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Petraeus probe snares US war chief in Afghanistan Obama delays Allen’s nomination as sex scandal widens conspiracy theories

Hit by lightning

By Badrya Darwish


t is becoming increasingly ridiculous to receive news in the age of modern technology. Guess what? Fire broke out at a Doha desalination plant in Kuwait yesterday. And do you know what was the reason for the fire? It was not a manmade mistake like the gas leak three weeks ago that poisoned almost the whole of Kuwait but God was merciful and saved us all. The fire was not due to an earthquake, God forbid or a tsunami hitting the shore near Doha. The fire was caused by lightning that hit a high-pressure gas pipe that exploded. News like this about lightning hitting places used to happen ages ago. I still remember as a kid that high-rise buildings used to have high rods that used to safeguard buildings from lightning. It is not a high-tech, expensive nuclear reactor project. All high buildings have it in the world. I know nature can be angry. But God gave men the gift of science to build something called antilightning protection systems. I t is simple. According to my simple knowledge, it is not a very costly invention. It is affordable. Lightning protection is also used on an aircraft’s structure, ships and boats etc. How come a strategic plant like Doha which supplies the whole of Kuwait with water does not have such a simple protection system? Is the government going to investigate who is responsible? Which ministry failed to install this? Is it the Ministry of Oil or the Ministry of Electricity and Water? We would like to know who is to blame for this failure. This time it happened in Doha but it could happen anywhere else. Do we have to wait for disasters to happen to take care of things? A few years ago the whole of Kuwait flooded and only then a proper sewage system was put in place. Why do we wait for disasters to happen to fix things? Don’t we have ministries, institutes and planners in Kuwait? What do we lack? The money, knowhow, manpower, loyalty or integrity? Will somebody tell me? I know that if a person walks under a tree, he is vulnerable to be hit by lightning. Walking on a street or in the desert is the same. You cannot install an anti-lightning protection system on a tree. This is justified. But institutes and buildings are a different story. Be careful at the start of winter and don’t get hit by lightning when walking in the open areas! Have a good day!

KABUL: In this July 9, 2011 photograph, US General John Allen (left) and General David Petraeus (center) greet US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta as he lands in the Afghan capital. Allen, the US commander in Afghanistan, is under investigation for “inappropriate” emails to a woman linked to the sex scandal involving former CIA director Petraeus.— AFP

WASHINGTON: The top US general in Afghanistan was dragged into the sex scandal that brought down CIA director David Petraeus yesterday, as a steady stream of new allegations left Washington agog. The discovery of a trove of correspondence between General John Allen and the woman who led the FBI to Petraeus’ former mistress prompted President Barack Obama to put Allen’s nomination as NATO’s supreme commander on hold. The correspondence included inappropriate emails between Allen and Jill Kelley, 37, a Florida socialite who notified the FBI when she began receiving threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’ lover and biographer. In all, the FBI is investigating between 20,000 to 30,000 pages of Allen’s correspondence, a Pentagon official told reporters traveling with US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. The Washington Post, citing a senior military official close to Allen, reported that the correspondence included 200 to 300 emails between Kelley and the general. A senior military officer in Washington told AFP that Allen had firmly denied any sexual affair, but he said the mails were “flirtatious” and warned that their “sheer volume” could amount to “conduct unbecoming of an officer.” The inquiry comes at a sensitive time for Allen and the Pentagon, who are preparing their recommendations to the White House on the political hot button topic of the number of US troops to keep in Afghanistan until 2014. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Continued on Page 15

UAE toughens law on Web dissent Kuwait’s nominal GDP up 29% in 2011 KUWAIT: Kuwait’s economy grew 29 percent in nominal terms last year, the fastest rate since 2005, as high crude prices helped boost output and revenue in the OPEC member state, central bank data showed yesterday. The bank tends not to release real GDP data until a much later date. The data showed that the economy grew by a revised 12.7 percent in 2010 in nominal terms, according to a Reuters calculation based on the official data, down from 16.7 percent as previously reported. Kuwait pegs its dinar to a basket of currencies and the government depends on income from crude oil for around 95 percent of its budget. While Kuwait is fiscally sound, the country is suffering from a political crisis triggered by a long-running row between the government and parliament, which has held up economic reforms and investment. The economy is expected to grow 6.5-6.6 percent this year in real terms, Central Bank Governor Mohammad Al-Hashel said last month. Analysts polled by Reuters in September were more conservative, forecasting 5.0 percent growth for 2012.

While Kuwait is in a fiscally strong position, with 13 consecutive years of budget surpluses, economists and policymakers have said the government’s expenditure on salaries and benefits is not sustainable in the long run. The heavily oil-reliant economy could face problems if there is a steep drop in the price of crude oil, they say. Output of the oil and gas sector, which makes up 62 percent of the $158 billion economy, jumped 49.4 percent at current prices in 2011 compared to a 22.8 percent rise in the previous year. Kuwaiti authorities often publish economic data long after the period in question has ended. Last month, the Central Bank unexpectedly cut its key discount rate by 50 basis points to 2.0 percent, aiming to bolster the banking sector and support the economy after keeping the rate on hold since Feb 2010. Analysts have said, however, that while the rate cut would help trim borrowing costs for businesses, it was not going to be enough to kick-start bank lending without a lasting solution to the political crisis. — Reuters

Abu Qatada freed from British jail LONDON: British authorities reluctantly released terror suspect Abu Qatada on bail yesterday after judges ruled that the man dubbed Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe should not be extradited to Jordan. Heavily bearded and wearing a black turban, the radical Islamist preacher smiled slightly as he was driven out of the high-security Long Lartin prison in central England in the back of a black minibus. A small group of protesters gathered outside Abu Qatada’s house in northwest London and chanted slogans calling for his deportation, as the father-of-five arrived home and was escorted into the modest terraced house by officials. The court ruling yesterday was a severe blow for the British government, which has kept Abu Qatada in custody for most of the last 10 years and repeatedly tried to send him to the Middle East. The Jordanian of Palestinian origin was convicted in absentia in Jordan in 1998 for involvement in terror attacks, but British judges accepted his argument that evidence obtained by torture

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might be used against him in a retrial. Abu Qatada, who is in his early 50s, will be under a curfew 16 hours a day but can leave his home between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. He will have to wear an electronic tag and restrictions will be placed on who he meets. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said yesterday that the government would make renewed efforts to deport him, amid outrage in the tabloid press that Abu Qatada was free to walk the streets. “We are determined to deport him, we strongly disagree with the court ruling,” he told ITV television. “We are going to challenge it, we are going to take it to appeal. We are absolutely determined to see this man get on a plane and go back to Jordan, he does not belong here.” Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman said the interior ministry would be “ensuring that we take all the steps necessary to ensure that Qatada does not present a risk to national security”. The handful of protesters outside Abu Qatada’s house held a “Get Rid of Abu Qatada” banner. Continued on Page 15

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates set stricter Internet monitoring and enforcement codes yesterday that include giving authorities wider leeway to crack down on Web activists for offenses such as mocking the country’s rulers or calling for demonstrations. The measures are another sign of tougher cyber-policing efforts by Western-backed leaders across

the Gulf amid growing concerns over perceived political or security threats since the Arab Spring uprisings. The Web clampdowns, however, have brought outcry from rights groups and media freedom advocates that claim Gulf authorities are increasingly muzzling free expression in the name of preserving the Continued on Page 15

SAMAHIJ, Bahrain: A Bahraini Shiite protestor holding petrol bombs runs for cover from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes following an anti-government demonstration in this village near Muharraq yesterday. — AFP

Bahrain opens Arabian Nights-themed theatre

LONDON: Radical Islamist preacher Abu Qatada arrives at his home in northwest London yesterday after he was released from prison. — AFP

MANAMA: Bahrain’s King Hamad opened one of the largest theatres in the Middle East this week as part of a drive to smooth over months of unrest that have rocked the Gulf Arab state. But the creation of an elegant cubic glass structure with a golden-coloured roof by the seaside may do little to quell lingering unrest between the minority Sunni ruling elite and majority Shiite population of a small oil-producing Gulf kingdom that is also home to the US Fifth Fleet. The new 1,001-seat Bahrain National Amphitheatre was built at a cost $50 million with an Arabian Nights theme and will stage a busy season of per formances that include Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre and Spanish tenor Placido Domingo. “ This theatre adds a great deal, through cultural activities that bring people close and embodies the dreams of every citizen,” Bahraini Culture Minister, Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, told Reuters. Bahrain’s government put down

MANAMA: Bahrain’s Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman AlKhalifa and the wife of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Princess Amira, attend the opening ceremony of the Bahrain National Theatre in the capital on Monday. — AFP an uprising by Shiites demanding a Hezbollah, a Shiite group allied with bigger say in government just a few Iran, has previously denied interfermonths ago. But violence has ing in Bahrain. Bahrain also revoked already picked up again and discon- the nationality of 31 leading dissitent lingers despite reform, includ- dents, parliamentarians, clerics and ing more powers for an elected par- human rights lawyers last week in a liament. The government said last step that was condemned by rights week that five home-made bombs organisations. In April, the kingdom killed two people in Manama and hosted guests from around the accused the Lebanese Hezbollah world at the group of being behind the attacks. Continued on Page 15




KUWAIT: The Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his accompanying delegation left the State of Kuwait yesterday, concluding an official two-day visit, during which he conducted talks with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Hadi was seen off at Kuwait International Airport by HH the Amir, HH the Prince Crown Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Deputy Chief of the National Guard Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah and senior state officials and police and national guard senior officers.

Three ministers out of next cabinet: Insiders A lot of concessions to opposition By A. Saleh KUWAIT: Health Minister Ali Al-Obaidi, Communications Minister Salem Al-Othainah and Commerce Minister Anas Al-Saleh are likely to be left out of the cabinet that will be announced after the parliament’s elections, said sources familiar with the government’s thinking citing “reservations about their performance” in the current cabinet. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the sources said a majority of cabinet members apart from ruling family members are expected to be replaced “with the most likely exception of Dr. Fadhel Safar whose presence is deemed important for development projects the Ministry of Public Works is carrying out.” Another minister who is likely to be retained is the Minister of Development and Planning, Rula Dashty “due to her economic background which can help the next cabinet in realizing its economic-oriented vision,” the sources added. The sources did not expect any changes in ruling family ministers. Former MPs’ case The Criminal Court adjourned the case of three former MPs accused of undermining the status of HH the Amir, and set the next hearing for November 27th. The decision came yesterday during the second hearing in the case in which former

MPs Falah Al-Sawagh, Khalid Al-Tahous and Badr Al-Dahoum face charges over remarks they made during a rally for the opposition deemed critical to HH the Amir. The defendants pleaded not guilty yesterday, insisting that their statements did not carry any intent to offend the Amir. Cabinet’s weakness Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah made a lot of concessions to the opposition in the previous parliament, but it was instead met with actions that humiliated his cabinet, a former lawmaker said yesterday. Nasser Al-Duwailah, who is running in the upcoming elections from the fourth constituency, said he believed that the opposition “ignored the constitution and regulations in favour of enforcing their personal agenda which does not meet the state’s general interest,” adding at the same time that they “made use of the cabinet’s weakness” to achieve their goals. Moreover, Al-Duwailah also criticized the cabinet as failing to refute the opposition’s allegations of the decree to alter the voting mechanism being unconstitutional. “I am against the single vote system, but I respect the decree because it is constitutional,” he said, revealing at the same time plans to “introduce a new electoral system that is based on dates of birth” if he gets elected.

Oil projects Kuwait plans to use nearly $56 billion in mega projects to boost oil and gas production within five years as part of a strategy to develop its energy sector, a senior oil official said yesterday. Chairman of the Board of Kuwait Oil Company Sami Al-Rushaid made his statements during the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), in which he also announced Kuwait’s ambitions to increase its oil production to 4 million barrels per day by 2020, and gas production to 1.5 billion square meters by 2030. Charity violations Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Salem AlOthaina ordered that the case pertaining to suspected violations committed by a local charity organization be shelved, after reportedly succumbing to political pressures. According to sources with knowledge of the issue, the minister “ignored a report” released by the ministry’s Charity Organizations Department “recommending that the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society be referred to the Public Prosecution for repeated violations to laws regulating cash donations.” “Minister Al-Othaina was in contact with political and tribal parties before making the decision to put the case on the backburner,” said the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

KOC wins award for fields management KUWAIT: The Kuwait Oil Company won the second place award for the ‘best model in managing oil and gas fields in the Middle East and North Africa’ during the 2012 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC). The Nov 11-14, 2012 event was held under the patronage of President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The award was given to the KOC for their digital and integrated fields management project, which uses cutting edge solutions for data analysis in record time, enabling quick and accurate decision making with regards to well development and drilling. Introduced this past

October, the ‘Kuwait Integrated Digital Oil Fields Center’ is seeking to increase the country’s oil production to four million barrels per day by 2020. ADIPEC is considered the largest petroleum event of its kind in the Middle East, featuring more than 109 exhibitors. A total of 200 participants from 39 countries spoke about topics that include geology, well development, drilling and maintenance. The KOC’s delegation comprised the Chairman of the Board of Director and Managing Director Sami Al-Rhushaid, Deputy Managing Director for North Kuwait, Husainah Hashem, and other KOC staff.

GIC celebrates its golden anniversary KUWAIT: Gulf Insurance Company has been part of Kuwait and part of its people’s lives for 50 years, witnessing the good times and bad times of our nation. “We’ve been fortunate to be a successful company over the past 50 years, and would sincerely like to thank our dedicated customers and employees for putting their trust in GIC; we couldn’t have done this without you,” said Khaled Saoud Al Hasan (Managing Director & CEO). Gulf Insurance K.S.C. (GIC) was established in 1962. GIC is a public shareholding company listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange and a market leader in Kuwait in terms of premiums written both in life and nonlife insurance. GIC is currently the largest insurance company in Kuwait for written and retained premiums; its activities are further supported by first class reinsurance security. The company raised its S&P (Standard & Poor’s) and achieved an A- (“Excellent”) rating from A.M BEST. The ratings of GIC reflect its strong regional business profile, good profitability and adequate level of riskadjusted capitalization. GIC is a Company with a Regional underwriter of specialty insurance products in niche areas of the commercial property, casualty and fidelity markets. It provides innovative and comprehensive insurance solutions and covers a variety of risks related to Motor, Marine & Aviation, Property & Casualty, and Life & Health Insurance both in conventional and takaful basis (Islamic Shariah principles). The company prides itself in its distinguished quality of products and

superior customer service. GIC enjoys lending utmost professional and personalized attention to both individual and corporate clients in their current and future insurance needs. Through its operating entities, GIC offers highquality customer service in programs tailored to the needs of its customers’ business and risk management strategies. In 2001 we became the market leader in Kuwait, and we have kept that position ever since. Our ambition and long term vision exceeded the borders of GCC to cover almost the entire MENA region. In 2012, it was the right time to unite our group under one flag, one name and one brand: THE Gulf Insurance Group-GIG. In pursuance of our plans our ultimate objective was to be recognized as an Arabian entity with world-class offerings & standards. By cultivating a team of over 150 life- and non-life insurance consultants trained to offer clients the most

practical advice and dedicated attention and with a growing network of over 18 branches accessible throughout Kuwait, the company has been able to realize its pledge to be the “insurer of choice” The 50th anniversary campaign will focus on the revealing of the New GIC Identity. The brand has been developed to touch our hearts and embrace our vision. A strong identity has been elaborated to reflect the endeavor of GIG people; their values, their passion, their efforts and dedication. This complete spectrum shaped the NEW GIG Identity. The GIG brand purpose is to make insurance more desirable, with intent to focus on building long-lasting premium quality relationships that are rewarding and based on mutual respect. The GIG brand will grow capturing its Origin and rising toward Excellence.

Cabinet supports Amir’s speech on constitution KUWAIT: In its customary weekly meeting, the cabinet reviewed yesterday the content of the speech with which His Highness the Amir recently addressed the nation in celebration of the fiftieth year since the endorsement of the Kuwaiti constitution. In that regard, the cabinet expressed its delight at HH the Amir’s active participation last Saturday in the fireworks extravaganza held on this occasion, prompting HH the

prime minister to thank everyone who had a hand in producing the impressive fireworks show which brought a lot of joy to the hearts of many Kuwaitis. Related to the fireworks event last Saturday was yesterday’s celebration at the Shahid park of inaugurating a memorial on the occasion of the fiftieth year of the endorsement of the constitution, where HH the Amir was on hand to attend that celebration. Both events were meant to

embody the sacrosanct nature of the constitution to all Kuwaitis who cherish precepts of democracy, the rule of law, and free speech. Demonstrating the government’s penchant to find satisfactory solutions to people’s concerns, the cabinet has instructed the state minister for housing affairs to speed up delivery of housing plots to those waiting to get them so that to build on them their dream homes. —KUNA



Kuwait not signing domestic workers treaties ‘for now’ Necessary to avoid conflicts KUWAIT: Kuwait will not sign any International Labor Organization treaties pertaining to domestic workers at this moment due to technicalities related to the Gulf state’s regulations, local newspapers reported yesterday quoting senior Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor officials. “The main reason pertains to organizing the domestic labor market just like the professional labor market is organized, which requires a legislation passed by the parliament,” Deputy Director of the Public Relations Department Hadi Al-Enizy said. This was necessary in order to avoid conflicts which could arise if Kuwait signs an international treaty that includes articles which violate “Kuwait’s privacy,” Al-Enizy added. The official further indicated that the interior and justice ministries are currently working on a draft law for domestic KUWAIT: First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and his accompanying delegation leave for Riyadh yesterday to take part in the Gulf Cooperation Council 31st Interior Ministers’ meeting.

Two citizens, expat held for possessing drugs By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Drug enforcement agents arrested two citizens and an expat belonging to a GCC country after recovering 3.5 kg of hasheesh, other drugs, a gun, bullets and a drugsensitivity checking scale from them. Earlier, information was received about a citizen being active in distributing drugs and having a gun. After observing necessary legal formalities and making required investigations, the citizen’s house was raided. A search of his house led to the recovery of half a kilogram of hasheesh and bags containing “shadow” drugs. He confessed that he gets the drugs from a fellow citizen friend and a GCC expat. The houses of both were raided, and agents found three kilograms of hasheesh and sensitive scale and other drugs. The three of them confessed to trading and dealing in drugs and were sent to the concerned authorities. Road accidents A 14-year-old Syrian boy who was trying to cross the road at Jleeb Al-Shoyoukh police station road was left with a fractured right foot when a passing car hit him. He was taken to the Farwaniya Hospital. A motorcycle accident at Al-Firdous block-1 resulted in a head injury for a 25-year-old Afghani expat who was taken to the Farwaniya Hospital. Building accident An Indian expat who fell from the 3rd floor of an under construction building at Ishbiliya died on the spot. He was 28. His body was sent to the medical examiner.

KUWAIT: The drug dealers pictured after their arrest.

Khaitan scuffle A 29-year-old Egyptian expat, who entered into a scuffle with some other men at Khaitan near Al-Rabiya kindergarten, received a head injury and was taken to the Farwaniya Hospital.

Jazeera Airways acquires significant operational shares KUWAIT: Jazeera Airways, a Kuwaiti low-fare airline, has acquired, once again, substantial operational shares at its regional destinations. According to the global flights tracker website “flightstats”, Jazeera Airways held first place among other airline companies for its flights punctuality, of 96 percent, during the month of December 2011. The airline said in its report that the company took large stakes of operations to a chain of destinations, namely Kuwait, Dubai, Bahrain, Amman, Cairo, Beirut, Istanbul and Sharm El-Sheikh. Comparing the carrier’s operations in December 2011 to the same month of 2010, Jazzera Airways’

Kuwait-Beirut route amounted to 38 percent; an increase of 6 percent while Kuwait-Cairo route rose 29 percent; an up of 3 percent. Furthermore, Kuwait-Istanbul route went up to 66 percent, Kuwait-Sharm El Sheikh route rose 96 percent, Kuwait-Amman route went up 39 percent, KuwaitDubai route went up 14 percent and Kuwait-Bahrain route increase by 9 percent. Jazeera, a company established in 2005, is listed in the Kuwait Stock Exchange. It is the largest airline serving the Middle East out of Kuwait. It currently serves 18 destinations across the Middle East and operates a modern fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft. — KUNA

Lightning hits Doha desalination plant By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A bolt of lightning hit a natural gas filter in the east Doha desalination station, causing a blaze. Firemen, in cooperation with MEW and KOC engineers, brought the fire under control and closed the valves after evacuating the site. No injuries were reported. Deputy Director General for Firefighting and Human Resources Affairs Brig Khalid Al-Mikrad said a call was made to the operations room at 12:20 pm about the east Doha power and desalination station, prompting Sulaibikhat, Ardiya, Hilali, back-up and hazardous materials centers to respond. The lightning bolt hit one of the natural gas filters and led to a fire there in addition to a nearby chalet and trees. Employees were evacuated and taken one kilometer away, while technicians were hard at work backing firemen to close the main valves of the natural gas.

workers. “When the law is enforced, the [ILO] treaty can then be signed,” Al-Enizy told Al-Rai. He insisted at the same time that failure to sign on the 189th convention which pertains to decent work for domestic workers “does not mean that Kuwait ignores human rights, but is only waiting for a legislation that reinforces the main goal” of the treaty. Meanwhile, Al-Shahed reported quoting “Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor sources” that the ministry is set to stop working by a law that allowed domestic workers to transfer their visas to the labor sector by the end of this month. The decision was earlier made in order to help meet shortage in some labor fields in the local market. At least 19,000 people benefited from this decision in the past two years, the sources added. —Al-Rai & Al-Shahed

Palestinian journalist attends KJA course By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: For the first time since many years, the Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) has invited a professional from Palestine to attend a course on journalism. Hiba Jaber, a 32year-old PR officer working at the office of the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, came to attend a three-day course held at the KJA. Titled ‘Covering Events and Crisis’, the journalism course started on Monday, and will end today. “This course was about credibility in covering the news. The news should be covered neutrally without being partial to any person, party or country. This course was very useful for me and I gained a lot of information and experience,” Hiba Jaber told the Kuwait Times. “They taught us that any news, even if it is a rumor, may cause a crisis or destroy countries. We should be very careful when announcing or broadcasting any news and we should verify it as this is a delicate and serious responsibility. Although I am not a journalist, yet this course is useful for my work as I work in the public relations department at the president’s office and deal with the local and international news,” she added. Hiba has had sad experiences in her

Hiba Jaber country, and has gotten used to it. One of her brothers is a martyr while other two are prisoners of war. “One of my brothers who was imprisoned for 15 years by the Israelis was released during the exchange of prisoners after spending 10 years. The other brother is imprisoned for 12 years, out of which he has already spent 11, so he will hopefully be free after a year,” she

pointed out. She deals with different issues related to the President’s office such as following the local and international news especially during the visits of the president. “We also deal with the social cases in which people demand help from the president. We study the case and decide whether it should be presented to the president for a decision. Some people also complain about confiscation of settlers’ properties, and many other issues,” explained Hiba. The three-day course was presented by Husein Abdulrahman and Nabeel Al-Hawi in Arabic language. At the end of the course, all participants will receive a certificate in the presence of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information. This was Hiba’s first visit to Kuwait. Being the only participant from abroad, she was glad to attend this course. “The rest of the participants were local journalists from different nationalities. In fact, I didn’t feel that I am a stranger here, as everybody treats me like their family member. I hope to attend other courses if I get an opportunity to do so. I also hope there were more exchanges of such courses between Kuwait and Palestine, enabling us to exchange knowledge and information,” she concluded.


LOCAL kuwait digest

kuwait digest

Turkey and Arab Spring

Protecting Arabic language By Dr. Yaqoub Al-Sharrah

By Shamlan Al-Essa

he Arabic language faces multiple and complicated challenges that are too many to be addressed in one article. One of the main challenges is the effect of globalization and cultural invasion of Arab societies through two key domains: the media and education. Both of these are used to introduce tools that hinder the efforts to reinforce the Arabic language among its native speakers. Many advanced countries took extra care to protect their native languages from the effects of globalization. One of the main examples is France which was quick to legislate laws to protect its language when it felt that French was being threatened by the spread of the English language. How can we forget the law passed by the postrevolution French parliament two centuries ago, which not only made French the state’s official language, but also provided for penalties against anyone who used a different language in official work. A French citizen who issues a document in a language other than French is punished by either a loss of job or six years in prison as per the law. The Toubon Law which was passed in 1994 and mandates the use of the French language in official government publications, advertisements, and workplaces is one of the famous laws passed to protect the language. It states that French citizens are not allowed to use terms or phrases from foreign language as long as they have equivalents in French. It also prohibits financing conferences which do not adopt French as a main language. When we take this example and many other examples worldwide to argue for protection of native languages, and compare it to the Arab World, we find that not only are Arab societies ignoring their native language, but are rather fighting against that objective by preferring to use foreign languages in speech. Even when the Arabic language is used, it is often mixed with English or sometimes punctuated with French terms, resulting in the end in a sort of ‘hybrid’ speech. While France was able to protect its native language from foreign effects, the Arabic language faces fierce competition in its native communities where many prefer to replace it with English or other foreign languages. This is mostly seen in college education where teaching in foreign languages is common. The terrible linguistic situation that the Arab World lives in is not different from the state of underdevelopment that mars it generally. However, the linguistic problem is one of the most critical because it is closely associated with culture, identity, history and religion of our nation. While realizing that Arabic will survive eternally, being the language of the Holy Quran, yet I believe that comprehensive measures are required to help it hold its position as other languages spread and dialects dominate. — Al-Rai

ludag University in Turkey held its fourth annual conference in Bourse, the old capital of the Ottoman Empire, on November 7 and 8, 2012 to deal with and discuss the Middle East region following the Arab Spring revolutions. A total of 21 papers were discussed over two days, most of which focused on Turkey and its relations with the region’s countries, and whether the Arab Spring revolutions were in Turkey’s interest or not. Most papers provided evidence and data to underline the growing role of Turkey in the region. They proved that Turkey has become integral to the region and it is no more possible to ignore its role. What interests us in this column are the issues related to the Arab Gulf states, as the session on the gulf countries included four papers to which three specialized academics contributed, namely Dr Abdelkhaliq Abdullah from UAE, Dr Shamlan Yousuf Al-Essa from Kuwait and Dr Abdullah Al-Ahimmari from Saudi Arabia apart from a fourth colleague from Turkey who spoke about the Turkish-Gulf relations and the growing Turkish role in the Gulf in all fields and the economy in particular. The question posed during the conference was whether the Arab Gulf countries were immune to the winds of change emerging from the “Arab Spring” revolutions? The answer to the question is not easy because events have still not come to a conclusion and changes are still ongoing in the Arab world. Besides, no one knows which way the Syrian events will end. In which direction will Syria head in case the regime collapses, or survives? What is the political cost for the gulf and Arab countries in general? It is not easy to answer these questions because there are evidences and indicators that prove that the gulf countries are immune. These include the fact that most Gulf people prefer the current situation without any revolutionary change, and no one wants to contest the legitimacy of the regimes in these countries and lay claim to power. The people in the region look for reform and not deep-rooted change and are not enthused by the failure of the “Arab Spring” countries to achieve the goals and purposes of the revolutions which were democracy, freedom and better standards of living for the citizens as well as his human rights. Instead, Islamic groups which do not believe in democracy or intellectual plurality took over power. The public opinion in the gulf does not want to copy the “Arab Spring” revolutions. The parties and political movements that called for change in the gulf, particularly in Bahrain and Kuwait, were neither reformist nor democratic, and lacked a futuristic vision with development aspect. The Gulf countries are immune against change because there is no pressure from the west on them to drive them towards any deep-rooted change. It is true that there are western demands for reform in the Gulf countries to avoid deep-rooted changes that swept some Arab countries. There is another view that finds gulf countries as not being immune and underlines that things are changing in the region. A cursory glance at the demographic profile in the Gulf shows that youth under the age of 25 form 70 percent of the population. They have their own ambitions and demands like their Arab brothers and want freedom, democracy, justice, equality and job opportunities for all. The youth are not isolated from the Arab and western worlds. What was the influence of the Arab revolutions on the Arabian Gulf? The influence varied from being direct and strong in some countries like Bahrain and Oman and indirect in countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. It had a lesser effect upon the UAE and Qatar. The Gulf countries may better undertake to carry out the reforms lest the winds of change sweep them. — Al-Watan



kuwait digest

Stay silent please By Abdullatif Al-Duaij he nomination period for the upcoming elections is over now, ending with it the speculation about who plans to take part in or boycott it. It is clear that political and religious groups, sans Shiites, have boycotted the elections. This will make the upcoming parliament lacking in parliamentary experience and, to some extent, an identity. Either way, it is not going to be worse than the 1967 parliament when elections were forged in a manner too blatant for any of its members to be able to even deny. Despite that, the forged parliament completed its four-year tenure, and saw formation of a ‘strong’ opposition that locked horns with the government. I believe that the political career of many politicians will come to an end should the next parliament complete its four-year tenure, something that HH the Amir guaranteed would happen. That is why I believe that many of those who decided to boycott the elections should now be ready to enter history books after years of headlining daily news. The biggest and perhaps only losers from boycotting in my opinion are national groups (liberals)


which had a great chance to win a large majority in the upcoming parliament given their goals, and even greater chance to lead it, given their parliamentary experience. That would have enabled them to achieve a lot, such as correcting the course of education as wished by veteran liberal politician Dr. Ahmad AlKhateeb - Al-Khateeb has long accused the government of allowing religious groups to take over the country’s education - or at least cancel the students’ segregation law. On the other hand, religious and tribal groups did not lose anything from boycotting the elections which they were likely to lose given the new voting mechanism, or, in my estimation, even if these were to be held as per the old mechanism. We can rather say that perhaps they have actually achieved something by convincing naive members of national groups to follow them straight into the abyss. Nothing is now left for the boycotters but to try and become used to being bystanders, and stop making strong statements and blatant remarks since they no longer represent anything. — Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

Post-election scenario By Abdullatif Al-Duaij aking a position about what the new parliament will do or what will happen after the election results would depend on the stance of the government. The new parliament may use the absence of oppositionist and national groups as an opportunity to blatantly tamper with the constitution and democratic system. While I believe it would be unlikely, it does remain a possibility. On the other hand, the government might do something similar to what it did in 1971 when it compensated those boycotting the elections held that year, especially the national groups, by accommodating them in ministerial positions in order to restore balance in the parliament. But it is also not easy to predict the position of political groups. Who would have thought that national democratic forces would boycott the elections and miss a golden opportunity to restore balance and compensate for the period when they remained marginalized during the past four decades? Therefore, it is hard to predict whether national forces would accept an invitation to join the cabinet, especially since a majority of them have already decided to reject the offer. In the 1971 elections which witnessed a boycott, the government kept its promise of ushering in political, social and economic reforms. It formed a cabinet that was considered the strongest since independence and is so regarded till date since it not only included members from the opposition, but also top political figures including the late Khalid Al-Adasani who was the secretary for the youth and opposition movement during the thirties. The government might surprise us by cobbling together such a formation again, or it might end up doing exactly the opposite. Media outlets affiliated with the opposition are full of sarcasm while addressing the recent case in which Islamist activist Hakim Al-Mutairi is accused of violating the press law in a column he initially wrote ten years ago but which was republished recently. When the article was published in 2003, the press law did not exist. Three years later, fifty members of parliament unanimously passed the press and audiovisual laws. Not even a single lawmaker voted against the draft law at the time. AlMutairi was recently summoned for investigations after his article was republished, allegedly for violating clauses of the law passed in 2006. Incidentally, Al-Qabas daily published an editorial applauding the law when it was passed. So did Al-Taliíah in a column written by liberal former MP Abdullah Al-Naibari. Ahmad Al-Deyeen also praised the press law in a column published by Alam AlYoum. Perhaps the only one who opposed the law before it was passed, when it was passed and after it was passed was Abdullatif Al-Duaij. Again I would like to ask this question: why is the government always blamed for mistakes while those who created the mistake in the first place in the parliament are always spared from criticism? — Al-Qabas


In my view

Really tough equation By Thaar Al Rashidi egardless of the record number of candidates who registered on the last day of the filing of nominations, and regardless of the fact that the total number of candidates was higher than in the 2006, 2009 or 2012 elections, it still does not mean that the political film will be necessarily watched by the public. Nor will it necessarily convince them since the story that we saw in the declarations of many candidates after they registered their candidacy, indicated that the film will be no more than a contracting film. In spite of what has happened, is happening or will happen, we still believe in democracy and we will stick by it. And for those who do not know better, boycotting an election is also a form of democratic participation, not something necessarily against it. Boycott amounts to a refusal to practice democracy in the wrong way. Quantity is not important, what is important is how you are achieving the objective. As an example, the film “Salahuddin” witnessed the largest human participation in the history of Arab film production. But at the end, it has brought the production company to a bankruptcy because the public has boycotted the film. There were simply not enough people to watch it unroll. And that film despite such huge production apparatus remains trapped in the television memory. Audience is the final arbiter of any work, and public is the real judge of any political work, irrespective of how much anyone tries to promote any political project. In the past Arabs used to say “a piece of advice is worth a camel” when advice comes at the right time. In Kuwait, that saying has become “a piece of advice is worth a million dinars” and unfortunately most such advice is not timely. Note: There are some who boycott for the sake of democracy, and some who participate against democracy. It is a tough equation, but it sure is happening today. — Al-Anbaa




UN urged to find solution for Arab-Israeli conflict Kuwait condemns settlement activity UNITED NATIONS: The State of Kuwait urged the international community to honor its moral obligation and put an end to Israeli criminal acts against the Palestinian people in Occupied Palestinian Territories and provide protection for the civilians, describing the Israeli policies as the biggest threat to peace and security in the Middle East region. This came in Kuwait’s address before the UN’s Special Political and Decolonization Committee Monday evening, during discussion of the report of the “Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”. The speech was given by third secretary and member of the Kuwaiti group attending the sessions. Third Secretary Fahad Nawaf Al-Fadhli said the harsh restrictions forced upon Palestinians within and beyond Gaza contributed greatly to the deterioration of health conditions, education, and overall living environment.

The Palestinians also face obstacles when they need to cross borders to seek medical care in the West Bank or Eastern Jerusalem, and the harsh and arbitrary Israeli measures in this regard violate International Law and Human Rights and add more toil to already severe humanitarian, social, and economic conditions. The expansion of settlements, too, also foils peace efforts, and the continued expansion policy is undisguised and flagrant defiance of international resolutions and the will of the international community, he said. “Kuwait condemns with great censure the increasing pace of settlement activity, which is accompanied by daily harassments and abuse against Palestinians by armed settlers who engage in violence and aggression under the protective eye of the Israeli Army.” Early in October, the Kuwaiti diplomat recalled, the Israelis killed over 20 civilians including five children, broke into Al-Aqsa

Mosque grounds, and fired stun grenades on worshippers at the mosque. Israeli settlers, meanwhile, violated the sanctity of sites holy to both Muslims and Christians in over 60 incidents. “This all shows Israeli disinterest in peace efforts, and the Israeli policy is clearly aimed at settlement expansion and changing the social and demographic state of affairs on the ground,” the Kuwaiti speaker said. “We, Kuwaitis, reiterate our full support of and unwavering stance regarding the Palestinian cause” and support the Palestinians’ strife to establish an independent state with Al-Quds as the capital, as well as their strife to get prisoners released from Israeli jails, and also support their call for an international inquiry and fact-finding commission on state of affairs in Israeli jails, with reference to International Law.” Furthermore, the diplomat condemned the continued siege on Gaza, which is yet another Israeli violation of UN Security Council resolution 1860 and the 1949

Geneva Convention. He also demanded Israel implement UNSC resolution 497 and leave the Syrian Golan Heights and pull back to the lines of June 4, 1967, and to pull out from all occupied territory. Its continued occupation of Arab land foils effort to bring peace and security to the Middle East, Al-Fadhli stressed. On another form of support, the Kuwaiti diplomat said the state was fully behind the Palestinians’ quest to secure full membership in the UN, which he considered “a step forward towards finding a just, lasting, and comprehensive solution for the ArabIsraeli conflict. The speaker concluded with a demand the Israelis heed the recommendations of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee and cooperate with UN bodies, and that the international community put pressure on Israel to stop its violations and acts of aggression and to implement UNSC resolutions 242, 338, 1397, and 1515. —KUNA

Special offer on Entertainment City entrance tickets KUWAIT: The Entertainment City announced a special offer on entrance tickets this weekend as per which one ticket will empower two visitors to enter the facility from Thursday till Saturday, a senior Touristic Enterprises Company official announced yesterday. The special offer comes as part of the New Hijra Year celebrations, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Kuwaiti Constitution, said TEC’s Acting Manager of the Operations and Activities Department, Yaqoub Al-Duaij. He further indicated that a special entertainment program “featuring several entertaining activities and competitions” will be presented on the special occasion during which the facility will remain open from 11am to 11pm on Thursday, and from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm on

Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile, the Agailah Beach will also host an operetta in appreciation of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on Thursday, management of the facility announced yesterday. The event, held on the occasion of the New Hijra Year and titled ‘A Night dedicated to the Love of the Prophet’, will feature poetry and religious songs highlighting the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his mission in spreading Islam, Agailah Beach Supervisor Fahad AlKandari announced. Separately, the TEC announced that the minor skating hall at the Ice Skating Rink will be closed from today ( Wednesday) until November 17th during which it will be used to host a musical pro-

Yaqoub Al-Duaij

Fahad Al-Kandari

Omar Al-Samera’ei

gram. The facility’s main hall will remain open during the program’s period, said TEC’s Ice Skating Rink and Fountain Park Supervisor

Omar Al-Samera’ei. No changes will be made in operating hours, which start everyday at 8:30 am until 10:00 pm through seven sep-

arate periods, with the period from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm each Tuesday reserved exclusively for female visitors.

ABK upgrades online services KUWAIT: In a continued effort to meet our client’s expectations, especially in the constantly changing field of online banking, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait has successfully upgraded its services and now provides its clients with easy, flexible and reliable e-services on Othman Mohammed Tawfiqi, Alternative Channels Head, stated that, “ABK’s online services provided by its website are some of the most comprehensive and advanced that are available today. The service design has been updated and new tools have been added to make it easier for our customers to complete their banking transactions. The new and improved now allows customers to register online for the convenient SMS service where clients can request to be informed of any movement in their accounts as soon as the transaction takes place giving all our clients complete, up-to-date knowledge of their accounts activities. Other available online services include applications to open bank accounts at ABK, issuance of credit cards and / or cheque books. It really is a world of new services!”

Othman Tawfiqi Tawfiqi further explained that, “ABK’s customers can now pay their credit card bills online and the amount will be deducted immediately from their accounts. Another added service includes a system of direct debit where clients can now arrange to have payments deducted from their accounts on an agreed date and the funds will be automatically transferred.”

Kuwaiti women pioneers in their rights AMMAN: Kuwaiti women have pioneered their rights which enabled them to participate in decision-making processes, as well as holding high authoritative positions in their country, Head of Alwane—Kuwait committee said yesterday. Al-Banna said at the end of the Active Leaders for Women’s Advancement in the Near East (Alwane) conference held recently in Amman, that although Kuwaiti women have gained their political, social and economic rights yet they still face some challenges in issuing permits for launching their business projects. Therefore, Alwane—Kuwait seeks to

bolster the role of Kuwaiti women in business, to provide them with ample opportunities to establish their own small projects and to develop their plan-making and technology usage skills to maintain their businesses. Alwane conference was sponsored by Women’s Campaign International (WCI) that aims at helping women find their voices by giving them tangible skills in political leadership, conflict mitigation, economic empowerment and civic engagement. The conference saw the participation of more than 16 Arab countries and 130 influential Arab figures. —KUNA

Hungarian PM commends ties with Kuwait BUDAPEST: The first Arab-Hungary got underway here yesterday attended by more than 200 participants from 16 Arab countries including Kuwait. The two-day forum aims at exploring economic cooperation opportunities between the Arab countries on one side and Hungary on the other. Hungarian prime minister Viktro Orban, speaking to KUNA following the inauguration of the forum, commended the relations between his country and Kuwait. He hoped the forum would further contribute to launching a new phase of relations and cooperation between Hungary and Kuwait. Orban noted that a delegation from Hungary had recently visited Kuwait and met with government officials to discuss the fostering of economic relations.

Orban did not rule out paying a visit to Kuwait. On the Arab investors, Orban said Hungary was offering a variety of investment opportunities and the Arab investors, including Kuwaitis, could make good use of them, citing sectors of energy, technology, agriculture, green industries, renewable energy, tourism, food industries, knowledge, infrastructure, transport, information technology and banking. In his opening speech, Orban voiced regret that economic relations with the Arab world were below expectations. He hoped the forum would trigger economic and investment collaboration, as well as partnership between the two sides. Chairman of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ali Al-Ghanem was leading his country’s delegation to the forum. —KUNA


in brief

No epidemic threat KUWAIT: The Director of Infectious Diseases Hospital, Dr Jamal Al-Duaij, denied Kuwait was facing any epidemic of catastrophic proportions in regards to the spread of hepatitis, and maintained that the hospital was functioning normally. Al-Duaij said the infectious diseases hospital did not notice any outbreak of hepatitis epidemic, adding that doctors, nurses and administrators were functioning normally, and 60 percent of the beds were empty. He said the hepatitis ward at the hospital had only 10 cases and they were all responding to the treatment. These many cases were normal and expected at this time of the year. Dr AlDuaij asked citizens and expatriates not to heed any false news reports and follow official sources of the health ministry. Coast Guards drill KUWAIT: The Coast Guards administration announced that it will carry out a drill today, Wednesday, starting at 8 am and lasting till 2 pm along the sea area facing Kuwait Towers from Ras Al Salmiya up to Shuwaikh port. The drill is part of the training program for Coast Guards men to check their readiness in dealing with any emergency. The Coast Guards have advised all sea going people stay away from the area for their own safety. Zakat conference KUWAIT: The ninth international Zakat (elm) conference will be held in Amman, the capital of Jordan, from Nov 26 to 28 to discuss the role of Zakat institutes in supporting small and productive projects. The event, sponsored by Kuwait’s Zakat House, will see the participation of some elite Islamic scholars from various Zakat bodies. Zakat House’s Public Relation and Media Department Director Abdulaziz Al-Betti told the press yesterday that the conference aims at organizing functions, developing the performance and promoting cooperation amongst the different Zakat Houses in the Islamic world. The event will tackle the managerial and the legislative aspects of these bodies, in order to elevate their efficiency and enhance the concept of social development within communities. The event is part of a series of conferences held and organized by Kuwait’s Zakat House.



Policemen fight over use of patrol vehicle Man dies of electric shock KUWAIT: A fight broke out between two traffic police officers when one of them took exception to the fact that the other did not use the patrol car and instead summoned an ambulance to rush his brother to a hospital after he approached him for help. The incident took place at the Beda’a Roundabout where an officer assigned to regulate the traffic was approached by a driver requesting medical attention. The officer called an ambulance which soon arrived and took the man to the hospital. However, another driver approached the policeman shortly afterwards and assaulted him physically for not using the patrol vehicle to rush his brother to the hospital. The officer, who explained that he was under orders to remain at the site and regulate the traffic jam, later filed a case with the Salmiya police station. He gave the license plate number of the attacker ’s car, through which the attacker was identified as a Farwaniya police officer. He arrived after being summoned for investigations but was released after obtaining his testimony. Electric shock A Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh resident was electrocuted to death on Tuesday while trying to fix his microwave in his kitchen, preliminary investigations revealed. The 36-year-old Egyptian man was declared dead on the spot. The body was taken to the forensic department and a case was filed at the area’s police station. Suicide attempt Hearing about the death of a family member back home, an Ethiopian housemaid tried to commit suicide at her employer’s home in Fahaheel on Sunday by slashing her wrist, investigations revealed. She was hospitalized in a critical condition but stabilized later following treatment at the Adan Hospital where she was rushed by house owners who responded to her cries and found her bleeding

heavily in her room. (Watan) Rehaiyya arrest A man was arrested in Rehaiyya on Monday for burning used tires to extract their copper cables, the incident coming a day after a Bedouin (stateless) man was held for the same crime. The Egyptian man was caught red-handed while loading a pile of cables left over from the burnt tires that the police had kept under sur veillance, expecting the suspect to return to retrieve the cables. The man admitted during interrogation of regularly burning tires to sell the cables in the junk market. He was referred to the proper authorities to face charges. Fight in the stands A judo match between two local clubs took a rather peculiar turn when the father of one of the players got into a scuffle with the son of the referee in the stands. The incident took place recently during a contest between AlQadsiya and Al-Sulaibikhat when a person watching his son compete lost his temper and made some offensive remarks against the referee, accusing him of partiality. The referee’s son who was sitting nearby took exception and confronted the father of the player, leading to a fistfight. The referee and the judo player lost little time in joining their respective family members that turned rather nasty and involved stabbing and injuries. However, by the time police arrived at the scene, the four escaped but were later arrested after officers tracked them down. Twitter account hacked A Kuwaiti man told the police that someone hacked his Twitter account and posted offensive remarks against political and social figures. The man who owned the account reported the incident in person to the Firdous police station as soon as he discovered the offensive Tweets, lest he is held liable later. Police is now trying to trace the hacker.

Run away attempt Three people were arrested after an unsuccessful attempt to run away with an impounded vehicle at the Ministry of Interior’s garage in Sabhan where such vehicles are kept. The suspects called off their daring plan and fled after three employees put up a strong resistance despite the surprise attack on them. However, the suspects succeeded in snatching away the keys of the impounded vehicle. Detectives were later able to identify the owner of the vehicle that the suspects used to flee the scene, and arrested him. He explained that he agreed to drive his two accomplices to the garage thinking that they were summoned to collect their impounded car, but felt morally bound to support them when the fight broke out. Police obtained information about the identity and addresses of his friends and later arrested them, too. Their version also matched his story. The suspects remain in custody pending legal procedures. Love triangle A man faces legal action after he pressed false charges against his neighbor who got involved in a relationship with his wife. The Arab man filed a battery assault case at the Farwaniya police station against a single man who lives next door. The accused, who was summoned, denied the allegations and insisted that the case was fabricated because of a history of differences between them. Shortly afterwards, the complainant’s wife showed up at the police station and requested that her testimony may also be recorded. She explained that she had recently told her husband about her love affair with their neighbor, and had also asked for a divorce so that she can marry the neighbor. She confirmed that her husband’s allegations were fabricated, prompting police to press charges against him and refer the entire case to the Public Prosecution for further investigations.

Boubyan, UNESCO launch ‘The Big Tree Society’ KUWAIT: Boubyan Bank announced the launch of the “ The Big Tree Society” programme organized in cooperation with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as previously announced last June during the celebration of World Environment Day. Participation in the programme is available through the Bank’s website by completing the registration form, noting that the deadline for registering for the first workshop is Nov 29, 2012, and that you may also contact the Bank’s Customer Service Center on 1820082. Waleed Al-Yaqout, GMAdministration Group at Boubyan Bank said that all government and private schools of Kuwait of all stages are invited to participate in this programme which encourages students to innovate initiatives targeting environmental conservation, especially being the largest of its kind in Kuwait and the first to be organized by the Bank in collaboration with a prestigious international organization. Talking about the next steps, AlYaqout said that registered schools will be invited to a workshop to be held during next December in which all the details related to the programme will be explained. The programme will continue till the end of the school year and the winning schools will be announced in a big ceremony attended by key officials. Al-Yaqout added that “The Big Tree Society” is not only a competition among schools, but an integrated pro-

gramme targeting the implantation of values and principles of promoting environmental conservation and management in the minds of children. He also indicated that there will be financial rewards for the winning

schools sponsored by Boubyan Bank, in addition to recognition awards from UNESCO. Al-Yaqout extended thanks to the Ministry of Education represented in Assistant Under-Secretary for Students Activities, Radhi Al-Owaid, as well as all executives in Students Activities Department for the support provided to the Bank during the past period. Al-Yaqout expressed his wish, as well as the wish of all Boubyan Bank’s staff that this initiative realizes its goals, whether on the level of Kuwait schools or the Kuwaiti society, especially being the first of its kind that is

implemented in cooperation between the UNESCO and a Kuwaiti bank which believes in the importance of social responsibility and its role as a private institution to raise the level of awareness of social issues. “The Big Tree Society” programme encourages students of all ages to take control of their future, and lets them discover their own potential. Following two simple rules, schools can participate in the Big Tree Society programme with a view to enhancing the environmental awareness and impact on the environment. There are only 2 rules for participation: The first is that students must be the ones who decide on how to change their behaviour, and the second is that the solution must involve everyone in the school, from the teachers to the students. Apart from those 2 rules, schools are free to choose to follow any environmental programme they want, or they can even create their own. Dr. Benno Boer, Ecological Sciences Advisor - UNESCO Arab Region “Doha Office” said: “Let us mobilize the youth, encourage and empower them to reduce their ecological footprint. Students will improve their water and energy consumption, waste production and pollution, and tackle issues of biodiversity conservation and climate change.” “The Big Tree Society is designed to make a significant contribution to the above. Schools are the central places for this activity, because that’s where our future will come from,” he added.

PAYS backs Anti-Doping Fund PARIS: The Chairman of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) Faisal Al-Jazzaf stressed yesterday PAYS’ keenness to support international programs and activities concerned with educating athletes and youngsters about the dangers of steroids. Al-Jazzaf was speaking after chairing PAYS’ delegation at the

International Conference on the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Fight against Doping, which concluded Monday evening at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the participation of sports ministers and bodies concerned in the fight against doping from

around the world. During the conference, Al-Jazzaf stressed the need to unite effort among international and regional sports and cultural organizations along with national committees and to boost coordination with governments in order to develop programs aimed at raising awareness on steroids.—KUNA


Clashes rage as Syrian oppn appeals for arms

Asia’s mega-cities more vulnerable to disasters Page 12

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US says shift to Asia ‘real’ Australia hosts annual strategic talks PERTH: The United States insisted yesterday that its much-touted shift to the Asia-Pacific region is for real as US and Australian officials met for annual strategic talks. US Pentagon chief Leon Panetta told reporters before flying into Perth that the Americans were ready to follow through on a plan to pivot to the Pacific despite crises in the Middle East and fiscal strains at home. “The rebalance is real. It’s going to be long-term,” Panetta said. The United States is expanding military exercises with allies and gradually moving its most advanced ships, weaponry and aircraft to Asia - including deploying Marines to northern Australia - as part of a long-term strategy, he said. But that did not mean having to scale back its military presence in the volatile Middle East, he added, on his third trip to Asia since June. Speaking at the University of Western Australia in Perth, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton underlined America’s “expanding engagement” in the region. “It’s important that we make absolutely clear we are here to stay,” she said, adding that it was important to see India become more involved in the region and the US would welcome Australia-India joint naval exercises in the future. And she also said the US supports the peaceful rise of China, her comments coming as the Communist Party undergoes a once-ina-decade leadership transition. “(We) hope to see gradual but consistent opening up of a Chinese society and political system that will more closely give the Chinese people the opportunities that we in the United States and Australia are lucky to take for granted,” she said. In what could be her final visit Down Under in her current job, Clinton joined Panetta for talks with Australian counterparts Bob Carr

and Stephen Smith. Prime Minister Julia Gillard described the two countries as “good mates at every level”. But a widening sex scandal in Washington involving former CIA director David Petraeus threatened to overshadow the meeting, as fresh revelations linked the NATO commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, to a key figure in the case. The talks in Perth are expected to focus on regional security and greater American use of Australian military facilities, particularly increased access to a key naval base south of Perth as the Indian Ocean rim region grows in strategic importance. The talks follow the arrival of about 250 US Marines in northern Australia this year as part of an American “rebalance” towards the Pacific after a decade of ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US military currently has only a limited footprint in longstanding ally Australia, including the Pine Gap Joint Defence Facility spy station near Alice Springs. The move to station Marines here - some 2,500 by 2016-17 - represents a significant strategic shift by Washington and has irked Beijing, whose rapid rise is behind the US recalibration of forces to Asia. A senior US defence official said the Pentagon would like to “keep the ball moving” on the deployment of the Marines as well as air force crews, hoping to slightly expand the number of boots on the ground. The four ministers also plan to discuss more detailed plans on troop levels in Afghanistan as the 2014 deadline approaches for a withdrawal of most foreign combat forces. But Clinton and Panetta will be faced with questions over the commander of NATO-led troops in Afghanistan, Allen, and whether he stay in the job. The Marine general is under

‘Omnishambles’ is Word of the Year LONDON: Britain’s media are in a meltdown and its government is gaffe-prone, so Oxford Dictionaries has chosen an apt Word of the Year: “omnishambles.” Oxford University Press yesterday crowned the word defined as “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations” - its top term of 2012. Each year Oxford University Press tracks how the English language is changing and chooses a word that best reflects the mood of the year. The publisher typically chooses separate British and American winners. This year’s American champion is “gif,” short for graphics interchange format, a common format for images on the Internet. The editors said gif was being recognized for making the crucial transition from noun to verb, “to gif”: to create a gif file of an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event. And, inevitably, to share it online. Cute kittens, Olympic champions, President Obama - they’ve all been giffed. Coined by writers of the satirical television show “The Thick of It,” omnishambles has been applied to everything from government PR blunders to the crisisridden preparations for the London Olympics. Oxford University Press lexicographer Susie Dent said the word was chosen for its popularity as well as its “linguistic productivity.” She said “a notable coinage coming from the word is Romneyshambles” - a derisive term used by the British press after US presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed doubts about London’s ability to host a successful Olympics. Omnishambles was chosen over shortlisted terms including “mummy porn” - the genre exemplified by the best-selling “50 Shades” book series - and “greenon-blue,” military attacks by forces regarded as neutral, as when members of the Afghan army or police attack foreign troops. —AP

PERTH: US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (center) and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chat during a photo call before dinner at the Matilda Bay Restaurant yesterday. — AP investigation by the Pentagon inspector-general for potentially “inappropriate” emails to a woman, Jill Kelley, a Florida socialite. She had previously complained to the FBI about threatening messages that were later traced to the CIA director’s lover. Gillard hosted a dinner for

Iran unveils new missile systems DUBAI: Iran unveiled new missile and artillery systems yesterday, Iranian media reported, on the second day of large-scale military exercises which officials said were aimed at sending a warning to those threatening the Islamic Republic. Played out against a backdrop of high tension between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear program, the “Velayat 4” maneuvers across a vast swathe of the eastern half of the country have focused on air defenses. Israel has threatened to strike Iran’s nuclear sites if diplomacy and Western sanctions fail to stop the country’s atomic program, which the United States and its allies believe is aimed at developing an atomic bomb, a charge Tehran denies. The three domestically-built missile and artillery systems would be a significant boost to Iran’s military defenses, said Farzad Esmaili, head of Iran’s air defense headquarters. “The low-altitude missile system ‘Ya Zahra 3’ is completely indigenous and Iranian and has been designed and produced to suit internal needs,” Esmaili was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA). He said the second missile system named ‘Qader’ was highly mobile and could be deployed in less than 30 minutes, while a new artillery system named ‘Safat’ could escape detection by enemy surveillance. “Today and tomorrow, the most significant firing of missiles in the ... exercises will take place,” Esmaili said, according to state television. Western experts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, although there are concerns about its longer-range missiles. The military drills come less than a week after the US Pentagon said Iranian planes opened fire on an unarmed US drone over international waters on Nov 1. Iran said it had repelled “an enemy’s unmanned aircraft” violating its airspace. Iranian officials have threatened to strike US military bases in the region and target Israel if its nuclear sites are attacked. Tehran frequently says it has carried out successful missile tests. In August, it said it test-fired a short-range missile called the Fateh-110, which it said was capable of striking land and sea targets at a range of around 300 km. In July, Iran said it had successfully test-fired medium-range missiles capable of hitting Israel, and tested dozens of missiles aimed at simulated air bases. Michael Elleman, a missile expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think-tank, said he could not assess Iran’s latest claims, but said in the past the Iranian military has modified and upgraded weapons procured from abroad and said they were Iranian-made. “Iran has a history of unsubstantiated boasts about its weapons and indigenous capabilities,” Elleman wrote in an e-mail to Reuters yesterday. “Iran, while increasingly capable in the field of engineering and program management, is years away from creating new air defense systems on its own.” The missiles that receive the most attention in the West are those with longer ranges, including the Shahab-3, with a reach of 1,300 km, as they may be capable of carrying a nuclear payload, if Iran was able to make a small enough bomb. Iran denies it is pursuing nuclear weapons. The IISS said in a report this year there was mounting evidence that the tightening of sanctions on Iran “has stymied efforts to develop and produce the long-range ballistic missiles capable of striking potential targets in western Europe and beyond.”— Reuters

Clinton and Panetta yesterday and said the talks would touch on Afghanistan, the civil war in Syria and Iran’s nuclear program. “These talks will also deal with discussing what President (Barack) Obama and I agreed last year about military cooperation between our

two countries,” she added. “Last year President Obama and I announced that we had agreed that US Marines would be training on deployment in the Northern Territory. These talks will stocktake that progress and further defence cooperation.” — AFP



Mistrust of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood lingers DOHA: Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood finally swung behind a new opposition unity deal in Qatar, but some Syrians fear it will work in the new entity to replicate the influence it wields in the narrower Syrian National Council. The SNC, dominated by the Qatar-backed Brotherhood, agreed under intense US and Qatari pressure on Sunday to become a minority player in a wider body, the Syrian National Coalition. The new body will try to win international recognition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and become the main address for political, humanitarian and military support for the revolt against President Bashar Al-Assad. One diplomat on the sidelines of the Doha talks said the Brotherhood, with affiliates in Egypt and Tunisia that have risen to power during the Arab uprisings of the past two years, had been the “swing block” that could make or break the deal. Sensing the political wind - as an army of US and other diplomats deployed in the Qatari hotels where the week of talks took place - the Brotherhood endorsed the new structure. Opposition to the SNC being subsumed in the new coalition appeared to come largely from secular figures such

as its new leader, Christian activist George Sabra. “The Brotherhood will not monopolize power in the political arena and in managing the coming period,” said Farouk Tayfour, a senior Brotherhood figure and deputy SNC leader. “They will be a part of the overall Syrian framework of rebuilding our country and healing the wounds of Assad family rule.” As in Egypt in the first months after the fall of veteran ruler Hosni Mubarak last year, the Brotherhood tried to play down its influence on the SNC to avoid scaring Western backers. But accusations emerged that it controlled the body through influence over independent Islamists and was funneling funds to favored groups inside Syria to build up its presence further. With the SNC expected to take around two fifths of the 60 or so seats in the new National Coalition, the Brotherhood’s influence is set on paper at least to diminish. The coalition’s first elected head is Mouaz Alkhatib, a popular Islamist preacher from Damascus. Khatib, 50, has been a regular guest on Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel, used by the influential Gulf Arab state to promote Brotherhood-linked Islamists

and help facilitate US acceptance of the Islamist network. Hassan Hassan, a Syrian commentator based in the United Arab Emirates, said he believed Khatib was a true independent, not under Brotherhood sway, but the jury was still out on whether the group would be able to dominate the new National Coalition. “This is the million dollar question,” he said. “When the United States presented this new plan, the Brotherhood knew it could not insist on the survival of the SNC, so they started to build a place for themselves in the coalition - and succeeded.” Many prominent figures resigned from the SNC in recent months complaining that Islamists were sidelining minorities and women. Another three left in Doha, including SNC founder Adib Shishakly, angered over the failure of women to make it onto the SNC’s new general secretariat elected last week. The Brotherhood, whose Syria branch was founded in 1936, says it is simply an effective organizer, and some opposition figures conceded that much of the grumbling reflects personal grudges from individuals lacking popularity. “ They said it was becoming a Brotherhood council. But honestly I

think it was because they were not elected (to the secretariat),” one member said of last week’s walk-outs. Still, respected figures in the new coalition remained mistrustful of the Islamists, whatever their public utterances. “Right now the Brotherhood is not becoming more open (to other groups). They’ve said in the past that they would be, but I haven’t seen it yet,” said leftist dissident Haitham Al-Maleh. “They must be pushed to become more open.” Secularists are suspicious of the Islamists’ position on women and nonMuslims in an uprising marred by sectarianism. Assad has drawn support from Christians, Druze, Shiites and his own minority Alawites, who fear what the Sunni majority under Islamist influence could have in store for them. Al-Qaeda fighters from Iraq and jihadists from other countries have piled into Syria to join the fight against a ruler they consider infidel because he is an Alawite. Many Sunni preachers use antiAlawite rhetoric, spurning the Muslim credentials of a sect distantly linked to Shiite Islam. The Brotherhood clashed with Assad’s father Hafez in 1982, when thousands were killed in a failed upris-

ing. It then worked assiduously to build up grassroots influence through mosques and religious schools, despite being a banned organization. Syria, which once prided itself as a bastion of secular Arab nationalism, has become religiously conservative. The Brotherhood has distanced itself from jihadi groups and sectarianism on the ground in Syria, and opposition figures in Doha tried generally to play down Western fears of radicalism. A rebel military commander dismissed concerns over the Al Nusra Front, a Salafi militia which has carried out suicide attacks, describing them merely as “organized Islamists”. Hassan said opponents remain concerned that, with Qatari support, the Brotherhood could still convince Western powers that it is as influential and powerful on the ground as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, a premise he questioned. “We all of a sudden have a revolution in Syria, and a lot of groups presented themselves as the one with great influence in society,” he said. “But almost 70 percent of the country is outside the reach of the Muslim Brotherhood, if you consider religious minorities, the Kurds and the tribes.”—Reuters

Clashes rage as Syrian oppn appeals for arms Violence fuels border tension with Turkey, Iraq, Israel

GOLAN HEIGHTS: An Israeli Merkava tank takes position in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights overlooking the Syrian village of Breqa yesterday.— AFP

Rivals of Iraq’s Maliki try to block 3rd term Shiite leader in strong position BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri AlMaliki’s rivals have started campaigning for term limits in an attempt to block the Shiite leader running for a third term in 2014, opening up a new battle in the country’s fragile cross-sectarian government. Since the last American troops left Iraq nearly a year ago, the country’s Shiite, Sunni Muslim and ethnic Kurdish parties have been caught up in a power-sharing stalemate that has left key oil and investment laws paralyzed in parliament. Kurdish parties, the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc and even some rivals in Maliki’s own Shiite coalition failed earlier this year to trigger a vote of no confidence against a prime minister whom they accuse of consolidating power at their expense. Those same factions have now handed a proposed law to parliament that would limit the mandate of prime minister to two terms, challenging a leader well-known for his skilful maneuvering through Iraq’s shifting alliances. “A proposed law was presented to the parliament with the support of more than 130 lawmakers,” said Amir al-Kinani, a lawmaker with Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr’s Sadrist bloc and a member of the legal committee. Maliki’s opponents would need a simple majority in the 325-seat Council of Representatives to pass the law. But in a country of often fickle political loyalties and divided parties securing that support faces huge challenges. For a factbox on

Iraq’s political factions click. Political blocs are already jockeying for position before provincial government elections in April, aware that a strong showing will position them for the national election in 2014. That, his allies say, will likely allow Maliki room to horse-trade and play already splintered factions against the other in the debate over term limits. His Shiite coalition still has the strongest position in parliament. “We will challenge it from the beginning and even if it is passed we will appeal in Federal Court,” said Abbas Al-Biyati, a lawmaker from Maliki’s State of Law coalition. Iraq’s political outlook is often complicated by sectarian tensions, violence from a stubborn insurgency and by intervention from the country’s neighbors who often step into the fray to back one bloc or another. Maliki last April emerged unscathed from one of his toughest battles since his government was formed 23 months ago after his foes failed to muster the required ballots for a vote of no confidence to expel him from office. His allies say they will try to split support for the term limit campaign by adjusting the law to include other posts such as those of Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani, a Kurd, and parliament speaker Osama AlNujaifi, a Sunni leader from the Iraqiya block. “This is a very sensitive issue,” said a senior lawmaker from Barzani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan lawmakers.— Reuters

Kurdish mayor confronts Prime Minister Erdogan DIYARBAKIR: When Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged the existence of a “Kurdish problem” to a rally in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Mayor Osman Baydemir was among thousands who stood to applaud a momentous declaration. For decades, Turkey had refused even to recognise Kurds as a separate ethnic group. Seven years later, Baydemir, shaking with anger, blames Erdogan’s government for the worst fighting between the army and Kurdish rebels in years. Raising the stakes in his confrontation with Ankara, he has joined a hunger strike by Kurdish prisoners. “When the prime minister said, ‘ The Kurdish problem is my problem too,’ I was among those who stood up and applauded him. But we were fooled, our hopes were falsely raised,” he says. “We are living through the Kurdish cause’s most critical period ... Ours is perhaps the last generation willing to extend a hand and negotiate.” Baydemir says the prosecution of thousands of Kurdish politicians and activists since 2009 and more recently the government’s slow response to the hunger strike have sapped hopes for a solution to a three-decade conflict with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) - deemed a terrorist group by the EU and Washington as well as Turkey. The Kurdish conflict has taken some 40,000 lives, mainly Kurds, and burns at

the heart of Turkey. It brakes the southeastern economy, draws criticism from abroad on rights policies and stirs anger in the Turkish heartland with images of soldiers’ coffins returning, draped in the red Turkish flag. Baydemir, 41, among the most prominent of Kurdish politicians, says his goal is to stop the violence. He is nothing if he is not dogged. The mayor faces hundreds of criminal cases too many to count, he says - for things he has said or done, including attending the funerals of PKK militants that has brought him charges of “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization”. “All of my life I have stayed away from violence and the instruments of violence, and have seen a legal, democratic struggle as the only means to achieve change,” Baydemir says, his hands shaking as he gesticulates with anger. “But I have had it up to here with the prosecutions, the government’s attitude, the judiciary, the media’s stance and the majority of Turks who view the Kurdish people’s justified cause through a nationalist lens.” Where 37 fellow mayors languish in jail, Baydemir, outspoken as he is, has been spared arrest; perhaps because of his popularity or perhaps because of the symbolic importance of Diyarbakir, a city of 1.5 million people and the regional centre of Turkey’s heavily Kurdish southeast.—Reuters

CAIRO: The leader of Syria’s new opposition coalition urged European states yesterday to recognize it as the legitimate government, enabling it to buy the weapons it needs to overthrow President Bashar Al-Assad. Britain and France appeared to set further conditions, notably that it first rally support inside the country, before they grant full recognition to the Syrian National Coalition. And, like the United States, Europeans are still reluctant to arm rebel forces which include anti-Western Islamist militants. Western caution, and an Arab League endorsement that stopped short of full recognition, indicate that the coalition forged with such difficulty in Qatar two days ago may yet find it hard to win wholehearted support, even from its allies. Speaking to Reuters by telephone as Arab and European ministers met to discuss Syria at the Arab League in Cairo, Mouaz Alkhatib, the Damascus preacher elected unopposed on Sunday to lead the new group, asked for diplomatic backing. “I request European states to grant political recognition to the coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and to give it financial support,” he said. “When we get political recognition, this will allow the coalition to act as a government and hence acquire weapons and this will solve our problems,” Alkhatib added. France’s defense minister and Britain’s foreign minister both said that forming the new group under Alkhatib, a moderate noted for his embrace of Syria’s religious and ethnic minorities, was an important milestone but not sufficient for full recognition as a government-in-waiting. So far, concerted action on Syria has been thwarted by divisions within the opposition, as well as by big power rivalries and a regional divide between Sunni Muslim foes of Assad and his Shiite allies in Iran and Lebanon.

RAS AL-AIN: A picture taken from the adjacent Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar shows people running in front of smoke after a Syrian aircraft bombed the strategic border town of Ras Al-Ain yesterday.—AFP Russia and China, which have lent Assad diplomatic support since the uprising erupted in March last year, have shown no sign of warming towards his Western- and Arabbacked opponents. Lebanese analyst Nadim Shehadi said Western conditions were just as great an obstacle to resolving the Syria crisis. Where once the United States sought to convince Iraqis and Afghans that US military intervention was for their own good, now Syrians seeking democracy and freedom were trying to persuade a reluctant Washington to act, he said. “The US is playing hard to get,” he said. “It’s like you have to pass a test to show you are united, have leadership, are not Islamist jihadists ... and the US is still hesitant as though you have to ‘deserve’ all that before they intervene.” Cajoled by Qatar and the

United States, the ineffectual Syrian National Council, previously the main opposition body based abroad, agreed to join a wider coalition on Sunday. But French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the new body still needed to unite armed rebel factions within Syria under its umbrella to earn full recognition. “What happened in Doha is a step forward,” he told reporters in Paris. “It is still not sufficient to constitute a provisional government that can be recognized internationally.” Britain’s foreign minister, William Hague, also said the coalition must show it had support within Syria before London would acknowledge it as the rightful government. “If they have this, yes, we will then recognize them as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” he told reporters at the Arab-

European meeting in Cairo. The opposition had hoped its new-found unity would clear the way for outside powers to arm the rebels, but Western nations fear such weapons could reach the hands of Islamist militants. Western concern has also been heightened by documented reports of atrocities by ill-disciplined insurgents. “Syria’s newly created opposition front should send a clear message to opposition fighters that they must adhere to the laws of war and human rights law, and that violators will be held accountable,” New York-based Human Rights Watch said. The French defense minister called for “a unification of military action to avoid haphazard military operations” and also urged rebels to rein in radical Islamist “Salafist elements”. —Reuters

Israel mulls resumption of Gaza assassinations JERUSALEM: Israel is considering resuming its contentious practice of assassinating militant leaders in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in an effort to halt intensified rocket attacks on Israel’s south, according to defense officials. That Israel might renew a practice that brought it harsh international censure is evidence of the tight spot Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in. With Israeli elections two months away, rocket barrages from Gaza are disrupting the lives of 1 million residents of southern Israel, pressuring the government to come up with an effective response.

In the latest flare-up, Gaza militants have fired more than 100 rockets at Israel in recent days, triggering retaliatory Israeli airstrikes that have killed six people in Gaza. Some Israelis are demanding a harsh military move, perhaps a repeat of Israel’s bruising incursion into Gaza four years ago. Others believe Israel should target Hamas leaders, a method it used to kill dozens of militants nearly a decade ago. Advocates say targeted killings are an effective deterrent without the complications associated with a ground operation, chiefly civilian and Israeli troop casualties.

GAZA: A Palestinian youth shows the remains of an Israeli missile following an air strikes in the Jabalia refugee camp yesterday.— AFP

Proponents argue they also prevent future attacks by removing their masterminds. Critics say they invite retaliation by militants and encourage them to try to assassinate Israeli leaders. Defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential discussions, said the assassination of Hamas leaders is shaping up as the preferred response to the stepped-up rocket fire. They have the backing of two former military chiefs with experience in the matter. Opposition lawmaker Shaul Mofaz served as military chief of staff and defense minister when Israel carried out a wave of assassinations against Hamas and other militant leaders in the early part of the past decade. He and other former senior defense officials contend these assassinations left the Hamas leadership in disarray and put a halt to the rash of Hamas suicide bombings that killed hundreds of Israelis. “I’m in favor of targeted killings,” Mofaz told Army Radio on Monday. “It is a policy that led Hamas to understand, during the suicide bombings, that they would pay the price should (the bombings) continue.” Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon, the chief of staff at the time targeted killings surged, is convinced the practice worked. “Clearly over these past 13 years

there has been an ongoing war, but there have also been extended periods of calm,” Yaalon told Army Radio on Monday. “When I was chief of staff, the targeted killings against Hamas led to extended periods of quiet.” Hamas dismissed the threat of targeted killings as “psychological warfare,” and its political leaders were not in hiding. The group’s military commanders tend to keep a low profile anyway, for fear of Israeli assassination attempts. “This is psychological warfare designed to terrorize our people,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said of the assassination talk. “Hamas will not bow to Israeli threats and people in Gaza will continue to live their ordinary lives not fearing such threats.” Under Yaalon and Mofaz, Israeli aircraft struck at the commander of Hamas’ militar y wing, Salah Shehadeh, the movement’s spiritual leader, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, his successor, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, and dozens of other senior Hamas military commanders. Militants retaliated for some of the targeted attacks but eventually replaced the suicide bombings with years of rocket fire that still sends Israeli civilians running for shelters. Backlash from rights groups and governments was harsh, especially after Shehadeh was killed in a bombing along with 14 other people, most of them children.—AP



Three women intertwine in downfall of David Petraeus WASHINGTON: Jill Kelley is a fixture on the Tampa, Florida, military scene, volunteering for community relations work with foreign military officers and their families stationed at MacDill Air Force base. She is also a friend of David Petraeus, and yet, she appears to have contributed to his stunning downfall and departure as director of the CIA. It was Kelley’s complaints about harassing emails from the woman with whom Petraeus had an extramarital affair, Paula Broadwell, that prompted an FBI investigation that later exposed the liaison and led to his resignation last week. People close to Petraeus have said Kelley is a family friend and that there was no romantic relationship. It’s unclear why Broadwell would have sent threatening emails to her, but she may have seen her as a rival for Petraeus’ affections, the same people said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The scandal has tarnished the reputation of a revered general and raised questions about how the FBI handled the situation and when the White House learned of the affair, which became public after the Nov. 6 presidential election. It has also brought uncomfortable attention to three women in Petraeus’ life: Kelley, Broadwell and his wife of more than 37 years, Holly, an official with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Kelley and her husband, Scott Kelley, a Tampa cancer surgeon, became friends with Petraeus when he was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa from 2008 until 2010, people familiar with the situation said. At the time, Petraeus was commander of the US military’s Central Command, which runs operations in the Middle East and South Asia. The two families socialized in Tampa and in Washington, the people said. Unlike Broadwell, who has been silent and out of public view since the story broke on Friday, Kelley has put out a statement on her family’s friendship with the Petraeuses and asked that her family’s privacy be respected. A source close to the family said that Kelley is now being advised on how to respond to the Petraeus uproar by one of Washington’s most prominent trial lawyers, Abbe Lowell, a family friend who has represented high-profile criminal defendants like former US Senator John Edwards and disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Lowell did not respond to requests for comment. Kelley has also enlisted the help of Judy Smith, a well-known crisis PR manager who is the model for the ultra-effective fixer and spin doctor Olivia Pope in the ABC Thursday night TV drama “Scandal.” Kelley could not be reached for comment. She was spotted driving away

from her Tampa home on Monday in a car with “Honorary Consul” on the license plate. She is considered an unofficial ambassador at the MacDill base, promoting community relations with foreign liaison officers, said a source familiar with the situation. Kelley is the daughter of Marcelle and John Khawam, now of Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, but with roots in the Northeast section of Philadelphia, said her brother, David Khawam, a lawyer who practices in Westmont, New Jersey. The Lebanese-born parents owned three restaurants, all called Sahara, when their children were growing up. Kelley’s vocation has been to be an “honorary ambassador” to the military, her brother said. “She has always wanted to take a certain role, in giving back to the community,” he said. He said it’s not surprising she would go to the FBI after receiving threatening emails from an unknown source, considering her connections to the military and the fact that she has a wealthy husband and young children. “I believe my sister probably reported this because of fear that somebody may be serious in any kind of threats they may be making towards her,” he said. FBI AGENT BARRED The Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI agent who started the investiga-

Election blurring of America Churches draws complaints Tax status saved churches $145 billion CHICAGO: Political watchdog and secularist groups are asking the US government to investigate whether Catholic bishops and a Christian evangelical group headed by preacher Billy Graham should lose tax breaks for telling followers how to vote in this year’s election. Under constitutional protections of free speech and separation of church and state, churches are free to speak on any issue. But they risk losing tax breaks worth $145 billion in the past decade if they violate Internal Revenue Service rules by promoting or opposing any particular candidate. Other non-profits also have special tax status. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a political watchdog group, in its complaint to the US Internal Revenue Service, cited reports of individual bishops “abusing their positions to advocate against the election of President Barack Obama.” The group’s executive director, Melanie Sloan, said some bishops went too far by saying a vote for Democrats would mean going to hell. “I don’t think the Catholic bishops should be intimidating parishioners to advocate for any particular candidate,” said Sloan. The Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation complained to the IRS about possible illegal political campaign intervention by Wisconsin Catholic bishops and the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. IRS spokesman Dean Patterson declined to comment on the complaints or on whether there was any investigation. “Federal law prohibits the IRS from discussing specific taxpayers or situations,” Patterson said. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, through its spokeswoman Sister Mary Ann Walsh, said it would not comment on what a bishop says in his diocese. The Billy Graham group said that its newspaper ads in publications like the Wall Street Journal and USA Today advocated votes for candidates who support “biblical values” but mentioned no can-

didate or party. The ads, signed by Graham, asked voters to back candidates who support “the biblical definition of marriage between a man and woman” and who protect “the sanctity of life,” an apparent reference to the group’s opposition to abortion. The conference of bishops waged a campaign this year against the Obama administration’s health care requirement birth control be covered by health insurance. Church doctrine is opposed to contraception as a means of birth control. Church leaders also spoke out against same-sex marriage but were on the losing side in four states where the issue was on the ballot. THE POWER OF THE PULPIT Nicholas Cafardi, a law professor at Duquesne University who worked for the Catholic diocese of Pittsburgh, said some bishops seemed particularly politically active in this election. In Cafardi’s opinion, the bishops’ conference did not cross any tax-law lines but some individual bishops may have done so. “The larger issue is that, irrespective of what the tax code says, churches should be sacred spaces, free of partisan politics,” said Cafardi. Among those whose political positions created controversy in this campaign season was Springfield, Illinois, Bishop Thomas Paprocki who warned his flock in a letter of “intrinsic evils” in the Democratic platform’s support of abortion and same-sex marriage. A vote for someone who promotes such actions “places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy,” he said. Peter Breen, executive director of the Chicago-based Thomas More Society, a law firm focused on Catholic issues, said the complaint against Catholic bishops was meant to frighten people of faith from challenging their political leaders, which religious people have always been called to do. “That’s not electioneering - it’s merely making statements about public concern,” said Breen of Paprocki’s statement. “He’s not

saying vote for Candidate A as opposed to Candidate B.” Green Bay, Wisconsin, Bishop David Ricken made a statement similar to Paprocki’s in an Oct. 24 letter to parishioners, but later said his comments “should not be misunderstood as an endorsement of any political candidates or parties.” In an April sermon, Peoria, Illinois, Bishop Daniel Jenky said Obama, with his “radical, proabortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path” to that of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and German dictator Adolf Hitler. The homily is posted on the diocese newspaper’s web site. Americans United for Separation of Church and State urged the IRS in October to investigate a Texas church that advised on its marquee to “Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim!” - a reference to Mormon Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Obama, who is not a Muslim. Conservatives were not the only ones getting support from the pulpit. According to an October Pew Research Center report, 40 percent of Black Protestants reported hearing about presidential candidates from clergy at church, and the messages overwhelmingly favored Obama. Americans United also complained in the 2008 election about a North Carolina Baptist group that invited Michelle Obama to speak at an event that they said appeared to be a campaign rally. The Reverend Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said the IRS needs to start vigorously enforcing restrictions against political speech by churches. “This is extraordinarily important - one of the few remaining restrictions on campaign spending,” said Lynn. He warned that if churches are allowed to say anything they want politically and keep their tax benefits, “this would be a gigantic new loophole and would not serve the church’s interest, or the public’s.” — Reuters

tion was a friend of Kelley’s. He was later barred from taking part in the case over concerns that he had become personally involved. Officials found that he had sent shirtless pictures to Kelley, the Journal reported. The agent’s identity has not been disclosed. Kelley, 37, also has an identical twin sister, Natalie Khawam, with whom she appears with Holly and David Petraeus and her husband in a 2010 photo published in newspapers on Monday. Court records show Kelley played a role in a bitter child custody trial that preceded the divorce case between Khawam, and Khawam’s then-husband, Grayson Wolfe of Washington, who once worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. In a scathing decision in November, 2011 against Khawam that granted sole primary and legal custody of their then 3-year-old son to Wolfe, District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz refused to believe Kelley’s claims that Wolfe had tried to push her sister down a flight of steps in Kelley’s Tampa home. “The court does not credit this testimony,” Kravitz wrote, calling Kelley “a patently biased and unbelievable witness.” Neither Wolfe nor Khawam could be reached for comment. Broadwell, 40, who sources said sent the threatening emails to Kelley, is an Army reserve officer and doctoral student who

lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and two young children. FBI agents searched Broadwell’s home on Monday, entering the house carrying boxes and remaining there for almost two hours. There was no sign that Broadwell or members of her family were at the house during the FBI search. Broadwell met Petraeus in 2006 when she was student at Harvard. The general gave her his card and offered to help with her studies. In 2010 when Petraeus was named commander in Afghanistan, she decided to turn a dissertation about his leadership into a book, called “All In,” which was published in January. Interviews for the book often took place during runs together, Broadwell said later. ‘ALPHA WOMAN’ A person who knows Broadwell and Petraeus said she stood out in Afghanistan as an “alpha woman” who was attractive, fit, smart and driven. It was not unusual for Petraeus to mentor younger soldiers and take an interest in scholarly work, said this person. Broadwell has not responded to requests for comment. It is not clear how much Holly Petraeus and Broadwell have interacted. In the book’s acknowledgements, Broadwell gives “special thanks” to Holly, but no interviews are listed with her in the notes. —Reuters



Anti-virus legend McAfee wanted for murder in Belize

WASHINGTON: A woman views a facebook page belonging to John McAfee (pictured). McAfee, founder of the eponymous anti-virus company, is on the run for killing another US citizen in a resort town. — AFP

BELIZE CITY: John McAfee, founder of the eponymous anti-virus company, is on the run for killing another US citizen in a resort town, Belizean police said Monday. Police raided McAfee’s mansion on Ambergris Caye, an island off the northeastern coast of Belize, late Sunday to question him about the murder of American Gregory Faull. But McAfee was nowhere to be found, said the head of the country’s anti-organized crime brigade, Marco Vidal. Vidal told reporters that McAfee was wanted “for homicide.” But McAfee told the US magazine Wired that he was in fact hiding on the property at the time, burying himself in the sand with a cardboard box over his head in order to breathe. “It was extraordinarily uncomfortable,” he said. “But they will kill me if they find me.” Vidal’s officers searched McAfee’s mansion several months ago looking for weapons and drugs, and detained him for several hours. McAfee claims he was arrested at the time because he refused to make a donation to a local politician’s campaign. Florida native Faull, 52, was found dead at his home by his housekeeper Sunday morning. At the crime scene, investigators found a 9mm shell, “consistent with the wound in the back of Faull’s neck,” said National Security Ministry spokesman Rafael Martinez.

Britain gears up for historic police commissioner polls First ever elected police, crime commissioners LONDON: Britain goes to the polls tomorrow to choose the country’s first ever elected police and crime commissioners-but the biggest shake-up in British policing for decades is threatening to end up a damp squib. Charged with setting out a vision and budget for 41 forces across England and Wales and with the power to sack their chief constables, elected commissioners were billed as the new public face of crimefighting, holding police to account. But the elections have failed to fire up the public imagination, with some polls predicting the lowest turnout in British history. “It’s the most significant change for half a century in terms of police governance,” Tim Newburn, Professor of Criminology at the London School of Economics said. “These people will have very significant powers over policing. But they’re just not part of the public consciousness at the moment.” The Electoral Reform Society predicts that just 18.5 percent of voters will cast their ballots-the fewest ever in a British election. Critics have blamed the lack of enthusiasm on everything from the November chill to the dearth of big names running for office, with the exception of the former deputy prime minister John Prescott. The colorful Labor veteran, who famously punched a protester during the 2001 general election campaign, is running for the commissioner job in Humberside, the home of his former seat in parliament. Many voters have scant understanding of the commissioners’ role, which will see them installed for four-year terms across England and Wales except in London, where the mayor already acts as a quasi-commissioner. Critics say ministers have failed to publicize the policy, a flagship manifesto promise of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party before it came to power in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats in 2010. The prime minister, who is under pressure to reverse his party’s slide in popularity, has admitted it could take years for voters to get behind the idea of elected commissioners. “Trying to get people to turn out and vote in an age of cynicism and apathy, it’s difficult,” he told the Times newspaper. “That doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing to do.” British bobbies under fire The British police traditionally enjoy a reputa-

tion for integrity. But forces have suffered a string of negative headlines in recent months, not least revelations of a police cover-up over the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster in which 96 Liverpool supporters died. The police also became embroiled in the 2011 phone hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers, which claimed the jobs of two top Scotland Yard officials. Several police officers have since been arrested for allegedly selling stories to journalists. Experts say that elected commissioners could act more swiftly over such scandals. “The police have a much better reputation than politicians, but there are some issues-Hillsborough and the phone-hacking scandal do raise questions,” said Sam Chapman, editor of the Top of the Cops blog. “I don’t think the commissioners were set up to challenge those things, but once you have people elected locally, it does give a channel for those things to be addressed.” Politicizing the police Police themselves are suspicious that their

LONDON: In this file photo, police officers armed with automatic weapons walk down the Mall to take up their positions during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in London. — AFP

Idaho inmates claim gangs run the prison BOISE: A gang war that appears to have taken over parts of an Idaho private prison is spilling into the federal courts, with some inmates contending prison officials are ceding control to gang leaders in an effort to save money. Eight inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center are suing the Corrections Corporation of America, contending the company is working with a few powerful prison gangs to control the facility south of Boise and spend less on staffing. The lawsuit, filed Friday in Boise’s US District Court, paints the prison as a place where correctional officers work in fear of angering inmate gang members and where housing supervisors ask permission from gang leaders before moving anyone new into an empty cell. “The complaint alleges that CCA fosters and develops criminal gangs,” said attorney Wyatt Johnson, who along with TJ Angstman represents the inmates, said in a statement. “Ideally, the lawsuit should force this to come to an end.” The inmates point to investigative reports from the Idaho Department of Correction that suggest gangs like the Aryan Knights and the Severely Violent Criminals were able to wrest control from staff members after prison officials began housing members of the same gangs together in some units to reduce violent clashes. The power shift meant a prison staffer had to negotiate the placement of new inmates with gang leaders, according to the department reports, and that prison guards were afraid to enforce certain rules. Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest private prison company, says its top priority is the safety and security of its prisons, employees and inmates. “We take all

new overseers will pursue headline-grabbing policies instead of long-term ones. “Police see these reforms as being likely to clip their wings,” Newburn said. “There are worries this will politicize the police, and there are worries the commissioners will have undue influence.” Ministers insist the commissioners will not be able to interfere with investigations or arrests, unlike in the United States where in many counties elected sheriffs wield direct power over operations. And while talk of the elections is met by many Britons with a blank stare, analysts say commissioners could catch on if they make the police more responsive to local needs. Across the country, forces are straining under steep budget cuts as Cameron attempts to slash Britain’s deficit. Lawrence Sherman, Professor of Criminology at Cambridge University, said the commissioners’ success may depend on whether they can cut crime in this tough environment. “It’s really quite an extraordinary constitutional creation, and we can’t predict quite how it will work out,” he said.— AFP

allegations seriously and act swiftly if our standards have not been met,” spokesman Steve Owen said in a statement. “... At all times, we are held to the highest standards of accountability and transparency by our government partners, and expect to be.” Owen said the Nashville, Tenn.-based company has operated the Idaho prison in partnership with the state correction department for more than a decade, providing housing and rehabilitation for “some of the state’s most challenging inmate populations.” Both Idaho Gov C L “Butch” Otter’s spokesman Jon Hanian and state Corrections Department spokesman Jeff Ray declined to comment because of the litigation, though neither the state nor the department is named as a defendant. The inmates also cite security footage of a violent gang attack carried out in May, which they say shows CCA staffers failed to follow basic safety and security policies. The video, filed with the lawsuit, shows six members of the Aryan Knights prison gang jumping out of a janitor supply closet to attack seven members of a rival gang. The Aryan Knights in the video are armed with knives and other weapons made out of toothbrushes, drawer pulls and other materials. Just one guard appears to be nearby at the time, and that guard tries to pull away one inmate who is repeatedly stabbing another. Other guards soon arrive and jump in to separate the offenders, deploying pepper spray and ordering the inmates to the ground. The state Department of Correction completed a series of investigative reports after the attack, which showed CCA staffers weren’t following basic safety and security policies at the prison.—AP

Court jails Lula’s ex-chief of staff BRASILIA: Brazil’s supreme court on Monday capped the country’s biggest ever political corruption trial by sentencing former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s ex-chief of staff to nearly 11 years in prison for his role in a vote-buying scheme. Jose Dirceu, who was the chief of staff from 20032005 and a top leader of the ruling Workers’ Party (PT), was found guilty in October of running the operation to bribe lawmakers during Lula’s first term. On Monday, the court sentenced the 66-year-old lawyer and ex-guerrilla fighter to 10 years and 10 months in prison for corruption and conspiracy, and fined him $350,000. Lula, Brazil’s popular president from 2003 through 2010, has steadfastly denied being aware of the vote-buying scheme and was not prosecuted. “The responsibility of the accused is extremely high,” said Justice Joaquim Barbosa, speaking for the court. “He used his positions of leadership and prominence, both in the Workers’ Party and the federal government,” to engage in corruption, Barbosa said. Dirceu-one of the main defendants in the massive corruption trial that has seen 25 people convicted-allegedly diverted public funds to pay lawmakers in the ruling coalition to vote in favor of government initiatives. The vote-buying scandal nearly cost Lula his re-election in 2006. But the founder and leader of the leftist PT, now 67, was cleared. Lula handed over power to his protegee and fellow PT member Dilma Rousseff at the end of his second four-year term. He later underwent successful treatment for cancer. Dirceu, who has not yet been detained, denied all the charges. The sentence “only aggravates the outrage and ignominy of the whole process,” which “openly violated our constitution and the democratic rule of law,” Dirceu wrote in a blog post. Last week, six opposition lawmakers urged prosecutors to probe Lula over his alleged role in the congressional vote-buying scheme. Roberto Freire, head of the Socialist People’s Party, said he led the call for a probe after the weekly Veja published statements by convicted businessman Marco Valerio linking the popular Lula to the plot. —AFP

A police report said there were no signs of a break-in, and that a laptop and cell phone were missing. Residents of the island, known for scuba diving, tropical fishing and its American expatriate community, told the website Gizmodo that Faull and McAfee had a recent fallout. According to Gizmodo, which quoted locals speaking on condition of anonymity, McAfee had displayed increasingly erratic behavior and was estranged from the expatriate community. Gizmodo also reported that McAfee had been experimenting with psychoactive drugs. Asked about the shooting of his neighbor, McAfee told Wired that he knew “nothing” other than Faull had been shot. The anti-virus pioneer even said he was worried that Faull’s killers had actually been looking for him. “Under no circumstances am I going to willingly talk to the police in this country,” he told Wired. “You can say I’m paranoid about it but they will kill me, there is no question. They’ve been trying to get me for months. They want to silence me. I am not well liked by the prime minister. I am just a thorn in everybody’s side.” McAfee has been living in Belize, a former British colony, for the past four years. The 67-yearold made millions when he sold his anti-virus software company in the early 1990s.— AFP

NY Times in spotlight as ex-BBC chief takes reins NEW YORK: Former BBC chief Mark Thompson took the reins Monday at The New York Times Co. amid questions about whether the crisis engulfing the British broadcaster would spill over to the US news organization. Thompson, named in August as the US media firm’s president and chief executive, remains on the news pages even though he has denied any role in shelving an investigative report into sex abuse by the late BBC star Jimmy Savile. The Times has reaffirmed support for Thompson and he has said the scandals at the BBC would not affect his new job. But as Thompson was readying his entry in New York, his successor as BBC director-general, George Entwistle, resigned Saturday after the broadcaster’s flagship news program wrongly implicated a British politician in a separate child sex abuse scandal. The BBC’s director of news, Helen Boaden, and her deputy, Stephen Mitchell, also stepped aside Monday. “Like many people, I’m very saddened by recent events at the BBC but I believe the BBC is the world’s greatest broadcaster and I’ve got no doubt that it will once again regain the public’s trust both in the UK and around the world,” Thompson told ITV, another British broadcaster, as he entered The Times headquarters. He added that the scandals and probes at the BBC “will not in any way affect my job” at The Times. Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr last month reaffirmed support for Thompson, saying the ex-BBC chief provided a “detailed account” of his knowledge in the Savile case which showed “he played no role” in the cancellation of the investigative report. On Monday, Sulzberger welcomed Thompson in a memo to Times staff. “Mark will lead us as we continue our digital transformation, bolster our international growth, drive our productivity and introduce new technologies that will help us become better storytellers and enrich the experience for our readers and viewers,” the memo published in the daily said. But that has not stopped rumblings inside and outside the prestigious US daily about whether Thompson is the right leader for a news organization facing its own struggles. Times business columnist Joe Nocera openly questioned whether Thompson was “the right man for the job” in New York. “Since early October, all anybody has asked about Thompson are those two most damning of questions: what did he know, and when did he know it?” Nocera wrote in an October 29 column. “For the sake of Times employees-not to mention the readers who want to see a vibrant New York Times Company-let’s hope his faith

Mark Thompson in Thompson is warranted. Otherwise, the BBC won’t be the only organization being asked tough questions about its judgment.” The Times meanwhile has been placed in an awkward position of writing about a BBC probe and its own top executive’s role in the scandal. Times public editor Margaret Sullivan said the daily has an obligation to “aggressively cover” the story even if Thompson is part of the news. “His integrity and decision-making are bound to affect The Times and its journalismprofoundly,” Sullivan said in a recent column. “I hope The Times rises to the challenge and thoroughly reports what it finds.” Dan Kennedy, a Northeastern University journalism professor, said it would have been prudent to delay Thompson’s start date “because the scandal is still unfolding.” Kennedy said that when Thompson was named, “he seemed to be the ideal person for the job. And perhaps he will still prove to be that person. But at the moment, it’s hard to look past the scandal at the BBC.” Ken Doctor, an analyst with the media research firm Outsell, said Thompson “should step aside” for the sake of the newspaper. “The global value of the Times’s brand and its trustworthiness must trump any one person’s job or future,” Doctor said. Doctor said that “there are no smoking guns to show willful cover-up,” but that “there is ample evidence that Thompson missed a number of opportunities to right his institution.—AFP ” But Glenn Greenwald, a columnist and blogger for the British daily The Guardian, said in a tweet that The Times “deserves much credit for leading the way in investigating its own incoming CEO.” New York Times Co shares fell 2.5 percent to end Monday at $8.20. —AFP

Italy centre-left squares off in a US-style debate ROME: Italy’s centre-left rivals Pier Luigi Bersani and Matteo Renzi faced off on Monday in a game show-style television debate to help decide who will run in next year’s election as candidate to succeed Prime Minister Mario Monti. The debate, before a primary on Nov 25, comes at a time of exceptional uncertainty in Italian politics, with neither of the traditional big parties clear about who will lead them nor even what electoral law will apply at the ballot box. Bersani, the 61-year-old leader of the Democratic Party, Italy’s largest centre-left force and Renzi, the 37-year-old mayor of Florence who wants to drive out the party’s old guard, are the front-runners in the race to lead the left in the election expected in April. After a genteel encounter which was relatively light on specific policy proposals, it was not immediately clear who made the bigger impact with potential voters. The Democratic Party, which supports Monti’s unelected government, consistently leads in opinion polls but uncertainty about rules governing the election makes it unclear whether that will translate into a parliamentary majority next year. Bersani, the favorite to win the primary, according to most opinion polls, struck a reassuring tone in keeping with his status as the senior figure in the race. “I don’t ask you to like me, I ask you to trust me,” he said. Renzi, wearing the kind of purple tie once favored by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, played up his image as a modernizer, which has won him sympathy and annoyance in equal measure from different parts of the party. “I think I don’t just represent hope, but the future,” he said at the conclusion of the debate which covered questions ranging from Europe to labor market

reform, carmaker Fiat and gay marriage. Both said they would improve on but not scrap labor and pension reforms made by Monti and both pledged to uphold budget commitments by his technocrat government to help control Italy’s towering public debt. As well as the two favorites, Nichi Vendola, the openly gay head of the Left, Ecology and Freedom party and governor of the southern region of Puglia also took part in the debate along with two other regional politicians but none of them is expected to win the primary. X-FACTOR According to an instant online poll after the debate by the Quorum Institute for the daily La Repubblica newspaper, Bersani was judged more convincing by 33 percent of the 2,700 potential voters surveyed, just ahead of Renzi on 31 percent. Vendola and the two other outsiders, Bruno Tabacci and Laura Puppato, were well behind. The debate, held by cable station Sky Italia rather than state broadcaster RAI and stged in a studio normally used for the talent show “X-Factor”, was a rarity for Italian politics and borrowed heavily from the US presidential campaign. There was plenty of mockery on Twitter of the game show format, complete with buzzers and flashing lights but the novelty of the debate highlighted the desire of many in politics to re-connect with disillusioned Italian voters. Traditional politics has been deeply shaken by the runaway success of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of the comic Beppe Grillo, with his caustic attacks on the rampant corruption and waste which has corroded public life. —Reuters



Afghan massacre case tests military system WASHINGTON: The US military has been criticized for its spotty record on convicting troops of killing civilians, but a hearing against Army Staff Sgt Robert Bales involving a massacre in Afghanistan has shown that it isn’t like most cases. Government prosecutors have built a strong eyewitness case against the veteran soldier, with troops recounting how they saw Bales return to the base covered in blood. And in unusual testimony in a military court, Afghan civilians questioned via a video link described the horror of seeing 16 people killed, mostly children, in their villages. Law experts say the case could test whether the military, aided by technology, is able to embark on a new era of accountability. Bales faces 16 counts of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder. The preliminary hearing, which began Nov 5 and is scheduled to end with closing arguments Tuesday, will determine whether he faces a court-martial. He could face the death penalty if convicted. The US military system’s record has shown it is slow to convict service

members of alleged war crimes. A range of factors make prosecuting troops for civilian deaths in foreign lands difficult, including gathering eyewitness testimony and collecting evidence at a crime scene in the midst of a war. At Bales’ preliminary hearing, the prosecution accommodated the Afghan witnesses, including children, by providing the video link and holding the sessions at night. The military said it intends to fly the witnesses from Afghanistan to Joint Base LewisMcChord if there is a court martial. “I think it shows they’re going to prosecute this case no matter what it takes,” said Greg Rinckey, a former Army lawyer from 1999-2004 who is now in private practice. “This was an atrocity. This is not the fog of war. It’s not like we were calling in artillery and an artillery shell landed in a village.” Prosecutors say Bales, 39, slipped away from remote Camp Belambay to attack two villages early on March 11, killing 16 civilians, including nine children. The slayings drew such angry protests that the US temporarily halted combat operations in Afghanistan, and it was three weeks before American investi-


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Diwali blaze kills eight NEW DELHI: An explosion and fire at a house in northern India killed eight people yesterday, including six members of a family who were making firecrackers for the festival of Diwali, a media report said. The incident happened in the town of Yaqoobpur in Uttar Pradesh state, the Press Trust of India news agency said, quoting deputy superintendent of police Ashok Kumar Singh. A loud explosion was heard after the firecrackers caught fire, killing eight on the spot and injuring 12 others, it added. The crackers were being manufactured illegally ahead of Diwali, the festival of lights when Indians celebrate by letting off fireworks. In September a major fire at a fireworks factory in southern India killed 38 people. Saudi man convicted AMARILLO: A Saudi Arabia man convicted in a failed US bomb plot could be sent to prison for life when he is sentenced. Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari (KAH’-lihd ahlee-EHM’ al-duh-SAHR’-ee) will learn his sentence today in an Amarillo courtroom. Jurors in June convicted the former Texas Tech University student of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Prosecutors say Aldawsari, who was arrested in Lubbock in 2011, had researched possible targets, including power plants and the Dallas home of former President George W Bush. US elects first bisexual WASHINGTON: The United States will have its first openly bisexual member of Congress, with a Democrat on Monday winning a tight race in the increasingly competitive southwestern state of Arizona. Kyrsten Sinema, 36, who supports President Barack Obama’s health care reform and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers, was ahead by around three percentage points in the November 6 election, results showed. Plane catches fire JOHANNESBURG: A chartered Boeing MD-82 airplane aborted its takeoff yesterday in South Africa after a landing gear caught fire when its tire came off its mount, officials said. No one was injured. The Global Aviation Operations Ltd flight was attempting to leave O R Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg when one of its pilots saw the landing gear on fire, said Unathi Batyashe-Fillis, a spokeswoman for the Airports Company South Africa. The pilot halted the takeoff and stopped the plane on one of the runways at South Africa’s busiest airport, temporarily closing it. The flight’s destination was the southern African nation of Malawi. Rescuers and emergency workers quickly surrounded the plane which had 106 people on board, Batyashe-Fillis said. The plane had been bound for Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, she said. Global Aviation Operations, which flies charter flights throughout Africa, blamed the fire on a “tire separation.”

Bangladesh PM shuns Islamabad’s invitation DHAKA: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has turned down an invitation to a summit in Islamabad next week, officials said yesterday, despite a recent olive branch from the Pakistan government. “The prime minister is not going to attend the summit,” Syed Masud Khundoker, a director-general in Bangladesh’s foreign ministry said. An official in Hasina’s office, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the prime minister would not be joining the eight-nation summit on November 22, and said Foreign Minister Dipu Moni would instead represent Bangladesh. Neither official explained Hasina’s decision not to attend. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani had issued the invitation to Hasina in person last Friday on a rare visit to Bangladesh by a senior Pakistani to what was East Pakistan before it won a war for independence in December 1971. Relations between the two sides remain extremely delicate with Moni asking Rabbani last week for Pakistan to apologize for war crimes committed by the army. Hasina’s government says up to three million people were killed in the conflict. The Daily Star, a Dhakabased newspaper, said that policy advisors had told Hasina that it would be unwise to visit Pakistan unless Islamabad offered a formal apology to Dhaka for what it regards as “genocide”. Ties have been particularly strained since Hasina’s Awami League party came to power in 2009 as it had led the freedom struggle against Pakistan. However Hasina did visit Pakistan in 1999 in her first stint in office, in a bid to ease escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. — AFP

gators could reach the crime scenes. Through a video monitor in a military courtroom near Seattle, Bales saw young Afghan girls smile beneath bright head coverings before they described the bloodbath he’s accused of committing. He saw boys fidget as they remembered how they hid behind curtains when a gunman killed people in their village and one other. And he saw dignified, thick-bearded men who spoke of unspeakable carnage - the piled, burned bodies of children and parents alike. From the other side of that video link, in Afghanistan, one of the men saw something else - signs that justice will be done. “I saw the person who killed my brother sitting there, head down with guilt,” Haji Mullah Baraan said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press. “He didn’t look up toward the camera.” Baraan was one of many Afghan witnesses who testified in Bales’ case by live video link over the weekend. “We got great hope from this and we are sure that we will get justice,” Baraan said. Throughout history, troops have been accused of heinous

JALALABAD: Afghan children play on a damaged Soviet tank on the outskirts of Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan yesterday. — AP crimes involving civilians in countries world. And as foreign nationals, they where wars are waged. But rarely cannot be subpoenaed. While there have villagers who witnessed the hor- have been cases of troops being senror testified in a US military court - tenced to life in prison for commitoften because of the costs and logis- ting atrocities, the vast majority of tics of bringing them to the United those convicted for extrajudicial States. Villagers may be leery to leave killings have been let off with little to their homeland to go to a foreign no jail time for crimes that in civilian country and confront members of courts could carry hefty sentences, one of the mightiest militaries in the legal experts say. — AP

Afghan Haqqani faction ponders Taleban-US talks A rare flexibility by deadly militia PESHAWAR: The Haqqani network, seen as the most lethal insurgent faction in Afghanistan, would take part in peace talks with the United States but only under the direction of their Afghan Taleban leaders, a top faction commander said yesterday. The rare flexibility exhibited by an Afghan militant commander was accompanied by a warning that the Haqqanis would keep up pressure on Western forces with high-profile attacks and would pursue their goal of establishing an Islamic state. The Haqqanis, who operate out of the unruly border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, say they are part of the Afghan Taleban and must act in unison in any peace process. The commander, who declined to be identified, accused the United States of being insincere in peace efforts and trying to divide the two organizations. “However, if the central shura, headed by Taleban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, decided to hold talks with the United States, we would welcome it,” he told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed, referring to the militants’ leadership council. The Taleban said in March they were suspending nascent peace talks with the United States. A senior Afghan official closely involved with reconciliation efforts said last week the govern-

KABUL: In this file photo, Afghan security force and medical personnel assist survivors as they arrive at the scene of a suicide bombing outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul. The UN Security Council has ordered global sanctions against the Haqqani militant group in Afghanistan and its suicide attack mastermind. —AFP ment had failed to secure direct talks with the Taleban and no significant progress was expected before 2014. The United States designated the Haqqani network a terrorist organization in September, a move its commanders said proved Washington was not sincere about peace efforts in Afghanistan. Last week, the United Nations Security Council imposed

sanctions on the Haqqanis. Isolating the group, who were blamed for the 18-hour attack on embassies and parliament in Kabul in April, could complicate efforts to secure peace at a time when Afghans fear another civil war could erupt after Western forces withdraw. The Haqqani network may prove to be President Barack Obama’s biggest security challenge as he tries to stabilize

Suu Kyi cautions India against over-optimism NEW DELHI: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has urged India not to be over-optimistic about political changes in her homeland during her first visit yesterday to New Delhi in a quarter of a century. Suu Kyi, who was a student in New Delhi where her mother served as an ambassador, spoke in a newspaper interview of her sadness at the Indian government’s ties with Myanmar’s former junta, which kept her under house arrest for 15 out of 22 years before her release in 2010. Her invitation to India is an attempt by its government to rebuild the relationship with Suu Kyi. New Delhi was once one of her staunchest supporters, but changed tack and sought engagement with the junta in the mid1990s. Suu Kyi said she had been saddened by India’s decision to engage with the junta which was treated as a pariah by the West, although not surprised. “I think rather than disappointment, sad is the word I would use because I have a personal attachment to India... because of the closeness that existed between the countries,” she told The Hindu. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited neighbouring Myanmar in May to try to strengthen trade links and counter the influence of regional rival China. The two governments signed 12 agreements covering an array of issues including security, development of border areas, trade and transport links. But Suu Kyi said India should not get carried away by recent developments in Myanmar, which is now run by a quasi-civilian regime and where elections are due in 2015.

NEW DELHI: Myanmar opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi greets people as she arrives at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi yesterday. Suu Kyi is on a six-day visit to India. — AP “It’s (got) to be able to take a good hard look at what is really happening,” she said. “Not to be over-optimistic, at the same time to be encouraging of what needs to be encouraged; because I think too much optimism doesn’t help because then you ignore what is going wrong, and if you ignore what is not right, then from not right it becomes wrong.” Suu Kyi acknowledged that businesses were keen to tap the opportunities across India’s eastern border in competition with Chinese counterparts but added that “investment has to be done in the right way”. “And also we have to keep in

mind that we are just at the beginning of the road to democracy, and as I keep saying, it’s a road we have to build for ourselves. It’s not there ready and waiting,” she said. Suu Kyi is due to fly in yesterday and will today meet Singh as well as deliver the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru memorial lecture. On Friday she will visit the Lady Shri Ram college in New Delhi, from which she graduated with a degree in politics. Suu Kyi last visited India in 1987 when she travelled to Simla to join her husband Michael Aris, who was pursuing Himalayan studies at an institute in the picturesque hill station. — AFP

Afghanistan before most NATO combat troops withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014. The group’s experience in guerrilla fighting dating back to the antiSoviet war in the 1980s and its substantial financial network, could make it the ultimate spoiler of peace efforts. A report in July by the Center for Combating Terrorism said the Haqqanis ran a sophisticated financial network, raising money through kidnapping, extortion and drug trafficking but also have a legitimate business portfolio that includes import/export, transport, real estate and construction interests in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Gulf. The commander said the Haqqani network was pleased about Obama’s re-election, predicting he would be demoralized by battlefield losses and pull out US forces earlier than expected. “From what we see on the ground, Obama would not wait for 2014 to call back his forces,” said the commander. “They suffered heavy human and financial losses and are not in a position to suffer more.” The commander said he and his men were looking ahead to victory. “We will install a purely a Islamic government, which would be acceptable to all the people,” he said. “We are present everywhere in Afghanistan now and can carry out attacks when and wherever we want. We are very close to our victory.” — Reuters

Lanka hunts for 5 prison escapees COLOMBO: Sri Lankan authorities launched a search for five inmates after a roll call yesterday found they may have escaped from the country’s maximum security prison during a weekend riot that left 27 dead. Prisons spokesman Gamini Kulatunga said the roll call showed that four convicts and a remand suspect were missing from the Welikada prison following rioting that lasted from Friday evening to early Saturday. “We are looking for the five men who may have escaped during the clashes,” Kulatunga told AFP. He did not give further details of the inmates. Kulatunga said that normality had been restored at the prison where 4,000 inmates are being held. However he also said that four weapons-an assault rifle, a revolver, a pistol and a tear gas gunwere missing from the prison armoury. On Monday, police maintained that only one unnamed prisoner had escaped. Seven convicts tried to get away on Friday night, but were arrested almost immediately, according to police. Another group of six convicts who tried to get away in a hijacked auto rickshaw taxi were shot dead by security forces just outside the prison gates. The main opposition party has accused troops of murdering in “cold blood” at least 11 of the 27 inmates killed at the jail in Colombo during the rioting that was sparked by a police commando search for contraband. The military has denied excesses, insisting it faced “stiff resistance” from prisoners armed with assault rifles looted from the prison armoury. The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission asked the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns, to press Colombo to ensure those responsible for the killings be brought to justice. All but five bodies of the 27 convicts killed in the clashes had been handed over to relatives, police said. Autopsy reports have not been made public, but hospital sources said many were shot in the upper part of their bodies. Forty-three people, including 13 police commandos, four soldiers and two civilians, were injured. It was the worst prison riot in Sri Lanka since 1983, when more than 50 ethnic Tamil prisoners were massacred at the same jail by Sinhalese convicts. — AFP



Secrecy cloaks S Korea civil nuclear program SEOUL: South Korea’s government should resume publishing polls on nuclear safety after a loss of public confidence in the sector in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster, an opposition South Korean lawmaker said yesterday. The call came as South Korea, whose public is traditionally seen as pro-nuclear, investigated fake safety documents for parts used in nuclear plants led to two of the country’s 23 reactors being shut down last week and has raised the prospect of power shortages in the harsh Korean winter. Woo Yoon-geun, an opposition legislator in South Korea’s parliament, said that the government had deliberately suppressed the polls in a bid to ensure support for plans to construct new nuclear power stations, a charge denied by the state agency that runs the polling. “They should disclose the result to the public as it is and conduct the official regular survey,” Woo said by telephone yesterday. The polls were conducted by an industry body that promotes nuclear power which is run by The Ministry of the

Knowledge Economy, a ministry which is also responsible for nuclear oversight, domestic nuclear expansion and South Korea’s ambitious export plans, worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Until 2011, the polls were published annually, but since the March 2011 Fukushima accident, the world’s second worst nuclear disaster after Chernobyl, no survey has been published. Opposition legislators say that the ministry cannot be trusted with running the nuclear program and oversight. “It’s like letting a cat run a fish market,” said Kang Chang-il, an opposition legislator who is chairman of parliament’s Commerce and Energy Committee. “There is a major structural problem in the way the nuclear industry operates as officials and experts have worked in the same jobs for decades and they have been able to keep outsiders out.” Woo revealed in October in parliament that the proportion of people who thought nuclear was safe fell to 34 percent this March from 53.3 percent in 2010, before the Fukishima accident, in

regular polls conducted by the Korean Nuclear Energy Promotion Agency (KONEPA). The March poll has not been published and the promotion agency said it has shifted to monthly polls as annual polls no longer reflected the true state of public opinion. However, none of the monthly polls have been published since. The most recent poll from September, also unpublished but again revealed by Woo, showed 53.3 percent thought nuclear power plants are safe against 41.5 percent who did not. KONEPA said in a statement emailed to Reuters that its 2011 annual survey was not disclosed because it was a rough survey. “It was difficult to grasp accurate public opinions through a regular survey because perceptions toward nuclear power plants were very confusing,” it said. GLOBAL NUCLEAR AMBITIONS There is a lot at stake for South Korea. It plans to build another six nuclear reactors in a cluster in the southeast corner of the country by 2024 so as to lessen its

dependence on imported oil, coal and liquefied natural gas. South Korea also wants to play a growing role in the global nuclear industry, and aims to export 80 nuclear reactors by 2030, which could be worth a total of $300 billion, according to government plans. A $20 billion deal with the United Arab Emirates has already been signed. While South Korea imports 82 percent of the energy it uses, it charges its vast industries producing cars, steel, ships and electronics just half the average price of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development group of rich industrial nations. State electricity company Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) covers a little more than 80 percent of its costs from the price of electricity and made an operating loss of 2.99 trillion Korean won ($2.75 billion) last year. The gap is plugged by borrowing which is underwritten effectively by the government. KEPCO’s wholly owned subsidiary, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, is in charge of running the country’s nuclear

plants and also overseeing equipment safety issues and approved the thousands of parts with fake certification. Since news of the forged safety certificates emerged, the head of KEPCO has resigned and the head of Korea Hydro, appointed only in June, has offered to resign. MUTED OPPOSITION Domestic opposition to new plants has been muted and the government says most people here still believe in nuclear power. “Uncovering the incidents is expected to provide the momentum to develop a healthier nuclear industry. Everything has been disclosed, which will help the industry raising transparency and safety,” Lee Kwan-sup, deputy minister in the Ministry of the Knowledge, told Reuters after the closures. The industry has reported nine accidents so far this year after seven in 2011 and two in 2010. In one of the incidents this year, workers including the head of Kori nuclear plant sought to cover up a stoppage and failure to operate emergency generators. — Reuters

Asia’s mega-cities more vulnerable to disasters Deaths from natural disasters increase

ZHUHAI: The ‘Yi Long’ drone by China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) is displayed during the 9th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai yesterday. — AFP

China displays latest hardware at airshow ZHUHAI: China yesterday showed off a new military drone and a model of a next-generation fighter plane as it builds up its own defense capabilities and seeks customers for its hardware. Industry giant China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) displayed its “Yi Long” drone, called Wing Loong in English, at the opening of China’s premier airshow in the southern city of Zhuhai, state media said. The show comes as China’s Communist Party holds a meeting to select the country’s new leaders-including for the party’s Central Military Commission, which controls the armed forces. The new leaders are expected to be announced tomorrow. AVIC, which makes both military and civil aircraft, also showed a model of a new generation fighter jet that Chinese media said was the J-31, a stealth plane whose existence was only recently known to the public. Chinese President Hu Jintao last week called for China to step up the military’s technological abilities, saying its most important task was to be able to “win a local war in an information age”. AVIC had previously shown only a model of the nine-meter long drone, which can carry two missiles, at previous Zhuhai airshows, an analyst said. “The Chinese have spent a lot of money to develop a UAV (unmanned aerial vehi-

cle),” said Andrei Chang, a Hong Kongbased military expert. “They know that in future wars unmanned warfare will be very important,” Chang, editor of Kanwa Defense Monthly said. He added China was aware of the US experience using drones in Afghanistan and earlier military conflicts, while the worry that the United States might one day intervene to defend Taiwan had prompted development. China considers Taiwan part of its sovereign territory and has threatened to use military force should the island move towards independence, though tensions have cooled in recent years. The Chinese drone resembles the Predator manufactured by US-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, used by the US military, but is likely priced far more cheaply, Chang said, adding the Wing Loong had already been exported. Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper put the price of the Chinese drone at around $1.0 million. At the air show, the grey-colored drone was tucked away at the corner of the exhibition, surrounded by journalists and officers of a foreign military, who declined to comment. The website of the People’s Daily newspaper said AVIC also displayed a fourth-generation fighter, which it identified as the J-31, a stealth plane that had its first test flight last month. — AFP

Child journalists grill ministers at congress BEIJING: The innocent but pointed questions from a pair of young reporters to officials at China’s Communist Party talks have provided a refreshing break from the usual fare of bland reports and rote answers. The plucky 11-year-old reporters from Chinese Teenagers News have become a minor media sensation in their own right by highlighting hot-button issues that typically make authorities squirm, including food safety and rising prices. Zhang Jiahe, press badge around his neck and “junior journalist” embroidered on his clothing, told China’s housing minister that rising accommodation costs were affecting disposable income-including for new toys. “Our family has not bought a house but a few friends nearby have faced this problem,” he said at the normally tightly-scripted gathering which heralds the unveiling of a new leadership on Thursday. Skyrocketing property prices have squeezed China’s growing urban population in recent years even as government controls have slowed their rise. Meanwhile food safety scandals have put off Zhang’s colleague Sun Luyuan and her friends from eating their favorite snacks. “I love snacks, but I don’t dare to eat snacks now because we see so many reports these days of problems with food products,” she asked high-level officials,

according to the state-run China News Service. “Why are these kinds of food products available for purchase?” Many Chinese have become concerned about food safety after a spate of scandals including a vast contamination of milk powder in 2008 that killed six babies and sickened 300,000 others. “I thought of the question myself,” Sun told AFP this week of last Friday’s press conference. “I think this issue is very important to us so I really wanted to ask this question.” Sun said the delegates had all been friendly so she was not afraid to put queries to them on behalf of Chinese Teenagers News which is affiliated with the Communist Youth League. The pair’s supervisor said they were selected for the assignment because they were among the best journalists at the paper. For over an hour during a press conference on Monday, both faced forward and sat up straight, seemingly unfazed by the unending flashes as photographers captured their efforts. But while the child reporters’ inquiries have been acute, they have only received standard answers. Sun was given a stock response on food standards from officials who pledged the government was addressing the situation and putting proper safety measures in place-a line repeated for years even as the scandals have persisted. — AFP

MANILA: Asia’s cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters as they struggle with poor planning, population explosions and climate change, the Asian Development Bank warned yesterday. Floods, earthquakes and other disasters claim tens of thousands of lives a year and cost billions of dollars in the region’s cities and urban areas, but not nearly enough is being done to improve their defenses, the bank said. “The region has borne the brunt of the physical and economic damage of the sharp rise in natural disasters (globally) since the 1980s,” the ADB said in a statement accompanying the release of a new study. “Its people are four times more likely to be affected by natural disasters than in Africa, and 25 times more likely than in Europe or North America,” it added. Floods are the most common peril and have become three times more frequent across the Asia-Pacific in the past 30 years, the report said. It found that the impact of storms on cities and urban areas has worsened due to chaotic urban planning and environmental degradation, as well as poorly-managed urbanization and deforestation. Meanwhile, millions of people are leaving safer rural areas for low-lying coastal cities, often driven to the economic hubs by poverty. More than 152 million people in the AsiaPacific are now vulnerable to natural disasters every year, up from 24 million in the 1980s, the study found. Deaths from natural disasters across the region increased to more than 651,000 between 2000 and 2009, compared with fewer than 100,000 in the 1980s, it said. Vinod Thomas, director-general for independent evaluation at the Philippines-based ADB,

said governments in the region spent two thirds of disaster funds on restoring damaged infrastructure. But only a third was spent on making these areas more disaster-proof. “We have thought for too long that natural disasters come and go, that they are just an interruption to development, and that they can simply be dealt with after they strike,” Thomas

said. “However, there is growing international recognition that the incidence and impact of natural disasters are increasing for a variety of reasons: persistent poverty, population growth, and climate change. “Policymakers need to recognize that investments in disaster risk management are an essential means to sustain growth.” — AFP

CAINTA: File photo shows residents commuting through floodwaters in Cainta town, Rizal province, east Manila, as residents in the capital battled flooding for the third day. Asia’s cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters as they struggle with poor planning, population explosions and climate change, the Asian Development Bank warned yesterday. — AFP

Satellite imagery shows N Korea missile activity WASHINGTON: Satellite imagery indicates North Korea has been testing rocket engines, a sign it continues to develop its longrange ballistic missiles, a US academic institute said Monday. The analysis provided to The Associated Press is based on satellite images taken as recently as late September of the Sohae site on the secretive country’s northwest coast. In April, the North launched a rocket from there in a failed attempt to propel a satellite into space in defiance of a UN ban. The analysis on the website of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, which is called “38 North,” said it remains unclear whether the North is preparing another rocket launch but predicted it may embark on new rocket and nuclear tests in the first half of 2013. The analysis underscores the challenges posed by the North’s weapons programs to the United States and its allies as President Barack Obama heads into his second term. Washington’s most recent attempt to negotiate a freeze in the North’s nuclear program and a test moratorium in exchange for food aid collapsed with the April launch that the US regarded as a cover for testing ballistic missile technology. In 2009, North Korea tested a long-range missile and its second nuclear weapon within months of Obama taking office, and the 38 North analysis says North Korea may conduct new tests in the aftermath of presidential elections recently completed in US and due in December in South Korea. That could be viewed as a tactic to exert more pressure on the close allies as the North seeks

recognition as a nuclear power. Last month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said North Korea continues to prepare for such tests, and the North, angered by Washington’s recent agreement to let Seoul possess missiles capable of hitting all of its territory, has recently claimed that the US mainland is within range of its missiles. According to South Korea’s Defense Ministry, North Korean missiles are believed to have a range of up to about 4,160 miles, putting parts of Alaska

within reach. But the North is not believed to have mastered the technology needed to hit a distant target and miniaturize a nuclear warhead to mount on a missile. The North has a spotty record in test launches, raising doubts about whether it is truly capable of a long-distance attack. The 38 North analysis concludes that since the failed launch on April 13 of the Unha-3 rocket that disintegrated shortly after takeoff, the North has conducted at least two, and possibly

SOHAE: Satellite image shows a facility in Sohae, North Korea where analysts believe rocket engines have been tested in a sign North Korea continues to develop its long-range ballistic missiles.

more, tests of large rocket motors at a test site about a half mile away. The tests are critical for the development of new rockets. “Pyongyang’s large motor tests are another clear sign that its missile program is moving forward. Whether there will be another long-range missile test this spring remains unclear but is a distinct possibility,” said Joel Wit, a former US State Department official and editor of 38 North. An April 9 satellite image shows what appear to be dozens of fuel tanks near a stand used for conducting tests of rocket engines. A Sept. 17 image shows the tanks are no longer there, and a flame trench has been stained orange and surrounding vegetation has been burned from the exhaust of an engine. An image from Sept. 28 indicates a further test has taken place. The analysis was written by Nick Hansen, a retired expert in imagery technology with a 43-year experience in national intelligence. He concludes the tests were likely of the first-stage engines of the Unha-3 or the new, bigger KN-08 long-range missile first viewed in a military parade in Pyongyang shortly after the April launch attempt. The capabilities of the KN-08 and whether it could pose a potential threat to the continental United States remains unclear. Some analysts have also questioned whether the half-dozen of KN-08 missiles shown at that parade were genuine or just rigged up for show. The analysis by 38 North says the Sept. 28 images also show construction work on the upper platform of a launch tower at Sohae to enable it to accommodate even larger rockets than the Unha-3 or KN-08. — AP



Foreign-owned bar a hit with Damascenes DAMASCUS: Jean-Luc Duthion admits it was risky to have opened a bar in the heart of Damascus almost a year into Syria’s conflict, but his venue has become a hit among locals seeking relief from the bloodshed. Despite the violence closing in, the 28-year-old Frenchman decided along with his brother Jean-Pierre to open the trendy Pure Lounge club in the majority Christian Old City neighbourhood. “In hindsight, I think we decided to open the bar because of our total lack of political understanding,” says Duthion, who has lived in Syria since 2007. “We thought the revolt would only last a few months, and that party-loving Syrians would get bored quickly. We were very wrong.” Duthion was a special effects expert in filmmaking and advertisements before he decided to launch Pure Lounge in Feb 2012. The brothers chose to live and work in Syria because “it was quite a closed country, but whose growth rate was higher than France’s”. Duthion had been making good money in advertising until the

Arab Spring-inspired uprising against the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad erupted in March 2011. “Suddenly, all our orders were cancelled and I found myself without work,” Duthion says. “That was when we decided to open the bar.” Pure Lounge is white all over, and is decorated with mirrors and red sofas. It cost $120,000 to set up. “The idea behind it was to make it a clean, young, fresh place, and where women would also be able to relax. It is no dark hole in the wall,” says Duthion. Pure Lounge was not the only bar established in the midst of the uprising, though not all have survived the impact of the violence. Two other night clubs were closed down three months after being launched - the Zodiac and the Tao Bar, which cost $5 million to build. A handful of other clubs remain open in Damascus, once home to a flourishing nightlife. Among them are the 808 club, the Back Door, White and the Tini Bar, which organises salsa nights. But owners who have kept their clubs open suffer week in week out, as very few clients

show up. Even on weekends, the number has shrunk massively since the revolt broke out. Meanwhile, only a few restaurants have held up, while cafes offering the traditional nargileh water-pipe close at 10:00 pm. “We thought we’d make returns on our investment within a year of launching,” says Duthion. “What a mistake!” “Initially our bar was doing amazingly well. All the young well-to-do were coming to us, but as the months dragged on, most of them left Damascus for Beirut or elsewhere.” Now, most customers come from Syria’s middle class. “Most of my clients are young people aged from 20 to 35, who want to relax and to think about something other than war,” he says. “Still, as they make their way to the bar, many customers have to listen to the sound of shelling.” On an average evening, Pure Lounge has about 25 clients. At weekends, the number rises to around 45 to 60, and business does a little better when customers hold engagement celebrations or

DAMASCUS: Syrians dance at a nightclub on Nov 11, 2012. Despite the nearly 20month long conflict between government troops and the rebels, some Syrians are still going out to local bars. — AFP bachelor parties. “I think people still come because our waiters smile, and because our prices are mid-range,” says Duthion. “The music is good here, and people who

come just want to relax and dance,” he adds. A beer at Pure Lounge costs about 310 Syrian pounds ($4), while spirits are priced at 350 pounds ($5). — AFP





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Election over, US cautiously mulls Syria options By Peter Apps ith the US election over and Syria’s civil war growing bloodier and spreading, the Obama administration is quietly re-examining its options for involvement in the conflict. Whether that will lead to a change in strategy remains unclear. President Barack Obama and his advisers are extremely cautious, current and former officials involved in discussions say. But those who favor greater US involvement not least Syrian opposition leaders - clearly believe their time has come. What Washington must consider, they say, is more support for the rebels and perhaps limited military action. Even with electoral pressures gone, a major deployment of US troops remains unthinkable. The kind of more limited but sustained air campaign that helped oust Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi is also off the table, at least for now. Arming the rebels, the Obama administration says, might simply make matters worse - particularly given the mounting evidence of a growing Islamist presence, increasing sectarian bloodshed and accusations of rebel war crimes. But simply standing on the sidelines may also no longer be viable. As the body count has mounted in Syria, there have been growing signs the war is also destabilizing neighboring states, particularly Lebanon but also Iraq, Turkey and Jordan. This weekend Syrian and Israeli forces traded fire across their border in the Golan Heights. “I’m amazed by how quickly people have started talking about Syria” after the election, said Joseph Holliday, a former US Army intelligence officer and expert on the Syrian opposition at the Institute for the Study of War who frequently briefs American officials. “I think there’s a feeling that doing nothing is in itself a choice, and that the longer we hold back the worse things are getting.” With Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad increasingly using helicopters and jets against civilian targets, there is growing talk of some form of “no-fly zone” - or perhaps a series of targeted strikes to damage his air force. A likely request by Turkey for US Patriot ground-to-air missiles to defend its airspace could also see US troops deployed in its territory within miles of the Syrian border. The new united rebel leadership announced this weekend in Doha - the result of months of pressure from western states and Arab allies - is also seen as offering the best hope so far that the opposition can form a united front. Discussions being held within the State Department, Pentagon and elsewhere are not, insiders say, part of a centrally ordered policy review. “We constantly review options,” one senior administration official told Reuters, although he said there was no change in the White House’s opposition to arming the rebels directly. Another US official knowledgeable about Washington’s Syria policy confirmed, however, that a post-election revision was under way. “The question is: what to do?” he said. A few senior US figures, such as Susan Rice, the UN ambassador touted as a potential new secretary of state to replace Hillary Clinton, are reported to be more supportive of drastic action. The US military and intelligence agencies, insiders say, are much more reluctant. Even if Assad were to go, they worry the country might tear itself apart in ethnic bloodletting that could go on for years. Obama himself has shown little appetite for new foreign interventions, and approaches his second term with no shortage of domestic challenges. But the shifting reality on the ground in Syria, some argue, may be opening up new options. One of the greatest barriers to greater involvement in the conflict, Western officials have long complained, has been the chaotic and disunited nature of the rebels - as well as their persistent failure to perform on the battlefield. But that may now be changing. Disparate elements of the Free Syrian Army are increasingly seizing ground and holding it against Assad’s forces. The newly created Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, under reformist Damascus cleric Mouaz Alkhatib, must build on those victories. Long-term Assad supporter Russia, some experts say, may be tiring of the Syrian leader. Moscow might have little appetite for Western-backed overthrow of Assad, but it also wants to make sure it retains influence with any government that replaces him. Some key allies remain reluctant. British officials have also been re-examining their Syria options, British sources say, but this week they rolled back from suggestions they might arm the rebels or ease a European arms embargo. France has yet to make good on statements it might provide anti-aircraft weaponry. But Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey - all arming the rebels may be betting on a US policy shift that would bring European powers along and help them not just in Syria but in their region-wide rivalry with Assad’s ally Iran. Up to now, their support for the rebels has largely been limited to intelligence agents and rich Arab individuals cutting deals to arm and supply whichever groups they fancy. That, many experts say, has strengthened the hand of the Islamists. —Reuters


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Lavrov speaks to Russian news agency on Syria Question: Mr Lavrov, you have just returned from the Middle East, where you have made some drastic and serious statements, in particular, assessing the prepared UN Security Council resolution on Syria. What was the primary cause of such statements? Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: At the moment, no resolution had been prepared. But we are always reproached that Russia is blocking the adoption of the resolution in the UN Security Council. What is the resolution? The answer is obvious - the resolution with the threat of sanctions against those, who will not stop fighting and armed activity. In addition, our partners giving us these accusations say that Bashar Al-Assad must go without any variants and under all circumstances, and the opposition must continue to resist him. In this case, it publicly declared that the opposition will continue to receive financial, material and military assistance in the form of weapon supply. We want to understand, how the calls for the adoption of the resolution, which will be addressed to all the warring parties in Syria with the requirements to stop doing this and stop the bloodshed, combine with unreservedly position that Assad must go, but the opposition has yet to receive full support until it does not achieve this goal. There is no answer to this question. In this situation, we conclude that we are being tried to lure in the discussion in the UN Security Council, as the result of which the Security Council would support one side of1 the conflict. We have been through this and know how smart some of our partners are able to interpret the UN resolution and as they do that it is not allowed in these resolutions. Therefore, the current situation is very clear for us. I talked about this in Egypt and Jordan, because the Syrian crisis was one of the central themes of my talks in Cairo with the President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Amr, League of Arab States Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby, Joint Special Representative of the UN/LAS on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, in Jordan - with King Abdullah II, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh, as well as former Prime Minister of Syria, who is now a member of the Syrian opposition Riad Hijab, who is currently in Amman. I had the meeting with him, as we meet with almost all opposition politicians abroad and in Moscow urging them to implement the agreements reached in Geneva on June 30 of this year by permanent members of the UN Security Council, the Arab League, Turkey, the European Union, the former Joint Speciat Envoy of the

UN/Arab League on Syria Kofi Annan. The purpose of efforts is to make everyone - the government and the opposition to end the violence, go to the negotiating table after appointing of the negotiators, accept the parameters and other aspects of the so-called “transitional governing body” and its composition on the basis of mutual agreement. It is recorded in the Geneva communique. We are doing exactly this in our contacts with the government and the opposition demanding the same of both sides. Unfortunately, some other members of the Geneva meeting do not want to talk with the government. But they say to the opposition “Your cause is right, proceed to the bitter end”. I have already spoken on this issue. If the main priority is to stop the violence, then we need to do what was agreed in Geneva without any resolutions. Each external player has to “pounce” on the Syrian side, on which it has the influence. It is necessary that we do it in-sync with the same sincerity and pressure forcing them to stop firing. I am convinced that it is in our collective best. But it is possible, if the real priority is the saving of the lives of Syrians. If the priority is, figuratively speaking, “head of Bashar Assad”, his departure or overthrow - the proponents of this approach should be aware that they will pay for it, but not with their lives, and the lives of Syrians. Because Assad is not going anywhere and will not go away, no matter who says him. He cannot be persuaded to such step. He hears how he is characterized by Western leaders, some Arab countries, neighboring states, which threat every way possible. He, as well as the opposition, wants to fight to the bitter end. Opposition is adjusted to this by the West, and Assad himself is set to fight to the end in this situation - even though there can be no victory. Just yesterday, the Security Council heard the information about the situation in Syria from the UN Secretariat. Presenting its estimates and assessments, by which Brahimi went at this stage, the Secretariat concluded that the two sides set out to continue the military confrontation in return for achieving of the victory. Simultaneously Brahimi concluded that there victory cannot be there. So there will be the war of attrition, killing of people, cultural values, ancient architecture monuments, such as Aleppo, which, in a sad irony, is under the protection of UNESCO. That’s all that can be said on this subject. We all must be honest in the performance of what we negotiate. Resolution - this is from “the evil one”. If you do not want to make all those, who are fight-

ing, stop doing it, and similar is replaced by call to adopt the resolution, we understand, what kind of resolution will be discussed and how its supporters are going to use this resolution. This is something we honestly say to our partners. I do not think that, as you put it, it is a kind of sharpness. This is the honest and outspoken position. We do not want half-truths and just declare it. Our partners mask their approach a bit saying that Russia does not want to accept the resolution. Likely it sounds seriously: there is the wish to adopt a resolution, and there’s nothing wrong, but Russia does not want. In fact this is the case, as I talk. Question: It seems that the relation to the Syrian opposition has being begun to change quite significantly in last two weeks in the West. On the one hand, it sounds frustrating that it is impossible to combine, on the other - fears are growing that in the number of regime opponents there is the domination of not those forces, on which the bet was made. Could this somehow change the position of the West? During the trip you supported the idea of regional “four” composed of neighbors of Syria and most involved countries. Do you think that it is real to join Saudi Arabia and Iran in the same format? Sergey Lavrov: We certainly believe that the opposition should be united on the platform of readiness to implement the call of Geneva “Action Group”. Now it is being joined on the platform of the struggle with Bashar Assad until the bitter end. This is wrong. Indeed, the approaches of Western and regional sponsors for the opposition as well as for the forms that can be taken by the desired unit are changing. Americans are known have said, they do not consider, that the head of this process should be Syrian National Council, which is supported by some countries in the region - Turkey, Qatar. These days there is the meeting in Doha, where Syrian National Council and other groups, but not all, are presence. For example, the largest domestic opposition structures, such as National Coordinating Committee (NCC) in Syria, refused to go to Doha at the last moment. I believe that the efforts of the opposition of foreign sponsors of the opposition for its integration will be continued, and they will take some time. We try to influence on this process. We are not present at these events, but meet individually with all of their participants and in Russia (heads of NCC should come us soon with next visit) and abroad (my yesterday’s meeting in Amman with the former Prime Minister of Syria Riad Hijab) setting them on the dialogue with the government.

It is necessary to unite on that basis. Now the majority of the opposition hears mantra that there cannot be any negotiations with Assad. If it is so, then we are back to the logic, on which I have already said. We believe that the initiative should be implemented by the countries of the region, in which peoples fraternal to the Syrians are living. LAS, which was quite actively trying to engage the Syrian crisis, although it is not without bias, is not heard and not seen now. I asked the League of Arab States Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby about the reasons for this passivity. He answered that, according to the Arab League opinion, the Egyptian initiative should work for a while now. We agree with it. Egypt and President Mohamed Morsi himself proposed smart idea that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran form similar group that would develop initiatives to solve the Syrian crisis. I believe that the proposed structure is very successful. At least, the proposal corrects the error made in the preparation of the Geneva meeting, on which because of the United States position Iran and Saudi Arabia were not invited, but Russia insisted on it. Egyptian initiative compensates this omission. At the meeting with the President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo I expressed Russia’s position in support of this proposal. He confirmed that he considered it as relevant, it remained in force, and that the group of four regional countries was the “core”, was able to grow with other participants. He noted that he would be interested in Russia’s joining to the initiative. It can be thought. Naturally, if we decide to connect, then it will need to do not alone, but with someone from the West and, of course, with China. Ideally the five permanent members of the UN Security Council could work together with the regional “four”. But now the “four” can’t regularly meet in full composition. As you mentioned, the Saudis have contraindications for contacts with the Iranians. I think that we should get rid of ideological blinders. It is difficult to solve the problem without Iran, as well as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, with no neighbors of Syria and many other countries. Therefore consensus reached in Geneva is very important, which, despite the absence of Iran and Saudi Arabia, is supported by them, as gathered everyone, who influences on the situation from the outside. If we can use this great potential to improve the situation, force the parties to begin a political dialogue, translate the situation into the intercom channel, we will make very useful first step.

Have America’s generals lost their way? By Dan De Luce he sex scandal that punctured the image of America’s most admired general, David Petraeus, is just the latest in a litany of cases of misconduct plaguing the US top brass, raising questions about a military often isolated from the rest of civilian society. Even before Petraeus - a retired four-star commander - stunned Washington by announcing his resignation from the CIA over an extramarital affair, a growing number of generals and other senior officers were facing allegations of ethical lapses as well as sexual abuse. The revelations paint a picture of military leadership living a privileged, insulated existence, in a country that often discourages public criticism of anyone in uniform, after a decade of wars waged by an all-volunteer force. The cloud forming over senior officers stems from recent cases that include the former head of Africa Command, General William Ward, who spent government funds to live a lavish lifestyle and ordered staff to perform personal errands, an inspector general’s report found. An Army brigadier general, Jeffrey Sinclair, the deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, was removed from his post earlier this year in Afghanistan after being accused


of sexual misconduct with subordinates and of threatening one woman’s life. According to prosecutors, when questioned about his demeaning comments about women, Sinclair replied: “I’m a general, I’ll do whatever the (expletive) I want.” His alleged remark reflects what critics call a culture of entitlement among top officers, who they contend are held to a different standard than rank-and-file soldiers. Another inspector general report found Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly heaped abuse on his underlings at the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). One witness cited in the report described the general’s leadership style as “management by blowtorch and pliers”. Although the Army has come in for the most scrutiny, no service has been immune. The Air Force has

struggled to cope with a flood of allegations of sexual assault against female recruits at its basic training centre in Lackland, Texas and the Navy took the unusual step last month of relieving Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette of his command of the Stennis aircraft carrier group while it was on mission in the Arabian Sea. The admiral was one of 22 naval commanding officers sacked this year for various failures, according to the Navy Times. Former defence secretary Robert Gates, who stepped down last year, argued that the general officer corps had become bloated and a wasteful drain on the Pentagon budget, and he pushed to scale back the number of generals and admirals. Gates also voiced concern over a growing gap between the volunteer force and

the rest of American society, which critics worry feeds a belief among some officers that rules do not apply to them because they have put their lives on the line, unlike civilians back home. To counter the trend, there are calls by some commentators to restore conscription, or least some kind of national service, to improve civilian-military ties and bind the armed forces closer to society. The scandals of misconduct gained renewed attention after the most prominent officer of his generation, Petraeus, abruptly stepped down as CIA chief last week. No general was as revered and prominent as Petraeus, the soldier-scholar who was credited - particularly among commentators on the political right - with rescuing the war effort in Iraq. His successor in Afghanistan, General John Allen, now finds himself embroiled in the scandal, with the Pentagon inspector general launching an investigation into potentially “inappropriate” emails between Allen and a key figure in the case, Jill Kelley. Tom Ricks, journalist and author of a new book “The Generals”, contends that the Army officer corps has grown unaccountable and that it bears a share of the blame for disastrous mistakes in the Iraq war. “We tend to venerate the military these days unthinkingly and that’s not good for the military or the country,” Ricks said recently. —AFP



Smoke billows from burning tyres as a Syrian rebel of the Halab al-Shabah battalion under Al-Tawhid brigade fires towards regime forces during clashes in the Al-Amariya district of the northern city of Aleppo yesterday. — AFP

Bahrain opens Arabian Nights-themed... Continued from Page 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, signalling efforts to emerge from protests that had forced it to cancel the event last year. “Bahrain is no exception to what is happening in the world,” Sheikha Mai said. “We are living a reality that consecrates the culture of hope and which presents all that is beautiful to residents and all those who love Bahrain,” she added. Decked with all the amenities of a modern cultural centre needed to attract world events, including a 100-seat rehearsal hall, the 11,669 sq m national theatre is the latest artistic foray in the conservative Gulf region. Last year, Oman opened the first opera house in the Gulf region in a move that also signalled a drive to push ahead with cultural activities despite protests over lack of employment and perceived corruption that briefly rocked the country. The Gulf’s tourism and trading hub, Dubai has also unveiled plans to build its own opera house. Bahrain, an archipelago of 33 islands located between Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, and gas-rich Qatar, is also home to the ancient Dilmun civilisation, containing one of the most ancient burial sites in the Arabian

Peninsula. Before the United Arab Emirates began attracting foreign investors in the 1990s, Bahrain served as a regional tourism, information and banking hub. Much of the international media covering the Gulf region are based in Bahrain, where some 600,000 people live. Bahraini officials say they want to regain the edge that once made the country attractive to foreign investors. Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is reported to be planning to launch his satellite news channel, Alarab, from Bahrain. The prince, who walked side-by-side with King Hamad as the monarch inspected the spacious seaside theatre grounds, is also reported to be planning to shift some of his media and cultural investments from Dubai to Bahrain. Bahrain’s Minister of State for Information, Samira Rajab, said Bahrain was determined to find a way out of the crisis that will pave a way for it to showcase its cultural advantages. “What is required today is for all the parties with sectarian differences to sit down and reach understandings,” Rajab said. “What is agreed upon is what will be implemented, not one side’s wishes against the other’s. The Bahrain issue will be resolved through dialogue.” — Reuters

Petraeus probe snares US war chief... Continued from Page 1 Vietor said Allen would remain in his post in Afghanistan during the probe but that Obama had postponed his nomination as NATO’s top military leader pending its conclusion. The senior official told AFP that it was “too soon” to know whether the investigation would derail Allen’s promotion or disrupt plans to name fellow Marine General Joseph Dunford as his successor in Afghanistan. The latest bombshell came just days after Petraeus, the celebrity general who preceded Allen as allied commander in Afghanistan, resigned as head of the Central Intelligence Agency, citing an extramarital affair. The tangled web of intrigue came to light when FBI agents, acting after Kelley complained of having received anonymous threats, traced a series of emails back to Broadwell’s online accounts. On scrutinizing her online records, they found a series of sexually explicit exchanges with Petraeus confirming their affair. The threatening emails she had sent to Kelley - who told investigators she did not know Broadwell - suggest that the biographer was jealous of the socialite’s rapport with the generals at US Central Command in Florida. In one, according to the Wall Street Journal, Broadwell claimed she had seen Kelley touching “him” provocatively under the table. The emails between the two women were of a “childish”, jealous nature and showed some one-upmanship of trying to come across as being more important to Petraeus, an official said. Petraeus and Broadwell were interviewed separately by investigators in late October and early November and both admitted to the affair. Petraeus reportedly planned to remain in office and tough it out until last week, when the realization that the scandal was about to go public prompted him to offer Obama his shock resignation. Petraeus had been due to testify to Congress this week on the Sept 11 assault in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, including US ambassador Chris Stevens and two former Navy SEALs working for the CIA. The attack, which targeted the US consulate and a secret CIA-run annex, raised questions about whether staff were adequately protected as they operated in the chaotic aftermath of last year’s Arab Spring uprising. Now US legislators also want to know why the FBI and the Justice Department did not notify them or the

White House sooner about the Petraeus investigation. Petraeus took command of the CIA 14 months ago, retiring from the military after a glittering career that saw him lead the 101st Airborne, the US war in Iraq, its CENTCOM regional command and international forces in Afghanistan. The retired four-star general, who presided over the 2007 troop “surge” in Iraq, is widely credited with turning the tide of the US war there, though similar efforts have been less successful in Afghanistan. Three months after hanging up his uniform, Petraeus started an affair with Broadwell, a former army officer 20 years his junior who traveled with him in Afghanistan to research a now notorious fawning biography. Retired US Army colonel Steve Boylan - a close Petraeus associate - told AFP that Petraeus “regrets the poor judgment and the lack of discipline more than we can probably put into words... His words to me were ‘I screwed up’.” Boylan, who ser ved as Petraeus’s spokesman when the pair were in Iraq, said the 60year-old retired general had warned his wife of 38 years, Holly, about his affair before the news broke and was trying to make amends. On Monday, FBI agents searched Broadwell’s North Carolina home, removing bags, boxes and pictures, local media reported. The married mother of two has not been seen at her home since Petraeus resigned over the affair. The Federal Bureau of Investigation itself has also come under scrutiny. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI agent Kelley contacted about the threatening emails, a personal acquaintance of hers, brought the matter to the attention of Republican lawmakers. The agent apparently believed the bureau was not moving aggressively enough with the investigation, suspecting that his superiors were keen to protect the Democratic president from the fall-out. FBI supervisors had earlier barred the agent from any involvement in the case after he became “obsessed” with the matter, the Journal said. It quoted one official as saying the agent had sent shirtless photos to Kelley well before the email investigation had begun, and said he is currently under investigation by the internal affairs arm of the FBI. The scandal has left Obama with a hole to fill on his national security team at a time when he is also expected to be replacing his secretaries of state, defense and treasury. — Agencies

Abu Qatada freed from jail Continued from Page 1 “He shouldn’t be here. He was supposed to be deported to Jordan. It’s a disgrace,” said Jackie Chaunt, 50. The European Court of Human Rights had ruled earlier this year that Abu Qatada could not be deported while there was a “real risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used against him” in a possible retrial. Home Secretary Theresa May ordered Abu Qatada’s extradition anyway after she was given assurances by Jordan that he would be treated fairly. But the Special Immigration Appeals Commission - a semi-secret panel of British judges that deals with national security matters - ruled in Qatada’s favour. They said statements from Abu Qatada’s former co-defendants AlHamasher and Abu Hawsher may have been obtained by torture and created a risk that any trial would be unfair. The cleric, a father of five whose real name is Omar

Mohammed Othman, arrived in Britain in 1993 claiming asylum and has been a thorn in the side of successive British governments. Videos of his sermons were found in the Hamburg flat used by some of the hijackers involved in the Sept 11, 2001 attacks. He has also defended the killing of Jews and attacks on Americans. A Spanish judge once branded him the right-hand man of late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Europe, although Abu Qatada denies ever having met bin Laden. Britain initially detained him in 2002 under anti-terror laws imposed in the wake of 9/11 but he was released under house arrest. London first ordered his deportation in 2005 and his appeal against that order was rejected in 2009. May then signed a fresh deportation order and Abu Qatada appealed to the European court. He was briefly freed on bail earlier this year but then re-arrested. In October Britain extradited another radical Islamist preacher, Abu Hamza, and four other terror suspects to the United States. — AFP

UAE toughens law on Web dissent Continued from Page 1 powers of the ruling clans from Kuwait to Oman.The new UAE codes - posted on the official news agency WAM - also raise questions about potential new red lines for the country’s huge expatriate work force in which parodies and pointed criticism of the UAE are common fodder on websites. It’s unclear, too, whether the codes could put a chill on media coverage of sensitive issues such as the rising profile of Islamist factions. The UAE has not faced any street protests during the Arab Spring upheavals, but authorities have stepped up arrests and pressure on groups including an Islamist organization, Al Islah, that official claim seeks to undermine the country’s ruling system. In September, Dubai’s police chief, Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim warned of an “international plot” to overthrow the Gulf governments by Islamists inspired by the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Many of the codes in UAE’s updated Internet law focus on issues such as online fraud, privacy protection and efforts to combat prostitution. But a major section spells out sweeping limits and possible prison terms for any posts “to deride or to damage the reputation or the stature of the state or any of its institutions,” including the president, the vice president, any of the rulers of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, crown princes, deputy rulers, the national flag, the national anthem, the emblem of the state or any of its symbols, it said. It also outlaws “information,

news, caricatures or any other kind of pictures” that authorities believe could threaten security or “public order”. These include Web posts calling for public protests or “disobeying the laws and regulations of the state.” In addition, anyone who uses the Internet “to call for demonstrations, marches and similar activities without a license being obtained in advance from the competent authorities” could also face imprisonment. The decree, issued by the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, came just hours after the UAE was elected to a three-year seat on the UN Human Rights Council. In an apparent response to the worldwide chaos touched off in September over a video clip denigrating Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the new codes said jail terms are possible for any Internet posts that “display contempt” for Islam or any other faith. Social networking sites have enlivened public discourse in the UAE, a major oil exporter and business hub, where state media is tightly controlled and freedom of speech is restricted. People across society, from ruling family members, to ministers, government supporters and dissidents, make use of sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Across the Gulf, other authorities have stepped up prosecutions against online activists and others. Earlier this month, a Bahraini man was sentenced to six months in prison on charges of insulting the Gulf nation’s king in Twitter posts. In September, a journalist-blogger in Oman received a one-year prison term for alleged anti-government writings. — Agencies

RIYADH: Argentina’s Lionel Messi poses for picture with Saudi fans as arrives with his team in the Saudi capital late Monday. Argentina will play against Saudi Arabia in a friendly match today in Riyadh. — AP


sp orts Habsi: Some like it hot

Kooyong Classic tournament

Jockey Dettori tests positive

OMAN: Oman goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi has told runaway group leaders Japan to stop complaining about the heat ahead yesterday’s World Cup qualifier. Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni said on Tuesday that sweltering conditions will be his side’s biggest challenge in their Group B clash under Muscat’s fierce afternoon sun. “Without a doubt the heat is my only concern,” the Italian told a news conference. “You never know what kind of effect the hot weather will have on the game. “I’m sure the game would be played at a different pace if it was being played at eight in the evening.” But Al Habsi, whose heroics have helped Oman preserve an unbeaten home record in Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, ticked off the Italian for playing mind games. “It’s not like June here when it’s 50 degrees celsius,” the Wigan Athletic goalkeeper said. “It’s only 30, which is good for us and the Japan players. “In the summer in Japan it is like that so they are used to it. It’s no big difference.” —Reuters

MELBOURNE: Injured world number four Rafa Nadal is on a hit list to fill out the field for the Kooyong Classic tennis tournament, organisers said yesterday, as the exhibition event seeks to fight off lucrative Middle East competitors. “We’re in touch with the top four,” tournament director Colin Stubs told reporters in Melbourne of negotiations to attract Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray or Nadal for the Jan. 9-12 event. “Nadal’s a possibility and that’d be something special for us because he’s never played here.” Stubs left open the final spot in the invitational eight-man field, as he announced on Tuesday that Janko Tipsarevic, Juan Monaco and Milos Raonic will join 2009 U.S. Open winner Juan Martin del Potro, former world number one Lleyton Hewitt, Kei Nishikori and Marcos Baghdatis for the tournament. The event has traditionally attracted a high quality field as it guarantees players three competitive matches on the same surface used at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park the following week. World number two Federer was a regular visitor to the club in the leafy suburb close to the central city, but in recent years had preferred to build up for the Australian Open at events in the Middle East. Nadal, an 11-time grand slam winner, has been out of action since June with a knee injury, but is hopeful of being back for the Australian Open and could be desperate for matches ahead of the season-opening grand slam. — Reuters

LONDON: Frankie Dettori, one of the outstanding jockeys of his generation, failed a drugs test when riding at Longchamp in France in September, his lawyer announced yesterday. The legendary Italian rider’s positive result will be the subject of a hearing conducted by France Galop, French racing’s governing body, in Paris next week. Dettori’s solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore, in a statement to the British Press Association, reported: “On behalf of Frankie Dettori I can confirm that, as a consequence of a positive test at Longchamp on September 16, 2012, he will be the subject of an inquiry by the Medical Committee of France Galop next week. “In compliance with, and out of respect for, the regulations of France Galop, he will not be commenting further until the France Galop procedures have been completed.” No details of the substance in question were forthcoming with France Galop telling AFP they would be making no comment “for the time being”. — AFP

NBA results/standings Utah 140, Toronto 133 (OT); Milwaukee 105,Philadelphia 96; Oklahoma City 92, Detroit 90; Boston 101, Chicago 95; Miami 113, Houston 110; Minnesota 90, Dallas 82; Phoenix 110, Denver 100; Atlanta 95, Portland 87. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT NY Knicks 4 0 1.000 Brooklyn 3 2 .600 Philadelphia 4 3 .571 Boston 4 3 .571 Toronto 1 6 .143

GB 1.5 1.5 1.5 4.5

Milwaukee Chicago Indiana Cleveland Detroit

CENTRAL DIVISION 4 2 .667 4 3 .571 3 4 .429 2 5 .286 0 8 0

0.5 1.5 2.5 5

Miami Atlanta Charlotte Orlando Washington

SOUTHEAST DIVISION 6 2 .750 3 3 .500 2 3 .400 2 4 .333 0 5 0

2 2.5 3 4.5

WESTERN CONFERENCE NORTHWEST DIVISION Oklahoma City 6 2 .750 Minnesota 5 2 .714 0.5 Utah 4 4 .500 2 Denver 4 4 .500 2 Portland 2 5 .286 3.5 PACIFIC DIVISION 5 2 .714 4 4 .500 3 4 .429 3 4 .429 2 5 .286

1.5 2 2 3

SOUTHWEST DIVISION 6 1 .857 5 1 .833 3 2 .600 4 4 .500 3 4 .429

0.5 2 2.5 3

LA Clippers Phoenix LA Lakers Golden State Sacramento

San Antonio Memphis New Orleans Dallas Houston

Heat scorch Rockets 1987. DeMar DeRozan matched his career high with 37 points, Jose Calderon had 20 points and 17 assists, and Amir Johnson fouled out with 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Raptors, who lost their fourth straight. Toronto has dropped eight consecutive home games against Utah.

HOUSTON: LeBron James scored a season-high 38 points, Chris Bosh had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the Miami Heat rallied to beat the Houston Rockets 113-110 on Monday night. Dwyane Wade scored 19 points for the Heat, who shot 47.6 percent from 3point range (10 of 21) and 51 percent from the field overall. Chandler Parsons scored a career-high 25 points and Omer Asik had a careerbest 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets, who led 110-106 with 90 seconds left. James went 3 for 4 from the free throw line over the next minute, then drove for the go-ahead layup with 19 seconds left. Jeremy Lin shot an airball from 3point range with 10 seconds left, Wade caught it and the Heat escaped with their sixth straight win over Houston. Celtics 101, Bulls 95 In Chicago, Rajon Rondo had 20 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists to lead Boston over Chicago. Rondo took advantage of Bulls point guard Nate Robinson for three quarters, helping the Celtics build a 12-point lead on 56 percent shooting. He extended his streak of consecutive games with 10 or more assists to 31, the longest in the NBA since John Stockton had 37 straight from Feb. 27 to Nov. 29, 1989. Brandon Bass led four other Celtics in double figures with 16 points as Boston held off a furious late Chicago rally to snap a five-game losing streak at the United Center. Kevin Garnett had 15 points. Luol Deng led the Bulls with 26 points and 11 rebounds. The Celtics became the first team to score 100 points against the Bulls since April 8 last season, ending a streak that had reached 15 straight games. Jazz 140, Raptors 133 In Toronto, Paul Millsap scored seven of his 34 points in the third overtime, Al Jefferson had 24 points and 17 rebounds, and Utah beat Toronto for its

Thunder 92, Pistons 90 In Auburn Hills, Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 33 points and keyed a fourth-quarter comeback as Oklahoma City rallied to beat winless Detroit. The loss left the Pistons with an 0-8 record, the worst start in franchise history. It was the fourth game in five nights for the Thunder, who improved to 6-2. Westbrook, who also had 10 rebounds and four assists, contributed six points all on free throws - to a 13-0 Thunder run to open the fourth quarter that turned a 73-62 deficit into a 75-73 lead with 8:11 left. Kevin Durant, who hit a tough runner with 47.8 seconds remaining that gave Oklahoma City an 88-85 advantage, added 26 points and nine rebounds. Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 19 points and Greg Monroe had 17.

PHOENIX: Suns’ Shannon Brown (left) shoots over Denver Nuggets’ JaVale McGee (34) in the second half of an NBA basketball game. —AP first road win of the season. The Jazz rallied after trailing by 11 in the fourth quarter, and no basket was bigger than Jefferson’s 3-pointer with 2 seconds left in regulation, a shot that bounced around the rim before falling through. It was just the second 3-pointer

of Jefferson’s nine-year career. He came in 1 for 25 from 3-point range. Mo Williams had 17 points and 14 assists, Randy Foye scored 20 points and Marvin Williams had 17 as the Jazz opened a four-game trip by avoiding their first 0-5 start away from home since

Bucks 105, 76ers 96 In Philadelphia, Brandon Jennings scored 33 points and Monta Ellis had 18 to lead Milwaukee past Philadelphia. The Bucks improved to 3-0 on the road for the first time since they won their first four in 2001-02. Mike Dunleavy added 13 points and Milwaukee shot around 60 percent most of the game. Jennings hit four 3-pointers, had four steals and was 5 of 5 from the free throw line. Jrue Holiday had 25 points and a whopping eight turnovers for the 76ers, who were coming off their first 3-0 road trip since 2003. Jason Richardson scored 20 and the Sixers made 10 of 24 3-pointers. Before the game, Philadelphia learned center Andrew Bynum will miss at least five more weeks because of a bone bruise in his right knee and might not play until early January. —AP

Felix, Eaton named US athletes of year

Kuwait racers gear up for Red Bull Kart fight KUWAIT: Karting drivers in Kuwait gear up to experience the feeling of a real race; the adrenaline leading in to the minutes before departure, the intoxicating mix of burnt rubber, race fuel and the thrill of the grid departure. Red Bull Kart Fight is coming to the State

of Kuwait with the cooperation of Quarter Mile Club, to find the one that will defend the national colors in the World Final in Bologna, Italy on December 8 &9. If you’re between the age of 13 and 40 and think you have what it takes to be a champion, then set your fastest lap on November 23 at the specially built track at the 360 Mall outdoor parking. The Red Bull Kart Fight Final on November 24th, 2012 gives the fastest 20 time setters on the 23rd of November, the opportunity to battle it out wheel-towheel for the Kuwait spot in the World Final, where champions from 20 countries demonstrate their talent in an event open to the world’s media as well as race fans and supporters - a fantastic festival of speed and international competition. The rest of us petrol heads can feed our need for speed with Red Bull Kart Fighter World Tour - a glorious arcade race game that crashes through more than a dozen global landmarks. If you would like to accompany the winner to Italy, follow @redbullKuwait and tweet how many countries will compete in the Red Bull Kart Fight World Final.

NEW YORK: Multiple Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix and double world record holder Ashton Eaton have won Jesse Owens Awards as US athletes of the year, USA Track & Field (USATF) announced on Monday. Felix, the three-time world 200 metres champion, won Olympic gold at the 2012 London Games in the 200m, the 4x400m relay and the 4x100m relay. A four-time Owens Award winner, the 26year-old also became the fourth fastest woman ever when she clocked 21.69 in the 200m at the US Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon. “I am honoured to have the Jesse Owens Award again and it truly is a dream come true for me,” Felix said on a conference call. “I have been blessed with good health over the years and have been able to take advantage of that. “What made this year so special is the journey that I have been on my entire career. From having (won Olympic) silver medals in 2004 and 2008, I feel like that really motivated me.” Eaton produced sensational form in 2012, setting world records in the heptathlon at the world indoor championships and also in the decathlon at the U.S. Olympic trials. In rain-soaked conditions in Eugene, he became only the second decathlete to break the 9,000point barrier as he eclipsed the previous mark set by Roman Sebrle with a haul of 9,039 points. Eaton, 24, went on to claim Olympic gold in London with a performance of 8,869 points. “The Olympic year was my first one and I had a lot of expectations for myself,” said Eaton. “It was fun afterward but leading up was stressful. Now I am kind of relaxed and feel like I have accomplished a goal. “I wanted to see what it felt like to be on the first tier podium at the Olympics. With the Olympics on my mind, it was easy to check off the other goals as I went along.” Felix and Eaton will be presented with their awards on Dec. 1 in conjunction with USATF’s annual meeting at Daytona Beach, Florida. Athletics great Owens won gold medals in the 100 and 200 metres, long jump and 4x100 metres relay at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. —Reuters




Spotlight on Hall of Fame, as lockout drags on TORONTO: The National Hockey League and locked out players called a time out on their rancorous labor negotiations on Monday, allowing the hockey spotlight to shine on the induction of Pavel Bure, Mats Sundin, Adam Oates and Joe Sakic into the Hall of Fame. With the lockout lurching towards two months and talks on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) stalled, the hockey world was left to celebrate its past accomplishments of four former-greats while surveying a bleak future and the prospects of a second lost NHL season in eight years. A sobering reminder of what a lost season means was there for all to see at the Grand Hall: the words “2004-05 Season Not Played” stamped coldly into the Stanley Cup where the names of the winners would have been engraved. “Hopefully hockey will be played shortly,” said Sakic, whose name appears twice on the Cup, helping the Colorado

Avalanche to the title in 1996 and 2001. “It (a lockout) hurts everybody. It hurts the players, it hurts the owners, it hurts the fans. It hurts the game.” While the inductees did their best to ignore the lockout, the labor dispute hung over the Hall of Fame festivities like a dark cloud. Among the hundreds of games already wiped off the schedule was Friday’s Hall of Fame game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils, leaving a Legends game featuring old-timers and past and present inductees on Sunday as the only opportunity for fans to honor this year’s Hall of Fame class. There was also no good news out of New York where the NHL and the NHL players association (NHLPA) had huddled for six days trying to hammer out a new deal before talks broke off on Sunday with another blast of fingerpointing. With no talks scheduled, NHL

commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly were both expected to attend Monday evening’s official ceremonies. “I want it to get over with. Everyone wants it over,” said Oates, whose debut as head coach of the Washington Capitals is on hold until the lockout is settled. “I’m no different but you have to have a mature outlook about it and I do.” Away from the acrimonious negotiations and squabbling over billions of dollars of hockey related revenue, Sakic, Bure, Oates and Sundin reminded everyone that behind it all hockey is still just a game. From Toronto to Moscow to Stockholm and Washington, each of the inductees reflected on the paths and people that helped them realize their childhood dreams that took them to a place in the hockey shrine. Bure, the Russian Rocket, lit up the NHL with his blazing speed and skill,

five times scoring more than 50 goals in a season, accepted his ring as his mother looked on proudly from the gallery. While Bure was the explosive Russian sniper, Oates was the gifted setup man. Undrafted, a dogged Oates would go onto play 19 NHL season’s collecting 1,079 assists, leaving him sixth on the all-time list. In contrast, Sakic was a can’t miss first round pick of the Quebec Nordiques and remained with the franchise, that later became the Colorado Avalanche, his entire career, winning two Stanley Cups, a Hart trophy as the league’s most valuable player and a Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP. Like most Canadians, the first people Oates and Sakic thanked were their mothers and fathers, who like many hockey parents spent many cold mornings shuttling their kids to games and practises. “My Dad,” answered Oates, without

hesitation when asked who was his biggest influence. “I was a cocky kid and he said, when I didn’t get drafted, I had to start working harder and figure it out.” Sundin, who waited out two NHL work stoppages, spent most of his career as captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs and remains one of the hockey mad city’s most popular athletes. The stoic Swede, knows better than most how much hockey means to Toronto and the impact the current dispute is having on the fans. “It’s sad, as a former player but more importantly as a hockey fan, it‘s obviously very disappointing,” said Sundin, the first Swede to score more than 500 goals and 1,000 points in a career. “I think all hockey fans deserve to have the NHL going on so hopefully both par ties can get to the table and get a deal as soon as possible.” —Reuters

Is Sunday’s F1 race weird enough for Austin, Texas? AUSTIN: As the Texas capital prepares to host the first Grand Prix in the United States in five years, some in laid-back Austin say this weekend’s glamorous race clashes with the city’s soul. In this environmentally-conscious college town of 800,000, where the bumper stickers say “Keep Austin Weird” and there are no professional sports teams, there is widespread opposition to the Formula One race. Some skeptics have come around, embracing the race and the sleek parties that come with it, while others are still shaking their heads over fears of clogged streets, noisy helicopter traffic and a negative impact on the environment, all for a ritzy event they say is simply un-Austin. “Many opponents said that this is kind of the wrong image frivolous emissions, carbon and other pollutants into the air just for amusement purposes - for a city that wants to be seen as the most sustainable city in the United States,” said Tom Smith, director of the Texas office of Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. Officials at Circuit of the Americas, which owns the new racetrack, say they’re working to

minimize the environmental impact of the event and point out that F1 innovations lead to more efficient passenger cars. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs touts the economic impact of the event, which she says will generate some $220 million for the state. And many Austinites are thrilled about the race at the 3.4mile (5.5 kilometre), $400 million track facility southeast of town, as well as a downtown fan festival and concerts by Aerosmith and Enrique Iglesias. “It’s just another thing that makes Austin weird,” said Julie Loignon, a spokeswoman for Circuit of the Americas, adding that F1 was too shiny, too chic for Austin, more of a Dallas-type thing. “Austin is very European, with its politics, its progressive thinking. People are going to come here, buy their boots, let their hair down, and they’re going to have a lovely time.” F1 has not raced in the US since 2007, when the Grand Prix was held at Indianapolis, and teams are eager to return to a country that is a key market for sponsors and car manufacturers but one that the sport has found hard to crack over the years.

A second Grand Prix was planned for New Jersey in 2013 but has been postponed until 2014. F1 is expected to race for a decade at the 20-turn Austin track featuring a steep climb to a hairpin Combs has called “that extraordinary drive up into the heavens.” The fact that the race is in Austin is due in large part to Tavo Hellmund, an Austin-born former race car driver who has a close relationship with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. After working to bring the race to his hometown, Hellmund eventually parted ways with Circuit of the Americas, and there were such serious struggles among race organizers that in late 2011, construction on the track was halted prompting speculation the race may not happen. “For a lot of us longtime Austinites, Formula One is hard to swallow,” City Council Member Chris Riley wrote in the Austin American-Statesman last year. “We’re not that big on fast cars; we’re more into hybrids, electric vehicles, bikes and public transit.” Since then, Riley has warmed to the idea, mostly because the city and Circuit of the Americas signed an environmental agree-

PHOENIX: Suns’ Shannon Brown (left) shoots over Denver Nuggets’ JaVale McGee (34) in the second half of an NBA basketball game. —AP

ment that calls for purchasing carbon offsets, limiting traffic, providing access for cyclists, planting trees, recycling and composting, and allowing electric vehicle research at the track. The City Council’s support of the project was needed to qualify the event for $25 million in state subsidies that race officials can seek after it happens. “If this were just another race car venue, well then, that would detract from our character,” Riley, who plans to bike to the race, told Reuters recently. “On the other hand, if this site becomes known as being the most sustainable racetrack in the world and that’s here in Austin, Texas, that’s a lot closer to the character of the city that we love.” Edgar Farrera was brought on at Circuit of the Americas in January as what he believes is the first circuit sustainability director in the history of Grand Prix. “We’re not trying to tell people, ‘If you want to do something to save the planet, go drive your car very fast,’” Farrera told Reuters. Rather, he said, he’s constantly thinking about how to minimize the impact of crowds, whose traffic and waste will have a bigger environmental impact than the two dozen F1 cars, each of which races on a single tank of gas. And he delicately pointed out that it doesn’t much matter to the environment whether crowds arrive for a sporting event or a music festival. Austin, which calls itself the Live Music Capital of the World, proudly hosts the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the South by Southwest music, film and interactive conferences. Smith of Public Citizen said the track’s environmental initiatives don’t go far enough. “This is a heavily greenwashed race,” Smith said. He added: “As you can tell, I’m not real happy.” State Senator Kirk Watson, a Democrat who is a former Austin mayor, said F1 is just another way the city brings different people together. “In the old days, it might have been rednecks sitting next to hippies,” Watson told Reuters at an opening ceremony for the track. “In this day and age, though, it’s people from all over the world coming to enjoy the spirit of the town.” —Reuters

KQMC delegation off to Dubai’s Arab Motocross Championship KUWAIT: Headed by chairman of board, Sheikh Ali Al-Fawwaz Al-Sabah, Kuwait Quarter Mile Club (KQMC) delegation leaves tomorrow morning to Dubai to take part in the Arab Motocross Championship 2012. The delegation also includes secretary, Fahad Al-Allaj, treasurer Ahmed Al-Qallaf and Ahmed AlQabandi. Commenting on the championship, Sheikh Ali Al-Fawwaz expressed pride in representing Kuwait among twelve other Arab countries and over forty competitors. He added that technical support teams had already left a few days ago with KQMC’s motocross manager, Hamad Al-Sayyed and some

motocross stars like Mohammed Ja’far, Abdullah ALsahatti, Eshari Al-Abdullah, Mo’ath Al-Ansari, Barrak AlJasmi and Faisal Al-Sharqawi, who intend to take part in the MX1 and MX2 races. Further, Al-Fawwaz stressed that KQMC would surely suppor t the Temporar y Arab Motorbikes Federation committee headed by engineer, Mesha’l Bin Fahad Al-Sdairi. He added that he fully trusted the committee and expected that it would lead the Arab Federation to achieve more through organizing and hosting many international championships following the International Motorbikes Federation (FIM).

Sheikh Ali Al-Fawwaz Al-Sabah

Tiger Woods in action in this file photo

Good comeback for Woods, but no comeback award NAPLES: Tiger Woods was on the ballot when the US PGA Tour began voting on its annual awards, but only in one category. Even though Woods missed four months with an Achilles’ heel injury last year, failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs and finished out of the top 125 on the money list for the first time in his career, he is not under consideration as the US PGA Tour comeback player of the year. Neither is anyone else, for that matter. The tour has changed the definition of the award, which began in 1991 and over the years had been given to players who came back from injury (Steve Jones, Steve Pate), a life-threatening illness (Paul Azinger) and bad play (long list, but notably Steve Stricker - twice). Now it will be awarded to a player “who through courage and perseverance has overcome extraordinary adversity, such as a personal tragedy or debilitating illness, to make a significant and meaningful contribution to the game of golf.” The award will be determined by tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and the four players on the policy board, assuming there is a candidate. It is not unprecedented for no one to win the award: There was no one on the ballot in 2009 and 2011. That’s partly due to what now has become a running joke,

with Stricker becoming the only player to win the comeback award in consecutive years - in 2006 after he started the year with limited status and was considered for the Ryder Cup team, and in 2007 when he won a FedEx Cup playoff event and was No. 4 on the money list. Andy Pazder, the tour’s chief of operations, said potential candidates down the road could include Jarrod Lyle, who is in Australia recovering from a recurrence of leukemia, or even someone like Chris Smith, whose life suffered a crushing setback when his wife was killed in a car crash. For Woods - and J.B. Holmes, who had brain surgery last year - there was little doubt they were going to return to play. Rory McIlroy is virtually certain to be voted tour player of the year after winning four times, including an eight-shot victory at the US PGA Championship and backto-back wins in the FedEx Cup playoffs. He also won the money title (in the US and in Europe) and the Vardon Trophy. John Huh is the leading candidate for rookie of the year. He won in Mexico in an opposite-field event, which wasn’t nearly as impressive as Ted Potter Jr. winning The Greenbrier Classic. What was in Huh’s favor was that he started the FedEx Cup playoffs at No. 25 and was the only rookie to make it to the Tour Championship. —AP

McIlroy piles up more honors LOS ANGELES: World number one Rory McIlroy added further accolades to his already bulging resume when he was named winner of the PGA of America Player of the Year award and the Vardon Trophy on Monday. The 23-year-old Northern Irishman, who clinched his second major title with a record eight-shot victory at the PGA Championship in August, was always likely to land both honors after triumphing a season-high four times on the 2012 PGA Tour. McIlroy followed in the footsteps of his Ryder Cup team mate Luke Donald when he became the second player to win the money list titles in both Europe and the United States. He is also a heavy favorite to become the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year, which is voted upon by tour members and scheduled to be announced early next month. McIlroy comfortably held off the challenge of Americans Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar to claim PGA of America Player of the Year honours. He finished with 100 points while Woods ended up with 66, Masters champion Watson and Dufner each totalled 50, Snedeker earned 36 and Kuchar 34. McIlroy won the Vardon Trophy, first presented in 1937, with an adjusted scoring average of 68.87. Jim Furyk was second on 69.30 and Dufner third (69.45).

McIlroy, who secured the European Tour Race to Dubai title by finishing third at the Singapore Open on Sunday, is vying with Woods, Dufner, FedExCup champion Snedeker and Watson for the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year award. Those five players were named on Monday as the final nominees for the prestigious Jack Nicklaus Award. The nominees for Rookie of the Year were Charlie Beljan, Jonas Blixt, Bud Cauley, John Huh and Ted Potter Jr. When all is said and done, though, McIlroy will overshadow everyone else after his stellar 2012 campaign. The richly talented Northern Irishman has made a habit of beating the game’s best style in when given the chance and he claimed PGA Tour victories this season at the Honda Classic, PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship. McIlroy clinched the Arnold Palmer Award as the PGA Tour’s leading money winner, with earnings of $8,047,952, and was delighted to follow that up with the European Tour order of merit on Sunday with two events remaining. “Winning a second major already made it a fabulous season, but then to follow Luke in becoming number one in both Europe and the States is the icing on the cake after a fabulous season,” the 23-yearold told reporters. —Reuters




South Africa force draw in first Test Clarke makes 259 not out before declaring

DHAKA: West Indies’ Shivnarine Chanderpaul (left) and Kieran Powell run between the wickets during the first day of the first cricket Test match against Bangladesh.—AP

Powell, Chanderpaul hit tons as West Indies seize control DHAKA: Kieran Powell and Shivnarine Chanderpaul struck centuries to push West Indies towards a big total in the first innings of the first Test against Bangladesh yesterday. The tourists reached 361-4 at the close on the opening day with Chanderpaul unbeaten on 123 alongside Denesh Ramdin (52 not out), having completed his 26th test century. Powell was earlier out for 117 after Bangladesh had put West Indies in a spot of trouble with three wickets in the morning session. The left-hander, making his second century, added 125 runs with Chanderpaul for the fourth wicket as the duo batted out the second session to restore order for West Indies, who won the toss and elected to bat. “I think we definitely won this day,” Powell told the reporters. “Two guys getting centuries, 350 on the board and only four wickets down, it is a commanding position to press on for a good total. “Generally we look at 400 in the first innings, but from this position, 500-plus should be a good total.” The home side opened the bowling with debutant Sohag Gazi, who was greeted by Chris Gayle with a big six over long-on off his very first delivery. Gayle hit him for another six in the fourth ball to finish the first over with 18

runs on the board but Gazi had the last laugh when he took the wicket of the lefthander in the fifth over. Mahmudullah took the catch at long-off as Gayle mistimed off a flighted delivery to depart for 24. Gazi thought he had other opener Powell for seven but the left-hander was given a reprieve after the ball hit the helmet of the silly point fielder before heading towards Rubel Hossain, who dived to his left for a sharp catch. Darren Bravo, however, had no such luck as the same fielder took the catch off Gazi to dismiss him on 14. Bangladesh took the honours in the opening session when Shahadat Hossain dismissed Marlon Samuels for 16 with Gazi this time showing his skill as a fielder by taking a diving catch in the deep. The hosts’ advantage slipped away though in the wicketless second session dominated by Powell and Chanderpaul. Powell completed his century sweeping left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan to the fine-leg boundary to go to the break on 115 not out. The 22-year old, however, could add only two runs to his score on the resumption after tea before he missed the line of a Gazi delivery and was clean bowled. His 178-ball innings contained 18 fours and a six off Gazi over mid-off. —Reuters

SCOREBOARD DHAKA: Scoreboard at close on the first day of the first test between Bangladesh and West Indies at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on yesterday: West Indies first innings C. Gayle c Mahmudullah b Gazi K. Powell b Gazi D. Bravo c Rubel b Gazi M.Samuels c Gazi b Shahadat S. Chanderpaul not out D. Ramdin not out Extras (lb-7 w-1 nb-7)

24 117 14 16 123 52 15

Total (four wickets; 90 overs) 361 To bat: D. Sammy, S. Narine, V. Permaul, T. Best, R. Rampaul. Fall of wickets: 1-32 2-74 3-106 4-231 Bowling (to date): Sohag Gazi 32-6-97-3, Shahadat Hossain 14-0-73-1 (nb-7), Rubel Hossain 9-0-54-0 (w-1), Mahmudullah 7-0-290, Shakib Al Hasan 19-2-69-0, Naeem Islam 81-24-0, Nasir Hossain 1-0-8-0.

MARCOUSSIS: France’s rugby union national team players take part in a training session as part of the preparation for the upcoming second test match against Argentina.—AFP

All Blacks, not McCaw, are our concern: Favaro MILAN: Flanker Simone Favaro says Italy will be concentrating on the collective challenge of world champions the All Blacks, and not just legendary captain Richie McCaw, when the teams meet in Rome on Saturday. Italy started their three-test autumn series with an edgy 28-23 win over a feisty Tonga on Saturday. Although Azzurri coach Jacques Brunel looked for the positives after a game in which several regulars did not appear until the second half, captain Sergio Parisse gave a stark appraisal of their performance. “It’s an important week for us, we’ll regroup and train for next week in calm conditions but we can’t play like that for 80 minutes against the All Blacks,” said Parisse. It may have been less than perfect preparation ahead of meeting the world’s most successful rugby team for the 12th time, less than a week after their 51-22 defeat of Scotland. But Treviso flanker Favaro says Italy are relishing the challenge, and their resolve

will remain the same whether McCaw plays or not. “We’re challenging the world champions, the team that plays the best rugby and the one all rugby players dream of playing against,” said Favaro, an unused replacement against Tonga at the weekend. “The fact we’re playing New Zealand has changed the whole atmosphere in the team, which is great. “We have a chance to understand the level we’re at... playing against the All Blacks is an important test for all of our players.” New Zealand could have rested flanker McCaw ahead of more testing challenges in upcoming games against Six Nations Grand Slam winners Wales then England, but he could now be a starter if Adam Thomson is banned. A decision on Thomson, cited for stamping on the head of Scotland loose forward Alasdair Strokosch early in the second half of their win at Murrayfield, is expected Wednesday. “We’re playing against New Zealand as a whole, we really don’t care whether he (McCaw) plays or not,” said Favaro.—AFP

BRISBANE: South Africa were forced to scrap their way through an uncomfortable final day of the first test against a Michael Clarke-inspired Australia on Tuesday to save a match they had once looked like winning. Australia captain Clarke, who made a brilliant unbeaten 259, declared on 565 for five midway through the morning session of the final day with a first innings lead of 115 but his bowlers were unable to make the inroads they needed to force a result. Jacques Rudolph was adjudged lbw to spinner Nathan Lyon to give the hosts a late glimmer of hope but AB de Villiers (29) and Vernon Philander (one) ushered the tourists to safety at the close of play on 166-5. The Australians may have come up short but they will take a great deal of confidence from their performance against the number one test side in the world into the last two matches of the series in Adelaide and Perth. “Our attitude was spot on today with the ball,” said Clarke, who was named Man of the Match. “We were quite aggressive with our approach. I think we bowled a lot better today and we seemed to get better through this test match. “So there are a lot of positives come of this test. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a win, but we can certainly use the momentum that we take from this game to Adelaide.” Clarke, who resumed on 218 with his team on 487-4, again sparkled with the bat in the morning sunshine, adding 41 runs to his personal tally and taking the record for the highest individual score at the Gabba. To have any chance of the win was a remarkable turnaround for Australia, who were reeling at 40-3 when Clarke took the crease on Sunday afternoon. “All in all, I think for me a draw was an even reflection on how the surface played,” said South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who rued the day lost to rain when South Africa were in control. “I felt we were ahead of the game going into day four, we just never quite backed up well enough. Michael and (Ed) Cowan played really well, took the game to us, and we didn’t quite respond in the way I’ve got use to our guys responding.” Having declared, James Pattinson, the pick of Australia’s bowlers, gave them an early breakthrough by having opener Alviro Petersen caught behind by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade for five to leave South Africa on 6-1. The 22-year-old seamer also bowled Hashim Amla for seven before lunch but the world’s number one batsman was brought back to the crease for a no ball, the fourth wicket to be saved by the same infraction in the match. The second wicket also came off Pattinson, who had a fiery exchange with Smith (23) before tempting the South African captain into an outside edge that Rob Quiney claimed well at gully. Australia fruitlessly used both of their referrals as they ramped up the pressure on the South Africans and just when Amla and Jacques Kallis looked to be getting on top of the bowlers, they were separated. Amla aimed a loose shot at a Peter Siddle delivery he could have left and the ball went straight to Mike Hussey at short cover. Jacques Kallis, who backed up his first innings

BRISBANE: South Africa’s Hashim Amla is clean bowled before the decision was reversed due to a no ball during day-five of the first cricket Test against Australia.—AP 147 with a 49, appeared on course to guide South Africa to safety but fell to spinner Lyon with Clarke taking an excellent low catch in the slips. By then, however, Australia’s chance of a win was all but gone. Clarke, 31, had shared a partnership of 228 with Hussey, who reached his 17th test century in a quickfire 128 balls with a rushed single, before being dismissed on the next delivery he faced. Morne Morkel claimed the wicket, his third,

with substitute fielder Faf du Plessis taking a fine catch at full stretch at short cover. Clarke was not going to be outshone, though, and he crashed a Dale Steyn delivery back over the bowler’s head to bring up his 250 with his 28th four. His third double century of the year, which came from 398 deliveries in 582 minutes, eclipsed the 235 England’s Alastair Cook scored at the Gabba in the opening test of the Ashes series two years ago.—Reuters

SCOREBOARD BRISBANE: Scoreboard after the first test between Australia and South Africa ended in a draw at the Gabba on yesterday: South Africa first innings 450 all out* (J. Kallis 147, H. Amla 104, A. Petersen 64; J. Pattinson 3-93) Australia first innings (overnight 487-4) E. Cowan run out 136 D. Warner c Kallis b Steyn 4 R. Quiney c Steyn b Morkel 9 R. Ponting c Kallis b Morkel 0 M. Clarke not out 259 M. Hussey c sub b Morkel 100 M. Wade not out 19 Extras (lb-14, w-1, nb-23) 38 Total (for 5 wickets dec, 138 overs) 565 Fall of wickets: 1-13 2-30 3-40 4-299 5-527 Did not bat: P. Siddle, B. Hilfenhaus, J. Pattinson, N. Lyon. Bowling: Steyn 30-3-129-1 (nb-1), Philander 30-3-103-0 (nb-8), Morkel 31-6-127-3 (nb-2), Kleinveldt 21-1-97-0 (nb-12, w-1), Kallis 12-330-0, Smith 9-0-36-0, Amla 2-0-9-0, Petersen 3-0-20-0.

South Africa second innings A. Petersen c Wade b Pattinson 5 G. Smith c Quiney b Pattinson 23 H. Amla c Hussey b Siddle 38 J. Kallis c Clarke b Lyon 49 AB de Villiers not out 29 J. Rudolph lbw Lyon 11 V. Philander not out 1 Extras (b-2, w-4, nb-4) 10 Total (for five wickets; 68 overs) 166 Fall of wickets: 1-6 2-55 3-102 4-129 5-165 Did not bat: D. Steyn, R. Kleinveldt, M. Morkel. Bowling: Hilfenhaus 15-3-26-0 (w-1), Pattinson 19-3-58-2 (w-3, nb-2), Siddle 17-436-1 (nb-2), Lyon 13-5-41-2, Quiney 4-3-3-0. * South Africa’s JP Duminy was injured and unable to bat in either innings. Result: Match drawn Man of the Match: Michael Clarke

England set for tough spin test in India AHMEDABAD: England face a perilous trial by spin as they bid to win their first Test series in India in 27 years when the four-match contest opens in Ahmedabad tomorrow. The newly-laid wicket at the Motera stadium, expected to assist spin over the five days, will suit a home team desperate to avenge the 4-0 humiliation in England last year. England proved vulnerable against the turning ball away from home this year, losing 3-0 to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in January-February before forcing a 1-1 draw in Sri Lanka in March. The tourists now confront an Indian side that usually makes up for its poor record abroad by dominating all comers on home soil where they have lost just one series out of 16 in the past 10 years. India will use two frontline spinners-possibly three if a rank turner is provided-to bamboozle England in the four Tests in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkata and Nagpur. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has taken 42 wickets in five home Tests, and slow left-armer Pragyan Ojha, 63 from 12 games at home, will be skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s main weapons. Waiting in the wings is recalled off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, whose 406 scalps in 98 Tests make him the world’s leading wicket-taker among the current crop of bowlers. Dhoni, under pressure to deliver after India’s two successive 4-0 defeats in England and Australia, has openly called on groundsmen across India to prepare turning wickets that will shake-up the tourists. Former England batting great Geoffrey Boycott gave Alastair Cook’s men no chance to emulate David Gower’s men, the last English team to win a Test series in India way back in 1985. “England have not convinced anyone that they can play the turning ball,” Boycott told the Cricinfo website recently. “I don’t think they have convinced themselves. Nobody in their right mind can back England.” The tourists go into the first Test with all their top batsmen finding form in the three warm-up matches, albeit against mediocre opposition lacking top-class spin bowlers.

AHMEDABAD: India’s Yuvraj Singh holds a ball during a practice session. India and England are scheduled to play four cricket tests. —AP Cook, the recalled Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Samit Patel and Jonny Bairstow have all hit centuries, while Nick Compton set himself up for a debut in Ahmedabad with three successive half-centuries. James Anderson will spearhead the pace attack which is expected to be at fullstrength after Steven Finn and Stuart Broad recovered sufficiently from injuries to make themselves available for selection. Off-spinner Graeme Swann, who flew home briefly to attend to his sick daughter, will return as the frontline slow bowler with support from Patel and Monty Panesar. India had an emphatic 2-0 Test win at home against lowly New Zealand in August before being ousted in the second round of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. Sachin Tendulkar’s future will be a talking point during the series after the record-breaking batsman admitted last month that the

clock was ticking on his 23-year career. Tendulkar, who has scored an unprecedented 100 international centuries, has now gone 25 innings without a Test hundred since making 146 against South Africa in Cape Town in January 2011. He was bowled in all three innings against New Zealand with a top score of just 27, raising fears that age may finally be catching up with him. Another poor display against England could hasten Tendulkars’ exit, leaving a gaping hole in a middle order already wobbling after the retirement of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman this year. Tendulkar cautioned India against taking England lightly, saying his team’s dominant home record will not count when the first ball in the series is bowled tomorrow. “Whatever happened in the past does not matter,” he said recently. “England are a good side and it will be a close and interesting series.”—AFP




Rebuilding Scotland face Stark options GLASGOW: Scotland caretaker-manager Billy Stark’s hopes of giving the country’s football followers a much-needed boost have been dealt a blow by a host of withdrawals from his squad to face Luxembourg today. The Scots are due to face the minnows in a friendly at the Stade Josy Barthel in their first match since manager Craig Levein was sacked last week after their hopes of qualifying for their first major tournament in 14 years were left in tatters. Former Scotland international Levein, paid for a poor run of results that saw him record just three wins from 12 competitive matches at the helm of the national side. The SFA board fired the former Dundee United and Hearts boss following a defeat against Belgium last month that

left Scotland bottom of their World Cup qualifying group with just two points from their opening four matches and all but ended their chances of appearing at the 2014 finals in Brazil. It was just the latest blow to the game in Scotland which has had a lot to contend with in 2012. Glasgow giants Rangers were liquidated following a period in administration and now the relaunched club languish in the country’s Third Division as they rebuild from the bottom tier. The same fate could await Scottish Cup holders Hearts, where financial problems and a tax demand for almost £450,000 has put the club under serious threat. Celtic’s performances in the Champions League has been one of the year’s only bright spots and defeat for the national team against minnows

Luxembourg would be a further setback for the game. Under-21 coach Stark, is the man charged with leading the country while the hunt for a new manager continues but the team he sends out on Wednesday will have an experimental look about it after the squad was decimated by nine withdrawals. Goalkeeper David Marshall, defender Phil Bardsley, midfielders James Morrison, Shaun Maloney, Charlie Adam, Matt Phillips, Barry Bannan as well as strikers Steven Fletcher and Jamie Mackie have all pulled out. However, Stark has used this opportunity to draft in several uncapped players. Inverness midfielder Andrew Shinnie, Hibernian striker and SPL top-scorer Leigh Griffiths and Kilmarnock midfielder Liam Kelly have been called up for the

first time while Huddersfield left-back Paul Dixon and St Mirren goalkeeper Craig Samson return to the squad. Hearts utility man Darren Barr, who has one cap, and uncapped St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson have also been called up. “Obviously at this stage of the season, with players playing weekend and midweek, niggles and strains and withdrawals are to be expected,” the caretaker manager said. “This match gives us an opportunity to look at players who maybe have not had experience of the international set-up but who have been in tremendous form at their clubs. “I want the focus to be on football. We’d all love a magical formula to make people feel better. That’s going to be a longer process. “For the players it can start today,

hopefully. I know we’re not going to say everything is great if it’s a positive result but it’s the only incremental step that we look to at the moment. “You look at the game and what’s expected and, in this instance, the expectation would be that we should always beat Luxembourg but you have to be careful and make the people who aren’t involved in football realise how difficult it can be. “For starters, you need to get goals to win and the other side will be desperately trying to stop us scoring. Whether that’s Luxembourg or Belgium, that’s a hurdle that still needs to be overcome. “Luxembourg will try to frustrate us, work really hard and have a good spirit about them so there are a lot of things we need to overcome, not least our own circumstances, with the game coming so soon after Craig (Levein) leaving.”—AFP

Chelsea: Players didn’t mishear ref’s alleged slur

STOCKHOLM: England’s midfielder Ashley Young (left), striker Raheem Sterling (second left), defender Gary Cahill (second right) and defender Leighton Baines take part in a training session on the eve of the friendly match against Sweden. —AFP

England to experiment against Sweden LONDON: A raft of injury-enforced withdrawals means England coach Roy Hodgson has no choice but to experiment in his side’s final game of 2012 away to Sweden today. Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon and Jonjo Shelvey all pulled out of the squad on Sunday, after Ashley Cole, Joleon Lescott, James Milner, Frank Lampard and Jack Rodwell had already been declared unavailable. Hodgson was rebuffed in his attempts to select Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe and Arsenal winger Alex OxladeChamberlain due to fitness concerns, and having elected to omit midfielders Gareth Barry and Michael Carrick, he finds himself left with an inexperienced squad for the friendly. The chief beneficiaries are likely to be the newcomers and the players on the periphery of Hodgson’s plans for the 2014 World Cup. Everton midfielder Leon Osman, Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson and 20-year-old Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha have all been called up for the first time. They join Spurs defender Steven Caulker, Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand, Stoke City centre-back Ryan Shawcross, Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling and Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster in hoping to be awarded a first cap. Rooney’s withdrawal, after he injured his ankle in Manchester United’s 3-2 win at Aston Villa on Saturday, could open the door for Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge to win his first international start. The former Manchester City striker has started just once for Chelsea this season, with Fernando Torres consistently preferred in attack, and he says he is grateful that Hodgson continues to show faith in him. “I am thankful for the manager choosing

me and giving me the showcase to show what I am capable of,” said Sturridge, who has made three substitute appearances for England. “When he got the job he made it clear it was not always about players who are starting for the team and if he believes in you, he will choose you for his squad.” At the other end of the experience spectrum, Steven Gerrard is set to win his 100th cap when he leads the team out as captain at Stockholm’s new Friends Arena. The Liverpool man will become only the sixth man to reach the 100-cap threshold for England, after Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Billy Wright. He could be partnered in midfield by Jack Wilshere, who returns to the fold after a 17-month injury lay-off, although Hodgson has promised Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger that he will use the 20-yearold sparingly. Hodgson began his coaching career in Sweden, working at Halmstads, Orebro and Malmo, and he led England to a 3-2 win over Wednesday’s opponents when they met in the group phase at Euro 2012 in June. Like England, Sweden have made an unbeaten start to their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, and with coach Erik Hamren having selected a strong squad, Hodgson says he anticipates a keenly contested match. “I think the rivalry between Sweden and England has been a fierce one and Sweden have made life very difficult for England over the years,” he told FATV. “Their record against us is very good and they’ll certainly be interested on this occasion to get some revenge for the defeat in the Euros.” Sweden’s last outing saw them rally from four goals down to draw 4-4 with Germany in an unforgettable encounter in Berlin last month.—AFP

Huntelaar tips Dutch revenge over Germans AMSTERDAM: Striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is tipping the Netherlands to beat Germany and let him taste victory over the Germans at the third attempt when the Dutch host their injury-hit neighbors today. “Netherlands against Germany is always a special game,” said the 29-year-old Schalke 04 striker. “The fans will be fully behind us and we want to win it. I say: 1-0 to the Netherlands.” Germany have lost six first-choice players over the weekend with defenders Jerome Boateng, Marcel Schmelzer, Holger Badstuber, plus midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and striker Miroslav Klose. The loss of vice-captain Schweinsteiger, Germany’s midfield general, and 34-yearold Klose, the lone striker in the squad, will significantly weaken the German attack, while head coach Joachim Loew will need to shuffle his defence. Klose’s withdrawal means his bid to become Germany’s all-time record goalscorer-he is currently one behind Gerd Mueller’s tally of 68 goals-will have to wait. Loew had already called up as replacements Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Sven Bender and Eintracht Frankfurt defender Sebastien Jung, and has now been forced to add Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby as emergency cover. The hosts have injury concerns of their own as Manchester United star striker Robin van Persie withdrew with a thigh injury, despite playing the full 90 minutes

of his team’s 3-2 Premier League win at Aston Villa on Saturday. Coach Louis van Gaal has called up Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost as a replacement but Van Persie’s departure clears the way for Huntelaar to start. Huntelaar has a better scoring record for his country with 34 goals in 59 matches, compared to Van Persie’s 31 in 71 games. Holland want revenge over the Germans after losing 2-1 to their neighbours at Euro 2012 having been thrashed 3-0 in a friendly last November. “This is a new game, in those two matches we had no chances to win,” said Huntelaar. “Since then we have changed a lot, with new faces and young players in the team. “We have a lot of potential, and we will see in this game, where we are with the national team. “For us, it is a good test to play against such a good team like Germany.” While Holland enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 win in Romania on their last international on October 16, Germany were involved in one of the most remarkable games in their rich 104-year history in the 4-4 draw with Sweden in Berlin. Having taken a 4-0 lead, the German defence leaked four goals in 30 minutes and Loew will want to see a sharp improvement in his team’s defence. With no recognised striker in his squad, Loew will have to experiment with Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Marco Reus likely to be given a more forward role.—AFP

LONDON: Chelsea went public for the first time yesterday with detailed racial abuse allegations against a referee, insisting there was no misunderstanding and that its players heard Mark Clattenburg use the word “monkey” during a Premier League match. Chairman Bruce Buck opted to end Chelsea’s public silence on the claims that raises new concerns about football’s fight against racism despite ongoing investigations by the English Football Association and police into the events during last month’s match against Manchester United. The European champions have been criticized for lodging a complaint with the FA while still backing captain John Terry, who has just served a four-match ban for racially abusing an opponent. But Buck said in an interview with the London Evening Standard that Chelsea had a duty to report the allegations after black midfielders John Obi Mikel and Ramires said they heard the offending word. “Suppose we had tried to sweep this under the rug and said to the various players, ‘Look, it’s not a big deal and the press are going to be all over us, maybe you want to reconsider,’” Buck was quoted as saying in yesterday’s edition of the paper. “If that had leaked out, we would’ve really been crucified.” Buck is sure the allegations are not baseless, amid suggestions the players might have misheard Clattenburg. “I spoke to the players involved, either because they were allegedly the recipient of that abuse or had heard it, three separate times,” the American lawyer said. “I asked them if they could be mistaken. I asked them if they might have heard ‘Mikel’ instead of ‘monkey.’ I thought I had covered that base. “Looking into the players’ eyes, I could see they were unhappy but no player or staff demanded that we file a complaint. They

Referee Mark Clattenburg gave us their statements. The decision was made by us, the Chelsea management.” The decision was taken without considering how it would be connected to Terry’s ban for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand last year yet still retaining the captaincy. “The press seem to juxtapose ‘our support’ of John Terry and what’s going on here, and looking at us as being a bit hypocritical,” Buck said. “We have to divorce the John Terry situation from this. From our perspective, the latest situation was pretty straightforward. “We have an obligation to report what may be misconduct. We did that, in good faith and not maliciously.” Chelsea’s complaint against Clattenburg has been criticized by Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who said he doesn’t believe the allegations. United won the match at Stamford Bridge 3-2 with Javier Hernandez

scoring from an offside position after Chelsea duo Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres had been sent off. “The reaction has been very unfair,” Buck said. “We weren’t interested in any confrontation with the referee or anybody else, had no thoughts of revenge on the referee. He made two obvious mistakes (sending Torres off and allowing Hernandez’s goal) which changed the tide. “I felt we had the moral high ground, so I didn’t really feel that bad about the defeat or have that feeling in my stomach.” Clattenburg has not refereed since the allegations arose, although he resumed training on Monday with other topflight officials. A decision is set to be made this week about whether the FA will charge Clattenburg. The police investigation was prompted by a complaint by the Society of Black Lawyers.—AP

Prandelli: Balotelli could lead Italy’s attack against France MILAN: Italy coach Cesare Prandelli could help Mario Balotelli get over his Manchester City blues by starting the striker in a new two-man attack when the Azzurri host France in a friendly in Parma today. Balotelli returned to the Italy squad for the last batch of World Cup qualifiers against Armenia and Denmark following his absence in September due to an untimely eye operation. But in England the 22-year-old Italy striker remains an enigma. Balotelli was left out of Roberto Mancini’s 18-man City squad at the weekend for a 2-1 win against Tottenham, prompting suggestions he could be set to quit the English champions. Indeed, Balotelli attracted more headlines for showing up to training with a Bentley car that had been given a camouflage vinyl wrap treatment. In Parma, Prandelli could help end Balotelli’s frustrations by partnering him with AC

PARIS: France’s soccer team players Mathieu Valbuena (left) and Franck Ribery run during a training session. France will face Italy in a friendly soccer match today.—AP

Milan sensation Stephan El Shaarawy as Italy test their World Cup credentials against the team they beat to the title in 2006. At a training session on Monday, Balotelli played alongside Roma’s Mattia Destro, but Prandelli explained: “I tried Balotelli and Destro together because they are the only ones, along with (midfielder, Emanuele) Giaccherini not to have played ninety minutes. “But the idea is to try to unearth a new attack.” Sitting top of Group B with 10 points from four of their 10 qualifiers, Italy look well poised to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. But Prandelli’s search for the formation that works best in his all new, attack-minded team-which has replaced Italy’s defensive tradition of ‘catenaccio’-continues. After steering Italy against all odds to the Euro 2012 final, and a subsequent 4-0 defeat to Spain, Prandelli has experimented with 3-5-2 and 4-3-1-2 formations. He has made only one notable change in defence for today with Federico Peluso of Atalanta being called up to the squad in place of injured Zenit St Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito. Peluso, who scored in the 2-0 win over Malta in September, will be vying for a place amid Juventus trio Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, as well as Roma’s Federico Balzaretti. It is Prandelli’s midfield, however, that perhaps best exemplifies Italy’s new approach. Andrea Pirlo is the midfield orchestrator who provides quality at set-pieces while Juve teammate Claudio Marchisio, who plays on the right, has hit a rich vein of form and should prove a handful in and around the area. With Daniele De Rossi on the left and Riccardo Montolivo just behind the strikers, Prandelli has a potent midfield at his disposal, although De Rossi is absent for Wednesday after being handed a three-match ban Monday. Prandelli said: “At the start of this quest we looked for things that would propel us forward. “And apart from our tactical game we saw that we have the potential for a really strong midfield. We’ve tried to develop this to create a more attractive game.” France, who have the same points at the top of Group I as fellow qualifying candidates Spain, are also in a strong qualifying position and should put Prandelli’s players to the test. Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps is set to go with a four-man defence although questions remain over who will spearhead his attack. Balotelli, meanwhile, could be given the

chance to find out if he can produce the magic alongside 20-year-old El Shaarawy, who sits joint top of the Serie A scoring charts along with Napoli’s Edinson Cavani, on eight goals from 12 games.—AFP

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

WC2014 Qualifying - Asia Oman v Japan Aljazeera Sport +1 Iraq v Jordan Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport +7 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Qatar v Lebanon Aljazeera Sport +1 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Aljazeera Sport +4 Iran v Uzbekistan Aljazeera Sport +1

14:30 16:00



Friendlies Saudi Arabia v Argentina 20:00 Saudi Sports 1 Saudi Sports HD 1 Aljazeera Sport +2 Saudi Sports HD 2 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Morocco v Togo 22:00 Aljazeera Sport +7 Turkey v Denmark 22:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport +10 Netherlands v Germany 22:30 Aljazeera Sport +6 Austria v Ivory Coast 22:30 Aljazeera Sport +4 Sweden v England 22:30 Aljazeera Sport +5 Italy v France 22:50 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD

South Africa force draw in first Test

Heat scorch Rockets




Prandelli: Balotelli could lead Italy’s attack against France

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LONDON: Novak Djokovic (right) of Serbia holds the winners ATP World Tour tennis trophy as he stand next to runner-up Roger Federer of Switzerland as they pose for the photographers following their singles final match.—AP

Djokovic reigns supreme in London LONDON: The world’s top three players all scaled dizzy heights in 2012 but Novak Djokovic ended the year staring down at his rivals after grinding down Roger Federer to win the ATP World Tour Finals title in brutal fashion at London’s O2 Arena on Monday. The 25-year-old shed sweat and blood before dethroning Federer 7-6 7-5 in a showdown that provided a memorable climax to an incredible men’s season. Since winning a fifth grand slam title at the Australian Open in a near six-hour epic against Rafa Nadal back in January, Djokovic’s reign has come under attack from both Federer and Britain’s Andy Murray, but after beating both in London he is clearly still the dominant force going into 2013. World number two Federer has been all but unbeatable in the tourna-

ment since it switched to London in 2009 and was seeking a hat-trick of titles at the eye-catching Thames-side dome. With the majority of the 17,000 crowd cheering for the Swiss maestro he forged healthy leads in both sets with some typical brilliance but was eventually stopped in his tracks by the Serb. Djokovic, who had lost his last two meetings with the 17-times grand slam champion and trailed 16-12 in career meetings dating back to 2006, found himself 3-0 down after eight minutes and then faced a 5-3 deficit in the second. Both times Djokovic dug deep, reeled in the Swiss stylist, then hammered him into submission to seal victory in two hours 14 minutes. “I’ve experienced his aggressivity (sic) before, really trying to make his mark on the match,” Djokovic

told reporters. “I tried to convince myself that I will turn it around and fight. It happened again. I managed to deliver my best when I needed it most.” It was his first title at the ATP’s blue riband event since 2008 in Shanghai and with it came the $1.76m jackpot for going through the elite tournament with a 100 percent record having won all his roundrobin matches. For 31-year-old Federer, who claimed his seventh Wimbledon title this year and temporarily dislodged Djokovic from the No.1 spot to break Pete Sampras’s record of 286 weeks at the top of the rankings, there was frustration but few regrets. “You have to get over the finish line in the set and then obviously in the match,” Federer, who also reached the Olympic singles final where he was beaten by

Steelers edge Chiefs PITTSBURGH: The Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to rely on their defense to eke out a hard-fought 16-13 overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday after the home team lost talismanic quarterback Ben Roethlisberger through injury. In a rain-soaked war of attrition in which Kansas City forced overtime with a late fourth-quarter drive, Pittsburgh ended the Chiefs’ resistance soon after when a Lawrence Timmons interception set up Shaun Suisham’s 23-yard winning field goal.

Shaun Suisham (left) is tackled in this file photo

The Steelers (6-3) needed just 51 seconds of the extra session to seal a fourth straight victory that kept them one game behind the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens. “We’re a team, we’re going to back each other up,” Timmons told reporters. “We had each other’s back, and we got the win.” Pittsburgh were expected to easily see off the struggling Chiefs (1-8) but the game did not follow the script and the home team battled to overcome a 10-0 deficit and a Roethlisberger shoulder injury that ended his game in the third quarter. Roethlisberger tossed a first-half touchdown to Mike Wallace to tie the game at 10-10 at halftime but his duties were turned over to back-up Byron Leftwich after taking a big hit on the opening drive of the second half. Roethlisberger left the stadium with his arm in a sling, and will undergo further tests with his team mates fearing he could miss future games. “I asked him if he was alright. He didn’t say anything, he just ran to the locker room,” said Pittsburgh offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey. “Hopefully, everything pulls through. We need him.” The Chiefs surprised Pittsburgh early and completed a strong first-quarter drive with a 12-yard touchdown run from Jamaal Charles. The 7-0 advantage was Kansas City’s first lead of regulation this season as their only win came via an overtime triumph against New Orleans on Sept. 23. The Chiefs added a field goal for a 10-0 edge in the second after Steelers running back Isaac Redman lost a fumble. Roethlisberger, however led his team back, getting a 35-yard field goal from Suisham before he connected with Wallace to tie it at 10-10. The Steelers edged 13-10 ahead early in the fourth quarter before Kansas City rallied on their final drive to set up Ryan Succop’s game-tying 46-yard field goal. Kansas City could not celebrate long as quarterback Matt Cassel made a poor throw that found Timmons and extended the Chiefs’ troubles with their sixth successive defeat. The play was Kansas City’s only turnover of the game even though they lead the NFL in the category. Charles finished with 100 yards rushing, but Cassel completed just 11 of 26 passes for the Chiefs. Roethlisberger had just 84 yards passing while Leftwich had 73. “I believe that’s why they have me here,” Leftwich said. “If something ever happens to Ben, we don’t have to change anything we just go out there and play. “I have to make sure I’m ready if he can’t go.”—Reuters

Andy Murray, told reporters. “He was better at that today. “It was great intensity, a good crowd. So it was fun playing. I think it’s been a fantastic season to be part of.” Federer ended the season with 71 match wins, reaching 10 finals, while Djokovic outstripped his stellar 2011, when he won three of the four grand slam titles, with his victory over Federer taking his tally to 75. It was only the fourth time in the tournament’s 43-year history that the world’s top two players had contested the season’s final and a fluctuating and unpredictable clash lived up to its pre-match billing. Federer, seeking a record-extending seventh title, won the first nine points of the match on the way to a 3-0 lead. The Swiss maestro, all smooth movement and silky racquet skills, could hardly

believe his luck as nearly every ball Djokovic struck early on ended in the net or out. It was not long before battle was joined, however. Djokovic quickly wiped off the deficit to level at 3-3 and then served for the first set at 5-4 having broken Federer in a marathon ninth game of six deuces when forehand errors began to flow off the Swiss’s racquet. Djokovic failed to convert a set point though when his own forehand misfired and in the next game Federer drew blood, literally, when he had the Serb twisting and turning and finally landing in a painful heap on the blue-surfaced indoor court. He needed treatment on a cut elbow at the changeover but returned to the fray to hold for 6-6 and then edged the tiebreak 8-6 despite Federer saving a

NFL standings AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE AFC EAST W L T OTL PF PA New England 6 3 0 0 299 201 Miami 4 5 0 2 173 186 NY Jets 3 6 0 1 175 228 Buffalo 3 6 0 0 211 285 AFC NORTH Baltimore 7 2 0 0 254 196 Pittsburgh 6 3 0 0 207 177 Cincinnati 4 5 0 0 220 231 Cleveland 2 7 0 0 169 211 AFC SOUTH Houston 8 1 0 0 250 143 Indianapolis 6 3 0 0 186 201 Tennessee 4 6 0 1 219 311 Jacksonville 1 8 0 2 127 246 AFC WEST Denver 6 3 0 0 271 189 San Diego 4 5 0 0 209 191 Oakland 3 6 0 0 191 284 Kansas City 1 8 0 1 146 256 NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE NFC EAST NY Giants 6 4 0 0 267 216 Dallas 4 5 0 0 188 204 Philadelphia 3 6 0 1 156 221 Washington 3 6 0 0 226 248 NFC NORTH Chicago 7 2 0 0 242 133 Green Bay 6 3 0 0 239 187 Minnesota 6 4 0 0 238 221 Detroit 4 5 0 1 216 222 NFC SOUTH Atlanta 8 1 0 0 247 174 Tampa Bay 5 4 0 0 260 209 New Orleans 4 5 0 1 249 256 Carolina 2 7 0 0 163 216 NFC WEST San Francisco 6 2 1 0 213 127 Seattle 6 4 0 0 198 161 Arizona 4 5 0 1 144 173 St. Louis 3 5 1 0 161 210

second set point with an incredible reflex volley, raising the roof with chants of “Roger..Roger!” The second set followed a similar pattern. Federer broke in the first game and this time held Djokovic at bay to reach 5-4, 40-15. The match looked set to go to the wire two poor points allowed Djokovic an escape route and he seized his chance with relish. Two games later it was Djokovic serving for the match and he made no mistake. A deflated Federer offered up a couple of mistakes to give Djokovic a match point. The Swiss fought until the bitter end, running his opponent from side to side on match point but was powerless as Djokovic speared a stunning backhand past him. A fitting shot to end a memorable season.—Reuters

Playing Tebow not the right move for Jets fans PCT .667 .444 .333 .333 .778 .667 .444 .222 .889 .667 .400 .111 .667 .444 .333 .111

.600 .444 .333 .333 .778 .667 .600 .444 .889 .556 .444 .222 .722 .600 .444 .389

NEW YORK: At least Jets fans now have a number to help get them through the rest of the season. Two percent is the figure offered by Rex Ryan on the team’s playoff chances, though that seems a bit optimistic. The team is such a mess that even the thought of putting Tim Tebow in to run its abysmal offense isn’t enough to excite New York fans. Not that Tebow is going to get a chance. Not with Ryan lined up squarely behind center with Mark Sanchez, who on Sunday somehow managed to throw one less touchdown pass than Seattle receiver Golden Tate. If 2 percent is the chance of making the playoffs, the chances of Tebow getting meaningful playing time seems even less after Ryan rose to the defense of Sanchez after a beatdown by a Seahawks team that the Jets had two full weeks to prepare for. “Well, that’s what I believe. I believe it to be true,” Ryan said Sunday. “Why do I believe it? Because I believe it. I don’t care about anybody else. I believe it. In my heart I believe it. I don’t know how many years it’s been I’ve been coaching football, and I put my trust in him.” Say what you will about Ryan and his 3-6 team - and right now a lot of Jets fans are saying some very nasty things - he’s right about the quarterback situation. Throwing Tebow into an offensive scheme not designed for him may perk some interest for a few games, but it’s not a path to long-term success. Tebow was never a good fit for the Jets, no matter how Ryan and the team’s brain trust tried to spin it when they took him off of Denver’s hands. Unfortunately, it’s becoming pretty clear he’s not a good fit anywhere around the NFL, where running quarterbacks with ungainly throwing motions are not a prized commodity. Even guys on the other side seem to agree. Consider this response from Seattle receiver Sidney Rice after Tate threw him a touchdown pass on a trick play in Seattle’s 28-7 rout. “His throwing motion was the worst,” Rice said. “I thought we traded for Tebow for a second.” Why the Jets traded for Tebow is a decision that’s always been suspect at best. The way general manager Mike Tannenbaum tells it, he and Ryan were sipping on Ben & Jerry’s vanilla milkshakes in an airport when it became clear the Broncos - who had just signed Peyton Manning - had no desire to keep Tebow around any longer.—AP


Egypt extends rally on IMF deal hopes Page 22 German businesses hopeful of euro-zone recovery Page 23


China needs 4,960 planes by 2031

Salaries in MENA expected to increase 6% in 2013

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BRUSSELS: EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy (R) welcomes Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (L) prior to their working session yesterday at the EU Headquarters in Brussels. Greece yesterday raised 4.062.5 billion euros ($5.16 billion) to avert a messy default this week. — AFP

EU FMs tackle reforms, economy slumps France, Germany differ over scope of new regulator BRUSSELS: EU finance ministers discussed yesterday how to get the economy back on track, tackling difficult reforms after their eurozone peers reported progress on solving Greece’s bailout problems overnight. The 27 EU ministers gathered in Brussels as the European economy shows every sign of slumping into recession, dragging down even Germany, Europe’s powerhouse and paymaster, which no longer appears immune. The downturn has been made worse by the grim austerity measures governments have adopted to balance the public finances and reduce debt, stoking calls for a change to more pro-growth policies. A wave of anti-austerity protests are expected across Europe today, with general strikes in Spain and Portugal spearheading a day of stoppages. Against this backdrop, ministers were expected to discuss measures to boost economic policy coordination and oversight, controversial plans for a single European bank regulator and the introduction of a financial transactions tax. The Single Supervisory Mechanism for the banks is a key element in Europe’s new debt defences but it is also

a major bone of contention between euro- and non-euro states led by Britain, which jealously guards the interests of the City of London, one of the world’s top financial markets. France and Germany meanwhile differ over the scope of the new regulator, with Paris saying it should oversee all banks while Berlin argues it should only cover the biggest and most important, at least initially. A compromise was patched up at an October EU leaders summit but the details still need to be nailed down, with no certainty when the system based around the European Central Bank will be actually working. Greece remained a talking point after the 17 eurozone finance ministers extended its bailout by two years to 2016 after Athens adopted a new austerity package and a tough 2013 budget demanded in return for its next aid payment worth 31 billion euros. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the eurozone hoped Greece will get its long-delayed bailout funds by the end of this month after an accord on putting its massive debt burden on a more sustainable basis. Greece’s debt mountain is expected to reach a clearly

unsustainable 190 percent of GDP in 2014, more than three times the EU 60 percent limit and way above the 2020 target of 120 percent. Eurogroupe head Jean-Claude Juncker said Monday that Greece could now be given until 2022 to meet that target but International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde insisted the original date must stand. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was in Brussels yesterday, holding talks with President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU President Herman Van Rompuy. Greece managed to raise more than 4.0 billion euros in fresh funds Tuesday to help cover a financing gap caused by the delay in aid fund payment. The French and German finance ministers meanwhile met before joining their colleagues Tuesday, highlighting their shared views after concerns surfaced in Germany about the stagnating French economy. “There is no estrangement,” Moscovici said. “I have been working in confidence with (Finance Minister) Wolfgang Schaeuble since the first day I took office. My first phone call was to him, my first trip too,” he stressed. Schaeuble replied in kind, saying relations were “very

Vodafone goes into heavy loss on Spain, Italy turmoil LONDON: British mobile phone giant Vodafone yesterday revealed it had slumped into a net loss of £1.977 billion during its first half on massive writedowns linked to indebted eurozone countries Spain and Italy. Vodafone’s loss after tax for the six months to September 30, equivalent to $3.138 billion or 2.473 billion euros, came as the company said it suffered charges of £5.9 billion linked to financial turmoil in Spain and Italy. The net loss compared with profit after tax of £6.679 billion in the first half of Vodafone’s 2011-12 financial year, the company said in its earnings statement. Total revenue meanwhile dropped 7.4 percent to £21.78 billion in the first half. Chief executive Vittorio Colao said the latest results “reflect tougher market conditions, mainly in southern Europe” which would continue to impact the company in the short term. However he voiced optimism about the longer term owing to Vodafone’s growth in emerging markets such as India and Turkey. Vodafone took a hit of £3.2 billion linked to its operations in Spain and an impairment charge of £2.7 billion for Italy during its first half. The company added that it would carry out a share buyback totalling £1.5 billion

on receipt by the end of 2012 of a £2.4-billion dividend from US company Verizon Wireless, in which Vodafone has a 45-percent stake. “We have continued to make progress on our strategic priorities over the last six months, with good growth in data and emerging markets in particular,” Colao said. “We remain very positive about the longer-term opportunities.”

In the wake of the earnings and share buyback announcements, Vodafone’s share price slid 3.0 percent to 161.6 pence in early deals on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was down 0.45 percent at 5,741.36 points. “The European outlook is far from comforting and the shares have paid the price in early trade for these factors,” said Richard Hunter, head of

LONDON: A picture dated May 22, 2012 shows a sign for a Vodafone store in central London. British mobile phone giant Vodafone revealed yesterday it had slumped into a net loss of £1.977 billion during its first half on massive writedowns linked to indebted eurozone countries Spain and Italy. — AFP

equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers. “Even so, positives remain for this behemoth of the telecoms industry. The payout from Verizon is yet another vindication of Vodafone’s decision to retain its stake, enabling it to embark on a further share buyback programme. “Meanwhile, the growth of data usage continues apace, and the emerging markets businesses are looking healthy,” the analyst added. But the weak eurozone economy remains a major concern for Vodafone and other large European companies after Spain’s biggest airline Iberia last week announced plans to axe 4,500 jobs to save the lossmaking carrier from collapse. Spain’s economy is in deep recession as an austerity programme chokes consumer spending amid unemployment that has surged to more than 25 percent of the workforce. And the eurozone’s fourthlargest economy is hovering on the edge of a sovereign bailout, after already securing a eurozone rescue loan of up to 100 billion euros ($127 billion) for its banks. In Italy, unemployment has also shot higher since the heavily debtladen country entered into recession at the end of last year. — AFP

friendly.” “We have confidence in the French government’s policies. We do not lecture others ... We have confidence in each other,” he said, knocking back any suggestion that France should be considered the sick man of Europe. Ministers are also expected to take up the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). The tax was originally an EU proposal, partly intended to raise new funds and partly to put a cap on the banking sector excesses blamed for the global financial crisis of 2008 which morphed into the debt crisis. Facing opposition, the idea was dropped but 11 eurozone states led by France and Germany have returned to the charge, seeking to implement it on their own. With the backing of more than a third of the 27 EU member nations, the measure can be implemented under an “enhanced cooperation” procedure but it will still need the blessing of the EU member states who will not be adopting it. European Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said those opposed “should not prevent others from moving ahead with an FTT through enhanced cooperation, when there is no valid reason to do so.” — AFP

Global says creditors reject $1.7 bn restructuring plan KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Global Investment House said yesterday that three of its creditors had failed to back a $1.7 billion debt restructuring plan and that it was looking at legal options to secure a deal. Undergoing its second debt restructuring in three years after being buffered by the global financial crisis, Global shareholders approved in September a plan to create new special purpose vehicles that will carry the company’s debt. However, the debt-for-equity style plan also required the unanimous backing of Global’s lenders to secure an agreement. “The company obtained the approval for the plan from more than 95 percent of the creditors. There was the exception of three creditors,” a bourse filing on Kuwait’s exchange said. It said Global, which counts the governments of Kuwait and Dubai as major shareholders, would take all measures at its disposal to secure a deal, including legal proceedings under British law. Like a number of Kuwaiti investment firms, Global’s business and its investment portfolio were hit hard by the financial crisis, with real estate and stock valuations plummeting and investor confidence drained as a result. It initially agreed a $1.7 billion restructuring in 2009 but, in

September 2011, asked bank creditors to suspend payments under the plan to allow talks for a further reorganisation. Debt restructurings in Kuwait have to get unanimous backing from creditors unless the negotiations are covered by the country’s Financial Stability Law, which contains provisions to cram-down dissenters if a vast majority agree to a proposal. The law, introduced after the financial crisis, has only been used once - by Investment Dar, owner of luxury car maker Aston Martin, to secure a 1 billion dinar ($3.54 billion) debt deal in 2011. Under Global’s proposal, it plans to create at least two SPVs, one to hold company assets along with debt worth $1.3 billion and one which will take part in a capital increase for the parent company and which will carry a debt equivalent of $430 million. According to the plan, Global would offer 122.2 million dinars ($433 million) of new shares to creditors. Global is scheduled to meet bondholders, who are due 95 million dinars split between two issues and who also agreed to a repayment delay to allow for debt talks, on November 22 to discuss the restructuring, according to a London Stock Exchange statement filed last week. — Reuters



Crescent Petroleum to enter Libya, Lebanon DUBAI: United Arab Emirates-based Crescent Petroleum is gearing up for expansion in the Iraqi oil and gas sector and a debut into Libya and Lebanon, its chief executive told Reuters yesterday. As new governments try to meet the urgent needs for job creation and economic diversification in the wake of the Arab Spring, regional oil and gas producing companies are seeking partnerships with new leaders to set up ventures and take over concessions left behind by international companies. “We are looking at enter-

ing Libya with the right opportunity. Other countries like Lebanon, despite plans being delayed, have been setting up regulations bodies in preparation. It’s an area of potential interest,” Majid Jafar said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dubai. Crescent Petroleum, which is based in Sharjah and has its major operations in the United Arab Emirates, Iraq’s Kurdistan region and Egypt, plans to expand investment and production in Kurdistan and into other areas in Iraq given the country ’s under-explored state.

“There are only 2000-3000 wells drilled in the whole of Iraq so far compared to ten times as many in Saudi and 1 million wells in Texas alone,” Jafar explained. The Iraqis are only beginning to develop the sector, he said, adding that there has not been a consensus on policy and there is still a mindset that the state needs to manage the sector. Crescent, which owns a fifth of Dana Gas, the regional gas producer whose $920 million sukuk is being restructured, says it has not seen a decrease in bank appetite for financ-

ing any of its projects and will go ahead with a dual listing of a Dana gas unit. Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas announced plans last year for a dual listing on an international exchange like London to achieve better value for shareholders. Dana said last week it has reached an agreed restructuringof its $920 million sukuk which matured on Oct. 31. It said it will pay its sukuk holders a mix of cash and new bonds - split between a sukuk and a convertible. “The Dana sukuk issue was over reported and many pieces were inac-

curate. Dana has done what it said it would do with the funds. In Egypt, the company doubled its gas reserves, achieved 80 percent success rate of exploration program and increased production by 70 percent,” Jafar said. According to him, Dana’s main problem was not solvency or lack of success but was a liquidity issue. Dana still has $200 million owed by the Egyptian government and more than $300 million owed by the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, he said. “There are still issues to be resolved, but we are optimistic,” he said. — Reuters

Egypt extends rally on IMF deal hopes Most Gulf markets mixed

JAKARTA: Motorists commute on a main road congested with heavy traffic in Jakarta yesterday. Strong investment and domestic spending have seen Indonesia remain one of the best performers in Asia. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy announced growth of 6.2 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier. — AFP

Qatar govt budget slips into $5bn deficit DUBAI: Qatar’s government budget slipped into a deficit of 18.5 billion riyals ($5.1 billion) in the first quarter of its 2012/13 fiscal year, preliminary data from the central bank showed yesterday. The fiscal shortfall of the world’s No. 1 exporter of liquefied natural gas was equivalent to 10.7 percent of gross domestic product in the period, according to the central bank. It was wider than the 2.2 billion-riyal gap, or 1.4 percent of GDP, seen in the same quarter of last year. Because of the timing of revenue flows, Qatar’s budget usually records deficits in the first quarter of its fiscal year, which begins in April, and then bounces back into surplus for the rest of the year. The OPEC member booked a robust 54.3 billion-riyal surplus in last fiscal year, the biggest since at least 2005/06, despite a surge in spending on public sector wages. Expenditure fell about 14

percent from a year earlier to 29.5 billion riyals in April-June, accounting for some 17 percent of the full-year spending plan, the data showed. Revenue stood at 11.0 billion, 66 percent down from the same period a year ago. Oil and gas-related revenue accounts for roughly 70 percent of Qatar’s overall budget income. The Gulf Arab state, which pegs its riyal currency to the U.S. dollar, plans to boost spending to 178.6 billion riyals in the current fiscal year, including wages, services and projects, but expects a comfortable surplus of 27.8 billion riyals. In September 2011 Qatar, which has avoided social unrest that swept the Arab world last year, raised basic salaries and social benefits for state civilian employees by 60 percent, while military staff received 50-120 percent increases. It plans to spend over 10 percent of GDP on average on infrastructure in the run-up to hosting the soccer World Cup tournament in 2022. — Reuters

DUBAI: Egyptian shares extended a weeklong rally yesterday as investors kept an eye on negotiations for a $4.8 billion IMF loan the government hopes to wrap up by the end of the week, while Gulf bourses ended mixed. Egypt’s finance minister said on Monday he expected an agreement to be signed by Wednesday. An IMF negotiating team is scheduled to leave Cairo on Thursday. The benchmark index gained 0.8 percent to its highest close in November. It has risen more than 4 percent since Nov. 4 on hopes for an imminent agreement with the International Monetary Fund that could trigger a flow of investment into Egypt. “They are watching the IMF deal very closely,” said Osama Mourad of Arab Finance Brokerage. NSGB shares slid 1.7 percent to 44.49 Egyptian pounds ($7.30) on a report indicating they were trading at a premium to the expected price if Qatar National Bank (QNB) buys a majority stake in the Egyptian bank. Three sources told Reuters on Monday that QNB was close to sealing a deal to buy the stake of Societe Generale at a price that would value all of NSGB at about $2.6 billion, below its stock market value of around $3.3 billion. That price would value NSGB shares at around 35-36 pounds. Orascom Telecom and Media Technology gained 1.7 percent a fter the exchange said it made a net profit of 1.62 billion Egyptian from Nov. 29., 2011, until Sept. 30, 2012, its first 10 months of operation since its formation. In the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi’s benchmark slipped from a 16-month high, down 0.4 percent, as investors took weak global cues to book gains. Banks dragged the UAE capital’s index with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank down 2.1 percent, National Bank of Abu Dhabi slipping 0.2 percent to 9.80 dirhams and Union National Bank dipping 1.3 percent. Earlier yesterday, Bahrain-based SICO Investment Bank cut UNB to neutral from add, while it raised its price target for NBAD to 10.20 dirhams from 9.30 dirhams. Small-caps fell with Al Buhaira National Insurance and Gulf Cement slumping 9.6 and 7.8 percent

respectively. “This is the impact from the uncertainty in international markets and a lack of news today was not helping the markets to continue the rally we saw yesterday,” said Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments. Dubai’s index declined 0.7 percent, easing away from Monday’s two-week closing high. Emaar Properties and Dubai Islamic Bank slipped 0.6 and 1.5 percent respectively. Telecom operator du shed 1.3 percent. The euro hit a two-month low and world share markets fell for a fifth day yesterday as a dispute between international lenders threatened to further delay an aid payment to Greece. Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia’s bourse recouped earlier losses to end flat as petrochemical stocks lessened declines and banks gained. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) ended flat, Saudi Arabian Fertilizers rose 1.4 percent and Al Rajhi Bank climbed 0.4 percent. Samba Financial Group was up 0.7 percent. The index ended at 6,828 points, halting a three session decline from Wednesday’s sixweek high. Analysts say the market will build a base here to move higher. In Qatar, the measure lost 0.6 percent, finishing at its lowest level since Aug. 29. Industries Qatar shed 1.2 percent, Barwa Real Estate fell 1.9 percent and Qatar Navigation drops 1.6 percent. “Selling pressure is likely to continue - there’s no catalyst to build new positions at this time, with third-quarter earnings out of the way. But we should start to see accumulation by year-end for dividend yields,” Gulfmena Investments’ Shurrab said. Elsewhere, Kuwait, the index gained 0.5 percent to finish at its highest level since Oct. 18, supported by an upbeat mood after comments to speed up economic development by the Emir last week. He said he would “deal with all problems” related to economic development and political stability, though he did not give details of his plans. Kuwait Finance House gains 1.3 percent, National Mobile Company rose 2.9 percent and Kuwait Investment Bank added 3.5 percent. Analysts said activity by state-linked funds was helping to lift the market. “Day

traders had a good opportunity to book profits- there was strong buying from National Portfolio fund,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House. “The market is absorbing the turmoil in the country. There is a positive sentiment from the emir-they’re doing a good job in adding to the confidence level, which was much missed in the market.” Companies have one more day till the deadline to post quarterly financials, which if missed could lead to suspension of stocks. “There is movement from smaller stocks to other stocks-because people are worried some will not make the deadline and get suspended,” Darwish added. YESTERDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS EGYPT The measure rose 0.8 percent to 5,684 points. ABU DHABI Market index slipped 0.4 percent to 2,695 points. DUBAI Market index fell 0.7 percent to 1,615 points. SAUDI ARABIA Market index eased 0.02 percent to 6,828 points. QATAR Market index declined 0.6 percent to 8,446 points. KUWAIT Market index gained 0.5 percent to 5,816 points. OMAN Market index slipped 0.2 percent to 5,642 points. BAHRAIN Market index eased 0.07 percent to 1,064 points. — Reuters

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

.2740000 .4440000 .3550000 .2940000 .2800000 .2910000 .0040000 .0020000 .0764600 .7449300 .3870000 .0720000 .7302720 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2816500 GB Pound/KD .4467530 Euro .3571040 Swiss francs .2964420 Canadian dollars .2816080 Danish Kroner .0478830 Swedish Kroner .0415540 Australian dlr .2930570 Hong Kong dlr .0363400 Singapore dlr .2302000 Japanese yen .0035510 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0767130 Bahraini dinars .7473800 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0751270 Omani riyals .7318440 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

3.569 5.146 2.946 2.165 3.244 232.010 36.523 3.454 6.879 9.228 0.271 273

.2850000 .4590000 .3690000 .3070000 .2910000 .2990000 .0067500 .0035000 .0772290 .7524170 .4070000 .0770000 .7376110 .0510000 .2837500 .4500840 .3597670 .2986530 .2837070 .0482400 .0418640 .2952420 .0366110 .2319170 .0035780 .0051870 .0021810 .0029700 .0034870 .0772840 .7529520 .4013440 .0756870 .7373000 .0069520

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 75.510 77.804 735.480 752.090 77.104

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 48.100 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.341 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.321 Tunisian Dinar 178.810 Jordanian Dinar 399.370 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.900 Syrian Lier 3.872 Morocco Dirham 33.105 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 283.050 Euro 360.320 Sterling Pound 450.470 Canadian dollar 283.900 Turkish lire 158.220 Swiss Franc 299.050 Australian dollar 295.500 US Dollar Buying 281.850 GOLD 332.000 167.000 86.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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


296.000 752.340 3.710 286.600 555.600 46.100 49.100 167.800 48.400 363.700 37.190 5.620 0.032 0.162 0.249 3.660 400.900 0.191 95.340 44.900 4.350 234.500 1.832

50.300 734.840 3.090 7.070 78.250 75.530 232.560 35.140 2.984 454.800 42.800 301.300 4.200 9.580 198.263 77.130 283.300 1.370

734.660 2.961 6.916 77.820 75.530 232.560 35.140 2.169 450.800 299.800 4.200 9.430 77.030 282.900

GOLD 1,834.390

10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar



TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 450.800 282.900


296.500 752.340 3.461 285.100

232.600 46.383 362.200 37.040 5.154 0.031


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

298.79 287.03 302.50 361.97 282.45 452.05 3.64 3.468 5.155 2.168 3.235 2.951 76.97 752.07 46.38 402.39 735.10 78.00 75.53


297.000 285.000 306.000 370.000 282.350 458.000 3.690 3.600 5.550 2.320 3.750 3.150 77.350 749.600 48.200 399.000 740.000 77.850 75.750

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 400.860 0.190 95.340 3.230 233.000

Rate for Transfer

Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

282.300 284.645 453.370 363.115

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

300.535 747.385 76.835 77.490 75.245 397.945 46.239 2.163 5.221 2.940 3.454 6.839 692.485 4.505 9.255 4.380 3.360 92.045

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

282.700 2.945 5.199 2.170 3.468 6.920 77.075 75.545 751.500 46.205 455.100 2.990 1.550 365.300 288.400 3.345

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

282.400 362.050 450.550 284.950 3.600 5.146 46.325 2.165 3.459 6.868 2.947 752.200 76.950 75.350


BUSINESS Commodities on defensive, focus turns on fiscal cliff By Ole S Hansen ommodity markets have initially stabilised following the US presidential election last Tuesday with the markets now expecting more of the same with President Obama back in the White House and support for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke thus intact. However within hours of the election result being known and with the President still facing a Republican led majority in the US Congress market attention turned to the potential threat to the US economy of the so-called fiscal cliff. If lawmakers and President Obama fail to reach an agreement on this matter before the January 2 deadline it will trigger automatic tax hikes and spending cuts, which undoubtedly will sink the US economy into recession. Precious metals, which have all been correcting ahead of the election, subsequently received a boost from the expectation of more quantitative easing but also worry about the potential economic impact of the failure to extend these expiring Bush-era tax cuts and automatic spending cuts to defense and domestic programmes. Brent crude oil remains range-bound after finding support at USD 105 while gasoline has been the best performing energy contract following the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, which has left US gasoline prices elevated due to supply issues in the New York area. Natural gas has continued to retrace from the USD 4 level as milder weather has resulted in record amounts of gas in underground storage ahead of the winter extraction season, which is about to begin within the next couple of weeks. The DJ-UBS commodity index showed a small increase last week, the first in three, as precious metals and energy just managed to off-set losses in industrial metals and agriculture, where especially softs and grains came under some selling pressure. The price of soybeans plunged to its lowest level in more than four months following a US government report which projected higher stocks than previously expected and this more than off-set a strong rally in wheat on worries about a tightening global supply outlook.


Crude oil range-bound The price of Brent crude stabilised before and after the US election following a period of long liquidation from hedge funds, which saw the price move down to our favored Q4 range between $105 and 110 per barrel. Continued geo-political concerns, increased Chinese demand and local supply issues are off-setting worries about US fiscal issues and a stronger dollar which tends to create headwinds for commodities traded in dollars. The product market on the US East Coast is still struggling to get back to normal following Hurricane Sandy and this has kept the prices of gasoline well supported. US to become the world’s largest oil producer The significant impact of the current shale revolution, especially in the US, has been highlighted by the International Energy Agency which in a report predicted that the US will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest global oil producer by 2017. Even up until recently, the IEA predicted that Saudi Arabia would remain the world’s largest producer until 2035. This highlights the speed at which this revolution has taken place and forecasters have constantly had to upgrade their predictions for US oil production. Rising demand from emerging market (EM) countries, due to a rising population and increased wealth growth will continue to offer a challenge to global supplies and should ensure that oil prices remain well supported. Brent crude oil, which in 2012 is on track to average USD 112 thereby exceeding the previous record of USD 110.75 from 2011, currently remains stuck within a 105 to 115 range with fiscal cliff worries expected to be the most significant driver near-term, which should leave the price stuck in the lower end of that range. Gold and silver receiving an election boost Following a four-week spell of selling, gold and silver snapped higher last week after the US election - with the outcome seen to be favoring precious metals. Having reached, but not breached, important support levels below USD 1670, traders have begun to rebuild speculative longs which had been reduced by one-quarter during the previous four weeks. It is worth noting that during this period of long liquidation the speculative gross short position did not increased which shows a fundamental lack of interest in going outright short the yellow metal. This above mentioned long liquidation has left both silver and gold in much better positions to react to a change in the technical or fundamental outlook and we believe the direction of least resistance over the coming weeks will be to the upside. Having found support and stabilised above 1700, a move above 1740 should now open the way back towards important resistance at 1800 - at which level gold has corrected three times during the last year. Wheat the top performing grain while soybeans falter Since record prices for both soybeans and corn were achieved back in August both have faltered, especially soybean prices which have now moved into a technical bear market after falling by more than 20 percent from the record price reached just two months ago. The reason for this most recent leg down was a US government report last week which found that the damage from the worst Midwest drought in more than 50 years was not as bad as feared. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecast that soybean production would reach 2,971 billion bushels, up nearly 3 percent from its October estimate. The price of wheat, especially the high protein European variety used for bread production, has shown strong performance making several consecutive contract highs last week as reduced supplies from the Former Soviet Union, especially Russia and Ukraine together with lower production in Australia following wet weather conditions, have put upside pressure on Western European produced wheat. So far the stronger dollar has prevented US exports from picking up despite farmers sitting on adequate supplies. Corn for March 2013 delivery has been holding on to support around USD 7.34 per bushel, a level that has been tested several times during the last month. Decreased demand from feed and ethanol has removed worries about a spike in prices over the winter, however razor-thin stock levels should ensure elevated prices over the coming months, and at least until US farmers planting intentions next spring are known.

Friedrich Merz

FRANKFURT: Speakers attend the opening plenum of German Equity Forum in Frankfurt. (From left to right): Rainer Riess, Prof Dr H C Brun-Hagen Hennerkes, Friedrich Merz, Volker Potthoff and Thomas Mayar. — Photos by Sajeev K Peter

German businesses hopeful of euro-zone recovery Equity forum seeks to bolster investor confidence tunities for investors and market participants. The conference is jointly organized by Deutsche Borse and KfW.

By Sajeev K Peter FRANKFURT: Business leaders and financial experts attending a capital market forum here expressed optimism that the euro-zone currently reeling from a lingering economic crisis will soon be on the path of a recovery. Seeking to dispel fears of skeptic global investors by bolstering confidence, the speakers insisted that Germany as a ‘well-placed’ economy in the euro-zone has wrested the initiative to find workable solutions to the debt crisis. The three-day German Equity forum opened in Frankfurt against the backdrop of a deepening global financial turmoil with Europe taking the brunt. “There is a fundamental shift in the perception of political power centers in Europe,” Friedrich Merz, former member of the German parliament, said in his keynote address on ‘Qua Vadis Europe? Perspectives for the Monetary and Political Union.’ “There are positives signs on the horizon. And Germany is working on a stability mechanism for the European Union and trying to find solutions to the debt crisis being faced by our neighbors,” said Rainer Riess, Vice Chairman of the Management Board, Deutsche Borse Group told the Kuwait Times on the sidelines of the forum. The forum, Europe’s largest information and networking platform for companies, investors and analysts from the financial industry, address the key challenges of the equity markets, financial and banking sectors and present oppor-

Euro question “There is a general consensus among the euro-zone countries that they cannot give up on the common currency. The economic effects would be devastating if any country dropped out of the European Union at the moment,” Riess said. “We need an economic reform program for the development of the entire Europe. Especially the southern European countries need to be promoted. This is a challenge not only for Europe, but for the entire world. And it depends on how do we deal with the debt problem by providing support to the affected countries,” he said. Germany is also pressing for a uniform European governance aiming at further integration of Europe’s economic and financial systems. “The market pressure is also for further harmonization. It is a painful and slow process, but it is definitely happening,” Riess said. The conference opened on Monday by Andreas Preuss, Deputy CEO of Deutsche Borse AG, and Dr Axel Nawrath, member of the Executive Board at KfW. Though, the organizers sought to give this year’s forum an Arab flavor, participation of investors and delegates from the Middle East at the forum remained lukewarm. Interestingly, Dr Awwad H Al-Nesafi, Deputy General

Manager, KCME Co, was the only Kuwaiti investor, who is attending the event. Chinese investors showed keen interest in the forum with their overwhelming attendance. “”This platform for information and networking is an ideal meeting point for the entire business community. More than 5,000 participants such as entrepreneurs, investors and analysts along with delegates from the financial services secto attend this year’s forum, Yusef Ahmed, founding partner and Managing Director of F I C Frankfurt International Consulting GmbH, said, Other key topics at the Equity Forum 2012 include the current market situation for raising equity finance via the stock exchange as well as the importance of sustainability as an investment issue and what it means for the capital markets. The bond forum will focus on raising debt capital through the exchange. A focus will also be on the new transparency segment Prime Standard for corporate bonds, which was launched in October 2012. In addition, around 200 listed companies, primarily from the Prime Standard, will be presenting their Q3 results at investor and analyst conferences. Bond issuers from the Prime Standard and Entry Standard for bonds will also be presenting themselves for the first time as part of investors’ conferences. Around 50 non-listed companies will use the three-day forum to present their business models to a broad group of venture capital and private equity investors.

EU’s haves and have-nots fight over budget

BERLIN: Picture taken on September 11, 2012 shows a stewardess of German airline Lufthansa carry an airplane model as she walks down the gangway during the opening of the Berlin airshow ILA in Schoenefeld, outside Berlin, Germany. Germany’s leading airline Lufthansa announced yesterday that it had reached a deal with cabin crew representatives to end a bitter dispute that had led to work stoppages. —AFP

Lufthansa reaches agreement with union BERLIN: Germany’s biggest airline Lufthansa and its flight attendants have reached a new labor deal that averts the possibility of widespread strikes during the holiday season. Though employees will not get the pay rises they were looking for, they have been granted certain job guarantees. “We achieved a workable outcome overall, in which both parties got something, and which at the same time takes into account both the interests of the employee and the employer sides,” Lufthansa negotiator Peter Gerber said yesterday. The attendants’ UFO union and Lufthansa reached the agreement with the help of arbitrator Bert Ruerup late Monday night. Ruerup, a former economic adviser to the German government, was called in to help mediate in September after the union staged a series of short-term work stoppages that caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights and cost Lufthansa millions. That followed the collapse of 13 months of negotiations. Lufthansa is struggling to compete against European budget carriers and governmentowned airlines from the Persian Gulf. It was at

odds with UFO over pay and union demands that the airline agree not to outsource jobs or employ temporary cabin crew employees. In the new deal, UFO, which had been pushing for a 5 percent wage increase over 12 months for 18,000 flight attendants, agreed to a 3.95 percent increase, including a rise in base pay rates; in addition, employees will get a one-off payment of ?360 ($458). Lufthansa had originally been offering a 3.5 percent rise over 36 months. UFO also signed off on other concessions, including allowing the airline to offer new employees different lower-cost contracts. In exchange, Lufthansa guaranteed that there would be no layoffs through at least Dec. 31, 2014, and agreed that any employees who moved over to work for the airline’s budget Germanwings subsidiary would remain Lufthansa employees. Lufthansa last month reported that profit jumped 30 percent in the third quarter despite the strikes and higher fuel prices, but CEO Christoph Franz warned the company would still need to get leaner to deal with multiple challenges in the airline industry. — AP

BRUSSELS: The European Union faces a midnight deadline yesterday to overcome a row between the bloc’s have and have-not nations preventing governments from agreeing a budget for this year and next. Budget ministers from the 27 states gather from 1800 GMT to take a fresh stab on spending for 2012 and 2013 after a first round of talks broke down last week when austerity-minded states-the likes of Britain, Finland and the Netherlands-refused funds for Europe’s needy. The collapse of the talks Friday dented any hope of a swift and easy deal at a key summit next week on the even more hotly disputed issue of the bloc’s next seven-year budget, for 2014-2020. Long expected to be the scene of a battle between the EU’s older wealthier states and the poorer members on its southern and eastern fringes, the November 22-23 summit is increasingly likely to show a bitterly divided Europe. And on Tuesday, battle-lines took shape as Britain’s premier David Cameron, selfstyled leader of the toughest-talking costcutters in the EU camp, flew to the Netherlands and Italy to rustle up support from leaders Mark Rutte and Mario Monti ahead of the summit. Meanwhile in Brussels, 15 heads of state and government from the opposite camp flew in to set a pre-summit agenda of what is termed the “Friends of Cohesion” group. The EU’s Cohesion funds, the second biggest item on the bloc’s budget after the Common Agricultural Policy, aim to help Europe’s poorer nations catch up with others, economically and socially. Members of the Friends of Cohesion are net recipients of the EU’s near trillion-euro budget. Chaired by Poland and Portugal, the group includes Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia-and most recently, Spain. Their opponents, eight of the 11 net contributors, want at best a 100-bil-

lion cut, at worst a freeze, on the European Commission’s proposed 1.03-trillion budget for 2014-20, up 5.0 percent from the previous one. They include Austria, Britain, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Netherlands amd Sweden. Net contributors Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy are refusing to take sides as is Ireland, which is a net recipient but is remaining aloof as it takes over the EU presidency in January. Last Friday, states were to approve a budget for 2013 but instead snagged straight off on an 8.9-billion-euro ($11.3-billion) hole in this year’s spending, threatening the future of a wide range of social programmes including the Erasmus student exchange scheme. The projected spending also included 670 million euros set aside to compensate Italian earthquake victims. For 2013, the European Commission and European Parliament are seeking a 6.8-percent increase-or nine billion euros-to 138 billion euros to bolster growth and jobs in the slowing economy. But net contributors want a sharp reduction to match the spending cuts and austerity policies of most European capitals. The Commission, the EU’s executive arm, argues this will seriously undercut any chance for economic growth, worsening the very problems such countries say must be fixed through more belt-tightening. With the Erasmus student exchange programme also at stake, some 100 famous Europeans, from footballers to philosophers, last week urged the EU to reach a deal. “The economic crisis has hit Europe’s youth very hard,” said a letter from figures including former international footballer Lilian Thuram, Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar and British playwright David Hare. “One in five young Europeans-more than five million-are without a job. This cannot continue. We cannot afford a lost generation,” it said.—AFP

German utility E.ON lowers 2013 outlook LONDON: European stocks fell for a fifth straight session yesterday, with investors rattled by uncertainty over Greece and pessimistic outlook comments from giants E.ON and Vodafone. Greece’s international lenders gave the country more time to fix its budget but they wrangled on longer-term targets and they did not disburse the aid the country hoped to use to refinance 5 billion euros of its debt pile by Friday. “Has there been solution overnight? No, that’s the problem,” Justin Haque, a broker at Hobart Capital Markets, said. “Where’s the 5 billion (euros)? They need it on the 16th.” He added nerves over Greece’s refinancing needs were likely to push the euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index down 0.6 percent to 2,459.39 at 0920 GMT to the 2,450-2,445 area, which has supported the index since late September. Germany’s No.1 utility E.ON was the top faller on

the index, shedding 9 percent in volume three-times its daily average, after it warned of weakening power demand in crisis-struck Europe and cut its outlook for next year. The economic impact of the European crisis was also visible in Vodafone’s quarterly results as the UKlisted telecoms giant wrote down the value of its business in Spain and Italy and lowered its full-year outlook, sending its shares down 3.9 percent. It was the biggest drag on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which was down 0.5 percent at 1,089.47 points. Traders said investors were still prepared to buy into dips in share prices, as evidenced by the strong support for the Euro STOXX 50 at 2,450 points, betting monetary stimulus from central banks across the globe and a pledge by the European Central Bank to help struggling countries would help put a floor under the markets.—Reuters

DATTELN: In this Aug. 3, 2011 file photo workers clean the company’s logo at a building of E.On in Datteln, western Germany. German electricity and gas supplier E.ON AG yesterday lowered its earnings forecast for next year because of economic uncertainties and changes in the energy industry, an announcement that caused its shares to tumble. — AP




China commodity imports presents a mixed picture JOHANNESBURG: China’s commodity imports for October appear to present a mixed picture, with strength in oil and weakness in iron ore and copper, but the overall message should be that economic momentum is once again accelerating. There is always a risk in reading too much into one month’s data, and this is especially the case for October, which was distorted by the week-long holiday at the start of the month. For this reason it’s better to look at the two-month picture presented by September and October data when trying to draw conclusions about demand in the world’s biggest commodity consumer. Starting with crude, and October’s imports at 23.68 million, or about 5.58 million barrels per day (bpd), the thirdhighest this year. September’s imports were 20.08 million tonnes, giving a two-

month total of 43.76 million tonnes, a 6 percent increase on the 41.25 million tonnes for the same two months in 2011. While import demand in October would have been boosted by the return of refineries from maintenance, coupled with the commissioning of new units in the past few months, the underlying picture is still one of fairly strong demand growth. Considering that the commentary as recently as September was overwhelmingly bearish on China’s commodity demand outlook, the view presented by the September-October numbers shows that the negativity wasn’t justified. There is also likely an element that crude buying was boosted by lower prices, with Brent dropping from a p e a k o f $ 1 1 6 . 9 0 a b a r re l i n e a r l y September to a low of $108.19 by the

19th of that month. Given that Brent prices have remained with a range around $105 to $115 a barrel in recent weeks, Chinese refiners may well be encouraged to increase stockpiles that appear to have been tapped in the third quarter after the significant excess buying in the first half of the year. But it also seems reasonable that oil demand growth of 6 percent will be what China averages in the next few quarters, which is large enough to show the economy maintaining strong growth, but also quite a moderation from the recent boom years when demand growth was above 10 percent a year. If oil imports flattered to deceive in October with their seeming strength, then the opposite was true for iron ore

UAE’s First Gulf Bank signs $900m loan DUBAI: First Gulf Bank, the secondlargest lender by market value in the United Arab Emirates, has signed a three-year $900 million loan with a group of international lenders, the bank said in a statement yesterday. The senior unsecured facility, priced at 130 basis points over the London interbank offered rate (Libor), was increased from the original $800 million amount because of demand from banks wanting to join the deal, FGB said. “In our continuous efforts to

strengthen the balance sheet and deliver a superior financial performance, FGB aims to utilise the facility to finance the expansion of the existing operations as well as new business opportunities globally,” Andre Sayegh, CEO of FGB, said. Six lenders - Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of China, Samba Financial Group, Union National Bank, Al Khalij Commercial Bank and Arab Bank - joined the eight bookrunners on the deal. FGB originally mandated

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Citi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Mizuho, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered in September to arrange the loan. The bank, majority-owned by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, raised $650 million from the bond market at the beginning of October. Last month, FGB reported a 15 percent jump in third-quarter net profit, following on from a 14 percent net profit rise in the three months to June 30. —Reuters

and copper. Iron ore imports fell 13 percent in October from the previous month to 56.4 million tonnes. But together with September’s 65 million tonnes, imports for the two months were 9.8 percent higher than the same two months in 2011. That doesn’t sound like a weak outcome at all and is above the 8.9 percent year-to-date gain. There may be a price element in iron ore imports as well, as many of the October cargoes would have been booked when Asian spot prices were at the weakest in three years. Spot iron ore slumped to a low of $86.90 a tonne on Sept. 4, having been close to $150 a tonne as recently as midApril. The recovery in prices to $122.10 a tonne on Monday may temper some spot buying, but the overall picture for

iron ore is one of resilience in demand, and again this has confounded the bearish forecasts that prevailed recently. Copper did sound a note of caution, with unwrought imports dropping 18.5 percent from September and 18.5 percent from a year earlier. While some of this can be attributed to supply disruptions at Chilean copper mines, there does appear to be some underlying weakness as the two-month picture shows that September-October imports were 6.8 percent lower than for the same period last year. However, it is also worth noting that any recovery in copper demand growth is likely to lag that for iron ore and crude, as it is mainly used in industrial production of finished goods, rather than the more preliminary consumption typical of iron ore and oil. —Reuters

Salaries in MENA expected to increase 6% in 2013 DUBAI: Aon Hewitt, the global human resources business of Aon plc, yesterday announced the results of it’s annual Middle East Salary Increase Survey 2012. The report, based on inputs from a robust comparator group of over 500 organizations from 26 sectors in the Middle East, suggests that there will be an average salary increase of 6.08% in 2013. Aon Hewitt has been conducting the survey on an annual basis across the globe for 36 years and launched it in the Middle East for the first time in 2009. The survey is conducted in nine countries in the region, including: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Among the participating organizations, Egypt-based organizations have indicated the highest salary increase projection for 2013 at 9.5%. After being impacted by over 18 months of political turmoil, Egyptbased organizations in fact gave lower than previously projected raises

during 2012 (having projected 10.4% in 2011 and then actually giving 8.4%) albeit remaining higher than those of Europe or the rest of the Middle East. In the GCC, an average salary increase of 5.4% was projected for 2013, the same as the projection made in 2011 for 2012, indicating that organizations continue to show confidence in the economic stability of the region. The report highlighted differences between the GCC countries, with Bahrain-based organizations giving the lowest salary increase projection for in 2013 (4.4%), and Kuwait-based organizations forecasting the highest at 6.2%. Martin McGuigan, Head of Reward Consulting, Aon Hewitt Middle East said: “All macro-indicators have shown that the economic scenario continues to move in a positive direction with corporates continuing to show confidence in the 2013 economic outlook. At large, there are no further reductions in the salary

increase projections for the next year which is good news for employees. We have also observed that organizations have increasingly been linking salary rewards to performance, which is a healthy trend and indicates the increasing maturity level of the market.” The report also highlights that fewer organizations in the Middle East are thinking about salary freezes. Only 1.3% of organizations in UAE have projected a salary freeze in 2013 compared to 4.1% in 2012. The major exception to this trend is Qatar where at least 8% of organizations have projected a salary freeze in 2013 against 2.4% which froze salaries during 2012. This may be attributed to the high salary increase given to Qatari National employees in 2011, with organizations now trying to induce market competitiveness to normalize the impact. The salary increase projection for Qatar for 2013 is also stable at 5.6%, equal to the actual salary increase this year.

Royal Mail profit jump lands it closer to IPO LONDON: Britain’s state-owned Royal Mail Group posted a large rise in first half operating profit yesterday, paving the way for one of the country’s most high profile privatisations in decades. An increase in profits was seen as a key target in plans for a flotation now expected as early as the third quarter of next year, as Royal Mail shows potential investors the impact of its move from a letters-based to parcels-based business. The group, which delivers around 58 million items a day in the UK, said operating profit in the six months to September 23, after stripping out the cost of its modernisation programme, had risen to 144 million pounds ($228 million) from 12 million pounds a year ago. Its core letters and parcels business swung to a 99 million pounds profit from a 41 million pounds loss a year ago, as higher prices, staff cuts, better sorting and greater parcel volumes helped offset a 9 percent fall in tradi-

tional letter traffic caused by the rising use of email. “Preparations are now underway for the sale of Royal Mail Group. Obtaining external capital is a key part of the transformation process as we become a more parcels-focused business and make the investment in technology to do so,” the group said in a statement. Its parcels businesses account for 47 percent of sales, with the proportion set to grow as more people shop online. Group parcel volumes grew by 4.2 percent in the first half to 673 million items. The group has said that the UK express parcels market alone is worth 5.8 billion pounds and last month announced it would add 1,000 new jobs to its Parcelforce business, whose customers include BT, Amazon and John Lewis. Operating profit at its European parcels business GLS fell 22 percent to 45 million pounds, reflecting tough markets and a weaker Euro. Momentum

behind Royal Mail’s privatisation has gathered pace this year with the European Commission clearing government to take on its hefty pension deficit. It also received approval to rise stamp prices to help stem losses from declining letter volumes. A float for the firm, which has almost 160,000 staff and sales of 9.5 billion pounds, is both Royal Mail and the government’s preference as opposed to a sale. UBS and Barclays are advising the government and Royal Mail respectively. It would represent one of the most significant privatisations of a British asset since John Major’s Conservative government sold the railways in the 1990s. Yesterday’s results did not include the Post Office, which operates a branch network that sells stamps and insurance and provides other services, and became independent of Royal Mail in April. —Reuters

HONG KONG: A member of security stands beside the CMA CGM Marco Polo container vessel at a container port in Hong Kong yesterday. The Marco Polo (16000 TEUS), on its maiden voyage, is CMA CGM’s flagship and is the world’s largest container vessel. —AFP



Philippine exports recover in September MANILA: Philippine exports rose at their fastest pace in almost two years in September as the troubled electronics sector recovered and shipments to Japan soared, the government said yesterday. September exports rose 22.8 percent from a year earlier to $4.784 billion, the National Statistics Office said in a statement. This marked the biggest rebound since December 2010, when exports rose 26.5 percent, records showed. “Improved overall demand for the country’s manufactured exports was mainly due to the generally favourable developments in global

industrial production,” the Philippine economic planning department said in a statement. Economist Luz Lorenzo of ATR-Kim Eng Securities said exports to Japan, the top market for the month, rose 115 percent to $1.473 billion due to increased demand as the country recovered from a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. This helped bring double- or even triple-digit growth in Philippine exports of tuna, metal components, bananas, woodcraft and furniture, she said. “Those are things we export a lot of, to Japan,” Lorenzo said. The head of the Philippine Exporters

Confederation, Sergio Ortiz-Luis, said the September figures were a sign that developed countries were starting to buy electronic products again. However he expressed doubt that exports would hit the 10-percent growth target earlier set by the government for this year. “It’s kind of difficult now. We just have three months to go,” Ortiz-Luis said. Philippine exports had plunged 6.9 percent in 2011 amid a sharp drop in demand for its electronics products. Total Philippine exports in the first nine months of 2012 year rose 7.2

percent year-on-year to $40.07 billion. Electronics exports rose 1.1 percent in September. The sector accounted for 38.3 percent of all Philippine shipments for the month. Electronics exports had plunged 14.9-percent fall in August when overseas demand slumped amid the slowdown in the economies of developed countries. After Japan, the United States was the second largest export market, buying $602.89 million in September, the government said. This was a 16.2-percent increase from the same period last year. — AFP

Japan’s MPs agree to avert ‘fiscal cliff’ Govt to review spending, secure bond bill passage

NEW DELHI: An Indian trader worships an iPad and electronic gadgets including laptops and mobile phones on Diwali, the Festival of Lights at the office in New Delhi yesterday. Since ages, the worshipping of account books has been an essential part of Diwali for the business community in India for prosperity of business. Signifying the modernisation of the retail trade in India, some traders are now including the worshipping of electronic gadgets. The festival of Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. — AFP

Europe talks on banking union to expose divisions BRUSSELS: Shoring up Europe’s banking sector and strengthening oversight of economic policies topped the agenda of a meeting yesterday of the European Union’s 27 finance ministers that was expected to expose divisions among the continent’s powers. Weakness in the banking sector and inadequate monitoring of national budgets were prime causes of Europe’s threeyear financial crisis. Fixing those areas is crucial not only to ending the current crisis but also preventing a repeat. The Cypriot finance minister, Vassos Shiarly, who was chairing the meeting, called Tuesday’s “a very challenging agenda.” The officials were discussing the setup of an EU banking union overseen by a single supervisor, as well as increasing capital requirements for banks. They were also were debating the sensitive topic of how to more closely monitor the draft budgets of EU members and correct excessive deficits. The discussions, however, were expected to be contentious and highlight once again the difference in views among Europe’s biggest powers on fundamental issues. Britain, France and Germany disagree on how to oversee their banking sectors. On Monday, ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro failed to agree on how to put Greece’s bailout program back on track. The discussions come at a time when European leaders think they are at long last beginning to emerge from the financial crisis, with market turmoil subsiding in recent months. “The worst is behind us, although we can’t be entirely certain,” Italian Premier Mario Monti said yesterday in an interview with French radio station Europe 1. But while financial markets may have improved, the economy is in a poor state, and deteriorating. Monti warned that European leaders need to act quickly to spur growth, the key ingredient that has been lacking in much of the continent as it tries to get its finances back in balance. Official figures due later this week are expected to show the eurozone fell into recession - technically defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction - in the third quarter. Even Germany, the continent’s largest economy, is slowing, as was evident in an unexpected drop in the ZEW survey of investor confidence yesterday. Another unresolved issue in Europe’s crisis is how to get Greece’s public debt down so the country can eventually survive without bailout loans. On Monday, the eurozone finance ministers failed to approve a new installment of bailout money for Greece. The discussion faltered over a disagreement between the EU and the International Monetary Fund - two of Greece’s three creditors - on the timeline for bringing Greece’s debts down to a manageable level. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, wants to give Greece until 2022 to reduce its debt to 120 percent of gross domestic product; but the IMF wants to stick to the original deadline of 2020. Eurozone officials will hold another

meeting Nov. 20 to hash out a compromise, which must come before Greece gets its next batch of loans. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said they would hand Greece its next loan installment, worth euro31.5 billion ($40 billion), by the end of the month. The meeting did agree to give Greece until 2016 - that is, two more years - to make the reforms necessary to right its economy and begin reducing its debts. But Greece’s creditors still have to decide how they will pay for the extension; officials have said it will cost about ?30 billion extra through 2016. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Tuesday morning that Greece’s lenders wouldn’t necessarily have to fork over more cash to plug the hole. He suggested that it could be filled by lowering the interest rates of the loans. He ruled out, however, asking eurozone countries to accept losses on their loans - as some have suggested might be necessary to reduce Greece’s debt burden. Greece has had to raise money from financial markets to be able to repay ?5 billion in bonds maturing Friday. It managed to get ?4.06 billion from the sale of short-term bills on Tuesday. It will accept more bids until Thursday, by which time it expects to have gathered enough to afford Friday’s bond repayment. On Monday, eurozone finance ministers also discussed the plan to restore the capital levels of Spanish banks, saying it was proceeding well. On Tuesday, Luis De Guindos, the Spanish economy minister, echoed that analysis. “In early December, we will do the recapitalization of Spanish bank system and everything goes as we established,” he said. He added that the so-called “bad bank,” a fund that would buy up soured investments from banks at a discount, would be established Dec. 1. The hope is that Spanish banks will lend more once those bad investments are no longer on their books. — AP

TOKYO: Japan’s ruling and opposition parties agreed yesterday to quickly pass a deficit funding bill in parliament, in a move that will keep the country from falling off its version of a ‘fiscal cliff’ as the prime minister eyes elections as early as next month. The bill is needed to borrow some $480 billion and fund roughly 40 percent of this fiscal year’s budget. Without it, the government could run out of money by the end of this month and would have to stop debt auctions next month, just as the economy teeters on the brink of a recession. Until recently the opposition has used its control of the upper house to stall the bill in a bid to press Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to call an election. Noda had promised in Agusut to go to the polls “soon” in order to win support for an unpopular plan to hike the sales tax. Hoping to force Noda’s hand, however, the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its former coalition ally New Komeito have changed tack and looked poised to pass the deficit bond bill Noda has set as a condition for calling elections. “I’m glad that we have demonstrated the wisdom of parliament by overcoming differences between ruling and opposition parties,”

Goshi Hosono, policy affairs chief of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), told reporters. “We managed to show the people even at the last minute that parliament is functioning,” he said, after striking a deal with his counterparts from the two opposition parties. The bill is expected to pass in the lower house as early as tomorrow and looks set to be enacted in the upper house with the backing of the two opposition parties during the current parliament session that ends on Nov 30. In reaching the deal, the Democrats made concessions to the opposition parties by promising to review spending earmarked for the current fiscal year and curb deficit bond issuance. The three parties agreed to allow issuance of deficit bonds through the fiscal year that starts in April 2015, meaning that passage of deficit bond bills would be secured without the bills being taken as a political hostage in the coming few years. Countering a concern that guaranteeing issuance of deficit bonds may jeopardize fiscal discipline, the three parties said in a statement that the deal was aimed at stabilizing fiscal management on condition that the government keeps such bond issuance under control and

maintains sustainable finances. The three parties also said they would seek a swift end to deferrals on government spending such as on tax grants to rural governments, which have been put in place since September to avoid a cash crunch due to the deadlock over the funding bill. Finance Minister Koriki Jojima told reporters yesterday that swift passage of the bill is badly needed as the government is considering crafting an extra budget at some point to stimulate the economy after a contraction in the third quarter. Noda, under opposition pressure to call an early poll, looks to be leaning towards holding one as early as next month, after pledging support for a controversial US-led free trade pact. But some in his party would prefer to delay the day of reckoning with support for his government at its lowest since Noda took office last year. The risk that Japan could lurch over its “fiscal cliff”-a term coined to describe massive tax hikes and spending cuts that could hit the United States early next year-has prompted fresh warnings from rating agencies that a prolonged political gridlock could prompt credit downgrades.— Reuters

China needs 4,960 planes by 2031 ZHUHAI: China will need 4,960 commercial planes over the next 20 years, representing a value of $563 billion, the official Xinhua news agency said yesterday, as air travel demand is expected to increase. The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) also forecast that China would require 4,273 “large” passenger planes from now until 2031, the report said. The forecast for all commercial planes, large and small, is lower than a similar estimate by US aviation giant Boeing released in September that said China will need 5,260 commercial jets by 2031. COMAC, which gave the estimate on the sidelines of China’s premier airshow held in the southern city of Zhuhai, also said the country’s air passenger volume would grow more than seven percent annually in the next two decades. Air travel demand in China has soared in line with the country’s decades of surging economic growth that have made it the world’s second-biggest economy and seen its increasingly wealthy consumers take to the skies. Chinese airlines carried 292 million domestic passengers last year, up 9.2 percent from 2010, according to official figures. COMAC itself is developing two planes, a regional jet and a larger aircraft aimed at challenging the dominance of industry giants Boeing and Airbus. The Chinese company said it received 50 orders for the challenger-a medium-range commercial jet called the C919 — at the airshow, bringing the total to 380, Xinhua said in a separate report. The company aims to hold the maiden flight of the C919 in 2014 and bring the aircraft to the market in 2016, Xinhua said. The C919 will have up to 168 seats with a maximum range of 5,555 kilometres (3,450 miles), according to COMAC’s website. Industry officials say the C919 will compete with Boeing and Airbus in the medium-range sector, which represents 70 percent of China’s market.Shanghai-based COMAC is now testing prototypes of its smaller, regional jet the ARJ21 — but it has ambitious plans to assemble 50 of them a year by 2014, state media reported earlier this month. European consortium Airbus had 853 planes in service in China by the end of October, accounting for about half of China’s total fleet of aircraft of over 100 seats, the company said in a statement released at the airshow. It plans to deliver a total of 120 new aircraft, mainly A320s, to Chinese airlines for all of this year, the statement said. — AFP

ZHUHAI: A man looks on next to a Chinese made drone displayed during the 9th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai yesterday. China’s air show comes as the Communist Party holds a meeting to select the country’s new leaders — including the party’s Central Military Commission, which controls the armed forces. — AFP

SHANGHAI: An investor looks at the stock price monitor at a private securities company in Shanghai, China yesterday. Asian stock markets fell yesterday, after Europe’s finance ministers postponed approval of an urgently needed aid payment for debt-mired Greece. — AP

Asian markets fall on US, Europe woes HONG KONG: Asian markets fell yesterday on uncertainty about the global economic outlook as the US “fiscal cliff” looms and much-needed bailout cash for Greece was delayed. The yen rose against the euro and dollar as investors sought safety, dealing a blow to Japan’s exporters, while the European unit hit a two-month low against the greenback. Chinese shares declined as property shares tumbled on concerns over government intentions to maintain policies to control housing prices, dealers said. Tokyo was down 0.18 percent, or 15.39 points, at 8,661.05, as an early bargainhunting rally yielded to concern about the stubbornly high yen. Sydney fell 1.53 percent, or 68.23 points, to 4,379.8, its biggest fall in four months. Seoul lost 0.59 percent, or 11.17 points, to end at 1,889.70. Hong Kong fell 1.13 percent, or 241.65 points, to 21,188.65 and Shanghai gave up 1.51 percent, or 31.39 points, to 2,047.89. Eurozone finance ministers said after a meeting Monday that Greece had made “considerable progress” towards meeting conditions for its next tranche of cash, but they would have to meet again on Tuesday next week to decide whether to release it. In the United States, investors are growing increasingly nervous about the approaching fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax rises, which threatens to send the economy back into recession unless a cross-party deal is brokered. “There has been no improvement on the European debt crisis or the US fiscal cliff,” said James Rosenberg, Macquarie Private Wealth investment adviser in Australia. In European currency trade the euro fell to $1.2670 — around its lowest since early September-and 100.40 yen, compared with $1.2709 and 101.02 yen in New York late

on Monday. The dollar was at 79.23 yen against 79.49 yen. Traders are watching events in Beijing, where the Communist Party’s 18th congress is in its final days and China’s leaders for the next 10 years are due to be unveiled. Investors hope the next few days will provide a little more clarity over policy in the world’s number two economy. On oil markets New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, shed 71 cents to $84.86 a barrel in the afternoon. Brent North Sea crude for December delivery fell 83 cents to $108.34. Gold was at $1,726.30 by 1050 GMT compared with $1,736.60 late Monday. In other markets: Taipei shed 1.81 percent, or 131.70 points, to 7,136.05.Smartphone maker HTC was down 6.83 percent at Tw$225.0, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co dropped 1.10 percent to Tw$90.3. Manila closed 0.27 percent lower, shedding 14.78 points to 5,455.92. Metropolitan Bank and Trust slipped 1.89 percent to 95.95 pesos while Ayala Corp. dropped 1.56 percent to 443 pesos. Wellington fell 0.34 percent, or 13.44 points, to 3,970.55. Fletcher Building was off 0.94 percent at NZ$7.41, Telecom lost 1.64 percent at NZ$2.40 and Air New Zealand was steady on NZ$1.25. Bangkok lost 0.42 percent, or 5.43 points, to 1,289.07. Advanced Info Service gained 1.59 percent to 192 baht, while Banpu fell 1.57 percent to 375 baht. Jakarta ended up 13.493 points, or 0.31 percent, at 4,332.084. Hero Supermarket rose 12.95 percent to 3,925 rupiah, Cahaya Kalbar climbed 1.95 percent to 1,570 rupiah and Telekomunikasi Indonesia was up 0.53 percent at 9,400 rupiah. Kuala Lumpur and Singapore were closed for public holidays while Mumbai was open for a traditional 75-minute ceremonial trading session to mark Diwali. — AFP




Air Arabia reports Q3 net profit of AED 226 million Airline continues on growth trajectory KUWAIT: Air Arabia Group, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, announced today its financial results for the third quarter of 2012, demonstrating its ability to deliver strong profits quarter after quarter. For the three months ending September 30, 2012, Air Arabia reported a net profit of AED 226 million, an increase of 126 per cent as compared to AED 100 million in the corresponding period in 2011, reflecting the airline’s strong financial position and outstanding performance. Beating analysts’ forecasts, the carrier’s turnover for the third quarter reached AED 836 million, an increase of 19 per cent compared to the same period last year, suggesting that the airline is well on track to achieve a remarkable year. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, described the exceptional financial performance as a result of the airline’s strong business model, excellent cost control margins and its prudent growth strategy. He said: “The sustained profitability and solid growth margins signal that Air Arabia is on a steady growth trajectory. The extremely positive financials further validates our concerted efforts to unlock opportunities for the low-cost model, which is pioneered by Air Arabia in the wider Arab region, while continuously making air travel accessible to millions of customers every year”. The low-cost pioneer enjoyed ever increasing demand for its value-for-money services, registering 14 per cent increase in passenger traffic to 1,368,728 million in the third quarter of this

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia year. Air Arabia’s average seat load factor - or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats - for the same quarter stood at an impressive 82 per cent. Sheikh Al Thani continued: “With market conditions rebounding, there remain great opportunities for low cost travel segment in the region.

Air Arabia remains focused on capitalising on the existing potential and securing best returnon-investment for its shareholders”. Air Arabia’s net profit for the nine months of 2012 stood at AED 342 million, an increase of 75 per cent compared to AED 195 million for the same period in 2011. During the first nine months of this year, the company registered a turnover of AED 2.187 billion, an increase of 21 per cent compared to the same period last year. The airline served more than 3.9 million passengers during the first nine months of 2012, an increase of 12 per cent compared the same period last year while the average seat load for the same period stood at a strong 83 per cent. Sheikh Al Thani concluded: “Air Arabia will continue to serve as the preferred choice for passengers seeking to travel in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Asia. We will continue to enter into new markets and launch new ventures, while providing our customers with an even wider choice of value-for-money travel options.” As part of its commitment to enable more people to fly efficiently and affordably, Air Arabia continues to enter into new markets. In the past quarter, it has added three new destinations - Erbil in Iraq, Uffa in Russia and Odessa in Ukraine - expanded operations from its hubs in Morocco and Egypt, and announced launch of additional four routes in October 2012, bringing Air Arabia’s global network to reach 81 destinations. This reflects the airline’s continued focus on expanding its footprint into high growth markets while simultaneously strengthening services to existing routes.

Exclusive offer from Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons for NBK’s customers

Isam Al Sager

KUWAIT: Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive, the exclusive distributor of Cadillac in Kuwait, offers National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) Thahabi customers an exclusive discount on Cadillac vehicles. When purchasing a Cadillac CTS, CTS Coupe, SRX or Escalade, NBK’s Thahabi customers receive an exclusive discount of up to KD 750; in addition to an iPhone 5 as a gift. The Offer is valid until the end of November, 2012. NBK’s Thahabi customers will also benefit from the Cadillac Premium Care Program which portrays the new luxury standards of ownership, including complimentary service and maintenance for 4 years / 100,000 KM, regional roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited mileage, warranty for 4 years / 100,000 KM and courtesy transportation for sched-

uled maintenance and courtesy vehicle for warranty repairs. Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive is strongly committed to providing customers with the best offers and world-class service with the world’s largest and most advanced service center. To find out more about the Cadillac offers and Premium Care Program, visit or call the Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons showroom at Al-Rai. Thahabi is the premier affluent package from NBK. It offers customers personalized and ‘best-inclass’ products and services delivered by professional Personal Banking Officers. Thahabi customers also enjoy many banking-related discounts, fee waivers and value-added lifestyle benefits. For more information on Thahabi account log onto

AWB reports 19% growth in profits for first 9 months KUWAIT: Al Watany Bank of Egypt (AWB), the subsidiary of National Bank of Kuwait Group (NBK) in Egypt, reported net profits of EGP 228.4 million for the first nine months of 2012 compared with EGP 191.9 million for the same period in 2011, an increase of 19% year-on-year. As of end of September 2012, AWB’s total assets reached EGP 16.3 billion, up compared with EGP 15.4 billion at the end of September 2011. ROA increased to 1.87% compared with 1.00% at the end of September 2011, and ROE increased to 20.4% from 18.04%. AWB Chairman Isam Al Sager said that AWB has once again proved its ability to post strong profits despite the unfavorable and challenging local and regional situation. AWB’s resilient performance for the first nine months of 2012 reflects the bank’s strength and solid financial position. “AWB has been one of the fastest growing banks in Egypt over the past few years and is moving forward with its strategy to strengthen its position in the Egyptian market,” added Al Sager.

Yuan hits record high SHANGHAI: China’s yuan currency hit a record high against the US dollar yesterday, as a recovery in the domestic economy and US political pressure helped the unit strengthen, analysts said. Trade data released Saturday lifted confidence in the domestic economy, according to analysts, while an expected US government report on exchange rates may be prompting the central bank to guide the yuan higher. The yuan touched an intra-day high of 6.2262 to the dollar, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System, marking the strongest level since China launched its modern foreign exchange market in 1994. It also registered a record closing high of 6.2265, firming from Monday’s close of 6.2291. “China’s economic recovery, albeit weak, may attract foreign capital to put investment in yuan-denominated assets, driving demand for the currency,” a Beijing-based foreign exchange analyst, who declined to be named,

told AFP. China’s exports rose 11.6 percent in October, according to official data, accelerating for a second straight month in fresh evidence of a broader rebound for the world’s second-largest economy. The nation’s trade surplus, a source of friction with the United States and other countries, widened to $32 billion, up from $27.7 billion in September. “Recent data showed the worst may have come and gone for the domestic economy,” Industrial Bank analyst Jiang Shu told AFP. “There are expectations that US quantitative easing will proceed as previously scheduled after President (Barack) Obama’s re-election, leading to a weakening dollar and creating room for (yuan) appreciation,” he said. Chinese authorities may also be prompting the yuan higher in a gesture to appease criticism that the unit is vastly undervalued, ahead of an upcoming US exchange rate report, Jiang said.—AFP

IKEA Kuwait supports UNICEF KUWAIT: As part of its Children’s Campaign, IKEA Kuwait in collaboration with UNICEF and Save the Children organizations is set to commence its Social Initiatives mission this year. IKEA Kuwait hopes to improve the rights and life opportunities of the many children, creating a significant and lasting change. IKEA Kuwait is aiming to provide children with a healthy start in life, access to quality education and empowerment of women. At the same time, IKEA spares no efforts in providing some short-term projects through this cause, such as the annual Soft Toys Campaign, “One Euro is a Fortune” which runs every year in all IKEA stores in more than 30 countries. In Kuwait, 400 fils (one euro) is donated to UNICEF and Save the Children educational projects for each soft toy sold. Highlighting the importance of this campaign, Adel Al-Shamali (General Manager) said, “At IKEA we understand

the nature of those less privileged and strongly believe in giving back to the community. It is our ongoing and constant endeavor to host initiatives that benefit the society at large. IKEA Kuwait is honored to participate in this campaign.” Through the annual “One euro is a fortune” campaign during the holiday season, IKEA Social Initiative supports educational projects in Asia, Africa and Central and Eastern Europe. One euro is enough to provide five children with schoolbooks for one whole year. Since 2003, 23.8 million Euros have been donated to projects in more than 30 countries, benefiting 8 million children. These projects are managed by UNICEF and Save the Children. Today, IKEA Social Initiative supports projects that benefit an estimated 100 million children worldwide. The campaign will run until 22nd November.

Ford Mustang gets new technologies KUWAIT: The Ford Mustang extends the boundaries of fuel economy and performance and for the new 2013 model, Mustang provides customers what they want technology-wise, as well. A new productivity screen, new audio systems and plenty of standard and optional features highlight the technology available for owners of the newest pony car. Key to helping customers of the new Mustang take advantage of all the capability is an available 4.2-inch liquid crystal display productivity screen. This LCD screen offers menu options, giving the driver important information related to fuel economy and vehicle performance. The menu is navigated through a five-way control button located on the steering wheel. “Mustang stays fresh by keeping relevant with everything going on in the tech world,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “So we’re taking all the technology people are used to using and finding ways to put it in Mustang.” Hussein Murad, Director of Sales at Ford Middle East, added: “All our latest technology being introduced to Ford’s vehicles have been a huge hit with buyers, so it’s exciting to see this coming to Mustang, giving pony car enthusiasts the chance to get to grips with some of our most exciting innovations while adding to that unique Mustang experience which they love.” The new LCD is positioned between the tachometer and speedometer and the familiar pony image greets the customer at key-on. Unique to Mustang’s productivity screen is Track Apps, which delivers performance metrics for drivers who want to put their car to the test at the track. Ford used extensive enthusiast feedback to tailor the system to meet their needs. An accelerometer shows the g-force the car is pulling from left to right and also shows fore and aft. Drivers who take their car to a track can measure their fastest times with the acceleration timer screen, which lets them choose from 0-30 mph, 060 mph, 0-100 mph, eighth-mile and quarter-mile. Both an automatic start and a countdown start, complete with drag racing start light, are available. The brake performance screen indicates stopping time and distance for 60-0 or 1000. The view/clear results screen lets drivers take a look at their top times, including their all-time best. They can review their last results and saved results from the acceleration timer and brake performance screen. “We take advantage of sensors that are already on the car to give customers information they would have to pay extra for in the aftermarket,” said Jeff Seaman, Mustang launch leader. “They have more data at their fingertips than ever before.” A closer look at the base menu options: Gauge mode: Checking temperature/engine operation • Air-to-fuel ratio • Cylinder head temperature • Inlet air temperature • Oil temperature • Transmission temperature • •

Trip computer: Counting the miles Information on two trips available Trip time and mileage

• • • •

Gallons of fuel used and miles per gallon Fuel economy: Up-to-the-second information Fuel history can be broken down to three time periods Five resets are available to track fuel history Fuel economy displays miles to empty, as well as average and instantaneous miles per gallon View/clear results

Settings: Customers can: • Set steering feel - sport, standard or comfort • Update MyColor • Set MyKey(r) • Turn features on or off • Change duration of lamps • Change operating condition for maintenance schedules • Set oil life percentage

• •

Information: Navigate and view warnings System check screen displays information such as oil life, engine hours, engine idle hours and open doors Warnings, such as “Left rear door ajar,” can be displayed graphically

Technology and connectivity features The 2013 Mustang offers two new audio systems that deliver incredible clarity and sound crispness for even better sound quality. The optional Shaker system comes with eight speakers. The upgraded Shaker Pro offers nine speakers for a complete acoustic experience that simulates being at a live performance. The move for new audio systems was sparked through customer feedback that showed a desire for a more authentic listening experience. In addition to the higher powered systems with more decibels and a new external amplifier, the speakers were changed and reconfigured to refine the system. The result is an elevated level of music, essentially enhancing the in-cabin acoustics and improving bass response and image to give an overall better sound stage experience. “Mustang customers are passionate about their cars and they tell us what they are looking for in their next Mustang,” said Puneet Sahi, Mustang marketing manager. “The 2013 car is a perfect example of how we are delivering. Aside from the more aggressive styling cues, we are offering new optional packages for both the GT and V6 that up the convenience factor. Now, customers can get their base Mustang with SYNC(r), a leather steering wheel and shifter, six-way power driver seat, fog lamps and auto-dim mirror.” The 2013 Ford Mustang also includes a wealth of features to provide more convenience. Standard and available technology features include: • MyKey • Auxiliary audio input jack • HD Radio • Sirius(r) Satellite Radio • SYNC with AppLink(tm) • Voice-activated Navigation System with touch-screen display • Rear view camera • Reverse Sensing System



Focus on Japan’s gadget failures TOKYO: It gave us the Walkman, the pocket calculator and heated toilet seats, but Japan’s path to innovative greatness is littered with failures such as the TV-shaped radio and the “walking” toaster. These and other retro appliances are part of a treasure trove offering a glimpse of futures that never happened on Japan’s journey to becoming a worldwide byword for invention during the late 1950s and early 1960s. “Way back before Cool Japan was an Uncool Japan,” said Kenichi Masuda, 49, referencing the marketing slogan Tokyo uses to sell itself at home and abroad. Masuda has made a life’s work of gathering the also-rans in the race to consumer supremacy. Witness Iwatsu Electric’s “Both Phone”two telephones attached back to back with only one receiver, apparently to allow someone to make calls from either side. But only one at a time. Marvel at Fuji Electric’s double-decked electric fan-the “Silent Pair”, which definitely is a pair but

not exactly silent. Browsing Masuda’s collection sends the viewer through a portal to a different time, a period when the “three sacred treasures”the television, refrigerator and washing machinewere status symbols to which all self-respecting housewives in booming Japan would aspire. But for those who could not afford a real televisionJapan’s first domestically-produced set cost the equivalent of three years’ salary for a mid-1950s high school graduate-the next best thing was readily available. The “Sharp Cinema Super” is a radio in the shape of a television and cost 10,900 yen-a little more than a month’s salary for an elite public servant of the time. “The delight of having the impression of watching TV would, however, fade quickly with this still screen, “ said Masuda, adding: “I bet the man who bought this was scolded by his wife.” Panasonic’s television-shaped gas stove GSF-1 is the most expensive model among a range of gas

heaters the company sold over 30 years. “Is there any real meaning in this? No, but this shows how people admired television sets,” he said while showing AFP the stove, one of the 2,000 items he has amassed over nearly three decades. Other marvels include the “satellite-type” washing machine-a round metal pod with a handle that stirs dirty laundry in water and detergent. The product was launched in 1957 amid public excitement over the Soviet Union’s Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite. Sharp’s “Quicky”, a pair of electric scissors, and Toshiba’s prosaically named “CK-31A” electric can opener were both failures. Hitachi’s “Piano” is a desk-top electric fan that is, for no discernable reason, shaped like a miniature piano and is supposed to emit a gently scented breeze. Not to be confused with typical hotel “conveyor belt” toasters, Toshiba’s “walking-type toaster” has a slit entrance for the slice of bread, which is then

“walked” vertically down inside the toaster on metal rails. When the toast eventually emerges at the other end, it feels like a major achievement. “This didn’t sell. There’s no way Japan’s small kitchens had room for a product whose size and price were twice those of common models,” Masuda said. His personal favourite in this category is Toshiba’s “Snack-3”, a device that can warm milk while toasting a slice of bread and frying an egg. Would-be consumers might have seen through this one. “People may have wanted to have Western-style breakfast at the time... though you would become tired of that fairly quickly,” he said. For Masuda, these quixotic gadgets show the bravery and idealism of Japanese companies in a high-growth era that was crowned by the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the launch of bullet trains. “They are adorable. You can see how they came about from companies pouring so much effort in to pleasing customers. —AFP

Particle change hailed as major find by CERN SUSY still in sights despite some doubts

BERLIN: In this photo, a BlackBerry employee holds a mobile phone of BlackBerry. — AP

RIM ready to unveil new BlackBerry phones soon TORONTO: Research In Motion said Monday that it will hold an official launch event for its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones on Jan 30. The new phones are seen as critical to RIM’s survival. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said Monday details on the much-delayed smartphones and their availability will be announced at the event. The announcement comes as the company struggles in North America to hold onto customers who are abandoning BlackBerrys for flashier iPhones and Android phones. RIM’s current software is still focused on email and messaging, and is less user-friendly, agile and robust than iPhone or Android. Its attempt at touch screens was a flop, and it lacks the apps that power other smartphones. RIM is hanging its hopes on the BlackBerry 10 software. It is thoroughly redesigned for the touchscreen, Internet browsing and apps experience that customers now expect. The Canadian company said the launch event will happen simultaneously in multiple countries. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek called it a make-or-break product release and said the date of the launch event suggests a release date in mid- to late February or in March. A full touchscreen device is expected to be released first followed shortly after by a physical keyboard version. BGC Financial Partners analyst Colin Gillis said the new phones won’t be dead on arrival as some analysts have said because RIM hasn’t lost the corporate market completely.

“Is 10 going to be the solution to retain that marketplace? We’ll have to wait and see,” Gillis said. “It’s great they set a date, but the challenges are still formidable. It’s not an issue of initial demand. It’s an issue of sustained demand.” Gillis noted that RIM’s launch of a tablet initially went OK but then demand fell sharply. RIM’s tablet, the Playbook, uses software on which the BlackBerry 10 will be based. RIM said last month the new BlackBerrys are being tested by 50 wireless carriers around the world. Thorsten Heins, who took over as CEO in January after the company lost tens of billions in market value, had vowed to do everything he could to release BlackBerry 10 this year but said in June that the timetable wasn’t realistic. Heins says he can turn things around with BlackBerry 10. The new BlackBerrys will be released after the holiday shopping season and well after Apple’s launch of the iPhone 5, expected to be Apple’s biggest product introduction yet. RIM’s platform transition is also happening under a new management team and as RIM lays off 5,000 employees as part of a bid to save $1 billion. RIM was once Canada’s most valuable company with a market value of more than $80 billion in 2008, but the stock has plummeted since, from over $140 per share to around $8. Its decline evokes memories of Nortel, another former Canadian tech giant, which declared bankruptcy in 2009. Shares of RIM rose 27 cents, or 3.2 percent, to close at $8.81 Monday in New York after rising as high as $9.07 earlier. — AP

EL SAUZ: A group of dish-shaped solar reflectors in El Sauz, Hidalgo state, Mexico. The collected and concentrated sun’s rays are directed to his kitchen by means of a series of mirrors and the temperature obtained can reach more than 1,000 degrees Celsius. — AFP

Buzz building for debut of Wii U videogame console SAN FRANCISCO: Pre-orders for Wii U have been hot ahead of the Sunday release of the new Nintendo videogame console that the Japanese electronics titan hopes will catapult it to renewed glory. Nintendo is hoping for a repeat of the runaway success it had with original Wii consoles, which lured legions of “casual gamers” into the videogame world with the introduction of motion-sensing controls. Promising signs in the market included US consumer electronics chain Best Buy informing people that it was sold out of Wii U consoles for pre-order online but that they could try their luck at real-world stores on launch day. At Internet retail titan, Wii U consoles were being offered at opening prices hundreds of dollars above list prices of $300 for basic models and $350 for “deluxe sets.” A grand Wii U event is planned at Nintendo

World in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza on Saturday night ahead of the consoles going on sale there at midnight. “The Wii U is exactly what the game industry needs right now,” said Tony Key, vice president of sales and marketing at French videogame star Ubisoft. “Consumers are looking for a fresh experience and to have fun, and this is our chance to deliver.” Nintendo unveiled Wii U in June, vowing to start a trend in “asymmetrical play” that lets players using GamePad tablets have different ingame perspectives and roles than those using traditional wand controllers. “At its core, the Wii U does three different things,” Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said during the unveiling. “Change your gaming, change how you interact with gaming friends and change the way you enjoy your TV,” he continued. “It stands to revolutionize your living room.”—AFP

GENEVA: CERN researchers said on Monday they have spotted a particle reshaping into two others in their Large Hadron Collider, a breakthrough that could be crucial in exploring physics frontiers once the realm of science fiction. The mutation - in a process known as decay - was predicted under the so-called Standard Model (SM) of physics which describes how the universe works at the most fundamental level, but until now scientists had never seen it. The discovery, announced at a conference in Japan, will sharpen efforts to find evidence for super symmetry, dubbed SUSY, a theory explaining some cosmic mysteries, and for other “New Physics” ideas beyond the SM’s confines, CERN experts said. The LHC, which went into operation at the research centre near Geneva in early 2010, had confirmed the model as its initial target, but its longer-term goal is to push beyond that into new realms envisaged by theorists. “The detailed implications of this latest result will take a while to work through, but one thing is easy to state: the Standard Model has survived another test,” U.S. physicist and CERN-watcher Matt Strassler said in a blog post. A decay of the type recorded by CERN’s LHCb

experiment, in which a Bs meson particle was transformed after a collision in the LHC into a muon and an anti-muon, was foreseen under the model, developed in the second half of the 20th century. Scientists had been trying to spot the decay - which in the arithmetically-intense world of particle physics had been correctly predicted to happen to one Bs meson in every 300 million for well over a decade. Oliver Buchmueller, of the Geneva research centre’s CMS experiment, told Reuters that although the nature of the decay narrowed the energy range where SUSY traces might be found, it also left plenty of room for these to turn up later. “This is another piece in the puzzle and with it the world appears even more SM (Standard Model)-like,” he said. “It supports SUSY, because that is the only theory that can include the Standard Model in a wider concept of New Physics.” SUSY, which provides for the existence of unseen heavy “super-partners” to all known particles, is controversial, with some physicists expressing doubts about it as an explanation of cosmic oddities like the strange speed of rotation of galaxies. The doubters have more than

once pronounced the theory dead. But it would find its place in New Physics, which includes science fiction-like constructs including dark matter, dark energy, string theory and extra dimensions. CERN hopes that some of these, and other concepts yet unspecified, might transmute from theory into fact when in late 2014 it doubles the power of the LHC, which runs 27 kms (16.8 miles) in a circle under the Swiss-French border. The decay development follows the CERN announcement in July of the sighting in the LHC of a new particle - believed to be, although it remains to be confirmed - the Higgs boson, a key building bloc of nature that gives mass to matter. The discovery, after three decades of searching in three different colliders, put the last major missing element into the Standard Model, drawn up by scientists on the basis of what was known and seemed likely about the universe. The decay reported in Japan, at a Kyoto gathering of particle physicists, emerged - like the presumed Higgs - from light-speed collisions in the LHC that recreate the primeval disorder that followed the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago. — Reuters

First map produced of universe 11bn years ago LONDON: An international team of astronomers has produced the first map of the universe as it was 11 billion years ago, filling a gap between the Big Bang and the rapid expansion that followed. The study, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, shows the universe went through a phase roughly three billion years after the Big Bang when expansion actually started to slow, before the force of so-called ‘dark energy’ kicked in and sent galaxies accelerating away from each other. Much is known about the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang from studies of its afterglow in the cosmic background radiation, and its accelerating expansion over several billion years can be seen with a look at the way distant galaxies are moving. “Only now are we finally seeing its adolescence... just before it underwent a growth spurt,” said Mat Pieri at the University of Portsmouth in Britain, one of the authors of the study. Little is known about dark energy, and its counterpart dark matter, but astronomers argue the force must exist to account for the speed at which the universe is expanding. Together, dark energy and dark matter are believed to make up about 96 percent of the universe. The new study supports the theory that dark energy was somehow created as the universe expanded, by detailing a period when gravity was winning the tussle and slowing the expansion. “If we think of the universe as a roller coaster, then today we are rushing downhill, gaining speed as we go,” said Pieri. “Our new measurement tells us about the time when the universe was climbing the hill - still being slowed by gravity.” The map, the work of 63 scientists from nine countries, was compiled using a novel technique for studying the intense light from 50,000 distant quasars as it passes through clouds of hydrogen in space on its way to Earth. They produce a picture of the ancient universe in same way thousands of flashlight beams would light up a bank of fog. “The quasars are backlights,” Pieri told Reuters, and the way the gas in front of them absorbs some of the light allows astronomers to get a detailed picture of these distant clouds of gas known as the intergalactic medium. The study is the first fruit from a five-year project started in 2009. The team, from the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey, expect to expand the survey with light from about 160,000 quasars by the end of the project.—Reuters

This undated publicity photo provided by Electronic Arts Inc shows a scene from the video game “Medal of Honor: Warfighter.” Navy officials said last week that seven members of the secretive Navy SEAL Team 6, including one involved in the mission to take down Osama bin Laden, were reprimanded for disclosing classified information to the creators of “Warfighter,” a modern-day, first-person shooter from developer Danger Close Games and publisher Electronic Arts Inc released in October. — AP

Lockheed says cyber attacks up sharply, suppliers targeted WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s No 1 supplier, Lockheed Martin Corp, on Monday cited dramatic growth in the number and sophistication of international cyber attacks on its networks and said it was contacting suppliers to help them shore up their security. Chandra McMahon, Lockheed vice president and chief information security officer, said about 20 percent of the threats directed at Lockheed networks were considered “advanced persistent threats,” prolonged and targeted attacks by a nation state or other group trying to steal data or harm operations. “The number of campaigns has increased dramatically over the last several years,” McMahon told a news conference. “The pace has picked up.” She said the tactics and techniques were becoming increasingly sophisticated, and attackers were clearly targeting Lockheed suppliers to gain access to information since the company had fortified its own networks. US officials have stepped up their warnings about cyber attacks on US banks and other institutions in recent months, warning that attackers are developing the ability to strike US power grids and government systems. Lockheed officials declined to say if any of the attacks they had seen originated in Iran, which has been linked to recent denial-of-service attacks against US financial institutions. Rohan Amin, Lockheed program director for the Pentagon’s Cyber Crime Center (DC3), said internal analysis showed that the number of campaigns had clearly grown, and multiple campaigns were often linked. Lockheed recently wrested a $450 million contract to run the military cyber center away from longtime holder General Dynamics Corp. “Huge problem” As the top information technology provider to the US government, Lockheed has long worked to secure data on computer networks run by a range of civilian and military agencies. The company is also trying to expand sales of cybersecurity technology and services to commercial firms, including its suppliers, and foreign governments,

Lockheed executives said. “Suppliers are still a huge problem,” said Charlie Croom, Lockheed’s vice president of cybersecurity solutions, noting the large number of companies that provide products and components for Lockheed, which has annual sales of just under $47 billion. Croom, the former head of the Pentagon’s Defense Information Systems Agency, said cybersecurity was a crucial area for Lockheed, but said it was difficult to pinpoint exactly how much business it generates because network security is part of nearly everything the company sells and does for the government. He estimated that 5 to 8 percent of Lockheed’s revenues in the information systems sector were related to cybersecurity. Lockheed generated $9.4 billion sales in that division in 2011. McMahon said Lockheed had seen “very successful” attacks against a number of the company’s suppliers, and was focusing heavily on helping those companies improve their security. She said a well-publicized cyber attack on Lockheed’s networks in May 2011 came after the computer systems of two of its suppliers-RSA, the security division of EMC Corp and another unidentified company-were compromised. “The adversary was able to get information from RSA and then they were also able to steal information from another supplier of ours, and they were able to put those two pieces of information together and launch an attack on us,” McMahon said. She said Lockheed had been tracking the adversary for years before that attack, and was able to prevent any loss of data by using its in-house detection and monitoring capabilities. One of the lessons the company learned was the importance of sharing data with other companies in the defense sector, and suppliers, to avert similar attacks, McMahon said. “It’s just one example of how the adversary has been very significant and tenacious and has really been targeting the defense industrial base,” she said. Social media, websites and malware introduced by emails remain major areas of concern, Lockheed executives said. — Reuters



health & science

Spinal steroids may have little impact on one type of back pain SYDNEY: Steroid shots to treat various kinds of back pain, popular in recent years, do little to alleviate the common condition called sciatica, which causes leg and back pain, according to an Australian study. In the United States, the use of steroid injections into the spine to treat back pain has surged over the last few years, and a tainted supply of one of the steroids included in the study - methylprednisolone - recently caused a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis that infected 400 people and led to 31 deaths. In the study, which analyzed results from nearly two dozen clinical trials on thousands of patients, Australian

researchers found that epidural injections - into the spine - of corticosteroids had no long- or short-term effect on sciatica back pain, and such a short-term impact on leg pain that it would make no difference to the patient. “I think it’s pretty clear that this treatment is not good to do,” said Chris Maher, at The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, who worked on the study. For sciatica, which is thought to be caused by nerve damage, past studies have already questioned the effectiveness of spinal steroid shots. A small study earlier this year found that patients who received steroid shots for

sciatica had about the same improvement rate as those who received placebos. Maher and his colleagues analyzed 23 clinical trials, representing about 2,300 patients, whose pain was ranked on a scale of zero to 100, with higher numbers for more pain. For the back pain part of sciatica, the researchers found that the injections didn’t seem to make a difference over short or long periods of time, according to the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. For the leg pain, there was no difference a year or so after the injection, but there was a statistically significant six-point drop in pain scores over the

short-term, about two weeks to three months - not enough, Maher said, to mean anything to a doctor or patient. “You can appreciate that six points on a hundred-point scale is a tiny difference, and in our view that is probably not clinically important,” he said. “We really think the question is closed. So in terms of our research agenda, we’re moving on to other treatments for sciatica.” Among those other options are simple pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, drugs that treat pain by working throughout a person’s nervous system, and, as a last resort, surgery. Not everyone agrees that steroid injections should be excluded from

the hierarchy of treatments for sciatica. Patients with sciatica from a relatively recent herniated disk who time and medicine have not helped may gain relief, some doctors said. “In general, I think we’ve learned over the years that the epidural injections are turning out to be less and less successful... but there are times when they should be considered,” said Kirkham Wood, chief of the orthopedic spine service at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital. He does believe, though, that the injections - once standard treatment are overused. “I think the pendulum is certainly swinging away from their use,” he added. — Reuters

Early end-of-life talks tied to less aggressive care American cancer study

HANOVER: A fly agaric mushroom stands on a meadow covered with hoar frost in Hanover, eastern Germany, yesterday. — AFP

New discovery could increase older women’s chances of having babies HARVARD: Jonathan Tilly may have discovered a way to slow the ticking of women’s biological clocks. In a paper published in March, the Harvard University reproductive biologist and his colleagues reported that women carry egg stem cells in their ovaries into adulthood—a possible key to extending the age at which a woman might have a baby. Today, a woman’s fertility is limited by her total supply of eggs and by the diminished quality of those eggs as she reaches her 40s. Tilly’s work with the stem cells-cells that can differentiate, or develop into other kinds of cells-could address both issues. For one thing, it’s possible that these newly discovered cells could be coaxed to develop into new eggs. And even if not, he says, they could be used to rejuvenate an older woman’s existing eggs. Tilly first found egg stem cells in mice in 2004. Once he identified egg stem cells in ovarian tissue from adult women, he isolated the cells and injected them into human ovary tissue that was then transplanted into mice. There the cells differentiated into human oocytes, the immature egg cells that mature, one at a time, at ovulation. Tilly didn’t take these oocytes any further, but he says he has gotten egg stem cells from mice to generate functional mouse eggs that were fertilized and exhibited early embryonic development. The research is still a long way from creating a crying human newborn. Nevertheless, the paper “changes what we understand” about fertility, says Tilly, who also directs a center for reproductive biology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Though some of Tilly’s peers remain dubious that the cells he’s found in women’s ovarian tissue are actually stem cells or could become functional egg cells, many find the research provocative. “I think this is

a very intriguing leap,” says Elizabeth McGee, an associate professor and head of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Virginia Commonwealth University. “However, I think there’s still a long way to go before this becomes a useful product for women.” Boston-based OvaScience, which is commercializing Tilly’s work, hopes it won’t be too long. The company’s cofounders include venture capitalist Christoph Westphal and Harvard antiaging researcher David Sinclair, who founded Sirtris Pharmaceuticals and sold it to GlaxoSmithKline for $720 million in 2008. OvaScience has raised $43 million to pursue fertility treatments and other applications for the stem cells. One of the more tantalizing implications is that this technology could be used to reclaim the youth of an older woman’s eggs. Tilly says he can do this by transferring mitochondria-the cell’s power source-from the stem-cell-derived cells into the existing eggs. Researchers who tried something similar in the 1990s, with the help of young donors, found that mitochondria from the donors’ egg cells could improve the viability of older eggs. But the nearly 30 children who resulted from this work ended up with DNA from two women as well as their father. (It’s not clear whether the children suffered any health consequences.) By being her own source for the younger mitochondria, a woman could avoid that potentially dangerous mix of DNA, Tilly says. David Albertini, director of the Center for Reproductive Sciences at the University of Kansas Medical Center and a member of OvaScience’s advisory board, says he “can’t wait to get [his] hands on” Tilly’s cells for his own egg research. But he says it’s too soon to consider implanting them in women before much more testing is done in mice.

NEW YORK: Terminally-ill cancer patients are less likely to get aggressive end-of-life treatment, such as chemotherapy in the last two weeks of life, when they talk with their doctors early on about how they want to die, according to a US study. The analysis, which appeared in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, involved 1,231 people with advanced lung or colon cancer who died over a 14-month period during a larger cancer study. Researchers interviewed patients or their care-givers about whether and when the patients had discussions with their doctors about endof-life care. Treatment aimed at keeping those patients alive at the end is often expensive and may not improve their quality of life or com-

fort. It also may involve more time in the hospital rather than at home or in hospice care. “Aggressive care at the end of life for individual patients isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just that most patients who recognize they’re dying don’t want to receive that kind of care,” said lead author Jennifer Mack, at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Mack and her colleagues also checked medical records for signs of end-of-life discussions and for any treatment and hospitalizations cancer patients had in their last month of life. They found that most patients - 88 percent - had end-oflife discussions, but more than onethird of those took place less than a month before the patient died, when their health was likely already

deteriorating. Close to two-thirds of the talks happened when the patients were in the hospital. Almost half of the study participants received aggressive, life-prolonging care, Mack’s team said. But those who’d had end-of-life discussions more than a month before dying were 50 to 60 percent less likely to get that extra treatment than patients who put off those talks or didn’t have them at all. Patients and caregivers who reported having the discussions with doctors were almost seven times more likely to end up in hospice than those who didn’t recall end-of-life talks. “A lot of patients don’t want (aggressive treatment), but they don’t recognized that they’re dying or that this is relevant for them,

The winter and viruses are here, protect yourself By Dr Kashif Rizvi MD, FRCP, CCST Consultant physician based at Mazaya Clover Centre, Jabriya KUWAIT: The summer weather in Kuwait is fierce, when it changes; there is a brief period of autumn. The viruses which have survived the harsh desert heat suddenly spring into action and afflict us all. Well, almost all, as it is possible to take a few simple steps which could protect us and our families during these seasonal changes. It’s all in the hands!! Although a sneeze can carry the virus almost 30 feet in the air, but these little fellas don’t remain ‘airborne’ for long, and settle on surfaces, like door handles, tables, worktops, etc. they can remain infective for 24 hours there. It’s ‘our hands’ which bring them to us. A simple wash of the hands or application of sanitizing gel could get rid of them. Even if we do touch them, they still have to be ‘brought to us’ as subconsciously we touch our noses, rub our eyes, and scratch our chins (metaphorically and literally). So, don’t touch your face! Also sneeze into the crook of your elbow rather than your hands to not infect others. Wrap up warm Guess what! The old wives tale was correct, a study in Cardiff confirmed if you are exposed to cold. The viruses multiply easily

in the nose and ‘show themselves’. When you wrap up please cover your nose in it too as it is actually the temperature within the nose which is responsible for the cold manifesting itself. Avoid huddles It’s good to be sociable, but please remember to wash your hands if you have been in the close vicinity of someone with a virus, keep the windows open and air circulating and needless to say avoid being coughed or sneezed at directly, as the most ‘infective zone’ around a person is 3 meters (or within 3 rows of an airplane seating)

Morocco’s ‘liquid gold’ enriches Berber women TIDZI, Morocco: In a poor but fertile corner of southern Morocco, illiterate Berber women are tapping the surge in global demand for argan oil, a “miracle” product they grind from a special nut, that is helping to lift them out of poverty. Sometimes known as “liquid gold” or “miracle oil” for its rich cosmetic, culinary and medicinal properties, the exclusively Moroccan export has caused a sensation in the West, where it is touted as a unique hair care and anti-ageing skin potion. The rolling countryside between Essaouira and Agadir, resort towns better known for their Atlantic surf, is covered with argan trees, and distinguished by the bizarre sight of goats perched in their branches munching away on the pulp of the nut. Another striking feature of the landscape is the profusion of cooperatives that employ Berber women to produce the oil, from the tree to the bottle, and sell it as far afield as Canada and Japan, sharing the profits. Indigenous, non-Arab Berber people make up a large portion of the local population. Zahra Knabo, who runs the Ajddigue cooperative, one of the very first, says there are now 137 of them, and

hails the “evolution” they have brought to the region’s Berber women who suffer from widespread illiteracy, poor health care and stifling social mores. “In this rural area, women would traditionally herd the animals and gather wood from the forest. They were the first to wake up and the last to go to bed,” says Knabo. “Now most of the women working in the cooperative have money in their pockets. Some have completely financed their houses. They’ve been able to get electricity, televisions and fridges,” she says. When it opened in 1996, Ajddigue had 16 employees and produced 200 litres (52 gallons) of oil monthly. But around 60 women now work there, Knabo says, and monthly production has risen to 1,000 litres, with an annual turnover last year of four million dirhams (360,000 euros, $460,000). Reflecting argan oil’s growing popularity in the cosmetics industry, the group’s two biggest clients are French and Italian, while the nearby Kaouki cooperative says its main customer, a British firm, started buying the oil in 2009. Scientific proof of the oil’s unique healing properties is elusive, but leading

said Camilla Zimmermann, head of the palliative care program at University Health Network in Toronto. “The earlier you discuss these things, the more options you have. If you wait too long, you end up having these discussions with someone you don’t know, that you just met, in an inpatient setting.” Zimmermann, who wasn’t involved in the study, believes it’s never to early to initiated discussions about end-of-life preferences, even though it can be uncomfortable. “I think people are afraid that bringing up these discussions is going to make them die,” she said. “Bringing up these discussions is really going to protect them from an outcome they don’t want in the end.” — Reuters

aromatherapists argue that, with its richness in fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E, it is a highly effective treatment for damaged skin and dry hair. The economic crisis has taken its toll on demand this year, with both cooperatives seeing their big European clients cutting by half their orders of the luxury commodity, which sells for between 250 and 400 dirhams a litre. Competition from the growing number of producers has, meanwhile, left smaller associations like the Tawount cooperative, which opened in July and employs 15 Berber women, struggling to sell their products. Colourfully dressed women sit on the Tawount shop floor, cracking open the nuts and sorting them into baskets, with stone grinding tools used to crush the kernel and extract the oil, as they lack the machines that others use to do so. Argan products range from cooking and cosmetic oil, to hand cream, honey and “amlou”-a sweet, nutty paste made with almonds-while the pulp is used as nutritious animal feed, and the shells burned as fuel for cooking. Karima, a 28-year-old assistant at Tawount, remains optimistic that business will pick up. — AFP

Be responsible If your child or you have developed a viral illness and the ‘nose’ is flowing, skip school for a day as surely all the class & the teacher may get the bug too. Once the ‘secretions have stopped, usually the person is not infective anymore It’s lurking in the salads The stomach bugs are usually in ‘hand assembled’ foods, like the salads or cold foods. Of course green leafy vegetables, Yogurts, probiotics & fruits protect against viruses to an extent but ensure that what you eat is clean and fresh. Additionally, bugs love the ‘ice cubes’ so better to have a chilled drink from the fridge rather than add ice to it.

Flu, fever in pregnancy tied to autism risk

RABAT: Argan nuts are collected in a basket at a women’s cooperative where labour intensive argan oil is manufactured in Sidi Kaouki in the Essaouira province, on October 29, 2012. The nut of the Argan tree, which grows semi wild and well adapted to harsh drought conditions, is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties. The cooperatives provide a steady income for many Moroccan women and their families. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Women who had the flu or ran a fever for more than a week during their pregnancy face a greater risk of having a child with an autism spectrum disorder, Danish researchers said yesterday. The study was based on a survey of mothers of nearly 97,000 children aged eight to 14 and born between 1997 and 2003 in Denmark. Only one percent (976) of the children were diagnosed with autism. Researchers said that mild and common respiratory, sinus, urinary tract or genital infections, as well as feverish episodes or use of antibiotics in mothers during pregnancy were not a strong risk factor for autism. But children whose mothers reported experiencing a bout of influenza during pregnancy had twice the risk of being diagnosed with autism, while those whose mothers had a fever lasting more than seven days before gestational week 32 were three times more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder. Pregnant women have a weakened immune system during the nine months of gestation. The study, published in the US journal Pediatrics, also noted a small increase in the risk of autism after the mother used different antibiotics during the pregnancy. However, the researchers stressed that “we do not know whether the antibiotic treatment itself caused the observed association or whether the antibiotic use functioned as a proxy variable for an underlying disease.” They also stressed that the link between fever during pregnancy and autism could be a “coincidental finding,” and required further study. Given the link found between autism and fever or the flu during pregnancy, the study’s authors recommended that pregnant women get a flu shot. — AFP


health & science

Clouds may ruin trip for eclipse fans in Australia SYDNEY: Tens of thousands of tourists, scientists and amateur astronomers who traveled from around the world to see a total solar eclipse in northern Australia may be getting shortchanged by the weather. Forecasters are predicting cloudy skies around dawn today, when the moon will pass between the sun and Earth and plunge a slice of Australia’s northeast into darkness. Many worried that they will miss a rare chance to view the celestial phenomenon. “There will be breaks in (the clouds), but it’s just a matter of the luck of the draw whether you get a break at the right time,” said Queensland state Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Andrew Mostyn. “It’s a bit of bad luck.” The eclipse will cast its 150-kilometer (95-mile) wide shadow starting at dawn in Australia’s Northern Territory and then cross the northeast tip of the country before swooping east across the South Pacific. No islands are in its direct path, so northern Australia is the only land where there’s even a chance of seeing the full eclipse, said Geoff Wyatt, an astronomer with Sydney Observatory. A partial eclipse will be visible from east Indonesia, the eastern half of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and southern parts of Chile and Argentina. Totality - the darkness that happens at the peak of the eclipse - will last just over two minutes. Among those sweating out the forecast was U.S. astronomer Jay Pasachoff, who traveled to Australia in hopes of viewing his 56th solar eclipse. Pasachoff, an astronomy professor at Williams College in Massachusetts, and a team of about 50 scientists and students have fanned out across the region to improve the odds that at least some of them will see the eclipse. The group is planning to study the sun’s corona, the glowing white ring around the sun that is visible only during an eclipse. Despite the anxiety over the weather and the long journey to get there, Pasachoff said he wouldn’t miss it. “Just imagine you were a heart sur-

SYDNEY: Dale Flack and Derek Tottle from Tourism Tropical North Queensland set up equipment to be used for a direct feed of the total solar eclipse to NASA on the foreshore at Palm Cove in Tropical North Queensland yesterday. Tens of thousands of people were flocking to Australia’s laid-back tropical north for a total solar eclipse on November 14, a phenomenon officials say has not been seen in the region in 1,300 years. — AFP geon and someone actually told you you rays of the sun re-emerging from behind could look inside a human heart only for the moon will serve as the starting gun. two minutes, and only if you went Some have already been partying for days halfway around the world,” he said. “You at a weeklong eclipse festival. Scientists will be studying how animals would do it.” Some Queensland hotels have been respond to the eclipse, with underwater booked up for more than three years and cameras capturing the effects of sudden more than 50,000 people have flooded into darkness on the creatures of the Great the region to watch the solar spectacle, said Barrier Reef. “It’s an unknown with how they’ll react,” Jeff Gillies, regional director of Queensland Gillies said. “A little bit of flora and fauna Tourism. Skygazers are planning to crowd beach- confusion, I would imagine.” The last total solar eclipse visible in es, boats, fields and hot air balloons to watch the event. Fitness fanatics will race in Australia was 10 years ago, in the South the Solar Eclipse Marathon, where the first Australia Outback. — AFP

Cow’s milk key to human longevity? STANFORD: We could be on the verge of advances that extend the human life span by decades. In 2010, for example, a Stanford team increased the life span of worms by up to 30 percent by blocking the expression of certain proteins. That same year, researchers at Boston University identified 150 places on the human genome that are responsible for long life, and Harvard researchers rejuvenated mice by manipulating the animals’ telomeres, the portion of DNA that caps chromosomes. It might seem as if a magic pill isn’t so far off. But before we get too cheery about the prospects for these discoveries, it’s useful to be reminded of the many longevity “breakthroughs” that have come and gone in the past. One such potential advance was hailed in the November 1929 issue of Technology Review, in an essay called “Forestalling Death: The Cow’s Contribution to Human Longevity,” by James A. Tobey. None of the explorers in the realm of eternal life, none of the necromancers or alchemists of old, none of the gazers at crystals or the readers of the stars, have been successful in their quest for the fountain of youth. Modern science has done better. In the previous 125 years, Tobey observed, average life span had risen from the low 30s to the upper 50s. This was primarily due to reductions in infectious disease and in the infant death rate-in 1929, he noted, there were a mere 64 deaths per 1,000 infants (today’s rate in the United States is six deaths per 1,000). The primary causes of death were changing as well. Tuberculosis, long the captain of the men of death, and frequently the despoiler of young manhood, has dropped to fifth place. Ahead of it are heart disease, cancer, nephritis, and cerebral hemorrhage, in that order ... Typhoid fever, for instance, now causes a mortality only one-fifth as great as a quarter of a century ago. This was good, but Tobey-author of more than a dozen books on public health, including Cancer: What Everyone Should Know About It (1932) and Your Diet for Longer Life

(1948)felt we could do better. It wasn’t enough to simply reduce a threat such as infectious disease-it was imperative that we find something we could add to our lives, or maybe simply increase our intake of something we were already consuming. He felt recent research might have uncovered just such a substance. It is a well recognized fact ... that those races which have been nourished on foods containing a preponderance of dairy products have always been the most vigorous and long-lived, as well as the most important historically. The conquerors have been users of cows. He pointed to recent experiments at Columbia University, wherein one set of rats had been given an “adequate diet” of onesixth dried whole milk and five-sixths whole wheat. An “optimal diet” group, meanwhile, received double the milk and less wheat. The average duration of life was almost exactly ten percent greater in those subjects receiving the optimal diet ... Is it possible that we have had the fountain of youth within our grasp throughout the ages that man has been seeking this liquid phantasm? Milk has always been recognized as the one most nearly perfect food ... but apparently it possesses hitherto undreamed of virtues. Those virtues appear to have dimmed 25 years later, when Tobey revisited the subject in a May 1954 TR piece called “Is There a Limit to Human Life?” He didn’t mention dairy once in that lengthy article, and his tone in general was less upbeat, even though the average U.S. life expectancy had risen to 68 years (it is now 78). Centenarians are, of course, always asked as to what they attribute their great ages, but invariably their answers are a bit weird, often absurd, and completely lacking in uniformity. In the olden days the few favored persons who attained to great old age undoubtedly did so through the operation of the law of the survival of the fit, but in our modern sanitary civilization the achievement of unusual old age is probably largely a matter of heredity and-luck.




Kuwait Oil Company Career Fair at ACK ustralian College organized an exhibition of career opportunities for the Kuwait oil company, on Wednesday and Thursday from 8 am until 1 pm. The Australian College of Kuwait (ACK) was proud to host the Kuwait Oil Company’s (KOC) Career Fair, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday, the 7th and 8th of November respectively. The objective behind the fair was for KOC to facilitate access to employment opportunities for ACK students. Throughout the two days, students had the opportunity to meet with numerous KOC departments such as export operation, planning & gas, development drilling, and many others whereby official representatives from each respective department were on hand to answer questions and inquiries. All in all, the event was a success thanks to the presence of KOC’s Team Leader of Career Development and Planning- Saeed Issa AlMutairi - and the President of ACK - Professor Vishy Karri - who both spoke passionately to the students on the importance of seizing such opportunities provided by the long-lasting partnership between the two organiza-


SEND US YOUR INSTAGRAM PICS hat’s more fun than clicking a beautiful picture? Sharing it with others! This summer, let other people see the way you see Kuwait - through your lens. Friday Times will feature snapshots of Kuwait through Instagram feeds. If you want to share your Instagram photos, email us at



appy Birthday to our lovely son Mohammed Abubakkar Siddiqe Shaik, who celebrates his 1st birthday today. May Almighty Allah bless him with good health and a bright future. Best wishes from father Ameen, mother Yasmeen, grandparents, uncles - Sadruddin, Mohiddin, Shoukath, Apsar, Hakeem (FICO), Safeer, Khaja, Habeeb and all friends & relatives in Kuwait and India.


IEI celebrates 45th Engineers’ Day he street lights of the city were switched on and all the cars were racing towards their homes from their work places, but few cars were moving to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Farwaniya to be part of the gracious IEI’s 45th Engineers’ Day celebrations in commemoration of the Birth Anniversary celebrations of Bharat Ratna Sir M Visvesvaraya. HE Satish C Mehta, The Ambassador of India to the State of Kuwait was the first dignitary to arrive sharp on time at the venue for the Engineers’ day celebrations. Other dignitaries include the chief guest Hon Mohammed Al Khandri- Under Secretary, Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor State of Kuwait, Guest of Honor Hon Engr Ahmed Al Mershed - Under Secretary, Ministry of State National Assembly, Kuwait and Deputy Chairman of VWC, Guest of Honour Dr Manaf Behbehani- Asst Professor, Kuwait University and the Key Note Speaker Dr Abdullatif Ben Nakhi- Professor of College of Technical Studies , PAAET. The dais was glowing with the luminaries seated with a perfect back drop of the 45th Engineers’ Day theme, picture of the Earth planet being supported by the arms of the humans with a green tree on top of it, the gears of technologies meshing and the communication satellites and Bharat Ratna Sir M Visvesvaraya smiling. The Master of Ceremony (MC) Dr Sabiha Bilgrami with her eloquent voice welcomed the guest on to the Dais and bouquet of flowers were presented to all the dignitaries on the dais and to Dr S Neelamani, Sr Scientist, PM of KISR-the second speaker as token of warm affection and respect. For the customary inauguration of the 45th Engineers’ day, the Chairman of IEI Engr Joseph Panicker led all the dignitaries for lighting the lamp as part of the Indian tradition, which marks the auspicious illumination of the venue by the knowledge and power. HE Satish C Mehta lit the lamp followed by other dignitaries. It was a very pleasant sight and feeling to watch all the luminaries to light the lamp. Engr Joseph Panicker in his welcome address was very passionate in welcoming all the dignitaries


and expressed his happiness to invite all the Engineers fraternities who have assembled in good numbers. The MC invited HE Satish C Mehta to address the august audience. The Ambassador appreciated the important role of Engineers in building the nation and the services that are being rendered to the adopted country Kuwait, which is being appreciated by all the Kuwaiti citizens. He highlighted the significance of the Indian Engineering colleges like the Indian Institute of Technology, National Institute of

ments the Ambassador and Hon. Under secretary had to leave the venue. Engr Adel Al Kharafi, President WEFO and Engr Hussam Al Kharafi President KSE, could not attend it due to their official commitments and sent flowers, regards and good wishes for the successful conduct of the event. The Key note speaker Dr Abdullatif Ben-Nakhi, elaborated on the various Alternate Energy technologies that could be used for the sustainable development and inclusive growth. He presented some interesting

about sustainable technologies. The Guest of Honor Engr Ahmed Almershed was invited to share his thoughts. Engr Ahmed received thundering claps from the audience as he is a very familiar figure among the Indian Engineers fraternity. He stated that Why do IEI invite him every year for the Engineers day, and he got response from inside of himself, “Why not? Indian engineers are nice and we love them”. This statement created waves among the audience and made them to think. He wished the Indian

climatic changes the planet is undergoing with pictures and empirical data as if he was teaching in his university classes. Engineers enjoyed the presentation. Bharti Tiwari, the second Master of ceremony took charge to introduce the Golden SponsorsCombined Group of Companies and KEC and the Al Ghanim Debbas Co, who fully sponsored a seminar on LED lights. The dignitaries of sponsors were presented with memento and flowers in appreciation of their support to IEI

Technology which are par excellent to any of the best Engineering institutions in the world. The Ambassador mentioned that he was proud to be the patron of Institution of Engineers, Kuwait chapter and wished the organizers of the event all the best. The Souvenir for the 45th Engineers’ Day was released by the chief guest Hon Mohammed Al Khandri, and the Ambassador received the first copy and the other dignitaries received a copy. The Hon Mohammed Al Khandri, delivered his speech in Arabic and praised the role of Indian Engineers in Kuwait from the early periods that dates back to the various Amirs of Kuwait. In his concluding part he spoke in English and explained that being in Kuwait most of the Engineers would know Arabic language and that was the reason he spoke in the native language. He wished the Indian Engineers all the best and all success for the event. Due to the official commit-

facts and figures on Solar Energy, Wind Energy, PV Energy and encouraged the Indian Engineers to grab the opportunities in the non-conventional energy technologies and benefit from the growing demand from these technologies. He highlighted the various research efforts made in India and invited India to participate and collaborate with Kuwait in developing these green technologies, which will drive the economies of the world. The presentation was mesmerizing and engineers were glued to the data screens provided by the professor. The second Speaker, Dr S Neelamani Sr Scientist, dealt on the human aspects of the sustainable developments. He stressed that humans are the cause for the environmental degradation and we need to be more responsible in using the resources and gave some interesting definitions about sustainability. He emphasized that Engineers and Scientists have to develop and educate people

Engineers all the best. The second Guest of Honor Dr Manaf Behbehani, Asst professor of Kuwait University started his presentation with two Indian jokes which made the entire house burst into crackling laughs. He mentioned that the jokes were required to wake up the audience. The Asst. Professor made an exciting presentation on “Effect of Global Climate Change on Life on Earth”. He furnished many statistical data to support his theory. Dr Manaf stressed that Global Climate Change will have profound effect on the reproductive cycles and strategies of land, plants and animals. It is now certain that in some area of the world, plants are flowering ten days earlier than in the past few years which will affect the food cycle of all species. He predicted that countries which depend on sea food will be severely affected. Dr Manaf drew a chair and sat comfortably in his chair to explain his concepts on the global

by the chairman of IEI Chapter. Engr Subha Senthil Kumar, the third MC, introduced the last year’s IEI Executive members of 2011-12 and all were presented with mementos in appreciation of their hard work and dedication for keeping the IEI flag flying high, by the key note speaker Dr Abdullatif Ben Nakhi. The Engineers who made presentation of seminars were also honored with the mementos. All presentation of the mementos was done in such a coordinated military discipline that not much time was spent in the process. The authors of the theme article which was published in the 45th Engineers’ Day Souvenir and the designer of the cover page of the souvenir were presented with gifts by Dr Manaf Behbehni and to the three Masters of ceremonies for conducting the event in such a harmonious flow.

Laila Al-Othman visits GUST he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) Reading in Kuwaiti Modern Literature course, taught by Dr Salah Al-Din Arkadan, invited a renowned Kuwaiti writer Laila AlOthman to one of their classes to learn more about her work and the current Kuwaiti literature landscape. The meeting was full of enthusiasm and curiosity. After the students welcomed Al-Othman, she spoke open-heartedly with them about her writing experience since its


Arabic courses WARE will begin Winter 1 Arabic language courses with new textbooks and curricula will begin on December 2, 2012 until January 24, 2013. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed & courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. For more information or registration, please log-on to our website.


Youth Chorus song competition outh Chorus is organizing the Seventh Christian Group Song Competition on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm at the United Indian School Auditorium, Abbasiya. The team has to present one Christian song (Malayalam or Tamil) within seven minutes. The minimum number of members in the team should be 7 and the maximum 20, including the orchestra personnel. The first, second and third prize winners will be awarded with trophies and certificates. In addition, the first and second prize winning teams will be given the prestigious rolling trophies - Youth Chorus ever rolling trophy for the first and Omana Jose Memorial ever rolling for the second, and Youth Chorus ever rolling trophy for the Third. All the other participating teams will be awarded with Youth Chorus memento.


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

AAW organizes ‘Blood Drive’ n Monday November 5th, the Cafeteria at Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial (AAW) was transformed into a hospital-like setting from 10am-1pm to accommodate individuals who wished to donate blood. The blood drive was organized by a few of the company’s volunteers to give people a chance to donate blood and not only help others, but lead a healthier lifestyle. The blood drive was executed by Kuwait’s Central Blood Bank staff. The blood drive took place at the Sharq headquarters, and Safwan, and an estimate of 100 people donated blood along with the Chairman and Managing Director Faisal Al-Mutawa, who inaugurated the blood drive. “The greatest gift of all is the giving of blood,” said Mr. Faisal Al-Mutawa. Blood is the gift of life. It can be used in so many outstanding ways. The room bustled with activity as dozens turned up, casual if they had done it before, hopeful to be deemed eligible, and often anxious if they were first-time donors. Each person had to first complete a lengthy questionnaire, await their turn at the data-entry station, and then get their hemoglobin level checked by a device similar to the one diabetics use. If it was lower than normal, they couldn’t donate. Otherwise, they moved on to the last step


of the screening process where a doctor asked a few questions and measured blood pressure. Male and female nurses floated around in their white uniforms, starting the 20minute donation process in some, and ending it in others. They also monitored the machine for alarms and donors for any symptoms of discomfort, such as lightheadedness. AAW volunteers, easily identified by their red shirts, helped greet potential donors, managed traffic, and made sure every donor grabbed a donut and juice to up their sugar levels, and a special badge as a token of appreciation on their way out. This is the first time that Ali Abdulwahab Al-Mutawa Commercial has organized a blood drive and hopefully it will become one of the trademark events at the organization. The idea of holding a blood drive was to raise awareness among the community about the importance of donating blood to help make it readily available for cancer, trauma and post-surgical patients, among others. Last month Faisal Al-Mutawa designated November 2012 as Corporate Social Responsibility Month at AAW and the Blood Drive fit right into our CSR initiatives, said Curtis Sims GM-Human Resources. Giving back to our communities is one of our key corporate goals.

start and challenges that she overcame. She also touched on the time management issue and the strategy she used to balance between family obligations and her writing; which has become a global production. After which, a dialogue started between the students and the writer discussing her stories and novels, her personal vision of literary creativity in writing, the symbolism in her writing and her writing style which left some of her novels with open endings.



Prabhat wins Holiday Inn ‘Housekeeper of the year’ xecutive Housekeeper of Holiday inn Kuwait downtown won much-anticipated title “Housekeeper of the year 2012” at the glamorous ceremony of 8th Middle east Hotelier Awards night which took place on October 31, 2012 at RitzCarlton DIFC in Dubai. Hotelier Middle East Awards recognize and reward those individuals that have gone above and beyond in terms of their industry contribution to drive service standards across the region. Includes Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE and Yemen. It’s a celebration of excellence!!! More than 50 nominations were from the region. Five housekeeping managers were short-listed at the top of their game com-


peting for the title & judges recognized Prabhat Shukla for his commitment to the job, in and outside his hotel. Prabhat Shukla is an expert at multi-skilling, keen nurturer & perfectionist at heart. Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive (CHHE) from American Hotel & lodging educational Institute (AHLA) is associated with Holiday inn Kuwait downtown for almost 5 years& well known in Kuwait’s Hospitality circle. He is founder & Chairperson of “Kuwait Housekeepers Group”. He is responsible for Holiday inn Kuwait Down’s guest’s comforts as well as making sure public area is spotless & welcoming.


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

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

A Royal welcome for Royal guest at The Regency Hotel ith all the pomp and circumstance befitting a Head of State, His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei, known as Haji Hassanal Bolkiah arrived in Kuwait on 14th October 2012 to attend the Asia-Middle East Summit. The Regency’s General Manager, Aurelio Giraudo, and Associate Assistant Director of Sales, Ria Sari were there to extend a hand of friendship on His Majesty’s arrival. The Sultan’s early arrival did not faze the hotel’s senior management who proudly rose before dawn to warmly greet this world renowned dignitary and his entourage, all of whom chose to stay at the luxury beachside property in Al Bida’a. With theatrical aplomb, as the convoy arrived, a golden sunrise streamed in filling the enormous Italian marble lobby with light. After being welcomed by Giraudo, H M The Sultan stepped onto a 45-metre red carpet that stretched from the hotel entrance across the white marble lobby. Despite the early hour and His Majesty’s long flight, he graciously greeted every individual member of the welcoming party with a polite handshake. As protocol


demands, female staff curtseyed and gentlemen bowed in his presence. A welcoming committee from the

to showcase their stellar service skills. “This is something you only do once in a lifetime” admitted Miss Marfungatun, “I

Embassy of Brunei were also on hand to offer their warmest wishes. Indonesian-born Siti Marfungatun, Assistant Outlet Manager at Al Liwan, and Mark Lester Budomo, Head Waiter, were picked to be the Sultan’s personal butlers; both were thrilled at the chance

will remember this forever!” The Sultan stayed at The Regency three nights while attending a series of high level multilateral meetings, staying in The Regency’s most luxurious accommodation, the exquisitely furnished AbdulRazzaq Suite.

The suite offers not just a delightful lounge with superlative furnishings and an elegant four-poster bed, but also a white marble bathroom with spectacular sea views. Particular attention went into the culinary aspect of the visit; it was noticed that on his departure H M. The Sultan made a special point of personally thanking the butlers and the hotel’s Executive Chef and Sous Chef. The hotel’s new General Manager, Aurelio Giraudo commented after the Sultan’s departure how proud he was to have been part of the historic visit. “I am truly delighted by the visit of His Majesty The Sultan of Brunei to The Regency, and I can add that it all went like clockwork. I think most people know that His Majesty is known for his impeccable taste and discerning eye, so to be selected as his chosen accommodation in Kuwait was for us, a tremendous accolade - not just for me, but for all my associates! We are very grateful to the Embassy of Brunei and to the organizers to have been given this chance to showcase the hotel to such a distinguished guest.”

Ruby Tuesday’s Menu is ‘Truly Chef Inspired’ uby Tuesday Kuwait unveiled its new upscale Menu during the festive season of Eid Al Adha, which the restaurant management touts as having more variety and more choices. Among the shareable appetizers is the Baja Chicken Quesadilla which was an instant favorite with Ruby Tuesday guests. Made with spicy chicken with grilled peppers, onions and cheese and then topped with chile-lime sauce was a new taste that became the guest’s hot favorite appetizer. Another pleasant surprise that awaited guests was the complimentary garlic cheese biscuits. One of the Ruby Tuesday lovers, gladly said, ‘this is indeed an awesome welcome for the hungry guest looking to pop in a tasty bite igniting his appetite’ Amongst the other new entries that are on the menu this time is the Tilapia Trio which is 3 portions of Tilapia fish separately topped with mango salsa, a Tuscan spinach cream sauce and basil pesto over a bed of rice pilaf as one of your sides. The Asiago Peppercorn Sirloin is perfectly seasoned and flavored with cracked peppercorns,


Parmesan cream sauce and shaved Asiago cheese. The Cajun Jambalaya pasta with its blend of shrimp, chicken, and sausage coins sauteed with onions


friends and family, you are cordially invited to try out the chef inspired bold flavors of the new menu at Ruby Tuesday located at Sharq, next to Aqua


EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed on Nov 25, 2012 - Sunday on account of Muharram. ■■■■■■■

and peppers in a spicy Cajun cream sauce soon became the guest’s premium choice for main course. Constantly looking at enhancing the brand, Ruby Tuesday Kuwait makes

Constitution Golden Jubilee celebrations! wiss-Belhotel Plaza Kuwait accommodates the Filmaster team who were the brain behind the fabulous fireworks display November 10, 2012 which earned a place in a Guinness Book of World Records. “We are honored to have the team in our esteemed hotel and let the rest of their stay remarkable” said Katrina Jarlos - Marketing executive. The sky of Kuwait was lit up with 77,282 terrific fireworks display to mark up the fes-

changes to its menu by introducing new dishes and flavors. Since then it has continued to evolve from a burger-centric menu to one that features lobster tails &

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

tive celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Kuwait’s Constitution. The festival also featured artistic and sports activities, with light and laser shows amazingly reflecting on Kuwait Towers and nearby buildings in synchronization with music.

top Sirloins. The goal is to have a culinary influence on Ruby Tuesday’s menu that will showcase a restaurant with over 900 locations worldwide. With the weather favoring the way to be out with

Park, Salmiya in Laila Gallery Mall, 360 Mall, Shaab in Zone, Avenues Mall and in Abu Halifa.

EMBASSY OF LEBANAN Due to exceptional circumstances Lebanon is going through currently, a mass celebration that was planned on Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012 at the Lebanese Embassy’s garden has been called off. Ambassador of Lebanon to Kuwait Dr Bassam Al-Nu’mani welcomes well wishers on the occasion of Independence Day at his residence on Thursday, Nov 22, 2012 between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm. ■■■■■■■


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



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

Animal Cops Phoenix Tigers Attack I’m Alive Gator Boys New Breed Vets With Steve Wildest India Wild Britain With Ray Mears Orangutan Island Clinically Wild: Alaska Clinically Wild: Alaska Wildlife SOS Monkey Life Natural Born Hunters Natural Born Hunters Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Bad Dog Wildest India New Breed Vets With Steve Vet On The Loose RSPCA: On The Frontline Wildlife SOS E-Vets: The Interns Animal Cops Phoenix Wildest India Orangutan Island The Really Wild Show America’s Cutest... The Jeff Corwin Experience Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Monkey Life E-Vets: The Interns Wild Britain With Ray Mears Orangutan Island Wildest Latin America The Magic Of The Big Blue Mutant Planet

23:50 Animal Cops Houston 00:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 00:45 Come Dine With Me 01:35 Antiques Roadshow 02:30 Holmes On Homes 03:20 Holmes On Homes 04:05 Out Of The Frying Pan 05:00 House Swap 05:45 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 06:10 Out Of The Frying Pan 07:00 House Swap 07:45 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 08:10 MasterChef Australia 09:00 MasterChef Australia 09:30 Holmes On Homes 10:20 Holmes On Homes 11:10 Bargain Hunt 11:55 Antiques Roadshow 12:50 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 13:30 Come Dine With Me 14:20 Baby Borrowers USA 15:05 Baby Borrowers USA 15:50 Bargain Hunt 16:35 Antiques Roadshow 17:30 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 18:10 Come Dine With Me 19:00 Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets 19:30 Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets 20:00 Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey 20:50 Come Dine With Me 21:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 22:20 Antiques Roadshow 23:15 Bargain Hunt EditionEdition 00:15 You Have Been Warned 01:10 Body Invaders 02:05 Ultimate Survival 03:00 Mythbusters 03:55 Border Security 04:20 Scrappers 04:50 Auction Kings 05:15 How Do They Do It? 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing Challenge 07:00 Street Customs 07:50 Mythbusters 08:45 Ultimate Survival 09:40 Border Security 10:05 Scrappers 10:30 How Do They Do It? 10:55 How It’s Made 11:25 You Have Been Warned 12:20 Body Invaders 13:15 Ultimate Survival 14:10 Border Security 14:35 Scrappers 15:05 Auction Kings 15:30 Ultimate Survival 16:25 Street Customs 17:20 Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing Challenge 18:15 Mythbusters 19:10 How Do They Do It? 19:40 How It’s Made 20:05 Border Security 20:35 Scrappers 21:00 Auction Kings 21:30 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 22:25 Mythbusters Dirty Dozen 23:20 Mythbusters 23:20 Surviving Disaster 00:40 Gadget Show - World Tour 01:05 How Tech Works 01:35 The Colony 02:25 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 03:15 Mighty Ships 04:05 Weird Connections 04:35 The Colony 05:25 Da Vinci’s Machines 06:15 Gadget Show - World Tour 06:40 How Tech Works 07:05 Meteorite Men 08:00 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 08:50 How Do They Do It? 09:15 How Do They Do It? 09:40 Head Rush 09:43 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 10:10 How Stuff’s Made 10:40 Meteorite Men 11:30 Gadget Show - World Tour 11:55 How Tech Works 12:20 Mighty Ships 13:10 Da Vinci’s Machines 14:00 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 14:50 Sport Science 15:45 How Do They Do It? 16:10 How Do They Do It? 16:35 Weird Connections 17:00 Head Rush 17:03 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 17:30 How Stuff’s Made 18:00 Gadget Show - World Tour 18:25 How Tech Works 18:50 Mighty Ships 19:40 Meteorite Men 20:30 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman

21:20 Da Vinci’s Machines 22:10 Gadget Show - World Tour 22:35 How Tech Works 23:00 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 23:50 Meteorite Men 20:20 Bang Goes The Theory 00:20 Little Einsteins 00:50 Special Agent Oso 01:15 Lazytown 01:40 Jungle Junction 01:55 Jungle Junction 02:10 Handy Manny 02:30 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:55 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 03:00 Lazytown 03:25 Special Agent Oso 03:50 Imagination Movers 04:20 Handy Manny 04:40 Special Agent Oso 05:00 Timmy Time 05:10 Lazytown 05:35 Little Einsteins 06:00 Jungle Junction 06:15 Jungle Junction 06:30 Little Einsteins 06:50 Special Agent Oso 07:00 Special Agent Oso 07:15 Jungle Junction 07:30 Jungle Junction 07:45 Handy Manny 08:00 Special Agent Oso 08:15 Little Einsteins 08:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:10 The Hive 09:20 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 09:35 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 09:50 Handy Manny 10:05 The Hive 10:15 Animated Stories 10:20 Mouk 10:30 Mouk 10:45 The Hive 10:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 11:20 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 11:45 Art Attack 12:10 Imagination Movers 12:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 13:00 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 13:10 Handy Manny 13:25 Jungle Junction 13:40 Imagination Movers 14:05 The Hive 14:15 Special Agent Oso 14:30 Lazytown 14:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 15:20 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 15:45 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 16:00 Mouk 16:15 The Hive 16:25 Art Attack 16:50 Doc McStuffins 17:05 Art Attack 17:30 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 17:45 Art Attack 18:10 Mouk 18:25 Mouk 18:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 18:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 19:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 19:35 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 20:00 Animated Stories 20:05 Timmy Time 20:20 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 20:25 Doc McStuffins 20:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 20:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 21:10 The Hive 21:20 Timmy Time 21:30 Mouk 21:45 Handy Manny 22:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 22:25 The Hive 22:35 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 23:00 Timmy Time 23:10 Animated Stories 23:15 A Poem Is... 23:20 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 23:30 Jungle Junction 23:45 Handy Manny 23:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ecial Agent Oso 23:50 Lazytown 00:30 01:25 01:50 02:20 03:15 04:10 05:05 06:00 06:55 08:00 08:25 08:55 09:20 09:50 10:15 10:45 11:40 12:05 12:35 13:30 14:25 15:20 16:15 16:40 17:10 17:35 18:05 18:30 19:00 19:55 20:50 21:45 22:40 23:35

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

M1 Challenge Gotta Grudge Gotta Grudge Pro Bull Riders 2011 World Combat League Enfusion Monster Jam M1 Challenge Pro Bull Riders 2011 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 Tread BMX Tread BMX The Alli Show The Alli Show AMA Motocross 2011 Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Pro Bull Riders 2011 Mantracker I’ll Do Anything World Combat League Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Tread BMX Tread BMX The Alli Show The Alli Show Mantracker Pro Bull Riders 2011 I’ll Do Anything World Combat League Monster Jam Enfusion

Aarti Party Guy’s Big Bite Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Heat Seekers Reza, Spice Prince Of India Reza, Spice Prince Of India Guy’s Big Bite Guy’s Big Bite Aarti Party Aarti Party Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Heat Seekers Guy’s Big Bite Grill It! With Bobby Flay Unwrapped Iron Chef America Barefoot Contessa - Back To Barefoot Contessa - Back To Food Network Challenge Barefoot Contessa - Back To Barefoot Contessa - Back To

Basics 09:40 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 10:05 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 10:30 Kelsey’s Essentials 10:55 Cooking For Real 11:20 Cooking For Real 11:45 Food Crafters 12:10 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 12:35 Heat Seekers 13:00 Iron Chef America 13:50 Guy’s Big Bite 14:15 Cooking For Real 14:40 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 15:05 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 15:30 Food Crafters 15:55 Unique Eats 16:20 Unique Eats 16:45 Chopped 17:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:50 Heat Seekers 19:15 Guy’s Big Bite 19:40 Unique Eats 20:05 Unique Eats 20:30 Chopped 21:20 Iron Chef America 22:10 Charly’s Cake Angels 22:35 Charly’s Cake Angels 23:00 Unique Sweets 23:25 Unique Sweets 23:50 Have Cake, Will Travel

00:15 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 00:45 By Any Means 01:40 Ultimate Traveller 02:35 Cruise Ship Diaries 03:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 04:25 Long Way Down 05:20 Bondi Rescue 05:45 Bondi Rescue 06:15 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 06:40 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 07:10 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 07:35 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 08:05 By Any Means 09:00 Ultimate Traveller 09:55 Cruise Ship Diaries 10:50 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 11:45 Long Way Down 12:40 Danger Beach 13:05 Danger Beach 13:35 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 14:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 14:30 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 14:55 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 15:25 The Frankincense Trail 16:20 Ultimate Traveller 17:15 Cruise Ship Diaries 18:10 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 19:05 Long Way Down 20:00 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 20:30 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 21:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 22:00 Bondi Rescue 22:55 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 23:50 Pressure Cook 23:00 Naked Science 00:00 Rescue Ink 01:00 Bear Nomad 01:55 Nordic Wild 02:50 World’s Deadliest 03:45 Planet Carnivore 04:40 Journey Into Amazonia 05:35 Built for the Kill 06:30 Nordic Wild 07:25 World’s Deadliest 08:20 Planet Carnivore 09:15 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 10:10 Monster Crocs 11:05 Hunter Hunted 12:00 Predators In Peril 13:00 Wild India (aka Secrets of Wild India) 14:00 World’s Deadliest 15:00 Planet Carnivore 16:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 17:00 Hunt for the Giant Squid 18:00 Hunter Hunted 19:00 Nordic Wild 20:00 World’s Deadliest 21:00 Planet Carnivore 22:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 23:00 Monster Crocs Zoo Confidential 23:00 Dangerous Encounters 00:00 Carrie-18 02:00 Death Race 2-18 04:00 The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption-PG15 06:00 True Justice: Lethal JusticePG15 08:00 The Rocketeer-PG15 10:00 Rocky IV-PG15 12:00 Reign Of Fire-PG15 14:00 The Rocketeer-PG15 16:00 The Transporter-PG15 18:00 Reign Of Fire-PG15 20:00 Faster-PG15 22:00 13 Assassins-1822:00 Homecoming-18 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 American Dad 02:00 The Ricky Gervais Show 02:30 Family Guy 03:00 How I Met Your Mother 03:30 Last Man Standing 04:00 Samantha Who? 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Seinfeld 06:00 Seinfeld 06:30 Friends 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Samantha Who? 08:30 How I Met Your Mother 09:00 Seinfeld 09:30 Seinfeld 10:00 Modern Family 10:30 Community 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Friends 12:30 Samantha Who? 13:00 Seinfeld 13:30 Seinfeld 14:00 Last Man Standing

14:30 Community 15:00 Modern Family 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Friends 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 How I Met Your Mother 18:30 Last Man Standing 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 The Office 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Bored To Death 22:30 Entourage 23:00 Family Guy 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Fall on 00:20 01:10 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Parenthood Breaking Bad Homeland Justified Private Practice Grey’s Anatomy Parenthood Emmerdale Coronation Street C.S.I. New York The Ellen DeGeneres Show Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show C.S.I. New York Parenthood Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show C.S.I. New York Bunheads Warehouse 13 Combat Hospital Smash Downton Abbey

01:00 Rollerball-18 03:00 The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption-PG15 05:00 Four Brothers-PG15 07:00 So Close-PG15 09:00 Charlie’s Angels: Full ThrottlePG15 11:00 Four Brothers-PG15 13:00 The Fourth Kind-PG15 15:00 Charlie’s Angels: Full ThrottlePG15 17:00 Taxi-PG15 19:00 The Untouchables-PG15 21:00 Kalifornia-18 23:00 The Running Man-18

00:00 The Banger Sisters-PG15 02:00 The Dilemma-PG15 04:00 The Bad News Bears (1976)PG15 06:00 Rebound-PG 08:00 Melinda And Melinda-PG15 10:00 Open Season 3-FAM 12:00 Desperately Seeking SantaPG15 14:00 Wayne’s World-PG15 16:00 Open Season 3-FAM 18:00 The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou-PG15 20:00 The Decoy Bride-PG15 22:00 Extract-PG15



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Red Rock West-18 Seabiscuit-PG15 Dear John-PG15 Sunny And The Elephant-PG15 The 19th Wife-PG15 Oranges And Sunshine-PG15 Unanswered Prayers-PG15 The 19th Wife-PG15 The Terminal-PG15 Burlesque-PG15 Separate Lies-PG15 Up Close And Personal-PG Square Grouper-18

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Seabiscuit-PG15 Ice Age-FAM According To Greta-PG15 Backwash-PG15 Teen Spirit-PG15 Battle For Terra-PG Call Of The Wild-PG15 Glee: The Concert Movie-PG15 Teen Spirit-PG15 Thor-PG15 Blackthorn-PG15 Hereafter-18

01:00 Horrid Henry-PG 02:45 Arthur And The Revenge Of Maltazard-PG 04:30 The Ugly Duckling In The Enchanted Forest-FAM 06:00 The Proud Family Movie-FAM 08:00 Rh+ The Vampire Of Seville-PG 09:45 The Muppets Take ManhattanPG 11:30 Scooby-Doo-PG 13:00 Marco Macaco-FAM 14:15 Horrid Henry-PG 16:00 Kung Fu Panda 2-PG 18:00 The Muppets Take ManhattanPG 20:00 Spy Kids: All The Time In The World-PG 22:00 Marco Macaco-FAM 23:30 Rh+ The Vampire Of Seville-PG 22:15 Resident Evil 4: Afterlife-18 00:00 ICC Cricket 360 00:30 Trans World Sport 01:30 PGA European Tour 07:00 Top 14 09:00 Futbol Mundial 09:30 Extreme Sailing Series 10:00 Trans World Sport 11:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 12:00 The Ryder Cup Official Film 13:30 Challenge Series Golf Highlights 14:00 ICC Cricket 360 14:30 Top 14 16:30 Top 14 18:30 Premier League Snooker 22:00 Futbol Mundial 22:30 Trans World Sport 23:30 ITM CUP


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Classifieds WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2012




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



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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

FOR SALE Toyota Corolla, 2008 model, white color with CD player, rear sensor, folding mirror, low mileage, well maintained. Price KD 2,650. Contact: 60099305. (C 4212) Mitsubishi Pajero 2008, model with CD player, alloy wheel rim, well maintained, low mileage. Price KD 3,950. Contact: 66974049. (C 4213) 13-1-2012 All furniture / appliances of 1 BHK flat on sale, to be sold all together, for family, expected price KD 850 or best offer. Contact: 94427060, 66982274. (C 4207) 12-11-2102 BMW 730 LI model 2008, full option, mileage 45000 km, BMW ser vice maintained, price KD 8300, price negotiable. Contact: 97227427. (C 4206) 11-11-2012 Daihatsu Sirion 2012, 20 km, automatic, 5 door, KD 2100. Contact: 60976100. (C 4202) CHANGE OF NAME I, Madhavan, holder of Indian Passport No. H5961296, son of Muthukrishanan, converted to Islam and do now hereafter be known by my new name MOHAMED SHARIF. (C 4217) 14-11-2012 I, Mohammed Hameedudeen,

S/o Mohamed Tajudeen, holder of Indian Passport No. G6678181, issued in Kuwait on 18.4.2008 by Embassy of India, hereby would like to change my name as Mohamed Hameedudeen. My present address is: 68/1 Umar Street, P. Kondhagai 609 703, Nagapattinam DT. Attestation no.: KWTKC5432412. 08 Oct 2012. (C 4208) I, Yalla Srinivasu (Passport No. G3438979), S/o Yalla Venkateswara Rao, age 36 years, R/o 1-57, Antarvedi Palem, Sakhineti Palli, East Godawari Dist, AP, hereby declare that with my free consent I have embraced Islam on 13-06-2005 at State of Kuwait and I have adopted my name as Abdul Rahman. (C 4215) I, Rage Nagaraja (Passport No. G3636805), S/o Rage Nageswara, age 25 years, R/o Jandlavaram, Mydukuru, Kadapa Dist, AP, India, hereby declare that with my free consent I have embraced Islam on 25-05-2011 at State of Kuwait and I have adopted my name as Abdulla. (C 4214) 13-11-2012 I, Jagadhabi Anand, holder of Indian Passport No. H1819620, Passport issues in Kuwait on 02.03.2009, hereby change my name to Jagadhabi Anad Raju. (C 4211) 12-11-2012

Prayer timings Fajr:










Australia, seeking Executive Position. Contact: 65695468 email: (C 4195) 11-11-2012


SITUATION WANTED Western educated “Project Manager” with 2 EngineeringDegrees (Civil/Elec.), 4-Master Degrees (Project Mgmt/ Engineering/ Education & Training/ MBA), plus 17-years experience in Middle East/

are negotiable. Please call 66417504. (C 4209) 12-11-2012

SITUATION VACANT A lady maid is needed to work for a single Arab/American man in a flat located in Salmiya. Working hours and salary

Keralite, B.D.S Doctor girl, 30 years, born again Baptized, Ornament wearing, seeking marriage proposal. Contact Email: (C 4216)


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ACROSS 1. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 4. A public place in ancient Greece or Rome devoted to the training of wrestlers and other athletes. 12. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 15. A doctor's degree in education. 16. Cosmopolitan genus of usually perennial herbs with flowers that resemble asters. 17. The 21st letter of the Greek alphabet. 18. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 19. Marriage within one's own tribe or group as required by custom or law. 20. An ugly evil-looking old woman. 21. One of the most important fungi cultivated in Japan. 23. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 25. An edge tool with a heavy bladed head mounted across a handle. 31. Genus of sticky herbs with yellow flowers open in morning or evening but closed in bright light. 35. Make amends for. 37. The tissue forming the hard outer layer of e.g. a fruit. 39. Lighted up by or as by fire or flame. 40. Grass of the eastern United States and tropical America having spikelets enclosed in prickly burs. 41. United States writer (born in Poland) who wrote in Yiddish (1880-1957). 44. A Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria. 45. Headdress that protects the head from bad weather. 46. An archaic name for Easter or Passover. 49. A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause). 51. A genus of temperate and arctic evergreen trees (see spruce). 53. Denoting a quantity consisting of 12 items or units. 55. A plant lacking a permanent woody stem. 57. A soft silver-white ductile metallic element (liquid at normal temperatures). 58. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 60. A fastener (as a buckle or hook) that is used to hold two things together. 63. Submerged aquatic plant having narrow leaves and small flowers. 65. A very young child (birth to 1 year) who has not yet begun to walk or talk. 67. A United Nations agency created by a multinational treaty to promote trade by the reduction of tariffs and import quotas. 69. A region of central Europe rich in deposits of coal and iron ore. 72. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 75. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 76. An enclosed space. 77. A person who is interned. 79. A rotating disk shaped to convert circular into linear motion. 80. Large northern deer with enormous flattened antlers in the male. 81. Tall marsh plant with cylindrical seed heads that explode when mature shedding large quantities of down. 82. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River.

2. Become less tense. 3. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 4. A secret look. 5. A river in central Italy rising in the Apennines and flowing through Florence and Pisa to the Ligurian Sea. 6. Either of two folds of skin that can be moved to cover or open the eye. 7. An inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others. 8. United States sculptor (born in 1924). 9. Very sad. 10. Relating to or characteristic of people of Rome. 11. One or some or every or all without specification. 12. An ancient Hebrew unit of dry measure equal to about a bushel. 13. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 14. Port city that is the capital and largest city of Latvia. 22. To fix or set securely or deeply. 24. Lacking or deprive of the sense of hearing wholly or in part. 26. The 3 goddesses of fate or destiny. 27. The compass point that is one point north of due east. 28. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 29. The grammatical arrangement of words in sentences. 30. German arms manufacturer and son of Friedrich Krupp. 32. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 33. Humorously sarcastic or mocking. 34. A mythical Greek warrior who was a leader on the Trojan side of the Trojan War. 36. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 38. Small European freshwater fish with a slender bluish-green body. 42. United States artist whose work reflected social and political themes (1898-1969). 43. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 47. Invested with legal power or official authority especially as symbolized by having a scepter. 48. An esoteric or occult matter that is traditionally secret. 50. Pleasant or pleasing or agreeable in nature or appearance. 52. (trademark) A light plastic disk about 10 inches in diameter. 54. Being nine more than forty. 56. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 59. Obvious and dull. 61. Gone by. 62. Fried quickly in a little fat. 64. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 66. Related to or located at the back. 68. A word or expression used for some particular thing. 70. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 71. God of love and erotic desire. 73. Term of address for a man. 74. A nucleic acid consisting of large molecules shaped like a double helix. 78. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members.

Yesterday’s Solution

Word Search


Yesterday’s Solution

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19)

Ambition and achievement can be tough to maintain just now. You win reward, recognition and authority through your hard work—others could set their standards by your actions. In the process of keeping the accounting books straight, you may find some frustrations in the afternoon. Who owes what and who decides what, may be some major issues. This could be a time of developing ideas for working out of your home or for a job in investment advising. You have a deep yearning to express your talents, although you could feel held back at times. All this work for someone else may become exhausting. Interact with people that have home businesses and go to conventions where home businesses are advertised. Look into this very carefully.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

There is a need for change, a desire to break with outmoded patterns from the past . . . a longing for the new, the different, the unique—perhaps a new job. In-depth discussions and interesting conversations with co-workers or friends may give you some focus. Higher education, publishing, broadcasting or advertising could play an unexpected role in setting new directions for you. There is a yearning for adventure and far horizons now, to seek freedom and experiences and to go where no person has gone before. This could be a time of romantic crusades, a time of universal love that might not be too particular. This may not be the best time to make important decisions that affect your living situation or life circumstances. Tonight is for socializing.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You are valued for your ability to make practical decisions concerning group issues. You are in a good position to communicate concerning political issues today. Writing, travel, how to books and perhaps animal sciences are likely to seem as if they hold the answers to your interests at this time. A bit of studying may be in order. True wisdom lies in discovering that there are no ultimate answers, only good questions. Ideological crusades can set your head spinning; distant journeys can stir your soul. Your taste in art is heightened. Perhaps this would be a good time to select furnishings, colors and the finer things of life. Your sense of value is heightened. This could also be the best time to just sit back and just enjoy what you have.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

This is a time for new accomplishments, during which insights and new goals can be made. You discover new ideas and ways to do and use things. It is almost impossible to make you stop your investigation into new discoveries. There is also a yearning to travel that may revolve around your discoveries of late. This afternoon, your taste in art avails itself as you realize the time has come to redecorate, move furniture around, hang pictures or even purchase a new piece of furniture. You may feel rather smug at your accomplishments—it is easy for you to relax and have fun with friends, loved ones or just by yourself. This evening is a great time to reflect and understand your own situation, just how you feel about your professional plans.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

This could be a crazy time when you may feel under a lot of pressure to work quickly. You could be facing some time limits. You may be working against the flow as interruptions could cause you to change direction. You have a yearning to escape some taxing situation and go for the adventure, flying to far off horizons. Look around—someone else is probably feeling the same way. Patience—dive in and help the group—this distraction will end soon enough. Be sure to make some fun plans for the future. It may be wise to schedule a weekend getaway soon. Perhaps a vacation, if the timing is appropriate. Write to the Chamber of Commerce that is located where you want to visit. We all know about all-work-and-no-play.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

This is a time when you can put your practical insights into words. This is a very good time to plan the path to your goals for the remainder of this year— a good time for decisions. You may appear very relaxed. Obtaining and exchanging information takes on emotional significance. Everything seems to be working together and you may find yourself expressive and able to communicate well. Being more involved with neighbors or sibling(s) this afternoon satisfies a deep emotional need. You can appreciate an imaginative approach to many situations and may value some community function. Later this evening you may enjoy a gathering of friends at a nearby fast-food restaurant. It is fun to escape from day-to-day realities.

Libra (September 23-October 22) This is a great time to be in the workforce. It seems there are new techniques and new equipment to boggle the mind. You may find yourself the keeper of some very exciting information. This is for a short time and you will manage, but the knowledge is difficult to keep to yourself. Radical and inventive ideas hold the key to realizing your ambitions and advancing your status—a shakeup could be in the works. You draw emotional sustenance and a sense of security from ideals, friends and social involvement. Your relationships with partners and loved ones are very intense and ever so personal. In fact, they are capable of transforming you at the most basic level. A time of real inner growth is encouraged through other people.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

This could be a time when everything around you and your living situation seems to be in some sort of confusion. You may feel opposed or even challenged by others. Working through problems acted out with others may be hard to avoid. You could receive unexpected help or support from those around you—especially someone younger. This is a time when you may get insights into your living situation or support system. New ideas about your history, new approaches to established facts. There is a chance to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love. General good feelings and a sense of support and harmony makes this a happy time. You will find music quite relaxing this evening.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You are a forceful speaker and communicate with great enthusiasm in the lecture room today or perhaps around the conference table. Words just flow and are always followed by an emotional impact that brings them home to your listeners. Professionally, emotionally and romantically, this is an incredible time. You have no trouble putting your feelings into words. You may have to give some thought to your personal plans this fall. There is a yearning for adventure and you may find yourself planning a trip or a vacation. Perhaps a loved one reminds you of how long it has been since you two have been on an adventure together. This would be a good time to plan a holiday. Perhaps a unique restaurant this evening will bring you new insights.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Your communication skills are at a high just now. Your timing should be perfect and those around you should find you most spontaneous. The afternoon affords you time to enjoy a favorite hobby. Rearranging, organizing and perhaps trading with someone that enjoys the same hobby will be part of this preoccupation today. You are entering a phase of emotional directness and impulsiveness now—one marked by powerful feelings. Emotional beginnings, a fresh start, perhaps the establishment of new habit patterns are present. Make sure your changes are good ones—they will set the tone for you for quite some time to come! There is a chance to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love this evening.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

This is a lucky day in many ways. You could also find it is time to repay a debt this day. Misunderstandings or puzzles of the emotional sort have a way of clearing up. This is a time of much drive, perfect for starting something new or taking care of business. Mental patterns and communication skills play a major role in your life. They can change things forever—make sure you develop your highest potential in these areas. This afternoon, a neighbor or sibling could undergo some kind of positive transformation, perhaps a clean bill of health. You make the effort to express your compliments. Your personal income is due to increase and an additional rise of energy will be available as well. Romance is in order this evening.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You will be dealing with facts and figures throughout most of this working day. Your ability to manage and supervise people, plus a built-in sense of responsibility, makes you a unique character. There are not many of your caliber out there when it comes to management. This afternoon, although work continues to be hurried, your thoughts may wonder into the weekend plans. The home front this evening presents opportunities for you to get things accomplished. You could plan a garage sale for this weekend. Home, family and real estate are some of the interests that require a lot of discipline and responsibility now. If you get serious about these things and think long term, you come out ahead. Complete plans for these November holidays.


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


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Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688



Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Kaizen center 25716707


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


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Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

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Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

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

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



LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Kim Kardashian envies teen sister he ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ star admits she finds it a “struggle” to lose weight and is very envious of Kendall Jenner’s slender frame. Asked which celebrity’s figure she most admires, she said: My little sister Kendall. I’m like, ‘I just want to be you for one day’. How are we even related? “It’s a struggle for me [to lose weight], constantly.” Kim’s boyfriend Kanye West recently gave her an image overhaul and cleared out her closet - but the brunette beauty admits she didn’t throw everything away immediately. She told heat magazine: “You know, I kept all the clothes for


about three months, sitting in a room with racks, just to see if I really was feeling it. “And every piece I got rid of, I just felt like I had matured on my own. “You know, it was probably a little bit harsh seeing it go. Now, I look back and I’m like, ‘I never would have worn that!’ So I’m glad that I got rid of everything and I filled my wardrobe up with really amazing pieces.”

Selena Gomez’s friends hope Bieber doesn’t return he 20-year-old actress and the 18-year-old pop star revealed their split after two years together and while those close to the brunette beauty fully expect Justin to try to win her back, they are surprised it took so long for the pair to break up as she has “shed many tears” over him in the past year. A friend of Selena’s told The Sun newspaper: “It’s been so difficult to watch this unfold over the past year or so. Selena has shed so many tears over Justin. “She’s tried to split up with him so many times but they have always ended up back together. “It’s out in the open now and that is one of the toughest parts, so that means there’s more chance it will be permanent this time. But we expect Justin to try to win her back - and he tends to get what he wants.” Despite separating last week, the former couple were spotted together in New York on Sunday where they are thought to have held talks about their relationship. A source explained: “I saw Selena go into the hotel around 5:40 pm and not even three hours later, Justin went in. I saw him leave around 11 pm.”


Mel C wants more kids he former Spice Girls singer split from the father of her three-yearold daughter Scarlet, Thomas Starr, in July after 10 years together and is worried she has missed her chance to give her daughter a sibling. The 38-year-old singer told the latest edition of new! magazine: “It would be lovely to have more children but I don’t know if that’s going to happen for me.” Mel C sees Scarlet as her “little buddy” and she loves spending time with her doing girly things like shopping and painting her nails. She gushed: “She’s amazing. She makes me laugh all day long. She loves singing and dancing and she’s really good at art as well - she loves to paint. She starts school next year so she’s at nursery at the moment. “She’ll be four in February so she’s at that wonderful age where we have lots of really good chats. It’s lovely to have my little buddy. We go clothes shopping together and I paint her nails.” The brunette star is currently busy touring with musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and misses Scarlet when she’s away, but they stay in touch via Skype and says she is well looked after by a nanny and her father. Mel said: “Scarlet sees her daddy a lot as well and I’ve had a nanny since she was seven months old.”


Katy Perry hid under a table to avoid Russell Brand he ‘Firework’ singer was horrified when a romantic meal with boyfriend John Mayer at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills almost turned into a confrontation with her ex husband and ducked under her table to avoid him. A source told The Sun newspaper: “As soon as Katy saw Russell she hid under the table. When he was directed to one far away she emerged. “John threw some money on the table and they headed to the back door and their waiting car. “Russell didn’t seem to see a thing but everyone in the restaurant saw what happened.” Just last month Katy, 28 and Russell, 37, were spotted at the Los Angeles Lakers basketball season opening game where they were seated at opposite ends of the VIP area and reportedly didn’t speak at all. However, just days later the quirky comedian made an effort to show he still cares for his ex-wife - who he split from in December 2011 - by buying her a gold cuff for her recent birthday as well as sending her a handmade meditation cushion. A source explained: “Even though they’ve broken up, Russell wanted to send Katy something. He thought it would be nice to let her know he’s thinking of her.” Russell’s mum Barbara also remembered her former daughter-in-law’s birthday, sending her special flowers and a card to her Los Angeles home.


Ariel Winter splits from her boyfriend he 14-year-old actress - who is the subject of a guardianship battle between her mother Chrisoula Workman and older sister Shanelle Gray - has split from 18-year-old Cameron Palatas, who she had been dating for less than six months. This is the latest upset for the ‘Modern Family’ star, who was removed from her mother ‘s home by child protective services for the second time and placed in her sister’s care last month. The girls also secured a restraining order against their mother, forcing her to stay 100 yards away from the young actress at all times. Ariel is said to have been previously removed from her mother’s care as a young child and placed in foster care by the Department of Children and Family Services. Her mother has denied all allegations, saying: “It’s all untrue, it’s all untrue. I have my doctor’s letter that my daughter’s never been abused.” Ariel’s lawyer Amir Pichvai insists the actress is being well cared for as she deals with the custody issue. He said: Ariel is doing well and she has a lot of people who are loving her and supporting her at this time, and I’m pretty confident that she’ll fare well through all of this. She is obviously a very smart and articulate young lady and an accomplished actress.”


Ashley Greene wants to win an Oscar he 25-year-old actress - who is most famous for playing vampire Alice Cullen in ‘The Twilight Saga’ franchise - revealed her lofty career ambitions ahead of the release of the final movie in the series. She told Seventeen magazine: “[In five years time I hope to be] healthy and happy. Ideally my career will be extremely stable. I really don’t want to be here for a minute and then gone the next. In five years I wouldn’t be opposed to having a husband and thinking about kids. Okay, maybe 10 years for that! And I want to win an Oscar or an Emmy.” Ashley - who has dated Joe Jonas - also revealed she still loves her former boyfriends. She said: “I certainly have [been in love.] I can still love an ex as a person, regardless if the breakup was bad. I would never wish anything negative on them. It takes more energy to hate them than to wish them well.” While the ‘Breaking Dawn Part 2’ star is sad that the movie series has come to an end, she revealed the cast made sure to go out with a bang. She explained: “We secretly coordinated a surprise dance-off during a scene! We were all in on it, but [the director] Bill Condon didn’t know. [All the vampires] were supposed to charge at each other and destroy each other, and instead we just started dancing! Everyone did it - the Cullen clan and probably 20 vampire extras! It was such an amazing way to end it all.” —Bangshowbiz


Kate Moss used to dress her brother up as a girl he 38-year-old supermodel says she’s always been into fashion and as she didn’t have a sister, she used to put her sibling Nick in her clothes and call him Sylvia. She said: “I definitely liked clothes. I used to dress my brother up in looks, as girls. His name was Sylvia. I used to dress him up and make him come to the door and knock and say, ‘Is Kate coming out?’ to my mum. I’ve got a picture of him. He had a beauty spot, fake boobs, and everything - very Liz Taylor. My brother didn’t mind. He found the picture and framed it for me. ‘Kate, Love always, Sylvia.’ “ While Kate - who has 10-yearold daughter Lila Grace from a previous relationship and is married to Jamie Hince - enjoyed her childhood she says she always knew she wanted to get out of hometown Croydon, south London. She told Vanity Fair magazine: “My brother still lives near there and he doesn’t really go to pubs there, it’s so rough. But it was quite fun growing up there because it is so rough. There’s street stuff going on. Everyone used to hang out in parks and have fights and go to the cinema and have fights. Bit of fight culture in Croydon. I don’t mind a fight. What I wanted to get out of was the whole thing of, this is it. This is what life is. I never had that feeling of, that’s your lot.”




LIFESTYLE F e a t u r e s

Last of Nepal’s Kusunda speakers mourns dying language s Gyani Maiya Sen nears the end of her life she worries that her final words may be the last ever spoken in her mysterious mother tongue. The 76-year-old, part of a vanishing tribe in remote western Nepal, is the only surviving native speaker of Kusunda, a language of unknown origins and unique sentence structures that has long baffled experts. “There’s no one else with whom I can speak in my language. I used to speak with my mother but since her death in 1985, I am left alone,” she told AFP by telephone, speaking in Nepali. Yet the frail, gnarled tribeswoman is the focus of renewed interest among linguists across the world who are trying to ensure her language survives in some form after she has gone. Sen’s Kusunda tribe, now just 100 members, were once a nomadic people, but she has found herself living out her twilight years in a concrete bungalow built by local authorities in Dang district in western Nepal. “How can I forget the language I grew up learning? I used to speak it when I was a child. Even now, I wish I could talk to someone who understands my language,” Sen said.


Clapton platinum watch nets $3.6m at auction n Asian collector bought a platinum chronograph Patek Philippe wristwatch owned by British rock guitarist Eric Clapton for 3.44 million Swiss francs ($3.63 million) at auction on Monday, Christie’s said. The “ultra-rare” reference 2499/100 by the Swiss luxury watchmaker, one of only two cased in platinum, was acquired by Clapton some 10 years ago, it said. It fetched a combined hammer price and commission that was in line with Christie’s pre-sale estimate of 2.5-4.0 million francs while also setting a world record price for this reference at auction, it said in a statement on its semi-annual Geneva sale. “ The Eric Clapton watch was bought by an Asian private collector, “ Christie’s spokesman Cristiano de Lorenzo told Reuters, adding that the buyer had been in the room. But the top lot at the seven-hour sale was another platinum chronograph Patek Philippe, reference 2458, made in 1952 for legendary American collector JB Champion. It fetched nearly 3.78 million Swiss francs and set a world record for a watch without complications, or features beyond the display of hours, minutes and seconds, it said. Precious Time, an investment watch fund launched by Luxembourgbased Elite Advisers, was the buyer, Christie’s said in a statement. In all, 96 percent of the 315 lots on offer found new owners, netting 27.04 million Swiss francs ($28.52 million), the auction house owned by French billionaire Francois Pinault said. Clapton’s Patek Philippe, made in the Swiss city in 1987, has a perpetual calendar with moon phases, as well as windows for day and month and dials for seconds and minutes. Most experts would rank it among the world’s 10 most significant wristwatches that stand out for historical importance, mechanical complexity, beauty, original condition, rarity and superior provenance, Aurel Bacs, international head of Christie’s watch department, said before conducting the sale. Clapton, the former Cream musician, last year sold more than 70 of his guitars at a charity auction in New York, raising $2.15 million for the Crossroads Centre drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre that he founded in Antigua. Last month in London he sold an abstract painting by German artist Gerhard Richter at rival Sotheby’s for $34.2 million, setting a new record for the price paid at auction for the work of a living artist. Antiquorum’s sale of modern and vintage timepieces, held in Geneva on Sunday evening, netted 8.63 million Swiss francs ($9.10 million) for 485 lots sold out of 613 on offer, it said in a statement issued on Monday, The top lot was a Rolex Single Red Prototype, known as the Sea Dweller Submariner, one of only six produced in 1967 for use by divers. It sold for 490,900 Swiss francs-four time its pre-sale estimate - in its first appearance at auction. “ It is the highest price ever paid for a Rolex sport watch and for a Sea Dweller, “ Antiquorum said. —Reuters


Nepal, wedged between China and India, is home to more than 100 ethnic groups speaking as many languages, and

In this photograph, Nepalese Gyani Maiya Sen, 76, poses for a photo at her home in the remote district of Dang in western Nepal. —AFP

linguists say at least 10 have disappeared in recent decades. UNESCO lists 61 of Nepal’s languages as endangered, meaning they are falling out of use, and six of them, including Kusunda, as “critically endangered”. “Language is part of culture. When it disappears, the native speakers will not only lose their heritage and history but they will also lose their identity,” said Tribhuvan University linguistics professor Madhav Prasad Pokharel. “Kusunda is unique because it is not related to any other language in the world. It is also not influenced by other languages,” Pokharel told AFP. “In linguistic terms we call it a language isolate.” Until recently, there were two other native speakers of Kusunda, Puni Thakuri and her daughter Kamala Khatri, but Puni died two years ago and Kamala migrated to India for work, leaving Sen the sole surviving native speaker. Tribhuvan University, in Kathmandu, started up a project 10 years ago to document and preserve Kusunda, inviting Thakuri and Khatri to the Nepalese capital. But as the money ran out, the research ground to a halt.


alent of the word “green” because the forest-dwellers are surrounded by vegetation and don’t recognise greenery as something that needs its own word. The tribe has been dying out for decades, with women marrying outside the blood line, and the language is perishing with it as many take to speaking Nepali. “The native speakers shifted to other languages. Factors such as marriage outside their tribe, migration and modernisation also contributed to the loss,” Pokharel said. When King Mahendra dismissed the elected government in 1960 and put in its place an autocratic, partyless system which would govern Nepal for the next 30 years, the use of languages other than Nepali was discouraged. With the end of a decade-long Maoist insurgency in 2006 and a revived focus on the rights of minorities, indigenous people have started to preserve their language and culture. But while it may be too late for Kusunda, Pokharel said a national institution was needed to try to protect Nepal’s other dying languages. “Transferring language to a non-native speaker is important and indeed the only way to save it,” Pokharel said. —AFP

World Chefs: Gonzales fuses food, music into celebration cooking usic and food have always been a big part of Dante Gonzales’s life. so it is no surprise that the awardwinning chef, caterer and party promoter managed to combine both worlds. His love of music comes from his grandfather, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest, who had a big hit with his recording of the jazz classic “Night Train,” while his grandmother taught him to cook. “I never set out to be a chef,” said the 38-year-old Los Angelesbased chef, who has cooked for celebrities including actress Demi Moore, rapper Snoop Dogg and singer/songwriter Santigold. His first cookbook “Ride or Fry: The Dante Fried Chicken Experience,” which includes 100 recipes, tips on equipping a pantry, basic tools, home-made spices and setting up a smoker, was published earlier this month. Gonzales started his culinary career hosting underground dinner parties with music in New York and then did a web-based cooking show featuring musicians before launching his Ride or Fry food truck and pop-up stands and catering business. He spoke to Reuters about fried chicken, his cross-culinary, eclectic style of cooking and his new book. Q: How would you describe your style


of cooking? A: “I call it Transatlantic African. You would probably call it soul food or innovative or fusion soul food ... For me soul food,

or southern food, or Dominican food, whatever you want to call it, is just an amalgamation of three different cultures. European, African and indigenous cultures

Dante Gonzales

... I take food back to the basics.” Q: Who taught you how to cook? A: “I would have to say it is my grandmother. It is in our DNA. All the men in my family, all the women in my family, know how to cook and clean. It was just something that was taught to us all ... My grandmother made everything from scratch, candies, meringue.” Q: Do many of the recipes in the book originate from your grandmother? A: “Yes, a lot definitely. A lot of them originate from her. She lived in LA in the 60s ... It has always been in my DNA to combine these cultures. Q: What ingredients could you not live without? A: “The basics-garlic, onions, definitely spices like paprika and herbs. I love herbs. It would be all the basics that flavor dishes. Q: When you are catering an event how many people do you cook for? A: “Last month I cooked for about a thousand people for a Converse block party. I did something for my friend and he had maybe 10 people. It depends. The food can come in any form, whether it is appetizers, a sit-down meal, a family meal. I do a lot of private events. I was flown out to the UK for the Olympics.” —Reuters

NBC’s ‘Revolution’ snares Led Zeppelin songs hat tunes fit a post-apocalyptic society? For NBC’s freshman drama “Revolution,” the answer is Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” The songs will be featured in next week’s episode of “Revolution,” on the same day that Led Zeppelin’s “Celebration Day” album and a companion documentary on DVD will be released. Corporate synergy led to the deal for the onetime rock band that rarely allows use of its music in Hollywood projects. “Revolution” is produced in association with Warner Bros. Television, and Led Zeppelin has a deal with Warner Music Group’s publishing arm. But it was Eric Kripke, creator and executive producer of “Revolution,” who brought his series and the band together. When Warner-Chappell Music sent out an email asking if any producers on the studio lot would be interested in using Led Zeppelin songs, Kripke jumped at the chance. “The speed and overwhelming enthusiasm with which I responded, I think, frankly weirded them out a little,” said the self-described “massive Led Zeppelin fan.” His credentials: Between “Revolution” and “Supernatural,” the CW drama he created, Kripke said he’s probably used Led Zeppelin


references in the titles of some 20 episodes. “Revolution,” about an American family struggling with the nation’s sudden loss of all electrity and all the technology it powered, was in part inspired by the band’s music and its sense of “mythic adventure,” he said. Warner made a logical pick with “Revolution”: The series benefits from a Monday berth after NBC’s hit singing contest “The Voice” and started strong in the ratings, especially with the advertiser-favored young adult demographic. The Led Zeppelin-accented episode of “Revolution” will air 10:01 p.m. EST Monday, Nov 19. A “Revolution” promo spot featuring “Kashmir” will air throughout this week on NBC, with an extended version available on the network’s website. The “Celebration Day” projects document the band’s 2007 reunion concert at London’s 02 Arena. Original members Plant, Page and John Paul Jones, along with Jason Bonham, son of the late drummer John Bonham, played to honor Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. For the group, which disbanded after John Bonham’s 1980 death, the concert was its first full show in 27 years. The documentary, including hits “Whole

Bono salutes US for electing ‘extraordinary man’ ono hailed Americans for reelecting President Barack Obama but reminded them of the dire consequences that lie ahead because of the economy. The U2 frontman touched on the relationship between politics and extreme poverty Monday night in his keynote speech during the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown University, after acknowledging Obama’s victory over challenger Mitt Romney last week. “Congratulations are in order not just for turning out in record numbers - and forgetting politics for a minute - but for electing an extraordinary man as president,” Bono said of Obama. “I think you have to say that whatever your political tradition.” Bono went on to joke about attack ads, imitate former President Bill Clinton, compare punk rock to world history, forecast a potentially dark future and warn Georgetown’s students that a recession might rob them of their chance to make their

‘Only way to save’ languages The project has been given new life by Bhojraj Gautam, a student of Pokharel who recently spent months recording Sen speaking and is gaining the knowledge to speak basic Kusunda himself in the process. As part of the project, funded by the Australian Research Council, Gautam has written down the entire language and the outcome, he says, will eventually be a Kusunda dictionary and a comprehensive grammar. Kusunda, incorrectly first classified as a Tibeto-Burman language, has three vowels and 15 consonants, and reflects the history and culture of its people. “They call themselves ‘myahq’, which means tiger. That’s because they think of themselves as the kings of forests,” Pokharel said. The origins of the Kusunda people have never been established but they are believed to have lived in the midwestern hills of what is now Nepal for hundreds of years. They traditionally rely on hunting to survive and are adept at using arrows and bows for killing wild animals, with lizards and wild fowl being their meal of choice. Pokharel said Kusundas have no equiv-

mark on the world. The 52-year-old Irish singer, a selfstyled “evidence-based activist,” warned that economic decisions being debated in America could have devastating consequences for the extreme poor. He referred to the impending “fiscal cliff,” the year-end expiration of tax cuts Americans have had for a decade and other budget realities some fear may restart the recession and cost millions more their jobs. Bono warned that fiscal decisions should not cost lives lost through lack of medical treatment or other aid. “Cuts can cost the lives of the poorest of the poor,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a hard case to make, but it is right now. In the halls of Congress, the Senate, maybe here in Healy Hall. But I put it to you we must not let this economic recession become a moral recession. That would become a double cruelty.” —Reuters

This file photo shows musicians Jason Bonham, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page at the “Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day” premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York. —AP Lotta Love” and “Stairway To Heaven,” was released in theaters last month. —AP

Indonesian fashion designers turn eyes to the wider world ndonesian fashion designers paired clean, urban styles with traditional batiks and designs inspired by ancient temples at the sixth annual Jakarta Fashion Week. Local designers in Asia’s fourth largest economy looked to the past and their heritage to gain a foothold in the international fashion market, a hope expressed in the week’s theme “Indonesia Today, The World Tomorrow.” “This collection sums up 40 years of my work,” said Josephine Komara, who is also known as Obin, a noted batik artisan who showcased eclectic designs with radiant silks. Although Obin has shops in Singapore and Japan, she is most successful in her own country. There are other success stories like hers but Indonesia lacks a brand with global recognition, unlike its Southeast Asian neighbours such as the Malaysian Vincci and Singapore’s Charles & Keith. But the London-



based Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) hopes to change this, propelling young Indonesian designers to the international stage through a mentoring program. Experts say one of the biggest problems is inexperience and a short history of aiming at international markets. “By going international, it means they have to be ready for what the market needs,” said Toby Meadows, a CFE consultant. “It might be overwhelming for them because creating winter wear might never have crossed their minds. But if you have a brand, the buyers expect you to have a Fall/Winter collection as well.” The fundamentals for international recognition are already there. Designers Yosafat Dwi Kuniawan and Jeffrey Tan offered high fashion and urban cut pret a porter collections, while Barli Asmara and Albert Yanuar went for glamourous dresses with a costume-like touch.

Dian Pelangi, in a nod to local fashion, showed contemporary designs incorporating the hijab that many Indonesian women use to cover their heads. All are among eight local designers and labels in CFE’s mentoring programme, which they hope will propel them onto the international scene. None of the designers have dealt with international buyers, although Barli and Yosafat have showed their collections in fashion weeks overseas. Most are still struggling with branding and business plans over creativity and design ideas. “I went for a showcase in China Fashion Week in 2009, but there wasn’t any actual trading,” said Yosafat, 23, whose designs are inspired by the ancient Javanese Borobudur temple. “I simply don’t know how to sell and deliver and I’ve made some big mistakes in my business.” —Reuters



orry, Helen Mirren: looks like the Queen won’t be appearing at the theater for your new play. At least on the programs and promotional materials for “The Audience.” The Oscar-winning actress is set to reprise her role as the British monarch in a new play, written by “The Queen” screenwriter Peter Morgan and directed by Stephen Daldry. In preparation for the play’s opening at the Gielguld Theatre in London’s West End on Feb 15, 2013, the play’s designers came up with a image of Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Diamond Diadem for use on the program and promotional mate-


rials, the Telegraph reported. However, Buckingham Palace has rejected use of the image, saying, “We ask companies not to use the Queen’s image in their advertising or promotional material. We felt the use of the Queen’s portrait for this play breached this code and suggested that they might like to use a different image. It had nothing to do with the play itself.” “The Audience” tells the story of the Queen’s relationships with the 12 prime ministers who served her during her reign. The play’s title is derived from the private weekly discussions held between the queen and

heads of government that have taken place over the last six decades. “I was baffled when they said we couldn’t use the Queen’s image, particularly as we are not wanting to use it in a defamatory or negative way quite the opposite. It is censorship,” Matthew Byam Shaw, one of the play’s producers, told the Telegraph. Still, the Queen has spoken. So the image will be modified with Mirren’s likeness in place of the monarch. — Reuters

Award recipient Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appears onstage.

andra Kyong Bradbury was star struck. She had just spied Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a few feet away. “How can you top that?” asked Bradbury, a New York City neonatal nurse who had helped evacuate infants from a hospital that lost power during the height of Superstorm Sandy. She was amazed that she was being honored at the same event as a Supreme Court justice - the annual Glamour Women of the Year awards, where stars of film, TV, fashion and sports share the stage with lesser-known women who have equally impressive achievements to their name. Few events bring together such an eclectic group of honorees, not to mention presenters. At the Carnegie Hall ceremony Monday night, HBO star Lena Dunham, creator of the TV series “Girls” and a heroine to a younger generation, was introduced by Chelsea Handler and paid tribute in her speech to Nora Ephron, who died earlier this year. Ethel Kennedy was praised by her daughter, Rory, who has made a film about her famous mother. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, 17, was honored along with swimming phenom Missy Franklin, also 17, and other Olympic athletes, introduced by singer Mary J. Blige and serenaded by American Idol winner Phillip Phillips. Singer-actress Selena Gomez was lauded by her friend, the actor Ethan Hawke. But the most moving moments of the Glamour awards, now in their 22nd year, are often those involving people of whom the audience hasn’t heard. This year, the most touching moment came when one honoree, Pakistani activist and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, brought onstage a woman who’d been the victim of an acid attack in her native Pakistan. Obaid-Chinoy won this year’s documentary short Oscar for a film about disfiguring acid attacks on Pakistani women by the men in their lives. The evening carried reminders of Superstorm Sandy, with Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker introducing some 20 women who’d been heavily involved in storm relief work. “They held us together when Sandy tried to blow us apart,” Booker said. The women worked for organizations like the American Red Cross, but also smaller volunteer groups like Jersey City Sandy Recovery, an impromptu group formed by three women in Jersey City, New Jersey, who wanted a way to help stormravaged communities. Singer-rapper Pharrell Williams introduced one of his favorite architects, the Iraqi-born Zaha Hadid, 62, who designed the aquatic center for the London Olympics and is now at work on 43 projects around the world. Activist Erin Merryn was honored for her work increasing awareness of child sex abuse - a horror she had endured during her own childhood. A law urging schools to educate children about sex abuse prevention, Erin’s Law, has now passed in four states. “I won’t stop until I get it passed in all 50 states,” Merryn insisted in her speech. Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour saluted a fellow fashion luminary, honoree Annie Leibovitz, the creator of so many iconic photographs over the years. Jenna Lyons, the president of J Crew, got kind words from her presenter, former supermodel Lauren Hutton. Chelsea Clinton brought up a stageful of women from across the country who had been involved


in politics this year, noting that, while there is still a long way to go, progress was made in 2012. The lifetime achievement award went to Ginsburg, 79, who made a few quips about being honored by a fashion magazine. “The judiciary is not a profession that ranks very high among the glamorously attired,” the justice said. She also noted that although she was only the second female Supreme Court justice (Sandra Day O’Connor came first), she was the first justice to be honored by Glamour. An affectionate tribute to the late Ephron followed, with three actresses - Cynthia Nixon, and two Meryl Steep daughters, Mamie and Grace Gummer, reading from a graduation speech she had given at Wellesley College. Actress Dunham, in her speech, touched on politics and expressed her own relief that President Barack Obama had won re-election, saying she felt it was crucial for reproductive freedom and other issues of women’s rights. “I wanted control of my womb before I really knew what my womb was,” she quipped. After the ceremony, which was presided over by Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive, honorees and presenters headed to a private dinner. There, Sandy volunteers mingled with the stars. One woman, Lynier Harper, had spent six nights during Sandy at the Brooklyn YMCA where she works, taking care of other people. “When I finally went back home, my house was totally destroyed,” she said. She has moved in with her sister while she seeks a new home. A group of seven nurses came from New York University’s Langone Medical Center, which lost power during the storm. The neonatal intensive care nurses had to carry the babies down nine flights of stairs, in the dark, squeezing oxygen into their lungs, to get them to safety. And there were the three women from Jersey City Sandy Recovery, sinking in the proximity to the so many impressive people. “I just shook Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s hand,” exulted one of them, Candice Osborne. “How awesome!” — AP

Award recipient Rory Kennedy (center) appears onstage surrounded by Kennedy family members.

Award recipient Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (left) and Diane Von Furstenberg appear onstage. — AP photos

Chelsea Handler appears onstage at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards on Monday, Nov 12, 2012 in New York.

Award recipient Selena Gomez appears onstage.

Award recipient Lena Dunham appears onstage.

Award recipients and Olympic athletes (from left) Allyson Felix, Kayla Harrison, Gabby Douglas, Carli Lloyd and Missy Franklin appear onstage.



LIFESTYLE F e a t u r e s

This photo shows model Karlie Kloss wearing an Indian headdress during the taping of The 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York. —AP

Victoria’s Secret apologizes for use of headdress ictoria’s Secret has apologized for putting a Native American-style headdress on a model for its annual fashion show, after the outfit was criticized as a display of ignorance toward tribal culture and history. The company responded to the complaints over the weekend by saying it was sorry to have upset anyone and that it wouldn’t include the outfit in the show’s television broadcast next month, or in any marketing materials. “We sincerely apologize as we absolutely had no intention to offend anyone,” the company said. Historically, headdresses are a symbol of respect, worn by Native American war chiefs and warriors. For Great Plains tribes, for instance, each feather placed on a headdress has significance and had to be earned through an act of compassion or bravery. Some modern-day Native American leaders have received war bonnets in ceremonies accompanied by prayers and songs.


“When you see a Lakota chief wearing a full headdress, you know that he was a very honorable man. He was a leader. He did a lot of honorable things for his people,” said Michelle Spotted Elk, a Santa Cruz, California, woman of mixed heritage whose husband is Lakota. “It also has religious significance. With them, there’s not a division between spirituality and their leadership.” Victoria’s Secret model Karlie Kloss walked onto the runway last week wearing the floor-length feathered headdress, leopard-print underwear and high heels. She also was adorned with fringes and turquoise jewelry during a segment meant to represent the 12 months of the year - fireworks in July, rain gear for April and a headdress for November. Kloss herself posted on Twitter that she was “deeply sorry if what I wore during the VS Show offended anyone.” Thousands of people have commented about the outfit on the company’s Facebook page. Some praised Kloss’

attire as artistic and urged those offended by it to “get over it.” Several expressed appreciation to Victoria’s Secret for halting its marketing approach for the clothing, and others reached back in history to explain their feelings. “We have gone through the atrocities to survive and ensure our way of life continues,” Navajo Nation spokesman Erny Zah said in an interview Monday. “Any mockery, whether it’s Halloween, Victoria’s Secret - they are spitting on us. They are spitting on our culture, and it’s upsetting.” The Victoria’s Secret stir follows a string of similar incidents. Paul Frank Industries Inc. and the band No Doubt ran into criticism earlier this year for their use of headdresses in clothing and parties, and in a cowboys-and-Indians-themed video, respectively. They offered apologies as well. Last year, Urban Outfitters Inc. set off a firestorm of criticism with its line of Navajobranded clothing and accessories - particularly

underwear and a liquor flask, which the tribe said was “derogatory and scandalous.” Abaki Beck was among a handful of Native American students who hosted a discussion last week at a private liberal arts college in St Paul, Minnesota, on Native American culture in fashion and sports. She said companies first must learn from the mistake of ignoring Native American history and then make an effort to engage with Indian Country. She wanted more than a short apology from Victoria’s Secret instead of what she said sounded like an automated response. “But perhaps that is an unrealistic hope,” said the 19-year-old member of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana. “It is all about business, after all.” Jennie Luna, who is Chicana and Caxcan, said society largely is ignorant toward indigenous spirituality and doesn’t understand what should not be marketed commercially. She and others say more education about Native American cultures is needed.

“We are people; we’re not a fashion statement,” Luna said. “We are people who are facing serious issues, and for them to further perpetuate the type of stereotypes and disregard for a community’s way of life is unacceptable.” ReGina Zuni’s advice to companies looking to market Native American culture is to hire Native Americans who have knowledge of tribal traditions, cultures and customs. However, her reaction to hearing about the Victoria’s Secret headdress wasn’t outrage about the clothing itself, but about the lack of attention on health care, education, housing and other issues in Indian Country. “To each his own,” said Zuni, of Isleta Pueblo in New Mexico. “But seriously, if people want to grab media attention on Indian issues, this is not the issue to advance and place in the spotlight.” —AP

Pear or heart-shaped, big diamonds sell in Geneva eneva’s jewelry auctions, held in five-star hotels along its elegant lakefront, can seem a continent if not a world away from the grim austerity gripping much of Europe. Two out-of-thisworld diamonds are being auctioned off this week, joining a long list of other fabulous jewels, watches and other luxury goods sold in Geneva. Here’s a look at the city’s most eye-popping diamonds:


than $15 million. The 76.02 carat diamond, with perfect color and internally flawless clarity, came from the ancient Golconda mines in India. Its value just keeps on rising: In 1993, Christie’s sold the same diamond here for $6.5 million. Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry for Christie’s Americas and Switzerland, called it “one of the world’s most famous and desirable diamonds to appear at auction.”

PERFECTLY TRANSPARENT Yesterday, Christie’s auctioned off the Archduke Joseph Diamond, which is expected to fetch more

FANCY DEEP BLUE Sotheby’s today will auction what it calls an exceptionally rare fancy deep blue briolette diamond of 10.48 carats expected to get up to $4.5 million. Also on the block - a conch pearl, enamel and diamond Cartier bracelet that formerly belonged to Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain that’s expected to sell for up to $1.4 million.

This photo shows an employee of Sotheby’s auction house holding a 24.78 carat fancy intense pink diamond mounted on a ring, that was last seen on the market some 60 years ago according to the house.

ROYAL CONNECTIONS In May 2012, Sotheby’s sold the 34.98 carat Beau Sancy diamond to an anonymous bidder for $9.7 million. Marie de Medici had worn it at her coronation as Queen Consort of Henry IV in France in 1610. Then the diamond passed among the royal families in France, England, the Netherlands and Prussia. It was sold by the Royal House of Prussia. Sotheby’s also sold for $3.87 million the Murat Tiara, a pearl-and-diamond tiara created for the marriage of a prince whose ancestors included the husband of Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleon’s sister. Christie’s auctioned off a 32.08-carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring that sold for $6.7 million, a

This file photo shows a model displaying a 110.03 carats Sun-Drop Diamond described as fancy vivid yellow, the highest color grading by gemstone experts at a Sotheby’s preview show in Geneva, Switzerland. —AP photos

world record price for a ruby sold at auction. PEAR-SHAPED In November 2011, the Sun-Drop Diamond of South Africa, a giant pear-shaped yellow gem weighing 110.3 carats, sold for more than $10.9 million at auction, beating previous records for a jewel of its type. Including commission, the unidentified telephone bidder paid almost $12.4 million for the gem. Other lots at the $70 million sale included a white cushion-shaped diamond weighing 38.88 carats that sold for almost $7 million, including commission. HEART-SHAPED In May 2011, Christie’s fetched $10.9 million for a 56-carat heart-shaped diamond that was internally flawless and $7.1 million for a 130-carat Burmese sapphire. Sotheby’s got $12.7 million for a rare emerald-and-diamond tiara that a fabulously wealthy German prince, Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck, commissioned for his second, Russian-born wife around 1900. An intensely pink 11-carat diamond from the mines of India sold for $10.8 million. INTENSELY PINK In November 2010, a rare pink diamond smashed the world record for a jewel at auction, selling for more than $46 million to well-known London jeweler Laurence Graff. Four bidders competed for the pink diamond, which was last sold 60 years earlier by New York jeweler Harry Winston. The seller chose to remain anonymous. The 24.78-carat “fancy intense pink” diamond immediately became known as “The Graff Pink.” —AP

In this file photo, a model holds the Archduke Joseph diamond, a historical diamond.

Models wear creations by Haitian designer Gaelle Nerette during Fashion Week in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. —AP photos

Foreign, Haitian designers display work in Haiti orld-class fashion has gone on display in impoverished Haiti. More than three dozen designers showed off their latest tropic-centric creations on a runway at Haiti Fashion Week, which ended Sunday. Visitors came from places as close as the neighboring Dominican Republic and as far as Japan. “It was such a great, great experience to have Haitian designers all on the same runway,” said David Andre, a designer who owns a clothing store in Petionville and debuted his 2013 collection of resort wear for men and women. He hopes to see the event become an “annual rendezvous.” Organizers say it’s the first time such that a fashion show of this scale has taken place in the Caribbean country, which is still slowly rebuilding from the 2010 earthquake that destroyed thousands of buildings and displaced more than a million people. They also hope the event will show a different side to disaster-prone Haiti even as the country struggles to rebound from Hurricane Sandy and a storm last week that officials say killed up to 65 people. Haitian designers like Andre are holding out hopes that international buyers will


purchase pieces from their collections that were on display during the show’s conferences, workshops and booths. It’s especially important that outside buyers take notice of the designs because the poverty in Haiti makes it difficult to secure customers, Andre said. “The clientele I have (in Haiti) is very, very small, so that’s why I have to work much harder overseas,” said Andre, a seasoned designer who has displayed his collections in places like New York, Jamaica, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. The fashion show was organized by the Haitian Support Centre for the Promotion of Enterprise, the Haitian Network of Designers and the Ministry of Culture. Haitian singers Emeline Michel and James Germain lent their voices to the show to give first-time visitors another aspect of Haitian culture. Dominican designer Socrates McKinney said Haiti has “a very strong culture, and that in some sense has to be reflected in the fashion.” —AP

Victoria’s Secret apologizes for use of headdress



Bollywood stars Anushka Sharma (left), Shah Rukh Khan (center) and Katrina Kaif pose during the premiere.

Bollywood pays homage to film director Yash Chopra ollywood stars turned out in strength for a final homage to movie director Yash Chopra at the premiere of his last film. Led by megastar Amitabh Bachchan, top stars attended the premiere Monday night of “Jab Tak hai Jaan,” or “As Long as I am Alive.” Chopra was known as the “King of Romance” for creating classic love stories that were immensely popular. He died last month, days


after finishing the film. Bachchan, who acted in several of Chopra’s blockbusters, said the entire Hindi movie industry was honoring the film, which was opening in Indian theaters yesterday. “I think Yash Chopra would have liked it. Despite his death, the whole industry is celebrating his movie, and I am very anxious to see it,” he said.

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya Bachchan pose for photographs. —AP photos

Chopra’s wife Pamela said the premiere was their way of celebrating Chopra’s illustrious life rather than mourning his absence. The film stars Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in a love triangle with two leading ladies, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. The story of the film has not been made public, though promotional clips show Khan as both a musician and an army officer.

Indian Bollywood film actress Shridevi (left) and her husband Boney Kapoor pose on the red carpet.

Monday’s red-carpet event in India’s entertainment capital, Mumbai, was attended by Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and several Bollywood actresses from Chopra’s earlier movies, including Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi and Preity Zinta. The opening date coincided with the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, and the timing was not without controversy. Film producers consider a Diwali premiere

Indian Bollywood film actor Aamir Khan (right) and his wife Kiran Rao pose on the red carpet.

to be lucky, but it meant the movie ran into the release of another potential blockbuster, Ajay Devgn’s “Son of Sardar.” Around 10 days ago, Devgn sent a legal notice to Chopra’s company, Yashraj Films, accusing it of pressuring exhibitors to promote “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” over “Son of Sardar” during the Diwali festival holidays. —AP

Indian Bollywood film actor Dilip Kumar (left) and his wife Saira Banu pose on the red carpet at the premiere.

Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar (left) with his wife Twinkle Khanna (second left) and Imran Khan, (second right) and his wife Avantika arrive for the premiere. Indian Bollywood film actor Hritik Roshan (left) and his wife Suzanne pose on the red carpet.

Bollywood actress Rekha arrives.

Nargis Fakhri arrives.

Bipasha Basu arrives.

Preity Zinta poses.

Indian Bollywood film actors Abhishek Bachchan (left) and his wife Aishwarya Rai pose on the red carpet.

Bollywood actress Rani Mukherjee arrives for the premier of the film “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” or “As Long As I Am Alive” in Mumbai, India.

14 Nov  

Kuwait Times

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