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MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012

Mexican police find 49 mutilated bodies

Madrid cap season with win for record 100 points

Record-breaking Juve finish league season unbeaten

City seal title with injury time fightback

18 20 18 Leading businessman shuns

7 NO: 15448

probe, ex-PM leaves country


150 FILS


Juwaihel denies spitting at fellow MP Matar

Max 40º Min 27º High Tide 07:02 & 18:02 Low Tide 12:28

By B Izzak

Bahrain PM backs Gulf union RIYADH: Bahrain’s premier has backed Saudi Arabia’s plan for the creation of a Gulf union, a report said yesterday, but the nation’s Shiite opposition is demanding the proposal be put to a referendum. The “option of a (Gulf Cooperation Council) union has become urgent,” Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman was quoted as saying by the Saudi Al-Riyadh daily. Khalifa said the six GCC nations, whose foreign ministers were meeting in Riyadh ahead of a meeting of their countries’ leaders in the Saudi capital yesterday, must cooperate to ensure security in the region. The GCC must “concentrate during this period on achieving and ensuring security and increasing coordination in the fields of security, military and defence by adopting a unified Gulf security structure to protect the council’s states,” Khalifa told the newspaper. The GCC leaders at their meeting today are expected to discuss a Saudi proposal to develop their six-nation council into a union, possibly starting with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The exact nature of this union, first floated by Saudi King Abdullah in December, remains unclear but Bahrain’s state minister for information, Samira Rajab, said it could follow the “European Union model”. Sheikh Ali Salman, the leader of Bahrain’s main Shiite opposition formation, Al-Wefaq, has criticised the project which he said must first be subjected to a referendum that should take place in all GCC states. Continued on Page 13

RIYADH: Foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council are seen during their meeting yesterday. (Inset) Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah AlKhaled Al-Sabah arrives to attend the meeting. — AP/AFP

IMF worried about Kuwait’s finances KUWAIT: Kuwait’s recent wage hikes have raised concerns about the sustainability of its public finances, the Central Bank governor told the state news agency KUNA, citing a preliminary report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF said Kuwait’s fiscal stimulus had helped non-oil sectors to recover from the global financial crisis, Governor Mohammad Al-Hashel was quoted as saying by KUNA. “But elements of the fiscal stimulus, such as the increase in wages in the state budget for the financial year (2012-2013) raised concern about the sustainability of public finances in the medium term ... and management of public finances in the short-term,” the report said. The IMF was in Kuwait on a regular visit between April 18 and 30, Hashel told KUNA. Around 3,000 Kuwaiti customs workers went on a week-long strike in March, which disrupted traffic at ports, demanding higher salary increases despite the government plan for a 25 percent rise in public wages. Employees at national carri-

er Kuwait Airways grounded planes for three days during a walkout. The IMF said that the rising cost of retirement would also put pressure on public finances, KUNA reported. Only 7 percent of Kuwaitis work in the private sector, the report also said. Policymakers and economists in Kuwait have warned that growth in public-sector salaries is unsustainable in the long term. They say it also puts pressure on private sector wages and could fuel inflation. The IMF forecast 4.4 percent inflation in 2012, KUNA said. It also sees a budget surplus of 30 percent of gross domestic product and a current account surplus of 40 percent of GDP. The IMF expects Kuwait will keep up its “liquidity support” during 2012 and allow interest rates to remain low to encourage credit growth, KUNA said. “The report predicts increased recovery of the economy this year led by high Kuwaiti government spending,” it said. Real GDP is seen at 6.6 percent, it added, compared to 8.3 percent in 2011. — Reuters

Sectarian clashes erupt in Lebanon TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Three people were killed when fighting erupted overnight in the Lebanese city of Tripoli between members of the Alawite minority loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and members of the Sunni majority, witnesses and security officials said. Rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles were used in the fighting in an Alawite enclave and surrounding Sunni neighbourhoods in the port city, 70 km north of Beirut. “The clashes peaked at dawn. The sound of gunfire is still echoing in the city,” a Lebanese security official said. The Lebanese state news agency said a soldier hit by sniper fire was among those killed. A statement from the army said two soldiers were also wounded and reinforcements were being sent to the city and that troops were “pursuing armed men to return the situation to normality”. Troops had deployed in an area separating the Alawite enclave from the rest of the city. A Reuters correspondent in the city said sporadic fighting was also taking place between groups of armed Sunnis and the army near a main Sunni district, adding most of Tripoli’s main intersections were blocked by burnt tyres. The fighting underlines how sectarian tensions in Syria can spill over into neighbouring Lebanon. A small Alawite minority is concentrated in Tripoli, a conservative Sunni city where many residents have been enraged by the Syrian government’s crackdown on the 14-month revolt against 42 years of rule by the Assad family and their Alawite establishment. Continued on Page 13

Egypt candidate calls ‘racist’ Israel a threat CAIRO: A leading Islamist candidate in Egypt’s presidential election has branded Israel a “racist state” and said a shared 1979 peace treaty was “a national security threat” that should be revised. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh also denounced AlQaeda leader Osama Bin Laden’s assassination by US special forces as an act of “state terrorism,” in a late Saturday Egyptian television interview. Abul Fotouh, a front runner in the May 23-24 election according to polls, had earlier described Israel as an “enemy” in a televised debate with his main contender, former foreign minister and Arab League chief Amr Mussa. In Saturday’s interview with the private Egyptian CBC satellite station, he said he had opposed the treaty since its implementation. “I still view the peace treaty as a national security threat to Egypt, and it must be revised. It is a treaty that forbids Egypt from exercising

full sovereignty in the Sinai and allows Israelis to enter Sinai without visas, while they need visas for Cairo,” he said. The treaty, in which Israel withdrew from the Sinai after capturing it in a 1967 war, does not allow Egypt a military presence in parts of the peninsula. Abul Fotouh said Israel was “a racist state with 200 nuclear warheads” that continued to pose a threat to Egypt. A moderate Islamist with support from both hardline fundamentalists and liberals, Abul Fotouh refused to describe Bin Laden as a terrorist, saying the term was used by the United States to “hit Muslim interests”. But he said the killing of the Saudi militant was an “act of state terrorism,” and Bin Laden had deserved a fair trial, although he disagreed with Bin Laden’s use of violence. “If a just court sentenced him, then the sentence should be applied,” he said. Abul Fotouh’s rival Amr Mussa has also argued for the

KUWAIT: Parliamentary investigations into two major corruption scandals involving the former prime minister and ex-MPs took a new turn with new facts emerging, while leading Shiite businessman Mahmoud Haider refused to attend the probe as the former premier left the country and will not attend today’s probe. Haider, a close associate of former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, was summoned by the bank deposits probe committee after his name was mentioned during previous sessions of the parliamentary panel. The panel was formed two months ago to probe allegations that accounts of 13 former MPs received huge cash deposits in a short period of time and opposition MPs had alleged that the money was political bribes to buy their votes on crucial issues. Former Islamist MP Mubarak Al-Duwailah also did not turn up but informed the panel that he will be coming to the next meeting. The committee, headed by opposition MP Musallam AlBarrak, however met the chairmen and CEOs of a number of local banks to inquire about the inflated accounts of the former politicians. Former premier Sheikh Nasser was scheduled to attend today the meeting of a parliamentary panel probing the allegations that he transferred millions of public funds into his private bank accounts overseas. But Sheikh Nasser left the country yesterday for Britain to represent HH the Amir in the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Head of the panel MP Faisal Al-Mislem has already made landmark visits to the foreign ministry and the prime minister’s office to collect documents about the alleged graft. Continued on Page 13

revision of the treaty with Israel and described its policies towards Palestinians as an Egyptian “national security issue”. The election, which will go into a June run off if there is no outright winner in the first round, should end a military-led transitional period since an uprising toppled president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Mubarak is now standing trial on charges of ordering the shooting of protesters and selling gas to Israel at cheap price. The former air force chief was seen as a close regional ally of Israel, which is unpopular in Egypt. After his over throw, an attack by protesters forced Israel to close its embassy and Cairo annulled the controversial gas treaty, alleging lack of payment from Israel. The Sinai pipeline that exported gas to Israel was bombed on an almost monthly basis by Bedouin militants following Mubarak’s ouster. — AFP

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: A Sunni gunman fires during clashes in this northern port city yesterday. — AP

Drawing focuses on Iran’s nuclear work VIENNA: An image said to come from inside an Iranian springboard for making atomic arms. military site shows an explosives containment chamber A former senior IAEA official said he believes the of the type needed for nuclear arms-related tests that drawing is accurate. Olli Heinonen, until last year the UN inspectors suspect Tehran has conducted at the UN nuclear agency’s deputy director general in charge site. Iran denies such testing and of the Iran file, said it was “very has neither confirmed nor similar” to a photo he recently saw denied the existence of such a that he believes to be the pressure chamber. The image was providchamber the IAEA suspects is at ed to AP by an official of a counParchin. He said even the colors of try tracking Iran’s nuclear prothe drawing matched that of the gram who said the drawing photo. After months of being proves the structure exists, rebuffed, IAEA and Iranian officials despite Tehran’s refusal to meet starting today in Vienna, and acknowledge it. the IAEA will renew its attempt to The official said he could not gain access to the chamber, discuss the drawing’s origins allegedly hidden in a building. beyond that it was based on Any evidence that Iran is hiding information from a person who such an explosives containment had seen the chamber at the This undated rendering said to come tank, and details on how it funcParchin military site, adding that from inside Iran’s Parchin military site tions, is significant for IAEA investigoing into detail would endan- shows a chamber of the type needed gations. ger the life of that informant. His for nuclear arms-related tests. — AP Beyond IAEA hopes of country, a member of the International Atomic Energy progress, that two-day meeting is being closely Agency, is severely critical of Iran’s assertions that its watched by six powers trying to persuade Iran to make nuclear activities are peaceful and asserts they are a Continued on Page 13


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


MoE assures students of ‘much easier’ final exams Question papers ready By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: This year’s final exam questions will be set at an average student’s level so that students (belonging to 11th and 12th grades) and parents experience less pressure, said Muhammad Al-Kandari, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Education at the Ministry of Education (MoE). “The exam question papers have been printed and it’s ready for the upcoming exams. I assure students that everyone will find it [the exams] easy if they have studied well,” he mentioned. The final exams this year were scheduled to begin in early June although there are some private schools who have set their final exams for mid-June before the expected exodus of people. It will coincide with the month of Ramadan and Eid El-Ftr [July to August] before classes [SY 2012-2013] resumes in September. Last January’s mid-term examination results disappointed many parents and students, especially after learning that the pass percentage dropped to as low as 59 percent in one subject. As soon as the exam result were announced, dozens of angry parents gathered outside the MoE building and accused ministry officials [at that time] of setting complicated questions to

deliberately reduce success rates. Many believe that it was part of a state strategy to cut down on the number of high school graduates to avoid a repeat of last summer’s scenario when thousands of students failed to secure admissions to Kuwait University. The situation sparked a large wave of frustration among 12th grade students and parents, but Ministry of Education (MoE) officials vehemently denied foul play behind low success rates. It was speculated that the ministry was trying to reduce the number of high school graduates by the end of the year. The state-owned university reportedly suffered from over-capacity although state officials denied this. The current Education Minister Naif Al-Hajraf has ordered that education ministry officials come up with the proper mechanism to re-calculate students’ exam results to rectify the problem, which helped improve the average rate of high school passing scores. Parents and teachers have advised students who will be taking exams in June. “Organizing a schedule is the best thing to pass any examination,” said one parent whose children are in the grade 12 in a private school in Hawally. “Regular two-three hours a day study habit is good for students in order to cope with the has-

sles and pressure of exams. If it is already a habit, then, it is no longer a problem during exams. Studying regularly will help you remember lessons pretty well. It is not hard, it will help you a lot. You will not be pressured during exams. Exams simply test the subjects you studied in school, and if you are studying every day, it will not be a problem in remembering,” a parent advised. An English teacher from an Arabic school advised students to be prepared and be focused. “Studying is next to success in the exams at any school. So please study your lessons well.” For students, their techniques vary. “No TV, no radio, no Facebook, no cell phone...I will be isolated in the coming weeks to study my lessons. It is hard but I think, it’s just what I need to be ready and pass this exam,” a student of an Arabic school said. Another student said that he is ready and would not feel pressured. “I am ready, I do not want to feel pressured by exams. I study my lessons every day, so I think I am fine and can answer questions as long as it was part of my studies.” One student said that he will detach himself from the pressure of the world by locking himself inside his room. “I will focus on studying my first, second and third quarter lessons, it is hard, but I will do it for my future.”

Al-Shamali ready to face ‘dual’ grilling motions KUWAIT: Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali does not plan to step down. Instead, he is preparing to face two grilling motions filed against him by members of the majority bloc. “I will not resign and will face them both,” the minister said, referring to the motion filed by Dr Obaid Al-Wasmi last week, and the one filed minutes later by MPs Musallam Al-Barrak, Khalid Al-Tahous and Abdurrahman Al-Anjari. Moreover, Al-Shamali who is also a deputy prime minister revealed that he will not request that the debate be delayed or be held in a closed session. Al-Wasmi’s grilling consists of three articles which address alleged flaws in monitoring local banks’ loan policies, suspicions of profiteering through misuse of public funds, as well as ‘serious financial violations’ committed within the ministry and subsidiary bodies. Meanwhile, the second grilling includes eight articles which

address the Al-Zoor power plant project, alleged violations by Kuwait Investment Authority, favoring banks and investment companies against citizens, failing to enforce salary increase, alleged violations by the Customs General Department, failure to prevent release of citizens from the public sector, failing to stop illegal practices at state property, and alleged violations in Public Institution for Social Security. The majority bloc comprises 35 members, ten more than the minimum 25 votes required to pass a vote of no-confidence against a minister. Given the fact that it is almost certain that at least one motion will be voted against, AlShamali’s chances of remaining in the post appears to be slim, reported Al-Rai. The bloc will meet next week to discuss a number of issues that include ‘to come up with a method to coordinate between the two motions either by merging them into one or convince one side to

drop their motion in favor of another,” according to rapporteur of the bloc’s coordinating committee Ammar Al-Ajmi. The meeting will be made after another meeting Saturday to be hosted at Al-Tahous’ diwaniya, featuring discussion of anticorruption and political reform laws, in addition to reviewing MPs’ ideas about a project to merge Kuwait’s five electoral constituencies, Al-Ajmi told AlQabas. In other news, MP Marzouq AlGhanim announced plans to “reveal a case involving theft of public funds which only happens in Kuwait,” without giving a timeline for his announcement. Al-Ghanim made these statements during a gathering with the second constituency’s female voters. He insisted that he is not aligned with the majority or the minority blocs in Parliament. Meanwhile, several lawmakers spoke in defense of the Parliament’s investigation committee, and that

following a Court of Ministers’ ruling to shelve the case filed against former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah over alleged corruption charges. “The case is being investigated by three main parts: the Court of Ministers, the State Audit Bureau and the Parliament,” said MP Dr Faisal AlMislem. He heads the panel which probes the case in which the former premier has been accused of transferring public funds to private accounts overseas. Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah is invited to attend the committee’s meeting today, while Al-Mislem explained that he was scheduled to stop by the prime minister’s diwan yesterday. Separately, MP Musallam AlBarrak referred 44 questions to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid AlSabah, addressing multiple topics that include diplomatic missions and reasons behind the ministry’s budget deficit.

KUWAIT: Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah left for the United Kingdom to represent His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah at the event commemorating the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. His Highness Sheikh Nasser was seen off at Kuwait International Airport by Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah, Advisor at the Prime Minister’s Diwan Faisal Mohammad Al-Hajji Bo’Khadour and Director of Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah.

Farm blackout destroys food security KUWAIT: Farms in Wafra suffered from a power cut on Saturday afternoon in areas number 8, 9 and 10. Suwailem Al-Kraibati, Kuwaiti farmers committee Chairman, said that power was cut at 11am and remained off despite efforts made by the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) emergency men, who failed due to the burning of some cables. Al-Kraibati said the power cut for such a long period caused harm to the plants in the protected greenhouses. The rise in temperature affected too many of the plants, and

caused heavy losses to farmers in cucumbers and tomatoes, eggplants and peppers and other crops. He said the farmers exerted too much time and money into making them grow and suddenly saw all those plants wilting and dying without being able to do anything. Al-Kraibati called upon MEW officials and the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) officials and the respected MPs to consider the losses of the Kuwaiti farmers and protect their farms, which form the main food security for Kuwait.

20,000 bedoons deserve nationality KUWAIT: A six-man committee has been formed from the Central Bureau for dealing with stateless residents affairs, sources revealed. Officials reached the conclusion, after reviewing 34,000 files, that 20,000 out of 34,000 residents who have records dating back to the 1965 census deser ve Kuwaiti nationality. It was found that 14,000 of them have

indications that they themselves and their immediate relatives have GCC nationality. Sources said that the Central Bureau will send the files of the 20,000 persons to the Council of Ministers, one group after the other, to take a decision about granting them nationality. The first group will be 418 names, and other groups will follow. —Al-Shahed

No more touristic trips for MoI leaders

People visit the booths set up at the Young, Wild and Free expo organized by AABA seniors at The Scientific Center on Saturday.

Makeshift jail set up allowing friends to lock each other up.

Seniors take initiative, raise funds for yearbook By Sawsan Kazak KUWAIT: The American Arab Bilingual Academy (AABA) held their first ever ‘Young, Wild and Free Expo 2012’ at the Scientific Center on Saturday from 2 to 9 pm. The event was organized by a group of seniors at the high school to help raise funds for upcoming yearbook. They were having trouble finding a sponsor, instead of waiting around for sponsorship or going without a senior yearbook, students decided to take matter in their own hands. Outdoors, in front of the Scientific Center on Gulf Road, smalls booths offer food, drinks, accessories and information. Music blares in the background as people

walk around tasting, socializing and shopping. Keeping the mood light, a makeshift jail is set up in the corner and friends can have each other ‘locked up’ temporarily. The mood is happy and light as students and supporters come out to help the senior’s cause. “Our memories are very important to us,” says Ali Al-Githibi, Treasurer of the student council at AABA. A group of ten seniors, five guys and five girls in the student council, organized the expo to create a venue that allow them to raise funds and have fun at the same time.”This is the first year we have done something on this scale. We wanted to do something to raise money faster. We have been doing

‘bake sales’ in the school, and that was not raising enough money, we needed to do more,” explained AlGithibi. During a meeting about a month ago, the students realized they really wanted a yearbook but did not want to look for a sponsor, rather they wanted to fund it themselves.” We really want to raise money for the yearbook and maybe a little more for our graduation,” said Al-Githibi. The hall will be provided by the school and seniors are taking that extra step to make it special by adding decorations that are meaningful to them.” We want to take the initiative to make our graduation look nicer,” explains Al-Githibi

KUWAIT: Ministr y of Information Undersecretary, Sheikh Salman Sabah AlSalem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, issued a decision with new rules regulating official missions by information ministry employees to put an end to violations by some ministry leaders who have turned them into touristic trips. The new rules stipulate that the employee must be nominated by the director of his department and that it should be approved by the Assistant Undersecretary for the sector’s affairs. The nominated employee should preferably know English, should have been serving for five years and

should have received an “excellent” performance report in the last two years. The rules ban sending any employee who is suspended or sent for questioning to court in a felony case during the suspension period. They also stipulate that the number of missions should not be more than three for department supervisors during one fiscal year, and twice for supervisors and once for heads of department. The rules ban the Ministr y of Information from sending any person other than its employees, but allow non-Kuwaiti contractors to go on official missions as needed.

about reasons behind the fundraising expo. The seniors had the ingenious idea to rent out booth space to friends, family and entrepreneurs and charge a KD 2 entry fee to visitors.” The money we raise is from the booth rentals and entrance fee, the booths are then free to serve up or sell whatever they want,” says Al-Githibi. Al-Githibi is happy with the turnout of the one day event, saying “We were hopeful but were not expecting much people to come because there are two other expos happening on the same day. Hamdulillah, I am really surprised, but pleased with the number of people who showed up.”

Stage set for Japanese speech contest KUWAIT: Under the patronage of Embassy of Japan, Deanship of Community Service and Continuing Education-Kuwait University and Japanese Society in Kuwait, the 6th Japanese Speech Contest will be held at Memorial Hall No.1 19-Khaldiya Campus, Kuwait University at 6:50 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) on May 15, 2012. Last year, Kuwait and Japan were delighted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. One year has passed since the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami devastated the Pacific coast of north-eastern Japan

on March 11, 2011. The devastated areas are gradually undergoing reconstruction in cooperation with many countries including Kuwait. To encourage Japanese people and boost the reconstruction atmosphere in Japan, the contestants will show each other their achievements in the 6th Japanese Speech Contest. They will give a free speech in Japanese language, depending on the level. The winner of each level will be awarded a trophy from Embassy of Japan. In the respect of supplementary prize, Etihad Airways will

award the winner of the highest level a round-trip ticket from Kuwait to Japan. And also Easa Husain Al-Yousifi & Sons Co. would offer the winner of another level the items featuring high technology from Japan. Also the Cosplay Contest will be held as a side event of the 6th Japanese Speech Contest. “Cosplay” means dressing-up as a favorite character of manga, animation, game, movie etc, known as a pop culture of Japan all over the world now. For the Cosplay Contest, the cosplayers who passed the severe preliminary will appear on the stage.

KUWAIT: Ahmadi Governor Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Duaij Al-Sabah promised to end the woes of female secondary school students from Ali Sabah Al-Salem area. They will now attend schools in Fahaheel. Speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony he attended at Fatima Bint Asad Secondary School for girls in Ahmadi, Al-Sabah stressed that a new school would be built in the area.

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012



in brief

Car racing circuits in Ahmadi, Jahra KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior has reportedly asked the Municipality to allocate two areas to be used as car racing circuits in Jahra and Ahmadi governorates, sources said. The Ministry referred a letter to the Director of Kuwait Municipality. The racing circuits will be constructed by the Ministry of Public Works once the sites are earmarked and proper safety measures are adopted. With this step, the Interior Ministry aims to put an end to car racing on public roads and shift it to specialized places under traffic supervision. Kuwait guest of honor MEXICO CITY: Mexico named Kuwait as the guest of honor of this year’s annual cultural festival. It will include participation from many local government and private institutes as well as various foreign embassies. Choosing Kuwait as a guest honor reflects the deep ties shared between Kuwait and Mexico, and it also accentuates Kuwait’s tremendous efforts in enhancing bilateral relations since the establishment of Kuwaiti embassy in Mexico two years ago. Kuwaiti Ambassador to Mexico Samih Jawhar Hayat commented that Kuwaiti embassy’s engagement is ‘very important’ during the event. “It is a great opportunity to familiarize the Mexican society with Kuwaiti heritage, its culture and many accomplishments throughout the year,” Hayet added. The Kuwaiti section of the festival was opened by the Kuwaiti envoy and Mexican Prime Minister of the Federal District and Mexico City’s Mayor Marcelo Ebrard.

Geographic Information System to be made accessible to public Easy access to all kinds of buildings By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Navigating one’s way to a particular location fast is a necessity for certain institutions, especially those dealing with emergency cases like hospitals, firemen and police. Soon the public will have access to such system. The General Director of the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) Musaed AlAsousi announced the launch of the Geographic Information System (GIS) project.”This system allows PACI to perform its role in the best possible manner by using modern technology to combine maps, building data, and the available institutions in the Civil Information System,” he said during the press conference held yesterday morning at the PACI headquarters. The GIS will provide easy access to all kinds of buildings. “It will be easy to reach any kind of building, including public buildings, houses, and commercial buildings, in addition to agriculture, industrial, sports areas, and chalets. The benefit of this national project is not limited to PACI. Other public institutions will benefit from this system owing to the wide range of maps that are

included in this system,” added AlAsousi. PACI will support institutions like the Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Electricity and Water, Public Authority for Industr y, Environment Public Authority and other institutions. “PACI will start

providing services to ambulances in cooperation with the operations room of the Ministr y of Interior, and the operations room of Fire Department,” he pointed out. This system will easily find a place on the map by entering

detailed address or a part of it. “The user can also enter a search by using an electronic number, which is present on the building or printed behind the smarted card. GIS finds the location on the map using data like the number on the building and the electronic

From left: Sameer Al-Banag, Mansour Al-Mithen, Musaed Al-Asousi, and Ali Al-Izba. — Photo by Joseph Shagra

number of the address. It can also specify the correct way to reach the address,” he explained. There are different ways of searching for companies and stores. “The user can search using a name or a part of it. He or she can also search using some data of the company like as the commercial license number, the commercial register, or the telephone number,” stressed Al-Asousi. The GIS was downloaded on to iPads by PACI employees who perform field work. “The employee automatically receives his daily tasks needs to be checked. The system also specifies the types of mission and documents needed for the task’s completion. The employee can register notes on the iPad, which is automatically transmitted to the system. This is will eliminate the need go back to PACI headquar ters,” he explained. The second phase of this project will provide geographic information to the public. “People will be able to download this program from the internet free of charge and will be able to use it on their computers and smart phones. We expect to make this service available to public by March 2013,” concluded Al-Asousi.

31 arrested in connection with Amghara fires

KUWAIT: The Asian drug traders pictured after their arrest.

ICE traders arrested By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Detectives of the General Department for Drug Control recently arrested a four person Asian gang in possession of 98 grams of the ICE drug. Case papers indicate that after receiving a tip about criminal activity by one of the members of the gang, detectives placed him under close surveillance. They arrested him in Hawalli in possession of four grams of the drug. The suspect confessed and led police to his compatriot and partner, who was later arrested in Farwaniya in possession of 20 grams of the same drug. The chain started to fall when the second suspect led the police to a third man; a taxi driver who was arrested in Salmiya in possession of a further four grams of the drug. In turn, the third suspect led the police to the main supplier; their female compatriot who lived in Hawalli. After raiding the apartment of their boss, 70 grams of the drug were found hidden inside a Hi-Fi stereo. A case was filed and the suspects were referred to the relevant authorities. Fake lawyer An Egyptian was sentenced to one year in prison with hard labor for swindling a citizen and pretending to be a lawyer. He took KD 9,000 from him as fees to defend him in court, security sources said.

MoC to control telecom prices KUWAIT: The Ministry of Communications (MoC) recently requested information from local telecommunication and internet service providers pertaining to the prices of services they provide to clients in Kuwait, says a report quoting ministry insiders. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said the MOC plans to compare the prices of local services to the prices of the same services offered in other Gulf Cooperation Council states. “A subcommittee formed recently within the MoC will study local prices and set up a maximum cap for the prices of services and subscriptions”, one source said. Minister of Communications, Salem Al-Othaina, ordered an internal probe into a violation which resulted in the failure to collect nearly 2.362 million in dues from a company which provided services via the VSAT system, as per the terms of a contract signed in 2004.

KUWAIT: Thirty-one suspects were arrested in connection with the Amghara junkyard fires, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced here yesterday. Major General Mahmoud Al-Dossari, MoI Undersecretary for Public Security Affairs, said after a meeting that 30 suspects are Asian nationals and one is an illegal resident. He said security was tightened around the junkyard to prevent more similar incidents from occurring, adding that interrogations are carried out with the suspects to determine who is behind the fires. Meanwhile, the State Security Service has reportedly joined investigations into the recurring fires at Amghara scrap yard, which firefighters believe are acts of arson. Security officers are still investigating the material used in the fires and a number of ‘suspects’ were reportedly arrested. Col Khalid Al-Mekrad, Acting Deputy Managing Director of the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD), said “foreign gases and other unknown material” were detected at the site of the massive blaze reported on Friday. He warned of a “scheme to burn up the entire Amghara scrap yard” which could leave catastrophic environmental problems in the surrounding areas. According to sources familiar with the ongoing investigation, KFSD officials informed their counterparts in the Ministry of Interior that “the fires were started deliberately and systematically” targeting the burning of the whole of Amghara scrap yard. “Security officials demanded that firefighters find out the substances or material used in the arsons”, said one of the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. Investigations have been ongoing with 29 Asian workers, arrested recently for setting tires ablaze in Amghara. They reportedly admitted starting that fire, but explained it was aimed at extracting steel cables from inside the tires to sell it as scrap metal. Meanwhile, sources said recent investigation opera-

tions revealed that Amghara contains several locations that house low-wage workers who have been reported as missing by their original sponsors. They spend their day collecting steel to be sold as junk. “Several workers were seen fleeing for no reason as soon as they spot security officers”, one source said,

announcing “wide campaigns” to be launched soon against illegal work at Amghara. Major General Jassem Al-Mansouri, KFSD General Director, announced that the investigations report on the Rahaiya fire is finished from a technical standpoint, while an announcement of the results is pending the ongoing investigations.

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012

LOCAL Satire Wire

kuwait digest

iThink iCow is iNsane

Let us not exaggerate By Thaar Al-Rashidi


wo days ago I discovered that we like to exaggerate things, we even work hard to make things greater than they are. On Thursday a 45 minute sandstorm became the topic of conversation in the social media. News services reported a huge storm, and some warned and exaggerated in their warning. Some asked everyone to pray to God as if a volcano erupted on Al-Zour coast. But it was just a sandstorm, like others which happen in Kuwait during the ‘Al-Sarrayat’ season which ends next Tuesday. We made out a passing by “Sarraya” to be a huge storm through our exaggeration. On the morning of that same day, the National Assembly witnessed regretful things when MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel did something not suitable and not acceptable to his colleague, the very respectful MP Dr. Hamad Al-Mater. The case was over after applying an internal memorandum against Al-Juwaihel by depriving him from attending sessions for two weeks. Al-Matar filed a case against him at the police station and this is his right, and up to here the story is over. This thing is new to the National Assembly. It is strange and even not acceptable, but it has happened. But to say that the reaction by Al-Mater as a conspiracy theory and to warn against the collapse of democracy is not right. The Russian Parliament, the Duma, was bombed with shells and democracy remained in Russia although their democracy in my opinion is similar to Arab democracy. I mean what has happen by exchanging the positions between President and Prime Minister Medvaidef and Putin? Democracy did not even collapse when the Korean Opposition party destroyed the doors of their Parliament to prevent signing a free trade agreement with the US. Democracy in South Korea is still all right, in spite of the opposition there invading the hall, and breaking the door of the main hall and exchanging blows. We also have something similar, and I remember when some youths stormed Abdullah Al-Salem Hall that many have cried out that democracy is dead. In spite of what happened, angry youths from government institutions and opposition MPs raided the hall. The demonstrations ended by changing the politician scene to the better, as we still hope. Let us not exaggerate things after any political happening and let us put things in their right place. The passing political “Sarraya” is very normal, even if it causes temporary disorder to the weather. Regardless of their size, it is supposed that such things are side effects of democracy. We should not make this matter an occasion to cry and shout out, after some did after the storming of Parliament. It is not acceptable, but we should not announce the death of democracy due to these matter or other similar ones. We should not follow up those who exaggerate things and say that we are better off without democracy. Things are taken by their actual measurements. A case happened and it is over, but the democracy train is on its tracks. It is moving, although slowly, but no one can stop it. Trains do not stop due to the fight of two passengers, and no one can cut the track of the democracy train out. Some are trying to dissolve the National Assembly and stop it for some time, but their dreams will be shattered. Note: Democracy is our choice, but we must confess that there are mistakes in practicing democracy. But democracy in its worst shape is a million times better than its absence. — Al-Anbaa

By Sawsan Kazak


kuwait digest

Keeping silent as usual By Faisal Al-Zamel


uring the invasion, I visited the Diwan of the late Yousef Al-Fulaij. One of the audience asked, “why were they late, and did not bring the Americans before the invasion”? Al-Fulaij answered him with the experience of several generations, “Today you are saying this but, had they done that, you and others would have said “you have brought colonialism back” and you would make Saddam out to be a hero and you would have divided the state into two halves”. Yes, the occupation bill was too much to avoid dividing the Kuwaitis and the matter is still on, the same thing since the Liberation until now. In the oil sector alone, the northern fields projects was stopped, which caused a loss of $ 70 billion, and today we are facing a fine of $ 2 billion for the cancellation of Dow Project. We have also accepted those losses to avoid dividing Kuwaitis into two halves. The public are silent. Today, since reconciliations with all parties has been achieved, we are still divided into two halves. The promised political stability has proved to be a mirage, and the grillings are parties that complement the occupation of the National Assembly hall. The Kuwaiti youths looking for jobs are on the increase, and the new graduates go to the Civil Service Commission looking for a job in groups. Amidst of all these frustrating matters a group of about 150 persons, most of whom are working in the oil sector and have good foresight, saying: “Kuwait will be the oil capital in the world in 2022” The vision in brief: First: Add value to the barrel of oil which costs $120 to extract from under the ground and once it is processed can reach $500 in oil products, and for use in the plastic industry and in returns for shipping it and in the storage industry. Second: This value could go higher to reach $1,000 per barrel for the state as a whole through the sup-

porting services, by a number of organizations who work locally but with international connections: 1. Specialized banks for the needs of local oil companies as well as the foreign companies (L/Cs, guarantees, documents discounting, factoring, finance lines, service companies and logistics, laboratories, forwarders) 2. A specialized university in Petroleum and mining that accepts students from Kuwait and abroad as well. 3. Applied institutes that are highly specialized in technical matters. 4. A specialized company in fire fighting oil fires, as Kuwait has international fame in this field. 5. Two days ago a voluntary group heard a fabulous seminar to motivate people (officials and the public) about the most import earning source in Kuwait. The start was through a call by Engineer Ahmad A-Arbeed via Twitter and a number of men and women responded to him. They were mainly colleagues in his profession who have been pursuing this matter for many years and they said: 1. It is not that oil is drying out soon, as has been said and has been proved to be wrong. Not even half of that warning concerned the drying up of oil. The reason is that research has been completed on the subject, but they say what they want and close their eyes when they want. 2. Kuwait external security is linked to the growth of this source quality wise and not only ‘barrel’ wise. 3. Kuwait internal security is affected positively by opening up new job opportunities and the impact will be negative if we are late. The measurement to delay it will be only during the coming 10 years, and if passed it will become very hard to achieve this goal. Of course, this strategic movement will face those who stop it as usual, and we shall keep silent as usual. Therefore, I hope this movement of the youths carry their project to area (...) to take prior approval, as we can’t bear anger. — Al-Anbaa

e all know about iPhones, iPads, iClouds, but do you know about iCows? Apparently, iCow is not a space age, electronic cow that dispenses pre-homogenized, genetically modified milk directly into your bowl of cereal, but rather a phone application that is changing the dairy farming industry in Kenya. This application is described as a ‘virtual veterinary midwife’ as it gives the users tips on breeding, animal nutrition, milk production efficacy and gestation, as well as help them track the estrus stages of their cows. The iCow website explains that its aim is ‘to reduce cow mortality rates, produce healthier and more robust calves, and ultimately provide improved financial returns for the farmers.’ Surprisingly, this application is gaining popularity and wants to expand to neighboring countries in Africa. These days there is an app for everything, but the question then becomes ‘are these advancements in technologies helping or hindering our lives?’ Yes technologies, apps and gadgets are helping us connect and have access to information, but they are somewhat making us forget how to manage without them. We are becoming more dependent on smart phones and applications to communicate, socialize and do business, and forgetting the ‘old-fashioned’ way of doing things. I am all for using technologies to help us, but I think we are letting the pendulum swing too far the other way. Also, I believe that these kinds of apps are causing an unfair advantage between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ and forcing everyone to adapt their business to one format. I know the iCow app’s intentions are pure and it is helping many farmers in Kenya, but what about the farmers that do not have access to a smart phone, apps account or internet for that matter? I know that social media are the future of businesses, but their dominance in the field is leaving little room for competing methods of doing business. I just think that having such a strong emphasis of apps and gadgets and not working on strengthening the communities that are using them will eventually have a negative effect both on businesses and people. It’s nice to put an ‘i’ in front of everything and make it sound futuristic, but human connection and interaction is an art form that is slowly fading. The next will probably be the ‘iFamily’, an app allowing you to communicate with your parents without having to see them, or the ‘iMarriage’, an app that allows you to solve marital problems over your smart phone. The apps we use should provide us with the information we need and connect us with the right people, they should not be the sole source of communication we engage in.

kuwait digest

‘time bomb’

kuwait digest

Not better than Al-Juwaihel kuwait digest

‘We were not created to be arrogant’ By Arwa Al-Wuqayan


e will age; our physical features will change. We were not created to be immortal. Grey hair will gradually occupy our heads; there is no need to feel arrogant. That beautiful face will change into another that expresses maturity. We will age; so there is no need to harbor grudges or animosity. Our constitution will change in a few years, and our life experiences will be richer. We will reach the conclusion that grudges, envy and hatred are a heavy burden that does not deserve to be dragged on for many years. We will age; we will discover that we are better. Physical beauty, no matter how prized, will fade away. There is no need to boast about a creation of God. We will age; we do not have to bear the pain, silently suffer aches, and make sacrifices for those who do not deserve it. We will age; our pain will even more searing if we keep bearing them without looking for relief. We will age; there is no need to deny and care excessively for others, neglecting your health. We will age; there is no need to live in the vicious ‘worry’ circle. We will age, without a doubt, but there is no need to worry about growing older. That is life. It is a journey, a large part of which we live as a planned society, and the other part must be lived as we want it. We will age; there is no need to postpone our dreams any further. If the dream are put off for long, it will seem impossible to achieve. There is no need for delaying and postponing them because the days keep flying. Our dreams will set aside in our memories, waiting for someone to revive them. We will grow and grow, there is no need for despair and self-ridicule. There are those who start a new life when they are sixty, and live with a smile, refreshed with the love for life. — Al-jarida

By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


irst of all, I find it important to note that I am not and have never been a supporter of MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel, on any of the subjects he has broached. Even the dual citizenship issue addressed by other people, have been taken up by Al-Juwaihel from an extremist point of view, making it easier for people to thwart any attempt to raise this critical issue. I was among the first to urge third constituency voters to make their decision as individual citizens instead of collectively following a certain bloc. At least 8,000 of them, however, voted for Al-Juwaihel. That is their right, of course, just like the right enjoyed by citizens who voted for Khalid Shukhayyer and Osama Al-Munawer. There could be others who are better mannered than AlJuwaihel, but certainly not less dangerous than he is. Most lawmakers failed the test and proved that they are not better than Al-Juwaihel. During last Thursday’s session, they made offensive statements. Moreover, since parliamentary work was restored following the Libration War, MPs engaged in verbal and physical duels on multiple occasions. MP Al-Juwaihel is only the latest to join the group. I do not object to the process of taking punitive measures against Al-Juwaihel, hoping that members of the Parliament do not solely take Al-Juwaihel’s case as an example. Penalizing Al-Juwaihel should be done on the basis of dealing with future violations committed by other lawmakers. It appears that AlJuwaihel is an expert in provoking others, and it seems he has been

very successful at that. I would like to bring to the Parliament’s attention, an incident that took place in the nineties when Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun ordered journalist Hamid Bouyabes’ arrest following a fight with then MP Mefrej Nahar, despite the fact that both engaged exchanged blows. Last week, MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel claimed that activist Abbas Al-Shaabi attempted to attack him. However, according to statements, security personnel failed to guarantee that they would testify as eyewitnesses if he pressed charges. What does the Parliament have to say about that? Speaking of Al-Shaabi, there is no doubt that he is motivated by his concern over the public interest to become an activist in the political scene. However, I believe that he has crossed the line after the recent Al-Juwaihel incident, and was way too loyal to the people he supports, and takes matters into his own hands after Al-Juwaihel put himself at odds with figures. Regardless of what we think, Al-Juwaihel remains a parliament member who represents the entire nation as per Article 108 of the Constitution. Al-Shaabi supports those individuals who raided the Parliament; an incident they later described as ‘a rescue mission to achieve reform.’ Have they not decided that the former prime minister is guilty of corruption? Have they not verbally assaulted MP Abdurrahman Dashti in the Parliament? When oppositionist lawmakers break regulations, Abbas Al-Shaabi’s alleged attack on Al-Juwaihel is only a demonstration of their ideologies.

The opposition are blaming third constituency voters for electing Mohammad Al-Juwaihel to the Parliament (MP Nabil Al-Fadhl is considered a committed lawmaker). MP Mohammad Hayef - who once disrespectfully refused to stand up while the national anthem was being played at a public event - said that “feeling remorse is not enough” for third constituency voters. What about the people who voted for you, Mr. Hayef? What about lawmakers including Shukhayyer and Munawer who show little tolerance to different viewpoints? Should voters be blamed? Obviously, voters should not be blamed for exercising their rights freely, but it appears that the opposition have their own way of sorting out voters. According to their version of democracy, the opposition seeks to cancel the membership of AlJuwaihel in the Parliament; as if it is a primary school where a student can be expelled for bad behavior. There are no articles in the Constitution that allow the Parliament to rescind the membership of one of its members. The Constitution protects members from exercising any authority. They can take disciplinary measures as per the Parliament’s internal charter regulations, but that is it. I do not think even the Constitutional Court has the authority to rescind an MP’s membership. My advice to the majority is to ignore Al-Juwaihel because it is illogical that all activities become focused on the actions of a single lawmaker; unless MPs do not have anything else to do. — Al-Qabas

By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah


rises do not happen unless elements leading to the deterioration of situations are present. These elements sometimes go unnoticed until crises take place; at which point people’s own safety becomes the most important subject at hand. There were elements that led to the many crises that have happened in Kuwait, which we haven’t noticed until after it was too late. These problems include the malfunctioning Mishref sewer plant, the massive tire blaze in Jahra, the recurrent fires in Amghara, in addition to the bad food problem. The Amghara scrap yard is a huge open location that is many kilometers away from Kuwait City, yet crowded with inhabitants who are active in storing and trading different items. The area is unorganized, as all kinds of things you could think of including steel, brick, coal, wood, porcelain, marble, electrical appliances, construction material and car spare parts can be found there. These materials however are stored in warehouses that do not meet basic safety conditions, whether it is from the lack of firefighting measures or the fact that these items are often piled up in a way that makes it easier for fires to spread and harder for firefighters to move inside. The Amghara scrap yard is home to thousands of warehouses stacked randomly near each other, and they are used to store flammable objects such as wood, coal, detergents and other chemical materials. And while they are only licensed to be used as warehouses, the majority of them are used to sell the stored items illegally, a trade that has flourished given the lack of Government monitoring. The absence of state control over Amghara opened the door for many to practice illegal trading there, as well as for the location to become a safe haven for illegal residents who can find a place to work there without a work permit. I hope the state starts paying attention to the Amghara scrap yard, which in my opinion has turned into a time bomb ready to explode at any moment, as evident by the recent fires there. The Government isn’t only to blame for the situation there, as I believe Parliament is required to make an initiative to coordinate with the Cabinet for a decision to end Amghara’s environmental and security problems. —Al-Rai

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


New fees, conditions set for British visa Travel season fast approaching By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: As the travel season is approaching and holidays are at the doorstep, people have started to book their tickets, reserving hotels, and planning trips. Traveling may also require the necessary visa to a certain country, which may take some time to be issued so people should start applying from now. As the United Kingdom is one the favorite destinations, especially for Kuwaitis, the Visa Section of the British Embassy in Kuwait held a press conference over the weekend to announce the new fees and conditions for a visa to enter the UK. “We aim to remind people to apply for their visa to the UK, so they make sure to get it in time. The average time to get it is one week but during the busy season, especially May and June, the waiting time is prolonged to three weeks. We also recommend students apply early for their visas,” stressed Sarah Kirkhope, Head of Visa Section. This year there are special requirements and conditions for domestic workers. “The domestic worker must have been working with the family she is travelling to the UK with for at least one year.

Then before travelling, her sponsor and she have to come and sign an agreement at the Embassy about the minimum wage that she will receive during her stay in the UK, which is 6.08 pounds sterling per hour for people over 21 years old. This is similar to the minimum wage in the UK,” she added. “Through these regulations

od. Also the fee for the maid is KD 124, while her sponsor pays KD 36 due to the consideration that her visa is considered to be an employment visa,” Kirkhope added. Paul Gaskell, Charge d’Affaires at the British Embassy, praised the good relations between Kuwait and Britain. He spoke of the situation in Syria and the high level of

KUWAIT: Sarah Kirkhope (right) and Paul Gaskell addressing the press conference. —Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh and new rules we aim to make sure everybody has the same rights and are paid properly. Also, as a new regulation, the maid’s visa is now issued for maximum period of 6 months even if her sponsor will stay for a longer peri-

NA should support industrial sector KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Government is keen to diversify the economy to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and accelerate the process of industrialization. Kuwaiti industrialists are eyeing a more effective role for the National Assembly to resolve the accumulated problems obstructing this national goal. “The Kuwaiti industrial sector faces many challenges,” said the Head of the Kuwait Industries Union. Hussein Al-Khorafi said the National Assembly (parliament) “will take responsibility towards this important sector and tackle all the problems through its legislative and monitoring powers.” “ The lack of land plots for industrial projects, bureaucracy and red tape in Government agencies, as well as the absence of new industrial and storage zones” are examples of these challenges, Al-Khorafi stated. He said there is also a need to facilitate the work of the environmental protection agencies and other industry-supporting government bodies. Al-Khorafi expressed hopes that the approved plan to set up the Shadadiyah industrial zone will help develop this sector. Badah Al-Herbesh, Chairman of the Wataniya Fiber Glass Reinforced Plastic Factor y Company, urged more accountability of Government bodies before the National Assembly. “The performance of some of these bodies is imbalanced and lacks long-term planning,” Al-Herbesh said. “Due to this poor performance, the industrial sector has been crippled with accumulative problems that require real and sincere efforts to address them.” He stressed the importance of foreign investments in this field, mentioning the small number of projects that have been approved by the Government in the past eleven years. “The last approval for a big industrial project was in 1970,” he stressed. Al-Herbesh asked the National Assembly to pass the draft laws submitted to it that will support industrial projects and allure local and foreign investments to this strategic sector. Abdullah Al-Abbar, former chief of National Company for Consumer Industries, said MPs should not interfere in the specialized affairs of the industrial sector. “It should only monitor the performance through the data collected by relevant agencies,” he said. Al-Abbar also called for facilitating the contribution of the Kuwait private sector to the industrial sector through reducing bureaucracy. —KUNA

Kuwait, Sudan seek closer cooperation KHARTOUM: Sudanese Minister of Antiquities, Tourism and Wildlife, Hasabu Mohamed AbdelRahim, met Kuwaiti Ambassador in Khartoum, Suleiman Al-Harbi, here yesterday. They discussed Kuwaiti investments in Sudan and how to boost bilateral cooperation in tourism and wildlife. Al-Harbi said he discussed Kuwaiti investments in tourism, especially hotels, and how to draw more Kuwaiti investments to Sudan with the Sudanese minister. He added that they also considered ways and means of reinforcing Kuwaiti-Sudanese cooperation in tourism, heritage and antiquities for the common interest of both countries. The Kuwaiti ambassador hoped that both sides could further develop and boost their relations in such vital fields. —KUNA

Traffic timers nixed KUWAIT: The traffic department failed to fix timers for traffic lights to show the countdown for the traffic light change from green to yellow. The timers were tried at some locations and the cost was paid. The excuse is that it leads to overspeeding before the time is over for the color to change. Sources said in spite of an offer by the traffic department to fix the timers specialized in the countdown for traffic lights, they stopped in spite of their success in many GCC countries. The excuse is that digital timers negatively affect the efficiency of traffic lights, which depends on an actuation system.

dialogue between Kuwait and Iraq, hoping for positive results. He said the Arab Spring was a positive movement from his point of view but that every country is different. Visa fees valid from April 6, 2012 for different categories are as

follows: Visitor entry clearance for up to 6 months (Single, double and multiple entry) and Academic Visitor costs KD 36. Long term visitor entry clearance up to two years costs KD 124. Long term visitor entry clearance valid from 2 to 5 years costs KD 228. Long term visitor entry clearance up to 10 years costs KD 329. Student Visitor English Language costs KD 64. Student Visa PBS is KD133. DATV and Visitor in transit is KD 24. Commonwealth and Overseas Territories pay KD 23. Transfers are KD 47. Settlement KD 380. A certificate of entitlement to the right of abode is KD 124. PBS Tier 1 is KD 375. PBS (Post Study) Tier 1 costs KD 222. PBS Tier 2 is KD 221. PBS Tier 5 is KD 89. Medical Emergency Call out is KD 60. Mobile Biometrics (per hour) costs KD 60. Consular Rate of Exchange: £1 = KD 0.460 Fees are subject to a periodic review. They are charged to cover the cost of applications and visa fees are always nonrefundable. Dependants are charged the same fee as the main applicant. Please remember to obtain and keep an official receipt from the cashier for all fees paid.

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Heavy voting in Egyptian presidential election

KUWAIT: (Left) Egyptians braved the hot weather, as they lined up in front of their embassy to elect their post revolution president. (Centre) Officials checking documents before casting the vote. (Right) Voters lining up at the embassy. By Sherif Ismail

KUWAIT: Hundreds of Egyptians lined up in front of their embassy here yesterday to cast votes for their first

Five held, released in Farwaniya KUWAIT: Five Egyptian expatriates, three adults and two teenagers, were detained for some time at Farwaniya police station, but were later released after signing an undertaking not to repeat what they did. More than 1,000 brochures were confiscated from them as they were distributing them to promote Mohammad Mursi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood. The brochures called for electing “The strong and honest”. Security sources said they received the information that a number of Egyptian expatriates intended to hold a seminar after Friday prayers to promote one of the Islamist candidates running for the position as president of Egypt. Immediately, instructions were given to police to proceed to Al-Adwani Mosque in Farwaniya, where the seminar was supposed to be held. After the Friday prayers were over, police noticed that five persons were distributing the pamphlets and they were arrested. Three of them were more than 35 years old and the others were two teenagers. They were taken to the police station for investigations and released after signing an undertaking not to do it again. They were told that such things need to be approved by the concerned authorities here, and if they want to do that they should go back home to do what they want. Then the men were released.—Al-Anbaa

Three factory staff arrested for stealing products for two years Child molester arrested in Mahboula KUWAIT: Three people were arrested for stealing products from a plastic factory they are employed at. Investigations revealed that the factory owner lost nearly KD 62,000 after three employees stole KD 600 worth products every week for two years. The owner sought help from Sabah Al-Salem police station officers after discovering that the production rate kept declining despite the fact that raw material supply remained constant. As part of investigations, police obtained a warrant to install surveillance cameras in the factory. It was observed that two Egyptian and one Bangladeshi worker loaded products onto a half lorry truck every Friday morning. The three were arrested and admitted to selling the stolen products at the Friday Market at cheap rates. They were referred to the Public Prosecution Department to face charges. Suicide attempt A domestic worker was hospitalized after attempting suicide in a Kuwaiti family’s home. The 35-year-old Indian woman was taken in an ambulance from the

CBK cultural campaign ends

Sheikha Nouf Al-Ali

president following the Jan 25, 2011 revolution. At least 13 candidates with different political ideologies belonging to diverse backgrounds are running for office to replace Hosni Mubarak’s regime which lasted for 30 years. Voting went on smoothly as embassy staff were helpful, with a heavy voters’ presence.

KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) announced the conclusion of ‘Our Heritage, So Beautiful,’ campaign that was launched on February 5. It ended on May 5, 2012. Winners of the heritage contest organized by the Bank will be announced soon. Sheikha Nouf Salem AlAli, Advertisement and Public Relations Director at CBK said, “the bank launched this campaign as part of its activities to revive Kuwait’s heritage. It is possible to say that the campaign fulfilled its goals by familiarizing Kuwait’s youth with old customs.

Taima house and was admitted to Jahra Hospital. She suffered from complications related to consuming large doses of pesticides. During police investigations, she admitted to trying to end her life. An investigations was opened to reveal the circumstances behind the case. Drunks held A woman facing adultery charges was arrested recently in Salmiya in connection with driving under the influence of alcohol. Patrol officers asked the woman to pull over at the Khansa Street where she had been driving in an erratic manner. They realized that she was inebriated and found a bottle of illicit liquor placed on the passenger seat. Verification of her identity revealed that she is wanted for adultery charges pressed by her husband. She was referred to higher authorities. Meanwhile, an Indian man was arrested along Sixth Ring Road opposite to Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh after taking off his clothes in public while inebriated. He was referred to the Immigration Investigation Department after police

learnt he is an illegal resident. He has been imprisoned pending deportation procedures. Theft at army base Police are on the hunt for two male suspects who have been accused of stealing equipment from a warehouse inside the US army military base. The case was filed at the Ali Sabah Al-Salem police station where an American man reported that two men (Arab and Asian nationals) disappeared after stealing goods from the warehouse. Criminal investigators were provided with information on the suspects. Shooting at Taima Police are on the lookout for an SUV driver who fired gunshots that damaged a car that was parked in front of a Taima house. Officers reached the scene after a 20-year-old GCC national reported ‘heavy shooting’ outside his home. An eyewitness reportedly told the homeowner that a man in a Japanese-made SUV fired at his car before driving away. A case was filed at the area’s police station.

Child molester A child molester was caught in Mahboula after passersby jumped to his victim’s rescue when she screamed for help. The 11-year- old Egyptian girl accompanied the Bangladeshi man when he approached her while the child was playing near her building. He offered to buy her sweets from a nearby baqala. He then took her to a hidden location and touched her inappropriately and she began screaming. Passersby caught the suspect before he could escape, and waited until police arrived and arrested him. Drug addict A drug addict was arrested in Jabriya. The Egyptian man raised police’s suspicions when he was spotted seated in the car parked at the parking lot of the vehicles’ inspection facility. Upon his arrest, the suspect was found with possession of heroin and drug pills in addition to related paraphernalia. He was referred to the General Department of Drug Control to face charges. —Al-Rai, Al-Qabas, Al-Watan

Gulf Lead Consultants to hold performance measurement conference KUWAIT: Gulf Lead Consultants (GLC) is organizing a Performance Measurement Conference under the theme ‘Frameworks, Applications and Challenges’ on 3 and 4 June 2012 at Hilton Kuwait Resort. The event is being held under the patronage of Dr Fadhel Safar, Minister of Public Works and M inister of State for Planning and Development Affairs. Professionals and experts from Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Lebanon will share their expertise in this conference.

Performance measures are a key component to any strategic, operational, and professional development plan; being drivers of success. Performance measures are also a key constituent of quality and organizational excellence models and programs. The aim of the conference is to provide participants with the opportunity to learn and explore how to successfully use performance measurement to develop organizations, departments, and people. The topic is addressed in an integrated manner. The popu-

lar frameworks of performance measurement (eg BSC, OECD), the applications of these frameworks in the various sectors (e g oil and gas, education, health, government, and human resources) and the challenges facing these applications and the way they are addressed will be discussed. The conference is sponsored by IBM, AlRai newspaper, and Kuwait Times. Af ter the conference, ‘Per formance Metrics for Measurement and Improvement’ workshop will be held on 6 and 7 May 2012.

Ministry sponsors drugs addiction forum at school KUWAIT: A forum was held here yesterday at a local school in Hawally educational district to spread awareness on the harmful effects of narcotics and drug addiction. Mona Al-Salal, Head of Hawally educational district opened the event at the Ibin Al-Nafis intermediate school, stating that the ministry is keen on combating drug use and protecting youth. She said that it was important that the society works with the educational system in combating drug use, noting that the state supports efforts at this

level. The school’s principal Shaban Hassan attributed addiction to several reasons, including the lack of a healthy family atmosphere. The Secretary General of the National Drug Awareness and Prevention Project (Ghiras) Dr Ahmad Al-Samdan affirmed that the committee was very keen on co -sponsoring the event with the Education Ministry to address the problem at the school level. The event will conclude tomorrow with a lecture on the dangers of addiction during adolescence.—KUNA

Kuwaiti cultural week in India NEW DELHI: The Indian public gets a chance of a closer glimpse of Kuwaiti culture and traditions through the activities of “Kuwait Cultural Week” which is to be held here from today to May 19 in cooperation between the embassy and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Ambassador Sami Mohammad Al-Sulaiman said yesterday. The ambassador said the historical and close relations between the two nations and people and a great deal of shared cultural traits and values all show the prudence of holding such events. The activities, he said, would be taking place in the capital as well as in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The first attraction is a joint arts and crafts exhibition, to be inaugurated by the ambassador and ICCR Secretary General Suresh K. Goel. The officials later head to Kamani Auditorium, Delhi’s most prestigious theatre hall for a folklore performance by Kuwait Television Troupe. There is also a special arts show at the embassy on May 16, and lectures at Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Library at the

Jamia Millia Islamia University and at Jawahar Lal Nehru University. This is in addition to a meeting at the Kuwaiti Diwaniya with participation of a Kuwaiti media delegation, visiting upon official invitation by the Indian Government. The delegation includes representatives of the Kuwaiti press body and is presided by Kuwait Journalists Association Chairman Ahmad Bahbahani. The delegation is then to go to Jaipur in the northern region of the country where the official cultural activities are to start May 18. The inauguration of activities in Jaipur would be in presence of Jaipur State Assembly Speaker Deependra Singh, and following would be a musical performance by Kuwait Television Troupe at the Clarks Hotel. Lectures would also be given at Jaipur University. The Ambassador expressed appreciation for the efforts of the Ministry of Information and the External Media Department in particular and also the great hospitality on the part of the Indian Government. —KUNA

KUWAIT: A reception was held by the Brazilian Ambassador to Kuwait Roberto Abdalla over the weekend, in collaboration with JBS and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Agency at Hilton Mangaf Resort to promote the sale of high quality Brazilian beef. High ranking officials, top businessmen and media persons attended the event. Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of beef. In 2011, the country exported 1.6 million tons of beef. JBS is the largest animal protein processing company in the world, working in the fields of food, leather, pet products, biodiesel, collagen, cans and cleaning products.

Blood donation campaign starts today KUWAIT: Former MP, lawyer Ahmad Al-Shohoumi, will announce a campaign today during the evening for blood donations to make up for the shortage of blood at the Blood Bank during the summer and vacation season at the different

hospitals and for different blood groups. The campaign will be organized in his diwan at Salwa. Al-Shohoumi said the aim behind this campaign is humanitarian and “We call upon other diwans to participate with us,” he said, adding that the 600 to 700

Al-Awazam tribe diwans in Kuwait are excited to participate in the campaign. The initiative is the first of its kind at the diwan level and Al-Shohoumi said. “This act is due to our love to our country and is an attempt to fill the need at the Blood Bank

for the different blood groups, which might be scarce in summer. Donors will become less due to the vacation season and the month of Ramadan,” he said. He said his intention is strictly humane and has no other reason whatsoever.

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012

Uganda captures LRA’s commander Page 8

Gunman kills Afghan peace council member in Kabul Page 11

Grenade tossed at Yemen minister’s home Yemeni forces press assault on Qaeda bastion SANAA: Unidentified assailants hurled a hand grenade at the house of Yemen’s Information Minister Ali Al-Amrani in Sanaa, injuring one person when they opened fire as they fled the scene, the minister’s office said yesterday. Abdel-Basset Al-Qaedi, a member of the minister’s staff, said two men on a motorcycle threw the grenade at a wing of the building housing the minister’s bodyguards late on Saturday, causing no casualties. A bystander was injured in the foot during a shoot-out as the men escaped, he added. The incident underscored the fragile security situation in the country, where President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, urged on by the United States, is trying to crush Islamist militants linked to Al-Qaeda in the south. In January, gunmen opened fire on the information minister’s car in an apparent assassination attempt, and on Saturday Bulgaria’s ambassador to Yemen escaped an apparent kidnap attempt in the capital. The government has launched a new offensive against the Islamists after US officials said they thwarted a plot to bomb an airliner by Yemen’s Al-Qaeda wing. In another development, Yemen forces pressed yesterday with an assault to recapture the Al-Qaeda-held southern city of Zinjibar, advancing on two fronts amid air cover in fighting that killed six soldiers in two days, military officials said. The offensive takes place as US drones have intensified raids against Al-Qaeda militants in other parts of the country, killing 12 in two attacks on Saturday. Four soldiers were killed in overnight fighting with militants around Zinjibar bringing the total of army losses since the all-out operation was launched Saturday to six, a military official said. “The fighting continues and the army is advancing towards Zinjibar,” the capital of

the southern province of Abyan, said the official on condition of anonymity. “The death toll among soldiers has increased to six, while 18 others were wounded,” the official added. He said that government forces have made progress on the southern and eastern fronts of the city, with troops reaching the Shaddad Fort, around three kilometres (1.8 miles) east of Zinjibar, and the Zinjibar Bridge, around one kilometre (0.6 miles) from the city. Another military official said air raids yesterday targeted Zinjibar and the neighbouring town of Jaar, while the artillery continued to pound the city. The “wide offensive” began from three sides and was supported by the air force and the navy, a military official had said on Saturday, adding that Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed was overseeing the operation. “ The defence minister is supervising a military plan to regain control of the city of Zinjibar and (the neighbouring town of ) Jaar from Al-Qaeda gunmen,” he said. Six fighters of the Al-Qaeda-linked Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), were also killed in the attack on Zinjibar, said a tribal source in Jaar, to where the gunmen evacuate their casualties. Air strikes on Saturday also hit Jaar, killing three Al-Qaeda gunmen and a civilian, and wounding three civilians, a tribal source said. The air raids were to pave the way for advancing ground troops, said a military official. Military units also attacked Jaar from the west, a military official said on Saturday, adding troops had reached the area of Kadama, on the outskirts of the town. The militants took advantage of a central government weakened by an Arab Spring-inspired uprising to overrun Zinjibar in May last year. They also control Jaar and other parts of the province. — Agencies

MONTERREY: Federal police on a vehicle guard one of the three forensic trucks where several bodies were placed yesterday. — AP

49 dismembered bodies dumped on Mexico road MEXICO CITY: Authorities found the dismembered bodies of at least 40 people stuffed into bags and dumped on a highway near the northern city of Monterrey in what appeared to be the latest atrocity by Mexico’s brutal drug gangs. The bodies were found in the early hours yesterday on a highway in the municipality of Cadereyta Jimenez, officials from

‘Cut Gaza power supply to boost Israel grid’ JERUSALEM: Israel should consider cutting its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip this summer if it experiences power shortages, Israeli Environment Minister Gilad Erdan said yesterday. Erdan, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, outlined the proposal in a letter to ministers, who were scheduled to discuss the issue in their cabinet meeting. “If there are power shortages in Israel this summer, the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip should be halted... It rep-

resents 4.5 percent of Israeli production,” the letter said. “Electricity production will be less than demand this summer,” Erdan added, in an interview with Israeli military radio yesterday. “We are looking at using production methods that are more polluting and alternative energy sources like solar but we may still have to have electricity outages.” “If we are in that situation it would be absurd for Israelis to be the first ones affected while at the same time we continue to provide electricity to Gaza,

while they are not paying,” he said, apparently referring to late payments by the Palestinian Authority for the 120 megawatts which Israel supplies to the strip. Fawzi Barhum, spokesman of the Islamist movement Hamas which controls Gaza, said Erdan’s “threats... exposed the true face of the occupation.” “What is required from the Arab countries, and Egypt in particular, is the creation of an Arab, Egyptian safety net for the residents of Gaza in light of the Zionist blackmail,” he added.—AFP

the state of Nuevo Leon said. There were at least 40 victims, an official for the state government said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The final count was still to be confirmed, the official said. A state police official said the death toll may have been as high as 49. The Nuevo Leon government official said the killings appeared

to be the work of drug cartels and that a message of the kind often favoured by the gangs had been left at the scene. But it was not clear who was responsible. The area has been notorious for slayings by the Zetas gang, who have been locked in a bloody conflict with other gangs including the Gulf cartel, their former employers. The killings follow a string of

atrocities, including 18 people who were found decapitated and dismembered near Mexicoís second-largest city, Guadalajara, on Wednesday. A week earlier, the bodies of nine people were found hanging from a bridge and 14 others found dismembered in the city of Nuevo Laredo, just across the US border from Laredo in Texas. — Reuters

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Suicide bomber, car bombs hit Iraq security forces BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber targeting a police checkpoint in Baghdad killed at least three people while car bombs hit army and police patrols in two other cities, killing three others, police and hospital sources said yesterday. The attacks were the first serious violence since mid-April when a wave of bombings killed 36 people across the country, including an attack involving three car bombs and a sui-

cide bomber in which 15 people died in Baghdad. Police opened fire yesterday when the suicide bomber refused their orders to stop at a checkpoint in the western Baghdad district of Mansour before he detonated his load, killing three officers, authorities said. “It was a suicide bomber. The checkpoint guards told him to stop and he didn’t, so they shot at him,” said Raad Latif Hussein, an officer with a

Baghdad police rescue unit. In Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, a car bomb hit a passing Iraqi army patrol, killing two soldiers and wounding six people, while in Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of the capital, another car bomb killed a police officer, and wounded six people, officials said. Violence and bombings in Iraq have abated significantly since the bloody heights of sectarian war in

2006-2007 when tens of thousands of people were killed in intercommunal fighting that pitted Sunni against Shi’ite Muslims. Sunni Islamists tied to al Qaeda have been weakened, but they vowed to keep up their insurgency after the withdrawal of the last American troops in December. Militants now often hit local security forces, government offices or Shi’ite targets to try to stir

sectarian tensions. Iraq’s delicate government, split among Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs, has been mired in a crisis over power-sharing since the last US soldiers withdrew. The impasse has raised concern that the country could relapse into the kind of broad sectarian bloodshed that erupted soon after the 2003 USled invasion that overthrew Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein. — Reuters

Uganda captures LRA’s commander Achellam a close deputy to LRA leader Kony

HOMS: An image shows a boy fleeing past shrapnel riddled vehicles during shelling allegedly by Syrian army forces of the Bab Tadmor neighbourhood in the restive city of Homs yesterday. — AFP

At least 7 killed in Syrian village raid BEIRUT: Syrian forces killed at least seven people and torched a number of homes in a raid on a farming village yesterday that activists said showed worsening relations between Syria’s myriad religious groups. The continuing violence further undermines the UN-backed peace plan that is supposed to bring an end to the country’s 14-month-old crisis. A cease-fire that was supposed to begin on April 12 has had only a limited effect, throwing into doubt the rest of the plan, which calls for talks between the regime of President Bashar Assad and those seeking to end his rule. Yesterday’s deaths occurred during a raid by regime forces on the impoverished village of Al-Tamana, about 55 kilometres (35 miles) northwest of the city of Hama. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five people were killed in the raid and government troops were setting fire to homes. Speaking via Skype from Hama, activist Mousab Alhamadee said one local rebel leader was killed alongside five civilians. “He was a hero in the Free Syrian Army who was trying to defend the civilians,” he said, referring to the umbrella group of local, anti-regime militias. An amateur video posted online yesterday showed men carrying the dead body of a woman from a house. A second video showed men in a mosque praying over five coffins, three of them open with flowers piled on bodies wrapped in white cloth. The area, a plain of farmland along the Orontes River, is dotted with villages of Christians, Sunni Muslims and Alawites, the offshoot sect of Shiite Islam to which Assad belongs. Alhamadee, who is from a village near al-Tamana, said sectarian tensions were low before the uprising, but have deteriorated as Sunni villages like al-Tamana joined the anti-Assad uprising. He said most of the village’s residents had fled and regime forces were setting fire to houses and looting shops. He and the Observatory also reported shelling in a nearby village, Hayaleen. “The regime is trying to punish these villages and to put an end to this revolution as quickly as it can,” he said. Syria’s uprising started in

March 2011 with protests calling for political reform. The government brutally cracked down on dissent, and many in the opposition have since taken up arms to defend themselves and attack government troops. Some soldiers also have switched sides and joined forces with the rebels. World powers have backed the peace plan, which was put forward by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to end the crisis, but the bloodshed has not stopped. More than 100 UN observers have been deployed in Syria to oversee the truce between the government and armed rebels. The daily death toll in Syrian has declined as the number of observers has risen, but few experts expect the UN plan to succeed in its entirety. The Observatory said a total of 19 civilians were killed nationwide, plus two rebels and 5 regime soldiers. Activists also reported government attacks in rebellious Damascus suburbs. Omar Hamza said via Skype that three people were killed early yesterday by shells and machine gun rounds fired at Douma. The government was raiding other areas looking for activists, he said. The Observatory also reported three killed in suburbs east of the capital, one of them a rebel commander. Activist claims could not be independently verified. The Syrian government did not comment on the reports and bars most media from working in the country. Also yesterday, two Turkish journalists who had been detained in Syria for two months arrived in Istanbul on a plane from Iran after that country helped negotiate their release by Syrian authorities. Journalists Adem Ozkose and Hamit Coskun were abducted by militiamen who had blocked a road and were stopping cars and abducting passengers, Ozkose told reporters in Istanbul yesterday. He and Coskun were later held separately at a prison in Damascus, where they slept on a concrete floor, had no sunlight and lost track of the days. “Finding out what day it was made me happy. It made me appreciate freedom. Thank God we were saved, but there are many others inside Syria waiting for freedom,” he said. — AP

Palestinian forces seize ex-fighter in West Bank JENIN: Palestinian security forces detained a prominent ex-fighter yesterday, stepping up a campaign of arrests following the death of the governor of the northern West Bank district of Jenin, residents said. Masked security men seized Zakariya Zubeidi in Jenin after halting his car, blindfolding him and shackling him before bundling him into another car and speeding away, residents said. Zubeidi, who is in his mid-30s, was a well-known militant who once battled Israeli forces before he was granted amnesty four years ago and co-founded a theater. Zubeidi is known in Israel because of his fluent Hebrew and frequent interviews in the Israeli media. Three residents confirmed his arrest, requesting anonymity because of fear of reprisal. Palestinian security forces have been rounding up suspects since the governor, Kadoura Mousa, suffered a fatal heart attack earlier this month after gunmen fired outside his home. The residents say Zubeidi was not involved in the shooting incident, but is distantly related to the suspects. His arrest risks

enraging his followers. The Palestinian government has said it believes Mousa’s death was caused by the shooting. Officials said Mousa was extremely nervous after the shootout and was hospitalized several hours later because he felt ill. The new governor, Talal Dwekat, confirmed that forces have been conducting arrests since last week. But he had no comment on Zubeidi. “We have strong orders to provide security for residents,” said Dwekat, who is responsible for security in the Jenin area. Palestinian security forces have arrested dozens of people following the then-governor’s death in early May. Many of them were well-known outlaws, or relatives of the gunmen who opened fire at Mousa’s house. The suspects, who include members of local security forces, remain in detention. Tensions have been high ever since. During the violent Palestinian uprising against Israel’s rule, Jenin was a notoriously lawless place where gunmen roamed freely. Palestinian Authority officials have since battled to restore security. — AP

RIVER VOVODO: Uganda has captured one of the top five members of the Lord’s Resistance Army, bringing it a step closer to catching Joseph Kony, the notorious rebel leader accused of war crimes, the military said yesterday. The Ugandan army said it caught Caesar Achellam, a major general in Kony’s outfit of about 200 fighters, in an ambush along the banks of the River Mbou in Central African Republic (CAR) on Saturday. Achellam was armed with just an AK-47 rifle and eight rounds of ammunition, a spokesman for the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), said. He was being held with his wife, a young daughter and a helper. The UPDF, which has a force hunting for Kony full-time in the jungles of CAR, backed by US troops, said the capture of Achellam would encourage other fighters to abandon the LRA. “ The arrest of Major General Caesar Achellam is big progress because he is a big fish,” said UPDF spokesman Felix Kulaigye. “His capture is definitely going to cause an opinion shift within the LRA.” Achellam, who was paraded before media, walked with a limp, which he attributed to an old wound. He was returning from the Democratic Republic of Congo when he walked into the soldiers’ ambush. UPDF said it had been on his trail for a month. Analysts said Achellam was a close ally of Kony and had masterminded the group’s relocation from northern Uganda.

BUNAGANA: Congolese refugees flee the town of Bunagana in North Kivu province over the Ugandan border on May 12, 2012. — AFP “From whichever angle you look at it, the loss of Achellam should be ver y troubling for Kony and a big boost for his manhunt,” said Angelo Izama, an analyst who has written extensively on the LRA. Kony, a selfstyled mystic leader who at one time wanted to rule Uganda according to the biblical Ten Commandments, fled northern Uganda in 2005, roaming first the lawless expanses of South Sudan, then the isolated northeastern tip of Congo. In December 2008, Uganda launched Operation Lightning

Thunder against the LRA, dispersing the rebels and pushing them north into CAR. The rebels live in the jungles of CAR surviving on wild yams, stolen cattle and drinking from rivers. The International Criminal Court at The Hague has issued arrest warrants for Kony and his top commanders for several counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, although Achellam is not among those charged by the ICC. Kony is accused of abducting children to use as fighters and sex slaves and is said to have a fondness for

hacking off limbs. A 30-minute YouTube video by California-based film-maker Jason Russell calling for the arrest of Kony swept across the Internet in March, attracting tens of millions of views, bringing the LRA’s atrocities to the attention of many people previously unaware of the group’s existence. The Ugandan government, the African Union and the United States all stepped up their commitment to the hunt for Kony in the wake of the outrage caused by the video, “Kony 2012”. — Reuters

Algerian Islamist warns of revolt over election results ALGIERS: An Algerian Islamist leader said yesterday that a Tunisian-style revolt was the only option after polls he charged were fraudulent and threatened a mass pullout of smaller parties from parliament. “These results closed the door on change by the ballot box, and the Tunisian option is all that’s left for those who believe in change,” Abdallah Djaballah, who heads the Front for Justice and Development, told AFP. His party mustered only seven seats out of the 462 up for grabs in the national assembly, according to provisional results for Thursday’s legislative election which could be slightly adjusted on Monday. The former single party, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s National Liberation Front, tightened its grip on power by securing 220 seats. Djaballah had hoped to bene-

fit from the so-called Arab Spring effect and emulate the electoral gains of Islamist parties in neighbouring countries. But Algeria bucked the regional trend, largely preserving the political status quo in polls that even saw Islamist parties lose ground, with all seven parties contesting the vote managing only a combined 59 seats. “These elections are a farce. We do not recognise these results... They create a situation of insecurity and instability,” Djaballah said. “Sooner or later, the only option will be the Tunisian scenario,” he said, in reference to the first uprising of the Arab Spring which toppled longtime Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. Djaballah, 56, had warned of the risk of fraud before the polls and claimed he would expect his FJD to come out on top if the vote

was even “80 percent honest”. He claimed to possess documents proving that the government’s latest pre-poll survey showed his FJD was poised to win 65 seats. The Algerian interior minister on Friday announced a higher-thanexpected turnout of 42 percent, following a campaign marked by low voter interest and deep distrust of the political class. Several of the smaller parties that picked up around 20 seats or fewer in Thursday’s polls have charged the ballot was rigged from start to finish, a view shared by many Algerians in the street and analysts. The Workers Party, the Socialist Forces Front, the Algerian National Front and others all said they had been robbed of seats and threatened to challenge the results before the constitutional court. “We are currently consulting

BILDA: A file picture shows leader of Justice and Development Front (FJD) and radical Islamist, Abdallah Djaballah during a campaign meeting. — AFP

the various parties that reject this election in order to reach a common stance,” Djaballah said. “If they decide to withdraw from parliament, the FJD will be first among them,” he said. Foreign observers listed some shortcomings but stopped short of challenging the electoral process’ overall credibility, while Washington hailed “a welcome step in Algeria’s progress toward democratic reform.” Djaballah, twice a presidential candidate, occupies the ideological middle ground between the banned Islamic Salvation Front the regime fought during the civil war and the local branch of the Muslim Brothers, who are in government. “Djaballah was the only one among the Islamists that the regime feared,” said Antoine Basbous, head of the Paris-based Observatory of Arab Countries. “He is perceived as genuine, but he obtained the green light for the registration of his party barely three months ago,” he said, explaining that his campaign had had little time to take off. Djaballah had previously founded two other parties, El Islah (reform) and Ennahda (renaissance), which are now part of the Green Algeria alliance, together with the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP), formerly known as Hamas. The MSP was the third largest group in the outgoing national assembly but has lost much credibility among the traditional Islamist electorate for accepting to work hand in glove with the regime. Abderrahmane Saidi, a senior MSP official, responded to Djaballah’s appeal for a revolt by stressing his party “will not drag the country into chaos nor make a decision that threatens the country’s stability.” The MSP currently holds the trade, tourism, public works and fisheries portfolios-among the country’s richest ministries. — AFP

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Greek efforts for coalition flounder Tsipras refuses to join pro-bailout govt ATHENS: Critical last-ditch talks to form a coalition government in crisis-struck Greece floundered once more yesterday, leading the country one step closer to new elections, although the socialist party leader said he retained ‘existing but limited’ optimism for a deal. The political uncertainty has alarmed the international creditors who have given Greece billions of euros in bailout loans over the past two years, and has thrown the country’s continued presence in the European Union’s joint currency into serious doubt. President Karolos Papoulias convened the heads of the parties that came in the top three spots in last Sunday’s inconclusive elections, in an ultimate effort to broker an agreement after a week of talks led to deadlock. The meeting ended without a solution, but the process continues while the president holds individual meetings with the leaders of smaller parties that made it into parliament. Voters furious at the handling of Greece’s financial crisis and two years of harsh austerity measures taken in return for billions of euros in international bailout loans punished the formerly dominant socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy parties in the elections. The two saw their support crumble to the lowest point in decades, while Radical Left Coalition, or Syriza, made big gains to come in second place after campaigning on an antibailout platform. The PASOK and New Democracy leaders could form a coalition with the smaller Democratic Left party of Fotis Kouvelis - combined they would have 168 seats in the 300-member parliament. New Democracy won 18.9 percent last Sunday while PASOK garnered just 13.2 percent, compared to nearly 44 percent in the last elections in 2009. Kouvelis’ 6.1 percent put

him in a kingmaker position, with 19 seats. But all three insist any power-sharing deal must include Syriza, led by the 38-year-old Alexis Tsipras, given its strong showing at the ballot box. Tsipras, however, insists he cannot join or even lend his support to a government that will continue implementing the terms of Greece’s international bailout. In return for euro240 billion in rescue loans from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, Greece has imposed severe spending cuts, including slashing pensions and salaries in the public sector, and repeated rounds of tax hikes. The measures have left Greece mired in a fifth year of deep recession, with unemployment spiraling above 21 percent. “The three parties that have agreed on a two-year government in order to apply (the bailout) have 168 seats in parliament,” Tsipras said after the meeting. “Let them go ahead. Their demand that Syriza participate

come what may in their own agreement is senseless and unprecedented.” Tsipras insists the terms of the bailout must be cancelled. PASOK head Evangelos Venizelos, who spent nine months handling the crisis as finance minister, and conservative leader Antonis Samaras, say that position is irresponsible and will force Greece out of the euro. Although yesterday’s meeting convened by the president with the three top party leaders was inconclusive, Venizelos said that “I retain some limited but existing optimism that a government can be formed.” Samaras appeared more pessimistic. “I made every effort for the cooperation of all,” he said. “Syriza didn’t listen to the mandate of the Greek people and does not accept not only the formation of a viable government, but not even the tolerance of a government which would in fact undertake to renegotiate the terms of the (bailout) and the loan agreement.” Tsipras, however, stuck to

ATHENS: Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos looks on during a meeting with President Karolos Papoulias at the Presidential Palace yesterday. — AP

his position, insisting that supporting a pro-bailout government would be a betrayal of his pre -election platform. “After today’s meeting it is obvious they are demanding that Syriza become an accessory to a crime,” he said after the discussions with the president. “In the name of democracy, of our patriotic duty, we cannot accept this shared guilt. We call on all Greeks to condemn once and for all the forces of the past and to realize that only one hope remains: unity against blackmail in order to prevent the continuing barbarity. “Fellow Greeks, we can assure you of one thing: we will not betray you.” Tsipras will also have his eye on recent opinion polls which show his party would gain strength if Greeks go to the ballot box again next month. A poll published by To Vima newspaper yesterday indicated Syriza would come first in new elections with 20.5 percent of the vote - less than the 28 percent an earlier opinion poll published Thursday gave him, but still well ahead of New Democracy. Although it would not be enough to form a government, it would put him in the dominant position to form a coalition with smaller anti-bailout parties. To Vima’s poll, carried out by Kappa Research, showed New Democracy in second place with 18.1 percent and PASOK losing yet more votes to reach 12.2 percent. The poll was carried out on May 9 and 10, and had a margin of error of 3.09 percentage points. Papoulias’ mediation to broker a deal could in theory continue until May 17, the scheduled opening date for the new parliament, although they are expected to end sooner. If no agreement is reached, Greece will have to hold new elections next month, most likely on June 10th or 17th. — AP

Hollande faces bruising entry onto world stage PARIS: The moment France’s president-elect Francois Hollande is sworn in tomorrow, he leaves his cosy post-election no-man’s land for potentially bruising encounters on the European and world stage. Hours after naming a prime minister, France’s first Socialist leader since 1995 will fly to Berlin for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, an ally of the man he defeated last week, centre-right president Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande campaigned on a pledge to renegotiate the eurozone’s fiscal pact agreed in March, which binds member states to austerity measures and which Merkel argues is

essential to underpin the continent’s eventual recovery. The meeting between the leaders of Europe’s economic powerhouses will be closely watched by European Union partners and by the financial markets that Hollande declared during campaigning were “the enemy.” “We have positions that are not yet converging,” Hollande admitted on Thursday of his upcoming talks with Merkel, while German officials have sought to play down the encounter. “It’s, of course, not a decision-making meeting but a getting-to-know-you meeting,

a first get-together,” Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Friday. Merkel wants to hear Hollande’s “ideas about fiscal discipline and the promotion of economic growth and jobs,” Seibert said. Ideas raised at their talks are expected to be developed at an informal EU dinner summit on May 23 with a possible growth deal to be announced at the fullfledged EU summit on June 28 and 29. Market analysts are reassured that Hollande does not reject the budgetary pact itself, but simply wants to add growth stimulus measures, and traders are also keen to avert a vicious circle of recession and austerity. — AFP

Merkel’s party braces for defeat DUESSELDORF: Angela Merkel’s conservatives looked set for a heavy election loss in Germany’s most populous state yesterday that could give the left momentum before next year’s federal election and fuel criticism of the chancellor’s European austerity drive. North RhineWestphalia (NRW ), an industrial state in western Germany with an economy and population roughly the size of the Netherlands, has a history of influencing national politics. First exit polls were due at 1600 GMT and were expected to show Hannelore Kraft of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) trouncing her Christian Democrat (CDU) rival Norbert Roettgen, who is Merkel’s environment minister. “The SPD will get back in,” said Helmut Krah, a voter in the NRW capital Duesseldorf who was window-shopping with his wife on the elegant Koenigsallee. “I’m voting for them not because they are good but because the others are so bad.” The vote is likely to bolster SPD fortunes nationwide and make Merkel, Germany’s most popular politician, look politically vulnerable for the first time in a long while. Opinion polls suggest that Kraft, who has run a fragile minority government with the Greens for two years, has won over voters by promising

a go-slowly approach to cutting NRW’s 180-billion-euro ($233 billion) debt, dodging accusations of fiscal mismanagement by the CDU. “When you have worked hard, it’s a good feeling when the day of the election comes,” Kraft told reporters after voting. A decisive victory for the SPD would be seen by many as a double defeat for the chancellor: NRW would be rejecting her party and the fiscal discipline she has forced on heavily indebted euro zone countries such as Greece. Elections in the last few weeks in Greece, France and Italy have spotlighted a growing backlash against austerity. Roettgen has declared the NRW vote a referendum on Merkel’s European debt policies. “The election yesterday also serves to finally give our chancellor full support from Duesseldorf ... for her national and European policies,” he told a crowd of 2,000 at a campaign rally on Friday. Other conservative leaders have distanced themselves from Roettgen and pollsters say a strong majority of Germans still support Merkel’s insistence on fiscal discipline in Europe, even if they do not want as much austerity at home. Harbinger of change? NRW, home to one in six German voters, is a microcosm of Germany and changes in coalitions there have presaged change for national governments. In 2005, the CDU led a centre-right coalition there to power four months before Merkel was elected at the head of the same alliance in Berlin. The latest poll, released on Friday, put the SPD on 38 percent and the Greens on 11 percent, well ahead of the CDU and their preferred Free Democrat (FDP) coalition allies. The CDU is polling 33 percent, which would be its worst result in NRW, and the pro-business FDP looks set to get just 5 percent. In the last NRW election in 2010, the SPD was just behind the CDU. The big question is whether or not the SPD will get enough for a majority coalition with the Greens. “I am not sure the SPD will have such a big win because politics has become so splintered and getting a majority is difficult,” said one SPD supporter, Jana, after voting in Duesseldorf’s historic centre, which was bustling with people eating and drinking in the spring sunshine. “I think it will be a disaster for Roettgen,” said a 29-year-old architect, who did not want to give her name. “But it’s not a threat to Merkel. She is so strong at federal level in her position as chancellor.” The upstart Pirate Party, whose platform is based on internet freedom and more direct participation in politics, was polling at 8 percent and looked set to enter its fourth regional parliament in a row. — Reuters

MOSCOW: Thousands of Russian opposition supporters attend the Control Walk rally on the Ring Boulevard yesterday against Vladimir Putin’s presidency. — AFP

Thousands march in Russia MOSCOW: About 10,000 people staged a mass “stroll” through central Moscow yesterday to test the state’s tolerance a week after police beat and scattered demonstrators upset over Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency. With few police in evidence, demonstrators gathered at a statue of revered poet Alexander Pushkin and walked down Moscow ’s Boulevard Ring to the site of an Occupy-style, 24hour protest two km (1.25 miles) away. Police took no action. “We are all here because we want justice in the country, we want an honest transition of power, we don’t want a throne succession,” said Nina, 45, a foreign language teacher who gave only her first name. President from 2000-2008 and prime minister until his inauguration to a six-year Kremlin term on May 7, Putin has angered Russians who want change and fear the continuation of his rule will bring stagnation and repression. Some 10,000 people turned out for the “test stroll”, some wearing white ribbons reading “Russia without Putin”. It took place a week after police clashed with demonstrators on the eve of Putin’s May 7 inauguration, beating some on the head with batons in the worst violence since a series of protests star ted in December. Riot police detained more than 400 people at the May 6 protest and hundreds more on inauguration day, when they cleared streets near the path of Putin’s convoy of peaceful protesters and bystanders, and grabbed people sitting at a sidewalk cafe. Two opposition leaders detained last week, Alexei Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov, are serving 15-day jail terms. Following the crackdown, Boris Akunin, a popular detective novelist who has become a Kremlin critic, called for the event yesterday to test

whether Muscovites would be allowed to peacefully walk in their city. “Occupy Abai” The unsanctioned mass walk snarled traffic - and a woman handing out white ribbons advertised them as “free tickets to a police van ride” - but police left demonstrators alone and there were no reports of detentions. “ There are no police vans here, no police, no helicopters. They really let us walk free in the city now,” said Nina. Demonstrators ended their walk at the site of a round-the -clock protest dubbed Occupy Abai, named after a monument to a Kazakh poet that is its focal point. Akunin was met with applause at the monument and declared the stroll a success. “We can all congratulate each other, we have re-established a law. In Russia, there is a law protecting demonstrations,” Gennady Gudkov, a lawmaker with the opposition Just Russia party, told the crowd. “It was forgotten and now it is revived.” The turnout yesterday will please opposition leaders eager to maintain momentum, but the fate of the round-the-clock protest where the crowd has numbered from dozens to some 2,000 - is unclear. Putin, 59, has largely ignored the unrest that greeted his inauguration, the latest since anger boiled over in December over allegations of fraud in a parliamentar y election. But his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has been quoted as saying that the police had acted too softly and has hinted the round-the-clock protest could be dispersed. Gudkov’s son, Dmitry, also a lawmaker, invited people to meet on Tuesday by a Karl Marx monument near the Kremlin and said the roundthe-clock protest would continue until at least June 12, when the next big opposition rally is planned. — Reuters

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Most blacks shrug off Obama’s view on gays ARDMORE: Like many black Americans, Dorsey Jackson does not believe in gay marriage, but he wasn’t disillusioned when Barack Obama became the first president to support it. The windows of his suburban Philadelphia barbershop still display an “Obama 2012” placard and another that reads “We’ve Got His Back.” If Obama needs to endorse same-sex marriage to be re -elected, said Jackson, so be it: “Look, man - by any means necessary.” With that phrase popularized by the black radical Malcolm X, Jackson rebutted those who say Obama’s new stand will weaken the massive black support he needs to win re-election in November. Black voters and especially black churches have long opposed gay marriage. But the 40 year-old barber and other African-Americans interviewed in politically key states say their support for Obama remains unshaken. Some questioned whether he really believes what he says about gay marriage or merely took that stand to help defeat Republican Mitt Romney - suggesting African-Americans view the first black president less as an icon than as a straight-up politician who still feels like family. “Obama is human,” said Leon Givens of Charlotte, N.C. “I don’t have him on a pedestal.” On Tuesday, Givens voted in favour of banning gay marriage in North Carolina. Many black precincts voted 2-1 for the ballot measure, which

passed easily. The next day, Givens heard Obama tell the nation in a TV interview: “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” But this fall, Givens plans to register Obama voters and drive senior citizens to the polls. A retired human resources manager, he suspects the president’s pronouncement was “more a political thing than his true feelings.” But he’s not dwelling on it. “We can agree to disagree on gay marriage,” Givens said, “and then I leave him alone.” Obama won North Carolina in 2008 by a mere 14,000 votes, thanks largely to a huge black turnout. Nationally, 95 percent of black voters chose Obama, and 2 million more black people voted than in 2004. No one doubts Obama will carry the black vote this year, but whether he can again turn out such large numbers could prove crucial to his chances. African-Americans have historically been more hostile to gays and lesbians than other racial and ethnic groups. Only 39 percent of AfricanAmericans favour gay marriage, compared with 47 percent of white Americans, according to a Pew poll conducted this April. Forty-nine percent of blacks and 43 percent of whites are opposed. But blacks - like other Americans - have become more supportive of same-sex marriage in recent years. Black support has risen dramatically since 2008, when only 26

percent of black people favoured gay marriage and 63 percent were opposed, according to Pew. Much of the opposition stems from religious beliefs. Church is the backbone of black America 22 percent of black people attend religious services more than once per week, compared with 11 percent of whites, according to recent AP/GfK polls. Black voters, led by black churches, have played key roles in blocking same-sex marriage in states like California, where 2008 exit polls indicated about 70 percent black opposition, and Maryland, where black Democrats were part of a statehouse coalition that stalled a gay marriage bill in 2011. (It passed this year but may face a referendum in November.) Part of the tension between gays and blacks comes from comparisons of their struggles. Some cast gay marriage as the last frontier of equal rights for all; others counter that minority status comes more from how you look than what you do. Tanyeo Wotorson, a film producer and director in New York City, supports Obama’s new position and said prohibitions on same-sex marriage “return to that time when whites could send people to the back of the bus and women couldn’t vote.” Darian Aaron, a gay black man, acknowledges that there are differences between black issues and gay rights, but “at its core both groups are seeking to gain access to full equality

under the law.” Even if Obama had not supported same-sex marriage, Aaron said he still would have voted for him

HAVANA: Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuba’s President Raul Castro, holds a sign demanding President Barack Obama release five Cuban intelligence agents imprisoned in US, popularly known as the “Cuban Five,” before the start of a parade marking the upcoming International Day Against Homophobia. — AP

because the president has signalled his support in other ways and Romney strongly opposes gay marriage. Aaron laments that “many within the black community find it nearly impossible to see gay rights through

any lens other than biblical.” But he finds hope in the statistics showing black people becoming more accepting and says that may be because they’ve gotten to know gays and lesbians, which breaks down stereotypes. Many black pastors have been reluctant to address same-sex marriage from the pulpit; the topic remains taboo in much of their community. Now, “with the president taking such a clear stand on the issue, and his being such a beloved figure and historic symbol for AfricanAmericans, I think it will advance the conversation,” said the Rev. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. “As a pastor, I will have to say something about this on Sunday,” Warnock said. The Rev. Joseph Lowery, a giant of the civil rights movement who delivered the benediction at Obama’s inauguration, said he agrees with Obama on gay marriage. “I believe in equal rights,” Lowery said. “You can’t believe in equal rights for some. That’s an oxymoron.” However: “Do I like it? I’m uncomfortable with it,” said Lowery, 90. “We grew up under boy-girl, manwoman, courtship and marriage.” Obama’s statement may actually be following the changing black opinion rather than leading it, said William Jelani Cobb, a Rutgers University professor and author of “The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress.” — AP

The most attractive offer for Mexico’s presidency? More than 50,000 deaths blamed on drug violence

BOSTON: Boston University student Blake Wrobbel, of Los Angeles (right) gets emotional during a candlelight vigil on Marsh Plaza at Boston University, Saturday, May 12, 2012. — AP

Boston univ mourns loss of classmates BOSTON: Tori Pinheiro shed tears and shared the sorrow of the loss of her boyfriend as Boston University students, faculty and officials gathered in a campus plaza to mourn three classmates studying abroad who died in a minivan crash in New Zealand. Pinheiro told the few hundred who gathered at BU’s Marsh Plaza on Saturday night that her boyfriend, Austin Brashears, was among those who died earlier in the day, half a world away. She cried as she recalled how friendly he was and how much she loved him. She said he recently had left her a voicemail saying he missed her, and she has been playing it repeatedly. “I listened to it four times, just to hear your voice,” she told the crowd as she tried to fight back tears. Brashears was from Huntington Beach, Calif. The university says the other students killed were Daniela Lekhno, of Manalapan, N.J., and Roch Jauberty, whose parents live in Paris. “We know these students were alive with hopes, dreams and potential and capacity, all dashed,” BU president Robert Brown said. A deep sense of loss cast a pall over the campus as some students anticipated approaching graduation and others packed at the end of the school year. Five other students were injured in the accident early Saturday, including one who was in critical condition. The students were travelling in a minivan near the North Island vacation town of Taupo when the van drifted to the side of the road and then rolled when the driver tried to correct course, New Zealand police said. Three of the students died at the scene, police said. Another woman was in critical condition at a hospital, while four other students sustained moderate injuries. New Zealand police said yesterday two injured victims - both women, one 20 and the other 21 - remain hospitalized in stable condition. The other two injured - a 20-year-old man and 20-year-old woman - were released Saturday. Another BU student, Margaret Theriault, was airlifted from the crash site to a hospital in Taupo and remained in critical condition a day after the accident. In a statement yesterday afternoon, local health official Mary Anne Gill said the 21year-old woman had surgery Saturday and was in intensive care. New Zealand police spokeswoman Kim Perks said yesterday that any suggestion as to the cause of the crash at this stage is “just speculation,” and that the investigation into the accident “will

take some time.” Efforts by The Associated Press to reach family members of Lekhno and Brashears were unsuccessful Saturday. A person who answered the phone at the home of Lekhno’s family declined to comment, and a message left at a phone listing for Brashears’ family wasn’t immediately returned. Brashears’ mother, Julie, told The Boston Globe that he frequently posted new photos on Facebook documenting his adventures in New Zealand, including bungee -jumping off the Auckland Harbor Bridge on his birthday. She said he planned weekend outings for the study abroad group. “Everyone called him the cruise director,” she said. “He wanted to include everybody on the trips. He loved having an eclectic group of friends.” Student body president Howard Male, a friend of Brashears, said the Boston University students had posted Facebook updates in anticipation of the trip, saying they hoped to view scenery captured on film in the “Lord of the Rings” movies. “They were all so excited to be able to go explore what many guidebooks ... have called some of the most beautiful places on the planet,” Male said. At the university, final exams ended Friday, and there were few outward signs of any socializing on Saturday morning. The student union was deserted. The main activity involved students in the dorms hauling out boxes and pushing rolling bins filled with their belongings to waiting moving trucks or their parents’ cars as they scurried to meet a noon deadline to clear out. Student Marcelle Richard, who was moving out after finishing her freshman year, said news of the other students’ deaths was “really upsetting.” “They were abroad, and it’s so sad that something has to happen when you are supposed to be experiencing one of the best times of your life,” said the 18-year-old Richard, of New Orleans. She said the tragedy will not stop her from going abroad to study later in her college career. Jordan Nunez, 22, a senior who is graduating next week, said the study abroad program is very popular among Boston University students. He estimates 25 percent to 30 percent of his friends traveled to foreign countries to study. Still, the New Zealand accident has darkened the mood on campus, he said. “You think everything’s always taken care for you, but things can happen wherever you are in the world,” he said. — AP

MEXICO CITY: If he does not stumble in the next six weeks, Enrique Pena Nieto appears to be coasting to victory in Mexico’s presidential elections on July 1. In a campaign criticized for a lack of true discussion on issues such as rampant drug violence or rising poverty, Pena Nieto, who is married to a soap star, is the most attractive personality on offer. After more than a month of official campaigning, the 45-yearold former governor of the central state of Mexico is up to 20 points ahead of his closest rivals in the latest opinion polls. His centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) — a powerful machine which governed Mexico for most of the 20th century-is already eyeing a comeback. “Many people seem to feel like the outcome is already determined in this election. That may not be true in reality but the PRI has succeeded in creating the impression that they will be the inevitable victors,” said Andrew Selee, senior advisor to the Woodrow Wilson Centre’s Mexico Institute in Washington DC. After several speaking gaffes and a reputation for avoiding unscripted performances, Pena Nieto appeared to overcome his toughest hurdle yet in the first of two carefully-controlled presidential debates this month. He fended off attacks on his record as governor and his party’s alleged corrupt ties from his two main rivals: Josefina Vazquez Mota of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) and leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD). Vazquez Mota, a 51-year-old former education minister, has so far failed to convince of her potential for change after 12 years of conservative PAN governments. Her party, lauded for beating out the notoriously corrupt PRI in 2000 after 71 years in power, is also campaigning in the shadow of a relentless drug war. More than 50,000 deaths are blamed on a rise in drug violence since President Felipe Calderon sent tens of thousands troops onto the streets to take on organized crime five and a half years ago. Vazquez Mota also suffered a series of initial campaign mishaps, including a highly-publicized dizzy spell. Leftist Lopez Obrador, who is currently battling Vazquez Mota for second place, has strug-

gled to hit the right note despite toning down his confrontational image. The 58-year-old champion of the poor lost many middle class followers with an unsuccessful campaign to prove he won the knife-edge 2006 presidential election, including weeks of mass blockades of the capital’s main avenue. Lopez Obrador now courts business leaders but also pledges to break up Mexico’s “monopolies” and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to benefit Mexican farmers. He says that the PAN and the PRI

polling in single digits. Although analysts suggest Pena Nieto’s lead will narrow, many consider it would take a “miracle” for a rival to overtake him, though many voters remain undecided. Pena Nieto has sought to reassure the public that his party has changed for the better and dismisses allegations that it once kept the peace through ties to drug lords. He insists that the PRI are the only ones able to deliver on their promises. It is an attractive offer in a country where no party has had an absolute legislative majority

JOCOTEPEC: Handout picture shows presidential candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota (right) as she delivers a speech during an electoral rally. — AFP resemble each other and are puppets of a wealthy elite. On the key issue of drug violence, both leading candidates say they will keep troops on the streets as long as needed while boosting the police-a similar promise to that made by Calderon. Lopez Obrador has suggested he would withdraw troops over a six-month period. A fourth candidate-Gabriel Quadri from a party linked to a powerful teacher’s union-is

for 15 years and with the PRI predicted to be within reach of that goal in congressional elections also in July. “Every Mexican president since 1997 has suffered like Barack Obama,” said Federico Estevez, a political science professor at ITAM University. “You can’t get the opposition to vote with you so you have to give a lot. We know that to be the case and people therefore lower their expectations about what politicians can deliver.” — AFP

Argentina ‘right-to-die’ laws make waves BUENOS AIRES: Argentina, the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage, created a fresh stir this week by making sexchange operations and end-of-life decisions by relatives a legal right. The measures, a first in the region, were made possible thanks to a weak conservative opposition and a favorable public opinion in the city. One of the bills passed by the Argentine Congress allows transvestites and transgender people to choose how their sex is reported in legal documents, including identification cards, drivers’ licenses and passports. The “dignified death” law, for its part, grants more power to the terminally ill and their families to refuse treatment and life support. It expressly forbids the use of euthanasia, however. Senator Sonia Escudero of the ruling Justicialist Party said the measures, coming two years after the predominantly Catholic country allowed same-sex marriage, “are a reaffirmation of autonomy and individual rights.” “We are no longer being relegated to the

pathological, the criminal, and can finally have our rights recognized,” said psychologist Maria Eva Rossi, a 45-year-old transvestite who teaches in the eastern port city of Bahia Blanca. The small Argentine transvestite community, which numbers about 22,000 people, only has a life expectancy of 35 years-compared to an average of 75.5 years, according to the world bank.

More than 90 percent of transvestites have gone into prostitution, with many lacking a formal education after being forced to leave school very early. Selva Herbon supports the right-to-die law, hoping it can bring a dignified end to the short life of her daughter Camila, who has been in a coma since she was born three years ago and shows no brain activity or other vital signs. “All we

BUENOS AIRES: A transsexual waits outside the Congress while the Senate debates the bill of gender identity. — AFP

want is peace for Camila and our family. Because right now, it’s like death all the time and it’s very painful.” But how can a country like Argentina, with a long conservative tradition and 91 percent of its 40 million inhabitants calling themselves Catholic, have pushed a liberal agenda so far? “First of all, Peronism was not born as an ideology but as a movement. It was a reflection of the times,” explained literary and cultural critic Beatriz Sarlo. The ruling party is Peronist (Justicialist), and the political movement rests on three main ideals: social justice, economic independence and political sovereignty. It is the same party that implemented social welfare in the 1940s, privatisations in the 1990s and is now promoting a wave of nationalizations and advances in individual rights. The ruling party has a wide majority in both chambers of Congress and no opposition has materialized solidly since the 2001 economic crisis that unseated the Peronists. — AFP


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Gunman kills Afghan peace council member in Kabul Taleban deny responsibility

JALALABAD: An Afghan man begs yesterday. The war-torn country still faces poverty, unemployment and lack of infrastructure. —AFP

NATO is a step closer to getting out of Afghan war KABUL: NATO took a step closer to getting out of the Afghan war on Sunday as the Kabul government announced local forces would take over control of security in a large new slice of the country. In the third phase of a five-tranche military transition process, 122 more districts throughout Afghanistan will come under local command, putting Afghan forces in control of security for 75 percent of the population. Kapisa province, where French troops are based, is one of three provinces designated for a complete handover. French president-elect Francois Hollande pledged during his election campaign to pull France’s 3,400 troops out this year. NATO has a total of 130,000 soldiers helping the government of President Hamid Karzai fight an insurgency by hardline Taleban Islamists, and they are due to withdraw by the end of 2014 when the transition process is complete. But the conflict is increasingly unpopular in the US and other contributing nations, with opinion polls showing a desire to get out as soon as possible. While NATO is quick to praise the growing skills of the 350,000-strong Afghan security forces it is training to take over, officers acknowledge the war will not be won on the battlefield. The US and Karzai have made moves towards peace talks with the Taleban but in a setback to the process a senior member of Karzai’s High Peace Council was assassinated in a drive-by shooting in Kabul in broad daylight on Sunday. Arsala Rahmani, a former minister in the Taleban regime, was killed just hours before the transition announcement. A key negotiator in the council, he “had recently established contacts with senior Taleban leaders”, a senior security official told AFP. The insurgents had in March pulled out

of preliminary talks with the US in Qatar, saying Washington had not fulfilled confidencebuilding pledges such as releasing five Taleban leaders from the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay. And they have steadfastly rejected talks with Karzai’s administration, describing it as a puppet of the Americans. Government officials said the handover’s third phase would start immediately and could take as little as six months, although according to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force complete transition in an area can take 12-18 months. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed the latest announcement. “The completion of transition at the end of 2014 will mark the end of NATO’s combat role, but not the end of our engagement,” he said in a statement. “NATO is committed to an enduring partnership with Afghanistan, and to providing the training which the Afghan forces will still need, beyond 2014.” The commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), General John Allen, also hailed the move, calling it “a testament to the capacity and capability of the Afghan National Security Force”. “Afghanistan continues to move forward in securing the sovereign future of their country and the security of its borders, and this is another step in bringing the hope of greater prosperity to the Afghan people,” said Allen. The total number of districts covered by the three phases is 260 in all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, with every provincial capital now in a designated area of transition, ISAF said. The first two phases-the first in July last year-have already put 50 percent of the population under Afghan security control, although NATO forces still provide vital back-up and crucial air support. —AFP

KABUL: An assassin armed with a silenced pistol shot dead a top member of the Afghan peace council yesterday at a traffic intersection in the nation’s capital, police said. The killing strikes another blow to efforts to negotiate a political resolution to the decade-long war. Arsala Rahmani was a former Taleban official who reconciled with the government and was active in trying to set up formal talks with the insurgents. His assassination follows that of the council’s head last year. He was shot at an intersection in western Kabul by a gunman in a white Toyota Corolla while being driven to his office, said Mohammad Zahir, head of the city police’s criminal investigation division. He did not have a bodyguard with him at the time. “Only one shot was fired,” Zahir said. “Our initial reports are that it was a pistol with a silencer. Rahmani died on the way to the hospital.” Zahir said an investigation was under way. The Taleban denied responsibility for the killing, although they had earlier indicated that they would target peace negotiators. Rahmani was one of about 70 influential Afghans and former Taleban appointed by President Hamid Karzai to the council to try to convince insurgent leaders to reconcile with the government. The Taleban have refused to have direct contact with the council, which they consider to be an organ of Karzai’s government. They have said publicly in the past that they do not want to negotiate with Karzai or his administration, which they consider a puppet of the United States. Privately, however, some representatives of the Taleban who are open to negotiating a settlement have met with US, Afghan and other international officials. Rahmani, along with other members of the peace council, was trying to forge relations with those Taleban amenable to peace talks. It was unclear if a faction within the Taleban opposed to negotiations could have been responsible for the shooting. The US has backed the council’s efforts to pull the Taleban into political discussions with Kabul as part of its strategy for reducing violence and turning over responsibility to Afghan forces so international combat troops can go home or move into support roles by the end of 2014. But this effort suffered a major setback in September 2011 when former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was

head of the peace council, was assassinated by a suicide bomber posing as a peace emissary from the Taleban. Kabul blames Pakistanbased leaders of the Taleban for his killing, though the Taleban denies this. The US has its own contacts with the Taleban, but in March the militant organization said they were suspending contacts with the United States over what they said was a lack of progress in releasing Taleban prisoners from US detention in Guantanamo. The last substantive discussions between US officials and Taleban representatives were in January, and both initiatives to build trust and move toward real peace talks are in limbo.

sible aim of this attack is to intimidate those, who like Rahmani, want to help make Afghanistan a better place for its citizens and the region,” the coalition said in a statement. Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai said work toward reconciliation with the Taleban would continue despite Rahmani’s killing. “No one but the sworn enemies of peace in Afghanistan and the region would commit such a heinous act,” he said in a statement. Pakistan, which has in the past has been accused of not doing enough to help the peace process, condemned the killing and said it was “committed to work closely with Afghanistan” against terrorism.

out of power in the US-led invasion in late 2001. He reconciled with the government established in Kabul after the Taleban’s fall and subsequently served in parliament. Rahmani was one of several former members of the Taleban who were removed from a UN blacklist in July 2011. The decision by a UN committee eliminated a travel ban and an assets freeze against Rahmani and the others - a move seen as key to promoting the peace effort. Taleban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement that his group had nothing to do with Rahmani’s assassination. When they announced the start of their annual “spring offensive” earlier this month, the Taleban said

KABUL: An Afghan National Army soldier patrols the gate of the military hospital next to an ambulance yesterday. —AP A year ago, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States was launching a “diplomatic surge to move this conflict toward a political outcome.” The alternative to a political resolution is a protracted conflict that neither the war-weary Afghans, Americans or Europeans want or can afford. On Twitter, the US Embassy in Kabul called the assassination of another peace council member “a tragedy.” NATO praised Rahmani for “turning his back” on the insurgent movement and said his contributions will be missed. “The only pos-

Pakistan is home to most of the Taleban leadership as well as the Haqqani network, which carries out major attacks in Afghanistan. Islamabad believes it should have a say in any talks involving its neighbor, which it fears will develop an alliance with its archrival, India. Karzai has previously called on Pakistan to bring the Taleban to the negotiating table. Rahmani, who was in his 70s, served as deputy minister of higher education during the Taleban regime, which ruled Afghanistan for five years and sheltered al-Qaida before being driven

that members of the peace council who they view as government collaborators - would be among their primary targets. The offensive, which comes every year as the weather warms, normally leads to an increase in attacks as the insurgents seek to intimidate the government and retake territory lost over the winter. Elsewhere, the USled coalition said two service members were killed yesterday in an attack in eastern Afghanistan. NATO did not provide details about the attack or the nationalities of those killed. —AP

India’s ‘Queen of Democrazy’ at the crossroads of change

DHAKA: Ghulam Azam (centre), former head of the opposition Jamaat-eIslami party, is assisted by security personnel as he emerges from the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal yesterday. —AFP

Bangladesh political head indicted over 1971 war DHAKA: A Bangladeshi special court yesterday indicted a former opposition leader for alleged atrocities including genocide and murder during the nation’s 1971 liberation struggle against Pakistan. Ghulam Azam, 89, the former head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, is accused of creating and leading proPakistan militias which carried out many killings and rapes during the nine-month war. Wheelchair-bound Azam pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out to him for two hours by Judge Nizamul Huq, who set June 5 as the start of the trial. “ The International Crimes Tribunal charged him with crimes against humanity, genocide, murder, rape, abduction, arson and other crimes under international law,”

state prosecutor Ziad Al-Malum told AFP. Azam is the third and most high profile opposition figure to have been charged since the government set up the tribunal in 2010 to try suspects. Both Jamaat and the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party have dismissed the court as a “show trial”, while Human Rights Watch has said procedures used by the tribunal fall short of international standards. Muslim-majority Bangladesh, which was called East Pakistan until 1971, has struggled to come to terms with its violent birth. The government says up to three million people were killed in the war by the Pakistani army and local proPakistan militias-a figure disputed by independent historians. —AFP

Australian on death row seeks Indonesia clemency DENPASAR: An Australian drug smuggler on death row in Indonesia has appealed for clemency from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a prison official said yesterday. Andrew Chan, 28, lost a court appeal against his death sentence in June over a 2005 plot to smuggle eight kilograms (18 pounds) of heroin into Australia from the Indonesian resort island of Bali. “Andrew Chan’s lawyer on Thursday submitted the clemency request to the president,” Kerobokan prison chief I Gusti Ngurah Wiratna told AFP, adding that last week was the deadline for his clemency request.

Chan was one of the so-called “Bali Nine” smuggling gang, two of whom are on death row. The rest are ser ving lengthy sentences including life terms. Wiratna, head of the prison in Bali where Chan is an inmate, said that the basis of the appeal was Chan’s age, asking that the young convict be given a chance to live and reform. Shortly after the June court decision, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Australia was strongly opposed to capital punishment and that she would try to have Chan’s sentence commuted. Indonesia enforces stiff penalties, including life imprisonment and death, for drug trafficking. —AFP

KOLKATA: Kolkata’s red-brick secretariat was built more than 200 years ago for Britain’s East India Company, which used trade in cloth and tea to colonise the subcontinent. Distrust of foreign merchants lingers still. For the past year, the sprawling building has been occupied by Mamata Banerjee, the diminutive chief minister of West Bengal state who is perhaps the largest obstacle to economic reforms that would allow 21st-century traders free access to India’s consumer markets. To supporters who affectionately call her “Didi”, or “Big Sister”, Banerjee is a hero who ended more than three decades of communist rule in West Bengal. They say she shelters farmers and shopkeepers from the harsh winds of globalisation, while guiding West Bengal towards its rightful place as an economic and cultural powerhouse and India’s gateway to Southeast Asia. But after a series of erratic moves, including the arrest of an academic who forwarded a joke email about her to his friends, critics see her as an autocrat in the making. Weekly magazine India Today branded her the “Queen of Democrazy”. Banerjee’s widely ridiculed antics and disappointment with her administration in West Bengal could hasten the end of her honeymoon with the voters. She is also dependent on the central government to bail West Bengal out of a debt crisis. Together, those factors offer Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a chance to outmanoeuvre someone who, despite being a coalition ally, has stood doggedly in the way of much-needed economic reform. In the past year, India’s stellar economic growth has slowed and its current account and budget deficits have ballooned. But the central government’s attempts to introduce policies it says would remedy the crisis have been blocked by the very coalition allies it relies on for survival, chief among them Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress party. “She’s very much on the back foot because of her behaviour,” said Bengali political analyst Amulya Ganguli, adding a change may now be “in the offing”. “There are signs of mellowing. Perhaps she realizes she has to act responsibly and not say no to everything.” A weakened Banerjee could make it easier for Singh’s government, whose popularity has sagged amid corruption scandals and high inflation, to push through reform. Slums and iPads Despite modest beginnings as a poor teacher’s daughter, Banerjee was named in April as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Last week she was visited by Hillary Clinton, who praised her political achievements after discussing potential US investment in Indian ports. Talking to Reuters in the same sparse room where she received Clinton, Banerjee however gave cold comfort to US

merchants who may have thought a visit from the secretary of state would soften her opposition to foreign supermarkets such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operating in India. “Never,” Banerjee said emphatically. She said she welcomed private investment to create jobs in areas such as tourism and industrial projects, even for hospitals, but would always oppose policies that destroy jobs for farmers and small retailers. “There are some areas I cannot go,” she said, clad in a white saree. “I cannot tell the people you just go from your work, you must be jobless because of this.” She said she would remain opposed to raising the price of heavily subsidised fuel and rail fares. That is bad news for prime minister Singh, whose failure to rein in

hero Mahatma Gandhi. She says she takes no government salary, or perks such as a car and residence. Such personal austerity has not stopped her hiring some 90,000 new teachers and police, despite the state’s debts. The cost has raised eyebrows but her finance minister, Amit Mitra, said it was nominal because of low wages. Mitra, a harried-looking former head of India’s premier industry chamber, FICCI, said the state’s tax take was up 20 percent last year thanks mainly to enforcement.

KOLKATA: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) talks with India’s West Bengal state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Writers’ Building, which houses the state secretariat. —AFP

Past glory Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, was Britain’s beachhead in India and flourished as an intellectual and industrial capital long after the colonialists were expelled. One of the world’s richest cities in the 19th century, Kolkata today is more reminiscent of Cuba’s Havana with its faded tropical grandeur and 1950sstyle taxis. “We want to restore the past glory of this state,” said Banerjee, who has promised to make the city as modern as London and has invited companies to help, including to build a ‘Kolkata Eye’ to rival the British capital’s giant ferris wheel. Projects to paint city bridges and buildings blue and install thousands of ornamental street lights Banerjee designed herself to boost civic pride have been pilloried in the media but officials say they are cost effective. New flyovers to ease congested streets, an airport terminal and the mushrooming of middle-class apartments and office buildings are signs that change is on the way. Overtures to private investment began before Banerjee took office, and many have been disappointed that she has not done more to improve the investment climate in West Bengal.

the deficits and reverse the slowdown has tarnished his reputation as the architect of reforms that transformed India’s slow-coach economy 20 years ago. “They talk about price rises only for the common people, you have to nurture other options also, you need to look at other ways out, how you can develop business, how you can find more funds,” said Banerjee, whose 19 lawmakers give Singh’s Congress party a majority in parliament. Unmarried and still living in her tin-roofed family house in a Kolkata slum, Banerjee is facing her own financial crisis in West Bengal’s state government, which could give Singh more leverage on his stalled reform agenda. Saddled with India’s highest state debt of nearly $40 billion - mostly inherited from her communist predecessors who had ruled from 1977 until elections last year - Banerjee is struggling to pay teachers’ salaries and is seeking a three-year moratorium from the central government. Although she proudly brandishes her iPad, Banerjee is drawn to the frugal tradition of Indian independence

Black and blue Devoted to Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel literature prize winner, Banerjee has her own creative leanings as a painter and poet. But critics point to a darker side of someone who does not appear to tolerate dissent. In a sign of her clout, she recently forced the prime minister to fire his railway minister, one of her own party members, after he announced in parliament that rail fares would go up. “When I announced the increase in fares, everyone thumped the desk,” the former minister, Dinesh Trivedi, said from his New Delhi residence. “And suddenly, I was asked to go.” The fare rise was supported by unions and economists as necessary to help pay for the modernisation of a railway network whose overcrowded trains and creaking infrastructure are a major drag on economic growth. Then in April, 52-year-old chemistry professor Ambikesh Mahapatra forwarded an email doing the rounds that ridiculed Banerjee’s treatment of Trivedi. —Reuters


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


China and Japan warn N Korea over atom test Fears grow over 3rd possible nuke test BEIJING: China, Japan and South Korea warned North Korea yesterday they will not tolerate further nuclear tests, the South Korean president said, amid fears that Pyongyang is preparing a third atomic blast. Lee Myung-Bak made the remark after talks in Beijing with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda that also

programmes high on the agenda for yesterday’s summit. Fears of a third North Korean nuclear test have grown after a failed rocket launch by Pyongyang last month that the United States and its allies said was a disguised ballistic missile test banned under UN resolutions. Satellite photos have recently shown work in progress at the

and display goodwill to the greatest extent so as to ease confrontation and return to the right track of dialogue and negotiations,” the Chinese premier said. China, long the North’s key ally, has been an advocate of seeking to put a stop to the isolated regime’s nuclear ambitions via multilateral talks. The three leaders also agreed

BEIJING: (From left) South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stand in front of their national flags during a joint news conference of the fifth trilateral summit among the three nations yesterday. —AP saw the trio decide to start freetrade area negotiations before the end of this year. “Our three countries agreed that we will not accept further nuclear tests or further provocations from North Korea,” Lee told reporters after meeting with his two counterparts for 90 minutes. The Northeast Asian leaders had been expected to put Pyongyang’s nuclear and rocket

Punggye -ri nuclear test site. Noda called on the three countries to strengthen co-operation in order to “fur ther prevent provocations” by North Korea in future. Wen warned earlier yesterday that the region faced many “unstable” factors that made the situation hard to predict. “The various parties need to use their wisdom, keep patient,

to start talks this year on a freetrade area, saying it would boost the economies of the entire region. The issue has been on the trilateral agenda for the past decade, beginning with an agreement among the three in late 2002 to launch a feasibility study on a free-trade area. Wen said closer regional economic integration, in response to a slow global recovery and an

overall rise in trade protectionism, would help unlock new growth potential. “Northeast Asia is the most economically vibrant region in the world. So there is huge potential for our three countries to have closer trade and investment cooperation,” he told reporters. “The establishment of a freetrade area will unleash the economic vitality of our region and give a strong boost to economic integration in East Asia.” China, Japan and South Korea combined would have the world’s largest economy-ahead of the European Union-when measured by purchasing power parity, which takes into account differences in living costs across nations. “Today, as we look at the global financial crisis, some countries are still pursuing protectionist ideas and have expanded them,” South Korea’s Lee said. “I’m worried about this. By comparison, I believe the agreement between the three countries is an important thing.” In yesterday’s meeting, the three nations also signed an investment agreement concluded earlier this year after 13 rounds of negotiations stretching over five years. “To further facilitate mutual investment, it is important to have a legal framework. It will help our businesses and mutual investment,” Lee said. Later in the day, Wen met Noda for bilateral talks, with both sides pledging to push ties between the world’s secondand third-largest economies further. “Both sides must seize the opportunity, increase mutual trust... and push forward the healthy and stable development of relations between the two countries,” Wen told his Japanese visitor. —AFP


in brief

6 killed in Japan hotel blaze TOKYO: Six people were killed when a fire swept through their hotel in southwestern Japan yesterday, the local police and fire department said. Police had earlier said seven people were killed in the blaze but later revised the toll down to six. “Six people, two men and four women, are dead. One man remains in a critical condition,” said a local police officer. Officers gave no further details with the identities of the dead yet to be confirmed. The blaze occurred at a hotel in Fukuyama, 600 kilometres (375 miles) west of Tokyo, in Hiroshima prefecture, the officials said. The cause of the fire, which was brought under control, was not immediately known, police said. Taiwan Buddhist animal rites ‘killing millions’ TAIPEI: Tens of millions of animals, mostly fish and birds, are dying every year in Taiwan because of socalled “mercy releases” by Buddhists tr ying to improve their karma, according to animal welfare activists. The government is now planning to ban the practice, saying it damages the environment and that a large proportion of the 200 million or so creatures released each year die or are injured due to a lack of food and habitat. Around 750 such ceremonies are carried out in Taiwan each year, according to the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan. Negotiations have seen some groups agreeing to halt the practice, but others have yet to accept a ban, Lin Kuo-chang, an official from the government’s Council of Agriculture, told AFP yesterday. Proposed amendments to current wildlife protection laws would see offenders facing up to two years in jail or fined up to Tw$2.5 million ($85,000) for such unauthorised releases, he said.

Kwok graft case back under spotlight in HK HONG KONG: Sun Hung Kai Properties board member Thomas Chan is set to return for bail renewal at Hong Kong’s anti-corruption agency today in a widening graft scandal involving one of Asia’s richest families. Chan was the first person named in the probe that has shocked shareholders and the business community in Hong Kong, and threatened to cut into the knot binding its clubby tycoon-dominated economy with the former British colony’s new government. Investigators arrested ousted Sun Hung Kai chairman Walter Kwok, 61, on May 3, pulling him into an investigation that has already claimed his estranged brothers Thomas, 60, and Raymond, 58. It has also ensnared a childhood friend, Rafael Hui, Hong Kong’s chief secretary from 2005-2007. Chan, 65, is the executive in charge of land purchases at Sun Hung Kai, Asia’s largest and the world’s second biggest developer with a stock-market value of $30 billion. The company released a statement saying Chan was arrested by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in connection to alleged bribery. The city’s biggest graft scandal in years dates to the start of 2011, according to a source familiar with the matter, when Hui came under scrutiny. The Kwok brothers have been assisting the investigation since late last year, when they were first interviewed by the ICAC, a source told Reuters. The source did not want to be identified because ICAC investigations are highly confidential. Payments made to Hui while he was chief secretary are at the heart of the investigation, with the ICAC looking into bribery and “misconduct in public office”. —Reuters

MOUNT SALAK: An Indonesian soldier searches through the wreckage and debris for victims’ bodies and flight recorders at the crash site of the Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100. —AFP

Indonesia teams search for plane’s black box JAKARTA: Indonesian special forces and professional climbers scaled down a treacherous ravine on a volcano face yesterday in search of the missing flight recorder that could explain the deadly crash of a Russian-made jetliner. The Sukhoi Superjet-100 had 45 people aboard when it crashed into Mount Salak on Wednesday during a flight intended to woo potential Indonesian airline buyers. All aboard are presumed dead, and helicopters have been ferrying the victims’ remains to Jakarta, the capital, for identification since Saturday. It’s unclear what caused the crash about halfway through a planned 50-minute flight, so finding the “black box” recorder is a priority. Dozens of Indonesian and Russian investigators were searching yesterday in a ravine near where the plane’s scattered wreckage was found on the slopes of the long-dormant volcano, 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Jakarta, top civil aviation official Herry Bakti

Gumay said. Local news station TVOne reported that search teams had spotted a device that might be the black box lodged in a tree near the bottom of the 500-meterdeep (1,500-foot-deep) ravine and were trying to reach it. A landslide was triggered when the Superjet slammed into the side of the mountain, and much of the wreckage including the engine and landing gear were covered in rocks and dirt, the station reported. The Superjet is Russia’s first new model of passenger jet since the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago. Wednesday’s ill-fated flight was a demonstration for Indonesian fast-expanding domestic airlines that the manufacturer hoped would buy the jet. Indonesia has added 36 new passenger and cargo airlines in the past five years and seen growth of 15 to 20 percent in the sector as companies rush to serve an emerging middle class amid the island nation’s economic boom. —AP

Philippine workers can go to Kurdistan MANILA: The Philippines has lifted an eight-year ban on its nationals working in Iraq, but only for the Middle Eastern country’s autonomous Kurdistan region, the foreign ministry said yesterday. In 2004 thenpresident Gloria Arroyo withdrew a contingent of Filipino police and soldiers assigned to the US-led coalition in Iraq after a Filipino truck driver was kidnapped and threatened with beheading. The driver was released unharmed and Arroyo banned all Filipinos from working in the country. Now Filipino overseas workers, a major engine of the economy, will be allowed to return to Kurdistan but not the rest of Iraq, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said in a statement. “POEA

(the official Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) has already lifted the deployment ban for the Kurdistan region in Iraq,” he said. “Only the Kurdistan region for now.” Despite the ban, officials estimated that as many as 10,000 Filipinos continued to work in Iraq. Nine million Filipinos, 10 percent of the population, work overseas largely in low-skilled jobs such as maids and sailors, but also as nurses, engineers and IT specialists. They sent $18.17 billion back to the Philippines last year, equivalent to 10 percent of the country’s GDP, and are hailed as modern-day heroes by many of their countrymen for helping keep the economy afloat. —AFP

TOKYO: Children eat ice creams during a hot spring day yesterday. —AFP

Firms fear summer in nuclear-free Japan TOKYO: Japan’s hard-hit manufacturers are facing a long summer with businesses making everything from ice cream to crayons fretting production may be hampered as the now nuclear-free nation faces energy cuts. A hot summer would usually be good news for Ezaki Glico, a major snacks and ice cream maker, with soaring temperatures increasing appetites for cooling foods. But looming power shortages could make satisfying them hard. “If the temperature goes up very high this summer, and if the government asks us to cut electricity consumption a lot, our ice cream business will be seriously affected,” a company spokesman told AFP. “ We may have to make more ice cream before” power shortages reach their peak, he added. Two weeks after the last working nuclear reactor was shuttered in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, energy-hungry Japan is struggling to plug the power gap. The government has not yet issued a target for industrial power cuts, but significant reductions seem certain-reportedly as high as 20 percent in the Kansai region, which includes the commercial hubs of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. The world’s worst nuclear accident in a generation, sparked by a devastating quake-tsunami disaster in March 2011, turned Japanese public sentiment against nuclear power, which had previously supplied one-third of the resourcepoor nation’s electricity. That has stoked a turn to expensive alternatives with utility Kansai Electric last month booking a $3 billion annual loss on the increased cost of using previously mothballed fossil fuel plants. In order to be fired up again, power stations must now pass stress tests and get the consent of their host communities-it is this last hurdle that is proving hardest to overcome. Last month, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s government gave the green light to restart reactors at one nuclear plant after they cleared stress tests approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency. But regulators have yet to convince nervous residents living near the facility. Energy shortage fears are rippling across Japan with Hiromasa Yonekura,

chairman of the Japan Business Federation, repeatedly warning that the nation’s economy “would collapse” if none of its 50 reactors was restarted. The government is to seek a 20 percent reduction in electricity consumption in Kansai, in the west of the country, reports said yesterday. But when some offices and factories in the area cut power use by about 15 percent last summer it proved barely doable for many firms, including major crayon maker Sakura Color Products, based in Osaka. “We had a bare minimum of lights on while turning off about half of the computers and elevators at our offices,” a company spokesman said. This year the crayon producer is mulling a variety of coping measures, including moving production partly to China. “We are considering producing more in advance (of cuts) or even shifting part of the production to our plant in Shanghai and importing back from there,” the spokesman said. “Otherwise, we won’t be able to cut as much as 20 percent of our power use.” Utilities for the northern island of Hokkaido and southern Kyushu also fear they will struggle to provide enough power to keep the lights on as air conditioning gets cranked up during Japan’s often sweltering summer. The government is considering asking those regions to cut electricity use by about 10 percent, the newspaper reports said. Satoshi Osanai, economist at Daiwa Institute of Research, said Japanese manufacturers who had barely coped with the power crunch last summer may be in for an even tougher time as the mercury climbs over the next couple of months. “Manufacturers managed to keep the production levels up last year by operating plants on weekends instead of weekdays or avoiding peak hours,” he said. “But suppose they have to cut as much as 20 percent of their power use... it could drive more manufacturers out of the country.” However, ice cream maker Ezaki Glico, also based in Osaka, does have a plan in place if the summer is not too hot-producing more chocolate and less ice cream. “If it gets really hot, we usually sell lots of ice cream,” its spokesman said. “During a cool summer, we sell more chocolate.” —AFP

Blind China activist’s nephew a ‘scapegoat’ BEIJING: Blind Chinese rights activist Chen Guangcheng said yesterday that a nephew, arrested on charges of attempted murder, was the victim of vengeance by officials incensed at Chen’s escape, which cast a global spotlight on his 19 months in house arrest. Chen confirmed reports that his nephew Chen Kegui was arrested on charges of attempted homicide over a confrontation that erupted after officials in their home village found Chen Guangcheng had escaped, defeating a seemingly impenetrable barrier of guards, video surveillance and walls. His escape last month humiliated China’s domestic security forces and led to a standoff with Washington after Chen sought protection for six days in the US embassy in Beijing. Chen, who is now receiving treatment in a Beijing hospital and preparing to go to the United States to study, said his nephew was a scapegoat of officials angered by Chen’s audacious escape and demands that they be investigated. Asked why police in his home province of Shandong in east China would arrest his nephew, Chen said, “Revenge.” “I think this is revenge gone wild, and it’s their final battle,” he told Reuters by telephone from the Beijing hospital where he is being kept. Citing descriptions from relatives, Chen said his nephew acted in self-defence, picking up a kitchen cleaver after police and guards stormed into the home of Chen’s older brother, where he was staying, after midnight. “They beat him savagely,” Chen said of his nephew. “He was beaten so badly that his face was covered in blood. I heard he was beaten so badly that three

hours later his face was still bleeding,” Chen said, Contention over the nephew is one of a bundle of uncer tainties clouding Chen’s plans to spend time in the United States after his audacious escape put him at the heart of international negotiations and boosted his fame as a representative of China’s beleaguered “rights defence” movement. Chen, a self-taught legal activist, came to national fame for campaigning for farmers and disabled citizens, and exposing forced abortions around his hometown in Shandong, where officials were under pressure to meet family planning goals. In 2006, Chen was sentenced to more than four years in jail on charges - adamantly denied by his wife and lawyers - that he whipped up a crowd that disrupted traffic and damaged property. He was formally released in 2010 but remained under stifling house arrest. Officials had turned his home into a fortress of walls, security cameras and guards in plain clothes. Chen, 40, said he has received no word on his application for a passport, which he needs to leave for planned study at New York University. Officials in Yinan County, Shandong, where Chen escaped from have not answered calls from reporters about the case and the charges against the nephew, Chen Kegui. The same was true yesterday, when police and government phones were not answered. Chen said that his nephew had injured, but not killed, men who invaded the village home after discovering Chen had fled, and he said his nephew acted in rightful self-defence.—Reuters

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Protesters wave Palestinian flags during a demonstration marking ‘Nakba’ (Catastrophe) Day in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Helweh near the southern Lebanese city of Sidon yesterday. Palestinians traditionally mark on May 15 the ‘Nakba’ when hundreds of thousands of them fled or were expelled from their lands in the war that accompanied Israel’s declaration of independence. — AFP

Bahrain PM backs Gulf union Continued from Page 1 “Bahrain gained its independence (in 1971) following a referendum” overseen by the United Nations, said Salman in a speech yesterday. “The people of Bahrain alone have the right to” decide, he said, adding the kingdom’s ruling “Al-Khalifa (dynasty) has no right to decide a union or confederation with any country”. The GCC was formed in 1981 when the Sunni-dominated monarchies aimed to bolster security after the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran which was followed by war with Iraq. The tension between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia escalated last year when Saudi troops rolled into Bahrain to help quell protests in the Sunni-ruled state which were driven by the Shiite majority. A committee made up of three representatives from each of the six member states - the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman - will submit its findings on the proposed union to today’s meeting. Iranian media attacked the plan. “Saudi Arabia’s aim in legally occupying Bahrain is to stop the influence of Shiites the majority of the island - on the Shiite residents in the eastern regions of Saudi,” the semi-official Mehr news agency said. “The aim of the Saudi regime in the future is the exclusion of Shiites in Bahrain.” Wefaq said Saudi intervention was aimed at stopping democratic change. “The issues facing Bahrain are local, not regional. There is little the Saudis can do: they sent troops but failed because the crisis is still going on, and that’s because it requires a political solution,” said senior Wefaq official Jasim Husain. “Any agreement must get the people’s approval, not least in Saudi Arabia. I suspect this

Drawing focuses on Iran’s nuclear work

supposed union is just rhetoric.” Pro-democracy protesters burned tyres and clashed with police in Bahrain on Saturday, demanding the release of opposition leaders and rights activists. Opposition activists say the death toll in the unrest has risen from 35 when martial law ended last June to 81, as police make heavy use of teargas and birdshot pellets. The government says many of the deaths were caused by the protesters’ or bystanders’ preexisting poor health. Speaking after foreign ministers met in Riyadh, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s foreign minister, told Reuters yesterday the plans for a union were ambitious. “All aspects of union are on the table, between all members,” he said. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are already joined at the hip, though the island’s social liberalism could come under threat if a merger took place. Saudi Arabia allows Bahrain access to an oilfield it owns, providing 70 percent of its budget, while Saudis have traditionally flocked to Bahrain for weekend relief from Islamic restrictions on gender mixing, female driving and drinking alcohol. Justin Gengler, a researcher based in Qatar, said hardliners including the prime minister, army chief and royal court minister see a union as a way of stopping the empowerment of Shiites and preserving the privileges of the ruling family. A monetary union project has faltered, and other differences also run deep however. The Arab Spring uprisings have been a challenge for Gulf rulers. Saudi Arabia took action to stop the spread of unrest to Bahrain after being shocked to see Hosni Mubarak fall in Egypt without American intervention to save him. — Agencies

Sectarian clashes erupt in Lebanon Continued from Page 1 Syria’s Sunni majority is at the forefront of the uprising against Assad, whose sect is an offshoot of Shiism. Lebanon’s government, headed by Najib Mikati, a wealthy former businessman and a personal friend of Assad’s, has been among the few worldwide supportive of the Syrian government during the crackdown. Mikati, who is from Tripoli, met religious leaders in the city yesterday in an attempt to diffuse the situation, before meeting President Michel Suleiman in Beirut. The two leaders then took part in an emergency meeting called by Suleiman for a security cabinet comprised of several ministers, army and security commanders. The Syrian government has accused Islamist groups in Lebanon of backing insurgents fighting loyalist Syrian forces and of involvement in car bomb attacks on

security targets. For the past days, followers of a Sunni Islamist group in Tripoli have been staging a sit-in protest against the arrest of a man whom the authorities said had been in contact with an unnamed “terrorist organisation”. The Islamists say the detainee, Shadi AlMoulawi, was arrested because he was helping Syrian refugees in Lebanon who had fled the crackdown across the border. A statement by Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, an Islamist group in Tripoli, criticised the arrest of Moulawi as lacking due process. Police said he was arrested after thorough sur veillance. Syrian troops withdrew from Lebanon under international pressure in 2005 after a 29-year presence, but Assad retains significant influence in the country through his main ally, the Shi’ite guerrilla group Hezbollah, the only Lebanese party that has an officially approved arsenal of weapons. — Reuters

Leading businessman shuns probe, ex-PM... Continued from Page 1 Barrak ans Mislem are expected to make unprecedented visits to the Central Bank to collect more information about the two investigations. Mislem has said that the committee collected important information that would considerably help the investigation while opposition MP Khaled AlSultan said the information the panel had gathered is very important and will have huge consequences. The new developments come after the special ministers’ trial tribunal last week decided to close the probe into the alleged money transfers after it failed to gather sufficient evidence to press charges against the former premier. The tribunal had opened the investigation on the basis of a complaint filed by lawyer Nawaf Al-Fuzai, who later said that he based his complaint on statements made by MP Barrak. Barrak charged in a statement yesterday that the complaint was in a

suspicious and pre-arranged way without providing the tribunal with any solid information. He said he testified before the tribunal twice and provided them with solid evidence and documents to prove that the transfers were made by the former premier into his personal bank accounts and that the money was not used for any public interests, but the tribunal did not take the information into account. He added that the tribunal did not hear the key testimonies of the former foreign minister Sheikh Mohammad AlSabah nor that of former acting foreign minister and current MP Ali Al-Rashed although hearing their testimony is very crucial to the case. In another developing issue, MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel denied yesterday that he spat at Islamist opposition MP Hamad Al-Matar on Thursday, a move that forced the Assembly to bar him from attending sessions or meetings of committees. It was initially thought that the assembly had also

barred Juwaihel from entering the Assembly building but he arrived yesterday and went to his office and later addressed a press conference. Holding a copy of the Holy Quran, Juwaihel also denied he was drunk when the incident happened. But he acknowledged that he told MP Matar that those who objected to him holding a banner reading “Kuwait for Kuwaitis only” deserve to be spat at. Matar had claimed that on top of spitting, Juwaihel had made vulgur gestures and directed strong verbal insults against him. Rapporteur of the legal and legislative committee MP Mohammad AlDallal said that the panel received a letter from the speaker to consider the legal viewpoint of the Assembly to take further action against Juwaihel, especially of a decision to ask authorities to examine the alcohol level in his blood. He said the committee asked its legal experts to study the issue from an entirely legal point of view.

Continued from Page 1 nuclear concessions aimed at reducing fears that it may want to develop atomic arms as a mood-setter for May 23 talks between the six and Tehran in Baghdad. Warnings by Israel that it may attack Iran’s nuclear facilities eased after Iran and the six the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - met last month and agreed there was enough common will for the Baghdad round. But with the Jewish state saying it is determined to stop Iran before it develops the capacity to build nuclear weapons, failure at the Iraq talks could turn such threats into reality. The IAEA has been stonewalled by Iran for more than four years in attempts to probe what it says is intelligence from member states strongly suggesting that Iran secretly worked on developing nuclear weapons. It first mentioned the suspected existence of the chamber in a November report that described “a large explosives containment vessel” for experiments on triggering a nuclear explosion, adding that it had satellite images “consistent with this information”. It did not detail what the images showed. But a senior diplomat familiar with the IAEA’s investigation who has also seen the image provided to the AP said they revealed a cylinder similar to the image at Parchin. Subsequent photos showed a roof and walls going up around the cylinder that then hid the chamber from satellite surveillance. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said in March that his agency has “credible information that indicates that Iran engaged in activities relevant to the development of nuclear explosive devices” at the site. Diplomats subsequently told the AP that the experiments also appear to have involved a small prototype neutron device used to spark a nuclear explosion - equipment that would be tested only if a country was trying to develop atomic weapons. Iran has strenuously denied conducting such work - and any intentions to build nuclear weapons - but has been less clear on whether the structure where it allegedly took place exists. The senior diplomat familiar with the IAEA investigations said the Iranians have refused to comment “one way or the other” on that issue to agency experts. He and others interviewed by the AP demanded anonymity because their information was privileged, and the official providing the drawing and other details on the structure also demanded that he and his country not be identified in return for sharing classified intelligence. Attempts to get Iranian comment were unsuccessful. A copy of the diagram was attached to an email sent to Ali Asghar Soltanieh,

Iran’s chief delegate to the IAEA, with a note that the AP would be asking for reaction. Subsequent phone calls over the weekend went to his voice mail. The technology used for the suspected multipoint explosives trigger experiments is similar to that employed in manufacturing tiny industrialized diamonds, and the IAEA believes former Soviet scientist Vyacheslav Danilenko - an expert in such diamond-making - helped Iran with designing the chamber. Diplomats say Danilenko has told the agency that he did not work on such a chamber, but his son in law, identified by the diplomats as Vladimir Padalko, told the IAEA that the container was built under Danilenko’s direct supervision. Repeated attempts by the AP and other media organizations to contact the two men have been unsuccessful since the IAEA revealed Danilenko’s suspected involvement in November. The official who provided the drawing also shared the following information on the chamber: ORIGINS: Built in the early 2000s by Azar AB Industries Co in the city of Arak and then transported to Parchin. Both the senior diplomat familiar with the IAEA investigations and Heinonen, the former senior IAEA official, confirmed this. Company officials did not answer calls seeking comment. SIZE Volume: 300 cu m. Diameter: 4.6 m. Length: 18. 8 m. The senior diplomat confirmed the measurements. EQUIPPED WITH A vacuum pump used to remove air from the chamber to minimize pressure that could damage the structure during an explosion; a compressor that shoots water into the chamber after testing to flood and clean it; a septic tank that receives the waste; an elevation system to suspend the explosives in the upper part of the chamber during testing; and a neutron detection system outside the explosion chamber to measure neutron emissions. The senior diplomat said these features would make sense, or such testing, but could not verify they existed, suggesting they may have been added after the Iranians put up the superstructure shielding the chamber from satellite surveillance. TIME FRAME The official said the chamber was used for detonation experiments in 2003, 2005 and 2006. Two officials familiar with the investigations said the first date appeared to be valid but they had no information of subsequent experiments. The United States believes Iran stopped work-

ing on a concerted nuclear weapons program at various sites after 2003, while the IAEA suspects Tehran is continuing some work but in a much less organized way than before 2003. THE SCIENTISTS Seyed Ashgar Hashemi-Tabar, described as “an expert in measuring detonation phenomena” and not previously identified. Acting on information from the same official, the AP previously named other scientists allegedly involved as Fereydoun Abbasi, the current head of Iran’s nuclear agency, who escaped an assassination attempt in 2010; Darious Rezainejad, who was killed by a car bomb last year; and Reza Ibrahimi. Inspecting the site at Parchin, southeast of the capital, Tehran, was a key request made by senior IAEA teams that visited Tehran in January and February. Iran rebuffed those demands and subsequent ones - the most recent within the last two weeks - as well as attempts by the nuclear agency to question Iranian officials and secure other information linked to the allegations of secret weapons work. At the same time, the IAEA has voiced alarm at unexplained “activity” at the site - a term diplomats familiar with the agency’s concerns say stands for attempts to clean up any evidence of the kinds of experiments the agency suspects were carried out. A second senior diplomat familiar with the investigation recently told the AP that spy satellite images shared with the agency show what seems to be water streaming from the building housing the chamber. He said it also depicts workers removing bags of material from that building and put on vehicles outside. A third senior diplomat said that the apparent cleanup was continuing in early May, the last time he had seen the images. Iran has scoffed at suggestions of a cleanup in general and of testing a neutron device in particular, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mahmanparast asserting that nuclear contamination cannot be washed away. But experts challenge that assertion. A cleanup “could involve grinding down the surfaces inside the building, collecting the dust and then washing the area thoroughly”, said David Albright, whose Institute for Science and International Security in Washington looks for signs of nuclear proliferation. “This could be followed with new building materials and paint. “It could also involve removing any dirt around the building thought to contain contaminants,” Albright said in a statement emailed to selected recipients. “ These types of activities could be effective in defeating environmental sampling.” — AP


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012



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Jonathan unlikely to risk oil graft crackdown By Joe Brock igerian President Goodluck Jonathan is coming under pressure to prosecute top officials implicated in a $6.8 billion fuel subsidy fraud, but many of the suspects are allies he is unlikely to go after if wants to keep his power base intact. It has been three weeks since parliament produced a report detailing massive corruption in a state subsidised petrol import scheme and Jonathan has yet to indicate how he intends to respond. Inaction on one of the biggest corruption scandals in Nigerian history will hurt Jonathan’s reformist credentials and further alienate his government from a disillusioned population. It could also prompt major public protests. But some of Jonathan’s closest allies manage the oil industry, which is based in his home region, and the tentacles of the subsidy fraud spread throughout the political elite, making it near impossible to untangle. “In the past pressure for change has usually prompted the casting aside of a scapegoat,” said Antony Goldman, Nigeria analyst and head of Africa-focused PM Consulting. “Too many people in the ruling elite do not want an end to corruption, they just want their turn. From an external perspective, failure to act may indeed look like weakness; the domestic environment is more complex.” Civil society groups have threatened protests if those they deem responsible for the mess, including Oil Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, and heads of the state oil firm, aren’t sacked. In January, thousands bought the nation to standstill in protests against an attempted removal of the subsidy. “The president is hoping this will blow away and we believe his own vested interests are holding him back,” said Clement Nwankwo, a political activist with the Abuja-based Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, one of many that led protests in January. Jonathan already has many opponents and is struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency in the north. In a country where patronage and largesse still determine political success, prosecuting power brokers is risk he is unlikely to take. The report said Nigeria paid 900 percent more in fuel subsidies last year than it budgeted for, handing out billions of dollars to briefcase companies that had no capacity to import fuel or to firms that sold the petrol to neighbouring countries. Criticism focused on fuel importers and government agencies but the report’s evidence pointed to several ministries and the central bank. If Jonathan implements its recommendations he will undermine a large section of the team he chose to run the country. “I don’t think we’re going to see high level officials in jail ... that would imply his regime had imploded,” said Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential. “The government didn’t want this to come out. It isn’t hard to track back some of this to the top people in government.” Jonathan this week squashed speculation about a cabinet reshuffle, saying he had confidence in existing ministers, to the dismay of activists who wanted tough action. He has said subsidy fraudsters will be prosecuted, but called for patience. He built his career in the oilrich Niger Delta, where much of the fraud took place under the noses of security agents and politicians he has worked closely with for decades. Some of the fuel import firms criticised in the probe have politicians as stakeholders - aviation minister Stella Oduah runs one of them. Others are owned by oil industry oligarchs who have helped fund Jonathan’s election campaigns. Femi Otedola, the CEO of Forte Oil, one of Nigeria’s biggest fuel importers which testified at the hearing but was not named in the list of fraudsters, was made a member of Jonathan’s economic management team this year. “If he is going to act, he needs to be very careful ... the scam reaches into many powerful crannies,” said Kayode Akindele, partner at Lagos-based financial advisory firm 46 Parallels. Government sources and political analysts see dismissals of mid-level officials and the banning of some fraudulent fuel importers, rather than arrests of senior officials, as a likely compromise. Swiss-based oil firm Nimex Petroleum was suspended this month by Nigeria’s fuel regulator for failing to provide documents for fuel shipments, a sign authorities may target the importers rather than government regulators. It is unlikely to be enough to appease an angry public. Some government officials said January’s protests were aided and funded by political opponents and they believe Jonathan’s rivals may use the subsidy probe to build momentum against him.— Reuters


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Spain faces corrosion not collapse from euro crisis By Alan Wheatley tudents are protesting on Barcelona’s elegant boulevards, public-sector wages are being cut for the second time in three years and resentment is growing against the central government and beneficiaries of bank bailouts. Such is the daily fallout from the euro zone’s debt crisis. Like the rest of Spain, Barcelona is looking at several years of hard grind as the country adjusts to living within its means after the collapse of a debtfinanced housing bubble that has brought much of the banking sector to its knees. Yet unless the most pessimistic projections of the cost of rescuing the banks prove right, the signs are that Spain faces corrosion not collapse. Greece risks suddenly not being able to pay for vital imports if it cannot form a new government that sticks to the terms of an international bailout. But Spain is more representative of the generally insidious, demoralising nature of the crisis: austerity is sapping trust in politicians across the euro zone and fraying the social fabric as the bills for years of economic mismanagement are shared out. “The problem is social. What are we going to do when we have 25 percent unemployment? It’s dramatic,” said Joan Ramon Rovira, head of economic studies at the Barcelona chamber of commerce. Even though every fourth Spaniard is unemployed, job protection is being eroded. In Barcelona, capital of the northeastern region of Catalonia, hospital wards are being closed, class sizes are growing and university fees are rising. The result is a hardening of attitudes as various groups campaign to preserve their entitlements. The crisis has also ratcheted up political tensions with Madrid as supporters of Catalan independence increasingly begrudge helping to bankroll the central government, which they feel treats them with disdain. “Spain is a backpack that is too heavy for us to keep carrying. It’s costing us our development,” said the spokesman for Catalan President Artur Mas, Joan Maria Pique. Rovira is optimistic that Spain will pull


through. He produces figures showing how smartly exports are rising from Catalonia, which makes up 20 percent of the national economy and generates about 30 percent of its exports. Spain’s exports rose 11 percent last year as it gradually restored the competitiveness lost when wages spurted after the launch of the euro in 1999. The government expects the current account deficit to shrink to under 1 percent of GDP this year from a peak of 10 percent in 2007. Joerg Kraemer, chief economist with Commerzbank in Frankfurt, estimated that Spain had recouped half of the pre-crisis deterioration in relative labour costs, a trend that should continue because of recent reforms making pay and contracts more flexible. The priority now, according to Catalonia’s economy minister Andreu Mas-Colell is for firms in the region to bulk up. “The bright spot in our economy is exports,” he said in an interview. “But our firms are too small. In an export-oriented economy size is important. We are too fragmented.” In contrast to progress on external economic rebalancing, Spain is dragging its feet on reducing its budget deficit and is being punished by investors. Ten-year government bonds yield around 6 percent, a level that is unsustainable in the long run, on concerns that Madrid will have to spend tens of billions of euros to stop the rot in its banking system. Spanish banks have more than Ä180 billion of sour property assets on their books, and analysts fear there is worse to come as recession triggers more corporate and mortgage defaults. The Spanish government sought to boost investor confidence on Friday by ordering banks to set aside a further Ä30 billion in loan-loss provisions, two days after taking effective control of Bankia SA, one of the leading banks. But the financial markets were unimpressed. The attempted clean-up is the fourth, and Edward Hugh, an independent economist near Barcelona who says the government has been too slow to get to grips with the meltdown, doubts it will be the last. “The key question is where the price of property is going to settle. Until we know that, it’s

all guesswork,” he said. House prices have fallen about 25 percent since 2007 and a Reuters poll published on Friday pointed to a further decline of more than 15 percent in 20122013. Morgan Stanley’s base case is that banks will need Ä25 billion in capital. Royal Bank of Scotland expects a 68 billion euro shortfall over the next three years. Roubini Global Economics sees losses ranging from Ä130 billion to Ä300 billion and attaches a 60 percent probability to the need for a sovereign bailout followed, in 2015, by a restructuring of Spain’s debt. But the chief economist of one local bank, who requested anonymity because the government was still finalising its latest clean-up, said the extra provisioning being demanded by the market made sense only if Spain were to be stuck in recession for several years. “If it’s needed to restore credibility and reduce the risk premium on our bonds, then maybe we have to do it. But I think the markets are overshooting,” he said. The urgency of stabilising Spain’s fastgrowing stock of debt is shining the spotlight on its 17 autonomous regions, which account for about half of general government spending and whose debt has almost doubled in the past three years. The regions accounted for 55 percent of last year’s general government deficit of 8.5 percent of GDP, according to JP Morgan, and Madrid has passed a law threatening to take direct control of their budgets unless they rein in spending. Seen from Barcelona, though, things are not so simple. Catalonia and other regions are responsible for managing public services, but Madrid retains most regulatory and tax-andspend powers. This is a recipe for friction when economic times are tough: the tax take plummets, but demand for health and education does not. As a result, Barcelona frequently finds itself going cap in hand to Madrid to plug its cash shortfall even though Catalonia, Spain’s richest region, transfers more than 8 percent of its GDP every year in net taxes to the central government. At the same time, Catalonia’s ruling centre-right Convergence and Union (CiU) nationalist party says Madrid has withheld

promised investment funds in pursuit of what it regards as a blatant agenda of centralising power and suffocating Catalonia. “We understand that Spain is going through a crisis and reforms are needed. We are all in the same boat.” Mas-Colell said. “What irritates us is that the crisis could be used as an opportunity to limit our self-government or to not honour commitments made in the past.” Catalonia wants to negotiate a new fiscal deal that gives it more autonomy. But, saddled with a debt approaching 22 percent of regional output, its political hand looks weak. In the meantime, it is making more cuts. Health spending will fall 4.8 percent this year after a 6.5 percent drop in 2011. Regional public-sector salaries are being reduced 5 percent on top of a similar nationwide cut in 2010. A school building program has been halted and Catalans will soon start contributing to the cost of prescriptions. “We’re going out on a limb, but we think our voters will understand the constraints in which we live,” Mas-Colell said. Conversations in Barcelona suggest that people do understand the need for belt-tightening. Importantly, strong family ties constitute a safety net of sorts for the unemployed. But there is a sense that the sacrifices are not being fairly shared. Felipe Aranguren, 59, who works when he can as a sociologist, rails against Spain’s “rotten” banks and wants higher taxes on the rich to pay for a “New Deal” public-works program. A black star, the symbol of anarchism, is pinned to his lapel, but Aranguren does not think that dumping the euro and going it alone would ease Spain’s plight. “Economically speaking, we can’t do anything in Spain because everything is decided in Brussels. But leaving Europe would be just one more problem,” he said. Joan Colom, an economist at the University of Barcelona, said his department had been forced to let go a lot of young lecturers and slash research. He was optimistic that Spain would overcome the crisis but was critical of the laser-like focus on austerity. “We will pay a cost, for sure, and it could be higher than necessary,” said Colom, a former head of the Catalan Court of Auditors. —Reuters

Around world, Obama a disappointment By Don Melvin n Europe, where more than 200,000 people thronged a Berlin rally in 2008 to hear Barack Obama speak, there’s disappointment that he hasn’t kept his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and perceptions that he’s shunting blame for the financial crisis across the Atlantic. In Mogadishu, a former teacher wishes he had sent more economic assistance and fewer armed drones to fix Somalia’s problems. And many in the Middle East wonder what became of Obama’s vow, in a landmark 2009 speech at the University of Cairo, to forge a closer relationship with the Muslim world. In a world weary of war and economic crises, and concerned about global climate change, the consensus is that Obama has not lived up to the lofty expectations that surrounded his 2008 election and Nobel Peace Prize a year later. Many in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America were also taken aback by his support for gay marriage, a taboo subject among religious conservatives. But the Democrat still enjoys broad international support. In large part, it’s because of unfavorable memories of his Republican predecessor, George W Bush, and many people would still prefer Obama over his presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney. “We all had high hopes for him,” said Filomena Cunha, an office worker in Lisbon, Portugal, who said she’s struggling to make ends meet. “But then things got bad and there’s not much he can do for us over here.” Obama’s rock-star-like reception at Berlin’s Victory Column in the summer of 2008 was a high point of a wildly successful European campaign tour. The thawing of a harsh antiAmericanism that had thrived in Europe was


as much a reaction to the Bush years as it was an embrace of the presidential hopeful. Those high European expectations have turned into disappointment, largely because of the continued US military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and Obama’s failure to close Guantanamo Bay in the face of vehement congressional opposition. Foreign policy expert Josef Braml, who analyzes the US for the German Council on Foreign Relations, said many Germans give Obama too much of the blame because they don’t understand the limits of his powers. “There’s a lack of understanding both of how the system of checks and balances works - or doesn’t work any longer - and a lack of understanding of how big the socio-economic problems in the United States are, which cause the gridlock,” Braml said in a telephone call from Greece, where he was on vacation. Obama’s views on Europe’s financial crisis also have rankled some on the continent. In September, he said the crisis was “scaring the world” and that steps taken by European nations to stem the eurozone debt problem “haven’t been as quick as they need to be”. The Obama administration describes the eurozone crisis as a European problem that needs a European solution. The U.S. and Canada last month refused to participate in boosting the International Monetary Fund’s financial resources to manage the crisis. “I think people see through his game to put the blame on Europeans - I think Germans and Europeans still know where the economic crisis had its beginning,” Braml said. “That’s just finger-pointing, not doing a fair analysis of the dire situation in the US, but I can understand Obama is doing that because he wants to get re-elected so they need to shift blame around on the Republicans or the

Europeans.” Mehmet Yegin, a specialist in Turkish-American relations at USAK, the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization, said Europe still sees Obama as superior to Romney, “because they primarily evaluate Romney as a Republican and their memories about George W Bush linger”. Many in the Mideast also would like to see Obama win a second term, though they feel he has not lived up to his Cairo speech, in which he extended a hand to the Islamic world by calling for an end to the cycle of suspicion and discord. Obama has been the US president “least involved in the Palestinian issue”, said Mohammed Ishtayeh, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “We were very optimistic when Obama was elected. He talked in his meeting with us without looking into his notes; that tells how much he knows about our issue,” he said. But since Obama made his Cairo speech, Ishtayeh added, “he found his hands tied and couldn’t make much progress.” The Palestinians have refused to conduct peace talks while Israel continues to expand its settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem - areas claimed by the Palestinians. Officials have quietly given up hope for any sort of breakthrough until after the presidential election. Obama also has a strained relationship with Israel, where Bush was popular. Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been cool to one another in their handful of meetings. Obama’s Mideast envoy, former US Sen George Mitchell, made no progress during two years of frequent meetings with both sides before quitting last year. Despite the chilly relations between Obama and Netanyahu, overall ties between

the allies remain strong. The US has backed Israel on several key occasions at the United Nations, for instance, helping block a Palestinian attempt to join the world body last year without a peace deal and fending off attempts by other countries to charge Israel with human rights abuses. “Concerning Israel, he has proved that he is not absolutely rigid but is willing to reconsider when confronted with facts that he would not have expected,” said Avraham Diskin, a political scientist at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. “He began very inexperienced on all fronts, but he is a very intelligent person and Israelis see that,” Diskin added. In Iraq, site of the war that fed much of the international community’s dislike of Bush, Obama has received some credit for pulling out combat forces last year. “President Obama has removed so much of the cowboy image of America that has been imprinted in the mentality of Iraqis by Bush,” Baghdad lawyer Raad Mehsin said. But Carawan Ahmed, a high school teacher in Iraq’s northern Kurdish capital of Irbil, said Obama has ignored the Kurdish minority, which continues to struggle against the Shiite-dominated government. “When Democrats, including Obama, are in power, we lose the sympathy and support from America. To be frank, the Republicans protected the Kurdish people, while Obama’s administration is not,” Ahmed said. In Mogadishu, former schoolteacher Fadumo Hussein retains a shaken support for Obama, but disapproves of the mounting casualties from US drone attacks on Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked insurgency while the country’s humanitarian need is neglected. “He only sent drones, not enough assistance,” Hussein said. “We don’t need bombs, but other means of assistance.” — AP

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012

sp orts Groth fires record serve

Bairstow gets England’s call LONDON: England have named uncapped wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow in the 13-man squad to face West Indies in the first match of the threetest series starting at Lord’s on Thursday. Bairstow, 22, has played six one-day internationals and an identical number of Twenty20 matches and replaces all-rounder Samit Patel from the squad that drew the away test series against Sri Lanka 1-1 in April. “Jonny Bairstow has put in a number of impressive performances both for England Lions and Yorkshire and has been working hard on the England Performance Programme over the last couple of years,” national selector Geoff Miller said in a statement yesterday. “He is an exciting young player who now has an opportunity to experience the test environment.” Graham Onions was picked as the fifth paceman in the squad, alongside James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn, with Graeme Swann as the lone spinner. —Reuters

LONDON: Little known Australian player Sam Groth has fired down the fastest recorded serve in professional tennis, a 263kph rocket that Roger Federer described as “an incredible number”. The ATP Tour said on Saturday that Groth, ranked 340 in the world, produced the serve in a second-round match against Belarusian Uladzimir Ignatik in a Challenger event in South Korea. His effort beat the previous fastest-recorded serve of 251kph sent down by Croatian Ivo Karlovic in a Davis Cup tie against Germany in Zagreb in March, 2011. Federer, speaking at a news conference after clinching a place in the Madrid Open final on Saturday, said he expected the record to be broken again. “It’s not endless but it’s defi-

nitely only going to go up as the years go by,” the world number three said. “I have actually played with Sam in the past so I know he has a very big serve,” the Swiss added. “I didn’t know he was 263 kilometres an hour strong but it’s definitely big stuff. “I’m serving maximum at an average of 210 so it’s a big deal and it helps to be big and strong and accurate I guess. “I am sure that eventually there’ll be a guy who will break that record too.” While the ATP does not officially recognise serving speed records because of the variance in radar guns it confirmed “the event was using approved equipment, and that other data gathered appeared within a normal range.” Melbourne-based Groth, 24, lost the match 6-4 6-3.—Reuters

Raul joins Qatar’s Al Sadd DOHA: Former Real Madrid striker Raul has joined Al Sadd of Qatar after leaving Schalke 04 at the end of his contract with the Bundesliga club, the Asian champions said on Saturday. “Al Sadd Club will held a news conference... yesterday to introduce Raul Gonzalez to the media after signing the player who will join the team starting from next season 2012-2013,” said a statement on Al Sadd’s website ( The club did not give any further details but Spanish media reported that Raul, 34, had signed a one-year deal with Al Sadd, who finished third at the World Club Cup in December. “Raul has arrived in Doha and attended the final match of the Emir Cup between Al Sadd and Al Gharafa at Khalifa international stadium,” the club’s statement added referring to a match Al Gharafa won in a penalty shootout on Saturday.—Reuters

Beachy steers Braves past Cardinals ST. LOUIS: Atlanta’s Brandon Beachy allowed only two singles in six innings, and helped himself by driving in a run, as the Braves beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 on Saturday. Beachy (4-1) lowered his ERA to 1.60, fifth best in the National League. Michael Bourn hit his first homer of the season, and went 3 for 6 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Atlanta did most of its damage against Cardinals starter Adam Wainright (2-4), who lasted just 4 1-3 innings, allowing five runs with five walks.

BALTIMORE: Orioles’ Adam Jones follows through on a two-run single against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of a baseball game.—AP

Orioles beat error-ridden Rays BALTIMORE: Baltimore’s Adam Jones had a pair of hits and knocked in two runs as the Orioles took advantage of five Tampa Bay errors to beat the Rays 53 on Saturday. Bill Hall hit a solo homer for the Orioles,who struck out 12 times but scored three unearned runs to beat their nearest rival for top spot in the American League East division. Baltimore starter Brian Matusz (2-4) gave up two earned runs in 5 2-3 innings. Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore (1-3) walked four and allowed four runs in 4 13 innings. Angels 4, Rangers 2 In Arlington, Texas, Kendrys Morales hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to lead Los Angeles over Texas. Angels starter CJ Wilson worked into the sixth to become the first major leaguer in 11 seasons to start consecutive games. He had faced only five batters before a rain delay in the series opener. Mark Trumbo launched a towering two-run homer for the Angels off Matt Harrison (4-3). Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton hit his majors-leading 18th homer and ninth in six games. Los Angeles reliever David Carpenter (1-1) took the win, facing only two batters after replacing Wilson before the Angels took the lead in the seventh. Athletics 3, Tigers 1 In Oakland, Brandon McCarthy matched a career high by pitching 10 strikeouts after missing his previous start with shoulder soreness, leading Oakland past Detroit. He scattered four hits over seven innings to silence concerns about another serious injury setback. McCarthy (3-3) had struck out 10 batters only twice before. Jonny Gomes, Cliff Pennington and Daric Barton each drove in a run for the A’s. Tigers starter Doug Fister had his scoreless streak ended at 11 innings when Gomes singled in the first. Fister (0-

1) took the loss despite allowing only one run in six innings. Yankees 6, Mariners 2 In New York, Phil Hughes won consecutive starts for the first time this season, steering New York past Seattle. Hughes (3-4) allowed one run and one walk in 7 2-3 innings. New York’s Raul Ibanez homered against his former team for the second straight day. Former Yankees prospect Hector Noesi (2-4) lasted seven innings for the Mariners, allowing five runs. Red Sox 4, Indians 1 In Boston, Felix Doubront pitched six strong innings to direct Boston to a win over Cleveland. Doubront (3-1) allowed one run, which was all the Indians would get as the Red Sox relievers didn’t allow a baserunner over the final three innings. Cody Ross homered for the Red Sox. Cleveland starter Zach McAllister (1-1) was recalled from the minors early in the day. He gave up eight hits over as many innings. Royals 5, White Sox 0 In Chicago, Luke Hochevar pitched seven shutout innings as Kansas City defeated Chicago. Hochevar (3-3) cruised, walking one and striking out five, rebounding from two rough starts. Kansas City scored three first-inning runs off Chris Sale (3-2) who was making his first start in two weeks and lasted five innings. Blue Jays 2, Twins 1 In Minneapolis, Jose Bautista homered for the third time in two nights, lifting Toronto over struggling Minnesota. Bautista has just nine hits over his past 53 at-bats, but five of them have been home runs. His sixth-inning solo shot against Twins starter PJ Walters (0-1) was the game-winner. Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison (2-1), in just his fifth start above the AA level of the minors, threw six strong innings. Casey Janssen picked up his second save in as many chances.—AP

MLB results/standings LA Angels 4, Texas 2; Milwaukee 8, Chicago Cubs 2; NY Mets 9, Miami 3; NY Yankees 6, Seattle 2; Baltimore 5, Tampa Bay 3; San Diego 2, Philadelphia 1; Pittsburgh 5, Houston 2; Boston 4, Cleveland 1; Washington 2, Cincinnati 1; Kansas City 5, Chicago White Sox 0; Toronto 2, Minnesota 1; Atlanta 7, St. Louis 2; Oakland 3, Detroit 1; San Francisco 5, Arizona 2; La Dodgers 2, Colorado 1. American League Eastern Division Baltimore Tampa Bay NY Yankees Toronto Boston Cleveland Detroit Chicago W Sox Kansas City Minnesota Texas Oakland LA Angels Seattle

W L PCT 22 12 .647 20 14 .588 19 14 .576 19 15 .559 14 19 .424 Central Division 18 15 .545 16 17 .485 16 18 .471 12 20 .375 9 24 .273 Western Division 22 12 .647 18 16 .529 15 19 .441 15 20 .429

GB 2 2.5 3 7.5 2 2.5 5.5 9 4 7 7.5

Washington Atlanta NY Mets Miami Philadelphia St. Louis Cincinnati Milwaukee Pittsburgh Houston Chicago Cubs LA Dodgers San Francisco Arizona Colorado San Diego

National League Eastern Division 21 12 .636 21 13 .618 19 14 .576 17 16 .515 15 19 .441 Central Division 20 13 .606 16 16 .500 15 18 .455 15 18 .455 15 18 .455 13 20 .394 Western Division 22 11 .667 16 17 .485 15 19 .441 13 19 .406 12 22 .353

0.5 2 4 6.5 3.5 5 5 5 7 6 7.5 8.5 10.5

Mets 9, Marlins 3 In Miami, David Wright homered and singled three times in his fourth consecutive multihit game as New York beat Miami. Wright singled home a run in the first inning, hit a homer in the third, singled and scored in the sixth, and added an RBI single in the ninth, raising his batting average to an NL-best .402. His on-base percentage of .489 leads the majors. Mets starter R.A. Dickey (5-1) gave up two runs and has allowed only seven in his past four starts. The knuckleballer also earned a painful RBI when he was hit on his pitching hand in the fifth inning with the bases loaded. He stayed in the game as New York made it six wins from seven games. Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco (4-1) missed a chance to break the team record for career victories and remained on 68. He allowed six runs in 4 2-3 innings. Dodgers 2, Rockies 1 In Los Angeles, the hosts improved to the best record in the majors by edging Colorado. Dodgers starter Aaron Harang (2-2) pitched eight solid innings, allowing only one run and escaping a bases-loaded jam in the third . Tony Gwynn Jr. hit a go-ahead RBI single for Los Angeles which improved to 22-11, while handing a seventh loss in eight games to the Rockies, who dropped a season-worst 8 1/2 games off the National League West lead. Kenley Jansen got three outs for his third save in four attempts. Colorado’s Josh Outman (0-1) took the loss. Nationals 2, Reds 1 In Cincinnati, Jordan Zimmermann extended Washington’s streak of dominant starts, leading the Nationals past Cincinnati. Zimmermann (2-3) struck out nine. Washington’s starters have allowed one earned run or fewer 19 times this season. Danny Espinosa homered for the second straight game, a tiebreaking shot in the sixth off Jose Arredondo (2-1). The Nationals lost catcher

Wilson Ramos, whose right leg buckled while he chased a passed ball in the seventh inning. He had to be helped from the field. Giants 5, D’backs 2 In Phoenix, Matt Cain conceded only one run in six innings while driving in a pair of runs to help San Francisco end a nine-game losing streak against Arizona. Cain (2-2) struck out eight in his first victory in five outings. Trevor Cahill (2-4) took the loss as the Diamondbacks were beaten for the sixth time in seven

from consecutive poor starts and allowed one earned run in six innings. Brewers 8, Cubs 2 In Milwaukee, Shaun Marcum pitched seven strong innings to guide Milwaukee past Chicago. Marcum (2-1) gave up just one run and had six strikeouts. After giving up a run in the first he did not allow a runner past second, retiring 10 of the last 11 he faced. Edwin Maysonet hit his first career grand slam for the Brewers in a game which started less than 12 hours after the completion of their Friday night game,

ST LOUIS: Cardinals second baseman Tyler Greene dives after a single by Atlanta Braves’ Chipper Jones during the third inning of a baseball game. —AP games. Cain singled twice. His second brought in two runs after Cahill had hit consecutive batters with two outs in the sixth.

which went 13 innings and five hours. Chris Volstad (05) pitched six innings for the Cubs, giving up six runs. He has gone 18 starts without a win.

Pirates 5, Astros 2 In Pittsburgh, Andrew McCutchen had a solo home run among his four hits, helping Pittsburgh down Houston. McCutchen went 4 for 4, adding three singles. He had three hits in as many at-bats against Houston starter J.A. Happ (2-3), giving him six consecutive hits against left-handed pitching and improving his average against lefties to .452. Jose Tabata also homered for the Pirates, who matched a season high for most runs at PNC Park. Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton (2-3) rebounded

Padres 2, Phillies 1 In Philadelphia, Edinson Volquez pitched six effective innings as San Diego edged Philadelphia. Volquez (2-2) escaped a few jams early in the game and then again in the fifth inning. He allowed one run and struck out five. Jesus Guzman drove in the go-ahed run with a sacrifice fly off Phillies ace Roy Halladay (3-3), who is winless in his past five starts, the longest stretch in his Phillies career. He allowed seven hits in seven innings and took the loss despite pitching 10 strikeouts.—AP

National emblems take centre stage as fashion savvy football fans embrace the Euro spirit KUWAIT: Adidas Originals has launched an exclusive Euroinspired collection in anticipation of the UEFA 2012 European Football Championship which is set to thrill football fans across the region next month. Available in Adidas Originals stores in the UAE from this month, the Euro-inspired apparel features the legendary Originals trefoil with country specific variations so that fans can honor their favorite teams. The classic three-stripes detailing also features in different color ways, representing the national colors of the main contenders in the championship such as England, Italy, Spain and Germany. Highlights of the collection include two variations of the iconic ‘72 Track Top that feature country emblems of England and Germany emblazoned across the chest. The roaring head of a lion represents England’s emblem of the famous three lions and is complete with patriotic red and white detailing. Similarly, Germany’s fierce eagle appears centre stage

with black, red and yellow forming the three stripes that run the length of the arm. A canvas variation of the Plimsalao footwear is the highlight for this collection, again with country specific colorings. Timeless classics such as the Track Top and the Polo also return with additional detailing including football-inspired motifs, flags and numbering in a host of fresh,

vibrant and patriotic color ways. The Euro collection combines everyday street wear with familiar sporting themes and gives fashion conscious football fans an opportunity to show their patriotism while embracing the spirit of the Euro tournament in their choice of leisure wear. In 1972 the iconic trefoil of Adidas Originals was showcased for the first time at the Munich

Olympics and has been worn by champions across the globe in many sporting events in the years since. Today, it represents innovation and authenticity for style savvy lifestyle and sports fans. The Adidas Euro collection will hit Adidas Originals stores in the UAE this month. The Adidas Originals stores in the UAE are located in Dubai Mall, Mirdif City Center and BurJuman Center.

Wataniya Telecom sponsors football tournament for deaf students KUWAIT: Driven by its commitment to take part in various social activities, and as an encouragement to all segments of the society and especially those with special needs, Wataniya Telecom recently sponsored a football tournament for deaf students; which was held at the Amal’s School for boys, one of the ministry of education’s Schools for Special Education. The tournament was attended by General Manager of Special Education Schools Dekheel Al-Enezi and number of the ministry top management representatives and Public Relations Assistant manager at Wataniya Telecom Hamad Al-Matar. Number of activities and sport games took place as part of the tournament as well as an honoring ceremony for the distinguished students and the Outstanding Student of the Year. Commenting on this sponsorship Public Relations Director at Wataniya Telecom Abdolaziz Al-Balool stated the fact Wataniya Telecom is sponsoring this event as it is driven by a sense of responsibility towards the society and its people. We always strive to act on our community based commitment by supporting people with special needs. Al-Balool added saying “Al-Amal School’s Football Tournament for deaf students affirms the right of people with special needs to enjoy life and be part of the overall community like any other segments of the society. Wataniya does not spare any effort to invest in its CSR programs designed especially to give the support needed to all members of the community.”

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012

sp orts

Maldonado wins Spanish GP

WINDSOR: Britain’s sprint canoeist Ed McKeever during a training session at Dorney Lake. McKeever is the man to beat in what is shaping up to be canoeing’s marquee event at this summer’s London Games, the 200 meters. —AP

‘Bolt on Water’ ready to shine at London Games DORNEY: He’s Usain Bolt in a boat, an Olympic sprinter who’s breaking records on the water instead of the track. Britain’s Ed McKeever is the man to beat in what is shaping up to be canoe sprint’s marquee event at the London Games - the 200 meters. Introduced to inject excitement to the sport, it’s a new distance for the Olympic program and should bring a new dimension to the competition on Dorney Lake. “At the Beijing Games and before, the same people were winning the medals,” McKeever said. “But the 200 meters has opened the sport up to a different kind of athlete - the more powerful, explosive athletes. It’s fast and full on.” The 200 is the brainchild of Simon Coulson, the secretary general of the International Canoe Federation. As a former employee of the International Olympic Committee, Coulson sensed things needed to change in canoe sprint. Officials wanted to add some razzmatazz to the event and make it stand out in its own right rather than remain a sideshow to rowing, one of the most traditional and popular Olympic disciplines held over the same stretch of water. “ There had been no fundamental change to the Olympic program for 30 years,” Coulson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his office in Lausanne, Switzerland. “There was a whole ream of ideas put forward and this was one of them. “Since 2009, the 200 has taken off. There are more dead heats and close finishes. Suddenly we have an event where the noise is incredible. At the World Championships last year, athletes were saying they couldn’t hear the bleep at the start.” Canoe sprint has been raced over 500 and 1,000 meters since the 1976 Olympics, a haven for endurance paddlers who often doubled up to enhance their chances of a medal. The 200, raced in both canoes and kayaks and replacing the 500 for the

men’s events, has changed things radically. Races last barely 30 seconds. The athletes’ paddle rate is three strokes per second. It’s all raw power and aggression from the get-go. It’s the 100-meter dash on water. And no one does it quite as impressively as McKeever, an unassuming, levelheaded 28-year-old from Bradford-OnAvon, southwest England. “He’s a completely different person from training to a regatta,” Britain teammate Liam Heath told the AP. “It’s quite a dramatic change actually. It’s Incredible Hulk-style.” McKeever’s semifinal time of 34.2 seconds at the 2011 world championship in Szeged, Hungary was a world best in the K-1 discipline since electronic timing was brought in a decade ago. It has led to the British media comparing him to Bolt, the 100 and 200 world-record holder on the track. “I’ve seen it mentioned,” McKeever says about being labeled “Usain Bolt on Water.” “I’m not sure about it personally. I’m quite short (5 feet, 8 inches). He’s quite tall. But I guess I’m fast at what I do, and he is too. I certainly don’t eat chicken nuggets before a race.” McKeever does have his vices, however. “He loves his English breakfasts,” said Heath, who has roomed with McKeever in British training camps. McKeever’s battle with Poland’s Piotr Siemionowski could be the defining race in canoe sprint’s six-day Olympic regatta, which concludes Aug. 11 - the day before the closing ceremony of the games. McKeever was world champion in 2010, before relinquishing his title to Siemionowski 12 months later. “Generally I’m the stronger starter, he’ll come through in the middle and then we’re much the same over the last part of the race,” McKeever said as he looked out over the 2,200 meter stretch of lake where he will compete for gold this year. —AP

CHARLOTTE: Michael Phelps stretches through the water as he competes in the Men’s 200 Meter Butterfly preliminaries at the 2012 Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix. —AP

Phelps runner-up again at Charlotte CHARLOTTE: Michael Phelps showed he still has some work to do before the London Games, settling for another runner-up finish at the Charlotte Grand Prix on Saturday. The 14-time Olympic medalist was edged by China’s Wu Peng in the 200meter butterfly, losing to the same swimmer who ended Phelps’ long winning streak in one of his signature events a year ago in Michigan. “Sure, I sure hate to lose,” he said. “But when it comes down to it, if I’m able to see where I’m at, see what I need to do and change, that’s all I really need to get out of it.” Phelps was second all the way, trailing Wu at the first turn, then falling behind Sebastien Rousseau through the middle two laps of the race. Wu, who was fourth in the 200 butterfly at Beijing, showed an impressive finishing kick, passing Rousseau and Phelps to win in 1 minute, 56.69 seconds. Phelps was next at 1:56.87, while Rousseau slipped to third in 1:57.54. “I know this is not the Olympic trials, this is not the Olympic Games,” Phelps said. “It’s a stepping stone heading in right direction for the end result. You’ve heard me say that so many times, but that’s the truth. These are little things along the way - I like to call them quizzes - to really see what I need to

improve on.” Phelps competed in only two races at Charlotte, also finishing second in the 200 freestyle. He will swim just one more meet, a minor event in Texas, before the US Olympic trials in late June. For much of the next six weeks, he’ll be locked away in the mountains of Colorado, just Phelps and coach Bob Bowman, training in high altitude and fine-tuning his strokes without any unnecessary distractions. “I hope I come out alive,” Phelps joked. He knows the hard work is necessary if he is to make his fourth - and what he insists will be his final - Olympics a fitting cap to his brilliant career. “I’m within striking distance of where I need to be,” Phelps insisted. “That’s pretty much the reason why we decided to just go to Colorado Springs and stay there until the trials. We do get a lot of work done when we go there. “It’s a tough place to be in and train in for six weeks. But at this point, that’s something I need and something I know that’s really going to help me.” Wu, who’s made the 200 fly finals at the past two Olympics but has yet to win a medal, knows that Phelps will be a lot tougher to beat in London than he was in Charlotte. “I was satisfied with my performance,” he said. “Michael is not feeling good yet. I was just lucky.” — AP

BARCELONA: Pastor Maldonado drove to a dramatic victory yesterday, becoming the first Venezuelan to win a Formula One race by triumphing at the Spanish Grand Prix. Driving with huge self-control, he produced a flawless race for the Williams team, delivering their first win since Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya won the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix. Maldonado had become the first Venezuelan driver to take a pole position when he was elevated from second place on the grid on Saturday evening, following Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification for fuel irregularities. In only his 24th Grand Prix, Maldonado drove with great composure in the closing stages to make the most of his team’s clever strategy by holding off two-time champion and local hero Fernando Alonso of Ferrari. “This is just such a great day for the team,” said Maldonado. “After last year, we have worked and worked, and pushed so hard, and I knew this was going to be a tough race, but to have my first podium and my first win-you can just imagine the emotions.” Victory was also a wonderful way for the Williams team to mark the 70th birthday on Saturday of their team founder Frank Williams who was surrounded by his family throughout the race in the team garage. “It was a fantastic start and it was close into turn one, but we had the better side and we had the momentum to lead for the first part,” said Alonso. “But Williams anticipated the first stop better and as the race went on, we lost grip and maybe some aero and in the end I was in the battle with Kimi for third.” Kimi Raikkonen, who was third for Lotus, added: “I expected to be a bit stronger in the race, especially at the beginning. At end of the race, we were good, but it was too late.” Romain Grosjean came home fourth in the second Lotus ahead of fifth-placed Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber and defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull. A late charge by Vettel enabled him to rise to sixth by passing fellow-German Nico Rosberg, who was seventh for Mercedes, and Hamilton, who also drove superbly to rise from 24th and last on the grid to finish eighth. Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate and compatriot Jenson Button came home ninth and Nico Hulkenberg was 10th for Force India on a day when Maldonado became the fifth different winner in five races so far this year, the first time this has happened since 1983. Vettel’s late push enabled him to maintain

his position at the top of the drivers’ standings, where he shares the lead, on 61 points, with Alonso, eight points ahead of Hamilton. In the constructors’ championship, Red Bull stayed out in front with 109 points ahead of McLaren on 98. Maldonado made a decent getaway, but it was not enough to resist a determined charge from Alonso who thrust his Ferrari down the inside to grab the line and the lead as they sped through turns one and two. In the marginally cooler weather, the entire field started on the softer tyres. This meant the early priority was tyre preservation and early pit stops and staying out of trouble, a target missed by Mexican Sergio Perez who caught Grosjean’s front wing and suffered a

Spaniard, a two-step dance that was reversed after 25 laps, and 26, when the Venezuelan came in first and regained the lead, after rejoining third, when Alonso made his second stop. Michael Schumacher’s race came to an early end, having run into the back of Bruno Senna’s Williams at turn one where the Brazilian, on ageing soft tyres, had to brake early while the German, on a fresh set of prime hard tyres, was at maximum speed. Hamilton also delivered drama when he accidentally ran over his own discarded rear left wheel in his pit-stop after 14 laps and then launched another charge from 12th, climbing to fifth before pitting again after lap 35. Once again, he showed dazzling driving skills to keep passing rival cars, at one point

SPAIN: William’s Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado drives at the Circuit de Catalunya on the outskirts of Barcelona during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix. (Inset) Pastor Maldonado, celebrates after winning the Spanish Grand Prix —AFP puncture on his Sauber in turn two. At the back, Hamilton produced a near-surgical example of precision passing as he sliced through the field from the back of the grid. He was up to 19th on lap one and to 16th by lap five.Three laps later, he had climbed to 12th as most of the field pitted for fresh tyres and by lap 10, having stayed out, he was fourth. Alonso pitted, after nine, to give Maldonado the lead for two laps before he came in and handed the initiative back to the

Na snatches lead at Players Championship PONTE VEDRA BEACH: Kevin Na drained a 15-foot birdie putt on the last hole to snatch the outright lead from Matt Kuchar after the third round of the Players Championship on Saturday as Rickie Fowler made his move with a six-under par 66, the best round of the day. Na, frequently taking excessive practice strokes and often backing away from his shot, otherwise struck the ball sweetly in carding a bogey free 68 to reach 12-under for the tournament. The South Korean-born American met with rules official Mark Russell after his round to discuss his slow play but said there were no problems. “We were talking about the pace of play. We were on the clock quite a bit. Everything’s okay,” said Na who blamed his problems due to a lack of comfort with his balance. “As ugly as it is and as painful as it is, believe me, it is really tough for me and I am trying,” he said. Fellow American Kuchar had a mixed day, combining seven birdies with four bogeys, including one on the notoriously difficult ‘island green’ 17th, for a round of 69 to finish a shot behind Na. “I knew it was going to be a tricky day, there were going to be a lot of bogeys and dangers around every corner,” said Kuchar, who tied for third at last month’s Masters. “It was a great day in terms of not letting the bad holes bother me. I think that is one of my strong suits and today it came in really helpful.” Kuchar and Na began the day in a three-way tie for the lead with Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion. Johnson shot a one-over 73 to slip back into equal fourth with Ben Curtis (70)at sevenunder. It was a sign of the difficulty of the course that Na and Kuchar were the only players to post three rounds in the 60s and Na was one of only three players, along with Curtis and Carl Pettersson, that were bogey free on Saturday. While Kuchar and Na jostled for the outright lead, most of the buzz around a sun-drenched TPC Sawgrass layout surrounded Fowler. The 23-year-old Californian, who claimed his first PGA Tour win at Quail Hollow last week, racked up seven birdies before spoiling his otherwise flawless round with a bogey at the last, missing a putt from less than four feet. He ended the day perfectly poised, two shots behind Fowler and one behind Kuchar. For most of the round, Fowler, who would become the tournament’s youngest winner, was right on target, and even when he got in trouble, he remained unflustered. On the fifth hole, he drove into a bunker, 200 yards from the pin, but blasted out of the sand to just four feet and made birdie. “I drove it well, put myself in position off the tee, which is the key here, no matter what, especially with the wind blowing today. I was able to play out of the short grass as much as possible,” said Fowler. “Other than bogeying the last, I’d have to say it was a fairly perfect round.” Tiger Woods made an even-par 72 and was two-under for the tournament, tied for 34th place. Phil Mickelson signed for a 69 to climb 16 places to be equal 14th. Spain’s Sergio Garcia made a double bogey on the par-five second hole to tumble back to a tie for last place but recovered to finish with a four-under 68 leaving him level with Mickelson. —Reuters

sweeping around the outside of turn four to overtake both Toro Rosso cars. As Hamilton hustled, Maldonado pitted again from the lead after lap 41, gifting Alonso the job for two laps before he also came in. After being held up behind Raikkonen, Maldonado regained the lead, proving he had consistent speed. For him, Williams and the rest, it was now a matter of tyre-management over the final 20 laps. —AFP

Lakers oust Nuggets, Celtics defeat Sixers LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Lakers outlasted the Denver Nuggets for a thrilling 96-87 victory in Game 7 on Saturday to win their first-round series and claim a berth in the NBA Conference semifinals. Pau Gasol had 23 points, 17 rebounds and six assists for Los Angeles while Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) scored 15 points in his return from a seven-game suspension. Steve Blake scored a playoff careerhigh 19 points and Kobe Bryant had 17 points and eight assists for the Lakers, who blew a 16-point lead in the second half before surviving a finale with wild momentum swings and furious physical play. With Gasol leading the way, Los Angeles narrowly avoided becoming the ninth team in NBA history to blow a 3-1 series lead. Andrew Bynum had 16 points and a career playoff-high 18 rebounds for Los Angeles, which will open the second round Monday in Oklahoma City against the second-seeded Thunder. Ty Lawson and Al Harrington scored 24 points apiece for the sixth-seeded Nuggets, who committed 19 turnovers and managed just 7-of-27 shooting in the fourth quarter. Arron Afflalo scored 15 points for the Nuggets, who have lost in the first round in eight of the last nine postseasons - but never with this much excitement. The Lakers appeared to be in control of the series after a narrow victory in Game 4 last weekend, but the Nuggets rallied for two straight dominant victories. On Saturday, both teams blowing significant leads in the final minutes. World Peace hit four 3-pointers and energized Los Angeles with tough defense in his return from a ban for viciously elbowing Oklahoma City ’s James Harden. While World Peace shut down Danilo Gallinari and provided

unexpected perimeter scoring, Gasol was the Lakers’ best player on both ends in the finale, playing with renewed passion after a poor Game 6. Bryant didn’t dominate with scoring, but his playmaking helped Blake hit five 3-pointers in a row before missing his sixth attempt. Gasol put the Lakers ahead for good with a tiebreaking tip-in with 6:30 to play, kicking off an 11-2 Lakers run. Afflalo’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 89-84 with 1:09 to play, but Bryant hit a dramatic 3-pointer and Gasol hit two free throws with 31 seconds left, punctuating his phenomenal game with a sweeping punch of his fist. The Lakers improved to 15-1 in a Game 7 at home, winning 11 straight since the 1969 NBA finals. They’ve won three straight Game 7s since losing a firstrounder at Phoenix in 2006, also the last time an NBA team blew a 3-1 series lead. Celtics 92, 76ers 91 In Boston, Kevin Garnett scored 29 points - his most this year - and added 11 rebounds to give Boston a thrilling win over Philadelphia in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. Rajon Rondo had 17 assists, 13 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth career playoff triple-double. He ran the length of the court to receive the inbounds pass and dribble out the final 3.4 seconds of the game. Game 2 is today in Boston before the series shifts to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4. Andre Iguodala scored 19 points and Evan Turner had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the 76ers, who are in the second round for the first time since 2003, having beaten No. 1 seed Chicago. The Sixers led 77-67 with 11 minutes to play before Boston scored 23 of the next 30 points, with Rondo making a jumper to cut it to 80-79, then another with 3:37 left to give Boston the lead. — AP

LOS ANGELES: Ty Lawson No. 3 of the Denver Nuggets goes up for a layup in front of Kobe Bryant No. 24 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs. —AFP

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Federer bags Madrid Masters

MADRID: Serena Williams from US (right) holds the winner’s trophy after defeating Victoria Azarenka from Belarus (left) following their singles women’s final tennis match at the Madrid Open tennis tournament. — AP

Serena wins Madrid Open MADRID: A fired-up Serena Williams sent out a warning to the young pretenders of women’s tennis when she powered to a crushing 6-1 6-3 victory over world number one Victoria Azarenka to win the Madrid Open yesterday. The 30-year-old former number one, seeded ninth at the premier clay event in the Spanish capital, made the most of Azarenka’s nervous start on the blue dirt of the Manolo Santana show court to race into a 4-0 lead. After breaking the Belarussian’s serve for a third time to clinch the first set, Williams turned the screw with another break early in the second and clinched victory on her first match point when Azarenka completely missed an attempted return. It was the American’s second title of the year after her success

on the clay at Charleston last month and her 41st singles crown overall, putting her in joint 13th on the all-time list with Belgian Kim Clijsters. Azarenka, who flung her racket to the floor in frustration on the way to being broken in the second game of the second set, had beaten Williams just once in seven previous meetings and was bidding to improve on her runners-up finish in 2011. It was only her third defeat in a year in which the 22-year-old won her first grand slam singles title at the Australian Open, which lifted her to the top of the rankings, and has earned more than $4 million in prize money. Williams clubbed 26 winners to Azarenka’s six and smashed down 14 aces, while her opponent did not manage a single one and offered up six double faults. —

MADRID: Roger Federer put his best fighting tennis on display to produce a 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Tomas Berdych yesterday to capture a third Madrid Masters title and depose Rafael Nadal as world number two. The Swiss, with 16 Grand Slam titles, will now stand behind Novak Djokovic on Monday on the ATP list after sending Nadal back to third with his winning performance on the controversial blue clay laid down at the Caja Magica. “I feel amazing,” said Federer, who came through on his fourth match point as Berdych ploughed a forehand into the net. “This is a tough tournament and a brutal draw. I’m playing well and I’m so happy to win this once again.” The 30-year-old went level with Nadal on 20 career titles at Masters 1000 level, with both men sharing the overall record. Federer, playing in his 104th ATP final, won his 74th title and fourth of the season. He now stands 11-4 in head-to-head encounters with Berdych, who had beaten him in three of their five most recent matches. But Federer was having no more of that scenario as he turned in victory in just over two and a half hours with a dozen aces, 44 winners and 30 unforced errors. Berdych saved three match points in the final game before going down. “We both played a nice match, but Roger showed why he’s the star,” said the Czech. “He was able to win in the conditions, it was well done.”

Berdych claimed the first set as he dominated with 14 winners and two unforced errors, only to quickly find himself on the other end of a Federer fightback in the second. The Swiss third seed missed on a set point while serving at 5-3 to level, but stayed in the chase, finally taking the set 7-5 as Berdych double-faulted on set point. In the third, Federer rallied from 0-30 in his first three service games, then moved into position with a break for 5-3, which was finally achieved after Berdych saved three break points with consecutive aces but then sent over two doublefaults in a row to give away the game Federer still could not close as he was broken in the next game, 54. The Swiss hung tough through the next two games on serve before finally putting away the win on his fourth match point. “It’s a great feeling to win any event, but especially another here in Madrid,” added Federer. “This is a tough tournament. It was tough to move on the clay but you just get on with it and try to make the best of the situation. “The level of play was good this week and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.” In an unexpected post-match ceremony, American film star Will Smith came down from his spectator position to present the winner with the suit he wore in his latest Men in Black film. The American also said a few words to the delighted crowd in Spanish. — AFP

MADRID: Swiss Roger Federer (right) and Czech Tomas Berdych pose with their trophies after the final tennis match of the Madrid Masters. — AP

Johnson speeds to victory DARLINGTON: Jimmie Johnson broke free on a restart three laps from the end in the NASCAR Southern 500 and held on Saturday to give Hendrick Motorsports its 200th Sprint Cup victory. “I can’t believe we won 200 of these things,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “I can’t believe it took this long after we won 199.” Johnson seemed short on fuel and tires and looked vulnerable with Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch right behind and ready to pounce after Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman spun out with six laps left at Darlington Raceway. But Stewart had trouble once the green flag dropped and Johnson flew into the lead and cruised to his first victory since Kansas last October, breaking a 16-race winless drought for the five-time NASCAR champion and the Hendrick team. “That guy’s something,” Johnson said about Rick Hendrick. “He said, ‘We won 200. Let’s get 250.” Denny Hamlin was second,

followed by Stewart and Kyle Busch. It was Johnson’s third Darlington win, but first since he swept the 2004 events at the track - the last season “The Lady in Black” had two Sprint Cup races. This was the place where fireworks took place a year ago when Kevin Harvick went after Kyle Busch for a late collision. This time, it involved crew members for Kurt Busch and Newman fighting after the race. Martin Truex Jr. was fifth, followed by Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Marcos Ambrose and Joey Logano - the winner of Friday’s second-tier Nationwide race. The race began with longest stretch of green flag racing from the start - 171 laps since NASCAR began releasing such information, a run which helped speed up a race that’s often slogged through double-digit cautions. Biffle, the pole-sitter, and five-time Sprint Cup champion Johnson, each had long runs and built big leads. Biffle led 74 of the first 98 laps before Johnson took control

for 72 straight laps until the race’s first stoppage for debris. When the cautions began, they didn’t stop - and played havoc with strategy the rest of the way. Johnson chose to stay out during a caution period 60 laps from the end, leaving him three laps short on fuel. When A.J. Allmendinger and Jamie McMurray tied up a few moments later for another stoppage, Johnson had no choice but to remain on the track instead of surrendering track position to top up his tank. At still another caution a few laps later when Reed Sorenson slid through turn four, Kyle Busch dove low as if he were about to pit but returned to his spot before the commitment line. The final shootout came after Kurt Busch hit the wall and he and Newman spun out with six laps left. Stewart said there was nothing there when he stepped on the accelerator and was glad to hold onto third. — AP

Chandila records first IPL hat-trick

LAGO LACENO: Italian Domenico Pozzovivo of the Colnago team celebrates after winning the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia, 229 km from Sulmona to Lago Laceno. — AFP

Pozzovivo clinches Giro stage LAGO LACENO: Italian Domenico Pozzovivo of the Colnago team capped a superb solo performance with victory on the hilly eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia yesterday. Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, of Garmin, retained the race leader’s pink jersey despite struggling to keep pace with the chasing bunch on the final climb of the 229 km ride from Sulmona to Lago Laceno. Diminutive, but known for his climbing skills, Pozzovivo attacked 2km from the summit of the Colle Molella, whose summit was around 7km from the finish of the stage, to open up a gap of around 30secs on the chasing bunch. As some riders struggled with the pace, Spaniard Benat Intxausti of the Movistar team counter-attacked, and despite doing well to open up a gap on the peloton he finished second at 23secs behind Pozzovivo. It was 29-year-old Pozzovivo’s maiden win on the Giro on what is his sixth participation and comes after a

notable overall win at the Tour of Trentino last month. “It’s my first win on the Giro, it seemed that it would never happen,” said Pozzovivo. “The last two kilometres never seemed to end, but I just felt like it was my day.” Overall victory contender Joaquim Rodriguez led the peloton over the finish line a few seconds later, with Hesjedal-who struggled on the steepest pitches of the Molella climb-just saving the race lead. The 31-year-old Hesjedal, who became the first Canadian to wear the race’s pink jersey when he took the race lead Saturday, now holds a lead of just nine seconds on Katusha rider Rodriguez. The race’s ninth stage today takes the peloton back to flatter terrain for a 166 km ride between San Giorgio nel Sannio and Frosinone, to the south of Rome. It should entice sprinters like Britain’s world champion Mark Cavendish, who has already claimed two stage wins for Team Sky on this edition. — AFP

JAIPUR: Unheralded off-spinner Ajit Chandila recorded the first hat-trick of the Indian Premier League season as Rajasthan Royals defeated Pune Warriors by 45 runs, while Australian David Hussey guided Kings XI Punjab to a four-wicket win over Deccan Chargers in a high-scoring match yesterday. Half centuries by Ajinkya Rahane (61) and Shane Watson (58) propelled the Royals to 170-4 before Chandila’s hat-trick polished off the Warriors’ top order in the space of his first seven deliveries, limiting the opposition to 125-9. Bowling with the new ball, Chandila took the wickets of Jesse Ryder (1), captain Sourav Ganguly (1) and Robin Uthappa (0) to finish with figures of 4-13. “I was waiting for a chance for a long time,” Chandila said. “The pressure was on me ... this is just the start, there is still a way to go to complete my dream.” Chandila, playing in only his second game, took pace off the ball from the outset to frustrate the Warriors batsmen. Ryder tried to hammer the off-spinner only to see Watson taking a skier at mid-on and Ganguly was smartly stumped by Shreevats Goswami off the next delivery. Uthappa was beaten in the flight and was also stumped to give Chandila the hat-trick. The off-spinner then knocked the Warriors further off track when he accounted for Anustup Majumdar to reduce Ganguly’s men to 26-4. Earlier, Watson smashed six fours and four towering sixes before he was bowled by Ashish Nehra in the 15th over. Rahane anchored the innings well with seven crisp boundaries and ensured Royals had a healthy total to defend. The victory kept the Royals in the hunt for a playoff place with 14 points from seven victories and as many losses. It was the eighth straight loss for the Warriors who are second from the bottom on eight points with just four wins from 15 games. At Mohali, Hussey struck an unbeaten 65 off 34 balls, hitting four boundaries and five sixes while Gurkeerat Singh smashed a vital 29 as Kings XI romped to 194-6 after Deccan

JAIPUR: Rajasthan Royals bowler Ajit Chandila (left) celebrates taking the wicket of Pune warriors batsman Sourav Ganguly with teammate Shreevats Goswami during the IPL Twenty20 match. — AP

Chargers had made 190-4. Singh hit a six and two boundaries off seamer Manpreet Gony’s last over in an electrifying 45-run seventh wicket stand with Hussey off only 20 balls. Shikhar Dhawan (71) and Cameroon (67 not out) put on 96 runs in 10 overs for the third wicket stand that gave Chargers a challengable total to defend, but it proved not enough in the end. The win brought Kings XI back in contention for place among top four with 14 points from seven wins and six losses. Chargers with a poor 2-11 record are lying at the bottom of the table with five points. Delhi Daredevils lead the table with 18 points, followed by Kolkata Knight Riders (17)

and Mumbai Indians (16). Scores: Rajasthan Royals 170-4 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 61, Shane Watson 58, Rahul Dravid 21; Ashish Nehra 3-23) def. Pune Warriors 125-9 in 20 overs (Steven Smith 37, Angelo Mathews 23, Callum Ferguson 23; Ajit Chandila 4-13, Shane Watson 2-19). Kings XI Punjab 194-6 in 20 overs (David Hussey 65 not out, Azhar Mahmood 31, Gurkeerat Singh 29 not out, Mandeep Singh 28; Dale Steyn 2-26, Daniel Christian 2-31) def. Deccan Chargers 190-4 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 71, Cameroon White 67 not out, Daniel Christian 24; Azhar Mahmood 2-39). — AP


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Spurs sink Fulham to take fourth spot Tottenham 2

Fulham 0

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur secured fourth place in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Fulham at White Hart Lane thanks to goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe on the final day. Harry Redknapp’s side will have to wait to discover if they are to play in the Champions League next season, however, as a Chelsea victory against Bayern Munich in the final of this year’s competition will force them to compete in the

Europa League instead. England is allowed no more than four participants in the Champions League and sixth-place Chelsea would claim the last position at the expense of the Premier League’s fourth-place club should they win in Munich on May 19. Tottenham supporters will be sure to be cheering on Bayern on Saturday, having enjoyed this victory and news that Newcastle United-who could have overtaken them if Fulham had got a resulthad lost at Everton. Third place, and a guaranteed Champions League slot, had also been within Tottenham’s grasp but neighbours Arsenal came from behind to win at West Bromwich Albion to claim that. The defeat condemned Fulham to a ninth-place finish, which will not disappoint manager Martin Jol too much. Beforehand, injury had robbed

EPL results/standings Chelsea 2 (Terry 31, Meireles 34) Blackburn 1 (Yakubu 60); Everton 3 (Pienaar 16, Jelavic 27, Heitinga 65) Newcastle 1 (Hibbert 73-og); Man City 3 (Zabaleta 39, Dzeko 90+2, Aguero 90+4) QPR 2 (Cisse 48, Mackie 66); Norwich 2 (Holt 8, Jackson 21) Aston Villa 0; Stoke 2 (Walters 13, 77pen) Bolton 2 (M.Davies 39, K.Davies 45); Sunderland 0, Man Utd 1 (Rooney 20); Swansea 1 (Graham 86) Liverpool 0; Tottenham 2 (Adebayor 2, Defoe 63) Fulham 0; West Brom 2 (Long 11, Dorrans 15) Arsenal 3 (Benayoun 4, Santos 30, Koscielny 54); Wigan 3 (Di Santo 12, Boyce 14, 79) Wolves 2 (Jarvis 9, Fletcher 86). English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches on the final day of the season (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man City

38 28

Man Utd Arsenal Tottenham Newcastle Chelsea Everton Liverpool Fulham West Brom Swansea

38 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 38

28 21 20 19 18 15 14 14 13 12



5 7 9 8 10 11 10 10 8 11

5 10 9 11 10 12 14 14 17 15

93 29 89 — champions 89 33 89 74 49 70 66 41 69 56 51 65 65 46 64 50 40 56 47 40 52 48 51 52 45 52 47 44 51 47

Norwich Sunderland Stoke Wigan Aston Villa QPR Bolton

38 38 38 38 38 38 38

12 11 11 11 7 10 10

11 12 12 10 17 7 6

15 15 15 17 14 21 22






5 10 23

7 23

52 66 47 45 46 45 36 53 45 42 62 43 37 53 38 43 66 37 46 77 36 — relegated 48 78 31 — relegated 40 82 25 — relegated

Chelsea sign off with victory over Rovers Chelsea 2

Blackburn 1

LONDON: Chelsea will head off to the Champions League final in good heart after rounding off their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge. First-half goals from John Terry and Raul Meireles — both suspended for the meeting with Bayern Munich - put Roberto Di Matteo’s side in control. Ayegbeni Yakubu’s second-half strike briefly gave relegated Blackburn hope they might end a disastrous season with an unexpected point but their efforts quickly faded. That allowed Chelsea to run down the clock without exerting themselves as they secured a sixth place finish - ensuring they must win the Champions League to secure a place in next season’s competition. With victory assured, the only concern for Blues caretaker manager Di Matteo was the injury sustained by Florent Malouda in the first half. The midfielder was withdrawn with a minor hamstring injury and Di Matteo will hope the France international recovers quickly. This was a game both sides would have happily done without. Chelsea’s minds are understandably elsewhere while Blackburn’s relegation last week meant the end of the season couldn’t come quickly enough. Di Matteo’s team sheet reflected the fact that in terms of personnel, this was an exercise in damage limitation ahead of the trip to Munich. Terry and Meireles were joined by Ramires and Branislav Ivanovic, the other two members of Di Matteo’s squad who will watch from the stands in the Allianz Arena. Of the other seven starters, only Malouda,

Daniel Sturridge and Michael Essien had any chance of forcing the manager into a change of plan before next Saturday. For Blackburn, goalkeeper Jake Kean was given his debut in place of injured Paul Robinson and Rovers attempted to sign off from the Premier League on a high. It quickly because apparent there was little chance of that happening. Jason Lowe saw an early sot tipped over but that was the last meaningful attack from the visitors as Chelsea confirmed they were intent of rounding off the domestic campaign in style. The opening goal came when Romelu Lukaku drifted out of the central striker position to deliver a 31st minute cross that was met with a powerful header from Terry. Three minutes later Meireles looked as though he had made the game safe when he converted after good work by Essien. The Ghana midfielder has struggled to find anything like his best form since returning from a serious knee injury earlier this season. But he created the second goal with a powerful run off the right hand flank and into the area before squaring the ball to Meireles who drove a low shot beyond Kean from the edge of the area. Di Matteo surprisingly introduced Didier Drogba early on in the second half and the home crowd immediately made it clear they want the forward to remain at the club. Drogba is out of contract at the end of the season and negotiations about a new deal have so far stalled with the club unwilling to meet the 34-year-old’s demands for a two-year deal. Blackburn forced their way back into the game on the hour when Yakubu halved the deficit. The Nigeria forward has been one of Blackburn’s few success stories this season and he netted his 17th goal of the season when he diverted Scott Dann’s header home after Morten Gamst Pedersen had delivered a corner from the left flank. There was little risk of Rovers forcing a second goal and Di Matteo introduced Fernando Torres to increase the pressure on the visitors. Ramires came close to adding a third with a lob from outside the area after a poor Blackburn clearance.—AFP

Tottenham of England internationals Scott Parker and Ledley King, but Fulham’s top performer of the season, USA international Clint Dempsey, was also missing. It took Tottenham just 96 seconds to open the scoring through Adebayor, who received the ball near the touchline and played a one-two with Rafael van der Vaart on the left of the Fulham penalty area before calmly slotting past goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Confirmation that Arsenal had suddenly fallen behind in the West Midlands stoked the atmosphere even further before van der Vaart was inches away from connecting with Aaron Lennon’s cross from the left. Van der Vaart was just wide with his next attempt, a shot on the turn after Adebayor had set him up following good work down the right by Lennon.

It took Fulham 37 minutes to fashion a chance but when it arrived it was a good one with John Arne Riise bursting forward, beating Sandro and forcing goalkeeper Brad Friedel into a save. Seconds later Friedel had to make another one, diving to beat away Moussa Dembele’s drive and William Gallas was first to the loose ball to clear. The half ended with Tottenham’s Kyle Walker hobbling after a heavy challenge and Gareth Bale having two attempts to double the lead. The first produced a fine parry from Schwarzer, while the second ended in the stands. England right-back Walker had already been playing with a broken toe but was able to hobble back on for the start of the second half. He lasted all of three minutes, however, with Ryan Nelsen coming on to replace him. Schwarzer was called into

Arsenal seal third place West Brom 2

Arsenal 3

BIRMINGHAM: Arsenal sealed third place in the Premier League and a guaranteed spot in next season’s Champions League as a pair of blunders by goalkeeper Marton Fulop sealed a 3-2 victory at West Bromwich Albion yesterday. A mistake from Fulop, only in the side because of an injury to Ben Foster, allowed Yossi Benayoun to hand the Gunners an early lead but the Baggies responded with goals from Shane Long and Graham Dorrans. Andre Santos’ strike shortly before half-time pulled Arsene Wenger’s side level and Laurent Koscielny capitalised on another Fulop error to earn the most slender of victories in a pulsating finalday encounter. The win ensured Arsenal held onto third, a place and a point above north London rivals Tottenham, who now face a tense wait to see if Chelsea win next weekend’s Champions League final against Bayern Munich-which would rob Spurs of a spot in Europe’s elite club competition. It was a disappointing end to a superb 16-month spell with the Baggies for boss Roy Hodgson, who expressed his gratitude to fans in his programme notes as he now turns his attention to leading England into Euro 2012. There was no place in the Albion line-up for Foster in what was the final game of his loan spell from Birmingham after the goalkeeper picked up a suspected groin injury in training on Saturday. It meant a Baggies Premier League debut for understudy Fulop

LONDON: West Bromwich Albion’s Marc-Antoine Fortune (center) vies with Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson (right) and Yossi Benayoun during an English Premier League football match. —AFP and his worst nightmares were realised within four minutes. In an attempt to dispossess Robin van Persie, James Morrison stabbed the ball back towards his own goal, however Fulop’s attempts to usher it into his area ended in disaster as he stumbled to leave Benayoun with goal at his mercy. Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was more solid and did well to turn away a vicious low drive from Marc-Antoine Fortune which threatened to creep inside his near post away for a corner. However, the Baggies only had to wait until the 12th minute for their leveller. Morrison dissected the Gunners defence with a threaded through pass and Long, who appeared to be left onside by Carl Jenkinson, strode through to steer

Swansea 1

Liverpool 0

SWANSEA: Liverpool’s miserable Premier League campaign ended on a suitably low note as Danny Graham’s late goal gave Swansea a 1-0 win at the Liberty Stadium yesterday. Reds boss Kenny Dalglish has already had to deal with reports that he faces a fight to save his job after an underwhelming league campaign and this lacklustre effort was hardly a ringing endorsement of his reign. The club’s American owners will conduct a wide-ranging review of Liverpool’s season, which started with hopes of challenging for a top-four finish but ended with the team languishing in eighth spot. Liverpool couldn’t even take the slender consolation of finishing above Everton, who ended up four points above their Merseyside rivals. Winning the League Cup against Championship club Cardiff at least ended the club’s wait for silverware, but that was followed by a tepid performance in the FA Cup final defeat against Chelsea. Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers had encouraged the home fans to turn

a precise shot low into the left corner. Then, three minutes later the game was turned upside down, as the Baggies moved ahead. Morrison was responsible for another fine assist as Dorrans headed his Scotland team-mate’s clipped pass to his right to evade Jenkinson and Koscielny before planting a superb half-volley low beyond Szczesny. Wenger struggled to hide his frustration on the touchline but the Gunners levelled on the half-hour mark. Youssouf Mulumbu was dispossessed by Alex Song midway in the Baggies half and he fed Santos, who outfoxed Simon Cox before unleashing a stinging low shot which Fulop’s outstretched hand was unable to prevent creeping inside his right post. Theo Walcott was introduced in

place of Tomas Rosicky upon the resumption and within 10 minutes the Gunners were ahead again courtesy of another calamitous error from Fulop. Van Persie’s corner looked routine enough for the Baggies goalkeeper, yet he somehow managed to punch the ball behind him to allow Koscielny to scramble home the Gunners’ third - much to the frustration of his Albion teammates. Wenger will desperately hope this was not Van Persie’s final appearance in a Gunners shirt, yet although the skipper did not add another goal to his tally for the season he did make a telling contribution when he hooked a Jonas Olsson header off the line as West Brom sought another equaliser.—AFP

Bolton relegated after Stoke draw Stoke 2

Bolton 2

Liverpool end on low note up in Elvis Presley costumes to celebrate their survival after one critic suggested there was more chance of a sighting of the deceased singer than Swansea staying up. The party mood inspired the hosts and Graham came close to giving them an eighth-minute lead but could not convert Joe Allen’s cross-shot after the midfielder had robbed Jonjo Shelvey. Maxi Rodriguez was off target with a half-hearted effort for the visitors but the majority of the action was taking place in the Liverpool half. Gylfi Sigurdsson was left unmarked at a corner and almost swept home from Allen’s pinpoint delivery but his effort was bravely blocked by the onrushing Liverpool defence. Sigurdsson was brilliantly denied by Doni in the 32nd minute, as the Iceland international intelligently struck a free-kick across the Liverpool wall, but the Brazilian showed lightning reactions to tip the ball round the post. Andy Carroll wasted Liverpool’s best chance when he fired narrowly over Vorm’s bar five minutes before the break. Carroll’s increasing frustration was clear to see and he was involved in a tussle with Ashley Williams which earned the pair bookings. Dalglish sent his players out early for the second half. Initially his team-talk seemed to have the desired response as Carroll’s far-post header was diverted to safety off Steven Caulker’s back before the England forward produced a brilliant overhead kick that Vorm matched with an agile stop.—AFP

action again to claim a header from Sandro after Lennon again made headway down the right of the Fulham penalty area. The Australia international then denied Adebayor, although Fulham were awarded a free-kick for the Togo striker’s earlier challenge on Aaron Hughes, which left the Fulham defender on the floor. But White Hart Lane went quiet as the supporters digested news that Arsenal were now winning. Tottenham hearts were in mouths when Dembele fired in a fierce low drive but that flew wide and Tottenham then made another change, with Defoe replacing van der Vaart on the hour. Within two minutes Defoe had fired Tottenham 2-0 ahead. Lennon’s shot was deflected by a defender but only into the striker’s path and he stuck out a leg to find the bottom corner.—AFP

LONDON: Stoke City’s Jonathan Walters (left) scores past Bolton Wanderers’ Adam Bogdan during the English Premier League soccer match. —AP

LONDON: Bolton were relegated from the Premier League after a 2-2 draw against Stoke ended their 11year stay in the top-flight. Owen Coyle’s side needed a victory at the Britannia Stadium and a QPR defeat against Manchester City to climb out of the bottom three on the final day of the season. But they were unable to complete their half of the job and a painful campaign, marred by Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest and serious injuries to key players, ended with the cruellest blow of all. With QPR beaten by two late City goals, Wanderers would have survived if they had held onto a 2-1 half-time lead secured by goals from Mark Davies and Kevin Davies after Jonathan Walters put the hosts ahead. But Walters equalised from the penalty spot 13 minutes from time and Bolton couldn’t find a winner as they sunk into the Championship, finishing third bottom and one point behind QPR. Stoke were quick to test Bolton’s nerves and Ricardo Fuller twisted and turned on the edge of the penalty area before firing in a shot that Adam Bogdan pushed round his near post. Peter Crouch then fired wide from a tight angle while Matthew Etherington had a shot saved by Bogdan, and the Hungarian keeper was at the centre of the drama when Stoke opened the scoring in controversial fashion in the 13th minute. Etherington crossed for Walters,

who appeared to have taken too heavy a touch in front of goal, but the striker then headed the ball into the net seemingly out of Bogdan’s hands and referee Chris Foy awarded the goal. Stoke were causing Bolton all sorts of problems and Walters might have made it two when he turned neatly on the penalty spot but he curled his shot wide of the post. The visitors had offered little going forward but they came within inches of scoring twice in the 32nd minute, first when Kevin Davies hit the bar with a looping header before Ivan Klasnic followed up with a sweet volley that Thomas Sorensen somehow tipped round the post. And Bolton finally enjoyed a lucky break to equalise in the 40th minute. A long ball from Bogdan was not well dealt with and Klasnic played in Mark Davies. The ball looked to have got away from the midfielder but Robert Huth smashed his attempted clearance against Davies’ legs and it flew into the net. Remarkably five minutes later Bolton were ahead, again in unusual circumstances. Kevin Davies mis-hit his cross from the right but Sorensen was badly caught out and could only help the ball into the net at his near post. Martin Petrov came within inches of giving Bolton a crucial third goal when he was played in by Mark Davies, but the winger’s shot flashed just past the post. But Bolton’s hopes suffered another huge blow in the 77th minute when Bogdan conceded a penalty by fouling Peter Crouch, having initially saved the England man’s shot, and Walters made no mistake from the spot. Bolton piled forward in a desperate attempt to beat the drop, but the closest they came was a Tim Ream header from Petrov’s corner that was grasped by Sorensen.—AFP

Juve finish league season unbeaten

Federer bags Madrid Masters

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012



Arsenal seal third place in English Premier League

Page 19

City steal United’s glory LONDON: Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions yesterday after an incredible fightback which saw them score twice in injury time to beat QPR 3-2 and seal the title on goal difference. City’s dreams of a first title in 44 years appeared to be in tatters as 10-man Rangers led 2-1 after 90 minutes courtesy of goals from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie following Pablo Zabaleta’s opener. But as Manchester United prepared to celebrate snatching a 20th league title following their 1-0 win at Sunderland, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero struck twice in two minutes to seal the most enthralling title duel in years. “The last few minutes were incredible. This is for our supporters, they deserve this,” City manager Roberto Mancini said. “To win like this is incredible. I have never seen a finish like this. “We had a lot of chances, we deserve to win this championship. It’s fantastic. After 44 years I dedicate this to all our supporters. It’s a crazy season, crazy last minutes.” Relieved City captain Vincent Kompany meanwhile

admitted his nerves had been shredded by the frantic finale. “I want to say it’s the best moment of my life-but please never again like today,” Kompany said. “Miracles do happen in Manchester. Only this time it’s on this side of the road.” After a nervy start, City took the lead five minutes from halftime through Zabaleta, the Argentinian fullback darting onto a deft through ball from Yaya Toure to shoot high into the net past Rangers keeper Paddy Kenny. The goal sent relief coursing around Eastlands as City prepared for their championship party. But Eastlands was stunned into silence shortly after half-time when a blunder by Joleon Lescott let in Cisse who raced clear and thundered an equaliser past Joe Hart. Even then, the force still seemed to be with City, as QPR captain Joey Barton was sent off in an incident that defied belief. The fiery midfielder was given his marching orders by referee Mike Dean for a retaliatory elbow on Carlos Tevez following an off-the-ball clash. As Barton left the pitch, the midfielder then angrily kneed Aguero in the back of the thigh to leave himself facing a

lengthy ban. Yet incredibly instead of ramming home their advantage, City were left shellshocked as 10-man Rangers took a 2-1 lead in the 66th minute, Mackie heading in at the far post after Armand Traore’s swift break from defence. Amid unbearable tension, City looked set for a traumatic defeat until substitute Dzeko nodded in to equalise in the second of five minutes of injury time. Then, out of nowhere, Aguero skipped clear of the Rangers defence to spark bedlam at Eastlands with the most dramatic winner imaginable. City celebrated but it was a different story at the Stadium of Light, where for a fleeting moment after the final whistle United’s players believed they had done enough to retain their crown after Wayne Rooney’s first-half goal completed a 1-0 win. But then news of Aguero’s late winner filtered through and United’s players trudged off in disbelief having been all smiles just moments before. “Nobody expected that. Everybody expected City to win, but they did it against 10 men for half an hour and with five extra minutes to help them,” Sir Alex Ferguson said afterwards. “But I congratulate City on winning the league. Anybody who wins it deserves it, because it’s a long haul. At the end of our game our players didn’t actually know the results. “Now, they’re really disappointed, I’m glad to say. There’s no other way they should be ... It wasn’t our turn today.”—AFP

Sunderland 0

Man United 1 SUNDERLAND: Manchester United did what they had to do by beating Sunderland 1-0 to achieve their 13th away win of the season, but events at Eastlands ultimately ensured this was a miserable occasion for manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Briefly, though, their fans could dream. That was the period when Wayne Rooney’s goal moved them above Manchester City to top spot in the Premier League. They were to stay there for much of the second-half as Queens Park Rangers threatened to beat Manchester City until the late, late drama at Eastlands. For 20 seconds after the final whistle, United believed they had won the title for the 20th time, until they heard about Sergio Aguero’s winner for their local rivals. What would have been a celebration in front of their fans became an abrupt about-turn as the stunned players headed back to their dressing room as joy turned to despair. Until then, it seemed that Rooney’s goal would be the crucial moment of the game, sparking them into life because, until he struck in the 20th minute, they had been unconvincing and surprisingly unadventurous. They started with only Rooney forward, although Ryan Giggs was given a supporting role in front of the back four. But, within ten minutes, Rooney started to drop deeper in search of the ball, as he so often does when United

LONDON: English champions since the launch of the FA Premier League in 1992: 1992-93: Manchester United 1993-94: Manchester United 1994-95: Blackburn Rovers 1995-96: Manchester United 1996-97: Manchester United 1997-98: Arsenal 1998-99: Manchester United 1999-00: Manchester United 2000-01: Manchester United 2001-02: Arsenal 2002-03: Manchester United 2003-04: Arsenal 2004-05: Chelsea 2005-06: Chelsea 2006-07: Manchester United 2007-08: Manchester United 2008-09: Manchester United 2009-10: Chelsea 2010-11: Manchester United 2011-12: Manchester City

Newcastle finish fifth as Everton bow out in style

United victory in vain are failing to click. Sunderland were equally unambitious, using Stephane Sessegnon as their lone forward as manager Martin O’Neill opted to stifle Ferguson’s team with a five-man midfield. They cancelled each other out for nearly a quarter of the game, creating just two early chances as passes went astray in blustery conditions. David Vaughan, the Sunderland midfielder, was responsible for the first when his 30-yard shot was saved by David De Gea. United’s Phil Jones headed just over the bar after 18 minutes, but there was nothing to suggest a goal was on its way. Rooney had other ideas. The England international timed his run to perfection to meet Jones’s cross at the far post and head past Simon Mignolet from inside the sixyard box. It was an important moment. United now settled down, started to control the midfield and could have extended their lead on several occasions before the interval. A 27th-minute shot from Giggs was punched out by Mignolet before a foul on Rooney on the edge of the area produced a free-kick that he steered against the bar. And Rooney should have added his second on the half-hour when he failed to connect in front of goal after Ashley Young’s mishit shot fell to him. O’Neill responded with an early change of tactics by sending Fraizer Campbell forward to join Sessegnon and the pair soon combined to create a glorious chance. Sessegnon lifted the ball over two United defenders to put Campbell clear, but the former Old Trafford player could only drag his shot woefully wide. United were unable to add to their tally and after City’s late fightback their victory became an irrelevance.—AFP

EPL winners

Everton 3

Newcastle 1

LONDON: Manchester United’s English striker Wayne Rooney (left) vies with Sunderland’s English midfielder Craig Gardner (right) during the English Premier League football match. —AP

LIVERPOOL: Newcastle United’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League were shattered on the final day of the Premier League season as Everton signed off with a 3-1 win yesterday. Results elsewhere meant Newcastle could not have claimed a top-four finish even if they had won at Goodison Park, as both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur got the victories they needed to stay in Champions League spots. But Alan Pardew’s side were comprehensively outplayed anyway as goals from Steven Pienaar, Nikica Jelavic and Jonny Heitinga sealed the points for Everton. A Tony Hibbert own goal in the closing stages was no consolation for Newcastle, who finished fifth and have the dubious reward of playing in the Europa League next season after an impressive campaign petered out with two successive defeats. Meanwhile, Everton’s win means David Moyes’ side earn the bragging rights on Merseyside as they finished in seventh position, one place ahead of arch rivals Liverpool. Newcastle almost made the perfect start when Fabricio Coloccini’s header deflected goalwards off Heitinga, only for Tim Howard to make a routine save. However, that was to be as good as it got for the Magpies, as Everton quickly found their attacking stride, with Belgian Marouane Fellaini especially prominent. The attacking midfielder came close with an 11th-minute header that floated narrowly wide of the left-hand post, and was heavily involved in the move that broke the deadlock five minutes later. Fellaini laid the ball off to Pienaar,

who was loitering on the edge of the penalty area, and the Tottenham loanee found the topleft corner of the net via a hefty deflection off Mike Williamson. Everton could have doubled their lead shortly after, but after Leon Osman squared Leighton Baines’ cross back across the face of the six-yard box, Pienaar drilled a close-range strike into the side netting. However, the hosts did not have to wait long to enjoy a two-goal advantage. Heitinga’s 27th-minute long ball released Jelavic beyond a hesitant Coloccini, and while Tim Krul saved the Croatian’s first shot, he was powerless to prevent the in-form striker hooking in the rebound. Jelavic was presented with the Premier League Player of the Month award for April prior to kick-off, and has now scored 11 goals since joining Everton from Rangers in January. Newcastle brought in their own star striker during the January transfer window, but when Papiss Demba Cisse was presented with an opportunity to add to his 13 goals for the Magpies on the stroke of half-time, he could only shoot wide of the target. The Senegal international wasted an even better opportunity at the start of the second half, scuffing a shot wide after an excellent through ball from Hatem Ben Arfa, but Newcastle at least displayed some fight after switching to a 4-3-3 formation at the interval. Any hopes of a comeback were extinguished with 25 minutes left though, as Heitinga claimed a third Everton goal. Darron Gibson swung in a free-kick from the right, and an unmarked Heitinga headed home from close range. Newcastle claimed a consolation with 18 minutes left, but it had little to do with their own work. Ryan Taylor’s long ball was hopeful at best, but a back-tracking Hibbert headed it past Howard. There was then drama following the final whistle as Everton’s Australian midfielder Tim Cahill was sent off following a violent tussle with Newcastle’s France international midfielder Yohan Cabaye.—AFP

GDF Suez sells Bahrain power stake to Malaysian company Page 22

Euro-zone turmoil boosts London property stampede Page 24

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012

Sony set to roll out VAIO E14 Series across Kuwait Page 26

East Asian powers agree on free trade pact talks Page 23

Aabar takes majority stake in Arabtec Shares slump on delisting fears on DFM DUBAI: Abu Dhabi fund Aabar Investments has raised its stake in Arabtec Holding to 53 percent, a market official said yesterday, effectively taking control of Dubai’s largest builder after a failed $1.7 billion bid two years ago. The state-owned fund, which owns stakes in high-profile names such as German carmaker Daimler, commodities trader Glencore and Italy’s UniCredit, had bought Arabtec shares through subsidiaries in recent weeks and its stake stood at 10.45 percent in April. An official at the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) said trade done on May 6, and settled on May 8, had lifted Aabar’s position to 53 percent. The new shareholder structure will be updated on the bourse’s website today, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Arabtec shares, which have soared 94 percent year-to-date, slumped 6.4 percent intraday amid fears the company may delist and minority shareholders’ interests be overlooked. The stock ended down 5.76 percent. Aabar rattled investors in 2010 when it delisted from the Abu Dhabi bourse, months after its $1.7 billion effort to buy 70 percent of Arabtec failed. The fund was taken private by its then-majority shareholder, International Petroleum Investments Corp (IPIC). “I don’t think we are dealing with another Aabar/IPIC situation here - and that’s probably why retail is selling off - but I do believe that given the important news and price action over the last few trading sessions, Arabtec needs to come out with clarification,” said Haissam Arabi, fund manager at Gulfmena Investments. Arabtec and Aabar officials did not respond to requests for comment. In a statement, the DFM said it does not disclose information about any investor or major shareholdings by any publishing method besides company profile pages on its website. Arabic daily Alrroya quoted Aabar

Chairman Khadem al-Qubaisi on Saturday as saying the sovereign fund had taken the controlling stake. “The company (Aabar) has bought a 23percent stake directly from Arabtec during the last period, while it acquired the remaining 30 percent from other shareholders,” Qubaisi, who is also Arabtec’s newly-appointed chairman, was quoted as saying. Qubaisi said that the investment was “a successful opportunity,” adding Aabar is planning to award more real estate contracts to Arabtec in Abu Dhabi. Arabtec appointed four Aabar executives to its board last month, including Al-Qubaisi. “It looks like Aabar has bought out the shares of Arabtec’s founder and other shareholders in the company. When the stake build-up was being made, we knew it was coming,” a Dubai based trader said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Nasser Saidi, executive director of Dubai-based corporate governance body Hawkamah, said more legislation was needed to protect minority shareholders. “If there’s an appropriate legislation in place, that would help exchanges to ask for proper disclosures from companies that are involved in M&A,” said Saidi, who is also chief economist at Dubai International Financial Centre. Aabar first raised its Arabtec stake to disclosure levels in March when it emerged it owned 5.3 percent. It later doubled it to 10.5 percent through another subsidiary. After the 2010 attempt to buy a major stake ended, both firms said they would continue to work together in the future and form strategic partnerships. In April, Aabar gave the builder a $60 million contract to build a residential development in the oil-rich emirate. Last week, the Abu Dhabi government identified an Arabtec consortium that includes Greek and Turkish firms as the preferred bidders for an estimated $3 billion contract to expand its interna-

MADRID: Police move demonstrators during the early hours from Puerta del Sol square in Madrid yesterday. —AFP

‘Dead wrong’ about trading concerns: JPMorgan Chase NEW YORK: The CEO of JPMorgan Chase, which disclosed a $2 billion loss last week, said he was “dead wrong” when he dismissed concerns about the bank’s trading last month. CEO Jamie Dimon said he did not know the extent of the problem when he said in April that the concerns were a “tempest in a teapot.” After the bank reported the trading loss, investors shaved almost 10 percent off the bank’s stock

price. “We made a terrible, egregious mistake,” Dimon said in an interview that aired yesterday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “There’s almost no excuse for it.” The $2 billion loss came in the past six weeks. Dimon has said it came from trading in so-called credit derivatives and was designed to hedge against financial risk, not to make a profit for the bank. Dimon said the bank is open to inquiries

from regulators. He has also promised, in an email to the bank’s employees and in a conference call with stock analysts, to get to the bottom of what happened and learn from the mistake. Dimon told NBC that he supported giving the government the authority to dismantle a failing big bank and wipe out shareholder equity. But he stressed that JPMorgan, the largest bank in the United States, is “very strong.”

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Mideast investors slowly waking up to Africa ADDIS ABABA: Flush with cash from oil and stuck with few options for growth in developed markets, Middle East investors are increasingly looking to nearby Africa. While the fast-growing continent offers plenty of opportunities, bankers say there are also a raft of challenges for Middle East investors, particularly due to the relatively small size of potential deals. “We’re seeing more interest. I think it’s fair to say that we haven’t seen a lot of that crystallize into deals so far,” said Diana Layfield, Africa chief executive at Britain’s Standard Chartered Plc. “The Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds are very interested in Africa, the challenge that they face is the increment

at which they need to invest is way too large for the continent at the moment,” Layfield told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa. Held last week in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, the forum highlighted Africa’s attractions: it is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies and rapidly rising disposable incomes. A decade of relative political stability has also helped the case for African investment. “Definitely there will be more (investment) coming to Africa,” Saudi Arabian Minister for Agriculture Farad Balghunaim told Reuters. “With the clear vision that is building up in African leadership now, there will

more and more investors from Saudi Arabia,” he said in Addis Ababa. But tapping that growth is not so easy, given the lack of liquidity in public capital markets. For private equity bankers, there is often a shortage of deals that can meet their mandate on size. For instance, emerging markets private equity firm Actis told Reuters last month it is aiming for individual deals of $50 million or more in Africa, meaning it has to focus on the continent’s biggest economies - South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria - to find deals. Some Middle East investors, therefore, are focusing on smaller deals to gain exposure to Africa. Dubai’s Abraaj Capital is in the process of acquiring UK-based private

equity firm Aureos Capital, which invests in small and medium-sized businesses in Africa, Latin America and Asia. “We tend to have a sweet spot at around $10 million, but we have investments as low as $2 million and going up to about $35 million,” Davinder Sikand, Aureos’ regional managing partner for Africa told Reuters. “Our focus has been to build regional champions. So we’ll take positions in businesses that can demonstrate management vision and build (them) out, recognizing that each of our markets other than Nigeria and South Africa are fairly small markets, and you need to build that scale.” Due to the constraints in their home markets, Middle East investors are famil-

iar with Africa’s challenges, such as the shoddy infrastructure, the scarcity of a highly trained workforce and the lack of liquidity in capital markets. “The Middle East, part of which is rich in capital, is starting to look at Africa as an investment destination,” said Frederic Sicre, a partner at Abraaj Capital. Sicre said he was “definitely” seeing more interest in African private equity from Middle East investors. “Behind us are 200 of the wealthiest merchant families, royal families from the Middle East, sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East. We can pull them in to looking at the infrastructure development space, or the big utility development space, into looking at the opportunities here.” — Reuters

GDF Suez sells Bahrain power stake to Malaysian company Malakoff takes 40% in Al Hidd plant DUBAI: French utility GDF Suez has sold a 40percent stake in Bahrain’s Al Hidd power and water plant to Malaysia’s largest independent power producer, Malakoff, to meet a regulatory requirement following GDF’s acquisition of International Power. GDF acquired International Power last year and the combined entity held 70 percent in the Bahraini plant. Bahrain’s government wanted GDF to reduce the stake to prevent the concentration of ownership. “This partial sale of Hidd Power Co allows the combined International Power-GDF Suez entity

to comply with the Kingdom’s regulatory requirements,” GDF Suez and Malakoff said in a joint statement yesterday. No financial details of the transaction was provided. The Al Hidd plant is amongst the largest independent water and power in Bahrain, providing about 39 percent of the kingdom’s power needs and 62 percent of its water requirements, according to GDF Suez’s statement. After the sale, the power plant will be owned 40 percent by Malakoff, 30 percent by GDFInternational Power and 30 percent by Japan’s

Saudi says $100pb great price for oil ADELAIDE: Top crude exporter Saudi Arabia wants an oil price of around $100 a barrel and would like to see global inventories rise before demand picks up in the second half of the year, Oil Minister Ali AlNaimi said yesterday. International Brent crude settled at $112.26 on Friday, well off a peak of over $128 in March. Brent has mostly traded above $100 since early 2011, keeping fuel costs high and threatening to damage a fragile global economy. “We want a price around $100, that’s what we want,” Naimi told reporters ahead of an industry event in Australia. “A $100 price is great.” Saudi Arabia is working at bringing Brent crude prices to that level, he added. The kingdom, OPEC’s biggest producer, said it pumped 10.1 million bpd in April, its

highest for more than 30 years, as it bid to meet growing demand and curb oil prices. Prices have stayed high in 2012 due to concern about disruption to global supply from US and European sanctions aimed at hurting Iran’s crude export revenues and forcing Tehran to halt its nuclear program. The US and its allies suspect Iran is developing nuclear weapons, which Tehran denies. Naimi said last week that producers were pumping enough to deal with the impact of the sanctions on the oil market. He reiterated on Sunday that producers were pumping 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) to 1.5 million bpd above demand, which is helping to build inventory. “ That should give comfort to consumers,” he said. —Reuters

Oman budget surplus widens to $2 billion in Jan-Feb DUBAI: Oman booked a budget surplus of 768 million rials ($2 billion) in the first two months of 2012 as robust oil prices boosted revenue, finance ministry data showed yesterday. The surplus is equivalent to about 2.7 percent of the sultanate’s 2011 nominal gross domestic product, according to Reuters calculations. The country posted a surplus of 467 million rials in January. Analysts polled by Reuters in March expected the non-OPEC oil producer to

post a fiscal surplus of 5.0 percent of GDP in 2012 thanks to high crude prices, up from 3.5 percent last year. Oman has raised its budget by 23 percent to 10 billion rials this year compared to its original projection for 2011. The 2012 plan includes almost 96 percent of last year’s actual expenditure, which was boosted by extra spending following protests demanding more jobs and an end to corruption. —Reuters

Sumitomo Corp. GDF had hired HSBC Holdings to arrange the sale of its 30-percent stake in the plant, sources told Reuters in July last year, pegging the enterprise value of the stake at $200 million. GDF, owner of the largest gas transport network in Europe, is also the top shareholder in the $2.1 billion Al Dur power and water project in Bahrain with a 45-percent stake. Malakoff has a net generating capacity of 5,020 megawatts from its six power stations and has already won and implemented projects in Saudi Arabia and Algeria. — Reuters

Dubai Investments Q1 net up 6.3%; eyes divestments DUBAI: Conglomerate Dubai Investments posted a 6.3-percent rise in quarterly net profit yesterday and said the company was reviewing opportunities to divest some of its businesses. The firm, in which sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) owns an 11.5percent stake, made a net profit of 107.5 million dirhams ($29.3 million) for the first-quarter, compared with 101.1 made in the same period in 2011. Revenue for the quarter was 623 million dirhams as against 643 million dirhams in the prior-year period, the company said in a bourse statement. Dubai Investments, whose manufacturing business was hit by political unrest in the Gulf Arab region, said improvements in the regional political conditions and a revival of UAE’s tourism and hospitality sectors helped bolster its quarterly net profit. Revenue from sale of goods and services increased to 374 million dirhams from 324 million dirhams in the same period in 2011. The company, which has interests in several sectors including property and manufacturing, said total assets stood at 13.5 billion dirhams at the end of the first quarter. It has been eyeing an exit from some of its businesses and said that it was still reviewing opportunities. “The management is closely monitoring economic developments and reviewing opportunities for divestment. These divestment are expected to provide significant returns in the near future,” said Khalid Kalban, managing director and chief executive of Dubai Investments. Dubai Investment shares ended 0.6 percent higher on the Dubai bourse before the announcement of the earnings. The conglomerate wants to raise up to 1 billion dirhams this year through sale of a sukuk, or Islamic bond, to finance the expansion of its manufacturing units and repay debt. — Reuters

KELANIYA: A Sri Lankan street vendor sells coconuts in Kelaniya yesterday. Sri Lanka recorded an impressive 8.3 percent growth rate last year, up from 8.0 percent in 2010, the first full year after troops defeated Tamil separatist rebels in May 2009 and declared an end to nearly 40 years of fighting. —AFP

Jordan plans power, fuel price rises to cut deficit AMMAN: Jordan’s Prime Minister Fayez AlTarawneh said yesterday his government planned price rises soon for some essentials to prevent a spiraling budget deficit from passing $4 billion this year and further damaging the kingdom’s sluggish economy. Tarawneh said the austerity moves expected before the end of the month would include rises in electricity and premium gasoline prices, but would not affect subsidies on bread for the poor. He said they were crucial as a signal to the country’s Western donors that the aid dependent kingdom was serious about fiscal consolidation. “There is a need for speedy measures to assure regional institutions and international donors that we are doing our part to put our house in order financially and economically,” Tarawneh was quoted by the state news agency as saying. Although Jordan liberalized energy prices several years ago, it retained last year a freeze on further gasoline hikes and some basic commodities to head off the potential for unrest. Finance Minister Suleiman al-Hafez was also quoted as saying the planned price hikes, that would include higher taxes on luxury goods were crucial to avoid the budget deficit soaring to 2.03 billion dinars ($2.8 billion) after foreign aid that tradition-

ally covers budget shortfalls. Hafez said the budget deficit could reach a record 2.93 billion dinars if foreign aid levels fall dramatically this year and the measures were not taken. Last year the kingdom’s economy was kept afloat after a $1.4 billion cash injection from Saudi Arabia. Officials say this year there was no pledge of support from Saudi Arabia, raising concerns about the state of the budget. The 2012 budget has set a much lower budget deficit estimate of 1.027 billion dinars or 4.6 percent of gross domestic product that had made allowance for extra foreign aid and a streamlining of a subsidies package. Successive governments have adopted an expansionist fiscal policy characterized by sizeable state subsidies and salary increases after months of protest since early last year inspired by the civil uprisings that swept the Arab world. To head of greater unrest, the authorities created new state jobs in an already bloated public sector, froze gasoline prices and maintained subsidies for bread. Economists said Jordan’s ability to continue to maintain a costly subsidy system and the upkeep of a vast state bureaucracy, whose salaries consume the bulk of the $9.6 billion state expenditure, was increasingly untenable in the absence of large foreign capital inflows or infusions of foreign aid. — 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 Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

.2730000 .4450000 .3570000 .2970000 .2760000 .2770000 .0040000 .0020000 .0754720 .7352970 .3830000 .0710000 .7208260 .0040000 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2780000 GB Pound/KD .4468160 Euro .3590790 Swiss francs .2989890 Canadian dollars .2777780 Danish Kroner .0482980 Swedish Kroner .0399660 Australian dlr .2786260 Hong Kong dlr .0358010 Singapore dlr .2218850 Japanese yen .0034770 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0757180 Bahraini dinars .7376940 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0741530 Omani riyals .7223590 Philippine Peso .0000000

.2815000 .4540000 .3640000 .3060000 .2850000 .2900000 .0070000 .0035000 .0762300 .7426870 .4000000 .0770000 .7280710 .0072000 .0500000 .2801000 .4501910 .3617910 .3012480 .2798760 .0486630 .0402680 .2807300 .0360710 .2235610 .0035030 .0052520 .0022000 .0030920 .0034410 .0762900 .7432670 .3961810 .0747130 .7278160 .0066500

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

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

279.250 3.073 5.215 2.195 3.412 6.620 76.120 74.610 742.300 46.231 454.200 3.090

Yemeni Riyal Euro Canadian Dollars Nepali rupee

1.550 366.400 284.700 3.350

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

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

278.850 363.400 450.900 281.050 3.545 5.202 46.225 2.178 3.400 6.565 3.070 742.500 75.950 74.450


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

284.00 283.62 304.91 363.77 278.60 451.36 3.57 3.408 5.197 2.182 3.269 3.071 75.92 742.13 46.18 396.93 725.10 76.93 74.50

292.00 286.00 311.00 367.00 279.40 453.50 3.65 3.550 5.525 2.550 4.000 3.250 76.30 741.50 47.65 394.50 726.00 77.75 74.60

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Rate for Transfer

Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar

279.150 280.710 451.520 363.245 301.400 739.225

COUNTRY 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 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

SELL CASH 283.300 742.660 3.670 282.800 548.500 45.500 49.500 167.800 47.850 365.100 36.690 5.450 0.032 0.160 0.229 3.590 395.750 0.189 93.080 45.000 4.290 222.100 1.809 48.800 725.360 3.160 6.850 77.250 74.560 224.370 38.280 2.661 453.000 41.100 303.800 4.400

Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

9.360 198.263 76.140 279.600 1.340

10 Tola

GOLD 1,675.020

Sterling Pound US Dollar

9.160 76.040 279.200

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 451.000 279.200

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.

Bahrain Exchange Company

UAE Exchange Centre WLL COUNTRY

75.980 76.625 74.400 392.945 46.269 2.175 5.203 3.078 3.414 6.582 684.745 4.500 9.075 5.880 3.340 92.370

SELL DRAFT 281.800 742.660 3.410 281.300

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

3.542 5.204 3.073 2.179 3.301 225.500 35.996 3.411 6.574 8.963 91.158 GCC COUNTRIES 74.536 76.800 726.000 742.390 76.110

224.400 46.277 363.600 36.540 5.210 0.031

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

395.700 0.188 93.080

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 48.000 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.231 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.304 Tunisian Dinar 179.33 Jordanian Dinar 394.720 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.875 Syrian Lier 4.876 Morocco Dirham 33.183

3.280 220.600 725.180 3.081 6.590 76.620 74.560 224.370 38.280 2.181 451.000 302.300 4.400

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 279.400 Euro 363.78 Sterling Pound 452.930 Canadian dollar 282.79 Turkish lire 156.700 Swiss Franc 305.16 US Dollar Buying 278.200 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

GOLD 285.000 143.000 71.000

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012

BUSINESS Weekly commodity update

Commodities looking for support after onslaught By Ole S Hansen, Head of Commodity Strategy


ommodity markets suffered further losses this week with all the major sectors being pressured by weaker fundamentals, a stronger dollar and investors needing to reduce exposure. India’s industrial production shrank and China’s weakened sharply in April as investments slowed to the lowest level in nearly a decade, once again raising the question whether this will signal an end to the rapid demand growth for commodities witnessed during the past decade. The eurozone remains a source of anxiety as well for investors with continued focus on Spain and especially Greece. In such a climate the dollar advanced to the highest level versus the Euro in almost four months thereby further eroding support for dollar denominated commodities. Are we currently seeing a repeat performance of the past two years with a strong first quarter being followed by weakness in the second? Looking at the chart below it certainly seems that way with the energy heavy S&P GSCI moving into negative territory on the year after falling eight days in a row in its worst run since December 2008. Libya drove oil prices higher in 2011 and this year we have seen a repeat, this time driven by tension in the Gulf. By this time last year however we were seeing the beginning to the end of the Libyan crisis while the Iranian tensions this year have only eased but not yet gone away, which raises the question whether oil prices should find support soon - we think they will. The individual performances among some of the major commodities are mostly showing losses on the week with only natural gas rallying strongly as confidence continues to build that a low has now been established. This strong performance in natural gas resulted in the energy sector suffering a relative small loss while precious metals, especially silver and palladium, for the second week have borne the brunt of investor selling. China slowing China’s implied oil demand fell in April to the lowest level in six months and showed the first year-on-year decline in at least three years, primarily due to refineries scaling back demand to perform annual maintenance. This exacerbates the sentiment that global oil demand is going through a soft patch which could last another couple of months. But with both the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) expecting global oil demand to pick up later in the year, as growing emerging market demand more than off-sets declining consumption in developed economies, further downside seems limited. OPEC still pumping Saudi Arabia and OPEC once again repeated their call for lower oil prices this week in order to help steer the global economy away from a slowdown. So far, this verbal intervention combined with

record output from the organization have eased the pressure on oil prices with WTI sinking below 100 dollars and moving close to its 2011 average. The IEA in its monthly report said that oil prices are likely to stay high due to unresolved geo-political tensions, despite a dramatic improvement in world supply resulting in a big build in stocks. The elevated speculative long positions in WTI and Brent that we have touched upon several times as representing the biggest downside risk to oil have now been dramatically reduced. Since May 1, the price of WTI crude has fallen by $10 and this may have reduced the speculative net long position down towards 200 million barrels, which co-incidentally corresponds with the average during the last three years. From that perspective, further long liquidation should begin to meet fresh buying, as the speculative overhang now seems to have been brought back to manageable levels. The main driver for higher oil prices during Q1 was the geo-political risk stemming from Iran, and with this situation still unresolved, the risk premium in oil will not go away for now and should help prices stabilize soon. Brent crude, the global benchmark for physical oil transactions, has spent most of the week consolidating following its sharp move lower after the recent US jobs report. Having seen the price drop by 16 dollars from the March peak, support will begin to emerge, especially ahead of the trend-line support from the 2008 nadir, currently at 109.50. Following two months of trading sideways, gold made a strong move lower this week. With several key technical indicators broken during the last few days and a dollar moving higher, gold, in the end, only had one way to go. With cash and secure government bonds once again attracting interest, highly liquid investments like gold are very easy to exit and this helps to explain why it has been hurt more than other markets - especially considering the market driver at the moment predominately stems from political anxieties in Europe. Speculative investors are holding much smaller long positions than during previous corrections, especially compared with the two “flash crashes” back in December and February. Traders will therefore be keeping a close eye on the behavior of physical buyers who supported the market on both previous occasions and investors in exchange traded products which have only seen a limited outflow during the last month. My suspicion is that they will only begin to get worried should gold move into negative territory on the year and take out the December low at 1,522. Looking for support towards $1,550 For now, everyone is talking about support at 1,550 which either means we will find support ahead of that level or get another leg down to test the December low. The move down has been necessary in order to re-ignite some interest from the leveraged investors who have been losing interest as of late. The big question is obviously if these investors view the downside as more attractive and subsequently begin to build short positions instead. Potential buyers should probably stay on the fence and wait and see how this unfolds. A move back above 1,610 will be viewed positively and could signal the end of this down move.

Precious metals prices hit 4-month low: Report KUWAIT: The prices of precious metals at local market have hit four-month low at the closing last week, a special economic report showed yesterday. Al-Zummorroda Jewelry Group’s report said the 24-carat gold price slipped to KD 14.2 per gram, down KD 0.5 per gram. It added that the price slide has prompted a sell boom on the local market, citing a remarkable increase on demand for jewelry, small bullions and liras. Al-Zummorroda said the price decline on the local market was a reflection to the downward trend of the precious metal prices on the world markets. On global market, gold prices fell to fourmonth lows on Friday as worries over the financial health of Greece and Spain and

huge trading losses for JPMorgan hurt stock markets and the euro, prompting investors to seek refuge in the dollar. Investors liquidated gold holdings to cover losses on other markets, as a rise in risk aversion sparked selling across assets seen as higher risk, while lifting the US currency. Spot gold slid to $1,573.29 an ounce, its weakest since January 3, after support gave way at $1,579. As for silver, the report said it dropped sharply last week to stand at USD 28.44 per ounce, compared with $29.8 per ounce a week earlier. The report noted that silver price has slumped by more than $20 per ounce since April 2011. But silver is expected to claw back to $31 per ounce in the coming week due to growing demand. —KUNA

TOKYO: A Myanmar woman leaving the Myanmar Securities Exchange Center (MSEC), a joint venture between the research arm of Japan’s Daiwa Securities and the government-run Myanmar Economic Bank in Tokyo. Two of Asia’s biggest stock exchanges are fighting for dominance of the world’s hottest new frontier market as investors beat a path to Myanmar’s door following the end of decades of military rule. — AFP

East Asian powers agree on free trade pact talks Wen calls for cooperation amid economic uncertainty BEIJING: China, Japan and South Korea agreed at a summit yesterday to launch negotiations for a three-way free trade pact they said could help fend off global economic chills, but the talks are expected to be long and difficult because of decades of rivalry. The three nations are major traders, and together accounted for 19.6 percent of global gross domestic product and 18.5 percent of exports in 2010, according to a feasibility study issued by their governments last year on the trade pact. “Northeast Asia is the most economically vibrant region in the world,” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told reporters after talks in Beijing with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. “The establishment of an FTA will unleash the economic vitality of our region and give a strong boost to economic integration in east Asia.” China is the biggest trade partner of Japan and South Korea. A free trade treaty could lift China’s GDP by up to 2.9 percent, Japan’s by 0.5 percent, and South Korea’s by 3.1 percent, the official Xinhua news said in a commentary, without citing the basis for its estimates. But agreeing on a fully-fledged pact, which has been on the table for a decade, will not be easy. The three northeast Asian neighbors are divided by political distrust, trade barriers, and diverging investment policies, as well as regionwide worries about China’s expanding economic and military power. The proposed treaty must also vie for attention with the United States’ push for a broader Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade liberalization initiative that has drawn in nine countries, with Japan also expressing interest. China and South Korea are not part of those negotiations yet. At the summit in Beijing, the three leaders also agreed a three-way investment treaty - a stepping stone to the bigger and much more contentious goal of a free trade deal - said Xinhua. China’s Ministry of Commerce said on its website that the ( investment agreement will help smooth tax, dispute resolution and other issues among the three nations. “Japan, South Korea and China play an

BEIJING: China’s Premier Wen Jiabao (left), South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak (center) and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda arrive at a joint news conference of the fifth trilateral summit among the three nations at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday. —AP important role in the global economic recovery,” said South Korea’s President Lee. “When the economy is in crisis, it’s more pressing to set up a free trade zone,” he told a business meeting that took place parallel to the leaders’ summit. Intra-regional trade and investment levels between China, Japan and South Korea were “much lower ” than levels in the European Union or across the North American Free Trade Agreement area. Yet even host China acknowledged the negotiations on a three-way trade agreement to begin are likely to be difficult. “The conclusion of the feasibility study in 2011 and the nearly finalization of the threeway investment treaty has paved the way for launching the FTA talks, but that only marks one step forward along the long negotiation journey,” Xinhua said. “More importantly, political trust is badly needed in this sensitive region, not only in political affairs but also in

economic ties.” Tokyo and Beijing have long been in dispute over territorial claims in the East China Sea, where both sides stake claims to potentially valuable gas beds. Beijing also faces insistent demands from Tokyo and Seoul to put more pressure on North Korea, whose nuclear weapons ambitions and rocket tests have alarmed the region. The plan for a three-way northeast Asian free trade pact jostles alongside other proposals to enhance regional economic flows, especially the Obama administration’s promotion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Policy-makers in Beijing worry that US influence could erode Chinese sway across the region. Japan’s Prime Minister Noda said he saw no conflict between the two trade negotiation proposals. “We will promote the TPP and the trilateral FTA in parallel,” Noda told reporters. “These efforts can be mutually reinforcing to each other.” — Reuters

Fears over Spain linger despite banking plan LONDON: Spain’s clean-up plan for its troubled banks lacks some of the key ingredients that helped other governments restore faith in their financial sectors, restructuring experts said, pointing to a potential need for heavier state intervention. Madrid told lenders on Friday to put aside even more funds against potential losses from dubious property loans, but limited its role in the rescue to providing high-interest financing for the weakest banks. More explicit back-up from the government, in the form of an insurance scheme to cover extra losses on toxic assets - akin to one of the steps taken by Britain after the financial crisis - might have been needed at this stage to keep the growing crisis at bay. “It’s bad news. The plan is well-thought through but it will disappoint the markets as the state is not backing it through public financial guarantees on the future losses,” said one banker close to Bank of Spain and involved in the restructuring talks. The banker was not authorized to speak to the press, like many of the financial experts still hoping for a role in sorting out Spain’s finances. Spanish banks stocks fell on the government’s announcement on Friday, while Spanish country risk rose. Madrid had initially come to terms with the idea of providing guarantees if banks’ losses were to exceed provisions, the banker involved the talks said, adding that the euro-zone’s 700 billion euro ($900 billion) bailout fund - the European Financial Stability Facility - or else the International Monetary Fund could have provided Spain with a backstop guarantee for the plan. “This would have been a strong message to the

markets that EU politicians are determined to address the situation. But in the end, the government didn’t have the guts to go as far as they should have,” the banker said. Spain has been determined to avoid calling on external assistance like Greece and Portugal. At the same time, it is under intense pressure to reduce its budget deficit even more sharply, a measure which will mean more unpopular spending cuts at home. The government has also been at pains to assure taxpayers they would not have to foot a huge bill to bail-out the banks - a situation which is still a political quagmire in Britain, where taxpayers are sitting on a loss of roughly 30 billion pounds ($50 billion) from 2008 bank rescues. But Spain’s admission on Friday that the public cash available to help this banking reform would be less than 15 billion euros ($25 billion) underwhelmed investors, with many feeling that more money will still be needed. Though state aid in this latest plan is limited, Madrid has shown it is willing to intervene in some cases, and it took drastic action a few days earlier to effectively take over Bankia, one of Spain’s biggest bank. Some saw this as an inconsistent approach, which may have fuelled hopes that the government would show greater backing for the sector when it unveiled its grand plan - leading to a bigger disappointment. “It looks like a series of erratic, rushed decisions rather than a real plan. Bankia’s nationalization came out of the blue, all of a sudden. I think that this is partly due to the fact that they listened to many people instead of hiring one or two advisers,” said a banker who took part in Greece’s sover-

Germany’s Schaeuble ready to lead Eurogroup BERLIN: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said yesterday that he is prepared to lead the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, a crucial position as the bloc struggles with its debt crisis. “As the German finance minister, I must fully commit myself, one way or another,” Schaeuble told the weekly Welt am Sonntag following a report that he would have the support of current Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker. “That is why I am not saying I could not in any case take the presidency” of a group that drafts financial options for approval by euro-zone leaders, the German minister said. Although it is the biggest European economy and the biggest contributor to European Union financial rescue plans, Germany has not managed to place many figures in top EU or euro-zone positions. “What I want above all else, is that the Eurogroup continues to fulfil its role, as has been the case under the presidency of Jean-Claude Juncker,” who is also the Luxembourg prime minister, Schaeuble said. And “I have not heard my colleagues say: My God, anyone but Schaeuble,” the German minister added. Schaeuble would have to be approved by euro-zone heads of state and government if he is to succeed Juncker, who has held the position since it was created in 2005. Responding to a campaign vow by French president-elect Francois Hollande to renegotiate a pact that reinforces fiscal discipline across the 17-nation euro-zone, Schaeuble doubted that the new French leader could do that. European leaders do not “have the right to do away with member states’ political discipline,” Schaeuble said. “As long as we do not have a common budget policy, we cannot take the risk of sharing our responsibilities,” he added in response to calls for a euro-zone bond backed by all member states. — AFP

eign debt restructuring. No other comparable bank rescue plans have come off perfectly, and some restructuring experts said Spain should cut some slack. In Ireland, banks were forced to put their toxic loans into a new vehicle, called NAMA, at market prices. But initial hopes that assets would be marked down by 20 percent proved optimistic, and the losses averaged 57 percent, requiring huge state bailouts for the banks. “Look at Ireland, real estate numbers are only being trusted again now,” said a financial institutions specialist at a European investment bank. He said the step-by-step approach by Spain - whose fourth attempt this is to fix its banks real estate problems - was probably a wise one, even if it meant Friday’s plan was not necessarily definitive. But this banker and others pointed to one big hole in Spain’s latest reforms, which still needed addressing urgently. Though Spanish banks will move towards their own version of a “bad bank” by moving their property holdings into asset management firms for a fire sale by the year end, there are also worries other types of loans will start to go bad. “Spain will still be faced with a large program of restructuring and refinancing corporate, small-to-medium business and retail debt - some of which will be unviable,” said Jose de Ochoa, in the financial services team of restructuring specialist Alvarez & Marsal in Madrid. “The new capital and provisioning requirements will intensify the domestic credit crunch,” he added, saying an acceleration in the sell-off of real estate assets and its effect on prices would hit people in the pocket. — Reuters

Europe debt crisis biggest risk for Japan economy: PM TOKYO: The European debt crisis is the biggest risk for the Japanese economy, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said in a weekend interview with Dow Jones Newswires, citing it as a factor behind the yen’s strength. “It is risky to just stand on the sidelines and watch. This is not just about Europe, there is a possibility that it may spread to the global economy,” Noda said yesterday. “Of course this is the biggest downside risk factor for the Japanese economy.” Noda, who will attend a Group of Eight summit this month, said he hoped to discuss with the leaders ways to contain the crisis, noting Japan had made its contribution through a $60 billion pledge to the International Monetary Fund to boost a global firewall. While Europe must first take measures on its own to prevent contagion, Noda said other nations cannot afford to sit idle. The prime minister said Japanese authorities were keeping a close eye on the yen’s recent rise. The dollar has fallen back below 80 yen recently due to renewed concerns over the European debt crisis, even though a credit easing

by the Band of Japan in February lifted the dollar above 84 yen. A stronger yen makes Japanese exports less competitive and reduces the value of Japanese firms’ foreign income. “We need to closely monitor the market to see whether the recent moves deviate from the real state of the economy or are driven by speculative moves,” Noda said. To stem the yen’s rise, Noda did not rule out Tokyo taking unilateral action in the future. “There were times when we received cooperation,” he said, referring to the joint yen-selling intervention by the Group of Seven nations in March last year after Japan was hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami. “But there were times when we acted alone. There can be various approaches.” Noda also turned to the Bank of Japan to help battle the persistent strength of the yen. “We share with the BOJ the view that the strong yen and deflation are challenges for the economy that must be overcome,” Noda said. “I hope the BOJ will take bold steps in a timely and appropriate manner with such thinking in mind.” — AFP


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Indonesia airline boom raises safety questions Country’s passenger numbers rose to 53 million in 2010 JAKARTA: Dozens of fledgling airlines that have sprung up to serve Indonesia’s island-hopping new middle class could jeopardize the archipelago’s recently improved safety reputation, aviation experts say. The trend threatens to erode higher standards established during what one analyst called a “tremendous amount of soul searching” by major carriers and the government after 2007, when frequent crashes prompted the European Union to ban all Indonesian airlines from landing on its runways for two years. With growth rates of nearly 20 percent per year, Indonesia is one of Asia’s most rapidly expanding airline markets, but the country is struggling to provide qualified pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers and updated airport technology to ensure safety. And with so many new, small carriers, it’s hard to monitor all their standards. “We are not ready for this boom,” said Ruth Simatupang, an Indonesian aviation consultant and former safety investigator. Indonesia’s two largest airlines national carrier Garuda and rapidly expanding boutique airline Lion Air - haven’t had a fatal accident in five years and eight years, respectively. But small passenger and cargo carriers plus military aircraft have kept the frequency of crashes to about once every two months, according to statistics compiled by the Aviation Safety Network. Just how fast Indonesia’s airline market is growing came under a spotlight with Wednesday’s deadly crash of a Sukhoi Superjet-100 plane during a demonstration flight. While both the plane and the pilot were Russian, the flight was packed with representatives of local airlines that the manufacturer hoped would purchase the jetliner. The number of air passengers in Indonesia

jumped by 10 million in a year to 53 million in 2010, according to the government statistics agency, and the upward trend continued last year. “Infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with the growth of the airlines,” said Shukor Yusof, an aviation analyst in Singapore for Standard & Poors. He said the government needs to “spend a vast amount of money” to expand safety monitoring for the new carriers and invest in airport runways and technology. He added that the relative ease with which new airlines can be established, though tightened in recent years, has been a concern in the aviation community for years. In the past five years, Indonesia has added 36 new passenger and cargo airlines, bringing the total to 86 many of them small carriers serving outlying islands

where the only travel alternatives are ferries. Feeding the demand for new air routes are Indonesia’s population of 240 million, its geography of 18,000 islands and an economy that grew at a 6.5 percent clip last year, creating a larger middle class eager to travel. “Indonesia is a natural market for growth,” said Brendan Sobie, chief Southeast Asia representative for the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. “It’s one of the world’s biggest populations and one of the world’s most underserved markets for airlines.” Transportation official Herry Bakti Singayuda insists that Indonesia’s rapid airline growth is still compatible with safety. “We evaluate the operators,” said Singayuda, who directs the Air Transport Department under the Ministry of Transportation. “We control that growth based on

SURABAYA: A Lion Air passenger jet takes off from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, Indonesia. — AP

their capability, their facilities and personnel.” He added that the government has expanded flight schools, hired new inspectors and added 10 regional offices to keep up with the new airlines. Yusof agrees the government and major carriers have markedly improved safety standards in the five years since the EU blacklist, which followed fatal crashes by Garuda and now-defunct Adam Air in 2007. The government responded with a raft of new regulations and training schools, while Garuda invested millions of dollars to train staff and upgrade its fleet. Lion Air, which recently placed the largest ever order for Boeing aircraft - 230 planes listed at some $22 billion has also sought to improve safety, though it took a blow when several of its pilots were arrested in recent months with illicit drugs. “Garuda and Lion Air have done a tremendous amount of soul searching in terms of safety and in bringing in experts ... to help them clean up their act,” Yusof said. The newer airlines, however, may need more scrutiny. Smaller airlines serving the domestic market may have less money to invest in training and hiring qualified pilots and mechanics, said Simatupang, the Indonesian aviation consultant. “There are a lot of new pilots whose flying hours don’t meet the minimum standards, but because the operators need them, they use them sometimes,” she said. Like Yusof, Simatupang called on the government to do more to regulate the new airlines. “I always say to the government, please do the new infrastructure and safety regulations first,” she said. “And then allow the airlines to expand.” — AFP

Dollar rate up against dinar KUWAIT: Exchange rate of the US dollar against the Kuwaiti dinar rose to KD 0.279 yesterday. The euro also increased to KD 0.395, compared to Thursday’s figures, said the daily bulletin of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) yesterday. Exchange rate of the sterling pound dropped to KD

0.447 and the Japanese yen remained unchanged at KD 0.003. Whereas the Swiss franc also slipped to KD 0.299. Many factors affected the exchange market though the crisis over Greece’s sovereign debts kept the investors away from taking risks. — KUNA

Polish FM presses Germany on euro-zone commitment BERLIN: Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski urged euro-zone paymaster Germany to stand by the struggling 17-nation bloc and lead a drive for reforms, in comments to appear yesterday. “I fear Germany’s power less than its inactivity,” Sikorski told the influential German weekly Spiegel in an interview. “Germany must not dominate Europe, but it must (also) not demonstrate any less strength of leadership in reforms,” the Polish minister added. He said that a euro-zone meltdown was now the biggest threat to Poland, ahead of terrorism and “German tanks.” Nazi leader Adolf Hitler triggered World War II in Europe with an

invasion of neighboring Poland in September 1939, and relations between the two major European Union members have been marked by a series of high and low points. Meanwhile, social and political tension has flared again in Greece, and a possible Greek exit from the eurozone is being considered more widely than ever before. Berlin is under pressure from French president-elect Francois Hollande and other EU leaders to soften Germany’s staunch belief in fiscal discipline and reforms as a way to resolve the euro-zone’s chronic debt crisis. Sikorski remained cautious regarding the issue in his interview, noting that “Germany is the biggest EU shareholder, and benefits from the

biggest dividends when the (economic) climate is good. “When the firm runs into problems, it (Germany) has the responsibility of getting the shop back into shape.” “Germans are the best placed for that” and are central to any solution, the Polish minister said. He added that “all things considered, relations between Germany and Poland have never been better,” in large part because German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck are both from eastern Germany. Like Poland, that part of the country belonged to the Cold War Soviet bloc, which might provide them with more empathy regarding their eastern neighbor’s positions. — AFP

Euro-zone turmoil boosts London property stampede LONDON: Worsening financial and political turmoil in southern Europe caused a surge of interest in London property last month with buyers from Greece and Spain showing strongly among investors seeking a safe haven for their money. The number of Greeks searching for homes costing more than 1.5 million pounds ($2.4 million) on the website of property agent Savills jumped 39 percent in April compared with the average of the preceding six months, the company said. “The reason Greeks are coming is very simple,” said Dinos Joannou, a 65year-old Cypriot who works in the Athenian Grocery in the Bayswater district of London and has seen growing numbers arrive this year. “Greece is screwed, there are no jobs and it has been run by crooks.” The number of Europeans buying property in London has grown steadily over the last year as the euro zone debt crisis has worsened but numbers spiked ahead of elections in Greece last weekend that failed to produce a government. George Kastaros, 37, dresses as a traditional Greek soldier handing out leaflets for the Kalamaras restaurant on Queensway in Bayswater, an area popular among Greeks and home to the St Sofia’s Greek Orthodox cathedral. The Athenian moved to London before the crisis began in 2007 and said the number of Greeks arriving jumped after Christmas. “Dressed like this, Greek people who have just got off the plane come up to me with their suitcases and ask where they can find a place to live or a job. I was stopped by more than 100 people in January.” The chef at Kalamaras arrived five months ago with his son and daughter, who are a doctor and teacher, he said. “These are well-educated people who cannot find jobs in

Greece.” “What we’re seeing is another stage in the euro zone crisis gathering pace,” said Liam Bailey, head of residential research at property agent Knight Frank. “It’s ironic that the more instability you get in the euro zone the more the London property market benefits.” Savills data showed Spanish buyers grew 14 percent in April compared with the same six-month period and Knight Frank registered a 21 percent jump. Searches from Portugal last month were 153 percent up on April 2011 while Italian traffic jumped 46 percent, Knight Frank said. Growing interest from Greece in the last three weeks has been buoyed by buyers looking to rent out property as an investment, said Noel de Keyzer from Savills. “There seems to be an endless flow of wealthy Greek buyers, old Greek family money, coming to London both renting and buying.”

In addition to countries afflicted by the euro zone crisis, the best London homes have attracted growing interest from Russia, the Middle East and Far East as buyers attempt to protect their assets amid the gyrations of the money markets. Interest has pushed prices for so-called prime central London properties up by 44 percent in the last three years, more than twice the increase across London as a whole, Knight Frank said. Kostas Kazolides owns the Halepi Greek restaurant around the corner from Kalamaras and provides advice to Greeks looking to buy real estate or invest as part of club deals in residential and commercial property. “There have been a lot of new faces walking through the door of my restaurant lately,” he said, pointing to the growing popularity of deals in which professionals such as doctors and architects club together to invest.— Reuters

ADIB sees subdued 2012 profit, Q1 flat ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank warned yesterday that profit growth for the rest of the year would be “subdued” as it posted flat income for the first quarter of 2012 on increased provisioning. ADIB, the second-largest Islamic lender in the United Arab Emirates, made a group net profit of 307.3 million dirhams ($83.7 million) in the three months to March 31 versus 304.6 million dirhams last year, it said in a statement. The number was in line with analysts’ average forecast of 306 million dirhams. Tirad Mahmoud, the bank’s chief executive, warned a continuation of the global financial crisis and euro zone uncertainty, combined with regulatory changes in the UAE, would pose challenges which could dampen its profit for the rest of the year. “We continue to anticipate limited quality credit opportunities and a resultant subdued growth in profits for the balance of 2012,” he said in the statement. ADIB booked 186.1 million dirhams of provisions in the first quarter, 16.6 percent higher compared to the same period last year. Net customer financing increased 3.1 per cent to 49.6 billion dirhams in the first three months of 2012, while customer deposits grew 10.9 percent to 57.6 billion dirhams in the same period.—Reuters


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Shockingly affordable new Renault Duster Now officially on sale in GCC Abdulmohsen Abdulaziz Al-Babtain Co launches new Renault Duster KUWAIT: The New Renault Duster, a strong and reliable SUV with genuine off-road ability, was officially unveiled at the 2011 Dubai International Motor Show by Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing Renault Formula One driver and Mustansir Lakdawala, Managing Director of Renault GCC. The New Renault Duster is a particularly versatile 4x2 and 4x4 vehicle, which combines a spacious interior with saloon-car comfort, while its compact footprint and high ground clearance ensure that it is at home in and about town as it is on country roads or off the beaten track. The New Renault Duster is available across the GCC in 4x2 4-speed AT and 4x4 6-speed MT versions powered by a 2.0 16V (135 hp) engine, especially tested in the GCC. New Renault Duster, Renault quality made To confirm the New Renault Duster’s strength and reliability, the new vehicle covered the equivalent of four million kilometers in a wide range of climates and in particularly punishing conditions. One month of rigorous testing in GCC conditions prior to launch was carried out few months ago to make sure all standards of Renault quality will be met and the vehicle conforms to GCC specifications and requirements Mustansir Lakdawala, Managing Director of Renault GCC said, “We took into consideration the needs of customers aiming to own a modern car as a badge of social progress, but what they want most of all is a robust, reliable and versatile SUV vehicle they can afford. We had to take GCC extreme climate factors into account, as well as driving conditions that could be rough and varied (long distances, jammed roads)..,so we took on the challenge of offering an all-terrain vehicle that was less complex but still reliable and affordable, that combined the design of a real 4x4 with the comfort of a saloon, it’s a very popular concept specially following the world economic crisis, which hit household budgets hard and made many people think twice before buying a new car.” Benoit Turibe, Marketing Director of Renault GCC, added, “Duster is enjoying great success everywhere, since it has gone on sale it achieved more than 280,000 units worldwide, it’s present in Europe, Africa, India, South and Latin America. Duster has received more than ten awards from the international trade press. These include the “2011 4x4 of the Year” prizes in France and Argentina, “2011 Car of the Year” in Croatia and Russia, the “Auto best 2011? prize in Germany and the “Golden Steering Wheel” award in Romania. We took our time to test the New Renault Duster under GCC conditions in order to offer our customer the best level of quality. With its shockingly affordable price tag and its inner qualities, we expect the New Renault Duster to have the same success in this region as it has everywhere else. “ New Renault Duster, a versatile and stylish vehicle The New Renault Duster was designed to be versatile and to provide the driver and occupants with the same reassuring ride when it is driven in and about town, on trunk roads and

motorways, or when taken off-road. The New Renault Duster also boasts a spacious, comfortable interior and a high standard of safety. Roomy, safe and stylish SUV... Today’s all-terrain vehicles are often synonymous with bulk, but the New Renault Duster is an antidote to that idea. With a length of 4.31 metres and a width of 1.82 meters, the New Renault Duster is very compact but roomy. The New Renault Duster offers an unmistakably 4x4 plus a 4x2 version. From the front, it exudes an impression of toughness: the wide wheelarches, the imposing lines of the chrome grille and the sump guard clearly emphasis’ the 4x4 DNA of the New Renault Duster. Seen from the side, the high ground clearance, clear-

ly defined wheel-arches and protective moldings encourage the driver to tackle even the toughest roads and tracks. Cabin space worthy of a family saloon Despite its compact footprint, the New Renault Duster is a very spacious car, with five people able to travel in total comfort. Rear passenger headroom (seat cushion to roof ) is 895mm, knee room is 183mm and elbow room amounts to 1,438mm, enabling it to comfortably seat three adults at the rear, where there is also ample space to fit child seats. Depending on version, the New Renault Duster benefits from up to 475dm3 VDA of boot space, which is also very competitive. The practical, modular interior includes a folding rear bench seat, with a 60/40-split function available on certain versions. With the rear bench seat fully folded, carrying capacity is extended to up to 1,636dm3 VDA (depending on version). There are several pack options available on the New Renault Duster,” The Modularity Pack” on the PE version is meant to enhance the driver’s comfort, as it contains 1/3 - 2/3 split folding rear bench seat, height adjustable driver’s seat, height adjustable (tilt) steering wheel and height adjustment on front seatbelts. “The Safety Pack” on the PE version is made to keep every Renault Duster passenger safe as it has ABS with Emergency Brake Assist, front passenger airbag (deactivatable), front side airbags and unlock alarm (visual and audible) on front passenger seatbelt. And for an enhanced appearance the New Renault Duster offers the “Exterior Look Pack” on the SE version; it has satin chrome door mirrors, satin chrome longitudinal roof rails, front/

rear skid plate add-ons with satin chrome appearance paint, side skirt cover with satin chrome appearance paint, extra tinted rear windows, rear quarter glass and rear windscreen. SE version comes with “Safety Pack” and has front side airbags and pyrotechnic pretensioners on the front seatbelts. It also has a “Leather Safety Pack” with dark leather seats with front side airbags and pyrotechnic pretensioners on the front seatbelts. A comprehensive range of accessories (including wing extenders, broad side protectors for doors, lateral bars...) will complete this selection of packs. Inside, the PE trim level is clad with Grey Carbon fabric upholstery, with Dark Carbon trim on the steering wheel, gear knob insert and handbrake console. The central front panel, air vent surrounds and front door handles are in Star Grey tone. The SE trim level fabric upholstery is Shiny Brown with Shiny Brown accents on the steering wheel, handbrake console, central front panel, air vent surrounds and front door handles. There are Shiny Brown decorative strips on the front door panels. The gear knob insert on the SE is in satin chrome finish. The New Renault Duster’s dashboard is modern, uncluttered and functional. Particular attention has been paid to its ergonomics to ensure that the controls are conveniently positioned and that driving data is easy to read. ... With genuine go-anywhere ability The New Renault Duster was designed to cope with all types of road and track, all over the world. In order

Nigeria fines 4 mobile phone carriers $7.3m LAGOS: Regulators in Nigeria have fined four mobile phone carriers a total of $7.3 million over poor service in a nation that depends on cellular phones for communications, a spokesman said yesterday. The Nigeria Communications Commission’s penalties hit Bharti Airtel Ltd. of India, Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat, local firm Globacom Ltd. and South Africa-based MTN Group Ltd., some of the dominant carriers in Africa’s most populous nation. Etisalat and MTN must pay $2.25 million apiece, while Airtel faces a penalty of $1.68 million and Globacom faces a $1.125 million fine, said Reuben Muoka, a commission spokesman. The fines come for poor service, dropped calls and bad line quality in March and April, Muoka said. The commission issued a statement Saturday saying that they decided to allow January and February to be a grace period for the companies to improve their services. In October, the communications commission warned carriers it would begin fining them for poor service. “The current penalties signal a new regime of quality of service management in the Nigerian telecommunications industry,” the commission said. The companies have until May 21 to pay the regulators or they will face further penalties. MTN, long the dominant provider in Nigeria, has 41.1 million subscribers in

the nation after 10 years of doing business there. Spokesmen for Airtel and MTN did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Spokesmen for Etisalat and Globacom could not be reached as telephone numbers for them could not be immediately found yesterday. Nigeria, long troubled by pothole-littered roads and little electricity, has relied on mobile phones since the government granted the public access to them about a decade ago. Landlines are almost nonexistent, as the state-run telephone com-

pany has collapsed and repeated efforts to sell it to a private company have failed. However, carrier service is often so poor that those who can afford it carry multiple phones with different providers to be able to make calls. The ultimatum by the commission comes as Nigeria, home to 160 million people, continues its explosive growth, making it a lucrative market for mobile phone service providers. The arrival of Airtel sparked a price war in the market, with local phone calls now down to pennies a minute. — AP

to meet these wide-ranging needs, The New Renault Duster will be available in both 4x4 6-speed MT and 4x2 4-speed AT versions. The 4x2 4-speed AT version has been designed for customers who want good ground clearance and a reassuring elevated driving position, as well as loose-surface ability, but who don’t have a real need for all-wheel drive. The strengthened underside of the New Renault Duster is suitable for loose-sur faces and all-terrain use thanks to: l High ground clearance of 205mm for the 4x2 4-speed AT version in the urban environment and an equally useful 210mm for the 4x4 6-speed MT version, l Short overhangs (822mm at the

front, 820mm at the rear), l Best in class clearance angles (30 degrees for approach angle; 24 degrees ramp break over angle for the 4x2 4-speed AT version and 22 degrees for the 4x4 6-speed MT version; 36 degrees departure angle for the 4x2 4-speed AT version and 35 degrees for the 4x4 6-speed MT version). The New Renault Duster is a vehicle that is easy to use. Combined with compact dimensions, this ensures that the New Renault Duster is particularly agile. The New Renault Duster is built on the B0 platform which is widely acclaimed for its strength, reliability and durability. At the front, the suspension is MacPherson-type with rectangular lower arm and anti-roll bar.

At the rear, the suspension on the 4x4 6-speed MT version is MacPherson-type with multi-link, while the rear suspension on the 4x2 4-speed AT version comprises of a flexible H-beam with spiral springs it’s strong and permits a large boot, which is a key consideration for our customers. Both solutions deliver a comfortable ride and allow high ground clearance. The New Renault Duster 4x4 6speed MT version is equipped with a new six-speed gearbox with a short first ratio (5.79kph per 1,000 rpm) which allows the vehicle to travel at very slow speed on uneven terrain, and improves performance as you pull away from standstill with heavy loads or on steep slopes. New Renault Duster, SUV style and abilities with saloon comfort The New Renault Duster’s occupants will appreciate the high standard of travelling comfort it provides, whatever the type of road or terrain, thanks to its high ride-height (205mm in 4x2 4-speed AT version and 210mm in 4x4 6-speed MT version) and specific work on its suspension (damper travel, springs and calibration). Comfort is further enhanced by the New Renault Duster’s long wheelbase (2.67m) and big 16-inch wheels, alloy wheels are available. Drivers enjoy a reassuring, high-up seating position which gives them better visibility of potential hazardous situations, while all versions are equipped with safe, precise power steering that delivers a good standard of driving pleasure. Depending on trim level, the driver’s seat comes with height adjustability to help find the ideal driving position. Drivers are also pampered by the height-adjustable steering wheel (Depending on trim level) and userfriendly steering wheel-mounted controls. Thermal comfort has been engineered to meet the challenge of the GCC punishing climate. Particular care has been taken with the routing of ducts to ensure fast cooling after starting in extreme heat.

Police clear ‘indignants’ from Madrid’s square MADRID: Spanish police cleared out Madrid’s central square early yesterday of hundreds of “indignant” activists who had spent the night as part of demonstrations to mark one year since the start of a global protest movement. The police moved in on the Puerta del Sol square in the early hours and within minutes removed the several hundred activists who had defied an official warning to disperse after 10:00 pm (2200 GMT) on Saturday, an AFP photographer on the scene witnessed. Masses of chanting “indignants” poured into the streets across Spain on Saturday in a vast show of strength a year after sparking a global protest movement against economic injustice. Madrid police estimated that 30,000 people had taken part in the protest during the day. In Barcelona, Spain’s second city, the turnout was 45,000 according to police, and 220,000 accord-

ing to organizers. The marches, held in 80 cities and towns across Spain, launched a four-day protest that will end on May 15, the anniversary of the movement’s birth-dubbed 15-M. While Barcelona city hall seemed prepared to tolerate a camp for a limited period, the authorities in Madrid insisted that they would not allow a repeat of last year’s month-long sprawling encampment in Puerta del Sol that included everything from a canteen to a kindergarten and a library. Spain’s conservative government, in power since December, has issued a permit for the “indignants” to use Puerta del Sol for a five-hour assembly Saturday and for 10 hours on each of the following three days. Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said the government would ensure that the regulated hours were respected. — AFP

Total says gas leak in Nigeria to stop in ‘few days’

LAGOS: A man rides on a motor taxi past a giant advertisement billboard of Nigeria Globacom in Lagos yesterday. Nigeria has fined four mobile phone carriers a total of $7.3 million over poor service and call quality in Africa’s dominant market. — AP

LAGOS: French energy firm Total said it hoped to stop within a few days a natural gas leak that has led to a shutdown of one of its plants in southern Nigeria. The company said in a statement late Saturday its “teams have reported significant progress in the efforts to ensure that the incident is brought under control and to stop the subsurface gas flow from the affected well.” “The snubbing intervention started on May 9 and if

successful could stop the gas flow in the next few days,” it said, explaining that the operation consists of introducing small pipes into the well to pump heavy fluid to stop the flow. Total said the leak occurred during the drilling of a new well in Rivers state, forcing it to shut down the Obite gas plant on April 3. The French company said its team had been performing an analysis of air and water quality several times a week. — AFP


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Sony set to roll out VAIO E14 Series across Kuwait Chic Notebook PC with stylish color accents KUWAIT: Sony, the leading consumer electronics brand, yesterday announced the new VAIO E14 Series, a 14-inch notebook with stylish new ‘wrap design’ and long battery life, is set to be rolled out across Kuwait mid of May. Ideal for stress-free everyday computing, the laptop is equipped with third generation Intel Core i5 and i7 CPU with AMD

Radeon HD 7670M discrete GPU (VRAM: 1GB). The light-weight VAIO E14 stands out from the crowd with its soft and subtly reassuring ‘wrap design.’ Available in five refreshing colors including white, black, pink, silver or gun metallic, its design is accented by complementary color flourishes around the notebook’s edge1, touchpad and keyboard. The device also comes with a pre-

mium diamond-cut finish VAIO logo2 on the lid and a ‘personalization kit’ comprising matching mouse and keyboard skin. The battery life of up to 5.5 hours3 is enhanced by the discreet GPUs that automatically switch off to boost battery life when less graphic-intensive tasks are being performed. The efficient VAIO Display, energy-saving

processors, and the on-board optical drive that shuts down to zero power consumption when on stand-by or sleep mode further stretch the battery’s endurance capacity. Featuring the new ‘Rapid Wake + Eco’ energy-saving mode, VAIO goes into an ultra-low power deep sleep, keeping all your data safe for up to ten days4. Once the PC’s lid is opened, the laptop is up and

running in seconds, with the files exactly as they were left. Sony’s xLOUD and Clear Phase technologies enhance volume levels without distortion for impressive-sounding movies and games. Alternatively, one can switch to Dolby Home Theatre V4 for rich, cinema-style audio. Video chats are now of upgraded quality with the built-in ‘Exmor

for PC’ HD web camera. The feature has the capability to deliver sharper details, higher contrast and rich colors, even in low light conditions while other web cameras struggle with grainy, fuzzy images. The generously-sized multigesture touchpad offers a large clickable surface for intuitive, ‘button-free’ control. There is plenty of space to navigate pages, edit pho-

tos and more with fingertip scroll, flick, pinch/zoom and pivot movements. Gesture Control allows users to interact with the laptop using spontaneous hand movements through the web camera. One can move though web pages or photo gallery, PowerPoint slideshows, pause music playback, or adjust music volume up or down with just a flick of the hand. VAIO also makes for a handy ‘any time’ charger in the absence of a quickly accessible AC socket. Users just need to plug in their phones via USB, even when the computer is switched off or in sleep mode. To further increase the usability, VAIO E14 comes equipped with comfortably-spaced isolation backlight keyboard for error-free late-night typing. Equipped with PlayMemories Home, the new software that allows users to import pictures and videos from any camera or camcorder, the notebook helps the user instantly relive old memories. The unique feature includes camera direct viewing, 3D playback, external HDD direct viewing and 3D shortmovie creation. One can even transfer the files to DVD or Blu-ray Disc(tm) or upload them on to social networking sites such as Facebook(r) and YouTube(tm). The new VAIO E14 Series will be available across Supplying Store Co. & reseller stores in Kuwait from the third week of May.

Malibu 2013 interior

Summer’s next big thing from Chevrolet will be launched by Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim & Sons KUWAIT: Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim & Sons, the sole distributor of Chevrolet in Kuwait, is adding a new and exciting vehicle to its dynamic Chevrolet lineup that will leave people in awe and car enthusiasts mesmerized by the vehicle’s performance and alluring looks on the road. The new model that has DNA from the mighty Camaro possesses a sporty and sleek exterior, a unique element that gives an edge to this classy sedan. With more than forty awards including its earned title of Consumer ’s Digest’s “Best Buy” for the years in a row starting from 2009 until 2011, this reasonably priced Chevrolet vehicle will

attract the attention of both customers and vehicle reviewers alike. With soft, ambient lighting and a sporty design that mirrors the Camaro, this new Chevrolet vehicle surpasses expectations as it complements its fast-paced look and feel with luxurious features such as a spacious interior, remote vehicle start, whisper-quiet cabin and a world class color touch radio. Paralleling its superior driving dynamics and exceptional aerodynamics that have set standards to vehicles in the same caliber is the car’s safety features that are highlighted through its five-star crash test rating.

Canon 3rd in Interbrand Japan’s ‘Best Global Brands’ ranking

Hamad Saleh AlSelmi with the winner.

Fasttelco announces raffle draw winner of Nissan 370Z sports car KUWAIT: Fasttelco Telecommunication Company, the leading telecommunication service provider in Kuwait announced the name of the winner in the raffle draw for its promotion that ended April 29, 2012. The promotion actually allowed all customers who had subscribed, upgraded, or renewed their internet subscription the chance to enter this draw and win the grand prize of Nissan 370Z car. The grand prize of a magnificent Nissan 370Z sports car, was won by Ayman Abduljabbar. “As we are constantly focused on keeping our customers satisfied, we work on providing them with the best offers and promotions available because customer satisfaction is incorporated into our strategic plan. Moreover, we strongly believe that our valued customers, whether new or existing, truly deserve the best,” stated Hamad Saleh AlSelmi, PR Manager at FASTtelco. AlSelmi later included, “This special promotion was especially organized by our company as a gesture of appreciation to all those who participated in this draw by submitting or renewing their

internet subscription with Fasttelco. We also promise all our customers to offer them more valuable prizes in order to best fulfill all their needs and expectations. That being said, the key behind Fasttelco’s success lies in the fact that our company is continuously working on developing its services and improving its operational processes in order to keep our customers satisfied and happy. As a result, our company today is considered as the leading internet and data communication service provider in Kuwait with its state of the art infrastructure and continuous dedication to providing innovative communication solutions to both the consumer and corporate markets.” In the End, Fasttelco would like to congratulate all the lucky winners in this promotion, and invite everyone to subscribe to its internet services and benefit from the highest standards in internet and data communication industry and from more valuable prizes to come. Once again, we would like to promise all our valued customers that we will constantly be introducing new offers and tailormade promotions and giveaways throughout all seasons.

Al-Tijari winners of daily draw with Najma Account KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al Najma Account draw yesterday. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry represented by AbdulAziz Ashkanani The winners of the Al Najma Daily Draw are Bernabe Duco Torrefiel — KD 7000, Bader Nasser Yaqoub Ghareeb— KD 7000, Kamal Samir Faeq Al-Rimawy — KD 7000, Yaqoub Yousef Abdulla Al-Hajre— KD 7000, Sarah Thedan Jraies Al-Otibi —KD 7000, The Commercial Bank of Kuwait announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new Najma account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD 7,000 daily prize which is the highest in the country and another 4

mega prizes during the year worth KD 100,000 each on different occasions: The National Day, Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and on the 19th of June which is the date of the bank’s establishment. With a minimum balance of KD 500, customers will be eligible for the daily draw provided that the money is in the account one week prior to the daily draw or 2 months prior to the mega draw. In addition, for each KD 25 a customer can get one chance for winning instead of KD50. Commercial Bank of Kuwait takes this opportunity to congratulate all lucky winners and also extends appreciation to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for their effective supervision of the draws which were conducted in an orderly and organized manner.

KUWAIT: Canon, world-leader in imaging solutions, has been placed third in the Interbrand ‘Japan’s Best Global Brands 2012’ ranking. Since the ranking began in 2009, Canon has consistently been placed in the top five, and its brand value continues to increase. “Recognition as one of the top three Japanese Global brands is testament to the strength of the Canon brand,” said James Leipnik, Chief of Communication for Canon Europe, Middle East and Africa. “To have maintained this high position despite the challenges of the past year shows the resilience of Canon’s imaging products and the continued trust consumers have in the Canon brand.” Mai Youssef, Corporate Communications Manager, Canon Middle East, added, “This latest ranking reaffirms Canon’s position as an innovative industry leader, dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of customers throughout the world. We are committed to becoming a top 100 global company and look forward to continuing to inspire people’s creativity and innovation through the power of image.” Interbrand assessed Canon’s brand value at $11,715 million, which is an improvement of two per cent on last year’s valuation. Interbrand’s methodology evaluates brand value on financial strength, influence on purchasing decisions, and future earning potential. The ranking is seen as a good indicator of brand strength. To qualify, each brand must originate from Japan, be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, have a good level of global recognition and derive at least 30 per cent of its total sales from outside Japan.

US, Europe, more QE on the way! By Hayder Tawfik KUWAIT: There seems to be a general feeling that the economies of the US, UK and Europe needs a big injection in the form of another QE let’s call it

AUB announces winner of Al-Hassad weekly draw KUWAIT: Ahli United Bank (AUB) has announced the results of the weekly draws of its Al-Hassad Islamic savings scheme. The lucky customers winning the grand weekly prize worth KD 25,000 each at the draws held on May 2, 2012 are: Fawaz Khaled Yousef, Fahad Abdulrahman Al-Hammadi and Sara Abdulaziz. The following Al-Hassad Islamic customers won cash prizes of KD 1000 each: Zamzam Issa Al-Haddad, Sauad Al Otaibi, Mirza Jaleel Ahmad , Eid Mahmoud Ibrahim , Jill Ann Foster, Shorouq Saleh Al-Khatib, Mohammed Misfer Al-Ajmi, Zakarya Ahmad Ali, Abdulaziz Ismaeel Ali, Bahaaeldeen Saied Hamid, Bassila Subhi Bassil, Mohammad Zeitoun, Nedaa Abdulaziz Abdulla, Dahi Daif Allah Al-Resheedi, Hashem Al-Mousawi, Jaber Al-Saqobi, Mohsin Yousef, Saleh Hamad Saleh, Jacob Mathew, Ahmad Musa Al-Namla, Abbas A Karim Abdulla, Ahmed Hubail Ahmed, Rashid Ali Rashid, Moosa Mustafa Al-Mosawi, Hussain Mohsin Mohammed. With the new Al-Hassad Islamic 2011 scheme, customers have a lot more to look forward to. With 28 weekly prizes totaling KD 100,000 each week and “Salary for Life” prizes every month, the chances to win bigger prizes more often couldn’t get any better. The most attractive feature of the new scheme is the chance to win bigger prizes, more frequently with 3 grand prizes of KD 25,000 each, week on week plus 25 other weekly prizes of KD 1,000. Chances to win big prizes on a weekly basis, offer instant rewards to both existing as well as new Investors in Investment Saving Account (Al Hassad Islamic). With the introduction of a “Salary for Life” prize of KD 250,000 every month, the grand prize is also now more frequent and customers do not need to wait for a quarter or more to qualify for the grand prize. The “Salary for Life” has been a core feature for the Al-Hassad Islamic scheme with prizes paid out to date exceeding KD 10 million. The monthly “Salary for Life” prize has enabled winners to afford better homes, ensure better education for their children and enjoy an improved quality of life, with the assurance that the rewards will continue to come month after month for 250 months. AlHassad Islamic is the only scheme to offer high value weekly and monthly prizes that are significantly higher than the total outlay of other prize schemes in Kuwait. In addition to the attractive prize pool, customers with high balances can opt for other unique features such as Investment savings plan, cheque facility linked to their investment savings account and state of the art ebanking and 24 x 7 Contact Center support. The new Al-Hassad Islamic 2011 is geared to meeting the needs of salaried individuals. Customers can benefit from not only the biggest and most attractive prize pool but can also enjoy state of the art banking benefits and access to AUB’s unique products’ range for Islamic Finances ,credit cards and investment products. All Al-Hassad draws are conducted under the scrutiny of officials from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and independent auditing firm, Ernst& Young.

QE2. Few days ago there was the celebration of the 100thyear’s anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I don’t want to compare the event with the Titanic, but trying to solve these economic problems with more stimulus is like the captain of the Titanic trying to solve his iceberg problems with more acceleration. The Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the ECB may leave the door open to add more stimulus as a flare-up in Europe’s debt crisis, austerity measure, spending cuts and the latest sign of slowdown in the US economy and China threaten to keep the slow recovery which started at the beginning of this year at bay. Obviously, this is not a clear cut as some central bankers keep blaming the politicians for the havoc created in some of these economies which have led to slow down, high unemployment and finally street protests. These central bankers rather than worry about the effect of more QE on inflation, they should ask the banks what they have done with all that cheap money they received from the central banks mainly the Federal Reserve, the ECB and the bank of England. Apar t from some banks which have benefited tremendously from the generous ECB polic y, German exporters done very well too from the undervalued Euro as a result of the ECB policy. As long as the tur-

moil goes on in the EU region and the Euro get hammered each time, this is ver y good news for German exporters. Whenever there are crisis. There are winners and losers. Who is really benefiting from of the crisis in the Euro Region!! More Quantitative Easing means more devaluation of the currency. The Germans need a low Euro to support exports. Unfortunately this low Euro does not help countries like Spain, Greece, and Portugal etc. So the vicious circle goes on. It will be really helpful for the rest of Europe if the Germans start channeling some of the money they have earned from the export boom into Europe, or increase their spending pattern. Of course it is not for the rest of Europe to dictate how the Germans can help but I thought the idea of a single currency throughout the EU and the integration of their economies and cross border investments were part of the grand scheme. The ECB has flooded financial markets with more than 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) of cheap money to prevent credit markets from freezing up. European Union lawmakers have already demanded that banks disclose profits from carry trades derived from the so-called longer-term refinancing operations and exclude the money from bonus pools. As a result of The ECB’s policy of just flooding the market with cheap money, some banks have been benefiting from this money and consumers and borrowers not getting any help. I can say clearly that the ECB policy of cheap money has been a biggest policy mishandling I have ever seen. Why now theses European Supervisory Banking Boards asking these kind of questions? Can I remind my readers that some of these Super visor y Board Members may have link to some of these big banks. Why the Central Banks don’t put some conditions in place when they give free money to these banks. Some of the banks have made huge profits from the carry trade as a result of cheap financing. It is quite amazing that if we print money at home we get arrested but if the central banks print money no questions will be asked. — Hayder Tawfik is Executive Vice President of Asset Management, at Dimah Capital

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Kaspersky PURE 2.0: The ultimate in home PC protection DUBAI: When it comes to the security of your family’s home computers, it’s clear that maximum protection is the one to go for. With the threat landscape continually evolving and getting scarier by the day, only the very best should do in terms of security. And the very best, quite simply, is Kaspersky PURE 2.0, delivering ultimate PC protection for your home, combining everything you need to ensure the security of your PCs, identities, passwords and photos, to protect your children when they are online, and much more besides. At the same time, it’s incredibly simple to use, and allows you to centrally manage the security of every PC in your home - all from a single PC. So what goes into making the best-of-the-best - the ultimate - product from world-leading security developer Kaspersky Lab? Pop the hood, let’s have a look... But just one more thing before checking out the plethora of maximum security features: It’s possible you might ask: “Why ‘PURE’?” Well, as you’ll find out below, it’s purely (!) because it provides users - particularly families, and especially their minor members - with a PURE Internet experience, on PURE home computers - free of viruses and malware, and protected from all other - mainly Internetoriginating - risks that could potentially contaminate those home computers. The ultimate in core protection Kaspersky PURE 2.0 provides the ultimate award-winning core protection greatly improved upon since the last version - against viruses, spyware, Trojans, spam, hackers, worms, keyloggers, rootkits, bots, scripts, phishing and more, and all in the background - automatically updating itself with improved efficiency and neither getting in your way nor taking up comput-

er resources. But such best-in-class core protection is only to be expected in Kaspersky Lab’s premium home product hardly news to most. So let’s have a look at some of the less obvious advantages of the software - advantages that set it apart. First up is its innovative hybrid approach to digital security - further improved since the previous version: In addition to the traditional signature-based methods of threat detection, the latest cloud technologies and proactive protection methods are applied to deliver a faster, more effective response to today’s complex, ever-evolving threats. New/improved file and website checking functions Next up is a range of file and website checking functions. There’s the improved Safe Run function - an isolated virtual environment in which you can launch suspicious programs and visit unknown websites to check them over before running/opening them on your computer proper. System Watcher is technology that closely monitors the behavior of programs already running on a system. If a program performs a malicious action, System Watcher shuts it down and changes it has made to the system are rolled back. This function has been improved to be able to roll back changes made even during a previous session. In a similar vein, Kaspersky PURE 2.0 uses new File Advisor technology to assess the security of a file before it is run. Information about the activity of programs running on users’ computers is fed to the cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network where data is analyzed and matched against the reputations of these programs.

If a program does something suspicious to suggest it is malicious, its behavioral pattern is added to Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus databases. This allows other malicious programs with similar behavior to be blocked. Finally, there’s URL Advisor. Built into browser toolbars, it flags links to infected or fraudulent (phishing) resources using a color indicator within search engine results. To receive more detailed information about a specific website, just place the cursor over the colored indicator. Other premium security features Kaspersky PURE 2.0 features an improved, easy-to-use centralized security management function - Home Network Control - for home-network computers, which enables checking the protection status of, and updating the antivirus database for, all computers in a home network - all from one computer. One module of Home Network Control is the improved Parental Control, which allows you to supervise your children’s online communications deemed desirable by nearly 70% of respondents in a parental control survey* and which has been enhanced to make it more intuitive to use. Indeed, making sure your family’s Internet experience remains PURE (2.0) has never been easier or more convenient, and with around 80% of respondents in the same survey concerned about there being “too much inappropriate content and a lot of harmful programs online”, it is clear that this functionality is as timely as it is indispensable. Password Manager is a module of Kaspersky PURE 2.0 that allows you to create strong passwords, store them securely, and manage them easily. Your password database can be accessed using a master password, a USB or Bluetooth device, or a

Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. Password Manager supports several accounts, meaning each user of an individual PC can have his/her own password database. It can generate secure, random passwords to provide better security, and automatically enter them into your account logins; it can also enter passwords directly into Windows applications via the Password Manager button conveniently embedded at the top of applications’ windows. And it can help you locate unprotected passwords in browsers and transfer them to its own encrypted database. Safe Notes allows you to safely store not only logins and passwords but also personal notes containing confidential information such as PIN codes for SIM cards, software activation codes, passport details, credit card numbers, etc. Safe Notes can be set up using standard data templates (e.g., ‘Bank cards’, ‘Internet settings’, etc.). Virtual Keyboard is an onscreen keyboard that you use with a mouse. It ensures logins, passwords, bank card details and other confidential data can be safely entered into web pages without the use of a standard keyboard. This prevents data being intercepted by malicious programs that can intercept it by taking screenshots or recording keystrokes made on a physical keyboard. With data backup and restore you can direct any hard drive, removable medium, FTP server, or other network storage to store scheduled password-protected backup copies of all your stored data as insurance against computer crashes, hard drive failure, etc. This has been improved with preset categories to make backing up whole categories of files (“all music files”, “all video files”, etc.) easier, wherever they

may reside on the computer. Kaspersky PURE 2.0 ensures complete privacy while using the Internet. It can clean up your online ‘footprint’ by clearing your surfing history, temp files, cookies and registry items, and also free up space on the hard drive, which can speed up your system. And last but not least, there’s File Shredder. Deleting files through the Windows Recycle Bin does not protect against cybercriminals’ efforts to restore deleted files and steal valuable information. The multi-pass File Shredder in Kaspersky PURE 2.0 irreversibly wipes all your private and confidential deleted data. Keeping you and your family purer So there you have it. A profusion of PURE reasons to go for the ultimate in home PC security - Kaspersky PURE 2.0. Particularly with its password-securityrelated features, encryption capabilities, secure vaults and backup, and Parental Control, Kaspersky PURE 2.0 is moving with the times to cover all these important aspects of overall - ultimate - PC security, which are increasingly necessary today as cybercriminals become more and more adept at exploiting the things these technologies protect: Increasingly sophisticated social engineering techniques like phishing are becoming more and more successful in seeking out passwords; hacks of (unencrypted, unsecure) data are becoming weekly occurrences in the news; and with children’s upbringing today so potentially vulnerable to the laissez-faire, ‘adult’ nature of the Internet if access to it goes unchecked, does anyone really need another reason why Kaspersky PURE 2.0 is no less than mandatory in order to be protected against all the security threats out there?

Kids spending more time with media, technology Social media’s impact on kids merits big debate

3D technology is the best to use

Glasses or full resolution? 3D technology in home cinema BERLIN: Three-dimensional home cinema sounds great. But what equipment is needed and are the devices even compatible with each other? Perhaps the most important question is which 3D technology is the best to use. Only those who carefully plan their step into the third dimension will be happy with their investment. Those who want to make their home cinema ready for 3D must first decide which 3D technology they want to use. “There are the polarizing filter and the shutter technologies, and both work with their own corresponding glasses,” said Christoph de Leuw from Germany’s Audio Video Foto Bild magazine. Every variation has its advantages and disadvantages. “The biggest advantage of the shutter glasses is that each eye has a completely HD picture,” de Leuw said. They provide a more focused and clear picture than with polarizing filter glasses with technically halved resolution. As opposed to polarizing filter devices, not only must the display and picture control be set up for the shutter technology but a station must also be integrated into the television to control the active glasses. This makes it not only technically more complex but also more difficult and more expensive than the polarizing filter technology, said technology expert Peter Knaak from the German consumer protection group Stiftung Warentest. “Shutter glasses start at about 40 euros (52 dollars) while polarizing filter glasses only cost 1 euro,” he said. While polarizing filter glasses can be used for every device that uses that 3D technology, shutter glasses can be used less extensively. “The glasses from different manufacturers are not compatible with each other,” said Roland Stehle from German consumer electronics association GfU. But that will change soon. “There is already a standard in the works but the procedure is not yet complete,” he said. More and more 3D-capable devices are being sold. “Especially larger televisions

with more than a metre screen diagonal can have 3D,” said Stehle. Usually they are very good 2D devices that have an additional 3D function. The offering of 3D films on Blu-ray or 3D video games, meanwhile, is still pretty manageable. “But that is slowly increasing,” said de Leuw. There are also individual television stations with 3D offerings including films and football broadcasts. Blu-rays with 3D films are compatible with both technologies. And there are also no problems with the playing devices for the discs - as they in general must be 3D-capable. “Televisions produce their signals accordingly,” said Knaak. So users cannot really choose a wrong device as was the case not long ago in the HD format war between Bluray and the now forgotten HD-DVD. De Leuw warned about deceptive 3D films, especially older films that were described as 3D movies. “With films that were not originally shot in 3D but converted and converted retroactively, the picture can appear very artificial and prosaic,” he said. “Real 3D films are only available on Blu-ray. You should always be sceptical with 3D-DVD.” The same goes for converters that promise to convert two-dimensional pictures into three-dimensional. “These devices still work with red-green glasses and cannot come close to the quality of current 3D technology,” according to de Leuw. There is hope for lovers of 3D films who find glasses annoying. There is a glasses-less 3D technology in the works and the first devices with the technology are already in stores. But the technology, according to Knaak, is not yet entirely developed. “I still have not seen a really good demo,” he said. The 3D effects only appear if the viewers are in a certain position, but nine people can watch in 3D from nine fields of view. However, said Knaak, “the 3D effect is extremely dependent on head movement. You can very easily get out of the field of view, making the 3D picture collapse.” — dpa

WASHINGTON: Facebook’s big stock offering on Wall Street must be followed by an intensive debate on Main Street about social media’s powerful impact on children, an expert on the topic says. Jim Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, a San Francisco think tank focusing on media and families, said the technology that Facebook represents is having “an enormous impact” on youngsters, families and schools worldwide. “We need to have a big national, if not global conversation about the pros and cons of that,” Steyer, a father of four who is also a civil rights lawyer and Stanford University professor, told AFP in an interview. While social media such as Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter offer “extraordinary possibilities” in such areas as education, he said, “there are also real downsides in a social, emotional and cogitative development way.” “Hopefully, after the flurry of the IPO and after the valuation of Facebook is done, then we can have a very serious ongoing discussion of what this means,” he said. Steyer was in Washington to promote his just-published book “ Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age,” which argues for greater parental involvement in their children’s online lives. “Whether we like it or not, kids are now spending far more time with media and technology than they are with their families or in school,”-as much as eight hours a day on average in the United States alone, he wrote. Children face the triple peril of what Steyer calls RAPrelationship issues, attention and addiction problems, and privacy issues-as well as cyberbullying, online pornography and, for girls, body image fears. Steyer is particularly critical of Silicon Valley tycoons-he knows many on a first-name basis-who, unbridled by government regulation, insist that privacy no longer matters in an increasingly interconnected world. “This extraordinary

Combo made of screenshots of the homepage of Facebook in 16 different languages made yesterday in Paris. Facebook, already assured of becoming one of the most valuable US firms. Facebook has more than 900 million active users. With 157 million members, the United States has the most Facebook users, followed by India with 45.9 million, Brazil with 45.3 million, Indonesia with 42.4 million and Mexico with 32.9 million. Languages in the combo are from (L to R, top row to bottom row): English, Hindi, French, Japanese, Tamil, Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Italian, Greek, Russian, Portugese, Arabic, Danish, Hebrew and German.—AFP revolution in digital media has with studies indicating that many enabling users to wipe off anything been driven by young (software) body-conscious teens are photo- they might have posted in the past. “We need clear and simple rules engineers, many of whom are not shopping images of themselves so parents, many of whom are some- as to look thinner and score more (around privacy) for the tech companies, too, because right now what socially awkward and many of “likes” among their friends. By way of advice to parents, he they’ve dominated the debate and whom have not really thought through the social and emotional recommended “personal technolo- they’ve set the rules themselves,” consequences” of their products, he gy time-outs” and banning smart- he said. But the immediate responsaid. “There is an arms race for data, phones at the dinner table. “Meal sibility, he said, falls on moms and and to build things as fast as possi- time should not be tech time,” he dads. “It’s part of parenting 2.0 ble ... but that’s not a great strategy said. Children must also be taught today, so you have to do your when you’re talking about kids,” he to reflect before hitting the “send” homework,” he said. “You have to actually learn the said, accusing tech outfits for “not button on something they might later regret, refrain from anony- rules of the road... and then you respecting the concept of privacy.” Earlier this week, a Consumer mous comments, and not to have to set clear and simple limits Reports survey found nearly 13 mil- believe everything they read or see for kids, set clear rules of behaviorand you have to be a role model. lion US Facebook users-out of 157 online. “If you’re constantly addicted to On a governmental level, Steyer million, and 900 million worldwidedo not use, or are not aware of, the suggested the United States follow your cellphone or your ‘CrackBerry’ site’s privacy controls. Girls are Europe’s lead in privacy regulation then that’s not sending a very good especially vulnerable, Steyer said, and introduce an “eraser button” message to your kids.” —AFP

Technology without a touch screen BERLIN: If you just want a mobile for making calls, then you don’t really need a touch screen. Indeed, touch screens are not strictly necessary for a lot of popular activities, whether it be surfing the web, taking pictures or listening to music. What you might want is a multimedia mobile. However, the market for these devices is shrinking fast. That’s because for many people, mobile phones are becoming anything but phones. Ads focus on how quickly they can go online, display high-definition video or let you access graphic-intensive games. Mention of telephone features can almost seem an afterthought. But, when it comes to multimedia mobiles, making calls and sending text messages remain two of the key functions. Internet access and playing MP3 audio files are also available functions, but are of much lower importance. The question is whether these mobiles are worth it for a class of customers who simply want to make phone calls. Or should they just

join the smartphone bandwagon? Michael Wolf of Stiftung Warentest, a German consumer products testing organization, said a mobile needs to fulfill four basic functions to be considered a smartphone. “For internet surfing, it needs a certain display size and fast internet access via UMTS or wi-fi. Additionally, smartphones have an open operating system that can be expanded with apps,” he said. The last requirement is a keyboard with letters. But that doesn’t mean a physical keyboard. The widespread virtual keyboards seen on so many touch screens more than fit the bill. “The borders between smartphones and multimedia mobiles move a lot,” Wolf added. After all, a lot of mobile phones can go online, many even with UMTS. Of course, it’s not as much fun with a smaller display and without a touch screen. Still, a lot of manufacturers offer some programmes and games to download onto older mobiles.—dpa

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Germany to challenge EU rules on toxins in toys as too lax BERLIN: Germany is to challenge European Union toy safety rules in court, arguing that their thresholds for lead, arsenic and mercury are too lax, two government ministers in Berlin said last week. The new guidelines, which come into force in July next year, would mean that German toy-shops could sell products that are currently banned for fear that babies will ingest faint traces of

poison from paints and plastics if they put the toys in their mouths. Consumer Affairs Minister Ilse Aigner said Germany would entertain “no compromise” where the safety of its children was concerned. “They must ingest as little as possible,” she added. Economics Minister Philipp Roesler said Germany’s high standards had to be maintained. EU law allows decisions by the bloc’s executive, the European Commission,

to be challenged before the European Court of Justice. The challenge is to be filed next week, the ministers said. Commission spokesman Michael Jennings on Friday insisted that the EU measure “maintains the highest level of standards for toys.” He said the disagreement with Berlin comes down to “a matter of interpretation.” Faint traces of heavy metals show up in paints on toys or in plasticizers, chemical sub-

stances that give plastic its softness. Germany ’s I nstitute of R isk Assessment, which analyses risks using scientific tools for the government, said the EU guidelines would have the effect of sharply increasing permissible levels of the three substances as well as of antimony and barium. The EU rules are based on a pragmatic new principle known as “as low as reasonably achievable,” in place of

the previous regulatory principle used by Germany and the World Health Organization, of setting the “tolerable daily intake” for an individual consumer. Berlin had vainly asked the commission for a clearance to apply its own national limits on heavy metals in toys. Arsenic is believed to increase the risk of cancer, even in very tiny doses. Lead poisoning reduces a child’s intelligence. — dpa

Swimming good for body but important to change strokes Most prefer the breaststroke

ROME: Nuns hold a sign reading “Abortion is Violence” during an antiabortion march in Rome yesterday. A few thousand people opposed to Italy’s 1978 law allowing abortion have marched from the Colosseum to Castel Sant’Angelo, a landmark near the Vatican, in a protest drawing people from around the world, including Americans and Poles. — AP

How young people can set priorities in their lives MUNICH: Tests, relationships, hobbies, spor ts - young people of ten don’t know how to coordinate all their activities. Their first step has to be to find out what’s really important to them so that things that are a waste of time stay out of their daily routine. There are students whose schedules are so packed they have to find time to study, prepare presentations, go to sport, practice a musical instrument and, of course, meet friends all in the course of a week. When they start to feel like their schedules are bursting at the seams, young people can start to feel the negative effec t of the stress on their health. But there are a few tricks they can try to prevent things from going that far. “It is important for students to evaluate themselves and find out what in their lives please them the most,” said Germany-based stress researcher and neurobiologist professor Gerald Huether. Students should ask themselves what things they are developing a passion for and what their true talents are. These are questions that youths should ask themselves honestly and calmly if they start feeling overwhelmed. “You really have to sit down and quietly consider these questions,” Heuther said. Afterward you can start to set priorities and let the calendar clear on its own. “People who k now what they want are not overwhelmed by all the demands made on them.” Students also should think about their social lives, said Werner Tik i Kuestenmacher, an author and time management exper t in Germany. Kuestenmacher has spent years looking at the effects of stress on young people. “Youths have to understand what direction they want to take and who among their acquaintances are truly friends,” said Kuestenmacher. Young people often let themselves be influenced by people their own age who have completely different goals. This could dissuade the young person from his or her original goals and increase the pressure on them. Running from pressure and responsibilities is, of course, not always possible. When this is the case, students

should start by working on what they find least appealing, said Kuestenmacher. Rewards such as taking a leisurely stroll or going to the movies should only come for having fulfilled responsibilities. Or pleasant things can be combined with practical things - studying with a friend before going out to eat together or going to play football, for example. An ideal situation is when young people manage to develop a true interest for a school subject and follow that interest intently. Then they no longer perceive working on it as a burden. Holger Domsch, a school psychologist in Muenster, Germany, recommends using Post-It notes when students are under stress. “ The best approach is to write all responsibilities on small notes and stick them on the door of a cupboard. Whenever you have completed a task, throw the note into the wastepaper basket,” he said. This is a way of making the success of having completed a task visible and it helps prompt a feeling of being in control. It is exactly the feeling of losing control and not being able to accomplish everything that results in chronic stress. Stress is meant to be a positive reaction to a situation, said Domsch. It becomes problematic and unhealthy when it turns into a permanent condition. This makes finding sufficient time for spor t all the more impor tant. “People who exhaust themselves physically through spor t automatically reduces stress,” he said. Studying for the entire day and then going to the gym to sweat is not, however, an ideal mix. Variety and balance also are impor tant. Young people should therefore not ignore non-sport hobbies such as theatre, music or art courses. Kuestenmacher added that it is not recommended for young people to continue a hobby only because their parents want them to. This doesn’t mean that young people have to give up everything. Instead they can look for things that are related. A students who has played the trombone for five years and has no desire to continue should look around for a rock band where he can apply his talent, said Kuestenmacher. — dpa

JERSEY CITY: Bojana Coklyat and Omar Tzic at the Concordia Learning Center at St. Joseph’s School for the Blind in Jersey City, New Jersey April 23, 2012. The art class taught by artist Bojana Coklyat of Jersey City, who became a volunteer art teacher at Concordia after she started losing her eyesight from diabetes. — AFP

BERLIN: Most people learn how to swim as children, often in formal lessons ending with the issuance of a swimming certificate. As adults they jump pretty fearlessly into swimming pools and lakes. A lot of them swim incorrectly, however, putting undue strain on their body. “The big advantage of swimming is that it negates the force of gravity somewhat,” remarked Herbert Loellgen, president of the German Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention. “It therefore puts less strain on the joints compared with sports like jogging or tennis.” What is more, Loellgen said, swimming strengthens the cardiovascular system-particularly if you swim at least a few hundred metres at a stretch-and breathing deliberately while swimming can have a calming effect on the psyche. Many adults are aware of the benefits and regularly swim laps in indoor and outdoor pools. Most prefer the breaststroke. “It’s the most common stroke in Germany because it’s the first one we learn,” noted Andreas Bieder, a swimming expert at the German Sport University in Cologne. “But you often see people swimming it in an extremely vertical position”-like a duck, in other words, with the head always above water and the buttocks being pulled toward the water’s surface. “As a result, the neck is bent far backwards and the back of the cervical vertebrae (located in the neck) are strongly compressed, which strains them” and can cause tension, Bieder said. “Many people’s cervical vertebrae are already strained due to office and desk work, so it’s not good if they’re overstrained during swimming, too.” So it is better to regularly submerge the head when performing the breaststroke, Bieder advised. “You inhale above water and exhale underwater. The vertebrae are bent when you inhale, but extended when you exhale” - which relieves them considerably, he said. But as Beate Ludewig, an instructor for the German Swimming Federation, pointed out: “A lot of people are afraid to put their head underwater.” One reason is that they

have been swimming for years with their head above water, and another is that “it’s a human instinct not to go underwater.” These people can accustom themselves to submersion, though, for example in special adult courses, said Ludewig, or they can try to do it on their own. “You can practice at home in the bathtub by putting your face underwater - at first briefly and then for longer,” she said. Another option is to work on submersion straightaway in a pool. “You should practice at the pool’s edge and get used to the feeling of your head going underwater,” Ludewig advised. Once the person feels more confident exhaling underwater, he or she should practice swimming with the head moving into and out of the water. “You’ve got to take your time and practice gradually,” she said. According to Ludewig, it typically takes about 10 hours of practice to become comfortable with head submersion. “And if it takes someone 20 hours, it doesn’t matter,” she said.

“In any case, you shouldn’t be ashamed if you’re fearful.” Many people believe the backstroke is better for the back. “This hasn’t been scientifically proven but seems plausible” because the head is supported by the water so the neck muscles are not tensed, Bieder said. “It’s important to be truly relaxed, however, and not constantly worry about water sloshing across your face,” otherwise there’s a risk of tenseness. The front crawl is a bit different. “Here, too, you also exhale underwater and inhale above water, which takes a load off the spine,” Loellgen said. But there are disadvantages. Crawl swimmers are not suffered gladly in crowded pools lacking a designated lane for them. And a lot of people find this swimming stroke’s combination of arm and leg movements, and inhaling and exhaling, difficult to master. Loellgen offered the following tip: “It’s good to regularly change the stroke; that way you don’t overstrain any part of the body.” — dpa

Australia researchers halt MS in mice SYDNEY: Australian researchers working with mice have found a way to halt the progressive nerve damage that makes multiple sclerosis (MS) such a debilitating disease. Steven Petratos, leader of the Monash University team, said he was confident that clinical trials less than a decade away would show the therapy also worked in humans. Working with colleagues in the United States and Canada, the Melbourne team identified a protein, collapsin response mediator protein 2, or CRMP-2, that in MS patients is modified. They suspect CRMP-2 triggers nerve cell damage when it interacts with another specific protein in the brain, spinal cord or optic nerves. They managed to block both the modification of CRMP-2 and the

interaction. Using gene therapy to breed so-called block-out mice, they found nerve damage could be stopped. “What we did was to take that gene, make it resistant to damage, and reinsert it using a viral delivery mechanism into the nervous system,” he said. “What we found with those mice is that when we tried to induce the disease we didn’t see any nerve cell or nerve fibre damage.” The research, published in the latest issue of the journal Brain, was welcomed by Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia chief executive Jeremy Wright. “It’s one of the most exciting breakthroughs we’ve had,” Wright said. “It verifies what science says about the disease - that it’s about the immune system going a bit skew-whiff and not having the

genetic controls all in place.” Wright said the research helped explain how drugs now in use are working. Women are three time more likely than men to get MS, a disease thought to be caused by the immune system malfunctioning and launching attacks on the myelin cells around nerve endings. The drugs now in use attempt to weaken the whole immune system, and so weaken its attacks. The breakthrough flagged by Petratos offers a different approach. “This is the first treatment where we’re starting to get specific attacks on specific molecules,” Wright said. “ We’re blocking the attacks as opposed to trying to dampen the immune system, which means you’re not wasting the treatment on the rest of the immune system.” Petratos is buoyed by similar

research work he has done on Alzheimer’s, another neurological degenerative disease, and one where regulatory authorities have approved the gene therapy approach. Hospital patients in the US have been recruited for clinical trials on gene therapies to treat Alzheimer’s. Having approvals in the bag means clinical trials on MS patients could be less than 10 years away. “It’s the progressive form of MS that responds very poorly to conventional methods of treatment,” Petratos said. “If you have limited damage to nerve fibres (and get the course of injections he expects will form the therapy) you won’t end up getting progression. It’s the progression that makes you go from ambulant to being in a wheelchair.” —dpa

FDA delays rules to ease sunscreen confusion WASHINGTON: Sunscreen confusion won’t be over before summer after all. The government is bowing to industry requests for more time to make clear how much protection their lotions really offer. The Food and Drug Administration ordered changes to sunscreens last summer but gave their makers a year - until this June - to get revised bottles on the shelf. The changes aimed to finally distinguish which brands protected against both sunburn-causing ultraviolet B rays and the deeper-penetrating ultraviolet A linked to skin cancer and premature aging. They also couldn’t claim to be waterproof or sweatproof, only water- or sweat-resistant so that people know sunscreens have to be reapplied frequently. But sunscreen manufacturers said they were having a hard time meeting the deadline. And Friday, the FDA said it would give major sunscreen makers another six months to make the changes - until December, beyond sunbathing season in most of the country. Smaller companies will have even longer, until December 2013. “The FDA took a major step backwards today and as a result, more consumers will likely get burned this summer,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., who had long urged the FDA to tighten its

regulation of sunscreens. The regulations had been in limbo for years. But FDA officials worried that holding companies to the original deadline might lead to a temporary shortage of some types of sunscreen this summer, spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said in an email. Still, the FDA said companies could go ahead and put the new relabeled bottles on store shelves as soon as they’re ready - and encouraged them not to waste time. There is a mix already in stores, as some companies have found it easier to re-label certain brands and bottles than others, said Farah Ahmed of the industry’s Personal Care Products Council. But neither she nor the FDA could estimate how many of the new consumer-friendly sunscreens have made it to the market so far. Ahmed, who chairs the council’s sunscreen task force, said sunscreens aren’t having to be reformulated as a result of new testing requirements from the FDA’s pending rules. The real problem was the time it takes to revise package labeling, especially on smaller packages that now will have to fit extra information about just what protection is offered, she said. So what should consumers look for today? You want protection against both UVA and UVB rays, explained Dr.

Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Once the new rules are in place, any sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum” will offer both, but until then, there’s no guarantee behind that wording. To check for UVA protection now, look on the ingredient list for any of these names: zinc, titanium, avobenzone or

ecamsule. Zeichner said. Once the new rules are in place, sunscreens with less than an SPF of 15 or that aren’t “broad spectrum” will have to carry a warning label: “This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.” Zeichner advises using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. — AP

LONDON: A woman looks at a functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) showing the effect of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Kant’s 3rd Critique on the human brain during the Wellcome Collection’s major new exhibition “Brains: Mind of matter” in London. — AFP

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Treatment for phantom sounds of tinnitus Exposure to loud noise could lead to hearing loss

Men’s skin needs care too BERLIN: Men’s skin is generally more tolerant and rugged than women’s, but men still need regular treatments, including moisturizers and lotions. When it comes to product selection, they can quickly feel overwhelmed. There are moisturizers for the face, gels for the eyes and body lotions. How many different products does a man really need? Are soap and water good enough? Elena Helfenbein, a beauty expert with a Berlin-based cosmetics association, says skin care is an important area for men. “Having a dressing table full of cosmetics is no longer an expression of a feminine streak, rather it is a sign of ambition, motivation and a modern approach to clean living.” The following tips help men with personal hygiene from head to toe. Hair: Total personal hygiene starts with the hair. “Some men like to refuse additional hair care. Others worry that conditioners will make their hair too soft for styling with gel or wax,” said Jenny Pohl, a spokeswoman for the German association of manufacturers and sellers of medicine, health foods, health supplements and personal care products. Men who try a hair treatment for the first time often change their opinion. Leave-in conditioners are especially popular, Pohl said. Face: “Because a man’s skin is different from a women’s, he shouldn’t simply dip into and use her facial creams,” said Heike M. Falkenstein, a cosmetician in Germany. “Special men’s skin care products are more suitable for men.” Pohl added that skin care products to reduce wrinkles should moisturize the skin and contain little oil. The cream also should have UV protection especially because a man’s risk of getting skin cancer is three times higher than a woman’s. A toner is also recommended, but men should spray it on or use their hands to pat it onto their face the way they put on aftershave. These are better ways to apply toner than using a cotton pad because it can get caught in stubble, said Pohl. Helfenbein said a peeling is also good for a man’s face. Some men like using a small appliance for peelings because they like operating the device. Others don’t care for them because they can be

uncomfortable over their facial hair. Shaving: Before a wet shave Pohl recommends a fat-free gel or light-fat emulsion. Ingredients such as aloe vera, calendula, hamamelis or camomile have an anti-inflammatory effect. An aftershave or lotion with or without alcohol is recommended after shaving. These products relax and disinfect the skin and close the pores. Body: Falkenstein said in the summer men should use a light moisturizing body lotion. A richer body lotion can be applied in the winter. Helfenbein said body creams or body butter often contain too many lipids for men’s skin. Therefore men prefer refreshing lotions with a fresh or masculine scent. As a rule floral fragrances aren’t well received by men. Nails: To add the finishing touch to a man’s personal care routine the focus turns to the nails. Falkenstein recommends a pedicure every two weeks to remove calluses and trim the toenails. Salicylic acid removes calluses and prevents scars. Men can also consider polishing their fingernails, a practice that is no longer taboo. Clear polish leaves the nails looking well groomed and shiny, which can be particularly desirable for businessmen. Shopping tips: Because men’s epidermis has more layers of cells and the dermis has more collagen than women’s skin, men’s skin is about 20 per cent thicker, said Birgit Huber of the industry association for personal hygiene and wash products in Germany. “Men’s skin has a higher relief, is robuster and it can better tolerate environmental factors such as sun and dry air from air-conditioning systems,” said Huber. However, they still must look after their skin and Huber noted that they can be very choosy. Men want cosmetics that provide immediate effects and clearly definable goals, said Huber. “They reject having a lot of products,” she added. “Practical, uncomplicated and fast-working is what the products should be. For example, a shower gel for skin and hair and an aftershave that also offers care for the day.” Pohl recommends products with natural ingredients. Mineral oils, silicon and similar ingredients have no business on men’s skin. — dpa

BERLIN: It can be a whistling, a clicking, a ringing or a hissing that no-one else hears because it exists only in the person’s own ears. The phantom sounds are called tinnitus and their cause is not entirely clear. For some people, the sounds go away by themselves in a few days. Other people have to live with them for decades. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help sufferers not to focus on the noises constantly, and scientists in Mainz have offered CBT online for the first time in Germany — with success. There are various definitions of tinnitus. “We say it’s any noise in the ears that has no external source,” said Maria Kleinstaeuber, a psychologist at Mainz University. “Stress and a heavy workload alone don’t cause tinnitus,” remarked Wolfgang Delb, a professor at Heidelberg University ’s Mannheim Faculty of Medicine. He said that long-term exposure to loud noise could lead to hearing loss and subsequently to tinnitus. Inner ear inflammation or exposure to a very loud bang can also trigger tinnitus, Kleinstaeuber said. As she explained it, inner ear damage prevents passage of a sufficient amount of electrical impulses from the ear to the brain. “The brain then tries to compensate” by creating sounds itself and these can become chronic, she said. Delb noted that infusions used to be the standard treatment for acute tinnitus, the aim being to thin the blood and hence improve circulation in the inner ear. “ There’s no absolute scientific proof that they help, however, although a good case can be made that they do,” he said. Someone afflicted with hearing loss in addition to tinnitus can get relief by using a hearing aid that blocks out background noises. This would make it easier to follow conversations. But the efficacy of a hearing aid for tinnitus alone has not been verified, according to the German government-backed Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health

Care (IQWiG). Sound generators are also used to treat tinnitus. They produce white noise aimed at masking it. There is no clear scientific proof of their efficacy either, pointed out Delb, who has done research on trends in tinnitus treatment. The same can be said, the IQWiG noted, about acupuncture, hypnosis, ear-canal magnets, yoga, relaxation techniques, electromagnetic stimulation and oxygen therapy. Many tinnitus sufferers therefore have no choice but to live with the phantom sounds. Cognitive behavioural therapy can help by teaching them to divert their concentration to other sounds. If the therapy goes very well, it is tantamount to a cure, Delb said, adding: “At best, the noises in the person’s ears won’t matter anymore.” Scientists from Sweden’s Linkoping

University have transferred this approach to the internet by developing an online training programme that they tested with researchers from Mainz University. Participants of their study either attended group therapy sessions or completed a 10-week online course in which they downloaded texts and worked through exercise sheets. At the end of each week, they consulted with their therapist via email. Participants from both groups learned relaxation techniques along with ways to divert their attention away from their tinnitus. The results of the online therapy were just as good as those of group therapy — in both cases, tinnitus sufferers were able to significantly reduce their suffering and better accept their condition so that it no longer dominated their lives. — dpa

Some tinnitus patients with hearing loss experience reduction in their tinnitus.

Pink garlic from Spain: Fit for a king MADRID: Victoria Beckham is reputed to have complained that Spain smells of garlic. This derogatory remark did not serve to increase her popularity with Spaniards. Garlic is one of the most common ingredients in Spanish cuisine but its aroma is certainly not as ubiquitous as Beckham may have imagined. However, if the wife of former Real Madrid footballer David had visited Las Pedroneras during her time in Spain she would probably have immediately departed the country. That’s because in this area about 160 kilometres south-east of Madrid it’s possible to smell garlic from miles away during harvest season in summer. The 7,000 inhabitants of Las Pedroneras are proud that their municipality is k nown as the World’s Capital of Garlic.

It’s not just because of the large quantity of garlic grown here that Las Pedroneras has achieved fame, it’s down to the high quality as well. For connoisseurs the special variety of pink garlic grown here under ideal conditions is the best in the world. The bulb of the plant with its characteristic pink colour has a powerful odour and a hot, spicy flavour. Spain is among the most impor tant garlic producing nations in the world. According to the country’s agriculture ministry, about 125,000 tons of garlic were grown in Spain last year, of which just 400 tons were of the pink variety from Las Pedroneras. The volume of garlic grown in Spain has fallen due to cheaper imports from China. Prices have also fallen. According to the San Isidro garlic farmers’ association, a kilogram of Spanish pink garlic

costs about five dollars and is 19 cents cheaper than in 2010. Thanks to its status Las Pedroneras has been hosting the International Garlic Trade Fair since 1973. At the end of August an award is given to the person judged to have worked the most in promoting garlic. The town of Las Pedroneras is also mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records: in 1998 one of the local tradesmen succeeded in weaving a 70-metre -long strand of garlic plants together. Pink garlic from Las Pedroneras has European Protected Geographical Status thanks to its high quality. The plants are sold mainly to Spanish restaurants with a small portion going to export. The most prominent customers are the Spanish royal household and the Vatican in Rome. Aside from its culinary value,

pink garlic from Las Pedroneras is also known for its health benefits. According to a study performed by Madrid’s Ramon y Cajal hospital, Las Pedroneras has the lowest levels of stomach ulcers and tumours in the whole of Spain. And it’s already known to medicine that garlic is good for the circulation, can protect against blood clots and reduce cholesterol levels. But in Las Rejas restaurant in Las Pedroneras pink garlic is appreciated for its culinary quality. The restaurant has one Michelin star and is regularly visited by Spanish royalty. The minimum price per menu is 105 dollars. The restaurant’s speciality dish is traditional Castilian cold garlic soup. For desert patrons can pick garlic ice cream - something that Victoria Beck ham might well choose to do without. —dpa


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012

WHAT’S ON Greetings

ACK partners for degrees in management, Marketing, civil & Mechanical Engineering hristine Picone, Director of Admissions and Registrar of the Australian College of Kuwait (ACK), announced that ACK has successfully partnered with Victoria University (VU), Australia, for auspicing the degree of Bachelor of Business, and with Central Queensland University (CQU) for the Bachelor of Engineering Technology Civil and Mechanical programs. General overview about the new auspice partners When ACK first commenced in 2004, international agreements were signed for Diploma programs in Business and Engineering. At the beginning of 2007 the college expanded into Degree programs and during 2010 a comprehensive review of these auspicing arrangements was undertaken culminating in new partnerships with VU and CQU. Both these universities have a strong emphasis on vocational preparation and are more suited to the needs of ACK Diploma graduates as they move into higher level studies. Advantages of the new auspice agreements for ACK? “The new auspice partners offer both Degree and Diploma programs in Australia and are therefore much more familiar with the background of students locally in Kuwait who have completed their Australian Diploma qualifications at ACK. This has led to more fruitful inter-


appy birthday to our dearest Alphons who celebrates his first birthday today. God bless you! Love Achacha, Amma and Ammachi.


change between the academic staff members in Kuwait and their Australian counterparts.” Mrs Picone said. Advantages of the new auspice agreements for ACK students? “For Management and Marketing

(PBL) which gives students a more interactive learning environment preparing them in an engaged manner for working at a professional level in industry teams.” She added. Overview about academic policy and

Degree students at ACK, the shift to VU has meant an increase in availability of specialized units relating to their particular major. This leads to better focused studies and qualifications more directly aligned to individual desired career paths. For Civil and Mechanical Degree students at ACK, the move to a CQU licensed qualification involves an emphasis on Project Based Learning

procedure of the agreements. “The requirements both for ACK and students relating to the fulfillment of auspicing partner academic policies and procedures are in line with Australian best practice and ensure that ACK Degree graduates have a qualification that is well respected internationally as well as locally. The expectations applicable to ACK staff and students are the same as for staff and students within the

Australian based campuses of the auspicing partners.” She elaborated. Visits by auspicing partners to ACK. “Regular visits are made by administration and academic staff from auspicing partners to meet with ACK management, faculty and students. Very positive feedback has been received from such visits including a recent complimentary report from Dr Karen Manning who led the most recent VU delegation.” Picone continued. Enrollment & PUC requirements With regard to enrolments at the college all ACK Degree students are required to meet the official entry standards nominated by the PUC. Kuwaiti students are also able to apply for PUC Scholarships subject to meeting the related criteria. “As at May 2012, 400 students are enrolled in ACK Management and Marketing Degree programs and a further 160 students are undertaking ACK Civil and Mechanical Degree programs. Enquiries with regard to ACK Degree, Diploma and English Language courses can be directed to the Applications and Scholarships division under the Office of the Registrar located at the West Mishref campus in Al Aqsa Mosque Street. Expressions of interest for the 2012/2013 Academic Year can be made by emailing” Picone concluded.

‘Leniency of Islam’ n unprecedented initiative of KTV2 (English channel) is the new program by the name ‘Leniency of Islam’ presented by Shaikh Musaad Alsane and directed by Hamid Al Turkait. The program is mainly meant to address the expatriates living in Kuwait. Religious questions are received through the program email and sms can be sent to- 97822021 and answered by the lecturer and Imam in Awqaf Ministry Shaikh Musaad Alsane - a Master Degree holder in Sharia and fiqih from Kuwait University. So don’t forget to watch the program every Friday at 1:00 pm.


Announcements Free Arabic course IPC is opening an Intensive Basic Arabic Course for ladies commencing from June 3 to July 8, 2012. The class will be from 5-7 pm for three days a week. Registration is on! For information, call 22512257. Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Main After hosting memorable recent event for noble cause “Ambassadors of Comedy” with International artist Aron, Dean & Nitin, ICS now geared up with full package of cultural entertainment in “Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Main”. ICS now hosts renowned playback singer from Bollywood Abhijeet & world fame theater cum comedy king Umar Sharif from Pakistan on 18th May Friday, at 7 pm sharp. The Chief Guest for the event will be Ambassador of India, Kuwait. So join @ Dr Kamil Al Rayes Auditorium, AIS opposite Police Station Maidan Hawally Kuwait. For details call: 69632692 Yoga with the Golden Era Club The Golden Era Club presents ‘The Eight Fold Path to Yoga’ on 25th May; 5 to 7 pm. Yoga here! Yoga there! Yoga everywhere! Yet, few comprehend Yoga’s true nature! Join Yoga Guru Aacharya Shashikala Pushkarna - on this unique journey to the true ‘union’ between the mind, body and spirit. All seniors (60+) are cordially invited. Venue- House #34, next to Abu-Tammam Intermediate School for Boys, Sate Alhusari St., Block 2, Rumaithiya. Open House for Indian Citizens The Ambassador of India will be holding an Open House for Indian citizens to address their problems/grievances on Wednesdays of the second and the fourth week of every month between 1500 hrs and 1600 hrs at the embassy. In case Wednesday is an Embassy holiday, the meeting will be held on the next working day. To ensure timely action/follow-up by the Embassy, it is requested that, wherever possible, Indian citizens should exhaust the existing channels of interaction/grievance redressal and bring their problems/issues in writing with supporting documents. It may be mentioned that Embassy of India’s Consular Wing is providing daily service of Open House to Indian citizen on all workings days from 1000 hrs to 1100 hrs and from 1430 hrs to 1530 hrs by the consular officer in the Meeting Room of the Consular Hall. For any unaddressed issues, Second Secretary (Consular) could be contacted. Furthermore, the head of the Consular Wing is also available to redress grievances. Similarly, a labor wing Help Desk functions from 0830 hrs to 1300 hrs and 1400 hrs to 1630 hrs in the Labor Hall to address the labor related issue. There is also a 24X7 Help Line (Tel No. 25674163) to assist labors in distress. For any unaddressed issues, the concerned Attaches in the labor section and the head of the labor wing could be contacted.

Second Carnival of Hope OPE School held its second “Carnival of HOPE”. Students, parents, family, and friends were all invited to enjoy an evening filled with games, activities, face painting, cartoon characters, and much more. Al Sanafir Group participated in this event with various shows on stage as well as conducting the many competitions and raffle draws that were held throughout the evening.


The “Carnival of HOPE” provided an opportunity for HOPE School to show its gratitude to all the families, staff, and community organizations that support special needs students in Kuwait. In addition, families were provided with the opportunity to learn about organizations that support or provide services for children with special needs. This event could not have been a success without

the help and contributions provided by our sponsors VIVA, Al-Homaizi Ltd. (IKEA), Arabian Motor Group (Ford), Commercial Financial Company, Partyland, and Baroue. Sponsors were presented with plaques of appreciation during the event. HOPE School was able to fulfill the dream of creating an evening of fun and excitement for all students with and without disabilities and their families.

Investiture for the promising senate of LOA ourage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success and the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life”. This is how the students of Learners’ Own Academy (LOA) showed their exceptional courage to come forward and accept the seizure of challenging responsibilities. 6th May 2012 was a great day for LOA because it was the day decided for the bestowal of the senate of the school. Satish C. Mehta, the Ambassador of India to Kuwait, was the Chief Guest and Abrahim-Al-Gurair sponsor of the school, was the guest of honour for the ceremony. Ms Asha Sharma; Principal of school, Ms Kavita Sudheer; vice-principal and other staff members enhanced the significance of the ceremony with their commendable organization. The chief guest, lighted the lamp of knowledge. The principal addressed the students and gave a brief description about how and in what ways LOA is different from other schools and gave a precise outline of the achievements of the school and stated the importance of the unique motto of the school, “Dare to Dream and strive for excellence”. An invocation dance ushered the events of the day. The newly elected council members enthralled the audience with their march past. It was really mesmerizing and exciting. Later the senate members were adorned with the badges and sashes. All the spectators were enthused and appreciated the office bearers sprightly with loud applause. The solemn oath was administered adorably by the principal. The chief guest, shared his encouraging and persuasive thoughts with all. First of all he congratulated the newly appointed senate and later he emphasized on the need of a “never-say-no” spirit in life. He cajoled all the students to make a balance between studies and extra curricular activities. He continued by saying that leadership is sacrifice and taking responsibility and standing for others will help them to gain respect from other people. He further pointed out that junior classes are the foundation of a strong future and the elected council will stand as a role model for them. His speech was really effective and cogent. The occasion reminded his Excellency of his school days and he urged the students to make the most of school days as they are the best days of their life and they will cherish the memories of these days throughout their lives. Kishan Paul Raja, the Head boy and Charutha Joy, the Head girl would be leading the student council of the session 2012-2013. Manu Hari of class 7th, who topped in the county in English for ACER examination and Ishaan who topped in IAS examination in science subject were awarded with the prestigious plaque, medal and certificates. Eleven students were awarded “Scholar badges” for their outstanding performance in academics. There was a thunderous applause by all the spectators. “Learning, what to choose and how to choose may be the most important education one will ever receive”. Likewise we all hope that the chosen senate will definitely show its mark in the coming future and will enhance the reputation and glory of the school. As it is wisely said, “The highest levels are more certainly filled with those who choose to be there”. The ceremony ended with a dance presentation and group photograph of the student’s council with the dignitaries.



MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


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

Kuwait Fire Station hosts children of KNES he Early Years Children of Kuwait National English School (KNES) recently visited the Fire Fighters at Salmiya Fire Station. The fire fighters were amazing with the children and made the trip enjoyable and informative. The children can’t wait to grow up and be heroes like these amazing men of the Kuwait Fire Department. Thanks so much from the youngest of our children!


EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 12:30 to 01:00 pm for lunch break. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF CYPRUS The Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus requests Cypriot citizens living in Kuwait to register with the Embassy has moved. This registration service is provided so that the Embassy can update its contact list and assist Cypriot citizens in cases of emergencies. Registration information can be emailed to or faxed to 22253227 or given by phone to 65906048 (Mrs Christine). ■■■■■■■

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

St Berchmans Ever-rolling Trophy Basketball tournament th St Berchmans Ever-rolling Trophy Interschool Basketball Tournament for Indian School Students, was conducted at the Jabriya Indian School court. The tournament was conducted separately for boys and girls. Winners and Runner-ups Boys: United Indian School, Abbassiya won the Championship for Boys with 76 points. The Runner-up Trophy went to Carmel School with 39 points. Prince Reji Joseph of United Indian School won the Best Player-Boys award. Girls: United Indian School, Abbassiya won the Championship for Girls with 27 points and the Runner-up Trophy was bagged by Carmel School with 16 points. Janice Fernandes of Carmel School won the Best Player-Girls award. 2nd Runner-ups Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan Abbasiya won the 2nd Runner-up Trophy for boys and FAIPS-DPS Ahmadi won the 2nd Runner-up Trophy for Girls. Thomas Scaria, Convener, wel-


comed the gathering. Thomas Varghese, the President, delivered the presidential address and inaugurated the tournament. Shibu Pallickal, the General Secretary delivered the vote of

thanks. M. Mathews, Chairman of Jabriya Indian School provided the school court for the tournament. Mohan George, Manager and K.M. Jose, HOD

Physical Education supported AASBCO by ensuring them the required facilities. Paulson Mangaly and Jimmy Paul officiated the tournament. Jojo and team were the referees.


EMBASSY OF NEPAL The Embassy of Nepal will be moving from its current location to a new place in Jabriya, Block 8, St. 13, House No. 514, effective from 15th April, 2012. Till the new telephone connections are installed, the Embassy may be contacted by email: ■■■■■■■

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

Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive offers free vehicle checkup service usuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive, the exclusive distributor of Chevrolet vehicles in Kuwait, is pleased to announce its free checkup campaign. The free vehicle checkup campaign invites every Chevrolet owner to a 21 point complete inspection, and provides customers with a detailed condition report and cost estimate, special discounts on parts and labor valid for two months as well as a free carwash and vacuum. The Free Checkup campaign is valid from Saturday 12th of May until Thursday May 24 2012. All Chevrolet owners are able to benefit from this valuable opportunity by bringing in their vehicles into the service center in Shuwaikh and Fahaheel for a free checkup which includes a special discount on spare parts and labor. If you are interested in the Free Checkup and you are not able to drop off your Chevrolet vehicle to the service center in Shuwaikh during the week, Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive has made it convenient for you to enjoy this limited offer during the

Y Sheraton Kuwait & Four Points sweep Business Traveller awards heraton Kuwait, a luxury collection Hotel worked another milestone in its achievements upon receiving both “Kuwait’s Leading Hotel” and “Kuwait’s Leading Business Hotel” Awards for the second consecutive year. Mounir Amer, General Manager of Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait proudly received the awards during a glittering gala ceremony hosted by World Travel Awards in Dubai on Monday 30 April. Carrying on its tradition, Sheraton Kuwait reinforces the distinction and excellence of its hotel services rendered to the businessmen. It is the place where one can savor the luxurious and special entertainment, hospitality and warm reception to make Sheraton Kuwait Hotel their first choice. As for the Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait, it was also designated as “The Best Business Hotel in Kuwait”. This recognition is a result of The Business Traveller Middle East’s travel survey


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

directed at its influential readers and was presented at an annual awards ceremony held in Dubai on 29 April, during the Arabian Travel Market. The Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait has been specifically designed to cater to the needs of business and leisure travelers as it offers great comfort as well as excellent services and extensive range of facilities. This indeed is a proud moment for the Sheraton Kuwait and Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait. The three awards attained bear the efforts of all associates and their eagerness to deliver first-rate service, comfort and opulence to all guests. On this special occasion, Fahed Abushaar, Area Director/ General Manager at the Sheraton Kuwait expressed his gratification on the outstanding performance of both hotels and extended his appreciation to the Sheraton and Four Points family on this outstanding achievements.

weekend due to the fact that the service center in Shuwaikh is open on Fridays from 2 pm until 7 pm. To book an appointment and benefit from this Free Checkup campaign, please call


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

24969000. Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive operates under a simple philosophy to excel ownership experience for owners of Chevrolet vehicles and will continue to launch initiatives to suit all of its customers’ needs to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction.

Mother’s Day he American Women’s League will be celebrating Mother’s Day Breakfast at the Regency Hotel. On Saturday, May 19th. From 9:00 am to 11:00 am. For more information email: Come join us and become a member!


EMBASSY OF SLOVAK The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Kuwait would like to inform the public that effective from today (May 14, 2012) the Consular Section of the Embassy will be open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 till 13:00 hrs.

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

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

Classifieds MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012




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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page ( Prayer timings

112 Ministry of Interior website: For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128

Fajr: Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

03:27 11:44 15:20 18:33 20:00

THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988


SITUATION WANTED Experienced Roman Catholic Christian Sri Lankan lady need to work in American, European, British family, living maid or nanny babysitting, cooking, house work. Contact: 55493669. (C 3994) 9-5-2012 MATRIMONIAL

ACCOMMODATION Room available in New Riggae in a central AC flat without kitchen facility for single, non-smoker, south Indian executive bachelor. Contact. 99515956. 14-5-2012 Sharing accommodation available for decent Keralite bachelor in Abbasiya near German Clinic. Contact: 99651292/ 66471315. (C 4000) 12-5-2012 One bedroom available for Keralite couples or a working lady in Abbassiya near Maliackal Jewellery with a Christian family from June. Contact 99494671. (C 3993)

SITUATION VACANT Required a live-in house maid Sri Lankan or Filipino for an Indian family in Farwaniya, salary KD 120/(for one month). Contact: 66473343. (C 4001) 12-5-2012 CHANGE OF NAME I, Subramaniyan Saravanan, s/o Subramaniyan, holder of Indian passport No. G9950267 converted to Islam do hereby change my name to S. Sameer Mohamed. (C 4002) 13-5-2012 I, Bhasha Venkatesh holder of Indian passport No. E5976797 hereby change my name to Bhasha Chalapathy. 10-5-2012 I, Aniquinna Mariana Pereira has changed my name from Mariquinna Lucas R/O Cortalim, Goa, India, hereafter all dealings in my new name. (3997) 9-5-2012

32 year, Orthodox boy (5’9”) working as sales manager in a MNC logistic company invites proposals from God fearing and well educated girls. Email: (C 3993) 10-5-2012

Sabah Hospital


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Clinics Rabiya












Nissan Sunny 2007, Golden color, 114,000 km, 1.6L, KD 600 cash + KD 46 (for 23 Months) or KD 1,600/- cash, negotiable. Contact: 66925390/ 66604286. (C 4003) 14-5-2012



Abdullah Salim




2002 Camry, 4 cylinder for sale, excellent condition, Al Sayer maintained, 190,000 km, KD 1950. Contact: 55700857. (C 3996) 9-5-2012


2009 Mitsubishi Lancer, golden color, 81,000 km. KD 1,800. Mob: 66729295. (C 3992)

TUITION An experienced M.Sc lady teacher is organizing home private tuition only for class 10 students in Abbassiya. Contact: 99396335. (C 3978) Teacher available to teach Mathematics B.Maths, Algebra, Calculus, Geography, Science and Statistics for British, American and bilingual school and university students. Contact: 97170935. (C 3954)

Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb












MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321



Dr. Zahra Qabazard

25340300 25710444

Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


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


Dentists Dr Anil Thomas


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Salem soso


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil


Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan


Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688

Neurologists Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. 2290-1677 Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, M.A. 2290-1677


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


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi


Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan

Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman


Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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





















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh












POLICE STATION Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha’a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


00:45 Untamed & Uncut 01:40 Into The Dragon’s Lair 02:35 Wildest Arctic 03:30 I Was Bitten 04:25 Baboons With Bill Bailey 04:50 Baboons With Bill Bailey 05:20 Great Ocean Adventures 06:10 Dogs 101 07:00 Echo And The Elephants Of Amboseli 07:25 Growing Up... 08:15 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 08:40 Extraordinary Dogs 09:10 America’s Cutest... 10:05 Wildest Africa 11:00 Animal Precinct 11:55 Animal Cops South Africa 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:45 Wild Africa Rescue 14:10 Wildlife SOS 14:40 Wildest Africa 15:30 Echo And The Elephants Of Amboseli 16:00 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 16:30 Wild Animal Orphans 17:00 Natural Born Hunters 17:25 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 18:20 Must Love Cats 19:15 Wildlife SOS 19:40 Escape To Chimp Eden 20:10 Great Ocean Adventures 21:05 Wildest Africa 22:00 Great Animal Escapes 22:25 Great Animal Escapes 22:55 My Cat From Hell 23:50 Animal Cops Phoenix

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

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

Duck Dodgers The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Tom & Jerry Kids A Pup Named Scooby-Doo The Jetsons Puppy In My Pocket Popeye Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes Scooby Doo Where Are You! Droopy: Master Detective Wacky Races The Flintstones A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Popeye Classics Dexters Laboratory Bananas In Pyjamas Baby Looney Tunes Gerald McBoing Boing Ha Ha Hairies Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show Dastardly And Muttley A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Flintstones Duck Dodgers Tom & Jerry Kids Droopy: Master Detective Wacky Races Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Ha Ha Hairies The Garfield Show Scooby Doo Where Are You! Dastardly And Muttley Looney Tunes Puppy In My Pocket Pink Panther And Pals Tom & Jerry Moomins The Garfield Show Dexter’s Laboratory Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes

00:30 Bakugan: New Vestroia 01:20 Powerpuff Girls 02:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 03:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 03:25 Ben 10 03:50 Adventure Time 04:15 Powerpuff Girls 04:40 Generator Rex 05:05 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:55 Angelo Rules 06:00 Casper’s Scare School 06:50 The Powerpuff Girls 07:15 Adventure Time 07:40 Regular Show 08:05 Grim Adventures Of... 08:55 Courage The Cowardly Dog 09:45 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:10 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:35 Powerpuff Girls 11:25 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 11:50 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 12:15 Ed, Edd n Eddy 13:05 Ben 10: Alien Force 13:30 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 13:55 Redakai: Conquer The Kairu 14:20 Camp Lazlo 14:45 Powerpuff Girls 15:35 Angelo Rules 16:25 Grim Adventures Of... 17:15 The Amazing World Of Gumball 17:40 Adventure Time 18:05 Regular Show 18:30 Ben 10 18:55 Bakugan: Mechtanium Surge 19:20 Hero 108 19:45 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 20:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:00 Ben 10: Alien Force 21:25 The Powerpuff Girls 21:50 Cow And Chicken 22:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Ben 10 23:40 Chowder

06:00 Kid vs Kat 06:21 American Dragon 06:45 Rekkit Rabbit 07:10 Pokemon: Black And White 07:35 Timon And Pumbaa 08:00 Phineas And Ferb 08:25 Pair Of Kings 08:50 Kick Buttowski 09:15 Zeke & Luther 09:40 I’m In The Band 10:05 Phineas And Ferb 10:30 Kid vs Kat 10:55 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 11:20 Aaron Stone 11:45 Rekkit Rabbit 12:10 American Dragon 12:35 Kick Buttowski 13:00 Phineas And Ferb 13:25 I’m In The Band 13:45 Kid vs Kat 14:10 Pair Of Kings 14:35 Zeke & Luther 15:00 Rekkit Rabbit 15:25 Pokemon: Black And White 15:50 Timon And Pumbaa 16:15 Kickin It 16:40 Pair Of Kings 17:05 Zeke & Luther 17:30 Scaredy Squirrel 17:55 Phineas And Ferb 18:20 Phineas And Ferb 18:45 I’m In The Band 19:10 Rated A For Awesome 19:35 Kick Buttowski 20:00 Pair Of Kings 20:25 Zeke & Luther 20:50 Escape From Scorpion Island 21:20 Aaron Stone 21:45 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 22:10 Phineas And Ferb 22:35 Kid vs Kat 23:00 Programmes Start At 6:00am KSA

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

Scrappers Mythbusters Twist The Throttle Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Border Security Auction Hunters How It’s Made Factory Line Gold Rush Gold Divers Alone In The Wild Border Security Auction Hunters Flying Wild Alaska Twist The Throttle Wheeler Dealers Ultimate Survival Mythbusters How It’s Made Factory Line Border Security Auction Hunters Carfellas Gold Rush Gold Divers Alone In The Wild

00:35 01:25 01:50 06:10 07:00 07:50 08:15 08:40 09:35 10:25 10:50 11:20 12:15 13:05 13:55 14:20 14:50 15:15

Cool Stuff & How It Works The Tech Show What’s That About? Future Weapons Meteorite Men Weird Connections Weird Connections Punkin Chunkin 2011 Punkin Chunkin 2010 The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Smash Lab Mighty Ships Meteorite Men Weird Connections Weird Connections Stunt Junkies Stunt Junkies


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

The Tech Show Smash Lab The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Meteorite Men Mega Builders Superships The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Smash Lab Mega Builders Superships Mighty Ships

00:55 Style Star 01:25 20 Acts Of Love Gone Wrong 03:15 E! Investigates 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Then And Now 05:30 Then And Now 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 10:15 THS 12:05 Kendra 12:35 Kendra 13:05 Dirty Soap 14:05 Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami 14:35 Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E!es 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Giuliana & Bill 17:55 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 18:55 E!es 19:55 Khloe And Lamar 20:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:25 Ice Loves Coco 22:25 Scouted 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

01:45 Somebody Up There Likes Me-PG 03:35 Silk Stockings-FAM 05:30 Rio Rita-FAM 07:00 Above Suspicion-PG 08:30 Somebody Up There Likes Me-PG 10:20 The Harvey Girls-FAM 12:00 Crazy From The Heart-PG 13:30 Kismet-FAM 15:10 On The Town-FAM 16:45 Summer Stock-FAM 18:30 Lady L-PG 20:15 Cat On A Hot Tin Roof 22:00 The Split 23:30 Enter The Dragon-18

00:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:30 Unique Sweets 00:55 Restaurant: Impossible 01:45 Guy’s Big Bite - Special 02:10 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 02:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:25 Meat & Potatoes 03:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:15 Good Eats 04:40 World Cafe Asia 05:05 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 05:30 Chopped 06:10 Barefoot Contessa 06:35 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 07:00 Extreme Chef 07:50 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 08:15 Barefoot Contessa 08:40 Kid In A Candy Store 09:05 Good Eats 09:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 09:55 World Cafe Asia 10:20 30 Minute Meals 10:45 Andy Bates Street Feasts 11:10 Unwrapped 11:35 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 12:00 Extreme Chef 12:50 Aarti Party 13:15 Cooking For Real 13:40 Barefoot Contessa 14:05 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 14:30 Andy Bates Street Feasts 14:55 30 Minute Meals 15:20 Mexican Made Easy 15:45 Iron Chef America 16:35 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 17:00 Barefoot Contessa 17:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 17:50 Outrageous Food 18:15 Kid In A Candy Store 18:40 Guy’s Big Bite 19:05 Mexican Made Easy 19:30 Extreme Chef 20:20 Iron Chef America 21:10 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 21:35 Gourmet Farmer 22:00 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 22:50 Andy Bates Street Feasts

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

Stalked: Someone’s Watching I Was Murdered Behind Mansion Walls LA: City Of Demons Scorned: Crimes Of Passion Stalked: Someone’s Watching I Was Murdered On The Case With Paula Zahn Mystery ER Disappeared Forensic Detectives Undercover Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Mall Cops ‚Äì Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Street Patrol Undercover Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Mall Cops ‚Äì Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Forensic Detectives Undercover Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Mall Cops ‚Äì Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared I Married A Mobster Scorned: Crimes Of Passion Stalked: Someone’s Watching

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

Market Values Around The World For Free Departures Banged Up Abroad Adventure Wanted Nomads Market Values Around The World For Free Departures Banged Up Abroad Adventure Wanted Nomads Market Values Market Values Around The World For Free Departures Banged Up Abroad Adventure Wanted Nomads Market Values Deadliest Journeys Deadliest Journeys Don’t Tell My Mother Banged Up Abroad Treks In A Wild World Endurance Traveller

00:00 Deadline-18 02:00 Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans-18 04:00 RoboCop-PG15 06:00 The Warlords-PG15 08:00 Fast Lane-PG15 09:45 Coach Carter-PG15 12:00 All Star Superman-PG15 14:00 Fast Lane-PG15 16:00 A Lonely Place For Dying 18:00 All Star Superman-PG15 19:45 Windtalkers-PG15 22:00 The Untouchables-PG15

01:00 Vinyan-18 03:00 The A-Team-PG15 05:00 St. Trinian’s 2: The Legend Of Fritton’s Gold-PG15 07:00 Gasland-PG15 09:00 16 To Life-PG15 11:00 A Trace Of Danger-PG15 13:00 Ramona And Beezus-PG 15:00 West Is West-PG15 17:00 Battle: Los Angeles-PG15 19:00 The Green Hornet-PG15 21:00 Winter’s Bone-18 23:00 The Adjustment Bureau

00:00 King Of The Hill 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Saturday Night Live 02:30 Curb Your Enthusiasm 03:00 The Simpsons 03:30 Last Man Standing 04:00 Weird Science 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Seinfeld 06:00 Mr. Sunshine 06:30 Melissa And Joey 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Weird Science 08:30 The Simpsons 09:00 Seinfeld 09:30 Two And A Half Men 10:30 Melissa And Joey 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Mr. Sunshine 12:30 Weird Science 13:00 Seinfeld 13:30 Melissa And Joey 14:00 Last Man Standing 15:00 Two And A Half Men 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Mr. Sunshine 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 Raising Hope 20:00 Community 20:30 King Of The Hill 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition 22:00 Louie 22:30 Bored To Death 23:00 Curb Your Enthusiasm

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

Unforgettable Missing Top Gear (US) Covert Affairs Strike Back The View Good Morning America The Invisible Man Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View Unforgettable Covert Affairs Good Morning America The Invisible Man The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Revenge Desperate Housewives The Closer Game Of Thrones

01:00 Repo Men-18 03:00 Icarus-18 05:00 Circle Of Eight-18 07:00 Smoke Screen-PG15 09:00 The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen-PG15 11:00 Dad Savage-PG15 13:00 Little Big Soldier-PG15 15:00 The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen-PG15 17:00 Friday Night Lights-PG15 19:00 Alive-PG15 21:15 Deadtime Stories 2-PG15 23:00 RoboCop-PG15

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00

Coming & Going-PG15 The Extra Man-PG15 Born Yesterday-PG15 Coming & Going-PG15

COACH CARTER ON OSN ACTION HD 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 PG15 20:00 22:00

Molly-PG15 For Richer Or Poorer-PG A Film With Me In It-PG15 Captain Ron-PG15 For Richer Or Poorer-PG My Best Friend’s Wedding-

01:00 03:00 05:15 07:15 09:00 PG15 11:00 13:00 15:00 PG15 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:15

Gilles’ Wife-PG15 Jude-18 Exodus-PG15 On Broadway-PG15 The Thomas Crown Affair-

Can’t Hardly Wait-PG15 40 Days And 40 Nights-18

Eight Below-PG Le Code A Change-PG15 The Thomas Crown AffairSoapdish-PG Limousine-PG15 Wild At Heart-18 Guilty As Sin-PG15

01:30 Get Him To The Greek-18 03:30 My Last Five Girlfriends-PG15 05:00 Mean Girls 2-PG15 07:00 District 9-PG15 09:00 Flipped-PG 11:00 Adventures Of A Teenage Dragonslayer-PG 13:00 Despicable Me-FAM 15:00 Don’t Fade Away-PG15 17:00 Flipped-PG 18:45 Extract-PG15 20:30 Inception-PG15 23:00 The Adjustment Bureau-PG15

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

Supertramps-FAM Gladiators: The TournamentMia And The Migoo-PG Cars 2-FAM Supertramps-FAM Rango-FAM Scooby-Doo-PG Mia And The Migoo-PG Zorro’s Secrets-PG Rango-FAM D’fenders-PG Scooby-Doo-PG

01:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 02:00 WWE SmackDown 05:00 Super Rugby 07:00 Super Rugby 11:00 Trans World Sport 12:00 Live NRL Premiership 14:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 15:00 Super Rugby 17:00 Super Rugby 20:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 21:00 NRL Premiership 23:00 Premier League Darts

01:30 03:30 07:00 09:00 12:00 14:00 14:30 16:30 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00 21:30 23:30

Scottish Premier League Premier League Darts Scottish Premier League Sevens World Series Adventure Sports Futbol Mundial Scottish Premier League Pro 12 Futbol Mundial AFL Highlights Trans World Sport SPL Highlights Scottish Premier League Rugby League Challenge

01:00 04:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 10:00 12:30

Sevens World Series Super Rugby World Cup Of Pool Golfing World PRO 12 Celtic League AFL Premiership Golfing World

13:30 17:00 19:00 21:00 21:30

Premier League Darts NRL Premiership Pro 12 Top 14 Highlights Sevens World Series

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

UFC Unleashed PrizeFighter UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed WWE NXT WWE Bottomline PrizeFighter V8 Supercars Extra UAE National Race Day WWE Bottomline WWE Vintage V8 Supercars V8 Supercars V8 Supercars WWE NXT WWE Experience UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed WWE SmackDown

00:00 Vietnam: Lost Films 01:00 How The States Got Their Shapes 03:00 Vietnam: Lost Films 04:00 The Universe 05:00 MysteryQuest 06:00 Decoded 07:00 Pawn Stars 07:30 Pawn Stars 08:00 UFO Hunters 09:00 Soviet Storm: WWII In The East 10:00 Pawn Stars 10:30 Pawn Stars 11:00 Ax Men 12:00 How The States Got Their Shapes 14:00 Soviet Storm: WWII In The East 15:00 UFO Hunters 16:00 How The States Got Their Shapes 18:00 Soviet Storm: WWII In The East 19:00 UFO Hunters 20:00 Pawn Stars 20:30 Pawn Stars 21:00 Ax Men 22:00 Irt Deadliest Roads: The Andes 23:00 Pawn Stars 23:30 Storage Wars

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

Wicked Fit Fashion Classics Open House Videofashion Daily Videofashion News How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Married Away Clean House Videofashion News Videofashion News Videofashion Daily Open House Fashion Classics How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Clean House Dress My Nest Mel B: It’s A Scary World Bridalplasty How Do I Look? Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Big Rich Texas Big Rich Texas The Amandas The Amandas Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane The Amandas Fashion Police

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 Paris 04:00

Food Tripper The Ethical Hedonist Globe Trekker Inside Walt Disney Studios Globe Trekker

05:00 Food Tripper 06:00 Sophie Grigson In The Orient 06:30 Sophie Grigson In The Orient 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Great Scenic Railways - 175 Years 08:30 Life’s A Trip 09:00 Intrepid Journeys 10:00 Sophie Grigson In The Home Counties 10:30 Sophie Grigson In The Home Counties 11:00 Flavours Of Spain 11:30 Glutton For Punishment 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Hollywood And Vines 13:30 Hollywood And Vines 14:00 Rivers Of The World 15:00 Wild Carpathia 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Glutton For Punishment 17:30 Flavours Of Greece 18:00 Sophie Grigson In The Home Counties 18:30 Sophie Grigson In The Home Counties 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Distant Shores 20:30 Cruise Today 21:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 22:00 Down The Line 23:00 Globe Trekker

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

Replacements Fairly Odd Parents A Kind Of Magic Stitch Replacements Fairly Odd Parents A Kind Of Magic Fish Hooks Recess So Random Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Phineas And Ferb Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny The Hive Mouk Recess So Random Hannah Montana Fish Hooks Jake & Blake Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas And Ferb Recess Jessie A.N.T. Farm Good Luck Charlie Suite Life On Deck Jessie Jessie A.N.T. Farm Fish Hooks Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Phineas And Ferb Shake It Up Jonas So Random Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Kim Possible

01:05 02:50 04:25 06:00 07:35 09:15 11:00 12:50 14:20 15:45 17:25 PG 18:55 20:20 22:00 23:30

The Resurrected Caged Fury Marshal Law-18 Soda Cracker-18 Kidnapped-PG The Wilby Conspiracy-PG Marie: A True Story Fatal Memories-18 The Glory Stompers-PG Big Stickup At Brink’s-PG Seven Hours To JudgementWomen vs. Men-PG Ned Kelly-PG Steel And Lace-18 Mgm’s Big Screen-FAM


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012

stars CROSSWORD 674



Aries (March 21-April 19) Take nothing for granted today as far as communication is concerned. Miscommunication is likely with young people at this time. Your enthusiasm and confidence are strong; you will see through most difficulties— patience. You have a desire to take part in different and perhaps unusual activities today. You may have an opportunity to meet someone new and interesting during this time. Someone from another culture or country makes you aware of new possibilities you had not thought about before now. Perhaps you have been able to enjoy a lecture or point of view from this person. Your finances look promising but steps need to be taken to secure your investments. Balance your checkbook, pay bills, go grocery shopping or do some housecleaning.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You will take charge of some project today that will help a group of people; perhaps some sort of organizing job is needed. You are very skilled at working with psychology; the hidden recesses of the mind are no secret to you. You would make an excellent psychologist and teacher of this subject. You may feel the need to care for others perhaps on a public rather than private level. A volunteer service may be in order now. You find it easy to work with other people and tend to pour a lot of interest into those around you. Your home and surroundings reflect this. When it comes to teaching or coaching young people, you are a natural, always able to motivate and inspire others. You may find yourself helping to plan a party—this could be for a good friend.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 4. Large dark brown North American arboreal carnivorous mammal. 9. Type genus of the Aceraceae. 13. A boy or man. 14. Put to use. 15. Knock unconscious or senseless. 16. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 17. A region of Malaysia in northeastern Borneo. 18. A city in northwestern Syria. 19. A usually malignant tumor arising from connective tissue (bone or muscle etc.). 22. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 25. The basic unit of money in China. 29. Water frozen in the solid state. 30. A rapid bustling commotion. 33. The 11th letter of the Greek alphabet. 34. A public promotion of some product or service. 35. A state in northwestern North America. 36. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 37. A flexible container with a single opening. 41. (Greek mythology) Greek goddess of the night. 46. (Scottish) Bluish-black or gray-blue. 47. The Mongol people living the the central and eastern parts of Outer Mongolia. 50. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 53. Kamarupan languages spoken in northeastern India and western Burma. 54. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 57. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 58. Utter a high-pitched cry, characteristic of pigs. 59. Scottish philosopher of common sense who opposed the ideas of David Hume (1710-1796). 60. The basic unit of money in Iran. 61. Soft creamy white cheese. 62. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 63. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine.

DOWN 1. By bad luck. 2. An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system. 3. The sixth month of the civil year. 4. The basic unit of money in Uruguay. 5. A set of questions or exercises evaluating skill or knowledge. 6. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 7. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 8. Last or greatest in an indefinitely large series. 9. Jordan's port. 10. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 11. Opinion or judgment. 12. A strong cord v 1. 20. Tropical American trees with palmately compound leaves and showy bell-shaped flowers. 21. In bed. 23. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 24. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 26. Marked by keen caution and watchful prudence. 27. A stock exchange in New York. 28. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 31. Informal terms for a (young) woman. 32. (informal) Being satisfactory or in satisfactory condition. 38. Regional and archaic. 39. Waterfall in Canada is the Horseshoe Falls. 40. Large genus of Australian evergreen shrubs or small trees with large daisylike flowers. 41. Opinion or judgment. 42. Immense East Indian fruit resembling breadfruit of. 43. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 44. A crystal of snow. 45. Green algae common in freshwater lakes of limestone districts. 48. Dense growth of hairs covering the body or parts of it (as on the human head). 49. God of fire. 51. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 52. (usually followed by `to') Having the necessary means or skill or know-how or authority to do something. 55. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 56. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You are comfortable and can feel free to say just what you mean today. Remember, what you say may be mirrored by others as well. Teach kindness to all around. This is a great time to enjoy your friends, family and even co-workers. You take an active interest in psychology, different cultures and history and may find that you enjoy stopping in the middle of a crowd to observe the interactions of others. You also enjoy standing on a hilltop to survey the land around you. History, teaching history and diving into social and psychology classes will surprise and tweak your ability to grasp and appreciate different views and habits of the human development. You will find support for any direction you want to go at this time.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) At first announcement, change may be unacceptable to your thinking. You resist change and usually resent others prying into your personal affairs. You prefer things to stay the same. Self-analysis and any unnecessary probing go against the grain. The unexamined life is what you champion. After thinking things through, you may be able to create some incentive to adjust some old habit into new possibilities and will be surprised as others follow your lead. This could be the beginning to the end of smoking, or an unhealthy diet or a passive exercise program. To celebrate the plan toward change, you and a friend may enjoy an evening at a comedy club. Consider having the comedy club within your own domain—and order a vegetable pizza.


Leo (July 23-August 22) Relationships run smoothly at this time. There is a high probability that you will be able to establish or accomplish everything that is asked of you as well as your own goals today. Additional responsibilities may be placed on you in the context of the home setting. Be careful not to scatter your energies too far just now. You should open up to relatives—it is a good time to receive or give help. Work at a balance in this area. Do not forget the favors you may owe to others—even if you have to write an I-owe-you note on a calendar to help you remember. Concentrate and focus on one task at a time. A mentor believes in you. You may increase finances through unexpected boons. A nice invitation comes from a friend this evening.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Outer conditions and the flow of inspiration make it easy for you to interact in groups. Perhaps this is family, friends or a club group, but group it is. If there is competition, you work well with your group to win over the competition. This day seems to fall into place easily and unfolds as a most rewarding day, filled with plenty of interactions from the people you enjoy. You enjoy talking about the changes you have seen in the last few years and you will more than likely be very grateful to learn about new hobbies or interests that others have. You may begin some study of genealogy or perhaps Japanese paper art. The world of your imagination is a major focus of change. Get outside and enjoy a leisure walk under a starlit sky. Can you identify the stars?

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You are ambitious and you work hard to achieve status. This morning your attention may be more toward some political issue in your religious setting. This may mean you help plan a new program for teens or a library opportunity that offers a safe place for teens to study. Don’t be stubborn when it comes to trying a new restaurant or fun activity this afternoon—others will enjoy a new restaurant and maybe an old-fashioned game of miniature golf. A close relationship takes on emotional meaning, power and importance and you put the effort in to draw closer. You may feel very flattered as attention, once again, turns to you. This evening is an excellent time for love. Solid, secure and comfortable situations and relationships are most fulfilling.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) This could be a frustrating day if you refuse to get help or advice on some use of equipment but you may realize that the challenge is in the asking. There are enough hardware stores with people that are helpful to recommend the use of some equipment or technique of application; go for it. You might enjoy a change in scenery with a visit to a museum or perhaps an art museum later today. There is nothing like the classy results of a fine art display or the model car display to help you see the sense of your day. If you have company later this afternoon, a good way to entertain them would just be to relax and go-with-the-flow. This evening a lover or child becomes the main point of your attention. Talk about future dreams and perhaps make some vacation plans.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

Quick answers, great wit and an extra amount of insights are available as you venture to repair, build or involve yourself with some new project. You seldom give up and if you find and read instructions for whatever you are attempting to do today, you will soon see some positive results. If you like to write, you might even find a short story unfolding from your mind this afternoon, perhaps a bit of comic relief. Speaking of comic relief, the energies are good for a little card game this evening and you may be thinking of that neighborhood shop that sells just what you need for the gathering. As you close your note pad from your story writing creation, you might get on the phone and start calling around to get a group together for a game in the early evening.

You may receive some recognition or special attention regarding your particular skills and abilities today. Perhaps you are a painter or you have decided to redecorate. Generally, this could be a productive and potentially satisfying day. Your timing is right for introducing your ideas for expansion or changes to others. You will see positive results if you pace yourself and try to accomplish just one thing at a time. Your imagination motivates you; take notes. This is a time for enjoying your life. You are coming into a time of experimenting with new concepts and putting the old tried and true behind. This evening you may enjoy being out-ofdoors with neighbors, young people or a loved one. A young person inspires you this evening.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Chores and preparing for the week ahead may fill your morning but you look forward to participating in a get-together with friends or a hobby group later today. Dreaming while asleep is one thing but creating dreams to reach and accomplish is something else and that may be the topic of conversation among friends or family members today. A buried tin box with lovely wishes and dreams might be fun to uncover in five or ten years. People look to you to motivate them—it is a habit and you have them well trained. If you want things different—you may become the teacher or trainer for yourself. Read and plan to sign up for classes to learn the things you always wanted to learn; perhaps someone you know can join you in this adventure.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Your attitude and your energies work toward positive results today. Some changes you make could have long-lasting effects. Do not become preoccupied with one idea or try to make others change to your way of thinking. An urge to wipe the slate clean and start over can leave you feeling empty. Give yourself time for contemplation. Perhaps little steps are more in order just now. Pay attention to resentments for a short while and find positive ways to lessen or eliminate any negatives; keep some type of reminder in front of your vision. You may find yourself becoming more organized and conservative in your activities this afternoon. Consider purchasing a dream diary and for a few months keep a record of your dreams; this is quite insightful.


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


Britney Spears denies X Factor rumors


Eva Longoria insists ‘Desperate Housewives’ cast get along he 37-year-old actress addressed rumors of spats between her co-stars on ‘The Late Show With David Letterman’. She told the show’s host David Letterman when asked her about a feud between the stars: “We all get along.” Speaking to the presenter about the final days filming for the show, Eva explained that cast gave the crew luggage as a parting gift. However she failed to acknowledge that Teri Hatcher’s name had been deliberately left off the card. The star who played Gabrielle Solis on the show said: “We gave the crew carry-on luggage that said, ‘Takes us with you in all of your journeys.’” She brushed off comments by David which mentioned possible fights between the thespians. Eva said: “I know, everybody says that.” When asked if there was competition between the cast, Eva said: “Not really. It’s acting! It’s not football.” Teri Hatcher’s name was noticeably left off the notes attached to the farewell presents Eva, Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman and Vanessa Williams gave to their colleagues.


ources connected with the 30-year-old singer told TMZ they are very close to signing a deal but are working out the last few details. Britney reportedly expecting to be making $15 million as a panelist on the forthcoming season, however contracts have not be completed yet. Now insiders say the mother-of-two should be signing up to the project headed by Simon Cowell in the next day or two. Apparently the Fox network are planning to make the announcement today at the Upfronts in


Dianna Agron

New York City, where the autumn lineup is unveiled. The agreement is almost certain to be signed but not by the twice married star, who is now engaged to manager Jason Trawick. Since she is under a conservatorship, her father Jamie Spears and fiancÈ Jason - the co-conservators - will be the ones to sign on her behalf. The contract must then be approved by the judge handling the conservatorship, however sources connected with Britney say it has already been pre-approved.

hints at departure from ‘Glee’

Tina Knowles

he 26-year-old actress, who plays Quinn Fabray on the show, tweeted an apparent admission that she isn’t sure about her future on the series. After shooting her final scenes for season three, Dianna wrote what appeared to be a summary of her time at the job. She posted: “I don’t know all that is to come, but I know what a day like this means. Four years of love, light and support. To the cast, crew and creators.” She added, “And to all of you that have shown your love along the way. We just can’t thank you enough. This has always been a very surreal experience.” The posts came an hour after her co-star Amber Riley - who played Mercedes Jones - announced her departure on the micro-blogging website. Co-star Lea Michele wrote: “Said our goodbyes to the rest of the cast who wrapped for the season just now.. So proud to work with such an amazing group of people.” The upcoming graduation of several ‘Glee’ characters has caused confusion about whether several actors will be staying on the show.


spent Mother’s Day with Beyonce

peaking about the holiday, which fell yesterday in the United States, the singer’s mother revealed that she had plans to be present on the special day. She told Us Weekly: “[ We’re] all going to be together. We’re excited because it’s Beyonce’s first Mother’s Day.” Tina - who collaborates with BeyoncÈ on her House of Dereon clothing line - confessed her plans to contribute to the weekend’s celebrations. At a charity event in New York she said: “I’m hoping to cook! I want to cook. My tradition-


al soul food and maybe gumbo. That’s my favorite dish!” BeyoncÈ gave birth to her daughter with Jay-Z Blue Ivy in January. Tina spoke about her daughter’s Met Ball 2012 appearance in a Givenchy Haute Couture gown. She admitted: “She looked amazing. I think she looked absolutely amazing.” During her quick walk on the red carpet the 30-year-old, revealed her plans to give Blue siblings. She revealed: “I definitely want to have more [kids]. I don’t know how many. I don’t know yet.”

Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley blasts Bristol Palin

Jennifer Hudson,

Jennie Garth’s

sister release statement King added a prayer for a man convicted of the killings. They said: “We want to extend a prayer from the Hudson family to the Balfour family. It is our prayer that the Lord will forgive Mr Balfour of these heinous acts and bring his heart into repentance someday.”

Johnny Depp denies breakup ennifer Hudson and her sister Julia Hudson have released a statement about the murder sentencing of William Balfour for the murders of her mother, brother and nephew. They said: “We have many people to thank but our first thank you is to God, always. We are so grateful to prosecutors James McKay, Jennifer Bagby and Veryl Gambino and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and her team for their dedication and tireless work from the beginning.” The statement added, “We have the best police department, and they have been with us every step of the way. We thank all of the State’s witnesses who came forward on our behalf. We have felt the love and support from people all over the world and we’re very grateful.” The relatives of the deceased mother Darnel Donerson, brother Jason Hudson as well as nephew and son, Julian


he 48-year-old ‘Dark Shadows’ actor responded to recent reports that the couple of 14 years had split. Apparently the pair have been living separate lives for months, but he shot down rumors they had parted ways on the red carpet for the premiere of his new film in London. He told The Sun: “The rumors are not true. They are absolutely not true.” A source said about the Oscar winner and his model girlfriend: “People around him are worried about how Johnny is doing because he and Vanessa seem so fractured right now. Their relationship is heading toward the end.” Johnny continued: “No matter what I say about this, people believe the opposite. I can’t say enough about it not being over.” The two, have a home in France together and have not been spotted together in months.


divorce changed her perspective


fter the 21-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin wrote a blog post about 50-year-old Obama’s support of same-sex marriage, JWoww blasted the politician’s child via twitter. The 26-year-old ‘Jersey Shore’ star wrote: “Bristol should keep her uneducated, ignorant mouth shut. If you’re living in the past you wouldn’t have a kid without marriage. Hypocrite. It’s 2012! My best friend will get married one day and not just have civil union with his man. Stop hating people.” During his interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, Obama explained how his daughters inspired him to think more seriously about the topic. He said: “Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently.” He added, “It doesn’t make sense to them, and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.” Bristol argued: “Sometimes dads should lead their family in the right ways of thinking. In this case, it would’ve been nice if the President would’ve been an actual leader and helped shape their thoughts instead of merely reflecting what many teenagers think after one too many episodes of ‘Glee’.”

he 40-year-old ‘90210’ actress and her ‘ Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Par t 2’ actor estranged husband announced their plans to divorce in March. Speaking to a therapist on her reality show ‘Jennie Garth: A Little Bit Country’ she said: “It’s weird and sad, but I really realized through this whole experience how much I loved him, how deeply I loved him and how deeply I loved us.” The two have children together Luca,14, Fiona, nine, and Lola, five - and Jennie was against Peter’s idea to file for a legal separation. She continued: “I think with any sort of rejection, you’re angry that you weren’t enough for that person. So I don’t know if I’m angry at myself for not being enough, or if I’m angry at him for not considering me to be enough.” Talking about his decision to end their longtime union, she said she hoped they’d be together forever and added that his filing surprised her. When asked if she’d like to share her strong feelings with her ex, she said expressed her desire to. —Bang Showbiz



MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012

LIFESTYLE F e a t u r e s

People are at work in front of the “Palais des Festivals” as part of the preparation for the Cannes film festival. —AFP ising stars will compete against established Hollywood names for the limelight at this year’s Cannes film festival, with Robert Pattinson, Zac Efron, Kristen Stewart and Shia LaBeouf all appearing in highly anticipated movies. They will rub shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman, as well as some of the great names in directing, at the world’s biggest and most glamorous cinema showcase. “I think there’s a whole new wave of acting talent that has come in on to the scene literally in the last couple of years,” Australian director John Hillcoat told Reuters. His competition movie “Lawless”, a


This handout picture released by the Cannes film festival shows the official poster of the 65th International Cannes filmfest, made of a photo of Marilyn Monroe taken from her movie “Some Like It Hot”. Arthouse directors and Hollywood royalty will converge on the French Riviera for two weeks from May 16, 2012 as the Cannes Film Festival rolls out the red carpet for the giants and mavericks of the movie galaxy. —AFP

about Cannes is from still photographs of peoDepression-era gangster tale, features Tom ple walking up those steps and paparazzi Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Labeouf and Mia images, so I don’t really have any expectaWasikowska among others, and he also sintions.” Asked whether he would be busy on the gled out Michael Fassbender as an example of crowded party circuit, he replied: “I haven’t fresh talent coming to the fore. “It’s been a while since we’ve had (young) actors that have received any invitations yet.” that kind of range, depth, gravitas and intensiSALLES ADAPTS KEROUAC CLASSIC ty that this wave of actors do.” Cannes organisIn the main competition of 22 films eligible ers will be keen to avoid the controversy that overshadowed last year’s edition-Danish direc- for awards, Brazilian director Walter Salles’ adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation tor Lars Von Trier was banned after making novel “On the Road” has generated plenty of Nazi jokes at a press conference, a decision buzz, not least because Stewart takes on a criticised by many festival goers. leading role. Best known as Bella Swan from Film critics have at least given organisers the “Twilight” vampire blockbusters, the 22the thumbs up for their selection of movies in year-old American will be joined on the sun2012, although what looks promising on kissed French Riviera by Twilight co-star paper does not always make for a good festiPattinson. The val. Opening the British actor whirlwind fortappears in another night of screencompetition movie ings, parties and “Cosmopolis”, publicity camdirected by paigns on Canada’s David Wednesday is the Cronenberg, a topiglitzy world precal tale of corpomiere of Wes rate greed that folAnderson’s chillows a successful dren’s fantasy New York financier “Moonrise whose world disinKingdom”, starring tegrates around Bill Murray, Bruce him. Willis and Tilda Previous winSwinton. For ners of the coveted Anderson, the Palme d’Or prize walk down the for best film who famous red carare in contention pet-cum-fashion again are Austria’s catwalk, flanked Michael Haneke by showbiz media with “Amour” from around the (Love), Iran’s Abbas globe, may be as Kiarostami (“Like daunting as for Someone In Love”), the debutant Briton Ken Loach child actors in his (“The Angels’ cast. “I’ve never Share”) and been before, so Romanian Cristian for me just going Mungiu (“Beyond to Cannes at all is the Hills”). Efron, exciting,” the A giant photograph showing late French actor Matthew director told Bernard Giraudeau is hung between buildings McConaughey and Reuters in an interview. in Cannes ahead of the start of Cannes film Kidman all star in Lee Daniels’ “The “What I know festival. —AFP

Paperboy” and Pitt appears in Andrew Dominik’s “Killing Them Softly”. Among the favourite European film makers in Cannes this year are Jacques Audiard with “Rust and Bone” featuring Marion Cotillard, and 89-year-old French director Alain Resnais with “You ‘Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!”. Hot topics on the big screen include the Arab uprisings, with Egyptian director Yousry Nasrallah’s “After the Battle” in competition, and the pitfalls of celebrity culture in “Antiviral”, the debut feature from Cronenberg’s son Brandon. British rocker Pete Doherty, famous for his run-ins with the law and relationship with supermodel Kate Moss as much as for his music, stars alongside Charlotte Gainsbourg in “Confession of the Child of a Century”. Animated blockbuster “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” comes in 3D, while British comic Sacha Baron Cohen will give a provocative in-character appearance as General Aladeen to promote his latest satire “The Dictator”.

Lumiere cinema are high. Cannes is an ideal launchpad for a film, as last year’s Oscar darling “The Artist” proved, but it can be a cinematic graveyard if notoriously picky critics and journalists leave the crammed press screenings unimpressed. It is also a key event for thousands of financiers, studio bosses and producers who wheel and deal at the giant film market or over champagne and caviar aboard the expensive luxury yachts anchored offshore. Despite the veneer of wealth and wellbeing, conversations over cocktails in Cannes are as often about economic uncertainty, internet piracy and falling DVD revenues as they are about lucrative deals and awards glory. But it remains the one event on the crowded film festival calendar that the big players most want to attend. “Showbusiness loves to get its heart revving, and that’s what Cannes is all about,” said David Linde, head of Lava Bear Films and former chairman of Universal Pictures. —Reuters

MAKE OR BREAK The stakes for hundreds of directors and performers from around the world who walk the famous red carpet into the Grand Theatre

A giant photograph showing US film director Alfred Hitchcock is set on a building, on May 12, 2012 in Cannes, south-eastern France ahead of the start of Cannes film festival. —AFP

List of films in Cannes festival main competition ew releases from Ken Loach, David Cronenberg, Wes Anderson and Michael Haneke are among the films going head-to-head in the race for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival on May 16-27. Following is a list of the 22 films contending for the top award, along with out-ofcompetition festival screenings and the 17 films in the parallel section “Un Certain Regard” which showcases fresh talent. English titles are given where cited by festival organisers. Country mentions indicate the nationality of the director.

“In the Fog”, Sergei Loznitsa (Ukraine) “Beyond the Hills”, Cristian Mungiu (Romania) “After the Battle”, Yousry Nasrallah (Egypt) “Mud”, Jeff Nichols (US) “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet”, Alain Resnais (France) “Post Tenebras Lux”, Carlos Reygadas (Mexico) “On the Road”, Walter Salles (Brazil) “Paradise: Love”, Ulrich Seidl (Germany) “The Hunt”, Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark)

MAIN COMPETITION OPENING FILM “Moonrise Kingdom”, Wes Anderson (US) “De Rouille et d’Os” (Of Rust and Bone), Jacques Audiard (France) “Holy Motors”, Leos Carax (France) “Cosmopolis”, David Cronenberg (Canada) “The Paperboy”, Lee Daniels (US) “Killing Them Softly”, Andrew Dominik (Australia) “Reality”, Matteo Garrone (Italy) “Amour”, Michael Haneke (Austria) “Lawless”, John Hillcoat (Australia) “In Another Country”, Hong Sang-soo (South Korea) “Taste of Money”, Im Sang-soo (South Korea) “Like Someone in love”, Abbas Kiarostami (Iran) “The Angel’s Share”, Ken Loach (Britain)

CLOSING FILM (Out of competition): “Therese Desqueyroux”, Claude Miller (France)


UN CERTAIN REGARD COMPETITION “Miss Lovely” by Ashim Ahluwalia (India, first film) “La Playa” (The Beach) by Juan Andres Arango (Colombia, first film) “Les Chevaux de Dieu” (God’s Horses) by Nabil Ayouch (Morocco) “Trois Mondes” (Three Worlds) by Catherine Corsini (France) “Antiviral” by Brandon Cronenberg (Canada) “7 dias en La Habana” (Seven Days in Havana) by Benicio del Toro, Pablo Trapero, Julio Medem, Elia Suleiman, Juan Carlos Tabio, Gaspar Noe and Laurent Cantet (US, Spain, Argentina, Palestinian Territories, Cuba, France)

“Le Grand Soir” by Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern (France) “Laurence Anyways” by Xavier Dolan (Canada/Quebec) “Despues de Lucia” (After Lucia) by Michel Franco (Mexico) “Aimer a Perdre la Raison” by Joachim Lafosse (Belgium) “Mystery” by Lou Ye (China) “Student” by Darezhan Omirbayv (Kazakhstan) “La Pirogue” (The Pirogue) by Moussa Toure (Senegal) “Elefante Blanco” (White Elephant) by Pablo Trapero (Argentina) “Confession d’un Enfant du Siecle” (Confessions of a Child of the Century) by Sylvie Verheyde (France) “11.25 The Day he Chose his Own Fate” by Koji Wakamatsu (Japan) “Beasts of the Southern Wild” by Benh Zeitlin (US, first film) OUT OF COMPETITION “Me and You” by Bernardo Bertolucci (Italy) “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”, Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath (US) “Hemingway and Gellhorn” by Philip Kaufman (US) MIDNIGHT SCREENINGS “Dario Argento’s Dracula” by Dario Argento (Argentina) “The Sapphires”, by Wayne Blair (Australia)

“Maniac”, by Franck Khalfoun (France) 65TH ANNIVERSARY “Une Journee Particuliere”, documentary on Cannes backstage, by Gilles Jacob and Samuel Faure (France) SPECIAL SCREENINGS “Polluting Paradise”, by Fatih Akin (Germany) “Roman Polanski: a film memoir” by Laurent Bouzereau (France) “Trashed”, by Candida Brady (Britain) “The Central Park Five” by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon (USA) “Ai to Makoto” by Takashi Miike (Japan) “The Oath of Tobruk”, by Bernard-Henri Levy (France) “Les Invisibles”, by Sebastien Lifshitz (France) “Journal de France”, by Claudiune Nougaret, Raymond Depardon (France) “The Music According to Antonio Carlos Jobim”, by Nelson Pereiras Dos Santos (Brazil) “Villegas”, by Gonzaol Tobal (Argentina) “Mekong Hotel”, by Apitchatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand). —AFP

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


kung fu F E A T U R E S


nuns practise karma with a kick

Buddhist nuns practise Kung-fu. —AFP


t is a hot, cloudless morning on a hillside on the outskirts of Kathmandu and dozens of nuns arrange themselves into lines around a golden Buddhist shrine. In unison, each slams a clenched fist into their opposite palm, breathes deeply and waits, motionless in the rising heat. But these devotees are not here to pray or to meditate, for they have gathered to undergo a rigorous and aggressive martial arts routine as the world’s first order of kung fu nuns. The sisters of the Amitabha Drukpa Nunnery-aged from nine to 52 - come from across Nepal, India, Tibet and Bhutan to learn the ancient Chinese discipline of kung fu, which they believe will help them be better Buddhists. Every day, they exchange their maroon robes and philosophical studies for a intense 90-minute session of hand chops, punches, shrieks and soaring high kicks. “The main reason for practising kung fu is for fitness and for health, but it also helps with meditation and self-defence,” 14-year-old Jigme Wangchuk Lhamo, who was sent to the nunnery from Bhutan four years ago, told AFP.” When we practise kung fu we are doing something which gives us not only strong

Miss Fiji dumped

over age not race, says organiser


iji beauty queen Torika Watters, who was the target of racist criticism about her looks, has been replaced as the island nation’s Miss World Pageant entrant, organisers were reported saying yesterday. But they said the issue was her age and not connected to complaints that the 16-year-old of mixed EuropeanFijian heritage did not look Fijian enough. Watters was chosen last month ahead of a field of indigenous women by a judging panel that including New Zealand supermodel Rachel Hunter, a former wife of Rod Stewart, and other nonFijians. The decision sparked uproar on the Miss World Fiji Facebook page with the criticisms including demands that the Fijian representative have a “buiniga”-the local word to describe the naturally-frizzy Fijian hairstyle. Hundreds of complaints had to be deleted and a pageant spokeswoman said on Facebook there had been “nothing but negative criticism and remarks from our own people” about the selection of Watters. “While we appreciate a healthy discussion/feedback on our page, violent or racist comments will not be tolerated.” Show promoter Andhy Blake announced over the weekend that Watters did not meet the Miss World requirement that contestants be at least 17 years old and she would be replaced by 24-year-old Koini Vakaloloma, the first runner-up. “The change is done because of the age criteria whereby Torika will be eligible next year,” he told the FijiLive website. In a statement to the Fiji Times, Watters referred to the “entire pageant fiasco” and said she was “proud of my identity as a Fijian and have never considered my people as racists.” The Miss World final will be held in China in August. — AFP

bodies but also strong minds.” Buddhist nuns in the Himalayas have traditionally been seen as inferior to monks, with the women kept away from physically demanding exercise and relegated to menial tasks like cooking and cleaning. But the 800year-old Drukpa-or dragon-sect is changing all that by mixing meditation with martial arts as a means of empowering its women. The nuns, in contrast to most Buddhist groups, are also taught to lead prayers and given basic business skills, as well as running a guest house and coffee shop at the abbey and driving jeeps to Kathmandu to get supplies. Kung fu came to the nunnery only four years ago when its spiritual leader, His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, visited Vietnam, where he saw nuns receiving combat training that was previously used by Viet Cong guerrillas. He was so impressed that he brought four of the Vietnamese, all women in their 20s, to Nepal to add kung fu lessons to the nuns’ yoga classes and lessons in the nuances of good and bad karma. “Our nuns... are very new to modernisation and are timid and lack self-confidence,” the Gyalwang Drukpa wrote in a recent blog post. “I am not

saying that I am a great teacher or a great leader but the path that I have decided to take in order to promote gender equality, so as to bring about the nuns’ improvement, gives me

great encouragement to work harder and live longer.” Jigme Konchok Lhamo, 18, who came to the order from India, says kung fu has quickly made the nuns more assured and has begun to address the power balance between men and women in Buddhism. “His Holiness wants the nuns to be like the men, with the same rights in the world,” she said. “That is why we get the chance to do everything, not just kung fu.” She added, “We also have the chance here to learn many things, like tennis and skating. And we have the chance also to learn English and Tibetan, and musical instruments.” She continued, “In the past only men could do some of the dances. Now we have the chance to take part. Before nuns could not do any-

thing and now we have the chance to do anything the monks can do.” The nunnery is enjoying a surge in popularity since introducing the kung fu lessons and now has some 300 nuns practising martial arts techniques. They have given demonstrations of their skills to thousands of pilgrims in Nepal and have toured India and Britain. The nuns say the repetitive nature of Shaolin kung fu, which comes from the Buddhist temple of Shaolin in China’s Henan province, helps them to learn control and focus. The benefits are obvious for young women who are expected to meditate in the same position for up to six hours at a time and sometimes undertake retreats during which they must remain silent for months. Jigme Migyur Palmo, a soft-spoken 21year-old nun, who came to Kathmandu three years ago from her home in Ladakh, in northern India, said kung fu works in harmony with her spiritual life. She watched Jackie Chan kung fu movies when she was younger and now wants to be as good as the Hong Kong film star. “I came to Kathmandu to learn Buddhist philosophy and now I don’t want to go home, I want to stay here my whole life,” she said. — AFP

Edgy Indian corporates seek spiritual solace W

ith the banks deaf to his pleas for more money for his ailing airline and foreign investors yet to materialise, Indian businessman Vijay Mallya has turned to divine forces for assistance. The “King of Good Times”, as the jet-setting billionaire is known in India, recently called in psychic guru Unnikrishna Panicker, who is said to be an expert at seeking spiritual answers. Panicker, according to the Mumbaibased daily newspaper DNA, conducted an elaborate “Ashtamangalya Prashnam” ritual at Mallya’s mansion last month in Mumbai, aimed at conjuring up good luck. “With no signs of his troubles abating, the Kingfisher Airlines chairman was reportedly advised to conduct this ritual,” DNA said. Kingfisher has debts pegged at $1.2 billion and is threatened with bankruptcy. Its market share has plummeted, staff have gone unpaid and many travel agents have stopped taking bookings on its dwindling fleet of aircraft. But Mallya’s appeal to esoteric powers to help with his predicament is far from unusual in India, where free-market capitalism is often infused with mysticism and astrology. Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, often talks about spirituality as a “tool to enhance productivity”. The reclusive billionaire is known to consult astrologers and decide upon an auspicious time for the launch of any new business, as was the case with the Reliance Fresh convenience stores that started operations in 2006. Kishore Biyani, a retail giant who pioneered supermarkets in the country, believes traditional Hindu mythology holds a number of management lessons for India Inc. Armed with this conviction, he appointed mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik as his group’s “chief belief officer” whose job is to express “modern management ideas through symbolism

An unidentified Indian palmist and astrologer (right) speaks to an Indian couple in New Delhi. Indian businessman Vijay Mallya has turned to higher forces for assistance. The “King of Good Times,” as the jet-setting billionaire is known in India, recently called in famous psychic guru Unnikrishna Panicker. — AFP and vocabulary of ancient mythology ”. Pattanaik exhorts workers to draw parallels from fables recounted in ancient texts like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata “which explain management concepts much better” than other case studies. “Indian mythology says wealth must never be worshipped alone, she will cause strife,” he told AFP. “Our mythology goes hand in hand with corporate wisdom.” Pattanaik says businessmen consult spiritual leaders because they know “being the richest man does not make you the happiest man”. In March, Infosys-the country’s secondlargest IT company-invited high-profile yogi Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev for an interactive

session in Mumbai. Sadhguru, who has twice addressed gatherings at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos, talked about moral dilemmas facing the business world and the need to thrash out acquisitions with love rather than force. “If I embrace you, you will become mine willingly and I will have the better use of you in every possible way,” said the guru, according to a video clip uploaded on YouTube. “If I conquer you I will still have you, but I have to sit on top of your head and make you do things and you will do everything possible to make my life miserable.” G Vijayam of the Atheist Center-an institution that promotes humanism and social

change-was bemused by the calls on heavenly forces, especially Mallya’s attempt to use them to seek business solutions. “By performing the ritual, Mallya was trying to convince people that his intention was good but the stars were not with him,” Vijayam told AFP. “He just wanted to take away everyone’s attention from the real problems plaguing his aviation business and gain sympathy of people. It is like bribing the gods and escaping from your responsibilities.” Mallya’s office did not return repeated calls asking for comment. Vijayam warns everyone to steer clear of “fake” gurus who treat spirituality as a commodity. “For them it is all about business and money,” he said. — AFP

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


NAFO’s 9th anniversary

A spectacular cultural show

Chief Guest T KA Nair, Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta, NAFO officials and guests during the opening ceremony. —Photos by Sherif Ismail


spectacular cultural show marked NAFO Kuwait’s (National Forum Kuwait) 9th Anniversary celebration on Friday at the American International School in Maidan Hawally. The celebration opened with the National Anthems of Kuwait and India followed by an evocative song by the NAFO Symphony talents. Chief Guest T.K.A. Nair, Adviser to the Prime Minister of India, inaugurated the function by lighting the traditional lamp along with Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta and NAFO Officials. NAFO President B S Pillai chaired the meeting and in his presidential address he briefed about the chief guests and the program. Former NAFO President Dr T S Srikumar introduced the chief guest Nair by reading his profile. In his inaugural address Nair congratulated NAFO for their commitment towards extending welfare assistance to the downtrodden. He praised the NAFO team for their selfless efforts and enthusiasm towards the 10point socio-welfare projects that NAFO plans to accomplish during the course of its 10th year. He further encouraged NAFO to continue carrying out such noble services. The Indian Ambassador, in his speech, expressed his appreciation of the NAFO family for its relentless services to the humanity. He wished success to its future socio-welfare

activities. NAFO Patron Vijayan Karayil, Rajan Daniel, Hon Vice Chairman, Indian Community School, Pancily Varkey, Country Head, UAE exchange, Siddique Valiyakkath, a journalist and Patron of FIMA and NAFO Advisory Board member Dr Prasad Nair delivered the felicitation speech. A galaxy of eminent personalities also graced the occasion with their presence. On behalf of NAFO, T.K.A. Nair was honored with a ‘Ponnada’ and a memento by Ambassador Mehta. The Ambassador was also honored with a ‘Ponnada’ and a memento by NAFO President Pillai. NAFO Patron Vijayan Karayil released the colorful Souvenir by giving a copy to the chief guest in the presence of souvenir Convener Raj Kartha. Pancily Varkey, V R Santhosh, Sales and Operations Manager - Bahrain Airways were also honored with mementos. Following the vote of thanks by Program Convener K C Gopakumar, all members in the Executive Board, Advisory Board and Ladies Wing mem-

bers of NAFO lined up on the stage holding a lamp signifying “Darkness to Light” and made a genuine, truthful and committed pledge in front of the audience for the accomplishment of its 10-point socio-welfare projects during the course of 10th anniversary. Acting General Secretary Murali S Nair declared the iconic 10-point socio-welfare projects detailing through an eye-catching presentation, which was the most ingredient part of the program. “Marriage Aid”, “Cancer Care for Life Insurance Scheme”, “Course fee or Free Laptop Computer”, “Cremation at One’s Own Soil”, “Financial Assistance for Kidney Patients”, “Eye Care Aid”, “Mobility Device for Physically Handicapped”, “Monitory Assistance for Professional Studies”, “Self Employment Aid” and “Clean Water for the Young Generation” were the 10 projects that NAFO committed to accomplish during its 10th year, which was well appreciated by the chief guest and all present in the auditorium.

Chief Guest T K A Nair lights the lamp to inaugurate the function.

During the first half of the cultural program, Monhiniyattam exponent, Vinitha Nedungady gave the audience a cultural feast with her flawless recital. The second half of the program was a musical extravaganza by the leading playback singers Vivekanandan and Rajalakshmy. The songs that they sung to the tunes of today lived up to aspirations of the enthusiastic audience. The other attraction of the evening was the Kuwait singer Mubarak who rendered two evergreen Hindi songs sung by late Krishore Kumar. The songs were received with thunderous applause. Ladies wing coordinator Priya G Nair honored Vinitha Nedungady while NAFO advisory board members K G Nair and G K Nair honored Vivekanandan and Rajalakshmy respectively. Rajith (keyboard) was honored by Former NAFO president Rajan Menon. Meena Rajeev Pillai and Girish M Nair compeered the inaugural meeting and the cultural program respectively.

Diyas form a circle around the traditional lamp.

Ambassador Mehta presents a memento to chief guest T K A Nair.

Dazzling expressions by Mohiniyattam exponent Vinitha Nedungady.

Singers Vivekanandan and Rajalakshmy perform.

Cannes film festival puts spotlight on rising stars

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012


A wooden statue of Tutankhamun, right, the gilded bronze and wooden trumpet of Tutankhamun and a part of Tutankhamun’s fan, left, three of four objects that were missing and returned, are displayed during a news conference in the office of Egypt’s Minister of State for Antiquities Zahi Hawass, in Cairo. Taking advantage of Egypt’s political upheaval, thieves have gone on a treasure hunt with a spree of illegal digging, preying on the country’s ancient pharaonic heritage. — AP


Egypt turmoil, thieves hunt pharaonic treasures


aking advantage of Egypt’s political upheaval, thieves have gone on a treasure hunt with a spree of illegal digging, preying on the country’s ancient pharaonic heritage. Illegal digs near ancient temples and in isolated desert sites have swelled a staggering 100-fold over the past 16 months since a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak’s 29-year regime and security fell apart in many areas as police simply stopped doing their jobs. The pillaging comes on top of a wave of break-ins last year at archaeological storehouses - and even at Cairo’s famed Egyptian Museum, the country’s biggest repository of pharaonic artifacts. Horrified archaeologists and antiquities authorities are scrambling to prevent smuggling, keeping a watch on European and American auction houses in case stolen artifacts show up there. “Criminals became so bold they are digging in landmark areas,” including near the Great Pyramids in Giza, other nearby pyramids and the grand temples of the southern city of Luxor, said Maj. Gen. Abdel-Rahim Hassan, commander of the Tourism and Antiquities Police Department. “It is no longer a crime motivated by poverty. It’s naked greed and it involves educated people,” he said. In a country with more than 5,000 years of civilization buried under its sands, illegal digs have long been a problem. With only slight exaggeration, Egyptians like to joke you can dig anywhere and turn up something ancient, even if its just pottery shards or a statuette. But in the security void, the treasure hunting has mushroomed, with 5,697 cases of illegal digs since the start of the anti-Mubarak uprising in early 2011- 100

times more than the previous year, according to figures obtained by The Associated Press from the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police. Related crimes have risen as well - 1,467 cases of illicit trading in antiquities and 130 attempts to smuggle antiquities abroad. At least 35 people have been killed in incidents connected to illegal digs, including 10 buried alive in the southern city of Naga Hamadi in March when the hole they dug in the ground caved in. Others were killed in disputes when thieves fell out over sharing the finds, according to Interior Ministry officials familiar with the incidents. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press. Those are just the crimes that police uncovered. In their digs, fortune hunters pick spots that are just outside major archaeological sites in hopes that treasures can be found some distance beyond their parameters. Others dig in areas set aside for future excavations by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Egypt’s top state archaeological agency. Last month, police arrested two men who lived just behind the temple of Khnum in the southern town of Esna for illegally digging under their homes. Police said they found a 10meter (10-yard) deep hole under the houses with hieroglyphic inscriptions dating to the Ptolemaic dynasty as well as ancient clay pots. Farther south in the Nile-side city of Aswan, police last month arrested a government employee who also dug under his house, uncovering clay pots, an incense urn and tablets bearing images of lotus flowers. The ministry officials said the surge reflects in part the failure of the police to

Army special forces stand next to the funeral mask of King Tutankhamun in its glass case in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. — AP fully take charge of security after they melted away on Jan. 28 last year, after deadly clashes with protesters on the fourth day of the 18-day antiMubarak uprising. Since then, many police have been balking at investigating crimes and pursuing criminals, whether out of resentment over the “revolution” or because of the continued lack of strong political authority. The night of Jan. 28, thieves broke into the Egyptian Museum, located on the edge of Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the anti-regime uprising and scene of some of the

bloodiest clashes between protesters and Mubarak’s hated police. The robbers made off with 51 pieces that were on display - of which 29 have since been recovered. The most valuable stolen piece, a statue of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, was found by a 16-year-old protester and his family returned it to the museum, the antiquities ministry said at the time. Soon after Mubarak’s Feb, 11, 2011 ouster, the officials said, a Jordanian man was caught trying to smuggle as many as 3,753 artifacts out of

Egypt. These, they said, included 48 ancient Egyptian statutes, Roman Age coins and 45 pieces of jewelry dating from the Medieval years of the Islamic era. The months that followed saw a rash of break-ins at antiquity storehouses around the country. “At the end, it’s a question of security,” said Ahmed Mustafa, who until December headed a government department tasked with recovering stolen artifacts. “The robberies of the warehouses took place in broad daylight by armed thieves. Some were raided twice,” said Mustafa, who now lectures on archaeology at a private Cairo college. One of the largest warehouse thefts took place a year ago in the Sinai city of Qantara, from which roughly 800 artifacts were stolen or damaged by thieves. The pieces, according to regional antiquities chief Mohammed Abdel-Maqsoud, were mostly clay pots, bronze coins and spears dating back to pharaonic and Islamic items. Nearly 300 of these have been recovered, he said. Now that security has been beefed up at most warehouses, thieves have turned to digging. Mansour Bureik, the chief archaeologist in the Luxor area, said there was little chance treasure hunters would run across the gold and gems that they dream of. Those are found only in royal or aristocratic tombs. But Galal Mouawad, a senior archaeologist in the Giza area, said the potential for lucky strikes exist just about anywhere in the country. “Egyptians have over the centuries settled anywhere in Egypt until they have finally settled along the banks of the Nile,” he said. “There is something valuable to be found anywhere.” — AP

An old drum beats a path

from the ancients to Erykah Badu


ith a curved stick in one hand, a five-year-old Nigerian pre-schooler staggers as she tries to steady what’s been slung from her shoulder: a drum and many generations of history. “The children need to carry on our culture,

our tradition, and you need to catch them young,” Aralola Olamuyiwa, popularly known as Ara, said after giving an hourlong lesson at a Lagos nursery and primary school on the talking drum. The West African talking drum, an hourglass-shaped instrument usually made of wood and animal hide, is deeply embedded in the region’s culture, having served as a means of communication long before phones, not to mention email and text messages. But while it has lost its practical purpose, the talking drum is a long way from dying, having now been incorporated into not only traditional music, but also African hip-hop and the songs of global stars such as Erykah Badu. Nigerian-born Sikiru Adepoju has gained acclaim for his talking drum expertise, in large part thanks to his collaborations with Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart. Ara is one of Nigeria’s rare female talking drummers and has performed with Stevie Wonder and for the Queen of England. She visits schools teaching children to play, calling it “a way of preserving our heritage through our children who are going to be our tomorrow, our future.”

Earnest goals, indeed, but don’t forget that it can be fun as well. The instrument and its varying tones are infectious and can make people move-a key reason why contemporary musicians have used them to accent their tunes. Nigerian-British female rapper Weird MC, also known as the Rappatainer, used a talking drummer when she released her single “Ijo-ya” (Let’s Dance) in 2006. Born Adesola Idowu, she said she wanted to mix contemporary sounds with the traditional drum to create something that sounded new, “which at the time was a very unique thing to do.” She added, “So we ended up getting the club feel and the African feel as well. It sounded so different, so unique. It was really heavy and edgy at the same time.” The talking drum had in the past been used as a way to communicate between villages, with a complex set of sounds roughly mimicking the words of local languages. Also used for African oral poetry, “it operated like today’s telephone or intercom,” said Tunde Babawale of the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation in Nigeria’s culture and tourism ministry. From

Talking drummers entertain bystanders during a festival at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State on June 27, 2011. — AFP photos the way the drum is beaten, those familiar with it can tell if it is announcing a birth, death, marriage or declaration of war. “You can follow intelligently what the drum is saying. What it does is not just ordinary speech, it is poetic,” said Mobolanle Satunsa, a language lecturer at Nigeria’s Babcock University and author of a book on talking drum poetry. During a recent talking drum festival in the southwestern city of Ibadan, a traditional Yoruba leader at his palace demonstrated this by having his aides beat a talking drum to alert him of visitors. Its versatility has allowed it to transition from a tool of communication to one of cel-

ebration, keeping many a dance floor occupied. “There’s no music that can’t use the talking drum,” said Nigerian percussionist Wura Samba. “It can play more than one tonality ... like what the guitar does on a major scale.” Samba said he wants to see it become as widely available throughout the world as the djembe drum, another West African traditional instrument that has made its way into the music of the present. But despite its use in contemporary music, preservationists warn that it must continue to be promoted and taught to ensure it does not one day fall out of favour and become extinct. For Weird MC and others, the beat must go on. —AFP

14th May 2012