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Bahrain protesters seek new ‘Freedom Square’


Greece caught between protests, austerity demands

No: 15356

Kings upset Thunder 106-101

150 Fils

8Blasts 15 48 rock Aleppo, 28 killed; Homs besieged World powers hamstrung as Syria bleeds

Max 17º Min 09º

‘Masked men’ battle Saudi troops, 1 dies RIYADH: One person was killed and three wounded when security forces exchanged gunfire with “masked men” in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich east, the official SPA news agency reported yesterday. Activists and witnesses said the casualties came when security forces opened fire on a Shiite demonstration in the Qatif district of the kingdom’s Eastern Province. “A security force patrol came under heavy gunfire from masked men while it was carrying out its duties in Al-Shwaika neighborhood in the Qatif district on Thursday,” SPA reported, quoting a police spokesman in the province. Security forces “responded,” prompting “an exchange of fire that left four of the rioters wounded, one of whom died before reaching hospital,” it added. Activists and witnesses said that security forces opened fire when a Shiite procession marking the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed-a celebration forbidden in ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia-turned into a demonstration for reform and the release of Shiite detainees. “Munir Al-Medani, 21, was wounded by a live bullet to his chest,” one activist said, requesting anonymity. “He was taken to hospital where he later died of his wounds.” A number of other protesters were also wounded, the activists and witnesses said. Witnesses said the shooting prompted groups of young protesters to burn tyres and police to set up checkpoints across the district. Medani’s death raises to six the number of protesters killed since demonstrations erupted in the Eastern Province last March against Saudi-led military intervention to help crush Shiite-led prodemocracy protests in neighboring Bahrain. Activists say that Saudi authorities have arrested nearly 500 people since the protests started. Many have been released but dozens remain in custody, among them human rights activist Fadel Al-Munasif and writer Nazir Al-Majid. In January, Saudi authorities published a list of 23 men wanted on suspicion of involvement in the disturbances. Later the same month, the interior ministry announced that security forces had arrested nine people suspected of involvement in the wounding of three policemen in the Eastern Province. Most of Saudi Arabia’s estimated two million Shiites live in the province, where the vast majority of the kingdom’s huge oil reserves lie. They complain of marginalization in the Sunni-dominated kingdom. — AFP

ALEPPO: Covered dead bodies are seen in front of a building at a security compound which was damaged by an explosion, in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria yesterday. — AP AMMAN: At least 28 people were killed in two bomb attacks in Syria’s second city Aleppo yesterday while in besieged Homs, opposition neighborhoods endured another day of bombardment by President Bashar AlAssad’s troops. The Aleppo bombings were the worst violence to hit the country’s commercial hub since the uprising against the Assad family’s 42-year dynastic rule began 11 months ago. Mangled, bloodied bodies and severed limbs lay on the pavement outside the military and security service buildings that were targeted - as shown in live footage on Syrian television, which has consistently portrayed the revolt against Assad as the work of foreign-backed “terrorists”. No one claimed responsibility for the Aleppo bombings but they took place as Assad’s forces grow more ferocious in operations to crush the uprising. Some opposition figures said the government was manipulating the incidents to discredit them. Yesterday saw more unrest across the country, with activists reporting that security

forces opened fire in Latakia, in the town of Dael in Deraa province, and elsewhere to break up demonstrations taking place after weekly Muslim prayers. In the western city of Homs, where a week of bombardments has killed dozens of civilians and drawn condemnation from world leaders, four people were killed in the opposition-held neighborhoods of Baba Amro and Bab Sebaa, the activist Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Troops also opened fire as worshippers left a mosque in Homs after Friday prayers. Activists in Homs said shelling started up again in the morning and they feared a big push was imminent to storm residential areas of the city that has come to symbolize the plight of those opposing the Assad government. “The carnage in Homs continues and the martyrdom of the Syrian people continues,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said. “Not only are we seeing an army that is massacring its own people, but for the Syrian army hospitals and doctors have become systematic targets for repression.”

But the unrelenting violence only highlighted the difficulties that Western and Arab powers faced in trying to resolve the crisis in a country with a well-armed military and a key place in the Middle East’s precarious strategic balance. Bolstered by Russian support, Assad has ignored appeals from the United States, Turkey, Europeans, fellow Arabs and other governments to halt the repression and to step down. Foreign ministers of the Arab League, which suspended a monitoring mission in Syria last month because of the violence, will discuss a proposal to send a joint UN-Arab mission to Syria when they meet in Cairo tomorrow, a League official said. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe will meet his Russian counterpart in Vienna on Thursday to discuss Syria, Valero said. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, added her voice to international calls for Moscow, Syria’s strongest ally and main arms supplier, to support a United Nations resolution demanding Assad halt the crackdown. —Reuters



in brief

‘Political extortion’ KUWAIT: The coordination reached between Islamists and MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun is nothing short of ‘political extortion,’ remarked MP Adnan Al-Mutawaa. This move in exchange of a ‘deal’ will affect Al-Saadoun’s legacy as a parliamentarian, and that this barter system will seriously infringe upon the claims of freedom, conviction and decision of the speaker, with his decisionmaking abilities being questioned. He added that there is not much difference between a bribe paid and this political arrangement.

Committees formation

‘Reconciliation pact’ the best hope, says Haniyeh Hamas leader seeks end to Palestinian civil war KUWAIT: The reconciliation agreement reached between mainstream Palestinian group Fatah and Islamist Hamas is a vital decision that will put an end to the bloody civil war of the Palestinian people, said Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh during a televised interview broadcast during his recent visit to Kuwait. In response to Al-Rai TV’s question on whether he relinquished his position as Palestinian premier by agreeing on the condition to appoint Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as Prime Minister of a transitional government, Haniyeh said it “reflects [Hamas’] commitment to national

Ismail Haniyeh unity by meeting Palestinians’ greater good.” Adding that “unity to realize fruits of this reconciliation” is the best hope Palestinian people can have. Haniyeh denied reports of infighting within Hamas, or that he plans to retire from political life. The situation in Syria was also mentioned in the interview, about which Haniyeh commented, “[Hamas] can’t deny the fact that Damascus embraced us, yet the ongoing events in Syria right now are hard for any Arab person to accept - let alone Palestinians.” Moreover, Haniyeh revealed that Hamas gave “numerous advices to the Syrian government to adopt dialogue instead of security options in dealing with local events,” adding that Hamas looks for “an end to the Syrian blood-

shed [with a solution coming from] within the Arab countries.” “Demands, ambitions and hopes of the Syrian people must be given high attention,” Haniyeh said. “They deserve to live in dignity provided by a democratic political system that adopts reform and an elected parliament.” Asserting on the Islamic movement’s independence, Haniyeh insisted that Hamas shares no ties with other Islamic movements “including the Muslim Brotherhood.” He went on to say that Kuwait’s Islamic Constitutional Movement “acts according to what they believe best serves the Palestinian cause.”. Haniyeh also elaborated on his plans to visit Tehran, expressing appreciation for the “unconditional financial support” Hamas receives from Iran. He also recognized Arab countries and the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) as “the strongest supporters of Palestinian people.” In a related development, MP Khalid Al-Sultan asked Arab and GCC countries to “commit to their role [in supporting] Hamas and rebuilding Gaza before demanding that the movement cut ties with any other party.” The Islamist lawmaker said on Thursday that strong financial support from Arab and GCC countries would automatically lead Hamas to stop depending on Iran’s support. Al-Sultan met Haniyeh during his recent visit to the diwaniya of fellow MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, and discussed “the Palestinian reconciliation and efforts to boost financial support for rebuilding Gaza”, said Al-Tabtabaei. He added that MP Mohammad Hayef was also present at the meeting. Al-Tabtabaei made these statements to Al-Rai Thursday, before leaving Kuwait to Jordan along with fellow Islamist lawmakers Hayef, Jamaan Al-Harbash and Adel AlDhamkhy to lead humanitarian efforts. Haniyeh was invited by the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) to attend a ceremony. Addressing the audience, he expressed gratitude to Kuwait’s support for the Palestinian cause which includes “$18 million annual support to Palestinian universities.” He also asked Arabs to support “Palestinian people’s resistance against the Israeli occupation.” Furthermore, Haniyeh said that Hamas had condemned the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait in 1990, indicating that “the Palestinian people who know how it feels like to be under occupation realizes the agony that Kuwaiti suffered during the invasion.” — Al-Rai

KUWAIT: Political blocs have begun deliberating over the formation of parliamentary committees once the Parliament’s inaugural session is held on February 15. A parliamentary source said that a several MPs are holding talks between various factions and their representatives to reach an agreement over the type and size of committees to be formed. Parliamentary blocs have agreed to divide committee memberships in principle, each according to agenda and MPs’ interests. Meanwhile a source said that Islamist MPs have agreed to name their blocs as the “Conservative Bloc.”

Moral policing KUWAIT: Islamist MPs plan to submit a proposal to create an Authority to Fight Alien Negative Practices. Sources said that the proposal will be tabled through parliamentary committees that lawmakers are part of. Islamist MPs hope that the body will be made a permanent one by amending the Assembly’s internal regulation. Sources said that the Popular Action Bloc(PAB) and Liberal MPs will oppose the move so that the Islamist faction does not impose its agenda.

Kuwait receives oil tanker from Korea BUSAN, South Korea: Kuwait received yesterday a South Korean oil tanker that can carry 800,000 barrels of oil. The $72million oil tanker “Bahra”, the first of two tankers, has been designed by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering company (DSME), Chairman and Managing Director of the state-run Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC), Nabil Bouresly, said yesterday. Once the vessel turns up, the KOTC will have acquired 24 multi-size and multipurpose oil tankers, and will have completed the second stage of its fleet modernization, he said. The other oil tanker also costs $ 144 million, Boursely pointed out. DSME-built oil tankers have been designed to fulfill international navigation laws and safety and security regulations, he added. KOTC, a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), was founded in April 1957, by a group of Kuwaiti pioneer investors. The company is mainly involved in the ownership and management of tankers engaged in the transport of crude oil, refined petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gases (LPG). In addition, it also operates a Marine Agency Branch, acting as sole agent of all tankers calling at Kuwait’s sea port and a Gas Branch for the filling and distribution of LPG cylinders for local industry and domestic consumption. — KUNA


Sheikh Jaber faces hard choices Al-Anjari touted historic choice for First Deputy PM’s job • Many new faces likely in Cabinet KUWAIT: With the Cabinet set to be sworn in next week, news reports continue to speculate on the names of candidates that are likely to gain key portfolios. HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah will focus on realizing achievements that are top priority. Former justice minister Meshary Al-Anjari, is touted to be Sheikh Jaber’s choice as the first-ever First Deputy Prime Minister in Kuwait’s history to be chosen out of Al-Sabah ruling family. Al-Anjari may be given the Minister of Cabinet Affairs post, whereas Hawally governor Abdullah Al-Faris is mentioned in several report as the likely frontrunner for the Ministry of Interior post. If that were to happen, Al-Faris will be the first interior minister to not be selected from Al-Sabah family. Meanwhile, Al-Qabas mentioned yesterday (Friday) Army Chief-of-Staff, Major General Ahmad Al-Khalid Al-Sabah as a candidate for the Ministry of Defense, as well as former oil minister Abdulmuhsin Al-Medej for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. However, it later mentions that this portfolio could be returned to Dr Amani Buresli who held it in the previous cabinet. The report also quotes sources who added that Mustafa Al-Shamali is likely to retain his post as Minister of Finance, while Ahmad Al-Mulaifi will return only as Minister of Justice with a new minister appointed for the education and higher education ministries. And while Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah and Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah are mentioned in numerous reports as likely candidates that will retain their posts as foreign minister and information minister respectively, Al-Qabas reports that Sheikh Hamad is likely to be excluded from the cabinet. It is also speculated that Salafists refuse to join the cabinet with Al-Qabas reporting that the Islamic Salafist Movement is not thrilled with the notion that its member MP Ali Al-Omair could be offered a position in the cabinet. Former minister Ahmad Baqer may return to the cabinet if his Salafist movement relents on its stance on taking part in the next formation. Meanwhile, Dr Fadhel Safar may retain his Minister of Public Works and State Minister of Municipality Affairs posts which he has held since May 2008. In other news, MP Ahmad Lari announced that he plans, along with fellow Shiite lawmaker Adnan Abdulsamad to form a ‘middle bloc’ with members from the opposition and pro-government bloc. In the meantime, MP Mohammad AlKhalifa said in a recent statement that his Popular Action Bloc(PAB) discussed coordinating with parliamentary committees. Al-Khalifa was also present during a public seminar held recently by religious activists to promote efforts to amend Article 2 of the Constitution, and stressed on PAB’s support for the idea. The gathering was also attended by MP Mohammad Hayef, a strong supporter to present a proposal to render Sharia law as the only source of legislation in the country, Al-Qabas. Meanwhile, Islamic Constitutional Movement(ICM) member MP Mohammad Al-Dallal hinted in recent statement that all ICM lawmakers could join the Development and Reform Bloc(DRB) which includes four Islamist MPs: Faisal Al-Mislem, Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Jamaan Al-Harbash and Falah AlSawagh. Islamists lawmakers plan to meet at Al-Mislem’s house tomorrow (Sunday) to coordinate for running in parliamentary committees, said Al-Tabtabaei in a recent statement to Al-Rai. In the meantime, the opposition is reportedly growing skeptical of the large number of MPs that announced support for MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun’s speakership bid. According to sources, this led them to consider the idea of having an oppositionist lawmaker escort an MP that might not commit to promises. However, sources within the Parliament’s general secretariat office indicate that voting for speakership is a confidential process, no MP will be allowed to joined by another individual while voting is in process.

local SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012

Pregnancy exposes Abu Halifa sex ring Stab victim survives attack KUWAIT: Police arrested three Asian men who used an apartment in Abu Halifa as a brothel. Police were first alerted when medical staff from Al-Adan hospital reported that an unmarried Asian woman tested positive in a pregnancy test. She was arrested and during investigation, the woman who had reached the medical facility after complaining of abdominal pain - admitted to being a sex worker at a brothel run by three men in Abu Halifa. She divulged more information on the men who were arrest later. - Al-Rai

to her statements, she was cleaning the front yard of her employer’s home when the worker approached her and molested her. The maid’s employer helped lodge a complaint in the area’s police station after she informed him of the incident. A case was filed for investigations. - Al-Rai Ill-fated secret meeting An Asian man fractured his bones after falling from the roof top of a citizen’s home in Al-Thahar. Investigations revealed that the man was trying to escape after he

safety while firefighters tackled the flames. Five people, a 13-year-old child and four women, were admitted to the Mubarak Hospital onsite. - Al-Rai Saved by quicksand A drunk man called up police after his car got stuck in quick sand. The man was, in fact, driving towards the beach in Al-Doha when quicksand actually saved his life by entrapping his car before it reached the waters. Police headed to the spot after reporting he had lost control over his vehicle. They soon discovered the driver was in inebriated condition. Meanwhile, a half empty liquor bottle and a black plastic bag containing currency notes of KD 52,000 were seized from his vehicle. He was taken into custody to be held for investigated. - Al-Rai False alarm A man chose to report his son’s alleged abduction even though the boy denied it. Police reached to a location in Hadiya where a citizen reported that a driver at the helm of a white truck had kidnapped his nine-year-old son. Police found the boy walking around at a street nearby with a 15-year-old kid. The boy denied being kidnapped, explaining that he went out with his neighbor for a stroll. The child’s father insisted on the ‘kidnapping incident’ even after the boy’s denial. However, he decided not to report the incident after officers asked him to file a case at the area’s police station. - Al-Rai Stab victim escapes death A young man narrowly escaped death after being stabbed in the back during a fight that took place in Taima. The knife settled a few inches away from his spinal cord. The victim was admitted to Al-Jahra Hospital with a dagger jutting out from below his neck. An emergency surgical procedure was performed on the victim and the knife was successfully removed without causing further damage to the victim’s internal organs. An X-ray taken earlier showed that the knife was close to injuring the victim’s spinal cord which would have rendered him paralyzed. A case was lodged at the Taima police station. - Al-Anba

KUWAIT: Firefighters battle a fire that broke out in an apartment in Hawally on Thursday Illegal driving Police caught a teenager driving his father’s car without a license. Patrol officers spotted the vehicle being driven suspiciously in Al-Sulaibikhat. Upon being approached, the driver fled the scene. The officers verified the car’s owner and summoned him for investigation. It was revealed that his 17-year-old son had been driving the vehicle without his permission using a spare key. Charges were pressed against the car’s owner. - Al-Rai Sexual harassment Police are on the hunt for a cleaning worker who allegedly sexually harassed a domestic worker in Al-Salaam. According

secretly entered the house after being invited by a domestic worker. The homeowner called police after the man fell to the ground. After he was admitted to AlAdan hospital, the man admitted to entering the house to meet the domestic worker clandestinely. A case was filed at the area’s police station. - Al-Rai Five hurt in fire Five people were injured while two firefighters were administered treatment after a fire that broke out in an apartment in Hawally. Firefighters rushed to the scene Thursday at dawn after a fire incident was reported. All residents from the six-storey building were evacuated to

‘Wolf in sheep’s clothing’ Police are on the hunt for a male suspect who sexually assaulted a man he had befriended. The suspect first met his victim at a public hospital where he offered to help him receive medical attention. After consulting with the doctor, the suspect approached the victim and gave him his phone number. Sometime later, the victim received a call from the man who asked him to come over to a location in Salmiya. Without being aware of the trap, he reached the location described, only to be bundled into a car by two people; including the same man who had befriended him. The two took the victim to a remote location where they sexually assaulted him. The man reported the incident to local police who filed a case. - Al-Watan

KUWAIT: Fire fighters tackle a fire on a fiberglass boat off Failaka island.

Fiberglass boat catches fire off Failaka Island By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A fiberglass boat caught fire off Failaka island. The nearest rescue center was informed of the incident and a fire brigade rushed to the scene in record time and managed to tackle the fire. No casualties were reported. Motorist insults policeman A traffic policeman reported that upon issuing a traffic ticket to a citizen for violating traffic rules, he insulted the policeman, tore up the ticket and drove off. A case was filed and the citizen was summoned for investigations. SIM card trouble A citizen reported that a telecom service provider in Sharq had registered four SIM cards in his name without his knowledge, thereby effectively banning him from leaving the country. The man said that he was stopped at the airport for unpaid claims made to a telecom company. “ I don’t own those lines. I only purchased a line sixth months ago from that store,” asserted the citizen. A case was filed and further investigations are in progress. Housemaid attacks sponsor A citizen reported to police that her housemaid assaulted her after she blamed her for failing to perform household duties properly. Street fight A 40-year- old Asian sustained a head injury in a fight that took place near Khaitan restaurant. Hit and run case A 29-year- old Asian suffered various injuries after being run over by a speeding vehicle in Hawally, said security sources. The man was admitted to Mubarak hospital for treatment.

Waha brawl lands five in hospital By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A fight between several men resulted in injuries of five people in Waha area. Knives and sharp objects were freely used during the fight that was renewed after the injured were taken to Jahra Hospital. Police authorities are investigating the case. In another incident, two citizens got into a heated verbal exchange in Sharq area over parking. An Asian man complained to police that an unknown person, claimed to be a detective, took KD 130 and a mobile phone from him.


Raising awareness on chemical-free food KU holds special course this week

“Participants at the workshop will receive complete information on organic products; they will learn how to use everything organic without any chemical materials, and learn the basics of organic planting on allotted plot of land within its premises for cultivation purposes.” A man displays an organic plant. By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Recent years have seen a spurt of interest in organic foods. Kuwait makes no exception. The Community Service and Systematic Learning Department at the Kuwait University(KU) is holding a course titled ‘Organic Home Planting’ from February 13 to April 25 at its premises in Shuwaikh. This course will include theoretic and practical training, given two days a week on Mondays and Wednesdays. Registration is open to those older than 16 years until February 13. “Participants will receive complete information on organic products and its benefits. They will learn how to use everything organic without any chemical materials, and learn the basics of organic planting. Then they will be able to apply what they learnt during practical lessons. And for this purpose, the Kuwait University has allotted a plot of land within its premises for cultivation purposes,” Muneera Al-Baaz, Head of the Community Service and Systematic Learning Department at the Kuwait University told Kuwait Times. In response to popular demand, several research materials and articles have been published on the benefits of organic products, as they are not chemical- laden. Although the prices of organic food is high, those that are health -conscious opt for them. Organic foods are cultivated using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs like pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. The weight of available scientific evidence has not shown a significant difference between organic and more conventionally grown food in

terms of safety, nutritional value, or taste. Participants will be able to plant decorative flowers and trees, and those grown for their fruits, vegetables. “After students learn the ways and techniques, they will be able to practice this at their kitchen gardens. As the course lasts for longer than two months, participants will be able to see the fruits of their labor,” she added. “The participants will also learn the basics of organic planting, ways and techniques, practical application, solving problems like dealing with insects, worms and pest control. We will provide all necessary materials so they don’t have to worry about anything. The course will be taught by agriculture engineer Abdulrahman Al-Freeh,” concluded Al-Baaz. Organic food production is a heavily regulated industry, distinct from private gardening. Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan and many other countries require producers to obtain special certification in order to market food as organic within their borders. In the context of these regulations, organic food is food made in a way that complies with organic standards set by national governments and international organizations. Organic products have to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. If livestock are involved, they must be reared with regular access to pasture and without the routine use of antibiotics or growth hormones. A food can be labeled as “organic” if it contains a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. In most countries, organic produce may not be genetically modified.


MoE officials face probe in mid-term grades row Guilty officials will be forced into retirement KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education(MoE) will investigate allegations leveled against it by students and parents on low mid-term exam grades announced last month. Officials from the ministry, if convicted of deliberately including out-ofsyllabus questions, will be forced into retirement, stated a news report quoting sources. The officials in question are heads of directorates that are in charge of educational matters within the ministry, and are officially referred to as ‘General Controllers’ of respective subjects. As such, a General Controller for Mathematics is the top MoE official under whom all issues concerning subject is reported, including decisions made on curriculum structure and examination dates. After mid-term results were

announced late January, many students complained against tough questions that were included in the examination papers, a reason they cited for below-average GPAs. This fueled speculations about foul play, prompting many parents to demand action from the ministry. Minister of Education and Higher Education Ahmad Al-Mulaifi, who denied all unfair play speculations, formed a technical committee to investigate the issue by thoroughly evaluating the allegations. Furthermore, Al-Mulaifi ordered MoE officials to review test papers of each student. The second semester begins tomorrow (Sunday), but it is reported that students will stage a mass strike in front of the MoE building. Ministry officials have declared that all students who are absent on the school re-opening day will

face punitive measures. In other news, Al-Jarida reported that MoE will not assign new teams to hire teachers from Syria. Existing committees will hire staff for the 2012-2013 academic year from Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia instead. The ministry seeks to hire teachers from Kuwait in case a shortage is created by the decision to exclude Syria from its annual hiring trip, reported AlJarida. Separately, Kuwait TV has decided to discontinue its association with the Ministry of Education, by which the MoE provides material for the Ithra’a TV - a state-run educational channel, reported Al-Watan. According to sources, the decision was made “after the MoE failed to pay its dues for two consecutive years.”

Mutlaa city project open for bid Kuwait Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand Khaled Mohammad Al-Shaibani with New Zealand’s Governor-General Jerry Mateparae. — KUNA

Kuwait envoy discusses ties with New Zealand KUALA LUMPUR: Kuwait Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand Khaled Mohammad Al-Shaibani discussed with New Zealand’s Governor-General Jerry Mateparae means of promoting bilateral relations. The meeting took place during the Ambassador’s participation in the country’s national celebrations held in the capital, Wellington. The Kuwait said that the Governor-General lauded bilateral ties and emphasized on further developing them in all domains. Al-Shaibani relayed to the New Zealander chief the Kuwaiti leadership’s greetings for his country’s national occasion. New Zealand’s national celebration, also known as Waitangi Day, commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the British Crown and Maori chiefs on February 6, 1840. The Treaty was the basis for the establishment of the colonial government in New Zealand and guaranteed that Maori rights in relation to their lands and other resources and treasures would be protected. —KUNA

MOH rules out H1N1 outbreak KUWAIT: Three patients were recently treated for the H1N1 virus at Al-Jahra Hospital where another patient remains under treatment and is recovering steadily. This was mentioned by senior Ministry of Health officials during a recent press conference in which they assured that these infections are normal and in no way indicate a new outbreak of the swine flu disease. “Four H1N1 positive cases recorded at Al-Jahra Hospital as of February 7, 2012 are an improvement compared to nine cases recorded during the same period in 2010, and eight cases in 2011”, said public Health Director Dr Yousuf Mendekar, who further said that individual H1N1 infection cases are normal to happen at this time of the year. He further asserted that the MOH applies World Health Organization standards when it comes to patients’ diagnosis and treatment. Director of the Al-Jahra Medical Directorate Dr Adel AlAsfour echoed Dr Mendekar’s statements, adding that seven other suspect cases at Al-Jahra Hospital tested negative for H1N1 infection.

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) will accept bids for Mutlaa City project comprising 18,000 units covering an area of 600 square meters each. Sources said that a feasibility study will be conducted on the project, taking financial and investment returns into account. They added that 40 percent of Al-Mutlaa company’s capital will be sold to public in the form of shares. The project will be executed by a public shareholding company with shares distributed as follows: 50 percent to citizens, 40 percent to public investors and 10 percent to the government. - Al-Anba

Article 2 amendment KUWAIT: Constitutional expert Dr Mohammad Al-Faily said Article 2 stipulates a political stand and its amendment does not solve the problems the country faces today. What is needed is an amendment to the rules of the assembly. He said the request to amend Article 2 of the constitution may be to avoid major amendments. Otherwise, somebody would have accidently found out that he has power or he wants to fulfill a long-cherished dream using that power. Al-Faily said voters did not elect MPs to amend the Article 2 or any other. The elections were a verdict against the government’s performance. He said MPs’ suggestions to amend article 2 were part of a move to divert attention from the fundamental issues.

KUWAIT: Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Fadhel Safar meets with the Municipality Employees Syndicate.

MEW pays allowances to terminated staff KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) paid last year an estimated amount of KD45,000 in allowances to employees whose services were terminated five years ago. This was done as a result of errors in the ministry’s employment affairs department, reports say. “Despite the fact that these errors have been discovered for a while, the MEW is yet to take legal action in order to force its former employees to return

DUBAI: Artist Khaled Ameen visiting people with special needs in Dubai.

the public funds they illegally obtained”, said sources in a press release. Separately, the MEW is set to introduce fingerprint-scanner systems for employees’ attendance registration starting from March 1, stated undersecretary assistant for monitoring and control centers Ali Al-Wazzan. The project, which cost the ministry KD768,000 will be applied to 14,850 employees working for the MEW. —Al-Rai

As Syria bleeds, neighbours brace for refugees


Police strike spreads to Rio before carnival


Pakistan court rejects PM’s contempt appeal


Maldives’ ex-president warns of protests Ousted president demands election

MALE: Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed (L) chats with the head of the UN political department Oscar Fernandez-Taranco (R) at his home in the capital island of Male yesterday. A UN special envoy arrived February 10 for talks with the new administration in the Maldives, as former president Mohamed Nasheed demanded fresh elections after being ousted in what he called a coup d’etat. —AFP MALE: The ousted leader of the Maldives, who claims he was deposed in a coup, called for fresh elections yesterday and threatened street protests over the detention of his party members. Mohamed Nasheed, who says rebel police and army officers forced him to resign Tuesday, claims up to 350 people connected to his former administration or his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have since been detained. Several senior MDP figures were badly beaten during a demonstration Wednesday, allegedly by police, while at least two party councillors were among 75 arrested in the second-biggest city of Addu, its police chief told AFP. Nasheed claimed police “stripped and handcuffed” his supporters and ransacked homes in Addu and said he would travel there in the next 24 hours unless the crackdown stopped. “We will get on the streets,” he warned. The local mayor of Addu, Abdulla Sodig, earlier told AFP by telephone that he was in hiding. The new government,

meanwhile, rejected Nasheed’s call for fresh elections, calling the demand “ridiculous”. “Simply because an ex-president wants an election we can’t have one just like that,” President Mohamed Waheed’s spokesman, Masood Imad, told AFP. “There is a constitutional process to follow.” He said Waheed would be in office till November 2013 and thereafter the country’s elections commission will call new elections. “President Waheed is not going to hold onto power without holding elections,” Imad said. “Nasheed’s call for immediate elections is ridiculous.” Nasheed told reporters earlier that his election demand was “non-negotiable.” His threat of new protests could also spell further instability in the Indian Ocean country which depends on the hundreds of thousands of high-end travellers and honeymooners who visit its pristine islands. A UN special envoy arrived Friday and was holding talks with the new administration of Waheed, the former

vice president under Nasheed. He is accused by Nasheed of conspiring in the coup plot. Assistant Secretary General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco held an hourlong meeting with Waheed and later met with Nasheed, but declined to comment to journalists afterwards. “There can be no externally generated solution to something that can be solved by Maldivians themselves,” FernandezTaranco said as he arrived, adding that the UN was concerned for Nasheed’s safety. Nasheed’s proposed solution is for Waheed to step down and the speaker of parliament in the fledgling democracy to take charge until elections in two months time. “I can’t see how the government can be sustained without the president having a single seat in parliament,” the 44-year-old told reporters at his family home, where he has stayed since leaving office. “Elections must be held. That is not negotiable,” he added. Three weeks of opposition-led protests were capped by a police mutiny on Tuesday that led to

Nasheed’s dramatic resignation and the end of his four years in power as the country’s first democratically elected president. While he has repeatedly called for foreign support, no government has backed him and the United States dealt him a serious blow on Thursday when it announced that it recognised Waheed’s new regime as legitimate. Regional power India has also declined to intervene, calling it an “internal matter” and congratulating Waheed as the new head of state. Video footage distributed by Nasheed’s office emerged yesterday apparently showing him pleading with security forces in vain to help quell a police mutiny and violent demonstrations on the morning of his resignation. Diplomatic pressure has been applied to prevent police acting on an arrest warrant for Nasheed issued by a local criminal court on Thursday, diplomatic sources said. Presidential spokesman Imad said police were obliged to execute the arrest warrant only if they felt

there was a risk that Nasheed would not appear in court to answer charges which are yet to be made public. “He can go anywhere in the country, but he can’t leave the country,” Imad said. Waheed promised in a new statement that his “key priorities included the restoration of public confidence in democratic institutions by upholding the rule of law and uncompromising adherence to the constitution”. Opposition to Nasheed, fuelled by political opponents and religious hardliners in the nation of 300,000 Muslims, escalated three weeks ago after he sent the army to arrest a senior judge over alleged misconduct. The Maldives’ former strongman ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled for 30 years, dismissed his allegations of a coup and said the new government was legitimate. “Mr. Waheed is the democratically elected president of the Maldives, according to our constitution. I called him and congratulated him,” Gayoom, who is currently on a visit to Malaysia, told AFP by phone. —AFP



As Syria bleeds, neighbours brace for refugees BEKAA VALLEY: When the Syrian refugees first came into his Lebanese border town, Abdullah Taseer found them rooms in people’s homes. Now, he has nowhere left to put them but garages and cowsheds. “The barns were supposed to be our emergency plan, but with the numbers coming in now we’re going to have to start using them already,” said the 30-year-old dentist, who spends his free time organising volunteers to help Syrians streaming over the snowy mountains on the border and into Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. It’s no paradise, especially not in mid-winter. But for Abu Ammar, a 43-year-old carpenter from the besieged city of Homs, it’s better than home: “We want to save ourselves,” he said. “Forget our money, our car, our home. All we want is to live.” Yet Taseer, for the hosts, worries what comes next: “At this rate I don’t think we can continue beyond another month or so,” he says, frowning at a chart of statistics he has drawn up showing 2,500

refugees in the Bekaa, more than half of whom arrived in the past month as violence in Syria spiralled. Despite freezing rains, snowdrifts and a heavy deployment of Syrian troops near the borders, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan have registered around 20,000 refugees. But with thousands more not registered and the pace of flight increasing from President Bashar al-Assad’s onslaught on rebel bastions like Homs, Syria’s neighbours are bracing for a refugee crisis of epic proportions. For all their long and bitter experience of such moments of exodus, from Palestinians in the 1940s to the million Iraqis who fled sectarian killing after 2003 - many for Syria the states of the region are not all extensively prepared, though Turkey and Jordan, to the north and south, are beginning to make plans. In Lebanon, a reluctance to recognise the problem officially is hampering international groups like the United Nations. A worker for an international aid group in Lebanon,

who spoke anonymously, said the country’s ability to take in more refugees across its eastern border was limited: “Now we might be reaching the point where the host capacity is exhausted. If you get 10 or 20,000 in a matter of days, then you have a problem.” In Turkey, the official number of Syrian refugees in neat rows of white-tented camps has jumped to 9,700 from 7,200 in the last two months. That is a tiny proportion of Syria’s 23 million population and most are from districts close to the frontier. Ankara, which has given safe haven to rebel army commanders and is now vocal in opposing its former ally Assad, has been building a more permanent container camp to hold some 10,000 people set on 30 hectares (75 acres) of land near the border. “We are ready to house them for as long as necessary. It depends on the situation in Syria,” said a Turkish official who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said a new camp that

Bahrain protesters seek new ‘Freedom Square’ Bahrain takes ‘important steps’ towards reform MANAMA: Tens of thousands of antigovernment protesters in Bahrain are streaming toward a site they seek to occupy for the one-year anniversary of their uprising in the Gulf kingdom. Riot police did not immediately intervene as crowds headed to an empty lot dubbed ‘Freedom Square’ in the village of Miqsha outside the capital Manama. Miqsha has been a site of ongoing clashes between Shiite-led protesters and police. Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy permitted limited sit-ins ahead of the Feb 14 anniversary. But yesterday’s march appears aimed at creating a new round-the-clock hub of the protest movement similar to Manana’s Pearl Square, which was stormed by security forces last year. Bahrain’s majority Shiites want Sunni rulers to give up their near-monopoly on power. Bahrain has taken “important steps” towards reform, but needs to do more to heal the rifts left after it crushed a pro-democracy uprising last year, a senior US official said during a visit to the Gulf state on Thursday. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner also called for restraint from the government and anti-government protesters ahead of the Feb 14 anniversary of the uprising. Violence has escalated in recent clashes between police and youths. Almost a year after the protests, quickly put down with help from Saudi troops, police still clash daily with youths in mainly Shiite Muslim neighborhoods who complain of political and economic marginalization by the Sunni ruling elite. “We call on all

Bahrainis to refrain from violence... (It) is a moment for all Bahrainis to come together, to move beyond the pain of last year,” Posner told reporters. “We continue to receive credible reports of excessive force by police, including widespread and sometimes indiscriminate use of tear gas.” Bahrain, host to the US Fifth Fleet, is a key ally to Washington and Saudi Arabia in their

Tunisia succeeded in bringing about a change of ruler. Posner’s visit comes after the State Department said last month it would go ahead with a sale of $1 million of equipment to Bahrain while maintaining “a pause on most security assistance for Bahrain pending further progress on reform”. Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday that decision sent a wrong

MANAMA: Bahraini Sunni protesters hold signs against the Syrian regime during a demonstration after the weekly Friday prayers in Manama yesterday to condemn the UN Security Council veto by China and Russia of a resolution on the Syria crisis. — AFP dispute with non-Arab Shiite power Iran over its nuclear energy program. Some opposition activists accused Washington of standing by while Bahrain crushed the democracy movement, after uprisings in Egypt and

signal to Bahrain. “Bahrain has made many promises to cease abuses and hold officials accountable, but it hasn’t delivered,” said Maria McFarland, the group’s deputy Washington director. — Agencies

could hold some 10,000 is nearly finished - and it could be expanded should the much-feared prospect of civil war in Syria materialise and bring “tens of thousands” over the border. Jordan, which so far hosts more than 3,000 registered refugees, has started construction of a possible camp under supervision from the UNHCR. It is already exploring possible further locations in the event of a mass influx. But in Lebanon, local aid workers in Bekaa say the government is ignoring worrying signs that such an influx has already begun. In the Bekaa Valley, along Syria’s mountainous western border, weekly arrivals last year were about a dozen. For the past two weeks, residents have been receiving between 30 and 100 Syrians fleeing their homes. Further north in Lebanon, the number of registered refugees jumped by over a thousand to 6,375 in January. But activists like the dentist Taseer say there are thousands not registered. — Reuters

Egypt bars UK woman from leaving country CAIRO: Egyptian authorities barred a British woman from leaving Egypt yesterday because she is on a list of people under investigation over ties to foreign nonprofit groups accused of fomenting unrest in the country, an airport official said. The government’s crackdown on the NGOs has caused one of the most serious rifts in decades between Egypt and its strategic ally, the United States. US officials and legislators have warned it could sever the $1.5 billion in US aid to Egypt, one of the longest and largest in the world. The airport official said the woman was ordered off a London-bound plane in Cairo, but was not arrested. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. The woman joins a list of at least 10 foreigners, including six Americans, who have been barred from traveling as part of the criminal investigation. In London, Foreign Office officials said they had contacted British diplomats in Egypt seeking more information. Egyptian judges have referred 16 Americans, and 27 others, including Europeans and Egyptians, to trial on accusations they illegally used foreign funds to foment unrest in the country. The country’s military rulers have so far stood firm behind the case, and military-backed Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri has said Egypt would not “kneel” before pressure to cut the aid. Officials have also used the case to accuse the growing protest movement in Egypt of being a pawn in the hands of the US, which is allegedly seeking to destabilize the country. Youth groups and revolutionary movements that led the popular uprising that pushed former President Hosni Mubarak out of office last year have become increasingly assertive in challenging the military council that replaced him. The generals have promised to hand over power on June 30, but protesters want them to step down immediately. They accuse the military of mismanaging the transition to democracy, and of trying to preserve Mubarak’s regime. Yesterday, thousands of protesters organized nearly a dozen marches across Cairo, heading to the Ministry of Defense. “We are not tired. A total revolution or none,” shouted protesters marching toward the ministry. “Down, down with military rule.” The different marches converging on the well-guarded ministry differed from the protesters’ usual tactics, taking them away from rallies at Cairo’s Tahrir Square that was the epicenter of the uprising. — AP


Turkey quake victims struggle in Europe’s cold

VAN: In this Dec. 23, 2011 file photo, earthquake survivors prepare to leave their razed houses in the city of Van, eastern Turkey. The harshest winter in decades has added to the woes of more than 140,000 quake survivors who are braving record low temperatures and heavy snow fall in tents or temporary homes in Van. — AP

Spain arrests fugitive in Serbia PM killing MADRID: Spanish police arrested Vladimir Milisavljevic, one of the fugitive convicts in the 2003 assassination of Serbian prime minister Zoran Djindjic, they said yesterday. Milisavljevic, on the run after being convicted in 2007 along with 11 others for the killing, was arrested Thursday in a restaurant in the eastern city of Valencia, along with Serbian gang leader Luka Bojovic, a police statement said. Bojovic is the leader of the “Zemun Clan”, a mafia gang that developed from the “Tigers of Arkan” paramilitary group, “known for its cruelty during Balkan wars” of the 1990s, the statement said. Milisavljevic was described as a lieutenant of Bojovic, who rose to head the Zemun Clan after the convictions for Djindjic’s killing. Bojovic was not among those convicted of the assassination but was wanted by Serbian police and Interpol for more than 20 other killings in Serbia, Spain and the Netherlands. He was also wanted for trafficking of people, drugs and arms and prostitution offences, the statement said. Milisavljevic was sentenced in absentia to 35 years’ jail for his role in the killing of Djindjic, gunned down in Belgrade in 2003. He was among five convicts who stayed on the run following the sentencing in 2007. Police said he had travelled from Spain’s Canary Islands via Madrid to Valencia to meet up with Bojovic and other gang members. Police said they also arrested a hitman for the gang, Sinisa Petric. — AFP

ANKARA: Record low temperatures and heavy snow are making life even more miserable for more than 140,000 Turkish quake survivors still living in tents or temporary homes. As Europe battles a deep freeze that has killed hundreds since late January, despair is hitting those who lost their homes in tremors in eastern Turkey several months ago. Many are struggling to keep warm with coal stoves or electrical heaters. A magnitude-7.2 quake and a magnitude-5.7 aftershock in October flattened some 2,000 buildings, killing 644 people around the city of Van, a provincial capital. Turkey has moved about 134,000 people into temporary homes but about 7,500 others are still trying to survive a record cold winter in tents with just electric hookups. Gonul Meral, 33, has two children and has been homeless since October, when her landlord evicted her after an earthquake left her husband unemployed. She says her tent is so cold that water inside it is freezing solid. “It is so hard, I had to fight to get a tent and I don’t know whether they will let me

keep it because those whose houses were damaged have priority,” Meral said by telephone. “I am doing the dishes now, but the water in the basin is frozen and I have to heat the water again.” Turkey’s government is racing to erect temporary housing sites and build proper apartment buildings for quake survivors. Ragtag unofficial encampments have also sprung up in empty patches of ground in the quake zone, in the courtyards of houses or even on highway median strips. Many people say they prefer to stay close to their property to keep watch over it, even if that means enduring living conditions that are rougher than in the organized camps. In Romania, freezing weather killed another 13 people and left thousands of villagers stranded as navigation on parts of Danube - one of Europe’s key waterways - is blocked because of floating ice, authorities said Friday. Some 220 homeless people were brought to shelters as temperatures plunged to minus 20 Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit) overnight. — AP

Briton wanted in 1993 heist arrested in US ‘He’s a wonderful father, husband’ OZARK: After nearly two decades as a fugitive, a British man suspected of driving off with an armored car loaded with cash worth about $1.5 million has been captured in rural Missouri, where he appeared in federal court wearing blue jeans and asking for a court-appointed defense attorney because he didn’t have enough money to hire one. Edward John Maher, once dubbed “Fast Eddie” in news reports after the 1993 heist, is accused of stealing the armored car while a fellow security guard was making a delivery to a bank in Suffolk, eastern England. The van was later abandoned. Fifty bags containing coins and notes worth 1 million pounds, or $1.5 million, were missing. And so was Maher. According to US property records, Maher, 56, appears to have been in the US for years, moving around New England, the South and the Midwest. News reports from 1993 said he had dreamed of living in the US, where he wanted to open a flight school. FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said federal officials do not know what happened to the money. Maher was arrested Wednesday in an apartment in the town of Ozark, where authorities said he was living under a brother’s name, Michael Maher, and working as a cable installer. Edward Maher’s guise began unraveling Monday when Ozark police received a tip that a man going by that name was a fugitive from Britain. An officer compared Maher’s driver’s license photo with a picture from 1993 and contacted the FBI, which also compared the photos and determined they were likely the same man. He was arrested after immigration officials determined he was in the US illegally. Maher’s family reluctantly opened the door to their twostorey townhome Thursday to speak with an Associated Press reporter. “He’s an amazing dad,” said son Lee King, 23. “He cares for us, provides for us and takes care

of us. He’s been to every baseball game, football game. Everything we’ve ever done in our lives, he’s been there for us.” Maher’s wife, Deborah Brett, who also goes by the name of Deborah King, said the family had lived in Ozark about 4 1/2 years. After being taken into custody, Maher told an FBI agent he had been using his brother’s name since 1998, when he began working in the US. He said he obtained a Social Security number under that name. Brett told agents her husband also sometimes used the name Stephen King. She said if Maher is sent back to Britain, fami-

ly members will go there with him. “He’s a wonderful father and a wonderful husband. He’s never hurt anybody. Never caused any harm to anybody,” she said, quietly comforting a younger boy who appeared to be about 15 as they both fought back tears. In addition to immigration violations, federal prosecutors charged Maher with having illegal weapons. Maher appeared calm during his brief appearance in federal court in Springfield on Thursday. He is in the custody of US marshals and was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Feb. 22. — AP

OZARK: In this photo combination, an undated photo released by British Police, left, and a booking photo provided by the Greene County, Missouri Sheriff’s Office show Edward John Maher. Maher, nicknamed “Fast Eddie”, was arrested Wednesday, Feb 9 in Ozark, Missouri after nearly 20 years on the run from British authorities, who sought him for allegedly stealing £1,000,000 in a January 1993 armored car heist. — AP



Hungary orders Danube closed because of big freeze BUDAPEST: Hungary closed the Danube to river traffic yesterday because of thick ice, bringing shipping to a near standstill on Europe’s busiest waterway, as the continent’s cold snap death toll reached past 540. “Shipping was ordered stopped overnight Thursday to Friday because of conditions created by icing along the Hungarian part of the river,” Istvan Lang, who heads the national technical supervisory body OMIT said. “All ships still underway must immediately head for the closest harbour,” Lang, quoted by MTI news agency, said. Other countries along the Danube, including Austria, Croatia, Serbia, and Bulgaria, had already suspended river traffic because of the freeze. The 2,860-kilometre (1,780-mile) river, which flows through 10 countries and is vital for transport, power, irrigation, industry and fishing, was nearly wholly blocked from Austria to its mouth on the Black Sea. In Hungary, 60 to 70 percent of the river was frozen, with only ice-breakers remaining in action, especially in the south of the country, officials said. The cold snap, which started two weeks ago, is expected to continue until mid-February, forecasters said. In neighbouring Serbia, “the situation is relatively better then in the previous days as the snow stopped and the emergency services will focus today on delivering food to endangered regions,” Predrag Maric Serbia’s chief emergency official told state television. Helicopters were to deliver food to remote areas of southwestern Serbia which have

been trapped in snow for days, he added. Some 70,000 people were still cut off from the outside world. Temperatures in Serbia hit a

In Bosnia, 20,000 homes in the southern towns of Mostar and Nevesinje and surrounding villages were connected again to the elec-

DANUBE RIVER: A special-purpose ship, the biggest 40-meter-long Hungarian icebreaker for rivers the ‘Szechenyi’, moves and navigates through the ice-covered waters of the Danube River in Budapest yesterday. —AFP new low yesterday with with minus 26 degrees Celsius (minus -14.8 Fahrenheit) in the northern town Sombor and minus 15 degrees Celsius in the capital Belgrade at 0500 GMT.

trical grid after three days without power, Pero Pavlovic of the Civil Protection services said yesterday. “Some small hamlets are still without electricity but it should be

Germany jails Kosovo man for life for US airmen murder ‘Attack damaged Germany’s reputation’ FRANKFURT: A German court sentenced a Kosovo man to life yesterday for killing two US soldiers and attempting to kill three more at Frankfurt airport last March in Germany’s first deadly jihadist attack. Presiding judge Thomas Sagebiel said 22year-old Arid Uka-who was born in Kosovo but brought up in Germany-was found guilty

be released early after 15 years. “Yes, this is indeed the first Islamic-motivated terror strike to have happened in Germany,” the judge said. Uka, wearing a brown fleeced hooded top and black jumper, initially appeared relaxed and even smiled occasionally as police removed the handcuffs after bringing him

FRANKFURT: In this March 2, 2011 file photo police investigate the scene after a gunman fired shots at US soldiers on the bus outside Frankfurt airport, Germany. A German court delivered its verdict in the trial of an alleged Islamic extremist who has admitted killing two US airmen at Frankfurt airport last year. —AP on two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder when he opened fire on March 2 last year on a group of US soldiers on their way to serve in Afghanistan. “The degree of guilt is particularly grave,” Sagebiel said, which means Uka is unlikely to

into the Frankfurt courtroom. But throughout the 70-minute hearing, he showed no emotion and kept his eyes downcast as judge Sagebiel read out the verdict, as well as the reasons behind it and a detailed account of the attack.

US soldiers Nicholas Alden, 25, and Zachary Ryan Cuddeback, 21, were killed in the shooting. Two other soldiers were wounded. Sagebiel told the court: “He would have shot at a third, but the weapon got jammed.” The verdict had already been postponed twice since the trial opened with Uka apologising to his victims and their families. “On March 2, I killed two people and opened fire on three others. Today I can’t understand myself how I could have acted this way,” he said. He said he had been influenced by “lies” and “propaganda” after seeing a video on the Internet purporting to show US soldiers in Afghanistan raping a local woman. Defence lawyer Michaela Roth had not contested Uka’s guilt but argued that extenuating circumstances should allow him to be eligible for release after 15 years in jail. “A jihadist would never have asked for forgiveness as Arid Uka has done from the first day of his trial. On the contrary he would have been proud of himself,” Roth told the court earlier. Roth also argued that the video had probably brought back a childhood trauma to Uka, who she said was molested at the age of six. But judge Sagebiel quoted a psychiatric expert opinion which stated that neither the video nor the childhood trauma were of “any decisive relevance” to Uka’s actions. While the accused, who was born in ethnically divided Mitrovica in northern Kosovo but who grew up in Frankfurt, was “an immature personality”, he suffered “no clinical personality disorders” and was “fully aware” of his actions at the time of the attack. —AFP

re-established shortly,” Pavlovic added. In Romania, 13 died of cold overnight Thursday to Friday, bringing the overall toll to 57 since the start of the cold spell, officials said. Over 20,000 people are cut off by snow in the east of the country with food supplies runing out, they added. In some villages, such as Varasti, in the south of the country, where four metres of snow (13 feet) have fallen, inhabitants had to tunnel their way out of their homes or exit through top windows. “I fear all my hens and turkeys are dead,” said Varasti resident Marin Boacana, 60, pointing to his snow-covered chicken coop. In Italy, where the cold has killed more than 45 in the past 10 days, snow started to fall anew yesterday. A 42-year Romanian woman, believed to be sleeping rough and who had found shelter in a cave in the Rome suburbs, was found frozen to death, while a man was reported attacked by scavenging stray dogs near Rimini. Motorways banned some heavy truck traffic in the northeast of the country, while rail services and Bologna airport experienced delays. In Rome, where forecasters predict up to 30 centimetres (11 inches) of fresh snow, all schools were closed yesterday. Residents stocked up on food, fearful of a repeat of the disruption seen last weekend. At the Porta Portese street market, snow chains have been selling for up to 400 euros ($528) after city authorities ordered all cars to carry them. —AFP

Nigeria police rearrest escaped sect member LAGOS: Nigerian police arrested an escaped convict suspected of masterminding a Christmas Day church bombing that killed at least 44 people in an attack claimed by a radical Islamist sect, an official said yesterday. Kabiru Sokoto’s escape just a day after his arrest led to national embarrassment and to the firing of the country’s top police official. Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati told The Associated Press on Friday that members of the nation’s secret police arrested Sokoto in Taraba state, which borders Cameroon. Abati said he had no other details about the arrest, and referred questions to the State Security Service. A spokeswoman for the secret police agency declined to immediately comment. However, another security official who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists, said officers arrested Sokoto as he hid behind a clothesline at a home in the state. Sokoto will be flown back to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on an air force flight, the official said.Police named Sokoto, an alleged member of the radical sect known as Boko Haram, as the prime suspect for the Dec. 25 bombing of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, a city just outside of Abuja. However, Sokoto escaped from police custody a day after his arrest, an embarrassment for Nigeria’s ill-equipped federal police. President Goodluck Jonathan later fired the nation’s top police official a few months before his mandated retirement. The bombing struck just after 8 a.m. as worshippers began to leave the sanctuary after a morning service. A car bomb detonated near the church’s front steps, cutting down those leaving. The wounded quickly overwhelmed Nigeria’s chronically underprepared emergency services, filling the cement floors of a nearby government hospital, crying in pools of their own blood. Corpses lined an open-air morgue. Boko Haram later claimed responsibility for the attack and separate strikes that saw others die in two other Nigerian cities. The sect, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language, is carrying out increasingly sophisticated and bloody attacks in its campaign to implement strict Shariah law and avenge Muslim killings in Nigeria, a multiethnic nation of more than 160 million people. This year, the sect is blamed for at least 270 deaths, according to an AP count. —AP


Venezuela opposition holds presidential primary CARACAS: Venezuela’s united opposition holds a firstever presidential primary tomorrow, with youthful state governor Henrique Capriles widely expected to emerge as the standard bearer to take on President Hugo Chavez in the October ballot. The open primary will gauge the momentum of support for the opposition Democratic Unity coalition (MUD) eight months before the showdown with Chavez, the nation’s veteran, firebrand left-wing leader who has ruled since 1999. Capriles, a 39-year-old moderate from the center-left Primero Justicia (Justice First) party, currently leads in the polls. Single and with movie star looks, he governs Miranda state, which includes parts of the Caracas metropolitan area. His chances were boosted last month when Leopoldo Lopez, a popular former mayor, dropped out and endorsed him. Capriles is also known for having confronted Chavez back in 1999, when the governor was a lawmaker. “He has managed to present an image of compromise and

valor,” said Luis Vicente Leon of Datanalisis, a polling company. Capriles’s main rival is Pablo Perez, 42, of the Un Nuevo Tiempo (A New Era) party. Perez is governor of Zulia, Venezuela’s most populous and wealthiest state. Both Perez and Capriles say they want to end the country’s deep political polarization and have pledged to fight poverty. They have campaigned with a conciliatory message and have avoided directly criticizing Chavez. They also propose continuing and improving the popular social programs adopted by the Chavez government since 2003, notably in the areas of health and housing. The other candidates in the race are independent legislator Maria Corina Machado, labor leader Pablo Medina, and former ambassador Diego Arria. Unlike the governors, this trio has chosen to aggressively challenge Chavez. In January the opposition parties unveiled a unity platform focusing on free-market economics and emphasizing public safety. This would include an end to

price controls, in place since 2003; adoption of a competitive currency exchange rate; reassessing Chavez’ creation of a socialist state; and returning autonomy to the Central Bank. The historically divided opposition formed the coalition to compete with Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in the 2010 legislative elections. The opposition won more than 50 percent of the popular vote. The 57-year-old Chavez, who last year underwent chemotherapy in Caracas and Havana and now claims to be cancer-free, is seeking a third six-year term in the October 7 vote. A staunch critic of the United States, Chavez is the main political and economic ally of Cuba, the only one-party communist regime in the Americas. Chavez has also offered support for other left-wing governments across Latin America. Capriles says that as president he would inaugurate a “cycle of progress” in Venezuela by using the same model that led to Brazil’s economic boom.— AFP

Police strike spreads to Rio before carnival Brazilian troops ready to provide security

MEXICO CITY: Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s presidential candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, center, greets supporter as he arrives for a meeting with members of the party in Mexico City. Mexico will hold presidential elections next July 1. — AP

Chavez foe seeks public worker support for primary CARACAS: Opposition presidential contender Pablo Perez finished off his campaign Thursday urging public employees to join his supporters and vote in a primary election choosing a single challenger to face President Hugo Chavez. The opposition coalition has accused the government of pressuring public employees not to vote in Sunday’s primary, which is open to all of Venezuela’s 18.2 million registered voters. The opposition has not provided evidence for its claim. Perez, the governor of western Zulia state, marched through eastern Caracas accompanied by hundreds of supporters while a festive drum beat filled the air. He said at a rally that he has gained support among the poor. The 42-year-old politician chided Chavez for talking so many hours on television, and pledged to instead be “a president who listens to the people.” Perez has been trailing in second place in recent opinion polls behind Henrique Capriles, a youthful state governor who has won a large following while promising to be a friend both to the poor and to business. Capriles, who spoke to a rally of supporters in the central city of Valencia, said: “There’s no obstacle that can stop a nation that wants change.” The winner among the five presidential contenders in Sunday’s primary will be the opposition’s unity candidate in the Oct. 7 election against Chavez, whose approval rating has been above 50 percent in recent polls. Voters in the primary elections are also picking opposition candidates for other offices, including 17 state governor posts. The Atlanta-based Carter Center said Thursday that it will send “a small study group of international experts” for the primary. The center, founded by former US President Jimmy Carter, said in a statement that the group’s purpose will be to “learn the perspectives of key political actors, representatives of civil society, and election officials about the national electoral processes this year.” It said the experts “will not constitute an electoral observation delegation.” — AP

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil prepared to deploy troops on the streets of Rio de Janeiro yesterday, as a strike by the state’s police force threatened to disrupt upcoming carnival festivities and raised new questions about security before the 2014 World Cup. The strike, for higher wages, began early yesterday and follows an ongoing walkout by police in the northeastern state of Bahia. There, police stopped work on Jan. 31, unleashing a crime wave with more than 150 homicides, looting, and vandalism mostly concentrated in the capital city of Salvador. In Rio, the police job action is not expected to cause similar chaos because strike leaders agreed to a minimum level of service despite the protests. However, the willingness of Brazil’s police to stage walkouts when they are most needed has unsettled many and called into question the overall state of preparedness in a country with increasing first-world ambitions. As residents went about their business yesterday in the seaside city of 6.4 million people, only a handful of precincts appeared to struggle with a shortage of officers. Still, authorities were ready with emergency plans that could deploy more than 14,000 federal troops across the city and the surrounding state of the same name. President Dilma Rousseff last week deployed more than 4,000 troops to Salvador to try to restore order. Given a growing call for walkouts nationwide by police officers demanding higher salaries, state and federal officials prepared for similar measures in Rio. “There is a contingency plan,” said Colonel Frederico Caldas, a spokesman for the police force. “But it isn’t necessary with the current situation.” The strike comes just one week before Rio’s famous carnival celebrations and coincides with the start of hundreds of informal street parades, known as blocos. As many as 850,000 tourists are expected to hit the beaches and palm-tree lined promenades of

Brazil’s second-biggest city for the festivities, which officially start on Feb. 17 and end on Feb. 22. The walkout also renews concerns that Brazil, eager to show off its growing prosperity during the World Cup two years from now, is ill-equipped to provide the security needed in the 12 cities selected as venues for the soccer games, including Rio and Salvador. Rio will also play host to the 2016 Olympics. As the strike moves forward, it is unclear how many of Rio’s security personnel will walk off or how long their strike may last. In Bahia, roughly 6,000 officers, or about a fifth of the state’s overall police force, have taken part. Out of Rio’s 70,000strong force, which also includes firemen and state prison guards, only about 3,000 assembled in the city’s colonial center late Thursday in an initial protest to launch the strike. Though Rio’s state assembly voted to raise the force’s wages by 13 percent, with an additional increase next year, strikers are pushing for more. State police, charged with day-to-day security in Brazil, earn far less than most

private-sector workers and many other civil servants, too. In Rio, the pay raise would give police a minimum monthly wage of 1,816 Brazilian reais ($1,055), about half what the police are demanding. The low wages have forced many state police officers to moonlight and caused frustration for officers in areas like Brazil’s violent northeast, where rising crime and drug problems have accompanied economic growth. Low pay has also made many Brazilian officers notoriously susceptible to bribes and collusion with armed gangs, drug traffickers and other criminals. In Rio, where state officials have made inroads against gangs that controlled crime in the city’s once lawless hillside slums, authorities feared a strike could undermine the “police pacification units” that helped restore order. However, police units appeared to be operating normally on Friday and city residents said they had noticed little out of the ordinary. One of the more famous carnival blocos, known as the Cord„o do Bola Preta, reversed plans to cancel its parade and said its march would proceed, local media reported. —Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO: Members of Rio de Janeiro’s Police, Firefighters and Militarized Police on strike answer questions for the press yesterday. Rio police planned to strike for better pay yesterday, warning people to stay off the streets and close shops a week before the famed Carnival festival, expected to attract millions of revelers. — AFP


US approves transfer of second warship to Philippines MANILA: The US Congress has approved the transfer of a second Coast Guard ship to the Philippines, an official said yesterday as Washington shifts its military ties with the Southeast Asian nation that has been engaged in a territorial spat with China. In the past, US cooperation with the Philippines has focused mostly on counterterrorism, but it has recently expanded to building up the country’s moribund navy. Assistant US Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro told reporters yesterday that he will consider a Philippine request to have the warship turned over with as much military equipment as possible. “I’m pleased that the congressional notification period for a second Coast

Guard cutter expired this week, so that means Congress has now approved the transfer ... to the Philippines, which will further help Philippine security needs,” he said after talks with Filipino defense officials in Manila. The ship - the second such delivery since last May under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty - is just one of many defense projects that the US is discussing with the Philippines. That comes in addition to having American ships regularly visit and refuel in Philippine ports, rotating US troops in the southern Philippines where alQaida-linked Muslim militants are active and holding large-scale joint military exercises. China has said that it views with concern the increased US military engagement with the Philippines and

balked at what it sees as Washington’s interference in the South China Sea dispute. The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan all have conflicting territorial claims over potentially gas and oil rich islands with the Asian superpower. The Philippines last year accused Chinese vessels of harassing its oil exploration ships and laying claim to areas within its territorial waters. Shapiro reiterated the US policy that it takes no position on the claims by any of the parties, that disputes should not be resolved through the use of force and that its defense cooperation with the Philippines is not directed against any one country. But he also said that his government is committed to helping the Philippines in its security needs and

“fully intends to meet its obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty.” The increased focus on strengthening Philippine naval assets, which have lagged behind those of its neighbors and are no match to China’s superior military, comes a decade after American troops started training Filipino soldiers and sharing intelligence with them in a campaign to rout out al-Qaida-linked militants. They are blamed for a series of bombing attacks and kidnapping sprees mostly in the country’s southern island provinces. “Traditionally our focus was on helping the Philippines address the internal security threat,” Shapiro said. “Given the progress that the Philippine forces and police have made addressing the threat, we’re

now at a point when both our governments believe we can transition our support towards helping them in maritime security issues.” Still, he said he did not anticipate any immediate changes in redeploying about 600 US Special Forces troops in the southern Philippines. Shapiro also ruled out any intention to re-establish US bases in the Philippines following a 1991 historic vote in the Philippine Senate to close them down, nearly a century after the United States claimed the islands from Spain. US military presence continues to be a sensitive issue in the former colony. Left-wing and nationalist groups are opposed to the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement, which allows American troops to train here. —AP

Singapore to extradite 4 to US over Iraq bombs Ruling reflects stronger US, Singapore ties SINGAPORE: A Singapore judge yesterday allowed the extradition to the United States of four Singaporeans accused of illegally selling US-made radio components to Iran that ended up in Iraqi roadside bombs. The judge ordered the four committed to prison pending an extradition order by Singapore Law Minister K. Shanmugam, who is also the foreign minister. The US government immediately welcomed the decision even though the four electronics company employees, who strongly denied deliberately violating US laws, were given 15 days to contest the judge’s ruling. “This ruling reflects the strong spirit of cooperation between the United States and Singapore in combating transnational crime, including the illicit trade in arms and equipment that can pose significant threats to the United States and the international community,” said US Ambassador David Adelman. A US embassy statement said the four had been charged with violations of

American laws relating to fraud involving the “unlawful export from the United States of military antennas and radio frequency modules”. The four suspects were all in the electronics parts distribution business when they were arrested in October and will be tried in a District of Columbia court if extradited. “I have no doubt they will be accorded a fair trial by the US courts,” District Court Judge Chia Wee Kiat said. He said all the court needed was to “consider if there is a prima-facie case” and that this had been established during the hearings. In court statements in December, Wong Yuh Lan, Lim Yong Nam, Lim Kow Seng and Hia Soo Gan Benson rejected US charges that they had conspired to evade a US trade embargo against Tehran. They were arrested by Singapore police on US charges of illegally exporting USmade radio equipment to Iran including 6,000 radio modules and 55 antenna parts,

some of which were found in bombs targeting coalition forces in Iraq. The Singapore government turned over the US extradition request to a local court to determine the merits of the case. “I really did not take part in any conspiracy... and I truly did not know that US origin goods were not allowed into Iran,” Wong, the only woman among the four, said in a statement read out in court by her lawyer in December. Wong, who was an office clerk for a company run by an Iranian who is now at large, said her incarceration during the hearings “has caused untold anguish to me, my family and my young children”. Wong’s lawyer Ravinderpal Singh said: “I am going to look at the written judgement and decide on the next course of action with my client.” Hamidul Haq, the counsel for the three other accused, said he will lodge an appeal. “There is a period of 15 days that Singapore has before extradition can take place,” Haq told reporters. —AFP

PAJU: A group of South Korean lawmakers, hailing from both the conservative ruling party and the liberal opposition party, wave before they head to North Korea’s joint industrial complex of Kaesong at the inter-Korean transit office in Paju yesterday. —AFP

MANILA: Protesters rally in front of the US embassy in Manila yesterday, to protest the alleged shift of focus in US foreign policy from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Asia Pacific under the so-called Pacific Century. —AFP

Malaysia to help Philippines identify dead militants MANILA: The Philippine military said yesterday Malaysia would send forensics experts in an effort to obtain proof that Filipino forces had killed three of Southeast Asia’s most-wanted terror suspects. The military said its US-backed airstrikes last week on a remote southern island killed three senior leaders from the Al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and Abu Sayyaf networks, as well as 12 junior figures. But it was not able to immediately provide proof, with authorities saying bodies had been taken away by fellow militants and quickly buried in line with Muslim custom. Philippine military spokesman Colonel Arnulfo Burgos said yesterday police had gathered pieces of human tissue and blood after the strike on the southern island of Jolo. Philippine police will now liaise with the Malaysian team over the forensic evidence, Burgos said. “This would help the Armed Forces of the Philippines provide proof that the terrorists Mauwiyah and Marwan are already dead,” Burgos told reporters, without saying when the Malaysian team would arrive. The highest-profile militant reported slain was Malaysian Zulkifli bin Abdul Hir, alias Marwan, one of the United States’ most-wanted terror suspects with a $5 million bounty on his head from the US government. Zulkifli was one of JI’s top leaders and a bomb-making expert who had been hiding out in the southern Philippines since 2003, according to the US State Department. The Malaysian forensics experts are expected to obtain DNA samples from Zulkifli’s relatives before they fly to the southern Philippines to compare samples, Burgos said. Also reported killed was Singaporean Mohammad Ali, alias Muawiyah, another JI leader who had been hiding in the Philippines since the group killed 202 people in a series of bomb attacks on the Indonesian island of Bali in 2002. The third senior militant reported killed was Filipino Abu Pula, also known as Doctor Abu or Umbra Jumdail, one of the core leaders of the Abu Sayyaf that is blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines. —AFP


Myanmar refugees tell of violence despite peace calls NONGDAO: In an obscure part of southwest China, a refugee crisis from one of the world’s longest running and least known conflicts in Myanmar is slowly unfolding, largely ignored by the outside world and denied by China. Thousands of refugees bringing tales of rape and violence have flooded across the border into China, fleeing fighting between Myanmar government troops and ethnic minority Kachin rebels. Conflicts between the Myanmar government and various minority rebel groups erupted soon after independence from Britain in 1948. The Myanmar government is keen to end the violence as it introduces democratic reforms after five decades of iron-fisted military rule and as Western governments call for peace as they prepare to lift sanctions. Concrete moves to end the conflicts is a condition for the full lifting of the embargoes. While pacts have ended the fighting in most parts of Myanmar, the bloodshed has not stopped in Kachin state in the far north despite a call from the central government for an end. Kachin state, a broad spur of Himalayan foothills wedged between China and India, has for generations

Australian PM slaps gag order on MPs SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday did not deny a report that she has ordered cabinet ministers not to talk to major newspaper editors in a bid to stamp out leadership speculation. Gillard heads a fragile Labor coalition government after the party failed to win a majority in the August 2010 election and there is mounting speculation that Kevin Rudd, now foreign minister, could challenge her for the top job. The prime minister removed Rudd in a brutal Labor Party room showdown in mid2010 and the Sydney Daily Telegraph said a gagging order was issued at a cabinet meeting last week to try and hose down further leadership speculation. The newspaper said ministers must now seek permission from the prime minister’s office before any meeting or private talks with senior newspaper figures. One minister cited by the paper said it appeared to be a deliberate attempt to “set up Rudd” by creating an excuse to sack him if he breached the cabinet directive. “As a government we are out and about every day explaining what we are doing in the community,” Gillard said Friday when asked about the report. “We coordinate our expression of that message. We always have and we always will.” Last week, Gillard insisted she will lead Labor into the next election, due in 2013, even as a new poll showed she is less popular than Rudd. Of the 1,400 voters surveyed in the Nielsen poll for Fairfax newspapers, 57 percent said they wanted Rudd as Labor leader against only 35 percent for Gillard. — AFP

produced some of the world’s finest jade, as well as opium and timber. Now it is central to the energy plans of both Myanmar and China, home to hydropower dams and twin pipelines that will transport oil and natural gas to China’s southwestern Yunnan province. In the town of Nongdao in a far western nook of Yunnan, talk of

Myanmar’s return to democracy and the release of political prisoners ordered by President Thein Sein rings hollow to refugees such as Da Shi Jar Raw. “They used big rockets to hit the villages and they burned the fields,” the 32-year-old told Reuters, describing attacks by government soldiers in the country also known as Burma.

YANGON: Saw Htay Maung (L) chairman of the KNU (Karen National Union) and KNLA (Karen National Liberation Army) Peace Council talks to reporters after his meeting with Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (R) at her residence in Yangon yesterday. — AFP

“The Burmese soldiers are raping women and shooting children,” she said. “They killed a lot of mothers so we don’t dare go back.” Labang Roi Tawng took her four young children and fled on a four-day trek in December to the border and safety at a camp in China of more than 500 people. “The military were killing, shooting and raping people, doing terrible things, so we were very afraid and ran,” she said. At least 10,000 refugees have entered China since fighting erupted between Myanmar’s military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) after a 17-year-old ceasefire broke down last June. Some Chinese media reports have put the number at 40,000. “How long the fighting continues, we cannot say,” said Lahpai Zaulat, with the Kachin Relief and Development Committee at Longdao, another area where refugees have flocked. “More and more will come,” he said of the flow of people fleeing, adding new huts were being built every week. At one camp, where a mass of huts nestled between an open rubbish heap and farmland, organisers said refugees were arriving at a rate of about 10 a day. — Reuters

China jails dissident ahead of vice president’s US trip Sensitive leadership transition underway in China BEIJING: A Chinese court jailed a veteran dissident to seven years in jail yesterday, his son said, in the latest blow to challengers of the Communist Party’s rule before its next leader, Xi Jinping, visits the White House. Zhu Yufu was jailed for “inciting subversion of state power” by a court in Hangzhou, a city in east China, after a trial hearing on Jan. 31 when prosecutors cited a poem and messages he sent on the

Internet, his son Zhu Ang told Reuters by telephone. “The court verdict said this was a serious crime that deserved stern punishment,” said Zhu Ang, who was allowed to attend the court hearing with his mother. “Now my mother is terribly upset, even if we saw this coming,” said Zhu Ang, 31. He said the verdict cited his father’s online calls for mobilisation in the name of democracy. “Basically, the only chance

BANGKOK: This December 24, 2011 file photo shows Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping waving to Thai students during a visit to Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. Barring a last-minute coup-de-theatre, Xi will take over from President Hu Jintao as leader of China’s ruling Communist party at the 18th congress to be held in October, and as head of state in March 2013. — AFP

that my father had to say anything was when he was being taken out after the hearing, and he stopped and said, ‘I want to appeal’.” Tensions over human rights are likely to come up when Xi visits the United States next week. Vice President Joe Biden, who will host Xi, met advocates to discuss the “deterioration” of rights in China, the White House said on Thursday, signalling the issue is likely to figure in talks. Xi, who is nearly certain to succeed Hu Jintao as Communist Party chief in late 2012 and as state president in early 2013, leaves on Monday for Washington. Xi (pronounced like “shee”) is likely to face US criticism over China’s clampdown in restive Tibetan areas after a series of selfimmolation protests. At a briefing about Xi’s trip, a senior Chinese diplomat, Cui Tiankai, indicated his government would not welcome being publicly criticised by the Obama administration over rights. “The problem now is that internationally there are some people who always grab hold of the human rights banner when they want to speak ill of China,” said Cui, a vice foreign minister. “I think that this is abusing the notion of human rights.” China’s leaders are steeling for a generational leadership handover late this year, a politically sensitive time that is likely to harden their resolve to quell dissent. The sentencing of Zhu, who turns 59 this month, followed the jailing of two other Chinese dissidents in December who received prison terms of 9 and 10 years on subversion charges. —Reuters


India says missile shield test a success BHUBANESWAR: India successfully tested yesterday an interceptor defence shield developed to detect and destroy incoming ballistic missiles, a government official said. Officials from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said an indigenously developed interceptor missile locked on to the targets, two nuclear-capable missiles, and destroyed them in a test in eastern India. DRDO spokesman Ravi Gupta said radars following the two destroyed missiles detected fragments falling into the Bay of Bengal off the state of Orissa. “India is the fifth nation to have these ballistic missile defence capabilities in the world,” Gupta said in a statement. The test was carried out at a missile launch site located 200 kilometres (120 miles) from Orissa state capital of Bhubaneswar. Nuclear-armed Pakistan, with which India has fought three wars since their independence in 1947, has said New Delhi’s missile programme could trigger a new arms race in the region. A similar test in 2010 by the DRDO was abandoned when radars following a “hostile” missile lost track of it after it blasted off from the launch site. The system’s tracking and firecontrol radars were developed by the DRDO jointly with Israel and France. India last month said it would soon test a nuclear-capable missile with a range of over 5,000 kilometres. India’s current longest-range nuclear-capable missile, Agni-IV, can travel 3,500 kilometres. — AFP

Pakistan court rejects PM’s contempt appeal Gilani could be forced to step down, face jail term ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court rejected the prime minister’s appeal against a summons in a contempt case yesterday and is set to charge him on Monday, a move likely to bring fresh political turmoil to the chronically unstable country. If convicted, Yusuf Raza Gilani could be forced to step down and face up to six months in jail. The case, which has raised tension between Pakistan’s civilian leaders and the Supreme Court, could drag on and paralyse decisionmaking. “The appeal is dismissed,” Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said in court, reading the decision of the eight-member bench. If Gilani is removed, it does not necessarily mean the government will fall as the ruling coalition has the numbers in parliament to elect a replacement. But a protracted court battle could weaken the administration and damage the ruling Pakistan People’s Party’s chances in the next general election expected by 2013. Political instability and brinksmanship often distract Pakistani leaders from a staggering number

of challenges-from a Taleban insurgency to rampant poverty. Analysts have expressed concern about a possible balance of payments crisis in Pakistan amid a growing current account deficit,

which is likely to worsen in coming months as repayments on IMF loans begin in February. While Pakistanis have grown accustomed to hostility between civilian leaders and generals, the

ISLAMABAD: Aitzaz Ahsan, lawyer of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani leaves the Supreme Court in Islamabad, Pakistan yesterday. Pakistan prime minister looked set to be charged with contempt of court after judges rejected a last-ditch appeal paving the way for a case that could plunge the nucleararmed country into political turmoil. — AP

Supreme Court has increasingly asserted itself over the last few years, making the political landscape more combustible. “I think this is definitely a setback to the system. The government’s performance was already affected by its confrontation with the military,” said Talat Masood, a retired general and political analyst. The legal tussle stems from thousands of old corruption cases thrown out in 2007 by a controversial amnesty law passed under former military ruler and president Pervez Musharraf. The contempt accusation arises from Gilani and his advisers ignoring court orders to ask Swiss authorities to re-open money laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, the most prominent beneficiary of the law. Pakistan’s current government is the longest serving civilian administration in the country’s history. It hopes to be the first to serve out its full term in the South Asian nation which has been ruled by the military for more than half of its 64-year history through coups, or from behind the scenes. — Reuters

Afghan private security handover looking messy KABUL: The push by Afghanistan’s president to nationalize legions of private security guards before the end of March is encouraging corruption and jeopardizing multibillion -dollar aid projects, according to companies trying to make the switch. President Hamid Karzai has railed for years against the large number of gunsfor-hire in Afghanistan, saying private security companies skirt the law and risk becoming militias. He ordered them abolished in 2009 and eventually set March 20 of this year as the deadline for everyone except NATO and diplomatic missions to switch to government-provided security. Afghan officials are rushing to meet the cutoff with the help of NATO advisers. But with fewer than six weeks to go, it’s likely that many components will still be missing on March 20. And even once everything falls into place, higher costs and issues of authority over the government guards will remain. The change imperils billions of dollars of aid flowing into Afghanistan, particularly from the United States. In a country beset by insurgent attacks and suicide bombings, the private development companies that implement most of the US aid agency’s programs employ private guards to protect compounds, serve as armed escorts and guard construction sites. On March 21, approximately 11,000 guards now working for private security firms will become government employ-

ees as members of the Afghan Public Protection Force, or APPF. They will still be working in the same place with the same job. Except now they’ll answer to the Interior Ministry. “We don’t want to have security gaps. This is really important to our customers and to us,” said the head of the APPF, Deputy Minister Jamal Abdul Naser Sidiqi. It will happen, he says, because the presidential order says it has to. Officially, everyone is optimistic. “The APPF is now open for business,” a US

embassy official said, speaking anonymously to discuss private agency contracts. But many are still worried that the entire plan could fall apart. Development contractors for the US Agency for International Development told The Associated Press they were explicitly told not to discuss the changeover with reporters because media attention could endanger the delicate process. Everyone critical of APPF insisted on speaking anonymously for this article. Last week the chairman of the House

KABUL: An Afghan private security man, right, part of a private security company called Arya, searches a man as his colleague, left, stands guard in Herat, west of Kabul, Afghanistan. The push by Afghanistan’s president to nationalize legions of private security guards before the end of March is putting multibillion-dollar aid projects in jeopardy and creating a shaky structure ripe for corruption and abuse, according to companies trying to make the switch. — AP

subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing concern that the APPF may not be ready to take over security for aid projects. Even so, no one expects that there will be a visible problem on March 21. “The guys who guard our gates today wear a certain baseball hat, and on the 21st of March they’ll come wearing a different uniform. It should be pretty seamless,” said Bill Haight, head of an infrastructure-building project run by Louis Berger Group and Black and Veach. He said his projects are nearly finished and so he doesn’t expect many problems. But companies with long-running projects are worried. New contracts and operating rules will probably still be in the works when the deadline hits. The APPF has yet to sign a contract to provide security for any of the approximately 75 companies expected to switch over to government guards in March, according to Noorkhan Haidari, the APPF business manager. And international firms that are expected to act as middlemen managing the guards are having trouble getting licensed. Though about 20 companies have said they plan to register as socalled Risk Management Companies, or RMCs, only one license has been issued reportedly after a wait of about two months. Others trying to get licensed say the required documents change every day. — AP

Total in talks with Kuwait for China refinery project


Lebanon economy at risk from Syria unrest: IMF



Barclays set to miss profit goal




Damaged economy haunts Egypt year after revolt

ATHENS: A petrol bomb explodes at riot police during a 48-hour general strike yesterday. — AFP

Greece bailout deal in limbo Police fire teargas as protesters throw petrol bombs ATHENS: Striking Greek workers denounced a new wave of austerity yesterday as an imposition too far by Europe and the IMF. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told the nation it faced a stark choice between sacrifices inside the euro area and bigger sacrifices outside. Police fired teargas at black-masked protesters who threw petrol bombs, stones and bottles in central Athens at the start of a 48-hour general strike against planned pay and job cuts. But street protests were relatively small and mostly peaceful. The biggest police trade union said it would issue arrest warrants for Greece’s international lenders for subverting democracy, and refused to “fight against our brothers”. A daily newspaper depicted German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a Nazi uniform with a swastika armband. As public rage simmered, the leader of the far-right LAOS movement, the smallest of three parties backing Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, said he would not vote for the harsh austerity programme in a crucial parliament vote due tomorrow or Monday. “Greeks cannot be hostages and serfs,” LAOS leader George Karatzaferis told a news conference. “We were robbed of our dignity, we were humiliated. I can’t take this. I won’t allow it, no

matter how hungry I am.” “Germany decides for Europe because it has a fat wallet and with that fat wallet it rules over the lives of all the southern countries.” His party has 15 deputies in the 300-seat parliament, dominated by the socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy parties, which both support the Papademos government. LAOS’ four ministers tendered their resignation, but Karatzaferis rejected calls for an early general election and suggested the prime minister appoint more technocrats instead. Venizelos made clear Greece has little choice but to accept the harsh conditions attached to a 130 billion euro bailout, and a plan to halve its huge debt to private bondholders, to avoid a chaotic default when big bond repayments come due next month. “It’s time for us to make up our minds,” he said after euro zone finance ministers refused to give immediate approval to the bailout plan. “Unfortunately, we have to choose between sacrifices and even bigger sacrifices.” The European Union and IMF have been exasperated by a series of broken promises and weeks of disagreement over the terms of the bailout, which would be Greece’s second since 2010, with time running out to avoid a

default. The ministers gave Athens six days to prove its commitment by passing key legislation, finding an extra 325 million euros in savings, and providing assurances that the programme will remain in force after any election. Summing up their deep mistrust, Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of euro zone finance ministers, said: “In short, no disbursement before implementation.” The euro and European shares fell, reflecting concern that the Greek bailout and debt swap could fail. “Resist!” The austerity plan includes lowering the minimum wage by 22 percent, axing 150,000 public sector jobs and reducing pensions. Some protesters compared Greece’s plight, facing bankruptcy unless it accedes to the demands of international lenders, to its seven years under military dictatorship. On Syntagma Square in central Athens, songs from the struggle in the 1960s and 1970 against a junta of colonels boomed out over loudspeakers. Police said three policemen and two protesters were slightly injured in clashes. Five people were detained. With Greece probably at its lowest ebb since the junta was over-

thrown in 1974 and democracy restored, protesters denounced the “troika” of lenders the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. “Do not bow your heads! Resist!” They chanted. “No to layoffs! No to salary cuts! No to pension cuts! Even the police, who have repeatedly clashed with protesters since the crisis broke out more than two years ago, announced resistance to the creditors’ demands. “As we can see you are continuing this destructive policy, so we warn you that you cannot make us fight against our brothers,” the Greek Police Federation said in an open letter to the troika. “We warn you that as legal representatives of the Greek police, we will issue arrest warrants for a series of legal violations ... such as blackmail, covert abolition or erosion of democracy and national sovereignty.” Papademos announced on Thursday that the three parties in his coalition government had agreed to the austerity and reform package. However, Venizelos failed to persuade his euro zone peers to approve immediately the deal and an accompanying bond swap, which will cut the value of the debt held by Greece’s private creditors by about 70 percent. —Reuters

business SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012

IEA cuts 2012 oil demand growth forecast yet again Robust oil demand growth seen in non-OECD region

PITTSBURGH: This photo, shows cans of Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry at a store. — AP

Pepsico to cut 8,700 jobs NEW YORK: PepsiCo is trying to put some fizz back into its business. The food and drinks maker announced a restructuring on Thursday that includes cutting 8,700 jobs globally and plowing money into advertising drinks like Pepsi and Mountain Dew in North America. Pepsi announced its cost-cutting plan Thursday as it reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, but also forecast a decline in adjusted 2012 earnings. On the mixed news, the company’s shares fell nearly 4 percent. In a media briefing, CEO Indra Nooyi said 2012 will be a “transitional year” as economic uncertainty persists. “When the only certainty is uncertainty the whole guidance thing becomes a challenge,” she said. “Anything you do in short term just to meet short term guidance would be detrimental to the company in the long term.” Like many companies of all stripes, Pepsi is facing higher costs for materials it uses to make, package and transport its products, including sugar, corn and aluminum. Pepsi and many other food and beverage makers raised prices last year to offset the higher costs. But consumers are still cautious about spending in the uncertain economy, so some companies are moving on to Plan B: cost cutting. Pepsi rival Coca-Cola Co announced its own cost-cutting program on Tuesday, although Coke did not say it was reducing its workforce. For its part, Pepsi said “tough decisions” needed to be made because it expects 2012 will be the second year in a row that it will encounter higher-than-average costs for commodities. Pepsi was expected to take some cost-cutting measures, but analysts also had speculated that the company might split up its snack and food business. Pepsi said Thursday that it has no plans to do that. Nooyi said although the company is cutting about 3 percent of its 300,000 worldwide work force, the reduction is spread out over 30 countries. She declined to say how many job cuts would be made in the US, but said it was less than 3 percent of the total US work force. At the same time it’s making cuts, PepsiCo also is planning to invest in its business. PepsiCo plans to increase advertising and marketing behind its brands by $500 million to $600 million in 2012, with a particular focus on North America. It also plans to invest $100 million on in store racks, displays and coolers. Additionally, it plans to increase dividends and share buybacks in 2012 to return cash to shareholders. PepsiCo, which also makes Quaker Oats and Tropicana juice, said it expects the restructuring will save the company $1.5 billion by 2014. That’s on top of $1.5 billion in cost cutting it previously announced. One analyst questioned whether Pepsi should spend more of its advertising dollars in other countries, including emerging markets like India. While Pepsi’s snack business is stronger than Coke’s, he reasons, PepsiCo has been losing ground to Coke on the soda side as Cokes has ramped up its overseas business. “We are curious as to why Pepsi has not made the choice to balance its investment spending more evenly around the world,” wrote Citi Investment Research analyst Wendy Nicholson in a note to investors. She kept her “Neutral” rating on the stock. For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the Purchase, NY-based company said Thursday that its net income rose 4 percent to $1.42 billion, or 89 cents per share. — AP

LONDON: Global oil demand will grow by less than 1 percent in 2012, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said yesterday, cutting its oil growth demand forecast for a sixth consecutive month due to a weak global economy. The agency, which provides energy advice to the world’s most industrialized nations, cut its global oil demand growth forecast for this year by 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 800,000 bpd. “This month’s report dwells on recent economic downgrades, and resultant weaker oil products demand growth for 2012,” the IEA said. “This is providing a ceiling for otherwise stubbornly-high crude prices.” The IEA cited a cut by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its economic projections with the global economy now expected to expand by 3.3 percent in 2012, a “sharp deterioration” from its previously assumed 4 percent growth. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also cut its world oil demand growth forecast on Thursday due to economic weakness, predicting a rise of 940,000 bpd in 2012, 120,000 bpd less than its forecast last month. In contrast, the US Energy Information Administration raised its estimate of global demand growth in 2012 by 50,000 bpd to 1.32 million bpd in a report on Tuesday. The IEA said oil demand in the most industrialized nations was expected to fall by 0.8 per-

cent, with gasoline accounting for more than 40 percent of the decline. The latest preliminary statistics for December point to a sharp fall in North American oil demand, down 4.1 percent year-onyear, despite reports of economic resilience. The IEA linked this to sharp declines for heating oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) thanks to an unseasonably mild winter in the United States. In line with the weak economic outlook, European oil demand is likely to post the greatest relative decline in 2012, the IEA said, down by 0.3 million bpd from 2011. “Much of Europe already saw declines in economic activity in 4Q11, and with further drops assumed for the 1Q12, this equates to the technical definition of recession,” it said. However, the non-OECD region will see demand growth of 1.2 million bpd or 2.8 percent in 2012, helping offset the reduction in OECD consumption, the IEA said. OPEC supply at highest since 08 Despite the cuts in the oil demand forecasts, oil supplies from OPEC rose in January to the highest since October 2008, at 30.9 million bpd. The IEA pointed to a steady ramp up in Libyan production and sustained output from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Global oil supply rose by 0.1 million bpd to 90.2 million bpd in January, with OPEC supply 900,000 bpd above the group’s 30

million bpd collective output target agreed in December. But non-OPEC supply fell by 0.2 million bpd to 53.2 million bpd, partly due to an escalation of the conflict in Syria and the dispute over transit revenues between Sudan and South Sudan. The IEA said South Sudan’s 260,000 bpd could remain absent from world markets for the near future but added that North American light tight oil production and growing production in Latin America should support a strong non-OPEC supply rebound. “The market in 2012 likely has sufficient supply-side flexibility” to adjust to any loss in Iranian volumes due to international sanctions, the IEA said, noting that customers of Iranian crude had already begun to line up alternatives. Based on 2011 exports, the EU embargo could affect up to 600,000 bpd of supplies, the IEA said, adding some estimates suggest up to 1 million bpd of Iran’s 2.6 million bpd of exports may be replaced by alternative supplies once sanctions take effect. It noted Saudi Arabia had said it could increase production to around 11.8 million bpd in a matter of days, and Angola, the UAE, Libya and Iraq were all expected to bring on new production capacity over the course of 2012. “Despite these assurances, perceptions of impending supply issues are clearly placing a floor under oil prices for now,” it added. — Reuters

Total in talks with Kuwait for China refinery project PARIS: Total is in preliminary talks with Kuwait for a refinery project in China, the group’s refining head told a news briefing for the group’s results yesterday. “If we can have access to a project for a big refining and petrochemical platform (in China) this can interest us,” Patrick Pouyanne, Total’s head of refining and chemicals said. “We are in early talks with Kuwait but it’s a long term project,” he added. Meanwhile, French oil major Total posted yesterday a 2011 net profit of

12.3 billion euros ($16.3 billion), for an annualized gain of 16 percent as higher oil prices offset a slight dip in production. It was the group’s best result since 2008, a statement said, and came despite a slip of 1.0 percent in production to 2.346 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboe/d), partly a result of the conflict in Libya. Total was pursuing talks with Japanese partner Inpex to raise the French group’s 24-percent stake in a giant Australian gas project to 30 percent, chairman and chief executive

PARIS: French energy giant Total CEO Christophe de Margerie presents the group’s 2011 results yesterday. — AFP

Christophe de Margerie said. Meanwhile, the group’s 2011 profit when adjusted for earnings on holdings in other companies and stock effects, a closely-watched measure, gained 11 percent to 11.424 billion euros, Total said. The oil company added that its reserves had gained 7.0 percent last year to 11.423 million barrels of oil equivalent, and confirmed its output growth target of 2.5 percent per year over the period from 2010-2015. This year, Total forecast investments of 20 billion euros, down from 22 billion in 2011, with de Margerie explaining that was a justification for what some called the group’s “insolent” profits. “Our profits are more than useful, and serve above all as guarantees for our investments,” he said. Part of that could well be an increase in Total’s share of the Ichthys gas project with Inpex, a 34-billion-dollar scheme that aims to develop reserves off the cost of Australia. The massive gas field is set to boost energy supplies in Japan that have been hit by the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. Total also needs to bolster so-called downstream activities including refining and distribution, which were other factors in its weaker production levels last year. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Total’s net profit nonetheless gained 13 percent to 2.29 billion euros, while its adjusted net profit was 7.0 percent higher at 2.725 billion euros. — Agencies

business SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012

Dented economy haunts Egypt year after revolt Key earnings from tourism fell by 30%

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (left) shake hands following meetings in the Oval Office of the White House, February 9, 2012. —AFP

Obama hails Italian PM in talks on euro crisis WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama praised Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Thursday, saying he was boosting confidence across Europe and world markets with his economic rescue program. The US leader, who is concerned contagion from any worsening of Europe’s crisis could impact his reelection prospects, also called for a stronger eurozone firewall to stabilize the continent’s battered financial system. “I personally have great confidence in the prime minister’s leadership and his ability to navigate Italy through this difficult time... and then to put it on a footing so it can grow and prosper in the long term,” Obama said after the two men held Oval Office talks. Obama said he told Monti the United States wanted to do “whatever we can do to help stabilize the situation in the eurozone, including something that we both agree on, which is the need for a stronger European firewall.” Such a firewall, Obama said, would “allow for a more stable path for repaying the debt, but also the promotion of a growth strategy within Europe.” There is no suggestion however that the United States, which is only just enjoying its own economic recovery after the worst recession in decades, will provide substantial financial help to Europe’s firewall. Obama hailed Monti, who took over as prime minister in mid-November amid a serious debt crisis, saying he had made a “strong start” and was promoting “very effective measures” in Italy. “He’s also been able to generate confidence throughout Europe and the marketplaces that Italy has a plan that takes seriously its fiscal responsibilities, but also emphasizes the need for structural reforms that can promote growth,” the US president added. The two men met as the focus was on Europe’s turmoil on Greece, after the country’s leaders reached a last-minute deal on austerity cuts to secure a new eurozone bailout. Angry unions, though, vowed more strikes. Since taking power, Monti has pushed through a draconian austerity plan and is now hoping to perform a massive liberalization program and reforms of the job market in the hope of future prosperity. In exchange, the Italian premier wants EU partners to reinforce the eurozone’s rescue funds. He also will count on Obama’s support when the US leader speaks to counterparts in France and Germany. But he said Thursday that his country was not in need of a bailout like those for Greece, Ireland and Portugal. “Italy is not at a point where it needs financial assistance, but it needs better governance,” Monti told an audience at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, adding the “IMF is playing a key and very constructive role in the euro area.” “I think it is right when it says that Europe should do its part of the job and build a firewall that is high enough” to stall contagion from the most troubled eurozone countries. Monti has said the eurozone crisis may be moving towards a resolution but also warned that it has tested the continent’s cohesion, after reviving prejudices between the prosperous north and poor south. The White House has watched Europe’s debt turmoil with disquiet and some frustration at its failure to show political will to solve it more quickly. There are fears that if Europe fails to fix its problems, economic and jobs growth could slow in the United States and harm Obama’s chances of winning a second term. The US leader also used Thursday’s talks to discuss wider geopolitical issues, at a time when the United States and Europe are piling intense pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program. Obama was also aiming to prepare the way for G8 and G20 summits that he will host in Chicago in May. —AFP

CAIRO: A year after Egypt overthrew Hosni Mubarak, the poor state of the once growing economy of the Arab world’s most populous nation poses a threat to its restive transition to democracy. With an estimated growth rate of one to two percent-compared with between five and seven percent in past years-the government is looking to the International Monetary Fund and donors to fend off a possible social explosion. “One year after the revolution, the economy is in a state of anarchy, out of control,” said Salah Goda, the director of the Economic Research Centre in Cairo. Key earnings from tourism fell by 30 percent, a shortfall of four billion dollars, according to official statistics that some tour operators believe are rather rosy. As ratings agencies steadily degrade it, investors no longer jostle to buy into Egypt, which has a workforce sometimes cheaper than China’s and a market of 82 million people. At the centre of the country’s economic concerns is the melting away of its central bank’s foreign currency reserves, which dropped by more than half in a year, from $36 billion in January 2011 to $16.3 billion. Coupled with a deficit of 8.7 percent of GDP-more than 10 percent, according to some economists-there are doubts that Egypt can maintain its costly subsidy system. The subsidies cover such essentials as bread, cooking oil and gas. Removing the subsidies raises fears of a social explosion in a country where 40 percent of the population lives on just two dollars or less a day. Rumours of fuel shortages for several days in January led to long queues of cars at petrol stations across the country, reflecting Egyptians’ nervousness on the topic. Reforming the system, whether under pressure from the sagging economy or international donors, could place the military-appointed caretaker cabinet in a dangerous position. “Changing the policy of subsidies on food, petrol or butane gas can lead to political disaster,”

said Hamdi Abdelazim, an economist at the Sadat Academy for Management Sciences. The depreciating public finances “will weigh on the government’s ability to ask for credit from international and domestic funders,” said economic analyst Zeinab Abdelrahman. After initially turning it down, Cairo decided to ask for an IMF loan of $3.2 billion, and an additional billion from the World Bank. But amid

to make sure it’s transparent, that it relates to some of the changes that people were calling for or a broader social accountability. And there’ll be tensions with that.” Even if these funds come through, they would represent less than half of the $10 to $12 billion needed to keep the economy afloat, according to government figures. Funds from Arab donors had been expected to help fill the gap.

CAIRO: A general view shows the trading floor at the Egyptian stock exchange building. —AFP growing dissent against military rule, a campaign by the authorities against civil society groups, including American ones, may impact these loans. World Bank chief Robert Zoellick said he expected “tensions” as Egypt requests aid from the international lender, which in turn would demand progress on governance and democracy. “They’re reaching out to us, to try to see about financial support,” Zoellick said at a conference in the US city of Pittsburgh. “But if we do provide initial financial support to the government in general, we will want ...

But Prime Minister Kamal Al-Ganzuri has acknowledged that most of the funds never materialized. Some Egyptians also fear that European generosity may also be curbed to help save the euro-zone. And the almost monthly outbreaks of deadly protests amid the confused political atmosphere do not encourage international financial backing. The ruling military faces growing challenges, while the government it appointed has only months left to serve before a presidential election, with Islamists dominating a newly elected parliament. —AFP

Lebanon economy at risk from Syria unrest: IMF BEIRUT: The Lebanese economy is at risk from internal political uncertainty, spiraling violence in neighboring Syria and the eurozone crisis, the International Monetary Fund has warned. These and other vulnerabilities including high government debt and an ongoing current account deficit saw gross domestic product (GDP) growth sink to an estimated 1.5 percent last year from 7.0 percent in 2010, said the IMF. The IMF issued the projection in a statement late Thursday following talks with the Lebanese authorities on January 23. “Directors noted that downside risks are high due to the uprising in Syria, the uncertain outlook for the region, and the financial crisis in Europe,” said the statement. “Also, underlying vulnerabilities remain

large, especially those stemming from the high government debt and the continuing current account deficit.” The Fund said however that GDP growth in the Middle East country would recover slightly this year, with expansion of 3.5 percent. “Executive directors noted that domestic political uncertainty and regional unrest eroded market confidence in 2011, bringing an end to Lebanon’s four-year spell of impressive economic growth,” said the IMF statement. “They commended the authorities for skillfully managing the downturn using buffers built during the upswing.” The IMF urged Lebanese authorities to instill confidence and preserve macroeconomic stability while generating sustained growth and reducing vulnerabilities in the

near to medium term.It called for fiscal discipline and contingency measures against any downside risks while targeting a significant reduction in the dept to GDP ratio. “Directors recommended that the authorities implement a medium term strategy that aims at sustained, broad based growth and employment generation,” said the IMF. “This would require launching long delayed reforms to develop the infrastructure, improve the business climate, and remove labor market inefficiencies.” Lebanon’s ratio of debt to GDP is one of the highest in the world. According to the IMF’s latest estimate, debt stood at 134 percent of GDP last year, down from 137 percent in 2010 and 146 percent in 2009. —AFP


Indian factory output slows sharply MUMBAI: India’s industrial production slowed sharply to 1.8 percent year-onyear in December, data showed yesterday, reflecting the impact of a string of aggressive interest rate hikes and weak global conditions. The figures, which significantly undershot analysts’ forecasts of a 3.4 percent rise in output, was also down from November’s 5.9 percent increase. But India’s central bank was unlikely to start cutting interest rates immediately to boost growth as inflation remained high, economists said. The industrial output “number in itself is not enough to push the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) to cut rates just yet. In addition, underlying inflation pressures remain firm,” said Leif Eskesen, economist at HSBC. The central bank has hiked interest rates 13 times since March 2010 to battle inflation, but has kept them on hold since December amid signs that inflation had started to cool while the economy weakened. Inflation stands at a two-year-low of 7.47 percent on an annual basis but is still above the bank’s comfort level of around 5.0 percent and is the highest among the BRIC grouping of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

NEW DELHI: President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso (left) shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (center) as President of the European Council of the European Union Herman Van Rompuy (right) looks after the agreement signing yesterday. — AFP

“The RBI will not cut interest rates till the desired level of inflation is attained,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at Care Ratings, who called the output data “disappointing”. Indian shares slipped after the data, with the benchmark 30-share Sensex index falling 1.1 percent to 17,621 points. The rupee also weakened to

49.7 against the dollar from 49.36. Output of capital goods such as machinery slid 16.5 percent in December from a year earlier while mining fell 3.7 percent. “The slowdown story is clearly evident,” said Indranil Pan, chief economist at India’s Kotak Mahindra Bank. “Mining and manufacturing growth has slipped

sharply.” The weaker output figures came days after the government forecast economic growth would fall below 7.0 percent in the year to March, the first time in three years. Asia’s third-largest economy will probably grow by 6.9 percent in the year to March-far below a budget projection of 9.0 percent-and down from last year’s 8.4 percent expansion, the government’s central statistics office said. Nomura’s India economist Sonal Varma said: “Weak investment demand due to tight monetary conditions and slow reforms led to the sharp decline in output.” She added, however, the economy was stabilizing and “should pick up in the coming quarters,” a view echoed by government officials. “Industrial production could revive in the current quarter,” C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and a former central bank governor, told Indian television. India had hoped to reach doubledigit annual growth in the next couple of years-seen as key to easing crushing poverty-but tight monetary policy, a fresh global downturn and economic reform gridlock have dashed those hopes, analysts said. — AFP

S Africa squashes mine nationalization talks Zuma says S Africa policy is mixed economy

HONG KONG: A man takes pictures of lanterns shaped as Chinese zodiac animals. The Hong Kong government pledged yesterday to step up efforts to attract talented workers. — AFP

HK warns of labor shortage HONG KONG: The Hong Kong government pledged yesterday to step up efforts to attract talented workers, after a study showed the Chinese territory is facing a labor shortage due to its ageing population. The government study forecast a manpower shortfall of 14,000 by 2018, with the workforce growing at a slow annual rate of 0.6 percent, just over half the pace required to maintain an adequate pool of workers. Hong Kong would need a labor force of 3.6 million in six years to meet demand, it added. “The government has put in place a host of measures to attract and nurture talents and upgrade the skills of our workforce in order to ensure an adequate manpower supply,” Labor and Welfare Secretary Matthew Cheung said. The study showed the labor shortage would not be evenly spread across the workforce. People with upper-secondary and sub-degree qualifications would be in shortest supply, but there would be a surplus of low-skilled workers. “It is noteworthy that the growth in both the manpower requirement and supply is projected to tilt towards workers with higher education qualifications,” Cheung told the Employers’ Federation in a speech. “This is in line with Hong Kong’s continued transformation into a knowledge-based economy.” Finance Secretary John Tsang warned this month that Hong Kong’s economy could shrink in the first quarter of 2012 due to weak export markets, before rebounding to post growth of 1.0-3.0 percent over the year. —AFP

JOHANNESBURG: President Jacob Zuma squashed more than two years of talk yesterday about the nationalization of South Africa’s massive mining sector, saying state control or ownership of the mines in the world’s biggest platinum producer could not work. Asked during a televised breakfast briefing if the government planned to nationalize mines, Zuma said emphatically: “We’re very clear. It is not our policy. We’ve been saying this inside the country, outside the country. It cannot be.” “We have answered this question many times. We are very clear,” he added. “Our policy is mixed economy.” Coming at the end of a week in which two senior ministers dismissed nationalization as unviable and the ruling ANC released a study describing it as an “unmitigated disaster”, Zuma’s comments lay to rest two years of debate that hit South Africa’s image as an investor-friendly emerging market. Radical elements within the African National Congress (ANC) are still likely to float an idea first raised by Youth League leader Julius Malema, especially as the party approaches major conferences in June and December. However, Malema’s suspension from the party at the end of last year for disciplinary offences and the growing ranks of declared and heavyweight opponents of nationalization mean the idea is not going anywhere. “You cannot ask for

greater clarity,” said political consultant Nic Borain. “If you look at the words the document uses, and you take what Zuma said today, I think we can put this issue to bed. “Read altogether, this is the ANC very clearly saying ‘Our task as government is to get the most out of these resources.’ Nationalization would be a catastrophe.” Higher taxes Malema remained defiant over the nationalization issue yesterday, telling a meeting of the Youth League leadership: “We will never retreat”. Criticizing “pure disregard and disrespect” of what he said were ANC guiding principles, the party’s youthful rebel said the study recommending against mines nationalization contradicted the movement’s 1955 Freedom Charter. “The Freedom Charter said the mineral wealth beneath the soil, banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole,” Malema, wearing a yellow T-shirt and a black beret, said in comments which also rejected the ANC’s disciplinary proceedings against him. Even though the threat of nationalization has been removed, South Africa’s mining sector - the fifth biggest in the world by value - faces the prospect of higher taxes and royalties as the government tries to squeeze out better returns for the country’s 50 million people.

The ANC has always had a testy relationship with the mines, the economic backbone of the apartheid state, and affirmative action policies since the end of white-minority rule in 1994 have struggled to overturn that legacy. The mining research released this week proposed a hefty 50 percent tax on profits once a “reasonable return” had been achieved, although it offset the impact with a promised reduction in mineral royalties. Economists said hiking taxes for a sector that is also facing rising labor and power costs should not be undertaken lightly. “We keep looking over our shoulder at the legacy issues, when the rest of the road ahead is full of pot holes,” said Colen Garrow, an economist at investment firm Brait. “Taxation has to be taken very sensitively because the industry locally is in recession.” The government is also in the process of building a state mining company to ensure cheap domestic supplies of minerals such as coal and iron ore that are essential to a developing economy. Some analysts believe this may yet evolve into significant state control of specific areas of mining. “While I am convinced that general nationalization is not on the cards, I don’t believe targeted nationalization is no longer a consideration,” said Allan Reid, a director at law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer. — Reuters


Asian markets slip on Greece fears European shares fall, bank stocks take a hit HONG KONG: Asian markets fell yesterday as traders grew nervous over Greece’s chances of avoiding a default after eurozone chiefs withheld a new bailout and ordered Athens to accept more swinging cuts. The decision to put off ratification of the rescue cash gives Greece just under a week to meet three new criteria and came despite the country’s politicians finally agreeing on other austerity measures. Sydney closed down 0.88 percent, or 37.6 points, at 4,245.3, Tokyo ended 0.61 percent, or 55.07 points, off at 8,947.17 and Seoul finished 1.04 percent lower, or 20.91 points, at 1,993.71. In the afternoon Hong Kong shed 1.08 percent, or 226.15 points, to 20,783.86 while Shanghai ended up 0.10 percent, or 2.39 points, at 2,351.98. Despite Greek politicians agreeing after lengthy talks on a tough set of cuts demanded by international lenders, Brussels told Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos that more needed to be done to qualify for the 130-billion-euro ($171 billion) bailout. Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker told a news conference: “Despite the important progress achieved over the last days we did not have yet all necessary elements on the table to take decisions today.” The finance chiefs urged the Greek parliament to approve the austerity measures agreed by the political parties when it convenes tomorrow. They also called for additional structural spending cuts of 325 million euros for

2012 and a written pledge from coalition leaders that they will implement austerity measures. Failure to agree on the measures and qualify for the cash could see Athens default on its debt repayments, which many fear could see it leave the eurozone and lead to another global financial catastrophe. Greece is, however, close to finalizing a debt writedown with its private lenders, hoping to slash 100 billion euros from its 350-billion-euro debt mountain. EU economic affairs head Olli Rehn said the writedown was near.

“We’ve had a nice run up in risk assets this year, but we’ve got a lot of event risk this weekend, so investors aren’t prepared to commit any more money to equities at this point,” said Sydneybased IG Markets institutional dealer Chris Weston. “The fact that Greece has agreed on fresh austerity measures is positive, but European officials appear skeptical, and we need to see Greek lawmakers vote through the austerity measures this weekend,” he said. Markets reacted little after China said its January

BEIJING: A greeter at a Chinese restaurant waits for customers in the historic Qianmen District yesterday. — AFP

trade activity fell to its lowest level since 2009 during the global financial crisis, amid turmoil in the country’s key export markets and slowing domestic demand. Analysts said the data-exports fell 0.5 percent year-on-year to $149.94 billion while imports plunged 15.3 percent to $122.66 billion-was distorted by the earlier-than-usual Lunar New Year holiday last month. “The trade data is not affecting the market much because investors know it was distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday,” Minsheng Securities analyst Zhang Lei told Dow Jones Newswires. European stock markets slid in early trade yesterday with London’s FTSE 100 losing 0.55 percent, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 off 0.86 percent and the Paris CAC 40 shedding 0.97 percent. On currency markets, the euro stood at $1.3256 and 103.04 yen, from $1.3286 and 103.20 yen. The dollar bought 77.71 yen, up from 77.68 yen. Adding to the downbeat sentiment in Sydney was news that mining giant Rio Tinto’s annual net profit tumbled 59 percent, which came a day after rival BHP Billiton also saw underwhelming earnings for the year. New York’s main oil contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in March, lost 70 cents to $98.78 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for March was down $1.33 to $116.82. Gold was at $1,719.33 an ounce at 1050 GMT, against $1,732.80 late Thursday in New York. — AFP

Indonesia not averse to barter trade with Iran JAKARTA: Indonesia, the world’s top palm oil producer, would study any approach by Iran to trade by barter, it said yesterday, as tightening sanctions hurt Iran’s ability to pay for basic staples. Western financial sanctions have crimped Iran’s purchases of grain, cooking oil and tea, and barter could provide one way to resume shipments. Iran may turn to countries that have large Muslim populations and resources, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, for its needs. Commodities traders have told Reuters Iran is offering gold bullion in overseas vaults or tankerloads of oil to secure food for its 74 million people, but could not give specific details on deals. Barter deals are often between governments rather than companies. Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said the government would consider proposals but had not received any overtures from Iran. Trade officials said such deals have proved troublesome in the past. “We have not got barter trade proposals from the Iranian government so far. If they really want to have barter trade with Indonesia and ask us to do so, then we have to study it first before doing the barter,” Wirjawan told reporters, adding if any barter trade was discussed gas would be preferable to oil. New sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union to punish Iran for its nuclear programme do not bar firms from selling Iran food but they make it difficult to carry out the international financial transactions needed to pay for it.

Iran has not approached Malaysia for barter deals to keep its palm oil supplies flowing, two Malaysian government sources told Reuters yesterday, after traders said the country has stopped shipping the vegetable oil to Iran this year. One said Malaysia is no longer keen to do barter trades after facing problems in a deal with North Korea in 2009 when $20 million worth of palm oil was to be exchanged for cash and fertiliser components. “No matter how you do it, these countries don’t have enough to barter. So Malaysia is not going to do barter trades for the time being,” said the source, who had direct knowledge of the matter. Malaysia is the world’s number two palm oil producer. “We are more concerned if there are declines in exports in our top markets like India and China rather than Iran,” the source added, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue. Ducking for cover Barter deals have grown more likely as foreign banks find it too difficult-or simply not worth the chance of damaging their links to the United States-to trade with Iranian banks. US sanctions have also sought to isolate Iran’s central bank as a way of choking off hard currency flows. Singaporean firms have stopped supplying Iran with Indonesian palm oil on concerns over the country’s ability to make payments in the wake of Western sanctions, trading sources in Singapore have said.

Singapore banks will not risk getting cut off from access to U.S. dollar flows as that will kill their business. “For most financial institutions, they’ll run away the moment they see Iran,” a senior banking source said yesterday. Barter trade isn’t without its difficulties, Indonesian officials said. “We have some experience in doing countertrade with several countries although we were not so successful on the trade,” said Deddy Saleh, Director-General of Foreign Trade at the Trade Ministry, pointing to the complexity of past deals. “It should be arranged under a government to government agreement umbrella although the goods which will be counter traded are in the hands of private companies,” Deddy said. Challenges Barter trade for Indonesia’s palm oil sector was a clear example of the challenges, said Fadhil Hasan, Executive Director of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI). “It is rather difficult to do barter trade, and normally there should be a government role. However, especially for palm oil, I think it would be difficult because palm oil is a high demand commodity. Indonesian palm oil producers, I suppose, will be reluctant to participate in the barter trade.” The Malaysian government has had a longstanding barter trade facility and more than 20 countries have used this scheme including Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Myanmar, Iraq, Cuba and Russia. —Reuters

China wealth fund gets $50bn capital BEIJING: China’s $410-billion sovereign wealth fund has received a $50 billion capital injection from the central bank, state media said yesterday, as the Asian powerhouse ramps up investment overseas. China Investment Corporation (CIC) was set up in 2007 to invest some of the country’s world-beating foreign exchange reserves to get better returns. The sovereign wealth fund received the money from the People’s Bank of China after the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday in January, financial news website Caixin said, citing unidentified sources. The capital injection increases the value of CIC’s assets to $460 billion, based on the latest available figures. AFP calls to the wealth fund went unanswered and a spokesman for the central bank declined to comment. The capital injection comes as China’s companies and funds increase investment overseas, especially in debtladen European economies and resource-rich Latin America, as growing competition at home forces them abroad. — AFP

Business SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012

Canada PM promises key oil pipeline GUANGZHOU: Canada’s prime minister yesterday made his strongest comments yet in support of a proposed pipeline from oil-rich Alberta to the Pacific coast, saying his government was committed to ensuring the controversial project went ahead. Enbridge Inc’s Northern Gateway pipeline, which is strongly opposed by green groups and some aboriginal bands, would allow Canada to send tankers of crude to China and reduce reliance on the US market. An independent energy regulator-which could in theory reject the project-last month started two years of hearings into the pipeline. In remarks that appeared to cast some doubt on the regulator’s eventual findings, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said it had become “increasingly clear that it is in Canada’s national interest to diversify our energy markets”. He continued: “To this end, our government is committed to ensuring that Canada has the infrastructure necessary to move our energy resources to those diversi-

fied markets.” Harper stepped up talk of oil sales to China in the wake of a US decision last month to block TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf Coast of the United States. Virtually all of Canada’s energy exports go to the United States, where a glut of supplies means some Canadian crude is sold at sometimes heavy discounts. “We have abundant supplies of virtually every form of energy. And you know, we want to sell our energy to people who want to buy our energy-it’s that simple,” Harper told a business dinner in Guangzhou. Opponents of the pipeline say the risk of a pipeline rupture or tanker accident are too great. Harper’s government brands some of the green groups as foreign-funded radicals. China has already made clear it is very interested in buying Canadian oil, even though there is little chance crude would arrive inside the next decade. Regardless of how the Canadian energy regulator rules on Northern

Gateway, the decision is likely to face a series of lengthy court challenges. Harper had a cool attitude towards China when he took power in 2006, citing Beijing’s record on human rights. In recent years, he has stressed the need for more trade to help Canada deal with economic woes in the United States and Europe. Current bilateral trade is modest and in 2010 was less than C$60 billion ($60 billion), around a tenth of combined Canada-US two-way trade. Harper, leading the largest business delegation to China for almost 15 years, said China had “shown the world how to make a poor people rich” and predicted it would soon become the world’s largest economy. He also said he would continue to “raise issues of fundamental freedoms and human rights” in talks with China. “Canada does not-and cannot-disconnect our trading relationship from fundamental national values,” he said. — Reuters

Barclays set to miss profit goal Shares climb up by 3% NEW YORK: In this photo, Bank of America Merrill Lynch traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. — AP

Why Bank of America is target of fast trading NEW YORK: On a normal day, 4 billion shares of stock change hands on the New York Stock Exchange. One in 10 belongs to a single company. It’s not McDonald’s or IBM, both of which have been on a tear. It’s Bank of America bailed out by the government three years ago, reviled for being part of the mortgage frenzy that helped wreck the economy and selling for not much more than an ATM fee. When the market goes up because of positive news about the economy, Bank of America stock shoots up past the stocks of other big banks. When traders get worried about Greek debt, Bank of America takes the biggest plunge. The big swings are not driven by a fundamental bet that the bank will be more profitable because the economy is getting better or a real concern that it will lose more money than others if there is a default in Greece. Instead, Bank of America is the stock of the moment for high-frequency trading, the supercomputer-driven buying and selling that barely existed a few years ago and now accounts for as much as two-thirds of US trading. The bank’s single-digit stock price and flood of shares on the market - three times as many as its nearest big-bank competitor - make it an attractive target for hedge funds and banks that employ high-powered, computerized trading. “The movement of Bank of America stock on most days has nothing to do with Bank of America,” says Joseph Saluzzi, co-founder of brokerage firm

Themis Trading. In other words, the stock moves because it moves. Bank of America stock has risen or fallen 1 percent or more on 20 days this year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has only done it three times. For the year, Bank of America is up 46 percent, best of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones industrial average. Big banks collectively are up 15 percent. In high-frequency trading, investors use computer algorithms to exploit small changes in a stock’s price. If a computer can seize on a stock like Bank of America a fraction of a second faster than the rest of the market, it can book a tiny profit. Those pennies add up over tens of millions of shares a day to produce big gains. And when computers rush to buy or sell a stock like Bank of America, it can result in accelerated moves in the stock price. Buying leads to more buying, selling to more selling. Bank of America is part of the Standard & Poor’s 500, and therefore held in mutual funds in the retirement accounts of millions of Americans. And mutual fund managers hate high-frequency trading. Not only does it make the stocks in their portfolios more volatile, but fund managers fume that high-frequency computers can detect their stock orders, step in to change the price of a stock slightly and pocket a small profit. “It has nothing to do with the fundamentals,” says Leon Cooperman, a billionaire investor, chairman of hedge fund Omega Advisors and former CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.—AP

LONDON: British bank Barclays is set to miss a key profit target after its investment bank ended 2011 with its worst quarter for three years. A slump in bond trading income due to the euro zone debt crisis dragged down annual profit, prompting Chief Executive Bob Diamond to push back a return on equity (RoE) target of 13 percent he set less than a year ago. “The idea of 13 percent is pie in the sky, and even getting to 10 percent is a long way away,” said Alex Potter, analyst at Berenberg Bank. Return on equity is a measure of profitability. Rivals including Credit Suisse, UBS and Deutsche Bank have all struggled to maintain profitability in their investment banks during 2011, hit by volatile trading and tougher regulations. Diamond did not abandon his RoE target, but said: “Thirteen percent remains absolutely the right target and its very achievable, but we may not achieve it in 2013 given the impact of the external environment.” The bank’s return on equity of 5.8 percent last year, from 7.2 percent in 2010, was “unacceptable”, he said. “They need to get harder in restructuring these banks,” Potter said, adding the bank is still not getting to grips with its high staff costs. Barclays said it had cut bonuses at investment banking division Barclays Capital (BarCap) by 32 percent from the year before, and incentive awards across the group were down 26 percent. BarCap’s bonus pool was 1.5 billion pounds, or an average of 64,000 pounds across its 24,000 staff. Across the group the average bonus was 15,200 pounds. Barclays is the first of the big British banks to report results and has come under pressure to rein in pay for bankers, and for Diamond, after a bad year for the industry and as jobs continue to be cut and the economy wobbles. Diamond, who became chief exec-

utive a year ago after a decade building up BarCap, has for years been one of Europe’s best paid bank executives and has faced calls to forgo his bonus. He refused to comment on whether he would be awarded a bonus or what he planned to do. Barclays, Britain’s fourth-biggest bank by market value, reported a pretax profit of 5.9 billion pounds for 2011, down 3 percent on the year and below analysts’ forecast of 6.1 billion, according to a company poll. Barclays shares fell in early trading but bounced back and were up 3 percent at 240 pence, after hitting their highest level since July. Dealers said a weak performance in investment banking had been expected and investors were encouraged by decent performance in retail banking and a one-third fall in bad loans to 3.8 billion pounds. The bank also promised a final dividend of 3 pence, more than expected. “Certainly tough” Income at BarCap fell to 1.8 billion pounds in the fourth quarter, down 19 percent on the previous three months and almost half of its level a year ago. Income for the year was 10.3 billion, down almost a quarter on 2010. A

slump in bond trading and advisory work hammered all banks late last year, and BarCap fared worse than some US rivals but not as badly as Credit Suisse. “The fourth quarter was certainly tough and all the second half was difficult, but we see that as an anomaly,” said Rich Ricci, co-head of BarCap. It has had an “encouraging” start to this year. Ricci said he was still targeting annual BarCap income of 1214 billion pounds and an RoE for the division of 15 percent. “We’re not backing away from that,” Ricci said. BarCap’s fixed income, currency and commodities income in the fourth quarter fell 32 percent from the previous three months and its equities income fell 10 percent and advisory was up 30 percent. The bank said it will cap its cash bonus for BarCap staff at 65,000 pounds this year. Total staff costs fell 4 percent to 11.4 billion pounds from a year earlier, or an average of 73,800 per employee. The bank cut 6,400 jobs during the year. “There remains an unacceptable disparity between the huge pay awards to the select few at the top of the organization and the majority of the workforce,” said David Fleming at Unite trade union. —Reuters

LONDON: Barclays customers queue up to close their bank accounts during a protest outside a branch of Barclays bank yesterday. — AFP


Arab Spring shot wins World Press Photo award Page 26

‘Violent’ Madonna stalker escapes from hospital Page 28

Dinner preparations are made days ahead of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London yesterday.—AP

Cage wore a voodoo mask to help get into character


he eccentric actor returns as stunt biker anti-hero Johnny Blaze - who sells his soul to the demon Mephisto leading to him to become his flaming skulled alter-ego - in the film and to help him get into character he applied make-up and wore items to channel the spirit world. In an interview with The Sun newspaper, he said: “There was a writer named Brian Bates who put forward the notion that all actors, whether they know it or not, come from a long distant past of medicine men and Shamans. “So I would paint my face with black and white make-up so it looked like a skull - like some sort of Afro-Caribbean voodoo icon or a New Orleanian voodoo icon. And put black contact lenses in my eyes to look more like a skull - you couldn’t

see any white in the eyes. “And I’d sew ancient Egyptian artifacts into my costume, get some rocks that had alleged frequencies too. “Who knows if it works or not? The point is it stimulated my imagination to think I really was this character. The second installment in the ‘Ghost Rider’ franchise included filming in Romania and Turkey and Cage said he freaked out some locals when he turned up off-set dressed as a shaman. He added: “If you have a Christmas party in Romania and you’re shooting until 2am and you’re invited to go the Christmas party and some schnapps is involved and you’re still in character, all hell can break loose. And it did. I’m lucky I’m not in a Romanian prison.” ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance 3D’ is in cinemas later this month.

Sir Elton and

his partner get counseling about their son


he couple - who welcomed their first son on Christmas day 2010 - are concerned about him getting “doubly stigmatised” because of his unusual upbringing and have taken advice on how to deal with it when he gets older. David, 49, said: “We’re going to raise him to be proud of who he is and understand that he came from a relationship that was taking the love we have for each other to a more dedicated and committed level. “I think he’s going to have a lot of attention thrust upon him. He’s going to be potentially double stigmatised, because one of his parents is extremely famous and secondly because he comes from two dads. “We’ve taken advice from counsellors. We’ve put a whole scrap book together about his creation and the people that were involved in the process and how the intent was about love.” Elton, 64, believes having a child has been an “incredible” experience, especially as he never thought he would see his family grow.

Lohan asks Canadian financier to buy her a gift


Duff’s dog doing great after brain surgery T

he 24-year-old actress - who is expecting her first child with husband Mike Comrie - was upset when her six-year-old Chihuahua Lola fell ill before Christmas but the pooch is now on the mend after having fluid drained from her brain. Hilary tweeted: “Update! Lola was having terrible seizures. She had a shunt put in her skull to drain fluid off her brain and now is doing great.” Hilary had an appointment with her doctor about her unborn baby boy and was pleased to report the impending new arrival is doing fine - though she herself is suffering from sore ribs. She tweeted: “Early morning dr appointment. Baby’s looking perfect! So it’s a great day..except for my ribs..which get a good solid kick every half hour! (six)” Hilary - who is due to give birth next month - revealed in December that Lola had fallen ill and asked her fans to pray for the dog. She tweeted: “Could everyone please say a prayer for my pup Lola, she has surgery in a half hour, She’s a strong girl but needs all good energy sent her way.”


he ‘Mean Girls’ actress was attending the amfAR benefit for AIDS research at the Cipriani Wall Street in New York when she began talking to the wealthy man, before sending over an assistant to ask if he would mind gifting her a Hublot diamond watch with a white alligator strap - but he simply laughed in response. A source told the New York Post newspaper: “There were items being auctioned for $20,000. After chatting with the businessman, Lindsay sent over an assistant, who said, ‘Lindsay would very much like it if you’d bit on this item as a gift. He just cracked up.” A total of $1.4 million was raised at the event, which was hosted by ‘Sex and the City’ star Sarah Jessica Parker, and Lindsay was overheard telling guests she was the gala because of her role playing Dame Elizabeth Taylor - herself a major donor to amfAR - in a new Lifetime movie. After the auction, the 25-year-old star attended the after-party at nightclub Double Seven with her mother Dina Lohan, who was seen having a good time with friends.


Lopez’s daughter

Emme is a born performer

McConaughey and Alves in no rush to get married T

he couple - who have son Levi, three, and two-yearold daughter Vida together - got engaged over the Christmas period but have not started to plan their nuptials yet. Camila said: “I am really enjoying being engaged right now. It feels so great “[There are] no wedding plans as of yet.” Matthew, 42, proposed to Camila with a three-stone diamond engagement ring and the 29year-old model was delighted with his choice. She said: “it feels so great. It’s a rose cut. It’s a beautiful ring.” Camila has been working on her handbag line Muxo with her mother, and is always pleased to take her fiance’s advice on the collection. She told People: “Matthew has great

taste. He always has great opinions on what works and what doesn’t. “We are one big family so we share everything - including opinions on the creations for the line.” While Camila - who has been in a relationship with Matthew for five years - insists she hasn’t started planning her wedding yet, it was recently claimed the couple plan to tie the knot in her native Brazil. A source said: “Camila wants to get married in Brazil with her family all around. She misses the food and the people there, so she’s planning a big beautiful Brazilian wedding. “She’s been asking Matthew to put a ring on it forever. She’s so happy. It’s like a dream.”

Lady Gaga used to suffer from bulimia


he ‘Alejandro’ hitmaker used to make herself sit after eating family meals because she wanted to lose her “voluptuous” curves and be a “skinny little ballerina” Speaking at the ‘It’s Our Turn’ conference in Los Angeles, she said “I used to throw up all the time in high school. So I’m not that confident. I wanted to be a skinny little ballerina but I was a voluptuous little Italian girl whose dad had meatballs on the table every night. I used to come home and say, ‘Dad, why do you always give us this food? I need to be thin.’ And he’d say, ‘Eat your spaghetti.’ “It’s really hard, but you’ve got to talk to somebody about it.” Gaga admitted the eating disorder damaged her voice, which was why she eventually stopped making herself sick. She explained: “It made my voice bad, so I had to stop. The acid on your vocal chords - it’s very bad.” The eccentric singer admitted she still worries about her weight but urged young girls to stop being so body-conscious and obsessed with being thin. She added: “Weight is still a struggle. Every video I’m in, every magazine cover, they stretch you - they make you perfect. It’s not real life. I’m gonna say this about girls: The dieting wars have got to stop. Everyone just knock it off. Because at the end of the day, it’s affecting kids your age. And it’s making girls sick.”


he ‘On the Floor’ hitmaker says three-year-old Emme takes after her father - Jennifer’s estranged husband Marc Anthony - with her singing voice while Emme’s twin Max has his mother’s big personality. She explained: “They love to sing and dance. Emme loves to dance. She loves to perform. I’ll be honest. I think Emme has a bit of voice. I do. I’m not sure but I kind of hear it every once in a while. I’m not sure about Max as much but he has a big personality. He’s got like, my personality. Maybe Emme has Marc’s voice. We traded.” Although Jennifer and Marc split in July and both have moved on with new partners, Jennifer says they still have a great relationship and spend most of their time on their new TV show ‘iQ’Viva! The Chosen’ laughing. When chat show host Ellen Degeneres remarked on their close relationship, saying “The dynamic between the two of you is so much fun to watch. You know I love you both individually. And, I just love watching you on camera. Regardless of anything but the dynamic between you two is fantastic to watch,” Jennifer answered: “We laugh a lot.”



aris has its scarves and skinny suits, Milan has its luxe leather and London its swinging miniskirts, but ask American designers what they’ve added to fashion and the collective answer is democracy, from wrap dresses worn by working women in the 1970s to a dress worn by the first lady. The Council of Fashion Designers of America, in honor of its 50th anniversary this year, asked its membership, which includes president Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Sean Combs and Michael Kors, to craft their own “impact statements” and choose outfits and photos they feel best represent their signature styles for a new exhibit opening today at the Museum at FIT in Manhattan. There are 80 outfits on display in the show, called “Impact: 50 Years of the CFDA,” but the works of 450 designers are represented in a multimedia display and a companion book. “There is something magical about the way this group was founded back in 1962, in a small room off of Seventh Avenue. It was the brain trust of 20 passionate designers who were motivated to create a safe haven for the members of their community. They sought to protect and promote their own,” von Furstenberg writes in the book. “Nearly half a century later, through triumphs and failures, with businesses made and broken, that small assemblage has evolved into a modern family of over 400 members.” Von Furstenberg lent to the museum one of her original wrap dresses from the 1970s, a symbol of the working-women’s movement, while Oscar de la Renta, a former CFDA president, offered up a gown, accented in neon, from his current spring collection. (De la Renta always says his newest designs are his most important.) A surprise came from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in talking about their contribution, said Patricia Mears, museum deputy director and curator. They didn’t note their celebrity or even the accolades earned by their collection The Row, instead saying they were most proud of a commitment to manufacturing in the United States. “‘Impact’ in America is interpreted a lot of ways. It has a lot of diversity. It could be making things affordable, it could be quality like haute couture,” said Mears. She added, “Someone like Marc (Jacobs) is such a huge, influential entity but he followed the American path. When he did his groundbreaking grunge collection, it got him fired, but he says that’s what set him free and served as a launching pad for something new.” Jacobs is represented in the exhibit by a dress from that 1992 flannel-and-long johns collection. The garment came from Anna Sui’s personal collection of Jacobs’ clothes. Her explanation: “I guess Marc doesn’t keep an extensive archive, and I’m a pack rat!” But that’s typical of the remarkably close relationships formed within the fashion community, said Steven Kolb, chief executive of the CFDA, which identifies advocacy, mentoring and charity as its missions. While the industry is stereotyped by outsiders as catty and cutthroat, Kolb says he’s come to see that designers not only support each other, but they thrive off each other. For example, Kolb said, Halston’s craftsmanship, represented in the CFDA exhibit with a bias-cut dress made from a single piece of satin, has inspired the work of Ralph Rucci, who is touted as a master of fabric and pattern-making now. And it’s no accident that Michael Kors’ gold beaded pants were placed near the gold sequined outfit by Norman Norell. Sui became an early, regular staple of what’s evolved to be known as the contemporary category, along with the likes of Nanette Lepore, Trina Turk and even new powerhouse Tory Burch. “Contemporary” might not exist if there weren’t enough people to fill a boutique or section of a department store, Sui explains. “One of the things that is kind of ironic, and one of my problems was that I had to ask myself, ‘Where do I fit in?’” says Sui. “The

most wonderful designers of the day were Bill Blass, Donna Karan and Anne Klein. I couldn’t compete with them, I couldn’t hang with them in department stores, but they inspired me to do my own thing.” That brings her around to her impact. “Somewhere my dresses started appealing to a new generation of girls who had worn jeans and T-shirts but were now going to work. She saw she could take a dress and dress it up for evening or tone down for daytime,” Sui says. It didn’t hurt that the age of the supermodel was dawning, and they were fans of her clothes. One of the most familiar dresses in the exhibit belongs to Narciso Rodriguez. It’s the runway version of the redand-black sheath that Michelle Obama wore on election night in 2008. “We are glad to show fashion in a cultural context,” said FIT’s Mears. “We want someone to look at the Stephen Burrows or Halston and say, ‘That’s from my youth,’ or remember Donna’s (Karan) woman-aspresident ad campaign and remember the effect it had on them. They’ve all had impact beyond creating a beautiful dress.” — AP

This handout photo from the Museum at FIT shows a Norma Kamali look displayed as part of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) exhibit at the Museum at FIT during Fashion Week in New York. —AP Photos

Oscar de la Renta look displayed as part of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) exhibit.

Isabel Toled look displayed as part of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) exhibit at the Museum at FIT during Fashion Week in New York.

Photo from the Museum at FIT shows a Rudi Gernreich look displayed as part of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) exhibit at the Museum at FIT during Fashion Week in New York.


NY Fashion Week:


ashion designers, retailers, editors and stylists settled into their routines Thursday for eight days of previews at New York Fashion Week with barely a blink at all the photographers’ flashes: a sign of business-as-usual stability. The luxury market that most of the runway shows speak to has, over the past year, steadily recovered at the retail level despite the volatile economy. The clothes to hit the catwalk in the early going showed a continued confidence in the colorblocking, tailoring and easy, elongated shapes that have been trickling into stores and will arrive in force come spring. The brands BCBG Max Azria and Richard Chai Love kept colors basic and used hardly any embellishment, turning out straightforward, wearable clothes. Surely there are more flamboyant moments to come, but fashion is, after all, the marriage of art and commerce. Of course, there’s the celebrity element, too, and Tadashi Shoji took care of red carpet looks with his Shanghai-visits-Hollywood gowns. Cynthia Rowley melded high-tech touches, including a wall of screens simulcasting each look making its way down the runway, with clothes inspired by oldschool craftsmen such as cobblers and welders. Dozens of shows are planned at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents that serve as the hub, with another 12, including Skaist-Taylor and Tory Burch, presenting their shows elsewhere on the Lincoln Center campus. “We look at every space. The question for me is, ‘How do you break open the red velvet ropes?’” said Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, director of fashion at Lincoln Center. Burch’s show, for example, while an invitation-only event, is held in an all-windowed spot so Winston Wolkoff expects passers-by to get a peek. However, big names such as Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, who all show later in the week, will draw the crowd to off-site places and likely enforce the strict guest list. Here’s a look at some of the shows from the first day.

Models present outfits during the Tadashi Shoji fashion show on Thursday Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York. —AFP RICHARD CHAI Richard Chai turned menswear into powerful looks for women with top coats, tweed jackets and pinstripe pants for female customers of his Love brand, and he retooled trousers in his men’s clothes to be slimmer and shorter than most guys are used to. Some of the best pieces were stadium and duffel coats, appealing to all sorts of customers. The women looked put together in their mostly gray-and-black blazers and button-down shirts. There were flashes of femininity as Chai also offered some sheer layers and some pieces in pretty red floral print, a contrast to all the tailoring.

BCBG MAX AZRIA The collection designed by Max Azria and his wife Luboy continued the colorblocking trend that’s already making its way to red carpets and magazine covers for the spring season, but there was also a muting of colors. Neon pink became a muted coral here, and purple a mellow merlot. Embellishment was sparse. The emphasis was on geometric shapes, intricate pleats and unexpected mixes of fabrics, including several pieces with patchwork-style pieces of recycled-but-real fur. In the notes prepared for the retailers, editors and stylists who descended upon Lincoln Center’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents for the first of eight days of previews, the Azrias said they were using the palette and textures “to add character.” It seems a continuation of the effort the designers have made in the last few seasons to elevate the brand to a more sophisticated, restrained - and more expensive? - level. Colorblocked garments have geometric chunks of bright colors and have been fashion staples since Yves Saint Laurent’s 1965 collection inspired by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.

CYNTHIA ROWLEY Cynthia Rowley says her fall collection was inspired by “mechanics, cobblers and leathermen. Welding, oil slicks. Women artists making big, strong work.” Showing her own craftsman skills, Rowley somehow turned that into a lovely blouson dress in a blue-flame print, a soft buttery leather shift, and a tweed denim shirtdress. She paired skinny pants covered in a tortoise-shell print with a leather jacket and a jersey jumper with mixed print sleeves. There were a few gimmicks, including jewel-encrusted coveralls, which was more jumpsuit than uniform, but still perhaps a little too literal. The jeweled collars, however, which created a turtleneck effect, seem like something that could really catch on. — AP

In this handout photo provided by Joseph Abboud, the Joseph Abboud Fall/Winter 2012 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York. —AP

TADASHI SHOJI Tadashi Shoji sent a parade of gowns down the catwalk. Nothing overly complicated or particularly edgy, but glamorous with a hint of sexy. A flame-red washed velvet gown had a dramatic cowl back filled with black beading, and ballgown with a gold-and-black beaded lace bodice had the full Cinderella treatment for its skirt. The green blouson-top gown with mermaid hemline that opened the show was tailor-made for a bombshell. For more of a delicate look, there was a green lace tiered dress with a handkerchief hem, while the trick of putting sheer black lace over gold fitted linings had a more sultry effect.

A model presents an outfit during the Tadashi Shoji fashion show.—AFP

In this handout photo provided by HONOR the HONOR Fall/Winter 2012 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York. —AP



panish photographer Samuel Aranda won the 2011 World Press Photo of the Year award yesterday for an image of a veiled woman holding a wounded relative in her arms after a demonstration in Yemen. Jurors said Aranda’s photo, taken for The New York Times, encapsulated many facets of the uprisings across the Middle East known as the Arab Spring, one of the major news events of the year. The photo was taken Oct 15 in a mosque in Sanaa, Yemen, that was being used as field hospital after demonstrators protesting the rule of Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed with government forces. “The winning photo shows a poignant, compassionate moment, the human consequence of an enormous event, an event that is still going on,” said chairman Aidan Sullivan. “We might never know who this woman is, cradling an injured relative, but together they become a living image of the courage of ordinary people that helped create an important chapter in the history of the Middle East.” The woman is almost completely concealed under black robes as she clasps her relative, a thin man whose torso is bare, grimacing in pain. Sullivan said Aranda thought the man might have been the woman’s husband, but he was not sure. He said the image has religious “almost

Biblical” overtones and noted its resemblance in composition to Michelangelo’s Pieta - but in a Muslim setting. “It stands for Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, for all that happened in the Arab Spring,” said juror Koyo Kouoh. “But it shows a private, intimate side of what went on, and it shows the role that women played, not only as caregivers but as active people in the movement.” The tsunami in Japan was another major theme of the competition. Japanese photographer Yasuyoshi Chiba took first prize in the People in the News Stories category for Agence France Presse for images including an April 3 photo of a Japanese woman standing alone and holding her daughter’s graduation certificate aloft after she found it amid a swirl of debris in Higashimatsushima. The Associated Press won three awards, including first place in the Arts and Entertainment Singles category, for David Goldman’s shot of a soldier playing the drums at a Canadian army base in Afghanistan. In all, 57 photographers from 24 countries won awards in a field of more than 5,000 professional photographers, who submitted more than 100,000 entries. The jury also itself nominated a photo taken by an unidentified amateur for special mention: a still image taken from a video of a Libyan National Transition Council fighter pulling

In this photo provided yesterday by World Press Photo, the 2nd prize Arts and Entertainment Singles category of the 2012 World Press Photo contest by Vincent Boisot, France, Riva Press for Le Figaro Magazine, shows a model posing in front of tailor stalls in the center of Dakar, Senegal, July 9, 2011. — AP


ritish-Australian actress Naomi Watts is to play Britain’s Princess Diana in a movie about the late royal’s final two years, filmmakers have announced. Producers said “Caught in Flight” would focus on a period when Diana, the former wife of heir to the throne Prince Charles, found “true personal happiness” shortly before her death in a 1997 car crash in Paris. Diana wed Charles in a glittering ceremony in 1981, but the unhappy marriage ended in 1996. Charles wed his long-time companion Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005. Watts, who won widespread critical acclaim for her role as Betty Elms in the 2001 psychological thriller “Mulholland Drive”, said it was an honor to be able to play the “iconic role” of the

In this photo provided yesterday by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Contemporary Issues Stories category of the 2012 World Press Photo contest by Stephanie Sinclair, USA, VII Photo Agency for National Geographic magazine shows Tahani (in pink), who married her husband Majed when she was 6 and he was 25, posing for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajjah, Yemen, June 10, 2010. Nearly half of all women in Yemen were married as children. —AP Muammar Gaddafi onto a military vehicle in Sirte, Libya, on Oct 20. “The photo captures a historic moment, an image of a dictator and his demise that we otherwise would not have seen, had it not been photographed by a member of the public,” Sullivan

said. Aranda’s photo also took first place in the “People in the News Singles” category. He will get $13,300 at an awards ceremony later this year. — AP

In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 10, 2012 by World Press Photo, the 2012 World Press Photo of the year by Samuel Aranda, Spain, for The New York Times, shows a woman holding a wounded relative during protests against president Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Oct. 15, 2011. —AP

woman known as the “People’s Princess”. “Princess Diana was loved across the world and I look forward to rising to the challenge of playing her on screen,” said the 44-year-old, who also won an Oscar nomination for her role as a recovering drug addict in “21 Grams”. The movie about the Princess of Wales, who was just 36 when she died, will be directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, best known for his epic 2004 film “Downfall” about the final days of Hitler. “I am delighted to have such a truly exceptional actress who embodies the warmth, humanity and empathy of such a global icon as Princess Diana,” said Hirschbiegel. The film-makers did not confirm whether the biopic will feature Diana’s relationship with

Dodi Fayed, the son of Egyptian tycoon Mohamed Al-Fayed who was the princess’s boyfriend and died with her in the crash. Watts, who was born in Britain but emigrated to Australia in her teens, will start work on the Britain-based production later this year. US actress Jessica Chastain, who starred in “The Tree of Life” with Brad Pitt, had originally been in talks to take the role. Diana was played by Lesley Harcourt last year in a US television drama about the princess’s son Prince William and his wife Catherine, while in the 2006 movie “The Queen” she was played by a French lookalike. — AFP


Michael Rapaport


In this undated image, a chocolate pod filled with cacao beans, is shown in Puerto Rico. Use of chocolate goes back to the Mayans, who considered it a gift from their god of air, Quetzalcoatl. The Spanish were the first Europeans to get hold of chocolate pods and, fifty years later, figured out what to do with them. —AP

THE CHALLENGE OF CHOCOLATE Growing chocolate from seed is difficult. Fresh, they are covered with what looks like a cottony mass that keeps them properly moist for sprouting. The covering is slimy, though, and starts to rot away as soon as the seeds are out of the pods. Still, you might want to give the seeds as a gardening challenge, perhaps nestled in a gift box on some moist, real cotton. To sprout, the seeds need warmth and well-drained soil. Fresh seeds are available online at and

If chocolate’s the thing for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day, why give plain old candy when you can give a chocolate plant (Theobroma cacao)? A chocolate plant that’s up and growing makes a more dramatic gift than a few seeds snuggled in cotton. (Plants are widely available online.) But caring for an already growing chocolate plant is still a challenge. Chocolate is native to the tropical lowlands of Central and South America within 20 degrees on either side of the equator. There, neither the temperature nor the humidity ever drops much below about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius). Contrast such tropical conditions with those in the average home in winter. Yes, indoor temperatures might hover at around 70 (21 Celsius), although many of us let the temperature drop at night. A bigger problem is humidity, which typically is less than 40 percent indoors in winter. Frequently misting the plant, standing the pot in a saucer of pebbles and water, and clustering it close to other plants all help to bring the humidity up. Chocolate naturally grows as an understory tree, and even under cultivation is grown in shade. So providing sufficient light does not present much of a problem in growing a potted plant indoors. The plant won’t tolerate a dark room, though. Direct your Valentine to set the plant at a sunny window, which in midwinter in more northerly latitudes receives about the same amount of light as a shaded tree near the equator. As winter progresses and the northern sun loops higher in the sky, the plant needs to be

pulled back from the window to keep the leaves from burning. An indoor chocolate plant appreciates an annual vacation to the “tropics.” Give it something close by moving it outdoors in dappled shade each summer to bask in buoyant air and high humidity. SEED HARVEST IS ONLY THE BEGINNING So much for growing chocolate; what about eating it? With good growing conditions, football-shaped pods a half-foot to a foot long will pop right out of the trunk or stems within about five years for a seed-grown plant, a couple of years for a nursery-bought plant. But this is not a fruit to pluck right off the tree and chomp on. First, there’s the hard shell. Second, the seeds called cacao beans at this point - taste like “chocolate” only after some processing. Cacao beans are converted to cocoa, then chocolate, by first letting the slimy covering ferment as the beans are piled together and kept warm for about a week. After a few more days of drying, the chocolatey flavor starts to emerge. Next, the seeds are roasted at about 270 degrees Fahrenheit (132 Celsius) for several hours. Finally, they’re ground up and treated with alkali to remove bitterness. Defatted and powdered, you have “cocoa”; with some fat, sweetener, and other ingredients such as milk, you have various kinds of “chocolate.” A TASTE OF HISTORY Use of chocolate goes back to the Mayans, who considered it a gift from their god of air, Quetzalcoatl. The Spanish were the first Europeans to get hold of chocolate pods and, 50 years later, figured out what to do with them. After harvest begins, you might want to snuggle up with your Valentine and sip hot chocolate from this 16th century Spanish recipe: Combine 50 cacao beans with a chili pepper pod, a quarter pound of sugar, and some anise, rose blossoms, cinnamon, almonds and hazelnuts. Grind to a paste, add a cup of boiling water, and serve hot and steamy. Sweet. — AP

ichael Rapaport clearly loves music. It’s evident in every moment of his documentary, “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest,” the actor’s directing debut about the influential hiphop group. The film includes the rift that divided the Tribe as well as the tensions that linger today, but a deep admiration for the music itself shines through. So with the Grammy Awards on Sunday, where “Beats, Rhymes & Life” is nominated for best long form music video, we asked Rapaport to take over the Five Most space to pick his favorite music documentaries. (The film, which came out theatrically last summer, also won top documentary honors from the Producers Guild of America this year.) But since he’s so enthusiastic - and was so nice to join us this week - we let him pick six, in order of preference and in his own words: “Gimme Shelter” (1970): The Rolling Stones in their prime. Directed by the Maysles Brothers, this is musically incredible. You get to see the Stones being rock stars that don’t exist anymore, and just as important, you see them as vulnerable and as stunned as the audience who witness the shocking events at the overbooked and under planned Northern California concert that goes really, really wrong. Look for the cameo by a Hells Angels dude wearing a wolf mask. “Soul Power” (2008): The concert film that was the backdrop for Muhammad Ali’s “Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman. James Brown, Bill Withers, The Spinners and many more perform in the African heat. The sweat pouring off everybody involved should’ve gotten its own listing in the credit sequence. Ali is so excited when all of the musicians are listed, he’s enjoying the show as much as the fans are. I really can’t push or recommend this film harder. It’s my favorite straight-up concert film. “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” (2002): I wasn’t a fan nor had I ever heard of Wilco before watching this film and I love it. The cinematography shot in black-and-white film by director Sam Jones, who’s best-known as a photographer - is so lush and so beautiful, you can literally watch this film on mute and you will enjoy it. The realtime story and conflict that takes place between Wilco and the record label and themselves was a big inspiration in making my film “Beats, Rhymes & Life.” Watching the construction of their album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” right before your eyes will make any viewer a fan of the band. “Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser” (1988): This is my favorite jazz film. Watching Thelonious Monk spin around on stage in the opening performance is a scene I will always remember seeing for the first time. Every moment of this film is shot in deep black and white and jazzy color. Thelonious Monk has so much style and is such a unique personality. Hearing his son walk you through his

dad’s mental breakdown is devastating at times. Watching Monk in the studio recording take after take live is like eating the best sushi meal of your life. And I have a secret to reveal: I’d bet my house that Monk’s funky and at times hard-to-understand dialect was the inspiration for Benecio Del Toro’s character in “The Usual Suspects.” “Style Wars” (1984): This may not be considered a straight music doc, but for me it’s the ultimate hip-hop film. It’s shot in the 1970s in NYC and articulates all four elements of hip-hop: MCing, DJing, graffiti and B-Boying during the culture’s youth, straight from the Boogie Down Bronx. Everything about this film is perfect and it also inspired me on “Beats, Rhymes & Life” as it takes on a realtime story line while walking you through the history of hip-hop during its purest time. “Buena Vista Social Club” (1999): This is a beautiful film about Ry Cooder’s making of the album. He rediscovers and actually forms a crew of 50-, 60- and some 70-year-old Cuban jazz artists and they made the Grammy Award-winning classic album. Watching these artists go from complete obscurity to performing in New York City at Carnegie Hall to this day reminds me to always be humble and never take any success for granted. — AP

In this Jan 22, 2011 file photo, Michael Rapaport,director of the documentary “Beat, Rhymes and Life,” poses for a portrait in the Fender Music Lodge during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. —AP



Madonna stalker escapes from hospital


man convicted of stalking Madonna and who has “very violent tendencies” has escaped from a psychiatric hospital, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said Thursday. Robert Dewey Hoskins, 54, who was convicted in 1996 of stalking Madonna-he once scaled a wall of the star’s Hollywood home and threatened to cut her throat from ear to earwalked out of hospital last Friday, said a spokesman. He was jailed for 10 years in 1996, and after his release was transferred to one hospital where he was determined to be a “mentally disturbed offender,” according to police. Last July, about a year after his release from that hospital, he was arrested again and


ritish soul singer Adele, who shot to fame with her album “21”, is to make her live comeback at the Grammy Awards tomorrow after a throat problem threatened to wreck her stellar career. Despite being out of action since October, she has continued to win plaudits and will showcase the voice that has caused so much concern at the ceremony in Los Angeles, where she is in contention for six awards. Husky tones, retro rhythms and raw emotional honesty have helped the 23-year-old from a modest background in London sell more than 12 million copies of “21” worldwide since its release in January 2011. In terms of Grammy nods, Adele is second only to rapper Kanye West, who has seven nominations at the US music industry’s top awards. After throat surgery silenced her for months, Adele, with her trademark bouffant hair, generous figure, liberal swearing and raucous Cockney laugh, is thrilled to be back. “It’s an absolute honor to be included in such a night,” she said. “For it to be my first performance in months is very exciting and of course nerve-racking, but what a way to get back into it all,” she added. Four months ago, the singer-songwriter had announced, “heartbroken”, that she was cancelling her sold-out US tour due to a haemorrhage she likened to a “black eye” on her vocal cord. “Singing is literally my life,” she wrote on her blog. “It’s my hobby, my love, my freedom and now my job. I have absolutely no choice but to recuperate properly and fully, or I risk damaging my voice forever.” Despite her voice and soul-baring songs, luck played a helping hand in her rise to fame. In late 2008 she performed on the US television show “Saturday Night Live” on which the then conservative darling Sarah Palin also appeared. Thanks to Palin, the show had its highest audience in 14 years and the effect on sales of Adele’s first album, “19”, was immediate. “The album was 14th on iTunes,” her manager, Jonathan Dickins, told the BBC, explaining that the next day, “I got up at 6:00am to get a plane back to London. The album was suddenly eighth. I got off the plane and got home and the album was first. That was huge, absolutely huge.” Adele won the best new artist and the best female pop vocal performance gongs at the 2009 Grammy Awards. She is now the first living artist since The Beatles in 1964 to have had

two top five hits in the British singles and albums charts simultaneously. People who do not normally buy music are buying her records, The Guardian newspaper noted, including her hits “Someone Like You”, “Rolling in the Deep” and “Set Fire to the Rain”. “21” topped the 2011 year-end charts in Britain, the US Billboard 200, and other countries including Canada, Australia, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Despite her success, Adele remains unaffected and close to her roots. She has been unflappable in the face of a controversy over her weight, after haute couture designer Karl Lagerfeld suggested that she’s “a little too fat.” The British singer’s reply, to US television in an interview airing this weekend, is that she refuses to conform to the industry’s standard of what a pop music diva should look like. “I’ve never seen magazine covers... music videos and been like ‘I need to look like that to be a success,’” the British singer told CBS television. “I don’t want to be some skinny Minnie... I don’t want people confusing what it is that I am about,” she said. “I’m just writing love songs. I’m not trying to be pop. I’m not trying to be jazz. I’m not trying to be anything. I’m just writing love songs and everyone loves a love song.” Born Adele Adkins to a single mother in the gritty north London district of Tottenham, she attended the city’s BRIT School in Croydon, which has turned out stars including Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis and Katie Melua. Despite the similarities in training and soulful tones, she has not gone down the road of Winehouse in spiralling into the drugs and the drink that cost her her life. “I go home and my best friend laughs at me, rather than going to a celebrity-studded party to rub shoulders with people who know me but who I don’t know. “I am Z-list when it comes to that shit,” she told the US music magazine Billboard in December. Paul Rees, editor of the British music magazine Q, said: “It’s good to see a performer and an artist who is, in that sense, normal. That’s very refreshing. “The dangers of this level of success are obvious. In the modern age, the turnover of people is so quick. “I would suspect that, as time goes, the record sales won’t be as big. “But I think she will have a career that is a long-standing one, because she is good enough to do that.” —AFP

This March 22, 1996 file photo shows homeless drifter Robert Dewey Hoskins (seated) listening as he is sentenced to 10 years in prison for stalking pop star Madonna in Los Angeles, California. Hoskins, convicted of stalking Madonna and who has “very violent tendencies” has escaped from a psychiatric hospital, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said .

sent to the Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, southeast of Los Angeles. “Hoskins is highly psychotic when not taking his medication and has very violent tendencies,” said an LAPD statement, asking people to be on the lookout for him. “He could be in the Los Angeles area,” it added. Madonna testified at Hoskins’ trial in 1996 that she had recurring nightmares since seeing the homeless drifter near her home in April 1995. Her bodyguard told her Hoskins claimed “he was there to take me away... that I was supposed to be his wife, that if he couldn’t have me, he was going to slice my throat from ear to ear,” she said. Hoskins returned to her Hollywood Hills estate the next month, at a time when the singer was in Florida, scaled the perimeter wall, jumped into her pool before being shot twice by a guard. — AFP


A crowd of fans await the arrival of music legend Paul McCartney for a ceremony marking the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California. —AFP

Ex Beatle McCartney gets Hollywood star A

Paul McCartney holds a plaque as he is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during a dedication ceremony in Los Angeles, Thursday. —AP

small reminder of Beatlemania came to Hollywood Thursday when Paul McCartney was honored with a star on Tinseltown’s storied Walk of Fame, watched by hundreds of screaming and jostling fans. Police blocked off Vine Street near the intersection with Hollywood Boulevard, as the crowds swelled across the broad boulevard in front of the iconic cylinder-shaped Capitol Records building. McCartney, in Los Angeles ahead of the annual Grammy awards show this weekend, paid tribute to the “three boys”John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr-who helped make him famous. “Way back in history, in Liverpool when we were kids and we were listening to Buddy Holly and all the rock ‘n’ roll greats, I would have never thought... the day would come when I’d be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “That was like an impossible thing to happen. But here we are today, and it’s happening. But I couldn’t have done it without, certainly, three boys-so I want to say thanks to those guys, John, George and Ringo,” he said. And he added: “I couldn’t have done it without them, so I want to thank those guys and bless them for being in my life.” McCartney, who has just released his latest album “Kisses on the Bottom,” was joined by fellow ageing rocker Neil Young outside the Capitol Records building, where staff lined the balcony to watch the star-unveiling ceremony. Young said McCartney, 69, was “at the top of his game, adding: “Like Charlie Chaplin was a great actor, that’s how I look at Paul. “Yet even with all of that craft that he has and his ability to put melodies and

chords and feelings together, it’s the soul that comes out of his music that makes me feel so good and so happy to be here with him,” he said. McCartney’s star, which joins those of his band mates, is the 2,460th on the Walk of Fame, a long stretch of Hollywood Boulevard and adjoining sidewalk which celebrates entertainment stars from over the decades. The Beatles themselves already have a star as a band, and McCartney attended the ceremonies for Harrison in 2009 and Starr in 2010. He was initially nominated for a star in 1993, but the ceremony never occurred. Fans had gathered for hours for good viewing spots at the ceremony, although many had to strain to see anything as the crowd swelled out across the street for the early-afternoon event. “He’s part of history, man,” said one 32-year-old onlooker who only gave his first name Brad, while other McCartney fans hoisted their children and girlfriends onto their shoulders to give them a better view. The ceremony happened on the anniversary of the Beatles’ first US TV appearance, on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964, as Beatlemania spread across the Atlantic. McCartney will sing Sunday at the Grammys awards show at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, along with other veterans including the Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen, as well as younger stars like British soul singer Adele. McCartney, whose new wife Nancy was at Thursday’s ceremony, is also to be honored at a preGrammys tribute show also featuring legendary soft rocker James Taylor, as well as Canadian rocker Young with his band Crazy Horse. — AFP

Carrington mentors women in jazz


rummer Terri Lyne Carrington couldn’t have imagined producing an all-female jazz album like her Grammynominated “The Mosaic Project” when she launched her career three decades ago. Back then, she got used to being the only woman on the bandstand. “The pool of female jazz musicians was not the same before,” said Carrington. “But now there’s like a surge of younger players ... and that made me feel like I can actually do a project like this.” Over the years, Carrington has helped mentor a new generation of female instrumentalists who have gone beyond the roles of singers and pianists that women traditionally filled in a male-dominated jazz world. The inspiration for “Mosaic Project” came at the 2007 Red Sea Jazz Festival in Israel when Carrington performed in a quartet with Dutch saxophonist Tineke Postma, pianist Geri Allen, and bassist Esperanza Spalding. “I looked up on the stage and there Drummer Terri Lyne were four women, and it just felt Carrington very organic and natural, and I thought maybe I would use it as a nucleus for a group for a recording project,” she said. The 46-year-old Carrington says that having the CD with 21 female performers receive a Grammy nomination for best jazz vocal album is “just icing on the cake for a project that I did deep from my heart.” “I think people could feel its honesty,” said Carrington, speaking by telephone from her home in Medford, Massachusetts. “I wasn’t trying to go for any kind of gimmick effect. It was a sincere attempt to just celebrate the really great women in jazz - people that I’ve been close to over the years.” The album carries its own Grammy pedigree. The featured vocalists include Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson and Dee Dee Bridgewater, who together have won more than half of the Grammys awarded in the jazz vocal category over the past 15 years. —AP

technology SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 2011

Latvia to hold off ratifying controversial Internet accord RIGA: Latvia became the latest European nation to hold off ratifying the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement yesterday, amid objections it could hit Internet freedom. Economy ministry spokeswoman Daiga Grube said Riga had decided to halt the process until the position of other countries became clear. “We will wait while others sign it,” she told AFP. “We signed it, but we now see that we need a discussion about it. Society is saying there was no discussion about it so we want to be sure we have the discussion before we bring

the document to parliament,” she added. Latvia was among the 22 European countries that last month signed the accord-known as ACTA — at a ceremony in Japan. The deal was negotiated between the European Union, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States. But countries including Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have already frozen their ratification process. ACTA’s aim is to beef up international standards for intellectual property protection, for example by

doing more to fight counterfeit medicine and other goods. But it is ACTA’s potential role in cyberspace that has caused outcry online and on the streets. Critics say its attempts to stop illegal downloading give powerful corporate copyright-holders even more clout, allowing them to force the closure of websites without the same level of proof needed for a court order. Governments have come under fire for discussing the deal with industry players, but not Internet users’ groups. Latvia’s Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts on Wednesday said there had

been an “undeniable lack of discussion before it was signed” and that that was a problem. Cyber-activist Ilmars Poikans-who achieved renown in 2010 under the name “Neo” when he released online tax records of Latvia’s political and business elite-condemned ACTA as a step towards the total control of society. “It is a shame and disgrace that Latvian politicians just followed the others without thinking why Latvia needs to sign and what will be the positive and negative consequences,” Poikans told AFP. “The fight has just begun,” he added. — AFP

In cyber era, militaries scramble for new skills Militaries plough billions into cyber warfare LONDON: With growing worries about the threat of “cyber warfare”, militaries around the world are racing to recruit the computer specialists they believe may be central to the conflicts of the 21st century. But whilst money is plentiful for new forces of “cyber warriors”, attracting often individualistic technical specialists and hackers into military hierarchies is another matter. Finding the people to command them is also tough. After a decade of messy and relatively low-tech ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, some senior western officers are if anything less confident with technology such as smartphones and tablet computers than their civilian contemporaries. But with the Pentagon saying its computers are being attacked millions of times every day, time is short. “We are busy and we are getting busier every day,” Lt Gen Rhett Hernandez, a former artillery officer who now heads US Cyber Command, told a cyber security conference in London last month organised by British firm Defence IQ. “Cyberspace requires a world-class cyber warrior ... we must develop, recruit and retain in a different way to today.” Even in an era of shrinking western military budgets, funding for cyber security is ratcheting up fast. The Pentagon’s 2012 budget allocated $2.5 million to improve cyber capabilities. In December, the US Army announced its first “cyber brigade” was operational, whilst the US Navy and Air Force have their own cyber “fleets” and “wings”. Not only are they tasked with protecting key US military systems and networks, but they are also working to build offensive skills that US commanders hope will give them an edge in any future conflict. These, insiders say, include developing the ability to hack and destroy industrial and military systems such as traffic and electricity controls. “For better or worse, it is American military thought that is leading American societal thought (in) how to think about things cyber,” former CIA director and Air Force Gen Michael Hayden told a security conference in Munich this month.

European, Latin American, Asian and Middle Eastern and other nations are seen following suit. Militaries had barely considered the Internet only a few years ago are building new centres and training hundreds or even thousands of uniformed personnel. Russia and China are believed to put even greater emphasis on a field in which they hope to counter the conventional military dominance of the US. But some worry much investment may be wasted. “My theory is that huge defence agencies - having little clue of what cyber warfare is all about - follow traditional approaches and try to train as many hacking skills as possible,” says Ralph Langner, the civilian German cyber security expert who first identified the Stuxnet computer worm in 2010. “(The) idea could be to demonstrate hypothetical cyber power by sheer numbers, i.e. headcount.” Many experts say the key to successful operations in cyberspace - such as the Stuxnet attack believed to have targeted Iran’s nuclear program by reprogramming centrifuges to destroy themselves - is quality rather than quantity of technical specialists. “Only a very small number of people are the top notch that you would want to employ for a high-profile operation like Stuxnet,” says Langner, saying that there might be as few as 10 world-class cyber specialists. “These people will probably not be covered with a military environment.” Commanders say they are trying to change that, relaxing rules on issues such as hair length or fitness. But there are limits on how far such loosening can go. While the US Air Force and Navy have significantly eased entry requirements for cyber specialists and removed some of the more arduous elements from basic training, the US Army still requires its “cyber warriors” to endure regular basic training. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one senior European officer with responsibility for cyber complained of struggling to find suitable recruits in part because of competition from the private sector. Agencies such as the US National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ say they lose some of their best talent to

Microsoft and Google. But such agencies also pride themselves on their ability to find and retain the kind of eccentric expertise that would struggle to find their place in armies, navies, air forces or regular government departments. “Higher end capability isn’t principally about spending large amounts of money and having large numbers of people,” says John Bassett, a former senior GCHQ official and now senior fellow at London’s Royal United Services Institute. “It’s about having a small but sustainable number of very good people with imagination and will as well a technical know-how and we may be more likely to find them in an organisation like GCHQ than in the military.” Many experts say offensive cyber warfare capability - particularly anything potentially lethal such as the ability to paralyse essential networks - should be kept in the hands of the directly accountable military, not shadowy spy agencies. But most suspect the NSA, GCHQ and similar organisations will retain a considerable lead in technology and sophistication over their military counterparts. The U.S. NSA and military Cyber Command are both located at Fort Meade outside Washington DC, and intelligence experts say working closely together is already the norm - with the former providing much support and expertise to the latter. Some other countries now appear keen to avoid ploughing too much money into uniformed military cyber specialists at all. Britain’s Royal Corps of Signals and Royal Air Force in particular have been keen to get their hands on a share of the U.K.’s newly expanded 650 million-pound cyber budget, but much of it is seen going straight to GCHQ. What militaries in general and top commanders in particular need to focus on most, specialists argue, is learning to integrate the new tools and threats into their broader conflict-related understanding and training. At the US Naval War College in Rhode Island, mid-career military officers conducting “wargaming” exercises are now regularly confronted with the new cyber dimension. — Reuters

TAIPEI: Visitors walk past an advertisement billboard for mobile phones at a telecom trade show in Taipei yesterday. The four day show focuses on smartphone technologies as Taiwan aims to become a new invention and manufacturing center for smartphones and their applications. — AFP

Zynga partners with toy maker Hasbro SAN FRANCISCO: Old school toy maker Hasbro and online social game star Zynga on Thursday announced a partnership to mesh the Internet firm’s hits with real-world products. The agreement lets Hasbro develop toys and games based on Zynga titles and stamped with the San Francisco company’s brand-the name and logo for which is a tribute to the dog of founder Mark Pincus. “It’s exciting to partner with Hasbro as we share a common vision for play and a mission to connect the world through games,” Pincus said in a statement. “This partnership is so special because it represents an exciting leap forward in enabling people to connect their virtual and real worlds,” he said. Zynga games are free to play but the company makes money by selling virtual in-game goods to players and serving up advertising. San Franciscobased Zynga rose to global popularity tailoring games for friends to play at leading online social network Facebook and is building its own online community for players. Zynga bills itself as the world’s largest developer of social games and boasts more than 227 million monthly active users of its titles, which include FarmVille, CityVille, Mafia Wars, and Words With Friends. “Zynga is redefining how people play,” said Hasbro chief executive Brian Goldner. “This strategic alliance plays off of both Hasbro’s and Zynga’s proven strengths and is emblematic of the new innovations and new platforms we are creating across our entire gaming portfolio.” In December, Zynga jumped into the stock market with a billion-dollar listing, seeing its opening stock price of $10 per share leap out of the gate and then drop. — AFP

Technology SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012

Brazil files injunction against Twitter SAO PAULO: A request for an injunction to stop Twitter users from alerting drivers to police roadblocks, radar traps and drunk-driving checkpoints could make Brazil the first country to take Twitter up on its plan to censor content at governments’ requests. Twitter unveiled plans last month that would allow country-specific censorship of tweets that might break local laws. “As far as we know this is the first time that a country has attempted to take Twitter up on their countryby-country take down,” Eva Galperin of the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a telephone interview Thursday. Galperin, who described the foundation as “a digital liberties organization,” predicted governments will be taking similar

opportunities to censor Twitter traffic. “Twitter has given these countries the tool and now Brazil has chosen to use it,” she said. Carlos Eduardo Rodrigues Alves, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office, said the injunction request was filed Monday. He said a judge was expected to announce in the next few days whether he will issue the order against Twitter users. The attorney general’s office said in a statement that tweeted alerts about police operations jeopardize efforts to reduce traffic accidents and curb auto thefts and the transportation of drugs and weapons. According to the statement, traffic accidents throughout Brazil kill 55,000 people each year and cost the country 24.6 billion reals, or about $14.3 billion.If

the judge rules in favor of the injunction, anyone who violates it could be hit with a daily fine of 500,000 reals ($291,000), the statement said. San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. said in an email that it had “nothing to share on this issue.” Under Twitter’s new policy, a tweet breaking a law in one country can be taken down there at a government’s request. But it adds that censored tweets will still be seen elsewhere. Twitter has said it will post a censorship notice whenever a tweet is removed and will post the removal requests it receives. It said it has no plans to remove tweets unless it receives a request from government officials, companies or another outside party that believes the message is illegal. — AP

FBI releases check file on Steve Jobs WASHINGTON: The US Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday released a 191-page file on Steve Jobs that paints an occasionally unflattering portrait of the late Apple founder. The report was compiled during a 1991 background investigation of Jobs by the FBI after former president George H.W. Bush recommended his appointment to the President’s Export Council.It consists of interviews with co-workers, friends, family members and even neighbors of Jobs, who died on October 5 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56. The names of the persons interviewed by the FBI have been redacted from the file released following a Freedom of Information Act request by The Wall Street Journal although their places of employment are frequently identified. The FBI also interviewed Jobs for the background checkafter first being told he would be unavailable for three weeks and could only spare an hour. Jobs told the FBI he had not used any illegal drugs during the past five years but he had experimented with marijuana, hashish and LSD between 1970-74 while in high school and college. The report notes that Jobs had been involved in several lawsuits as chief executive of Apple but had never been arrested and was not a member of the communist party. Jobs, who had left Apple at the time of the background check and was head of NeXT Computer, was described by some of those interviewed as “strongwilled, stubborn, hardworking and driven,” the report said, even a “genius.” “They further stated, however that Mr. Jobs possesses integrity as long as he gets his way,” the report said. “Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs’ honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals,” it said. “Appointee is very truthful and straightforwards with people and usually says exactly what he is thinking,” it added. The report also delved into Jobs’s relationship with his former girlfriend and their daughter. “In the past, Mr. Jobs was not supportive of (the mother of his child born out of wedlock) and their daughter: however, recently has become more supportive,” it said. Jobs, in a recent authorized biography by Walter Isaacson, acknowledged both his drug use and that he had not initially been close to his daughter. One woman interviewed by the FBI said Job’s personal life was “lacking due to his narcissism and shallowness” but he has “far reaching vision.” “She also stated that his success at Apple... also caused him at times to lose sight of honesty and integrity and even caused him to distort the truth at times to get his way,” the report said. Another person said Jobs “had undergone a change in philosophy by participating in eastern and/or Indian mysticism and religion. “This change apparently influenced the Appointee’s personal life for the better,” the FBI said. “The Appointee lives more of a spartanlike and at times even monastic existence.” While some of those interviewed had reservations about Jobs’s character, all of them said they would recommend him for a “position of trust and confidence with the US government.” Along with the background check file, the FBI released the report of its investigation into a February 1985 bomb threat against Apple in which an unidentified caller demanded $1 million.—AFP

TOKYO: Keio University’s Graduate School of Media Design professor Susumu Tachi (C) displays a master-slave robot “Telesar V” (R) while its operator (L) gestures at his laboratory in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo. The robot that mimics the movements of its human controller is bringing the Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar” one step closer to reality. — AFP

Japanese scientist makes ‘Avatar’ robot YOKOHAMA: A Japanese-developed robot that mimics the movements of its human controller is bringing the Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar” one step closer to reality. Users of the TELESAR V don special equipment that allows them not only to direct the actions of a remote machine, but also to see, hear and feel the same things as their doppelganger android. “When I put on the devices and move my body, I see my hands having turned into the robot hands. When I move my head, I get a different view from the one I had before,” said researcher Sho Kamuro. “It’s a strange experience that makes you wonder if you’ve really become a robot,” he told AFP. Professor Susumu Tachi, who specialises in engineering and virtual reality at Keio University’s Graduate School of Media Design, said systems attached to the operator’s headgear, vest and gloves send detailed instructions to the robot, which then mimics the user’s every move. At the same time, an array of sensors

on the android relays a stream of information which is converted into sensations for the user. The thin polyester gloves the operator wears are lined with semiconductors and tiny motors to allow the user to “feel” what the mechanical hands are touching-a smooth or a bumpy surface as well as heat and cold. The robot’s “eyes” are actually cameras capturing images that appear on tiny video screens in front of the user’s eyes, allowing them to see in three dimensions. Microphones on the robot pick up sounds, while its speakers allow the operator to make his voice heard by those near the machine. The TELESAR-TELexistence Surrogate Anthropomorphic Robot-is still a far cry from the futuristic creations of James Cameron’s “Avatar”, where US soldiers are able to remotely control the genetically engineered bodies of an extraterrestrial race they wish to subdue. But, says Tachi, it could have much more immediate-and benign-applications, such as working in high-risk environments, for example the inside of Japan’s

crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, though it is early days. “I think further research and development could enable this to go into areas too dangerous for humans and do jobs that require human skills,” he said. Japan’s famously advanced robot technology was found wanting during the crisis at Fukushima, where foreign expertise had to be called on for the machines that went inside reactor buildings as nuclear meltdowns began. Tachi said a “safety myth” had grown up around atomic technology, preventing research on the kind of machines that could help in the wake of a disaster. But he said his kind of robot technology could help with the long and difficult task of decommissioning reactors at Fukushima-a process that could take three decades. A remote-controlled android that allows its user to experience what is happening far away may have more than just industrial applications, he added. “This could be used to talk with your grandpa or grandma living in a remote place and deepen communications,” he said. — AFP

TV listings SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012

09:10 10:05 10:55 11:50 12:45 13:40 14:35 15:30 16:25 17:20 18:15 19:10 20:05 21:00 21:55 22:50 23:45

00:50 Pit Bulls And Parolees 01:45 Untamed & Uncut 02:40 Last Feast Of The Crocodile 03:35 Air Jaws 2 04:30 Crime Scene Wild 05:25 Daniel And Our Cats 06:20 Escape To Chimp Eden 06:45 Dolphin Days 07:10 Wild Africa Rescue 07:35 Wild Africa Rescue 08:00 Monkey Life 08:25 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 09:15 Crocodile Hunter 10:10 Natural Born Hunters 10:35 Natural Born Hunters 11:05 The Really Wild Show 11:30 The Really Wild Show 12:00 Gorilla School 12:25 Project Puppy 12:55 Corwin’s Quest 13:50 Wild France 14:45 Must Love Cats 15:40 America’s Cutest Pet 16:35 Baboons With Bill Bailey 17:00 Baboons With Bill Bailey 17:30 Max’s Big Tracks 18:25 Into The Pride 19:20 Wildest India 20:15 Amazing Animal Inventions! 21:10 Weird Creatures With Nick Baker 22:05 Austin Stevens: Most Dangerous... 23:00 Karina: Wild On Safari 23:25 Karina: Wild On Safari 23:55 Human Prey

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

00:20 00:50 01:15 02:35 03:05 03:55 04:40 05:05 05:30 05:55 06:25 07:15 08:00 08:45 09:30 13:55

Great Expectations Lead Balloon Ideal Survivors Little Britain Last Of The Summer Wine Balamory The Large Family Bobinogs Buzz & Tell Tweenies Little Prairie Dogs Nina And The Neurons Balamory Charlie and Lola The Large Family Bobinogs Buzz & Tell Tweenies Little Prairie Dogs Nina And The Neurons Last Of The Summer Wine As Time Goes By New Tricks Doctor Who Eastenders Eastenders Eastenders Eastenders Last Of The Summer Wine New Tricks Mutual Friends Doctor Who As Time Goes By The Weakest Link Holby City Holby City Doctor Who One Foot In The Grave The Old Guys Live At The Apollo Little Britain Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show Supernova Doctor Who One Foot In The Grave The Old Guys

Indian Food Made Easy Indian Food Made Easy What To Eat Now - Autumn What To Eat Now - Autumn 10 Years Younger Fantasy Homes By The Sea James Martin’s Champagne James Martin’s Champagne Indian Food Made Easy Indian Food Made Easy 10 Years Younger Bargain Hunt Bargain Hunt Bargain Hunt Masterchef Australia Masterchef Australia

Extreme Engineering Mighty Ships Man, Woman, Wild Dual Survival Ultimate Survival Ultimate Survival License To Drill Swamp Loggers Swords: Life On The Line Gold Rush - Season 2 Specials Storm Chasers River Monsters: Killer Catfish Extreme Fishing Ultimate Survival Taking On Tyson Daredevils Surviving The Cut

00:40 Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman 01:35 I, Videogame 02:25 The Tech Show 02:50 Tech Toys 360 03:15 Tech Toys 360 03:40 Ecopolis 04:35 How Does That Work? 05:00 How Stuff’s Made 05:25 The Kustomizer 06:20 Prototype This 07:10 Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman 08:00 Science of Star Wars 08:55 Head Rush 08:58 Sci-Fi Science 09:25 Weird Connections 09:55 Tech Toys 360 10:20 Tech Toys 360 10:45 Ecopolis 11:35 Thunder Races 12:25 Thunder Races 13:15 Thunder Races 14:05 Thunder Races 14:55 Thunder Races 15:45 Head Rush 15:48 Sci-Fi Science 16:15 Weird Connections 16:45 The Tech Show 17:10 Science of Star Wars 18:00 Meteorite Men 18:50 Mighty Ships 19:40 Smash Lab 20:30 Scrapheap Challenge 21:20 Sci-Fi Science 21:45 Sci-Fi Science 22:10 Sci-Fi Science 22:35 Sci-Fi Science 23:00 Smash Lab 23:50 Scrapheap Challenge

THE DESCENT PART II ON OSN ACTION HD 14:45 16:15 17:00 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:40

Bargain Hunt Bargain Hunt Antiques Roadshow Antiques Roadshow Gok’s Fashion Fix Gok’s Fashion Fix What Not To Wear What Not To Wear

00:00 00:20 00:45 01:10 01:35 02:00 02:25 02:50 03:15 03:40 04:00 04:25 04:50 05:15 05:40 06:00 06:25 06:50 07:00 07:10 07:35 08:00 08:25 08:55 09:20 09:50 10:40 11:05 11:30 12:20 12:30 12:50

Wacky Races Dastardly And Muttley New Yogi Bear Show Duck Dodgers The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Tom & Jerry Kids A Pup Named Scooby-Doo The Jetsons Puppy In My Pocket Popeye Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes Scooby Doo Where Are You! Droopy: Master Detective Wacky Races The Flintstones A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Popeye Classics Wacky Races Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Baby Looney Tunes Jelly Jamm The Garfield Show Scooby Doo Where Are You! Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Tom & Jerry Wacky Races The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch

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

The Garfield Show The Flintstones Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Looney Tunes Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Puppy In My Pocket Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Tom & Jerry Kids The Garfield Show Scooby Cinema Pink Panther & Pals The Garfield Show Duck Dodgers The Flintstones Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch Popeye Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo

00:40 Samurai Jack 01:05 Samurai Jack 01:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 02:20 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 02:45 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 03:10 Best Ed 04:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:25 Adventure Time 04:50 Generator Rex 05:15 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 05:40 Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy 05:55 I Am Weasel 06:55 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 07:20 Powerpuff Girls 07:45 Angelo Rules 08:00 Casper’s Scare School

08:25 Casper’s Scare School 08:55 Angelo Rules 09:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:20 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 11:05 Gumball 11:30 Adventure Time 12:20 Courage The Cowardly Dog 13:10 Ben 10 14:00 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 14:50 The Amazing World Of Gumball 15:15 Generator Rex 16:05 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 16:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 17:45 Adventure Time 18:35 The Amazing World Of Gumball 19:00 Regular Show 19:50 Generator Rex 20:40 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:30 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 22:20 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 23:00 Ben 10 23:50 Courage The Cowardly Dog

00:15 00:40 01:35 02:30 03:25 04:20 05:15 05:40 06:05 07:00 07:25 08:15

Destroyed In Seconds Rampage! Dirty Jobs Overhaulin’ Ultimate Survival Mythbusters How Does It Work? How It’s Made Dirty Jobs How Does It Work? Really Big Things Huge Moves


18:45 19:10 19:30 21:05 21:25 21:50 22:15 22:40 23:05 CODY 23:30 23:55


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

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Special Agent Oso Little Einsteins Timmy Time Jungle Junction Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Higglytown Heroes Higglytown Heroes Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Timmy Time Little Einsteins The Hive Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Mini Adventures Of Winnie The


Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Lazytown Art Attack (Cema) Imagination Movers The Hive Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Timmy Time Special Agent Oso Handy Manny The Hive Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Handy Manny Lazytown Art Attack (Cema) Imagination Movers Little Einsteins Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny Handy Manny Jungle Junction Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 101 Dalmatians Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Mini Adventures Of Winnie The A Poem Is... Animated Stories Jungle Junction

TV listings SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Style Star 01:25 E!es 01:50 E!es 02:20 E! Investigates 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 Bridalplasty 10:15 Bridalplasty 11:10 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Ice Loves Coco 13:35 Ice Loves Coco 14:05 Dirty Soap 15:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 16:55 Style Star 17:25 Fashion Police 17:55 E! News 18:55 THS 19:55 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 20:55 The Soup 21:25 Kendra 21:55 Kendra 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 The Soup

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

Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghost Lab A Haunting I Was Murdered I Was Murdered I Escaped Death Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghost Lab A Haunting Mystery Diagnosis On The Run Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Murder Shift Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared On The Run Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery ER Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared The Haunted Ghost Lab

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

Zambezi World’s Deadliest Animals Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Journey Into Amazonia The Living Edens The Rise Of Black Wolf Redwoods: Anatomy of A Giant Hooked Animal Extractors Dive To Tiger Central Expedition Wild The Real Serengeti Redwoods: Anatomy of A Giant Shark Men Great Migrations Bonecrusher Queens Africa’s Deadliest Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Journey Into Amazonia The Living Edens Bonecrusher Queens Africa’s Deadliest Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Journey Into Amazonia The Living Edens

00:00 The Speak-PG15 02:00 Kalifornia-18 04:00 The Descent 2-18 06:00 The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course-PG15 08:00 Walled In-PG15

10:00 Game Of Death-PG15 12:00 Coach Carter-PG15 14:15 Walled In-PG15 16:15 The Morgue-18 18:00 Coach Carter-PG15 20:15 The Haunting In ConnecticutPG15 22:00 Time Machine: Rise Of The Morlocks-PG15

00:45 Mother And Child-18 03:00 Miles From Nowhere-PG15 05:00 Adventures Of A Teenage Dragonslayer-PG 07:00 Just Wright-PG15 09:00 Miles From Nowhere-PG15 11:00 Dear John-PG15 13:00 My Son, My Son, What Have You Done?-PG15 14:45 Flash Of Genius-PG15 17:00 Swansong: Story Of Occi ByrnePG15 19:00 The Tempest-PG15 21:00 Burlesque-PG15 23:15 The King’s Speech-PG15

03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 Leno 05:30 06:00 08:30 09:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 16:30 18:00

The Simpsons Happy Endings Dharma And Greg The Tonight Show With Jay Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne Malcolm In The Middle The Simpsons Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne Malcolm In The Middle Dharma And Greg Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne Just Shoot Me Happy Endings How I Met Your Mother The Simpsons

18:30 2 Broke Girls 19:00 The Office 19:30 Breaking In 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 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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

American Idol Drop Dead Diva Damages Glee Off The Map Good Morning America Eureka The Bachelor The Ellen DeGeneres Show Downsize Me The View American Idol Glee Eureka Drop Dead Diva Live Good Morning America The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Breakout Kings Criminal Minds C.S.I. Miami Off The Map

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00

Cold Case Damages Supernatural American Idol Glee Drop Dead Diva Cold Case The Cape

08:00 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 09:00 Drop Dead Diva 10:00 American Idol 11:00 Glee 12:00 The Cape 13:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 14:00 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 15:00 Cold Case 16:00 Parks And Recreation 16:30 Coronation Street 17:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 18:00 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 19:00 Breakout Kings 20:00 Criminal Minds 21:00 C.S.I. Miami 22:00 Top Gear (UK) 23:00 Sons Of Anarchy

01:00 Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassin’s Ball18 03:00 The Siege-18 05:00 The Clinic-18 07:00 The Karate Kid I-PG15 09:15 Secret Window-PG15 11:00 Spiderman 2-PG15 13:15 Star Trek: Generations-PG15 15:15 Secret Window-PG15 17:00 Clash Of The Titans-PG15 19:00 Fear Island-PG15 21:00 Red Faction: Origins-PG15 23:00 The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations-18

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00

Malibu’s Most Wanted-PG15 Kuffs-PG The Out Of Towners-PG15 The Lizzie McGuire Movie-PG Lost In Yonkers-PG Paper Man-PG15


12:00 Did You Hear About The Morgans?-PG15 14:00 Bubble Boy-PG15 16:00 Malibu’s Most Wanted-PG15 18:00 Wake-PG15 20:00 Love And Mary-PG15 22:00 School Of Rock-PG15

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

Quills-18 The Reckoning-18 Skirt Day-PG15 9-PG Timeline-PG15 Unstrung Heroes-PG15 Mary, Queen Of Scots-PG15 Witch Hunt-PG15 Le Code A Change-PG15 Cinema Verite-PG15 Romeo + Juliet-PG15 Forrest Gump-PG15

01:15 Garden State-18 03:00 The Karate Kid-PG 05:15 A Christmas Carol-PG 07:00 The Green Hornet-PG15 09:00 Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader-PG 11:00 The 19th Wife-PG15 13:00 Good Hair-PG15 15:00 Just Go With It-PG15 17:00 Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader-PG 19:00 Crazy Heart-PG15 21:00 Henry’s Crime-PG15 23:00 Green Zone-PG15

00:00 Gladiators: The Tournament-PG 02:00 Hua Mulan-PG 04:00 Zorro’s Secrets-PG 06:00 Dennis The Menace: Cruise Control-FAM 08:00 Open Season 3-FAM 10:00 Ice Age-FAM 12:00 The Three Musketeers (2008)FAM 14:00 Dennis The Menace: Cruise Control-FAM 16:00 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore-PG 18:00 Ice Age-FAM 19:45 Babe: Pig In The City-FAM 22:00 The Three Musketeers (2008)FAM

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

The Messenger-18 The Fighter-PG15 Family Gathering-PG15 The Lightkeepers-PG15 Legend Of The Guardians-PG Lottery Ticket-PG15 Remember Me-PG15 Megamind-FAM Legend Of The Guardians-PG Our Family Wedding-PG15 Henry’s Crime-PG15 Across The Hall-PG15

01:00 01:30 02:30 07:00 08:45 12:00 16:00 17:00 17:30 18:00 20:00 20:30 22:45

ODI Cricket Highlights Trans World Sport European PGA Tour Super League Premier League Darts Live European PGA Tour Trans World Sport ODI Cricket Highlights Futbol Mundial Super League ODI Cricket Highlights Live uper League European PGA Tour

00:00 01:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 20:00

UFC The Ultimate Fighter WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed WWE NXT WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line WWE Vintage Collection UFC 143 WWE NXT WWE Vintage Collection WWE Bottom Line WWE SmackDown UFC Unleashed

21:00 UFC Unleashed 22:00 UFC Unleashed 23:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter

00:00 ICC Cricket World 00:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 01:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 01:30 Super League 03:30 Sevens World Series 06:30 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 07:00 Pro 12 Celtic League 09:00 Trans World Sport 10:00 ICC Cricket World 10:30 Top 14 Highlights 11:00 Asian Tour Highlights 12:00 ODI Cricket Highlights 12:30 Pro 12 Celtic League 14:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 15:00 Live Scottish Premier League 17:00 Trans World Sport 18:00 Live Top 14 20:00 Scottish Premier League 22:00 Futbol Mundial 22:30 ODI Cricket Highlights 23:00 Super League

00:30 03:00 03:30 04:30 06:30 07:00 08:00 12:00 14:00 15:30 16:00 18:00 22:30 23:30

ODI Cricket Highlights Top 14 Highlights Trans World Sport Super League ICC Cricket World Trans World Sports Live Asian Tour Golf Super League Trans World Sport Top 14 Highlights Pro 12 Celtic League European PGA Tour Trans World Sport Top 14

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

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what’s on


Diwan Book Club invites readers


n this fast-paced and demanding world we live in, it’s becoming difficult to find the time to read and reflect. The rich world of literature is too valuable for us to let it pass by as it can provide us with an escape from our daily routine and broaden our perceptions and understanding of the world. It is for this very reason that the Diwan Book Club was created, in partnership with Starbucks. The main goal of this book club is to provide a platform for people who share a love of literature to come together and discuss their favorite book in a comfortable and respectful atmosphere. We hope to make reading an essential part of the lifestyle in Kuwait! If you love reading and would like to join the Diwan Book Club, please email:

K’S PATH to hold Shelter Open Day


S PATH (Kuwait Society for the Protection of Animals and Their Habitat) - a local nonprofit organization committed to animal welfare and habitat protection - will hold its first Shelter Open Day of the year on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at the K’S PATH Shelter in Wafra from 10 am to 2 pm (map: The Open Day will feature a series of activities including shelter tours, craft for children, and an educational session for children on how waste harms wildlife. “Our Shelter Open Days are much

awaited events for members of K’S PATH’s wide community in Kuwait to come together to demonstrate their support for animals and the work we do,” says K’S PATH Chairman Ayeshah Al-Humaidhi. “We work very hard to rehome dogs and cats including socialization rounds and behaviour evaluations to enable us to find the right companion animal-human fit. We were successful in finding caring homes for many animals throughout 2011. Open Days serve as a chance for our animals that are up for adoption to meet prospective families and socialise in a group setting

Upcoming events Kuwait Improv Fun lovers of Kuwait unite. A get together by people who love to surprise, be surprised and just be about at anything are welcome to Kuwait Improv, a gathering, reminiscent of the famous American TV program Whose Line is it Anyway, informally organized by American School of Kuwait teacher Brad Manker. No histrionic talent required, but a willingness to share. Please Tulu speaking classes Here’s a great opportunity for parents who always wished their children could learn Tulu. Tulu Koota Kuwait, in its objective towards promoting Tulu language and culture, is pleased to announce the opening of Tutu Speaking Classes “Tulu Siri” at Indian Public School Salmiya @ 11:30 am. For more details kindly contact Ramesh Kidiyoor-97204716/99596457,Shalini Vijay 66502369,Tharendra P. Shettigar - 66757979,Jayalaxmi Karkal 66958848, Sathyanarayana Salian - 66585077,Vanitha Dias94996459. And our Website: Email: Palpak 4th AGM Palakkad Pravasi Association of Kuwait (Palpak) is conducting its Fourth Annual General Body Meeting on February 24, Friday at Hiphop Auditorium, Fahaheel from 10 am. The main agenda include as following, annual report on the activities during the year of 2011, the audited accounts report for the year of 2011. All members of Palpak are kindly requested to treat this as an official Invitation and attend the said Annual Genera1 body meeting on time. For more details please contact President P.N.Kumar (99771830) and General Secretary Aravindha Shan (66535989).

Spiritual experience For a rewarding, spiritual and informative experience. This is a 1 1/2 tour of one of Kuwait’s most famous landmarks ladies are required to cover (long sleeves and long ankle length skirt, otherwise the mosque will provide a cloak; If you have your own scarf you’re welcome to bring it). Cameras are allowed and children are welcome. This tour meets directly at the Grand Mosque at 9:15am today. Directions to the Grand Mosque: Take Gulf Street towards the Kuwait Towers. Pass Souq Sharq with it on your right. Pass the Dickson House and Ministry of Planning with them on your left. By Seif Palace there is a large roundabout. Take the 2nd exit off the roundabout. The Grand Mosque is now on your left. At traffic lights turn left. Grand Mosque is on your left. French concert Don’t miss the 1st concert of 2012 organized by the French Institute in Kuwait featuring talented musicians Smadj (Oud Electro), Orhan Osman (Bouzouki) & Eric Gaulthier (Clarinet)! Sure to be a fantastic crowd pleaser! Ne manquez pas le 1er concert de l’annee 2012 organise par l’Institut franÁais du Koweit. avec Smadj (Oud - electro), Orhan Osman (Bouzouki) et Eric Gaulthier (Clarinette)! On Monday, February 13 at the Kuwait

Boy Scout Theater from 7:30pm - 9pm. Golden Era Club On February 10, the Golden Era Club will hold a workshop on “Positive Thinking & The Law of Attraction” to be conducted by ardent and successful practitioner, Wilson Crawford D’Souza (of Lemonade International Fame). The workshop will be followed by a unique ‘Human Bingo’ session. As always, all seniors (60+ years) are invited to join in the fun, frolic and friendship! From 5 pm - 7pm at Rumaithya, Block 2, Sate Al-Husari Street, House #34, Next to Abu-Tammam Intermediate School for Boys Registration/more info: or 97172788/6620-8183. GLEE-esque show choir This Valentine’s Day step into a musical Love Story performed by Vocal Rhapsody, KLT’s first ever GLEE-esque show choir. Vocal Rhapsody’s “Love Story” - is a show choir production with hit songs from artists such as Journey, Queen, Katy Perry and Meatloaf. It promises to be an exciting evening for all with some classic songs that everyone will enjoy. contact: Sadu weaving workshop This workshop is of four weeks duration, and it will be held twice a week. The morning group sessions are on Monday and Wednesday from 9am to 12pm. The evening group are on Sunday and Tuesday from 4:30pm to 7:30pm. A total of 8 sessions of three hours each. This workshop will be held from January 22nd to February 18th. For more Information kindly contact Sadu House at: 2243-2395 or 9959-7983 Comedy play Indian Cultural Society proudly presents new concept of comedy play “Mujhse Shaadi Karogi” with Bhagyashree & Akshay Ananad along with Krutika Sharma, Prairna & Navin Agarwal on 17th Feb at 7 pm sharp at Dr Kamil Al Rays auditorium American International School near Police station Maidan Hawally Kuwait. The Chief Guest for the event will be Ambassador of India, Kuwait and the guest of honor will be prominent personalities from Kuwait. For more information log on to Music festival On March 1, 2012, the “Blend Music Festival,” a mellow acoustic get-together of several local musicians, will take place in Bayt Lothan, the official sponsor, host, and curator of the event. This event will be FREE of charge and open to everyone to attend. We hope to see you all there, and here’s to a great start to 2012! The “Blend Music Festival” will be the first of many concerts to be held; there are a handful of musicians on board, and more will be added to the sets at a later stage. Here is the program for March 1st: 1- Ali Sleeq with Gary Ruston & Kevin Owen = JAZZ; 2- Hadi Sarieddine, Bader Nana, & Sarj = ROCK; 3- Lewis Chapman - FOLK / ROCK.

which is very important to their ability to settle well in new homes.” Families can interact with K’S PATH animals by taking their friendly dogs on a much-loved walk, grooming cats, feeding donkeys and learning more about K’S PATH’s activities from staff and volunteers. This is a great opportunity for those interested in bringing home a companion dog or cat to meet K’S PATH’s adorable dogs and cats for adoption. Entry to the event is open to all for no entry fee whatsoever. Visitors are requested to please leave their pets at home.

Canada’s elite universities to visit Kuwait


welve of Canada’s elite universities are coming to Kuwait, February 12-14, to hold an information session on Canada as a destination for higher education. The delegation is led by Kristen Sutherland of Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, and assisted by Daralyn Holt from Trent University in Ontario. The group’s visit to Kuwait is part of a larger initiative which will take them to Jordan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The tour is being organized by the Canadian Higher Education Committee under the aegis of Council of International Schools (CIS). It is Council’s ninth consecutive Canadian tour to visit Kuwait. The tour is of special interest to senior secondary students who exhibit strong academic standing, as well as to their parents. The schedule includes school visits, information sessions, and opportunities to interact with school guidance counselors. “The Middle East is a key undergraduate student market for Canadian universities,” said Kristen Sutherland of Saint Mary’s, and Tour Director. “Students from Kuwait and the broader region are sought for their strengths and their rich contributions to student life on Canadian university campuses. In turn, increasing numbers of students from the region are making Canada their first choice for study- as evidenced on this tour. Kuwaiti students are drawn to our universities’ common attributes of international reputations for academic excellence, state of the art resources, and safe campuses in welcoming locations,” Sutherland said. Each year, tour organizers work to strengthen existing relationships with secondary schools in the city they visit, and also expand outreach to new regions. The 2011 tour included a professional development workshop for school counselors from across the region, and there are discussions about the inclusion of additional cities in the 2013 tour itinerary.

what’s on


Embassy Information

NAFO bids farewell to outgoing students in ‘Kudumbasangamam’


n view of promoting fraternity and cordial existence among the member families, NAFO Kuwait organized a family fest on February 3, 2012, at the Indian Community School Auditorium, Amman Branch from 10 am to 4 pm. As in the previous years, ‘Kudumbasangamam’ marked the beginning of NAFO’s sociowelfare activities for the year 2012. With the traditional lamp lighting by the elderly ladies, the program began in front of a family crowd of about 250. Followed by the national anthem of both Kuwait and India, the budding stars of NAFO symphony team in their traditional Keralite attire sang the charismatic prayer ‘Akhilandamandalam’.

Krishnakumar, Convener, Membership Committee introduced news members to the NAFO family and briefed about the member’s data updating campaign in force. T A Ramesh, Country Head, Gulf Mart, released the new issue of ‘SADGAMA’, the newsletter with a collection of brilliant creations contributed by NAFO talents. A variety of cultural entertainments were staged by NAFO members, ladies and children. At different intervals, the audience encouraged their awesome performances with loud applause. In between, interesting and intellectual questions were asked to draw the attention of members and gave instant gifts to

and certificate, B S Pillai, President, felicitated the students and gave a handful advice for adopting new habits and improving self-confidence. Smitha Sashikumar, coordinator, Ladies Wing also felicitated the students, on behalf of NAFO Ladies-wing. Madhu Warrier, former EC member, in his felicitation, wished the students all success and reminded them not to forget their parents, wherever they are. P V R Nair, K G Nair, Dr Prasad Nair, Rajan Menon, Dr T S Srikumar, B S Pillai, CG Manoj, ON Nandakumar, ON Sureshkumar, Priya G Nair, Smitha Sashikumar and Radhika Madhu, honored the students with medals and certificates. A delicious buffet

EMBASSY OF BRAZIL The Embassy of Brazil requests all Brazilian citizens in Kuwait to proceed to the website (Contact Us Form / Fale Conosco) in order to register or update contact information. The Embassy encourages all citizens to do so, including the ones who have already registered in person at the Embassy. The registration process helps the Brazilian Government to contact and assist Brazilians living abroad in case of any emergency. nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 12:30 to 01:00 pm for lunch break. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at nnnnnnn

While welcoming the members in his unique style, Murali S Nair, Secretary General Affairs, gave a brief about the socio-welfare activities of NAFO over the years and its proposed plans for the forthcoming years aiming the well-being of our society. Dr Prasad Nair, Advisory Board Member, delivered an inspirational speech in which he elaborated the vision and mission of NAFO. He further requested the members to join their hands together in achieving NAFO’s mission by taking adequate steps for uplifting the downtrodden. Rajan Menon, convener, General Committee, addressed the members about the re-constitution of General Committee, an integral part of the association and invited all present to be part of it and voice their suggestions.

the winners. The major part of the program was in the afternoon - farewell to the outgoing students and appreciation for the students who topped the 10th STD exams during the academic year 2010 - 2011. There were 10 students (leaving Kuwait for higher studies) and 4 top achievers of 10th STD, to receive NAFO’s prestigious Gold medals and meritorious awards respectively. They were (outgoing students) Aishwarya Venketachalam, Bhavana Menon, Gadha Krishna, Gopika Menon, Kavya Rajagopal, Vaishnavi Harikumar, Varun Sreejayan, Veena P Menon, Vrinda Venugopal and Siddharth Das (10th STD toppers) Vivek Unnikrishnan, Devi B Nair, Kriti Girish Nair and Anagha Gopakumar. Before honoring them with medals

Book Club meet


his year’s books were selected by members of the book club last season,” said Ahmad Khajjah, DAI steering committee member. “Each member was invited to suggest and present books and then the team voted on which to include in the season. As a result, there’s a good mix of fiction and non-fiction; social/cultural issues and escapist fun.” As a rule, the Book Club meets at 7 pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Al-Maidan Cultural Centre. Friends of the DAI are welcome to join the club and a limited number of each book is available at the museum shop. For Information:

lunch, tea, snacks were also served to the attendees .The compeering by Pradeepkumar, EC Member, was absolutely exceptional. Vijayakrishnan, Program Convener, the main architect behind the full day event, proposed vote of thanks. A NAFO New Year gift was also presented to all members, before leaving the auditorium. Affiliated to the Indian Embassy, NAFO Kuwait (National Forum, Kuwait) has been in the Gulf for the last nine years, promoting social, cultural and welfare services by way of helping the needy, supporting economically backward people, aid to ailing members, students educational aid, providing platform to youngsters to exhibit their in-born talents, organizing personality and leadership skills workshops for children etc.

Free Arabic language course


PC and all its branches is opening free Arabic language course for ladies accessible in beginners and advanced levels. Class will commence on March 2, 2012. Islamic and Quran courses are also presented in different languages. Registration is on! Call the nearest IPC branch: Rawdah: 22512257 / 97290278; Salmiyah: 25733263 / 97533263; Mangaf: 23723002 ext. 124/123; Jahra: 24558830 / 97533948; Khaithan: 24730137.

EMBASSY OF KOREA The Embassy of the Republic of Korea wishes to inform that it has moved to Mishref. New Address: Embassy of the Republic of Korea Mishref, Block 7A, Diplomatic Area 2, Plot 6 The Embassy also wishes to inform that it will be opened to the public on the following office hours: Saturdays to Thursday Morning: 8:00 am to 12:30 pm Lunch Break: 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm Afternoon: 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF MYANMAR Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar would like to inform the general public that the Embassy will move its office to new location at Villa 35, Road 203, Block 2, AlSalaam Area in South Surra. The Embassy wishes to advice Myanmar citizens and travellers to Myanmar to contact Myanmar Embassy at its new location from 26 January, 2012. Tel. 25240736, 25240290, Fax: 25240749, nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES For emergency, please contact the Consular hotline at 65184433. The Philippine Overseas Labor Office and other attached agencies shall continue to operate and hold office in Jabriya until 15 March 2012. All your passports and other consular concerns will be processed at our new location, except of course labor issues. Regular working hours of the Embassy shall resume in Faiha.

health & science SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012

Big football players face heart risks: US study

A padlock on the gate of the Eternit factory in Casale Monferrato. The verdict in the biggest-ever trial against an asbestos maker in a lawsuit brought by thousands of Italians is expected on Monday. —AFP

A woman holding the picture of her father who died of asbestos at the entrance of the courtroom in Turin during the second preliminary hearing against Swiss cement giant Eternit. —AFP

Verdict looms in world’s biggest asbestos trial Unprecedented trial of Swiss billionaire ROME: A court in northern Italy will rule on Monday in the unprecedented trial of a Swiss billionaire and a Belgian baron for over 3,000 alleged asbestosrelated deaths. Stephan Schmidheiny, the former Swiss owner of a company producing Eternit fibre cement, and Jean-Louis Marie Ghislain de Cartier de Marchienne, a major Belgian shareholder, are being tried in their absence and face 20 years in prison. The allegations concern asbestos production at four Italian facilities and involve employees who worked there as well as people who lived nearby. Schmidheiny and De Cartier are accused of causing an environmental disaster and failing to comply with safety regulations. Over 6,000 people are seeking damages in the long-running lawsuit in Turin the home of auto giant Fiat and Italy’s industrial heartland. “My wife fell ill in January 2007, when she was 47. They removed one of her lungs, but there was nothing to be done. Within 18 months she was gone,” Carlo Liedholm, 53, who lived with his wife near one of the factories, told AFP. “Nothing will bring my wife

back. It’s unjust that she died like thousands of other people because of delinquent murderers of the worst kind. It’s a tragedy that’s not talked about anywhere near enough,” he said. “We knew that the material was dangerous from the beginning of the 1960s, it’s unbelievable that Eternit was in production until 1986,” he said. Eternit went bankrupt six years before asbestos was banned in Italy in 1992. Prosecutors have requested that the accused-Schmidheiny is now 64 years old and De Cartier 89 — each be sentenced to 20 years in prison. The crimes carry a maximum 12year sentence, but prosecutors are seeking a harsher punishment because the fall-out continues to affect victims decades after. “I have never seen such a tragedy. It affects workers and inhabitants ... it continues to cause deaths and will continue to do so for who knows how long,” prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello told the court in his closing speech. Defence lawyers denied the accused had direct responsibility for the Italian company, and the pair have been absent from court throughout.

The trial, which began in 2009 in Turin after a five-year investigation, is the biggest of its kind against a multinational for asbestos-related deaths, and victims and relatives hope it will set a precedent. “This trial has international importance for two reasons,” said Bruno Pesce, who co-ordinates the association for the families of victims in the industrial towns of Casale Monferrato and Cavagnolo near Turin. “Firstly, it is the first trial against a multinational of this size, and secondly, in 70 percent of the countries on our planet asbestos unfortunately continues to be mined and used,” he said. “Tens of thousands of people die each year from asbestos-related” illnesses, he said. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause lung inflammation and cancer, and symptoms can take up to 20 years to manifest after exposure. The defendants’ lawyers declined to comment on Monday’s expected verdict. Guido Carlo Alleva, a lawyer for the Swiss billionaire, previously insisted that the trial had failed to prove his client’s criminal responsibility. — AFP

Birth control row ‘senseless’: Top Obama ally WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama’s top ally in the US Senate condemned as “senseless” an angry spat over a White House plan to require most insurance plans to cover birth control for women. “That is so senseless,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said as Obama’s Republican foes sought vainly to force a vote on a measure assailing the proposed rule, which was drawn heavy fire from some religious groups. “This debate that’s going on dealing... with contraception is a rule that hasn’t been made final yet,” said Reid. “Everybody should calm down.”His comments came as the White House sought a way to quell the political firestorm, which has seen a rebellion from Democrats from key states where Catholic swing voters will be crucial in the November elections. Republicans, seizing an opportunity to hammer the White House, have accused Obama of wag-

ing war on religious freedom with his proposal to require some church-affiliated entities to provide insurance that covers contraception for women, as well as other reproductive health services. Democrats “won’t allow those of us who are sworn to uphold the US Constitution to even offer an amendment that says we believe in our first amendment right to religious freedom,” complained Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. A brace of new polls show a majority of Catholics-and the US public at large-support the president’s position, which has drawn heavy fire from some of the church’s largest groups because contraception is against its teachings. The fight erupted when Obama decided not to exempt religious employers-apart from houses of worship and some parochial schools-from a requirement set under his landmark health reform law. — AFP

The biggest professional football players in America may be more likely than their fellow players to die of heart disease, even though they appear to generally enjoy a longerthan-average lifespan, according to a US study. The report in the American Journal of Cardiology followed more than 3,400 National Football League (NFL) players who were active between 1959 and 1988, and found that 334 had died by 2007 — only about half the rate that would be expected based on US norms. But certain players, the ones who were biggest during their careers, had higher risks of dying from heart disease or stroke, with defensive linemen especially vulnerable. The findings build on evidence that football players’ big bodies can become a health liability in the long run, said Sherry Baron, a researcher at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in dateline, who led the study. “I think this makes it clear that if you’re big and muscular at a young age, it could have a long-term (health) effect,” she said. According to the study, defensive linemen had a 42 percent higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared with US men in general. Of 498 defensive linemen, 41 died of cardiovascular causes. Often, professional athletes’ muscle mass can make for a high body mass index (BMI), a commonly used measure of weight in relation to height, and Baron said there was an argument that a high BMI based on muscle is not so bad. The problem, though, is that once big athletes are no longer in the game, it’s very hard to keep up their former physical activity levels, she added. Sometimes, injury can make it impossible. — Reuters

Path for lower-priced biotech drugs defined WASHINGTON: The Food and Drug Administration is preparing to review the first lower-cost versions of biotech drugs, expensive medications which have never before faced generic competition. The guidelines issued by the FDA on Thursday are the final step in a decades-long effort to lower the price of biotech drugs, high-tech injectable medications that cost the nation billions of dollars each year. “These draft documents are designed to help industry develop biosimilar versions of currently approved biological products, which can enhance competition and may lead to better patient access and lower cost to consumers,” FDA’s drug division director Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement. Since their introduction in the 1980s, biotech drugs have never faced generic competition because the FDA did not have power to approve copies of such medications. For years the biotech industry successfully argued that their drugs, often made from living cells, were too complex to be duplicated by competitors. That finally changed with the Obama administration’s 2010 health overhaul, which ordered the FDA to create a system for approving so-called “biosimilar drugs.” The industry term arose because biotech scientists insisted it would be impossible to produce exact copies of their biologically engineered drugs. They differ from traditional drugs, which are made by combining various chemicals. Health care data firm IMS Health estimates the U.S. market for biosimilars will range anywhere from $11 billion to $25 billion by 2020, accounting for 4 to 10 percent of the global market for biotech drugs. The Congressional Budget Office estimated biosimilars would save the government $25 billion in reduced health care spending in the coming decade. The FDA’s draft guidelines, posted online, reflect a final agreement that was largely shaped by the biotech industry’s demands. As a result, new biotech drugs will enjoy a 12-year period of exclusive, competition-free marketing before a rival medication can launch. Additionally, companies seeking to market biosimilars will have to submit extensive chemical and biological testing data to show that their products function similarly to the originals. — AFP

health & science SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012


ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for decent executive bachelor in Abbasiya near United Indian School. Separate toilet, bedroom & balcony with coolpex & AC, new building. Contact: 97208351. (C 3866) 9-2-2012 Immediate sharing accommodation available for a decent Indian Christian bachelor or couple near Salmiya Garden. Contact: 66884273 / 25657832. (C 3862) Sharing accommodation available in C-A/C flat in Abbasiya for two Christian bachelors or couple from 15 Feb. Contact: 65625804. (C 3863) 8-2-2012

FOR SALE Chevrolet Optra 2009 is on immediate sale for KD 2,350/- as expat leaving Kuwait. Showroom maintained and in excellent condition. Contact: 99754454. (C 3867) 11-2-2012

SITUATION WANTED Diploma Engineer/ 16 years project sales experience (9 yrs in Kuwait) seeking suitable position from reputed companies. Contact: 55339596/ 99759183. (C 3860) 7-2-2012

MATRIMONIAL Proposals invited for a Keralite C.S.I. boy (31, 5ft 7”) studied B.Com, presently well employed in own business seeks alliance from God fearing Keralite girl (C.S.I / Martomite) from India or residing in Kuwait. Contact: with full details. (C 3864) Orthodox parents in Kuwait invites proposals for their daughter (26 / 165 fair) B.Tech, B/B and currently working in Kuwait, from a well qualified/ employed Orthodox/ Marthoma boys. Contact: (C 3865) 9-2-2012 A proposal comes from a man, an Engineer, 50 years old seeks an Asian woman, decent, working, respectful

preferable, who is coming recently to Kuwait. Email: (C 3859) Orthodox well-settled parents invite proposals for their son, 28, 180cm, fair, MBA (Finance) from a reputed institution, employed in reputed bank in Kuwait from parents of professionally qualified God-fearing girls. Contact: 7-2-2012 Proposals invited for Keralite Orthodox Christian boy (38, 5 7” whitish), God fearing Computer Engineering diploma working in Kuwait having family visa status seeking alliance from nurses and other professionals. The boy will be coming to Kerala in the middle of March. Contact email: (C 3858) 5-2-2012

SITUATION VACANT Required live-in maid for a small Indian family living in Riggae. Contact: 99694619. (C 3861) 8-2-2012

MISCELLANEOUS Original guaranteed Palestinian virgin olive oil, large black and green olives for sale. Tel: 66517417 Whole Floor or small villa needed for rent in Shaab, Mansoriya, Nozha, Abdullah Al-Salem or Shamiya. Direct contact with owner. Tel: 9989018-99169016 A camp for rent in Kabed including five tents with all services. Complete privacy + game arcade. Tel: 97177714 Size 36 air pressure gun for sale in addition to a scope, safety lock. Shooting range 350 meters +bag+25 shots. Price KD 70. Tel: 97790478 A 3700 watt, 2012 model ASTRA generator for sale. Japanese parts assembled in China with pressure and gas meters. Price KD 85. Tel: 60066891 For rent in Hawalli a one bedroom (4x4m) and a 7x3.5 m reception+ terrace, fully equipped kitchen and bathroom. Tunis street, behind AlAndalus pharmacy. Tel: 99683200 A 2008 white, 1600 CC Nissan Sunny. Price KD 1700. Tel: 99553221 A 2008 dark blue 6 cylinder

Toyota Prado with Beige sued interior, low mileage, touch A/C, CD, cruise control, front and rear sensors for sale. Price KD 6650. Tel: 99275550 A 2009 white, 6 cylinder Toyota Prado with 40,000 mileage touch A/C, CD, cruise control, front and rear sensors for sale. Price KD 7850. Tel: 9747750855809093 A 2009 YUKUN Suburban GMC XL with low mileage and beige sued interior, electric seats, cruise control, super headlights, rear camera, remote recording and rear sensors. Price 8550. Tel: 99301914 For rent a two storey villa and a basement in Mangaf including 8 rooms, laundry room, yard, parking. Rent value KD 1000. Tel: 97996900 A storey and half for rent in Mangaf including two 3 bedroom apartments with 2 baths, reception, kitchen, driver room each. Tel: 66989887 For rent a ground floor in Qurain comprising of four rooms, large reception, 5 baths, maid room, courtyard, parking. Rent value KD 550. Tel: 66989887 A fully central air-conditioned two room annex in Mangaf with separate exit and shaded car parking for rent to expatriates. Tel: 67753557 For rent in Ashbelia: two apartments with 3 bedrooms, bath, kitchen and maid room each plus a yard in between. Tel: 90001594 A 2005 Mini Cooper for sale. Tel: 99224855 A 2006 Lumina for sale with genuine factory paint. Price KD 2100. Tel: 69945429

Original guaranteed Palestinian virgin olive oil for sale. Tel: 55740271 Upholster and tailor needed with good experience. Salary determined per experience. Tel: 97813458

TUITION Business management teacher with doctoral degree for universities, institutions, corporate & all student levels. Over 10 years experience. Call 66495951. (C 3817) Business management teacher with doctoral degree for universities, institutions, corporate & all student levels. Over 10 years experience. Call 66495951. (C 3817) Mathematics teacher, Intermediate and secondary Exams models, Easy method, Exams from past years with solutions. 97301901 English teacher (3) years experience, looking for a job and ready to start with all educational stages. 55963993 Mathematics teacher for Universities, Institutions, Foreign Schools, Administrative, American, English, Australian, Bahrain, Electric and Gulf Sciences, Algbra Prel, Mathematics, intermediate, gmat, sat college, math98, 110 pre calculus geometry. 97619261

Transportation service available. Payment in advanced conditioned for all areas. Tel: 66678633 The smallest and most up to date recording device (2012 model) for sale. Finger size, voice activated, records up to 600 hrs, made in Japan. Free delivery. Tel: 99773818

Computer teacher for secondary and intermediate. Practical on laptop, power point projects, front page, visual basic data, universities and applied institutions. 50603063

FOR RENT For rent at Salmiya, Apt 3 BR + 3 toilets + hall + kitchen + satellite, excellent location. Foreigners and expats only, no mediators. Tel: 66060299. (14183) For rent commercial Apt at the sea, excellent location, 190 square meter, suitable for (beauty saloon, consulting office, lawyers office). Tel: 66060299. (15004) For rent Apt at Salmiya 2 BR + 2 toilets + maid room + hall + kitchen and balcony for families only. Rent KD 280/-. Tel: 66980123. (15007) For rent basement at Hawalli, excellent location, plastic floor, C-A/C, for serious only, please call: 66980123. (C 25997)

Islamic education teacher for elementary and intermediate stages. Experienced in Kuwait curricula. Easy explanation, and summary of the subject, training for exams. 66292985

Furnished Apt for rent in Salmiya 2 BR + hall + kitchen + satellite & DSL + parking, families only. Rent KD 450/-. Tel: 66297171. (C 14941)

A 2009 Touareg for sale. Price 6350. Tel: 96670777

For sale: a 375 square meter house in Omariya, fully rented for KD 600. Price KD 185,000. Tel: 66815590

Female senior Mathematics teacher with more that 30 years experience in Kuwait, to teach secondary, intermediate and elementary stages. Religious and applied, communications and navigation institutions, special courses and secretariat institution. 97926737

A Syrian Arabic language teacher. Masters in methods of teaching and follow up of 10th grade and 11th grade students. 97934291

Syrian Arabic

Senior English teacher for Pakistani, bilingual schools, T.M.A., Ielts, Toefl, IBT K.S.S., social studies and math. Tel: 99577430

teacher for elementary and intermediate stages. Experienced in following learning difficulties, and those weak in reading and writing. 97264100

No: 15356


For rent, one floor in a com-

mercial complex in Salmiya, at main street suitable for Coffee Shop or Restaurant for serious only call: 66980123. (15006) For rent floor at South of Surra, 4 BR + maid room + 4 toilets, hall and elevator. KD 800/-. Tel: 66604095. (15041) For rent complete floor at Jabriya, 5 BR out of which 4 are master BR + 5 toilets + hall and elevator KD 750/-. Tel: 66604095. (15103) For rent new elegant Apt at Al-Shaab for newly Weds, 3 BR + maid room + 4 toileets + hall + elevator. KD 650/-. Tel: 94097080. (14899) For rent new ground floor at Granada, 4 BR + maids room + 4 toilets + hall, special entrance, C-A/C and marble. KD 700/-. Tel: 94097080. (C 14893) For rent Deluxe Apt South Al-Surra, 3 BR + maids room + 3 toilets + elevator. KD 600/-. Tel: 97713024. (15106) For rent Deluxe 1st floor with elevator at Al-Adan 4 master BR + large hall + 2 parking. KD 650/-. Tel: 94097080. (15107) For rent ground floor at AlSurra 3 BR + maids room + 3 toilets + hall, special entrance. For foreigners and expats. KD 650/-. Tel: 94097080. (15108)

information SATURDAY, FEBRUARY11, 2012



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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

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Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday始s Solution

ACROSS 1. An honorary degree in science. 4. The capital and largest city of Zambia. 10. The compass point that is one point north of due west. 13. Seed of a pea plant. 14. A tapering point. 15. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 16. A doctor's degree in education. 17. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 18. An associate degree in applied science. 19. (`cease' is a noun only in the phrase `without cease') End v 1. 21. The federal agency that insures residential mortgages. 24. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 26. Having or using two filaments. 30. An early form of modern jazz (originating around 1940). 34. Unwind from or as if from a reel. 37. Type genus of the Nepidae. 38. Scarabaeid beetle considered divine by ancient Egyptians. 39. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 40. A former agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States. 41. An accidental happening. 42. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 49. A motley assortment of things. 52. (Akkadian) God ruling with his consort Ereshkigal the world of the dead. 56. Of or relating to or involving an area. 59. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 60. Clean or orderly. 62. Electronic warfare undertaken to prevent or reduce an enemy's effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum. 63. A native or inhabitant of Denmark. 64. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 65. A workplace for the conduct of scientific research. DOWN 1. A detailed description of design criteria for a piece of work. 2. Give over. 3. An informal term for a father. 4. A cord that is drawn through eyelets or around hooks in order to draw together two edges (as of a shoe or garment). 5. Fiddler crabs. 6. An abundant tasteless odorless multivalent nonmetallic element. 7. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 8. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 9. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 10. A raised mark on the skin (as produced by the blow of a whip). 11. (informal) Exceptionally good. 12. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for aviation and spaceflight. 20. Someone who skis. 22. Chief port of Yemen. 23. A city and port in northern Jutland.

25. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 27. A ruler of the Inca Empire (or a member of his family). 28. Make secure by lashing. 29. A unit of length of thread or yarn. 31. Massive plantigrade carnivorous or omnivorous mammals with long shaggy coats and strong claws. 32. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 33. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 35. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 36. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 43. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 44. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 45. Make less active or intense. 46. United States liquid unit equal to 4 quarts or 3.785 liters. 47. Squash bugs. 48. Small genus of hairy herbs with yellow flowers. 50. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 51. Wild or seedling sweet cherry used as stock for grafting. 53. A Gaelic-speaking Celt in Ireland or Scotland or the Isle of Man. 54. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 55. Young sheep. 57. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 58. A device for creating a current of air by movement of a surface or surfaces. 61. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms.

Yesterday始s Solution



Hijab ban driving women away from soccer SINGAPORE: Muslim women are being driven away from soccer by FIFA’s ban of the hijab, with more likely to follow if rulemakers fail to reverse the decision at a meeting next month, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan said. While physical Olympic sports such as rugby and taekwondo allow Muslim women to wear the headscarf in competition, soccer, the world’s most popular sport, remains against its use, citing safety concerns. Last year the Iranian women’s soccer team were prevented from playing their 2012 Olympic second round qualifying match against Jordan because they refused to remove their hijabs before kick-off. Iran had topped their group in the first round of Olympic qualifiers after going undefeated, however the Asian nation were given 3-0 defeats in their four second round matches because of their failure to comply with the rules, their dreams of competing in London abruptly ended. “It is very important that everybody has the chance to play the sport that they love and obviously the laws of the games have to be amended to allow that,” Prince Ali, a FIFA vice-president, told Reuters in an interview in Singapore. “I think that football, being the most popular sport in the

world, accessible to all, we should take the lead on this issue and therefore that is what we are trying to pursue and hopefully we will get a pass from IFAB.” Founded in 1886, IFAB, or the International Football Association Board, is soccer’s ultimate law-making body comprising four members from the sport’s world governing body, FIFA, and four from the British associations. They will hold a meeting in England on March 3 where Prince Ali will present the case for allowing players to use a Dutch-designed Velcro hijab which comes apart if pulled and, he hopes, will remove safety concerns. “As far as I’m concerned, I want to make sure and guarantee what it is - that football is for everyone,” said the Prince, who at 36 is the youngest member of FIFA’s all-powerful executive committee. “If you look at other sports such as rugby, they are allowed to play so therefore we hope it will be the same case with football.” A threequarters majority is required for the proposal to be passed by IFAB, who first banned the hijab in 2007 when 11-year-old Asmahan Mansour was prevented from playing a match by the Quebec Soccer Federation after she

German League Preview

Bayern Munich face life without Schweinsteiger BERLIN: Bayern Munich are looking to close the two-point gap behind German league leaders Borussia Dortmund and face up to life without Bastian Schweinsteiger when they host Kaiserslautern today. The Germany star and Bayern vice-captain has only played three Bundesliga matches since returning from a broken collarbone, but he twisted his ankle in Wednesday’s 2-0 German Cup win at Stuttgart and damaged ligaments. His foot is in a protective cast and he looks to be out for several weeks, with Bayern to face FC Basel in the Champions League Round of 16 in a fortnight. “This is a bitter blow for him, it’s incredibly sad,” said Coach Jupp Heynckes. “And it’s also bad for us as a team, he is a very important player.” Second-placed Bayern have two relatively easy Bundesliga matches coming up against Kaiserslautern, who are third from bottom, and next travel to tailenders Freiburg, before they take on Basel then Schalke. Heynckes is most likely to slot Anatoliy Tymoshchuk in for Schweinsteiger alongside Brazil’s Luiz Gustavo at the back of the midfield. He also seems to have settled on the preferred defence of Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber as the centre-backs with Philipp Lahm and Rafinha on the wings. But Bayern’s confidence is shaken after picking up just four points from nine in their last three league games and need a confidence-boosting win over a Kaiserslautern team which has not won in the last ten games. Leaders Borussia Dortmund are flying high after their 2-0 win at Nuremberg last Friday saw them go top of the league and look to have striker Lucas Barrios back in form after scoring in both of his last two games. Jurgen Klopp’s side have won all three league games so far in 2012 and host a Leverkusen team which tackles Champions League holders Barcelona on Tuesday in the first leg of the Round of 16. With his side sixth in the league, Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt has had to cope with the loss of important squad members Sidney Sam and Eren Derdiyok through injury, while defender Michal Kadlec is banned after being sent off last weekend. Midfielder Renato Augusto is back from injury and Croatia defender Vedran Corluka has impressed since joining from Tottenham Hotspurs. “They are an incredibly strong opponent, we’re going to meet a really good football team,” said Klopp. Dortmund are likely to be without midfield trio of Jakub ‘Kuba’ Blaszczykowski (groin), Kevin Grosskreutz (back) and Ilkay Guendogan who are all carrying injuries. But after their impressive 4-0 win at fourth-division Holstein Kiel in the German Cup, Dortmund are in form and have win their last six games. —AFP

refused to remove her headscarf. “I do hope and do believe that if common sense does prevail all will be supportive of this, why not? “I don’t like the politics, we are going straight to the point which is to allow all of our players to participate on all levels,” Prince Ali said. VERY UNFORTUNATE In 2010, FIFA adjusted their rules to allow a cap that covers the players heads to the headline but did not extend below the ears to cover the neck. Asked if he was concerned that Muslim women would turn away from the sport if IFAB fail to permit a full headscarf, Prince Ali said it may already be too late for some. “Well I think already we have seen that, and I think that is very unfortunate. I think we need to give the right to (play) to everyone across the world and we have to respect each others cultures.” FIFA’s reluctance to allow the full headscarf on concerns over safety appear overly strict. Prince Ali, who suggested long hair was more likely to cause injury on the field, said that his findings had not uncovered any hijab-related injuries in women’s soccer matches. “If you want to have a fancy hairdo, or whatever (it

doesn’t matter) just let them play and I think there are so many women out there who have the right to do this and participate in this sport. “If you look at FIFA as well, they spend about 15 percent of their budget on developing women’s football but when it comes to playing at this level they are suddenly banned and we have to change that.” While the campaign has royal approval, members of the Jordanian women’s team have used the modern day method of social networking to highlight the campaign. A Facebook page called ‘let us play’ has been launched and attracted more than 30,000 ‘likes’, while the players have used national radio to also boost their message. Prince Ali said he was confident that, with approximately 650 million headscarf wearers globally, the number of Muslim women playing soccer would rise on the back of the campaign if IFAB reversed their decision. “I think definitely, definitely. Just give them the opportunity and let them make their choices. It is a game for the world-that’s what makes football what it is, it is a very, very special game and therefore we should allow full participation.”—Reuters

Angry Egyptian soccer fans ‘deep in politics’ CAIRO: Egypt’s ruling generals have a new enemy: the legions of angry soccer fans who have injected fervor into recent protests demanding the military step down and battled police for days in the streets of Cairo. Known as Ultras and long viewed as hooligans, they have grown increasingly political, starting with last year’s uprising, and were pushed over the edge by the deadly riots at a soccer match last week. It’s a sign of how the military’s rocky handling of the transition is driving more and more Egyptians into activism at a time when many are frustrated with the generals who took over from Hosni Mubarak a year ago, and by growing economic and security woes. Ultra members have been credited with playing a major role in the 18-day popular uprising that toppled longtime dictator Mubarak, as well as recent street clashes with police. They were the chief defenders of Tahrir Square, the uprising’s epicenter, when Mubarak loyalists on camel- and horse-back charged protesters on Feb 2, 2011, one of the deadliest days of the uprising. The deaths of 74 people in last week’s soccer riots - mostly Ultras who supported the Cairo-based Al-Ahly club has unleashed such fury in the movement’s ranks that many expect the Ultras to turn out in even greater numbers in future street protests, whether against military rule or to press demands for more sweeping reforms. “Their participation in protests will significantly increase,” predicted Mohammed Gamal Bashir, author of an Arabic-language book on the Ultras published in December. “Authorities have made an enemy of them and that is a very big mistake. They have passion, no expectations and don’t want to be labeled politically. In short, they enter the struggle but don’t care about the likely fruits of their role.” The Ultras’ history of enmity with the regime made them a perfect fit in the ranks of the pro-democracy protesters who engineered Mubarak’s ouster. For four years before Mubarak’s fall, Ultras clashed almost weekly with security forces in Egyptian stadiums and were subjected to random arrests, detention and intimidation. Their rank-and-file swelled

with thousands of disaffected, unemployed and often uneducated youth who despised the police and a regime that offered them little hope for the future. Since the deadly riots, the Ultras have been lionized by the independent press and rights activists as true and brave patriots who share the ideals of the revolutionaries behind Mubarak’s ouster. “We defend what is right, we don’t brag and we don’t accept credit for what

many Al-Ahly supporters, mostly young men in their teens and 20s, has dominated Egypt’s political agenda over the past week, making front-page headlines and fueling countless conspiracy theories. Some claim the security forces stood by to punish the Al-Ahly Ultras for their high-profile involvement in last year’s Tahrir Square protests and subsequent antigovernment demonstrations. Many activists and commentators have

CAIRO: In this filephoto, an Egyptian waves Al Ahly soccer team flag during a protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. —AP we do,” declared one Ultras leader, who only wanted to be identified by his first name, Salah. The lavish praise, however, has concealed the movement’s origins as essentially rabid soccer fans often willing to engage in violent clashes with supporters of rival clubs, as well as the security forces. The Feb 1 riot, the worst soccerrelated incident in Egyptian history, took place in the city of Port Said on the Mediterranean, where Al-Ahly, Egypt’s most popular team, played the home team Al Masry in a league game. Al-Masry won 3-1. The deaths of so

blamed the incident on police negligence and military inaction, despite a multitude of signs of trouble ahead of the match, which pitted two sides with a long history of animosity and fan violence. It also sparked days of clashes between police and protesters in Cairo and elsewhere in the country. A total of 15 people, mostly in Cairo, were killed. Stoking the Ultras’ fury, the nation’s military leader, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, dismissed the tragedy in comments to the media as an “incident that can happen anywhere in the world.” —AP



Spanish League Preview

Barcelona refuse to surrender title MADRID: Despite Real Madrid’s seven-point lead in La Liga, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique says that the title race is not over and they will fight to the end and make it as difficult as possible for their bitter rivals. While the Catalan side have come out on top when they have faced Real so far this season-beating them in the league and knocking them out of the Spanish Cup-their stuttering away form has seen them fall behind in the league. They cannot afford another slip-up this weekend in Pamplona against Osasuna while they will be hoping that fourth-placed Levante can do them a favour when they play the leaders at the Bernabeu. The dropped points have been blamed on many reasons from a small squad and injuries through to a lack of desire but the fact is that they have won only four of 10 matches on their travels. At the same time Real continue to roll over their opposition having won 18 of 21 games and scored 71 goals in the process, 10 more than Barca, the side widely admired over recent years for their attacking football.

“I would have signed for where we are at the moment at the start of the season. We are very much alive in the league, in the Champions League and we are in the final of the cup,” said Pique, with Barca’s midweek win over Valencia setting them up for a repeat of the 2009 King’s Cup final against Athletic Bilbao. “There is a lot of work ahead of us in the next two months but we are still alive and you can count on us being there at the end of the season. “We will give everything in the league, it will be the others who will have to win it and it is going to be a long battle. We will put them under pressure, there are a lot of games including one at the Nou Camp.” The Real players are concentrating on maintaining their own level and are not being distracted by their lead, according to midfielder Xabi Alonso. “We will focus on our game and not on the points difference with Barcelona. We will not change our style of football and we are not obsessed by the advantage,” he said. Valencia are five points clear in third place and play

Italian League Preview

Milan enter crucial period without striker Ibrahimovic ROME: Defending Italian champions AC Milan begin a crucial phase of their season when they travel to fourth-placed Udinese this weekend. Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic starts a threematch ban today in a period when secondplaced Milan must play two of the other two top four teams. Following their trip to Udine, Milan will host Cesena and leaders Juve in successive league games at the San Siro. It is a crucial period in which to be missing their best player and top scorer, especially with fellow forwards Pato and Antonio Cassano also on the sidelines. It means extra pressure being piled on the shoulders of misfiring Brazilian Robinho, veteran Filippo Inzaghi, youngster Stephan El Shaarawy and new signing Maxi Lopez. The latter three have hardly played for Milan this season while Robinho, the most used forward after Ibrahimovic, has managed a paltry return of just three goals in 17 Serie A games. In fact he has only five goals in 24 games in all competitions and has come under fire for some shocking misses, including two in front of an open goal from inside the six yard box in successive games back in November. He also missed a one-on-one during last weekend’s game with Napoli, firing wide of Morgan De Sanctis’s post. Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini acknowledges that the big Swede, who with 15 in the league has scored more than double the number of goals as all Milan’s other strikers put together, will be sorely missed. “Ibrahimovic is a fundamental player and it will be important to understand how the team will react to his absence,” he said. “However, last year we had some good performances without him.” The other issue is that Milan host Arsenal in the Champions League second round, first leg on Wednesday but Amrosini insists they won’t be taking their eyes off Udinese. Milan are in a mini-slump with two defeats and a draw in their last three games in all competitions. “What I’m concerned about is the game against Udinese, it’s decisive because we need something different to change things around,” said the captain. “We can’t allow another match to pass without giving a certain sign.” Milan trail Juve by a point in the league,

MILAN: AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, of Sweden, is grabbed by Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini during the Italian Cup semifinal soccer match between AC Milan and Juventus, at the San Siro stadium on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. — AP but having played a game more. Udinese are three points further back but many in Italy believe the title will come down to a shoot-out between the two traditional giants. And Juve, who travel to Bologna tomorrow, have a psychological advantage having beaten the champions twice already this season, including Wednesday’s 2-1 Italian Cup semi-final, first leg success at the San Siro. Juve captain Alessandro Del Piero believes that game demonstrated his side are ready to go all the way this season, following successive seventh-placed finishes. “If we still needed proof that we should believe in ourselves and aim to go all the way in all our objectives this season, then the night at the San Siro gives us even more knowledge of our capabilities,” he said on his personal website. “It’s not easy to beat a team like Milan at the San Siro and to do so in a two-legged elimination match is even more important, even though the fact it’s over two legs means we’re only halfway and still have to finish off the job at home.” —AFP

Sporting Gijon with the battle below them becoming increasingly fierce. Espanyol are level with Levante after they snatched an injury time equaliser to draw 3-3 with Athletic Bilbao last weekend, and face bottom side Zaragoza, while the Basques, two points behind, are away to Real Betis. Atletico Madrid look a far stronger proposition since the appointment of coach Diego Simeone and are still unbeaten since the start of the year. The Argentine has made the team a lot more solid at the back and they will look to continue their good run against Racing Santander who have slipped into the relegation zone. The pressure is on Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini with the big-spending Andalusian side having won just once in nine games and he will be hoping for an improvement against Mallorca. Jose Miguel Gonzalez makes his debut as Sevilla coach against Real Sociedad, after last weekend’s defeat by Villarreal proved the final nail in the coffin for Marcelino Garcia. Villarreal are in action against Granada while Rayo Vallecano take on Getafe. — AFP

French League Preview

Lille seek league solace; trophy horizons shrink PARIS: Rudely ejected from the French Cup by neighbors Valenciennes on Wednesday evening, French champions Lille will bid to resurrect the defense of their Ligue 1 crown at home to Bordeaux tomorrow. Rudi Garcia’s side began the season with two trophies in their possession and four tournaments to attack, but having been eliminated from three cup competitions in the last two months, their objectives have narrowed sharply. The cup holders’ 2-1 loss at Valenciennes followed defeat by Lyon in the League Cup last month and a Champions League exit at the group stage in December, but Lille’s chances of retaining their league title are also receding. Heading into the weekend in third place, they trail leaders Paris SaintGermain by 10 points-albeit with a game in hand-and can afford no more missteps if they are to carry any hope of defending their crown into the season’s final months. “Now, it’s simple: we have to put all our effort into the championship-starting with the visit of Bordeaux tomorrow, which is a very important match,” said Garcia. “The players are intelligent and we all want to hold on to third place. We’ll do everything to avoid falling behind the teams in front.” Complicating Lille’s situation is the fact they find themselves embroiled in a five-way battle for only three Champions League places alongside PSG, Montpellier, Lyon and a resurgent Marseille. Second-placed Montpellier, 2-0 victors at Ligue 2 side Chateauroux in mid-week, are three points behind PSG but will provisionally take over at the summit if they win at home to Ajaccio on Saturday afternoon. Rene Girard’s side have won their last six games in all competitions and are still to concede a goal in 2012, but in Ajaccio they face a

side who have hauled themselves out of the relegation places thanks to a sixgame unbeaten run. “My boys are putting a lot of effort in,” said Girard after goals from Olivier Giroud and Younes Belhanda put paid to Chateauroux. “It will be vitally important to recover properly ahead of the match against Ajaccio today.” Like Marseille, who they will meet in the League Cup final, fourth-placed Lyon are competing for glory on four fronts, having come from behind to beat Bordeaux 3-1 after extra time in the French Cup on Wednesday. Lyon face Cypriot side APOEL in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday but coach Remi Garde is hoping the prospect of silverware will be sufficient to banish thoughts of fatigue from his players’ minds. “This run of success is enjoyable,” he said. “Victories breed victories. We’ll try to recover quickly and win the second of our three consecutive home matches on Saturday.” A point behind Lille and OL in fifth place, Marseille were due to visit Evian today but must now await a pitch inspection to find out whether the match in Annecy will be able to take place on Sunday instead due to the extreme cold. The postponement of PSG’s mid-week French Cup tie with Dijon means that Carlo Ancelotti’s side have benefited from a week off prior to Sunday’s trip south to third-bottom Nice. Nice have not won in the league since December 17 but with only four points separating the bottom nine clubs, the relegation picture remains volatile. Bottom club Sochaux face a testing assignment at sixth-placed Rennes in Saturday’s late game, while second-bottom Auxerre will hope to claim a first victory in five matches at home to mid-table Lorient. — AFP



Internacional kick off Libertadores with win PORTO ALEGRE: Internacional of Brazil defeated Peru’s Juan Aurich 2-0 on Thursday as the first round of matches in the group stage of the Copa Libertadores continued. In other games, Universidad Catolica of Chile was held 1-1 at home against Bolivia’s Bolivar, Ecuador’s Emelec won 1-0 at home against Paraguay’s Olimpia and Libertad, also of Paraguay, had a 4-1 home win over Peru’s Alianza Lima. The 32-team group stage of the continental tournament continues next Tuesday and will wrap up in April. The final of the competition is in July. In Group 1, two-time

Copa Libertadores champion Internacional opened the scoring through striker Oscar in the 23rd, with Argentine midfielder Jesus Datolo sealing the victory from inside the box in the 89th. Internacional dominated the match, especially after Juan Aurich midfielder Cesar Ortiz was sent off in the 36th for earning his second yellow card following a hard foul. In the Group 3 game in Santiago, Chile, Bolivar took the lead in the 38th with William Ferreira tapping in after Universidad Catolica goalkeeper Cristopher Toselli was left out of position following a right wing cross.

Roberto Ovelar equalized six minutes later from a counterattack. Bolivar’s Walter Flores was sent off for a foul in the 71st, but the visitors were able to hang on for a valuable away point. The Bolivar goalkeeper was hit on the arm by a small object thrown from the crowd in the 24th, but was able to continue. At Guayaquil, Ecuador, Luciano Figueroa won and then converted a penalty in the 51st minute of the Group 2 game, after he was adjudged to have been pushed to the ground. Olimpia’s Pablo Zeballas nearly equalized in the 87th when he hit the cross-

bar with a freekick from 30 yards (meters). The same player received a straight red card in stoppage time. The match was affected by heavy rain which fell throughout the game, making playing conditions gradually more difficult. In Group 5 in Asuncion, Paraguay, Libertad scored four second half goals to come from behind after Joazinho Arroe had put Alianza Lima of Peru ahead in the 28th. Luciano Civelli , Sergio Aquino and Mauro Caballero put Libertad 3-1 up before Alianza Lima*s Walter Ibanez scored an own goal in the 91st. — AP

Siena stun Napoli to take Cup advantage ROME: An under-strength Siena stunned Napoli 2-1 on Thursday to take a decisive step towards a first ever Italian Cup final. Brazilian Reginaldo and Gaetano D’Agostino scored the goals to give Siena a semi-final, first leg victory although they may live to rue Emanuele Pesoli’s late own goal. Napoli may still be favorites to progress ahead of next month’s second leg in Naples but Siena can be well pleased with their night’s work. The visitors played a full-strength side while the Serie A strugglers rested several first choice players. And yet they had more determination and cohesion as they put one foot in the final and a possible glamour tie against one of the country’s heavyweights. Juventus won by the same score away to AC Milan in the first semi-final, first leg on Wednesday. — AFP

Suarez set for Old Trafford return

ROME: SS Lazio’s forward Miroslav Klose (left) vies with Cesena’s defender Maurizio Lauro during the Italian Serie A football match at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. — AFP

Lazio resurrect title hopes ROME: Ten-man Lazio thrust themselves back into title contention with a stunning come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Cesena at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday. The biancoceleste turned around at the break 2-0 down and with a numerical disadvantage but a remarkable 10-minute period just after the restart flipped their fortunes around. Strike pairing Adrtian Mutu and Vincenzo Iaquinta, from the spot, had given Cesena a seemingly unassailable half-time lead, particularly given Abdoulay Konko had been sent-off for the hosts. But goals from Hernanes, Senad Lulic and Libor Kozak turned the match on its head and moved Lazio up to third, temporarily at least. “It’s a great win for us, it’s always very hard to be 2-0 down and playing with 10 men,” said match-winner Kozak, who was making his comeback after injury. “I’m happy to be back in and to have scored an important goal, my first in the league.” Lazio now trail leaders Juventus by just three points, although they have played more games then all their immediate

rivals. Coach Edy Reja said the victory felt like a derby success over Roma. “This win is as great as winning the derby. We didn’t have any centre-forwards but we did well in reorganizing after the break,” he said. “I wouldn’t know who to name as man of the match, everyone played well and now I hope to get some injured players back.” Until their stirring comeback, Lazio had been staring at a possible fourth defeat in seven league games since the turn of the year. Things had started so well as the hosts dominated the early exchanges with hot-shot Miroslav Klose twice uncharacteristically failing to find the net from good positions. Lulic played in Klose with a defense-splitting pass but Francesco Antonioli was out quickly to deflect the German’s slipped finish past the post. Then he latched onto Cristian Ledesma’s chipped ball over the top but while his chest control was precise, his finish drifted past the far upright. In between Iaquinta had given notice of the trouble he would cause when forcing Federico Marchetti into a sprawling save at his near post from a lashed effort.

And moments later the former Italy forward held off Giuseppe Biava and crossed for Mutu to slot home at the back post with Lazio’s defense hopelessly stretched. The match seemed to have taken a decisive turn just past the half hour mark as Mutu was sent scampering away behind the Lazio defense. Konko caught up to him but slid in with an ill-advised attempt at a tackle, succeeding only in bringing down the Romanian. The referee had no option but to point to the spot and also brandished the red card as the Frenchman was the last defender. Iaquinta’s penalty was unceremoniously dispatched. The game appeared over but within 18 minutes of the restart, Lazio had totally turned the game around. Brazilian playmaker Hernanes thrashed home a fierce shot on the turn from the edge of the box on 52 minutes. Then right on the hour mark Klose headed the ball over the defense and although Kozak’s control was awful, the ball fell to Lulic who slotted home despite Antonioli getting a touch. — AFP

LONDON: Luis Suarez is preparing to run the Old Trafford gauntlet when the Liverpool striker faces Manchester United for the first time since his ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra. The Uruguayan returned from his eight-match suspension when he appeared as a substitute against Tottenham on Monday but is expected to start for the Reds in the latest installment of the northwest giants’ bitter rivalry. The two clubs met in the FA Cup at Anfield only a fortnight ago, with Liverpool winning a largely trouble-free game 2-1. However the tie was soured by the relentless barracking of Evra by Liverpool fans, and the subsequent arrest of one fan on suspicion of making racist taunts to the French international. Mindful of the potential for Saturday’s fixture to turn ugly, both United and Liverpool officials have attempted to defuse tensions with calls for calm. Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish said Suarez had been instructed to shake Evra’s hand in the pre-match ritual. “I thought everyone involved in the FA Cup tie at Anfield played their part in making sure that the match was played in the right way, so let’s make sure that happens again this weekend,” Dalglish said. “I’m sure people will want to talk about Luis Suarez but he accepted his ban, served his suspension and returned against Spurs on Monday. “It’s time for all of us to draw a line under what happened and move forward. “People are already speculating on the pre-match ceremony, but from Luis’s point of view we have spoken to him and I know he will shake the hand of Patrice Evra and the other Manchester United players before the game.” Ferguson meanwhile spoke this week of his surprise at the re-emergence of racist incidents in the English game. “I don’t understand at all where it’s coming from,” Fergusons said. “This is a moment where we have to take stock and we should do something about it if it’s surfacing again, and be really hard and firm on any form or shape of racism. “There have been a couple of examples recently which is not good. In 2012, you can’t believe it. It was obvious maybe 20 years ago and the improvements have been for everyone to see.” While the animosity between Liverpool and United means Suarez is unlikely to be given an easy ride on Saturday, fullback Glen Johnson has backed his team-mate to cope with the bearpit atmosphere. — AFP



Evra-Suarez reunion adds fuel to bitter rivalry MANCHESTER: All eyes at Old Trafford today will be on Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez should the two players meet for the first time since a race row. Uruguay forward Suarez was banned for eight games after being found guilty of racially abusing the United defender in a 1-1 draw at Anfield in October. The incident stoked the bitter rivalry between the north-west giants, with Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish-who has continued to insist Suarez should never have been banned at all-steadfast in support of the striker. However, the clubs have met since October’s clash, with Liverpool knocking United out of the FA Cup at Anfield last month, and Dalglish, who along with opposing manager Sir Alex Ferguson has called for calm, believes that tie has helped defuse tensions between the sides. “Everyone involved, including the media, the supporters and both teams have a responsibility to ensure this weekend is remembered as a cracking game of football between two very good sides, rather than for anything else,” Dalglish told Liverpool’s website. “I thought everyone involved in the FA Cup tie at Anfield played their part in making sure that the match was played in the right way, so let’s make

sure that happens again this weekend. “I’m sure people will want to talk about Luis Suarez but he accepted his ban, served his suspension and returned against Spurs on Monday. “It’s time for all of us to draw a line under what happened and move forward. “People are already speculating on the pre-match ceremony, but from Luis’s point of view we have spoken to him and I know he will shake the hand of Patrice Evra and the other Manchester United players before the game.” The Suarez-Evra clash came in the same month as the incident that led to Chelsea captain John Terry facing criminal charges of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, brother of United’s Rio. A concerned Ferguson told CNN: “This is a moment where we have to take stock and we should do something about it if it’s surfacing again, and be really hard and firm on any form or shape of racism. “There have been a couple of examples recently which is not good. In 2012, you can’t believe it.” Reigning Premier League champions United go into the match two points behind leaders Manchester City and 16 ahead of Liverpool. But for League Cup finalists Liverpool their Premier League goal this term is a top four finish that will guarantee Champions League football

next season. And given they are just four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, that aim remains within their sights. Last season United’s record 19th English title took them one above Liverpool and Old Trafford veteran Ryan Giggs said even though the Anfield club were last crowned champions of England in 1990, they remained a key litmus test for Ferguson’s side. “We’re the two most successful teams in the country, so we know we’ve got to perform and play well to get anything from any game against them. “It’s the club we tried to catch for so long and now we’ve caught them, the challenge is to stay ahead.” United, who came from three goals behind to draw 3-3 at Chelsea last time out could see promising midfielder Tom Cleverley come into contention for a first appearance since suffering an ankle problem in October, after being pulled out of Thursday’s reserve match with City. But Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher are long-term absentees and goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, who might have replaced the struggling David de Gea, is out for at least another three weeks. Liverpool hope to have left-back Jose Enrique available after he missed Monday’s goalless draw against Tottenham with a hamstring problem.— AFP

Redknapp wary of dual Tottenham-England role LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp said yesterday he was “flattered” to be the odds-on favorite to replace Fabio Capello as England manager but was cautious about combining the job with his club role. The Football Association (FA) have indicated they could opt for a ‘caretaker’ manager to steer the side at the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine in four months’ time following Capello’s shock resignation on Wednesdayjust hours after Redknapp was cleared of tax evasion charges. A host of other Premier League managers have backed Redknapp for the England role, with the 64year-old, whose Tottenham team are third in the top-flight, the outstanding English candidate to replace Capello. “It is flattering, other managers have come out and said nice things and I appreciate everybody’s support really,” said Redknapp at Tottenham’s training ground yesterday. However, as for being in charge of both Spurs and England, a wary Redknapp said: “It is hard enough managing a league club let alone managing your country, it’s two very difficult jobs. “I think your focus has got to be on one job, you can’t be going home thinking, ‘Who’s playing well in this situation?’ “I can’t take my eye off the ball at Tottenham at the moment because we’re looking to get Champions League football, we’re still in the FA Cup and I owe it to them to continue to keep completely focused on the job I’m doing here. “It wouldn’t be fair to anybody here if I started to let my thoughts wander elsewhere,” he added with Spurs bidding for their first English title since 1961. Capello resigned on Wednesday after the FA stripped John Terry of the England captaincy without consulting the Italian manager as the Chelsea defender prepares to contest a charge of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand at a trial which will take place in July-after Euro 2012. Just

Today’s matches on TV

English Premier League Man United v Liverpool Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3


Bolton v Wigan Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Everton v Chelsea = Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Fulham v Stoke City Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Sunderlandv Arsenal Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Swansea v Norwich Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Blackburn v QPR Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Tottenham v Newcastle Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3


African Nations Cup

Tottenham Hotspur’s English manager Harry Redknapp hours earlier Redknapp had emerged from a London court having been found not guilty of tax evasion charges and the former West Ham and Portsmouth boss said the last few weeks had been a draining experience. “It’s knocked me for six. I haven’t felt so good the last couple of days but I feel better today,” Redknapp said. “(My appetite for the Spurs job) has never waned, things were going well in the football but things were hanging over me which were always a problem for me, but thankfully it’s gone now and we can move on.” Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said Redknapp was the best man for the England job but warned against combining two jobs, having been in charge of both Aberdeen and Scotland at the 1986 World Cup following the death of Scotland boss

Jock Stein. “I tried it myself with Scotland (at the World Cup) in Mexico. I found it very difficult,” Ferguson said. In the short-term, former England defender Stuart Pearce, the current Under21 coach, will take charge of England for their friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley on February 29. After that, all scenarios are under consideration, suggesting it would be possible for Redknapp to lead England at Euro 2012 before making way for another manager if he chose to stay at Tottenham. “That is a possibility,” FA chairman David Bernstein said Thursday when asked if a caretaker coach could lead England in Poland and Ukraine. “It might not be the case, but all options are open. I’m only talking common sense-we’re not prepared to restrict ourselves at this stage.” — AFP

Ghana v Mali Aljazeera Sport +9 Aljazeera Sport +10 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD


Wenger wants consistency LONDON: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for “exceptional consistency” from his players in their quest to regain a European qualification place. Gunners supporters have grown accustomed to Champions League campaigns and next week thousands will travel to Italy for the first installment of a fascinating duel with AC Milan. Yet despite having thrashed Blackburn Rovers 7-1 at the Emirates Stadium last week Arsenal will kick off at Sunderland today in sixth place, which as it stands is not even good enough for a place in next season’s Europa League. Defeats by Fulham, Swansea City and Manchester United, plus a failure to win at Bolton, put the Gunners in this unfamiliar position but Wenger who has ruled himself out of the vacant England job had always been adamant that his players would show their top-four credentials come May. —AFP



Cheerful Mali face dejected Ghana for 3rd place MALABO: Mali will be more cheerful than Ghana ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations third place play-off in the Estadio de Malabo today. While the Eagles exceeded expectations by reaching the semi-finals and taking title favorites Ivory Coast to the wire, the Black Stars are reeling after a shock defeat by Zambia having failed to score from an early penalty. The countries who never clashed in 27 previous tournaments now square off for the second time in 15 days with the venue changing from Franceville in southeastern Gabon to the island capital of neighboring Equatorial Guinea. Ghana gave their best display of

this Cup of Nations to overcame Mali 2-0 in Group D last month with star striker Asamoah Gyan scoring the first goal and creating the second for Dede Ayew. United Arab Emirates-based Gyan was at his boastful best after that success, telling reporters he was so good that the Black Stars could afford to deploy a solitary striker. He was far less talkative this week, though, after having an early penalty pushed to safety by Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, and it proved a costly miss with Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) snatching a late winner. Gyan has an unfortunate record with penalty kicks-he slammed one

over off the bar against Uruguay in 2010 that prevented Ghana becoming the first World Cup semi-finalists from Africa. There was sympathy for Gyan in the Black Stars camp with assistant coach Kwesi Appiah saying “it is always the best players who miss penalties” and captain John Mensah revealing: “I told Asamoah to concentrate on Mali”. “We will try hard to finish third,” said South Africa-based Mali defender Ousmane Berthe, who could not catch Gervinho as he sprinted from the halfway line to score the goal that felled the Eagles. The outcome may hinge on how coaches Goran Stevanovic of Ghana

and Alain Giresse of Mali react. Will they field full strength sides or experiment with those who were mainly substitutes during the three-week tournament? Fatigue is also likely to be a factor with Ghana and Mali understandably looking wearier in the semi-finals than opponents who had an extra rest day after easier last-eight games that did not involve extra time. Ghana have a one win-one loss record and Mali three losses in a fixture that has produced 73 goals since 1962 at an average of three per match and DR Congo won on penalties in 1998 after trailing Burkina Faso 4-1 with four minutes left. — AFP

I Coast, Zambia set for compelling Cup climax LIBREVILLE: The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations has enjoyed more than its fair share of upsets but Ivory Coast are praying tomorrow’s final with Zambia will go according to the formbook. The Elephants will start as warm favorites as they seek to banish once and for all the tag of ‘chokers’ applied to Dider Drogba and company after disappointing campaigns in 2008 and 2010. Zambia, who have reached the final on a wave of emotion as they honored their comrades who perished in the 1993 plane crash off the Libreville coast, have a tough task ahead of them. Not only are they a yawning 63 rungs below their rivals in FIFA’s world rankings but Herve Renard’s men will also be trying to become the first team to score a goal against Ivory Coast since the start of battle three weeks ago. Ivory Coast boast an enviable record in Equatorial Guinea/Gabon, not only have they won all their five matches but they have also avoided conceding a single goal, to nine scored. Zambia, who were runners-up the year after the plane tragedy, have scored nine, but conceded three, and won four of their games and drawn one. A compelling contest is in prospect as the Ivorians target a second title after their lone success 20 years ago, while the Copper Bullets are targeting their first. Under Coach Francois Zahoui the Elephants have forgone the flashy brilliance of years gone by and adopted a more pragmatic, ‘results are what count’ style. And Zahoui’s approach has worked a treat, as his men avoided the same fate as the likes of competition co-favorites Ghana, knocked out by Zambia in Wednesday’s semi-final, and the trio of shock first round casualties Senegal, Tunisia and Morocco. An impregnable defense coupled with forwards who can strike at will are the cornerstones of Ivory Coast’s march to tomorrow’s final, says Salomon Kalou. The Chelsea star said: “Our aim has been to not let in any goals. “And with the strikers we’ve got, at any

moment we can make the difference.” That was plain for all to see on Wednesday when Arsenal star Gervinho raced from the halfway line to score a superb solo goal to down valiant Mali. “Our goals can come from anywhere,” added Kalou. “From Yaya (Toure),

failures we knew that as long as we don’t concede any goals we can make the difference up front. Our ambitions remain in place.” But despite the Ivorians’ star-studded squad and experience, Zahoui is wary of Zambia. “They are a young, very buoyant side who play good

BATA: Zambia’s Emmanuel Mayuka does a cartwheel after scoring against Ghana during their African Cup of Nations semifinal match at Bata Stadium, in Bata, Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012. — AP Gervais (Gervinho), Didier (Drogba), myself... “We can score at any moment and that’s an advantage that we have on lots of other teams at this Nations Cup.” Zahoui commented: “Happily our defense has been very mature and solid since the beginning of the competition. “After our past

football. They attack and cause problems for any team they come across.” On Thursday, Zambia arrived in Libreville and made their way to the nearest mainland spot to the site of the 1993 plane crash 500 meters off the Gabonese coast where the national team was wiped out. — AFP

CAF finance ‘healthy’ LIBREVILLE: African football has for the first time declared its finances to be in a healthy state as it announced a record surplus and strong equity and cash balance at its congress yesterday. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said its financial strength continued to grow, with equity of $55.9 million and a cash balance of $47.9 million at June 30 last year. “Our financial performance was close to forecast, giving a surplus of $5.8 million against a budgeted $5 million, primarily due to better cost management,” said Suketu Patel, chairman of CAF’s finance committee. “I can say our finances are approaching a comfortable level,” he told delegates in the Gabon capital ahead of Sunday’s African Nations Cup final. CAF has had a considerable increase in its revenue in recent years. A seven-year deal was signed in 2010 worth some $140 million in television and marketing revenue, an increase of more than 100 percent on what the previously cash-strapped organization earned from its showcase competitions some five years ago. Sportfive, part of Lagardere Sports, paid $46.8 million for four successive editions of the African Nations Cup finals, starting with the 2010 tournament in Angola. Up to 2008, CAF earned $5.5 million every two years for Nations Cup rights. A seven-year deal for the rights to the African Champions League and the African Confederation Cup, the two annual club competitions, earns CAF $71.4 million up to 2017. African football’s governing body had previously been paid $5 million annually for the club competition rights and before 1997 got nothing. — Reuters



McIlroy takes lead in Dubai DUBAI: Rory McIlroy sank seven birdies to be 13 under par after the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic yesterday, two shots ahead of Martin Kaymer, who hit his first hole-in-one. Surprise overnight leader Rafael Cabrera-Bello had yet to tee off. McIlroy may, however, rue a succession of missed long birdie chances as his putting often failed to match his long game. “I definitely think it could have been better than 65, I missed a putt on the 18th for an eagle, I missed a putt on the first for a birdie that was pretty short,” McIlroy, 22, told reporters. “I hit a couple of really good putts on the back nine this morning which could have dropped (in).” The slight Ulsterman started the day on six under, but this time he played the back nine first and was paired with England’s Robert Rock, surprise winner of January’s Abu Dhabi championship, and Dubai defending champion Alvaro Quiros. The trio teed off from the 10th hole early, a wisp of cloud shrouding the desert

Erzouqi wins gold in UAE

Mariam Erzouqi By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: Kuwaiti shooter Mariam Erzouqi bagged the gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle event, part of the First Arab Club Championship held in Sharjah (UAE). She scored 398 out of 400 in the sporting event held on Thursday. UAE’s Sadinki Shiryanka ranked second with a score of 395 and Syrian Raya Zein-Al-Dien won third place with a score of 390. Another Kuwaiti shooter Munira Al-Anjari was the fourth place winner by scoring 389. The Kuwaiti team comprised of Mariam Erzouqi, Munira Al-Anjari and Heba Erzouqi were placed first with a score of 1,171/1200. The UAE stood second with a score of 1,161 points and Qatar are third with 1,146 points. Mariam Erzouqi expressed her gratitude to the president of Kuwait and Asian Shooting Associations for his support. She also thanked members of the board of Kuwait Shooting Sport Club for their moral support. Erzouqi now has her eyes set on winning an Olympic medal for her country. She beat other Asian shooters to emerge winner in last month’s Asian Championship held in Qatar.

sun as Dubai slept on Friday, the Muslim holy day. The back nine of the Majlis course is kinder than the front nine, with three par-fives and a couple of short par-fours, so the players were under pressure to score low early, especially after Carrera-Bello had ended the first round on nine under. McIlroy sank a birdie on the opening hole after playing a chip shot from the rough to within a few feet of the pin, but at the next hole he came up short with an 18-foot putt that would have earned a second successive birdie. On the 12th, the trio each had chances to pick up a shot. Quiros was first to try, but the ball curled away from the pin, while McIlroy was inches short with his and Rock also missed. Rock faded his tee shot into the rough on the next hole, but recovered with a lofted pitch over a cluster of palm trees. Quiros fared worse. He took a penalty shot after plunging his second shot into the water, then putted for a bogey. McIlroy then squandered an

eagle opportunity, dragging a 25-foot eagle chance to the right of the hole, but he held his nerve for a birdie to move on to eight under. At the 14th hole, the trio also missed birdie chances as their putting let down some precision approach play. McIlroy consulted caddie J.M. Fitzgerald, whom he credited for his late surge in Thursday’s first round, but still his attempt rolled inches wide. At two under from seven holes, McIlroy seemed frustrated, but on the 17th he sank a 40-foot chip fairway for a birdie. The US Open champion missed a 10foot eagle putt on the 18th, but holed for a birdie to be on 10 under at the turn, while on the front nine, he bagged three more to end the round on seven under. Kaymer scored six under in the opening round and also started yesterday from the 10th tee. The German reached nine under with three holes to play before a hole-in-one on the seventh added some gloss to his round. — Reuters

Lee, Wi and Johnson lifted by eagles at Pebble Beach Woods opens with a four-under-par 68 PEBBLE BEACH: A pair of eagles lifted New Zealander Danny Lee into a tie for the firstround lead at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Thursday as Tiger Woods made an encouraging start. Lee fired a flawless nine-under-par 63 at Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of three venues being used this week, to end a glorious day of unbroken sunshine level with American Dustin Johnson and South Korean Charlie Wi. Bighitting Johnson, champion here in 2009 and 2010, matched Lee with a pair of eagles in a 63 at Pebble Beach, while Wi also had an eagle in his nine-under 61 at Monterey Peninsula, the easiest of the three layouts. Woods made a solid start in his first appearance on the US circuit this year, firing a six-birdie 68 at Spyglass Hill, the most difficult of the three courses. Lee, who at 18 became the youngest player to win a European Tour event with victory in the 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic, eagled the 11th and second on his way to a share of the lead. He then covered his final nine holes in five-under 31 to join Wi and Johnson in early control of the pro-am celebrity event. “I had some good breaks,” Lee, 21, told reporters of his two eagles. “I holed out from a 100 yards away (on 11) ... and I was in the left bunker in a very tough place to get up and down from there (on two). “I had to pick up slack to stop the ball, and it picked up slack and went in,” smiled the South Korea-born New Zealander, who burst onto the world stage by winning the 2008 US amateur championship. “After that, I got good momentum going and I played really nicely.” World number 10 Johnson, the highest-ranked player in the field, was delighted to be back at a venue where he has thrived in the past. “Today I would have liked any golf course, I played well,” Johnson said after pitching in for an eagle at the par-four third and sinking a 45-footer for another at the par-five sixth. “But I love being out here. I love the courses. They all set up very well to me. I feel comfortable on them, especially off the tees.”

PEBBLE BEACH: Danny Lee of New Zealand hits his tee shot on the ninth hole during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. — AFP

RECORD NINE American Ken Duke covered the back nine in a record eight-under 28 at Pebble Beach to complete a 64, finishing alongside PGA Tour rookie Brian Harman, who also started out at Pebble Beach. The 43-year-old Duke, who has yet to win on the PGA Tour, holed out from the fairway to eagle the parfour 16th before finishing a stroke off the pace at eight under. “When the weather is like this, you really have to take advantage of the golf course and the conditions,” Duke said after mixing seven birdies and one bogey with his eagle. “I just kind of hit it close the whole back nine, and dunked the one on 16. When it’s going good like that, things like that happen.” Woods, while delighted with his driving, was a little frustrated by his approach

play after ending the first round five strokes off the pace. “I just wasn’t very good with my irons so I’ll have to go and work on that. I left a few shots out there for sure,” the 14-times major champion said after hitting 11 of 14 fairways. “It seems like the rest of the guys are going pretty low around this place. They are just tearing the place apart. “This is the hardest of the three (venues) so hopefully the next two days I can get it going,” added Woods, who won the 2000 event before winning the US Open later that year at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Three-times winner Phil Mickelson opened with a 70 at Spyglass Hill to finish level at two under with triple major champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland, who carded a 68 at Monterey Peninsula. — Reuters

sports SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012

Boonen grabs 4th Tour of Qatar title DOHA: Tom Boonen of Belgium won his fourth Tour of Qatar title yesterday, having led the race since he won the opening stage last Sunday. Boonen and his Omega-Pharms Quick Step were careful to protect his lead on the sixth and last stage, 120 kilometers from Sealine Beach Resort into Doha Corniche. He finished the stage 15th, happy to track Tyler Farrar, who was sixth, and beat the American by 28 seconds overall to add to his tour victories in 2006, 2008 and 2009. “It is always nice to win here in Doha. Whether it is the first stage or last, I feel at ease in Qatar,” Boonen said. “We had a good lead going into the final stage and I wanted to ride safe without any mishap. “I am glad to start the season with a win and now I can look forward to the classics. My team did a great job this week.” Farrar, riding for Garmin-Barracuda, was followed in the overall by Spanish rider Juan Antonio Flecha of Sky Procycling, 33 seconds back, then Boonen’s teammate Gert Steegmans, 34 seconds down. The stage was won by Arnaud Demare, the under-23 road world champion, for his first pro win. Russia’s Denis Galimzyanov of Katsuha was second, and last year’s winner, Australian Mark Renshaw of Rabobank was third. British rider Mark Cavdenish of Sky Team, who won two stages this week, ended the tour on a sour note when he collided with another cyclist and crashed 200 meters from the end. Cavendish finished sixth overall. —AP

DOHA: Belgium’s Tom Boonen of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step celebrates after winning the Tour of Qatar cycling race yesterday. —AFP

Blues shootout win ends Devils streak Flyers back on track with win over Leafs NEWARK: St Louis’ TJ Oshie scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Blues a 4-3 win over New Jersey on Thursday, ending the Devils’ five-game winning streak. Oshie, the first shooter in the tiebreaker for the Blues, fooled the New Jersey goalie with an off-speed shot that trickled through his pads. Blues goalie Brian Elliott, who came on as a second-period substitute, stopped three Devils in the shootout, having also stopped all 15 shots he faced in regulation and overtime. Chris Stewart, David Perron and Patrik Berglund scored for St Louis, which is 11-0-2 against Eastern Conference teams. Adam Parise, Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias had New Jersey’s goals. SENATORS 4, PREDATORS 3 In Ottawa, Chris Phillips scored his first two goals of the season in his 1,000th NHL game as Ottawa edged Nashville and ended a sevengame skid. Jason Spezza also scored twice for the Senators. Phillips scored his first goal in 75 games in the second period, then added a power-play goal in the third to put Ottawa up by two. His most recent two-goal game also came in a milestone match, his 800th. FLYERS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 3 In Philadelphia, Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn scored 1:14 apart in the second period to lift Philadelphia over Toronto. Scott Hartnell and Max Talbot also had goals for Philadelphia, which snapped a three-game losing hump and moved three points clear of New Jersey for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Tyler Bozak scored twice and Joffrey Lupul had one for the Maple Leafs. CANUCKS 5, WILD 2 In St Paul, Minnesota, Henrik and Daniel Sedin both scored against Minnesota for the first time in their careers, leading Vancouver over the Wild. Maxim Lapierre, Manny Malhotra and Ryan Kesler also scored for the Canucks. A scan earlier in the day on Henrik Sedin’s foot came back clean and the Canucks captain played in his 553rd consecutive game, the second-longest active streak in the NHL. Dany Heatley scored 13 seconds in for the Wild; the

fastest goal to start a game in team history. Devin Setoguchi got Minnesota within 4-2 in the third period. Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu returned after eight games out with a shoulder injury. RANGERS 4, LIGHTNING 3, SO In New York, Brad Richards scored in overtime to give New York victory over Tampa Bay. New York’s Brian Boyle had tied it in the third period. Steven Stamkos scored his NHL-best 36th goal of the season in the first period and added an assist for Tampa Bay, which also got goals from defenseman Bruno Gervais and Vincent Lecavalier. Derek Stepan had a goal and an assist, and captain Ryan Callahan added a goal for the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers. PANTHERS 3, KINGS 1 In Sunrise, Florida, Sean Bergenheim and Mike Santorelli scored in the second period, sending Florida past Los Angeles. Matt Bradley also scored for the Panthers, who beat the Kings for the first time in eight tries. Drew Doughty scored for Los Angeles, which is the lowest-scoring team in the league. JETS 3, CAPITALS 2, SO In Washington, Winnipeg overcame a twogoal deficit in the final 2:15 of regulation and then prevailed in a shootout for a victory over Washington. Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien awoke a pedestrian Jets attack with power-play goals to force overtime. Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little then scored in the shootout. Alex Ovechkin had the lone shootout goal for the Capitals. All of the game’s goals came in the final 101/2 minutes of the third period, and all were on power plays. Ovechkin opened the scoring with 10:14 to play, and Alexander Semin made it 2-0 with 7:30 remaining. COYOTES 2, FLAMES 1, OT In Glendale, Arizona, Shane Doan scored a power-play goal in overtime as Phoenix beat Calgary to extend its winning streak to a season-high four games. Phoenix moved into the eighth place in the Western Conference. Flames

defenseman Blair Jones was hit by a shot during the overtime power play and was left ineffective. With essentially two Calgary defenders on the ice, Doan ripped a one-timer past the Flames goalie. Taylor Pyatt had given the Coyotes a 1-0 lead in the first period. Olli Jokinen leveled for Calgary in the third. CANADIENS 4, ISLANDERS 2 In Uniondale, New York, Max Pacioretty’s hat trick drove Montreal to victory over New York and its third straight win. Pacioretty scored in each period, and Scott Gomez also netted his first in more than a year for the Canadiens, who moved above the Islanders in the standings.

Matt Moulson made it 3-1 with 2:41 remaining on a power play, with an assist from John Tavares, who earned the 100th helper of his NHL career. Islanders captain Mark Streit made it 3-2 just 48 seconds later before Gomez scored. STARS 4, BLUE JACKETS 2 In Columbus, Jamie Benn scored twice as Dallas defeated Columbus. Kari Lehtonen had 26 saves while Alex Goligoski and Stephane Robidas each had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who led 3-0 after 21 minutes. Vinny Prospal and Rick Nash scored for the Blue Jackets. —AP

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Thursday. St. Louis 4, New Jersey 3 (SO); Montreal 4, NY Islanders 2; NY Rangers 4, Tampa Bay 3 (OT); Philadelphia 4, Toronto 3; Winnipeg 3, Washington 2 (SO); Dallas 4, Columbus 2; Ottawa 4, Nashville 3; Florida 3, Los Angeles 1; Vancouver 5, Minnesota 2; Phoenix 2, Calgary 1 (OT). Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF NY Rangers 34 13 5 145 Philadelphia 31 16 7 177 New Jersey 31 19 4 153 Pittsburgh 30 19 5 163 NY Islanders 22 23 8 128

GA PTS 106 73 160 69 152 66 141 65 154 52

Boston Ottawa Toronto Montreal Buffalo

Northeast Division 33 17 2 180 28 22 7 166 28 21 6 171 22 24 9 144 23 24 6 132

117 177 161 149 154

68 63 62 53 52

Florida Washington Winnipeg Tampa Bay Carolina

Southeast Division 25 17 11 134 28 21 5 151 26 24 6 134 23 24 6 151 20 25 10 139

150 152 153 180 168

61 61 58 52 50

Detroit St. Louis Nashville Chicago Columbus

Western Conference Central Division 36 17 2 176 131 32 14 7 133 109 32 18 5 155 144 29 18 7 171 163 15 33 6 125 179

74 71 69 65 36

Vancouver Minnesota Calgary Colorado Edmonton

Northwest Division 34 15 5 176 25 21 8 124 25 22 8 131 27 25 3 140 21 28 5 143

73 58 58 57 47

135 141 149 153 162

Pacific Division San Jose 29 16 6 148 121 64 Los Angeles 26 19 10 119 120 62 Phoenix 26 21 8 145 144 60 Dallas 28 23 2 141 150 58 Anaheim 21 24 8 138 158 50 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)



Kuwaiti shooter Erzouqi wins gold in UAE


PHOENIX: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Houston Rockets celebrates after a foul was called on Grant Hill #33 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on February 9, 2012. — AFP

Kings upset Thunder 106-101 Lakers cool red-hot Celtics in OT scrap SACRAMENTO: The Sacramento Kings pulled off a stunning upset Thursday by beating Oklahoma City 106-101, dropping the Thunder out of the NBA lead. Tyreke Evans scored 22 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and nine rebounds for Sacramento, which is in last place in the Pacific Division. Sacramento scored its last nine points on free throws. Russell Westbrook scored 33 points for Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City, which fell behind Chicago for the overall lead. The Thunder squandered an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter, committing six of their 23 turnovers in the period. LAKERS 88, CELTICS 87, OT In Boston, Pau Gasol came up big for the Los Angeles Lakers as they beat the red-hot Boston Celtics 88-87 in overtime for a rare road win on Thursday. The loss, described by Celtics coach Doc Rivers as “self-inflicted”, brought Boston’s fivegame win streak to a halt as the Lakers improved to 4-9 away from home this season. They are 2-2 on their current six-game road trip. Gasol forced overtime with a put-back basket with less than 10 seconds remaining to tie the score at 82-82 and preserved the win with a shot block on Ray Allen as time expired in OT. “You just got to play until the clock runs out and that’s what I try to do,” Spaniard Gasol told reporters. “I’ve been in situations in my career where you just freeze and you just catch yourself

looking at the ball and somebody makes a play and you end up losing a game. “Tonight I’m glad that I was able to continue playing until the end and play a good game for my team.” Boston held the advantage for much of the first half, leading by as many as nine points but Los Angeles battled back and briefly led before falling back to trail 47-45 at halftime. The Lakers surged ahead again late in the third quarter and held the lead until a back-and-forth final eight minutes which featured five ties and three lead changes. “This was an awful game,” fumed Rivers. “If we had won, it would have been an awful game that we won. Give them credit, a lot of that was defense. But I thought a lot of it was self-inflicted.” Kobe Bryant led the Lakers (15-11) with 27 points and Gasol recorded a double-double with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Andrew Bynum finished with 16 points and 17 rebounds. Allen led the Celtics (14-11) with 22 points, but scored just three points after the third quarter. Paul Pierce scored all five Celtics points in overtime and 18 overall. ROCKETS 96, SUNS 89 In Phoenix, Houston made it three straight wins by downing Phoenix. Luis Scola scored 16 points and Patrick Patterson added 14 for the Rockets, who had a 57-13 edge in scoring from bench players. Channing Frye scored a season-high 21 points for the Suns, whose own three-game streak was ended.

WARRIORS 109, NUGGETS 101 In Denver, Stephen Curry scored a season-best 36 points as Golden State handed fading Denver its fifth straight loss. The Nuggets are on their longest

skid for five years, and have also lost five in a row at home. Klay Thompson added 19 points for the Warriors. Arron Afflalo led the Nuggets with 26 points. —Agencies

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Thursday. LA Lakers 88, Boston 87 (OT); Golden State 109, Denver 101; Houston 96, Phoenix 89; Sacramento 106, Oklahoma City 101. (OT denotes overtime win) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Philadelphia 18 8 .692 Boston 14 11 .560 NY Knicks 11 15 .423 Toronto 8 19 .296 New Jersey 8 19 .296 Central Division Chicago 22 6 .786 Indiana 17 8 .680 Milwaukee 11 14 .440 Cleveland 10 14 .417 Detroit 7 20 .259 Southeast Division Miami 19 7 .731 Atlanta 17 9 .654 Orlando 16 10 .615 Washington 5 21 .192 Charlotte 3 22 .120

GB 3.5 7 10.5 10.5 3.5 9.5 10 14.5 2 3 14 15.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 20 6 .769 Denver 15 12 .556 Utah 13 11 .542 Portland 14 12 .538 Minnesota 13 13 .500 Pacific Division LA Clippers 15 8 .652 LA Lakers 15 11 .577 Phoenix 11 15 .423 Golden State 9 14 .391 Sacramento 10 16 .385 Southwest Division San Antonio 18 9 .667 Houston 16 11 .593 Dallas 15 11 .577 Memphis 13 13 .500 New Orleans 4 22 .154

5.5 6 6 7 1.5 5.5 6 6.5 2 2.5 4.5 13.5

11 Feb 2012  

Kuwait Times

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