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Morsi will obey court ruling on parliament

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Youth groups threaten to boycott opposition


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SHAABAN 22, 1433 AH

Frustrated activists want bold political reforms

Max 48º Min 32º High Tide 05:55 & 18:27 Low Tide 12:17 & 23:26

By B Izzak conspiracy theories

Ask Emirates!!!

By Badrya Darwish


top playing with Kuwait Airways! Whoever is responsible, stop this cunning dirty games. We are not idiots. Since the invasion, Kuwait Airways has been drastically falling down. Everybody blamed the loss of the fleet and aircraft on the invasion. I still remember, and I am sure many others in the country, that Kuwait Airways was the best carrier in the Middle East. What happened with the national carrier? Why has it started an extreme nosedive in the past few years and nobody bothers about it. Nobody speaks until a tragedy happens. An almost fatal flight this week bound to Jeddah landed without a single engine working. Hamdullilah everyone onboard was saved by the mercy of Allah. I heard that Salem Al-Othainah, Minister of Communications and Acting Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, is asking the planes to be grounded because they are unsafe. Why then the planes are in the sky? Today another plane to Jeddah had a snag. There was a delay and the plane had to be changed. There are priorities in life. Human beings are more important. If Kuwait Airways has booked passengers, they can transfer them to other airlines. The money they will pay to transfer passengers is far less than the money they will lose if a plane crashes, God forbid, and kills more than 200 people. Lives of people are more important than delayed passengers. As it is you are losing money left, right and centre but do not wait to have hundreds of people perish in a flight and then decide to wake up to do something. It will be too late to compensate people - the price will be too high in both human life and money. Kuwait Airways’ fleet was not upgraded post-1990. It seems we are talking about a poor government in a remote place on earth that does not have any resources at all. Even those countries have airlines that we hardly ever hear have crashed. I have been hearing about the privatization of Kuwait Airways for 20 years. Finally, the parliament approved it. So, what are you waiting for? Is it so difficult to put together a committee and evaluate the price of the airline and then sell it. Excuse me, if you cannot do it, give it to Qatar Airways and Emirates to solve the problem. Maybe they can do the job. Maybe Emirates will buy Kuwait Airways unless there is someone else who is waiting for the company’s balance sheet to become zero and get it almost for free. It is not shameful to ask for expertise if we cannot do it ourselves. Ask experts who have better experience and who can revive the company. We do not care, take it and enhance it. We want to fly Kuwait Airways and be proud.

KAC union slams govt’s inaction By A Saleh KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways’ workers union charged yesterday “that influential persons in the state want to destroy the national fleet to buy it at a cheap price that does not reflect its true value”. The union called upon the Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah and Minister of Communications Salem Al-Othaina to take an “instant decision” to stop this action and lease or buy new aircraft, especially since people’s lives are on the line. Union President Abdullah Al-Hajiri said the government must keep Kuwait Airways - which was founded in 1954 and is among the oldest aviation companies in the region - in operation. He found it strange that the fleet did not go over 17 planes since the state’s liberation, while companies of neighboring Gulf states established after Kuwait Airways have many times the number. Meanwhile, the union’s Secretary General Hussein Habeeb wondered “what is the government waiting for to take such a decision? Is it waiting for a catastrophe to move and renew the fleet?” Habeeb said the Jeddah incident is a warning and “we thank Allah that it ended peacefully and without losses”. He was referring to a Kuwait Airways flight from Kuwait to Jeddah that narrowly escaped disaster last week because of engine problems. The Airbus A300 with 186 passengers on board made an emergency landing in Madinah, the latest of a series of reported breakdowns in the Kuwait Airways fleet.

KUWAIT: Young Kuwaiti sailors fix the old Kuwaiti flag on a dhow yesterday during preparations for the upcoming pearl diving festival. (Inset) Sailors apply a mixture of white cement and animal grease to the body of a dhow. Pearl-diving trips are held annually under the patronage of HH the Amir in order to keep alive traditions that accompanied the once-important national trade of pearl diving prior to the discovery of oil. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat (See Page 2)

KUWAIT: In a surprising move reflecting frustration and dismay, youth activists yesterday threatened to withdraw their support for the opposition majority bloc unless they adopt broad-based program of reforms that aim at achieving a full parliamentary system and a constitutional monarchy. Several leading opposition figures like Jamaan Al-Harbash, Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Mubarak Al-Waalan, Ammar Al-Ajmi and others immediately responded by expressing total support for the youth reform demands. And the majority bloc decided to change the venue of their next “Monday Diwaniya” gathering to the residence of veteran opposition leader MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun in an important indication to the importance the opposition attaches to the gathering. The youth activists’ new position came in two separate statements which called on the opposition majority bloc to adopt key political reforms or risk losing the support of youth activists who played a pivotal role in the scrapped February elections. A statement signed by 27 leading youth leaders threatened to boycott opposition bloc members unless they explicitly adopt the reform program clearly calling to legalise political parties, transform Kuwait into a single electoral constituency and adopt a fully-elected parliamentary government. In the second statement, the youth Civil Democratic Movement (CDM), formed of youth activists after the February elections, demanded that the opposition must publicly commit to the reform program based on establishing a constitutional monarchy and an elected government. CDM called for an expanded meeting to agree to a well-defined reform program based on establishing a constitutional monarchy and an elected government which should also include a single electoral constituency, political parties and establishing an independent Continued on Page 13

Assad loses envoy in diplomatic defection BEIRUT: Syria’s ambassador to Iraq major blow to Assad, who wants to defected yesterday in protest at the mil- convince a sceptical world that he is itary crackdown by President Bashar Al- conducting a legitimate defence of his Assad’s forces against a 16-month upris- country against foreign-backed armed ing, Syrian opposition sources said. groups bent on toppling the governNawaf Al-Fares, who has close ties to ment. Fares’ decision to jump ship follows the high-profile Syrian security, would flight from Syria last be the first senior diploweek of Brigadier mat to quit the embatGeneral Manaf Tlas, also tled government. a Sunni and once a close There has been no friend of Assad, whose comment from minority Alawite sect Damascus or Baghdad. has relied on Sunni allies A veteran of Assad’s to maintain control of rule who held senior Syria’s majority Sunni positions under the late population. Tlas fled to president Hafez AlParis and has not spoken Assad, Fares is from since of his intentions. Deir al-Zor, the eastern Opposition sources said city on the road to Iraq Fares was leaving Iraq which has been the Nawaf Al-Fares but it was not clear scene of a ferocious where he would go. military onslaught by Assad forces. The first sign of a crack in Syria’s “This is just the beginning of a series of defections on the diplomatic level. diplomatic ranks comes as Assad won We are in touch with several ambassa- further strong backing from the two dors,” said Mohamed Sermini, a mem- major powers resisting Western and ber of the main opposition umbrella Gulf Arab pressure to oust him - Russia group, the Syrian National Council. The and China. Continued on Page 13 defection of Fares, a Sunni, could be a

SANAA: Yemeni security officers and policemen collect evidence as they inspect the site of an explosion at the entrance of a police academy yesterday. — AFP

Suicide bomber attacks Yemen police academy SANAA: A suicide bomber killed at least 22 people outside a police academy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa yesterday, dramatically exposing the government’s vulnerability to Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents despite a US-backed offensive against them. Policeman Fadel Ali told Reuters police cadets were leaving the academy

when the bomber attacked: “We ran to the place and found dozens of cadets covered in blood. Blood was everywhere.” Parts of the cadets’ khaki uniforms were scattered across the dirt outside the academy, and blood spattered the walls. Continued on Page 13

Hundreds of Srebrenica victims buried SREBRENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina: Bosnians yesterday buried 520 victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, with the two alleged masterminds of the slaughter finally on trial for genocide. About 30,000 people gathered at a special memorial centre in Potocari, just outside Srebrenica, for the mass funeral on the 17th anniversary of the worst single atrocity on European soil since World War II. After speeches and the Muslim prayer for the dead, people began hoisting the simple coffins covered in green cloth to carry them to the freshly dug graves. Clouds of red dust rose over the vast cemetery as relatives covered the caskets with earth under the sweltering afternoon sun. Mujo Salihovic, 30, had come to bury his father and one of his brothers - his other brother was already among the 5,137 victims already laid to rest there. “I haven’t told my mother that they will be buried today. She is sick and still believes they will return,” he said tearfully. “If I tell her, it would kill her. I cannot lose her,

she is all that I have left”. It is the first anniversary being commemorated since the massacre’s alleged architects, Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic and political leader Radovan Karadzic, went on trial before the UN war crimes court. In all, around 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb troops who overran the UN protected enclave on July 11, 1995, in the only episode of the 1992-95 Bosnian war to have been ruled a genocide by international courts. US President Barack Obama in a statement slammed moves to downplay the scale of the massacre in a clear swipe at Serbia’s new President Tomislav Nikolic, who said last month that the killings in Srebrenica constituted “grave war crimes” but not genocide. “ The United States rejects efforts to distort the scope of this atrocity, rationalise the motivations behind it, blame the victims, and deny the indisputable fact that it was genocide,” he said. Continued on Page 13

POTOCARI, Bosnia: Two Bosnian Muslim women cry over a relative’s casket during a mass burial ceremony at the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Cemetery yesterday. — AFP




Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

‘Shona’ applied to old dhows Preparations ongoing for pearl diving expedition Committee with the aim of reviving national heritage. Senior captains have been teaching young sailors about various exercises, and rituals observed during the expedition. Bu Hamad ,for example, has been teaching a music class to welcome their visitors like the popular Shibiba, Harickh Shijuni, Lewa and Samri. The songs will be performed at the traditional send-off ceremony scheduled to be held on August 23. “We’ll have to perfect our movements and tunes, so we have been doing this once in every week,” said Bu Hamad. The annual diving festival is being held under the patronage of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al Sabah to keep pearl diving alive, once a very important occupation of many Kuwaitis prior to the discovery of oil in the 1930s.

By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Preparations are being held for the upcoming 24th Pearl Diving Expedition scheduled for after Eid next month. The 150 participants [young divers] of the expedition are continuing training and exercises, before taking a break during Ramadan. Rigorous training has been undergoing for two weeks now. Yesterday, participants witnessed another traditional ceremony; the application of chemical compounds known as ‘shona’. Traditional shona was per formed to waterproofed old dhows, set to sail with the engine-powered fiber glass boats. It was delivered to Kuwait from the United Arab Emirates as a token of appreciation. HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah delivered the vessel to the Pearl Diving

Noise measuring system needed to protect homes near new airport KUWAIT: The planning and evaluation manager at the Environment Public Authority (EPA), Samira Al-Kandari, has announced the EPA’s approval to study the proposed terminal 2 building project at Kuwait International Airport on condition that a noise and air pollution measurement system be installed. Al-Kandari added that the nearness of the airport to residential areas made it important to study all aspects of the project and its possible impact on the surrounding areas in a bid to take all preventive measures to reduce air and noise

pollution resulting from flight take-offs and landings, in addition to problems caused by all other types of vehicles used in the field and runway areas. Further, Al-Kandari said the EPA had set several conditions for companies and contractors to follow during and after executing the project, including sampling specimens of underground water and equipping the site with the necessary tools to immediately and safely deal with problems, such as the exposure from chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide.

Seven injured in road accidents By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A car accident took place on Airport Road above Subhan bridge, resulting in a 77-year- old Indian woman breaking her teeth and suffering a case of hypertension. She was admitted to Al-Adan Hospital. Another car accident took place in Subhan, above Suhban -Al-Adan in which a 36-year-old citizen was injured. He was admitted to Al-Adan Hospital. In an accident that took place on Fahaheel Express Road opposite Fintas, two Egyptian expats suffered facial and head injuries. They were 48 and 24 years old respectively. Also, a 25-year- old citizen suffered chest pain. All were admitted to Al-Adan Hospital. In a car accident that took place along the Fifth Ring Road near Salmiya, a 19-year-old citizen suffered from a spinal cord injury. He was admitted to Mubarak Al-K abeer Hospital. Also, in a car accident that took place in

Hawally, Sharawi roundabout, a 42-year- old female citizen fractured her right arm and was admitted to Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital.

Doha port fire A fire broke at a boat that was stationed at Doha port, resulting in a 35-year- old Iranian expat fracturing his left arm. Two other men, one Iranian and one Egyptian suffered from breathing problems and were administered treatment on the site. The first victim was admitted to Al-Sabah Hospital.

Hit and run case A 60-year-old expat was run over by a speeding vehicle in Sulaibikhat near the traffic light. He died on the spot and his body was removed for an autopsy.

Man suffers fall A 31-year-old Egyptian expat fell from a height in Subhan. He suffered fatal injuries and was admitted to Farwaniya Hospital.

KES special needs teacher murdered in Bristol By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: She was expected to return to Kuwait on Aug 28 to continue her teaching career here but sadly, that won’t happen now. Judith Ege, 58, was murdered while on vacation to Horfield, Bristol, in Southwest England. Based on online accounts, Ege was stabbed to death while on a visit to Horfield with her stepdaughter on July 4. Ege was a brilliant special needs teacher at the Kuwait English School (KES) for over a year. According to Bristol police, Barach Bandavad, a Ministry of Defence employee, was the lone suspect for Ege’s murder. Bandavad has been arrested and is currently in police custody. The suspect was the former partner of Ege’s stepdaughter. Police confirmed her stepdaughter used to live in Bristol and suggested they went to Bristol to collect some of her stepdaughter’s belongings. A stunned friend, who is Ege’s colleague in Kuwait at the KES, said it was just too soon for a good friend and a brilliant teacher to leave, and

unfortunately in such a ‘dreadful’ way. “She was definitely a good teacher and she’ll be missed by many of us here,” a sombre colleague and a close friend told the Kuwait Times. “She was a lovely lady; experienced and very professional. She was always ready to help and support us and was a very dedicated and sincere person,” she said in a tribute to her colleague. According to Ege’s friend, who spoke with the Kuwait Times, Ege had recently signed a contract at KES to be a full-time teacher for their special needs children. “Her love for the special needs children was exemplary; she had the heart and a special touch for these kids and she was about to start full-time in September,” her friend said. Ege was a very health conscious and athletic person. Her family members back in Britain noted Judith was a “beautiful woman, inside out”. In a statement, relatives said she was a talented special needs teacher who had recently been persuaded to come out of retirement. It said: “Judith touched the lives of everyone she

Judith Ege met and left them feeling they were a better person for just having met her.” The suspect is expected to appear at Bristol Magistrate’s Court for arraignment.

New building for manufacturing artificial limbs to open soon KUWAIT: Director of the Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Hospital, Dr. Ammar Al-Baroun, has announced that a new building is to soon be built to replace the current artificial limbs factory in a bid to improve health services offered by the hospital. Commenting on a complaint about the large number of patients and long waiting periods for patients needing physiotherapy care, Al-Baroun said this was caused by a

shortage of female staff members who measure female patients at the artificial limbs center. Also, he noted, men working at the factory seem to better endure the job’s hardships. Responding to a question about the use of some hazardous materials in manufacturing artificial limbs, Al-Baroun stressed that the health ministry only allows the importation of the best medical materials that are approved and accredited by all international medical

bodies. “Nevertheless, some medical materials may become dangerous in cases of abuse”, he remarked. Further, Al-Baroun added that the physiotherapy hospital would make available new developments for patients in the future, such as when the Al-Zaben Center is opened. “We are also discussing having new buildings to replace the current temporary buildings used in OPDs.

KUWAIT: The ambassador of Peru Amador Velasques Garcia held a reception on the occasion of the 191st anniversary of the proclamation of Peruvian Independence Day and to bid farewell to Ambassador Amador Velasques at Al-Jahra ballroom of JW Marriott on Tuesday. A number of diplomats and other dignitaries attended it. — Photos by Joseph Shagra



Kuwait philanthropist on mission to ‘Draw a Smile’ Campaign helps feed low-paid workers

KUWAIT: Bibi Al-Ayoub, the initiator of the “Draw a Smile” campaign, right, is making sure that workers receive their meals every day. — Photos by Joseph Shagra By Velina Nacheva KUWAIT: It is a bit after 11.30am in the parking lot near McDonald’s in Rawda. Under the scorching furnace, a convoy of trucks unloads a flock of workers at the end of their work day. Dressed in blue overalls, in a nanosecond the 300 men form a meandering line around a pile of boxes with food, juice and water. On the other side of the line is Bibi Al-Ayoub, an inspirational Kuwaiti woman who raises money for disadvantaged people living in Kuwait. Al-Ayoub grabs a bag with a meal and drink and distributes it to the workers, one by one. Beside her stand two other Kuwaiti women, Khawla and Aisha, who had donated the money to pay for the food drive that day. “All donors are involved with our “Draw a Smile” campaign. I want them to feel what we feel when we help out those less privileged than us. That is why they are here today,” said Al-Ayoub, handing a meal to Aneeth, a twenty-something boy from India. Khawla, a mechanical engineer, said she feels appreciative that she could help people in need. After she spotted a Twitter announcement about the campaign she immediately became involved. “Being charitable is an important tenet of our religion. It is about helping people and about humanity,” Khawla said, while handing out meals to the workers. AlAyoub, a computer science teacher and a mother of two

News KG mandatory only in second year KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education (MoE) will approve a final report drafted by a special committee formed to study kindergarten level. It has recommended that a student complete the kindergarten’s (year two) before being admitted to a primary school. Sources added that this recommendation will be enforced once it is approved at the impending MoE Undersecretaries Council meeting. They also noted that year one of the kindergarten stage will remain optional. Parents will be fined for not sending the children to kindergarten. 135,000 arrive, 172,000 depart KUWAIT: The Kuwait International Airport has witnessed an unprecedented rise in passenger traffic with the beginning of the summer vacation season, said Essam Al-Zamel, Operations Manager at the Civil Aviation Department. Al-Zamel added that the total number of passengers from June 28 to July 5 stood at 307,507, from a total of 1,812 inbound and outbound flights in addition to 44 extra flights. Furthermore, Al-Zamel explained that 172,089 passengers left and 135,418 arrived at Kuwait Airport. He also noted that 21,660 passengers left onboard 114 regular and three extra flights left Kuwait last Wednesday. Also, 22,170 left on Thursday on board 119 flights. Ramadan drama series KUWAIT: The Ministry of Information has reportedly bought the rights of 11 drama series, TV and radio programs that will be broadcast during the holy month of Ramadan. A total amount of KD 1,568,500 was spent, in addition to paying $ 750,000 to purchase a series on ‘Napoleon’s Campaign in Egypt.’ Sources added that the material was bought after the Central Tender Committee (CTC) sanctioned the Ministry’s request to purchase them directly from producers. More shows may be purchased in the coming days. Furthermore, officials explained that the ‘Zaman Al-Bargouth’ series has cost the ministry KD 234,000, ‘Hebr Al-Oyoun’ cost KD 231,000 and ‘Khawat Donia’ cost KD 217,000. Ban on Mexican poultry import KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) has banned the import of all poultry, eggs from Mexico to Kuwait. Chairman Jassim Al-Bader issued a directive imposing a temporary ban following reports received from the World Organization For Animal Health (OIE) on detecting Avian flu in Mexico.

Technical failure at various labor departments KUWAIT: Official working hours ended on Tuesday without any transactions being completed across various labor departments of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) after a technical glitch, said sources, adding that there were two explanations for failure. Some parties said that it was a deliberate action on the part of an operating company after the ministry failed to pay overdue fees. Sources added that the failure took place after the system was overburdened and turned sluggish before breaking down completely. Commenting on the situation, Bader Al-Farhan, Farwaniya Labor Department Manager denied the operating company’s involvement and stressed that the system was slow in processing transactions, causing a lot of lag. Ahmed Al-Yaseen, Ahmadi Labor Department Manager stressed that the system had reduced the total number of transactions processed daily from 300 to only 70.

grown children, initiated the “Draw a Smile” campaign last August when she realized she wanted to contribute her time and energy to a social cause. “I wanted to do things for others,” she recalled. Every two months Al-Ayoub has a different humanitarian mission and helps take care of different categories of people in need. For the past three months, lowwage workers taking care of the trees and greenery around Kuwait have been the focus of her campaign. The initiative, however, is not only about putting a smile on someone’s face, but about giving hope to those less privileged who live far from home. “It is the feeling that somebody cares for us that makes us happy every day,” said Saathi, a worker from India. Holding the bag of food before boarding the bus that would take him to his accommodation on the outskirts of Kuwait, Saathi turns around with a smile and says: “I feel happy... Every day the food is different.” At this point, Al-Ayoub’s task is partly completed because she has also taken up the responsibility to show teenagers about “the hell” these workers live in. To fulfill this part of her mission, on different donation days Al-Ayoub takes children of friends or relatives to help out and learn about life on the other side of the social spectrum. Her brother’s children, Jassem and Lateefa, are tirelessly helping with the food distribution. “I learn how to give smiles to others,” Jassem says. For Lateefa, being there for another human-being is “a blessing.” On the other hand,

Saleh, 17, whose mother is one of the campaign’s donors, agrees that being part of “Draw a Smile” has been an eyeopener for him. “I learnt that helping these people is the best thing I have ever done. It is very hot, but when I see them smile I feel good,” he said, brushing sweat from his forehead. On a different day, a local restaurant delivered the food for the workers in a co-venture with “Draw a Smile”. Hashtag restaurant has started their Plus One order initiative, meaning that KD 1 will be added to a customer’s bill and with each Plus One a meal will be provided to a low-paid worker. Once the restaurant collects a large number of meals, they deliver them to Al-Ayoub, who distributes them. Hashtag is contributing to each Plus One donation as well, said Dari Alhuwail, co-owner of Hashtag. For him, being part of the campaign and giving out the meals to the workers “was a great feeling.” He said, “You strive to make a difference in society. When you stand in the hot sun you put yourself in their shoes. Then, just seeing them thanking you is an extraordinary feeling.” Stressing that in Kuwait nobody dies of hunger, Dari says that the campaign helps “draw a smile on their face.” Doing good makes all of those involved return day after day. After embarking on the charity project, Al-Ayoub finds it hard to stay away, even for a day. “I go to collect the food at 8am and come to deliver it. I am inspired by all of them.

KUWAIT: Dari Alhuwail, co-owner of Hashtag restaurant, is handing out food to the workers as part of the Draw a Smile campaign. I want to help them with all my heart,” the philanthropist, Al-Ayoub, says and adds: “Those who would like to help can find me here,” she says, and waves goodbye after making sure that every worker has received his meal. “I will be here every day.”

Allowances for citizens employed in private sector to be paid Aug 1 KUWAIT: Disbursement of monthly financial allowances to Kuwaiti nationals employed in the private sector will be made from Aug 1 with no retroactive effect, according to the State Labor Re-Structure Program. Hiam Al-Duwailah, Director of Financial Benefits of the program, cited in a statement yesterday a previous Cabinet resolution in this regard, stipulating that the decision should be in effect as of the first of the third month after its publication in the gazette, noting that it was published on May 20, therefore no retroactive payment will be

made. The relevant decision also stipulates formation of a special commission comprising representatives of the program, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Public Authority for Social Security, to be tasked with drawing up regulations and mechanisms to disburse financial allowances in a manner that ensures that the money reaches punctual and lawabiding personnel. The committee has recently accomplished this task and referred the proposed regulations to the Civil Service Commission, pending turn-up of the employees for payment

Warning against consuming non-packaged dairy products KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality warned against purchasing non-packaged sour milk and raw milk, especially the ones sold by street vendors, due to health risks involved. Director-General of Kuwait Municipality, Ahmad AlSubieh said yesterday that the Municipality has developed a plan covering all municipal centers in the six provinces to ban sale of non-packaged or unidentified sour milk and raw milk. “The municipal regulatory bodies in all branches monitor these vendors, especially those who exploit people’s needs in the holy month of Ramadan, violating regulations and laws,” he explained. Al-Subieh also pointed out the danger of these non-packaged products to public health, because the process of manufacturing them is not subject to any standards or requirements, calling on consumers to cooperate with the municipal services in reporting any case of this kind. —KUNA

Kuwait police bust two forgery rings KUWAIT: Criminal detectives were able to arrest members of two separate gangs who specialized in forging official papers from state offices. The first gang was specializing in forging employment papers from the ministry of health while the second group provided forged “No Objection” papers for expats seeking drivers licenses. Security sources said that authorities became suspicious when they noticed papers for employment for expats being held at the ministry of health that were signed by high officials and stamped with ministry of health stamps, including the stamps of the employment administration. These papers were apparently forged and no original applications could be found in ministry files. For officials, the surprise was not in uncovering 5 files of forged employment certificates, but that the gang operated their forgery scheme from the isolated basement in the ministry where they had set up an office. Sources said, after the arrest of an Egyptian expat who obtained a forged employment paper, he confessed to paying KD 500 for the certificate to a Bengali expat who worked as a “tea boy” at the ministry of health. Detectives report that they kept the Bengali under observation and after 48 hours it was discovered that he was working with two other Bengalis in a gang that forges work permits. Officials said forged certificates were stamped “No Objection” and “Started working”. Officials soon discovered that the group was using an isolated basement in the ministry of health for their work. When the gang members were arrested, police found official stamps from the ministry that were being used for the forgeries. After being arrested, the Bengalis confessed that they were working in cooperation with one Egyptian and 4 Kuwaiti men, who’s role was limited to finding expats willing to purchase certificates. Police are seeking the remaining members of the forgery gang. Security sources said that when the men were apprehended, some 20 finished certificates were found, as well as 20 applications waiting to be processed. Gang members confessed that they charged KD 500 for each file. In addition to the employment file, other files were found having been stamped “Physically Fit”. Police officials said they would remain in touch with the ministry of health. Also, officials said that those who had purchased certificates are to be charged as partners in the crime.

and updating their data. Al-Duwailah indicated that the commission was formed out of the government’s keenness on ensuring that these benefits reach the citizens eligible to earn the financial payments. The program finalized procedures for payment of the 25 percent hike of the social allowance for all citizens working in the private companies and institutions. These were included in the June salaries, retroactive April. Up to KD 330 will be paid in August to personnel specialized in medicine, pharmacy and engineering, KD 230 for those serving in

the sectors of law, auditing, information, statistics, economy, nursing, financing, financial administration, insurance, external trade, banking sciences and teaching, KD 230 for university graduates of other specialties, KD 150 for PhD holders . These are also entitled to be paid allowances to lower segments. This is applicable to the segment of holders of MA degree, who will be paid KD 75. Up to KD 190 has been earmarked for high school graduates, KD 140 for diploma holders, KD 100 for the intermediate certificates’ holders and KD 50 for the illiterate. —KUNA



Local Spotlight

The column

Gross national mismanagement

Understand our culture first!

By Fouad Al-Obaid

By Muna Al-Fuzai Twitter: @Fouadalobaid



hat does a sovereign breach of contract the K-Dow Deal; a crumbling newly erected national stadium - Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium - unable to serve its purpose due to its poorly constructed structural nature; a national airline - Kuwait Airways - forced to ground several of its aging fleet of aircrafts, posting a collective loss standing at a staggering $2.7 billion; a national mosque - Masjid Al-Kabeer - that risks collapsing on the believers heads due to recently discovered cracks, have in common? They are all state projects that are a clear testimony of the ongoing rampant corruption. Alternatively, we could view them as shocking examples of gross mismanagement. These are not the only projects or institutions that are suffering from poor decision-making, they nevertheless are the tip of an ever growing iceberg. The old mentality that seems prevalent in Kuwait is if it is not ‘literally’ broken, do not bother fixing it. In the case of Jaber Stadium, let us build it so poorly that once it’s complete it would serve as a reminder to all of our desolate incompetence! People keep complaining in Kuwait that things are not as good as they ought to be. With a projected twelfth year of budgetary surplus, one is led to wonder what good it is to have money and yet be unable to do anything meaningful with it! Countries are arduously working on developing their national infrastructure, investing in education by inviting world-renowned universities to set shop, earnestly believing in the implementation of a knowledge economy. Globally acclaimed is their ability to not only develop their countries in a record breaking time-schedule - I am thinking of Doha, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, all started developing long after Kuwait. Regardless, here we are with a growing pool of educated and talented individuals who see their educational efforts and skills slowly withering away. The reality is that for much of them without a ‘wasta’ they will never get employed one day. Even if they do, they land up in meaningless, repetitive jobs. Who is to be blamed? ‘Wasta,’ a word any person living in Kuwait needs to come across sooner rather than later. It is a word we all use, but rarely do we give it the proper definition it requires: Corruption: Corruption is what the term ‘wasta’ really comes to means, it is the illegal use of influence through connections to get work done that ought to be done by state employees regardless! The culture of favors that we believe is ascribed to our close social interactions with family and peers is. This is at the essences of our inability to set ourselves free of this mentality that is at the core of our current predicament. Not willing to consider the fact that ‘wasta’ grants people permits without proper inspection; it is what gets poor students good grades; reckless employees with promotions, and the list goes on. What is tragic is the pathetic need to develop a secondary system that goes against the very principles of the modern civil state in which each citizen is equal before the law. It is equally responsible before the law. The given ‘wasta’ system is what will ensure that hierarchical responsibility is overseen when dealing with employees that know senior civil servants. It will ensure that mistakes are made at all State institutions. It is the cancer that will eventually bring down this country of ours should we not place it under check, sooner than later. We will see that as the national population is growing, and with a job market in need to absorb the ever growing numbers of graduates that the ‘wasta’ concept can only go really far in promoting incompetence. When the tipping point comes - and it will come - the tragedy will be asked by a population who believes that religion asks of us a high degree of integrity is void. Perhaps this article is a highlight of pertinent Islamic references and it should be pointed out. As a dear professor once taught me, “once you know something no longer can you deny it, you can only choose to ignore it.” “O ye who believe! Do not squander one another’s wealth in vanities, but let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual good will.” - The Holy Quran, 4:29 “Woe to those who give short measure, who demand of other people full measure for themselves, but give less than they should when it is they who weigh or measure for others! Do these people not realize that they will be raised up on a Mighty Day, a Day when everyone will stand before the Lord of the Worlds? “- The Holy Quran, 83:1-4 “God commands you [people] to return things entrusted to you to their rightful owners, and if you judge between people, to do so with justice.” -The Holy Quran, 4:58 “O you who believe! Fulfill your obligations.” - The Holy Quran, 5:1 “And spend of your substance in the cause of God. And make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; But do good; for God loves those who do good.” - The Holy Quran, 2: 195 May the aforementioned verse act as a reminder to those that profess a faith in Islam and yet decide to contradict public moral, ethics, and their very integrity in search for short-term gains. Philosophy and spirituality aside, let us endeavor together to lay the solid foundations of a moral, ethical, and just society; one that we would pride ourselves to be a member of. Corruption starts at the individual level, let us all strive to perfect our very selves, and to act as counters to corruption by shouldering our collective responsibility to ourselves and peers.

kuwait digest

Playing on the contradictions By Thaar Al-Rashidi


ooking at our political scene, there is no political power active today that is not at least partially involved, in one way or another, in taking sides with one of the fighting wings. There is no political power or group in the state that is totally independent. Therefore, we find several contradicting statements from different groups about situations that do not accept contradictions. Such coalitions, whether they are par tially announced or totally in secret, are the reason behind the lack of specific vision towards any case. Today with and tomorrow against, the day after it becomes a priority and then becomes totally forgotten. None of the groups will remember it and this is what is called “playing on the contradictions” as a coalition with fighting political wings is the reason behind the political contradictions. We are going through this these days, for example yesterday when the amendment of the 2nd article was a priority. Then suddenly, no one remembers it. Before that, priorities were different and on top of them the start of the wheels of the growth plan, which wheels burned before moving one centimeter and today hardly anyone talks about it, no one even mention it. Playing politically on contradictions today is working to reduce the number of votes and deciding whether the five constituencies will continue

with four votes or will they be reduced to only two votes or will the voters be squeezed to only one vote? In order to understand the secret of why, every party is sticking to one of these opinions about reducing votes or not, and we must understand that the interest of two of the fighting groups is for things to remain as is without any change, meaning - five constituencies with four votes. One wing is looking for two votes and pushing for it, and a fourth wing working from behind the curtains wants only one vote. In order to understand the secrets of the game very well, you must notice who favored four votes and who wants two votes and who wants one vote. Only here can you see the shadow players ver y clearly. If we are calling for the independence of the law, it is a priority to call for the independence of political groups and dismantle the coalitions with the fighting wings and play politically in the daylight. Before asking the independence of any police station, you must yourself be independent or at least announce your coalition publicly, then never mind. Note: It is not shameful to have coalitions with any of the fighting groups, but the shame is to not announce this matter and behave as if you are independent in your opinion and your declarations while, in fact, you are tied to complicated coalitions. — Al-Anbaa

Playing politically on contradictions today is working to reduce the number of votes and deciding whether the five constituencies will continue with four votes or will they be reduced to only two votes or will the voters be squeezed to only one vote?

he nation’s culture can actually be a barrier for any newcomer to Kuwait since they need to understand the country’s culture. So, any newcomer needs to know what, how, and when to speak about one’s country and its people, habits and their way of living! Although culture is usually associated with hospitality, no one would offer you a free meal or a place to stay for free just because you are a foreigner or a stranger. The culture actually goes beyond that and this article is a tip of advice for the many newcomers who may accidentally say or act in a way that seems unacceptable or outrageous to the locals. Arabs, in general, take great pride in their roots, histor y, religion and values. No matter how Westerners are, some Arabs appear to have their roots deep down and would not agree to be insulted by anyone, especially by a foreigner. Some newcomers may think it is okay to say bad words or dirty jokes at any time and in front of anyone. Maybe back home, but here you need to avoid saying bad words, even if it is not really dirty ... that could be interpreted as a lack of respect. Knowing the nature of the people is part of understanding the culture and accommodating, as much as adjusting yourself into a conservative society like Arab society. Once, an old expat told me that although he had been living in Kuwait for more than ten years, it is still hard for him to have most Kuwaitis and Arabs as friends. This is not because people are not friendly, but because they may not feel the need to have more friends because family ties are so strong and sufficient. They have a full house already. In the Arab countries, their families are always together. They meet on a regular basis once a week if they are not living in the same house. So, the need to bring more new people, especially from outside of their family or business, is not a matter of necessity. Any newcomer has to be cautioned when saying negative things about Arab culture, beliefs or habits. He or she needs to consider this: it is their country and they may live in it the way they wish. The guests must behave themselves. If anyone is not pleased with the way people of this country live, then they should not be troubled to leave. They won’t be missed anyways. Understanding culture is about respect and accepting others’ ways of thinking and living.

In my view

Green cards for expats

By Labeed Abdal In my View

Mistreatment of bedoons By Dr Hassan Jouhar


t is not acting like a man to beat the bedoo in by displaying our strength against this group by mobilizing security forces, armoured cars, and special forces with greater numbers than are used against groups of unarmed youths who sing Kuwait’s national anthem and raise the flag of the country and the pictures of our Amir. This reflects an ugly and demeaning image about the principle of dealing with issues, be it humanitarian, political or civilized! Attacking women, even those who are citizens among them, just because they support the bedoon and par ticipate in protests and express their opinions, is certainly not a manly act, and does not reflect Kuwait’s humanitarian nature. Spraying children with hot water and having masked men with batons scare them is certainly not manly, and such scenes do not express the nation’s security philosophy! M ak ing up accusations, especially treason, without evidence or just trial, and having the hangman becoming a judge while the suspec t remains without a lawyer, only

to demean this weak group out of a racist and sick spirit, is not a manly act... False promises, and showing off in front of microphones and the media about giving humani-

False promises, and showing off in front of microphones and the media about giving humanitarian rights to bedoon children, then behaving the opposite behind doors, is not manly and does not fit the attributes of credibility and responsibility of men!

tarian rights to bedoon children, then behaving the opposite behind doors, is not manly and does not fit the attributes of credibility and responsibility of men! Having outstanding bedoon students with GPAs of over 95% cr y, but ignoring them and depriving them from a university education, is for sure not manly and does not fit the manners of our first and last teacher, the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)! Claiming that the martyrs’ children, soldiers of liberation, oil workers and holders of post graduate certificates, and others who make up more than 35,000, deserve naturalization based on proof and documents, only to have them attacked, tortured and executed every day is certainly not manly, and this is another image of the chaos that is rampant in our country and seen with great regret. Such words should be documented, because it is certain that this file will not remain closed forever, and the children of Taima who are in fear today will be victorious at the end because their adversaries do not enjoy manhood. — Aljarida


green card provides permission to reside and work in the country on a permanent basis. It is an immigration process that will develop into a permanent stay in the country after having been a lawful resident. It also can be taken away if there is any failure to meet local regulations and can positively lead to naturalization. In Kuwait, there are thousands of foreigners who have lived and worked here for ten years or more and respect all the rules made by the government and have made Kuwait their home. Those people want to stay here with their families since they feel there is no where else to go, as they lived, married and even had their children here. We need to make serious reforms in the Immigration laws in Kuwait, as the sponsor system must be canceled to leave this matter between the expat and the state. Moreover, the types of jobs, services provided, responsibilities and levels of income for an expatriate must be considered for a permanent visa, whenever Kuwait starts to consider this matter. Also, making people suffer and become unfairly distracted, by making them live with 30 days entry visas or work visas that can be misused by employers, must come to an end. However, at least for me, I think, we must develop clear and responsible channels to add new citizens to our population, especially with the countries in which we have no hesitation. They have already been granted visitation from the last half century, their nationality to our own people and mobilized locally by the legislative and executive powers to avoid considering dual nationality a crime. Frankly, I have seen tonnes of people who consider Kuwait to be a great place to live in, have become adapted to its culture and had great and friendly relations with its people. We, indeed, want them not to feel unwelcome or extremely worried whenever the clock starts its quick ticking towards expiry dates for their visas or passports....




Promotion of domestic tourism during Ramadan ‘a necessity’ Fastest growing economic sector

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah receiving at Bayan Palace yesterday His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

MSAL constructs shelter for laborers KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor(MSAL) has completed the construction of a permanent shelter for expatriate laborers who face problems with their sponsors. They are currently working toward completing some formalities, sources said. They added that permanent shelter accommodates nearly 700 individuals and has segregated areas for men and women. Cells from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health with a number of doctors and nurses and a laboratory to

conduct medical tests will be operational in the facility. The shelter accepts cases of individuals that approach their respective embassies or through the Ministry of Interior. If laborers approach the shelter personally, they can call their sponsor to finalize settlements. After negotiating with the sponsor, air tickets can be issued. In case the sponsor cannot be reached for any reason, the ministry will issue air tickets. The shelter is expected to open in less than a month’s time. —Alanbaa

KUWAIT: Tourism is an important source of income for many countries and an essential factor for economic stability and achievement of development. In addition, tourism contributes to finding a recreational atmosphere that meets the needs of those families and individuals seeking rest and recreation, especially in holiday seasons where many spend their leisure time in Kuwait or abroad. The concept of tourism as defined by the World Tourism Organization means activities exercised by travelers who reside in places outside the usual environment for a period ranging from one day to less than a year in order to spend leisure time, shopping, trade, treatment or other. According to statistics from the Organization, the tourism sector is the fastest growing economic sector in terms of growth rate of eight percent per annum and contributes about 11 percent of GDP at the global level, as well as it provides job opportunities by 10 percent of the total workforce and accounts for nine percent of the total investments. These statistics show that the Gulf citizen is the highest in terms of spending during the

tour standing at about USD 1,500 for the trip, which is equivalent to twice as much spent by European tourists, thus, paying more attention to the tourism sector in the GCC is becoming a must. Kuwait, according to its vision of future development plan, seeks to be a regional tourism hub benefiting the citizens through the promotion of indigenous traditions and a distinct culture. The interest in recreational activities for Ramadan is also a necessity sought by the country to attract the attention of a major segment of readers, making it a nucleus Kuwait could depend on to find a tourist atmosphere for Ramadan to attract Kuwaiti and other nationalities, especially in light of Ramadan coinciding with the summer holiday. On this issue, a number of citizens called on state officials concerned to increase local entertainment and recreational activities during the fasting month in order to meet needs of citizens and residents who wish to enjoy the unique atmosphere of Ramadan. They agreed in separate interviews with Kuwait News Agency that this summer is wit-

nessing a number of changes that have affected those wishing to travel abroad to spend their vacation, making the local tourism a “suitable alternative” for them. Salman Al-Fadhli, an employee in the Ministry of Information, said that the state of instability experienced by some countries forced them to look for other alternatives or spend the summer vacation in Kuwait or even seek nearby countries for a short vacation. He believed that other factors that could affect those who want to travel during the summer season is high prices of airline tickets and hotels because of such unusual circumstances. For her part, Nadia Al-Hatem, a college student, stressed the need for paying more attention to domestic tourism as being the most important feature of countries seeking to develop their tourism industry. She also called for the organization of a summer festivals like (Hala February) to promote domestic tourism and for the revitalization of this sector, so as to enhance the national economy and satisfy the needs of citizens. —KUNA

Al-Hasawi family officially owns Nottingham Forest Football Club LONDON: Kuwait’s Al-Hasawi Family announced on Tuesday that it has just completed acquiring English Nottingham Forest Football Club FC. In a press statement on Nottingham Forest’s website, AlHasawi said “It is an honor and a privilege for the Al-Hasawi family to assume control of this great Club that is steeped in history and with the outstanding legacy left by its previous owner Nigel Doughty.” The value of the takeover was not mentioned. Al-Hasawi, who had been negotiating the takeover for several weeks with the estate of the late owner Nigel Doughty, noted that there “are challenging times ahead,” but added “we look forward with excitement towards a new successful future.” “Over the next few weeks, we will be

working closely with our players, on-field and off-field team members in preparation for the forthcoming season, “ said the statement, signed by Fawaz, Abdulaziz and Omar Al-Hasawi. “On Saturday 14 July 2012, we will be holding the new season’s shirt launch at the City Ground together with a press conference,” the statement noted. On his Twitter account, Al-Hasawi thanked his brothers “Abdulaziz and Omar for their efforts.” Nottingham Forest is two-time European Cup winners, and in 1999 their former owner Doughty took control of the club. Al-Hasawi, in a message to the Club’s supporters, said “you can be assured of our best efforts in bringing the Reds back to the top of the table.” —KUNA

82 countries to participate in the Holy Quran contest DUBAI: As many as 82 countries and Muslim communities across the world have so far agreed to participate in the 16th session of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award, which is slated to run from Ramadan or Aug 1 to 20. Chairman of the award organizing committee Ibrahim Bu Melha said this year would see the first participation of Ireland with the youngest contestant, an eight-year-old boy. “This is the first time for Ireland to compete in the global contest with a very special participant who memorizes the Holy Quran in full despite his young age.” The 9-category award, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is aimed to serve the Holy Quran and promote the general standard of the Quranic performance. This year the organizing committee had contacted over 160 countries for participation.

“Big prizes await toppers: The first winner will be awarded 250,000 dirhams and the second 200,000 dirhams. The third winner will take home 150,000 dirhams and the fourth winner 65,000 dirhams, while each winner till the 10th position will receive 5,000 dirhams less than the winner just above him. The other participants will each get 30,000 dirhams,” he said. Members of the judging panel have also been elected for both the main international competition and the most beautiful recitation contest. These include Sheikh Mohammed Kharuf-Syria, Sheikh Ali Alhafashi-Yemen, Sheikh Ahmed Alsudais-Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Faraj Alshazli-Egypt, Sheikh Mustafa TouriSenegal, as well as the tuneful voices judge Sheikh Ahmed Altrabulsi-Kuwait. “All the jury members are experienced in judging international Holy Quran awards worldwide,” said Bu Melha, who is also Adviser to the Ruler of Dubai for Cultural and Humanitarian Affairs. —Agencies

Pool drownings spark safety call MANAMA: Property owners have been urged to ensure they hire professional lifeguards after two women drowned in swimming pools on the same day in Bahrain. Saudi Noora Jassim Shamlan Al Mansoori died at the Al Khobar Plaza in Juffair despite the frantic efforts of her sister to save her. The 20year-old had been swimming with relatives when she drowned at around 10.30pm on Monday. Filipino Merlin Bandoc also died on the same day after she got into difficulties while swimming with friends in a pool at another furnished apartment in Juffair. Bahraini Interior Ministry officials confirmed the deaths, which bring the number of drowning victims to six within three months. Sources said Ms Al Mansoori died despite the valiant attempts of her elder sister to save her. “Three of her sisters were swimming with her as she didn’t know how to swim,” they said. “One of them took her into deep end, while the others were busy. “The elder sister came out to take a drink and saw Al Mansoori drowning. “She tried to hold her and pull her out of the water, but was unable to do so.” Staff at Al Khobar Plaza said they only became aware of her death when police

arrived. “We were not allowed to enter the poolside as it was ladies-only event booked by the family,” they said. “According to the night shift, there were six women, three sisters, a mother and two aunties, from the same family.” It is understood the family had been staying at the building on holiday. Bandoc, 42, reportedly took the chance to go out with friends while her sponsor was out of the country. “She was out with her friends for when the incident took place,” sources told the GDN. “Her sponsor went to Dubai for few days and she went out to meet a friend, who invited her to another friend’s apartment in Juffair.” Philippine Embassy officials could not be reached for comment, but according to immigration sources Ms Bandoc had been living in Bahrain for around two and a half years. The deaths sparked a warning from the Bahrain Swimming Society about the lack of properly-trained lifeguards and quality of safety in some swimming pools. “Some hotels and furnished apartments hire lifeguards who are not qualified or skilled for the job and they take them to get license from the authorities,” said a spokesman. “But they are not professionals and don’t know how to act incase of emergency.” —Agencies

KUWAIT: Oil Minister Hani Hussein and other dignitaries at the launching of a new gas booster plant yesterday. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Global oil market ‘fairly stable’ KUWAIT: Minister of Oil Hani Hussein said here yesterday the world oil market is “fairly stable” in spite of the current global events that could negatively affect oil prices. Speaking to reporters while launching a new gas booster plant, the minister said the global oil market is “fairly stable” despite international ban on Iranian oil supplies and concerns over workers’ strikes in Norway. Pointing to political and geographical factors that could impact on the oil market, the Kuwaiti minister hoped that global oil prices would be stable in the coming

period for the common interest of consumers and producers altogether. Asked about possible reflections of oil prices on the Kuwaiti state budget in which a barrel is estimated at $65, he said the ministries of oil and finance are always keen on precautionary oil price quotation, given that oil prices are always up and down throughout the year. But, he sounded the alarm about surging expenditure over the last years owing to the current oil price drop. On planned refinery and environmental fuel project, the minister said the project is in the final stage

Kuwait’s hosting of intellectual property training center extolled RIYADH: President of intellectual property training center in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Saad Al-Thifiri praised here yesterday Kuwait’s hosting of the center’s headquarters. Al-Thifiri said over the phone following his recent visit to Kuwait that the center is the first qualitative training center specializing in the rehabilitation of GCC human element. He noted that the center specializes in all areas of intellectual property, copyright, trademarks, trade secrets, patents, integrated electronic circuits and industrial designs. He said those areas are the heart of the preservation of the rights of intellectual property organized by several international conventions and treaties of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), based in Geneva. He added that the GCC countries are all members of this global organization, which oversees more than 24 international treaties and agreements concerned with the conservation of intellectual property rights. —KUNA

Phone call from Arab League chief KUWAIT: Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and current Chairman of the Arab League’s Ministerial Council Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah received a phone call from Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Arabi yesterday. During the call, they discussed work programs of the Council, in addition to reviewing common affairs and political developments on regional and international levels. Sheikh Sabah also received a letter from Kenyan counterpart Sam Ongeri, which focused on bilateral relations. —KUNA

of tendering, noting that the mammoth projects are expected to cost a total of $25 billion, and to employ 100,000 workers. For his part, Chairman and Managing Director of Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) Fahad Al-Ajmi said it is now time for major projects to be carried out. Speaking to KUNA while attending the gas station launching ceremony, he said: “It is now the best time for executing projects.” He said the estimated costs of the new oil refinery and environmental fuel projects hit KD 4 billion and KD 4.6 billion respectively.

Relevant assessments for relevant bids are to be completed by the end of July, he pointed out. Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) Deputy Chairman and Deputy Managing Director Mazen Al-Sardi said on the same occasion it took three years to launch for the new gas booster station (BS-171) in west Kuwait. He said the contract of the project is worth KD 162 million, adding that the new gas facility handles 500 million cubic feet of associated gas. He lauded the project as a major step towards the achievement of the country’s all-out strategic development drive. —KUNA



Kuwaiti professor locks self in US Embassy toilet Irate wife stabs love rat husband

National Guard stresses importance of cooperation with US Army KUWAIT: Acting Commander of logistical support in the National Guard Brig Gen Faleh Shuja’a stressed here yesterday the importance of coordination and cooperation the US military through exchange of experiences, joint trainings and exchange of visits. This came during a visit to the National Guard by Commander of the 364th battalion in the US Army Brig Genl Jonathan Iviz at the head of a delegation that included Assistant Commander of the 316th division for support and backing Col Bruce

Hackett on the occasion of the latter’s end of term. Shuja’a briefed the US delegation on logistical support system implemented in the National Guard and its readiness for supporting state agencies, referring to the distinctive capabilities possessed by the National Guard to perform any task. On his par t, Brig Iviz thanked the National Guard for the constructive cooperation with the US military, stressing that the National Guard is a good example in combat readiness. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Representatives of the US Embassy in Kuwait refused to press charges against a Kuwaiti University professor who locked himself in the embassy’s toilet for an hour before he was forced out by the embassy security, said security sources. The sources added that the professor, who had been known as a trouble-maker, was referred to state security for two hours before he was sent to the police station near the embassy. However, on calling the embassy to file a case, official representatives refused to press any charges saying that they were well-aware of the professor’s health and psychological state and that he ‘meant no harm to anybody’. Forgery busted Three Bangladeshis were arrested for forging official documents, namely work permits and MOH recruitment decisions, said security sources. Case papers indicate that an Egyptian was arrested with a forged recruitment document for which he said he paid KD 500. The man led to a Bangladeshi MOH porter who forged the document. Fur ther investigations showed that the suspect had two other compatriots of his and that the three of them used the basement of a deserted MOH building to forge the documents. On arresting them, detectives found fake MOH stamps. The three suspects

led to other accomplices; an Egyptian and four citizens who have been summoned for further investigations. Wife stabs husband A citizen was rushed to Mubarak hospital with shoulder injuries after his wife stabbed him. Case papers indicated that the man, who got married to a second woman without his wife’s knowledge, returned home thinking that his first wife had no clue. When she confronted him, he confessed to the second marriage without predicting the consequences. He was soon moved to a local hospital by paramedics and a case was filed. ‘Missing’ girl found A citizen reported that his 16year-old daughter had been missing for 12 hours. The father and a maid searched the whole house without finding the girl and he hysterically rushed to a police station reporting her absence. While at the station, he received a call from the girl’s mother who told him that the girl had been sound asleep all the time in the only place they did not search; her older brother’s room. Indian found dead A 29-year-old Indian was found hanging in his room in Abu Halifa, said security sources. A case was filed and further investigations are in progress.

Husband vs husband During an accident, a citizen’s vehicle collided with another which had lady passengers in it. Both the sides had an argument and the ladies called their husbands. “Do you think your boyfriend here will frighten me?” one husband mockingly asked, which angered the other husband and he taught him a good lesson before forcing him to flee the scene. Bedoons under probe The public prosecutor yesterday resumed interrogating 11 bedoons who were arrested for demonstrating in Taima and Jahra. The suspects are facing charges of violating the rallies’ law which bans demonstrations by more than five people without prior permission, jeopardizing public security, and disobeying security forces by shouting antigovernment slogans. ‘Uncensored’ videos sale An Asian was arrested for selling uncensored movies outside AlQurain co-ops, said security sources. A citizen bought a movie for his son and on watching it at home, he found out that it contained uncensored racy scenes which prompted him to lodge a complaint. Customers stop fight Three Asians working at a Farwaniya restaurant sustained seri-

ous injuries when they fought using knives and other sharp objects. Customers had to intervene and put an end to their brawl. Butcher accident A 37-year-old butcher accidently chopped off his own finger while cutting meat with an electric knife at a Shuwaikh slaughterhouse. Citizens arrested Three citizens were arrested by coastguards for sailing into a restricted area, said security sources. A case has been filed. Two citizens were arrested in Farwaniya for drug abuse, said security sources noting that one of the suspects was found wanted in 22 drug-related cases. Asian nabbed An Asian taxi driver was arrested with the possession of 120 grams of heroin for sale. Case papers indicate that detectives had been tipped off. A secret agent made a deal with him and he was caught red-handed upon delivery. Robbers caught Shuwaikh detectives identified and arrested the men who broke into a safe in Shuwaikh industrial area. Security sources said the two robbers were Egyptians with criminal records. The suspects were arrested in Sulaibiya with KD 4,000 from the money they stole.

Four citizens held for possessing, selling of drugs By Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: Brig Gen Jonathan Iviz and Col Bruce Hackett pictured during their visit to the National Guard yesterday.

Vietnam invites tourists, investors (A letter to Kuwaitis and foreigners in Kuwait from Bui Quoc Trung, Ambassador of Vietnam in Kuwait) Dear, friends! The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is now known as a country of peace, stability, dynamic development, an active and responsible member of the international community and an attractive destination for foreign investors, businessmen and visitors. With our foreign friends, including Kuwaiti people and foreigners in Kuwait, Vietnam is a beautiful country with enormous potential, of the friendly, benevolent and hospitable Vietnamese and of Vietnam’s fascinating history and traditional culture imbued with national identity. For the tourism, Vietnam has a lot of types. There are some tourism t ypes: Shopping, Eco -tourism, Adventure tours and Sports, Medical Treatment and Spa, Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) Tourism... Because Vietnam has deltas with a lot of rivers, channels, the produc ts from the farms and fresh water in general speaking such as fruits, vegetable... ; the mountainous areas with a lot of beautiful valleys, flowers (we have flower city with the international flower festival every year organized in this city), the products from the forests; and very long coastline with beautiful beaches, islands, islets and sea products. There are also a lot of five star resorts, hotels, diversified gastronomy and traditional festivals. Lying in the centre of South East Asia, one of the world’s most dynamic regions, borders China to the nor th, Laos and Cambodia to the west, and the East Sea and the Gulf of Thailand to the east and the south, the mainland of Vietnam covers over 331,221 square km with the total length of 1,750 km. The territory also includes thousands of islands and islets scattered along the coast.

Among these are Truong sa (Spratley Islands) and Hoang Sa (Paracel Islands). Vietnam’s coastline measures more than 3260 k m in the length and its inland border is 4510 km long. Vietnam lies in the tropical and temperate zones, so its climate is influenced by two monsoons. In the North, there are four seasons, with average temperatures of around 17 decree C in winter and 34 decree C in the summer. In the south, the climate undergoes less variation with an annual average temperatures of around 27 decree C in Ho Chi Minh city. Around three quar ters of Vietnam’s territory consists of mountains and hills. Vietnam has t wo major deltas, the Red River Deltas and the Mekong Deltas, as well as four mountainous zones. They are the North-East, the North-West, the Truong Son Mountain Range, and the Centre Highlands. Each of them possesses its own unique feature. The Vietnam population exceeded 86 million and consists of 54 ethnic groups. The largest group is the Viet (Kinh), concentrated mainly in the delta regions. M ost of minorit y groups live in the highlands and mountainous areas. Vietnam is a nation with thousand years of history. Archaeological artifacts of the Phung Nguyen, Dong Dau, Go Mun va Dong Son cultures, especially discoveries of the bronze drums of Ngoc Lu have proved that Vietnam was a cradle of the developed civilizations before Christ. Vestiges of the historic period of the Hung K ings have revealed that Vietnam is one of the oldest countries in southeast Asia. All of you (the friends of Vietnam) are welcome to Vietnam. Best Regard, BUI QUOC TRUNG Ambassador of Vietnam

Registration for scholarships in Saudi universities starts KUWAIT: The Ministry of Higher Education announced the start of the third registration period for bachelor degree scholarships offered by Saudi Arabia. The registration process will begin today until July 18, the Ministry said in a press statement. Students wishing to enroll in these scholarships should visit the Ministry’s website and follow registration instructions, the statement explained. The offered scholarships target majors

of engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and human medicine at both King Saud University and King Abdul-Aziz University. The aforementioned universities require a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 90 percent. Umm Al-Qura University, meanwhile, offers a scholarship in Shari’ah and Islamic Studies. It requires a GPA of 85 percent for those interested in the major. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Drug Fighting Administration officers have arrested four citizens on charges of selling hashish. Authorities had received information that one of the arrested men was suspected of selling illegal drugs. After verifying that the suspect was selling drugs, authorities received permission to arrest the man. After being apprehended at his home, officers foun d a bag with n in e pi e ce s of h ash ish in th e suspec t ’s be d room wrapped in a piece of nylon. Also found were two small bags containing marijuana, other unspecified drugs, as well as equipment used for consuming drugs. The suspect,

after confessing, said he bought his drugs from a second person, who was later arrested. Further, the second suspect was found to have other drugs, including methamphetamine, at his home. Officials report that the second suspect confessed to supplying drugs to the first man and told of a third and four th suspec t, brothers, who had been sold drugs. Police repor t the brothers later resisted arresting officers and attempted to discard their drugs while attempting to flee. After being apprehended, the brothers were found to have small amounts of drugs in their possession. All four suspects and the drugs were transferred to law enforcement authorities.

Bid to save Bahrain’s fish, shrimp stocks MANAMA: Authorities are stepping up measures to safeguard Bahrain’s already dwindling fish and shrimp stocks. The Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife will monitor shrimp supplies being brought into the mainland to prevent overfishing and preserve marine stocks. It comes as the annual shrimping ban, which starts on March 15, will be lifted on Sunday. “The four-month ban on shrimping will be lifted on July 15, but we at the commission are concerned about the depleting stock,” said the commission’s marine resources director-general Jassim Al Qaseer.

“If we look at Saudi Arabia and Kuwait the shrimping ban there is for six months, but in Bahrain it was initially three months and then it was increased to four.” Al Qaseer was speaking at a Press conference yesterday at the commission’s headquarters at Beit Al Tijjar, which was attended by officials from the fisheries sector. He hoped the off-season would be extended to six months to allow stocks to properly replenish. He said the multi-million dinar industry’s supply was not being properly regenerated because shrimps need at least six months to reach maturity and reproduce. However, the proposed plan has faced setbacks

from fishermen, who fear their only source of income could be in jeopardy. “There are several social and economic pressures we face from fishermen, who say their source of livelihood will be affected,” he added. Al Qaseer stressed tougher punishments should be enforced on violators to tackle the growing problem as an increasing number of shrimp trawlers encroached coral reefs and rocky areas, affecting marine life. He said it comes as Bahrain has been urged to better protect its marine life in a recent study about aquamarine resources in the GCC and Jordan, which was carried out by an international research group. —MCT

TSC launches Lebanese food festival KUWAIT: The Sultan Center this week is hosting a Lebanese Festival to celebrate and highlight the grocer y chain’s wide selection of Lebanon’s favorite products: fruits and vegetables. Launched at The Sultan Center Souq Sharq during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony held under the patronage of the Lebanese Ambassador to Kuwait, Bassam Naamani inaugurated the Lebanon Festival in the presence of senior management and suppliers. Following the launch, Naamani was guided on tour of TSC Souq Sharq, enjoying traditional Lebanese delicacies and witnessing the large variety of fresh Lebanese fruits and vegetables available at all TSC stores. Commenting on the launch of the Lebanon Festival, Naamani said, “Kuwait and Lebanon share cultural and historical ties dating back to many years. Our strong bilateral relations have mutually benefited the countries through trade, and The Sultan Center is one of our strongest partners in providing Kuwait’s residents with Lebanon’s rich variety of goods.” Customers can enjoy the great variety of fresh Lebanese vegetables and fruits that are the perfect choice during summer like melons, apples, tangerines, grapes and cherries, by visiting any TSC Sultan store and indulging in taste samples. Commenting on the festival on behalf of TSC management, Bassam Zantout, Commercial Director for The Sultan Center said, “We are privileged to have Naamani inaugurate our festival, and proud to host such a great selection of Lebanese products in our stores. We care for our Lebanese customers, and aim to provide them with everything from home they could possibly need. Our range of Lebanese fruits

and vegetables are sourced from the best brands and suppliers in Lebanon, and flown in fresh for our customers. We aim to serve the Lebanese community, as well as customers of all nationalities, and the launch of initiatives such as this show how TSC remains Kuwait’s premier grocery destination.”


Wife of Tetra Pak heir found dead in London

Syrian opposition slam Russia for aiding violence Page 8

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VIENTIANE: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is greeted at the Ho Phra Keo Temple yesterday in Vientiane, Laos. Clinton is the first American Secretary of State to visit Laos in 57 years to visit the nation. — AFP

Clinton in Laos on landmark visit ‘Here in Laos the past is always with you’ VIENTIANE: Hillary Clinton yesterday became the first US secretary of state to visit Laos for 57 years, on a trip focused on the damaging legac y of the Vietnam War and a controversial dam project. At Vientiane’s flag-bedecked Wattay International airport, Clinton was given flowers by girls in traditional purple-silk costumes, kicking off her brief but historic trip. The US “desire was to deepen and broaden” the relationship, Clinton said after a visit to a US-funded orthotic and prosthetic centre, which she described as a “painful reminder of the legacy of the Vietnam War era”. “Here in Laos the past is always with you,” she said, addressing US embassy employees. US forces dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos between 1964 and 1973 in some 580,000 bombing missions to cut off North Vietnam supply lines. Some 30 percent of the ordnance failed to detonate. All 17 of the country’s provinces are still contaminated by unexploded ordnance and Laos remains the most heavily bombed country, per capita, in history. Clinton, making a four-hour whirlwind trip, met Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong at his office in an elegant white-columned building with two large elephant statues outside. The pair had “substantive discussions on the broadening bilateral

cooperation”, according to a joint statement released after the meeting. The countries “agreed to improve and further facilitate the accounting operations for American personnel still missing from the Indochina War era” and address the “remaining challenges” of unexploded ordnance, the statement said. They also discussed the forthcoming entry of landlocked Laos, one of the poorest nations in the world with just 6.5 million people and annual GDP growth of seven percent, into the World Trade Organization ( W TO). Clinton also held talks with Foreign M inister Thongloun Sisoulith and she said they had “traced the arc of our relationship from addressing the tragic legacies of the past to finding a way to be partners in the future”. Clinton is only the second secretary of state to visit Laos after John Foster Dulles, who spent a day in the then-monarchy in 1955. She was invited to Laos by Sisoulith in 2010 who was the first top Laotian official to visit Washington since the Sovietbacked communist rebels swept to power, ousting the monarchy, in 1975. US relations with Laos, while never severed, were long tense, in part over its campaign against the Hmong hill people who assisted US forces during the Vietnam War. But the United States established normal trade ties

with Laos in 2004 and annual US aid to Laos will be around $30 million in total for 2012, a US embassy official said. Of that, $9.2 million will be set aside this year for cleaning up unexploded ordnance. According to official figures, there has been a fall in accidents involving such munitions from 300 a year to roughly 92 in 2011. Clinton said she hoped in the future there would by ways “to give people and particularly children of this nation the opportunity to live their lives free of these unexploded bombs”. Another of the main thrusts of the trip was talks on controversial plans by Laos to build a massive dam on the Mekong River, which governments and environmentalists warn could have a devastating effect on millions of people. During regional talks in Bali last year, Clinton called for a moratorium on dam building along the river-the world’s largest inland fishery. Activists say the dam projects could spell disaster for 60 million people who depend on the Mekong waterway. A senior state department official said the US welcomed a recent move by Laos to stall the construction of the $3.8 billion hydroelectric project at Xayaburi until its neighbours’ environmental concerns have been answered. — AFP

54 migrants die of thirst in Mediterranean boat drama GENEVA: Fifty-four migrants trying to reach Italy died of thirst when their inflatable boat ruptured in the Mediterranean, according to testimony from the sole survivor, the UN refugee agency said. The rescued man, who drank sea water to survive, was spotted clinging to a jerry can and the remains of the stricken boat off the Tunisian coast on Monday night by fishermen who alerted the coast guard, the UNHCR said. The man, who is being treated in a Tunisian hospital for exposure and dehydration, said there was no fresh water on board and people started to perish within days, including three

members of his family. “He’s in a pretty awful state and he’s obviously gone through a terrible, terrible experience progressively watching his family members dying,” said Sybella Wilkes, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokeswoman. In his account of the 15-day ordeal, the man from Eritrea said 55 people boarded the boat in the Libyan capital Tripoli in late June and reached the Italian coast a day later. But high winds forced the vessel back out to sea and within a few days the boat had punctured and air started to leak out, the man told the UNHCR. He said more than half of the victims

were from Eritrea and that the remaining victims came from a number of countries. “ This is a tragedy,” said T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees. “I call upon all vessels at sea to be on heightened alert for migrants and refugees needing rescue in the Mediterranean.” The UN agency estimates that 170 people have been declared dead or lost at sea attempting to make the journey from Libya to Europe so far this year. Greece and Italy are the two main entry points for undocumented immigrants into the European Union, and Italy in particular has seen a spike in arrivals over the past year following the Arab

Spring revolts in North Africa. Malta is also a frequent landing point but is increasingly being spurned by immigrants worried about the relatively lengthy registration process for new arrivals, the UNHCR said. “With that knowledge, people are going on to Italy,” said Wilkes. “We didn’t see this at all last year, that boats are finding their way to Malta and then refusing to go in.” So far in 2012, more than 1,300 people have made the sea journey to Italy from Libya, the UNHCR said. The busiest period for crossings is from May to September, when the Mediterranean Sea is at its calmest, the agency added. — AFP

US Navy divers to search WWII plane for bodies OTTAWA: US Navy divers plan to search yesterday the wreck of a US Air Force airplane that sank in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in 1942 for the remains of five American crewmen, an official said. Canadian underwater archeologists accidentally discovered the wreck of the amphibious aircraft in 2009 during routine work, about two kilometers (1.2 miles) off the coast of the village of LonguePointe-de-Mingan, Quebec. A 50-person US military recovery team “will conduct underwater excavations to search for the remains of the victims as well as any of their personal belongings,” Parks Canada said in a statement. The Catalina seaplane had foundered in rough weather on November 2, 1942, in the waters surrounding what is now the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve in the eastern part of the gulf. It was based at Presque Isle, Maine, in the United States, and serviced an airfield in LonguePointe-de-Mingan, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) northeast of Montreal. Nine people were on board when the aircraft went down. Four of the crew escaped the flooding plane and were rescued by local fishermen rowing out from shore in open boats in rough seas. The five others perished, trapped inside. The recovery mission “is significant because it is a witness of the collaboration between Canada and the United States during World War II, particularly in respect to the aerial bridge developed between North America and Europe,” said Canadian Senator Michel Rivard. “The government of Canada will do all it can to assist JPAC (US Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command) in their solemn mission.” In 1941 and 1942, the United States constructed a series of airfields in eastern Canada to ferry aircraft to Allied air forces in northern Europe, as part of the so-called “Crimson Route.” The construction of the airfield in Longue-Pointede-Mingan was meant to serve as an emergency landing strip along the ferry route between Presque Isle and Goose Bay, Labrador. — AFP



Libya’s Jibril extends lead in latest vote tallies TRIPOLI: Libya’s wartime prime minister Mahmoud Jibril extended his lead in the North African country’s landmark elections, partial vote tallies showed yesterday, as Islamist rivals tried to bolster their score by striking deals with independent candidates. Jibril’s National Forces Alliance headed for a landslide win in the eastern district covering the towns of Tobruk and Derna, seen as a hardline Islamist stronghold, suggesting his support was broader than urban areas such as the capital Tripoli. He was also leading in Sabha, the main town of the desert south. Justice and Construction, the political arm of Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood, led in the central town of Shati - one of the few areas where

Jibril’s alliance did not stand. Libya’s first free national vote in six decades has been hailed as a success by observers despite election-day violence that claimed at least two lives. Analysts say Jibril has benefited from his prominence as one of the main figures of last year’s uprising to end 42 years of dictatorship under Muammar Gaddafi, and is perceived by many Libyans as a safe pair of hands for rebuilding the economy. Many of the candidates of Justice and Construction were either less well known or were hamstrung by local perceptions that their party has ties with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, clashing with a strong local sense of national sovereignty.

However Jibril’s gains will not automatically translate into dominance of the 200-seat interim national assembly which is set to choose a prime minister and cabinet before setting the stage for full parliamentary elections in 2013. Candidates on party lists have only been allotted 80 seats, meaning they will be outnumbered by independent candidates whose allegiances are hard to pin down and who may strike deals with Islamist parties. Western Mountains independent candidate Abu Bakr Abdel-Gader told Reuters he had been approached by Justice and Construction and offered a position in the party - an offer he turned down. “I refused to join the JCP. I didn’t fight a revolution

and carry bloodied martyrs from the front line for Islamists to take over and close us off from the world again,” he said. “Libyans are ready to experience democracy and only educated liberals with a world view can bring it.” Party strategists contacted by Reuters yesterday declined to give estimates of the number of seats they expected to have in the assembly, saying they could start to have a better idea later in the day. The national election commission initially said it would have preliminary results ready by Wednesday but even partial votes for the majority of districts in Tripoli or the second city, Benghazi, have not been released. — Reuters

Syrian opposition slams Russia for aiding violence ‘There cannot be talk of a solution until Assad quits’

TUNIS: Tunisian Islamist Salafists protest yesterday in front of the Tunisian Foreign Ministry in Tunis. Several hundred people, most of them belonging to the Salafist movement, protested in front of the Foreign Ministry to demand the release of Tunisian prisoners in Iraq. According to Hedi Herzi (2nd left), a member of the Family Association of Tunisian Prisoners in Iraq, some 40 Tunisians are detained and about 100 others unaccounted for in Iraq since the 2003 US invasion. — AFP

Saudi Shiites throng funeral of slain protester DUBAI: Thousands of Shi’ite Muslims turned out for the funeral of a man killed during protests triggered by the arrest of a prominent Shi’ite Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia’s oil-producing Eastern province, witnesses said yesterday. Mohamed al-Felfel was one of two men shot dead on Sunday in what an Interior Ministry spokesman described as a “criminal act” after protests broke out following the arrest of Shi’ite cleric Sheikh Nimr alNimr on sedition charges. Activists say the two men were killed by police snipers stationed on rooftops. The Saudi Interior Ministry denied the report. The cleric’s arrest and killings have raised the temperature in one of the most volatile regions in Saudi Arabia, where the kingdom’s Shi’ite Muslim minority is concentrated. The US embassy in Riyadh has warned its citizens to exercise caution when travelling to the area. The Eastern Province is home to a Shi’ite population that has long complained of discrimination and marginalisation by the Sunni ruling family. The Saudi government denies the Shi’ite allegations. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter and a key regional ally of the United States, has so far escaped the “Arab Spring” protests that forced leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya out of power. Activists posted videos of what they said was Felfel’s funeral late on Tuesday in Qatif, showing large crowds, many of them men in white robes, chanting “Down with Mohammed bin Fahd” in reference to the governor of the Eastern Province. They also emailed pictures of men holding placards attacking the royal family. It was not possible to independently verify the authenticity of the recordings and photographs or to determine where or when they were taken. The Rasid news website said Saudi security forces stayed away from the funeral procession, which passed through the main Abdulaziz Street in the centre of Qatif. A Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman did not respond to calls for comment. Activists said the funeral of Akbar al-Shakhouri, the second man killed on Sunday, was due to take place later yesterday after some relatives arrive from out of town.

Shi’ite community leaders have appealed for calm during the funerals, urging people to avoid being drawn into a situation that could lead to bloodshed. “This tense and difficult period that Qatif is passing through necessitates that we all work together to safeguard our society from any security deterioration, God forbid, to protect lives and sanctities,” read a statement signed by a group of local notables, including Sheikh Abdallah al-Khuneizi, a former Shi’ite religious court judge. The statement also appealed to security forces to exercise restraint and patience to get past a “dangerous and critical period”. Saudi Arabia acknowledged that some protests had taken place after Sheikh Nimr was arrested, but the Interior Ministry said there were no clashes between protesters and police. “In the aftermath of the arrest ... a limited number of people assembled in the town of Awamiya,” an Interior Ministry statement said. “Gunshots were overheard in the town. However, there was no security confrontation whatsoever.” Nimr is seen as a leading radical cleric promoting the Shi’ite cause. He had been arrested and released before. His brother said police ambushed him on his way home from a farm he owns. Activists posted pictures on the Internet of a grey-bearded man they identified as Nimr inside a vehicle. He was covered with what appeared to be a blood-stained white sheet. Activists said Nimr had been taken to the capital Riyadh. Shi’ites say it is hard for them to get government jobs or university places, their neighbourhoods are run down, and their places of worship are often closed down. The government denies such accusations. Qatif is located next door to Bahrain, an island kingdom that has been in turmoil over demands by its majority Shi’ites for political reforms by the Sunni ruling Al Khalifa family. Both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia accuse non-Arab Shi’ite Iran of fomenting unrest among their Shi’ite populations. Protests broke out in the Eastern Province region in March 2011 when unrest in neighbouring Bahrain was quashed with the assistance of Saudi and other Gulf troops. — Reuters

No foul play in death of Gaddafi oil boss VIENNA: Vienna prosecutors have ruled out foul play in the death of Libya’s Gaddafi-era prime minister and oil chief Shokri Ghanem, concluding he drowned after suffering a heart attack, Austrian media reported yesterday. The investigation will continue to get a full picture of the circumstances of the drowning of 69-year-old Ghanem in the Danube river in late April, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office told Austrian news agency APA. The mysterious drowning shocked Ghanem’s friends and colleagues, who at the time said they suspected enemies may have hunted down and killed the man who knew more than anyone else about the Libyan dictator’s billions. His body was found floating a few hundred metres from his home, fully clothed, near a promenade lined with bars and restaurants, where Viennese gather in the summer to sunbathe and drink beer. Police said he had been in the water a few hours, since about dawn on April 29. There is no rail along the water’s edge in that area, and it was not the first time a dead body had been found floating

there. “It was a coronary failure, then he drowned in the Danube,” the prosecutor’s office spokesman, Thomas Vecsey, told daily newspaper Kurier. “Moreover, no substances were found in his blood that exceeded normal consumption of caffeine and alcohol.” Algae found in the corpse showed that Ghanem gasped twice for air before drowning, the Kurier report said. Vecsey said the prosecutor’s office wanted to find out who Ghanem had been in contact with in the days before his death and what happened in the hours before he died, APA reported. The spokesman was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters yesterday. Ghanem was one of the most powerful men in Gaddafi’s Libya, effectively controlling the purse strings of the government and the Gaddafi family, until he defected to the opposition in May last year as rebels bore down on Tripoli. His decision to switch sides was a turning point in the uprising that eventually drove Gaddafi from power. The former Libyan leader was later caught and killed by rebels. —Reuters

MOSCOW: Syria’s main exiled opposition group yesterday slammed Russia for giving a green light to violence after failing to convince Moscow to drop its support for President Bashar al-Assad. Syrian National Council (SNC) chief Abdel Basset Sayda met Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in rare talks at the Russian foreign ministry but could not detect any shift in the Russian policy that has angered opponents of Assad. At the foreign ministry, Sayda diplomatically confirmed that Russia had a “different position” to the rebels’ insistence that “there cannot be talk of a solution until Assad quits power”. But later he left all niceties aside to launch a fullscale attack on Russian policy which he said was responsible for allowing the escalating violence to continue through arms supplies and moral support. “We reject the Russian policy-however it is presented-as this policy of supporting the regime is allowing the violence to continue,” Sayda told reporters at a news conference. “The Syrian people continue to suffer because of the position of Russia at the UN Security Council where Russia has used its veto” to block two resolutions against the Syrian regime, he said. But Sayda said the situation could be transformed if Russia changed its policy as it was Damascus’ only significant ally other than Iran. “The regime feels that it has Iran and Moscow behind its back. If there was no cultural, moral or military support from Russia then the Syrian regime could not continue its policy against its own people,” he said. Russia said yesterday it had no plans to impose an arms embargo on Syria and would fulfil a contract to deliver air defence systems, despite a pledge to ship no arms to the country under new contracts. Sayda said: “Legal and moral responsibility must make Russia intervene and Russia must compel the regime to halt the killing of its own people,” he added. Moscow has refused to call on Assad to relinquish power, saying that Syria’s political future cannot be imposed from the outside and must be decided via a dialogue involving all parties. Lavrov at the start of the talks earlier offered no hope of a breakthrough in disagreements between Moscow and the opposition over how to end violence which the opposition says has left over 17,000 people dead. “Sometimes your organisation has questions about what we are doing and we want to clear up these questions today so that there are no doubts,” Lavrov said. He added that Russia wanted to understand in the talks if there were any “prospects” of the opposition groups uniting and joining a platform for dialogue with the Syrian government. Alexander Filonyuk of the Russian Academy of Sciences said while the sheer fact of the meeting between the opposition and Lavrov taking place was important there was little chance of the two sides narrowing their differences.

KHAN SHEIKHUN: Residents from Kfar Sijna look at the roof of a house, allegedly damaged after a tank shell was fired by Syrian government forces based in nearby Khan Sheikhun, in the north of Idlib province, late July 9. Local residents said that a father and his two children were killed in the attack. — AFP

“I think that the Syrian opposition will insist on its point of view at any cost. But Russia does not share it. And Russia has no reason to change its position either now or in the future,” he told AFP. Russia on Tuesday proposed a UN Security Council resolution on the crisis that would extend the UN mission in the country but did not contain any threat of sanctions against Syria or action against Assad, diplomats said. In a dismissive reaction, the French foreign ministry said on Wednesday that the Russian resolution was “below the expectations of most of the international community.” Moscow’s close ties with Damascus date back to its cooperation with Assad’s late father Hafez al-Assad under the Soviet Union. Analysts say Russia is above all unwilling to lose its last strategic ally in the Middle East. Meanwhile, rebels and troops clashed in the Damascus district of Qadam yesterday as at least 52 people were killed in violence around Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Apart from the fighting in Qadam, hundreds of youths gathered late Tuesday in the capital’s upmarket district of Mazzeh and chanted anti-regime slogans, it said. Troops continued to pound rebel-held areas of the central province of Homs, the Observatory said, noting that shelling was especially violent in the besieged areas of Jurat al-

Shiah and Qarabees. The watchdog also reported violent shelling in the rebel-held town of Rastan, also in Homs, causing widespread destruction. An amateur video posted on YouTube on Wednesday by anti-regime activists showed the impact of shelling on Rastan. “This school and this house were pounded,” said Abu Rawan, a citizen journalist in Rastan who shot a series of interviews with women and children in the besieged town. When troops shelled Rastan Wednesday morning, “we hid in the bathroom. I was very scared,” a young boy tells Abu Rawan. A second video shows Rastan’s market, much of it destroyed, the streets filled with rubble. Still, some continue to buy and sell vegetables. “It’s a kind of challenge against destruction,” activist Abu Rawan is heard saying. “The people just want to live.” Of those killed yesterday, 23 were civilians, 18 soldiers and 11 rebels, the Observatory said. The watchdog reported 82 deaths on Tuesday. According to estimates from the group, more than 17,000 people have been killed since the uprising erupted in mid-March last year, at first with peaceful protests. It is not possible to independently verify death tolls since the United Nations stopped compiling such figures at the end of 2011. — AFP

Settlements may harm Israel’s Jewish majority JERUSALEM: Israeli President Shimon Peres has warned of the demographic consequences on the Jewish state of ongoing settlement in the occupied West Bank. “Israeli settlements in densely populated Arab areas could bring about a demographic change about which we would do well to think hard about before acting,” he said in remarks broadcast on both army radio and Israel public radio. “Without a Jewish majority, it is doubtful whether a Jewish state can remain Jewish,” he warned during a ceremony held on Tuesday evening. His remarks alluded to demographic consequences of a possible annexation of the West Bank, an issue which came up earlier this week with the publication of a report which found that Jews “have the legal right” to settle in the territory. Projections show Israel is rapidly losing the “demographic battle” against the Palestinians who are set to outnumber Jews in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean within a matter of years. Official statistics show there are currently some 5.9 million Jews living in Israel and the occupied territories, compared with 5.8 million Palestinian Arabs: 1.6 million Arab Israelis, 2.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and 1.6 million in Gaza. The report, written by three prominent Israeli jurists, rejected the idea that Israel was a “military occupying power” in the West Bank and said the establishment of settlements there “cannot be considered illegal” in conclusions which contradict international law. The international community considers all settlements built in the West Bank and east Jerusalem to be illegal because they are built on

territory Israel occupied during the 1967 Six-Day War. But Peres’s remarks sparked an angry response from Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha settlers council, who accused him of “once again violating the institution of the presidency” by expressing a political position. “The Jews have a majority west of the Jordan River, that is to say in Israel and Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), and that majority has never been called into question,” he told army radio. “What keeps the state Jewish is the link with Jewish tradition and history which can only be

kept if we are living in Hebron, Beit El or Shilo,” he said, referring to settlements built at sites where Jews lived during biblical times. In Israel, the president’s role is largely ceremonial. Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was one of the main architects of the 1993 Oslo Accords signed with the Palestine Liberation Organisation to launch autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza. The Israeli left has long argued that the creation of a Palestinian state is vital if Israel is to retain both its Jewish and democratic nature. — AFP

GAZA STRIP: Palestinian Hamas premier, Ismail Haniya (L) kicks the ball to the freed football player Mahmud Sarsak (R) in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip yesterday. Sarsak who staged a hunger strike of nearly three months while in an Israeli jail, was freed the day before and returned to the Gaza Strip. — AFP



England flood risk to rise fourfold by 2035: Report LONDON: The risk of flooding for many English homes and businesses could increase fourfold by 2035 if more action to deal with the impact of climate change is not taken, government advisers said yesterday. As severe floods continue to batter parts of Britain after the wettest June since records began, the climate advisers said more investment and better planning for new housing in flood plains was needed. “We must take adaptation more seriously if we are to manage the growing risks of floods and droughts,” said John

Krebs, the chairman of a climate change advisory panel. “ This can be done by investing more in flood defences, faster rollout of water meters and giving serious consideration to where and how we build our housing and infrastructure,” he said in a statement. “Without action by households and businesses to prepare for these inevitable weather extremes the country faces rising costs, unnecessary damage and future disruption.” Scientists believe extreme weather is likely to become more frequent

in the future due to climate change. Flooding will be the biggest climate risk to Britain this century with damage set to cost as much as 12 billion pounds ($18.63 billion) a year by the 2080s if nothing is done to adapt to extreme weather, a governmentfunded study said in January. The government’s advisers said in a report that property development in flood plains - or areas along streams or rivers that are likely to experience repeated flooding - has increased by 12 percent over the past 10 years compared with a 7 percent

rise in other parts of England. Public and private funding for flood defences is falling and is 12 percent lower for the current government spending period compared with the previous one, after inflation. The UK’s Environment Agency estimates that funding needs to increase by 20 million pounds a year on top of inflation to keep pace with climate change. Apar t from increased flooding risks, water scarcity is also likely to become more common in parts of the country due to climate change

and population growth, the panel said. Water scarcity is likely to be made worse by household consumption levels which are among the highest in nor th-west Europe. Encouraging households to save water could cut total consumption by 700 million litres a day, which is two thirds more than is currently saved under initiatives by water companies, according to the report. The government should take fur ther steps to increase water efficiency through water metering and pricing, it added. — Reuters

Wife of Tetra Pak heir found dead in London Media say police holding her husband

MOSCOW: People clean their belongings and produce outside a shop in Krymsk, about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) south of Moscow, yesterday. Intense flooding in the Black Sea region of southern Russia killed nearly 170 people after torrential rains dropped nearly a foot of water, forcing many to scramble out of their beds for refuge in trees and on roofs, officials said Saturday. — AP

Hollande, Cameron laugh off differences LONDON: French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron tried to laugh off a rocky start to their relationship despite lingering differences over the eurozone crisis. Hollande also met Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle near London on his oneday visit, the socialist leader’s first trip to fellow NATO ally and EU heavyweight Britain since he was elected in May. After talks at Downing Street, Hollande and Cameron stressed their shared ground on foreign policy issues and made light of earlier rows over economic policy and tax. Hollande in particular joked about “British humour” when asked about the British premier’s comment last month that he would “roll out the red carpet” for French residents trying to avoid a planned top tax rate. That came after the Conservative prime minister apparently snubbed Hollande when he made an election campaign visit to London in February. “I appreciate humour and, above all, British humour. I was not at all offended, I was very happy to be offered a carpet,” Hollande told a joint press conference with Cameron. Cameron replied: “As for red carpets there was one today for Francois only.” The two leaders also tried to paper over the cracks on the eurozone, a source of strain as Cameron has angered many within the single currency area with repeated calls for them to tackle their debt crisis. “We can see Europe as having different speeds, with each taking what it wants from the union,” Hollande said. Cameron meanwhile said he wanted there to be “cooperation” between Britain and France-and welcomed Hollande in French at the start of the press conference. “There will always be areas where we don’t agree, but we’ve found much common ground today,” Cameron said. “We both want European growth, we both want to stand tall in the world on issues like Syria, or Libya or Iran, we both want to see cooperation between our governments and people, so I’m very happy that we’re going to build a strong relationship.” The French leader said Paris and London had “converging views” on Syria, and said they would be pushing Russia and China to back tougher action against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Britain’s press on Wednesday was unimpressed with the public show of bonhomie, with the high-circulation Daily Mail running with the headline “Hollande hits out at PM’s call for French firms to come to UK”. In a similar vein, the Financial Times carried the headline “Hollande clashes with Cameron over tax” while the The Daily Telegraph ran with “Cameron frowns as a French cold front hits No 10”. After his meeting with Cameron Hollande headed to Windsor Castle, west of London, to take tea with the queen during a half-hour meeting. The 86-year-old monarch, who was wearing a yellow dress, shook hands cordially with the French leader before presenting him with two gifts-framed and signed portraits of herself and her husband Prince Philip. “The queen gave him a very warm welcome,” a spokesman for the French presidency said. The warm welcome for Hollande, including a guard of honour at the Foreign Office with lines of soldiers in bearskin hats and red tunics, came after months of frosty relations between the French and British leaders. Economic issues have been the greatest stumbling block, underlining the ideological differences between Cameron’s focus on austerity and Hollande’s commitment to boosting growth through spending. Since Hollande defeated right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency in May, he has quickly moved to cement his left-wing credentials, boosting taxes on the rich, vowing to create thousands of public-sector jobs and allowing for slight spending increases. Cameron continues to urge members of the eurozone-of which Britain is not a part-to cut spending and take action to resolve the economic crisis that is severely affecting his country’s economy. He has refused to back the European fiscal discipline pact, which he fears may compromise the City of London’s position as Europe’s leading financial centre and has regularly voiced his fierce opposition to a financial transactions tax advocated by Paris. The two leaders largely sidestepped the issues in their press conference, with Hollande also softening his tone on a proposed hike in the levy on foreignowned second homes, which raised hackles in Britain. — AFP

BRUSSELS: The Secretary General of the International Francophonie Organization Abdou Diouf (L) speaks with Ivory Coast’s National Assembly President Guillaume Soro during the opening session of the Parliamentary Assembly of Francophonie held at the the Palais d’Egmond in Brussels yesterday. The Ivory Coast, which had been excluded from the assembly in 2000 because of the Ivorian conflict, returned as a permanent member. — AFP

LONDON: London murder detectives are investigating the death of the American wife of an heir to the Tetra Pak drinks carton fortune and have arrested a man reported to be her husband. Eva Rausing, 48, daughter of US businessman Tom Kemeny, led a gilded life marred by drug addiction and had a host of connections with royal patrons of anti-drug charities to which she and her husband, Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, devoted millions from the fortune his Swedish grandfather made from packaging. Police said on Tuesday they were holding a 49-year-old man in connection with the death of Eva Rausing, who was found dead on Monday in her home in the capital’s wealthy Belgravia district. He was also being investigated for drug possession. But they declined to confirm British media reports that he was Hans Kristian Rausing. Statements from both spouses’ parents made no mention of him in expressing sadness, shock and admiration for the mother of his four children, and for her charity work to curb drub abuse. The couple, who were reported to have met while undergoing rehab in the United States, hit headlines in 2008 when Eva Rausing was found carrying heroin and the “ghetto drug” crack cocaine into the US embassy in London. Charges against her and her husband were later dropped. Her father-in-law, Hans Rausing, 86, is one of the world’s wealthiest men, ranked 88th in the Forbes rich list with a fortune estimated at $10 billion. Based in Britain since quitting high-tax Sweden 30 years ago, he sold his interest in the private Tetra Pak business to his brother in the 1990s. Police declined to comment on newspaper reports that the mystery of Eva Rausing’s death began with her husband’s arrest after driving erratically in London on Monday. When police went to the couple’s white -stuccoed townhouse in Cadogan Place they found his wife dead in an

LONDON: A Police investigation officer, sheltering from the rain with a folder, arrives at the home of Britain’s richest woman, American-born Eva Rausing who was found dead in her home in Belgravia, London, yesterday. — AP upstairs bedroom, several news- drug abuse prevention group travelling in India in his 20s, a papers said, adding that a post whose president is Queen Silvia young man with vast means and mortem on Monday had been of Sweden, and was also a trustee little sense of purpose. His father Hans Rausing, inconclusive but that a drug over- of a community development charity founded by Britain’s whose own father founded Tetra dose was suspected. Eva Rausing’s parents, Tom and Prince Charles, The Prince’s Laval in Lund, Sweden, in 1944, for Building also has two daughters with his Nancy Kemeny of Hilton Head Foundation wife Marit. Praised by, among Island, South Carolina, said in a Community. At another organisation which others, Prince Charles for his phistatement that they were “deeply saddened by the death of their benefited from the Rausings’ gen- lanthropy, Hans Rausing has an beloved daughter”. “Eva was a erosity, Nick Barton, chief execu- honorary British knighthood. “Hans and Marit Rausing and devoted wife for 20 years and tive of Action on Addiction, said: mother of four much loved and “Everyone involved with Action their family are deeply shocked on Addiction is devastated to and saddened to hear of the tragwonderful children,” they said. “During her short lifetime she hear the news of Eva Rausing’s ic death of their daughter-in-law Eva Louise Rausing,” the family made a huge philanthropic untimely death. “Without any desire for public said in a statement. “They ask that impact, supporting a large number of charitable causes, not only recognition, Eva has, through her their privacy be respected at this financially, but using her own wonderfully generous support of sad time.” Police said the man they had personal experiences. She bravely this and other charities helped so detained was receiving medical fought her health issues for many many people for over 20 years.” Her husband, often referred to attention. Officers had sealed off years.” In 2008, after the embassy as simply Hans K, was born into the couple’s house in an area, drugs incident, their daughter billions in 1963, as his father, near Sloane Square, which is told reporters: “I have made a uncle and grandfather were turn- home to some of Britain’s - and grave error and consider myself ing their local packaging firm into increasingly the world’s to have taken a wrong turn in the a global empire with their innova- wealthiest people seeking the course of my life.” She was a tive cardboard bricks. Media lifestyle, relatively low taxes, patron of the British branch of the reports describe him as having security and anonymity that Mentor Foundation, a worldwide lapsed into drug abuse while London offers. —Reuters

British govt drops Lords reform vote LONDON: Facing its first major parliamentary defeat, Britain’s coalition government at the last minute dropped plans for a controversial vote on reforming parliament’s unelected upper chamber, the House of Lords. The government seemed set to lose the vote after scores of lawmakers within Prime Minister David Cameron’s ruling Conservative party threatened to rebel over the plan to make the Lords a mostly elected, rather than appointed, chamber. On Tuesday evening, however, the government won a separate vote on the principle behind a mainly elected chamber with a majority of 338. Some 91 Conservative Party MPs voted against the bill as a whole. The vote means that proposals for an 80 percent elected House of Lords, reducing its current size from 826 members to 450, will proceed to their next stage of parliamentary scrutiny in the autumn. The reforms are a key plank in the coalition deal between the ruling Conservative Party and its Liberal Democrat partner and defeat at the hands of Conservative lawmakers would have been a huge blow to the Lib Dems and the coalition government. Drawing out the debate could foment further dissent within the Conservative Party over the issue

and erode the glue that keeps the coalition government together. Only hours earlier, Cameron made a last ditch appeal to the opposition Labour Party to back the legislative timetable, which the government then dropped. “Even at this late stage I would appeal to them, don’t play the opportunistic card, don’t play politics with this issue, vote for what you say you want, which is a reform of the House of Lords,” Cameron said. Members of the House of Lords review laws and scrutinise the work of the government. The queen appoints members on advice from the prime minister, although some inherit the role and some seats are reserved for members of the clergy. The government wants to cut membership of Lords to 450 by 2025, and make 80 percent of the chamber’s seats elected for nonrenewable 15-year terms, with the rest appointed by an independent committee on the basis of particular expertise. The Lib Dems and others say that an appointed upper chamber of parliament is undemocratic and that its aristocratic and privileged membership, resplendent in their scarlet robes fringed with ermine fur, is an anachronism. Conservative rebels argue that elected Lords would be more

partisan and undermine the primacy of parliament ’s lower chamber, creating legislative gridlock. They also fear an elected chamber would lack diversity and specialist expertise. Labour, which says it supports the reforms, said it would vote against the proposed timetable for legislation on the grounds that more time was needed for the debate. “A plague on both their houses. Labour have frankly messed about on this ... What we want now in the next two months is to gather support across the coalition benches, that’s the idea of this, not to change the legislation,” a Lib Dem source said.

“ When the leader of the Conservative Party, the prime minister says, we need a bit more time, we can deliver this vote, then you listen to that,” the source added. Lawmaker George Young, who arranges government business in parliament, said the issue of timetabling Lords legislation would be moved to the autumn. A Labour source said the climbdown was a “victory” for parliament and the par ty would now push for the Lords reforms to be considered by a parliamentary committee. “This is a major constitutional change which poses serious questions, so it needs a proper debate,” the source said. — Reuters

LISBON: Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho (R) chats with Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar (L) as they sit at the parliament during the State of the Nation debate yesterday in Lisbon. —AFP



Hardscrabble US city cuts cops pay by 70 percent PHILADELPHIA: Public workers in the hard-up US city of Scranton, Pennsylvania have had their pay slashed to minimum wage-levels as a budget fight between the mayor and city council comes to a head. About 400 municipal workers in the city-including police officers, firefighters and construction workers-are being subjected to steep pay cuts that have sparked a string of lawsuits. The city, which is the birthplace of Vice President Joe Biden and has become synonymous with industrial decline, is facing bankruptcy and the mayor has refused to borrow more money to pay

wages. For police officers with two years on the job that now means a pay cut from $26 an hour to $7.25 an hour, a drop of more than 70 percent. Construction workers who earn between $18 and $20 under union contracts will also get $7.25 per hour. “All the vendors are getting 100 cents on the dollar, but the people keeping the buildings from burning down have seen their pay slashed by 75 percent,” Stephen Holroyd, an attorney representing three of the city’s workers’ unions, told AFP. Roger Leonard, a heavy equipment operator for the city told National

Public Radio last week that he typically gets a $900 check for two weeks of work. After the pay cut, it dropped to only $340. “I have two children and a wife, and my wife is a stay-at-home mom,” said Leonard. “If the savings gets drained, we won’t be okay, but I’m hoping before that happens, that they come to a resolution,” he told reporters. The city, about 120 miles (190 kilometers) north of Philadelphia is one of a number of so-called rust belt cities that have seen manufacturing and heavy industry flee over past several decades, leaving behind empty down-

town storefronts. But the cause of the immediate problem stems from mayor Chris Doherty and the city council’s inability to agree on a budget. The Scranton Times-Tribune reported that the town had just $133,000 in the bank on Monday, but owed $3.4 million. Holroyd said the town has the money to pay, because it has the ability to borrow money for salaries as it has done in the past. “It’s not because the city’s broke, it’s because they are in a political squabble,” Holroyd said. “They’ve just decided not to go to the ATM.” The

mayor did not return a call for comment. Unions representing the employees have also sought to hold the town’s mayor in contempt of court, saying he violated a judge’s order to reverse his decision to slash wages. “He’s just ignoring the court’s order,” said Holroyd. M a ny U S m u n i c i p a l i t i e s h ave seen their finances decimated by a flight of businesses and residents to the suburbs and beyond, leading to an ever-dwindling tax base and pred i c t i o n s o f a w ave o f m u n i c i p a l defaults. — AFP

US Navy unveils new shore energy policy Focus on improved efficiency, conservation

COLORADO: US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks with volunteers during a tour of the Care and Share food bank in Colorado Springs, Colorado, yesterday following the recent Colorado wildfires. Romney said the best way for people to help was to visit Colorado. — AFP

Romney stresses economy in pitch to black voters HOUSTON: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney isn’t going to win the black vote in his campaign against America’s first African-American president. But in a major speech yesterday at the annual meeting of the oldest US civil rights group, he was trying to show independent and swing voters that his campaign is inclusive. “If equal opportunity in America were an accomplished fact, then a chronically bad economy would be equally bad for everyone,” Romney told the annual meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, according to excerpts of his speech released early by his campaign. “Instead, it’s worse for African Americans in almost every way.” The economy is the main issue in this year’s tight presidential race. And with the US unemployment rate stuck at 8.2 percent, it is an area where President Barack Obama is especially vulnerable. The unemployment rate among blacks is even higher at 14.4 percent, so Romney argued he’s best suited to create more jobs. He also mentioned his plan to increase school choice - he’s called education the “civil rights issue of our era.” “I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color - and families of any color - more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president,” Romney’s speech said. It’s a difficult sell - 95 percent of blacks backed Obama in 2008. Republicans and Democrats said Romney was making a statement just by speaking to the oldest US civil rights group. “The first thing you need to do is show up, so I ultimately think he’s doing the right thing,” said Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina, one of two black Republicans in Congress. “What he’s saying to everyone is that he’s (running to become) America’s president and not just those folks he thinks he can get votes from right now. I think that’s a very important statement.” “You’ve got to get credit for showing up - for being willing to go - no question,” said Karen Finney, a Democratic consultant who worked in the Clinton White House. “It’s more about your actions than it is about what you say.” Obama spoke to the NAACP convention during his 2008 campaign. He doesn’t plan to speak this year - instead, Vice President Joe Biden

will address the convention on Thursday. Obama plans to address the Urban League later this month. In framing education as a civil rights issue, Romney was following in George W. Bush’s footsteps. At a sweeping address to the NAACP in 2000, Bush, then the Republican presidential nominee, said the education system should “leave no child behind” - and he labeled the “soft bigotry of low expectations” as part of the problem facing black students. The likely 2012 Republican nominee has a personal history with civil rights issues. Romney’s father, George Romney, spoke out against segregation in the 1960s and as governor of Michigan toured his state’s inner cities as race riots wracked Detroit and other urban areas across the country. He went on to lead the Housing and Urban Development Department, where he pushed for housing reforms to help blacks. Mitt Romney invoked that legacy during a 2007 interview on NBC TV’s “Meet the Press”: “My dad’s reputation ... and my own has always been one of reaching out to people and not discriminating based upon race or anything else.” In recent months, Obama has approached race from an intensely personal perspective. After the shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida - an act many blacks saw as racially motivated Obama spoke directly to Martin’s parents from the Rose Garden. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said. But diminished enthusiasm for the president in the wake of the economic downturn could dampen black turnout. That could make the difference in Southern states Obama won in 2008, particularly North Carolina and Virginia. Other factors could keep blacks away from voting booths. Romney’s address to the group came as Democrats and minority communities expressed concern over a series of tough voter identification laws in a handful of states. Critics say the laws could make it harder for blacks and Hispanics to vote. “He’ll be standing in that room asking people for their votes at the same time that Republican legislators are trying to disenfranchise minority communities,” said Finney, the Democratic consultant. —AP

TORIBIO: Soldiers patrol in front of the police station that was attacked by rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) last week in Toribio, southern Colombia, Tuesday. Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos will visit Toribio later. — AP

WASHINGTON: The US Navy unveiled a major update of its energy policies ashore on Tuesday, calling for improved efficiency, greater conservation and increased use of renewable power to cut energy consumption in half at bases worldwide by the end of the decade. Vice Admiral Phil Cullom, deputy chief of naval operations, said the first updated energy policy for shore installations in 18 years was aimed primarily at improving energy security for the Navy’s 70 bases and other facilities worldwide. “Energy security is a strategic imperative and it applies to both ashore and afloat,” Cullom said in a telephone briefing on the policy. “The instruction that has just been published is ... the latest example of how we’re driving a Spartan energy ethos.” He did not say how much the Navy planned to invest toward reaching the goals of the new policy. The Navy has established a goal of cutting its power consumption in installations ashore in half by 2020. The Navy also wants half of its energy to come from renewable sources by the end of the decade, and it wants half of its installations to be netzero consumers of energy by then. The goals are part of President Barack

Obama’s “all-of-the-above” push to boost green energy production and reduce US dependence on foreign oil. The administration set a goal in April for the Pentagon to produce three gigawatts of solar, wind and geothermal power on US military bases by 2025. The green energy drive came under fire in Congress after the Navy paid high prices for test batches of biofuel for use in jets and ships. It paid $424 a gallon in 2009 for an algae-based oil and nearly $27 a gallon for biofuels for next week’s first test of a Navy strike force powered mostly by alternative fuel. Lawmakers angry over the cost are pushing legislation in Congress that would block the military from spending more on alternative fuels than it would pay for conventional petroleum. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has said the Navy does not plan to purchase operational quantities of biofuels until they can be bought at competitive prices. Cullom said the Navy is beginning its push to reduce energy consumption ashore by installing advanced metering systems wherever possible to measure electricity, natural gas and steam consumption so officials know how much they are using. Beyond that, he said, the Navy hopes to

train military personnel about the importance of adopting the same conservative energy practices ashore that they need to use at sea. “I can’t overemphasize how important the culture change piece is,” Cullom said. “You’re trying to change the attitudes and the views of hundreds of thousands of people ... so that what they do on board ship is what they do at home.” The new policy calls for integrating “mission compatible and cost-effective renewable energy sources” into the power supplies at shore installations. The Navy already produces alternative power at some facilities-enough to power about 143,000 homes-and is working with partners on additional projects. Cullom said the Navy used an analytical model to ensure that its spending on new energy technologies produced a favorable return on investment. He said the new shore energy policy was radically different from the version published in 1994, with more focus on conservation. Back then, he said, the policy’s main point was energy security and the Navy’s need for assured access to power. “We’ve undergone profound changes as a country, we’ve undergone profound changes as a Navy,” Cullom said. “So this represents a fundamentally different view on it.” — Reuters

Republicans wage war on ‘Obamacare’ WASHINGTON: Since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, they have introduced by their own count 30 bills to get rid of or gut the law they call “Obamacare,” bearing titles such as the “Reclaiming Individual Liberty Act,” the “repeal the Job killing health care law ” act and the “NObamacare Act of 2012.” On Tuesday they began debate on the 31st, the “Repeal of the Obamacare Act,” which is certain to win passage when the House votes yesterday and just as certain to go no further, since the Senate and White House are both in Democratic hands. It will be the second time the House has voted an outright repeal of the Obama administration’s healthcare law. The first came just after Republicans won control of the chamber in the 2010 election. The main change between then and now was the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 28 upholding the law as a valid exercise of Congress’ taxing power. Representative Patrick Tiberi was among the Republicans who cited the court’s ruling during the debate in support of the argument that, contrar y to the Obama administration’s claim, the law was a tax increase. It’s “a tax hike on the middle class,” said Republican Representative Diane Black. In response, Democratic Representative Frank Pallone argued that the law is actually a “tax cut,” because the individual mandate requiring purchase of healthcare means Americans will no longer have to foot the bill for treatment of the uninsured. Republicans make no pre tense that they can repeal the healthcare law. Rather, the House vote is aimed at scoring political points and turning up the heat on Obama and his fellow Democrats in advance of the Nov. 6 congressional and presidential elections. “The American people do not want to go down the path of Obamacare,” House Speaker John Boehner declared o n Tuesday sh ortly before his chamber began consideration of the new bill. “That’s why we voted over 30 times to repeal it, defund it, replace it,” Boehner said. “We are resolved to have this law go away and we are going to do everything we can to stop it.”

Democratic Representative Sander Levin said during the debate Tuesday that the House was merely “going through the motions” once again. Democratic Representative Jim McDermott called it “a pointless time-wasting exercise. The game is over,” he said. Public support for the healthcare law, despite some fluctuation, is divided just as it was in 2010. Neither side has made significant lasting headway. Some recent polling has suggested that the law is of low importance to voters compared to other issues. A Washington Post-ABC News poll published Tuesday showed more voters than in the past saying the healthcare law will not be a factor when they cast their vote in November. Another poll - a Kaiser Family Foundation survey taken after the Supreme Court upheld the law’s constitutionality l ate last month - found that 51 percent of independents and 82 percent of Democrats said opponents should move on to other issues. But 69 percent of Republican respondents said they want to see efforts continued to rollback the law. The House Democratic Campaign Committee (DCCC), sensing a possible shift in public opinion on the healthcare law, b egan a campaign after the Supreme Court ruling that targets seven House Republican opponents of the law. In campaign ads, the DCCC accuses them of being more interested in protecting insurance company campaign donors than helping meet the healthcare needs of their own constituents. Explaining why Republicans would want to continue debating the law when there is no chance of repealing it, Ron Bonjean, a former House Republican leadership aide turned political strategist, said the showdowns on healthcare, as well as on tax cuts later this year, “will be two of the most significant votes that members will take in this Congress.” “It will show voters who’s for creating jobs and who’s for raising taxes,” Bonjean said. A spokesman for House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi fired back: “Americans are looking for jobs, and Republicans are looking to score cheap political points with message bills to nowhere.” — Reuters

MOSCOW: Cuban President Raul Castro, center left, attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia, yesterday. Castro is in Moscow to meet with Russia’s President and Foreign Minister. — AP

Envoys express concern over El Salvador crisis SAN SALVADOR: The US and British ambassadors to El Salvador raised concern on Tuesday about a deepening political crisis in the Central American country that has pitted the Supreme Court against Congress. The crisis centers on a decision last month by El Salvador’s top court to annul the election by Congress of 20 new judges. The court’s decision prompted the ruling leftist party of President Mauricio Funes, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, which controls Congress, to refuse to accept the ruling. That has led to media speculation that El Salvador may be vulnerable to a possible coup. “At this time the United States is worried about the ... constitutional crisis in El Salvador,” US Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte told a news conference. She urged a quick resolution to the confrontation. The British ambassador also called for a swift end to the stalemate. “The best outcome for El Salvador would be to arrive at agreement ... as quickly as possible to avoid a larger impact,” British Ambassador Linda Cross said in an interview with local newspaper La Prensa Grafica. Business interests long hostile to the ruling party are also voicing concern. — Reuters

MEXICO CITY: Indigenous Triquis women take part in a protest in front of the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TRIFE) in Mexico City, on Tuesday during a protest against the election results. The movement is protesting against Enrique Pena Nieto, candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), who declared victory in the presidential election, after first official results showed him with 38 percent of the vote. — AFP



Philippines to bid out three South China Sea blocs MANILA: The Philippines will bid out oil exploration contracts in the South China Sea despite recent tensions with China over conflicting territorial claims in those waters, an official said yesterday. The three blocs in the South China Sea, off the coast of the western Philippine island of Palawan, are believed to be the most promising for oil and gas deposits, said Energy Undersecretary James Layug. “All reserves in that area belong to the Philippines. We will only offer areas

within our exclusive economic zone,” he said at the sidelines of an energy forum in Manila. The area, known as the northwest Palawan basin, is just beside the Philippines’ existing natural gas fields, which already provide 40 percent of the electrical power of the main Philippine island of Luzon, said Layug. “These are all beside our existing service contracts so there is no doubt that these areas belong to the Philippines,” he added. He said histori-

cally Philippine energy exploration had the most success in these areas off Palawan, indicating the three new blocs might also hold large oil and gas reserves. The exploration contracts for the three blocs will be bidded out on July 31, he said. Tensions between the Philippines and China have recently risen due to conflicting claims over parts of the South China Sea. The focus of the latest conflict is the Scarborough Shoal, which the

Philippines insists is well within its exclusive economic zone but which China claims along with most of the South China Sea. Another South China Sea area, the potentially-oil-rich Reed Bank, is also due for development by the Philippines but has been claimed by China. Last year, the Philippines accused China of harassing an oil exploration ship at Reed Bank. Layug said China had not objected to the plans to bid out the contracts for the three blocs.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea even up to the coast of its neighbours. The Philippines has cited international law to bolster its claims. Ministers and diplomats representing China and Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines were meanwhile yesterday meeting at an ASEAN summit in Cambodia, working on a code of conduct designed to ease tensions in the South China Sea, but were struggling to reach agree ment.— AFP

China, Japan in new spat over disputed islands Japan summons Chinese ambassador

NARATHIWAT: Muslim female detainees offer prayers during a gathering in the yard at the Narathiwat jail, in Thailand’s restive southern Narathiwat province yesterday. The Thai government opened the doors of a prison for relatives to visit their loved ones, welcoming the holy month of Ramadan. — AFP

Thai pardon for American jailed for royal insult BANGKOK: A Thai-born US citizen jailed for insulting Thailand’s king has received a royal pardon, officials said yesterday, a move welcomed by Washington which had issued a rare rebuke to Bangkok over the case. Joe Wichai Commart Gordon, a car salesman from Colorado, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment in December under Thailand’s lese majeste laws, which rights campaigners say are used to stifle freedom of expression. His release came just before Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a business forum in Cambodia tomorrow. The 55-year-old was arrested in May 2011 while on a visit to Thailand, after he had posted material online from his own Thai translation of a banned English-language biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Gordon “was granted a royal pardon yesterday ”, a senior Corrections Department official told AFP yesterday. The Bangkok Remand Prison said he left the jail late Tuesday. “We are pleased that US citizen Joe Gordon was granted a royal pardon which allows him to be released from prison,” US embassy official Walter Braunohler said. “We urge Thai authorities on a regular basis both privately and publicly to ensure that freedom of expression is protected in accordance with international obligations.” Gordon was taken to the US embassy on release, according to his lawyer Anon Numpa. Speaking to AFP in prison just hours before he was freed on Tuesday, Gordon said he had heard that he could be allowed out but could not quite believe it. “It’s good... I had heard that yesterday,” he said. “But it could still be a rumour.” His conviction put the international spotlight on Thailand’s increasingly controversial lese majeste prosecutions,

drawing protests from the United States, which had said Gordon was exercising his right to free expression. Under the legislation, anyone convicted of insulting the Thai king, queen, heir or regent faces up to 15 years in prison on each count. The royal family is a highly sensitive topic in politically turbulent Thailand. The king, who is revered as a demi-god by many Thais, has been hospitalised since September 2009. Observers say lese majeste prosecutions have surged following a coup by royalist generals that removed fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006. Thaksin’s sister Yingluck now leads the government, but the trend is seen as likely to continue. Pavin Chachavalpongpun, of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University in Japan, told AFP that Gordon’s case was “unusual” and did not necessarily show a softening towards those accused of lese majeste. “I think the US have been putting pressure on,” he told AFP. “It is too soon to celebrate. This does not reflect the overall mood in Thailand.” Gordon was initially sentenced to five years in prison. But the Thai Criminal Court halved the term because he pleaded guilty over his translation of excerpts from “The King Never Smiles” by Paul Handley, who now works as an AFP journalist. Several high-profile cases have intensified scrutiny of the royal insult laws in recent months, with the death in custody of a 62-year-old Thai man while serving a 20-year sentence for lese majeste also fuelling debate. Pranee Danwattananusorn, whose political activist husband Surachai is serving 10 years for defaming the monarchy, said freedom was more easily won for Gordon “because he is American”. “It will take longer for the others, for my husband,” she said. — AFP

Six dead, 22 wounded in Philippine ambush ZAMBOANGA: Gunmen suspected to be Islamic militants ambushed a convoy carr ying farm workers in the southern Philippines yesterday, killing six and wounding 22 others, the army said. The four-vehicle convoy, which also carried armed security escorts from a government militia, was on its way to a remote rubber plantation when it was attacked, Army spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc said. “The (militia) members who escorted the civilian workers managed to return fire, forcing the lawless elements to retreat in different directions with their own casualties,” Cabunoc said in a statement. Six workers were killed, while 22 others, including two militiamen, were wounded, he said. No group claimed responsibility for the attack on Basilan island, although

local police and the farm cooperative’s manager said they suspected the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group. Taha Katu, the cooperative’s manager, said prior to the attack they had received extortion letters purportedly from the Abu Sayyaf demanding payment of over $1,000 a month, in exchange for not being harmed. Late last year, Abu Sayyaf gunmen also killed five workers in a similar ambush near the area. Basilan is a rugged, jungle -clad island in the southern Philippines. It is a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf and farm workers commonly travel with armed escorts. The Abu Sayyaf is a small Islamic militant movement that has been blamed for most of the country ’s worst terror attacks as well as the kidnapping of foreigners. — AFP

PHNOM PENH: China told Japan yesterday to respect its “indisputable sovereignty” over islands claimed by both countries in the East China Sea, in the latest territorial row between Beijing and its neighbours. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba in Phnom Penh where he “reaffirmed China’s principled position” on the islands k nown as Senk aku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. “He stressed that Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets have always been China’s territor y since ancient times, over which China has indisputable sovereignty,” said a statement from the Chinese delegation. Japan summoned the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo as three Chinese patrol boats approached the chain of islands, which are privately held by Japanese owners. The crew of the Chinese vessels, which have since left the islands’ immediate vicinity, initially rebuffed Japanese orders to leave, Japanese officials said. “We are conducting official duty in Chinese waters. Do not interfere. Leave China’s territorial waters,” the Chinese crews said, according to the Japanese coastguard. The waters around the disputed islands, which are close to oil reserves, have been the scene of previous rows, including the arrest of a Chinese trawlerman in late 2010. Yesterday’s spat is the latest clash over disputed territor y between China and its neighbours that threatens to overshadow attempts to smooth regional relations at an Asian

PHNOM PENH: Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying is mobbed by the media as she walks out from the ASEAN-China meeting held on the sideline of the 45th Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)’s Foreign Ministers yesterday in Phnom Penh. China and Southeast Asian countries struggled to make progress on a code of conduct designed to ease tension in the flashpoint South China Sea, diplomatic sources said. — AFP security summit in Cambodia this week. The 10 members of Southeast Asian regional body ASEAN have been trying to agree a long-stalled “code of conduct” for the South China Sea that would help settle overlapping claims in the resource -rich waterway. The Philippines is leading a push for ASEAN to unite to persuade China to accept a code based on a UN law on maritime boundaries that would delineate the areas belonging to each countr y. Manila also wants ASEAN to condemn a standoff last month between Philippine

and Chinese ships over Scarborough Shoal, an outcrop in the South China Sea. Yang urged Japan to adhere to agreements and understandings with China “in good faith” and said it should return to “the right path of managing differences through dialogue and consultation with the Chinese side.” Japan-China relations this year had seen “some acute problems”, the Chinese foreign minister ack nowledged. China’s assertiveness over disputed territories in the South China Sea, which is home to vital shipping lanes, is seen by analysts as

pushing anxious neighbouring countries closer to the United States. Beijing also recently angered Vietnam by inviting bids for exploration of oil blocks in contested waters, sparking protests in Hanoi. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Cambodia on Wednesday to press for closer relations with ASEAN, par t of Washington’s strategy of “pivoting” towards Asia to challenge China’s influence. She is to take part in the ASEAN Regional Forum today, which brings together 26 nations and the European Union. — AFP

First US envoy in 22 yrs arrives in Myanmar NAYPYIDAW: The first US ambassador to Myanmar in over two decades arrived to take up his post yesterday as Washington prepares to reward reforms in the formerly army-run nation by further easing sanctions. Derek Mitchell, a veteran US policymaker on Asia, met President Thein Sein in the capital Naypyidaw, a Myanmar government official told AFP, marking the latest olive branch from the US as relations between the two countries warm. Mitchell was nominated to the role by President Barack Obama, who has pursued a policy of greater engagement with Myanmar as the Southeast Asian nation emerges from decades of junta rule, which ended last year. Washington this week indicated it could ease more of its strict sanctions against the country, following a tentative loosening of economic and financial embargoes after April by-elections saw Aung San Suu Kyi elected to parliament. An official briefing on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ongoing visit to Asia said she was expected to make an announcement on sanctions this week in Cambodia, where she will meet regional leaders. “She will also be laying out... plans for how the process of sanctions easing will proceed, and she will be engaging with members of the American business community who are anxious and interested in the prospect of participating in the economic opening,” said an official quoted on the State Depar tment website on Monday. The official said the US would be working “very closely” with Myanmar in the coming months, but conceded that “enormous challenges” remained in the country. “It was only a year ago that we essentially had absolutely no contact with this country, almost no interaction. And now we’re working with them on so many different areas.” Mitchell arrived in Naypyidaw days after Suu Kyi-whose democracy struggle saw her locked up for 15 of the last 23 years by the generalsmade her debut in parliament, lending legitimacy to a legislature that remains dominated by the army and its political allies. “He not only has an interest in Myanmar, but he knows a lot about the country so it is good that he has become the ambassador,” Suu Kyi said of Mitchell in remarks to AFP yesterday. Washington withdrew its ambassador to

NAYPYIDAW: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at the lower house of parliament in Naypyidaw yesterday. A retired Myanmar general, seen as a hardliner for close ties to the former junta and its deadly crackdown on 2007 monk-led rallies, has been nominated to be vice president, a military official said. — AFP Myanmar after a crackdown on a democracy uprising in 1988 and elections won by Suu Kyi’s democracy party in 1990 that were never recognised by the junta. But a recent slew of positive changes from Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government, which took power last year, have surprised the West and driven hopes of a democratic future for the country. Key US demands have been answered to a certain extent by the reforms, which have included the release of hundreds of political prisoners, the seeking of ceasefires with ethnic rebels and the ushering of Suu Kyi’s party into mainstream politics. “As an iron fist has unclenched in Burma, we have extended our hand, and are entering a new phase in our engagement on behalf of a more democratic and prosperous future for the Burmese people,” Obama said in May when he named his new ambassador and announced an easing of investment sanctions.

US law currently requires the president to restrict imports from Myanmar and bans US investment and export of financial services to the country. But American businesses are pushing for a further relaxation of punitive measures against the impoverished but resource-rich country, which is seen as a major potential growth market for international investors. Myanmar’s parliament is currently considering a new investment law and a series of other measures aimed at liberalising the economy, which was left in tatters by decades of mismanagement, cronyism and isolation under the junta. At Mitchell’s confirmation hearing in June, senators pressed the Obama administration to allow investment by US energy companies, voicing fears that they could lose out to foreign competitors. Human rights groups have voiced concerns that the oil and gas industry has fuelled abuses like forced labour in the country. — AFP



Australia responds to another boat ‘in distress’ SYDNEY: Australian authorities yesterday responded to a distress call from a second asylum-seeker boat in as many days as opposition leader Tony Abbott insisted he would turn them back if elected prime minister. The boat made three distress calls about 100 nautical miles north of Australia’s remote Christmas Island territory on Tuesday night and after arriving at the scene HMAS Childers sailors boarded the vessel. “Initial indications suggest there are 65 people on board,” the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said. On Tuesday, the same ship steamed to another vessel that made an emergency call but found the boat, carrying 85 people, showing “no visible signs of distress”. HMAS Childers nevertheless took

the passengers on board. The distress calls, which appear to be a tactic aimed at getting authorities to transfer passengers to Christmas Island, are the latest in a series of incidents, with 94 people estimated to have drowned after two boats went down on the perilous sea route in recent weeks. They came as the Sri Lankan Navy seized two fishing trawlers carrying at least 82 would-be asylum seekers heading to Australia. Canberra is facing a steady influx of asylum-seekers arriving in Australia by boat, many of whom use Indonesia as a transit hub, boarding leaky wooden vessels there after fleeing their homes countries. Australia wants to deter boatpeople by transfer-

ring them to Malaysia for processing, in exchange for accepting thousands of that nation’s registered refugees for resettlement. But the minority government has been unable to pass the necessary legislation because of opposition in the Australian parliament. Abbott, who opposes the Malaysia option, favours turning the boats back despite criticism that it would endanger the lives of Australian navy personnel. He said yesterday the navy had done it before and could do so again. “I appreciate navy personnel have a difficult job to do often under highly distressing circumstances,” he said. “But the fact is the navy has turned boats around

before and it has done so with great professionalism and can do so again with the right support from government and that’s what I’d be giving them.” Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said Abbott was “effectively playing Russian roulette with the lives of Australian sailors”. “He has admitted this is dangerous, the former chief of the defence force has said this is dangerous, the chief of the navy has said this is dangerous, and we’ve had members of the Australian Navy saying this is dangerous,” he said. Both Abbott’s conservative opposition and Julia Gillard ruling Labor party have come under fire for failing to broker an asylum-seeker solution, with boats arriving almost daily. — AFP

Afghans protest recent public killing of woman NATO service member killed

HONG KONG: Chinese Cardinal of the Catholic Church and former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Zen Ze-kiun (C) takes part in a protest over religious freedom on mainland China, in Hong Kong yesterday. The demonstrators staged the protest following reports of the disappearance of a Chinese bishop and a priest amid a new row with the Vatican. — AFP

Hong Kong protesters urge Chinese bishop’s release HONG KONG: A group of Catholics demonstrated in Hong Kong yesterday to demand the release of a newly ordained Chinese bishop, who they said was being held against his will. Around a dozen protesters shouted slogans, sang songs and prayed outside Beijing’s representative office in the southern city to call on Chinese authorities to free Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin. “We protest here because we feel very angry about Bishop Ma being detained and also surrounded by public security officers,” said Patrick Poon, a member of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese. “We call for the Chinese government to release him immediately and also to respect his willingness not to join the Catholic Patriotic Association anymore.” Ma has not been seen in public since shortly after his ordination mass on Saturday when he announced to a packed cathedral in Shanghai he was resigning his senior position in the staterun Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. He was taken away by religious officials and is staying at Sheshan seminary on the outskirts of Shanghai, Catholic media reported quoting local sources. He

did not attend his first mass as bishop on Sunday. Ordained with the approval of both the Vatican and Beijing, Ma was the first mainland bishop to drop his membership of the state-run Catholic body, which supervises the country’s Catholics on behalf of the communist authorities. “We hope that we can get the attention of the public and the Catholic Church here in Hong Kong as well as the Vatican, so that they can strengthen their position about Bishop Ma’s situation,” Poon said. Diplomatic ties between China and the Vatican broke down in 1951 after the latter recognised the Nationalist Chinese government in Taiwan, a rival to the communist regime in China. Although relations between Beijing and the Vatican have improved in recent years as the Chinese Catholic population has grown, they remain at odds over which side has the authority to ordain priests. Chinese priests Zhang Xisheng and Zhao Hongchun were taken into custody on July 5 for opposing the ordination of a bishop who lacked the Vatican’s consent. They were released the following day. The state Church has ordained more than 190 bishops, according to official figures. — AFP

Ohio train derails, causing fiery blast COLUMBUS: Part of a freight train carrying ethanol derailed and caught fire in Ohio’s capital city early yesterday, shooting flames skyward into the darkness and prompting the evacuation of a milewide area as firefighters and hazardous materials crews monitored the blaze. Nor folk Southern Corp. said it appeared about 11 cars of a southbound train derailed around 2 a.m. near Interstate 71, southeast of the Ohio State University campus. The train, traveling from Chicago to Linwood, N.C., went off the tracks north of downtown, in an industrial area blocks from residential neighborhoods. Joel Priester said he watched the blast from his home two blocks away. “I saw flames, then I heard a loud sound, like a boom, and saw the flames shooting higher,” he said. “It looked like the sun exploded.” Three of the burning cars were tankers carr ying ethanol, said Assistant Chief David Whiting of the Columbus fire division. After viewing the scene in daylight, authorities decided to let the fire burn out instead of trying to extinguish it. It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the derailment, which blocked access to about half of the Central Ohio Transit Authority’s fleet of vehicles, limiting the city’s public bus service. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending an investigator to the scene. Two people who ran toward the scene before the explosion were injured but were able to take themselves to a hospi-

tal, fire Battalion Chief Michael Fowler said. None of the three personnel onboard the train was hurt, Norfolk Southern spokesman Dave Pidgeon said. He said he couldn’t comment on the crew’s safety record but said the company has been recognized in the industry for its overall safety record. Photographer Chris Mumma said he was more than 10 miles away in New Albany when he saw the night sk y brightened by a “huge illumination” that he later learned was an explosion. He said he went to the scene to take photos and saw punctures on top of the train that were spewing flames 20 to 30 feet high. He also noticed an odd odor. “I noticed there was a chemical smell, and I was inhaling it so I backed up a little bit more because I wasn’t sure what I was getting involved with,” he said. Mumma said it made him so nauseous that he ended up at the hospital. About 50 evacuees went to an American Red Cross aid site set up at the state fairgrounds. Among them was Linda Ogletree, who lives a block from the accident site. “I was in the house and heard the explosion, then I ran outside to see where it was coming from. The whole outside was lit up,” she said. She said she walked to the end of the street with other people but took off running when an explosion occurred. Norfolk Southern said trains blocked by the crash would be rerouted to other tracks in Columbus. — AP

KABUL: Dozens of men and women took to the streets of Kabul yesterday to protest the recent public slaying of an Afghan woman accused of adultery whose brutal, executionstyle killing was captured on video. The footage, which surfaced recently, shows the woman being shot multiple times about 10 days ago in Parwan province, north of the Afghan capital. The gunman was encouraged by people who stood nearby, smiling and cheering. Police in Parwan said the Taleban were behind the killing, but the insurgents have denied they ordered or carried out the slaying. The death of the unidentified woman, who was said to be in her 20s, set off a storm of condemnation. President Hamid Karzai, the US Embassy, the top NATO military commander in Afghanistan and activist groups all denounced the killing. It was a reminder that girls and women still suffer shocking abuse in Afghanistan, but the protest also indicated that people’s views on women’s rights here could be slowly changing. “We want the government to take action on behalf of these women ... who are victims of violence and who are being killed,” said Zuhra Alamyar, a woman activist who was at the Kabul rally. “We want the government to take serious action and stop them.” The crowd of about 50 demonstrators carried large white sheets that said “International community: Where is the protection and justice for Afghan women?” They marched from the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs to a traffic circle near a UN compound, and some shouted: “Death to those who did this act!” Despite guaranteed rights and progressive new laws, the UN Development Program still ranks Afghanistan as one of the world’s worst countries when it comes to equal rights for women. Afghan advocates say attitudes have subtly shifted over the years, in part thanks to the dozens of women’s groups that have sprung up. Still, ending abuse of women is a huge

KABUL: Afghan police provide security as women march to protest the recent public execution of a young woman for alleged adultery, in Kabul yesterday. Dozens of Afghan women’s rights activists took to the streets yesterday to protest the recent public execution which was captured in ahorrific video. — AFP

challenge in a patriarchal society where traditional practices include child marriage, giving girls away to settle debts or pay for their relatives’ crimes and so-called honor killings in which girls seen as disgracing their families are murdered by relatives. Women activists worry that gains made in recent years could erode as the international presence in Afghanistan wanes and the government seeks to negotiate a settlement with the hardline Islamic Taleban insurgents. During the Taleban regime, women were banned from working and going to school, or even leaving home without a male relative. In public, all women were forced wear a headto-toe burqa veil, which covers even the face with a mesh panel.

Commander says Taleban cannot win war: Report KABUL: One of the most senior Taleban commanders has admitted that it is unlikely the insurgents can win the war in Afghanistan, according to an interview published by Britain’s New Statesman magazine. The identity of the Taleban leader is not revealed but the interview was conducted by Taleban expert and author Michael Semple, who was a UN envoy to Afghanistan and is now with the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy at Harvard. “It would take some kind of divine intervention for the Taleban to win this war,” the commander, who is referred to only as Mawlvi (mullah) tells Semple, according to excerpts of the interview on the magazine’s website. “The Taleban capturing Kabul is a very distant prospect.” The Islamists were in power in Afghanistan from 1996 until they were ousted by a US-led invasion in 2001 for harbouring AlQaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, and have since waged an increasingly bloody insurgency. “At least 70 percent of the Taleban are angry at Al-Qaeda,” Mawlvi is quoted as saying. “Our people consider Al-Qaeda to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens. “To tell the truth, I was relieved at the death of Osama. Through his policies, he destroyed

Afghanistan. If he really believed in jihad he should have gone to Saudi Arabia and done jihad there, rather than wrecking our country.” The Taleban insurgents now face the growing forces of the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, supported by some 130,000 US-led NATO troops, who are due to withdraw by the end of 2014. “It is in the nature of war that both sides dream of victory. But the balance of power in the Afghan conflict is obvious,” says Mawlvi, who is described as one of the most senior surviving Taleban commanders and a confidant of the movement’s leadership. “Any Taleban leader expecting to be able to capture Kabul is making a grave mistake. Nevertheless, the leadership also knows that it cannot afford to acknowledge this weakness. “To do so would undermine the morale of Taleban personnel. The leadership knows the truth-that they cannot prevail over the power they confront.” The views presented in the interview contrast strongly with the Taleban’s belligerent public statements, but Mawlvi said that “for the moment, as long as (supreme leader) Mullah Omar is alive, the Taleban will be prepared to follow him in this fight”. — AFP

SRINAGAR: Kashmiri Muslims carry wounded school children on a stretcher at a local hospital in Srinagar, India, yesterday. Dozens were injured when a school bus carrying students on a picnic trip fell into a gorge near the Gulmarg tourist resort in the Indian portion of Kashmir. Two died, according to local news reports. — AP

The video sur faced just before donor nations met this weekend in Tokyo and pledged $16 billion in aid for Afghanistan. The donors expressed strong concerns over how the money will be handled and also called on Kabul to improve human rights, especially women’s rights. “We want from the government to follow the killing of the women in Afghanistan and hand over those responsible to face justice,” said Afghan woman’s rights activist Simi Samar. Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a NATO service member died yesterday in a roadside bombing in the south. NATO did not disclose any other information about the death. So far this year, 232 NATO service members have been killed in Afghanistan. — AP

Malaysia to repeal Colonial-era Sedition Act KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s colonial-era Sedition Act, which has been used over the years to crack down on dissent, is to be scrapped by a government facing growing public demand for political and social freedoms before an election due by early next year. Prime Minister Najib Razak said yesterday he would repeal the 1948 law, a relic of the British colonial period, in the latest in a series of security reforms ahead of nationwide polls. “The Sedition Act represents a bygone era in our country and with today’s announcement we mark another step forward in Malaysia’s development,” Najib said in a speech last night. The law would be replaced by a new National Harmony Act, which Najib said would “balance the right of freedom of expression as enshrined in the Constitution, while at the same time ensuring that all races and religions are protected.” Najib has rolled back several colonial-era security laws since last year, hailing it as the biggest shake-up of the Malaysian political system since independence from Britain. The reforms come as Najib’s Barisan Nasional ruling coalition, which has been in power for 55 years, faces a tough election battle against an opposition which made strong gains four years ago. Najib must call the parliamentary election by March and analysts say he needs to reach out to middle-class, urban voters who are increasingly demanding more political and social freedoms. Najib’s shakeup of security laws began after a violent police response to an electoral reform rally a year ago sparked a backlash against his government. He has replaced the draconian Internal Security Act that allowed for indefinite detention without trial, passed a new act governing freedom of assembly and eased some restrictions on media. Critics say the reforms have not gone far enough and that the new legislation has marked a step back for freedoms in some areas. Guarding against incitement to religious or racial hatred has been a priority for Malaysian governments since the country was racked by race riots in 1969 that pitted majority ethnic Malays against minority ethnic Chinese. Critics of the Sedition Act say it was abused by the government for political ends, targeting opposition politicians, journalists and non-government organisations that criticised government policies. — Reuters



British billionaire Richard Branson poses in front of a model of the Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, at the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire, southern England yesterday. Virgin Galactic announced ‘LauncherOne’, a new air-launched rocket specifically designed to deliver small satellites into orbit. Commercial flights of the new orbital launch vehicle are expected to begin by 2016, and Virgin Galactic aims to offer frequent and dedicated launches at the world’s lowest prices. — AFP

Hundreds of Srebrenica victims buried Continued from Page 1 Holocaust-survivor and US rabbi Arthur Schneier, who spoke at the commemoration, condemned the massacre and also the international silence in the face of grave injustice that allowed it to happen, drawing a comparison with events in Syria. “Silence is not a solution; it merely encourages the perpetrators and ultimately it pays a heavy price in blood,” he said. “It is a lesson that the world must learn again today as we witness the massacres being perpetrated by the regime in Syria against its own people. It is time again for humanity to say with one clear voice: these crimes must end,” he urged. Many survivors and relatives in Srebrenica said yesterday the trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague are too little, too late. “It hurts me to watch broadcasts of the trials... it does not comfort me. (Karadzic and Mladic) plead not guilty, they say this was not genocide,” Muniba Cakar, who buried her husband, said bitterly. “It should be

enough to come here and see the thousands of graves. If that is not proof, we should give up,” the 63-year-old said, gesturing at the thousands of simple white headstones around her. The trial of Mladic, who commanded the attack on Srebrenica, resumed in The Hague this week with the first prosecution witnesses testifying, a little over a year since his arrest in Serbia after nearly 16 years on the run. Karadzic is due to start presenting his defence in October. His trial opened in 2009 after he evaded justice for 13 years. Both men have pleaded not guilty to genocide charges for masterminding the massacre and all other charges against them over the Bosnian war that left around 100,000 people dead. So far 38 former Bosnian Serb military or police officials have been convicted, including some for genocide, for their role in the Srebrenica killings, both by the ICTY and Bosnia’s own war crimes court. In the past 17 years, the remains of 6,800 victims have been identified, but the search goes on as excavations of mass graves continue. — AFP

Suicide bomber attacks Yemen police academy Continued from Page 1 Unusually, the suicide bomber did not die immediately but was evacuated to hospital by medical staff. He was missing a leg and an arm. A Yemeni security official, who declined to be named, said the bomber told security officers before he died that he was affiliated with AlQaeda and came from Amran, a town 70 km north of Sanaa. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed the attack, just as it did a similar attack in Sanaa in May, when a suicide bomber in army uniform killed more than 90 people rehearsing for a military parade. The violence in the heart of the capital demonstrated how far the government is from defeating the insurgents despite a US-backed offensive that drove them out of their southern strongholds this year. “The bombing shows that the security services are still weak and that AlQaeda has not been defeated but simply retreated, maintaining its ability to strike wherever it wants,” said Saeed Obeid, an expert on Al-Qaeda. The United States has been pouring financial and military aid into Yemen to stem the threat of international terrorism from AQAP and prevent any spillover of violence into neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil producer.

It has also stepped up a campaign of drone missile strikes against AQAP, which has been behind several failed attacks on the United States, including an attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009. The Yemeni government vowed to keep up the fight. “Yemen will counter the evil of terrorism with honour and bravery. Al-Qaeda today is not only facing the military and security services but also the fury of the Yemeni public,” Adel Al-Suneini, charge d’affaires in Washington, said in a statement sent to Reuters. But analysts say Yemen faces an uphill battle to defeat the insurgents, who have vowed to carry their fight across Yemen. “The government campaign against Al-Qaeda is going to be a long process and ... victory is still far away,” said Theodore Karasik, the director of research and development at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis. The insurgents had been emboldened by a decline in government control over Yemen last year, during protests that eventually ousted longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and seized several southern cities before being driven out this year. US officials say that President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi - who came to power in February as part of a power-transfer deal bro-

kered by the United States and Gulf states - is more cooperative in the fight against Al-Qaeda than his predecessor. But that has also made his government, and state installations like the police academy, more vulnerable. “Al-Qaeda had a kind of dÈtente with the Saleh regime which gave it a safe haven in return for not attacking government and local targets. This is over now, hence the attacks,” said Yemeni political analyst Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani, echoing a widespread view that Saleh turned a blind eye to AQAP to convince Washington to keep providing aid. Karasik said that AQAP appeared to be adopting methods used in Iraq against the government in Sanaa. “It’s the same kind of tactics that we see Al-Qaeda using in Iraq, targeting police academies and the military. There is a migration of tactics from Al-Qaeda in Iraq to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.” The US involvement in Yemen, particularly the increasing use of its secretive drone missile strike program, has stirred controversy both there and in the United States. Some argue that the drone strikes drive fresh recruits to AlQaeda by causing civilian casualties; others that Yemen actually welcomes them, though officials deny their use because it infringes Yemen’s sovereignty. — Reuters

Youth groups threaten to boycott opposition Continued from Page 1 election commission among others. The group called for boycotting the forthcoming National Assembly elections if the government changes the electoral law or the number of candidates voters can pick. The new development came in a direct response to the last majority bloc gathering on Monday at which it issued a joint statement that was seen as “very week” by the youth groups that expressed fear that not all the opposition members believed in true democratic reforms. The statement even pushed leading figures from the opposition to publicly

announce that divisions existed in the majority bloc because they have not reached consensus over the reform program. Also, not all the opposition bloc members were prepared to boycott the election if the electoral law is changed. Following the two youth statements, MP Harbash said that he totally agrees with the demands by the youth activists. The same was expressed by several opposition MPs like Waalan, who called on the ruling family to respect the constitution, Tabtabaei and others. Tabtabaei however stressed that if the opposition boycotted the election, it will stage rallies and gatherings until the desired political reforms are achieved.

In this twelve photo combination picture, young Indian bonded child laborers, (top left to right) Mohammad Ishitiyak, 10, Iqrar, 11, Aqeel, 14, Kuldeep Mishra, 14, Mohammad Wasim, 13, Guddu, 11, and (bottom left to right), Jilali, 14, Saddam, 10, Shakeel, 13, Mohammad Gufsharan, 15, Monu, 15 and Azaruddin, 14, wear numbers and pose for photographs as their details are processed after being rescued during a raid by workers from Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or Save the Childhood Movement in New Delhi yesterday. — AP

Morsi will obey court ruling on parliament CAIRO: Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi will respect a court ruling overturning his decree for the dissolved Islamist-dominated parliament to convene, his office said yesterday amid a power struggle with the military. The statement appears aimed at mollifying an infuriated judiciary, which has been placed at the forefront of the complex struggle between powerful generals adjusting to their new Islamist president. “If yesterday’s constitutional court ruling prevents parliament from fulfilling its responsibilities, we will respect that because we are a state of the law,” the statement said, a day after the court froze Morsi’s decree. “There will be consultations with (political) forces and institutions and the supreme council for legal authorities to pave a suitable way out of this,” the statement added. Last week, Morsi ordered parliament to convene in defiance of a military decision to disband the house in line with a court ruling last month, before the generals handed power to the president. Morsi’s decree was applauded by suppor ters who believed the court’s decision to disband parliament was political, but it set off a fire storm of criticism from opponents who accused him of overstepping his authority. According to the country’s interim constitution, drafted by the military generals who took charge after president Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow early last year, the military assumed the dissolved parliament’s powers. Morsi’s decision was seen as an opening shot in a power struggle between Egypt’s first civilian leader and the Mubarak-appointed generals who wanted to retain broad powers even after they transferred control on June 30. “The battle for power centred on the judiciary,” read the headline of independent daily Al-Watan yesterday. On Sunday, Morsi had ordered parliament back and invited it to convene. Taking its cue from the president, the People’s Assembly met on Tuesday. “We are gathered today to review the court rulings, the ruling of the Supreme Constitutional Court,” speaker Saad Al-Katatni said. “I want

JEDDAH: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (left) is welcomed by Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz as he arrives in the kingdom on his first foreign trip after his election. — SPA to stress, we are not contradicting the ruling, but looking at a mechanism for the implementation of the ruling of the respected court. There is no other agenda today,” he added. According to Morsi’s decree, new parliamentary elections are to be held after a constituent assembly picked by the legislature finishes a constitution. But the assembly’s fate is in doubt, with the administrative court deciding yesterday to look into complaints on the panel’s legality next Tuesday rather than in September as had been scheduled, the official MENA news agency reported. Should the court declare the parliament appointed assembly illegal, the military will appoint a new one, as stipulated in its interim constitution. The origins of the battle for parliament lay in the constitutional declaration issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which ruled Egypt during its transition after president Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year. The declaration, which acts as a temporary constitution until a new one is drafted, granted the military sweeping powers, including legislative control, and rendering the presidential post little more than symbolic. The SCAF consists of generals appointed by Mubarak, as was the

head of the constitutional cour t which annuled parliament because it found that certain articles of the law governing its election invalid. Critics said the decision was politically motivated. “The constitutional court whose judges were appointed by Mubarak has cancelled the president’s decree and restored the field marshal’s decree,” wrote prominent commentator Alaa Al-Aswany, referring to SCAF head Hussein Tantawi. “The message is clear, the elected president is not to exercise power without the military,” he said. But others saw in Morsi’s decree a constitutional coup which showed little regard for the judiciary or democracy. “The constitutional court returns the slap to the president,” wrote the liberal Al-Wafd, mouthpiece for the Wafd par ty, whose MPs boycotted Tuesday’s parliamentary session. Thousands of protesters rallied Tuesday evening in Tahrir Square, hub of the 2011 revolution, in support of Morsi and chanting “Down with the military” and other slogans hostile to judges and allegedly anti-Islamist TV anchors. Opponents of Morsi’s decree earlier protested outside the presidential palace. Speaker Katatni said parliament had referred the case invalidating the house to the Court of Cassation. — AFP

Assad loses envoy in diplomatic defection Continued from Page 1 China yesterday threw its weight behind UN envoy Kofi Annan, backing his call to include Assad’s ally Iran in internationally brokered talks to resolve the Syrian crisis, in the face of strong Western opposition. “China believes that the appropriate resolution of the Syria issue cannot be separated from the countries in the region, especially the support and participation of those countries that are influential on relevant sides in Syria,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in Beijing. UN Security Council veto-holders China and Russia have for the past year blocked efforts by Washington and its European and Gulf Arab allies to turn the screws on Assad. In Moscow, Russia resisted calls from the Syrian National Council to make Assad’s resignation a condition for talks on a political transition. Talks ended in discord as an opposition leader said Moscow’s policies were helping to prolong the bloodshed. “The Syrian people don’t understand Russia’s position. How can Russia keep supplying arms? How can they keep vetoing resolutions? There needs to be an end to mass killings,” said Burhan Ghalioun, former leader of the Syrian National Council. Assad’s opponents say just under 13,000 armed and unarmed opponents of Assad, and around 4,300 members of security forces loyal to Damascus, have been killed since he launched a crackdown 16 months ago, using tanks and helicopter gunships to attack rebel strongholds inside Syria’s biggest cities. Activists yesterday reported a new bombardment of rebel areas of Homs, a hotbed of opposition to Assad, as well as fighting in many other parts of the country. Syria’s army fired live missiles yesterday in an exercise aiming at showcasing its ability to “destroy any enemy targets”, state media reported. The

tests concluded five days of war games, which analysts say are a warning to Assad’s foes. Opposition figures have been calling for a no-fly zone and NATO strikes against Syrian forces, similar to those carried out in Libya last year which enabled rebel ground forces to end the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. But while Assad has faced sanctions and international condemnation, major Western and Arab powers have shied away from the idea of direct military action. Annan was due to brief the Security Council yesterday on the results of a lightning diplomatic shuttle this week to Damascus, Tehran and Baghdad - three capitals forming a Shiite axis of power in the Middle East. Annan plunged into a tussle between the major powers on Tuesday, insisting that Iran, which strongly backs Assad and is regarded as an adversary of the West and Gulf Arabs, had a role to play in the drive to relaunch stalled peace efforts and begin talks towards a political transition. In Baghdad, Annan also won backing from Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, who, like Assad, has close ties to Tehran. The reaction from two other Security Council veto-holders was not encouraging for the envoy. “I don’t think anybody with a straight face could argue that Iran has had a positive impact on developments in Syria,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. In Paris, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said: “Regarding Iran, we have made our position clear. We believe that this country does not have a place in the action group that brings together countries and players that are really involved in trying to find a political and peaceful solution in Syria.” Moscow’s latest move in the game of diplomatic chess was to suggest on Tuesday that it could host regular meetings of an “action group” that would include the Syrian opposition. — Reuters





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Mexico ruling party seeks new direction By Mica Rosenberg exico’s conservative National Action Party made history when it swept to power in 2000, ending 71 years of one-party rule. But it now faces an identity crisis after a punishing presidential election defeat. Josefina Vazquez Mota, the PAN’s candidate, came in a distant third with just 25.4 percent of the vote on July 1, and the party will have far fewer seats in Congress. The Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled for most of the 20th century and was ousted 12 years ago, was the beneficiary the PAN’s collapse and bounced back to power. President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto campaigned on a platform of ambitious labor, energy and fiscal reforms that look much like proposals that the PAN has failed to push through. PAN lawmakers have said they will not block reforms that benefit Mexico’s long-term growth, even if the proposals come from a PRI president. But they face a clear dilemma: How does the party maintain its integrity as an alternative to the PRI while lining up behind Pena Nieto, who is likely to reap the political rewards if the reforms are successful at re-invigorating the economy? Having struggled through two terms in office without a majority in Congress, dealt with the financial crisis and become embroiled in a brutal war with drug gangs, some party leaders acknowledge the years in power have taken their toll. “We need a selfanalysis, an internal catharsis to put us back on track,” Eugenio Elorduy, a former governor of Baja California state, told Reuters. Already the PAN is voicing support for measures which could set it at cross purposes with the PRI, potentially slowing down Pena Nieto’s reform agenda. It could call for curbs on the power of public sector unions that have long supported the PRI, closer monitoring of public finances in state governments - two-thirds of which are under PRI control - and a second round of voting in presidential elections, analysts and party politicians say. “The fundamental question facing the PAN is whether they pursue an agenda no matter who gets credit for it or whether they pursue party building. It is difficult to do both,” said Eric Farnsworth of the Washington-based Council of the Americas. The PAN is projected to be the No. 3 force behind the PRI and a bloc of leftist parties in the 500-member lower house of Congress and No. 2 in the 128-seat Senate. Still, it will be key to any deal-making and hopes to use that leverage to ensure Pena Nieto sticks to his campaign promises and does not bend to interest groups within the PRI. “We know what we want in terms of energy reform, we know what we want in terms of tax reforms and education reforms. We presented those initiatives in Congress and they were blocked by the PRI over and over again,” said Vazquez Mota’s campaign manager Roberto Gil Zuarth, who is set to enter the Senate. The PAN will have to decide what concessions it can demand from the PRI government to keep itself in the spotlight. “There will of course be dialogue, but we will have our own agenda. One of the immediate items on that agenda is establishing electoral reforms to end campaign financing that is outside the boundaries of the law,” Gil Zuarth said. Leftist runner-up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has accused the PRI of widespread vote buying in the election and is refusing to accept the results. Backed by a group of leftist parties, Lopez Obrador wants to join forces with the PAN to claim in an electoral court that Pena Nieto and the PRI handed out gifts in exchange for support and was unfairly propped up by Mexico’s biggest media companies. The PAN has said it will not seek to have the results of the election annulled but could still work with the PRD in Congress to pursue reforms of the political system and financing rules. Voters are skeptical there will be much camaraderie in the new legislature, which convenes on Sept. 1, after more than a decade of stalemate. “Just like the PRI blocked Calderon’s proposals, the PAN will likely block the PRI, for revenge,” said high school teacher Sergio Francisco Javier. Founded on socially conservative, free-market values, the PAN was the main opposition force for most of the PRI’s rule between 1929 and 2000. In the early days of its history in the 1940s, the PAN garnered much of its support from staunch Roman Catholics, who were opposed to the PRI’s anti-clerical politics. Over the decades, the PAN fought to break the PRI’s grip on almost every aspect of Mexican political life. With charismatic businessman Vicente Fox as its candidate, it finally won the presidential election in 2000.— Reuters


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Arab Spring triumph eluding Libya Islamists By Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Hadeel Al Shalchi arly results from Libya’s first election since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi show Islamist parties failing to secure the same grip on power as counterparts in neighbouring countries where the Arab Spring also toppled veteran rulers. But while partial tallies from Saturday’s national assembly poll point to a lead for Mahmoud Jibril, a moderate who was the wartime rebel prime minister, that does not mean the new Libya will jettison its socially conservative brand of Islam. Victories by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s parliamentary elections and for the Islamists of Ennahda in Tunisia had set the stage for the July 7 elections in Libya, which some had styled as a clash between “liberals” and “Islamists”. But the Libyan narrative was always going to be different from its two immediate neighbours to its east and west. Traumatised by four decades of dictatorship under Gaddafi and unused to free political debate, many voters appear simply to have chosen in Jibril, a US-trained strategic planning expert, a figure who was the public face of the rebel leadership and is seen as a safe pair of hands who can rebuild the economy. Moreover, in a society which is already familiar with a ban on alcohol and conservative dress codes for women but which shows little appetite for hardline policies, many Libyans asked themselves what more Islamist parties could actually offer. “In Libya, everyone is Muslim - we don’t need a political Islam like Tunisia or Egypt,” said Younis Fanoush, a moderate independent candidate who stood in the eastern city of Benghazi, cradle of last year’s revolution. Jibril also declares himself a devout, practising Muslim. That widely shared attitude looks to have limited the appeal of the Justice and Construction Party, the political arm of the local Muslim Brotherhood long suppressed by Gaddafi and whose members in some cases were hanged by police from lampposts. In the Tripoli suburb of Janzour, partial tallies from the first district in the capital from which results have begun to emerge showed Justice and Construction being crushed in a landslide for Jibril’s New Forces Alliance (NFA), a grouping of around 60 parties. It fared better in Misrata, the city which


bore the brunt of shelling by Gaddafi forces last year, but was still edged out of first place by the party of a local Gaddafi opponent. Likewise, the new Al-Watan (“Homeland”) party of former Islamist militant Abdul Hakim Belhadj ran a slick campaign with glossy posters but failed to take off, according to the same tallies being published gradually by the election commission. Local political analyst Nasser Ahdash said many Libyans had believed that voting for avowedly Islamist parties would have alienated international allies and only prolonged the isolation from the rest of the world they suffered under Gaddafi. “Libyans are sick and tired of being closed off from the world. They spent 42 years under the iron clamp of Gaddafi and being cut out from the rest of the planet,” said Ahdash. “The experience of Egypt with the Brotherhood probably scared some Libyans into voting for Jibril’s camp,” he said of the power struggle now being played out in Cairo between the Islamists and army generals determined to retain influence. Other factors appeared to play against the Islamists. Some Libyans find hard to swallow the fact that the Brotherhood brokered deals with the Gaddafi government a decade ago to release hundreds of their members from jail. Local perceptions that Justice and Construction have ties with the Egypt Brotherhood and that Al-Watan is close to Qatar - even if not supported by clear evidence - also played against them, as did the relative obscurity of many Islamist candidates in a country where personal reputation is all. The tribal and local tensions still prevalent in Libya may explain Jibril’s more modest showing in Misrata, where no love is lost with Bani Walid, the home town of his Warfalla tribe. But he clearly benefited from the profile he won as one of the most prominent leaders of last year’s rebellion. He was point man for the diplomacy that won it the NATO backing needed to hammer home advances against Gaddafi forces. “I want Libya to be an Islamic country, and would have voted for an Islamist party if I was convinced a decent one existed,” said Osama Mohamed, a teacher from Benghazi. “But at this point the country needs someone who can fix our economy and move us forward, and Jibril is the man to do that.” Jibril himself did not stand as a candidate for Saturday’s

elections, a decision many believe is calculated to allow him to claim a greater role - possibly even president - once a new constitution is drafted. For now, he is coy about his plans. But assuming the NFA’s lead is confirmed by final results, Jibril will have to deal with a local political scene where the frame of reference is Islamic and “secular” a dirty word. Human Rights Watch analyst Hanan Salah pointed to defaced campaign posters of female candidates as a sign some in Libya do not want women in politics, and said any new Libyan leadership ought to demonstrate a commitment to freedom of expression and to reform of the justice sector. Many Libyans reject the kind of Islamic law found in states like Saudi Arabia - many women complained when, in a speech declaring “liberation” last October, opposition leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil promised religious rule and vowed to scrap a Gaddafi-era law which curbs clerically approved polygamy. Yet rejecting Islamic law is also clearly no vote-winner; Jibril, In his first news conference on Sunday after the election, rejected foreign media labels of him as liberal and secular and he listed sharia as a guiding principle of his alliance’s broadlydefined “Libya First” platform. In a country riven by tribal and regional tensions, that could act as a rallying point to bring Islamist parties into the grand coalition he wants to emerge from what will be a highly fragmented interim national assembly. Of the 200 seats in the new General National Congress that will name a caretaker prime minister and cabinet before full parliamentary polls next year, only 80 are reserved to parties with the remaining 120 going to a mixed bag of independents. Abu Bakr Abdel-Gader, an independent candidate who has already learned that he has won a seat, told Reuters he had been contacted by Justice and Construction to be offered a position in that party - a sign it could be looking to bolster its numbers via alliances with independent lawmakers. “The incoming National Congress could be beset by the same debilitating in-fighting that hampered the outgoing National Transitional Council,” analyst Geoff Porter said of the interim administration from which Jibril stepped down last October. “The total tally of individual candidates could ultimately tip the results in a new direction and things could change markedly over the next week or two.” — Reuters

Ouster of Etisalat chairman may herald shift By Matt Smith hen Gulf telecommunications giant Etisalat replaced its veteran chairman last week, he became the latest casualty of a multi-billion dollar foreign expansion which has failed to translate into profits and may prompt the firm to sell overseas assets to offset a decline in income. Such a retreat would have been unthinkable just a few years ago when Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates’ largest listed company, conceived its publicly stated ambition to become one of the world’s top 10 telecommunications firms. But Mohammad Omran’s exit suggests strategy changes may be on the cards. It also serves as a warning to cash-rich Gulf companies which could be tempted to snap up overseas assets as the global financial crisis makes them cheaper: Etisalat found buying assets easier than making them profitable. Omran, a chief architect of state-controlled Etisalat’s foreign splurge, was removed through a decree by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. His replacement is another local citizen, Eissa Al-Suwaidi, who is also chairman of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and a director at other government-controlled institutions. Suwaidi will have some stark statistics to consider. The Gulf ’s second biggest telecommunications firm, behind Saudi Telecom, spent about $12.6 billion between 2004 and 2009 buying companies, licences and other investments, according to a Reuters analysis of Etisalat’s public statements. Analysts say it overpaid in several instances. In Pakistan, it stumped up nearly double the nearest bid to buy into Pak istan Telecommunication Co, but its stake is now worth less than 10 percent what it


paid, according to stock market prices. The spending spree expanded its customer base to 167 million across 17 countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. But Etisalat’s profits have fallen 34 percent since their peak in 2009 and are now at roughly the same level as in 2006, when its foreign plans were in their infancy. The slump has reduced the royalty or tax which Etisalat, 60-percent owned by the government, pays to state coffers. Its shares have dropped 45 percent from a 2008 high, making it worth about $19.8 billion, according to Reuters data. “It’s very difficult to be successful across all 17 markets and the costs are punitive,” said a regional telecommunications analyst who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak publicly on the issue. “Etisalat should focus on and consolidate its operations in five to six key markets, and cut any possible losses in the other 10 to 12 countries.” There are signs that the consolidation may have begun. Etisalat has put its stake in Indonesia’s third biggest phone company PT XL Axiata on the auction block in a sale that could raise up to $700 million - though its decision appears mainly due to differences of opinion with its Asian partner. A sale would mark Etisalat’s second exit from Asia after it shut down its Indian joint venture earlier this year. Etisalat took an $827 million writedown and sued its partners for alleged fraud after the affiliate became one of several operators to lose its licence because of a corruption probe. In a rare public statement in May, group chief executive Ahmad Julfar said the firm could sell assets. “Our strategy is to focus on the portfolio we have,” Julfar told a Dubai conference. “Within this portfolio we have a few markets which we are revisiting - should we stay in this market?

Should we consolidate? Or should we divest?” He declined to say which units might be targeted. A less-is-more philosophy would free up management time for Etisalat to refocus on its home market, where the loss of its monopoly in 2007 was one impetus for its overseas ambitions. The UAE still provides the lion’s share of income, accounting for 74 percent of revenue in 2011 and more than 90 percent of net profits, despite being home to just 6 percent of the company’s subscribers. Etisalat ’s domestic revenue is in decline, largely due to increased use of cheap or free Internet-based phone services among the UAE’s mainly expatriate population, which has hurt the company’s high-margin international calls business. More attention to this market might help Etisalat fight back against smaller domestic rival du, which has built up a 47-percent share of mobile subscribers in five years. Analysts say one problem for Etisalat’s foreign investment program is that its assets only have affiliate status in the most attractive markets such as Saudi Arabia, while its full subsidiaries are mainly in low-population, low-income markets in Asia and Africa. “In the long term, it’s difficult for four to five mobile operators to all be successful in the same market,” said Matthew Reed, a senior analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media. “You don’t end up with five players with roughly equal market shares, and so the smaller players either consolidate or become also-rans.” Selling out of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sudan - all mired in political strife and difficult, high-cost environments - as well as Tanzania, Sri Lanka and West African unit Atlantique Telecom, could allow Etisalat to reinvest any sale gains in its

more promising operations. Such a move would leave Etisalat with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Nigeria, all wealthy or high- growth, populous markets. Meanwhile, reducing the company’s footprint would have little impact on operating revenue. “Last year, Deutsche Bank had a mandate from Etisalat to help them review alternatives for the African business and potentially help a full sale,” said a banking source, adding that talks with at least one potential buyer had apparently foundered. The banker declined to be identified since the talks were not made public; comment was not available from Etisalat, while a spokesman for Deutsche in Dubai declined to comment. Ironically, some potential buyers for Etisalat’s assets may be European companies which until recently looked to have weaker growth prospects than the UAE firm. France’s Vivendi has previously shown interest in buying into Africa; it was in talks with Kuwait’s Zain in 2009 for its African business, before Zain sold the assets to Bharti Airtel for $9 billion in 2010. Other potential suitors for some of Etisalat’s assets include France Telecom, which has been seeking to grow in Africa and also owns stakes in operators in Jordan and Iraq. With a reshuffled management - it has named a new chief executive as well as heads of finance, marketing and strategy within the last 16 months - and a newly appointed board, Etisalat may not undertake a major sale process for a few months yet. But tackling problems at its international business may become urgent. “With increasing competition in the local market, they cannot afford to sit back on their international operations and see them depreciate in value further,” said the banking source. — Reuters


sp orts Urszula wins over Eleni

Bangladesh Premier League

Tycoon offers golden carrot

STANFORD: Poland’s Urszula Radwanska took a leaf out of her older sister Agnieszka’s book by delivering a battling 3-6 6-3 6-4 win over Eleni Daniilidou in the first round of the Stanford Classic on Tuesday. Urszula had to watch her older sister contest the Wimbledon final on television on Saturday, and while it was an emotional day watching the new world number two lose to Serena Williams in three sets, it did not deter her from own task on Tuesday. She struggled for most of the match against the veteran Daniilidou, but in the end was the more aggressive and accurate player on the big points. The 20-year-old will face eighth seed Marina Erakovic in the second round after the New Zealander beat Jana Juricova of Slovakia 62 6-2. “”It was a very tough match,” Radwanska said. “”I played her in Tashkent and it was also 6-4 in the third set. I was trying to be solid and attack her backhand and hold my serve. “She plays more like a man with a big serve and big forehand and a slice backhand.” Radwanska, who reached a career high ranking of No. — Reuters

DHAKA: The Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA) will advise players to skip future editions of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) over outstanding payments, the cricketers’ body said yesterday. The inaugural franchise-based Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh was held in February and attracted top international cricketers, including former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi and flamboyant West Indies opener Chris Gayle. According to a FICA statement, at least 12 overseas players were yet to receive their full payments amounting to over $600,000. “The Franchises and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have been in breach of contract for nearly two and a half months,” FICA Chief Executive Tim May said. “We have given them every opportunity to settle these amounts and they have continually responded with a series of broken promises and empty public pronouncements.” “It goes without saying that FICA will be strongly recommending to all players, both in and outside Bangladesh, that they should not contemplate participating in this tournament in the coming years,” he added. May pointed out BCB had promised last month to pay the outstanding dues to the players from their own pockets, if necessary. —Reuters

MALAYSIA: A Malaysian mining magnate has offered the country’s Olympic badminton team a gold bar worth 2 million ringgit ($630,000) if they can bring home a first gold medal from the London Games. The steamy Southeast Asian country has never won gold at a Games dating back to their first in 1956, but has won two bronze and two silver medals, all in badminton. Andrew Kam, a badminton enthusiast and chairman of the Kuala Lumpur Racquet Club Berhad (KLRC), offered the additional sweetener to the team, who have already been offered 1 million ringgit by the government and a separate private firm to win gold. “KLRC would like to play a part in helping this dream become a reality — and that is to capture the elusive gold medal which our country has yet to achieve,” Kam said in a statement carried by local media. “Towards this end, on behalf of KLRC Berhad, I would like to throw a challenge to our Malaysian badminton team: If any of you brings home a gold medal from London 2012, there is a 2 million ringgit gold bar waiting for you here. — Reuters

Catchings lifts Fever past Liberty INDIANAPOLIS: Tamika Catchings scored 23 points, including the winning free throws with 8.4 seconds left, to give the Indiana Fever an 84-82 victory over the New York Liberty on Tuesday. Katie Douglas scored 20 points and Shavonte Zellous added 12 as the Fever (10-6) squandered a 12-point lead and trailed by four in the final minutes before rallying. Cappie Pondexter scored a seasonhigh 33 points and Essence Carson added 14 for the Liberty (6-11), who have lost two straight and six of nine. Trailing 73-70 midway through the fourth quarter, the Liberty scored seven consecutive points to take their biggest lead. Catchings made two 3s to regain the lead for the Fever with less than 2 minutes to go. Pondexter hit a tying jumper, and Douglas and Pondexter traded 3-pointers 14 seconds apart to leave the score tied at 82 with 35.5 seconds to go. Sun 77, Mystics 70 At Washington, Kara Lawson scored 17 points and Tina Charles had 16 as Eastern Conference -leading Connecticut won its third straight. Tan White added 11 points for the Sun (13-4), who improved to a leaguebest 7-1 on the road after winning just six times away from home a year ago. Connecticut has won all three meetings with Washington this season and the last seven overall. The Sun shot 7 for 13 (54 percent) on 3-pointers, led by Lawson’s 3-for-5 effort. Crystal Langhorne scored 15 points and Michelle Snow had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the the last-place Mystics (3-13). Matee Ajavon

added 13 points, Monique Currie had 12 and Noelle Quinn 10. Lynx 107, Shock 86 At Tulsa, Candice Wiggins scored 25 points, Maya Moore had 24 and Minnesota used an 18-2 run to pull away in the fourth quarter. Seimone Augustus added 17 points, Lindsay Whalen had 14 and Taj McWilliams-Franklin 12 for the Lynx (13-4). Wiggins and Moore both shot 8 for 12 from the field, with Wiggins going 6 for 9 on 3-pointers. Ivory Latta led the Shock (3-13) with 25 points on 10-for-14 shooting, including 5 for 8 on 3s. Kayla Pedersen added 12 points and Glory Johnson had 11. The Lynx took a 51-46 lead at the break and then increased the margin to 10 points in the third before the Shock pulled to 76-75 in the opening minute of the fourth. However, Wiggins had eight points, including two 3s, during Minnesota’s big run. Sparks 90, Mercury 71 At Phoenix, Candace Parker had 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead Los Angeles to its fourth straight win. Kristi Tolliver added 19 points and six assists and Nneka Ogwumike had 11 points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles (146). Parker also had four assists and three blocks. DeWanna Bonner and rookie Sammy Prahalis both had 14 points and seven rebounds to lead the Mercury (4-14). Alexis Gray-Lawson added 13 points and Krystal Thomas scored 11. Both teams were playing their third games in four days but Los Angeles won all three while the Mercury lost all three. Phoenix has lost five straight and seven of nine. —AP

Haye, Chisora agree that KO loser to help charity LONDON: David Haye and Dereck Chisora each promised that the knockout loser of their non-world title fight on Saturday will donate 20,000 pounds ($31,000) to charity. At a joint news conference on Wednesday, where the bitter British rivals were separated by a metal fence, one of the only two things they agreed on was helping out charities if one or the other is knocked out at Upton Park. Chisora (15-3) picked a children’s hospital, and Haye (25-2) chose a bone marrow charity for minorities. The only other point they found common ground on was being prepared to be blood tested for doping, if asked. Otherwise, the banter flowed freely between the boxers, who have attracted an impressive 29,000 spectators so far to their grudge match. “I can’t think of such a fast-selling fight involving so much publicity since we bought Mike Tyson back, over 10 years ago,” said Frank Warren, Chisora’s manager. Haye and Chisora came to blows in an infamous press conference

confrontation in Munich after Chisora’s defeat on points to Vitali Klitschko in February. The brawl tarnished the reputation of both men, leading to the Luxembourg Boxing Federation sanctioning their fight, and not the British Boxing Board of Control. Neither boxer was apologetic for the ugly scenes that were broadcast globally from Munich. “I regret saying I would shoot David,” Chisora said. “But do I regret getting hit on the sucker punch? No.” Haye said: “I don’t regret anything. I was defending myself like anyone else would.” The 31year-old Haye, who hasn’t fought in a year, refused to speak about his future af ter Saturday ’s fight but Warren spoke of a potential matchup for Chisora with Wladimir Klitschko. “If Dereck comes through on Saturday like I know he can then the biggest fight here in the UK would be Wladimir Klitschko,” Warren said. “Get this one out of the way and that is the direction we are going in.” —AP

LONDON: Heavyweight British boxers David Haye (left) and Dereck Chisora come head to head with a piece of metal fencing between them after a press conference. —AP

KANSAS: American League’s Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels, steals second base against National League’s Jose Altuve, of the Houston Astros, during the sixth inning of the MLB All-Star baseball game. —AP

NL routs AL in All-Star game KANSAS CITY: Melky Cabrera, Pablo Sandoval and Matt Cain helped the National League to a Giant blowout in the All-Star game. After all the talk about AL dominance during an offseason when Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder switched leagues, the NL romped to an 8-0 victor y over the American League on Tuesday night. The World Series will start in the city of the NL champion for the third straight year. “It’s a nice edge,” the NL’s Tony La Russa said after his final game as a manager. Flashing their bright orange spikes and booming bats, the San Francisco sluggers keyed a five -run blitz against Justin Verlander in the first inning. Cabrera homered and won the MVP award in the ballpark where he played last season, and Cain got the win in the NL’s most-lopsided All-Star victory. “I didn’t come to win an MVP. That’s just a surprise,” the former Royals outfielder said, his mother and grandmother next to him. “The same opportunity that Kansas City gave me last year is the same opportunity that San Francisco is giving me every day to showcase my talent.” Chipper Jones singled in his final All-Star at-bat at age 40. Ryan Braun, an All-Star again after his drug suspension was overturned last winter, doubled, tripled and made a fine catch in the outfield to help give the NL its first three-game winning streak in two decades. Teen sensation Bryce Harper had a shaky All-Star debut with a walk, strikeout and missed catch. Fellow rookie Mike Trout, only 20, showed off his dynamic skills. Cain combined with Stephen Strasburg, R.A. Dickey, Aroldis Chapman and the rest of a lights-out staff on a six-hitter. The game was pretty much decided a few moments after it started. Sandoval hit the first bases-loaded triple in All-Star history off Verlander, who couldn’t control his 100 mph heat. Cabrera singled and scored the first run, then hit a two-run homer against Matt Harrison in a three-run fourth. “I don’t get many triples,” said the slowfooted Sandoval, known as Kung Fu Panda. “We had some fun with that in the dugout.” San Francisco fans, who made a late voting push to elect Sandoval and Cabrera to starting spots, might really appreciate the victory come October. The Giants are a half-game behind the first-place Dodgers in the NL West. Rafael Furcal also hit a three -bagger, mak ing the NL the first league with three in an All-Star game. As the All-Stars returned to Kansas City for the first time since 1973, La Russa bid farewell to the national stage in the city where he played for his first major league team. Having retired after managing St. Louis to last year’s World Series title, La Russa became just the fourth inactive manager to skipper an All-Star team and improved to 4-2. “Just lucky, like I’ve been 30 years,” La Russa said.

The NL boosted its advantage to 43-38-2 and won for just the third time in the 10 years the All-Star game has been used to determine home-field advantage in the World Series. La Russa’s Cardinals benefited from last year’s NL All-Star victory, with St. Louis winning Games 6 and 7 at home against Ron Washington’s Texas Rangers. “It’s very disappointing, because we’re competitors and we want to win,” said Washington, who lost for the second straight year. “They came out. They swung the bats. Once they got the lead, started

The Angels outfielder singled and stole a base against Dickey’s knuckleball, then drew a walk against Chapman and his 101 mph heat. “I’m going to remember this the rest of my life,” Trout said. Cain pitched the 22nd perfect game in big league history last month. He didn’t have to be perfect in this one, allowing one hit in two innings for the win. “For those guys to go out and score five runs in the first inning was definitely a little more relaxing for me,” he said. “But I still

KANSAS: National League’s Melky Cabrera, of the San Francisco Giants shows off his MVP trophy after the MLB All-Star baseball game. —AP bringing those arms in their hand, and they got the job done.” Jones, retiring at the end of the season, also had one last All-Star moment, pinch hitting in the sixth and singling just past second baseman Ian Kinsler and into right field. Jones chuckled as the ball rolled through. La Russa asked Jones to address the team before the game and the Atlanta third baseman told players: “ Whether you’re 19 or 40, we are all equals here.” “I am not going out losing my last one. So, you with me?” he added. At 19 the youngest position player in All-Star history, Harper had a shaky start when he entered in the fifth. The heralded rookie, wearing shiny gold shoes, didn’t flash a Gold Glove and lost Mike Napoli’s routine fly to left in the lights, allowing it to drop behind him for a single. Harper then caught Kinsler ’s basesloaded flyball to end the inning, earning applause from the crowd of 40,933 at Kauffman Stadium, spruced up by a $250 million renovation that was completed three years ago. Harper tagged up on a long fly after his walk in the fifth, but got himself hung up in a rundown and tagged out. Trout, among a record five All-Star rookies, had a nice showing against two very different pitchers.

tried to stay focused.” Cain was followed by 10 relievers, with Jonathan Papelbon getting the last out with a runner on third base. Verlander had a puzzling outing. In games that count, he hasn’t allowed five runs in an inning since April 2010, according to STATS LLC. He became the first All-Star to give up a fivespot since Houston’s Roger Clemens in front of his hometown fans in 2004. “I know this game means something and you don’t want to give up runs, but we’re here for the fans,” Verlander said. “I know the fans don’t want to see me throw 90 and try to hit the corners.” In a 35-pitch inning, he threw five pitches clocked at 100 mph and another at 101. “Hitting 100 in the first inning? Normally you see the guy throw 93, 94 in the first and then hit 100 in the eighth. We saw him hit 101,” Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano said. “The funniest part was Fielder said to him, ‘Hit 101’ and the next pitch he hit 101. Is it that easy?” La Russa, usually serious and tense after games, was playful after his finale, chanting “Mel-ky! Mel-ky! Mel-ky!” as the MVP walked to the podium. “If you’re trying to win one game, there’s not a better manager out there,” Braun said. “It’s only fitting that he went out with a win.” —AP


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Donald to defend title at Scottish Open LONDON: With storms reducing last year’s Scottish Open to a 54-hole tournament, some of golf’s top names return to the Castle Stuart course this week hoping for better weather conditions as they look to sharpen their links game ahead of the British Open. Torrential rain and thunder storms caused landslides on parts of the newly opened course in the Highlands last year, conditions local residents described as the worst the region had endured in half a century. It did prove, however, a genuine taster for the wet and wild British Open that followed at Royal St. George’s last year and that is why the likes of top-ranked Luke Donald, American star Phil Mickelson and triple major winner Padraig Harrington are making the trip up to northern Scotland again this year. “I like to play links golf before I get to the (British) Open,” Harrington said. “I think it’s a distinctly different form of golf than what we regularly get. I know some people don’t like playing the week before a major, but there’s no substitute for playing competi-

tive links golf.” Third-ranked Lee Westwood - the joint firstround leader here last year - has chosen to take the week off, and the rest will probably do him good after hurting his right groin when slipping as he walked to the first tee ahead of the third round of the French Open on Saturday. Westwood, of course, will be looking to win his first major at the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s. So will Donald, a fellow Englishman who showed he has the game to master the unpredictable links by winning the Scottish Open in 2011. Having now spent a total of 52 weeks as No. 1, only two Europeans - Nick Faldo and the late Seve Ballesteros - have been at the summit of the rankings for a longer stretch than Donald, who won the BMW PGA Championship in his last tournament in Europe. On that occasion, the weather at Wentworth was glorious and not too dissimilar to the conditions he regularly plays in on the US PGA tour. Expect the

Scottish Open to be completely different, despite the event coming right in the middle of British summertime. “If the weather stays this way, it will be difficult,” 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen said Tuesday. “But links golf should be harsh weather. It should be rainy. It should be windy. Otherwise, it’s not the way it should be.” Organizers have spent 70,000 pounds ($110,000) on improving Castle Stuart after last year’s incidents, which ravaged a course that was hosting the tournament for the first time. The parkland Loch Lomond course staged the event for the previous 15 years. Money has been spent on implementing an extensive and mostly underground storm-drainage system to ensure the course can withstand any severe conditions. There have also been some changes to the layout, with four new bunkers added and new tees constructed on three holes to lengthen the course by 150 yards to 7,193.

Donald won by four shots last year with a threeround score of 19 under par. Mickelson, who is ranked No. 16, is a regular participant at the Scottish Open but wasn’t scheduled to compete this year until he missed the cut at the Greenbrier Classic last week. He was handed an invitation at the weekend to play at Castle Stuart - increasing the number of major champions present to 10 - and will be looking to win the event for the first time, having finished runner-up in 2007 when he lost a playoff to Gregory Havret of France. Another American to be afforded an invitation is John Rollins, who has never previously competed in a European Tour event. Donald will play the opening two rounds with double US Open champion Ernie Els, Mickelson partners Scottish players Martin Laird and Paul Lawrie while Harrington will tee off alongside ponytailed German Marcel Siem, who won the French Open on Sunday. — AP

Golf dreams don’t expire easily

Shooter Heba Erzouqi

Kuwait shooters win gold in Russia KUWAIT: Kuwait shooting continued its winning ways as Kuwait’s junior team participating in fifth Asian junior games in Russia won two gold medals in the 10m air rifle event. President of Asian and Kuwait Shooting Federation, Vice-president of ISSF Sheik h Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud AlSabah dedicated this achievement to HH the Amir Sheik h Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and to the Kuwaiti people. Kuwait shooters participated as part of Kuwait Olympic Committee delegation, headed by Dr. Nidal Al-Asem, along with Adelah Al-Baghli and shooters Bander Al-Mutairi, Heba Erzouqi and Duag AlDuwaikhi. Dr. Al-Asem said Kuwait shooters are always doing what is expected from them and look forward to have Kuwait’s name mentioned everywhere. He said the shooting events witnessed large crowds, as a large number of Asian federations attended. He said Kuwait’s shooter Bander AlMutairi made good results and took the gold medal with a score of 387/400, meanwhile Heba Erzouqi, after fierce competition from other shooters over several rounds, won the gold medal with a Shooter Bander seen in this file photo score of 392/400.

JACKSONVILLE: What makes golf so appealing is that it can be played for a lifetime. And the dreams that go with it don’t expire easily, either. Such is the case of Tim Thelen. His name might not be familiar outside the PGA of America or southeast Texas. Thelen spent his career as a golf professional, working at a country club in College Station and a resort in New Ulm, and once giving lessons at a driving range that since has been replaced by a Wal-Mart. He was good enough to play college golf at Houston Baptist - a Scottish kid named Colin Montgomerie was on his team - but he never made it through Q-school, and that was before there was an alternative like the Tour. Back then, there wasn’t even a web. The one year he reached the final stage of Q-school, he was 38. And while there was a developmental tour and Thelen had conditional status, he also had a steady income and an 11-year-old son. Thelen won the Club Pro Championship twice and played in the PGA Championship nine times without ever making the cut. He played in 22 regular PGA Tour events, through his status as a club pro or Monday qualifying, and made four cuts and the grand sum of $78,742 over 15 years. But as he approached his 50th birthday, a conversation with the late club pro Bob Boyd changed ever ything. “He played on the European Senior Tour. This was late 2009 and he had been playing for five years, and he loved it over there,” Thelen said Tuesday morning from his home in College Station. “It’s different over there. But it’s like I told my wife, there’s an opportunity to make money and we’ll see the world.” It has turned into so much more than he expected. Two weeks ago in Munich, with wife Lucinda on the bag, Thelen holed out with a 6-iron for an albatross on the par-5 opening hole in the Berenberg Bank Masters. On the back nine, with Bernhard Langer and Barry Lane among those chasing him down, Thelen closed with three birdies on the last four holes to win. Bags packed, hotel booked, they headed off to Switzerland for the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open. This time, it was a pair of Ryder Cup captains - former world No. 1 Ian Woosnam and Mark James - applying the pressure. Thelen made two late birdies to thwart the charge and won again. And so ended his six-week journey that began in Michigan for the Senior PGA Championship and took him to Spain, England, Holland, Germany, Switzerland and finally back home to Texas for two weeks. That allowed the 51-year-old Thelen time to reflect before heading back over to Turnberry for the Senior British Open. “I had a really good career as a club pro,” said Thelen, who resigned from The Falls when he earned his European Senior card. “Winning the Club Pro Championship twice, winning the National Assistant Pro Championship once ... I knew I could play. I didn’t know I could reach the

level I have today. You always dream of playing on a tour, and I never lost focus. But as a golf pro, you have to find time to play and practice. “Every golf professional has that opportunity,” he said. “It’s whether he takes that opportunity when the shop closes at 7 p.m. and there’s still two hours to practice or play nine holes. Unfortunately, it’s hard on the wife and kid. But you’ve got to keep your dreams alive.” He remembers the conversation with his wife after earning his card. “Two things can happen,” he said. “We can make some money. Or we can go broke. And we’ve been there before.” Lucinda caddies for him in the summer until she has to go back to her day job teaching children with autism, and working two nights a week at Texas A&M where she is an instructor on how to teach children with disabilities. The only time Thelen ever traveled in his previous job was to Ireland and Wales for the PGA Cup, a Ryder Cup for club pros. That was as part of a team. Now, he and his wife have learned to book hotel rooms on the Internet, figuring out which rooms are close to the golf course and whether they need a rental car. With one TV channel in their hotel room in Switzerland, they wound up watching “Jaws” in German. There was the time Thelen woke up in the middle of the night in France upon hearing his door open, only to see an elderly man standing there. “I’m speaking English at him, he’s speaking French at me and we’re getting nowhere,” he said. The man presumably was giv-

Rashard Lewis

Ray Allen

WHISTLING STRAITS: In this Aug. 13, 2010, file photo, Tim Thelen chips during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. — AP en the wrong room key. A friend who came over to caddie for him in Portugal had dry skin. They went to buy lotion and, not being able to read the label in Portuguese, bought liquid soap. “After three days, he looked like a lizard,” Thelen said. On the golf course, it’s the same game he started playing at age 6 growing up in Minnesota. Winning feels the same in Switzerland as it did at the Club Pro Championship. The difference was looking up at the leaderboard and seeing his name alongside guys like Langer and Woosnam. “I look up at the board at the Club Pro Championship, I know most of those guys. I have dinner with them. I knew after so many years that I could win out there,” he said. “But in my second year on the European Senior Tour, getting to play golf with guys I grew up watching ... I didn’t know if I could win.” With back-to-back wins, Thelen now has made $144,711 this year and is second on the Order of Merit behind Senior PGA champion Roger Chapman. He wants to try Q-school on the Champions Tour in America this year. The prize money is higher. The travel is easier. Whatever happens, he knows he has a tour to call home, even if it’s thousands of miles away. “I’ve had the opportunity to see the world and different cultures,” Thelen said. “I’ve loved golf since I started playing at 6 years old. This is a dream, something I’ve always wanted to do.” — AP

No deal yet on Singapore GP renewal SINGAPORE: Singapore denied yesterday that a deal had been agreed with Formula One to extend the country’s grand prix contract for five years after September’s race. Commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone had earlier been quoted in the Today newspaper as saying the contract extension was all set and that the timing of the official announcement would be decided by the Singapore government. Organisers Singapore GP (SGP) said in a statement that negotiations on the terms of a second five-year contract were continuing. “ What is presently on offer from Formula One Administration is insufficient for us to commit to a full five-year extension,” they said. SGP said the talks had been going on for almost a year but the terms had to “offer commercial viability for the full five years. “We remain hopeful at reaching an outcome that is mutually beneficial to all parties,” SGP added. Ecclestone had told the Singaporebased newspaper that obstacles to a

deal had been cleared. “I’m happy that this is out of the way because Singapore has been good to F1 and the night race has also been equally good for Singapore,” he said. The race was first held in 2008 on the Marina Bay street circuit and has become a social highlight of the Formula One calendar that rivals Monaco and Abu Dhabi as a draw for dealmakers and corporate heavy-hitters. Formula One had also planned a flotation worth up to $3 billion in Singapore but that has been put on hold due to weak and volatile financial markets. Today said the rights fee for hosting the grand prix was believed to have cost Singapore organisers US$35 million initially with yearly increases rising to US$42 million last year. A feasibility study carried out after the 2010 race found that the grand prix had brought in 420 million Singapore dollars ($331.37 million) in tourism receipts in the first three years. This year’s race is on Sept. 23. —Reuters

Heat bolster lineup with Allen and Lewis signings MIAMI: The NBA champion Miami Heat strengthened their already imposing roster yesterday by completing the signings of free agents Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, hugely boosting their threat from long distance. Allen is the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) all-time leading threepoint scorer and a 10-time All-Star who won a championship with Miami’s Eastern Conference rivals, the Boston Celtics, in 2008. The 36-year-old guard turned down a twoyear offer from the Celtics, reportedly for $12 million, in order to join three-time NBA most valuable player LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in Miami.

Allen will be expected to radically bolster a team that was just 10th overall in three-point shooting last season while also helping to open driving lanes for both for James and Wade. Allen, who will turn 37 later this month, will likely back-up Wade at the shooting guard position but could also play alongside him as an alternative to Mario Chalmers. Forward Lewis, 32, is a 14-year NBA veteran and two-time NBA All Star who played with Allen at the Seattle Supersonics from 2003-07. In their final season together they averaged a combined 48.8 points. Lewis, also a highly-rated three-point shooter who has a career aver-

age of 16.1 points per game, spent last season with the Washington Wizards before being traded to the New Orleans Hornets who bought out his contract, making him a free agent. After two injury-hampered seasons, Lewis will be hoping to have a shot at a maiden NBA championship and he is also reported to have rejected better financial offers. Lewis, who has also played for Orlando, is expected to share power forward duties with Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier. The Heat now have 13 players under contract and have two places remaining on their roster. —Reuters


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Cavendish to launch GB bike party PARIS: Mark Cavendish will bear a huge responsibility when he starts the road race at the London Olympics as the world champion looks to kick off Britain’s party on home soil before his team mates try to take the velodrome by storm. Four years after Team GB’s impressive medal haul on the Beijing track, world champion Cavendish is the overwhelming favourite on the 250-km road race, which will award one of the very first medals of the July 27-Aug. 12 Games. Britain will face stern competition from Australia on the road and the track, while France, Germany and the United States are also bringing strong contingents to London. The BMX and mountain bike events are wide open. Cavendish, who shed four kilos in order to make it easier to climb Box Hill, which the peloton will tackle nine times,

is likely to battle it out for gold against Andre Greipel of Germany and Matthew Goss of Australia. Cavendish won the test event on the circuit last year but this time, instead of eight team mates to help him he will only have four. One of those will be David Millar, who was picked by team principal David Brailsford after the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned a British Olympic Association lifetime ban on former drug cheats. “The road race is extremely important because it’s one of the first events with one of UK’s top sport personalities,” said Millar. Australian Goss said the Olympic competition would provide different challengers for the riders. “Mark is a huge favourite and I don’t think pressure will be an issue. He can handle pressure,” said Goss. “But the Olympics is a different

type of race, there’s only five riders in each team and you cannot count on the same kind of support, you’re much more left to yourself.” Emma Pooley and Bradley Wiggins also have medal chances on the time trial, but Britain’s hopes are much higher on the track where in 2008, Team GB claimed seven out of 10 titles. However, with only one rider per nation now allowed in individual events, coupled with the track programme’s overhaul, it will be difficult for Team GB to match that performance, especially since the individual pursuit was dropped from the London Games. The velodrome crowd, however, could be celebrating success for Chris Hoy again as the four-times Olympic champion is the hot favourite for the keirin event ahead of Australian Shane Perkins.

Hoy or Jason Kenny will take the field in the individual sprint but both would have a hard time against world champion Gregory Bauge of France seems to be in a league of his own. France and Germany are likely to battle it out for gold in the team sprint event while Britain should settle for bronze. The team pursuit will bring the brand new velodrome to a boil with Britain looking to beat yet another world record to stay ahead of a strong Australian team. The temperature will also rise when nine-times world champion Victoria Pendleton continues her duel with Australian Anna Meares. The two rivals will face off in the team and individual sprints, as well as in the keirin. British 20-year-old Laura Trott will lead the team pursuit hoping to follow up on her Omnium world title, while

Shanaze Reade has a chance of a medal in the BMX. Reade will have serious competition in the form of France’s Magalie Pottier and Arielle Martin of the United States however. Maris Strombergs of Latvia will defend his BMX title with Joris Daudet of France, Australian Sam Willoughby and American Connor Fields also strong contenders. The mountain bike event will be the only cycling event to take place completely outside of London, on a technical 5.1-km, course in Hadleigh Farm in Essex. Frenchman Julien Absalon will be looking to win his third Olympic title in a row but this time he will have serious competition for the gold medal from Nino Schurter of Switzerland. The women’s event is set to be a three-way battle between Frenchwoman Julie Bresset, Poland’s Maja Wloszczowska and Canadian Catharine Pendrel.—Reuters

Hausding eyes medal, mighty Chinese threat

NEW DELHI: In this Feb. 22, 2012 file photo, India’s Sandeep Singh (center) reacts with teammates after scoring against Canada during their field hockey Olympic qualifier in New Delhi.—AP

India aiming to halt Olympic hockey decline NEW DELHI: The onset of every Olympics gives rise to bittersweet feelings among India’s vast numbers of field hockey fans, with their pride in past gold medal performances accompanied by introspection about what has gone wrong since. The impressive record of winning eight gold medals - six in succession starting from 1928 at Amsterdam - still makes hockey the most productive sport for India in the Olympics. India has won 11 hockey medals in all, two more than the number won by India in all other sports combined. Indeed, India has won only one non-hockey gold in its history: Abhinav Bindra’s gold in rifle shooting at Beijing four years ago. But the country’s last hockey gold came at the boycott-marred Moscow Olympics in 1980, when the likes of Australia, Pakistan and the Netherlands were absent. That was an aberration that could not disguise the relative decline in Indian hockey since the introduction of artificial turf in the 1970s. India has failed to win another medal since, with power and stamina becoming more important than the artistic stick-work that had been effective on natural grass. So, when India arrives at the blue and pink turf of London after having missed the Beijing Games, the Bharat Chhetri-led team will carry more hope than expectation. They will also carry responsibility, knowing how important the Olympic showing is to the overall health of the sport. “They are very important because (field) hockey in India is judged by performance at the Olympics,” former India captain Viren Resquinha told The Associated Press. “A good performance will not only give a major boost to the game but get millions to play the game.” Noted hockey analyst K. Arumugam, who has written 14 books on the game, agreed. “Indian hockey survives because it has done

so well in past Olympics,” Arumugam told The Associated Press. “Producing good results in the Olympics are important because of the glory they bring to the country.” Armugum though does not see India making it to the semifinals. “It will be a good performance if they finish in the top six. To make the semifinals, you have to be among the top two in your group, which will be a gigantic task considering the other teams in our group: the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, New Zealand and Belgium,” Arumugam said. “Others in our group have settled teams and coaching staff but we’ve just got a coach (Australian Michael Nobbs) one year ago, so that makes things a little difficult as well,” he added. Resquinha, who was a key member of the team that played at the Athens Olympics in 2004, is cautious about predicting a good performance but does feel India can prosper if they play a tight game. “There are never any easy groups in the Olympics. I feel the defense and short-corners will be the key. We’ve to create more short-corners to give our two world-class drag-flickers Sandeep Singh and V.R.Raghunath - a chance to score. If the forwards also play well, they can create chances of scoring more field goals as well.” Former India captain Dhanraj Pillay feels it will be very important to start well in the tournament. “I’ve taken part in four Olympics and we invariably lost the opening game,” Pillay said at a function in Mumbai last week. “It’s crucial for the Indian team to win the first game (against the Netherlands on July 30) if they have to do well and hope to make the semifinals.” India, which made it to the Olympics by winning a qualifying tournament in New Delhi beating France 8-1 in the final, is on a tour of Europe where it is playing games against France, Spain and South Africa.—AP

Pumping concrete with Team Laos VIENTIANE: The sun is setting over the scruffy outdoor stadium as Kilakone Siphonexay, the fastest man in Laos, lies on the home-made, wooden weights bench, raises both arms and grips the scaffolding pole above. On either end of the metal spar, paint-tins filled with concrete serve as weights, forming a makeshift barbell to hone the muscles of the poor, Southeast Asian country’s leading Olympic hope. “There’s no weights room,” says the thin, bespectacled 100 metres sprinter with an apologetic smile, before pumping some quick benchpresses aided by his coach. When it comes to the Olympics, there are the strong nations, the less good, the weak and the abject. Communist Laos is in the last category. But with facilities like this, it’s hardly a surprise. The landlocked country, which was extensively bombed during the war in neighboring Vietnam and ranks as one of the world’s poorest states, has not only never won an Olympic medal-it hasn’t even come close. In an Olympic history stretching back to Moscow 1980, no Laotian competitor has ever made it past the first round, where required. Success at the London Olympics would be easily defined: not finishing last. “We’re not strong like the USA or the British,” chef de mission Kasem Inthara tells AFP, as he sits in a dingy stadium office. “We’re in a group like Brunei or East Timor. We’re a small country. “If we can beat only one country in the first heat, that would be a success.” Even getting to

London is a victory after not one Laotian qualified for the 2012 Games by right, leaving them relying on wildcards to compete in athletics and swimming. For Kilakone, 23, it’s a lucky break after he missed the 100m qualifying time of 10.24 seconds, already snail-like compared to Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58 sec. The personal best of Kilakone, Laos’s national champion, is 10.73. “I like to train hard,” he says. “In London, I would like to try my best to beat my personal record. But we’re still lacking weight training. I need weight training and equipment.” Kilakone, wearing an Arsenal football team shirt and tight running trousers, trains for three hours each evening in Chao Anouvong Stadium, an ageing facility in the heart of the capital, Vientiane, which dates back to pre-communist 1961. Vandalised advertising hoardings are strewn on the floor and children noisily chase a football as Kilakone jostles for space on the track with dozens of other amateur enthusiasts on a warm, sticky evening. For Kilakone, and female 100m hopeful Lealy Phoukhavont, 16, who will also compete in London, it’s a simple routine consisting mainly of sprinting and acceleration work. Weight training is minimal; specialist nutrition, non-existent. “They don’t eat anything special. They eat with their families,” says coach Chaleunsouk Aoudomphanh, who seems surprised at the question. Kilakone says he eats “local food-sticky rice and vegetables”.—AFP

BERLIN: German diver Patrick Hausding won a silver medal in the men’s synchronised 10 metre platform at the Beijing 2008 Olympics but to move a notch higher in London later this month he knows he must beat the mighty Chinese. The 23-year-old, who will again be partnered by Sascha Klein as Germany look for another diving medal, said China presented a formidable obstacle in his quest for gold. “This is a sport where you have no influence over the opponent and everyone is responsible for his own achievements,” Hausding told Reuters Television in an interview. “We know that the Chinese are world class and they have been for a long time. But we have also seen more than once that the Chinese can be beaten.” Training in Berlin, the German, who has won the synchronised 10 metre title in Europe five times in a row, is also planning an assault on a medal in the 3-metre springboard event. “My priority is the synchronised 10 metre event because that’s where we did best over the past few years. We won medals in Beijing already and we’re now trying to repeat that.” “My second focus is on the 3 metre single dive because I believe I have pretty good chances to be up there with the world’s top divers. That’s my ambition but I can’t yet say where that will take me,” he said under the watchful eye of coach Jan Kretzschmar. Kretzschmar know all too well how hard winning a medal, any medal, will be for his athlete. Chinese divers won seven of eight

possible gold medals in Beijing, including in Hausding’s competition, only narrowly failing a clean medal sweep when Australian Matthew Mitcham snatched the 10 metre platform gold. The Chinese have, however, already flexed their muscles ahead of the July 27Aug 12 Games, sweeping the gold medals at the FINA/Midea Diving World Series in Dubai in March. “When you go to the Olympics it’s clear

that you would like to return home with a medal,” said Kretzschmar. “At the same time, we know of course that the world’s best have made amazing progress, especially the men.” “The world’s best are very closely placed behind each other. We have to consider the Chinese in first place. After them, from second place to eighth place, everything is possible. That’s how close the top men’s divers are placed,” said the coach.—Reuters

Patrick Hausding

India hopes desert camp will unearth boxing gold BHIWANI: Just before dawn, 100 boxers run up a steep sand dune pursued by the unrelenting voice of their trainer who believes his unusual preparation methods will help India succeed at the Olympics. As the fighters try to catch their breath at the top, Jagdish Singh orders them to roll back down the dune with their hands held behind their backs and their eyes tightly closed. They continue their gruelling workout with punching exercises into the sand, wrestling until they are covered in sweat and grit, and then washing in a nearby brick well. In the evening, the long day’s exertions finish with dancing to Bollywood film music to relax tired muscles. Singh has prepared two fighters for the London Olympics, and he hopes that his unique desert training camp at Bhiwani, 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of New Delhi, will enable India to secure gold in the ring. “My motto is simple-put in the hard work and everything else will fall in place,” Singh, 51, told AFP as he supervised an early-morning session with his charges, many of whom are just teenagers. “Training in the desert strengthens their leg

muscles. It is more important for boxers to have stronger legs than hands,” he said as the temperature rose quickly despite the 5:30 am start. Singh, a former national-level fighter, is the figurehead of the boxing scene in Bhiwani, where the sport has been an important part of life since a string of professional fighters emerged from the region more than 40 years ago. Bhiwani is a testing and remote environment to grow up in, with dusty fields yielding poor harvests and residents often having to walk several miles to fetch drinking water. With industry scarce and unemployment high, boxing offers the chance of a better life-and teenage boys and girls rush to sign on to Singh’s demanding regime. “All the physical struggle has made us rough and tough,” said Singh. “Our children are stronger compared to those from the other regions. The hardships have turned out to be a blessing in disguise.” Bhiwani, a part of Haryana state bordering New Delhi, first found itself on the boxing map when Hawa Singh won gold at the 1966 Asian Games. Hawa won another gold at the 1970 Bangkok Asian Games, cultivating a boxing culture that nur-

BHIWANI: This photo taken on June 12, 2012 shows Indian boxers from the Bhiwani Boxing Club (BBC), dubbed the “Little Cuba”, rolling down a sand dune during an early morning desert training session in Bhiwani, a district of Haryana state.—AFP

tured the likes of Akhil Kumar, a gold medallist at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. The current crop of Bhiwani recruits to emerge from Jagdish Singh’s care include Beijing Games bronze medallist Vijender Singh and Asian Games 2010 gold medal winner Vikas Krishan Yadav, both of whom will be fighting in London. Vijender Singh, a heartthrob to his many Indian fans, is a native of Bhiwani, while Yadav hails from the nearby district of Hisar. “The rags to riches stories spawn a thousand dreams. Boxing has become a means of acquiring health and wealth, fame and fortune,” said Jagdish Singh, who runs his own boxing club and also teaches at the government-run training school. Haryana state lends its support by awarding cash incentives and jobs in the police, army and railways for winners of international medals, and three percent of public jobs in the state are also reserved for athletes. Yadav, who will compete in the 69 kg weight category in London, believes that working under Jagdish Singh could give him the extra edge needed to win gold. “The kind of training that we get here is extraordinary,” Yadav, 20, told AFP. “Our boxers have made a name internationally and the sport will only grow bigger in India in the coming days. I am sure a lot of Olympians and medallists will come out of here.” Singh’s training methods may be unconventional but his students offer him complete loyalty, often touching his feet in the traditional Indian greeting to show reverence. Bharti Poswal, a 14-year-old girl with a mop of jet black hair, smiles shyly when speaking but she transforms into a ruthless fighter once inside one of the rickety boxing rings. Wearing a padded helmet and gum guard, her sharp upper cuts soon left her hapless sparring partner fighting for breath as she piled in blow after blow. Poswal’s determination to become a worldclass boxer has seen her leave her family house in Bhiwani and opt for a nearby girls hostel which houses 12 other aspiring fighters. “We follow a strict schedule and everyone keeps egging on the other. We are making so many sacrifices so that we can achieve success someday,” she said. For Poswal and other girls such as 16-year-old Mamta, who uses just one name, the hero that they all worship is MC Mary Kom, the five-time world boxing champion tipped as India’s best bet to win gold at London. “Mary has proved that with determination you can overcome any obstacle. If she can do it, we also can,” Mamta said.—AFP




Germany hoping to extend equestrian reign LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II will be following this Olympic event, maybe even in person. Same for US presidential contender Mitt Romney. There will be plenty of eyes on the stands at Greenwich Park from this month, but there are several storylines to watch for the equestrian competition at the London Games beginning with Germany’s supremacy in dressage and showjumping that stretches back to 1956. German riders are particularly strong in dressage. The showjumpers are solid, and the team also won team and individual gold in eventing four years ago. But the rest of the world has been creeping up on the Germans over the last decade, and there are several contenders hoping to hear a different national anthem this summer. The Olympic equestrian disciplines of eventing, dressage and showjumping require very different skills, making Germany’s consistent medal haul all the more impressive. Horses and riders do not participate in multiple events. But Germany excels in breeding sport horses and developing skilled riders, and their exports - horses and humans - are found on many other teams. The leading US dressage rider, Steffen Peters, was born and raised in Germany. International horse sports also have a strong tradition throughout Europe and the British Commonwealth countries, and riders from Brazil and Saudi Arabia also have been successful recently. For the first time in a long while, Germany will have a crowded field of competitors to deal with. But at least the weather should be nice. Overwhelming heat and humidity has played a role in the equestrian competition at the games for years. Summer Olympics tend to be held in very warm places, but horses fare much better in temperate climates. Team veterinarians should find the weather to their liking in London, allowing them to concentrate on keeping their charges healthy without the omnipresent misting fans seen in Atlanta, Athens and Beijing. Equestrian at the London Games also will have a royal feel, with Zara Phillips competing for Britain’s eventing team, a difficult discipline that tests dressage, cross-country and showjumping ability - an equestrian decathlon. Phillips is the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, and her parents were British Olympians in equestrian. Her mother, Princess Anne, competed in Montreal. Her father, Mark Phillips, is a two-time Olympian and the coach of the US eventing team. Talk about pressure. The US presidential race also could travel to London if Romney makes an appearance at the equestrian venue. Ann Romney, his wife, is part owner of a horse named Rafalca on the US dressage team, ridden by Jan Ebeling. (Both Rafalca and Ebeling, by the way, are German expats.) Another name to watch is showjumper Ian Millar of Canada, who is poised to make his Olympic record 10th appearance in the games. He won his first medal in 2008, a team silver. Keeping horses sound and competitive without the use of drugs is always a topic of conversation when it comes to Olympic equestrian events. The Olympics are a zero-tolerance zone for horse drugs, even the mildest therapeutic options. The horses aren’t allowed so much as an aspirin, putting a premium on fitness. Medal projections: Team Dressage Gold: Britain Silver: Netherlands Bronze: Germany Individual Dressage Gold: Adelinde Cornelissen, Netherlands, on Parzival Silver: Laura Bechtolsheimer, Britain, on Mistral Bronze: Steffen Peters, United States, on Ravel Team Jumping Gold: Switzerland Silver: United States Bronze: Germany Individual Jumping Gold: Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, Sweden, on Casall Silver: Rich Fellers, United States, on Flexible Bronze: Pius Schwizer, Switzerland, on Nobless M Team Eventing Gold: Britain Silver: New Zealand Bronze: United States Individual Eventing Gold: William Fox-Pitt, Britain, on Lionheart Silver: Andrew Nicholson, New Zealand, on Nereo Bronze: Phillip Dutton, United States, on Mystery Whisper —AP




Azhar ton sets up intriguing finale

LONDON: England’s Alaistar Cook (right) and Stuart Broad (left) pose with their medals and trophy as they celebrate after winning the series and One Day Cricket match against Australia.—AFP

England rout Australia 4-0 LONDON: Ravi Bopara’s flamboyant unbeaten 52 steered England to an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Australia in the reduced-overs fifth and final one-day international in Manchester on Tuesday. Bopara’s 56-ball knock helped England reach a target of 138 from 29 overs with 11 deliveries to spare, sealing a thumping 4-0 series win after the third match was washed out. Captain Alastair Cook (58) and Bopara’s 92-run third-wicket stand proved vital after England had slipped to 34 for two on the sodden pitch. After rain delayed the start, Australia batted for just 32 overs, making 145 for seven lifted by a late cameo from George Bailey who made 46 not out) Man-of-the-match Bopara, who averaged 91 for the series, again impressed with the ball by taking two for eight off

four overs. Off-spinner James Tredwell chipped in with two for 23. “I think the pitch got better as the night went on,” said Bopara. “The knock at the Oval stood me in good stead for the rest of the series,” he added in reference to his 82 in the second game. Top-ranked test side England, who have risen to third in the one-day rankings, now turn their attention towards the three-match test series against South Africa starting at The Oval next Thursday. Australia captain Michael Clarke paid tribute to an ever-improving England unit. “Once again England showed what a class side they are,” he said. “It’s another reminder of what a good team they are and how well prepared we’re going to have to be in 12 months time for the Ashes.”—Reuters

SCOREBOARD Scoreboard in the fifth and final one-day international between England and Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester yesterday: England won by seven wickets, win series 4-0 Australia innings M.Wade st Kieswetter b Tredwell 12 D.Warner lbw b Tredwell 32 P.Forrest run out 3 M.Clarke run out 1 S.Smith c Kieswetter b Bopara 21 D.Hussey c Kieswetter b Bopara 9 G.Bailey not out 46 J.Pattinson c Kieswetter b Finn 13 C.McKay not out 5 Extras (lb-1 w-2) 3 Total (for seven wickets, 32 overs) 145 Did not bat: B.Hilfenhaus, X.Doherty. Fall of wickets: 1-43 2-49 3-49 4-55 5-77 6-86 7-120. Bowling: Anderson 5-11-22-0, Finn 6-0-35-1,

Broad 7-0-39-0, Tredwell 7-1-23-2, Patel 3-017-0, Bopara 4-0-8-2. England innings A. Cook c Clarke b Hilfenhaus 58 I. Bell c Bailey b McKay 4 J. Trott b Clarke 10 R. Bopara not out 52 E. Morgan not out 9 Extras (w-4, lb-1) 5 Total (three wickets, 27.1 overs) 138 Fall of wickets: 1-5 2-34 3-126 Did not bat: C. Kieswetter, S. Patel, J. Tredwell, S. Broad, S. Finn, J. Anderson Bowling: McKay 6-0-27-1, Hilfenhaus 5.1-019-1, Pattinson 6-0-34-0, Clarke 3-0-14-1, Doherty 5-0-34-0, Smith 2-0-9-0.

‘American scare tactics won’t bother Aussies’ SYDNEY: Australian swimmers are unlikely to be intimidated by the dominant American’s ‘catch us if you can’ boast and will go into the London Games with a quiet confidence, according to swimming great Dawn Fraser. Fraser had more than a few battles with Americans on her way to winning eight Olympic medals and believes the Australian team will hold their own despite preparations hit by injury, disciplinary problems and Ian Thorpe’s failure to qualify. “We’ve always had great competition against the US,” the 74-year-old, who won the 100 metres freestyle at three successive Games from 1956 to 1964, told Reuters in an interview. “I don’t think the Americans will have it all their own way it’s a scare tactic. We’re educated to those sorts of things and in our own quiet little way Australia will do their own thing.” Fraser recalled that the Americans had tried similar scare tactics before the men’s 4x100m relay at the Sydney Olympics, only for it to famously blow up in their faces when the Australians ended their sevenGames monopoly of the title. “You know the USA boys said: ‘we’re going to show you how to play the guitar’ and our men’s relay team beat them,” she said, chuckling at the memory. “Our boys got out and started playing their air guitars.” In London, it will be in the 4x100m relay that America and the world’s top swimmer, 14-times gold medallist Michael Phelps, will come face-to-face with Australia’s new golden boy, 100 metres freestyle favorite James Magnussen. Known as ‘the Missile’, world champion Magnussen has backed up confident predictions about his ability to break the world

record in the blue riband sprint with a string of fast times. Fraser, still considered the finest female sprinter of all time, was herself often slammed for being ‘excessively cocky’ in her pomp and clearly identifies with Magnussen’s confidence. “While I haven’t met the young man, I think that if he stays as confident as he is and doesn’t get cocky I’m sure he’s going to give Phelps a bit of a shock,” she said. “I think James Magnussen has been training extremely hard for his duel with Michael Phelps and I think that the best man of the day will win regardless of whether it’s Phelps or ‘the Missile’.” While Magnussen is in the form of his life heading to London, Stephanie Rice is battling a shoulder injury as she prepares to defend the 200 and 400m individual medley gold she won in Beijing. Fraser says swimmers are used to competing in pain and is confident Rice will have no problems getting up for the London Games. “When it comes to the greatest sporting event in the world, and it only happens unfortunately every four years, she’ll swim through it, I’m sure,” Fraser said. There was sympathy too for 200m butterfly hopeful Nick D’Arcy and 200m freestyler Kenrick Monk, who will return home straight after their events as punishment for posing with guns in a picture posted on social media site Facebook. Fraser battled with authority throughout her 15-year career and was prevented from going for a fourth 100m gold at the 1968 Olympics by a 10-year ban for stealing a flag from outside the Japanese Emperor’s palace at the Tokyo Olympics. —Reuters

PALLEKELE: Pakistan’s Azhar Ali smashed a second century in successive matches yesterday to leave the final Test against Sri Lanka poised for an intriguing finish. Azhar made 136 as Pakistan wriggled out of a corner to post 299-8 in their second innings by stumps on the fourth day in Pallekele, a lead of 188 runs with two wickets in hand. The tourists now have three sessions on the fifth day to conjure a series-levelling win on a wearing pitch that will offer some turn to prolific off-spinner Saeed Ajmal. But Sri Lanka remain favourites to win or draw the match and clinch their first series victory in three years since beating New Zealand at home in 2009. The hosts won the first Test in Galle by 209 runs before the second in Colombo was drawn. Sri Lanka’s South African coach Graham Ford conceded it was hard to predict how the Test will end. “The way it has swayed back and forth over the four days, I don’t think anyone can say what will happen tomorrow,” said Ford. “The game is still pretty much even. Pakistan has a very good attack but we too will be confident of doing well on the last day. This is what makes Test cricket so exciting.” Azhar, who made 157 in the Colombo Test, held the innings together for six hours, hitting 13 boundaries in his fourth Test century and the third this year. The 27-year-old put on 94 for the second wicket with his overnight partner Mohammad Hafeez and 48 for the third with Younis Khan after Pakistan resumed the day at 27-1. But the most crucial partnership came towards the end of the day when Asad Shafiq (55 not out) helped Azhar add 100 for the fifth wicket after Younis and skipper Misbah-ul Haq had departed quickly. Fast bowler Dilhara Fernando and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath sparked a lower order collapse in the final hour as Pakistan slipped from a comfortable 276-4 to 299-8. Fernando had Azhar caught behind and then claimed his 100th Test wicket by trapping

PALLEKELE: Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene (center) and captain Mahela Jayawardene (right) appeal unsuccessfully for the wicket of Pakistan’s batsman Azad Shafiq during the fourth day of the third Test cricket match.—AP Mohammad Sami leg-before. Herath claimed Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal leg-before, but Shafiq saw out the day for Pakistan in the company of Adnan Akmal, who batted despite a hairline fracture in his left hand. “It was disappointing to get out because Asad and myself had decided to see out the day,” said Azhar. “But I am happy to get another century. I have batted well this year and want to make good use of my form.” Azhar did not rule out a Pakistan win today. “We have the bowlers to do the job for us,” he said. “I think the total we have is good enough to defend. “The wicket has slowed down, but there is still something in it for the bowlers.” Hafeez, who also hit a century in Colombo, made 52 when he was dismissed just before lunch with Pakistan two runs away from wiping out the first innings deficit of 111 runs. The Pakistan vice-captain edged a wild drive off Fernando to Tharanga Paranavitana in the slips. Pakistan went to lunch at 119-2, in front by eight runs, after Younis had given his team

the lead by tapping Angelo Mathews for a single to point. Herath dismissed both Younis

and Misbah and ended the day with 4-64. Fernando finished with 3-65.—AFP

SCOREBOARD KANDY: Scoreboard at the close of the fourth day of the third and final test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Pallekele Stadium yesterday: Pakistan first innings 226 (Asad Shafiq 75; T Perera 4-63) Sri Lanka first innings 337 (T Paranavitana 75, T Samaraweera 73, T Perera 75; Junaid Khan 5-70) Pakistan second innings (overnight 27-1) Mohammad Hafeez c Paranavitana b Fernando 52 Taufiq Umar lbw b Kulasekara 4 Azhar Ali c P. Jayawardene b Fernando 136 Younus Khan c Paranavitana b Herath 19 Misbah-ul-Haq c M. Jayawardene b Herath 5 Asad Shafiq not out 55 Mohammad Sami lbw b Fernando 3 Umar Gul lbw b Herath 0 Saeed Ajmal lbw b Herath 5 Adnan Akmal not out 0 Extras (b 6, lb 8, w 6) 20 Total (for eight wickets; 104 overs) 299 Fall of wickets: 1-16 2-110 3-158 4-176 5-276 6-280 7-281 8-299 Bowling: Kulasekara 22-8-50-1, Perera 17-1-66-0 (w-1), Herath 324-64-4, Fernando 20-1-65-3 (w-1), Mathews 12-0-38-0, T. Samaraweera 1-0-2-0.

Tallent in search of double gold SYDNEY: Australian Jared Tallent is likely to be heartily sick of the sight of Buckingham Palace by the time he completes his bid for double race-walking gold at the London Olympics. No athlete will go further on their own two feet at the London Games than the 27-year-old, who over two races will complete 35 laps of the two-kilometre racewalking course which runs in front of the London home of Britain’s royal family. Tallent won bronze in the 20km walk and silver at the 50km distance in Beijing, the first Australian to win two athletics medals in the same Games since 1972, and has again entered both races in the hope of winning his country’s first gold. “I guess that’s one thing we haven’t got, you had (pole vaulter) Steve Hooker won that gold medal in Beijing and got a lot out of that, and we haven’t had that gold medal yet in the walk,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview. “Hopefully this will be the year, that’s definitely what I’m aiming for.” Conceding that his discipline lacks the glamour of others in athletics, Tallent hopes a gold medal might raise the profile of race-walking in his sports mad country. “It’s very different in other countries, like Mexico, where they get huge support and it’s pretty much any other track and field event,” he said. “It’s a little bit frustrating that it’s not the same as over there, we’ve always had great success in the event. We’re the most successful athletics event over the last eight years.” That success means Tallent is the focus of high expectations back home, and it is a burden he is happy to carry. “I don’t mind the pressure, that’s what I want to do this year,” he said. “It’s good to

have the pressure, it makes you focus on what you have to do.” The Olympics will be very much a family affair this year as his wife Claire has also qualified to race in the women’s 20km. The couple married four years ago in the Adelaide suburb of Walkerville, a coincidence completely lost on them until they sent out the invitations, but have spent quite a bit of time apart this year. “We’re very supportive of each other but this year we’ve made some changes,” Tallent said. “Claire has always done what I’ve wanted to do but that hasn’t worked so well for her and she hasn’t done as well in major championships. “It’s going to be very different not being together this year but I guess it’s more important to get the result on the day.” Tallent grew up in a country town in Victoria, where he lost a finger in a potato grader on the family farm at the age of two. After dabbling in long distance running and triathlon, he took up walking seriously after entering a regional race to miss a day of school and finishing runner up by a couple of seconds. “It just went on from there, it clicked suddenly and the technique just seemed to come pretty naturally to me,” he recalled. Technique is all important in race-walking with athletes facing disqualification if the toes of the back foot leave the ground before the heel of the front foot has touched down. Three “loss of contact” or other violations and the judges show the dreaded red paddle. Tallent’s compatriot Jane Saville suffered that heartbreak just 150 metres from the finish line in the women’s 20km at the Sydney Olympics. “It is something you think about, it would be an absolute

Jared Tallent

nightmare if it did happen. It’s something that’s always at the back of your mind,” Tallent conceded. “In 2007 I was disqualified at the world championships when I was running fifth. You’re always more focused on your techniques going into the bigger events, because they are more important. “You don’t train for four years for that to happen.” With his glasses, whippet-thin physique, and ambition to make a career in banking, Tallent is an unlikely tough guy in a country where sporting heroes have often revelled in that role. The decision to double up in gruelling races that are just seven days apart should not be under-

estimated, however, and it was not one reached lightly. “It’s a difficult one, and I’ve thought about it a lot this year,” he said. “I think I’ve probably got a better chance of winning a medal in the 50k. In the 20k, Valeriy Borchin, he’s like the Usain Bolt, the unbackable favourite, but I’m taking my chances and there’s still the silver if I can’t beat him. “It’s probably the last time I’ll double up but I want to give it a go and a medal in both would be pretty great. “And the possibility of winning both, well Robert Korzeniowski did it in Sydney and to match that feat would be pretty special. “It’s true Aussie grit, I guess,” he added, laughing. “I like a challenge and two medals is better than one.” —Reuters

India aiming to halt Olympic hockey decline

NL routs AL in All-Star game




Azhar ton sets up intriguing finale

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FRANCE: Team Sky with Bradley Wiggins of Britain, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, leads the pack during the 10th stage of the Tour de France cycling race.—AP

Voeckler wins Tour de France stage Wiggins defends yellow FRANCE: Britain’s Bradley Wiggins retained the yellow jersey on the first day of the Tour de France in the Alps yesterday as France’s Thomas Voeckler won the 10th stage. Voeckler, of the Europcar team, capped an impressive game of cat and mouse with several rivals in the closing kilometres to claim his first victory of this year’s race and third of his career. Italian Michele Scarponi (Lampre) finished second at 3sec with German veteran Jens Voigt (RadioShack) third at 7. Wiggins retained his 1min 53sec overnight lead on BMC leader Cadel Evans, with Sky teammate Chris Froome still third overall at 2:07 and Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) at 2:23. Nibali was one of two riders, along with Belgian Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto) to try and attack Wiggins in a bid to close their respective deficits. Van den Broeck tried twice on the 17 km climb to the summit of the Col du Grand Colombier, and finally managed to distance the yellow jersey pack after racing ahead with Frenchman Pierre Rolland. He came over the finish 32sec ahead of

Wiggins’ group, but is still 4:48 behind the Englishman overall. “I have to take every opportunity,” said the Belgian. “Some guys just don’t realise there are only three real stages left to try and close the gap. If you simply let Sky set the pace, we have no chance of overtaking them.” Nibali then went on the attack on the descent but Wiggins’ impressive Sky team, notably Australian Richie Porte, set a pace that quickly reeled the Italian in before the final, short climb to the summit of the Col de Richemond. “I didn’t panic when he attacked,” said Wiggins. “He’s over two minutes behind me and I knew he’d have to be really strong in the valley if he was to stay away.” In a last desperate move, Evans tried to pull away on the home straight but to no avail. The Australian then indicated that winning the race by himself may be a hard ask this year. Admitting he may have “maybe missed a bit of an opportunity” when Nibali attacked, he added: “You have to make opportunities for yourself. “The attacking riders will be more rewarded

tomorrow but we’ll also have to see how the other teams react to the race.” Voeckler, who almost pulled out of the race just after the start because of tendinitis in his knee, was among a 25-man breakaway that attacked early in the stage. As the demands of the climbs took a steady toll on the frontrunners, the Frenchman, fourth in last year’s race after wearing yellow for 10 days, found himself among a select group that managed to stay out at the front and build a five-minute lead on the peloton. A late counter-attack by Voigt threatened to steal Voeckler’s thunder, especially when the German went off in pursuit of Belgian Dries Devenyns after the Omega-Pharma rider attacked 3.5 km from home. But on the small rise leading to the finish line Voeckler somehow found the strength to leave breakaway rivals Scarponi and Luis Leon Sanchez in his wake to overtake both Voigt and Devenyns and pedal slowly over the line. “I really didn’t think I would win the stage until I

was about five metres from the finish line,” said a beaming Voeckler, whose efforts on the climbs gave him provisional ownership of the polka dot jersey. “I was in extreme pain at the end. The only thing that kept me going was that I knew the others were feeling the same.” Today’s 148 km 11th stage takes the peloton from Albertville over 73 km of climbing to the summit of La Toussuire ski station. And Wiggins expects more of the same from his rivals. “We knew coming into the Tour it was going to be like that. The leader’s jersey gets attacked, so I expect it really.” Meanwhile, reigning Tour de France champion Cadel Evans and defending event champion Levi Leipheimer will lead a world-class field into next month’s USA Pro Challenge seven-day cycling event. Organizers announced on Wednesday that the race over the Rocky Mountains would be staged August 20-26 with 16 teams, including six top-level UCI Pro teams, on a 683-mile course that ends with

Qataris make historic choice for Olympic opening ceremony DOHA: Qatari female shooter Bahiya Al-Hamad will carry the country’s flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London on July 27, the Qatari Olympic Committee announced yesterday on Twitter. The 19-year-old — who is one of four female athletes to be selected for the Games in what is a first for the Gulf state — said she was overjoyed at having the honor conferred on her. “I am shaking with joy to be carrying the national flag of my country, Qatar, at the opening ceremony,” said Al-Hamad, who will compete in the 10 metres pistol event. “I t is an historic moment for sport,” added Al-Hamad, who won three titles at the 2011 Arab Games and a silver medal at the Arab Championships in March. Al-Hamad will be joined at the Games by female compatriots: swimmer Nada Mohammed Wafa Arakji, sprinter Noor Al-Malki, and table tennis player Aya Majdi. The groundbreaking decision to field female athletes for the first time in their history at the Games came after a series of talks with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Despite this move earlier this year Qatari capital Doha still failed to

make the short list for the race to host the 2020 Summer Games — the second successive time they failed to make it out of the long list. Meanwhile, the IOC is optimistic about ongoing talks with Saudi

pressure to end the practice of sending all-male teams to international competitions. A report in a Saudiowned newspaper said this week that no female athletes have qualified for the Olympics and no women

Shooter Bahiya Al-Hamad of Qatar

Arabia on sending women to the Olympics despite reports the ultraconser vative Muslim k ingdom reversed its pledge to send female athletes to the London Games. Saudi leaders have been under

will be included on the team which will be competing in equestrian, athletics, and weightlifting. “We are still talking to the Saudi NOC (National Olympic Committee) and remain confident of a positive

outcome,” the International Olympic Committee said in a statement to The Associated Press yesterday. IOC President Jacques Rogge told the AP last week that he was “cautiously optimistic” the Saudis would include women but he could not “guarantee it 100 percent.” Human Rights Watch said this week’s announcement in the panArab daily newspaper Al-Sharq alAwsat suggests Saudi Arabia will not send any women to London. The Saudi Embassy in London said two weeks ago that women who qualify will be allowed to compete. He also said no female athlete had taken part in qualifying events in Saudi Arabia, which severely restricts women in public life. Women practice sports in the kingdom, including playing in clandestine football and basketball leagues. About 10,500 athletes are expected to compete in London, representing more than 200 national Olympic committees. If some arrangement can be made for the Saudis to send women, all national Olympic committees in London would include women athletes for the first time in Olympic history.—Agencies

a time trial at Denver. The elite squads include BMC Racing, which is trying to lead Australia’s Evans to another Tour de France crown this month, Leipheimer’s Omega Quickstep, Garmin-Sharp, Astana, LiquigasCannondale and RadioShack-Nissan-Trek. “Seeing the huge crowds that were along the route supporting us at the USA Pro Challenge was remarkable and really motivated us to do our best,” Evans said. “The course and the mountains were beautiful, but incredibly challenging, and I can’t wait to take them on again.” American George Hincapie, a BMC teammate of Evans who finished fifth in the Challenge last year and is now riding in his 17th Tour de France, will make the USA Pro Challenge the final event of his career. US Olympian Tim Duggan of LiquigasCannondale, RadioShack-Nissan-Trek’s Frank Schleck, third in last year’s Tour de France, 2011 Tour of California winner Chris Horner and Germany’s Jens Voigt are among those set to compete.—AFP

Havelange took bribes from ISL — Swiss court PARIS: Former world football chief Joao Havelange received enormous bribes from FIFA’s discredited former marketing company, court documents released in Switzerland reveal. The 96-year-old Brazilian, FIFA president for 24 years before Sepp Blatter stepped into the hot seat in 1998, pocketed at least 1.5m Swiss francs (£986,000) and FIFA executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira at least 12.74m. The bribes, made by International Sport and Leisure (ISL), were detailed in documents made public by Switzerland’s supreme court and published by the BBC yesterday. FIFA’s discredited Swiss-based marketing partner collapsed in 2001 with debts of around $300 million. FIFA published the Swiss court’s report on its website and in a statement world football’s governing body emphasised that while Havelange and Teixeira were identified Blatter was not. “The decision of the Swiss Federal Court also confirms that only two foreign officials will be named as part of the process and that.....the FIFA president is not involved in the case,” the statement stressed. The court documents however did reveal that FIFA chiefs had knowledge that Havelange and Teixeira had been paid bribes by ISL. It also disclosed that FIFA had agreed to pay 2.5million Swiss francs (£1.64m) in compensation - but only

on the condition that criminal proceedings against Havelange and Teixeira were dropped. Havelange, who remains FIFA’s honorary president, stepped down after a 48-year-spell as a member of the International Olympic Committee last December just days before an ethics hearing into his links with ISL. Havelange was accused by a BBC documentary in 2010 of kickbacks totalling $1 million from ISL for granting lucrative World Cup contracts. Havelange, who became an IOC member in 1963, was FIFA president between 1974-98 before he was replaced by Blatter, his long time FIFA secretary general. In May he was discharged after two months in hospital in Rio de Janeiro where he was being treated for an ankle infection and cardiac and pulmonary problems. He is the former father-in-law of Teixeira, who recently resigned as head of Brazilian football and as chief of Brazil’s organizing committee for the 2014 World Cup following a spate of corruption allegations. Havelange was instrumental in bringing the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro and to South America for the first time when in 2009 the IOC elected the city as the 2016 host. At the vote in Copenhagen he famously invited IOC members to his 100th birthday party on Copacabana beach in 2016 should they award the Games to Rio.—AFP


Shares fall as economic downturn fuels worries Page 23 Barclays’ Diamond accused of misleading British inquiry


Tech Inc’s invincible aura fades

Page 24 Spain deepens austerity under Europe pressure

Page 26

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AHMEDABAD: Indian farmers plough a field in preparation for sowing cotton seeds in Nani Kisol village, around 70 km from Ahmedabad yesterday. Agriculture contributes about 15 percent to India’s GDP but only 40 percent of farms are irrigated. The livelihood of hundreds of millions in the country of 1.2 billion people is dependent on the farming sector. — AFP

Palestinian women battle to break into business Tough to overcome male-dominated culture, chauvinism RAMALLAH: From corner fruit stalls in Hebron to chic Ramallah ballet studios, Palestinian women are making their mark in business, some out of necessity and others looking to break the gender mould and pursue a dream. For Shyrine Ziadeh, a 24-year-old Birzeit University graduate, that dream was to open a dance studio. Now the proud owner of the Ramallah Ballet Center, the first in the West Bank, her sunny, top-floor studio is flooded with classical music and mirrors stretching from wall to wall. Little girls pliÈ in pink ballet shoes and jump over fairy wings. “I want to develop girls,” she said. “Ballet helps develop their point of view in life. We need such things in Palestine.” Latest statistics from the International Labor Organization estimated that in 2008-2009, women headed just 5 percent of West Bank firms. Circumstantial evidence suggests the figure has climbed since then, fueled by economic growth and an increasing appetite for bank lending. However, the deeply traditional, male-dominated society that is prevalent across much of the Arab world, coupled with bureaucratic restraints unique to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, pose particular challenges for women seeking to get ahead. “Many women in the West Bank want to do things, but they can’t. Our culture is generally more of a man’s culture. Women are trying to do things, but in small steps,” said Ziadeh. Restrictions from Israel, which controls all entry points to the West Bank, only add to the problems, she said. “Because of the occupation, we need a permit to do anything,” she said, pointing to the difficulty of importing leotards and other ballet garb not available in the West Bank, for example. Although the odds are not in their favor, the outlook for women is improving in the cities, if not yet in the poorer, hidebound villages that dot the arid territory. Women’s literacy and employment rates are rising. Female police units are integrating into West Bank forces, and women make up a quarter of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s cabinet.

took to the airwaves in 2010, set up by and for women. It highlights local success stories about anything from female-led investment groups to refugee camp microfinance projects. “We need awareness about being a businesswoman,” said Maysoun Odeh Gangat, the founder and CEO of NISAA FM, which already ranks as one of Ramallah’s top five radio stations. Ramallah also now has a Ladies Cafe - a women-only establishment set up earlier this year by 21-year-old Balsam Qadoura and seven other partners. Studying English at Birzeit University, many of Qadoura’s female friends plan on pursuing business after graduating. But she said her plans couldn’t wait. “We are a group of girls who had an idea,” she said. The brightly colored cafe, on Ramallah’s main highstreet, provides a relaxed place for women to meet, smoke waterpipes and listen to blaring Middle East music. Some locals have questioned whether a cafe just for women represents a step back in the struggle for equality, but Qadoura argues that women needed their own space to help counter the male-domination seen in many of the city’s other such establishments. “The men act like we are not human beings. They say ‘what are you doing here, it’s not your place’,” she said. Palestinian women’s participation in the workforce has gradually risen over the past two decades, lifted in the mid-1990s thanks to an economic boom after the Palestinians won limited self-rule and foreign donor cash started to pour in. “It was a general economic boom, not only for women,” said NISAA FM’s Gangat. In 1995, women made up some 11.5 percent of the workforce, a figure that has risen to 16.7 percent, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. However, this number is low compared to the World Bank’s 26 percent average for the Middle East and North Africa, and the labor distribution is highly uneven, with women in many areas of the Palestinian Territories still out of the market.

RAISING AWARENESS Looking to spread the good word, NISAA FM radio station

WOW, A WAITRESS! In the Gaza Strip, a woman made headlines in May simply

because she was a waitress in the coastal enclave, which is ruled by the Islamist group Hamas and where patriarchal resistance to women working outside the home still prevails. “A high percentage of people have no contribution to the national economy,” said Salah Abu Eisheh, the West Bank and Gaza representative for the Near East Foundation, a non-governmental organization promoting women’s empowerment through business. “We are in good shape, but still far from having real equality,” he said, adding that many men feared that women’s empowerment gave women unfair advantages. He hoped rising levels of female students at Palestinian universities, who represent more than 50 percent of the student population, would help push more women into business. Yet, the statistics bureau estimates that nearly half of all women with a higher education remain unemployed. Huda AlJack, owner and managing partner of the West Bank’s first coffee chain, Zman cafÈ, blames a culture where men do deals with each other in a social context that tends to exclude women. “It was difficult for me to integrate,” said al-Jack, who is of SudanesePalestinian descent and who moved to Ramallah from California in 2003. “I had to really prove myself. I started out making 30 percent of what I was making in the States.” Only after working her way up the ladder, and helping launch a company in Dubai, did al-Jack get taken seriously, she said. “Sometimes I feel like we’re going backwards,” she said, adding that society’s refusal to address sexual harassment in the workplace continues to limit women. Al-Jack hopes to develop a gender-blind business community and is currently planning another establishment where a Palestinian woman will serve customers. Emerging female business leaders are following in the wake of al-Jack’s success. Ziadeh, her dance studio only recently opened, sees the role of businesswomen as essential if a future, independent Palestinian state is to be a success. “People will accept that women can handle it, that women are changing,” she said. “I want the world to know that we Palestinians can do it. We can grow.”— Reuters

Mitsubishi to sell Dutch vehicle plant for 1 euro TOKYO: Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors said yesterday that it would sell its sole European plant to a Dutch industrial group for one euro in a deal that calls on the buyer to keep 1,500 jobs at the facility. The announcement comes as new buyer VDL Groep confirmed they were in talks with German auto giant BMW to produce Minis at the southern Dutch factory. Mitsubishi had earlier this year announced plans to end production at the factory by the end of the year, blaming a difficult operating environment in the debt-hit continent. In a statement yesterday, the Japanese firm said it would sell Netherlands Car BV, or NedCar, to VDL Groep, which makes buses and a range of industrial products, for a token one euro ($1.20) in exchange for keeping the plant running. “(Mitsubishi) had carried out discussions with the related parties to explore the possibility of the future continuation of NedCar while making it a top priority to assure the employment of its employees,” it said. “As a result, (Mitsubishi) has reached a principal agreement with VDL on the share transfer,” it

added. Mitsubishi said it expected to book a 28 billion yen ($353 million) loss on the plant to be included in its current fiscal year earnings through March 2013. “We wanted to avoid a situation where the workers would lose their jobs after we cease production,” a Mitsubishi spokesman said. Mitsubishi announced in February it was planning to halt production at the plant in Born by the end of this year. Soon afterwards, workers staged a one-day strike at the plant, located about 180 kilometers southeast of Amsterdam, with labor unions demanding that Mitsubishi work with the Dutch government to find a buyer. Meanwhile in the Netherlands, VDL spokeswoman Carolien van der Leegte said yesterday the group was finalizing agreements with both BMW and trade unions representing workers. “We have put forward the intention to produce Minis at NedCar,” Van der Leegte said, adding “we hope that BMW becomes our first client. We want to manufacture cars for them.” She said inking the deal could still take several weeks or longer.—AFP

EINDHOVEN: View of BMW car parked near the headquarters of the VDL Group (background) in Eindhoven yesterday. VDL, a manufacturer of buses and parts for cars and machinery, bought the NedCar factory in Born, from the Japanese Mitsubishi. Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors said yesterday that it would sell its sole European plant to a Dutch industrial group for one euro in a deal that calls on the buyer to keep 1,500 jobs at the facility. — AFP


in brief

Remittances resist crisis WASHINGTON: Cash remittances sent home by migrants, a major part of developing world revenue, have grown faster than expected despite the world financial crisis, the World Bank said yesterday. In an update to its annual report on remittance flows, the development lender said recorded transfers increased by 12.1 percent last year to $372 billion and are expected to hit $467 billion by 2014. The report said the growth of remittances had helped developing countries weather the global financial storm but warned that several factors could combine to slow the growth in such transfers in future years. “Persistent unemployment in Europe and the US is affecting employment prospects of existing migrants and hardening political attitudes toward new immigration,” the report said. “There are risks that if the European crisis deepens, immigration controls in these countries could become even tighter. Saudi output bounces back DUBAI: Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia showed no sign of cutting back supply in June following last month’s OPEC agreement to rein in production, instead raising output by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) from May to 10.1 million bpd, an industry source said. After reducing output in May to 9.8 million bpd from April’s 30-year high of 10.1 million bpd, the world’s largest oil exporter raised production again in June, the source said yesterday. Internal demand for Saudi crude rises sharply in the hot summer months from June to August. Export volumes were not available. In addition to the 10.1 million bpd pumped from Saudi fields, the kingdom topped supplies up last month with about 200,000 bpd from storage, the source added. OPEC ministers at a meeting in mid-June said they would adhere to a collective production limit of 30 million bpd, implying a 1.6 million bpd cut from actual supply of 31.5 million, and Saudi Arabia was expected to make a sizeable contribution to that cut. HSBC to apologize HONG KONG: Global banking giant HSBC Holdings will apologize to a US Senate hearing next week for failures in its anti-money laundering controls, a report said yesterday. HSBC will tell lawmakers at the July 17 hearing that “unacceptable behavior” has slipped through its monitoring systems, according to an internal memo quoted by Dow Jones Newswires. In the note sent to employees on Tuesday, the London-based lender’s chief executive Stuart Gulliver said the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations would expose weaknesses in the bank’s money laundering controls. “Between 2004 and 2010, our anti-money laundering controls should have been stronger and more effective and we failed to spot and deal with unacceptable behavior,” Gulliver said in the memo, according to Dow Jones. The subcommittee is expected to examine money laundering and terrorist financing involving high-risk clients. Gulliver said HSBC was not aware of the details of the panel’s investigation, but expected it to “reveal that in the past we fell well short of the standards that our regulators, customers and investors expect”.




MF Global redux as broker hid missing millions for years Regulator says accounts hold $5m, not $225m CHICAGO: The US futures industry reeled yesterday as regulators accused Iowa-based broker PFGBest of misappropriating over $200 million in customer funds for more than two years, a new blow to trader trust just months after MF Global’s collapse. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which along with industry regulators had given a clean bill of health to dozens of brokers following spot checks in January, alleged that the firm’s regulated Peregrine Financial Group (PFG) unit and its owner had defrauded customers and lied to regulators in order to hide a shortfall that now exceeds $200 million. “The whereabouts of the funds is currently unknown,” the CFTC said in a complaint against PFG and its founder and chairman, Russell R Wasendorf Sr, whose suicide attempt on Mon day morning outside the firm’s Cedar Falls, Iowa, offices appears to have precipitated the crisis.

The shortfall represents more than half of PFGBest’s client funds but is modest relative to the estimated $1.6 billion missing from MF Global’s accounts. As more details of the scandal became clear, the circumstances began to look more like a Bernard Madoff-style fraud than MF Global CEO Jon Corzine’s desperate bid to stay afloat. Wasendorf intercepted confidential regulatory documents that were mailed by the National Futures Association to what the industry group believed was US Bank, PFG’s bank, a person close to the situation said. Instead, they were sending the documents, used to independently verify a broker’s bank balances, to a post office box that Wasendorf had set up, the source said. The CFTC complaint, which relies on many of the details released on Monday by the NFA, the broker’s main regulator, said the bank account that PFG reported was holding $225 mil-

lion in 1,845 customer accounts actually contained only $5 million. Wasendorf forged signatures and fabricated bank balances on the documents and simply mailed them back to the Chicago-based NFA, the person said. The scheme apparently began to unravel as the NFA shifted to electronic confirmations. NFA “started getting suspicious. He was resisting this new way of confirming the balance,” the source said. Wasendorf only recently signed the authorization, a decision that would quickly have led regulators to uncover the discrepancy. While distinct from MF Global’s demise in many ways, news that a second broker has violated sacrosanct segregated customer funds threatens to shatter the fragile confidence in an industry that once prided itself on an unblemished record in protecting client money. “It’s deja vu all over again,” said John Roe, co-founder of the Commodity Customer Coalition

(CCC), set up in the aftermath of MF Global’s collapse last October to help clients recoup their money. In its dying days, MF Global dipped into customer funds to help meet margin calls, investigators believe. “Anyone who thought things don’t need to change will have to reappraise their position,” Roe added. Wasendorf, 64, a well-known and mostly well-regarded figure in the industry over a four-decade career as a journalist, trader and executive, was reported to be in a coma, the CFTC said. He was found in his car early on Monday morning in an apparent suicide attempt. A spokesman for University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics said on Tuesday he was unable to comment on Wasendorf ’s status due to federal privacy laws. A police report released on Tuesday said he had been found “breathing but incoherent” after running a hose from his exhaust pipe into the car. A suicide

note found with him alluded to some kind of discrepancies with accounts at PFG, the report said, confirming what the broker had told its clients a day ago. As customers fumed at the prospect of millions of dollars in losses, or at a minimum a lengthy wait for the return of frozen funds, some said they had been burned for the last time. Doug McClelland, who runs Plains Commodities, a one-man brokerage in Lincoln, Nebraska, with about $500,000 in accounts at PFG Best, said three of his customers have already sworn off futures trading after first losing money to MF Global. Initially, the customers said “we’ll give it one more shot,” McClelland said. Traders and exchange officials have said the collapse of MF Global does not seem to cast a lasting chill over market activity. Now, says McClelland, they feel that “somehow the public’s money is becoming a depository for a CEO.” —Reuters

Spain deepens austerity under Europe pressure VAT raised 3 points to 21%, energy taxes to rise MADRID: Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced a swathe of new taxes and spending cuts yesterday designed to slash 65 billion euros from the budget deficit by 2014 as recession-plagued Spain struggles to meet tough targets agreed with Europe. Rajoy, of the centre-right People’s Party, proposed a 3-point hike in the main rate of Value Added Tax on goods and services to 21 percent, and outlined cuts in unemployment benefit and civil service pay and perks in a parliamentary speech interrupted by jeers and boos from the opposition. “These measures are not pleasant, but they are necessary. Our public spending exceeds our income by tens of billions of euros,” Rajoy told parliament. He also announced new indirect taxes on energy, plans to privatize ports, airports and rail assets, and a reversal of property tax breaks that his party had restored last December. However, he did not touch pensions - keeping one election promise - and said the tax burden was being shifted from direct taxes on labor and income to taxation on consumption. Outside in the streets of Madrid, hundreds of coal miners who had staged a march from northern Spain protested against cuts in mining subsidies they say will put them out of work, as public discontent over austerity measures grows. With five years of economic stagnation and recession, unemployment at 24.4 percent and tax revenue falling, Spain is struggling to meet tough deficit cutting targets agreed with the European Union. The high deficit and weak banks, which will receive up to 100 billion euros in European aid, are now at the centre of the euro-zone’s debt crisis as investors fret that Spain could join Greece, Portugal and Ireland

in needing a sovereign bailout. Madrid’s borrowing costs have soared in recent months, with the yield on the 10-year government bond breaching the 7 percent level regarded as unsustainable in the long run. Yesterday, that yield fell to 6.81 percent. The EU agreed on Tuesday to give Spain more time, until 2014 instead of 2013, to bring the public deficit down to 3 percent of gross domestic product and relaxed this year’s goal to 6.3 per-

MADRID: Spain’s Economy Minister Luis De Guindos (bottom) gestures during a speech by Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (not pictured) at the Spanish Parliament yesterday. — AP

cent. However, a European Commission document said even that easier target would be difficult to reach. With the latest measures, Rajoy completely overhauled his previous budget plan, in which the central government and 17 autonomous regions had put in place some 48 billion euros in savings for 2012, insufficient to bring the deficit into line. It was not immediately clear exactly how much of the 65 billion euros headline figure was new savings. Rajoy announced reforms to city hall governments, shutdowns of public companies, reduced benefits for civil servants, budget cuts for political parties and labour unions. The prime minister, who had pledged in his election campaign last year not to raise VAT, said he now had no choice. The main rate will rise to 21 from 18 percent and the reduced rate to 10 from 8 percent in a move that could further depress consumer spending. “We are living in a crucial moment that will determine the future of our families, our youth, our social welfare and all our hopes,” he said. “That is the reality. We have to get out of this mess and we have to do it as soon as possible.” As Rajoy announced the new austerity measures, hundreds of coal miners marched through the centre of Madrid to protest against a previous 60 percent cut in coal subsidies that they say will shut down mines and put them out of work. The miners, who had walked some 400 km from the Asturias region over 44 days, were joined by thousands of supporters, including labor activists yesterday after receiving a hero’s welcome in the capital on Tuesday night as they marched in with lamps lit on their helmets. — Reuters

MADRID: Spanish coal miners march through Madrid in this photo. — AFP

Lamps shining, angry coal miners march on Madrid MADRID: Tens of thousands of Spaniards joined coal miners who marched with their helmet lamps shining in the dark yesterday in a protest at industry subsidy cuts that they say threaten their communities. Some 400 miners in white hard hats and blue overalls were joined by a multitude of ordinary citizens, also angered by the economic cuts the government has made in response to the financial and economic crisis.”Miners, stick it out, Spain is rising up!” they chanted, to the sound of drums and the boom of high-powered fireworks as the miners edged along the broad avenues, swamped by the crowd of sympathizers. Weeks of protests by miners in the north have boiled over into violent clashes with police, but the march dispersed peacefully yesterday after meeting more crowds on the central Puerta del Sol square in the middle of the night. “We are all miners,” read one banner hoisted

as the miners’ cortege weaved through the crowd amid deafening cheers. “We didn’t expect such a big welcome, much less,” said Roberto Quintas, 50, a miner of 22 years, who along with hundreds of others had hiked hundreds of miles from the north in protest. “The fact people are coming into the street and mobilizing is a good sign,” added Quintas, tired after marching from the far northern town of Villablino near Leon. The miners planned a second Madrid demonstration later, which unions hoped would draw at least 25,000 people. They are protesting the government’s decision to slash coal industry subsidies this year to 111 million euros ($142 million) from 301 million euros last year, which they say threatens 30,000 jobs directly and indirectly. Unions say the cuts will destroy coal mining, which relies on state aid to compete with cheaper imports. — AFP

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

.2740000 .4320000 .3420000 .2850000 .2730000 .2840000 .0040000 .0020000 .0761760 .7421590 .3850000 .0720000 .7275550 .0040000 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2806000 GB Pound/KD .4346070 Euro .3447450 Swiss francs .2869850 Canadian dollars .2753410 Danish Kroner .0463440 Swedish Kroner .0398830 Australian dlr .2857630 Hong Kong dlr .0361910 Singapore dlr .2204930 Japanese yen .0035230 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0764270 Bahraini dinars .7445930 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0748470 Omani riyals .7291150 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Malaysian Ringgit

3.553 5.072 3.053 2.141 3.173 220.090 36.173 3.425 6.439 8.876 89.338

.2840000 .4420000 .3510000 .2980000 .2810000 .2920000 .0070000 .0035000 .0769410 .7496180 .4050000 .0780000 .7348670 .0072000 .0510000 .2827000 .4378600 .3473250 .2891330 .2774020 .0466910 .0401820 .2879020 .0364610 .2221440 .0035490 .0050890 .0021270 .0030200 .0034700 .0769990 .7501660 .3998590 .0754070 .7345720 .0067830

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 74.883 77.158 729.380 745.850 76.464

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

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria

47.400 732.110 3.100 6.970 77.950 75.250 223.780 36.390 2.685 441.200 41.400 291.400 4.400 9.250 198.263 76.850 282.200 1.350

10 Tola

GOLD 1,690.600

Sterling Pound US Dollar

731.930 2.990 6.730 77.530 75.250 223.780 36.390 2.105 439.200 289.900 4.400 9.090 76.750 281.800


TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 439.200 281.800



290.800 749.550 3.680 279.600 553.500 45.900 47.400 167.800 48.570 349.800 37.040 5.300 0.032 0.161 0.236 3.650 399.410 0.191 91.590 43.900 4.330 227.400 1.826

289.300 749.550 3.441 278.100

223.800 46.482 348.300 36.890 5.090 0.031



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

291.84 280.31 292.16 348.63 281.40 440.60 3.63 3.442 5.084 2.110 3.188 3.003 76.68 749.27 46.50 400.90 732.37 77.71 75.25


288.00 279.00 299.00 357.00 281.25 442.00 3.65 3.550 5.950 2.260 3.650 3.200 77.000 745.150 48.200 397.500 732.00 78.00 75.150

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 399.380 0.190 91.590 3.200 225.900

Rate for Transfer

Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

280.750 278.155 438.550 351.875

Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit

292.990 743.276 76.415 77.060 74.825 395.200 46.304 2.091 5.050 2.976 3.431 6.634 688.675 4.530 8.895 5.910 3.165 88.595

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

281.800 2.988 5.095 2.110 3.443 6.760 76.825 75.300 749.200 46.493 442.800 2.990 3.200 1.550 351.200 281.600

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

281.800 349.500 439.250 278.850 3.575 5.042 46.500 2.110 3.428 6.695 2.995 749.400 76.700 75.200



Jobless Portuguese seek Utopia in Mozambique MAPUTO: Thousands of Portuguese have fled their country’s economic hardships all the way to Mozambique, a former colony at the southern end of Africa, where a booming economy promises jobs and a better future. “It is summer ten months out of twelve here,” said Mafalda Soares at a party in honor of Lisbon’s patron saint, Antonio, in the Mozambican capital Maputo, where fried sardines were served to the tunes of Fado music in the background. She arrived two years ago before things got really bad back home. “When I send emails home I have new things to tell because this is a growing economy and things are happening, whilst there they are cutting budgets and cutting people,” she said. Portuguese, especially the young, are fleeing unemployment that may surpass 15 percent in their home country which entered recession last year. They head out to former colonies-first Brazil, then Angola, now Mozambique. The latter promises seven percent growth on the back of a natural resource boom-global significant natural gas and coal deposits. Around 25,000 Portuguese live in Mozambique - most Maputo. Arrivals have increased over the past two years and the Portuguese consulate now registers 100 newcomers a month, though not everyone bothers to sign in. Portuguese airline TAP

doubled its flights from Lisbon to Maputo this year to meet the demand. Diogo da register Cunha, 42, came to Maputo in March when clients’ inability to pay their bills forced him to give up his baby lettuce farm. Today he sells imported bubble gum and whisky to shops. “I did not have many options. Either continue going down or pay my debts and leave,” he said. “I have a salary even if I have to live with my uncle. I see hope in all aspects of life. Not just work but socially too.” Portuguese emigration goes back to the time of Vasco da Gama. Only 10 million remain in their homeland, while 15 million others are spread around the globe. Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho last year advised jobless young people to emigrate. Virtually all Portuguese left Mozambique after the colony gained independence in 1975. Some began trickling back twenty years ago after the end of Mozambique’s civil war but the new wave of immigrant waiters, drivers, carpenters and construction workers is causing disquiet amongst locals. “They take positions that Mozambicans could have,” said Hortencio Lopes, the head of civil society group the Centre for Mozambican and International studies. Only the top two percent of society occupy professional posts. “Qualified people tend to stay in Portugal and the least qualified come

here. They are bringing their problems here,” he said. “Mozambique does not want to be colonized twice.” But Portuguese consul Graca Pereira disputed the claim. “That is not true. The Portuguese create jobs,” she argued, pointing to the Mozambican government’s quota system requiring companies to employ ten locals for every foreigner. But she admitted the rules are bent in “special” cases, usually large construction projects. Yet the end isn’t rosy for everyone. Business graduate Jose Soares is reluctantly returning home after his local employer decided he was too expensive. “The owner opted to hire three Mozambicans instead,” he said. “I did not come here to colonize anyone. I came to do my job and teach people.” Many others are worried that salaries for foreigners are falling now that new immigrants are flooding the market. “Two years ago the work of a foreigner was highly valued, now the demand is the same but the supply has increased dramatically,” said Fabio Giao. The upside is that labor costs are a fraction of what they would be in Europe. The 24-yearold started a catering company this year because of the quick returns on low initial investment. It is exactly these low minimum wages and rising inflation that have been fuelling growing discontent amongst Mozambicans

who feel they are being left out of the economic boom. Riots erupted in Maputo in 2010 over food price hikes. For now, that anger is not directed at foreign investors, but newcomers fear rising government corruption and simmering discontentment will boil

over. For them Mozambique is not a permanent home. “You need friends high up in government to stay here,” said Giao. “I am not thinking of staying here long term. We don’t know what is going to happen. We see great opportunities, but great risks.”— AFP

LISBON: Protesters, waving black flags, look at hundreds of black balloons released during a protest by the Portuguese public teachers federation, FENPROF, against rising unemployment in Portugal. — AP

Shares fall as economic downturn fuels worries Euro hovers near two-year low vs dollar

NEWBURYPORT: A kayaker paddles past a diesel pump with a price of $3.84 per gallon at the Newburyport Harbor Marina in Newburyport, Mass. — AP

Summer demands boost fuel premiums in the Gulf DUBAI: Rising summer electricity, vehicle and jet fuel demand in the run-up to Ramadan have boosted fuel premiums in the Middle East Gulf and are likely to support prices throughout the holy month, traders said. The regional fuel oil market is supported by lower supplies from Iran and high demand from Saudi Arabia, but recent strength in the naphtha market is not expected to last, with weak demand from the petrochemical sector seen weighing on prices. GASOIL/JET Robust seasonal demand and Ramadan being due to start around July 20 have pushed premiums higher and are likely to keep upward pressure on prices through late August. Demand from Saudi Aramco, which has bought at least 750,000 tons for the whole of June and July, is a big driver. Diesel demand typically spikes in summer, when temperatures in the Gulf soar, boosting electricity demand for air conditioning. Premiums for low-sulphur gasoil, also known as 500 ppm, are around $4 to $4.40 a barrel, while for higher sulphur grades like 0.2 it’s at around $2.75 a barrel. These are about 20 to 30 cents higher than prices for June. Yemen’s high-sulphur diesel demand and Jordan’s import tenders are other factors keeping the market firm. East Africa is also expected to come back to the market with gasoil and gasoline tenders soon. But high prices also seem to be limiting the number of deals done, traders said. “Premiums are too expensive and doing business on a spot basis is very difficult,” one middle distillates trader said. “I would expect gasoil premiums to soften a bit from the last week of August,” he added. Increased travel in the region has boosted jet fuel demand and is likely to result in lower jet fuel exports, traders said. “Traffic is continuing to rise sharply in the UAE and started to increase in Saudi, driven by the holy month of Ramadan,” another trader said. GASOLINE/NAPHTHA The naphtha market has been briefly lifted by tight supplies and traders see strength continuing into July. But fundamentals do not look strong enough to support premiums for

long. “The petrochemicals market is not encouraging so we will see lower bids on naphtha tenders for cracker feed stock,” one naphtha trader said. Analysts said the weak naphtha market in June saw large spot volumes flowing out of the Middle East, as some Asian buyers took fewer cargoes under long-term contracts due to high prices. Saudi Aramco, Asia’s biggest naphtha supplier, has sold up to 600,000 tons for July for premiums around $15 per ton above Middle East quotes, an unusually high volume. But the main naphtha exporters in the region - Saudi Aramco, KPC and ADNOC concluded their term contracts with high premiums of $24 to $33 a ton over Middle Eastern quotes, with many petrochemicals buyers lifting cargoes directly from the refiners rather than from trading houses. Summer demand also supported gasoline demand in the region, with traders expecting Kuwait to come to the market as the country’s biggest refinery is partially shut for maintenance. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the main drivers of demand in the region. Currently premiums for a 95 RON gasoline cargo from India to the Gulf is around flat over Mops95 while over benchmark naphtha quotes in the Gulf it is at around $160 to $170 a ton. FUEL OIL Higher demand from Saudi Arabia to meet soaring power demand coupled with lower fuel oil exports out of Iran due to sanctions have kept the Middle East fuel oil market tight. Traders say fuel oil exports from Iran’s Bandar Abbas and Bandar Mahshahr ports have been down by at least a third. In Asia, the market fell and traders expected the weakness to remain, as demand for marine fuel has slowed and high volumes of Western arbitrage cargoes are expected to arrive in Asia next month. Bunker premiums in Fujairah have been steady after a sharp fall due to global crude oil prices. Traders say underlying demand is healthy but the uncertainty in crude prices prompted buyers to put off purchases. Prices for 380 centistoke (cst) fuel oil in Fujairah are around $597 a ton, while prices for 180 cst are at $618 a ton, up from end-June levels. — Reuters

UK recruiter Hays hit by euro-zone gloom LONDON: British recruiter Hays said quarterly net fees rose 2 percent, at the bottom end of expectations, as trading in many markets worsened with clients worried about the global economy. “Whatever country you go to in the world, all of the European sovereign debt issues are front and centre on the newspapers and press,” finance director Paul Venables told reporters yesterday. “You have the pervasive issue of how confident are candidates and I think it should be no surprise that over the last three months those confidence levels have reduced.” The recruitment sector has slowed rapidly since the second half of 2011 as concern about the global economy has seen companies delay hiring and unsettled people who have been thinking about moving jobs. Hays, which specializes in placing workers in accountancy, construction and IT jobs, said net fees rose 2 per-

cent in the three months to end-June, its fourth quarter, with a strong performance in Germany helping offset the impact of the euro-zone crisis on its largest division - continental Europe and the rest of the world. The outcome compared with a company-compiled consensus forecast of 2-4 percent. Net fees grew 1 percent in Asia Pacific as tough banking markets in Asia and soft conditions in parts of Australia crimped growth. A tough banking sector, where swathes of jobs have been cut in recent months, also pushed net fees in Britain and Ireland down 9 percent. Hays, which was comfortable with a Reuterscompiled consensus for earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 128 million pounds ($198 million), said while trading would remain tough, its relatively underdeveloped Asian and South American recruitment markets should return to rapid growth.—Reuters

TOKYO: Asian shares fell yesterday on worries that the global economic slowdown will erode corporate earnings, with the market unconvinced the euro-zone can decisively bring down struggling member states’ borrowing costs even after yields pulled back. The euro-zone’s three-year debt crisis, which began with its peripheral members, has engulfed the region’s larger economies Spain and Italy. In a sign of sustained tension, Rome said on Tuesday that it may want to tap euro-zone aid to ease its borrowing costs as market jitters persisted. European stocks were likely to drop, with financial spreadbetters calling the main indexes in London, Paris and Frankfurt to open down as much as 0.7 percent. US stock futures held steady. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2 percent, after slipping to a new low for the month in the wake of a four-day losing streak in US stocks. Japan’s Nikkei average shed 0.5 percent. “ There is a sore lack of momentum in the market,” said Chung Seung-jae, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities, referring to the Korean equities market, which fell 0.2 percent. “In addition to pressure stemming from global growth worries, we have disappointing corporate earnings.” Hopes for more investment to spur growth helped to limit losses in China and Hong Kong shares. Premier Wen Jiabao said in comments published on the government’s website on Tuesday that China must maintain reasonable investment growth to stand up to the headwinds from global economic uncertainties. “We are still awaiting more details on how Beijing plans to push infrastructure investment which will give greater clarity on profitability for that sector, but

otherwise sentiment remains quite weak,” said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities vice-president for equity sales. The notion that Europe was moving towards putting its rescue fund into action and Spain was set to receive the first batch of aid for its troubled banks by the end of July buoyed European shares and lowered Spanish and Italian yields on Tuesday. But a hearing by the German Constitutional Court into whether the euro-zone’s bailout fund, known as the European Stability Mechanism, and planned changes to the region’s budget rules are compatible with German law renewed fears of a protracted struggle to resolve the debt crisis. The euro last traded at $1.2256, pinned near a two-year low of $1.2225 hit in early Monday Asian trade. The ESM is a crucial tool in helping to bring down borrowing costs of indebted nations and breaking the link between the sovereign debt problem and the banking sector stress in Europe. “Investors have grown skeptical about the deci-

sion-making process in Europe and this has hurt euro sentiment,” said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York. JGBS DRAW INTEREST With risk aversion deeply rooted in the markets, investors were pouring money into safer assets such as bonds issued by sturdier euro-zone economies, including the Netherlands and France, as well as by Japan and international organizations, said a portfolio manager at a Japanese insurance company. “Money, seeking places to park, is finding its way into sovereign debt, especially Japanese government bonds,” he said. “JGBs are not cheap in absolute terms but still look valuable relative to US Treasuries or German Bunds, given Japan’s low inflation rate,” he said, adding that the European Central Bank’s cut in the deposit rate to zero could prompt euro-zone banks to shift into safe haven bonds some of the 800 billion euros ($980 billion) they have parked at the ECB overnight. Some money market

TOKYO: A man looks at a stock index display of a securities firm in Tokyo. — AP

UK prompt gas extends falls on LNG shipments LONDON: British prompt gas prices extended falls yesterday as liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals boosted output ahead of fresh shipments and utility Centrica prepared to bring back its South Morecambe gas field from maintenance. Gas for today delivery fell 0.30 pence to 56.50 pence a therm as North Sea production rose and withdrawals from midrange storage sites stepped up a gear, on top of greater imports from the Netherlands. Weekend gas dropped 0.75 pence to 55.55 pence, pulled lower by similar drivers. “The system is more comfortable today so prices are coming off a bit more following yesterday’s sell-off,” a trader from a European utility said. Gas prices plunged 7 percent on Tuesday after a last-minute move the previous day by the Norwegian government to prevent a lockout of striking offshore workers that could have shut down the country’s entire oil and gas production. Gas for immediate delivery bucked the downward trend, rising slightly to 56.25 pence, up 0.15 pence on the day after the transmission network was undersupplied earlier in the morning. Imports via the Dutch BBL pipeline rose to just shy of 10 million cubic meters/day, while mid-range storage sites pumped out at similar rates. Both LNG terminals at Milford Haven - South Hook and

Dragon in Wales were outputting gas into the transmission system. Dragon expected to receive a delivery on Sunday. Point Carbon analysts forecast dayahead gas prices to trade little changed during the day with Thursday’s demand expected to be stable. Centrica extended maintenance work at its South Morecambe gas field by one day to Tuesday, although the field was still not outputting yesterday. August and September gas prices also fell, in line with the bearish prompt and an outlook for higher supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as Asian LNG prices have fallen from highs seen over the past months, making it again more attractive for suppliers to send spot cargoes to Europe. Nigeria has sent its LNG Port Harcourt tanker to the Dutch Gate terminal, where it is expected to arrive yesterday. August gas prices fell 0.40 pence to 55.15 pence, while September traded at 56.16 pence, down 0.23 pence. Benchmark front-season gas was little changed at 64.10 pence. British day-ahead power prices rebounded yesterday after shedding more than 3 pounds in the previous session, bouncing back up to 43.50 pounds per megawatt hour (MWh), up 1.50 pounds day on day. Power production from wind and gas plants increased yesterday as nuclear output declined.— Reuters

traders have also said a probe into an interest rate-fixing scandal for Libor, or London interbank offered rate, could affect Tibor, the Tokyo interbank lending rate, which has traditionally been set high. An easier interbank lending rate would push down rates on loans and provide incentives for banks to put their money to work in higher-yielding bonds, traders said. The 10-year JGB yield fell to 0.785 percent, its lowest since June 2003. Commodities and oil, which have recently been hurt by weak data from the United States and China, the world’s biggest and second-biggest economies, regained their footing yesterday after sharp drops in the previous session. China’s second-quarter gross domestic product report due on Friday will likely show the slowest growth in at least three years, after this week’s benign inflation and weak imports pointed to softening domestic demand while uncertainties over the external economic downturn clouded the prospect for exports. Brent crude rose 0.5 percent to $98.48 a barrel and US crude added 0.8 percent to $84.57 a barrel. Spot gold gained 0.4 percent to $1,573.91 an ounce but stayed firmly capped below $1,600, after posting its biggest one-day decline since late June on Tuesday as investors liquidated assets across the markets. Gold holdings in the world’s eight major exchange-traded products fell by the largest one -day amount since late May, shrinking by 116,427 ounces by the close on Monday to 70.529 million ounces, reflecting some of the investor wariness towards bullion. Falling Spanish yields helped to improve sentiment in Asian credit markets, where the spread on the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment-grade index was 5 basis points narrower. — Reuters

Brent rises above $98 SINGAPORE: Brent rose above $98 a barrel yesterday, recovering slightly from the previous session’s losses, ahead of US inventory data that is expected to show crude stocks shrinking for a third week in the world’s largest oil consumer. But another round of cuts by the US Energy Information Administration to its world oil demand growth forecast for 2012 and 2013 limited gains for oil prices. Brent crude for August delivery rose 30 cents to $98.27 a barrel by 0350 GMT, while US crude was at $84.24, up 33 cents. “The market is neutral at the moment, stabilizing after a sharp decline in the second quarter,” said Ken Hasegawa, a commodity sales manager at Newedge Japan. Brent had extended gains after touching a strong support level at $98, Hasegawa said, adding that oil will be driven by technical influences while the market searches for the next price direction. He expects Brent to trade in a range of $95$105 and US crude to trade between $80 and $90 until end-August. Oil fell more than 2 percent on Tuesday as Norway ended an oil strike, averting a total production shutdown, and as China cut oil imports in June, reinforcing fears of a global economic slowdown hurting fuel demand. Norway, the world’s eighth largest oil exporter, restarted some major oil and gas fields on Tuesday after the government ordered an end to a 16-day strike by offshore workers. China is due to release GDP data later this week that could show the weakest expansion in three years. If confirmed, the figures could help support oil as investors expect the government to introduce measures to boost the economy. “Demand for commodities should start to rebound in response to China’s implementation of investment projects,” ANZ analysts said in a note.—Reuters




Barclays’ Diamond accused of misleading inquiry Bank of England pivotal in pushing him out LONDON: British lawmakers have accused Barclays former chief executive Bob Diamond of misleading a parliamentary inquiry into an interest rate-fixing scandal that has forced him to resign and give up bonuses worth up to 20 million pounds ($30 million). Diamond hit back, calling the comments made by a parliamentary committee “unfair and unfounded”. The affair became a major political issue in Britain this month, after authorities fined Barclays more than $450 million for its part in manipulating a crucial interbank interest rate. Diamond resigned on July 3. Marcus Agius, the chairman of Barclays when its traders fiddled the rate, appeared before a hostile parliamentary panel as part of its investigation into the row which as caused widespread public anger in Britain. In 2-1/2 hours of gripping testimony, he acknowledged the central bank chief had played a key role in pushing Diamond out of his job, and described the personal drama behind the scandal. “I’m not happy to be where I am, as you can imagine,” Agius told the panel in a quiet, clipped voice. “It’s very difficult as you go back to say what you would have done differently.” Agius was the first Barclays executive to quit when the scandal erupted but that was not enough to protect the hard-charging Diamond, who was forced out of the 300-yearold bank a day later. Agius, a Cambridge and Harvard educated pillar of the banking establishment, has agreed to stay on as executive chairman to find a successor to Diamond, who testified in parliament last week. The panel pressed Agius repeatedly on what it saw as inconsistencies between Diamond’s evidence last week and the contents of a letter from the financial watchdog to the bank, which was released at the start of Tuesday’s hearing.

LACK OF CANDOUR “It will look to us, and frankly it will look to everybody listening, like another example of a complete lack of candor to parliament by the

chief executive of Barclays,” said committee chairman Andrew Tyrie. In a tense exchange, John Mann, a lawmaker from the opposition Labor party, said: “He has calculatedly and

LONDON: In this combo image former, Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond gives evidence to the Treasury Select Committee at Portcullis House, London. —AP

deliberately misled this parliamentary committee ... Mr Diamond has been misleading this committee, hasn’t he?” Agius replied: “I can’t speak for his testimony.” Diamond, in a letter to Tyrie, later said the accusations were unjustified: “Having watched the committee’s session today, I was dismayed that you and some of your fellow committee members appear to have suggested that I was less than candid with the committee last week,” he wrote in the letter, which was published by the BBC. “The comments made at today’s hearing have had a terribly unfair impact on my reputation, which is of paramount concern to me.” Neither Diamond nor Agius stand accused of individual wrongdoing in the manipulation of rates. As lawmakers piled criticism on him, Agius looked tense at times, blowing out his cheeks and shaking his head in disbelief. He interrupted one committee member sharply at one point to correct the pronunciation of his surname. Shedding light on what went on behind the scenes, Agius said Diamond resigned after the central bank chief summoned Barclays executives and made it clear that their colleague had to go. “We explained what had happened,” said Agius, who visited Diamond at his house in London. “He was utterly depressed as you can imagine. The conversation was not long. “He asked for time to talk to his family, and we left confident that if he hadn’t already made the decision, that he would make the right decision.” BONUSES LOST Diamond’s pay-off has been the subject of intense speculation in a country where anger with the culture of bankers strikes a popular chord. One of the world’s richest bankers, Diamond took home 17 million pounds last

year alone and has earned at least 120 million pounds since he joined the board in 2005, according to Manifest, a corporate governance group. In a separate statement, Barclays quoted Diamond as saying he hoped his decision would help the bank move on. “The wrongful actions of a relative few should not detract from the outstanding work that Barclays employees carry out each day on behalf of clients and customers around the world,” the American banker said. Diamond will still get a year’s pay and a cash payment instead of a pension, all worth 2 million pounds, Agius said. Letters released on Tuesday showed the Financial Services Authority - Britain’s financial watchdog - had long shared its concerns with Agius about his bank’s behavior and culture. “The cumulative effect ... has been to leave us with an impression that Barclays has a tendency continually to seek advantage from complex structures or favorable regulatory interpretations,” said an April 10 letter sent by FSA Chairman Adair Turner to Agius. Turner said the concerns had also been raised by Andrew Bailey, the head of banking supervision at the FSA, while attending a Barclays’ board meeting in February. In his testimony last week Diamond said: “I don’t remember anything ... I didn’t brief before this on the February meeting.” FIRM TONE When asked about the letter, Agius said: “I don’t regard this as damning. I regard this as a firm letter from our regulator.” He added however he had never received a letter that harsh from a regulator and described his relationship with the Financial Services Authority as “strained”. More than a dozen other banks are now expected to be drawn into the scandal.— Reuters

Qatar attracting massive demand for $4bn sukuk Order books over $24 billion DUBAI: Qatar launched a $4-billion, dual-tranche sukuk yesterday, its first Islamic bond issue in nearly a decade and the largest sukuk deal from the Gulf this year. The world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter took full advantage of heavy global interest in high-grade Gulf debt and strong demand for sukuk among the region’s cash-rich Islamic investment funds. The five- and 10-year tranches will each be $2 billion in size. Final profit guidance for the long five-year portion, maturing in 2018, is at a spread of 115 basis points over midswaps, and for the long 10-year tranche maturing in 2023 at 155 basis points over midswaps, market sources said. These terms are tighter than revised guidance released on Tuesday, thanks to

investor orders totaling in excess of $24 billion, the sources said. “Qatari banks will likely put in large orders; some will put surplus deposits to work while others will likely leverage up given the zero-risk status of the issuer,” said Akber Khan, director for asset management at Al Rayan Investment in Doha. “The Qatari sovereign has a history of being a savvy issuer and appears to be taking advantage of the extraordinary spread compression we’ve seen in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) sukuk over the last 6 months.” Qatar normally doesn’t issue debt in small amounts: it printed a $5 billion, multi-tranche conventional bond last November, and before that a $7 billion bond in 2009. It had not issued a sovereign

sukuk since 2003, when it priced $700 million of seven-year paper. The Islamic debt market has been resilient during the latest phase of the euro zone crisis and most regional deals so far this year have been in the form of sukuk. Unrated Dubai issued a two-tranche $1.25 billion sukuk in April, following Saudi Elec tricit y Co’s $1.75 billion issue. The issue size of Qatar’s sukuk, which will be structured under an ijara or lease format, was the maximum available based on the assets secured to back it, which are believed to be state-owned buildings and land. HSBC, Standard Char tered, Deutsche Bank and local Qatari lenders Barwa Bank and QInvest are bookrunners on the transaction.— Reuters

NORD: A file picture shows a car park at French car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen’s Sevelnord site. The head of the Sevelnord factory announced yesterday in Hordain, northern France, a draft agreement which provides for the transfer of 50% of shares owned by Fiat to PSA Peugeot Citroen “no later than December 31, 2012.— AFP

Peugeot to take over Fiat stake in Sevelnord plant PARIS: French auto manufacturer Peugeot said yesterday it will take over Fiat’s stake in their Sevelnord joint production venture in northern France. PSA Peugeot Citroen said in a statement that an agreement had been reached “relative to the transfer of (Fiat’s) stake in their Sevelnord joint venture to PSA Peugeot Citroen on or before December 31, 2012.” It said Sevelnord would however continue to produce light commercial vehicles for the two groups until the

end of 2016. Italy’s Fiat said last year it wanted out of the venture. The move comes after PSA entered a global alliance with US auto giant General Motors in February aimed at slashing costs for both and boosting their competitiveness in Europe. Union sources said in March that PSA was in talks with Toyota of Japan on joint production at Sevelnord, but yesterday a union said there was no partner in sight. “Management confirmed that there

is no (new) partner and that Fiat is pulling out by the end of 2012, but will continue to buy vehicles until the end of the 2016,” the CGT union said after a works council meeting with management. The plant, which employs 2,800 people, produces vans and multi-purpose vehicles. Struggling PSA has said it plans to trim its workforce by 4,000 this year as it tries to reduce overcapacity amid a major slowdown in car sales in Europe linked to the euro-zone debt crisis.— AFP




Landless Cambodians see nothing sweet in EU sugar deal KOH KONG: An EU scheme to boost trade with developing nations is fuelling land grabs in Cambodia, activists say, with thousands evicted from their property to make way for a booming sugar industry. Campaigners are taking their fight to European supermarkets, encouraging a boycott of Cambodian sugar, which they claim is often grown on land snatched illegally from rural farmers. Yi Chhav said she had no choice but to return to her family plantation to work for the sugarcane grower that took her land, toiling for about $1.50 a day in the sea of swaying emerald green plants that swallowed her rice paddies. “If we say there’s no way we’ll go to work in the sugarcane plantation then what will we have to eat? There’s no work,” the 68-year-old widow said at her modest home in southwestern Koh Kong province. “How can we survive?” she said, adding that the irregular work makes her feel like a “slave” and her low income has forced her to pull her teenage daughter out of school. Europe’s “Everything But Arms” initiative is meant to help the world’s least developed nations by lifting import quotas and duties. But activists say it has sparked a voracious appetite for land in Cambodia’s sugar industry, leaving more than 3,000 dispossessed

families without fair compensation, while enriching well-connected investors. Rights groups say the government has ignored residents’ legitimate land claims by granting tens of thousands of hectares to local and foreign-owned sugar firms across the nation. Land titles are a murky issue in Cambodiathe communist Khmer Rouge regime abolished property ownership during its murderous rule in the late 1970s and disputes pitting developers and agricultural firms against villagers have sparked increasingly violent protests in the country. Industry and government officials argue that there is compensation on offer for those affected, and that the sugar business is good for Cambodia because it creates jobs. But activists say the compensation is inadequate. After years of seemingly futile protests, they are now urging the EU-and European consumers-to step in to combat what they term “blood” sugar. “It is scandalous that the European Union permits this tainted sugar to be sold within its territory, but until the EU implements a ban on the import of goods produced on stolen land it is up to European consumers to say no to these products,” said David Pred, a representative from the Cambodian Clean Sugar Campaign.

said, welcoming Phnom Penh’s recent announcement that it would review all land concessions following a spike in conflicts this year. Government spokesman Ek Tha said authorities were “on the right track” in addressing land disputes, but referred specific questions about grievances in the sugar industry to the companies running the operations. Koh Kong, one of three sugar-growing provinces, has the country’s oldest and most active plantation, exporting around 20,000 tons of sugar to the EU in 2011 - double the figure from 2010 - according to local rights groups such as Equitable Cambodia and Licadho. Ruling party senator and Cambodian business heavyweight Ly Yong Phat, who has sold his stake in the Koh Kong operation but still has ties to other sugar plantations said there was little companies could do besides offering compensation because concessions were legally granted by the government. “If it were KOH KONG: Cambodian community leader Teng Kao shows a sugarcane field my land, I would share with them, then in Koh Kong province, some 250 kilometers southwest of Phnom Penh. — AFP the problem is over. But it’s the state’s from Cambodian suppliers. Their web- Cautain, told AFP the European Union land. So what can I do?” he said. Frustrated by the battle, some affected was looking into the concerns. “The government has already given families in Koh Kong recently accepted includes a video showing distressed villagers watching as rural buildings go us some documents and we are in the a hiked cash settlement, from around up in flames. The British-based firm, process of studying them and then 10,000 riel ($250) to $2,000, said comonce part of the Tate and Lyle group we’ll have an important discussion,” he munity leader Teng Kao. — AFP The coalition of rights groups and representatives from affected communities this week launched a campaign urging shoppers to put pressure on Tate and Lyle Sugars to stop buying

but now owned by the US company American Sugar Refining, failed to respond to repeated requests from AFP for comment. The EU’s ambassador to Cambodia, Jean-Francois

Iran keeps oil flowing to China despite dispute NITC, Sinopec agree on freight terms

HUBEI: Chinese workers assemble cars at a plant of Dongfeng Honda, a joint venture between China’s Dongfeng Motor and Japan’s Honda Motor in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. — AP

China auto sales up 9.9% in June SHANGHAI: China’s auto sales rose 9.9 percent year-on-year in June, an industry group said yesterday, with growth weakening from May as the world’s biggest car market loses steam. Total vehicles sales for June stood at 1.58 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement. That compared to a 16 percent year-on-year rise in May to 1.61 million vehicles, previous data showed. “The domestic economy still faces downward pressure,” the group said. “There is a lack of momentum for rapid growth of auto sales in the short term.” For the first six months of the year, China’s auto sales rose 2.9 percent from the same period last year to 9.60 million units, the group said. The nation’s auto sales began to slow last year after the government rolled back buying incentives and some cities imposed tough

restrictions on car numbers to ease chronic traffic congestion and pollution. The southern city of Guangzhou earlier this month imposed a cap on the number of cars allowed to be sold, spurring worries more cities could follow suit. China’s economy has also been weakening, recording 8.1 percent growth in the first quarter of this year, its slowest pace in nearly three years. The domestic auto sector is still in “consolidation mode” based on production and sales for the first half, the industry group said. But foreign car makers in China have fared better, helped by name recognition and perceptions of higher quality, analysts say. US auto giant General Motors said last week its China sales for the first half of this year jumped 11.3 percent from a year earlier to a record 1.42 million vehicles. — AFP

Oman’s budget surplus widens DUBAI: Oman’s budget surplus rose to 1.6 billion rials ($4.2 billion) in the first five months of this year as oil revenue soared, while inflation slowed sharply, data showed yesterday. The budget surplus is equivalent to about 5.7 percent of the sultanate’s 2011 nominal gross domestic product, according to a Reuters calculation. Oman, which faces a challenge to create tens of thousands of jobs every year for its fast-growing population, has raised its budget by 23 percent to 10 billion rials this year compared to its original projection for 2011. In January-May, the Gulf Arab sultanate’s revenue jumped 34 percent year-on-year to 6.1 billion rials, or 69 percent of the initial full-year projection, the data showed. In May, large-scale strikes hit oil facilities in Oman, which flanks a key oil shipping lane. But the data showed output increased to 25.3 million barrels from 23.6 million in April. Spending was up 38 percent from a year earlier at 4.5 billion rials in the first five months of the year. Higher oil prices helped public finances improve significantly compared to a year ago when the government posted a mere 184 million-rial surplus for January-May. A Reuters poll this week forecast the non-OPEC oil producer would post a fiscal surplus of 6.5 percent of GDP in 2012, up from a forecast of 5.0 percent by analysts in March, and rising from 3.5 percent last year. Prices of crude, which accounts for 77 percent of Oman’s income, fell $40 to as low as $88 per barrel for Brent between March and June but have since stabilized at above $98. Oman sold its crude at an average $113.5 per barrel in January-May,

up 20 percent from a year ago. As a result, net oil revenue jumped 33 percent to 4.5 billion rials. The sultanate would still post a surplus in 2012 if oil prices stay at current levels, as the poll forecast Oman’s budget breakeven oil price at $83 per barrel. But that level is expected to rise to $105 by 2016, the IMF said in December. The central bank has said it and the government have scope to keep pursuing expansionary policies without threatening economic stability, adding the budget may turn out to be in surplus in 2012 given stillrobust oil prices. Social unrest last year prompted Sultan Qaboos bin Said, a US ally who has ruled Oman for 42 years, to pledge an extra $2.6 billion of spending in April 2011. Oman, which obtained pledges in March 2011 for $10 billion in aid over 10 years from its wealthier Gulf neighbors, forecasts a budget deficit of 1.2 billion rials for 2012, or 4.3 percent of 2011 GDP. The projected oil price is $75 per barrel. The data also showed that annual consumer price growth in Oman slowed sharply to 2.2 percent in May, the lowest level since February 2010, from 3.0 percent in April. On the month, prices in the country, which pegs its rial to the US dollar, fell 0.3 percent helped by a fall in costs of personal care and services, after a 0.1 percent rise in April. Main index components, food, rents and transport, were flat. The Reuters July poll forecast average inflation in Oman at 3.2 percent in 2012, down from a three-year high of 4.0 percent last year. — Reuters

BEIJING: Iran is shipping crude oil to its top buyer China despite a dispute over freight terms, sending so far a third of the 12 million barrels due to load in the first 20 days of July, traders and shipping sources said. The dispute between Chinese state refining giant Sinopec and the National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC) threatens to delay the sale of millions of barrels of crude exports from Iran as it faces tough Western sanctions targeting its oil sector. China and Iran appear to be negotiating freight terms on a tanker by tanker basis and at least 4 million barrels of Iranian oil are on their way to Chinese refiners, said a Chinese crude trader familiar with the negotiations. “Looks like the freight negotiations are not a package, but voyage by voyage,” said the trader, who declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the matter. China is Iran’s top trading partner and buys an increasing share of its oil exports which have dwindled after traders cut or halted imports to comply with US and EU sanctions aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program. The West believes Iran is trying to build an atomic

bomb. Iran says its nuclear activities are for civilian purposes. The EU sanctions bar tankers carrying Iranian oil from accessing the Western-dominated insurance market and have forced Sinopec to rely on NITC for delivery of the 500,000 barrels per day of crude it buys from Iran. NITC wants Sinopec to pay a premium to use its tankers since the Iranian shipper is handling the insurance, but the Chinese refiner is seeking a lower freight rate. China last month requested that Iran deliver July-loading oil to Chinese ports and provide price quotes on a cost-insurance-freight basis. WANING CHINESE DEMAND China appears to have the upper hand in the shipping negotiations, as high inventories and a slowing economy have dulled demand for oil in the world’s second-largest crude importer. China’s total crude imports fell in June to their lowest level since December. Iran, on the other hand, has been forced to shut off wells at its vast oilfields and reduce output to levels unseen in more than two

Gold gains as dollar weighs SINGAPORE: Spot gold firmed yesterday after posting its biggest one-day decline since late June, but gains are expected to be reined in as the dollar continues to outstrip bullion as the preferred destination for safety amid a grim economic outlook. Gold has been under pressure with the greenback rising 2 percent against a basket of currencies so far this month, in contrast to a 3-percent drop in the euro as the bloc is still deep in its struggle to contain an intractable debt crisis. In addition, an uncertainty over whether the US Federal Reserve will launch a third round of quantitative easing (QE3) is underpinning the dollar, keeping gold bulls on edge. “Gold will probably remain rangebound. Without QE3, the pressure on the upside stays,” said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals in Hong Kong, adding he saw it trading in a range of $1,550-$1,600. Fung said there was fresh buying interest from China on gold’s slide overnight and that most investors were likely to stick to a buy-on-dips and sell-on-the-rally strategy as prices drift without a clear direction. Spot gold gained half a percent to $1,575.74 an ounce by 0635 GMT, after losing 1.4 percent on Tuesday when it touched $1,563.89 - lowest since June 29. The US gold futures contract for August delivery edged down 0.2 percent to $1,576.10. The correlation between the dollar and gold stood at -0.56, indicating the strongest inverse correlation in nearly two months. A reading of -1 suggests a perfect inverse correlation in which one asset rises and the other declines. Technical analysis suggests spot gold could drop to $1,553 an ounce during the day, Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said. The physical market was subdued. Some bargain hunters booked materials after prices tumbled in the previous session. “We saw some buying from India, as well as locally, after prices dropped some $30 yesterday,” said Peter Tse, director at ScotiaMocatta in Hong Kong. A weak euro restricted gains in gold prices. The single currency struggled near a two-year low, as investors await verdict from Germany’s top court on whether Europe’s new bailout scheme and budget rules are compatible with national law. Euro-zone finance ministers failed to agree on a final figure for aid to ailing Spanish banks, although the European Union has set aside 30 billion euros to be available by the end of July if there is an urgent need. Other precious metals staged a slight rebound. Spot silver rose 0.6 percent to $26.99 after falling 2 percent in the previous session. Spot platinum pulled back from a 1-1/2-week low of $1,415.33 hit in the previous session to trade at $1,422.50. — Reuters

decades as oil sales fall by more than half year-on-year and storage space runs out. “The Iranians believe they have a right to ask for higher freight since they are bearing the shipping risks,” said the Chinese trader. “ The Chinese believe their request is also reasonable, since refineries are cutting back on runs and they don’t need that much crude.” China has nominated about 15 million barrels of Iranian oil for this month, sources have said, a level steady from April, when the two sides resolved a dispute over 2012 contract terms. If all the 15 million barrel shipments, worth some $1.35 billion, are loaded, China would account for nearly half of Iran’s total July exports, estimated at 1.1 million bpd. Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, buys Iranian oil via its own trading arm Unipec and state trader Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp in separate contracts with the National Iranian Oil Company. Zhuhai Zhenrong, formerly an affiliate of China’s defense industry, has dealt with the Iranians for longer but Unipec plays a more dominant role in annual supply talks and the freight negotiations, sources said. — Reuters

Australia, China to hold 2013 talks on currency conversion HONG KONG: Australia and Hong Kong officials will discuss the potential for direct conversion of the Australian dollar and Chinese yuan, particularly in the area of commodity expor ts, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said yesterday. The high-level talks, which will start in Sydney next year, will also suppor t the development of new yuan-denominated financing and investment products, said Swan, who was speaking at a Hong Kong forum before travelling to Beijing. “The dialogue will bring together senior banking and other business leaders from Australia and Hong Kong to maximize the significant opportunities flowing from the wider use of RMB in trade and investment in our region,” Swan said. “RMB internationalization is an important step in China’s economic and financial reform agenda that has spanned more than three decades and is key to greater exchange rate flexibility.” China is Australia’s biggest trading partner and Australia has been keen to become the third country allowed to directly convert capital amounts to yuan, after the United States and Japan. But other countries, including Britain and Singapore, are also vying for easier access to yuan trade. Direct conversion of Australian dollars and yuan would reduce costs related to trade between the two countries. China is Australia’s top export destination, with bilateral trade worth A$113.7 billion ($116.86 billion) in 2011, accounting for A$71.5 billion ($73.48 billion), or 27.3 percent, of the country’s exports. Australia’s resource exports, particularly iron ore, are fuelling China’s growth, and its miners are betting heavily on continued demand from China’s massive urbanisation, with A$137 billion in engineering work in the pipeline, or almost 10 percent of Australia’s A$1.4 trillion of gross domestic product. To secure adequate capital between the trade partners, Australia’s central bank signed a A$30 billion ($30.62 bil-

lion) bilateral currency swap agreement in March with China’s central bank. RMB trade settlement has been growing quickly over the past several years. Yuan-based settlement jumped four-fold to reach 2.08 trillion yuan ($330 billion) at the end of 2011 from the previous year, China’s central bank said, or about 9 percent of China’s total imports and exports for 2011. The yuan is still tightly controlled by Beijing, but Chinese leaders say they are prepared to gradually relax their grip as they free China’s capital account, grow its financial markets, and oversee a yuan that they aim to be basically convertible by 2015. — Reuters

HONG KONG: Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan addresses an economic forum in Hong Kong yesterday. Asia’s rapidly expanding middle class will become a key market for Australia’s goods and ser vices this decade, Swan told business leaders in Hong Kong. —AFP




Tech Inc’s invincible aura fades Earnings estimates heading south NEW YORK: Hopes are evaporating that leading technology companies will offer a safe harbor this year from the economic storms swirling across Europe, Asia and the United States. Investors should brace for some of the biggest names in US software and hardware-from Microsoft Corp and IBM to Intel Corp-to disappoint when Big Tech begins reporting quarterly earnings next week, analysts said. The trio’s shares are all in the red for this month, in the wake of earnings warnings over the past week from smaller peers, including Advanced Micro Devices Inc, Applied Materials Inc and Informatica Corp. Corporate IT budgets have historically proved more resilient to worsening macroeconomic conditions than other kinds of spending, because businesses invest on the assumption that technology boosts productivity and helps save them costs over the long term. But investors may have misjudged the depth of the European crisis, and with once-reliableas-clockwork Chinese growth waning, demand in other emerging markets has not picked up enough of the slack. The profit warnings could signal a broader pullback in orders, which means that Wall Street’s earnings projections now appear over-optimistic to some outside experts. “I don’t think the companies or the market anticipated the kind of slowdown like the one we are going to see in the second half,” said Fred Hickey, editor of the High-Tech Strategist Newsletter for investors. “Companies haven’t had a chance to adjust estimates yet and they will. That’s coming,” said Hickey, who has been following the tech industry since the 1980s. ASIA BEATEN DOWN, TOO The sense of impending gloom is not confined to the United States. Samsung Electronics, Asia’s top-earning tech company and the world’s leading

maker of smartphones, TVs and memory chips, has predicted record quarterly profit of $5.9 billion for April-June-but its stock has slumped more than a fifth since May on concerns about the broader outlook for chip demand and the impact of the euro zone crisis on sales of its TVs and home appliances. Since mid-June, analysts have cut by more than a quarter their earnings forecasts for LG Electronics, South Korea’s other tech heavyweight, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine SmartEstimates, which accords higher weight to the timeliest forecasts from historically more accurate analysts. Shares of China’s Lenovo, the world’s No 2 PC maker behind Hewlett Packard, have retreated to 5-month lows with brokers downgrading their outlooks for the company as global economic weakness damps demand for personal computers. In Japan, a fast fading powerhouse in consumer electronics and technological innovation, shares in Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp are mired near more than three-decade lows as investors fret over their ability to regain profitability in today’s hostile macro environment and against tough competition from nimbler rivals in South Korea and Taiwan. SHINY APPLE The one bright spot is Apple Inc, which still has many fans on Wall Street. The iPhone and iPad maker is one of the few major tech stocks to have gained in July, up 4 percent. Apple has beaten analysts’ earnings forecasts in seven of the past eight quarters by at least 12 percent. Last quarter, it reported earnings 22.5 percent above Wall Street estimates. Its performance has propped up the entire sector and analysts expect a new iPhone this year to keep that up. Apple is likely to report earnings of more than 1 percent above the Street’s average forecast, according to

StarMine SmartEstimates. In contrast, Microsoft, which is preparing to launch the Windows 8 operating system and its first tablet computers, may report earnings 0.7 percent below the average. “Guidance could turn out to be very conservative given momentum with new Macs, a potential iPad mini and ongoing success with the new

telecommunications companies, while cutting estimates in other sectors. Now many may have to make up for that oversight. An IDC survey of chief information officers (CIOs) at about 250 US companies conducted two weeks ago found, on average, that they expected their budgets to decrease for the first time since early 2009.

SUN VALLEY: Erin Burnett, CNN news anchor, and her fiance, Citigroup executive David Rubulotta arrive for the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have been invited to attend the conference which began on Tuesday. —AFP iPad,” Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes said in a research note. Apple said the latest iPad will hit Chinese store shelves on July 20. Apple aside, market watchers expect the economic malaise will broadly hit technology companies in the second half of the year, even at firms that managed to squeak by in the second quarter and avoid issuing preliminary earnings warnings. Over the past three months, analysts have largely held on to their second-quarter earnings forecasts for technology and

“There is this sense among CIOs that things have slowed down and they are going to have to think about ways of cutting back,” said IDC analyst Stephen Minton. Analysts currently forecast companies in the S&P 500 Index will report profit growth of 5.8 percent in the second quarter, with technology earnings growing at 7.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. They are more optimistic about prospects for the second half and that’s where some expect cuts to come. Analysts forecast third-quarter earn-

ings growth of 12.9 percent for the S&P 500’s technology index and fourthquarter growth of 14.9 percent. SHIFTING SENTIMENT Companies at risk in the second half include services giant IBM, No 1 chipmaker Intel, as well as software makers including Microsoft and VMware Inc, analysts said. It’s not a surprise to some that sentiment has shifted so quickly. Historically when businesses have frozen or cut technology budgets, they have sometimes done so suddenly, taking tech companies and Wall Street by surprise. That process appears to have begun. “Sentiment is turning into reality,” said Cliff Waldman, senior economist with the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. “Negative sentiment is truly starting to affect investment spending.” When it issued its warning last week, Informatica said business conditions “dramatically” worsened in June with customers scrutinizing deals more closely. Applied Materials warned on Tuesday that it expected weak demand from chipmakers to put a damper on sales through at least the third quarter. “Demand is weaker than expected in Europe and China, and this makes chipmakers delay or cancel equipment orders,” said James Song, analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities in Seoul. “They are slowing investment in capacity expansion or technology migration.” Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, which manages about $54 billion, blames the tech turmoil on Europe, a strengthening US dollar, which reduces the revenue contribution from overseas sales, and concerns about a US tax increase. “If there is no improvement on domestic data points, or news from Europe that the saga has ended, why should there be a change?” Luschini said. —Reuters

Dubai’s Tamweel profit drops 33% Revenue falls, sales costs rise DUBAI: Islamic mortgage lender Tamweel posted a 33 percent drop in second-quarter profit yesterday as revenue fell and costs rose, the Dubai-based firm’s second straight quar terly profit fall. Tamweel, majority owned by Dubai Islamic Bank, made a net profit of 18.6 million dirhams ($5.1 million) in the three months to June 30, down from 27.7 million dirhams in the prior-year period. The firm’s first-quarter profit also fell. Quarterly revenue dropped slightly to 136.9 million

dirhams, from 141.6 million dirhams a year earlier, while “depositors’ share of profit” sales costs - rose 8.7 percent to 88.9 million dirhams. Tamweel had cash and cash equivalents worth 564 million dirhams as of June 30, up from 187.5 million at the end of 2011. The company postponed a $235 million asset-backed securitization last week following a tepid response from potential investors. Tamweel and rival mortgage provider Amlak, an affiliate of Emaar Properties, ran into diffi-

culties following a Dubai property crash that started in 2008. Trading in both companies’ shares was halted in November 2008, with Tamweel resuming trading in May 2011, while Amlak remains suspended. DIB, Dubai’s thirdlargest bank by market value, raised its stake in Tamweel to 58.25 percent in September 2010. Shares in Tamweel, a favorite of retail investors, have more than doubled year-todate on the Dubai bourse. —Reuters

Jazeera increases flights to Jeddah KUWAIT: With the month of Ramadan setting in, Jazeera Airways yesterday announced that it will increase frequency on the Kuwait-Jeddah route from six to ten flights a week for the period of July 22 to August 9, to ser ve the increasing flow of Omrah travelers from Kuwait visiting the holy city of Makkah. Jazeera Airways operates a twoclass cabin comprising of a Business Class and an Economy Class. Jazeera Airways’ Business Class offering includes a separate cabin for passengers, exclusive check-in counters, Business lounge access at airports, inflight a la carte menu, and 60 kilograms in free baggage allowance. The airline’s Economy Class offers travelers free baggage allowance of 40 kilograms, free on-board meals with a changing menu every month, and year-round value fares. With Jazeera Airways’ great

on-time performance ranking it the highest in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011 and to date as per the global flight and trip tracker FlightStats, yearround competitive fares, easy and fast online and self-check-in alternatives, mobile booking apps, and on-board duty free shopping service, the airline continues to offer more value to customers than any other offering by any airline in the Middle East. Jazeera Airways’ network originating from Kuwait includes high-demand business, leisure, family, and weekend destinations such as Dubai, Bahrain, Beirut, Alexandria, Amman, Damascus, Istanbul, Sharm El Sheikh, Assuit, Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, Luxor, Mashhad, Sohag, Jeddah, Riyadh, Cairo and Najaf. Jazeera Airways is an IATA-member airline and operates one of the youngest Airbus A320 fleets across the Middle East and North Africa.

open economy, “they want predictability” as well. “They want to be sure the terms you go in on are the same for the next 20 to 30 years,” Lee said. “ The more these aspects can be strengthened, the better it will be for India.” Right now, he said, India’s business “environment is complicated” for investors who want policy stability. Singapore is India’s largest trading partner among the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with bilateral trade of $23 billion and the second biggest source of foreign direct investment inflows (FDI) into Asia’s third-largest economy, according to India’s ministry of external affairs. Foreign investors have expressed alarm, in particular, over India’s plans for retroactive taxation of some transactions-a step aimed

KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has announced Moudhi Abdullah Al-Khamees as the Al Danah second quarterly winner for KD250,000. Moudhi was announced the winner during a special live event hosted by the Dewaniya show on 88.8 Marina FM. Shocked, yet thrilled, Abdullah AlKhamees; Moudhi’s father couldn’t believe it when they received the call from the Dewaniya show, announcing his daughter as the Al Danah KD250,000 winner. The surprised father said: “I feel happy and satisfied and I would like to thank God for blessing us with this fortune, and God does whatever he wants.” In addition to the opportunity of win-

ning, Al Danah offers a number of unique services including the Al Danah Deposit Only ATM card which helps account holders deposit their money at their convenience and the Al Danah calculator is now in operation to help customers calculate their chances of becoming an Al Danah Millionaire directly online. Opening an Al Danah account is simple; customers are encouraged to visit one of Gulf Bank’s 56 branches or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805. Customers can also log on to, Gulf Bank’s website to find all the answers they need regarding Al Danah or any of the Bank’s products and services.

ABK offers more online services

Singapore PM urges India to push reforms NEW DELHI: Singapore’s prime minister yesterday urged India to press ahead with economic reforms and added that foreign investors need a “predictable” environment in which to invest their money. Visiting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s comments in New Delhi come as foreign investors have expressed growing concern about India’s paralyzed reform process, policy flip-flops and erratic taxation moves. “India has transformed over the last two decades... liberalization does benefit its people,” said Lee, accompanied by his wife Ho Ching, who heads Singapore’s powerful staterun investment firm Temasek Holdings. But Lee, who is on a two-day official visit to India, added foreign investors need not only an

Gulf Bank announces the Al Danah winner

partly at recouping over $2 billion in capital gains tax from British telecoms giant Vodafone. Lee also pressed for a swift conclusion of talks to update a free trade agreement with India, signed in 2005, as well as to allow more airline flights between the two countries. “One quick win is to improve air connectivity,” Lee said. He noted Singapore and China already enjoy an “open skies” arrangement, allowing unlimited flights, and said liberalization of aviation between India and Singapore “will promote the exchange of business, ideas, art and culture.” Lee urged New Delhi to step up its ties as well with ASEAN and added he hoped an investment and services accord between the two would be signed soon. —AFP

KUWAIT: In a continued effort to meet our clients’ expectations, especially in the constantly changing field of online banking, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait has successfully upgraded its services and now provides its clients with easy, flexible and reliable eservices on Othman Mohammed Tawfiqi, Alternative Channels Head, stated that, “ABK’s online services provided by its website are some of the most comprehensive and advanced that are available today. The service design has been updated and new tools have been added to make it easier for our cusOthman Tawfiqi tomers to complete their banking transactions. The new and improved now allows customers to register online for the convenient SMS service where clients can request to be informed of any movement in their accounts as soon as the

transaction takes place giving all our clients complete, up-to-date knowledge of their accounts activities. Other available online services include applications to open bank accounts at ABK, issuance of credit cards and / or cheque books. It really is a world of new services!” Tawfiqi further explained that, “ABK’s customers can now pay their credit card bills online and the amount will be d e d u c t e d i m m e d i a t e l y f ro m t h e i r a c c o u n t s. A n o t h e r a d d e d s e r v i c e includes a system of direct debit where clients can now arrange to have payments deducted from their accounts on an agreed date and the funds will be automatically transferred.” Tawfiqi concluded that, “The new development of has come with a refreshing new distinct look for all our accounts and services. We are happy to serve our c u s to m e r s by u p gra d i n g o u r o n l i n e services, and making the website more user friendly and easier to navigate.” For m o re i n fo r m a t i o n p l e a s e v i s i t to talk directly with one of our Account Managers through Al Ahli Chat Service or call Ahlan Ahli on 1899899.




Google to pay $22.5M fine in privacy case Penalty would be largest ever imposed on a single company

TOKYO: Japanese robot venture RT corporation’s humanoid robot “RIC90”, dressed in a ninja costume, mimics actions of a company employee (L) during a demonstration at the Robotech exhibition in Tokyo yesterday. The robot’s head is made of a tablet PC. —AFP

Apple will start selling new iPad in China NEW YORK: Apple will start selling the newest version of the iPad in China on July 20 after paying $60 million to settle a dispute over the ownership of the tablet computer’s name. Apple Inc. says it will begin selling its latest iPad starting at $499 and will cut the price of the older iPad 2 to $399. The tablet computers will be sold online, at Apple stores, and through approved resellers. Apple often brings products to China later than in other countries. The iPad model coming to China this month went on sale in the U.S. and several other countries in March. It features a sharper screen and a faster processing chip than the previous two iPad models. Apple still dominates the emerging market for tablet computers, though Google and

Microsoft are both coming out with competing devices. The name dispute had threatened iPad sales in China, Apple’s second-largest market after the United States and the source of much of its growth. Apple, which is headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., said it bought the global rights to the iPad name from Shenzhen Proview Technology in 2009, but Chinese authorities said the rights in China were never transferred. A Chinese court ruled in December that Proview still owned the name in China and the company asked Chinese authorities to seize iPads. To settle the dispute, Apple paid Proview $60 million to gain the rights to the iPad name. The company won approval from Chinese regulators for the device in May. —AP

Amazon testing new smartphone NEW YORK: The online retail giant Amazon is testing a new smartphone and may launch production later this year or early next year, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The story, datelined Taipei, said the company is working with Asian component suppliers to test the new device, which would enter a crowded market dominated by Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy handsets and LG models. Amazon, the electronic books pioneer whose Kindle reader has grown enormously popular in recent years, expanded into

the tablet market last year with Kindle Fire, which runs on Google’s Android software. The Android platform is used by slightly more than half the smartphones in the US market, while the iPhone accounts for 31.9 percent, according to an industry survey released earlier this month. In the overall US market for mobile handsets, Korean-based Samsung led with 25.7 percent, followed by LG, another Korean firm, with 19.1 percent and Apple with 15 percent, according to the survey by the comScore group. —AFP

ONTARIO: Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of Research in Motion (RIM), speaks at the company’s Annual General Meeting, less than two weeks after announcing disappointing financial results, deep job cuts and the latest delay in its BlackBerry 10 software, in Waterloo, Ontario, Tuesday. —AP

BlackBerry marketing head undeterred by share loss NEW YORK: The new marketing chief for BlackBerry smartphones isn’t dejected by perceptions that his products look ancient next to iPhones and Android devices. Frank Boulben, four weeks into his job as chief marketing officer for Research in Motion Ltd., promises to impress people when phones running the company’s new BlackBerry 10 software are released in early 2013, at least a year later than analysts had expected. RIM will tout features that current devices lack, he said. Few details about BlackBerry 10 have been released, but the company has said it will include the ability to run multiple programs at once and will let users switch between programs without returning to the home screen. Android devices and iPhones typically require people to return to the home screen to start or resume an app, while traditional computers let you jump directly to them. “You’ll be able to flow seamlessly from one application to another,” Boulben said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. “The underlying operating system is truly multitasking.” But touting new features is just part of the challenge. BlackBerry devices will be handicapped because, compared with rivals, they have fewer games, utilities and other apps available to extend the phones’ functionality. Analysts believe RIM is running out of time to turn itself around. RIM is holding its annual shareholders meeting in Waterloo, Ontario, on Tuesday, less than two weeks after announcing disappointing financial results, deep job cuts and the latest delay in BlackBerry 10. Its stock is trading near a nine-year low and closed Monday at $7.67, down 43 cents, or 5.3 percent, for the day. Sales of the once-pioneering BlackBerry phones fell 41 percent in the latest quarter and likely won’t pick up again until new phones come out next year. By then, peo-

ple will have even more choices, including a new iPhone expected from Apple this fall and phones running the latest version of Google’s Android software, called Jelly Bean. Phones running a revamped version of Microsoft’s Windows system are also coming this fall. Although BlackBerrys were once a staple in corporate environments because of their reputation for security and reliability, they’ve lost their cachet as iPhones demonstrated that smartphones are good for more than email. The BlackBerry’s US market share has plummeted from 41 percent in 2007, when the first iPhone came out, to less than 4 percent in the first three months of 2012, according to research firm IDC. RIM portrays BlackBerry 10 as its way of catching up. It promises the multimedia, Internet browsing and apps experience that customers now demand. Better multitasking, Boulben said, is one way the new BlackBerry won’t become a “me too” product. Boulben said the smartphone market is still new and growing, so RIM can go after the millions of people around the world who still don’t have smartphones. He added that people in the US replace their phones every 18 months on average, giving RIM a chance to lure them with the new BlackBerry devices. “We won’t be present for this year, but next year we will be present in a larger market,” he said. Boulben also said he has developed a global marketing strategy for BlackBerry 10. In the past, countries and regions ran their own campaigns, which caused conflicting messages to appear when people searched for information online. Centralizing marketing, he said, will reduce costs and allow the company to take better advantage of global social-networking services such as Facebook. He’s counting on word of mouth once the first people get their hands on new BlackBerrys. —AP

SAN FRANCISCO: Google is poised to pay a $22.5 million fine to resolve allegations that it broke a privacy promise by secretly tracking millions of Web surfers who rely on Apple’s Safari browser, according to a person familiar with settlement. The person who spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday asked not to be identified because the fine has yet to be approved by the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees online privacy issues in the US If approved by the FTC’s five commissioners, the $22.5 million penalty would be the largest the agency has ever imposed on a single company. Even so, the fine won’t cause Google Inc. much financial pain. With $49 billion in the bank, the Internet’s search and advertising leader is expected to generate revenue this year of about $46 billion, which means the company should bring in enough money to cover the fine in slightly more than four hours. But the circumstances surrounding the case may renew questions about the sincerity of Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” motto and raise doubts about the company’s credibility as it grapples with broader regulatory investigations into whether it has been abusing its influential position on the Internet to stifle competition. “We do set the highest standards of privacy and security for our users,” Google said in a statement Tuesday. The company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., emphasized the tracking technology inserted into the Safari browser didn’t collect any personal information. Google will not acknowledge any wrongdoing under the proposed settlement, according to the person familiar with the terms. The FTC declined to comment Tuesday. The proposed settlement was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The FTC opened its investigation five months ago after a researcher at Stanford University published a study revealing that Google Inc. had overridden Safari safeguards that are supposed to prevent outside parties from monitoring Web surfing activity without a user’s permission. The tracking occurs through snippets of computer coding, known as “cookies,” that help Internet services and advertisers target marketing pitches based on an analysis of the interests implied by a person’s Web surfing activity. Google immediately withdrew its intrusive technology from Safari after the manipulation was reported. But the circumvention of Apple’s built-in settings appeared to contradict a statement in Google’s online help center assuring users of Safari on person-

al computers, iPhones and iPad that they didn’t need to do anything more to ensure their online activities wouldn’t be logged by Google. The apparent contradiction between Google’s words and actions became the focal point of the FTC investigation. That’s because Google late last year had settled with the agency on another privacy case revolving around a now-defunct service, called Buzz, that exposed people’s email contacts when it debuted in early 2010. The uproar over Buzz culminated in Google signing a 20-year consent decree that, among other things, included a company pledge not to mislead consumers about its privacy practices. Each violation of the decree is subject to a daily fine of $16,000. The penalty in the proposed settlement of the Safari case doesn’t appear to be based on that formula, given that millions of people were using the browser for about four months between the time the Google signed the consent degree in October and the unauthorized tracking ceased in February. By demanding that Google pay a record amount, the FTC may be trying to send a message that it intends to be more vigilant about privacy missteps as people conduct more of their lives online. The agency has been pushing Internet services and advertisers to voluntarily agree to refrain from tracking Web surfers’ activities without prior permission, but those calls so far haven’t been universally embraced. Google’s fine would surpass a nearly $19 million penalty that the FTC slapped on a telemarketer accused of duping people into believing they were donating to charities. The FTC’s contention that Google reneged on its vow to be more forthright about its privacy practices comes at a time when the company is immersed in other government probes around the world that threaten to have a bigger impact on its business. Just last week, Google submitted a proposal aimed at satisfying European regulators who have been investigating whether the company is unfairly highlighting its own services in its Internet search results while burying links to rival sites. The details of Google’s settlement offer haven’t been revealed. The FTC is also examining many of the same issues under scrutiny in the European probe. Although that case is a separate matter, it may have swayed Google’s decision to settle the Safari privacy probe instead of defending its actions in court against the same agency in charge of the higher-stakes antitrust investigation.

Google has insisted its circumvention of Safari’s anti-tracking tools was inadvertent. The company has traced the mistake to changes Apple Inc. made to Safari in 2010. Google engineers weren’t aware of the Safari revision, resulting in the unintended tracking of Web surfers when the company only meant to make a minor tweak so people could press a button to show they liked an ad or Web page. The mix-up caused a conflict with the statement on Google’s help page, according to Google. “The FTC is focused on a 2009 help center page published more than two years before our consent decree, and a year before Apple changed its cookie-handling policy,” Google said in its Tuesday statement. Google initially sought to brush off another breach of privacy as a lapse of its internal controls, only to have regulators later present evidence that that company may have known more about the snooping than it divulged. When Google revealed in that company cars dispatched to photograph neighborhood streets had collected emails, search requests and other personal information transmitted over Internet routers unprotected by passwords, the company blamed a rogue engineer who had written a snooping program. Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission released a report that concluded the engineer had told a senior manager at Google and other company employees about the data-collecting software. The FCC didn’t find any evidence that Google broke the law, but fined the company $25,000 for obstructing its investigation. The FTC’s proposed fine in the Safari case was applauded by Consumer Watchdog, a frequent critic of Google’s privacy practices. The penalty “sends a strong message about the seriousness of Google’s wanton and egregious privacy violation,” said John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project. An industry think tank, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, defended Google and warned the FTC’s crackdown may discourage other companies from sharing more information about their privacy policies. “Unfortunately the FTC’s proposed settlement shows that the FTC is focusing its limited resources on penalizing companies for unintentional actions that do not result in any actual user harm rather than directing these resources at cases where users suffer real harm or companies intentionally tried to mislead users,” Daniel Castro, an analyst for the group, wrote in a Tuesday blog post. —AP

LG Electronics seeks to win race for next-generation TV SEOUL: South Korea’s LG Electronics, long overshadowed by Samsung Electronics, is confident it can outpace its bigger rival in the race to dominate the world’s next-generation TV market. LG, the world’s second-largest TV maker after Samsung, believes its technology will give it the edge in organic light-emitting diode (OLED) sets, which are expected to drive the industry in the future. “We have been relatively slower in introducing new devices (than Samsung). But when it comes to OLED TV... we can run far faster than the rival,” said Ro Seog-Ho, executive vice president of LG’s TV business. “I think there’s a very high chance that we can win this game,” he told AFP in a recent interview. OLED TVs don’t require separate backlights and thus are thinner, consume about 20 percent less power and offer a sharper picture than conventional flatpanel sets. An LG OLED model, 55 inches (140 cm) wide but just 0.16 inches (four mm) thick, was crowned best gadget of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, trumping a similar-size Samsung set. But manufacturers are still struggling to cut the cost of making the delicate panels in large quantities. LG and Samsung are set to begin sales of the OLED TVs in the latter half of this year but with price tags over $10,000. Market researcher iSuppli estimates just 34,000 global sales of OLED sets this year, possibly growing to 2.1 million sets in 2015.

Ro said LG’s version of the technology-called white OLED-would allow cheaper and faster massproduction of panels with more vivid images than Samsung, which uses a technology called red, green and blue. “It means we can increase panel yield rate faster than them and eventually cut

you to squeeze in,” he said. LG Electronics expects to sell 30 million TV sets of all types worldwide this year, up nearly 20 percent from 2011. 3D sets are expected to make up more than 10 percent of the total. LG scored a rare turnaround in the first quarter of this year, after mostly bleeding for two

SEOUL: This photo taken on May 15, 2012 shows LG Electronics’ OLED 55-inch-wide (140-cm) and just 0.16 inches (four mm) thick television displayed during a technology show in Seoul.—AFP prices faster,” he said. Struggling Japanese T V giants Sony and Panasonic teamed up in June to jointly develop OLED panels. But Ro said it would take them one or two years to roll out a new panel. “You can’t introduce a new technology too early for consumers to accept. But at the same time, you can’t introduce it too late when there’s no room left for

years due to its loss-making mobile phone unit. Its home entertainment division, driven by sales of 3D TVs, reported an operating profit of 217.1 billion won ($191.4 million) out of 448.2 billion won in overall profit. The unit would post a similar profit range for the second quarter on growing demand in emerging markets, Ro said. “The

situation in Europe has worsened far faster than we had expected... but at the same time, these emerging markets have grown far faster than we thought,” he said. Latin America and the Middle East helped drive growth, and sales in former Soviet states had risen 50 to 60 percent from a year earlier. Ro said LG is on track to claim a quarter of the world’s 3D TV market this year to beat current leader Samsung, as companies try to boost sagging margins in the industry with a range of premiumpriced products. Global TV shipments shrank in 2011 after growing for six straight years and are expected to remain flat this year. But 3D TV shipments in 2012 are forecast to jump 90 percent, said industry tracker Display Search. Ro said 3D TVs that do not require viewers to wear special glasses will be an industry standard in about four to five years. In China, the world’s largest and fastest-growing TV market, LG has less than five percent of the market due to strong local players like TCL and Skyworth. Ro said Chinese makers, previously focused largely on domestic sales, are starting to make inroads in LG’s turf in Africa and other emerging markets. “Their portion will likely continue to grow there... now there is little technological gap with them in mid and lowend TVs,” he said. “But there is still a huge gap in premium models like 3D or smart TVs... these gaps are not something they can catch up in a year or two.” — AFP

S African farmer equips sheep with cell phones CAPE TOWN: A South African farmer is fielding phone calls from his sheep, after equipping them with cell phones to keep tabs on the flock amid recent livestock thef ts, according to local press yesterday. When the sheep call, it is always bad news for farmer Erard Louw of the Cape Town suburbs, as the phones around their necks are only set to switch on when the sheeps start running, a sign thieves have cut through the fences. “As they run it gives me a phone call and

says ‘sheep one’ or ‘sheep two’ and so on, so at least I k now where to star t look ing because the farm is 750 hectares (1,850 acres),” Louw told daily The Cape Times. Louw attached the phone -like security device to the collars of four sheep in separate flocks after thieves snuck in and stole 27 sheep and 13 lambs a couple weeks ago, driving Louw to rack his brain for ways to protect his animals. He said there was no use calling nearby police, as they were stationed too far away

and in his experience either lacked an available car or the vehicule was out of fuel or missing tyres - also, incidentally, the work of thieves. According to Louw, the cell phones have already proved their muster, with one sheep-snatcher caught thanks to the device. Still, with theft attempts currently at their peak, given the long winter nights and early nightfall, a few sheep-robbers managed to get away, despite the device. “The phone did start ringing that night and I went out,” he said, but added that he was too late. —AFP



health & science

Cuba scrambles to fight rare cholera outbreak HAVANA : Authorities in eastern Cuba are in full prevention mode to contain a rare cholera outbreak amid fears that it may have spread to the capital, distributing chlorine and water purification drops and quarantining hospital patients with diarrhea until they are checked for the disease. In the eastern city of Manzanillo, in Granma province, cars crawl through the streets with loudspeakers reminding people of the importance of good hygiene, and the sale of oysters at private kiosks has been suspended, according to several residents interviewed by The Associated Press. But there has been no travel quarantine on the city, and the streets are calm even if some people are jittery. “I haven’t seen any panic or anything like that,” David Chavez, a 40year-old computer worker, said by phone from Manzanillo, 430 miles (700 kilometers) east of Havana. “But what’s certain is that there are some who are scared. And when somebody gets

diarrhea, they immediately go to the hospital.” The precautions follow last week’s announcement of three deaths and 53 diagnosed cases of the waterborne disease, which hadn’t been seen in Cuba for many years. Cholera can kill quickly through dehydration but is easily treatable if caught in time. A Health Ministry bulletin said the outbreak was under control. The government has not responded to requests for comment on reports that several cases have been found in Havana, nor has it followed up last week’s announcement with more information, fueling rumors and contradictory stories. Residents of the capital’s El Cerro neighborhood told the AP that a father and daughter had been diagnosed with cholera and were being treated at a local hospital, but it was not clear where they had contracted the disease. The residents spoke on condition of anonymity for fear they would get into trouble for talking to international journalists.

The BBC reported over the weekend that at least one case of cholera had been detected in Havana, without naming its sources. The Miami Herald, quoting an apparent dissident who lives in Granma province, said more than 1,000 people had been sickened. And exile blogs such as Cafe Fuerte have reported additional deaths, citing residents and unnamed officials. US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a staunch anti-Castro congresswoman from Florida, accused the Cuban government of withholding information to avoid scaring away tourists. Amid the uncertainty, there were also reports that airports in southeastern Mexico had issued a medical alert and were screening passengers from Cuba. But Mexican officials denied that. “There has not been even a single passenger suspected” of carrying cholera, said Luis Vazquez, spokesman for the Yucatan state health agency. “Cuba is a country with a very good epidemiological system. They don’t

even let (sick) passengers leave.” Cuba has a well-organized civil defense system capable of rapidly mobilizing government agencies and citizens’ groups, as it does for tropical storms and hurricanes. Brigades of workers routinely scrutinize every dwelling and other property to eliminate standing water where mosquitos bearing another tropical disease, dengue, could breed. The country also has battalions of well-trained doctors and nurses, many of whom played a key role in fighting a much deadlier cholera outbreak in nearby Haiti after that country’s devastating earthquake. The Manzanillo outbreak happened in poor outlying neighborhoods that rely on wells for their water. Cuba’s Health Ministry said in its announcement last week that it was collecting samples from the wells, sealing off tainted water supplies and disinfecting hydraulic systems. Doctors were going door to door to look for people running a fever and to advise residents about preventive

measures such as using chlorine drops to disinfect drinking water. Hotels in Manzanillo were accepting guests as usual, but have ramped up hygienic measures. At the Guacanayabo Hotel everyone was washing their hands and feet in buckets with chlorinated water and the pool was being treated daily. “There are meetings every day at noon to go over how everything’s going, and so far there are no problems here,” hotel worker Luleima Ortiz said by phone. Some people in Havana were also taking precautions. One man, a barber, said he was washing his hands more often, avoiding touching his mouth at work and boiling his drinking water. Another, a street vendor, got rid of the cardboard box he had used to hold his sweet pastries, replacing it with a plastic one that’s easier to keep clean and does a better job keeping the flies away. “I, as a vendor, must protect and take care of others,” Alfredo Bruceta said. —AP

GSK’s HIV drug beats market leader in study New integrase inhibitor superior to Atripla in study

MULHOUSE: “Argoun”, a three-month-old Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is pictured during its first time out yesterday at the zoo in Mulhouse, eastern France. Amur leopards population is estimated to about fifty in nature around the world. —AFP

FDA unveils safety measures for opioid painkillers WASHINGTON: Drugmakers that market powerful painkiller medications will be required to fund training programs to help US doctors and other health professionals safely prescribe the drugs, which are blamed for thousands of fatal overdoses each year. The safety plan released by the Food and Drug Administration on Monday is designed to reduce misuse and abuse of long-acting opioid pain relievers, which include forms of morphine, methadone and oxycodone. The agency’s plan mainly involves educating doctors and patients about appropriate use of the drugs. The FDA has issued a number of warnings on prescription pain relievers in recent years but with little effect. Inappropriate use of the drugs caused nearly 425,000 emergency department visits in 2009, according to government figures. The drugs were blamed for 15,600 deaths that year, up from 14,800 in 2008. The FDA said companies that sell the drugs must offer two to three hours of training to prescribers, either for free or for a small fee. The courses will be designed by companies that provide continuing medical education for health professionals, not by the drugmakers themselves. The agency wants companies to provide training to least 60 percent of the 320,000 US prescribers of the drugs within three years of launching the programs. The programs, which will be vetted by FDA regulators, must be available by March 2013. “Responsible physicians will welcome the education benefits provided by this program,” said Dr. Lynn

Webster of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. In addition to training, drugmakers will be required to distribute safety brochures to patients explaining the risks of the drugs and instructions to seek emergency care in event of an overdose. The FDA spent more than three years developing the so-called risk management plans for the drugs, with input from industry and health care professionals. Some health care experts stressed that training should be required for all prescribers. But FDA officials said the programs will be optional for now because making them mandatory would require a new law by Congress. The new FDA plan covers about 30 opioid drugs, including Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin, Johnson & Johnson’s Duragesic patch and Pfizer’s Embeda. Opioids are drugs that simulate the effects of natural narcotics, such as the opium poppy. They are typically prescribed for people already taking pain medications, including cancer patients, to treat severe pain flare-ups. The products targeted by the FDA feature extended-release formulations designed to give long-lasting effects. But that potency carries serious risks when doctors prescribe them inappropriately, and when patients abuse them as stimulants. The FDA reports that many physicians prescribe the painkillers for patients with migraine headaches, an unapproved use. Patients will also sometimes chew extended-release pills that are designed to be swallowed, causing an overdose. —AP

LONDON: An experimental once-daily AIDS drug from GlaxoSmithKline and its Japanese partner Shionogi has proved better than Gilead’s market-leading Atripla in a late-stage clinical trial, increasing hopes for the product. Dolutegravir, which could reach the market late next year, belongs to a novel class of drugs known as integrase inhibitors that fight HIV/AIDS by blocking the virus causing the disease from entering cells. It should help British group GSK rejuvenate its HIV/AIDS business - an area it used to dominate but where it has fallen behind rivals, notably US rival Gilead. Dolutegravir’s success against Gilead’s popular Atripla treatment, taken as a single tablet, may impress clinicians as Gilead’s own new Quad pill, which also contains an integrase inhibitor, only matched Atripla. The stakes are high with Atripla, the leading HIV/AIDS treatment in the United

States, raking in sales of $3.2 billion last year. In the latest Phase III study, 88 percent of patients on a regimen of dolutegravir plus two older drugs for 48 weeks had their virus suppressed against 81 percent for those on Atripla, GSK and Shionogi said yesterday. The superior efficacy was driven by a higher rate of discontinuation of treatment among patients taking Atripla, with 10 percent of those on the Gilead drug stopping due to side effects against 2 percent in the dolutegravir arm. The result was the second positive finalstage clinical readout for dolutegravir, following encouraging results against US company Merck & Co’s rival Isentress in April. Two further Phase III trials are expected to report results by the end of the year and dolutegravir could potentially be filed for approval with regulators before the end of 2012, a company

spokesman said. That suggested the medicine may reach the market before the end of 2013, ramping up competition in the HIV/AIDS market. Dolutegravir is viewed by analysts as a potential $1 billion per year seller, since its once-daily dosing is likely to be attractive to patients. However, the financial gain to GSK will be diluted by its deals with Shionogi and Pfizer. The drug belongs to ViiV Healthcare, a joint venture formed between GSK and Pfizer in 2009 in which GSK holds an 85 percent stake, and income from the medicine will be shared with Shionogi. Merck’s Isentress, which had sales of $1.4 billion last year, is currently the only integrase inhibitor approved by regulators, although Gilead’s Quad pill containing its integrase inhibitor elvitegravir was recommended by a US expert panel in May. —Reuters

Quitting smoking adds even more pounds than thought PARIS: Quitting smoking leads to an average weight gain of four to five kilogrammes (nine to 11 pounds) in the first year-”significantly” more than previously thought, a study said yesterday. Most of the pounds are piled on in the first three months, a team of medical researchers wrote in the online journal, as another group stressed that the health benefits of quitting far outweighed the risks of putting on weight. For quitters who did not use nicotine replacement therapy, the average weight gain was 1.1 kilos at one month, 2.3 kilos at two, 2.9 kilos at three, 4.2 kilos at six months and 4.7 kilos after a year. This was “substantially higher than the 2.9 kg often quoted in smoking cessation advice leaflets,” wrote the team from France and Britain. “Moreover, this mean weight gain is greater than the 2.3 kg gain that female smokers report being willing to tolerate, on average, before embarking on a quit attempt.” Earlier research showed that nicotine is an appetite suppressant and may increase the metabolic rate. For the latest paper, the researchers collated data from earlier studies conducted between 1989 and 2011 in the United States, Europe, Australia and east Asia to assess weight changes among successful quitters. The researchers stressed that changes in body weight varied greatly, with about 16 percent of quitters losing weight and 13 percent gaining more than 10 kilos in the first year. In an editorial accompanying the paper, experts from Spain and Australia said modest weight gain was far less life-threatening than smoking. “Tobacco is the main cause of premature death worldwide, being responsible for 5.1 million deaths each year. Obesity, together with overweight, causes 2.8 million deaths,” they wrote. “Cohort studies indicate that modest weight gain does not increase the risk of death; smoking does.” They stressed that fears of getting fat could deter some people from quitting and called for further research to identify those most at risk of gaining weight to be targeted for counselling. —AFP

TOKYO: This file handout picture taken and released by Tokyo Sea Life Park on May 25, 2012 shows a rescued penguin after it was recaptured, which had escaped from the park on March 4 in Tokyo. — AFP

Runaway penguin in Japan gets new name TOKYO: A penguin whose escape from an aquarium in Japan gained him a following around the world has been formally named after months of being known just by his number. Previously called Humboldt penguin No. 337, the feisty runaway would be named Sazanami, which translates as “small waves” in Japanese, said Tokyo Sea Life Park on its website. “The penguin came back to the aquarium just as waves ebb and flow, which was another reason for the name,” the aquarium said in a statement Tuesday, adding that Sazanami sounds similar to

the way “337” is pronounced in Japanese. The penguin, who has also now been confirmed to be male, spent 82 days at large in and around Tokyo Bay after bolting his enclosure, evading aquarium staff, an army of public onlookers and even Japan’s well-equipped coastguard. Keepers did not even know what gender the plucky escapee was until after his recapture in May and a subsequent thorough medical check-up. The park launched a competition asking visitors to think of what the bird should be called, which attracted about 6,400 suggestion letters. —AFP

Czech teens, Europe’s heaviest underage drinkers

AMNEVILLE: A photo taken yesterday shows barn owls which were born few days ago in a zoo in Amneville, eastern France. —AFP

PRAGUE: Shaken awake by police on a park bench, a 12-yearold boy from Prague was so drunk he could neither walk nor talkgrim evidence of an unparalleled alcohol scourge affecting underage Czechs. The boy was one of seven whom police found fallingdown drunk in the Czech capital on the last day of school in late June. “In 2011 we had more cases, but this year was worse because the kids were far more drunk,” Prague police spokeswoman Jana Prikrylova told AFP. The bleak trend visible on Czech streets was confirmed in May by the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), which singled out Czech 15- and 16-year-olds as the continent’s heaviest drinkers.

A jaw-dropping 93 percent of Czech youth, including equal numbers of girls and boys, said they had consumed alcohol over the past year, while nearly 80 percent admitted to drinking within the last month. Experts blame easy access, lax law enforcement and a tolerant attitude toward alcohol abuse in the beer-loving central European nation, which was second only to Moldova last year on the World Health Organisation’s worldwide survey of adult alcohol intake. “It’s a big problem, and I think we’ve been somewhat asleep on it,” Jindrich Voboril, the government’s drug abuse policy coordinator, told AFP. “Studies have been suggesting a long-term increase, plus there is a visible decrease in age and a change in

usage-the kids now tend to drink spirits,” he said, adding that the legal drinking age of 18 is widely flouted. Voboril also warned that drinking alcohol regularly between ages 12 and 16 carries an increased risk of drug addiction later on, noting that the ESPAD study also identified young Czechs as Europe’s top cannabis users. Turning a blind eye- In years gone by, Czech fathers sent their sons with jars to pubs to fetch beer to help them digest hearty pork-and-dumplings Sunday lunches. These days, they often share the beer with their kids. Czech youngsters drink in pubs, parks, at home, at discos or summer camps, and even in some cases on holidays with their parents and at school, surveys have

shown. Nearly all of the 15-yearolds in the industrial eastern Czech city of Ostrava have had alcohol, mostly vodka, beer and wine, a recent survey by the DNES broadsheet daily said. One boy said his grandmother gave him beer “to digest lunch.” Bartenders share the laissez-faire attitude, often willing to pour more rounds, even for tweens, on the strength of a good tip. “I first got really drunk at 16 — but that age seems OK to me now. When we go to a disco these days, we see 12-year-old girls, makeup and all, lying under tables totally wasted,” Matej, an 18-year-old studying in Prague who gave only his first name, told AFP. For a little extra cash, random strangers will also buy a bottle for kids at the local shop. — AFP



Global warming tied to risk of weather extremes NEW YORK: Last year brought a record heat wave to Texas, massive floods in Bangkok and an unusually warm November in England. How much has global warming boosted the chances of events like that? Quite a lot in Texas and England, but apparently not at all in Bangkok, say new analyses released Tuesday. Scientists can’t blame any single weather event on global warming, but they can assess how climate change has altered the odds of such events happening, Tom Peterson of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told reporters in a briefing. He’s an editor of a report that includes the analyses published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. In the Texas analysis, researchers at Oregon State University and in England noted that the state suffered through record heat last year. It happened during a La Nina weather pattern, the flip side of El Nino. Caused by the cooling of the central Pacific Ocean, La Nina generally cools global temperatures but would be expected to make the southern United States warmer and drier than usual. But beyond that, the scientists wondered, would global warming affect the chances of such an event happening? To find out, they studied computer climate simulations for La Nina years, focusing on Texas. They compared the outcome of three such years in the 1960s with that of 2008. They used 2008 because their deadline for the study didn’t allow enough time to generate thousands of new simulations with fresh data from 2011. The two years were similar in having a La Nina and in amounts of greenhouse gases in the air. The idea of the study, they said, was to check the likelihood of such a heat wave both before and after there was a lot of man-made climate change,

which is primarily from burning fossil fuels like coal and oil. Their conclusion: Global warming has made such a Texas heat wave about 20 times more likely to happen during a La Nina year. Using a similar approach, scientists from Oxford University and the British government looked at temperatures in central England. Last November was the second warmest in that region in more than 300 years. And December 2010 was the second coldest in that time. Their analysis concluded that global warming has made such a warm November about 62 times more likely, and such a cold December just half as likely. Kevin Trenberth, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s climate analysis section, said that he found the Britain study to be reasonable, given what he called a flawed climate model. As for the Texas result, he said that given how the study was done, the calculated increase in likelihood “could well be an underestimate.” A third analysis considered unusually severe river flooding last year in central and southern Thailand, including neighborhoods in Bangkok. It found no sign that climate change played a role in that event, noting that the amount of rainfall was not very unusual. The scale of the flooding was influenced more by factors like reservoir operation policies, researchers wrote. Also at the briefing, NOAA released its report on the climate for 2011, which included several statistics similar to what it had announced earlier. Last year was the coolest since 2008 in terms of global average temperature, which was about 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit (14.4 degrees Celsius.). But it still remained among the 15 warmest years since records began in the late 1800s, the agency said. It was also above average for the period 19802010.—AP

Baby giant panda’s death in Tokyo sparks grief

TOKYO: In this July 9, 2012 file photo released by the Ueno Zoological Park Society, Shin Shin, a 7-year-old giant panda, holds her newly born baby, in her cage at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. —AP

TOKYO: The death of a baby panda in Japan stopped regular television programming and brought a Tok yo zoo director to tears yesterday, a week after its birth sent ripples of excitement across the nation. Newscasts had dedicated a nightly segment to the male cub’s daily activities since his birth on July 5, with reta ilers u nveiling a hos t of pa ndathemed products in celebration. The unnamed cub was initially hailed as a rare success for Japan’s captive breeding programme as it was the zoo’s first panda born in 24 years and the only one conceived from natural sexual intercourse. But the enthusiasm turned to grief yesterday after Ueno zoo in the Japanese capital said the tiny, 144- gram male infant had died of pneumonia, bringing zoo director Toshimitsu Doi to tears. “We are very disappointed,” Doi said as he wiped his eyes. Newscasters interrupted regular programming to repor t the death of the cub, whose birth had been embraced as happy news for a country still struggling to recover from last year’s quake-tsunami disaster. Pr ime M inis ter Yos hihiko Noda described the death as “very disappointing”. “We were all looking forward” to the cub’s development, he told reporters in Tokyo. Matsuzakaya, a major Japanese

department store, had planned a “Happy Panda Week” celebration, offering special discounts following the birth, but the event was canceled yesterday. The zoo said keepers found the baby lying on its back against its mother Shin Shin’s stomach. “They administered a cardiac massage and other treatment, but unfortunately they confirmed its death at 8:30 am (2330 GMT Tuesday),” the zoo said. Shin Shin and her mate Ri Ri were leased from China last year at an annual cost of about one million dollars to the zoo operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan government. The baby was hailed in China, which has sometimes hostile relations with neighbouring Japan. “We lament the loss of the cub and believe that the Japanese people, who have been looking forward to seeing the cub, will also lament this loss,” said foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin in a statement yesterday. Last week Beijing expressed hope “people-topeople sentiment and overall relations between China and Japan” could be promoted by the cub’s birth. China is famed for its “panda diplomac y ”, using the bears as diplomatic gifts to other countries. About 1,600 remain in the wild in China, with some 300 others in captivity worldwide-mostly in China. As many as 1 6 giant pandas have been born in Japan, according to reports.—AFP

Canada to study health impact of turbine noise VANCOUVER: Canada will conduct a study to explore if there is a relationship between wind turbine noise and health problems reported by people living near wind power developments, the government health department said on Tuesday. “This study is in response to questions from residents living near wind farms about possible health effects of low frequency noise generated by wind turbines,” Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s

health minister, said in a statement. The study, in collaboration with Statistics Canada, will focus on an initial sample of 2,000 homes that are near about a dozen wind turbine facilities in Canada. In addition to taking physical measurements from participants, such as blood pressure, investigators will conduct face-to-face interviews and take noise measurements inside and outside of some homes to validate

sound modeling. Similar studies conducted in other countries have turned up little to no evidence that wind turbines pose a health risk to nearby residents. Several studies have noted some evidence that turbine noise can disrupt sleep. Some people living near wind turbines have complained of headaches, earaches, anxiety and high blood pressure. The results of the Canadian study are expected in 2014.— Reuters



WHAT’S ON Greetings

any many happy returns of the day Pabbal Lakshmi Kumar Yadav. Best wishes from wife Sasi Kala, son Pabbala Vardhan Yadav and daughter Pabbala Jyoshnavi Yadav, Subbarayudu Yadav, Narayana Yadav, Venkatamma, Kanthamma, Siva Prasad Yadav, Maheshwari, Sudhakar Yadav, Lakshmi, Nagaraj Yadav, Saavitri, Sheikh Noor (Pulivendula), Riyaz, and Aslam. Wishes of blessings also come from dear and near ones


Announcements Indian Embassy passport and visa Passports and Visa applications can be deposited at the two outsourced centers of M/S BLS Ltd at Sharq and Fahaheel. Details are available at and . Consular Open House Consular Wing is providing daily service of Open House to Indian citizens on all workings days from 1000 hrs to 1100 hrs and from 1430 hrs to 1530 hrs by the Consular Officer in the Meeting Room of the Consular Hall at the Embassy. For any unaddressed issues, Second Secretary (Consular) can be contacted. Furthermore, the head of the Consular Wing is also available to redress grievances. Indian workers helpline/helpdesk Indian workers helpline is accessible by toll free telephone number 25674163 from all over Kuwait. It provides information and advice to Indian workers as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. The help desk at the Embassy (Open from 9AM to 1PM and 2PM to 4:30PM, Sunday to Thursday) provides guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal and other issues. It also provides workers assistance in filling up labour complaint forms. For any unaddressed issues, the concerned attachÈ in the Labour section and the head of the Labour Wing can be contacted. Legal Advice Clinic Free legal advice is provided on matters pertaining to labour disputes, terms of contracts with employers, death/accident compensation, withholding of dues by employers, etc. by lawyers on our panel, to Indian nationals on all working days between 1500hrs to 1600hrs.

Adopt a pet

Infunity organizes educational and entertaining day for kids s part of its social responsibility, the Entertainment Center “Infunity”, located at the 360 Mall (3rd level) announced its new event organized in collaboration with the Kuwait Scientific Center on Thursday July 5th, 2012 from 6 to 8 PM. On this special occasion, the Scientific Center will bring to “Infunity”, different animal species living in the Kuwaiti environment allowing the kids to enjoy an


Gracioso the cat Adopt Gracioso, a charming 5-yr old DSH male cat. He is a very friendly fella that loves attention and cuddles! He has lots of energy and will need a bigger apartment or a villa to live in. Gracioso would be a playful playmate to add to a loving family and gets along best with children over 10. To adopt Gracioso, contact K’S PATH at (+965) 67001622 or visit the website

exceptional educational and entertaining experience by watching and interacting with these animals in a safe environment and supervision. Organized in collaboration with the Scientific Center, this exceptional event comes as part of the wide range of entertaining activities offered by Infunity, and will eventually allow the children the chance to discover a large variety of regional residential animal species such

as the hedgehog, the kestrel, the sand boa, the spiny tailed lizard and many others. Open to all children and parents, this special day is an appeal to the spontaneous and free participation of all kids who wish to learn and develop their abilities in the entertaining environment offered by Infunity, the largest family entertainment center in Kuwait. The event will feature a surprise

appearance of the new Infunity mascot character “the Hedgehog” inspired from one of the different residential animals in Kuwait, to create a special relationship with the fans and the Kuwaiti community in general.

Register and Win Promotion at ity Centre, Kuwait’s premier mega-market, in association with, a leading online Indian community portal, is holding a month-long ‘Register and Win’ promotion campaign. Any resident in Kuwait can participate in the promotion by visiting and registering their name, email and phone number. A winner will be picked each day (except Friday), from the list of names registered on the previous day, and receive a free shopping voucher worth KD10 from City Centre. To register and participate visit


Kali the dog Adopt Kali, a four-year-old female Saluki Mix dog rescued through K’S PATH contract with KOC. Kali is a sweet natured, shy girl that will need someone who can give her lots of extra TLC. Are you looking for a rescued dog that needs that little bit of extra work? Then Kali is the dog for you. The bond with a dog like this will be strong and everlasting. Kali would do best in a family with children over 12. To adopt Kali, contact K’S PATH at (+965) 67001622 or visit the website

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

‘Leniency of Islam’ An unprecedented initiative of KTV2 (English channel) is the new program by the name ‘Leniency of Islam’ presented by Shaikh Musaad Alsane and directed by Hamid Al-Turkait. The program is mainly meant to address the expatriates living in Kuwait. Religious questions are received through the program email and sms can be sent to97822021 and answered by the lecturer and Imam in Awqaf Ministry Shaikh Musaad Alsane - a Master Degree holder in Sharia and fiqih from Kuwait University. So don’t forget to watch the program every Friday at 1:00 pm.

Free Arabic course IPC is opening an Intensive Basic Arabic Course for ladies commencing from June 3 to July 8, 2012. The class will be from 5-7 pm for three days a week. Registration is on! For information, call 22512257.

Youth India swimming competition provides respite in the summer heat he swimming competition conducted by Youth India Kuwait, provides respite to the expatriates in the summer heat. Salmiya Zone won the champions trophy with the most number of points in a tight competition, which was conducted based on the four zones, Abbasiya, Farwaniya, Salmiya and Fahaheel and Farwaniya zone won the runners up trophy. Anwar of Salmiya came first in the 25m freestyle and Saleesh Shanker and Younus of Farwaniya came in second and third respectively. Sreeraj of Fahaheel obtained the first place in 25m Backstroke


while Febs of Salmiya and Shabeer of Fahaheel obtained the second and third positions respectively. Farwaniya came in First in the 4*25m relay and Salmiya obtained the second position. Fahaheel came in third. Abbasiya won the first place in the thrilling water polo game beating Salmiya. The events, which were held in the Kuwait Sporting club swimming pool, was inaugurated by TIES Director Abdul Azeez Al Duaij. Youth India President Arshad, General Secretary Shafi PT were also present at the inaugural function. Rishdin Ameer conducted the docu-

mentation for the events. TIES Director Abdul Azeez Al Duaij, Kuwait Sporting Club Manager Captain Mu’tasim Muhammed and KIG President Sakkeer Hussain Thuvoor distributed prizes to the winners. Sajid AC, Najeeb VS,. Anwar Shaji, Anees Abdul salam, Muhammad Saleem, Layik, Nisar K Rasheed, Hameed, Haroon and Shareef PT conducted the events. Youth India Arts and Sports convenor Rafeeq Babu led the conduct of events.




IKEA Kuwait welcomes first Batch of summer trainees Annual Summer Internship program launched KEA Kuwait - the globally renowned Swedish home furnishings chain recently welcomed the first batch of promising students to intern at the store this year as part of IKEA Kuwait’s annual summer internship program. This is the seventh year the Program is being carried out. Building on the success of the previous six years, IKEA Kuwait was honored to host its first group of interns for 2012 and give them the opportunity to learn about IKEA’s successful business. The summer program will enable Kuwaiti youth to learn hands-on skills making them better prepared to embark on their professional careers. Being held from mid June till beginning of August 2012, the internship program at IKEA has been completely revamped. To enhance the skills of the students further, the internship will be for 4 weeks to foster the development of a stronger work relation between Managers and the trainees. The training program will familiarize interns with various functions communications, sales, interior design and customer service. Interns will receive a benefits and certificate upon successful completion of the program. IKEA Kuwait’s selection’s process has been improved whereby only the best students are candidates are selected for


Embassy Information EMBASSY OF AUSTRALIA The Australian Embassy Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visas and immigration matters in conducted by The Australian ConsulateGeneral in Dubai. Email: (VFS) (Visa Office); Tel: +971 4 355 1958 (VFS) - +971 4 508 7200 (Visa Office); Fax: +971 4 355 0708 (Visa Office). In Kuwait applications can be lodged at the Australian Visa Application Centre 4B 1st Floor, Al-Banwan Building Al-Qibla Area, Ali Al-Salem Street, opposite the Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait. Working hours and days: 09:30 - 17:30; Sunday - Thursday. Or visit their website www.vfs-au-gcc-com for more information. Kuwait citizens can apply for tourist visas on-line at visa/e676.htm ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF 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. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF BRITAIN the internship. Towards the end of the training period IKEA Kuwait will select and award the Best Summer Trainee, who will receive an award. IKEA Kuwait today has part time coworkers across the many departments of the company and the store who once started out as

summer trainees at the store. IKEA Kuwait is a socially responsible organization and caters for the benefit of the community in which it operates and supporting Government’s Manpower Restructuring Program, LOYAC Talent Development Programs and

many other community development initiatives is a testimony of the gratitude to the people of Kuwait for their trust in IKEA since over 28 years.

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

EMBASSY OF 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: Saturday 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 ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya wishes to inform Kenyan residents throughout Kuwait and the general public that with effect from June 1, 2012 the Embassy has moved from its current location to a new location in Surra Block 1, Street 8, Villa 303. Please note that the new telephone and fax numbers will be communicated as soon as possible. For enquiries you can contact Consular Section on mobile 90935162 or 97527306.

Dr Al-Mashoor visits Morocco’s landmark Hassan II Masjid r. Ghalib Al-Mashoor, President of Indo-Kuwait Friendship Society ( visited Muslim world’s one of the tallest Minaret owned Masjid “The Hassan II Masjid” in Morocco. Al-Mashoor was on a short trip to Casablanca, Morocco (Maghrib) for a private visit. AlMashoor remarked that the word “Masjid” is found 17 times in the Holy Quran. The word “MASJID” (worship place of Muslims) has been derived from “SAJADA” (Prostration) as such it is preferable to name “Masjid” in the middle of English


sentence so called “Mosque”. Another point is the beauty of having the language of the Holy Qur’an as a lingua franca for Muslims, possibly another way of connecting to each other no matter nationality or mother tongue. “SAJADA, SUJOOD, MASJID” all are illustrated “Prostration” to one GOD and the place of Prostration rather than naming it as “Mosque”. In defense of the people that used the name as “MASJID” is more appropriate than to say “mosque” in which the word seems to be signaling erroneous word. “The Hassan II Masjid” as one of the

world’s 20 wonderful Masjids. Located in Casablanca is the largest mosque in Morocco and the fifth largest mosque in the world. Designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau and built by Bouygues. It stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic, which can be seen through a gigantic glass floor with room for 25,000 worshippers. A further 80,000 can be accommodated in the mosque’s adjoining grounds for a total of 105,000 worshippers present at any given time at the Hassan II mosque. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 m (689 ft).


EMBASSY OF MEXICO The Embassy of Mexico is pleased to inform that it is located in CLIFFS Complex, Villa 6, Salmiya, block 9, Baghdad street, Jadda Lane 7. The working hours for consular issues are from 9:00 to 12:00 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 14:00 to 15:00 hours for lunch break. The Embassy of Mexico kindly requests all Mexicans citizens in Kuwait to proceed to the e-mail: in order to register or update contact information. Other consultations or/and appointments could be done by telephone or fax: (+965) 2573 1952 ■■■■■■■

Kala’s Malayalam classes in progress mir Ahmed, President of Indian Doctors Forum (IDF) urged the new generation to distinguish the importance of our mother tongue Malayalam. While inaugurating the Malayalam class, in Riggaie, organized jointly by KALA-Kuwait and Mathrubhasha samithi, he further urged the parents from our community to come forward extensively promoting and motivating these voluntary activities. The inaugural session of the classes started at theresidence of Vinod John (KALA Treasurer) was presided over by J. Albert, President, Mathru Bhasha Samithi. Further, he handed over the syllabus to Stanley K Francis, who is voluntarily taking the classes. KALA-Kuwait Reggaie unit observed the cooperation of the parent community with the participation of 15 children seeking Malayalam learning in the first session itself. For joining in this positive voluntary mission and for further details, please contact 69903354.


Your health & Ramadan ou are invited to “Your Health & Ramadan Dasman Diabetes Institute” from 9 am till 2 pm, Sunday 15th July.* Blood Glucose Monitoring. * BMI Calculation * Blood Pressure Monitoring. For any inquiries, please contact us on tel.:



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

EMBASSY OF PAKISTAN During the holy month of Ramadan the general working hours at the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan will be from 8 am till 2 pm. ■■■■■■■

Aware Centre he AWARE Management is glad to inform you that Summer 3 Arabic language courses will begin on August 12, 2012 until September 26, 2012. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed & courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. We


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

cater to teachers, travelers & those working in the private business sector. Arabic classes at the AWARE Center are unique because students are provided with the chance to practice their Arabic through various social activities that aim at bringing Arabs and Westerners together. AWARE Arabic courses highlights * Introductory to Level 4 Arabic language basics

* Better prepare you for speaking, reading and writing Arabic * Combine language learning with cultural insights * Taught in multi-nationality group settings * Provide opportunities to interact with Western expatriates and native Kuwaitis/Arabs. For more information, call 25335260/80 or log onto:”

EMBASSY OF THAILAND The Royal Thai Embassy in Kuwait, wishes to invite the Kuwaiti companies that deal business with Thai companies or those agencies of Thai commercial companies to visit the Embassy’s Commercial Office to register their relevant information to be part of the embassy’s business and trade database. The Royal Thai Embassy is located in Jabriya, Block 6, Street 8, Villa No. 1, Telephone No. 25317530 -25317531, Ext: 14. ■■■■■■■

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



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I’m Alive Untamed & Uncut Monster Bug Wars Wildest India Wild France Stranger Among Bears In Too Deep Rescue Vet Rescue Vet Karina: Wild On Safari Crocodile Hunter Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild Breed All About It Natural Born Hunters Natural Born Hunters Wild France Wildlife SOS Going Ape Animal Cops Specials 2009 Clinically Wild: Alaska Clinically Wild: Alaska Animal Precinct Wild France Karina: Wild On Safari Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild Penguin Safari Bad Dog Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Wildlife SOS Going Ape Stranger Among Bears In Too Deep Wild France Whale Wars Max’s Big Tracks Miami Animal Police

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Eastenders Doctors Life On Mars My Family Last Of The Summer Wine Big Top Balamory Tellytales Little Prairie Dogs Nina And The Neurons Teletubbies Boogie Beebies Charlie And Lola Balamory Tellytales Little Prairie Dogs Nina And The Neurons Teletubbies Boogie Beebies Charlie And Lola My Family Last Of The Summer Wine Big Top Eastenders Doctors Casualty Bleak House Bleak House My Family Last Of The Summer Wine Big Top Eastenders Doctors Casualty Bleak House Bleak House The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Monarch Of The Glen Keeping Up Appearances Blackadder The Third Great Ormand Street Lab Rats The Old Guys New Tricks Twenty Twelve The Weakest Link Monarch Of The Glen

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What Not To Wear MasterChef MasterChef MasterChef Delicious Iceland

03:35 Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey 04:25 MasterChef 04:50 MasterChef 05:45 MasterChef 06:10 Living In The Sun 07:05 Living In The Sun 07:55 MasterChef Australia 08:20 MasterChef Australia 09:05 Bargain Hunt 09:50 Antiques Roadshow 10:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 11:25 Come Dine With Me 12:15 10 Years Younger 13:05 Masterchef: The Professionals 13:55 Masterchef: The Professionals 14:50 Bargain Hunt 15:35 Antiques Roadshow 16:25 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 17:10 Come Dine With Me 18:00 Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers 18:25 The Hairy Bikers Ride Again 18:50 Rick Stein’s French Odyssey 19:20 James Martin’s Brittany 19:45 Come Dine With Me 20:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 21:20 Bargain Hunt 22:05 Antiques Roadshow 23:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 23:40 Come Dine With Me

00:00 BBC World News America 00:30 BBC World News America 01:00 Newsday 01:30 Asia Business Report 01:45 Sport Today 02:00 Newsday 02:30 Asia Business Report 02:45 Sport Today 03:00 Newsday 03:30 Asia Business Report 03:45 Sport Today 04:00 BBC World News 04:30 Asia Business Report 04:45 Sport Today 05:00 BBC World News 05:30 Asia Business Report 05:45 Sport Today 06:00 BBC World News 06:30 Hardtalk 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 World Business Report 07:45 BBC World News 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 Sport Today 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 World Business Report 10:45 Sport Today 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 Hardtalk 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 World Business Report 12:45 Sport Today 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 BBC World News 14:00 GMT With George Alagiah 14:30 GMT With George Alagiah 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 World Business Report 15:45 Sport Today 16:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 16:30 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 BBC World News 18:30 Hardtalk 19:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 19:30 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:30 BBC Focus On Africa 21:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 21:30 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:30 World Business Report 22:45 Sport Today 23:00 Business Edition With Tanya Beckett 23:30 Hardtalk

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Puppy In My Pocket Tom & Jerry Kids Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Flintstones Pink Panther And Pals Looney Tunes Popeye Classics Dexter’s Laboratory Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes The Scooby Doo Show Johnny Bravo The Flintstones The Jetsons Wacky Races The Garfield Show Tom & Jerry Kids Bananas In Pyjamas Baby Looney Tunes Gerald McBoing Boing Ha Ha Hairies A Pup Named Scooby-Doo The Garfield Show Johnny Bravo Dexter’s Laboratory Pink Panther And Pals Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Duck Dodgers Looney Tunes The Flintstones Wacky Races Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Ha Ha Hairies Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Looney Tunes Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Duck Dodgers Duck Dodgers The Looney Tunes Show Dastardly And Muttley Johnny Bravo Johnny Bravo Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show The Garfield Show Dexter’s Laboratory Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Ha Ha Hairies Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Dexter’s Laboratory Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Duck Dodgers Looney Tunes The Garfield Show A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Popeye The Jetsons Duck Dodgers

00:30 Bakugan: New Vestroia 00:55 Bakugan: New Vestroia 01:20 Powerpuff Girls 02:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 03:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 03:25 Ben 10 03:50 Adventure Time 04:15 Powerpuff Girls 04:40 Generator Rex 05:05 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:55 Angelo Rules 06:00 The Marvelous Misadventures... 06:25 Casper’s Scare School 07:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 07:15 Adventure Time 07:40 Johnny Test 08:05 Grim Adventures Of... 08:55 Courage The Cowardly Dog 09:45 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:10 Redakai: Conquer The Kairu 10:35 Powerpuff Girls 11:25 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 12:15 Ed, Edd n Eddy 13:05 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 13:30 Sym-Bionic Titan 13:55 Foster’s Home For... 14:20 Foster’s Home For...


14:45 Angelo Rules 15:35 Powerpuff Girls 16:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 16:40 Johnny Test 17:05 Adventure Time 17:30 Regular Show 17:55 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 18:20 Batman Brave And The Bold 18:45 Young Justice 19:10 Hero 108 19:35 Ben 10 20:00 Ben 10 20:25 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:15 Grim Adventures Of... 22:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Ben 10 23:40 Chowder

00:00 Amanpour 00:30 World Sport 01:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 02:00 World Report 03:00 Anderson Cooper 360 04:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 05:00 Quest Means Business 06:00 The Situation Room 07:00 World Sport 07:30 Talk Asia 08:00 World Report 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Sport 10:30 Business Traveller 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 Amanpour 12:30 Mainsail 13:00 World One 14:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 15:00 News Stream 16:00 World Business Today 17:00 International Desk 18:00 Global Exchange 18:45 CNN Marketplace Middle East 19:00 World Sport 19:30 Mainsail 20:00 International Desk 21:00 Quest Means Business 21:45 CNN Marketplace Europe 22:00 Amanpour 22:30 CNN Newscenter 23:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson

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Weird Or What? Sons Of Guns Dynamo: Magician Impossible Mythbusters Mythbusters Weird Or What? How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Gold Divers American Chopper Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Border Security Auction Kings How Do They Do It? How It’s Made American Guns Battle Machine Bros Extreme Explosions Border Security Auction Kings Ultimate Survival American Chopper Fifth Gear Gold Divers Mythbusters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Border Security Auction Kings The Gadget Show American Guns Mobster Confessions Mobster Confessions Surviving Disaster

00:35 Superships 01:25 Science Of The Movies 02:15 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 03:05 The Gadget Show 03:35 Da Vinci’s Machines 04:25 Moon Machines 05:15 Superships 06:05 Science Of The Movies 07:00 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 07:50 Head Rush 07:53 Bang Goes The Theory 08:20 Sci-Fi Science 08:50 Sport Science 09:40 Da Vinci’s Machines 10:30 Patent Bending 15:10 Patent Bending 15:35 The Gadget Show 16:00 Head Rush 16:03 Bang Goes The Theory 16:30 Sci-Fi Science 17:00 Science Of The Movies 17:50 Sport Science 18:40 Moon Machines 19:30 Prank Science 19:55 Prank Science 20:20 Weird Or What? 21:10 The Gadget Show 21:35 The Gadget Show 22:00 Prank Science 22:25 Prank Science 22:50 Weird Or What? 23:40 Sport Science

00:25 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 00:55 Style Star 01:25 E!es 02:20 E!es 03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 E!es 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Khloe And Lamar 09:45 Khloe And Lamar 10:15 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Kendra 13:35 Kendra 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E!es 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Ice Loves Coco

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Ice Loves Coco E! News E!es Giuliana & Bill Mrs. Eastwood And Company Fashion Police E! News Chelsea Lately

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

The Haunted Crime Scene Psychics American Greed American Greed Extreme Forensics The Haunted Crime Scene Psychics Disappeared Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Street Patrol Street Patrol Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Nightmare Next Door Nightmare Next Door Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:00 Into The Drink 00:30 Into The Drink 01:00 Perilous Journeys 02:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 02:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 03:00 Madventures 03:30 Danger Beach 04:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 05:00 Bondi Rescue 05:30 Bondi Rescue 06:00 Into The Drink 06:30 Into The Drink 07:00 Perilous Journeys 08:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 08:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 09:00 Madventures 09:30 Danger Beach 10:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 11:00 Bondi Rescue 11:30 Bondi Rescue 12:00 Into The Drink 12:30 Into The Drink 13:00 Perilous Journeys 14:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 15:00 Danger Beach 15:30 Danger Beach 16:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 17:00 Bondi Rescue 17:30 Bondi Rescue 18:00 Into The Drink 18:30 Into The Drink 19:00 A World Apart 20:00 David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway 20:30 David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway 21:00 One Man & His Campervan 21:30 One Man & His Campervan 22:00 City Chase Rome 23:00 Don’t Tell My Mother

00:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest 01:00 Warrior Road Trip 02:00 Apocalypse: The Second World War 03:00 Ancient Megastructures 04:00 Huge Moves 05:00 Animal Autopsy (AKA Inside Nature’s Giants) 06:00 Banged Up Abroad 07:00 Air Crash Investigation 08:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest 09:00 Warrior Road Trip 10:00 Apocalypse: The Second World War 11:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest 12:00 Huge Moves 13:00 Animal Autopsy (AKA Inside Nature’s Giants) 14:00 Banged Up Abroad 15:00 Air Crash Investigation 16:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest 17:00 Convoy: War For The Atlantic 18:00 Apocalypse: The Second World War 19:00 Ancient Megastructures 20:00 The Known Universe 21:00 Great Migrations 22:00 Departures 23:00 Air Crash Investigation

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

Wildlife Rescue Africa Planet Carnivore Journey Into Amazonia Ultimate Predators GPU Monkey Thieves Monkey Thieves Built For The Kill Great Migrations Journey Into Amazonia Ultimate Predators GPU Monkey Thieves Monkey Thieves Leopard Queen Grizzly Cauldron Bonecrusher Queens The Pack Journey Into Amazonia Ultimate Predators GPU Monkey Thieves Monkey Thieves Predators In Peril Sharkville Shark Gangs Journey Into Amazonia Ultimate Predators GPU Monkey Thieves Monkey Thieves Leopard Queen Hyena Queen


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

The Heavy-18 A Perfect Getaway-18 Full Metal Jacket-18 Arachnophobia-PG15 Largo Winch 2-PG15 Friday Night Lights-PG15 Game Of Death-PG15 Largo Winch 2-PG15 Men In Black-PG15 Game Of Death-PG15 Devil-PG15 Assassination Games-18

01:00 The Way Back-PG15 03:15 Cars 2-FAM 05:15 Certified Copy-PG15 07:00 St. Trinian’s 2: The Legend Of Fritton’s Gold-PG15 09:00 Tomorrow, When The War Began-PG15 11:00 Cars 2-FAM 13:01 The Tender Hook-PG15 15:00 Adventures Of A Teenage Dragonslayer-PG 17:00 West Is West-PG15 19:00 The Company Men-PG15 21:00 Super 8-PG15 23:00 Piranha-R

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:30 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 02:30 Two And A Half Men 03:00 2 Broke Girls 03:30 Man Up! 04:00 Til Death 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 The Simpsons 06:00 Friends 06:30 Mad Love 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Til Death 08:30 2 Broke Girls 09:00 The Simpsons 09:30 Hot In Cleveland 10:00 Hot In Cleveland 10:30 Mad Love 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Friends 12:30 Til Death 13:00 The Simpsons 13:30 Mad Love 14:00 Man Up! 14:30 Hot In Cleveland 15:00 Hot In Cleveland 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:30 Friends 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 2 Broke Girls 18:30 Man Up! 19:00 Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23 19:30 How I Met Your Mother 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 22:00 Family Guy 22:30 The League 23:00 Two And A Half Men 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 07:00 08:30 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 16:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Grimm Alphas Supernatural Hawthorne The Killing Good Morning America Terra Nova Coronation Street The Martha Stewart Show The View Alphas Hawthorne Live Good Morning America The Glades Parenthood One Tree Hill GCB Scandal The Killing

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

Cold Case Supernatural Grimm Alphas Hawthorne The Nine Lives Of Chloe King Cold Case Emmerdale Coronation Street Smallville Supernatural Alphas Hawthorne Emmerdale Hot In Cleveland The Ellen DeGeneres Show Smallville Cold Case Emmerdale Hot In Cleveland The Ellen DeGeneres Show Smallville Parenthood One Tree Hill GCB Scandal The River

00:00 02:00 04:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

Kalifornia-18 Street Kings 2: Motor City-18 The Godfather-18 Wild Bill-PG15 Planet Of The Apes-PG15 Hurricane Season-PG15 The Devil’s Teardrop-PG15 Planet Of The Apes-PG15 Salt-PG15 The Untouchables-PG15 Mirrors 2-18 Survival Of The Dead-18

00:00 Melinda And Melinda-PG15 02:00 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie-PG15 04:00 I’ll Be Home For Christmas-PG 06:00 Vice Versa-PG 08:00 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie-PG15 10:00 Spud-PG15 12:00 Flubber-PG 14:00 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie-PG 16:00 Spud-PG15 18:00 Whatever Works-PG15 20:00 Greenberg-18

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:15 PG15 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 18:30 21:00 23:00

2:22-18 Cruel Intentions-18 The Sting-PG The LXD: Secrets Of The RaThe Social Network-PG15 Light It Up-PG15 A Family Thanksgiving-PG15 The Social Network-PG15 Yona Yona Penguin-PG Vanity Fair-PG15 Manolete-18 Garden State-18

01:00 The Breakfast Club-PG15 03:00 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid-PG 05:00 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules-PG15 07:00 Labor Pains-PG15 09:00 Soul Surfer-PG15 11:00 The Marc Pease ExperiencePG15 13:00 Who Is Clark Rockefeller-PG 15:00 Bond Of Silence-PG15 17:00 Soul Surfer-PG15 19:00 Burlesque-PG15 21:00 Super 8-PG15 23:00 Hall Pass-18

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 11:45

Deadline-18 B-Girl-PG15 Lord Of The Dance-PG Henry’s Crime-PG15 B-Girl-PG15 The Tender Hook-PG15 Harry Potter And The Deathly

Hallows Pt.1-PG15 14:15 Slipstream-PG15 16:00 B-Girl-PG15 18:00 Knight And Day-PG15 20:00 Life As We Know It-PG15 22:00 The Fighter-PG15

00:00 Rainbow Valley Heroes-PG15 02:00 Hua Mulan-PG 04:00 Alex & Alexis-FAM 06:00 Rainbow Valley Heroes-PG15 08:00 Gladiators: The TournamentPG 10:00 The Three Bears: Dreadful Dangers-FAM 12:00 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore-PG 14:00 Last Of The Mohicans-PG 16:00 The Borrowers-PG 18:00 The Three Bears: Dreadful Dangers-FAM 20:00 Ice Age-FAM 22:00 Last Of The Mohicans-PG

00:00 Trans World Sport 01:00 Futbol Mundial 01:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 02:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 04:00 Masters Football 07:00 Trans World Sport 08:00 Super Rugby Highlights 09:00 Super Rugby 11:00 NRL Premiership 13:00 Trans World Sport 14:00 Super Rugby Highlights 15:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 16:00 PGA European Tour Weekly 16:30 Live PGA European Tour 20:30 PGA European Tour Weekly 21:00 Super Rugby 23:00 Super Rugby Highlights

01:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 02:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 03:00 Live UFC - Munoz Vs. Weidman 06:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 07:00 Darts 11:00 Super Rugby Highlights 12:00 Masters Football 15:00 Futbol Mundial 15:30 AFL Premiership 18:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 19:00 UFC - Munoz Vs. Weidman 22:00 PGA European Tour

00:00 Sailing World Match Racing Tour 02:00 European Tour Weekly 02:30 Triathlon 05:00 AFL Highlights 06:00 World Pool Masters 08:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 09:00 Total Rugby 09:30 NRL Full Time 10:00 IronMan 13:00 Golfing World 14:00 Total Rugby 14:30 NRL Premiership 16:30 AFL Highlights 17:30 Super League 19:30 Super Rugby Highlights 20:30 Super League 22:30 AFL Highlights

01:00 04:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 15:30 16:30 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00

Prizefighter UFC WWE SmackDown NHL UAE National Race Day Series UAE National Race Day Series WWE Experience WWE Vintage Collection WWE Bottom Line Mobil 1 The Grid V8 Supercars Highlights V8 Supercars Highlights V8 Supercars Extra UAE National Race Day Series UAE National Race Day Series WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC

Classifieds THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2012




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



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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

REQUIRED For a well established electromechanical company

Electrical Engineer 10 years minimum previous experience in Maintenance and Erection specially of large Shopping Malls, Ministries Headquarters Please send your C.V. with supporting documents to

Fax # +965 24843953

ACCOMMODATION Fully furnished sharing accommodation available for an executive bachelor or couples with kitchen facilities and utilities. This flat is a 2 bed, with 2 bathrooms (1-single Indian type) front big hall as drawing and dining. Contact: 66639625/ 24340491 after 4:30 pm. (C 4076) 12-7-2012

SITUATION WANTED Immediately available Indian Accountant / Secretary to deal all financial activities with sufficient experience in Kuwait holding Kuwait driving license and car & can speak Arabic well. Part time from 12:30 to 5:30 pm also considered. Contact: 24315927/ 97669236. (C 4073)


A leading restaurant in Shuwaikh Mitsubishi Lancer Ex-2008, green color (new body) 62000km, price KD 1,950/-. Contact: 50699345. (C 4075) 10-7-2012

Requires the following positions:

- Accountant - Chef Assistant - Cashiers - Drivers - Waiters To apply call:

CHANGE OF NAME I, Thiru D. Suresh, Indian Passport No: E6840843 have changed my name to D. Barakathali converted from Hindu to Islam. (C 4068) 8-7-2012 SITUATION VACANT Full time live out maid/nanny for three months, starting mid July. Must have own residency. Work from 7am to 7pm, Saturday - Thursday in Salwa. Call 97687172 for interview. 7-7-2012

55047711/ 99981630/ 94442234 THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 Prayer timings Fajr: Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

03:23 11:54 15:28 18:51 20:21


The Public Institution for Social Security

Ministry of Interior

Public Authority of Industry

Public Authority for Civil Information

Prisoners of War Committee

Kuwait News Agency

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affair

Kuwait Municipality

Ministry of Energy (Oil)

Kuwait Electronic Government

Ministry of Energy (Electricity and Water)

Ministry of Finance

Public Authority for Housing Welfare

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Education

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Information

Supreme Council for Planning and Development

Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation



stars CROSSWORD 734



Aries (March 21-April 19) This is an easy, relaxing day . . . particularly, if you avoid excesses. There are several opportunities for in-depth discussions and probing conversations with all sorts of business associates. Your perceptive abilities are at a high point as well. This workday seems to accent your own ideas and expectations. Working within a group or groups in a spirit of cooperation and communion is a natural today as well. This evening you may be feeling more inward and more like sharing some time with your lover or with close friends. This evening is a good time for propping your feet up and enjoying some good communication between yourself and those you love. Close relationships take on more depth now.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Put your mind to work and take care of any details that you may have left unfinished before today, for mental discipline should come easily this morning. Problems and obstacles that have been difficult before now should find easy explanations under your keen examination. It is all a little odd when you easily see an item or file or some information today that you searched long and hard for yesterday. You enjoy being the trendsetter, wherever you are. Unusual ideas and novel ways of expressing them are fun pastimes. A new scooter or new type of fuel for your vehicle may be what brings quite a lot of attention your way later this afternoon. A relative may be helping you and you will have a co-creator in helping you plot your path.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products. 4. Port city on southern Honshu on Osaka Bay. 9. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 13. The syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization. 14. Tent that is an Eskimo summer dwelling. 15. A island in the Netherlands Antilles that is the top of an extinct volcano. 16. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 17. (Greek mythology) A sorceress who detained Odysseus on her island and turned his men into swine. 18. Decapod having eyes on short stalks and a broad flattened carapace with a small abdomen folded under the thorax and pincers. 19. A small cake leavened with yeast. 21. Student and mistress and wife of Abelard (circa 1098-1164). 23. Fleshy spore-bearing inner mass of e.g. a puffball or stinkhorn. 26. Hard red wheat grown especially in Russia and Germany. 27. Primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems and roots and leaves. 30. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 31. Tag the base runner to get him out. 32. Chiefly tropical trees and shrubs and vines usually having a tall columnar trunk bearing a crown of very large leaves. 35. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 38. The content of cognition. 39. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 41. Being five more than one hundred fifty. 43. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 44. The seat within a bishop's diocese where his cathedral is located adv. 45. A Hindu prince or king in India. 47. Essential oil or perfume obtained from flowers. 50. A small tent used as a dressing room beside the sea or a swimming pool. 52. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 56. Short-horned dark-coated goat antelope of mountain areas of south and southeast Asia. 59. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 60. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 63. A rare chronic progressive encephalitis caused by the measles virus and occurring primarily in children and young adults. 64. Informal terms for a mother. 65. Using speech rather than writing. 66. A branch of the Tai languages. 67. A strategically located monarchy on the southern and eastern coasts of the Arabian Peninsula. 68. The arch of bone beneath the eye that forms the prominence of the cheek. 69. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. DOWN 1. Loose or flaccid body fat. 2. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 3. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 4. (of securities) Not quoted on a stock exchange. 5. A musical composition of several movements only loosely connected. 6. The month following March and preceding May. 7. A member of a Caddo people formerly living in north central Texas. 8. Widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions for its fragrant flowers and colorful fruits. 9. An ascocarp having the spore-bearing layer of cells (the hymenium) on a broad disklike receptacle. 10. A percussion instrument with wooden bars tuned to produce a chromatic scale and with resonators. 11. Lower in esteem. 12. German chemist noted for the synthetic production of ammonia (1868-1934). 20. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 22. United States tennis player (born in Czechoslovakia) who won several singles championships. 24. A unit of length of thread or yarn. 25. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 28. Remove with or as if with a ladle. 29. Great merriment. 33. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 34. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 36. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 37. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 40. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 42. Painted beauty and red admiral. 46. Old World nocturnal canine mammal closely related to the dog. 48. Of or relating to or near the tarsus of the foot. 49. Hungarian choreographer who developed Labanotation (18791958). 51. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms. 53. The biblical name for ancient Syria. 54. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 55. (physics and chemistry) The smallest component of an element having the chemical properties of the element. 57. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 58. Flightless New Zealand rail of thievish disposition having short wings each with a spur used in fighting. 61. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 62. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) The subjects of law, politics, education, travel and religion are some of the areas in which you may decide to expand your horizons. This could mean more education or a new job after much education. What is needed now is a plan, particularly since your interests are so varied. You can become lost in the clouds on occasion. Put your mind to work and take care of any details that need your attention. Some type of scientific research or space travel has your attention this afternoon and you may decide a trip to the library of the bookstore would be a good use of your time before going home this evening. With so many books to choose from you may pick up a book or two for others in the family. A young person might enjoy a book on the stars.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Study and research may not have been a favorite part of your past but now you look forward to learning more and more so that you can be knowledgeable in your profession. It is important for you to go the next step and learn beyond your own position. Learning about the chemicals that are used, the equipment, the process of production are all interesting to you. You excel in your particular job and have a great deal of appreciation for the research that has been available thus far. It looks as though all of this education will get you farther than you expected. A new book idea may fit into your afternoon but you and a child may decide to put a puzzle together—you will find yourself teaching patience and spreading laughter throughout the house.


Leo (July 23-August 22) You are powerfully motivated today. Take care to reflect on the decisions you make now so that you do not have to go back and redo at a later time. Begin to insert the ability to count before speaking—you may hear something that will change your mind or find ways to convince others of your decision. Emotional seriousness and a sober orientation are keynotes of your deepest feelings. Rushing through today can only cause mistakes and frustrations—take breaks and do not forget healthy dieting. Recognize the stress for what it is—selfinduced. Slow and easy moves will get you into the fast lane much better than any of the reckless moves. The difference is the endurance. Energy follows thought—think positive thoughts!


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Superficiality will not be tolerated today. Leave those details for another time and concentrate on your ideals and spiritual needs. If a call for help comes from a friend or associate, make sure it is a reciprocal relationship and not one where you are always doing the giving. Real insight into your own inner workings or psychology could surface today and in a manageable form. You may be in the mood for deep and penetrating conversations or thoughts. You are a good worker, always thinking and caring for things. You are naturally service-oriented and enjoy taking care of the needs of others. You can sort out the good apples from the bad. You may find yourself lecturing, guiding or teaching today. Eat your dinner meal with the family this evening.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Obtaining and exchanging information are important today. A meeting that will be taking place this afternoon may depend on several of you making a good presentation. Perhaps you are in advertisement or film; whatever the case, the group of you, chosen to make the presentation works well together. There is nothing to fear—competition could be involved here but is a healthy competition. There is a tremendous drive to succeed, plus some sheer good luck, bringing real accomplishment. You are very ambitious and motivated and could serve as group leader or manager. A family person at heart, you will find that a family business could work well now or in the near future. You appreciate an imaginative approach and enjoy futuristic ideas.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Changes are necessary and helping someone get through the changes may take a lot of your time this morning. Perhaps a corporate or department move is about to take place. Some sort of temporary obstacle may appear. It does not take you long, however, to weed out the culprit of confusion. The secret here is perseverance and confidence in your own ability to achieve and accomplish results. Your outward charm and ability to be all things to all people are what is most central to your personality. This afternoon there is a little time to shop. Spending quality time with your loved one is your main priority. Music is also likely to play a more important role for you. Animals gain your attention—you can teach an old dog a new trick!

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Changes are happening in the workplace and you are ready! It is necessary to revise, review and possibly rebuild on solid ground. This may mean a change in job or job responsibilities, for which you will find positive outcomes. More money comes your way now. Although this period may bring confusion to you—you may be thinking that it is others that are confused. Try to be direct, rather than evasive—a more focused conversation will be productive. Enjoy yourself this evening—have a nice dinner out or consider catching up with your reading. Remember that to have a balance in your life you must include a bit of laughter. A few chores around your living area this afternoon and an early dinner will help balance out your day. Relax this evening.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This time favors both mental efforts and physical pursuits. If you are working . . . any project that you intend to finish will get your full attention. You strive to innovate, invent and find new ways to use things; this is both well coordinated and intense. Later today, you might spend time studying or learning through group discussion. Negotiations, planning and writing are favored at this time. This afternoon is the perfect time for the lighter side of life. The heavy stuff can wait, although if you have to make a business or financial transaction, go for it. You would probably rather write a poem or take a drive in the country—perhaps, even, express your love to someone. Travel under your own power later this evening, if at all possible, either by bicycle or walking. To

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Any kind of intricate, though unglamorous, work that requires perseverance and attention to meticulous detail has found its day. You have the patience to work slowly and carefully. Such diligence has its rewards! Your work or career is in harmony with the rest of your life. Outer circumstances are favorable for whatever projects need attention—relax. Your home environment, friends and surroundings may become more enjoyable. There is encouragement in personal matters now. This evening there are opportunities to become more involved with family—especially brothers or sisters. Others may find you especially witty and eccentric. Being more in touch with others gives you a sense of belonging.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

You might feel a bit rudderless today. Try to avoid making really important decisions just now. Stay out of uncharted waters—the course will be clearer tomorrow. If you do your job and others do their job, you will have progress. If you find yourself in a group discussion this afternoon, you should push for some time to pass before deciding any important action. You are in top form when it comes to ideas. Winning the admiration of others for the things you say or write takes on more importance now. You may have opportunities to be with young people today, perhaps in the role of guiding them. There is a chance to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love. There are good feelings and a sense of support and harmony.


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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Kaizen center














Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla




Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241



Tel.: e 161


Very e hot h with moderate to fresh north westerly wind, with speed of 20 - 45 km/h causing raising dust


Relatively hot with moderate to fresh north westerly wind, with speed of 20 - 40 km/h causing raising dust

No Current Waarnings arnin


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Maidan Hawally



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West Jahra



South Jahra



North Jahra



North Jleeb




Wind Direction

Wind Speed

very hot + raising dust

48 °C

31 °C


20 - 45 km/h


very hot + blowing dust

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25 - 45 km/h



49 °C

33 °C


25 - 50 km/h



49 °C

33 °C


25 - 50 km/h


MAX. Temp.

46 °C



MIN. Temp.

29 °C




15 %




06 %



MAX. Wind i

N 53 km/h










11/07/2012 0000 UTC

Temperatures DA AY





New Jahra


00 mm

All times are local time unless otherwise stated.

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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321


25665898 25340300

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



Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


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Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


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


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

22666300 25728004

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Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


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Kaizen center 25716707


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


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr Anil Thomas

Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688

















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh














47 °C



Expected Weeather for the Next 24 Hours




2627 - 2630 Ext.: 262





Fax: 24348714






Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

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

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


lifestyle G O S S I P

Lynch to be father again

Dunst fears finding family man F

Vergara gets engaged S

ofia Vergara and Nick Loeb have got engaged. The ‘Modern Family’ actress and the businessman - who got back together last month after splitting up in May following a series of arguments - have got engaged as the brunette beauty celebrates her 40th birthday in Mexico, a source has confirmed to Us Weekly. An insider said: “They have a crazy relationship. They break up and make up. They fight and make up hard!” Sofia - who turned 40 on Monday - has been celebrating the milestone at a Mexican resort over the past few days alongside 90 loved ones, and she has was spotted wearing a diamond ring on her left ring finger on Sunday. Wonderwall reported. The brunette star previously married Joe Gonzalez - with whom she has a son, Manolo, 20 - in 1991 but the pair divorced in 1993. Sofia and Nick have been dating for more than two years after meeting at a Golden Globes party in 2010, and following their split last month she is said to have moved into a hotel, but friends admitted at the time that they were unsure the separation would be permanent.

ilmmaker David Lynch is going to be a dad again - at the age of 66. The ‘Mulholland Drive’ director and his wife Emily Stofle are due to welcome their baby into the world in August and the happy couple cannot wait to meet the new arrival. A statement read: “The couple are thrilled at the news and looking for ward to meeting their first child together.” Although the baby is the couple’s first child together, Lynch has three children from previous relationships. The ‘Elephant Man’ director has an adult daughter, director Jennifer Chambers Lynch, with his first wife Peggy Lentz; he has a 30-year-old son, Austin Jack Lynch, with second spouse Mary Fisk and in 1992 he had another son, Riley Lynch, from his relationship with Mary Sweeney - who worked with him as the co-writer and producer of ‘The Straight Story’. Lynch met Emily when she appeared in his 2006 film ‘Inland Empire’, and they married in February 2009.

Holmes signs


to know ledger C

their settlement will be kept under wraps, though it is believed Katie will get primary custody of their six-year-old daughter Suri, with Tom allowed visitation rights. The welfare of the little girl was key to the pair resolving their split amicably and privately following initial speculation there would be a public court battle. However, sources told website that despite “palpable hostility” between Tom and Katie, a series of conversations concerning fears Suri could be “irreparably damaged” by their separation meant they agreed to come to a quick resolution.


ictoria Beckham’s family is her “priority”. Although she runs her own successful fashion label, the former Spice Girls star says spending time with husband David and their four children Brooklyn, 13, Romeo, nine, Cruz, seven, and 12-month-old Harper is the most important thing to her and she schedules her work around them. She explained: “I work hard but a lot of people work hard. My husband and my kids are my priority. I schedule my work around my children. Harper comes with me everywhere. The boys came when they were little but they’re at school now. “I’m not doing anything different from any other working mum. I have four kids but I get on with my life.” Victoria admits parenting is “difficult” but she tries to do her best. She added to British Airways’ Business Life magazine: “Being a mum is difficult. There’s no rulebook, I’m just doing the best I can for David and for them.” However, Victoria is also very dedicated to her work as she has always wanted to be a designer. She said: “It’s my passion, what I always wanted to do. I have found an area I can compete in, in my own little way. I’m just starting. I have a long way to go and I know that.” — Bangshowbiz

ful portrayal, that will always be remembered, and I’m very proud to have been a part of that.” Christian also ruled out a return to the superhero franchise now he has completed the third and final instalment in the Christopher Nolan-directed movie series. He said: “I believe Christopher Nolan when he says it (a reboot) won’t be from him, and therefore it will not be me. But I absolutely do believe there will be a reboot, and I’m very fascinated to see what incarnation that will take.”

Barker fears touring


Family is priority for Victoria

they behave like they’re 25. That’s what scares me about being in my 30s - not finding someone to have kids with.” Kirsten recently admitted that as she gets older she prefers to be friends with someone before dating them because she can’t rely on “instant chemistry” to help form a long lasting relationship. She said: “My experience is that as you get older you try to pick a partner who you’re friends with. It’s hard to find balance and that’s not going to come with the ‘instant chemistry’ kind of people.”

Bale happy hristian Bale is happy that he got to become friends with Heath Ledger before he died. The pair worked together on ‘The Dark Knight’ in which Christian played Batman and Heath his arch nemesis The Joker and although the Australian star died in 2008 from an accidental “toxic combination of prescription drugs”, Christian is proud to have gotten to know him. Speaking on the Kyle & Jackie O Show on Australian radio station 2Day FM, he said: “Of course, I have absolutely wonderful memories [of Heath]. I’m very proud that I got to know him as a friend, and work with him, and he’s as much a part of this movie, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, as he was ‘The Dark Knight’. “He created such a wonder-

for confidentiality

atie Holmes signed a confidentiality agreement as part of her divorce settlement with Tom Cruise. The former couple who split last month after five years of marriage - agreed conditions to end their union on Monday, with the terms said to include the actress agreeing not to speak about her estranged spouse’s personal life or his religion, Scientology. A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Confidentiality was the key. If Katie hadn’t signed up to remain silent it could have become a very messy legal battle.” Representatives with both stars have insisted the details of


risten Dunst fears she’ll never find anyone to have children with. The 30-year-old actress who is currently dating 27-year-old actor Garrett Hedlund - is scared by the “Peter Pan” attitude of many of the guys she meets and can’t see them ever being mature enough to settle down. She told Psychologies magazine: “I thought when I reached 30 I’d have a lot more figured out. “But until you have a kid, you’re just looking for your partner. And guys have a Peter Pan vibe. “They’re 35 and

ravis Barker is worried about travelling on tour with Blink 182 after surviving a horrific plane crash in 2008. The drummer and DJ AM were left in “critical but stable” condition after the accident that killed four passengers, and it still haunts him. Travis admitted that the incident had given him a fear of flying and that is bound to cause issues for the series of concerts which kicked off on Monday. He said: “This will be the big tour that supports the album in Europe. Mind you, I’m not flying, so it’s hard to say what the band could do or what its potential is, because I can’t really get everywhere.” He added to Red Bulletin magazine: “I’m contemplating getting knocked out and getting on a plane to Australia. I

want to overcome that eventually. When I do, I think it’s going to be Qantas. They never had a crash, never had a fatality-knock on wood. It’s something I want to overcome for me-and my kids are scared to death to fly. I want them to witness me overcome it.” Investigators from the South Carolina crash had revealed that one of the Learjet’s tires blew as it sped toward takeoff. The captain-who only had 35 hours of flight time and had not been properly trained to handle such incidents-made the decision to abort, but the plane was going too fast and ended up crashing into an embankment. Barker and DJ AM - who died of an accidental overdose in 2009 - were the only survivors

Love sued by

former assistant


ourtney Love’s former assistant claims she asked her to counterfeit legal documents and hire a computer hacker. Jessica Labrie has launched a lawsuit against the Hole rocker, claiming she intentionally didn’t pay her because she refused to “commit fraudulent, unlawful and unethical acts”. In the lawsuit for wrongful termination, wage and breach of contract lawsuit, Jessica - who is also writing a tellall book about her time with Courtney, provisionally titled ‘Get Me a Xanax’ - doesn’t specify what her employer needed a hacker for, or what documents she was asked to alter. In the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, she also claims she typically worked more than 60 hours a week for the star while she was employed from June 2010 to July 2011, but had to quit when Courtney wouldn’t pay her properly. She is seeking unspecified damages. Jessica’s book proposal for ‘Get Me a Xanax’ promises to reveal the darkest secrets of rock widow Courtney - who was married to Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain before his suicide in 1994 and is also mother to 19-year-old Frances Bean Cobain.


lifestyle M U S I C

Actor Charlie Sheen speaks as British-American musician and songwriter Slash (Saul Hudson) is honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. — AFP photos




Slash poses with his star at his Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony.

British-American musician and songwriter Slash is honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Slash honored with Hollywood star

ollywood rocked on Tuesday when former Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash received a star on the Walk of Fame, which seemed fitting for the musician who first won fans in the nightclubs along Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip. “I’ve been a part of the Hollywood fabric for a long time and to actually be appreciated by the city of Hollywood is a huge, huge honor,” Slash said at the unveiling of his star. “And so I want to thank every-

body for this; it’s unbelievable.” The British-American rocker has sold over 100 million albums as a member of various groups including Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver and others. Currently he is celebrating the release of his solo album, “Apocalyptic Love,” which hit No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200. Music producer Robert Evans, radio host Jim Ladd and actor Charlie Sheen were on hand for the celebration. In

true Sheen fashion, the actor kicked off his speech with a jab at Slash’s former Guns N’ Roses bandmate, singer Axl Rose. “It’s quite fitting I think that Slash is getting a star on the very street that Axl Rose will one day be sleeping on,” he said as the crowd erupted in laughter. On the red carpet Slash talked about his friendship with Sheen, who has had a checkered past with drug and alcohol problems. Last year, he was fired from his hit sitcom “Two and a Half Men”

before seeming to regain his footing and earning a spot in a new show, the currently airing “Anger Management.” “Over the last few years I’ve gotten clean, you know, and he’s actually doing a lot better than anybody gives him credit for. He had his moment there, which he is still sort of living down,” Slash told Reuters. “But the thing I love about Charlie is ... he just does what he does and his integrity is intact.” — Reuters

A Minute With

Hard-working funnyman Fred Willard F

bled, and said, ‘I’m so clumsy.’ I was a bit taken aback and said, ‘You’re joking?’ and she said, ‘No, all the time!’ which is pretty funny for a top tennis player.”

British musician and singer-songwriter Thom Yorke of the rock band Radiohead performs during a concert at the Bullrings of Nimes on July 10, 2012 in the French southern city of Nimes — AFP

Irish actor O’Toole ‘chucks in the sponge’ C

olorful veteran Irish actor Peter O’Toole, famous for films including “Lawrence of Arabia,” announced his retirement Tuesday, saying it was time to “chuck in the sponge” aged 79. The acclaimed stage and screen star said he was taking his last bow “dry-eyed and profoundly grateful” for his half-century long career. “It is time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from films and stage. The heart for it has gone out of me: it won’t come back,” O’Toole said in a statement cited by People magazine. “My professional acting life, stage and screen, has brought me public support, emotional

File photo shows veteran British stage and screen actor Peter O’Toole in front of the Oscar statue after receiving an honorary Oscar at the 75th Academy Awards in Hollywood—AFP fulfillment and material comfort,” he said. He added: “It has brought me together with fine people, good companions with whom I’ve shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits. “However, it’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay. So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell,” he added. Irish-born, blue-eyed Peter Seamus Lorcan O’Toole was raised in northern England the son of a bookie. After school, he initially became a journalist and a radioman for the Royal Navy, before deciding to be an actor. He

attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where his classmates included Albert Finney, Alan Bates and Richard Harris, who would also go on to illustrious acting careers. O’Toole’s first stage role came at the age of 17. He started out on stage in Bristol and London, notably performing in Shakespeare dramas before his big break in director David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962). Medical problems, which were initially attributed to heavy drinking but turned out to be stomach cancer, threatened his career and life in the 1970s, but he overcame them after giving up alcohol. He received eight Oscar nominations during a career that also included noted roles in 1979’s “Caligula” and “The Last Emperor” (1987), but never won the top prize itself. He was given an honorary Academy Award in 2003. O’Toole nearly refused the award, asking the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to delay his honorary Oscar until he was 80, saying in a letter: “I am still in the game and might win the bugger outright.” But he finally accepted, and told the Oscars show audience: “I have my very own Oscar now to be with me until death us do part,” according to CBS. In later years, he was acclaimed for his turn in a stage and TV movie version of “Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell,” about the infamously alcoholic and bohemian British journalist. The Washington Post’s entertainment blogger Jen Chaney said it was too early for O’Toole to retire, because he was so much fun. “O’Toole turns 80 next month. Given his age, his more than five decades in the industry and the impressive filmography he’s amassed, he obviously has earned the right to retire if he wants to,” she wrote. “But I wish he would reconsider because the world of cinema, as well as the media outlets that cover it, needs more Peter O’Tooles,” she added, citing stories from his colorful life including starting an interview with TV talk show host David Letterman smoking a cigarette while riding a camel, then making the beast drink a can of beer. And during a 1978 Washington Post interview, O’Toole stood in front of the newspaper’s reporter wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts, declaring: “There’s no truth to the rumor that I’m dead,” she noted. Now that he is retired, O’Toole-who will be 80 years old on August 2 — will focus on writing a third volume of memoirs, People reported. —AFP

Q: You are everywhere this summer. Are you a workaholic? A: (Laughs) “No, I’m actually a bit lazy! It seems like I’m the hardest-working man in showbiz, but often when you have a little success, like the Christopher Guest movies, I get offers to do other movies. But they’re just one or two day’s work. I can’t complain. If you work at all in this business you’ve got to feel lucky.” Q: But you’ve been working steadily since the 1960s. You’re obviously more than just lucky. A: “The one thing I’ve learned is that everyone’s very replaceable, unless you’re The Beatles or Elvis. If you’re not available, there’s 10 people in line eager to take your part.” Q: Well, they specifically wanted you for “Trust Us With Your Life.” Tell us about it. A: “That show came out of nowhere. The man behind “Whose Line Is It” called me from London and explained they wanted me to host this mix of improv and a talk show. I’d talk to the celebrity guest and then at certain interesting spots we’d stop and act out a portion of their life, and he said I was the only one who could do it. So I was very flattered, and he asked me if I could come to London to shoot the show. I was in a hotel room in

Fred Willard

red Willard may be the hardest-working man in show business, truly, and at age 72, he shows no signs of slowing down. The comedic actor, whose credits include more than 200 films and TV series and range from “WALL-E” to “Modern Family” and “Best in Show,” has three new projects reaching audiences. The new ABC improv show “Trust Us With Your Life,” which premiered July 10, and Rob Reiner movie “The Magic of Belle Isle” is playing in major U.S. cities. Willard also is hosting “Market Warriors,” a new reality series for PBS. He spoke to Reuters recently about his newest projects and busy life.

upstate New York shooting “The Magic of Belle Isle,” and I thought, this is never going to happen. I kept waiting for the call - ‘We’ve found someone else.’ But it happened and we did eight shows, and it made me look like I was in control of the whole situation, which I wasn’t.” Q: So who were your guests? A: “First up was Jerry Springer, then David Hasselhoff, Ricky Gervais, Serena Williams and Mark Cuban. Cuban seemed to be everyone’s favorite because he’s this billionaire and you thought, ‘He’ll be bored by this,’ but he was completely disarming and got right into it and enjoyed it so much.” Q: Any other surprises? A: Serena Williams. She’s this amazing athlete and I thought she’d be tough and gruff, but she was so feminine and sweet, and the improvisers loved her. They ended up sitting at her feet, serenading her, and she was thrilled. The first time she came out she stum-

Q: Tell us about working with Morgan Freeman and Rob Reiner in “The Magic of Belle Isle.” A: “Morgan plays this successful, burned-out, cynical writer who arrives in this little town, and I play the neighbor who pushes him into relating to the locals. It’s a sweet romantic comedy, and I’ve known Rob for years. He’s very jolly on the set, so we all had fun doing it.” Q: And you also have “Market Warriors.” A: “I just narrate it. All these projects happened at once. I felt people would be like, ‘Jeez, enough! Why doesn’t he sit back and relax.’ Which I say about actors when they have commercials and films and series - ‘When are you taking a day off?’ (Laughs) But I couldn’t resist it. It’s the team who did “Antiques Roadshow” and a great idea - we focus on four buyers who go around different flea markets with $1,000 in cash, and they target a period, like the 1940s or mid-’50s. And they have to find deals, take them to an auction house and see how well they did. I’m a collector - mainly sports memorabilia - and I really got into it. It’s a very addictive show.” Q: The cliche is that comedians are bitter and angry people off stage, but you seem pretty well-adjusted. A: (Laughs hard) “I’m pretty happy but it’s true There’s a lot of envy and bitterness in the business. You can’t help it. You think, ‘Why wasn’t I asked to do that show or movie?’ But acting is also a great fraternity and when you hear someone’s been fired, everyone feels the same way - ‘How dare they!’” — Reuters

Final ‘Hunger Judge seeks audit of Games’ film Chris Brown’s community work to be split A in two parts


ockingjay,” the final film installment of the blockbuster book series, “The Hunger Games,” will be split into two parts, with the movies to be released in 2014 and 2015, the Lionsgate studio said on Tuesday. Lionsgate, a unit of Lions Gate Entertainment, said “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” will hit theaters on Nov. 21, 2014, and “Part 2” on Nov. 20, 2015. “ The Hunger Games” film franchise is based on a best-selling science-fiction trilogy by author Suzanne Collins and follows the story of rebel heroine Katniss Everdeen, who tries to fight the oppressive regime ruling the nation of Panem. The first film, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, smashed box office records with its release in March and has became a pop culture hit with ticket sales of $678 million worldwide. The second installment of the film, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” is set for release on Nov. 23, 2013 and will be directed by Francis Lawrence. The splitting of the final film into two parts follows the pattern of the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” franchises, which were also in two parts and released roughly a year apart from each other. If this seems like a total cash grab from studio Liongate to milk the franchise for as much oney as possible then you may be right. — Reuters

judge ordered an audit of Chris Brown’s community service progress Tuesday after a prosecutor handling his felony assault case cited a possible discrepancy in the amount of work he has performed. Brown, 23, remains on probation for beating his thengirlfriend Rihanna in February 2009. He has completed domestic violence and anger management counseling. Deputy District Attorney Mary Murray requested the audit because she says the records are not clear on how many hours Brown performed and where the work has been done. Brown had been allowed to perform six months’ worth of community labor in his home state of Virginia, but a judge said probation officials in Los Angeles should review detailed records to ascertain how much work he has actually done. Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg said Brown had completed a significant number of hours, but did not elaborate. Brown’s attorney Pat Harris did not object to the audit, and said after the hearing the issue was related to which jurisdiction his client performed his community service in. The judge said part of the issue was that the court hadn’t received detailed logs of Brown’s community service, which is supposed to comprise of graffiti removal, roadside cleanup and other manual labor. Schnegg said those logs had previously been provided, but not for recent updates. Schnegg ordered Brown to appear at the next hearing, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 21. It will be the first time Brown has had to appear in court in several months, and the R&B singer has generally received favorable reports from probation officials and Schnegg. There was no mention of the recent New York City bottle-throwing nightclub brawl that left Brown with a cut on his chin, or a woman’s claim that the singer had snatched her cellphone in Miami after she tried to take a picture of him. The melee occurred members of singer Drake’s entourage stopped Brown and

File photo shows Chris Brown accepts the award for best R&B album for ‘F.A.M.E.’ during the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. — AP his group from leaving the club W.i.P., though neither entertainer has been arrested. Drake has said he was leaving the club when the fight began. Brown’s attorney Mark Geragos asked that the singer’s probation be terminated in February. But a judge declined, stating that the Grammy nominee should complete more of his community service obligations. At the time, officials reported that Brown had completed half of the six months’ worth of roadside cleanup, graffiti removal and other manual labor that he was ordered to do after pleading guilty. Brown is serving a five year probation sentence.—AP


lifestyle T r a v e l

Ha Long Bay

1 Geography Lying in the centre of South East Asia, one of the world’s most dynamic regions, borders Laos to the west, Cambodia to the south, china to the north and the East Sea and the Gulf of Thailand to the east and the south, the mainland of Viet Nam covers over 331221 square km with the total length of 1750 km. the territory also includes thousands of islands and islets scattered along the coast. Among these are Truong sa (Spratley Islands) and Hoang Sa (Paracel Islands). Viet Nam’s coastline measures more than 3260 km in the lenth and its inland border is 4510 km long.


a Long Bay is located off the northeastern coast of Viet Nam, belongs to Quang Ninh province, 180 km northeast of Ha Noi capital. It was recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1994, the organization for the second time in 2000 for its geomorphologic value, and was recognized as one of the 7 of the new World Heritage Site in 2011. Thousands of stone islands,


Climate Vietnam lies in the tropical and temperate zones, so its climate is influenced by two monsoons. In the North, there are four seasons, with average temperatures of around 17 decree censuses in vintner and 34 decree censuses in the summer. In the south, the climate undergoes less variation with an annual average temperature of around 27 decree census in Ho Chi Minh City. Topography Around three - quarters of Viet Nam’s territory consists of mountains and hills. Viet Nam has two major deltas, the Red River Deltas and the Mekong Deltas, as well as four mountainous zones. They are the North-East, the North-West, the Truong Son Mountain Range, and the Centre Highlands. Each of them possesses its own unique feature.

bearing lush, green vegetation, jut from clear blue waves to form one of the most beautiful of nature’s artworks. The islands are the peaks of underwater mountains and can vary from flat, beached islands to almost vertical rock spires in shape.

The Quan Ho ballads: Recognized by UNESCO as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage on September 30th 2009


People The Vietnam population exceeded 86 million and consists of 54 ethnic groups. The largest group is the Viet (Kinh), concentrated mainly in the delta regions. Most of minority groups live in the highlands and mountainous areas.

Ca Tru: Inscribed by UNESCO on the representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in Need of Urgent Safeguarding on October 1st 2009.

History Vietnam is a nation with thousands of years of history. Archaeological artifacts of the Phung Nguyen, Dong Dau, Go Mun va Dong Son cultures, especially discoveries of the bronze drums of Ngoc Lu have proved that Viet Nam was a cradle of the developed civilizations before Christ. Vestiges of the historic period of the Hung Kings have revealed that Vietnam is one of the oldest countries in Southeast Asia.


6 5

Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park: Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2003.

Nha Nhac - the court music of Hue: Nha Nhac was recognized as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003.

The Complex of the ancient Hue Citadel: The Complex of the ancient Hue Citadel is spread along the Huong River banks. The Citadel was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1993.

Hoi An Old Town: Hoi An ancient town was recognized as a World Cultural Heritage in 1999 by UNESCO.

8 7 My Son Temple and Tower: My Son Sanctuary was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1999 by UNESCO. Cultural Space Tay Nguyen Cong Chieng: The Space of Gong Culture in Tay Nguyen was recognized as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.



lifestyle T r a v e l



or the tourism, Vietnam has a lot of types. Shopping, eco-tourism, adventure tours and sports, medical treatment and Spa, Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) Tourism... Because Vietnam has deltas with a lot of rivers, channels, the products from the farms and fresh water in general speaking such as fruits, vegetable; the mountainous areas with a lot of beautiful valleys, flowers (we have flower city with the international flower festival every year organized in this city), the prod-

Ho Chi Minh City: Located in the south of Vietnam, names as the economic capital of Vietnam, very active city.

ucts from the forests; and very long coastline with beautiful beaches, islands, islets, sea products. There are also a lot of five star resorts, hotels, diversified gastronomy and traditional festivals. Beside the World Heritage of Vietnam, there are also many famous tourism cities and places, such as:



Vung Tau city: Located in the south of Vietnam, 120 km from Ho Chi Minh City.


Nha Trang city: Located in the south-centre of Viet Nam, 500 km from Ho Chi Minh City. The city was chosen to organize The Tournament of Miss World 2009 and The Miss Earth 2010.


Da Lat city: Located in the south-centre highland of Vietnam, 200 km from Ho Chi Minh City.


Da Nang city: Located in the centre of Vietnam, 1000 km from Ho Chi Minh city, famous with a lot of beautiful resorts (five stars resorts).


Phu Quoc Island: Located in the south of Vietnam, 40 minutes from Ho Chi Minh City by flight.


Con Dao Island: Located in the south of Vietnam, 45 minutes from Ho Chi Minh City by flight.


Cat Ba Island: Located in the north of Vietnam, 250 km from Ha Noi.


Sapa Town and Love market: Located in the north-west of Vietnam, 350 km from Ha Noi.


By Islam Al-Sharaa


uwait Times held an interview with Chef Reza Mohammad who is passionate about cooking. He demonstrates his culinary skills on his new show ‘Reza’s Show.’ It will air on OSN during the holy month of Ramadan. KT: Why do you love Indian food so much? RM: The flavors and tastes are so complex, in addition to the great depth in cooking style. For me, it is like a symphony of taste; there are all these lovely flavors which keep filtering through.

stay in your rhythm and in your zone. So, while others lose their cool, you keep yours! Reza’s Top Tips 1. Don’t use too many spices! The spices should activate or enhance the dish, rather than mask the key ingredients. 2. Cook the spices properly. I always have a little jug of water handy. When I’m cooking, this ensures that the spices do not burn out at the bottom of the pan. If they start to, then just pour a few drops

KT: How was the experience of filming ‘Reza, Spice Prince of India?’ RM: The new show took us all around the Indian state of Rajasthan. What was fascinating was the fact that after every 40 kilometers, the style of cooking changed in terms of dishes, ingredients, even cooking techniques. For me, whenever I go to India, I just get bowled over by the colors, the smells, the flavors, the activity. It is just extraordinary. The people in Rajasthan really know how to cook. They really understand food. It was just mesmerizing. KT: What is your favorite memory from the shoot? RM: Playing elephant polo was one. That was absolutely hysterical. I would have to say though that my favorite was being on an amazing boat ride on the lake by the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur it was just sensational. KT: One Indian dish you cannot do without? RM: I cannot live without my ‘dal’(lentil preparations). It is high in protein and carbohydrates. I simply must have my daily share of it. KT: What is your favorite spice? RM: That will have to be cardamom. It has a sweet, aromatic flavor, and very versatile. KT: What is a guilty food secret? RM: Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, with toppings of cream! KT: What is the unbreakable rule in the kitchen...? RM: Be focused and pay attention to what you do. Make sure you

of water on the spice mix to lower the temperature. What will happen is that the spices will release natural oil, and not get burnt. 3. Use salt. We need salt in our dishes as it helps bring out natural flavors. It plays a vital role in seasoning and puts everything together - just do not use too much.

Tay Nguyen: Centre highland of Viet Nam

4. A good, sharp knife is essential in kitchen preparations. 5. Do not be scared! You have to be bold, and be brave. For more information on Reza Mahammad and his Food Network show Reza, Spice Prince of India visit

Slash honored with Hollywood star



This photo taken on May 23, 2012 shows Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei at her studio in Beijing. — AFP photos

China’s proud new luxury brands on the rise


or many years designer Guo Pei drew inspiration for her luxury clothes collections from travelling abroad, but recently she decided to focus solely on China’s culture. The bubbly 44-year-old’s move brought her company into a small but growing and increasingly influential club of luxury Chinese brands that are having success by focusing on their country’s centuries-old heritage Guo’s 2012 collection draws inspiration from China’s imagery and folklore red and gold dresses covered with scales to mark the Year of the Dragon and other clothes with handembroidered hems and sleeves. “After 2008 I realised how proud I was to be Chinese. In my last collection that is what I wanted to express. I wanted to speak about my country: its culture, its people,” said Guo, perfectly groomed in an organza white dress. China has in recent decades become known as the workshop of the world, with tens of thousands of factories pumping out cheap products for shops globally sporting a ‘Made in China’ label that often evokes poor quality. But Chinese firms such as Guo’s are now using the label as a marketing tool to create a new generation of home-grown luxury brands and convince the country’s legions of rich to ditch their Chanel clothes and Bordeaux wines. “For thousands of years, ‘Made in China’ was synonymous with an unparalleled level of quality and craftsmanship,” says Pascal Armoudom, a partner with consultants ATKearney who recently wrote a report on the subject. “This changed in the 20th Century as China headed down a different path. Quantity and cost savings reigned, and materials and craftsmanship, in turn, suffered,” he added. “However, with China’s economy booming once again, Chinese business leaders are reviving and marketing their centuries of know-how in an effort to create a new generation of luxury brands.”

Riding the luxury wave Consulting firm McKinsey has estimated China’s luxury market is worth $10 billion dollars and predicts it will rise to $27 billion by 2015 — representing 20 percent of the global luxury market. Today, China boasts roughly 15 to 20 brandsranging from watches, jewellery, fashion or cosmetics-that are riding this wave, hoping to compete with foreign firms in what has become the biggest luxury market in the world. Brands such as Wenjun, a Chinese spirit-maker, fashion label NE Tiger or cosmetics firm Herborist say they adapt ancient techniques or materials to their products to cater to the tastes of the modern Chinese consumer. Herborist, for instance, uses traditional Chinese herbs and techniques to make upscale beauty products. It now boasts revenues of $300 million and is present in 900 Chinese department stores. The firm has even branched out overseas and has an international presence via global cosmetics chain Sephora Moutai,


A worker at the Rose Studio, the studio of Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei.

A worker at a sewing machine at Rose Studio.

Spools of thread on shelves at Rose Studio.

Jane Austen ring brings $236,000 at auction

turquoise ring once belonging to British classics author Jane Austen sold at auction for 152,450pounds ($236,557) this week, more than five times its presale estimate, Sotheby’s said on Tuesday. The gold ring, featuring an oval turquoise gemstone, generated a battle between eight bidders and was eventually bought by an anonymous private collector over the phone, the auction house said.

a liquor made from fermented sorghum, has also rebranded its image and its vintage bottles are regularly breaking records at auctions, with some fetching up to 1.45 million yuan ($227,000). And NE Tiger is having success with modernising the traditional Chinese dress. Founder Zhang Zhifeng travels to remote villages to find fast-disappearing ancient techniques such as the Yun brocade-a combination of gold threads weaved into dresses-to incorporate into cutting-edge designs.

“Jane Austen’s simple and modest ring is a wonderfully intimate and evocative possession. The price achieved today and the huge level of interest it has generated, is a remarkable testament to the author’s enduring appeal and her place at the heart of our literary and cultural heritage,” Dr. Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s manuscripts specialist, said in a statement. Austen is one of Britain’s most famous authors of the 19th century who captured the nuances of English gentry in novels such as “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility,” which have become classics in English literature. Last year, the earliest surviving Austen manuscript, a hand-written draft of a book that was never published, sold for $1.6 million at a Sotheby’s auction. Other items in the auctioneer’s English literature, history, children’s books and illustrations sale included early editions of works by William Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte and Geoffrey Chaucer, water colors by Beatrix Potter and letters from Jonathan Swift. The auction generated more than 1.5 million pounds ($2.4 million), with many of the items selling above their pre-sale estimates, Sotheby’s said.—Reuters

Potential for ‘pride and patriotism’ Chloe Reuter, who runs ReuterPR, a luxury communications agency in China, said there was huge potential for brands that tapped into pride and patriotism. “There is a new class of very sophisticated customers who are looking for something different. They won’t go near the bling and show-

off-image promoted by certain Western brands,” she said. However, analysts pointed out that these home-grown luxury brands still only had a market share of around five percent, and that many challenges remained in their quest to gain recognition at home and overseas. They point out that even if patriotism is a selling point for some, many Chinese still prefer a Western brand associated with quality and seen as a symbol of status. “For many Chinese, their country is still synonymous with poor quality. And faced with the choice of a local brand or foreign one, many consumers still won’t hesitate,” said Armoudom from ATKearney “The turning point, as we see it, will be the influence of a new Chinese generation-those born in the 1980s and later who have more exposure to betterquality Chinese products and will prove more confident about purchasing them.” — AFP

Science on the stage as green crusade hits Avignon F

rom a science-packed work on the world’s booming population to a quiet meditation on a beloved landscape, British director Katie Mitchell is on a green crusade at this month’s Avignon festival. Created for the theatre gathering in southern France together with the scientist Stephen Emmott, “Ten Billion” is billed as a new kind of lecture, about the danger a mushrooming population poses for the planet. “It’s just so sad,” Mitchell told AFP of her research for the work, which premieres in Avignon on July 23 before heading to London to be performed during the Olympics. “I wanted to make this show because I didn’t want my child in 20 or 30 years to say to me, ‘Did you know that there was a very high possibility of these things happening?” she explained. “I wanted to be able to say to her, ‘I knew and I tried to do something very small only in my own field’ “Because I don’t want their generation to waste their energy being angry with us for doing nothing-I think they will have enough to cope with in the future without rage at our generation.” Part one of the play looks at human activity since around 1800 and the problems it has caused, whether land use, water, transport,

industrial energy, carbon use, or climate change.Section two looks at what is being done right now, and how the planet’s many environmental challenges are tightly interlinked. “The third part asks what are the possible futures we face and what are our choices-and

then what this scientist thinks,” Mitchell said. “He is very measured, very calm, objective and without sensation.” Mitchell’s family went back to live on the land in the 1970s and she grew up in the countryside, but she cites her meeting with Emmott three years ago

British tenor Allan Clayton as ‘Angel 3 - John’, British bass Christopher Purves as ‘the protector’ and mezzo-soprano Rebecca Jo Loeb as ‘Angel 2 - Marie’ during the rehearsal of the opera ‘Written On Skin’ by British composer George Benjamin and directed by Britain’s KatieMitchell during the Aix-en-Provence Opera Festival in Aix-en-Provence, southern France. — AFP

as a turning point in terms of environmental awareness. ‘Quiet, contemplative, gentle’ Professor of computational science at Oxford University, he also heads aMicrosoft laboratory that focuses on modelling natural systems, for instance to predict the future of the climate or life on Earth. “The process has been to get him to translate his ideas into simple concrete sentences and points that we can actually understand-but without simplifying the reality,” Mitchell explained. The second play she is bringing to Avignon is inspired by “The Rings of Saturn”, a novel about a walking tour of Suffolk on England’s east coast by the late German writer W.G. Sebald. “I love the landscape he is writing about, it is one of my favourite places,” she said. But adapting the Sebald-in its original form a solitary mediation, utterly “untheatrical”-for the stage, was also a sizeable challenge. “It’s very hard to make a man walking and thinking into a live performance its such a delicate thing.” Mitchell enrolled three actors to play out the narrator’s thoughts, and five performers to recreate the sounds and textures of the land-the crunch of gravel, the brush of undergrowth, twigs breaking, the rumble of the waves. —AFP

12th Jul  

Kuwait Times

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