Page 1



Hackers claim 12 million Apple IDs from FBI

Israel settler vandals attack West Bank monastery


27 150 FILS

SHAWWAL 18, 1433 AH

Arab-Muslim to join ‘Green Lantern’ comic series


Has time caught up with Tendulkar?



NO: 15559

Bahrain upholds jail sentences of activists Govt says men were in touch with Iran, Hezbollah

in the


Municipality withdraws license of ‘pork’ supplier KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality’s Deputy Director General for municipal services affairs, Mohammad Ghazy Al-Otaibi said yesterday that the food monitoring system in the country withdrew the license of the company that imported sausages from Brazil containing pig fat. Otaibi assured that strict measures will be taken against all those violating municipality laws, and lab tests are required for all foodstuff to receive permission to enter the country. (See Page 3)

MoH to act against attack on employees KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Health Minister Ali Al-Obaidi stressed that the ministry would be taking legal action over the attack on the director of Kuwait’s centre for psychological healthcare Dr Abdallah Al-Hammadi and other employees. Extensive talks are being made with the Interior Ministry in order to ensure long-term security presence at hospitals and “to put a stop to legal offenders through more strict punishment”, he said. The ministry’s acting undersecretary Khaled Al-Sahlawi described recurring physical attacks on health employees at health centres as “disturbing”. (See Page 3)

LONDON: Kuwait’s Ahmad Al-Mutairi competes in the men’s 200m T34 round 1 heat 2 in front of the Paralympic Flame during the athletics competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the Olympic Stadium in east London yesterday. — AFP

Max 44º Min 26º High Tide 02:20 & 14:53 Low Tide 08:23 & 20:27

DUBAI: A Bahrain court yesterday upheld jail terms against 13 leading opposition figures, including seven facing life in prison, over charges of plotting to overthrow the Gulf monarchy, lawyers said. The opposition swiftly condemned the “vindictive” rulings and accused the court of staging “mock trials”, while London-based Amnesty International called for the defendants to be quickly released as the verdicts were “outrageous”. The defendants who played leading roles in month-long protests last year demanding democratic reforms did not turn up in the appeals court, the lawyers said. “I am very disappointed. This was a shock to people,” said Hussein Jawad, son of Mohammed Jawad, who is serving a 15-year sentence. “If they don’t want life or a future for Bahrain, they will keep the verdicts like this.” Some Sunni loyalists who fear the rise of Shiite Islamists in any government compromise with the opposition praised the ruling. “God is great, God is great,” wrote hardline cleric Mohammed Khalid on Twitter. Hours after the court announcement, riot police outside the capital Manama fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters. Some demonstrators threw firebombs at security forces. The 13 activists were being retried in a civil court after they were convicted by a special semi-military court, along with seven others who remain at large, of plotting to topple the Sunni ruling family. Another defendant was acquitted. The prosecution had dropped charges against all defendants “related to the freedom of expression” which were considered illegal by the National Safety Court that was set up to try people who took part in the uprising. Continued on Page 13




Domestic helpers in Kuwait need ‘fair and complete protection’ Manila plans gradual ban By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Domestic helpers in Kuwait need fair and complete protection, just as other expatriates working in the private sector have, say many Filipinos interviewed by the Kuwait Times yesterday, following a proposal to gradually ban domestic helpers from the Philippines in Kuwait and other Gulf countries in the next five years. Many supported the idea, except the recruitment agencies, which are benefiting from employing these workers. Last week, reports from Manila suggested that the Philippines government is ready to approve a proposal that puts a blanket ban on employing domestic helpers to Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait. Filipina domestic helpers were banned in Saudi Arabia one year ago. Philippine Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz was quoted as saying that there is a recommendation from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) which found that the three Gulf countries Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar- could not guarantee protection of these workers. The POEA governing board has yet to make a decision on this issue. In fact, when contacted, Philippine Labor Attache to Kuwait David Des Dicang refused to comment on the issue, which was revealed four days ago in the UAE. Dicang said he has to clarify the matter with his office in Manila before he could release a statement on the subject. Filipinos in Kuwait argued that complete protection for their fellow workers is needed as they have opted to leave their families behind in return for better opportunities abroad, but not at the expense of their safety and welfare. Kuwait, for its part, has promised to enact a law which will protect domestic helpers [domestic labor law] but as of now the draft bill is pending in their National Assembly. The current domestic labor law, according to Philippine officials, is

inadequate for their workers. Similar ‘threats’ [of the ban] had surfaced in the past for the same reasons and the Philippines has already declared Kuwait being one of many countries that are ‘unsafe’ for their workers. It was only cleared early this year. Teng, a baqala owner in Farwaniya, said the best option was to ban Filipino workers in order for the Kuwaiti government to comply with the

demand of the Philippine government. “If they are not willing to provide protection for our domestic helpers, then why should we risk their welfare?” Teng asked. The baqala owner, who was a domestic helper herself a few years back, said the ball is in the hands of Kuwait. “We have Filipina workers mostly coming from the far flung provinces willing to work, but without adequate protection it is unfair on them; so I hope Kuwait and other countries in the Gulf will somehow do their bit. A policy of ‘give and take’ must be followed here,” she added. Another Filipino engineer, ‘Jose’, noted a simple day off and a minimum wage of KD120 salary must be implemented. “If we continue to send our domestic helpers without ensuring proper protection, we are practically supporting their unwillingness to pro-

vide a better working environment for the workers. They need it just as we need it in the private sector,” he argued. But the plan of the government to ban domestic helpers in Kuwait and other Gulf countries will definitely hurt the recruitment agencies who are still struggling to make both ends meet back in the Philippines. “Let’s face it, our country cannot support every Filipino

with a job. There are many Filipinos who at this very moment as we speak need jobs. There are thousands of graduates who need jobs, and those who are less educated need much more. They are many and are struggling every day. They go hungry and food is the number one basic need in order for us to survive. Besides that, there are important necessities in life, like decent shelter, good education, medicines for sick members of the family where are they going to get all of those if enough jobs are not available in the Philippines?” the agency owner, who was not identified, asked. She added that when she goes to the Philippines to recruit domestic helpers, many still cry just to have a job abroad, many were even willing to take risks and sell

everything they have got in order to get a job abroad. “So you see, the need for a job is really there; they don’t want to wait for the assistance promised by the government since, at the end of the day, it is their responsibility to put food on the table,” she noted. As a recruitment agency owner, she said she is not willing, at least now, to give up recruiting domestic helpers from Manila. “I have thousands of people recruited from the Philippines whose lives have dramatically changed after working abroad. I have a clear conscience when it comes to this job I am doing now. When there were reported cases of abuses, it was normal, because anyhow, there is no country anywhere in the world that is perfect, there will always be some cases of mistreatment. Even in our home country,” she said. On the other hand, she also supported the Manila government’s demand for enactment of domestic labor laws that could somehow benefit domestic workers. “I am with the Philippine government on their desire to really provide complete protection for our workers. If Hong Kong could provide it, if Europe and the Americas could provide it, why not Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE,” she remarked. Kuwait is home to more than 70,000 Filipina domestic helpers. The Philippines and Kuwait in March forged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen bilateral labor cooperation and reinforce workers’ welfare, which is essential to the increasing labor and economic interaction between the two countries. The accord was signed by Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda DimapilisBaldoz and Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce Anas Al-Saleh in the presence of Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III and HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al Jaber Al-Sabah during HH the Amir’s visit in March this year.

KUWAIT: File photos of a Filipina abused victim seeking help from the embassy.—Photos by Ben Garcia

Elections set to be held in early 2013 KUWAIT: The Constitutional Court will begin reviewing the case in which the Cabinet challenged the constitutionality of the five-constituencies’ system, with a verdict expected to be passed either by the end of the month or in early October. Fresh elections may be held by the end of the year or in early 2013 as estimated by political sources, reported Al-Qabas yesterday. Meanwhile, sources indicate that changing the electoral system if the court finds the current law as being unconstitutional “will not be carried out by the 2009 Parliament, even if it can convene.” “The Cabinet as well as Parliament’s head office is convinced that amending the law will be a huge mistake because it would add more fuel to the political tension, and give the opposition extra reason to gather citizens in public protests,” sources explained. The 2009 Parliament has not been able to convene since it was reinstated by a Constitutional Court ruling that found its dissolution late last year to be unconstitutional. “Changing the electoral law by pass-

ing an ordinance released by the Cabinet remains a less costly option compared to amending it in a session for the 2009 parliament,” sources argued, reported Al-Qabas. Meanwhile, the opposition announced establishing the ‘National Front for the Protection of the Constitution,’ which will launch campaigns against a governmental step to change the electoral law through an ordinance. The announcement was made following a recent meeting by the opposition blocs who dominated majority seats in the annulled 2012 parliament. “The bloc named Musallam Al-Barrak, Faisal Al-Mislem and Adel Al-Damkhi as members of a coordination committee whose job will be to communicate with political groups and activists wishing to join the front,” said sources. Yousuf Al-Shayji Secretary General of the Democratic Forum, as well as Secretary General of the National Democratic Alliance, Khalid Al-Khalid, told Al-Rai daily that their respective groups are yet to receive invitations to take part in the national front, reported Al-Rai.

Drug trio in police custody By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Drug enforcement agents arrested a gang of three people who were charged with possession of drugs. Earlier information was received by assistant undersecretary Lt General Abdul Hameed Al Awadhi about an Asian gang consisting of three persons who were selling drugs. A team was formed to arrest gang members after verifying the information and receiving necessary legal permission. Following several days of investigating it was learned that the suspects were Asian expats who were assigned specific areas where they sold their drugs. After the first suspect was arrested near his work place, a search of his car found 100 grams of heroin, 300 pills of various drugs along with 10 grams of additional drugs. During his interrogation, the suspect confessed to selling drugs and revealed the name of the second suspect, who worked as a driver. On raiding the second suspect’s home, police discovered 150 grams of heroin in his bedroom. Later, both suspects identified the third sus-

KUWAIT: Drugs fighting officials yesterday arrested a three-member Asian gang for trading in drugs. More than 500gms of drugs were found in their possession. — pect, who divided up the drugs to be sold in Kuwait. The third suspect worked as a farmer, and after searching his bedroom police found the remaining drugs. Officials said the total amount of drugs found in the possession of the three suspects was

400 grams of heroin, 1000 pills, and 50 grams of miscellaneous drugs. The three of suspects reportedly confessed that they were selling drugs to yet another drug dealer, who police have not yet identified. The three suspects and drugs were sent to concerned authorities.

Police search for missing Kuwaiti girl By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior has begun work to find a Kuwaiti woman who has been reported missing amidst fear that she has been killed. Her father told the Ministry of Interior early in the morning that his 23-year-old daughter left home in Andalus and never returned. He tried to search for her in vain. Blood stains were also seen in the house. Investigations began by questioning the delivery boy who reportedly delivered food to the girl and left. Police has so far been unable to trace the whereabouts of the young woman. They are trying to access the phones she used, hoping to obtain a lead in the case. Hidden liquor In other news, police are trying

to capture a citizen who has been convicted in previous crimes. His vehicle collided with a police patrol car. They tried to stop him but he fled the scene. After searching his car, in AlSabahiya, police found more than 250 bottles of liquor hidden in the vehicle. Expat’s body found The body of an expat was found in the ship in which a fire broke out on Sunday at Shuwaikh port. Firefighters extinguished the flames that destroyed a ship at Shuwaikh port. The body was found after fire fighting was completed. Teenage thieves Jahra police arrested a Saudi Arabian teenager while three of his accomplices fled the scene after stealing some cable wires

and steel from a site situated close to a camp site in north Kuwait. Police are on the hunt for the other suspects, and has confiscated the stolen booty. Son assaults mother A 54-year-old female citizen filed a complaint with police stating that her 21-year-old son physically assaulted her, supported her claim with a medical report. A case was filed against the son. Suspects shoot workers Two Asians working as cleaners in Al-Jahra and Kuwait City reported to police that they were shot at using hunting guns by assailants. They claimed that there were six suspects in all who used two vehicles, an American car and a Japanese car. A case was filed.



Stranded live export sheep unloaded

Some of the volunteers during the press conference. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

‘Spread the Passion’ to help youth boost charity work More than 100 volunteers accepted

By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Youngsters’ interest in charity work and volunteering is being increasingly recognized by government organizations, and such an example is the Spread the Passion Ambassador programme, which recently enrolled more than 100 volunteers. The National Youth Project (NYP), in cooperation with the Spread the Passion Ambassador programme, held a press conference during which they enrolled more than 100 volunteers following personal interviews on Monday at the National Library. The NYP project is an initiative of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah. “HH the Amir realised that there is a group in society that is not represented in the parliament and he wished to hear from them, so he initiated the launch of this national project in February of this year,” said Dr Jasim AlRabi’an Director of the Executive Office of the NYP. The majority of Kuwaitis are between 18 to 30 years old. “This was the reason behind choosing volunteers of this age group for the project. The Amiri Diwan has established an office to direct and help these young people to reach their goal, guided by the slogan ‘Kuwait Listens’. This office aims to communicate with other youth, hear out their opinions and ambitions for the future. These opin-

ions, ideas and suggestions will be sent out in an official letter to HH the Amir in November 2012,” he added. “After listening to the youth we founded the ‘Mubadarat’ (initiatives) small project. This is a non-profit project which had

is to have a giving community and spread this message in the society,” stated Fatma Al-Musawi, Director of Spread the Passion. During this meeting, the organizers explained the details of the programme,

Fatma Al-Mosawi, Dr Jasim Al-Rabi’an, and other members of the Spread the Passion Team. as its first participant the Spread the Passion team, which will train the participating volunteers,” Al-Rabi’an further said. The Spread the Passion project was launched on Februar y 14, 2010 on Valentine’s Day to spread the members’ love for Kuwait. “Currently there are over 700 volunteers working with us. Our goal

its time plan, the activities in which the volunteers will participate, and the projects that need to be done. The meeting also included introducing the working teams of this programme and their duties. The Spread the Passion Ambassador ranked first in the Program of Initiatives

Car awnings demolished in Sharq

By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Municipality has demolished awnings used as car shades in the Sharq area, which had been constructed in violation of the law. The municipality acted on several complaints from people living in the area that the awnings were constructed on state-owned land using public utilities bordering the road. The demolition was carried out on

the orders of Capital Municipality director Eng Faleh Al-Shimmary in cooperation with Public Service Administration, which provided all necessary equipment for demolishing the awnings. Owners were warned over the illegal awnings by the municipality two weeks ago. Acting General Director of Kuwait Municipality Mohammad Ghazai Al-Otaibi said that supervision bureaus at the municipality have taken further legal action against the compa-

ny involved in the shipment of hot dogs which contained lard and ham. The company’s health license has been withdrawn in addition to closing its stores at Shuwaikh. Ghazai Al-Otaibi said the municipality will deal strictly with all food producing companies that violate the law by selling food items before the sample test results are released. He said legal action will be taken against all such violators.

Doctors threaten to resign after repeated assaults KUWAIT: A doctor practicing at Kuwait Psychological Medicine Hospital was physically assaulted on Monday by an irate patient, a day after two physicians from AlJahra Hospital were attacked by a man demanding urgent medical attention for his ill father. Dr Abdullah Al-Hamadi told AlRai daily that he has already pressed charges against the man who allegedly attacked him. The doctor advised that his medical condition does not require him to file for early retirement, which enraged the patient. Following the assault, Dr Al-

Hamad said that it has become a necessity for security officers to protect medical staff members. “Many patients believe that they can forcefully obtain whatever they want. Only attitudinal changes can resolve the issue,” the doctor said. Meanwhile, Dr Sulaiman AlKhadhari, Head of the Psychiatric Department at the same hospital, said that staff members plan to “forward their resignations if chaos and repeated physical assault against our colleagues continue.” Complaining against ‘unsafe working environment,’ Al-Khadhari

All Amghara officials must resign: Al-Enezi KUWAIT: Municipal Council member Abdallah Fahad Al-Enezi asked all officials who are in charge of managing Amghara scrapyard, including an official from the Interior Ministr y, to resign from their positions immediately after failing to protect the area that has been plagued by several fire incidents. Fahad accused the govern-

ment of failing miserably to Amghara scrap yard owing to a clear lapse in security. This led to the fire incidents that caused hazardous environmental pollution threatening citizens and expatriates living in nearby areas. He said that the Municipal Council has passed several decisions pertinent with Amghara. —Aljarida

demanded cooperation between the health and interior ministries to “put an end to repeated assault cases.” He blamed authorities for failing to take appropriate measures to tackle such assault cases. In the meantime, Dr Mahmoud Al-Abdulhadi, Head of the Legal Affairs Department at the Ministry of Health announced that efforts are underway to provide extra protection to doctors “by amending the penal law to consider assaults on medical staff as a felony, instead of a misdemeanor.” He said that the amendment was expected to be prepared ‘within three months,’ adding that the legal department is also working toward passing a law that provides doctors with insurance against medical errors. The Ministry’s Acting Undersecretary Dr Khalid Al-Sehlawi also commented on the recent incidents, acknowledging that the psychological hospital “featured many assault cases committed by patients.” The senior official also echoed Minister Dr Ali Al-Obaidi’s “strong condemnation of the recurrence of assaults,” assuring that MoH officials plan to meet with Interior Ministry officials to discuss this problem.

organized by the NYP of the Amiri Diwan. This initiative aims to spread the culture of volunteering among youth. The accepted volunteers will participate in a programme promoting various charity activities in about 10 places or institutions, in addition to working on the ten priorities set by the NYP. The first phase will last for five weeks. During this phase, the work and activities of the volunteers will be evaluated. This evaluation will result in choosing the best 20 performers who will continue on to the second phase. The volunteers during this phase will pass a three-week training and rehabilitation programme including changing management, presentation, active communication, and other skills in the related charity work. In the end, the 20 participants will achieve the title ‘Spread the Passion Ambassador’. They will have the opportunity to present their experiences as volunteers in more than 60 different institutions. Ali Kamal, the General Supervisor of the Spread the Passion Ambassador programme, commenting on the role of the supervisors said, “Their role is to supervise the volunteers, give them their tasks, evaluate them through activities, and to follow up on the project presented at the end of the programme. The supervisors will be divided depending on the charities and campaigns and the priorities of NYP”.

KUWAIT: Thousands of Australian sheep which were stranded on a live export ship off Kuwait have now been unloaded, but thousands more are still stuck on another ship after a disease outbreak. Two Australian sheep shipments were stopped from unloading in Kuwait and Bahrain because of outbreaks of scabby mouth disease. A spokeswoman for the Australian Livestock Exporters Council says all the sheep which had been destined for Kuwait have now been unloaded and are in a feedlot. The ship Al Shuwaikh, run by Australian company Emanuel Exports and with a carrying capacity of 50,000, was due to dock a week ago. Meanwhile, the spokeswoman says negotiations are continuing to get 22,000 sheep and some chilled carcasses off the Australian ship Ocean Drover, moored off Bahrain. That ship is operated by Wellard Exports, based in Fremantle. The Department of Agriculture said both shipments were infected with scabby mouth disease. Wellard has released a statement saying it cannot understand why its shipment has been rejected and that it is working hard to resolve the issue. “The sheep on board the vessel were prepared by Wellard and inspected and certified for export by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service in accordance with health conditions agreed between the Australian and Bahrain government(s),” the statement said. “The sheep have also inspected in-port by an independent veterinarian approved by the Bahrain government who confirmed the sheep’s animal health status. “Sheep from the same consignment were successfully discharged in two other markets without incident before the vessel arrived in Bahrain. “Wellard is now working through the current issue with its importer, Bahraini Livestock Company, which is the legal owner of the cargo, the Bahrain government and the Australian Government. “Animal welfare will remain the prime focus of those discussions.” Wellard said the Ocean Drover had already discharged most of its cargo, so the sheep had plenty of space and had been provided with fresh food and water. Last night, Lateline revealed the Ocean Drover was blocked from unloading in Bahrain about 10 days ago. The sheep had already been on the water for 33 days. A memorandum of understanding put in place after the Cormo Express disaster of 2003, when 6,000 sheep died, is meant to protect animals involved in the live export trade. But the new cases suggest procedures for animal welfare in the live export trade have failed. Greens senator Lee Rhiannon says the situation is unacceptable. “The memorandum of understanding now looks like worthless bits of paper,” she said. “What they require is for the sheep to be unloaded within 36 hours of docking. “Even if they’re sick, they’re supposed to be put into quarantine feedlots.” RSPCA chief executive Heather Neil says the incident shows the inherent danger of the live animal trade. “Every one of these sheep are suffering stress; they’re in 40-plus-degree temperatures,” she said. “But what this does show is that any time the doors to a market can close, which is really why we need to move away from the live export trade and really be looking at a meat-only trade.” Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig has been unavailable for comment. —ABC Online



LOCAL kuwait digest

kuwait digest

Majority obeying minority orders

Jamaan, Mishal, Haniya and Iran

By Basel Al-Jasser he majority of the 2009 council, due to their constructive cooperation, has made great achievements for Kuwait and its people, which were never achieved by any council since 1992. But the negative behavior of some of its members made this the worst council in the history of Kuwait. The 2009 council created a four year growth plan, and not since 1986 was a similar plan made. The plan resulted in the start of more than 1300 projects, mega projects and medium size projects, and through that the wheels of growth in the state had begun. Work was started on projects we had to sue to learn about it since the 1980s, such as Sabah Al-Salem University, the Al-Shidadia and Al-Sabiya Bridge, the Mubarak Port, the transit cargo terminal station at the Airport, Jaber Hospital and hundreds of other projects. This council also was able to issue the first budget in Kuwait since the 1970s that was free from any additional credits, except for salaries, and the 2012/ 2013 budget. Also, the 2009 council was able to achieve justice, missing since 1963, for two important sectors of Kuwaitis, women and the handicapped, and has achieved for them the largest and most important part of that justice which they were missing. They also gave important support to the government to stop the corruption that has spread in separating employees and treatment abroad. The important thing was that all those achievements of the 2009 council were dumped and nothing left except the problem of those accepting bribes, though the entire council was accused of being a council of bribe takers. In spite of my repeated three demands at that time for the majority of the 2009 council members to stand up for the ministry, but the majority used to give them the chance to hit back at the government and council until we saw the minority announce openly that they sought to dissolve the council through any means, and we have seen the one who received money, but denied this for months, come back and confess that he received money and described the council and what goes on as a “Silly Play”. This should be stopped, and all this happened while the majority of 2009 remained silent, until the minority got what they wanted and the council was dissolved. Today, by the grace of Allah, the council has returned but its majority still obeys the demands, even orders, of the minority once again not to attend the council sessions and are not doing the duties which they were entrusted to. The most important of those duties is the approval of the state budget and continue stopping the additional credit, and to stand up for the government’s hesitation to approve an elections system based on a just system of constituencies, which limits voting to one vote, after the state has suffered a lot from the four votes and many other issues which the council should stand for. The most important of which, corruption, which started to return to many other ministries, until the time of the constitutional court decision or the decision of His Highness the Amir, then you (the 2009 council majority) are receiving salaries and allowances, and it is not right for you to do what the minority did and refuse to do the work. So do not do what they have done and do not listen to them and fear Allah in what your council has achieved and fear Allah in Kuwait and its people.— Al-Anbaa

By Ahmad M Al-Fahad


he story of the reception of Iranian Ambassador “Qahramani” in the Hadas and Hadasis Ghabqa occurred because we do not have the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait at all. And even Faisal Al-Mislem was “mistaken” when he said the “Brotherhood” is in every house in Kuwait! I followed the story from start to finish, from receiving him in the diwaniya of the Hadasis Secretary General, Dr Nasser Al-Sane, and I learnt from contacts between myself and the senior Hadadist, Dr Nasser, that the company that delivers mail and took invitations to officials, MPs, ambassadors, and columnists included the invitation to the Iranian ambassador by mistake, and that “Qahramani” attended the Ghabqa, which was followed by a wave of anger against Hadas and Hadas MP Jamaan Al-Harbash because they received Iran’s Ambassador, whose country supports Bashar’s regime in killing his peaceful people... and that was followed with a statement by Jamaan Al-Harbash on Twitter that he washed his hands seven times! I personally believe the mistake of the company in delivering the message to the ambassador, and know and am sure that the invitation was sent to the UAE ambassador, along with embassy personnel, because the Muslim Brotherhood, pardon me, “Hadasis”, are good at maintaining only the slightest link and they do not cut it even with their enemies... Yet I do not know why the invitation did not reach the Syrian ambassador, in particular? Did the “company” have this sense and did not deliver the invitation to him? I do not know. What is important for me is that my dear brother Jamaan Al-Harbash was wrong with his statement, because the relationship of the Brotherhood with Iran is very old and it started officially with the landing of the Brotherhood plane just after Imam Khomaini’s plane, as Yousuf Nada said on “the Era’s witness” TV program.... Then trips followed by Khalid Mishal to shake hands with Khamenei and meet with Khatami and Ahmadi Nijad, then it was crowned by Ismail Haniya going to shake hands with and kiss Khamenei and hug Ahmadinejad, and maybe visiting the tomb of Khomeini and the unknown soldier... So the hand shake of Jamaan with Qahramani does not mean connecting the link between the Brotherhood and Mulla’s of Tehran... and his washing his hands seven times, and the first with Detol, does not mean severing the Brotherhood’s relations with the Mulla’s of Tehran. Even if we agreed that Kuwait’s “Brotherhood”, sorry Hadasis, is different from Khalid Mishal and Ismail Haniya... is shaking hands with Ahmadinejad and not his ambassador Qahramani such a catastrophe that one has to cleanse himself from, as per Jamaan Al-Harbash’s standard? In other words, does H E President Morsi, and His Majesty King Abdallah and all the sheikhs who met Ahmadinejad during Makkah conference and the Non-Aligned Movement, must they now wash their hands seven times because they shook hands with him? Or do kings and presidents have more than others do... and Jamaan wanted to calm angry crowds, so he made his tweet for public consumption only, because if he really washed his hands, then it is really a tragedy and if he did not, then it is a catastrophe. — Al-Watan


kuwait digest

Is this a ‘healthy’ phenomenon? By Dr Sulaiman Al-Khadhari espite mounting frustration created by the ongoing deterioration in all aspects of life in Kuwait, some people believe that what is happening today is a ‘healthy phenomenon.’ People behind this theory say that our society was never ‘angelic’ in the first place. There is popular belief that Kuwait is “a society that demonstrated the perfect example of national unity.” To support their theory, they often mention incidents which apparently provide evidence to discrimination, sectarianism, and even a certain degree of exclusion that existed during stages of development. Some people - including me to a certain extent argue that sectarian and tribal speech dominate Kuwait these days. It is nothing but an action in which conversations made behind closed doors, are now brought to the public. They see this as a natural political and social evolution in the state that happens with the advancement in information technology and social networking. I do not think there can be much argument with the theory above - at least in the formal framework. What I


find a problem with is, using the word ‘healthy’ to describe what is going on, as a phenomenon can only be healthy if it was associated with certain standards by which more positive results can be achieved. Can we say that there are standards controlling the phenomenon we are facing in Kuwait to ensure positive results? I believe that one of the main standards pertain with the peaceful approach, and improving the quality of speech when talking about different sectarian, religious, or any other social groups. It will reach a level in which accusations are not traded based on origin. Another standard pertains with the state’s regional and international position, as Kuwait is considered by many as being the most exposed to political and security tensions among Gulf states, making it vulnerable to exploitation. Given how lethargic the government can be, I chose to put this article in the hands of activists so that they can bear fight against sectarianism, and protect Kuwait from catastrophe. — Al-Rai




Preparations underway to pass new state budget A rare case in Kuwait history By A. Saleh

KUWAIT: A group of Kuwaiti female activists hosted an event at the Grand Mosque on Monday night focusing on eliminating sectarianism in society. Gatherers held a mass prayer for Kuwait’s safety, security and stability. The event was held in coordination with the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Finance has begun preparations to pass the state’s budget for the fiscal year 2012-2013, according to sources. The process is viewed as ‘a rare case’ in Kuwait’s history, given the fact that it is yet to be enforced by a draft law in the Parliament owing to the present political situation. “Preparations are already underway after most state departments notified the ministry about their requirements for the next fiscal year,” said sources, adding that “the remaining departments will notify before the end of this month.” The Constitutional Court is also expected pass its verdict regarding the constitutionality of the electoral law after the Cabinet challenged the legality of constituencies’ distribution system. The 2009 Parliament, reinstated by a Constitutional Court ruling last June may not be dissolved until after the verdict is passed. Meanwhile, the Parliament has not been able to convene because the opposi-

tion rejects to convene with members facing corruption charges, while pro-government lawmakers on the other hand demand assurances from the Cabinet that a session is not going to be only held as a routine procedure before dissolution. The sources, who requested anonymity, estimated the new budget to remain at KD 24 billion, attributing the increase compared to last year’s budget to “pay raises and allowances enforced to public sector employees in the past year.” Separately, the Islamic Constitutional Movement is reportedly struggling to ‘take itself out of an ordeal’ created when it previously announced boycotting future elections. The issue was highlighted by a heated debate held between members recently, stemming from the realization that voters are likely to take part in elections held in a new distribution of constituencies despite the opposition’s rejection. “Some members believe that by boycotting the elections, the only party losing

would be the ICM itself, whereas its rivals as well as the government will benefit the most,” said sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. They further noted that voices within the group calling for boycotting are “starting to get weaker support, especially after senior members of the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society expressed disapproval of boycotting option.” The ICM is considered the political wing of the RIHS, sources said. In other news, member of the annulled 2012 parliament Nabeel Al-Fadhl continued to slam the opposition by questioning the real reasons behind failure of MPs Ahmad AlSaadoun and Musallam Al-Barrak in responding to attacks made by Dubai police chief Dhahi Al-Khalfan against Kuwait’s opposition bloc. “Al-Barrak might have been tied down by the fact that he currently is undergoing treatment in Dubai, whereas Al-Saadoun’s silence could be connected with the interests of his son Abdul-Aziz in the United Arab Emirates,” Al-Fadhl said.



Moves for achieving Arab vision for an urban future Sheikha Amthal holds talks with ministers

NAPLES: Chairperson of Kuwait’s Volunteer Center Sheikha Amthal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah discussed means of cooperation in the realm of sustainable development in Arab cities in the Sixth Session of the World Urban Forum currently held in the Southern Italian province of Naples. Sheikha Amthal, who is also President of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states’ Consultative Committee of the Human Settlement Organization (HABITAT), has met with the Saudi Minister for Municipal and Rural Affairs Prince Dr Mansour Bin Miteb Al-Saud and Bahrain’s Minister of Municipal and Agricultural Affairs Dr Jumaa Bin Ahamd Al-Kaabi, where they tackled achieving an Arab vision for an urban future within an international framework. This vision will follow guidelines discussed in the UN-Habitat State of the Arab Cities Report that was launched in Kuwait last May. In the opening session of the forum, Shiekha Amthal stressed the need to follow a UN strategy to rebuild after natural disasters and implement a network of communication to increase an overall effectiveness of joint action towards all issues of environment and sustainable development. The World Urban Forum was established by the UN to examine one of the most pressing problems facing the world today; rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. This year’s platform of discussion will examine four key areas: ‘Urban Planning: Institutions, Regulation for improving Quality of Life,’ ‘Equity and Prosperity: Distribution of Wealth and Opportunities,’ ‘Productive Cities: Competitive and Innovative Cities,’ and ‘Urban Job Creation and Urban Mobility, Energy and Environment.’ Earlier, Sheikha Amthal underlined the importance of the Sixth World Urban Forum deliberations in drawing a roadmap for better urban future. “The forum is an important opportunity to review and re-evaluate the goals and identify challenges facing the international efforts to

promote urban development,” Sheika Amthal said in a seminar held here on the sidelines of the Sixth World Urban Forum. She stressed the need for taking collective action by the international community and organizations to reach urban development goals. “This requires uniting and coordinating efforts to draw a roadmap for future action to create a better life for people around the globe, particularly in the disasters-stricken areas,” said Sheikha Amthal, also Chairwoman of Kuwait Human Settlements Committee. Earlier, Sheikha Amthal said the globalized action must be based on the high the interests of humanity. She shed light on the growing challenges facing the world due to the steadily growth of people who migrate to urban cities, expected to make up 60 percent of residents of human settlements in the coming two decades compared with only two percent of early nineteenth century. Sheikha Amthal noted that the new residents of urban communities must be provided with all proper services. Meanwhile, Sheikh Amthal lauded the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) support and promotion of urban development in poor, disasters and war-ravaged nations through special funds and organizations. She spoke highly about the GCC civil society and charity organizations’ efforts to protect the environment and promote sustainable development across the globe. Sheikha Amthal hailed GCC leaders, particularly His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, for their support to HABITAT, an urban and sustainable development projects in different parts of the world. She pointed out that UN-HABITAT’s choice of Kuwait to host its regional office was the result of the fruitful cooperation between Kuwait and all UN organizations, particularly UN-HABITAT, for a better future for all people of the world. Kuwait, through its Foreign Ministry, recently released the first comprehensive report on Arab cities, Sheikha Amathal said, adding that the international version of the

report will be revealed on the sidelines of the Six Urban World Forum. Sheikha Amthal pledged that she would work through the Gulf Consultative Human Settlements Committee to raise awareness and promote voluntary work to serve the urban communities in the Gulf region. Organized jointly by UN-Habitat, the Government of Italy, the Campania Region and the City of Naples, the theme for this year’s meeting is The Urban Future. Over 3,000 participants from 114 countries will take part in the premier conference on cities and urban issues. The four focus areas for discussion are: Urban Planning: Institutions and Regulations, including the improvement of Quality of Life; Equity and Prosperity: Distribution of Wealth and Opportunities; Productive Cities: Competitive and Innovative Cities and Urban Mobility, Energy and Environment. In parallel with these main dialogue sessions, there will also be an additional 160 networking, side and training events and the World Urban Forum exhibition will showcase some of the world’s leading cities and innovations in urban development. The exhibition, which will be open to delegates and the general public, is an opportunity to share experiences, best practices and innovative ways from all over the globe to improve cities. The World Urban Forum was established by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing problems facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. The Forum is one of the most open and inclusive gatherings of its kind on the international stage. It brings together participants from all over the world representing governments, academia, civil society and the private sector as partners working for better cities. Previous meetings were held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2002, Barcelona, Spain, in 2004, Vancouver, Canada, 2006, Nanjing, China, in 2008 and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2010. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Several citizens attended a gathering held at the Iradah Square Monday night, demanding that the government make earnest efforts to distribute homes to families placed on a waiting list. The gathering was organized by coordinators of a campaign called ‘Waiting for a Home,’ which pushes for the distribution of an average of 1,000 housing units a month to face increasing demand. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Probe into Salmiya resident’s mysterious death

KUWAIT: Acting Director of the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate, Brig Gen Yousuf Al-Ansari, met recently with Mohammad Al-Huwaitan, chairman of the board and managing director of the American Mattress Company, which recently volunteered to provide local fire stations with fireproof mattresses. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Zain renews strategic partnership with Loyac KUWAIT: Zain, the leading telecommunication company in Kuwait, has reinitiated its ongoing project together with their longstanding partner Loyac. Loyac and Zain aim to develop the talent of the country’s youth through various social initiatives. The project which is facilitated by Loyac Private Training and Consulting Company WLL, aims to develop the youth potential by honing their talents and by developing their skills for the benefit of the country’s economy. Omar Alomar CEO from Zain explained, “This is one of the most important projects for the nation’s youth who are be able to develop their talents by participating in various social programs.” Sponsoring the program for the ninth year consecutively demonstrates Zain’s commitment to support the youth, who have the skills and creative abilities to contribute to the growth of society. The program features the training of 50 students annually at Zain in addition to financial rewards given in recognition for their achievements. Alomar added further, “We believe in the synergy between our organization and the energies and unique skills of the nation’s youth. We are confident that they can offer a lot to Kuwait in the future by being a main contributor to the

growth of our Human Resources. Loyac, the main initiator of the program and a strategic partner to Zain, took students from several universities in Kuwait and invest in building their skills in the work field; adding a boost to their confidence by being more self-reliant. The program has also provided them with the necessary skills and experience to join the work force in the future. Omar said, “This project is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility program which we deem essential for achieving continued success in the community. Loyac and such programs are pivotal for strengthening the relationship between the company and the community in which it operates. Being one of the largest companies in the region, this program also demonstrates our commitment to providing a successful model for other private companies.” Zain showcases the establishment of a flexible model for various social programs that fur ther strengthen the bonds of communication and cooperation between individuals and society in all. Omar said, “We are a key partner of the Kuwaiti society and are an integral part of this community. We will further strengthen these ties by launching new programs that will better serve our society.”

Omar Al-Omar (center) with Waleed Khashti and Farea Al-Saqqaf

KUWAIT: Investigations are underway to solve the mystery behind the death of a Canadian woman whose body was found inside her 15th-floor apartment in Salmiya last Sunday. The victim’s Argentinian roommate called police when he returned home from a three-week business trip and couldn’t unlock the front door and did not receive a response from her. During investigations, the man, who has been sharing the apartment with the victim for three years, explained that she had stopped responding to his emails during the third week of his trip, adding that when he tried to call her, he found her phone switched off. The body was reportedly found inside the bathroom while the apartment’s door was locked from the inside. Police cleared the roommate of any involvement after they examined the emails exchanged between them during his trip. Detectives are now waiting for the autopsy report to determine the cause and time of death.

‘Married’ men held Police patrol officers arrested two men for engaging in homosexual acts inside a car at a cafe’s parking lot in Sulaibikhat. However, the two presented a 4year customary marriage contract to the police and said that they planned to complete marriage formalities in a European country which allows samesex marriages. The two will remain in custody at the police station pending proceedings to f a ce c ha rge s und e r t he Kuwaiti law which bans homosexual practices. Arab harasser An Arab man harassed four women inside a mall in Al-Rai and received an unexpected response from the shoppers, when they beat him up. He had to be eventually ‘rescued’ by security officers. The women, who were also Arab, managed to overpower him, knock him to the floor, and beat him up before the mall security intervened and stopped the melee.

Later, police arrived at the scene and escorted the four women and the man to the area police station; where the women pressed sexual harassment charges against him. Maid-turned-thief A search is on for a domestic helper accused of stealing jewellery and cash from her employer’s house before fleeing. A probe was ordered by Al-Zoor police station officers after the employer, a Kuwaiti woman, reported that her maid was absconding and at the same time she discovered her jewellery worth KD1,700 and KD700 in cash were missing from her bedroom closet. She pressed theft charges against the housemaid, accusing her of breaking into a drawer of the closet where the stolen items had been kept. Attempted murder Saad Al-Abdullah detectives are searching for two male suspects accused of brutally assaulting two other men for

unknown reasons. A probe was ordered after the Kuwaiti victims submitted medical reports, showing stab wounds and bruises, which they said they suffered during the assault. They explained that they were assaulted by two unknown men who forced them to pull over at a street near the area before attacking them with pocket knives. They provided descriptions of the suspects and the registration number of their car, which police later found was reported stolen. Contrabands in jail Five cell phones, in addition to an unidentified number of SIM cards and narcotics, were found hidden at the Central Jail on Monday. The items hidden in walls and air conditioning vents, were found during a crackdown by police who were acting on a tip-off that contrabands were hidden at ward no. 10 inside the prison, Al-Shahed daily reported yesterday. —Al-Rai, Al-Watan, Al-Anba

Brahimi to conduct talks on Syria in Cairo - Al-Araby CAIRO: Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby said yesterday that the UN-Arab League Syrian envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was to visit the Egyptian capital next Sunday to conduct talks on development of situations in Syria. In a press statement, Al-Araby noted that Brahimi would not be able to take part in League’s ministerial meeting next Wednesday due to his current busy schedule in the United Nations, as well as his upcoming meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The situations in Syria would be discussed from all angles during the Arab Ministerial Committee meeting, set to take place on Wednesday morning in Cairo, which would discuss required steps to support Brahimi’s mission, Al-Araby pointed out, adding that those steps would be submitted during the League’s ministerial meeting for an approval. Brahimi’s next Sunday visit to Cairo is the first of its kind since taking his new post, which was occupied by former envoy Kofi Annan. Meanwhile, UN high commission of refugees said that the number of refugees fleeing Syria rose sharply in August, with more than 100,000 people seeking asylum in surrounding countries - the highest monthly total of the Syria crisis to date. “According to Turkish authorities, there are currently 80,410 Syrian refugees in Turkey. Some refugees have returned to Syria reportedly due to ongoing shifts in conflict areas as

well as due to concerns for their property amid rumors of looting. Many indicate that they may have to return to Turkey depending on the security situation,” said Melissa Fleming, UNHCR Chief Spokesperson in a press briefing. Meanwhile there is still a backlog of Syrians waiting to be processed at the border with reportedly around 8000 waiting to cross. They are being given food, water, and medical assistance at the border and will be admitted to Turkey gradually. The Government of Turkey continues to assure UNHCR that the borders remain open to refugees. About 480 refugees were admitted from the border on Sunday. The government continues to transfer Syrian refugees staying in schools in several provinces to the new camp in Karkamis with over 4,000 already transferred in recent days. Meanwhile a new camp in Kahramanmaras opened yesterday and will host refugees staying in boarding schools in southern Turkey and newly arrived refugees. Fleming said, “Iraqi refugees in Syria continue to return to Iraq by the hundreds.Most tell us they are leaving because of general insecurity, although some have reported direct threats. During the weekend a taxi used by Iraqi families to return to Iraq was hijacked. According to UNHCR outreach workers three Iraqi refugees were killed last week in the Damascus suburb of Jaramana, increasing fear among the refugee population there.” According to the Iraqi Government 35,000

people returned to Iraq in July and August. UNHCR and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent continue to expand operations to support displaced Syrians. UNHCR has launched a programme of financial assistance for displaced families in Al Nabek, a town located between Damascus and Homs where large numbers of displaced people have sought safety.Yesterday 300 vulnerable families received cheques which they will cash at local banks. Based on the experience of supporting Iraqi refugees, and feedback from displaced families, financial assistance is proving to be the most effective way of supporting vulnerable families in the constrained security environment in much of Syria. UNHCR and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent hope to expand this programme to 35,000 families (around 200,000 people) in the coming months. To date 730 displaced families have benefitted, in addition to the 8,500 Iraqi refugee families (around 35,000 individuals) currently receiving financial assistance from UNHCR. Iraq has seen a significant increase in the number of Syrian Kurds arriving in the past week with an estimated 500 Syrians crossing a day, compared to 500 a week in the first three weeks of August. In the Kurdistan region the authorities have agreed to work with UNHCR on a programme for urban refugees. They have also agreed to the establishment of a second camp, which will mainly accommodate Syrian Kurds. — KUNA


India, China to resume joint military exercises

Stay away from territorial disputes, China warns US Page 9

Page 12

HOMS: An armed rebel fighter inspects damages by shelling in Homs, Syria. (Inset) Syrian President Bashar Assad (left) meets with Peter Maurer, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Damascus yesterday. — AFP

Red Cross chief in Syria mercy mission News

in brief

42 dead as bus crashes RABAT: At least 42 people were killed yesterday when a bus travelling between Marrakesh and Ouarzazate in southern Morocco plunged into a ravine, a security official said. All the victims were Moroccan, a local official said. “But we are still in the process of identifying the bodies, as well as the injured,” he added. The accident took place when the vehicle left a main road in Haouz province, around 100 kilometers south of Marrakesh, one of Morocco’s top tourist destinations. The crash also left some 25 people injured, who were taken to different hospitals in the region, according to a local official. The MAP news agency, which said the bus fell 150 meters, gave the same death toll of 42, saying that five of the victims died in hospital, and that 24 people were injured in the crash, four of them critically. It was the worst bus crash recorded in Morocco, which has a poor road safety record. Jilted lover kills 5 NEW DELHI: A jilted Indian upset over the marriage of his girlfriend to another man shot her and four others dead in a shooting spree in New Delhi before turning the gun on himself, a report said yesterday. The 25-yearold man, named as Ravi, shot his girlfriend, her new husband and her landlady in one location on Monday morning before travelling to a suburb to kill the girl’s father and sister, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Ravi, who had allegedly continued his relationship with his girlfriend even after her marriage over a year ago, was unhappy with her family who had prevented him from marrying her, a senior police official was quoted as saying. ‘DHL heroin racket’ DHAKA: Bangladesh police said yesterday they had busted a gang of suspected heroin smugglers who had been using international courier service DHL to ship drugs from Pakistan to London via Dhaka. Five men are accused of using the method at least 60 times since 2008, sending drugs via the post to London using Bangladesh as a transit point, assistant police commissioner Touhidul Islam said. “A Bangladeshi immigrant in Birmingham leads the gang. He buys heroin from Pakistan and sends it to Bangladesh in courier services. The drug is then delivered to London mostly via courier services,” Islam said. “Most of the time they used DHL to ship the heroin to London,” he said, according to information from one detainee, Shamsul Arefin, who is a cousin of the alleged ringleader. First lady hospitalized ABUJA: Nigerian First Lady Patience Jonathan has been receiving medical treatment in Germany for an illness suspected to have been food poisoning, a source in the presidency said yesterday. Local media have been rife with speculation over the 55-year-old first lady’s condition, but officials have not responded to requests for comment. “It is true that the first lady is ill. She was flown to Germany for medical treatment some 10 days ago,” a presidency source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. “Initially it was for food poisoning that we know of, but we learnt that she underwent surgery last week.

40 killed across Syria as violence rages ALEPPO: Red Cross chief Peter Maurer launched a mercy mission in Syria to seek greater protection for civilians yesterday, as opposition activists said rebel-held areas of second city Aleppo faced severe food shortages under a government offensive. Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, met President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus and expressed concern over the humanitarian situation in the war-torn country, ICRC spokesman Hisham Hassan said. In a 45-minute meeting, he urged respect for international humanitarian law, Hassan said in a statement, and stressed the need to ensure swift provision by the ICRC of humanitarian aid such as medical supplies and equipment to restore damaged water infrastructure. State television said Assad voiced support for the work of the ICRC in Syria so long as it remains “impartial and independent.” “President Assad assured (Maurer) that he welcomed the humanitarian operations carried out by the committee on the ground in Syria, as long as it remains impartial and independent,” the channel reported. Maurer arrived Monday evening in Damascus for his first visit to Syria since taking over the post on July 1. Besides Assad, he has also met with Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad and was scheduled to hold talks with other Syrian officials. The visit comes amid a surge in violence in the past weeks across Syria, where according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights more than 5,000 people were killed in the month of August alone. Also in August, more than 100,000 people fled the war-torn country to seek refuge in neighboring states, the UN refugee agency said yesterday, in the highest monthly figure since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011. The Britain-based Observatory, which relies on its information from a network of activists on the ground, said at least 40 people, half of them civilians, were killed in violence across Syria yesterday. It put Monday’s death toll at 153 - 81 civilians, including 19 children and 14 women, 42 soldiers and 30 rebels. ‘Deprive us of air’-An activist said rebel-held neighborhoods on the outskirts of Aleppo were struggling with severe food shortages due to the government offensive. “The regime prevents food from reaching the liberated areas (under rebel

control). Residents are forced to smuggle products from neighborhood to neighborhood,” said an activist in the opposition-held Sakhur district, giving his name only as Barra. “When I buy something, I have to go to several grocery stores and supermarkets before finding what I want: eggs, yoghurt, rice, children’s milk are almost non-existent. Markets are almost empty,” he told AFP via Skype. “It is difficult to find gas canisters also... it’s a real siege, collective punishment,” said the activist. “If the regime could deprive us of air, it would.” In sharp contrast, life returned to the streets of central Aleppo following advances by regime forces, an AFP reporter said. Shops were open for business and residents went about their errands in the city centre. On Monday, an entire family-including seven children-was killed when a government air raid hit their home in the heart of Aleppo, witnesses told an AFP correspondent in the city. A fighter jet also struck in nearby Al-Bab, killing at least nine people, according to doctors. Activists said that yesterday some outlying districts of the northern city were bombarded with artillery and mortars as was an area near Aleppo airport. In the capital Damascus, fighting broke out in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmuk yesterday between rebels and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Observatory said. Elsewhere in central Syria, a 15-year-old rebel was killed during clashes in Old Homs, in a city which has been devastated by shelling since the early days of the revolt. Monday’s air strikes came as the main opposition Syrian

Donors pledge $6.4 billion to aid Yemen RIYADH: A group of international donors pledged $6.4 billion of aid to Yemen yesterday to help the impoverished country rebuild after it was hit by political unrest and an insurgency waged by AlQaeda, a senior World Bank official said. Yemen is in a delicate transition to democracy. Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule formally ended in February when Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was elected under the terms of an agreement crafted by his Gulf neighbors, with US and United Nations backing. The deal envisages elections in 2014. “The total number is $6.396 billion, to fund the short term and portions of the long term,” Inger Andersen, vice president for the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank, said at a donors’ meeting in Riyadh. The figure includes $3.25 billion in aid already pledged earlier by Saudi Arabia, of which a $1 billion loan has been paid to Yemen’s central bank. The United States, which wants to prevent instability in Yemen from spreading in the oil-rich region, said it would provide $345 million in security, humanitarian and development assistance this year. The figure, contained in a speech by US Agency for International Development administrator Rajiv Shah that was distributed to media, was more than double last year’s figure. Of the total, $117 million will be in the form of humanitarian assistance, Shah’s speech said. Britain is to provide a grant of 196 million pounds ($312 million). The aid total pledged yesterday appeared to cover Yemen’s own estimate of the assistance it will need until the end of the election. A handout from Yemen’s Planning and International Cooperation Ministry said that by 2014, the country would need $300 million for a peaceful transfer of power, $445 million for security, $3.5 billion for humanitarian projects and reconstruction, and $470 million to stabilize the economy. —Agencies

National Council appealed to the international community for weapons and urgent military intervention to defend civilians from such attacks. “We need a humanitarian intervention and we are asking for military intervention for the Syrian civilians,” SNC chairman Abdel Basset Sayda said. “I have the duty of asking for weapons that will allow us to defend against the Syrian armor and weapons.” Meanwhile, the partner of Mika Yamamoto, a veteran Japanese war reporter shot dead in Aleppo on August 20, urged Damascus yesterday to investigate her death, saying she had been ambushed by pro-government forces. “I suspect the government side is afraid to see Western journalists, including us, report facts,” Kazutaka Sato told a news conference in Tokyo. According to the Observatory, more than 26,000 people have been killed in Syria since the revolt began 17 months ago-more than two-thirds of them civilians. The figures are impossible to verify.— AFP



Spanish police evict Moroccan immigrants from islet MADRID: Spanish security forces launched a night operation lasting into the early hours yesterday to evict 73 immigrants from a tiny islet just off Morocco, officials said. Spain’s Guardia Civil police acted after scores of immigrants landed in the past week on the bare, rocky surface of Isla de Tierra, which lies an easy swim off the beach and is about as long as two football pitches. Since the uninhabited rock is Spanish sovereign territory, Spain feared it could open a new doorway to immigrants desperate to reach Europe and escape poverty and unrest. “The Spanish Guardia Civil evicted them,” a Spanish interior ministry spokesman said. “Many of the immigrants did not want to go Morocco, but there was no need to use force nor any troubles,” the spokesman said. Sea conditions had calmed, allowing Spain to move in, he said. The operation was completed at 4.30 am. Before the 73 were evicted, Spain’s Guardia Civil had already moved 10 women and children off the islet to the Spanish territory of Melilla, he said. Melilla and Ceuta are two tiny Spanish exclaves in Morocco,


in brief

Don’t travel to southern India, Sri Lankans warned COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s government yesterday asked its citizens not to visit the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu until further notice because of increasing intimidation of Sri Lankans. The warning from the external affairs ministry follows an incident Monday in which 184 Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting a church in the state were mobbed and had to seek refuge in the church. Tamil Nadu is home to some 60 million Tamils who have ancestral links with Sri Lanka’s ethnic minority Tamils. The Indian Tamils have of ten expressed anger against Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese-dominated government and its alleged abuse of Tamils during the country’s civil war. About 200,000 Sri Lankans visit Tamil Nadu each year on business, leisure, education and pilgrimage. Political groups in the state continue to protest against training Sri Lankan military personnel in India and the state government sent back Sri Lankan football teams playing friendly matches in the state. The ministry’s warning said it regretted the intimidation of Sri Lankans visiting Tamil Nadu and advised citizens not to visit “in the interest of their security.” India’s external affairs ministry said meanwhile that the government has taken measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all Sri Lanka visitors. India’s ‘Hitler’ clothing store to change name AHMEDABAD: The owner of an Indian store called “Hitler” said yesterday he had agreed to drop the Nazi dictator’s name and re-brand his shop following protests from the Jewish community and the government. The shop, which sells Western menswear, opened in Ahmedabad city in the western state of Gujarat last month with “Hitler” spelled out in large white letters above the storefront, complete with a Swastika as the dot on the “i”. Members of the tiny Jewish community in Ahmedabad condemned the store’s name, while a senior Israeli official raised the matter with the state government. “I plan to change the store’s name very soon. There is tremendous pressure from the government and the Jewish community to drop the name,” Manish Chandani, co-owner of the store said. Chandani said he had not anticipated the shop would draw international attention and protests and that he had no intention of glorifying the German dictator. The shop’s name was chosen as a tribute to his grandfather, who was nicknamed Hitler for being a “very strict man,” he explained.”I will have to spend money from my pocket for re-branding the entire store. The logo, the hoarding and the business cards will be changed,” he said. Malaysians lose British court battle over 1948 ‘massacre’ LONDON: Relatives of 24 Malaysian rubber plantation workers killed by British troops in 1948 on yesterday lost their High Court battle for a full inquiry by the British government. Britain said last November it would not hold a formal probe into the Batang Kali killings in British-controlled Malaya, but the families’ lawyers claim there is enough evidence to justify an independent inquiry. British soldiers surrounded the Sungai Rimoh rubber estate in Batang K ali on December 12, 1948, shot the 24 workers and set the village on fire, London’s High Court heard. The incident, which has been referred to as “Britain’s My Lai” after the infamous Vietnam War massacre, happened during the so-called Malayan Emergency, when British troops conducted military operations against communist insurgents. The court heard that Britain’s 1964-1970 Labor government had launched a police investigation into the deaths, but the incoming Conservative administration dropped it in 1970, claiming a lack of evidence. The current British government argued that the decision not to hold an inquiry was reached lawfully. “There are no grounds for disturbing their conclusion,” Judge John Thomas said yesterday. But lawyers for the victims’ families claim that statements given by soldiers to the original investigation showed they admitted unlawful killing. ‘Supercop’ faces dismissal PARIS: A French “Supercop” appeared before a police disciplinary council yesterday on charges of associating with criminals and drug trafficking. Michel Neyret, 56, was the deputy police chief of Lyon and hailed for cutting drug crime and jewelry heists until his spectacular arrest in September last year. Neyret faces dismissal from the police force and could be stripped of his pension rights by the committee. Criminal charges against him are still pending. The charismatic policeman was detained for eight months before being released in May. He has since kept a low profile, living quietly in the east of France where he has to report regularly to a police station. Neyret is accused of accepting gifts and favors from members of the Lyon underworld.

the only land frontier between Africa and Europe. Rabat considers Ceuta and Melilla, held by Spain since 1580 and 1496, to be “occupied”. Madrid refuses any discussion on the subject, which regularly poisons relations between the two nations. Spain enlisted Morocco’s help in the operation, however, fearing that a sprinkling of uninhabited Spanish-owned rocks off the coast off Morocco could become a new destination for immigrants. “The eviction was handled entirely by the Guardia Civil but obviously together with Morocco because the Guardia Civil handed the immigrants over to their Moroccan counterparts,” the Interior Ministry spokesman said. “The object is not so much to have to act like this but to avoid more immigrants arriving on Spanish rocks,” he said. Photographs in the online editions of Spanish dailies El Pais and El Mundo showed Guardia Civil apparently ferrying the immigrants to land by dinghy. Immigrants, some in handcuffs, were shown in the hands of police as they waded the final few meters to the beach to waiting Moroccan security

forces. In Rabat, Moroccan authorities said two immigrants had been lightly injured in the operation. An official of the Moroccan security forces said some 70 sub-Saharan migrants had been sent back to Morocco and “taken charge of ” by the security forces. According to the official, the immigrants had crossed into Morocco from Algeria and would be expelled. Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said Monday he was convinced the immigrants’ arrival on the islet was coordinated by “mafia who traffic human beings”. The stakes are high for Spain and the European Union because hundreds of people have gathered on the Moroccan side of Ceuta and Melilla hoping for a chance to escape poverty and conflict. Spanish authorities said Morocco’s King Mohammed VI played a decisive role in agreeing to help deal with the immigrants, and they hoped for further cooperation to prevent a repetition. “The joint response of the Spanish and Moroccan governments, and the European Union, is to say ‘That’s enough’ to those who traffic

ISLA DE TIERRA: A picture shows the Spanish sovereign territory of Isla de Tierra just off the coast of Al Hoceima in north Morocco yesterday. Spanish security forces launched a night time operation yesterday to evict 73 immigrants from the tiny, rocky islet just off Morocco. — AFP human beings, endangering the lives Spanish prefect in Melilla, Abdelmalik of the most vulnerable like pregnant El Barkani, told Spanish public radio women and young children,” the yesterday.— AFP

Strained Syria army calls up reserves; Some flee Deserters fear they will ‘kill or be killed’

DAMASCUS: Syria is calling up former soldiers from the reserves to active army service in growing numbers, a sign of the strain of efforts to crush the 17month-old revolt against President Bashar Al-Assad. Several fleeing reservists and a serving army officer said that thousands of men had been called up in the past two months to bolster the 300,000 strong army, and many of them are failing to report for duty. “We have two choices: Stay and kill fellow Syrians, or desert, and be on the run from military courts,” said a legal assistant summoned for duty in Damascus. Like others interviewed for this article, he asked not to be identified for security reasons. One army officer contacted in Homs said he believed that only half of those called up in recent months had reported for duty, although it was not possible to verify that figure or ascer tain whether other units had experienced similar levels of reservists failing to report. The officer said many units had suffered heavy losses battling rebels. “There is a shortage of men. A lot of fighters have been killed, and we have desertions,” he said by telephone, sighing. Most Syrian men are required to serve in the army for two years when they turn 18 or after finishing university. After a man has served, he remains in the reserves and can be called up for active duty. Syria’s conflict has killed more than 20,000 people. Fleeing reservists said that whatever their political stance, they did not want to be part of the country’s civil war. The fighting has intensified in the past two months, with rebels, often led by army defectors, launching advances in the capital Damascus and

commercial hub Aleppo despite being massively outgunned by one of the region’s best-equipped armies. Syrian authorities, who say they are fighting foreign-backed terrorists, have not given full details of military casualties. One anti-Assad monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says nearly 6,000 soldiers and members of the security forces have been killed. The Homs officer said reservists had

been called up from the reserves. Some deserters dare not leave their homes, fearing neighbors who might report them. The legal assistant, who became a reservist after finishing his required military service in Syria’s special forces two years ago, said he was stopped at a checkpoint in the capital and taken to an army reser ve centre outside Damascus for a two-week training session. He said he ran away from his train-

MAREA: A Syrian rebel fighter prepares his AK-47 before going on patrol in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo yesterday. — AP been called up for several months but demand had risen in the past two months, especially since the surge in fighting in Damascus and Aleppo. “We have yet to need full army mobilization. But if the situation deteriorates in the coming months, we may need it. The country is in a state of war and we need everyone’s help.” Residents in Damascus say checkpoints across the city now inspect young men’s IDs to check they are not fleeing army service or have not

ing camp one night, and is now in hiding. Syrian law requires men who served in the military to get army approval for passports, state jobs and even marriage licenses, which makes it more difficult for reservists to avoid a call-up. Fadi, a former artillery specialist, said he was called by the army for active duty and given 48 hours to prepare to leave his coastal city of Tartous. “I was terrified. I don’t want my baby daughter to grow up fatherless. My wife is crying

Pro-settler vandals attack a monastery

JERUSALEM: Vandals set fire to the doors of a Christian monastery in the Israeli-occupied West Bank yesterday and daubed pro-settler graffiti on its walls in a possible retaliation for the eviction of families from an unauthorized outpost. The name of the unauthorized Migron outpost, cleared of Israeli settlers following a cour t order on Sunday, was scrawled on the well-known 19th century Latrun Monaster y, alongside the words insulting Jesus in Hebrew, said police. Israeli security officials had said they were worried Sunday ’s eviction of 50 families from Migron, in another part of the West Bank near Ramallah, might provoke more attacks from a vigilante settler group known as “Price Tag”. The “Price Tag” name refers to retribution some Israeli settlers say they will exact for any attempt by their government to curb settlement in the West Bank, an area Palestinians seek as part of a future state. The group has targeted mosques and, less commonly, Christian churches, seeing any nonJewish religious sites as an intrusion on the land. Palestinian Christian academic Bernard Sabella said the attack, and others like it, had been carried out by “groups of extremist Jews who do not want Muslims or Christians to remain in this country”. Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat issued a statement accusing the Israeli government of not doing enough to prosecute the attackers. An Israeli rabbi from a liberal wing of Judaism visited the monastery and

LATRUN: A catholic priest looks at anti-Christian graffiti written in Hebrew at the Latrun Trappist Monastery where Israeli police say vandals overnight have spray-painted anti-Christian and pro-settler graffiti and set the monastery’s door on fire, in Latrun, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. —AP called the attack an “ugly event”. “As a rabbi and as an Israeli citizen I am ashamed today and I am deeply troubled by the fact that this is not the first time that such an event takes place in Israel, “Rabbi Gilad K ar iv, t he head of the I s ra el M ove m e n t fo r R e fo r m a n d Progressive Judaism, told Reuters Television. “We need to make sure that the other faiths, other communities feel secure here,” Kariv added. The Latrun monaster y is near Jerusalem on land Israel captured in

a 1967 war, and then annexed, in a step that has never been recognized internationally. It is surrounded by a valley where fighting took place in t wo Arab -Israeli wars. Police said they had launched an investigation into the attack . Vandals attacked Jerusalem’s 11th Century Monastery of the Cross and a Ba ptis t chu rch in the cit y in Februar y. Israeli human rights groups have accused the authorities of being slow to punish the perpetrators.— Reuters

non-stop. If I have to be on the run for the rest of my life, I won’t report for duty,” he said. A member of Assad’s minority Alawite sect, Fadi, 30, is trying to find a way to bribe a security officer to let him flee the countr y. Many Alawites like Fadi have stood by Assad, fearing sectarian retribution from the Sunni Muslim majority leading the revolt. “If my community found out what I was trying to do, they would call me a traitor,” he said. “No one would help me hide.” The army officer in Homs said men under 30 or men who had recently completed their army service were being called up by military headquarters first, as well as men who had specialized in artillery or armored vehicles units. Even opponents of Assad have been called up. Tamouz, a 28-year-old playwright who was arrested earlier this year for opposition activism, said he was called up for military service last week and fled the next day. “I did my service in the infantry,” he said. “Nowadays, that basically means: ‘Go, die.’” Syrian state television shows video loops of young soldiers shooting their weapons and marching in training drills to the sound of the national anthem, “Protectors of the Home.” The legal assistant said that before he escaped he had trained with 200 conscripts from all around the country. “The officer training us tried to raise our spirits, he would smile and play patriotic songs. Some people seemed excited, but most of us were scared and felt deflated.” Once neutral, he said he was forced to pick sides in the conflict after his callup, and is now working with the opposition. “Why should we spend our whole lives serving the Assad family?”— Reuters

Stench of death in Syria’s second city ALEPPO: Six rotting corpses lie on a road in Saif AlDawla, a district of Aleppo whose high ground was conquered by regime forces in what the army called a turning point in the battle for Syria’s second city. “It was very difficult because the terrorists had occupied the two malls on either side of the street and could use them to terrorize the surroundings,” says a colonel who accompanied AFP journalists on a tour of the war-wracked district. Syrian troops and officials have branded the rebels “terrorists” ever since they took up arms against President Bashar AlAssad’s forces after the first anti-regime protests broke out in March 2011. All that remains of the two 10-storey malls are their carcass-like frames, their blue-green facades pulverized. In between gaps in the structures, children’s clothes are seen hanging from a rail. “We had to put up heavy fire to create a diversion and allow a squad to enter the building. Then we fought our way up floor by floor and at the top we found rifles with sights used by snipers,” says the officer. Trucks and taxis in the street outside sit motionless, windscreens riddled with bullet holes. In the stone buildings either side of the avenue, apartments are charred inside and out. But Saif Al-Dawla, in the west of Syria’s second city of Aleppo, 355 kilometers north of the capital Damascus, is far from secured. As a precaution the colonel and his men march in a single file with journalists, sticking close to the walls of the buildings for protection. On a side street soldiers carry out the body of a fallen comrade, wrapped in a yellow sheet, after he had been killed by a round of anti-tank fire. About 50 meters further down, the street turns into enemy territory. “They still have a presence ... but the rebels on Saturday lost the strategic advantage they had when they occupied the two towers,” says another officer. A commander picks up a school exercise book found in an apartment occupied by the rebels. On the first pages are details of the shifts which the rebels occupying the two malls had worked, including their hours off. One column reads, for example, Abu Firas, his hours and his nationality. The notebook appears to show that half of them were foreign fighters-Libyans, Tunisians, Turks, Yemenis an Chechensand the other half Syrians. —AFP



Why does Social Security need 174,000 bullets? WASHINGTON: It didn’t take long for the Internet to start buzzing with conspiracy theories after the Social Security Administration posted a notice that it was purchasing 174,000 hollow-point bullets. Why is the agency that provides benefits to retirees, disabled workers, widows and children stockpiling ammunition? Whom are they going to use it on? “It’s not outlandish to suggest that the Social Security Administration is purchasing the bullets as part of preparations for civil unrest,” the website said. Another website, The Daily Caller, said the bullets must be for use against American citizens, “since the SSA has never been used overseas to help for-

eign countries maintain control of their citizens.” The clamor became such a distraction for the agency that it dedicated a website to explaining the purchase. The explanation, it turns out, isn’t as tantalizing as an arms buildup to defend against unruly senior citizens. The bullets are for Social Security’s office of inspector general, which has about 295 agents who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes, said Jonathan L. Lasher, the agency’s assistant IG for external relations. The agents carry guns and make arrests - 589 last year, Lasher said. They execute search warrants and respond to threats against Social Security offices, employees and customers. Agents carry

.357 caliber pistols, Lasher said. The bullets, which add up to about 590 per agent, are for the upcoming fiscal year. Most will be expended on the firing range. Some bloggers have taken issue with the type of ammunition the agency is buying, questioning why agents need hollow-point bullets. Hollow-points are known for causing more tissue damage than other bullets when they hit a person because they expand when they enter the body. The bullets, however, are standard issue for many law enforcement agencies, Lasher said, a fact confirmed by the directors of two law enforcement training centers. “For practice ammunition, they do not have to be hollow-

points, but hollow-points are the normal police round used for duty ammunition due to their ability to stop when they hit an object as opposed to going through it and striking more objects,” said William J. Muldoon, president of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training. The episode illustrates what can happen when a seemingly salacious tidbit gets amplified and embellished on the Internet. A few weeks ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had a similar dustup when it solicited bids for 46,000 rounds of ammunition and shooting targets, seemingly to arm workers at

the National Weather Service. It turns out the notice had a clerical error and the bullets were for NOAA’s Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, the agency said. Social Security’s turn in the pillory hit a crescendo when Jay Leno joked about it in a recent monologue on “ The Tonight Show.” “What senior citizens are they worried about?” Leno asked. “I mean, who’s going to storm the building?” Lasher said, “That’s why we opened a blog post. We were getting a lot of inquiries and the blog gave us a vehicle to put all of the accurate information out there in one place, so that those who are interested or concerned can read what the real story is.” — Reuters

Stay away from territorial disputes, China warns US Sea disputes shadow Washington-Beijing ties

CHARLOTTE: First Lady Michelle Obama waves as she appears at the podium for a camera test on the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. —AP

Democrats kick off convention US First Lady fires the first shots CHARLOTTE: Democrats kicked off their 2012 convention yesterday, with First Lady Michelle Obama firing the first shots of a three-day salvo aimed at breaking the electoral deadlock with Republicans. With just 63 days until Americans decide who will occupy the Oval Office for the next four years, the First Lady will make the case it should be her husband, the country’s first black president. Michelle, who is more popular than the president, is expected to woo women voters, an effort to eke out any advantage in a race marked by too-close-to-call polls and a dearth of undecided voters. Her speech comes four years after she vowedbefore a stadium full of delegates in Denver, Colorado-that Barack Obama, despite his “funny name,” would make an “extraordinary president.” Today, with economic malaise casting serious doubt on that claim, Democrats gather in Charlotte in the battleground state of North Carolina for an event that provides a vital nationwide platform seen just once every four years. Their first task will be to counter the cutting Republican charge that, though his election was historic and rightly celebrated, Obama’s presidency has been a bust. After last week’s Republican convention, some Democrats spot a fresh opening to win that argument. Hopes in the Romney camp that their Tampa-based convention would help him nose ahead in the White House race were dimmed by new polling data by Gallup, showing little change. Forty percent of adults asked over the last three days said the convention had made them more likely to vote for Romney in November’s election, but a similar 38 percent said events in Florida made them less likely to back him. Obama led the man trying to deny him a second term by 47 percent to 46 percent in Gallup’s latest daily tracking poll, which has rarely strayed beyond the margin of error since Romney became the presumptive nominee in April. Though cheered by polling data, Democrats were also trying to put out the latest campaign brush fire, after several top party figures struggled to answer on Sunday whether

Americans were better off after four years of Obama. “America is better off today than they (Republicans) left us,” said Vice President Joe Biden, campaigning in Michigan. “Let me just sum it up this way... Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.” But Republican vice-presidential hopeful Paul Ryan, in a raid into North Carolina ahead of the Democratic convention, drew comparisons between Obama and one-term Democratic president Jimmy Carter, who was felled by a poor economy. “The president can say a lot of things, and he will, but he can’t tell you that you’re better off. Simply put, the Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we are right now.” In a sign of how close the Obama campaign believes the race remains, the president continued a four-day “Road to Charlotte” tour taking in territory that will decide November’s election. He has already visited Iowa and Colorado and landed in New Orleans on Monday to tour areas stricken by Hurricane Isaac last week. Obama will travel to another swing state, Virginia before flying into Charlotte, North Carolina, today on the eve of his big Democratic National Convention address. Obama will try to revive the old magic tomorrow as he did in 2008, by leaving the confines of a convention hall for a huge outdoor football stadium packed with 70,000 people. He will defend his crusade for change, highlighting his historic health care reform and his orders to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military, to withdraw troops from Iraq, to decimate Al-Qaeda and kill Osama bin Laden. Obama will call for higher taxes on the rich and for safeguarding health care for the elderly, hoping to come off as more sympathetic to the middle class than that of multi-millionaire Romney. The Democratic Party meanwhile released its campaign platform late Monday, contrasting the president’s approach to that of rival Republicans, who have vowed to slash government spending and ease regulations. — AFP

BEIJING: China warned the United States not to get involved in South China Sea territorial disputes yesterday as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Beijing pledging to pass on a strong message on the need to calm regional tension. The last time Clinton visited the Chinese capital, plans to highlight improving US-China ties were derailed by a blind Chinese dissident whose dramatic flight to the US embassy exposed the deeply uneasy relationship. The irritants this time are disputes over tiny islets and craggy outcrops in oil- and gas-rich areas of the South and East China Seas that have set China against US regional allies such as the Philippines and Taiwan. As Clinton travelled back to Beijing yesterday, US officials say the message is once again one of cooperation and partnership and an important chance to compare notes during a year of political transition. But the unease remains, sharpened by disputes in the South and East China Seas that have rattled nerves across the region and led to testy exchanges with Washington just as the Obama administration “pivots” to the Asia-Pacific region following years of military engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chinese Foreign Ministr y spokesman Hong Lei suggested at a daily news briefing that Washington was not a helpful force in the maritime disputes. “We have noted that the United States has stated many times that it does not take sides,” he said when asked

about the US role. “We hope that the United States will abide by its promises and do more that is beneficial to regional peace and stability, and not the opposite.” Chinese newspapers, including Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, have suggested the South China Sea territorial claims are among Beijing’s “core national interests” - a term suggesting they share the same importance as sovereignty over Tibet and Xinjiang. Hong did not directly answer a question about whether that was the government’s official position. “China, like any other country in the world, has the duty to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said. WITHOUT COERCION In Jakarta on Monday, Clinton urged China and its Southeast

Asian neighbors to move quickly on a code of conduct for the South China Sea and stressed that disputes should be resolved “without coercion, without intimidation, without threats and certainly without the use of force”.. But progress has been thwarted in recent months by China’s increasingly assertive posture, which has included establishing a garrison on a disputed island and stepping up patrols of contested waters. That suggests Beijing has no intention of backing down on its unilateral claim to sovereignty over a huge stretch of ocean and potentially equally large energy reserves. Clinton faces a balancing act, pushing on the territorial disputes while keeping cooperation on track on other issues including reining in the North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs, the Syria crisis and eco-

BEIJING: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (right) meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing yesterday. — AP

nomic disputes that have long bedeviled the two countries. “One of the challenges before us is to demonstrate how we deal with areas in which we have different perceptions and where we face challenging issues on the ground, or in this case on the water,” one senior US official said. But some Chinese media have been blunt in their opposition to Clinton. The Global Times, a popular, nationalist tabloid, accused her of “deeply intensifying mutual suspicion”. “Many Chinese people dislike Hillary Clinton,” it said in an editorial. “She has brought new and extremely profound mutual distrust between the mainstream societies of the two countries, and removing that will not be easy.” WHAT NEXT? Clinton will today meet outgoing President Hu Jintao and Vice President Xi Jinping, the man who will likely succeed him as paramount leader following a Communist Party congress this year. Xi visited the United States in February on a get-acquainted tour and US officials expect him to be a steady-handed leader. But concerns over China’s fastexpanding influence and its belligerent tone in the regional disputes have Washington scrambling to assess how Beijing’s political stars are lining up. China, too, has its concerns and has pushed back against US attempts to referee the South China Sea dispute and insert itself into similar rows between China, Japan and South Korea over islands in the East China Sea. — Reuters

Highlights of Democratic Party election platform CHARLOTTE: The Democratic Party late on Monday unveiled its election platform, a nonbinding political document that party delegates will vote to adopt at the national convention in Charlotte. The document highlights a sharp divide in the economic and cultural agendas of the Democratic and Republican parties going into the November election. The platform seeks higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans, backs same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to have an abortion. Below are some principles highlighted in the document called “Moving America Forward.” SAME-SEX MARRIAGE The Democratic Party platform supports gay marriage and equal rights for gay couples, marking a significant change from the party and Obama’s stance four years ago. The party’s platform calls for a full repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and is against constitutional amendments seeking to define marriage as between one man and one women, as the Republican platform supports. “We also

support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference,” the platform document said. ABORTION The platform supports a woman’s right to seek a “safe and legal” abortion, regardless of her ability to pay. “We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right,” the platform said. “Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy-there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way.” The Republican Party’s anti-abortion platform states that an unborn child has a fundamental right to life and makes no exceptions for pregnancies as a result of rape or incest. MEDICARE The Democratic Party opposes Republican plans to overhaul Medicare, the popular government-run healthcare program for the elderly, which Republicans argue is unsustainable.

Azerbaijan rejects US criticism amid tension BAKU: Azerbaijan yesterday brushed aside US criticism after it pardoned a soldier who axed an Armenian officer to death in a decision which sparked a soaring of tensions between the exSoviet enemies. In a telephone conversation with a senior official from the US State Department, which had said it was “extremely troubled” by the pardon, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov appeared to blame Armenia for the murder. Mammadyarov told US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns that the case was “directly related” to the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh in the 1990s. He said that it must be “taken into account” that pardoned killer Ramil Safarov was a

refugee from Karabakh. “Ramil Safarov and his family, like a million other Azerbaijanis, are forced refugees and as a result of ethnic cleansing, they were expelled from their homes. First of all, this must be taken into account,” Mammadyarov said in comments released by his press service. “Indeed, the efforts must be focused on rapid withdrawal of (Armenian) occupation forces from Karabakh,” he said. Azerbaijan last week pardoned Safarov after he was extradited from Hungary, where he had been serving a life sentence for the killing the Armenian in Budapest in 2004. Safarov was also promoted to the rank of major, given a house and eight years’ worth of back-pay after returning home to a hero’s welcome, in defiance

of assurances from Baku to Budapest that he would serve out his term in Azerbaijan. The US, EU and Russia all expressed concerns that the move would escalate tensions. “We condemn any action that fuels regional tensions,” the US State Department said last week. Armenia yesterday said that the incident had damaged the peace process over Karabakh, where no final deal has been signed since the 1994 ceasefire and gunfights still claim lives on the frontline. “The international community must not allow Azerbaijan to continue its adventurist policy which threatens not only regional but also international security and stability,” Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian told a news conference. — AFP

“We will block Republican efforts to subject Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market through privatization,” the platform document said, adding that nearly 50 million Americans rely on the program yearly. The platform backs Obama’s signature healthcare law. Its supporters say it improves care and benefits and aims to find cost savings by lowering reimbursements to hospitals and insurers and eliminating waste. In other sections the platform calls for building on the healthcare law, which the Republican platform vows to work to repeal. TAXES Democrats call in their platform for extending tax cuts for the families who earn less than $250,000. The platform document notes the typical family has saved $3,600 during Obama’s first term. Obama is also fighting to extend tax relief for working families and people paying for college, while asking the wealthiest and corporations to “pay their fair share”-a common refrain in his election pitch to voters. — Reuters



Impunity for the rich and famous leaves Thais outraged BANGKOK: A dented silver Ferrari, a dead Thai policeman whose body was dragged for 200 meters under its wheels, a family driver ready to take the fall for the wealthy 27-year-old heir to the world-famous Red Bull energy drink empire. This was the story splashed across the front pages in Thailand on Tuesday and a hot topic on web boards, where the common assumption was that a culture of impunity for the wealthy business and political elite would once again prevail. Vorayuth Yoovidhya, a grandson of the late founder of Red Bull, billionaire Chaleo Yoovidhya, had initially fled the scene but later confessed to hitting the policeman, police said. He was released hours later on 500,000 baht ($16,000) bail. Though Vorayuth has yet to appear in court, there seemed little faith among the public that justice would be served. “Jail is only for the poor. The rich never get punished. Find a scapegoat,” said one of a stream of comments posted on the popular Thai website, Another on news site read: “He’ll probably just get a suspended sentence. What’s the cost of a life?” Suspended jail terms do seem to be the norm for politically powerful or well-connected Thais. In July, in the space of five days, two ruling party

lawmakers and a former deputy prime minister were found guilty of defamation and received suspended sentences, while speaker of the senate Teeradej Meepien was adjudged to have illegally awarded himself monthly meeting allowances when he served as chief ombudsman. Teeradej won’t be seeing a jail cell. Neither will underage driver Orachorn Thephasadin na Ayudhya, given a suspended two-year prison sentence on Friday for causing the deaths of nine people in 2010 when the car she was driving collided with a passenger van. That case caused outrage on social media over how a young girl with an aristocratic family name managed to escape jail and emerged with only a seven-year driving ban. ‘CULTURAL NORMS’ “What many of these cases have in common is that the immediate reaction of those responsible is ‘how can I get away with it?’,” said Voranai Vanijaka, a political and social commentator for the Bangkok Post newspaper. “It’s who you know, not what you know and it’s now a cultural norm. People believe the rich and the connected will get away with it. Thais are disgusted, but we accept it.” Many cases don’t even get to court,

with some ministers or top bureaucrats found to have been involved in corruption losing their jobs but facing no criminal action. Sometimes, a simple apology suffices. Just last week, a popular actress accused of tax evasion,

Chermarn “Ploy” Boonyasak, wept before the media and blamed her accountant for an honest mistake, despite reportedly posting a photograph of herself on social media with the son of a former bureaucrat over-

BANGKOK: Thai police officers look at a motorcycle and a Ferrari car that involved in a hit-and-run accident during investigations at Thong Lor police station on Monday. (Inset) Worayuth Yoovidhya, the 27-year-old grandson of late Red Bull founder Chaleo Yoovidhaya, is seen after his arrest. — AP

seeing the revenue department, bearing the message “don’t mess with us”. The “honest mistake” argument was also used by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2001, when he was acquitted of concealing 4.5 billion baht of his wealth behind the names of four domestic servants and a businessman. In a separate case, Thaksin, who was overthrown in a 2006 coup, was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison for a conflict of interest in 2008 but fled into exile. Thaksin claims the sentence, and other pending cases, are politically motivated. Conflicts of interest are common complaints in Thailand. The transfer last month of the son of Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung-who oversees the police force-from the military to the police caused a stir among opposition politicians, but not just because of alleged nepotism. Duang Yoobamrung was famously acquitted in 2004 of shooting dead a decorated policeman in a crowded nightclub because of insufficient evidence. Duang was discharged by the military for desertion, having fled to Malaysia to avoid arrest, but he was reinstated several years later. According to media reports, Duang has been assigned to work for the Metropolitan Police as a shooting instructor. — Reuters

UK’s PM reshuffles ailing government Cameron seeks reboot

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia: A woman plays with a pigeon in Central Square prior to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) yesterday. — AFP

Moscow asserts Pacific power at APEC summit VLADIVOSTOK: Russia, which hosts its first annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit this week, is seeking to assert its presence in the fastgrowing region during troubled European economic times. President Vladimir Putin championed hosting the summit not in Moscow or Saint Petersburg but in the Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok, in what the Kremlin hopes will be a symbol of Russia’s status as a major Pacific power. Key members of APEC include Chinawith whom Moscow has had historically tricky relations-and Japan which is embroiled in a bitter territorial dispute with Russia. But the Kremlin is hoping for major economic gains by playing a bigger regional role. “Russia’s share in total regional (Asia-Pacific) trade is around one percent. Clearly this neither corresponds to Russia’s political profile nor its economic interests,” said Gennady Ovechko, Russia’s envoy to APEC. The potential is huge-Russia is looking to diversify its exports of natural resources at a time when the expanding Asian economies are hungry for oil and gas imports. Russia has long looked on Europe as its main foreign commercial partner and turned its back on Asia, considering players like China to be a threat

and expressing concern about Asian labor migration to its de-populating Far East. But the woes afflicting the eurozone appear to have made Russia rethink its stance and realize that a rebalancing towards the east was indispensable. From now on, “the rhythm of economic growth in Russia will depend on that of APEC,” Russian Finance Minister Anton Silunaov said last week ahead of the APEC leaders’ summit on September 8-9. In a sign of the summit’s importance, Russia has pulled out all the stops to host the event, investing $20 billion and building two bridges spanning the port, an airport terminal and a new airport railink. “Russia will try and use the chance of the Asia-Pacific Cooperation forum summit to change its image and appear not only as a European country but as an Asia-Pacific state,” said Vasily Mikheyev of the Institute for the World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO). Russia is hosting the summit in newlybuilt facilities on Russki Island just off Vladivostok after a massively ambitious project that troubled some officials who would have preferred to see the event hosted in more developed Russian cities. But “holding the summit in Vladivostok is a symbolic choice,” said Dmitry Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Centre. — AP

UK Christians take their case to European Court STRASBOURG: Four practicing Christians took their cases alleging discrimination because of their faith to the European Court of Human Rights yesterday after British courts ruled against their complaints. British Airways employee Nadia Eweida, 61, and Nadia Eweida, a 57-year-old geriatrics nurse, said British law did not sufficiently protect their rights to freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination at work. They complained that their employers placed restrictions on their visibly wearing Christian crosses around their necks while at work as this violated company rules. The two lodged claims with the Employment Tribunal complaining in particular of discrimination on religious grounds but those were rejected. The tribunal found that the visible wearing of a cross was not a requirement of the Christian faith but Eweida’s personal choice and that she had failed to establish that British Airways’ uniform policy had put Christians in general at a disadvantage. An appeal was also rejected and the Supreme Court refused her leave to appeal in May

2010. Chaplin’s claim was also rejected in May 2010, the Tribunal holding that the position of the hospital which employed her had been based on health and safety rather than religious grounds. There was therefore no evidence that anyone other than the applicant had been put at particular disadvantage. The two other cases were brought by Lilian Ladele, 52, and Gary McFarlane, 51, who believe that homosexual relationships are contrary to God’s law and that it is incompatible with their beliefs to do anything to condone homosexuality. As a registrar of the London Borough of Islington from 1992 to 2009 Ladele refused to sign an amended contract, after the Civil Partnership Act came into force in the United Kingdom in December 2005 and she was informed that she would be required to officiate at civil partnership ceremonies between same-sex couples. McFarlane worked as a therapist but his superiors and colleagues expressed concern that there was conflict between his religious beliefs and his work with same-sex couples. — AFP

LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron kept his unpopular finance minister George Osborne in a reshuffle of his cabinet yesterday that he hopes will revive the Conservative-led government’s fortunes in the middle of a term dominated by recession. Cameron’s office has billed the rejig as a game changer but heavyweights such as Foreign Secretary William Hague are seen staying put and few changes are expected in policy. The prime minister’s scope for a sweeping overhaul is limited by the constraints of life in coalition with the left-leaning Liberal Democrats and the danger of creating powerful enemies in his Conservatives at a delicate time for the party. Osborne, a close Cameron ally, was booed by crowds before he presented medals to Paralympics winners on Monday night, highlighting discontent with budget cuts that have repeatedly missed the government’s targets and the general economic gloom. “He’s definitely staying put,” a source familiar with the reshuffle discussions said. Polls show many Britons think Osborne should be sacked but replacing too many senior ministers could be interpreted as an admission of policy failure, particularly on the economy. Cameron is expected instead to beef up his economic team by giving Justice Secretary Ken Clarke - a former finance minister - a new role with an economics brief. Lib Dem David Laws, another respected economic brain, was also likely to be given a ministerial role. INTERNAL DISCIPLINE The reshuffle is expected to be more of an exercise in improving Cameron’s relationship

with his party, with positions for high flyers from the Conservative populist right and even its “eurosceptic” wing which demands a tougher line on Brussels. Government officials argue that shifting Osborne from his post would raise questions on financial markets about Cameron’s resolve in tackling Britain’s large budget deficit. Cameron, who has seen his party’s popularity fall as the economy sours, has stuck to his guns with austerity, hoping that growth will return before the next parliamentary election in 2015. Osborne’s March budget cut taxes for the richest while raising levies on the elderly, lead-

ing to criticism the coalition was out of touch with those at the bottom of the ladder struggling in the downturn. In one of two early confirmed changes, Cameron moved International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell to take charge of internal party discipline in parliament. Mitchell, a former UN peace keeper, will become “Chief Whip,” tasked with keeping in line restive Conservative backbench politicians who have already forced a U-turn over constitutional reform and want to rewrite Britain’s relationship with the European Union. Theresa Villiers was appointed as Northern Ireland minister. — Reuters

LONDON: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at No. 10 Downing Street in central London yesterday before announcing his first cabinet reshuffle. — AFP


in brief

‘Mind your manners’ BRUSSELS: The people of the Belgian capital will have to mind their manners carefully from now on, with the city authorities ready to levy fines of up to 250 euros for insults traded on the streets. “Any form of insult is from now on punishable, whether it be racist, homophobic or otherwise,” a spokesman yesterday quoted Socialist mayor Freddy Thielemans as saying. Brussels, home to the EU and many top international institutions, is known for its family-friendly and cultivated lifestyle but the mayor wants to crack down on the everyday unpleasantness found in any big city. To do so, officials came to an agreement with judicial authorities to impose fines of between 75 and 250 euros ($95-320) for insults, petty theft and rough jostling where no physical harm is caused. The spokesman for the mayor said the courts up to now had been too busy to take up such cases and as a result many police “had little incentive to take any action over such incidents.” The issue was highlighted in a recent film by Belgian director Sofie Peeters who recorded in secret the everyday insults and exchanges she ran into on the streets of the city. Riots hit N Ireland BELFAST: Fifteen Northern Irish police officers were injured during a second consecutive night of sectarian rioting in north Belfast, police said yesterday. Officers fired six baton rounds and used water cannons during the unrest, which first erupted on Sunday when loyalists from the Protestant community attempted to disrupt a march by Catholic republicans. It bought the total number of police injured over both nights to 62 after 47 officers were hurt in Sunday night’s disorder, including four officers who received hospital treatment before being released. Three of the officers injured on Monday were also hospitalized but later released, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said. On both nights, loyalists and republicans gathered in the Carlisle Circus area in the north of the city and pelted police with petrol bombs, bricks, stones and fireworks as they tried to keep the two groups apart.

Maldives teenager faces lashing for pre-marital sex MALE: A court in the Maldives has ordered a public flogging for a 16-yearold girl who confessed to having premarital sex, in a ruling that yesterday triggered widespread criticism from rights groups. The unnamed teenager was convicted on her confession under sharia law after her family complained she had sex with a 29-year-old man in July. The man was given 10 years in jail during a court hearing on the remote Raa atoll on Sunday. A court official said the girl could refuse the flogging and would then instead be subjected only to eight months house arrest. Should she agree, the lashing will be carried out when she reaches the age of 18. “In most cases, the offenders would accept the lashing as part of penance,” the official, who declined to be named, said. The ruling came 10 months after UN human rights chief Navi Pillay urged the Maldives to stop publicly flogging women for having extra-marital or premarital sex. Pillay noted during a visit that the Maldives had progressed in safeguarding the rights of its 330,000 Sunni Muslims, but more needed to be done to protect women. Flogging, carried out with a cane, is normally handed down as a punishment by village chiefs who also act as local judges. Rights activists slammed the judgment and called for it to be overturned. “Degrading and inhuman punishments should find no place in a democracy,” said Aruna Kashyap, women’s rights researcher for Asia at Human Rights Watch. “Maldives should immediately halt the execution of the punishment and take action to amend its discriminatory

laws.” Suhas Chakma, director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights, said the sentence reflected the government’s intention to consolidate its support among sharia law followers, in the face of serious political opposition. “This could be used by the government to say they’re committed to Islam,” he said. “Courts are not independent in the Maldives so the government will have a hand.” He said the lashes were also a breach of the UN Convention against Torture. There were mixed reactions in comments posted on the local news website Minivan News. “This is ridiculous, and hypocritical,” said one reader, identified as Mariyam. “How many people over the age of 18 are having sex outside of marriage every day in this country. Why not flog them. And why not flog the 29-year-old man. If the girl has to face public humiliation why not the man.” Another, identified as Dhivehi Hanguraama, volunteered to administer the lashing. “I myself would volunteer to whip this creature, as would any of selfrespecting, esteemed, members of the ulama (religious scholars).” Police said they began their probe after receiving a complaint from the girl’s family. “We investigated and forwarded our findings to the prosecutor general. The man was convicted of having sex with a minor,” police spokesman Hassan Haneef said. Official sources said the girl had been tried under sharia law which prohibits girls between the ages of 13 and 18 having pre-marital sex. Sex with a girl under the age of 13 is considered rape. She was convicted on the basis of her confession. — AFP




India, China to resume joint military exercises NEW DELHI: India and China announced yesterday they would resume joint military exercises after a four-year gap, a move designed to build trust in the often prickly relationship between the world’s two most populous nations. After Indian Defense Minister A K Antony hosted talks with his Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie, the pair told reporters they had debated some of the main sources of friction between the two sides and agreed a series of measures. “We have decided that (to restart military exercises),” Antony told reporters after his meeting with Liang, the first Chinese defense minister to visit the Indian capital in eight years. “We covered a lot about the situation in the South Asia, Asia-Pacific region,” Antony said. “We had a very frank and heart-to-heart discussion on all the issues... including in the border areas.” The disputed border between India and China has been the subject of 14 rounds of fruitless talks since 1962, when the two nations fought a brief, bloody war over the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. China’s buildup of military infrastructure along the frontier has become a major source of concern for India, which increasingly sees Beijing

as a longer-term threat to its security than traditional rival Pakistan. The two Asian giants have had an

often fractious relationship over their shared border, and they halted joint military maneuvers after 2008 due to a

NEW DELHI: Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (left) talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi yesterday. The defense ministers of India and China agreed yesterday to resume joint military exercises frozen two years ago, signaling a thaw between the Asian giants even as regional relations are tense over the disputed South China Sea. —AP

series of diplomatic spats including over visa issues. But Liang confirmed that there was now a mutual desire to move forward. “We have reached a consensus on high-level visits and exchange of personnel, maritime security... and cooperation between the two navies,” Liang said after yesterday’s talks. “I had candid and practical discussion with the defense minister,” he added. Liang’s four-day visit also comes amid Indian fears about increased Chinese activity in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which New Delhi sees as within its sphere of influence. The presence of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in India is another cause of tensions between the two nations. While in Sri Lanka before arriving in India, Liang stressed that China sought only “harmonious co-existence” with other countries. Ian Anthony, an analyst with Stockholm International Peace Research Institute think-tank, said improved ties between India and China would benefit the international community as a whole. “We have two countries which are emerging as important players in the international scene,” Anthony said by telephone from Stockholm. “Both have significant military capacities and both are going to play an important role in

the future in determining global security and stability and so it is for everybody’s benefit they have a positive and friendly bilateral relationship.” However SD Muni, a strategic analyst with the Singapore-based Institute of South Asian Studies, said that Beijing was reluctant to resolve its border disputes with India in a hurry. “The Chinese do not seem to be in a hurry to resolve the border issue and they have not moved much except for exchanging some maps so far as there seems to be a broad understanding to go slowly on the dispute,” he said. The first Indian and Chinese exercises were held in China’s Kunming region in 2007, and the second in India in 2008 but the third round was put off over claims that Beijing refused a visa to an Indian commander stationed in disputed Kashmir. Indian defense ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said the two ministers had also agreed on measures designed to help combat rampant piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. “The two defense ministers agreed to work together to enhance mutual trust in the security field and continue to maintain peace and tranquility in the India, China border areas,” Kar said. —AFP

China Communist Party battles image problem Abuse, corruption scandals hit ruling party BEIJING: China has suspended an army officer after reports he assaulted a flight attendant spread like wildfire on the Internet, fuelling growing outrage against the misbehavior of some government and Communist Party officials. China’s leaders want to project a good image ahead of a once-a-decade leadership transition later this year, but the Party is being hurt by

like microblog Sina Weibo, sparking a storm of angry comments. “Fang Daguo, you have shamed China in front of the world,” wrote one blogger. After the photos published by Zhou spread online, the local government was investigating further and had suspended the official, Xinhua said. The Global Times, a popular tabloid owned by the

unchecked and such things might have happened quite a lot without us knowing, but now people post things all the time... so a lot of things get revealed very quickly,” said Chen Minglu, a lecturer at the University of Sydney’s China Studies Centre. “Civil society is slowly being formed in China... I think the people are learning more and more to be critical, they are learn-

BEIJING: Ling Jihua, a loyal aide and confidante to President Hu Jintao (top left) sits near Chinese President Hu Jintao (right) and Premier Wen Jiabao (left) as they attend a plenary session of the National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. —AP reports of officials abusing their position. A series of corruption scandals, a reported orgy as well as incidents involving the offspring of senior leaders have not helped. On Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said Fang Daguo, a military official from the southern city of Guangzhou, had been suspended after he and his wife, both smelling of alcohol, had an altercation with flight attendant Zhou Yumeng over the couple’s carry-on luggage. Xinhua initially said a preliminary investigation found Fang had apologized but not assaulted Zhou. The flight attendant published photos of her bruised arms and torn uniform on the Twitter-

Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, said reports of such incidents were spreading like wildfire online as conflict between citizens and local officials was increasing. “It’s hard to improve officials’ public image if they fail to stand up to public scrutiny and remain passive in communication with the people,” the paper said on Sunday. The party has always been image conscious, air brushing photos and strictly controlling the media to send the right message. However, the rise of the Internet and microblogs like Sina Weibo have posed a major challenge to the party’s control. “A lot of times in the past, power might have gone

ing how to criticize the power (holders) and they are more and more keen to do so.” LEADERSHIP CHANGE David Zweig, a Chinese politics expert at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the Communist Party has always been more sensitive to public opinion around times of leadership change. “The key question is whether this is a revolution where websites and microblogs will change China forever or whether it is something that only works around the time of the Party Congress,” he said. Unfortunately for the party, officials are giving plenty of ammunition to

China’s Internet users, who are quick to paint them as callous and out of touch with the people. This year was already shaping up to be a rough one for the Communist Party’s image, with the escape from illegal house arrest and flight into exile of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng and the downfall of Politburo member Bo Xilai, whose wife was found guilty of murdering a British businessman. Last month, an official at the Shaanxi province’s work safety department was caught on camera smiling broadly at the scene of a fiery bus crash that killed 36 people. China’s net surfers have since turned up the heat on him over a collection of luxury watches noticed on his wrist in photos. Luxury sports cars also have made ready targets, after a deadly Ferrari crash in March was said by some sources to have involved the son of a senior official and two young women. Sensitive to perceptions that children of top party officials live privileged lifestyles, the details of the crash remain shrouded in mystery. Last month, a county government in Anhui province had to deny that participants in photos of an orgy posted online were local officials. Another incident that has received much attention online is the abuse and threats hurled at a traffic policeman by a man identified by Weibo users as a local party official in the northeastern province of Liaoning who was pulled over. “F-k your mother! You dare check my car? If you aren’t killed today I will have joined the Party for nothing,” the official was quoted as saying in posts accompanied by pictures of a crowd supposedly witnessing the incident and a policeman with his shirt ripped. The online reaction has been vehement. “If (the official) doesn’t die, the party just might,” said Weibo user MingJun3488. Chen Ziming, an independent scholar of politics in Beijing, said newspapers were frightened to publicize these incidents for fear of punishment, but Internet users aren’t affected in the same way. “Local governments haven’t caught up. If they think they can suppress it, they are going to try. But Internet users increasingly won’t tolerate this,” he said. —Reuters

ORISSA: An Indian coal worker’s child carries his younger sibling as he stands near coal dust at a coal factory near Chandikhol in Orissa, India. —AP

India police raid coal companies NEW DELHI: Indian police yesterday opened a probe into five coal companies after raiding premises across the country over the alleged misallocation of lucrative mining rights. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokeswoman Dharini Mishra said that 30 premises had been visited as detectives examined whether coal companies were guilty of cheating in a scandal that has rocked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “ We have registered an FIR (First Information Report) after conducting raids in 10 cities,” Mishra told AFP, adding that coal company offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata had been targeted. The FIR, which is a written report representing the first stage of a police enquiry, says the companies are being investigated for cheating and criminal conspiracy. Mishra declined to name the companies involved but local TV channel NDTV said two of the firms named in the report had links with a Congress parliamentarian from the western state of Maharashtra. The CBI is set to probe whether some of the firms were set up only to win the coal blocks allocated by the government before selling them on to a third-party at massive profit. An official auditor ’s report last month criticized the gifting away of coal blocks, instead of auctioning them to the highest bidder, and said the process of selecting companies “lacked transparency and objectivity”. Private operators who won coal blocks without competition enjoyed “financial

gains to the tune of 1.86 trillion rupees ($33.4 billion)” since 2004, some of which should have gone to the government, the auditor claimed. Singh’s coalition government, led by the left-leaning Congress party, has been beset by a string of corruption cases since re-election in 2009 and the latest allegations of mismanagement have led to renewed pressure on him. The coal scandal implicates the 79-year-old directly because he served as coal minister as well as prime minister from 2004-2009. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other opposition parties have forced parliament to be adjourned daily over the issue and have demanded the prime minister’s resignation. The BJP welcomed yesterday’s raids while insisting that allocations of all the coal blocks should be cancelled immediately. “It is a good development. Taking a cue from this, the government should also cancel the coal block allocations,” BJP leader Gopinath Munde told reporters after a meeting of the party’s top brass in New Delhi. Singh has strongly rejected charges over the coal scandal, saying the auditor’s findings were not supported by facts. His office refused to comment on the latest development, but the coal minister said the move by the CBI should put an end to speculation over the impartiality of the probe. “Those who allege CBI works on government instructions, they should answer now how they feel about the CBI action,” said Jaiswal. —AFP

Students protest over ‘brainwashing’ classes HONG KONG: Hong Kong students and teachers protested yesterday for a sixth straight day against plans to introduce Chinese patriotism classes, as political tensions rise days ahead of legislative polls. Protesters at the government headquarters said they would not vote for parties that supported “national education”, which they say is a bid to brainwash children with Chinese Communist Party propaganda. “I feel national education is an important issue because it could affect many generations of children’s education,” second year university student Cheung Nga-lam said at the demonstration, which began on Thursday.

“The new Legislative Council members will definitely have an influence on the issue because whatever they say affects society.” The former British colony goes to the polls on Sunday to elect a new 70-seat legislature, but power will continue to reside with the pro-Beijing executive appointed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Leung has ignored protesters’ calls for a meeting and refused to abandon plans to implement the new education policy, which schools can adopt voluntarily from this week and will become compulsory by 2016. “We are willing to talk to the anti-national education parties, but the prerequisite of the dia-

logue cannot be either to withdraw or not to withdraw,” Leung told reporters. Most schools have said they will not introduce the subject this year and want to see more details about how it should be taught. The government says the curriculum is important in fostering a sense of national belonging and identity, amid rising anti-Beijing sentiment in the semi-autonomous southern city of seven million people. But critics say the lessons extol the virtues of one-party rule and gloss over events like the bloody Tiananmen crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989, and the mass starvation and extrajudicial killings of Mao’s Cultural

Revolution. The protests have swelled in number from a few hundred in the mornings when students are in class, to several thousand at night. Up to 40,000 joined the rally on Saturday despite heavy rain, organisers said. It was the second mass demonstration against the education policy in two months, after up to 90,000 people took to the streets in July. A handful of students and teachers have gone on hunger strike to drive home their opposition to the plan. One woman was hospitalized yesterday after refusing to eat for several days. There have also been calls for teachers and students to boycott classes. “People are extremely interested in this

issue so it is impossible for it to be discussed behind closed doors by a small representative body,” said hunger striker Wong Hak-lim, a 56-year-old high school vice-principal. Democratic Party lawmaker James To called on Leung to “immediately withdraw the package”. “It’s my view that the government isn’t genuine and really wants to brainwash children because they think the Hong Kong people aren’t patriotic enough,” he said at an election forum on Monday. Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 but maintains its own independent legal system which guarantees civil liberties not seen on the mainland.—AFP



‘Awilda’, a sculpture by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, emerges from Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro Monday. The 12-m-high sculpture depicting a woman is part of the art exhibition ‘OIR’ or Other Ideas for Rio where installations will be placed in public places. — AP

Playboy death new wrinkle in China power shuffle BEIJING: China’s hopes for a smooth, once-adecade political transition have been shaken by a lurid new scandal involving the death of a senior official’s son who crashed during what may have been sex games in a speeding Ferrari. Details of the March accident in Beijing, which allegedly also injured two young women, have stayed under wraps in China but are leaking out via media in Hong Kong. The media blackout underscores official fears that the public will be outraged by another instance of excess and recklessness among China’s power elites. The embarrassing new wrinkle follows the murder trial last month of a top leader’s wife who poisoned her British business associate last year. Both scandals have become bargaining chips in the jockeying for power ahead of a major leadership reshuffle this fall. The South China Morning Post on Monday cited an unnamed official in Beijing as confirming that Ling Gu, the son of a loyal aide to President Hu Jintao, was the person killed in a March 18 Ferrari accident which initially garnered only minimal coverage in China’s state media. The report said Ling was half-naked when the crash occurred and his two passengers were

naked or half-dressed, suggesting they had been involved in some kind of high-speed sex game. Several other news outlets later cited additional unnamed officials as corroborating details. However, efforts to get officials to publicly confirm the report were unsuccessful. Faxed requests for information to the Public Security Bureau and China’s Cabinet were not immediately answered. Prestigious Peking University, where Ling was a student, would not comment, but political science professor Yang Chaohui said the young man has not been seen there since March. “We have discussed this matter in class. I personally am quite concerned about this matter and according to various signs, I think we can confirm that his death is a true fact,” Yang said. The Post’s story came just days after the Chinese government announced Ling Gu’s father had been transferred to a new position, a move that analysts say ended his ambitions for a post in the upper ranks of the top leadership. Observers said the shift appeared linked to his son’s scandalous death. On Saturday, Ling Jihua was named as the new head of the United Front Work Department and his old job as director of the general office of the Communist Party’s cen-

tral committee was given to Li Zhanshu thought to be a close ally of Xi Jinping, the man tapped to the China’s next president. As head of the executive office, Li will be responsible for personnel arrangements for the party’s top leaders. A comparable position in US politics is the president’s chief of staff. The appointment of Li ahead of a party congress, which should happen in the coming weeks or months, shows Xi is already gaining power. Such personnel changes usually occur during or after the party congress. China politics expert Bo Zhiyue of the National University of Singapore called the personnel change “a very important signal that a power transition is taking place”. In Communist Party politics, the outgoing leader - who has built a support base while in office - typically attempts to retain power after leaving office, a check on the new administration. Bo said he thought the shift was being accelerated, creating an arrangement “more in favor of the new leadership than the old one”. Joseph Cheng, a professor political science at the City University of Hong Kong, said that although Ling’s new post was not a “serious demotion,” it clearly removes him from the cen-

Bahrain upholds jail sentences of activists Continued from Page 1 A prosecution official said six of the men were guilty of having “intelligence contact” with Iran and its Lebanese Shiite ally Hezbollah, seeking to overturn Bahrain’s system of government and violating the constitution. “It is established clearly to us from this verdict that some of the accused had relations, and strived to have relations and intelligence contacts, with a foreign organisation, Hezbollah, which works in the interests of Iran,” Wael Boualai told a news conference, according to state news agency BNA. Hezbollah denies any involvement in the protests in Bahrain, but is critical of the government’s handling of the unrest. Among those sentenced is activist Abdulhadi Khawaja who ended in June a 110-day hunger strike. Also sentenced were Hasan Musheime and Abdel Jalil Al-Sankis, both leaders of the banned Shiite movement, Haq, as well as Sunni leftist Ibrahim Sharif, who heads the secular Waed group. “Today’s ruling is a clear proof of the fake justice in Bahrain,” said the main opposition groups in a statement. “Those are politically motivated verdicts that have no judicial value, because they have been based on a vindictive methodology,” they said. “There is no state in Bahrain. It is a tyrannical authority, and an oppressive government that tries to look like a (political) system while hiding security apparatuses that terrorise the people to silence its demands for democracy.” The main Shiite formation, Al-Wefaq, said it was a “black day for justice in Bahrain”. “Those wrongful rulings will only strengthen the determination of the people to continue their revolution to the end,” the group’s leader, Ali Salman, wrote on his Twitter page. Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, said the court ruling “only compounds the travesty of justice that has characterized this case from the beginning”. “Bahrain’s rulers have not shown that these men committed any criminal offense other than to call and demonstrate peacefully for a change of government,” he said. Amnesty too lashed out at the verdicts, saying they must be “overturned and the activists immediately and unconditionally released”. “Today’s court decision is another blow to justice and it shows once more that the Bahraini authorities are not on the path of reform but seem rather driven by vindictiveness”, said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui,

deputy director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. Sahraoui said Bahrain’s human rights record will be up for scrutiny at the UN Human Rights Council in September. “Bahrain cannot get a free pass at the UN Human Rights Council and we urge states to tell the Bahraini authorities that today’s verdict crosses a red line and that they can no longer be considered credible partners,” said Sahraoui. Jane Kinninmont, of London’s Chatham House, said the verdict sent a tough message to protesters as well as Western countries which have urged Manama to compromise with its opponents. “The authorities may be trying to show their strength ahead of a planned dialogue with political societies,” she argued, saying this could backfire if protests and clashes escalate. “This may also send a message to the international community about the limits of pressure. Strong Saudi backing for Bahrain has made it less interested in what the West has to say.” Though US officials are keen for a release of prisoners to help restore calm, Washington has avoided irritating Manama with public calls over the uprising leaders case. The presence of US warships helps ensure a free flow of oil exports from the Gulf, which Iran has threatened to blockade if the stand-off with Western powers over its nuclear energy program turns into military confrontation. Danish Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal said the verdict was disappointing and called for the release Khawaja, who also has Danish nationality. “It’s important that the international community continue to make Bahrain aware of the importance of the country respecting basic human rights,” Sovndal said in a written comment. In June last year, the specially formed tribunal handed down lengthy jail terms against the 21 mostly Shiite activists after convicting them of plotting to overthrow the regime. Ten months later, Bahrain’s highest appeals court ordered a retrial. Bahrain came under strong criticism from international human rights organisations over last year’s crackdown on the Shiite-led protests. An international panel commissioned by King Hamad to probe the government’s clampdown found out that excessive force and torture had been used against protesters and detainees. The Sunni-ruled kingdom, home to the US Fifth Fleet and strategically situated across the Gulf from Iran, has continued to witness sporadic Shiite-led demonstrations, mostly outside the capital, since it crushed the protest movement in March last year. — Agencies

ter of power. China’s political process is opaque, with jockeying for power happening behind closed doors, so it’s difficult to say how big a role the Ferrari crash had in sidelining Ling though most analysts agree it played a part. “This Ferrari accident certainly caused (Ling’s) stepping down,” Cheng said. “This means that instead of going further up, he has to go to the second line.” Some feel though that the scandal could be limited to Ling himself and has not significantly eroded Hu’s power or tarnished his reputation. Yang Dali, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, said Ling’s departure reflects well on Hu by showing he is “very scrupulous in disciplining his own people” and “willing to penalize his own underlings”. Earlier this year, another top leader, Bo Xilai was ousted as the party chief of the megacity of Chongqing after his wife was declared a suspect in the murder of a British citizen. Although Bo was a member of the party’s 25-member Politburo, which is just below the nine-member Standing Committee in power, he had alienated other leaders with a high-profile crackdown on corruption that even by China’s standards trampled on

civil liberties. Many observers believe Bo’s wife’s criminal case was used by his opponents as an opportunity to purge him. Regardless of the resulting power shifts, it’s clear that the government is very anxious about how the public will respond to another case of elites behaving badly and has imposed a strict ban on news and Internet posts related to the Ferrari crash. Such incidents have increasingly sparked public outrage in China. “There’s no doubt the authorities have been very concerned about the revolt, the backlash against the flaunting of privileges, whether its cars or expensive watches, those trappings of power and corruption,” said Yang. He said authorities are very careful to control the spread of such information so it “doesn’t stimulate more public anger against the elites.” Cheng noted that few Chinese know about the Ferrari accident and that, if they did, they might see at as too removed from their lives to worry about. “If there’s a Ferrari (crash) case with naked girls in Beijing, well, this is juicy stuff. You get cynical, you feel resentment but you don’t do much. You don’t protest because it’s too far away.” — AP

42 killed in Morocco’s worst-ever bus crash

RABAT: A bus plunged into a ravine in the Atlas mountains of southern Morocco early yesterday killing at least 42 people, a security official said, in the worst such accident recorded in the kingdom. All the victims were Moroccan, a local official told AFP. “But we are still in the process of identifying the bodies, as well as the injured,” he added. The accident took place at around 2:00 am (0100 GMT) when the vehicle fell off a main road in Haouz province, around 100 kilometres south of Marrakesh, one of Morocco’s top tourist destinations. The crash also left some 25 people injured, who were taken to different hospitals in the region, according to a local official. The official MAP news agency, which said the bus fell 150 metres gave the same death toll of 42, saying that five of the victims died in hospital, and that 24 people were injured in the crash, four of them critically. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. An official in Haouz province said an inquiry had been launched and a

crisis group set up. The provincial governor Younes El Bathaoui arrived at the site of the crash to supervise the rescue operation, according to MAP. The tragedy occurred as the bus was heading towards Marrakesh, after crossing the Tizi-n-Tichka pass, the highest in Morocco. The road, linking the central Moroccan city with the Sahara gateway town of Ouarzazate, winds through the mountains for dozens of kilometres. It was the worst bus crash recorded in Morocco, which has a poor road safety record. In November 2010, 24 people drowned when a bus carrying workmen tumbled into a river near the capital Rabat. And in late July, 12 people were killed in central Morocco when a lorry driver lost control of his vehicle after one of its tyres was punctured and crashed into a bus. Road accidents in Morocco claimed 4,200 lives last year, a rise of around 12 percent on 2010, according to figures from the transport ministry. — AFP

The sculpture “Yellow Arrow” by German artist Stefan Rohrer is seen in Obergut Lenthe near Hanover, central Germany, yesterday. The sculpture is part of the exhibition “Neue Kunst in alten Gaerten” (New Art in Old Gardens), presenting works of thirteen European artists until October 7, 2012. — AFP





Founder and Publisher

YOUSUF S. AL-ALYAN Editor-in-Chief

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


Germany’s triangulated opposition By Noah Barkin ill Clinton may have been the first to use a strategy of “triangulation” to win an election, co-opting policies of his Republican rivals to win a second term as president in 1996. But it is Germany’s Angela Merkel who seems to have turned the tactic, coined by controversial Clinton campaign guru Dick Morris, into an art form. With a year to go until Germans go to the polls, the country’s leftist opposition parties are searching desperately for issues to throw at the conservative chancellor and finding the cupboard alarmingly bare. It has been a great few years for opposition parties elsewhere in Europe. With the euro zone debt crisis raging, incumbents have been booted out of office in France, Italy, Spain and a host of smaller countries, including bailout victims Greece, Ireland and Portugal. In the Netherlands, the big winner in an election set for Sept 12 is likely to be a far-left party that until recently was seen as a bit player in Dutch politics. Yet Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD), who will celebrate their 150th anniversary next year, and their left-leaning allies the Greens, have watched Merkel peck away at their programs, turning their most potent positions - on nuclear power, the environment, education, childcare and wages - into her own. On the euro crisis, the theme that seems sure to overshadow all others in a German vote set for Sept 2013, Merkel has walked a tightrope, appeasing her bailoutaverse domestic audience with tough rhetoric while keeping just enough money flowing to Europe’s battered periphery to ensure the euro train does not go off the rails on her watch. The SPD meanwhile has tied itself in knots as it searches for a euro policy that is at once popular with voters and different from that of Merkel. After coming out strongly for joint euro zone bond issuance early on in the crisis, the SPD reversed course last spring after realising that three in four Germans opposed the idea. This summer it recalibrated again, saying a more limited form of debt mutualisation was advisable but only when tied to strict fiscal conditionality - a position so close to Merkel’s as to be indistinguishable to most Germans. Lately it has taken to attacking the chancellor for not speaking up more forcefully against the European Central Bank’s plans to buy the bonds of struggling euro members - not exactly a vote winner, even in Germany. “The problem is that the SPD has no theme,” said Klaus-Peter Schoeppner, head of the Emnid polling group. “On the euro crisis they have swung back and forth. They are not offering a real alternative to Merkel.” The SPD kicked off an internal debate on its election platform early last year. In mid-September it will hold a “Zukunftskongress”, or conference on the future, to debate the policies it intends to take into the campaign. But highranking members of the party concede in private that little of substance will emerge. Instead the party has decided to play for time in the hope that the euro crisis, domestic economy and political tide turn against Merkel. “It makes sense to wait this out,” said one senior SPD official who requested anonymity out of reluctance to openly discuss party strategy. “A weakening economy would make the campaign much easier for us. And we could see the euro crisis deepening, forcing more rescues and making it very difficult for Merkel to keep people in her own ranks on board.” The party also plans to wait until after a January election in the state of Lower Saxony to pick a challenger to Merkel. The hope is that an SPD-Greens victory in the central German region will give the left vital momentum, showing voters that victory is also achievable at the national level. But even if it comes out on top, finding the right candidate will be tough. The odds-on favourite is Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the respected but colourless former foreign minister who went up against Merkel in 2009, only to deliver the worst result for the SPD in the post-war era - a meagre 23 percent. He is seen as the least bad option among the SPD’s leadership “troika”. Party chairman Sigmar Gabriel is a fighter but unpopular and undisciplined. In an interview last week he all but took himself out of the race, saying he planned to cut back on his working hours to spend more time with his family. Former finance minister Peer Steinbrueck, the third option, may be the one who wants it most. But he is regarded with suspicion by the party’s influential left-wing and the momentum behind his candidacy has faded since he made clear late last year that he wants to be the SPD’s frontman. “If the SPD could combine the positives of each of them - Steinmeier’s seriousness, Steinbrueck’s financial acumen and Gabriel’s campaigning skills - they’d have a great candidate,” said Peter Loesche, emeritus professor at Goettingen University. —Reuters


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

Chastised Israel seeks way forward with US By Crispian Balmer tunned by a rebuke from the United States’ top general, Israel is preparing a climbdown strategy in its war of words over Iran’s nuclear program, aware that its room for manoeuvre is shrinking rapidly. Anxious to prevent any flare-up in the Middle East ahead of November elections, there is also a good chance that US President Barack Obama will provide Israel with enough cover to avoid a loss of face, analysts say. A burst of bellicose rhetoric over the last month led Western allies to fear that Israel was poised to launch a unilateral strike against Iran in an effort to hobble the Islamic Republic’s contested nuclear facilities. Convinced Iran is seeking the atomic bomb, Israeli leaders have warned of a possible Holocaust if Tehran is not stopped; but the sabre-rattling clearly riled Washington, while failing to rally domestic public opinion behind a perilous war. In a move that dismayed Israeli ministers, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, told reporters in Britain last week that the United States did not want to be “complicit” in an Israeli attack on Iran. He also warned that go-it-alone military action risked unraveling an international coalition that has applied progressively stiff sanctions on Iran, which insists that its ambitious nuclear project is purely peaceful. Dempsey’s stark comments made clear to the world that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was isolated and that if he opted for war, he would jeopardise all-important ties with the Jewish state’s closest ally. “Israeli leaders cannot do anything in the face of a very explicit ‘no’ from the US president. So they are exploring what space they have left to operate,” said Giora Eiland, who served as


national security adviser from 2003 to 2006. “Dempsey’s announcement changed something. Before, Netanyahu said the United States might not like (an attack), but they will accept it the day after. However, such a public, bold statement meant the situation had to be reassessed.” Pointing to a possible way out, Netanyahu has since said that more explicit international warnings could prevent war, indicating he wanted the United States to provide Tehran with unambiguous options to halt its nuclear activity or face war. “The greater the resolve and the clearer the red line, the less likely we’ll have conflict,” he said on Monday. Positions are likely to be clarified at an expected meeting late this month between US President Barack Obama and Netanyahu when the Israeli leader addresses the UN General Assembly in New York. “That will be a crucial encounter. They will have to reach an understanding there. At the end of the day, you do reach an understanding, always,” said Eiland, who had numerous dealings with Washington during his time as national security adviser.

There are already signs that Obama is prepared to raise the pressure on Iran. On Monday, his Democratic Party released its election platform, saying the window for diplomacy would not remain open “indefinitely” and explicitly raised the threat of “military force” if Iran did not “live up to its obligations”. The program appeared to be more toughly worded than public declarations from Obama, but it is not politically binding. An official within the prime minister’s office said Israel wanted to hear cast iron commitments from Obama’s own mouth. “We want to hear a concrete declaration from the president, not vague promises that he will guarantee Israeli security,” the official said, declining to be named. The official noted the tough stance the Americans took in 2011, warning they would not tolerate any move by Iran to carry through with a threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, and hoped to see similar clarity applied to the nuclear program. Netanyahu met the heads of Israel’s intelligence community yesterday for an annual briefing to the security cabinet, where they were expected to

present their latest assessments on Iran and the situation in southern Lebanon, amongst other things. The leader of Lebanon’s Iranianbacked militant group Hezbollah said on Monday Iran could hit US bases in the Middle East in response to any Israeli attack on its nuclear sites. “A decision has been taken to respond and the response will be very great,” Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah told a local television station, ramping up the rhetoric which has raged through the region this summer. Israel’s vice prime minister, Moshe Yaalon, issued his own bleak warning to Hezbollah to stay out of any possible conflict. Talking to 100fm radio on Friday, he said Hezbollah had some 60,000 missiles and rockets, but that Israel had a much bigger arsenal. “Therefore, they need to understand that if they fire rockets and missiles, Hezbollah will pay a heavy price and the state of Lebanon will pay a heavy price until they stop.” Behind all the bluff and bombast, there is no question that the military in Israel is reviewing all its plans in case of conflict. Three officials told Reuters preparations for a possible, imminent, unilateral strike on Iran were “serious”. Civilians are also being readied for possible bloodshed, with the military issuing a booklet last week on how to deal with possible emergency, and lines forming at distribution centres across the country for free gas masks. Despite all the obvious activity, it is hard to shake off a sense of scepticism. Although Israel is believed to have the region’s only nuclear arsenal, it lacks the sort of conventional firepower pundits believe is necessary to put a serious dent in Iran’s farflung, well-defended atomic installations. “All this talk of war is bullshit. If they could do it, then they would have already done it long ago,” a senior European diplomat in Israel said. — Reuters

4-year progress query puts Obama in box By Charles Babington t’s a question that aides to any president seeking re-election should be ready to handle: Are Americans better off now than before he took office? This seemingly simple query, however, flummoxed President Barack Obama’s team over the Labor Day weekend, throwing the campaign on the defensive just as the Democrats are about to open their national convention. Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign pounced. Running mate Paul Ryan, speaking Monday in another North Carolina town, amped-up his party’s longrunning efforts to persuade Americans, once and for all, that Obama’s economic record disqualifies him for a second term. Democrats acknowledged that Obama’s team must get a better handle on the question, an updated version of the Ronald Reagan line that helped sink President Jimmy Carter in 1980. The Obama aides’ halting responses reflected the dilemma the president faces. If he emphasizes the economic crisis he inherited from President George W Bush, then Obama looks as though he’s shirking responsibility for current problems. But if Obama claims positives flowing from his policies’ effectiveness - even with endorsements from independent economists - he risks appearing tone-deaf and insensitive to millions of voters’ fears in a climate of 8.3 percent unemployment, sharply lower home values and uncertain futures. “You can understand the Obama campaign’s ambiguity,” said Ferrel Guillory, an expert on Southern politics at the University of North Carolina. Obama’s stimulus and intervention policies clearly averted bigger problems in banking, auto-making and other sectors, he said, but harping on it “doesn’t satisfy the concerns of people who don’t feel better off.” Others are less sympathetic. “The Obama team made a significant tactical error on Sunday with their stumble over the ‘better off’ question,” said Republican pollster Steve


Lombardo. “It is stunning that they were not prepared for this question.” Even Lombardo, however, conceded “the president is in a box”. Obama’s top advisers struggled with the question, repeatedly posed on Sunday talk shows. David Axelrod said: “I think the average American recognizes that it took years to create the crisis that erupted in 2008 and peaked in January of 2009. And it’s going to take some time to work through it.” Maryland Gov Martin O’Malley was blunter when CBS’s Bob Schieffer asked if he could “honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago?” “No,” O’Malley said. “But that’s not the question of this election. Without a doubt, we are not as well off as we were before George Bush brought us the Bush job losses, the Bush recessions, the Bush deficits.” With Republicans attacking from all sides, the campaign dispatched spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter early Monday with a new message. Americans are “absolutely” better off, she told NBC, highlighting the problems Obama inherited in Jan 2009. “In the six months before the president was elected,” Cutter said, “we lost 3.5 million jobs, wages had been going down for a decade,” and the auto industry was “on the brink of failure.” Republicans vowed not to let Obama off the hook. “People are not better off than they were four years ago,” Ryan told a crowd in Greenville, North Carolina, 220 miles east of the convention site. “After another four years of this, who knows what it’ll look like?” What frustrates Democrats is that, in many ways, the nation’s economy was in distress four years ago. The collapse of Lehman Brothers and other financial giants sent markets into swoons and created a sense of political and economic crisis. On Sept 29, 2008, when the US House voted down Bush’s proposed $700 billion financial bailout, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 778 points, its largest one-day point drop ever. Congress later reversed course on that measure, but the near-meltdown was doing deep and con-

tinuing damage to Americans’ savings, retirement funds and confidence. One problem for Obama is that unemployment - the economic statistic that affects the average American most profoundly - is a “lagging indicator,” taking several months to reflect a crisis’ full impact. US unemployment stood at 6.1 percent four years ago, 6.8 percent when Obama was elected, 7.8 percent when he took office and 10 percent nine months later. It never dropped below 9.4 percent in 2010, when Republicans won sweeping victories in midterm elections. Economists say even more jobs would have vanished if Obama had not pushed the automobile bailout, a separate economic stimulus plan, a banking industry bailout and other measures. Campaign strategists in both parties, however, say few voters will credit a president for what did NOT happen. Equally troubling for Obama, people’s anxieties can determine their votes just as readily as economic figures, if not more so. “Most people know President Obama inherited a mess from Bush, but at this stage of the game they’re looking for answers, not excuses,” said Democratic strategist Doug Hattaway. He contended that more people would be jobless without the administration’s actions, but he added, “You don’t want to overstate the successes and come across as tone deaf.” Vice President Joe Biden tried to shore up the Democrats’ position Monday, linking one of his favorite phrases to the suddenly urgent debate. “You want to know whether we’re better off?” he asked a crowd in Detroit. “I got a little bumper sticker for you: ‘Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.’” National Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus accused the Democrats of “desperate damage control.” He said they cannot win an argument over “the facts.” But the rest of his comments to reporters in Charlotte focused on voters’ perceptions and emotions. “I can guarantee you that families back home, especially in places like my hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin, don’t feel like things are better

today after four years of Barack Obama,” Priebus said. That’s the challenge facing Democrats when they kick off their three-day convention here yesterday. Obama can point to economists’ analyses that he kept conditions from getting worse. But Americans vote on political convictions, gut feelings, kitchen-table concerns and hopes and fears for their children’s future. If Romney can convince a majority that things just don’t feel right with Obama, he may get his chance to tackle the US economy starting in January. — AP


sp orts Ronaldo’s blues a surprise to Real team mate Arbeloa

Bangladesh bans Haque DHAKA: Former international player Shariful Haque has been found guilty of spot-fixing and banned from cricket indefinitely, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) said yesterday. “The allegation made against the player has been substantiated,” BCB president Mustafa Kamal told a news conference. “We have decided to ban him from all cricketing activities until further notice. We will keep watching him and only if we are satisfied will his ban be lifted.” A BCB inquiry had looked into an allegation by former test captain Mashrafe Mortaza that he was approached by off-spinner Haque about spot-fixing before the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 Tournament in February. Mortaza said he was told he would be paid 15 to 20 percent of the earnings from spot betting, in return for providing information about whether he would play in certain matches and even whether he would be wearing sunglasses. Haque, who played one one-day international against India in 1998, is the first cricketer in Bangladesh to be punished for match-fixing. He was part of the Bangladesh squad in the 1994 International Cricket Council (ICC) Trophy in Kenya and played three first-class matches. —Reuters

MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo’s sadness has come as a surprise to his Real Madrid team mates, defender Alvaro Arbeloa said as he joined up with the Spain squad yesterday. Portugal forward Ronaldo hit the sports headlines after Sunday’s win over Granada, when he failed to celebrate the two goals he scored and later told reporters he was “sad” for “professional” reasons, and that the club knew why. “I don’t know what’s up with Cristiano. It was a surprise for us as much as for you, we found out after the game,” Real full back Arbeloa told reporters. “At Madrid, we are a family and we will support him in any way he needs, just as we would do with Mesut Ozil, Michael Essien or whoever.” Local newspapers and radio stations have been full of speculation about the reasons behind the 27-year-old Ronaldo’s apparently calculated outburst. He was reported to have had a meeting with club president Florentino Perez on Saturday to say he did not feel he had the support of the dressing room, was unhappy and wanted to leave. Ronaldo himself rejected the idea that he was downcast at losing out to Andres Iniesta for the Best Player in Europe award tomorrow. Arbeloa dismissed suggestions that Ronaldo, who is one of the world’s bestpaid players earning some 11 million euros a year, was seeking an improved contract. “It’s true that Cristiano, like most of us, doesn’t have the problems that many Spaniards have, but he will have his reasons for not being at his best and this is reasonable,” Arbeloa said. “I have never heard him talk about money, a longer deal, or wanting to go. I think he’ll be here for many years.—Reuters

Hernandez boosts Argentina WELLINGTON: Argentine hopes of an unlikely first victory over world champions New Zealand were boosted yesterday when flyhalf pivot Juan Martin Hernandez and openside flanker Juan Manuel Leguizamon were named in the side after returning from injury. The dynamic duo were the only changes to coach Santiago Phelan’s starting line-up for their Rugby Championship clash in Wellington on Saturday, bolstering an experienced lineup that boasts over 400 caps. Hernandez has recovered from a torn leg muscle that kept him out of the home 16-16 draw with South Africa on Aug. 25 and takes over from Nicolas Sanchez. The return of the classy flyhalf is a huge boost for the Pumas, who face an uphill challenge against the All Blacks who have lost only four times at home in 10 years. The gifted Hernandez has been plagued by injury in recent times. He made his first start for Argentina in three years in their first Rugby Championship clash, a 27-6 defeat by the Springboks in Durban last month. His tactical kicking and ability to bring runners into the game will be important against a measly All Black defence that kept Australia pointless in the second of their two wins over their trans-Tasman rivals 10 days ago. —Reuters

Nationals triumph over Cubs

TORONTO: Baltimore Orioles’ Joe Saunders works against Toronto Blue Jays during the fifth inning of their baseball game. —AP

Orioles and Rays roll TORONTO: Joe Saunders and three relievers combined on a three-hitter and the charging Baltimore Orioles blanked Toronto 4-0 Monday, cutting their AL East deficit to one game. The Orioles, who took two of three at Yankee Stadium over the weekend, moved even closer to New York. The Yankees lost 4-3 at Tampa Bay. JJ Hardy drove in two runs as the Orioles won for the eighth time in 10 games. Their onegame gap marks the closest anyone has been to the Yankees since mid-June. Acquired recently from Arizona, Saunders (1-1) retired the first 17 Blue Jays batters before Adeiny Hechavarria lined a two-out single to center in the sixth inning. J.A. Happ (3-2) allowed three runs, two earned, and six hits in five-plus innings. He walked two and struck out nine. Rays 4, Yankees 3 In St. Petersburg, James Shields pitched eight strong innings to outlast CC Sabathia and light-hitting Chris Gimenez drove in two runs, helping the Rays beat the Yankees. The Yankees, who led by 10 games earlier this summer, had their edge cut to one game by Baltimore, which beat Toronto 4-0. The Rays moved within 2 1-2 games of New York. Shields (13-8) and the Rays ruined the return of Alex Rodriguez. The slugger went 1 for 4 with a strikeout in his first game after being sidelined six weeks with a broken left hand. Gimenez broke a 3-all tie in the eighth with a two-out grounder that just made it to the outfield for a single off David Robertson (1-5). Indians 3, Tigers 2 In Detroit, Asdrubal Cabrera’s tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh inning lifted the Indians to a win over the Tigers, giving righthander Corey Kluber his first career victory. The game was tied at 2 in the seventh when reliever Darin Downs (1-1) allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out. Cabrera then lifted a fly to center off Brayan Villarreal. Kluber (1-3) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings in his seventh career start. He struck out four and walked one. Vinnie Pestano allowed two baserunners in the ninth but escaped for his second save. Rangers 8, Royals 4 In Kansas City , Yu Darvish retired the first 17 batters, Texas hit five home runs and the Rangers beat the Royals in a game that turned testy. Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz homered on consecutive pitches in the sixth inning. Cruz watched his drive sail over the wall, then was hit by Louis Coleman’s first pitch leading off the

ninth. Cruz took a few steps to the mound, but was restrained by catcher Brayan Pena. The dugouts and bullpens emptied, but only words were exchanged. Michael Young answered that by homering on the next pitch. Darvish (14-9) was pulled after the seventh and struck out six, including five in the first three innings, and walked one. Bruce Chen (10-11) allowed six runs on six hits, four of them home runs. Angels 8, Athletics 3 In Oakland, Chris Iannetta hit a two-run homer in a three-hit day, Vernon Wells had a solo shot and RBI single, and the Angels snapped the Athletics’ season-best nine-game winning streak. CJ Wilson (11-9) shut down the red-hot Athletics in the Angels’ sixth victory in the last seven. Torii Hunter led off the third with a solo homer and added a sacrifice fly in the sixth for the Angels. Wells hit his 10th homer to start the fourth and No. 9 hitter Iannetta connected in the sixth. Wilson outpitched fellow lefty Tommy Milone (11-10) to win back-to-back starts for the first time since June 19 and 26. Mariners 4, Red Sox 1 In Seattle, Jason Vargas pitched seven solid innings and the Mariners sent Boston to its season-worst seventh straight loss. The Red Sox botched two key plays and fell to 0-7 on their road trip. They’ve been outscored 58-16 in that span. Vargas (14-9) allowed one run and six hits, walked no one and struck out five. He is the first Mariners pitcher other than Felix Hernandez to win at least 14 games since 2003. Tom Wilhelmsen worked the ninth to pick up his 23rd save in 26 opportunities. Clay Buchholz (11-5) went seven innings, giving up three earned runs, six hits while walking one and striking out eight. White Sox 4, Twins 2 In Chicago, Gordon Beckham hit a two-run homer and Hector Santiago won in his first major league start as the White Sox beat the Twins and moved back into sole possession of first place in the AL Central. The White Sox moved a game up on Detroit, which lost to Cleveland 3-2. Jamey Carroll hit his first home run in three seasons for the Twins, who are 25 games below .500. The home run for Carroll snapped a streak of 1,348 at-bats without a homer, which was the longest active streak in the majors. Santiago (3-1) pitched five-plus innings and allowed one run on three hits. He struck out six and walked three. Santiago is taking Gavin Floyd’s spot in the rotation. Floyd is on the DL with a sore right shoulder. —AP

MLB results/standings Cleveland 3, Detroit 2; Washington 2, Chicago Cubs 1; Baltimore 4, Toronto 0; Tampa Bay 4, NY Yankees 3; Atlanta 6, Colorado 1; Miami 7, Milwaukee 3; Philadelphia 4, Cincinnati 2; Houston 5, Pittsburgh 1; Texas 8, Kansas City 4; St. Louis 5, NY Mets 4; San Francisco 9, Arizona 8 (10 Innings); LA Angels 8, Oakland 3; Seattle 4, Boston 1; Chicago White Sox 4, Minnesota 2; LA Dodgers 4, San Diego 3 (11 innings). American League Eastern Division W L NY Yankees 76 58 Baltimore 75 59 Tampa Bay 74 61 Boston 62 74 Toronto 60 74

PCT GB .567 .560 1 .548 2.5 .456 15 .448 16

Central Division Chicago White Sox 73 61 Detroit 72 62 Kansas City 60 74 Cleveland 57 78 Minnesota 55 80

.545 .537 1 .448 13 .422 16.5 .407 18.5

Western Division 80 54 76 58 72 63 66 70

.597 .567 4 .533 8.5 .485 15

Texas Oakland LA Angels Seattle

National League Eastern Division Washington 82 52 Atlanta 76 59 Philadelphia 65 70 NY Mets 64 71 Miami 60 75

.612 .563 .481 .474 .444

Central Division Cincinnati 82 54 St. Louis 73 62 Pittsburgh 70 64 Milwaukee 65 69 Chicago Cubs 51 83 Houston 42 93

.603 .541 8.5 .522 11 .485 16 .381 30 .311 39.5

Western Division San Francisco LA Dodgers Arizona San Diego Colorado

.570 .537 4.5 .485 11.5 .456 15.5 .414 21

77 73 66 62 55

58 63 70 74 78

6.5 17.5 18.5 22.5

WASHINGTON: Ross Detwiler allowed four hits in seven shutout innings and Adam LaRoche homered Monday, giving the Washington Nationals their first winning season with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The NL East-leading Nationals improved to 82-52. The club moved from Montreal to Washington for the 2005 season and went 81-81 that year. In 2008 and 2009, the team lost a combined 205 games, then finished 80-81 in 2011. The Nationals’ win allowed them to hold their 61/2-game division lead over Atlanta. Detwiler (9-6) struck out three and walked three, allowing only one runner to reach third. Jeff Samardzija (8-13) gave up a long home run to LaRoche to lead off the second. Tyler Clippard allowed two hits and a two-out RBI single to Welington Castillo in the ninth. Clippard threw the ball away for an error and allowed pinch-runner Tony Campana advance to second before striking out Josh Vitters for his 30th save in 33 opportunities. Phillies 4, Reds 2 In Cincinnati, Jimmy Rollins hit a three-run homer off Johnny Cueto during a cloudburst that sent fans scurrying for cover, leading Philadelphia over Cincinnati. John Mayberry Jr. added a solo homer off Cueto (17-7), who failed in his attempt to become the majors’ first 18-game winner. Cueto also lost a day game for the first time this season - he’d been 11-0 in 13 afternoon starts. Rookie right-hander Tyler Cloyd (1-1) got his first major league hit and win. He singled ahead of Rollins’ homer to extend the inning. The 25-year-old gave up four hits, including Jay Bruce’s 30th homer, and struck out nine in seven innings. Giants 9, D’backs 8 In San Francisco, Marco Scutaro hit an RBI single in the 10th inning after Buster Posey’s tying double in the ninth as San Francisco rallied to beat Arizona. Brandon Crawford beat out a single to short leading off the 10th and moved to second when Brett Pill dropped a sacrifice bunt. Angel Pagan grounded out to first to advance Crawford.

Scutaro sent the final fastball from Bryan Shaw (1-5) past diving third baseman Chris Johnson for San Francisco’s seventh walk-off win. Scutaro also doubled and scored the tying run in the ninth to help hand J.J. Putz his second straight blown save. Sergio Romo (4-2) pitched a perfect 10th for the Giants. Astros 5, Pirates 1 In Pittsburgh, Brett Wallace had three hits, including a threerun homer, to lift Houston past struggling Pittsburgh. Edgar Gonzalez (1-0) picked up his first

pitched 6 2-3 effective innings and also doubled, and St. Louis held off New York. Kelly (5-6) allowed five hits and two runs. He made his second start after a brief stint in the bullpen, and turned in his longest outing of the season. Jason Motte got his 33rd save in 38 chances. Skip Schumaker hit a solo homer and Matt Carpenter drove in two runs for the NL wild card-leading Cardinals. Yadier Molina and Allen Craig added RBI singles and Kelly scored a run. Daniel Murphy and Kelly Shoppach hit two-run homers for New York.

Marlins 7, Brewers 3 In Miami, Jose Reyes drove in three runs and Miami snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over Milwaukee. Ricky Nolasco (11-12) gave up three runs, though only one was earned, and nine hits in seven innings. He was coming off his third career shutout, against Washington. Mike Fiers (8-7) lasted 3 1-3 innings. He gave up six runs four earned - six hits, walked four and struck out four. Steve Cishek worked the ninth for his 12th save in 16 chances. Carlos Gomez hit a two-run home run in the second for the Brewers.

WASHINGTON: Chicago Cubs’ Tony Campana dives back to first base as Washington Nationals’ Adam LaRoche tries to field a pick-off attempt by pitcher Tyler Clippard during the ninth inning of their baseball game. —AP win as a starter in more than four years, giving up a run on five hits in 5 1-3 innings as the Astros won for just the third time since interim manager Tony DeFrancesco took over two weeks ago. Gonzalez struck out five and walked just one. Jeff Locke (0-1) ran into trouble early and never recovered as the Pirates dropped their fourth straight in the race for the NL’s second wild card spot. Locke surrendered five runs in five innings to remain winless in five big league starts. Cardinals 5, Mets 4 In St. Louis, Rookie Joe Kelly

Braves 6, Rockies 1 In Atlanta, Kris Medlen struck out a career-high 12 to lead Atlanta over Colorado. Medlen (71) allowed five hits without a walk in his second complete game of the season. He extended his streak of scoreless innings to 34 2-3 - the Braves’ longest since Greg Maddux in 2000 - before the Rockies scored an unearned run in the seventh. The right-hander, who appeared in 38 games in relief before moving into the rotation July 31, improved to 6-0 with a 0.54 ERA in seven starts. David Ross hit a two-run double in Atlanta’s four-run third inning.

Dodgers 4, Padres 3 In Los Angeles, AJ Ellis singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning, giving the Dodgers a victory over the Padres for their second consecutive walkoff win. Ellis got the game-ending hit off Cory Burns (0-1) after two-out singles by Andre Ethier and Luis Cruz, who had a career-high four hits. Ethier tied the game 3-all with his 16th homer off Luke Gregerson with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Brandon League (1-1) got the win with two innings of relief. He gave up one hit, struck out two and walked one. —AP

Bobby leads Bosox in race to the bottom NEW York: You can never say for certain that a team has given up, but the Red Sox are making it awfully tempting. They’ve lost the first seven games on this latest West Coast swing, which arrived at the tail end of a five week-long skid that saw them plummet from 3 1/2 games out of a potential playoff spot to the depths of the American League East - and toward even more historic lows. Wondering who to blame? Good luck. In the race to the bottom, it’s become harder by the day to figure out who cares less, the players, manager Bobby Valentine, or his bosses. Things got so bad this past weekend that Valentine not only showed up late to prepare for Friday’s game in Oakland, his players responded by losing 20-2. After back-to-back losses followed Saturday and Sunday, he answered questions about his strategy, lineup choices and the mood in the clubhouse with barely disguised contempt. That attitude was still very much on display when the team arrived Monday for the start of a three-game series in Seattle, where owner John Henry and general manager Ben Cherington caught up with the club to get a look at the sinking ship. Boston lost the series opener to the Mariners 4-1 on Monday. The only news to emerge thus far was hardly welcome for most Red Sox fans. Henry told the Boston Herald he remained “resolute” that Valentine would keep his job until the end of the season. “What do you think we talked about? Art? Liverpool? We talked about baseball, our team, what he’s concerned with, what I deal with,” is how Valentine described their conversation to the news-

paper. “To any of you that are sorry I didn’t get fired,” he added a moment later, “I’m sorry that you’re sorry.” On the contrary. When a team goes south as dramatically as the Red Sox have - for two years running now - about the only suspense to be had over the rest of this season is who gets fired and when. After Boston’s historic collapse pulled the rug out on the postseason a year ago, it seemed unlikely the ballclub could look any more dysfunctional. Then Valentine stepped into the picture. He started spring training tweaking the rival Yankees, then apologized - sort of - and came down hard on long-serving Red Sox slugger Kevin Youkilis instead. That turned out to be a prelude to Youkilis’ departure, which in hindsight turned out to be the first step in dismantling Boston’s once-fearsome lineup. Valentine appeared to have turned things around at the end of July, when the Red Sox beat the Yankees twice in their final at-bat, then took two more from the Tigers to get to 53-51 and within reach of the wild-card. Less than a month later, the Red Sox haven’t sniffed the .500 mark and are flirting with a 90-loss season, something that hasn’t happened in nearly 50 years. Ownership gave a strong indication of where things are headed by shipping first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, pitcher Josh Beckett and injured outfielder Carl Crawford to the Dodgers in an Aug. 25 blockbuster trade that effectively said “No mas.” When the front office says the same about Bobby V. remains to be seen. The 62-year-old Valentine has a year remaining on the two-year contract he signed last December. Under Henry’s

tenure as principal owner, the Red Sox fired managers Terry Francona and Grady Little, but only after they completed their respective seasons. Since the question no longer seems to be whether Valentine will suffer a similar fate, it might be more interesting to wonder why the club hired him in the first place. Henry and the rest of the Boston brain trust must have known a culture clash was inevitable, since Francona had effectively turned over the job of policing the Red Sox locker room to a core of veteran players - a task that Valentine has relished everywhere else he managed. He pretty much talked his way out of jobs previously with the Mets and the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan by calling out opponents, umpires, his players or even his bosses whenever he felt the need - which for Valentine is often. While that candor generally made Valentine an interesting addition to the broadcast booth, it also helped explain why he hadn’t been given charge of a major league clubhouse for the 10 years prior to landing in Boston. If nothing else, his behavior and quotes of late suggest Valentine may be headed back there soon enough. Speaking of which, Henry, too, has had the benefit of some practice for his next role - apologizing for the mess the Red Sox have become. His Fenway Sports Group also owns storied English Premier League club Liverpool, which is off to its worst start to a season in 50 years. “It will not happen overnight,” Henry wrote in a letter posted on the Liverpool website. No argument there - which makes his lack of urgency on this side of the Atlantic more puzzling still. —AP


sp orts Preview

Giants seek improvement to keep Super Bowl crown NEW YORK: The New York Giants are the reigning Super Bowl champions, but quarterback Eli Manning knows from first-hand experience that his National Football League team can’t afford to be complacent. “We know we’ve got to improve,” said Manning, whose team sneaked into the post-season last year then went all the way. “We were 9-7 last year in the regular season. That’s not good enough. We’ve got to have that urgency, that consistency, throughout the whole season, and play our best football for the 16 regular-season games.” It’s the opposite story for National Football Conference (NFC) rivals Green Bay, who powered to a 15-1 regular season then fell to the Giants in their playoff opener. “We went through a great regular season, winning 15 games and doing a lot of things that hadn’t happened here in Green Bay before, and got knocked out in the first round,” said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the regular season Most Valuable Player. “It makes you realize the only thing that matters is winning championships, and you have to win some playoff games to get there.” Manning and the Giants made the most of their post-season chance, beating favoured New England Patriots for the Super Bowl title. New England quarterback Tom Brady matched a Super Bowl record with his fifth career start last season, and will be a strong choice to challenge again to join boyhood idol Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with a record four Super Bowl wins. With Brady at the helm, the Patriots remain the class of the American Football Conference (AFC). Defense remains the cornerstone of the Pittsburgh Steelers and they again promise to be be a smothering unit. On offense, Ben Roethlisberger is another quarterback seeking a Super Bowl return and if he clicks with new offensive co-ordinator Todd Haley the Steelers could add an explosive offense to their defensive strength. More mystery surrounds another future Hall of Fame quarterback, Peyton Manning, the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player who led Indianapolis to a Super Bowl crown in 2007. He will make his long awaited return from injury at the helm of the Denver Broncos and his arrival makes the Broncos

instant contenders in the AFC West, but the 36-year-old missed all of the 2011 season after a fourth neck surgery. Stepping into Manning’s shoes in Indianapolis will be top draft pick Andrew Luck, the college star who is one of five rookie quarterbacks expected to start in week one of the season-an unusually high number in a league where the key offensive players are thought to need more seasoning to be ready to lead teams. The Washington Redskins are putting their faith in Heisman Trophy-winning Robert Griffin III, Miami are going with Ryan Tannehill, Cleveland will start rookie Brandon Weeden under centre and Seattle have tabbed Russell Wilson. The newcomers will be expected to get up to speed quickly in an unforgiving environment, but at least they won’t have to live up to the previous season. Giants coach Tom Coughlin says the key to following up a successful season is to forget about it. “The great thing about the mountain is everybody starts to climb again at this time,” he said. The Giants will open 2012 on Wednesday hosting NFC East rivals the Dallas Cowboys. Other NFC teams aiming to knock the Giants off their perch include the Philadelphia Eagles, who will be hoping quarterback Michael Vick can stay healthy, and Green Bay’s rivals in the NFC North, Chicago and Detroit. New Orleans own a wealth of talent in the NFC South, but will be handicapped by the sanctions handed down by the league for a pay-to-injure “bounty” scheme. Head coach Sean Payton was banned for the entire season over the affair and replacement Joe Vitt won’t be able to take over until he serves his own six-game ban to start 2012. The turmoil couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Saints, who are hoping quarterback Drew Brees will still be able to lead them to a Super Bowl scheduled for their own Superdome. The bounty scandal wasn’t the only source of turmoil this off-season, and 2012 will open with replacement referees in charge of officiating as the league’s contract dispute with their referees rumbles on. The less experienced replacements have drawn criticism in the pre-season, and it remains to be seen how effective they’ll be in the heat of meaningful battle. — AFP

BLACKSBURG: Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington dives on the ball to regain possession while under pressure from Virginia Tech outside linebacker Jeron Gouveia-Winslow and defensive end JR Collins (42) during the first half of an NCAA college football game. — AP

Virginia Tech edge Georgia BLACKSBURG: Cody Journell kicked a 17-yard field goal in overtime and No. 16 Virginia Tech beat Georgia Tech 20-17 on Monday night. Georgia Tech got the ball first in overtime, but quarterback Tevin Washington threw the ball away under pressure and was intercepted. Tevin Washington’s 10-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left in regulation had given the Yellow Jackets a 17-14 lead. Logan Thomas then drove the Hokies and Journell’s 41-yard field goal tied it at the end of regulation. After Washington’s turnover in overtime, needing only to score to win, the Hokies got runs of 6 and 18 yards from Michael Holmes, before Journell spared them another crushing loss in a big early game. The Hokies trailed 17-14 until Journell, who had earlier missed from 38 yards, made his first kick. Until his overtime mistake and Journell’s clutch kicking, Washington was primed to be the star of the game. Georgia Tech’s run-first quarterback hit Deon Hill with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds remaining, stunning the sellout crowd in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams. Four plays earlier, Washington was flushed

The put the Yellow Jackets at the Hokies 24, and three runs tied it. On the 12-yard touchdown, Robert Godhigh went wide around the left side, dodged defenders, broke several tackles and scored easily, making it 7-7 just 26 seconds into the second quarter. The mistake seemed to knock the Hokies off their stride, and neither team threatened the rest of the half. The Yellow Jackets finally started moving the ball and went ahead 10-7 on a 34-yard field goal by David Scully to start the fourth quarter. The score came after a 15-play, 56-yard drive that not only took 7:18 off the clock, but included three short third-down conversions and left the Hokies defenders looking as if the high humidity was finally starting to wear them down. After falling behind, Thomas and the offense finally gave the defense a break, driving from their 23 to the Yellow Jackets 21 in 11 plays, but Journell missed. The rested Hokies didn’t let it keep them down long, holding the Yellow Jackets and forcing a punt. This time, Thomas worked quickly. He hit Marcus Davis for 35 yards on second down, and when Davis fumbled the ball at the end of the run, Corey Fuller recovered at the Yellow Jackets 42.—AP

Klitschko puts politics aside to fight Charr

Alberto Contador

Contador scenting fairytale return win COMILLAS: Spain’s two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador stands tantalisingly close to a stunning win in the Tour of Spain, his first major race since returning from a two -year doping ban. But while the 29-year-old - who still protests his innocence over the minute trace of clenbuterol found in his urine on the 2010 Tour de France — is just 28 seconds behind overall leader Joaquim “ Purito” Rodriguez, he admits it will be tough for him to claw the deficit back. “I am in second place now and would like to exchange it for first place, but I am aware of how difficult it will be to win,” Contador told a news conference in the northern city of Comillas during the second rest day of the race. “It is complicated because there is not much more ground to cover, but every day there will be possibilities in the Tour to catch up. “I am going to give all I have no matter what result I have, I have my own racing style and it does not even occur to me to do anything but to try to win.” Rodriguez — who suffered heartbreak in this year’s Tour of Italy ending up second overall having entered the final stage in the lead — extended his overall lead over Contador by six seconds during Monday’s 16th stage and is now within striking distance of securing his first ever major Tour win. The 33-year-old fended off a series of attacks from Contador during the steep final climb of the 183.5kilometre (114-mile) mountain ride from Gijon to Cuitu Negru in northern Spain to finish third. Contador finished fourth. “I have analysed where I can improve and one thing is clear I am not in my usual shape,” Contador

from the pocket on a fourth-and-6 play from the Hokies 37, and after eluding a pass rusher, he found B.J. Bostic with three defenders around him for a 19-yard gain on the right sideline to keep the drive alive. The Hokies, who had gone ahead on Thomas’ 42-yard scoring pass to Demitri Knowles with 7:46 to play, got the ball back and drove to the Yellow Jackets 24 with 6 seconds remaining. The Yellow Jackets used a timeout to try to ice Journell, but his kick sailed went through the uprights to tie it at 17. Fans, most of whom came clad in orange, didn’t even wait for the officials to signal the kick good, but took their cues from the reactions of those with a better view and were already celebrating having scored more points in the last 7:46 than the first 52:14. Before the offensive flurry in the fourth quarter, the game was a punting contest that turned on a punt that went awry. Georgia Tech had managed just two first downs when Hokies freshman punter A.J. Hughes set them up with a mistake. Dropped back in punt formation near midfield, he let a snap go through his hands and scrambled to fall on it for a 22-yard loss.

said. “But you have to recognise that ‘Purito’ is in incredible shape, which is making everything harder,” the Saxo Bank rider added. Rodriguez said he does not see himself as the winner of this year’s Tour but was optimistic about his chances. “There is a week left and I still do not see myself as the winner,” the Katusha rider told reporters in Comillas. “While it is little, I have a good advantage in the overall standings over the other leaders. If we continue working like this I think we can do it. “It is clear to me that I have to ride glued to Contador’s wheel, his changes in rhythm are not bad for me. I have known him for years and that tells me what I need to do,” Rodriguez added. Spain’s Alejandro Valverde of Movistar, who picked up a stage win in the Tour de France this year, is in third place in the overall standings followed by Britain’s Chris Froome of Sky. Valverde is two minutes, four seconds behind the leader with Froome four minutes and 52 seconds behind Rodriguez. The Tour is Contador’s first major cycling race since his two-year drugs ban ended on August 6. He said he was happy to see so many fans cheering him on along the route of the race. “I am really satisfied, I feel in debt to all the fans, the affection and support they have given me has been incredible,” said Contador. The Spanish rider has always insisted that the trace of the banned substance clenbuterol came from a contaminated steak he ate on the eve of the test. Contador said he planned to take part in the time trial and road race at the world championships in the Netherlands next month and the Tour of Lombardy in Italy in October.—AFP

MOSCOW: Ukrainian world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko yesterday said he had temporarily put his political aspirations to one side for his heavyweight title fight against Germany’s Manuel Charr. Klitschko, 40, leads the aptly named UDAR (punch) party in Ukraine which is currently running third in opinion polls ahead of legislative elections on October 28 and is vehemently critical of President Viktor Yanukovych. But he told reporters he had put his political activity on ice to concentrate on the fight with Charr, 27, for the WBC belt in the Russian capital on Saturday. He vowed to return to campaigning after the bout. “August were the holidays and my (campaign) team gave me the chance to devote myself to sport,” Klitschko told reporters at a pre-fight press conference in Moscow alongside his opponent. “Once the fight is over I will play a more active role in the politics so that Ukrainian voters back our political force to represent them” in the Verkhovna Rada parliament, he added. Exuding his usual confidence and dressed in a red hooded jumper, Klitschko said he would talk more about politics when his party gives a major news confer-

ence in Kiev after the fight. The Beirut-born Charr sought to goad his opponent ahead of the fight, telling Klitshcko that boxing the Ukrainian was “a present that I have dreamed off all my life” and that he expected to win by knockout. “ There will be no presents” on Saturday, retorted Klitschko, adding that no- one in the world was capable of knocking him out. Klitshcko and his Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) — founded in 2010 — have become vocal opponents of the controversial Yanukovych and bitterly criticised the jailing of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Both Vitali and his younger brother Vladimir-who also holds heavyweight boxing titles-were strong supporters of the 2004 Orange Revolution uprising that for a time brought pro-Western forces to power. According to the most recent poll by the Razumkov Centre, Klitschko’s party is running third in the parliamentary elections race. The Tymoshenko-led opposition coalition will win 19.6 percent, the ruling Regions Party 19 percent, UDAR 9.5 percent and the Communist Party 7.5 percent, according to the poll. — AFP

Vitali Klitschko

Beale back for Springboks test MELBOURNE: Australia coach Robbie Deans has recalled out-of-form utility back Kurtley Beale to the Wallabies starting side for their Rugby Championship match against South Africa in Perth on Saturday. Beale, one of Deans’s most dangerous attacking weapons when firing, was demoted to the bench for Australia’s second straight defeat to New Zealand in Auckland last month after playing a dreadful match in the opener in Sydney a week earlier. “He’s in a better space. I don’t think you’ll see a performance like that from Kurtley again,” Deans told reporters. “He’s too good a player for a repeat of that. “It was just one of those nights really. It goes from bad to worse and just compounds. It’s in the past fortunately. I’ve seen a player that’s very keen not to have a repeat.” Beale slots in at fullback, with

Adam Ashley-Cooper shifting to outside centre to replace the dropped Rob Horne. Deans said that 23-yearold Melbourne Rebel had been putting in the hard yards in training to rectify his mistakes. “He’s working hard on and off the field. He’s doing his homework, making sure he’s around the detail, which helps a lot in terms of positioning. You’re less likely to get exposed,” Deans said. Queensland Reds speedster Dom Shipperley will make his debut after being named on the right wing, replacing Drew Mitchell, who was injured in his first test back against the All Blacks at Eden Park after spending nearly a year on the sidelines. “He’s a young man that’s brimming full of confidence and he’s very excited,” Deans said of the new starter. “He looked like he put on half a yard at training today.” The winger, though, played down

expectations of a dazzling debut display. “I just want to do my job. You can’t go out and expect to set the world on fire in your first Test,” Shipperley said. “It’s a pretty special feeling (to be selected). It’s one of those things you never forget.” Back-rower Scott Higginbotham has been dropped to the bench in favour of 36-year-old Radike Samo, who takes the number eight position in an otherwise unchanged forward pack. Powerful hooker Tatafu Polota Nau has been named on the bench after being withdrawn from the Eden Park test due to injury. Australia, without a point and bottom of the standings after two rounds, must defeat the Springboks to keep their slim title hopes alive in the inaugural Rugby Championship, which sees Argentina debut in the southern hemisphere tournament. —Reuters


sp orts

McIlroy wins Deutsche Bank title

KIAWAH ISLAND: This Aug. 10, 2012 file photo shows Jim Furyk watching his drive from the third tee during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course.—AP

Johnson, Furyk, Snedeker and Stricker in Ryder Cup NEW YORK: United States captain Davis Love III opted for a blend of experience and form in choosing Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker and Steve Stricker as his wildcard picks for this month’s Ryder Cup against Europe. Love announced Cup veterans Furyk and Stricker, along with 2010 debutant Johnson and rookie Snedeker, as his four selections during a news conference at the NASDAQ headquarters in Times Square yesterday. The quartet will join automatic choices Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson on the 12-man American team. “It was tough to leave anybody off,” Love said of his selections. “This is probably the deepest, strongest year of earning (U.S. Ryder Cup) points that I’ve seen and there were a lot of guys that have played a lot of really good golf. “We could have gone very deep this year down the points list. There are four great players that we have picked that are

playing very well and bring a lot to the team. I felt like in the end we rounded out our 12 the best way we knew how.” Furyk, a 42-year-old veteran of seven Ryder Cups, will bring considerable experience to the U.S. lineup and is known for being very adaptable in team play with a variety of partners. Stricker, acknowledged as one of the best putters in the game, is a 12-times PGA Tour champion who has partnered Woods successfully on several U.S. teams at both the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. The long-hitting Johnson, a six-times PGA Tour winner who made his Ryder Cup debut two years ago in Wales, cemented his selection by tying for fourth at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday. Snedeker, who is also renowned for his putting, won his third PGA Tour title at the Farmers Insurance Open in January and will make his debut in the biennial competition. The US will take on Jose Maria Olazabal’s European team, the holders, at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago from Sept. 28-30.—Reuters

NORTON: World number one Rory McIlroy clinched his fifth PGA Tour title, and second in three starts, with a one-shot victory over South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday. McIlroy, who began the final round three shots behind Oosthuizen, fired a four-under-par 67 for a 20-under 264 that handed the 23-yearold Northern Irishman the second of the PGA Tour’s four FedExCup playoff events. Oosthuizen (71), who trailed McIlroy by three strokes with six holes to play at the TPC Boston, finished alone in second while former world number one Tiger Woods (66) was alone in third a further shot back. The win was McIlroy’s third of the season and first since last month’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. It put him level with Woods for the most victories on the PGA Tour this year. “Today was great,” McIlroy told reporters. “I am delighted to get this win, delighted to go to No. 1 in the FedExCup, because it sets me up for a great next couple of weeks. “Going out with a three-shot deficit. I just wanted to get off to a good solid start and maybe put Louis under a little bit of pressure.” The win guarantees that McIlroy will go into the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta knowing that a victory there would earn him the overall FedExCup title and the bonus of $10 million. However, Monday’s final round at the TPC Boston was by no means a cakewalk for McIlroy. Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, fought back after the turn and faced a 12-foot birdie putt on the last hole to force a playoff but his attempt slid past the right edge of the cup. “You could hear all the commentators in the crowd saying what the putt is doing, so after putting that aside and just reading the putt properly, standing over it, I wanted to hit more than I read,” the South African said.

“But even if I had putted where I read it, it doesn’t do that much, which is amazing. If I go and hit that putt again, I’d probably miss it on exactly the same side.” Woods started the day six strokes off the lead but, despite carding a bogey-free round, he never really threatened the leaders. The 14-times major champion was four under on the front nine and then carded eight successive pars before signing off with a birdie at the

last. By clinching a third-place cheque for $544,000, Woods became the first player to surpass $100 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour. South Korea’s KJ Choi and Australians Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley were among several leading players who failed to finish in the top 70 in the FedExCup standings and will therefore not advance to next week’s BMW Championship in Carmel, Indiana.—Reuters

NORTON: Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, holds the trophy after winning the Deutsche Bank Championship PGA golf tournament.—AP

Australia defeat Pakistan to clinch ODI series 2-1


Granberg hoping to repeat Malaysia magic KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champion Joonas Granberg said he is looking to reproduce last year’s magic but is having trouble staying calm ahead of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters starting in Malaysia today. Granberg, 25, of Finland, knows he must steady his nerves to defend the title he won last year, but he will face strong challenges from the likes of rising star Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand, who finished second last year. “I have to keep things simple and not try anything special. Somehow I don’t feel very relaxed and that’s my problem. I need to calm myself down,” said Granberg, whose victory last year was helped by a course record 10-under-par 62 in the first round. “My opening round last year was amazing. I remembered I only had two hours of sleep due to jetlag but after an eagle on my first hole and a birdie on the

second, I was wide awake. Of course I’ll try for the same magic again,” he said, according to a press release from the Asian Tour. Panuphol, 19, went through a 3D biomechanical motion analysis in Switzerland last week and is hoping a few tweaks of his golf swing will boost his chances of a first Asian Tour title. “I feel much better after doing the biomechanical analysis because I know what I’m doing now and what I did wrong before,” he said. The Thai player said it was a big challenge competing against battle-hardened veterans such as Singapore’s Mardan Mamat, who is celebrating his 300th Asian Tour appearance. Mardan said he was happy that at the age of 45 he can still compete. “I’m very fortunate. But I still want to get better every day. That’s the key to my success of playing,” said the three-time Asian Tour winner.—AFP

Pujara, Kohli fill void left by Indian greats MUMBAI: Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli’s exploits with the bat in the two-test series sweep of New Zealand will encourage India to believe they have pinpointed the right men to help carry the team through a tricky transitional period. The series was the first for India since the retirements of batting stalwarts Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, and represented the earliest test of a situation that had been lurking on the horizon for quite some time. The 24-year-old Pujara replaced Dravid at the number three spot in the Indian batting line-up and displayed a temperament as cool as his predecessor when he hit 159 in the opening match in Hyderabad, his first test since January 2011. On Monday in Bangalore, the right-hander showed fine technique and a steely nerve during his innings of 48 which helped set up India’s successful run chase of 261 in the second test. The 23-year-old Kohli, man of the match in Bangalore, walked in to bat in the second innings with India under a bit of pressure and the match evenly poised. It was almost an identical situation to the first innings when Kohli had to rescue the hosts from a spot of bother with his second test hundred. The first innings centurion once again shut New Zealand out with a mature, unbeaten knock of 51 which convinced Dravid that Kohli was now India’s leading batsman. “Virat has been fantastic. On current form, he is the best batsman in the Indian team. He has really grabbed the opportunities provided,” Dravid said while speaking as a guest commentator for the broadcasters. India will host higher-ranked England and Australia for eight tests later this season and the series against New Zealand was seen as a prelude to the tougher tasks ahead. While those matches will be the acid test for Kohli and Pujara, the early signs bode well

for the two batsmen. “Virat played really well in this test match because we needed someone to soak up the pressure,” India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni told reporters after the match. “He was the guy who did that in both the innings. “Pujara was good in this innings as well as in the last test also. So it is a continuous learning process and they are shaping up well. “It is a big positive for us.” India’s biggest concern remains over the number six position in the batting order. While limited-overs regular Suresh Raina enjoys Dhoni’s confidence, he failed to cement his place with two failures in the three innings he batted against New Zealand. The left-hander scored a battling 55 in the first innings in Bangalore but his wild swat to get bowled for a duck against off-spinner Jeetan Patel in the second will not go down well with his critics. “These are the men we have to fight the war with because you have put in a lot of time and effort on these players,” Dhoni said, hinting he was willing to stick with Raina little longer. “It’s not that in just one or two games you see players who will always perform. I think these are the individuals who will be featuring in the test matches. “They have to take up a little more responsibility as the season progresses and hopefully they will come right.” Swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag has in recent times not ruled out the idea of batting in the middle order, another option for India to plug the hole at the number six spot. Ajinkya Rahane, who has tons of runs in domestic cricket, could fill in for Sehwag at the top of the order with left-hander Gautam Gambhir. Gambhir, who has not scored a fifty in his last seven innings in tests, looked in fine touch in the second innings in Bangalore before he poked at an away-going deliver, a shot which has been his bane in the recent past.—Reuters

SHARJAH: Australian cricket team members pose with the trophy after winning the ODI series against Pakistan 2-1 at the end of the third One Day International cricket match between Australia and Pakistan.—AP

Pakistan, Australia change gear for World Twenty20 DUBAI: Pakistan and Australia will be looking to tune up for this month’s World Twenty20 championship in a three-match series which starts here today. The Twenty20 series follows a three-match one -day series which Australia won 2-1 but Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez hoped a new format and some fresh players will help his team. “These matches give both teams a good chance

SHARJAH: Pakistan’s bowler Saeed Ajmal bowls a delivery in this file photo. —AP

to settle for the mega event,” said Hafeez of the fourth edition of the World Twenty20 to be held in Sri Lanka from September 18 to October 7. Pakistan finished runners-up to India in the first edition of the World Twenty20 held in South Africa in 2007 and two years later bagged the title in England. They were losing semi-finalists to Australia in the 2010 eidtion held in the West Indies. These stats, Hafeez believed, make Pakistan a good Twenty20 team. “It’s disappointing not to win the one-day series but the confidence is still high that we have got a good Twenty20 side and I am confident that we can beat Australia,” said Hafeez, who replaced Misbah as T20 captain in June this year. Hafeez admitted off-spinner Saeed Ajmal will be the key player after taking ten wickets in the oneday series. “Ajmal is a world class bowler but we are not depending on him alone,” said Hafeez. “I think other bowlers must support him from the other end.” Pakistan will be boosted by the return of spearhead Umar Gul who was rested for the one-day series, while allrounders Abdul Razzaq and Yasir Arafat, opener Imran Nazir and paceman Mohammad Sami also make the squad. Allrounder Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s top player in Twenty20 cricket, is likely to miss the first and second match (in Dubai on September 7). He may return in the third, also in Dubai, on September 10 after injuring his hand in the third one-day on Monday. Australia were strengthened by the return of star allrounder Shane Watson, pacemen Ben Hilfenhaus, Clint McKay and Pat Cummins, as well as middle-order batsman Cameron White and spinner Brad Hogg. Their captain George Bailey was confident that new players will boost the team. “There’ll be a nice injection of some energy and enthusiasm into the group. We’ll try to find a settled lineup as quickly as possible, particularly with the batting. These will be really important games against Pakistan. “Any momentum that we can get that we can take into Sri Lanka will be excellent.” Bailey said allrounder Glenn Maxwell, who hit a match-winning 56 not out in the third one-day, will be a key componentx for Australia. “Glenn was someone Mickey Arthur (head coach) and I pushed really hard for (at selection) just because of the x-factor and the versatility that he has,” said Bailey.—AFP

SHARJAH: Glenn Maxwell smashed an unbeaten 56 from 38 balls and Mike Hussey hit 65 as Australia beat Pakistan by three wickets in game three to clinch the limitedovers international series 2-1. The match, which began late Monday at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, consigned Pakistan to a third straight ODI series defeat this year after earlier losses to England and Sri Lanka. It was also Australia’s third successive series win over Pakistan and will help Michael Clarke’s team as it works its way back up the rankings after losing its No. 1 spot with a lopsided defeat to England earlier in the year. “It’s very special after our defeat in England,” Clarke said. “The feeling around the group is a great feeling especially after losing 4-0 to England. “The guys should be really proud of this series. It was a tough victory against a very good one-day team.” After Mitchell Starc claimed 4-51 and Mitchell Johnson took 2-33 to help restrict Pakistan to 244-7, Australia made an encouraging start when opener David Warner (21) and David Hussey combined for 44 runs. Clarke scored 32 before being stumped by Kamran Akmal off Saeed Ajmal (3-37) and David Hussey was caught by Abdur Rehman off Ajmal for 43, leaving Australia at 108-4 nearly halfway through its innings. Mike Hussey, whose late-innings heroics helped Australia beat Pakistan in the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup semifinals, got the chase back on track as he paired with Matthew Wade (22) and Maxwell for half-century partnerships. “It is a great challenge playing these guys. They have some great bowlers and know these conditions very well,” Hussey said. “It was pretty tough during the middle ... They had a lot of momentum and I found it very difficult to start.” Maxwell proved to be the difference after Hussey was bowled by Junaid Khan (2-42), hitting many of his boundaries in the last two overs to clinch the victory for Australia. Ajmal and Rehman (2-41) had no answer to Maxwell and couldn’t make a breakthrough when it counted at the end. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said the series defeat shows his team has plenty of shortcomings, especially its recent history of batting collapses during the power play. “We have to improve in every department of the game, especially we have to find the right combination of fast bowling and we have to improve our batting and fielding,” Misbah said. “At important stages of the game we collapse in batting and miss chances in fielding. These are the real areas where we have to work hard.” Australia elected to bowl after winning the toss, hoping to avoid moist conditions later in the night that contributed to its sevenwicket loss on Friday. Mohammed Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed responded by posting an opening century partnership, giving the thousands of Pakistan fans in the crowd some hope of an ODI series win over Australia for the first time since 2002. Hafeez smashed 78 and Jamshed reached 48 in the 129-run stand - Pakistan’s second highest for the first wicket against Australia. Hafeez struck four boundaries and two sixes, while Jamshed cracked six boundaries. Misbah and Azhar Ali shared a 35-run partnership, but Australia’s bowlers combined to keep Pakistan’s total within reach. Starc, who took five wickets in Australia’s opening win in the series, collected two wickets in the 38th over to slow the Pakistan scoring. He was assisted by Johnson, who broke up the opening partnership. Australia won the first match by four wickets last Tuesday but Pakistan forced the series to the deciding third match with its win in game two.—AP



Blinded Nepali soldier sets new personal best LONDON: Nepal athlete Bikram Bahadur Rana on Monday set a new personal best at the Paralympics, capping an extraordinary journey to the British capital from the Himalayan nation where he was blinded by Maoist rebels. Aided by a guide runner, the former warrant officer came fourth out of four in his T11 200m

Nine years ago he and his foot patrol triggered two roadside bombs left by Maoist rebels hiding in the forest. The explosion forced Rana to the ground, blinded and with blood pouring from an open wound in his neck as he scrambled for his rifle while bullets whizzed past and shrapnel burnt into his face. Now 31, Rana told AFP before

LONDON: China’s Gu Xiao Fei celebrates taking silver in the men’s 82.50kg powerlifting event during the medal ceremony at the 2012 Paralympics. —AP heat for blind and visually impaired athletes, clocking a time of 26.95sec, more than four seconds behind the quickest qualifier. He was ultimately slowest of 18 runners overall but the former soldier, one of only a two-strong national team at the Games, is lucky to be in London at all, after nearly losing his life in the forests of central Nepal.

travelling to London that he has vivid memories of his last day of active service as a government soldier battling the 10-year Maoist insurgency that finally ended in 2006. “It was the morning of September 12, 2003. A few rain drops were falling from the sky and we had reached a road area in dense forests,” he said. “I was with two other soldiers

when a bomb exploded. Both of my friends died on the spot and I was severely injured. My eyes were hurt, my face was covered with blood and there were wounds across my body.” Rana searched desperately for his gun, coughing acrid black smoke and blinded in one eye, as a group of Maoist rebels sprang from the roadside trees and opened fire. His life was saved when his comrades drove the insurgents back into trees. His last memory before losing consciousness was the silence that descended. “I also heard music which sounded like water flowing in a small river but I found out it was the noise of the flow of blood from my neck and abdomen,” he said. Doctors battled to save the sight in one of his eyes in the coming days but after two weeks in an army hospital he was totally blind. “I did not return to work for three months after the incident. I stayed at the hospital and with my relatives. But I did not want to live life doing nothing,” said Rana, who lives in Kathmandu with his wife and two children. As part of his recovery, Rana was persuaded to visit the Nepal Association of the Blind, where he was inspired by an army major who was taking computer classes despite also having been blinded in the insurgency. He started classes himself and as part of his training at the association’s headquarters in Kathmandu he was

introduced to sport for the blind by a visiting cricket coach from Pakistan in 2008. “I started competing in para athletics in 2008 and I became regional and national champion in the 200 metres in 2009,” he added. Rana clocked 12.85sec in the 100m at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Para Games, finished ninth among 32 runners and gaining a wildcard entry to the London Games. The road to London hasn’t been easy for Rana and teammate Maiya Bishankhe, a women’s 100m runner who was born with only one forearm. They have received little help from the authorities in Nepal, a country which does not invest in Paralympic sport and where facilities for disabled athletes are few and far between. Rana, who is on Nepal’s provisional squad list for the Blind Cricket World Cup in Bangalore, India, in November, says they have had no advice on special diets and have not been provided with footwear and clothing for the Games. He admitted that he did not expect to be among the medals but said getting to London was a major personal victory. “I feel ver y proud of my accomplishments. Despite being blind, I will be able to compete carrying the flag of my country,” he said. “I think the opportunity I have received being a blind athlete has made the countr y proud.” — AFP

Stadium falls silent for long jump final LONDON: London’s normally raucous Olympic Stadium fell silent yesterday for the men’s F11 long jump final, in which athletes with little or no vision take off aided only by the sound of their coaches’ calls. To give the competitors the best chance of performing well, the 80,000seater Paralympic Games main venue descended into a rare hush. After lining up their athlete straight on the runway, the coach stands at the take-off board, clapping a running rhythm and calling to their athletes so they can hear the distance to the line. They then jump out of the way at the last second. Competitors in the F11 classification are unable to recognise the shape of a hand at any distance or in any direction. Ukraine’s Ruslan Katyshev won the 2012 Games gold with a personal best of 6.46 metres secured in his first jump, finishing ahead of world record holder Elexis Gillette of the United States and China’s Li Duan in bronze. “I have been waiting for this day for almost 10 years,” Katyshev said. “I knew that he (Gillette) had the world record. I was not confident at all before the competition but I set my mind to get a better result and on my jump technique. “I was nervous but I was trying to hold my emotions.” Also on the first attempt, China’s Mi Na won the F37 women’s shot put-a category for athletes with cerebral palsy-stretching her own world record to 12.20 metres.”I was really surprised as well,” she said. “I felt that the atmosphere here is better than (Beijing) 2008... the audience were full of energy,” she added. Alphanso Cunningham won Jamaica’s first London 2012 Paralympics medal by triumphing in the seated F52/53 men’s javelin title with a 21.84-metre throw. He said he was spurred on by the Jamaican athletics squad’s medals at the Olympics and celebrated with compatriot Usain Bolt’s trademark pose. “Because of their achievement it motivated me to say ‘You know what, we need to do the same’,” he said. Russia’s Alexey Ashapatov extended his domination of the men’s F57/58 seated throwing events, completing his second straight Paralympics shot put and discus double. He took his shot world record to 16.20 metres to win the final. “I dedicate my medal to my loved one,” he said. “We will have a wedding after the Paralympics. She supported me and delivered a beautiful daughter for me. “My victory will be a great present for her.” Meanwhile in semi-final races, one-armed Yunidis Castillo of Cuba became the first T46 female sprinter to break the 12-second barrier in the 100m, clocking 11.95 seconds. In the men’s 200m T34 — contested by wheelchair athletes with cerebral palsy-Tunisia’s Walid Ktila set a new world record of 27.98 seconds. —AFP

LONDON: Brazil’s Daniel Dias competes in the men’s 100 breaststroke SB4 heat at the 2012 Paralympics. —AP

Paralympics medals table LONDON: Medals table after the fifth day of competition at the 2012 Paralympic Games on Monday: Morocco 2 0 1 3 Gold Silver Bronze Total Turkey 1 4 3 8 China 46 31 35 112 Mexico 1 4 2 7 Great Britain 19 25 19 63 Austria 1 2 4 7 Russia 16 20 13 49 Hong Kong 1 1 1 3 Australia 16 13 19 48 Slovakia 1 1 1 3 Ukraine 15 12 15 42 Belgium 1 1 0 2 United States12 11 17 40 Denmark 1 0 3 4 Germany 8 11 10 29 Kenya 1 0 1 2 Brazil 7 4 3 14 Switzerland 1 0 1 2 France 5 9 8 22 Thailand 1 0 1 2 Poland 5 4 2 11 Fiji 1 0 0 1 Cuba 5 3 2 10 Iceland 1 0 0 1 Ireland 5 2 1 8 Latvia 1 0 0 1 Nigeria 4 5 1 10 Macedonia 1 0 0 1 South Korea 4 3 4 11 Romania 1 0 0 1 New Zealand 4 3 4 11 C Republic 0 4 1 5 Iran 4 2 1 7 Algeria 0 1 6 7 Spain 3 9 7 19 Argentina 0 1 3 4 Canada 3 7 3 13 Croatia 0 1 2 3 Netherlands 3 4 9 16 Taiwan 0 1 2 3 Italy 3 3 2 8 India 0 1 0 1 Belarus 3 1 2 6 Malaysia 0 1 0 1 Finland 3 1 1 5 Namibia 0 1 0 1 South Africa 2 5 5 12 Uzbekistan 0 1 0 1 Tunisia 2 4 2 8 Slovenia 0 1 0 1 Japan 2 3 2 7 Greece 0 0 3 3 Sweden 2 2 3 7 Israel 0 0 3 3 Serbia 2 2 0 4 Venezuela 0 0 2 2 Egypt 2 1 5 8 Bulgaria 0 0 1 1 Azerbaijan 2 1 2 5 Indonesia 0 0 1 1 Norway 2 1 0 3 Singapore 0 0 1 1 Hungary 2 0 1 3

Pakistan builds for the future

LONDON: Gold medalist Fiji’s Iliesa Delana celebrates with a flag after the men’s high jump F42 classification final during the athletics competition at the 2012 Paralympics. —AP

Games on course for world record LONDON: Athletes at the London Paralympics are on course to break more world records than in Beijing four years ago, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said yesterday. In the first week of the Games to Tuesday, 137 new world records were set, with a further 81 new Paralympic bests, according to London 2012 organisers LOCOG. Twenty-eight new world records were set on Monday, notably on the track, where El Amin Chentouf of Morocco smashed the previous best by over 30 seconds in the T12 5,000m for blind and visually impaired runners, finishing in 13min 53.77sec. Kenya’s Samwel Mushai Kimani, with guide runner James Boit, then became the first Paralympian to run the 1,500m under four minutes in the T11 final, beating Brazil’s Odair Santos, who was also inside the previous record of 4min 03.66sec. Meanwhile in the pool, Britain’s

Ellie Simmonds lowered the world record twice in qualifying for and winning the final of the women’s S6 200m individual medley. IPC media and communications director Craig Spence said there were 279 world records in Beijing and the performances so far had demonstrated the improvements made in the last four years. “The fact is our athletes are getting better. They’re training full-time. This is not just a hobby sport. It’s professional sport at its very best,” he told a news conference. “Some countries are enjoying far better levels of funding, which in turn leads to better results. We would like to put it down to their (the athletes’) hard work rather than anything else.” Spence explained that more world records were always more likely at the Paralympics than at the Olympics, as there are more gold medal events — 503 compared to about 300. — AFP

LONDON: Pakistan’s Haider Ali will only have one thing on his mind when he walks out in front of 80,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium in London-upgrading the silver he won at the last Games in Beijing. Four years ago, the 27-year-old long jumper from the “City of Wrestlers” in Gujranwala, north of Lahore, secured Pakistan’s first and so far only Games medal. “I’m well-prepared to do the best I can,” the 27-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, told a news conference on the eve of his F38 final on Wednesday evening. Team officials see Ali as a potential world beater and are hoping to secure him up to six months of top-class coaching in Britain but his participation reflects many of the issues facing smaller delegations taking part in the Games. Ali digs his own long jump pits in the fields of the Pakistani Punjab due to a lack of nearby facilities, highlighting the severe funding shortfall facing developing nations compounded by centuriesold prejudices towards disability. In places like Pakistan, though, other factors come into play, with the country plagued by crumbling or non-existent infrastructure and gripped by years of domestic political instability. Added to that, there is geo-politics, with Islamist militants in the lawless western frontier provinces fuelling conflict in neighbouring Afghanistan. “Coming from Pakistan, we are competing not just against being marginalised as a person with disability or a humble background,” said Huma Beg, a volunteer with the Pakistan National

Paralympic Committee. “We are competing with mega-issues the world is more interested in like war or terrorism. With the ‘war on terror’ and more amputees, I think Pakistan and our region needs a much more solid push in getting disabled sportsmen their rights. “That’s the effort the NPC is making.” But Beg and NPC president Tariq Mustafa are hopeful that Ali’s participation will spur change. Pakistani television has already broadcast the Paralympic opening ceremony and has a daily highlights programme for the first time. Mustafa also said awareness of disabled sport had increased because the Games were in London, with interest piqued due to Britain’s status as the former colonial power and continued ties through its substantial Pakistani community. For Ali and his only other team-mate Naeem Masih, who ran in the T46 1,500m heats for upper limb amputees but failed to qualify for the final, the experience has been invaluable. “I’m happy,” said Masih, 25, from Kasur, south of Lahore near the border with India, and a minority Christian. “This was the first time I have been abroad. The weather was different and the track was very hard. “I was in awe of the crowd. It made me a little bit nervous. But next time I’m going to work even harder now I know what it’s all about.” Mustafa said he was grateful for the NPC’s existing support but said they needed more, with a lack of secured funding making it impossible to take competitors to international meets to make qualifying standards. — AFP

Freney bags fifth gold LONDON: Australia’s Jacqueline Freney won her fifth gold of the London Paralympics on Monday, capping off a day of triumph by shattering a world record in the relay. The 20-year-old, along with teammates Ellie Cole, Maddison Elliott and Katherine Downie, finished the 4x100m freestyle 34 point relay in a record 4min 20.39sec, with the United States claiming silver and Britain taking the bronze. “These girls swim out of their skin for Australia, I didn’t want to let them down at all,” said Freney after the race. “I gave it my all. We ended up with a world record and got a gold medal to boot, I couldn’t be prouder.” Freney said she was overwhelmed to get her fifth gold-with more on the cards.

“It’s absolutely incredible, I can’t explain how happy I am. The meet has gone to plan, every bit of it. I take every race in my stride. I’ve got eight events and my main one hasn’t even started yet, so these are just bonuses to me, the icing on the cake”, she added. The relay gold was a double victory for Australia after their men’s team won the same event on Sunday. Freney, who has cerebral palsy, seized the S7 100m freestyle title earlier on Monday. She set a new world record in the SM7 200m individual relay on Sunday and won the S7 50m butterfly and S7 100m backstroke last week. The Australian adds the five gold to the three bronze medals she won at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008. —AFP

LONDON: Russia’s Andrey Koptev takes off as he jumps in the men’s long jump F11 category during the athletics competition at the 2012 Paralympics. —AP




Zenit reveals ambition with Hulk swoop MOSCOW: Zenit St Petersburg stunned football by signing Brazilian star Hulk hours before the Champions League eligibility deadline, in a sign the Russian champions’ ambitions go well beyond the domestic game. In the highest-spending moves in the history of Russian football, Zenit grabbed not only Hulk from Porto but also Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel from fellow Portuguese side Benfica in deals worth a reported total of 100 million euros. While the Russian game has seen an influx of ageing foreign superstars as well as decent African and Latin American players, capturing a player of the quality of 26-year-old marksman Hulk shows a new level of ambition. Once the poor relation of the big Moscow sides, Zenit’s fortunes have been transformed by funding from state gas giant Gazprom. Signing play-

ers like Hulk show it will no longer be content only with success in the Russian league. Adding the two new stars to a squad that already includes Portuguese internationals Bruno Alves and Danny as well as Italian Domenico Criscito, Zenit will be looking to make a major impact in the Champions’ League. They should be helped by a relatively weak group with Anderlecht, Malaga and AC Milan. While Zenit were the 2008 UEFA Cup winners, no Russian or Soviet side has ever won the Champions’ League or its predecessor the European Cup. “Zenit has won the last two Russian championships but the team wants serious results in the Champions League. Until now it was going to get no further than the quarter finals,” said sports journalist and editor at the

Moscow Echo Radio Station Anton Orekh. “Zenit wanted a star of global stature to compete at a European level,” he told AFP. The move to Zenit was a complete surprise for Hulk himself but he appeared thrilled by prospect of moving to Russia. “On Friday the transfer market was closed and I was preparing myself for another season in Porto but my agent told me that the club was set to sell me to Zenit,” Hulk was quoted as saying by Portuguese media. “It was a terrific proposal both for Porto and for me. It was an unexpected move but I’m ready for this new challenge.” Hulk’s agent Teodoro Fonseca, told Portuguese agency Lusa that the transfer fee was 60 million euros, while the Witsel transfer cost Zenit a confirmed 40 million euros from Porto’s bitter domestic rivals Benfica. Russian

daily Sport Express gave a slightly lower figure, quoting an unnamed Zenit club source, that Zenit would pay Porto around 40 million euros in several instalments over three years. In a sign of the quality of the St Petersburg outfit, the club has made no effort to keep the services of its former talismanic striker Andrei Arshavin who made a couple of appearances on loan from Arsenal last season. But there is no shortage of freespending ambition in Russian football, despite a range of systemic problems with its youth system which appear to be behind the national side’s recent failures. Another upstart Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala has caused a stir on the international transfer market thanks to financial backing by Russian metals and oil tycoon Suleiman Kerimov. Anzhi, founded in 1991, had little

success in Russian football until being acquired by the Kerimov last year and going on a spending spree that landed Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o and Brazilian veteran Roberto Carlos. In the last days, Anzhi signed French midfielder Lassana Diarra from Real Madrid. Furthermore, Kerimov lured Dutch guru Guus Hiddink to manage Anzhi on a reported net annual salary of 10 million euros. The more modest signings of Moscow giants Spartak and CSKA-owned by businessmen Leonid Fedun and Yevgeny Giner respectively-have been left in the shadows by the high-spending of their Saint Petersburg and Makhachkala rivals. However Moscow side Lokomotivfunded by the state railway-has made waves by signing former Croatian national coach Slaven Bilic as its manager. —AFP

Alonso backs automatic World Cup qualification

CORDOBA: Argentina’s Sergio Romero blocks the ball during a practice session in Buenos Aires. Argentina will face Paraguay in a World Cup qualifying soccer match on Sept. 7 in Cordoba.—AP

Charlton says England won’t win WCup in Brazil LONDON: Sir Bobby Charlton believes England have no chance of winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Roy Hodgson begins his quest to become the first England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey in 1966 to win the World Cup when he takes charge of his first qualifying match away to Moldova on Friday. But England great Charlton, a key member of the 1966 team that beat the then West Germany 4-2 in the 1966 final at Wembley-the only England side ever to win the World Cup — believes the current side lack the depth of talent to challenge the game’s best international teams. “They haven’t got a lot of top-quality players to choose from and, because of that, you must feel it is going to be difficult to win things,” said Charlton. “You cannot see it happening in Brazil at the next World Cup, for instance. “Perhaps, if the right group of players come together and stay together for a while and gel into a team, with the right manager, then perhaps it might happen, but I have to be honest and say it’s a way off. “Since the European Union and the influx of so many foreign players, there is a definite shortage of English players from which the England manager can select, it has become far more difficult. “I feel sorry for the England manager,

whoever he is, as he simply doesn’t have enough players to choose from.” Current United and England star Wayne Rooney is seen by some as vital to the national side’s short-term future even though he has failed to have a major impact on all the international tournaments he’s appeared in since making the world take notice at the 2004 European Championship. “It is up to the England manager to find a way of bringing the best out of him at international level, and how best to handle him,” said Charlton. England’s record goalscorer, Charlton believes Rooney is capable of breaking his mark. “He is handled very well at Manchester United, and I am sure it will evolve with England and if that is the case I feel sure that Wayne is the player most capable of breaking my record of 49 goals, which has stood the test of time.” Rooney currently has 29 international goals and Charlton added: “If anyone is going to get the record then it’s going to be Wayne Rooney. He’s good enough and he is still young enough. “No matter how much I might like being the top goalscorer, I will be pleased when someone breaks it, particularly if it’s Wayne. I would congratulate them. It is certainly a record to treasure.”—AFP

Owen signs for Stoke LONDON: Former England striker Michael Owen has joined Stoke City on a free transfer, subject to Premier League Board approval, the club announced yesterday. Owen, who made his name at Liverpool before joining Real Madrid, has signed a one-year deal following his release from Stoke’s Premier League rivals Manchester United at the end of last season. He has enjoyed an impressive career, scoring 221 goals in 473 appearances. But the 32-year-old’s career has been blighted by a series of injury problems

and he has started just one Premier League match in the last two seasons. And it is that fitness record which has led to reports, still to be confirmed by Stoke, that he has signed on a pay-asyou play deal. Owen becomes City’s seventh signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Jamie Ness, Geoff Cameron, Michael Kightly, Maurice Edu, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi. For England, Owen scored 40 goals in 89 appearances, including a hat-trick against Germany in a 5-1 victory just over a decade ago.—AFP

Michael Owen

MADRID: Defending World Cup holders should qualify automatically for the next competition, Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso, part of the Spain squad that won the 2010 tournament, said yesterday. “Logically, as in many competitions and sports, the champion has the right to defend their title. FIFA does not allow for it but I think it is sufficiently important and fair that the winner have the right to qualify,” he told a news conference ahead of Spain’s friendly Friday against Saudi Arabia. World Cup holders stopped getting automatic entry in the next competition at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. In making the changes to the rules, football world governing body FIFA argued that the four years between competitions was a long time for any team to retain its strength. After taking on Saudi Arabia in Pontevedra in northeastern Spain, the 2008 and 2012 European champions will face Georgia in Tbilisi on September 11 in their opening qualifying match for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. “I think many of us are in a fortunate position where we are part of a group that has made history, but we are aware of the future that lies ahead. We don’t want to rest on our laurels,” said Alonso. “We want to win more trophies. When the time comes when we stop winning we will face up to it in the best possible way,” the 30-year-old added. Alonso, who was outstanding as Spain retained their European title earlier this year, welcomed the return of David Villa, Spain’s all-time leading scorer, to the national team

Xabi Alonso

after an eight month absence due to injury. “It is great news for us. Villa brings much bite, he is a threat to the defence of our rivals, he creates a great deal of uncertainty,” he said. Last week Spain coach Vicente del Bosque included Villa in his squad for the matches against Saudi Arabia and Georgia. The 30-year-old has not played for Spain

since he broke his left leg last December while playing with Barcelona at the Club World Cup. Alonso said the Spanish national team had “a great deal of respect” for Saudi Arabia’s squad. “They have taken part in may World Cups. We will play with the same professionalism and respect with which we face all our rivals,” he said.—AFP

Arsenal have spending ‘limit’ — chairman LONDON: Arsenal chairman Peter HillWood has admitted the club “can’t compete” in the transfer market with rival Premier League teams. However, he insisted the Gunners could still challenge for the title and that manager Arsene Wenger was not under pressure from the board to end a trophy drought spanning seven years. Hill-Wood added he was “disgusted” by those fams who verbally abused French manager Wenger, in charge at the London club since 1996, last season. “Arsene has money to spend but there’s a limit,” Hill-Wood told yesterday’s London Evening Standard. “We can’t spend £50 million on one player. “At a certain level, we can’t compete. I don’t think (Arsenal majority shareholder) Stan Kroenke is going to put the sort of dollars in that (Roman) Abramovich or Sheikh Mansour are putting into Chelsea or Manchester City. “That’s not the way he thinks clubs should be run,” Hill-Wood added of the American sports entrepreneur “Luckily, Arsene understands that. He got an economics degree from Strasbourg University so he’s certainly no fool. He knows how a club should be run. “That annoys a lot of people but clubs have to be sustainable. We’re not going to go bankrupt in the way one or two other well-known clubs have.” Hill-Wood cited the case of Scottish giants Rangers, now playing in their country’s fourth-tier after entering administration, as “something we’ve all got to guard against”. “They spent far more money than they could afford. We’re ambitious enough but we’re not going to end in the same plight as Rangers. “That is a fact of life. So my advice is, don’t get miserable about it.” Last season saw Wenger come under more pressure than ever since he took charge 16 years ago, with some fans even heard to chant: “You don’t know what you’re doing”. Hill-Wood said: “What those fans shouted did not influence me one little bit. I was disgusted to hear them because Arsene’s been absolutely outstanding. He is still outstanding.” This pre-season saw Arsenal captain Robin van Persie become the latest big name to quit the club because of their ‘lack of ambition’ but Hill-Wood said: “We have a pretty good chance of challenging for the Premiership. I don’t see why we cannot win it this year.”—AFP

ITALY: Italy’s national soccer team players attend a training session ahead of Friday’s Group B 2014 World Cup qualifying match between Italy and Bulgaria at the Coverciano sports center.—AP

Lithuanian FA boss hit by fraud probe VILNIUS: A Lithuanian court has ordered the Baltic state’s football association boss Julius Kvedaras to step down for six months, amid a fraud probe, judicial officials said Monday. “He was removed from his position for half a year in order to carry out a fast and impartial investigation, and to prevent interruption of the pre-trial investigation,” Jomile JuskaiteVizbariene, a spokeswoman for the court in the central Lithuanian city of Kaunas, told AFP. Prosecutors said Kvedaras, 62, was suspected of “illegal enrichment”, which can carry a prison sentence of up to four years. “The investigation was opened in October last year and charges against Kvedaras were brought on August 3. Currently he is the only suspect,” Kaunas prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Vaida Kibirkstyte told AFP. “He is suspected of illegally getting capital from the federation. His income was less than his wealth,” she added. The daily Lietuvos Rytas reported on Monday that Kvedaras was suspected of involvement in embezzling money provided to Lithuania from European football’s governing body UEFA for stadium reconstruction, as well as of having ties with organised crime. Kvedaras was elected president of the

Lithuanian FA in March this year, despite already having a controversial reputation. Kvedaras rejected accusations on Monday, saying he would appeal the court ruling. “Now I am waiting for a lawyer and will appeal the decision. I have provided all the information, answered all the questions, and they are writing nonsense,” he told news portal The Lithuanian FA meanwhile dismissed speculation that the national team could be disqualified from competition. Several nations have in the past been suspended by UEFA and world football’s governing body FIFA due to alleged official interference in the game. The FA said the issue would be discussed at a meeting of its executive committee on September 7, to which UEFA and FIFA representatives had been invited. The Baltic state’s national team now stands at 85 in the FIFA rankings and is scheduled to start its 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign against Slovakia on September 7 in Vilnius. Lithuania managed only one victory in eight games during their Euro 2012 qualifying run. Lithuania only returned to international football after five decades of Soviet rule ended in 1991. —AFP

Klitschko puts politics aside to fight Charr



McIlroy wins Deutsche Bank title


Alonso backs automatic World Cup qualification

Page 19

NEW YORK: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus returns a shot against Samantha Stosur of Australia during their women’s singles quarterfinals match on Day Nine of the 2012 US Open.—AFP

Azarenka ousts Stosur to reach semis NEW YORK: World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka advanced to the US Open semi-finals for the first time yesterday with a 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5) victory over seventh-seeded defending champion Samantha Stosur of Australia. The 23-year-old top seed from Belarus ensured that she will remain atop the world rankings no matter what happens the rest of the way in the year’s final Grand Slam tournament on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts. “I don’t want to stop yet,” Azarenka said. Reigning Australian Open champion Azarenka advanced to a semi-final against either French 11th seed Marion Bartoli or Russian third seed Maria Sharapova, who completed a career Grand Slam by winning this year’s French Open. Azarenka, who was playing in her first US Open

quarter-final, weathered a 75-minute rain delay in the first set to win for the sixth time in as many top-level matches against Stosur. “She played amazing. The level was so much harder today,” Azarenka said. “She made me play my best.” In the final set tie-breaker, Azarenka raced to a 4-0 lead after Stosur sent a forehand beyond the baseline but the Aussie battled back to level at 5-5 on an overhead smash winner. Azarenka seized a 6-5 lead on a drop volley after Stosur’s shot struck the net cord and plopped over and won the match when the Aussie sent a backhand wide after two hours and 23 minutes. “We both showed some excellent tennis,” Azarenka said. “You could feel the pressure all the time. We really both gave it all. We fought really

hard, making each other run like crazy.” It was the first US Open women’s match in the last-eight or deeper to go to a third-set tie-breaker since 2007, Azarenka saying it was a greater mental challenge than physical one at that point. “Physically we were already giving all on every point,” she said. “You accept to take that risk or take that challenge. You cannot wait for a mistake. You have to make your opportunities.” Azarenka avoided becoming the first US Open women’s top seed to crash out before the semis since Dinara Safina’s third-round exit in 2009. But no women’s top seed has won a Grand Slam title since Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2010 and no US Open women’s top seed has taken the title since Justine Henin in 2007. Azarenka broke Stosur in the first and third

Has time caught up with Tendulkar? NEW DELHI: Sachin Tendulkar is facing unprecedented calls to retire after a string of failures fuelled speculation that time had finally caught up with India’s cricket icon. Tendulkar, who is now 39, has shouldered the hopes of a nation for 23 years, in the process becoming the world’s leading run-getter in both Test and one-day cricket with 100 international centuries. But a string of recent poor scores-combined with the manner of his dismissals-has turned sections of the media and a once adoring public against him. Sunil Gavaskar, the first man to reach the 10,000-run milestone in Tests, suggested during this week’s second Test against New Zealand in Bangalore that Tendulkar’s reflexes were on the slide. “The dismissal that was most disturbing was that of the ‘master’ when he was bowled through the gate,” Gavaskar wrote in his syndicated column. Pressed further, on air during the second Test, Gavaskar said: “With age, the feet don’t come to the pitch of the ball, the eyes don’t pick up the ball early.” Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin also said Tendulkar’s feet were not moving well in the crease and he was constantly playing across the line. “It is clear his reflexes have slowed down,” Azharuddin said. Tendulkar has scored a record 51 Test centuries but he has now gone 25 innings without a hundred in the five-day game since making 146 against South Africa in Cape Town in January, 2011. His top score in the recent series against the lowly Kiwis was 27, prompting The Times of India to post pictures of three of his dismissals-all bowled-on its front page under the headline: ‘What’s wrong with India’s batting genius?’ An online poll in the Hindustan Times said 56 percent of respondents agreed that it was time for Tendulkar to retire. The Mail Today asked in a front-page banner headline if it was the “End of the road for Sachin?” And the usually conservative Hindu newspaper also wondered if “Father Time was catching up

with the maestro”. Tendulkar has consistently dismissed any thought of retirement and told reporters last week that he still loved the game and enjoyed playing at the top level. He is the last remnant of a fabled Indian middle order after both Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman retired in the last 12 months. Sourav Ganguly, the other member of the quartet, quit in 2008. Ganguly, who played alongside Tendulkar for almost two decades, said speculation over Tendulkar’s future in the game was uncalled for. He insisted that Tendulkar is still good enough to play at international level, ahead of visits by England and Australia later in the season. “I honestly feel the time has not come for him to go,” Ganguly said. “He is a legend and takes pride in his game and no one knows his game better than him. Ganguly said lack of match practice contributed to Tendulkar’s cheap dismissals against the Black Caps, and he expected him to be back in peak form when the four-Test series against England starts in mid-November. “His ability has not declined, he just has not had enough time out in the middle,” said Ganguly. “The problem is with his shot selection and that is because he has not played for the last few months.” 1Tendulkar had a rotten time in England and Australia last year, scoring just four half-centuries in 16 innings as India went down 4-0 against both rivals. Alarm bells began ringing when Tendulkar took a year to move from 99 to 100 centuries, finally reaching the landmark during the Asia Cup oneday international against Bangladesh in March. Hopes that the floodgates would then open have since evaporated. But despite his recent woes, he can at least still rely on the unstinting support of his current captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni, asked by reporters on Monday if Tendulkar’s form worried him, responded: “The good thing is that whenever people talk about his form, he comes up with a brilliant performance. “I’m waiting for that. I don’t really get worried about that.”—AFP

games of the opening set before showers struck Arthur Ashe Stadium and halted the match after 11 minutes. “It’s never pleasant to stop the momentum but it was the same for both of us,” Azarenka said. When play resumed, Azarenka added a break to close out the set, which she claimed after 30 minutes when Stosur sent a backhand beyond the baseline. It was the first set Stosur had lost in the tournament. Stosur, seeking her first title since lifting the trophy last year on the same court, broke to open the second set. Azarenka broke back in the next game but Stosur broke again to 4-3 with a forehand down-the-line winner and held twice to force a third set. It was the first set Azarenka had dropped in the tournament. Stosur surrendered a break in the fourth game

of the third set by netting a backhand, broke back in the next game on a forehand service return winner, then handed back the break by sending a backhand long to give Azarenka a 4-2 edge. But Stosur answered again, firing back-to-back forehand winners to break back as both then held serve into the tie-breaker while the tension mounted. Azarenka leads Sharapova 5-4 in their career rivalry and leads Bartoli 8-3. Sharapova, the 2006 US Open champion, would return to second in the world rankings next week if she defeats Bartoli as well as reach her first US Open final four since her championship run. Today’s scheduled quarter-finals will send Williams, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, against Serbian 12th seed Ana Ivanovic and Italian 10th seed Sara Errani against 20th-seeded compatriot Roberta Vinci.—AFP

Murray rolls into last eight

India’s batsman Sachin Tendulkar

NEW YORK: Olympic champion Andy Murray advanced to the last eight at the US Open while World No. 1 Roger Federer reached his 34th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final on Monday without touching a racquet. British third seed Murray, seeking his first Grand Slam title after four runner-up finishes, defeated Canadian 15th seed Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in a night match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 25-year-old Scotsman, who reached his eighth Grand Slam quarter-final in a row, will play for a semi-final berth against Croatian 12th seed Marin Cilic, who beat Slovakian Martin Klizan 7-5, 6-4, 6-0. Murray is 6-1 lifetime against Cilic but the only loss came in the fourth round of the 2009 US Open. “Tough match. He’s a tough player,” Murray said. “He works extremely hard. He has a solid game. I will have to work extremely hard to beat him.” Top seed Federer, seeking an unprecedented 18th Grand Slam title and record sixth US Open crown, advanced by walkover when American Mardy Fish withdrew from their match over health concerns. “I am really sorry for Mardy,” Federer said. “I just want to wish him a speedy recovery. We all want to see him back on tour soon.” Federer has earned 38 career quarter-final Grand Slam appearances, three shy of the Open-era record 41 achieved by American Jimmy Connors. The 31-year-old Swiss star reached a last-eight matchup with Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych, who dispatched Spanish 11th seed Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-1. Berdych has lost 11 of 15 career meetings to top seed Federer. “It will be a tough match against Tomas,” Federer said. “We have played many times in the past and he has always been a tough opponent. I will have to continue to serve well and dictate the points.” Murray broke Raonic with a drop volley winner for a 5-4 lead and held to take the first set after 36 minutes. In the second set, Murray broke for a 3-2 edge when Raonic netted a forehand and held serve from there to seize command. Raonic, trying to become the first Canadian man in a Grand Slam last eight in the Open era, surrendered breaks in the third and fifth games of the final set. Murray, who never faced a break point, held serve to end matters after two hours with a service winner. “I used a lot of variation,” Murray said. “Milos has a huge game, massive serves. I guessed right a couple times, got lucky and was able to hit a few passing shots on him. “I was just trying to react as fast as I could. Sometimes they fly past you and sometimes you get a racquet on it. Tonight I got a racquet on it.”—AFP

Qatar CB: Keeping low interest rates a priority Page 22

Kuwait budget surplus hits record KD13.2bn Page 23


ECB faces moment of truth on bond-buying

Gulf economy bullish amid global turmoil Page 24

Page 25

NEW DELHI: A traffic jam following a power outage and rains at the Delhi-Gurgaon road on the outskirts of New Delhi. Emerging markets like India are also forcing horn design changes because drivers use their horns more often in heavily congested cities. —AP

Global stocks crash on US data Moody’s downgrade sends Euro shares crashing NEW YORK: Stocks fell on Wall Street following reports that both construction spending and manufacturing activity in the US declined. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 92 points at 12,998 as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern (1430 GMT) yesterday. The US stock market was closed Monday for Labor Day. The broader S&P 500 index fell seven points to 1,399 and the Nasdaq composite fell 14 points to 3,053. Industrial and materials stocks fell the most. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar was the weakest stock in the Dow average, slipping 3 percent, or $2.35, to $82.98. The Commerce Department reported that US construction spending fell 0.9 percent in July from June, driven lower by a sharp drop on spending on home improvement projects. The decline, the worst in a year, followed three months of gains powered by increases in home and apartment construction. New home construction rose again in July, but spending on home renovation projects fell 5.5 percent. The report sent stocks of home improvement stores lower. Home Depot fell 11 cents to $56.66 and Lowe’s was off 14 cents to $28.34. A separate report delivered more gloomy news on the economy: the third straight month of contraction in US manufacturing. New orders, production and employment all fell in August. Factories have been a key source of jobs and growth since the recession ended in June 2009, but the sector been weak in recent months. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, says its index of manufacturing ticked down to 49.6 from 49.7 in July, and the lowest reading in three years. A reading below 50 indicates that manufacturing is contracting. The week will culminate with US non-

farm payroll figures Friday, one of the most important barometers for the world’s biggest economy. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has indicated that the central bank is inclined to provide new stimulus to the economy. The weak US economic reports come amid signs of more strains in the global economy. In Europe, Moody’s warned that it could downgrade the credit rating of the European Union as a whole, citing the continent’s lingering debt crisis. That sent markets broadly lower in Europe. Benchmark indexes fell 1.2 percent in Germany, 1.3 percent in France and 1.5 percent in Britain. The focus this week will be on the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who is expected to announce details tomorrow of a new bond-buying program intended to bring down the borrowing costs of countries such as Spain and Italy. Aluminum producer Alcoa was off about one percent to $8l.55, while Alpha Natural Resources fell 29 cents, or 5 percent, at $5.66 and Peabody Energy was down $1, or 5 percent, to $21.70. European stock markets fell yesterday but the euro was firm and tension on bond markets eased following a Moody’s downgrade of the outlook on the EU’s long-term AAA credit rating from stable to negative. Moody’s said its move reflected credit risks faced by key European Union budget contributors, including Britain, France and Germany, all of which now have negative outlooks due to the continent’s economic crisis. “It is reasonable to assume that the EU’s creditworthiness should move in line with the creditworthiness of its strongest key member states,” a Moody’s statement said. Despite the downgrade, the euro traded for $1.2605, compared with

Saudi stocks fall, Kuwait shares ease MIDEAST STOCK MARKET

GREENVILLE: Tire inspector Buddy Rice checks for defects in the tire verification area at a Michelin manufacturing plant in Greenville, SC. US factory activity shrank for the third straight month in August as new orders, production and employment all fell. — AP (See Page 23)

$1.2598 late Monday in London trade, owing to expectations that the European Central Bank (ECB) will unveil a new round of sovereign debt purchases tomorrow. Major European stock markets were lower in midday trading, with London’s FTSE 100 index falling 0.73 percent, the Paris CAC 40 down by 0.36 percent and Frankfurt’s Dax off by 0.22 percent. Moody’s said the main reasons for holding its highest rating for the bloc at the moment remained unchanged: its “conservative budget management” and “the creditworthiness and support provided by its 27 member states.” Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands-which together account for

about 45 percent of the EU’s budget revenue, according to Moody’s-also maintain a AAA credit rating. The agency did not exclude the possibility of a future EU downgrade however, saying that a “deterioration in the creditworthiness of EU member states” could prompt such a move. “It is reasonable to assume the same probability of default by the EU on its debt obligations as the highest rated key members states’ probability of default,” Moody ’s said. Michael Hewson, CMC Markets analyst called Moody’s decision “a book keeping exercise, more than any change in perception about the EU’s financial position. —Agencies

High oil prices cause for concern: IEA chief NEW DELHI: High global oil prices are a cause of concern for the International Energy Agency (IEA), the head of the body which represents 28 importing countries said, although crude markets were better supplied than those for refined fuels. “Crude markets are reasonably well supplied but there are clearly signs of tightening in product markets,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said in response to questions from reporters yesterday over a possible release of emergency stocks. “We are

monitoring the markets as we always do. We are in touch with our members as we always do and we stand ready to respond as necessary,” she said. Brent crude futures rose for a fourth day to above $116 per barrel yesterday, nearing levels of $128 seen in March that prompted Washington to seek support from allies to keep gasoline prices in check and keep the pressure on revenues of Iran from sanctions on its oil exports. Products prices have climbed on a combination of factors, including an

explosion that shut Venezuela’s Amuay refinery last month and worries over the impact of Hurricane Isaac on the US Gulf coast, as well as tight supplies in Asia. Calls for a release of emergenc y stocks are swelling and the United States had requested such a move with backing from Britain and France, an Italian official said last week. G7 finance ministers have also said they were ready to call on the IEA to take action. But Germany and Italy remain opposed to any release of stocks, senior govern-

ment sources have said, keeping the standoff between leading members of the IEA on strategic oil stocks policy. Van der Hoeven said last week higher prices alone did not justify a release of strategic reserves and that crude output had adjusted to the loss of Iranian barrels. Tehran’s exports have slid as western sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear plans bite. Van der Hoeven added that IEA member countries could unilaterally release stocks provided they kept above a 90-day obligation.— Reuters

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s bourse closed lower for a fourth day yesterday and other Middle East markets were mixed as investors waited for cues on policy action from European central banks to tackle slowing economic growth. The kingdom’s index lost 0.4 percent, edging further away from Wednesday’s 16-week high. Petrochemical stocks were the main drag, with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world’s largest chemicals producer, falling 1.7 percent. National Industrialization dipped 0.9 percent and Saudi Kayan Petrochemical declined 1.1 percent. The bank sector index slipped 0.2 percent. “This is just short-term profit-taking. We are bullish on the market and Q3 should give a positive direction to the overall market,” said Farooq Waheed, senior portfolio manager at Riyad Capital. “Valuations in petrochemical stocks are attractive and global worries are already priced in. Any recovery in demand will further improve prices.” Expectations that central banks would soon take steps to boost growth have increased after separate surveys showed manufacturing activity in China and Europe slowing by more than expected in August. Kuwait’s bourse declined 0.3 percent, easing away from Monday’s 11-week high. Egypt’s benchmark index rose 1.5 percent to its highest close since June 2011 as retail investors moved into the market, optimistic that government efforts to bolster an ailing economy were bearing fruit. United Arab Emirates’ bourses ended mixed, with investors finding little reason to increase positions due to a lack of catalysts. Dubai’s benchmark climbed 0.4 percent, trading within a 14-point range over the last six sessions. UAE and Qatar markets are trapped in sideways trading on low volumes. Some investors are holding their positions, waiting for a catalyst to lift stocks, while retail traders are speculating for short-term gains. “Everyone regionally is positioned or is positioning for being long in these markets (but) investors need to be reasonably convinced it’s a good investment story,” said Ibrahim Masood, senior investment officer at Mashreq bank in Dubai. “I don’t think there is room to be tactical and reduce positions to buy back later.” Emirates NBD climbed 1.3 percent and telecom operator du gained 1.7 percent. Emaar Properties ticked up 0.3 percent and builder Arabtec added 1.8 percent. In Abu Dhabi, the measure slipped 0.2 percent to its lowest close since August 13. Qatar’s index edged 0.09 percent higher, up for a third session in the last seven. Ahli Bank shares jumped 4.5 percent to 62.50 riyals after Qatar’s seventh-largest listed lender said it would up its capital by 20 percent through a rights issue. This will likely raise about 448.5 million riyals ($123.2 million), according to Reuters calculations, based on 14.95 million shares being sold in the offering at 30 riyals per share. — Reuters




Qatar CB: Keeping low interest rates a priority Local banks have exposure to euro-zone

DUBAI: Qatar’s central bank (QCB) said yesterday it wants to keep interest rates low to support lending to the real economy, and also reported that local banks have low exposure to the debt crisis-stricken euro-zone. “Pending a successful resolution of the sovereign debt problems in Europe, global liquidity conditions could tighten from increased risk aversion, which could have an impact on investments and project financing in Qatar,” the central bank said in its 2011 financial stability review. “In this context, sustaining the regime of soft interest rates through proactive liquidity management continues to remain a key priority for supporting growth.” The QCB cut its overnight deposit rate by a combined 75 basis points in April and August 2011 to a current level of 0.75 percent to discourage banks from parking excess money at its accounts, support lending in the real economy and bring the rate closer to its US benchmark. Since the Qatari riyal is pegged to the dollar, the central bank cannot keep too large a gap with US rates without inviting capital inflows. The QCB also took several steps to

drain excess money last year. In January 2011 it issued a 50 billion-riyal ($14 billion) bond directly to local banks, and in May and August, it launched monthly auctions of 91-, 182- and 273-day Treasury bills. As a result, available liquidity in the OPEC member’s financial system dropped to a mere 5.8 billion riyals at the end of 2011 from 73.2 billion a year before, the review showed. In its analysis of risks stemming from the euro-zone turmoil, the central bank said that total exposure of Qatari banks to Europe was around 5 percent of their aggregate assets. “Out of this, the banking sector’s total investment in sovereign bonds and treasury bills is less than 1 billion riyals. As a result, the direct impact arising from possible sovereign debt default in the euro zone is negligible,” it said. But domestic banks have other significant exposures such as interbank assets, which make up around 4 percent of domestic banks’ assets, the QCB said. “However, the direct impact in case of any counterparty risk 75 percent of the exposure become illiquid - is estimated to be around 20 percent of the liquid asset held by domestic

Egypt shares jump on funding hopes CAIRO: Egypt’s benchmark share index rose 2 percent yesterday to its highest since June 2011 as retail investors moved into the market, optimistic that government efforts to bolster an ailing economy are bearing fruit. In the last four months, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank have pledged more than $5 billion to help Egypt stave off a balance of payments crisis. The government formed by new Islamist President Mohamed Morsi has also accelerated talks on a $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan, helping to re assure still wary foreign investors that the country is likely to avoid a currency or debt crisis. The talks follow more than a year of institutional confusion and policy lethargy since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising, and analysts say Egypt now has a better chance to avert a currency default. A US official said on Monday that Washington was close to a deal with Egypt for $1 billion in debt relief, though obstacles remained. These are reported to involve a mix of debt payment waivers and debt swaps, and it was not immediately clear when an agreement might be announced. Cairo’s EGX30 share index was at 5,563.54 points at 0940 GMT. If it holds at this level it will be its biggest one-day gain since July 31. It has surged 36 percent since Morsi emerged as win-

ner of the election and is up 51 percent this year. International investors have been anxious about buying Egyptian assets because of concern about a possible devaluation, given the country’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves, but fears are easing that a more deepseated currency or debt crisis could break out. “More foreign investors will be looking at Egyptian companies for strategic investments in the coming months as it continues on the march to stability and fears subside of a sharp devaluation,” said Emad Mostaque, MENA strategist at Religare Capital Markets, in a client note. Traders said the market was dominated by local retail investors yesterday, suggesting gains were driven more by broad sentiment than specific news events such as the US debt relief talks. “Local retail is pushing this market higher and higher,” said Teymour el-Derini at brokerage Naeem. “Fundamental investors are only 10 percent of the market today... I don’t expect a correction any time soon.” Among the most active stocks, Orascom Telecom Holding gained 2.5 percent and Orascom Construction, which reports second-quarter results this week, rose 2.4 percent. Bank NSGB, which parent company Societe Generale is in talks to sell to Qatar’s QNB, was up 4.6 percent after having risen by the exchange’s 10 percent limit on Sunday and Monday. — Reuters

banks,” it said. “The maturity structure of this asset class indicates that over 90 percent of the funds placed with European banks are short-term, i.e. with maturity up to three months.” Inflation in Qatar, the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter, was not a worry, while the macroeconomic fundamentals remain robust despite expected growth moderation in 2012, the QCB also said. “Going forward, the persistence of excess capacity in the domestic housing market is likely to keep overall inflation at a comfortable level,” it said. Annual consumer price growth climbed to 2.2 percent in July, the highest level since October 2011, after hovering just above 1 percent for most of the first half of 2012. Qatar ’s real gross domestic product jumped 14.1 percent in 2011 but the growth rate is expected to more than halve in 2012 partly due to a self-imposed moratorium on further expansion of the gas sector. A Reuters poll in July forecast average inflation of 2.7 percent this year and economic growth of 6.3 percent. — Reuters

GFH eyes stake buys, tech fund launch DUBAI: Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) is looking to acquire stakes in asset management and real estate firms and increase ownership in its portfolio companies, it said in a statement yesterday. The sharia-compliant investment house, heavily impacted by the global debt crisis, is assessing various opportunities to acquire new stakes and is also looking to increase the stake in its group companies subject to regulatory approval, it said in a regulatory filing in Dubai. GFH did not provide any specific details on the firms it was looking to acquire or the amount it was looking to commit. The statement came in response to an interview given by the Acting Chief Executive, Hisham Alrayes, to a Bahraini newspaper and did not provide any further details on the transactions. GFH is also in discussions with prospective partners to launch a $50 million technology fund called Injazat 2 and is still awaiting regulatory approval for its purchase of AdaBank in Turkey, which was initially announced in 2011. GFH has restructured a number of debt facilities since 2010 as the firm struggled with its debt burden in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. In July, GFH extended the repayment of $45 million of sharia-compliant debt - part of a $100 million facility which was initially restructured in March 2010. This followed an agreement to extend a $110 million Islamic bond, or sukuk, in May. The deal, also for six years, carried a two-year grace period on repayments. Alrayes, previously GFH’s chief investment officer, was named acting CEO in April, following the departure of Ted Pretty last year. — Reuters

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf (left) and Yemeni International Planning and Cooperation Minister Mohammed Al-Saadi (center) listen to World Bank Vice President Inger Andersen during a press conference held after the end of first day of the international donor meeting for Yemen in Riyadh yesterday. — AFP

Gold steady near six-month highs LONDON: Gold steadied around its highest level in nearly six months yesterday, boosted by the prospect of further liquidity injections from the US Federal Reserve, which kept the dollar near twomonth lows versus the euro. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in a speech last week suggested the central bank may resort to using more unusual policy measure to keep interest rates low, which has lifted growth-dependent assets such as commodities and stocks. Investors hold more gold through exchange-traded funds than at any time in the past, after hefty inflows of metal into these products in August. The likelihood of the European Central Bank unveiling a plan on Thursday to definitively reverse the debt crisis that has plunged the euro zone into recession gave the single European currency a boost, driving gold priced in euros to its highest level this year. Analysts said the scope for disappoint-

ment from either the ECB or the Fed would likely limit gains in gold for now. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,694.39 an ounce by 1230 GMT. “For a sustained rally past $1,700, you do need to see definite action from the ECB and a substantially lower dollar,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital said. “The fact that the other precious metals are rallying as well and it’s not just gold, shows it is macro sentiment that is driving the market at the moment ... All that promise needs to turn into concrete action. And for gold in the long run, it needs any sort of liquidity boost, of balance sheet expansion and for (bond) yields to stay low.” In theory, gold benefits from low borrowing rates as these cut the so-called opportunity cost, or the premium investors forfeit by owning gold rather than a yield- or dividend-bearing asset, of investing in this market. — Reuters

Dubai’s Limitless to sign $1.2bn debt deal in Sept DUBAI: Limitless, the indebted property arm of Dubai World, is aiming to conclude its $1.2 billion debt deal with creditors by the end of September, the company said yesterday. The state-owned firm, which was hard hit by the global financial crisis, has rolled over the Islamic debt facility, owed to a syndicate of banks, several times. The loan was originally due to mature in March 2010. “Discussions continue and we aim to conclude the deal by the end of September,” Limitless said in an emailed statement. The company was close to reaching a debt deal with creditors, sources told Reuters in July. The developer has proposed paying interest of 175 basis points over the

London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) under the new terms, one banking source had said at the time. Limitless, which once attempted to build a 75-kilometre inland waterway called the Arabian Canal, was not part of Dubai World’s $24.9 billion restructuring unveiled in March last year. Conglomerate Dubai World transferred ownership of the firm to the government last year along with developer Nakheel. Dubai’s property firms are gradually recovering from a slump that saw real estate prices and rents drop by over 60 percent from its peak in 2008. Limitless’ projects include a mixed use facility at Dubai’s Downtown Jebel Ali and a developments in Saudi Arabia, Moscow and Vietnam. — 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 .4440000 .3520000 .2930000 .2830000 .2870000 .0040000 .0020000 .0763380 .7437430 .3870000 .0720000 .7291070 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2812000 GB Pound/KD .4467140 Euro .3546490 Swiss francs .2953010 Canadian dollars .2853660 Danish Kroner .0475960 Swedish Kroner .0420700 Australian dlr .2888770 Hong Kong dlr .0362540 Singapore dlr .2259540 Japanese yen .0035880 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0765900 Bahraini dinars .7461850 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0750070 Omani riyals .7306740 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

3.553 5.072 3.053 2.141 3.173 220.090 36.173 3.425 6.439 8.876 89.338

.2860000 .4560000 .3560000 .3040000 .2950000 .3040000 .0067500 .0035000 .0771060 .7512180 .4100000 .0780000 .7364350 .0510000 .2833000 .4500500 .3572980 .2975060 .2874970 .0479520 .0423840 .2910340 .0365250 .2276420 .0036150 .0051370 .0021480 .0030010 .0035000 .0771620 .7517580 .4007070 .0755670 .7361310 .0068120

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 74.883 77.158 729.380 745.850 76.464

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 48.250 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.466 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.309 Tunisian Dinar 176.65 Jordanian Dinar 396.190 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.884 Syrian Lier 4.899 Morocco Dirham 32.64 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 280.700 Euro 354.52 Sterling Pound 441.820 Canadian dollar 274.79 Turkish lire 152.400 Swiss Franc 295.01 US Dollar Buying 279.500 GOLD 293.000 148.000 75.250

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

49.800 733.670 3.080 6.960 78.130 75.410 228.110 36.460 2.690 452.600 43.700 299.900 4.300 9.390 198.263 77.010 282.800 1.360

10 Tola

GOLD 1,783.960

Sterling Pound US Dollar

733.490 2.995 6.748 77.700 75.410 228.100 36.460 2.132 450.600 298.400 4.300 9.240 76.910 282.400


TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 450.600 282.400



293.600 751.150 3.720 290.000 554.700 46.000 48.700 167.800 48.530 360.200 37.100 5.370 0.032 0.161 0.236 3.700 400.260 0.191 93.530 44.400 4.340 229.000 1.830

292.100 751.150 3.446 288.500

228.100 46.290 358.700 36.950 5.090 0.031

400.230 0.190 93.530 3.200 227.500


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

294.07 291.00 300.51 358.48 282.10 451.44 3.68 3.462 5.092 2.135 3.194 2.991 76.87 751.14 46.32 401.90 734.19 77.90 75.44


310.000 289.000 297.500 357.000 283.150 449.000 3.630 3.560 5.350 2.310 3.650 3.150 77.400 750.000 48.600 400.000 736.000 78.000 75.850

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Rate for Transfer

Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

282.350 289.783 448.796 355.568

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

296.226 747.514 76.852 77.502 75.258 398.014 46.362 2.132 5.091 2.976 3.451 6.736 692.609 4.599 9.071 4.379 3.264 90.008

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

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


Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

282.400 2.978 5.104 2.139 3.449 6.780 76.990 75.460 750.700 46.267 454.100 2.990 1.550 361.900 292.500 3.200

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

282.100 358.500 450.450 288.400 3.615 5.085 46.280 2.134 3.450 6.740 2.982 751.050 76.860 75.370



Kuwait budget surplus hits record KD13.2bn High oil prices, sluggish spending generate a record surplus

NBK ECONOMIC REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait’s closing public finances data for fiscal year 2011/12 (FY 11/12) revealed a record surplus of KD 13.2 billion before the transfer to the reserve fund for future generations, the 13th consecutive surplus. This was mostly due to higher oil prices which averaged $110 pb during the fiscal year. But the surplus was also higher than expected because of under-spending in particular in the projects area. The spending reached KD 17 billion, rising by a small 4.8% compared to FY 10/11. Although this is somewhat skewed by the impact of the one-time Amiri grant in FY10/11 (without which total spending would be up 13% y/y), actual spending still disappointed as it came in at 88% of budgeted - well below the 5-year average of 94%. Current spending went up 5.8% y/y, standing at KD 15.2 billion. Most of the increase came from KD 680 million in additional spending on wages and salaries. Current spending reached 92% of the amount initially budgeted, also below its historic average of 97%. Capital spending was down 2.3% y/y, reaching KD 1.8 billion. The biggest contributor to this decrease was the Ministry of Electricity and Water, which saw spending drop by KD 174 million, or 17% y/y. Capital spending also closed at 64% of budgeted spending, well below the historic average of 75% (chart 2). This was indeed disappointing as FY 11/12 marked the second year of the 4year development plan, where spending was supposed to pick up in pace. Nevertheless, this was somewhat expected as a majority of projects in the development plan are yet to take off. Total revenues were KD 30.2 billion, up

41% compared to FY10/11. High oil prices have buoyed revenues for FY 2011/12 as the average oil price for the period was $110 pb, up 34% y/y. Oil receipts totaled KD 28.6 billion (+43% y/y). Non-oil revenues accounted for almost 6% of total revenues, similar to the historic average. They were up KD 112 million, or 7%, y/y. The bulk of the increase came from miscellaneous revenues and fee, which went up KD 85 million, likely thanks to payments made by the United Nations Compensation Committee (UNCC) - which processes compensation claims related to the 1990 war. Revenues from property fees were up 30%, to reach KD 14.5

US construction spending fell WASHINGTON: US construction spending fell in July from June by the largest amount in a year, weighed down by a big drop in spending on home improvement projects. The Commerce Department says construction spending declined 0.9 percent in July. It followed three months of gains driven by increases in home and apartment construction. New home construction rose again in July, but spending on home renovation projects fell by 5.5 percent. Spending was also down for non-residential projects and government construction projects as well. The June decline left spending at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $834.4 billion, up 11.8 percent from a 12-year low hit in February 2011. Construction activity is roughly half of what economists consider to be healthy. Meanwhile, US home prices jumped 3.8 percent in the 12 months ending in July, according to a private real estate data provider. The year-over-year increase was the biggest in six years, further evidence that the housing market is steadily recovering. CoreLogic said yesterday that home prices also rose 1.3 percent in July from June. That’s the fifth straight increase in both the monthly and yearover-year price indexes. The index is the third national measure to show steady increases. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index posted its first annual increase in nearly two years last week. And a federal government housing agency has also reported annual increases. The states with the biggest gains according to CoreLogic over the past 12 months were Arizona, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota and Colorado. In Arizona, prices have risen 16.6 percent since July 2011. Idaho has posted a 10-percent gain in that time. But not all states are seeing increases. In Delaware, prices dropped 4.8 percent in the 12month period. Prices fell 4.6 percent in Alabama in that stretch. The housing market has been slowly recovering this year. Sales of new and previously occupied homes are up. Builders are more confident and starting work on more homes. And mortgage rates are near their lowest levels of the past six decades. Prices are also rising because the supply of available homes remains tight. Still, the housing market’s recovery is just beginning. Prices remain 27 percent below their peak in April 2006, CoreLogic said. The recent improvements have been widespread. Out of 100 large cities tracked by CoreLogic, only 23 posted year-over-year declines in July. That’s four fewer than in June. — Agencies

Gulf venture to build $400m steel plant in Oman MUSCAT: Three Gulf investors have formed a joint venture to build a $400 million steel plant in the southern Oman city of Salalah, a statement by the company said yesterday. Dhofar Steel has been formed by a joint venture of Oman’s Salalah Development Co, the Al-Suwaidi Group of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia’s Al Tuwairqi Group to produce 1 million tons of steel annually, the statement said. It said the company would create job opportunities for over 1,000 Omanis, but made no mention of when construction would take place and did not give other details. The Al Tuwairqi Group operates steel product plants in Saudi Arabia. The venture will be Oman’s second steel company, after a pelletising plant operated by Brazil’s Vale in the northern industrial city of Sohar. Demand for steel in Oman is growing for oil industry and infrastructure projects. — Reuters

million, reflecting increased activity in the real estate sector. FY 11/12 saw a historic surplus. It reached its highest level as well as the highest rate relative to GDP in recent history (amounting to 30% of 2011 nominal GDP). Though this provides a comfortable cushion for the government, it is not all good news. The rate of actual spending to budget, as well as capital spending to budget, were both the second lowest in 10 years, highlighting the lackluster pace of government spending, at a time when the economy and the private sector would greatly benefit from higher spending on projects and infrastructure.

LISBON: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief for Portugal Abebe Selassie (left), head of the European Union (EU) delegation Jurgen Kroger (second right) and head of the European Central Bank (ECB) delegation Rasmus Ruffer (second left) meet with president of the Portuguese Parliament Assuncao Esteves (right) at the Portuguese Parliament in Lisbon yesterday. — AFP

German bankers clash on ECB supervision plans

Spain jobless rate up for first time in 5 months MADRID: The number of people registered unemployed and claiming benefits in Spain rose in August by 38,179 compared to the previous month, the first increase in five months, Spain’s Employment Ministry said yesterday. Ministry spokeswoman Engracia Hidalgo said in a statement that a total of 4,625,634 people were eligible to claim unemployment benefit, an increase of 0.8 percent. Although Spain, the fourth largest economy among the 17 countries that use the euro, is in a double-dip recession, the year-on-year August number dropped from 51,185 in 2011, the statement said. Hidalgo said although the monthly rise in unemployment was bad news, the increase was the smallest since August 2006. Another slightly positive note was that unemployment among young people under 25 years old, one of the brack-

ets hardest hit by the recession, fell by 4,060, a 0.9 percent dip relative to the previous month. Markets fearful that Spain may not be able to reduce its swollen deficit have been charging high prices for the country’s debt. Spain’s benchmark 10-year bond rate stood at 6.7 percent and the IBEX-35 stock index was flat in morning trading yesterday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to visit Madrid tomorrow for talks with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, where Spain’s progress with austerity measures is likely to be high on the agenda. “The Government remains committed to pursue all necessary reforms to promote employment,” said Hidalgo. At the end of the second quarter, Spain reached the European Union’s highest unemployment rate at 24.6 percent. A new overall rate won’t be released until October. — AP

FRANKFURT: Leading German bankers clashed yesterday over plans to give the European Central Bank new supervisory powers, with the co-head of Deutsche Bank saying oversight would only work if it covered a wide range of banks, not just Europe’s biggest. The comments by Juergen Fitschen at a banking conference in Frankfurt highlighted a major divide in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, over the scope of the ECB’s new powers. The European Commission also wants the central bank to monitor a broad swathe of banks, but the German government and the country’s smaller banks are pressing for a more limited remit, focused only on those banks considered “systemically relevant”. The row has burst into the open a week before the Commission unveils new proposals for creating a “banking union” in Europe, a step seen as vital for breaking the link between failing banks and indebted governments. Fitschen said it was illusory to believe that problems could be avoided just by monitoring big banks like Deutsche , noting that Spain’s Bankia ended up becoming a national problem for Spain and the broader euro zone, though it was not considered systemically important by international regulators. “No one had Bankia on the list to trigger a crisis,” he said. Bankia, nationalized by the Spanish government in May, is emblematic of the sector’s reckless lending during the country’s property boom. Spain is now seeking a euro zone bailout of up to 100 billion euros ($126 billion) for its troubled banks. Smaller German savings and cooperative banks say they need only be regulated on a national level, but Fitschen warned against the consequences of such an argument. “If we in Germany argue that we are different, we invite other countries to also argue for exemptions,” Fitschen said.

George Fahrenschon, president of the association of German savings banks, however, told the conference that saddling the ECB with hundreds or even thousands of banks to monitor would be onerous and counterproductive. “Sometimes I get the impression that the whole exercise is designed to unload so much routine work onto the ECB so it no longer has the time or capacity to properly scrutinize the really dangerous institutes,” Fahrenschon said. He also expressed concern that a common supervisor was a step on the path to a pan-European deposit guarantee scheme that would end up penalizing strong institutions. “The word banking union masks plans for a redistribution mechanism, whereby solid institutions prop up weaker lenders,” Fahrenschon said. Speaking on a panel with Fitschen and Fahrenschon, Hans-Peter Keitel, president of Germany’s biggest industry association, the BDI, appealed for German banks to find a “common voice” on banking regulation. The bank supervision debate was launched in June, when European leaders met in Brussels and agreed to allow the euro zone’s new permanent rescue fund to inject aid directly into troubled banks. German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted at the summit that this only be permitted once a centralized banking supervisor, housed in the ECB, was in place. But it now seems clear that forging consensus, even within Germany, on what this supervisor should look like will be extremely difficult. ECB officials have warned against overburdening the central bank with too many new responsibilities. And German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday that the goal to have the new supervisory body up and running by January 2013 was unrealistic. Top officials in Brussels insist the self-imposed deadline is still valid. — Reuters

Turkey’s Iranian oil buying jumps in Aug

MADRID: People queue outside an unemployment registry office in Madrid yesterday. Spain says the number of people registered unemployed and claiming benefits rose in August by 38,179 people compared to the previous month, the first increase in five months in a deepening recession. — AP

Abu Dhabi power project eyes bond by end Sept DUBAI/LONDON: Abu Dhabi’s Shuweihat 2 independent water and power plant (IWPP) project may launch a bond by the end of September as part of a $2.2 billion refinancing plan, three sources familiar with the matter said, with a final decision on timing dependent on the issuer obtaining a credit rating. The bond will be the first time a Gulf region power project has tapped debt capital markets for funding and a rare example of a project bond - bonds raised in support of an infrastructure project from the Middle East. Under the original refinancing plan, the target amount for the bond portion of the funding package was $800 million, but the final size will only be determined once the deal has launched and will depend on investor demand. “The bond will hopefully be this month but they will need to secure the rating first, which they are in the process of doing,” said one banker with knowledge

of the matter. Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, BNP Paribas, Citi, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered are mandated on the bond issue, the bankers said. Any potential bond will most likely be structured as a 144a issue - open to institutional investors in the United States who are more familiar with taking on longterm debt and comfortable with the often complex structure of project bonds. This complexity has been one of the reasons why project bond issuance from the Gulf Arab region has been limited, along with the historically-strong support from international banks, meaning finance was raised in the loan market. Local banks have helped fill the gap left by the withdrawal of European banks from long-term lending in the region to grapple with a debt crisis in their home markets, but governments’ commitment to invest large sums in infrastructure mean other financing tools now have to be utilized. — Reuters

LONDON: Turkey’s imports of Iranian crude oil jumped in August, risking friction with the United States, after hitting a multi-year low in July, as it used Iranian-owned tankers to avoid insurance hurdles, shipping sources said. The United States gave several countries sanction waivers after they cut imports prior to the imposition of the full embargo. Turkey was granted a 180-day exception from sanctions from June 11 as a result of an initial 20 percent cut. EU sanctions cover the region’s marine insurance sector, which dominates the industry, effectively cutting off all usual avenues for tanker insurance. Turkish imports of Iranian crude oil surpassed Turkey’s 2011 average of 180,000 barrels per day (bpd) in August. Around 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude oil were discharged at the import terminals Aliaga and Tutunciflik for Turkey’s sole refiner Tupras, data from a shipping source and AIS Live ship tracking on Reuters showed. Tupras used two Iranian tankers to bring Iranian crude from storage at the Egyptian port of Sidi Kerir. The port is the end-point of the Sumed pipeline, an alternative route to the Suez Canal for oil shipments coming into the Mediterranean from the Red Sea. The Suezmax Blossom discharged around 145,000 tons of crude oil three times at the Turkish port of Tutunciflik and once at its other import terminal Aliaga. The VLCC Valor also discharged

at Aliaga. One of the Blossom shipments and the Valor shipment were lifted from Sidi Kerir at the end of July and arrived at the start of August. Imports previously plummeted to a two and a half year low in July at 48,000 bpd after Turkey struggled to insure its own tankers to lift the oil and ultimately star ted using an Iranian vessel. Western sanctions aim to curb Iran’s ability to pursue its nuclear ambitions by cutting off its main revenue stream from crude oil sales. Iran’s remaining buyers - China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey were forced to cut imports sharply in July. Tupras is wholly reliant on Iranian-owned tankers as they are still unable to insure their own vessels. “Right now they cannot carry any Iranian oil with their own tankers, that problem is still not solved,” said a Turkey based shipping source close to Tupras. “They are aware of the other countries who pay double the premium they are paying to obtain insurance from other local players like Kish, but for them that is not on the table, at least for now.” Iran’s biggest tanker operator, NITC, has $1 billion in ship insurance cover to keep its fleet on the water with alternative cover in Asia and through Iranian privately owned Kish P&I. Kish relies on state-run Central Insurance of Iran as its reinsurer. Any claim would likely have to go through a sanctioned bank but the firm said it was confident it would be able to pay in the event of an accident. — Reuters




Oil prices re-enter the ‘danger zone’: Analyst LONDON: Get ready for a prolonged slowdown in the major industrial economies. If Brent crude oil prices stay substantially above $100 per barrel, the economies of the United States and Western Europe will almost certainly struggle in the next few months. At no point in the last five years have US manufacturing and the wider economy managed to expand strongly when international oil prices have been above $100. In every case, prices above $100 have been associated with a loss of momentum as the Institute of Supply Management (ISM)’s composite manufacturing index has fallen back towards the 50-point threshold dividing expanding activity from a contraction, as the attached chart illustrates ( This analysis is fairly crude and little more than a restatement of the familiar view that growth slows when the cost of oil in consuming countries (the “oil burden”) climbs much above 4 percent of GDP. It uses Brent rather than US crude prices (also known as WTI) because seaborne, internationally traded Brent drives the cost of gasoline in the United States and around the world. Rising oil prices boost input costs and squeeze incomes for firms and households, as well as heightening uncertainty and deterring spending on big ticket items. The impact is rarely immediate. It takes time for the full impact of rising prices to be realized by consumers and businesses -

several tank refills and months worth of operating costs before they appreciate the full hit. While the analysis is simple, it helps pinpoint the threshold at which high prices start to have an adverse impact on economic growth. Some analysts prefer to express oil’s impact in terms of the rate of change rather than an outright price level. University of California Professor James Hamilton has famously analyzed slowdowns caused when oil prices surge above the previous peak set over the last one to three years. On almost any timescale, current prices do not qualify as a Hamiltonian oil shock because Brent still remains below the record closing high set in July 2008 ($146) as well as more recent peaks in April 2011 ($127) and March 2012 ($126). Even so, there is compelling evidence that prices above $100 have been associated with a loss of economic momentum. It suggests the Hamiltonian focus on rates of change should be supplemented with an emphasis on absolute price levels. At least in the current environment, it seems the major industrial economies struggle when prices rise much above $100. It is no accident that Saudi Arabia identified $100 as its target price earlier this year. Leading oil analysts usually downplay the tension between high oil prices and GDP growth. Oil prices are framed as an investable “asset class” and a source of increased earnings for oil exploration and production compa-

nies rather than an input cost for other businesses and burden on consumers. More often high prices are framed as a consequence of strong demand and a healthy economy. The framework is intended to convey the idea that it is possible to have high oil prices and strong growth. In practice, that looks difficult. In the past, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others have identified $100 as the threshold above which prices enter the “danger zone,” which looks about right. It is important not to be too doctrinaire about the threshold concept. The US and other economies do not suddenly come to a juddering halt when prices rise from $99 to $101. But the further prices rise above $100 and the longer they remain there, the bigger the hit to the economy, all other things being equal. One of the unfortunate side effects of quantitative easing (QE) is that investors tend to respond by bidding up oil prices undercutting some of the stimulus intended by policymakers. In the United States, both the first round of QE in 2010/11 and the second round launched in 2011 were associated with temporary oil price increases. The recent round of oil price rises illustrates the cruel conundrum. Oil prices have risen, in part, along with expectations that the Fed and the European Central Bank will provide further stimulus in the next few months, coupled with increasingly bellicose rhetoric in the Middle East. — Reuters

Gulf economy bullish amid global turmoil GIC MONTHLY REPORT KUWAIT: Expectations of firm oil prices during Q3 2012, alongside increased GCC oil exports and large-scale project implementation will support an overall economic growth in the GCC region in excess of 6.1% for 2012. Saudi Arabia, which the IMF recently projected will grow at 6% in 2012, is expected to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on domestic projects in housing, transportation, power and oil and manufacturing sectors. According to the latest Nielson report, the consumer confidence index in Saudi Arabia had increased by six points during 1Q 2012 to reach 119, making it the second-most-optimistic market in the world, ranking behind India. Under the Nielson system, any score over 100 indicates an optimistic outlook, and Saudi Arabia’s continued strong showing put it well ahead of the Middle East average of 97 points. In Qatar, the government is expected to maintain high levels of capital spending on infrastructure, education, health and transport, prompting overall real GDP growth to remain in the vicinity of 8% for 2012. Kuwait is expected to realize a 6.2% growth rate on the back of high oil prices and rising crude exports. UAE and Oman are likely to realize more moderate economic growth rates of 4.7% and 4.8% respectively, while Bahrain’s growth is expected to hover around 3%. External debt and deficit continue to be mild as the combined ratio of external debt to GDP for the 6 GCC countries stood at 36% in 2011. When gauged against exports and foreign reserves, the external debt of the GCC is mild because of the massive accumulation of foreign reserves. The fiscal position in the GCC is quite robust, with 2012 budget surpluses expected to range between 10% in the UAE, 15% in Saudi Arabia and 25% in Kuwait. GCC Equity Markets Uncertainty persists over the fate of the global economy as the US and China continue in a prolonged slowdown even as the European debt crisis shows no signs of abating. Regional equity markets have not been immune to the events in global markets, but rising oil prices due to geopolitical tensions have acted as a support to GCC markets to stem the downfall in equities. Crude oil has risen significantly during the month, aided by increased geo-political tensions between Israel and Iran. WTI crude rose +9.20% for the month while Brent crude gained +10.33% over the same period. Overall, the S&P GCC Index rose +2.83% during the month, a decent return when compared to the performance of global markets. UAE and Oman were the most significant positive contributors to the market, while Bahrain’s BSE Index was the worst performing. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul Index gained during the month of August to continue its resurgence after a few anemic months, rising +3.79%, to make it the best performing market in the GCC. Following a relatively quiet summer coinciding with Ramadan and the Eid holidays, trading volume has begun to rise again. The heavyweight Petrochemicals sector continues to claw back slowly, having gained +2.31% for the month, while the Banking sector edged up +2.32%. The defensive Retail sector performed admirably, up +5.29%, mainly due to the very profitable month of Ramadan for food retailers. Despite the political uncertainty that continues to grip Kuwait, the indices performed well as the KWSE Weighted and Price indices rose +1.21% and +2.49% respectively. Although continued political uncertainty has hindered development, record oil output and rising crude prices have masked the problems in the Kuwaiti economy. The Telecom sector was a good performer, rising +4.87%, while the Industrials sector also gained significantly

by +4.66%. Moreover, the vital Oil & Gas sector edged up +2.43%. In the UAE, Abu Dhabi’s ADSM index emerged as one of the top performers, gaining +2.21%. The index was buoyed by an admirable performance in the Banking and Real Estate sectors, which were up +3.29% and +3.04% respectively. In addition, the Energy sector gained +3.59% for the month. The Financial Services & Investments sector took a plunge, declining -6.89%. In neighboring Dubai, the DFM index gained marginally , adding +0.34% for the month. The Telecom sector was the star performer as it soared +5.57% for the month. The Transport sector also performed very well, gaining +2.30%, while the heavyweight Real Estate sector experienced a drop after a prolonged rally, shedding -2.02% for the month. Regardless of the drop this month, a sustained recovery in property prices and transactions has aided the upturn in the crucial sector of Dubai’s economy. In Qatar, the QE index was up +2.23% for the month following positive performance across the board. With Qatar having underperformed dramatically so far in 2012, an upturn is badly needed. The Industrial sector was the top performer, adding +4.56% while the Services sector gained +2.08%. The Insurance and Banking sectors were also up +0.43% and +1.66% respectively. Oman’s MSM index was one of the better performers in the region, rising +2.27% for the month. Sectors were up across the board, but it was the Banking sector that overshadowed the rest, soaring up +6.36%. The Industrials and Services sectors also edged up +4.16% and +1.59% respectively. Bahrain’s BSE Index was the only market to end the month in the red, shedding -1.23%. All sectors were in the negative, with the Industries and Services sectors sliding the most, down -5.90% and 3.50% respectively. Investors have been increasingly wary as the slowdown in the US and China, coupled with the European debt crisis deters them from equity markets. As a result, commodities have rallied and have been buoyed even further by mounting speculation that central banks will engage in another round of quantitative easing to help expedite the stuttering global economic recovery. This should bode well for equities, but with the US election looming, it is difficult to say when a new round of QE will take place. Recent figures emanating from the Banking sector in Saudi show encouraging signs, with loan and deposit growth looking strong, while the Real Estate market in Dubai is making a robust resurgence as rental prices remain on the ascendant. However, the outlook for the Petrochemicals sector looks increasingly weak, with demand from China subsiding due to the economic slowdown, although oil prices are at a desirable level for GCC producers. GCC Credit Markets The global economy continues to grapple with myriad issues, amongst which faltering growth remains the key concern. The mystery over Spain continues as the economy falls deeper into recession, and is inevitable that Spain will soon have to call for a European rescue package in order to lower its cost of debt. All eyes are now firmly set on two important meetings viz. US Fed and ECB. Investors await details on ECB’s plans to buy bonds to curb borrowing costs of struggling Euro-zone sovereigns, and will also closely watch Bernanke’s speech for hints on whether the Fed will announce another round of bond buying after its policy meeting on Sep 12-13. Broader regional markets had a roller coaster ride during the month, though they still managed to close with moderate gains. The HSBC Nasdaq-Dubai GCC USD Sukuk/Bond

TR Index (GCCB) rose m-o-m, to close at 152.07 from 151.12 and spreads tightened by 22bps, yielding 3.85%. The HSBC Nasdaq-Dubai USD Sukuk TR Index (SKBI) increased m-o-m from 142.04 to 142.80, while the HSBC Nasdaq-Dubai GCC Conventional USD Bond TR Index (GCBI) traded in a range of 153-155. In the CDS Sovereign space, High Volatility names witnessed tightening of spreads while Investment Grade names saw widening. Dubai was the best performer with spreads tightening by 12bps (-3.65%) followed by Bahrain 12bps (-3.42%). In the Investment Grade space, Saudi was the worst performer with spreads widening by 5bps (+4.43%). The Primary market was muted as the month coincided with the holy month of Ramadan, causing a fall in market activity. However, NBAD tapped the market during the initial week of the month, as it launched a USD 750mn 2019 Senior Unsecured Bond, that received a very good response with an order book in excess of USD 4.5bn. It carries coupon of 3% and was priced at MS+180bps. The bank is rated Aa3/A+/AAby Moody’s, S&P and Fitch respectively. Saudi’s BinLadin group also issued Sukuk worth SAR 1bn, with a 364-day maturity and an annual profit rate of 2.5%. The Primary market is expected to be good in coming months with a decent pipeline both on the Conventional and Sukuk side. On repayment front, there was a relief as Kuwait’s National Industries Group dropped its request for four-year extension from creditors and repaid its USD 475mn Sukuk on time. Meanwhile, Fitch affirmed QIB at “A” with stable outlook. EM credits in general, and GCC in particular, have shown resilience amidst the global debt crisis and have rallied pretty swiftly during the year, supported by strong technical and fundamental factors. GCC credit still continues to trade cheaply when compared to its rating class, while the regional primary and secondary credit markets continue to benefit from a very supportive investor base, with Middle East investors having acquired around 50% of the total issuance out of the GCC so far this year. In the ST, given the sharp recent run up and stretched valuations, we expect some consolidation in the market. However, in the MT-LT, we continue to believe that the market will perform well given the supportive macro-fundamentals, strong technicals and lack of negative news flow. We continue to prefer Investment Grade over High Volatility space, till the global uncertainty recedes. We also recommend more defensive credits, primarily out of Qatar, Saudi and Abu Dhabi. We continue to like Quasi Sovereign names especially in Abu Dhabi, given the attractive spread pick up over sovereign. Given the sharp run witnessed in the longer end of the curve and global uncertainty, we suggest remaining on the ST-MT end of the curve i.e. reduce duration. However, some value still remains in the 10Y part of the curve especially for Abu Dhabi Quasi Sovereigns. We also suggest to selectively look at names in High Volatility space with strong franchise value, profitable business model and stable cash flow. Due to technical and fundamental reasons, we continue to like Dubai names in the High Volatility space, especially those related to Retail, Travel & Tourism, Hospitality and Real estate sectors. Despite some positive indicators from the US, including improvement in housing market statistics, growth of the global economy is projected to moderate at around 2.6% y-o-y for 2012. It has been besieged by contagion fears that stem largely from the outstanding sovereign and financial debts and from the EU crisis. Exports of Emerging markets has decelerated markedly, tainting their overall macroeconomic performance.

McDonald’s to open first vegetarian outlet NEW DELHI: US fast food giant McDonald’s, famed for its beef-based Big Mac burgers, yesterday said it will open its first ever vegetarian-only restaurant in the world in India next year. The world’s second-biggest restaurant chain after Subway already tailors its menus to suit local tastes-which in India means no beef to avoid offending Hindus and no pork to cater for Muslim requirements. It will open its first vegetarian outlet in the middle of next year near the Golden Temple in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar in northern India, where religious authorities forbid consumption of meat at the shrine. “It will be the first time we have opened a vegetarian restaurant in the world,” a spokesman for McDonald’s in northern India, Rajesh Kumar Maini, told AFP. After the opening in Amritsar, the US chain plans to launch another vegetarian outlet at Katra near the Vaishno Devi cave shrine in Kashmir a revered Hindu pilgrimage site that draws hundreds of thousands of worshippers a year. It sees the potential for many more vegetarian restaurants across the country. McDonald’s in India already has a menu that is 50 percent vegetarian. Its McAloo Tikki burger at 28 rupees or 50 cents-which uses a spicy fried potatobased patty-is the top seller, accounting for a quarter of total sales. Among the chicken-only meat offerings, the Maharaja Mac is also a favourite. Currently India, with its population of 1.2 billion, is still a “very small

market for McDonald’s”, said Maini. “We have just 271 restaurants in India and across the world we have nearly 33,000,” Maini said. The chain serves half a million customers a day in India, out of 50 million people it serves daily in over 100 countries. “When you look at the

potential of the country, it’s one of the top priority countries and we’re laying the groundwork for capturing the market,” said Maini. “We plan to nearly double the number of outlets to 500 plus within the next three years,” he said.— AFP

NEW DELHI: Indian customers at an McDonald’s outlet in New Delhi. US fast-food giant McDonald’s, famed for its beefbased Big Mac burgers, yesterday, said it will open its first vegetarian-only restaurant anywhere in the world in India next year. The world’s second-biggest restaurant chain after Subway tailors its menus to suit local tastes, which in India means no beef to avoid offending Hindus and no pork to cater for Muslim requirements. — AFP



Lufthansa crew step up strike grounding flights FRANKFURT: Cabin staff at German airline Lufthansa extended their strike action to three main airports yesterday, causing disruption with the cancellation of scores of flights. The UFO union, which held a first strike at Frankfurt airport over pay and conditions on Friday, said it was staging fresh walkouts at airports in Berlin and Munich as well as Frankfurt. The strike began at 0300 GMT at Berlin-Tegel airport, one of two serving the German capital, and an hour later at Frankfurt airport, the third busiest in Europe, with the stoppages due to last eight hours. Cabin crew will also go on strike from 1100 GMT to 2200 GMT in Munich, the union said. A Lufthansa spokesman said a total of 180 long and short-haul flights had been cancelled at Frankfurt airport, its main hub, and flights in Germany and Europe had also been cancelled in Berlin. The union, which represents some twothirds of Lufthansa’s 18,000 cabin crew members, has vowed that the latest strike would have an even bigger impact than Friday’s

action. A total 26,000 passengers were affected by last week’s eight-hour stoppage at Frankfurt airport in western Germany where nearly 200 Lufthansa flights were grounded. Lufthansa and UFO traded verbal blows early yesterday, each accusing the other of arrogance. UFO head Nicoley Baublies warned on the N24 news channel that the strike could be widened out if an accord continues to prove elusive, cautioning it could announce in the coming days that “Germany comes to a standstill for 24 hours”. For its part, the airline criticized the labor union for announcing the start of the strikes at the three airports late. The strike was called after Lufthansa’s management failed to come to an agreement with employees over salary and working conditions. UFO is seeking a five percent pay increase for cabin staff backdated to January after three years of wage freezes. It is also opposed to the use of temporary cabin staff on Lufthansa aircraft. A Lufthansa spokesman said on the NTV

news channel yesterday that the airline had offered a salary hike of about 3.5 percent as well as renouncing fixed-term contracts and the use of temporary staff. “UFO has not given us a contribution towards increasing competitiveness,” such as, working an extra two hours a month, he complained, calling for the parties to return to the negotiating table. A Lufthansa spokesman had said the airline would do everything possible to minimize disruption to travellers, with passengers informed about developments by email or text message. The airline already faces strong headwinds from rising fuel prices and fierce competition. An earlier strike by cabin crew at the beginning of 2009 cost Lufthansa tens of millions of euros. And it is not the first time this year that Lufthansa has felt the pinch from industrial action. In February, Frankfurt airport’s apron control staff, traffic controllers who guide aircraft while they are on the tarmac, walked off the job over demands for higher pay. — AFP

FRANKFURT: Passengers queue at a terminal during a flight attendant’s strike of Lufthansa at Frankfurt airport, Germany, yesterday. — AP

ECB faces moment of truth on bond-buying Rate decision likely tomorrow

BERLIN: A group of visitors walk past the “Willy Brandt” Berlin Brandenburg International (BER) Airport under construction yesterday in Schoenefeld near Berlin. As German media reported, the opening of the airport will be postponed again and is apparently scheduled now for the end of October 2013. — AFP

Troubled new Berlin airport faces fresh delay: Reports BERLIN: Berlin’s new main airport, already dogged by delays, will not open until October next year, media reported yesterday, dealing a further blow to city and airport officials. Initially scheduled to open on June 3 this year and replace the city’s current two hubs, Schoenefeld and Tegel, the Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport was delayed indefinitely in May after problems over fire safety. Mass circulation Bild and others said the airport would now not open until October 27, 2013. A meeting of the firm responsible for building the airport is to be held on Friday where the new opening date is likely to be announced. The scandal surrounding the project has dented the popularity of the city’s mayor Klaus Wowereit, accused of incompetence and underestimating the problems linked to the construction. The country’s top two airlines, Lufthansa and

Hyundai Motor union ends ‘costliest strike’ SEOUL: Hyundai Motor’s labor union has agreed a deal on wages and working conditions, ending the costliest dispute in the South Korean auto giant’s history, company officials said yesterday. The union has staged 28 partial strikes since stoppages began on July 13, cutting production by more than 82,000 vehicles valued at 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion). The union narrowly decided in favor of the deal on Monday when 52.9 percent of workers voted to accept proposals that would end a round-the-clock shift system in operation for decades. The agreement, effective from March 2013, means the introduction of a twoshift daytime work system, ending at 1:00am. There is also a 98,000 won ($87) increase in basic monthly salary, a performance-based bonus equivalent to five months wages and a one-off payment of 9.6 million won per person. Hyundai said its 44,000-strong union resumed full production from yesterday. With inventories standing at record-low levels, Hyundai plans to spend about 300 billion won to upgrade manufacturing lines, while the union has agreed to an hourly production increase. Total sales in August were down 4.6 percent from a year ago at 293,924 vehicles. Domestic sales tumbled 30 percent to 35,950 units while 257,974 vehicles were shipped overseas, up 0.4 percent. Hyundai’s affiliate Kia Motors has seen similar industrial action. Its union plans an eight-hour strike today. Since July 13, Kia’s output has fallen by 45,995 vehicles worth 758 billion won. The two companies together form the world’s fifth largest automaker. — AFP

Air Berlin, have also expressed outrage over the repeated delays to the project, on the site of the current Schoenefeld Airport, in the south-east of the city. Berlin’s airports are not the country’s busiest, with Schoenefeld and Tegel combined welcoming around 24 million visitors a year-less than half the 56 million passengers serviced at Frankfurt airport in western Germany. But the new airport, to be named after former chancellor Willy Brandt, was intended to accommodate the sharp rise in air traffic to the region seen in the two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification. It is due to service around 27 million passengers a year. Berliners were already mourning the closure of Tegel, which is relatively close to the city centre and whose small, hexagonal main terminal is a 1960s relic that allows passengers to hop in or out of a taxi just outside their gate. — AFP

Merck to axe 1,100 jobs in Germany FRANKFURT: German chemicals and pharmaceuticals group Merck KGaA said yesterday it will cut one job out of every 10 in Germany over the next three years as part of a global cost-cutting drive. Nevertheless, none of the job cuts would involve forced redundancies, the company said in a statement. As part of an efficiency plan drawn up in agreement with employee representatives, “Merck plans to eliminate around 1,100 of the 10,900 positions in Germany by the end of 2015,” the statement said. The jobs would be cut “in a socially acceptable manner, mainly through voluntary resignation and early retirement programs across all divisions and functions.” Aside from just 100 positions in areas where jobs were already being farmed out-for example in regulatory affairs or jobs that require considerable manual labor, such as certain blending and filling activities in production-there would be no outsourcing, Merck said. Two sites employing around 140 employees-the production of industrial salts in Lehrte, as well as the filling operations in Hohenbrunn-would be discontinued. Management and employee representatives would “consider various scenarios for the two sites” in the coming months. “We have had constructive discussions with works council members for the past several months and are happy to say that we now have a roadmap that will position Merck Germany in such a way that the company is prepared for the challenges we will face,” said board member and head of human resources, Kai Beckmann. “This agreement is a positive development for Merck’s future and a clear commitment to Germany.” Works council chief Heiner Wilhelm said it was “particularly important” that there would be no forced redundancies through the end of 2017 and “we were largely able to avoid outsourcing of jobs.” Further cost savings would be achieved via a reduction in personnel costs as the result of “a restructuring of the compensation system,” Merck continued, without providing more details. The company said it would also invest “at least 250 million euros” ($316 million) in its headquarters in Darmstadt and other German sites over the next two years. — AFP

FRANKFURT: European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will try to back up his pledge to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro tomorrow, presenting some details of a new bond-buying plan that is transfixing markets hopeful it can ease the euro zone crisis. Investors are on tenterhooks after brinkmanship in the ECB’s internal negotiations over the plan was played out in public last week, with one newspaper reporting that Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann even considered quitting. The ECB is being forced to take a greater role in fighting the debt crisis while governments negotiate legal and political hurdles to coordinating a longer-term response, but Germany’s Bundesbank wants to limit the scope of ECB action. “Draghi certainly has to present something,” said Guillaume Menuet, economist at Citi. “A document of some sort, something of substance is what markets want to see in order to justify valuations.” Spanish and Italian government bond yields fell yesterday as investors welcomed leaked comments made by Draghi behind closed doors in the European Parliament on Monday, when he suggested the ECB could buy bonds with a maturity of up to three years - at the long end of market expectations. The ECB is unlikely to reveal all details of the plan tomorrow. “I’m not sure the ECB is ready to publish the nitty-gritty and the procedures of interventions, because no country has asked (for bailout) and because there are still some important dates in the month that require prior approval,” said Menuet. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Sunday Madrid would consider seeking extra aid from Europe on top of an up to 100 billion euro rescue of its financial sector but sees no need for extra conditions beyond the EU policy guidelines it is already implementing. Rajoy added he wanted to see details of the ECB’s program before deciding whether to proceed with a request. EU paymaster Germany and Draghi have said any bond-buying support would require strict policy conditions and enforcement. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Rajoy will try to thrash out those differences at talks in Madrid tomorrow, just as the ECB is due to unveil more on its plans. Spain and Italy have been sucked deeper into the crisis as investors increasingly doubt their capacity to repay their debt. Yields on their bonds have risen to nearunsustainable levels. Draghi responded in late July by saying the ECB would do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro, and last month he signalled it was ready to resume buying government bonds. Now markets want to hear details of the policy. But internal ECB tensions, fuelled by Bundesbank resistance to bond-buying, and the ECB’s eagerness to retain an element of surprise mean it will reveal only a partial outline. “We’re expecting limited information, no quantitative indication on the targets or quantities to be purchased,” Nomura economist Nick Matthews said. “In terms of modalities, we’ll probably get something, but very little color in total.” The Bundesbank vehemently opposes government bond purchases, saying they come close to breaching the taboo of central bank financing of governments, and its criticism has not let up. Its previous head, Axel Weber, resigned in opposition to a previous bout of bond-buying by the ECB. Disagreements within the policy-setting Governing Council may keep the ECB from giving too many specifics. The ECB also wants to keep markets guessing about its bond-buying moves to discourage speculators and maintain pressure on governments to pursue economic reforms and fiscal discipline.

Even in the absence of inflationary pressures, the ECB must show its primary focus is still on guarding price stability. “The ECB cannot announce an additional target of any sort (in addition to the inflation target) because two targets could come into conflict with one another at some future date,” UniCredit economist Erik Nielsen said in a note to investors. Sources have told Reuters the ECB has considered setting interest rate bands - rather than a specific cap - as internal guideline for intervention, but it would not publicly declare any target for yields or spreads that would force it to enter the market when the barrier was exceeded. Draghi said after the ECB’s Aug. 2 meeting that the bond buying would focus on the short end of the yield curve. His suggestion on Monday that this could mean maturities of up to three years was positive for markets as the longer the maturities the ECB targets, the more bonds it could buy. “If we are in the short-term part of the market where bonds have a length of time maturity of up to one year, two years, or even three years, these bonds will easily expire,” Draghi told a European Parliament committee. Draghi skipped a weekend policymakers’ conference at Jackson Hole in the United States to work on the plan. The ECB has been working around the clock to hammer out the details, but that it has proven tricky. Weidmann’s reported threat

to resign, though not confirmed, has piled pressure on Draghi to mollify opponents of the plan without tying it up in so many knots it is rendered ineffective. One way to placate the Bundesbank could be to insist that the International Monetary Fund - seen as tougher than European Union institutions - is involved in setting conditions for future bailouts, and hence for bond buying, as suggested by ECB policymaker Joerg Asmussen. “The ECB cannot write a blank cheque,” said Menuet at Citi. “The conditionality precludes an open-door policy. For some investors the ECB involvement is a necessary condition to justify valuations, but it is not sufficient. They will probably need to see a less constrained framework, which they will probably not get,” he added. While the bond-buying plan will be the main focus of tomorrow’s meeting, there is a chance the ECB will also cut interest rates from 0.75 percent - already a record low due to a deepening slowdown in the euro zone economy. Analysts in a Reuters poll are split on the chance of a cut, with a slight majority thinking it will hold fire. Whether a rate cut comes may depend on how many details of the bond program the ECB can present. “Draghi will probably disappoint at least marginally on the intervention part, so to compensate for the lack of details on the bond-buying part, they could also be inclined to cut rates,” said Nordea analyst Anders Svendsen. — Reuters

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi

Singapore reins in ‘shoebox’ flats SINGAPORE: Singapore yesterday said it will restrict the growth of “shoebox” private apartments in the suburbs to ease overcrowding concerns and encourage couples to have children. The new cap will come into force on November 4 to “discourage new developments consisting predominantly of ‘shoebox units’ outside the Central Area”, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a press release. Shoebox units in Singapore typically measure 50 square metres (538 square feet) or less, about half the size of an average public housing apartment. Singapore developers ramped up the construction of shoebox units to boost sales as land and other costs shot up in recent years. Such units will increase more than four-fold from about 2,400 at the end of 2011 to about 11,000 units by the end of 2015, the URA said, adding that

the share of small apartments in some developments can now reach 50-80 percent. Such units “do not meet the needs of larger households and are not conducive for couples to have children,” the body said, referring to a campaign for young Singaporeans to start families early and reverse the falling birth rate. “A large concentration of such developments can strain the local road infrastructure as the number of housing units ends up much higher than what was originally planned for,” it added. Shoebox apartments command prices ranging from Sg$1,200-Sg$1,900 ($964-$1,526) per square foot. Overcrowding in land-scarce Singapore has in recent years become a political topic, with the government’s liberal immigration policies blamed for bringing in a massive influx of foreigners and straining local infrastructure. — AFP




Web savvy Kuwaiti customers can now connect with Mercedes-Benz Twitter, Instagram widen the web for Abdul Rahman Albisher and Zaid Alkazemi Co KUWAIT: A R Albisher and Z Alkazemi Co, the exclusive general distributor for Mercedes-Benz in Kuwait - has increased its accessibility for customers with the launch of two new social media channels - Twitter and Instagram. Joining an already strong Facebook page and ‘MB Kuwait’iPhone app - with over 11,000 followers and 1,200 downloads respectively - the new additions keep customer service on the cutting edge by capitalizing on young Kuwaiti’s love for all things online. Nearly a third of all Kuwaitis have a Facebook account, and with 60 million tweets made in March 2012 alone, Kuwait represents over 8% of all tweets in the Arab world. Mercedes-Benz Kuwait’s growing online presence goes a step further in connecting with this new internet savvy generation of three pointed star fans, conveniently opening two way online communications to provide and discuss the latest news and key

developments from the luxury German brand. And the popularity of the new social networking sites is clear, with 550 followers on Instagram @MercedesBenzKWT,

and 400 followers on twitter @MercedesBenzKWT already, despite only launching recently. Michael Ruehle, General Manager, A R Albisher and Z Alkazemi Co, tweeted this

link to a post on the MBKuwait facebook page: “Social media is a natural extension of the traditional communication channels we use to effectively reach out to our customers. We are committed to raising the standards of luxury automotive customer service to new heights in Kuwait. By widening our channels of communication online, we are providing cutting edge convenience and forging new and existing long term customer relationships for Mercedes-Benz.”

Bain & Company named ‘Best Firm to Work For’

Jazeera Airways issues July performance report KUWAIT: Award-winning Jazeera Airways yesterday issued its July 2012 Operational Per formance Report, showing a continued market share lead on key routes, and a continued lead in on-time performance (OTP) against all other airlines in the Middle East as ranked by the independent US-based OTP tracker FlightStats. The airline’s OTP for the month was 93.9%, making Jazeera Airways the most punctual airline in the Middle East for the 19th month in-arow. The report, which presents market share figures based on official statistics from Kuwait’s Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA),

showed that the airline’s July market share for the Kuwait-Cairo route grew from 26% in June to 28% in July, led by a 12% seasonal increase in flown passengers on the route. The airline saw a similar positive performance on the Kuwait-Beirut route with market share growing from 30% in June to 33% in July, representing a 3% increase that was also driven by a 20% seasonal increase in flown passengers on the route. Other report highlights include that the airline was the leading Kuwaiti airline to the high-demand summer destinations of Amman, Dubai, Bahrain and Beirut in addition to capturing leading market

share figures on five of the six Egyptian destinations it serves. Jazeera Airways had a 27% market share on the Kuwait-Alexandria route, a 67% market share on the Kuwait-Sharm El Sheikh route, a 52% market share on the KuwaitAssiut route, a 34% market share on the Kuwait-Sohag route, and a 75% market share on the Kuwait-Luxor route. The report also showed that Jazeera Airways was the leading Kuwaiti airline between Kuwait and Amman with a 37% market share, Kuwait and Beirut with a 33% market share, Kuwait and Bahrain with a 10% market share, and Kuwait and Dubai with a 16% market share.

UK reshuffle suggests rethink on airport plan LONDON: Britain signalled it could rethink its opposition to airport expansion in southeast England yesterday when it surprisingly moved its transport minister, a vocal critic, into another role. As part of a wider cabinet reshuffle, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron named Patrick McLoughlin as transport secretary, replacing Justine Greening who had been strongly opposed to any expansion of Heathrow Airport. Britain’s Conservative-led coalition government had ruled out building a third runway at London’s capacity-constrained Heathrow before the next election, in part to appease the junior Liberal Democrat partners and boost its green credentials. But the issue has returned to the agenda in recent months with the economy stuck in recession and critics of the policy arguing that increased flights could boost growth. London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is pushing for the construction of a new airport in the Thames Estuary instead of expanding Britain’s biggest airport Heathrow, slammed the decision to remove Greening. “There can be only one reason to move her - and that is to expand Heathrow airport,” said Johnson. “Nearly a third of the victims of aircraft noise in the whole of Europe live in the vicinity of Heathrow. Now it is clear that the government wants to ditch its promises and send yet more planes over central London.” Greening, who lasted just 10 months as transport secretary, was a staunch opponent of a third runway at Heathrow and had come under pressure to change her stance in recent weeks after a succession of senior Conservative ministers called on Cameron to rethink his opposition to a third runway at Heathrow.

Just last week she had threatened to resign if the government gave in to pressure to expand Heathrow. McLouglin, a former coalminer and agricultural worker, has experience in aviation, having previously served as a minister in the Department for Transport (DfT) under Margaret Thatcher’s government. Government insiders say Cameron and finance minister George Osborne have an open mind on expanding Heathrow, compared with Greening who was unlikely to change her position given her Putney constituency is under the Heathrow flight path. Several options are being considered to increase the southeast of England’s strained airport capacity: a third runway at Heathrow; a second at Stansted northeast of London, or a new airport in the estuary of the river Thames. “The industry wants the opportunity for growth which they have been denied,” said Davy stockbrokers analyst Stephen Furlong. “Maybe the government are hedging until the next election (in 2015) but air traffic is projected to double in the next 20 years and if Britain’s main airports are full, businesses will go elsewhere and the UK and London will suffer.” Heathrow operator BAA, owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, believes the airport is falling behind European rivals like Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam in the battle for lucrative routes to China because of the constraints on growth. Greening was deeply unpopular with airline bosses such as IAG’s chief executive Willie Walsh and Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary. At a news conference in London earlier yesterday O’Leary said “the sooner she (Greening) is gone the better - I hope the next one is better.” Greening will become international development secretary. —Reuters

DUBAI: In an achievement unmatched by any company, in any industry, Bain & Company, the global management consulting firm, has been named the “Best Firm to Work For” for a 10th year in a row, as announced recently by the editors of Consulting magazine. “From an individual firm perspective, what else can we say about Bain & Company? The firm simply amazes each year and it’s now 10 consecutive years as the No 1 firm,” wrote the magazine’s editors in the August issue, adding, Jochen Duelli “When it comes to employee satisfaction, there simply is no better consulting firm to work for than Bain.” “We say it feels different to work at Bain & Company, and to have this validated by our staff, for 10 consecutive years in Consulting magazine’s ‘Best Firms to Work For’ survey, is a source of immense pride for us,” said Russ Hagey, Bain senior partner and the firm’s chief talent officer. “Bain continues to be a very attractive place to work, but along with the celebration comes a deep motivation to continue to evolve, innovate and deliver exceptional results for our clients and compelling careers for our people.” In addition to being ranked #1 overall, Bain ranked #1 in the survey sub-categories of firm culture-reflecting shared values, standards, ethics and goals of a firm-and career development. “At Bain, we are very proud of our track record of achieving lasting results collaboratively for our clients, as well as our strong firm culture which is best described as, ‘A Bainie never lets another Bainie fail’. Our Middle East office is the most diverse office with around 30 various nationalities and therefore it is a truly unique office to experience the Bain culture,” said Jochen Duelli, Head of Private Equity Practice and Human Resources Partner, Bain & Company, Middle East.

Al-Mazaya Holding unveils prestigious office space in Kuwait Business Town KUWAIT: To announce the inauguration includes detailed office design and the of one of its most prestigious office selection of distinct dÈcor items, a floors, and as part of its “Office at Reach” move aimed at providing added value marketing campaign, Al-Mazaya in an increasingly competitive market. “After investigating the needs of Holding recently hosted a press conference. Offices on the newly launched investors and businesses, as well as the floor, located at Al-Mazaya Tower 2 in culture of the Kuwaiti people, it was the heart of Kuwait City, will be offered found that offering marketing tools for rent under the company’s equipped such as brochures and designs were not enough -a need emerged for the proviand furnished office system. The “Office at Reach” campaign, sion of an ac tual ser vice whereby which was launched four months ago investors could access details such as how spaces are divided with the aim of reaching and finished. This,” said a vast number of Al-Nafisi, “gives cusinvestors and businesses, tomers a real underoffers a range of rental standing of their requiresolutions, including open ments and how far they spaces as well as are able to actually modequipped or furnished ify spaces in line with offices. A dedicated team their needs.” has also been allocated In a simple explanation to facilitate the leasing of of what can be achieved, offices, to provide explathe media was supplied nations and to assist in with the following examthe selection of spaces to ple - a true reflection of suit the respective needs what investors can of companies. expect: a 369m≤ space Marking the occasion, was designed to include Eng Dalal Al-Nafisi, 11 offices, two storage Property Management Dalal Al-Nafisi spaces, a well-appointed Assistant Director at AlMazaya Holding, said: “We are delighted reception area and a state-of-the-art to introduce this splendid floor dedicated meeting room. The space was decorated to office rentals, which boasts the latest with luxurious furniture, which corredesigns as well as state-of-the-art techni- sponds with the needs and dynamics of cal and technological innovations, to the companies operating in the modern busimarket. Created in co-operation with a ness arena. In addition to a number of media number of specialists, such an exceptional offering is rare in the office space industry representatives, the conference was attended by M r. R ashid Al Nafisi, in the State of Kuwait.” Al-Nafisi stated that Al-Mazaya Tower Chairman of Al-Mazaya Holding, Eng 2 is set apart from the large number of Naif Al-Awadi, CEO, and other members offices available in the Kuwaiti capital of Al-Mazaya Holding’s board and execby its unique service offering, which utive management.


The BIZZ Awards, the trendsetter Question: How far has The BIZZ Awards grown since its establishment in 2005? How does the Arab World fare in this global recognition of business excellence? What has been the trend for the Arab World in particular? Answer: WORLDCOB was founded in 2005 as an international business association with just a few hundred members and in the past seven years has expanded to over three thousand members including corporations from almost every country across the globe. We have continued to expand and enhance our service offerings, filling a need for networking and training, among other services that enhance a member company’s growth. The Arab world has shown vast change since our establishment and in the past decade as we notice a trend in industrial diversification and investment in infrastructure. We are excited to continue following the trend in the upcoming years. Q: What is the latest addition, criteria that would be added to this year’s awards in Qatar? A: Actually we have six evaluation criteria that we consider to be the primary components of business excellence: Managerial Leadership, Management Systems, Quality in Goods and Ser vices, Creativity and Innovation, Social Responsibility, and Results. Q: What are some of the Middle East’s flagship award winners and what fields do they mainly represent? A: This year we will be awarding companies such as Qatar Airways, Doha Bank, Qatar Petroleum (Qatar), FASTELCO (Kuwait), Emirates NBD Bank, Abu Dhabi University (UAE), Oman Insurance Company (Oman), National Bank of Bahrain (Bahrain), and Saudi Carpet Factory (Saudi Arabia); which as you can see, represent very diverse fields. One of the event’s pivotal characteristics is the attraction of elite attendees who are able to network with other peers. How important is networking for a company’s business success ratio? According to our member feedback, our networking conventions, expos and virtual arrangements offer priceless opportunities for small and medium companies to network among each other and with our elite attendees. Even our elite attendees find a great benefit networking with their peers and with exciting and innovative entrepreneurs. The success ratio is unmeasurable, but we believe that the right connections can make the difference between a failed venture and a success. Q: Creativity and innovation, the two most sought after qualities in today’s world, are no longer just a necessity. They should be a given. In this respect, how significant are they for the winners of the award? A: We absolutely agree, especially in the competitiveness of today’s world market, a company will not survive without a certain degree of creativity. We are such firm believers in it that displaying an outstanding level of innovation is one of our six criteria for our recognition, The Bizz. Q: How do events like this stimulate growth and encourage global and inter-regional cooperation? A: This event will bring together outstanding businesspeople that want to continue growing and use this opportunity to enhance their businesses regionally or globally using our network. We expect the event to also motivate non-participating businesses to pursue the recognition and opportunities in the future to further their own growth. Q: What are the expectations for this year’s award winners? A: Most Bizz Award winners are so motivated by the recognition, that they strive to continuously demonstrate excellence in our evaluation criteria to qualify year after year. We offer a special recognition to companies that are consistently outstanding and hope to continue motivating them. Q: In a nutshell, what do The Bizz Awards symbolize? A: The Bizz Award symbolizes a company that has demonstrated superior business practices and commitment to their continuous improvement. It is a recognition that not only distinguishes this company among its peers, but motivates internal and external stakeholders and the business community in general to improve and grow.



HP expands converged cloud portfolio KUWAIT: HP yesterday announced it is expanding its HP Converged Cloud portfolio with new solutions for VMware vCloud Suite 5.1, enabling clients to transform traditional virtualization deployments into open private and hybrid cloud environments with less risk and complexity. Introduced in April, HP Converged Cloud extends the power of the cloud across infrastructure, applications and information to provide clients with choice, confidence and consistency. As the industry’s first strategy and portfolio based on a single open architecture, HP Converged Cloud enables the integration of any combination of private, managed and public cloud, as well as traditional IT. This combination provides workload portability as well as dynamic scaling. HP has helped more than 1,000 clients transition from virtualization to cloud computing with solutions engineered by HP and its partners. The expanded HP Converged Cloud portfolio, built on HP Converged Infrastructure and HP Converged Management and Security, has been optimized for VMware vCloud Suite 5.1, and includes new capabilities that enable clients to: Reduce complexity and accelerate building and managing cloud with preintegrated solutions. Fast-track cloud adoption with comprehensive security and compliance controls that can be automatically applied to virtual machines

Decrease the risk of data loss with automated policy-based data protection “As organizations move from a virtualized environment to a private or hybrid cloud, they may face significant challenges with security, performance and the management of multiple, heterogeneous computing models,” said Eyad Shihabi, Managing Director, HP Middle East. “Extending HP Converged Cloud with comprehensive, integrated solutions for VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 enables clients to embrace secure cloud computing with less risk and greater choice”. “With VMware vCloud Suite 5.1, organizations will have reliable, flexible cloud solutions that enhance business agility while also addressing individual enterprise needs quickly and efficiently,” said Raghu Raghuram, executive vice president, Cloud Infrastructure and Management, VMware. “VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 and HP Converged Cloud solutions will enable our joint customers to accelerate their journey to the cloud, giving enterprises a proven, integrated solution that provides a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving market.” The expanded HP Converged Cloud offerings include the integration of VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 with HP CloudSystem, helping clients rapidly transform virtualized resources into selfservice private and hybrid cloud environments. To accelerate time to value, HP

offers customers preintegrated cloud solutions. Combined with VMware vCloud Suite 5.1, HP CloudSystem doubles virtual-machine density, reduces

Eyad Shihabi network complexity and provides flexibility to support any workload. New HP CloudSystem capabilities integrated with the VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 include: HP CloudSystem optimized for VMware-provides faster time to revenue with preintegrated solutions that include HP Converged Infrastructure and cloud management from HP and VMware

Auto-flexing feature-reduces response time to business requests and improves overall service levels by enabling VMware administrators to provision hardware for vCloud Director to automate the scaling of converged infrastructure. With this technology, customers can cut the time required to add a virtual host from four hours to 15 minutes Virtual-machine importing-simplifies clients’ path to the cloud by easily importing running virtual machines into an HP CloudSystem without downtime or reconfiguration HP Cloud Maps for VMware-accelerates the design of cloud services and automates the deployment of virtual applications using prepackaged, optimized HP CloudSystem templates The expanded HP Converged Cloud portfolio also includes the HP Cloud Protection Program and Consulting Services, which delivers a comprehensive security solution across network, storage and server virtualization layers that can be designed and implemented in less than three weeks. The new service identifies an effective mix of HP and VMware cloud-security capabilities that addresses common barriers to the adoption of cloud services, while enabling compliance controls. Management capabilities include cloud, virtualization of the network, and storage virtualization layers. For VMware clients challenged with addressing the Payment Card Industry

(PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) in virtual environments, HP also offers the industry’s first converged PCI Compliance Security Solution Stack for virtual and cloud environments. The solution accelerates the path to compliance covering a majority of 200 security-based PCI DSS controls, removing security hurdles associated with achieving PCI compliance and access to cloud. HP Data Protector, the industry’s first and only backup and recovery solution supporting federated deduplication for the enterprise, now delivers integrated protection for VMware vCloud Director. This new solution features patented HP StoreOnce deduplication technology, and dynamically provides one-touch policy-based protection for VMware’s multitenant cloud environment. These capabilities help vCloud customers and service providers eliminate the risk of data loss from applications, both on premises and now in the virtual cloud. Availability Select expanded HP Converged Cloud solutions are available through HP and its worldwide channel partners; the remaining solutions are expected by the end of the calendar year. HP also will offer all VMware vCloud Suite editions with HP Converged Cloud solutions through HP sales and channel partners in late third calendar quarter.

Hackers claim 12m Apple IDs from FBI ‘One of the worst privacy disasters yet’

WASHINGTON: A view of an Apple iPhone displaying Facebook app’s splash screen in front of the login page. — AFP

Social media networks: Tool to energize politics WASHINGTON: Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are playing a growing role in US politics by helping users stay informed and energizing activists, a study showed yesterday. The Pew Internet & American Life Project survey found that 36 percent of social networking site users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in keeping up with political news. About one in four users of social networks said sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in recruiting people to get involved in political issues that matter to them. The survey found Democrats are more likely than Republicans or independents to say the sites are important. It also found 25 percent of social network users surveyed said they became more active in a political issue after discussing it or reading posts about it, and 16 percent said they changed their views about an issue after discussing it or reading about it on the sites.

Among Democrats, 33 percent said they were becoming more active as a result of social networks compared with 24 percent of Republicans. That was also true for 39 percent of self-described liberals and 21 percent of moderates. “Those who are really active in discussing and participating in politics use social networking sites pretty eagerly and report that their discussions and debates on the sites affect them,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project. “However, for most of those who use the sites, political material is just a small portion of what they post and what they read. And the impact of their use of the sites is modest, at best.” The survey found that the vast majority of social network users — 84 percent-said they have posted little or nothing related to politics in their recent status updates, comments, and links. These findings come from a survey conducted from January 20 to February 19 among 2,253 adults. — AFP

EMC provides Velocity with assembly service capability


MC Corporation yesterday announced that it is enabling EMC Velocity distributors worldwide with the skills and resources required to assemble multi-vendor solutions that feature EMC’s award-winning unified storage systems and next-generation backup solutions. Distributors worldwide will be provided with the technical training, proven methodologies and the backing of EMC’s Global Services organization so they may assemble EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure and other solutions for their reseller Partners. By receiving a pre-assembled, proven solution on-site that has been customized to meet the customer’s specific business needs, reseller Partners can immediately focus on accelerating the installation and implementation so that its customers can realize the benefits of the solution faster. The new assembly capability for distributors builds on EMC’s commitment to provide choice for how Partners assemble multi-vendor solutions. It also enables Partners to accelerate their profitability by focusing on valueadded services to more quickly deploy the solution to meet specific customer needs. Today’s announcement follows a string of other new EMC initiatives developed to help channel partners worldwide accelerate their customers’ journey to the cloud. These include VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, as well as Velocity Cloud Practices-Cloud Builder and Cloud Provider-and EMC Cooperative Services, which were announced at the first annual Global Partner Summit held at EMC World in May. Reseller and customer benefits The assembly services capability announced today provides resellers and their customers: Faster, easier, and more efficient implementations of multi-vendor solutions like VSPEX that are built on EMC VNXand VNXe unified storage systems, EMC Data Domain deduplication storage systems and Avamar

deduplication backup software and systems; More efficient use of resources that focus on high-value configuration, reduced implementation time, and integration services specific to customer needs; Confidence of a validated solution assembled to their specific requirements by EMC-trained professionals; and Simplified logistics by reducing the need to receive and track numerous components for multi-vendor solutions. Distribution partner benefits EMC Velocity distributors that offer assembly services can better support many of their reseller Partners by delivering pre-built, multivendor solutions such as VSPEX that include EMC technology; EMC is providing distributors with free training and tools that support assembly of solutions built on the EMC VNX family of unified storage solutions, and Data Domain and Avamar backup and recovery solutions; and EMC is also providing distributors with online access to installation guides and tools, the backing of EMC Customer Support Services, and EMC’s validation of their qualified status. Colin Sheard, Commercial Director, Synapse said “As a reseller, it’s important that we have options to scale our business to meet our unique customer needs. Today’s announcement is another example of EMC’s commitment to provide its partners with the resources to meet our customers need for faster deployments, while growing our business.” Joe Burke, Vice President of the North American Security, Virtualization and Networking group, Enterprise Computing Solutions, Arrow Electronics said “This additional services capability for Arrow brings Arrow’s channel-enablement model full circle. Arrow’s VSPEX enablement tools, coupled with the ability to assemble, will enable our solution providers to quickly and easily deliver VSPEX solutions to their customers.”

WASHINGTON: A hacker group has claimed to have obtained personal data from 12 million Apple iPhone and iPad users by breaching an FBI computer, raising concerns about government tracking. The group called AntiSec, linked to the hacking collective known as Anonymous, posted one million Apple user identifiers claimed to be part of a larger group of 12 million, purportedly obtained from an FBI laptop. Contacted by AFP, FBI spokeswoman Jenny Shearer said: “We’re not commenting.” Peter Kruse, an ecrime specialist with CSIS Security Group in Denmark, said on Twitter that the leak “is real” and that he confirmed three of his own devices in the leaked data.”Also notice that they claim to have fullname, adresses, phone numbers etc... Big ouch!” he tweeted. Eric Hemmendinger, a security expert with Tata Communications, said the report raises concerns about the protectors of cybersecurity. “The question is not whether it’s accurate, it is why did the feds have the information and why did they not take due care to secure it,” he told AFP. Hemmendinger said that based on past repor ts from Anonymous and related groups, he believes the report is probably true. “If you work in cybersecurity and your machine gets hacked, that’s a pretty embarrassing scenario,” he said. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Social media and news blogs were aflutter with the news. The tech blog Geekosystem called it “one of the worst privacy disasters yet” and various Twitter comments said the news suggested the FBI is tracking Apple users. One website set up a database to help users determine if their

WASHINGTON: A woman uses her Apple iPhone in this photo. — AFP device was on the hacked list of Apple unique device IDs (UDIDs). “Quite why the FBI was collecting the UDIDs and personal information of millions of iPhone and iPad users is not yet clear-but it’s obvious that the data (and the computer it was apparently stored on) was not adequately secured,” said Graham Cluley of the British security firm Sophos. “My suspicion is that the hackers were more interested in embarrassing the FBI’s team than endangering innocent users. All the same, hacking into computers is a criminal act-and I would anticipate that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies will be keen to hunt

down those responsible.” Others expressed concern about the apparent leak. “Since UDIDs are unique to each iPhone and iPad, having yours end up in the wrong hands is a concern,” said Josh Ong on the technology blog The Next Web. “The bigger issue, however, is that they were tied to additional personal information, including user names, device names, notification tokens, cell phone numbers and addresses, that could potentially lead to identity theft.” Johannes Ullrich of the SANS Internet Storm Center said it was difficult to verify the report. “There is nothing else in the file that

would implicate the FBI. So this data may ver y well come from another source. But it is not clear who would have a file like this,” he told AFP. Ullrich said it is unclear why the FBI, if the report were true, would have the data. “The size of the file... would imply a wide spread, not a targeted tracking operation, or the file was just kept in case any of the users in the file needs to be tracked,” he said. “The significance of this breach very much hinges on the source, which as far as I know, hasn’t been authenticated yet. The data is, however, real based on some of the reports that people do find their own UDID in the file.” — AFP

Online universities blossom in Asia Harvard, MIT offer courses over the net KUALA LUMPUR: Thousands of kilometres from Kuala Lumpur in Cameroon, doctoral student Michael Nkwenti Ndongfack attends his Open University Malaysia classes online and hopes to defend his final thesis by Skype. A government worker, Ndongfack could not find the instructional design and technology course he wanted in his own country, so is paying a foreign institution about $10,000 (8,000 euros) for the degree instead. Online university education is expanding

quickly in Asia, where growth in technology and Internet use is matched by a deep reverence for education. “I chose e-learning because it is so flexible,” Ndongfack, 42, told AFP via Skype from his home in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde. Webbased courses dramatically boost opportunities for students and are often cheaper than those offered by traditional bricks-and-mortar institutions. But online learning has also caught the eye of some of the

KUALA LUMPUR: Students prepare for an exam in front of their computers at Kuala Lumpur-based Asia e University (AeU). — AFP

world’s most prestigious universities, with Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently teaming up to offer free courses over the Internet. “With the improvement in technology, the number of institutions offering online education has increased, both in terms of numbers and the kind of classes offered,” said Lee Hock Guan, senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. The Malaysian government said about 85,000 people took online courses in the country last year, both at web-based institutions and traditional universities offering Internet teaching. In high-tech South Korea more than 112,000 students at 19 institutions are taking web-based classes, all of which have begun since 2002. China embraced the concept of online learning in the late 1990s to expand access to education, particularly in its vast rural regions, and there are now scores of providers, with 1.64 million people enrolled in 2010. A new type of learning Online courses are changing the way students learn, educators say, placing less emphasis on the rote learning that has long characterised

education in parts of Asia, and harnessing modern consumer technologies. And “open” universities, which typically offer courses primarily through the Internet, allow anyone to enrol for online programmes regardless of prior qualification or degrees. At Kuala Lumpur-based Asia e University, students download course materials from an online forum and virtual library. They are in contact with teachers and fellow students mostly through email, online chats, phone and text messages. Assignments typically include illustrating what they have learned with videos and other presentations made with smartphones, iPads or other devices and uploading them to YouTube. Academics say such interactive learning helps students engage with the material more than they would sitting passively in a lecture hall, and opens a window to learning through a medium they know and love-the latest gadgets. “Everyone is a front-row student,” said Ishan Abeywardena, who teaches information technology at Wawasan Open University, based in northern Malaysia. Students who might be too shy to ask questions or otherwise engage with their class in a traditional setting are much bolder online, Ishan said. —AFP



Boomers retiring to rural areas won’t find doctors GRANTS PASS: Nina Musselman had no trouble finding a family doctor when she retired to rural Oregon nine years ago to be closer to her children. But then that doctor moved away, leaving her to search for another who would take Medicare. After a year of going from doctor to doctor, she finally found one who stuck. As record numbers of baby boomers go into retirement, many are thinking about moving from the places they needed to live to make a living, and going someplace warmer, quieter or prettier. If they choose small towns like Grants Pass, 250 miles south of Portland, they could well have a hard time finding a family doctor willing to take Medicare, even supplemental plans, rather than private insurance. “It’s a sad situation for seniors,” she said. There are several reasons boomers, the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, could face difficulties finding a doctor if they retire to small towns over the next 20 years. First, many primary care doctors prefer to live and work in urban areas because of

greater cultural opportunities, better schools and job opportunities for spouses. Also, Medicare pays rural doctors less per procedure than urban physicians because their operating costs are supposedly less. That makes rural doctors less likely to accept Medicare patients. With cuts to Medicare reimbursement for doctors targeted under the federal health care overhaul, the shortage is likely to get even worse, said Mark Pauly, professor of health care management at the University of Pennsylvania. That is, unless increasing reimbursements for nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants encourages those providers to take up the slack, Pauly said. If the Medicare cuts go through, “the doctors are saying: “We’re out of here,’” Pauly said. “The least they are saying is: ‘We’ll treat Medicare patients like we treat Medicaid patients,’ which is mostly not.” Still, there is some good news, depending on where you live. Pauly said the Affordable Care Act “puts a lot of emphasis on wellness programs and primary care. Nurses, especially nurse practitioners, are intended to play a major role

there.”In Oregon, Washington and 14 other states, nurses and nurse practioners “can operate independently of doctors, writing prescriptions, ordering tests, and even running clinics,” Pauly said. Nationwide, the 22.5 percent of primary care doctors who practice in rural areas roughly matches the 24 percent of Medicare patients living there, said Dr Roland Goertz, chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians board. A survey of academy members nationwide shows 83 percent take new Medicare patients. But there is an overall shortage of primary care physicians that still makes it hard for retirees to find a family doctor. The real problem, he said, is that the health care system “has not supported a robust, adequate primary care workforce for over 30 years.” According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, rural areas need about 20,000 primary care doctors to make up for the shortages, but only about 16,500 medical doctors and 3,500 doctors of osteopathy graduate yearly. “We are always trying to recruit doctors. We are barely keeping even,”

said Lyle Jackson, the medical director at the Mid-Rogue Independent Physician Association, a cooperative of doctors in Josephine County, where Musselman lives. Taking part in the Medicare Advantage program, which pays a higher rate to doctors than standard Medicare, helps, but is still not enough, said Jackson, a former family physician. A 2009 survey of doctors in the Oregon Medical Association showed concern over Medicare reimbursement rates topping the list of 23 issues, with 79 percent rating it as very important, said Joy Conklin, an official at the association. The survey showed 19.1 percent of Oregon doctors had closed their practices to Medicare, and 28.1 percent had restricted the numbers of Medicare patients. That really becomes evident in Josephine County, which attracted retirees after the timber industry collapsed. Low taxes, cheap housing, wineries, a symphony and low traffic put it in top 10 lists for retirement communities. The 2010 census puts the number of people older than 65 at 23

percent, compared to 14 percent for the state. But the website County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, which gathers a wide range of health care data nationwide, shows 933 patients for every primary care physician in the county, nearly 50 percent higher than the national 631-to-one rate. At the Grants Pass Clinic, Dr Bruce Stowell said they are no longer taking new Medicare patients. Medicare pays about 45 percent of what commercial insurance pays. As it is, their proportion of Medicare patients is double that of a similar Portland practice. “We used to get a steady stream of highquality (resumes) from US-trained and USborn physicians,” he said. “Over the last year, that stream has declined into a trickle. Very few (doctors) are choosing to go into primary care.” Schools are turning out more nurse practitioners and physician assistants. How well they fill the doctor gap will depend largely on how much independence states give them to practice, said Tay Kopanos, director of health care policy for state affairs at the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. — AP

US school spearheads designing for the deaf Special architecture aids easy communication

GE Healthcare launches cancer awareness, prevention campaign KUWAIT: GE Healthcare launched a global competition on multiple social media platforms - Twitter, Facebook and Sina Weibo - to raise public awareness about cancer prevention. Over the next couple of weeks, GE Healthcare’s “#GetFit” campaign will encourage people from all over the world to share their own health and fitness activities and what they are doing to help reduce their likelihood of developing cancer, a leading cause of death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 30 percent of cancers are preventable through a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise. With the goal to spread a positive message across the world, for the second year #GetFit challenges participants to share their ways of staying healthy and getting fit. The campaign uses the power of collective wisdom propelled by social media networks to encourage healthier lifestyles. “Prevention and active participation in our own better health are the first steps in improving health outcomes,” said John Dineen, President and CEO, GE Healthcare. “Leveraging the power of gaming and social networks to encourage lifestyles that can help prevent cancer isn’t just a good idea - it’s part of our original healthymagination commitment to bring actionable health content to consumers and our employees.” Dineen continued, “At GE Healthcare, we also believe that our fight against cancer requires an ongoing investment in innovation. That is why we made a commitment of $1 billion in dedicated cancer-related research and development. With even faster and more effective technologies, we can enable clinicians with the powerful tools they need to accurately diagnose and treat million patients.” Participants in GE Healthcare’s #GetFit

competition require Internet access and a Twitter, Facebook or Sina Weibo account in order to play. By tracking progress against specific health challenges or by posting comments about healthier lifestyles (eg. cycling to work, eliminating smoking, eating a healthy meal), individuals and teams in countries throughout the world will compete against one another while accumulating “healthy” points and badges. #GetFit ambassadors real, inspiring people who have committed to healthy living and/or individuals who have made strides in the fight against cancer - will cheer players on and share their personal stories. At the close of the challenge, on Friday, September 28, the player and the team with the most points accumulated will be announced as the #GetFit champions. Ultimately, everyone will win - as people across the world join together to help spread healthy cancer awareness and prevention messages globally. GE’s HealthyShare App To help spread the cancer prevention message, GE is supporting the #GetFit campaign through its recently launched HealthyShare Facebook App. HealthyShare is a new tool on Facebook for people to share health goals, track progress against goals and use friends as sources of inspiration and motivation toward better health. The app features new challenges that encourage users to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle. The specific #GetFit challenges, updated weekly, will engage users to maintain a healthy lifestyle in ways that can help prevent cancer. The app can be shared with friends who will become a part of the journey to better health by following progress, providing encouragement and even participating alongside each other.

Organic food is not lot more nutritious than non-organic NEW YORK: Organic produce and meat typically isn’t any better for you than conventional food when it comes to vitamin and nutrient content, although it does generally reduce exposure to pesticides and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a US study. “People choose to buy organic foods for many different reasons. One of them is perceived health benefits,” said Crystal Smith-Spangler, who led a

PACIFICA: This file photo shows organic radishes at the Pacifica Farmers Market in Pacifica, Calif. — AP

team of researchers from Stanford University and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care. “Our patients, our families ask about, ‘Well, are there health reasons to choose organic food in terms of nutritional content or human health outcomes?’” She and her colleagues reviewed more than 200 studies that compared either the health of people who ate organic or conventional foods or, more commonly, nutrient and contaminant levels in the foods themselves. The foods included organic and non-organic fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, poultry eggs and milk. According to US Department of Agriculture standards, organic farms have to avoid the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics. Organic livestock must also have access to pastures during grazing season. Many of the studies used, though, didn’t specify their standards for what constituted “organic” food, which can cost as much as twice what conventional food costs, the researchers wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Smith-Spangler and her colleagues found there was no difference in the amount of vitamins in plant or animal products produced organically and conventionally - and the only nutrient difference was slightly more phosphorous in the organic products. Organic milk and chicken may also contain more omega-3 fatty acids, but that was based on only a few studies. More than one third of conventional produce had detectable pesticide residues, compared with 7 percent of organic produce samples. Organic pork and chicken were 33 percent less likely to carry bacteria resistant to three or more antibiotics than conventionally produced meat.— Reuters

WASHINGTON: With a funny anecdote, college football player Tony Tatum recently sparked a rousing round of applause. The only thing is, you couldn’t hear much clapping. But you could see it. Those listening to the charismatic student emphatically waved their hands in the air in a sign of appreciation-because Tatum and his audience were communicating via sign language. Tatum is hard of hearing and attends Gallaudet University, an institution of higher learning that offers programs specifically for the deaf. Located on a lush green campus in the US capital, the school whose charter was signed by then president Abraham Lincoln in 1864 has developed into a hotbed of architectural design geared toward a community that predominantly interacts through the motioned-not the spoken-word. The latest example is Tatum’s dormitory, an $18.5 million state-of-the art building with 175 beds. “It’s very deaf-friendly,” said Tatum, who sports prominent gold earrings in addition to a hearing aid. “You can see everything and that’s what I like about it.” What makes the Living and Learning Residence Hall 6 innovative is that it is built according to a set of design principles dubbed DeafSpace. “DeafSpace, in short, is a term that’s been coined here at the university to refer to a way of building buildings, designing buildings, and also just a way of thinking about creating an environment that’s conducive to, and really in tune with, deaf sensibilities,” said Hansel Bauman, Gallaudet’s director of campus design and planning. A tour of the five-floor building-which has a friendly, modern and airy feel-reveals how this notion is more than mere theory and extends well beyond visual alerts for fire alarms and doorbells. The most striking of the construction’s myriad of characteristics is an abundance of light that seeps in through wide windows or emanates from an array of lamps in a way to avoid glare. Large open spaces and even moveable walls on wheels, meanwhile, allow the formation of conversation circles that enable everyone in a group of deaf and hard of hearing people to visually take part in a dialogue. Then there are the wider hallways and sidewalks to accommodate signers as they stroll side by side while maintaining enough space between themselves to gauge facial expressions. Not to be forgotten are the sensor-operated front doors and ramps that promote continued

interaction often stymied-and even rendered dangerous-by steps or stairs. What also strikes visitors is that some walls are painted a special shade of blue-a color that serves as an agreeable backdrop for people whose eyes perform a key information-gathering role and can become strained, according to Bauman. “The color of the wall almost is the page that the visual word is written against,” he said, adding that blue, a cooler tone, contrasts with the warmer tones of skin and provides “crispness”. “All day, people are reading sign language and you’re also managing space visually-so that tends to create eye fatigue,” he said. While it may seem counterintuitive at first, acoustics play an important role among the deaf and hard of hearing. That’s because many wear cochlear implants or assistive hearing devices that turn reverberation found in tall spaces, for instance, into a type of echo. “That echo becomes noise rather than a signal, it clouds the spoken word or the specific sound you want to hear,” Bauman

explained, motioning to dark insulation panels on the ceiling meant to minimize the phenomenon. Sometimes, it’s the little things that have the most impact. Tatum for one, pointed out that the light switch for the bathroom he shares with his suite mates is positioned in the communal spacereplacing a bang on a closed door when duty calls with the flicking of the switch. David Lewis, partner at LTL Architects who was picked for the project and whose team spent “thousands” of hours on it until completion, wants the residence to become a research tool. “I very much hope that this building can not only become a home and a site for living and learning but also a real testing ground, a place to learn from,” he said. Howard Rosenblum, chief executive officer of the National Association of the Deaf, praised Gallaudet’s staff, calling them “pioneers”. “Architecture has come a long way in terms of universal design, and only recently has DeafSpace design been considered,” he said. “This consideration is long overdue.” —AFP

WASHINGTON: Tony Tatum, a senior student at Gallaudet University, a liberal arts college with an emphasis on career development for deaf and hard of hearing students, sits in his dorm room. — AFP

In Havana, birds’ best friend hails role HAVANA: A retired Cuban veterinarian has found a new direction rescuing rare birds, breeding parrots and peacocks, winning enough feathered-world fame to swap fowl with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. In the 1950s, Maique Lores fought with rebels who brought the Cuban regime to power, before enjoying a long career as a vet. These days, however, he has his mind on all corners of the avian world, from exotics to fowl to his “endangered birds rescue and care unit,” with hundreds of feathered friends thriving at his home. “We rescue endangered birds, breed them and then release them in protected areas so they do not end up on someone’s plate,” said Lores, 68. At dawn, Lores and his wife Marilyn, a fellow veterinarian and bird fan, wake to the cocks crowing in the garden of their home just

west of Havana, not far from where revolutionary icon Fidel Castro lives. Some hens roam freely. One named Cuqui makes itself at home and lays eggs on the staircase of the two-story house. Exotics dot the grounds, some in corrals and others in cages, like white peacocks from India and a yaco from Africa-Lores says they are among the world’s smartest birds. His dining room table is stacked with bags of corn feed, and two rooms are crowded with cages of orioles, a nightingale and parrots large and small. But the favorite of the house is a chatty if occasionally shy parrot called Paquito, whom they consider a member of the family. “Say hello, Paquito, come on,” his master said affectionately, but the bird had no comment to make to a visiting reporter. Lores has two Cuban

HAVANA: Cuban Maique Lores, 68, gets a kiss from his parakeet. — AFP

parrots called cateys, locally famous for mating for life. Often, when one of a pair dies, the other will refuse to mate again. Despite all these efforts and his professed love of animals, Lores nonetheless admits he still loves chicken soup. A pair of white peacocks for Chavez Corrals at the facility are a frenzied dance of parrots and macaws, and fowl from quail to hens ordinary and exotic like Polish hens, with bright plumage and outsized crests, and Paduans, an old breed that is bearded without wattles. Another enclosure holds the unusual sight-at least in these parts-of white peacocks, which originally came from India. Due to their relative novelty in the West, Lores sent a pair to the leftist firebrand Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Chavez, a key political and economic ally of communist Cuba. often travels to Havana, including recently to treat a cancerous tumor. “I sent off a male and female to Venezuela for resident Chavez. He sent me back a pair of macaws,” Lores recalled fondly. He built a large special cage for his gift macaws from Chavez, but the female pulled its own feathers out from stress and no longer can fly. “I have had to separate the male and female because otherwise she will go eat his feathers,” Lores explained. Though he did not get into the bird business for money, his road to financial success has been paved with feathers. To fund his facility, he sells fowl and eggs, and even sells feathers that fall off his birds. Many of the feathers are used in Afro-Cuban Santeria religious rites, and can sell for up to $10 a piece-half of an average Cuban worker’s monthly salary. But Lores insists he would never pluck one, no matter how precious or valuable, before it’s natural molting time. The birds enjoy fresh fruit-which is also frozen and thawed for times of the year when it is out of season-such as mangoes and tamarinds, mamey sapote and avocados. “It’s a lot of work, but everything that has to do with nature, I have just loved ever since I was a kid,” Lores recalls with a smile. — AFP


New cookbook extols the power of plants NEW YORK: Nutrition writer and registered dietitian Sharon Palmer believes that for weight loss, optimal health and longer life, everyone should be moving towards plant-based eating. In her new book, “The Plant-Powered Diet,” the Los Angelesbased chef includes 75 meatless recipes but the meal plans, suggestions and tips are aimed at omnivores as much as at vegetarians and vegans. “The purpose of the book is to help people find that balance in their diet,” Palmer said. “I’m hoping to appeal to everybody because I think everybody can benefit from this.” Palmer spoke to Reuters about plant-based breakfasts, meatless Mondays, and how even vegetarians can be junk food junkies. Q: Why did you write this book? A: “I really felt that research is coming together to support plant-based eating and I felt that people could gain benefits no matter where they were at. Many people think that plant-based eating is only vegetarian or vegan but it can really take place for everybody. They can eat animals less and eat more plants to gain the health benefits.” Q: Are all the recipes vegetarian? A: “All 75 recipes are vegan because I have a vegan, a vegetarian and a plant-based omnivore meal plan. Everybody can start with the vegan plan even if they just want to have plant-based meals once or twice a week.” Q: What is the power of plants? A: “Plant-based eating has so many health benefits. A wide range of research supports that: heart health, lower diabetes risk, lower cancer risk, even improved cognition, which is brain function, are linked with a plant-based diet.” Q: How do you suggest an omnivore/meateater move incrementally to a plant-based diet?

A: “I love the idea of meatless Mondays. I think the whole thing about once a week eating a plant-based meal is really catching on because it’s so easy to do. “Other techniques include going back to the cultural history of eating, when people would take a small amount of animal and turn it into a whole meal. Meat was really precious and wasn’t the center of the plate. Take a small chicken breast and turn it into a stirfry pasta dish. Ethnic cuisine is a real inspiration for plant-based eating. Also, breakfast is an easy meal to make plant-based. It’s a no-brainer.” Q: What are basic ingredients, to have always on hand, in a plant-based diet? A: “To cook a whole plant-based diet, or to eat that way, you’ve got to be prepared. Shelf ingredients, such as dried beans, lentils, dried peas, whole grains, are staple items. I also recommend canned tomatoes, olive oil, nuts and seeds, tempeh, flax-all things you can keep on hand and supplement with fresh ingredients. It’s not that difficult but you do have to keep a pantry.” Q: Is there any food you believe people should avoid altogether? A: “There’s so much emerging evidence on red meat, one study after another, particularly processed meat like hot dogs, to the point where the American I nstitute for Cancer Research says just don’t eat it.” Q: Is a vegetarian diet necessarily a healthy diet? A: “Even a vegetarian can eat a junk food diet. You can eat cheese all day long. One of my pet peeves is vegetarians who don’t like vegetables, which seems oxymoronic. I really feel strongly that if you’re taking on a vegetarian diet, you have to make every bite count.” — Reuters


Yosemite open despite virus that killed two LOS ANGELES: The deadly virus raising fears at California’s Yosemite National Park does not spread easily, and, despite two recent deaths, does not warrant closing the park, a spokeswoman said Monday. So far, at least six cases have been confirmed of the hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), a rare but serious illness that kills one in three victims and cannot be treated. “The hantavirus is contracted by breathing a particle from mice feces and mice urine,” and is spread by the deer mouse, a rodent that lives in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, park spokeswoman Kari Cobb explained. “As long as individuals are staying in an area with good ventilation,” and keeping watch for signs of mice in the area, “they should be fine,” she told AFP. “You cannot contract the hantavirus if you’re just walking around the park,” she emphasized, adding that visitors need not wear a mask to avoid contagion. Cobbs said that while some canceled their reservations for the long holiday weekend ending with Labor Day on Monday, the gaps had been filled and overall the park was about as busy as usual. She did not give specific figures, but during an average weekend, Yosemite hosts around 7,500 tourists. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that about 10,000 visitors could have been exposed to the deadly virus while staying at the park’s scenic “Signature Tent Cabins.” But park officials estimated just 3,000 people stayed in the lodgings between June 10 and August 24, when they could have run the risk of developing the disease within the next six weeks. They have all, including the international visitors, been notified of the risk of exposure, Cobbs said.

The cabins, located in the popular lodging area of Curry Village in Yosemite Valley, the park’s tourist center, were shut down last week. “The disease often progresses rapidly to respiratory distress, requiring supplemental oxygen and/or intubation, non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema and shock,” the CDC said when it alerted the outbreak. “There is no specific treatment available, but early recognition and administration of supportive care greatly increase the chance of survival.” The French health ministry said Sunday that 53 French tourist families who stayed in the tents were being examined for signs of the illness. And Britain’s Health Protection Agency said that about 100 British travelers may have been exposed, adding that it is working on getting in touch with them. A 2008 study by California’s Public Health Department found that the virus can be found in about one in five of the deer mice in the state’s forest service facilities. A California microbiologist who befriended one of the people killed by the virus said that even if the transmission risk is low, the park should have warned visitors in advance. “If you can’t get rid of the rodent problem completely and you can’t get rid of the virus completely, the safety net includes educating visitors so if they do become ill, they can get to a hospital sooner,” the scientist told a local ABC television affiliate. “That still doesn’t guarantee that they’ll live, but chances of survival are better if you get to a hospital sooner.” Visitors now receive information leaflets upon entering Yosemite. Last week, California health officials said that a resident of the state and another person from Pennsylvania had died, while four others were sick, but recovering. Since the disease was identified in 1993, there have been 60 cases in California and 587 nationwide. — AFP

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK: This file photo shows a dry Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park, California. — AFP




UPCOMING EVENTS Onam celebration onni Nivasi Sangamam celebrates Onam on Friday, 21st September 2012 from 10 am to 4 pm at Abbassiya United Indian School. Public meeting honored with presence of prominent dignitaries from social-cultural-political sectors, maveli, athapookalam, chendamelam, ganamela, mimicry and other cultural events will be conducted as part of the program. Ccome and enjoy! Feel the experience of traditional tastes! Have lots of fun & frenzy! rock with music!


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


Free Arabic course PC and all its branches is opening free Arabic language course for non Arab ladies accessible in beginners and advance levels. Class will commence in September 14. Islamic and Quran courses are also presented in different languages. Registration is on!


Taste of Jamaica’s 5th Poetry Slam Contest

Calling all Ten-pin Bowlers, he Indian Bowling League (IBL) Season 3 will be held at Cozmo Entertainment, Salmiya commencing on Friday the 28th of September at 3 pm. Kindly reserve your team in advance to avoid disappointment, on a first come first serve.

he 1st place winner of the 4th Poetry Slam Contest in Kuwait Skywalker (John Nicholson) will be defending his 1st place title during the Taste of Jamaica’s 5th Poetry Slam Contest on the Saturday, September 8, 2012. The event which is sponsored by Taste of Jamaica (Ayana Ashanti) will be held at Rotana Hotel in Fahaheel by 7:30 pm. Nada Faris (Kuwait’s finest) is the first and only Kuwaiti to participate in Taste of Jamaica’s Poetry Slam Contest since 2010. The first contest was held inside the Embassy of Jamaica in Kuwait on October 22, 2010. Nada is the first female, first winner and first Kuwaiti to hold the title of the First Place in the Taste of Jamaica’s first Poetry Slam Contest. Will Nada regain her title back from Skywalker? Find out at our 5th Poetry Slam Contest on September 8, 2012. Be there and watch us perform. Doors open at 7:30 pm. There will be dinner and an art show.


‘Landscapes Expanded’ art program commences he British Council and Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait, in partnership with the National Council for Arts and Letters, are pleased to announce Landscapes Expanded, a month long residency program that aims to support artists from different backgrounds to explore landscape art in their own practice. The exhibition Out of Britain explores 100 years of British landscape and examines the ways in which artists have engaged with landscape and addressed timeless and fundamental questions about man’s place in the world. The works in the show illustrate individual artist’s attempts to find their place amongst an everchanging environment where they are often driven to challenge traditional ways of interpreting and framing the landscape. Landscapes Expanded will support artists to explore contemporary issues intrinsically related to site, space, and place in their field of work. The residency will begin with a three-day workshop that will support artists to develop concepts for their research in the weeks that follow. Throughout the program participants will benefit from group and individual reviews of their work and guidance from the residency facilitator and visiting contributors. The residency program will be led by artist and curator Alia Farid Abdal, who explores personal perspectives of public space and constructed landscapes in her own art work and academic research. The program will also benefit from insightful contributions from visiting artists and art critics such as British Artist David Rayson, whose work is featured in Out of Britain. Rayson is currently the Professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art, London. Participants’ work produced during the residency program will be exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMArt Kuwait) at the end of October 2012. Chosen works may also be exhibited at a British Council Visual Arts exhibition that will showcase artists from the Gulf at the Brunei Gallery in London in 2015. Eligibility: This residency is open to practicing artists and creative practitioners (from all disciplines) who are keen to develop the concepts of landscape art in their practice. Applicants must reside in Kuwait. Applicants must commit to participate in a three-day workshop (September 18-20, 2012) and closing presentation, which will take place on October 18, 2012. The workshops will be hosted in English, however translators will be available should they be required. Procedure: Deadline: September 9, 2012 (10 am) Please e-mail the following (in English or Arabic) to Artist CV Up to 10 images of your work with an appendix stating the title, medium, and year the work was executed. A statement of intent (up to 500 words) explaining why you are applying to the program and what you hope to obtain from it. Please briefly state what themes you are interested to explore during the residency program. Please note that large images will have to be submitted via or any other host site in which your images can be downloaded directly. Alternatively, you may wish to submit a link to your work online. For videos, please provide links of uploaded material either on YouTube or vimeo. You may elaborate on any of the suggested topics below, or propose your own topic of research. Suggested topics for research: Urban tribes The politics of dress Geopolitics Landscapes created by advertising Monuments in the construction of landscapes and history The demolished landscape, erasing history, and recuperating memory Imagined landscapes, futuristic and fictitious We will expect all applicants to make a considerable commitment to producing art work throughout the month long residency, and contributing quality finished pieces to the closing exhibition at MoMArt Kuwait (end of October 2012).


‘Leniency of Islam’


KOC hosts reception for Al-Houti uwait Oil Company hosted a reception recently to celebrate the safe return of Major Projects Group 1 Manager Essam Al-Houti, who reached Kuwait following his release in Lebanon recently. The event was attended by top KOC officials, including Chairman of the Board and Managing Director Sami Al-Rushaid who commended efforts of Kuwaiti and Lebanese authorities to secure AlHouti’s safe release. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh


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

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. Joseph Panicker, Chairman of the Institution of Engineers India (IEI) has released the Raffle Coupon of “Focus Fest-2012” handing over a copy to Thomas Itty, one of the Conveners of Program Committee, in the function held at Ebenezer Auditorium, Abbassiya on the evening of August 13. An attractive program flayer also has been released by him handing over a copy to Sam Pynumood, the popular social activist and former advisory board member of FOCUS. The function was presided over by FOCUS President Sasi Thompson. General Secretary M N Saleem, Vice President Manoj George, Joint Secretary Shaheed Labba and various sub-committee conveners and members present on the occasion.



Write to us

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.

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 AISHawally. First phase audition will be on Friday 21st September at KMA -Jabaria. Audition commences at 10am sharp & music show at 7.30 pm with renowned playback singer Madhushree Bhattacharya and live orchestra from Bollywood. Criteria for audition entry 1. Age - 15 years & above 2. Ability to sing 3. Bollywood trivia knowledge 4. Registrations are open to all nationalities residing in GCC countries. Participant should be present on audition date as per given time frame. Carnival films & ICS Executive members or family members are not allowed to participate in this competition.


Winter 2012 AMIE examination he AMIE Winter 2012 examinations will be held between Dec 01-07, 2012 as follows: Section A (Diploma) - December 1-4, 2012 Section A (Non-Diploma) - December 17, 2012 Section B - December 1-7, 2012 The last date for submission of examination application forms are given hereunder: Candidates not appeared at Summer 2012 Exam: Aug 21 - Sept 21, 2012 Candidates appeared at Summer 2012 Exam: Sept 21 - Oct 19, 2012 Candidates who intend to appear for the Winter 2012 examination must apply directly to Kolkata by filling the prescribed application form along with requisite amount of demand draft in favour of The Institution of Engineers (India), payable at Kolkata.


Premier GOAL Academy, Everton hold Open Day he Premier GOAL Academy in association with Everton FC are holding their Open Day at Shaab Park GOAL Football Centre on Saturday 8th September from 09001200 and 1500-1700. Sponsored by Porshe Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company and under the patronage of the British Ambassador to Kuwait, Frank Baker, everyone is invited to attend. There will be football matches, penalty shoot-outs, diving headers, shooting and coaching drills organized by the team of fully qualified UK coaches and coaching assistants. The 2012-13 schedule and program will be available, along with the new playing strips. The PGA offers organized football coaching for boys and girls aged from 3 to 19 years with players grouped according to age and ability. There are also Girls only groups from 11 years and above, specialist Goalkeeping coaching and Freestyle sessions. Tours to Dubai and England are planned during this season along with Festivals of Football, tournaments, competitions and regular fixtures for selected players. For the real English Premier League experience come along and discover what the P.G.A. has to offer - the biggest and best football academy in Kuwait with fully qualified coaches delivering the proven Evertonway coaching program.


Tulukoota Kuwait free medical checkup ulukoota Kuwait, in coordination with Indian Doctors Forum, Kuwait Medical Association, Indian Dentist Alliance in Kuwait and Kuwait Heart Foundation is conducting a Free Medical Check up & Consultation Camp on Friday, September 14, 2012 at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan


Abbasiya (Indian Educational School, Building No 4, Block No 241, School Street, Jleeb Al-Shyoukh) from 7 am - 1 pm. The Medical Checkup & Consultation Camp is specially taking place for all the people who do not have the opportunity or facility to undergo regular medical check-

ups at a regular clinic. We urge people to come ahead and fill up and submit applications well before September 9 to avoid disappointments. Kindly do not miss this opportunity and come ahead to take part in our free Medical Camp.

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. Copies of marks sheet, proof of income, Civil ID, TKK membership number, contact number and photo to be submitted along with the application for scholarship to TKK Welfare officer Suresh Shyam Rao. Applications will be accepted from September 1-30, 2012. Candidates obtaining high grades but not eligible for merit cum means scholarship shall be honored with merit certificate and medal during Tuluparba 2012. For more information contact: Sathyanarayan, Willson D’souza; Suresh Shyam Rao.





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. ■■■■■■■


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. ■■■■■■■

NPIS, Hawally enjoys good results in IGCSE Exam 2012 PIS, Hawally, upholding the persuasive tradition of producing remarkably good result in Cambridge Examination, made its mark once again in the May/June 2012 IGCSE Examination as the strenuous and dedicated efforts of its Director, Anita Bukharey helped the industrious students get applauding grades in all subjects. 50 students got A+, 85 got A grade and more than 125 students got B grade. NPIS management congratulates all these students for bringing laurels to their prestigious institution.


EMBASSY OF BRITAIN Consular section at the British Embassy will be starting an online appointment booking system for our consular customers from Sunday, 01 July 2012. All information including how to make an appointment is now available on the embassy website. In addition, there is also a “Consular Appointment System” option under Quick links on the right hand side on the homepage, which should take you to the “Consular online booking appointment system” main page. Please be aware that from 01 July 2012, we will no longer accept walk-in customers for legalisation, notarial services and certificates (birth, death and marriages). If you have problems accessing the system or need to make an appointment for nonnotarial consular issues or have a consular emergency, please call 2259 4355/7/8 or email us on If you require consular assistance out of office hours (working hours: 0730-l430 hrs), please contact the Embassy on 2259 4320. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 12:30 to 01:00 pm for lunch break. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at ■■■■■■■

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). During a transitional period Al-Qabas will continue receiving visa applicants until August 27, then the visa section at the French Embassy (Mansouriah, Street 13, House 24, (+965 22582020) will handle those applications from August 28 until today. ■■■■■■■

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

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

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.



00:45 I’m Alive 01:35 Untamed & Uncut 02:25 White Shark, Red Triangle 03:15 Animal Airport 03:40 Animal Airport 04:05 Wildlife SOS 04:55 Animal Kingdom 05:20 Shamwari: A Wild Life 05:45 Wild Animal Orphans 06:10 Wild Animal Orphans 06:35 Wildlife SOS International 07:00 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 07:25 Corwin’s Quest 08:15 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 Baby Planet 10:05 Great White Invasion 11:00 Wildlife SOS International 11:25 Orangutan Island 11:55 Animal Cops Houston 12:50 RSPCA: Have You Got What It Takes? 13:15 RSPCA: Have You Got What It Takes? 13:45 Animal Precinct 14:40 Great White Invasion 15:30 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 16:00 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 16:30 The Really Wild Show 16:55 The Really Wild Show 17:25 Your Pet Wants This, Too! 18:20 Dogs 101 19:15 Wildlife SOS International 19:40 Orangutan Island 20:10 Animal Kingdom 20:35 Shamwari: A Wild Life 21:05 Shark Fight 22:00 Hippo: The Wild Feast 22:55 Monster Bug Wars 23:50 Animal Cops Houston 23:50 Animal Cops Houston 00:35 Antiques Roadshow 01:25 Open House 01:55 Open House 02:20 Saturday Kitchen 2007/08 02:50 Saturday Kitchen 2007/08 03:20 Living In The Sun 04:10 MasterChef 05:05 Living In The Sun 06:00 MasterChef 06:25 Holmes On Homes 07:15 MasterChef Australia 08:25 MasterChef Australia 08:50 Open House 09:20 Open House 09:45 Bargain Hunt 10:30 Antiques Roadshow 11:25 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 12:10 10 Years Younger 13:00 What Not To Wear 13:50 What Not To Wear 14:45 Bargain Hunt 15:30 Antiques Roadshow 16:25 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 17:10 Come Dine With Me 18:00 Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets 18:25 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 18:50 Rhodes Across Italy 19:35 Come Dine With Me 20:30 Open House 20:55 Open House 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt 23:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 23:45 Holmes On Homes Edition 00:15 01:10 01:35 02:30 03:25 04:20 04:50 05:15 05:40 06:05 07:00 07:50 08:45 09:40 10:05 10:30 10:55 11:25 12:20 13:15 14:10 14:35 15:05 16:00 16:55 17:20 18:15 19:10 19:40 20:05 20:35 21:00 21:30 22:25 23:20

Deadliest Catch Shocking Survival Videos Life On A Wire Finding Bigfoot Moonshiners Border Security Auction Hunters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Deadliest Catch American Chopper Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Border Security Auction Hunters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Life On A Wire Finding Bigfoot Against The Elements Border Security Auction Hunters Ultimate Survival American Chopper Fifth Gear Deadliest Catch Mythbusters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Border Security Auction Hunters Deconstruction Superhuman Showdown Mythbusters Mythbusters

23:20 Surviving Disaster 00:35 01:25 02:15 02:40 03:05 03:35 04:25 05:15 06:05 07:00 07:50 07:53 08:20 08:50 09:40 10:30 10:55 11:20 12:10 13:00 13:50 14:45 15:35 16:00 16:03 16:30 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 20:20

Kings Of Construction What’s That About? Stuck With Hackett Stuck With Hackett The Gadget Show Smash Lab NASA’s Greatest Missions Kings Of Construction What’s That About? Catch It Keep It Head Rush Weird Connections Test Case Sport Science Smash Lab The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Kings Of Construction Catch It Keep It Scrapheap Challenge NASA’s Greatest Missions Smash Lab The Gadget Show Head Rush Weird Connections Test Case The Future Of... Sport Science NASA’s Greatest Missions Race To Mars Meteorite Men

21:10 21:35 22:00 22:50 23:40

The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Race To Mars Meteorite Men Sport Science

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

00:05 00:30 00:55 01:20 01:45 02:10 02:35 03:00 03:25 03:50 04:15 04:40 05:05 05:30 06:10 06:35 07:00

Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Lazytown Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Lazytown Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse The Hive Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny The Hive Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Mouk Mouk The Hive Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Lazytown Art Attack Imagination Movers Lazytown The Hive Handy Manny Jungle Junction Imagination Movers The Hive Special Agent Oso Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse The Hive Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Mouk The Hive 101 Dalmatians 101 Dalmatians Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Lazytown Art Attack Handy Manny Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates Little Einsteins The Adventures Of Disney

07:50 Barefoot Contessa 08:15 Barefoot Contessa 08:40 Paula’s Best Dishes 09:05 Paula’s Best Dishes 09:30 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco 09:55 Cooking For Real 10:20 Cooking For Real 10:45 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 11:10 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 11:35 Hungry Girl 12:00 Chopped 12:50 Guy’s Big Bite 13:15 Cooking For Real 13:40 Barefoot Contessa 14:05 Barefoot Contessa 14:30 Kid In A Candy Store 14:55 Kid In A Candy Store 15:20 Unique Sweets 15:45 Staten Island Cakes 16:35 Barefoot Contessa 17:00 Barefoot Contessa 17:25 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco 17:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:15 Guy’s Big Bite 18:40 Unique Sweets 19:05 Unique Sweets 19:30 Chopped 20:20 Iron Chef America 21:10 Guy’s Big Bite 21:35 Guy’s Big Bite 22:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 22:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 22:50 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 23:15 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 23:40 Guy’s Big Bite 00:30 01:20 02:05 02:55 03:45 04:30 05:20 06:10 07:00 07:50 08:40 09:30 09:55 10:20 11:10 12:00 12:25 12:50 13:40 14:30 14:55 15:20 16:10 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:05 19:55 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:40

Ghost Lab Mysterious Journeys Fatal Encounters Killer Kids Extreme Forensics Ghost Lab Mysterious Journeys Disappeared Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Street Patrol Street Patrol Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Stalked: Someone’s Watching Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill Australian Families Of Crime American Greed Dr G: Medical Examiner

08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 PG15 18:00 20:00 23:00 20:00 22:00

The Warlords-PG15 Fatal Secrets-PG15 Friday Night Lights-PG15 The Warlords-PG15 True Justice: Dark VengeanceFriday Night Lights-PG15 The Godfather-18 Devil-PG15 Fighting-PG15 Homecoming-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 The League 02:30 Hot In Cleveland 03:00 30 Rock 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:30 30 Rock 09:30 The Cleveland Show 10:00 The Office 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 14:00 Community 14:30 The Office 15:00 The Cleveland Show 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 30 Rock 18:30 Community 19:00 Parks And Recreation 19:30 Parks And Recreation 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The League 23:00 Hot In Cleveland 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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 21:00 22:00 23:00

Warehouse 13 Perception Homeland Greek White Collar Royal Pains Warehouse 13 Emmerdale Coronation Street Private Practice The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar Royal Pains Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Private Practice Warehouse 13 Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Private Practice Bunheads Franklin & Bash Alphas Supernatural Greek

Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 101 Dalmatians Mouk Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Mini Adventures Of Winnie The A Poem Is... Animated Stories Mouk Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Special Agent Oso Little Einsteins Timmy Time Jungle Junction Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Lazytown23:50 Lazytn Gotta Grudge Gotta Grudge Pro Bull Riders 2010 World Combat League TNA: Greatest Matches Ed’s Up Ed’s Up M1 Challenge Pro Bull Riders 2010 Ride Guide Snow 2009 Ride Guide Snow 2009 Alli Presents AMA Motocross 2011 Blood, Sweat And Gears Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Pro Bull Riders 2010 Transworld Sessions Transworld Sessions Mantracker World Combat League Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Alli Presents AMA Motocross 2011 Transworld Sessions Transworld Sessions Pro Bull Riders 2010 Mantracker World Combat League Kenny Belaey’s Big Time South Kenny Belaey’s Big Time South TNA: Greatest Matches M1 Challenge

Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco Extra Virgin Extra Virgin Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Guy’s Big Bite Outrageous Food Unique Eats Chopped Barefoot Contessa Barefoot Contessa Iron Chef America

00:00 Nomads 01:00 Travel Madness 01:30 Travel Oz 02:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 02:30 One Man & His Campervan 03:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 03:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 04:00 Wheel2Wheel 05:00 Graham’s World 05:30 The Best Job In The World 06:00 Nomads 07:00 Travel Madness 07:30 Travel Oz 08:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 08:30 One Man & His Campervan 09:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 09:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 10:00 Wheel2Wheel 11:00 Graham’s World 11:30 The Best Job In The World 12:00 Nomads 13:00 Travel Oz 13:30 Travel Oz 14:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:30 One Man & His Campervan 15:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 15:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 16:00 Wheel2Wheel 16:30 Wheel2Wheel 17:00 Graham’s World 17:30 The Best Job In The World 18:00 Nomads 19:00 Danger Beach 19:30 Danger Beach 20:00 Kimchi Chronicles 20:30 Kimchi Chronicles 21:00 One Man & His Campervan 21:30 One Man & His Campervan 22:00 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 23:00 Bondi Rescue 23:30 Bondi Rescue

01:00 The Payback-18 03:00 Judge Dredd-18 04:45 Alive-PG15 07:00 Spider-Man-PG 09:00 Shanghai Noon-PG15 11:00 Alive-PG15 13:15 The Reunion-PG15 15:00 Shanghai Noon-PG15 17:00 Vengeance-PG15 19:00 Ronin-18 21:00 The Shining-R 23:00 Assassination Games-18 Luster-18 00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 PG15 22:00

01:30 03:30 05:15 07:15 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:15 21:00 23:00 23:30

Airheads-PG15 Feed The Fish-PG15 That Old Feeling-PG15 Little Secrets-PG Feed The Fish-PG15 Prom-PG15 Love And Mary-PG15 The Open Road-PG15 Prom-PG15 Tank Girl-PG15 Austin Powers In GoldmemberFrenemy-18

Gal-18 Boy-PG15 Grace Of My Heart-PG15 The Thomas Crown Affair-PG15 West Is West-PG15 The Greatest-PG15 Bound By A Secret-PG15 West Is West-PG15 Funny Bones-PG15 Babies-18 Asylum-18 One Hour Photo-18 Square Grouper-18

23:00 Naked Science 00:00 Hunter Hunted 01:00 Monster Fish 01:55 California’s Wild Coast 02:50 Caught In The Act 03:45 Crocs Of Katuma 04:40 Expedition Wild 05:35 Caught In The Act 06:30 California’s Wild Coast 07:25 Caught In The Act 08:20 Crocs Of Katuma 09:15 Fishzilla: Snakehead Invasion 10:10 Monster Jellyfish 11:05 The Invaders 12:00 Hooked 13:00 The Living Edens 14:00 Caught In The Act 15:00 Animal Autopsy (AKA Inside Nature’s Giants) 16:00 Shell Shocked 17:00 Seahorses: Wanted Dead Or Alive 18:00 Hunter Hunted 19:00 California’s Wild Coast 20:00 Caught In The Act 21:00 Crocs Of Katuma 22:00 Fishzilla: Snakehead Invasion 23:00 Monster Jellyfish 23:00 Hunter Hunted 00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00

Burning Bright-18 Full Metal Jacket-18 Judge Dredd-18 Largo Winch 2-PG15

01:00 Boy-PG15 03:00 Zookeeper-PG15 05:00 Yona Yona Penguin-PG 07:00 Black Forest-PG15 09:00 Rio-FAM 10:45 Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt.2-PG15 13:00 Soul Surfer-PG15 15:00 The Winning Season-PG15 17:00 Rio-FAM 19:00 The River Why-PG15 21:00 Hemingway & Gellhorn-18 23:45 Priest-18

00:00 Tom And Jerry & The Wizard Of Oz-FAM 01:45 Alex & Alexis-FAM 04:00 Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back-PG 06:00 Tommy & Oscar-FAM 08:00 Moomins And The Comet Chase-FAM 10:00 Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader-PG 12:15 Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back-PG 14:15 Tom Tom & Nana-FAM 16:00 The Nutty Professor-FAM 18:00 Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader-PG 20:00 In Search Of The Titanic-PG 22:00 Tom Tom & Nana-FAM 23:45 The Nutty Professor-FAM


12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:45 PM 7:45 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM


12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM


2:00 PM Fri 1:15 PM 4:30 PM 6:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:15 AM


12:30 PM 2:30 PM 4:30 PM 6:45 PM 9:30 PM 12:45 AM


1:00 PM 4:15PM 7:00 PM 9:15 PM 12:00 AM


1:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM


12:30 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM


1:15 PM 4:00 PM 6:45 PM 9:30 PM 12:15 AM


12:45 PM 2:45 PM 4:45 PM 7:15 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM


1:00 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 8:00 PM 10:15 PM 12:30 AM


12:30 PM 2:45 PM 6:15 PM 8:30 PM 11:45 PM


2:00 PM 1:15 PM 4:30 PM 6:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:05 AM


4:15 PM 7:00 PM 9:45 PM 12:30 AM

1:30 PM 4:15 PM 7:00 PM 9:45 PM 12:30 AM


12:30 PM 3:00 PM 5:30 PM 8:00 PM 10:30 PM 1:00 AM


12:30 PM 3:00 PM 5:30 PM 8:00 PM 10:30 PM 1:00 AM

AVENUES-7 EK THA TIGER (Hindi) (2D-Digital) JOKER (Hindi) EK THA TIGER (Hindi) (2D-Digital) JOKER (Hindi) (2D-Digital) EK THA TIGER (Hindi) (2D-Digital) No SUN+TUE+WED

1:30 PM 4:15 PM 6:30 PM 9:00 PM 11:15 PM


12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM


2:00 PM 4:15 PM 6:30 PM 8:45 PM 11:00 PM 1:15 AM


1:45 PM 4:00 PM 6:15 PM 8:30 PM 10:45 PM 1:00 AM


1:00 PM 3:15 PM 5:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:15 AM

360º- 2 THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2D-Digital) 1:30 PM THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2D-Digital) 4:45 PM THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2D-Digital) 8:00 PM THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2D-Digital) 11:15 PM NO SUN+TUE+WED 360º- 3 BRAVE (3D-Digital) BRAVE (3D-Digital) BRAVE (3D-Digital) BRAVE (3D-Digital) BRAVE (3D-Digital) TOTAL RECALL (2D-Digital) NO SUN+TUE+WED

2:00 PM 4:15 PM 6:30 PM 8:45 PM 11:00 PM 1:15 AM


12:45 PM 3:30 PM 6:15 PM 9:00 PM 11:45 PM

MARINA-2 THE EXPENDABLES 2 (2D-Digital) 12:30 PM THE BOURNE LEGACY (2D-Digital) 2:30 PM THE EXPENDABLES 2 (2D-Digital) 5:15 PM THE BOURNE LEGACY (2D-Digital) 7:30 PM THE EXPENDABLES 2 (2D-Digital) 10:15 PM THE BOURNE LEGACY (2D-Digital)12:30 AM NO SUN+TUE+WED

360º- 5 TETA RAHIBA (2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA (2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA (2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA (2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA (2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA (2D-Digital) NO SUN+TUE+WED

1:45 PM 4:00 PM 6:15 PM 8:30 PM 10:45 PM 1:00 AM

MARINA-3 BRAVE (3D-Digital) BRAVE (3D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA (2D-Digital) TOTAL RECALL (2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA (2D-Digital) TOTAL RECALL (2D-Digital) 12:45 AM NO SUN+TUE+WED


1:15 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 8:00 PM 10:15 PM 12:30 AM


12:30 PM 3:15 PM 6:00 PM 8:45 PM 11:30 PM


12:30 PM 3:15 PM 6:00 PM 8:45 PM 11:30 PM


1:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM

1:00 PM 3:15 PM 5:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:15 AM

2:15 PM 4:30 PM 6:45 PM 9:00 PM 11:15 PM 1:15 AM

1:30 PM

360º-10 (VIP-2) TOTAL RECALL (2D-Digital) TOTAL RECALL (2D-Digital) TOTAL RECALL (2D-Digital)

1:45 PM 4:15 PM 6:45 PM


9:15 PM 11:45 PM

1:45 PM 4:15 PM 6:45 PM 9:15 PM 11:45 PM

12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 2:30 PM 5:45 PM 9:00 PM 12:15 AM


2:00 PM 4:30 PM 7:00 PM 9:30 PM 12:05 AM


1:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM

12:30 PM 2:30 PM 4:45 PM 9:15 PM 9:45 PM 12:30 AM


12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:00 PM 7:15 PM 9:30 PM 11:45 PM


1:15 PM 4:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 1:15 AM


1:30 PM 4:00 PM 6:45 PM 9:15 PM 12:05 AM


3:45 PM 6:15 PM 8:30 PM 10:45 PM


3:30 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 11:00 PM


4:00 PM 7:00 PM 10:00 PM


4:00 PM 6:15 PM 9:00 PM

3:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:45 PM 9:45 PM

Classifieds WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2012




Time 0:15 0:20 0:50 1:10 1:45 2:10 2:20 2:25 2:30 2:50 3:10 3:20 3:25 3:30 4:10 4:35 4:55 5:00 6:00 6:15 6:30 6:40 7:15 7:30 7:45 7:45 7:45 7:50 8:05 8:20 8:20 8:25 8:30 9:00 9:20 9:25 9:30 9:35 10:00 10:45 10:55 11:05 11:10 11:55 12:25 12:30 13:15 13:20 13:30 13:40 13:40 13:40 13:45 14:20 14:25 14:25 14:30 15:00 15:00 15:05 15:10 15:15 16:10 16:35 16:35 16:55 17:10 17:20 17:20 17:30 17:40 17:45 18:15 18:20 18:40 18:40 18:40 18:45 18:45 18:55 19:05 19:10 19:20 19:25 19:35 19:35 19:40 19:55 20:00 20:00 20:10 20:15 20:25 20:35 20:55 20:55 20:55 21:05 21:15 21:15 21:25 21:25 21:30 21:30 21:35 22:10 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:55 23:10 23:15 23:35 23:40



Time 0:05 0:25 0:30 0:35 1:25 2:15 2:25 2:45 3:40 3:45 3:50 4:05 4:20 4:25 4:50 5:40 6:00 6:50 6:55 7:00 7:05 7:10 7:30 8:10 8:20 8:25 8:25 8:55 9:00 9:05 9:05 9:15 9:15 9:20 9:35 9:40 9:40 9:45 10:00 10:05 10:15 10:25 10:25 10:45 11:30 11:55 12:10 12:15 12:20 12:30 13:10 13:15 13:20 13:25 14:10 14:15 14:25 14:25 14:30 14:35 15:05 15:10 15:45 15:45 15:50 16:15 16:25 16:25 17:20 17:30 17:35 17:45 18:20 18:20 18:25 18:30 18:35 18:50 19:20 19:25 19:30 19:35 19:45 19:55 20:05 20:15 20:20 20:30 20:35 20:40 20:50 21:05 21:10 21:15 21:30 21:35 21:45 21:50 21:55 22:05 22:05 22:10 22:20 22:20 22:25 22:35 22:40 22:45 23:00 23:00 23:00 23:05 23:10 23:10 23:15 23:30 23:50 23:50

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

ACCOMMODATION Available one bedroom for an Indian executive bachelor in a 2 B/R, 2 bathroom CA/C apartment /new building across Salmiya Garden block 10 from 1st September to stay with a couple, the person should be non-smoking with clean habits. Contact: 25653928 / 66015253. (C 4123) Fully furnished flat for rent for 3 to 4 months near Indian Public School, Salmiya. Good location. Contact: 50166063. (C 4124) 3-9-2012

ACCOMMODATION CHANGE OF NAME I, Bino Mathavath George, Passport No: Z2111118, Mathavath House P.O. Veerpad Kallara, Kannur Dt. Kerala do hereby declare that my daughter’s given name as ELIANE SHARON BINO (bearing Passport No: J0976424 issued at Kuwait) shall henceforth be known

SITUATION VACANT Driver for a Kuwaiti family, must he having driving license and transferable residence and knows the areas of Kuwait. Contact; 99401126. (C 4125) 5-9-2012 Cook for Kuwaiti family, available in Kuwait with transferable residence, experience in houses, not restaurants. Call: 94088822. (C 4116) Required English speaking maid / nanny. Please call 99824597. (C 4117) 1-9-2012

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

Prayer timings Fajr: Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

04:06 11:47 15:20 18:07 19:25

112 Ministry of Interior website:


The Public Institution for Social Security

Ministry of Interior

Public Authority of Industry

Public Authority for Civil Information

Prisoners of War Committee

Kuwait News Agency

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affair

Kuwait Municipality

Ministry of Energy (Oil)

Kuwait Electronic Government

Ministry of Energy (Electricity and Water)

Ministry of Finance

Public Authority for Housing Welfare

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Education

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Information

Supreme Council for Planning and Development

Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation



stars CROSSWORD 787



Aries (March 21-April 19) Today, you can receive extra work benefits, or hire extra help if you need it. If you have a job this extra work may come as overtime or work by other means. Rewarding job offers can also come your way, if you are looking. Some job offer may be related to publishing, teaching, travel, foreign trade, law, hospitals or churches. If you are writing, don’t give up . . . keep submitting your manuscript and you will eventually get an offer from a publisher. Your energy and optimism go hand in hand to help you grasp the big, grandiose picture. Give some thought as to where you spend most of your time and energy. Make sure your time is spent in what feels most gratifying. This is how living your life will be most pleasingly expressed.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Today you are probably feeling particularly positive. Your focus is on wider issues rather than on mundane detail. This is an excellent day to take care of legal affairs and to conclude contractual negotiations. This does not have to be a problem. The legal matter may only be signing the title on a car or apartment lease. You take great pride in accomplishing your goals toward greater independence. This time is favorable for enterprises in technology and entertainment fields. If you are not interested in participating in the entertainment, you may be interested in participating in the financial support. You feel optimistic, tolerant and secure. You may also look forward to some future travel plans. This evening all involved could put their bid in for areas of interest.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. The eighth month of the civil year. 5. Large dark brown North American arboreal carnivorous mammal. 10. Narrow wood or metal or plastic runners used for gliding over snow. 13. The closing section of a musical composition. 14. A native or inhabitant of Iran. 15. A coral reef off the southern coast of Florida. 16. (informal) Exceptionally good. 17. An inactive volcano in Sicily. 19. One of the persons who compose a social group (especially individuals who have joined and participates in a group organization). 22. Experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness. 24. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 25. One million periods per second. 27. A gland in which gametes (sex cells) are produced. 30. Someone who engages in arbitrage (who purchases securities in one market for immediate resale in another in the hope of profiting from the price differential). 32. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 34. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 38. A card game in which players bet against the dealer on the cards he will draw from a dealing box. 40. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 41. Advance evidence for. 42. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 44. A Russian river. 46. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 48. The Mongol people living the the central and eastern parts of Outer Mongolia. 52. An Indian nursemaid who looks after children. 55. Any of various units of capacity. 57. A branch of the Tai languages. 58. A pale rose-colored variety of the ruby spinel. 60. A sensation (as of a cold breeze or bright light) that precedes the onset of certain disorders such as a migraine attack or epileptic seizure. 63. A master's degree in business. 64. A cgs unit of work or energy. 65. A large building at an airport where aircraft can be stored and maintained. 67. Tag the base runner to get him out. 68. A nucleic acid consisting of large molecules shaped like a double helix. 69. Japanese mathematical physicist who proposed that nuclear forces are mediated by massive particles called mesons which are analogous to the photon in mediating electromagnetic forces (19071981). 70. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. A ballistic missile that is capable of traveling from one continent to another. 2. The time that has elapsed. 3. American Revolutionary patriot. 4. A motley assortment of things. 5. A platform built out from the shore into the water and supported by piles. 6. The universal time coordinated when an event is received on Earth. 7. A Dravidian language spoken in southern India. 8. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 9. A hard malleable ductile silvery metallic element that is resistant to corrosion. 10. A device (trade name Aqua-Lung) that lets divers breathe under water. 11. Czech novelist who wrote in German about a nightmarish world of isolated and troubled individuals (1883-1924). 12. The eighth month of the civil year. 18. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 20. The capital and largest city of Japan. 21. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 23. Tropical American tree producing cacao beans. 26. A steep rugged rock or cliff. 28. A committee in the executive branch of government that advises the president on foreign and military and national security. 29. A state in southeastern India on the Bay of Bengal (south of Andhra Pradesh). 31. An undergarment worn by women to support their breasts. 33. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 35. A ductile malleable reddish-brown corrosion-resistant diamagnetic metallic element. 36. Being nine more than ninety. 37. A Mid-Atlantic state. 39. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 43. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 45. Valuable source of caviar and isinglass. 46. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group. 47. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 49. A genus of Lamnidae. 50. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 51. Jordan's port. 53. An account describing incidents or events. 54. Primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems and roots and leaves. 55. A flexible container with a single opening. 56. A financial institution that accepts deposits and channels the money into lending activities. 57. A quantity of no importance. 59. Lacking self-confidence. 61. (used especially of commodities) In the natural unprocessed condition. 62. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 66. A soft yellow malleable ductile (trivalent and univalent) metallic element.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You could be slowed a bit today—this helps to create a more realistic you, particularly where your abilities and expectations are concerned. This is an excellent time to sit down and get many business matters accomplished. Making important phone calls, contacting customers and exercising your initiative are productive activities. You stay attentive to any unfinished projects or assignments and you work to clear your desk before quitting time. You look forward to time with your family later. This afternoon is the perfect time to add to the memory book—go with the family—take pictures. Activity with the family is supportive, healing, fun and important to future interactions. Other people may look to your family as a good example for their family.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Rational thinking intensifies now. You may have a curiosity about the unknown with a compulsive train of thought directed toward finding answers within yourself or toward solving problems. This is a favorable time for investigation and scientific research. Communications may involve corporate business, insurance, taxes or inheritance. You and your friend have many experiences you share with each other. If you keep notes, you could write a book. Your mental attitude is strong and you could help others through some unrealistic thinking. Gathering information so that you better understand the need of someone that concerns you is a good thing and perhaps . . . a very educational experience. You encourage others in most positive ways.


Leo (July 23-August 22) You seek the trust and confidence of others and must be prepared to compete in business transactions. This time is favorable for the study of life’s mysteries and deeper meanings. You tend to be highly idealistic in your romantic life. You may unknowingly bestow your affection on the wrong people—easy does it. Your intuitive, psychic abilities are stimulated and you are especially sensitive to beauty, art and music. This is a good time for some community involvement, as you tend to feel charitable and considerate of those who are less fortunate. Possible romantic or marriage opportunities present themselves now. This evening is a good time to enjoy music, art or entertainment with your partner or close friend.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) If you are working—there are excellent opportunities to grow and move up the corporate ladder. There is also a fascination with the mysterious. Going beyond just finding a good novel or movie, you may be drawn toward some serious study. Another kind of mystery that may attract you today is the quandaries that your friends have over fears. This could be that one friend is afraid of heights or another afraid to eat too much or another is paranoid about habits. You will notice that we all seem to have problems in understanding our fears but you enjoy the art of understanding. Examination of these could be strengthening to your own mind and insightful for a friend. This is quite a lucky time—certain positive energies draw things to you.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your new responsibilities may require more mental discipline. This is a time that may be characterized by conflict between your responsibilities to others and your desire for self-gratification. You will most likely feel that circumstances are preventing you from doing something that you really want to do and you could resent such restrictions—patience. You may have trouble with those in authority—this is not necessary however, as the situation will improve. If you really want to break free today, then work out a compromise. New levels of awareness may help you to feel more like saying anything you please but just know that again . . . improvements are on the horizon. A little diplomacy will take you a long, long way.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You will be an interesting, stimulating person to be around as usual today—so communicate. This is an excellent time for you to make new contacts. These contacts might develop into intense or important business relationships later. Today is also a day for daydreams. Your imagination will focus on how things ought to be, rather than how they seem—creative ideas are cooking. You will be experiencing a high self-confidence. In communicating with others, you will most likely find greater clarity as you move through your ideas and give others the opportunity to do the same . . . a sort of brainstorming. After work you and a neighbor could enjoy throwing a ball back and forth. You take pleasure in physical activity, such as sports, games and dancing.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

This week you could receive rewards for all the effort you have put in at work lately. Even though you may have been operating in the background, your work has not gone unnoticed. A co-worker or friend wants to shop during the noon break. You will be able to help this friend find a good buy—you enjoy the interaction and the attention. This afternoon, get someone to help you check for any problems with water, oil or gas leakage in the home. You may develop strong psychic ties within the family. A disabled person you have become quite fond of lately will be pleased at your interest in their care. Your attention is important. Strained emotions between you and a loved one may be turned around to a new understanding and healing.

Your self-confidence is strong today. It is possible that you will be able to guide others and help them along in their day. This could be as a tour or orientation guide. Whatever you do, you use your knowledge wisely and prudently and you gain great respect from all who get to know you. Be prepared to meet exciting people, try out new ideas and make interesting discoveries; there are moneymaking possibilities all around you . . . watch for them if you need them. You will be seeing old problems in a new light this afternoon. You would do well to shelve your ordinary routine this evening and explore instead. Go to a movie, take a short drive or go to an art gallery. You will soon gain some insight into the next step toward a goal or two.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You could find that, along with almost anything else, that toothpaste tube squeezed in the wrong place becomes very irritating. Just cool it for a while—be patient. This is a very fast-moving phase. Now would not be the best time for involved business deals, a move, or the art of training someone to change a habit. You can be reassured by incorporating what you know or want to know into your day. Educational, religious, professional or cultural issues peak your interest. Although temporary, this can be a period of psychological and emotional growth. There are avenues of change that will happen in time but perhaps not as fast as one would like. You can exercise your ability to solve problems and show others a few coping skills.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

This is a lucky time unless some other aspect interferes. There are favorable business and commercial ventures available now. You may likely get a good deal for yourself. In addition, this is an auspicious time for any legal undertaking and also a good time to build good muscle tone. You will experience some conflict with emotional responses, compulsions and habits; however, this is temporary. In most instances, the energies that are present are experienced as inner turmoil and anxiety so if you have projects that need accomplishing, you will find a little enthusiasm to help you achieve. By the time this day is over, you will be ready to relax and enjoy a good massage and maybe a light meal away from home.


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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Kaizen center














Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar









Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241



el.: 161 Te



Hot with light to moderate north westerly to northerly wind, with speed of 12 - 35 km/h


Relatively hot with light to moderate northerly to north westerly wind, with speed of 10 - 32 km/h

No Current Warnings arnin a



44 °C

32 °C

Ayoun Al-Kibla



44 °C

26 °C




43 °C

28 °C



45 °C

25 °C


43 °C

26 °C


44 °C

26 °C








44 °C

27 °C

Maidan Hawally



43 °C

27 °C




42 °C

33 °C




39 °C

32 °C




45 °C

23 °C






Temperatures DA AY



Wind Direction

Wind Speed

26 °C


15 - 40 km/h

25 °C


08 - 30 km/h

43 °C

27 °C


08 - 28 km/h

44 °C

27 °C


08 - 30 km/h



24575755 Wednesday e



44 °C

West Jahra





43 °C

South Jahra





North Jahra





North Jleeb







04/09/2012 0000 UTC


New Jahra





MAX. Temp.

44 °C



MIN. Temp.

27 °C




17 %




04 %



MAX. Wind i

N 50 km/h




00 mm

All times are local time unless otherwise stated.


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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321


25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard


Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


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



Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed



Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


Dr. Salem soso General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil Dr. Mousa Khadada Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan

22666300 25728004

Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani





Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman

Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Kaizen center 25716707


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


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr Anil Thomas

Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688


















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh

















Expected Weather e for the Next 24 Hours




Fax: 24348714



Ext.: 2627 262 - 2630



Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

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

Iran 0098 Iraq 00964 Ireland 00353 Italy 0039 Ivory Coast 00225 Jamaica 001876 Japan 0081 Jordan 00962 Kazakhstan 007 Kenya 00254 Kiribati 00686 Kuwait 00965 Kyrgyzstan 00996 Laos 00856 Latvia 00371 Lebanon 00961 Liberia 00231 Libya 00218 Lithuania 00370 Luxembourg 00352 Macau 00853 Macedonia 00389 Madagascar 00261 Majorca 0034 Malawi 00265 Malaysia 0060 Maldives 00960 Mali 00223 Malta 00356 Marshall Islands 00692 Martinique 00596 Mauritania 00222 Mauritius 00230 Mayotte 00269 Mexico 0052 Micronesia 00691 Moldova 00373 Monaco 00377 Mongolia 00976 Montserrat 001664 Morocco 00212 Mozambique 00258 Myanmar (Burma) 0095 Namibia 00264 Nepal 00977 Netherlands (Holland) 0031 Netherlands Antilles 00599 New Caledonia 00687 New Zealand 0064 Nicaragua 00505 Nigar 00227 Nigeria 00234 Niue 00683 Norfolk Island 00672 Northern Ireland (UK) 0044 North Korea 00850 Norway 0047 Oman 00968 Pakistan 0092 Palau 00680 Panama 00507 Papua New Guinea 00675 Paraguay 00595 Peru 0051 Philippines 0063 Poland 0048 Portugal 00351 Puerto Rico 001787 Qatar 00974 Romania 0040 Russian Federation 007 Rwanda 00250 Saint Helena 00290 Saint Kitts 001869 Saint Lucia 001758 Saint Pierre 00508 Saint Vincent 001784 Samoa US 00684 Samoa West 00685 San Marino 00378 Sao Tone 00239 Saudi Arabia 00966 Scotland (UK) 0044 Senegal 00221 Seychelles 00284 Sierra Leone 00232 Singapore 0065 Slovakia 00421 Slovenia 00386 Solomon Islands 00677



lifest yle G o s s i p

One Direction settle name dispute he ‘One Thing’ hitmakers - made up of Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson - had been sued by the California-based punk group earlier this year, who claimed they had they had the name first. However, Simon Cowell head of the group’s Syco record label - countersued the American group, accusing them of trying to “cash in” on the success of the ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ singers. But now the two groups have reached an agreement that allows them both to continue using the name, a deal everyone is pleased with. The US One Direction had claimed to have been using the name since 2009 and applied to trademark the name long before


he late Bee Gees singer - who passed away in May aged 62 - apparently warned lawyers acting for his first wife Molly Hullis that he had hired a hitman to kill them, prompting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to probe the threats. Newly-released documents claim the singer sent messages from his Miami home to London lawyers Haymon and Walters, with one telegram reading: “What you have done is just about the limit. I have taken out a contract ... it is now a question of time.” The firm reported Robin who married Molly, the mother of two of his children, in 1968 and divorced in 1980 after years living separate lives - to the FBI after receiving “numerous threatening telegrams from Gibb which threatened their lives”, according to the bureau’s report. Files released under the Freedom of Information Act show investigators considered further action and discussed how to probe the allegations without alerting the ‘Staying Alive’ hitmaker, who was at the height of his fame. However, Robin’s lawyers wrote to the FBI and said the singer “would not be foolish enough to carry out any threat, especially in view of his singing career”. The matter was eventually dropped, with the file closed in March 1981 because Molly and the lawyers did not want to press charges.

the British band, who were put together by Simon on the UK edition of ‘The X Factor’ in 2010. Since forming on the reality TV show, the British One Direction have become worldwide superstars and their debut album, ‘Up All Night’ was the first by a UK act to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200 all-genre albums chart. Their second album, ‘Take Me Home’, will be released in November.


he No Doubt singer has two sons, Kingston, six, and four-year-old Zuma, with husband Gavin Rossdale and while she loves being a mother, she admits it’s tough trying to juggle everyone’s needs. She said: “When you first have a baby your life doesn’t change. I mean, you have a little less sleep and you drag these cuddly things around you and it’s just amazing. “But you still get to be you. Once they get to, like, five, six and school and it starts to get, like, ‘Wow, they got real problems. They’re my responsibility.’ Oh my God. That is overwhelming.” Gwen, 42, also admits that while she loves having Gavin at home to help with the children, it can be “hard”


because it interrupts her routine. She told Britain’s ELLE magazine: ‘I’ve been with Gavin for 14 years, and, let’s face it, that is a huge accomplishment. I feel so proud of that - it hasn’t been the easiest journey. “He’s home now for, like, seven days, so just him being home makes everything different. In a good way. But also in a hard way because it changes everything.”



give up on love he rapper is set to join Coldplay and his protege Rihanna at the event in London on Sunday after the British band’s frontman Chris Martin approached him. A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Jay-Z and Chris Martin are close friends so he helped to get the rapper on board. “They are putting together a spectacular set list - one likely to include a duet. “It’s going to be one hell of a show and fans of both artists will be trying to get tickets. “The Paralympics has exceeded all expectation and, like the rest of the world, Jay-Z has been blown away by their bravery and athleticism. “This will be a concert like no other and a fantastic end to what has been the most successful Paralympics ever.” Speaking previously about the event, Chris said the band were “honoured” to have been chosen. He explained: “Being asked to play at the closing celebrations for the


he couple - who have yet to officially confirm their romance - want to rescue an abandoned pooch and are particularly keen to provide a “loving home” for a large canine. A source told Now magazine: “Mila and Ashton have been touring shelters looking for an abandoned dog that needs a loving home. “They have their hearts set on a big dog - either a golden retriever or a Labrador.” Mila and Ashton first met 14 years ago when they costarred in hit sitcom ‘That 70s Show’, and the pair have recently rekindled their spark. They are said to be inseparable and “basically living together”, so sharing custody of their new pet shouldn’t be a problem. ‘Two and a Half Men’ actor Ashton - who is currently in the middle of divorce proceedings with Demi Moore whisked Mila off on a luxury five-star holiday on the island of Bali in August. Though they haven’t confirmed their romance, the couple have been spotted holding hands in public and were


Paralympic athletes in London is such a great honour for us. Kim Gavin and Misty Buckley are working hard to put on a spectacular Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony for the athletes and spectators in the stadium, and everyone watching around the world, and we are so happy to be involved.”


caught kissing at the wrap party for Ashton’s latest film, a biopic of the late Apple boss, Steve Jobs. A source said: “Ashton was Mila’s first kiss while on ‘That ‘70s Show,’ so they’ve always had a special bond. “They started dating in the spring, and things have recently become more serious.”

he British singer will receive the medal - France’s highest public distinction from President Francois Hollande in Paris on Saturday. Stars including Clint Eastwood and Liza Minnelli have previously been gifted the award, created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, which is represented by a red lapel thread. The recipient of the award must pay for their own medal from a licensed jeweller, ranging from $210 to $880. However the award can also be rescinded, as it was recently in the case of disgraced British fashion designer John Galliano after he was sacked from Dior over anti-Semitic comments he made while drunk. Paul recently performed at the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games, for which he was only paid a token gesture. He said: “They don’t pay you to perform, but what does happen is you get tickets to events, so they asked me what I would ideally like to go to, and so I sent a little list. “I’m a big fan of athletics, when that’s on the TV, I don’t go out, so the Olympic Games are great for that for me.”— Bangshowbiz


he basketball star is currently embroiled in a divorce battle with Kim Kardashian but despite the failed union, he hopes to settle down in the future. Kris told the New York Times’ Page Six magazine: “If things naturally happen, I’ll just roll with it. So we’ll see. Time will tell “I think everyone wants a family of their own one day. You’re at a point in your life when all of your friends are married and stuff. For me, at least, everyone runs their own race. You can’t put a timetable on it.” Kris was recently forced to deny allegations he gave Kayla Goldberg the sexually transmitted disease Herpes after they reportedly met and had sex in August 2010. Kris insisted he has “never” given anyone Herpes, and is now said to be thinking about counter-suing Kayla following her claims. A source close to the NBA star said: “Kris was recently accused by another woman of giving her Herpes, this happened within the last two months. “Kris tested negative for it though and for any other sexually transmitted disease and he is absolutely steadfast that he has never given anyone herpes. Kris plans on vigorously fighting the lawsuit filed against him by Kayla Goldberg and is considering counter-suing her for defamation.”

he 26-year-old actor dated his ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ co-star for just over a year until October 2010 and though they were smitten when they got together, Shia doesn’t think their relationship would have lasted because they were such different people. He said: “Carey is not just an actress, she is a great human being, a sweet girl and super intelligent. Our thing came down to not having compatible work/lifestyles. We were always travelling, and had sensibility differences that weren’t conducive to living with one another. “I’m harder on myself and my surroundings than she is, and we had a culture shock in terms of meeting her parents and vice versa. Sensibilities, cultures, histories. There were differences, that’s all.” In April, Carey married singer Marcus Mumford and Shia thinks he makes the actress happier than he could ever have done. He told the Sunday Times magazine: “She’s happy as hell right now, and we wouldn’t


have been able to make it like that. She was chasing marriage, family, kids more than I was.” Shia - who is currently dating fashion designer Karolyn Pho - hopes to marry himself one day but won’t rush into settling down as he plans to tie the knot for life. He added: “I’m not opposed to marriage. I just think I’m quite young. I come from divorce. I’m only doing marriage once. It’s not a game for me. I’m not a religious person, but I have ethics.”




Gentle-giant star ichael Clarke Duncan was one big, irresistible jumble of contradictions. His presence was formidable, even intimidating: The former bodyguard had a muscular, 6-foot-4 frame, but it was topped by the brightest of megawatt smiles. His gravelly baritone was well-suited to everything from animated films to action spectacles, but no matter the role, warmth and a sweetness was always evident underneath. The prolific character actor, whose dozens of movies included an Oscar-nominated performance as a death row inmate in “The Green Mile” and box office hits including “Armageddon,” “Planet of the Apes” and “Kung Fu Panda,” died Monday at age 54. And although he only turned to acting in his 30s, it’s clear from the outpouring of prayers and remembrances he received across the Hollywood and sports worlds that his gentlegiant persona made him muchloved during that relatively brief time. Duncan died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was being treated for a heart attack, said his fiancee, Omarosa Manigault, in a statement released by publicist Joy Fehily. Duncan “suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered,” the statement said. “Manigault is grateful for all of your prayers and asks for privacy at this time. Celebrations of his life, both private and public, will be announced at a later date.” Tom Hanks, star of 1999’s “The Green Mile” - the film that earned a then-little-known Duncan a supporting-actor nomination at the Academy Awards - said he was “terribly saddened at the loss of Big Mike. He was the treasure we all discovered on the set of ‘The Green Mile.’ He was magic. He was a big love of man and his passing leaves us stunned.” “I will miss my friend, Michael Clarke Duncan,” comedian and talk-show host Steve Harvey said on Twitter. “What an incredible soldier in God’s Plan.” Other sad and


M o v i e s

Michael Clarke Duncan dies at 54


In this Sunday, June 1, 2008 photo, actor Michael Clarke Duncan poses with This undated image provided by Warner Bros shows Tom Hanks, left, Michael “Kung Fu Panda” at the premiere of the movie in the Hollywood area of Los Clarke Duncan, center, and David Morse in “The Green Mile.” Angeles. —AP/AFP photos shocked reactions came from a diverse field that included Dallas Mavericks basketball team owner Mark Cuban, actresses Alexa Vega, Niecy Nash and Olivia Munn, and former boxing champion Lennox Lewis. In the spring of 2012, Duncan had appeared in a video for PETA, the animal rights organization, in which he spoke of how much better he felt since becoming a vegetarian three years earlier. “I cleared out my refrigerator, about $5,000 worth of meat,” he said. “I’m a lot healthier than I was when I was eating meat.” Duncan had a handful of minor roles before “The Green Mile” brought him accolades and fame. The 1999 film, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, starred Hanks as a corrections officer at a penitentiary in the 1930s. Duncan played John Coffey, a convicted murderer with a surprisingly gentle demeanor and extraordinary healing powers. Duncan’s performance caught on with critics and moviegoers and he quickly became a favorite in Hollywood, appearing in several films a year. He owed

some of his good fortune to Bruce Willis, who recommended Duncan for “The Green Mile” after the two appeared together in “Armageddon.” Duncan would work with Willis again in “Breakfast of Champions,” “The Whole Nine Yards” and “Sin City.”

movies, including, “Kung Fu Panda,” “Racing Stripes” and “Brother Bear.” Among Duncan’s television credits were “The Apprentice,” “Two and a Half Men,” “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and a new series, “The Finder.”

His industrial-sized build was suited for everything from superhero films (“Daredevil”) to comedy (“Talladega Nights,” “School for Scoundrels”). He could have made a career out of his voice work alone, with appearances in several animated and family

This March 26, 2000 file photo shows US actor Michael Clarke Duncan showing off his watch on his arrival at the Shrine Auditorium for the 72nd Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California.

Born in Chicago in 1957, Duncan was raised by a single mother whose resistance to his playing football led to his deciding he wanted to become an actor. But when his mother became ill, he dropped out of college, Alcorn State University, and worked as a ditch digger and bouncer to support her. By his mid-20s, he was in Los Angeles, where he looked for acting parts and became a bodyguard for Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and other stars. The murder of rapper Notorious BI.G., for whom Duncan had been hired to protect before switching assignments, led him to quit his job and pursue acting full-time. Early film and television credits, when he was usually cast as a bodyguard or bouncer, included “Bulworth,” “A Night at the Roxbury” and “The Players Club.”—AP

Michael Clarke Duncan, portrays the crime lord Kingpin in the movie “Daredevil”, based on a popular comic book published by Marvel.

As tour nears, R Kelly promises return to raunch R

Kelly has been all about romance on his last two albums, but the self- proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B says he isn’t going to abandon the raunch that helped make him famous. “Absolutely not, and I tell people all the time man,” Kelly said in a phone interview last week. “Make no mistake about it, R Kelly is not going anywhere, it’s just that R Kelly has such a unique talent, and I’ve been blessed to be able to do all type of genres of music ... I’m exploring my gift right now.” Kelly’s recent “Write Me Back” and 2010’s “Love Letter” were a departure of sorts for the singer-songwriter, whose hits include classics like “Your Body’s Callin’.” He described those acclaimed albums as a way of taking a break from his typical explicit material to try something new. “When you’ve done twenty something years, man, of giving people what they want, and satisfying people - people like to say they’re making babies off your music, they’re doing all this - it makes me feel good, but at the same time, it makes me say, ‘OK, now it’s time to go and do something that’s in me that I want to do and get out,’” he said. He said his upcoming album will be on more familiar R Kelly ground. “The name of my

next album is ‘Black Panties’ - that’s my next ‘12 Play,’” he said, referring to his classic album filled with sexual material. “I’m going to have some fun on it.” Kelly also plans to have fun on his upcoming “Single Ladies” North American tour, which kicks off Oct 13 in Columbia, SC, and runs through December. Kelly said he aims for it to be “one big giant ‘Dating Game.’” “We really want the single ladies up there, and where guys know there’s single ladies, they’re going to be in the mix, because they’re looking for a woman,” he said. Kelly is also focusing on the next chapters in his “Trapped” musical soap opera; he’s been filming in his native Chicago and promises new characters, more surprises and an explanation of what the mysterious “package” is. “Everybody remembers when Chuck was in the hospital, and ever since then, people have been asking me of course, ‘What is the package, what is the package?’ And that’s what these chapters are about, is leading you up into what the package is going to be,” he said. “This thing is an alien, it has taken on a life of its own, but I love doing it because it’s stories.” —AP

Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt perform at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With this concert, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band become the first act to perform in every major live music venue in Philadelphia. —AFP

Korean morality tale premieres at Venice film fest outh Korean director Kim Ki-duk brought his brand of excruciating emotion and troubling imagery to the Venice film festival yesterday with his new grim condemnation of capitalism “Pieta”. The film revolves around the figure of a brutal loan shark played by Korean tough guy actor Lee Jung-jin who prowls the back alleys and workshops of a downtown district of Seoul that is quickly being replaced by skyscrapers. Lee’s character is often compared to an infernal creature by his victims and he enforces a grim Faustian pact-hobbling the artisans who cannot pay their debts in order to cash in on the insurance they have been forced to take out. One day a woman claiming to be his mother walks into his life and he tries to change his ways in an emotional crescendo until an ending in which audiences are left wondering whether there can ever be redemption for someone like him. “Money inevitably puts people to the test in a capitalist society and people today are obsessed with a fantasy that money can solve anything,” Kim said. Kim has won awards at the Berlin and Venice film festivals and is known for shooting quickly and on low budgets. This is his 18th feature film. “Pieta” is one of 18 movies vying for this year’s Golden Lion prize, which will be announced on Saturday. —AFP


(From left) Korean film director Kim Ki-Duk, actress Cho Min-Soo and actor Lee Jung-Jin pose during the photocall of “Pieta” at the 69th Venice Film Festival yesterday at Venice Lido. “ —AFP

Jury to decide value of some Jackson copyrights jury will consider whether the business partner of Michael Jackson’s mother should be forced to pay the singer’s estate millions of dollar for infringing on its copyrights. The amount is the sole issue at stake in a trial began yesterday against Howard Mann, who has collaborated with Katherine Jackson on several projects. A judge has already ruled that Mann violated Jackson estate copyrights and ordered his website shut down. Attorneys for the businessman argue the estate doesn’t actually own the proper rights and the ruling should be tossed out. So far, the court has refused and the trial is expected to feature limited testimony. An expert for the estate has the value of licenses for the infringed works are worth between $5 and $12 million. —AP



lifestyle F a s h i o n


tella McCartney leads the way at this year’s British Fashion Awards after receiving three nominations. The 40year-old designer - who created the Team GB Olympic kits for London 2012 - is up for Designer of the Year, Designer Brand of the Year and the Red Carpet Award at the prestigious annual event. In the Designer of the Year category, Stella will take on Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou, who was nominated in the Emerging Talent category last year, while she faces competition from Alexander McQueen, Burberry and Mulberry for Designer Brand of the Year. Victoria Beckham, Roksanda Ilincic and Alessandra Rich are also up for the Red Carpet Award, which Stella won last year. This year’s Emerging Talent nominees see JW Anderson, Michael van der Ham and Simone Rocha nominated, while David Gandy goes up against Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn in the Model of the Year category. Harold Tillman, chairman of the British Fashion Council, said: “2011 has been a momentous year and seen a nationwide celebration of British talent. The British Fashion Awards recognize and celebrate the exceptional individuals and brands who’ve defined our fashion industry over the past year and we’re incredibly proud to announce these nominees who represent a cross section of British fashion talent.” As with previous years, the British Style Award is the only category which is decid-

ed on by a public vote and year’s nominees are Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Victoria Beckham, Florence Welch, Tinie Tempah, Cara Delevingne and David Gandy. All the winners will be announced live at this year’s British Fashion Awards on November 27.

Emerging Talent Ready-to-Wear Award JW Anderson Michael van der Ham Simone Rocha

Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator of the Year Edward Enninful Katie Grand Louise Wilson

Emerging Talent Accessories Award Dominic Jones Jordan Askill Sophie Hulme

Red Carpet Award Alessandra Rich Roksanda Ilincic Stella McCartney Victoria Beckham

Emerging Talent Menswear Award Agi & Sam Jonathan Saunders Lou Dalton Model of the Year Cara Delevingne David Gandy Jourdan Dunn Designer Brand of the Year Alexander McQueen Burberry Mulberry Stella McCartney

Accessory Designer of the Year Katie Hillier Nicholas Kirkwood Philip Treacy New Establishment Award Erdem Jonathan Saunders Meadham Kirchhoff Designer of the Year Christopher Kane Mary Katrantzou Stella McCartneyóBang Showbiz

Menswear Designer of the Year Kim Jones for Louis Vuitton Oliver Spencer Richard James

Stella McCartney

Indian Bollywood actor Ronit Roy poses during a fashion show for The Mijwan Welfare Society in Mumbai late September 3, 2012. — AFP photos

Prateik Babbar

Shahana Goswami

Parineeti Chopra

Nominees for the 2012 British Fashion Awards

Imran Khan

Chitrangada Singh

Arjun Kapoor

Malaika Arora Khan

Neha Dhupia


lifestyle F a s h i o n

Dia Mirza

Prabhu Deva


Shazahn Padamsee

Rohit Shetty

esigners love to push boundaries in the search for that sexy catwalk look, but Nzinga Knight, an American Muslim, takes an even more daring tack: covering her models up. At New York Fashion Week, which starts Thursday, impossibly tall, slinky creatures will sashay down the runways at Lincoln Center in clothes that can leave little to the imagination. But when it’s Knight’s turn, forget about flashes of breast or thigh-high split skirts. There will be long sleeves, long hems-and they’ll be sure to get attention. “Definitely in my work people look at it and say that it’s really different and fashion’s really about being different,” she

Sameera Reddy

Karan Johar

told AFP at a studio in the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she was embroidering a romantic but decidedly modest black and cream dress. Knight, 31, is a devout Muslim, praying five times a day. But the up-and-coming designer is more fashionista than preacher. “The look of my work is sensual, mysterious, innovative,” she said, describing her target as “a woman who’s happy to be a woman.” The difference lies in how she creates that sensuality. When she launched her line in 2008, she found designers were fixated by clothes that “show cleavage and back.” “I felt a lot of women were wearing things because that’s what the maga-

Imtiaz Ali

zines told them,” she said. “It seemed each designer had the same point of view.” So Knight set out to combine Islam’s strict moral codes with her native New Yorker’s sense of style and quickly found she had what any enterprising young designers would crave: a niche. “My aesthetic was something really missing in the market,” she said. “It’s very distinct and can give me an edge.” Her upcoming collection will feature 10 evening dresses and several blouses. Various shades of off-white, black, pink and matte gold dominate, with beads hand-sewn in India added to the trim. One full length dress in black and oyster shell white features a ruffled lower hem, but only at the back, so that it comes as a surprise, like a mermaid’s tail. It is modest clothing, but hardly fit for a shrinking violet. Whoever wears them “definitely has places to go,” she said. Caribbean Muslim New Yorker with a fresh eye Knight’s original outlook makes her almost unique on planet fashion, where black designers are rare and black Muslims rarer. “There are basically none,” she says. But with her exotic background she’s always comfortable navigating her own path. Her father emigrated from Trinidad, her mother from Guyana, both of them converting to Islam after reaching New York, where they raised six daughters. “The fact I’m in New York, a native New Yorker, and New York is very much about style, what’s fresh, what’s hot, and the fact that I come from a A sample of Knight’s

Priyanka Chopra

Caribbean culture that’s very vibrant and then the fact that I’m Muslim...” Knight had to pause to catch her breath. “I embody a lot of things,” she said. In some Muslim countries, head-to-toe black robes, or abayas, are obligatory for women in the street, something that horrifies many Westerners. But Knight says her experiences make her sympathetic. On a trip last year to Dubai, where one of her sisters lives, she recalls discovering the apparently uniform black fabric contains a multitude of subtle, individual differences. “No two women were the same,” she said. She also realized that at home, women take off their robes to reveal the latest in high fashion they’d been wearing underneath. “They are vibrant and wear amazing colors. Only their special friends get to see them though,” Knight said. “I think it’s sexy for a woman to have secrets, good secrets.” In Western society, she argues, women are not as liberated

Shradha Kapoor

as they may think they are. Knight gave the example of pop stars, saying men are judged largely on their singing talent, while female performers have to go an extra step. “I think that women in this society aren’t allowed just to stand on their own merit,” she said. “For most of the women who really make it, you know, they have to take their clothes off. That’s the game they have to play.” In her own work, she’s looking to shift the rules of the game. “I’m telling a story that people aren’t telling,” Knight said. — AFP

Gentle-giant star Michael Clarke Duncan dies at 54



A Romanian bride holds toy weapons.

In this Sunday photo shot under iodine street lighting, Romanian brides pose for pictures under the Triumph Arch.—AP photos


white limousine screeches to a halt and a bride, resplendent in frothy gown and veil, is hauled outside by her abductors. It’s one of Romania’s more colorful customs: bride-napping. And the tradition of snatching the bride from under the nose of groom and guests with the wedding party in full swing is getting bigger, brasher and an increasingly common sight in the Romanian capital, the Balkans’ undisputed party town. Every Saturday night, brides from Bucharest and beyond are dragged away in a mock abduction by friends and driven to a top tourist spot where they are “held hostage” - all the while pouting, dancing and striking provocative poses for the cameras. The ransom: a few bottles of whisky or perhaps something more romantic, like a public declaration of love from the abandoned groom. The kidnappers negotiate by phone, working out the details of the payoff. It’s all harmless theatrics meant to add a whiff of risque fun to the nuptials. The custom took off a few years ago when a top

football player rented Bucharest’s Arch of Triumph, a major monument modeled after its iconic namesake in Paris, and proposed there to his girlfriend. There was no kidnapping involved but the scene stuck in the popular imagination as a symbol of marriage and soon the monument became a sort of midnight mecca for bride-napping. This past Saturday, about 20 brides were held hostage at the Arch of Triumph, which was built in 1922 to honor Romanian soldiers who died during World War I and to celebrate the reunification of Transylvania with the rest of Romania. One bride was driven in from her wedding in a town an hour east of Bucharest with a gaggle of guests in tow. Another grabbed the toy machine gun of her kidnappers, dressed up as Taliban, and pretending to use it in front of the monument. Authorities turn a blind eye to the partying under the monument, technically illegal because it’s a historic landmark. Motorists cruise around the square honking, waving and cheering. The outdoor party is

Romanian brides pose for pictures.

A shot under iodine street lighting, a Romanian bride dances on a car at the Triumph Arch in Bucharest.

A Romanian bride and wedding guests cross the road through traffic.


This image provided by DC Comics via Bender/Helper Impact shows the November 2012 cover of the latest Green Lantern series featuring the character Simon Baz, DC Comics’ most prominent Arab-American superhero and the first to wear a Green Lantern ring.

one way for Romanians, frustrated with austerity measures and feuding politicians, to let off steam. One bride, 25-year-old Alisar Dragne, says her abduction was scripted from start to finish. “Everything was staged and ready in my case. The limousine was waiting for me in front of the restaurant, I was given the ‘leave’ signal by my friends and together we came here to have some fun,” she said. “Now everyone’s thinking what ransom to ask the groom.” George Neascu, a Roma musician, who plays at the monument every week for small change, said the bride-stealing custom is as old as living memory. “All sorts of people come here,” said Neascu, “both those who have lots of money and those who have less.”—AP

hen DC Comics decided to blow up its fabled universe and create a brave, diverse future, Geoff Johns drew from the past for a new character: his own background as an Arab-American. The company’s chief creative officer and writer of the relaunched “Green Lantern” series dreamed up Simon Baz, DC’s most prominent Arab-American superhero and the first to wear a Green Lantern ring. The character and creator share Lebanese ancestry and hail from the Detroit area, which boasts one of the largest and oldest Arab communities in the United States. “I thought a lot about it - I thought back to what was familiar to me,” Johns, 39, told The Associated Press by phone last week from Los Angeles, where he now lives. “This is such a personal story.” Baz’s story begins in a standalone “zero issue” available today that’s part of a companywide effort to fill in the gaps or tell the origins of a character or team. Johns has no plans for Baz to fade into the background - the character in February is bound for the Justice League of America, one of DC’s premier super team books, to fight alongside Green Arrow, Catwoman and Hawkman. Johns said he took economic as well as ethnic cues for the character from his native Detroit area, with Baz resorting to stealing cars after being laid off from his automotive engineering job. He steals the wrong car, which inadvertently steers him into a terrorism probe and, eventually, an unexpected call to join the universe’s galactic police force. The olive-skinned, burly Baz hails from Dearborn, the hometown of Henry Ford and the capital of Arab America. His story begins at 10 years old, when he and the rest of his Muslim fami-

ly watch their television in horror as airplanes fly into the World Trade Center on Sept 11, 2001. Events unfold from there as US Arabs and Muslims find themselves falling under intense suspicion and ostracism in the days, months and years following the attacks. “Obviously, it’s affecting everybody,” said Johns, who grew up in nearby suburbs in a Lebanese Christian household and got into comics when he discovered his uncle’s old collection in his Arabic grandmother’s attic. “One of the things I really wanted to show was its effect on Simon and his family in a very negative way.” Baz is not the first Arab or Muslim character to grace - or menace, as has historically been the case - the comic world. Marvel Comics has Dust, a young Afghan woman whose mutant ability to manipulate sand and dust has been part of the popular X-Men books. DC Comics in late 2010 introduced Nightrunner, a young Muslim hero of Algerian descent reared in Paris. He is part of the global network of crime fighters set up by Batman alter-ego Bruce Wayne. Frank Miller, whose dark and moody take on Batman in “The Dark Knight Returns” in 1986 energized the character, took a different tack in his recent book, “Holy Terror,” which tells the story of The Fixer and his efforts to stamp out Islamic terrorists. The graphic novel initially took root as a look at Batman’s efforts to fight terrorism, which grew out of Miller’s experiences of being in New York on 9/11. A broader mission to bring Islamic heroes and principles to the comic world comes from Naif AlMutawa, creator of “The 99.” The US educated psychologist from Kuwait has been gaining followers

across the globe since the 2006 debut of the comic book that spawned a TV series. “The 99” is named after the number of qualities the Quran attributes to God: strength, courage, wisdom and mercy among them. —AP

This image provided by DC Comics via Bender/Helper Impact shows interior panels of the November 2012 issue of the latest Green Lantern series featuring the character Simon Baz. — AP photos

5th Sep  

Kuwait Times

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you