franchises to a private operator, in a humiliating U-turn that raises doubts about the government’s handling of the privatized railways. Ministers froze three more rail franchise competitions yesterday after the Department for Transport (DfT ) announced that “completely unacceptable” flaws had been uncovered in its handling of bids to run the West Coast Main Line, a jewel in the crown of the rail network that links London and Scotland. The debacle is damaging for the ruling Conservative Party, which began a difficult program of rail privatizations in the 1990s that has been dogged by fatal accidents, financial crises and political infighting. Rail operator FirstGroup Plc, the shares of which tumbled 18 percent by 0946 GMT, bid 6 billion pounds ($9.7 billion) to secure the 13-year franchise in August. Virgin Trains, a venture between Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Stagecoach, mounted a legal challenge, claiming that the winning bid was unrealistic. The Conservative-led coalition, trailing in the polls and accused by the Labor opposition of “shambolic incompetence”, is already under pressure over the stagnant economy, public spending cuts and an unpopular budget this year. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the mistakes would cost the taxpayer at least 40 million pounds, a relatively small but politically awkward sum at a time of recession and squeezed household budgets. “I have had to cancel the competition for the running of the West Coast franchise because of deeply regrettable and completely unacceptable mis-

takes made by my department in the way it managed the process,” McLoughlin said in a statement. Staff in his department may be suspended after officials made serious mistakes in how they calculated the bids. McLoughlin’s position looks safe, however, having replaced Justine Greening as transport minister only last month in a government reshuffle. The DfT will no longer award a contract to run the West Coast service when the current contract expires on Dec 9. Trains will continue to run with the same drivers, staff and timetables while the problems are resolved, the government said. Most of the rail network was in public hands between 1948 and the mid1990s, though Britain’s passenger rail services are now operated by 16 private train operating companies that have signed legal contracts with the government. The three active franchise competitions have been suspended while the handling of the awards is investigated. These franchises are to run the c2c service between London and Essex in southeast England, the Thameslink route from the capital to Brighton on the south coast and Great Western services from London to central England. Another nine franchises were due to be awarded over the next three years. The timetable for all of these is expected to slip backwards. “The direct impact clearly falls on FirstGroup, where the shares had priced in the franchise win,” said Jefferies analyst Joe Spooner. The delay in the franchising would also be a negative for UK transport groups Go-Ahead and National Express, who are shortlisted in the contests, he added.

‘SHAMBOLIC INCOMPETENCE’ Labor transport spokeswoman Maria Eagle said: “The West Coast rail franchise fiasco has yet again exposed the shambolic incompetence of this Tory-led government.” The RMT rail union, meanwhile, described rail privatization as a “sorry and expensive shambles”, insisting that the process should be halted. “Instead of re-running this expensive circus, the West Coast route should be renationalized on a permanent basis,” said RMT chief Bob Crow. FirstGroup said in a statement that it was disappointed with the government move and that it had only been told of the issue late on Tuesday night. “Until this point we had absolutely no indication that there were any issues with the franchise letting process and had received assurances from the DfT that their processes were robust,” it said. “We submitted a strong bid, in good faith and in strict accordance with the DfT’s terms.” In its trading update on Tuesday, FirstGroup had said that it was getting ready to run the West Coast line and was planning for a successful start on Dec 9. Branson welcomed the government announcement. “They have basically acknowledged that what we had been saying is correct,” he said in a blog post. “From the moment we found out that FirstGroup had been made the preferred bidder with a completely unrealistic bid, we questioned the way the offers had been assessed and asked government to review and explain how it came to its decision.” —Reuters

Thai central bank chairman wants rice policy scrapped BANGKOK: The chairman of the Thai central bank urged the government to scrap a politically sensitive and hugely expensive scheme to subsidize rice farmers, saying it was a threat to stability in a country which has faced repeated unrest in recent years. Traders said the intervention scheme, which helped Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra win power in 2011, jeopardized Thailand’s position as the world’s top rice exporter, warning that the government would eventually be forced to sell its mounting stockpiles of rice at a steep loss. “The country will be doomed if the government proceeds with the rice-pledging scheme,” Bank of Thailand Chairman Virabongsa Ramangkura was quoted yesterday as telling the Nation daily, a day after the cabinet endorsed the scheme, with restrictions. The scheme is estimated to cost as much as 3.5 percent of annual economic output. It is also likely to continue hurting exports well into 2013, with the government forced to stockpile record amounts of rice in already overflowing warehouses. Thailand is now stuck with 12 million tons, or around one third of the global rice trade, priced so far above what other countries sell the grain for that its exporters have been shut out of the global market. Virabongsa, an economist parachuted into his job in June by Yingluck despite opposition from central bank officials, has in the past sided with the government.

“This government demonstrates stability. But if there’s anything to rock the stability, it’s this scheme,” he told the newspaper, adding that it would require huge deficitfinanced budgets and would open the door to corruption. CRACKS APPEARING? Finance Minister Kittirat Na Ranong defended the rice policy but cracks are appearing inside the administration because of the rising cost of the scheme, designed to raise the living standards of millions of poor farmers. “I am still confident that the rice intervention scheme is a good policy because it has helped increase farmers’ income and purchasing power, which will also help boost the economy,” he told reporters. The Commerce Ministry wants 405 billion baht ($13.20 billion) to fund the scheme from October, the start of both the main crop and the fiscal year. That is about 3.5 percent of projected 2012 GDP. The proposal was knocked back twice by the cabinet in September, according to officials who were present. On Tuesday ministers agreed to renew the scheme, but with limits. It approved an initial budget of only 240 billion baht and set a cap of 15 million tons in potential purchases. The main crop is normally 23 to 25 million tons and last year, honoring its election promise, the government said it would buy every single grain of rice if necessary. According to officials, the

Finance Ministry had rejected the initial funding proposal and demanded the Commerce Ministry, which oversees the scheme, sell its stocks to help pay for the new intervention. The funding agreed on Tuesday is equivalent to 80 percent of the projected government budget deficit for fiscal 2012/13. Thailand’s budget is opaque and it is unclear how that deficit would be covered. The government is already under fire for keeping billions of dollars of funding for infrastructure and flood defenses off-budget. The International Monetary Fund estimated in June the rice program could cost about 1 percent of GDP annually, even before storage and management costs. MOUNTING UNSOLD STOCKS The Commerce Ministry is cagey about the level of stocks but infrequently updated data from its website suggests it is holding a record high of 12 million tons of milled rice. “By the end of this year Thailand will have 20 million tons of rice and if this scheme continues into 2013, it will end up with 30 million tons,” said one Singaporebased rice trader. Thailand’s rice scheme comes as the world’s top importers are reducing purchases and there are additional supplies from India and Pakistan. Nigeria, the world’s biggest buyer, has six months of rice supplies, while top Asian importers Indonesia and the Philippines have announced plans to reduce purchases. “Ultimately, they will have to

reduce prices and sell because we don’t see any supply constraints until the end of 2013,” said a trading manager at an international company in Singapore. He said the government could hold out for one year at most. The state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives is funding the program and will be left in deficit if the rice is left unsold or offloaded at a loss. In a normal year Thailand exports 8 to 10 million tons. As of the end of September it had shipped 4.9 million in 2012, down 44 percent from that period in 2011. Last month, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said up to 7.3 million tons had been sold to foreign governments including China, Indonesia and the Philippines, an assertion that attracted widespread ridicule. Both the Philippines and Indonesia denied any such deal and shippers said there was no port activity to back it up. There was no word from China. Ivory Coast has bought 240,000 tons and a senior official has said other small lots have been sold, but there has been no official confirmation. A tender to sell 586,000 tons was opened on Sept 14 but no results have been announced. The government has refused to reveal the price it has got for any of the rice it has sold. Traders say a farmgate price of 15,000 baht a ton implies an export price of $700. Thai exporters, if they can get their hands on rice, are quoting $574 to $580 for the 5 percent broken grade. Vietnam and India quote $450 and $390 respectively. — Reuters



Islamic finance body to launch first sukuk KUALA LUMPUR: International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp, backed by a group of central banks located mainly in Asia and the Middle East, will launch its first sukuk of $300 million to $500 million “in a matter of months”, its chief executive said. Kuala Lumpurheadquartered IILM, established last year, aims to issue short term sukuk, or Islamic bonds, to help sharia-compliant banks manage liquidity and create a liquid crossborder market for Islamic instruments. Issuance of the first sukuk has been delayed. IILM has faced a big challenge to ensure it complies with laws in all of the 12 countries in which its members are, Chief Executive Officer Mahmoud AbuShamma said in

an interview late Tuesday. “It does not require an extreme amount of effort, but we’re setting up a product that is ever-expanding and has many complexities,” said AbuShamma, a former HSBC executive who launched Indonesia’s first Islamic banking unit operated by a foreign bank. He said that IILM is 85 percent prepared for the first issuance, and what remains to be worked out are “some highly technical issues.” “It’s not our mandate to issue one sukuk and go off on a holiday, we should be manufacturing a continuous supply of it,” he added. Eventually, IILM will issue sukuk totaling more than $2 billion a year, AbuShamma predicted. IILM members

include monetary authorities in Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates as well as the Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector. TESTING THE MARKET AbuShamma said IILM will initially focus on US dollar-denominated sukuk, as central banks have already met the need for local-currency, short-term instruments. “Because we are looking to issue at a regular pace, we first need to test the market. It’s very critical to assess the engine itself, the capacity of the institution, the system and our processes to see if it is efficient and

safe,” he said. The maiden sukuk will use an assetbacked leasing structure in line with an Islamic principle called Al-Ijarah. It will aim to get high-quality ratings from international rating agencies, AbuShamma said. “The pool of assets we’re going to have will predominantly be sovereign assets from our member countries,” said AbuShamma. He added the sukuk will be distributed by a network of primary dealers, of which there will be up to two elected in each member’s jurisdiction. The first sukuk will be traded in a secondary market, which could pose fresh challenges as investors prefer to hold Islamic bonds until maturity instead of trading them. —Reuters

Shares slide on growth concerns, uncertainty Signs of economic slowdown in Europe, Asia LONDON: Signs the economic slowdown in Europe and Asia was gathering pace sent world share markets and oil lower yesterday, while the euro held steady against the dollar as traders await Spain’s next move to solve its mounting debt problem. The latest data from surveys of purchasing manager’s activity across the euro-zone and for China’s services sector showed that growth has yet to stop sliding despite the best efforts of central banks to stimulate their economies. “The data out of Asia is quite negative and that is going to put pressure on all riskier assets,” said Ian Stannard, head of European FX Strategy at Morgan Stanley. Investors want to see signs the liquidity boost from the central banks is taking hold before buying assets like equities and commodities, which should benefit the most. The latest data, including weak export numbers from resource-rich Australia, sent Asian markets lower and saw the FTSE Eurofirst 300 index of top European shares slide 0.1 percent to 1,100.13 points. MSCI’s world equity index was down 0.16 percent at 332.97, though it remains in positive territory for October, which would be its fifth straight monthly rise. Crude oil prices and commodities like copper were also hit by the weaker data which is expected to curtail demand. Brent November crude futures fell 90 cents to $110.67 a barrel while US November crude shed 54 cents to $91.35 a barrel. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had eased 0.85 percent to $8,255.00 a ton, after climbing more than 2 percent over the past four sessions. ECONOMIC GLOOM The fresh update from the September euro-zone purchasing manager’s survey showed it was almost inevitable now that the region slipped into its second recession in three years during the September quarter. The Markit Eurozone Composite PMI fell to 46.1 in September from 46.3 in August. Any reading below 50 indicates economic contraction. The survey found that order books shrank last month at the fastest pace in more than three years, while firms were cutting staff at the fastest pace since January 2010. Last month the European Central Bank sought to calm market nerves and respond to the growing impact from the debt crisis on business by promising to buy bonds issued by governments that requested help if they agreed to tough economic reforms. “The ECB’s announcement of potentially unlimited bond purchases has calmed financial markets, but it has not turned around the economy yet,” said Christian Schulz, senior economist at Berenberg Bank. As yet no government has sought the ECB’s help but the markets expect Spain, which faces huge refinancing needs this month, to be the first, although uncertainty over the timing of any request is keeping investors on edge. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told regional government leaders on Tuesday that a request for ECB help was not imminent, dashing speculation that an announcement was in the works. As such a move by Spain would spark big demand for the euro investors preferred to wait, leaving the single currency virtually unchanged against the dollar at $1.2920, just above the three-week low of $1.28035 hit on Monday. “There’s a little bit of doubt with respect to Spain but it’s more or less inevitable they will request financial assistance at some stage,” said Peter Kinsella, currency strategist at Commerzbank. Rajoy’s latest comments on the timing of any request for help also lifted demand for safe haven

THESSALONIKI: A couple of pensioners sit outside the offices of Greece’s main EOPYY state healthcare provider in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, during a rally against spending cuts in crisis-hit Greece. — AP German government bonds sending 10-year yields 1.2 basis points lower to 1.45 percent. Ten-year Spanish government bond yields were little changed at 5.76 percent while borrowing costs over two years were flat at 3.21 percent. “A lot of the improvement we had seen in Spanish bonds yesterday was driven by overnight speculation that a bailout was imminent so any rebuttal of that had an impact,” Brian Barry, fixed income analyst at Investec, said. Activity in most markets was also being curtailed by caution ahead of the European Central Bank’s monthly monetary policy meeting and a Spanish debt auction today, and by a US jobs report due out tomorrow. “All eyes at the moment are on non-farm payrolls on Friday. If we get a reasonably good number that will be risk on across the board and euro will grind higher,” Commerzbank’s Kinsella said. — Reuters

Saudi PMI rises on new order growth Top oil exporter may raise Nov OSPs to Asia JEDDAH: Growth of business activity in Saudi Arabia’s nonoil private sector rose to a four-month high in September because of an increase in new orders, a survey of over 400 private companies published yesterday showed. The SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures activity in the manufacturing and services sectors, was 60.3 points in September against 58.3 points in August. The seasonally adjusted index remains well above the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction. New order growth increased in September to 70.2 from 68.7. “Over 55 percent of the survey panel signaled an increase in total new business, reflecting reports of improved inflows from both domestic and export clients,” the survey said. The index for new export orders gained sharply to a 14month high. Employment rose to a five-month high of 55.3 from 53.00, which was its lowest level in five months. “Improved operating conditions and rising levels of outstanding business encouraged companies to increase employment. Payroll numbers rose for the twelfth consecutive month, with the pace of jobs growth the sharpest since April,” the survey said. Overall input price growth was strong while the output price index was only slightly above 50.0, however, suggesting the possibility of profit margins at some firms being squeezed. Analysts predicted, in a Reuters poll conducted in September, that Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product would expand 5.3 percent this year, after a revised 7.1 percent last year. NOV OSPS TO ASIA In another development, Saudi Arabia will probably raise its official selling prices for the crudes it sells to Asia in November, driven by strong demand and firm cracks, a Reuters poll showed yesterday. The producer could raise the November official selling prices (OSPs) for Arab Light by about 40 cents a barrel and Arab Extra Light by 50 cents a barrel from the previous month, the median estimates of six traders and refiners show. The OSPs for Arab Medium could be raised by about 30

cents per barrel while Arab Heavy could rise by 5 to 10 cents a barrel, the poll showed. “The seasonal winter demand will support prices,” said a trader with an Asian refiner. “Cracks are good, so are complex margins, so we are expecting an increase in OSPs.” After exhibiting marked weakness in the September and October loading cargoes, the Asian spot market for Middle Eastern crude perked up in November, pushing spot premiums to levels last seen 10 months ago or more. The seasonal winter demand as well as the return of several refineries in Japan from planned and unplanned shutdowns have pushed up demand for crude, a fact that producers in the Middle East may take note of while deciding the OSPs. FIRM CRACKS Gasoil cracks remain firm, with the premium holding around $19 per barrel, well above the $15 levels seen earlier this year. Naphtha cracks improved during the month, with the average discount narrowing to about $7.1 a barrel in September from $8.8 per barrel in August. Wider crack spreads, or the profit made by a refinery by processing crude into specific products, give producers such as Saudi Arabia room to raise their selling prices. Complex refinery margins have remained steady at about $9-$10 a barrel for most of the month, staying above the $6 per barrel seen earlier this year. Traders polled were, however, split on the OSP for Arab Heavy, with three predicting an increase, two expecting it to remain unchanged, and one trader expecting a cut. The discount on fuel oil cracks has remained steady, averaging about $5.75 a barrel in September, from $5.4 in August, wider than July’s average of $3.9 a barrel. Saudi crude OSPs are usually released around the fifth of each month, and set the trend for Iranian, Kuwaiti and Iraqi prices, affecting some 7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude bound for Asia. Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, sets its crude prices based on recommendations from customers and after calculating the change in the value of its oil over the past month, based on yields and product prices. — Agencies




Bank of England meets amid uncertain growth outlook LONDON: The Bank of England holds a regular policy meeting this week amid market uncertainty over whether Britain has returned to growth in the third quarter in the wake of poor manufacturing data. The BoE was forecast to announce no changes to its main interest rate and stimulus program at the conclusion of its two-day monthly meeting ending today, despite data this week that has weighed on Britain’s growth outlook. While just last week many analysts said they expected Britain to have exited a deep recession in the third quarter, or July-September period, data on Monday led many to believe that the non-euro-zone country may be stuck in a downturn. The latest CIPS/Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector showed output contracted further in September. The reading for last month stood at 48.4, compared with 49.6 in August. A level below 50

indicates that the sector is shrinking. The “data presented a uniformly weak picture of economic activity and will therefore go some way to dampening hopes that the ‘green shoots’ of recovery are emerging,” said Samuel Tombs of Capital Economics research group. Against such a backdrop, the BoE was on Thursday expected to vote to keep its key lending rate at an all-time British low point of 0.50 percent, where it has stood since 2009. Also since this time, the central bank has pumped £375 billion ($606 billion, 469 billion euros) of new cash into the economy under its quantitative easing (QE) stimulus program. Analysts expect the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee to hold back from announcing an increase to QE following its latest meeting. Under QE, the Bank of England creates cash that is used to purchase assets such as government and corporate bonds with the aim of

increasing lending by retail banks and boost economic activity. Britain escaped a deep downturn in late 2009 but fell back into recession at the end of 2011. On a positive note, its economy shrank by slightly less than thought in the second quarter compared with output in the first three months of the year, recent official data showed. Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.4 percent between April and June compared with the first quarter. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government blames Britain’s economic ills on the debt crisis in key trading partner the euro-zone and on the high level of debt inherited from the previous Labor administration. But the main opposition Labor party claims that Britain’s downturn is mainly a result of hefty cuts to state spending by the coalition that have resulted in thousands of job losses across the civil service. —AFP

THESSALONIKI: A person withdraws cash as another one stands behind the closed door of a branch of the Greek Emporiki Bank yesterday in Thessaloniki, as employees are holding a 24-hours strike to protest plans for the acquisition of the ailing state lender by Alpha Bank. —AFP

US auto sales record best month in years Cheap financing, consumer confidence fuel sales

MARIKANA: People look on as mine workers converge at Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, South Africa. —AP

Strike spreads to South Africa’s iron ore mine Labor unrest a major headache for Zuma JOHANNESBURG: A spate of wildcat miners’ strikes spread to Africa’s top iron ore producer yesterday, escalating the labor unrest that has become a major headache for South African President Jacob Zuma. The industrial action at Kumba Iron Ore, a unit of global miner Anglo American, further dented investor confidence in the continent’s wealthiest economy as it showed the protests had moved beyond platinum and gold mines. Zuma is under fire for failing to address and contain the workers’ protests, which stem in large part from glaring wealth inequalities persisting in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. As many as 75,000 miners, or 15 percent of the South African mining sector’s total workforce, are already out on strikes, while a national truckers’ stoppage is squeezing fuel suppliers. Kumba, one of the world’s top 10 iron ore producers, said the wildcat strike at its giant Sishen Mine in the Northern Cape involved only 300 employees and was limited to one area in the open cast mine, leaving most of the facility unaffected. “The action is being dealt with in line with the Company’s labor relations procedure, with due consideration to the safety of the vast majority of workers who are not taking part in the unprotected strike,” Kumba said in a statement. Kumba’s share price was over 4 percent lower on the news. The recent weeks of labor strife, in which around 50 people have been killed, have stirred up criticism of the ruling African National Congress and the presidency of Zuma, who faces a challenge from ANC rivals ahead of a party leadership conference in December. The rand fell one percent in early trade yesterday, partly due to the escalation of the mines conflict. Kumba was regarded as immune to the strike

contagion because rank and file employees there in December who had worked for at least 5 years were given a lump sum of about 345,000 rand ($41,200) each after taxes as part of a share scheme. This represented a fortune to workers earning as little as 7,000 rand a month. But it was not immediately clear if any of the 300 reported strikers were among the 6,200 who had benefited from the plan. “We thought the share plan meant this would not happen there,” said Gideon d u Plessis, the deputy secretary general of trade union Solidarity which represents skilled workers. Solidarity is not taking part in the strike. Kumba produced 41.3 million tons of ore in 2011. Seven weeks of labor unrest and strikes, which originally erupted at Lonmin’s Rustenburg operations, have now spread across the South African mining industry. The world’s No 1 platinum producer Anglo American Platinum is also grappling to resolve a strike at its Rustenburg operations in the country’s “platinum belt” about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Johannesburg. Worker attendance at Amplats’ Rustenburg mines has fallen to below 20 percent. Some 21,000 Amplats workers have joined the illegal walkout. Fifteen thousand miners at Gold Fields KDC West mine downed tools on Sept. 10, hitting production at the world’s fourthbiggest bullion producer. Gold Fields bosses have refused to negotiate with them. The spreading labor unrest has raised fears the country could see a repeat of the stand-off with police at Lonmin’s platinum mine in August that led to the shooting of 34 miners. It was South Africa’s bloodiest security incident since the end of apartheid in 1994, and an official commission of enquiry has started a probe this week into the killings. —Reuters

DETROIT: US auto sales last month posted their best showing in 4-1/2 years, helped by cheap financing, rising consumer confidence and a major rebound by Toyota Motor Corp. The September sales pace was 14.94 million vehicles as calculated on an annualized basis, exceeding analyst estimates of 14.5 million, according to Autodata Corp. This was the highest rate since March 2008, about four months after the start of the 20072009 US recession. US auto sales last month rose 13 percent to 1,188,865 new vehicles. Analysts, on average, had expected an increase of less than 9 percent. General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co said rising home prices and a drop in jobless claims encouraged American car shoppers to buy new vehicles. The wider availability of cheap financing also spurred sales. About one-third of Toyota buyers who financed their purchase last month received a no-interest loan, according to industr y research firm Toyota’s proportion of no-interest deals was higher than any other automaker. “ The money is so cheap now,” said Jesse Toprak, analyst. “Higher resale values and cheap money has been enabling automakers to offer some of the most attractive leasing programs we’ve seen in years.” About 80 percent of new vehicle transactions are financed, said R L Polk analyst Tom Libby. The interest rate on a 48-month new car loan was about 3.19 percent last month, down from 4.39 percent in September 2011, according to That rate was about 7.45 percent in May 2009, during the depths of the downturn that pushed GM and Chrysler Group LLC to file for government-funded bankruptcies three years ago. During the recent recession,

Sainsbury beats Q2 sales forecasts LONDON: J Sainsbury, Britain’s third-biggest supermarket group, posted better than expected quarterly sales growth, boosted by strong take -up of its own label range and the roll-out of its convenience stores. Sainsbury, which trails industry leader Tesco and WalMart’s Asda by market share, said yesterday sales at stores open over a year, excluding fuel, rose 1.9 percent in the 16 weeks to Sept 29, its fiscal second quarter. Many retailers across Europe are struggling as consumers’ disposable incomes have been squeezed by rising prices, muted wages growth and government austerity measures, and confidence has been sapped by the euro-zone debt crisis. The results at Sainsbury, which enjoyed a healthy profile boost from its sponsorship of the London Paralympic Games, compared with Tesco’s 0.1 percent sales uptick in its home market after 18 months of decline. Sainsbur y ’s outper formance over rivals has been helped by strong growth online and in

smaller convenience stores where it is attracting thrifty customers looking for top-up shops rather than bulk buys. Its sales growth compares with analysts’ average forecast of 1.4 percent, a rise of the same magnitude in the firm’s first quarter, and represents a 31st consecutive quarter of underlying sales growth. “We expect the challenging economic backdrop to persist, but... we are positioned to perform well coming into the important Christmas period,” Chief Executive Justin King said. Total sales in the period were up 4.3 percent, and 4.4 percent excluding fuel. The group said its online business grew over 20 percent year-on-year, while it opened 49 convenience stores in the first half of the year, with expansion continuing at a rate up to two new store openings per week. The company also benefited from the success of its “Brand Match” pricing promotion, market share gains in general merchandise and own-label food ranges, which Sainsbury said was increasing at a

faster penetration rate than any of its rivals. Non-food increased its pace of growth to around three times that of food, it added. Last month, Sainsbury commercial director Mike Coupe told Reuters he hoped the feel good factor engendered by the success of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games could mark a turning point for retail demand in a nation enduring a double dip recession. Sainsbury shares are up 26 percent on a year ago, recently buoyed by the return of speculation regarding a possible renewed bid attempt from its 26-percent Qatari shareholder. The stock closed Tuesday at 346.8 pence, valuing the business at around 6.5 billion pounds. Last month Britain’s No 4 grocer Wm Morrison Supermarkets posted firsthalf earnings towards the top end of forecasts but said it had eased back on its investment drive, cautioning that high fuel prices and government austerity measures were likely to weigh on consumer spending well into next year.—Reuters

TRUCKS LAG GM, the largest US automaker, said sales of its mini, small and compact cars nearly doubled last month. Ford’s small car sales rose about 73 percent, while fuel prices rose. But both automakers said pickup truck sales in September, when those sales typically strengthen, were softer than in years past. Both GM and Ford said trucks made up about 12 percent of sales last month, down from 13 percent in September 2011. “There has been a fundamental shift of truck to car that we’ve been seeing for the past few years,” said Chevrolet’s sales chief, Don Johnson, adding that September’s results represented a continuation of that trend. “Consumers, because of the price of fuel, have definitely shifted over the last couple of years to a stronger mix on the car side,” he said. Ford shares ended 1.4 percent lower at $9.79 and GM shares gained 2.6 percent to close at $23.68 on Tuesday.

DETROIT: The General Motors headquarters is viewed in this photo in Detroit, Michigan. Toyota and Chrysler posted solid gains in US auto sales in September 2012 while rivals General Motors and Ford said their growth stalled even as the overall industry’s outlook appeared bright. —AFP which officially lasted until June 2009, US consumers delayed bigticket purchases, pushing the average age of vehicles on the road to a record high. That pentup demand has fueled auto sales growth this year as cars and trucks on the road push past the

point of repair and consumers’ economic prospects improve. “I think in general with the economy chugging along at about 1.5 percent to 2 percent that we are gradually seeing people come back,” said Ford chief economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick.

TOYOTA SURGES GM sold 210,245 cars and trucks last month, up 1.5 percent from a year earlier. Ford sold 174,976 cars and trucks last month, on par with its results from a year ago. Chrysler, the US automaker majority-owned by Italy’s Fiat SpA, showed a 12 percent jump in sales to 142,041. Toyota said vehicle sales rose 41.5 percent to 171,190 last month, while Honda Motor Co sales rose about 31 percent to 117,211. The outsized gains from Toyota and Honda reflect their recovery from inventory shortages last year after the March 2011 earthquake in Japan. Volkswagen of America, the US arm of Volkswagen AG, sales rose 34.4 percent. Nissan Motor Co’s sales fell 1.1 percent to 91,907 vehicles, hurt by higher fuel prices as well as inventory shortages of its Altima midsize sedan, said Al Castignetti, US sales chief for the Nissan brand. —Reuters

Spain’s tax take tumbles as companies go abroad MADRID: Spain’s corporate tax take has tumbled by almost two thirds from precrisis levels as small businesses fail and a growing number of big corporations seek profits abroad to compensate for the prolonged downturn at home. Attractive tax benefits can accrue to companies expanding overseas, but for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government, which now seems resigned to accepting a European financial rescue, the income flow is reversed. Rajoy has passed 65 billion euros ($84 billion) of austerity measures including public sector wage cuts and consumer tax hikes but has been reluctant to lean on businesses that are key to maintaining jobs when one in four Spaniards is unemployed. Despite its domestic woes, Spain is home to globally successful corporations such as banks Santander and BBVA, telephone operator Telefonica, retailer Inditex and oil company Repsol. Those five generated net profit of 17.8 billion euros in 2011, outstripping the 16.6 billion euros the government raised in corporate tax from a total 1,400 Spanish businesses that year. In 2007, the corporate tax take was 44.8 billion euros. “Big corporations are paying less and less in taxes. Their profits have not fallen

at the same pace that their (Spanish) tax contribution has fallen,” said Carlos Cruzado, chairman of Treasury Ministry trade union GESTHA. That the companies have continued posting profits at all is largely thanks to earnings abroad, but as foreign profits are generally taxed where they are made, Spain’s coffers have seen less and less. Spain receives a smaller proportion of corporate income than personal income, with businesses paying 11.6 percent of total group profits in Spanish taxes compared with 12.4 percent for individuals, according to 2011 data from the Spanish Tax Agency. TAX APPEAL Spanish companies’ heightened search for foreign markets to cushion a weak domestic business has come with an added bonus for their bottom line in more favorable tax regimes. In 2010, 30 of Spain’s 35 blue chip companies had subsidiaries in territories considered tax havens, according to the latest report by Spain’s Observation Group for Social Corporate Responsibility. The organization, which is partially subsidized by the Labor Ministry, put the number at 18 before Spain’s economic crisis began. “Not only tax reasons justify this trend,

but also the internationalization of Spanish groups and the search for new markets, especially in the context of the crisis seen in Spain,” said Josep Serrano, Senior Manager of Transfer Pricing & International Tax at Deloitte in Spain. The use of subsidiaries in tax havens to reduce tax bills has been a rising global trend in recent decades, tax campaigners said. In Spain, companies also benefit from exemptions on dividends from foreign subsidiaries, Deloitte’s Serrano said. Spain has a headline corporate tax rate of 30 percent, broadly in line with other large European economies. Switzerland, however, has a headline rate of 8.5 percent, and lawyers say deductions can be made to reduce this further. “A fundamental right of EU law is the freedom of establishment. All companies and taxpayers look after their tax affairs, and if they can pay a lower rate somewhere else, it’s better for their business and natural that they would do so,” a global tax lawyer based in Spain said. Inditex, the world’s largest clothing retailer , with a presence in 85 countries and two buying centres in Switzerland, posted a 10.3 percent rise in pretax profit in 2011, but tax paid on profits fell to 24 percent from 25 in the same period. —Reuters




ADB cuts growth forecasts for developing Asia HONG KONG: The Asian Development Bank yesterday slashed its growth estimates for the region’s emerging economies to the lowest level since 2009, citing a slowdown in powerhouses China and India. The bank also warned of significant risks caused by the effects of the European debt crisis and continued weakness in the United States, both of which are major export markets. China’s gross domestic product (GDP) was tipped to expand 7.7 percent this year before bouncing back to 8.1 percent in 2013, but still well below the 9.3 percent achieved last year, the bank said in an update to its Asian Development Outlook 2012 report. India would see GDP growth slow to 5.6 percent in 2012 before picking up to 6.7 percent next

year. “Dimming global growth prospects and soft domestic demand in the region’s two largest economies are slowing the pace of developing Asia’s expansion,” the Manila-based lender said. The bank cut its 2012 growth forecast for developing Asia, which comprises 45 nations, from 6.9 percent in April to 6.1 percent-the lowest since 2009 when the region expanded 6.0 percent. It also revised downward the 7.3 percent growth outlook for 2013 to 6.7 percent. The region expanded 7.2 percent in 2011. “Developing Asia is slowing down much more than we expected,” ADB chief economist Changyong Rhee told reporters in Hong Kong as the bank released the report. “The years of two-digit growth in Asia are coming to an end,” he

said, but added that there was no need for “panic”. “This is a natural adjustment to a more sustainable growth pace,” he said. The euro-zone debt crisis and a looming fiscal cliff in the United States-a predicted huge cut in the budget deficit and corresponding slowdown in the economy-could have “disastrous spillovers” to the rest of the world, and remain the biggest risks for emerging Asia, he said. Rhee added that the region-long seen as an oasis of opportunity on the gloomy global economic landscape-”must brace for a prolonged period of moderate expansion” after years of rapid growth. He urged countries to diversify their revenue sources, paying particular attention to job-creating services. The service sector accounted for almost half the region’s GDP

in 2010. East Asia was still the fastest-growing subregion, with forecast growth of 6.5 percent this year and 7.1 percent in 2013. Growth in Southeast Asia would be resilient, mainly due to Thailand’s recovery from the severe flooding in 2011 and higher government spending in Malaysia and the Philippines. “Overall we are very optimistic that Asia will maintain its growth momentum, even though we may not be able to expect two-digit growth rates as we have seen in the past two decades,” Rhee said in a statement on the ADB’s website. The ADB said the projected slowdown however was likely to ease price pressures, with inflation expected to fall from 5.9 percent in 2011 to 4.2 percent in 2012 and 2013, if there are no spikes in commodity prices. —AFP

Shuaa Capital focuses on lending to reverse losses Dubai investment bank expects to incur loss DUBAI: Dubai-based investment bank Shuaa Capital will focus more on growing its lending business as part of a new strategy aimed at turning around losses which have mounted since the global financial crisis. Shuaa, which has had three chief executives in the past year, expects to deploy half its balance sheet in the Shuaa Credit business by 2013, as it seeks to provide capital to the region’s growing private sector, its executive chairman said yesterday. The bank, which also runs an asset management division, is hoping that the strategy shift will return the bank to “positive territory” in 2013 and consistent profitability thereafter. It expects a loss in 2012. “Our growth engine going forward will be Shuaa Credit. We expect revenue from credit to grow to 47 percent in 2012 and 68 percent in 2013,” Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher Al-Maktoum, a member of Dubai’s ruling Maktoum family, told

reporters in Dubai. One of the Arab world’s largest investment banks and once a symbol of the sector’s potential in the region, Shuaa is among a group of regional investment firms struggling to stay afloat after excessive debt and declining portfolios led to losses. It has cut jobs and slashed operating costs in the wake of a sharp drop in investment banking and brokerage revenues, a mainstay for the bank during the boom years. The investment bank’s shares are down 93 percent from a 2008 peak. The stock has fallen 24 percent in the past year but is up 9.2 percent year-to-date. “Results in 2012 won’t be in the profit area but a significant improvement from previous years,” Al-Maktoum said. The company, which helped float ports operator DP World several years ago, made a second-quarter net loss of 15.9 million dirhams ($4.3 million) for the three

months to June 30, as it continued its restructuring efforts and booked one-off costs associated with the process. Shuaa expects its cash outflows to fall to 3.5 million dirhams per month by the end of the financial year, from 4.3 million per month by the end of the first half of 2012. Operating expenses are expected to reach 42.5 million dirhams a quarter, including its credit finance unit Gulf Finance, for the remainder of 2012 and 2013, the company said. Group operating expenses were 44.7 million dirhams in the second-quarter. Shuaa, which has gone through several top-level management changes since the 2008 financial crisis, in April named Colin MacDonald, a former ABN Amro banker, as its new chief executive, replacing Michael Philipp. Its shares rose 3.7 percent in thin trading on the Dubai bourse yesterday. — Reuters

M&C increases its presence in China Millennium & Copthorne invests over $300m SINGAPORE: Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) yesterday signed a contract to manage its first resort hotel in China. The 151-room Millennium Hangzhou Resort is situated in a forested hillside in Jiuxi Ping Feng or Nine Creek Mountain in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The 5-star resort is located within a tranquil tea plantation, famous for growing Chinese teas like the Longjing or Dragon Well Tea and is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2013. Since the successful entry into China in 2006, M&C has expanded its footprint with 6 other properties - Millennium Hotel Chengdu, Millennium Harbourview Hotel Xiamen, Millennium Hotel Wuxi, Copthorne Hotel Qingdao and the luxury Grand Millennium Beijing Hotel. It also operates the 329-room serviced apartment complex Millennium Residences Beijing Fortune Plaza, located in the capital’s CBD. Over the next three years, M&C will continue its expansion into China with two other new properties located in popular tourist and business destinations - M Hotel Chengdu in Sichuan Province (194 rooms), and Millennium Fuqing in Fujian Province (510 rooms). Together with Millennium Hangzhou Resort, these new properties will add 855 rooms to M&C’s current portfolio in China. This current phase of expansion will see a total of M&C’s hospitality portfolio increase to 10 properties in China with over 3,500 rooms. “This is in line with M&C’s strategy of expanding its footprint in China by owning, or managing hotels in the world’s fastest growing economy and potentially the largest global tourist market,” said M&C Chairman, Mr. Kwek Leng Beng at the signing ceremony for Millennium Hangzhou Resort, today (27 September 2012) at the Tower Club on the top floor of Republic Plaza, Singapore. For the Chinese owners, Shanghai Seagull Holding Group, today’s signing of the management contract is its second with M&C. The Millennium Hongqiao Hotel in Shanghai, which it owns, was also M&C’s first hotel that it managed in China in 2006. Shanghai Seagull Holding Group President, Yang Weijian speaking at the signing cere-

mony said, “We have a strong and established long-term relationship with M&C since the signing of Millennium Hongqiao in 2006. Since then, the results have been impressive. The hotel has won various awards and has made an outstanding mark among Shanghai’s many other 5-star hotels.” M&C also announced that it will also expand in Taiwan soon when Millennium Vee Hotel Taichung opens there next month. Located in downtown Taichung, the 267-room hotel aims at business and leisure travelers, offering convenient access to major travel links including business, shopping and cultural attractions. With a population of over 2.6 million people, Taichung is Taiwan’s third largest city after Taipei and Kaohsiung. M&C currently owns Grand Hyatt Taipei. Following the signing ceremony, Chairman Kwek disclosed that M&C was committed to refurbishing its major properties as part of its global strategy to stay ahead of the competition. “We have committed and have already begun refurbishing works of M&C’s hotels in gateway cities,” said Kwek. M&C expects to spend more than S$360 million (US$300 million) in refurbishing several of its global properties where some have been completed or in progress, while plans are being developed for others. These include Millennium UN Plaza (recently rebranded to ONE UN) which this month completes the first phase of a three-part major renovation; Millennium Minneapolis, another M&C property in the US; Millennium Mayfair in London; and Grand Hyatt Taipei in Asia. “Our asset management strategy has delivered good returns on investment, and has made us even more competitive. Although we cannot be immune to the ongoing Euro crisis and global economic uncertainty, we are well-positioned to take advantage of strategic opportunities,” added Kwek. “M&C’s refurbishment plans together with other asset management initiatives will help the Group sustain and improve on our strong financial performance,” he said.

Google backs off patent complaint against Apple SAN FRANCISCO: Google-owned Motorola Mobility withdrew a patent complaint filed with a US commission but remained quiet Tuesday as to the reason for the legal ceasefire. Motorola Mobility reserved the right to renew its case and said that no agreements had been worked out between the companies, according to paperwork filed Monday with the US International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC had indicated it planned to investigate the Motorola claim that Apple had infringed on more than a half-dozen patents involving technology for e-mail alerts, voice controls, video and other features.

The smartphone and tablet computing era is rife with patent battles, many pitting Apple against competitors who are building devices powered by Google-backed Android software. In a massive US court victory, a California jury declared on August 24 that South Korean electronics giant Samsung should pay Apple $1.049 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features in Android gadgets. The verdict is being appealed. In May, Google closed its $12.5 billion deal for Motorola Mobility, a key manufacturer of smartphones and holder of patents for the California Internet titanís legal arsenal. — AFP

BP Visco offers pure gold to consumers KUWAIT: Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim & Sons, the exclusive distributer of BP Visco Oil in Kuwait, has launched a special promotional campaign for BP Visco engine oil under the slogan, “Win Gold.” This marketing campaign has started since September 15 and will end on November 30, 2012. The draw for more than half a kilogram of gold will be held on December 18, 2012. BP Visco Oils give everyone the opportunity to benefit from this offer by receiving coupons for every purchase of a four liter pack of BP Visco 3000 10W-40, Visco 5000 5W-40, or Visco 5000 5W-30. The offer is available at all service centers under Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim & Sons, Bumper-to-Bumper centers that are strategically located in areas across Kuwait as well as a large number of garages at cooperatives, electric and auto-repair garages and other vehicle maintenance centers in Kuwait. This offer is a golden opportunity for car owners who use BP Visco oils. BP Visco has proven to be one of the favored choices for engine oils as it provides high quality motor oils that maintain cars’ conditions. Now, not only would consumers benefit from the qualities of BP Visco Oils, they will also have the opportunity to win gold. The “first prize” winner will receive 100 grams of gold while the four “second place” winners will win 50 grams of gold each. The four “third place” winners will win 20 grams of gold each. Another forty “fourth place” winners will win 5 grams of gold each.The draw will be held on December 18, 2012 at the cooperative in Salwa. While BP Visco provides its customers in Kuwait a variety of packages, this offer solely includes Visco 3000 and Visco 5000. Equipped with CleanGuard Engine Protection Technology, Visco 3000, the part synthetic engine oil, has proven to be the most suitable choice for gasoline and diesel engines. As it lies in accordance with the industrial standards, Visco 3000 is especially recommended for high-quality vehicles due to the engine cleaning qualities it possesses, high protection levels during normal driving conditions and the reduced burning levels of engine oil. With the same CleanGuard Engine Protection Technology, Visco 5000, the fully synthetic engine oil, has proven to be the most suitable choice for gasoline and diesel engines especially for passenger and commercial vehicles. In order to provide appropriate solutions for a wide range of cars, BP Visco Oils has adopted a lubricating technology by developing special lubricating oil for gasoline engines. BP Visco Oils have developed basic standards for additional products that have been selected as the top choice for modern, passenger cars. As the offer continues, everyone still has the opportunity to win gold by purchasing one of BP Visco products included in this offer. Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim & Sons is keen on its collaboration with BP Oils in launching the most successful promotional campaigns that solely benefit consumers & customers in Kuwait.

Qatar Airways expands network to Iraq’s Najaf DOHA: Qatar Airways continues its network expansion with the announcement of scheduled flights to Najaf - its third route in the Republic of Iraq, effective January 23. The southern city of Najaf, joins the capital Baghdad and northern city of Erbil, two routes launched earlier this year. The addition of Najaf takes Qatar Airways’ frequency to Iraq from eight flights to 12 services a week. The Doha-based airline will operate four-flights-a-week non-stop to Najaf, offering travelers a greater choice of travel options to more than 100 destinations around the world served by the airline via its hub. The Najaf route will be operated with an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy. Situated 160 kilometers from Baghdad, Najaf receives millions of pilgrims annually. With many upcoming construction projects, Najaf has become a model for other provinces in Iraq offering an early sign of huge investment opportunities in the country. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said he was delighted the airline was boosting services to Iraq, a market where the carrier this year alone had launched services to two prime cities. “Iraq is proving to be an important market for Qatar Airways; we currently operate four-flights-a-week between Doha and the cities of Baghdad and Erbil. We are confident that Najaf will prove to be a popular destination for our passengers, especially those from the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific and those returning to visit their homeland,” he said. “With major infrastructure developments and vast untapped

tourist potential, we are very excited about our launch of flights to Najaf.” Added Al Baker: “Qatar Airways constantly looks at new market opportunities and the launch of flights to Najaf will enable us to quickly meet the growing demand for travel to this increasingly popular destination. The start of our services to three cities in Iraq within a short span of time emphasises the value and importance of tourism, trade and business links between Qatar and Iraq. “Doha is well positioned as a gateway to destinations across continents and our customers from Najaf will be well served by Qatar Airways’ extensive global network. Passengers will be able to travel seamlessly through our Doha hub to popular cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, London, Paris, New York and Washington. Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 15 years of operations, currently operating a modern fleet of 111 aircraft to 118 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America. Since the beginning of 2012, Qatar Airways has launched flights to Baku (Azerbaijan); Tbilisi (Georgia); Kigali (Rwanda); Zagreb (Croatia), Erbil (Iraq), Baghdad (Iraq), Perth (Australia) and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania). Over the next few months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Yangon, Myanmar (October 3); Maputo, Mozambique (October 31); Belgrade, Serbia (November 20); Warsaw, Poland (December 5), Gassim, Saudi Arabia (January 7); and Chicago, USA (10 April 2013).

Drake & Scull subsidiary continues Iraqi expansion DUBAI: Passavant-Roediger GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Drake & Scull International PJSC, has been selected by the Iraqi Ministry of Municipalities as the Turnkey Contractor for a Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) located in the city of Kerbala. The project was awarded by Al Hanan Contracting Company and the contract value of Passavant-Roediger is AED 86 million. Under the terms of the contract, Passavant-Roediger will design and build the sludge treatment system of the WWTP based on anaerobic sludge digestion, including energy recovery and generation from biogas. It will install twelve sludge digesters each with a capacity of 3,400msq all equipped with the propriety PassavantRoediger Sequential Gas Lance Mixing System. Passavant-Roediger’s patented anaerobic sludge digestion technology reduces sludge volumes and renders it harmless for safe discharge. It also allows the recovery of energy from the organic matter it treats. The process involved can generate up to 80 per cent of the power requirements of a WWTP. Commenting on the award, Mazen Bachir, Managing Director of Passavant Roediger said, “We are pleased to have been selected to contribute to the redevelopment of Iraq’s vital infrastructure. Our global experience and patented technology will allow the implementation of an optimal treatment process tailored to the sophisticated requirements of this highscale project. Our modern digesters will guarantee energy saving operations and less consumption of chemical substance required for the treatment process while ensuring efficiency and long term profitability for the client. We are currently gearing up to mobilize on site shortly and we expect the project to be delivered in 2013”. DSI acquired Passavant-Roediger in 2009 to enhance its capabilities in the region’s water and wastewater sector.

Passavant-Roediger is a leading global developer of wastewater, water and sludge treatment technologies, with operations across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East and has portfolio of several ongoing and completed projects in Iraq including Ramadi Sa’ad 21 Industrial Complex ETP, Arbil WWTP, Baquba WTP and Salahudin Refinery ETP as well as more than twenty other projects in the water and wastewater treatment sectors ranging from full scale plants to package plants. The company delivers comprehensive in-house solutions for the design, supply, build, operations and maintenance, wastewater and water treatment facilities and is one of the leading Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC), Wastewater and Water Treatment (WWT) and Re-Use Design and Build Contractors Worldwide.

Mazen Basheer



NYPD watching Facebook to fight gang bloodshed NEW YORK: Police investigating two gangs called the Very Crispy Gangsters and the Rockstarz didn’t need to spend all their time pounding the pavement for leads. Instead, they fired up their computers and followed the trash talk on Facebook. “Rockstarz up 3-0,” one suspect boasted - a reference to the body count from a bloody turf war between the Brooklyn gangs that ultimately resulted in 49 arrests last month. Authorities in New York say a new generation of gang members is increasingly using social media to boast of their exploits and issue taunts and challenges that result in violence. And police and prosecutors have responded over the past several years by closely monitoring Facebook and other sites for leads and evidence. On Tuesday, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced plans to beef up the NYPD’s cyber crackdown by expanding the use of aggressive online investigative tactics and doubling the size of the department’s gang unit to 300 investigators. The reinforcements will focus less on established gangs like the Bloods and Crips and more on loosely knit groups of teenagers who stake out a certain block or section of a housing project as their turf and exact vengeance on those who trespass or fail to show the proper respect. “By capitalizing on the irresistible urge of these suspects to brag about their murderous exploits on Facebook, detectives

used social media to draw a virtual map of their criminal activity over the last three years,” the commissioner said in remarks prepared for delivery at a law enforcement convention in San Diego. Examples of the public displays of digital bravado abound. In the Brooklyn case, suspects sought to intimidate informants by posting court documents containing their names, authorities said. In another throwdown, the Rockstarz posted a photo of a Very Crispy member and the comment, “He is scared. Look at him.” Police say much of the potentially incriminating material they gather can be found on Facebook profiles that are public. But as part its new, stepped-up efforts, the department will refine and expand use of a tactical instrument in the three-year Brooklyn gang investigation - having officers adopt Internet aliases, create phony profiles and seek to “friend” suspects to gain access to nonpublic information, officials said. Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the NYPD “has the right, indeed the obligation, to pursue effective avenues for investigating criminal gang activity, and that includes using Facebook and other social media.” But she said such methods must be closely monitored so they don’t become “a vehicle for entrapment or unauthorized surveillance.” Police and prosecutors insist they are

following strict legal protocols. “When we meet with the police and we talk about investigative techniques, when they are on these social media sites, we’ll give them certain directions,” Ed Carroll, head of the Gang Bureau of the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, said Tuesday. “We don’t want to set up any situation where anyone is being entrapped or put in a position where they’re going to agree to commit a crime.” Police officials from San Diego and Atlanta who attended the California gathering on Tuesday said their departments also monitor Facebook and other social media to learn what gang members are saying about shootings and other crimes. “It’s no different than interviewing a witness or knocking door to door, doing canvasses,” said Carlos Campos, spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department. “Technology has just given us another angle for investigating.” In Chicago, police also built a database of the city’s gang members and provide commanders with software that allows them to send officers to spots where they expect a gang to retaliate for a shooting. A federal judge in New York has already weighed in on the privacy issue, siding with prosecutors in a gang case in the Bronx. In that case, federal investigators infiltrated the private Facebook posts of a suspected leader of a drug crew leader by using the account of a “friend” who became an informant. Court papers says the posts

included comments about cocaine deals such as, “I’m trying to see the man for like 600 grams,” and photos of the suspect making gang hand gestures. Defense attorneys tried to have the material thrown out, arguing it was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreason-

able search and seizure. In a decision last month, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley wrote that defendant Melvin Colon’s “legitimate expectation of privacy ended when he disseminated posts to his ‘friends’ because those ‘friends’ were free to use the information however they wanted - including sharing it with the government.”—AP

NEW YORK: In this Jan 27, 2012 file photo, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly speaks to reporters during a news conference. — AP

Coke and Samsung pull ads from Vietnam site PALO ALTO, California: In this Feb 25, 2011 file photo, a T-Mobile store is seen. — AP

T-Mobile USA set to merge with MetroPCS BERLIN: Struggling cellphone companies TMobile USA and MetroPCS Communications are set to merge, in a deal that will create an operator with more than 40 million subscribers. In a joint statement, the two companies said Wednesday that Deutsche Telekom AG, the owner of T-Mobile USA, will hold 74 percent of the new business, while MetroPCS’s shareholders will hold the remainder, as well as receiving a payment of about $1.5 billion. “The combined company, which will retain the T-Mobile name, will have the expanded scale, spectrum and financial resources to aggressively compete with the other national US wireless carriers,” the two said. Both companies have struggled in the highly-competitive US cellphone market. And even after the combination with Dallas-based MetroPCS, which has 9.3 million subscribers, TMobile USA - the country’s fourth-largest cellphone company with 33.2 million subscribers will still trail the market’s No. 3, Sprint Nextel Corp. However, the deal would give T-Mobile USA, which is based in Bellevue, Washington, access to more space on the airwaves, a critical factor as cellphone carriers try to expand their capacity for wireless broadband. Last year, AT&T struck a deal to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion for much the same reason. That was shot down by regulators, who believed competition would suffer if the sec-

ond-largest cellphone company were to gobble up the fourth-largest. “We are committed to creating a sustainable and financially viable national challenger in the US, and we believe this combination helps us deliver on that commitment,” Deutsche Telekom chief executive officer Rene Obermann said. Deutsche Telekom said the combined company would have revenues of around $24.8 billion based on analysts’ estimates, and cost synergies are expected to be worth $6 to $7 billion. The deal still has to be agreed by shareholders and will require regulatory approval. The regulatory concerns this time round appear set to be much milder than the proposed deal involving AT&T. Both companies are relatively small, and T-Mobile USA has been losing subscribers for the last two years. A linkup would be complicated by the fact that MetroPCS and T-Mobile USA use different network technologies. That means MetroPCS phones would not work on T-Mobile USA’s network, and vice versa. However, both companies are deploying the same “fourth-generation” or “4G” technology, so they’re on a path to harmonizing their networks. Deutsche Telekom’s CEO Obermann said the new company will have the “resources to expand its geographic coverage, broaden choice among all types of customers and continue to innovate, especially around the next-generation LTE network.” —AP

Zing notorious for providing unlicensed song downloads HANOI: Coca-Cola and Samsung have pulled their advertising from a popular Vietnamese website notorious for providing unlicensed downloads of Western and local songs, in a rare victory against online piracy in a country where it has grown unchecked. The companies abandoned after AP alerted them to local and international concerns about the website, which is the sixthmost visited in the nation of 87 million people. Zing’s audience of young, tech-savvy web users has made it attractive to companies wanting to promote their products in a fast-growing Asian market where some 30 million people are online. It was unclear if the companies were ignorant of the content of the site or chose to ignore it. Besides Coca-Cola Co and South Korea’s Samsung, other multinationals that have advertised on Zing include Canon, Yamaha, Intel and Colgate Palmolive. Zing said in a statement it couldn’t comment. The presence of international advertising added to the legitimacy of Zing, causing particular anger among Vietnamese artists who felt the site was profiting from their work without compensating them. After being contacted by The AP, Samsung and Coca-Cola said in separate statements they had withdrawn their ads. “We highly respect and value intellectual property rights, and stand against acts of infringement, such as the unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted material,” Samsung, which was advertising its Galaxy tablet on Zing, said in a statement. “Accordingly, our advertisements on have been withdrawn.” Coca-Cola said it had stopped advertising on the site and would “investigate their practices before making further decisions.” The drinks company had an especially close association with site,

which also features games, instant messaging and a social media network. In 2011, it collaborated with Zing on a music awards ceremony, according to Zing’s website. A special site created for the campaign attracted close to 6 million people who visited 10 million times, according to the website. The music industry in the United States has complained about well-known companies whose ads appear on illegal downloading sites and is trying to get them to stop such advertising. Those commercials are mostly placed by ad networks contracted by agencies working for the companies. In May, the Association of National Advertisers issued guidelines to its members urging them to try and prevent such placements. The decision by Coca-Cola and Samsung could add impetus to efforts by Vietnamese web companies to clean up their act. Vietnamese company MV Corp, which represents around half of the local music industry, says some of the biggest sites, including Zing, plan to begin charging for music on Nov 1. But it is unclear whether the deal means they will take down their infringing material, or whether Western recording companies will take part. Stopping rampant illegal downloading of songs is a priority for the music industry worldwide, but progress has been patchy as consumers get used to free music. As broadband internet connections have grown in Asia, the problem has gotten worse. Vietnam has passed laws against piracy, but has failed to enforce them, enabling sites like Zing to grow into respectable businesses. Recording artists in Vietnam no longer can make money selling music. They have had to live with the reality of illegal downloading as they seek promotional opportunities or sponsorship to earn

Protests at ‘dictatorial’ Philippine cyber law MANILA: The Philippine government faced a barrage of protests on Wednesday as a cybercrime law went into effect that critics said had imposed dictator-style monitoring and policing of the Internet. Major news outlets, bloggers, rights groups and other critics turned their social media profile pages black to express outrage over the law, which could see people face long jail terms for posting defamatory comments online. Thousand of furious tweets were posted on Twitter, with the hashtag #notocybercrimelaw becoming the top trend on the microblogging site in the Philippines yesterday. “This law works against ordinary netizens and disregards, among other things, our right to privacy and freedom of expression,” tweeted Noemi Dado, a prominent Manila blogger who edits a citi-

zen media site called Blog Watch. Senator Teofisto Guingona, one of the few members of parliament who opposed the bill that President Benigno Aquino signed into law last month, also stepped up his campaign to have it overturned. “The implementation of the law... will take back our citizens to the Dark Ages where freedom of speech and expression were not recognised,” he said in a statement. Many provisions of the cybercrime law aim to fight a range of online crimes not deemed controversial, such as fraud, identity theft, spamming and child pornography. However one provision makes any libellous comments posted online a criminal offence, with a penalty of up to 12 years in jail, much tougher than for traditional media. Equally controversially, the Department of Justice

MANILA: Filipino journalists and some media group leaders hold their petitions against the Cybercrime Prevention Act as they submitted them to the Supreme Court yesterday. — AP

also now has the power to close down websites and monitor online activities, such as email, instant messaging or video chats, without a warrant. The Philippines has had one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies and robust media environments since a people power revolution led by Aquino’s mother toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Social media has also flourished in recent years. Nearly a third of the population of 100 million people has access to the Internet, and 96 percent of Filipino netizens use Facebook, according to industry figures. But critics of the law have said it echoes tactics to silence and monitor dissenters employed by Marcos when he imposed martial law in the 1970s. “The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is the worst assault on free expression since Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law,” Luis Teodoro, a journalism professor at the University of the Philippines, wrote in a blog. Joaquin Bernas, a Jesuit priest and lawyer who helped draft the country’s post-dictatorship constitution in 1987, voiced similar sentiments in an article published this week outlining his concerns about the law. “There are very valid reasons for being frightened by this,” Bernas wrote in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, highlighting the government’s new authority to monitor and close down suspect websites without a warrant. “I for one recall the law on search and seizure in effect during the past martial law period.” Aquino’s spokespeople have repeatedly defended the law as necessary to fight cybercrime, while insisting his administration would uphold freedom of speech online. They also said a spate of hacking on government websites in protest over the law highlighted the need for it. But amid the backlash, some of the politicians who voted for the bill said they would were willing to get rid of the controversial provisions. “At the end, we should be humble enough to admit we may have made a mistake and we can still amend the law,” said Congressman Sonny Angara, whose father, Senator Edgardo Angara, authored the cybercrime bill. Critics have also filed petitions to the Supreme Court calling on it to rule that the law is unconstitutional. — AFP

a living. Zing’s giant reach was important to them even as it attracted complaints. One entertainment music executive complained bitterly about the site, but said that he couldn’t publicly speak out against it because it would not highlight his company’s songs. Still, one of Vietnam’s most popular singers, Le Quyen, has begun legal proceedings against Zing and eight other websites to try and get compensation, according to her lawyer Le Quang Vy. “By complaining against the offending websites, she wants to get justice for herself and remind them that they owe the performers,” he said. “If no halt is put to the violation of copyrights ... the country’s musical life will perish.” Zing is owned by VNG Corporation, a Vietnamese Internet company that is the leader in the lucrative online gaming market. The company has attracted investment from IDG Ventures of San Francisco and Goldman Sachs. Like others around the world, Zing collects links to infringing content and gives users the ability to engage in piracy through “deep linking”. According to Alexa, the web tracking company, about 20 percent of Zing’s visitors come from outside Vietnam. It said 60 percent of the traffic on the site goes to the download section. The International Intellectual Property Alliance, which this year accused of engaging in “notorious” piracy, welcomed the move by CocaCola and Samsung. “It is essential that good corporate citizens refrain from spending advertising dollars on services that engage in or encourage infringement,” said alliance representative Michael Schlesinger. “Breaking the chain of support for such notorious piracy services will erode the incentives for illegal services to operate.” — AP

US edu chief wants textbooks obsolete WASHINGTON: Worried your kids spend too much time with their faces buried in a computer screen? Their schoolwork may soon depend on it. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called Tuesday for the nation to move as fast as possible away from printed textbooks and toward digital ones. “Over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete,” he declared. It’s not just a matter of keeping up with the times, Duncan said in remarks to the National Press Club. It’s about keeping up with other countries whose students are leaving their American counterparts in the dust. South Korea, which consistently outperforms the US when it comes to educational outcomes, is moving far faster than the US in adopting digital learning environments. One of the most wired countries in the world, South Korea has set a goal to go fully digital with its textbooks by 2015. “The world is changing,” Duncan said. “This has to be where we go as a country.” The transition to digital involves much more than scanning books and uploading them to computers, tablet devices or e-readers. Proponents describe a comprehensive shift to immersive, online learning experiences that engage students in a way a textbook never could. A student studying algebra might click to watch a video clip explaining a new concept or property. If they get stuck, interactive help features could figure out the problem. Personalized quizzes ensure they’re not missing anything - and if they are, bring them up to speed before they move on to the next lesson. Social networking allows students to interact with teachers and each other even when school isn’t in session. Using digital textbooks, schools can save money on hard copies and get updated material to students more quickly. School districts may also be able to pick and choose their curriculum buffet-style. A district might choose one publisher’s top-

notch chapter on Shakespeare, but follow it with another publisher’s section on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”. But adopting digital textbooks isn’t as easy as a directive from Washington. States set their own processes for selecting and purchasing textbooks that match their needs. Over the last two years, at least 22 states have taken major strides toward digital textbooks, said Douglas Levin, executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association. Until recently, Levin said, states struggled to collaborate because each had its own curricular standards, a particular burden for smaller states. That burden has been eased now that 48 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core standards, a set of uniform benchmarks for math and reading. “There are opportunities for the federal government to encourage states and districts not to reinvent the wheel,” Levin said. A school district in Huntsville, Alabama, launched an effort over the summer to become the first district to transition fully to digital textbooks. To do that, the district must first ensure every student has either a laptop or a tablet computer. In California, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a pair of bills in September aiming to make his state a national leader in electronic college textbooks. Still, many districts, already buckling from diminished budgets, don’t have the bandwidth or the equipment to make digital materials available to every student. That’s created a new challenge for the educational publishing industry as it works to market products to district across the technological spectrum. “We haven’t produced anything that’s print-only in over three years. One hundred percent of what we have is available to school districts electronically,” said Vineet Madan, senior vice president of new ventures for McGraw-Hill Education.— AP



health & science

Moroccans voice opposition to Dutch ‘abortion boat’ RABAT: Moroccans voiced opposition yesterday to the imminent arrival of a Dutch “abortion boat,” on its first visit to a Muslim country to provide abortions to women that organizers say might otherwise be exposed to grave health risks. “Moroccan law forbids abortion. Moroccan religious identity say it is forbidden and so does Islam. So the government cannot allow this ship to come to Morocco,” lawyer Abdelmalik Zaza was quoted as saying in Al-Tajdid, the newspaper of ruling Islamist party the

PJD. Chafik Chraibi, who heads a Moroccan NGO that seeks to perform abortions legally, also opposed the visit. “It’s true that the initiative is symbolic, to defend the rights of women to have abortions,” he told independent Moroccan daily Le Soir. “But to practice abortion at sea, in international waters, is for me a way of circumventing the law and is something clandestine,” he added. The Dutch non-profit organization Women on Waves, which is organizing

the visit, says the ship will arrive at Smir, in northern Morocco on Thursday afternoon, around 40 kilometers east of Tangier. Many in Morocco expect it to be turned away. The Dutch group says the purpose of the visit is to provide women with “safe legal medical abortions” up to 6.5 weeks into pregnancy, in a country where the practice is illegal and taboo and can expose women to grave health risks. It also said it will set up a hotline to inform women about safe medical abortions

that can be induced at home. Doctor Rebecca Gomperts, the founder of Women on Waves said that around 600 to 800 Moroccan women have an abortion every day. “The problem is that only about 200 cases are done properly, by women who have money,” Gomperts said, with the rest resorting to dangerous methods because they are unable to afford the expensive treatment. This leads to the deaths of 78 Moroccan women each year on average, Gomperts claimed, citing statistics pro-

vided by the World Health Organization. But Moroccan pro-life groups deny those figures, and dispute the motives of the local youth group the Alternative Movement for Individual Liberties (MALI) that is helping to organize the visit. “The figures on abortion are not right,” said Hannan Idrissi, a member of a Moroccan pro-life group, was quoted as saying by Al-Tajdid. “The MALI movement that invited the ship is known for its disrespect for ethics and the dignity of Moroccan society,” she added. — AFP

US baby bust continues Births down for 4th year

TEXAS: Students walk through the University of Texas at Austin campus in Austin, Texas. This giant flagship campus - once so slow to integrate - is now awash in color, among the most diverse the country if not the world. — AP

Study: Race-neutral admissions can work NEW YORK: As the Supreme Court revisits the use of race in college admissions next week, critics of affirmative action are hopeful the justices will roll back the practice. A new report out yesterday offers a big reason for their optimism: evidence from at least some of the nine states that don’t use affirmative action that leading public universities can bring meaningful diversity to their campuses through race-neutral means. That conclusion is vigorously disputed by supporters of race-based affirmative action, including universities in states like California which cannot under state law factor race into admissions decisions. The new report, by the Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation and prominent advocate of class-based affirmative action, calls those states’ raceneutral policies largely successful. The University of California and others call them a failure that’s left their campuses inadequately representative of the states they serve. Kahlenberg also acknowledges that highly selective universities like UCLA and the Universities of California-Berkeley and Michigan haven’t recovered from drop-offs in minority enrollments after voters in those states outlawed racial preferences. But in most places, the report argues, a combination of measures - aggressive outreach, de emphasizing of standardized tests, affirmative action based on class instead of race, and even getting rid of legacy preferences that mostly benefit whites - has allowed minority representation on their campuses to recover to previous levels. Seven states have banned racial preferences in admissions outright Washington, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, New Hampshire, California and Florida. In Texas and Georgia leading public universities use a race-neutral system, though the University of Texas has maintained some use of affirmative action. It’s that policy at UT that’s now before the court in a case brought by Abigail Fisher, a rejected white applicant. Arguments are next Wednesday. In its last two major affirmative action decisions, in 1978 and 2003, the court essentially took universities at their word when they argued it’s impossible to achieve adequate racial diversity without factoring race into admissions. But in the 2003 decision, involving the University of Michigan, the court also indicated it would pay close attention to race-neutral experiments in the states to make sure racial preferences were really necessary to achieve diversity. This time around, the swing vote is likely Justice Anthony Kennedy, who dissented in the case nine years ago, precisely because he believed colleges need to try harder to achieve diversity by other means before resorting to racial preferences. “It’s the central question in Fisher: whether race-neutral alternatives will work,” Kahlenberg said. Kahlenberg says the state data, compiled by Halley Potter, shows they do. At the University of Washington, for instance, black and Latino enrollment fell after the use of race was banned but has since surpassed previous levels. At the University of Florida, Hispanic enrollment is higher and black enrollment is comparable to before race was banned (though the report’s figures show black enrollment has fallen lately from nearly 15 percent to below 10 percent). In Texas, diversity numbers plummeted during a period in the late 1990s when the university wasn’t using affirmative action. The state implemented a “Top 10 percent” plan granting automatic admission to top high school students based

on class rank, and its enrollment of underrepresented minorities has risen overall. But supporters of affirmative action draw different lessons from the experiences of the states trying race-neutral methods. For one thing, they note states like California, Florida and Texas are much more diverse now, so holding minority numbers steady isn’t progress. UT, which now uses race as a factor for a small part of its class, argues the Top 10 percent plan failed to provide sufficient diversity, noting blacks remain underrepresented and many classrooms lack minority voices. “If there were a better way we’d love to see it happen, but we haven’t,” Hilary Shelton, senior vice president for policy and advocacy at the NAACP, said of raceneutral alternatives to ensuring minorities are represented at leading colleges .”What we keep seeing happen is when these programs are stripped away we end up doing much worse in the areas of integration.” The nearly 100 briefs filed in the Fisher case also include several from social science researchers arguing race-neutral alternatives don’t work. In its brief supporting Texas, the University of California argues that when state voters ended affirmative action in 1996, it was unable to enroll a critical mass of black students, particularly the two most prominent campuses - Berkeley and UCLA. California spent tens of millions of dollars expanding outreach, de-emphasized standardized tests and even implemented a policy similar to Texas’ Top 10 percent plan, the university told the court. But the results weren’t satisfactory. In 1995, black students accounted for 7.3 percent of admitted freshmen at Berkeley and 6.7 percent at UCLA; the figures today are 3.9 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively. “The University of California has tried almost everything (to recruit more minority students),” said Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. “It’s true the least selective colleges of the University of California are highly diversified, but we’ve had almost a disappearance of black students here at UCLA.” Highly selective institutions like Berkeley and UCLA generate a disproportionate share of future leaders, Orfield says, and are key pathways to professional and graduate schools. Without using race in admissions, such universities will look hardly anything like the states they’re supposed to serve, and minority students won’t have access to critical opportunities. “We have to figure out a way to develop their talents and we have to figure out a way to create leadership that can work together across racial and ethnic lines in this country,” he said, noting the country’s two largest regions, the South and West, now have a majority of non-white students. Already, he said, black students one-fifth as likely to be admitted to highly selective institutions as white students, and Latinos one-third. Were the court to force colleges nationwide to try race-neutral programs “it would just make a bad situation worse,” he said. Kahlenberg agrees low minority enrollments at elite institutions as a problem. But he says at all but the most selective universities, race-neutral alternatives have produced at least as much diversity as policies that considered race. And at the most elite, like Berkeley, a blanket ban on using race would solve the problem because those schools would no longer lose so many minority applicants to top private colleges that can use race. — AP

NEW YORK: US births fell for the fourth year in a row, the government reported yesterday, with experts calling it more proof that the weak economy has continued to dampen enthusiasm for having children. But there may be a silver lining: The decline in 2011 was just 1 percent - not as sharp a falloff as the 2 to 3 percent drop seen in other recent years. “It may be that the effect of the recession is slowly coming to an end,” said Carl Haub, a senior demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington, DC-based research organization. Most striking in the new report were steep declines in Hispanic birth rates and a new low in teen births. Hispanics have been disproportionately affected by the flagging economy, experts say, and teen birth rates have been falling for 20 years. Falling births is a relatively new phenomenon in this country. Births had been on the rise since the late 1990s and hit an all-time high of more than 4.3 million in 2007. But fewer than 4 million births were counted last year - the lowest number since 1998. Among the people who study this sort of thing, the flagging economy has been seen as the primary explanation. The theory is that many women or couples who are out of work, underemployed or have other money problems feel they can’t afford to start a family or add to it. The economy officially was in a recession from December 2007 until June 2009. But well into 2011, polls show most Americans remained gloomy, citing anemic hiring, a depressed housing market and other factors. The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a first glimpse at 2011 birth certificate data from state health departments. More analysis comes later but officials don’t expect the numbers to change

much. Early data for 2012 is not yet available, and it’s too soon to guess whether the birth decline will change, said the CDC’s Stephanie Ventura, one of the study’s authors. Highlights of the report include: The birth rate for single women fell for the third straight year, dropping by 3 percent from 2010 to 2011. The birth rate for married women, however, rose 1 percent. In most cases, married women are older and more financially secure. The birth rate for Hispanic women dropped a whopping 6 percent. But it declined only 2 percent for black women, stayed the same for whites and actually rose a bit for Asian-American and Pacific Islanders. Birth rates fell

rose for moms ages 35 and older. Experts say that’s not surprising: Older women generally have better jobs or financial security, and are more sensitive to the ticking away of their biological clocks. Birth rates for teen moms have been falling since 1991 and hit another historic low. The number of teen births last year - about 330,000 - was the fewest in one year since 1946. The teen birth rate fell 8 percent, and at 31 per 1,000 girls ages 15 through 19 was the lowest recorded in more than seven decades. “The continued decline in the teen birth rates is astounding,” said John Santelli, a Columbia University professor of population and family health. Did the economy have anything

TEXAS: A mother holds her newborn baby at Christus Spohn Hospital South in Corpus Christi, Texas. US births fell for the fourth year in a row, the government reported yesterday with experts calling it more proof that the weak economy has continued to dampen enthusiasm for having children. — AP again for women in their early 20s, down 5 percent from 2010 the lowest mark for women in that age group since 1940, when comprehensive national birth records were first compiled. For women in their late 20s, birth rates fell 1 percent. But birth rates held steady for women in their early 30s, and

to do with a drop in teen births? Yes, indirectly, Santelli said. Teenagers watch the struggles and decisions that older sisters and older girlfriends are making, and what they see influences their thinking about sex and birth control, he said. “Teens tend to emulate young adults,” Santelli said. “They are less influenced

directly by the economy than by people.” Studies show that since 2007, larger percentages of sexually active teenage girls are using the pill and other effective birth control. Studies also show a small decline in the proportion of girls ages 15 through 17 who say they’ve had sex, Santelli noted. The new birth report also noted a fourth straight decline in a calculation of how many children women have over their lifetimes, based on the birth rates of a given year. A rate of a little more than 2 children per woman means each couple is helping keep the population stable. The US rate last year was slightly below 1.9. Countries with rates close to 1 - such as Japan and Italy - face future labor shortages and eroding tax bases as they fail to reproduce enough to take care of their aging elders. Officials here aren’t as worried. The US replacement rate is still close to 2. And it has dropped in the past and then bounced back up again, said Ventura, an official at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. “And we haven’t seen any studies that show couples want to have fewer children or no children,” she added. One more report highlight: The US C-section rate may have finally peaked at just under 33 percent, the same level as last year. Cesarean deliveries are sometimes medically necessary. But health officials have worried that many C-sections are done out of convenience or unwarranted caution, and in the 1980s set a goal of keeping the national rate at 15 percent. The C-section rate had been rising steadily since 1996, until it dropped slightly in 2010. “It does suggest the upward trend may be halted,” said Joyce Martin, a CDC epidemiologist who co-authored the new report. But CDC officials want a few more years of data before declaring victory, she added. — AP

US meningitis outbreak prompts investigation NASHVILLE: Tennessee’s chief medical officer said Tuesday that state and federal health experts are investigating an outbreak of meningitis in which 14 people who received steroid injections contracted the infection and two of them died. Dr David Reagan, chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Health, said two more confirmed cases in the past 24 hours brought the total to 14. Authorities say all but one of those who contracted the infection had received steroid injections for back pain at a Nashville clinic. The other case was reported in North Carolina in a patient who had received the same type of injection, authorities said. Marion Kainer, an infectious diseases physician and epidemiologist with the Tennessee Health Department, said it’s still too early to pinpoint the source. But Kainer said three lots of injectable steroid used at a Nashville clinic between July 30 and Sept 20 have been recalled by the manufacturer. The clinic, the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center, voluntarily shut its doors Sept 20. “This is a serious illness, a serious disease,” Kainer said. “There is not a lot of experience treating it, but we’re getting the best advice possible.” Officials haven’t identified the drug manufacturer or the city in North Carolina where one of the cases was reported. Reagan said that publicizing too much information at this time could negatively affect the investigation. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Curtis Allen said the agency is working with health departments in other states to determine whether other patients might be affected. He could not say how many people or clinics could potentially be affected nationally. In Tennessee there are about 900 people who received the injections at two clinics during the timeframe under investigation. No one from the second clinic has at this time been found to have contracted the disease, officials said. Allen cautioned that while the injectable steroids were one thing the sickened patients had in common, there could also be other things in common, such as the anesthetic or the antiseptic, and the search for a cause is ongoing. Of the 11 surviving patients in Tennessee, some are in critical condition while others are improving, Reagan said. — AP

Weight loss, immune system supplements illegally labeled SAN FRANCISCO: Dozens of weight loss and immune system supplements on the market are illegally labeled and lack the recommended scientific evidence to back up their purported health claims, government investigators warn in a new review of the $20 billion supplement industry. The report, being released yesterday by the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general, found that 20 percent of the 127 weight loss and immune-boosting supplements investigators purchased online and in retail stores across the country carried labels that made illegal claims to cure or treat disease. Some products went so far as to state that the supplements could cure or prevent diabetes or cancer, or that they could help people with HIV or AIDS, which is strictly prohibited under federal law. Consumers may not just be wasting their money on pills or tablets, but they could be endangering their health if they take a supplement in place of a drug thinking it will have the same effect, the report concluded. “Consumers rely on a supplement’s claims to determine whether the product will provide a desired effect, such as weight loss or immune support,” the report said. “Supplements that make disease claims could mislead consumers into using them as replacements for prescription drugs or other treatments for medical conditions, with potentially dan-

gerous results.” The market for dietary supplements - which can include anything from Vitamin C tablets to capsules of Echinacea - is a huge one with hundreds of products. The inspector general’s investigation focused on one segment that officials said is booming. Federal regulations do not require the Food & Drug Administration to review supplement companies’ scientific evidence for most of their products’ purported health benefits before they hit the market. The Office of Inspector General found that in numerous cases, when companies did submit evidence to back up their health claims, it fell far short of government recommendations. One company submitted a 30-year-old handwritten college term paper to substantiate its claim, while others included news releases, advertisements and links to Wikipedia or an online dictionary, according to the report. Overall, the review raises questions about whether the system is allowing companies to mislead consumers, investigators said, and recommended that FDA ramp up its oversight. The report did not name individual brands or products, and also did not estimate the total number of dietary supplements on the market. In response, the food safety agency said it would consider asking Congress for more oversight powers to review supplement companies’ evidence proving their products’ purported health benefits. — AP


health & science

Morocco mission to rescue last of the Atlas lions Zoo struggling to claw the fabled subspecies back RABAT: Almost a century after a French colonial hunter put a bullet in what came to be viewed as the last Atlas lion living in the wild, a Moroccan zoo is struggling to claw the fabled subspecies back from the brink of extinction. The majestic animal, also known as the Barbary lion and once common across north Africa, was eventually declared extinct after the 1922 hunt that saw it vanish from its natural environment. But, remarkably, a few dozen individuals survived in captivity, and the newly opened Rabat zoo is fighting to save the bloodline and raise numbers to a viable population. “For a long time, it was thought that the species had disappeared. But it turned out that Sultan Mohammed V (the current king’s grandfather) had some Atlas lions in his private park,” said Abderrahim Salhi, the zoo’s head of operations. The exotic park of the sultan, who became king at independence, had been supplied by tribesmen who hunted the mountain predators and offered them to their ruler as a tribute and proof of allegiance. “After Morocco’s independence (in 1956), the Atlas lions from the royal park formed the nucleus of the zoo and became a symbol of pride,” Salhi said. Today, this symbolism appears on the monarch’s coat of arms, which depicts two lions protecting a crown, and the Moroccan football team carries their name, Atlas Lions, along with the hopes of the football-loving nation. The male Atlas lion is distinguished by its long dark mane, which extends down its back and under its belly, and by its muscular build and dexterity, thought to have evolved from its life of hunting and climbing in the mountains. Some observers say it is larger than its subSaharan relatives, weighing 225 kilos or more, though the claim is disputed. The newly renovated Rabat zoo opened earlier this year, an event followed by the birth of three lion cubs at the facility. Staff described their arrival as a “joyous event.” “These cubs are the direct descendants of the Atlas lions, because like most of the cubs and lions here, they are a pure breed. They are not mixed,” said Salhi, who personally supervised the birth of the three cubs. The zoo itself “now has 32 lions, which is around half of the number remaining world-

RABAT: Barbary lions, also known as Atlas lions, play in their enclosure at the Rabat zoo yesterday. — AFP wide,” he added, the rest being found in zoos elsewhere in Morocco and in Europe. BARBARIC SPORT But for all they represent, the future of Morocco’s mightiest predator is far from assured. Various factors drove the north African lions to extinction in the wild, notably the deforestation of the Atlas mountains and the influx of firearms throughout the 19th century, with people hunting the big cats for their fur and for sport. They had already vanished in large numbers many hundreds of years earlier, captured and shipped to ancient Rome, where they provided grisly entertainment in the Colosseum and other amphitheatres around the empire. Starved and angry, the lions were unleashed on combatants and condemned criminals, as depicted in the

19th-century French Orientalist painting “Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer”, which shows a Barbary animal emerging from a pit to attack a group of Christians. A less disturbing image meets visitors to the 50-hectare zoo outside Rabat, where the adult lions rest in the shade as the cubs romp nearby. The park is home to nearly 1,200 animals, made up of around 120 separate African species, including white rhinos, elephants, hippos and cheetahs. There are also plans to open a “night zoo” for nocturnal creatures including panthers. But the task of preserving the Atlas lion and boosting its numbers, in collaboration with other zoos around the world, remains a key objective for the park officials. “It is a big challenge,” Salhi said. “Our priority is their protection.” — AFP

Benefits seen in hormone use early in menopause NEW YORK: A new study may reassure some women considering short-term use of hormones to relieve hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Starting low-dose treatment early in menopause made women feel better and did not seem to raise heart risks during the fouryear study. However, the research didn’t address the risk of breast cancer, perhaps the biggest fear women have about hormones since a landmark study a decade ago. The new one was too small and too short for that. Still, it is the first fresh research in many years on the sometimes confusing effects of hormones on women’s health. The advice remains the same: Use hormones only for severe symptoms - not to prevent bone loss or aging-related problems - at the lowest dose for the shortest time possible. “ The benefits outweigh the risks when hormone therapy is used for symptom management with relatively shortterm treatment,” said Dr JoAnn Manson, preventive medicine chief at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She was a study leader and will discuss results Wednesday at a conference of the North American Menopause Society in Orlando, Fla. For decades, doctors believed hormone pills helped prevent heart problems and were good for bones and minds. That changed in 2002, when a big federal study was stopped because women taking estrogen-progestin pills had higher rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Critics pounced on the study’s limitations. Participants were well past menopause - 63 on average - and most were not seeking symptom relief. Many were overweight and smokers, and at higher risk of heart disease to start with. Only one type of pill in one dose was tested. Women who could take estrogen alone - those who had had hysterectomies - did not have the risks that women on the combination hormone pills did. In fact, they had lower rates of breast cancer. These factors led many experts to think some hormones might help certain women, and that the type and dose might matter. The new study tested that. It enrolled about 700 healthy

women ages 42 to 58 within three years of menopause. They were given either low-dose estrogen pills (Premarin, made by Wyeth, now part of Pfizer Inc.), a lowdose estrogen skin patch (Climara, made by Bayer), or a placebo. Women on estrogen also received Prometrium, a progesterone that more closely mimics what the body makes. All women received a patch and two types of pills, but some of those were fake treatments and neither they nor their doctors knew who had the real medicine versus placebos until the study ended. That is standard study design to test who is really helped by a medication. The main goal was seeing whether hormones made a difference in hardening of the arteries, a precursor to heart disease, as seen on imaging tests. Other health measures also were tracked. After four years, doctors found: No effect on blood pressure or artery hardening. Both types of estrogen reduced hot flashes and improved bone density, mood and sexual health. Estrogen pills raised good cholesterol and lowered the bad form, but also caused triglycerides (another type of fat in the bloodstream) to rise. Estrogen patches did not affect cholesterol but improved blood-sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, possibly making them a better choice for overweight women at risk of diabetes. Patches and pills have different effects, said Dr S Mitchell Harman, an endocrinologist and director of the Kronos Longevity Research Institute, a Phoenix-based group with no industry ties that paid for the study. Oral estrogen goes straight to the liver, resulting in higher concentrations than when it’s absorbed through the skin. That raises blood-clotting factors that might be especially harmful to smokers. But higher estrogen levels also cause the liver to make more HDL, or good cholesterol. So estrogen can have good and bad effects depending on the form, he said. Skin patches account for just 2 percent of hormone use, some studies estimate. Besides Climara, at least one other is on the market - Vivelle-Dot, sold by Novartis and Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc. — AP




Oriental Wednesdays at Radisson Blu SEND US YOUR INSTAGRAM PICS

uffet treats from Kuwait to Beijing. Starting October 3 at the Rangoli Restaurant. Rangoli will serve you amazing Oriental flavors from India, China, South East Asia and the Middle East. Our live music performers will add zest to your evening every Wednesday from 06:30 pm to 11:00 pm.


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


Hotel Missoni Kuwait offers Gulf Bank’s priority clients 15% discount ulf Bank recently announced an exclusive tie up with Hotel Missoni Kuwait, presenting its Priority customers with an offer of a 15% discount on room rates and 25% discount on all the hotels restaurants. This offer is valid from 1 October to the 31 December 2012 when using a Gulf Bank Priority Banking ATM card, Visa Infinite or Platinum card. Aly Shalaby, Gulf Bank’s General Manager, Consumer Banking Group said: “Our extensive merchant reward network and promotional offers have made Gulf Bank’s credit cards a preferred choice of payment. We strive to offer the most rewarding promotions to our cardholders and to ensure that our choice of partners are in line with our clients’ needs. We will continue our promise of offering the highest standards of services and products that appeal to our clients and to increase our offers and promotions, thus ensuring that our cardholders get optimum value when using their credit cards. Gulf Bank is the only Bank that offers both instant discounts as well as loyalty points that can be redeemed in cash, which is an added benefit. I’d also like to thank Missoni Kuwait for giving Gulf Bank this exclusive discount offer.” To find out more about the Bank’s promotions and offers customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 56 branches.


UPCOMING EVENTS ‘Leniency of Islam’ n unprecedented initiative of KTV2 (English channel) is the new program by the name ‘Leniency of Islam’ presented by Shaikh Musaad Alsane and directed by Hamid Al-Turkait. The program is mainly meant to address the expatriates living in Kuwait. Religious questions are received through the program email and sms can be sent to- 97822021 and answered by the lecturer and Imam in Awqaf Ministry Shaikh Musaad Alsane - a Master Degree holder in Sharia and fiqih from Kuwait University. So don’t forget to watch the program every Friday at 1:00 pm.


IOC Gandhidarsan exhibition on Oct 5 Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) releases ‘EXCELSIOR 2012’ UST released its annual publication Excelsior 2012, in the A. M. Al-Refai Library on Monday, October 1, 2012.The event was inaugurated by Dr. Robert Cook; the Vice President for Academic Affairs and organized by the Library in coordination with the Excelsior Committee members. Dr. Lee Caldwell, Dean for College of Business Administration, Excelsior members, Faculty, Excelsior contributors, and Library staff were amongst the few present for the event. In his speech, Dr. Robert Cook highlighted that GUST was celebrating its 10th anniversary and Excelsior was releasing its 6th Volume the same year. He remarked on how impressive the latest edition of Excelsior was and thanked the contributors for their brilliant work.


He especially thanked, Mrs. Shobhita Kohli the chairperson of the Excelsior Committee, and the Committee members: Dr. KameleddineBenameurDr. Janet

Testerman, Mrs. Amani Gaber, and Ms. MarwaMarafie. Dr. Cook appreciated the endeavorsof the Committee members in producing a successful publication as Excelsior and expressed his wish of having a larger volume produced in the com-

ing year. Concluding his speech, Dr. Cook said, “Excelsior is an important output of our achievements at GUST and we must encourage such flair”.The speech was followed by the ribbon cutting ceremony conducted by Dr. Robert Cook and Mrs. Shobhita Kohli. Soon after, sweets along with Excelsior copies were distributed. Excelsior, a GUST publication is released annually and is intended for a wide distribution on campus while limited copies are also distributed off campus. The publication represents the vision our faculty, students, and staff hold whilst indicating that they belong to the same cohesive institution. Excelsior aims to enhance the University’s attempt in supporting its creativity and innovation.

ndian overseas congress, Kuwait is organizing photo exhibition of Mahatma Gandhi’s life, “Gandhidarsan 2012” on October 5th and 6th at United Indian School, Abbasiya. The exhibition starts at 6:30 pm on Oct 5th. and ends on Oct. 6th evening which will be inaugurated by Aleyamma Thomas, a freedom fighter who met Gandhiji by person. More than 200 pictures of Gandhi’s life will be exhibited. Photos from Gandhi’s childhood to his tragic death will be exhibited at the venue. Very rare photos of His African life, pictures of various Indian Freedom movement and other exclusive photos are included. IOC requests each and everyone especially parents to make use of the exhibition by encouraging children to the venue. Exhibition is organized to encourage the new generation to study and disseminate the thoughts, values and ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. The organizers believe that it is the duty of every Indian citizen to spread the ideals of non-violence and to make aware of the great achievement by non-violence, India’s freedom. A committee of General convener Varghese Mamparampan, Jt. Gen. Conveners Tony Mathew and Santhosh, Prog. Committee convener Tomychen Puthiyaparampil, Arrangement Comm. Convener Joshy Ullatil, Jt convenors Roy Kuttanad and Sunil Sunny with M.A.Hilal, Geevarghese Abraham, Somu Mathew and Raju Zakarias are leading the arrangements of the exhibition.


ABK supports Kuwait Blood Bank s an integral part of its corporate social responsibility program, under the umbrella of ‘Our Society....Our Responsibility,’ Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait is proud to support the Kuwait Blood Bank and its ongoing initiatives that help save lives of Kuwaitis and expats living in the State of Kuwait. This is the 4th consecutive year that ABK staff has willingly donated their time to donate blood to help others in need of medical assistance within Kuwait. Sahar Al Therban, Public Relations Manager at ABK stated that, “We are so proud of our colleagues at the Bank for

eagerly supporting this important initiative that helps save the lives of people.” Ms Al Therban continued to thank Kuwait Blood Bank and its efficient team for, “the amazing work that they do in Kuwait and for all the lives of loved ones that have been saved. We are privileged to offer them our support.” Medical representatives from the Kuwait Blood Bank thanked ABK for its willingness to consistently support them saying, “We look forward to coming back next year and to continue working alongside ABK far into the future. We truly do appreciate that ABK stands by us.”


Focus Kuwait 6th annual day s a part of the 6th anniversary celebrations, Forum of Cadd Users (FOCUS Kuwait), a nonpolitical, non-religious organization is set to stage a mega cultural event “Focus Fest-2012”. This mega event will be a blend of traditional and contemporary dance and musical extravaganza by renowned South Indian playback singers Jyotsna and Sudeesh. Scheduled for the afternoon of Friday, October 12, 2012, at the Al-Jeel Al-Jadeed School Auditorium, Hawally, the mega musical show, is expected to be a super-hit in Kuwait.


Audition for ZEE Antakshari or the first time Indian Cultural Society brings you live excitement of ZEE - International Antakshari in Kuwait. Audition & first round will be held in Kuwait, there after followed by semi finals in India & Grand Finale in Dubai. Complete team of Carnival films & Zee TV will be in Kuwait for the final round of selection on Friday 5th October with Jaaved Jaaferi: Celebrity Judge, Akriti Kakkar: Female Bollywood Singer & Host of Antakshari, Manish Paul: Host for Auditions, Sarfaraz Khan: Actor, Director and Producer, Michael Amin: Producer & Director Carnival films world. Musicians, Male Singer & many more for live performances. Final audition at 10 am & music show at 7:30 pm at AIS-Hawally.


Extravagant seaside BBQ nights at Marina Hotel arina Hotel re-launched its poolside Barbeque Nights in the presence of the media and senior management. General Manager, Nabil Hammoud along with the hotel’s management team welcomed the media on their arrival to a relaxing evening filled with mouth-watering BBQ delicacies, live Oriental music, shisha and breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf. Guests were treated to tempting


grilled selections from the sumptuous barbecue station filled with especially marinated and seasoned varieties of succulent meats, chicken and seafood and a delicious salad bar with the assorted breads. For the finale delectable desserts were served. On the occasion, Hammoud said: “We are delighted to re-launch our poolside BBQ nights. The beautiful weather proves to be the perfect setting for guests to enjoy our

unique dining experience with our specialties cooked with the freshest possible ingredients. We would like to offer our guests a scrumptious dining experience at our Barbeque Nights”. The Marina poolside BBQ takes place every Wednesday evening, and has a capacity to accommodate up to 150 guests at a time and has a special area for groups and gatherings.

Tulukoota Kuwait ‘Merit Scholarship’ pplications are now being invited for “Tulukoota Kuwait Merit Cum Means Scholarship” to be awarded during Tuluparba 2012 scheduled to be held on October 11 and 12, 2012. The objective of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance and support to deserving meritorious students, to enable them to pursue their higher studies. Applications are accepted from minimum one year valid Tulukoota Kuwait member’s children studying either in the State of Kuwait or in India and scoring high grades in Xth and XIIth standard Board Examination held for Academic year 2011-2012.


Stage Set for the 3rd Red Bull Flugtag in Kuwait ‘The Wavers’ take-off first

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he Red Bull Flugtag selected teams gathered on Monday at Corniche resort to the get the final instructions for the 3rd Red Bull Flugtag which will take place in Kuwait at the Marina Crescent on Friday October 19. The final briefing included: pre takeoff performance, special machine launching systems, transport of the machines, location explanation and the


drawing of lots to determine the first flight. The teams were also informed during the gathering that they have less than two weeks to finish their machines. In the draw of lots to determine who takes the first flight, the honor went to the team “The Wavers”. “We are proud and honored to be the first team to jump from the 6m high ramp. We were not expecting this but we

will try our best to entertain the audience and hopefully fly as well.” said one of the team members of The Wavers. The 3rd Red Bull Flugtag in Kuwait will be held under the patronage of MajorGeneral Faisal Al Jazzaf, General Director of the Public Authority for Youth and Sport in Kuwait. The event sponsored by Wataniya Telecom, Mini and Braun Cruzer will be

hosted by Media Anchor Raya Abi Rached presenter of Arabs Got Talent and Scoop along with TV presenter Abdullah Malallah.




Embassy Information 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 ARGENTINE The Embassy of Argentina requests all Argentinean citizens in Kuwait to proceed to our official email in order to register or update contact information. The embassy encourages all citizens to do so, including the ones who have already registered in person at the embassy. The registration process helps the Argentinean Government to contact and assist Argentineans living abroad in case of any emergency. ■■■■■■■

ABCK hosts top officials from MOD he America Business Council of Kuwait had the pleasure of hosting a Defense and Security focus group meeting at the Hilton Resort. The goal of the meeting was to meet and greet a wide range of leaders from the Kuwait Ministry of Defense (MOD) and the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and show the American Business Council’s appreciation for their day in day out service to the State of Kuwait and the greater Business Community. The host for the evening was Gregg Stevens, Chairman, American Business Council of Kuwait. Stevens said “The people of Kuwait are extremely hospitable, and it is with great pleasure that we as the Business Council can recognize and extend our heartfelt thanks to these dedicated defense and security professionals.” Angelo Johnson, Defense and Security Focus Group Lead, and Associate from Booz Allen Hamilton, provided a briefing on the vast capabili-


ties of the small, but extremely agile Kuwait defense and security apparatus. The security apparatus is required to plan, train, and prepare for the defense of Kuwait. Additionally, the Ministry of Defense (MOD) and the Ministry of Interior (MOI) are geared to upholding defense cooperation agreements with the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partner nations. Johnson said, “While in uniform as a member of the United States Special Forces, I had the privilege of working with senior Kuwaiti Leaders on numerous occasions, on routine training events, humanitarian assistance operations and engaged in combat operations. The Kuwaiti people are true warriors and leaders on the Arabian Gulf Peninsula.” “The situation in the middle-east and the Arabia Gulf Peninsula is fluid and it requires an adaptable leadership team to respond to evolving crisis. Kuwait has demonstrated its ability to handle the

major crisis, but we in the business community stand ready aid the Government of Kuwait in the areas uniquely demanding a business best practice solution.” Mr. Johnson stated. Sheikh Lieutenant Commander Mubarak Ali Al Sabah extended greetings and the gracious thanks on behalf of Lieutenant General Ghazi Al Omar, the Undersecretary, Ministry of Interior. Sheikh Mubarak stated,” the world and specifically our region is going through challenging times...but thanks be to Allah and the leadership of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah and our bond with our American friends, the future is and will continue to be safe and secure for everyone in Kuwait.” Special recognition was extended to: Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior (MOI), Lieutenant General Ghazi Al-Omar; Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior; Sheikh Major General Mohamed Y. Al-Sabah, Commander of the Coast

Guard and Border Patrol Police; Sheikh Lt Cdr Mubarak Ali Al Sabah, Operations Officer Kuwaiti Coast Guard. Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense (MOD), Major General Abdurazaq M. Alawadhi, Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans; Major General Khamis Al Farhan, Kuwait Air Force Commander; Major General Mohammed Khoder, Commander Kuwait Military College. Kuwait National Guard, Lieutenant General Nasser Abdulla Alda’e, Undersecretary of the National Guard. The audience of approximately 80, represented 35 corporate members and guest of the American Business Council of Kuwait. Should you organization desire to become a member of the American Business Council of Kuwait please contact the Executive Assistant by Email: or visit our website:

Al-Tijaria and Missoni Hotel organize blood donation campaign he Commercial Real Estate Company (Al-Tijaria) and Missoni Hotel have launched a blood donation campaign based on the company’s policy to satisfy its social responsibility towards the Kuwaiti Society and its commitment to fulfill the principles of corporate governance. In cooperation with the Central Blood Bank, the campaign was launched on the 2nd of October, 2012, at Missoni Hotel, Salmiya, Gulf Street. It is worth noting that the campaign has attracted many participants; from the board of directors, the executive management and all employees of AlTijaria and Missoni Hotel, as they are all


aware of the importance of their participation and donation in this campaign that aims to promote humane work and build the society. Mrs Abeer Al-Bahar, Public Relations and Communication Manager at the Commercial Real Estate Company, stated that “We are committed to keep in touch with the surrounding community. This event is one of the several social activities undertaken by the Company from time to time”. Mrs Al-Bahar indicated that blood donation is a vital event that brings benefit to many patients and constitutes a humane obligation that boosts social solidarity.

In a step to support youth n its strive to support youth in all fields, youth and the necessity to provide all supBoubyan Bank (The Fastest Growing port to them being the power upon which Bank in Kuwait) announced its special Kuwait relies to build its present. program providing scholarships to the outOn the other hand, Al-Hammad highstanding bachelor’s students at GUST, as lighted the cooperation between the Bank part of the cooperation and partnership and GUST, indicating that the last period between the two parties. witnessed many forms of Adel Al-Hammad, GMcooperation and that more Human Resources Group of is yet to come in view of the Boubyan Bank said: “The partnership of the Bank with program launched by the one with one of the key Bank for the first time prohigher education instituvides a monthly grant of KD tions in Kuwait and the 250/- for a whole year to 5 of whole region. the outstanding students, Noteworthy is that many with GPA 3.67 and above. agreements have been “The Bank will select the recently made between the students to receive these two parties with the purpose scholarships in cooperation of developing the human with the concerned departresources of Boubyan Bank, ment at GUST,” He added. under one of which the Bank Al-Hammad also noted appointed GUST as the that this support provided to “Exclusive Academic Adel Al-Hammad GUST students is considered Partner” for it in Kuwait. part of the Bank’s responsibility towards In addition, another agreement has society as per its distinguished social been signed for the Bank’s branch manresponsibility program launched years ago, agers in order to develop their personal which is based on providing all help and capabilities and enhance their expertise by support to all sections of society, stressing providing them the MBA degree from the Bank’s belief in the importance of GUST.

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. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF FRANCE The Embassy would like to inform that starting September 2nd, 2012, visa demands for France will be handled by the outsourcing company “Capago - MENA Company”. Capago - MENA’S Call Center will be operational starting Sunday August 26 for setting appointments beginning September 2nd (+965 22270555). ■■■■■■■

TEMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed on OCT 24, 2012 -Wednesday-Dussehra (Vijaya Dashami) ■■■■■■■


VVPA announces new committee nother milestone in the endavor of Valaikuda Vanambadi Poet Associaiton (VVPA), by electing a new team. Which includes new president, vice president, secretary and general secretary along with the committee members. The announcement was made on the inaugural party held at Saravana Bhavan, Fahaheel on 19/8/2012. Narayanan Muthu was elected as a president, Alex as vice president, Sivashankar and Rajesh as secretary, Nilavan as a joint secretary Suresh as a treasurer. The president Muthu and the vice president Alex gave a wonderful speech about the future growth of the VVPA association. In the end Radha Krishnan, talked about ex president of


Indian APJ Abdul Kalam and his personal advisor Ponraj. Radha Krishnan talked about the establishment of UG and PG educational system in Kuwait for the Indians, which was suggested by Ponraj. He also highlighted the steps and efforts taken by Ramadoss, Sethu and Radhakrishnan towards the betterment of the educational system. Ananthi Natarajan took extra care and recommended the hotel manager to run the function without any interruption. The hotel staff’s hospitality was excellent and served delicious food at the end of the function.

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, ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Nigerian embassy has its new office in Mishref. Block 3, Street 7, House 4. For enquires please call 25379541. Fax25387719. Email- or ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF UKRAINE We’d like to inform you that in response to the increasing number of our citizens who work in the state and the need for 24-hour operational telephone in case of emergency the Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait has opened “hotline telephone number” - (+ 965) 972-79-206.



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I Was Bitten I’m Alive The Magic Of The Big Blue Monster Bug Wars Galapagos Animal Battlegrounds Dark Days In Monkey City Vet On The Loose Vet On The Loose Wildlife SOS Talk To The Animals The Jeff Corwin Experience Dogs 101 America’s Cutest... Galapagos World Wild Vet Wild Animal Repo Wildlife SOS Rescue Vet Animal Cops Houston Galapagos Dark Days In Monkey City Talk To The Animals Cats 101 Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife Dogs 101 Wildlife SOS Rescue Vet Animal Battlegrounds Dark Days In Monkey City The Animals’ Guide To Survival Wild Animal Orphans Wild Animal Orphans Max’s Big Tracks Animal Cops Miami

00:30 Antiques Roadshow 01:25 Twiggy’s Frock Exchange 02:15 10 Years Younger 03:05 Living In The Sun 04:00 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 04:25 MasterChef 05:20 Living In The Sun 06:10 MasterChef 06:40 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 07:05 MasterChef Australia 07:55 MasterChef Australia 08:20 Twiggy’s Frock Exchange 09:10 10 Years Younger 10:00 Bargain Hunt 10:45 Antiques Roadshow 11:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 12:15 Gok’s Clothes Roadshow 13:05 MasterChef 14:00 MasterChef 14:55 Bargain Hunt 15:40 Antiques Roadshow 16:30 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 17:10 Gok’s Clothes Roadshow 18:00 Home Cooking Made Easy 18:25 Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers 18:55 Rhodes Across Italy 19:40 Coastal Kitchen 20:05 Antiques Roadshow 20:55 Open House 21:25 Holmes On Homes 22:15 Bargain Hunt 23:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 23:45 Gok’s Clothes Roadshow

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BBC World News America BBC World News America Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today 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

07:00 BBC World News 07:30 World Business Report 07:45 BBC World News 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 BBC World News 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 World Business Report 10:45 BBC World News 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 Hardtalk 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 World Business Report 12:45 BBC World News 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 BBC World News 14:00 GMT With George Alagiah 14:30 GMT With George Alagiah 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 World Business Report 15:45 Sport Today 16:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 16:30 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:00 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 19:30 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:30 BBC Focus On Africa 21:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 21:30 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:30 World Business Report 22:45 Sport Today 23:00 Business Edition With Tanya Beckett 23:30 Hardtalk

00:10 Puppy In My Pocket 00:35 Tom & Jerry Kids 01:00 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 01:25 The Flintstones 01:50 Pink Panther And Pals 02:15 Looney Tunes 02:40 Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch 03:00 Dexter’s Laboratory 03:25 Tom & Jerry 03:50 Looney Tunes 04:15 The Scooby Doo Show 04:40 Johnny Bravo 05:00 The Flintstones 05:25 The Jetsons 05:50 Wacky Races 06:00 New Yogi Bear Show 06:15 The Garfield Show 06:30 Bananas In Pyjamas 06:55 Gerald McBoing Boing 07:20 Baby Looney Tunes 07:45 Jelly Jamm 08:00 Puppy In My Pocket 08:25 The Garfield Show 08:50 Moomins 09:15 Pink Panther And Pals 09:40 Dastardly And Muttley 10:05 Tom & Jerry 10:30 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 10:55 Looney Tunes 11:20 Duck Dodgers 11:45 Dexters Laboratory 12:00 Jelly Jamm 12:15 Baby Looney Tunes 12:40 Ha Ha Hairies 12:55 Gerald McBoing Boing 13:20 Bananas In Pyjamas 13:35 The Flintstones 14:00 Popeye 14:25 Top Cat 14:50 The Garfield Show 15:15 Pink Panther And Pals 15:40 Tom & Jerry 16:05 The Scooby Doo Show 16:30 Looney Tunes (Hannah Barbera) 16:40 Pink Panther And Pals 17:05 Moomins 17:30 The Garfield Show 17:55 Johnny Bravo 18:20 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 18:45 Dexters Laboratory 19:00 Jelly Jamm 19:15 Baby Looney Tunes

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Ha Ha Hairies Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Pink Panther And Pals Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Garfield Show Johnny Bravo Dexter’s Laboratory Dastardly And Muttley Popeye The Jetsons Duck Dodgers

00:30 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 00:55 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 01:20 Foster’s Home For... 01:45 Foster’s Home For... 02:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 03:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 03:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 03:50 Adventure Time 04:15 The Powerpuff Girls 04:40 Generator Rex 05:05 Ben 10 05:30 Ben 10 05:55 Angelo Rules 06:00 Cow & Chicken 06:30 Casper’s Scare School 07:00 Eliot Kid 07:45 Johnny Test 08:05 The Powerpuff Girls 08:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 09:20 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 09:45 Courage The Cowardly Dog 10:35 Grim Adventures Of... 11:00 Ben 10/Generator Rex: Heroes... 12:15 The Marvelous Misadventures... 13:05 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 13:30 Young Justice 13:55 Camp Lazlo 14:45 Ben 10: Alien Force 15:10 Ben 10: Alien Force 15:35 Ed, Edd n Eddy 16:25 Angelo Rules 16:40 Hero 108 17:00 Level Up 17:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 17:50 Adventure Time 18:15 Regular Show 18:40 Total Drama Action 19:05 Total Drama Action 19:30 Ben 10 19:55 Ben 10 20:20 Grim Adventures Of... 21:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 22:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 22:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 22:50 The Powerpuff Girls 23:40 Chowder

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Amanpour World Sport Piers Morgan Tonight World Report Anderson Cooper 360 Piers Morgan Tonight Quest Means Business The Situation Room World Sport Talk Asia World Report World Report World Sport Eco Solutions World Business Today Amanpour Living Golf World One Piers Morgan Tonight News Stream World Business Today International Desk Global Exchange CNN Marketplace Middle East World Sport Living Golf International Desk Quest Means Business CNN Marketplace Europe Amanpour CNN Newscenter


23:00 Connect The World With Becky...

00:15 Superhuman Showdown 01:10 Mythbusters 02:05 Mythbusters 03:00 Mythbusters 03:55 Border Security 04:20 Auction Hunters 04:50 Auction Kings 05:15 How Do They Do It? 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 Extreme Fishing 07:00 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 07:50 Mythbusters 08:45 Ultimate Survival 09:40 Border Security 10:05 Auction Hunters 10:30 How Do They Do It? 10:55 How It’s Made 11:25 Superhuman Showdown 12:20 Mythbusters 13:15 Mythbusters 14:10 Border Security 14:35 Auction Hunters 15:05 Auction Kings 15:30 Ultimate Survival 16:25 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 17:20 Extreme Fishing 18:15 Mythbusters 19:10 How Do They Do It? 19:40 How It’s Made 20:05 Border Security 20:35 Auction Hunters 21:00 Auction Kings 21:30 American Guns 22:25 Hellriders 23:20 Ultimate Cops

00:35 Engineered 01:25 Stuck With Hackett 01:50 Stuck With Hackett 02:15 Moon Machines 03:05 The Gadget Show 03:35 Dark Matters 04:25 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 05:15 Scrapheap Challenge 06:05 Engineered 07:00 Catch It Keep It 07:50 Moon Machines 08:40 Head Rush 08:43 Weird Connections 09:12 How Does That Work? 09:40 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 10:30 The Gadget Show 10:55 The Gadget Show 11:20 Engineered 12:10 Scrapheap Challenge 13:00 Catch It Keep It 13:50 Moon Machines 14:45 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 15:35 The Gadget Show 16:00 Head Rush 16:03 Weird Connections 16:32 How Does That Work? 17:00 Engineered 17:50 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 18:40 Scrapheap Challenge 19:30 Space Pioneer 20:20 Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design 21:10 The Gadget Show 21:35 The Gadget Show 22:00 Space Pioneer 22:50 Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design 23:40 Dark Matters

00:10 Kim Possible 00:35 Kim Possible 01:00 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 01:25 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 01:50 Replacements 02:15 Replacements 02:40 Emperor’s New School 03:05 Emperor’s New School 03:30 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 03:55 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 04:20 Replacements 04:45 Replacements 05:10 Kim Possible 05:35 Kim Possible 06:00 Phineas And Ferb 06:15 Suite Life On Deck 06:40 Suite Life On Deck 07:05 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies 07:30 Recess 07:55 So Random 08:20 Shake It Up 08:45 Shake It Up 09:10 A.N.T. Farm 09:35 A.N.T. Farm 10:00 The Lion King 11:25 Fish Hooks 11:40 Good Luck Charlie 12:05 Wizards Of Waverly Place 12:30 Wizards Of Waverly Place 12:55 Phineas And Ferb 13:05 Phineas And Ferb 13:20 Phineas And Ferb 13:30 Phineas And Ferb 13:45 So Random 14:10 So Random 14:35 Suite Life On Deck 15:00 Austin And Ally 15:25 Shake It Up 15:50 Phineas And Ferb 16:00 Phineas And Ferb 16:15 Jessie 16:40 A.N.T. Farm 17:00 Gotta Kick It Up 18:20 Austin And Ally 18:45 Austin And Ally 19:10 A.N.T. Farm 19:35 Good Luck Charlie 20:00 Jessie 20:25 Suite Life On Deck 20:50 Suite Life On Deck 21:15 Jonas 21:40 Jonas 22:05 Good Luck Charlie 22:30 Good Luck Charlie 22:55 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:20 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:45 Fish Hooks

00:25 Keeping Kardashians 00:55 Style Star 01:25 THS 02:20 E!es




03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 E!es 05:05 THS 06:00 25 Hottest Hollywood Cougar Tales 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Khloe And Lamar 09:45 Khloe And Lamar 10:15 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Opening Act 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Style Star 15:30 THS 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Khloe And Lamar 17:25 Khloe And Lamar 17:55 E! News 18:55 THS 19:55 Opening Act 20:55 Ice Loves Coco 21:25 Fashion Police 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

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

The Haunted A Haunting Behind Mansion Walls American Greed Extreme Forensics The Haunted A Haunting Disappeared Killer Outbreaks Street Patrol Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Undercover Disappeared Killer Outbreaks Street Patrol Street Patrol Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Undercover Disappeared Forensic Detectives Mall Cops – Mall Of America True Crime With Aphrodite Who On Earth Did I Marry? Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill I Was Murdered I Was Murdered Nightmare Next Door Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:15 Bondi Rescue: Bali 00:45 Delinquent Gourmet 01:10 Delinquent Gourmet 01:40 Food School 02:05 Food School 02:35 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 03:30 Bondi Rescue 03:55 Bondi Rescue 04:25 Market Values 04:50 Market Values 05:20 Bondi Rescue 05:45 Bondi Rescue 06:15 Market Values 06:40 Market Values 07:10 Bondi Rescue: Bali 07:35 Bondi Rescue: Bali 08:05 Delinquent Gourmet 08:30 Delinquent Gourmet 09:00 Food School 09:25 Food School 09:55 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 10:50 Bondi Rescue 11:15 Bondi Rescue 11:45 Market Values 12:10 Market Values 12:40 Bondi Rescue: Bali 13:05 Bondi Rescue: Bali 13:35 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:30 Delinquent Gourmet 14:55 Delinquent Gourmet 15:25 Long Way Down 16:20 Bondi Rescue 16:45 Bondi Rescue 17:15 Bondi Rescue 17:40 Bondi Rescue 18:10 Danger Beach 18:35 Into The Drink 19:05 By Any Means 20:00 Delinquent Gourmet 20:30 Delinquent Gourmet 21:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 21:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 22:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 22:55 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 23:50 Wheel2Wheel

00:00 A Traveler’s Guide To The Planets 01:00 China’s Great Wall 02:00 China’s Great Wall 03:00 The Known Universe 04:00 Superhuman 05:00 In The Womb 06:00 Nat Geo Amazing! 07:00 Is It Real? S3 (1 hour) 08:00 A Traveler’s Guide To The Planets 09:00 China’s Great Wall 10:00 China’s Great Wall 11:00 A Traveler’s Guide To The Planets 12:00 Evolutions 13:00 Shark Men 14:00 Hooked 15:00 Departures 16:00 Megastructures 17:00 Apocalypse: The Second World War 18:00 Apocalypse: The Second World War 19:00 A Traveler’s Guide To The Planets 20:00 Death Of The Universe 21:00 Animal Mega Moves 22:00 Somewhere In China 23:00 Diving The Labyrinth


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

Hunter Hunted Monster Fish The Living Edens Sharks In The City Night Stalkers Wild Russia Swamp Lions The Living Edens Sharks In The City Night Stalkers Python Hunters Swamp Men Swamp Men Monster Fish Zambezi Built For The Kill Caught In The Act Python Hunters Lizard Kings Swamp Men The Living Edens Sharks In The City Night Stalkers Python Hunters Swamp Men

00:00 Hostel: Part III-18 02:00 Windtalkers-PG15 04:15 Burning Bright-18 06:00 S.W.A.T.: Firefight-PG15 08:00 Blank Slate-PG15 10:00 Time Machine: Rise Of The Morlocks-PG15 12:00 Behind Enemy Lines-PG15 14:00 Blank Slate-PG15 16:00 Alive-PG15 18:15 Behind Enemy Lines-PG15 20:00 Assassination Games-18 22:00 Exorcismus-18

01:00 Goodbye Baby-18 03:00 African Cats: Kingdom Of Courage-PG 05:00 Every Jack Has A Jill-PG15 07:00 Family Gathering-PG15 09:00 Restless-PG15 11:00 Ong Bak 2-PG15 13:00 Coyote County Loser-PG15 15:00 Goodbye Solo-PG15 17:00 Yogi Bear-FAM 19:00 Attack The Block-PG15 21:00 The Vow-PG15 23:00 Middle Men-18

01:30 The Boondocks 02:00 The Big C 02:30 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 03:00 30 Rock 03:30 Breaking In 04:00 Two And A Half Men 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Gary Unmarried 06:00 Friends 06:30 Til Death 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Two And A Half Men 08:30 30 Rock 09:00 Gary Unmarried 09:30 Cougar Town 10:00 New Girl 10:30 Til Death 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Friends 12:30 Two And A Half Men 13:30 Til Death 14:00 Breaking In 14:30 New Girl 15:00 Cougar Town 16:30 Friends 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 30 Rock 18:30 Baby Daddy 19:00 The Simpsons 19:30 New Girl 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Family Guy 22:30 The Big C 23:00 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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

Franklin & Bash Combat Hospital Supernatural Bunheads The Tudors Good Morning America The View Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar The View Combat Hospital Bunheads Live Good Morning America White Collar The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Parenthood The X Factor U.S. American Horror Story The Tudors

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

White Collar Combat Hospital Supernatural Greek Bunheads Franklin & Bash White Collar Emmerdale Coronation Street Castle Supernatural Combat Hospital Bunheads Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Castle White Collar Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Castle Parenthood The X Factor U.S. American Horror Story Greek

01:45 Thick As Thieves-18 03:45 The Godfather-18 07:00 Lords Of Dogtown-PG15 09:00 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt.1-PG15 11:30 The Librarian: The Curse Of Judas Chalice-PG15 13:00 Inside Out-PG15 14:45 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt.1-PG15 17:15 Warbirds-PG15 19:00 The Kingdom-18 21:00 Wake Wood-PG15 23:00 Medium Raw-PG15

00:00 The Lonely Guy-PG15 02:00 Little Shop Of Horrors-PG15 04:00 Evan Almighty-PG15 06:00 Little Fockers-PG15 08:00 Airheads-PG15 10:00 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie-PG15 12:00 Can’t Hardly Wait-PG15 14:00 A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song-PG 16:00 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie-PG15 18:00 Coldblooded-PG15 20:00 28 Days-PG15 22:00 The Legend Of Awesomest Maximus-18

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:45 09:00 10:30 12:45 15:30 17:00 PG15 19:00 21:15 23:00

Romeo Is Bleeding-18 Le Divorce-PG15 The Insider-PG15 Across The Sea Of Time-FAM Greener Mountains-PG Lorenzo’s Oil-PG15 The Insider-PG15 Greener Mountains-PG Oscar And The Lady In PinkVanity Fair-PG15 Fear-18 Fargo-18

00:00 Cross-18 01:45 The Way-PG15 04:00 12 Dates Of Christmas-PG15 06:00 Rango-FAM 08:00 Thor-PG15 10:00 Tomorrow, When The War Began-PG15 12:00 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt.2-PG15 14:15 Swansong: Story Of Occi Byrne-PG15 16:00 Thor-PG15 18:00 The Dilemma-PG15 20:00 The Romantics-PG15 22:00 Personal Effects-18

00:00 America’s Cup Highlights 01:00 Premier League Snooker 04:30 Challenge Series Golf Highlights 05:00 Senior European Tour Highlights 06:00 America’s Cup Highlights 07:00 ITM Cup 09:00 Futbol Mundial 09:30 Premier League Snooker 13:00 Trans World Sport 14:00 Senior European Tour Highlights 15:00 NRL Premiership 17:00 Super League 19:00 Trans World Sport 20:00 Wake The Line 20:30 Kiteboard World Cup 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 Live Premier League Snooker

01:30 ITM Cup 03:00 PGA European Tour Weekly 03:30 Trans World Sport 04:30 NRL Premiership 06:30 Futbol Mundial 07:00 Challenge Series Golf Highlights 07:30 Senior European Tour Highlights 08:30 PGA European Tour Weekly 09:00 Wake The Line 09:30 Kiteboard World Cup 10:00 Downtown Showdown 10:30 The Rugby Championship 12:30 Futbol Mundial 13:00 ITM Cup 15:00 PGA European Tour Weekly 15:30 Live PGA European Tour 19:30 Challenge Series Golf Highlights 20:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 21:00 PGA European Tour Weekly 21:30 PGA European Tour

01:30 02:30 03:30 04:00 07:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 Tour 15:30 20:00 21:00 21:30 22:30

Golfing World AFL Highlights Top 14 Highlights Triathlon Live Asian Tour Golf Golfing World Total Rugby AFL Highlights Sailing World Match Racing Asian Tour Golf Golfing World Total Rugby AFL Highlights ITU World Triathlon series

00:00 UFC 03:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 04:00 UFC Unleashed 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE SmackDown 09:00 European Le Mans Series 10:00 V8 Supercars Highlights 12:00 WWE Experience 13:00 WWE Vintage Collection 14:00 WWE Bottom Line 15:00 European Le Mans Series 16:00 European Le Mans Series Spa Classic 16:30 European Le Mans Series 17:30 European Le Mans Series Spa Classic 18:00 UAE National Race Day Series 18:30 Mobil 1 19:00 WWE NXT 20:00 UFC 23:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter

Classifieds THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012





The below requirements are mandatory for the above positions: Â&#x2021;3UHVHQWDWLRQ,QWHUSHUVRQDO&RPSXWHU 2UJDQL]DWLRQDOVNLOOV Â&#x2021;([FHOOHQWFRPPDQGRYHU(QJOLVKNQRZOHGJHRI$UDELFZRXOGEHDQDGYDQWDJH Â&#x2021;7KHFDQGLGDWHPXVWEHDXQLYHUVLW\JUDGXDWH Â&#x2021;7UDQVIHUDEOHYLVD Â&#x2021;9DOLG.XZDLWL'ULYLQJOLFHQVH Only skilled & experienced candidates from the Freight forwarding & Logistics industry may apply for this position, all other applications will not be considered.


ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available, near Jabriya Indian School, Jabriya, central A/C flat. Decent Muslim couple or two working ladies only. Call 66795253. (C 4156) 3-10-2012 ROOM AVAILABLE - A room available in a furnished two bedroom flat for a working class lady in Salmiya â&#x20AC;&#x201D; near the bus stop. Please call 99702658 30-9-2012 Sharing Accommodation, room partition for FILIPINO in Farwaniya near Coop main, Contact 66826412 or 66158188 27-9-2012

SITUATION WANTED Australian Project Manager, with two Engineering Degrees and four Master Degrees, with 23 years experience in Gulf and Australia, seeking top management job. Call: 65695468. (C 4141) 2-10-2012



Sri Lankan lady looking for house cleaning part time job, English family only. Call 55680045. (C 4149)

Sales Engineer

Sri Lankan driver looking for a job good company or office with good salary, transferable visa 18 (license with pick up permit). Call 97970965. (C 4150) 25-9-2012

Envision Tech for Gen. Trad. & Cont. W.L.L. UĂ&#x160;Ă&#x17D;Â&#x2021;{Ă&#x160;Ă&#x17E;i>Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x160;iĂ?ÂŤiĂ&#x20AC;Â&#x2C6;iÂ&#x2DC;Vi UĂ&#x160;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x153;Ă&#x153;Â?i`}iĂ&#x160;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x153;>Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x20AC;i>Ă&#x192; UĂ&#x160;6>Â?Â&#x2C6;`Ă&#x160;`Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x203A;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;}Ă&#x160;Â?Â&#x2C6;ViÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x192;i UĂ&#x160;/Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x192;viĂ&#x20AC;>LÂ?iĂ&#x160;6Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;> Email:



For nursery homeroom

Ladies Health Spa requires:

TEACHER from British, Canadian or American nationality Email:

Front ofďŹ ce executive, yoga instructor and therapist (only females). Call: 55003696 Email:

SITUATION VACANT Need driver to work or houseboy, visa 18 or 20 ok. Contact: 55400994. (C 4155) 2-10-2012 House driver needed, preferably Philippine nationality, minimum two years with driving experience in Kuwait and transferable residency. Mob: 97162925. (C 4151) 27-9-2012 Required driver for a Kuwaiti family. Call: 99854312. (C 4144) Wanted full time maid/nanny in Salwa. Offering KD 120 salary. Must speak English and be good with small children. Call 9768-7172.


Galant 1997 model, blue color, good condition, A/C, price KD 400, passing valid for one year. Contact: 96975726. Kawai Piano, Yamaha electric organ, Yamaha keyboard, household furniture. Please contact: 22661316. (C 4157) 3-10-2012 For immediate sale Toyota Corolla (2011), 1.8 white, done only 22,000 km, expecting KD 3,900 (only cash) real buyers only contact mobile: 97473028 between 10 am - 6:30 pm). (C 4154) 1-10-2012

Used DSLR Nikon D90 Camera body only for sale with Battery Grip and an extra battery, all with original package. Call or whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s app 66603401 25-9-2012 VW TAUREG, 2004 model, white color, beige interior, full options, only 83,000 km. Price KD 4,200. Contact: 99405067. (C 4145) 22-9-2012

Mohamad Saircane Mouhamad Hadja. (C 4159) 3-10-2012 Yuvaraja Dhanapal, son of Dhanapal and Paruvadhavarthani bearing an Indian Passport No: E6580676 having an address 2/59, East Street, Melnariyappanur, Kallakurichi, Villupuram 606 201, Tamil Nadu, India had embraced Islam and changed the name as NASEER AHMAD. (C 4152) 30-9-2012


I, Mohamed Haja Mohamed Sourcane, holder of Indian Passport No: E2780618 hereby change my name to

Proposals invited for a girl, God-fearing (Marthomite, 30 yrs/160 cm) born and


s32%.').%%2n(6!#0,5-").'&)2%&)'(4).' Require graduate Mechanical Engineers, with 12 - 14 years of relevant H[SHULHQFHRQPDMRUFRPPHUFLDOSURMHFWV

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s-!).4%.!.#%%.').%%2n(6!#0,5-").'&)2%&)'(4).' Should be graduate in Mechanical Engineering with 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8 years of relevant H[SHULHQFH

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s3)4%&/2%-!.n(6!##/.3425#4)/.(6!#-!).4%.!.#% "5),$).'!54/-!4)/.3934%-30,5-").'&)2%&)'(4).' WORKS Diploma Engineering in Mechanical / Electronics & Communication with 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; \HDUVRIUHOHYDQWH[SHULHQFH Interested candidates may apply immediately through:

&AXOR% MAILHRSHBCMECH SHBCMECHCOMKW educated in Kuwait and Mangalore, MDS doctor presently working in India, from Post Graduate boys Marthomite/CSI, God-fearing and having good family background. Contact email: m (C 4153) 29-092012

Ministry of Interior website:

112 Prayer timings

SITUATION WANTED PMP certified, IT Project Management, Software Testing Professional with 7 year experience including 3 year in UK, Postgraduate. Looking for executive level job. Call 69905419. (C 4158) 3-10-2012














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Time 0:05 0:25 0:30 0:35 2:15 2:30 2:45 3:45 3:50 4:05 4:20 4:50 5:40 5:55 6:55 7:05 7:10 8:10 8:25 8:25 9:00 9:05 9:05 9:10 9:20 9:35 9:35 9:40 10:00 10:00 10:05 10:15 10:15 10:25 10:30 10:35 10:45 11:30 11:45 11:55 12:00 12:15 12:20 12:25 12:25 13:00 13:05 13:10 13:20 14:25 14:25 14:30 14:40 15:00

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


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s ta rs CROSSWORD 816



Aries (March 21-April 19) There is a moment in time today that can be quite disruptive to your everyday routine. Expect sudden changes in plans as well as manifestations of unusual behavior. You could be in for trouble if you try to restrict the people close to you, or visa-versa. If you are agreeable to the changes that occur now and go with the flow—you will be able to break out of some very stifling routines. Letting go of difficult situations may be an answer but turning the difficult into a gentle breeze may be what you will be most happy to achieve. Sometimes it only takes the way one views a situation to turn a negative into a positive: the glass half full. Let some positive impulses carry you away this afternoon. Make sure that an impulsive action does not make waves!

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Lighten up on your workload. Think yourself through a difficult task before beginning the task. If you have a good attitude with your teammates, or co-workers, look to them for assistance occasionally and be ready to return the favor. Believe in yourself. You will be guided in a balanced and positive way. You may find yourself in positive communication with friends and co-workers . . . possibly making new friends at this time. You may be feeling that you should speak up during a meeting today as you have important information. Positive results are bound to result from your efforts. Good health is a priceless commodity; keep up the work that you have been doing when it comes to nutrition, supplements and exercise.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A bachelor's degree in naval science. 4. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 9. In a competent capable manner. 13. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 14. Hungarian choreographer who developed Labanotation (1879-1958). 15. Radioactive iodine test that measures the amount of radioactive iodine taken up by the thyroid gland. 16. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 17. An Indian tree of the family Combretaceae that is a source of timber and gum. 18. Electronic warfare undertaken to insure effective friendly use of the electromagnetic spectrum in spite of the enemy's use of electronic warfare. 19. Used as a Hindi courtesy title. 21. The syllable naming the fourth (subdominant) note of the diatonic scale in solmization. 23. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms. 24. Of or relating to or characteristic of Thailand of its people. 26. Belonging to or on behalf of a specified person (especially yourself). 27. A gambling card game of Spanish origin. 30. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 32. Not only so, but. 35. A port city in southwestern Iran. 39. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 41. A wired or starched collar of intricate lace. 43. Italian film actress (born in 1934). 44. The United Nations agency concerned with atomic energy. 47. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 50. A doctor's degree in dental medicine. 51. A fraudulent business scheme. 52. An intricate network suggesting something that was formed by weaving or interweaving. 56. A legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body. 59. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 61. A unit of surface area equal to 100 square meters. 62. Any organic compound formed by adding alcohol molecules to aldehyde molecules. 64. Being one more than two. 65. Airtight sealed metal container for food or drink or paint etc.. 66. A member of an agricultural people of southern India. 67. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. DOWN 1. Divulge information or secrets. 2. Kamarupan languages spoken in northeastern India and western Burma. 3. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 4. A monosaccharide sugar that contains the aldehyde group or is hemiacetal. 5. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 6. At or near or toward the stern of a ship or tail of an airplane. 7. A member of an Athapaskan people that migrated to Arizona and New Mexico and Utah. 8. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 9. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 10. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 11. Chinese fruit having a thin brittle shell enclosing a sweet jellylike pulp and a single seed. 12. A group of language of the Hokan family in Arizona and California and Mexico. 20. Profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger. 22. Having sections or patches colored differently and usually brightly. 25. South American armadillo with three bands of bony plates. 28. An unabridged dictionary constructed on historical principles. 29. A coenzyme derived from the B vitamin nicotinic acid. 31. Alternatively, a member of the family Nymphaeaceae. 33. A small cake leavened with yeast. 34. A public promotion of some product or service. 36. Any of a group of Indic languages spoken in Kashmir and eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. 37. Goddess of criminal rashness and its punishment. 38. (prefix) Reverse of or absence of. 40. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 42. A rotating disk shaped to convert circular into linear motion. 45. The capital and largest city of Ghana with a deep-water port. 46. Having been taken into the mouth for consumption. 48. Having awns i.e. bristle- or hair-like appendages on the flowering parts of some cereals and grasses. 49. A long noosed rope used to catch animals. 53. (informal) Exceptionally good. 54. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 55. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 57. A light touch or stroke. 58. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 60. Being two more than fifty. 63. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You are probably feeling rather satisfied with the amount of work accomplished so far this week. Any statistics done now will need more attention so that you do not have to repeat any steps—careful. Higher-ups are pleased with your work and you show them respect and admiration for their accomplishments. This afternoon you may tend to purchase items quickly; it would be better to ask yourself if you really want to spend the time to pay off the item that has your attention. Conclude any contractual obligations after you have given yourself plenty of time to review the facts. This evening is a time of inner peace and harmony—a time when you might evaluate some of your needs and eliminate the things that no longer serve a purpose.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


This time brings an increased understanding of both your own ideas and goals and the position and thinking of others. You have no difficulty in getting your point across to others. In addition, you are aware of the effect your ideas have on others. You feel an expanded sense of selfconfidence and optimism. You may receive appreciation for the goals you have attained and you may broaden your contacts with successful professional people. Study and recreational trips are favored activities later today. Now is a good time to consider further education or to broaden your experience through travel. As you tend to feel lucky and your expectations are high, go cautiously into the realm of investments. Prepare a few meals ahead—you will be busy.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

Yesterday’s Solution

It may be difficult to stop the daydreams today. Your imagination could be focused on how things might be, rather than on the day. There are a lot of reading, comprehension skills and reporting that will be helpful to your future success. You may not be a publisher or a writer but the sense of this day is much like the work of a publisher or editor. You are encouraged to use your intuitive skills when going about today. Talk less, listen more. Your thinking, talking and communication are smooth and effective. Others acknowledge your intelligence and informed ideas. You are happy and emotionally optimistic. Your social life expands this evening and you enjoy philosophical discussions with friends about love, culture, religion, education, etc.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You may need to communicate more with business partners. You may develop closer associations with intellectual or scholarly individuals and tend to be more interested in psychology, human relationships and the process of negotiation. This can be a period of improved trust and security. You may explore the outdoors or make a journey. Students have a purpose that they must not forget; study brings good results on exams. Exercise honesty and patience in your interaction with others today. Do not waste time on useless conflicts. You can expand your sense of social belonging and networking. At times you will find open-minded acceptance of your ideas and ideals, particularly along humanitarian lines.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Unexpected changes can disrupt the usual order and routine of your life today. You may want more work in which you can be expressive—those in control tend to be unsympathetic. You may waver between conservative and rebellious urges. Friends are encouraging but can aggravate your career aspirations. In reviewing your skills, you may decide to try and move up the corporate ladder or create a change of scenery for yourself. A local junior college business class will give you great ideas for future growth regarding your career and your talents. This evening you look for new interests or perhaps a hobby with which you can become involved. This activity is good for stress relief and could help you discover new talents for yourself.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your optimistic attitude and self-respect open the door for growth and social expansion. Good luck helps you toward your business, financial and professional goals. Influential people give you their support. This time is favorable for travel, learning, creative activities and romantic opportunities. Express yourself with authority today and others will respect your thoughts and ideas. News tends to be encouraging and short trips are enjoyable, particularly if vacations are out of the question. This can be a time of interesting and exciting changes. You can meet people who are unusual and stimulating. You may find unexpected good fortune and acceptance of your enterprising or inventive ideas. You may have increased freedom of creative expression.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Your imagination and healing abilities are stimulated and strengthened. With reflection and detachment, you can apply your meditations to creatively solving complex problems. With mature selfrespect, you are able to stabilize and handle your responsibilities successfully. You can simplify and organize your interactions with administrative authority. You have an objective of domestic improvements and repairs and you are determined to accomplish your goals. Later this afternoon family activities and enterprises can be enjoyed. You may encounter delightful people in the profession of art, acting, healing and visionary. You can put creative ideas into practical usefulness. You are pleased with the creations of a family member.

Word Search

Yesterday’s Solution Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This time brings opportunities for renewal through personal power. Opportunities are strong to change the world around you into a better place—remember that you are the instigator. It will be quite easy to bring about the changes that will benefit yourself and others. You have some clever ideas on making extra money. Setting down on paper your future plans to develop this idea will be to your advantage. Be wise and settle anything left unfinished before you set out on your own moneymaking project. This afternoon you may find yourself thinking of times past with special friends and colleagues. Activities within your social organizations tend to be oriented to humanitarian, technological or scientific pursuits. You will enjoy the interaction.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You may discover that exciting career opportunities are opening up for you now—especially within the company where you are already employed. Your original ideas can gain the support of those in position of control and responsibility. Your mind is shrewd and practical as well as original. It’s a good time to begin new projects. You feel efficient and comfortable with your colleagues and friends. You may be called upon, especially if you have school age children, to speak or tutor in the school system where you live. You can incorporate educational, religious, professional or cultural values into your self-expression and personal relationships. Others are aware of the possibilities that you can make a positive difference with many people.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You have increased concentration and perception into the motives of others. This time is also favorable for any research or for revealing hidden factors and inhibitions. If there are secret manipulations or conspiracies, they can surface where you can gain control. You may have an opportunity for increased power and status. It doesn’t take long to gain the trust of individuals, even if they have just met you. Your dreams now begin to take practical form and application. You show leadership and ambition in your profession and constructive activity in your domestic affairs. Your community involvement can make considerable progress. Enjoy a walk under the stars this evening. Enjoy the view, wherever your vision is focused.


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lifestyle F a s h i o n

No mid-life crisis for

007as Bond films turn 50 I

t was a meeting of the two most famous British people on the planet: Queen Elizabeth II turned to her tuxedo-wearing guest and said, “Good evening, Mr Bond.” The pairing of these icons, the English monarch and the king of spies - in a film for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics was a thrilling moment. It scarcely mattered that one of them was fictional. Agent 007 is real to millions of moviegoers, and once again they will flock to see Bond battle for queen and country when his 23rd official screen adventure, “Skyfall,” opens this fall. He’s come a long way in the 50 years

since the release - on Oct 5, 1962 - of a modestly budgeted spy movie called “Dr No.” It introduced a dapper but deadly secret agent who wore Savile Row suits, drove an Aston Martin, and liked his martinis shaken, not stirred, and announced himself as “Bond, James Bond.” What’s the secret of his survival? Familiarity, says Roger Moore, who played Bond in seven films, more than any other actor. “It’s sort of like a bedtime story: As long as you don’t go too far away from the original, the child is happy,” Moore said. “The audience gets what it’s expecting: beautiful girls, actions, gadgets - there’s a formula.”

That fiendishly successful formula had modest beginnings. Two upstart producers, Canadian Harry Saltzman and American Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, acquired the rights to a series of novels by Ian Fleming, a former World War II intelligence officer who had created 007 as sort of a fantasy alter-ego. Saltzman and Broccoli had a budget of just $1 million, but through a blend of luck and design assembled an amazing team of on- and off-screen talent. Sean Connery, a relatively unknown Scottish actor and former bodybuilder, was cast as Bond against the wishes of studio United Artists, which wanted an estab-

This undated publicity file photo released by Sony Pictures shows actor Daniel Craig, who makes his debut as James Bond in “Casino Royale,” (2006), a tale of the super-spy’s early escapades trying to foil a terrorist gang. —AP photos

Judi Dench playing the head of MI6, “M,” in the Bond film “Casino Royale.”

Richard Kiel, right, as Jaws and Roger Moore, as James Bond, fighting in the 1977 film, “The Spy Who Loved Me.”

lished star such as Cary Grant for the role. “Everything or Nothing,” a new documentary about the Bond films, says the final seal of approval came from Broccoli’s wife. “Is he sexy?” Broccoli asked her. Connery got the part. Behind the scenes were artists like John Barry, composer of Bond’s pulse-quickening theme music; Maurice Binder, who created the famous gun-barrel title sequence; and designer Ken Adam, a German-born former RAF fighter pilot whose futuristic sets gave the films their look of modernist cool. In the documentary, which airs Friday on EPIX, Adam recalls feeling “crazy with courage” in those early days. Others remember the same devil-maycare atmosphere. “It was barnstorming days,” said David M. Kay, whose company provided aircraft for filming and stunts on the early Bond films, including the helicopter-volcano sequence in “You Only Live Twice.”“We didn’t have health and safety as we have now. Broccoli was an absolute cavalier and demanded things that were well-nigh impossible,” Kay recalled. It was also enormous fun, he said - “men playing with boys’ toys.” That sense of playfulness spilled over to the screen. “Dr No” arrived in movie theaters with perfect timing, as Britain swapped postwar austerity for growing prosperity. Bond’s world of cars, casinos and caviar was sexy, luxurious and colorful. Instead of a gray, shadowy figure, here was spy as glamorous jet-setter. The films turned Cold War anxiety into a thrill-ride from which the good guy always emerged triumphant. “There had been nothing like it before,” said Graham Rye, editor of 007 magazine, who remembers being blown away by the film as an 11-year-old. “A lot of British films at the time were austere, black-and-white, kitchen-sink dramas. When ‘Dr No’ exploded onto the screen, it had a pretty visceral effect on everybody.” Since then, Bond has survived showdowns with enemies from uber-villain Ernst Blofeld to steel-toothed assassin Jaws. Even more impressively, he has weathered the social revolution of the 1960s, financial woes and lawsuits, multiple changes of the lead actor, the end of the Cold War and the dawn of the War on Terror. His survival is the result of chemistry, tenacity and luck. “Dr No” received mixed reviews - some positive, others dismissive. “Pure, escapist bunk,” sniffed Bosley Crowther of the New York Times. But audiences responded, and “From Russia With Love,” released the next year, was also a hit. By 1964’s “Goldfinger,” Bond was a phenomenon. From the start, success was enhanced by clever marketing. We may think of product placement and merchandising as recent strategies - Daniel Craig’s Bond diverges from his martini habit to drink Heineken - but it was part of the package starting with the books, in which Bond’s watch is a Rolex, his shampoo Pinaud Elixir. What began as Fleming’s way of demonstrating his character’s expensive tastes quickly became a commercial arrangement, now worth millions to the films’ producers. In the ‘60s, Bond fans could wear 007 deodorant and aftershave or sport James Bond swimming trunks, complete with logo. Connery’s Bond drank Smirnoff vodka, while the villain in “Goldfinger” played golf with Slazenger balls. More than movies, these were experiences in which key elements were established, expected and anticipated. The locations that spanned the globe and headed into outer space; the gravity-defying stunt sequences; the rocket belts, car-submarines and other gadgets; the megalomaniacal villains and their sadistic henchmen - all quickly became part of the Bond brand. So did the theme songs, many of them performed by the biggest artists of the day, from Paul McCartney (“Live and Let Die”) to Madonna (“Die Another Day”). And, of course, there were the “Bond girls,” characters who are victims or villains but always fatefully - and often fatally - attracted to 007. Bond’s scantily clad female companions have long provided ammunition for critics, who accuse the films of sexism, though others argue that the films offer eye-candy for everyone: Ursula Andress in a bikini, but also Daniel Craig in his tight blue swim trunks. Anticipating new tweaks on the familiar elements became part of the films’ appeal, rendering them both instantly recognizable and eminently spoofable, as Mike Myers’ pitch-perfect Austin Powers movies proved. The films’ producers at EON Productions - today run by Broccoli’s daughter and stepson, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson - have become expert at honing the formula. They are masters of suspense, drip-feeding details about each new film - title, locations, guest stars - to eager fans. Like its hero, the series has

This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Talisa Soto, left, and Carey Lowell in the James Bond 1989 film, “Licence to Kill.”

Roger Moore, right, as James Bond, and Barbara Bach as Major Anya Amasova, in the 1977 film, “The Spy Who Loved Me.” had many near-death experiences. Connery quit acrimoniously after six films. There was a long-running legal battle with screenwriter Kevin McClory over rights to the “Thunderball” script. The result was the unofficial Bond film “Never Say Never Again,” which saw 52year-old Connery return after a decade away from the role. Former model George Lazenby lasted just a single film - “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” from 1969, a dark-hued tale that ranks among many fans’ favorites. Moore took Bond in a lighter direction during the 1970s. Audiences didn’t warm to Timothy Dalton’s tougher, meaner 1980s Bond, but Pierce Brosnan’s suave superagent - circling the globe in ever more futuristic vehicles, including an invisible car- fit with the optimistic post-Cold War era. Just as 007’s clothes have evolved with changing fashions - from Connery’s lean ‘60s suits to Moore’s flares to Craig’s Tom Ford formalwear - producers have tried to find Bonds to mirror the mood of the times. The aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks brought a change of tone. Craig’s Bond, who made his debut in

“Casino Royale” in 2006, is a darker, tougher spy who harkens back to Fleming’s original, restoring sadism and self-loathing to Bond’s emotional arsenal. Although the Broccoli family won’t comment, media reports say Craig has committed to two more films after “Skyfall,” with Bond 24 due for release in 2014 or 2015 - that is, if 007 continues to cheat death. The most recent threat to Bond was a production delay on “Skyfall” when studio MGM filed for bankruptcy in 2010. But Agent 007 is in pretty good shape for 50. Will he last another half century? Rye, the magazine editor, thinks so. “Bond, like diamonds, is forever,” he said. —AP


lifestyle F e a t u r e s

In this undated publicity file photo provided by New Line Cinema, Mike Myers, right, and Verne J Troyer.

In this May 20, 1977 file photo, actor Roger Moore, alias British secret agent James Bond, is accompanied by co-star Barbara Bach as they arrive for the screening of their latest 007 feature, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” during the Cannes Film Festival at the French Riviera.

In this June 23, 1963 file photo, British writer Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond spy thrillers, sits in front of a Turkish train, as a gag, during a visit to the set of the film “From Russia With Love” in Istanbul, Turkey.

In this Dec 22, 1965 file photo, Claudine Auger, stars with Sean Connery in the James Bond 1965 film, “Thunderball.”

In this Nov 14, 2006 file photo, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, left, meets actor Daniel Craig, during the world premiere of “Casino Royale” at the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square in London.

This publicity file photo released by Columbia Pictures shows Daniel Craig as James Bond in the action adventure film, “Skyfall.”

In this March 29, 1982 file photo, Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, producer of the “James Bond” series, holds the Thalberg Award he received for his work at the Academy Awards, in Los Angeles.

Grace Jones as May Day from the James Bond 1985 film, “A View to a Kill.”

Karin Dor in a scene from the James Bond 1967 film, “You Only Live Twice.”

Sean Connery as James Bond in “Never Say Never Again”.

Jill St John from the James Bond 1971 film, “Diamonds Are Forever.”

British actor Roger Moore, playing the title role of secret service agent 007, James Bond, is shown on location in England in 1972. Moore, played Bond in seven films, more than any other actor.

In this Nov 3, 2011 file photo, producers Barbara Broccoli, left, and Michael G. Wilson pose for photographs at a photo-call for the new James Bond film, “Skyfall”.

This undated publicity image from Activision Publishing Inc. shows the snowmobile chase scene from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” in the “007: Legends” Bond video game.

This undated publicity image provided by Activision This undated publicity image provided by Activision Publishing Inc shows Dr Goodhead from ‘Moonraker’ in Publishing Inc. shows Max Zorin from the “GoldenEye the ‘007: Legends’ Bond video game. 007: Reloaded” video game.

This undated publicity file photo provided by BMW shows Pierce Brosnan, as Bond, and Michelle Yeoh, as the Bond-girl, Wai Lin, in a scene from the James Bond 1997 movie “Tomorrow Never Dies.”

In this Aug 17, 1984 file photo, actor Roger Moore, alias British secret agent James Bond, is seen with his co-stars Tanya Roberts, and Grace Jones, right, in front of Chateau de Chantilly, on the set of the 007 action film “A View to a Kill,” near Paris, France.


lifestyle F e a t u r e s


This film image released by Disney shows Victor Frankenstein, voiced by Charlie Tahan in a scene from ‘Frankenweenie.’ — AP


im Burton reminds us of why we love Tim Burton with “Frankenweenie,” a feature-length version of the 1984 short that revealed early glimmers of the veteran director’s darkly humorous style. Beautifully detailed and painstakingly rendered in 3-D, black-and-white, stop-motion animation, “Frankenweenie” is a visual and thematic return to the best Burton has offered in his earliest films, such as “Edward Scissorhands” and “Beetlejuice.” And it is a welcome return, given the reheated, unfocused nature of some of his more recent films like “Dark Shadows.” Burton has said he’d always intended for “Frankenweenie” to be a full-length, stop-motion-animation feature, but he didn’t have the means; instead, he made a 30-minute, live-action short featuring Shelley Duvall, Daniel Stern and a young Sofia Coppola (credited as “Domino”). Both films are about the powerful bond between a boy and his dog, one that goes on even after death - a heartrending subject, to be sure, but one that Burton infuses with his trademark mix of lively energy and macabre laughs. Even then, you could see Burton’s sympathetic, protective portrayal of an outsider, an affectionate skewering of the sanctity of suburbia and a deep love of monster movies. Along those lines, this animated version begins the exact same way as the original: with a 10 year-old boy projecting his latest makeshift horror flick for his parents in the living room. Young Victor (“Charlie St Cloud” co-star Charlie Tahan) is a loner: a smart, quiet kid whose only real friend is his bubbly bull terrier, Sparky. His mom and dad (voiced by Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short, two of the many Burton alumni at work here) encourage him to take part in sports and school activities. His next-door neighbor, Elsa Van Helsing (Winona Ryder), the niece of the town’s persnickety mayor (also Short), is his somber, kindred spirit.


est-selling novelist Sylvia Day says sales of her “Crossfire” series and other erotic romance novels are on the rise in part because of maturing fans of the “ Twilight Saga” young adult romance books. In a Monday interview to promote the release of “Reflected in You,” the second of her “Crossfire” trilogy, Day said, “I think a lot of those readers are growing up and are looking for the next step in a romance story, a little bit more sex, a little bit more conflict, and they’re migrating from that into contemporary erotic romance.” Day said the move makes sense to her. “It’s emotional resonance that they’re looking for in a story,” she said. “So when you read something like ‘Twilight’ with life-and-death stakes, they want to move forward into an adult read that has that same sort of conflict level, and they’re finding that mostly in erotic romance.” The author, who is about to assume the presidency of The Romance Writers of America, said she and fellow romance novelists are happy that interest in EL James’ “Fifty Shades” trilogy also is

Then one day, Sparky runs into the street to chase a ball and gets hit by a car. Victor is understandably devastated. But then he gets an idea while studying the effects of electricity in science class: He could bring Sparky back to life. Martin Landau, who was so great as Bela Lugosi in Burton’s “Ed Wood,” plays the teacher, Mr. Rzykruski, a fearsome figure with a comically heavy Eastern European accent who is, in actuality, an inspiring, forward-thinking force in his students’ lives. The big, explosive lab scene takes place in the attic and is straight out of “Frankenstein” - which also happens to be his family’s last name in one of countless nods to classics of the genre. In Victor’s version, he harnesses lightning with the help of every appliance he could grab out of his mom’s kitchen, as well as some Christmas lawn decorations, a bicycle and various umbrellas. It’s loud and thrilling and frightening all at once, but as is the case in the best of Burton’s work, the outcome has a fundamental sweetness. But once the premise is established in the script from frequent Burton collaborator John August (“Corpse Bride,” “Big Fish”), the story doesn’t really go anywhere. Victor keeps trying to hide Sparky in various ways; once the neighborhood kids discover him, they’re daring and/or stupid enough to try and pull off the same experiment on their own, with disastrous results. (Which reminds me: This is really not a movie for little kids. Even before the screeching, flying vampire cat shows up, just the look of the film with its menacing angles and intimidating grown-ups is probably enough to frighten young ones.)—AP

creating new fans of the genre. But she said they’re a little amused at the sudden media attention. “I actually get the impression from it that most of the press is surprised that women read erotic fiction when it’s been around for a very long time,” she said. “... Once they caught on to it and started promoting it and publicizing it; you can’t avoid it now. It’s everywhere.” James last year self-published “Fifty Shades of Grey,” about billionaire Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Day, already an established romance writer, launched her erotic trilogy about billionaire Gideon Cross and Eva Tramell this year. Day says similarities in the stories should not surprise people already familiar with the genre because “the tortured millionaire hero” is a romance staple that has been around for decades. “Reflected in You,” which debuted at No. 1 on Amazon’s Kindle Book bestseller list with its ebook release Tuesday, continues to follow the daily lives of Gideon and Eva, who share similar traumatic histories. Day describes the series as “an everyday struggle for two people who found the person they want to spend their life with - how to change long-established survival mechanisms so that they can live together happily.” “Reflected in You” comes out in trade paper back on Oct 23. — AP

narchic activists plot provocative stunts and hold pitched battles with riot police in the first Russian blockbuster to show the burgeoning protest movement against Vladimir Putin. Based on a best-selling novel, the film “Soulless” tells a fast-moving tale about a cynical banker who gets tied up with an idealistic young protester with opposing views on business and politics. “Can’t you see what’s happening in the country and this world that everything is leading to a totalitarian regime?” she harangues the hero. “Do you really do this from conviction or is it just a PR stunt?” he asks with a sneer. “What has this regime done to you?” The activist group clashes with helmeted and shielded riot police, throwing firebombs across barricades on a cobbled street of designer stores. But the film, which goes on general release on Thursday, is not an independent production from outside the cinema establishment. It was partly financed by the Kremlin, via the government’s Cinema Fund to promote patriotic films. And its cast includes a popular actress who has since become a lawmaker, Maria Kozhevnikova, for the ruling United Russia party. The film draws explicit parallels with the radical activist art group Voina (War), one of the most controversial movements to appear in Russia in recent years and closely affiliated with the punk female rock group Pussy Riot. The activists portrayed in the film use lasers to project a giant dollar sign and obscene symbols onto a skyscraper in Moscow’s business district before fleeing from police. The real Voina projected a skull and crossbones onto Putin’s White House office with lasers in 2008, when they also painted a giant penis on a lifting bridge in Saint Petersburg outside the local security headquarters. One of the producers, the highly influential film figure Fyodor Bondarchuk, surprised many by signing an open letter urging the release of the three Pussy Riot members, before they were sentenced to two years in prison for performing in a cathedral. However, the film was made last year before the group rose to prominence. ‘A mirror on the present day’ “It just reflects some realities of today, and that’s natural for a picture that tries to be some kind of cross-section of society,” director Roman Prygunov said ahead of the premiere. “There’s nothing surprising here.” The author of the original 2006 bestseller, Sergei Minayev, said the protest theme had been strengthened for the film. “The film addresses the current day much more than the book, because there are rallies, there are lefties and there are protests. There are all the elements of the present day,” he said. “It is undoubtedly more of a mirror on the present day.” A cast of unattractive characters includes cocainesnorting Max, played by Danila Kozlovsky, who lives in a penthouse and pushes a dubious scheme to invest in an unbuilt luxury complex called “Millionaires’ Paradise.” He falls for bohemian student

activist Yulia, played by Maria Andreyeva, who spots a potential ally. “He’s going to finance our protests,” she tells the group’s leader, who opposes the idea, dismissing Max as “office plankton”-a corporate drone. In turn, Max sneers at their stunts. “You need to stop doing this kids’ stuff and go out on the barricades. Revolutions need martyrs, not idiots,” he jeers. The portrayal of protesters is largely negative, presenting them as being unclear about their aims and too willing to use violence. In one scene they set fire to a riot policeman’s uniform. While the film does not make it explicit that the protests are against Putin, in its most surreal moment, Max hallucinates after smoking drugs and sees a vision of Putin flying across the sky in a black superhero outfit.

The audience at the premiere laughed and clapped as “Putin” solemnly tells Max that he flies around at night saving people, and then urges him to ditch the drugs. The episode seemed particularly apposite given that Putin has lately been airborne for real, flying a micro light to guide cranes on their migration route last month in a stunt that was derided by his critics. So far as topicality is concerned, the film’s producer Pyotr Anurov insists they just got lucky. “It turned out unexpectedly that all the points that are in the film are happening in our time: the protests on the barricades, Vladimir Putin in the role of Superman flying over the country,” he said in one television interview. “I think it has become even more contemporary than if we had filmed it three or four years ago.” — AFP

“G In this image made out of film ‘Comrade Kim Goes Flying’ released on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 by Busan International Film Festival, Comrade Kim Yong Mi played by Han Jong Sim smiles as she wears a coal miner’s helmet. — AP


long with the now inevitable galaxy of stars promoting blockbusters from across Asia, this year’s Busan International Film Festival will screen a North Korean film for the first time in almost a decade as well as six classic Afghan movies that were hidden in a wall to save them from the Taliban. The continent’s showcase film festival, a glitzy nine-day affair that opens Thursday, has become a way for Asian nations such as China and especially South Korea to highlight their rise in the world pop culture scene. This year’s fest will even take a break from film for a performance by South Korean rapper PSY, who galloped to global fame with his song “Gangnam Style.” But films from two nations not normally on the radar of regional cinephiles are also drawing attention. “Comrade Kim Goes Flying,” which was co-directed by a North Korean and two Europeans, is the first North Korean film to screen at the South Korean festival since 2003. The movie, about a young woman who runs off to join the circus as an acrobat, won the award for best director at the biennial Pyongyang International Film Festival last month. Observers are curious to see how local audiences will react to it while relations remain badly frayed between two nations still technically at war. “There is great expectation among South Korean viewers about this film because they can have a rare look into the northern neighbor’s film-making world without political worries,” said Kim Ji-seok, one of the festival organizers who noted they had determined the North Korean film to be “free from ideologies

and propaganda.” Six Afghan movies made from the 1960s to the 1980s will also be shown, including “Like Eagle,” a 1965 work about a wide-eyed girl traveling in Kabul. The films were hidden in a wall when the radical Islamist Taliban regime took power in the 1990s and banned most forms of entertainment, including movies. The films resurfaced in 2004 after the Taliban were ousted. “These Afghan films shed a light on the lives of people in a country that we have only known as war-torn and once a hideout for Osama bin Laden,” said Kang Yu-jung, a South Korean film critic. “Their screening shows that this part of Asia has started to have an interest in the stories of Afghans, not just in the country’s political situation.” The festival, held since 1996 in the southeastern port city of Busan, is considered the biggest of its kind in Asia and has expanded rapidly along with the region’s film industry, led by China and South Korea. Both countries films and stars will be front and center at this year’s event. “Cold War,” a Hong Kong gangster thriller featuring top stars Andy Lau and Aaron Kwok, opens the festival, and Chinese actress Tang Wei will host the opening ceremony. Other films drawing attention are Kim Ki-duk’s “Pieta,” the brutal story of a debt collector who cripples those who can’t pay until he meets a woman who claims to be his mother. It took the Golden Lion award for best picture at last month’s Venice Film Festival, the first South Korean film to do so.—AP

irls” writer, director and actress Lena Dunham said on Tuesday she was adding new, more diverse characters for the next season of her HBO show, after criticism that the first season failed to portray the rich culture of its New York City setting. And the 26-year-old, who often sheds her own clothes on the show, also acknowledged that, most of the time, “it’s not a good idea to be naked on television.” Dunham broke out this year as one of Hollywood’s hottest young stars with “Girls,” winning four Emmy nominations for her comedy about four 20-something women who find that work and relationships in New York have little of the glamour seen in 1990s show “Sex and the City.” Although Dunham took home no Emmys this year, her success earned her a speaking spot on Tuesday at Fortune magazine’s annual Most Powerful Women Summit. Answering questions in front of hundreds of female business leaders, Dunham said she took seriously criticism of “Girls” and its lack of minority characters. She said she felt “heartbreak at the idea that the show would make anyone feel isolated.” The show’s second season next year will feature “a multitude of new characters in the show. There are some of color. Some are not. Some are Caucasian,” she said. Dunham said she was responding to viewers “who women are of color who want to see themselves reflected on screen.” “All I want to do is make women feel excited and included by the show,” she said. Addressing her frequent nude scenes, Dunham said she felt they were appropriate because she was the person deciding when to take her clothes off in front of the camera. But she generally advised against it. “There may be a time when I have to explain to my daughters, ‘You probably shouldn’t be naked on television.’ Most situations, it’s not a good idea to be naked on television,” said Dunham, who is single. “I like doing it because I’m my own boss. I’m writing it. I’m directing it. I’m producing it,” she said, adding that she would refuse to strip for another TV director. As one of the youngest people to write and star in a television show, Dunham said she feels pressure to represent younger women well so she doesn’t create a backlash that would hurt others trying to blaze a path in Hollywood. “I don’t want to do anything that is going to make them think ‘this is why we don’t give shows to 25-year-old girls,” she said, joking that “I’d love to have a small dog, (but) I don’t think it would be good for all of us if I were to carry a small dog to set with me.” “Girls” returns for its second season on HBO in January. — Reuters


lifestyle F e a t u r e s

‘Butter’ H

aving a taste for “Butter” depends almost entirely on whether you find the comedy of condescension and ridicule a hoot or a very cheap form of amusement. This satire on self-righteous, homilyspewing Red Staters and the cutthroat world of butter carving trades almost entirely on making jokes at the expense of others, most of all an obsessed, venal woman who could pass as a kissin’ cousin to two prominent female Republicans of the preprimary season (“Butter” was made in 2011). Decidedly not a critics’ picture, “Butter” brandishes the sort of snide humor that plays well with a large

running is Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell), whose latest creation - a full sized rendering of The Last Supper - is considered such a celestial masterpiece that he’s asked to step aside to give someone else a chance. Furious at this blow to family eminence, Bob’s wife, Laura (Jennifer Garner), takes up the carving knife herself. Laura is the sort of prim, flagwaving, self-satisfied do-gooder whose pasted-on smile can’t disguise incisors ready to rip into anyone she finds wanting or threatening. When not on public view, Laura cusses like a David Mamet character and vents about every perceived threat to her

This image released by RADIUS-TWC shows Jennifer Garner in a scene from the film, ‘Butter.’ —AP public, but a fair slice of that audience could well be put off by the whiff of agenda that’s hard to miss. This odd film, which was debuted at last year’s Telluride Film Festival, has a commercial shot but a rather long one that will put any and all marketing wizards involved to the test. The vaguely insalubrious title of the first feature written by Jason Micallef and the second directed by Jim Field Smith (“She’s Out of My League”) refers to the competitive pastime of butter sculpting that consumes the lives of a sufficient number of Iowans to have made it a statewide sport. The undisputed champion for 15 years

position or worldview, as if the stars arranged themselves exclusively to assault her sense of security. As it is, she finds no solace at home; Bob momentarily takes up with trampy, extortionist stripper Brooke (Olivia Wilde), who in turn exerts an unhealthy influence on Laura’s already checked-out stepdaughter (Kristen Schaal). But the most serious menace comes from an adorable 10-year-old girl with the loaded name of Destiny (Yara Shahidi), who has bounced from one foster family to another until winding up with locals (Rob Corddry, Alicia Silverstone) who bend over backward to please.

Almost absurdly well-adjusted and ever-keeled for her age and background, even if prone to comments like, “Are these crackers for real?” in the face of weird behavior by adults, Destiny is revealed as the Mozart of butter carvers, a natural genius in an enterprise her new mom admits is “kinda rednecky.” Faced with likely defeat in both the regional and state competitions, where Destiny does remarkable work sculpting the Freedom Train and a pieta-like rendering of herself and her imagined real mother, Laura resorts to deceit in league with a good-ol’-boy former flame (an amusing cameo by Hugh Jackman), revealing her whiny, selfpitying true self in the process. Playing a thoroughly unpleasant character, Garner, who also co-produced, somewhat overdoes Laura’s initial phoniness and her overriding shrillness. That someone, nay, anyone, would become so psychotically preoccupied by butter carving is part of the joke, that being that human beings are capable of becoming fixated on almost anything. But Laura is not endowed with a single human quality worth admiring, and her priorities are entirely upside down. When she discovers that her ineffectual husband, whom she once regarded as worthy of high office, has cheated on her with a conniving skank, she sweeps it under the rug of her artistic ambitions, which in the end include a technically proficient but bad-taste rendering of the Kennedy assassination. Wilde lives up to her name as the go-for-broke exotic dancer as dim as she is unlucky, while the rest of the cast, excepting the dignified Shahidi, works in bright-eyed caricature mode. “Butter,” a Radius/Weinstein release, is rated R for language and sexual content. Running time: 90 minutes. Motion Picture Association of America rating definition for R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. — AP



sell for $200,000 to $300,000. The minimum starting bid is $120,000. Fairbanks always knew the bill was special, at least to his family, given that it was presented to the former vice president as a memento from the frontier city named after him. Fairbanks learned last year that the uncirculated note’s estimated value had skyrocketed far beyond the estimate of $50,000 to $60,000 set in the mid-1990s, which prompted him to start locking it up whenever he traveled. With the new estimate, the 66-year-old great-grandson no longer felt comfortable displaying it on a wall in his Santa Barbara, Calif, home. It was no longer just a framed family keepsake, so off it went to a safety deposit box. “Why stress out and worry about something?” Fairbanks said. “It’d be like having a Monet in the house.” But keeping it hidden didn’t do anyone any good. So Fairbanks decided to consign it to Heritage. He said his family has plenty of

This Sept. 2012 photo provided by Heritage Auctions shows the back (left) and front of a 1905 $5 bill. — AP


traveling ABBA exhibit is to get a permanent home in a new museum dedicated mostly to the Swedish quartet that has sold nearly 400 million records since its heyday in the 1970s. Former band member Bjoern Ulvaeus said yesterday that “ABBA The Museum” will be part of a Swedish music hall of fame to be inaugurated in Stockholm next spring. The museum will feature some of the band’s glitzy stage costumes, instruments

and other mementos that were displayed in the ABBAWORLD exhibition that toured Europe and Australia in 2009-2011. Ulvaeus said he hoped all four former ABBA members would attend the opening, but ruled out any chance of a stage comeback: “We are the only group of that status that has never been reunited. I think that is cool.” — AP

Workers on a crane put finishing touches on a banner featuring the 17th Busan International film Festival (BIFF) displayed on a building in Busan yesterday. Asia’s largest film festival rolls out the red carpet in South Korea today, offering a window into the region’s cinema landscape and a rare screening of a North Korean film. — AFP

o what isn’t Natalie Portman being courted for these days? There are several roles on offer to the “Black Swan” actress, include “Code Name Sasha,” which is being described as a female “Training Day” meets “La Femme Nikita” and “Last Witness,” among others. “Code Name Sasha” revolves around a single mother who has been engaged in criminal activity since she was a teenager. She is given a chance to get out when the FBI asks her to go

he $5 bill displayed for decades on Charles Fairbanks IV’s wall was long a treasured family heirloom from Alaska. Now, to the surprise of the grandson of a turn-of a-century vice president, it’s also become a likely treasure trove. The rare find is expected to fetch as much as $300,000 at auction this month when a Texas auctioneer plans to put it up for bids in Dallas and online as part of the American Numismatic Association National Money Show. The bill was presented in 1905 to Vice President Charles W Fairbanks - Theodore Roosevelt’s No. 2 and was from the First National Bank of Fairbanks, Alaska. The family has had it in their possession ever since and recently decided to auction it off through Dallas-based Heritage Auctions. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful find,” said Dustin Johnston, director of Heritage’s currency auctions. Auction officials say the Fairbanks bill that features an image of President Benjamin Harrison is a highlight that’s expected to

Madame Tussauds waxwork models of Swedish pop group Abba are displayed at a roller disco in the Renaissance Room in London on October 2, 2012. — AFP

undercover to bring down the world’s largest gun-running organization. Alexandra Milchan is producing for Paramount. At Fox, Portman is also being eyed for the film “Last Witness” for producers Davis Entertainment. She would play a psychologist working with the sole survivor of a bombing in a cafÈ in Boston who is suffering from amnesia. Portman is also being courted for the Jackie Kennedy drama “Jackie” at Fox Searchlight, some

other historical memorabilia, or he wouldn’t have done it. Charles W Fairbanks was a US senator from Indiana in the late 1890s when he was credited with playing a key role to resolve a border dispute with Canada triggered by the Klondike Gold Rush. As a result of his efforts, most of the disputed territory went to the United States. But the real reason the city of Fairbanks was named after him was because he played a key role in the appointment of a federal judge, James Wickersham, a man Fairbanks met during the border dispute, according to University of Alaska Fairbanks historian Terrence Cole. To return the favor, Wickersham urged city founders to call the settlement Fairbanks. “He said, ‘I owe everything that I am to him,’” Cole said. Auction officials also note the bill’s rarity. Only three banks in Alaska - out of more than 12,000 banks nationwide - issued the bills. The Fairbanks bill was just one of four notes of its kind in

media outlets have reported. A representative for the actress said that Portman has yet to make a decision about these films. Portman has already been announced for the “Untitled Terrence Malick Project,” “Thor: The Dark World” and “Jane Got a Gun.” Portman will also serve as a producer on “Jane Got a Gun.” —Reuters

the $5 denomination that were issued in 1905 by a now-defunct Alaska bank and only one of two known to still exist, according to Dustin Johnston, director of Heritage’s currency auctions. The other bill sold 15 years ago for close to $100,000 and the market has “really picked up for the rarest pieces,” he said. Johnston said the bill is unfolded and there is no wear. Its color is a little muted because the family displayed it for so long. There also have been some minor restorations to the back corners, but Johnston doesn’t expect that to affect the selling price, given the bill’s rarity, pedigree and history. It’s probably one of the better national bank notes that will come to auction over this decade, he said. “It’s easily in the top five of what I’ve handled,” Johnston said. — AP

No mid-life crisis for 007as Bond films turn 50




heads up imaginative, spirited day of shows


on’t take things too seriously,” said Karl Lagerfeld standing next to a towering wind turbine inside Paris’ Grand Palais, “especially not fashion.”Chanel’s veteran designer, with trademark humor, thus summed up an important message of this Paris season. The iconic house’s fun, young collection headlined the penultimate day of Paris springsummer 2013 show. The fact the show had nothing whatsoever to do with the several eco-turbines constructed for the event - no doubt at a huge cost to the environment didn’t seem to matter.

Chanel “69” dics that exposed inches of bare flesh. Wednesday - the grand finale of a dense and vibrant week - includes shows from Elie Saab, Miu Miu and powerhouse Louis Vuitton. CHANEL Fun was the healthy mantra which infiltrated Tuesday’s Chanel show - a bright and diverse collection brimming with great new ideas. Silver bauble appliques became buttons, A-line skirts were playfully short, colorful checks contrasted funkily with geometric flashes, and feather fringing billowed exuberantly. One model in a crossing “C” swimsuit even carried a three-foot (nearly 1 meter) handbag. A bold new fashion idea was the reworked bolero jacket with curved shoulders, often spruced up with inflated arms. The wide T-shaped bolero silhouette spread onto sweaters and inspired many of the show’s best looks. Naturally, many of the brighter ensembles stood out, too. Bright pink and blue felted oversized sweaters were accessorized to kitsch effect with huge pale or silver pearl necklace clusters. There was a highly accomplished delivery of color palette also, which lifted one checked red-and-white Aline dress, with the top part sliced off. It paired beautifully with a contrasting, yet complementary loose blue and red coat. Another stand out piece was a white bateau-neck ensemble with check navy bands with a clean, slightly sporty vide. Lagerfeld, who turns 80 next year, certainly hasn’t let age slow him down: It’s the youngest collection Chanel’s seen for a while.

Fashion insiders were busy concentrating on the myriad 81 ensembles- which made this collection possibly the longest Chanel show in history. A pinch of salt, too, may have been required Sarah Burton’s ode to the McQueen bee, which mixed regal looking crinolines, 1950s silhouttes with bees and insect armor y. As ever, the Alexander McQueen’s ready-to-wear show was Paris Fashion Week’s most original, living up to the spirit of the designer who died in 2010. Trends on Tuesday included cutouts, as featured in a strong showing from Valentino - with Jennifer Lopez on the front row - and in Paco Rabanne’s signature

Burton feature - which fanned out into a peplum in some of the looks resembled an abdomen of a wasp or queen bee. The fascinating collection of 31 looks - which had fashion insiders amazed - was as thoughtout as it was perfectly executed with metal mesh materials that sparkled mechanically. The 1950s were visited in full skirts which

mixed with structuralist fashion: Hard bodice cages, which showed the inner working of corsetry of the crinoline age, on the outside. The last collections revisited the queen theme: Billowing structured skirts in beige, soft yellow and vermilion looked like a surrealist take on Marie Antoinette. — AP

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Fashion is body armor. At least it is for Sarah Burton, who tapped her fantastical imagination for Alexander McQueen to conjure up fashion week’s most original show: Mixing insect-like armory with ontrend stiff bar jackets of the New Look, as well as 19th century crinoline. If it sounds strange, it was - set to a backdrop of images of bees and honeycomb - with each model wearing a visor reminiscent at once of the 1950s wide hat, a cage and a beekeepers mask. Have fashions over the ages, she seemed to ask, caged and protected us like in the natural world? A cinched metal or tortoiseshell waist band - a recurrent

Alexander Mcqueen

Archduke Joseph gem to fetch at least $15m: Christie’s O

ne of the world’s most historic diamonds, the Archduke Joseph, is up for sale in Geneva with an expected price tag well in excess of $15 million (11.6 million euros), Christie’s auction house said yesterday. “It’s a 76.02 carat cushionshaped D-color diamond (considered to be the most flawless), from the famous Golconda mines in India,” Christie’s senior international specialist Jean-Marc Lunel told AFP. The colorless gem, which is about the size of a domino and 1.5 centimetres (more than half an inch) thick, is to be exhibited from October 13 in New York, Hong Kong and Geneva before the auction in Switzerland on November 13. Described as the “star lot of the fall jewelry auction season” by Christie’s, the diamond has the same

provenance as other illustrious jewels including the Koh-i-noor-part of the crown jewels held in the Tower of London-and the Regent, believed by many to be the finest diamond in the French crown jewels and now in the Louvre museum in Paris. All three jewels come from the now closed Golconda mines, which produced the purest gems, Lunel said. Next month’s auction will be the second time Christie’s has sold the Archduke Joseph after it fetched $6.5 million at a Geneva sale in 1993. The jewel, which belonged to Archduke Joseph of Austria (1872-1962), was put in a vault of the Hungarian General Credit Bank in 1933 by his son, the Archduke Joseph Francis. The diamond was sold three years later to an anonymous buyer who left

it in a safe during World War II, escaping the attention of the Nazis. It finally resurfaced in 1961 at auction in London and was offered for sale in November 1993 at Christie’s Geneva. Since then the diamond has changed hands privately, but Christie’s declined to comment on the identity of the current owner. The auction house holds eight major jewelry sales a year, including two in Geneva. “The first half of 2012 saw record sales, thanks mainly to the May auction in Geneva,” said Lunel, “When part of the jewelry collection of billionairess Lily Safra was sold for good causes.” — AFP

A model holds the “Archduke Joseph” historical diamond on October 3, 2012 during a Christie’s auction preview in Geneva. — AFP

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