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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

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No: 15261

THULHIJA 9, 1432 AH

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7Massive8throng43of pilgrims begin hajj ‘Makkah metro’ operating at full capacity

MAKKAH: More than 2.5 million Muslim pilgrims began yesterday the rites of the annual hajj pilgrimage, leaving the holy city of Makkah for Mount Arafat, where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) delivered his final hajj sermon. Dressed in white, they flooded the streets as they headed towards Mina, around five kilometres east of the holy mosque. The day is known as Tarwiah (Watering) Day, as pilgrims traditionally watered their animals and stocked water for their trip to Mount Arafat, some 10 km further on. Many pilgrims took buses, while others set off on foot for a village that comes to life for just five days a year. Others were using the Mashair Railway, also known as Makkah Metro, to go to Mount Arafat and its surrounding plains where they will gather for the peak Day of Arafat today. The Chinese-built railway will operate for the first time this year at its full capacity of 72,000 people per hour to ease congestions and prevent stampedes in which hundreds have been killed in past years. The dual-track light railway connects the three holy sites of Mina, Muzdalifah and Mount Arafat - areas that see massive congestion during the five-day pilgrimage. It will replace 30,000 cars previously used, said project director Fahd Abu-Tarbush. “The train this year is restricted to the pilgrims coming from inside Saudi Arabia and Gulf states, as well as 200,000 pilgrims coming from south Asia,” Tarbush told AFP. “Mashair Railway will transport 500,000 pilgrims from Mina, passing by Muzdalifah, reaching to Arafat, in addition to one million pilgrims on the Tashreeq days,” which are on the 11th, 12th and 13th of the Muslim month of Dhul Hijjah. Around 1.7 million Muslims descended on Makkah from around the world while between 700,000 and 800,000 pilgrims are coming from inside Saudi Arabia. The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and must be performed at least once in a lifetime by all those who are able to make the journey, and it is a dream that can take years to come true. “To me, this is a miracle. I’ve been dreaming of going to hajj for years, and this dream is now being fulfilled,” 67-year-old Nigerian pilgrim Salahuldin Mohammed told AFP. Another pilgrim, 58year-old Mohammed Sadoreen from the Palestinian territories, said: “I couldn’t believe the day has come when I would see this sacred place. This is the first time I come to hajj.” The hajj will end tomorrow with Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice. Coping with the world’s largest annual human assembly poses a security headache for Saudi Arabia - guardian of the two holiest Muslim shrines in the cities of Makkah and Madinah, the birth places of Islam. Saudi authorities have numbered the buses and tents in Mina according to the countries from which the pilgrims have come to prevent chaos. The oil kingpin has invested billions of dollars over the years to avoid deadly stampedes that have marred the hajj in the past. In Jan 2006, 364 pilgrims were killed in a stampede at

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MAKKAH: Tens of thousands of pilgrims pray inside the Grand Mosque yesterday. The annual hajj pilgrimage draws three million visitors each year, making it the largest yearly gathering of people in the world. — AP

the entrance to a bridge leading to the stoning site in Mina, outside Makkah, while 251 were trampled to death in 2004. In July 1990, 1,426 pilgrims were trampled to death or suffocated in a stampede in a tunnel, also in Mina. The deaths prompted authorities to dismantle the old bridge and replace it with a multi-level one with one-way lanes to ensure a smooth flow of pilgrims. Saudi Arabia also launched a new $10.6-billion project for a new extension to Makkah’s Grand Mosque to increase its capacity to two million worshippers. “We haven’t faced any problems. I didn’t expect all these services to be available,” said 55-year-old pilgrim Abdulhadi Badran. Iran’s Shiite pilgrims are another headache Saudi authorities are faced with during hajj season. However, Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz has dismissed any threat from pilgrims coming from Iran, despite rising tension between Tehran and Riyadh over an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi envoy to Washington and

past confrontations. “The Iranians have always shown their respect for the hajj,” he said. A total of 97,000 Iranians - the maximum allowed for Iran under a Saudi system apportioning pilgrim quotas among the world’s biggest Muslim countries - are in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, Iranian media said Monday. “We hope this year’s hajj (pilgrimage) will take place in a very calm and spiritual atmosphere,” the representative of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at the pilgrimage, Hojatoleslam Ali Ghazi Asgar, said last week. Saudi security forces have several times in the past confronted Iranian pilgrims holding anti-US and anti-Israeli protests. In 1987, Saudi police efforts to stifle such a demonstration sparked clashes in which 402 people died, including 275 Iranians. An Iranian official told AFP that Iranian pilgrims are this year going to hold their demonstrations within the boundaries of their own camps as they did in the past few years, to avoid confrontations with Saudi security forces. — AFP


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Kuwaiti may be allowed to complete pilgrimage before murder trial By A. Saleh KUWAIT: Saudi authorities are apparently considering a request by a 24-year-old Kuwaiti Hajj pilgrim who killed a 25-year-old Saudi man in Makkah on Wednesday to complete his Hajj rituals accompanied by armed guards before resuming questioning after the conclusion of the pilgrimage. During questioning over the murder of the other man, who was allegedly a drug addict, the accused said, “The incident began when I arrived in Makkah to perform Hajj with my mother; I didn’t come from Kuwait to hurt or kill people.” According to an interview transcript, he continued, “While I was heading to a grocery store near our residence, there was a young man who didn’t appear to be in a normal condition; he was harassing everyone passing by him. The same man kept insulting me for a week, but I ignored him till the day of the crime. That day, I went to the grocery store and he followed me and insulted me, so we got into an argument inside [the store] where he hit me with a juice bottle. I took it away from him and hit him on his hand. The people who were around us separated us, and after that I went to the Kuwaiti mission. I told him [the deceased], ‘Look, I’m a Haji [pilgrim] and I came here to ask for forgiveness and I’m a guest in your country,’ but all to no avail. “As I returned to the grocery store he spat at me and his mouth was full of a drug. I couldn’t control myself and pulled a knife out and stabbed him in the neck with it without realizing it would be fatal. I used his car to drive him to the King Faisal Hospital’s emergency department where I learnt that he’d died. After that, I went back to tell my mother about what had happened before I gave myself up [to police].” Meanwhile, in other news, Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission (CSC), is to publish a new list of around 2,500 individuals to be employed by government departments. The new list, to be published following the Eid Al-Adha holiday, will include university graduates and diploma holders, said a CSC insider, adding that another list of 2,000 more Kuwaitis to be employed in the civil service will be published at the end of the month. On a separate issue, MP Saleh Al-Mulla has submitted a number of parliamentary questions to the State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Mohammad AlBusairi to comment on rumors of wasta being used in the appointment of senior oil company officials’ relatives to posts in the oil sector. “I’m still waiting for minister Al-Busairi’s denial that a question is included on oil sector job application forms asking , ‘Do any of your family members work in the oil sector, and if so, please give employment details.’

KUWAIT: Under the auspices of the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Ali Al-Rashid, Kuwait Fire Services Directorate recently celebrated the graduation of its 11th batch of specialized officers (first lieutenants) at the Missoni Hotel. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: Baskets of shrimps being readied for the ‘auction style’ selling at Souq Sharq fish market.

KUWAIT: A fish vendor tends to his fish being sold at Mubarakiya market. — Photos by Ben Garcia

Fish prices remain high despite Eid focus on meat-eating Shortage of seafood supplies from Iran By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Although many in Kuwait will be enjoying meals centered on meat dishes as part of the traditional religious customs during the Eid AlAdha festival, fish prices also remain very high in several local markets. Jalal Majid, a supervisor at the Fish Market in Mubarakiya, told the Kuwait Times yesterday that fish prices remain high due to a recent shortage of seafood supplies from Iran: “The usual five or six tons of fish that used to come from Iran weekly is now down to only one ton due to stricter fishing regulations there,” he explained. Prior to the introduction of these regulations, said Majid, Iranian fishermen could come to Kuwait easily and directly to sell fish caught in Iranian waters. After the Iranian government introduced the new rules which compel fishing vessels to prioritize selling the bulk of their catch in Iran before

selling elsewhere, however, the quantities of seafood coming to Kuwait from this source have fallen by a massive amount. “The new regulations there affect the delivery of fish to Kuwait quantitywise; instead of us receiving five to six tons, Kuwait now receives only one ton or even less [per week], so the prices are automatically affected,” Majid explained, adding, “If there’s not much fish coming from Iran, the prices of fish here will be very high, especially of those from local waters.” The Iranian regulations have been in force for around five months now, Majid went on, meaning that the authorities in Kuwait are looking elsewhere to make up the seafood shortfall. “The local authorities [in Kuwait] are instead increasing their fish imports from other sources, like Bangladesh and Pakistan to meet local demands,” he said. The prices of the locally caught

Zubaidi and Hamour, both widely eaten in Kuwait, on display at the fish market yesterday were certainly higher than previously seen, with the locally caught Zubaidi on sale at KD8-9 per kilogram, as opposed to KD6-7 per kilo for the imported ones. Locally caught Hamour was selling for KD6 per kilo, meanwhile, in comparison to KD5 per kilo for the imported variety. Majid had one bit of good news, however, saying, “The prices haven’t changed since last month and I’m sure they’ll be same price next week.” Jumbo shrimp are currently on sale at the market at KD5 per kilo, with medium-sized and small shrimp going for KD3 and KD2.5 respectively. As Majid pointed out, this isn’t that expensive compared to prices elsewhere: “Shrimp don’t cost that much while a basket of jumbo shrimp can go up to KD80, you can get [smaller ones] for KD50 to 60 per basket,’ he pointed out.

NA survival almost impossible: MP KUWAIT: Opposition MP Saleh Al-Mulla said on Thursday that he believes that the chance of the current parliament surviving after the Eid Al-Adha holiday is “almost impossible,” suggesting that the rifts between the pro-government lawmakers and their opposition colleagues are too deep for them to continue working together, making parliamentary dissolution a necessity. “While acknowledging the fact that the decision is up to His Highness the Amir to take, I believe that parliamentary dissolution has become a necessity in light of the near impossibility of any reconciliation in the relationship between the conflicting MPs and between the opposition and the Cabinet,” he said in a statement issued prior to the start of the Eid holidays. Al-Mulla, a member of the National Action Bloc (NAB), was speaking shortly after the Development and Reform Bloc (DRB) announced that it is preparing grilling motions against the Deputy Prime Minister and interior minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah and the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Mohammad Al-Noumas, who is also the Minister of Housing. “This announcement was expected, given the fact that the opposition blocs [the DRB and the Popular Action Bloc (PAB)] had previously announced plans to file grilling motions against ministers, in addition to the interpolation motion against the Prime Minister,” said Al-Mulla’s statement. The MP also expressed concern that the grilling

motion against Al-Noumas, which concerns punitive measures taken against a number of imams accused of violating regulations against including political issues in their religious sermons, could be misinterpreted as being motivated by sectarianism. In other news, further problems have emerged in the ongoing parliamentary investigation into alleged irregularities in a contract between the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and oil giant Shell, with senior KPC officials apparently failing to provide full answers to the questions put to them by the parliamentary investigative committee. “The senior [KPC] officials failed to provide any information about the nature of the contract,” said committee rapporteur MP Dr. Maasouma Al-Mubarak in a statement issued following the committee’s latest meeting on Thursday. She added, “The statements they did give contradicted information they provided at a previous meeting.” Dr. Al-Mubarak also indicated that during the meeting the committee had conveyed its “profound frustration at the lack of cooperation by KPC officials.” On a separate issue, Islamist MP Mohammad Hayef has issued warnings to three ministries over their permitting “disrespectful music concerts” to take place during the Eid Al-Adha holiday, condemning what he called “a media campaign to promote these events already carried out by corrupt TV stations.” — Al-Rai


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Weatherman warns of stormy start to Eid Airport busy as holiday begins KUWAIT: Levels of passenger traffic at Kuwait International Airport (KIA) have risen sharply in recent days as the Eid Al-Adha holiday begins, with airport authorities prepared for the crowds expected during the holiday season and determined to process passengers as quickly and effectively as possible. One of the travelers at the airport on Thursday evening, Saad Al-Mutairi, who was waiting with his family for a flight to Dubai, said that he tries to get away during holidays to escape the humdrum routine, and enjoys visiting other contemporary cities. Holidays are a great opportunity to travel with one’s family and discover new places, he went on, adding that it would be a good idea for Kuwait to establish a tourism ministry to highlight the outstanding sites and holiday opportunities in Kuwait. Al-Mutairi had only one complaint, expressing dissatisfaction at the high prices of airline tickets during this period. Another traveler, Walid Al-Bahri, was awaiting a flight to Jeddah along with his wife and daughter. “I’m always ready to travel abroad during any official holiday in order to spend healthy time away from the environmental pollution here,” he said. Al-Bahri also stated that he would be glad to get away from the current political situation in Kuwait, which he said is distressing due to the constant tension between parliament and government. Unlike Al-Mutairi, Al-Bahri felt that the prices of airline tickets generally was reasonable, but suggested that government authorities turn a blind eye to the undesirable practice of some travel agencies and airlines, which introduced regulations denying a refund to customers who find they’re unable to fly at the scheduled time; he suggested that this could make people reluctant to book through these agencies and airlines. A third Kuwaiti traveler, who gave her name only as Leila, was delighted to be on her way to Bhamdoun in Lebanon with her daughter for the holiday period, pointing out, “We Kuwaitis love Lebanon and spend most of our summer holidays there.” A Syrian traveler, Nabih Hassoun, was happy to be heading home for the holidays after a year away from his family and homeland. Hassoun, who said that he’d been able to buy his ticket for a reasonable price, added that he wished that his family was in Kuwait so that they could enjoy the Eid festivities here. The travelers may manage to avoid the arrival of changeable weather in Kuwait, which is likely to see rain and thunderstorms today, according to a senior meteorologist. Mohammad Karam, the director of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) meteorology department, predicted that Kuwait would see cloudy skies and possible thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon and evening, with Sunday, the first day of Eid, possibly witnessing moderately warm northwesterly winds after the cold front passes by. Kuwait is currently under experiencing a high level of atmospheric pressure with a cold front from the north bringing light winds during the day and cold nights, explained the senior meteorologist. Karam also predicted that temperatures are expected to rise again once the current cold front moves on, rising to around 28-30 degrees Celsius during the holiday week. Many in Kuwait apparently started the Eid holiday early, with a number of workplaces, schools and colleges all but empty on Thursday, although the official holiday beginning on Friday. Staff absenteeism levels at government bodies were high, whilst many head teachers were forced to close the schools early as pupil attendance level hovered between five percent and none. The staff attendance level at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) on Thursday came to around 50 percent, which a senior ministry official said was “more than enough” to perform the limited amount of work to be done as very few members of the public wished to conduct transactions on the final working day before the holidays.

KUWAIT: On the last work day the Ministry complex downtown seemed abandoned. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

“It’s normal before the holiday to see half the staff absent with the other half having to expend little effort to attend to the small amount of work to be done that day,” said a MSAL department head, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official also noted that the shortage of work led most of the staff to leave at 1:00 PM, an hour before the official end of their shifts. The story was much

the same at other ministries, with the small number of staff who reported for work at the Ministry of Communications on Thursday reportedly spending most of their time there chatting with one another due to the lack of any work to do. A number of senior departmental officials said, however, that the absentee staff would be penalized for their failure to report for work. —KUNA, Al-WATAN


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Two Kuwaiti pilgrims killed in accident near Saudi border Boss stabs two company employees KUWAIT: Two Kuwaiti citizens en route to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage were killed and three others seriously injured when their car crashed on Salmi Road close to the Saudi border. Emergency services personnel were quickly at the accident location, with the injured being rushed to Jahra Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, whilst the bodies of the dead were removed for autopsy. Preliminary investigations suggest that the driver of the pilgrims’ SUV lost control of the steering, with the vehicle overturning.

Two deaths An Iranian man died of a suspected heart attack on board his boat as he was preparing to set off on a fishing trip from a dock in Salmiya. Although emergency services personnel rushed to the location, paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene, with the body being removed for autopsy. In a separate case, an Arab expatriate returned home from work to find his roommate, also an Arab expat, dead in bed. The horrified roommate immediately called the emergency services hotline, with police and paramedics rushing to the apartment. The paramedics confirmed that the man had died some time before, with the body being removed for autopsy to determine the approximate time and cause of death.

Bad boss A Kuwaiti company boss was arrested after stabbing two of his employees at the firm’s headquarters in Shaab. The incident began after one of the employees approached the company head to request that his salary be paid in advance as he was preparing to return to his home country for his mother’s funeral. When the company chief refused to pay him the money, an altercation ensued, culminating in the boss pulling out a knife and stabbing the employee, along with another worker who was attempting to mediate and calm the dispute. Both victims were rushed to Amiri Hospital, whilst an official from the embassy of the their home country has been assigned to follow up with legal action on their

behalf against the attacker.

Salmiya stabbing Police are hunting for an unidentified youth who stabbed and seriously wounded another young man in a fight in Salmiya before fleeing the scene. Passersby who saw the altercation taking place immediately called the emergency services hotline, with police and paramedics rushing to the scene, where they found the victim lying in the street bleeding heavily from the stab wound to his stomach. He was rushed to Mubarak Hospital’s ICU and a hunt has been launched for the attacker.

Bank rage A Kuwaiti woman was arrested on Thursday after smashing the window of a bank branch in Fahaheel and attempting to start a fire in the building, apparently in a rage at being unable to complete a banking transaction until after the Eid Al-Adha holiday. Police rushed to the scene after staff called them to report the incident, with some bank personnel and other customers managing to bring the woman under control and hold her until the police arrived. The officers took the woman into custody, finding a can of flammable liquid in her possession which she had apparently intended to use to set the bank alight. It was later revealed that she had gone berserk after a bank employee explained to her that it would be impossible to clear the transaction she was waiting for to her account before the banks return to work following the Eid Al-Adha vacation. The enraged customer will now have more pressing worries as she faces a number of criminal charges.

125 illegals caught A security crackdown in the Capital area resulted in the arrest of 125 individuals who had been living in the country illegally. The detainees were taken into custody pending legal action, and will be referred to the migration authorities who will arrange their deportation. —Al-Rai, Al-Qabas, Al-Watan

Contractor’s negligence blamed for mosque building site tragedy KUWAIT: “We saw death with our own eyes as we struggled for our breath while we waited for hours under the rubble”. This statement, from one of seven workers who were seriously injured in a horrific accident at a construction site in Waha on Tuesday morning, in which one man died, perhaps best summarizes the workers’ horrendous experience. “We were carrying out construction work at the mosque when the roof suddenly collapsed on our heads”, said Pradeep, an Indian construction worker who was rushed to Jahra Hospital with seven workmates after they were saved in a painstaking seven-hour rescue operation, “The best thing I could do at the time was protect my head with my own hands from the falling concrete”. According to an unidentified Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs (MAIA) official, the accident was most probably caused by flaws in the concrete foundations of the mosque, which was being built in the Waha area of Jahra. “While I was lying under the debris, I thought all my workmates had died, until their calls for help a few minutes later broke the horrible silence,” recalled Pradeep, adding that he sensed the presence of firefighters almost 15 minutes later, and asserting that divine intervention was the only way by which he was able to survive the devastation. Divine intervention was also cited by several bystanders who witnessed the rescuers mentioned by many people as they witnessed rescuers pull workers alive - albeit barely - from the massive pile of steel and concrete rubble left after the mosque’s collapse. Tragically, one Egyptian worker

wasn’t as lucky as his coworkers, succumbing to the fatal injuries he sustained in the disaster before his body was found by sniffer dogs. One worker who was fortunate to be away from the site at the time suggested that the accident was horribly inevitable: “We are working on [the construction of] a worship place, yet under inhuman conditions,” he told Al-Qabas. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the worker said that none of those working at the site were provided with any health or safety instructions or protective garments or equipment by the project contractor, whilst a colleague, weeping as their dead coworker was removed, added bitterly, “We weren’t provided with safety gear - it’s as if our lives are worthless.” The aforementioned MAIA official indicated that the ministry has opened an urgent investigation into the project contractor, who faces losing part of his payment if there is found to be any negligence on his part under a clause in the construction contract. The official did not mention, however, whether or not the contractor would face legal action or be forced to pay any compensation for the death of the Egyptian worker in the disaster. Firefighters at the scene said that this was not the first time they’d worked at the scene of a disaster caused by a lack of safety measures, despite the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate’s regularly issuing safety warnings. “It looks like this won’t be the last time that building workers fall victim to the construction companies’ negligence,” said one sad and weary firefighter as he walked from the disaster scene. — Al-Qabas

KUWAIT: The meat which was confiscated in Ahmadi.

Restaurant in Ahmadi shut over birthday parties, vice activities By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Inspectors from Ahmadi’s municipality offices recently shut down a local restaurant in the area for holding unlicensed birthday celebrations and other ‘vice’ activities. The inspectors also shut down a butcher’s store in the area during a recent unannounced inspection of food sales outlets across Ahmadi, as well as confiscating 98 kg of defrosted frozen meat which the butcher was fraudulently selling as fresh. During the

same crackdown, the inspectors also issued six citations to store owners for various violations. Inspectors have been working particularly hard in the run-up to the upcoming Eid AlAdha holiday, visiting local grocery stores, supermarkets, restaurants, cafes and other outlets to ensure the safety of foodstuffs on sale there and the vendors’ and staff members’ compliance with the relevant health and safety legislation, said the director of Ahmadi’s municipality offices, Fahad Dughaim Al-Otaibi, yesterday.

Govt well aware of sand, gasoline theft KUWAIT: The government is well aware of a spate of sand and petroleum thefts reported by the local media in recent weeks, said the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and government spokesperson Ali Al-Rashid

yesterday. Al-Rashid said that the government is “very concerned” about the issue and is taking every appropriate measures and precaution to protect public property. — KUNA


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Women urged to put their stamp on Arab Spring ‘DO YOU SUPPORT EQUAL INHERITANCE?’ DUBAI: Women should voice demands about their rights during the popular uprisings sweeping the Arab world to avoid being short-changed by post-revolutionary governments, Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi said. Ebadi, a practicing Muslim, also expressed hope that Arab men and women would learn from Iran’s 1979 revolution, when the overthrow of the shah led to the establishment of an Islamic republic which imposed sharia-inspired laws many women regard as restrictive of their rights. “I think it is too early to talk of an Arab Spring, which should be used when democracy has been established and people can determine their own destiny and are equal and free. And we cannot forget half of society-the women,” Ebadi, a human and women’s rights activist, said in a telephone interview. “If women cannot gain equality and the right to set their own destiny then that is not a real revolution and won’t lead to democracy. “Our experience in Iran’s 1979 revolution proves this. We saw that people got rid of a dictator but instead of democracy he was replaced by religious despotism and many of the laws on polygamy, men’s power of divorce ... and stoning were passed.”

Shirin Ebadi Since long-time leaders were toppled in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, many-not least in the West-have fretted that their departure will leave the door open for Islamist groups to take power. In Tunisia, some women have expressed concern over the victory of the Islamist party Ennahda in elections last month, though its leaders have said they will not alter laws that guarantee women equal rights to men in divorce, marriage and inheritance. Unless Arab women speak up soon, they risk being sidelined by the region’s new governments, Ebadi said. “Women should raise their egalitarian demands and the people should put forth their civic demands early on and oblige groups that are seeking power to answer,” said Ebadi, a defence lawyer for Iranian dissidents who has lived outside Iran since 2009. “These issues should be raised early, otherwise after a party reaches power it may be too late.” Egyptian feminist Nawal Al-Saadawi has called for women to move fast to secure their rights as the oncebanned Muslim Brotherhood targets large support in a parliamentary election later this month, following Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. “In Iran, the error committed by feminists and political groups was to put off the egalitarian demands of women until after the overthrow of the shah... But the women’s problems were not resolved and things even got worse after the regime changed,” Ebadi said. “Pushing for transparency is the best way for this. Feminist groups should directly ask parties ‘Do you support polygamy, yes or no?’ ... Or ask “Do you support equal inheritance for men and women?’ So that people would know a party’s stand on rights issues before they take power,” Ebadi said. The leader of Libya’s National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdel Jalil caused consternation last month when he took to the podium at a celebration of the country’s “liberation” and said polygamy would no longer be outlawed. Ebadi rejected charges by some Islamists that

demanding women’s rights and more modern laws was part of a Western-inspired attack on Islam. Equally she said Islam was compatible with women’s rights. “I believe that if Islam is interpreted and applied correctly we can have totally egalitarian laws for women and strike punishments such as stoning and cutting hands from out of law books,” she said. Ebadi was Iran’s first woman judge but lost that

job following the Islamic revolution because the country’s new leaders said women were too emotional to be judges. She became a human rights lawyer but, after suffering harassment, she left the country in 2009. “It’s no good if a dictator goes and he is replaced by another. I hope Arabs who have risen up in revolutions learn from Iran’s experience”. — Reuters


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KAC reverses strategy as it suspends privatization plan KUWAIT: It is a hard ask to sell a product that is losing money, but that is what the Kuwait Government has been attempting to do with the privatization of Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC). Despite the carrier’s inherent potential - a potential amplified by its position as the national carrier of one of the Gulf regions’ richest oil states - the airline was always going to be a tough sell to investors. Legislation for the privatization has been in play since July 2008, but privatization appeared to be largely stuck in red tape. In concert with this, the delays to the valuation and financial analysis of the airline, the state of competition in Kuwait’s local air market and the general global economic situation and the ongoing operational and structural problems at the carrier, all conspired against the process. In August 2011, 37 months after the legislation to privatize the airline passed through Parliament, the first round of the privatization of the carrier was launched. The Privatization Committee of Kuwait Airways (PrivComm) sought EoIs on a potential management contract for the carrier and a minority ownership stake. Road to privatization Under the privatization act, 35 percent of the carrier was to be sold to the private strategic investor, followed at a later date by a 40 percent IPO to the Kuwaiti public, with the Government to retain a 20 percent stake. The employee share trust would have control of the remaining 5 percent. PrivComm valued the carrier at around KD220 million after advice from Citigroup, Seabury and Ernst & Young. Kuwaiti nationals at the carrier were offered the choice of staying at the carrier under privatization, transferring to another government job or early retirement, if eligible. To encourage potential investors, several inducements were being offered to make a deal more attractive. An additional 10 percent discount on fuel - over and above the existing 10 percent discount for Kuwait-based carriers was to have been offered for seven years. The carrier would also have retained its exclusive contract to handle government travel, again for a seven-year period. A ground operations concession at Kuwait airport, covering ground handling, cargo, catering and other operation, was to have been kept in place for five years. Also offered was an indefinite exemption for customs taxes and charges for aircraft spare parts acquired from within the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council. Even with the sweetening, reports indicated that only a handful of local and international investors lodged EoIs. The privatization committee stated it was “pleased” with the interest received in the company even with the unprecedented market volatility and economic conditions and had received interest from a “broad range of local and international parties”. Concerns Investors were reportedly concerned over political interference in the airline, the relatively high valuation and the high operational costs the airline carries. Several Gulf carriers -

including Qatar Airways and Eithad Airways had been linked to deals, but none seemed likely partners. Faced with the unpleasant reality, PrivComm has now reversed its strategic direction for the future of the carrier. At the end of October 2011, it recommended a reorganization of the airline before its sale, a proposal that was approved by Kuwait’s Council of Ministers. Instead of the planned sell-off of a 35 percent stake to a strategic investor, Kuwait Airways will now undergo a comprehensive restructuring “taking into account the longterm strategic benefit to KAC and the economy of Kuwait”.

KAC has been rapidly losing long-haul market share to the region’s large sixth freedom operators. The airline has also fallen behind its more aggressive and better funded Gulf rivals in terms of service standards. In the short-haul market, it is losing traffic to local Jazeera Airways and other regionally-focused carriers. There is also ongoing industrial unrest at the airline, making Kuwait Airways one of only a handful of carriers in the region that suffers from the issue. In late October 2011, around 2000 workers at the Kuwait Airways’ Workers Union (KAWU) took strike action demanding better pay, the latest in a series of industrial actions across Kuwait. The KAWU

a mass resignation of the carrier’s board. Another board walkout occurred just three months later. The airline is now faced with more churn in upper-level management. Hamad Al-Falah, the carrier’s chairman and managing director, departed at the end of September 2011. Topping all of this is the ongoing dispute between Kuwait and Iraq over reparations from Iraq, including around $1.2 billion related to aircraft and parts seized during former dictator Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. In May 2011, Iraq stated it would dissolve Iraqi Airways over the next three years and pursue private options to avoid asset claims made by

KUWAIT: A file photo taken at Kuwait International Airport recently shows the Kuwait Airways counters. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Kuwait’s Cabinet will now proceed with amending the privatization law to provide the legal framework for the restructuring and reformation of KAC prior to its privatization. It is uncertain at this point when Kuwait intends to resume the privatization process. In the past 21 years, Kuwait Airways has reported just a single profitable year and accumulated losses of more than KD2.5 billion. Its losses in FY2011 were KD76 million, much worse than the KD50 million projected in late 2010. Revenue was just KD227 million, slightly lower than the carrier’s forecast of KD235 million. The airline is faced with a laundry list of issues. Its small fleet of 17 aircraft is ageing and less efficient than those of its Gulf rivals. The age of the fleet means the aircraft cost more in maintenance and are often delayed due to technical reasons. With Kuwait’s open skies policy in place,

strikes were timed to coincide with peak Haj pilgrimage demand periods, making them particularly painful. The Kuwait Government reportedly offered a 30 percent increase in salaries to end the strike action. Shortages Despite protests from management that the airline’s staffing levels are unrealistically high, there are shortages in some key technical areas. In May 2010, the airline reported that nearly 40 percent of its technical staff had left for other airlines. It is also having trouble retaining pilots, who have been lured away to other carriers in the region. As a state-owned carrier, the airline has also been saddled with an inefficient bureaucratic management system and often been the victim of political interference. In late 2007, its fleet restructuring program was terminated due to political intervention, causing

Kuwait over the 1990-91 war. Positive outlook The delay in privatizing the carrier gives Kuwait the breathing space necessary to address a number of operational and structural issues ahead of a future privatization program. Airlines in the region have been successfully turned around and then privatized, the obvious and more successful case being Royal Jordanian. Earlier this year, PrivComm stated that its analysis showed there was a “clear investment opportunity for a restructured national operator”. What is needed now at Kuwait Airways is for this advice to be taken to heart. Some tough and potentially unpopular decisions - both with staff and Kuwaiti politicians will need to be made at the airline if it is to be transformed into a form that investors see as a worthwhile investment. — CAPA


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Turkey leaders seek Iraqi Kurds’ help against rebels

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New law will let Cubans buy and sell real estate

CIA following Twitter, Facebook VIRGINIA: In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets - up to 5 million a day. At the agency’s Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the “vengeful librarians” also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms - anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly. From Arabic to Mandarin Chinese, from an angry tweet to a thoughtful blog, the analysts gather the information, often in native tongue. They cross-reference it with the local newspaper or a clandestinely intercepted phone conversation. From there, they build a picture sought by the highest levels at the White House, giving a real-time peek, for example, at the mood of a region after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden or perhaps a prediction of which Mideast nation seems ripe for revolt. Yes, they saw the uprising in Egypt coming; they just didn’t know exactly when revolution might hit, said the center’s director, Doug Naquin. The center already had “predicted that social media in places like Egypt could be a game-changer and a threat to the regime,” he said in a recent interview with The Associated Press at the center. CIA officials said it was the first such visit by a reporter the agency has ever granted. The CIA facility was set up in response to a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, with its first priority to focus on counterterrorism and counter-proliferation. But its several hundred analysts - the actual number is classified - track a broad range, from Chinese Internet access to the mood on the street in Pakistan. While most are based in Virginia, the analysts also are scattered throughout US embassies worldwide to get a step closer to the pulse of their subjects. The most successful analysts, Naquin said, are something like the heroine of the crime novel “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” a quirky, irreverent computer hacker who “knows how to find stuff other people don’t know exists.” Those with a masters’ degree in library science and multiple languages, especially those who grew up speaking another language, “make a powerful open source officer,” Naquin said. The center had started focusing on social media after watching the Twitter sphere rock the Iranian regime during the Green Revolution of 2009, when thousands protested the results of the elections that put Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back in power. “Farsi was the third largest presence in social media blogs at the time on the Web,” Naquin said. The center’s analysis ends up in President Barack Obama’s daily intelligence briefing in one form or another, almost every day. After bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in May, the CIA followed Twitter to give the White House a snapshot of world public opinion. Since tweets can’t necessarily be pegged to a geographic location, the analysts broke down reaction by languages. The result: The majority of Urdu tweets, the language of Pakistan, and Chinese tweets, were negative. China is a close ally of Pakistan’s. Pakistani officials protested the raid as an affront to their nation’s sovereignty, a sore point that continues to complicate US Pakistani relations. When the president gave his speech addressing Mideast issues a few weeks after the raid, the tweet response over the next 24 hours came in negative from Turkey, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, the Persian Gulf and Israel, too, with speakers of Arabic and Turkic tweets charging that Obama favored Israel, and Hebrew tweets denouncing the speech as pro-Arab. In the next few days, major news media came to the same conclusion, as did analysis by the covert side of US intelligence based on intercepts and human intelligence gathered in the region. The center is also in the process of comparing its social media results with the track record of polling organizations, trying to see which produces more accurate results, Naquin said. “We do what we can to caveat that we may be getting an overrepresentation of the urban elite,” said Naquin, acknowledging that only a small slice of the population in many areas they are monitoring has access to computers and Internet. But he points out that access to social media sites via cellphones is growing in areas like Africa, meaning a “wider portion of the population than you might expect is sounding off and holding forth than it might appear if you count the Internet hookups in a given country.” Sites like Facebook and Twitter also have become a key resource for following a fast-moving crisis such as the riots that raged across Bangkok in April and May of last year, the center’s deputy director said. — AP

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Indian anti-graft activist vows to reform group

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INTERNATIONAL SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Syrian troops fire during protests 9 demonstrators killed in attack

DAIH: Bahraini youths spray anti-government graffiti on a building in Daih, Bahrain yesterday during a funeral procession for the elderly father of a senior opposition cleric. Opposition activists allege Ali Hasan Al-Daih died hours after being beaten by police; the government says he died of natural causes. —AP

Bahrain forces violently disperse protest: Opposition DUBAI: Bahraini authorities violently dispersed thousands of protesters who marched towards Manama’s centre yesterday after the funeral on a key opposition figure’s father who allegedly died after he was beaten by police, an opposition ex-MP said. “Security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets, and used police cars to try to run over protesters who marched in thousands towards Pearl Square,” epicentre of month-long anti-regime protests in the spring, after the funeral of 70-year-old Ali Hasan al-Dehi, Matar Matar told AFP. The protesters headed from the western village of Dehi towards the square, which was the symbol of a protest inspired by uprisings sweeping the Arab world and which was razed shortly after demonstrators were driven out in midMarch. Matar said he did not have information on the number of yesterday’s casualties. Dehi was the father of Hussein al-Dehi, who is deputy head of Bahrain’s largest Shiite opposition formation, AlWefaq. The organization claimed he died after riot police attacked him, while the health ministry said the cause of death was “a heart attack and hypertension.” “Even if he wasn’t beaten to death, his health deteriorated due to the violence used against him,” Matar argued. Earlier this year, Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy crushed pro-democracy protests, spearheaded by the majority Shiites, with the help of troops from other Gulf states, such as Saudi Arabia. Twentyfour people died during the month-long crackdown crackdown, according to official figures from Manama. Four protesters have since died in custody. The opposition says 40 people were killed. The Gulf kingdom is awaiting a report by an independent commission of inquiry into the crackdown, which is expected on November 23. Though mass protests had subsided, tensions have remained high as the trials of dozens of opposition figures and protesters continue in the capital. “Such actions by Bahraini authorities take place on and on again despite the presence of an inquiry commission in Bahrain,” said Matar. “The Bahraini government feels that it has been given international immunity. This is why it continues in this direction.”— AFP

BEIRUT: Syrian security forces killed nine people yesterday in strikes against thousands of protesters who took to the streets to test whether President Bashar Assad’s regime would abide by an Arab League plan to end violence, activists said. The bloodshed was a blow to the 22-nation Arab League, which announced Wednesday that Damascus agreed to a broad plan that included an end to violence against demonstrators. Opposition groups called for a large turnout in yesterday’s protests to challenge whether the regime would make good on the agreement to refrain from using deadly force. Gunfire erupted shortly after the protests began, in the same pattern as previous Fridays for months. “This regime is not serious about ending its brutal crackdown,” said Mustafa Osso, a Syria-based human rights lawyer. “Today was a real test for the intentions of the regime and the answer is clear to everyone who wants to see.” Thousands of protesters braved cold and rainy weather to stage anti-Assad demonstrations.”Arab League, beware of Bashar Assad,” read one banner carried by protesters in the central city of Homs. “Which dialogue are you talking about?” read another. Most opposition leaders refuse to meet with Assad because of his brutal crackdown, which has killed about 3,000 people in nearly eight months of protests, according to the UN Instead, protesters demand that Assad resign. Two main activist groups, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordinating Committees, said at least nine people were killed Friday, most of them in Homs and suburbs of the Syrian capital. Under the Arab League accord announced Wednesday in Cairo, the Syrian government agreed to pull tanks and armored vehicles out of cities, stop violence against protesters and release all political prisoners. Syria also agreed to allow journalists, rights groups and Arab League representatives to monitor the situation in the country. “The regime

HOMS: A frame grab from a video posted on YouTube yesterday shows two young boys sitting next to the body of a dead man identified as Yahya Hamad from Baba Amer neighborhood in Homs, where a rights watchdog has said that several victims were killed by Syrian security forces.—AFP is playing for time and has absolutely no intention of abiding by the agreement,” Osso said. Activists said yesterday’s rallies were largest in Homs, Syria’s third-largest city and home to some 800,000 people, where the crackdown has been deadliest. On Thursday, at least 18 people were reported to have been killed in a security crackdown in Homs. A resident of Homs said mass marches formed after Friday prayers in most districts of the city, despite the heavy security presence and violence of the past days. “They are big, they are calling for the downfall of the regime and they aim to show that the Arab League agreement is a joke,” he said on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. Demonstrations were also reported in the southern province of Daraa and in the eastern cities of Deir el-Zour and Qamishli. In the coastal town of Banias, security forces beat worshippers as they

came out of the Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq mosque. Then they blockaded dozens more inside the building so that they could not join the march, activists said. The government has largely sealed off the country from foreign journalists and prevented independent reporting, making it difficult to confirm events on the ground. Key sources of information are amateur videos posted online, witness accounts and details gathered by activist groups. The Arab League accord is the latest in a string of international efforts to ease the crisis, which has led to widespread condemnation of the regime and international calls for Assad to step down. Assad, 46, still has a firm grip on power, in part because he has the support of the business classes and minority groups who feel vulnerable in an overwhelmingly Sunni nation. Also, he appears to retain the backing of most of the military, despite some defections.— AP

Inspectors to check new Libya chemical weapons THE HAGUE: The organization that oversees the global ban on chemical weapons said yesterday it will work with Libya’s new rulers to “verify and destroy” possible chemical weapons hidden from international inspectors by Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a statement that Libyan authorities informed it earlier this week of suspected chemical weapons caches beyond the stockpiles earlier declared by Gaddafi. The organization known by its acronym OPCW also said it has sent a team of inspectors to Libya for the first time since February and they reported

that none of Gaddafi’s known chemical arsenal was plundered during the civil war that toppled the former dictator. The inspectors, “confirmed that the full stockpile of undestroyed sulfur mustard and precursors remains in place,” at a storage depot in southeastern Libya, the organization said. “The inspectors also took further measures to ensure the integrity of the stockpiles until destruction operations can resume under OPCW verification.” It is not yet clear when the destruction will get under way again. Libya declared in 2004 it had 25 metric tons of sulfur mustard and 1,400 metric tons of precursor chemicals used to make

chemical weapons. It also declared more than 3,500 unfilled aerial bombs designed for use with chemical warfare agents such as sulfur mustard, and three chemical weapons production facilities. At that time, Gaddafi was trying to shed his image as an international outcast and restore relations with Western governments, pledging not only to dismantle his chemical weapons program but also to abandon ambitions for Libya to become a nuclear weapons power. By February, when destruction was halted by a technical breakdown, the country had destroyed 55 percent of its declared sulfur mustard and 40 percent of the precursor chemicals.—AP


INTERNATIONAL SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Turkey leader seeks Iraqi Kurds’ help against rebels First direct talks in 1 1/2 years

MOSCOW: Activists of ultranationalist organizations take part in the so-called “Russian March” in the southeastern outskirts of Moscow yesterday.—AFP

Thousands shout racist slogans in ‘Russian March’ MOSCOW: Thousands of Russian nationalist sympathizers yesterday shouted slogans against immigrants and the Northern Caucasus in a mass rally that exposed racial tensions in Russia on its day of National Unity. The marchers shouted slogans like “Russia for Russians, Europe for Whites!” and “Glory to the Russian Nation!” at the officially-sanctioned rally in the the district of Lyublino in southeast Moscow. But in a first they also shouted mantras against the ruling United Russia party of Vladimir Putin like “Down with the swindlers and thieves!” and were also joined by Russia’s best known liberal blogger Alexei Navalny. The November 4 Day of National Unity has been celebrated since 2005 when Russia’s then president Putin created the holiday to replace the November 7 commemoration of the 1917 October Revolution. The holiday marks the ousting of an invading PolishLithuanian force from the Kremlin in 1612 but its origins are understood by only a tiny proportion of present day Russians. “Patriotism, citizenship and love for the fatherland are fundamental values which have always bound together the multiethnic Russian state,” President Dmitry Medvdev told a ceremony in the central city of Nizhny Novgorod. The audience there included not only Putin but religious leaders from Russia’s substantial non-Christian religious minorities including Muslims and Buddhists. However the Lyublino march gave a different picture with protestors loudly complaining that the government was giving too much money to the conflict-torn and predominantly Muslim Northern Caucasus. Racial tensions in Moscow have increased sharply after a native of the Northern Caucasus shot dead a hardcore fan of the Spartak Moscow football club last year, prompting an unprecedented riot by nationalists outside the Kremlin walls. “We already know well it is time to stop feeding the Caucasus and how we are humiliated and it is time to take power in our own hands,” said Georgy Borovikov of the group Russkiye (Russians). Organizers had predicted 25,000 people would show up for the march. But a police spokesman told the RIA Novosti news agency that around 7,000 took part. “I think that illegal immigrants who hinder us and bring crime and drugs should be deported. The Russians should be the masters on our land,” said Mikhail, a builder from the southern city of Sochi, who declined to give his last name. The event, organised by a number of nationalist groups, appeared to have larger ambitions than similar rallies in previous years. A prominent and controversial participant was Navalny-a blogger who has become a hero for many liberals by exposing widescale corruption at top Russian state firms. Defending his appearance at an event with clearly racist overtones, he told AFP: “Of course there is radical youth here. Our task is to teach radical youth and make the Russian March better.” “One of the main slogans of the Russian March is ‘down with the party of swindlers and thieves’,” he said, referring to United Russia. “I came with this slogan and it was heard.” In a less contentious event, pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi (Ours) — known for its ability to mobilise large numbers-said 15,000 people turned up in northern Moscow for its event, also called the “Russian March”. “The Russian March is when the different peoples living in Russia come together. Our country is blessed with different peoples and cultures,” Nashi official Maria Kislitsyna said in a statement.—AFP

ANKARA: Turkish leaders yesterday pressed the president of Iraq’s Kurdish enclave to crack down on the Kurdish rebels launching cross-border attacks from their Iraqi mountain sanctuaries. President Abdullah Gul met Massoud Barzani, the president of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, in Istanbul. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu already urged Barzani late Thursday to assist Turkey’s fight against the guerrillas. It was the first direct talks in 1 1/2 years between Turkish leaders and Barzani, which followed last month’s Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq in response to the Oct 19 killing of 24 soldiers by the rebels. Turkey has long been urging the Iraqi Kurdish administration to cut supply lines in its territory used by the guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and to arrest and hand over its leaders who live across the border in Iraq. Turkish pressure has increased since PKK rebels intensified their attacks this summer. Iraqi Kurdish authorities have condemned the Oct 19 attack but Turkish officials are demanding more. Iraqi Kurds, which have their own police and armed force, are largely responsible for security in the northern areas of the country where the PKK operates rather than US or Iraqi government troops. Barzani’s forces, known as peshmergas, had fought against the PKK alongside Turkish troops during incursions in

ISTANBUL: In this photo released by the Turkish Presidency Press Office, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, right, and Massoud Barzani, the president of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, speak during a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday.—AP 1990s. Barzani and other Iraqi Kurdish officials also met regularly with Turkish officials during former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s regime. But relations cooled following the 2003 US -led invasion as Kurdish national aspirations skyrocketed. Turkey’s government is again trying to win support of Iraqi Kurds as it is engaged in talks with the United States

for possible deployment of Predator drones on Turkish soil after US forces leave Iraq. The US shares drone surveillance data with Turkey to aid its fight against the Kurdish rebels, who are branded a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since the rebels took up arms in 1984.— AP

Tourist shot in Kenya attack GARISSA: Gunmen killed the driver of a tourist vehicle and wounded a foreign tourist in northern Kenya yesterday, a senior police officer said, the latest security incident involving foreigners in the east African country. “One of the tourists was shot. The vehicle rolled and his colleague sustained injuries,” Eastern Province Police Commander Marcus Ochola told Reuters. The attack took place north of Isiolo in an area with several game reserves and known for banditry. It is also an area

where there have been frequent deadly clashes between pastoralists over scarce resources this year. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. “This incident is not related to the recent fighting between the pastoralists around Samburu. The tourist police and other security agents are pursuing the attackers,” Ochola said. It is the third attack on foreign tourists in Kenya since the start of September. A British man was killed and his wife abducted from a beach resort in

northern Kenyan by Somali gunmen on Sept 11. A French woman was kidnapped from the northern resort town of Lamu three weeks later and taken to Somalia. She subsequently died. Two Spanish aid workers were kidnapped from the Dadaab refugee camp later in October and taken to Somalia. The attacks on the tourists and aid workers were one of the reasons cited by Kenya for sending troops into its neighbour to fight Somalia’s Islamist al Shabaab rebels.—Reuters

Riots break out again in central Nigerian town LAGOS: Residents angered by an attack on a church rioted yesterday in a central Nigeria town at the center of post-election violence earlier this year, with at least two people already dead, police officials said. The riot began in rural Kaduna state in the town of Zonkwa, where 300 people died following the April 16 presidential election that saw sectarian violence. The area sits on the dividing line between Nigeria’s mostly Christian south and Muslim north. A senior police official in the town reached by The Associated Press confirmed the ongoing fighting but declined to comment further. A commo-

tion could be heard on the line before the police officer hung up. Yemi Ajayi, a national police spokesman, said reports of rioting had reached the country’s federal police headquarters in Abuja. He had no further details. The violence apparently began after an attack on a church Thursday night in Tabak, a village near Zonkwa, Kaduna state police spokesman Aminu Lawal said. Two people died in that attack, while 12 others were injured, police said. The fighting comes ahead of Eid al-Adha, or the feast of sacrifice, when Muslims around the world slaughter sheep and cattle in remembrance of Abraham’s near-sacri-

fice of his son. Police elsewhere in the country had warned of violence ahead of the celebration in Nigeria, a country of more than 160 million. Thousands have been killed in religious violence in the past decade in Nigeria. In Kaduna alone, more than 2,000 died as the government moved to enact Islamic Shariah law in 2000. In 2002, rioting over a newspaper article suggesting the prophet Muhammad would have married a Miss World pageant contestant killed dozens here. But the roots of the sectarian conflict across the north often have more to do with struggles for political and economic dominance. —AP


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Mexican mayor slain ahead of elections Killing raises questions over crime’s impact on democracy MORELIA: The mayor of La Piedad was handing out campaign fliers outside a fastfood restaurant when a black SUV pulled up, a hand holding a pistol appeared at its window, and he went down with a shot. Ricardo Guzman, 45, died late Wednesday in an ambulance racing to the hospital, one of more than two dozen Mexican mayors who’ve been assassinated since 2006, the majority presumed victims of drug violence.But Guzman’s killing raised new questions about organized crime’s impact on Mexico’s democracy, specifically the Nov 13 elections in the western state of Michoacan, where Guzman had been handing out campaign material for gubernatorial candidate Luisa Maria Calderon, President Felipe Calderon’s sister. Before Guzman’s assassination, polling firm workers were kidnapped in August while trying to conduct surveys on the election, though they were later released unharmed. The three major political parties all say they have local can-

didates who have received some kind of pressure or threats in the Calderon family home state, where the president launched his drug war five years ago. Michoacan “appears to be the state that is most infected with narco-politics,” said political analyst and columnist Raymundo Riva Palacio. He noted that while mayoral candidates, and even one gubernatorial candidate, have been killed in other states, nowhere is the cartel pressure on candidates as systematic as in Michoacan. The Calderons, like Guzman, are all in the conservative National Action Party, or PAN. When asked by local media Thursday if she thought a drug gang may have been involved in Guzman’s death, Luisa Maria Calderon said, “Probably.” “I don’t think he had any political enemies,” she said. “He stayed to defend his city from the incursion of organized groups, and his police force had suffered casualties,” Calderon said. “He told me ‘I’m going to stay in my city, to pro-

tect it.’” Gunmen killed La Piedad police chief Jose Luis Guerrero in March, just a couple of months after he took the job. Shell casings from AK-47 assault rifles, the cartels’ favored weapon, were found littered at the scene. His successor, Miguel Angel Rosas Perez, was recruited from the better-trained federal police, but he, too, came under attack in July, when more than 40 armed men pulled up to his police station in a 10-vehicle convoy, sprayed his station with gunfire, and then lobbed hand grenades at it. Though Rosas survived, at least six municipal police chiefs have been killed in Michoacan in 2011. Twenty-five mayors have been killed throughout Mexico since December 2006, when the drug war began. The state Attorney General’s Office said Guzman was hit in the torso and his right arm and was still alive as he was loaded into the ambulance. It said investigators interviewed 11 witnesses who gave con-

flicting reports on the number of suspects who drove by in the black Jeep Liberty from which a shotgun emerged. Prosecutors had earlier said that between three and four men were in the SUV. Michoacan prosecutor Jesus Montejano said the vehicle had plates from the neighboring state of Jalisco, which borders La Piedad. Montejano said they have surveillance videos of the area. Drug cartels have “been very active” in the area around the city of about 100,000 on a key transit route where the territory of three gangs intersect: the Zetas, The Knights Templar and the Jalisco New Generation. La Piedad has been hit deeply by the violence, said municipal policeman Jose Castro. The local force beefed up security Thursday for Guzman’s funeral, which was attended by top PAN political figures. Castro called the mayor “someone who really looked out for people, who was really dedicated to his work.” — AP


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Obama gets limelight after day of crisis watching CANNES: After a day of economic summitry focused on Europe, President Barack Obama was capturing some of the limelight for himself. Obama was holding a news conference yesterday at the conclusion of a two-day meeting of the 20 top industrialized and developing economies. He also was taping a joint French television interview with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the summit host. Obama was spending much of the day huddled behind closed doors with the assembled world leaders. He also met one-on-one with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, telling reporters beforehand that they would discuss “how we can set an agenda that focuses on increasing prosperity and employment and opportunity for people throughout the Americas.” The continuing European debt crisis, fueled by the threat of a Greek default, dominated

Thursday’s Group of 20 meetings. Obama met separately with Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, key architects of a bailout plan for Greece. The three also met as a group later Thursday with other European leaders. A day that began with worries about the Greek prime minister’s call for a public vote on the bailout plan ended with word from Athens that the referendum had been scrapped. But Prime Minister George Papandreou still faced a difficult confidence vote yesterday. At the summit, Obama is pushing an overarching theme of economic stability and job growth. But his message was being challenged by the troubles of the euro, difficulties that could spread across all of Europe and beyond, threatening the US as well. With the US economy still weak but showing new signs of upward momentum, any global economic

setback could be disastrous. Obama’s own political hopes for winning a second term next year rest on the economy climbing out of its stall. A new US jobs report for October released yesterday showed a fourth straight month of modest hiring and a dip in the unemployment rate from 9.1 percent to 9 percent, although hiring slowed a bit. Overcast skies and occasional rain dampened the summit mood and took some of the glamour out of this chic resort on the French Riviera, with its trendy shops, marinas and ocean view hotels. Threatening skies served as a metaphor for the menacing troubles facing the eurozone. Still, Obama found time for lighthearted asides. “I was hoping to come and see some movies,” he said as he met with Sarkozy, a reference to the famous Cannes Film Festival that attracts a different, red-carpet crowd each May. He also compli-

mented Sarkozy on the recent birth of his daughter, Giulia, saying he was confident the child had inherited her mother’s good looks rather than her father’s. Sarkozy’s wife, Carla BruniSarkozy, is a former model. A US official said Sarkozy’s office had requested the unusual joint television interview with Obama. Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said the appearance underscored the close partnership and friendship the two presidents have developed over the past three years. Obama on Thursday described Sarkozy as “my excellent friend.” Sarkozy, in turn, said he was delighted by the opportunity for the joint interview because Obama “is much loved and liked here in France.” For Sarkozy, a high-profile appearance with someone as popular as Obama is in France, can have political benefits. He also faces a tough re-election bid next year. —AP

New law will let Cubans buy and sell real estate Cuban exiles continue to be barred from owning property

ATLANTA: In this May 21, 2011, file photo, Gloria Cain, left, accompanies her husband Herman Cain as he announces his run as a Republican candidate for president in Atlanta. Gloria Cain is hardly the traditional presidential campaign wife. —AP

Cain campaigns as allegations build WASHINGTON: Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s attempt to get his campaign back on track after dealing with sexual harassment allegations faces a new obstacle: the possible release of a statement from one of his accusers. Cain, a surprise leader in the Republican contest for a candidate to oppose President Barack Obama, has spent the week responding to reports that he had been accused of sexually harassing women while he headed a restaurant trade group in the 1990s. None of the three women has come forward publicly. Two of them had received payments from the group that bar them for discussing the matter, but one of them now is seeking permission to release a statement giving her side of the story. Meanwhile, a new poll indicated that Cain remained in strong position in the Republican Party nomination race despite the disclosures. After a day in New York largely shielded from media attention, Cain will step back into public view in Washington for a speech yesterday to Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group aligned with the smallgovernment, anti-tax tea party movement. With the harassment allegations dominating the political news, Cain’s rivals have struggled to get their messages across. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who has been at the top of the polls along with Cain, was looking to get back in the headlines with his speech to the same tea party gathering that Cain is addressing. — AP

HAVANA: For the first time in a halfcentury, Cubans will be allowed to buy and sell real estate openly, bequeath property to relatives without restriction and avoid forfeiting their homes if they abandon the country. The highly anticipated new rules instantly transform islanders’ cramped, dilapidated homes into potential liquid assets in the most significant reform yet adopted by President Raul Castro since he took over the communist country from his brother in 2008. But plenty of restrictions remain. Cuban exiles continue to be barred from owning property on the island, though they can presumably help relatives make purchases by sending money. And foreigners can also hold off on dreams of acquiring a pied-a-terre under the Caribbean sun, since only citizens and permanent residents are eligible. The law, which takes effect Nov 10, limits Cubans to owning one home in the city and another in the country, an effort to prevent speculative buying and the accumulation of large real estate holdings. While few Cubans have the money to start a real estate empire, many city dwellers have struggled over the years to maintain title to family homes in the countryside, and the new law legalizes the practice. The change follows October’s legalization of buying and selling cars, though with restrictions that still make it hard for ordinary Cubans to buy new vehicles. The government has also allowed citizens to go into business for themselves in a number of approved jobs - everything from party clowns to food vendors and accountants - and permitted them to rent out rooms and cars. While Castro has stressed that there

will be no departure from Cuba’s socialist model, he has also pledged to streamline the state-dominated economy by eliminating hundreds of thousands of state jobs and ending generous subsidies the state can no longer afford. Cuba’s government employs about 80 percent of the workforce, paying wages of just $20 a month in return for free education and health care, and nearly free housing, transportation and basic foods. Economists and Cuba experts say the new property law will have a profound impact on people’s lives, though probably will not be enough by itself to transform the island’s limping economy. “This is a very positive step in the right direction toward greater economic freedom and individual and family rights of private property,” said Ted Henken, a

professor at Baruch College in New York who has extensively studied Cuba’s economy. “It will immediately increase the personal wealth of millions of Cubans.” Omar Everleny Perez, lead economist at Havana University’s Center for Cuban Economic Studies, said legalization of the sale of cars and property could help Cubans who want to go into business for themselves acquire seed money. “These are small things, but they point us toward an economy that is more normal compared to the rest of the world,” he said. According to the Official Gazette, a government publication that disseminates new laws, the new system will eliminate the need for approval from a state housing agency, meaning that from now on, sales and exchanges will only need the seal of a notary. — AP

HAVANA: A disabled man sits at his home’s entrance in Havana, Cuba. Cuba announced Thursday it will allow real estate to be bought and sold for the first time since the early days of the revolution, the most important reform yet in a series of free-market changes under President Raul Castro. —AP


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INTERNATIONAL

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Mumbai outraged by ‘eve-teasing’ murders MUMBAI: The Indian city of Mumbai has been stunned after two young men were killed by a gang of knife-wielding thugs when they tried to stop their female friends from being sexually harassed. Keenan Santos, 25, died on the spot when he was stabbed outside a bar in the northern suburbs of India’s financial and entertainment capital on October 20, while Rueben Fernandes, 28, died in hospital this week. Four people have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are in custody, police said. But the nature of the crime has sparked public outrage in the metropolitan city. Now, friends, family and associates of the two victims have taken to the Internet to try to ensure that the tragedy is not repeated, amid concern about increasing violence. Tribute pages have been set up on the social networking site Facebook and on the microblogging site Twitter, all gathering widespread support and expressing revulsion at what they said was a

senseless crime. A group of activists is also trying to use the deaths as a spur to tighten laws against sexual harassment, or “eve-teasing” as it is widely known in India. “There have been a number of cases wherein girls have been molested and sexually harassed at some stage but the laws are not strong enough to deal with them,” said Sagar Bekal, of the Zero Tolerance Campaign. “There’s no kind of strict vigilance from the government and the machinery is so weak. We are looking for a reform of the laws. If we have stringent laws, maybe the perpetrators will think twice,” he told AFP. As well as spreading the message on the web, activists from the campaign, which Bekal said has the backing of the victims’ families, are mounting a petition campaign outside city nightspots starting this weekend. The petition will be sent to the state government. “This is an extreme case that has actually got

people up in arms but because we’ve got this anger, we can make a difference rather than people venting it out for nothing,” said Bekal. The campaigns are part of wider moves in India and South Asia to change public attitudes towards “eveteasing”, a term which women’s rights campaigners say trivialises the issue of sexual harassment and molestation. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, crimes against women rose from 203,804 in 2009 to 213,585 last year, although it is thought that many more incidents go unreported. Supporters of Fernandes and Santos have slammed police for not doing enough to stamp out the practice but Mumbai police rejected the criticism. “This is an isolated incident. It’s not a pattern. The police are in control. We have patrolling and beat marshals on the road. People should not be worried,” said force spokesman Nisar Tamboli. — AFP

Indian anti-graft activist vows to reform group Hazare ends 20-days of silence NEW DELHI: The charismatic leader of a popular Indian anti-corruption movement ended a 20-day vow of silence yesterday with a promise to reform the leadership of his group amid growing criticism of his top aides. Anna Hazare said he took the vow of silence to regain strength after a 12-day August hunger strike demanding strong anti-graft laws. Hazare has been demanding that Parliament pass his sweeping proposal to create a powerful anti-corruption watchdog that would police all government officials, from the prime minister to the lowest village bureaucrat. The proposal, along with other versions of the bill, will be debated in Parliament’s next session, which starts Nov 22. The hunger strike brought tens of thousands of ordinary Indians, fed up with the country’s deeply entrenched corruption, to the New Delhi fairground where he held camp. Thousands more marched in support in cities across the country. But in recent days his movement has

NEW DELHI: Indian police officers try to put out fire engulfing from the trousers of an exile Tibetan in New Delhi, India yesterday.—AP

Tibetan exile sets self on fire in Indian capital NEW DELHI: Police overpowered a young Tibetan exile who set himself on fire outside the Chinese Embassy in the Indian capital yesterday in solidarity with Tibetans who self-immolated in China recently. Police grabbed 25-year-old Sherab TseDor and put out the fire engulfing his trousers. He shouted “Free Tibet, Stop Killing in Tibet,” as officers took him in a jeep to a hospital. The man suffered minor burns, according to a police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters. At least 11 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in China in recent months protesting Chinese restrictions on the Tibetan religion and culture. At least six died and the conditions of the others are unknown. Although there is no tradition of self-immolation as a form of protest in Tibetan society, the suicides are seen as a sign of growing desperation in the ethnically Tibetan region, where tensions have been high since massive anti-government protests in 2008.— AP

been wracked by controversy. Two leaders said it had grown too political and quit. A third said the team needed restructuring. Two of Hazare’s closest aides also found themselves embroiled in their own scandals. Hazare denied his aides were corrupt, and his two accused allies, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal, stood next to him during his news conference. But he promised to make new rules to decide how top leaders were chosen. “The movement started suddenly and we did not have time to think about the structure of the core committee,” he told reporters in New Delhi yesterday. Bedi, India’s first high-ranking woman police officer and one of the movement’s most visible faces, was found to have sent dozens of inflated travel bills to organizations, some of them charities, that had invited her to speak. Actual economy airfares were billed as business class and discounted tickets were billed as full fare to the tune of hundreds of thousands of rupees (thousands of dollars).

Bedi accepted that she had fudged her bills but claimed that all the money was meant to fund the good works of her own charity. She called the charges of corruption “silly” and “stupid,” even as her organization said it would return the funds to any of the organizations that asked for them back. Kejriwal, took extended leave from his government job as an income tax official before finally quitting, but refused to pay the 900,000 rupees ($18,000) government employment bond he had signed. He repaid the bond Thursday, under protest. His claim: he had spent his time working for the country and campaigning for a right to information law and shouldn’t be asked to repay the debt. The revelations took some of the sheen off a movement that started with massive middle class support. “Those who moralize must meet the high standards they set for everyone else,” Shekhar Gupta, the editor of the English language daily The Indian Express, said in a recent opinion piece. — AP

Suicide bombers, insurgents attack NATO contractor KABUL: Two suicide bombers blew up a car packed with explosives at the entrance to a compound housing NATO contractors in western Afghanistan, then three gunmen rushed in and held employees hostage during a gunbattle, officials said. Two guards and all the attackers were killed. Thursday’s assault came just days after the Taleban launched a brazen, two-pronged assault on a compound housing UN and international aid groups offices in southern Afghanistan. Five people were killed in that attack, including three working with the UN ‘s refugee organization. In Thursday’s incident, two private security guards working at the compound and all five attackers were killed during the assault at ES-KO, a contractor for Italian troops deployed in Herat province. One NATO service member, an Afghan policeman and a private security guard were wounded, according to offi-

cials with the ministry and US -led coalition. Thirty-one people were safely evacuated from the site, the coalition said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which occurred around 9:30 a.m. in Guzara district, south of the provincial capital of Herat. The coalition dispatched a quick-reaction force that included ground troops and aircraft to the scene, about a half mile (one kilometer) from Camp Arena, headquarters for NATO’s Regional Command West. The attack began with the suicide car bombing near the entrance of the company, which is located along the main road to the airport, said Noorkhan Nekzad, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. The road is a route often used by NATO and Afghan forces. In a separate incident, Britain’s defense ministry said a soldier from the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment was shot dead Thursday while on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Afghanistan’s

Helmand Province. It did not name the soldier but said his family has been informed. Also Thursday, a NATO service member died following an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan, the coalition said without providing additional details. So far this year, 492 NATO service members have been killed in Afghanistan. The violence comes as the US -led coalition pushes to speed up the transition of security responsibilities to its Afghan counterparts before the end of 2014, when US and NATO forces are to end their combat mission and go home or move into training or support roles. The transferring of security responsibilities in Herat city began in July, and the incident could raise new questions about Afghan security forces ability to take on the Taleban alone. While NATO’s 10-year war against the Taleban has hit the insurgents hard, they continue to be able to pull off headline-grabbing attacks.— AP


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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Japan OKs aid for nuke plant operator TOKYO: Japan’s government yesterday allocated $11.5 billion of public money to help a utility decontaminate its tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant and dismantle the reactors. The aid is meant as a preliminary installment to help cash-strapped Tokyo Electric Power Co. cover the massive cost of the work, Japan’s nuclear minister, Goshi Hosono, said. The 900 billion yen comes from the fund made up of all Japanese nuclear plant operators and the government. The approval came after TEPCO and a state-backed fund submitted a business restructuring plan for TEPCO

to cut more than 2.5 trillion yen ($32 billion) in costs over the next 10 years and reduce more than 7,000 employees. Hosono said a final report is planned in March. TEPCO has been bitterly criticized for its lack of transparency and slow response to the crisis. The application process for residents and business owners to seek compensation has also been called extremely cumbersome. Along with the huge costs of reconstruction, closing the plant and decontamination, TEPCO faces billions of dollars in compensation claims from people and busi-

nesses affected by the nuclear crisis. The controversial fund is designed to help the operator meet its responsibilities without going bankrupt. The government is contributing with zero-interest bonds that must at some point be paid back. The March 11 earthquake and tsunami cut power at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, causing meltdowns at its reactors and forcing nearby residents to evacuate due to radiation leaks. The no-go zone within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the plant was home to 80,000 people, who have no clear prospects to return.— AP

Seven miners rescued from China mine, 50 still trapped Four killed by the cave-in

BANGKOK: Motorists make their way through floodwaters on the edge of downtown Bangkok yesterday.—AFP

Bangkok subway at risk from advancing floods BANGKOK: Thailand’s worst floods in half a century reached the edge of downtown Bangkok yesterday, threatening some underground rail stations and forcing the closure of a major shopping centre. About 20 percent of the capital is now submerged in floodwater contaminated by rubbish, dead animals and industrial waste, raising fears about outbreaks of disease in the densely populated metropolis of 12 million people. The slow-moving water is now just a few kilometres (miles) away from business and tourist districts, despite reassurances from the government that central Bangkok would be spared. The floodwater arrived at the Lat Phrao intersection on the northern edge of the city centre early yesterday, prompting the closure of the Central Plaza shopping mall. A spokesman for the Bangkok metro said that three subway stations — Lat Phrao, Phahon Yothin and Chatuchak Parkwere at risk and might have to be shut down if the water rose to 40 centimetres (16 inches) outside. “We have deployed officials at all risk stations to assess the situation hourly,” he said. Nearby Chatuchak Weekend Market-a popular tourist attraction-will re-open this weekend at the request of traders, but officials have warned them to be on alert for possible flooding. The floods-caused by unusually heavy rains and failure to release enough water from dams in the early part of the monsoonhave killed 442 people and damaged the homes and livelihoods of millions around the country. The authorities have issued an evacuation order for eight Bangkok districts out of a total of 50 in the capital, and for certain areas in four others.

The 12 districts have a combined official population of 1.7 million people far more than government shelters can accommodate. Many have chosen to stay in their homes despite risks including electrocution, disease and lack of food and drinking water, complicating relief efforts. The authorities are attempting to drain the floods through waterways in the east and west of the sprawling capital and out to sea. But many roads have also become rivers as the seemingly unstoppable mass of water creeps southwards. Worst-hit residents have complained that their homes are being sacrificed to save downtown Bangkok’s shopping malls, luxury hotels and the houses of the wealthy elite, triggering protests and the destruction of some flood barriers. The waters have swamped Bangkok’s number two airport Don Mueang, which usually serves mostly domestic destinations, but the kingdom’s main air gateway Suvarnabhumi east of the city centre is operating as usual. The main airport is surrounded by a 3.5 metre high flood embankment monitored around the clock, officials told media invited to see the defences. Suvarnabhumi general manager Somchai Sawasdeepon said the airport would put its emergency plan into effect if the water reached 2.5 metres deep. “I believe we can evacuate all passengers and aircraft within 24 hours,” he said. “Now the airport is operating normally. There are no signs that worry me. The water level also doesn’t concern me.” Thai authorities failed to save a number of major industrial parks from the floods, despite earlier assurances they would be protected. —AFP

BEIJING: Rescuers pulled seven injured miners to the surface yesterday and were trying to reach 50 others trapped after a cave-in at a coal mine in central China, state media reported. Four miners were killed when the cave-in blasted rock into the mine shaft Thursday evening and 14 managed to escape, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The rock explosion happened just after a small earthquake shook near the mine in the city of Sanmenxia in Henan province. State broadcaster CCTV showed rescuers with helmets and oxygen tanks carrying the seven found alive yesterday afternoon from a mine elevator as waiting officials applauded and medical staff rushed to attend to them. The rescued miners lay on stretchers, wrapped with blankets with their eyes covered by towels to prevent them from being damaged by the sudden exposure to light after hours of being trapped. Xinhua said six had minor injuries but one was seriously hurt. At least 200 workers were digging a small rescue tunnel about 1,650 feet (500 meters) deep to try to reach the trapped miners, the People’s Daily newspaper said. There have been no reports of communication with the trapped miners. The mine belongs to Yima Coal Group, a large state-owned coal company in Henan, the State Administration of Work Safety said on its website. Luo Lin, head of the administration, said a magnitude-2.9 earthquake occurred near the mine shortly before a “rock burst” was reported. The phenomenon occurs when settling earth bears down on mine walls and causes a sudden release of stored energy. The exploding chunks of coal and rock, or the shock waves alone, can be lethal. Survival depends on the intensity of the rock explosion and if venti-

lation can be provided, a local official told The Associated Press. “If it was not very strong, it might have caused the tunnel to get narrower, but we might still be able to send some air in there to ensure ventilation,” said the Yima city Communist Party’s head of propaganda, who would give only his surname, Tian, as is common with Chinese officials. “But if the impact was pretty strong and caused the tunnel walls to collapse, then the ventilation was probably cut off immediately, suffocating the people trapped there,” he said. Tian said it was difficult to determine how deep in the mine the trapped workers were. According to Xinhua, workers were digging a tunnel about

2,500 feet (760 meters) long, but after the rock burst, the tunnel appeared to have “basically folded” a little more than halfway down the passage, at 1,580 feet (480 meters). It was unclear what the condition of the tunnel was beyond that point, Xinhua said. China’s coal mines are the deadliest in the world, although the industry’s safety record has improved in recent years as smaller, illegal mines have been closed. Annual fatalities are now about one-third of the high of nearly 7,000 in 2002. Last Sunday, a gas explosion at a coal mine in central China’s Hunan province killed 29 workers, the worst accident in recent months. — AP

Chinese police bust baby trafficking ring BEIJING: Police in eastern China have busted a human trafficking ring involving poor migrant couples who were selling their babies, a state-run newspaper reported yesterday. Police in Shandong province’s Zoucheng city found last month that 17 infants had been sold in the city, the Global Times newspaper said. Police rescued 13 of the babies and sent them to welfare centers, and a search is under way for the other four, the paper said. The report cited an investigating police officer as saying the couples were mainly migrants who had moved from poor areas in Sichuan province in southwest China to Zoucheng to seek work. It quoted the officer, Chen Qingwei, as saying the husbands would go out to work while their wives sold their

babies to raise money. There was no immediate comment from police in Zoucheng. One couple had sold three children, the newspaper said. Chen said baby boys could be sold for up to 50,000 yuan ($7,730), while the price for girls was 30,000 yuan, much more than the parents could earn from farming. There is a thriving black market in children in China mostly involving buyers who either want more children or want them as slave labor - that endures despite harsh penalties for traffickers, including death. The country’s one-child policy limits most urban couples to one child and rural families to two. In July, authorities in southern China rescued 89 trafficked minors, including one as young as 10 days old, and arrested 369 suspects after uncovering two child trafficking gangs.— AP


Business US employers add 80,000 jobs in Oct

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Brent above $112 on Greece; US jobs eyed

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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

India’s Bharti profit dives 38%

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Greece scraps referendum ahead of confidence vote

NICE: Members of the “alter-globalization movement” Attac lay on the ground outside a BNP Paribas bank branch during a demonstration in Nice yesterday on the sidelines of the G20 Summit of Heads of State and Government in Cannes. (See Page 19) — AFP

IEA outlook sees $212 oil in 2035 Recession risk if prices spike on Arab Spring unrest LONDON: The jump in oil prices in the past year is adding to concern about the economy, according to a draft of the International Energy Agency’s 2011 World Energy Outlook, which also raised its view of long-run prices. The draft dated July 2011, obtained by Reuters ahead of the publication’s launch next week, assumes nominal oil prices of $114 a barrel in 2015 and $212 in 2035. Last year’s report assumed prices of $104 and $204 by those dates. Brent oil prices hit a 2011 high of $127 a barrel in April as the conflict in Libya shut down its supplies. The IEA, which represents 28 industrialized countries, has repeatedly said this year oil prices pose a threat to growth. “The dramatic rise in oil prices since September 2010 has added to doubts about near-term economic prospects,” the draft report said. Brent

was trading at $82 a barrel at the end of September 2010. The IEA is scheduled to release this year’s report, its flagship publication, in London on Wednesday. Prices are expected to go up over the long run as rising demand requires the development of more costly sources of supply. The price assumed by the IEA refers to the average crude import cost to IEA members-a proxy for international prices. The draft report also said unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, or the Arab Spring, added additional risk to the global economy as it has pushed oil prices higher. “The risk remains that if the unrest worsens or spreads to major exporting countries in the region, it could lead to a surge in energy prices that could tip the global economy back into recession,” the report said.

Last month, the IEA said the Arab Spring had disrupted investment plans in oil and gas projects as some governments had shifted their focus to meet increasing demands from their population. This could, it said, push oil prices higher in the next five years. IEA members are required to hold emergency oil inventories for use during supply disruptions. In June, it decided to release 60 million barrels in response to the loss of Libya’s exports, only the third such move in the IEA’s 37-year history. The oil price assumptions are those of the IEA’s New Policies Scenario, the central case of this year’s WEO, and which includes the impact of measures announced, if not implemented, by countries around the world to tackle energy challenges such as climate change. Oil prices are expected to be even

higher in a second scenario, Current Policies, which includes only measures put in place by mid-2011 and in which demand would grow more quickly. In this case, the nominal oil price is assumed to reach $119 in 2015 and $247 in 2035, up from $108 and $244 respectively in last year’s report. Prices rise less rapidly under a third scenario, 450, which sets out a path towards limiting global warming and in which demand is lower. Oil reaches a nominal $171 a barrel by 2035. While the draft IEA report indicated concern about the near-term health of the economy, it is more upbeat about longerterm prospects. The report assumes world GDP will rise by an average of 3.6 percent from 2009-2035, compared with 3.1 percent from 1990 to 2009, higher than seen in last year’s report. — Reuters


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Canada unemployment rate mounts to 7.3% TORONTO: Canada had its worst month for jobs since 2009 as the economy unexpectedly shed 54,000 jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate to 7.3 percent from 7.1 percent. Statistics Canada said yesterday that after strong job creation in September, the economy gave most of those jobs back last month, shedding 71,700 full time jobs. The result means that for the last four months, new employment in Canada has basically been stagnant. “Suddenly the jobs market doesn’t look quite so rosy in Canada,” Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets, said in a note. “Canadian employment was weak across the board in October.” Shenfeld later said in an interview that Canada did a lot better than the US coming out of the recession because Canada did not suffer as deep a downturn, but he said the latest numbers show Canada’s economic growth is no better than the US. RBC Chief Economist Craig Wright said it’s the most job losses in a month in Canada since January 2009. “We’ve seen a remarkably strong run in employment. There’s always a worry of a setback but this was bigger than anybody was looking for,” Wright said. Wright said they had forecast a gain of 20,000 jobs. Last month’s losses came primarily in the manufacturing and construction trades. The agency said natural resources, with a pickup of about 12,000 jobs, was the only industry to report a notable gain in employment in October. Canada’s commodity-rich economy had experienced a better market rebound than other industrialized nations. The Canadian dollar fell 1.15 cents to 98.04 cents US after the disappointing jobs report. —AP

Tata Steel to close Welsh construction products unit LONDON: Tata Steel, the world’s No 7 steelmaker, will close its construction products business in South Wales due to weak activity in UK construction and public procurement, it said yesterday. The construction products business, based at the Llanwern site in Newport, currently employs 70 people and focuses on production of highways barrier systems for roads, parapets, floor-decking systems and lightweight frames for a variety of applications. “It is with great regret that, following a detailed review of the Tata Steel Construction Products business, we have proposed to cease operations,” Paul Steele, Tata Steel’s managing director for distribution UK & Ireland, said in a statement. “Construction Products’s range is sold to the construction industry, which has not recovered well from the financial crisis, and to market areas dependent on public procurement activity, which has also been severely affected by the long-running economic downturn.” The business has operated at a consistent loss since 2008 and was unable to overcome the continuing economic downturn, Tata said. Last month, the CEO of Tata Steel in Europe said the company might cut steel production further in the region in the next few months if steel orders weaken. — Reuters

CANNES: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (center) speaks with Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper (left) and India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a round table meeting at a G20 summit in Cannes yesterday. — AFP

US employers add 80,000 jobs in Oct Rate dips on modest hiring WASHINGTON: The jobs crisis may be easing slightly on the strength of a fourth straight month of modest hiring and a dip in the unemployment rate. Hiring slowed a bit last month. But the government said job growth was much stronger in August and September than first thought. Average hourly earnings rose last month. And the unemployment rate ticked down to 9 percent from 9.1 percent, because more people said they found work last month. It was the first drop in the rate since July. Still, the report suggests that President Barack Obama will likely face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any postwar president. The Labor Department said the economy added 80,000 jobs in October. It was the fewest in four months and below September’s revised total of 158,000. The government revised August and September’s data to show 102,000 more jobs added. Even so, October’s modest job growth is barely enough to keep pace with population growth. About twice as many are needed to lower the unemployment rate. Many employers are hesitant to step up hiring until they see steady demand from consumers. Healthier consumer spending was the key reason the economy expanded at an annual pace of 2.5 percent in the July-September quarter, the best quarterly growth in a year. Growth in consumer spending tripled from the spring, despite renewed reces-

sion fears and wide fluctuations in the stock market. But economists worry that the summer spending gains can’t be sustained. For one thing, Americans spent more in the third quarter even though they earned less.

because it accounts for 70 percent of economic activity. The economy generated an average of 130,000 jobs per month in the third quarter, up from 97,000 in the preceding three months. Still, that’s down from

LOS ANGELES: Job seekers arrive at an outdoor job fair at the Crenshaw Christian Center in South Los Angeles. The US unemployment rate dropped slightly to 9.0 percent last month, the Labor Department reported yesterday, adding that 80,000 jobs were created. — AFP And they used their savings to make up the difference. Without more jobs and higher wages, consumers are likely to pare spending in the months ahead. Consumer spending is important

166,000 in the first three months of this year. The biggest change was August. Initially, the government said employers added zero net jobs that month. It has since been revised twice to show 104,000 jobs added. — AP

Saudi crude price cuts to aid Asian refiners SINGAPORE/BEIJING: Saudi Arabia unexpectedly cut prices for most of its crude for December, helping lower costs for refiners and weighing on prices for other similar grades after spot premiums surged to a record, traders said. The top oil exporter surprised the market by reducing the official selling prices (OSPs) for four of five grades by between 5 cents and $1.70 a barrel. A Reuters poll showed participants expected an increase in three grades. The move may have been triggered by a slide in profits from processing a barrel of crude to products such as gasoline and naphtha. Asia’s demand for naphtha, the preferred fuel for making petrochemicals, has slid as Chinese factories entered a seasonal lull while tighter credit discouraged traders from stocking up polymers. “The massive cuts to the Kingdom’s lighter grades were done on the back of the feeble naphtha crack over the month and a weak outlook for petrochemical demand,” Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy said in a report. “The cuts put the price of the Super Light grade at parity with Extra Light for the first time since November 2009 — a sure sign that naphtha is weak.” The cuts come amid an uncertain global economic growth outlook. The reduction may also be a way for the producer to try and retain its share in the crude market amid an increase in supplies from Libya. “The lower OSPs for Asian crudes seem to indicate that Saudi Arabia is content to keep its production at current levels,” JBC Energy said in a note. Even so, many Asian refiners are unlikely to snap up extra cargoes from Saudi Arabia because of dwindling demand prospects. Although their OSP is quite attractive compared

with other grades, we do have not much room for maximum tolerance,” a north Asian refiner said. Saudi Arabia cut Arab Super Light and Extra Light by up to $1.70 a barrel. The producer also cut the December price of flagship Arab Light for the first time in four months, down 20 cents from a record high in November. The market was surprised with the 5-cent cut for Arab Medium against expectations of a 15-cent to $1-a-barrel hike. Arab Heavy rose 20 cents, smaller than the forecast of a 50-cent to $1-a-barrel rise. “Prices have been reduced due to steady high sulphur fuel oil crack spread combined with weak gasoline and naphtha cracks,” a Middle Eastern refinery source said. “For Arab light, another reason was decline in refining margins.” The impact of the cut was already evident on Oman. The January contract traded on the DME fell 34 cents to a premium of $3.23 to Dubai swap quotes by 0830 GMT, using the settlement price for DME futures, the ICE one-minute marker for Singapore and the Brent-Dubai EFS as calculated by Reuters. Medium to heavy sour crudes such as Oman and al-Shaheen were sold at record premiums for December on support from strong fuel oil and gasoil cracks and as refiners raised output to meet peak heating demand during winter in the Northern Hemisphere. “The OSPs had been rising too fast and too soon and that would have hurt the refiners,” a trader with a North Asian refiner said. The reductions in Asia will also bring prices closer to those in the United States and Europe where Saudi Arabia has raised prices for December, a fourth trader said. Iran, Iraq and Kuwait are likely to follow Saudi Arabia by announcing cuts for their OSPs. — Reuters


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South Korean parliament frozen over FTA with US SEOUL: Confrontation at South Korea’s parliament over a free trade deal with the United States showed no sign of easing yesterday, as some opposition lawmakers took to the streets while others continued sitins. Police had fired water cannon Thursday to disperse some 2,300 demonstrators who tried to force their way into parliament in protest at the pact. The ruling Grand National Party (GNP) is seeking quick ratification of the long-delayed agreement after the deal sailed through the US Congress last month. It has a solid majority, but is reluctant to ram the bill through and provoke possible physical clashes for fear of a voter backlash before next year’s general and presidential elections.

Opposition lawmakers are blocking GNP attempts to approve the deal in parliament’s trade committee, occupying the main chamber of the committee on and off from Monday. The occupation continued yesterday. When passed by the committee, it must go to the full house for approval. About 20 lawmakers, led by chairman Sohn Hak-Kyu of the main opposition Democratic Party, distributed leaflets to passers-by at a subway station near parliament yesterday, wearing sashes inscribed with slogans. “As more people became aware of the drawbacks of the free trade agreement, there are mounting voices against the deal,” Sohn told journalists. “There is no reason for the government to be in a hurry to have it ratified.”

The main point of contention is the “investor-state dispute” settlement system that allows disputes between investors and the state to be settled under the mediation of a third party. Opposition parties say the system could infringe on the country’s legal independence. The government says such a system is a global standard and is part of earlier South Korean trade pacts. The GNP accuses the Democratic Party of hypocrisy for trying to block a deal negotiated when it was in power. The opposition says the pact was skewed in favor of the United States when changes were made last year to address complaints from US automakers. — AFP

Greece scraps referendum ahead of confidence vote Papandreou’s future hangs in balance

JAKARTA: Vehicles struggle through a traffic jam in one of Jakarta’s main roads yesterday. Indonesia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, as its output expansion is expected to top six percent for this year and next, but despite rapid development, slow progress on transport infrastructure makes commuting in the capital Jakarta unpleasant and inconvenient. — AFP

Greek euro exit: A perilous journey for Europe BRUSSELS: Throw Greece out of the euro-zone, and save both the country and the single currency, some analysts argue. But others warn that such a radical solution would spell danger for the entire monetary union. When Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou tested the patience of his European peers by threatening a referendum on a debt rescue, top politicians bluntly told Athens to choose between the euro, or divorce. Although Papandreou backed down, his sickly nation remains under threat and under pressure to press ahead with painful austerity measures despite a drawn-out recession. Buried under more than 350 billion euros of debt, representing 160 percent of gross domestic product, Greece is far from digging itself out of danger from a destructive default and a disgraceful exit from the euro-zone and consequently possibly from the European Union as well. Leading economists such as New York University professor Nouriel Roubini and Hans-Werner Sinn, head of Germany’s Ifo economic research institute, argue that a separation is the best answer for Athens to avoid total chaos. By dropping the euro and returning to the drachma, Greece could depreciate its currency, thereby restoring solvency, competitiveness and growth, even if it means that banks would pay a heavy price. But eliminating the weakest link in the euro union will not shield fragile economies such as Italy and Spain from ruthless markets betting on their financial demise, other experts say. “I think it will be completely disastrous, partly because there is no mechanism for such an exit,” Sonny Kapoor, managing director of the Re-Define think tank, told AFP. “I fail to see how any positive thing could come out of it,” he said. “The question will simply move to, ‘who is the next weak link?’” Throwing Greece out of the euro-zone would spark a run on banks, with Greeks lining up to withdraw their last euros before they turn into heavily depreciated drachmas, analysts say.—AFP

ATHENS: Greece announced officially yesterday that it had scrapped plans to hold a referendum that had enraged EU leaders, ahead of a knife-edge confidence vote which threatened to spark yet more chaos. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in a statement that he had informed top EU officials “of Greece’s decision not to hold a referendum”, the first senior Greek politician to announce it so clearly. Under intense pressure from the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister George Papandreou had on Thursday backtracked on his controversial call, saying he was ready to scrap the referendum. Papandreou’s future was hanging by a thread yesterday, as he faced fresh calls to resign ahead of a confidence vote that could topple his socialist government and push the debt-wracked country closer to bankruptcy. Analysts said that renewed political turmoil could halt the disbursement of a new eight-billion-euro ($11-billion) aid package that Venizelos said the country “absolutely needed” by December 15 to avoid bankruptcy. The vote, expected at midnight (2200 GMT), is impossible to call, with Papandreou’s PASOK party in theory holding a razor-thin majority. PASOK has 152 members of the 300-seat parliament, but several deputies have threatened to rebel amid calls for a national unity government. Venizelos said he had told EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that the goal of the vote was to form a unity government. This government would aim to implement the terms of an EU bailout plan clinched in late-night talks in

FRANKFURT: A stockbroker look at his screens, while a television monitor shows Greek Premier Giorgos Papandreou delivering a speech, at the Frankfurt stock exchange in Frankfurt yesterday. — AFP Brussels last week, guarantee the country’s try,” the embattled prime minister said. Papandreou’s referendum U-turn was future in the euro-zone and “respect the sacrifices of the Greek people,” he said. It prompted by an offer from the conservawas still not clear whether Papandreou tive opposition party, New Democracy, to would step aside, but in a dramatic develop- back the bailout fund in return for the forment late Thursday he indicated he was mation of a national unity government and ready to put country before personal ambi- early elections. On the street, people appeared to be in favor of a government of tion. “I have excluded nothing from the dis- national unity. A pensioner who gave his name as cussion” with his political opponents, Papandreou told lawmakers. “Even my own Takis, told AFP: “As matters stand, nothing position. And I am not tied to any particular can save us. “There must be a government post. I have already said that and I am prov- of national salvation with all the parties until we have elections. They way things ing it daily. “Even my re-election does not interest are now Giorgios (Papandreou) cannot conme. What interests me is saving the coun- tinue.”—AFP

Anglo American to buy Oppenheimers out of De Beers LONDON: Global miner Anglo American is set to take control of diamond giant De Beers, buying out the Oppenheimer family in a $5.1 billion deal that ends the dynasty’s direct links to the diamond business after almost a century. Anglo has long been eyeing a deal to increase its 45 percent stake in unlisted De Beers-which vies with Russia’s Alrosa for the title of the world’s largest diamond producer-but yesterday’s

announcement caught the market by surprise and sent the miner’s shares up almost four percent. The Oppenheimers have resisted Anglo’s approaches for years and held on to their 40 percent stake, even through the aftermath of the 2008 crisis which left shareholders forced to inject cash into De Beers as the luxury market tumbled. It was unclear what prompted the family to change its mind, but the

Oppenheimers indicated the decision to agree to Anglo’s latest overture had taken into account a number of factors, including the need to diversify their investments. James Teeger, managing director of E. Oppenheimer & Son, the family holding company, said the decision had been “momentous” and hinged on an agreement on price-long a point of difference between Anglo and the South African family. —Reuters


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Brent above $112 on Greece; US jobs eyed ECB surprise cut boosts oil

NICE: An activist wearing a mask portraying Chinese President Hu Jintao, looks at fellow pro-Tibet demonstrators lying on the ground during a demonstration in Nice yesterday on the sidelines of the G20 Summit of Heads of State and Government in Cannes. — AFP

US port re-opens after anti-Wall Street demos OAKLAND, California: One of the United States’ busiest sea ports reopened Thursday, a day after being closed down by anti-Wall Street protests that again turned violent in Oakland, Californian. The Port of Oakland resumed full operations after the docks, the fourth biggest in the United States by cargo volume, were closed overnight as clashes flared, leaving more than 100 people arrested and eight hurt. “Maritime activities at the Port of Oakland are back to normal with all terminals open for business,” port authorities said in an update Thursday evening, roughly 24 hours after announcing it was shut down Wednesday. No injuries or damage were reported there, although some protesters did briefly get into the port area. “There was a limited incursion into a private rail facility, and trespassers were escorted off peacefully,” the port said. The occupation of the port marked a significant escalation for the weeks-old Occupy Wall Street movement, which has seen thousands camp out in city squares across the country to protest corporate greed and Washington gridlock. The loosely-organized group, which claims to represent the “99 percent” of Americans victimized by the “one percent” of business and political elites, could emerge as a significant factor in next year’s presidential elections. The Oakland port-which does 59 percent of its trade with Asia-sent staff home early on Wednesday as hundreds of protesters besieged the docks on the San Francisco Bay. Police said nearly 7,000 people rallied in downtown Oakland during the day, notably targeting shuttered banks, before heading for the docks in the evening and forcing the port to close. The protests were mainly peaceful until around midnight, when dozens of protesters in the city center hurled rocks and bottles, briefly occupied a vacant building and torched a barricade. Riot police responded with tear gas, echoing scenes last week when dozens of people were arrested and an Iraq war veteran was critically injured as police broke up a two-week old protest camp outside City Hall. In all 101 people were arrested during the night’s clashes, Oakland police chief Howard Jordan told city council members. He was frequently drowned out by boos and hisses as he recounted police actions. At one stage, about 200 people were found to be occupying a vacant building, police said, adding that they were armed with rocks, bottles and incendiary devices, and that officers feared they would set the building on fire. The violent protesters appeared to be a breakaway group from the much larger Occupy Wall Street movement camped out near Oakland’s City Hall, many of whom had rushed to the scene to urge calm. The Oakland Police Department said events forced it to intervene. “Following repeated orders for the crowd to disperse with continued assaults by rocks, lit flares, roman candles and bottles, the order was given to deploy tear gas and bean bags at approximately 12:10 am.” A spokesman for protest organizers slammed the violent minority. — AFP

LONDON: Brent crude extended gains for a second day yesterday to rise above $112 a barrel as hopes Greece might revoke its plans to hold the European Union bailout to referendum eased worries about a disorderly default. Brent futures surged by $1.27 to $112.10 a barrel by 0927 GMT, after rising on Thursday on the back of a surprise interest rate cut by the ECB. US light crude futures were 71 cents firmer at $94.78 a barrel by the same time, reversing early losses and rising for a third day. “There is positive sentiment around despite the lack of clarity regarding the Greek political situation and with the G20 going on, I would be wary to call a burst higher in the oil contract,” said GFT derivatives market strategist David Morrison. “The Greek referendum is a bit of a red herring in some ways, it distracts traders from the fundamental problems at the heart of Europe”. Investors remained jittery, with Greece’s prime minister George Papandreou agreeing to step down in exchange for support from his cabinet to

avoid a referendum on EU aid. “Prices are consolidating yesterday’s gains, although today there are some uncertainties: the confidence vote in the Greek parliament, what happens if Papandreou loses it and what happens to the next tranche disboursement if there is a negative outcome,” said Commerzbank’s Carsten Fritsch. “All this may keep a lid on prices”. Adding to the uncertainty surrounding Greece, senior EU sources said yesterday that Italy-the latest indebted euro zone economy to come under pressure from financial markets- agreed to have the IMF and the EU monitor its progress with long delayed reforms. On the technical front, Morrison said the Brent contract was pushing above the upper downward trendline in place since mid-summer, breaking out of the tight range it has traded within since the beginning of the month. According to Reuters’ technical analyst Wang Tao, Brent is expected to revisit the previous trading session’s low of $107.83 per barrel, as indicated by its wave pattern,

while US oil may rise further to $97 per barrel, if it could stand firm above a resistance level of $94.65. The European Brent crude benchmark has slipped more than 13 percent from its peak this year as the outlook for growth in industrialized nations worsened, but the supply disruption in Libya and Chinese demand should put a floor under prices. The contract’s popularity has increased, with the S&P GSCI , the most widely tracked commodity index, announcing it will boost its Brent crude oil weighting next year and cut the share of US WTI crude. Oil investors waited for US employment data scheduled for later in the day to assess the economic outlook of the world’s top oil consumer. US employment growth in October may have been strong enough to suggest some economic momentum is building, though it may be too weak to pull down the nation’s lofty jobless rate. Nonfarm payrolls likely rose 95,000 last month, according to a Reuters survey, after expanding by 103,000 in September. — Reuters

Royal Bank of Scotland rebounds into profit

PARIS: French energy and transport company Alstom chairman and chief executive Patrick Kron speaks during a press conference to present the group’s first half results in Paris yesterday. —AFP

US expects progress in Nov 20-21 China talks WASHINGTON: The United States will push China to take “concrete and measurable” steps to boost US exports in highlevel talks on trade irritants later this month, the US government said. The annual US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, or JCCT, meeting on Nov 20-21 “is an important opportunity to address and resolve key trade concerns with China,” US Commerce Secretary John Bryson said in a statement. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel with Bryson to Chengdu for the talks just a week after President Barack Obama hosts Chinese President Hu Jintao and other Asia-Pacific leaders in Honolulu for an annual summit meeting. Obama is expected to press Hu on China’s currency practices, which many US lawmakers believe give Chinese companies an unfair trade advantage and has become an issue in next year’s presidential election. But the JCCT is traditionally a forum for the United States to push for progress on an array of other Chinese policies that thwart US exports and sales. “Through this year’s JCCT, we are pressing China for concrete and measurable results on a number of significant issues including China’s policies on intellectual property rights, investment and innovation, as well as a range of sector-specific industrial policies,” Kirk said. — Reuters

LONDON: State-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland said yesterday it had rebounded into profit during the third quarter when falling bad debts offset plunging income at its investment division. Profit after tax hit £1.226 billion ($1.96 billion, 1.42 billion euros) in the three months to September 30, compared with a net loss of £1.146 in the same part of 2010, RBS said in a results statement. Bad debt charges were cut to £1.536 billion from £1.953 billion. RBS wrote off another £142 million in the value of Greek government sovereign bonds but stressed it faced little exposure to the euro-zone’s other periphery nations, such as Ireland and Portugal. “RBS’s third quarter results show the improved strength and resilience we have built up since 2008,” chief executive Stephen Hester said in the earnings release. “They also highlight the external pressures facing banks, and economies more broadly, which are making the road to recovery longer and bumpier than hoped for.” The British government owns 83 percent of RBS following a huge state bail-out that was triggered by the 2008 global financial crisis. The bank added yesterday that pretax profits stood at £2.0 billion in the third quarter, which compared with a loss of £1.6 billion last time around. Revenues sank 18 percent to £6.358 billion. Income at the bank’s investment division, Global Banking and Markets, dived 29 percent to £1.1 billion on market turbulence and heightened recession fears. The group has axed thousands of jobs since October 2008 when it was rescued by the British taxpayer. The bank added on Friday that it was mulling more cost-cutting initiatives amid difficult trading conditions and the struggling economy. “Given the economic outlook and difficult trading environment, we are actively working on further cost initiatives across the group,” RBS said in its statement. The group’s share price rose 4.4 percent at 23.46 pence on London’s FTSE 100 index, which added 0.52 percent in value. “The bank remains a work in progress, but is making some headway amidst turbulent conditions,” said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers. The Edinburgh-based lender was ravaged by the 2008 global credit crunch and the takeover of Dutch giant ABN Amro at the top of the market in 2007. — AFP


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G20 powers pledge to bolster growth Italy under IMF surveillance

TOKYO: Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba speaks during a debate with scholars on whether to join a US-led Pacific-wide free trade zone in Tokyo yesterday. Japan is close to the final stage of discussions on the possibility of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which in principle would eliminate all tariffs on imports by the Nov 12-13 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, meeting in Honolulu. — AP

Copper up as Greece ditches referendum LONDON: Copper rose more 1 percent yesterday as market sentiment improved as Greece dropped plans to hold a referendum on a bailout package, easing imminent worries over a disorderly default. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange rose about 1 percent to trade at $7,987 by 1135 GMT, from a last bid of $7,910 on Wednesday. The metal, used in power and construction, earlier hit a session high of $8,059.75 per ton. Copper rose about 20 percent from early October but is still more than 20 percent down from a record high of $10,190 hit in February. “The market is purely sentimentdriven at the moment; risk sentiment keeps swinging back and forward but volumes are pretty low,” said analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov of VTB Capital. “People are hoping that...Greece will do whatever the EU proposes and that the debt crisis won’t spread.” Greece has dropped its plans to hold a controversial referendum on the country’s euro zone membership, which had threatened to plunge the bloc into a crisis, the country’s finance ministry said yesterday. The decision of the European Central Bank to cut interest rates in a surprise move on Thursday also supported market sentiment although worries about a slowing economy escalate. “The surprise rate cut by the ECB on Thursday is a twoedged sword for industrial metals,” Credit Suisse said in a research note. “On the one hand, lower rates mean lower financing costs for industrial metals. On the other hand, it also signals that the economic slowdown is probably not over yet.” The ECB’s new President, Mario Draghi, said the euro zone could subside into a “mild recession” in the latter part of 2011.Investors were waiting non-farm payrolls data from the United States later on Friday for direction. “We expect 95,000 jobs were added in October; anything more than 100,000 will be very positive for the market,” Kryuchenkov said. Medium- and long-term prospects for copper remained intact, with strikes at some of the largest miners disrupting production in an already tight market and Chinese buyers expected to restock around the first quarter next year, analysts said. The union at Peru’s Cerro Verde mine, which produces 2 percent of the world’s copper, said late on Thursday it would attend talks brokered by the regional government on Friday but two legal procedures threatened to delay a resolution to a month-long strike. Also, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold’s massive Grasberg mine in Indonesia is producing copper, gold and silver ore at only 5 percent of its full capacity. In the shortterm though the picture looks a bit more fragile. The premium of spot copper in Shanghai has fallen $20 to $30 a ton over the past two weeks, after some Chinese consumers slowed restocking as copper prices rose. China is the world largest consumer of copper and accounted for about 40 percent of global demand in 2010. — Reuters

CANNES: The leaders of world biggest economic powers turned their attention on Italy yesterday, pressing for measures to prevent Rome from following Greece into the abyss of debt. As the leaders put the finishing touches to a G20 summit statement designed to kickstart global growth and rebalance trade, senior European Union officials said Italy’s economy would be put under IMF surveillance. Italy bridled at the claim, insisting its measures were being monitored by the European Commission with only “advice” from the world’s top lender, but Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s reforms were clearly under scrutiny. And there was no let up in pressure on debt-laden Greece, whose ongoing political and economic crisis still hung heavily over Cannes’ rain-lashed seafront summit venue, as an example of the threat facing Italy Prime Minister George Papandreou, who was summoned to the French resort for a dressing down by host President Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, faces a vote of confidence in Athens yesterday. Whatever the result, his euro-zone partners have made it clear that either he or his successor will have to push through a bail-out deal tied to tight fiscal controls

decided last week in Europe but now called into question. “Not to accept the deal is to leave the euro,” said France’s Europe Minister Jean Leonetti, taking his cue from Sarkozy and Merkel’s uncompromising stance. “For the Greeks not to accept the deal is to leave Europe.” The leaders of the euro-zone’s biggest economies had warned Greece it would not get the International Monetary Fund and EU’s next planned eight-billion euro ($11 billion) aid installment unless the deal went through. Without the EU-IMF funds, Greece would run out of money within weeks, and the roller-coaster political situation and debt crisis in Athen have in turn boosted market pressure on the Italian budget. Italy’s government adopted two austerity packages during the summer, but markets have remained skeptical that the measures will eliminate the deficit and boost growth. At the G20 summit on Thursday, Berlusconi vowed to stick to Italy’s target of balancing the budget by 2013 and said that new austerity measures would be fully enacted by the end of the month. China warnedthat it feared the eurozone crisis would persist and spread, and the world’s biggest economies agreed to attempt to ringfence the crisis by bolstering the International Monetary Fund’s

resources. “There is still a maturing period” before the crisis can be brought under control, said Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming. “So my feeling is that the future impact of this crisis for the world and for Chinese trade will expand.” “There will be an impact on the world economy,” he warned. The world’s top exporters-led by China and Germany-are expected to pledge to boost their domestic demand in order to give a shot in the arm to the global economy, faced by the threat of renewed recession. “Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Korea and Indonesia, where public finances remain relatively strong ... agree to take discretionary measures to support domestic demand,” said a draft of the final statement. The G20 will also agree to hike IMF resources to restore confidence and reduce the risk of contagion from the European crisis. Countries will be allowed to make voluntary contributions to boost the war chest of the IMF, the world’s lender of last resort, said sources close to the negotiations at the G20 meeting in Cannes. According to the draft, the G20 will pledge exchange rate flexibility, a bitter issue as the United States and Brazil in particular accuse China of keeping its exchange rate artificially low thus skewing global trade. —AFP

Asian shares up after Greece vote U-turn HONG KONG: Asian markets rose yesterday as Greece scrapped plans for a national vote on last week’s euro-zone rescue package, which had drawn condemnation and shocked world markets. Investor confidence was also boosted by a surprise rate cut by the European Central Bank. Tokyo finished up 1.86 percent, or 160.98 points, at 8,801.40, Sydney jumped 2.62 percent, or 109.3 points, to 4,281.1 and Seoul climbed 3.13 percent, or 58.45 points, to 1,928.41. Hong Kong surged 3.12 percent, or 600.29 points, to 19,842.79 and Shanghai gained 0.81 percent, or 20.20 points, to 2,528.29. “While the (Greek) show remains far from over, markets nonetheless breathed a huge sigh of relief on the news,” the referendum may not go ahead, DBS Group said in a note, according to Dow Jones Newswires. George Papandreou said a referendum would not have to be held if the Greek opposition backed the rescue package hammered out by European leaders last Thursday. —Reuters

MANILA: Customers buy vegetables in Manila’s farmers market yesterday. Philippine inflation last month spiked to 5.3 percent, its highest level in more than two-and-ahalf years, as deadly typhoons disrupted supplies of farm products, the government said yesterday. —AFP

NEW DELHI: Chairman and Managing Director of Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel, Sunil Bharti Mittal, smiles after unveiling the brand’s new identity in New Delhi. — AFP

India’s Bharti profit dives 38% NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel, India’s top mobile phone operator, reported yesterday quarterly profit plunged by a bigger-thanexpected 38 percent after high interest costs and foreign exchange losses gouged earnings. New Delhi-based Bharti said net profit slid to 10.3 billion rupees ($210 million) in the second financial quarter to September from 16.61 billion rupees in the same period in 2010. A tripling of loan interest costs from Bharti’s $10.7-billion debt-funded purchase of the African mobile operations of Kuwait’s Zain and its $3.2 billion acquisition of 3G spectrum to offer faster telecom services hit performance. Foreign exchange losses were another drag which made Bharti miss analysts’ expectations that it would post a profit of around 13 billion rupees. But total revenues climbed 13.4 percent to 172.7 billion rupees while Bharti’s African revenues surged 23 percent from a year earlier to cross $1 billion on a quarterly basis for the first time. — AP


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Pakistan ‘backtracked’ on India trade status Exports across border in abeyance NEW DELHI: Pakistan has backtracked since announcing earlier this week that it had granted India the status of Most Favored Nation (MFN) in trade, a senior Indian government source said yesterday. The MFN status would help normalize trade relations between the two nuclear-armed rivals by ending heavy restrictions on what India is allowed to export across the border. New Delhi granted its neighbor such a status in the mid-nineties. Business and political lobbies in Pakistan appear to have forced the move to be put on hold, leaving India to “wait and watch” as to when the process would resume, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “From the initial announcement of an unconditional grant of an MFN,

there appears to be a clear backtrack,” the source said. Trade has long been tied to political issues between the hostile neighbors, who have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947. Wednesday’s announcement was trumpeted on both sides as a milestone in improving fragile relations that were shattered by attacks by Pakistan-based militants in Mumbai in 2008. Lasting peace between the two countries is seen as key to stability in the South Asian region and help a troubled transition in Afghanistan as NATO-led forces plan their military withdrawal from that country. India and Pakistan may be home to some 1.4 billion people but bilateral trade flows are paltry-a legacy of mistrust between the neighbors.

The hope is that an increase in trade will feed into wider trust between the two countries and help the rivals resolve major flashpoints like the disputed Kashmir region, although a solution to this problem has proved intractable for decades. The two sides have also pledged to liberalize restrictions on business visas, curb non-tariff barriers and bolster trade on their land border. As things stand, exporters are forced to route many goods via third parties such as Dubai, slowing delivery times and upping costs. Less than one percent of India’s merchandise exports are sold to Pakistan, in terms of dollar value, but in September a joint statement pledged to double bilateral trade flows within three years to about $6 billion. — Reuters

Japan’s TEPCO posts $8bn group net loss

MUMBAI: Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest near the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai yesterday. Scores of people gathered near the Dalal Street bourse to protest against what they said was “corporate greed and economic policies responsible for worsening living conditions of the working people”. — AFP

BA, Iberia parent says Q3 net profits drop 26% LONDON: International Airlines Group, which comprises British Airways and Iberia, yesterday posted a 26-percent drop in third-quarter net profits, as it unveiled a deal to buy Lufthansa’s British Midland division. Profits after taxation sank to 267 million euros ($368 million) in the three months to September, as IAG was hit by high fuel costs. That compared with 362 million euros in the same part of last year, it said in a results statement. Revenues increased by 2.2 percent in the quarter to 4.49 billion euros, but fuel costs soared by 23.7 percent on the back of soaring oil prices. Jet fuel, or kerosene, is refined from crude oil. “Our revenue is up 2.2 per cent in the quarter driven primarily by volume,” said IAG chief executive Willie Walsh in the earnings release. “However, high fuel costs continue to have a significant impact on our business. “This quarter fuel costs are up 23.7 percent, compared to last year, while non-fuel costs are flat.” Looking ahead, he added: “The main challenge for 2012 will be to offset increased fuel costs ... against a background of potentially weaker demand.” Separately, IAG announced that it had agreed in principle to purchase the loss-making British Midland from Germany’s Lufthansa. — AFP

TOKYO: Tokyo Electric Power Co said yesterday it logged a net loss of 627.30 billion yen ($8 billion) in April-September as it faces massive costs to deal with the crisis at its Fukushima nuclear plant. The figure compares to a year-earlier net profit of 92.29 billion yen. The company at the centre of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl 25 years ago says it now expects a group net loss of 600 billion yen in the year ending March 2012, compared with a 1.25 trillion yen loss the previous year. On a parent company basis excluding subsidiaries, TEPCO said earlier Friday that it expects a net loss of 576.3 billion yen ($7.4 billion) for the fiscal year to March 2012 due to huge costs over the nuclear crisis. The earnings results come the same day TEPCO clinched approval for government financial assistance that will be key to its survival. In an emergency business plan approved by the government yesterday, TEPCO said it would incur the loss even after receiving 900 billion yen in public funds to pay compensation claims over the accident caused by the March 11 quake-tsunami. In addition to cleanup costs, the company is scrambling to cope with an increase in fuel costs as it relies more heavily on expensive thermal power to make up for the lost electricity generation from its nuclear plants. For the first half TEPCO reported an operating loss of 60.6 billion yen. The utility posted an extraordinary loss 890.9 billion yen on a parent company basis to cover compensation for damages from the Fukushima nuclear plant. TEPCO’s woes began when the 9.0magnitude quake and massive tsunami of March 11 knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, sparking meltdowns, a series of explosions and the release of huge amounts of radiation into the environment. Tens of thousands of people remain evacuated from homes and businesses in a 20 kilometer (12 mile) no-go zone around the plant and in pockets beyond. Fully decontaminating those areas is expected to take decades. The task of restoring towns and villages even in lightly polluted zones is complicated, with high costs and logistical difficulties over where to store soil contaminated with radioactive material. — AFP

FRANKFURT: Commerzbank logo next to the headquarters of the German Commerzbank in Frankfurt, Germany. The Greek debt crisis pushed Commerzbank into a euro 687 million ($ 950 million) loss in the third quarter as Germany’s No 2 bank took a large reduction to earnings. — AP

Commerzbank backs off EU as Q3 hit by Greece FRANKFURT: Germany’s second-largest lender Commerzbank will refuse loans which don’t help Germany or Poland, as the euro-zone crisis makes European banks more protectionist in choosing between writing new business and meeting stringent capital requirements. “We are not doing business which is not to the benefit of Germany or Poland,” Chief Financial Officer Eric Strutz told analysts on a conference call discussing third-quarter earnings on Friday. “We have to focus on supporting the German economy as other banks pull out.” Commerzbank is accelerating the pullback from euro zone nations and cutting risky assets to avoid another state bailout after a 798 million euros ($1.10 billion) impairment on Greek assets pushed it to a third-quarter operating loss. The lender, which is 25 percent owned by the State, was forced to abandon its profit target for next year, as it struggles to meet more stringent capital requirements to help withstand euro zone market jitters. “We continue to be committed to our original operating profit target of 4 billion euros for the group but, on account of the market environment, we will be unable to reach this target next year,” Chief Executive Martin Blessing said yesterday. “The outlook for the current year and 2012 is subdued,” the company said in its report, citing the risk of escalation of the European sovereign debt crisis and stricter capital requirement for the industry. In a conference call with analysts, finance chief Strutz was more forthright: “The whole stability of Europe depends on whether Italy gets its act together,” he said, citing a key economy seen vulnerable to contagion. The lender’s exposure to the country was 14.3 billion euros at the end of September, 7.9 billion of which in sovereign debt. Its property financing unit Eurohypo will stop taking new business and the group as a whole will for now stop making loans not related to Poland or Germany, the bank said. Last month, CEO Blessing had already made clear he would rather pare back businesses than resort to German state rescue fund SoFFin a second time. Commerzbank said it had a core tier one ratio of 9.4 percent at the end of September and needs to raise 2.9 billion euros to meet capital requirements set out by the European bank regulators. “We can meet the required capital ratio by, for example, reducing risk assets in non-core areas, selling non-strategic assets or by means of retained earnings and we do not intend to tap new state funds,” Commerzbank said. Its shares were down 3.14 percent at 1.698 euros shortly after the open at 1015 GMT, while the STOXX Europe 600 Bank index gained 1.08 percent. “Commerzbank remains vulnerable to many existing external threats outside its direct control,” Silvia Quandt analyst Michael Rohr said. Commerzbank will keep its Eastern European BRE Bank unit and its online arm comdirect but will “review the possibility of selling financial investments” in the hope of cutting risky assets by 30 billion euros, the bank said. — Reuters


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Bhutan’s ‘Idol’ rocks dragon lutes www.kuwaittimes.net PAGE 25

A Christie’s auction house employee poses for photographers holding two yellow and green-glazed ‘Boys’ bowls (1723-1735) during a photocall at the auction house in London yesterday. The bowls are expected to fetch in the region of GBP80,000120,000 (approx 92,600138,900euros/$128,000-$192,000) during Christie’s London sale of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on November 8, 2011. — AFP

‘Little Makkahs’ prepare Indonesians for hajj PAGE 24


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Michael Lohan in solitary confinement T

stalker pleads not guilty

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homas Brodnicki - who has a history of mental illness - entered his plea at the Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday and Judge Upinder Kalra set bail at $150,000. The judge also granted a three-year protective order requested by the ‘Monte Carlo’ actress, which requires the 46 year old to stay at least 100 yards away from her, her family and her assistant. Thomas must return to court on November 16 and could face a three year prison term if he is found guilty of stalking. A temporary restraining order was ordered against him on October 13 after he had travelled from Chicago to Los Angeles to meet her, and had visited Selena’s work place at least three times Authorities were alerted to the situation after he had conversations with a therapist where he claimed he had talked to God who had told him to kill the actress. The Los Angeles Police Department took the case “extremely seriously” because of his history of stalking.

Ricky Gervais set to host Golden Globes again

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he comedian was spotted dining out with Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) president Aida TaklaO’Reilly and Doug Vaughan, NBC’s head of Specials, at the Chez Benoit restaurant in Paris, France, which has led to increased speculation he could be presenting the ceremony again. Ricky was warned he could never work in Hollywood again after his controversial comments - which saw him poke fun at Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey Jr and Ashton Kutcher, among others - during last year’s show. His jokes were branded “unacceptable” by organizers HFPA, despite NBC’s ratings increasing last year. During the three-hour ceremony, the 50year-old star picked on the majority of A-list stars in the audience, including Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp for their performance in 2010 film ‘The Tourist’.

Kelly Rowland

Selena Gomez

ready to change ‘messy diapers’

he 51-year-old TV personality - who is the father of actress Lindsay Lohan was arrested twice last week after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend Kate Major and then reportedly broke a restraining order to contact her following his release and is set to remain in jail until his hearing on Wednesday. Despite his solitary confinement, Michael has been allowed to make phone calls and has been in contact with his former flame Kim Granatell, from ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’. Kim’s friend Tom Murro said: “Kim has spoken with Michael who told her he was in a lot of pain.” The showbiz patriarch is being treated the same as all of the other prisoners with a jail spokesperson saying: “His typical meals are scrambled eggs, ham, toast and milk for breakfast; a bologna sandwich and milk for lunch, and a chicken patty and pudding or apple sauce for dinner.” The police report stated: “The defendant pushed her multiple times and squeezed her arms. She suffered minor bruising and complained of shoulder pains.” He is also thought to have smashed his girlfriend’s cell phone and threatened to throw her from a fourth-floor balcony before police arrested him.

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lthough the ‘Down for Whatever’ singer is struggling to come up with a suitable baby shower gift for her former Destiny’s Child bandmate Beyonce — who is expecting her first child, a daughter, with husband Jay Z - she has already agreed to be on hand for babysitting duties. Kelly told BANG Showbiz: “I’m so happy for my sister and her husband. They’re so happy in this moment right now, as they should be. They’ve made a little bundle of love, I’m so excited for them. “I have no idea what I’m going to buy Beyonce at the baby shower because Jay is going to buy that little girl every single thing possible. She won’t be spoilt but she will be very well looked-after. “I’ll be on hand for babysitting duties and I’m actually very good with messy diapers!” Kelly won the Ultimate TV Personality prize at the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards 2011 in London. She looked radiant as she walked down the red carpet at the event at the Banqueting House in a floor-length pink gown. Speaking after the ceremony, Kelly admitted she isn’t feeling broody herself, and will just be “borrowing” her friends’ babies to play with instead. She said: “I’m not broody - I have five friends who are pregnant right now and so I will be borrowing their babies to play with.” Other winners on the night included Jessie J, who took home the Ultimate Music Star award, model Daisy Lowe, who bagged the Ultimate Style Queen accolade, and Blondie’s Debbie Harry, who was named Ultimate Icon.


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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Reese Witherspoon gives up snakeskin

Adele desperate to win back ex-boyfriend

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he singer was devastated when she split from her former lover and poured her devastation from the break-up into writing her hugely successful album ‘21’. However, she admits she still misses him deeply and wants him back in her life. In an interview with a US magazine, she said: “It’s bittersweet because I wouldn’t give up this success for anything. But at the same time, I’d do anything to be with him. I miss him. I do. “It’s hard singing all these songs because it makes me remember how brilliant we were when we were good ... and how tragic it was when we were bad.” Adele, 23, also says she finds it hard to sing ‘Someone Like You’ because it brings back memories of the mystery man. She said: “Even now, I get emotional performing that. It was such an honest thing to write.” Despite her feelings, Adele admits she has never told a man she loves him. She said: “It’s hard to share feelings. I’ve felt them. I just can’t say them. God, if I find happiness what will I write about!” — Bangshowbiz

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he People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a statement condemning her after the Oscar-winning star was seen carrying the Chloe bag, but she has now been persuaded to give it up, the group has revealed. They said in a statement to Gossip Cop: “We’ve long known Reese to be a kind person, so we’re pleased - and not surprised - that she is hanging up her python bag for good. “We hope Reese’s honest mistake will serve as a reminder for all of us to be extra-certain that what we’re buying is mock croc or fake snake.” In addition, the group will be sending Reese - who was voted one of the world’s sexiest vegetarians by PETA in 2006 - a bunch of flowers. Earlier this week, PETA revealed the way in which the skin is gained to create the bags. They said: “No matter how much Reese paid for the bag, the animals paid a much higher price. Every year, millions of snakes are impaled on hooks or nailed to trees by their heads and skinned alive. We can’t imagine that she’d wish to contribute to this hidden suffering, especially for something as frivolous as a fashion accessory.”

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he ‘We Found Love’ singer was due to perform in the country’s capital city Stockholm but a doctor deemed her unfit to perform an hour before stage time, as she had a bad case of flu. A statement from concert promoters Live Nation said: “Unfortunately, we need to report that the concert with Rihanna tonight at the Ericsson Globe [venue] has been cancelled due to illness. “Rihanna is exhausted and sick. Unfortunately we have once again been forced to make

Rihanna cancels second show in Sweden

a difficult decision at the last minute.” The 23-yearold pop star was later transported from the hospital to her hotel, accompanied by two minders, wrapped in a big grey wool coat and looking withdrawn. Rihanna had to cancel another date in her ‘Loud Tour’ in Malmo after being hospitalized and placed on a drip. She posted a picture of the tube feeding into her arm on twitter with a caption reading “Sorry, Malmo!” She also later released a statement to apologize to fans, which read: “I am sorry to everyone who was coming out to my show in Malmo, Sweden. I was so excited to perform for you all. “It would have been a great time ... so much better than being sick with the flu, ugh! I’m really disappointed I couldn’t be there.” Earlier this week, it was reported doctors had told Rihanna to curb her partying to stay healthy on the road.


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

‘Little Makkahs’ prepare Indonesians for hajj E

ven before arriving in Makkah for this year’s hajj rites Indonesian housewife Irawati has felt the emotion of beholding the Kaaba, the cubic structure in Islam’s holiest city towards which all Muslims face to pray. Just days before leaving for Makkah the 30-year-old is finishing a mock hajj, part of a three-month training that tens of thousands of Indonesians complete every year in readiness for an annual pilgrimage that draws some two million Muslims from across the globe. Every year as the hajj grows near, hundreds of Little Makkahs sprout across Indonesia, from lifelike setups complete with a replica of the Kaaba, to simple arrangements of chairs and tables at hotels or mosques outside the larger cities or towns. “I feel like I’m in Makkah already,” Irawati said as she beheld the large Kaaba replica at her training site in east Jakarta, her voice breaking and eyes welling with tears. “When I see the real thing I may just collapse and weep with joy,” she added. Pilgrims have been arriving in Makkah for weeks in anticipation of the rituals, which climax today on Arafat, a hill outside Makkah. The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for every ablebodied Muslim who can afford the journey. Dalmi, a 55-year-old schoolteacher, said she and her fellow villagers also broke down in tears when they first saw a Kaaba replica while training in West Java. “We gasped in awe and then we all cried. Many of us have spent years saving up. We sold our jewelry, land, goats and cows, everything,” said Dalmi, who spent four years saving up the 31 million rupiah ($3,500) for the trip and the cost of the course. “When we saw the Kaaba, we saw our big dream being realized,” she added. At a compound half the size of a football field, Irawati circled the mock Kaaba together with a dozen other would-be pilgrims, cries of “Subhanallah” (Glory to God) echoing in the air. Other practice rites included the run between two hills, reenacting the search for water in the desert by Hagar, wife of the Prophet Abraham, for her son Ishmael, and the stoning of the devil.

‘I’m a hajji already’ Like other would-be pilgrims on the government-mandated course, they also watched videos on the hajj rituals, learnt Saudi laws and culture and executed simple exercises to stay fit. “When you’re in Makkah, remember not to push and shove or you may get crushed by big-sized Arabs,” warned group leader Sharifah Alawiyah, 59, evoking laughter. “I’m serious. Many have died in stampedes

there, so don’t rush,” she added. The hajj has in the past been fraught with perils such as deadly stampedes and fires. Hundreds died in a stampede in 2006. For pilgrims who are often illiterate or who have never gone beyond their own villages, getting separated from their groups in the crushing crowds is another common hazard. For the world’s largest Muslim-majority country and top sender of more than 200,000 pilgrims a year, the training is crucial in preventing chaos and casualties in the holy land, officials say. At the pilgrimage itself, Indonesian Muslims have earned a reputation for being among the most organized and orderly. They wear stainless steel bracelets engraved with their identity details as well as identical batik uniforms, and all carry the same travel bags with a large photograph of the owner. “Because we are handling so many pilgrims, it’s important to keep them organized and orderly. Ninety percent of them are farmers and fishermen who have never travelled overseas or been on a plane,” Religious Ministry official Muhaimin Luthfie told AFP. Pilgrims say the training has made them more confident about performing the hajj correctly and safely. “I made a few mistakes at first. When people climbed the hill, I walked down. But after doing this several times, I am an expert. I’m actually a hajji already-a fake one,” joked Yusuf, a 60-year-old farmer who like many Indonesians goes by a single name. But trainers warned that despite their best efforts, nobody could guarantee a trouble-free hajj. “When our pilgrims see people touching the Kaaba walls, they want to do the same,” said Alawiyah, a trainer who has led more than 30 groups. “The mood there makes everyone very excited. They forget everything we teach them here and then all hell breaks loose.” — AFP

Indonesian pilgrims conduct a practice run of a religious ritual before a mockup of the Kaaba, Islam’s holy shrine, at a training center in Jakarta as part of final preparations before departing for the hajj pilgrimage in Makkah. — AFP


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In this photo, Hemlal Darjay sings classical Buddhist compositions next to a poster of Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema during a Bhutan Star competition in Thimpu, Bhutan. — AP

Bhutan’srocks‘Idol’ dragon lutes T

he musician strummed his dragonheaded lute, launching a nervous young woman into a high-pitched, ululating song broadcast live across the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. The judges’ were unsparing. She was out of synch with the music, one said. The other consulted historical scriptures and discovered she got the lyrics wrong. It’s clear “Bhutan Star” is not just another low-budget knockoff of the “American Idol” juggernaut. This wildly popular show, which forces contestants to sing the nation’s fading traditional songs, is Bhutan’s most promising weapon in its fight to save its culture from being overrun by globalization. Conservative grandparents, Buddhist monks, rebellious teens and almost everyone else with a TV gather every Saturday and Sunday to watch contestants belt out classical Buddhist compositions. Jaded youngsters have started humming folk tunes in the street. “When young guys like us can sing this, (kids) think, ‘Why not?’” said Tandin Dorji, a 24-year old office worker and a contestant on the show. Nestled in the high peaks between India and China, the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” long maintained an insular existence, with traditions nearly frozen in amber and no paved roads, phones or postal service until the 1960s. Men wore the gho, a knee-length robe, with high black socks and elaborately decorated silk boots. Women wore the kira, a floorlength woven dress. They snacked on toasted rice and butter tea and listened to homegrown music. Even as young Bhutanese went abroad to study, and Bollywood movies colonized the nation’s two theaters, its traditions dominated. Then, in 1999, came TV, the

Internet and what Education Minister Thakur Powdyel calls “the onslaught of global culture.” The changes to this slow-paced nation of 700,000 were lightning fast. Kids now wear jeans and leather jackets and gel their hair into spikes. They eat Lay’s potato chips, drink Pepsi and listen to infectious Korean pop songs they pass around on cassettes and thumb drives. Kinzang Dema, the granddaughter of a renowned classical singer, sees no shame in playing Justin Bieber’s “Baby” from her cellphone speaker. “We get carried away by all that stuff,” said Yeshi Dem, 15, who guiltily revealed her love for the Korean soap opera “Boys Over Flowers.” Sensing that guilt, Nidup Dorji, a popular 37-year-old writer, actor, composer and singer, wondered whether Bhutanese were ready to embrace their culture again, but with a modern twist. He recorded a classical album in 2006 and was convinced it went blockbuster by Bhutan standards - selling 8,000 cassettes and 3,000 CDs - because he spiced it up with modern Spanish guitar and drums. The next year he turned to TV. He appropriated the format of “Idol,” which he had seen on satellite TV. He then used Bhutan’s pop genre known as rigsar to lure kids into watching the folk music called boedra and the more complex zhungdra, classical, high-pitched religious songs composed by Buddhist lamas and reminiscent of Chinese opera. Each week, the contestants perform one rigsar song with a modern band on one side of the stage and one song of either boedra or zhungdra with a traditional band on the other playing the dramnyen lute, the yangchen dulcimer and the fiddle-like chiwang. There are two sets of judges as well.

In this photo, Bhutanese watch young Bhutanese sing during a Bhutan Star competition. — AP The series has the production quality of a eat. Another gave perplexing advice to former junior high talent show held in a past-its- monk Tsheten G. Tashi, who forgot some prime Vegas nightclub and broadcast on local lyrics and sang the rest far out of tune: “When public access television. Some contestants two bulls fight, only one can win.” Tshering Lham sang a mournful lament in start over, forget the words or sing seriously off-key. Most stand stock still, though a few an ancient Tibetan dialect about a homesick slowly sway to the music. Ugyen Tshomo’s princess who had to leave China to live with a time ran out as she delivered a breathy, shaky king in Tibet. Both judges give her six out of 10. performance and her mike was turned off. “You have a good voice, but you are not stayWhen she kept singing, it was turned back on. ing in tune,” said Ugyen Tshering. The show is The judges, while far more polite than run under a complex system that mixes judges’ those on “Idol,” are brutal by the genteel stan- scores with cellphone text votes to whittle the dards of a country that measures its develop- 25 singers down, awards immunity to popular ment by the homegrown calculation of Gross ones, lets judges save some voted off and National Happiness. One judge told a contest- throws two new “wild card” singers into the ant she sang as if she had not had enough to mix halfway through the season. —AP


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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Find your bliss in waters off Kauai’s Napali Coast This photo shows Captain Bob Kutkowski speaking to guests aboard the Sea Breeze catamaran off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. — AP

The basic model of the new EOS C300 line of interchangeable-lens digital cinema cameras is shown at the introduction of the Cinema EOS System, Canon’s all-new lineup of professional motion picture cameras and lenses, at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles Thursday, Nov 3, 2011. — AP

Canon offers

new camera for Hollywood filmmakers

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our decades after winning Academy Awards for its cinema lenses, Canon Inc was back in Hollywood on Thursday, unveiling a new high-end digital video camera before an audience of some of the world’s most famous filmmakers. Fujio Mitarai, chief executive of the Japanese camera and office equipment giant, took the wraps of the movie camera, called Cinema EOS, in a packed theater on the Paramount Pictures movie studio lot. At $20,000 for the body alone, the Cinema EOS is not cheap by consumer standards but is on the low end of what professional digital film cameras cost, which can reach into the six figures. Two zoom lenses intended for movie making will go for $45,000 and $47,000. Making such costly cameras for professional users is somewhat of a departure for Canon, which makes up more than a third of its revenue from consumer electronics, and more than half from office equipment like all-in-one printer-copierfax machines. In an interview with The Associated Press, Mitarai said Canon’s move into expensive high-end products for professionals comes in response to the rising yen and the movement of manufacturing to cheaper-labor countries abroad. “Anything without high added value is now being manufactured in southeast Asian countries and China. So we need to shift into an era where all our products have an added value,” Mitarai said. “That is one major trend in meeting the difficulties posed by the strong yen.” The camera draws on the popularity of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, a single-lens reflex still camera that the company introduced in 2008 and which became widely embraced by independent filmmakers because of its ability to take full high-definition video at the 1920-by-1080 pixel resolution known as 1080p. It didn’t take long for its popularity to reach Hollywood. The Mark II was used in the final episode of the last season of Fox’s television show “House MD,” as well as in the car racing scenes of “Iron Man 2” and certain scenes in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” movies that Paramount distributed. The Cinema EOS is similar in shape to a traditional still camera but works with a variety of mounts. —AP

By Christina Rexrode

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was barefoot and drenched, holding fast to the railing of the 34-foot (10.3-meter) Sea Breeze as it zipped through the water. The jagged cliffs of the Napali Coast jutted to my right and the Pacific, in limitless shades of blue, stretched over the horizon to my left. Kauai is the northernmost of Hawaii’s islands and gets fewer visitors than Oahu, the Big Island or Maui. Many of those who do visit see it only through the lens of a kitschy luau or a dinner theater production of “South Pacific,” where they’re herded directly from cruise ships. But there are other ways to experience Kauai, untamed and authentic. One of them is to tour the island’s northwest coast as I did, aboard a catamaran. The Napali Coast is mostly a collection of cliffs, weathered and unscalable. You can’t tour it by car because there aren’t any roads. You can see it by helicopter, but it can be pricey. Some adventurous visitors kayak, but the coastal route is some 16 miles (26 kilometers) long. Or you could hike the dramatic and scenic Kalalau Trail, but it’s steep and can be muddy and slippery as you climb from high cliffs and back down to the ocean. The base of the trail also gets crowded, with limited parking spots filling up early. Another way to sightsee is to drive through Kauai’s Waimea Canyon, ending up at Kokee State Park, which offers a spectacular view from above, of a portion of the Napali Coast. Given the options of paddling and hiking or a car trip, I

opted for the catamaran. Several companies offer the boat trips. I chose NaPali Sea Breeze Tours. At $150, it wasn’t cheap, but I felt it was worth the splurge for the morninglong adventure. The day started around 7 am, when we gathered for departure from Anini Beach. Captain Bob - that’s Bob Kutkowski - was already there with his crewman, 21-year-old Britt Sanders. The two of them cracked lousy jokes, but maybe because of the sunshine or the sound of the waves lapping or the way that you can’t help but feel relaxed here, everybody laughed. Kutkowski, 62, moved to Kauai 41 years ago, when he couldn’t stand Southern California anymore. He lived in a tree house, then a van, spent a lot of time surfing, and eventually got his charter license. Our tour was full with 16 passengers as we pushed off and headed west. The folks from Dallas talked football; the folks from Connecticut wondered if it was snowing back home. Our hosts pointed out the sights and related local history and lore. We passed Tunnels Beach, where surfer Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack in 2003; the spot that once housed Taylor Camp, a hippie commune run by Elizabeth Taylor’s brother; caves where native Hawaiians sheltered their canoes from strong winds, and the cliffs where they buried their chiefs. On a lucky day, passengers will see birds diving into the ocean, as well as dolphins and whales. At one point the captain nonchalantly pointed out the dark outline of a shark. At another point, he steered the boat into a cave. —AP

Bieber’s tryst may be investigated A

woman who claims Justin Bieber fathered her baby in a backstage bathroom could be investigated for having sex with a minor because the singer was 16 at the time. While no crime has been reported, Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith told The Associated Press on Thursday that the department could investigate after Mariah Yeater filed the paternity suit against the teen heartthrob in San Diego Superior Court. “If it’s brought to our attention, of course we’ll look into it,” Smith said. Yeater had just turned 19 when she says she and Bieber, then 16, had a brief sexual encounter after one of the singer’s concerts at Staples Center. She said she gave birth to a boy in July and believes Bieber is the father because there were no other possible men she had sex with at that time. She is asking a judge for child support and a paternity test. A hearing is scheduled for Dec 15. Bieber’s camp has denied he is the child’s father. California law states anyone who has unlawful sex with someone under 18 and is not more than three years older is guilty of a misdemeanor, which carries up to a one-year jail sentence. “The issue of statutory rape, even if she’s guilty, hypothetically, that has no bearing on the duties to provide child support,” said one of Yeater’s lawyers, Matthew Pare. “It’s a totally separate issue.” —AP

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber take in the Winnipeg Jets victory over the Carolina Huricannes’ during NHL hockey action in Winnipeg in this file photo. — AP


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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Jackson jury to begin deliberations

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he fate of Michael Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray was finally put in the hands of the jury Thursday, after lawyers clashed for a last time at the end of his manslaughter trial. The seven-man, fivewoman jury will begin deliberating yesterday after prosecutors and defense lawyers wrapped up their closing arguments at the climax of the six-week long trial in Los Angeles. In a powerful summary, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said the 58year-old medic caused the star’s death through negligence and greed, depriving his children of their father and the world of a “genius.” Defense attorney Ed Chernoff then took the floor to claim that Murray was “a little fish in a big dirty pond,” alleging that key witnesses conspired to agree a story after Jackson died at his LA mansion on June 25, 2009. Murray faces up to four years in jail and

could lose the right to practice medicine if convicted over Jackson’s death from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, combined with other sedatives administered to help him sleep. Walgren, summing up an “overwhelming case” against Murray, said the medic invented elaborate lies to cover his tracks-for example about the timeline on the day Jackson died, or not telling paramedics what drugs he had given. Murray above all wanted to protect his $150,000 a month salary for looking after Jackson, Walgren said, describing how the doctor agreed to treat the star’s insomnia with the anesthetic propofol against all medical advice. “Conrad Murray in multiple instances deceived, lied, obscured, but more importantly Conrad Murray acted with criminal negligence,” Walgren told the jury. The defense has argued that Jackson was a desperate drug addict who caused his

own death by taking more medicines while Murray was out of the room at the star’s rented mansion in Los Angeles. Murray’s lawyer Chernoff hammered away at that theme in his closing argumentbut also questioned the integrity of key witnesses including Jackson’s chief bodyguard Alberto Alvarez. Alvarez, the first person to arrive in the bedroom where Jackson died, testified during the trial that he noticed a number of details, including a bottle of propofol inside a saline drip bag. Chernoff, referring dismissively to the “bottle in a bag” theory, suggested that Alvarez cooked it up with other witnesses, possibly to earn more money from media hungry for a good story. The defense lawyer also said that Jackson was under a huge amount of pressure from concert promoters AEG Live, who he suggested conspired to implicate Murray because it would deflect responsibility from

them. “He was just a little fish in a big dirty pond,” he said of Murray, who had only been hired two months before Jackson’s death. Murray’s case was harmed by his own account of Jackson’s final hours, given to police, in which he recounted giving a series of sedatives, including lorazepam and midazolam, in a vain attempt to help the star sleep. The doctor claimed he left the star for only two minutes to go to the bathroom and returned to find Jackson not breathing. But that timeline was called into question by a series of factors-not least a string of cell phone calls with female friends Murray had at the time when Jackson was apparently on his death bed. Prosecutor Walgren, widely praised for a masterful handling of the case against Murray, underlined the impact of Jackson’s death on the star’s three young children. —AFP

‘Twilight’ stars leave Country singer Keith Urban attends a special screening of “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” in New York. — AP

imprint on Hollywood

Keith Urban to undergo throat surgery C

ountry music singer Keith Urban will undergo throat surgery later this month, forcing the star to postpone numerous scheduled performances, Urban’s spokesman said Thursday. The singer, 44, will go through an out-patient procedure that will remove a polyp discovered on his vocal chords. Part of the recovery process requires the singer to be on complete vocal rest while recuperating. The singer will be honoring one-song performance commitments until his surgery, and will reschedule all other performances in the new year. He postponed his “All For The Hall” concert to benefit the Country Music Hall of Fame, scheduled for January 18. Urban, who is married to actress Nicole Kidman, is nominated for the entertainer and male vocalist awards at the Academy of Country Music Awards later this month. — Reuters

Actress Kristen Stewart (right) writes in wet cement as actor Taylor Lautner (center) and actor Robert Pattinson look on during the Twilight hand and footprint ceremony at The Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on Thursday, Nov 3, 2011. — AP

“T In this photo provided by StarPix, director Oliver Stone receives a lifetime achievement award at the 14th annual Savannah Film Festival hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design at the Trustees Theater, Thursday, Nov 3, 2011 in Savannah, Ga. — AP

wilight” actors Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, made their mark on Hollywood on Thursday, leaving imprints of their hands and feet outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The “Twilight” stars were greeted by hundreds of screaming fans as they added their hand and footprints to those left by Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra and dozens of other movie icons in past years, in the cement outside the movie theater. “I’ve been so enamored by this ‘business,’ I think this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said 21-year-old Stewart, who plays Bella Swan in the vampire romance. Pattinson, 25, who plays vampire Edward Cullen in the films, thanked the fans for their support. “This is just an incredible honor, as to how young we are, it’s kind of ridiculous and

amazing at the same time. And it’s all down to you guys to drive this franchise forward,” he said. Lautner, 19, who plays werewolf Jacob Black, added, “There are a few moments that mean so much, it’s really even hard to explain, and this is definitely one of those. The “Twilight” films are based on a series of best-selling novels by author Stephenie Meyer and tell the story of a young girl falling in love with a vampire boy in a world where vampires and werewolves roam in disguise among the living. The first three films, produced by independent studio Summit ntertainment, have made more than $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office, according to Box Office Mojo. Thursday’s ceremony preceded the Nov. 18 release of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1,” the fourth installment of the franchise. — Reuters


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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Meet entrepreneur, innovator, humanitarian, wife, mother W

hen it comes to supermodels, the big ones tend to be remembered for specific attributes - Cindy Crawford for her beauty mark, Linda Evangelista for her chameleonlike qualities, Gisele Bundchen for that body. But with Iman, who came to the US from her home country of Somalia in 1975 to model, it’s hard to pinpoint just one thing. It’s not only her otherworldly physical attributes, long neck and statuesque figure, but her enterprising foray into beauty, home and fashion. (Most recently, she’s launched the Platinum Collection - a line of outerwear and accessories exclusive to HSN.) She has an 11-year-old daughter with her husband, music idol David Bowie, to whom she’s been married for nearly 20 years. And then there’s her charity work with organizations including the Children’s Defense Fund, Action Against Hunger, Raise Hope for Congo and Save the Children, for which she serves as an ambassador. The 56-year-old stopped modeling in 1989 after 14 years in front of cameras, on runways and as a muse for designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Halston. Post-modeling, she turned her beauty know-how into big business with her Iman Cosmetics line in 1994. She had begun blending her own foundation while on photo shoots because there were no shades that suited her skin. That inspired her to create a line of cosmetics for women of color. “Three days after I arrived in the US in 1975 to model, my first job was for American Vogue,” Iman said recently over breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel, in town to be honored with a Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award. “I had never worn makeup or high heels. I did not know what foundation was. The makeup artist asked me, ‘Did you bring your own foundation?’ He had nothing for me.” Iman recalled the makeup artist mixing several colors together for her. She began doing the same, taking various shades of foundation she found in stores to make something that matched her skin tone. “For the years that I modeled, I always carried my own blend. I was never unprepared. I mixed my own until I stopped modeling.” Her cosmetics line boasts a full range of products, but she said her foundations are still the “hero” of the group because of the array of shades available. She stressed that the line is not designed for a specific ethnic group so much as it is for individual women. “When you go into a shoe store, there are no sections,” she said. “Why should there be sections for different ethnicities when it comes to makeup?” Her successful beauty business paved the way for a collection of clothing called Global

Iman modeling looks from her Platinum Collection of clothing and accessories. — MCT

Chic, a line of under-$100 women’s separates and accessories, which is sold exclusively on HSN. This fall, she’s added a higherend line of clothing, outerwear and bags, the Platinum Collection. “My clothes are chic; they’re classics reinvented,” Iman said. “I leave the trends to H&M and Zara, because they do it so well.” The Platinum Collection is priced slightly higher than her Global Chic line - for example, around $200 for wool coats and faux fur pieces and luggage items less than $400. She has put an emphasis on practicality and versatility. For instance, a wool coat comes with several interchangeable faux fur collars that give the wearer six ways to style the piece. There are traditional silhouettes and wardrobe basics such as riding boots, trench coats, shearling vests and black leather skirts. Bags are done in punchier colors, such as green and red. “When it comes to my clothes, I like color, but not in-your-face color,” she said. “I like to provide color as you need it. For instance, a red bag can lift everything up and is easier to wear than all red.” Though her fashion business has taken off, she said it’s certainly not something she envisioned doing while modeling for some of the biggest names in the industry. She was adamant about not referring to herself as a “designer,” but rather as someone who interprets trends and creates and curates a lifestyle line. But her firsthand experience working directly with designers certainly has honed a keen, sophisticated sense of style. “When I would walk in” to a fitting or photo shoot, she said, “the designer would ask me, ‘How would you wear this, how would you put this together?’ You were a muse.” — MCT


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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Zigzag frenzy:

All eyes on Missoni M

Looks from the Missoni for Target collection that debuted to unprecedented demand are pictured. — MCT

issoni is having a moment. Last month, the Italian luxury label’s Missoni for Target collaboration was so hotly sought after that it caused the retailer’s website to crash. EBay was flooded with resales of the stuff - some 21,000 items at one point - at inflated prices, including a pair of boots a Tulsa, Okla., woman posted for $31,000, in hopes, she wrote in the auction listing, of funding her daughter’s college tuition. Orders for the Missoni spring 2012 ready-towear line got a post-frenzy boost, and the company is pondering a mid-priced line. Copycat zigzags are turning up on everything from scarves to sweater dresses. On Oct. 23, three generations of Missonis gathered in Beverly Hills to accept the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award - the first fashion house to be honored as an entire family. Could it be that Missoni is on its way to becoming a household name? Before the ceremony, the family gathered to talk about the business at Mr C in Beverly Hills. But what was supposed to be a small gathering turned into a full-blown family reunion, with wine flowing and three generations speaking in English and Italian often at the same time. There was outspoken patriarch Ottavio “Tai” Missoni, 90, who recently won a gold medal in a track and field event for nonagenarian athletes. He and wife Rosita founded the company nearly 60 years ago, after meeting at the 1948 London Olympics, by combining resources from her family’s shawl-making business and his sports and lounge wear startup. On this day, he was wearing a soft, pilly sweater vest that looked like it could be an antique but was actually from the fall collection. Seated across from him was Rosita, 80, who stepped down from designing clothing in 1997 and now oversees Missoni Home. She was garbed in clashing Missoni patterns and giant plastic sailboat earrings, with a skinny braid dangling down from the back of her otherwise short coif. She was still wearing a sticker from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where she had viewed the Tim Burton exhibition earlier in the day. Next to Ottavio was daughter Angela, 52, creative director of the brand, who exuded a hint of 1960s artistic flower child in a crochet skirt, in contrast with her brothers Vittorio, 57, and Luca, 55, who run the business. (Luca was in a Missoni baseball cap, and Vittorio wore a toned-down sweater.) Across the table from Angela was her daughter, Margherita Missoni, 28, who starred in the Target ad campaign, collaborated on the collection with her mother and is quickly emerging as the next-generation face of the brand. Dressed in cutoff jeans shorts and a 1970s vintage jersey Missoni top scored on EBay, Margherita appears to be a free spirit like her mom, recounting tales of trips to Burning Man and looking at photos of her race-car driver boyfriend in an Italian newspaper. She once had aspirations to be an actress but gave them up to join the family business, where she heads up accessory design and collaborations (including recent projects with Havaianas and Converse). Over the course of the three-hour lunch, the Missonis interacted in a manner that conforms to an idyllic picture of familial harmony. (They often use family portraits as part of their advertising campaigns.) They held forth on many topics - the label’s history, the origin of those trademark zigzag patterns that are the brand’s under-the-radar logo, the dynamics of a family business - but often returned to the Target deal and the new opportunities it is creating. “Honestly, we didn’t expect it,” Angela Missoni said of the Sept. 13 frenzy. “I kept getting calls from friends all over America saying, ‘Do you know what’s happening here?

There are lines outside the store. The shelves are empty!’” The Missoni for Target collection was the discount retailer’s biggest high-low collaboration to date, with 400 pieces, including a $4.99 martini glass, $49.99 cardigan sweater, $399.99 bike and $599.99 patio set - all in Missoni’s graphic patterns, and all significantly less expensive than Missoni’s main line, which sells at Neiman Marcus and other high-end department stores at $1,000 or more for a dress. Target first came calling five years ago. “But I wasn’t sure they were ready,” said Angela. “Then, after what they did with Liberty of London, I saw it was working very well. And we were attracted to what they could bring to the awareness of the label.” Colleen Sherin, senior fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue, characterized the collaboration with Target as “brilliant.” (Saks carries the runway and lower-priced M Missoni collections.) “I don’t think anyone realized how incredibly successful it would be,” Sherin said in an email. “It was very smart in terms of developing further brand awareness across the country and bringing iconic Missoni designs to a broader audience.” Founded as a small knitwear label in 1953, Missoni gained prominence in the fashion world in the late 1960s and early 1970s for using knitwear as a canvas for kaleidoscopic flame, zigzag and space dye designs, and a new kind of informal, soft wardrobe. It has since grown into an international lifestyle brand with 40 stand-alone boutiques (including the one on Rodeo Drive) selling women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, and a number of licensed divisions, including M Missoni, eyewear and fragrance. (The women’s runway collections have been more conceptual over the last couple of years, sometimes dividing critics. But the fall 2011 collection in stores now - with its cozy crocheted sweaters, some trimmed in marabou feathers, and maxi skirts in cotton candy colors - was well received.) Missoni has opened its first hotels in Edinburgh, Scotland and Kuwait, and three more are planned for Oman, Brazil and Turkey. Nonetheless, in many ways it has been a niche brand in the United States - until now. In the online coverage of the Target deal, Angela remembered one commentator posting: “Am I the only one who doesn’t know Missoni?” Missoni is privately held. In 2010, the company had annual sales of about $45 million. (In 2010, Italian luxury brand Prada had $2.75 billion in annual sales, including the Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe labels.) Some industry watchers estimate the collaboration with Target was worth as much as $100 million in advertising for Missoni. And the family is already feeling the halo effect, with orders for the spring 2012 women’s ready-to-wear line increasing 10 percent over last season, Margherita said. The family said they are hoping to continue to leverage the success by launching their own more affordable line. “We can’t waste too much time,” she said. “We have a lot of options because everyone is interested, but it has to be something that touches different categories. ... The fact that you can put a zigzag on anything was part of the success at Target. People who wouldn’t wear a top would have a glass or a blanket.” The new line probably wouldn’t be priced as low as Missoni for Target, she said, and probably would be international. “Maybe it’s a partnership with Macy’s in the US and someone else in Europe.” — MCT


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TECHNOLOGY

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Top US companies urge new Internet trade rules WASHINGTON: Google, Microsoft, Citigroup, IBM, GE and other top-tier American companies on Thursday urged the United States to fight for trade rules that protect the free flow of information over the Internet. The unveiling of principles hashed out by the companies over the last nine months comes at a crucial moment, Rick Johnston, senior vice president for international government affairs at Citigroup, told reporters. Past trade agreements have largely focused on eliminating tariffs on manufactured and agricultural goods. But “we’re now in an era where the economy is literally driven by the Internet. It’s a digital economy,” Johnston said. The group’s report says future US trade pacts must “reflect the new realities of the global economy: specifically, the contribution of the Internet toward economic growth, toward job creation and exports,” said Bob Boorstin, director of public policy for Google, which has battled Internet restrictions in China and other countries. One dangerous trend is a requirement by an increasing number of governments for companies to locate data centers within a country’s borders in order to provide services, Boorstin said. Such laws are discriminatory and contrary to the notion of cross-border trade, the coalition said in its paper, which also criticized actions “governments around the world” have taken to block access to information services such as Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and YouTube. The office of US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said the group’s recommendations match key elements of a joint position the United States and European Union have already introduced at the World Trade Organization. “Eliminating barriers to cross-border data flows and other restrictions that are hindering the growth of the Internet and trade in information technology goods and services is a priority issue in the administration’s twenty-first century trade agenda,” USTR said. Even when Internet curbs are intended to support legitimate public interests such as national security or law enforcement, businesses can suffer when those rules are unclear, arbitrary, unevenly applied or more trade restrictive than they need to be to achieve their objectives, the group’s paper said. In many cases Internet restrictions are simply “digital protectionism” to shield domestic companies from foreign competition, the paper said. The companies said they hope their ideas will be reflected in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement that the United States is negotiating with eight countries in the region. That would put pressure on China to adopt similar policies even though it is not currently a member of the TPP talks, said Bill Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which helped lead the effort to work out the group’s ideas. MasterCard, Visa, Oracle, and GoDaddy.com also attached their name to the paper, along with the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Software Alliance, the Coalition of Services Industries and other groups. USTR said it was already pushing many of the group’s concerns in the TPP talks and in the broader Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group, which is holding its annual summit meeting this month in Hawaii. The United States is strongly urging APEC members to minimize the trade-distorting impact of information and communication technology policies, including those related to data privacy and security, USTR said. When appropriate, the United States should also bring cases at the WTO to enforce existing trade rules that cover cross-border data flows, the business coalition said. “We want the free flow of data just like we want the free flow of goods and services,” said Nuala O’Connor Kelly, chief privacy leader at General Electric. “In the information age, data is our widget.”— Reuters

China scorns charges of cyber espionage US accuses Russia, China of stealing secrets BEIJING: China yesterday dismissed a US report on online spying as “irresponsible”, rejecting the charge that China uses cyber espionage to steal lucrative US trade and technology secrets. The US intelligence report said on Thursday China and Russia are using cyber espionage to steal US trade and technology secrets to bolster their own economic development, which poses a threat to US prosperity and security. So much sensitive information sits on computer networks that foreign intruders can net massive amounts of valuable data with scant risk of detection, said the report to Congress. Foreign intelligence services, corporations and individuals stepped up their efforts to steal information about US technology that cost many millions of dollars to develop, according to the report by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, a US government agency. But the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei rejected the report, and repeated Beijing’s long-standing position that it wants to help. “Online attacks are notable for spanning national borders and being anonymous.

Identifying the attackers without carrying out a comprehensive investigation and making inferences about the attackers is both unprofessional and irresponsible,” Hong told a daily news briefing in answer to a question about the report. “I hope the international community can abandon prejudice and work hard with China to maintain online security,” he added. The US report acknowledged the difficulty of determining who exactly is behind a cyber attack. US companies have reported intrusions into their computer networks that originated in China, but US intelligence agencies cannot confirm who specifically is behind them. Intelligence officials say it is part of the national policy of China and Russia to try to acquire sensitive technology for their own economic development, while the United States does not do economic espionage as part of its national policy. The State Department in June said it had asked Beijing to investigate Google’s allegation of a major hacking attack that the Internet giant said originated in China. — Reuters

LAS VEGAS: In this photograph taken by AP Images for Sony PlayStation, Creator of Gran Turismo franchise Kazunori Yamauchi, right, joins finalists at the Gran Turismo awards on Thursday in Las Vegas. —AP

Google eyes pay television: Report SAN FRANCISCO: Google is thinking of getting into the pay television business as modern lifestyles increasingly turn to the Internet for entertainment, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The Journal cited unnamed sources as disclosing that Google is considering adding cable-style television programming as well as telephone features to a high-speed Internet project in Kansas City, Missouri. Google has discussed the idea with major television firms but no deals have been made, according to the Journal. The company declined to comment on what it referred to as speculation. The unconfirmed news came as Google set out to breathe new life into its moribund Internet television platform with the roll-out of second-generation Google TV software. Google is among technology firms betting that the future of home entertainment is films, television shows and other video content streamed on demand over the Internet. The California Internet titan last year launched Google TV, which is powered by Android software and Chrome Web browser and can be accessed using Sony TVs or set-top boxes from Logitech that route Web content to existing television sets. Sony and Logitech have both slashed prices on Google TV offerings in the face of disappointing sales. Updated Google TV software seeks to make it eas-

ier and more intuitive for viewers to find online video. “The Internet marks a new chapter for television,” Google said in a blog post. “This chapter is not about replacing broadcast or cable TV; it’s not about replicating what’s on TV to the Web. “It’s about bringing millions of new channels to your TV from the next generation of creators, application developers and networks.” Google owned online video venue YouTube is adding about 100 channels of original programming to the globally popular online venue for video sharing. YouTube’s dive into original content includes deals with celebrity partners such as pop music star Madonna and actor Ashton Kutcher. “Even more talented creators and original entertainment will soon join YouTube’s existing channel lineup,” YouTube global head of content partnerships Robert Kyncl said in a blog post last week. Google reportedly laid out more than $100 million to establish the partnerships, which come as it tries to become a preferred source of content for Internet-linked televisions. “These channels will have something for everyone, whether you’re a mom, a comedy fan, a sports nut, a music lover or a popculture maven,” Kyncl said. The first of the original channels will appear on YouTube this month with more added through the coming year.— AFP


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TECHNOLOGY

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Steve Jobs book jumps to top of bestseller lists NEW YORK: Walter Isaacson’s biography of Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs leapt to the top of bestseller lists in its first week in book stores, flying off shelves to the tune of 379,000 copies, according to Nielsen’s BookScan. “Steve Jobs,” which came out on Oct 24 from publisher Simon & Schuster, sold three times more copies than the next-bestselling book, John Grisham’s “The Litigators.” In its first week alone the book became one of the year’s 20 bestsellers. It has been a year since any book has sold more copies in its first week. Both former President George W. Bush’s auto-

SAMENA Telecoms renews emphasis on ICT to drive region’s development DOHA: The South Asia, Middle East and North Africa (SAMENA) Telecommunications Council has appointed Gulf Bridge International (GBI) as the inaugural Subsea Working Group chair and the David Ross Group as the co-chair at this week’s conference: “The Role of ICT in Driving Economic Growth.” The working group will focus on the region’s submarine cable networks, addressing a broad range of commercial, technical, regulatory and environmental issues. Ahmed Mekky, Board Member and CEO of GBI, plans to use the role to promote industry consensus around social and economic issues relevant to SAMENA’s broader ICT infrastructure speeding broadband connectivity, enhancing service to underserved regions and bringing greater resiliency to critical networks. GBI has already demonstrated a commitment to these issues, developing the region’s first carrier-neutral fiber optic network with industryleading technology. Across the Middle East, GBI has partnered with regional operators to provide access the region’s only network fully enabled to 40G with sections of 100G capacity, roughly 10 times faster than current connection speeds. “We recognize the critical role subsea cable infrastructure plays in the region’s development and take our responsibility as chair of this committee very seriously,” said Ahmed Mekky. “As the Middle East’s only carrier-neutral cable operator, GBI is uniquely positioned to drive consensus amongst industry leaders. We will utilize this opportunity to focus industry action on the key issues facing the region, placing a strong emphasis on increasing bandwidth, reliability and reach, while incentivizing overall market investment.” In their new role, GBI and committee Co-Chair The David Ross Group seek to support the broader mission of the SAMENA Telecommunications Council in providing a unified, consensus-based platform and voice for leading operators in the region. SAMENA offers a non-profit, multi-objective structure to facilitate such consensus-building and cooperation, and strives to address diversified interests of telecom operators throughout the region by allowing for free exchange of information and ideas. By providing this forum, the organization allows the broader region to benefit from the mutual cooperation and resolve of its member operators.

biography, “Decision Points,” and Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth,” sold more than 400,000 copies in their first week last November. Jobs died on Oct 5 of pancreatic cancer, age 56. The publication of Isaacson’ book, which was written with Jobs’ cooperation, was moved up from the original 2012 date. The 571-page volume was released on Apple’s iBooks online store and Amazon’s Kindle the day before it hit stores. Amazon later said it expected the book to be its top seller of the year. Sony has already picked up film rights to the book. — Reuters

Kodak fate could hinge on selling patents

NEW YORK: A sign at Eastman Kodak Co’s corporate headqaurters stands on Thursday in Rochester, New York.—AFP

SAN FRANCISCO: Iconic US camera maker Kodak Eastman revealed Thursday that surviving another year could hinge on selling patents or borrowing money. The warning was filed with US regulators on the same day that Kodak reported it lost $222 million in the quarter ending September 30 despite an encouraging 44 percent increase in its inkjet printer business. Overall revenue in the quarter sank 17 percent to $1.462 billion when compared to the same period a year earlier. The New York State company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that the ability to continue operations in the coming 12 months depended on an infusion of cash from selling patents or taking on debt. The 131-year-old company said it could seek as much as $500 million in financing. Kodak noted in the filing that it can not assure either method of raising cash will work. Kodak chief executive Antonio Perez said during an earnings conference call that he was pleased with the interest expressed in a batch of patents the company targeted for the auction block about four months ago. “These required statements shouldn’t be misunderstood in any way as a dampening of my optimism in our ability to complete the sale of our digital-imaging patent portfolio, which is very high,” Perez said. The company, which has hired a law firm for advice on a possible restructuring, said in late July that “exploring strategic alternatives” for its patents for digital imaging. Kodak lowered its revenue forecast for the year and raised its expected operating loss to somewhere between $400 and $600 million. The company’s stock price slid more than six percent to $1.12 per share in after hours trading that followed the release of the earnings report.— AFP

Yahoo hopes to reach readers with iPad magazine SUNNYVALE: Yahoo has begun to distribute an iPad magazine that illuminates the Internet company’s ambitions and the chronic troubles that have thrown its fate into doubt. The free magazine, called Livestand, has intriguing potential because its software can be customized to pull a deep pool of content from Yahoo’s website and other participating publishers to cater to each user’s interests. But the magazine didn’t arrive until Wednesday, well behind Yahoo Inc.’s own timetable for the product and 19 months after Apple Inc. began selling the iPad. Since its launch last year, the iPad has thrust tablet computers onto the cutting edge of both technology and media. Yahoo is counting on Livestand to keep its brand and services relevant as more people embrace the iPad and other mobile devices to consume digital content. Yet Yahoo’s delays in seizing such opportu-

nities have been a recurring problem during the past decade. A combination of hubris, bureaucracy and poor decision-making caused Yahoo to react too slowly to threats posed by Google Inc. in Internet search and Facebook in social networking. That has left Yahoo badly weakened in two key markets. Those setbacks are the main reasons Yahoo has been mired in a financial funk during a five year stretch that saw the company go through three different CEOs who were unable to engineer a turnaround. Yahoo’s board has been reviewing whether to sell all or parts of the company since firing Carol Bartz as CEO nearly two months ago. If Yahoo remains independent, Livestand may become a key piece of Yahoo’s latest comeback attempt. It represents Yahoo’s first major step toward building products primarily aimed at mobile devices before adapting them for desktop computers. Besides drawing upon

Yahoo’s own content, Livestand chooses material from ABC, Forbes magazine, Parenting magazine and an assortment of publications devoted to sports and hobbies. Publishers will be offered a chance to sell subscriptions through Livestand next year. Livestand “is sort of a re-imagining of what Yahoo can be,” Blake Irving, Yahoo’s chief product officer, told reporters after he unveiled the magazine at the company’s headquarters. The magazine’s debut came nearly nine months after Yahoo offered its first preview of Livestand. At that time, Yahoo said it hoped the magazine would be available in iPad’s app store by June. But Irving said Yahoo needed more time to ensure that the technology provided a smooth experience for readers, publishers and advertisers. While Yahoo fine-tuned its product, several other digital magazine applications have attracted millions of users. —AP


TV listings SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

00:50 Monster Bug Wars 01:45 Dogs 101 02:40 Planet Earth 03:35 Whale Wars 04:30 Whale Wars 05:25 Monster Bug Wars 06:20 Dogs 101 07:10 World Wild Vet 08:00 Project Puppy 08:25 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 09:15 Breed All About It 09:40 The Really Wild Show 10:10 Growing Up...: Clouded Leopard 11:05 Natural Born Hunters 11:30 Jeff Corwin Unleashed 12:00 Crocodile Hunter 12:55 Dogs 101 13:50 Must Love Cats 14:45 Bad Dog 15:40 My Cat From Hell 16:35 Into The Pride 17:30 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 18:25 Queens Of The Savannah 19:20 Mutant Planet 21:10 Dogs 101 22:05 Best Bites: 25 Greatest Shark Moments 23:00 Beast Lands 23:55 Shark Feeding Frenzy

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

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

After You’ve Gone Him & Her Beautiful People The Weakest Link: S11: Set 02 Afterlife Doctor Who Dinnerladies 3rd & Bird: set 01 Bobinogs Boogie Beebies: Set 4 Spot’s Musical Adventures Me Too: Set 1 Fimbles: Set 2 3rd & Bird: set 01 Bobinogs Boogie Beebies: Set 4 Me Too: Set 1 Charlie & Lola: Set 2 Fimbles: Set 2 3rd & Bird: set 01 Bobinogs Boogie Beebies: Set 4 Spot’s Musical Adventures Me Too: Set 1 Charlie & Lola: Set 2 Fimbles: Set 2 3rd & Bird: set 01 Bobinogs Boogie Beebies: Set 4 Spot’s Musical Adventures Me Too: Set 1 Charlie & Lola: Set 2 Fimbles: Set 2 Dinnerladies Ray Mears Goes Walkabout Doctor Who Eastenders: set 253 After You’ve Gone The Weakest Link: S11: Set 02 Ray Mears Goes Walkabout Doctor Who The Weakest Link: S11: Set 02 After You’ve Gone Holby City: Set 1 Doctor Who As Time Goes By One Foot In The Grave Gavin & Stacey Blackadder The Third

Masterchef Australia The Naked Chef What Not To Wear Masterchef Australia The Naked Chef What Not To Wear Masterchef Australia Come Dine With Me Antiques Roadshow Daily Cooks Challenge Antiques Roadshow Antiques Roadshow Antiques Roadshow Antiques Roadshow Antiques Roadshow What Not To Wear What Not To Wear Gok’s Fashion Fix Gok’s Fashion Fix

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

KING ARTHUR OSN ACTION HD

00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 01:40 02:00 02:30 03:00 03:10 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 05:10 05:30 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:10 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:10 10:30 11:00 11:10 11:30 12:00 12:10 13:00 13:10 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:10 15:30 16:00 16:15

BBC World News The Bottom Line BBC World News America Sport Today Weekend World BBC World News Horizons BBC World News Weekend World The Bottom Line BBC World News World Challenge 2011 BBC World News World Features Horizons BBC World News Fast Track BBC World News The Arab Spring BBC World News Middle East Business Report BBC World News Click BBC World News Weekend World The Bottom Line BBC World News World Football Focus World Challenge 2011 BBC World News Tropic Of Cancer BBC World News The Health Show Newsnight BBC World News Our World BBC World News Weekend World BBC World News BBC World News Sport Today

16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:10 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:10 22:00 22:15 22:30 23:00 23:10 23:30

Fast Track BBC World News Dateline London BBC World News World Features Horizons BBC World News Click BBC World News Final Score BBC World News The Arab Spring BBC World News Sport Today Fast Track BBC World News The Health Show The Bottom Line

00:15 Samurai Jack 00:40 Megas XLR 01:05 Robotboy 01:30 Squirrel Boy 01:55 George Of The Jungle 02:20 Cramp Twins 02:45 Chop Socky Chooks 03:10 Best Ed 03:35 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 04:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:25 Generator Rex 04:50 Adventure Time 05:15 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 05:40 Chowder 05:55 Powerpuff Girls 06:30 Ed, Edd n Eddy 06:55 I Am Weasel 07:20 Squirrel Boy 07:45 Cow & Chicken 08:00 The Life & Times Of Juniper Lee 08:04 Cow & Chicken

08:25 Powerpuff Girls 08:50 Cartoon Network Dance Club 09:05 Angelo Rules 09:30 Chowder 09:55 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 10:20 Adventure Time 10:45 The Amazing World Of Gumball 10:55 Cow & Chicken 11:30 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 11:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 12:20 Generator Rex 12:45 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 13:10 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 13:35 Hero 108 14:00 Ben 10: Race Against Time 15:40 Chowder 16:05 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 16:30 Courage The Cowardly Dog 16:55 Cow & Chicken 17:20 Adventure Time 17:45 Codename: Kids Next Door 18:10 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 18:35 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 19:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 19:25 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 19:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 20:15 Adventure Time 20:40 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 21:05 Chowder 21:30 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:55 Cow & Chicken 22:20 Best Ed 22:45 I Am Weasel 23:00 Ben 10 23:25 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:50 The Secret Saturdays

Backstory World Sport The Situation Room World Report Anderson Cooper 360 Piers Morgan Tonight Quest Means Business CNN Marketplace Africa World Sport Inside Africa World Report Backstory World Report CNN Marketplace Africa Eco Solutions World Report CNN Marketplace Middle East Living Golf World Sport Inside The Middle East World View African Voices Inside Africa Eco Solutions World Report World Sport Piers Morgan Tonight World Report Inside The Middle East News Special World View International Desk African Voices Living Golf World Sport Talk Asia Inside Africa International Desk Eco Solutions World Report Inside The Middle East Piers Morgan Tonight News Special World View

00:15 Swamp Brothers 00:40 Extreme Fishing With Robson Green 01:35 Overhaulin’ 02:30 Dirty Jobs 03:25 Ultimate Survival 04:20 Mythbusters 05:15 How It’s Made 05:40 How Do They Do It? 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Ultimate Biker Challenge 07:25 South Beach Classics 07:50 Wheeler Dealers 08:15 Fifth Gear 08:45 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 09:40 James May’s Man Lab 10:30 Mythbusters 11:25 Science Of The Movies 12:20 How It’s Made 12:45 Auction Hunters 15:05 Border Security 17:20 Toughest Race On Earth With James... 19:40 Race Across America With James Cracknell 21:30 Extreme Fishing 22:25 River Monsters 23:20 Ultimate Survival

00:40 The Gadget Show 01:05 The Tech Show 01:35 Mighty Ships 02:25 Green Wheels 02:50 Future Weapons 03:40 Brainiac 04:35 The Gadget Show 05:00 The Gadget Show 05:25 How Stuff’s Made 05:50 Mighty Ships 06:40 Stuntdawgs 07:10 The Future Of... 08:00 Joao Magueijo’s Big Bang 08:55 Head Rush 08:58 Sci-Fi Science 09:25 Weird Connections 09:55 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 10:45 Moon Machines 11:35 Discovery Project Earth 15:45 Head Rush 15:48 Sci-Fi Science 16:15 Weird Connections 16:45 Bang Goes The Theory 17:10 The Gadget Show 17:35 The Gadget Show

18:00 Under New York 18:50 How The Universe Works 19:40 Da Vinci’s Machines 20:30 Prototype This 21:20 Joao Magueijo’s Big Bang 22:10 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 23:00 Da Vinci’s Machines 23:50 Prototype This

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Style Star 01:25 E!es 02:20 E!es 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 10:15 Bridalplasty 11:10 Bridalplasty 12:05 E! News 13:05 E!es 14:05 Giuliana & Bill 15:00 Ice Loves Coco 15:55 Khloe And Lamar 16:55 Style Star 17:25 Fashion Police 17:55 E! News 18:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 20:55 The Soup 21:25 Kendra 21:55 Kendra 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 The Soup

00:15 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 00:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner 01:30 The Haunted 02:15 Dead Tenants 02:40 Dead Tenants 03:05 Stalked: Someone’s Watching 03:30 I Was Murdered 03:50 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 04:15 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 04:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner 05:25 Dead Tenants 05:50 Dead Tenants 06:15 The Haunted 07:10 Mystery Diagnosis 08:00 Forensic Detectives 08:45 Murder Shift 09:35 Mystery ER 10:20 Real Emergency Calls 10:45 Real Emergency Calls 11:05 Disappeared 11:50 FBI Files 12:40 Murder Shift 13:25 On The Case With Paula Zahn 14:15 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 15:00 Mystery ER 15:50 Real Emergency Calls 16:15 Real Emergency Calls 16:35 Disappeared 17:20 Forensic Detectives 18:10 Murder Shift 19:00 FBI Files 19:45 Real Emergency Calls 20:10 Mystery ER 20:55 Street Patrol 21:20 On The Case With Paula Zahn 22:10 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 23:00 The Haunted 23:50 Ghost Lab

00:00 Departures 01:00 On The Camino De Santiago 01:30 On The Camino De Santiago 02:00 Treks In A Wild World 02:30 Bluelist Australia 03:00 Amazing Adventures of A Nobody 03:30 Amazing Adventures Of A Nobody 04:00 Around The World For Free 05:00 A World Apart 06:00 Departures 07:00 On The Camino De Santiago 07:30 On The Camino De Santiago 08:00 Treks In A Wild World 08:30 Bluelist Australia 09:00 Amazing Adventures of A Nobody 09:30 Amazing Adventures Of A Nobody


TV listings SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011 10:00 Around The World For Free 11:00 A World Apart 12:00 Departures 13:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 13:30 Pressure Cook 14:00 Cooking The World 15:00 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 16:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 17:00 Long Way Down 18:00 Perilous Journeys 19:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 19:30 Pressure Cook 20:00 Cooking The World 21:00 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 22:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 23:00 Long Way Down

00:00 02:00 04:15 06:00 08:15 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

They Wait-PG15 From Hell-18 Ninja Assassin-18 King Arthur-PG15 Bangkok Adrenaline-PG15 The Damned United-PG15 Secret Window-PG15 Bangkok Adrenaline-PG15 Shanghai Knights-PG15 Secret Window-PG15 Killshot-18 Fatal Secrets-PG15

01:00 In Her Skin-18 03:00 My Son, My Son, What Have You Done?-PG15 05:00 Flash of Genius-PG15 07:15 The Maiden Heist-PG15 09:00 My Son, My Son, What Have You Done?-PG15 11:00 The Sunset Limited-PG15 13:00 Love N’ Dancing-PG15 15:00 The Lizzie McGuire Movie-PG 17:00 Paper Man-PG15 19:15 The Sorcerer’s ApprenticePG15 21:15 Jonah Hex-PG15 23:00 Crazy-18

07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00 23:00

Law & Order: Criminal Intent Tower Prep The Ellen DeGeneres Show Friday Night Lights The View Glee Survivor: South Pacific Live Good Morning America The Invisible Man The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street C.S.I. C.S.I. New York C.S.I. Miami Big Love Law & Order: Criminal Intent Detroit 1-8-7

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 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Law & Order Friday Night Lights No Ordinary Family The X Factor (US) Glee Survivor: South Pacific Law & Order The Simpsons The Simpsons White Collar Friday Night Lights The X Factor (US) Glee The Simpsons The Simpsons White Collar The Closer Outsourced Coronation Street White Collar C.S.I. The Killing C.S.I. Miami Top Gear (UK) The Good Guys

01:00 Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels-18 03:00 Menace II Society-18 05:00 They Wait-PG15 07:00 The Karate Kid II-PG 09:00 Arctic Predator-PG15 10:45 Sherlock Holmes-PG15 13:00 The Karate Kid III-PG 15:00 Arctic Predator-PG15 17:00 S.W.A.T.: Firefight-PG15 19:00 Tupac: Resurrection-18 21:00 Fatal Secrets-PG15 23:00 Bram Stoker’s Dracula-18

00:00 The Parent Trap-PG 02:15 Heart And Souls-PG 04:00 The Prince And Me 3: A Royal Honeymoon-PG15 06:00 I’ll Be Home For ChristmasPG15 08:00 A Lot Like Love-PG15 10:00 The Out Of Towners-PG15 12:00 Did You Hear About The Morgans?-PG15 14:00 Happy Ever Afters-PG15 16:00 The Parent Trap-PG 18:15 Away We Go-PG15 20:00 Jack Goes Boating-PG15 22:00 American High School-18

01:00 Shampoo-18 03:00 The Reckoning-18 05:00 Proteger & Servir-18 07:00 Catch That Kid-PG 09:00 Awakenings-PG15 11:00 The Snow Walker-PG15 13:00 Little Man Tate-PG 15:00 Star Trek III: The Search For Spock-PG15

17:00 19:00 21:00 PG15 23:15

Benny & Joon-PG Fireflies In The Garden-PG15 The Fighting Temptations-

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

Last Ride-PG15 Our Family Wedding-PG15 Astro Boy-FAM Head Of State-PG15 Crazy On The Outside-PG15 You Again-PG15 Ramona And Beezus-PG Alice In Wonderland-PG Crazy On The Outside-PG15 Green Zone-PG15 That’s What I Am-PG15 Piranha-R

The Limits Of Control-18

00:15 The Thief Of Baghdad-PG 02:00 Inspector Gadget’s Biggest Caper Ever-FAM 03:45 The Enchanted Mountain-PG 06:00 The Thief Of Baghdad-PG 08:00 My Fair Madeline-FAM 10:00 The Little Engine That CouldPG15 12:00 Arthur And The Revenge Of Maltazard-PG 14:00 The Enchanted Mountain-PG 16:00 Cats & Dogs-PG 18:00 The Little Engine That CouldPG15 20:00 Leave It To Beaver-PG 22:00 Arthur And The Revenge Of Maltazard-PG

00:00 WWE Tough Enough 01:00 WWE SmackDown 03:00 WWE Bottom Line

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 South Park 02:00 Family Guy 02:30 Entourage 03:30 The Office 04:00 According To Jim 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Dharma And Greg 06:00 Weird Science 06:30 Just Shoot Me 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 According To Jim 08:30 The Office 09:00 Dharma And Greg 09:30 Hot In Cleveland 10:00 Community 10:30 Just Shoot Me 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Weird Science 12:30 According To Jim 13:00 The Office 13:30 Dharma And Greg 14:00 Just Shoot Me 14:30 Hot In Cleveland 15:00 Community 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Weird Science 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Melissa And Joey 18:30 Mr. Sunshine 19:00 Community 19:30 Hot In Cleveland 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live 23:00 South Park 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00

Survivor: South Pacific Friday Night Lights Glee The Invisible Man Good Morning America

FLASH OF GENIUS ON OSN CINEMA

04:00 05:00 06:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 18:30 20:30 21:30 23:30

UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Countdown Live European PGA Tour WWE Vintage Collection Powerboats WWE SmackDown UFC 138 Countdown Live Rugby League 4 Nations Total Rugby Live Rugby League 4 Nations UFC Countdown WWE SmackDown WWE Tough Enough

00:00 00:30 04:00 06:00 07:00 09:00 09:30 11:30 15:00 16:00 18:00 18:30 20:30 22:30

ICC Cricket World Premier League Snooker Pro 12 Celtic League Trans World Sport Rugby World Cup Total Rugby Pro 12 Celtic League Premier League Snooker Trans World Sport Live Rugby League 4 Nations Futbol Mundial Live Rugby League 4 Nations Scottish Premier League Rugby League 4 Nations

00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 03:00 04:30 05:30 06:00 11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00 13:30 15:30 16:00 17:00 17:30 18:00 20:00 20:30 22:30

SPL Highlights European Tour Weekly Total Rugby Pro 12 Celtic League Volvo Ocean Race Golfing World European Tour Weekly Live European PGA Tour European Tour Weekly ICC Cricket World Trans World Sport Total Rugby Pro 12 Celtic League Spirit of Yachting Live Volvo Ocean Race Futbol Mundial SPL Highlights Live Scottish Premier League Total Rugby Live Pro 12 Celtic League European PGA Tour

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

WWE Tough Enough WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Countdown UFC Unleashed WWE SmackDown WWE Tough Enough WWE Bottom Line WWE Vintage Collection Powerboats UFC 138 Countdown V8 Supercars V8 Supercars Prizefighter Powerboats UFC 138 Countdown WWE Tough Enough WWE SmackDown WWE Tough Enough

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

Battles B.C. IRT: Deadliest Roads Engineering An Empire Chasing Mummies Ancients Behaving Badly Clash Of The Gods Battles B.C. IRT: Deadliest Roads Engineering An Empire Chasing Mummies Ancients Behaving Badly Clash Of The Gods Battles B.C. IRT: Deadliest Roads Engineering An Empire Chasing Mummies Ancients Behaving Badly Clash Of The Gods Battles B.C. IRT: Deadliest Roads Dead Men’s Secrets Titanic’s Tragic Sister Lifeboat Heroes The Sinking Of The Royal Oak

00:00 Kim Possible 00:25 Fairly Odd Parents 01:15 Stitch

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

Replacements Emperor’s New School Stitch Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Jungle Junction Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Adventures Of Disney Suite Life On Deck My Babysitter’s A Vampire Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Fish Hooks Wizards Of Waverly Place Cadet Kelly So Random Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Fish Hooks Wizards Of Waverly Place Stitch Shake It Up Fish Hooks So Random The Suite Life Of Zack And The Suite Life Of Zack And My Babysitter’s A Vampire Wizards Of Waverly Place Sonny With A Chance Good Luck Charlie Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Cheetah Girls So Random Wizards Of Waverly Place My Babysitter’s A Vampire Good Luck Charlie Suite Life On Deck Sonny With A Chance The Suite Life Of Zack And Hannah Montana Kim Possible

00:05 The Garfield Show 00:30 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 00:55 The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop 01:20 Droopy: Master Detective 01:45 The Flintstones 02:10 Johnny Bravo 02:35 Duck Dodgers 03:00 King Arthur’s Disasters 03:25 The Scooby Doo Show 03:50 Popeye Classics 04:00 Tom & Jerry 04:25 Popeye 04:50 The Jetsons 05:15 The Flintstones 05:35 Looney Tunes 06:00 Pink Panther & Pals 06:10 Tex Avery 06:35 Yogi’s Treasure Hunt 07:00 The Garfield Show 07:15 New Yogi Bear Show 07:30 Bananas In Pyjamas 07:55 Baby Looney Tunes 08:00 Paddington Bear 08:25 Gerald McBoing Boing 08:50 Bananas In Pyjamas 09:15 Baby Looney Tunes 09:40 Jelly Jamm 09:55 Puppy In My Pocket 10:20 Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch 10:45 Yogi’s Treasure Hunt 11:10 The Garfield Show 11:35 Pink Panther And Pals 12:00 Looney Tunes 12:30 The Scooby Doo Show 12:55 Tom & Jerry 13:20 Top Cat 13:45 Popeye 14:05 New Yogi Bear Show 14:30 Tex Avery 14:50 The Addams Family 15:15 Droopy & Dripple 15:40 The Flintstones 16:05 The Garfield Show 16:30 Duck Dodgers 16:55 Wacky Races 17:20 Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo 17:45 Dastardly And Muttley 18:10 The Jetsons 18:35 Wacky Races 18:55 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 19:20 Popeye Classics 19:30 Scooby-Doo In Where’s My Mummy? 21:00 Top Cat 21:30 Dastardly And Muttley 21:50 Tom & Jerry 22:05 Wacky Races 22:40 The Scooby Doo Show 23:05 Tom & Jerry 23:30 Johnny Bravo


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WHAT’S ON

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

ISCP holds annual Science Quiz

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cience Quiz competitions are significantly important cocurricular events that are held in schools and colleges. Such events are very important and promote logical thinking. Students are encouraged to ponder over the scientific reasons behind everyday natural phenomena. They get a chance to accumulate all the information they can gather and express it in such competitions, which is quite inspiring for the other students, as well. A science quiz was organized by the junior section of ISCP under the guidance of the Vice

Principal Zarina Ghulam M Khan. The director Nadiya AlHufaiti and the Principal Anjum Masood attended the quiz. Students from grade 5 to 8 were placed in different teams after being selected in preliminary rounds. The students were asked questions generally and individually in four different rounds. Rapid fire round and visual round were enjoyed the most by the audience. Among grade 5 and 6 Team C scored the 2nd position and Team D stood first whereas Team A gained the 3rd position.

The final results for grade 7 and 8 were decided on the basis of a tie breaker. Among grade 7 and 8 Team C finished a creditable 2nd whereas Team A stood first. The 3rd position was awarded to Team B. The Principal Anjum Masood praised the efforts of the participants and teachers. A special prize was announced by the Principal for Abdur Rehman Amr (Grade 8 D) for his exceptional knowledge and leadership.

Gala concert

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he Embassy Of The Republic of Poland & Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia are set to hold a special gala concert on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 8 pm at Al-Hashemi Ballroom Radisson Blu Hotel to celebrate the Polish presidency in the European union. The event will be performed by Alicja Wegorzewska-Whiskerd, with participation from Bogdan Kierejsza, and piano duo Tamara Granat & Daniel Propper. The program includes works from Chopin, Liszt, Puccini, Verdi, Bizet, Brahms, Czerny, Debussy.

Harvest Festival - 2011

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Visit

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ac Poonen, a noted youth counselor, social reformist and orator is due to arrive in Kuwait on November 8 for a short visit. He has authored a great number of books including best sellers, namely ‘The Secrets of Victory’ and ‘Amazing Facts’.

uwait St James Mar Thoma Church will hold the Harvest Festival 2011 on Monday, November 7, 2011 from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm at the National Evangelical Church of Kuwait (NECK) compound with a wide array of entertainment programs. Along with the Vicar, Rev. A. Y. Varghese, the occasion will be blessed by the presence of the vicars of the other Mar Thoma Parishes, vicars of other sister parishes and other prominent dignitaries. Various stalls offering an array of delicious, mouth watering home-made culinary delights will be available on that day. You are sure to be carried away to the nostalgic feeling of Kerala, God’s own country, by eating ‘Kappa’ with meen curry, appam with chicken stew, pooribhaji etc. and sumptuous homely food in the form of a nadan sadya. Socio-cultural programs are being organized by the various organizations of the Parish. We solicit the gracious presence of all parishioners and sister parishes members to attend this festival and make it a memorable one. Arrangements are in full swing under the leadership of Vicar Rev. A. Y. Varghese, General Convenor Ivan Chacko and Parish Secretary John Thampan. For more details, kindly call 97542152 / 66278705.

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

Christmas Carol Concert

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he Ahmadi Music Group will be holding a fantastic Christmas Carol Concert on December 9-10, 2011 in which Santa will be making an appearance, and the children can get involved with singing, waving jingle bells, etc. Guaranteed Christmas fun for the whole family! The event will be held at New English School (NES) at 5 pm both days with an adult show at 7:30 pm on both days.

AWARE announcements

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he Aware management is glad to inform you that Winter 1 Arabic language courses will begin on November 20, 2011 until January 12, 2012. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed and courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. We cater to teachers, travelers and those working in the private business sector. Arabic classes at the AWARE Center are unique because students are provided with the chance to practice their Arabic through various social activities that aim at bringing Arabs and Westerners together.

• • • • •

AWARE Arabic courses highlight: Introductory to Level 4 Arabic language basics Better prepare you for speaking, reading and writing Arabic Combine language learning with cultural insights Taught in multi-nationality group settings Provide opportunities to interact with Western expatriates and native Kuwaitis/Arabs. For more information or registration, call 25335260/80 ext 105/104/0 or log onto: www.aware.com.kw.”

Aware Center tour Aware Centre is organizing a tour on Saturday, November 12 for a rewarding, spiritual and informative experience. This is a tour of one of Kuwait’s most famous landmarks. The Grand Mosque is an important landmark of Kuwait. This tour begins with all interested individuals meeting at the Grand Mosque at 9:15 am. Tour starts at 9:30 am. Dress code is conservative, cameras allowed. Please note, women are kindly requested to wear long and loose fitting clothing and may take a scarf for covering their hair or otherwise will be provided one by the grand mosque.


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WHAT’S ON

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Fall exhibition

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he Palestinian Culture Center in cooperation with Bayt Lothan invites you to its fall exhibition. The exhibition aims to preserve the Palestinian handicrafts to reaffirm the Palestinian national identity as well as empowering refugee women in the camps. We display classic designs intertwined with modern uses, colors, and motifs to showcase some of the creativity of the Palestinian women. Items on sale include:

cushions, runners, scarves, shawls, long traditional dresses as well as smaller items. They also have handmade ceramics from Palestine, books, music and movies. This will take place at Bayt Lothan, Salmiya next to Marina Mall from Monday, November 14 to Thursday, November 17, 2011 between 10:00 am to 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Call 25755866; 25727388; 99376608 for further information.

Carnival of Joy

Art gallery

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igurative abstract and translucent acrylic colors form the subject of the art exhibition by Shyma’s Ashkanani. The opening reception will be held on November 14, 2011 at 7 pm and the exhibition hours from November 15-24 are between 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

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eavenly Feast presents a ‘Carnival of Joy Kuwait,’ a divine musical program, from November 4, 5 and 6 at Marina Hall , Abbassiya. Leading speakers and singers from Indian will participate in the carnival on Friday, November 4 from 9 am to 12 noon (no evening meeting), Saturday, Nov 5 from 9 am to 12 noon and 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm.

This will be followed by a youth conference and live music ‘JG Arise’ at 6pm on Nov 7,8 and 9 at Marina Hall, Abbassiya. For transportation. Mangaf: 66889981/ Salmiya: 55624159/ Farwaniya: 99930681. For further information: 97337016. www.theheavenlyfeast.org


HEALTH SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Commercial diet schemes better than doctors’ help LONDON: Commercial weight-loss programs such as Weight Watchers and Slimming World are more effective and cheaper than family doctor-based services led by specially trained staff, according to the findings of a study published yesterday. With a global epidemic of obesity putting huge pressure on health budgets, researchers at Britain’s Birmingham University wanted to compare the effectiveness of doctor-led weight loss programs against several well-known commercial schemes. The results suggest that while commercial schemes generally help people to lose weight, doctor-led programs do not. After 12 weeks, people in all the

schemes studied had achieved significant weight loss, but the average loss ranged from the highest at 4.4 kg (9.7 lb) with Weight Watchers down to 1.4 kg on a program led by primary care staff. A control group who were not put on any specific diet program but were given vouchers for free access to a gym for 12 weeks lost just as much weight on average as those using health clinic-based based weight-loss programs. After a year, statistically significant weight loss was recorded in all groups apart from the primary care programs, but Weight Watchers was the only program to achieve significantly greater weight loss than the control group. Kate Jolly, a clini-

cal senior lecturer in public health and epidemiology at Birmingham who led the research, said primary care-based weight loss services led by specially trained staff are “ineffective” while commercially provided services “are more effective and cheaper”. Worldwide, around 1.5 billion adults are overweight and another 0.5 billion are obese, with 170 million children classified as overweight or obese. Obesity takes up between 2 to 6 percent of healthcare costs in many countries. This latest research, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), comes in the wake of the first gold-standard randomised controlled trial of Weight

Watchers last month which showed that the program works far better than getting doctors to tell patients to lose weight. Another study in the United States published in 2003 found that one year’s free access to Weight Watchers resulted in an average weight reduction of 3.5 kg after one year. In the BMJ study, which involved 740 obese and overweight men and women in Britain, several other commercial weight loss programs were also studied including Slimming World, Rosemary Conley and a group-based dietetics program as well as general practice one to one counselling and pharmacy-led one to one counselling. —Reuters

FDA approves innovative, non-invasive heart valve A new treatment option for old and frail patients

JAKARTA: Visitors view a display of bicycles during an exhibition in Jakarta yesterday. Cycling is gaining popularity in Indonesia, with users looking for improved health and enjoyment. — AFP

More evidence obesity tied to colon cancer: Study

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lder adults who are heavy, especially around the middle, seem to have a higher risk of developing colon cancer than their thinner peers-and exercise may lower the incidence of the disease, especially for women, a European study said. More than 120,000 adults in the Netherlands aged 55 to 69 were followed for 16 years by the study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. During that time, about two percent developed colorectal cancer, tumors of the colon and/or rectum, though most were diagnosed with colon cancer. The risk was 25 percent higher for men who were significantly overweight or obese at the outset, versus normal-weight men. “The study provides further evidence that excess body fat may contribute to a higher risk of colorectal cancer,” said lead researcher Laura Hughes, at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, in an email. For men, waist size seemed to matter most. Men with the biggest bellies, gauged by their self-reported trouser size, had a 63 percent greater risk of colorectal cancer than men who were trimmest around the middle. Among women, though, a large waistline was only linked to a higher cancer risk in women who also got little exercise, defined as less than 30 minutes a day. Women who topped a “44” in pants size-about a size 16 in the United States-and got little exercise were 83 percent more likely to develop colon cancer than women who had smaller waistlines and exercised more than 90 minutes a day. Studies have tied abdominal obesity to other health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and belly fat seems to be particularly linked to chronic, low-level inflammation in the body, Hughes added. “One of our most intriguing observations was that abdominal fat was associated with colorectal cancer in women only when combined with low exercise levels,” she said. It’s not clear why that might be, or why the pattern was seen only in women, Hughes added. Calorie balance, or how much you take in through food versus how much you burn through exercise, may be important. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: Federal health officials have approved a first-of-a-kind artificial heart valve that can be implanted without major surgery, offering a new treatment option for patients who are too old or frail for the chest-cracking procedure currently used. The Food and Drug Administration said late Wednesday it approved Edwards Lifesciences’ Sapien heart valve, which can be threaded into place through a major artery that runs from the leg up to the heart. Cardiologists say the highly anticipated new approach will help old, sickly patients who cannot undergo the more invasive open heart surgery, which has been used to replace valves for decades. Other companies have won approval for less-invasive heart valves before, but Edwards’ implant is the first replacement for the aortic valve, the heart’s main doorway. About 300,000 US patients suffer from deterioration of the valve, which forces the heart to work harder to pump blood, often leading to heart failure, blood clots and sudden death. More than half of patients diagnosed with the condition, called aortic stenosis, die within two years, according to the FDA. Every year about 50,000 people in the US undergo open-heart surgery to replace the valve, which involves sawing the breastbone in half, stopping the heart, cutting out the old valve and sewing a new one into place. Thousands of other patients are turned away, deemed too old or ill to survive the operation. The Mayo Clinic’s Dr. David Holmes said the Sapien valve is a “game changer” for those inoperable patients, many of whom are in their 80s with medical conditions like diabetes, emphysema and liver disease. “We don’t have very good therapy for them at this time some of them receive palliative care and some receive medication,” said Holmes, who is president of the American College of Cardiology. “But this is really a mechanical problem, and for mechanical problems medications don’t work very well.” Edwards’ transcatheter valve is threaded through the femoral artery via a small incision in the leg, and then

guided up to the heart via catheter. The valve is then wedged into the aortic opening by an inflatable balloon, replacing the natural heart valve. The device is made from cow tissue and polyester supported by a steel frame. FDA based its approval on a 365patient study that compared outcomes for patients with the valve and those who received basic comfort care and other non-surgical treatment. After one year, 70 percent of patients with the valve were still alive, compared with only 50 percent of those who received alternatives. However, the device was associated with serious complications, including stroke and internal bleeding. Under the conditions of FDA approval, Edwards will track the medical history of all patients who receive the valve. The device is only approved for patients who cannot undergo openheart surgery. About 20,000 new US patients will be eligible to receive a heart valve each year based on Wednesday’s approval, according to Morgan Keegan analyst Jan Wald. The larger opportunity for the new valve is in patients who are healthy enough to undergo surgery, but are considered high-risk and could bene���t

from a less invasive procedure. The FDA is expected to clear the device for those patients next year, and analysts estimate that group could eventually number between 50,000 and 80,000 annually as the US population ages. Edwards is expected to charge about $30,000 for the valve, though hospital fees could bring the total cost of surgery closer to $70,000. Standard heart valve replacement costs upward of $50,000, mostly from surgical and hospitalization fees. The approval represents a dramatic business opportunity for Irvine, Calif.based Edwards Lifesciences Corp., which had total sales of $1.5 billion last year. Analysts estimate that sales of the Sapien valve could help double the company’s revenue to $3 billion within a decade. Company shares rose $3.11, or 4.2 percent, to $77.48 in after-hours trading. The company expects to train surgeons at 150 to 250 sites across the US to implant the Sapien in the coming year. The valve has already been approved for four years in 40 countries around the world, including most of Europe. In most of those countries Edwards already sells a next-generation version of the device.—AP


HEALTH SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

China hospital disposes of live baby BEIJING: Health authorities in south China said yesterday they were investigating a hospital medical team for mistakenly diagnosing a stillbirth and disposing of a baby that was alive. The probe is taking place at the Nanhai Red Cross Hospital in the Guangdong provincial city of Foshan where the incident occurred on October 26, the Nanhai district health bureau said in a statement faxed to AFP. According to the statement, Liu Dongmei-eight months pregnant-had been rushed to the hospital with internal bleeding and stomach cramps. She later had an emergency birth, but the baby was neither breathing nor crying after leaving the womb and its skin had turned purple, it said. Believing it was dead, the medical team disposed of the child but did not follow proper hospital procedures, the statement added. The Foshan News, a local website, reported that when Liu’s sister-in-law asked to see the body around 30 minutes after birth, she was handed a yellow plastic bag containing the infant and found it was still alive. “I opened the plastic bag and saw the baby’s hands and feet moving, the stomach was going up and down and air bubbles were coming out of his mouth,” the paper quoted her as saying. She was further shocked when she saw the baby was a boy-not a girl as the family had been told, it said. According to the Foshan News, nurses had told the family the child was a girl in an effort to blunt the blow of its death. In China, baby boys are often viewed as more precious than girls, as many families can have only one child as part of the nation’s population policy and desire a male heir. Following the discovery, the newborn was rushed to intensive care where he remains in a stable condition. Officials at the hospital refused to comment on the incident when contacted by AFP. China’s healthcare system-once widely praised for improving the health of millions-is now panned as costly, underfunded and providing shoddy treatment, especially in poorer regions. Liu and her husband are seeking to sue the hospital for 300,000 yuan ($45,000), the Beijing News said. The head of the maternity ward, a doctor and two nurses have been suspended pending the results of the investigation, it added. — AFP

In developing world, poor still means thin: Study “First world” health problems such as obesity and heart disease may be gaining ground in developing nations, but they are mostly afflicting the rich and middle class while poor people remain undernourished and underweight, a study said. Researchers who looked at more than 500,000 women from 37 mid- and lowincome nations in Asia, Africa and South America found that there was a clear divide between the better-off and the poor, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “Yes, on average, people are getting heavier in these countries. But who is getting heavier?” said senior researcher S V Subramanian, a professor of population health and geography at Harvard University. “A huge amount of the population is still undernourished.” Recent studies have found that rates of abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes rose steadily in a group of young urban adults in India who were followed for seven years. Another study found that people in India and other South Asian nations suffer their first heart attack at age 53, six years earlier than the rest of the world. But there has also been a large social divide noted within developing nations, with wealthier, better-educated people becoming heavier while the poor stay thin, sometimes dangerously so. To see whether that gap might be narrowing, researchers looked at body mass index (BMI) — a measure of weight against height-from over 547,000 women. Just over 200,000 were interviewed and weighed between 1991 and 2003, while the rest were studied between 1998 and 2008.— Reuters

MOSCOW: A pool photo released by Moscow’s Institute for Medical and Biological Problems yesterday shows Russian researcher Sukhrob Kamolov (second left) waving as he emerges from the Mars500 isolation facility in Moscow. Six volunteers emerged yesterday from isolation after spending almost one-and-a-half-years locked away from the world at a Russian research centre to test the effects on humans of a flight to Mars. The unprecedented experiment has simulated the duration and isolation of a return journey to the Red Planet, even including “walks” on a replica of the Martian surface and 20-minute time gaps in communication with outside. —AFP

WHO: Infant formula ads reduce breast-feeding Study backs Manila plan to curb ads MANILA: The World Health Organization said a study has found that Filipino mothers who have been influenced by advertisements or their doctors to use infant formula are two to four times more likely to feed their babies with those products. The study appears to support the Philippines’ decision to limit advertising for infant formula, which can discourage mothers from breast-feeding that provides health benefits for newborns. Published by the Social Science and Medicine Journal in September and released this week, the study said those mothers were 6.4 times more likely to stop breast-feeding babies within one year of age - a step that raises risks of illness and death for the infant. Breast milk significantly reduces infant mortality, according to international health experts, who recommend that mothers exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and continue breast-feeding, supplemented by solid foods, until their babies are 2 years old. The International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes, sponsored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, is not legally binding. It is up to individual countries to implement the code by enacting their own laws. The Philippine study wanted to

examine if marketing for breast milk substitutes was to blame for a drop in breast-feeding in the Southeast Asian country, one of several where multinational companies fought a legal battle for the right to aggressively sell baby formulas. When the Philippine government tried to tighten its advertising laws for milk products, the companies took it to court. The Supreme Court ruling in October 2007 upheld the Department of Health’s mandate to regulate advertising of breast milk substitutes. It prohibited all health and nutrition claims but failed to support a full advertising ban, citing freedom of speech. WHO data show exclusive breastfeeding rates for Filipino babies up to four months old dropped from 47.3 percent in 1998 to 40.1 percent in 2008. Four of the six authors of the study are from the WHO, led by the organization’s medical officer Howard Sobel. They conducted a household survey between April and December 2006 and focus groups in April-May 2007. According to their findings, 59.1 percent of the mothers recalled an infant formula advertisement message and one-sixth reported a doctor recommended using formula. Those who recalled an ad message were twice as likely to feed their babies

infant formula, while whose advised by a doctor where four times as likely to do so. “Despite poverty and extra strain on household income associated with formula use, 41.1 percent of the infants and young children were fed formula,” the authors said. The WHO says addition of formula leads to decreased stimulation from suckling and its reflex for breast milk production. Not breast-feeding also was associated with a 5.8 times increased risk of all-cause deaths in the first two months of life, with risks elevated up to the second year, it says. The authors said that despite the WHO’s adoption in 1981 of the International Code of Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes to curtail unethical marketing promotions, few countries have fully implemented the code’s ban on advertising or other forms of promotion. Alex V. Castro III, executive director of the Infant Pediatric Nutrition Association of the Philippines that groups infant formula makers, said the association fully supports breastfeeding. He said their members have been diligently complying with the Philippines’ adaptation of the WHO’s milk code, including prohibitions in advertising. He said no advertisement has been allowed without approval of an interagency headed by the Department of Health. —AP


CLASSIFIEDS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

CHANGE OF NAME I, Vanki Reddy Sreelatha, holder of Indian Passport No. G6791519 converted to Islam do hereby change my name to Aasma Bano. (C 3727) 5-11-2011 I, Virgilio Mathew Rangel, holder of Indian Passport number A2741932 hereby change my name to Virgilio Anthony Rangel. (C 3722) 2-11-2011

FOR SALE Toyota Corolla 2004, 1.8cc, km 101000, golden metallic, no accident, original paint and excellent condition, cash KD 2150. Contact: 66825635. (C 3724) PC Compaq P4, Intel original 2.4, Ram 512, HD 80 GB, with LCD monitor, excellent condition, price KD 45. Contact: 99322585. (C 3726) 3-11-2011

SITUATION VACANT Looking for American/ British family to host 15 years Kuwaiti boy from reputed Kuwaiti family. Daily for an hour to converse in English. References on request. 97524681. (C 3723) 3-11-2011

SITUATION WANTED Qualified and Experienced accountant needs job urgently. Contact: 66825635. (C 3725) 3-11-2011


information SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION In case you are not travelling, your proper cancellation of bookings will help other passengers to use seats Airlines MSR JZR KLM JZR JZR ETH JZR THY PIA UAE QTR OMA DHX MSR FDB ETD GFA THY DHX JZR JZR FCX KAC BAW KAC KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC JZR KAC KAC KAC UAE ABY QTR FDB ETD GFA JZR IRC IRM MSR JZR UAL KAC GFA MSR FDB MSR VOS QTR KNE SVA RJA KAC JZR LMU QTR JZR IRC JZR ETD JZR UAE KAC SYR CLX GFA SVA

Arrival Flights on Saturday 5/11/2011 Flt Route 503 KHARTOUM 185 DUBAI 447 AMSTERDAM/BAHRAIN 539 CAIRO 481 SABIHA 620 ADDIS ABABA 553 ALEXANDRIA 772 ISTANBUL 239 SIALKOT 853 DUBAI 138 DOHA 641 MUSCAT 370 BAHRAIN 612 CAIRO 67 DUBAI 305 ABU DHABI 211 BAHRAIN 770 ISTANBUL 170 BAHRAIN 503 LUXOR 555 ALEXANDRIA 403 DOHA 416 JAKARTA/KUALA LUMPUR 157 LONDON 412 MANILA/BANGKOK 206 ISLAMABAD 53 DUBAI 382 DELHI 352 COCHIN 302 MUMBAI 531 ASSIUT 284 DHAKA 362 COLOMBO 344 CHENNAI 855 DUBAI 125 SHARJAH 132 DOHA 55 DUBAI 301 ABU DHABI 213 BAHRAIN 165 DUBAI 6807 SHIRAZ 5066 MASHAD 610 CAIRO 201 DAMASCUS 982 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 672 DUBAI 219 BAHRAIN 621 ASSIUT 57 DUBAI 606 LUXOR 93 KANDAHAR/DUBAI 140 DOHA 745 JEDDAH 500 JEDDAH 640 AMMAN 562 AMMAN 257 BEIRUT 611 ALEXANDRIA 134 DOHA 535 CAIRO 6791 MASHAD 173 DUBAI 303 ABU DHABI 357 MASHAD 857 DUBAI 118 NEW YORK 341 DAMASCUS 792 LUXEMBOURG 215 BAHRAIN 510 RIYADH

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

ABY RBG KAC ALK JZR FDB KAC KAC QTR JZR KAC IRA KAC KAC KAC KAC FDB JAI OMA AIC MSR DHX KNE MEA GFA QTR UAE JZR KLM KAC JZR JZR UAL AXB BBC DLH

127 3561 549 227 177 63 502 542 6130 125 618 607 674 178 104 774 61 572 647 975 618 372 789 402 217 136 859 135 445 614 513 239 981 393 43 636

SHARJAH ALEXANDRIA SHARM EL SHEIKH/SOHAG COLOMBO/DUBAI DUBAI DUBAI BEIRUT CAIRO DOHA BAHRAIN DOHA MASHAD DUBAI GENEVA/FRANKFURT LONDON RIYADH DUBAI MUMBAI MUSCAT CHENNAI/GOA ALEXANDRIA BAHRAIN JEDDAH BEIRUT BAHRAIN DOHA DUBAI BAHRAIN AMSTERDAM BAHRAIN SHARM EL SHEIKH AMMAN BAHRAIN KOZHIKODE/COCHIN DHAKA FRANKFURT

Airlines PIA PIA AIC JZR DLH KLM MSR ETH THY PIA FDB UAE OMA DHX MSR ETD QTR THY JZR GFA JZR FDB BAW JZR KAC JZR KAC KAC UAE ABY KAC FDB QTR

Departure Flights on Saturday 5/11/2011 Flt Route 2402 SIALKOT 216 KARACHI 976 GOA/CHENNAI 530 ASSIUT 637 FRANKFURT 447 AMSTERDAM 504 SHARJAH 621 ADDIS ABABA 773 ISTANBUL 240 SIALKOT/ISLAMABAD 68 DUBAI 854 DUBAI 642 MUSCAT 371 BAHRAIN 613 CAIRO 306 ABU DHABI 139 DOHA 771 ISTANBUL 164 DUBAI 212 BAHRAIN 200 DAMASCUS 54 DUBAI 156 LONDON 256 BEIRUT 671 DUBAI 534 CAIRO 561 AMMAN 101 LONDON/NEW YORK 856 DUBAI 126 SHARJAH 550 SHARM EL SHEIKH/SOHAG 56 DUBAI 133 DOHA

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

Time 0:15 0:30 0:50 1:15 1:20 1:45 2:15 2:45 3:15 3:30 3:45 3:50 3:55 3:55 4:00 4:00 4:55 5:50 6:55 7:00 7:30 8:25 8:40 9:00 9:00 9:15 9:20 9:35 9:40 9:45 10:00 10:05 10:10

ETD GFA JZR KAC KAC JZR KAC IRC JZR MSR IRM UAL GFA MSR FDB MSR KAC KNE RJA JZR KAC LMU SVA JZR KAC QTR KAC JZR IRC ETD JZR QTR SYR UAE GFA ABY RBG SVA CLX JZR KAC JZR ALK FDB JZR KAC IRA QTR FDB DHX KAC KAC JAI OMA MSR KNE KAC DHX KAC MEA GFA FCX KAC QTR JZR KAC UAE KAC KLM JZR JZR KAC

302 214 356 165 541 172 501 6808 176 611 5065 982 220 622 58 607 673 746 641 124 617 612 505 512 773 141 153 238 6792 304 538 135 342 858 216 128 3563 511 792 266 613 134 228 64 184 283 616 6131 62 171 331 351 571 648 619 790 543 373 675 403 218 102 381 137 554 301 860 205 445 268 528 411

ABU DHABI BAHRAIN MASHAD ROME/PARIS CAIRO DUBAI BEIRUT SHIRAZ DUBAI CAIRO MASHAD BAHRAIN BAHRAIN ASSIUT DUBAI LUXOR DUBAI JEDDAH AMMAN BAHRAIN DOHA ALEXANDRIA JEDDAH SHARM EL SHEIKH RIYADH DOHA ISTANBUL AMMAN MASHAD ABU DHABI CAIRO DOHA DAMASCUS DUBAI BAHRAIN SHARJAH ASSIUT RIYADH HONG KONG BEIRUT BAHRAIN BAHRAIN DUBAI/COLOMBO DUBAI DUBAI DHAKA AHWAZ DOHA DUBAI BAHRAIN TRIVANDRUM COCHIN MUMBAI MUSCAT ALEXANDRIA JEDDAH CAIRO BAHRAIN DUBAI BEIRUT BAHRAIN BAHRAIN DELHI DOHA ALEXANDRIA MUMBAI DUBAI ISLAMABAD BAHRAIN/AMSTERDAM BEIRUT ASSIUT BANGKOK/MANILA

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw)

10:20 10:40 10:50 11:45 12:00 12:10 13:00 13:35 13:50 13:55 14:15 14:20 14:20 14:30 14:35 14:55 15:05 15:10 15:35 15:50 15:50 15:55 16:00 16:05 16:25 16:30 16:35 17:15 17:30 17:35 17:40 17:45 18:00 18:10 18:15 18:25 18:30 18:35 18:45 18:45 19:00 19:05 19:10 19:20 19:55 20:15 20:20 20:30 20:40 21:00 21:00 21:05 21:10 21:15 21:45 21:50 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:45 22:50 23:00 23:05 23:10 23:35 23:55


C R O S S W O R D

4 9 0

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday始s Solution

ACROSS 1. A boy or man. 4. A high-crowned black cap (usually made of felt or sheepskin) worn by men in Turkey and Iran and the Caucasus. 10. An informal term for a father. 13. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 14. A sudden spasm. 15. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 16. Attain success or reach a goal. 18. (of complexion) Blemished by imperfections of the skin. 20. A formal expression of praise. 21. A Japanese shrub that resembles members of the genus Spiraea. 23. A small ball with a hole through the middle. 26. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 27. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 30. An ugly evil-looking old woman. 31. A small cake leavened with yeast. 35. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 36. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 39. Electrical conduction through a gas in an applied electric field. 41. Date used in reckoning dates before the supposed year Christ was born. 42. A nucleic acid that transmits genetic information from DNA to the cytoplasm. 43. The unlimited 3-dimensional expanse in which everything is located. 47. Capital of Nigeria in the center of the country. 48. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 52. United States chemist (1839-1903). 55. A son who has the same first name as his father. 56. A branch of the Tai languages. 57. Highly excited. 61. The United Nations agency concerned with the interests of labor. 64. A light touch or stroke. 65. Black-and-white short-necked web-footed diving bird of northern seas. 66. Verse in the meter used in Greek and Latin poetry consisting of strophes of 4 tetrametric lines. 67. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. A speech defect that involves pronouncing s like voiceless th and z like voiced th. 2. Largest known toad species. 3. Small European freshwater fish with a slender bluish-green body. 4. Comb-plate or locomotor organ consisting of a row of strong cilia whose bases are fused. 5. An overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration. 6. Either of two folds of skin that can be moved to cover or open the eye. 7. A heavy precious metallic element. 8. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 9. A series of things depending on each other as if linked together. 10. (Irish) Mother of the Tuatha De Danann. 11. American novelist (1909-1955). 12. An informal term for a father. 17. A telegram sent abroad. 19. Infestation of the pubic hair by crab lice. 22. An informal term for a father. 24. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC).

25. 10 grams. 28. An association of people to promote the welfare of senior citizens. 29. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 32. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 33. A container. 34. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 37. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 38. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 40. United States labor organizer who ran for President as a socialist (1855-1926). 44. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is opened and a section of a blood vessel is grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart. 45. A mountain peak in the Andes in Bolivia (21,391 feet high). 46. Serving as or forming a base. 49. A member of a seafaring group of North American Indians who lived on the Pacific coast of British Columbia and southwestern Alaska. 50. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 51. Jordan's port. 53. An Eskimo hut. 54. A copy of a written work or composition that has been published (printed on pages bound together). 58. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 59. Government agency created in 1974 to license and regulate nuclear power plants. 60. Being one hundred more than two hundred. 62. A hard gray lustrous metallic element that is highly corrosion-resistant. 63. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively.

Yesterday始s Solution


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SPORTS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Preview

Sailors brace for Volvo ocean epic ALICANTE, Spain: Intrepid sailors cast off today on ocean yachting’s toughest and most perilous adventure, the 39,000-mile Volvo Ocean Race. Six teams in some of the fastest yachts on the planet will brave high seas and winds, sub-zero temperatures and scorching heat during the nine-month slog across five continents. They will be hoping forecasts of strong wind hold good to whisk their 22-metre (70-foot) racing boats, currently bobbing under rainy skies in the Spanish port of Alicante, out into the Mediterranean on the first leg. “When we leave here, the coastline’s littered with fishing nets, then there’s very busy fishing channels getting out through Gibraltar,” Chris Nicholson, the 42-year-old Australian skipper of New Zealand-Spanish team Camper, told AFP. Once past the straits of Gibraltar, crews must make a key tactical choice of whether to hug the west African coast or break out wide into the Atlantic on the race down to Cape Town, South Africa, their first stopover. From there, they sail to Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajai (Brazil), Miami

(USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France) before a festive finish in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012. On the second and third legs the yachts will be transported part of the way by ship to avoid pirates, with the exact route at that stage kept secret. “There’s an unlimited amount (of risks), if you want to worry about it,” said Nicholson, relaxing in his team’s mess room in Alicante.

Nautical perils aside, the sailors must endure the trials of cabin life, surviving on 6,000 calories a day of freeze-dried food, with a living space the size of a telephone box allocated to each crew member below deck. “Physically, it’s unhealthy,” said Puma’s American skipper Ken Read, 50, from Rhode Island, the oldest sailor in the race who finished second in 2009. “The water, the lack of sleep,

ALICANTE: (From left) Yachts of Volvo Ocean Race teams Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, US Puma Racing, New Zealand-Spanish team Camper, China’s Team Sanya, France’s Team Groupama 4 and Spain’s Team Telefonica are pictured at Alicante’s harbour yesterday. — AFP

Preview

Shadow hangs over Moto season-ender VALENCIA, Spain: The memory of Marco Simoncelli will hang heavy on the season-ending Valencia MotoGP tomorrow. The young Honda rider’s death in a horror crash at the Malaysian GP has cast a pall of gloom on the sport as the curtain falls on the campaign. Under normal circumstances - and with the MotoGP title already claimed by Casey Stoner - another Italian, Loris Capirossi, could have hoped to have been the focus of attention as the veteran will retire after the race following 22 years of World Championship action. Former 250cc world champion Capirossi will make his 328th and final Grand Prix start and the Pramac Racing rider says he and his fellow racers are determined to pay a fitting tribute to Simoncelli. “It will be difficult to be in the paddock without Marco, as everyone will miss him. No one will feel like going on the track, but we have to do it for him and for all fans of motorcycle racing, said Capirossi. “It will be my final race, and I still don’t know what will be going through my head, but I want to do it as well as possible,” the 38year-old told motogp.com. Teammate Randy de Puniet said for his part: “It will be really difficult to race at Valencia without Marco, but part of our job is to continue.” Despite the deep mourning the sport is in following the Simoncelli tragedy the Italian’s Gresini Honda manager Fausto Gresini, says the show must go on - and that Simoncelli would not have wanted it any other way. “The decision was not easy but we made a choice as we think that’s what Marco would have wanted. “Putting our wheels down on this track are the best homage we could pay to him,” said Gresini. Participants will make a special, poignant, tribute at the Ricardo Tormo circuit on Sunday morning just after the warmup session. Honda’s Stoner agrees with Gresini that the race absolutely must go ahead. “It will be difficult to resume competing this week-end but that’s without doubt the best way to honour his memory.” — AFP

the nutrition: it all just adds up. It’s brutal. It’s like being in jail! I tell you what - we’re gonna get out of jail in Galway!” The crews include one Chinese sailor, “Tiger” Teng Jiang He of team Sanya, and an Emirati, Adil Khalid of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, the first ever entry from the Middle East. Abu Dhabi, under British skipper Ian Walker, chalked up the first points on Oct 29 by winning a preliminary inport race. Puma came second and Camper third. The past few days have been spent sailing and fine-tuning the Volvo Open 70 yachts, which can reach more than 40 mph, spending time with loved ones and keeping nerves in check before the departure on the first three-week leg. Team Camper were in a plucky mood after sizing up rivals and are itching to set sail, Nicholson said, shrugging off the pressure of being tipped among the favourites to win. “A lot of people I guess put us out as the favourites to deflect the pressure away from their own teams,” said Nicholson, a former electrician and Olympic contender who is on his fourth Volvo Ocean Race. — AFP

Jacobson in 1-shot lead in Shanghai SHANGHAI: Fredrik Jacobson played bogey-free to shoot a 6-under 66 yesterday and take a one-stroke lead on the soft Sheshan International course at the HSBC Champions. Under a heavy, overcast sky on a course that was softened by rain earlier in the week, Jacobson finished a solid round by hitting a 3-iron into the par-4 ninth for a final birdie. He was at 11-under 133, tying the 36-hole tournament record, and was one shot ahead of Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott. PGA champion Keegan Bradley made two key par saves on the back round when his game started to get away from him and salvaged a 70 to stay in the picture just two shots behind. Oosthuizen and Scott each birdied half of their holes and were flawless from tee-to-green. Oosthuizen avoided trouble and posted a tournamentbest 63, while Scott had two bogeys in his round of 65. Sixteen players were separated by five shots going into the weekend, a group that included Lee Westwood, Malaysia winner Bo Van Pelt and Paul Casey, who lost his PGA Tour card in an injury-filled season and now has a chance to get it back by winning. “I didn’t see those kind of scores when I played my practice round before we had that rain,” Jacobson said. “The greens were quite firm. They were in great shape. I think that they softened up a little bit and then we managed to stay away from the rain for most of the two days. It

kind of opened up a little bit of an opportunity to make some more birdies.” Several players did just that. Oosthuizen, struggling in the year after his British Open win at St Andrews, only recently started to find some form when he finished fourth in the McGladrey Classic. Friday was a bonus, especially seeing so many putts drop for a change. “If you’re hitting good shots, you get rewarded,” Oosthuizen said. “There’s a few holes where you can take it on or lay it up. Today, I really didn’t take much risk. I just made the birdie putts.” The low scoring was best visible through Scott and two guys in his

group - Bradley and Westwood. They combined to make 16 birdies and an eagle, each taking turns going at the flags. Scott ran off four straight birdies early in his round, capped off by a 7iron from 190 yards into 3 feet on the par-3 sixth. It looked as though he might make it five in a row until he tried to jam in a 12-foot birdie putt, ran it some 5 feet by the hole and three-putted for bogey. No worries - he birdied the next two holes and kept right on going. Scott finished with consecutive birdies, rolling in a 20-foot putt on the 17th and a wedge that spun back to 5 feet on the 18th. — AP

SHANGHAI: Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden hits a shot during the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament at the Sheshan International course yesterday. — AFP


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Years

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Preview

NEW DELHI: Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (left) and West Indies cricket captain Darren Sammy pose with the trophy yesterday. — AFP

Tendulkar landmark to dominate Windies series NEW DELHI: The fervent wait for Indian batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th international century is likely to overshadow the three-Test series against the West Indies starting tomorrow. Tendulkar’s bid for an unprecedented century of centuries has been the talking point ever since he hammered his 99th international hundred against South Africa at the World Cup in March. Millions of fans expected Tendulkar to achieve the feat on the recent tour of England, but the batting ace headed home without a three-figure knock in the disastrous series, which India lost 4-0. He was eventually ruled out of the subsequent home and away one-day matches against England due to a toe injury and has now gone eight games - four one-dayers and as many Tests - without a century. The hosts will also look to redeem their Test image after the

England tour where the whitewash saw them lose their number one Test ranking. They also lost the tour one-dayers 3-0. India, however, returned to winning ways in the 50over format when they blanked England 5-0 in the home one-day series last month. India also hope to use the West Indies Tests to assess the form and fitness of their key players ahead of next month’s high-profile tour of Australia. “It’s going to be an important series against the West Indies, especially after the dismal time we had in England,” said middle-order batsman Venkatsai Laxman. “We want to come back strongly and regain the top position. “It was great to see the one-day team respond so splendidly against England at home by whitewashing them. Hopefully, the Test team too will start off the season on a winning note, so that we will be high on confidence before leaving for Australia.”—AFP

Lanka strike twice to stay top of Pak SHARJAH: Sri Lanka removed Pakistan’s openers early to gain an upper hand on the second day of the third and final cricket Test against Pakistan at Sharjah stadium here yesterday. Sri Lanka, seeking a series-levelling win after losing the second Test by nine wickets in Dubai, removed Mohammad Hafeez (six) and Taufiq Umar (19) as Pakistan closed on 35-2 in reply to their rivals’ first innings total of 413. The first Test in Abu Dhabi ended in a draw. Pakistan looked shaky from the start as Hafeez was dismissed in the fifth over of the innings, edging an outgoing delivery from left-arm paceman Chanaka Welegedara to slip for Mahela Jayawardene to take a simple catch. Left-arm spinner Rangana then struck in his third over, inducing Umar to come out of the crease and had him stumped by wicket-keeper Kaushal Silva, much to the disappointment of a holiday crowd of near 8,000 made up of Pakistan expats. At close, Azhar was unbeaten on ten and Younis Khan yet to get off the mark, as Pakistan still trail by 378 runs. Earlier, Saeed Ajmal led Pakistan’s fightback with 4132 after Sri Lanka, well placed at 300-3, lost five wickets in the space of 59 runs before they were guided past 400 by a ninth wicket stand of 54 between Silva (39) and Herath 34 not out. Umar Gul ably supported Ajmal with 3-76, but late additions to the Sri Lankan total frustrated Pakistan who had the upper hand in the first two sessions. Pakistan knew they had to remove Sangakkara to make inroads into the Sri Lankan middle-order after they dismissed Angelo Mathews for 17 in the last over before lunch, caught behind off left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman. It was Ajmal who finally provided Pakistan with the prized wicket of the stylish left-hander when his delivery jumped on Sangakkara, who failed to keep a pull down and was caught in the slip by Younis Khan after making 144. Sangakkara, who also crossed 9,000 Test runs during the innings, showed pleasure at helping the team. “It’s pretty encouraging to know that I crossed the 9,000 runs,” said Sangakkara, only the second Sri Lankan behind Jayawardene to reach the milestone. “My job is to keep scoring runs and every Test is a new challenge.” Sangakkara hit 13 fours and two sixes during his 344-ball knock, which began in the first over of the match on Thursday. This was his second century of the series following an epic match-saving 211 in Abu Dhabi. Sangakkara put on 84 for the third wicket with Jayawardene (39) and another 39 with Mathews for the fourth after Sri Lanka resumed at 245-2. Jayawardene managed to add just seven to his overnight score of 32 before being given leg-before off paceman Khan. Jayawardene hit two boundaries during his highest score of the series. Sangakkara and Mathews negotiated Pakistan’s pace-spin

attack with confidence, taking Sri Lanka past the 300-mark in the penultimate over before lunch. But Pakistan struck in the last over before lunch as they got the second wicket in the session, with Sri Lanka managing 55 runs in two hours. Ajmal also dismissed debutant Kosala Kulasekara, leg-before wicket for 15, while Gul struck to remove Suraj Randiv for one. Ajmal finally broke the ninth wicket stand by dismissing Silva, while Gul wrapped up the innings when he bowled Welegedara for nought. — AFP

SCOREBOARD SHARJAH: Scoreboard at close on the second day of the third and final cricket Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Sharjah Stadium yesterday: Sri Lanka 1st innings (245-2) T. Paranavitana c Younis b Gul 4 T. Dilshan c Younis b Ajmal 92 K. Sangakkara c Younis b Ajmal 144 M. Jayawardene lbw b Khan 39 A. Mathews c Akmal b Rehman 17 K. Silva c Ali b Ajmal 39 K. Kulasekara lbw b Ajmal 15 S. Randiv lbw b Gul 1 D. Prasad c Akmal b Khan 17 R. Herath not out 34 C. Welegedara b Gul 0 Extras: (lb5, nb6) 11 Total: 413 Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Paranavitana), 2-177 (Dilshan), 3261 (Jayawardene), 4-300 (Mathews), 5-304 (Sangakkara), 6-330 (Kulasekara), 7-331 (Randiv), 8359 (Prasad), 9-413 (Silva) Bowling: Gul 29.3-10-76-3 (nb3), Khan 27-4-94-2 (nb2), Ajmal 51-4-132-4, Rehman 45-14-103-1 (nb1), Hafeez 1-0-3-0. Overs: 153.3 Pakistan 1st innings Mohammad Hafeez c Jayawardene b Welegedara 6 Taufiq Umar st Silva b Herath 19 Azhar Ali not out 10 Younis Khan not out 0 Total: (for two wkts) 35 Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Hafeez), 2-35 (Umar) Bowling: Welegedara 5-1-11-1, Prasad 4-0-9-0, Kulasekara 3-0-14-0, Herath 5-4-1-1, Randiv 3-3-0-0. Overs: 20

Warne set for T20 comeback SYDNEY: Spin legend Shane Warne is in negotiations with several clubs to come out of retirement and make a comeback in Australia’s Big Bash Twenty20 League, with Melbourne Stars seen as the favourite to lure him. The 42-year-old apparently brought the curtain down on his stellar two-decade cricket career at the Indian Premier League in May. But Fairfax media said he would be unveiled as Melbourne’s marquee signing next week. Both the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age reported that a lucrative package was enough to see him join the fledgling eight-team tournament, which starts in December. In a tweet late yesterday, Warne said he was “Seriously contemplating & considering coming out of retirement for the 20/20 big bash competition”. Warne, who is from Melbourne, has been in the city this week with his British actress fiancee Liz Hurley and has said he was keen for her to spend time in his home town. The Melbourne Stars confirmed they were in negotiations with the player. “We understand through Shane Warne’s management that he is still considering offers from several teams, including the Melbourne Stars,” Stars chief executive Clint Cooper said in a statement on Friday. “We anticipate a decision as to which team Shane will play for after detailed consideration of all offers within the next week.” The leg-spinner is one of the greatest cricketers ever to play the game and claimed more than 1,000 wickets in his international career, which included 145 Tests and 194 one-day matches. But Warne has not played top-flight cricket in Australia since helping the country to a 5-0 Ashes whitewash over England in Jan 2007. His manager, James Erskine, indicated to the newspapers that Warne would be prepared to take a year off from his commentary duties with Channel Nine if he decided to play in the Big Bash.— AFP

SHARJAH: Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva (center) and teammates Mahela Jayawardene (second left) and Angelo Mathews unsuccessfully appeal for an LBW decision against Pakistan’s cricketer Younis Khan (right) during the second day of the third and final Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at The Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday. — AFP


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SPORTS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Posters for London Olympics unveiled LONDON: A nude Paralympic cyclist, an abstract take on Big Ben and two birds kissing. Olympic officials yesterday unveiled the posters for the London 2012 games, which highlight 12 different takes on how to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic games. Leading British artists including the controversial Tracey Emin and Turner Prize-winner Martin Creed designed the posters, joining a tradition that dates back to 1912 and has showcased the works of others such as Andy Warhol and David Hockney. Emin, whose most famous works include a recreation of her disheveled bed complete with soiled clothing and empty vodka bottles - and an appliqued tent entitled “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With,” described her poster as a “love letter” to the Paralympic games and its athletes. The image features two kissing birds sitting on a branch above the words “You inspire me with Your determination And I love you.” Fellow artist Fiona Banner also paid

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

English League Cup Newcastle v Everton Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3

15:45

Arsenal v Albion Abu Dhabi Sports HD 6

18:00

Aston v Norwich City Abu Dhabi Sports HD 8

18:00

Rovers v Chelsea Abu Dhabi Sports HD 4

18:00

Liverpool v Swansea Abu Dhabi Sports HD 7

18:00

Man United v Sunderland 18:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Rangers v Manchester Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3

20:30

Spanish League Mallorca v Sevilla Al Jazeera Sport +2 Al Jazeera Sport 2 HD

20:00

Betis v Malaga Al Jazeera Sport +6

22:00

Levante v Valencia Al Jazeera Sport +2 Al Jazeera Sport 2 HD

0:00

German League Borussia v Wolfsburg Dubai Sports 1

17:30

Bremen v Koln - 17:30 Dubai Sports 2 Leverkusen v Hamburger 20:30 Dubai Sports 1 French League Lille v Gaillard Al Jazeera Sport +4

23:00

tribute to the Paralympic games with “Superhuman Nude.” Her poster of a nude Paralympic cyclist is adorned with the words “piercing rod of muscle,” “steel buttock” and “absurdly muscly.” Overlapping Olympics-colored rings that resemble marks left by drinking glasses grace Turner-Prize winner Rachel Whiteread’s work, while Sarah Morris used grids in her abstract take on London’s iconic landmark, Big Ben. Members of the public will be able to buy posters of the 12 images for 7 pounds ($11.20) or as limited-edition prints. A set of the images has been given to Queen Elizabeth II for the Royal Collection and they will be displayed at Prime Minister David Cameron’s residence, 10 Downing Street, in 2012. The posters also will be shown in a free exhibition at the Tate Britain museum as part of the London 2012 festival. The giant arts festival will take place in conjunction with the 2012 Olympics, which run July 27-Aug 12, 2012. — AP

A handout composite photo shows the 12 official poster images for the London 2012 Olympic Games yesterday. — AP

Olympic great Thorpe flops in comeback SINGAPORE: Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe’s hotly anticipated return from five years on the sidelines ended in a disappointing second-last place Friday, tempering hopes he can reach next year’s Olympics. Thorpe, 29, swimming the unaccustomed 100m individual medley at a low-key World Cup short-course event in Singapore, was off the pace after the first 25m and he ended seventh, more than three seconds adrift of winner Chad le Clos. The five-time Olympic champion, whose comeback has sparked anticipation of a mouth-watering London 2012 match-up with American superstar Michael Phelps, glared at the scoreboard before smiling and shaking hands with a competitor. “I was doing really well - and then the breaststroke happened,” said Thorpe, referring to the medley’s third leg. “It wasn’t so bad this morning.” The performance rounded off a dispiriting night for Australian veterans as triple Olympic champion Libby Trickett, who also came out of retirement this year, finished last and sixth on her return to international competition. But Thorpe, who announced his shock return in February and has been training in Switzerland under coach Gennadi Touretski, put a brave face on his swim, which disappointed a small but favourable crowd at a Singapore school. “It wasn’t too bad - I’m not embarrassed,” said Thorpe, who will also compete in Beijing and Tokyo. “I’m still smiling. Test me when I get to Japan, I may not be.” Trickett, 26, also remained confident she would recover her form in time for Australia’s Olympic trials in March despite placing sixth in the 50m freestyle and last in the 100m butterfly. “I’m really thrilled with how I’ve progressed over the last couple of months. I certainly can see I’ve improved my fitness and strength and endurance,” she said. “I think I’ll be ready in

time for March. I know that I’ll keep moving forward and this is just one step along the way.” Thorpe, who stunned swimming when he retired in 2006 aged just 24, will also swim the 100m butterfly on the second and final day of competition today. He admitted he was impatient for success despite being just nine months into his comeback to a sport in which he collected five Olympic gold medals in 2000 and 2004 along with 11 world titles. “I don’t expect patience from people who want to see me do well and do well quickly,” Thorpe said. “I prefer to do that

and I prefer not to wait. You know, it is what it is. I haven’t swum for a long time and I got to take stock of where I was 12 months ago to where I am now. I’m in the final and I’m competing reasonably well. I’m happy and I’ve made an improvement and I’ve received a tremendous amount of support. Hopefully with a little bit more time, we can get some good performances.” Thorpe last swam competitively at the 2006 Australian championships, where he won the 100m freestyle, before quitting the sport that year citing a lack of motivation. — AFP

SINGAPORE: Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe dives at the start of the men’s 100-m individual medley during the FINA World Cup short-course swim yesterday. — AFP


SPORTS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Preview

Steelers seeks revenge, Jets look to go top PITTSBURGH: The Pittsburgh Steelers are out for revenge against the Baltimore Ravens in their AFC North divisional clash tomorrow packed with fascinating match-ups in the National Football League. The regular season is at the halfway stage and as well as the pounding defenses in Pittsburgh, the week nine highlights include the AFC East clash between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets and the league’s only unbeaten team, the Green Bay Packers, at the San Diego Chargers. But it is the always-fierce rivalry between the Steelers (6-2) and the Ravens (5-2) that will provide compulsive viewing, with Pittsburgh looking to avenge their week one 35-7 loss in Baltimore. “This is one of those games as players that you really want to be part of,”

said Steelers receiver Hines Ward. “It seems like it always ends up being on prime time and for us, they whipped our tails the first time so we now have a chance to get some get-back and hopefully take control of the AFC North,” added Ward. Both teams come into the game on the back of morale boosting victories, the Ravens overcame a 21-point deficit to defeat the Arizona Cardinals 3027 in the biggest comeback in franchise history. Pittsburgh boosted their credentials for the playoffs by defeating New England 25-17 with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throwing for 365 yards and two touchdowns. The Steelers lead the series by 18 wins to 13 and will hope that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is as shaky as he was before the comeback

Decertification reports surface NEW YORK: Talk about a backdoor cut. The announcement Thursday that negotiations to end the NBA lockout would resume were followed by reports that some players are investigating the possibility of decertifying the union. The NBA players union said it would begin negotiating with the owners again yesterday, maintaining that the players are unified as they seek to end the lockout. Union president Derek Fisher, executive director Billy Hunter and executive committee members said after meeting for about three hours Thursday that there was no truth to reports of a rift among them. “We’ve had no problems, and that’s the reality,” Hunter said. Hunter said they spent no more than 10-15 minutes total on a conference call earlier this week and during Thursday’s gathering discussed the reports questioning Fisher’s allegiances. “The battle is not within our union,” Bucks guard Keyon Dooling said. “Derek Fisher’s the best president our union has ever seen. We’ll stand as committee members - I’m the first vice president and I stand behind him.” Later Thursday, however, there were reports that a group of about 50 disgruntled players held a conference call with an antitrust lawyer about the possibility of pursuing decertification of the union. Yahoo! Sports and The New York Times reported that the players would consider employing the tactic if union leaders made more concessions in negotiations. Thirty percent of players would have to sign a petition and then a majority would have to vote in favor for decertification. Mere talk of decertification could give the players’ side leverage in negotiations. On Wednesday, the NBA had asked federal Judge Paul Gardephe to rule that the NBA’s lockout will not be considered an antitrust violation if the players dissolve the union. Gardephe did not immediately rule, but appeared skeptical of the arguments made by league attorney Jeffrey Mishkin. Owners and players haven’t met since talks broke off last Friday. Hunter said federal mediator George Cohen contacted him earlier this week about possibly rejoining the negotiations. The conversation led to Hunter calling Commissioner David Stern on Wednesday about resuming talks, though it has yet to be determined whether Cohen will be involved. Hunter said union leaders had spent the last several days cautioning players that the sides were still far apart on several system issues, so completing a deal was not as simple as a compromise on the revenue split. “Our guys are in a position of they still want us to negotiate a fair deal,” Fisher said. “They’ve given us that power. They’ve given us that support. Obviously, we’re going to have individual members in individual sets of circumstances that want to get back to play.We want to get back to play. —AP

against Arizona. Defending Super Bowl champions Green Bay return from their bye-week looking to extend their franchise-record 16 straight wins. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has guided the Packers to their best start since 1962 and he stands atop the NFL’s quarterback rankings with 20 touchdowns and unmatched completion percentage of 71.5 percent. The game in San Diego, against a Chargers team who are returning from three games on the road, marks a first NFL start in California for Rodgers who and was born in Chico, Northern California, played his college football for the University of California and now has his off-season residence in the south of the state. “It’s always nice to come back to California. It will be nice to play in San

Diego, you have got a great field, a nice fast track and it’ll be fun to see some friends and family,” he said. The Jets (4-3) can make some headway in the AFC East if they can deal with the Bills (5-2) who are tied at the top of the division with the New England Patriots. New York is also coming back fresh from a bye but has won their last two outings while the Bills defeated Washington 23-0 in Buffalo’s annual game in Toronto. “We know we have the opportunity right in front of us, trying to win our division and we’re running into it. We understand that and we will be ready,” said Jets head coach Rex Ryan. “Our guys are fresh but mentally we have to be focused and sharp and understand that it will be a physical game,” he said. — Reuters

Gaborik lifts Rangers NEW YORK: Marian Gaborik scored in the last round of a shootout to give the New York Rangers a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL on Thursday. Gaborik gave Anaheim goalkeeper Jonas Hiller a head fake, then slipped the puck past him into the net. New York’s Henrik Lundqvist stopped Bobby Ryan’s final shot to seal the win. Ryan, who beat New York in a shootout last month, scored late in the second period to draw the Ducks even at 1-1. Jeff Woywitka put New York up with his first Rangers goal, late in the first. Sharks 4, Penguins 3, SO In San Jose, California, Ryane Clowe scored the lone goal in the shootout as San Jose overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period to beat Pittsburgh. After both teams failed to score in the first two rounds of the shootout, Clowe beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a forehand shot instead of going to his favorite backhand move. Thomas Greiss stopped 29 of 30 shots for the Sharks after taking over for Antti Niemi just 2:04 into the game. Clowe scored midway through the third to start the comeback before Jamie McGinn leveled the score with 4:54 left. Devils 4, Flyers 3, SO In Philadelphia, Patrik Elias and Zach Parise scored in the shootout to lift New Jersey over Philadelphia. Elias netted the winner on New Jersey’s final attempt after Parise had beaten Sergei Bobrovsky on the Devils’ first try. New Jersey’s David Clarkson leveled the game at 3-3 late in the third period following a turnover by the Flyers. Parise and Adam Henrique scored in the second to rally the Devils from a 2-0 hole. Zac Rinaldo and Claude Giroux had second-period goals for the Flyers. Max Talbot scored in the third on a penalty shot for a 3-2 lead. Flames 4, Red Wings 1 In Detroit, Jarome Iginla scored twice on one-timers as Calgary beat slumping Detroit. The Red Wings have lost six straight games after winning their first five. They held Calgary to 22 shots, but only managed one goal by Danny Cleary in the second period. Lee Stempniak scored in the first period for the Flames,

ST PAUL, Minnesota: Vancouver Canucks’ Dale Weise (left) is upended in a collision with Minnesota Wild’s Cal Clutterbuck (22) in the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday. The Wild won 5-1. — AP and Olli Jokinen added an empty-net goal in the third. Miikka Kiprusoff made 28 saves. The Red Wings were held under 31 shots for the first time this season. Maple Leafs 4, Blue Jackets 1 In Columbus, Ohio, Clarke MacArthur scored twice in his 300th NHL game to lead Toronto past Columbus. Joey Crabb and John-Michael Liles also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won nine of their first 13 games. The Maple Leafs scored four goals on 11 shots against goalie Steve Mason before he was pulled in the second period. The Blue Jackets outshot Toronto 39-18, but were never in the game. Ryan Johansen scored Columbus’ only goal. Blackhawks 3, Panthers 2, SO In Sunrise, Florida, Patrick Kane scored the only goal in the shootout to lift Chicago over Florida. Chicago goalkeeper Corey Crawford stopped all three Florida attempts before Kane’s backhander beat Jacob Markstrom for the win. Crawford stopped 41 shots in the game. Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa also scored in regulation for Chicago. Florida had pulled even with 2:04 left in regulation when Ed Jovanovski deflected a shot from Dmitry

Kulikov and tipped it past Crawford. Stephen Weiss also had a goal for Florida. Jets 3, Islanders 0 In Uniondale, New York, Ondrej Pavelec stopped all 34 shots he faced as Winnipeg trounced the New York Islanders. Johnny Oduya and Alexander Burmistrov also scored for the Jets, who have won three of four. Oduya gave the Jets an insurance goal with 3:56 left when he fired a shot past goalie Rick DiPietro. Burmistrov added an emptynetter with 2:16 remaining. DiPietro made 23 saves for the Islanders, who have lost six straight. New York went 0 for 3 on the power play. Wild 5, Canucks 1 At St Paul, Minnesota, Matt Cullen had two goals and an assist as Minnesota dominated Vancouver. Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Guillaume Latendresse and Marco Scandella also had goals for the Wild, who won their third straight game, all with backup Josh Harding in goal. After missing last season while recovering from injury, Harding has made 98 saves over his last three games on 100 shots. He made 24 saves against the Canucks. Dan Hamhuis scored the game’s first goal just 2:20 in for Vancouver.— AP


SPORTS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Bad blood spurs Sadd in Korea cauldron JEONJU, South Korea: Rank underdogs Al Sadd will be spurred on by their critics, their coach said yesterday, striking a defiant tone on the eve of their AFC Champions League final against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. The goal-shy Qataris are unfancied after a stuttering Champions League campaign, but bullish coach Jorge Fossati was adamant his side would silence the doubters in Saturday’s showdown against the free-scoring home team. Al Sadd face a Jeonbuk side who welcome back star striker Lee DongGook, scorer of nine goals in the competition so far, following a calf injury although he is likely to start on the bench. The visitors have faced plenty of flak for their part in an ugly semi-final brawl against another South Korean outfit, Suwon Bluewings, prompting Fossati’s vigorous defence of his players. “Al Sadd players didn’t do nothing outside of the rules. I repeat, nothing,” the Uruguayan said of the shameful fight in the first leg. “We have a very calm conscience... it is one bigger (more) motivation for us,” he added, rejecting claims that some of his key players should have been more heavily sanctioned over the punch-up.

PREVIEW

Esperance want to win trophy at last JOHANNESBURG: Esperance of Tunisia hope to turn consistent participation and the status of perennial runners-up into trophy-winning success when they meet Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in the African Champions League final. The two former winners meet in the first leg of the final in Casablanca tomorrow, when a crowd of some 70,000 is expected to pack the Mohammed V Stadium, and in the return match in Tunis six days later. Esperance share the record for the most appearances in the African Champions League since the competition changed format in 1997 but their only previous success came 17 years ago when the continent’s top club event was still played over two-legged knockout ties. They were runners-up in 1999, 2000 and last year, when ugly scenes of crowd violence followed a controversial aggregate loss to TP Mazembe Engelbert of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have also been beaten semi-finalists three times in the last decade. “I sense in the players a great determination to win this Champions League and write their names into Tunisian football history,” said Esperance coach Nabil Maaloul at the pre-final news conference. “This is a very special match for the club who have been running after this trophy for many years. For the players, it is the game of their lives.” Opponents Wydad are in the final for the first time since they won in 1992 and have exceeded expectations in reaching the deciding tie. They were eliminated in the second round in April by holders Mazembe but reinstated after the Congolese club were found to have used an improperly registered player. Wydad then qualified for the group phase for only the second time and drew twice against Esperance in Group B, finishing three points behind the Tunisians to qualify for the semi-finals. Wydad’s well-travelled Swiss coach Michel Decastel’s resume includes a season at Esperance almost a decade ago among his previous jobs in African football. Wydad’s top scorer Fabrice Ondama and key midfielders Mouhcine Iajour are both injury doubts for the first leg. — Reuters

Lee’s return is a huge boost for Jeonbuk. He trained with his teammates in an open session Friday, but coach Choi Kang-Hee played down Lee’s chances of starting after missing the semi-final second leg against Al Ittihad. “He really wants to play... now he doesn’t have the

injury. The problem is physical, how much power and energy he has. He’s going to try to play as a substitute,” said Choi, who is chasing a second title with Jeonbuk after their 2006 win. The 32-year-old Lee has been pivotal to Jeonbuk’s exploits this season and he

JEONJU: South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors coach Choi Kang-Hee (right) Qatar’s Al Sadd coach Jorge Fossati during a press conference ahead of the AFC Champions League final yesterday. — AFP

hit six against Japan’s Cerezo Osaka over two legs in the quarter-finals. Whether it is mind games on Choi’s behalf, Lee will be desperate to play in today’s final at the 43,000 capacity Jeonju World Cup stadium, Jeonbuk’s home ground, where they have won all six matches on the road to the final. Choi, who will pick a team without suspended duo Cho SungHwan and Krunoslav Lovrek, said: “It’s not a tournament, it’s one game. Everybody has to focus on that. “We’re playing at home, there is a good feeling around training all week. We’re confident... we’re happy.” Jeong Shung-Hoon, who will likely replace former Middlesbrough hitman Lee in attack, said he was ready to “fight” against Al Sadd’s defence - which held out to a two-goal win in Suwon on their last visit to Korea. He will partner Brazilian striker Eninho, who is fresh from scoring in both legs of the semis and is the tournament’s second top scorer after Lee with six goals. Jeonju, a city of 600,000 three hours from Seoul, is preparing for an influx of fans, with hotels fully booked to accommodate the expected sell-out crowd and bars in the normally tranquil city centre braced for a party if Jeonbuk win. —AFP

Anderlecht in last 32, Spurs come unstuck BERNE: Former UEFA Cup winners Anderlecht reached the Europa League knockout stage with the only perfect record on Thursday and were joined in the last 32 by Athletic Bilbao, Legia Warsaw, PSV Eindhoven and Twente Enschede with two games to spare. The Belgians thumped 10-man Austrian champions Sturm Graz 3-0 while Bilbao went through after a 1-0 victory at Salzburg. Paris St Germain’s record signing Javier Pastore gave them a 1-0 win over Slovan Bratislava and last season’s top scorer in the competition Radamel Falcao, whose goals won the trophy for Porto, scored in Atletico Madrid’s 4-0 drubbing of Udinese. Last season’s runners-up Braga hammered Maribor 5-1 while Larnaca, maybe inspired by fellow Cypriot side Apoel Nicosia’s Champions League form, held Schalke 0-0 away, vying with Vaslui’s 1-0 home win over Sporting as the upset of the night. Guillaume Gillet put Anderlecht ahead midway through the first half in their Group L match and when Sturm’s Ferdinand Feldhofer was sent off before the hour the hosts pulled away. The competition’s leading scorer, Matias Suarez, took his tally to six with a header after 74 minutes before Tom De Sutter added a third for the side that won the UEFA Cup in 1983. PSG’s Argentine midfielder Pastore scored with an exquisite volley, turning in Nene’s cross from the left, just after the hour in Paris to keep the French side second in Group F. Group leaders Bilbao, under former Argentina and Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa, stayed top and qualified when Ander Herrera’s first-half goal gave them a narrow win at Salzburg. “I value the fact that we never stopped playing,” said Bielsa, one of football’s most eccentric coaches, whose side have quickly recovered from a poor start to the season.

Colombia striker Falcao, who hit a record 17 goals last season as he led Porto’s victorious campaign, completed Atletico’s drubbing of Udinese with a superb solo effort. Adrian Lopez scored twice in the first quarter of an hour and Brazilian playmaker Diego added a third before halftime as Atletico joined Udinese at the top of Group I on seven points. Larnaca, beaten 5-0 at home by Schalke two weeks ago, had the better chances in the return as they held out for a point although the Germans stayed top of Group J. In the same group, former European champions Steaua Bucharest bounced back from a 5-0 loss at Maccabi Haifa to beat the

Israelis 4-2 at home. Held 2-2 at halftime and down to 10 men after Florin Costea was sent off, they still scored twice through Cristian Tanase to take the points. A second-string Tottenham Hotspur side, also without manager Harry Rednapp who had minor heart operation on Wednesday, were knocked off the top of Group A after losing 1-0 at Rubin Kazan, where Bebras Natcho curled in a second-half free kick. PAOK took their place with a 3-1 win at Shamrock Rovers, helped by two first-half goals from Dimitris Salpingidis. Denis Zmeu scored Vaslui’s winner to end Sporting’s perfect record in Group D although the Portuguese had already qualified. —Reuters

ENSCHEDE, Netherlands: Nacer Chadli of FC Twente (left) battles for the ball with Kalilou Traore of Odense BK during their Europa League Group K match at the Grolsch Veste stadium Thursday. — AP


SPORTS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Preview

Schweinsteiger out, but life goes on for Bayern BERLIN: German league leaders Bayern Munich take on strugglers Augsburg tomorrow as the Bavarian giants get used to playing for the rest of 2011 without star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. The 27year-old broke his collarbone on Wednesday in the 32 win over Napoli which put Bayern on the verge of the Champions League knock-out stages and the Germany star is expected to miss the next six weeks, ruling him out until 2012. Schweinsteiger has been in superb form for both club and country and his long passes from midfield have been part of the reason striker Mario Gomez has already scored 19 goals in 17 games this season for the Bavarians. “Of course, it is very bad for the players, but also for the club,” said Bayern president Uli Hoeness. “A player like Bastian Schweinsteiger can not easily be substituted, he is far too valuable, but we are only talking about the six weeks between now and Christmas. His loss must be absorbed by the rest of

Preview

Napoli, Juve in title test ROME: Title pretenders Napoli and Juventus go head to head at Stadio San Paolo this weekend in a clash that could reveal a lot about each side’s chances of lifting the Serie A crown at the end of the season. Juve lead the league by a point from Udinese and Lazio, while Napoli are five points back in fifth. All four of those sides are considered capable of challenging Milan rivals AC and Inter for success in May, but they are unlikely to all last the pace together, meaning their direct clashes take on extra significance. Napoli and Juventus are perhaps the two most prepared for a title tilt, having each beaten both Milan rivals already this season. Added to that, Napoli downed Udinese, but they have proved the more inconsistent of the pair. As well as a series of impressive victories, they have lost to Catania, Chievo and Parma. Juventus, on the other hand, are unbeaten this season and also have the added bonus of resting in mid-week when the likes of Napoli and the Milan neighbours compete in the Champions League. But Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says it is too soon to be playing up the significance of this game. “Ten games into the season it would seem madness to me to be talking of a title decider because no game this early in the season could be that important,” he said. “It’s an important game because it can have so many implications. Many things can change for one team or the other in terms of confidence, conviction and self-esteem. But it definitely isn’t a title decider.” One main reason for that is fourth-placed Milan, who are just two points behind Juve and who host Catania tomorrow. Having had a difficult start to the season, including a 2-0 defeat at Juve, they have since won four in a row in the league. But they have also been beaten twice, whereas Juve have proved the most consistent team so far. “We’ve had a good start without a doubt, but also in the last two years in which we finished seventh, we had great starts that seemed worthy of praise,” Buffon told SkySport. “Then we saw what we did thereafter, and that’s why I think we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground. I’ve never said we can win the league. At 33 years old and with the experience I have, I would never make that mistake. And that’s not false modesty. I think we can be very satisfied that we’re competitive, but that’s very different to winning the title.” For his part, Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri believes that his team showed in losing 3-2 at Bayern Munich in midweek that they are capable of giving anyone a match. “We’re still in the running for qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League but to do so we’re going to need to play a great match against Manchester (City) at the San Paolo,” he said. “Now we have Juve and we have to think about them. Of course against Bayern we showed that to beat us you always have to show spirit and overcoming us isn’t easy for anyone.”— AFP

the squad and I must honestly say, I can’t understand the outcry going through Germany. He’ll be playing again after Christmas.” Certainly, Bayern’s loss will help their rivals as the title contenders look to attack Munich’s four-point lead at the top of the table, especially with fellow play-maker Arjen Robben recovering from a groin operation. Ukrainian midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk is likely to take Schweinsteiger’s place and Bayern will also be without defender Jerome Boateng, who is serving his three-match suspension after being sent off at Hanover. Augsburg are second from bottom and are chasing only their second league victory of the season. Defending champions Borussia Dortmund, third in the table and five points behind Bayern, are at home to 2009 league winners VfL Wolfsburg today. The hosts are buoyed by their 1-0 win over Olympiakos in mid-week, which keeps alive their hopes of reaching

the next round of the Champions League. Paraguay striker Lucas Barrios is now 100 percent after his recent Achilles tendon strain and coach Jurgen Klopp is considering playing him against Wolfsburg. Teenage midfielder Moritz Leitner could make only second start for Dortmund after the stats show he covered nearly 12 kilometres against Olympiakos in an impressive full debut. Wolfsburg will be without Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger for the foreseeable future as the former West Ham star needs a knee operation. Second-placed Schalke 04 are at mid-table Hanover 96 on Sunday having won all of their last four games and have Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in fine form with 21 goals in 18 games so far this season. That tally includes 10 goals in 11 games in the Bundesliga and he is just two behind Bayern’s Gomez who has scored 12 league goals in 10 games for Munich. — AFP

Preview

Normal service resumes for Real Madrid, Barca MADRID: With Levante finally surrendering their unbeaten record last Sunday and dropping to third place behind leaders Real Madrid and Barcelona, the Spanish league has a familiar look about it again. Real Madrid start the weekend as leaders for the first time this season, one point ahead of Barcelona and two ahead of Levante, ahead of a strange midday kick-off time against Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu tomorrow. Meanwhile, Barcelona have a tough match tomorrow night away to an Athletic Bilbao side unbeaten in nine matches. Kick-off times have been a constant source of debate all season in La Liga as television stations dictate new schedules for Spaniards to adjust to. The traditional 5 pm kickoff on a Sunday no longer exists as games are spread across the weekend. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was one of the figures that initiated the change, citing time zones and Asia’s TV viewers as important when selling the Real brand, so a midday kick-off should sit well with the management of the leaders. On the pitch, Cristiano Ronaldo continues to score no matter what time the match is played. On Wednesday night in the Champions League he reached 101 goals in only 105 matches in his Real Madrid career with a brace in the 2-0 away win at Lyon. After the game, Ronaldo was quick to keep his feet on the ground and reluctant to discuss Madrid’s rivalry with Barcelona. “All goals are special, especially if they help the team to win matches,” he said. “It is not necessary to compare us with Barcelona. We’re concentrating on our own games and the most important thing is to qualify (in the Champions League).”

PRAGUE: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teammate Carles Puyol (right) after he scored during a UEFA Champions League match against Viktoria Plzen in this Nov 1, 2011 photo. — AFP

However, comparisons between Ronaldo and Barcelona star Lionel Messi can be difficult to avoid. On Tuesday night, also away in the Champions League, Messi grabbed a hat-trick as Barca beat Viktoria Plzen 4-0 to make it 202 goals in his 287match Barcelona career. For Messi it was business as usual, after three goals at home to Real Mallorca last Saturday, and with 13 goals he is the leading goal scorer in the league ahead of Ronaldo and his teammate Gonzalo Higuain on 10 goals. Meanwhile, the battle continues for third position when surprise package Levante meet their bigger city neighbours Valencia in a derby that has never before had so much significance for both sides. Levante, on 23 points, are two ahead of Valencia sitting in fourth, meaning that any winner today will claim third place in the league at the very least, as well as local bragging rights. “We have to recover our form because we have

some very hard games coming up,” said Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martinez. “A win would be a huge step forward for us, but nothing has changed - survival is our only objective.” For Valencia, confidence is high on the back of an important 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday night that kept their Champions League qualification hopes alive. Valencia full-back Bruno says it is imperative for his side to prevail against their local rivals. “We have a big responsibility as favourites, we have to go out as if it was a final because it’s very important to go ahead of Levante in the league before the (international) break,” he said. In other games, a Madrid derby between Getafe and Atletico Madrid tomorrow sees both clubs in desperate need for points, with Getafe rock-bottom and their bigger neighbour struggling for form in 10th position. —AFP


SPORTS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011

Preview

Ferguson fire still burning after 25 years LONDON: Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates 25 years in charge of Manchester United on Sunday, undaunted by the possibility that the greatest challenges of an extraordinary career may yet lie ahead of him. When Ferguson joined United from Aberdeen on Nov 6, 1986, the club were languishing 19th in the table out of 22 teams and had also been bombed out of the League club by Southampton. In the quarter of a century since his arrival at Old Trafford, Ferguson has transformed United into the most successful side in English history, a reign that has included two European Cups, 12 League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and the World Club Cup. Yet as English football reflects on Ferguson’s achievements this weekend,

the 69-year-old Scot will no doubt have his steely gaze firmly fixed on the twin challenges facing him at home and abroad. A 6-1 home thrashing by Manchester City last month - described by Ferguson as “the worst of my career” provided resounding evidence that United’s cross-town rivals are fast evolving as the biggest threat to his reign. And the 3-1 master class dished out by Barcelona to United in May’s Champions League final at Wembley was a brutal demonstration of the level Ferguson’s team must attain if they are to conquer Europe again anytime soon. Ferguson, however, has made a habit of staring down challenges to United’s authority, having successfully repelled various incarnations of Arsene Wenger’s

Preview

Lille seeking home comforts PARIS: Outfoxed yet again by Inter Milan in mid-week, Lille must rally themselves for a home game with promoted Evian today in which victory would lift them to within three points of the Ligue 1 summit. A run of three straight wins last month galvanised Lille’s French title defence but they have faltered in their last two outings, drawing 0-0 at Valenciennes before Wednesday’s 2-1 loss at San Siro. Defeat at Inter, who had already beaten them 1-0 at Stade Villeneuve d’Ascq, left Lille bottom of Champions League Group B and needing to win their final two group matches to stand any chance of reaching the last 16. Coach Rudi Garcia complained that Lille paid for a “lack of acceleration in the last 30 yards” and attributed that failing to the fact that his side had had one day less to prepare for the match than their Italian hosts. Be that as it may, Lille also looked short of ideas at Valenciennes last weekend and anything but victory at home to 14th-placed Evian will raise questions about the champions’ durability. Lille will be without midfielder Florent Balmont (suspended) and centre-back Marko Basa (collarbone), while Evian are missing Christian Poulsen (suspended) but welcome back veteran playmaker Jerome Leroy from suspension. Defeat at Inter was Lille’s first reverse away from home since last April and it is their home form that has proved to be the greatest source of concern to Garcia in Ligue 1. Lille have won only half of their home games in the league this season, losing to Montpellier and drawing with Sochaux and Lorient, and their average return of 1.83 points per home game is well short of both Lyon (2.67) and league leaders Paris Saint-Germain (2.57). The fixture list has played in Lille’s favour this weekend, however, as their match with Evian is the only game that will take place today (due to the G20 summit in Cannes), permitting them to close the gap on PSG and secondplaced Montpellier. PSG’s trip to Bordeaux is the final game of the weekend and by the time Antoine Kombouare’s side take to the pitch at Stade Chaban Delmas on Sunday night, they could find themselves in a share of the lead with Montpellier. Last season’s beaten League Cup finalists will be bidding for a fourth consecutive victory when they visit SaintEtienne and in new France call-up Olivier Giroud they boast the division’s in-form striker. Third-placed Lyon fell 2-0 at home to Real Madrid on Wednesday but impressed in last weekend’s 2-0 derby win over Saint-Etienne and visit Sochaux tomorrow looking, like Lille, to close a six-point gap on PSG. Paris are on a run of six consecutive victories in the league, while a fine Javier Pastore volley saw them beat Slovan Bratislava 1-0 on Thursday to tighten their hold on second place in Europa League Group F. —AFP

Arsenal and the billionaire-backed nouveaux riches of Chelsea. According to Ryan Giggs, Ferguson is showing no signs that his competitive fire may be flaming out as he approaches his 70th birthday. “He’s always first in at the training ground and last to leave, and he wants to see that kind of mentality from his players as well,” Giggs said recently. “He just loves his job. He loves watching United play. He loves seeing players develop. He loves everything about his job. You couldn’t do what he does at his age and have the work ethic he’s got if you didn’t love it. We might have got home from a European away game at four in the morning, yet you can pretty much guarantee he’ll be first in at Carrington at 8am the next day - and will

be last to leave. You’ll then stick the TV on later that night and see him at a function in London. It’s unbelievable.” Bryan Robson, the former United captain, is similarly in awe of Ferguson. “Everybody knows the work Sir Alex puts in around the club,” said Robson. “They know about his teams, the trophies, the media, buying and selling of players. The most amazing part for me is that he still goes to a million functions. There are times when you cannot believe he is there. He might have three of the most important games of the season coming up in that week but he is at three of the functions you have been at. At his age, you think he should be tucked up in bed so he can concentrate on the football.”— AFP

Preview

City keen to improve LONDON: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has challenged his team to keep improving as they travel to QPR today determined to maintain their grip on the Premier League. City have been in swaggering form recently, reeling off seven straight victories in all competitions while rattling in 27 goals, a run that includes Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League demolition of Villarreal. Mancini’s men are five points clear heading into the latest round of Premier League fixtures, and few would bet against them maintaining that cushion with a win at Loftus Road on Saturday. Although newly promoted QPR scored a memorable 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the west London derby a fornight ago, the limitations of Neil Warnocks’s side were ruthlessly exposed by Tottenham last weekend. However, Mancini is determined not to let complacency infect his expensively assembled squad, and plans to tweak his starting lineup for the trip to London. “We want to continue to play well if it’s possible, but we know that every game is hard,” Mancini said. “Now we play another game in 60 hours, it will be hard and we’ll need to change some players.” City’s position at the league summit may take the gloss off what is expected to be a celebratory atmosphere at Old Trafford, where Manchester United face Sunderland on the eve of Sir Alex Ferguson’s 25th anniversary at the club. Since the 6-1 mauling by City last month a result Ferguson described as his “worst ever” - United have strung together three clean sheets. Ferguson’s defence will be bolstered on Saturday by the return of Nemanja Vidic, who missed Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League win over Otelul Galati through suspension, as United attempt to stay in touch with City. Chelsea, meanwhile,

VILLARREAL: Manchester City’s Yaya Toure (second right) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during a UEFA Champions League football match against Villarreal at the Madrigal Stadium in this Nov 2, 2011 photo. — AFP

will attempt to put their recent difficulties behind them with a trip to struggling Blackburn. An away defeat at QPR, which led to allegations of racism against Chelsea captain John Terry, was followed by last weekend’s 5-3 loss at home to Arsenal. Another patchy display in Europe on Tuesday, where unheralded Belgian side Genk forced a 1-1 draw, left Andre Villas-Boas’ men desperately in need of a win if they are to avoid slipping further behind league leaders City. Villas-Boas has consistently backed his under-fire captain Terry, who is set to return against Rovers at Ewood Park, despite a blunder last week that helped Arsenal take a decisive lead at Stamford Bridge. “I think John has been involved in all our Premier League games,” VillasBoas said. “He’s our captain, one of

the best defenders in the world, and his talent is unquestionable. So, with the talent he is, he’s always up for selection.” Newcastle, whose unbeaten start to the season has carried them to third in the league, are determined to preserve their fine start at Everton, with manager Alan Pardew urging his team not to look too far ahead. “I think we have an immediate goal in front of us,” Pardew said. “We are playing against an Everton side today who have some good players and a manager who is one of the best in the world. “We are not really looking at the bigger picture, we are looking at the next game and if we can focus on that, we can have a really good season.” Elsewhere this weekend, Arsenal entertain West Brom at the Emirates, while Liverpool face promoted Swansea at Anfield. — AFP



05 Nov