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Powerful typhoon kills at least 74 in Philippines

MOHARRAM 21, 1434 AH

Tapping US citizen-scientists for a novel gut check

IOC suspends India over interference, Kuwait escapes

Dortmund’s Schieber ends Man City’s European season


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150 FILS

7Amir28 17 20 reaffirms Kuwait moving to cut emissions UN chief urges action at Qatar climate talks conspiracy theories

A big mistake! By Badrya Darwish


hy did you shun away from the elections? Of course I’m asking the opposition, not the readers. If the opposition had cared for democracy, they would’ve challenged the government in the parliament. That is the right place in decent, advanced countries. I’m sure if the opposition had participated in the elections, they would’ve easily got half the votes. In this way, they could have had their argument on whatever issues they have with the government under the dome of Abdullah Al-Salem hall. In all honesty, the opposition committed the mistake of their lives. I’m also quiet sure that they regret their decision to boycott, but they lack the courage to admit it. Instead, now again they took to the streets. Just look at the pictures on the page and you will get my drift. When you see a man carrying a weapon - I’m not an army specialist to determine what kind of gun it is, Kalashnikov, shotgun, whatever - it’s scary to see them on the streets. Is this what the opposition wants? Is this the civilized way to solve problems in Kuwait? What did they think? If they boycott, life will stand still and nobody will come and nominate themselves? To their surprise, 306 candidates ran, and of course, 50 were elected. Actually, the opposition gave a chance to independents and minorities - many of whom are qualified - when they boycotted the polls. We all know these candidates won by far less numbers than the previous election, but this is not because they got less votes, but because of the new one-vote system. Now some former MPs who boycotted the polls like Marzouq Al-Ghanem, Aseel Al-Awadhi, Saleh AlMulla, Adel Al-Saraawi and Abdullah Al-Roumi filed a case after the polls at the constitutional court against the one-vote decree. What if the court rules in their favor? Are we going to see a dissolved parliament again? Wouldn’t it have much easier if these guys had participated and then debated this issue in the parliament? Actually, I’m neither with the opposition nor the government. I’m with Kuwait. But I feel upset that the opposition didn’t participate. Because a parliament without the opposition is not balanced. For the sake of democracy, both parties should be represented in the house.

DOHA: HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah speaks during the opening ceremony of Plenary Session of the High-Level Summit of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) yesterday. — AP

DOHA: HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah yesterday urged negotiators at climate talks in Doha to tackle global warming, and detailed Kuwait’s moves to cut emissions. After eight days of tough talks, negotiators from nearly 200 countries were joined by some 100 cabinet ministers and a handful of heads of state for the final, high-level stretch of the annual United Nations huddle. Despite many late-night efforts, parties remain in disagreement over details of extending the life of the Kyoto Protocol on curbing Earthwarming greenhouse gas emissions, and funding Third World climate projects. “It is our pleasure to see this high-level international participation in this conference, which reflects the great importance that the international community attaches to the issue of climate change, which has become an obsession for all the states and people of the world,” Sheikh Sabah said. “Kuwait supports the efforts of the United Nations in the fight against climate change, through its active participation in the ongoing negotiations aimed at reducing the negative effects of this phenomenon, based on the principles and provisions contained in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol and their effective and sustainable implementation as the legal binding instrument and the basis for international cooperation in this field.” The Amir stressed the principle “of shared responsibility, taking into account the variation of burdens and capacities and sustainable development of different countries in line with their national priorities and Continued on Page 13

Oppn hits streets in ‘flash’ demos Amir likely to name premier to form Cabinet today By B Izzak KUWAIT: Hundreds of opposition supporters demonstrated in various areas of Kuwait late Monday to demand scrapping the newly elected national Assembly. Night demonstrations were staged in at least four areas of the state and that riot police used teargas and stun grenades to disperse the protesters. The demonstrations were not previously announced and began at the same time in a coordinated way to press demands for abolishing the new parliament and scrapping a disputed amendment to the electoral law. “It was decided by opposition youth activists to stage night protests from tonight until next Saturday when the opposition plans a major procession,” a youth activist said, requesting anonymity. The interior ministry said yesterday it has detained an unspecified number of people, including expatriates and bedoons for taking part in the illegal demonstrations on Monday night and for carrying out violent acts against the police force. Saturday’s snap polls were boycotted by the opposition and all the 50 seats were won by pro-government Continued on Page 13

Morsi leaves palace amid huge protests CAIRO: Egyptian police battled thousands of protesters outside President Mohamed Morsi’s palace in Cairo yesterday, prompting the Islamist leader to leave the building, presidency sources said. Officers fired teargas at up to 10,000 demonstrators angered by Morsi’s drive to hold a referendum on a new constitution on Dec 15. Some broke through police lines around his palace and protested next to the perimeter wall. The crowds had gathered nearby in what organisers had dubbed “last warning”

Max 21º Min 13º High Tide 02:36 & 16:57 Low Tide 09:42 & 21:51

protests against Morsi, who infuriated opponents with a Nov 22 decree that expanded his powers. “The people want the downfall of the regime,” the demonstrators chanted. “The president left the palace,” a presidential source, who declined to be named, told Reuters. A security source at the presidency also said the president had departed. Morsi ignited a storm of unrest in his bid to prevent a judiciary still packed with appointees of ousted Continued on Page 13

CAIRO: Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace yesterday. — AP

KUWAIT: Police fire tear gas as opposition supporters march on a major road in Sabah Al-Nasser late Monday during a demonstration. (Inset) A man is seen carrying a weapon during the protest. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat (See Page 2)

Syria warned on any use of chem weapons BRUSSELS: Western powers warned Damascus yesterday there would be an immediate reaction to any use of chemical weapons as NATO prepared to approve a Turkish request for missiles to protect its border with Syria. “The possible use of chemical weapons would be completely unacceptable to the whole international community and I would expect an immediate reaction from the international community,” NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles were “a matter of great concern”, Rasmussen said, adding: “This is also the reason why it is a matter of urgency to ensure effective defence and protection of our ally Turkey.” Turkey’s request for US-made surface-to-air Patriot missiles on its border is worrying Russia, but both NATO and Ankara insist they would be purely defensive. US President Barack Obama on Monday issued a new warning to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad not to use chemical weapons against his own people, as the conflict approaches the 21-month mark with more than 41,000 people killed. “I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command, the world is watching, the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable,” Obama said. “If you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable.” Continued on Page 13

Tehran claims US drone captured Iran firm on disputed Gulf islands TEHRAN: Iran claimed yesterday to have captured a small US drone that penetrated its airspace over Gulf waters, but the US Navy in the region denied any of its unmanned spy planes were missing. The naval arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards said in a statement on the Guards website that “the

unmanned US drone patrolling...Gulf waters, performing reconnaissance and gathering intel, was captured as soon as it entered Iranian airspace.” The statement did not say how the aircraft was Continued captured, nor where or when the incident took place. Continued on Page 13

This image taken from Iranian TV shows an intact ScanEagle drone aircraft put on display yesterday. — AP




KUWAIT: Some of the pictures of the unlicenced demonstrations released by the Interior Ministry yesterday.

Interior warns against unlicensed gatherings KUWAIT: In a strongly worded statement, the Ministry of Interior has asked the people to abide by the law of the land and refrain from any unlicensed gatherings which would invite the full force of the law. The Ministry’s statement came after certain groups gathered and organized several rallies in the residential areas in some governorates and thus violated the laws and regulations. The Ministry said it had already warned about such activities. Those participating in the rallies purposely blocked the roads bringing traffic to a halt. They even stoned passersby and assaulted security men, clashing with them and thus preventing them from performing their duty of keeping law and order. These hooligans also posed a threat to the life of residents and created fear among them in the residential areas. In spite of the repeated attempts by security men who patiently tried to counsel them and asked them to desist from unruly behavior and disperse from the residential areas, the hooligans continued to riot. They abused and assaulted security men and tried to run them over in their cars. Many of the rioters damaged the security personnel’s vehicles and public utilities, and drove recklessly thus posing a danger to the life of citizens. Security men were forced to arrest some of them. It was found that many of them were Bedouins and expats, in addition to some citizens. All were referred to the investigation authority. The Ministry of Interior has called upon everyone to cooperate and respect the law and security regulations. It said people are requested to abide by order and public norms and not to indulge in any activity that creates fear among people in the residential areas. The Ministry will adopt all legal procedures to stop such violations and will not allow any gathering without license, regardless of the reason for such gatherings, the statement said.

Manila recruitment agencies stop hiring Filipino domestic helpers Disagreements over salary By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Some recruitment agencies from Manila have reportedly stopped processing visa for domestic helpers (article 20) amidst disagreements between the Philippines and Kuwait regarding housemaids’ salary. The Philippine government wants to strictly implement its unilateral policy of $400 (KD112.56) monthly salary while the Kuwaiti government asked it to wait till a new domestic labor law pending for two years before the Kuwaiti parliament is approved. Authorities in Kuwait have also informed housemaids’ agencies in Kuwait to avoid promising an increase in salaries or recruitment fees of domestic workers unless they receive an order from the Ministry of Interior. Recruitment offices around the country received a statement from the domestic workers’ division in the [Interior Ministry’s] Migration General Department, asking them to ignore instructions received from any party other than official state departments regarding the fees for recruiting labor

forces or their salaries. The Philippines government has implemented its unilateral $400 monthly salary for their domestic helpers since 2009 although Kuwait has approved KD60 ($213.23) only and upgraded the amount to KD70 ($248.77) just recently. “As legitimate recruitment agencies, we are caught in the middle of disagreements between two governments and are suffering,” disclosed an owner of the Philippine recruitment agency who wanted to remain anonymous. “Since Dec 1, 2012, we stopped processing DH visa. We want the $400 to be implemented but Kuwait is not ready to implement the amount,” the female recruitment agency owner told the Kuwait Times. “When we, employers and domestic helpers encounter any problem, we are there to respond quickly. We mediate and fix their problems. If the employer violates Philippine government’s regulations, we handle it ourselves and sometimes we also suffer fines. We can also get suspended if the problem with the employers is

not resolved. The money we earn from recruitment job is just enough to pay penalties and cost for domestic helpers’ repatriation. Our demand is clear: we want the two governments to settle their differences in this regard because we are caught in the middle of disagreements. We have been stuck in this impasse since two years and there has been no resolution as yet,” she said. She noted the fact that recruitment for domestic helpers was being stopped not just in case of Kuwait but for the rest of GCC countries also. “Our action is not influenced by any government. We are suffering. Our business is suffering, and we need to take action. This is not just a question of one agency but many agencies from Manila are impacted and we have agreed to stop processing visa for domestic helpers unless there is a clear resolution of this issue or if there are employers willing to pay the Manila demand for $400,” she said. The fee for hiring domestic helpers in Kuwait ranges between KD500 and KD800, amount that many consider ‘outrageous and ridiculous’.



Cultural diplomacy plays role in building societies Kuwait hosts symposium By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The role of cultural diplomacy in building bridges among different people came under focus at a symposium organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Monday at the UN House in Mishref. The symposium, a first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, saw experts from various walks of life bringing

Diplomacy in Building Bridges between Cultures”. “We, at IOM Kuwait, are proud that, in cooperation with “Aware Centre”,we managed to take this leading step of introducing such an important, distinguished and modern subject in the Arab World,” she added. “We look at you, young people, as our future, and thus decided that the invitees to this forum should be university and high-

KUWAIT: Sheikha Hussa Al-Salem Al-Sabah welcoming the participants on Monday.

their experience to the table. These included Sheikha Hussa Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Director of Dar Al-Athar AlIslamiya. Iman Y. Ereiqat, Chief of Mission of IOM Kuwait, noted that ‘diplomacy’ is a science, a way of management, and the art of handling contradictions and negotiating for achieving results that could satisfy all concerned parties. “In view of the importance of diplomacy, we find it necessary to hold this forum, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East and Northern African Region, to highlight the role of diplomacy in understanding cultures of different people, and building bridges among them, to enable discussion based on mutual respect and sharing with others,” she pointed out. The main theme of this conference was “The Role of Cultural

school students who have a genuine desire for learning and benefiting from the experiences of the speakers. We all work together for participating in building real societies capable of accommodating different strata ; societies that understand others, respect them, and defend their privacy; where everyone can live without discrimination or exclusion,” Ereiqat further said . Terming the forum as a first step along the path, she said, it would be held annually and would focus on one area that can “help bridge gaps between cultures.” “We are working (so that) that the next versions will be on a regional level,” she concluded. On his part, Dr. Ebraheen AlAdasani from the Aware Center said that although cultural diplomacy existed since long, still many regard it as a means of exporting cultural values of one country to another, rather than

engaging in a cultural interaction. “For the purposes of this symposium, I define cultural diplomacy as the pursuit of better mutual understanding with the aim of eliminating differences of perceptions between nations. Knowing one another is the essence of cultural diplomacy. And in order for it to be effective, it should be an exercise of give and take rather than a one way street. The goal is not to prove that one culture is superior to the other, but rather to understand that certain concepts are perceived in a different manner in other cultures. This awareness will help us avoid misunderstandings,” explained Al-Adasani. Nowadays, the internet and different social media platforms have made interaction between countries and individuals of different cultures much easier and more intense. “ This means that cultural diplomacy has become essential in contemporary relations. While classical diplomacy is handled almost exclusively by the State, cultural diplomacy requires the involvement of multiple actors from various sections of society. This includes higher education institutions, NGOs, sportsmen, artists and professional associations,” he pointed out. “The Aware Center, one of the NGOs in Kuwait, works towards combating the risks of misperception and misunderstanding through cultural exchange and constructive dialogue,” he concluded. The Ambassador of the United States of America to Kuwait, Matthew Tueller, said, “ We as Americans see great value in cultural exchanges and cultural diplomacy. While we do not have a Ministry of Culture as many other countries around world do, there is an entire branch of our Department of State which promotes U.S. culture abroad, brings international visitors to the United States for cultural exchanges, and promotes U.S. Education.” On the cultural diplomacy in the Middle East, he said,

“Many of you may recall President Obama’s “New Beginning Speech” that he delivered on June 4, 2009 in Cairo, Egypt. I was for tunate to be among the audience that day and I can tell you that the atmosphere was electric. Never before had an American President embarked on such an ambitious plan to bridge the gap between America and the countries in the Middle East,” and proceeded to quote the President. “What the President articulated in Cairo is something that our Embassies around the region endeavor to put into practice every day. At times this work can be quite challenging as many peoples’ views of America are influenced heavily by movies and TV shows or by media that distorts the image of the U.S. So, working overseas, our Embassies, and particularly our Public Affairs Sections, seek to offer a more realistic picture of the American people,” stressed Tueller. “Facilitating exchanges and face -to-face interactions between individuals is the bread and butter of our public diplomacy work. Our Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs works around the clock to maintain a wide range of high-quality exchanges between youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and emerging leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries,” he noted. Finally he spoke about the future of cultural diplomacy and the role of technology in helping reach even more people. “The importance of social media and connective technology is to help us reach local communities that we previously did not engage with directly. Listening to local communities is a key element of successful cultural diplomacy. Kuwait has the highest levels of social media usage compared with other countries in the region, in spite of its small population. Kuwaitis are more active than ever on social media like Twitter and Instagram,” concluded Tueller

KUWAIT: A partial view of the audience. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Health ministry launches diabetes account on Twitter KUWAIT: The Health Ministry launched yesterday a national program account to address diabetes in the social networking site Twitter, which aims to publish and post scientific facts and latest specialized studies on the chronic disease. Health Ministry Assistant Undersecretary of Public Health Affairs, and head of the national program to address diabetes account Dr. Qais AlDuwairi said that the account is a continuation for the activity of the Committee on National Program in the dissemination of scientific facts and the latest specialized studies on the disease. The goal, Al-Duwairi added, was also to

communicate with society and those interested in this field, and to respond to their questions and take advantage of their proposals for the implementation of plans and programs setup by the commission. Confronting diabetes as a disease is one of the most important priorities in the ministry; it’s a commitment by the country to address chronic and other diseases, AlDuwairi said. Al-Duwairi added that the ministry is conducting a comprehensive program to raise awareness on the disease, including providing care and treatment for early discovered cases. —KUNA

KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait presented a financial contribution to the Public Authority for Industry to fund its annual youth, sports and social activities. PAI General Manager Dr. Barrak Al-Subaih is seen receiving the cheque from CBK’s Assistant General Manager for Banking Service, Paul Dawood, who visited the PAI building with other CBK officials including Regional Manager at the Banking Services Department, Hanadi Al-Mislem and Manager of the Fahaheel Branch, Falah Al-Manea.


LOCAL In my view

In my view

Morsi killed Arab Spring?

Phoenix effect

By Amir Taheri By Nadeem Shafi udging by the barrage of comments triggered by President Mohamed Morsi’s controversial executive decree, Egypt has already fallen under a new dictatorship. Morsi, one commentator insists, has killed the Arab Spring. What Egypt is entering is an “Islamist Winter”, another pundit observes. Pushing hyperbole further, some commentators suggest that Morsi wants to be “another Khomeini”. Almost daily protests at Tahrir Square leave little doubt that Morsi’s decree has touched a raw nerve. Nevertheless, it is important that any response to Morsi’s move be proportionate. To that end one should try to understand Morsi’s move, without necessarily justifying it. On close examination, Morsi’s decree appears less frightening than we are led to believe. Because Egypt is in transition, it is not quite clear how executive decisions could be taken and validated. Morsi’s decree is an attempt at dealing with that dilemma, albeit in a rather gauche way that is open to misunderstanding. Morsi was elected under a presidential, rather than a parliamentary, system in which the President of the Republic is both head of state and head of the executive branch of government. In such systems, the president could take and enforce a range of decisions without the prior approval of the legislative branch of government. In the United States, for example, the president has the power to make numerous appointments, below Cabinet level, without approval from Congress. The American president could also take numerous decisions by using a device called “presidential finding.” When Congress is in recess, the president could even make Cabinet level appointments by decree. An example was the appointment by President George W Bush of John Bolton as US Ambassador to the United Nations. This was done because the Democrat-dominated Senate had threatened to prevent the appointment by filibustering. Even on such highly sensitive issues as getting involved in a foreign war, the president retains immense powers for up to 90 days. In some cases, as the recent US intervention in Libya, a presidential decision could be shaped in ways that circumvent the War Powers Act. In France, which also has a presidential system, the powers of the president are even greater. Unlike his US counterpart, a French president is not obliged to have members of his Cabinet vetted and ratified by the parliament. Nor does he offer the parliament a State of the Union report. Needless to say in both the American and French systems virtually every presidential decision remains open to legal challenge through the Supreme Court in the United States and the Constitutional Council in France. In both countries any citizen could apply for an injunction. However, even then they cannot expect the court to preempt a presidential decision. What Morsi is trying to do is to introduce a mechanism that resembles the American “presidential findings” and the French “presidential decrees”. Regardless of the content of the decision taken or to be taken, Morsi has the right to devise a mechanism in the absence of a legislative power. This is needed to protect the decision-making process against disruption through pre-emptive attempts at securing injunctions from the Constitutional Court. To add to complications, the very status of that court remains uncertain if only because the new constitution is not yet drafted. To be sure, Egypt should move towards the rule of law. But the rule of law does not mean rule by lawyers. One could recall many examples of how the rule of law is twisted into rule by lawyers in many walks of life. The US has witnessed at least one presidential election decided by lawyers rather than the electorate. Outside politics, we saw how a man charged with murder was cleared in a criminal court but then found guilty of exactly the same crime in a civil one. An example of attempts by lawyers to rule without being answerable to an electorate came in Pakistan earlier this year when a coalition of judges and barristers managed to push the prime minister out in an act of political vendetta. Morsi’s decree gives him the leeway needed to deal with issues of national security and sovereignty. However, even then, and contrary to what he may think, none of his decisions would be immune from post-factum legal challenge. There is nothing in the Egyptian Civil and Criminal Codes to prevent a citizen or group of citizens from lodging a suit at a court. Thus, Morsi will not obtain anything more than what is allowed under the well-established principle of Sovereign Immunity recognised by both Egyptian and international laws. As always, Egyptians have shown their originality by producing a political show in which lawyers practice street politics in the name of defending institutional democracy. Will Morsi become another Khomeini, that is to say a destructive element in Egyptian life? I doubt it. Khomeini won power through terror and violence, and never submitted himself or his associates to the test of free elections. Morsi, however, owes his position to an election organised by his political opponents. More importantly, perhaps, Morsi, like most Egyptians, is familiar with the disaster that Khomeinism has brought to Iran. No sane person would want something like that to happen to Egypt or any other country for that matter. All those who wish to prevent a new dictatorship in Egypt have the right, even the duty, to be vigilant. However, focusing on the form of policy-making is at best futile and at worst harmful to Egyptian hopes for democracy. What is needed is to focus on the content of Morsi’s policies many of which are deeply reactionary or misguided. Opposing Morsi must not mean trying to sabotage his presidency.


an Asia innovate? The answer from many in the West could well be: “probably not.” There is a deeply held Western belief that a potent mix of political liberalism, economic entrepreneurship, social freedom and a culture of individualism is needed to ignite innovation. By contrast, Asian cultures have been associated with despotism or feudalism, social conservatism and conformity, all of which combine to stifle the spirit of innovation. The US is ranked... last? The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), headed by Robert Atkinson, recently published a report using 16 indicators to examine the innovation-based competitiveness of 40 nations. ● In the top five were two Asian nations, Singapore and South Korea. ● The US was ranked sixth and, amazingly, ranked last among 40 nations in progress made towards an innovative economy in the last decade. ● Among Asian nations, China made the most progress followed by Singapore (second), Japan (10th), India (14th) and South Korea (17th). All of this is counterintuitive. Surely the US leads the world in absolute innovation? Yes, it does. Size matters. But others are catching up fast. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, John Kao notes that “China, currently the world’s center of outsourced manufacturing, will be the next hub of brute force innovation.” He adds that “The Chinese automobile industry offers a glimpse of the brute force model in action. Thanks to an outpouring of educated innovators from Chinese universities, there are now an estimated 50 car companies in China, producing a Precambrian explosion of new business models and automobile designs.” Many heads will shake in disbelief. Those who do so should remember one fact. Twenty years ago, it seemed almost inconceivable that the dominance of the US automotive industry could be challenged. The inconceivable has happened. Asia is catching the US in more ways... Still, many in the West will make a distinction between product innovation and intellectual innovation. Beginning with the Japanese, Asians have excelled in product innovation for decades. Yet, when it comes to big breakthroughs, creating giant new companies like Microsoft or Google, Amazon or eBay, America leads the world. This is true. No Asian society has produced a Silicon Valley to match California’s. Yet, it is also true that Silicon Valley has become “Asianized.” Some people quip that the IC industry stands for Indians and Chinese. Indeed, there are stories that Californian venture capitalists have turned down startup funding for companies that had no Indians or Chinese in their teams. Equally important, the success of Indians and Chinese in North America has led to a powerful reverse brain drain. As a consequence, China and India, Japan and South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have created enabling environments, which have allowed both innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive. John Kao adds that “Singapore has made an impressive commitment to scientific research.” The 2 million square feet Biopolis will house 4,000 biomedical researchers and nearby Fusionopolis will house another 6,000 scientists in fields such as materials science, clean technology and digital media. As a consequence, the journal Science named Mr. Lim Chuan Poh, head of A*STAR Singapore, as one of the research world’s top eight people to watch in 2009. It is vital to emphasize here that innovation in Asia has spread across a wide range of fields. The biggest challenge humanity faces today is global warming. There is global interest in developing alternative energy products. Remarkably, Asian countries are among the top five in a wide range of new products. And consider; (1)The nonprofit company Grameen Shakti currently leads the world in the installation of solar panels for the rural poor. From 1996 to 2009, Grameen Shakti installed 750,000 solar home systems in Bangladesh to provide emissions-free electricity to more than 2 million people. (2) China operated the world’s most successful improved cook stove program from 1983 to 1998, in which they doubled the efficiency of rural energy consumption by distributing safer and cleaner stoves to 185 million households. (3) In Singapore, regulators are developing an innovative Electricity Vending System to give 1.2 million consumers realtime price signals so that they can learn to conserve electricity during peak periods. Despite these successes, the big question remains: how did Asian societies reach the frontiers of innovation so quickly? There is no simple answer. However, some key facts need to be absorbed. From the year 1 A.D. to 1820 A.D., China and India were consistently the two largest economies. It took massive underperformance by both societies for them to fall so far behind. This era of underperformance is over. Education will fuel the future: There is another new feature of the global landscape which we have not fully understood. When the Asian mind is fused with Western education, there is an explosive burst of creativity. There has always been an intense culture of learning in Asian societies. But this culture of learning was side-tracked by the emphasis on rote learning, especially in Confucian societies in previous centuries. Western education, therefore, arrived as a huge gift to Asia. W.B. Yeats wisely advised us that education is not about filling a bucket; it is about lighting a fire. The simple story about Asia is that the fire has been lit. The culture of innovation and entrepreneurship has been ignited. Since Asian societies will naturally produce the largest number of new people, and therefore the largest new pools of brainpower for the world, it is only natural the epicenter of innovation and entrepreneurship will shift to Asia. Planning for growth - issues to consider: ● How far has your company accepted that “business as usual” is no longer an option? ● How are you dealing with the shift of power to new economic giants such as China? ● Are you prepared for increasing regulation in your sector? ● Do you have a strategy for national or international growth through acquisition? ● What are your plans to reduce costs and increase efficiency? ● Is risk management playing a more important role in your corporate strategy? ● How do you balance customer satisfaction against corporate profitability during an economic downturn? Whatever your Asian Agenda, we hope you will find this article thought provoking, stimulating and entertaining.


kuwait digest

Closure of Ghazali Bridge By Thaar Al-Rashidi do not like to go into the intentions of someone who says or does something, and usually accept these at their face value, following the principle that it must have been said or done in good faith. But when it comes to the government, I cannot deal with it on the basis of any principle of good faith. In fact, I can resort to the good faith principle neither with this government nor with the previous one or the ones before that. Since last many years, our governments have not acted in such a way as to inspire us to trust them at all. Therefore, anything a government does, we must approach it with cynicism and doubt. The most recent step that the government took was closing down the Ghazali Bridge. The move has paralyzed the state in an unprecedented manner and in keeping with my decision to view it through the prism of cynicism, I believe that by doing so, the government perhaps wanted to punish the people who boycotted the Dec 1 elections since it was constantly haranguing them to vote, using mass media like radio, television and SMS messages. But forget the cynicism theory, I think closing the Ghazali Bridge is a real crime. Why should one spend 45 minutes to go from the Sheraton Roundabout to the KUNA building when the distance does not exceed 4 kilometers? A crime is being committed and everyone knows who all are responsible for it, and they should be held accountable. If the government was serious in implementing the law, then the one who ordered and allowed the bridge’s closure without first putting in place alternative routes should have been booked by now and made to face the law. The next government to be formed should launch an investigation at the highest level to know who caused this paralysis of the state and forced Kuwait’s citizens and expats to be virtually jailed while being on the streets, since they remain stuck there for hours at a stretch. Besides, it also caused losses running into millions of dinars to the state. All of this is happening every day due to incessant traffic jams. Since these jams are a result of undertaking the project in an unplanned way, there can be no justification. I am not joking when I say that the traffic jams are causing the state losses amounting to millions


of dinars daily. I actually wrote an article in 2008 depicting how Kuwait suffered a loss of $16 billion over a period of ten years due to traffic jams. Here are the details of the lost billions: The newspaper “Al-Hayat” said that traffic jam problem in Dubai causes $1.8 billion annually in losses to Dubai since a lot of people’s time is wasted in commuting. I think comparing Kuwait with Dubai, size and population wise, we will find that traffic jams are causing almost a similar loss to us. That means that we lost $16 billion in a decade due to traffic jams. Five years have passed since I wrote that article, which also means that we lost eight billion dollars more, and then some more due to the closure of Al-Ghazali Bridge. I think this figure will double or increase by five or six fold over the next three years, the period that the Ministry of Public Works has said it needs to finalize the work on the Al-Ghazali Bridge. This means that the state will remain paralyzed for another three years. Officials should not only be fired, or held accountable, or sent to the public prosecutor just for corruption. Mismanagement is also one of the reasons which may cause losses amounting to millions of dinars, as is the case with daily traffic jams. Hence, the next government, if it seriously wants to apply the law, should apply it to its leaders who caused this paralysis, irrespective of who they may be. At the least, they should be fired immediately to send a message that the state cannot tolerate mismanagement and unplanned projects that can have such grave impact on its people. Eight billion dollars have been lost and a same amount is set to be lost further. Someone should be held accountable. When I asked an official connected to the traffic issue about the jams and about the time that the project will take or solutions found, he told me, “I don’t know. We shall see.” I asked another official, but he said, “We will try to solve it, but I don’t know how and when.” Surely, officials manning an important sector of the state should know better because such responses could well have come from a salesman at a grocery market or an ice cream vendor, not officials. Generally speaking, all those involved in causing this problem which led to a paralysis in Kuwait should be made to face a trial. It is one case fit for prosecution that is due and necessary. — Al-Anba

kuwait digest

Incomplete legitimacy By Dr. Mohammad Al-Moqatei ithout meaning any disrespect to those who chose to vote or boycotted the elections last Saturday, I believe it is important to seriously investigate the reasons behind a large number of people boycotting the elections, about 25 percent of whom usually participated in previous elections. There are approximately 105,625 voters who thought boycotting the elections was an effective way to question the political legitimacy of the exercise. Among them were an estimated 35 percent in the fourth and fifth constituencies, which is more than half of those who do not vote usually. This puts a serious question mark on the political legitimacy of the elections, particularly in the fourth and fifth constituency, and also in Kuwait as a whole. Therefore, it is necessary to think of an urgent and effective solution, which has to be political and legal, to avoid any permanent split in society, especially since preliminary analysis of the election results has revealed that there is no natural balance in representation of various social categories.


Here is what I mean: 1- As a result of boycotting, the parliament lacks any representation from two main tribes that have otherwise always been represented: the Awazem and Mutran tribes. In the meantime, the Ajman tribe is represented to a lesser extent when compared to its previous position. 2- The Rashaydah tribe is represented by a number of lawmakers, similar to its usual representation in the parliament. This was because of their unanimous decision to vote as opposed to other tribes who boycotted the elections.

3- Shiite lawmakers won seats that exceed their actual ideal level of representation by 200 percent. While earlier the Shiite community members occupied an average of 16 percent of parliamentary seats in keeping with their demographic distribution, they now control 34 percent of the seats. The result is in my opinion surprising even for the Shiite community, not all of whom are necessarily happy at the turn of events, as I understand after speaking with many Shiite citizens. 4- Categories which were never represented in the parliament earlier were able to win seats in the recent elections. This was not a result of the singlevote system, but was rather achieved due to other communities and main tribes boycotting the elections. They won for the same reason that resulted in Shiite lawmakers winning double the seats than their demographic numbers. 5- The single-vote system, regardless of the controversy surrounding it, has in my opinion proved to be an unsuitable solution to fix the problems in the electoral law. Preliminary readings in the election results show that reducing the number of votes per voter did not clearly indicate that the new system has helped achieve more equality compared to the previous four-votes-per-voter system. In fact, there are indications that the new system could probably contribute to social disunity by adding to sectarian polarization instead of bridging the gap between social groups. 6- There is a pressing need for achieving national consensus through urgent and serious dialogue that can return natural balance back to the parliament’s political composition. — Al-Qabas



Court to look into challenge as opposition steps up pressure Demonstrations to continue By A Saleh KUWAIT: The Constitutional Court has officially agreed to look into a challenge filed by four former lawmakers against an emergency decree that altered the voting mechanism ahead of last Saturday’s elections. National Action Bloc members Abdullah AlRoumi, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Adel AlSaraawi and Aseel Al-Awadhi had indicated that they will “honor” the court’s verdict regardless of its result. In the meantime, the opposition reiterated that it will “continue with demonstrations to press for the parliament’s dissolution” and ask for new elections to be held as per the old system under which Kuwait was divided into five constituencies and each citizen was entitled to a maximum of four votes. The emergency decree released last September retained the constituencies’ division, but reduced the number of votes per voter to one. The opposition’s recent statement gave rise to speculations that protests would continue even if the decree was upheld by the Constitutional Court. The recent developments follow events that started Monday night when police used teargas to disperse unlicensed demonstrations in four areas including Riqqa and Sabah Al-Nasser. The protests took place “to celebrate the success of the boycott” of elections, according to organizers, and preceded a mass procession planned for next Saturday at the Gulf Road. In a related note, sources within the Ministry of Interior revealed that “firearms were found with some protestors which prompted police’s interventions despite protestors’ claim of their gathering being peaceful”. The sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity also blamed protestors for a fire reported at a Sabah Al-Nasser house late Monday which the demonstrators said was started by a teargas grenade. This comes while sources close to “leading members of the Mutair tribe” contacted top members of the opposition to ask them against “recruiting tribesmen into demonstrations held within residential areas.” Meanwhile, the medical staff at the Farwaniya Hospital reportedly received notice from the Interior Ministry not to release secretary of former MP Musallam Al-Barrak, Abbas Al-Shaaby, who has an arrest warrant waiting for him once he is discharged from the medical facility following injuries sustained on Monday night. AlShaaby reportedly faces charges of attacking police officers on duty, participating in an unlicensed demonstration and undermining the status of HH the Amir. In other news, MPs Ali Al-Rashid and Ali Al-Omair launched efforts to garner MPs’ support as both are competing for the

speaker’s post during the parliament’s inaugural session on December 16th. In this regard, sources revealed that the cabinet’s votes are expected to be divided between the two, leaving the final say in the hands of lawmakers. Al-Rashid already has the backing of 17 Shiite MPs elected to the parliament, in addition to other lawmakers including Nabeel Al-Fadhl, Safaa Al-Hashem and Yaqoub Al-Sane’a, according to the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. That leaves him short of only 13 more votes to secure the speaker ’s position that requires a minimum of 33 votes in a parliament with 50 elected members as well as the cabinet’s members. Al-Rashid and Al-Omair are believed to be the favorites for the post which is also being eyed by MPs Ahmad Al-Mulaifi, Saad Al-Khanfour, Essam Al-Dabous and Badr AlBathali. The sources indicated in the meantime that “candidates are likely to withdraw their nominations before the inaugural sessions if they feel their chances were weak.” In the meantime, MP Al-Hashem announced plans to run for the parliament’s rapporteur position, while MP Saleh Ashour said he will be running for the secretary’s post, making them the only two to run for the respective positions. Six lawmakers have so far announced plans to run for the deputy speaker’s post. These are Adnan Abdulsamad, Mubarak Al-Khurainej, Askar Al-Enizy, Maasouma Al-Mubarak, Saadoun Al-Otaibi and Khalid Al-Adwah. Separately, MP Adel Al-Khurafi said that he was willing to resign from the parliament if he felt “lack of cooperation” among MPs and with the cabinet. He also called for redistribution of constituencies “since the current system fails to achieve balance and equality.” Also on Tuesday, debutant MP Hammad Al-Dousary called for “full application of Sharia Law” in Kuwait, for which he renewed calls for “amending article 2 of the constitution” to make the Islamic law the sole source of legislation. MEW’s dues The Minister of Electricity and Water, Abdul-Aziz Al-Ibrahim, announced that KD128 million out of KD300 million worth of remaining dues have been collected. He added in a recent statement that the ministry embarked on a plan to collect dues from “senior state officials.” Global’s restructuring The Global Investment House announced in a statement yesterday that the High Court of Justice of England and Wales approved the group’s restructuring plan, and that the group has adopted the court’s verdict, taking it on record in the company’s operations in England and Wales starting from yesterday.

Dr Gordon Guyatt and Dr Fahad Al-Ghimlas

Workshop helps doctors to give better treatment for patients By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: “A dream come true” is how Dr Fahad Al-Ghimlas, the chairman of the first Kuwait evidence-based clinical practice workshop described the event as he inaugurated it. Dr Al-Ghimlas, who is also a consultant in respiratory medicine and director of fitness and rehab center at Dasman Diabetes Institute, declared open the workshop conducted in collaboration with McMaster University (Canada) as well as Kuwait Institute for Medical Specialization (KIMS). The workshop is part of the activities of Dasman Institute to improve the level of patients’ care. He told the Kuwait Times that this will help the doctors acquire new critical appraisal skills, and treat patients in a better fashion. He also informed that another event next week will focus on teaching the clinicians to improve their way of delivering information to their juniors and their patients, and will be held in cooperation with Harvard University. Dr Al-Ghimlas said Dasman Institute focuses on teaching healthcare workers because “we believe the network of professionals should work hand in hand to improve the health care system and deliver better medical care to our valued patients.” He added that it was important to focus on other health care workers including allied health professionals, pharmacists, nurses and others “just as we focus on educating our fellow physicians.” Meanwhile Dr Gordon Guyatt from McMaster University said “what we are here to do is to train the residents, who are doctors in training, in what we call evidence-based medicine.” What EBM does is train the doctor to be able to read the medical literature, to be able to read the original research studies, so they are up to date with the best evidence and can apply it in their patient care.” He said, “We have a number of tutors at

the workshop who take the rounds with the residents and deal with issues of therapy including how to give the best therapy, reach best diagnosis and how to predict what is going to happen in the future and to use the medical literature to do that.” He said the idea is if they understand how to use the medical literature, they can stay up to date and deliver the best care to their patients. When asked if this program will only be for doctors, or will also focus on other healthcare professionals, he said, “We hope that it ultimately applies across all professions.” He said, “In my university, it was a very important part of the nursing program, and the physiotherapy programs.” On his part, KIMS Secretary General Dr Ibrahim Abbas Hadi said this is the first local workshop for the Kuwait Board Residency Program. He said, “We currently have 25 residency training programs and there are a total of 935 residents enrolled in our program.” He said there is no course that teaches our residents evidence based practice, and this is currently a very important issue in medicine. He said, “Our residents are learning how to become good physicians, but since they should also learn how to become good clinical investigators, we decided to run workshops for our doctors. For this purpose, we studied various capacities and communicated with our program directors through KIMS, and they gave us a list of doctors, and we hope that over a period of one year, all our resident doctors will be able to benefit from our endeavours.” Dr Hadi thanked Health Minister Dr Ali Al-Obaid, and Undersecretary Dr Khalid Al-Sahlawi for their continued support for these workshops, and said he was confident that KIMS will evolve into an excellent future with regard to medical education. The workshop will continue until Thursday.

KUWAIT: The Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymyr Jolkach held a reception on Monday on the occasion of the National Day of his country at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Salmiya. Diplomats and dignitaries attended the event. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Eight-member gang held for spate of robberies By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: After a spate of robberies over the last four months in different areas of Kuwait, the Criminal Investigation Department of Rawdha arrested eight members of an organized gang responsible for the crimes. Two other members of the gang are still at large and will be arrested soon. The gang members are from different nationalities including Iranians, Bedouins and Kuwaitis. Significantly, none of the arrested was a hardened criminal and all, ranging between 17 and 22 years of age, were new to the world of crime. In fact, one of the members, a Bedouin, is known as Khalid the artist, and draws very well, according to the policemen. Investigations are still on and

the total worth of robberies was still to be specified. Those arrested confessed to having committed more than 30 recorded robberies. According to an investigator, the last robbery involved an amount of KD 500. The investigator also evaluated the number of robberies at four to five per day, though this information is not confirmed yet. The gang specialized in stealing and robbing smaller branches of coops, groceries (baqalas), houses, barbers’ shops, laundries, restaurants, and other commercial centres. It also specialized in robbing schools that housed musical instruments. The gang members used to sell these stolen instruments to a person, whose identity is now known to the investigators, and he will be arrested soon. The gang last struck in Salmiya

KUWAIT: Members of the drug gang pictured after their arrest. area on Saturday. The Criminal Investigation Department set an ambush for the gang in Sulaibiya

area and caught one member of the gang who then led the sleuths to his other accomplices.



Two in custody for killing camp keeper, third at large Leftovers lead to thieves’ arrest KUWAIT: The Ahmadi detectives arrested two suspects who confessed to have murdered a farm keeper in Kabad a couple of weeks ago. Search is still on for their third accomplice. The Egyptian man’s body was found with stab wounds after it was exhumed from a freshly dug grave where the man was reportedly buried a few hours before. The car which the suspects used to transport the body was found a little while later in Sulabiya in a burnt condition. Police found that the vehicle was a stolen one. After investigating 25 potential suspects, detectives eventually zeroed in on two bedoons and one Saudi man who were the last people to have used the car before it was burnt. The Saudi suspect was arrested and confessed during interrogation that he and his two friends had stolen an SUV a few days before the crime to use it to carry out robberies in the camps. He said that on the fateful night, they broke into a camp they thought was vacant but were confronted by the camp’s keeper. One of the bedoon men

hit him on the head with a shovel before stabbing him with a pocketknife. The three then buried the victim and set the car ablaze. The man gave information about his two accomplices which helped the police in arresting one of them while search is on for the other. Drunk driving A man who wanted to contest parliament elections but could not was arrested in Salmiya while driving under the influence of liquor. The man, whose nomination was scrapped for bad reputation, was pulled over while driving in the company of a woman. Police reportedly had to overpower the man as he resisted the arrest process. Officers at the area’s police station also had to keep him in isolation after he scuffled with other inmates inside the station’s cell. The man will have to remain in custody till he settles unpaid debts owed to multiple complainants. Liquor storage Drug Control General Department officers found a

house in Al-Andalus being used to store shipments of imported alcoholic drinks and arrested a Kuwaiti man whose suspicious visits to the building first attracted their attention. The officers put the premises under surveillance after they received a tip off that a man frequents it in a suspicious fashion. The Kuwaiti man was arrested and, in turn, led officers to the premises where they discovered 220 cardboard boxes containing liquor bottles. The owner of the property told the police that the warehouse was rented for an Asian man and denied any knowledge of what was stored there. Officers found that the man who had rented the premises had recently left the country. Thieves arrested Two men who robbed a mechanic after he had fixed their car were arrested after crime scene investigators managed to lift their finger prints from leftover food they had consumed when their vehicle was being repaired. The incident took place in Al-Ardhiya recently where the suspects had their food while the

Pakistani garage mechanic was fixing their car. Once the vehicle was ready, the mechanic agreed to accompany the suspects to a nearby ATM in order to receive payment but once there, the suspects robbed him of KD700 and a cell phone at knifepoint before dropping him off. Investigators matched fingerprints retrieved from the leftovers found at the scene with those of two bedoon (stateless) men with a history of criminal conduct. The two were nabbed after they were located in Sulaibiya. The mechanic was able to identify the duo that will now face charges. Runaway suspect A suspect arrested for forgery charges was arrested on Monday a month after she had managed to escape while being transported to a court in Al-Rega’ie. The Asian woman was reportedly arrested from Jleeb Al-Shuyiokh based on information that she was selling alcohol in the area. She was found in possession of alcohol and was referred to the proper authorities for further action. —Al-Rai

ABK's Ahlan Ahli Staff get rewarded KUWAIT: Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait recently honored its Call Center Ahlan Ahli's staff with an a awards ceremony, in appreciation of their outstanding performance and concerted efforts to provide a special tele-banking experience to ABK customers. The event resulted from the bank's constant focus to provide quality service to its customers and therefore award employees when they deliver. Ahlan Ahli's services are highly appreciated by its users, and it is rated amongst the top banking call centers. The attending management, Stewart Lockie, GM Retail Banking, Bader Al Turkait AGM Retail Banking, Othman Tawfiqi, Head of Delivery Channels, and

Cobus Crous, the Call Center Manager congratulated the staff on their outstanding performance. The awardees were thrilled and thanked the management for this recognition. ABK provides 24 hours tele-banking service to its customers through Ahlan Ahli, manned by a qualified, professional team. Through Ahlan Ahli customers can inquire about their personal accounts, credit cards and loans balances among many other services. Customers can also be made aware of new products and services of the Bank, and any other important information. The premium service provided by Ahlan Ahli is proof the Bank applies high standards of customer care to satisfy its varied client base.

Kuwait receives new service boat for oil tankers KUWAIT: Kuwait Oil Tankers Company has taken delivery of a new service boat, “Tankers-11,” from the UAE company, Grandweld Shipyards, the KOTC said in a statement released yesterday. “Tankers-11” was the second boat of such specifications to be delivered to the national oil company since October, when the KOTC received “Tankers-10” from the same company of the Gulf country. The four-ton vessel is 21.3-m-long with boarding capacity of 20 crew mem-

IBS holds seminar on Dorporate governance KUWAIT: Under the auspices of Dr Mohamed Al Hashel, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Banking Studies (IBS), the IBS conducted a closed seminar for the Chairmen and Board Members of Kuwaiti Banks on Nov 28 at the Sheraton Kuwait hotel. The Seminar addressed the critical issue of Corporate Governance. The IBS is known to be Kuwait’s pre eminent

provider of training for the financial services sector. Corporate Governance is essential in the financial services sector as one aspect of risk management practices and controls. In turn, this improves all aspects of business leadership and management particularly the quality of lending, access to affordable capital and management structures, which will increase decision making capacity and strengthen operational efficiency, prerequisites to the financial

services sector becoming competitive in a global marketplace. The closed Seminar was facilitated by Prof Krishna Palepu, Harvard Business School, USA, and Yousef J. Al-Obaid, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait. Prof Palepu covered this critical topic from an international perspective; whilst Al-Obaid reviewed the Central Bank of Kuwait’s regulations pertaining to Corporate Governance issues.

Oil sector comes out on top in employee satisfaction DUBAI: A recent “Top Industries in the MENA” survey conducted by, the Middle East’s number one job site, and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, has unveiled that the Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals industry is a regional leader in terms of satisfaction, employee experience, and the perception of professionals employed in other industries. The survey also shows that the main reason for employees to change industry is due to better salaries elsewhere. When asked about their satisfaction with the industry they are currently employed in, respondents across the region were predominantly satisfied. In terms of job security and stability, 35% claim to be happy, and 28% claim to be neutral. 37% are also satisfied with maintaining a worklife balance. Those who are most satisfied are currently employed in the Oil, Gas and Petrochemical industry, which was ranked top for salary packages, andjob security and stability. The Hospitality industry also ranked high, coming first in work/life balance, and career growth opportunities “Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals is traditionally a strong industry in our region, given the rich natural resources available here. With this in mind, it is not surprising that this industry ranks so highly amongst the professionals who work in it,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales at “At, we have been helping the top employers in the oil, gas and petrochemicals industry recruit top talent at all career levels for over a decade now and are well-versed in meeting the very specific human resource requirements in this industry. With our HR research we focus on gathering information that is relevant and useful to all aspects of recruitment in the MENA region. Our annual Top Industries in the

MENA Report gives invaluable insight into employee behavior and industry perceptions, delivering vital statistics that make a difference to employers, employees and recruiters alike.” Levels of satisfaction play a major role in employees deciding to change industry. Of those who participated in the survey, a quarter changed from one industry to another in the last 24 months. In descending order, the top reasons for doing so are better salaries, better growth opportunities, and a lack of recognition in their previous industry. Respondents claim that the Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals industry is clearly the most desirable in their country of residence. The industry came out top in salary packages (48%), work-life balance (28%), career growth opportunities (34%) and job security and stability (34%). Banking and Finance came in second in the first three categories. When unemployed experienced professionals were asked about the industry that they were seeking employment in, construction came first with 9% of respondents currently looking for a job in this industry. IT and Banking/Finance came next as a joint second, with 6% each. Three industries tied for third place with 5% of respondents seeking employment in them: Oil, Gas, and Petrochemicals, manufacturing, and Tourism/Hospitality. In the Gulf countries, the top industries that unemployed experienced professionals are seeking employment in are: Banking/Finance at 12%, Construction at 8%, and IT at 6%. In North African countries, these industries are: Construction at 9%, Tourism/Hospitality at 7%, and IT at 6%. Meanwhile, in the Levant professionals are most attracted to jobs in Construction (9%), Healthcare/Medical Services (7%) and Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals, as well as Management Consulting (tied at 6%). In terms of best salary packages (including

non-monetary benefits), almost half of the survey takers agreed that Oil, Gas, and Petrochemicals is best(48%). Banking/Finance followed at 24% and the Airline industry came third at 23%. The government is most seen as a favorable employer in the Gulf countries, with 67% of respondents seeing it as an “extremely favorable” or “slightly favorable” option, and is least favorable in the Levant, at 53%. “Government is considered to be the most favourable employer, especially in GCC countries,” said SundipChahal, CEO, YouGov. “In Lebanon, however, only 39% consider a public sector career to be favourable.” The perception is that the majority of local talent across the MENA region is attracted to the Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals industry (25%), followed by Banking and Finance (18%) and Telecommunications (15%). In the Gulf, local talent seems to be most attracted to working in Oil, Gas, and Petrochemicals (34%), Government/Civil Services (24%), and Banking/Finance (22%). Professionals in the Levant appear to be most attracted to the Banking/Finance industry (26%) with IT coming in second place at 20% and Telecommunications in third place at 16%. In North Africa, Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals came in first (22%), followed bymedia at 17%and Telecom at third (16%). Women, meanwhile, are seen by the HR Survey to be drawn mostly towards careers in Education and Academia (26%), Media (24%), and Healthcare and Medical Services (23%). Data for the Top Industries in the MENA Report2012 was collected online from Nov 5 to 14, 2012, with 12,040 respondents aged 18+, representing Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, KSA, Syria, Tunisia and the UAE. Of those who responded, 9,791 are currently employed.

bers and passengers. The aluminum boat is equipped with sophisticated navigation devices. KOTC Chairman and Managing Director Bader Al-Khashti signed the delivery documents at a special ceremony for the event at headquarters of the Kuwaiti company. The KOTC said the hand-over of the new boat would enhance its capacity to offer greater services for incoming tankers, noting that this deal was part of the strategy to enlarge the KOTC fleet. —KUNA

Gulf national kidnapped by Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A GCC national complained to the Mina Abdullah police that he was kidnapped by four youths who sodomized him at Mina Abdullah desert. Tragic accident In a freak but tragic accident, an Asian laborer employed in sanitary services was killed in Salmiya area when the driver did not notice that the labourer was inside and pressed the lever of the garbage-laden truck, security sources said. Sources attributed the accident, which happened at dawn, to defective control equipment of the cleaning truck that left the victim decapitated. Gunman held A Ku w a i t i m a n w a s a r re s te d f ro m

Ahmadi desert after he fired indiscriminately in the desert to ostensibly celebrate the victory of an MP he had voted for. Police found that the man was under the influence of liquor. A case was filed. Maid kidnapped An Asian maid, accompanied by her sponsor, reported to the police that she was kidnapped from the main street at Al-Naeem area when she was on her way to the cooperative society near her sponsor’s house. She said that she was kidnapped by two youths in a black car who took her to a camp where eight other men were present. All the men raped her by turn, before dumping her n e a r h e r h o u s e. Th e m e n e ve n to o k away the KD 20 which she had. A case was filed.

KUWAIT: Drug enforcement agents arrested a gang comprising two bedoons, two Kuwaitis and an Arab expatriate for trading in drugs. Earlier, responding to a secret tip off about the gang being active in drug trading, the agents verified the information and completed all legal formalities before arresting the suspects. One kilogram of hashish and a large quantity of drugs of different kinds were recovered from them. —By Hanan Al-Saadoun

International WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2012

Iraq bars Turkey minister’s plane from Kurd north

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Furor over picture of NY subway death

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Wiretaps implicate Lebanon MP in arms for Syria rebels BEIRUT: Explosive wiretaps implicating a Lebanese MP close to ex-premier Saad Hariri in arms shipments to Syrian rebels has stirred fresh controversy in Lebanon, which is deeply divided over the civil war raging in its powerful neighbour. Published last Thursday in Al-Akhbar newspaper and broadcast on OTV television, both considered pro-Damascus outlets, the conversations were authenticated on Monday by the MP in question, Okab Sakr. Sakr is one of the few Shiite parliamentarians belonging to the opposition Future bloc headed by Sunni leader Hariri and both men currently live outside of Lebanon. In the wiretaps released on Thursday, Sakr is heard speaking on the telephone with a rebel commander in the

MINDANAO: Residents gather their belongings after their house was destroyed by strong winds brought about by Typhoon Bophal in Cagayan de Oro City, southern island of Mindanao yesterday. Typhoon Bopha smashed into the southern Philippines early yesterday, as more than 40,000 people crammed into shelters to escape the onslaught of the strongest cyclone to hit the country this year. — AFP

Typhoon lashes Philippines, 74 dead Landslide destroy army patrol base MANILA: Typhoon Bopha killed at least 74 people in the Philippines yesterday, officials and television reports said as the strongest storm to hit the country this year wreaked devastation. ABS-CBN television said 43 of the deaths occurred in one southern town that was in the direct path of Bopha’s 210 kilometre (130 mile) an hour winds soon after it hit land on Mindanao island’s east coast at dawn. “I’ve counted 43 bodies on the floor,” reporter Vina Araneta told the station by telephone from a government building that she said had been converted into a temporary mortuary in New Bataan town. The military said a landslide destroyed a Philippine Army patrol base in a mountainous area of the town, while a local official said an army truck laden with soldiers and civilians was swept away in a flash flood. Neither the civil defence office in Manila nor the armed forces could give official confirmation of the 43 reported deaths, saying their rescuers were having a hard time reaching the remote town. Officials said there were nine confirmed deaths, all but one of them occurring on Mindanao island in the country’s south. Three of the victims were crushed by falling trees. Four

fishermen were also reported missing off Mindanao’s east coast, said Freddie Bendulo, planning and development officer of Davao Oriental province. By early evening a weakened Bopha was streaking across the Sulu Sea, having changed course westward in the afternoon after briefly threatening the central tourist islands of Bohol, Cebu and Negros, the state weather service said. The typhoon brought driving rain and strong winds, toppling trees and power lines, causing localised flooding and forcing more than 56,000 to seek refuge in emergency shelters according to a civil defence office update. Winds blew roofs off some buildings and residents of coastal and low-lying communities in Mindanao moved into shelters as floods hit some areas, residents and AFP reporters said. Television footage showed logs being swept down Mindanao’s Sumilao river, and utility workers cutting up fallen trees that were blocking highways. They also showed large numbers of people lying on mats and cardboard sheets on the concrete floors of gyms turned into temporary shelters. A total of 146 flights to and from Mindanao and the central islands had been grounded since

Monday night and more than 3,000 ferry passengers were stranded as vessels were ordered to stay in port, according to the civil defence update. Large parts of Mindanao, which is not normally hit by typhoons, were still without electricity on Tuesday night, it said. People living in the path of the storm did what they could to protect their homes and possessions. “We have taken our pigs and chickens inside our house because their shed might be destroyed,” said shopkeeper Marianita Villamor, 46, from the southern farming town of San Fermin. In Cagayan de Oro city, where giant waves crashed down on the shoreline, mayor Vicente Emano said on ABS-CBN television that police rounded up all residents of low-lying areas and moved them to government shelters. In Tagum city, hotel waiter Edgie Atilano, 23, said he and his family hunkered down in their home as Bopha bore down. “At 3:00 am, we were woken by strong rain and howling winds. Trees and branches started snapping off near the house,” said the father-of-two. “This is my first time to experience a strong typhoon. It was a bit scary.” — AFP

northern Syrian province of Aleppo, who asks urgently for weapons. “May God protect you. You must help us. I do not know what to tell you, but what is certain is that after God, there is only you,” the rebel leader says. In a second recording released on Friday, Sakr is heard demanding arms from an unidentified dealer: “We need automatic weapons, ammunition for PKCs (Russian guns), anti-tank rockets, bombs and quality weapons for Aleppo city and province and Idlib province. We must meet the demand as soon as possible.” And in a third recording released the same day, the MP speaks with a rebel leader responsible for distributing arms in central Syria. “I will give you instructions for the guys to maximise the quality of the weapons,” he says. — AFP



Netanyahu’s settlement push could be ballot box boon JERUSALEM: For Benjamin Netanyahu, plans to expand Israeli settlements may risk a diplomatic crisis with Europe but could prove a good bet at the ballot box. With a Jan. 22 election looming, the Israeli leader has defied long-standing international opposition to settlements and announced plans to build at least 3,000 more homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem after the United Nations’ de facto recognition of Palestinian statehood. Standing up to Europe, where a string of Israeli diplomats were summoned for reprimands by the governments of Britain, France, Spain, Sweden and Denmark on Monday, could help cement right-wing voter support for the conservative prime minister. “We feared that politicians would clamber over themselves to show who could be tougher with the Palestinians. However we had hoped that Netanyahu would show more restraint. It didn’t happen,” said a Western diplomat in Jerusalem. “We did not want the Palestinians to go to the United Nations during an Israeli election campaign precisely for this reason,” the diplomat said. Israel rebuffed European protests and appeals to reverse course on the settlement drive, say-

ing it would “stand by its vital interests, even in the face of international pressure”. Settlement projects on land Israel captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War are considered illegal by most world powers and have routinely drawn condemnation from them. Some 500,000 Israelis and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But this time, the government also ordered new “planning work” in one of the most highly sensitive areas of the West Bank known as “E1”. Israeli housing on its barren hills could split the West Bank in two, denying the Palestinians a viable state. Many Israelis have traditionally viewed the United Nations and many European governments as being particularly sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. And in an aside by Netanyahu during a visit to the United States, Israel’s main ally, he appeared to indicate he shared those sentiments. “Americans get it,” he said, referring to arguments he has made in support of his government’s policies. “Europeans don’t.” That has not always been the case as far as US President Barack Obama is concerned, particularly on the settlement issue and the open question of whether Israel might attack Iran’s nuclear pro-

gramme in defiance of Washington’s calls to give diplomatic options more time. But Obama has never been at the top of Israelis’ popularity lists and friction between the two leaders seems not to have hurt Netanyahu in the opinion polls, which predict he will coast to victory in the upcoming ballot. Tamir Sheafer, a political scientist at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, said Netanyahu’s settlement move was “what his voters expect of him” and stemmed from internal political considerations. “Maybe they are worried in (Netanyahu’s) Likud that right-wing voters will opt instead for (the far-right religious)Habayit Hayehudi party,” Sheafer said. So far, European anger over the settlement plan has not led to any sanctions against Israel. Any punitive measures before the election would fuel arguments made by Netanyahu’s political opponents that he was deepening its diplomatic isolation. “I think there are electoral considerations (behind Netanyahu’s settlement moves),” said Gideon Rahat, a Hebrew University political scientist. “But he’s also used to (Europe and the United States) not bothering him much and now they seem to have changed the rules of

the game.” Still, Sheafer said, “something very unusual or unexpected would have to happen for the next government not to be headed by Netanyahu - it’s very simple mathematics, the centre-left simply doesn’t have enough parliamentary seats” to form a coalition. With details of the future settler housing in the West Bank and East Jerusalem still sketchy and Israeli officials saying any construction in E1 would be more than a year away, Israel and Europe still have room to manoeuvre. “We don’t know where these units will be built. I don’t think anyone knows. They are probably scurrying around now trying to figure out where they will be built,” said Daniel Seidemann, an Israeli expert on settlements. “This announcement was made for dramatic effect. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, it means the dramatic effect precedes the decision,” Seidemann said. Tzipi Livni, a former foreign minister who is running in the upcoming poll as the head of a new centrist party, said in a statement that Netanyahu’s settlement move “isolates Israel and encourages international pressure”. But she also appeared to suggest that Netanyahu might be bluffing. “In any case (the construction) won’t happen,” she said. — Reuters

Three killed after cargo ship sinks off Istanbul Nine people still missing ISTANBUL: At least three people were killed and nine others were missing after a cargo ship with a Ukrainian and Russian crew sank in a storm off Istanbul’s Black Sea coast yesterday. Two of those who died were rescuers killed when their boat hit rocks in swollen seas as they set off to search for survivors, shipping agency GAC Turkey said. Two other members of that rescue team were missing. The Volgo Balt 199, which was carrying coal and had 11 Ukrainian and one Russian crew on board, sent an SOS signal at 0730 GMT off the town of Sile on Istanbul’s provincial coast but BAD SUELZE: Soldiers of the Air Defence Missile Squadron 2 walk past Patriot missile launchers in the background in Bad Suelze, northern Germany yesterday. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that any deployment of US-made Patriot missiles on Turkey’s volatile border with war-ravaged Syria would exacerbate tensions, and said the two countries had failed to overcome their sharp differences on the conflict. — AFP

NATO to decide on missiles for Turkey BRUSSELS: NATO foreign ministers are expected yesterday to approve Turkey’s request for Patriot anti-missile systems to bolster its defense against strikes from neighboring Syria, NATO’s top official said. Ankara, which has been highly supportive of the Syrian opposition to President Bashar Assad’s regime, wants the Patriots to defend against possible retaliatory attacks by Syrian missiles carrying chemical warheads. Syria is reported to have an array of artillery rockets, as well as short- and medium-range missiles in its arsenal - some capable of carrying chemical warheads. Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned as he arrived for a twoday meeting of foreign ministers that “if anybody uses chemical weapons I would expect an immediate reaction from the international community.” His comments echoed a Monday warning from President Barack Obama that there would be consequences if Assad made the “tragic mistake” of deploying chemical weapons. “Syrian stockpiles of chemical weapons are a matter of great concern,” Fogh Rasmussen said. Though Fogh Rasmussen offered no specifics, US officials say the White House and its allies are weighing military options after US intelligence reports showed the Syrian regime may be readying them and desperate enough to use them. Germany and the Netherlands are expected to provide to Turkey several batteries of the latest PAC-3 version of the USbuilt Patriots air defense systems, which is optimized to intercept incoming missiles, with the US possibly sending some from its stocks in Europe. The exact details of the deployment and the number of batteries to be sent will be determined by NATO’s military committee based on a report by a joint team that has been studying possible basing sites. Parliaments in both Germany and the Netherlands must then approve the move, which would also involve several hundred soldiers. NATO doesn’t want to be drawn into the Syrian conflict and Rasmussen cautioned that any missile deployment would be defensive only. “It would in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation,” he said. German ambassador Martin Erdmann said the Bundestag will probably take up

the matter next week. The actual deployment would then occur “within weeks” once the political decision is made, Fogh Rasmussen said. Due to the complexity and size of the Patriot batteries - including their radars, command-and control centers, communications and support facilities - they cannot be flown quickly by air to Turkey and will probably have to travel by sea, NATO officials said. NATO foreign ministers are also meeting Tuesday with their Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Russia has criticized the planned deployment of the Patriots saying that it would further inflame tensions in the region. Syria, which is party to the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning chemical weapons in war, has repeatedly insisted it would not use them even if it did possess such weapons. Turkey, a NATO member since the 1950s, asked allies to deploy the missiles as a defense against any aerial attack from Syria after mortar rounds and shells from Syria struck Turkish territory, killing five people. NATO installed the long-range Patriot batteries on Turkish territory during the 1991 and 2003 Iraq wars. They were never used and were withdrawn a few months later. The Patriot, which first entered service three decades ago, has been successively upgraded over the years. Although optimized for anti-aircraft defense, advanced versions can also be used against cruise missiles and against medium- and shortrange ballistic missiles. They have a maximum range of about 160 kilometers (100 miles) and can reach altitudes of about 80,000 feet. Syria is reported to have an array of artillery rockets, as well as short- and medium-range missiles - including Soviet-built SS-21 Scarabs and Scud-B missiles - in its arsenal. The latter are capable of carrying chemical warheads. Syria’s conflict started 20 months ago as an uprising against President Bashar Assad, whose family has ruled the country for four decades. It quickly morphed into a civil war, with rebels taking up arms to fight back against a bloody crackdown by the government. According to activists, at least 40,000 people have been killed in Syria since March 2011.— AP

AMMAN: A handout picture released by the Jordanian Royal Palace yesterday, shows Jordan’s King Abdullah II (R) greeting United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan upon his arrival in Amman. — AFP

contact with the vessel was lost shortly afterwards. “Four people were rescued from the ship and one person was found dead. Rescue work continues to find others,” Transport Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters. “Conditions are getting worse because of bad weather. Rescue work is under way with the help of helicopters and boats from the coastguard,” he said. Oleksiy Agafontsev, director of Valship, the operator of the cargo ship, confirmed that four crew members had been rescued and one killed. A second cargo ship with 14 crew members on board had experienced mechanical failure and

was also at risk of sinking, GAC said. Television images showed the second vessel listing heavily in high seas. Sile lies about 40 km (25 miles) east of the northern end of the Bosphorus Strait, the only maritime outlet for cargo from Black Sea countries, including Russian oil and grain. Bad weather frequently forces the strait’s c l o s u re i n w i n t e r, b u t G AC s a i d t h e B o s p h o r u s r e m a i n e d o p e n o n Tu e s d a y. About 10,000 vessels carrying 150 million tonnes of oil and petroleum products use the strait every year. — Reuters

AI slams Yemen military, Qaeda for rights abuses ADEN: Insurgents and government forces inflicted a “human rights catastrophe” in parts of southern Yemen earlier this year in a struggle that saw an alQaeda linked group carry out amputations and a crucifixion, Amnesty International said yesterday. The turmoil in Abyan province, one of the worst episodes of lawlessness in a country suffering multiple internal conflicts, has worried neighbouring oil power Saudi Arabia and is seen by the West as a threat to shipping lanes in the seas off Yemen. Amnesty demanded that the abuses in the southern province be examined by an inquiry announced in September by the government into alleged rights violations during a popular revolt against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011. A U.S.-backed Yemeni military offensive drove Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) from southern cities and towns in June, nearly a year after the militant group captured swathes of Abyan after last year’s popular uprising, which eventually forced former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. In a report entitled “Conflict in Yemen: Abyan’s Darkest Hour,” Amnesty accused the Islamist Ansar al-Sharia, one of a number of Yemeni militant groups linked to al Qaeda, and the Yemeni government of “gross and deeply disturbing abuses”. “Abyan experienced a human rights catastrophe as Ansar al-Sharia and government forces vied for control of the region during 2011 and the first half of 2012,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s director for the Middle East and North Africa. “The tragedy of Abyan will haunt Yemen for decades to come unless those responsible are held to account, and victims and their families receive reparations.” Amnesty said it had documents showing that “religious courts” set up by Ansar al-Sharia had frequently imposed cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments on alleged criminals and suspected spies working against it in the city of Jaar. One of those, named as Saleh Ahmed Saleh alJamli, 28, was killed and his remains crucified after one of those courts in Jaar found him guilty of planting electronic devices in two vehicles carrying Ansar al-Shari’a commanders. The rights group also said that the militants also conducted public summary executions, amputation and flogging during their rule of Jaar.

SANAA: In this Monday, Aug 20, 2012 file photo a Yemeni boy holds a poster depicting his father, who was killed in an attack in the city of Aden by suspected al-Qaeda militants, during his funeral in Sanaa, Yemen. Al-Qaeda committed “horrific” rights abuses during its 16 months in power between February 2011 and June 2012 in southern Yemen, the London-based rights group Amnesty International charged in a report released yesterday. — AP Amnesty also accused Yemeni government forces of using excessive force in its fight against al Qaeda. “Yemeni government forces used inappropriate battlefield weapons such as artillery in civilian residential areas, and in other attacks failed to take necessary precautions to spare civilians,” the Amnesty report said. A Yemeni army officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the military had no choice but to use artillery to pummel the Islamist militants as they took refuge in government buildings. “We had to stop the expansion of the armed groups and free towns under their control,” the officer said. A spokesman for the Yemeni embassy in Washington, Mohammed al-Basha, said in a state-

ment: “The Yemeni government will carefully examine the findings of Amnesty International’s most recent report.” Amnesty called for “an immediate and impartial investigation” into the violations. The rights group said the fighting, which included U.S. backing with intelligence information and drone strikes, led to the displacement of nearly 250,000 from the southern provinces which were affected by the conflict. Despite being routed from southern strongholds, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) continues to pose a major threat to Yemen. The group has carried out a number of suicide bombings since June targeting military and security facilities and senior officials. — Reuters

Iraq bars Turkey minister’s plane from Kurd north BAGHDAD: Iraq yesterday barred Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz’s plane from landing in Arbil, capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region, in the latest sign of worsening ties between the once-close neighbours. The incident highlighted chilly ties between Baghdad and Ankara, in part due to issues related to Iraqi Kurdistan, and rows between the Iraqi federal government and the Kurds over energy contracts and disputed territory. “This flight did not obtain the necessary legal approvals, and it was therefore decided to prevent it from landing at Arbil airport,” Nasser Bandar, the head of Iraq’s civil aviation authority, told AFP. Though Kurdistan is autonomous, Bandar said the federal government retains control over all Iraqi airspace. An official from the Kurdistan regional government confirmed on condition of anonymity that Yildiz’s plane was not permitted to land, adding the minister was on his way to Arbil for the completion of an oil and gas development deal.

Kurdistan government spokesman Safin Dizai said Baghdad attributed the move to a technical problem, and that the region hoped there was no other reason for barring the minister’s entry to Kurdistan. Yildiz was headed for Kurdistan to attend an oil and gas conference, where he was to give a speech, he said. Kurdistan and the federal government are at odds over several issues including energy contracts the region has signed with foreign companies without Baghdad’s approval, territory in north Iraq that Kurdistan wants to incorporate over Baghdad’s strong objections, and power-sharing. On the ground, tensions between the two sides have been running high in north Iraq, and reinforcements have been sent to disputed areas. The Iraqi Kurds said on Friday that talks between federal and Kurdish security officials aimed at easing the tensions broke down over Baghdad’s refusal to scrap the Tigris Operations Command, a federal military command that covers disputed territory in north Iraq.

I raqi Prime M inister Nuri al-Malik i warned in remarks the following day that: “If conflict erupts, it would be unfortunate and painful, and it will be an ethnic conflict” that is “not in the interest of Kurds nor Arabs nor Turkmen.” Ties between Baghdad and Ankara have also been strained by Turkey’s refusal to extradite fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and disagreements over the conflict in their common neighbour Syria. Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the Iraqi government of trying to drag the country into civil war, amid the rising tensions between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdish forces. Maliki, for his part, has said Turkey was treating the Kurdistan region, with which it has close economic ties, like an “independent state.” Baghdad has also strongly objected to air strikes which Ankara has carried out against Turkish Kurdish rebels in Iraqi Kurdistan and has accused Turkey of accepting “illegal” transfers of crude oil from the Kurdish region. — AFP



The increasingly bizarre tale of John McAfee WASHINGTON: Prostitutes, gun-toting bodyguards, experimental drugs, police raids, poisoned dogs, murder, elaborate disguises, cloak-and-dagger interviews: welcome to the incredible world of John McAfee. In a plotline worthy of a Hollywood thriller, the American anti-virus software pioneer went on the run from his Belize island home hours after his Florida expat neighbor Gregory Faull was murdered early on November 11. With 20-year-old girlfriend Sam in tow, McAfee has evaded capture for more than three weeks. He claimed on Monday that the fugitive pair have secured safe passage out of the country, although no one has a clue where they are. McAfee’s ramblings are laid bare for the public at, the blog he set up to counter the lies he says the media and the Belize government have perpetuated in the wake of his disappearance. On Saturday, a posting cited an unconfirmed report that the 67-year-old McAfee had been captured at the border of Belize and Mexico. But, as anyone

accustomed with the blog would know, nothing should be taken at face value. On Monday morning, McAfee posted an update apologizing for the misdirection, saying he had conjured it up to mislead the Belizean authorities, who have declared him a “person of interest” in the case. “I am currently safe and in the company of two intrepid journalist(s) from Vice Magazine, and, of course, Sam. We are not in Belize, but not quite out of the woods yet,” his post said. “My ‘double’, carrying on a North Korean passport under my name, was in fact detained in Mexico for pre-planned misbehavior, but due to indifference on the part of authorities was evicted from the jail and was unable to serve his intended purpose in our exit plan,” it added. In the McAfee story, the truth is an enigma. Did he actually commit the crime? If he did, why leave such an elaborate e-trail? If he didn’t, why go on the run at all? McAfee was involved in a spat with the deceased but maintains his innocence and says he fears for his life if he gives himself up because the Belize

Norway court jails Indian couple for child abuse OSLO: A Norwegian court said yesterday it has sentenced an Indian couple to prison for physically abusing their then six-year-old son in a case that has drawn widespread attention in India. The couple, who were living in Norway for professional reasons at the time, were found guilty of burning their son, today aged seven, with a hot spoon and the father was also found guilty of lashing him several times with a belt. The father and mother were sentenced to prison for 18 and 15 months respectively. The Oslo district court refused to disclose their names, but Indian media have identified the parents as Chandrasekhar Vallabhaneni, a computer engineer, and his wife Anupama. Social services were alerted after the boy refused to get off a school bus in March after wetting himself. He said he was afraid his parents would “burn my tongue”, as they had threatened to do on previous occasions. Police then opened an inquiry that uncovered the abuse. The boy said he was deliberately burned with a hot spoon on his leg in January, causing a three-by-five centimetre (one-by-two

inch) scar. His parents claimed it was an accident. The child also told judges his father had hit him on the back with a belt on several occasions, which the father denied. The sentence was in line with the prosecution’s request. According to Nor wegian media reports, the parents plan to appeal the sentence. The boy and his younger brother currently live with their grandparents in India. The case made headlines in India, where a number of media outlets had incorrectly claimed the parents risked prison in Norway for threatening to send the boy back to India if his incontinence continued. It followed another highly-publicised case that saw Norwegian social services remove two young Indian children from their parents’ custody due to shortcomings in their care. The family blamed it on cultural differences toward childcare, and the case escalated into a diplomatic row with the intervention of Indian government officials. The children were finally handed over to their uncle in India and Indian social services have since ruled that they should be returned to the mother’s custody.— AFP

Dog theft case ripples New Mexico town MORIARTY: The cases were often heartbreaking: Families coming home to find their dogs had vanished from inside houses, behind locked fences and outdoor kennels in rural communities east of Albuquerque. But with the recent arrest of a woman accused of stealing two pit bulls then throwing them from her moving car as the dogs’ owner gave chase - officials think they have confirmed longstanding suspicions that the animals were victims of an overzealous animal rescuer turned serial dognapper. “It really cracked the case,” Edgewood animal control officer Mike Ring said of the Nov. 16 arrest of 59-year-old Debbie Swenerton. Authorities believe she stole dogs and then took them to shelters and said they were strays in need of adoption. Ring said he suspects Swenerton could be part of a larger network of local activists who are concerned about the treatment of animals in rural areas, where many dogs are tied up, live outside or are allowed to roam freely. No one else has been arrested, and authorities said they are investigating other missing dog cases. One of the pit bulls Swenerton is accused of trying to steal and

throw from her vehicle suffered road rash, but the dogs were otherwise uninjured, according to the Torrance County sheriff’s department. Swenerton was charged with cruelty to animals, burglary and false imprisonment. Swenerton’s attorney, Quinn Kirby, called the allegations ridiculous. “Debbie cares deeply about animals and dedicates a great deal of her time and resources to animal welfare,” she said in an email. “It is outrageous to suggest that someone like her would do something so heinous as to throw a dog out the window of a moving car. Debbie has not committed any crimes and we are confident that she will be exonerated.” Barbara Tellier, a friend of Swenerton’s who runs the Alliance Against Animal Abuse Inc., said she believes Swenerton is being set up by officials in a county where animal abuse is rampant and officials don’t care. “Debbie is making waves,” Tellier said. “She is emailing everybody trying to get help for these animals who are locked outside without enough shelter, or not enough water in the summertime, or running loose to get hit by a car ... and nobody is doing anything.”— AP

authorities are corrupt and have it in for him. Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has described McAfee as “bonkers,” saying he is only wanted for questioning, and urged him to give himself up. Police found no sign of the tech guru when they raided his property on the island of Ambergris Caye-a ring of white sandy beaches around a mangrove swamp off the northeastern Belizean coast-on the evening of the murder. McAfee said he didn’t immediately leave his home and was hiding neckdeep in the sand with his head obscured by a cardboard box. He later claimed to have donned a serious of elaborate disguises to keep an eye on the police investigation, including masquerading as a drunken German tourist complete with a Speedo and flamboyant Hawaiian shirt. McAfee has given interviews from hiding. Many were straight out of a John Le Carre novel, involving elaborate meetings with middlemen, telephone calls with different numbers and rendezvous at safe houses with secret passwords. In an interview with CNN on Friday,

McAfee appeared red-eyed and scraggy, and said he was so fearful he carries up to a dozen disposable cell phones at a time. “I’m going to fight until something changes,” the fugitive said, declining to indicate how long he would remain in hiding but insisting he would get Sam somewhere safe before returning to Belize to clear his name. A successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur who cashed out to live the life of an adventure seeker, McAfee amassed huge wealth from the antivirus software that bears his name. He decamped to Belize in 2009 after losing an estimated $96 million of his $100 million fortune due to bad investments and the financial crisis. According to profiles in The New York Times and tech magazine Wired, his lifestyle became increasingly extreme as he descended into a drug-fuelled existence centered on young prostitutes. Jeff Wise, a science and adventure writer who has known McAfee for years, told Fox News that his increasingly odd behavior earlier this year had seen him become estranged from the US expatri-

ate community in Belize. “Around the time his herbal drug plan collapsed, he started to get really heavily into this kind of synthetic, hallucinogenic hyper-aphrodisiac,” he said. “Everyone was scared of McAfee. He was walking around the beach carrying a gun.” Police raided McAfee’s home in April and he was briefly incarcerated after police found him living with a 17-yearold girl and discovered an arsenal of seven pump-action shotguns, one singleaction shotgun, and two 9-mm pistols. Police say Faull, 52, was discovered by his housekeeper with a 9-mm slug in his head lying in a pool of his own blood. Prior to his murder, Faull had led neighbors in writing a letter to the mayor complaining that McAfee’s “vicious” dogs and aggressive security guards were scaring tourists and residents alike. McAfee shot dead four of his dogs before fleeing, claiming they had been poisoned, possibly by Faull. Police said the dogs were exhumed last week and ballistics experts are seeing if the slugs match up with the one found in Faull’s head. — AFP

Furor over picture of NY subway death Readers slam Post’s photographer, editors NEW YORK: A New York Post front page picture of a man about to be hit by an oncoming subway train provoked fury Tuesday from readers left wondering why nobody, including the photographer, pulled the victim to safety-and why the tabloid published the image. Police say the victim was thrown onto the tracks during a fight Monday with a deranged man in a Manhattan subway station. He then staggered to his feet and tried, but failed to get out the way of the train, which killed him-in full view of a crowd of passengers. One of those bystanders was a freelance photographer from the Post who managed to take a series of photos, including the one occupying the whole front page Tuesday under the headline: “Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die.” In a video report on the story, the Post appeared to suggest that the picture and two others in a double-page spread inside the newspaper, were unintentional byproducts of the photographer’s rescue attempt. “Not being strong enough to physically lift the victim himself the photographer used the only resources available to him and began rapidly flashing his camera to signal the train conductor to stop,” the report said. But readers quickly slammed the Post’s photographer and editors for what they saw as a callous attitude to the tragedy. “Wow! enough time to take a few pictures. Why didn’t the person help? How many pictures did they take? 3-4 pictures. And nobody tried to help. Not one person,” wrote Joseph Monte on the

NEW YORK: Commuters wait at the 59th Street subway station in this November 1, 2012 file photo in New York. A New York Post front page photo of a man about to be hit by an oncoming subway train provoked fury yesterday from readers wondering why nobody, including the photographer, didn’t pull the victim to safety — and why the tabloid published the image. — AFP Post’s website. Nicole Stagg, another reader, wrote: “There aren’t many real men in NYC. Everyone is a sheep. This was Baaaaaaaad.” The Atlantic Wire website joined the outcry. “There’s one big question about today’s intense cover of the New York Post. Why didn’t anyone help him? If there’s enough time to capture a dying man’s last moments before getting hit by an oncoming train.. couldn’t the photographer have lent a hand,” the Atlantic said. In the Post, the freelance photographer, R. Umar Abbasi, said he had used his camera principally to

warn the approaching train driver. “I just started running, running, hoping that the driver could see my flash,” he said. But that didn’t convince critics on Twitter. “Claims he was using camera’s flash to catch conductor’s attention,” tweeted Ellen Comisar. “But result seems a tad too well composed.” “This is sickening,” tweeted Brian Frederick. “Why on earth would the NY Post put this on their cover? Seriously fcked up.” “Whoever took the picture that’s on the cover of the NY Post should be arrested for not helping the dude that got killed,” wrote “vodka n lime.”

“Please boycott @nypost for putting the final moments of the subway victim killed after being pushed in NYC. It’s disgusting,” Jennifer Joyce tweeted. The Post, which lives by its reputation for providing daily shock value, was unapologetic after several hours of the online barrage. On its own Twitter feed, the Post flagged its controversial story. “Shocking video and pic! Dad pushed to death by madman in Times Square subway station.” Police say they are still looking for the man who allegedly pushed the victim to his death. — AFP

Cameron: Clock ticking for newspapers to clean up act LONDON: Prime Minister David Cameron demanded newspaper editors come up with an effective system of self-regulation urgently yesterday following a damning inquiry into the reporting practices of Britain’s scandal-hungry press. Last week a judge who oversaw the year-long inquiry triggered by a phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s British media empire called for a new legislation-backed watchdog to police the sometimes “outrageous” behaviour of the press. That infuriated newspaper bosses who have

lobbied frantically against the recommendation, saying any involvement of the law in press regulation would amount to state control and an attack on Britain’s centuries-old traditions of free speech. Cameron is himself against statutory regulation, but, keen to be seen as taking a tough stance on the excesses of Britain’s notoriously aggressive newspapers, he said industry bosses had to act fast to get their house in order. “They’ve got to do it in a way that absolutely meets the requirements of Lord Justice

Leveson’s report,” Cameron said in televised remarks after a meeting with the editors. “That means million pound fines, proper investigation of complaints, prominent apologies, and a tough independent regulatory system. And they know, because I told them, the clock is ticking for this to be sorted out.” In his report last week, Lord Justice Brian Leveson said statutory backing for the news regulator was needed to end a journalistic culture that had at times “wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people”. — Reuters




Putin ally and MP to table bill doubling jail time for graft MOSCOW: An ally of President Vladimir Putin said yesterday she would table an amendment in parliament to double the maximum jail sentence for corruption to 20 years, urging fellow MPs to back a crackdown on one of Russia’s most deep-seated problems. The statement by Irina Yarovaya, head of a powerful parliamentary committee, appeared to be part of a Kremlin attempt to convince sceptical voters that Putin is serious about cracking down on financial crime. Former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov is one of a number of officials to have been fired or placed under suspicion in corruption investigations in recent weeks. But opinion polls show many Russians are sceptical about the authorities’ motives and the seriousness of their anti-corruption campaign. Yarovaya, a member of the ruling United Russia party which dominates parliament, said she would propose changes to the law to

increase the punishment for embezzlement involving public or state resources. “Responsibility for these crimes should be higher than for economic crimes. I think ... it should be raised to 20 years in prison,” she told a news conference. The current maximum sentence for such crimes was 10 years in prison, she said. It was unclear whether the kind of amendment she is proposing would pass, but given her status it seems likely it would garner considerable support. Corruption has blighted Russia since tsarist times with many foreign investors citing it as an obstacle to putting money into the world’s largest country, two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia is ranked 143 out of 182 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, tying with Nigeria on a table where number 1 is the best rank. Putin is widely regarded to have failed to curb corruption since he

was first elected president in 2000, despite saying he would impose a “dictatorship of the law”. In his latest attempt to show he is cracking down on graft, he signed a law on Tuesday obliging ministers to declare their spending and that of their families, but even this met with scepticism. Kirill Kabanov, an anti-corruption activist, told Ekho Moskvy radio that the law would not cover spending abroad, making it less effective. In other graft cases, the head of the Russian satellite network Glonass has been dismissed in a fraud investigation and a regional governor arrested over accusations that he stole funds meant for September’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. An opinion poll by the independent Levada research centre showed that all the recent talk of an anti-corruption campaign had failed to boost support for Putin or for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The same survey also showed

that some 40 percent of Russians thought the dismissal of Serdyukov was the start of a reshuffle of officials who have been abusing their posts. However, just as many people said they thought it was merely part of a power struggle between various interest groups around Putin.

Russia’s Defence Ministry channels billions of dollars every year through the country’s arms industry, the world’s second-largest defence exporter. A military prosecutor said last year that one fifth of the military budget was stolen. Putin named a loyalist, Sergei Shoigu, to head the ministry but

few see corruption ending. “This will not change the corruption schemes. This is just a bit of cleansing,” said Natalia, a Moscow law student who declined to give her last name. “If it was a genuine fight with corruption, I’m afraid they would have to send all the ministers away”. —Reuter

MOSCOW: Members of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, from left: Deputy Premier Vladislav Surkov, Premier Dmitry Medvedev, Chairman Alexander Shokhin, President of Evraz Group Alexander Abramov, and Lukoil President Vagit Alikperov, attend a meeting at the Gorki residence outside Moscow yesterday.—AP

Merkel launches re-election bid with show of party unity CDU can steer Germany through ‘stormy waters’

PARIS: MP of the Union for a Popular Movement right-wing opposition party (UMP) and former Minister, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet gives a press conference yesterday at the French National Assembly in Paris. —AFP

French far-right circles as conservative spat goes on TV PARIS: With the mainstream conservative UMP opposition party at risk of imploding in a leadership feud, France’s far-right National Front will urge disillusioned centre-right voters yesterday to switch to its “Navy Blue” patriotic grouping. As the UMP appears on televised parliamentary questions split for the first time into rival political blocs, National Front leader Marine Le Pen will be in a nearby room promoting a coalition she hopes will boost conservative votes for her party. The National Front won a parliamentary seat in June for the first time since the mid1980s and Le Pen has boasted of a rush in applications to join the party since the UMP collapsed into internal wrangling six months after losing power in May. She will roll out membership cards on Tuesday for a group launched early this year that lets conservatives of all shades, including tentative nationalists and UMP deserters, rally to her cause without having to actually join an anti-immigrant party. Voter anger over what has become a farcical feud between moderate Francois Fillon and hardliner Jean-Francois Cope to lead the UMP could be reflected in parliamentary by-elections and in local elections in early 2014. “I think we are going to have a very nice surprise in the by-elections because there is a desire on the part of UMP voters to sanction what is going on,” Le Pen told Radio Classique. “Some will abstain and many will vote for National Front candidates because we seem today to be the only ones who can defend them and represent an opposition to the government.” The National Front scored a surprise 18 percent in the first round of the presidential election in April. There are three byelections for parliamentary seats coming up before year-end; the National Front may score well but not enough to win a seat. Cope, a disciple of former president Nicolas Sarkozy and his hard line on immi-

gration, and Fillon, Sarkozy’s more moderate former prime minister, were meeting for a second day to try and resolve a twoweek standoff that has clouded the UMP’s future. Cope has twice been announced the winner of a Nov. 18 leadership contest, but Fillon has demanded a fresh vote be held. Both candidates initially claimed victory and accused the other of vote-rigging. The pair briefly agreed last week to call a party referendum on whether to hold a fresh vote, but descended into bickering again over Fillon’s forming of a breakaway wing in parliament. Sarkozy got his fingers burned when he attempted to mediate last week, brokering a truce that lasted just a matter of hours. The UMP, which held power for a decade until Socialist President Francois Hollande’s victory in May, will appear at question time with the breakaway wing of lawmakers loyal to Fillon standing in defiance to Cope as party leader. “They need to take a decision because we are at a stalemate. We cannot go on like this, it’s not tenable politically,” Henri Guaino, a former aide to Sarkozy, told BFM TV. “We cannot have a leader who is contested by half of the party. And we cannot have a par ty with two parliamentar y groups. It’s the ultimate in absurdity.” The rift in the UMP, founded by Jacques Chirac in 2002 to try and glue together different right-wing groups, has worsened in recent days with a new faction of “non-aligned” conservatives joining forces and refusing to back either Cope or Fillon. Bruno Le Maire, a farm minister under Sarkozy who planned to hold a meeting of the “nonaligned” faction on Tuesday, said that even if Fillon and Cope managed to come to an agreement, there still needed to be some kind of vote by party members. “We need to make sure this crisis does not get decided by a little arrangement between friends, like we’ve seen in the past,” Le Maire told France Info radio. —Reuters

BELFAST CITI: Northern Ireland Flag Protest Belfast City Hall flag debate Loyalist protestors, some of them carrying British flags, clash with police as city councilors debate whether or not to keep the flag flying at City Hall, outside City Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Monday. A Protestant mob stormed into the grounds of Belfast City Hall and clashed with police after the council’s Catholic majority voted to remove the British flag from the building for most of the year. —AP

HANOVER: Angela Merkel launched her re-election campaign yesterday at the height of her popularity, with a speech to a congress of her conservative Christian Democrats that showed off the party unity she will need to prevail in next year’s vote. Delegates stood and applauded for eight minutes after Merkel told them they were the only party that could steer Germany through the “stormy waters” of economic crisis and geo-political change. With approval ratings near 70 percent, the 58-year-old chancellor struck a triumphant tone at the party congress in Hanover, repeating that hers was the “most successful government” since German reunification in 1990. “These are turbulent times and sometimes we find ourselves in stormy waters. But it is the German CDU that has the clear direction to steer our country through these seas,” Merkel said. Merkel, a physicist from East Germany who has become a towering figure in a traditionally West German party, wants to beat the score of just over 90-percent of votes by which she was last re-elected as party chairman two years ago. Often criticised abroad but feted at home for defending her country’s interests in the euro crisis, Merkel has a good shot at winning a third term next September despite a sharp slide in support for her current coalition partner, the liberal Free Democrats (FDP). “Maybe God created the FDP just to test us,” she said in a rare public dig at the party which polls show could fail to make the 5 percent mark next year that it needs to remain in the Bundestag lower house. This may force her to consider other options like reviving the “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats (SPD) she ran between 2005 and 2009, or trying an unprecedented alliance with the Greens. Talk of a “black-green” coalition, named for the parties’ respective colours, had grown in the run-up to the congress, held in the capital of Lower Saxony where a state election next month could set the tone for the federal vote next autumn. The CDU under regional leader David McAllister is on track to win the biggest share of the vote but could still be pushed from power by the SPD and Greens. This could damage Merkel’s hopes of reelection as her party has lost control of a handful of states since 2009.

McAllister, whose father was Scottish and whose supporters waved banners that proclaimed “I’m a Mac!”, said his state had record employment and solid finances thanks partly to the leadership from Berlin. “Dear Angela Merkel, we thank you and stand as one behind you,” said McAllister, stressing the message of party unity. Merkel said any one of the challenges she has faced since being elected to a second term in 2009 - the debt crisis, unrest in North Africa

worst of the crisis. In Germany she is widely applauded for having stuck to her principles, for example by resisting pressure for radical anti-crisis steps like the issuance of common euro zone bonds. “I want the euro to come out of the crisis stronger than when the crisis began,” Merkel told the party congress. Last week, she won a broad majority in parliament for Europe’s plan to ease the terms of Greece’s bailout. Even her acknowledgment this weekend that further relief for Greece may be

HANOVER: Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a speech during a congress of Germany’s ruling conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party yesterday in Hanover, central Germany. —AFP and the Middle East, a U-turn on nuclear power would have been enough for an entire four-year term in office. A year ago, at the CDU’s last congress in the eastern city of Leipzig, the euro zone crisis was at a peak and people could speak of nothing else. At the time, Merkel warned that Europe faced its “toughest hour” since World War Two. Now, thanks in large part to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s commitment to buy the bonds of stricken euro states, the crisis has calmed somewhat. Merkel warned in her speech against complacency, saying she was “very cautious” about declaring an end to the

massive snowfall hit Russia, Ukraine MOSCOW: Russia and Ukraine yesterday battled through heavy snowfall which created record traffic jams in Moscow and cut power in some 300 Ukrainian towns. Colossal amounts of snow fell overnight, making the morning commute into the Russian capital a nightmare, with stop-and-go traffic on most major streets to the center. “Today Moscow was one step away from complete transportation paralysis,” a presenter said on Channel One’s afternoon news. A government plane with several ministers was delayed by the weather flying out of Moscow due to particularly heavy snowfall in Vnukovo airport, Russian agencies reported. The airport said on its website that it was forced to close down its landing strip for fifteen minutes every hour in order to clean it and treat it with anti-freezing agents. The emergency ministry in Tver region northwest of Moscow-where thousands of trucks were stuck in a 190 kilometre-long jam over the weekend-warned that snowfall is once again slowing down transport. “There is increased risk of traffic jams and accidents due to snowfall,” the ministry said on its website, warning of a decreased speed limit on the highway M10 that links Moscow and St. Petersburg. Disgruntled drivers and commuters meanwhile were discussing the situation on a newly created social networking group for those stuck in the jam. The group had over 2,500 members yesterday. In southern Ukraine gusts of wind and snow have led to power outages in 302 towns in 14 out of 27 regions in the country. Kiev and Kherson region in the south were the hardest hit, the emergency ministry said. In the Black Sea city of Odessa three people were injured by trees that fell during a storm, local authorities told news agencies. The head of Russia’s weather service Roman Vilfand said the snow was not unexpected, in fact it “fell precisely on the day when it was supposed to,” he noted in a briefing, RIA Novosti reported. The service said on its website that snowfall will resume again in the Russian capital starting on Friday, with temperatures hovering slightly below zero. —AFP

needed, possibly in the form of a writedown of European loans to the country, does not appear to have done irreparable damage. At this congress, the CDU is more focused on containing internal rows on a range of domestic issues. Since she first came to power in 2005 Merkel has pulled her conservative-minded, Christian party to the centre and attempted to modernise it. That has left traditionalists grumbling over a push to give equal tax treatment to homosexual couples, boost pensions for mothers and introduce quotas for women on company boards. —Reuters

Police arrest two linked to Toulouse gunman attacks TOULOUSE: French police arrested two people yesterday in connection with the attacks by extremist gunman Mohamed Merah, whose shooting spree in and around the southern city Toulouse left seven people dead. A man described by police as a 38year-old member of the traveller community who converted to Islam was detained on suspicion of having provided aid to Merah in carrying out the March attacks that shocked France. He was arrested without incident at his home in the town of Albi, about 70 kilometres (45 miles) from Toulouse, where he was to be taken for questioning, police sources said. His ex-girlfriend, also 38, was arrested separately at her home in Toulouse, in the same neighbourhood where Merah lived. She was questioned shortly after her arrest. Police said she may have been aware of her ex-boyfriend’s alleged involvement with Merah and failed to inform authorities. The nature of his alleged involvement was unclear, but investigators have been searching for a suspected “third man” believed to have been with Merah and his brother Abdelkader during the theft of a scooter used in the attacks. The detained man was known to police, a source said. Merah shot a rabbi, three Jewish schoolchildren and three French paratroopers in March before

being shot dead in a police siege in Toulouse. Abdelkader was arrested after the attacks and remains in custody. Sources close to the investigation warned against concluding that the suspect arrested Tuesday was the “third man”. He can be held for questioning for up to 96 hours without charge. Merah’s elder brother Abdelghani previously told French media that someone from the traveller community may have been involved in stealing the scooter. Investigators are also probing whether any possible accomplices may have provided funds or weapons used by Merah. A petty criminal who was lured into Islamic extremist circles in Toulouse, Merah visited Afghanistan and Pakistan before his attacks. Since his shooting spree, it has become clear that Merah had been on the radar of France’s security services for years and that authorities under-estimated the extent of his radicalisation following his trips abroad. French intelligence services have been heavily criticised for failing to realise the threat posed by Merah. His attacks prompted a rethink of French security policies, with legislation being considered that will allow authorities to prosecute citizens who attend militant Islamist training camps abroad and to boost monitoring of extremist sites on the Internet. —AFP



Trafficked maids to order: The darker side of richer India NEW DELHI: Inside the crumbling housing estates of Shivaji Enclave, amid the boys playing cricket and housewives chatting from their balconies, winding staircases lead to places where lies a darker side to India’s economic boom. Three months ago, police rescued Theresa Kerketa from one of these tiny tworoomed flats. For four years, she was kept here by a placement agency for domestic maids, in between stints as a virtual slave to Delhi’s middle-class homes. “They sent me many places - I don’t even know the names of the areas,” said Kerketa, 45, from a village in Chhattisgarh state in central India. “Fifteen days here, one month there. The placement agent kept making excuses and kept me working. She took all my salary.” Often beaten and locked in the homes she was sent to, Kerketa was forced to work long hours and denied contact with her family. She was not informed when her father and husband died. The police eventually found her when a concerned relative went to a local charity, which traced the agency and rescued her together with the police. Abuse of migrant maids from Africa and Asia in the Middle East and parts of Southeast Asia is commonly reported. But the story of Kerketa is the story of many maids and nannies in India, where a surging demand for domestic help is fuelling a business that, in large

part, thrives on human trafficking by unregulated placement agencies. As long as there are no laws to regulate the placement agencies or even define the rights of India’s unofficially estimated 90 million domestic workers, both traffickers and employers may act with impunity, say child and women’s rights activists and government officials. Activists say the offences are on the rise and link it directly to the country’s economic boom over the last two decades. “Demand for maids is increasing because of the rising incomes of families who now have money to pay for people to cook, clean and look after their children,” says Bhuwan Ribhu from Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), the charity that helped rescue Kerketa. Economic reforms that began in the early 1990s have transformed the lifestyles of many Indian families. Now almost 30 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people are middle class and this is expected to surge to 45 percent by 2020. Yet as people get wealthier, more women go out to work and more and more families live on their own without relatives to help them, the voracious demand for maids has outstripped supply. There are no reliable figures for how many people are trafficked for domestic servitude. The Indian gov-

ernment says 126,321 trafficked children were rescued from domestic work in 2011/12, a rise of almost 27 percent from the previous year. Activists say if you include women over 18 years, the figure could run into the hundreds of thousands. The abuse is difficult to detect as it is hidden within average houses and apartments, and underreported, because victims are often too fearful to go to the police. There were 3,517 incidents relating to human trafficking in India in 2011, says the National Crime Records Bureau, compared to 3,422 the previous year. Conviction rates for typical offences related to trafficking bonded labour, sexual exploitation, child labour and illegal confinement - are also low at around 20 percent. Cases can take up to two years to come to trial, by which time victims have returned home and cannot afford to return to come to court. Police investigations can be shoddy due to a lack of training and awareness about the seriousness of the crime. Under pressure from civil society groups as well as media reports of cases of women and children trafficked not just to be maids, but also for prostitution and industrial labour, authorities have paid more attention in recent years. In 2011, the government began setting up specialised anti-human trafficking units in police stations

throughout the country. There are now 225 units and another 110 due next year whose job it is to collect intelligence, maintain a database of offenders, investigate reports of missing persons and partner with charities in raids to rescue victims. Parveen Kumari, director in charge of anti-trafficking at the ministry of home affairs, says so far, around 1,500 victims have been rescued from brick kilns, carpet weaving and embroidery factories, brothels, placement agencies and houses. “We realise trafficking is a bigger issue now with greater demand for labour in the cities and these teams will help,” said Kumari. “The placement agencies are certainly under the radar.” The media is full of reports of minors and women lured from their villages by promises of a good life as maids in the cities. They are often sent by agencies to work in homes in Delhi, and its satellite towns such as Noida and Gurgaon, where they face a myriad of abuses. In April, a 13-year-old maid heard crying for help from the balcony of a second floor flat in a residential complex in Delhi’s Dwarka area became a national cause celebre. The girl, from Jharkhand state, had been locked in for six days while her employers went holidaying in Thailand. She was starving and had bruises all over her body. —Reuters

India denounces 42 Pakistan ‘terror’ camps Suicide bomber wounds six in Pakistan

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s pro-government protesters show off placards demanding that chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake step down, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, yesterday. Sri Lanka’s chief justice appeared before a Parliamentary committee for a second time to answer impeachment charges amid protests supporting and opposing her. The placard in foreground in Sinahlese reads: “Hands off the Parliamentary democracy.” — AP

S Lanka justice inquiry resumes amid protests COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s chief justice appeared before a Parliamentary committee for a second time yesterday to answer impeachment charges in a case that has drawn protests from both supporters and opponents. Thousands of government-supporters took to the streets calling for Shirani Bandaranayake’s resignation, while Buddhist monks, Catholic priests, opposition lawmakers, judges, lawyers and rights activists rallied in support of her. The government has accused Bandaranayake of misusing power and having unexplained wealth. She denies any wrongdoing. Opposition parties and independent analysts say the impeachment attempt is aimed at stifling judiciary independence and concentrating power with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sri Lanka’s influential Buddhist monks, lawyers, trade unions and civil society activists want the government to withdraw the motion, saying it threatens the judiciary’s independence. “We urge the government to withdraw this motion even at this stage,” said J.C. Weliamuna, a lawyer and activist. He said the “government is hell-bent on getting rid of chief justice” for ruling against it several

times. Those in favor of the motion shouted slogans demanding Bandaranayake’s resignation. “The chief justice should resign immediately if she is really concerned about the independence and integrity of the judiciary,” said Ajantha Liyanage, one of the organisers of the protest and a local politician representing Rajapaksa’s ruling coalition. The impeachment motion was submitted a month ago calling for a Parliament Select Committee to investigate 14 charges and remove Bandaranayake. If the committee determines that the complaint has merit, an impeachment motion will be voted on and forwarded to Rajapaksa for further action. With his ruling coalition controlling more than two-thirds of Parliament’s seats, such a motion is expected to be carried easily. The United Nations, the United States and rights groups have expressed concerns about the motion, which follows months of conflict between Parliament and the judiciary. Bandaranayake came under strong government criticism after she ruled that legislation giving more power to Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, a brother of the president, violated the constitution. — AP

NEW DELHI: India said yesterday there were more than 40 training camps in Pakistan for militants who make regular attempts to cross the heavily fortified border between the countries. India has identified 25 camps in Pakistaniadministered Kashmir and 17 in Pakistan containing around 2,500 militants, junior home affairs minister Mullappally Ramachandran told parliament. “The terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan or Pakistan-occupied Kashmir remains intact and infiltration attempts from across the border still continue to pose a challenge to the security forces,” Ramachandran said. Pakistan-based militants-with the support of Pakistan’s army-have made 249 attempts to sneak into Indian territory so far this year-two more than last year but far below the 489 in 2010, he said. Intelligence inputs indicate “active support” of Pakistani intelligence and security agencies to push terrorists into India, the minister added. The border area-particularly the Jammu region in Indian-administered Kashmir-”is highly vul-

nerable to infiltration from Pakistan side”, he said. But due to a “high degree of alertness, BSF (Border Security Force) personnel foil every attempt of infiltration by Pakistani terrorists. There has been no case of infiltration by terrorists,” Ramachandran said. The lack of successful infiltration attempts was due to better border management, including border fencing and better intelligence, he said. Separatist violence in Indian Kashmir has dropped sharply since nuclear-armed India and Pakistan started a peace process in 2004 but occasional gunfights erupt between militants and the security forces in the scenic Himalayan region. New Delhi accuses Pakistan of letting militant groups operate on its territory to train and launch attacks on India, such as a raid on Mumbai in 2008 — a charge that Islamabad denies. Meanwhile, a suicide bomber yesterday rammed his explosive-laden car into a checkpoint outside a police station in northwestern Pakistan, wounding six people, police said.

The attack took place at a police station outside the restive town of Bannu bordering the lawless tribal regions where Taleban and Al Qaeda linked militants are known to operate. “Four policemen and two civilians were wounded after a suicide bomber blew up his car at the checkpoint,” senior police official Nisar Ahmad Tanoli told AFP. The blast damaged the outer wall of the police station and two houses near the checkpoint, he said. Taleban militants immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. “We carried out the suicide attack on the police station... we will not spare them and target them again,” Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP on phone from an unknown location. “We will continue to target police and security forces because they are killing our mujahedin (fighters),” he added. Suicide and bomb attacks blamed on Islamist insurgents have killed more than 5,200 people across nuclear-armed Pakistan since July 2007. — AFP

India relaxes tourist visa curbs NEW DELHI: India yesterday said it had lifted restrictions placed on tourist visas after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which had been blamed for putting off visitors and criticised by some countries. The rule required tourists to wait for two months between visits to India complicating regional trips and deterring regular visitors to a country that is keen to boost its tourism industry. “It has been decided to lift the restriction of the two-month gap on re-entry of foreign nationals coming to India” on a tourist visa, the home ministry said in a statement, adding the rule was changed following a government review. However, the 60-day gap rule will still apply to nationals from a number of countries including Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan and Bangladesh, the ministry said. The restrictions were introduced

after a key plotter of the Mumbai attacks misused his multiple-entry visa to make nine trips to India and prepare footage of targets for the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. The assault by ten gunmen left 166 people dead. Even before the visa rules were tightened, India had been struggling to raise tourist numbers and the new restrictions had drawn criticism from various countries including the United States. India’s share of international tourist arrivals in 2011 was just 0.64 percent of the global total, official figures show. India offers visas on arrival for citizens of a small number of countries, including Finland, Japan, Luxembourg and New Zealand and has said it is considering expanding the list. New Delhi has been hesitant to allow visas on arrival because of security concerns. — AFP

LAHORE: In this Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 photo, Pakistani visitors pray for the recovery of a Swedish woman, Bargetta Emmi, at a local hospital in Lahore, Pakistan. A gunman on a motorcycle shot and severely wounded an elderly Swedish woman who worked at a church in eastern Pakistan on Monday, officials said. — AP



China’s Xi demands fewer empty words, less show for top leaders BEIJING: Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping took aim yesterday at the wordy meetings and over-the-top welcoming ceremonies which are the bread-and-butter of the lives of senior leaders, demanding less show and fewer hangers-on for foreign trips. Top officials rarely go anywhere without giving stultifying speeches and getting fawning welcomes from local people, complete with heavily made-up children presenting flowers and pensioners moved to tears or song. But president-in-waiting Xi signalled he was having none of it. Visits around the country by top leaders should no longer be met by red carpets,

welcome banners or banquets, said a statement carried by state media after a meeting of the 25member Politburo, the party’s second-highest decision-making body, which reports to the party’s elite core, the seven-man Standing Committee. Meetings must be shortened and “empty talk” banned, it added. One staple of foreign visits always shown in detail by state television will also go-airport welcoming parties made up of students and residents. Gone too will be the hordes of trailing functionaries on such trips. “The style of officials, particularly top officials, has an important impact upon the style of the party and the style of the government and even on

the whole of society,” the statement said. “Such a way of doing things must first start with the Standing Committee. If you want people to do something then do it yourself first; if you don’t want somebody to do something then certainly do not do it yourself.” State media must also restrain themselves from issuing pointless stories about official events unless there is real news value, and even when they do write articles they must be short and to the point, the statement said. The party, which has shown no sign of giving up its tight grip on power, has struggled to contain public anger at a seemingly endless stream of cor-

ruption scandals, particularly when officials are seen as abusing their posts to amass wealth. Xi, who takes over as president from Hu Jintao at the annual meeting of parliament in March, warned shortly after becoming party boss that the country risked unrest if graft is not tackled. While his latest move to rein in extravagance was widely welcomed on China’s popular Twitterlike microblogging service Sina Weibo, some wondered if he had maybe bitten off more than he could chew in taking on long-entrenched customs. “If he really wants to do this it’s not going to be easy. We’ll have to listen to his words and watch his actions,” wrote one user. — Reuters

Vietnam condemns China sea claims as ‘serious violation’ India to protect its maritime, economic interests HANOI/NEW DELHI: Vietnam condemned yesterday China’s claims to disputed South China Sea islands as a serious violation of its sovereignty after saying it was setting up patrols to protect its fisheries and accusing Chinese boats of sabotage. The condemnation of China’s claims to the sea and its numerous reefs and tiny islands was the strongest yet from Vietnam since tension flared this year and came after India declared itself ready to send navy ships to safeguard its interests in the disputed waters. Claims by an increasingly powerful China over most of the South China Sea have set it directly against US allies Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also claim parts of the mineral-rich waters. Vietnam’s condemnation came a day after its state oil and gas company, Petrovietnam, accused Chinese boats of sabotaging an exploration operation by cutting a seismic cable being towed behind a Vietnamese boat. Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned the cable cutting as well as some recent Chinese provincial regulations that identified the disputed Spratly and Paracel islands as Chinese, and a map that did the same thing. “The actions of the Chinese side have seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the two archipelagos,” the spokesman, Luong Thanh Nghi, said in a statement. Vietnamese Foreign Ministry officials met representatives of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi on Monday, Nghi said. The Vietnamese officials handed over a diplomatic note “resolutely opposing the above mentioned actions by the Chinese side, asking China to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty, to immediately stop such wrongful acts and not to repeat similar actions.” Earlier, Vietnam said civilian-led patrols, backed by marine police and a border force, would be deployed from Jan. 25 to stop foreign vessels violating fishing laws in Vietnam’s waters. A decree on the Vietnamese patrols was signed on Nov. 29, the day Chinese media announced new rules authorising police in the southern Chinese province of Hainan to board and seize foreign ships in the South China Sea. “It’s going to lead to friction,” Carl Thayer, a Southeast Asia security expert at the University of

New South Wales in Australia, said of China’s new rules that take effect from Jan. 1 on boarding ships which “illegally enter” waters it claims. “If it begins to assert these rights and isn’t challenged, over time it becomes customary, it becomes practice.” On Monday, Petrovietnam said the seismic vessel had been operating outside the Gulf of Tonkin when the cable was severed on Friday. It had earlier been surveying the Nam Con Son basin further south - an area where Indian staterun explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has a stake in a Vietnamese gas field. Petrovietnam posted on its website comments by the deputy head of exploration, Pham Viet Dung, in which he said the cable was repaired and the survey resumed the following day. “The blatant violation of Vietnamese waters by Chinese fishing vessels not only violates the sovereignty ... of Vietnam but also interferes in the normal operations of Vietnamese fishermen and affects the maritime activities of Petrovietnam,” Dung was quoted as saying. Asked about the complaint, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a briefing in Beijing that China was checking the reports of the incident, which he said was understood to have taken place in an area of overlapping claims. “Chinese fishing boats were operating in normal fishing activities,” Hong said. India has also declared itself ready to deploy naval vessels to the South China Sea to protect its oil-exploration interests there, a new source of tension in a disputed area where fears of conflict have been growing steadily. Indian navy chief, Admiral D.K Joshi, said on Monday that, while India was not a territorial claimant in the South China Sea, it was prepared to act, if necessary, to protect its maritime and economic interests in the region. “When the requirement is there, for example, in situations where our country’s interests are involved, for example ONGC ... we will be required to go there and we are prepared for that,” Joshi told a news conference. “Now, are we preparing for it? Are we having exercises of that nature? The short answer is yes,” he said. An Indian government spokesman on Tuesday played down the com-

ments: “This is an issue for the parties concerned to resolve.” India is not the only non-claimant nation concerned about disruption to shipping or oil exploration in the South China Sea. The United States, a close ally to several of the Southeast Asian claimants, has also voiced concern at the prospect of China stopping international ships in contested waters. India has sparred diplomatically with China in the past over its gas and oil exploration block off the coast of Vietnam. Any display of naval assertiveness by India in the South China Sea would likely fuel concern that the navies of the two rapidly growing Asian giants could be on a collision course as they seek to protect trade routes and lock in the supply of coal, minerals and other raw material from foreign sources. Joshi described the modernisation of China’s navy as “truly impressive” and a source of major concern for India. Asked what China would do if Indian navy entered the South China Sea to protect its oil interests, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong, said China had “indisputable sovereignty” over the sea’s islands and surrounding waters. “China opposes unilateral oil and gas development in disputed waters of the South China Sea. We hope that concerned countries respect China’s position and rights, and respect efforts made through bilateral talks to resolve disputes.” Singapore, home to the world’s second-busiest container port, joined the Philippines on Monday in expressing concern at the prospect of Chinese police boarding ships. The Philippines on Saturday condemned the Chinese plan as illegal. Estimates for proven and undiscovered oil reserves in the South China Sea range as high as 213 billion barrels of oil, the US Energy Information Administration said in a 2008 report. That would surpass the proven oil reserves of every country except Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, according to the BP Statistical Review. On Monday, China’s National Energy Administration said China aims to produce 15 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from the South China Sea by 2015. It said the sea would “form the main part” of China’s offshore gas exploration plans. — Reuters

Indonesia embassy warns maids to avoid Malaysia

SEOUL: South Korea’s presidential candidates Moon Jae-in, left, of the main opposition Democratic United Party and Park Geun-hye of ruling Saenuri Party return to their seats after posing before a televised debate in Seoul, South Korea, yesterday. South Korea’s presidential election is scheduled for Dec 19. — AP

N Korea divides South’s presidential hopefuls SEOUL: South Korea’s two main presidential contenders clashed yesterday in a debate over security policy as North Korea readied a rocket launch that is timed to coincide with the South’s Dec. 19 election. Both conservative Park Geun-hye, the daughter of South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee, and leftist Moon Jae-in have pledged to engage with North Korea, although Moon has offered unconditional talks with the reclusive and impoverished state in a bid to improve relations between the two Koreas. “I will reopen the door to peace,” Moon said in the televised debate, adding he would restart all commercial projects and exchanges with the North that had been halted under incumbent President Lee Myung-bak. Park called on North Korea to stop its planned rocket launch, saying it would deepen the impoverished state’s isolation. “We must have strong deterrent at times of provocation by the North while trying to devise a relationship based on trust, which will bring real peace. Unconditional aid is fake peace.” Most polls show that Park has a small lead over Moon, but that remains within the margin of error, indicating a tight race, although Park appears to be more trusted when it comes to dealing with the North which remains technically at war with the South after an armistice ended the 1950-53 Korean War. A poll by the conservative Asan Institute conducted after North Korea announced it would carry out a satellite launch in December showed that 44.8 percent trusted Park to deal with inter-Korean relations versus 40.6 percent for Moon. Tensions between the two Koreas have risen sharply under incumbent President Lee, whose single term ends in

February and who cut off aid to the North. South Korea accused the North of sinking one of its warships in 2010 and North Korean forces shelled a South Korean island in the same year, the first time a direct attack on South Korean soil killed civilians since the Korean War. The North’s planned rocket launch, slated for some time between Dec. 10-22, has been condemned by the South, the United States, Japan and Russia as it is seen as a means of testing a long-range missile that could one day deliver a nuclear warhead. North Korea is banned from conducting tests relating to its missile and nuclear programmes under United Nations resolutions imposed after it undertook nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, although Pyongyang insists its rocket programme is peaceful. The number of South Koreans who support giving unconditional food aid to the North had fallen to 8.2 percent in a poll conducted by broadcaster KBS in August from 14.3 percent in 2010 as tensions between the two states have risen. Despite the spike in tension and increasingly shrill rhetoric from the North, the South Korean presidential election is being fought mostly over economic issues. The top concerns of Korean voters are job security, especially for people in their 20s who often end up in temporary jobs, social welfare and more equity in a country where income gaps have risen sharply. The latest data shows that South Korea’s economy is growing slowly if unspectacularly thanks to the global economic crisis. Growth slowed to just 1.9 percent on an annual basis in the third quarter of 2012, according to government statistics, from an average of 5.5 percent a year over the past four decades. — Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesian maids should avoid working in Malaysia, their embassy in Kuala Lumpur said yesterday, after the latest domestic worker scandal there saw 105 women locked up and forced to work without pay. Malaysian authorities said they had freed 95 Indonesians, six Filipinas and four Cambodians who toiled as housemaids by day but were locked inside a building near the capital at night. Recurring reports of abuse of Indonesian maids have soured relations between the two Southeast Asian neighbours and prompted Jakarta to angrily cut off the supply of domestic workers to Malaysia in 2009. The two sides announced a year ago that the ban would be lifted after they reached an accord to provide maids better protection and working conditions. But the latest case, exposed in a raid by authorities on Saturday, showed Indonesians were still at risk, especially those who come to Malaysia illegally rather than through proper recruitment channels, a spokesman for Jakarta’s embassy said. “The Malaysian authorities should take tough action... It’s better for Indonesian maids not to work in Malaysia,” spokesman Suryana Sastradiredja told AFP. “They (Malaysia) are asking for Indonesian maids but they cannot protect them well.” The women freed Saturday-Malaysian media reports said they had arrived illegally over the past several months-have been taken to a shelter and will eventually be sent back to Indonesia, Sastradiredja said. Some of the women claimed their monthly wages were being seized by their employment agency as payment for recruitment services, reports said, adding that 12 people had been arrested in the case. Sastradiredja said fewer than 100 Indonesian maids had arrived through official channels since the ban’s lifting, turned off by low salaries and abuse reports. But, citing estimates by Indonesian and Malaysian activists, he said Jakarta fears thousands more may have been duped into coming illegally with promises of well-paid work since the ban was set, and were now working in vulnerable situations. One of Southeast Asia’s most affluent and developed countries, Malaysia has long attracted aspiring maids from its poorer neighbours, mostly Indonesia. —AFP

KOSHU: East Nippon Expressway Company workers check the roof of Japan’s longest road tunnel, the 11-kilometre-long Kan’etsu tunnel on the Kan’etsu expressway on the border between Niigata and Gunma prefecture yesterday following the collapsed roof inside the highway tunnel on December 2 in Koshu, Yamanashi prefecture, some 80 kms (50 miles) west of Tokyo. — AFP

Police raid highway firm over Japan tunnel collapse TOKYO: Police investigating a deadly weekend tunnel collapse raided the offices of a highway company yesterday in a negligence probe that has highlighted concerns over the safety of Japan’s ageing infrastructure. The raid came as teams of inspectors fanned out across the country to examine dozens of other tunnels of the same 1970s design, part of an extensive network that is vital for road transport in the mountainous country. Television footage showed more than a dozen police officers entering the headquarters of NEXCO in Nagoya, central Japan, searching for the company’s maintenance and safety records. Employees are expected ultimately to be quizzed on suspicion of professional negligence leading to death and injuries, local media said, although no arrests have been made. Police also raided NEXCO offices in Tokyo and eastern Yamanashi prefecture, a company spokesman said, in connection with Sunday’s accident at the Sasago tunnel, which passes through hills near Mount Fuji. “We are fully cooperating with the authorities over the accident,” the spokesman told AFP. Separately, officers launched an on-site investigation at the collapsed tunnel some 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Tokyo. Television footage showed police vehicles and a laddertruck going into the tunnel. Members of the government’s accident investigation commission were also scheduled to visit the nearly five-kilometre (three-mile) tunnel later in the day to begin their initial probe, officials said. On Monday, the Japanese government ordered inspections of 49 highway tunnels as the focus of investigations at Sasago turned to decaying ceiling supports. NEXCO said safety inspections consist largely of visual and acoustic surveys, with workers looking for cracks and other abnormalities in the concrete and metal parts. Officials said that during the five-yearly check of the ceiling in September, only a visual check had been conducted and there had been no acoustic

survey of the metal parts that support the panels, which each weigh up to 1.5 tonnes. A truck, a car and a people carrier were buried when the concrete panels crashed down inside the tunnel, setting at least one of the vehicles ablaze and filling the tunnel with choking smoke. Emergency workers retrieved nine bodiessome of them charred by the fire. They included the body of a truck driver who reportedly telephoned a colleague immediately after the incident to ask for help. NEXCO said it was still not known when the firm would be able to reopen the tunnel on the Chuo highway, a major artery used by around 47,000 vehicles a day. Heavy traffic clogged roads being used as a bypass of the section on Tuesday, media reports said, adding that the accident had started affecting the flow of goods between Tokyo and the country’s west. Japan’s extensive highway network crisscrosses the country, with more than 1,500 tunnels. Around a quarter of these are more than 30 years old, according to the transport ministry. The country is also prone to earthquakes and despite a tightening of safety regulations over the last 20 years, older structures could be vulnerable to seismic movements, experts have warned. Japan’s booming economy in the 1960s and 1970s left a legacy of thousands of bridges, tunnels and other civil engineering projects. Although the pace has slowed, big projects continue to be built. Masami Taguchi, honorary professor of urban sociology at Rissho University in Tokyo said the country needed to shift its mindset from expansion of infrastructure to maintenance. “Obviously that should include prevention measures against similar cases to the tunnel cave-in,” he said. “In particular, the quality of structures built in the 1960s could be questioned as the nation was in the middle of the post-war pickup. During that period, quantity tended to be put before quality.” — AFP

HANOI: Policemen, member of a Task Force 141 unit, stand in the midle of a busy street looking for suspected people in downtown Hanoi yesterday. Face to a new wave of street crimes especially armed robbery and assaults on both domestic residents and foreign tourists in big cities including Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi, police has taken special measures to deal with the situation. — AFP


NEWS Oppn hits streets in ‘flash’ demos Continued from Page 1 candidates, including a record 17 seats by the Shiite minority. The Islamist, nationalist and liberal opposition boycotted the polls in protest against the amendment of the electoral law which the opposition says it enables the government to control the outcome of polls. HH the Amir yesterday began traditional consultations ahead of naming a prime minister to form the new Cabinet before the new parliament holds its inaugural session on Dec 16. The Amir met former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and former Assembly speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi but did not meet with the other former speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun, the veteran opposition leader, prompting rumours that Saadoun declined to attend. But the four-time former speaker Saadoun denied on his Twitter account that he declined the meeting with the Amir, saying that he was outside Kuwait. An Amiri decree naming the new prime minister is expected to be issued today. Under the constitution, the Amir has the sole authority of naming the prime minister regardless of the outcome of the results of elections. The Amir can ask the outgoing premier Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Sabah, which is the most likely scenario or name a new person, including Sheikh Nasser, who

resigned in November last year after six years in office. Newly-elected MPs meanwhile held a number of meetings outside the Assembly yesterday to discuss priorities for the new Assembly in addition to the immediate issues of electing a new speaker and deputy speaker in addition to committees. It has become almost certain that the speaker’s post will be contested by MP Ali Al-Rashed who appears to be guaranteed of the support of the 17 Shiite MPs - and Islamist MP Ali Al-Omair and liberal MP Ahmad Al-Mulaifi. The government’s vote on the issue is seen crucial for the success of either candidate. At a reception held last night, Rashed renewed his nomination for the speaker’s post and said the new parliament will vote and approve the single vote decree which triggered the current standoff between the government and MPs. In another development, the public prosecution yesterday decided to continue detaining 12 opposition youth activists until today after interrogating them on accusations of undermining the status of the Amir and organizing and taking part in illegal demonstrations. The authorities still detain lawyer Khaled Al-Hajeri who was arrested on Monday night while representing Kuwait Society for Human Rights in monitoring the demonstrations in Riqqa area. The Society has protested to authorities against his arrest and demanded he should be released immediately.

Amir reaffirms Kuwait moving to cut... Continued from Page 1 capacities in order to reduce emissions in materialization of the ambitions of all our peoples”. “This conference is held in Qatar at a crucial stage which requires adopting decisions that pave the way for the next phase beyond 2012 towards this phenomenon, and adapting to it whether within the frame of long-term cooperation through effective implementation of the Bali Action Plan in all its elements, and the agreement on the second commitment period for developed countries, without imposing new obligations on developing countries, except for those voluntary actions which commensurate with their national potentials backed with financing, technology transfer and capacity building,” he said. “Kuwait also hopes that the developed countries abide by their leading role in reducing emissions and helping developing countries adapt to the adverse effects of climate change, and the negative effects resulting from the measures of responding to mitigating the effects of climate change, especially those whose economies rely on the use of fossil fuels as a major and sole source of income, and this can be achieved through the transfer of technology and the diversification of income sources,” said Sheikh Sabah. “In contribution to emission reduction, Kuwait made great voluntary and thoughtful strides, according to available resources, in the rehabilitation of its oil and industrial installations, where the oil sector adopted a new strategy based on scientific and economic grounds that aim to reduce emissions as well as setting mechanisms for improving energy efficiency, and the use of clean technology for fossil energy without prejudice to its fundamental interests and obligations in its development of clean industry.” The Amir added that “in the field of renewable energy, Kuwait has attached great concern to the diversification of its energy sources, where the concerned entities state the executive phases of an ambitious plan for using wind and solar energy aiming to raise the percentage of using this energy to 1 percent of the total energy usage in Kuwait in 2015, and up to 15 percent in 2030.”

UN chief Ban Ki-moon also urged negotiators to put aside their quarrels and act with urgency to find the money and agree on mechanisms to tackle the global warming “crisis”. Climate change “is a crisis”, said Ban, as a string of scientific reports warned the world could be headed for calamitous warming above the limit of two degrees Celsius being targeted by the UN. Warming poses “a threat to us all. Our economies. Our security. And the well-being of our children and those who will come after,” said the secretary general. Noting “mixed feelings” among delegates hammering out a deal, Ban urged the parties to “work with a spirit of compromise”. A latest report, issued yesterday, said even an impossible zero-percent pollution target for the developed world by 2030 would not stop calamitous climate change, and poor nations too must do their part. The knowhow and technology existed to close the growing gap between countries’ pledges for curbing emissions, and what is actually needed to limit warming to 2C, but, said Ban, political will was lacking. “The gap can be bridged. But time is not on our side,” he warned. “It is an existential challenge for the whole human race - our way of life, our plans for the future.” The Doha talks are meant to finalise a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s only binding pact on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, but delegates disagree on its timeframe and country targets. The protocol’s first round, which runs out on Dec 31, bound about 40 rich nations and the EU to curbing emissions but excludes the two biggest polluters - the US, which refused to ratify it, and China which was left out because it is a developing country. Another area of disagreement is money. Developed nations are being asked to show how they intend to keep a promise to raise funding for poor nations’ climate mitigation plans to $100 billion per year by 2020 - up from a total $30 billion in 2010-2012. The developing world says it needs a total of $60 billion from now to 2015. Britain yesterday became the first country to pledge money, saying it would spend some £1.8 billion ($2.9 billion) on international climate finance by 2014/15 - a move welcomed by climate activists. — Agencies

Morsi leaves palace amid huge protests Continued from Page 1 predecessor Hosni Mubarak from derailing a troubled political transition. Facing the gravest crisis of his six-monthold tenure, the Islamist president has shown no sign of buckling under pressure. Riot police at the palace faced off against activists chanting “leave, leave” and holding Egyptian flags with “no to the constitution” written on them. Protesters had assembled near mosques in northern Cairo before marching towards the palace. “Our marches are against tyranny and the void constitutional decree and we won’t retract our position until our demands are met,” said Hussein Abdel Ghany, a spokesman for an opposition coalition of liberal, leftist and other disparate factions. Protesters later surrounded the palace, with some climbing on gates at the rear to look down into the gardens. At one point, people clambered onto a police armoured vehicle and waved flags, while riot police huddled nearby. The Health Ministry said 18 people had been injured in clash-

es next to the palace, according to the state news agency. Despite the latest protests, there has been only a limited response to opposition calls for a mass campaign of civil disobedience in the Arab world’s most populous country and cultural hub, where many people yearn for a return to stability. A few hundred protesters gathered earlier near Morsi’s house in a suburb east of Cairo, chanting slogans against his decree and against the Muslim Brotherhood, from which the president emerged to win a free election in June. Police closed the road to stop them from coming any closer, a security official said. Egypt’s most widely-read independent newspapers did not publish yesterday in protest at Morsi’s “dictatorship”. Banks closed early to let staff go home safely in case of trouble. Abdelrahman Mansour in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the cradle of the anti-Mubarak revolt, said: “ The presidency believes the opposition is too weak and toothless. Today is the day we show them the opposition is a force to be reckoned with.” — Reuters

Syria warned on any use of chem weapons Continued from Page 1 France, with traditional interests in the region, made a similar point. “The leaders in Damascus must know the international community is watching them and will react” if chemical weapons are used, French foreign ministry spokesman Vincent Floreani said. The Syrian government, fighting to prevent the capital Damascus from falling to rebel forces, on Monday reiterated it would never resort to chemical weapons. Saudi Arabia meanwhile urged the international community to take a unified position on Syria after the rebel groups formed a coalition last month. “We see in forming the new Syrian coalition an important positive step towards uniting the opposition under one banner,” Prince Saud Al-Faisal said. “We hope to see a similar step towards uniting the positions and views of the international com-

munity in dealing with the Syrian issue,” the foreign minister added. Saudi Arabia has openly called for arming the Syrian rebels. On the ground yesterday, the Syrian army blasted a string of rebel zones on the eastern and southwestern outskirts of Damascus. Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said “the army is trying at all costs to keep the rebels out of Damascus. “The rebels are pushing hard to enter into the city but they have not been able to make the advance they are hoping for,” he added. Pro-regime daily Al-Watan reported that the army is “making progress in all directions in Damascus province, chiefly in villages along the road linking the capital to the international airport.” Syrian state television meanwhile reported that a rebel attack on a school near Damascus on Tuesday killed 28 students and their teacher. — AFP

Tehran claims US drone captured Continued from Page 1 It said only that the drone had been conducting a mission over “the past few days”. The Guards’ naval force, tasked with guarding Iranian assets in the Gulf, said the drone was a Boeing-made ScanEagle, a short-range, propellor-driven surveillance vehicle with a three-metre wingspan that is typically launched from ships and which can fly up to 100 km. Exactly a year ago, on Dec 4, Iran claimed to have captured a much bigger and more sophisticated CIA stealth drone, a bat-winged RQ170 Sentinel. Tehran rejected a US request for its return and said it would reverse-engineer that drone to make its own. At the time, Iran claimed it had brought down the RQ-170 drone electronically, by “spoofing” its GPS guidance system. US officials contended the drone suffered a malfunction. For the ScanEagle, no explanation was immediately advanced by the Iranians as to how they might have seized it. The White House said yesterday it had no evidence that Iran’s claim was true. “We have no evidence that the Iranian claims you cite are true,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told a reporter. A spokesman for US Fifth Fleet, Commander Jason Salata, told AFP that none of the fleet’s drones was missing and that “nothing (has been) lost recently, in months.” Salata also said all of the Fifth Fleet’s operations in the Gulf “are in compliance with international law”, implying that any flights conducted were outside of Iranian airspace.

Several countries apart from the United States use the relatively low-cost ScanEagle drones, including US allies the United Arab Emirates, Australia and Canada, all of which operate in the Gulf. US forces in Iraq also used them before their withdrawal in Oct 2011. Iranian State television networks Al-Alam and Press TV showed footage of what they said was the captured ScanEagle drone. The light-grey, unmarked vehicle was shown suspended inside a hangar and apparently intact, with two Guards officers examining it in front of a poster saying, in English: “We shall trample on the US.” A lawmaker who chairs the Iranian parliament’s defence commission, Esmaeel Kosari, boasted to Al-Alam of the drone’s capture and warned of “decisive confrontation” if Iranian airspace was violated again. Separately, Iran yesterday brushed away a renewed call from the United Arab Emirates for the two countries to resolve through discussion their vying claims to three strategic islands in the Gulf. “Repeating baseless claims will not have any influence on existing realities. The three Iranian islands have been and will remain an integral part of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s territory,” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a statement. Iran’s reassertion of sovereignty over the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb, which lie in the strategic Strait of Hormuz entrance to the Gulf, was a blunt rejection of UAE appeals to open dialogue on the issue.





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Murdoch’s iPad failure a lesson for digital news By Rob Lever, Sharon Waxman and Alexander C Kaufman he failure of Rupert Murdoch’s pioneering iPad newspaper The Daily underscores the problems of the news industry as it seeks a paid model for the digital age, analysts said. Murdoch announced Monday that The Daily, launched as a paid subscription for the Apple tablet, would be shuttered December 15 due to a lack of readers. The News Corp chief called The Daily exclusively designed for touchscreen tablets - “a bold experiment,” but acknowledged that it was unable to find enough paying readers to sustain it. Some staff from the virtual newspaper will shift to the another News Corp property, New York Post. Murdoch launched The Daily with much fanfare in Feb 2011, describing it as a model for the news industry in the face of declining readership and a shift to online news. The Daily was sold through Apple’s App Store and iTunes and cost 99 cents a week or $39.99 a year. Rebecca Lieb, analyst with the Altimeter Group, said the shutdown was not surprising. “While it was highly customized for the platform The Daily was a commodity news product,” Lieb said. “It didn’t offer anything that readers could not get from any other newspaper, and it lacked a brand. “Had I been Murdoch I would have launched a version of something that was already branded” such as The Wall Street Journal. The Daily was believed to have around 100,000 paying subscribers, although precise figures were not disclosed. Launching the paper, Murdoch said it would need to recruit around 500,000 readers a week to break even. In July, Murdoch announced it would cut 29 percent of its staff, or 50 employees. The paper was initially designed to work on Apple’s iPad tablet, and only later made available for some Android devices and smartphones. Analysts said that relying on the Apple platform turned out to be a mistake. “This was a segment of a segment of a market,” said Lieb. Jeff Sonderman, a digital media specialist at the Poynter Institute, said this is one of the lessons to learn from The Daily’s demise. “Being the first-of-a-kind is as dangerous as it is exciting in the technology world. With few or no prior examples to learn from, you’re left to try stuff and learn the hard way,” he said in a blog post. “Research has since shown that tablet owners are ‘digital omnivores’ who consume media seamlessly across tablets, smartphones, PCs and print publications. To serve them news on only one platform is not satisfying.” Dan Kennedy, a Northeastern University journalism professor, said the reasons for the failure are now obvious. “It seems to me that in some respects The Daily was dead on arrival,” Kennedy aid. “It had the disadvantages of a daily newspaper - it was published once a day rather than continuously, and it was not well integrated with the broader Web - without the advantage of the convenience that print still offers... A noble experiment, perhaps, but one for which few people held out much hope even when it launched.” Lieb cites other possible models for digital journalism which may be more successful, such as Flipboard, which delivers customized news on a variety of platforms. She said paid digital subscriptions may only work for a small number of news outlets. “If you have a very strong brand name recognition and exclusive content that is available nowhere else, you can charge a subscription fee,” she said. “If you publish news you can get anywhere you really can’t charge for that, no matter how well it’s packaged.” The Daily suffered from other problems, to be sure. According to insiders at the publication, it had a content system that loaded too slowly and that frequently crashed in the middle of an article. Worse, it was designed so readers could only access articles on the day they were published. “It was up for 24 hours and gone,” one insider, who declined to be identified, told TheWrap. “There was no way for a reader to read a story from the day earlier unless you saved it. It was a huge frustration for readers as well as for those of us who were writing it when you realized no one will see it again after midnight.” “It felt like the kind of venture that started when a very senior executive gets his new iPad for Christmas, and he has the power and the money to do something bold, but there’s not practicality in it,” said Elizabeth Osder, a veteran media consultant. “This was a bold move, an emotional move, but not a prudent business move. It is hard to bear the brunt of the cost of content creation and audience development,” Osder said, pointing to Flipboard. “Flipboard didn’t have to bear the brunt of the cost of the content.” —Agencies


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Scottish vote sparks soul searching in N Ireland By Conor Humphries ondon’s decision to grant Scotland a referendum on independence after 300 years has raised an awkward question for Northern Ireland’s Catholics. After centuries fighting for its downfall, do they really want the United Kingdom to collapse? Irish nationalist leaders have seized on Scotland’s 2014 vote as the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom and are calling for their own referendum on ending hundreds of years of rule from London. But many Irish Catholics, the mainstay of the Republican cause for a united Ireland, appear reluctant to seize what their leaders say is a historic opportunity, fearful of upsetting a fragile peace and nervous of who will pay the bills. “We are better off staying where we are from a rational and an emotional point of view,” said Sean Kerr, a 61-yearold supporter of Sinn Fein, the main pro-Irish nationalist party. “We went through ‘The Troubles’ and things have settled down, people are getting on together. Just leave us alone. Just let the hare sit, as they say up here.” He is not alone. Fifty-two percent of the province’s Catholics think it should remain part of the United Kingdom, according the last major poll on the issue, released last year. That number has been seized upon by unionist rivals in recent weeks as proof that a referendum would fail in Northern Ireland, with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) saying that Catholic resistance meant Northern Ireland’s place in the union was more secure that Scotland’s. Resistance to British rule has been at the core of Irish nationalism since Henry VIII of England declared himself King of Ireland in the 16th century. After the Irish state secured independence from Britain in 1921, Northern Irish Catholics remained part of United Kingdom in a northern state dominated by Protestants, many of whose ancestors had settled from Scotland. Catholics’ protests that they were being treated as second-class citizens and the desire to rejoin the south helped fuel The Troubles, three decades of tit-for-tat bombings and shootings that killed 3,600 until a peace deal in 1998 introduced a power-sharing government. While Catholics say most of their civil rights grievances have since been addressed, resistance to British rule, with the Irish tricolour its most potent symbol, remains a central part of their identity. On the other side, thousands of Protestant “Loyalists” still demonstrate their attachment to


Britain every year by marching, bowler-hatted, through Belfast and other towns in the province to celebrate a 300year-old battlefield victory over Catholics. A key concern for Irish Catholics, as they look south and see the economic devastation left in the wake of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger crash, is the economics of splitting from Britain. While activists in Scotland say direct control of the income from its offshore oil fields would more than make up for subsidies from London, almost everyone in Northern Ireland admits that it benefits financially from London. The province secures around £10 billion ($16 billion), or about half of total public sector spending, through an annual block grant from Britain. Just under one-third of the population is employed in the public sector, the highest level in the United Kingdom. Sinn Fein says combining public services for Ireland’s 4.5 million people and Northern Ireland’s 1.8 million would create cost savings, but its arguments have not convinced many. To split with London in the current climate would be “totally insane” said Jim Wade, a Catholic businessman. “If there was a vote in the morning, I would vote for a united Ireland. But at the same time I don’t think we could afford it. I know down there, they couldn’t afford it,” he said of the Irish government. Many northern Catholics looked on in envy as the Celtic Tiger transformed the Republic from one of the poorest countries in Europe to one of its richest. But since a property boom began to collapse in 2007 and Dublin signed up to an EU-IMF bailout three years later, unemployment has surged to a near-20 year high of just under 15 percent, compared to 8 percent in the north. Even in staunchly Republican areas of Belfast, the economic reality of the decision remains a nagging worry. “I have never come across anybody in these areas who wants to stay with Britain,” said Margaret Shannon, 58, shopping on the predominantly Catholic Falls Road in Belfast. “But it depends on the moment that they pick. When people look to the south and see them cutting funding again, taking bus passes from pensioners. That’s what would unsettle people.” In the Republic of Ireland the dream of united Ireland remains a central tenet of Irish nationalism, the subject of countless ballads and an article of faith for political parties across the spectrum. But economic reality is making unification a hard sell there, too. A poll of Irish voters last week

showed one in five said they expected it to happen within the next 25 years, with one-third saying it would never happen. In a sign it would have little appetite for the vast cost of reunification, the Irish government announced last year that it could not afford one of the few cross-border initiatives it has signed up to, a Ä560 million cross-border motorway. “The northern nationalist community is under no illusions that the south harbours any desire even in the medium to long term future to actually bring about a united Ireland,” said Graham Walker, professor of political history at Belfast’s Queen’s University. “That has been communicated to them very clearly.” Nationalists are selling the Scottish referendum as the beginning of a one -way street towards the United Kingdom’s break up, saying that even if the Scottish vote is not passed London will be forced to give it more autonomy. “What the Scottish referendum has shown is that the union is up for debate. The union is not set in stone or set there for generations to come,” said John O’Dowd, a senior Sinn Fein minister in Northern Ireland’s parliament. The problem for Sinn Fein is that Irish nationalists may not yet be in a position to capitalise on it. While not everyone in Northern Ireland votes along religious lines, most observers do not believe nationalists can secure approval for a united Ireland while Protestants, who traditionally vote for unionist parties, remain a majority of voters. A census due later this month is expected to show further growth in the Catholic minority, although most observers say it will take another generation at least before Catholic voters are in a majority. The 2001 census showed that 40 percent classified themselves as Catholic and 46 percent were Protestant. However just over half of the pupils in the 2010-11 academic year were Catholic compared to 37 percent who were Protestant. The next census figures will “demonstrate very clearly the constitutional trajectory that we are set on,” O’Dowd said. Unionists, who say their link to Britain is a key part of their identity, are hoping that a strong vote against independence in Scotland could kill momentum for devolution before the Catholic community secures the majority. “If they vote to stay in the union by a significant margin it will actually strengthen the union not weaken it,” said Democratic Unionist party member Jeffrey Donaldson. “ I think you will find that the outcome puts the issue to bed for many years to come.” —Reuters

No Russian revolution after a year of protests By Timothy Heritage and Maria Tsvetkova rtyom Kolpakov has learnt not to hope for too much after an exhilarating but ultimately frustrating year of protests against Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Seething with anger over suspected fraud in a parliamentary election, the 39year-old businessman ignored his wife’s pleas to stay at home on Dec 5 last year and joined a rally in Moscow’s Chistiye Prudy area where people chanted “Revolution!” The demonstration, at which police made dozens of arrests, touched off the biggest wave of protests against the former KGB spy since he was first elected president in 2000. For a few weeks, the mainly young, urban and middle-class protesters dared hope that Putin’s days in power were numbered. Even in the heart of winter, the biggest rallies drew tens of thousands of people shouting “Russia without Putin!”. A year on, Putin is back in the presidency after four years as premier, the opposition is divided and the protests have lost momentum after failing to take off in the provinces, where the president’s support is traditionally stronger. “There’s no longer anything revolutionary in the rallies like there was back then, when they were spontaneous, like at Chistiye Prudy,” Kolpakov said. “It was stupid to ever think that everything would change (because of the protests). Breaking something down does not mean building something else. Building something is much harder.” But Kolpakov, who runs a small recording studio, still plans to attend an “anniversary” march on Dec 15 to show solidarity with a cause that he believes has unlocked the door to change in Russian society however slow it may be in fully opening. Putin’s opponents say his authority is gradually being eroded as he struggles to find a new direction or a “big idea” to push Russia forwards and strengthen his grip on power. “Peaceful protests are all we have at


our disposal. You can feel the mood of society and Putin’s ratings are falling. It’s clear that now he’s got to do something to respond,” Kolpakov said. The rally on Dec 5, 2011 was the biggest opposition protest in years. It spawned a larger rally five days later as outrage grew over the police intervention and over concerns that vote-rigging may have helped Putin’s United Russia win the election. Anticorruption blogger Alexei Navalny missed the second protest because he had been sentenced to 15 days in jail for resisting the police at the first demonstration. But he was back for the next rallies and established himself as the most prominent of the motley group of opposition leaders. His message now is that change will come slowly. The opposition mantra is evolution, not revolution. “It is clear that Putin’s regime is not giving up and will not give up, that he will push back against us and is willing to resort to repression,” Navalny said on the sidelines of an opposition meeting. “But over the past year the situation in the country has changed completely ... Tens, even hundreds of thousands of people are involved in protest activities, and we could not have imagined this a year ago. I still believe we are on the threshold of major changes and all we’ve done was not in vain.” Few Russians would dispute the fact that the protests have accelerated the birth of a civil society in Russia two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, particularly in big cities such as Moscow. Hundreds of interest groups have sprung up, some of them defending citizens’ rights on single issues and others opposition-minded discussion groups. The protests initially forced the Kremlin into concessions, letting more parties register and restoring the election of regional governors who had previously been appointees. But critics say the Kremlin used fine print and political muscle to limit the effects of the reforms. Putin was elected to a six-year third term in

March and the parliament, dominated by his party, has pushed through laws which critics say can be used to stifle dissent - tightening controls of the Internet, imposing new checks on foreign-funded lobby groups and broadening the definition of treason. Several leaders face what they say are politically motivated criminal charges intended by the Kremlin to limit their opposition activities. Navalny, for example, could be jailed for up to 10 years if found guilty of charges of stealing timber from a state firm. Regional elections in October tightened Putin’s hold on power and underlined the opposition’s failure to build the street protests into an effective challenge. They have all but no seats in parliament. The Kremlin, perhaps with bravado and certainly with relief after a tricky start to 2012 when the protests were at their peak, says it does not regard the opposition as a big threat. “Fortunately, there will be no revolution in Russia. There are simply not enough young people,” said Konstantin Kostin, a former Kremlin political aide who still advises the president in his role as head of a political think tank. He dismissed the opposition leaders as “first-grade kids”. “I always tell our ‘revolutionaries’: Don’t fool around, go and take part in the election, so that in seven or eight years you can make a serious election bid,” Kostin said. The Kremlin has denied launching a political clampdown on the opposition and accused foreign governments, including the United States, of meddling in Russia’s domestic affairs. Most Russian media have remained loyal to the Kremlin, preventing the opposition gaining regular access to a mass audience except on the Internet. The opposition has at times shot itself in the foot and played into the Kremlin’s hands, by arguing in public. Although it tries to present a united front, the opposition includes nationalists, liberals, ecologists and leftists and its leaders have failed to unite on much except

a desire to oust Putin. Even agreement on a date, venue and slogans for rallies has often proved difficult at chaotic opposition meetings. Clashes with police at a rally on May 6, the eve of Putin’s inauguration, further damaged the opposition’s image and scared some supporters away from later rallies as attendance dwindled. Some Russians even blame the opposition for new fractures in society, especially since the trial of the all-women punk band Pussy Riot over its profane protest in a Russian Orthodox Church over Putin’s ties with the clergy. A majority of Russians opposed the protest even though many disapproved of the two-year jail sentences handed down to two of the band’s members. The case came to embody the gulf between liberal and conservative Russians. But opposition leaders are also encouraged by the decline in Putin’s own image. At 60, he is an object of biting satire after almost 13 years in power and has a back problem which has undermined his macho image. Many foreign investors continue to be hesitant about investing in Russia, which is heavily dependent on the price of energy exports remaining high, and are worried by issues such as corruption and the weak rule of law. Many rich Russians continue to show their own worries by taking their money out of the country. Capital flight is running at about the same rate as last year, when it reached $84.2 billion, the Central Bank said last month. Putin portrays himself as a patriot defending Russia’s interests and has overseen several high-profile anti-corruption cases in a campaign that appears intended to win votes in a country where corruption is seen as one of the biggest problems. But a new opinion poll by the independent Levada research group showed Putin’s approval rating had fallen from 67 percent to 63 percent, a sign that many are sceptical about the true intention of the anti-graft campaign and how far it will go. —Reuters


sp orts Armstrong probe continues

Folau signs with Waratahs

Ginola: Bale diamond, not diver

LONDON: An independent commission set up to probe the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) handling of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal yesterday called for witnesses to get in touch. The panel, headed by former England and Wales appeals court judge Philip Otton, will look into the allegations contained in the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) decision to charge Armstrong over the affair. The commission also includes Britain’s multiple Paralympic champion Tanni GreyThompson, now a lawmaker in the country’s upper chamber of parliament, and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes. “Anyone with evidence which they believe to be relevant to the Terms of Reference should submit documents and/or a written summary of evidence they will be able to give to the Commission ...” the UCI Independent Commission said in a statement. “The Commission has written to some potential witnesses identified by it and is in the process of contacting others, but invites witnesses to contact the Commission direct.” — AFP

SYDNEY: Former Australia rugby league international Israel Folau has joined rugby union’s New South Wales Waratahs on a one-year contract after walking away from a lucrative agreement with an Australian Rules football club last month. “Winning Israel over to rugby union is a major boost for the ... Waratahs and an exciting prospect for Super Rugby fans across Australia,” Waratahs chief executive Jason Allen said in a statement. “As a player, Israel clearly has an exceptional talent but what was equally important to us was the enormous level of respect he commands from those who know him and have worked with him.” The 23-year-old Folau left Australian Football League club Greater Western Sydney Giants on Nov. 1, citing a lack of passion for the game after two seasons in which he failed to come to grips with the skills of the indigenous Australian code. He had been lured to the expansion franchise to help boost the profile of the sport in Sydney’s growing western suburbs following a successful career with Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos in Australia’s National Rugby League. Folau had been expected to return to rugby league amid protracted negotiations with the Sydney-based Parramatta Eels, but the talks fell through, fuelling further media speculation he was pursuing a rugby contract overseas. — Reuters

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur’s Welsh winger Gareth Bale is a ‘diamond’ who should be protected rather than branded a diver, according to the club’s former wide man David Ginola. Bale has been in superb form for club and country this season but some of his recent displays have been marred by yellow cards for apparent simulation. He has been booked in Tottenham’s last two games - Saturday’s 3-0 win at Fulham when he tumbled rather theatrically after slight contact by Steve Sidwell and last week’s victory at home to Liverpool. However, Ginola, who played more than 100 games for Tottenham, said Bale should not be judged harshly. “When you get a reputation it’s really (hard) to get rid (of),” Ginola, told the BBC yesterday. “It’s really easy when you run that fast with that pace on the pitch at players - you don’t need a big tackle to go down. A little push would be enough to lose the balance. “When you have players like that who entertain you week in, week out you have to protect that. It’s so precious. —Reuters

NBA results/standings Portland 118, Charlotte 112 (OT); Detroit 89, Cleveland 79; New Orleans 102, Milwaukee 81; Denver 113, Toronto 110; LA Clippers 105, Utah 104; Orlando 102, Golden State 94. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT 12 4 .750 11 5 .688 10 7 .588 9 8 .529 4 14 .222

GB 1 2.5 3.5 9

Chicago Milwaukee Indiana Detroit Cleveland

Central Division 8 7 .533 8 8 .500 8 9 .471 6 13 .316 4 14 .222

0.5 1 4 5.5

Miami Atlanta Charlotte Orlando Washington

Southeast Division 12 3 .800 9 5 .643 7 9 .438 7 10 .412 1 13 .071

2.5 5.5 6 10.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 14 4 .778 Denver 9 9 .500 Utah 9 10 .474 Minnesota 7 8 .467 Portland 8 10 .444

5 5.5 5.5 6

LA Clippers Golden State LA Lakers Phoenix Sacramento

Pacific Division 11 6 .647 10 7 .588 8 9 .471 7 11 .389 4 12 .250

1 3 4.5 6.5

Memphis San Antonio Houston Dallas New Orleans

Southwest Division 12 3 .800 14 4 .778 8 8 .500 8 9 .471 5 11 .313

0 4.5 5 7.5

NY Knicks Brooklyn Philadelphia Boston Toronto

Gibson seeks Windies improvement DHAKA: Coach Ottis Gibson hoped his West Indies team show improvement in the crucial third one-day international against Bangladesh in Dhaka today. The tourists trail 0-2 in the five-match series against a spirited host who won the first match by seven wickets and the second by their biggest margin of 160 runs-both in Khulna. The West Indies managed 199 in the first match and 132 in the second as none of its top order batsmanincluding the dashing opener Chris Gayle-could come to terms with the Bangladeshi spinners on slow tracks. To add to their woes, the tourists could not practise yesterday because of a general strike in the Bangladeshi capital which kept the players indoors mindful of possible unrest. Gibson said the two defeats were disappointing. “Obviously, they (defeats) were very disappointing. After we did so well in the Test series, we wanted to finish not just this tour, but this year on a positive note,” said Gibson whose team won the preceding two-Test series 2-0. The West Indies came into the series having won the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in October-their first world title since the back to back World Cups (50 overs) in 1975 and 1979. Gibson said his team needed to show improvement. “When we looked at the games we have played, there is a lot of room for improvement in all three disciplines. We just have not batted anywhere like we know we can bat,” said Gibson. Gibson said his players realised the flaws in their performances. “We had some meetings about the way we have batted so far, a very open and honest discussion, and I think everybody understands that our batsmen have to take more responsibility for the totals that we are going to achieve,” said Gibson. Gibson said a poor total in the second match was not acceptable. “I think it comes down now to people looking at themselves because we haven’t become a bad side overnight and, from my perspective as coach, it’s not all gloom and doom either. “Hopefully, the batsmen will take the responsibility for the bulk of the runs and try to bat most of the overs. To be dismissed, like we were in the second one-day, with 19 overs remaining is very disappointing. “Everybody is disappointed and so hopefully the guys will try to put it right tomorrow.” The West Indian coach praised Bangladesh as an improving side. “Bangladesh have shown that they are an improving one-day outfit for a long time. We never expected it to be easy oneday series, but we just haven’t produced the quality that we expected from ourselves,” said Gibson. — AFP

Pistons pound Cavaliers AUBURN HILLS: Brandon Knight scored 17 points, and Kyle Singler and Tayshaun Prince had 15 apiece as the Detroit Pistons beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 89-79 on Monday night for their fifth straight home win. Detroit is 1-10 on the road but 5-3 at home, and the Pistons have recovered a bit after losing their first eight games of the season. They beat Phoenix by 40 last week in their previous home game, and the victory over Cleveland wasn’t really as close as the score indicated. Detroit led 56-39 at halftime after holding the Cavaliers to 29 percent shooting. Cleveland was without guard Dion Waiters, who sat out with a sprained left ankle. Anderson Varejao had 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Cavs. Trail Blazers 118, Bobcats 112 In Charlotte, LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Luke Babbitt hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers and Portland overcame an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Charlotte in overtime Monday night. The Blazers trailed 97-79 with 5:17 left in regulation, but stormed back to tie the score and sent it into overtime on Babbitt’s 3 with 22 seconds left. Charlotte had a chance to win at the end of regulation but Kemba Walker’s drive and fallaway jumper from the baseline didn’t fall. Damian Lillard scored 24 points and Nicolas Batum added 17 points for the Blazers, who finished a road trip with two straight wins. Ben Gordon set a franchise record with eight 3-pointers - all after halftime - for the Bobcats, who dropped their fourth straight game. Gordon finished with 29 points to surpass 10,000 for his NBA career. Magic 102, Warriors 94 In Oakland, Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo scored 24 points apiece, and Orlando outlasted Golden State for its second straight victory. A night after an emotional win against former franchise center Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando outscored Golden State 33-25 to pull away in the fourth quarter. J.J. Redick had 10 of his 22 points in the fourth and Nikola Vucevic finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds to help the Magic begin their five-game West Coast trip 2-0. Stephen Curry had 25 points and 11 assists and David Lee added 22 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors, who were going for their first four-game winning streak under coach Mark Jackson. Instead, they had their five-game home winning streak snapped as they head on the road for a season-long seven-game trip.

Hornets 102, Bucks 81 In New Orleans, Ryan Anderson scored 22 points, Robin Lopez added 21 and New Orleans won for only the second time in 11 games. Lopez shot 8 of 10 from the field and made all five free throws he attempted. He also scored 11 straight points during a pivotal 13-0 run in the third quarter that gave New Orleans the lead for good. Jason Smith added 12 points and Greivis Vasquez had 11 for the Hornets, who shot 52.4 percent (43 of 82). Brandon Jennings hit five 3-pointers and finished with 25 points. Monta Ellis added 17 for Milwaukee, which shot 38.2 percent (29 of 76) from the field. Nuggets 113, Raptors 110 In Denver, Corey Brewer scored 19 points, JaVale McGee had 17 points and five blocks, and Denver withstood a late rally to beat Toronto. Andrea Bargnani scored 23 points for Toronto and Kyle Lowry had 24, including 12 in the fourth quarter when the Raptors cut a 17-point lead to one with 2:18 left. Ty Lawson, who finished with 16 points, hit a 3-pointer and Toronto missed its next three shots as Denver built a 110104 cushion. Lowry hit another 3 with 14 seconds left, and after two free throws from Andre Iguodala, Amir Johnson hit a 3 with 7.9 seconds remaining to make it 112-110. Kenneth Faried hit one of two free throws with 5.8 seconds left and DeMar DeRozan missed a long 3 at the buzzer. Faried had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Six players scored in double figures for Denver. Clippers 105, Jazz 104 In Salt Lake City, Blake Griffin scored 30 points, Jamal Crawford added 20 off the bench and Los Angeles handed Utah its first loss at home this season. Crawford made a pair of free throws late and exClipper Randy Foye countered with a 3pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining. But Foye’s desperation 3 after stealing the ensuing inbounds pass missed its mark. Mo Williams led the Jazz against his former team with 20 points and 12 assists. Foye added 19 points and Al Jefferson had 16 points and 10 rebounds but had a layup blocked by DeAndre Jordan with 26 seconds left that would have tied the score at 101. It was the third straight victory for the Clippers. Chris Paul added 14 points for Los Angeles, with six in the fourth after the Clippers entered the quarter trailing by 10. —AP

OAKLAND: Golden State Warriors point guard Jarrett Jack (2) drives against Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson (14) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game. —AP

ABK partners Kuwait Saracens rugby for 3rd consecutive year KUWAIT: ABK is pleased to announce its partnership with the Kuwait Saracens rugby club for the third year running. The Kuwait Saracens are among the largest youth organizations in the country providing first class coaching and rugby skills to over 150 players. They enjoy social membership of over 300 members covering 11 different nationalities, with an age range from under 6 to 16 years for boys and girls.

Every year in season the Saracens get to compete and test their skills against teams from the GCC, with tournaments held in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha and Kuwait. The senior team also compete annually in the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament with as many as 30,000 spectators turning up to watch the event. Stewart Lockie, GM, Retail Banking, stated that “ABK is proud to enjoy a long-standing relationship

with such an esteemed organization, and the Bank is delighted to see the player’s numbers increase consistently. It’s truly gratifying to see so many children enjoying while they learn a new skill, even as they get fit in a fun, friendly, and safe environment.” If anyone is interested to join, they are welcome to browse the Saracens website for more details at


sp orts

An Englishman gets his card in the last Q-school LA QUINTA: DH Lee of South Korea wiped away a single tear when he realized he had earned a job on the PGA Tour. Moments later, Edward Loar stood tall as he spoke about two shots into the water on the last two holes at Q school that sent him back to the minor leagues. Amid this familiar contrast of emotions, a sense of nostalgia swept across the California desert late Monday afternoon. “To get this one is extra special, knowing that next year guys won’t have this opportunity,” said Scott Langley, one of 25 players who earned cards in the final edition of this six-round tournament that offers a ticket to the richest tour in golf. The PGA Tour next year will end a half-century of tradition when Qschool will only provide cards to the secondary Tour. The PGA Tour is changing its structure to make it more competitive than ever. The players who failed to reach the FedEx Cup playoffs will meet in a series of four tournaments called “The Finals,” and the 25 players who earn the most money from those events will get their cards. That was on the mind of so many players who sweated out six days over two golf courses at PGA West. Lee birdied his last three holes for a 5-under 67 on the Stadium Course to

win Q-school, which gives him the highest priority of the 25 players who earned cards, along with a $50,000 first-place check. Ross Fisher of England, who won two matches at the Ryder Cup two years ago in Wales, was among those who finished one shot behind. Fisher has played plenty in America, mostly the majors and World Golf Championships because of his world ranking. But when he heard about the PGA Tour’s change, he skipped the season-ending European Tour event in Dubai to get ready for Q-school. “This game can go high and it can go low,” Fisher said. “Last year for me was not great. This year has been a work in progress. But it was the last year of Q-school, and it was nice to create a bit of history to be one of the guys at the last one.” Camilo Villegas, who won back-toback FedEx Cup playoff events in 2008, had to return to Q-school and missed his card by two shots. Villegas said he would hope for sponsor exemptions to try to get back his full status. Heath Slocum, only three years removed from a FedEx Cup playoff win in which he beat Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington with a birdie on the last hole, also failed to get through. Slocum needed a birdie on his last hole, but a bad swing

NFL results/standings Boston 4, Buffalo 3 (SO); New Jersey 4, Ottawa 2; Washington 4, NY Rangers 1; Pittsburgh 4, Philadelphia 2; Chicago 3, Detroit 2 (SO); Calgary 5, Anaheim 2; Montreal 4, Toronto 1; Tampa Bay 4, Winnipeg 3 (OT); Columbus 7, NY Islanders 3; Florida 4, Carolina 1; Phoenix 4, Minnesota 1; St Louis 3, Dallas 2; Nashville 6, Colorado 1; Vancouver 3, Edmonton 0; San Jose 3, Los Angeles 2 (OT). Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OT GF GA PTS New England 9 3 0 0 430 260 .750 NY Jets 5 7 0 1 228 296 .417 Buffalo 5 7 0 0 277 337 .417 Miami 5 7 0 2 227 249 .417 AFC North Baltimore 9 3 0 0 303 242 .750 7 5 0 0 254 230 .583 Pittsburgh Cincinnati 7 5 0 0 302 260 .583 Cleveland 4 8 0 1 229 265 .333 AFC South Houston 11 1 0 0 351 221 .917 Indianapolis 8 4 0 0 265 306 .667 Tennessee 4 8 0 1 248 359 .333 Jacksonville 2 10 0 3 206 342 .167 AFC West Denver 9 3 0 0 349 244 .750 4 8 0 1 258 257 .333 San Diego Oakland 3 9 0 0 235 376 .250 Kansas City 2 10 0 1 188 322 .167

National Football Conference NFC East NY Giants 7 5 0 0 321 243 .583 Washington 6 6 0 0 312 301 .500 Dallas 6 6 0 0 280 295 .500 Philadelphia 3 9 0 1 217 320 .250 NFC North Green Bay 8 4 0 0 296 259 .667 Chicago 8 4 0 1 294 198 .667 Minnesota 6 6 0 0 262 272 .500 Detroit 4 8 0 2 300 315 .333 NFC South Atlanta 11 1 0 0 317 229 .917 Tampa Bay 6 6 0 0 333 285 .500 New Orleans 5 7 0 1 321 327 .417 Carolina 3 9 0 1 235 292 .250 NFC West San Francisco 8 3 1 1 289 171 .708 Seattle 7 5 0 0 242 202 .583 St. Louis 5 6 1 0 221 267 .458 Arizona 4 8 0 1 186 234 .333

came at the wrong time. He pulled his tee shot into the water and made bogey. A day earlier, Slocum’s ball moved a fraction of an inch before a putt and he called a one-shot penalty on himself. “They say crazy stuff happens in Qschool, and it does,” Slocum said. “That’s never happened before. That’s one shot. You never know when one shot can help.” Among those earning their cards was Erik Compton, who only four years ago nearly died of a heart attack while driving himself to the hospital. He made it in time to survive and get a second heart transplant. “This is hell week,” said Compton, who said he slept only two hours each of the last two nights. “There was a sense of urgency for me. I don’t know if my health is going to hold up. If I could only go to the Tour, I probably would beat myself up.” Robert Karlsson, another former Ryder Cup player whose game was in such disrepair that he withdrew from the British Open this year because he didn’t know where the ball was going, made it with three strokes to spare. The list also includes Donald Constable of Minnesota, who had to go through a pre-qualifier and then three more stages of Q-school to reach the PGA Tour. Constable sweated it out

to the very end. Needing a par on the 18th hole of the Stadium Course, he hit his tee shot into an area of thin sand in a bunker, found the far end of the green and lagged a 45-foot to within 5 feet of the cup. Facing the most meaningful putt of his life, he poured it right in the middle. How would he have felt next year if that putt only meant a spot on the Tour? “It’s hard to say,” Constable said. “Obviously, this is something you’re working toward your whole life. It makes it tougher, knowing it’s right there and you’re so close and one shot can make a difference. It would probably be easier if you were only playing for the Tour.” Constable is a throwback in other ways. He finished his college eligibility at Minnesota a year ago, but stayed an amateur an additional year so he could complete his degree. He graduated in the spring with a degree in sociology. The status was more confusing for Si Woo Kim, the 17-year-old South Korean with a flawless swing who already is known by PGA Tour players who have competed against him, a list that includes Rickie Fowler. “This guy can play,” said Fowler, who faced him in the Korea Open last year. Yes, but he might not be playing that much. Kim, even though he earned his card, cannot become a PGA

Tour member until he turns 18 on June 28. The only way he can get into PGA Tour events until he turns 18 is through sponsor exemptions (no more than seven) or through Monday qualifying. Whatever FedEx Cup points he earns until his birthday will not show up on the list until he officially becomes a PGA Tour member. But he’s in, and as most players believe, talent comes through under any circumstances. Loar can only hope that’s the case. It took the former Oklahoma State star 13 years just to reach the PGA Tour, and he was in good shape to return going into the final day of Q-school, just three shots out of the lead. But he showed some nerves early, began dropping shots and found himself only one shot inside the cutoff when he stood on the tee at the par-3 17th, an island green. His 9-iron came up short and went into the water, leading to double bogey. Needing a birdie on the last hole to get his card, his approach drifted left and into the water. He missed by two. “It’s obviously a hard day for everyone. What else can I say?” Loar said. “I tried hard. We all know how cruel the game is. I can learn from it. I persevered for 13 years, so hopefully, this won’t set me back too much.” —AP

Redskins edge Giants LANDOVER: Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins continued their improbable push for the playoffs by edging the New York Giants 17-16 on Monday to reach the .500 mark and move into a tie for second place in the NFC East. Griffin, the Redskins’ sensational rookie quarterback, completed 13 of 21 passes for 163 yards and rushed for 72 yards on five carries to anchor Washington’s third straight victory. He hit Pierre Garcon with an eight-yard scoring strike with 11:31 left to give the Redskins a 17-16 lead and ignite the 80,246 at FedExField in an unseasonably warm evening in suburban Washington. The Giants gained 117 more yards through the air than Washington and held a sevenminute advantage in time of possession but were hampered by nine penalties for 73 yards. Washington rookie Alfred Morris had 124 yards on 22 carries as the Redskins had a 207-117 advantage in the ground game. “You can just feel the atmosphere in this locker room,” said Morris. “Our playoff hopes are still alive. We went out there and fought a hard game and came

LANDOVER: New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) pulls in a pass under pressure from Washington Redskins defensive back Cedric Griffin (20) during the first half of an NFL football game. —AP out victorious.” The win over the defending Super Bowl champions lifted Washington to 6-6 and into a tie for second place with Dallas in the NFC East, a game behind the Giants (7-5). “We know that our backs are against the wall,” said Griffin. “Even though we won tonight, our backs are still against the wall. That’s the attitude we have to have. “The guys in our locker room know how hard we’ve worked.

We started the season 3-6 and now we’re where we’re at because of that hard work.” New York took their opening possession and marched 69 yards in 11 plays before the drive stalled and Lawrence Tynes kicked a 39-yard field goal to give them a 3-0 lead. The Redskins took a 7-3 lead on a bizarre play when wide receiver Joshua Morgan caught a fumble by Griffin in mid-air and raced 13 yards into the end zone. Griffin had already run for 12

yards before getting hit and fumbling the ball forward. “We needed a big play,” said Morgan. “It doesn’t matter how the plays come as long as you make the play.” The Giants took a 10-7 lead with two minutes left in the first half when Eli Manning capped a 13-play, 85 yard drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to tight end Martellus Bennett. Washington evened the score at 10-10 with 41 seconds left in the half with Kai Forbath’s 33yard field goal but Tynes gave the Giants a 13-10 lead with a 40yarder as time expired. Tynes kicked his third field goal of the game, a 35-yarder, to give the Giants a 16-10 advantage with three minutes left in the third quarter. Manning completed 20 of 33 passes for 280 yards but the Giants were able to reach the end zone only once. Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 103 yards on 24 carries but said not scoring touchdowns was crucial. “We’ve been going through it all year,” he said. “It’s just something we’ve got to work on and go back to the books. We’ve just got to finish every play and we didn’t.” —Reuters

India, Dutch top pools Champions Trophy

Bahrain Drag Race 2013 KUWAIT: Kuwaiti teams from Kuwait Quarter Mile Club (KQMC) leave today for Bahrain to take part in the second round of Bahrain’s Drag Race 2013 due to kick off this evening with free experimental races pending the final race due to be held Friday with participation from various GCC champs. KQMC

MELBOURNE: India finished top of Pool A despite going down 3-2 in their final pool game to Olympic champions Germany at the Champions Trophy in Melbourne yesterday. World number 11 India will now face win-less Belgium, who finished fourth in Pool B, in a quarter-final tomorrow. The Netherlands, ranked three in the world, topped Pool B after defeating Belgium 5-4 and will face New Zealand in their quarterfinal. Elsewhere, England blew their chance to finish on top of Pool A after drawing 1-1 against New Zealand and will now face Australia in the quarter-finals after the Kookaburras beat Pakistan 1-0 in the evening game. Germany complete the quarter-final lineup with a match against Pakistan. A win will put India into the semi-finals

drag race committee chairman, sheikh Duaij Al-Fahad Al-Sabah stressed that Kuwaiti teams were in high spirits and that they are willing to achieve more victories reflecting the real essence of the sport in Kuwait. He added that over 40 Kuwaiti racers would take part in the races’ nine categories.

Nadal eyes clay season for return to top form MADRID: Rafa Nadal is aiming to be back to his best after injury in time for the claycourt season and the run-up to Roland Garros, the Spaniard said on Monday. The 26-year-old former world number one has slipped down to fourth in the ATP rankings and has not played since his shock second-round exit at Wimbledon in June. The Spaniard was diagnosed with a partial tear of the patella tendon and inflammation of the left knee, only returning to hitting balls on a practice court two weeks ago. “My recovery is going well and the doctors are pleased,” Nadal told Spanish radio. “I have to look at my career with a fiveyear view. I considered having surgery, but

the doctors have always preferred not to take risks with my treatment.” The 11-times grand slam singles champion was pragmatic about his return to competition. “I would like to return in January,” he said. “I don’t expect to return and win the Australian Open, I have to be realistic. The results will not worry me in the first tournaments back. “I have to take into account my form after so long out. It wouldn’t bother me if I slipped down to 15th in the world as long as inside I knew was able to continue. “I want to be 100 percent in time for Monte Carlo and the run-up to Roland Garros.” Nadal won a record seventh French Open title in May. —Reuters

MELBOURNE: Captain Sardar Singh of India (left) beats Patrick Hablawetz of Germany (right) to the ball during their Pool A match at the Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy tournament. —AFP

and a chance for their first Champions Trophy medal since their bronze at Amstelveen in 1982. Striker SK Uthappa said his team still took confidence going forward despite the loss to the Germans. “Team morale is very high because we knew that it wouldn’t be an easy game to play against the Olympic gold medallists, so we were prepared for a good fight and that’s what happened,” he said. “It was most important that we finished on top and that is what we did.” India made the best possible start with Gurwinder Chandi finding space in the circle to deliver a powerful shot for the opening goal. Germany worked themselves back in the game minutes later, with Oliver Korn following up his first shot which hit the post to fire home the rebound and level the game. The match continued at a frantic pace, with India producing several shots on goal which were all stopped by German goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi. India continued on with their form after half-time, with a deflection from Nithin Thimmaiah from a penalty corner retrieving the lead. India continued to play attacking hockey in search for another goal, however the disciplined German defence held firm. This eventually paid dividends with a lapse in concentration from India allowing Germany back in the game with two goals to Tobias Matania within two minutes to seal the win. The Netherlands secured top spot in Pool B by beating Belgium in a nine-goal thriller, but were pushed by the Belgians who fought back from a 3-0 half-time deficit. Dutch captain Klaas Vermeulen said despite the close call they would take the positives heading into the quarter-finals. “The tournament is starting now (with the quarter finals). We have to forget the second half and remember the first and stay focused,” he said. Australia, chasing a fifth straight Champions Trophy, needed to win by two goals or more against Pakistan to take top spot in Pool B away from the

Dutch, however they could only manage a 1-0 win. Pakistan played well throughout the matched and looked capable of pulling off an upset, however a second-half penalty corner to Kieran Govers gave the home team the win. Australian defender Mark Knowles said there was still room for improvement. “We haven’t played that well yet and know we can get better. We need to improve, we now play England, they are young and it’s a quarterfinal at a Champions Trophy so it will be big for everyone,” he said. Tomorrow’s quarterfinal lineups: Germany v Pakistan, New Zealand v The Netherlands, India v Belgium, England v Australia. —AFP

MELBOURNE: Joel Carroll of Australia (left) leaps in the air as Haseem Abdul Khan of Pakistan (right) plays a shot at goal during their Pool B match at the Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy tournament. —AFP


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Are you ready for some bowls?! We aren’t NEW YORK: This college football bowl season is like a brand of Chex Mix that comes with a bunch of nuts you don’t really care to eat. Sure, there’s a handful of enticing matchups that are worthy of your time for three or so hours. But by the time you’re done picking through to the good ones, you realize there’s not much left. Well, there are other things to do this holiday season. Like, go ice skating. Or, check out all the pretty lights. Whatever it is, there’s never been a better reason to spend some time some real quality time - with your friends and family. Believe us, you won’t be missing a thing if you tune out what will soon be running virtually nonstop on your plasma screen, in all its high-def ugliness. This is nothing more than a bunch of meaningless contests between mediocre teams, a lineup that that makes “Honey Boo Boo” look like “Downton Abbey.” Call it Must-Miss TV. The guys who run the system clearly take us as nothing but a bunch of suckers, willing to watch whatever drivel they put before us as long they attach the word “bowl” to some product they’re pushing. When the complete list of bowls was finally unveiled in all its glory

Sunday night, most of the attention turned to Northern Illinois, a team that somehow made the Orange Bowl after losing to Iowa (which won 33 percent of its games) and barely beating Army and Kansas (who combined for a grand total of three victories). But let’s not take out our wrath on the ... uh, hmmm ... whatever their nickname is. We should actually be saluting the MAC champs, because they’re like a single minnow swimming ahead bravely to take on the BCS sharks, all while making an already ludicrous system look even sillier. Besides, there’s plenty of bowl games that are far more objectionable than the one in Miami between the Seminoles of Florida State and the ... uh, hmm ... oh yeah, the Huskies, that’s it, of Northern Illinois. The good folks of El Paso will be subjected to a Sun Bowl featuring a team with a losing record (Georgia Tech) and perhaps the most underachieving squad in all the land (USC). The Yellow Jackets (6-7) needed a waiver from the NCAA before they could accept their invitation. The Trojans lost five times after starting the season at No. 1. “We’re excited about a very good

bowl and a great matchup,” said USC coach Lane Kiffin, who we can only assume awoke the next morning to find his nose had grown by a foot or two. But, who knows, maybe one of Kiffin’s minions will go all rogue again and deflate the tires on the team buses. That way, they can’t leave their hotels and no one would have to be subjected to such a marquee matchup. Though, we must say, this game might have some car-crash appeal if held in conjunction with a Kiffin family reunion. The bratty coach already dumped his 72-year-old dad because of the team’s defensive woes, and he surely would be willing to jettison a few more relatives if the Trojans lost again. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, was blown out at home by Middle Tennessee, lost its final regular-season game by 32 points and wound up with a losing record after getting into the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game by default, the next team in line after Miami decided to spend another postseason in self-imposed lockdown. Even after losing the ACC game, the Yellow Jackets still got the call that extended their bowl streak to 16 years

in a row. Talk about an achievement worthy of an asterisk. But, this isn’t about one particular school. There’s plenty of averageness to go around. A dozen teams received bowl bids with records of 6-6, which is often the sort of mark that gets a coach fired, not earns his team a trip at the holidays. (Or, in the case of Purdue, was bowl-worthy AND got the coach fired). In fact, there are two games matching a pair of 6-6 teams - Rice vs Air Force in the Armed Services Bowl at Fort Worth (sorry, our men and women in uniform) and Pittsburgh vs. Ole Miss in the BBVA Compass Bowl at Birmingham. When those kind of teams get together, they’re hoping you throw out the record book. Instead, you should change the channel. Yet, none of the 35 bowls could find a spot for Louisiana Tech, the highest-scoring team in the country, a squad that won nine times and barely lost to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in one of the most entertaining games of the season. The Bulldogs apparently weren’t too thrilled about the idea of going to the nearby Independence Bowl to dance with another team from their own state (Louisiana-Monroe). They

thought they had might get a call from someone more handsome. The Independence was all, like, why you disrespectin’ us, girlfriend? So they called up Ohio (University, not State), which said “yes.” “Under no circumstances did I ever think there was any possibility at all that we would not play in a bowl game,” Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes said. “It is a shame that our nationally recognized team and its 31 seniors have to end the season this way.” No, the real shame is that college football ends its season this way. We’re promised a playoff in 2014, but we should see through that four team ruse. It’s a way to silence everyone who wants a legitimate playoff (16 teams, minimum) and keep alive the bowl system, nothing more than a nonprofit scam lining the pockets of its operators with exorbitant salaries for the taxing job of putting on one game a year. Maybe if the fans stop watching, there will be a true playoff. Maybe if the fans stop buying tickets, all these meaningless games will wither up and die. There’s no better time to start than now. Happy Bowl Season! Now, go do something else. —AP

IOC suspends India

Colin Kaepernick

Is Kaepernick worth the risk this year? NEW YORK: It was just a few months ago - also known as forever in NFL time — that San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh stood in front of the media and proclaimed his love for Alex Smith. After Sunday’s debacle in St. Louis, Harbaugh might want to do it again. That Colin Kaepernick is a fine young talent who may someday win a Super Bowl for the 49ers or some other team isn’t up for debate. He has a rare combination of size, running ability and arm strength to win a lot of games for a lot of years in the NFL. It’s why Harbaugh was so star struck after Kaepernick’s first start against the Bears on Monday night two weeks ago that he kept him on the job. It’s why Smith watched from the sidelines once again against the Rams despite a clear head and some sterling credentials of his own. Four games away from the playoffs, though, the steady hand of Smith might be the best ticket the 49ers can punch to get to the Super Bowl in New Orleans. Except Harbaugh seems as smitten with his second-year quarterback as ever. “It was a tough game for a quarterback to play in,” Harbaugh said. “I thought he did well.” At times Kaepernick certainly did, particularly when he made up for a series of miscues with a spectacular 50-yard scramble that put the 49ers in position to win the game against the Rams. But the drive ended with a field goal, the game went to overtime, and the Rams finally ended it with a late kick for a 16-13 win. Had the Rams not put those points on the board with 26 seconds left in OT something other than a quarterback controversy might be the legacy of the game. It could easily have been the second tie game between the two teams in three weeks - something that was such a long shot even Vegas oddsmakers wouldn’t put a price on it. Instead, the focus for

49er fans will be on a quarterback controversy that didn’t need to be. Argue all you want about Kaepernick’s potential and ability - he certainly has plenty of both. But don’t forget Smith took the 49ers to within a field goal of the Super Bowl last year and his only mistake this year was to suffer a concussion that forced him off the field in the tie against the Rams in San Francisco. “I feel like the only thing I did to lose my job was get a concussion,” a somewhat perplexed Smith said earlier in the week. Not that anyone should feel sorry for Smith. The former No. 1 pick had his chances but didn’t play well in a variety of different schemes in San Francisco before finally flourishing under Harbaugh in a breakout season last year. That won him a new $33 million contract, with $16.5 million guaranteed. But it didn’t stop the 49ers from almost straying a few months later when they took a close look at free agent Peyton Manning before deciding to stick with the quarterback they had. And it didn’t stop the coach/quarterback guru from sticking with Kaepernick even when Smith was cleared to play, declaring he would go with the quarterback with the “hot hand.” That hand wasn’t so hot Sunday in St. Louis against a defense that seemed to confuse Kaepernick at times. His numbers were decent enough - 208 yards passing and another 84 rushing - but he got the 49ers into the end zone only once and made two critical second-half mistakes that allowed the Rams back in the game. The first gave St. Louis its first points when Kaepernick was called for grounding while trying to scramble from the end zone. The second hurt far worse, when Kaepernick pitched the ball over Ted Ginn Jr. deep in 49ers territory and the Rams recovered for a tying touchdown. —AP

PARIS: India has been suspended from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because of its stance of electing tainted officials, a source in the body confirmed to AFP yesterday. Asked whether members of the IOC’s executive committee had confirmed the south Asian giant’s suspension for flouting the Olympic charter, the source said by text message: “It’s official.” No further details were immediately available and the IOC was expected to make an official announcement later in the day in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the body is based. Suspension from IOC membership means India will not receive IOC funding and its officials would be banned from attending Olympic meetings and events. India’s athletes would also be barred from competing in the Olympics under the national flag, although the IOC could allow some to take part under the Olympic flag. The suspension comes amid an ongoing row between the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the IOC over the election procedure for top posts in the national organisation due to be held today. A New Delhi court directed the faction-ridden IOA to hold the vote according to the government’s sports code but the IOC wanted it to abide by the

Olympic charter that favors autonomy. Lalit Bhanot, who is out on bail after spending 11 months in custody last year on corruption charges linked to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, was expected to be elected unopposed to the post of secretary-general. The new IOA president was expected to be Abhey Singh Chautala, who has close links to former incumbent Suresh Kalmadi, who is also on bail over corruption charges linked to the Commonwealth Games. The IOC Ethics Commission in October warned India against fielding either Bhanot or Kalmadi and has expressed concern over political interference. Chautala, a politician in northern Haryana state, told AFP in New Delhi: “I have not heard anything officially but am told that India has been suspended by the IOC. If that is true, it is wrong and a one-sided decision. “We will meet tomorrow (Wednesday) to decide our future course of action.” Chautala blamed his one-time rival for the post, Randhir Singh, for the suspension. Singh pulled out of the race to become IOA president last month. “When he realised he did not have the majority to win the elections, Randhir used his contacts in the IOC to get at us,” he said. “He is the one who has shamed

Indian sport and should resign from the IOC.” Chautala added that the IOA had no choice but to follow the government’s sports code. “We had explained to the IOC that we were ordered by the Delhi High Court to follow the sports code,” he said. “We could not go against a court order. But we did not get a reply from the

Nachappa said she was not surprised at the IOC’s move. “We all saw it coming,” she said. “I hope it helps to clean up Indian sports administration. But will it?” Woman boxer Mary Kom, a five-time world champion who won a bronze at the London Olympics, said she was “absolutely shocked” at India’s suspension.

NEW DELHI: In this April 28, 2008 file photo, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Suresh Kalmadi (right) and Secretary General Randhir Singh prepare for a press conference after a meeting in New Delhi, India. —AP “I don’t know who is responsible IOC.” India’s lone individual Olympic for this but I know the athletes gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra who will suffer if the situation is said the IOA deserved to be sus- not resolved quickly,” she added. pended. “Bye Bye IOA, hope to India’s next appearance at a see u again soon, hopefully clean- major international event would have been the Asian Games in er!,” Bindra tweeted. Former athlete Ashwini South Korea in 2014.—AFP

KSSC’s 7th Open Kuwait Sailing Championship kicks off tomorrow

(From left) Kuwaitis Saad, Faheed and Jarah

Al-Osaimi lauds shooters’ achievements KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Olympic shooter Fuhaid Al-Daihani won the second place in the double trap event during the second Asian Championship for Clay Targets being held in India. UAE’s Jumaa Al-Maktoom was first and India’s Singh was third. Meanwhile Kuwait’s team of Fuhaid Al-Daihani, Saad Al-Mutairi and Jarrah Al-Shuwaier took third place and the bronze medal. KSSC Secretary General Obeid Al-Osaimi lauded Kuwaiti shooters’ efforts and their keenness on such achievements despite the increasing fierce competition from other shooters. He expressed confidence in the skeet shooters, who will add to the winnings of Kuwaiti shooters. Al-Osaimi praised the unlimited support by HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince, HH the Prime Minister, contributing to the Olympic, Asian, regional and international achievements.

KUWAIT: The 7th Open Kuwait Sailing Championship organized by Kuwait Sea Sports Club (KSSC)’s Sail, Rowing and Kayak committee kicks off tomorrow ( Thursday) morning and is expected to last from December 6-8, 2012 with the participation of 18 national teams. In this regard, the organizing committee and the championship’s general supervisor, former world champion, Ahmed Abdul Salam AlFailakawi said that the championship would be held under the motto of “Sails..Environment Friendly” that was passed by the GCC Sail Races Committee. He also noted that the race would kick off at 10:00 am tomorrow at the Messila Beach whereas the conclusion ceremony would be held in the presence of the championship guardian, KSSC chairman and the chairman of the Arab Sailing Federation, Maj. General

Fahad Al-Fahad, the chairman of Bahrain Sea Sports Club, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Abdullah Abd the GCC sailing representative, Abol Hassan at 6:00 pm Saturday at KSSC headquarters in Salmiya. Further, Al-Failakawi said that the activities would include three internationally-acknowledged races; the Radial, the Optimist and the Hobby. He also said that each team would be represented by four boats in each category. Al-Failakawi explained that Kuwait would be represented by 12 players in addition to the Radial and Laser categories Bulgarian coach, Ivanov and the Optimist Kuwaiti coach, Rashid Al-Khattaf. He added that former Kuwaiti and international players would take part as beginning referees along with a panel of 9 international ones including Moroccan, Mohammed Zanzoon.

Australia ponder post-Ponting new order

Australia’s Ricky Ponting ducks a bouncer in this file photo

PERTH: With a three-test series against Sri Lanka starting next week, Australia have no time to dwell on what might have been after getting close to beating the best side in the world before being blown away at the end of a hard-fought series. They will, of course, be without Ricky Ponting for the first time in 17 years after the former captain bowed out following his 168th test, which ended with a 309-run defeat and the loss of the series to South Africa in Perth. “I just hope I’ve left the team in a better place than it was when I started,” Ponting, struggling to contain his emotions, said at the conclusion of his final news conference

as an international cricketer on Monday. “I think every player that comes into international sport wants to say that they can walk away with the team being in a better place than it was, hopefully my impact and input on Australian cricket has left something behind.” Ponting’s impact on cricket certainly goes beyond the 13,378 test runs he scored. There can be no doubt that, through no fault of his own, the Australian cricket team is not in a better place than it was when he made his debut against the Sri Lankans in 1995. The then 21-year-old had forced himself into the team by sheer weight of runs and batted behind Michael Slater, Mark Taylor,

David Boon and Mark Waugh at number five. Glenn McGrath took seven wickets and Shane Warne six as Australia won the match by an innings and 36 runs. Australia clearly have some players in fine form - Michael Clarke was named Player of the Series against South Africa for his two brilliant double centuries and Mike Hussey also scored two centuries. But no-one would pretend for a moment that the current side is close to the complete article. First and foremost, before the first test against Sri Lanka in Hobart next week, they must decide who replaces Ponting at number four in the batting line-up. With time running out before the tour of India and back-

to-back Ashes series next year, coach Mickey Arthur and captain Clarke have suggested a completely new look to the top order might be on the cards. “We need a lot more consistency from our top four because we know at five and six we’ve got the best batsman in the world (Clarke) and Mr. Cricket in Hussey, we just need one-two-three and four to be giving us a really good platform,” Arthur told reporters after the Perth test. “We haven’t discussed it yet but it’ll probably be a guy that comes in and bats at three, with a possible move for Shane Watson to four. It just looks right and gives us a little bit of stability.” — Reuters



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Chelsea needs helping hand Champions League

SPAIN: Barcelona players attend a training session at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper. FC Barcelona will play against Benfica in Group G Champions League soccer match. —AP

Messi could set goal record against Benfica BARCELONA: Despite Lionel Messi being one goal from equaling Gerd Mueller’s all-time record of 85 in a calendar year, Barcelona could rest him from today’s home match against Benfica in the Champions League. Messi is scoring at a rate of two goals per game, so the record could fall at the Camp Nou. But Barcelona has already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages, and coach Tito Vilanova may opt to keep Messi in reserve for upcoming Spanish league matches against Betis and Atletico Madrid. It’s not an easy decision, because the club’s fans are eager to celebrate another record at the Camp Nou. And there is no doubt Messi can deliver. In March, he became the first player to score five times in a Champions League game as Bayer Leverkusen was trounced 7-1. Barcelona tops the Spanish league with the best ever start to a season. Its nearest rival is Atletico Madrid, six points behind. Archrival Real Madrid is third, 11 points off the pace. “This good start to our season has given us great peace of mind to tackle what remains,” center back Gerard Pique said. “Things are looking good for us and if we are able to continue at this level, we will have won good ground.” After Benfica on Wednesday, Barcelona has four more games this year for Messi to score in. “To set records you need to play well and also have some luck, which we are having. You have to go match by match and the records will look after themselves,” Pique said. Vilanova will be tempted to let Messi have a crack at Mueller’s record at home, given that Benfica has never won at the Camp Nou. The Portuguese club, the European champion in the 1960s, is weakened by injuries for the trip across the border. Its Argentine midfield trio of Pablo Aimar, Enzo Perez and Eduardo Salvio is unavailable due to injury. Portugal midfielder Carlos Martins is also out with a

hamstring problem. Benfica won its last two Champions League games, defeating Spartak Moscow and Celtic in Lisbon, but hasn’t won away in the competition this season. Benfica is unbeaten in the Portuguese league and shares top spot with Porto. Vilanova has chosen to rest Xavi Hernandez, Javier Mascherano, Pedro Rodriguez, Jordi Alba, Cesc Fabregas and playmaker Andres Iniesta, so the indications are that Messi will play. Barcelona’s injured list includes Dani Alves, Alexis Sanchez, Marc Bartra and Eric Abidal. Messi has found the net 26 times this season in all competitions for Barcelona. Pique said the squad was not complacent, despite its recent run of good performances. “A lot of the season remains and experience tells us that we have to have our feet firmly on the ground,” he said. “During (Pep) Guardiola’s first year we had a similar advantage and had to take it to the wire and go to the return leg at the Bernabeu to win the league.” Celtic midfielder James Forrest said his team would not dwell on its disappointment at drawing 1-1 against second-tier Arbroath in the Scottish league as the squad refocuses its attention on attaining a berth in the last 16 in Europe. Forrest believed Celtic will be switched on for Spartak Moscow today. “If you get a bad result it means you can rectify it two or three days later by getting a good result in another game,” he said. “The boys are full of confidence for today and that’s the main thing.” Celtic must better Benfica’s result in Barcelona to seal a place in the knockout stages. Spartak Moscow fired coach Unai Emery following a 5-1 defeat in the Russian league to Dinamo Moscow on Nov. 25 and then lost its next match 4-2 against Zenit St. Petersburg. It was Spartak’s seventh loss of the season. Spartak was eliminated from the Champions League after a 3-0 loss to Barcelona. —AP

LONDON: A season after spirit and good fortune swept Chelsea to an unlikely Champions League title, the defending champions will be relying on those same qualities to avoid an unprecedented elimination today. Chelsea must win at home against FC Nordsjaelland and hope Juventus loses at already-qualified Shakhtar Donetsk if the English team is to avoid becoming the first reigning champion to exit at the group stage. The odds are stacked against Chelsea, especially considering its woeful form under Rafa Benitez since he came in as interim manager to replace the popular Roberto Di Matteo two weeks ago. Chelsea is without a victory in Benitez’s three matches and the Spaniard’s pragmatic, defensive style of play hasn’t endeared him to the Chelsea fans who are unhappy with the manner and abruptness of Di Matteo’s dismissal. Benitez has been jeered before, during and after each of his matches and even admitted after Saturday’s 3-1 loss at West Ham in the Premier League that he didn’t know whether he would survive his seven-month temporary stint. “ These are players that have won the Champions League and have won a lot of trophies so they have to show this character, but they need a little more confidence,” Benitez said. “Some players can show character but if you have one or two and they are not playing at the level then the team as a team is suffering.” The problem for Benitez is that some of the key players behind Chelsea’s title-winning campaign last season haven’t been available to him. Didier Drogba - the match-winner against Bayern Munich in the final - is no longer with the club while stalwarts John Terry and Frank Lampard have been out injured. Lampard trained on Tuesday and could make his return from a calf problem. What Benitez has in his favor is Champions League know-how. He won the competition

with Liverpool in 2005 and reached the final in 2007, with Benitez’s team knocking Chelsea out at the semifinal stage in both years. He is also the manager who has got the best out of Fernando Torres, during their time together at Liverpool. The Spain striker is in poor form at present, though, and is without a goal in nearly two months. “We have been very good defensively this season,” Torres told “But in the middle, we have huge quality and those kinds of players have to be the key for us because we need to play for them and the strikers need to understand what they like to do to score more

LONDON: Chelseaís (from left) Juan Mata, Ashley Cole, Fernando Torres and Ramires take part in a soccer training session at their facilities in Stoke d’Abernon. Chelsea are due to play Nordsjaelland in a Champions League match today. —AP goals. “It’s just a matter of time and training.” Chelsea’s destiny is out of his hands, though. Juve needs only a draw against a club that is already in the last 16, although Shahktar is insisting the team will play hard to finish at the top of the group. “It’s nice knowing that we’ve qualified for

The return of Vidic would be a boost for Ferguson after United conceded three in a seven-goal thriller against Reading on Saturday - a game the manager described as “ridiculous”. Ferguson may also rest Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans ahead of the Manchester derby on Sunday as he does not expect Vidic to feature in that crunch clash even if he plays against the Romanian side on Wednesday and comes through unscathed. “I’m hopeful Vidic will play. I think there is a good chance he will,” said Ferguson. “It

result that will enable us to progress and to keep dreaming in this competition, which is very close to our hearts,” Juventus president Andrea Agnelli said. Nordsjaelland has only one point from five games and cannot even qualify for the Europa League as a third-place finisher. —AP

Lennon worried complacency could cost Celtic last 16 spot GLASGOW: Neil Lennon has warned his Celtic players about being complacent against troubled Spartak Moscow as his side attempt to book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League here yesterday. The Russian side crashed to a 4-2 defeat at home on Friday to Zenit St Petersburg. The defeat comes on top of a humiliating 5-1 loss to city rivals Dynamo — a result that cost coach Unai Emery his job. Fomer boss Valery Karpin stepped back down from the boardroom to try and steady the Spartak ship but the defeat to Zenit shows how big that job will be. However, Lennon remains cautious about the threat Spartak - who could have fit-again Aiden McGeady in their side — will pose at Parkhead. “We watched Spartak on Friday when they lost to Zenit, and they’re having their own problems domestically,” Lennon said. “I don’t know what frame of mind they will come to Glasgow in - but I do know they are a dangerous team. “They attack very, very well and were unfortunate at times against Zenit. “They had a spell of dominance when they looked very, very dangerous going forward. So we will have to be mindful of that.” The Glasgow giants sit third in Group G on the same points as Benefica and need to better the Portuguese side’s result against Barcelona if they are to progress to the next stage for the first time since 2008. Spartak will finish bot-

tom of the group no matter the result in Glasgow but will be determined to avenge the 3-2 home defeat they suffered against the Hoops which effectively ruined their chances of qualifying from the group. Lennon, whose side could only manage a 1-1 draw with Second Division Arbroath in the Scottish Cup at the weekend, said Celtic will have to show patience and discipline if they are to get the win they need. “I’m not sure if the majority of our fans expect us to go through and that may work in favor of our players,” he said. “We’re going to have to try to win the game and we will wait all night if we have to for the goal. “But we must emphasise the importance of keeping a clean sheet, and I think our players will rise to the occasion. “As a team, they’re a bit more flamboyant than Benfica who are more pragmatic and maybe better defensively. “There’s a bit more flair and pace in this Spartak team although they do throw caution to the wind sometimes and leave themselves open. “I think we have to be careful attacking-wise because Russian teams historically are excellent on the counter attack. In Emmanuel Emenike they’ve got a goalscorer. “At the back, though, I don’t think it’s their strongest area. “We have to make sure our set-up is right and play with the intensity we can, but make sure we’re mindful of our discipline in defence as well.” — AFP

Ferguson hoping Vidic returns to calm defence MANCHESTER: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is hoping to welcome back captain Nemanja Vidic for his side’s final Champions League group game against Romanian side CFR Cluj. The 31-year-old Serbian defender returned to training last week after undergoing knee surgery in September that has kept him out of action. Ferguson is set to make a host of changes for the game at Old Trafford, much like they did for the visit to Galatasaray, as United have already secured qualification to the knockout stages as group winners.

the knockout stage but we have one more and very important game to play to decide who will be first,” Shahktar midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan said. “The fans will come to watch us succeed, and we will play for them.” Shakhtar will be hampered by the loss of forward Luiz Adriano, who is suspended after violating fair-play principles in the 5-2 win over Nordsjaelland. Juventus defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Martin Caceres have recovered from injuries and have been included in Antonio Conte’s 21-man squad. “Our concentration, determination and hunger have to absolutely be strong to get a

depends on himself, of course. “It’s a big bonus (to have Vidic back). The game will allow me to play (Phil) Jones, (Chris) Smalling, Vidic and (Alexander) Buttner can play left back. That is a good foundation to start the game. “I knew he was doing really well with the physios and he was doing football training with them in terms of striking the ball. “But he came into training last Monday with the first team and did okay. He was not involved in the competitive part, he was passive in playing for both teams and being free...but he did alright.” — AFP

Matches on TV (Local Timings) UEFA Champions League Baracelona v Benfica Aljazeera Sport +2


Lille v Valencia Aljazeera Sport +8


Bayern v Borisov Aljazeera Sport +6


Chelsea v Nordsjaelland 22:45 Aljazeera Sport +5

LONDON: Manchester United players including Darren Fletcher (centre) train at Carrington training ground. Manchester United will play CFR Cluj-Napoca today in a Champion’s League Group H soccer match. —AP

Shakhtar v Juventus Aljazeera Sport +4


Celtic v Spartak Aljazeera Sport +9


Man United v Cluj Aljazeera Sport +1


Braga v Galatasaray Aljazeera Sport +10


MUNICH: Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer catches a ball during a training session prior to their Champions League Group F soccer match against FC Bate Borisov today. —AP

Bayern seek to win group MUNICH: Bayern Munich needs a victory over BATE Borisov to guarantee itself a first-place finish in Group F of the Champions League and to avenge an unexpected loss. Bayern’s 3-1 loss to the Belarus champions in Minsk means the German powerhouse and last season’s runnerup has to wait until the final round of group games today to secure first place. Valencia travels to Lille needing a better result than Bayern to win the group. Both Bayern and Valencia are sure to advance and both have 10 points but Bayern has a better head-tohead record. BATE Borisov is sure to finish third and move into the Europa League. Bayern will be without central defender Holger Badstuber, who tore right-knee ligaments in the 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday. “We’ll do ourselves all a favor if we win this game,” Bayern midfielder Thomas Mueller said. Group winners could end up getting a relatively easier opponent in the knockout stage and have the advantage of playing the second leg at home. Bayern is leading the Bundesliga by eight points and is playing an impressive season, so coach Jupp Heynckes is trying to prevent his players form underestimating the Belarusian champions. “BATE sounds like a team you should beat by 5-0,” Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said. But Bayern will know better after losing away. Heynckes also will be without forward Arjen Robben, who is still recovering from a muscle tear. The coach may decide to rest one or two stars but he is unlikely to take a big risk by resting most of his firstchoice players. Valencia parted company with coach Mauricio Pellegrino on Dec. 1, appointing Ernesto Valverde until the end of the season. Salvador Gonzalez will take charge of the team at Lille. Pellegrino paid the price for the club’s worst league start since 1999-2000 and a 5-2 loss at home to Real Sociedad on Saturday. Valencia defender Joao Pereira will not travel to Lille as a precaution because of lingering doubts about his recovery from a right calf strain. Defender Ricardo Costa said he hopes the match against Lille will help restore the club’s image after the loss to Real Sociedad. “A Champions League match is always special, but we are feeling a bit sad. We have to do things right,” Costa said. “We didn’t do things correctly at the weekend and we want to rectify that. I am sure the team will show its best side and try to get the three points.” Saturday’s 0-0 home draw with Bastia was Lille’s third straight league game without a win and left coach Rudi Garcia feeling frustrated with his misfiring forwards. Nolan Roux is the club’s top scorer this season with only four goals in all competitions, followed by winger Dimitri Payet and forward Salomon Kalou with three each. “We have to be much better in the danger zone and with our movement,” Garcia said. “We have to be more deadly in front of goal and show more desire and determination. Let’s keep some energy so that we don’t make the same slow start today.” Garcia has to decide whether to stick with his regular forwards or give Gianni Bruno another go in attack after he followed up his goal against BATE with another strike in the midweek League Cup win, again versus Bastia. —AP




Zenit secure Europa spot with victory over Milan

ATHENS: Olympiakos’ Kostas Manolas (left) fights for the ball with Arsenal’s Marouane Chamakh during their Group B Champions League soccer match.—AP

Greek tragedy for Arsenal ATHENS: Arsenal’s dispiriting season took a turn for the worse yesterday as the Gunners crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Olympiakos that ended their hopes of finishing top of Champions League Group B. Arsene Wenger’s side desperately needed a victory in Athens to ease the sense of crisis enveloping the north London club after their worst start to a Premier League campaign in the Frenchman’s 16-year reign. But instead the Gunners squandered the lead secured by Tomas Rosicky as second half goals from Giannis Maniatis and then Kostas Mitroglou meant Arsenal had to settle for second place in the group behind Schalke. Although Arsenal had already qualified for the last 16, this was a missed opportunity for Wenger’s men as Schalke’s draw at Montpellier meant a victory would have given the Gunners top spot and potentially an easier draw in the knockout stages. It was the last thing Wenger needed after being subjected to a torrent of abuse from angry fans after Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat against Swansea. In the aftermath of that Swansea meltdown, Wenger had insisted Arsenal are in “fantastic shape”, but this lacklustre loss was further evidence of a club sliding towards obscurity. Wenger, feeling the heat from supporters after seven years without a trophy, made seven changes from Saturday, sending out a weakened team including forgotten men Marouane Chamakh and Sebastien Squillaci and a first start for 20year-old left-back Jernade Meade. And, in the circumstances, it was hardly surprising that the makeshift Gunners made the kind of nervous, error-strewn start that has blighted their play in recent weeks. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teed up Gervinho for an early chance that the Ivorian forward wasted with a wayward finish. Moroccan striker Chamakh has largely been discarded by Wenger over the last year and it was easy

to see why as his poor control caused a pair of Arsenal attacks to peter out. Aaron Ramsey should have opened the scoring when Chamakh nodded Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross into the Welsh midfielder’s path, but he completely miscued his shot and the ball bounced out of play off his shin. Leonardo Jardim’s side almost made Arsenal pay moments later when Pablo Contreras’s header was cleared off the line by Rosicky. But the Gunners took the lead in the 38th minute. Gervinho was the provider, jinking past several defenders before cutting a pass back to Czech midfielder Rosicky, who drove a first-time shot past former Manchester United keeper Roy Carroll for his first goal since March. Wenger was forced to send on Andrey Arshavin for the injured Rosicky at halftime and Russian was into the action early on as he headed over from Chamakh’s cross. Arshavin went close on the hour with a powerful strike that Carroll pushed away at his near post, but Arsenal’s defensive frailties returned to haunt them as Olympiakos snatched an equaliser in the 65th minute. There was a hint of controversy about the goal as Arsenal claimed Szczesny didn’t get a touch on a Paulo Machado header which resulted in the corner that produced the goal. Arsenal failed to clear the set-piece and Djamel Abdoun hooked a cross back into the area, where Ramsey carelessly chested the ball towards Maniatis and the midfielder bundled his close-range shot past Szczesny. It got even worse for the Gunners eight minutes later when the Wenger’s defence backed off too far, allowing substitute Mitroglou to curl a superb strike past Szczesny from the edge of the area. Wenger was reduced to frustrated scowls on the touchline as Arsenal failed to mount any response and Olympiakos easily held out to inflict more misery on the Gunners.—AFP

Champions League results/standings Group A Dinamo Zagreb1 Dynamo Kiev1 Paris St Germain2 Porto1

Group C Malaga 2 Anderlecht 2 AC Milan 0 Zenit St Petersburg 1

Standings PSG* Porto* Kiev ++ Dinamo

Malaga * AC Milan * Zenit ++ Anderlecht

P 6 6 6 6

W 5 4 1 0

D 0 1 2 1

L F A Pts 1 14 3 15 1 10 4 13 3 6 10 5 5 1 14 1

Group B Montpellier HSC 1 Schalke 04 1 Olympiakos Piraeus 2 Arsenal 1 Schalke* Arsenal * O’piakos ++ Montpellier

6 6 6 6

3 3 3 0

3 1 0 2

0 10 6 12 2 10 8 10 3 9 9 9 4 6 12 2

6 6 6 6

3 2 2 1

3 2 1 2

0 12 2 7 3 6 3 4

ITALY: Zenit St. Petersburg goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev (foreground) grabs the ball ahead of Giampaolo Pazzini (left) during a Champions League, Group C, soccer match against AC Milan.—AP the ball was headed into his path Prince Boateng’s cross from the wound up to shoot he was disfrom a corner. right after a superb counter- possessed. With 10 minutes When Zenit broke the dead- attack orchestrated by defender remaining El Shaarawy replaced lock, Milan’s makeshift defence Francesco Acerbi, only for Flamini, although it was Robinho was caught on the hoof, Danny Malafeev to block superbly. who came closest to beating picking up a backpass from his Pazzini then flashed a header Malafeev when he curled a subown through ball to beat an out- wide from Emanuelson’s cross, lime shot just wide of Malafeev’s stretched Abbiati with a well and when Bojan was allowed far post. placed shot at the keeper’s far space to run down on goal he El Shaarawy followed up post. sent his 20-metre drive wayward. moments later with a shot on the Milan responded immediately Allegri replaced left-back Djamel turn which edged just wide of but a promising build-up left Mesbah with Robinho just after the upright. Zenit had enjoyed Bojan sending his ambitious the hour mark, but although the little time in Milan’s area in the overhead kick well wide of goal, Brazilian linked well with Bojan second half but almost embarwhile Flamini did better with a and Boateng the hosts struggled rassed the hosts with a three-onrasping drive which forced a to carve out the opening. two scenario which only the alert good block from Malafeev. Robinho’s through ball Abbiati thwarted with a superb Milan almost levelled minutes allowed Bojan to run through block from substitute Maksim after the restart when Urby with the goal at his mercy on 74 Kanunnikov’s shot in the closing Emanuelson got his foot to Kevin minutes but as the Spaniard minutes.—AFP

Schalke go top despite Montpellier stalemate

FRANCE: Montpellier’s defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (left) challenges for the ball with Schalke’s Finnish forward Teemu Pukki , during their Champions League Group B soccer match.—AP

Anderlecht eliminated from Europe

5 12 6 8 9 7 9 5

Group D Borussia Dortmund 1 Manchester City 0 Real Madrid 4 Ajax Amsterdam 1 Dortmund * 6 4 2 0 11 5 14 Real Madrid * 6 3 2 1 15 9 11 Ajax ++ 6 1 1 4 8 16 4 ManCity 6 0 3 3 7 11 3 * Denotes qualified for knockout stages ++ Denotes qualified for Europa League last 32

Dinamo end losing streak ZAGREB: Dinamo Zagreb ended an 11game losing streak in the Champions League when they drew 1-1 with Dynamo Kiev yesterday in a Group A tie interrupted by heavy snowfall. Andriy Yarmolenko put the visitors in front on the stroke of halftime but a penalty by Ivan Krstanovic deep into stoppage time at the end of the game earned Zagreb a

MILAN: A 35th minute strike from Danny secured a 1-0 away win over seven-time champions AC Milan and a Europa League spot for Russia side Zenit St Petersburg here yesteday. With qualification secured two weeks ago, Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri could afford to rest a number of regulars including top scorer Stephan El Shaarawy, midfielder Riccardo Montolivo and defender Philippe Mexes. However Allegri’s plan almost backfired, with fans leaving the stadium early as the dominant hosts tried but failed to find a leveller to Danny’s superb firsthalf strike. Zenit had been condemned to perform as well as Anderlecht did away to Malaga to hold on to third place in Group C and a Europa League last 32 spot. It prompted coach Luciano Spalletti to send out his strongest possible side, with Hulk spearheading the attack flanked by Danny and Sergei Semak and Bruno Alves marshalling the defence in front of the experienced Vyacheslav Malafeev. Milan’s hopes for an early opener were snuffed out by the referee who waved away what appeared to be a valid penalty claim after Alves felled Giampaolo Pazzini from behind in the fourth minute. Zenit’s first chance came moments later but after a nice one-two with Semak, Hulk’s looping header flew well over Christian Abbiati’s goal. Milan were dominating and finding space on both wings but were given a taste of Hulk’s threat when he muscled his way into the area, only for defender Cristian Zapata to take the ball from the Brazilian. At the other end Milan came close with Pazzini and then Zapata, who failed to get good contact after

point. Zagreb finished bottom of the group with one point from six games, four points adrift of Kiev who qualified for the Europa League in third spot. Paris St Germain (15 points) and Porto (13) went through to the last 16 of the Champions League after the French side defeated the 2004 winners 2-1 at the Parc des Princes. —Reuters

MALAGA: Anderlecht were eliminated from Europe yesterday when they drew 2-2 in the Champions League at Malaga, who had already won Group C, in a match marred by clashes between police and visiting fans in the stands. Zenit St Petersburg’s 1-0 victory at AC Milan, who clinched second place last month, sent the Russians into the Europa League in third spot with seven points, one behind the Italians and two ahead of the Belgian side. Malaga captain Duda twice put the home side ahead at the Rosaleda with a fine curling effort in the 45th minute and a wellstruck shot in the 61st. Milan Jovanovic’s chip levelled for the visitors five minutes after the break and Dieudonne Mbokani made it 22 in the 89th minute before Kameni pulled off the last of several excellent saves to deny Mbokani in added time. Unbeaten Malaga, making their debut in Europe’s elite club competition, have 12 points from their six group matches.—Reuters

SPAIN: Malaga’s Seba Fernandez from Uruguay (left) duels for the ball with RSC Anderlecht’s Behrang Safari from Sweden during their Group C Champions League soccer match.—AP

MON TP E LLI E R: S c ha l ke 04 claimed top spot in their final C ha m p i ons Le a gue G r oup B match with a 1-1 draw at French champions Montpellier yesterd a y. T he G e r m a ns , a l r e a d y through to the knock-out round, ensured they go into the draw as group leaders with a twop oi nt a d v a nt a ge on s e c ond placed English side Arsenal, who f e l l 2-1 a t G r e e k s i d e Olympiakos. S e c ond -ha l f goa l s f r om Schalke’s Benedikt Howedes a nd Mont p e l l i e r ’ s E m a nue l Herrera ensured a stalemate in southern France, as the hosts ended their first foray into elite European football bottom of the group with just two points. Montpellier started without playmaker Younes Belhanda as coach Rene Girard opted instead for the young Remy Cabella, with Argentine striker Herrera b a c ke d up b y S oul e ym a ne Camara and Anthony Mounier as they bid for all three points. The Germans started without Dutch star Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who was replaced by Romanian forward Ciprian Marica. I n a l a c kl us t r e f i r s t ha l f , Mont p e l l i e r ’ s d e f e nc e a nd young goa l ke e p e r J ona t ha n Ligali did well to hold off the Germans with Schalke’s Teemu Pukki having the best chance to put Huub Stevens’ side ahead after 25 minutes following good work between Ciprian Marica and Julian Draxler only for the Finnish striker to fire just wide. Howedes broke the deadlock a f t e r 56 m i nut e s w he n t he defender dove in with his head t o f i ni s h of f t he b a l l a f t e r Christoph Metzelder nodded Lewis Holtby’s deep free-kick back across the goal face. But the hosts were back on level terms three minutes later when Anthony Mounier provide d a c r os s f or H e r r e r a . T he Argentine’s initial header was blocked but the striker did not miss the follow-up. Herrera missed two chances to put the hosts ahead in the dying minutes of the game as former Germany international goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand proved more than a match in the Schalke goal.—AFP

Zenit secure Europa spot with victory over Milan

India, Dutch top pools in Champions Trophy




Messi could set goal record against Benfica

Page 18

GERMANY: Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko (left) and Dortmund’s Moritz Leitner challenge for the ball during their Champions League Group D soccer match.—AP

Woeful City bow out of Europe DORTMUND: English champions Manchester City failed to save some face yesterday and qualify at least for the Europa League by putting up a limp performance in a 1-0 defeat by Group D winners Borussia Dortmund. Julian Schieber scored the only goal of the game in the 57th minute for the German champions, who finished the group with 14 points, while City finished bottom. Having already been eliminated from the Champions League knock-out stage, City had a chance to take third place and qualify for the Europa League Round of 32. But it was the first time that an English side fin-

ished a Champions League group stage with just three points and without a victory. Ajax lost 4-1 at Real Madrid but qualify for the Europa League with four points. While Dortmund can continue to dream about another Champions League title to go with their crown from 1997, City are left to concentrate on defending their Premier League title - with the Manchester derby against leaders United coming up this weekend. Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp made six changes to his line-up compared to the team’s weekend draw at Bundesliga leaders Bayern

Munich with Oliver Kirch and Felipe Santana replacing Lukasz Piszczek and Neven Subotic in the backline; as well as Moritz Leitner, Kevin Grosskreutz, Ivan Perisic and Schieber coming on for Jakub Blaszczykowski, Sven Bender, Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski. City swapped three players as Matija Nastasic, Scott Sinclair and Javi Garcia were on for Aleksandar Kolarov, David Silva and Yaya Toure. Both teams took their time getting into the game. Dortmund, who were playing for the first time with that line-up, had the first chance after 12 minutes but Kirch’s attempt was saved by City keeper Joe

Hart. City forward Edin Dzeko put in one of the rare energetic performances from a City player first putting in a dangerous cross, which Marcel Schmelzer cleared in front of Carlos Tevez in the 24th minute and then he shot from about 30 yards nine minutes later which Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller fended away. Dortmund did not rest on their laurels and tested Hart again in the 36th minute as the keeper got his hand on Marco Reus’s shot and deflected it off the outside of the right post. And Hart was again forced into a save on Perisic’s long attempt a minute before the break. Dortmund came out of the changing room

PSG top Group and buy Ancelotti time

Real hit four as Ajax crumble MADRID: Real Madrid made light work of Ajax with an emphatic 4-1 win yesterday, but still had to settle for second place in Champions League Group D. Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and a Jose Callejon double in the Santiago Bernabeu sealed the Spanish champions’ victory, but top spot in the group went to Borussia Dor tmund who beat Manchester City 1-0. Derk Boerrigter got the consolation for the Dutch who gave a good account of themselves and their reward is a place in the Europa League after finishing third ahead of Manchester City, who came a miserable last. Real took advantage of having already qualified to rest a number of first team players. Coach Jose Mourinho mixed youth with experience, a tactic for which he has recently come under fire in the Spanish press for rarely doing. Reserve goalkeeper Adan started and a Champions League debut was handed to full-back Nacho Fernandez. Mourinho also introduced 17year-old Jose Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata, a year his elder, late on while the experienced Ricardo Carvalho started his first Champions League game of the season. Fabio Coentrao limping off early, with what looked like a hamstring injury, was the only negative on the night for Mourinho.

Ajax coach Frank de Boer, with a Europa League place still to fight for, named the same side that began Saturday’s encouraging 3-1 win over PSV Eindhoven. However, the weakened Madrid side did not appear to be worried as they dominated possession and it was not long before the chances began arriving thick and fast. Karim Benzema had the ball in the net as early as the seventh minute but the French striker was ruled offside. By the time Cristiano Ronaldo hit Madrid’s first of the night on 13 minutes, a post had already come between Fabio Coentrao and the opening goal. Former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric won the ball in his own half before finding Benzema with a long raking ball that allowed the Frenchman to check back and square the ball into the path of Ronaldo for an easy finish. Kenneth Vermeer in the Ajax goal had to make good saves from Benzema and Ronaldo before Callejon doubled Real’s lead on 28 minutes. Modric was again involved, turning under pressure on halfway before digging out a fantastic pass for Callejon to race onto and finish with aplomb. A Sami Khedira shot on 39 minutes had to be dealt with by Vermeer, and it was his performance that kept Madrid’s lead down to two at the break. For

looking to take the lead but watched as Hart saved a fine volley by Perisic in the 53rd minute and Grosskreutz’s low strike a minute later. And the hosts finally grabbed the lead in the 57th minute as Blaszczykowski raced down the right side and crossed into the box where Schieber slid in to poke the ball past Hart. Tevez was unable to beat the in-form Weidenfeller with a strike in the 67th minute for City’s best chance. Dortmund continued to play their game and Hart made another great save with seven minutes remaining, this time stopping Lewandowski with a point-blank save.—AFP

SPAIN: Real Madrid’s Brazilian midfielder Kaka celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League football match Real Madrid against Ajax Amsterdam at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. —AFP

Ajax, 18-year-old Dane Viktor Fischer was lively all evening on the left wing and he brought the first save of the night from Adan just before the interval. Kaka hit Madrid’s third, exquisitely curling a left-footed shot home off the post from just outside the area just after the break. Ajax then enjoyed a good period of pressure and much needed relief. Fischer went close with a curling shot before Derk Boerrigter pounced on a punched

clearance from Adan to grab a consolation for the Dutch on the hour mark. Boerrigter forced a save from Adan with a free-kick five minutes later and Ajax went on to play bright attacking football for much of the second half. Mourinho shuffled his pack and introduced youth and Morata responded with a great run on the right and cross for Callejon to head home his second and his side’s fourth with two minutes remaining.—AFP

PARIS: Paris Saint Germain earned under-fire coach Carlo Ancelotti a stay of execution yesterday as they put their recent run of poor form behind them to beat Porto 2-1 in the Champions League. The big-spending French side were more than helped by a goalkeeping blunder by Porto’s Helton as they moved into the the knockout phase as winners of of Group A. PSG have slipped to fourth in the league table after a dismal domestic run that has left Ancelotti in danger of losing his job, but finally got the stroke of luck the Italian was looking for with a 61st minute winner that Porto ‘keeper Helton will have nightmares about. Argentine striker Ezequiel Lavezzi, signed from Napoli this season, found a yard of space inside the box but his shot was tame and soft but somehow slipped under the Brazilian’s body much to the delight of the fanatic Parc des Princes faithful. Porto launched a late comeback and had a gilt-edged chance on 69 minutes when Colombian marksman Jackson Martinez almost scored his second of the match when he broke behind the defence only for PSG’s Italian ‘keeper Salvatore Sirigu to bravely dive at his feet and preserve the home advantage. That was as close as Porto got as the capital side locked up their back line and smothered the midfield and Porto, the 2004 champions, ran out of imagination towards the end. “This result will give us a lot of confidence and we’ve finished top of the group so we’re very happy and we’re going to enjoy this victory,” said PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi. “A lot of people have said a lot of

things about us lately but we’re a solid group and can still achieve some big things this season,” he added. “This is a great win for us.” In the opening half, PSG were the more determined team during the early exchanges and used their front line of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and wingers Levazzi and Jeremy Menez to get down the flanks and create havoc in the box. While Porto weathered the storm for the opening half an hour, the relentless determination of Ancelotti’s side forced the breakthrough, thanks to an innocuous free-kick on the left wing with 16 minutes left until half-time. Former Barcelona wing-back Maxwell curled an inviting ball into the box and although Porto had players back in numbers, Thiago Silva showed greater concentration and was able to plant a firm header off the underside of the bar with Helton given no chance. But the lead was short-lived as Porto showed their European pedigree and experience with a goal out of nothing just four minutes later. The PSG defence fell to pieces and were unable to deal with a routine cross from Danilo on the right that left Alex and Thiago Silva flat-footed and allowed Colombian marksman Jackson Martinez to steer a stooping header past the stranded Sirigu. Ibrahimovic should have put the result beyond doubt with a close-range rebound late in the match following a rare shot on goal from Javier Pastore but in the end it had no influence as PSG returned to winning ways and earned a seeded place in the draw for next year’s knockout phase. —AFP


Iran gas is not covered by US sanctions: Turkey Page 22 Pakistan’s motorists suffer at centre of gas price row


Page 23 McLaren 12C named ME ‘Car of the Year’

Retail reforms pitch Indian govt into parliament battle Page 23

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NICE: Two girls look at a new Maserati Quattroporte, during a presentation yesterday. The new sixth-generation Maserati Quattroporte is a luxury four-door saloon made by Maserati in Italy and will be featured at the Detroit motor show in January 2013. — AP

Flagship EU ‘banking union’ fails first hurdle EU leaders agree to tighten regional supervision BRUSSELS: Plans to design a new banking union across eurozone and European Union (EU) borders collapsed yesterday as sharp differences between Berlin, London and Paris forced yet another crisis meeting. After nearly four hours of wrestling with deep problems in the design of an initial supervisor regime, Cypriot Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly, who is chairing the talks, announced that more time was needed and called for a fresh gathering in a week, on Wednesday, December 12. “It is only a question of a little bit more time perhaps before we can achieve yet another positive European first,” said Shiarly. With a meeting of the 17 euro-zone ministers already planned for December 13 however, it looked likely that yet another late-night session could be in the offing. A big bone of contention is how the European Central Bank (ECB), which is to be at the apex of a proposed supervisory system for 6,000 euro-zone banks, works with the London-based European Banking Authority, set up last

US Republicans make ‘fiscal cliff’ counter-offer WASHINGTON: Republicans laid out a plan Monday for closing the huge US deficit that raises half the income proposed by President Barack Obama and opposes a tax rate increase for the rich. Calling Obama’s plan “neither balanced nor realistic,” Republicans instead proposed $1.2 trillion in government spending cuts over 10 years that took sharp aim at benefits in the huge Medicare health insurance program for seniors. Their reply left the two sides far apart in negotiations just four weeks before the onset of the so-called fiscal cliff, a poison-pill plan of automatic tax increases and spending reductions that economists say will send the economy into recession. While Republicans agreed to the permanent extension of tax cuts-a move that would mitigate much of the impact of the cliff-they insisted that the country’s wealthiest also benefit, which Obama has rejected. They also did not immediately address Obama’s call to modify or delay the cliff’s drastic “sequester” spending cuts slated to begin on January 1 that could sharply slow growth. The White House quickly blasted the new plan, saying it “includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which Medicare savings they would achieve.” “While the president is willing to compromise to get a significant, balanced deal and believes that compromise is readily available to Congress, he is not willing to compromise on the principles of fairness and balance that include asking the wealthiest to pay higher rates,” said spokesman Dan Pfeiffer. In a letter to the president, House Speaker John Boehner and fellow House Republican leaders dismissed Obama’s plan submitted last week to attack the deficit via $1.6 trillion in increased government income and just $600 billion in spending cuts. Obama’s plan also calls for an increase in the tax rate for households earning over $250,000 a year.—AFP

year to fix flaws in oversight across the 27-member EU. The Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) is meant to be the first stage in a “banking union” that EU leaders agreed to set up in the aftermath of the three-year-old euro-zone debt crisis and the global financial crisis which preceeded it. EU leaders agreed to tighten regional supervision as a condition for the bloc’s bailout fund to directly step-in and recapitalise banks instead of passing funds through governments and adding to sovereign debt loads. The SSM is to be phased in progressively over the course of 2013, but there are big difficulties over how decisions will be taken and disputes settled between the 17 nations which share the euro and the other 10 EU countries. Britain, home to the City of London’s massive euro-zone banking interests, fears that unless special arrangements are decided to redress this, the ECB will effectively dominate decisions affecting territories that don’t use the euro. There has to be “a Chinese

wall” between supervision and monetary policy at the European Central Bank, which is to be at the apex of policing, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. Britain is one of the 10 non-euro countries that see problems lurking in regional German savings banks that could threaten the stability of the wider financial system. Margrethe Vestager of Denmark, the other EU state with a formal euro opt-out, said: “I think it will be an enormous strength if non-euro-zone countries can participate on an equal footing because is will be another element in keeping the 27 more together.” “The ECB only has direct powers over entities and persons in the euro-zone,” Treasury Minister Greg Clark said during the debate. Shiarly listed problems needing to be resolved as: divisions of responsibilities between the ECB and national regulators; “fine-tuning” to ensure a separation of powers within the ECB as regards the management of supervision and monetary policy; difficulties over how the system will be phased in; unresolved

Egypt rallies as judges agree to oversee vote MIDEAST STOCKS DUBAI: Egypt’s bourse rallied yesterday as regional institutional investors bought shares after the Supreme Judicial Council cleared the way for a vote on a new constitution, while other Gulf markets closed mixed. Cairo’s benchmark, trading volatile since Mursi’s decree on Nov 22 that expanded his powers and sparked widespread protests, jumped 3.5 percent. Some judges had called for their colleagues to shun the Dec. 15 plebiscite, which must be supervised by the judiciary like all elections in Egypt. But the council’s decision suggests enough officials can be mobilised to oversee the vote. “It seems that everyone is betting the referendum is going to go through and the political dispute will be over in the next two weeks,” said Mohamed Radwan at Pharos Securities. “The draft is not appealing to a lot of people but investors outside of Egypt just want things to move ahead.” Regional Arab institutional investors were net buyers on the main benchmark against Egyptian net sellers, bourse data shows. All except one stock gained. Commercial International Bank climbed 4.4 percent, Orascom Construction Industries rose 5.9 percent and National Societe Generale Bank surged 7.4 percent. Elsewhere, large-caps dragged Saudi Arabia’s index from a two-week high, closing 0.2 percent lower. The bourse fell to a 10month low on Nov. 27 as regional tensions and worries over the king’s health weighed. Petrochemical and banking shares weighed with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and Al Rajhi Bank each declining 0.8 percent. Many analysts claim stock valuations are attractive at current levels, but a lack of a catalyst in the short-term will likely keep the

market flat until year-end. “From a fundamental point of view, prices are cheap,” said Alhassan Goussous, chief executive officer at Bakheet Investment Group. “There are a lot of reserves for spending on major projects in Saudi Arabia that are supporting the market and will continue to do so. But we’re coming into a quiet period of the year and I don’t see the market moving much in either way.” Elsewhere, UAE markets extended gains on the first day of trading after a long-weekend, but investors booked most of the intraday profits on Dubai’s measure. Courier firm Aramex climbed 1 percent. The stock jumped 14.4 percent mid-session on what traders say was a technical error. Emaar Properties and Air Arabia added 0.5 and 1.7 percent respectively. The emirate’s index advanced 0.2 percent. Dubai has recovered nearly 19 percent since slumping to a seven-and-half-year low on Jan. 16 and analyst expect further upside to the market as it heads into 2013. “People have to believe in the next 12 months, banks will reach peak non-performing loan ratio- then impairments will come down and profits will increase,” said an Abu Dhabi-based trader who asked not to be identified. “There are plus points that people will bear in mind for 2013. You may see buying coming in on weakness in UAE.” Abu Dhabi’s benchmark ticked up 0.09 percent, up for a third straight session. Elsewhere, Doha’s index rose 0.3 percent, easing away from Monday’s four-month low. Oman’s measure ended 0.1 percent, while Kuwait’s bourse fell 0.8 percent, down from Monday’s seven-week high. — Reuters

issues about voting rules, with non-euro countries concerned about the power of the currency bloc when disputes arise; and “possibly the need for a more targeted review.” France wants “a system which applies to all banks and in which the ECB is ultimate arbiter,” said its Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici. And it is determined to ensure that the battle over how to weight voting clout does not result in a de facto veto for Britain. Recent comments from French central bank governor Christian Noyer have inflamed passions in London. Noyer said that bulk of euro clearing operations, much of which is currently conducted in the City, should be moved to the euro-zone itself. The reaction in London was scathing, with the suggestion being that Paris is resorting to unfair competitive practices having failed to win that business on the open market. This is already the subject of legal sabre-rattling, with a British insistence that treaty rights must guarantee fair competition right across EU territory.— AFP



Iran gas is not covered by US sanctions: Turkey ‘Gold for gas’ trade a concern to US ISTANBUL: Turkey does not expect tighter US sanctions to apply to its natural gas imports from Iran, its energy minister said yesterday, which would mean Tehran will continue to supply and get paid by its biggest gas customer. The US Senate resoundingly approved expanded sanctions on global trade with Iran’s energy and shipping sectors on Friday in its latest effort to ratchet up economic pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme. Turkey, which is likely to overtake Britain as Europe’s third-biggest electricity consumer within a decade, depends heavily on imported energy and could suffer if it had to sharply reduce imports from Iran. “Iran is Turkey’s second-biggest supplier of natural gas, I believe (sanctions) will not cover it ... We know that sanctions of this kind would not only be against Iran but would also be against Turkey,” Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told a news conference in Istanbul. Turkey produces most of its electricity from natural gas and is already struggling to diversify its energy suppliers. The new sanctions, the third round in a year if passed into law, include measures aimed at stopping the flow of gold from Turkey to Iran in exchange for natural gas. More than 90 percent of Iran’s gas exports, or about 10 billion

cubic metres a year, go to Turkey under a 25year supply deal. That makes Iran Turkey’s second-largest gas supplier after Russia. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey would continue to buy natural gas from Iran and had told the relevant parties the trade would continue. Washington says Tehran is enriching uranium to levels that could be used in nuclear weapons. Iran says the programme is for peaceful purposes. US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said the US authorities were “in very close touch” with the Turkish government on the matter. “We are focused with our Turkish ally on the same strategic purpose of preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons in this region,” Ricciardone told reporters in Ankara. “How we go about that is something we have to work out together. There are no easy answers, but we all agree that diplomacy is the way to go.” Gas for gold US and European banking sanctions ban payments in U.S. dollars or euros, so Iran receives Turkish lira in payment for its exports, a currency that is of limited value for buying goods on international markets but ideal for buying gold in Turkey. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said last

month the lira Iran received from Turkey for its gas was being converted into gold because sanctions meant that it could not transfer cash into Iran. US President Barack Obama issued an order over the summer that allows Washington to impose sanctions on countries that provide precious metals to Iran. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Monday that discussions with Turkey about sanctions were ongoing. The latest trade data showed that Turkey’s precious metal exports, which include gold, jumped to $14.3 billion in the first 10 months of the year from $2.7 billion a year ago. The gold was largely exported to Iran, either directly or indirectly through the United Arab Emirates, although in October there were also significant exports to Switzerland, the United Kingdom and India, which analysts said suggested Tehran had started using new routes to channel its Turkish gold imports. Turkey also imports Iranian oil but has been granted exemptions from sanctions in return for significant cuts in the level of its purchases. Yildiz said Turkey could increase its imports of crude oil from Russia if needed. — Reuters

Saudi set to raise OSPs for light grades in Asia SINGAPORE: Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia may raise its official selling price for light grades that it sells to Asia for a fourth straight month in January, driven by product cracks and a bullish Dubai market, a Reuters poll showed yesterday. The producer may raise its official selling price (OSP) for Arab Light in January by 50 cents from a month ago, according to the median of estimates of five traders and refiners. It has raised the price for Arab Light every month since September. The OSP for Arab Extra Light may increase by 60 cents, while that for Arab Medium will increase by about 40 cents, the poll showed. The OSP for Arab Heavy may remain unchanged. Relatively firm naphtha and gasoil cracks - the profit or loss made by a refinery by processing crude into specific products - may lead to higher OSPs for lighter grades, while weakness in the fuel oil market may result in a steady OSP for Arab Heavy, traders said. “Product cracks are looking strong and Dubai is in big backwardation,” said a refiner. “The general view is that prices should go up, although heavy grades may not be hiked given the current fuel oil prices.” The front-

month Dubai spread widened sharply to average 80 cents a barrel in backwardation in November, the highest since March. Immediate prices are higher than those in future months in a backwardated market, suggesting stronger demand for near-term cargoes. Spot premiums for January Middle East crude cargoes rose, supported by the firm Dubai market, while winter demand from north Asian refiners such as China and Japan also kept the market buoyant, a factor that Saudi Aramco is expected to consider while deciding OSPs. Cracks supportive Distillate cracks were weaker than previous months, but a recovery at the end of November suggested there could be a pick-up in demand in the new year. The exception was the continuing weakness in fuel oil cracks , with the average discount widening to $10.78 from $8.42 per barrel in the previous month. Saudi crude OSPs are usually released around the fifth of each month, and set the trend for Iranian, Kuwaiti and Iraqi prices, affecting some 7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude bound for Asia. — Reuters

HONG KONG: Cathay Pacific flight attendants stage a protest at the international airport. — AFP

Cathay Pacific crews threaten holiday strike HONG KONG: A union representing flight attendants of Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific yesterday threatened industrial action over a pay rise dispute, just weeks before the holiday season. The airline announced on Friday a two percent pay rise for its employees in 2013, falling short of the five percent demanded by the 6,000-strong Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union, sparking protest from members. “We will mobilise all our members to join in the industrial action,” union vice chairman Julian Yau told reporters, after calling the rise “totally unacceptable” due to the high cost of inflation. He urged the airline not to “force its workers to carry out actions that would

be harmful to all”, and said the union, which has not ruled out the possibility of a strike, will decide its next course of action in a meeting on Monday. Responding to the threat, Cathay said the two percent adjustment, along with a discretionary one-month bonus for 2012, is a “fair, reasonable and competitive offer in view of the extreme challenges the airline is facing”. “I trust most of our cabin crew are considerate and understand the challenging situation the company is in,” Cathay said in a statement. The airline fell into the red in the first half of the year with a HK$935 million ($121 million) loss, partly due to high fuel prices. — AFP

Former HBOS chairman admits corporate mistakes

BRASILIA: Farmers from the Brazilian northeast carry out a demonstration placing cattle skulls in front of the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, yesterday. The protesters demand the cancellation of their debts and help from the government to alleviate the effects of the drought that rages over the region this year. — AFP

LONDON: A former chairman of HBOS told British lawmakers that the bank had increased its corporate lending too aggressively in the run up to the financial crisis of 2008, contributing to its near collapse. Dennis Stevenson, who served as HBOS chairman between 2001 and 2009, said in written evidence to the banking standards commission that the bank was lending too much money to businesses, leaving it vulnerable when wholesale funding markets dried up. “It is clear, with the benefit of hindsight, that mistakes were made in the degree of corporate lending ... The Financial Services Authority is almost certainly right to suggest that the corporate division grew too quickly,” he said in evidence published before his appearance on Tuesday in front of the commission looking into the downfall of HBOS and what lessons can be learnt to prevent future bank failures. Stevenson later told the parliamen-

tary commission that the bank’s demise was fundamentally caused by the near closure of wholesale funding markets in 2008. He said that the bank had taken steps to broaden the nature of its funding and accelerate the rate of its deposit growth to address long-term concerns about its reliance on wholesale markets, but it had not foreseen a short-term risk. “We failed, along with rest of the world, to anticipate the protracted closure of wholesale markets,” Stevenson said. “The worries we had were long-term worries. Had we thought for a moment there would be protracted closure of wholesale markets, we’d have been forced to take action.” Once Britain’s biggest mortgage provider, HBOS had to be rescued by rival Lloyds Banking Group and propped up with an 11.5 billion pound ($18.5 billion) taxpayer bailout when the financial crisis laid bare its disastrous exposure to property in Britain and Ireland. — 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

.2750000 .4480000 .3640000 .3010000 .2810000 .2900000 .0040000 .0020000 .0762300 .7426870 .3880000 .0720000 .7280720 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2808000 GB Pound/KD .4502910 Euro .3659670 Swiss francs .3033870 Canadian dollars .2829220 Danish Kroner .0490550 Swedish Kroner .0422900 Australian dlr .2922710 Hong Kong dlr .0362320 Singapore dlr .2300700 Japanese yen .0034090 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0764810 Bahraini dinars .7451240 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0749000 Omani riyals .7296350 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

3.424 5.177 2.919 2.176 3.254 231.880 36.413 3.444 6.900 9.201 0.271 0.273

.2850000 .4600000 .3680000 .3080000 .2910000 .3000000 .0067500 .0035000 .0769960 .7501510 .4070000 .0770000 .7353900 .0510000 .2829000 .4536580 .3687040 .3056560 .2850380 .0494220 .0426070 .2944560 .0365030 .2317900 .0034350 .0052210 .0021910 .0029430 .0034930 .0770530 .7506970 .4001410 .0754600 .7350920 .0069760

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 75.383 77.570 733.270 749.830 76.873

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 47.900 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.107 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.317 Tunisian Dinar 180.320 Jordanian Dinar 398.220 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.894 Syrian Lier 3.860 Morocco Dirham 33.595 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 282.200 Euro 369.120 Sterling Pound 453.780 Canadian dollar 285.340 Turkish lire 158.140 Swiss Franc 306.070 Australian dollar 294.670 US Dollar Buying 281.000

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


297.800 750.090 3.690 287.600 553.900 46.000 50.100 167.600 47.900 370.900 37.080 5.450 0.032 0.161 0.246 3.520 399.700 0.191 95.210 45.500 4.340 235.200 1.827

10 Tola

GOLD 1,823.610

Sterling Pound US Dollar


Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

50.900 732.630 3.080 7.090 78.020 75.310 232.620 34.780 2.685 456.000 43.300 308.200 3.700 9.550 198.263 76.900 282.400 1.360

732.450 2.937 6.920 77.590 75.310 232.620 34.780 2.180 454.000 306.700 3.700 9.380 76.800 282.000

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 454.000 282.000


296.300 750.090 3.446 286.100

232.600 46.130 369.400 36.930 5.180 0.031


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

297.63 288.39 309.48 370.69 281.60 454.95 3.50 3.466 5.153 2.182 3.236 2.924 76.74 749.81 46.11 401.19 732.89 77.76 75.30


297.000 288.000 309.000 370.000 283.000 456.000 3.690 3.570 5.400 2.300 3.650 3.150 77.300 749.000 47.750 399.000 732.000 77.850 75.800

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 399.660 0.190 95.210 3.250 233.700

Rate for Transfer

Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

281.950 284.605 452.950 367.870

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

305.110 746.455 76.740 77.390 75.150 397.450 46.125 2.174 5.178 2.917 3.450 6.891 691.625 4.420 9.265 4.375 3.330 92.655

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

GOLD 323.000 163.000 85.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

282.000 2.919 5.185 2.185 3.467 6.940 76.880 75.355 749.700 46.123 457.800 2.990 1.550 373.400 290.000 3.265

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

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



Retail reforms pitch Indian govt into parliament battle ‘Please fight for Indians, not foreigners’

ISLAMABAD: In this photograph, Pakistani motorists push their vehicle in a queue as they wait to buy compressed natural gas (CNG) from a governmentrun CNG station. — AFP

Pakistan’s motorists suffer at centre of gas price row RAWALPINDI: Huge bottlenecks of cars snaking away from filling stations have become a familiar sight in Pakistan as a row festers between retailers and the authorities over the price of compressed natural gas. CNG is substantially cheaper than petrol in Pakistan and is widely used by private motorists as well as in taxis, rickshaws and buses. But many CNG stations have closed their doors, declaring they are no longer making money following a Supreme Court hearing at the end of October that led to pump prices tumbling by a third. As prices climbed to around 92 rupees (95 cents) per kilo, Pakistan’s highest court questioned the linking of CNG to international oil prices and how much retailers were charging at the pumps. The court queried whether there was a need for the price of CNG-produced locally-to be pegged to petrol prices, which reflect constantly fluctuating worldwide oil markets. As a result the government’s Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) cut the pump price to around 61 rupees per kilo-good news for motorists but disastrous for the CNG station owners. They say they are no longer making a profit and for the past two weeks many filling stations across Punjab, the most populous province, have only opened for three days a week. It is a row that observers say exemplifies Pakistan’s lack of long-term planning, particularly on energy issues-but also the willingness of special interest groups such as CNG retailers to exploit public misery for their own gain. “It’s typical of the way Pakistani

administration works-they never have a long-term view. They have an immediate issue to deal with and they don’t see the problem in the longer perspective,” political analyst Hasan Askari told AFP. Pakistan has substantial natural gas reserves and in the past the government encouraged motorists to convert their cars to run on CNG in order to reduce dependency on imported oil. But security worries in gas-rich areas and years of under-investment in exploration mean demand has far outstripped supply and the country now suffers gas shortages every winter. Factories and homes suffer “load-shedding”-having their supply cut off infuriating ordinary people who cannot cook or heat their homes and damaging the economy by halting industrial operations. Askari said that the CNG station owners were seeking to stir up public anger with their strike to force the government’s hand. But the president of the CNG station owners’ association, Ghayas Paracha, said his sector was being treated unfairly and demanded the government level the price playing field. “One solution is... every sector giving the same price for the gas,” he said. “There is a big discrimination for us. We pay for instance 300 rupees per MMBtu (one million British thermal units-a standard unit of energy used to calculate gas prices) of taxes, but the industry sector is paying only 50 rupees per MMBtu.” Paracha said around 3.7 million cars in Pakistan run on CNG and the filling station shutdown has meant huge queues at the few that remain open.—AFP

Credit sees small drop in October NBK ECONOMIC BRIEF KUWAIT: Credit saw a drop in October following two strong months. Despite this, growth is still expected to finish the year on a healthy note. Personal facilities continue to carry credit growth while credit to the nonbank financial sector remained a drag due to ongoing deleveraging. Private deposits saw a small increase in October. Outstanding credit to residents stood at KD 26.8 billion in October, down KD 48 million on the month. This was the largest drop in over a year. Total credit is still up a good KD 1.15 billion year-to-date (ytd) and year-on year growth is now 5.0 percent and should finish the year at around 6 percent. Consumer/household lending growth remains strong as personal facilities (excl. securities) saw another strong gain in October. The gain offset much of the credit losses in other sectors. Rising KD 116 million, this sector has added KD 846 million to outstanding loans ytd and is up 15.6 percent y/y. Trade, industry and “other” business credit drove most of the drop in credit, in addition to a larger than usual decline in lending to non-bank financials. The latter was down KD 40 million in October, off 16.7 percent on the year. Other declines were

largely in industry (down KD 28 million) and trade (down KD 19 million) and “other” (down KD 69 million). Construction was alone in seeing a small rise (up KD 7 million) while real estate lending was flat. An increase in sight and saving deposits caused both the narrow (M1) and broad (M2) measures of money supply to expand by KD 99 million and KD 84 million, respectively. M1 and M2 are up 10.2 percent and 5 percent y/y respectively. Private sector resident deposits were up a small KD 46 million in October, a pace similar to the September gain. While dinar deposits rose by KD 143 million, this was offset by a decline in foreign currency deposits, which followed a large increase in September. Gains in dinar saving and sight deposits were partly offset by a decline in dinar time deposits. Deposit rates on dinar time deposits fell between 11 and 16 basis points across maturities in October. This coincided with the October discount rate cut and took average rates for the month down. The 1month, 3-month-, 6-month and 12-month deposit rates averaged 0.64 percent, 0.86 percent, 1.09 percent and 1.34 percent.

NEW DELHI: India’s government faced a test of its ability to survive as a minority administration yesterday as opposition lawmakers slammed its decision to allow in foreign supermarket giants such as Walmart. In a stormy debate ahead of a vote expected today, the Congress-led ruling coalition was lambasted by critics, including MPs from the Kolkata-based Trinamool party that walked out of the government in September over the policy. Sushma Swaraj, the fiery leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told parliament that moves to open up the retail sector represented “a ditch of destruction” for farmers, shop owners and consumers. “Please fight for Indians, not foreigners,” Swaraj said, appealing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to drop the reforms. “Foreign companies are keen to expand their business as they see India as a big market but small business and traders will be wiped out,” she said. “No big retailer will compromise on profit, they will squeeze it from the farmers.” The Congress party believes it has the numbers to win a vote in the lower house, and hopes that victory will enable it to push ahead with further contentious reforms to tackle India’s slowing economy. Parliament had been deadlocked during the current winter session, with opposition MPs holding protests to demand the vote, even though the reform requires only cabinet approval and has already been declared law. Kapil Sibal, a senior government minister, dismissed opposition concerns saying that each state could choose whether to allow in foreign supermarkets. “If you don’t want FDI in your state then don’t impose it,” he told parliament during angry exchanges. “We won’t impose it on you, so what is the point of this debate?” The new rules also stipulate that foreign multi-brand retailers can only open in the 53 Indian cities with populations of over one million people. Of these, only 18 are set to allow supermarkets, Sibal said. Supporters of the arrival of chains such as Walmart, Tesco and Carrefour say it would revolutionise shopping in India, with consumers offered cheaper food in large, modern supermarkets, as well as

improving the wasteful supply chain. But the government’s plans have been attacked by critics as a sellout to corporate giants that will force small family-owned stores, which currently dominate India’s retail landscape, out of business. The coalition lost its majority when the Trinamool party left over the policy earlier this year, and Premier Singh would suffer a major setback if he fails to win enough support from lawmakers. Congress is tipped to win the non-binding vote in the lower house today thanks to support from an array of regional parties outside the coalition, but it will face a tougher fight in the upper house in a vote expected on Friday.Mulayam Singh Yadav, from the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh state, drew on Mahatma Gandhi for inspiration in opposing the reforms, saying that

India’s independence hero protested against foreign imports. “When Gandhi set fire to foreign cloth, he said this was to benefit Indian weavers,” Yadav told parliament. Premier Singh’s pro-market reform push comes as the government faces a sharply slowing economy, a gaping fiscal deficit and high inflation, which has stoked pressure on the leftleaning alliance. The reforms package has been dubbed a second “big bang” following Singh’s efforts when he was finance minister to begin liberalising India’s economy to the world two decades ago. While the retail decision did not require a parliamentary vote to become law, the government’s other proposals to open up the insurance and pensions markets to wider foreign investment will need lawmakers’ approval. — AFP

NEW DELHI: In this file photograph, an Indian protestor shouts slogans against Walmart during a protest organised by traders. — AFP

Crisis affects Spain middle class in winter BURGOS: As the first snow of winter falls, a crowd squeezes through the door of the charity shelter. Women, immigrants, the homeless and jobless-the swelling ranks of Spain’s economic casualties. Among them, Carmen Perez, 52, rummages through a pile of winter clothes and pulls out a thick coat, for sale for handful of euros. In Spain’s recession, she can’t afford to buy one from a shop. “I am here because of the cold. This will keep me nice and warm,” says Perez, who has been coming for the past year to this help centre run by the Catholic charity Caritas in the northern town of Burgos. “Here if you have nothing, they give you things for free,” she says, her little face peeping out from a big woolly hat. She earns 800 euros ($1,000) a month cashin-hand as a cleaning lady, of which 400 go on rent and the rest help support her husband and three grown-up sons-all four unemployed. That makes her a typical example of a victim of the crisis in Spain, where the collapse of the construction industry has left nearly two million families with all working-age members unemployed, according to government figures. But the typical profile is changing. The queue at the shelter is lengthening as the crisis, having already crushed the poorest in Spain, is now ruining the middle class. “The crisis is affecting middle-class people who previously were in a more stable situation,” says one of the workers at the centre, David Polo. “There is no one in Spain who has not felt the effects of the crisis, except for the very, very rich.” At the shelter’s reception in this historic town of 170,000, homeless people trying to rebuild their lives wait their turn for one of 40 spaces in the shelter’s bedrooms. Others are simply seeking to escape the cold for a night; come evening they unroll their blankets on camp beds in a large stone dormitory. Staff member David Alonso says 1,100 people have slept at the emergency shelter this year so far-as many as came overall in 2011. “People are starting to come who previously were living a normal life. The average age is getting lower-it is between 35 and 40, whereas before it was between 40 and 50,” he says. “There has also been a substantial rise in the number of women.” In the year since Mariano Rajoy and his conservative Popular Party won power, the unemployment rate has passed 25 percent, and a huge 52 percent among those aged 16-24. Humanitarian groups warn that poverty is surging and spreading. One study by the European Union said 12.7 million of the 47 million people in Spain were at risk of poverty or other forms of so-called social exclusion. “When they lose their jobs, problems start to emerge that before were hidden-alcohol, addictions,” said Alonso. “These are people who were more or less normal, and when they lose their jobs, exclusion grows.” Next door to the Caritas shelter, the San Vicente de Paul canteen serves lunch, tea and supper to some of the poorest people in town-such as Javier Santos, 34. “I came here for a coffee,” he says. “There’s nowhere else I can get one.” Two years ago Javier had a girlfriend, a rented apartment and up to 2,800 euros a month from his job as a metal worker. Now unemployed, separated and homeless, he sits for long hours in the charity canteen at a table with his companions, watching television. “I never would have imagined finding myself in this situation,” he said. “Last year I voted for the Popular Party so they would change things, but things changed for the worse.” A voluntary worker at the canteen, Julian Garcia, 60, says that he has seen the crisis spread in the faces of those turning up at its door. —AFP

Bolivia sets sights on ME as quinoa market booms LA PAZ: Bolivia has its eye on untapped Asian and Middle Eastern markets, hoping to cash in on what the United Nations is calling the International Year of Quinoa, another honor for the Andean “superfood.” Bolivia is the world’s top producer of the super-nutritious “grain” which technically is not a grain but the seeds of the goosefoot plant. Quinoa, which prospers in semi-arid conditions and high altitudes, is seen as a kind of nutritional superstar. It can be prepared and served like rice but is chock full of protein and essential amino acids. Originally scorned by Bolivia’s Spanish colonizers, at one point quinoa’s cultivation was banned due to its use in what Spaniards saw as “pagan” ceremonies. The indigenous Incas were forced to grow wheat instead. Known as chisaya mama or “mother of all grains,” it was so revered by the Incas that the emperor would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season with special tools made out of gold. But in the past 10-15 years, quinoa (seeds of Chenopodium quinoa) has made major inroads in Western cuisine and is often used as a substitute in pastas, risottos, gratins and taboules. Always on the lookout for healthier options and new tastes, chefs and nutritionists have been wowed by the kitchen versatility of the ancient “grain,” which has a light, fluffy texture and a mild, slightly nutty flavor.

Experts say it has more protein and fiber than rice, corn, wheat or barley and fewer carbohydrates than all of them. Bolivia leads global output — 70 percent of which is exported-followed by Peru and Ecuador. Most of Bolivia’s quinoa exports are to the United States and Europe. “The potential markets now are in Asian countries: China, Japan, Korea... Countries in the Middle East also are interested,” said Ivan Cahuaya, who works with state export promoter Promueve Bolivia. “We have been selling a lot in mature markets like the United States and Europe, but now the decision is to go find new markets,” said Cahuaya, noting that other countries are boosting their output and some, including Chile, Colombia and the United States, have even sought patents. With domestic prices having surged and then stabilized, Bolivia is hoping to keep its exports booming. “We are hoping the International Year of Quinoa, which is 2013, will find us in new markets,” smiled Jaime Belen, of the National Quinoa Growers’ Association. Quinoa in its natural state has a coating of bitter-tasting saponins, making it unpalatable prior to processing. Most quinoa sold commercially in North America has been processed to remove this coating, which helps to naturally protect the plant from birds and other predators during the growing process. — AFP

CHALLAPATA: An employee is seen working at a quinoa processing plant in Bolivia. — AFP



After Sandy, NYC pins high hopes on repairs Initiative launched to fix homes free of charge NEW YORK: Facing Superstorm Sandy’s daunting toll of wreckage and displacement in the nation’s largest city, officials have put much of their hopes and hundreds of millions of dollars into jump-starting repairs to make homes livable. Federal and city officials see the strategy - focusing on getting people back into their own homes, not temporary housing - as an innovative and nimble answer to the challenge of housing thousands of storm victims in a notoriously expensive and crowded area. But with relatively few homes fixed so far, questions are emerging about whether the “rapid repairs” initiative can live up to its name. More than 10,000 homeowners have signed up

for NYC Rapid Repairs in the three weeks since Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched the initiative to bring in hundreds of contractors to restore power, heat and other essentials free of charge. Contractors have done initial assessments of about 7,000 homes in the city and 2,000 in similar initiatives on Long Island, but just about 400 projects have been completed so far. Officials stress that they’re still ramping up the program. But a community meeting last week in hard-hit Staten Island boiled over with complaints that repairs and other aid aren’t coming fast enough, a familiar refrain in storm-damaged areas. Noreen Connolly-Skammel’s home on the

Rockaway peninsula in Queens was hit by a basement fire and then a flood that swamped the cellar and two feet of the first floor. She said the NYC Rapid Repairs program was swift at first, conducting an assessment within two to three days after her call. But she heard nothing further for about two weeks, when she was told a new assessment had to be done. Anxious to get the work going, she and her husband spent about $8,300 of their own money on boiler, hot water and electrical repairs - the very sort the government program might have done for free. “I wish they were a little more rapid,” she said, noting that the program has since pledged to help with other repairs. Officials are

asking for patience with the first-ofits-kind effort. “We are moving as quickly as we can on these repairs,” Michael Byrne, the Federal Emergency Management Agency official supervising Sandy recovery in New York state, said in a statement Monday. FEMA is paying much of the bill for the homerepair program, while also subsidizing hotel stays and apartments for thousands of Sandy victims - help some say has come promptly, but not without snags. For FEMA, Sandy represents one of the biggest tests since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 rendered 300,000 homes uninhabitable along the Gulf Coast, displaced more than 1 million people and spurred a national examination of disaster housing. Citing the confusing and problemplagued process of housing people after Katrina, FEMA’s 2009 National Disaster Housing Strategy calls for improvements from exploring new forms of temporary housing to providing more social services to the displaced. Yet city, state and federal officials didn’t have a ready answer when they realized that as many as 40,000 city residents might need temporary quarters after Sandy, an estimate that quickly shrank as many homes got heat and electricity back. Byrne says he feels FEMA - which has OK’d more than $673 million in housing and home-repair aid so far in New York alone - has at least gotten a handle on the disaster. But “my job is to always feel like I’m missing something,” he said. More than a month after the Oct. 29 storm, the need for housing is a moving target that hangs on day-today developments for thousands of people. Roughly 6,700 buildings around the city require significant repairs to be habitable, and about 750 more are deemed structurally unsound, according to city Buildings Department statistics. And in one measure of the demand for help, about 2,100 households are in FEMApaid hotel rooms. Some storm victims also have gotten money for apartment rentals; a number isn’t immediately available. With her first child due on Christmas Eve, Corinna Sabatacos and fiance Steven Ferrara had to move out of their severely damaged Rockaway house. They say they ended up in a

NEW YORK: A bed sits precariously exposed in a partially collapsed home in the Belle Harbor neighborhood of the Rockaways in this file photo. — AP hotel that doesn’t take FEMA payments and have gotten conflicting answers on whether the more than $2,000 bill will be covered. “Things just change daily, and that’s what’s so frustrating,” Sabatacos said. The couple expects to move this week into an apartment, aided by a $1,200-amonth FEMA rent subsidy. As displacement and uncertainty continue, some officials recently broached a tried but controversial approach - trailers, a housing standby for FEMA in many disasters. But Byrne sees them as an unpromising option in a densely packed city, especially since some of the open spaces suggested for a trailer encampment are in flood zones. By hastening repairs, officials hope instead to solve the temporary housing crunch by shrinking it. It’s not uncommon for FEMA to pay for crucial fixes, such as replacing a furnace or fixing a flood-damaged electrical system. But usually, the agency assesses the damage and insurance and gives homeowners a check, leaving them to arrange the work. FEMA and city officials reasoned they could get homes fixed faster if the city hired contractors, coordinated repair requests, dispatched the workers and paid for it all directly. The free repairs come on top of the $31,900-per-family cap for FEMA aid. The city has agreed to spend $500 million on the effort; FEMA is to repay at least 75 percent. Long Island’s

Nassau and Suffolk counties have similar, but so far smaller, initiatives. A program like rapid repairs is not taking place in New Jersey as of now, but FEMA officials there say they are looking at a number of options for the state. About a half-dozen NYC Rapid Repairs workers were busy last week in Stephen Murray’s gutted Staten Island home, its windows about five feet off the floor speckled with debris. The line marks how high the water rose as Murray fled Sandy in a neighbor’s pickup truck. The workers expected to spend several days replacing the flood-damaged wiring, furnace and hot water heater and putting down plywood where sodden floors were ripped out - not restoring the home completely, but making it safe. Murray and his wife are living in an apartment in the meantime, with FEMA’s help. Both retired after workplace injuries; they couldn’t afford flood insurance or the $60,000 estimate to repair the two-bedroom bungalow. But he figures the city repairs, FEMA aid and elbow grease from friends and family should be enough. “If the city didn’t come in here and help me, I don’t know what I would have done,” Murray said. As he spoke, a light bulb flicked on overhead, a sign that the workers had restored the home’s connection to the power grid. “Oh, man,” Murray said. “You have no idea what it feels like.” — AP

Losing a middle-class life CHICAGO: This is how fast it can happen: One day Patrick Robbins was a sportswear buyer at Mark Shale earning $110,000 a year. The next day he was laid off, with no severance. Within a week, the family was on Medicaid and had applied for food stamps. Soon his mother-in-law was bringing over toilet paper and paper towels. “From middle class to poor,” Pat Robbins summed it up. “Immediately.” Imagine a pile of blocks, each one representing an element of ordinary American life. Slowly, carefully, stack them up. One block for the monthly mortgage payment. Another for the credit card bill. Next, groceries. Kids’ sports leagues, doctor’s visit co-pays, utility bills - pile them up in your mind until they rise toward the sky in a precisely calibrated tower. It all balances, unless you are forced to top it off with one final element: The loss of a job. That isn’t a block; it’s a brick. And with that, it all comes tumbling down. Robbins, 41, has a quiet voice and square-jawed good looks fit for fashion retailing. He and his wife, Kimberly, 42, and their four children live in a nice house on a nice block in the nice suburb of Westmont, Ill. Only there’s nothing nice about what has happened to them, and is happening to many other middle-class families for whom a layoff spells disaster. The Robbinses are spinning through the recession at warp speed. They hurtled into financial straits. Now, just as quickly, they have begun to scramble out. They are emerging shaken at life’s unpredictability and devoted to a budget, but also convinced of their strength and determined to change the way they live. Their journey began at a table in a meeting room at the Mark Shale store on North Michigan Avenue. On March 23, Scott Baskin, co-president of the Al Baskin Co., the family-owned operator of Mark Shale stores, delivered the bad news to Robbins and seven other buyers. The Al Baskin Co, its high-end business battered by the worst retail environment in decades, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company was dissolving its buying staff and, along with it, Robbins’ 22-year career there. Under the terms of the bankruptcy, Mark Shale was not allowed to give severance payments. Robbins made the requisite phone calls to say he had been laid off. He called his wife. He called his father, who was a Mark Shale employee for 48 years before he retired. Then he spent the rest of the day at the North Michigan Avenue store packing his belongings and saying his goodbyes. He bore the company no ill will and was touched that Baskin, grandson of the company’s founder, shook each buyer’s hand and said he was sorry it had come to this. But Robbins was scared. His income was the engine that kept the family going. The $20,000 his wife earned work-

ing part time as a personal trainer paid for their four children’s Catholic school tuition. All the other bills depended on his paycheck. At home, he and his wife gathered their 13-year-old son and their daughters, ages 11, 10 and 6, and told them what had happened. Things were going to be different now, they said, though they weren’t sure exactly how. “We told them we might move. They might go to a different school,” Kim Robbins recalled. “The only certain thing is that we’re going to stay together.” It was very quiet. It was the first time Pat Robbins’ children had seen him cry. He applied for unemployment, but the math became painfully clear. Unemployment would cover the mortgage. For everything else, they would have to use ... they had nothing to use. “That three-month emergency fund we should have done it, but we didn’t,” Kim said. It was hard enough to keep up with living expenses, Pat said. Plus, they were carrying credit card debt. There was no extra money to lay aside for a rainy day. And now it was pouring. They slashed their budget. They bought groceries at Aldi. They ate pasta. They pulled their children out of sports leagues. They negotiated with their credit card companies. They ended their regular contributions to their church. They stopped 13-year-old Danny’s guitar lessons. Pat kept his membership at an inexpensive fitness club. If he missed working out one day, he spent that night lying awake worrying. He threw himself into job hunting, calling professional contacts, meeting with people, flying to Little Rock, Ark., for an interview at Dillard’s, a department store company based there. Danny works as a caddy. He recently gave his mother $20. “Mom, you need this more than I do,” he said. What does it feel like

to lose your middle-class life? Like the solid ground beneath you turned to water. Like you woke up in a world you find unrecognizable. Like you are sick. “You feel like throwing up,” Kim said. But the closest analogy, for her, is drowning. “The uncertainty is the worst. It makes you feel like you’re suffocating,” she said. “The anger, the sadness - you just get to the point where you can’t breathe.” And who saw it coming, back when life was good? “You’re taking care of your kids, your house. You’re in this bubble. And everything is fine in your little bubble,” she said. “And then the bubble bursts.” Her composure burst, and she cried. “It’s all gone,” she said. “Everything you had is all gone. ... Everything you were connected to - it’s gone.” They were not too proud to ask for government help. They just didn’t know how. A friend told Kim to go to the Illinois Department of Human Services Web site and apply for a Link card and, because they couldn’t afford COBRA payments, free health care. The world of public aid was so foreign to the Robbinses that Kim couldn’t remember the name of the health care program for the poor. “I always forget. Medicaid? Medicare?” It is Medicaid, and she and her family went on it. They were touched by the kindness of friends and family. A neighbor organized a pizza night for them, bringing over dinner. One of Kim’s friends gave her a gift of a professional massage appointment, and handed her an envelope. There was $1,500 inside. She was not offended, but grateful. “We’re beyond the point where we’re offended,” Kim said. “We’re humbled,” her husband said. Pat Robbins has been hired by Dillard’s. As a brand manager for its private-label men’s sportswear line, he will work with designers and factories on product development. —MCT

HERAT: Afghan burqa clad women choose brooms from a vendor yesterday. The economy of Afghanistan can be categorized as poor and unstable as it lacks proper industrialization and there is a lack of well-developed manufacturing and infrastructure facilities, and it is dependent on foreign aid and assistance. — AFP




Swiss anti-bribery law for commodity traders stillborn GENEVA: The Swiss cabinet on Monday rejected a motion that would force mining companies and private commodity trading houses to declare payments made to resourcerich countries. The decision puts the traditionally neutral country at odds with the United States and the European Union, both of which are pursuing tough new rules for oil, gas and mining companies aimed at reducing corruption. The Swiss government said it dismissed the motion, backed by a group of 30 mostly left-wing politi-

cians, because it went beyond measures passed by other Western countries by including the activities of private traders such as Vitol and Gunvor. Geneva alone is responsible for over a third of daily crude oil volumes and about 35 percent of grains. “The cabinet believes that the scope of the European and US transparency measures is not sufficiently clear and that commodity trading outside of the country of origin is unlikely to be included. We therefore reject the motion,” the government said in a statement on Monday. The

cabinet’s decision comes despite efforts by Arlene McCarthy, who led the discussions in Brussels ahead of a September transparency vote, to persuade Switzerland to follow suit. In a letter addressed to Swiss President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf on Nov 20 and seen by Reuters, McCarthy said there was a need for a “level playing field” in the sector and called Swiss legislation an “essential step towards a global transparency standard.” A Norwegian non-governmental organisation, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, is

also seeking to forge new disclosure rules for oil traders buying from state oil companies, although no concrete measures have been agreed. Scrutiny The cabinet’s decision comes as a blow to campaigners and politicians who have stepped up pressure on Swiss authorities to increase transparency in this traditionally secretive sector. Such pressure has prompted the government to launch a six-month inquiry into the Swiss commodities

industry, which also includes listed companies such as Glencore. The results are due to be published before the end of the year. “There is concern that our country attracts more and more companies looking to bypass rules and exposes itself more to international criticism,” said left-wing politician Hildegard Fassler-Osterwalder, who originally proposed the transparency motion in September. Politician Carlo Sommaruga, who also backed the proposal, said on Monday that Switzerland had

become a “hostage” to multinational companies such as commodity traders because of their high contribution to state revenues. “They pay very low tax and they pose problems for transparency and the state doesn’t dare doing anything as they are afraid they will leave,” he said. Switzerland has also come under pressure from Brussels to match EU sanctions against Iran, including an oil embargo. Switzerland’s foreign minister has said the EU measures go too far towards “regime change.” —Reuters

Asian markets mixed after weak US data HK, Shanghai rebound from losses

NEW YORK: The Lincoln MKZ is shown in New York. The MKZ will arrive at dealerships this month as the first of seven new or revamped Lincolns that will go on sale by 2015. —AP

US auto sales in fast lane since 2008 CHICAGO: US auto sales posted their fastest clip since January 2008 amid an improving economic outlook and demand for replacement vehicles following the devastating Hurricane Sandy. Total industry sales in November were up 15 percent from a year earlier and came in at an adjusted, annualized rate of 15.5 million vehicles, according to Autodata. Honda led the pack with a 39 percent gain that drove its best ever November results. Rivals Chrysler, Ford and GM managed to post their best Novembers in years with more modest but still solid growth. Still, some expressed concerns the auto industry’s strong recovery from the financial crisis of late 2008 could be hampered by the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ with Washington at a political impasse over addressing the budget deficit. “Exactly how much growth we can expect next year will depend in part on how Congress and the president resolve the fiscal cliff issue,” GM sales chief Kurt McNeil said in a conference call. “Consumers hate uncertainty, so an agreement on ways to reduce long-term federal budget deficits could remove an impediment to growth.” While GM could lose some sales to government fleets as a result of budget cutbacks, McNeil said the bigger concern is the impact on businesses and consumers. Most economists fear the fragile US economy could dip back into recession if Republicans and Democrats fail to reach a deal and mandatory tax increases and massive budget cuts are triggered. Ford said the political fight has had a limited impact on auto sales so far. “It’s on the front page of every newspaper but when you take the other side of the storythe aging fleet, the value proposition, and low interest rates the overall spirit of consumers going into the showroom shows that business is still going to be quite good,” said Ken Czubay, head of Ford sales. Ford estimated that November’s sales saw a boost of 20,000 to 30,000 vehicles as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Ford economist Jenny Lin forecasted that the storm will continue to drive sales in December and January as much of that gain was from sales delayed by the storm

and thousands of damaged vehicles still need to be replaced. “We do think this is an industry that is growing stronger even without the Sandy effect,” she added. Ford posted its best November since 2005, as sales rose six percent to 177,673 vehicles. The results were driven by strong demand for its small cars, which posted their best November in 12 years. Toyota sales were up 17 percent at 161,695 vehicles. “Replacement of vehicles damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy is partially responsible for strong sales,” said Bill Fay, manager of the group’s Toyota Division. “However, pent up demand, record low finance rates and exciting new products are also driving demand.” Chrysler’s sales grew by 14 percent to 122,565 vehicles for the best November performance since 2007. It has now posted 32 consecutive months of sales gains and its sales are up 22 percent for the year to date. “Even with all the talk of a looming fiscal cliff, Chrysler Group is well positioned for a strong sales finish to the year,” said sales chief Reid Bigland. “We are expecting a strong December as the industry continues to recover from the East Coast hurricane and consumers continue to respond to our popular year-end Big Finish event.” Honda also expressed hope for the future as it celebrated record November sales of 116,580 units which helped push its sales for the year to date up 24 percent. “We are now surpassing sales records set pre-recession, a true sign that our business has recovered,” said John Mendel, head of sales at American Honda. “We’re ready for a strong finish to 2012.” GM sales rose by a modest three percent to 186,505 vehicles but it remains the automaker’s best November performance since 2007. The largest US automaker said one reason it fell behind is because its competitors have a larger presence in the East Coast and were able to reap more gains from the post-hurricane recovery efforts. It also cited the costly incentives its rivals were offering customers and noted that its average transaction price is among the best in the industry as its market share fell to 16.3 percent from 18.1 percent in November 2011. —AFP

Australia central bank cuts interest rate 3.0% SYDNEY: Australia’s central bank yesterday cut the official interest rate to a record low of 3.0 percent, a level not seen since the financial crisis as China’s slowdown squeezes the mining industry. Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens said ongoing troubles in Europe and the United States were overshadowing global growth prospects, with risks seen to the downside and local spending “relatively subdued” as a result. “The board judged at today’s meeting that a further easing in the stance of monetary policy was appropriate now,” said Stevens following the bank’s monthly rates meeting. “ This will help to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target over time.” Stevens said Chinese growth looked to have stabilised but Asia was lagging as a result of its slowdown, with prices for Australia’s key commodities “significantly lower”, reducing the value of its exports by about 15 percent. Recent data confirmed that the “peak in investment is approaching” for the key mining sector, bringing “new scope” for other areas of the economy to grow. But Stevens said consumer spending

was unlikely to return to the boom times seen some years ago, and analysts warned that further stimulus would be needed to smooth the transition from a mining-dominated economy. “Even lower rates will be needed to boost the non-mining sectors of the economy as the mining boom fades at a time when the Australian dollar remains strong and fiscal cutbacks are intensifying,” said AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver. Yesterday’s cut brings rates to their equal lowest point since the bank began independently setting interest rates and targeting inflation in the early 1990s. Rates were last this low in September 2009, at the bottom of a savage 425-basis-point series of reductions over seven months to cope with the global downturn, which Australia narrowly escaped without going into recession. At that time Treasurer Wayne Swan described rates as being at “50-year emergenc y lows”. He sought to play down as a “scare campaign” yesterday suggestions that the economy was again in strife, emphasising the bank’s assessment that Australia was growing at trend pace and that global conditions were far less dire. —AFP

HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed yesterday following weak US manufacturing data and fears over US talks aimed at averting the fiscal cliff, while Hong Kong and Shanghai rebounded from the previous day’s losses. The euro touched a six-week high against the dollar at one point, helped by news Greece had begun a debt-buyback programme and eurozone finance ministers had nodded through a bailout for Spain’s troubled banks. Tokyo fell 0.27 percent, or 25.72 points, to 9,432.46, Sydney eased 0.62 percent, or 27.9 points, to 4503.6 and Seoul lost 0.25 percent, or 4.84 points, to close at 1,935.18. Hong Kong was 0.15 percent higher, adding 32.12 points to end at 21,799.97 while Shanghai was up 0.78 percent, or 15.37 points, at 1,975.14. Both markets rebounded after posting heavy losses the previous day. US shares turned down on Monday after the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index on manufacturing activity for November showed contraction following two months of expansion. The purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to 49.5, below the 50 breakeven level, from 51.7 in October. Businesses surveyed by the ISM blamed the slow global economy and uncertainty over the fiscal cliff battle in Washington. It followed positive manufacturing numbers across Asia, while Europe also saw a marginal improvement. The Dow slid 0.46 percent, the S&P 500 fell 0.47 percent and the Nasdaq shed 0.27 percent. US politicians have until the end of the month to agree a deal on cutting the country’s huge deficit and avoid the fiscal cliff of huge tax hikes and spending cuts widely expected to tip the economy into recession if they take effect. However, there has been little progress, with Republicans and Democrats blaming each other for the stalemate. On Monday the Republicans put forward a proposal to the White House that calls for $800 billion in increased tax revenue, half of what President Barack Obama has proposed, while it also includes huge cuts to Medicare and other programmes. The plan was immediately rejected. In Europe, Greece began its programme to buy back privately held debt at a big discount, the underlying condition for it to receive its next tranche of bailout funds from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Euro-zone finance ministers also gave the green light to a 39.5 billion euros recapitalisation of Spain’s banks next week. A preliminary plan for a bailout for Cyprus worth 17

billion euros was also drawn up. The euro climbed at one point to $1.3081 — its highest since October 22 — before easing slightly to $1.3074, while it also bought 107.21 yen in early European trade, compared with $1.3051 and 107.36 yen in New York late Monday. The dollar was slightly lower at 82.02 yen from 82.24 yen. The Australian dollar rose to $1.0454 from the $1.0421 seen just before the central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 3.0 percent citing problems in the global economy, in particular Europe and the United States. Oil

down 1.94 percent at NZ$2.28. Manila closed 0.59 percent higher, adding 33.58 points to 5,706.28. SM Prime Holdings gained 2.72 percent to 16.60 pesos while BDO Unibank rose 1.34 percent to 72 pesos. Empire East Landholdings was unchanged at 1.03 pesos. Taipei was flat, edging up 1.07 points to 7,600.98. Smartphone maker HTC rose 4.53 percent to Tw$278.5 while chip giant TSMC fell 1.34 percent to Tw$96.6. Kuala Lumpur shares edged up 0.26 points or 0.02 percent to close at 1607.61. British American Tobacco gained 2 percent

BEIJING: A shopkeeper talks to customers at a stall selling Christmas decorations yesterday. —AFP prices eased, with New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, down 43 cents to $88.66 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for January shedding 53 cents to $110.39. Gold was at $1,705.44 at 1055 GMT compared with $1,717.75 late Monday. In other markets Singapore’s Straits Times Index closed down 0.12 percent, or 3.62 points to 3,062.12. Olam International gained 1.59 percent to Sg$1.60 and Singapore Telecommunications added 0.61 percent to Sg$3.31. Wellington fell 0.82 percent, or 33.40 points, to 4,015.69. Fletcher Building was off 0.88 percent at NZ$7.91 and Telecom ended

to 56.62 ringgit while Petronas Chemicals Group rose 1.2 percent to 5.73. UEM Land Holdings lost 2.4 percent to close at 2.08 ringgit. Jakarta ended down 32.79 points, or 0.76 percent, to 4,269.65. Lender BCA fell 7.9 percent to 8,750 rupiah, car maker Astra International slipped 4.17 percent to 6,900 rupiah, while cigarette maker Gudang Garam climbed 0.19 percent to 53,850 rupiah. Mumbai’s Sensex index rose 0.22 percent or 42.80 points to 19,348.12 points. Mahindra & Mahindra was down 1.75 percent at 938.95 rupees and Tata Power was up 4.0 percent at 111.75 rupees. Bangkok edged down 2.86 points or 0.21 percent to close at 1,330.06. —AFP

Automakers find different roads to fuel efficiency LOS ANGELES: On one stage of the Los Angeles Auto Show, BMW shows off “the cars of tomorrow,” concepts powered by electricity. On another, Audi touts four new diesels. Ford, meanwhile, displays a tiny gasoline motor with an unprecedented mix of power and economy. With consumers and the government demanding ever-higher fuel economy, automakers are tripping over one another at this year’s auto show to trumpet technologies that squeeze more miles out of a fuel tank or an electric charge. Until recently, peak fuel efficiency demanded a trade-off in performance and comfort. But the increasingly varied entrants in the miles-per-gallon race now offer substantial power and comfort. “Instead of having a couple of electric vehicles, which are really only suited for a few people, you have mainstream vehicles that get you what you want and have the fuel efficiency you need,” said Jake Fisher, automotive test director for Consumer Reports. With gasoline prices above $3.50 a gallon in much of the nation, auto companies now market themselves more on fuel economy than horsepower, but their engineers are getting better at combining healthy doses of both. Fuel economy has taken on greater importance with President Barack Obama’s re-election, which automakers believe will cement federal regulations that require nearly doubling the average gas mileage for passenger vehicles to 54.5 mpg by 2025. If there’s a lesson about fuel economy emanating from the auto show, it’s that there are many roads to the new fuel economy standards.

“I hope the horse race continues,” Fisher said. “I hope that automakers keep trying different things. And it might be that the eventual dominant technology is not even something that we have thought of.” At the LA Auto Show, which runs through this week, Audi showed off a line of vehicles equipped with turbocharged V-6 diesel engines that are expected to achieve as much as 30 percent better fuel efficiency than the gasoline counterparts the German automaker now sells. Ford unveiled a gas-sipping, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine that packs more punch than the base fourcylinder now standard in its small cars. Depending on fuel economy tests, the Fiesta equipped with this engine may become the first non-hybrid gasoline vehicle to meet the 2025 gas mileage standards. Chevrolet introduced the electric version of its Spark that it will bring to market next year, hoping to attract customers with an electric car priced at less than $25,000, after a $7,500 federal tax credit. Some of the cars on display, including the Ford Fusion hybrid, the Toyota Camry hybrid and the Lexus ES 350 hybrid, already meet the 2025 standards. The 54.5 mpg standard is based on a technical regulatory formula; in real-life driving, it’s expected to translate to 37 mpg to 40 mpg. That compares to the average fuel economy of 24.1 mpg for new vehicles purchased in October, a 20 percent jump from the same month in 2007, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. “You are

seeing the suite of technologies in different vehicles to improve fuel economy,” said Don Anair, the automotive analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. The technologies go well beyond engine types. They include eight- to 10speed transmissions; improved aerodynamic body shapes; lighter-weight body panels and chassis components; tires with lower rolling resistance; start-stop systems that shut off the engine at red lights; and turbocharging, which creates a denser air-fuel mixture in the engine’s cylinders. More exotic technologies, such as pure electric engines or hydrogen fuel cells, probably won’t be sold in numbers large enough to meet more stringent fuel economy targets. “The heavy lifting will be done by conventional gasoline technology and hybrids,” Anair said. Beyond engines, automakers are aggressively looking to save weight, a huge factor in fuel economy. Nissan has the newest generation of its Pathfinder sport utility vehicle front and center at its display. The vehicle is bigger - more than 4 inches wider and longer - and has more interior volume, yet gets about 30 percent better fuel economy. The new Pathfinder is 500 pounds lighter than the vehicle it replaced. Nissan has trimmed more than 100 pounds from the body, more than 35 pounds from the seats and interior trim and even nearly 16 pounds out of the radio and navigation components. It also achieved a 13 percent improvement in aerodynamics with sleeker styling. Nearly all of these technologies are evident at the LA Auto Show, which has

long been a premier showcase for fuelefficient and environmentally friendly cars. A walk through the Ford booths shows heavy use of turbochargers on smaller engines, a move that Mark Fields, chief operating officer of Ford Motor Co, said improved fuel economy without sacrificing the performance that American consumers demand. Even without government prodding, consumers are driving automakers quickly toward more efficient cars. “I think fuel economy is now embedded in people’s minds no matter what the price of oil is,” Fields said. Previously, fuel efficient meant small and inconvenient cars, Fields said. “Now you don’t have to compromise.” Although some automakers are looking to hybrids or electrics, Audi and its parent company, Volkswagen, are moving aggressively to expand their US offerings of diesel cars, which have long been popular in Europe. More than 30 percent of VW brand sales in October had turbocharged diesel engines. It was 70 percent for the Jetta station wagon. Last week, Audi announced diesel options in four models: the A6, A7, A8 and Q5. All will feature a 3-liter turbocharged V-6 engine. “More of our competitors will jump in, as they look at our experience and the satisfaction people have with diesels,” said Jonathan Browning, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America. That includes Mazda, which announced last week that the redesigned Mazda 6 sedan would soon have a diesel option. “This is a way to deliver improved fuel economy,” Browning said, “without sacrificing the pleasure of driving.” —MCT




Burgan Bank ties up with VISA KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced its alliance with VISA international offering the bank’s VISA cardholders’ special packages and deals on all new OSN subscriptions. The campaign includes a variety of subscription benefits such as free hardware and installation, showbox, second connection with children’s package along with 10 free OSN box office movies on the platinum extra high definition package (HD). Other offers will further include a 50 percent discount on OSN plus box with premier plus HD package as well as a free HD decoder on premier plus, movies plus and family plus packages. Burgan Bank’s VISA cardholders will have the opportunity to enjoy unique packages and deals across all new OSN

DUBAI: The Middle East’s ‘Car of the Year’, the McLaren 12C

subscriptions with a wide variety of premium and exclusive English and Arabic content. The bank’s latest partnership reflects its commitment to delivering an added value experience to its customers. Burgan Bank’s VISA cards are accepted worldwide and provide its holders with an array of benefits that range from exclusive features to a variety of privileges that have been designed to meet their varied needs. To find out more about Burgan Bank’s products and services, as well as its latest promotions, customers are required to visit their nearest Burgan Bank branch or contact the call center on 1804080. For more information, customers can log on to the bank’s website on

McLaren 12C named ME ‘Car of the Year’

DUBAI: Sheikh Marwan Bin Rashid Al-Mualla, Chairman of Emirates Motorsports Federation and Saif Mohamed Al-Midfa, Director General for Expo Centre Sharjah hand over the ‘Car of the Year’ award to Mark Harrison, McLaren Automotive Regional Director for Middle East and Africa.

DUBAI: McLaren Automotive has received two awards, including overall ‘Car of the Year’, for its debut model, the 12C, at the 2012 Middle East Motor Awards. The 12C was rated ahead of almost 50 car models, including some of the world’s top supercar models, by a jury panel comprising of the region’s top automotive experts across 17 categories. The Middle East Motor Awards are the region’s most prestigious automotive accolades, judged by a jury panel that includes 17 of the region’s most influential motoring journalists from nine countries. This is the first year a McLaren model has taken part in the awards, and the luxury high performance sports car manufacturer was named ‘Best Super Car’, before being crowned with the overall title of ‘Car of the Year’. These honours cap a successful first year of sales across the world for the brand. Speaking at the awards ceremony, organiser Saif Al-Midfa, Director General of Expo Centre Sharjah, “The 12C is a clear winner for ‘Car of the Year’. McLaren’s debut model is a stunning car and worthy of making the ultimate wish list for any automotive fan.” Mark Harrison, Regional Director for Middle East and Africa said, “To win ‘Best Supercar’ in the Middle East is an amazing achievement coming in our very first full year as a

luxury sports car manufacturer. But to win the overall ‘Car of the Year’ title is unbelievable.” “It is a great reward for all the skilled and passionate designers and engineers back at McLaren and our retail partners in the region who have worked incredibly hard to launch the brand. But the real winners, I believe, are our first customers. They are driving the Middle East’s ‘Car of the Year’.” McLaren Automotive strives to be at the forefront of innovation; this is what has enabled McLaren to win one in every four of the Formula 1 races in which they have entered since first competing in the sport nearly 50 years’ ago. The 12C also benefits from this racewinning technology with features such as the pioneering Brake Steer and carbon fibre MonoCell which allow the 12C to offer dynamic driving capabilities unlike any other car in its segment. The 12C was launched in the Middle East in November 2011, and has since achieved sales of over 1,000 cars worldwide, and more than 100 in the Middle East. McLaren Automotive’s Middle East retail network of specialist, luxury automotive retailers is located in prestigious venues across Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and there is also a service centre in Lebanon.

IKEA unveils sustainability strategy KUWAIT: The IKEA Group released a new, ambitious sustainability strategy, People & Planet Positive. The strategy is an integrated part of the IKEA Group long-term growth direction and builds on the Company’s long history of working with sustainability by outlining a new set of goals and actions for delivery up to 2020. People & Planet Positive has three key focus areas: ● Inspiring and enabling millions of people to live a more sustainable life at home, offering products and solutions that help customers to save money by using less energy and water and reducing waste. Examples include: converting all lighting to LED that last for 20 years and use up to 85 percent less electricity; offering the most energy efficient home appliances on the market at the lowest price; creating low price, functional and easy to use solutions for sorting and minimising waste and using less water at home. ● Becoming energy and resource independent, which includes producing as much renewable energy as is consumed in IKEA Group stores and buildings, building on the Ä1.5 billion allocated to wind and solar projects. It also

includes improving the energy efficiency in IKEA Group operations by at least 20 percent and encouraging suppliers to do the same. Continuously developing the IKEA range, making products more sustainable by ensuring all main home furnishing materials, including packaging, are renewable, recyclable or recycled. ● Taking the lead in creating a better life for the people and communities, which includes supporting the development of good places to work throughout the IKEA Group supply chain - encouraging suppliers to not only focus on compliance but also shared values. It also includes going beyond the immediate reach of the supply chain and helping to support human rights. “We want to create a better every day for the many people by living more sustainably. We have been working towards that goal for many years and have already done a lot, but we are now ready to take the next big step. ‘People & Planet Positive’ will help us to do that; transforming our business and having an even greater positive impact on the world,” said Mikael Ohlsson, President and CEO, IKEA Group. One of the biggest challenges for the 21st Century is

how to address resource scarcity and climate change whilst providing a great quality of life for people around the world. People & Planet Positive will help IKEA Group to play a small but significant part in meeting those challenges. In addition to contributing to the quality of life of people and communities where it operates, it will use resources with the utmost efficiency and turn waste into resources. Only renewable energy will be used in IKEA Group operations, while safe chemicals, responsible stewardship of forests, water and farmlands will be the base of its supply chain. “We believe that sustainability should not be a luxury good - it should be affordable for everyone. We are excited by the opportunity to help our customers, over 770 million, fulfil their dreams at home with beautiful products that help them save money on their household bills by reducing energy and water use, as well as reducing waste. People & Planet Positive will also enable us to take our responsibilities in the supply chain further over the coming years by, for example, only using renewable energy to power our buildings and advocating for children’s rights,” said Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group.

KUWAIT: Pancily Varkey, Country Head, UAE Exchange-Kuwait Operations receives the signed agreement from Ahmed Al-Matrook, Gulf Air’s Country Manager, Kuwait.

UAE Exchange Kuwait offers discounted rates for Gulf Air KUWAIT: UAE Exchange, the World’s Trusted Money Transfer has entered into a strategic alliance with Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier and one of the leading airline’s in the region, to offer discounts on air tickets exclusively for the former’s Gold Card holders in Kuwait. Gold Card UAE Exchange members, residing in Kuwait, can now avail of a 15 percent discount on Economy class and 20 percent discount on Falcon Gold class air tickets, when flying with Gulf Air. This discount offer is valid until December 31 and tickets can be booked through Gulf Air’s Sales Office located in downtown Kuwait. A contract for the same was signed by both the parties at the Gulf Air offices, Kuwait. “Here is the Christmas gift for our customers in Kuwait!” said Gopakumar Bhargavan, Chief Marketing Officer, UAE Exchange, speaking on the occasion of UAE Exchange partnering with Gulf Air, Kuwait. “At UAE Exchange, customer delight is the utmost priority. We strategically look into each tie-up, as a step towards adding more convenience and value to our customers, thus making the brand, a financial supermarket of sorts.” added Gopakumar. Gulf Air’s Country Manager, Kuwait Ahmed Al-Matrook commented at the promotion launch: “We are launching this discount specifically to UAE Exchange Kuwait Gold Card customers to better meet their travel requirements, giving them the opportunity to enjoy the Gulf Air journey at a lower cost particularly with the upcoming holiday season. We hope all UAE Exchange - Kuwait Gold Card customers will take advantage of this promotion and we look forward to running more such offers in the future, further facilitating frequent flying at a reasonable price.” “UAE Exchange has never fallen short of ideas to keep its customers happy. Our objective is not only to stay connected with our customers, but also to ensure

and enable them to stay connected with their loved ones back home. With the holiday season just around the corner and air fares soaring sky high, this is a great opportunity for our customers to travel at affordable prices.” said Pancily Varkey, Country Head, UAE Exchange-Kuwait Operations. UAE Exchange is famous for its excellent customer service and widest network among remittance brands with close to 650 branches in 30 countries across five continents serving over 4 million customers. Strong correspondent relationship with over 150 global banks further adds to the might. With 24 branches in Kuwait, customers can walk in to the nearest one to address their multiple financial requirements viz. money transfers, currency exchange, bill payments, salary collection and more, under one roof. Its penchant for quality has won UAE Exchange many awards and earned the trust of customers, partners and regulators alike, thus helping it to get the acclaim of the world’s trusted money transfer. Gulf Air is the proud national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain since 1950. As a pioneering airline in the Middle East region with over sixty years of experience and expertise in flying people across continents, Gulf Air is today one of the most powerful brands and a name to reckon with within the global aviation industry. The airline’s current network stretches from Europe to Asia, connecting 46 cities in 28 countries, with a fleet of 38 aircraft. In tune with the Kingdom’s economic blueprint, ‘Vision 2030’, Gulf Air’s strategy is to build an efficient, commercially sustainable and dynamic airline that effectively serves the people and the economy of Bahrain and represents the Kingdom on the world stage. The event was attended by senior officials from both UAE Exchange and Gulf Air, special invitees and the media.

Canon ME hosts seminar for printer models

KUWAIT: The attendees are pictured at Canon’s seminar. KUWAIT: Canon Middle East has strengthened its line-up of office products to meet increased demand in Kuwait. A series of product demonstration seminars aimed at retailers and distributors in Kuwait was conducted recently, as part of initiatives to further strengthen its presence in the country’s robust IT market. Over 70 attendees witnessed Canon’s preview of its laser printers and inkjet models, featuring more advanced functionalities and features, including enhanced colour quality and speeds. “Canon has always offered state of the art products that combine cutting technolo-

gy and value for money along with meeting the expectations of the diverse consumers of the region. The seminar provided an ideal platform for Canon to understand the needs of the end user and further consolidate our presence in this market. There was also a strong positive feedback about the newly launched Pixma range of inkjet printers for its cuttingedge features such as the XL ink system and wireless print functionality,” said Venkatasubramanian Hariharan, Sales Director, Canon Middle East. The demand for cost effective all in one office inkjet printers have significantly increased within the segment of home

office users. To cater to this growing market, Canon Middle East has launched its all in one inkjet multi function range including the ‘PIXMA MG 6340’, in Kuwait. The new inkjet models combine new elegant designs along with cutting edge printing technology to meet basic and advanced printing needs of the business and home segment users. Featuring ‘XL’ inks, the printers are capable of producing over 2.2 prints than its previous models. Naser Mohammed Al-Sayer Communications Co (NMAS), Canon Middle East’s authorized distributor in Kuwait, was responsible for hosting the seminar for end users in Kuwait. “Canon

has been very supportive of our marketing initiatives, and that reflects in our exceptional performance this year. This series of seminars that Canon will be doing is a great way of not only introducing the products, but also engaging our customers on the most appropriate and effective solutions that will help them boost their businesses,” said Nabil Iskandrani, General Manager, NMAS. Corporate end-users who attended the seminar got a preview of Canon’s latest range of laser printers including the iSENSYS MF 4890dn. The new printers that were showcased are capable of producing outstanding quality pages, in

colour and black and white. Features that received positive feedback include ‘Quiet Mode Printing’- which significantly minimises the noise involved in corporate printing environments and also the printer’s tilting display capabilities which allows users to easily adjust the panel for better usability from both sitting and standing positions. The OPP seminar in Kuwait is the latest in a series of Channel events organised by Canon Middle East and provides Tier Two partners with insight into the new Canon line up and forthcoming strategies relating to the new products, development of Channels and marketing initiatives.




India sets up seaside ‘village’ to nurture software start-ups KOCHI: Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Indian information technology giant Infosys, stares out from a wall-to-wall poster in a modern office building near Kochi, in the southern state of Kerala. A caption reads: “We started Infosys in a room about this size; it’s your turn now.” His message is directed at aspiring entrepreneurs at Startup Village, a state-ofthe-art glass and steel edifice tucked in a green corner of the port city, who dream of creating the next billion-dollar tech giant. But even three decades after Infosys, India’s second-largest software service provider, was founded by middleclass engineers, the country has failed to create an enabling environment for firstgeneration entrepreneurs. Startup Village wants to break the logjam by helping engineers develop 1,000 Internet and mobile companies in the next 10 years. It provides its members with office space, guidance and a chance to hobnob with the stars of the tech industry, including Gopalakrishnan, the project’s chief mentor. But critics say this may not even be the beginning of a game-changer unless India deals with a host of other impediments - from red tape to a lack of innovation and a dearth of investors - that are blocking entrepreneurship in Asia’s third-largest economy. India ranks 74th out of 79 nations in the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index, making it one of the worst places in the world to start a business. A World Bank report says it is easier to start a business in violence-afflicted Pakistan or poverty-stricken Nepal than

in their giant neighbor, where everything from getting electricity to credit is timeconsuming and fraught with paperwork. “Take Apple or take Google. If exactly the same company had been started in India, its prospects would have been very different,” said Erkko Autio, chair in technology venturing and entrepreneurship at Imperial College, London. “Basically, it would have not reached the potential it has as a start-up.” Indian-born entrepreneurs have been enormously successful in the United States, where they have the highest number of tech-start-ups by any immigrant group. But India has not been able to build itself a community like Silicon Valley where there is easy access to equity, a pool of creative talent and firstworld infrastructure. “We were alone. We had no idea how to make a company, how to sell it ... We tried, failed, tried, failed,” said Kallidil Kalidasan, a 23-yearold member who started a mobile app venture in Kerala two years ago and could not find a single investor. He is now one of the entrepreneurs at Startup Village, and is working on a product that could help the government detect illegal abortions in a country plagued by female foeticide. Bare necessities The seven-month-old Startup Village provides would-be entrepreneurs with workspace at rents about a tenth of anywhere else in Kochi, computers, a highspeed Internet connection, legal and intellectual property services and access

dence at the Microsoft Accelerator. The institution helps start-ups in Bangalore, the city most associated with India’s software industry that is about 550 km (340 miles) north of Kochi. “There are not that many entrepreneurs in India, and there are hardly any in Kerala who have the expertise to be able to build, scale and sell strong software companies,” said Mohan. “If you have not been there and done that before, what advice will you give?” But Bangalore has not been able to nurture a start-up culture of any significance either. It has many aspiring CEOs and optimistic financiers, but they are also struggling with a maze of regulations and half-hearted government support.

to high-profile investors. The village is still to be completed, but 68 people, wouldbe entrepreneurs and their teams, have already taken up two buildings at the site. Spread over 100,000 sq ft (9,250 sq m) - equivalent to 20 basketball courts Startup Village will be completed in 2014. India has 120 other incubators, but they are mostly housed in academic institutions and have not drawn a strong network of advisers from the private sector. Startup Village, the first such institution to be jointly funded by the government and private sector, has Gopalakrishnan as its chief promoter and has collaborations with companies such as BlackBerry maker Research in Motion and IBM. “One, the goal of this initiative is to create new companies and create jobs. Second, this will create new solutions and products,” Gopalakrishnan told Reuters in an e-mail interview. He is excited about creating an ecosystem for entrepreneurs in his home-state, Kerala, which is famous for its tropical coastline and backwaters. The Village team says it chose Kerala because costs are lower than New Delhi or Mumbai and it has 150 engineering colleges that can provide start-up enthusiasts. But for some, Startup Village will not work because it does not provide the right environment for a budding tech start-up. “What does an entrepreneur need besides money? They need strong support in terms of advice,” said Mukund Mohan, who has founded and sold three Silicon Valley start-ups and is CEO-in-resi-

Lack of ingenuity The newer start-ups in Bangalore or Kerala are eying products not services. Many bring ideas catering to the booming market of domestic online shoppers, like Flipkart, the nation’s most heavily financed e-commerce company. But financial backers for such ventures are few and far between. “We are a fixeddeposit country,” said Rajesh Sawhney, founder of GSF Superangels that provides angel and seed funding to start-ups. “Our investors are risk-averse. They don’t trust young people with their money.” Fewer than 150 start-ups are promoted by venture capital or angel investors annually in India. There are over 60,000 angel investments, made in the early stages of a start-up, alone per year in the United States, according to an Indian gov-

ernment report. Experts believe India is handicapped by a lack of ingenuity. It ranks 64th on the Global Innovation Index, much below other BRICS nations. Indian graduates, largely trained in services, have difficulty innovating beyond that approach. Barely 700 technology product startups are launched every year in India versus over 14,000 in the United States, according to the Microsoft Accelerator database. For India’s risk-averse middle-class, entrepreneurship is the last recourse of the unemployed. “If you go to a function, and someone asks you where you are working, and if you don’t say Infosys or Wipro, they say: ‘Oh you did not get placement (for a job)’,” said Startup Village member Sreekumar Ravi. Ravi is working on creating an affordable multi-touch computing surface that could change the way people window shop in malls or place orders in restaurants. Startup Village aims to pluck innovators from college campuses, and bring them into the fold after evaluating their business ideas. Many of its in-house entrepreneurs are in their mid-twenties. But critics are sceptical if Startup Village would be able to launch the next Infosys in India - or even be successful in its goal of incubating 1,000 online companies. “I will be thrilled if they do even a quarter of that number ... But do I think they will do more than 100? No.” said Mohan from Microsoft Accelarator. “I mean I hope they succeed. But hope is not a strategy, hope is only a prayer.” —Reuters

Wary of cyber security laws, UK eyes softly-softly approach Intellectual property being stolen online on vast scale

SYDNEY: Qantas Airways CEO Alan Joyce speaks during a luncheon where he announced the airline had severed a lucrative marketing deal with Tourism Australia after claiming its boss was leading a consortium trying to unseat the airline’s management and buy out the company, in Sydney on November 28, 2012. —AFP

Qantas axes in-flight Internet after poor take-up SYDNEY: Australian airline Qantas’s trial of in-flight Internet access has been shelved due to a lack of interest from passengers who prefer to sleep or enjoy a rare break from the online world while flying. Qantas began a service in March which gave travelers on Airbus A380s flying to Los Angeles and London in-flight connectivity using their personal WiFi-enabled laptops and other electronic devices. But it said yesterday that while keen to offer the WiFi service to long-haul passengers, less than five percent of customers had made use of it and it was discontinued last month. “The commercial trial found that the customer take-up of the WiFi service was extremely low,” a spokesman said. “Most of our A380 services operate at night and so another dampener on demand was the fact people preferred to sleep than surf the web.” Cost was also likely a factor, with the price ranging from Aus$12.90 (US$13.45) to Aus$39.90 for

various data packages. “Naturally, the costs associated with offering a reliable Internet connection in-flight are significantly higher than on the ground, particularly when you are flying over vast expanses of ocean and can’t connect to ground towers,” the spokesman said. Qantas said customers indicated they would prefer better Internet access at airports, so the airline was investing in upgrading WiFi technology across its domestic and international lounge network. “Right now, our customers are telling us that access to the Internet on the ground is more important than in the air,” the spokesman said. “We will continue to evaluate demand for WiFi options onboard.” Qantas passengers will still be able to send and receive text messages and make telephone calls inflight on A380s, selected B747s and A330 aircraft. —AFP

LONDON: Britain will try to get companies to beef up cyber security by encouraging investors and shareholders to hold them to account on the issue, but will reject US -style mandatory reporting of online attacks, government officials say. Britain has made tackling the theft of intellectual property on the Internet and the protection of critical infrastructure from hostile cyber assault top national security issues, setting aside 650 million pounds ($1 billion) over four years to address the problems. More than nine in 10 British companies have suffered a cyber breach in the past year and intellectual property is being stolen on an “industrial scale”, government officials said in a briefing ahead of a government update on Monday on its year-old cyber security strategy. But despite the fact that more and more trade secrets are being purloined via the Internet, officials said they favored a softly-softly approach. That would involve professional auditing and governance bodies and shareholders and

analysts pressuring company directors to explain what they were doing to thwart cyber threats, they said. “The government does want to see more disclosures. But we don’t think the right way of approaching that is to pass laws to force people to do it in those areas where they are not already obliged,” one official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of security issues. “Rather than forcing companies to disclose it, we think it is best to encourage analysts, investors, shareholders, insurers, to ask for that information,” he said. ‘A perverse incentive’ Unlike their US peers, British companies aren’t required to report cyber attacks, an obligation that supporters of such legislation believe keeps directors on their toes and helps ensure cyber defenses are up to scratch because of the fear of reputational damage. However, Britain believes obligatory reporting risks having the opposite effect and becoming a “perverse incentive” that would

prompt directors to actually turn a blind eye to online breaches in order to escape unwanted publicity. Even when companies did reveal such attacks, company directors would be likely to say as little as possible about such incidents, the official said. Mandatory reporting “would be positively harmful from the point of view of getting people to share information,” he said. In a related move, the government said on Monday it would extend a pilot scheme under which 160 firms in the defense, finance, pharmaceuticals, and energy and telecommunications sectors shared information about cyber attacks confidentially. Alan Calder, head of British cyber consultancy IT Governance, questioned the government’s approach, saying the US model of mandatory reporting was a good discipline for directors. “Being forced to disclose information would be a very good thing, it would put a lot of pressure on companies,” he said. —Reuters

DVRs now in half of US pay-TV homes NEW YORK: A new survey finds that digital video recorders are now in more than half of all US homes that subscribe to cable or satellite TV services. Leichtman Research Group’s survey of 1,300 households found that 52 percent of the ones that have pay-TV service also have a DVR. That translates to about 45 percent of all households and is up from 13.5 percent of all households surveyed five years ago by another firm, Nielsen. The first DVRs came out in 1999, from TiVo Inc. and ReplayTV. Later, they were built into cable set-top boxes. The latest trend is “whole-home” DVRs that can distribute recorded shows to several sets. Even with the spread of DVRs, live TV rules. Nielsen found last year that DVRs accounted for 8 percent of TV watching. —Reuters

iTunes launched in South Africa JOHANNESBURG: Apple expanded its ultra-successful online store iTunes to South Africa yesterday, giving music fans access to a library of local and international hits. In a statement Apple said customers would be able to choose from over 20 million songs available to purchase and download. Announcing the shop’s roll-out across Russia, Turkey, India and “52 additional countries” Apple indicated films were not yet available in South Africa. South Africa, with a population of around 50 million, is by far the continent’s richest economy, despite crushing poverty in some urban and rural areas. According to World Wide Worx an estimated one in ten South Africans will have access to the web by the end of the year. —AFP

PARIS: A man wears a prototype of a display device helmet called “FlyViz”, yesterday, during its presentation at the French public research centre INRIA headquarters. This protoype enables for the first time humans to experience a real-time 360∞ vision of their surroundings. —AFP

US judge gives initial OK to revised Facebook privacy settlement

PARIS: LeWeb co-founder Loic Le Meur and Xavier Niel, Founder of the Iliad Group listen to Tony Fadell, Founder and CEO of Nest Labs, Inc ((on screen) during the opening session of LeWeb Paris 2012 in Saint-Denis, near Paris. —AFP

NEW YORK: A US judge on Monday gave his preliminary approval to a second attempt by Facebook Inc to settle a class action lawsuit which charges t h e social networking company with violating privacy rights. US District Judge Richard Seeborg in California rejected a settlement in August over Facebook’s ‘Sponsored Stories’ advertising feature, questioning why it did not award money to Facebook members for using their personal information. But in a ruling handed down Monday, Seeborg said a revised settlement “falls within the range of possible approval as fair, reasonable and adequate.” In a revised proposal, Facebook and plain-

tiff lawyers said users now could claim a cash payment of up to $10 each to be paid from a $20 million total settlement fund. Any money remaining would then go to charity. The company also said it would engineer a new tool to enable users to view content that might have been displayed in Sponsored Stories and opt out if they desire, a court document said. If it receives final approval, the proposed settlement would resolve a 2011 lawsuit originally filed by five Facebook Inc members. The lawsuit alleged the Sponsored Stories feature violated California law by publicizing users’ “likes” of certain advertisers without paying them or giving them a way to opt out. The case involved over

100 million potential class members. A spokesman for Facebook said the company was “pleased that the court has granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement.” Lawyers for the plaintiffs weren’t immediately available for comment Monday evening. Outside groups and class members will have a chance to object to the latest settlement before Seeborg decides whether to grant final approval. A hearing on the fairness of the deal has been set for June 28, 2013. The case in US District Court, Northern District of California is Angel Fraley et al, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs Facebook Inc, 11-cv-1726. —Reuters



health & science

Trauma haunts Thailand’s children of war PATTANI, Thailand: Mentally scarred and afraid to set foot outside his home in Thailand’s deep south, Ahmad is one of thousands of children orphaned by a war largely forgotten by the rest of the world. After years living with the menace of bombs, shootings and curfews, many youngsters in Thailand’s insurgency-wracked deep south are exhibiting high levels of stress and trauma. “When I do go out I stay near my home... I never go far away,” Ahmad, 12, said as he chewed timidly on the collar of his football shirt. His 15-year-old sister Sunnah said their father’s murder by unknown gunmen six years ago marked the end of her childhood and left the siblings - whose names AFP has changed to protect their identity - without parents following the death of their mother in an accident. They now live with an aunt. “I don’t feel safe, especially with strangers,” she said. “I suspect people when they look at me. The soldiers are the worst.” Anger, introversion and fear are common symptoms of depression or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), said government mental health expert Pechdau Tohmeena, explaining children are bearing the brunt of the eight-year conflict. “Fear is the number one issue. Some kids have seen their parents shot in front of them, their family shops burned, relatives beaten or tortured,” she explained at a clinic in Pattani, a city at the heart of the insurgency. “ They hear rumours about the violence. They see helicopters flying overhead with their guns pointing down on them. It’s hard to live as a target every day.” More than 5,300 people have died in the region since 2004 in bombings, killings -including beheadings - and shootings by insurgents, as well as military raids targeting suspected militants. Nearly 60 of the dead have been aged 15 or younger, while hundreds more youngsters

have been injured, according to conflict monitor Deep South Watch, the majority caught in crossfire. On Oct 31, an 11-year-old boy joined that toll, when he was gunned down in an ambush with his father, in an attack that also left his nine-year-old brother in a critical condition in a district of Yala, one of three southern provinces that have been under a state of emergency since 2005. It was a bleak reminder of the gauntlet faced by children every day in a region where militants, who are seeking greater autonomy, target civilians and security forces alike. The number of

orphans in the region is a growing concern, with a study by local non-governmental organisation the Pattani Juvenile Observation and Protection Center putting the number at more than 5,000. Other child welfare groups estimate the figure is two or even three times higher. While there is little comprehensive research on the mental health effects of the conflict, the available statistics are alarming and experts say they are getting worse. Nearly 22 percent of 11 to 18-year-olds had PTSD symptoms, which is believed to be more than double the national average, according to a 2010 study of 3,000 chil-

NARATHIWAT, Thailand: This file picture taken on Oct 26, 2009 shows Thai Muslim schoolchildren walking past a soldier during a parade in the Takbai district of this restive southern province. — AFP

dren across Thailand’s three southernmost provinces. Just under 40 percent showed signs of emotional or behavioural problems including anxiety, loss of confidence, poor attention spans, fear and aggression. “Some of these kids have grown up only with violence,” said Panpimol Wipulakorn of the Rajanukul Institute, a government mental health agency, who led the survey. “Some primary school kids even told us what they most need to improve their lives is a gun - that is not the normal response of a school child.” Even school does not provide a sanctuary, with militants deeming government-run institutions legitimate targets. More than 150 teachers have been killed by insurgents and hundreds of schools have been torched over the past eight years. The situation is so severe that all 321 schools in Pattani province closed temporarily from Nov 27 to press for greater protection from the attacks. “Conflict situations are detrimental to child development,” said Andrew Morris of the United Nations Children’s Fund, “and the longer that conflict carries on the bigger the impact will be.” The stress of childhood in a war zone plays out in later years, with teenagers experiencing high rates of drug and alcohol use, according to experts. There are some positive signs that mental health is creeping up the agenda. Eight years ago, when the insurgency started, there was just one government psychiatrist for the entire three southern provinces - now there are 40. But as violence rages, there are mounting fears that an angry and emotionally damaged new generation will enter the insurgency, a possibility that has not escaped the attention of the government or the militants. “Both sides want them... and if these kids continue to grow up in conflict, the threat is that in 10 or 20 years there still won’t be peace here,” said Pechdau. —AFP

Tapping citizen-scientists for novel gut check in US

BERLIN: This picture taken on March 25, 2009 shows Greenpeace activists lighting up the mockup of a bomb labelled CO2 during a campaign in front of the Chancellery in Berlin. — AFP

Eco campaigners bash German gas-guzzlers BERLIN: Environmental campaigners have taken aim at famous German car brands, criticising their high CO2 emissions as well as Germany’s tax system they say promotes gas guzzlers. A symbol of industrial might exported all over the world, Germany’s sports vehicles, estate cars and 4x4s also enjoy huge domestic popularity due to what one campaigner derided as an “absurd” tax incentive scheme. “Germany has the most absurd policy in the world of incentivising polluting cars,” said Patrick Huth from pressure group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (German Environmental Aid or DUH). Two-thirds of cars sold in Germany are registered to companies, although this percentage rises to 80 percent for the swankier models. Companies can offset for tax purposes the entire price of the car and petrol without any fixed limit on carbon emissions, as there exists in other countries such as Ireland or France. The more expensive the model, the greater the fiscal incentive for companies and in a country where cars are often seen as a status symbol, firms offer employees luxury vehicles to attract talent. “Companies order heavy vehicles with high fuel consumption because image is more important to them than the fight against climate change,” complained Sigrid Totz from NGO Greenpeace. “This tax law ensures the German auto industry has a domestic market for its premium brands,” added Totz. The DUH group has calculated that the tax regime on cars owned by individuals is also one of the least strict in terms of carbon emissions in Europe. And Huth criticised Germany’s famously speed limit-free motorways, “the only case in the industrialised world” as an “incentive to buy soupedup vehicles”. Statistics appear to back up the campaigners’ argument. Germany routinely finds itself bottom of the class when it comes to the CO2

emissions of new cars sold in the country. Over the first seven months of 2012, cars sold in Denmark and Portugal spewed out on average less than 120 gm of CO2 per kilometre travelled while in Germany, this was over 140 gm, according to manufacturers’ data. Nevertheless, the top companies are striving to improve the situation, said Matthias Wissmann, from the VDA association which represents the Germany auto industry. “Since 2006, the German brands have cut their average (fuel) consumption by 20 percent” thanks mainly to billions of euros invested in improving motor efficiency, Wissmann said. And Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, an expert from the CAR-Centre for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, said environmentalists should not necessarily point the finger at the top brands. “Premium German carmakers have made more progress than lower range manufacturers,” he told AFP, adding that many top-of-the-range vehicles have similar emissions to less modern and less expensive cars. German manufacturers “have invested enormously in technology and have no problem respecting the CO2 emission limits in Europe,” he added. Consumers in Germany do however tend to be suckers for horsepower, with a trend for ever bigger engines, a study conducted by Dudenhoeffer in August showed. In the first seven months of 2012, the average horsepower of the engines of new cars sold in Germany stood at 138 hp, up from a previous record of 135 hp seen in 2011 and 130 hp in 2010. Nevertheless, “more horsepower does not automatically translate into higher fuel consumption,” given new generation fuel-saving technology, Dudenhoeffer wrote as a conclusion to that study. The expert did acknowledge that Germany had a lot of catching up to do in the area of hybrid vehicles, where motors are driven by a combination of fuel and electricity. —AFP

WASHINGTON: The bacterial zoo inside your gut could look very different if you’re a vegetarian or an Atkins low-carb dieter, a couch potato or an athlete, fat or thin. Now for a fee $69 and up - and a stool sample, the curious can find out just what’s living in their intestines and take part in one of the hottest new fields in science. Wait a minute: How many people really want to pay for the privilege of mailing such, er, intimate samples to scientists? A lot, hope the researchers running two novel citizen-science projects. One, the American Gut Project, aims to enroll 10,000 people - and a bunch of their dogs and cats too - from around the country. The other, uBiome, separately aims to enroll nearly 2,000 people from anywhere in the world. “We’re finally enabling people to realize the power and value of bacteria in our lives,” said microbiologist Jack Gilbert of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laborator y. He’s one of a team of well-known scientists involved with the American Gut Project. Don’t be squeamish: Yes, we share our bodies with trillions of microbes, living communities called microbiomes. Many of the bugs, especially those in the intestinal tract, play indispensable roles in keeping us healthy, from good digestion to a robust immune system. But which combinations of bacteria seem to keep us healthy? Which ones might encourage problems like obesity, diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome? And do diet and lifestyle affect those microbes in ways that we might control someday? Answering those questions will require studying vast numbers of people. Getting started with a grassroots movement makes sense, said National Institutes of Health microbiologist Lita Proctor, who isn’t involved with the new projects but is watching closely. After all, there was much interest in the taxpayerfunded Human Microbiome Project, which last summer provided the first glimpse of what makes up a healthy bacterial community in a few hundred volunteers. Proctor, who coordinated that project, had worried “there would be a real ick factor. That has not been the case,” she said. Many people “want to engage in improving their health.” Scott Jackisch, a computer consultant in Oakland, California, ran across American Gut while exploring the science behind different diets, and signed up last week. He’s read with fascination earlier microbiome research: “Most of the genetic matter in what we consider ourselves is not human, and that’s crazy. I

wanted to learn about that.” Testing a single stool sample costs $99 in that project, but he picked a three sample deal for $260 to compare his own bacterial makeup after eating various foods. “I want to be extra, extra well,” said Jackisch, 42. Differing gut microbes may be the reason “there’s no one magic bullet of diet that people can eat and be healthy.” It’s clear that people’s gut bacteria can change over time. What this new research could accomplish is a first look at how different diets may play a role, said American Gut lead researcher Rob Knight of the University

free testing for those who can’t afford the fees, to try to increase the experiment’s diversity. Don’t forget the pets: “We sleep with them, play with them, they often eat our food,” said American Gut co-founder Jeff Leach, an anthropologist. What bacteria we have in common is the next logical question. Already, American Gut researchers are preparing to compare what they find in the typical U.S. gut with a few hundred people in rural Namibia, who eat what’s described as hunter-gatherer fare. Also, Leach will spend three months living in Namibia next year, and

BOULDER, Colorado: Scientist Rob Knight is seen in his lab at the University of Colorado, where he is leading the American Gut Project. (Inset) An undated handout image shows the bacterium Enterococcus faecalis which lives in the human gut. — AP of Colorado, Boulder. One challenge is making sure participants don’t expect that a map of their gut bacteria can predict their future health, or suggest lifestyle changes, anytime soon. “I understand I’m not going to be able to say, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’ll be susceptible to this,’” said Bradley Heinz, 26, a financial consultant in San Francisco. He is paying uBiome $119 to analyze both his gut and mouth microbiomes; just the gut is $69. “The more people that participate, the more information comes out and the more that everybody benefits,” he added. Participants can sign up for either project via the social fundraising site over the next month. They also can send scrapings from the skin, mouth and other sites, to analyze that bacteria. Sign up enough family members or body sites, or be tracked over time, and the price can rise into the thousands. American Gut researchers plan some

is storing his own stool samples for beforeand-after comparison. But diet isn’t the only factor. Your bacterial makeup starts at birth: Babies absorb different microbes when they’re born vaginally than when they’re born by C section, a possible explanation for why cesareans raise the risk for certain infections. Taking antibiotics, especially in early childhood, can alter this teeming inner world, and it’s not clear if there are lasting consequences. Then there’s your environment, such as the infections spread in hospitals. In February, a new University of Chicago hospital building opens and Gilbert will test the surfaces, the patients and their health workers to see how quickly bad bugs can move in and identify which bacteria are protective. Whatever the findings, all the research marks “a huge teachable moment” about how we interact with microbes, Leach said. — AP

Fish luring devices divide Asia-Pacific tuna meet MANILA: Tuna-harvesting nations of the Pacific argued at a key meeting in Manila yesterday over how best to regulate devices that attract the giant fish, amid growing concern over depleted stocks, officials said. A call to extend an annual ban on fish aggregating devices (FADs) to four months was among the most contentious issues at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting. An annual July-September ban on FADS is already in place in waters that account for half the world’s tuna catch, and a four-month ban would hurt small Pacific nations the most, said Palau fishing official Nanette Malsol. “We don’t want to put any disproportionate burden on smaller countries,” said Malsol, who chairs Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PAN), a coalition of

small Pacific island nations. She said her group opposes the extension of the so-called “closed period” unless smaller nations are compensated. FADS are made of buoys tethered to the ocean floor. They can attract huge numbers of fish, allowing boats to haul them in quickly rather than spending time and fuel searching for schools of tuna. Critics say fishing with FADS means juvenile fish are snared, as well as bycatch that includes threatened species like sharks, rays and sea turtles. About a dozen Greenpeace delegates staged a protest at the venue, calling for a total FADS ban to allow tuna stocks to recover. “FADS must be banned if we want to see our tuna stocks survive,” the environmental campaign group’s delegation head Lagi Toribau said. “Not only does it contribute to the rapid

decline of fish stocks, it also results in a large amount of unwanted bycatch.” Other delegates told AFP none of the 30 member-nations and territories attending, including the US, China, Japan and Australia, favoured a total FADS ban but many of them recognised the need to limit their use. However, they said they disagreed on how this should be done. Malsol said the American delegation opposed compensation for smaller nations. USbased Pew Environment Group, which also sent delegates to the meeting, estimates between 47,000 and 105,000 FADS are in use worldwide. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has previously warned that global tuna stocks are fast reaching the limits of sustainability due to a lack of comprehensive catch-limits. — AFP

MANILA: Greenpeace environmental activists rally holding mock tuna and placards during the 9th regular session of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) yesterday. — AFP



health & science

A brown woolly monkey leaps to a liana in the Yasuni National Park in Orellana province in Ecuador on Nov 11, 2012. — AFP

A Cuvier’s dwarf caiman is seen in the Tiputini river in Yasuni National Park.

A black caiman, the largest predator in the Amazon basin, is seen in a lake in the park.

Yasuni dilemma: A reserve full of life, and oil TIPUTINI, Ecuador: The thumping whir of helicopters overhead sends a pack of terrified monkeys fleeing into the brush - one clear sign of the impact of oil development in this incredibly biodiverse par t of Ecuador’s Amazon. This ecological paradise, a reserve called the Yasuni that is 9,820 sq km large, is home to one of the highest concentrations of varied animal species in the world. It also sits atop around 846 million barrels of crude oil - equivalent to a fifth of the total reserves of Ecuador, which relies heavily on oil exports for revenue. In the name of environmental protection, President Rafael Correa has proposed a voluntary abstention from exploiting the oil in this reserve, in exchange for compensation from the international community to the tune of $3.6 billion, or about half the value of the estimated reserves in the protected area, by 2023. Since 2011, however, the United Nations Development Program has raised only $200 million, a disappointment for Correa, who has not ruled out extracting the oil if he fails to raise the money. In the meantime, the oil industry has continued to move into the area - including with helicopters. “Two years ago, when I

arrived, we never heard them. Starting five months ago, we hear them four times a week,” said Sara Alvarez, a Spanish researcher, who monitors a grouping of 35 spider monkeys. Alvarez said that tapping the oil deposits - and in particular, building the roads needed to get equipment and people in and the oil out - will destroy the natural habitat of the region’s monkeys. “If the monkeys have less space, they cannot access some fruit,” said the expert. Alvarez studies primate behavior in a research center about 50 km from the oil fields at Tiputini, within the Yasuni reserve. The director of the center, US researcher Kelly Swing, warned that the stress caused by oil development will have cascading effects on more than just the monkeys. For one thing, the fruit-eating monkeys serve to disperse seeds - but fewer monkeys “would mean less seed dispersal and a loss of tree species,” said Swing. According to the research center, the Yasuni reserve is a veritable Noah’s Ark of species, thanks to its unique location at a convergence of the Amazon, the Andes mountains and the equator. The area, which served as a refuge for animals during the Ice Age, currently hosts a tenth of the

world’s species of plants, animals, and insects. On just one hectare, researchers found 100,000 species of insects. Environmentalists say that developing the

Two hoatzins perch on a tree in the park.

oil deposits will affect not only the plants and wildlife, but also natural water sources. Mayer Rodriguez, 69, who has spent the last half century as a guide in the area, said

the impact is already being felt, since developers started developing bloc 16 for oil in the mid-1980s. He said that the Tiputini river banks were crowded with animals when he first came to the area 50 years ago. “There were jaguars, tapirs and monkeys everywhere. There are still many left, but nothing compared to what we had,” he recalled. Some scientists estimate that for each kilometer of new road built, 100 hectares of forest disappear. And a single tree can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide the equivalent of the emissions emitted by 500 cars a year. Oil industry detractors estimate that abandoning the Yasuni oil deposits would avert the emission of 407 million tonnes of carbon dioxide - about the amount emitted each year in Brazil or France. But with oil one of the Ecuador’s top exports and its main source of hard currency, leaving a precious resource untapped is a hard decision. That said, the country also takes seriously its responsibility to preserve its incredible wealth of biodiversity - it is the country where US oil giant Chevron was ordered to pay a record $19 billion fine for pollution caused in the Amazon by its subsidiary between 1964 and 1990. — AFP




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


Embassy of India condolence message ith profound sorrow, the Embassy of India announces the sad demise of the former Prime Minister of India, I K Gujral, on November 30, 2012. The Government of India has announced State mourning for seven days from 30th November to 6th December 2012. A condolence book is being kept open in the Embassy on December 3 and 4, 2012 from 1000 hrs to 1200 hrs and 1500 hrs to 1600 hrs.


South African Embassy closure n the occasion of Christmas, Good Will Day and the New Year, the South African Embassy will be closed from Sunday, 23rd December 2012 to Tuesday, 1st January, 2013. The Embassy will resume its normal working hours on Wednesday, 2nd January 2013. Please note that the Working hours will be from 8h00 to 16h00 & the Consular Section operation hours will from 8h30 to 12h30, for emergencies please contact number 94924895. “On the behalf of the South African Embassy, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”.


IDF conducts 3rd annual inter school health quiz competition he Indian Doctors forum - Kuwait, is conducting the 3rd Inter School Health Quiz competition on Saturday, 8th December 2012 at the Kuwait Medical Association Hall in Jabriya, 5pm onwards, exclusively for the benefit of Xth to XIIth standard students of all Indian Schools in Kuwait under the sponsorship of Al Mulla Exchange and Gulf Mart. This will be done under the banner “The first Wealth is Health” and will be an excellent opportunity to witness the battle of brains from leading schools of Kuwait as they compete one another to get a grip on the prestigious IDF Rolling Trophy, which has been won by the FAIPS school students for the last two years. This program is being carried out annually by the Indian Doctors Forum, mainly to generate interest amongst the various school students in medicine and encourage these students to join the Medical Profession. We wish to remind all our well wishers not to miss out on this unique chance to experience the power of knowledge in motion. All students of various Indian Schools are hereby invited along with their teachers and staff to join in and support your respective students while they battle their way in winning this esteemed competition and becoming potential future medical professionals.


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


Arabic Literature Club President, Enjood Al-Hassawi awarding lead actress, Dalal Al Hebaishi.


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


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

Play writer, Dr. Haifa Al Sanoosi and lead actress, Dalal Al Hebaishi.

Arabic Literature Club presents ‘Suffocation’ he Arabic Literature Club at AUK presented its monodrama play ‘Suffocation’, earlier this week at the AUK Auditorium. The play was performed in Arabic, and was followed by a poem recited in English. The guest speaker of theevening was Dr. Haifa Al Sanoosi,writer of the play and Kuwait University Professor, who shared with the studentsher experience with writing monodrama. Dr Al Sanoosi also discussed her different works in Kuwait and other countries. ‘Suffocation’ is portrayed within a social context, touching uponsocial and psychological issues associatedwithloss of a mother and hardheartedness of stepmothers.During the play, the main character took the audience through the sad and miserable feelings and thoughts associated with the loss of a family member. The finale of the play delivered the message that one should “stop being negative and keep moving forward”. The main character was played by Dalal Al Hebaishi, while the poem was recited by Razan Al Oda. Both students are Kuwait University students trained by Dr. Al Sanoosi.


Audience The Arabic Literature Club at the American University of Kuwait, currently led by Enjood Al-Hassawi, is a student organization interested in different aspects of the Arabic language and culture such as Arabic poetry and literature.

The main purpose of the Club is to reveal the Arab identity and practice Arabic language at AUK. Most of the club events currently focus on Arabic literature and poetry. The Arabic Club aims to host more cultural events that would include Arabic

music and hosting of famous experts in the Arabic language to share their experience and thoughts with the students. All events hosted by the Arabic Club are being done in association with the Arabic Department at AUK.

Fancy dress competition at Jack & Jill n the most momentous day of November 6, the children of Jack and Jill gathered in the auditorium quite impressively dressed to imitate the renowned personalities with exuberance in their favourite fancy dress competition. The commencement of the programme enlivened the ecstasy and enthusiasm of the children and their elation knew no bounds as they explored the gracious infinity of worthy celebrities who attained remarkable success in their life time with steadfast determination, undying sacrifice and perseverance. Tiny tots captivated the audience in the ambience of their adorable costumes, smartly and enthusiastically depicting their favourite heroes and personas such as A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Bal Gangadar Tilak, Jhansi Rani Laxshmi bhai, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sania Mirza, Sachin Tendulkar, Saina Nehwal, Charlie Chaplin, Manmohan Singh, Isacc Newton, Neil Armstrong, Indira Gandhi, Tipu Sultan and so on and so forth. The main purpose of the competition was to enlighten the children about various professions, their roles and duties in their respective fields and instill in them a feeling of pride and delight in the attire and impersonation of personalities who have left an indelible mark in the world. It also helped to spark the power of imagi-


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

Arabic Literature Club President, Enjood Al-Hassawi awarding playwright, Dr Haifa Al Sanoosi.

nation and unleash the creativity of the students. The fancy Dress competition was indeed a remarkable success at Jack and Jill, a preschool with a difference, where children are given exposure to enhance their innate talents and amazing skills to face the outside world with confidence. Jack and Jill provides ample opportunities for children to participate in extracurricular activities, encouraging them to

share with care and love, learn with joy and compete with high spirits, the most important ingredients necessary to develop a strong and solid personality in a child. Each and every competition is a platform to motivate the children to face the audience boldly, help them to socialize and interact in groups, develop smartness, dedication and efficiency required to be successful in any endeavour. Mrs Rathi Ravindran, the principal of

the school eulogized the students for their appreciable participation in the competition and congratulated the winners for their laudable achievement. She complimented the parents as well as the teachers for their sincere efforts rendered to prepare the children for such events, thus making it a grand success to be cherished forever in life.

Tulu Parba 2012 rocks ulu Parba 2012 rock the stage along with “Ranga Taranga” artists Rang Taranga artists and the local artists rock the stage at Tulu Parba 2012. The audience loved the dual super hit dramas of “Ill Badk” and “Aye Subage?” that was held in the Liberation Theatre, Khaifan on 22nd & 23rd November 2012 under the Presidentship of Ramesh Kidiyoor and well coordinated by Cultural Secretary, Ronald D’Souza. Tulu Parba’s first day celebrations started off with a Welcome Dance directed by Smt Vedavalli Prasad, Lighting of the Lamp by the members of the Management & Advisory Committee and Souvenir Release by children enacting as soldiers bringing the souvenir from the kingdom of Tulunadu. The Vice President, Tharendra Shettigar welcomed the audience with his excellent choice of words in Tulu. The “Rang Taranga” Troupe led by Samaj Ratna Shri Leeladhar Shetty, who came all the way from Mangalore left the audience in splits with their drama “Ill badk”. The day’s proceedings were anchored by Suresh Salian and Jayalaxmi Karkal, and concluded with a vote of thanks given by the Joint Secretary, Jayalaxmi Karkal. The Welcome Bharathnatyam dance from the Nrita Dhana School choreographed by Mrs. Sujatha Rajendran gave a flying start to the second day of Tulu Parba. Satish C Mehta, Ambassador of India to Kuwait was the chief guest of the event, while K N Taylor a veteran


Tulu film actor, playwright and a famous stage personality was the Guest of Honour. The Mega sponsor of the event Raghavendra Shetty from Aryan Residences, Udupi came all the way from Mangalore to be present for the event. Fr. Noel Almeida also graced the event and spoke words of appreciation for Tulu Koota Kuwait. The President of Tulu Koota Kuwait, Ramesh Kidiyoor welcomed the audience with his brief description of the Association activities during the year and thanked all those who have supported in putting up this Grand Event. Tulunada Vaibhav, a spectacular presentation beautifully displaying the multicultural

milieu of the region, the beliefs and faith, the scenes of history, the heroic characters of the past, the traditions of the present was an eye catching show and instantly a hit with the audience. It was a 38 min presentation with a collection of about 50 local artists. The show, choreographed and directed by Laksmeesh Amin, got enormous appreciation from everyone. The visual included the local folk dance, Naage Aaradhane, Bhoota Kola, Koridakatta, Yakshagana, Koti Chennaya, Diwali and Christmas celebrations, Muslim prayer, Pili Vesha, Rani Abbakka, Shardha Darshan, Saraswati Darshan, Aati Kadanga, Kambala, famous poets.

Merwyn D’Souza, enchanted everyone with the Saree Dance, a dance in which he showed his art of instantly changing sarees. The program also witnessed a beautiful dance from children of the Skittles group, who won the first prize in the Tuul Parba competitions. Tulu Koota Kuwait gave away the Certification of Appreciation and Scholarships to the deserving Tulu Koota Students, felicitated the Media persons and Biggest Losers winners, honoured deserving Committee members, Murlidhar Bhandary, Mrs. Mable Rosario & Mr. Harish Bhandary, honoured Archie Menezes who has always supported the cause of Tulu Koota, KN Taylor, Leeladhar Shetty and all artists of the Ranga Taranga group. “Aye Subage?” a drama with comedy moments and a social message, was a treat to watch in the jam packed hall of the Liberation Theatre, Khaifan. It conveyed a sensitive message through a beautiful script and dialogue delivery execution. The program was hosted by Cynthia Pereira and Purander Manchi, while the Felicitations were delivered by Sushma Bangera and Yadunath Alva. The program concluded with a Vote of thanks by the General Secretary, Sathya Narayan. Tulukoota Kuwait also thanks to National Council for Culture, Arts & Letters Kuwait, for their outstanding support.




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. ■■■■■■■

GUST opens 12th job fair to students and alumni he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) opened its 12th Job Fair with the participation of over 27 companies. Dr Abdulrahman Al-Muhalain, GUST Chairman of the Board of Trustees, formally opened the grand event with the organizer of the event, Dr. Osama Al-Hares, Director of Center of Alumni and Corporate Relations (CACR) at GUST. Dr. Salah AlSharhan, VP of Planning and Development and Dr. Masoud Asad, Director of Public Affairs were also present at the opening. The 2-day event is organized by the CACR, in cooperation with the 27 companies from both public and private sec-


tors. The Platinum sponsors of the event are National Bank of Kuwait, Boubyan Bank and M.H.Alshaya Co. The Gold sponsors are: GUST Student Association, and Kuwait Small Projects Development Company. Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Commercial Bank of Kuwait, Ahli United Bank, Kuwait Oil Company, Ernst & Young, PWC, RSM Albazie & Co., Azadea, Boubyan Takaful Insurance, Warba Insurance, Kuwait Energy, MGRP, LoYAC,, Mubaader Services, Al-Sayer Soft Drinks Factory, SOS HR Solutions, Career Hunters, Edara Group, Ghaliah Technology, and Wazeefa1 were among the participants at the GUST Job Fair.

Both undergraduates and alumni were visiting the different booths to gather as much information as they can from the different companies they were interested in and were able to communicate directly and honestly to figure out the best direction for their future. Dr. Al-Hares stressed that at GUST we are very aware about preparing our students for what comes after graduation early on to make sure they have the right information and the right tools to succeed once they graduate. He also pointed out GUST’s strong relationship with the community and the companies within society. “Our students are the most sought-after graduates in the mar-

ket here in Kuwait.” GUST Alumni have achieved great things from starting their own successful businesses to entering the workforce into well established companies. And GUST would like to make sure that all its students have a strong start after graduation. The goal of the fair is to help students and alumni get acquainted with what’s to come and be more than prepared. Dr. Al-Hares thanked all the sponsors and participating companies for continually making this event a success.

Kuwait National English School Orange Day t Kuwait National English School, Active Learning is involving the everyday objects and events around us. The Early Years Children recently had a special day that celebrated the colour Orange. Creating a fascination and enjoyment in what they learn.


World class prime beef choices at the Terrace Grill steakhouse he JW Marriott Kuwait Hotel’s commitment to providing the best steaks in Kuwait has been reinforced further with the introduction of new world class prime beef dishes to its menu at the Terrace Grill. The Terrace Grill at JW Marriott Kuwait City hotel is poised to add WAGYU - the beef originating from Japan as part of its new menu. Long revered as a delicacy, Wagyu beef is now becoming popular worldwide for its unique texture, flavor and marbled fat. Bringing top quality beef to Kuwait to add to the harvest of savory flavors at Terrace Grill, guests can now experience the difference along with the signature US ANGUS beef also offered by the steakhouse alongside freshly prepared seafood delicacies that have proven to be extremely popular among guests. In addition to the exciting new offering, guests can also explore a unique set menu called “Chef’s Recommendations” that


rotates weekly so that they are offered exotic new choices apart from the regular menu on every visit to the steakhouse. JW Marriott has deployed an expert and efficient culinary team to guarantee a truly world class dining experience for its discerning guests. The diverse menu also features dishes such as fillet mignon, rib eye steak and other premium cuts. Terrace Grill captures the true essence of sea food with grilled gulf shrimps, fresh salmon and a variety of other dishes while dining in the restaurant’s relaxing and signature ambience. Before enjoying the main dish, guests can complement their meal with one of the many appetizers or salads on the menu and finish off with one of the restaurant’s decanted desserts. The steakhouse is open for lunch from 12:30 pm to 3 pm and for dinner from 7 pm to 11 pm. Live music entertainment can be enjoyed from 8 pm to 11 pm on all evenings except Fridays.

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

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

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

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

NPIS celebrates Iqbal Day ew Pakistan International School celebrated “The Iqbal Day” on its premises. The school organized the function to pay homage to the great poet, philosopher of the East. The students made speeches, presented tableau, conducted Quiz, and recited poetry to throw light on the life history of Iqbal and his achievements


who awaken the muslims of the subcontinent from their deep sleep through his poetry. He gave the idea of self reliance by which the muslims could regain their lost glory. At the end the Director of the school Mrs. Anita Bukharey appreciated the efforts of the teachers and students for holding such a wonderful event.

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



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

Animal Cops South Africa Squid Invasion Untamed & Uncut Gator Boys New Breed Vets With Steve Wild France Call Of The Wildman Going Ape Shamwari: A Wild Life Shamwari: A Wild Life Wildlife SOS International The Really Wild Show Natural Born Hunters Natural Born Hunters Cats 101 My Cat From Hell Wild France Last Chance Highway RSPCA: On The Frontline RSPCA: On The Frontline Wildlife SOS International Bondi Vet Animal Cops Philadelphia Wild France Going Ape The Really Wild Show Too Cute! Weird Creatures With Nick Cats 101 Monkey Life Bondi Vet Call Of The Wildman Going Ape Wild France Galapagos Biggest And Baddest

00:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 00:40 Come Dine With Me 01:35 Antiques Roadshow 02:25 Ty Pennington’s Homes For The Brave 03:10 Ty Pennington’s Homes For The Brave 03:50 Eating With The Enemy 04:35 Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is 05:20 Celebrity MasterChef 05:50 Celebrity MasterChef 06:15 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 06:40 Eating With The Enemy 07:25 Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is 08:10 MasterChef Australia 09:00 MasterChef Australia 09:25 Ty Pennington’s Homes For The Brave 10:10 Ty Pennington’s Homes For The Brave 10:55 Bargain Hunt 11:40 Antiques Roadshow 12:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 13:20 Come Dine With Me 14:10 10 Years Younger 15:00 10 Years Younger 15:50 Bargain Hunt 16:35 Antiques Roadshow 17:25 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 18:10 Come Dine With Me 19:00 Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets 19:30 Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets 20:00 Rhodes Across Italy 20:45 Come Dine With Me 21:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 22:20 Antiques Roadshow 23:15 Bargain Hunt

00:00 Business Edition With Tanya Beckett 00:30 Hardtalk 01:00 BBC World News America 01:30 BBC World News America 02:00 Newsday 02:30 Asia Business Report

02:45 Sport Today 03:00 Newsday 03:30 Asia Business Report 03:45 Sport Today 04:00 Newsday 04:30 Asia Business Report 04:45 Sport Today 05:00 BBC World News 05:30 Asia Business Report 05:45 Sport Today 06:00 BBC World News 06:30 Asia Business Report 06:45 Sport Today 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 Hardtalk 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 BBC World News 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 World Business Report 10:45 BBC World News 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 World Business Report 11:45 BBC World News 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 Hardtalk 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 World Business Report 13:45 BBC World News 14:00 BBC World News 14:30 BBC World News 15:00 GMT With George Alagiah 15:30 GMT With George Alagiah 16:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 16:30 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 BBC World News 18:30 Hardtalk 19:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 19:30 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:30 BBC Focus On Africa 21:00 BBC World News 21:30 World Business Report 21:45 Sport Today 22:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:30 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 23:00 BBC World News 23:30 World Business Report 23:45 Sport Today

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Taz-Mania Pink Panther And Pals Moomins Tom & Jerry Kids A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Puppy In My Pocket Wacky Races Looney Tunes Duck Dodgers Dastardly And Muttley Dexter’s Laboratory Wacky Races Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Tom & Jerry The Garfield Show Moomins Looney Tunes Tom & Jerry Tales Dexter’s Laboratory Baby Looney Tunes Jelly Jamm Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Ha Ha Hairies Tom & Jerry Kids A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Puppy In My Pocket Wacky Races Looney Tunes Duck Dodgers Popeye Top Cat The Flintstones Dastardly And Muttley Ha Ha Hairies Gerald McBoing Boing Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Cartoonito Tales Moomins Dexter’s Laboratory Johnny Bravo

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Tom & Jerry Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show What’s New Scooby Doo? Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Tom & Jerry Tales The Looney Tunes Show Taz-Mania Pink Panther And Pals Moomins The Garfield Show Ha Ha Hairies Gerald McBoing Boing Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Bananas In Pyjamas Puppy In My Pocket The Garfield Show What’s New Scooby Doo? Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Tom & Jerry Tales The Looney Tunes Show

00:40 Chowder 01:30 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 01:55 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 02:20 Foster’s Home For... 02:45 Foster’s Home For... 03:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 04:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 04:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:50 Adventure Time 05:15 The Powerpuff Girls 05:40 Generator Rex 06:05 Ben 10 06:30 Ben 10 06:55 Angelo Rules 07:00 Cow & Chicken 07:30 Casper’s Scare School 08:00 Eliot Kid 08:45 Johnny Test 09:05 The Powerpuff Girls 09:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:20 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:45 Courage The Cowardly Dog 11:35 Adventure Time 12:00 Regular Show 12:25 Transformers Prime 12:50 Ben 10: Omniverse 13:15 Courage The Cowardly Dog 14:05 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 14:30 Young Justice 14:55 Codename: Kids Next Door 15:45 Ben 10: Alien Force 16:10 Ben 10: Alien Force 16:35 Powerpuff Girls 17:00 Angelo Rules 17:20 Young Justice 17:40 Hero 108 18:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 18:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 18:50 Johnny Test 19:15 Adventure Time 19:40 Regular Show 20:05 Green Lantern: The Animated Series 20:30 Ben 10: Omniverse 20:55 Generator Rex 21:20 Level Up 21:45 Grim Adventures Of... 22:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 23:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:50 The Powerpuff Girls

00:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson 01:00 Amanpour 01:30 World Sport 02:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 03:00 World Report 03:30 World Sport 04:00 Anderson Cooper 360 05:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 06:00 Quest Means Business 07:00 The Situation Room 08:00 World Sport 08:30 Going Green 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Report 11:00 World Sport 11:30 Inside Africa


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World Business Today Amanpour Inside The Middle East World One Piers Morgan Tonight News Stream World Business Today International Desk Global Exchange World Sport Inside The Middle East International Desk Quest Means Business Amanpour CNN Newscenter

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Flying Wild Alaska Masters Of Survival Ultimate Survival Mythbusters Border Security Dirty Money Auction Kings How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made Hillbilly Handfishin’ Wheeler Dealers Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Border Security Dirty Money How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made Flying Wild Alaska Masters Of Survival Ultimate Survival Border Security Dirty Money Auction Kings Ultimate Survival Wheeler Dealers Hillbilly Handfishin’ Mythbusters How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made Border Security

00:40 The Gadget Show 01:05 The Tech Show 01:35 The World’s Strangest UFO Stories 02:25 Junk Men 02:50 Junk Men 03:15 Prototype This 04:05 Weird Connections 04:35 Bad Universe 05:25 How Do They Do It? 05:50 How Do They Do It? 06:15 The Gadget Show 06:40 The Tech Show 07:05 The World’s Strangest UFO Stories 08:00 Junk Men 08:25 Junk Men 08:50 Bad Universe 09:40 Head Rush 09:43 Things That Move 10:10 How Stuff’s Made 10:40 How Do They Do It? 11:05 How Do They Do It? 11:30 Engineered 12:20 Prototype This 13:10 The Gadget Show 13:35 The Tech Show 14:00 Junk Men 14:25 Junk Men 14:50 Bad Universe 15:45 Weird Connections 16:10 How Do They Do It? 16:35 How Do They Do It? 17:00 Head Rush 17:03 Things That Move 17:30 How Stuff’s Made 18:00 Engineered 18:50 The World’s Strangest UFO Stories 19:40 Prototype This 20:30 Meteorite Men 21:20 The Future Of... 22:10 The Gadget Show 22:35 The Tech Show 23:00 Meteorite Men 23:50 The Future Of...

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

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

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Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Fish Hooks

00:55 Style Star 01:25 E!es 02:20 THS 03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 E!es 05:05 THS 06:00 30 Best & Worst Beach Bodies 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 09:15 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 10:15 THS 12:05 Khloe And Lamar 12:35 Khloe And Lamar 13:05 Married To Jonas 13:35 Married To Jonas 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Style Star 15:30 THS 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Opening Act 17:55 E! News 18:55 Fashion Police 19:55 E!es 20:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:55 Married To Jonas 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Scouted

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

Dr G: Medical Examiner The Haunted A Haunting Deadly Affairs Killer Kids Dr G: Medical Examiner The Haunted A Haunting Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Murder Shift Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Street Patrol Forensic Detectives True Crime With Aphrodite Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Murder Shift Disappeared Forensic Detectives Street Patrol On The Case With Paula Zahn Who On Earth Did I Marry? Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill Reel Crime/Real Story I Almost Got Away With It

01:35 Mgm’s Big Screen 01:50 The Men’s Club 03:30 Illegal In Blue 05:00 Life Of Sin 06:50 Marshal Law 08:25 Ring Of The Musketeers 09:50 Sketches 11:30 Smile 13:20 The Scalphunters 15:00 Blacula 16:30 Report To The Commissioner 18:20 Mgm’s Big Screen 18:35 What Did You Do In The War Daddy 20:30 Extreme Close-Up 22:00 Eye Of The Needle 23:50 Welcome To L.A.

00:15 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 00:45 The Frankincense Trail 01:40 Ultimate Traveller 02:35 Cruise Ship Diaries 03:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 04:25 Long Way Down 05:20 Into The Drink 05:45 Into The Drink 06:15 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3 06:40 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3 07:10 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 07:35 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 08:05 The Frankincense Trail 09:00 Ultimate Traveller 09:55 Cruise Ship Diaries 10:50 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 11:45 Long Way Down 12:40 The Green Way Up 13:05 The Green Way Up 13:35 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 4 14:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 4 14:30 Jerusalem On A Plate 15:25 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 16:20 A World Apart 17:15 Cruise Ship Diaries 18:10 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 19:05 Long Way Down 20:00 Jerusalem On A Plate 21:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 4 21:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 4 22:00 The Green Way Up 22:25 The Green Way Up 22:55 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3 23:20 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 4 23:50 Pressure Cook

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Alaska State Troopers Big, Bigger, Biggest Blowdown Racing To America Alaska Wing Men World’s Deadliest Animals Racing To America Trapped Alaska State Troopers Big, Bigger, Biggest Blowdown

A DANGEROUS METHOD ON OSN CINEMA 11:00 Racing To America 12:00 Fight Science 13:00 Animal Autopsy (AKA Inside Nature’s Giants) 14:00 Convoy: War For The Atlantic 15:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest 16:00 Ancient Megastructures 17:00 Naked Science S2.5 18:00 Naked Science S2.5 19:00 Sea Patrol 20:00 Bizarre Dinos 21:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 22:00 Sea Patrol 23:00 Trapped

15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Friends 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 How I Met Your Mother 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 The Office 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:30 Veep 23:00 The League 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

00:00 Animals At The Edge 01:00 Valley of The Wolves 01:55 Wild Russia 02:50 World’s Deadliest 03:45 Planet Carnivore 04:40 Built for the Kill 05:35 Hidden Worlds 06:00 Hidden Worlds 06:30 Wild Russia 07:25 World’s Deadliest 08:20 Planet Carnivore 09:15 Manta Mystery (aka Project Manta) 10:10 Octopus Volcano 11:05 Hunter Hunted 12:00 Predator Battleground 13:00 Wild Russia 14:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 15:00 The Pack 16:00 Clan Of The Meerkat 17:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 18:00 Hunter Hunted 19:00 Wild Russia 20:00 World’s Deadliest 21:00 Planet Carnivore 22:00 Manta Mystery (aka Project Manta) 23:00 Octopus Volcano

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

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01:00 Walled In-PG15 03:00 Nowhere To Run-18 05:00 Behind Enemy Lines-PG15 07:00 Green Lantern: Emerald Knights-PG15 09:00 Batman: Year One-PG15 10:30 Behind Enemy Lines-PG15 12:30 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt.1-PG15 15:00 Batman: Year One-PG15 16:45 Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides-PG15 19:00 Alien-18 21:00 Dorothy Mills-18 23:00 The Morgue-18

Deadtime Stories 2-18 Quarantine 2: Terminal-18 Nowhere To Run-18 Friday Night Lights-PG15 Blank Slate-PG15 Dad Savage-PG15 Legendary Assassin-PG15 Blank Slate-PG15 Go Fast-PG15 Legendary Assassin-PG15 Saving Private Ryan-18 Carjacked-PG15 Burning Bright-18

01:00 Husk-18 03:00 Fighting-PG15 05:00 Spud-PG15 07:00 Water For Elephants-PG15 09:00 Fighting-PG15 11:00 Searching For Bobby FischerPG 13:00 Skirt Day-PG15 15:00 Green Lantern-PG15 17:00 Shanghai-PG15 19:00 Love And Other Impossible Pursuits-PG15 21:00 A Dangerous Method-18 23:00 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo-R

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 American Dad 02:00 Allen Gregory 02:30 Family Guy 03:00 How I Met Your Mother 04:00 Samantha Who? 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 06:30 Friends 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Samantha Who? 08:30 How I Met Your Mother 10:00 Modern Family 10:30 Community 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Friends 12:30 Samantha Who? 14:30 Community 15:00 Modern Family

Body Of Proof Pillars Of The Earth Hawthorne The Tudors Private Practice Grey’s Anatomy Body Of Proof Emmerdale Coronation Street White Collar The Ellen DeGeneres Show Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar Body Of Proof Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar Touch Warehouse 13 Combat Hospital Smash The Tudors

00:00 Analyze This-PG15 02:00 Extract-PG15 04:00 28 Days-PG15 06:00 The Search For Santa Paws-PG 08:00 Robots-PG 10:00 The Bad News Bears (1976)PG15 12:00 The Family Stone-PG15 14:00 Cheaper By The Dozen-PG 16:00 The Bad News Bears (1976)PG15 18:00 Best In Show-PG15 20:00 Tamara Drewe-18 22:00 The Legend Of Awesomest Maximus-18

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 PG15 15:00 17:00 PG15 19:00 21:00 23:15

Somewhere-18 Swing Kids-PG15 Tresor-PG15 The Game Of Their Lives-PG15 Miles From Nowhere-PG15 Loosies-PG15 Le Crime Est Notre AffaireMiles From Nowhere-PG15 Sunny And The ElephantChasing 3000-PG15 Sunshine State-PG15 Bruc-PG15

01:00 Swing Kids-PG15 03:00 Muhammad And Larry-PG15 04:30 Seabiscuit-PG15

07:00 Henry’s Crime-PG15 09:00 I Don’t Know How She Does It-PG15 11:00 Spooky Buddies-PG 13:00 Love And Mary-PG15 15:00 African Cats: Kingdom Of Courage-PG 17:00 I Don’t Know How She Does It-PG15 19:00 Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes-PG15 21:00 A Dangerous Method-18 23:00 Straw Dogs-18

01:00 Princess Sydney: The Legend Of The Blue Rabbit-FAM 02:30 The Fantastic Adventure Of The Ugly Duckling-FAM 04:15 The Ugly Duckling In Tales Of Mystery-FAM 06:00 Little Secrets-PG 08:15 Olentzero Christmas TaleFAM 10:00 Paws-PG 11:30 Princess Sydney: The Legend Of The Blue Rabbit-FAM 13:00 Toyz Goin’ Wild-PG 14:30 Little Secrets-PG 16:00 Winnie The Pooh-FAM 18:00 Paws-PG 20:00 Yogi Bear-FAM 22:00 Olentzero Christmas Tale-

02:00 02:30 04:30 05:00 07:00 14:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:30 22:30

ICC Cricket 360 Rugby Union International Futbol Mundial Top 14 Cricket Test Match Rugby Union International Extreme Sailing Series Extreme Sailing Series Extreme Sailing Series Extreme Sailing Series Futbol Mundial Trans World Sport HSBC Sevens World Series Rugby Union International

01:00 WWE Experience 02:00 Futbol Mundial 02:30 HSBC Sevens World Series 05:30 Futbol Mundial 06:00 PGA European Tour Weekly 07:00 Trans World Sport 08:00 Prizefighter 11:00 PGA European Tour Weekly 12:00 Live Dubai Ladies Championship 16:00 Prizefighter 19:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 20:00 Dubai Ladies Championship

02:00 Top 14 Highlights 02:30 Golfing World 03:30 MENA Golf Tour Highlights 04:30 Pro 12 06:30 Sea Master Sailing 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Snooker UK Championship 12:00 Ladies European Highlights 13:00 Golfing World 14:00 MENA Golf Tour Highlights 15:00 Spirit of a Champion 15:30 Spirit of a Champion 16:00 Live Snooker UK Championship 21:30 Spirit of a Champion 22:00 Live Snooker UK Championship

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

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Classifieds WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2012



I, Salim holder of Indian Passport No: J4441787 hereby change my name to Muslim Tankiwala S/O Rajbali Tankiwala. (C 4237) 4-12-2012 I, Robino Joao Novals, holder of Indian Passport No: H0590686 issued in Kuwait, change my name to Robino Joao Novais. (C 4235) 1-12-2012 I, Wahid Hussain, s/o Abdul Hakim Ansari, Vill & PO. Nawada, P/S Barauli, Dist. Gopal Ganj, Bihar, India, is declaring that my name, Vahid Husen Abdul Hakim Ansari (Surname to Given name order), written in my Passport (No. K7916220) is wrong. The correct name is Wahid Hussain. (C 4233)

Required English speaking nanny/maid. 99824597. 5-12-2012 Required a decent babysitter for a small Pilipino family in Hawally. Contact: 60387734. ACCOMMODATION For bachelor or couple Filipino only near Gulfmart Farwaniya, block 1. Available on December 25, 2012. Contact: 94418396. 29-11-2012 MATRIMONIAL Proposals invited for a beautiful girl, aged 28 years, height 164 cms, belonging to Malankara Catholic denomination,

working with MOH Kuwait as B.Sc nurse and shortly moving to Kerala on annual vacation. Email: (C 4231) Proposal invited for my son MBBS Doctor, a Pakistani working in Kuwait from parents of Pakistani lady doctor or highly qualified girl age not more than 27 years can contact at email:

Prayer timings


The Public Institution for Social Security

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Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation

Fajr: Shorook Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

05:03 06:27 11:38 14:30 16:50 18:11

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

No: 15648




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


788 284 134 538 824 857 357 303 640 215 510 1784 462 777 144 127 982 542 177 3553 786 438 63 787 166 618 674 102 774 647 61 614 572 389 606 129 146 229 402 136 221 307 859 135 59 372 417 975 239 217 185 981 636


14:55 15:10 15:30 16:05 16:30 16:40 16:45 16:50 16:55 17:15 17:20 17:30 17:40 17:45 17:50 17:55 17:55 18:05 18:15 18:20 18:30 18:40 18:45 19:05 19:10 19:20 19:35 19:35 19:50 19:55 20:00 20:05 20:10 20:20 20:25 20:35 20:45 20:55 21:20 21:25 21:30 21:35 21:40 21:50 22:00 22:00 22:05 22:30 22:45 22:50 23:05 23:25 23:55


Departure Flights on Wednesday 5/12/2012 Flt Route Time 982 AHMEDABAD 0:05 206 LAHORE 0:10 44 DOHA 1:00 981 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 1:10 637 FRANKFURT 1:20 573 MUMBAI 1:30 283 DHAKA 2:25 621 ADDIS ABABA 2:45 773 ISTANBUL 2:55 381 DELHI 3:15 68 DUBAI 3:45 854 DUBAI 3:50 644 MUSCAT 3:55 306 ABU DHABI 4:00 613 CAIRO 4:10 139 DOHA 4:50 1306 SHARJAH 5:30 149 DOHA 6:05 164 DUBAI 6:55 212 BAHRAIN 7:00 771 ISTANBUL 7:35 537 SHARM EL SHEIKH 8:10 560 SOHAG 8:15 54 DUBAI 8:25 156 LONDON 8:45 787 JEDDAH 9:25 224 BAHRAIN 9:30 122 SHARJAH 9:45 856 DUBAI 9:55 56 DUBAI 10:00 117 NEW YORK 10:00 302 ABU DHABI 10:05 133 DOHA 10:30 934 ABU DHABI 10:30 214 BAHRAIN 10:40 175 FRANKFURT 10:45 356 MASHHAD 10:45 437 BAHRAIN 10:50 541 CAIRO 11:30 602 SHIRAZ 11:40 1783 JEDDAH 12:00 776 JEDDAH 12:15 103 LONDON 12:20 405 BEIRUT 12:55 785 JEDDAH 13:00 2057 JEDDAH 13:05 461 MADINAH 13:10 611 CAIRO 13:45 176 DUBAI 13:50 1191 MASHHAD 14:15 872 DUBAI 14:15 220 BAHRAIN 14:20

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


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14:30 14:40 14:45 15:05 15:10 15:45 15:45 15:50 16:15 16:25 17:05 17:15 17:30 17:35 17:40 17:45 17:50 17:55 18:15 18:30 18:35 18:40 18:40 18:45 18:50 19:00 19:05 19:10 19:25 19:30 20:40 20:45 20:55 20:55 21:10 21:15 21:25 21:50 21:55 22:20 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:50 23:00 23:00 23:05 23:10 23:35 23:50 23:50 23:55


s ta rs CROSSWORD 29

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) A sense of value and valuing may find you lavishing affection on those near you this morning. You are positive when it comes to working with others. You know just what to do and can act without haste and emotion. Your natural abilities and common sense will save you many frustrations. An older person gives you attention this afternoon and tells you how it was back in the past. This reminiscing may have you thinking back over some of your own memories. You may have a better understanding of a particular elder in your own family. You should be able to enjoy your life situation at this time. Plans for a social gathering may be formed soon. The results will be great, considering the distractions that the planning committee may experience.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Melodramas do not distress you because you usually just let them fly right over your head. You know how to weed through the unimportant matters and this puts you in a position of power. Lecturing and teaching may be something you might consider for future employment—full or part time. You are resourceful and can guide others as well as yourself. You are fond of wealth and tend to find ways to add to your estate. Today is one of those days of planning and searching for ways to help others as well as yourself. Allow yourself some time of relaxation. Perhaps a bookstore or library will add to your enjoyment this afternoon. A few plans are beginning to develop in your head and you have a lot to say; people are listening.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. Evergreen trees and shrubs having oily one-seeded fruits. 5. (botany) Having or relating to spikes. 12. What you can repeat immediately after perceiving it. 15. (British) Diesel oil used in cars and lorries with diesel engines (from d(iesel) e(ngine) r(oad) v(ehicle)). 16. Any flowerless plant such as a fern (pteridophyte) or moss (bryophyte) in which growth occurs only at the tip of the main stem. 17. The 21st letter of the Greek alphabet. 18. Go away from the surface to which it is adsorbed, of a substance. 19. (Hindu) A manner of sitting (as in the practice of Yoga). 20. A rapid escape (as by criminals). 21. A brace that extends from the rear of the keel to support the rudderpost. 22. Located inward. 24. Wild ox of the Malay Archipelago. 26. Verse in the meter used in Greek and Latin poetry consisting of strophes of 4 tetrametric lines. 29. A large structure for open-air sports or entertainments. 32. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 33. (Zoroastrianism) Title for benevolent deities. 34. A bachelor's degree in theology. 36. (obstetrics) The number of live-born children a woman has delivered. 40. (Old Testament) First king of the northern kingdom of Israel who led Israel into sin (10th century BC). 41. German mystic and theosophist who founded modern theosophy. 42. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 43. Having a circular shape. 45. A doctor's degree in education. 46. French mime famous for his sad-faced clown (born in 1923). 49. Suitable for use as food. 51. An associate degree in nursing. 52. Counting the number of white and red blood cells and the number of platelets in 1 cubic millimeter of blood. 54. United States lawyer and politician who formulated a production code that prescribed the moral content of United states films from 1930 to 1966 (1879-1954). 58. Jordan's port. 61. Relating to or resembling or functioning like a trachea. 64. A wired or starched collar of intricate lace. 68. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 69. Gunfire directed along the length rather than the breadth of a formation. 72. A member of a Mayan people of southwestern Guatemala. 73. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 74. Covered with or as if with a glossy and usually brightly colored coating. 75. A Turkish unit of weight equal to about 2.75 pounds. 76. Tastelessness by virtue of being cheap and vulgar. 77. A river in northeastern Brazil that flows generally northward to the Atlantic Ocean.

78. (British) Your grandmother. DOWN 1. The probability of a specified outcome. 2. Plant having a large slender white bulb and flat overlapping dark green leaves. 3. Any of several related languages of the Celts in Ireland and Scotland. 4. Italian physicist noted for his work on gases. 5. The wood of the sabicu which resembles mahogany. 6. A small digital computer based on a microprocessor and designed to be used by one person at a time. 7. A native or inhabitant of Iran. 8. Ratio of the hypotenuse to the opposite side. 9. Any culture medium that uses agar as the gelling agent. 10. Being one more than nine. 11. Related on the mother's side. 12. Being divided or separated. 13. A feudal lord or baron in Scotland. 14. An actor who communicates entirely by gesture and facial expression. 23. (Sumerian and Akkadian) A demon personifying death. 25. Spherical gram-positive parasitic bacteria that tend to form irregular colonies. 27. At risk of or subject to experiencing something usually unpleasant. 28. The 11th letter of the Greek alphabet. 30. An inhabitant of ancient Thebes. 31. 100 aurar equal 1 krona. 35. Group insurance that entitles members to services of participating hospitals and clinics and physicians. 37. Naked freshwater or marine or parasitic protozoa that form temporary pseudopods for feeding and locomotion. 38. Displaying a red color. 39. A mountain range in South America running 5000 miles along the Pacific coast. 44. The part of an organism that connects the head to the rest of the body. 47. Colloquial British abbreviation. 48. An electrical device that sends or receives radio or television signals. 50. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 53. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 55. A unit of weight for precious stones = 200 mg. 56. Woolly usually horned ruminant mammal related to the goat. 57. The second month of the Moslem calendar. 59. A unit of dry measure used in Egypt. 60. English monk and scholar (672-735). 62. Avatar of Vishnu. 63. Trace the shape of. 65. A primeval personification of air and breath. 66. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 67. A strategically located monarchy on the southern and eastern coasts of the Arabian Peninsula. 70. A unit of length of thread or yarn. 71. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942).


Adjustments are necessary and as you may have noticed, the service industry has made adjustments. Perhaps it is time for you to make some adjustments in order to create new business or add to your business. With the economy a bit low, some places will negotiate their services and in some instances, such as restaurants, the usual mandatory valet parking may be removed. There are clever ways to negotiate a good price in most avenues of entertainment or travel. If you want to go somewhere for New Year’s Eve or during the harsh winter season . . . try it. Help others to develop the power of positive thinking and speech. It takes a special mind to be able to respond to conflict as opportunity and you have this ability. Enjoy viewing the stars tonight.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) This is a time of ambition and responsibility, a time to keep your cool and pace yourself. Working hard is smart, but working smart is better. This is the best time to receive or give constructive help. There is tremendous psychological growth available, which can lead to great personal success. Now, during the early part of this month, there is the time to get serious about setting some long-range goals. Bring some real effort into a bonding of your relationships; especially your love partner. You have a great deal of hopefulness towards your future and others enjoy listening to your plans. Money matters require attention. Things need fixing and unwise purchases can put you in a bind, so be sure you know what you are getting into.

Leo (July 23-August 22) The end of the year brings perfect times to sort through things, get things in order and take a small survey of what you will want to accomplish for the next year. Consider giving to charities more often and consider updating that resume. Perhaps you would also want to consider lining up those once a year physicals that you feel are necessary. You may want to apply for a more interesting job assignment or a raise within your own company. Put your ideas together for company improvement. Get these ideas on paper and present them to higher-ups. You will have good fortune in this endeavor. You can create a vision that others will understand. Inspiring conversations are easy to find. Careful—sorting through the mail is important.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) There are lots of things on your mind today and one of those things could be how to proceed with a business project. Keep an ongoing list of your ideas and you will gain a better focus as you proceed with your plans or introduce your ideas to others— expect questions or objections. This may be a very superficial day—difficult to gain a hold on any particular idea. If you do not plan ahead you could feel blocked and unable to express yourself. While this mood will pass, you may be pressed to complete tasks requested of you or you will want to complete some paperwork with the utmost accuracy. An opportunity to see a movie with a friend would be a good option to take on this evening. You might see the first lights of the holiday season as well.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) It seems as though the holiday season has finally taken hold. Co-workers are more relaxed and the public seems more agreeable. Work, achievement and ambition mean a lot to you now. You know the importance of making a good impression, and your talents shine in the workplace. What is so miraculous is that your talents just flow from you the minute you are called on to perform. If you want, your talents could help you earn some extra money this holiday season. Family and security are things that rattle your chain more than ever. These are areas where you make big progress. You could come up with new solutions or inventions. Stop this afternoon and tend to the necessities part of the finances—some bill paying may be in order.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) This is a very good day for job-related events. You may shine in your particular job and find that practical insights come with ease. You could be asked to represent your company. Some real estate opportunities are available but you may want to check out the territory before signing your name to any contract. This is not a good time to make changes in your living situation. Plan a trip another day and stay away from heavy traffic; this is not a day for travel. You may feel a bit restless, but the best way to work off this restlessness is to walk, if the weather permits. Be thinking about your resolutions for next year. You seem more comfortable or at ease, and in the afternoon you may decide to combine your energies with other people in a common project.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Upheavals and misunderstandings have a way of working out. A business partner can give you the help you need on any business plans you may be working through. Be careful not to get too many things going at once. Responsibilities that belong to others need to stay with others today—you have several projects on the docket at this time. You know that you work best when you can concentrate on your work, but you also may feel that it is time to plan some fun activities. This evening is a time for imagination and creativity—perhaps a game with kids or enjoying your own hobby. This, coupled with the ability to put your thoughts into words, allows you to captivate and spellbind. A good book or movie would be appreciated too.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) A political situation in the workplace is revealed for all to see. In the light of truth, peace is at hand once again. There is the promise of many social activities this month. Put your mind to work and concentrate on whatever task is important. Mental discipline should come easily. Problems and obstacles that have previously been confounding should find easy explanations under your keen examination. You may spend some time in conversation with a loved one in order to make your plans or at least talk about which social activity(s) you would not want to miss this year. This evening you are in the mood to decorate with your own special touch. No extra money is necessary as you have the expertise to decorate with the things you have on hand.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Ambition and a sense of responsibility have priority today; perhaps this is a time to pace yourself. You can appreciate an imaginative approach and although you dislike relearning or starting over to review or catch up with some technical process, you appreciate the value of ahead-of-the-times ideas. Working easier and being smart is a plus. A disturbance from your co-workers may need your patience. Your accomplishments are many and by this evening, others may even find you a bit cocky. Almost everything you do in the workplace will set precedents for years to come. You may feel like escaping from the day-to-day realities tonight. You could decide to enjoy a relaxed social evening with friends. It is time to allow yourself some fun!

Pisces (February 19-March 20) A need to be respected may be an emotionally charged issue at this time. Sensitive issues could be difficult to ignore but your technique of staying at peace is one that works for anyone watching. Today you work toward a goal that you can see will materialize quickly—magic happens. A business meeting goes well when you downplay the pressure factor. Your noon break would be a good time to add a little music to your day. Allow your thoughts and feelings to pass through and then figure out what you need to do in order to take care of yourself. As you consider the world around you—you learn something new. Young people rival for your attention this afternoon. If you have not yet met that special person; you will soon!

Yesterday’s Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution


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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Kaizen center














Abdullah Salem




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Gar






Ayoun Al-Qibla






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



Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh














Te el.: 161


Ext.: 2627 262 - 2630

Fax: 24348714 WWW.MET.GOV V.KW .




Issue Time

Expected Weeather for the Next 24 Hours BY Y DA AY:

Partly cloudy with light variable wind changing to light to moderate south easterly wind, with speed of 06 - 26 km/h


Partly cloudy to cloudy with light to moderate southerly to south easterly wind, with speed of 10 - 32 km/h

No Current Warnings arnin a


21 °C

07 °C




22 °C

10 °C




21 °C

06 °C




18 °C

06 °C


20 °C

07 °C




19 °C

08 °C

Maidan Hawally



19 °C

11 °C




19 °C

14 °C




19 °C

18 °C

W Hawally



19 °C

09 °C







04/12/2012 0000 UTC

4 DA AYS Y FORECAST Temperatures DA AY



Wednesday e


partly cloudy + scattered rain



Wind Direction

Wind Speed

22 °C

12 °C


15 - 40 km/h

11 °C


12 - 35 km/h

10 °C


06 - 26 km/h


15 - 40 km/h

New Jahra


West Jahra




clouds to decrease + scattered rain

21 °C

South Jahra





22 °C

North Jahra




partly cloudy + scattered rain

21 °C

13 °C

North Jleeb






MAX. Temp.

20 °C



MIN. Temp.

08 °C 83 %

24884079 24892674










MAX. Wind




36 % NW 32 km/h 00 mm

04/12/12 02:59 UTC

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


Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92




Modern Jahra Madina Munawara





11 °C



23915883 23715414 23726558

21 °C

N Khaitan


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



Al-Shuhada Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan









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

lawyer for Shakira’s ex-boyfriend Antonio de La Rua says the pop superstar didn’t leave his client any other option but to file a New York lawsuit to demand she pay him $100 million in compensation for managing her career. William T. Reid IV says de la Rua tried to talk to Shakira about what he’s owed but the Colombian singer refused. Reid said Monday his client “didn’t really want to do this.” De la


tand-up comedian and actor Katt Williams said he was ordered to leave a Seattle hotel late Monday, hours after he was released from jail following a dispute at a bar. Williams was ordered to leave a Courtyard Marriott after an unspecified incident that involved a police presence, reported. Williams didn’t say why he was ejected, and neither police nor a hotel manager immediately returned calls from the Associated Press. Attempts to reach Williams were not immediately successful. Williams was released from jail early Monday after police said he argued with a patron at a bar, menaced the manager with a pool cue and refused to leave World Sports Grille on Sunday. He was also accused of flicking a cigarette into a woman’s face through a car window and throwing a rock at the vehicle. Police said Williams struggled with officers who arrested him and jailed him for investigation of assault, harassment and obstruction. Police said Williams also was involved in an altercation with three fans Friday evening after they tried to take a photo with him. He said they had forced their way into his dressing room.

Rua is the son of former Argentine President Fernando de la Rua. He dated Shakira for more than a decade, and they split last year. He filed the lawsuit Nov 20. Shakira’s representative at the public relations company 42West and her attorneys at the law firm Fox Horan & Camerini LPP haven’t responded to requests for comment.


ountry singer Gary Allan was supposed to play Atlantic City, NJ, the day after Hurricane Sandy hit. He never made it, but his thoughts remain with victims of the storm, so he’s come up with a way to help. Fans can view the video for Allan’s new single “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)” on his website beginning from today on a special player. The player gives fans a chance to donate to the Red Cross. In return, donors get a free download of the song from Allan’s untitled new album due out next year. Scores of artists have reached out to help raise money in the wake of the superstorm, which killed dozens and did billions of dollars in damage in the northeastern US.


lanis Morissette fits all her partying into “11 minutes”. The ‘Ironic’ hitmaker - who is married to Mario ‘MC Souleye’ Treadway - says her life is changed since she had son Ever, now 23 months old, but she still finds the time for fun, however brief it may be. She said: “Everything is concentrated now, but there’s my 11 minutes of debauchery now and again. If I party, it’s for 11 minutes - everything’s very fast. “Back in the day, I had four hours to read a book cover to cover, now I get a minute to read one and a half pages.” Alanis has recently completed a tour of Europe, North America and South


eter Andre would like to become a dad again. The ‘Mysterious Girl’ singer is already a father to Princess Tiaamii, five, and seven-year-old Junior - who he had with ex-wife Katie Price - but he is open to the idea of having another child with his new girlfriend Emily MacDonagh, 23, some time in the future. When asked by Britain’s Now magazine whether he wants another baby, he replied: “Yes. In the future yes.” The 39-year-old star has no time scale as to when he would like to have a baby and insists he feels like a “young spring chicken” despite getting close to reaching 40. Peter has been dating Australian student Emily for over four months and has known her since her father Ruaraidh, a urology consultant, performed surgery on him two years ago but Peter is determined to take things slow this time around after his previous marriage to Katie ended after threeand-a-half years in 2009. He said: “I won’t [rush into it]. There’s an old saying, ‘Marry in haste, repent as leisure.’ It’s true you marry quick and ... well, sometimes it works for people. “I still believe in the constitution of marriage, as long as your intention is to stay together forever. I want to be careful, that’s all. I only ever wanted to be married once in my life.” In the meantime things are going well for the couple and Junior and Princess Tiaamii get on really well with Emily. Peter gushed: “My kids absolutely love Emily and her whole family. We do picnics, walks through the forest and treasure hunts. And Emily’s family adore us.”


America in support of her latest album ‘Havoc and Bright Lights’ and doesn’t think she could cope with such a gruelling schedule if she didn’t have her husband and son travelling with her. In an interview with The Sun newspaper, she said: “I have a son with me now, so any spare moment [on the road] is spent either blowing off steam or hanging with him. My husband has come on tour too. I don’t think it could all be happening without them with me.”

he late singer’s semi-detached house in Camden, north London, was originally put on the market for £2.9 million but her father Mitch Winehouse decided to lower the price and put it up for auction after being inundated with requests from fans to visit the property. A couple in their 40s bought the property - which is located in a “sought after residential area” - at auctioneers McHugh & Co at BAFTA members club in Piccadilly, central London, on Monday night . Mitch said: “We are sorry to see it go.” Auctioneer Chris McHugh started the bidding at £1.7 million, describing the house to potential buyers as a “substantial property in beautiful condition” The three-bedroom home overlooks Camden Square and comes with underfloor heating, a large garden and a music room with specially made sound proofed walls. Amy was found dead at the property in July 2011 after dying from alcohol poisoning at the age of just 27. After Amy’s death, Mitch set up the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which aims to support charitable activities that provide help for young people who are suffering from addiction, ill health and disability or are homeless. Speaking about how Amy took a homeless girl off the streets and invited her to stay at her West End London home, Mitch revealed: “It started off when she was in the flat in the West End and Amy was asleep upstairs and this girl was walking around and I thought, ‘Hi how are you?’ I didn’t want to say, ‘What are you doing here, who are you?’ You know - it’s rude. “So when [Amy] finally decided to wake up I said, ‘Who’s that young lady that’s walking around?’ and she said, ‘She was homeless dad and I’m looking after her.’


ate Bosworth has been unveiled as the new face of Topshop. The 29-year-old actress - who performs a version of ‘Winter Wonderland’ in the advert - teamed up with her filmmaker fiance Michael Polish to work on the promotional film and was delighted to get involved in the campaign for the high street chain. She said: “This project brings together two important aspects of my life: cinema and fashion. I have always been a fan of the Topshop brand and it has been an honor to work with Sir Phillip and the team. I hope everyone enjoys watching it as much as we did making it.” In the days leading up to the unveiling of the advert, a series of still images were released, though the actress was not easily identifiable. The advert was inspired by the famous piano scene with Michelle Pfeiffer from ‘The Fabulous Baker Boys’. Kate enjoyed working on the advert because it meant she had the chance to go shopping in London. She told the Evening Standard newspaper: “I think London and California differ mostly because they are so dictated by the weather. California is always sunny so it assumes a laid-back surfer vibe. I can find myself wearing shorts and a tank top at Christmas. The individual expression in London fashion is fantastic. I visited Portobello market this trip and picked up a few great treasures. “My favorite British designers are Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane, JW Anderson, Preen, Jonathan Saunders and Alexander McQueen - and I’m a big fan of Tabitha Simmons for accessories.” — Agencies


he 37-year-old singer and her girls Phoenix, 13, Angel, five, and 15month-old Madison love to play her old Spice Girls hits and show off their best moves. Asked what her kids’ favourite Spice Girls song is, she said: “I don’t know, I’ve never asked them. Sometimes they put on the songs and we have little dance-offs.” The ‘Viva Forever’ hitmaker who is married to Stephen Belafonte admitted it can be a struggle juggling family life with her commitments to ‘The X Factor’ in Australia and other interests but it is made easier by the fact her kids like going to work with her. She told the new issue of Britain’s OK! magazine: “You just have to go with it week by week. But in Australia, I can take my kids to work with me. “There’s a creche on set at ‘X Factor’ Australia and my kids love the chaos backstage. They love coming out to the audience and saying hi in the ad breaks. It’s completely fun for them and I get to be with them. Madison’s only just turned one, she’s just started walking. It’s nice I get to bring them to work with me.”



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he Netherlands and Belgium are two countries that pride themselves on progressive laws and open societies, but critics say they are stuck in the dark ages when it comes to depictions of Santa Claus and his helpers. Saint Nicholas, or “Sinterklaas” in Dutch, brings presents to children on Dec 5 in the Netherlands and on Dec 6 in Belgium, and is always accompanied by at least one assistant dressed in 17th century costume who has a blackened face. The tradition has been difficult for Dutch and Belgian people to explain abroad, where “Zwarte Piet” (Black Pete) is viewed with either outrage or ridicule. Dutch pub “De Hems” in London opts for blue face paint instead. Sinterklaas celebrations in western Canada organized by the Dutch community were called off last year and former Dutch colony Suriname has said Zwarte Piet is not welcome this year because of concerns over racism. For most Dutch and Belgians Zwarte Piet is an innocuous fairytale character who assists the popular Sinterklaas and hands out candy to children, but some there too argue he is a harmful stereotype best done away with. “It was about six years ago when my mum came home from work and phoned me,” performance artist Quinsy Gario, who was born on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao, told Reuters. “On the phone I could hear her trembling. She was upset, livid, and said someone at work had called her Zwarte Piet.” In 2011, Gario decided to protest against the tradition by standing with a “Zwarte Piet is racism” T-shirt in a crowd watching a Sinterklaas parade in the Dutch town of Dordrecht. His subsequent arrest made headlines in Dutch media. Film by a bystander showed three police officers pinning him to the ground and kneeing him in the back. Gario also said he had pepper spray sprayed in his eyes. “I spent six and a half hours in a jail cell for freedom of expression,” he said.


Business embrace Nevertheless, Zwarte Piet remains popular in 2012, and his traditional arrival by boat with Sinterklaas a few weeks ahead of the actual celebration was witnessed by thousands of starryeyed children in Brussels and Amsterdam. Sinterklaas, the presents he brings, as well as the traditional food and candy sold around this time are also good business for companies such as toy stores and supermarkets. “Families with children are a very important customer group of ours. How would you explain to your children that Zwarte Piet is no longer allowed?” said Chief Operating Officer Sander van der Laan of Albert Heijn, the Netherlands’ largest supermarket. Dutch anti-discrimination organization RADAR said that it would talk to retail organizations in the coming months about how to make Zwarte Piet less racist. “We believe that you have to go to Piet, not Zwarte Piet, to leave the celebration intact but get rid of the stereotypes,” said Margriet Maris, a lawyer at RADAR. Formal complaints are still quite rare. Belgium’s centre of equal opportunities said that of more than 4,000 complaints it received a year only one or two were related to Zwarte Piet. RADAR said it had received about 25 related complaints this year, still only a fraction of the 1,000 it dealt with overall. The tradition of St Nicholas exists in other European countries, including Austria and Germany. But he is only accompanied by black helpers in the Netherlands and Belgium. Celebrations were depicted on paintings of 17th century Dutch artists Jan Steen and Richard Brakenburg, but Zwarte Piet only made his first appearance in a mid-19th century illustrated book by Dutch teacher Jan Schenkman. Entitled “St Nicholas and his servant,” it showed a short, dark-faced man dressed in a Moorish costume a few steps behind an imposing white man with a white beard and bishop’s outfit. “There’s a theory that says that important people had a black servant, it was a status symbol. Sinterklaas was an important man, so he needed one too,” said John Helsloot a researcher at the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam. “Somebody who dresses up as Zwarte Piet is not a racist but it is a fact that he’s part of a tradition which gives a stereotypical, racist image of black people,” he said. Pressure on Zwarte Piet seems to be increasing in 2012 and even well-known conservative blog “Geen Stijl” (No Style) has written that it’s time for Sinterklaas to find a new helper. “It’s 2012, people,” wrote GeenStijl in a post that attracted much attention. “We’re better than Zwarte Piet.”— Reuters

Christmas decorations are pictured on December 3, 2012 in front of a haus in Straupitz, eastern Germany. — AFP

Louvre opens new branch in grim northern mining town he Louvre museum opened a new satellite branch among the slag heaps of a former mining town yesterday in a bid to bring high culture and visitors to one of France’s poorest areas. Greeted by a group of former miners in overalls and hardhats, President Francois Hollande inaugurated the Japanese-designed glass and polished-aluminum branch of the Louvre in the northern city of Lens. Officials hope the museum, set to host masterpieces by Delacroix and Raphael for its first year, will help revive a region blighted by the closure of its last coal mines 20 years ago and with unemployment at a stubbornly high 16 percent. “We know that a museum does not bring spring. But it is a sign at least of the end of winter,” regional council chief Daniel Percheron said. Just one hour by train from Paris, the Louvre-Lens hopes to attract 700,000 visitors for its first year, and half a million per year after that, compared to nine million annual visitors for the Louvre itself.


The 150 million euro ($196 million) project was 60 percent financed by regional authorities in the Nord-Pas-De-Calais region, on the English Channel and the border with Belgium. The museum’s five sober buildings were intended by Japanese architectural firm Sanaa to blend into the former industrial site, with the rail tracks that once linked its pits turned into access roads. From within its giant glass cube entrance hall, visitors can see the enormous slag heaps at Loos-enGohelle, the largest in Europe. For its first five years, the museum’s central gallery will showcase 200 works spanning from Antiquity to 1850. — AFP

French President Francois Hollande stands yesterday in front of in front of “La Liberte Guidant le Peuple” (“Liberty Guiding the People”), a painting by Eugene Delacroix, during the inauguration of the Louvre Museum in the northern French town of Lens. — AFP

Asia’s top literary award reveals longlist hree debut novelists and a Nobel laureate were among the 15 writers longlisted for Asia’s most prestigious literary prize yesterday, with entries spread across the region from Turkey to Japan. The longlist for the $30,000 Man Asian Literary Prize was drawn from 108 published works from nine different Asian countries, submitted to a panel of judges led by literary critic and journalist Maya Jaggi. “The far-ranging stories on our longlist draw the reader into some beautiful and some gruelling landscapes,” said Jaggi in a statement. “From the glaciers of northern Pakistan to the unforgiving Saudi desert; from an affluent Istanbul seaside resort to a Bombay opium den-and further afield to Montreal and Mexico.” “Silent House,” an early work from Turkish writer and 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature winner Orhan Pamuk, made the list after appearing in English for the first time. Turkey and Iran are among the 35 countries eligible for the prize, which is looking for a new sponsor with London-based Man Group ending its funding for the Asian prize after the 2012 event. A total of seven books appear in translation, including “Northern Girls” by Chinese author Sheng Keyi, about a sixteen-year-old who abandons her Hunan village and heads for the bright lights of Shenzhen. Other works include two books that were shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, which was won by record-


breaking British author Hilary Mantel for “Bring up the Bodies” in October. “The Garden of Evening Mists” by Malaysia’s Tan Twan Eng follows a young law graduate who discovers the only Japanese garden in Malaya and its secretive owner and creator. Jeet Thayil’s “Narcopolis”, a three-decade exploration of opium addiction, was also shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and he is one of three Indian authors on the Asian Prize longlist. “Goat Days” by Benyamin follows the fate of an expat worker in the Gulf who is propelled into a slave-like existence as a goat herder in the middle of the brutal Saudi desert. Anjali Joseph’s “Another Country”, follows a twenty-something woman through Paris, London and Bombay at the dawn of the Millennium. “This list testifies to the strength and variety of new writing coming out of a culturally emergent Asia,” said Professor David Parker, Executive Director of the Asian Literary Prize. “It is full of stories the world hasn’t heard before and which the world needs to hear.” A shortlist of up to six titles will be unveiled in early January before a winner is announced in March. The Man Asian Literary Prize began in 2007 and is given to the best novel by an Asian writer, either written in English or translated into English. The 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize was awarded to South Korean author Kyung-sook Shin for her novel “Please Look After

A historical light mountaineer is pictured at the toy museum in Klessen, eastern Germany. The museum presents traditional Christmas toys and decorations until the 4th Sunday before Christmas. — AFP

Mom”, a story about a family’s guilty soul-searching after the disappearance of their elderly mother that has gone on to sell more than two million copies. The 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize Longlist: Goat Days - Benyamin (India) Between Clay and Dust - Musharraf Ali Farooqi (Pakistan) Another Country - Anjali Joseph (India) The Briefcase - Hiromi Kawakami (Japan) Thinner Than Skin - Uzma Aslam Khan (Pakistan) Ru - Kim Thuy (Vietnam / Canada) Black Flower - Young-Ha Kim (South Korea) Island of a Thousand Mirrors - Nayomi Munaweera (Sri Lanka) Silent House - Orhan Pamuk (Turkey) Honour - Elif Shafak (Turkey) Northern Girls - Sheng Keyi (China) The Garden of Evening Mists - Tan Twan Eng (Malaysia) The Road To Urbino - Roma Tearne (Sri Lanka / UK) Narcopolis - Jeet Thayil (India) The Bathing Women - Tie Ning (China)—AFP

A model presents a geisha costume made of recycled materials during a parade organized by the national government within the Museums Evening in Caracas, on December 3, 2012. —AFP


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New York critics pick

‘Zero Dark Thirty’

as best film

he New York Film Critics Circle on Monday picked action thriller “Zero Dark Thirty” as best film and gave its top acting honors to Daniel Day-Lewis and Rachel Weisz in the first major movie awards of the season leading up to Hollywood’s Oscars. US filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow won best director for “Zero Dark Thirty,” based on the decadelong US operation to kill Osama bin Laden and billed as a cinematic look at “the greatest manhunt in history.” Bigelow’s film, which stars Jessica Chastain as a young female CIA officer doggedly pursuing bin Laden for years through a long-forgotten courier, has yet to be released but has already gained buzz in early screenings for critics. After Monday’s nod from the New York film critics, “Zero Dark Thirty” is positioned as one of the front runners in the race for this year’s Academy Awards, the film world’s highest honors, which are handed out in February. Day-Lewis won for his performance as President Abraham Lincoln in “Lincoln,” while Britain’s Weisz was a surprise choice for the New York critics’ best actress award for her portrayal of Hester Collyer in romantic drama “The Deep Blue Sea,” set in post-World War Two Britain. Sally Field was named best supporting actress for her performance opposite


For rock legends Fleetwood Mac, it’ s ‘ til death do us part’ o not call it a comeback and don’t even think of it as a farewell tour. After more than four decades making music and a 2010 tour, Fleetwood Mac will hit the road again next year. But it won’t be its last tour, singer Stevie Nicks vowed, dismissing any notion that the band could be packing away their instruments in the near future. “It’s never going to be a final tour until we drop dead,” Nicks told Reuters. “There’s no reason for this to end as long as everyone is in good shape and takes care of themselves.” The 34-city tour with dates in the United States and Canada will begin on April 4 in Columbus, Ohio, and finish up on June 12 in Detroit. The tour coincides with the 35th anniversary of the blockbuster 1977 album, “Rumours,” which landed the group four hit singles and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. The album will be reissued with unreleased studio and live recordings, Fleetwood Mac said. After frequent changes to the lineup since the band formed in London in 1967, the 2013 tour will feature Nicks, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, and founding members Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass. Touring again is “a big deal,” said Nicks, 64, who is known for her floor-length blonde hair and frilly outfits. “I don’t want a Fleetwood Mac tour every year or year and a half. That’s why people get so excited. ... All of a sudden the world is on edge and that’s what gets you out there.” For Nicks, who recently finished a twoyear solo tour promoting her 2011 album “In Your Dreams,” making music and being on the road is her life. “If you never stop, you don’t lose your energy,” the “Landslide” singer said of keeping pace with a demanding tour schedule when each band member is into their 60s. “Even when we stop, everybody is still doing a lot of stuff.”


‘Everybody is nervous’ Like Nicks, Buckingham has his own solo career, and Fleetwood has a restaurant in Hawaii and a US vineyard as well as his own music gigs. Fleetwood and McVie are both founding members of the band, and Buckingham and Nicks joined the group in 1974. Singer and songwriter Christine McVie, who wrote the big hit “Don’t Stop” that was on “Rumours,” joined the band in the early 1970s after marrying John McVie, but retired from touring after the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. She still contributes on occasion to studio efforts. Although the band will not kick off the tour until April, Nicks said the anxiety-filled grind begins months before during rehearsals when band members hammer out which songs to play. Of the 22 songs Fleetwood Mac will play during a concert, 11 will be hits, such as “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop” and “Hold Me,” Nicks said. For herself, it is a daily routine of vocal exercises and primping that can take hours. “It’s overwhelming in a good way, but it’s still overwhelming,” Nicks said of the process. “By the third day (of rehearsals) you start to calm down and get into your role. At first, everybody is nervous and not knowing what they’ll do.” But a decade removed from their last studio album “Say You Will,” Nicks admits it may be time for another Fleetwood Mac release, adding that she and Buckingham had spent time writing songs together recently. “Personally, I think we feel better than before,” Nicks said. “We’re not doing drugs and stuff like that ... You don’t know what you’ll do when you’re not doing this.” — Reuters

Nothing for ‘Les Mis’ Notably absent from the list of winners was “Les Miserables,” the first big movie adaptation of the popular stage musical. It stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway and was

directed by “The King’s Speech” Oscarwinning director Tom Hooper. The movie has been gaining critical buzz in preview screenings. Also missing from the list of winners was Ben Affleck’s well-received Iran hostage thriller “Argo.” The New York based film critics organization was founded in 1935 and comprises members from newspapers, magazines and some online publications. Awards from the critics and movie industry groups often influence which films, performers and film makers will compete for the Oscars, which are given out by the Beverly Hills-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

‘Bully,’ ‘How to Survive a Plague,’ ‘Sugarman’ make Oscars Documentary Short List

Bollywood film actor Aamir Khan poses after a press conference in Mumbai yesterday. Khan, dubbed as Indian cinema’s Mr Perfectionist returned to the big screen in his first commercial film release for three years, taking up the role of a mustachioed police inspector in a Mumbai crime thriller ‘Talaash’ (Search). Earlier this year Khan launched a 13-episode Sunday morning television show that won plaudits for tackling some of India’s darkest social problems, drawing comparisons between him and US chat show host Oprah Winfrey.— AFP

Day-Lewis as Mary Todd Lincoln in “Lincoln,” the tale of Lincoln’s battle to outlaw slavery. It was written by playwright Tony Kushner, who also picked up the best screenplay award. Actor Matthew McConaughey won best supporting actor for his performances in “Bernie” and raunchy comedy “Magic Mike.”

“Zero Dark Thirty,” saw its release date pushed back to Dec. 19 after the film got caught up earlier this year in a US election controversy. The makers of the film - “The Hurt Locker” Oscar winners Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal - recently denied a claim they were given classified material for their research but said they did conduct interviews with a CIA officer and others at the heart of the hunt for the al Qaeda leader. The New York critics group’s pick for best documentary went to “The Central Park Five,” Ken Burns’ examination of the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers whose convictions of raping a white female jogger were overturned after they spent years in prison. Best foreign language film went to Austrian director Michael Haneke’s “Amour,” a tale of an elderly couple facing the tragic march of death, while best animated feature went to “Frankenweenie.” The critics awarded best cinematography to Greig Fraser for “Zero Dark Thirty” and best first film went to nonfiction film “How To Survive A Plague,” David France’s documentary about the first nine years of AIDS advocacy group ACT UP. The organization announced the awards via Twitter. — Reuters

he headline-grabbing “Bully,” the AIDSactivism documentary “How to Survive a Plague” and “Searching for Sugarman,” about a folk singer rediscovering his fans are among the films chosen for the short list of possible nominees in the Documentary Feature category at the 85th Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday. “Searching for Sugar Man” has already picked up a win at the International Documentary Festival and nominations from the Producers Guild documentary awards and the Cinema Eye Honors. Surprisingly, “West of Memphis,” Amy Berg’s documentary about the young men convicted of murdering three 8-year-old boys in Arkansas who were innocent of the crime, did not make the cut. “Bully,” about the phenomenon of teenaged bullying, was distributed by The Weinstein Company and battled with the Motion Picture Association over an R rating, arguing that adolescents should be able to see the film.The 15 films on the list, which were culled from 126 films originally qualified for the category, will be whittled down to five final contenders by members of the Academy’s Documentary Branch.


Full list • “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” Never Sorry LLC •“Bully,” The Bully Project LLC •“Chasing Ice,” Exposure •“Detropia,” Loki Films •“Ethel,” Moxie Firecracker Films

•“5 Broken Cameras,” Guy DVD Films •“The Gatekeepers,” Les Films du Poisson, Dror Moreh Productions, Cinephil •“The House I Live In,” Charlotte Street Films, LLC •“How to Survive a Plague,” How to Survive a Plague

LLC “The Imposter,” Imposter Pictures Ltd. •“The Invisible War,” Chain Camera Pictures •“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” Jigsaw Productions in association with Wider Film —Reuters

Damon, Baldwin, Cheadle sign on for Cameron’s climate-change doc ames Cameron’s climate-change documentary “Years of Living Dangerously” has lined up some high-level talent to get its message across. Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin and Don Cheadle have signed on to narrate the documentary, Showtime - which will air the project over multiple episodes next year said Monday. Actor Edward Norton is also expected to come aboard, Showtime said, with additional talent to be announced. As previously reported exclusively by TheWrap, Cameron is teaming with producer and noted philanthropist Jerry Weintraub on the project, which will report on first-person accounts of people who’ve been affected by global warming. Cameron and Weintraub will executive “Years of Living Dangerously,” along with Arnold “60 Minutes” producers Joel Bach and David Gelber are also executive-producing, along with climate expert Daniel Abbasi. “The recent devastation on the East Coast is a tragic reminder of the direct link between our daily lives and climate change,” matt damon Showtime Networks’ president of entertainment David Nevins said. “This series presents a unique opportunity to combine the large-scale filmmaking styles of James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger arguably some of Hollywood’s biggest movie makers - with the hard-hitting, intimate journalism of ‘60 Minutes’ veterans Joel Bach and David Gelber. I believe this combination will make for a thought-provoking television event.” “We’ll make it exciting,” added Cameron. “We’ll make it investigative. We’ll bring people the truth. And people are always hungry for the truth.” In addition to the narrators, “Years of Living Dangerously” will use reporting from the field, with New York Times journalists Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof, columnist Mark Bittman and MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “Years of Living Dangerously” will air over six to eight one-hour episodes, Showtime said. — Reuters

J This undated publicity photo released by DreamWorks and Twentieth Century Fox shows, Daniel Day-Lewis, center rear, as Abraham Lincoln, in a scene from the film, ‘Lincoln.’ —AP

Additional copies of ‘Lincoln’ headed to theaters “L incoln” is marching to more movie theaters. Disney, which distributed the DreamWorks film, is making additional prints of director Steven Spielberg’s historical saga starring Daniel Day-Lewis to meet an unexpected demand that has left some moviegoers in Alaska out in the cold. “To say that we’re encouraged by the results to date or that they’ve exceeded our expectations is an understatement,” said Dave Hollis, head of distribution at the Walt Disney Co. “We’re in the midst of making additional prints to accommodate demand and will have them available to our partners in exhibition by mid-December for what we hope will be a great run through the holiday and awards corridor.” The film, which opened in wide release Nov 9 and has earned $83.6 million in North America so far, has been unavailable at some

smaller venues, such as the Gross Alaska theaters in Juneau. But the extra prints are coming a little too late to fit the movie into the fivescreen Glacier Cinemas theater during the holiday season, said Kenny Solomon-Gross, general manager of the Gross Alaska, which runs two theaters in Juneau and one in Ketchikan, Alaska. “When we had the room for ‘Lincoln,’ Disney didn’t have a copy for us,” SolomonGross said Monday. His film lineup is pretty booked through the end of the year, and he probably can’t screen “Lincoln” until after the first of the New Year. Yes, the excitement over the film will have dimmed, but then the Academy Awards season will be stirring up, he said. That should kick up the buzz. In the meantime, Solomon-Gross plans to head to Las Vegas this week and catch the film there. — AP


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This undated publicity film image provided by the Sundance Institute shows Dakota Fanning, right, and Elizabeth Olsen, in the film ‘Very Good Girls,’ included in the narrative premieres at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January. — AP photos



Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace in the film ‘Lovelace,’ included in the narrative premieres at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January.

Kutcher is Jobs, Seyfried is Lovelace at Sundance shton Kutcher as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Amanda Seyfried as porn star Linda Lovelace are among the highlights at January’s Sundance Film Festival. Kutcher headlines director Joshua Michael Stern’s “jOBS,” one of 18 star-studded premieres announced Monday for Robert Redford’s independent-cinema showcase. Chronicling 30 years in the life of the Apple mastermind who died last year, “jOBS” is the closing-night film at Sundance, which runs Jan 17-27 in Park City, Utah. Seyfried has the title role in Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s “Lovelace,” a portrait of the adultfilm actress who became an anti-porn crusader years after starring in the hardcore hit “Deep Throat.” The roles are dramatic departures for Kutcher, best-known for broad movie comedies and the TV sitcoms “That ‘70s Show” and “Two and a Half Men,” and Seyfried, bestknown for romances such as “Dear John” and “Mamma Mia!” But dramatic departures often are what it’s all about at Sundance, which presents films out of the mainstream that let topname talent take a break from the Hollywood mold. “A lot of these actors are looking to spread out of their comfort zones,” said Sundance director John Cooper. “It’s about doing something different for them.” The lineup of dramas, along with 11 documentaries also announced in the premiere section Monday, play outside the roster of 64 films unveiled last week for Sundance’s US and world-cinema competitions. Along with entries


in the festival’s midnight section and other programs also announced last week, Sundance will offer 115 feature-length films. The dramatic premieres present a number of reunions among filmmakers and stars, including Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight,” with co-writers Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprising the starcrossed romantic roles they played in 1995’s “Before Sunrise” and 2004’s “Before Sunset”; Jane Campion’s “Top of the Lake,” a six-hour mystery whose cast includes Holly Hunter, who won an Academy Award for the director’s 1993 drama “The Piano”; Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s misfit teen tale “The Way, Way Back,” featuring

This July 30, 2008 file photo shows President Bush, followed by Vice President Dick Cheney, as he leaves the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, to make a statement in the Rose Garden following a Cabinet meeting in Washington, DC. ‘The World According to Dick Cheney’ is included in the documentary premieres at the upcoming 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January.

This undated publicity film image shows Aston Kutcher as Steve Jobs in ‘jOBS,’ the 2013 Sundance Film Festivalís closing night film in January.

Steve Carell and Toni Collette, who co-starred in the 2006 Sundance premiere “Little Miss Sunshine”; and Michael Winterbottom’s “The Look of Love,” with his frequent star Steve Coogan as British porn baron Paul Raymond. Other premiere highlights include “Don Jon’s Addiction,” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt making his directing debut and starring alongside Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore in the

story of a modern Don Juan; George Tillman Jr.’s “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,” a tale of two boys in the Brooklyn housing projects whose cast includes “American Idol” alumni Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks; Fredrik Bond’s “The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman,” with Shia LaBeouf and Evan Rachel Wood in a romance between a man traveling abroad and a troubled Romanian beauty;

Anne Fontaine’s “Two Mothers,” starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright as friends who fall for each other’s sons; and Naomi Finer’s “Very Good Girls,” featuring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen as teens aiming to lose their virginity but who fall for the same guy. Documentary premieres include Freida Mock’s “Anita,” examining the fallout from sexual-harassment charges brought by Anita Hill against US Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas; Alex Gibney’s “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks,” an analysis of the website that released classified government documents; and R.J. Cutler and Greg Finton’s “The World According to Dick Cheney,” a study of the former vice president and the power he wielded in George W. Bush’s administration. Also premiering at Sundance is Sebastian Junger’s “Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington,” a portrait of photographer Hetherington’s work in war zones around the world. It will be a sorrowful return to Sundance for Junger, codirector with Hetherington on the Oscar nominated “Restrepo,” a portrait of a US platoon in Afghanistan that won the top documentary prize at the 2010 festival. Hetherington was killed last year while covering the fighting between rebels and government forces in Libya. “For me, it just adds another layer to the human cost of what that these guys are trying to expose,” said festival programming director Trevor Goth. “I think it’s going to be a very emotional moment at the festival.” — AP

Travolta, Newton-John ‘ Les Miserables’ leads the way with team up again after 30 years 10 nominations for Satellite Awards es Miserables” secured 10 nominations for the International Press Academy’s Satellite Awards, leading all possible entrants for the 17th annual event. This year’s awards will take place Dec 16 at Los Angeles’ Intercontinental Hotel. Last year, “The Descendants” came out on top at the Satellites, though “The Artist” later triumphed at the Academy Awards. For this year’s nominees, Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the book turned iconic musical led all films with four acting nominations and a sweep of the costume, art and sound categories. Hugh Jackman’s performance of “Suddenly” also earned a nomination for best song. “Les Miserables” secured 10 nominations but was left out of both the directing and writing categories. Reflecting the diverse group of contenders in the 2012 race, a large number of films secured more than five nominations. “Lincoln” earned the second most - eight - as Steven Spielberg’s take on the final months of the 16th President’s life earned nods for Best Picture, Director, Actor and Supporting Actor - among other categories. Composer John Williams earned a nomination for Best Score. “Silver Linings Playbook” and “The Master” both earned seven nominations apiece, faring particularly well in the acting fields. Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro all received nominations for “Silver Linings” while Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams are all up for awards for their work in “The Master.” “Anna Karenina,” “Life of Pi” and “Flight” all earned six nominations, the former benefiting from its elaborate costumes and sets and the second two for visual and sound effects. Among distributors, The Weinstein Company topped all competitors with 20 nominations thanks largely to “Silver Linings” and “The Master,” while both Columbia Pictures and Universal snagged 12 nominations. On the TV side, critical darlings, such as ‘The Big Bang Theory” and


ohn Travolta and his “Grease” onscreen love Olivia Newton-John have recorded together for the first time in 30 years, making a Christmas album honoring the US star’s late son Jett. Speaking to Australia’s Fairfax Media via telephone yesterday, the pair said they had remained close friends since their roles as Danny and Sandy in the musical hit and were delighted to be working together again. “Olivia and I have always wanted to work together again... but unless it’s right and organic, it feels like you’re forcing something and I didn’t want anyone to feel that way,” Travolta said on why it took so long. The star of “Pulp Fiction”, “Get Shorty” and “Hairspray” said an album was appealing because “I love to sing and I don’t get a chance to do it a lot”. “To join Olivia again, where we’ve succeeded at this level, to do that is a beautiful opportunity. I can’t believe it,” he added. Their new album, “This Christmas”, includes a song by John Farrar, who wrote their famous pop duet “You’re the One That I Want”. The video for the new song will have its global release today. Cancer survivor Newton-John, who admits she still has the skin-tight black pants she wore in the movie, said she was still surprised at the success of the


film about the love affairs of 1950s high school students. “We still have little kids coming up to us who are discovering the movies. It’s like three generations who love the movie, who are going to be thrilled to see Danny and Sandy, as they think of us, together again,” the Australian said. Proceeds from the album, which also features Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett and James Taylor as guest artists, will go towards the Jett Travolta Foundation and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne. “For us, it’s a wonderful way of giving back to causes that we care about and we’re also giving the fans back something that they might like to see us do,” Newton-John said. “Hopefully they’ll like it as much as we hope they will.” Jett Travolta died in 2009 aged 16 after suffering a seizure and his father said Christmas can be a difficult time for his family. “Doing something for him makes it easier, because you’re doing something, you’re proactive, you’re raising money for the foundation that represents him,” the actor said. “It felt effortless. And everybody hopped on board effortlessly. We called Barbra and Tony and James and they all knew my son, so they just wanted to do this from their heart.” — AFP

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, director J.J Abrams, center, and actor Chris Pine wave during a press conference for their latest film ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ in Tokyo, yesterday. —AP

“Homeland,” earned multiple nominations in the comedy and drama categories, respectively. “Game Change” earned the most nominations on the Miniseries/TV Movie side, earning a nod as the best overall as well as three acting nominations for Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and Sarah Paulson. The IPA also gives out of special achievement awards, and this year’s winners include QuvenzhanÈ Wallis from “Beast of the Southern Wild” (Newcomer Award) and legendary editor and sound designer Walter Murch, who won the Nikola Tesla Award for visionary achievement in filmmaking technology. — Reuters

5 Dec  

Kuwait Times