Morsi visits Saudi Arabia to mend ties
Vegas in Jleeb
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NO: 15507- Friday, July 13, 2012
First First Kuwaiti Kuwaiti girl girl set set to to make make aa splash splash at at the the Olympics Olympics SEE PAGE 7
Local FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Caliph on TV this Ramadan
Booming country with a booming waistline
By Muna Al-Fuzai
By Sawsan Kazak
l-Farooq Umar, a TV series about Amir AlMuminin Umar ibn Al-Khattab (ra), will be aired on TV this Ramadan. Umar ibn Al-Khattab, known as Al-Farooq the Great, was the most powerful of the four caliphs and one of the most inﬂuential Muslim rulers in history. This has been breaking news in all media and it attracted a lot of attention and public anger among Muslims, as they see the ﬁlming of prophets and their companions as being uncalled for. Some fear the embodiment of the companions in the drama series will aﬀect their image in the minds of millions of Muslims as the companions are not ill-treated in the way that they have been portrayed. Even with people planning to boycott the channel and the series, there has been no end to the heated debate on social networking sites in the region over how acceptable the series is. Some, however, were much more open about seeing such iconic Islamic characters and learning more about their heroic actions and the roles they played, rather than watching a mindless television program. Dubai-based MBC group has signed a deal with Qatar’s public media group to produce a television series based upon the autobiography of the second Caliph of Islam, Umar bin Al-Khattab, scheduled to be aired during the holy month of Ramadan. But it has already been decided that the main character’s face would be hidden with a white halo. Previously, AlAzhar had refused to make a series about Hassan and Hussein, following the decision of the Islamic Research Academy which prohibits the televising of the prophets, the companions and the entire house in the drama. The producers of this series have stated that the main purpose of producing such an important dramatic work is to correct the misunderstood parts of Islamic history. The series has yet to be aired, but I think if MBC keeps their word to hide the face of the lead character who plays the role of Umar ibn Al-Khattab, to avoid public rage, then there won’t be much to look forward to. Ramadan is only weeks away and the preparation for this series is in full swing.
KUWAIT: Kuwaiti boys are seen preparing for the upcoming pearl diving festival. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat
s Kuwait’s booming economy the reason its people have seen a surge in diabetes? A recent study by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) claims that the economic boom the Gulf countries have seen recently has led to “an explosion” of diabetes in the region. Kuwait is placed third in the world in countries where diabetes is most prevalent. The study states that “oil wealth has given Kuwait and nearby countries some of the highest per capita incomes in the world. But it has also created lifestyles of overeating, high-sugar diets, cushy jobs and heavy reliance on automobiles for transport. “ I have to disagree with the conclusions and correlations the study has found. Yes, there has been economic growth and, yes, there has been a surge in diabetes, but I do not believe that they are correlated. If this were the case, then countries suﬀering from the recent economic crisis would see a decrease in diabetes in the country. It’s hard to believe that any country that sees a boom in its economy will see a positive correlation with its cases of diabetes. Diabetes is partly due to what a person consumes,
and the food available in Kuwait does not always exemplify healthy living. All right, I’m going to stop hinting and go ahead and say it: There are an alarming number of American fast-food franchises in the country. The next time you are out of the house and looking for something healthy to eat, notice how hard it is to ﬁnd grilled chicken sandwiches on whole wheat and how easy it is to ﬁnd fried chicken and French fries. I have no problem with fast food or American franchises, and I sometimes indulge in a nibble or two a few times a year. However, there are those who indulge in a nibble or two of fast food every day. Also, the laziness that is described in the study of ‘cushy jobs’ and dependence on cars, is more a cultural thing than it is an economic one. To solve its diabetes problem, Kuwait doesn’t need to stop booming economically, but rather to emphasize more education on health and availability of healthy options.
Letter To Sawsan
Dear Sawsan, I would like to impress upon you how good I feel when you give your take on topics of serious concerns and turn them into light-hearted arguments. The amount of delight I feel at reading one of your many articles every now and then on the website is just amazing. I particularly liked the time where you mentioned, and I quote, “Since I have a knack for simplifying diﬃcult situations, let me try my hand at this one”, to be very hilarious, and the rest of your examples ﬁt in so relevantly with the topic. To be very honest, if I could tell you about what I feel of politics these days, it is that it has somehow lost all its purpose at this time. Living in Mumbai, at the moment, I saw in the news how politicians burned their own oﬃces in the “Mantralaya” (or the seat of government for the State, I suppose) to erase all the indictments they were being investigated for and perhaps try to distract or stall the process of justice from taking its course against them. Now they say many documents on a particular scam, known as the “Adarsh” scam involving a complex built to house army widows, documents related to the Urban, Jungle development, were in those oﬃces at the time the ﬁre broke out. About 2 to 3 innocents died in that ﬁre, too. This probably may just be a controversy, and some would argue that this would not hinder anything, as one would expect the government to have electronic copies preserved in some database, and it would be a shame if that weren’t the case. The point I am trying to
make here is that these days politics or democracy even, for that matter, are not followed in principle, let alone by the book. People with inﬂuence or in high decision making posts can easily, with the assistance of the very institution (being the law) designed to safeguard and ensure the smooth sailing of various administrative systems, can bend the same values of the system or at least hinder or try to stall a certain procedure without anyone standing up to them and questioning them at all, either on a public platform, as being the case of the “Reset” in Kuwait or the mysterious burning of the oﬃces of the rulers of my State of Maharashtra, thereby complicating an already burdened and ineﬃcient system of bringing people to justice. These days, people with power cannot be trusted with the forms of power they hold, as there simply are not many people who stand up against them in case of any excesses committed. But, then again, it is always nice to have people like you who can bring these facts to the public’s attention and spread awareness, and to also install a sense of hilarity in the whole situation at large. Yours Sincerely, Shariq Chaudhari
Local FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Kuwait’s my business
Customers: What do you really want?
Serenity in the air
By John P Hayes
By Badrya Darwish email@example.com
uwait Times reader Yaser Al Asfour was getting a haircut last week when he read my column about customer satisfaction. He then sent me a letter that reminded me that we often don’t know what we want as customers, so how is a business to satisfy us? For example, for many years I resisted getting my haircut because it required too much time, not to mention money out of my pocket. Why bother? Yes, I looked more “professional” when my hair and beard were neatly trimmed, but the routine was annoying. To get a haircut I had to ﬁnd a barbershop where the wait was short because I am impatient. I could have called for an appointment, but I never knew when the mood would strike for a haircut. Sometimes I’d spend 30 minutes driving around searching for a place where I could quickly get into the barber’s chair. Then there’s the banter. I don’t care to discuss the weather, sports, my love life, or world tragedies with a stranger. I just want my hair cut,
no talking necessary! But making idle talk is a prerequisite for barbering. Then the tiny hair clippings ﬂy into everything. Why do people drink coﬀee at a barbershop? Don’t they know they’re drinking hair from the guy two chairs away? Those hair clippings get under my clothing and itch. So after a haircut I need a shower, taking more time away from the things I really like to do. All of this changed one day when a Korean hair stylist invited me into her chair. Except for my initial instructions - “not too short” — no other words were spoken. For 30 minutes her routine was the same as all the others, but then suddenly the world stopped! What was she doing? Massaging my shoulders! That’s not what barbers do. But it felt so good I didn’t want her to stop. “You too much tense,” she muttered. Next she held a steaming wash cloth in front of my face. “What’s that for?” She said, “Put over face. Relax.” I sat back in the chair and the relaxation rush nearly put me to
sleep. After a few minutes, I used the warm wash cloth to wipe the tiny hair clippings from my face and neck, and when I got out of that chair I was ready to take on the world! That’s the day I realized that while I never want to buy a haircut, I do want to buy a warm wash cloth! I never knew what I really wanted (or told anyone) until I met my Korean stylist. And it didn’t matter that her price was nearly twice the other barbershops. I am willing to pay more for satisfaction. Aren’t you? Alas, I left my Korean stylist in Texas when I moved to Kuwait. I can’t ﬁnd a warm wash cloth here, but if I do I’ll feel more satisﬁed again. My students think I’ll also give more As if I’m not so tense. Note to students: If you really want an A, study more. Satisfaction can’t always be purchased. Dr. John P. Hayes is a marketing professor at Gulf University for Science & Technology. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @drjohnhayes.
ime ﬂies by so quickly, when you come to think of it guys. It feels as if 2012 started just yesterday. It is July today. It is the last Friday before the start of the holy month of Ramadan. Next Friday, inshallah, will be the start of the holy month. Is it only me who feels that time was stolen from me or is it all of you guys? Please let me know. The amazing thing about time is that sometimes we are so bored that we start counting the ticking of the clock. Sometimes you want time to run and other times you just want it to stop. But none of these happen whether you like it or not. It’s just wishful thinking that I could stop time. Let’s just look forward to next week. Maybe this Ramadan will be diﬀerent. I know that because Ramadan falls in the summer now when days are long and hot and fasting will go on for 15 hours or a little longer than that. This is not my point. I am talking about the spiritual side of the holy month. It is supposed to make you feel peaceful and calmer. I do not think that such feelings come from abstaining from food or water. There is something magical about this month which prevails over us. You feel serenity everywhere in the afternoon and evening - and in the atmosphere around us. It is not only Muslims who feel this way. I ask even my Christian friends who said they feel the magic in the air. My friend Velina and others say they anxiously wait for Ramadan. They say that they feel serenity during this month. We feel that people are better towards each other and have a better attitude. We are talking in general and not about the small percentage of people who are clueless about what is going on around them. This is the second year that Ramadan will be marked with the Arab Spring in full bloom. I pray to God that this Ramadan will be an Arab Spring in the true sense of the term. I will communicate with you, inshallah, next Friday! Allow me to say inshallah Ramadan Mubarak to all!
By Shakir Reshamwala
ritish football is avidly followed all over the world, so it’s no surprise everyone with a bit of spare money wants a share of the pie. Kuwait’s Hasawi family has bought the English second-tier club Nottingham Forest, while the chief of the local Al-Arabi club is eyeing top-ﬂight club Newcastle United. Kuwait’s superrich have entered - albeit belatedly - the hallowed grounds of Britain’s storied football clubs to rub shoulders with fellow Gulf sheikhs, Russian oligarchs, Indian poulterers, unnaturalised (former) department store owners and fugitive Thai politicians (he could be back). Football is indeed a game that brings people together. All those racist chants, uncounted across-thegoalline-by-miles goals and match
ﬁxing incidents that one regularly hears of are mere trivialities that are swiftly swept under the turf. Football is the new opium of the masses, and a billionaire just doesn’t feel potent enough without a big club under his belt. While Kuwait is no football powerhouse of any kind in the world, when it comes to political football, the state is a runaway champion. You have constitutional coups and unconstitutional dissolutions, parliaments revived from the dead and endless grillings. The state carrier runs ﬂying coﬃns, but politicians are too busy bickering to decide on a solution. Development plans are shuﬄed around and the goalposts keep constantly shifting. Reform plans are red-carded even before they are tabled. The people are left
as spectators on the sidelines, watching politicians score spectacular own goals. Football is also played with a passion in the ministries. Files are passed between bored clerks, and outraged citizens and frustrated expats are bounced from one department to another. Coming back to the beautiful game, it remains to be seen what kind of mileage the Kuwaitis will get from their purchases. The Qadsiya and Arabi clubs, though mediocre by international standards, are famous in Kuwait, but Forest and the Magpies are no Man United or Chelsea. The two Kuwaiti gentlemen will need deep pockets and even deeper patience before their investments pay oﬀ amid the intense expectations of fans.
KUWAIT: A week before the start of Ramadan Kuwait hosted Ramadan exhibitions of food, spices and sweets. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat
Local FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
A Kuwaiti luthier spells out the craftsmanship of violin-making
By Velina Nacheva
he passion for music and precision has turned an age-old craft into a hobby for Kuwaiti Haitham AlGhareeb. Al-Ghareeb, an engineer by profession and a luthier aficionado by hobby, fell in love with violin-making when he was unable to find a violin with the quality sound he wanted. His initial interest matured into research and readings dedicated to violin-making. “I found this to be quite an interesting craft,” said Al-Ghareeb, sitting in his workshop in Rawda surrounded by different violins he has made or collected. His first violin, which is now owned and played by famous Kuwaiti violinist Abdullah Dhulay, was created through
copying a violin by measuring the length and weight with a ruler and working without the correct tools. Fast forward to a decade later and AlGhareeb, has learnt at the best schools in the world. He has travelled to Europe, especially France and the United
Kingdom, to meet violin-makers, to visit museums and various schools, and it is precisely there that he was immersed in the art of violin-making. Seeing a Stradivarius violin in the museum in Oxford is an image he recalls to this day. The more Al-Ghareeb learned about this ancient craft and the various schools, the more he realized that what defines the value of a musical instrument is the time you invest in such a project. Following the masters He chose to follow the steps of the Italian Cremonese School, which dates to the 16th century, and began applying this classical school’s standardization. Having spent a significant period in Cremona studying the art of violin-making, Al-Ghareeb admits today that his artistic process has undergone a complete change. “I did not just turn a piece of wood into a violin. I learnt skills. I learnt how to control my hands and I discovered that a lot of concentration is required.” Al-Ghareeb, a violin collector himself, pursued his unquenchable quest for precision in crafting violins. He explains that in such a trade you cannot apply a trial-and-error principle. “There are rigid references that you need to follow,” he says, pointing at a metal tool measuring in millimeters. “If you want to do it right, you need to follow special standardization for violin-making. Even if you know (the measures) by memory, you have to follow precise measurements.” A to Z of violin-making He explains that a luthier first selects the model of the curve, which for Al-
Ghareeb is the template created by 16th century violin-maker Giuseppe Guarneri of the Cremonese school - the world’s most famous school of violin-making. The actual process of crafting a violin begins with the choice of wood a violin is carved from, because it is one of the two major variables that determine a violin’s sound. Al-Ghareeb’s preferred wood when carving violins is the oneyear seasoned maple (for the back of the violin and the scroll) and spruce (for the front part of the violin known as the belly), which is needed for healthy sounding instruments. Previously, he even made a violin with 14-year-old wood. “The quality of the sound is different,” he notes. Al-Ghareeb imports wood for his violins from Canada and Europe and says that the origin of the wood determines the technique of violin-making. “The character of the wood predetermines the work with each piece of wood,” he said, holding a block of wood over a template spread in the centre of his workshop. The template and measurement outline used in his workshop is from the famous luthier Guarneri, which provides the details of the outline, the arching sculpt and other measurements - elements crucial in violin-making. Using this template, Al-Ghareeb then constructs the outline of the ribs based on a mould which is later detached. Crafted from maple, the ribs are firmly pressed with an iron to make the perfect curve that matches the exact shape of the mould. “At this stage, what you do is curve and measure, curve and measure,” he says, holding the tools he uses for
Al-Ghareeb, a violin collector himself, pursued his unquenchable quest for precision in crafting violins.
Local FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Haitham Al-Ghareeb explains what goes into carving a violin. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat
curving - a scraper, a sharp plain metal tool and chisel. The ribs are glued to the front and back part of the violin with hide glue (classical instrument glue) extracted from rabbit skin. AlGhareeb then demonstrated how he removes the mould from a violin that he has been working on. “Precise measurement is key,” explains Al-Ghareeb, clutching a tool measuring millimeters when demonstrating how he does the purfling inlay engraved at the edge of the violin. The scroll of the violin, which is curved only using a chisel, is then adjusted at the end of the violin together with the fingerboard and pegbox. The ebony neck of the violin is ready once these three elements are adjusted. The sound-hole, also known as the F-hole, is cut at the front of the violin, which spells out which model the instrument is, Al-Ghareeb explains. In the meantime, the sound-post, the bridge and the strings are adjusted. AlGhareeb makes the pegs from scratch, too. Varnish, the coating of the violin, is one of the most fascinating steps of violin-making and is key for preserving an instrument’s longevity. The colour of the violin varnish is extracted from natural ingredients following a process that takes up to 15 days, AlGhareeb, says explaining that he extracts his varnish from madder roots that give the orange and brownish colour of the violin. How old a violin looks depends on the varnish used, the violin architect explains. Then, the
violin is ready for the so-called set-up, the kernel of a violin’s playability. In love with violin-making Al-Ghareeb’s love affair with the art of violin-making started a decade ago. The present day dearth of interest in his trade, he explains, is due to the industrious nature of violin-making. “It is time consuming,” he said, noting that a violin could take two to three months to be completed. Another instrument from the string family might be built in a week. “I am still learning. Every day I find something new,” added Al-Ghareeb, for whom violin-making takes away family time, but “gives me knowledge.” Al-Ghareeb is ready to share this knowledge in a forum for violin players where musicians can gather to discuss the qualities of the best-sounding instruments. Knowing the superior sound of a string instrument and having the skills to play it makes AlGhareeb’s artwork a standout in a highly computerized industry, where 90 percent of violins are mass-market produced. “It is better to know how a violin should sound. I aim at a certain sound,” he says. One of the most important lessons Al-Ghareeb shares is that a violin is made for a long life cycle. “After the violin is done, it needs to be played. The more you play the violin, the better the sound,” he says. “A good violin is designed to live long.” Twitter @ V_diwaniya
Local FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
hatâ€™s more fun than clicking a beautiful picture? Sharing it with others! This summer, let other people see the way you see Kuwait through your lens. Friday Times will feature snapshots of Kuwait through Instagram feeds. If you want to share your Instagram photos, email us at email@example.com.
â€” Caricatures by Ahmed
Local FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
By Ali Almawash
aye Sultan stands almost 6 feet tall at just 17 years. But that’s not the only reason Kuwait is looking up to her right now. She is all geared up to participate in the Olympics which will kick oﬀ on July 27 in London. This athlete has had to swim against the currents on many levels but that has only pushed her to eye more glory on the horizon. An excerpt:
Ali Almawash: What does swimming mean to you? Faye Sultan: When I train, I realize how lucky I am to have an opportunity that many men, and particularly women, in the Middle East, do not have. Other than my passion for the sport, I train to highlight the important role that women play in Kuwaiti society and the opportunity to enhance that role for Middle Eastern society as whole. Almawash: How many years have you been swimming? Sultan: Well, I started taking lessons when I was nine, which is pretty late since the average swimmer starts when they are around four or ﬁve years of age. I gave up swimming for a while and tried dancing, and it’s only been over the past two years that I’ve been training on a more rigorous level. Almawash: Why swimming of all sports? Sultan: There are two primary reasons. First, opportunities for women in sports in the Middle East are limited and swimming was one of the few options that was available to me - and I love the water! Second, when I’m almost 6 feet tall with size 9 feet, dancing wasn’t exactly a career for me. Almawash: Who got you into swimming? Sultan: My dad! He put each kid in a diﬀerent sport and encouraged me to choose swimming over dancing, which was something I was passionate about at that time. Faye Sultan
My main goal is to challenge myself and to beat my own record
Almawash: What is it like socially, emotionally, and physically to be a swimmer? Sultan: I honestly consider swimming to be one of the hardest sports out there. You have to swim double sessions and sometimes some of those sessions start as early as 5 am. It deﬁnitely takes a toll on all three of the things you mentioned. It takes its greatest toll mentally. Swimming breaks you down emotionally, which is why it is important to have a team, a great coach, and support system to cushion that eﬀect. It’s been a hard and laborious journey being a female swimmer in Kuwait. For 95 percent of my training, I was forced to swim in a kids’ pool where I couldn’t even ﬁnish a freestyle stroke properly because my hand would touch the bottom. Almawash: How supportive is your family? Sultan: 100,000 % and more. Almawash: Do you ﬁnd it challenging being a Kuwaiti woman and participating in swimming? Sultan: Deﬁnitely!
Faye Sultan is pictured with friends.
Sultan: It’s AMAZING to be able to compete in the Olympics. Unfortunately, the IOC suspended Kuwait from participating in the Olympics because our sports laws are not consistent with international standards. So if Kuwait isn’t reinstated by the time of the Olympics, then I’ll be swimming under the FINA ﬂag, which will still be cool. I’ve always had the Olympics as a goal in mind, but I was deﬁnitely shocked when it became a reality. Almawash: What do you wish to achieve at the Olympics? Sultan: My main goal is to challenge myself and to beat my own record. I also hope to impact how people think about women in the Middle East domestically and internationally. Almawash: What’s your message to your fans? Sultan: Be the change you wish to see in the world. That was my senior quote too! My advice to my followers would be to not let anyone stop you from fulﬁlling your dreams and goals in life and to try and defy stereotypes as much as possible. — www.alialmawash.com
Almawash: What has been your most memorable moment during your swimmer’s journey? Sultan: Swimming at the Junior World Championships in Peru last summer. Almawash: Where do you see yourself in ﬁve years’ time? Will you continue swimming? Sultan: In ﬁve years’ time, I can see myself going down one of two roads: ﬁnishing from the 2016 Olympics in Rio and retiring, or being focused entirely on getting into grad school. You can never really quit swimming; it sort of becomes a part of you. Even if I stop training, I’ll still be doing laps in the pool every now and then until I’m 80! Almawash: How does it feel being the ﬁrst female swimmer representing Kuwait in the Olympics? What was your reaction? Did you see it coming?
Faye Sultan is pictured working out on a flight.
Local FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Vegas in Jleeb Illegal gambling attracts hoards of visitors who want to try their luck
By Ben Garcia
fter sunset, a dark corner in Murqab, Kuwait City turns into a giant outdoor casino. A group of Asian expatriates flock around a wooden board and three dice to decide who the winner is and who the loser is in this so-called Juwa game. Despite the heavy police crackdown on gambling, which is illegal in Kuwait, the gambling business has become lucrative. Juwa is a game with a board featuring the numbers from one to six, three-domino cubes and a container. On first blush the game resembles a child’s play. But the more a visitor stays the more the amount. Some gamblers bet as much as KD 50, or even more. As soon as the board is laid down on the ground, the gambling session starts. Silence prevails to such an extent that you can hear the fast beat of hearts of gamblers. The game is played between the bankers (those running the game) and the gamblers. Sometimes the bankers get as much as KD 300 which are placed on the board. The KD notes are placed at their desired number(s) and if you’re lucky enough to guess the number correctly using your own sense of guessing, you could be a winner. A small container is used to shake the domino cube and after few shaking and chanting Bengali words ‘asho, asho’ [short word for come and bet] to encourage betters, and when the wooden board is filled with bettor’s money, the domino cube number will be shown. If you are a winner, you will know once a domino cube number is bared right in front of your eyes. The number appears on top of the dice will be the winner. For example, if you have bet KD 10, then the amount will double provided that you have guessed the number on the domino dice. Some visitors say that this type of gambling takes place at two venues in Kuwait - Murqab and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh or places frequented by subcontinent people. The former is the parking space near the Kuwait Public Transport Company [KPTC] bus terminal. It has become a known gambling destination for money-making. The regular bettors, this reporter was told, are from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. This reporter has been monitoring the place for almost a month. Around this time, there were repeated episodes of the same activity every Friday. One bettor who cooperated with this reporter said: “I see and gamble my money here every Friday”. He recalled one day seeing ‘Juwa’ in the very spot where it is now located and he was tempted to just drop a KD in the
hope of winning. To his surprise, his one dinar capital multiplied 10 times after just a few minutes of playing. “So I was encouraged to gamble for more and that is why I have been coming here every Friday to bet,” he admitted. There have been a few raids in the place by the police for the duration of the month when the Friday Times investigated the illegal betting. No arrests were reported during the same period. This reporter witnessed a police officer chase and scare the gamblers but once the ground clears with police operatives, the casino reopens. On some occasions, this reporter witnessed police officers destroying the wooden board used for the gambling and throwing them away in the nearby garbage. But again, in a matter of hours the game would resume. Like in any underground activity, there is certain hierarchy in the gambling business. The person in charge who is acting as ring-leader, will stay in his car seat while awaiting for the money from his banker. He is surrounded by bodyguards and watchful eyes of his unidentified number of men who can be seen standing around his car. The larger the lump sum they’ve collected, the more and frequent turnover [of the money] will be. “I’ve seen a ring leader takes the money from the bankers. Because when the money gets larger in the hands of the banker, they should turn the money over to the ring leader who is waiting in his car,” the bettor source said. Usually, the men who are hired as watchmen act just like ordinary gamblers. Some of them would even participate. Their job is to lark around and spot police movements or CID personnel. “I’ve seen some Arabs protecting them. They are with them, I am not sure about their nationality but they are Arabs,” the source added. The problem is when the police car arrives, the wooden board which is filled with money from bettors will automatically disappear as bankers will run as fast as possible and disperse to avoid arrest.
Local FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Kuwait working with US to release Gitmo detainees Mubarak harbor construction underway
KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti man who was charged with selling drugs is pictured. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun
Dealer arrested; drugs, rifle recovered at home By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Drug enforcement officers arrested a Kuwaiti on charges of selling drugs and possessing drugs for his own use, in addition to owning a rifle and bullets. Earlier information was received about possible wrongdoings, and following investigation authorities received a permit from the public prosecutor to arrest the suspect. While searching his house, authorities discovered an unspecified amount of hashish, methamphetamine and 1,000 tablets of different types of drugs. The rifle and bullets were found in a cupboard. The Kuwaiti suspect confessed to selling and using drugs and said the rifle was for his own protection while selling drugs. He was later transferred to the public prosecutor’s office for further investigation.
Man asks woman to ‘nap’ on bed before buying it KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti woman read an advertisement in the classifieds about an expatriate who offered to sell his furniture in Salmiya. The woman called the number and he invited her to go over and review the furniture before buying it. She went to his flat and thought it odd to see the man waiting alone at home. Nevertheless, she went inside cautiously and started looking at the items for sale. As she enquired about the furniture, the man began talking about the bed and how comfortable it was. He even welcomed her to take a nap on it to get a feel of what he was saying before she decided to buy it. The woman realised that things were beginning to get suspicious and quickly began to scan the apartment for an exit. The man proceeded towards her, caressed her hand and offered her a cup of tea while suggesting that they reach an agreement on the sale. The woman reportedly managed to escape from the apartment and rushed to Salmiya police station to report the matter. She told police that the man was an Arab, and spoke in a Syrian dialect but was unable to provide any other information about him. She supplied police with his address and telephone number which was mentioned in the classifieds. Police called the number but it was switched off. A case has been filed and the police are on the lookout for the ‘furniture seller’.
KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti government continues working with US authorities to release Kuwaiti detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khalid Sulaiman Al-Jarrallah reiterated yesterday. “The efforts will be ongoing until the detainees are freed,” Al-Jarrallah told the press on the sidelines of Switzerland’s 721st national day anniversary celebrated here at the Swiss embassy late Wednesday. During the celebration, Al-Jarrallah lauded KuwaitiSwiss relations, describing them as “strong, exceptional and advanced.” Switzerland is internationally wellrenowned as a world financial centre; therefore there is a great deal of cooperation between Kuwaiti and Swiss monetary institutes. Al-Jarrallah also said Switzerland is a hotspot for Kuwaiti tourists during the summer holiday.
“We are friends with Switzerland,” he said. “The Kuwaiti government pays utmost attention to nurture and develop these political ties in order to build a more solid foundation between the two countries,” he continued. On the Syrian crisis and the international and regional stir it has caused, Al-Jarrallah noted that “The State of Kuwait ‘truly’ wants to have a participatory role in supporting and pushing forward the peace plan of UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan.” Kuwaiti officials hope Annan’s plan will be successful and he said Kuwait would continue engaging in all international efforts that seek an end to the daily bloodshed in Syria. Furthermore, AlJarrallah shed light on UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon’s recent comments on Iraq paying its Gulf War-era debt to Kuwait by saying “The compensation process is very well organized
KAC denies ‘sovereign lines’ suspension claims Aircraft that almost crashed took off last night KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways yesterday denied reports of a cutback in flights on its “sovereign lines”, noting that it had examined curtailing flights to Geneva, Abu Dhabi and Muscat, as well as slashing its overall number of commercial flights. These studies, however, do not anticipate halting flights to Egypt, said KAC in a statement. Also, KAC officials confirmed it would maintain all its flight schedules for the Umrah season during Ramadan, noting that it planned to launch 109 flights to Jeddah and Madinah during the holy month, without any changes to schedules or fares. Further, officials announced KAC would maintain return flights into the country for tourists and teachers. In the meantime, according to Jamal Al-Mjtairi from the Kuwait Airways Union published the news that the same aircraft that nearly caused a disaster on a flight to Jeddah was last night bound to Dhaka. — KUNA
Kuwaiti travelers to Egypt increase KUWAIT: There has been a noticeable rise in the number of Kuwaitis visiting Egypt since the election of Mohammed Morsi as president of the Republic, according to the regional manager of Egyptair. Ali Mahroos told KUNA yesterday that the company sold more than 600 tickets during the five days that followed the proclamation of Morsi as president of Egypt. In general, tourism is picking up in Egypt, along with a gradual and continuing settlement of conditions in the country, he noted. Egyptair has secured flights to various key destinations in Egypt, including Cairo, Alexandria, Sohaj, Luxor and Asiut, in addition to domestic flights to the airports in Al-Ghardaqa and Sharm El-Sheikh. —KUNA
and follows a specific time frame.” The UN chief’s comfort with the repayments is a major indicator that everything is being paid according to schedule. On the matter of the maintenance of Kuwaiti-Iraqi border markers, the top Kuwaiti official noted that delegations for Iraq and the UN came to Kuwait to discuss the borders and are expected to finish this process in October. Also, Al-Jarrallah noted that Mubarak harbor construction is underway with no obstacles slowing the work, despite statements from Iraqi officials who said that they will seek assistance from the International Court if Kuwaitis violated agreements regarding Mubarak harbor. In April 2011, work on Mubarak seaport caused some opposition to be raised by Iraqi political and economic officials who voiced concern about the work violating Iraqi maritime rights. — KUNA
MoI warns against further bedoon demonstrations KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has issued several press releases which reiterate its intention to not allow bedoons to organize protests, demonstrations or gatherings, regardless of its nature and aim, in all squares and yards, as they could endanger security and order and restrict the interests of the public or put themselves at risk. Ministry of Interior officials explained that it has dealt with bedoon cases to allow them freedom to express their opinions and review their demands, and to send their concerns to the appropriate authorities in the state. The ministry warned that calls in the media and social media, and demonstrations that are a result of such calls, are of no use to the bedoons. On the contrary, such calls expose demonstrators to legal concerns due to possible violations of the law. Further, the ministry explained that any protests, marches, demonstrations or gatherings must have legal conditions that regulate it as per Law No. 65/79 which prohibits demonstrations and gatherings in public squares, yards and roads. Also, Kuwaitis are prohibited from participating in these demonstrations, so they might avoid the possible penalty of imprisonment of two years and/or fines of KD 1,000. Article 34 of Law No. 3/70 calls for imprisonment for whoever participates in a gathering in a public place of at least five persons and the reason of such gathering might result in committing a crime and violates security matters. Those remaining in such gatherings after authorities order them to leave shall be imprisoned for a period that does not exceed one year and/or a fine that does not exceed KD 100.
Heat wave this weekend KUWAIT: Osama Al-Muthan, Weather Prediction Head at Civil Aviation said a heat wave which could reach 50 degrees in some desert areas North West Kuwait can be expected over the weekend, in addition to some sand storms. This is caused by the seasoned Indian low pressure which covers the Arabian Peninsula, and extends till Eastern Europe. Al-Muthan said that Kuwait used to witness this kind of weather towards the end of July and beginning of August but the weather has been experiencing changes locally over the past few days. He explained that the temperature started to reach 50 degrees early this year and in
particular towards the end of May and beginning of June. Humidity was high during the past few weeks which is not usual around the beginning of July. Over the weekend, he expected high temperatures to prevail, starting from today and said that temperature will reach 50 degrees in some areas, with north western moderate wind starting to be active around noon. Sand storms will be noticed in the open areas. He expected sand storms to reduce vision noticeably, starting from tomorrow until Sunday evening. The sea will be rough, with high waves especially in the evening, with waves at 3-7 feet high. — Al-Aan
FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
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JEDDAH: In this Wednesday, July 11, 2012 photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, left, meets with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the AlSalam palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. — AP
Morsi visits Saudi Arabia to mend ties Saudi Arabia sees Brotherhood as ideological competitor JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia gave a lavish reception to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi yesterday, a gesture analysts said indicated the Arab world’s wealthiest country was ready to put old tensions behind it to do business with the new Islamist president. In his first official foreign visit since his election in June, Morsi, who belonged to Egypt’s influential Muslim Brotherhood movement which had long had strained ties with Saudi Arabia, arrived in Jeddah late on Wednesday. Saudi media said yesterday that Crown Prince Salman and a host of other royal family members were at the airport to greet Morsi upon his arrival in Jeddah, the summer seat of the Saudi government, before he was driven to a meeting and dinner with King Abdullah late on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia enjoyed strong ties with former president
Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled last year by a popular uprising that propelled Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood to the top political spot in the Arab world’s most populous country. The Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia share Sunni Muslim values, but Riyadh regards the movement as an ideological rival with an aggressively activist political doctrine that might destabilise allies and foment discord inside the kingdom. Yet Morsi’s election left Saudi Arabia with little option other than to try to extend its hand to the new president. Saudi analysts said the reception King Abdullah prepared for Morsi showed the kingdom was willing to start a new era in relations with the Muslim Brotherhood. “The message is that we have no problem with the revolution or the Brotherhood and let’s con-
tinue with the well-established Saudi-Egyptian relationship,” said Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi analyst. Hussein Shobokshi, another Saudi commentator, said: “Through this visit Saudi Arabia has made it very clear and obvious that it is over the Mubarak era and that it has started a new chapter with the new leader of Egypt.” Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, has pledged $2.7 billion to support Egypt’s battered finances after the uprising that toppled Mubarak. But relations nosedived in April when Riyadh briefly recalled it ambassador to Cairo, Mohammed al-Qattan, after protests outside the embassy over the arrest of an Egyptian lawyer in the kingdom. Egyptian parliament members, including senior Muslim Brotherhood figures, travelled to Saudi Arabia to defuse tensions.
Saudi Arabia took the first step towards building new ties with Egypt. Qattan said earlier this month that King Abdullah had extended an invitation to Morsi to visit Saudi Arabia. Saudi media said the talks centred on “major regional and international issues, including ways to contain the Syrian crisis”, but revealed few details. Saudi Arabia has been a major supporter of Syrian rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. Morsi has said that Egypt would work to end bloodshed in Syria. Saudi media said that Morsi’s visit was a recognition by Egypt of Saudi Arabia’s regional weight. “By choosing the kingdom for his first visit abroad, ... Morsi recognises that the two countries are the pillars of Arab national security,” the editor of Saudi Arabia’s al-Riyadh newspaper, Yousuf Al Kuwailet, wrote in a column. —Reuters
International FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
S Arabia boosts security in Eastern region fearing riots DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has deployed more troops in the oilrich Eastern Province and cancelled some military leave amid worries of fresh unrest by Shiite Muslims in the kingdom and regional tensions, Saudi government sources and diplomats said yesterday. A Saudi government source said that top commanders, in a directive issued on June 26, ordered extra security forces to be stationed in the kingdom’s crude-producing east where the majority of the Saudi Shiite population live. The source said Saudi troops were put on alert and summer leave was cancelled for some officers but “those already on holiday are not being called back.” Western diplomats confirmed that holidays were suspended since the end of June. Speculation of a n Israeli attack on Iran, locked in a standoff with Western powers over its disputed nuclear program, a re again on the rise. The West believes Iran’s nuclear work is aimed at producing nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies. Israel has hinted it may attack Iran if diplomacy fails to secure a halt to nuclear enrichment. The United States has also mooted military action as a last-resort option but has frequently nudged the Israelis to give time for intensified economic sanctions to work against Iran. Iran has threatened to destroy US military bases across the Middle East and target Israel within minutes of being attacked, according to Iranian media reports last week. Saudi Arabia , a key US ally in the region, fears that any Israeli attack on Iran could involve retaliatory strikes on its territory, or it might ignite protests among its restless Shiite Muslim community. The shooting down of a Turkish jet plane by Iran’s regional ally, Syria, has ratcheted up tensions and increased worries of an imminent conflict, the sources said. “It’s been the norm for a long time that the National Guard is ready for backup for any security threat,” the source added. The source said that up to 1,200 additional National Guard members - an elite Bedouin corps led by King Abdullah’s son Prince Miteb that handles domestic security - had been sent to the Eastern Province. “The deployment has been taking place as a show of force ... a deterrent policy,” he said, adding that the total count of National Guard forces in the region was now more than 3,000. Officials from the Interior and Foreign ministries referred calls to the Defence Ministry and n o spokesman was available to comment. Columnist David Ignatius, writing in the Washington Post yesterday, said that Saudi Arabia had alerted some of its military and security officials to cancel their summer leaves. “Saudi and US sources say this limited mobilization reflects worries about possible military conflict with Iran, the war of succession in Syria, and Sunni-Shiite tensions in neighboring Bahrain,” he wrote. Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia has already accused Shiite Iran of fomenting unrest in the Qatif region of the Eastern Province, home to many of the kingdom’s Shiite minority, and in neighboring Bahrain, charges Tehran denies. Saudi Arabia and Iran are regional rivals and have backed opposing sides in the violence convulsing Syria. Western diplomats confirmed that more Saudi security forces have been deployed to the Eastern Province, saying it was related to Iran but gave no further details. Two Saudi Shiites died during protests with police in the Qatif region this month after a Shiite cleric was arrested. Saudi Arabia may be further worried about Tehran’s reaction after a European Union oil embargo, widely expected to hurt Iran’s vital energy exports, went into effect on July 1, over its disputed nuclear program. Iran has threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway at the mouth of the Gulf were about a third of sea-borne oil exports pass, if it came under attack over its disputed nuclear program. A member of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said on Monday that a draft bill calling for Tehran to try to stop oil tankers from shipping crude through the Strait of Hormuz to countries that support sanctions against it. Saudi Arabia has already taken some precautionary steps against the possibility of Iran shutting down the Strait of Hormuz, including the reopening of an old pipeline built by Iraq to bypass the strait and export more crude via the Red Sea terminals. The United States has also sent four minesweepers to the Gulf to bolster the US Fifth Fleet after an Iranian military chief refreshed threats of blocking Hormuz. Analysts played down the likelihood of Iran being able to stir up protests in eastern Saudi Arabia. “I suppose you do have to take some consideration of the fact that there might be unrest in the Shiite provinces should there be any tension (between Turkey and Syria),” Stephens said. But the Iranians don’t have that much sway in the Eastern Province. “It’s not like they can just call someone up and tell them to make trouble,” he added. — Reuters
HOMS: In this citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network SNN, taken on Wednesday, smoke leaps the air from purported forces shelling in Homs, Syria. —AP
Pressure on Assad as envoy defects West eyes sanctions DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad faced mounting pressure yesterday after a senior diplomat defected and Western powers drew up a 10-day ultimatum for Damascus even as Russia ruled out sanctions. Syria’s ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares, announced he was joining a small but growing list of officials who have defected to the opposition as the regime battles a nearly 16-month-old uprising. “I call on all free and worthy people in Syria, particularly in the military, to immediately rejoin the ranks of the revolution,” Fares said in a message aired on Al-Jazeera satellite channel. The defector has since taken refuge in Qatar, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said yesterday. Fares, who served as provincial governor around Syria and held senior security and Baath party posts, hails from a prominent Sunni tribe from eastern Syria. The foreign ministry in Damascus said Fares had been “discharged” after having made statements to the media “in contradiction with his duty, which consists of defending his country’s position.” He would be “legally prosecuted.” In the latest clashes, troops shelled and then stormed Treimsa village in the central province of Hama, monitors and activists said, while 38 people were killed — 24 civilians, 11 soldiers and three rebels-across the country yesterday. Elsewhere, in the coastal province of Latakia, pro-regime militiamen shot dead seven people in their cars, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Lebanese security sources, meanwhile, said Syrian troops fired off dozens of shells in areas bordering northern and eastern Lebanon after firefights, adding that at least four people were injured inside Lebanese territory. At the United Nations, Britain, France, Germany and the United States submitted a draft text that would give Assad 10 days to implement UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s ceasefire plan or face tough new sanctions. If Security Council members approve it, the resolution would allow for non-military sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN charter if Syrian government forces keep up their offensive on cities. Negotiations on the Western draft and a rival Russian resolution, which does not mention sanctions, started yesterday in New York. A vote must be held before July 20, when the mandate of the UN observer mission in Syria ends. Russia made clear from the outset that sanctions were a “red line” for veto-wielding Moscow. “Anything can be negoti-
ated but we do not negotiate this. This is a red line,” Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Igor Pankin told reporters at the Security Council after the first talks among key envoys. Russia and China have previously twice used their powers as permanent members of the Security Council to veto resolutions which hinted at sanctions. The draft calls for an “immediate” end to violence by government and opposition forces and demands that President Assad’s troops return to barracks in line with the Annan plan and UN resolutions passed in April. ‘Clear consequences’ for regime- The resolution would renew the mandate of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria for 45 days, and calls on the mission to take on more political duties, moving away from monitoring a non-existent ceasefire. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on an Asian tour, coordinated with China on moves to support the peace plan drawn up by Annan, who has said the UN motion should include “clear consequences” for the regime if it fails to act. “I had a good discussion on these issues with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang (Jiechi) today and we agreed to do all we can in New York to see the Geneva plan... be implemented,” she said yesterday. World powers agreed in Geneva last month a plan for a transition in Syria which did not make an explicit call for Assad to quit power. However the West swiftly made clear it saw no role for Assad in a unity government. “We do look to the Security Council and all its members including Russia to join us in a serious resolution that gives special envoy Kofi Annan what he needs, what he’s asking for and imposes real consequences on the regime for continuing to defy its obligations,” Clinton said. The regime and the opposition publicly accept Annan’s peace plan, but fighting has raged on and rights monitors estimate that more than 17,000 Syrians have died since March 2011. Turkey said yesterday it has found no traces of explosives on the wreckage of a fighter jet it has claimed was downed by Syria, raising new questions about last month’s incident that inflamed cross-border tensions. Human Rights Watch, meanwhile, said that Syrian regime forces appear to have used Soviet-made cluster bombs against rebel hideouts in a mountainous region of Hama province. Two videos posted online appear to show unexploded submunitions and a bomb canister in Jabal Shahshabu, northwest of the city of Hama, it said. — AFP
International FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Israel’s Olmert says he won’t re-enter politics JERUSALEM: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said yesterday that he would not return to politics, two days after he was acquitted of the central charges in a corruption trial. Speculation over whether he may return to political life has been rife since a Jerusalem court dismissed most of the counts against him on Tuesday. The charges cut short Olmert’s premiership three years ago, ending all serious peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Many observers today ask themselves how the Middle East may have looked had he stayed in office. Israeli newspapers, radio stations and TV channels were all humming yesterday with talk of a possible political comeback. Olmert’s own close aide, Jacob
Islamists urge Tunisia consensus at congress AL KARM: The head of Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party Ennahda called yesterday for national consensus at the launch of its first congress at home in 24 years, held at a time of political and religious tensions. “We want to convey a message from this congress, this congress of a union of the Tunisian people. We are a united people,” Rached Ghannouchi told around 10,000 supporters. “I want to assure the people that the country is in good hands,” he said. “This country needs a national consensus. We call for national reconciliation,” said Ghannouchi, playing down the crises that have shaken Tunisia and its ruling coalition as “normal” for a post-revolutionary state. “In Tunisia, all movements can cohabit,” he said. The three-day gathering is being held at a congress centre in Al Karm, a Tunis suburb that in the past hosted meetings of toppled president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s now disbanded party. Ennahda (Renaissance) now dominates the government along with centre-left parties the Congress for the Republic (CPR) and Ettakatol, which won 33 percent of the seats in the assembly. “We must combat dictatorship, whether it be in the name of religion or of modernity,” said Ettakatol chief Mustapha Ben Jafaar in his speech. “Our future is in our hands to form a civil society and set up a civil republican regime for a modern state which guards the identity of the Arab-Muslim people,” said the former opposition figure. Some 25,000-30,000 people are to attend the congress, the party’s first since it came to power following Ben Ali’s ouster in protests that touched off the 2011 Arab Spring. Among the guests is Khaled Meshaal, political chief of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. “We must build an Arab-Muslim strategy to liberate Palestine and turn the page on negotiations” with Israel, he said in a speech. “The Palestinians aren’t selfish, so take your time to get through this difficult transitory period-it is your right,” Meshaal said, adding: “The only way to liberate Palestine is the struggle.” Conference participants also showed their support for the uprising in Syria. “Bashar, get out!” they chanted, referring to President Bashar al-Assad. About 1,100 delegates will have to determine Ennahda’s position on political alliances, as the dominant partner in the government coalition. Inspired by Muslim Brotherhood’- The congress will also seek to reconcile different trends within the party, between moderates and more radical ideologues, with founding leader Ghannouchi expected to keep his post. Established in June 1981 by Ghannouchi and a group of intellectuals inspired by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Ennahda was banned by Ben Ali after a major electoral success in 1989, and its leaders jailed or forced into exile. Ghannouchi returned in January 2011 after 20 years in London. Ennahda won Tunisia’s first post-uprising poll, in October, taking 41 percent of the seats in the National Constituent Assembly, the interim body tasked with drafting a new constitution and preparing fresh elections, due in March 2013. Ennahda said in March that Islamic sharia would not be inscribed in Tunisian basic law, much to the relief of its coalition partners which feared the Islamist majority in parliament might open the door to a theocracy.—AFP
Galanti, held out the possibility when he told Israel Radio yesterday that the former Israeli leader wouldn’t decide whether to re-enter politics until his trial in a separate real estate bribery case ends, perhaps a year from now. But at a conference in Tel Aviv yesterday, Olmert tried to lay comeback talk to rest. “I have no intention of entering politics,” he said. Ultimately, the decision to reenter the political arena might not be left to him. Although a three-judge bench cleared Olmert on Tuesday of the most serious charges against him - illicitly taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from a US businessman and double-billing Jewish organizations for overseas travel - he was convicted on a lesser charge
of breach of trust for steering government contracts to a friend’s clients. Legal commentators have predicted he won’t be sent to jail when the court sentences him on Sept. 5 - but he could be barred from politics for seven years if the judges decided his crime reflected “moral turpitude.” Olmert announced his resignation after he was indicted in late 2008, but remained prime minister until February 2009 elections that brought Benjamin Netanyahu to power. In the few rare interviews he has given since leaving office, he suggested that he and the Palestinians were tantalizingly close to reaching a peace deal, though Palestinian officials call that an overstatement. The Palestinians and Netanyahu have not been able to get peace talks back on track since.— AP
Gaddafi’s divisive policies still haunt Libya ZINTAN: Rebels from the western town of Zintan were seen as heroes after playing a key role in toppling Muammar Gaddafi. Empowered and flush with weapons from Libya’s civil war, the militiamen now are fighting again - settling scores with a rival tribe in clashes that have killed dozens of people. The bloodshed last month between the rebels and the Mashashia tribe reflects the simmering divisions left over from Gaddafi’s practice of consolidating his power by pitting communities against each other. Some fear that transition to democracy in this oil-rich North African nation - already suffering after the civil war that led to Gaddafi’s downfall in 2011 - will be further derailed. That transition began July 7 with Libya’s first parliamentary elections in a half-century. The new legislature will appoint a government that faces a web of unsettled conflicts in a society left crippled and wounded by four decades of repression, simmering ethnic hatred and no real judicial system under Gaddafi . Many Libyans identify with their own tribe, their city or their regional affiliation. With a relatively small population of about 6 million people, residents can easily recognize each other by their dialect, the way they dress and sometimes even their facial features. Libya’s unresolved conflicts include: The third-largest city of Misrata and the rival Tawargha tribe. Militiamen in Misrata expelled about 40,000 tribesmen, accusing them of killing and raping civilians in Misrata as Gaddafi’s forces besieged the coastal town on the Mediterranean in the spring of 2011. Misrata and the town of Bani Walid. The smaller town, a Gaddafi stronghold, was the
last to fall to the rebels and is home to Libya’s largest tribe, the Warfala. The city of Zawiya, where militias have clashed with the Warshfana tribe. The town of Zawara, populated by ethnic Berbers, which faced off with the Arab towns of Joumail and Ragdaleen. The Arab Zwia tribe and the Tabu, a tribe of African origin, long suppressed under Gaddafi . They are fighting in southern Libya, near the border with Chad. While Gaddafi’s policies brought lots of unrest between tribes and communities, residents say the divisions ran deeper during the days of Ottoman rule and later under Italian colonizers in the 20th century. This month’s election suggests a possible victory of an alliance led by Mahmoud Jibril, a senior official under Gaddafi until he joined the rebels in the 2011 uprising and became prime minister of the provisional government. His critics warn that national reconciliation and transitional justice might become distorted because of Jibril’s ties to his Warfala tribe, which has allies in Zintan but is hated in Misrata. “There is a pileup of injustice. The whole nation fought against each other, and for 42 years faced injustice,” said longtime anti-Gaddafi opposition leader Mohammed al-Megarif, who is also head of the National Front party. “This is what we got from Gaddafi - a desire to take revenge, because after a long series of crimes against his people, he didn’t give people a chance to forgive.” El-Magarif said Gaddafi turned tribes against each other, and sometimes even encouraged divisions within the same tribe by giving jobs and wealth to low-ranking members while alienating the top leaders. “Bribery was the easiest thing to do,” he said.
BENGHAZI: A Libyan National Electoral Commission worker takes a break from working as his colleague checks the ballot boxes of the National Assembly elections in Benghazi yesterday before shipping the final results to the capital Tripoli. —AFP
Origins of tribal conflict, in some instances, can date to before the Gaddafi era. Sheik Ali al-Zaytouni of the Mashashia tribe said that for hundreds of years, his people and residents of Zintan were shepherds who vied for grazing lands. “We inherited the antagonism,” al-Zaytouni said. When Gaddafi came to power, “he knew how to spark tension between us. He discriminated against us while he pampered Zintan,” he said, adding that no top state officials ever were drawn from the Mashashia tribe. Khaled al-Zintani, a spokesman of the Zintan council, said Gaddafi moved the Mashashia tribe to areas close to Zintan in 1970s to put pressure on the town. “He knew that Zintanis are people of resistance. ... The tyrant needed to find a way to create tension in Zintan,” al-Zintani said. Al-Zaytouni denied that his tribe helped Gaddafi’s forces attack Zintan and other western mountain towns in the uprising. “We were neutral. We didn’t have weapons, and we knew if we rise up, Gaddafi would wipe us from the map,” he added. However, al-Zintani accused the Mashashia of helping Gaddafi’s forces by offering their knowledge of the terrain. Zintan was a de facto training camp for anti-Gaddafi fighters from across Libya’s regions and tribes in the weeks before the rebels pushed into Tripoli in August 2011. Now, there are tanks parked in a wooded area of the town. A municipal building has been turned into a weapons warehouse, storing Katyusha rocket launchers, anti-aircraft guns and tons of ammunition. Houses have become prisons, including one that holds Libya’s most important inmate - Gaddafi’s son and onetime heir apparent, Seif al-Islam - as well as members of the dictator’s forces captured in the fighting. Fighting in June left about 100 people dead after the Mashashia refused to hand over 10 men wanted for questioning in the killing of a top Zintan commander, al-Zintani said. The siege of the city of Misrata by Gaddafi’s forces during the first months of the uprising has left another painful legacy of hatred. Misrata was one of the Libyan cities that suffered the most in the uprising. Gaddafi sent artillery and tanks to bombard the city and used snipers on rooftops to pick off those who fought back. Hundreds were killed and thousands were injured. Women were raped, and video showing the assaults was found on cell phones of detained Tawergha fighters. Accused of collaborating with the government troops, members of the Tawergha tribe fled their hometown about 20 miles south of the coastal city and took shelter in several places, including a military academy in Janzour, near Tripoli.—AP
International FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Congressman’s Jesse Jackson ‘mood disorder’ raising questions CHICAGO: US Rep Jesse Jackson Jr’s disclosure that he is suffering from a “mood disorder” still leaves many questions about his secretive medical leave and whether the the son of the prominent civil rights leader has satisfied mounting calls to be more open about his monthlong absence. Just hours after Democratic leaders in Congress ratcheted up pressure on Jackson to reveal more information, his office released a brief statement from his
doctor on Wednesday saying the Chicago Democrat was receiving “intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder.” But it offered no details about Jackson’s whereabouts or even the name of the doctor, citing federal privacy laws. Several experts said that based on the doctor’s use of the term “mood disorder,” they believed Jackson might be suffering from depression.
But the statement did not elaborate on his condition and rejected claims that the 47-year-old congressman was being treated for “alcohol or substance abuse.” When Jackson’s medical leave was first announced - two weeks after it began on June 10 - his office said he was being treated for exhaustion. Last week his staff said his condition was worse than previously thought and required inpatient treatment, saying Jackson had been privately battling
emotional problems. The office has remained mum on details. The timing of the leave has invited scrutiny, coming as Jackson faces an ethics investigation in the U.S. House connected to imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Days before Jackson’s office announced his leave, a fundraiser and family friend also involved in the probe was arrested and charged with unrelated medical fraud charges.—AP
US sheriff says woman tortured; husband charged Attorney says allegations ‘fabrication of a fertile imagination’
MASSACHUSETTS: In this July 11, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Houston, Texas. —AP
Romney gaining help from Dick Cheney WASHINGTON: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney steers his campaign into a friendlier port yesterday, a fundraising event and private dinner sponsored by former Vice President Dick Cheney. Romney will be in the beautiful mountain valley of Jackson, Wyoming, a day after he faced a skeptical audience and was booed by some during a speech at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the country’s oldest civil rights group. Romney has avoided appearing in public with Cheney or with former President George W. Bush - both are seen as divisive figures by many of the swing voters he needs to win over if he’s going to defeat President Barack Obama. Polls show Romney and Obama virtually tied 3 1/2 months before the November election. The Cheneysponsored events yesterday evening at this resort town near Yellowstone National Park represent a welcome endorsement for Romney, who is eager to win over more of the party’s base. Romney doesn’t have a close relationship with the former vice president, a veteran of five Republican presidential administrations and a huge draw for Republican donors. While Romney speaks regularly with former President George H.W. Bush, he seldom refers by name to the most recent Bush to occupy the White House. On occasion he goes out of his way not to say Bush’s name out loud and simply calls him “the predecessor” to Obama. Cheney has generally shied away from politicking and he remains controversial, in part because of his hawkish foreign policy stances, including his support for interrogation techniques like waterboarding. Still, Romney has embraced Cheney in the past. Last year, he told an Arizona town hall that Cheney’s “wisdom and judgment” would provide a model for choosing his own vice president. Many of Romney’s policy advisers were officials in the Bush White House. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently endorsed the former Massachusetts governor. The friendlier confines of the Wyoming events should prove a stark contrast to Wednesday’s speech to the NAACP convention in Houston. His appearance before assembled African American notables was designed to show independent and swing voters that he’s willing to reach out to diverse audiences. The former Massachusetts governor would be hard pressed to win a majority of black voters in November when 95 percent backed Obama in 2008. Polls show similar support for Obama in the upcoming vote. “If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him,” Romney said.— AP
LEROY: An attorney dismissed claims that a man tortured his wife for years as entirely false, saying someone fabricated allegations that the man called his wife a slave, forced her to kneel in his presence, and punished her with burns and beatings. Employees at a rental store told The Associated Press that 43-year-old Stephanie Lizon hid from her husband, 37-year-old Peter Lizon, a Czech native, while he returned a rototiller. She then went to a shelter for domestic violence victims, limping, gaunt, filthy and covered in scars, including a burn scar shaped like a clothing iron, according to police documents. But Shawn Bayliss, Peter Lizon’s attorney, said the allegations are “the fabrication of a fertile imagination or a feeble mind, one of the two.” “The alleged victim didn’t make these accusations. It was a third party,” Bayliss said. “ ... Stephanie would say this story is absolutely untrue, and the charges levied against her husband are blatantly false.” Bayliss said yesterday that he was in contact with Stephanie Lizon but did not immediately make her available for an interview. The details of the alleged abuse came out after Stephanie Lizon fled July 2. She entered another part of the building while her husband was inside Bosley Rental & Supply and told the staff, “I’m trying to get away from my husband. I just need to hide for a few minutes,” one employee told the AP. The employee declined to give her name, citing concern for her safety and that of her co-workers at the rental shop. In an office, the wife “seemed pretty calm but kept looking out the window to see if he was looking for her,” the employee said. Stephanie Lizon told the staff she didn’t want to involve police, but she accepted the number for the domestic violence shelter and called it, the store employee said. She also called family to ask for money, and the employees gave her cash and called a cab to take her to a Western Union office and the shelter. The woman was limping and had appeared to have some sort of injury, the store employee said. And while her clothing was clean, she smelled bad. The husband did not come inside looking for his wife and police didn’t come until several days later, the employee said. At the shelter, however, Stephanie Lizon told another woman about the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her husband, according to the criminal complaint.
Stephanie Lizon’s father declined to discuss the case when contacted by the AP. Relatives of her husband didn’t immediately return messages. Investigators said they have 45 photographs showing burns on her back and breasts from irons and frying pans, and scars on her wrists and ankles. Now her husband is in jail and authorities are investigating what Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Boggs called one of the most terrible cases he’s seen. “This appears to go beyond abuse to what I would consider torture,” he said Wednesday. The criminal complaint said a witness at the Parkersburg shelter provided the following account: The witness described Stephanie Lizon as “gaunt and
ery, but Stephanie Lizon said the child had never received medical attention. Boggs of the sheriff’s office said state child-welfare authorities have been notified, but Peter Lizon’s attorney said the child - a 1-year-old boy - remains with his mother. The complaint says investigators confirmed that the wife was treated in the emergency room of St. Joseph’s Hospital in June and that photographs were taken at the shelter to document her injuries. A Sunbeam iron was among the items seized during a July 5 search of the couple’s home. Lizon was arrested that day. But Bayliss compared the charges to the childhood game of “telephone,” where something whispered from one
VIRGINIA: This photo shows the home of Peter and Stephanie Lizon on Miller Hollow Road in Jackson County, W.Va. Authorities say Peter Lizon allegedly tortured and enslaved his wife for much of the past decade.—AP filthy,” and covered in scars, bruises and burns. She had “mutilated and swollen” feet, a scar in the shape of a clothes iron on one breast, and burns on her back that the victim said came from a hot frying pan. She said her husband had smashed her foot with a piece of farm equipment, among other things. The wife said she was called a “slave” and ordered to kneel before her husband every time she entered a room. The wife also said she had delivered a fully developed, stillborn child while in shackles, and her husband buried the corpse on their farm. Another child survived a similar deliv-
person to another ultimately bears no resemblance to reality. “This is a situation where a person has taken a nugget of information, taken an acorn and tried to turn it into a tree,” he said. “And the tree won’t support this story.” Back in Leroy, only a handful of houses dot the side of the approximately 2-mile road where the couple lives. In the front yard, signs read “No Trespassing” and “Guard Dog on Duty,” although no dog could be seen. One of two brightly colored barrels was filled with dozens of empty bottles of imported beer near a black van with no license plate.—AP
International FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Mexico army: Border city killings plunge this year
CAUCA: Colombian policemen aim their weapons during a firefight with FARC guerrillas, in the municipality of Toribio, department of Cauca, Colombia, on Wednesday.—AP
Leave our territory: Indians to Santos TORIBIO: Indigenous people angry at being forced to live in the crossfire of the Colombia’s long-running civil conflict jeered President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday as he visited their war-ravaged southwestern region. Leaders of the 115,000 Nasa people are demanding government troops and leftist rebels alike go away and leave them in peace. But Santos told residents of Toribio, a town of 35,000, during a tense visit that he would not order the military to quit the nine towns that Nasa leaders want the military to vacate. “Our military and police are here to protect you,” he said. “They are here and they’re going to stay.” Less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) away on Wednesday, a group of about 50 rebels of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, set up a road checkpoint to demonstrate similar resolve. Nasa leaders, who have gained fame over the years for standing up to Colombia’s heavily armed groups with only wooden staffs to protect them, confronted the rebels and asked them to leave. After several hours, they did. “We don’t want them here. Not them, not the others. War is a bad solution,” said James Yatacue, leader of the Association of North Cauca Indigenous Councils. “Militarization is no guarantee of security.” People in the region have been victims of constant attacks, including a motorcycle bomb explosion Tuesday in the nearby town of Argelia that killed a 9-year-old boy and wounded five other children. Argelia’s mayor, Elio Arada, told The Associated Press that security forces had blamed the FARC, which has been fighting a succession of Colombian governments for nearly half a century. The largely rebel army says it is fighting for more equal distribution of land. But it is also involved in cocaine trafficking, and the Cauca region where the Nasa live is major corridor for illegal armed groups that smuggle the drug to the nearby Pacific coast, where it is loaded in boats and semisubmersibles. Illegal armed groups are also involved in unlicensed gold mining in the region. Military analyst Alfredo Rangel says Cauca continues to be a sanctuary for the FARC, which remains potent in Colombia’s hinterlands despite suffering major setbacks over the past decade. Rangel says the FARC’s armed incursions have gradually increased since Santos took office in August 2010. In that year, there were 194 incursions nationwide, followed by 238 last year, he said, with 164 for the first half of 2012.—AP
MEXICO CITY: Killings by criminal gangs in the drug violence-wracked border city of Ciudad Juarez fell by 42 percent in the first six months of this year from the same period of 2011, Mexico’s army said Wednesday. Gen. Emilio Zarate, the local army commander, attributed the drop to the weakening of the local Juarez drug cartel and the rival Gente Nueva gang, which is allied with the powerful Sinaloa cartel. The two cartels have fought turf battles since 2008 that notoriously made this city across the border from El Paso, Texas the most violent city in Mexico. Ciudad Juarez recorded 952 killings by gangs in the first half of the year, compared to 1,642 in the first half of 2011, according to Zarate, who said the gangs have been diminished by a multipronged offensive that includes army patrols, police reforms and social programs. He told reporters the Juarez cartel has become so weak that it is having trouble paying its members. “They have been forced to reorganize and opt for other activities, like kidnapping and extortion,” he said. But he warned that the leaders of the Sinaloabacked Gente Nueva (or New People) “have economic power because they have constantly received funds from other states.” Numbers released by the Chihuahua state prosecutors office indicated a similar decline, though its numbers are lower because civilian prosecutors track murders differently. Prosecutors said there were 653 murders in the first half of 2012 and 1,322 in the same period of last year. More than a transition into peace, drug violence seems to migrate in Mexico, exploding in once-quiet places across the country such as the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and the resort city of Acapulco. When authorities launch an offensive in one spot, violence moves to another. When cartel leaders are arrested, gangs splinter and the resulting offshoot groups fight in areas to control local police and lucrative smuggling corridors. On Tuesday in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo, for example, the newspaper El Manana announced that it will stop covering violent criminal disputes after suffering a second grenade attack on its offices in two months. Other northern Mexican news-
papers have quietly adopted similar policies of not covering cartel violence to protect their staffs against threats and violent attacks. President Felipe Calderon claimed in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last month that drug-related killings in Mexico had fallen by roughly 12 percent in the first five months of this year, although he and his administration have refused to release the actual fig-
lowing his death in 1997, but worsened in the mid-2000s when the Sinaloa cartel sought to move into the city. Sinaloa has largely fought in Ciudad Juarez through proxy local gangs that it hires or finances. At the height of drug violence in 2010, Ciudad Juarez was seeing an average of about 10 homicides a day, or about 230 murders per 100,000 inhabitants annually. The same year, the average for all of Mexico was 18 per
CIUDAD JUREZ: In this April 10, 2009 file photo, a soldier stands guard on the top of a hill as faithful commemorate Good Friday during Holy Week in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. —AP ures of drug-linked homicides since September 2011. The government’s figures released last fall say more than 47,500 people had died in violence linked to the militarized offensive Calderon launched shortly after taking office in December 2006. Separate federal figures have shown a drop in the overall numbers of homicides in several violence-wracked states, although those statistics do not break out drug-linked killings. Under its late leader, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the Juarez cartel became known in the 1990s for flying planeloads of cocaine into the United States, earning Carrillo Fuentes the nickname “The Lord of the Skies.” Ciudad Juarez’s decline began fol-
100,000 people, while in the U.S. the rate was 4.8. Last year, Calderon said the biggest blow to organized crime in the city was the capture of a former police officer who headed a gang of hitmen for the Juarez cartel. Arrested in July 2011, Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, nicknamed “El Diego,” was sentenced to life in prison in a U.S. court in April after he admitted ordering more than 1,500 killings, including the slaying of a U.S. consulate employee in the border city. Zarate said the number of homicides in the city has averaged about 40 killings a month recently. In past years, Ciudad Juarez sometimes saw as many 300 killing in a month during especially violent periods.—AFP
First cargo ship in 50 yrs takes Miami-Cuba route H A V A N A : For the first time in 50 years, a cargo ship left the US city of Miami on Wednesday headed directly for Cuba, carrying a load of humanitarian supplies, officials said. “This first ship, the Ana Cecilia, left with humanitarian shipments, and we are assured that there was nothing to be sold in Cuba,” shipping company spokesman Leonardo Sanchez-Adega told AFP. The company, International Port Corp, says it has obtained a special permit from US authorities which complies with Washington’s half-century-old trade embargo on the Communist-run island.
Sanchez-Adega added his company plans for ships to leave each Wednesday on the 17-hour trip to Havana, where the 10-member crew will unload its cargo and return, without ever going ashore. Its clients for the weekly shipment include charitable, religious and humanitarian groups, as well as relatives of people living in Cuba, he said. More than 800,000 CubanAmericans live in Florida, most in the Miami area. The Ana Cecilia can carry up to 16 containers, for which the company is charging $5.99 a pound, or about $13 a kilogram. Other Florida
companies ship to Cuba, most through third countries, but Sanchez-Adega says they are the first to offer weekly service directly from Miami to Havana. A regular shipping route also exists from Port Everglades, Florida, south of Miami, to Cuba. Ships with US government permits set sail weekly through Crowley Maritime from that port, carrying humanitarian and agricultural goods. That weekly route has been open for a decade, with the United States becoming a key farm and food supplier to Cuba even as it claims Havana deserves tough sanctions. The US embargo against Cuba was
declared by president John F. Kennedy in 1962 — aimed at bringing down the Americas’ only one-party Communist regime. That regime remains in place under President Raul Castro. The US embargo has been condemned by a majority of the United Nations General Assembly each year since 1992. CubanAmerican Florida lawmaker Ileana RosLehtinen on June 19 sent a letter to the Treasury Department, where the Office of Foreign Assets Control is in charge of US sanctions, questioning whether there was anything illegal about the new Miami-Havana shipping route.— AFP
International FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
UK spies wrong-footed by Arab Spring: Panel LONDON: Britain’s spies were wrongfooted by the spread of unrest during the Arab Spring and failed to predict the dramatic uprisings that swept the region, Parliament’s intelligence and security committee said yesterday. The panel of nine lawmakers, which acts as the country’s intelligence watchdog, said in its annual report that the crisis had exposed Britain’s decision to scale back intelligence assets in much of the Middle East. In private evidence sessions with the committee - which does not meet in public - the heads of the country’s overseas intelligence agency MI6 and global eavesdropping service GCHQ acknowledged that a focus on Al-Qaeda linked terrorism and Iran’s nuclear program meant their coverage across some parts of the Arab world had dwindled. “When the upheavals took place around the Arab world ... our coverage of individual Arab countries had been falling for some
time,” John Sawers, head of MI6, told the panel in a closed door hearing in December. Iain Lobban, head of the Government Communications Headquarters - or GCHQ - said that ahead of the uprisings the “Arab nations were one of the few areas where we were planning to draw down our effort pretty well comprehensively.” Defense Intelligence - the military’s dedicated spy service - said it had “little resource” directed at the countries involved as the revolts began. “We can’t cover everything all the time in the modern world,” the agency told lawmakers. In its report, the panel said that events following Tunisia’s uprising in Dec. 2010, had taken “many by surprise and presented a significant challenge to the UK intelligence community in terms of reprioritizing its resources.” Though it offered praise for their eventual response, the watchdog committee said there was a
question as to whether “the agencies should have anticipated the possibility that the unrest would spread quickly across the region.” Sawers acknowledged that MI6 had been “unable to provide detailed reporting on (the) Tunisia and Egypt crises,” because of its lack of assets there. He defended, however, the performance of his spies and insisted that no-one - in any part of the world - had an inkling that the revolts would spread so quickly. While defense analysts had picked out Egypt as likely to feel an impact from the effect of the Arab world’s younger population and economic struggles, it was unable “to predict the spark which would cause it all,” the military spy service told the panel. Foreign Secretary William Hague, who has ministerial oversight of both MI6 and GCHQ, told the committee that by the time Britain joined the military intervention in Libya in March 2011 the agencies
were producing a “colossal” amount of intelligence. The panel also warned that domestic spy service MI5 had come under “significant pressure” ahead of the London Olympics. MI5 told the legislators it had planned to handle at least double the usual amount of terrorist chatter and was prepared for a deluge of four times the usual amount of intelligence to assess. It had identified the likely key threats as al-Qaida-linked attempts to attack Olympic athletes or visitors - particularly from the United States or Israel - as well as efforts by Irish Republican dissidents to mount actual or hoax attacks, and potential clashes between rival ethnic groups in London. MI5 director-general Jonathan Evans said staff had been reassigned from other tasks and been asked to work longer, or different hours - making it difficult for some security officials to find childcare. —AP
9 dead, 11 hurt, 4 missing in Mont Blanc avalanche Dead from Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland
BELFAST: Protestant bandsmen prepare to parade in North Belfast, Northen Ireland yesterday.—AP
Belfast cops gird for riot as Orange marches start BELFAST: Tens of thousands of Protestants from the Orange Order brotherhood marched from their lodges yesterday across Northern Ireland in an annual demonstration that often ends in violence. Before the daylong marches, riot police clashed with Irish nationalist men and teens on the edge of Catholic west Belfast. They arrested 10 suspected rioters and said three of their officers suffered minor injuries from hurled stones, bricks and bottles. That trouble flared as Protestants gathered around hundreds of midnight bonfires that precede the Orange Order parades on the Twelfth , an official holiday in this British territory of 1.7 million. Bonfire revelers sang anti-Catholic songs and cheered as Irish flags were tossed into the flames. The Twelfth officially commemorates King William of Orange’s military victory on July 12, 1690, versus forces loyal to the deposed Catholic king of England, James II. Protestants consider that victory a key moment when Protestant rights in Ireland were secured. Many of the hand-painted banners carried by Orangemen depict William, sword held aloft triumphant on a white horse, alongside the central Orange symbol of a British crown atop an open Bible. The July marches of Orangemen in suits, bowler hats and medallion-bedecked Orange vestments have stoked conflict with the Irish Catholic minority since the early 19th century. Their sectarian intent is brashly underscored by accompanying military-style ensembles of fife and drum called “kick the pope” bands. Police are particularly braced for trouble yesterday night when Orangemen pass Ardoyne, an Irish nationalist district in north Belfast that has spawned riots for the past three years of marches. In the morning, about 200 Catholic protesters lined the disputed road beside Ardoyne as a similar number of Orangemen marched past under heavy police protection. The locals unfurled banners on both sides of the road, one saying “Residents rights are being trampled on,” and the two sides exchanged verbal taunts. _AP
PARIS: A slab of ice broke off yesterday high in the French Alps, sparking an avalanche that swept nine Europeans to their deaths as they tried to climb Mont Blanc, authorities said. Eleven other climbers were hospitalized and at least four are still unaccounted for. Two climbers in the group were rescued and emergency crews using dogs and helicopters scoured the churned-up snow yesterday to search for the missing. The avalanche came after unusually wet weather and sent climbers hurtling down steep slopes at the height of the summer climbing season. The dead were from Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, according to the gendarme service in the French mountain town of Chamonix. A group of 28 climbers from Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France, Denmark and Serbia were believed to be in the expedition caught in the early morning avalanche some 4,000 meters (13,100 feet) high on the north face of Mont Maudit, part of the Mont Blanc range. Some climbers managed to turn back in time, regional authorities in HauteSavoie said. The gendarme service said they were alerted around 5:25 am yesterday to the avalanche. A block of ice that was 40-centimeters (15.75-inches) thick broke off and slid down the slope, creating a 2meter (6-foot)-thick, 50-meter (160-foot)-long mass of snow. Several dozen gendarmes and other rescuers worked to pull the dead and injured from the mountain and search for the missing but the risk of a new avalanche complicated the search. The 11 injured were hospitalized in nearby Sallanches, the gendarme service said. It appears that early summer storms left behind heavy snow that
CHAMONIX: French Interior Minister Manuel Valls (C) answers journalists’ questions yesterday in Chamonix, in the French Alps, after flying over the site where an avalanche took place. —AFP
combined with high winds to form dangerous avalanche conditions on some of the popular routes around Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe. According to tweets from climbers, high winds led to overhanging ice slabs forming on the slope. Five days ago, they tweeted that Chamonix saw a monsoon-like downpour that turned to snow at 3,000 meters (9,850 feet) high. Jonas Moestrup from the western Danish city of Randers heard about the accident when he was on his way down from Mont Blanc. “Three days ago, we ascended it (Mont Maudit). It was shocking to hear, it could easily have been us,” he told the Danish news agency Ritzau by telephone. “It is scaring and tragic.” “It is part of the thrill that something can go wrong,” he told Ritzau. French Interior Minister
Manuel Valls was traveling to the site later yesterday. The German Foreign Ministry said three Germans were killed and Spain onfirmed that two of the dead were Spanish. The Danish Foreign Ministry says two Danes were involved in the avalanche. One was injured and the other was safe. Some of the climbers were with professional guides, others were independents. French investigators will examine the circumstances of the deaths. The Mont Blanc massif is a popular area for climbers, hikers and tourists but a dangerous one, with dozens dying on it each year. Chamonix, a top center for climbing, hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Regional authorities had warned climbers earlier this summer to be careful because of an unusually snowy spring. — AP
International FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
UN stations tanks in strife-torn DR Congo
JOHANNESBURG: Rwandan exile, Kayumba Nyamwasa, front, and his wife Rosette Kayumba sit in the Johannesburg court yesterday, after finishing his testimony as a witness in the trial of six East Africans accused of attempted murder in his 2010 shooting. —AP
Two Kenyan aid workers, Somali doctor kidnapped MOGADISHU: Two Kenyan aid workers and a Somali doctor were kidnapped in lawless northern Somalia on Wednesday, probably by pirates, police said. The kidnapping occurred near the city of Galkayo, which straddles the border separating the semi-autonomous state of Puntland and the separate region of Galmudug to the south. “Two Kenyans and a local Somali doctor were kidnapped and the initial reports indicate the kidnappers were pirates, but we are still investigating the incident,” Galkayo police official Adan Warsame told AFP. A second Galkayo police official, Mohammed Ise Hassan, said the kidnapping took place on Wednesday afternoon near the village of Baadweyn, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the city. Hassan said a driver and two police escorts were also wounded during the incident. Several employees from aid agencies and non-governmental groups in Galkayo and Garowe, another town farther north, told AFP the victims work for the Swedish group International Aid Services (IAS). The group released a statement in Sweden confirming the kidnappings, but listing those abducted as three Kenyan expatriates. It said armed assailants had taken the three to an unknown destination. The abductions marked the latest in a string of kidnappings of foreigners in unrest-plagued Somalia. Somalia has been roiled by unrest and without an effective government for nearly 20 years, with Islamists, warlords, criminal gangs and pirates controlling portions of the vast east African country. Last week four foreigners working for the Norwegian Refugee Council were released in southern Somalia following a joint operation by Somali and Kenyan forces three days after their kidnapping. In October 2011, gunmen seized two Spaniards working for Medecins sans Frontieres in the Dadaab refugee camp. They are still being held hostage in Somalia. Also that month, a Dane and an American were kidnapped in Galkayo and held hostage for three months before being freed by US special forces. In June, two South African sailors who had been kidnapped in the Indian Ocean in 2010 were freed by Somali special forces after they had apparently passed from pirates to Islamist insurgents. In July 2009, a French agent for the DGSE foreign intelligence service, identified by the pseudonym Denis Allex, was seized from his Mogadishu hotel by Islamist militants. He remains in captivity.— AFP
GOMA: UN troops in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have stationed tanks around the key city of Goma for fear of an attack by mutineer soldiers, as calls mounted for action to ease tensions. The UN deployment came as UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged the presidents of DR Congo and its rival Rwanda to “defuse tensions” over the rebellion in the resource-rich but war-plagued central African nation. Rwanda has denied claims it is supporting the so-called M23 rebels, who split from the government army in March in protest at wages and conditions and have been fighting ever since. An AFP photographer said about a dozen UN tanks were stationed around 25 kilometres (15 miles) north of Goma on a road linking the city to Rutshuru which the mutineers seized briefly at the weekend. At least two Congolese army tanks were also seen on the road. M23 rebels seized a number of towns along the Ugandan border, including Rutshuru, before withdrawing from all but Bunagana, a town on the border with Uganda. M23 — named after a failed 2009 peace deal signed on March 23 — is led by Bosco Ntaganda, a man nicknamed the “Terminator” who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. UN officials and the DR Congo government fear that M23, which has added fighters in recent weeks, might be planning to target Goma, the capital of NordKivu province and which lies on Lake Kivu on the border with Rwanda. But a diplomat in Kinshasa said this now appeared unlikely. “Everything in the way that the mutineers have withdrawn from Rutshuru indicates that they don’t intend to take big towns like Goma,” the diplomat said on condition of anonymity. Ban spoke to Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Joseph Kabila of DR Congo to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in the east of the country, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said. The DR Congo government and a UN panel of sanctions
GOMA: A soldier from the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) wears bullets around his neck as he stands guard on the road between Goma and Rutshuru near the village of Kibumba. —AFP experts have said Rwanda is supplying arms and fighters to M23 rebels. Rwanda has denied involvement. Ban “expressed grave concern” over reports that the M23 “are receiving external support and are well-trained, armed and equipped,” said Nesirky. The UN secretary general sought to “identify possible steps to resolve the crisis.” “Stressing the need do everything possible to dissuade the M23 from making further advances and to cease fighting immediately, the secretary general urged Presidents Kagame and Kabila to pursue dialogue in order to defuse tensions and bring an end to the crisis,” said the spokesman. The UN’s mission in DR Congo, MONUSCO, is one of the largest UN peacekeeping operations in the world. Neighbouring Uganda also warned that fighting between the rebels and DR Congo troops risked destabilising the wider region. Tens of thousands have fled fighting into Uganda in recent
months. “The crises and conflicts affecting eastern DRC can rapidly destabilise the country and also spread even to the entire region,” the Ugandan foreign ministry said in a statement. “The armed conflict in eastern DRC has increased forced displacement of populations.” Uganda said it had called for a special meeting of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region to discuss the crisis, on the sidelines of an African Union summit beginning Sunday. When M23 fighters on Friday seized Bunagana, the rebels forced around 600 DR Congo troops to flee into Uganda where they were disarmed and placed under the supervision of the Ugandan military. Over 30,000 DR Congo refugees have registered in Uganda since fighting flared earlier this year, officials say. Kinshasa said in May that it did not rule out sending Ntaganda to the ICC, where he is wanted for war crimes including using child soldiers.— AFP
Nigeria oil tanker fire kills at least 95 PORT HARCOURT: At least 95 people who rushed to scoop up fuel after a Nigerian petrol tanker tipped over were killed yesterday when the vehicle caught fire, officials said. The tanker swerved as it was trying to avoid a collision with three oncoming vehicles including a bus, said Kayode Olagunju, sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission in the southern Rivers state. Residents said that shortly after the collision hundreds of locals flocked to the site to collect the spilling fuel. “Then there was an explosion followed by fire,” Olagunju told AFP. “Ninety-three were burned to death on the spot. Two died later in the hospital (and) 18 people were seriously injured.” In a statement, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) gave the same figures. An AFP photographer at the scene said many of those killed
were motorcycle taxi operators, known locally as “Okada”, who raced to fill up their tanks after learning of the crash. Olagunju said at least 34 motorcycles were destroyed in the blaze. The accident happened in an area called Ahoada near the oil hub of Port Harcourt in Nigeria’s crude-producing Niger Delta region. Motorcycle taxi driver Kingsley Jafure said the vehicle collision occurred at roughly 6:00 am, and the spilled petrol caught fire about 90 minutes later, but that time sequence could not be immediately confirmed by officials. “At about 7:30 while I was inside trying to decide whether to go (scoop fuel) or not. That is when I saw that the tanker exploded,” Jafure said. The area had been cordoned off by security forces and a large number of rescue officials were on the ground, said an AFP correspondent. The NEMA state-
ment said “rescue workers from the police, road safety, fire service, civil defence and NEMA were at the scene to evacuate victims and control the traffic.” Major accidents, often involving large-haul trucks, are common in Nigeria, where many of the roads in terrible condition. Lorries operating on the country’s road are often old and poorly maintained and road worthiness checks are scant. Abandoned trucks, some of them destroyed by heavy collisions, can regularly be seen along major Nigerian motorways. In March, a petrol tanker caught fire after skidding off the road in southern Port Harcourt, killing six people and injuring several others. While in April last year, a fuel tanker overturned at an army checkpoint in central Nigeria, sparking an inferno in which some 50 people were killed.— AFP
International FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Thin NATO traffic on Afghan-Pakistan border Many awaiting compensation in Karachi
LAHORE: A Pakistani police officer inspects the attack site at the police hostel in Lahore yesterday. Gunmen shot dead nine Pakistani police and prison staff as they slept, the second attack on security forces in the country’s political heartland since Islamabad reopened a NATO supply corridor. —AFP
Militants take villagers hostage in Pakistan KHAR: Pakistani officials say dozens of militants coming from Afghanistan attacked a village in the country’s northwest and took scores of villagers hostage. Government official Tariq Khan says the militants appeared to be targeting members of an antiTaleban militia in Kitkot village near Pakistan’s Bajur tribal area. The militants came from Afghanistan’s Kunar province yesterday and took hundreds of villagers hostage, including members of the militia. Khan says the Pakistani army surrounded the village and killed eight militants. The insurgents responded by killing two militiamen. Khan and two security officials say soldiers have retrieved scores of villagers, but dozens more are still held by the militants or trapped in their homes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Taleban gunmen opened fire on a compound housing policemen in eastern Pakistan yesterday, killing nine of them, officials said. The police who were targeted in the city of Lahore were training to become prison guards, said Habibur Rehman, the chief of police in Punjab province, where Lahore is the capital. Pakistani Taleban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for the police torture of their fighters in prison. He spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location. The police who were attacked were recruited from northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a one-time base for the Taleban , and were brought to Lahore for training, said Rehman. Eight policemen also suffered bullet wounds, said Salman Saddiq, a government official. One of the wounded, Shafqat Imran, said that eight to 10 attackers, their faces hidden behind hoods, stormed into the compound and started shooting randomly. They shouted “God is great,” then shot the policemen one by one, said Imran, speaking from a hospital bed. The Pakistani military launched a massive offensive against the Taleban in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat Valley in 2009, and many militants were captured and imprisoned.—AP
CHAMAN: Trucks carrying supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan crossed the Pakistani border yesterday for only the second time since Islamabad agreed to lift a seven-month blockade, officials said. Pakistan closed overland routes for NATO convoys going to its war-torn neighbor after botched US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November, plunging ties between the “war on terror” allies to a new low. Islamabad agreed to reopen the routes after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 3 apologized for the deaths, but very few vehicles have crossed the border. Thousands of truck owners are awaiting compensation before going back to work, and drivers say the trips into Afghanistan are too dangerous and too poorly paid. The Pakistani Taleban have threatened to attack NATO supply trucks and kill drivers if they resume trips to Afghanistan. Yesterday, the umbrella militant organization threatened a further wave of attacks, and claimed responsibility for shooting nine police prison officers being trained in the eastern city of Lahore. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf ordered authorities to allow the more than 1,500 vehicles stuck in Pakistan to cross into Afghanistan following talks with US ambassador Cameron Munter, his spokesman Akram Shaheedi told AFP. But yesterday customs officials told AFP that only another four NATO trucks carrying food supplies had gone into Afghanistan at the Chaman border post in Pakistan’s remote southwest. In the northwestern tribal district of Khyber, officials said seven to 10 trucks loaded with NATO supplies were due to cross the Torkham post for the first time since Pakistan agreed to resume supplies. Later in the day Mohammad Fayyaz, an administrative official at Torkham, told AFP that four trucks loaded with food had crossed the frontier into Afghanistan. But in Karachi, where NATO containers begin their long journey to Pakistan’s two Afghan border crossings from the Arabian Sea port, many are
waiting for compensation from subcontractors for being out of work for seven months. “We are too wary, too anxious and too cautious about the situation. It was dangerous to go overland before the government ban, but now the dangers have increased,” Akram Khan Durrani, president of the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association, told AFP. “No one from the authorities have contacted us properly and assured us of foolproof security,” he said. Rana Mohammad Aslam, vice president of the All Pakistan Goods Carrier Association, said NATO subcontractors were supposed to pay $6,000 compensation per vehicle to truck owners. “Except for some trucks which were stuck elsewhere and have settled their payment issues with the contractors, none have started moving,” he told AFP from Karachi. “Subcontractors have started installing satellite trackers on trucks as a means of security, but still there is no nod from the government, which has to arrange foolproof security for the opera-
tion.” Officials in customs and at the ports and shipping ministry, who wished not to be named, said it would still “take a few days” to finalise compensation and were unable to give a specific date for trucks to leave Karachi. The interior ministry in southern Sindh province, of which Karachi is capital, said it was finalising a security plan, but declined to go into details. Tensions have been high among right-wing and extremist organisations since Pakistan last week decided to reopen its Afghan border to NATO supply convoys, ending a seven-month blockade following negotiations with US officials. The Defence Council of Pakistan, a coalition of right-wing and hardline Islamist groups opposed to the country’s alliance with Washington, has led protests against the resumption of supplies for NATO troops fighting the Taleban in Afghanistan. “You see how many people are opposing it? Earlier, we only feared the Taleban , but now we’re afraid of many people and groups,” said truck owner Mohammad Asghar.—AFP
CHAMAN: Afghan National Army personnel keep watch as NATO supply trucks cross the Pakistan-Afghan border in Chaman yesterday.—AFP
Bangladesh man held over Facebook photos of PM DHAKA: Bangladesh police have arrested a businessman after he allegedly edited together a photograph of the country’s female prime minister with that of a halfnaked woman on his Facebook page. Police following up a tip-off visited Shariful Islam’s home at Maizdi, 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of Dhaka, and found the doctored pictures of the premier on his computer, local police chief Chowdhury Abul Kalam said. “We asked him to open his Facebook page. On the page, the face of the prime minister Sheikh Hasina was pasted with
that of a half-naked woman,” he told AFP yesterday. Islam, an owner of an advertising firm, also “doctored the pictures of the home minister and some other ministers”, Kalam said, adding that the accused faced up to 10 years in jail if found guilty on defamation charges. Bangladesh authorities have launched a series of prosecutions this year over material on Facebook pages aimed at Hasina. Last month a student was charged with sedition after he posted comments on Facebook linking Hasina with the disappearance of an opposition leader.
In January police detained Al Nayeem Jubaer, 19, for posting obscene remarks about Hasina’s father, the nation’s founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on the social networking site. Also that month a 29-year-old Bangladeshi man was sentenced in absentia to six months in jail after posting a Facebook message that appeared to wish for the prime minister to die in a car accident. Ruhul Khandaker, who has been studying in Australia since 2009, will also be prosecuted for sedition and the courts have sought to have him extradited.—AFP
International FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
China probing bishop who quit govt church BEIJING: The government body that controls the Catholic church in China says it is investigating the selection of a bishop who cut his ties to the group as soon as he was ordained, in an embarrassment to Beijing that could deepen its rift with the Vatican. Shanghai’s auxiliary Bishop Ma Daqin announced that he was leaving the Catholic Patriotic Association at the end of his ordination ceremony on Saturday, saying he wished to devote himself fully to his duties as bishop. The move marked the biggest public challenge to Beijing’s control over the Catholic clergy in years. The Vatican does not recognize the Catholic Patriotic Association and says the Chinese church should take its orders directly from Rome. Ma’s announcement was greeted with applause by hundreds of worshippers in Shanghai’s Cathedral of St. Ignatius, the seat of one of China’s largest, wealthiest and most independent dioceses. But he has not been seen since. Ma, 44, was reportedly being held in isolation at a seminary. The Shanghai diocese said he had applied for and received permission to go into retreat beginning Sunday. The Patriotic Association issued a two-sentence statement late Wednesday saying it was investigating violations of regulations in the selection of bishops in relation to Saturday’s ordination. Patriotic Association spokesman Yang Yu refused to provide further details yesterday, saying to do so “might affect or influence public opinion” about an ongoing investigation. “It is not convenient to release the details now,” Yang said. In Rome, a spokesman said yesterday that the Vatican had no immediate comment on the latest developments in Ma’s case. However, in a note Tuesday, the Vatican appeared to take a conciliatory approach, saying his ordination was “encouraging and is to be welcomed.” Hong Kong-based Catholic activist Anthony Lam said China’s response to Ma’s announcement would make reconciliation between the sides even harder. The onus is on Beijing to explain its actions, he said. “Obviously the event will cause problems in the process of normalization of the China-Vatican relationship,” Lam said. The government’s options in Ma’s case appear limited. Barring him from his open episcopal duties could strengthen the status of the underground church that operates alongside the open church in most areas in defiance of government control. Allowing him to operate outside the Patriotic Association, however, would amount to a major surrender of authority. Ma’s ordination had marked a notable case of cooperation between China and the Vatican, which have no formal relations and disagree bitterly over who has the right to appoint bishops. China demands it do so independently, while the Holy See says only the pope can make such decisions. In Ma’s case, the pope had issued its approval of Beijing’s selection of him to take over as auxiliary, giving him day-to-day control over the Shanghai diocese and placing him next in line after 96 year-old Shanghai Bishop Jin Luxian. Such agreements had been common in past, but Beijing has in recent years moved to assert its authority by acting independently. Last Friday, it appointed a new bishop in the northeastern city of Harbin who did not have papal approval and was immediately excommunicated by the Vatican. China has an estimated 8 million to 12 million Catholics, around half of whom worship in underground congregations.—AP
HEFEI: This picture shows a group of Chinese workers taking a nap by the side of a street in Hefei, east China’s Anhui province, as the summer heat sets in. —AFP
PHNOM PENH: Officials join hands as they pose for a group photo at the 2nd East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at the 45th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia yesterday.—AP
China, US seek to calm South China Sea tensions Clinton urges all-party talks to resolve spat PHNOM PENH: The United States and China signalled a willingness yesterday to work together on “sensitive issues” in a move to cool tensions between rival claimants to the potentially oil-rich and increasingly militarised South China Sea. Long-simmering tensions in the waters have entered a more contentious chapter this year as the six parties who claim the territory search deeper into the disputed waters for energy supplies while building up their navies and defence alliances. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Beijing was ready to work with Washington “to expand our common ground, respect each other, properly handle differences on sensitive issues, and push forward” relations. Echoing Yang’s conciliatory tone, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “the United States and China not only can, but will work together in Asia”. “No nation can fail to be concerned by the increase in tensions, the uptick in confrontational rhetoric, and disagreements over resource exploitation,” Clinton told a news conference, referring to the South China Sea dispute. “We have seen worrisome instances of economic coercion and the problematic use of military and government vessels in connection with disputes among fishermen.” Clinton, who joined regional foreign ministers at a forum in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, called on all parties to refrain from issuing threats, and advocated all-party dialogue to address rival claims to the waters. Her stance was likely to upset Beijing which wants to take a bilateral approach to resolving the row. Clinton, however, said attempts to solve the problems bilaterally “could be a recipe for confusion and even confrontation”. The pledges by China and the United States to cooperate could cool tempers for now, but the maritime issue is extremely complex and sensitive, and could take years to resolve. Beijing claims the South China Sea as its territory based on historical records and has said China has “indisputable sovereignty” over the area. The Philippines and
China only recently stepped back from a months-long standoff at the Scarborough Shoal, a horseshoe shaped reef in waters they both claim-the latest round of naval brinkmanship over the heavily trafficked waters. The United States has stressed it is neutral in the long-running maritime dispute, despite offering to help boost the Philippines’ decrepit military forces. China has warned that “external forces” should not get involved. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also lay claim to parts of the South China Sea. Proven and undiscovered oil reserve estimates in the area range as high as 213 billion barrels of oil, the US Energy Information Administration said in a 2008 report. That would surpass every country’s except Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, according to the BP Statistical Review. US President Barack Obama has sought to reassure regional allies that Washington
would serve as a counterbalance to a newly assertive China in the South China Sea, part of his campaign to “pivot” US foreign policy more intensely on Asia after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States says stability is its concern in the waterway, which carries $5 trillion in ship-borne trade, accounting for half the world’s shipping tonnage. The 10state Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc is seeking a maritime code of conduct for the seas and wants China to be involved in the consultation, but it has yet to commit to the process, which has so far been vague. A US official yesterday said Yang had given Clinton a “careful indication” China was willing to work with Southeast Asian countries as a group on the proposed code of conduct. The official said China had suggested to other countries it could start talks on the issue in September.—Reuters
Amnesty condemns use of torture in Tajikistan ALMATY: Amnesty International condemned yesterday the routine use of torture and beatings at detention facilities in the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan. The rights group said in a report detailing a series of cases of abuse that victims of illtreatment and their families are often afraid of reporting their experiences for fear of police reprisals. “The torture methods used by the security forces are shocking: electric shocks, boiling water, suffocation, beatings, burning with cigarettes, rape and threats of rape,” said Amnesty’s Tajikistan researcher Rachel Bugler. “The only escape is to sign a confession or sometimes to pay a bribe.” Earlier this year, lawmakers in the former Soviet republic on Afghanistan’s border approved changes to the criminal code that made torture an offense punishable by prison sentences of between five and 15 years. But Amnesty’s Bugler said officials’ promises to uphold human rights have not been kept in practice. Bugler said authorities unofficially create incentives for torture by positively assessing law enforcement officers on the basis of the number of cases they solve. Authorities acknowledge that there have been some incidents of torture, but have denied the problem is endemic in the mainly Muslim nation of 7 million people. The Prosecutor General’s Office has said it received 26 reports of torture last year, of which it confirmed five cases. Tajikistan has for a number of years undertaken a sustained campaign to clamp down on any perceived signs of Islamic radicalism. Amnesty said members of Islamic groups are included among those subjected to ill-treatment in detention.—AP
Business FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Dashed stimulus hopes sends shares lower
Peugeot slashes 8,000 jobs as France battles crisis
BEIJING: Chinese tourists walk through Beijing yesterday. China’s economy is in little danger of a hard landing and will likely exceed the official growth forecast for the year, a prominent government adviser said. — AFP
China’s economic slowdown painful Job losses could fuel political tensions BEIJING: China’s economic slowdown slammed into Li Fangliang, cutting sales at his Shanghai auto parts store by half. “There are just fewer and fewer customers,” said Li, who has avoided layoffs among his four employees. “I plan to start a shop online to find new markets.” From shopkeepers to shipbuilders, some areas are feeling more pain from China’s deepest slowdown since the 2008 global crisis than still-robust headline growth of about 8 percent might suggest. Higher spending by state industry and government-directed investment is pumping up the world’s second-largest economy, but that is masking the fact that the private sector is cutting jobs and scrambling to prop up plunging sales. Data due out today are expected to show growth in the three months ending in June fell as low as 7.3 percent, down from the previous quarter’s nearly three-year low of 8.1 percent. That is in line with this year’s official 7.5 percent target. But revenues for companies in construction, shipbuilding and export manufacturing are down by up to half compared with a year ago. The slowdown is a setback for economies around the world that were looking to China to drive demand for exports and support global growth. “Domestic demand remains weak,” said JP Morgan economist Francis Fu in a report. “Corporate profits have continued to decline and incentive for business investment is low.” Other industries including cargo handling and manufacturers of shoes, clothing, optical
fiber and wind turbines are suffering lower profits or losses and cutting jobs, according to Chinese news reports. Job losses could fuel political tensions, eroding economic gains that underpin the Communist Party’s claim to power. The party is trying to enforce calm ahead of a handover of power to a younger generation of leaders this year. Though China’s growth even now is higher than those of developed economies, many industries depend on a much faster expansion to propel demand for new factories, cargo ships and other goods. Construction, which supports millions of jobs, was plunged into a deep freeze by limits imposed on home purchases to cool surging prices. Demand fell further as companies facing weak sales put off building new facilities. “A lot of building projects are half-finished and forced to stop. I think it is even worse than 2008,” said a manager for Hangzhou Yuanlong Construction Co. in the eastern city of Hangzhou. She would give only her surname, An. The company, with 20 employees and four teams of independent construction contractors, is owed 2 million yuan ($300,000) by cashstrapped customers and is having trouble collecting, An said. “Our boss is looking for new opportunities,” she said. “Otherwise we are not going to survive.” In Guangdong province in the southeast, a leading export manufacturing region that has been battered by the fall in global demand, the slowdown was “more severe than expected,” the official Xinhua News Agency
cited Governor Zhu Xiaodan as saying. Guangdong’s economic output in the first half grew 7.4 percent over a year earlier, below the official target, Zhu was cited as saying Wednesday. Beijing has cut interest rates twice since early June but economists say companies are reluctant to take on more debt. Authorities have reduced fuel prices and are injecting money into the economy through higher spending on low-cost housing and other public works. That will channel money into governmentowned construction companies. Yesterday, China’s main government pension fund added its financial firepower to the construction campaign, announcing 1 billion yuan ($159 million) in financing for a public housing project in Wuxi, a city northwest of Shanghai. The National Society Security Fund said it will finance other housing projects but gave no details. Some economists suggest the decline might be more severe than reported, citing rumors that utility companies have been told to make the economy look healthy by inflating electricity consumption data - a key indicator of industrial activity. Yu Bin, a Cabinet researcher, rejected those suggestions at a briefing Thursday. He said the slowdown in richer east coast cities such as Beijing and Shanghai is being offset by stronger growth of up to 10 percent in less-developed central and western regions. Companies are investing more there as incomes and consumer spending rise. “If you go to western parts of
China, the growth rate is quite high,” said Yu, director of macroeconomic research for the Development Research Center. In any case, opportunities in the traditional powerhouses of China’s economy appear to have dried up. “A lot of people want to go work in big cities, but there is far less demand this year,” said a manager at the Tongxu County Enterprise Bureau, an employment service in the central city of Kaifeng in Henan province. He refused to give his name. “A lot of workers from big cities are starting to return home because their employers can’t pay their salaries,” the man said. Beijing is pinning its hopes on investment, especially by state industry, to drive a rebound. Premier Wen Jiabao said this week that sustaining investment was most important at this point - an acknowledgement that efforts to boost consumption and exports are failing to gain traction. State industry has been sustained and even expanded by credit from government banks. Two major steel producers have received permission to build a pair of mills costing a total of more than $20 billion, financed by state-owned lenders. Wen has promised more credit to private businesses but entrepreneurs say they get little help. Facing weak export orders, manufacturers are cutting payrolls and reducing purchases of components and raw materials. Import growth in June fell by half from the May level to 6.3 percent, reflecting low industrial and consumer demand. — AP
Business FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Emaar launches $500 mln 7-yr sukuk DUBAI: Dubai real estate developer Emaar Properties launched a $500 million seven-year sukuk at a profit rate of 6.4 percent yesterday, arranging banks said. Emaar, builder of the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, is seeking to take advantage of tightening spreads to raise cheap financing as well as strong global demand for sukuk. Final pricing is due later in the day, with order books said to be in excess of $4.5 billion. Pricing at launch for the sukuk was tighter than guidance released on
Wednesday, signalling strong appetite for the deal. Yields on Emaar’s existing $500 million sukuk, issued early in 2011 at 8.5 percent and maturing in 2016 have tightened since the borrower announced pricing for its latest issue. The outstanding sukuk was bid at 109.5 cents on the dollar yesterday morning, to yield about 5.8 percent, tighter from about 6.1 percent on Tuesday, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Market sources said the existing 2016 deal offers more value compared with the upcoming 2019 bond which carry an extended three-year maturity. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered Plc , HSBC Holdings, Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank, Qatar’s Barwa Bank, Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Islamic Bank are mandated on the deal. Shares in Emaar, which is 32 percent owned by the Dubai government, were trading 1.3 percent higher at 0800 GMT on the Dubai bourse. — Reuters
Dashed stimulus hopes sends shares lower Euro, dollar hit session lows
HAMSHIRE: A businessman rides past a Boeing chalet on a personal transporter during the third day at the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire, southern England, yesterday. Thousands of industry executives from the worlds of aerospace and defence are gathered at the biennial show. — AFP
Boeing in focus as Airbus orders hit $16.9 billion FARNBOROUGH: Airbus unveiled a further set of orders yesterday in what has been a subdued performance at the Farnborough Airshow, ahead of an expected big deal between Boeing and United Airlines. The European aircraft manufacturer, a subsidiary of EADS, said it booked a potential $6.35 billion worth of orders. The four deals, if completed, take Airbus’ total by the fourth day of the UK airshow to $16.9 billion for a total of 115 aircraft. Airbus said it won commitments to buy 61 aircraft worth $5.8 billion and firm purchase orders for 54 aircraft worth around $11.1 billion. Airbus’ total was way down on last year’s record total at the Paris Airshow of $72 billion - the French capital and alternate aviation industry showcase venue with Farnborough. The decline in orders is no surprise given the gloomy global economic backdrop and the scale of last year’s success, when the European aircraft manufacturer trumped Boeing with a series of deals for its revised short-haul aircraft, the A320neo. Boeing’s orders last year totaled a little more than $22 billion. “The quality of orders at Farnborough has been high at the show, with significant endorsement from leading customers of our strategy to continuously innovate and improve our products,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus’s Chief Executive Officer. On Day 4, Airbus revealed that Russian carrier UTair has ordered 20 short-haul A321s in a deal is valued at $2
billion at list prices. The deal, which is firm, represents, the largest order for the type received from a carrier in the region and the first time that UTair has ordered Airbus aircraft. Airbus also announced that Synergy Aerospace, a Latin American company, has firmed up a previous $1.9 billion order for nine long-haul A330 planes. In addition, it said Middle East Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding to buy 10 A320neo aircraft, worth $1 billion at list prices, and that Irish leasing company Avolon has committed to buy 15 A320neo aircraft, worth $1.45 billion at list prices. Customers rarely pay the full list price when ordering big. Though most commitments end up becoming firm, it’s not unknown for them to founder at the last hurdle or two. Boeing, which was tipped to make a comeback at Farnborough this year after last year’s order book fell short of expectations, is later poised to reveal details of a deal with United Airlines. It already has announced more firm and committed orders than Airbus at this year’s show. This year’s airshow has taken place at a time when the global economy is showing signs of slowing down and governments around the world are cutting back costs on military spending as they grapple with high debt levels. The combination of a faltering economy and lower government spending is a difficult combination for the aviation industry as air travel tracks global economic growth. — Reuters
NEW YORK: Global shares fell more than 1 percent yesterday and the euro declined on concern about the world economic growth outlook and dimmed expectations for any new nearterm stimulus response by the US Federal Reserve. Stocks on Wall Street tumbled after the opening bell with the weakening growth picture prompting a number of highprofile corporate earnings warnings in recent days. The weaker-than-expected start to the second-quarter US corporate reporting season, combined with expectations of slower economic growth in the world’s leading economies, had encouraged hopes for the Fed to resume a policy of creating money to lower long-term interest rates, a process known as quantitative easing. There was some solace from data yesterday that showed the number of Americans applying for jobless benefits fell last week to a four-year low, though some of that improvement may be temporary. But analysts said it did little to sway the view the economic recovery has hit a soft patch. “It’s great, it’s welcome news. It’s not a game changer,” said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Capital in Jersey City, New Jersey. “Whether it is broader themes in employment, GDP, industrial production, housing - there is a lot there that speaks to a headwind that is going to take some very significant time and energy to get through.” A surprise rate cut in South Korea on Thursday following a 50-basis-point cut by Brazil on Wednesday evening also underscored the growing impact the slowdown was having worldwide. But the lack of any monetary easing by the Bank of Japan yesterday and limited clues in the latest minutes from the Federal Reserve’s June policy meeting, released on Wednesday, suggest central banks are still cautious about the need for further easing. The Fed minutes showed the world’s biggest economy would have to weaken further before its central bank took any more easing steps. The minutes did however show some officials felt more stimulus was justified. The dollar and euro hit session lows against the yen. The
euro fell to a session low of 96.40 and last traded at 96.48, down 1.1 percent on the day. Against the dollar, the euro last traded at $1.2182, down 0.5 percent on the day. European shares followed Asian markets lower in response to the dampened prospects for any fresh stimulus measures, sending the FTSE Eurofirst 300 index down 1.3 percent. The MSCI world equity index extended losses to fall 1.5 percent. “Anyone who’s expecting some sort of quantitative easing come September ahead of the (US presidential) elections, I think is possibly talking their own book because at the end of the day, we’re in an election year,” said Brenda Kelly, market strategist at CMC Markets. “It will be a bit of a consolidation effort over the next number of weeks as the bulls and bears fight it out.” The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 93.28 points, or 0.74 percent, to 12,511.25. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 14.09 points, or 1.05 percent, to 1,327.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 44.38 points, or 1.54 percent, to 2,843.60. The search for safety by investors pushed German government bond yields to new five-week lows, with 10-year debt down two basis points at 1.25 percent. Italy’s one-year borrowing costs fell by more than a percentage point from a month ago at a 7.5 billion euros ($9.2 billion) sale of new 12-month bills yesterday, but the country faces a stiffer test today when it auctions 5.25 billion euros longer-term bonds. Markets are also awaiting today’s second quarter gross domestic product growth number from China, which is expected to show one of the few growth engines in the world economy is faltering. A Reuters poll showed economists expect China’s growth to have slowed to 7.6 percent in the second quarter, its worst performance since the 2008/09 financial crisis. But analysts are hopeful the world’s second-largest economy would have seen the worst between April and June, and expect a pick up in the third quarter as Beijing loosens monetary policy and fast-forwards infrastructure spending. — Reuters
PITTSBURGH: In this Tuesday, July 10, 2012 photo, people walk by the recruiters at a jobs fair in the Pittsburgh suburb of Green Tree, Pa. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits plunged last week to the lowest level in four years, a hopeful sign for the struggling job market. — AP
Business FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
China pips Apple on iPhone 5 launch SHANGHAI: Apple Inc’s next-generation iPhone has not even been released yet, but opportunistic sellers on China’s largest e-commerce platform, Taobao, are already accepting pre-orders, complete with mock-up pictures and purported technical specifications. The hotly anticipated iPhone 5 is widely expected to be released sometime between August and October this year, although Apple itself has been tight-lipped about it. Sources have said the iPhone 5 would have a bigger screen than previous models, while Taiwanese media reported the phone’s voice recognition software, Siri, would have more powerful functions. Sellers on Taobao, a unit of Alibaba Group, are accepting orders for the iPhone 5, in some cases asking for a
deposit of 1,000 yuan ($160) for the new phone. One seller, “Dahai99888”, who started accepting pre-orders this week, is asking for full payment upfront, at a cool 6,999 yuan ($1,100). Taobao sellers that Reuters spoke with said they planned to buy the iPhone 5 in Hong Kong or the United States and then bring it to mainland China. Apple products are often available in Hong Kong before they are released on the mainland. The sellers could not promise a specific delivery time. The pre-order activity comes despite the mystery around the iPhone 5 and highlights the intense demand for new Apple products in China. Apple has not confirmed the specifications, details or price of the latest iPhone but the Internet rumour mill has been in overdrive,
US jobless claims plunge to lowest in four years WASHINGTON: The number of people seeking US unemployment benefits plunged last week. But a big reason was that some automakers skipped their traditional summer shutdowns to keep up with demand, leading to fewer temporary layoffs of autoworkers. Sales of new cars and trucks surged in June, extending the auto industry’s rebound. Automakers also began their Independence Day promotions early, lifting sales at the end of the month.Weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the lowest level since March 2008. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 376,500. Economists expect most of the decline to be reversed in the coming weeks. “Take July with a grain of salt,” Jill Brown, an economist at Credit Suisse, said in a note to clients. The auto shutdowns “often cause extreme volatility.” Automakers traditionally close their plants for the first two weeks in July to prepare them to build new models and their employees file for unemployment benefits. But Ford Motor Co. said in May that it would reduce its usual twoweek closing to only one week. And Chrysler said May 3 that it would skip the shutdown entirely. Applications for unemployment benefits measure the pace of layoffs. When they consistently fall below 375,000, it generally suggests hiring is strong enough to reduce the unemployment rate. They have fluctuated at or above that level since April. At the same time, hiring has slowed sharply compared with the first three months of the year. Employers added only 80,000 jobs in June, the third straight month of weak hiring. The unemployment rate was stuck at 8.2 percent. Job gains have averaged only 75,000 per month for in the April-June quarter. That’s roughly a third of the 226,000 average monthly gains in the first quarter. Employers advertised more job openings in May after a sharp drop in April, according to a government report released Tuesday. That suggests the job market is stabilizing. Still, more jobs are needed to lower painfully high unemployment and boost pay for those who are working. Wages have barely kept up with inflation over the past year, which has led consumers to pull back on spending. Consumer spending is critical because it drives roughly 70 percent of growth. But the economy isn’t growing quickly enough to encourage more hiring. The economy grew at an annual rate of just 1.9 percent in the first three months of the year. Most economists don’t expect growth picked up in the April-June quarter. And some predict that it weakened. The Federal Reserve downgraded its outlook for the economy this year. It now expects growth of just 1.9 percent to 2.4 percent for 2012. That’s half a percentage point lower than the range it estimated in April. The Fed also says the unemployment rate won’t fall much further this year than it has already. —AP
churning out photo renderings and pictures of purported iPhone 5 engineering samples, and speculating endlessly on its technical specifications and functions. Apple did not respond to requests for comment. “Demand is high, yesterday someone just bought two phones. Altogether we have about two dozen orders,” said one seller on Taobao who went by the nickname Xiaoyu. Demand for Apple products in China is so high that many consumers buy smuggled goods in order get them before the official China release. Earlier this year scalpers queued overnight outside a Beijing store for the latest version of the iPhone 4, only to pelt it with eggs after Apple decided against selling the phone at the store because of security concerns. “It’s not so easy to bring the phones
from overseas, there’s a limit to how many you can carry in ... If we could bring in a few thousand that will be great!,” said Xiaoyu. One enterprising seller posted a list of 17 possible new iPhone 5 features and gave a percentage probability that they would be included in the new device. For example, bio-metric capability has a 20 percent chance of being a feature on the iPhone 5, according to this seller. Apple, which recently settled an iPad trademark lawsuit with a Shenzhen technology firm, said on Tuesday it would release its latest iPad in China on July 20. Apple has five stores in mainland China and plans to open flagship stores in the major Chinese cities of Chengdu and Shenzhen, according to government officials.—Reuters
Peugeot slashes 8,000 jobs as France battles crisis Govt to present rescue plan on July 25 PARIS: French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen shocked France yesterday with an announcement that it will cut 8,000 jobs, sparking union anger and underlining the country’s competitiveness problems. Unions slammed the announcement as a “declaration of war” and an “earthquake,” with the hardline stance certain to add to the problems facing the new Socialist government as it deals with France’s flagging economy. President Francois Hollande was elected in May on a promise to put the economy back on track, focusing on growth rather than the austerity policies adopted across Europe in the face of the eurozone debt crisis. Prime Minister JeanMarc Ayrault said the layoffs were “a real shock” and announced that the government would present its rescue plan for the struggling auto industry on July 25. Shares in Peugeot rose on news of the lay-offs. The auto industry is strongly unionised and a major employer in French manufacturing, with job losses there having a knock-on effect on the wider economy. PSA, France’s biggest carmaker and second in Europe to Germany’s Volkswagen, said it expected the European market to shrink eight percent this year and had to adjust its business in the face of the worsening outlook. For the period 2007-12, the market is down 23 percent, it said, compounding problems which left its plants operating at just 76 percent of capacity in the first half of this year. PSA said the problem was even worse in the small car segment, which accounts for 42 percent of its sales “and where most of the competing models are made in lowcost countries”. As a result, the auto division is expected to report an operating loss of some 700 million euros ($860 million) for the first of half of 2012, producing overall a net loss for the period. PSA said in a statement that it would cease production at its historic Aulnay site near Paris which employs 3,000 people, with 1,400 jobs going at its Rennes plant. In addition, some 3,600 jobs will be cut across the corporate structure, as the company continues “reducing costs and
PARIS: Workers of French car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen demonstrate in front of the factory in Aulnay-sous-Bois, north of Paris, yesterday. Struggling French carmaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen is slashing 8,000 jobs in France and closing an iconic site north of Paris. — AP improving its operating efficiency.” The company employed a massive 100,000 people in France at the end of 2011, including 80,000 in the car sector. The Aulnay closure is the first of a car factory in France since Renault’s iconic plant at Boulogne-Billancourt closed down 20 years ago. Peugeot boss Philippe Varin vowed that “nobody would be left by the wayside”. “The depth and persistence of the crisis impacting our business in Europe have now made this reorganisation project essential in order to align our production capacity with foreseeable market trends,” Varin said in a statement. But he rejected the idea of the State injecting capital into the firm. “We have big financial security,” Varin told journalists later. “This matter is not on the agenda.” PSA, trying to cut the overcapacity that is blighting the whole European industry, announced earlier this year a tie-up with US giant General Motors in an effort to cut costs. Previously released figures showed PSA first half European sales down 18 percent to 980,000 cars and commercial vehicles, with its market share falling to 12.9
percent from 13.9 percent. “As soon as Peugeot announces the loss of 8,000 to 10,000 jobs, you have to multiply by three or even four to measure the impact in terms of jobs for the entire country,” CGT union Bernard Thibault said, vowing that his union would “react”. But the Socialist mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe said that while the state should protect jobs, it should also not finance loss-making companies. “The state should protect employees in their predicament with an industrial and economic policy,” he told Radio Classique. “But that doesn’t mean financing a factory that is losing money and cannot be sold.” Ayrault this week said the government would make legislative changes next year to reform France’s system of using payroll charges to fund social welfare programmes in a bid to lower labour costs and boost competitiveness. “Prospects must quickly be found, as much to ensure the future of social welfare as to increase the competitiveness of our businesses,” Ayrault told a conference gathering unions and employers.—AFP
Business FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
India industrial output rises by 2.4% in May NEW DELHI: India’s industrial output grew by a faster-thanexpected 2.4 percent in May, data showed yesterday, but the still sluggish expansion underscored the weakness of Asia’s third-largest economy. The 2.4 percent increase from a year ago at India’s factories, mines and power plants eclipsed market forecasts of a 1.8 percent rise and came after two months of shrinking growth. But the rise, spurred by higher manufacturing and power output, was still well below the nearly 10 percent growth in monthly output before India’s economy began losing traction in the second half of last year. “Production is growing-but only slowly and well below potential,” said Glenn Levine, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, blaming declining business confidence and investment linked to government policy paralysis. “None of this is likely to turn around any time soon,” Levine added. May’s official data came after a revised 0.9 percent contraction in output the previous month and a 3.2 percent shrinkage in March. Among manufacturing goods, textile production rose 8.6 percent but capital sector goods growth-a key signal of investment confidence-fell 7.7 percent, underscoring reluctance by companies to spend on machinery in the face of weak domestic and export demand. An aggressive string of interest rate hikes to curb stubborn inflation along with a stuttering world economy has undermined the once-booming economic giant. The data came as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) cut its growth forecast for India, projecting 6.5 percent expansion this year, down from a 7.0 percent April forecast. For “developing Asia”, the ADB lowered its growth forecast to 6.6 percent this year from 6.9 percent, citing the eurozone crisis, tepid US recovery and slowing Indian and Chinese expansion. China’s economy would expand by 8.2 percent this year, down from an earlier 8.5 percent forecast, the ADB said. India’s output figures come after Premier Manmohan Singh, who has taken charge of the finance portfolio, said this month he would push to restore the economy’s “animal spirit”. But analysts are skeptical Singh will be able to implement much meaningful change due to disagreements in the ruling coalition over economic reforms. The industrial output numbers could ease pressure on the central Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to cut interest rates to boost growth, analysts said. With lingering inflationary pressures, “the case for a rate cut is not strong”, said HSBC chief India economist Leif Eskesen. Inflation is currently running at more than 7.5 percent and is expected to nudge higher in latest figures due out on Monday. The RBI, which holds its next monetary policy meeting on July 31, fears lower rates would fuel inflation due to India’s outdated infrastructure and other structural constraints. India’s economy expanded 5.3 percent between January and March, the slowest quarterly pace in nine years. After growing for close to a decade at near double-digits, annual expansion could be returning to its previous five to six percent levels, analysts say.—AFP
Asian markets plunge on fears of regional slowdown S Korea cuts key interest rate HONG KONG: Asian markets plunged yesterday on growing fears of a regional slowdown after South Korea unexpectedly cut interest rates, and Japan refused to join an international drive to boost growth. The news spooked investors, who were already nervous a day before China releases second-quarter gross domestic product data expected to confirm slowing growth in the world’s second-biggest economy. Tokyo fell 1.48 percent, or 130.99 points, to end at 8,720.01, weighed down by the Bank of Japan’s decision not to announce fresh easing measures after a flurry of policy moves in other countries. Seoul closed down 2.24 percent, or 41 points, at 1,785.39 after the surprise rate cut stoked fears about the health of the Korean economy. Sydney fell 0.70 percent, or 28.5 points, to end at 4,068.0 after weak June jobs figures, while in afternoon trade Hong Kong was off 1.68 percent. Shanghai bucked the gloomy regional trend and was up 0.69 percent. By cutting its key interest rate 25 basis points to 3.00 percent, South Korea’s central bank joined a drive to ease the impact of the eurozone debt crisis, that threatens the global economy as Europe is a key import market. The bank said in a statement the domestic economy was under pressure “due mostly to the increase in euro area risks and the sluggish economies of its major trading partners.” The reduction was the first since February 2009, when the key rate hit a record low of 2.00 percent. The European Central Bank and China’s central bank cut their rates last week, while Brazil on Wednesday slashed its rate to a record low. But Japan’s central bank held off fresh easing despite lowering its growth forecast for the fiscal year, to 2.2 from 2.3 percent, surprising some analysts who had expected policymakers to follow the
flurry of moves in other countries. Following a two-day policy meeting, the Bank of Japan said it would keep rates steady at zero to 0.1 percent and a 70 trillion yen ($880 billion) asset-purchase programme in place. “After rate cuts by Korea and Brazil, it’s just odd that the BoJ is not playing ball like everyone else,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, strategist at Okasan Securities in Tokyo. “Stock investors feel that the BoJ is too tentative, too little, and too late on policy, and that it lack a sense of duty to support the market,” he told Dow Jones Newswires. Asian stocks slipped in early trade, following a lead in the US after the
minutes of the Federal Reserve’s June meeting showed the rate-setting committee split on whether to provide more stimulus. Several top policymakers urged the central bank to look at new tools to bolster the financial system amid a weak recovery, but the minutes also showed the Fed split on how, when and if to provide more stimulus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.38 percent. The flood of news from the region overshadowed developments in the eurozone, where optimism about an austerity package in Spain was largely offset by worries that Italy may have to tap a eurozone rescue fund, dealers said. — AFP
SEOUL: The glass facade of a bank is decorated with foreign currency marks in central Seoul yesterday. South Korea’s central bank yesterday unexpectedly cut its key interest rate for the first time in more than three years, joining international moves to ease the impact of the eurozone debt crisis. — AFP
Japanese ad giant Dentsu enters Europe LONDON: Japanese ad giant Dentsu is buying marketing group Aegis for 3.2 billion pounds ($5 billion), the biggest deal in its history as it seeks to expand outside its home market with the British firm’s European and digital business. Revealing how badly Dentsu needs growth outside its shrinking home market, it will pay a 48 percent premium to secure the takeover after European groups WPP and Publicis snapped up rival agencies in recent years. The price represents 20 times full year 2012 expected price earnings, compared with the 10-11 times at which WPP and Publicis trade, said analyst Ian
Whittaker at Liberum Capital. The deal means Japan is the second most active overseas acquirer this year with more than $20 billion worth of deals, behind the United States but surpassing all major European nations and China in outbound M&A. Analysts described the deal as a perfect strategic fit after Aegis Chief Executive Jerry Buhlmann turned the group around to grow in Asia Pacific, the U.S., emerging markets and digital marketing in recent years. “The quality of the offer, the strong likelihood of deal certainty, the fact the offer was cash and the fact it was a
meaningful serious approach meant that we entered bilateral discussions with them,” Buhlmann said of Dentsu’s approach. Aegis, which has Coca-Cola, GM and Disney on its client list, has long been seen as a potential takeover target, although it had for years been linked to the French group Havas as French financier Vincent Bollore was the largest shareholder in both. Aegis has performed strongly since selling its Synovate market research unit last year to focus on the faster growth areas of media buying and selling and digital communications.
In 2011, the group increased the proportion of its revenues from digital to a sector-leading 35 percent. Analysts said the deal underlined the value present in advertising companies despite a tough economic climate and could lift the whole sector. “We see the deal as underlining that the advertising sector still represents significant value,” Bernstein analyst Claudio Aspesi said. “The premium paid by Dentsu suggests they are confident of continuing long term growth for Aegis, despite recent negative commentary on the outlook for the European ad market.” — Reuters
THEY ARE THE 99! 99 Mystical Noor Stones carry all that is left of the wisdom and knowledge of the lost civilization of Baghdad. But the Noor Stones lie scattered across the globe - now little more than a legend. One man has made it his life’s mission to seek out what was lost. His name is Dr. Ramzi Razem and he has searched fruitlessly for the Noor Stones all his life. Now, his luck is about to change - the ﬁrst of the stones have been rediscovered and with them a special type of human who can unlock the gem’s mystical power. Ramzi brings these gem - bearers together to form a new force for good in the world. A force known as ... the 99!
THE STORY SO FAR : When he was a child, a clown called Palyaco terriﬁed Raﬁe the Lifter. Now Playaco is back and robbing stores, so Raﬁe must overcome his fears… with a little help from Noora and Musawwira.
The 99 ® and all related characters ® and © 2012, Teshkeel Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Opinion FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Saudi reforms economy, benefits may be elusive Mortgage law sets seal on major reforms in past decade By Angus McDowall
fter Saudi Arabia passed a long-awaited law covering housing mortgages last week, banking shares rocketed over 5 percent in a single day as investors bet the reform would unlock a lucrative source of revenue for banks. Since then, however, the shares have fallen back, giving up more than two-thirds of their gains, as investors focus on how the country’s high land prices may slow the growth of the mortgage industry - while legal uncertainties mean it is not clear how profitable the business will be. The stock market’s performance underlines the hopes and fears surrounding economic reform in Saudi Arabia. By passing the mortgage law, the government has largely completed a sweeping revision of economic policy which it launched in the late 1990s. But making sure those reforms boost private sector growth and cut unemployment will remain a struggle. A host of smaller changes is still needed to enforce the reforms, encourage competition and push companies into operating more efficiently. These changes may be difficult in the face of entrenched bureaucracies, a conservative judicial system and political pressures to improve workers’ welfare. “Policy direction has been pretty solid, but implementation has let it down sometimes. There’s room for improvement on that side,” said Paul Gamble, chief economist at Jadwa Investment in Riyadh. “They’ve taken the big steps but there are still important smaller steps.” Program After global oil prices slid below $10 a barrel in 1998, Saudi Arabia launched a programme of reforms designed to diversify the economy away from its heavy reliance on oil, strengthen the private sector and create jobs for young Saudis. These included opening previously off-limits sectors of the economy such as mining and utilities to private investment, strengthening regulation of the capital markets, joining the World Trade Organisation in 2005 and partially privatising big state companies in sectors including telecommunications. Last week’s mortgage law, passed after more than a decade of study, is a major plank in the reform programme. Though a limited form of home purchase loans was already available, based on banks making deductions from buyers’ salaries, it will now become possible to secure mortgages against property, creating new options for investors, banks and property developers. “We expect the market to mature a little bit better now with this in place. Demand is there from the customers,” said Rehan Khan, chief financial officer of Saudi British Bank, the kingdom’s fourthlargest lender. Another reform under discussion is opening the stock market to direct investment by foreign institutions. Authorities have mostly completed technical preparations for this change, which would subject Saudi firms to more market discipline. King Abdullah, who started the reform program after becoming regent to King Fahd in 1995, is now 89. He has a new heir apparent after the death in June of Crown Prince Nayef, who was believed to be opposed to some further reforms. The new crown prince, Salman, is seen as open to economic restructuring. “He certainly is very close to the business community and I think he will be supportive of reform, although not on the scale of King Abdullah,” said a lawyer who has advised the government on key reforms, declining to be named because of political sensitivities. Obstacles The case of the mortgage law, however, illustrates how Saudi economic reforms can be less effective than they initially seem. It will not be clear until detailed regulations are published by the central bank in three months time whether the government will allow mortgage holders who default on repayments to be evicted - a key issue for the profitability of the banks. Attempts to pass the mortgage law were delayed for years by opposition from powerful clerics based on Islamic opposition to interest-bearing loans and the concept of home repossessions. “The basic framework is
there but you have to actually roll out something that is going to be truly effective and transformational,” said the lawyer. The mortgage law’s impact on the housing industry may be limited without action to increase the supply of land, by encouraging wealthy families who hold huge tracts to put them up for development. Earlier this year, Saudi media reported the consultative Shoura Council was considering the idea of imposing a tax on undeveloped land to improve supply, but that idea now appears to have been shelved. Once economic reforms are set, it is not always clear whether they will be enforced consistently by administrative bureaucracies and the court system. Judges, who in Saudi Arabia are religious scholars, say governments have no right to interfere in their interpretation of Islamic law. King Abdullah passed a series of judicial reforms in 2008 but has struggled to implement the changes, which include officially recording judgements to create an established history of precedent. “How applicable is a contract drawn up under foreign law in Saudi Arabia? It’s another area where you can have a policy decision, but implementation doesn’t really happen, or doesn’t happen as it should,” said a Riyadh-based analyst. And even when the government has decided in principle on reforms, it some-
Impetus There are signs that economic reforms are having some success in boosting private business. The private sector expanded 6.3 percent in the first quarter of this year, outpacing the state sector which grew 4.2 percent, in a pattern that has prevailed for the last several quarters. But the goal of weaning the economy off oil exports remains distant: non-oil exports accounted for only 12 percent of total exports last year. And after years of buoyant global oil prices, which have boosted the country’s foreign reserves to nearly $600 billion from roughly half that level five years ago, authorities may have lost the impetus for potentially painful economic restructuring designed to accelerate growth. Instead, future economic reforms may aim primarily to address specific complaints among many Saudis: corruption, a housing shortage and a lack of high-paying jobs. Labour market reforms since last year, for example, have made it harder to hire foreigners through a quota system while providing more unemployment benefits to Saudis. A planned reform would encourage companies to put Saudis in higher-paying jobs by pressuring employers to allocate minimum ratios of their payrolls to Saudi citizens. Future economic reforms “might be quite different to the
A Saudi man stands next to a shop, closed for noon prayers, in the traditional Masmak Palace market in Riyadh in this June 23, 2012 photo. — AFP times appears hesitant to push ahead with them if they risk becoming politically sensitive. For example, based on contacts with government officials, many people in the securities industry expected the stock market to be opened to foreign investors in the first half of 2012. But that did not happen and there is now talk that the opening will be delayed until at least next year; an influx of foreign money could destabilise the market, potentially creating a boom-and-bust cycle that might prompt criticism of authorities. Another area which economists believe needs reform is the domestic energy sector. Soaring power consumption driven by subsidised prices is causing growing volumes of oil to be burned, eating into the amount available for export. However, the government’s solutions have so far focused on expensive schemes to generate power with solar or nuclear technology - not raising electricity prices, which could anger industrial and retail consumers.
reform push in the 2000s, which was initiated in the austerity of the late 1990s when they faced a real fiscal crisis and had to do something about public sector spending,” said Steffen Hertog, author of Princes, Brokers, and Bureaucrats, a book about Saudi politics. He noted that after the Arab Spring uprisings around the Middle East last year, King Abdullah pledged $110 billion in spending on social benefits over several years, including building half a million houses, creating 40,000 new jobs and introducing unemployment benefits. “This looks more like distribution policies” than growth-oriented reforms, Hertog said. — Reuters
FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012 www.kuwaittimes.net
Nomad from Dive Bomber poses for photographers at the Comic-Con preview night held at the San Diego Convention Center on Wednesday July 11, 2012, in San Diego. â€” AP
FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
By Sawsan Kazak
ven though chocolate doesnâ€™t have a twelve step program or support groups, it is a real addiction. On a recent trip to Switzerland I might have overdone the stocking up on chocolate. Well after having eaten all I could and given out souvenirs to friends and family, I still find myself with a good amount of chocolate. I think itâ€™s time to start cooking with chocolate. The following recipes are bound to satisfy any chocolate craving. Send your suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Food FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Coconut chocolate pudding 1 14-ounce can of coconut milk (lite is fine), divided 3 tablespoons sugar scant 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup arrowroot powder, sifted 1 teaspoon raz el hanout spice blend or curry powder, (optional) 3 tablespoons alkalized dutch-cocoa powder, sifted 1 3.5-ounce bar semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 1 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/4 cup coconut flakes, toasted in a dry skillet
hake the can of coconut milk vigorously for a few seconds. In a heavy saucepan bring 1 1/4 cups of the coconut milk, sugar, and the salt (just) to a simmer over low heat. While that is heating, in a seperate bowl whisk together the remaining coconut milk, arrowroot powder, spice blend (or curry pow-
der), and cocoa powder. It should look like a chocolate frosting. When the coconut milk and sugar mixture has started simmering take about 1/4 cup of it and whisk it little by little into the arrowroot mixture, creating a slurry. Turn down the heat to the very lowest setting. Now drizzle the arrowroot slurry mixture into the simmering pan of coconut milk whisking vigorously all the while. Keep whisking until the pudding comes back up barely to a simmer and thickens up a bit, about a minute. Remove the saucepan from heat, continue whisking while it is cooling for about a minute. Now whisk in the chocolate and vanilla. Keep stirring until the pudding is smooth. Place in a refrigerator to chill thoroughly. To prevent a skin from forming press plastic up against the surface of the pudding. Serve dusted with the coconut flakes and a tiny pinch of spices (or curry powder).
Double chocolate banana muffins 1 1/2 cups flour 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup baking cocoa 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 egg 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
n a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a small bowl, combine bananas, oil and egg. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups three fourths full. Bake at 350 deg F for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done.
2 chicken breasts (not frozen) 1 teaspoon semisweet cocoa powder or 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon paprika 1 dash cayenne pepper or 1 dash dried red chili pepper enough lemon juice, to make it goopy
Amazing black bean brownie 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate 1 cup unsalted butter 2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well (hs: canned is fine) 1 cup walnuts, chopped 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup (granulated) natural coffee substitute (or instant coffee, for gluten-sensitive) 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 4 large eggs 11/2 cups light agave nectar
reheat the oven to 325ยบF. Line an 11by 18-inch (rimmed) baking pan (hs note: or jellyroll pan) with parchment paper and lightly oil with canola oil spray. Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely. Place the beans, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter
should be thick and the beans smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt. Mix well and set aside. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well. Set aside. Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well. Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy. Drizzle over the brownie batter. Use a wooden toothpick to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. (They will be soft until refrigerated.)
1 tablespoon cilantro or 1 tablespoon basil (or other greenish stuff)
ut everything but the chicken in a bowl, mix it up. Wash the chicken, coat it with the mix, cook the chicken.
Beauty FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Framed for life!
Don’t go wrong while picking the right shades
oday’s sunglasses come in a huge assortment of shapes, sizes and styles. It can be confusing to know what style of sunglasses is going to look best on you. After all, just because they look good on someone else doesn’t mean that they will work with your particular face shape. Here are some tips on how to choose the right sunglasses for your face shape. The first thing you need to do is to determine what shape your face is. An easy way to do this is to stand in front of a mirror and draw around your face on the mirror using an old eyeliner or a washable marker. Take a look at the shape that you come up with when you are done. If your cheek area is wider than your forehead or jaw you have a round face. If your forehead, cheeks and jaw are all about the same width and your face is about as long as it is wide you have a square face. If the width of your facial features is the same the whole way down but your face is longer than it is wide you have a rectangular face. If your forehead area is much wider than your jaw line than you have a heart shaped face. Finally, if your face shape looks like an oval then you have an oval face. Now that you know what shape your face is you can determine what style of sunglasses is going to look best on you. Here are some pointers for each face shape: Oval face Oval face shapes are the easiest to work with because they are very well balanced. Essentially any style of sunglasses that you like will work on you if you have an oval shaped face. Square face Ovals and cat eyes work well on square faces because the curves of the glasses help to soften the angles of the face and give you an overall softer appearance. Round face If your face is round you don’t want to make the mistake of choosing sunglasses that are narrower than your face or it can make your face look even wider. Instead, look for sunglasses that are at least as wide as the widest part of your face. To counteract the curves of your face try looking at sunglasses with angles such as rectangular frames with soft angles. Rectangular face If you have a rectangular face try choosing sunglasses that are narrower than the widest part of your face. This will help to make your face appear wider and more balanced. Check out some glasses with decorative accents on the temples like rhinestones or studs since these will also help your face to appear wider. Heart-shaped face Heart-shaped faces work well with rimless or half rim styles of sunglasses. Aviator sunglasses are also great on a heart-shaped face. No matter what your face shape be sure to try on a lot of different styles before purchasing your sunglasses to see what looks and feels best on your face. It can be helpful to take an honest friend or family member shopping with you to help give you advice about which frames look the best on your face since it can be sometimes be difficult to see the frames from all the different angles on your own face. www.framesdirect.com
Books FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
GODDESS BOOT CAMP by Tera Lynn Childs
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE THUNDER BOLT KID by Bill Bryson
LOST GIRLS ADRIFT
lthough Bill Bryson may be better known for his work as a travel writer, there is no mistaking his comedic abilities in this autobiographical page-turner. By his own words this book is a simultaneous account of his American society and his own childhood and adolescence growing up in 1950’s society. As serious and significant as the imposing issues were during this time of social change in the United States, Bryson manages to interlace his notorious humour with the vividly honest voice of the 50’s child to produce a very entertaining read. With hilarious anecdotes characterising his colourful life from the age of five up to eighteen, this book is the perfect poolside read that doesn’t require too much concentration, and which you can dip in and out of with ease.
by Linda Williams-Aber
ost Girls Adrift follows the story of six very different girls who set off on an ill-fated exotic cruise together. When they encounter a violent storm and end up shipwrecked on a mysterious island they must learn to overcome their differences, as well as adapt to their new environment, in order to survive. Captained by island native Huzzy, the crew, which includes shy Libby, imageobsessed Allison, Annie and her older sister Sarah and artist Shawn encounter a series of trials and traumas to create a novel which is over-brimming with adventure, survival in adversity and brave heroism. With its picturesque tropical island setting and some truly touching moments of sisterhood, this makes for the perfect escape from reality.
his book is ideal for the teenage history buff looking for a little bit of stimulation during the school break. Goddess Boot Camp is the follow-up novel to Childs’ debut, OH.MY.GODS, which follows the story of Phoebe, a teenager who discovers she is the descendant of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike. While the first novel deals with Phoebe’s shock discovery and maps her efforts to make an impression on the running team while fitting in with her new peers, in Goddess Boot Camp Phoebe faces new challenges when she is placed in a summer camp with a difference. This book is a delightful mix of the ordinary and extraordinary, as Phoebe tries to juggle usual teenage issues such as friendships and love life with the huge burden of living up to the expectations of her bloodline. The Greek mythology motif which runs throughout both novels gives this book an exciting and interesting edge ahead of your average teeny biography and will provide the perfect distraction for any holiday boredom.
ANIMORPHS: THE INVASION by K.A Applegate
THE NOTEBOOK by Nicholas Sparks
veryone likes a bit of holiday romance and The Notebook serves up enough for breakfast, lunch and dinner - and then some! Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling novel has captured the hearts and imaginations of readers the world over since its release in 1996 and subsequent film adaptation in 2004. Set in 1940’s America and a time where class divide was rife throughout society, The Notebook follows the story of poor country boy Noah Calhoun and his forbidden love for wealthy heiress Allie Hamilton. After meeting at a country fair and falling passionately in love, their relationship seems ill-fated from the very start when Allie’s parents express their disapproval of the match. While the power of parental authority and the social norms of the day continue to separate the two young lovers, they refuse to give up the fight for one another and their happily ever after together. This is a charming story of true love and its power to overcome all obstacles, which is guaranteed to have you beaming and welling up all at once. A must-read for those looking for a bit of holiday romance!
or the teenage fantasy fiction addict, the Animorphs series will provide perfect summer reading material. The series, consisting of no less than 54 books, was published between the years 1996 and 2001 and has since been made into a popular television adaptation. This first book in the series, The Invasion, follows the story of five teenagers (Max, Marco, Cassie, Rachel and Tobias) who develop the ability to morph into an animal of their choice after a chance meeting with an extra-terrestrial from a far-off planet. The series is an action-packed rollercoaster adventure that follows the story of the teenagers as they come to terms with their new lives as ‘animorphs’ and their role in defending earth from an impending alien invasion. With the help of their alien ally, Ax, they embark on an adventure which sees them fighting not only for their own lives, but the lives of the entire world. This series is fantasy fiction with a twist and makes for very compulsive reading!
Te c h n o l o g y FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
From snail to cyclone - speeding up Windows
Get rid of any pre-installed programmes that serve no purpose or just annoy you
is no secret that the older a Windows system is, the slower it is going to work. The good news is that users have ways to reverse the process. Even better, you don’t have to be a computer expert to do so.The rights tips, tools and tricks can speed up your system and save you the fuss of installing a new system. First, get rid of any pre-installed programmes that serve no purpose or just annoy you (crapware, as some call them).
This job can be sped up with the freeware programme Decrapifier. Other options for removing applications include AppRemover or Revo Uninstaller Free. After employing these, unleash CCleaner Free. This freeware programme removes erroneous registry entries, temporary files and data garbage. To get these programmes, it is best to go straight to the developer’s website.
“This is the only way you can be sure that the installed programmes are the most current,” says Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). Also, be sure to routinely check to see if a newer version has usurped the one you’ve been using or if there has been a security upgrade. One possible reason for a Windows system that is to kick into gear are programmes or processes that automatically start up. To see everything stored in the operating system on your drive, type msconfig in the search field of the Start Menu. Then choose System Start from the system configurations window that comes up. Any unnecessary startup programmes can be removed by unticking the box next to them. The system-internal programme Autoruns from Microsoft packs even more of a punch. Using this, it’s possible to not just deactivate autostart items, but to delete them entirely. The downloadable tool doesn’t have to be installed, but can be started up directly. By opting for Everything at the register page, it is possible to view all autostart programmes. Opting for Logon shows all autostart programmes that engage when a user logs in. Under Options/Hide Windows Entries is the option to remove system entries for security reasons. Once all the unnecessary autostart items are removed, the PC should already start much quicker. If you want to take it further, you can stipulate in which order the autostart programmes should boot up, which you can do with the freeware programme Osrik. This option ensures that all the programmes open up one after another in an orderly fashion, instead of vying to get ahead of one another and gumming up the whole system. This should also get the PC sped up.
To get an even deeper look at your system settings - assuming you use Windows 7 - check out the event viewer in the operating system. Access this by typing “eventvwr” in the Start Menu search area. After getting to the section for applications and services, users will see events labeled ID 100 to see the startup times, while those labeled ID 200 show how long shutdowns took. It is also possible to call up a list of error warnings and information reports, as well as an overview of the system standards. If that is still not enough, consider defragmenting the hard drive. This process brings together data pieces that belong together but that have been saved in different places on the hard drive. This speeds up hard drive access and, thus, all computer operations. Consider the preinstalled defragmentation programme that came with your Windows system or the fast freeware Disk Defrag. For a last step, consider speeding up your PC with new hardware. That could include installing an SSD hard drive. Bear in mind, this relatively new technology cannot work wonders and turn an old model into a speedster. An SSD drive can only provide a speed boost if the computer has a dual-core processor and at least 4 gigabytes of RAM memory. —dpa
Lifestyle FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Klimt up close and personal on his 150th birthday O
n his 150th birthday, Vienna’s museums offer an intimate look at Gustav Klimt, digging beneath the layers of paint and scratching away at the artist... but not without a good dose of kitsch. Over the past century, Klimt has gained worldwide recognition even beyond the art world, something Vienna has been keen to exploit with ad cam-
“The Kiss” painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. paigns borrowing heavily from his famous golden paintings like “The Kiss.” His work shocked early-1900s Vienna and alternated between opulence and tormented figures. But the 400 postcards and messages that Klimt sent his lifelong friend Emilie Floege-on display at the Leopold Museum-also show a whimsical, laid-back personality. “I wanted to send you a funny card but first I have to get over the... enormous stupidity of mankind. Affectionately,
Gustav,” he wrote in one note. Pictures of summer holidays show him eternally clad in a shapeless painter’s smock, hair dishevelled and a mischievous smile on his lips while stroking a cat. In his cardshe wrote to Emilie up to eight times a day, often inane observations-he described his breakfast or complained of a hangover or a bad cold. Not for nothing is the exhibit titled “Klimt: Up Close and Personal”: the art here takes a backseat to the man. The Wien Museum also used the occasion to examine a “star artist whose curse is that everyone thinks they know him so well.” Proof is the multitude of kitschy souvenirs depicting “The Kiss” or other famous Klimt works on sale in Vienna and elsewhere. Earlier this year, the museum made a call on Facebook for the “worst of the worst” and the result was some 140 objects sent from around the world, including pictures of tattoos, a toilet-seat cover and a bejeweled egg with the two figures from “The Kiss” rotating to Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Alongside this however, the Wien Museum has also put its entire Klimt collection on show for the first time, including the artist’s death mask, his massive painter’s smock-the last in existence-and some 400 drawings from his beginnings in art school to his last few years. Far from the golden spirals and arabesques of his most famous work, the rough sketches-here a leg, there a shoulder-provide “an insight into Klimt’s development and working methods: a close-up of an artist,” said museum director Wolfgang Kos. For this 150th anniversary, Vienna’s museums have been falling over themselves trying to top each other, with even the respected Belvedere-home of “The Kiss”-organising a “Gustav Klimt and Emilie Floege lookalike contest” on the artist’s birthday on Saturday. But those keen to focus on his art are also in luck with the Secession art gallery bringing visitors right up to Klimt’s famous Beethoven frieze-situated three to five metres (1016.5 feet) above ground and usually seen only from below-via a temporary platform. The work behind the massive painting, the layers of gold leaf and paint,
A man looks at the window of a shop with souvenirs of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.
People watch the “Portrait of Emilie Floege” by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt at the Wien Museum in Vienna on July 11, 2012. — AFP photos are meanwhile revealed in a video documenting the painstaking restoration work after the piece was severely damaged. Born on July 14, 1862, Klimt was a key figure of Vienna’s art scene during its heyday as a cultural and intellectual hub, bustling with people like Sigmund Freud, Adolf Loos, Egon Schiele and Otto Wagner. Even long after his death in 1918,
he made headlines when “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer,” one of his bestknown works, was at the centre of a dispute over Nazis stolen art. With his stamp now on umbrellas, magnets and pens everywhere, “Klimt is, posthumously, one of Vienna’s most effective advertising agencies,” as Wien Museum director Kos puts it. — AFP
US billionaire Black is ‘Scream’ buyer U
File photo shows Sotheby’s employees posing with Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s 1895 pastel on board version of ‘The Scream’ at Sotheby’s auction house in central London. — AFP
S investment billionaire Leon Black is the mystery buyer who paid a record-breaking $119.9 million for Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” at an auction in May, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The painting, one of the most recognizable in history and the only privatelyheld version of Munch’s famous scene, was sold at Sotheby’s in New York in a dramatic 12-minute sale-but the buyer remained anonymous. The Wall Street Journal said it learned from “several people close” to Black that the well-known art collector had bought the painting. The $119.9 million price tag was the highest ever for a work of art at a public auction.
Black’s spokesman refused to confirm or deny the report Wednesday, telling AFP: “We are not commenting on the story in the Wall Street Journal.” Leon Black, a 60-year-old New Yorker, is the founder and senior partner of Apollo Global Management, an investment fund. He is estimated to be worth $3.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine. The 1895 work is one of four versions Munch painted. Its nightmarish central figure and lurid, swirling colors symbolized the existential angst and despair of the modern age. Another version of “The Scream’ belongs to the National Gallery of Munch’s native Norway, while the remaining two belong to the Munch Museum in Oslo.—AFP
Lifestyle FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
alf a century after their first live gig on London’s Oxford Street, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the rest of the Rolling Stones will mark the band’s 50th anniversary at a photographic exhibition yesterday. Guitarist Richards said this week that the Stones have met up for “a couple of rehearsals”, fanning the fire of rumors that a new world tour may be in the works. Richards would not go so far as to say when the quartet comprising himself, Jagger, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood would be performing in public again. “There’s things in the works - I think it’s definitely happening,” he told British broadcaster the BBC. “But when? I can’t say yet.” “We’re playing around with the idea and had a couple of rehearsals we’ve got together and it feels so good.” The exhibition photos and an accompanying book track the rise of a group of fresh-faced British boys who played their first gig at Oxford Street’s Marquee Club in 1962, became the scourge of the establishment in the 1960s, the titans of 70s music and finally the elder statesmen of rock n’ roll in the 21st century. “There was no sort of master plan,” Richards says on the band’s official website rollingstones.com. “We were flying by the seat of our pants. That is what amazes me, that the whole thing was improvised.” The relationship at the heart of the Stones’ success remains the working friendship of singer Jagger and Richards, whose long musical partnership goes back to the days when they roomed with the late guitarist and former Stones founding member Brian Jones, hustling gigs where ever they could find them. “You have to put yourself back into that time,” Jagger says on rollingstones.com.
File photo shows the rock band the Rolling Stones. (from left to right) Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts, issued yesterday. — AP
“Popular music wasn’t talked about on any kind of intellectual level. There was no such term as ‘popular culture.’ None of those things existed.” But the Jagger/Richards partnership has also had its chillier moments. Earlier this year, Richards apologized to Jagger for derogatory comments he made about the lead singer in his 2010 memoir “Life”, which caused a rift within the band. In comments reported by Rolling Stone magazine, the two agreed it was time to settle their differences, leaving fans keen for another world tour breathing a sigh of relief. “I got very involved with the business side of the Stones, mainly because I felt no one else was interested, but it’s plain now from the book that Keith felt excluded, which is a pity,” Jagger was quoted as saying. “Time I reckon to move on.”Richards added: “Mick’s right. He and I have had conversations over the last year of a kind we have not had for an extremely long time and that has been incredibly important to me.” Some industry sources had put a tour delay down to the argument, but Rolling Stone said it may be more closely linked to concerns over Richards’ health.“The quality of the guitarist’s performances declined after he suffered a head injury on vacation in Fiji in April 2006, midway through the Bigger Bang tour,” the magazine said. A Bigger Bang, the Stones’ last tour, played to 4.5 million people in 32 countries over two years before it finished in London in 2007. “The Rolling Stones: 50” picture book also hit the shelves yesterday to correspond with the golden anniversary. The new book features 700 illustrations, 300 of them in color and many taken from the archive of the Daily Mirror tabloid, which contains the largest newspaper collection of Rolling Stones photography. “This is our story of 50 fantastic years,” Jagger, Richards, guitarist/bass player Wood and drummer Watts said in a joint statement.“We started out as a blues band playing the clubs and more recently we’ve filled the largest stadiums in the world with the kind of show that none of us could have imagined all those years ago.”The photographic autobiography, which also features words from the band, includes images taken by Philip Townsend, the photographer for the band’s first ever shoot.The 352-page hardback edition published by Thames & Hudson in Britain, will retail at 29.95 pounds ($48). The Stones have said they also plan to release a documentary film in November chronicling their history.—Reuters
Indian Bollywood actor Salman Khan and actress Katrina Kaif attend a promotional event for their forthcoming film ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ in Mumbai yesterday. The spy thriller, scheduled to be released on August 15, sees Khan playing the lead role. — AFP
sa Zsa Gabor’s husband won a legal battle Wednesday against the Hungarian-born star’s daughter over control of his 95-yearold wife’s affairs-for six months at least. A Los Angeles judge named Prince Frederic von Anhalt as the temporary conservator for the ailing actress and her estate, ending for now a bitter battle with her daughter Francesca Hilton. “I’m the conservator now of my wife, so that’s good,” the 68-year-old told reporters after the court hearing, adding that his wife remained in reasonable health. “She’s doing fine,” he said. The order gives her daughter-with whom von Anhalt has long had a bitter feud, over allegations that he was not properly caring for Gabor-the right to weekly visits, with 24-hour notice required. Hilton, Gabor’s daughter by her second marriage to hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, filed a lawsuit in March asking a judge to appoint a conservator to oversee Gabor’s finances and medical care. A lawyer for the 65-yearold said after the hearing that he was hopeful the arrangements would be sufficient to allay the daughter’s concerns about her mother. “The outcome is an outcome where everybody agreed to mediation... the hope is that it will work well for the six months that we’ve agreed to have it in place,” said attorney Kenneth Kossoff. “I’m cautiously optimistic, because... we’re going to be getting monthly bank statements and cancelled checks, so numerous provisions where I think Zsa Zsa’s interests are protected, in terms of her finances. “My client is also able to visit her mother weekly with security to ensure that she doesn’t feel threatened,” he added. Los Angeles
File photo shows actress Zsa Zsa Gabor holding a beaded purse removed from a 30year-old trunk containing possessions of actress Marilyn Monroe. — AFP
Superior Court Judge Reva Goetz set another hearing for January 9 to evaluate how the agreement has worked. Gabor, a platinum blonde actress known for her flamboyant lifestyle, legal troubles and multiple marriages, has been repeatedly hospitalized over the last two years, and had her right leg amputated in January 2011. Shortly after that operation, Von Anhalt announced the couple was putting their home on sale because they could no longer afford the mortgage and her medical bills. Gabor’s long career included spots in a dozen films and TV series, such as John Huston’s 1952 “Moulin Rouge” and the 1958 film noir “Touch of Evil” by Orson Welles. She also lent her voice to several animated films and TV series.—AFP
Lifestyle FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Caribbean parasite named after Marley
small crustacean parasite which feeds on fish in the Caribbean has been named after Bob Marley, in what the biologist who discovered it calls a tribute to the late reggae icon. The tiny shellfish, a blood feeder that inhabits the coral reefs of the shallow eastern Caribbean, has been called Gnathia marleyi after the Jamaican music legend. “I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley’s music,” said Dr. Paul Sikkel, a field marine biologist at Arkansas State University. “Plus, this species is as uniquely Caribbean as was Marley,” he added in a statement on the website of the National Science Foundation, as well as that of the university. In an email to AFP, he added: “I am a HUGE Bob Marley fan and have been since high school. I have three large Bob Marley posters in my laboratory, have virtually everything he has ever recorded. “When I had the opportunity to name a species that I consider absolutely fascinating, I chose to name it in Bob’s honor. “It has nothing to do with the fact that it is a parasite, and everything to do with the fact that it is a truly remarkable animal that is widespread in the Caribbean.” The creature, from the family of gnathiid isopods, is the first new species to be found in the Caribbean in more than two decades, the National Science Foundation said. The juvenile Gnathia marleyi conceals itself inside coral rubble, sea sponge or algae, and launches surprise attacks on fish which it then infests. Adult gnathiids do not feed at all, said Sikkel. “We believe that adults subsist for two to three weeks on the last feedings they had as juveniles and then die, hopefully after they have reproduced,” he said. The health of Caribbean coral reefs is declining due to disease. “We are currently researching the relationships between the health of coral reef communities and gnathiid populations,” said Sikkel. Naming new species after celebrities is nothing new: President Barack Obama has a lichen named after him; Microsoft boss Bill Gates has a flower fly, and Elvis Presley has a wasp, the foundation said. Neither the Marley family nor his record label, Island Records, responded to requests for comment on the deceased musician’s latest honor. — AFP
(From left) Director Peter Jackson, Elijah, Kristen Stewart and actor Robert Pattinson are shown in the picture.óAFP
ans descend on San Diego yesterday for the annual Comic-Con festival of pop culture, with highlights including the longawaited “Hobbit” and last “Twilight” films, in a four-day geekfest. Some 130,000 devotees of comic books, movies and TV shows-many dressed up in the costumes of their idols-will throng into the soldout Convention Center and myriad events around the southern Californian city through Sunday. Other big draws at the 43rd annual Comic-Con International include Hollywood veterans like Arnold Schwarzenegger-returning from politics in “The Expendables 2”-Robert Downey Jr (“Iron Man 3”), Jodie Foster and Matt Damon. “Twilight” fans will be looking out for Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, in town to promote the final installment of the fantasy films, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2,” due out in November. In a sign of the frenzy generated by the movie, they have been lining up since last weekend for the “Twilight” panel yesterday. One fan died when crossing the street nearby Tuesday, triggering a tide of grief on Twitter. The other big movie event of ComicCon 2012 will be the screening of more footage from Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” prequel “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” due for release in December.
Anticipation if particularly intense because a first glimpse of the movie, shot in groundbreaking 48 frames per second format, drew mixed critical reactions when it was screened in Las Vegas in April. In an interview with the the LA Times published Wednesday, director Jackson said he would screen the footage at Comic-Con in the normal 24 frames per second. “With our 48 frames per second presentation, negative bloggers are the ones the mainstream press runs with and quotes from,” he said. “I decided to screen the ‘Hobbit’ reel at Comic-Con in 2-D and 24 frames per second, so the focus stays firmly with the content and not the technical stuff. If people want 3-D and 48fps, that choice will be there for them in December.” Hollywood, two hours up the California coast from San Diego, has not always played such a big role at Comic-Con. “Hollywood wasn’t involved in the beginning as it is today,” David Glanzer, ComicCon’s marketing chief. “But ... Hollywood is a great partner and we hope they enjoy ComicCon as much as we enjoy their participation,” he added. Television bosses will also be showcasing their wares in San Diego: small screen highlights include HBO fantasy hit “Game of Thrones,” a new season of “Glee,” and Britain’s “Dr. Who,” seeking to build on its US fan base. Video games
have also played a growing part at Comic-Con. Those presenting new material this year include “Assassin’s Creed III,” “Halo 4” and “Resident Evil.” Many Comic-Con attendees openly embrace the description of them as geeks, or nerds, and there will be a predominance of young men dressed up as superheros, or Middle Earth thronging the San Diego streets over the next few days. But a growing number of women are also joining the party. “The key demographics remain male 16 to 34. However, we have seen a marked increase in female attendance over the years. Currently the male to female ratio is about 60/40,” said Glanzer. And he declined to predict what will emerge as the overall highlight of the festival. “When asked what the big thing will be at Comic-Con this year, I always say we have to wait until the end of the show. There are always predictions, but it’s the fans who will let us know when all is said and done,” he said. — AFP
First action man of Bollywood,
Dara Singh dies at 83
Jamaican reggae sta Bob Marley
ollywood’s “first action hero” Dara Singh, an Indian champion wrestler-turned-actor whose film and television career spanned over half a century, died yesterday aged 83. The star’s health deteriorated a few days ago and he passed away after suffering from a heart attack, his doctor R.K. Agarwal told reporters outside Singh’s Mumbai residence, sparking tributes from across the country. “It was his and his family’s wish that he should spend his last moments at home,” Agarwal said. Born in Punjab in 1928, Singh trained in the Indian “Pehlwani” wrestling style before joining the sport professionally, going on to become commonwealth wrestling champion in 1959 and world wrestling champion in 1968. He took up acting in
the 1950s, carving his niche with tough man roles in Bollywood films such as “King Kong”, “Hercules”, “Samson” and “Tarzan comes to Delhi”. His popularity peaked in the 1980s when he played the monkey god Hanuman in the popular television series of “Ramayan”, an adaptation of the Hindu epic, and he appeared in more than 140 films. His last movie appearance was in “Jab We Met” (When We Met) in 2007, playing the role of grandfather to leading Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led the tributes, expressing his sadness at Singh’s death and describing him as a “noted film personality and an internationally acclaimed wrestler”. —AFP Villagers pose with portraits of late Indian actor Dara Singh who passed away yesterday in Mumbai.—AFP
Lifestyle FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
‘Ice Age 4’ review:
A flavorless chunk of nothing I
f you are forced by familial obligations to attend a screening of “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” the fourth in this series of aggressively bland kiddie cartoons, make sure you don’t get there late, or you’ll miss the one silver lining of the experience: A new 3-D “Simpsons” animated short called “The Longest Daycare.” This featurette stars Maggie, making her way through the psychological minefield that is the Ayn Rand School for Tots, where that creepy unibrow baby makes sport of smashing pretty butterflies with a mallet. As Maggie gets passed over for the “gifted” section and plopped down with the “nothing special” kids, she looks over and sees a glassy-eyed urchin slurping down library paste with gusto. The nothing-special “Ice Age: Continental Drift” is the library paste of movies - smooth
and flavorless, kids eagerly consume it despite its total lack of nutritional value. And while swallowing paste won’t do children any harm, attentive parents should offer a tastier alternative that might actually do them some good. Scrat, the one moderately amusing character to emerge from the franchise, accidentally kicks off the separation of Pangaea into separate landmasses by chasing his precious acorn down to the earth’s core and causing continental drift. This historical event separates mammoth Manny (voiced by Ray Romano), saber-toothed Diego (Denis Leary) and sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) from their animal companions. And while this trio - along with Sid’s batty old Granny (Wanda Sykes) - battle primate pirate Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage) and his feline first mate Shira (Jennifer Lopez) in
Walter Hill remaking ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’
alter Hill, the man best known for “The Warriors” and “48 Hrs.,” is mounting a remake of the horror classic “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” That may sound like sacrilege to fans of the macabre chiller, but Hill is doing so with the blessing of the family of the late Robert Aldrich, the director of the original 1962 film. “I am greatly honored that Walter Hill will be joining us in the collaboration of this film. I know that he will respect the material and the legacy of this terrific project,” Adell Aldrich, the director’s daughter, said in a statement. Adell Aldrich will share producer credit with Hill, who has entered into a partnership agreement with the Aldrich Company to direct and adapt the screenplay.The film is something of a departure
for Hill, a director who is highly regarded for his male-dominated action films, as “Baby Jane” focuses on two strong females who are pitted against each other in a crumbling Hollywood mansion. The film revolves around Jane Hudson, a former child star, and her sister Blanche, a movie queen from the 30’s forced into retirement after a crippling accident. The pair live together in a toxic state of codependency that takes a bloody turn for the worse. No word on casting of the two juicy leads, but Hill implied in a statement that they would have to have significant pedigrees given that the original 1962 film starred Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Davis got nominated for an Oscar, Crawford did not (and she was none too pleased). —Reuters
their effort to return home, Manny’s wife, Ellie (Queen Latifah), tries to lead everyone to safety while also dealing with the adolescent growing pains of daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer). Life lessons are learned, new loves are discovered and cliffs menacingly move closer and closer to the shoreline, but almost nothing makes an impact here. It’s insulting to think that a movie aimed at children has to be this stultifyingly dull and simplistic, and there are certainly enough examples of great kids’ movies that prove you don’t have to. Just look at “The Wizard of Oz” or “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” or “Spirited Away” or “Toy Story 3.” Will small children be entertained by “Ice Age: Continental Drift”? Yes. Will they want to watch it over and over again on DVD? Probably. Does that make it any good? Nope.
Even next to something like “Madagascar 3,” the voice cast here feels completely disengaged and one-note. Romano does the exasperated, put-upon dad routine, Leguizamo plays it dopey and disconnected, Leary snarls in a superior tone; lather, rinse, repeat. Probably the worst of the lot is Queen Latifah, whose idea of playing motherly and nurturing is to do the tone of unctuous, honey-coated voice that people put on around poodles and three-yearolds. She might as well end every declamation with, “Who’s a good boy? WHO’S A GOOD BOY?” You’ll find yourself pining for the return of the non-speaking Scrat. So by all means, check out “The Longest Daycare,” which has all the laughs and suspense and wit that this new “Ice Age” sorely lacks. And when the short is over, you can always “Continental Drift” off for a nice air-conditioned nap. — Reuters
Vocal injury strikes Florence and the Machine
lorence and the Machine canceled its next two shows in Europe on Wednesday to enable its frontwoman Florence Welch to recover from a vocal injury in time for a North American tour. “I’ve sustained a vocal injury and been told I cannot sing for a week... seriously I felt something snap, it was very frightening,” wrote Welch, 25, to her fans on the band’s website. “Unfortunately this means I will not be able to perform at the Benicassim and Optimus Alive festivals (in Spain and Portugal respectively) this weekend... I hope I can make it up to you in the Florence and the future.” She did not specify the nature of the vocal injury, “but I was told withMachine out question not to (perform), so as not to do permanent damage.” Florence and the Machine is still lined up for a string of concerts in Canada and the United States starting in Burnaby, British Columbia on July 20 and ending in Chicago on August 5, before returning to Europe for more gigs. Fellow British songstress Adele canceled a number of US concerts in October last year after she sustained a vocal cord hemorrhage for the second time in less than a year. In such cases, doctors prescribe strict voice rest. —AFP
Lifestyle FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
File photo shows US actors Tom Cruise and his wife Katie Holmes on the red carpet as they arrive for the international film premiere of the film “Knight and Day” by US director James Mangold in Sevilla. — AFP
om Cruise’s attorney has threatened the parent company of the National Enquirer with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit over a new issue asserting it has details of the actor’s recent split with wife Katie Holmes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter on its website posted a letter from Cruise’s Los Angeles attorney, Bert Fields, in which he blasts American Media Inc, parent of the Enquirer, for what he calls “false and vicious lies” he says will cause “hundreds of millions of dollars” in damages to Cruise. “As you were notified in advance, your current issue of National Enquirer makes numerous false and defamatory assertions about our client Tom Cruise,” the three-page letter begins. The letter draws attention to disparaging descriptions of Cruise in the Enquirer’s issue that hit newsstands on Wednesday, with Fields writing, “These are all lies - vicious, hurtful, damaging lies.” Fields did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment late on Wednesday and a representative for American Media could not be reached. Cruise and Holmes have been the subject of hundreds of headlines worldwide since
she filed for divorce from the “Mission: Impossible” movie star two weeks ago, seeking sole custody of their 6-year-old daughter, Suri. Earlier this week, the couple agreed to a divorce and custody arrangement, but details were undisclosed. Both have remained publicly silent about the issue, except for one joint statement in which they said they were working together to settle their differences in the best interest of Suri. Speculation about a reason for the split has centered on Cruise’s membership in the Church of Scientology, but that has never been confirmed by either the couple or their representatives.— Reuters
Psychic ‘Lights’ should have known better
ed Lights” culminates with a twist ending that doesn’t just change everything that came previously; it actually negates the entirety of the film. Rather than leaving you in an awe-struck state of “A-ha!” it’s more likely to make you wonder in annoyance, “Really?” There are actually two big character revelations, one of which isn’t terribly hard to guess much earlier; the other, however, just rips gaping holes in the narrative. The story was pretty flimsy anyway, and never nearly as serious or important as writer-director Rodrigo Cortes seems to take it. Cortes is the Spanish filmmaker who trapped Ryan Reynolds in a coffin for an hour and a half in the 2010 thriller “Buried,” which enjoyed a surprising amount of critical acclaim. As tight and minimalist as that film was, “Red Lights” is a melodramatic, gimmicky mess, full of noisy scares and needless cuts. Cortes also edited “Red Lights” and he did so in manic, maddening fashion. A scene in which two characters are getting to know each other and flirting a bit over milkshakes at a diner features camerawork that flits about anxiously, when it theoretically should have been a moment of intimacy. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. There’s so much to pick apart here, it’s hard to know where to begin. Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy star as professors at an unnamed university in an unnamed town. Wherever they are, the lighting is incredibly unflattering all the time, casting ordinarily attractive actors in a sickly, greenish pallor.
This film image released by Millennium Entertainment shows Cillian Murphy in a scene from “Red Lights.”—AP
Weaver’s Margaret Matheson and Murphy’s Tom Buckley specialize in debunking claims of paranormal activity. Skeptics to the core, they sneak up on supposed psychics in front of packed, enraptured audiences and expose them as frauds. Margaret tells a student in her class near the film’s start that in her 30 years in this business, “I have yet to witness a single miracle.” You know this means a miracle is coming by the end. Their latest challenge is actually an old adversary of Margaret’s: celebrity psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro), a charismatic blind man who once played to sold-out theaters, but has retired from public appearances ever since the unusual death of one of his detractors. For arbitrary reasons of plot, Simon is back - and we know this because every television, radio and newspaper in this unnamed town has wallto-wall coverage of his return. Tom wants to take him down once and for all, but Margaret is more reluctant. Also along for the ride is Elizabeth Olsen in a thankless role as Margaret’s student and Tom’s sorta love interest. Olsen is just “the girl” here - it’s a huge waste of a major young talent. Exploring the ways in which psychics, healers, mediums and the like operate might have been an intriguing topic for a film. “Red Lights” comes close to achieving a couple of worthwhile moments, namely when Simon allows another professor (Toby Jones) to subject his skills to an official examination. There’s also a scene in which Tom stealthily confronts Simon at his hidden lair which feels intense in the moment - De Niro dials it down and gives one long, mysterious monologue - but, in retrospect, makes no sense. Like the showmen he offers up for scrutiny here, Cortes seems more interested in fooling us with sleight of hand, distractions and mumbo jumbo, when a little substance and consistency might have worked some real magic. “Red Lights,” a Millennium Entertainment release, is rated R for language and some violence. Running time: 113 minutes. One star out of four.—AP
ctress Kristin Chenoweth was injured on the set of the CBS drama “The Good Wife” and taken by ambulance to a hospital, her publicist and the show’s producer said. Chenoweth’s medical condition following the Wednesday afternoon accident in New York was not disclosed by publicist Jill Fritzo or CBS Television Studios. It was not immediately known if she was hospitalized. According to Fritzo, Chenoweth was hit in the head by scaffolding. In a statement, the studio described the equipment involved differently. “While filming a scene for ‘The Good Wife’ in Brooklyn, a gust of wind blew a lighting silk out of place striking actress Kristin Chenoweth,” the studio said. Lighting silk is cloth used to soften or deflect artificial light or sunlight during shooting. The 43-year-old actress was treated on the set by the show’s medic, then taken by a New York Fire Department emergency medical team to a hospital, the studio said. “All of us at the studio and the show are thinking about Kristin and wishing her a quick recovery,” the statement concluded. Earlier Wednesday, a fire department spokesman said a woman at that Brooklyn location suffered minor injuries, but he wouldn’t identify her. Chenoweth won a Tony Award for her role in Broadway’s “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and an Emmy Award for her work on “Pushing Daisies.” She has a recurring role on “The Good Wife” in the upcoming season.—AP
Actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth poses before the “Glee Sing-A-Long” event. — AP
FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
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Hospitals Sabah Hospital
Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital
Ibn Sina Hospital
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FOR SALE Mitsubishi Lancer Ex-2008, green color (new body) 62000km, price KD 1,950/-. Contact: 50699345. (C 4075) 10-7-2012 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.
THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 Prayer timings Fajr: Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:
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For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128
Pets FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Sim Adam shops at the Urban Pet store on July 1, 2011, in Los Angeles, California, with her dog, Montey, who “suffers from allergies so he can only eat the raw lamb or chicken,” she says. — MCT
Organic pet food goes to the dogs How does a pet owner filter through all this information?
hen Gabriel, a 10-year-old rescue cat from Chinatown, tucks into his morning meal, you won’t see any Friskies or Meow Mix in his bowl. Ahi tuna and duck are more the ticket. “I think there’s more than enough pesticides and chemicals and that kind of stuff in human food,” says Gabriel’s owner, Jason Lanum, on a recent expedition to the Urban Pet, a Los Angeles specialty pet store. “I eat natural food, and I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t give it to my cat.” These days, our pets may be eating better than we are. Big-box pet stores and precious pet boutique shelves are increasingly stocked with gourmet edibles that are corn-free, wheat-free, locally sourced, byproduct-free, free-range, minimally processed and raw. Many come with homey, inviting labels, and some look palatable even for humans. At Petco, a number of locations now have a wood-floored store-within-a-store for natural foods. And if you think your pet’s diet is still lacking, you can bolster it with supplements containing brewers yeast, alfalfa, blueberries and more - that promise shiny coats, bright
eyes and limber joints. As more of us turn toward more healthful foods, we’re doing the same for our pets, and the market has caught on. “If there’s a trend in human food and supplements, you’ll see it on the pet food aisle,” said Bob Vetere, president of American Pet Products Association, based in Greenwich, Conn. “Gluten-free, vitamin supplemented, breed-specific, senior formulas - all of these have taken over the pet marketplace, and we’re seeing the competition increasing.” It’s a matter of debate whether these foods are appreciably better for pets than the standard mega-brands - but just as with debates on human foods, passions can run high. Some pet owners are sure that the mega-brand foods are wreaking havoc on our pets’ constitutions, and some veterinarians aren’t too hot on them either, while other vets think they’re just fine. “From the scientific point of view, is there objective evidence that any commercial diet leads to a better outcome than any other?” says Dr. Tony Buffington, a professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State University. “If there is, I’m not aware of it.” Fully 72.9 million homes - 62 percent of US
households - own a pet, up from 56 percent in 1988, the American Pet Products Association has reported. And we spend big bucks on our furry, winged and scaly friends: Retail pet food sales were $18.4 billion in 2010, up 2.8 percent from 2009, according to the Packaged Facts, a market research company, and natural pet food sales were $1.5 billion in 2009, up from $689 million in 2005. The company predicts that sales of natural foods will probably outdo overall pet food sales in the next five years. The cost of natural foods can be significantly higher: A 6.6-pound package of Evo grain-free dry cat food, for example, sells for about $19, compared with roughly $10 for a 6.3-pound bag of Friskies. Simply put, our attitude toward pets has evolved, says Dr. Nancy Scanlan, a practicing veterinarian and executive director of the Maryland-based American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. “More owners are treating their pets like one of the family.” They seek food they believe is more wholesome and natural compared with large commercial brands. They want food free of byproducts (animal parts such as feet, ears
and snout), food they hope will alleviate allergies or gut problems, and think that grainfree food and raw food (sold frozen or dehydrated) are healthier options for animals that wouldn’t eat corn in the wild. Many owners moved to specialty foods after the 2007 recall of brands found to be contaminated with melamine. How does a pet owner filter through all this information? Since every animal is different, experimentation may be in order to find the right food, says Scanlan, the holistic vet. “But just because something should be good for them doesn’t mean it is. There is no such thing as ‘the’ best diet.” — MCT
FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Aries (March 21-April 19) There are many opportunities to make practical decisions this Thursday. Your ideas run deeper than superficial issues in which an interest in depth psychology and even occult and mystical subjects could evolve. Your sense of responsibility is so well developed that you end up managing most situations. You are disciplined and you work hard and are also good at organizing and getting others to work with and for you. You like to do things with care and enjoy being discriminating and exact—an accountant or architect perhaps. Your critical faculties are excellent. You appreciate a caring attitude and are service-oriented. The people with whom you work will enjoy a little time to laugh. He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Taurus (April 20-May 20) Your confidence is high, making this a super day to deal with others. Both your position and theirs will be clear. If you should get a group together, everyone will feel a mutual benefit. A business luncheon will prove to be successful. It is also a great time to expand your horizons, learn new things and meet new people—especially if their enthusiasm matches yours. There is a tendency to be too strict with your own self today. The exchange of ideas becomes a focal point in your life. Learning, knowing a little about a lot of things, staying in touch and on top of the latest developments: these things satisfy a need for mental stimulation. Allow music to enter your life this evening. You will discover new ways to relax.
Gemini (May 21-June 20) You have plenty of wit and sharp insights. This could be a time for real breakthrough in the idea department. You are in good form when it comes to mental activity, as usual. This is a great day to reach goals and help others reach goals. This may mean that you set a new sales record, etc. You connect to far-seeing visions, worldviews and group work. Your sense of discrimination, when it comes to practical issues, is excellent. Be quick to compliment clearheaded thinking in others today. Everything could take on an added value and importance. Be careful that you do not overspend or indulge too much this afternoon. You and a friend may find yourself taking care of animals tonight: teaching them new tricks, giving baths, etc.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) Continue working on gaining patience with yourself and you will be pleased at the results. Religion, law, politics, travel and higher education are some of the arenas where this may take place. This is a time of testing the limits to see how far you can go. Communicating well is important to you now. You will make every effort to be patient and make sure you are understood. Your timing should be perfect and those around you should find you most instinctive. You would do well in a career that encompasses music, poetry, psychology, social work, philosophy—the realms of the imagination. You can help or teach others by sharing your understanding. Spiritual questions are easy as you seem to grasp the unity behind what separates.
Leo (July 23-August 22) Your performance rating is outstanding today. Do not spend too much time mulling over the details . . . keep moving forward. Things are happening and your career depends on your own ambition and drive. You are able to use good common sense and can feel the trends and make the right moves. Your suggestions may create some monetary benefits to the company for which you work. This is a time to get ahead by taking action. This may also mean saying the “no” word to social invitations just now. You have an increased sense of humor and optimism and may be able to play as intensely as you work. Professional balance is good and today you would be wise to give some thought to creating and maintaining a balance in your personal life.
Virgo (August 23-September 22) External events might pile up and be thrust upon you—careful! Procrastination is not all bad! Sometimes, pushing too hard and rushing about in circles causes too much frustration. You may need to take a little time to create a good plan of action— be in control. Obstacles to self-discipline or to your sense of organization may appear but they are short-term because you are good at organizing. The more you learn how to negotiate and ask the key questions necessary for productive results, the faster you will adapt to a more upbeat level of productivity. You are learning and you are getting better at your job each day. Your own personal reward system will help you stay focused. Join in a team sport this afternoon.
COUNTRY CODES Libra (September 23-October 22) Career choices and direction seem to indicate a loss of freedom. This just may be the time you will want to consider going into business for yourself. You are commended for working and carrying the load of a job you really may not want at this time. Patience . . . your time will come for a much better job. You might even consider a part-time business, in addition to your regular day job. When the business takes off, you can quit the day job. Your organizational abilities and sense of responsibility will prove successful. Being more involved with neighbors or sibling(s) after this workday brings about a great deal of satisfaction. Expressing your individuality is important to you and at home, among friends and family, you can be expressive.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Introduce yourself to as many higher-ups as you can today—this is a good time to get yourself seen. Others will choose you for their team once they discover your ideas. A renewed appreciation for your work may be apparent to your superiors—in fact, to everybody. A need for respect is important to you at this time. You develop a knack for organizing things and people, as a sense of ambition and practicality takes hold. Work, achievement and ambition are the things that matter to you the most. There are places to go and things to discover and it takes a good paycheck to accomplish those dreams. Later this afternoon, get out and meet people—this is the perfect time to network as well as to take on a new relationship.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) New discoveries will provide excitement for you. This day will be a stimulating one that will hold many pleasant surprises and outcomes. If you are not flexible, this could be nerve-wracking. Teaching, lecturing, performing, selling, demonstrating—any activity that puts you in front of the public in positive ways are where you can be found this afternoon. Your wisdom and the way you portray your ideas to others will help guide people even when you may not know the answers they need. Time is on your side this evening . . . whatever you involve yourself with now will be successful. Perhaps after such a busy day, you will enjoy some form of relaxation. Certainly, any strain in a love relationship will benefit from your relaxed undivided attention.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You will be more open to beauty than usual today. Your creative spirit is enhanced under this planetary setup. Careful, you could find yourself daydreaming. Be aware that your internal censors will deny the existence of unpleasant and demanding things. You may have insights or breakthroughs with regard to your professional or personal circumstances. Others value you for your independence and unique qualities and may even seek advice from you today—patience. You and your friends or close family members may decide that tonight is the night to enjoy dinner away from home. You feel that you are in touch and in harmony with others—communication comes easily this evening. Family fun is in the forecast!
Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your acute sensitivity and sympathy with others’ needs and feelings could make this a super day for leading groups or making presentations. On the other hand, if you are not feeling secure, it could have the opposite effect. Your super-sensitivity could make you feel vulnerable and you would feel more like shying away from people. In any case, it is not a good day for any planning or decisions that require intricate analysis or logic. This afternoon, a co-worker may want your help on work matters, which move along quickly; you still have your own work to do. Use the afternoon to take care of any details that may need your attention. Mental discipline is easy. At home this evening, pay attention to the timing of the renewal of license, taxes and paying bills.
Pisces (February 19-March 20) This is a great time to be with others, in any sort of group situation. If you are working, the day should go along quite well. You have a sense of true understanding and real sacrifice to devote toward worthwhile projects. Dedicated to long-range goals, you are future-oriented. Intuitive, you have an inner drive for all that is psychological, religious and mystical. You may find yourself, not necessarily an advisor, but a gatherer of people’s experiences today. You will be listening, as usual, to all sorts of information regarding relationships, progress and positive outcomes. Since you are artistic, you might consider taking a class in some new creative skill. Considering your ability to adapt to what is expected of you, you should do quite well.
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 Republic 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 Somalia 00252 South Africa 0027 South Korea 0082 Spain 0034 Sri Lanka 0094 Sudan 00249 Suriname 00597 Swaziland 00268 Sweden 0046 Switzerland 0041 Syria 00963 Taiwan 00886 Tanzania 00255 Thailand 0066 Toga 00228 Tonga 00676 Tokelau 00690 Trinidad 001868 Tunisia 00216 Turkey 0090 Tuvalu 00688 Uganda 00256 Ukraine 00380 United Arab Emirates00976
C R O S S W O R D
7 3 5
FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Word Sleuth Solution
1. Not subject to defeat. 4. Antipsychotic drug (trade name Moban) used in the treatment of schizophrenia. 9. United States inventor who manufactured the first elevator with a safety device (1811-1861). 13. Any of various systems of units for measuring electricity and magnetism. 14. An anti-TNF compound (trade name Arava) that is given orally. 15. A small cut of meat including part of a rib. 16. A boy or man. 17. A state of partial or total darkness. 18. The emotion of hate. 19. A carriage consisting of two wheels and calash top. 21. A soft silvery metallic element. 22. Wildly disordered. 24. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 25. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 27. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 30. The capital and chief port of Qatar. 34. Hawthorn of southern United States bearing juicy acid scarlet fruit often used in jellies or preserves. 37. A river that rises in central Germany and flows north to join the Elbe River. 39. A pointed tool for marking surfaces or for punching small holes. 40. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 42. The basic unit of money in Great Britain. 43. A large quantity of written matter. 45. Genus of tall smooth herbs of forested mountains of Europe and Asia minor. 47. An associate degree in applied science. 49. A light touch or stroke. 50. A member of a Turkic people of Uzbekistan and neighboring areas. 55. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 59. Long-tailed arboreal mustelid of Central and South America. 60. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 62. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 63. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 64. Of or denoting or relating to the Balkan countries or their inhabitants or the Balkan peninsula or the Balkan Mountains. 66. The United Nations agency concerned with international maritime activities. 67. The state of matter distinguished from the solid and liquid states by. 68. Naked freshwater or marine or parasitic protozoa that form temporary pseudopods for feeding and locomotion. 69. The sound made by corvine birds. DOWN 1. Of or relating to or characteristic of Wales or its people or their language. 2. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 3. Ctenophores lacking tentacles. 4. A periodic paperback publication. 5. A suburb of Paris. 6. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 7. 100 avos equal 1 pataca. 8. An embroidered rug made from a coarse Indian felt. 9. Type genus of Ochnaceae.
10. Of or relating to or characteristic of Thailand of its people. 11. A tiny or scarcely detectable amount. 12. A detailed description of design criteria for a piece of work. 20. Not only so, but. 23. Type genus of the Anatidae. 26. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 28. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 29. Type genus of the Hylidae. 31. part of the peritoneum attached to the stomach and to the colon and covering the intestines. 32. Being two more than forty. 33. Any of the Hindu sacred writing. 35. An overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration. 36. A large number or amount. 38. Jordan's port. 41. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 44. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 46. A small tent used as a dressing room beside the sea or a swimming pool. 48. Jordan's port. 51. The battle in 202 BC in which Scipio decisively defeated Hannibal at the end of the second Punic War. 52. Slanting diagonally across the grain of a fabric. 53. Antibiotic-resistant mycoplasma causing a kind of pneumonia in humans. 54. Cook and make edible by putting in a hot oven. 55. (informal) Roused to anger. 56. The Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan. 57. God of love and erotic desire. 58. Beside one another in a row or rank. 61. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 65. Before noon.
Sports FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Chiefs, Hurricanes start playoff hunt WELLINGTON: The Waikato Chiefs and Wellington Hurricanes open the last regular-season round in rugby’s Super 15 today in a match involving the first- and lastplace teams remaining in the playoff race. The Chiefs reached the playoffs for only the third time in their 17-year history, but need at least a bonus point from the match at Wellington to ensure a top-two finish and a first-round bye. The Hurricanes, in eighth place, must win to have any chance of further confounding expectations and gaining their place among the top-six teams which will contest the playoffs. Sackings and other upheavals before the season meant that even the most loyal of Hurricanes’ fans gave them little chance of featuring in the post-season. Between the Chiefs and the Hurricanes, six other teams - the Cape Town-based Stormers, ACT Brumbies, Canterbury Crusaders, Durban-based Sharks, Pretoriabased Bulls and the defending champion Queensland Reds - remain playoff contenders. The three conference leaders - the Chiefs, Stormers and Brumbies - are still in competition for the top two places in the overall standings. The Chiefs enter the last round a point ahead of the Stormers, who are a further four points ahead of the Brumbies, leaving the Australian team in a position to finish in second place if they can take maximum points from their match against the Auckland Blues. But ACT could also relinquish the lead in the Australian conference to the Reds if they lose to the Blues and if seventh-place Queensland beats its bitter interstate rivals the New South Wales Waratahs. The Brumbies’ precarious position demonstrates the vulnerability of all teams still in the hunt for the playoffs. The Chiefs, in the most comfortable position, can
clinch first place with a win over the Hurricanes and can’t finish further back than third. The Stormers, who finish their season at home to the 12th-place Melbourne Rebels, can still leapfrog the Chiefs into first place but could also fall back to third if they suf-
last weekend and could also hoist themselves into fourth spot if they beat the 10th-place Cheetahs. Captain Craig Clarke returns from illness to lead a reshaped Chiefs’ into their match against the Hurricanes. Samoa No. 8 Kane Thompson has overcome a back injury to
Chiefs captain Craig Clarke
fer an unexpected last-round defeat. A toptwo finish carries with it the luxuries of the first-round bye, home stadium advantage and a preferred draw in the semifinals a week later. The final is scheduled for Aug. 4 at the home of the top-ranked team still in the playoffs. Seven-time champion Canterbury is in fourth place after last weekend’s impressive win over the Chiefs and can secure that place with a home win tomorrow against the 14th-place Western Force. The Bulls, in fifth, face the last-place Lions and with a win could unseat the Crusaders from fourth place or, with a loss, finish as low as eighth. The Sharks, perhaps the wild cards in the playoff race, shocked the Bulls 32-10
reclaim his place in the starting XV along with flanker Tanerau Latimer, who displaces new All Blacks star Sam Cane. “We’ve made a few changes but it’s in line with what we’ve done over the past few weeks - things like the front rowers sharing the load and a couple of guys coming back in from injury,” coach Dave Rennie said. “We want to make sure it’s a competitive environment and there are guys scrapping for positions in the semifinal.” The Chiefs learned during the week that star All Blacks center Sonny Bill Williams, who is in the lineup for Friday’s match, will leave the team after one year and had signed a contract to play rugby in Japan. There are no plans for him to play for New
Zealand again and he is expected to join an Australian rugby league team next year. The Stormers have clinched the South African conference title but still have to fend off the Brumbies’ challenge to second place. Coach Allister Coetzee sprang a surprise by naming hooker Deon Fourie at No. 8, displacing Canada international Jebb Sinclair. Sinclair, who will start the match against the Rebels on the bench, is ineligible for the playoffs because he was a late-season signing. The Rebels have conceded a tournament-high 57 tries this season and Coetzee said it would be the Stormers’ aim to secure a four-try bonus point. The Brumbies need only a point to repel the Reds’ challenge for the Australia conference title and should easily achieve that against a Blues team that has won only three of its 15 matches this season. But backs coach Stephen Larkham said the Brumbies were taking nothing for granted in tomorrow’s afternoon match at Canberra. “We are not thinking that the Blues are going to be easily beaten,” Larkham said. The Crusaders have made three changes to their lineup for the Force. All Blacks captain Richie McCaw moves from the side of the scrum to No. 8 in place of the injured Kieran Read, All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock concedes his place to Tom Donnelly and center Robbie Fruean, who has started every game this year, is moved to the bench. Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said his players recognized their precarious nature of their position and the need to beat the Lions tomorrow to keep their playoff hopes alive. “We are one of the teams that are in a do-or-die situation so you can’t get too worried about it,” Ludeke said. “We just need to make sure we do what we have to do tomorrow.”—AP
Red Bull thrives from Webber-Vettel F1 duel LONDON: Mark Webber has ended another summer of speculation about his future with Red Bull. Now he can only hope the focus is on hunting down Fernando Alonso in the Formula One title race. Small chance of that. Signing up for another year with Red Bull ensures another chapter in the intriguing duel with Sebastian Vettel for team superiority. Webber openly concedes all of this can be “stressful” to grapple with as motor sport remains on alert for the next bout of squabbling between the pair. “It’s not easy for both of us to be at the front and I can understand that as both of us are thinking about ourselves sometimes,” Webber said. “But ultimately we know that we need to get the cars home and get the best results for us and the team.” Vettel is the reigning double world champion, but a third title isn’t looking as certain as the second. Webber notched a second victory this season on Sunday by overtaking Alonso with four laps with go to win the British Grand Prix, leaving Vettel with just one win in 2012. And while Webber is only 13 points behind Alonso, Vettel is 16 points adrift of his teammate in the drivers’ standings in third place. When Webber won at Silverstone he memorably said over the team radio: “Not bad for a number two
driver.” Ask Webber who is considered to be the No. 1 driver in Red Bull and he accepts it is still Vettel. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner strives to downplays any tensions. “They have spent a lot time racing each other and they have spent hundreds of hours together working on developing the car and I think they have a genuine respect for each other,” Horner said. “Sebastian knows in Mark he has a very genuine competitor, and Mark knows Sebastian has been the benchmark for the last couple of years. It’s a healthy situation for the team. I think they now have more experience.” Webber had considered a move with Ferrari before signing the 2013 contract this week. Rather than running the risk of another fraught partnership there - with Alonso - he’s willing to take his partnership with Vettel into a fifth year. “I think no one would really have envisaged how long we have worked together, so that’s probably been a bit of a surprise,” Webber said. “There are not many teammates staying together for that long in Formula One, but it’s proved to be a successful partnership with both of us working very hard with the key technical members of the team. It’s been a potent operation. “We’re still competitive when we hit the track, no question about it, especially in 2010 and this year. Last year there wasn’t much rac-
LONDON: In this July 8, 2012, file photo, Germany’s Sebastian Vettel (left) talks with teammate Australia’s Mark Webber after Webber won the Formula One British Grand Prix auto race. —AP ing between Sebastian and I, but in 2009, 2010 and this year, there have been some great battles.” And it’s good for Red Bull, which is 64 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship. Vettel also prefers to be able to keep a close eye on Webber. “I have the advantage in that he’s in the same team so I can see what he’s doing,” the 25year-old German said. The 35-year-old Webber
never plans to race for another team after committing to Red Bull. “I’ve been hearing different rumors and reasons for a long time now,” he said. “At the end of the day I know everything that has been going on. You want to make sure your focus is clearly on driving the car and the guys that you’re working with. It’s important the team knows you’re 100 percent with them, which, of course, I am.”—AP
Sports FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Ethiopia’s next generation of runners to carry Olympic torch
CANBERRA: This photo taken on May 9, 2012 shows 4 x 100m freestyle swimmer Tomasso D’Orsogna (left) and 400m runner Brendan Cole in the recovery contrast shower at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra. It may not ensure a medal but the cutting-edge technology at Australia’s Institute of Sport (AIS) could prove the difference between Olympic success or failure. —AFP
Australia seeks high-tech edge CANBERRA: It may not ensure a medal but the cutting-edge technology at Australia’s Institute of Sport (AIS) could prove the difference between Olympic success or failure. Set across a sprawling campus in Australia’s leafy political capital, the AIS isn’t much to look at, but the network of concrete buildings, pools and sports fields has turned out some of the nation’s biggest sports stars. AIS director Matt Favier says it’s unique in the world in terms of the breadth of services offered in a single place; a one-stop shop for coaching, nutrition, performance analysis, training and recovery. “We are still renowned, the AIS and Australia, for being pioneers really in a lot of these areas,” Favier told AFP. Every sport has its secret weapons and, in an Olympic year, every advantage counts. Australia’s cycling team has used the latest in satellite and bicycle technology to construct a virtual track which simulates every hill and dip of the London circuit. By the time the team gets to pre-Olympic training in Europe, riders will be able to cycle the route in front of a plasma screen showing the actual surroundings, and can programme the bike to their exact strength and weight. The information was gathered in a sneaky operation codenamed “Deja-Vu 4”, in which AIS scientists and some of the Olympic hopefuls did a test run of the road circuit last August, according to senior physiologist David Martin. Riders’ bikes were fitted out with instruments to measure the route profile and the amount of power exerted at different stages, along with a GPS to plot a geographical map and a camera to film the scenery. Apart from the obvious strategic benefits, Martin said the simulator gives riders a confidence they wouldn’t otherwise have on the Olympic starting line, knowing they have already executed the race scores of times. “You’ve faced it so many times before and you’re ready to put on a show for the rest of the world,” said Martin. “It’s just that fine little edge that’s the difference between fourth and third maybe; it could be the difference between second and gold.” Swimmer Tommasso D’Orsogna is preparing for his first Olympic Games in one of Australia’s most coveted events, the 4x100m freestyle relay, and he credits the AIS programme with getting him to his peak. The training pool is fitted with dozens of cameras, capturing a swimmer’s stroke from every angle, and a “wet plate” on the starting block can analyse the nature and amount of force in a dive and turn. “Skills can become such an important part of racing, especially for 100 freestyle,” said D’Orsogna. “You’ve got one start, one turn, so you’ve got to make sure that you nail them because you can really pick up a lot of time on that.” The swim team and a host of other sports have rotated through the AIS high-altitude house as part of their preparations. Altitude is a popular training method in modern sports medicine and is used to boost athletes’ stamina and cardiac fitness by increasing red blood cells and making muscles more resistant to lactic acid build-up. But as Australia is flat-its highest mountain is just 2,228 metres (7,310 feet) tall-the AIS has built its own altitude chamber: a 14-bed dormitory where athletes can simulate conditions at 3,000m, while training at sea-level.—AFP
ADDIS ABABA: Beneath the colorfully painted Olympic rings at Ethiopia’s national stadium, running hopefuls circle the track, sweating and breathless, as coaches shout out “good job!” and “beautiful!” For many of these runners, the London 2012 games will be their first time competing in the Olympics, as running veterans-including legend Haile Gebrselassie-pass the baton to Ethiopia’s next generation of young, promising stars. “The new generation is coming, and they are performing better, even (Gebrselassie) is saying he wants to see the new generation perform like him... everybody wants to see that,” the head coach of Ethiopia’s Olympic team, Yirma Berta, told AFP. Two-time Olympic 10,000m champion and the godfather of Ethiopian long distance running, Gebrselassie, 39, failed to qualify for this year’s Games. At the forefront of Ethiopia’s rising stars are 800m runners, Fantu Magiso Manedo, 20, and 18-year-old Mohammed Aman, a much-anticipated Olympic favorite. Mohammed set the 800m men’s record for Ethiopia last year when he came in first place in Rieti, Italy with a time of 1:43. He said the fleet of young athletes heading to London are a promising bunch, not only because they train hard but because they have the support of strong coaches behind them. Young runners are not only dominating middle-distance running but also the marathon team, which has an average age of 25 for men, and 24 for women. The average age of male marathon runners from Kenya-Ethiopia’s strongest competitors in Africa-is 29 for men and 30 for women. “We are developing our team with youngsters so we can have an advantage with our athletes,” said marathon coach Melaku Deresse. Several well-established names qualified for the team this year, with Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba defending her 10,000m title. Tirunesh, who also won first place in 5,000 in Beijing, qualified as a reserve for
the 5,000 category this year. Olympic champion Keninisa Bekele, 29, also the title holder for both the 5,000m 10,000m races, will compete in 5,000m, but only qualified as a reserve for the 10,000m race this year. Despite suffering a three-year injury, his teammates have high hopes for him. “He is a very strong athlete, as an Ethiopian and as an athlete I am very happy with his (recovery) and am very confident that he will perform in the Olympics,” marathoner Aselefech Mergia said. Talent, and the strength of the entire 33-person team, she hopes Ethiopia will bring home at least three gold medals, though her teammate, marathon runner Dino Sefir, said he is hoping for six: “why not?” he queried. “Every runner in Ethiopia has the desire to win and to make history. That
“We have to focus on that, because it is not good to just focus on 5,000m, 10,000m and marathons,” Yirma said. “Some of our middle distance runners are coming, they are good and they are trying you outshine the world,” he added. Dube Jillo, technical director for the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, said with more young runners entering professional athletics, it is natural that participation in shorter distances expands. He did not rule out moving into short-distance running racing in the future. “For the upcoming Brazil Olympics, maybe we will try coming down to 400 metres and 200 metres, why not?” he said. “We are going to continue our job, we never sleep.” Mohammed said he focused on 800m running because he started set-
ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s 800m runner Mohammed Aman, 18, stretches after a training session for the upcoming 2012 London Olympics at the national stadium. —AFP is also my passion, to be a history-maker,” he said. Ethiopia is known for producing marathon champions, including Abebe Bikila, who famously won marathon gold in the 1960 Rome Olympics after completing the race barefoot. The 2012 London Games is the first time Ethiopia will compete for 800 metre titles for both men and women, signalling a move toward middle-distance running among the country’s athletes, traditionally known for producing long-distance champions.
ting records at a young age, even though he idolised long distance runners as a child. “That is the history, but you have to change history,” he said with a timid smile. He now carries the hope of his nation to London 2012 where he said he is aiming for gold. “I have to train hard to bring gold for me and my country,” he said, sitting under an awning to escape Ethiopia’s cold July rains.“If you believe, if you run, if you try hard, put a little pressure, that’s good, it makes me stronger.”—AFP
Britain’s Olympic women break sporting barriers LONDON: Photos of heptathlete Jessica Ennis, one of Britain’s best hopes for an Olympics gold medal, are everywhere-but they can’t hide the gap that remains between men and women in British sport. In a country where the three most popular sports-football, rugby and cricket-are dominated by men, women are relegated to the background, especially when it comes to the press. “We measure the media coverage given to women’s sports in this country and it’s less than five percent, so it’s a big problem,” says Sue Tibbals, chief executive of the Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation (WSFF). In Britain, not one woman was among the ten names shortlisted in 2011 for the BBC’s “Sports Personality of the Year”, a
popular annual competition based on a public vote. This dearth of exposure is coupled with a lack of sporting culture in the female population and an absence of investment in sporting disciplines practised by women. According to a recent study by the Commission on the Future of Women’s Sport, a British body, only 0.5 percent of the sponsorship market in Britain goes to women’s sports, compared with 61.1 percent to men. The rest goes to competitions which feature both genders, such as the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Many people hope, however, that the 2012 Olympics will change all this, by putting the spotlight on female British athletes who can become role models for others. Out of the 48 medals which Team GB
are aiming for in these Games, “almost half” could be won by women, the government’s Olympics minister, Hugh Robertson said recently. The decision in 2005 to host the Games in London has resulted in an effort by British companies and the media to push women’s sports, notes Tibbals. But she adds: “I think what has more impact, arguably, is seeing so many athletes also being used in advertising.” Even before the first medals have been issued, Ennis, cycling champion Victoria Pendleton, swimmers Rebecca Adlington and Keri-Anne Payne, and synchronised swimmer Jenna Randall, among others, are the faces of major publicity campaigns and the cover girls for a host of magazines.—AFP
Sports FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Martial arts for peace in Afghanistan
KABUL: In this file photograph taken on April 4, 2012, Afghan taekwondo player Rohullah Nikpai (center) takes part in a training session in Kabul.—AFP
Rural English town revels in being Olympic birthplace MUCH WENLOCK: A medieval town in rural England is revelling in the Olympics as a long-forgotten story about how this remote community inspired the modern Games receives global recognition-and could possibly put Much Wenlock on the tourist map. Although Athens is usually cited as the birthplace of the modern Games, that honour lies with Much Wenlock, a picture perfect 700-year-old English town in the county of Shropshire that boasts winding streets, traditional white-and-black timber beamed houses, limestone cottages and even an Abbey ruin. The link dates back to William Penny Brookes, a doctor in the town 125 miles (200 km) northwest of London, who believed in the benefits of physical exercise for “every grade of man”. In 1850, before the game of lawn tennis was invented or athletics introduced at Oxford and Cambridge universities, Brookes set up the annual Wenlock Olympian Games featuring football, running and hopping. This innovative multi-sports event, featuring men of all classes, expanded nationally with the first National Olympian Games held in London in 1866 with more to follow before a rival group took the idea to London and the event returned to Wenlock. Brookes made his mark on history in 1890 when French aristocrat Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, visited Much Wenlock to discuss the doctor’s ethos of fair play in sport and the need to be healthy in body and mind. His influence on de Coubertin inspired the revival of the modern Olympics in Athens in 1896 with the London Olympic organisers, LOCOG, acknowledging Brookes’ important role by naming the official 2012 Olympics mascot Wenlock. “It is surprising really that few people in Britain were aware of this link. It really had become a forgotten story,” said Tim King, Tourism Officer for Shropshire Council, as the 126th Wenlock Olympian Games got underway this week. “This is a one-off year for Much Wenlock. It is time to promote this story and attract more
tourists. Tourism is vital here because there are no large industries.” With four tea shops, a local butcher, a hardware store and a population of 2,600, Much Wenlock has retained the charm of a traditional English village with no supermarkets or major retailers allowed into its high street. But like many small towns in rural England, it needs to increase tourism to bolster local businesses and stop people moving to larger urban centres to find work. Tourism is vital to preserve economic activity in rural areas, accounting for about 10 percent of business in 2009/2010 which is little changed in the past decade, according to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Figures from VisitEngland, the national tourist board, showed day trips and overnight stays by Britons within the UK are a major contributor to the 97 billion pounds ($150.94 billion)generated by tourism each year and it is this market that Much Wenlock is targeting. Last year 1.3 billion day trips were made within England by Britons which were worth 42.7 billion pounds and 46 million domestic overnight trips, worth just over 10 billion. “This charming but quirky story is a great asset for Much Wenlock and they hope to get more visitors to come and appreciate this,” said local historian Catherine Beale who last year wrote the book “Born out of Wenlock. William Penny Brookes and the British origins of the modern Olympics.” “Really this story should be better known in Britain than it is as it shows a lot about English sport... the ethos of fair play and being the best you can be.” Chris Cannon, archivist at the Wenlock Olympian Society, said the links between Brookes and de Coubertin were well documented although the story was largely forgotten for years. “Much Wenlock is a small place in the middle of nowhere and people outside this area just didn’t take any notice of it,” Cannon told Reuters, while touring the newly renovated Much Wenlock museum that underwent a 500,000 pounds facelift last year.—Reuters
KABUL: The taekwondo star who became Afghanistan’s first ever Olympic medallist at the Beijing Games in 2008 wants to repeat the feat in London-in the hope of bringing peace to his troubled homeland. Rohullah Nikpa’s story is something of a fairytale in a war-ravaged country with few happy endings. As a 10-year-old obsessed with Bruce Lee and martial arts movies, he followed his brother to the taekwondo club while civil war raged in Afghanistan. “I was crazy about taekwondo from the day I started it. I remember the first day I arrived at the club to practise, I was already able to do it well. I already had the mentality of being determined to reach the top,” he said. Now 25, he was 14 when the Taliban regime fell at the end of 2001 and began training in Kabul in earnest while a bloody insurgency against the government and its NATO allies raged throughout the country. Nikpa overcame tremendous problems, not least financial, to qualify for Beijing, where he claimed a lifechanging bronze in the under-58 kilogram division. Four years later, the moment is still fresh in his memory. “I was so happy because throughout the history of my country Afghanistan, no one has ever won an Olympic medal before. I was so happy that I cried right there in the arena,” he said. “It’s something priceless for our country. With this medal, I can help bring peace to our country. It shows that our people must walk away from all this war and conflict, and look towards the future generation and use sports to help lift our country up.” His friend and training
partner Nesar Ahmad Bahawi-Afghanistan’s other great taekwondo hope in London-shares his view of sport as a means of inspiring change in society. “Taekwondo I’ve done for my country and my people, not so that I could myself become famous, just so that I can let the world hear the name of Afghanistan in a good way and make our people happy,” said Bahawi, who took silver at the 2007 world championships but came away from Beijing empty-handed. “There’s always been fighting in our country, I want to show the world that we are not people who love war, but we want peace.” Bashir Taraki, the Afghan team’s coach, agrees. “The Olympic logo with its five rings shows that the world is unified. Yes, so the sport of taekwondo can show the world that we asking for peace and we don’t want war, we want to live as one with the rest of the world,” he said. Thanks to Nikpa and Bahawi, taekwondo has become one of the most popular sports in Afghanistan. Around 25,000 competitors-up to 38,000 according to Bahawi-practise in hundreds of clubs around the country, though facilities are sometimes basic. The elite Afghan squad, paid around $15 a month, train in proper facilities at the Ghazi Olympic stadium in Kabul, where the Taliban used to hold public stonings-a marked improvement on the fourth floor building site where they prepared for Beijing. But Nikpa and Bahawi don’t care about the training setup-they are dreaming of Olympic gold. —AFP
Rwandan biker’s rocky ride to London KIGALI: Adrien Niyonshuti’s memories of Rwanda’s of one of his closest friends. In 2008, Niyonshuti genocide are hazy, but when he needs to shut off was out cycling with his friend and team mate from his mind and forget the slaughter that killed six of his first club, Team Rwanda, one of a generation of genocide orphans, when the friend was pulled his brothers he jumps on his bike. The small-framed 25-year-old is readying to under the wheels of a car and killed instantly. The following year, Niyonshuti and his colbecome the east African country’s first Olympic mountain biker, honoured with carrying the leagues were violently robbed at their home in national flag at the opening ceremony of the South Africa. One was stabbed in the leg. “Sometimes these things that have happened London Games. “When I ride my bike, there’s no one who can stop me or ask me anything so affect me,” Niyonshuti said. “If I pass somewhere things are really good,” Niyonshuti told Reuters in and I see someone have an accident or I’ve seen the Rwandan capital, Kigali. “Riding gives me an some riders crash in a race, I can get a bit affected opportunity to help forget the things that hap- and remember what happened to my friend. But then I try to think ‘this is life now’, and carry on.” pened in 1994.” Training for the Olympics six Niyonshuti and his infecdays a week has been gruelling, tious grin are becoming the devout Muslim says, espeincreasingly well known in cially during the Islamic holy the city. As he cycles month of Ramadan when he through the streets he is fasts during daylight hours. repeatedly called out to by “The big event for me now is well-wishers. the Olympics, it’s great for me It was his uncle who and for my country because it’s inspired Niyonshuti as a the first time we qualified for youngster. “Even though he mountain biking.” wasn’t professional, my His ambitions extend uncle was a champion in beyond London, however. “But Rwanda for many years and after that I will focus more on everyone in this country training and getting strong knows him.” because then the real focus will Aged 14, his uncle took Adrien Niyonshuti be on being the first African him to watch the Tour de Rwanda race through his home town. “I said to my team to compete in the Tour de France. “After the Olympics I’m going to do more road uncle: ‘I want to be like those guys one day’. He said bike and then I can pick up speed and the technical ‘Yeah? You can be’.” Two years later his uncle brought him his first skills and work together with my team in South racing bike. Now Niyonshuti is based in South Africa and I hope that next year or the year after I Africa where he is a member of the MTN Qhubeka will be going for the Tour de France.” But for now Niyonshuti is focusing on the team, the biggest cycling team in Africa. But it has been a difficult ride in between. Olympics and making his family proud. He has Beyond the loss of family members during the been swamped with messages of support that 1994 massacre that tore Rwanda apart along its have helped drive him towards the finish line and ethnic seams, Niyonshuti is haunted by the death dreams of a medal. —Reuters
Sports FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Sri Lanka end series drought
ST KITTS: In this image released by DigicelCricket.com, a bail flies off the wicket of West Indies’ Marlon Samuels as he’s run out for 11 runs and New Zealand’s bowler Kyle Mills (left) celebrates during their third one-day international cricket match. — AP
New Zealand defeat Windies ST KITTS: New Zealand bowled out West Indies for just 161 to earn an 88 run win, their first victory on their tour of the Caribbean, in the third one day international in St.Kitts on Wednesday. After suffering defeats in the two Twenty20 internationals in Florida and then the opening two one-dayers, the Black Caps needed a win to keep alive their hopes in the five game ODI series. Half-centuries from opener Rob Nicol and Nathan McCullum helped the tourists to 249 for nine from their allotted 50 overs. That total looked to be modest on a flat track at Warner Park with the short boundary an inviting one for the big-hitting West Indies batting line-up. New Zealand’s injury problems on the tour continued with wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling having to be replaced behind the stumps by Tom Latham after suffering a leg injury while running during his innings. But West Indies never recovered after losing their opening pair of Johnson Charles (15) and Chris Gayle (11) cheaply as New Zealand’s bowlers stuck to their task. Gayle, who had struck 125 and 63 in the two games in his hometown of Kingston, Jamaica, was caught by Nicol at slip off Tim Southee’s medium pace after Charles had been trapped lbw by ODI debutant Trent Boult. The heart of the West Indies top order then self-destructed with Dwayne Bravo run out trying to make an improbable third and Marlon Samuels dismissed in the same fashion via some oustanding work from Martin Guptill. The two run outs left West Indies at 62 for five and the pressure on their middle order but Kieron Pollard’s ill-advised slog over midwicket was pocketed by substitute Dean Brownlie and when skipper Darren Sammy was caught and bowled by McCullum (7) the home side were in deep trouble at 95 for seven. An unbeaten 42 from 40 balls from Andre Russell came too as the Caribbean side offered a glimmer of hope to New Zealand in the series. — Reuters
SCOREBOARD BASSETERRE, Saint Kitts and Nevis: Scoreboard from third of five one day Internationals between West Indies and New Zealand played here yesterday: New Zealand West Indies J Charles lbw b Boult 15 R Nicol c&b Samuels 59 C Gayle c Guptill b Southee 11 M Guptill lbw b Russell 11 D Smith c McCullum b Oram 19 D Flynnc Ramdin b Bravo 28 M Samuels run out 11 K Williamson b Narine 9 D Bravo run out 2 T Latham c Gayle b Sammy 12 K Pollard c Sub b McCullum 16 B Watling c Narine b Russell 40 D Ramdin lbw b Oram 14 N McCullum c Bravo b Russell 50 D Sammy c & bMcCullum 7 J Oram st Ramdin b Narine 7 A Russell not out 42 K Mills c Gayle b Russell 2 S Narine run out 10 T Southee not out 17 R Rampaul c Southee b Boult 9 Extras: (lb3 w1 nb1 5) 5 T Boult not out 1 Total: (34.3 overs) 161 Extras: (lb6 w5 nb2) 13 Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-33, 3-50, 4Total: 9 wkts 249 Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-71, 3-97, 4- 52, 5-62, 6-85, 7-95, 8-103, 9-133 Bowling figures: Mills 7-2-37-0, 124, 5-125, 6-191, 7-216, 8-219, Boult 8.3-0-45-2, Southee 6-1-149-239 1, Oram 7-1-22-2, McCullum 6-0Bowling figures: Rampaul 10-0- 40-2 61-0, Russell 9-0-57-4, Bravo 7-0- New Zealand beat West Indies by 47-1, Narine 10-0-28-2, Sammy 888 runs - West Indies lead series 1-22-1, Samuels 6-0-28-1 2-1.
PALLEKELE: Sri Lanka won their first Test series in three years after the third and final match against Pakistan ended in a thrilling draw in Pallekele yesterday. The hosts made a brave bid to chase down a target of 270, reaching 132-2 by tea on the fifth day, before they were pegged back by a three-wicket burst from off-spinner Saeed Ajmal. Dinesh Chandimal scored 65 and the prolific Kumar Sangakkara returned unbeaten on 74 as Sri Lanka made 195-4 before the game was called off with nine overs remaining at the Pallekele International Stadium. The 1-0 scoreline-following a 209-run victory in the first Test in Galle was Sri Lanka’s first Test series win since beating New Zealand 2-0 at home in 2009. The rain-hit second Test in Colombo was drawn, while the entire second day’s play in Pallekele had been washed out. “A lot of hard work has gone into this series win,” said Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene. “It’s not that we did not play good cricket earlier, but somehow the results did not show that. “So it was important to win against a quality side like Pakistan. It will make the youngsters more confident about their game, but we need to keep improving as a unit.” Jayawardene defended his decision to give up the chase after the fall of the fourth wicket, saying it was not worth risking the 1-0 lead they had in the series. “The mindset was to win, but it was only in the last hour-and-a-half that we decided to close shop,” he said. “We did not want to take too many risks since we were 1-0 up in the series.” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq said he was surprised when Sri Lanka abandoned the chase, but conceded that getting 270 runs in 71 overs would not have been easy. “I thought we were safe when we gave them a big target, but they started really well and it got us worried a bit,” he said. “But I was surprised when they gave up in the end.” Misbah said the 1-0 loss was not a fair result since his team could have won both the last two Tests, but preferred to dwell on the positives. “A loss is a loss, but we were unlucky not to win a game,” he said. “I am happy with the way the team bounced back after the loss in Galle. “We have real good talent in the side like (Asad) Shafiq, Azhar (Ali) and Junaid Khan. But if there is an area we need to improve, it is our fielding and catching.” Shafiq remained unbeaten on 100 as Pakistan declared their second innings at 380-8 half-an-hour before lunch to attempt a series-levelling win. But the tourists were thwarted by a
PALLEKELE: Members of the Sri Lankan cricket team pose with the trophy at the end of the third Test cricket match against Pakistan. — AP
SCOREBOARD KANDY, Sri Lanka: Scoreboard at the close on the last day of the third and final test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Pallekele Stadium yesterday. Match drawn. Sri Lanka win series 1-0. Pakistan first innings 226 (Asad Shafiq 75) Sri Lanka first innings 337 (T. Paranavitana 75, T. Samaraweera 73, T. Perera 75; Junaid Khan 570) Pakistan second innings (overnight 299-8) 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 c M Jayawardene b Herath 5 Asad Shafiq not out 100 Mohammad Sami lbw b Fernando 3 Umar Gul lbw b Herath 0 Saeed Ajmal lbw b Herath 5 Adnan Akmal not out 35 Extras (b-6, lb-8, w-7) 21 Total (eight wickets, 128.4 overs) 380 declared Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-110, 3-158, 4-176, 5-
pitch that eased out under the hot sun and a determined effort by the home team’s batsmen in front of some 1,000 spectators. Openers Tharanga Paranavitana and Chandimal gave Sri Lanka a bright start with a 44-run partnership by the 10th over. Chandimal, a last-minute inclusion for the match after Tillakaratne Dilshan opted out due to health worries in his family, anchored the innings at the start.
276, 6-280, 7-281, 8-299. Did not bat: Junaid Khan. Bowling: Kulasekara 28-9-65-1 (w-1), Perera 25-2-88-0(w-1), Herath 39.4-4-99-4, Fernando 23-1-74-3 (w-1), Mathews 12-0-38-0, Samaraweera 1-0-2-0. Sri Lanka second innings: T Paranavitana c Younus b Junaid 22 Dinesh Chandimal c Shafiq b Ajmal 65 Kumar Sangakkara not out 74 Mahela Jayawardene c Hafeez b Ajmal 11 Thilan Samaraweera b Ajmal 10 Angelo Mathews not out 1 Extras: (b-2, lb-10) 12 Total: (four wickets, 62 overs) 195 Fall of wickets: 1-44 2-132 3-150 4-178 Did not bat: P. Jayawardene, T. Perera, N. Kulasekara, D. Fernando, R. Herath Bowling: Gul 9-2-43-0, Junaid 10-0-45-1, Hafeez 9-1-22-0, Ajmal 26-8-50-3, Sami 8-023-0.
The 22-year-old’s third half-century in four Tests contained fluent strokes on both sides of the wickets, including eight boundaries. Sangakkara, who made an unbeaten 199 in the first Test and 192 in the second, was named the player of the series. Shafiq was adjudged the man of the match for his top-score of 75 in the first innings and an unbeaten century in the second. — AFP
Silver Stars down Sky ROSEMONT: Sophia Young and Danielle Robinson scored 16 points each to lead the San Antonio Silver Stars to a 77-68 victory over the Chicago Sky on Wednesday for their eighth straight win. Jia Perkins had 11 points and Shenise Johnson added 10 to help the Silver Stars (12-5) get their 10th win in 11 games. Shay Murphy scored 20 points and Tamera Young had 18 to lead Chicago (8-8), which has lost three straight and seven of its last eight. Olympians Sylvia Fowles and Swin Cash combined for 14 points on 4-for19 shooting. Fowles had six points, ending a streak of 83 consecutive games in double digits. The Silver Stars never trailed and scored 31 points off 20 turnovers by the Sky.
Dream 70, Storm 59 At Seattle, Sancho Lyttle scored 21 points to lead Atlanta to a victory over Seattle. Lindsey Harding added 15 points for Atlanta (9-9), and Tiffany Hayes and Aneika Henry had 13 apiece. Rookie Shekinna Stricklen scored a season-high 16 points and Tanisha Wright had 12 for the Storm (8-10). The Dream never trailed and took the lead for good as Lyttle and Armintie Price hit consecutive jumpers to put Atlanta up 31-27 with 2:42 to go in the second quarter. Sun 85, Mystics 73 At Uncasville, Connecticut, Asjha
Jones had 22 points and nine rebounds to help Connecticut beat Washington for its fourth straight win. Kara Lawson added 19 points and Tina Charles had 17 for the conference-leading Sun (14-4). Crystal Langhorne had 19 points and six rebounds for Washington (3-14) and Michelle Snow added 12 points and seven rebounds. Washington trailed by 14 points early in the second half when Monique Currie got her team going. She scored five straight points to start a run, and Natalie Novosel ended it with a 3-pointer to cut the Mystics deficit to 53-49 with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. —AP
Sports FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Saudi women athletes to compete in London BERLIN: Saudi Arabia will send female athletes to the Olympics for the first time with a judoka and an 800m runner representing the kingdom in London later this month in a milestone for the Games, the International Olympic Committee said yesterday. Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani, who will compete in the +78kg category in judo, and teenager Sarah Attar will be the first Saudi women ever to take part at a Games after talks between IOC and the country paid off. “This is very positive news and we will be delighted to welcome these two athletes in London in a few weeks time,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge in a statement. “The IOC has been working very closely with the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee and I am pleased to see that our continued dialogue has come to fruition.” Yesterday’s decision means that every single country competing in the July 27-Aug. 12 Olympics will be represented by male and female athletes. At the Atlanta Games in 1996, 26 nations failed to send female athletes with the figure gradually going down to just three at the 2008 Beijing Games. “The IOC has been striving to ensure a greater gender balance at the Olympic Games, and today’s news can be seen as an encouraging evolution,” said Rogge. Female participation in sports has long been a controversial issue in Saudi Arabia, where powerful clerics denounce women for exercising, saying it goes against their nature. Women in Saudi Arabia are regarded as minors and require the permission of their guardian — father, brother, or husband — to leave the country and in some cases even to work. Attar, 17, said she was honored by the prospect of competing for her country at London 2012. “A big inspiration for participating in the Olympic Games is being one of the first women for Saudi Arabia to be going,” said the 17-year-old at her US training base in San Diego, California. “It’s such a huge honor and I hope that it can really make some big strides for women over there to get more involved in sport,” she told the official Olympic website (www.olympic.org). The conservative Muslim kingdom is one of the three countries, alongside Brunei and Qatar, never to have sent female athletes but the latter two confirmed earlier this year that their delegation would include women. Brunei has entered Maziah Mahusin (athletics), while Qatar has entered Nada Arkaji (swimming), Noor Al-Malki (athletics), Aya Magdy (table tennis) and Bahiya AlHamad (shooting), who will also be her country’s flagbearer at the opening ceremony. The IOC said the two Saudi athletes, invited by the IOC, were entered by the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee by the official deadline of 9 July. The Saudi decision was welcomed by the Britishbased Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF), a charity campaigning to raise awareness of women’s sport. Chief executive Sue Tibballs said it “represents a real victory for women’s sport. “With more events and more medals up for grabs than ever before we think that London 2012 will be the best Olympic Games for women yet.” —Reuters
US Olympic basketball team starts slow LAS VEGAS: LeBron James was stretched out against a wall Wednesday, answering a few questions before lacing up his shoes. Carmelo Anthony was doing the same thing in the corner of the gym, while Kobe Bryant went about his business across the way. Talent was never going to be a problem for the U.S. men’s basketball team heading to London as defending gold medal champions. Never has been, ever since the Dream Team got together 20 years ago and changed the way the world plays basketball. “We understand why we’re here,” James said. “We’re all superstars on our respective teams. Now we all have to be superstars on this team.” Assuming that happens, any worries about bringing the gold home from London should pretty much vanish. Sure, Spain figures to be tough and the Russians and Argentinians will pose challenges. And there are some who question the lack of height inside on this team. But the U.S. squad is so deep and athletic that the early chatter is that this team could be even better than the last gold medal team - even without Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, both key performers in Beijing, along with that team’s only true center, Dwight Howard. “We have the potential,” James said. “But we’ll see.” Indeed, potential is a word used often about this year’s version of the Dream Team, which opens its Olympic run with an exhibition game Thursday against the Dominican Republic. Bryant said the other day he believes this team would even beat the original Dream Team, and coach Mike Krzyzewski - an assistant on the 1992 team - seemed inclined to agree with him. “This team can be very good,” Krzyzewski said. “They’re all in their
prime or coming into their prime. In ‘92 you had Magic and Larry Bird, who were past their prime. But if they were all in their prime together in 1992 we’d never see a team like that again.” Potential, though, will only take a team so far. And so far in their brief training camp on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus, things haven’t gone exactly to plan. A team that was supposed to be in place even before arriving last week in this gambling city wasn’t, thanks to injuries to Wade, Bosh, Howard and Derrick Rose. The full team wasn’t even announced until Saturday, when Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala and James Harden were added to the roster. Deron Williams couldn’t scrimmage until signing his new $98 million contract Wednesday, Griffith missed a day of practice while tending to details of his new contract, and James has been limited in practice to rest up from the NBA playoffs. Oh, and Chris Paul sprained his right thumb on the first day of practice and missed several scrimmages. Now, less than three weeks before the US tips off against France in its opening game at the Olympics, the team is very much a work in progress. “It’s a disjointed start,” Krzyzewski said. “That has an impact - a negative impact - that we have to overcome.” The buzz around the UNLV gym on a sweltering day that didn’t deter several hundred fans from waiting outside for autographs was about the opening exhibition game and the chance to start figuring out positions and rotations. The game against the Dominican Republic in the 18,000seat UNLV arena is sold out, evidence of the star power of the team if not the quality of the competition itself. After practicing for less than a week, the first real game this team will
play together could provide a lot of clues to determining how good it will be. “It’s a showcase, but it’s a statement game, too,” said Anthony, a member of the 2008 team. “It will show us where we’re at.” Five members of the team that beat Spain in the final in Beijing will be getting their second chance at gold medals in the second Olympics under Krzyzewski, who was brought in by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo after a somewhat embarrassing performance by the US in 2004 in Athens. Since then the national team has gone 39-1, but hasn’t lost since dropping a shocker to Greece in the 2006 World Championships. Though the team coasted into the final in Beijing, Spain was in the gold medal game deep into the second half before the Americans pulled away for the win. The 2008 team bought into Krzyzewski’s approach, and this team seems to be on the same page, too, joking with trainers Wednesday as they went through stretching exercises. “We’ve been doing this for seven years and I’ve coached 10 of these guys,” Krzyzewski said. “We have great relationships and I think that helps a lot. They’re professionals, and they’re good guys.” They’re also used to having a target on their backs. Every game against the United States is the biggest game of the Olympics for their opponents, and one loss could doom their gold medal chances. They’re off to a stumbling start, but it’s hardly time to start panicking. A few exhibition games, a few more weeks of practice, and everyone will know their roles and responsibilities. It shouldn’t be long before they’re good as gold.—AP
LAS VEGAS: Coach Mike Krzyzewski (left) and USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo (right) stand with the 12 players named to the US men’s basketball team. (From left in front) Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, James Harden, Andre Iguodala and Kobe Bryant. (At rear) Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, Kevin Durant and LeBron James.—AP
Sports FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Brazil’s time to shine, says Ronaldo LONDON: Despite a glorious past that includes five World Cup triumphs, Brazil have never struck gold in the Olympics and former striker Ronaldo thinks it is now their time to shine. The Olympic soccer tournament will feature some of the world’s top names with Brazil, world champions Spain, the old Olympic kings from Uruguay and a rare appearance from host nation Britain, all in with a chance of glory. Among the leading individuals involved in the men’s competition are Brazilians Neymar, Hulk, Thiago Silva and Alexandre Pato, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez and Spain’s Juan Mata and Jordi Alba, who both scored in their victory over Italy in the final of Euro 2012. Brazil, naturally, are among the contenders and will attempt to overcome their Olympic nemesis by winning the gold medal for the first time at their 13th attempt since they first competed in 1952. Former Brazilian striker Ronaldo, a World Cup winner in 2002 and an Olympic bronze medalist in 1996, told Reuters it was Brazil’s time to win gold. “There is no real reason why we fail at the Olympics, which we take very seriously,” he said. “In some way these are already a successful Games for us because Argentina (winners in 2004 and 2008) were eliminated in the qualifiers and cannot
defend their title so now would be perfect if we became champions in their place.” Brazil face Egypt, Belarus and New Zealand in their opening group. As in the men’s competition, Brazil’s women are going for a first Olympic gold and Marta, world player of the year five times, will lead their assault at London 2012. Brazil’s women face Cameroon, New Zealand and Britain in their group games. The two competitions, comprising 16 men’s teams and 12 women’s, are among the most complex on the programme with the women starting with six matches on July 25, two days before the Games’ official opening. The men start with eight matches the following day. The first event of the entire London Games is the women’s match between Britain and New Zealand on July 25 at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. That is one of six venues being used in England, Scotland and Wales along with Old Trafford, Hampden Park, St James’ Park, City of Coventry, and Wembley which stages both finals. While the women’s competition will briefly hold the limelight on July 25, most of the attention will be on the men, whose competition is restricted to players aged under 23, plus three over-age players. Britain also have hopes of gold - which would be its
first since 1912. David Beckham, who hails from East London and was instrumental in helping London win the Olympics, was left out of the Britain squad, but his old Manchester United team mate, Welshman Ryan Giggs, has been included. The 38-year-old has won more honors in England than any other player. The relationship between British football and the Olympic Games is so convoluted and politically charged - this is their first finals since 1960 that even though they are hosts, there was a doubt they would compete. The problem revolves around independent status issues with FIFA that concern Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so whether this Olympic return is a one-off or not remains to be seen. Their group matches are against Senegal, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay. Uruguay are also returning after a long absence. Their victories in Paris 1924 and Amsterdam 1928, the last time they competed, galvanized FIFA into organising the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930. Today’s team knocked out champions Argentina in the qualifiers and, led in attack by Suarez of Liverpool and Edinson Cavani of Napoli, the “celeste” will be looking to add the Olympic title to the Copa America they won last year.—Reuters
Forest’s new Kuwaiti owner sacks manager SAO PAULO: Brazil’s Corinthians’ team members celebrate at the end of the Copa Libertadores final soccer match against Argentina’s Boca Juniors. Corinthians won 3-1 on aggregate.—AP
Palmeiras win Brazilian Cup SAO PAULO: Palmeiras won the Brazilian Cup by drawing 1-1 at Coritiba on Wednesday, taking the two-legged final 3-1 on aggregate and becoming Brazil’s most successful club. The title also gives the Sao Paulo club a spot in next year’s Copa Libertadores, along with their main rival, current champions Corinthians. Palmeiras won the tournament unbeaten in 11 matches. Coritiba opened the scoring with a free kick by Ayrton in the 62nd minute, but striker Betinho equalized just four minutes later with a header, putting Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team in command. Coritiba defender Pereira was sent off in the final minutes with a second yellow card. It was Palmeiras’ first major trophy since the 1999 Copa Libertadores, and its 10th national title, one more than Santos. Palmeiras has also won eight national league titles and lifted another Brazilian Cup trophy in 1998. Both the Copa Libertadores and the 1998 Brazilian Cup titles came in Scolari’s previous stint at the club, before he led Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title and then coached Portugal and Chelsea. It was the coach’s fourth Brazilian Cup title. He had also won it with Gremio in 1994 and minnow Criciuma in 1991, when he first appeared in the national scene. “This puts Palmeiras on the map again after a decade of struggles,” Scolari said. “Now it’s on the right path again.” Scolari has already said he will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the year and is likely to coach a national team during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Coritiba, the 1985 Brazilian league champion, was trying to win its first Brazilian Cup. It had been runner-up to Vasco da Gama last year, when it lost the decisive match at home 3-2 after a 1-0 loss in Rio de Janeiro. One Palmeiras’ top players in the title campaign is former Real Betis and AS Roma midfielder Marcos Assuncao, whose free kick cross led to Betinho’s goal on Wednesday at the Couto Pereira stadium.—AP
LONDON: Nottingham Forest’s new owners have sacked manager Steve Cotterill, just two days after completing a takeover of the two-time European Champions, the Midlands club announced yesterday. Fawaz Al Hasawi, a member of one of Kuwait’s richest families, bought Forest, now in English football’s second-tier Championship, with the assistance of his brothers on Tuesday. Cotterill left just nine months into a three-and-a-half-year deal he signed when replacing former England coach Steve McClaren in October. “Nottingham Forest can confirm that manager Steve Cotterill has departed the club with immediate effect,” said a statement on the club’s website. “Cotterill met with the club’s new owners, the Al-Hasawi family, yesterday (Wednesday) and after long deliberations they have decided to make a new appointment in a bid to deliver their long-term vision. “The club would like to acknowledge their gratitude to Cotterill for guiding it through an extremely difficult and traumatic period and for retaining the side’s Championship status last season. “The club will be making no further comment at this time.” Cotterill left Portsmouth to take over at the City Ground in October last year with the club 21st in the table and facing relegation. But he led Forest to 19th place and Championship survival. Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, who took Portsmouth into the Premier League, has been linked with the vacancy at the City Ground. Forest had been on the market since the sudden death of owner Nigel Doughty in February.—AFP
FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Saudi women athletes to compete in London Page 46
Forestâ€™s new Kuwaiti owner sacks manager Page 47