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Shot Pakistan girl activist sent to Britain for treatment

Myanmar blocks OIC office after rallies

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Japan’s Softbank snaps up Sprint in $20bn deal

Lions rally to beat Eagles 26-23 in OT

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NO: 15600

THULQADA 30, 1433 AH

Barrak claims advisors are misleading Amir, sees royal plot

Max 38º Min 22º High Tide 12:21 & 23:58 Low Tide 05.53 & 17:47

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah welcomes Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after she arrived in Kuwait to attend the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) summit yesterday. (Inset) Sheikh Sabah welcomes Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa at the airport. —KUNA (See Page 2)

Kuwaiti-Thai ties growing KUWAIT: Thailand’s bilateral trade relations with Kuwait have improved, with a 185-percent growth in trade and other domains over the last five years, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday. “This forum will reinforce bilateral cooperation between Thailand and Kuwait,” Yingluck said in a speech before the “Strengthening KuwaitThailand Business Partnerships” forum. This event is part of the Asia Cooperation

Dialogue (ACD) two-day summit due to begin today. Thailand is a very attractive country, as its economy continues to grow despite the global economic crisis and that is due to strong financial institutions that stimulated domestic consumption as the main factor for growth, the Thai premier noted. “Among our (Thai government’s) economic policy is a plan to invest $70 billion in vital projects like infrastructure and rail-

ways, as well as developing our international airport in order for Thailand to become of Asia’s economic centers,” she pointed out. In this connection, Yingluck said that potential areas of Thai interest in Kuwait include the agro-food industry, energy, jewelry, construction, tourism with emphasis on medical tourism, as well as finance, banking and the capital fund sector. Continued on Page 15

KUWAIT: Thousands of protesters clash with riot police after a rally opposite the National Assembly late yesterday. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat By B Izzak


in brief

5-day Eid holiday KUWAIT: Public sector employees are set to get five days of holidays in celebration of Eid Al-Adha, starting from Thursday Oct 25 until Monday Oct 28, which will be given off in compensation for Friday. This was revealed by a Civil Service Commission insider who told Al-Qabas daily that “a letter in that regard was referred to the Cabinet” for approval. The same source also denied any intentions to give state employees days off during the Asia Cooperation Dialogue summit which concludes tomorrow. The Ministry of Education also denied similar rumors about a holiday for school or college students.

Vatican embassy to stay VATICAN CITY: The Vatican’s embassy in Kuwait will not move to another city, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Dominique Mamberti stressed yesterday. Mamberti was keen on dispelling any confusion in this regard during a luncheon hosted by Vatican ambassadors, which took place in Rome yesterday, Kuwait’s non-resident Ambassador to the Vatican, based in Switzerland, Dr Suhail Shuhaiber told KUNA. Shuhaiber said that the archbishop considered the rumor that the Vatican was to move its representation from Kuwait was due a misinterpretation of what was announced by Bishop Camillo Ballin, since his responsibility was limited to the Catholic Church in Kuwait. Shuhaiber added that Mamberti stressed that Archbishop Peter Rajic is the Apostolic Nuncio in Kuwait and not Ballin.

Offices lying half empty KUWAIT: Almost half the office space in Kuwait’s financial centre lies empty after plans to become a regional business hub rivalling Dubai were wrecked by the financial crisis and the difficulties of doing business in the state. Developers went on a building spree after the overthrow of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 2003, believing that businesses would flock to Kuwait once the region stabilized. But the financial crisis and an unfavourable regulatory and infrastructure environment kept many companies away, with recent political tensions putting off both local and foreign investors. Unfinished tower blocks now dot the skyline of the capital Kuwait City, where even prime locations struggle to fetch more than half their rental value from before the crisis, real estate officials said. Occupancy in Kuwait City is 55 percent, said Tawfiq Al-Jarah, the head of the union of Kuwaiti real estate companies. The average monthly rental rate is KD 6.9 ($24.55) per square metre, compared to KD 13-14 before the crisis, he added. In the country as a whole there are 817,000 sq m of office space and only 59 percent of that is occupied.

Manila, Muslim rebels ink historic peace pact MANILA: Muslim rebels waging a four-decade insurgency in the Philippines signed a historic pact with the government yesterday to end the conflict, but both sides warned the road to peace had only just begun. President Benigno Aquino and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief Murad Ebrahim witnessed the signing of the accord, which aims for a final peace pact by 2016, in a ceremony at the presidential palace in Manila. “I come in peace and to forge a partnership of peace on the basis of the framework agreement between the MILF and the Philippine government,” Ebrahim said in a speech during the ceremony. “We extend the hand of friendship and partnership to the president and Filipino people”. Aquino, who has driven the process since assuming office in 2010, also hailed the agreement as a chance to “finally achieve genuine, lasting peace”. Continued on Page 15

MANILA: Philippine government peace negotiator Marvic Leonen (front right) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal shake hands after exchanging signed documents at the Malacanang Palace yesterday as Malaysian peace broker Tengko Abdul Ghafar (center front), MILF chief Murad Ebrahim (back left), Malaysian PM Najib Razak (standing second left), Philippine President Benigno Aquino (standing second right) and peace negotiator Teresita Deles look on. —AFP

Cambodia ex-king Sihanouk dies Amir sends condolences PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s revered ex-king Norodom Sihanouk, whose life encompassed turbulent years of rule, exile and war including the Khmer Rouge reign of terror, died yesterday in China, sparking nationwide mourning. Sihanouk, who had been a frequent visitor to Beijing where he received most of his medical treatment, died of a heart attack aged 89, according to his longtime personal assistant Prince Sisowath Thomico. “King Sihanouk did not belong to his family, he belonged Continued on Page 15


KUWAIT: At least four people were wounded and six others briefly detained when elite special forces clashed with opposition protesters yesterday during a noisy procession that followed a massive rally outside the National Assembly. Thousands of protesters marched after former MP and prominent opposition figure Musallam Al-Barrak finished a fiery speech at the rally attended by several thousand people to protest against what the opposition says a plot by the government to change the electoral constituency law to impact election results. Riot police in full gear used batons to beat up young protesters who tried to break up a police barrier set up to prevent demonstrators from proceeding. At least four protesters were slightly wounded and six others were detained and later released including Abdulaziz AlSaadoun, the son of former Assembly speaker and opposition leader Ahmad Al-Saadoun. During the clashes that lasted less than 15 minutes, some protesters hurled bottles at police, who used batons to prevent demonstrators from moving forward. The clashes were the first between police and Kuwaiti protesters in about a year. In an unprecedented style, Barrak directed most of his speech to HH the Amir, claiming that his advisors were not conveying the right picture of the situation to him. Barrak warned that if the controversial electoral constituency law was amended, the people of Kuwait will not accept it and will continue to protest until the law is foiled. “We are not scared of your new batons or the jails you have built,” said Barrak, who added that the people will not allow Kuwait to be governed through autocratic rule. Continued on Page 15




KUWAIT: Bangladesh’s President Zillur Rahman, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin arrived in Kuwait yesterday to attend the first-ever Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit.

Asian countries hail Amir call to host ACD Summit Keenness on economic development KUWAIT: Asian countries highly praised His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s call to host the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit, a meeting that is expected to further boost inter-Asian economic cooperation and integration. Sheikh Sabah invited Asian countries to meet at summit level, during the 10th ACD Forum that was held in Kuwait in October 2011. Participants in the ACD Forum appreciated and welcomed Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah’s invitation to host ACD Summit. The call to host the summit reflects His Highness the Amir’s keenness on economic development and that the Asian continent play a major factor to transforming Kuwait into a regional financial and commercial hub, considering its key geographic location coupled with its rich financial and human resources. Kuwait, out of His Highness the Amir’s keenness to making Kuwait this regional hub, has also expressed desire to host the structural mechanism headquarters of the ACD once approved by ACD countries. This, however, was not the first initiative by His Highness the Amir at the regional and continental level. Kuwait

hosted the first Arab Economic Summit that was held in Kuwait in January 2009. During the Summit, Sheikh Sabah initiated a USD-two-billion fund to support small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). The Amir of Kuwait, since assuming office as head of state, embarked on a number of regional and international tours aimed at cementing economic relations with major industrial countries and organizations, whether in Europe, Asia or the Americas. Asia occupies a large segment in Kuwait’s foreign policy with 40 percent of its diplomatic missions are in Asian countries. The ACD Summit is yet another attempt by Kuwait to cement economic, trade, cultural and political relations between the Asian countries to ultimately achieve peace, security, stability, development, reduction of poverty, addressing environmental deterioration, climate change and food security, in addition to respect of human rights. More than 32 Asian countries and a number of international organizations are taking part in the ACD Summit. The ACD has been meeting at a ministerial level since June 2001, when Thailand called for holding an ACD

Forum to foster inter-Asian collaboration. The ACD Summit is a turning point in the march of the Dialogue with Kuwait wishing the high-level meeting will give a new impetus into ACD countries. A host of Arab and Asian journalists praised yesterday preparations by the Kuwaiti Information Ministry and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) organizing committee, which contributed in providing a better coverage for the major event. The preparations gave foreign correspondents the liberty to cover the event in a professional manner, senior correspondent of the Japanese national news agency (Kyodo) Nobuhisa Degawa told KUNA. The gathering is getting the attention of Japanese media outlets, especially news about mutual cooperation and deliberations among Member States, Degawa noted. On her part, Pham Hang, correspondent of the Vietnamese News Agency, said that the ACD media center is fullyequipped, underlining “honestly, the level of organization is superb.” Vietnamese media is anticipating the opening of the Summit, slated for tomorrow, as its outcomes and recom-

mendations are of significance to Vietnam; an ambitious and development-driven Asian country, Hang added. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Omani Journalists’ Society Awadh Bin Saeed termed ACD a “major and excellent step” and an “important initiative” that adhere to changes currently being witnessed in Asia. He pointed out that major economic powers in Asia, like China, Japan and South Korea, in addition to the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States, are contributing in the establishment of an important partnership in the Asian Continent. “These human resources must be invested in a bid to establish an Asian entity,” he noted. Mustafa Al-Dabbas, editor-in-chief of the US-based Arabic language newspaper of Al-Raya, told KUNA that Asia needs this kind of initiatives in order for peace to prevail in the region, hoping for more cooperation that would solidify the Continent’s economic and political statuses. Last night, Kuwait Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad AlAbdullah Al-Sabah inaugurated the media center in Ar-Raya Hall. — KUNA

High-level visits reflect magnitude of ACD KUWAIT: Two Kuwaiti ministers said that the official senior-level representation at the First Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit was a sign that there would be a lot of interaction and reflects the magnitude of the event. While recieving visiting heads of state and leading officials for the ACD Summit at Kuwait International Airport on Monday they noted to its importance on the economic, social, cultural, environmental and technological fields in particular. “The hosting of a summit of this kind in Kuwait for the first time illustrates Kuwait’s position among members of the body and Kuwait’s ability to host diverse thought and cultures,” Minister of Information Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah said. The summit achieves a dream that HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has long had, before he had proposed its inception, on Tuesday, in earlier meetings. The talks will be held in a relaxed atmosphere, he stressed, and will result in decisions that benifit their nations in strategic fields like health, energy, housing, fighting poverty and disease, he added. For his part, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister for Housing Affairs Anas Al-Saleh described the event as “extremelt important”, especially as Kuwait plans to transform itself into an international commercial and financial centre, while coordinating with continental powerhouses like China and South Korea. The minister revealed that he would be holding bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit with a number of his Asian counterparts and commercial sector representatives that could benifit the region as a whole. Al-Saleh veiws that the summit would do much to improve coordination, remove obstacles and increase commmercial cooperation between countries in the continent. He went on to welcome visiting delegations, adding that the people of Kuwait are proud to be hosting the huge event in their country. — KUNA

99 development projects not started KUWAIT: No funds have so far been spent on 46 percent of the projects included in the state’s development plan enforced in 2009, while 8 percent of the projects remain at the blueprints stage, a local newspaper reported yesterday. The government is expected to soon pass the state’s budget through an emergency decree, but those tracking the developments believe that it was still struggling to turn the exceptionally nice sounding projects into reality. “Out of the 1,240 projects included in the development plan, no funds had been spent as yet on 796 projects,” sources with knowledge of the case said, citing reasons that included “state department’s unpreparedness to carry out the project, delay in obtaining approvals from monitoring or executing bodies, or delay in placing tenders or budgets.” The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also indicated that 99 projects were yet to move to the execution process. They called it a “setback to the development plan in which such works should be launched during the first two years.”


in brief

New urology center KUWAIT: The Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Urology Center will be opened in few weeks. This was announced by Health Ministry Undersecretary for Services and Maintenance Affairs, Engineer Sameer Al-Asfour. He said the new urology center in Sabah Medical Zone with a 120 bed capacity has been set up at a cost of KD 16 million, adding that it is a midsize hospital for all urology specialties, be it for treatment or surgery. He said the new center’s opening is waiting for a power connection and car parking readiness. He said the infection control department will take samples from the building to make sure that it is free of viruses and bacteria. He added that there was constant coordination between the ministry and the head of urology surgery department in the Amir Hospital, Dr Fawzi Abul, because he is involved with the project at the request of the Amiri Diwan. National labor percentage KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has finalized reviewing the percentage of national labor in the private sector, the sources have revealed. The issue will be discussed with the concerned authorities before it is sent to the council of ministers for a decision. Sources expected that it will be approved in the first half of the next year, pointing out that the ministry has made a comprehensive plan for an enhanced inspection campaign to make sure that employees remained present at their jobs. The ministry will be strict towards any tactics adopted to avoid employing Kuwaitis. Electronic dialogue project KUWAIT: The Director of Basaer for electronic dialogue project of Fahad Al-Ahmad Humane Society, Saad Manna Al-Rasheed, said research has shown an increase in the number of websites that urge jihad and blood shedding, and that over 60 percent of such sites were recruiting impressionable youth to carry out violence against their own country. AlRashidi said the study revealed that 30 percent more Russian speakers were being targeted due to the special interest in Chechnya to create a Caliphate rule in Caucasia. He said such sites do not enjoy any strong scientific backing, but rather work on reviving fatwas related to the Tatar affair and then try to apply them to the current times. Vatican Embassy not to move VATICAN CITY: The Vatican’s Embassy in Kuwait will not move to another city, Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Dominique Mamberti stressed yesterday. Archbishop Mamberti was keen on dispelling any confusion in this regard during a luncheon set up by the Vatican Ambassadors, which took place in Rome on Monday, Kuwait’s non-resident Ambassador to the Vatican, based in Switzerland, Dr. Suhail Shuhaiber said. “The Holy See had no intentions in moving its representation from Kuwait, which was the first Gulf country to establish diplomatic ties with the Vatican, given the historic relations that unite us together that we have been cherishing for over 41 years,” Archbishop Mamberti was quoted as saying. Shuhaiber said that the Archbishop considered the rumor saying that the Vatican was to move its representation from Kuwait was due a misinterpretation of what was announced by Bishop Camillo Ballin when his responsibility was then limited to the Catholic Church in Kuwait.



Joint efforts needed to help Syrian refugees Kuwaiti aid relief team tours camps HATAY, Turkey: The Kuwaiti good-doer team, consisting of representatives of charities and members of the media toured yesterday Turkish border areas with Syria to study the living conditions of displaced Syrians and followup relief programs carried out by charity committees for displaced people. The team inspected over two days the humanitarian situation of the displaced Syrians to assess the extent of food and medical aid that can be offered in this context. It also listened to explanation from the Syrian officials in charge of humanitarian affairs about the size and nature of the relief materials to be provided to help those displaced. A number of team members stressed in remarks the need to lend a hand to the displaced Syrians affected by violence and repression both inside Turkish territories or in areas under the control of elements of the Free Syrian Army in northern Syria, near the

border with Turkey. They said that the Kuwaiti relief aid committees are implementing humanitarian aid programs for Syrian refugees and displaced persons in Turkey and in the Syrian lands, especially related to the provision of food baskets and health services. They added that the current tour by the team in Turkey comes to oversee the distribution of the aid and to ensure their access to beneficiaries, as well as to follow up Kuwaiti charity projects with Turkish and Syrian relief aid agencies. Director General of Sheikh Abdullah AlNouri charitable Society Jamal Al-Nouri said his society had been cooperating with a number of charitable organizations in Syria before the revolution in a number of charity projects but because of the pressure that was exercised by the Syrian regime, the charitable work then was restricted on projects of Iftar and sheep slaughtering for eid sacrifice. He said that with

Inventor launches camera-fitted balloon KUWAIT: Kuwaiti inventor Sadeq Qasem successfully launched a camera-fitted balloon showing the Kuwaiti flag into space and the contraption took video footage during both launch and landing, in the first of its kind experiment in Kuwait. Interviewed by KUNA, the Kuwaiti winner of the (Arab Inventor) prize said the project aimed to help read and assess weather and climate conditions better through live video recording and feeding this data to receptors via radar. This is the first time a Radiosonde balloon is used in conjunction with a GPS

system. The balloons used to be launched and data gathered before the balloons fall anywhere in the desert or out at sea. The tracking and quick recovery of the balloon is a new achievement in Kuwait. This scientific project was result of cooperation of several bodies including Science Club, of which the inventor is member, the Civil Aviation’s meteorology department, and the Interior Ministry’s aviation police department. Qasem expressed gratitude for the help of all who cooperated in the project in all these and other bodies. — KUNA

Ministry ends mosque workers’ strike KUWAIT: A local company was forced to pay cleaning workers deployed at an Ahmadi mosque, thus ending their strike, a local newspaper reported yesterday quoting a Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs insider. “ The Mosques Department had informed the ministry a week ago about a problem between workers and their

employer who had failed to pay their salaries for two straight months,” the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said. The problem was resolved after the company’s owner was summoned, and an agreement was reached to pay the salaries from the funds that the ministry deducted from the amount due to the company.

the revolution and its effects as of martyrs, orphans and refugees, an urgent need has emerged to extend a helping hand to the Syrian refugees at home in the form of financial and in-kind assistance. For his part, Executive Director of the Patients Helping Fund Society Faisal Al-Yaqout expressed his fund’s interest in helping the Syrian refugees and alleviate their suffering since the first day of the revolution through a number of projects that fall within the scope of the Fund which have been implemented inside and outside Syria and on the border with neighboring countries. He added that the total humanitarian aid provided by the Fund for Syrian refugees is estimated at USD two million spent on treating the sick and wounded in Lebanon and Jordan in addition to financing nine field hospitals spread over seven provinces inside Syria including Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Idlib, Damascus and its countryside. — KUNA

Ministers’ tribunal refers complaints to Attorney General KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti special judicial tribunal decided to end its inquiry into three complaints filed against two ministers over allegations of corruption. The complaints were referred to Attorney General Chancellor Dherar Al-Asousy for proper action. The first of the three complaints filed at the Court of Ministers was forwarded by attorney Nawaf Al-Fuzai against Oil Minister Hani Husain accusing him of using his position at the ministry to import natural gas for Dow Chemical Company at reduced prices between 1996 and 2005. The second complaint was filed by an unnamed citizen against minister Husain as well as former Financial Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali for allegedly being responsible for a decision made by the Kuwait Industrial Bank to award the Petroleum Coke Industries Company (PCIC) three loans and credit facilities in violation of procedures, which subsequently resulted in waste of public funds. The third complaint was filed by another unnamed citizen against minister Husain over suspicious rewarding of the tender for the controversial calcined petroleum coke (CPC) project. The court’s decision was based on “lack of jurisdiction” to look into the complaints, according to the investigation committee’s report.

National Guards keen on safety of ACD delegates KUWAIT: Kuwait National Guard (KNG) Undersecretary Gen Nasser Al-Daee said yesterday KNG personnel deployed in venues of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit were joining hands with Interior Ministry to ensure safety and security of participating delegates.

Al-Daee, in a press release while visiting KNG personnel at the Sheraton Hotel, commended the discipline of the national guards in protecting the facility. The National Guards were abiding by instructions of head of KNG Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah and his deputy Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. — KUNA




Local Spotlight

Politics in Disguise

My Palm: Culture, history

Chapter III By Alia Al-Hazeimi f an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.” - Niccolo Machiavelli. A famous quote said by one of the fathers of politics and one of the most important figures in moulding diplomacy, conquest and international affairs. Regardless of the importance of the Machiavellian approach in past and modern day politics, the idea is still debatable. A general rule that the world works on regardless of the their political schools is the “survival of the fittest” and this survival that they speak of, is very different from one person to another, although the idea was represented by Charles Darwin in the theory of evolution on species, humans found a way to apply it on themselves and on the world they live in. Throughout different regions and ruling systems, the main concern remained consistent; which is survival, nonetheless, the tendency towards pain and destruction is higher than the approach of truce to survive. According to some leaders’ mind-set, weakening fellow neighbouring or non- neighbouring countries is the way to succeed and overthrow systems and gain power. However it doesn’t really work that way all the time, as history mentioned many incidents from the times of the Trojan wars until the late 19thcentury, which were clearly described as the fittest wars depending on that kind of mind-set. The point is, even though back then victory was granted, vengeance was also getting ignited. Machiavelli could be right about the idea of making sure that the injury is so bad , nonetheless, no one can guarantee future generations of the same man who was severely injured. Therefore, the fittest would not always remain the fittest, one day the power of a specific policy might wear out, and then, a new “fit” leader would establish another system. The idea behind power seems to be inevitable with negative behaviour, however, truce seems so difficult to be achieved, hence; power is truce, because power is about acquiring the most difficult things that humans cannot do. That leaves us with an idea, which is increasing numbers of armies and ever-growing borders is not the answer for the achievement of power. Then what is power? If any country seeks a peaceful approach that regime might be overthrown, and if another is too busy engaging into battles, that country would be condemned. Does that mean that power changes over time? Or is it more like - man changes power?


Does power have a certain facade? All these questions bring me to the quote that Abraham Lincoln said once which is, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power” which can be very true, regardless of the origin of that “man”. Power has many attributes, but what I know for sure, that whatever happened in history, power wasn’t represented in ways other than domination and war. I do not think that staying on the borderline is power either, but there must be other faces of power. In the end, I would like to ask you: What is your face of power?

Muna Al-Fuzai am one of those who believe that we need to read history not only with our eyes but with an open heart and mind. From the history of the palm tree, we can learn about concepts of unity, survival, wealth and experience, as well as ethics and morality. We, Kuwaitis, have benefited from the palm tree all over the world and not only in Basra and Saudi Arabia. We also shared our experience with USA as far as planting and caring for the palm trees was concerned. In my previous article about this valuable book called “My Palm” by Yusef Al-Nisf, I had promised the readers even more information about the history of the palm trees and how this humble tree impacted the nation and our next door neighbors not only in ancient times as some may think but does so even today. In 1990, during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the palm trees were distributed to many Kuwaiti families for storage. Another aspect that we will be talking about here today is about life. Does a palm tree have feelings? Do men communicate with the palm tree the same way as some do with indoor green plants? Is all such talk a myth? In fact, this book neither denies nor confirms any such tales. Yet, it confirms the fact that a palm tree needs to be in good hands and requires care and protection to give birth to its best or it will die. So, the idea that a palm tree knows who its master is and likes to be under his attention and good care may not be far from reality after all. The book confirms that Al Basra used to have more than 15 millions palm trees but some 7 million of them were destroyed during the Iraq-Iran war. The palm tree gets killed when it is decapitated, just like any human being. That shows how war is nothing but destruction, and nature is also vulnerable. Bad palms and good palms require the same attention and time. Therefore, the book guides the people to work with the best kind of palm trees. I have also learned from the book that the USA and Israel were also interested in planting the palm trees. In fact, the book confirms that since 1860, the Americans had been seriously working on developing expertise in planting the palm trees. In Kuwait, the institution for scientific research here has taken this matter a step further by having a project for development of palm groves via tissue culture developed in a laboratory. I think this is a wonderful and pioneering idea. They are trying to develop skills and expertise to come up with storage solutions for dates that keep the diseases away and also to find out about other uses of palm apart from the edible side. There are different ways for palm pollination and it should be done only by experts who know how to keep the palm safe and also protect it from elements like rain and wind. Moreover, they also know how to cover the trees in the right way with the objective of increasing production. The import and export data pegs the increase in production of dates at over 7 million tons. While we today have many sweets and stuff like chocolate offers competition, yet the nutritional benefits of the dates outweigh any artificial sweets. The Gulf countries today lead the date producing states but they need to update their global marketing and promotional strategies. The book “My Palm” by Mr Yusef Mohammed Al Nisf underlines the need for further exploring this field in search of new markets in China and Europe. The palm encapsulates our history and culture. It is something we need to learn and respect.

I kuwait digest

Try wisdom and logic By Dr Shamlan Y Al-Essa he opposing majority in the annulled 2012 assembly intensified its attack on the government and the symbols of the rulers, while also slamming former MPs and politicians. Those who are looking forward to participate in the upcoming elections are themselves indulging in such shrill rhetoric and are employing unparliamentar y language that simply does not behove the prospective National Assembly candidates. Criticism has now spilled over to even the highest authority in the country as well as the ruling family. Anyone is well within his rights to express his opinion about the five constituencies and four votes system since we live in a democratic country in which freedom of expression is allowed, but the language employed for criticism has plunged to an extremely low level, and all because there is a possibility that the number of votes a voter can cast may be reduced from four to just one. It is ironical that this fury of protests, gatherings and ongoing meetings are not aimed at coming up with views about possible reforms that Kuwait would require in a post-election scenario. All this activity is not for discussing the most important problems the country is facing and how they can be addressed. Rather, it is because of the fear among those who comprised the majority in the annulled assembly that reducing the votes from four to one will end the tribal, sectarian and family alliances. Tribes and political Islam groups know well that some of their influence will be reduced, and they do not want this because they only think about their partisan and tribal interests, not the interests of the country and its development. It is strange that they oppose the right and authority of HH the Amir to issue urgent decrees. Article 71 of the constitution gives him this right, and the role of the National Assembly is to approve or reject them


when these are presented before it at its first session. The late Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah issued urgent decrees to redraw constituencies in 1981 when they were changed from 10 to 25, and it accepted the move and no one opposed it in 1981. So, why all this noise today? Is it because the Muslims Brotherhood has gathered more courage following the Arab spring revolutions, as indicated by statements by a source in Nahj gathering in which he said they have several surprises in store and will not be swayed away from the course it has chosen because of the arrival of official delegations to the country starting Monday, October 15, to participate in the Asian conference that Kuwait is hosting. He said nothing will stop such activities other than a decree calling for elections according to the current law without any change. Such threats being made by the youth affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood in Nahj indicate that the group wants and seeks escalation and confrontation with security men so that it appears as heroes to their candidates from the tribes and religious parties when they run in the coming elections. We urge everyone to try wisdom and logic. There is no need for threats, because the change in the number of votes does not mean the government is the winner or the opposition is the loser. The issue is in the hands of the voters and they have a free choice, so why this escalation in rhetoric and the threatening language? The ruling family and the government are stronger than what the opposition thinks. The wise in the ruling family are trying to cool things down. We as people will not accept that anyone aborts our democracy and tears apart our country just because a bunch of tribes and supporters of political Islam groups want to guard their personal interests at the expense of the country’s interests, security and stability. —Al-Watan

kuwait digest

Reasons behind traffic problem in my view

kuwait digest

Avoid sinking our own ship! By Hassan Al-Essa he four necessity decrees did not have any political significance, except to be used as test balloons to probe the possible reactions that might oppose reducing the number of votes to only two per voter. However, this does not justify the uncontrolled low profile language that had never before been heard in the history of Kuwaiti politics. Opposition leaders should have immediately declared that the language used by some of the speakers at Al-Namlan diwaniya only represented the speakers and that there was no official spokesman for the opposition. They also should have stated that former opposition MPs organizing any similar events should ask speakers to control their feelings and reactions and to restrain their zeal in public seminars with different affiliations since, after all, the price they might pay within their reform battle might be too high! On the other hand, it is unacceptable to provoke people against the opposition and demand oppressing them due to so-called advice or warnings. This happened when some ‘advisors’ pretended to be wise, reasonable and moderate while, in fact, they were nothing more than hollow drums who are only concerned with maintaining the status quo. In other words, they bluntly declared their wish to maintain their gains, interests and hold onto the goose laying the golden egg. They know for sure that changing winds are quick ly approaching the region and that we need to learn how to sail with the current to avoid sinking our own ship! —Al-Jarida


By Hamad Salem Al-Meri n a recent statement, Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs, Maj Gen Dr Mustafa Al-Zaabi, has claimed that there was no leniency in granting driving licenses and only the deserving candidates get them. As per him, Kuwaiti drivers lack the required professional approach about traffic and there was a need to spread awareness about traffic norms among them. With due respect to Maj Gen Al-Zaabi’s views, we do want to tell the interior ministry, represented by its traffic department, that the real reason behind the traffic problems which Kuwait is suffering from is not the lack of a traffic culture among our drivers, but it rather lies primarily in the way the traffic department carries out its plans and work. One reason behind traffic snarls and other problems is the failure to develop enough roads to absorb the continuously increasing number of cars on these roads. We are suffering for a long time from an administrative confusion about how to manage the traffic and this was evident in the department’s inability to come up with feasible plans to resolve the traffic issues. This has been happening despite its statements issued just before schools or universities re-opened, people returned from vacations or the expats came back from their trips home, that it has formulated precise plans to end or at least reduce the traffic jams which have become the main traffic problem that Kuwait is suffering from. On the very first day after such vacations end, Kuwait’s streets get choked with traffic while not a single traffic police car is seen organizing the traffic on most of these roads. If there is indeed a traffic police vehicle, we find it parked under a bridge, in the shade, and stationary, as if it is some kind of a scarecrow that a farmer puts up in his garden to do its job of scaring away the birds automatically. If the department is not satisfied with all of that, then after a week of watching people suffering from traffic jams, it issues a statement declaring that it succeeded in carrying out its traffic plans, as if the traffic jams were just a figment of citizens’ imagination. The traffic department spent hundreds of thousands of dinars to install electronic signs along most highways to caution drivers in case of an accident to slow down or take another road, or to warn them in case of any heavy congestion on the roads so that they could


reduce their speed. These signs can also warn in case of dense dust storms or heavy rains that make the roads slippery. Such signs are used across Europe for these purposes, but the traffic department instead uses these signs to advertise the fact of it being a traffic week, or asking drivers not to use mobile phone while driving or sometimes simply displaying the current time, as if drivers do not have watches and need the traffic department to find out what time it is at any given moment. Also, among other reasons for traffic congestion are the licenses granted to thousands of taxis. We all know that such taxis are owned by several kinds of people, including Asian laborers whose salary is no more than KD 50 and who are able to obtain these licenses through Wasta and such other means. So, what is this argument about licenses being given only to those who deserve them? As for the lack of traffic culture, it is not only the drivers who lack it, but also many of those in the traffic department itself. There is enough proof that the Kuwaiti citizens and expats, when they travel abroad, especially in European countries, comply with all the traffic laws because they know that the laws there are strictly implemented. They also see that the traffic policemen there take no sides and are highly professional in dealing with the errant drivers. But in Kuwait, it is a matter of great regret that many of those involved with the traffic distort the law themselves. The traffic police personnel are themselves involved in many instances of illegalities committed against motorists, especially women, and these were reported in the media. How many policemen mediate to help their friends in avoiding traffic violation citations against them? How many policemen from Najda violate traffic law as soon as they leave work and drive away in their private cars? The solution to the issue of traffic lies in checking the drivers’ licenses of those expatriates who got them through Wasta though they did not fulfill the required conditions. It also lies in pulling policemen out of the administrative offices and sending them for field work because it is not realistic for the state to spend on these men and train them, and then put them in administrative jobs while there is a severe shortage of personnel in the field. After all, these men underwent intense courses in traffic awareness and learnt how to deal with drivers. — Al-Watan

New Pearl Harbor

By Labeed Abdal he statement by US Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warning that the United States faces the possibility of a ‘’cyber-Pearl Harbor’’ and is increasingly vulnerable to foreign computer hackers must be taken seriously at different levels. Such threats can affect power grids, transportation systems like airports, civil and military sea ports, financial networks and strategic energy resources. The defense secretary, in his statement, also spoke about the possibility of a combination of new e-destruction and physical attack/s. The physical attack, combined with an e-attack, could paralyze a country’s life as these could be massive. For sure, the matter should be accorded the highest priority, given the fast paced developments in the field of cyber attacks and the activities of virtually unstoppable hackers and their worms or viruses that could infect computers and servers. Moreover, the US and all the countries of the world must work together on this vital issue, without directly or indirectly violating the right to privacy or any other public rights and liberties. The efforts undertaken for ensuring cyber security can prevent potential damage to the human race in not just the 21st century but for many centuries to come. The world must pre-empt in advance any evil intentions that could constitute a threat to the world’s stability and human beings’ prosperity. Right now, there should be no dilly-dallying about it, and the issue must be considered on top priority by the UN as it can contribute to the international efforts meant to preserve peace on earth and in the cyber space.




Harbash lashes out at ‘sick heart’ of Ghanim Lawmakers indulge in verbal duel By A. Saleh

Indian minister meets Sheikh Meshal KUWAIT: India’s Minister of State for External Affairs and Human Resource Development E Ahamed called on Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Deputy Chairman of the National Guards of Kuwait, yesterday, an Indian Embassy press release said. During the meeting, they discussed the historical and close relationship between India and Kuwait and other matters of

mutual interest, including the role and contribution of the Indian community in Kuwait. Sheikh Meshal appreciated the contribution of the Indian community and assured that any issue pertaining to the Indian community in Kuwait will receive fullest attention. Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta was also present during the meeting.

KUWAIT: Two former lawmakers have been indulging in a verbal duel over the past couple of days regarding statements made during the opposition’s gathering at the dewaniya of Mohammad Al-Khalifa recently. On Sunday, liberal lawmaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim responded to certain critical remarks made by Islamist lawmaker Jamaan Al-Harbash the night before. “It is strange that you mention our names in your racist, repulsive and cheap speech,” Al-Ghanim said, addressing Al-Harbash, and added, “What binds families and tribes is a lot bigger than your disruptive speeches.” Al-Harbash responded yesterday by telling AlGhanim, “It is clear that you are still suffering from the effect of the last elections which proves that I have never been racist or discriminator.” His reference was to the elections held last February whose results favored religious and tribal candidates at the expense of liberals.

“Your continuous attacks against me since the announcement of the 2012 elections’ results is not a reaction to what I said, but is connected to your poor understanding and sick heart,” Al-Harbash said addressing Al-Ghanim. He added, “Elections are not won by lying to people, but by convictions instilled into voters through an unwavering approach.” Al-Harbash further urged Al-Ghanim “not to act as a child who ignores what he has in his hands and cries to demand what others are carrying.” GCC water connection The foreign ministers of Gulf Cooperation Council states are set to approve a water connection project during their meeting in Bahrain next month, thus making it possible for it to be passed during the GCC summit to be held in Manama in December. The ministers are scheduled to review the studies carried out to implement the strategic project which aims to secure GCC countries’ water resources via the Arabian Sea or the Sea of Oman.

Dashti vs. Al-Barrak The Appeals Court yesterday adjourned the libel case filed by Minister of Planning and Development Rula Dashty against former MP Musallam Al-Barrak to Nov 5. Dashti has accused Al-Barrak of making baseless accusations against her during public speeches at the time when she was a fellow member of parliament. The Court of First Instance had awarded Al-Barrak a suspended six months sentence. On demand payment The Ministry of Electricity and Water is putting final touches on a project that will enable the people to pay their bills to a representative at their doorstep. There is no timetable in place for the launch of the new system in which people will be able to call the ministry’s line and request a collector to arrive and collect the dues at their homes, instead of paying them at the ministry’s head office in South Surra.

Warba Bank launches exclusive “My Box” service Kuwait: Warba Bank, the most recently removes the hassle of receiving products opened Islamic bank in Kuwait, bought online by offering free, effortless announced yesterday the launch of “My shipment to customers.” “Warba Bank is committed to providing Box,” an exclusive new service which provides US and UK post box addresses for the best banking products and services to its customers, which is in line online shoppers in Kuwait with our goal of prioritizing who are restricted from our clients’ needs while sparreceiving their purchases ing no efforts in meeting directly. The purchases are them swiftly and professionthen shipped to Kuwait ally. ‘My Box’ is a perfect through Posta Plus, a leadexample of this philosophy, ing freight company. and is the latest element of The “My Box” service, the bank’s strategy to introwhich is offered free to duce unique retail services in holders of the bank’s prea highly competitive market,” paid and credit cards, He added. enables customers to beneWarba Bank customers fit from quick procedures can benefit from “My Box” by and fast shipment service. Adnan Al-Salem applying for any of the bank’s They can also track their different prepaid cards or credit cards orders online via Commenting on the new service, which is available in different limits to Adnan Salman Al Salem, Chief Retail meet customers’ needs Customers can learn more about “My Banking Officer of Warba Bank, said, “‘My Box’ makes online shopping more fun and Box” by visiting Warba Bank’s branches, simple. The new service adds value and booths, or by calling 182-5555.

KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways Corporation Managing Director Mohammad Al-Helal rewarded members of the KAC squash team who won the world tournament for aviation companies held last month in Hong Kong. The team consists of Captain Adel AlGhareeb, Saleh Al-Khadhry, Hesham Ramadan, Abdullah Muqseed, Mohammad Al-Ramzy and Husain Safar.

Kuwait school curricula protect student identity AMMAN: The Kuwait’s representative at the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) Fahad Salem Al-Rashed said yesterday that Ministry of Education’s curricula have succeeded in protecting the Arab and Islamic identity of the state. Addressing the “Arabic Language and Nation’s Identity Conference”, organized here

by Jordan University, Al-Rashed pointed out that Kuwait’s curricula have been prepared by a number of the most prominent Arabic Language experts in the Arab world. He also described the curricula contents as diverse and modern and reflect the noble values of Islam, such as moderation, tolerance and acceptance of the other. The language curricu-

lum is paying due attention to the Arab cultural heritage and history. A plethora of Arabic language and education professors and experts from the four corners of the Arab world are participating in the three-day event which tackles several key issues related to the role of Arabic and religions curricula in shaping and protecting the identity of the Arab nation.— KUNA



Teenager stabs two sisters in family feud Overdose kills man in Salmiya hotel KUWAIT: Search is on for a teenager who stabbed his two sisters during a family feud reported in Al-Naeem recently. The victims, aged 18 and 16, told the local police that their brother, who often beat them over family problems, attacked them with a knife during a very recent episode, and then disappeared. Investigations had started after detectives of the Sabah Hospital filed two medical reports about injuries suffered by the two girls. Drug overdose A man was found dead in a hotel room in Salmiya recently as a result of a drug overdose while his companion was arrested. Police and paramedics had rushed to the hotel following a report about a man suffering health complications. The man was pronounced dead on the scene and the reason cited was complications arising from a drug overdose. Meanwhile, police arrested his friend who they discovered was wanted for a previous drug charge. The body was taken to the forensic department while the suspect was referred to the proper authorities for investigations. Teacher killed A school teacher was killed while her coworker was seriously injured in a car accident reported on Sunday in Ahmadi. The accident happened when the vehicle carrying five Saudi teachers from a school in Ahmadi to their residence in Al-Khafji lost balance when a tire burst sent it crashing into a roadside steel railing. Paramedics and police rushed to

the site of the accident at King Fahad Highway and found that a 40-year-old woman had died while a 30-year-old woman was seriously injured. The other three escaped unhurt in the crash. Meanwhile, the car’s Indian driver was taken into custody for investigations. Visa forgery The authorities at the Cairo International Airport refused entry to a Bangladeshi man who arrived from Kuwait when they found out that his visa was forged. The man was deported back to Kuwait on the same Kuwait Airways plane after the forgery was discovered through special detection systems at the Egyptian airport. Alcohol equipment A European man was held for investigations after equipment used in brewing alcoholic drinks was found in his luggage at the Shuwaikh Port. The equipment, discovered during a routine customs check, was confiscated and later sent along with the owner to the Drug Control General Department for further action. Murder suspect A fugitive wanted for murder was arrested recently in Amghara for possessing drugs. The suspect was driving a US-made car when he was pulled over at the area’s scrap yard. He was placed under arrest after patrol officers verified his identity and discovered that he was wanted in a criminal case. Meanwhile,

officers found some drugs when they searched the suspect’s car. The Kuwaiti man was taken to the proper authorities. Policeman’s bribery A jail security officer who recently accused a fellow officer of attempting to bribe him to help smuggle contrabands inside the jail was framed,according to the brother of the accused. Charges were pressed against the policeman after he was accused of offering KD6,000 to smuggle what was believed to be drugs to an inmate inside the Central Jail. However, the man’s brother told Al-Anbaa daily that the case was fabricated because the plaintiff “faces battery assault charges” that his brother filed a few days before the report. He also provided a copy of a medical report showing injuries that he claimed his brother sustained during the assault. The man told reporters that he planned to file a lawsuit against the complainant to demand compensation for psychological damage his brother and the latter’s family suffered.

Buoy fixed near Kubbar for coastguards KUWAIT: The Kuwait Dive Team managed to fix a buoy 100 meters off the southern shore of Kubbar Island, with a 7 meters depth, to be used by coastguard boats. In a statement released to the press yesterday, team leader Waleed Al-Fadhel said that the operation was a “gift to the Coastguards General Department for its immense efforts in supporting voluntary

environmental works that include protecting wildlife in Kuwait’s marine environment.” Maj Gen Sheikh Mohammad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah, Interior Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Borders Security Affairs, in a statement applauded the efforts of the Kuwait Dive Team, who he referred to as “a role model for generous Kuwaiti young men”.

Drug possession A man was arrested in Mahboulah for possessing drugs that he had concealed inside a hat he was carrying. The Sri Lankan national tried to put the hat on his head when police asked for his ID, at which point a cigarettelike roll fell off. He was placed under arrest for possessing 20 grams of marijuana, and was taken to the proper authorities to face charges.

Municipality launches hotline 139 KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality launched the hotline (139) for complaints and emergencies for the public yesterday. The activation of the hotline service is useful for the municipality to communicate with the citizens and the people residing in Kuwait.

Such calls will be received by a team that serves round the clock, said Minister of Electricity and Water and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Abdulaziz AlIbrahim. Citizens and residents of Kuwait can use the hotline for complaints, emergencies and

proposals, the minister said in a statement. This step comes within framework of municipality’s keenness to provide fast services and information to the public and maximize usage of modern technology to strengthen communications and interaction among the

public, the municipality, Ministry of Interior staff, Department of Firefighting as well as various ministries and government institutions. Al-Ibrahim pointed out that the new strategic plan includes various services, posted on the municipality website. — KUNA

Utilizing women as key drivers of economic growth KUWAIT: If female employment rates were to match male rates in the UAE, the country’s GDP could see a boost of 12 percent; in Egypt, it would grow by 34 percent. These figures indicate the pivotal role that women in the work force can play in spurring economic growth. Yet - despite amounting to almost 1 billion worldwide and rivaling the populations of India and China - this fast-growing group of people has not received sufficient attention from key decision-makers in many countries. In light of this, management consulting firm Booz & Company have created the Third Billion Index - a ranking of 128 countries based on how effectively leaders are empowering women as economic agents. The Index is a composite of established data on women’s economic and social status; it aims to isolate factors that facilitate women’s access into the larger economy as well as determine how additional advancements and further integration can be achieved. The Third Billion Index is a combination of indicators of women’s potential for economic participation, drawn from a spectrum of criteria - all of which were taken from existing data compiled by the World Economic Forum or the Economist Intelligence Unit. The index divides all the characteristics of women’s economic standing into two separate clusters: the first, “inputs”, identifies measures that a government and other entities can take to affect the economic position of women. These are grouped into three combined elements that include women’s level of preparation for joining the workforce, the country’s access-to-work policies and entrepreneurial support. The second centers on a set of “outputs”, which are based on observable aspects of women’s contribution to the national economy. These comprise issues such as inclusion in the workforce, the degree of advancement in the national economy and equal pay for equal work in practice. The results of the index lead to several revelations about government practices and women’s economic progress. “First, there is a clear correlation between the front-end processes and policies regarding women’s economic opportunities (inputs) and the actual success of women in their national economies (outputs). We discovered this by clustering the 128 countries into five broad categories based on their index rankings,” explained Dr Karim Sabbagh, a senior partner with Booz & Company. The countries with a strong set of both inputs and outputs are labeled “on the

path to success”; these are typically developed economies. Moreover, the countries “taking the right steps” have implemented a slate of input policies and are just beginning to see their efforts pay off. They vary widely in other political and social dimensions and include Malaysia, Tunisia, and Venezuela. On the other hand, a small number of states also comprising China and Cambodia are “forging their own path”; they are seeing modest output results, but have not yet established a strong foundation of inputs. The next group of countries, classified as “average,” consists of those that have taken slow steps to improve inputs to women’s economic progress and have, subsequently, seen commensurate output results. Nations such as Columbia, Serbia and Thailand belong to that realm. Lastly, there are

has also found several common challenges that women face - regardless of their country’s stage of economic development or its performance in empowering women. “The first obstacle is the care economy,” said Dr Sabbagh. “Around the world, women are the primary caregivers for children, the elderly, and the sick, and this burden hampers their economic development. If companies and governments want women to reach their maximum economic potential, they must also provide high-quality, accessible care for vulnerable populations.” Additionally, in every country in the world, women require investments - financial, educational, and cultural - in their future. “Allocating capital for investment in women’s businesses is fruitless if women do not have the education and training to

ous entities. Yet the universality of these challenges certainly shows that solutions in one part of the world will likely apply elsewhere as well, and that best practices will transcend borders. Three countries from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are also featured in the inaugural Third Billion Index - and they include Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The analysis highlights these nations’ remarkable socioeconomic transitions and also serves to combat some of the popular stereotypes about their women. It also spearheads discussions about the best path forward for the region as a whole and its women in particular. In effect, this is a region with tremendous potential that has not yet been realized. Women’s regional labor force participation is at just 26 per-

EQUATE issues sustainability report KUWAIT: EQUATE Petrochemical Company has issued its 2011 Sustainability Report. The report is based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework and global reporting standards. On this occasion, EQUATE VP Technical Services Mohammad Al Benali said, “As one of the first Kuwaiti companies to issue such a report, EQUATE continues adopting and implementing various sustainability initiatives within Kuwait and beyond.” Al-Benali added, “The report covers EQUATE’s sustainability efforts relevant to the economy, environment, people, products, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), contributions and others.” Al Benali, who also heads EQUATE CSR Team, explained “In recognition of its sustainability achievements, EQUATE has earned several prestigious honors, including His Highness the Amir Award for the Best Plant in Kuwait; The Gold Award in Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) for Gulf private sector companies; The Award for Best Gulf Company in Recruiting Nationals; Arabian Business Best CSR Company Award; Oil & Gas (O&G) Middle East CSR Award; O&G Best Implemented Environmental Program of the Year; Middle East Chemical Week (MECW) Plant of the Year Award; as well as Kuwait’s CSR Award in the Industrial and Oil Sector. In addition, EQUATE has received the Highly

Commended Best Community Program Award during the First Middle East CSR Award Summit.” Established in 1995, EQUATE is an international joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC). Commencing production in 1997, EQUATE is the single operator of a fully integrated world-scale manufacturing facility producing over 5 million tons annually of high-quality petrochemical products which are marketed throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Mohammad Al Benali

ABK announces draw winners of ‘Update your Info’ campaign Dr Mounira Jamjoom

Dr Leila Hoteit

nations that have not yet approached the problem at all; those are said to be “at the starting gate” and include most of the Arab states in the Index, as well as Indonesia, Laos, and Nigeria. This category accounts for the largest number of the 128 countries, suggesting an immense economic opportunity in many parts of the world. Perhaps the most significant finding from the Third Billion Index is the impact of “inputs” and “outputs” on “outcomes” the latter which refers to broader indications of well-being, including per capita GDP, literacy rates, access to education, and infant mortality. “The data shows a very strong correlation between index scores and beneficial outcomes. This relationship indicates that positive steps intended to economically empower women not only contribute to the immediate goals of mobilizing the female workforce, but also lead to broader gains for all citizens,” said Dr Leila Hoteit, a principal with Booz & Company. In truth, all countries have unique requirements and must combine specific input policies to create a solution that can best address women’s needs. However, Booz & Company’s research

run a business successfully, or the cultural perception that they can compete economically with men,” added Dr. Hoteit. “The measures needed to create change in each of these areas will vary according to a country’s level of economic development.” “Lack of credit is another common hurdle,” said Dr Mounira Jamjoom, senior research specialist at Booz & Company’s Ideation Center; “although micro financing has helped launch many women-owned businesses, these schemes also risk limiting such businesses to tiny operations in the service sector, instead of helping foster larger operations.” More so, in all areas of women’s economic empowerment, there is a need for detailed, updated, and gender-disaggregated data - so interested parties can better understand the issues that women face and more effectively frame solutions. This includes data on access to capital, property rights, and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) ownership. Addressing these matters will require a set of solutions tailored to individual countries, with cooperation from vari-

Dr Karim Sabbagh cent, and they hold ownership positions in only 20 percent of businesses in the MENA region. Furthermore, only about 9 percent of women in this part of the world actually start businesses. In terms of the categories of this report, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are all “at the starting gate”. These three countries face substantially different challenges at the macroeconomic level, and the members of the Third Billion in each also face unique circumstances. Nevertheless, their governments and companies have a great opportunity to boost their own economic growth by opening new doors for women. Ultimately, the Third Billion consists of many individual women around the world - each with her own personality, needs, obstacles, hopes, and desires. Yet the global economy does not have the luxury of addressing this crucial group one woman at a time. Only sweeping institutional changes at the national, regional, and global levels can help women everywhere reach their full economic potential and make the contributions necessary to keep the global economy moving forward.

KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait announced the first weekly draw winners of its new “Update your Info” campaign. The campaign is related to customers being rewarded for updating their personal profile in the bank. The lucky winners were Jawzaa Fahad AlAjmi from University branch who won an iPad and Mahdy Abdulnaby Yadalahy from Head Office Branch won a Samsung Galaxy S III. Customers that update their personal information at any ABK branch located across Kuwait will automatically be entered into a draw for a weekly chance to win an iPad 3 or a Samsung Galaxy S III and a monthly draw to aim to win cash prizes. Stewart Lockie, General Manager of the Retail Banking Division said that, “The idea behind this campaign was to be up-to-date with details of our customers and their evolving requirements. ABK places customer care above all else, and to succeed in our endeavor, this was an important initiative. The response so far has been great, and we hope to do even better this month.” Lockie further explained that, “By updating our customers’ information we get a better understanding of their needs and lifestyle which helps us upgrade the safety of their cards and banking procedures. I would like to reit-

erate that we guarantee all the information provided is treated with utmost confidence and will only be used in accordance with banking requirements and for the benefit of our customers.” Lockie concluded by saying that, “We are excited about the first draw winners of this Update Your Info Campaign with ABK. There are more weekly and monthly draws coming up, so I would suggest for everyone to update their info as soon as possible, so as to get a chance to win any of these valuable prizes.” For more information regarding updating your information or to learn about any of our other services, please visit to talk directly with one of our Account Managers through Al Ahli Chat Service or call Ahlan Ahli on 1899899.

Stewart Lockie


UK, Scottish leaders in deal on independence vote Page 10

Schoolgirl shot by Taleban sent to UK for treatment Page 11

ALEPPO: Syrians inspect destruction in the northern city of Aleppo yesterday. —AFP

Support for Assad puts Lebanon at risk Hezbollah putting Lebanon in the eye of the storm BEIRUT: Hezbollah’s increasingly visible support for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and its latest military challenge to Israel has put the militant group on a collision course with domestic opponents who accuse it of dragging Lebanon towards regional conflict. While still denying it has sent forces to Syria to fight alongside soldiers trying to crush a 19-monthold uprising against Assad, Hezbollah has held a number of public funerals this month for fighters killed performing “jihadi duties”. Security sources said the men were killed on Syrian territory. Hezbollah’s political opponents, who have for months accused it of aiding Assad’s forces, have rushed to condemn the group and warned its involvement in Syria could ignite sectarian tension within Lebanon where religious factions fought a 1975-1990 civil war. In a defiant speech on Thursday night, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan

Nasrallah said the Shiite group was not reinforcing its ally in Damascus. But his comments suggested that Hezbollah fighters may have been fighting in border regions of the poorly defined frontier. He also confirmed that Hezbollah had sent a reconnaissance drone deep into Israeli airspace, further escalating tensions with Israel which has threatened to bomb Hezbollah’s patron Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program. Nasrallah’s speech was “aggressive towards all of his opponents in the Arab world, inside Lebanon and Israel”, said Nabil Boumonsef, a columnist at the Lebanese newspaper AnNahar. “He has put Lebanon and all of us in the eye of the storm,” he said, reflecting growing criticism of a group which six years ago was lionized across the Arab world for standing up to Israeli military might in a 34-day conflict. Hezbollah, Boumonsef said, “will pay the

Attacks kill ten in Iraq BAGHDAD: A spate of shootings and bombings targeting Iraqi security forces north of Baghdad killed at least ten people and wounded several others yesterday, security and medical officials said. Among the dead were three policemen and two anti-Qaeda militiamen, after deadly bombings targeted Iraqi police the previous night, killing one policeman. Yesterday morning, gunmen attacked a checkpoint in the centre of the town of Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometers north of Baghdad, killing two policemen before fleeing the scene, a security official in the town said. A doctor confirmed the toll. Also in Tuz Khurmatu, a car bomb at one of the main entrances to the town left nine people wounded, two local security officials said. In another gun attack, militants broke into the home of two brothers, both of them anti-Qaeda militiamen, in the desert region west of Samarra city, which lies around 110 kilometers north of Baghdad. They killed them and their father at around 4:00, a police lieutenant colonel and a doctor in Samarra’s main hospital said. The brothers were members of the Sahwa militia, otherwise known as the Awakening, comprised of Sunni tribesmen who banded together and sided with the US military against Al-Qaeda from late 2006, helping turn the tide of Iraq’s violent insurgency. They are frequently targeted by Sunni militants who regard them as traitors. And in the tinderbox northern city of Kirkuk, two car bombs near the provincial government headquarters killed one policeman and wounded six others, a local security official said. A doctor in the city’s hospital said the facility had received one body, but did not confirm the wounded. In Baghdad, meanwhile, a shooting at an Iraqi army checkpoint in the south of the city left three Iraqi soldiers wounded, an interior ministry official said. A medical source, however, said one soldier died and two were hurt. The attacks came just hours after two bombings the previous evening targeting police north of Baghdad, near the restive cities of Baquba and Mosul, left one policeman dead and four people wounded, according to security and medical officials. Violence in Iraq is dramatically lower than its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common, especially in Baghdad and north of the capital. More than 250 people have been killed as a result of violence in Iraq every month since at least June, according to an AFP tally.—AFP

price of this - and also Lebanon as it will deepen the division and fragmentation”. The revolt against Assad has turned into a civil war with sectarian dimensions, largely pitting the majority Sunni Muslims against Assad’s minority Alawite community, which is an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Tensions between Sunnis and Shiites have been rumbling in Lebanon ever since the end of the civil war, but resurfaced when former Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri, a Sunni, was killed in 2005. Hariri supporters accused Syria and then Hezbollah of killing him - a charge they both deny. An international tribunal accused several Hezbollah members of involvement in the murder. But now the sectarian differences which Hezbollah was able to bridge when it played the role of resistance movement against Israel have deepened with its support for Assad. After the funeral of Hezbollah fighter

Hussein Nimr, attended by more than 1,000 mourners in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley this week, former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, a Sunni and a fierce Hezbollah opponent, said political leaders must take a stand to halt Hezbollah’s “slide towards the armed conflict in Syria”. “This military involvement in the fighting ... would expose Lebanon to unforeseen dangers which it cannot bear and would threaten coexistence in Lebanon, as well as Muslims and Arabs, with unprecedented strife,” Siniora said. But Hezbollah is the only faction in Lebanon to retain its heavy weapons and is unlikely to be willing to give these up without a fight. In its strongholds it power is unassailable, even by the Lebanese army. There are mounting calls however for it to put those arms under some form of state supervision. In September, President Michel Suleiman proposed that Hezbollah’s weapons, which include an arsenal

of missiles which the group says can strike anywhere in Israel, be put under the command of the Lebanese army. Hezbollah is not the only force in Lebanon to be drawn into Syria’s conflict, in which activists say 30,000 people have been killed in deepening violence. Arms and fighters have been smuggled across the border to support Syrian rebels, mainly from Sunni Muslim areas in the eastern Bekaa Valley and northern Akkar province. “Everyone who (who fuels the violence in Syria) is playing with our blood,” Boumonsef said, slamming both Assad supporters and opponents in Lebanon but singling out Hezbollah for particular criticism. “The level of intervention in the Syria crisis differs from one side to the other,” he said. “While some offer a supportive environment and maybe help smuggling and other issues, Hezbollah is involved to a greater extent than that.”—Reuters


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More freedom in Libya university, but little change TRIPOLI: Portraits of toppled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi may no longer adorn the walls of Tripoli University, but it is likely to be a long time before new values and higher standards become entrenched there. The signature red, black and green of the 2011 revolt that put an end to 42 years of stifling dictatorship now decorate the corridors. And inside the classrooms, things are also beginning to look a little different. The curriculum no longer expounds on the slain dictator’s views on politics, the military and economics-which were outlined in his “Green Book” manifesto and fleshed out over endless speeches that were then documented in annual tomes. Although it may take many years to revamp the system completely, the culture is slowly shifting. For starters, dissent is now tolerated and no longer lands people in jail. “The main change is that we now have

freedom of expression and we can demonstrate,” said law student Nauroz Said. Political science professor Ahmed Al-Atrash says the university now allows demonstrations but it is also making efforts to promote the concepts of civilized expression and organized protest in order to avoid major disruptions. “We don’t know the ABCs of democracy,” said Atrash, who tries to promote the idea of “civilized, democratic dialogue” in his classroom. Such lessons matter greatly in a country where freedom of expression was virtually non-existent. Finally unshack led, many Libyans-and that includes students 00 are clamoring to have their voices heard and demands met. Small, unruly and sometimes armed rallies are part of the capital’s rhythm. And in the eastern city of Benghazi, which spearheaded last year’s uprising, mass demonstrations in favor of a national army and against armed groups of for-

mer rebels captured world headlines. Mahmud Ramadan, an agriculture professor who ran in the July elections for a national assembly, insists that a stable government and a change in mentality are necessary if the higher education system is to be reformed. “Some people think freedom means they can do anything... (but) democracy has rules,” said Ramadan, recalling how the dean of his faculty resigned this year after students revolted during an exam. He said a major challenge is uprooting a culture of free passes and the distribution of rewards such as scholarships and jobs on the basis of personal connections, “wasta” in colloquial terms. In the past, those who were close to Gaddafi’s regime advanced more easily through the system, Ramadan said. Today it is those who fought in the revolution who expect the scholarships and easy passes. “Education is education-you can-

not pass it until you pass it,” he said. The new education authorities say they want more scholarships and programs focused on language and computer training, skills necessary in a country where hopes of economic development are pinned on the oil and private sectors. With new bureaucracy, old corruption and 530,000 university students to accommodate, the deputy minister of higher education said his department has its work cut out. “There are slow changes,” Fathi Akkari said, adding that the first challenge his department had to overcome was the return of thousands of students whose education was disrupted during the conflict. “We have many problems that we cannot sort out in one year,” he stressed. Professors note that favoritism, cheating and underqualified staff became engrained in the sector over four decades, and warn that it could take an

entire generation before such vices are finally stamped out. But many students are already growing restless, and say that they are not receiving the education they deserve. “They have mapped out steps (to improve education), but they haven’t taken them,” said Ziyad Belazi, a medical student. Elham Fawzi, who is also studying medicine, added: “The first thing we want is to change the labs and bring in the right teachers.” Fawzi sees English-which was not on the syllabus under Gaddafi-as key to getting a good job. Without it, Fawzi worries that she will end up unemployed. “I didn’t study for years to sit at home,” she said, concerned about high jobless rates among young people in the North African nation. Law student Said agreed. Although there may be more wiggle room on the expression front, education methods remain stuck “in the same routine,” she lamented.— AFP

Egypt committee struggling to deliver new constitution Islamists and secularists battle

MAARET AL-NUMAN: The bodies of Syrian soldiers lie in the street in the city of Maaret Al-Numan, in the northwestern Idlib province. — AFP

Death rains from the sky in Syria rebel city MAARET AL-NUMAN: A roar rips the sky and the fighter jet streaks past at low altitude. It wheels round and on its second pass drops a bomb before heading just as quickly back over the horizon. The explosion shakes the town, the blast noise hellish. It’s the start of a new day of bombardment on the nor thern Syrian city of Maaret Al-Numan, held by the rebels battling the regime of Bashar Al-Assad and now a target for deadly air strikes by the embattled president’s air force. Since the rebel Free Syrian Army took the last loyalist positions last week and also seized part of the main highway, regime warplanes have been pounding the now mainly deserted city which once housed 125,000 residents. The first air strikes come in the early hours of the day, as usual, and again target a district in the centre of town. Construction worker Adnan Khaled Kashit is 50 years old and has come to see his mother. A neighbor has just brought them some potatoes, and he is sitting outside the house, reading the Koran. The bomb hits the middle of the street just 20 meters from their house. Kashit is literally cut in two. Minutes after the blast, his terribly mutilated body lies face down in a puddle of blood, just steps away from the front door. A straw mattress is placed on the body to hide the horror. “He was my son! Who’ll look after me now?” his distraught mother screams at the sky, tears streaming down her face as she beats herself on the chest. “God, you took my son-take pity on his soul,” she implores as two women already draped in black veils try to hold her up. More grief-stricken relatives arrive as one man retrieves body parts and puts them in a plastic bag. “We have to get the

body away before his children get here,” he sighs. In the end, men from the neighborhood decide to remove his remains using large reinforced plastic bags. An old man leaning on a cane surveys the scene, stupefied by what he sees happening before him. A member of the family, aged in his forties and mechanically thumbing through a string of worry beads, turns his head away to hide the tears. The bloodied face of the victim is washed. “My son is in a plastic bag,” cries his mother. “I want to see his face one last time.” Passers-by are angry. “Look at what the regime does to its own people,” says one; “Come here, Lakhdar Brahimi!” shouts another, referring to the UN and Arab League peace envoy tasked with trying to broker an end to the raging conflict. Residents collect still-warm bits of the bomb that blasted a crater several meters wide in the middle of the road, the acrid smell of cordite still hanging. Debris, both stone and metal, litters the street. The fronts of buildings close to the seat of the blast have been destroyed, the metal shutters of businesses on the ground floors mangled. An electricity pole shattered by the bomb smoulders. There is no sign in this district of a rebel presence, apart from the occasional fighter passing by on a motorbike. Like most of the attacks on Maaret Al-Numan, the strike that killed Kashit has come blindly and at random in a civilian area. The house of the “martyr” adjoins an old cemetery where gravediggers are already hard at work, excavating his resting place. On this day in Maaret Al-Numan, air raids and artillery bombardment have killed at least five people, Adnan Khaled Kashit and an adolescent boy of 15 among them.— AFP

Qaeda African branch reshuffles leadership BAMAKO: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s supremo has appointed a new deputy and relieved Mokhtar Belmokhtar, one of two top commanders in northern Mali, security sources said. “Abdelmalek Droukdel has appointed Yahya Abou El Hamame as ‘emir of the Sahel’ to replace Nabil” Makhloufi, a Malian security official said on condition of anonymity late Sunday. All three are Algerians, like most of the leadership of AQIM, which evolved from the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), itself an offshoot of the fundamentalist GIA group active during Algeria’s civil war in the 90s. According to several security sources in the region, the new emir’s real name is Djamal Okacha. He is around 40. Yahya Abou El Hamame’s appointment was decided two weeks ago and made official last week, another regional security source said. “He is now Droukdel’s representative in the Sahara and Sahel.” Groups with ties to AQIM took over northern Mali in March, effectively turning the region into an Islamist state and raising fears that the Al-Qaeda franchise could use it as a staging

ground for attacks in the region and beyond. Makhloufi is said to have died in a car crash in September, leaving the Algeria-based Droukdel without a deputy to supervise his top commanders in Mali, Mokhtar Belmokhtar and Abou Zeid. “Droukdel has informed all ‘katibas’ (combat units) in the Sahel that Belmokhtar has been dismissed for straying from the right path,” a Malian official said. The one-eyed Belmokhtar, seen as a loose cannon within AQIM, “is no longer the leader of the Katibat El Moulathamoune (‘The turbaned ones’ in Arabic),” the official added. Belmokhtar has acquired a reputation as a smuggling baron in the region that has earned him the nickname of “Mr Marlboro”. Some members of AQIM have questioned his commitment to the group’s puritanical brand of Islam. A security official from the region confirmed that Belmokhtar had fallen out of favor with the group’s overall leader. He was relieved of his duties for “continued divisive activities despite several warnings,” the official said, adding that he had not yet been replaced.— AFP

CAIRO: Bogged down by disagreements between Islamists and secularists, the committee tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution, supposed to reflect the values of the 2011 uprising, is struggling to deliver. The 100-member Constituent Assembly, dominated by Islamists, responded to criticism of a lack of transparency this week by releasing a rough draft of the charter and urging Egyptians to help with the new one. “We invite all Egyptians to participate (in the drafting) through suggestions, amendments, additions,” Mohamed Al-Beltagui, a member of the assembly and of the power ful Muslim Brotherhood, told reporters for the launch of a “Know your Constitution” campaign. The new constitution is to replace the 1971 charter suspended by the military which took power when president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February last year. “Everything we are putting forward for this social dialogue is a preliminary draft. Nothing has been discussed by the assembly as a whole,” but rather by the different committees, Beltagui said. Some articles, including those defining the powers of the judiciary and the role of the army, have not been made available to the public. Others are the subject of heated debate. Contentious topics include the role of religion, the status of women and the scope of freedom

of expression and faith. Article 2 of the draft constitution states that “Islam is the religion of the State, Arabic is its official language and the principles of Islamic Sharia form the main source of legislation.” The article “has been at the centre of many debates,” Mohammed Saad Gaouish, a Salafist member of the assembly said. Ultraconservative Islamists had asked to replace “the principles of Sharia” by “the rulings of Sharia” or even just “Sharia.” They then wanted to include the provision that Al-Azhar institution- Sunni Islam’s main seat of learning-be considered “the State reference for the interpretation of Sharia.” Both suggestions were rejected by the assembly’s liberal members, who fear that Al-Azhar-which today represents a moderate Islam-could one day be used to limit freedoms should it fall under the control of ultraconservatives. This would “effectively create a legislative vetting role for an unelected, unaccountable body with no recourse to judicial review,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement last week. According to the watchdog, while some articles in the draft guarantee certain civil, political and social rights, “other key provisions are inconsistent with international human rights standards and would pose a serious threat to the future of human rights in Egypt.” Article 36 has been a cause for particular concern. It prescribes equali-

ty between men and women as long as that does not contradict “the rulings of Sharia.” REFERENCES TO SHARIA Women’s rights activists would like to see the reference to Sharia removed, for fear that it could be used as a pretext to further suppress the status of women in Egypt. In a sign of the deep disagreements over the subject, liberal politician Ayman Nur told the state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram last week that no wording had yet been agreed on the articles concerning women and family. Several members of the assembly said that the panel was heading towards a consensus over the adoption of a mixed presidential-parliamentary system. “We don’t want another pharaoh-president,” member Safwat Al-Bayadi said. According to Beltagui, the assembly is due to finish its work by December 12, after which the text will be put to a national referendum. But the fate of the assembly itself remains in question, with several lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. The Supreme Administrative Court is due to rule on the assembly’s dissolution on October 16. Protesters took to the streets in Cairo on Friday to demand the formation of a new constituent assembly that represents all of Egyptian society. They clashed with supporters of President Mohamed Morsi in violence that left dozens injured, according to the health ministry.—AFP

Sufi shrines targeted in Tunisia MENZEL BOUZELFA: Houcine looks around nervously before entering the tomb in the village of Menzel Bouzelfa, one of the Sufi shrines that have become targets for Tunisia’s increasingly assertive Salafists. On September 14, hundreds of radical Islamists angered by a US-made film mocking their religion attacked the US embassy in Tunis and a neighboring American school in a day of violence that left four people dead and dozens wounded. On the same day, away from the media spotlight, a smaller group of Salafists invaded the Sufi lodge in the nearby Cap Bon peninsula, shouting threats and tearing artefacts from the walls. “They removed the pictures on the walls, the verses from the Quran. I fled because they said to me, ‘That one, we will kill him,’” recalls Houcine, the guardian of the tomb of Abdelkader Jilani, a holy man revered by followers of this mystical Islamic sect. He casts a sorrowful eye at iconography piled up on the floor. The doors of the 230-year-old tomb have since been shut, and where hundreds of devotees once came on Thursdays to solicit the blessings of Sidi Abdelkader, praying to be healed or to find a loving partner, they now stay away. Sheikh Mustapha Limame, who owns the lodge or “zawiya,” fears for its future. “The future is in the hands of God. I want things to return to normal... But I am afraid for the zawiya. They have threatened to burn it,” he says. The sheikh alerted the police to the attack but refrained from filing a complaint “to avoid complications,” he explains, and so the lodge remains unprotected. Since the early centuries of Islam, Sufi orders have always aroused suspicion among orthodox Muslims. And while ultra-orthodox Salafists strongly denied being behind the attack, they admitted to blocking access to what they call a place of “archaic” and “blasphemous” beliefs, where people bow down before a saint and not before God. The Sufis, in their view, are completely misguided, practising magic, using holy water that is contaminated by drains and committing “lecherous” acts. “I swear to you in the name of God that I have witnessed scenes of nudity, of vice, of lechery!” insists Imed Ayari, the imam of the adjoining mosque. “If people come here... I tell them to go to the mosque,” adds Ayari, who has put up a large banner advising Muslims not to pray in the tomb.— AFP

MENZEL BOUZELFA: A general view of a Sufi shrine in the town of Menzel Bouzelfa, which was the target of radical Salafist movement. — AFP

GAZA: Palestinian student Amal Ashour, 18, poses for a portrait with schoolbooks at her family house in Gaza City.— AP

US drops scholarships after Israel travel ban JERUSALEM: Amal Ashour, 18, loves Shakespeare and American pop music. One of the brightest students in the Gaza Strip, she studied her senior year of high school in Minnesota through a US-government funded program. She had planned to study English literature this fall at a university in the West Bank through another US-sponsored program, but just a month before school started, she was informed the scholarship was no longer available. “When you live in Gaza, you’re a pawn in a greater political game,” she said in a telephone interview. “There’s nothing we can do about it.” She is now enrolled at Islamic University, a stronghold of Gaza’s ruling Islamic militant Hamas. Under Israeli pressure, US officials have quietly canceled a two-year-old scholarship program for students in the Gaza Strip, undercutting one of the few American outreach programs to people in the Hamas-ruled territory. The program now faces an uncertain future, just two years after being launched with great fanfare by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a visit to the region. The program offers about 30 scholarships to promising but financially challenged Palestinian high school seniors from Gaza and the West Bank to study in local Palestinian universities. It is a rare opportunity for gifted students in Gaza, which has been constrained by an Israeli blockade since Hamas seized power five years ago. The blockade has made it harder for Palestinians to travel abroad. Both Israel and the US consider Hamas a terrorist group because of its hundreds of attacks against Israelis, including suicide bombings, and frequent rocket attacks from Gaza. After allowing the scholarship program to

proceed in 2010, Israel this year refused to give permits for the Gaza students to travel to the West Bank. Hamas’ rival, the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, governs the West Bank. Citing security reasons, Israel bans most Gazans from traveling to Israel or the West Bank. Exceptions are made for about 5,000 humanitarian cases each month. Education is not considered a humanitarian concern. Israeli officials claim that West Bank universities are breeding grounds for militant groups like Hamas. Last month, Israel’s Supreme Court upheld this travel ban on students. Israeli military spokesman Guy Inbar said the policy is part of Israel’s struggle against Hamas, an Iranian-backed group committed to Israel’s destruction. “Hamas makes great efforts to establish new affiliates of the terrorist infrastructure from Gaza to the West Bank, and to transfer knowledge to strengthen the existing infrastructure in the West Bank today,” Inbar said. He noted that nearly 300 Gaza students have been able to leave the region to study abroad since 2010. The Palestinians seek to turn Gaza and the West Bank, located on opposite sides of Israel, into an independent state. But since the Hamas takeover, the Palestinians have been torn between rival governments, and Israel has treated them separately. Israel maintains relations with the Western backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, while branding Hamas-run Gaza a hostile territory. Repeated attempts by the Palestinian rivals to reconcile have failed. In a statement, the American consulate in Jerusalem said it decided not to grant the scholarships over the summer after Israel said it would not permit the students to travel.—AP



Long after death, Confederate spy honored in US LITTLE ROCK: The story of David O Dodd is relatively unknown outside of Arkansas, but the teenage spy who chose to hang rather than betray the Confederate cause is a folk hero to many in his home state. Street signs and an elementary school in the state capital have long borne Dodd’s name, and admirers gather at his grave each year to pay tribute to Dodd’s life and death. “Everyone wants to remember everything else about the Civil War that was bad,” said one of them, W Danny Honnoll. “We want to remember a man that stood for what he believed in and would not tell on his friends.” A state commission’s decision, though, to grant approval for yet another tribute to Dodd has revived an age-old question: Should states still look for ways to commemorate historical figures who fought to defend unjust institutions? “(Dodd) already has a school. I don’t know why anything else would have to be done to

honor him,” James Lucas Sr., a school bus driver, said near the state Capitol in downtown Little Rock. Arkansas’ complicated history of race relations plays out on the Capitol grounds. A stone and metal monument that’s stood for over a century pays tribute to the Arkansas men and boys who fought for the Confederacy and the right to own slaves. Not far away, nine bronze statues honor the black children who, in 1957, needed an Army escort to enter what had been an all-white school. The newest nod to Dodd would mark a site across town where he was detained after Union soldiers found encoded notes on him about their troop locations. Dodd was convicted of spying and sentenced to death, and legend has it he refused an offer to walk free in exchange for the name of the person who gave him the information. “He was barely 17 years old when the Yankees hung him” on Jan 8, 1864, Honnoll said. “Yeah, he was spying, but

there (were) other people that spied that they didn’t hang.” Dodd is certainly not the only teenager to die in the war or even the lone young martyr, said Carl Moneyhon, a University of Arkansas at Little Rock history professor. “If you start talking about the 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds who were killed in battle, the number is infinite,” Moneyhon said. “There are tens of thousands of them. They become unremarkable.” So it seems all the more curious that some have come to portray Dodd as Arkansas’ boy martyr. “It’s part of the romanticizing of the Civil War that began in the 1880s and the 1890s, that looks for ... what could be called heroic behavior to celebrate in a war filled with real horrors,” Moneyhon said. And it’s caught on, though many question why. “It’s a very sad story, but at the end of the day, Dodd was spying for the Confederacy, which was fighting a war to defend the institution of slavery,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at

the Southern Poverty Law Center. Sharon Donovan - who lives on West David O Dodd Road (there’s an East David O Dodd Road, too) - said she wouldn’t mind another Dodd namesake in her neighborhood. “The fact that we live in the South, I could understand why he would want to do it because he was actually working for us in a way. ... For that era, I think it was probably a noble thing to do,” Donovan said. About a half-mile away, a banner outside an elementary school proclaims, “David O. Dodd Committed to Excellence.” A doormat bearing Dodd’s name shows a black boy smiling next to a few white ones. About half of the school’s 298 students last year were black and only 27 were white. Jerry Hooker, who graduated from Central High School years after the desegregation standoff over the Little Rock Nine, lives at the site where he says Dodd was detained almost a century and a half ago. The Arkansas Civil

War Sesquicentennial Commission approved his application and agreed to chip in $1,000 for the marker noting the spot’s historical significance. Hooker, 59, said the move to commemorate Dodd is not about honoring slavery, but about remembering the past. “I don’t think it has a thing to do with race whatsoever,” Hooker said. “He was a 17-year-old kid with a coded message in his boot that had enough of whatever it is in him that he didn’t squeal on his sources.” Still, in a city that stripped “Confederate Blvd.” from its interstate highway signs shortly before dignitaries arrived in town for the opening of Bill Clinton’s presidential library, the question remains: Should Dodd’s name be etched into another piece of stone or metal for posterity’s sake? “There are currently more monuments to David O. Dodd than any other war hero in Arkansas,” Potok said. “You would think that at some point it would be enough.”— AP

Rats, mold won’t delay Guantanamo hearings Hearing will address secrecy issues, courtroom closures

VIRGINIA: US President Barack Obama carries boxes of pizzas as he arrives at a campaign office to greet workers in Williamsburg, Virginia. — AFP

In second debate, can Obama bounce back? WILLIAMSBURG: Time and again, when seeming distracted and stumbling, President Barack Obama has pulled himself out of the political mire. His supporters now wonder whether he has it in him again. Obama needs to shake out of a political funk and block resurgent Republican foe Mitt Romney when they meet Tuesday in their second debate just 21 days before the election. In their first clash, nearly two weeks ago, Obama mystified Democrats with a limp defense of his White House term and failed to frame a compelling vision of why he deserves a second. Avoiding Romney’s eye and lacking fire, Obama dismayed supporters with one of the weakest showings since the first televised presidential debate in 1960. It was left to Vice President Joe Biden to stem some of the panic when he faced Republican vice presidential pick Paul Ryan last week, showing combative flair and conviction the president lacked. Biden hammered Romney’s biggest liabilities, including a secretly filmed tape in which he branded 47 percent of Americans as “victims” and also brought up the low tax rate Romney pays on his fortune. Obama, guarding presidential dignity, will not be as brash, but is under pressure to show more stomach for the fight against an opponent enjoying his best streak of the campaign. The town hall style format of Tuesday’s debate at Hofstra University, New York, may help, requiring him to interact with an audience and by extension viewers at home. Michael Kramer, professor of communication studies at St Mary’s College, Indiana, said Obama must stress eye contact, after spending much of the Denver debate glancing down at his notes. “He needs to make sure he is talking right to the people asking the questions and really engaging them and being more dynamic ... he needs more energy in his

voice,” Kramer said. But Obama must also be careful not to over compensate by being too aggressive, Kramer said. Republicans are already laying groundwork for such a slip. “I think President Obama is going to come out swinging. He’s going to have to compensate for a poor first debate,” Republican Senator Rob Portman told ABC. Privately, Obama aides said it took less than a quarter of an hour for them to realize in Denver that their boss was off kilter, but are confident he will bounce back. Obama advisor Robert Gibbs said the president was “disappointed” in his performance in Denver. “He knew when he walked off that stage and he also knew as he watched the tape of that debate that he has to be more energetic,” Gibbs told CNN. “I think you’ll see somebody who is very passionate about the choice that our country faces.” Supporters expect Obama to raise not just Romney’s 47 percent comment, but also his own auto industry bailout and women’s issues, which he ignored in Denver and to answer Romney’s complaints he mishandled the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11. The huge audience for the Denver debate meant Obama’s embarrassment was a ubiquitous topic of conversation in America, and some people wondered whether the president was simply exhausted by four crisis-scarred years. Conservatives saw vindication. National Review columnist Charles Krauthammer said Romney had engineered the “biggest rout since Agincourt” and asked “Can this be the hip, cool, in-control guy his acolytes and the media have been telling us about?” Critics said Obama was exposed as unused to cross examination after four years in the White House bubble and was disdainful of others and his Rocky Mountain low in Denver wrought swift political damage. — AFP

GUANTANAMO BAY: US attempts to move forward in the trial of five Guantanamo prisoners accused of plotting the Sept 11 attacks have been thwarted for months by scheduling conflicts, religious observances, an Internet outage and a tropical storm. But the judge has rejected a request to further delay the military tribunal proceedings because of a rat and mold infestation in the offices assigned to defense lawyers at the Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba. A week of pretrial hearings is set to begin at the base for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the hijacked plane attacks that killed 2,976 people in the United States in 2001, and four alleged Al-Qaeda conspirators accused of providing money and other support for the hijackers. After an aborted attempt to try them at Guantanamo in 2008, the five were arraigned on revised charges during a chaotic 13-hour hearing in May that was marked by defiant outbursts from the defendants. There have been no hearings in the case since then. A hearing tentatively set for June was delayed because one of Mohammed’s defense lawyers, a civilian death penalty expert, had to attend the execution of a client in an unrelated case. A July session was postponed to allow the defendants to observe the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during daylight hours. Hearings set for August were delayed when an Internet outage left the lawyers unable to access their electronic legal documents, and then canceled altogether as Tropical Storm Isaac approached. It doused the base but caused no damage. In late September, the work space used by the defense lawyers was shut down because it was infested with mold, rat droppings and at least one decaying rat carcass. Defense lawyers said the 1940s-era building was making them sick. “My eyes burn. I lose breath,” said Cheryl Bormann, a civilian lawyer for defendant Walid Bin Attash. “All of us suffer some sort of symptoms.” They asked for a delay, saying that without

their work area they did not have resources to prepare for the hearings. The judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, ordered a cleanup but ruled on Oct 5 that there would be no further postponement. The building has since been certified as safe by the base hospital’s Industrial Hygiene Department, though some of the lawyers said it was still toxic and are working from a cramped high-security trailer inside the court complex rather than return to

week’s hearing pertain to secrecy issues. Defense lawyers want the judge to abolish a “presumptive classification” process that treats as a top national secret any discussion of what happened to the defendants during interrogations in secret CIA prisons before being sent to Guantanamo in 2006. The judge will also hear news organizations’ request to limit closing of the courtroom for secret sessions, and be asked to decide

GUANTANAMO BAY: A member of the US military mans one of the guard posts at sunrise at Camp Delta, part of the US Detention Center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. — AFP that building. Many buildings at the humid and tropical base are kept uncomfortably cold to keep the mold and vermin at bay. The chief prosecutor, Army Brigadier General Mark Martins, acknowledged to journalists on Sunday evening that the tribunals were taking place in a “relatively austere setting,” but said, “Justice is not determined by the plushness of the surroundings.” Many of the issues the court will address during this

whether the US Constitution governs the tribunals being held at the US base in southeast Cuba. In addition to Mohammed and bin Attash, defendants Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Al Hawsawi, are charged with conspiring with al Qaeda, attacking civilians and civilian targets, murder in violation of the laws of war, destruction of property, hijacking and terrorism. All five could face the death penalty if convicted. — Reuters

Candidates mum on tough policy questions WASHINGTON: Curious what Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen thinks about his own party’s law that forces women seeking abortions to have ultrasounds? Too bad. He refused to say during a recent debate. How about whether Arizona Democratic Senate candidate Richard Carmona would support Majority Leader Harry Reid next year? Carmona’s not talking about that. Former Maine Gov. Angus King has nothing for you on whether he’d side with Republicans or Democrats if his independent Senate bid works out.

And Paul Ryan’s proposed changes to Medicare? Not relevant, said Republican House candidate Chris Collins of New York; not going to answer, said Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel of Ohio. “I’m someone who looks forward and not backward,” says Collins, who’s trying to unseat Democrat Kathy Hochul in New York’s most-watched House race. “And the Ryan budget is in the past.” Thanks for the questions, but these and other candidates are just flat-out refusing to reveal where they stand on sensitive matters of public policy. Their

likely calculus: No answer is better than one that alienates critical voter groups - like women or seniors. It’s more than the kind of artful dodging that has a long tradition in political campaigns. It’s the fear of committing candor that’s both damaging and hard to take back in the age of fast and lasting social media. Think Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican Senate candidate challenging Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill who was all but abandoned by his own party over comments he made about “legitimate rape.” Or Republican presidential

hopeful Mitt Romney’s secretly recorded remark that 47 percent of Americans view themselves as victims entitled to government largesse. Or President Barack Obama’s comment that if you’re successful, “you didn’t build that,” a statement chanted relentlessly by Republicans at their party’s national convention. All have apologized for or tried to explain their comments. But in an election year of tiny margins that have refused to budge, every core voter group matters. And time is running out to rebound from mistakes. — AP



Italy begins black box hearings into Concordia disaster GROSSETO: Italy began a series of pretrial hearings yesterday to work out the details of the tragic night of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster, with captain Francesco Schettino in attendance. Hundreds of people including lawyers and survivors were also present to hear recordings from the black box at the hearings taking place in Grosseto, near the scene of the crash on Giglio Island which claimd 32 lives. “We came to see Schettino. We want to look him in the eye and see how he reacts to the accusations,” Michael Lissem, a 50-year-old from Germany who was a passenger on the luxury liner along with his wife Angelika said. “I don’t know if the Italian justice system can be trusted but I hope so.” The giant ship-more than twice as heavy as the Titanic-had 4,229 people on board when it struck an offshore reef near the Tuscan island of Giglio on the evening of January 13, tearing a massive gash in its hull. The vessel quickly took on water, veered sharply and keeled over just a few dozen metres from the shore, sparking a panicky night-time evacuation which was hampered because lifeboats on one side of the ship could not be lowered.

Passengers and crew from dozens of countries were on board the Mediterranean cruise, including particularly large contingents of Italian, French and German cruise-goers, as well as staff from India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Dozens of survivors are suing ship owner Costa Crociere and its US parent company Carnival Corporation for hundreds of millions of dollars. No date has yet been set for the trial which is likely to be held next year. The court hearings in Grosseto, which could last several days, are being held in a theatre to accommodate the large numbers of people present. “This is not a time to assign responsibilities but to find out the truth, which is no small thing,” said Marco de Luca, a lawyer for Costa Crociere. MOST HATED MAN The hearings will focus in particular on the moments before the impact as the ship veered towards the island in a risky “salute” manoeuvre. They will also look at the orders Schettino gave after the crash and the contacts he had with the coast guard and with his company in an attempt to determine why the order for everyone to abandon the ship

came so late. Schettino, who has been dubbed “Captain Coward” and “Italy’s most hated man” in the press, is also accused of abandoning ship before its evacuation was complete. He has claimed he fell onto a lifeboat when the ship keeled over. A total of 10 people are formally under investigation, including Schettino himself, the ship’s Indonesian helmsman and five other crew members. Roberto Ferrarini, head of Costa Crociere’s crisis unit, is also being investigated along with two other managers from Europe’s top cruise operator. The captain has not been formally charged but is accused of manslaughter. In an interview in July, Schettino blamed his fellow crew members, saying he had been distracted but someone on the bridge should have spotted the reef. He said he did not “feel like I committed a crime” but asked forgiveness. Italian consumer group Codacons, which has launched a class action lawsuit, said its own research also showed key equipment had malfunctioned including the black box, sealed doors in the engine room and a sonar to measure depth. “The experts have failed to address a series of questions we’ve

GIGLIO ISLAND: The Costa Concordia Giglio Porto. — AFP posed, including why 32 people died and whether any of them could have been saved,” Professor Bruno Neri, an expert working with Codacons, told reporters. Neri called for an investigation into why the emergency generator failed to work, saying that it would have supplied energy after the impact to the

cruise ship lays near the harbour of rudder, the sealed doors and the lifts where he said several people were found dead. The ghostly wreck of the 114,500-ton liner is still beached on its side just a few dozen meters from the shore of Giglio. Salvage crews are working to stabilize and refloat the hulk, which should be removed by spring 2013. — AFP

Lithuanians ditch govt in austerity thumbs-down Results show prime minister’s party defeated

EDINBURGH: Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond (left) and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose after signing an agreement to hold a referendum on Scottish independence at St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh, Scotland yesterday. — AFP

Britain, Scottish leaders seal deal on independence vote EDINBURGH: Scotland set up a historic independence referendum after its leader signed an agreement yesterday with Britain’s prime minister finalizing arrangements for a vote that could lead to the demise of its three-centuries-old union with England. Scotland’s drive for sovereignty, led by its nationalist leader Alex Salmond, echoes separatist moves by other European regions such as Catalonia and Flanders which feel they could prosper as separate entities inside the European Union. Signed in the Scottish capital Edinburgh, the deal will allow Scotland to decide in a 2014 referendum whether it should become an independent country or stay within the United Kingdom. One of the most contentious issues at stake is the ownership of an estimated 20 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas reserves beneath the UK-controlled part of the North Sea. Britain is also worried about the future of its nuclear submarine fleet based in Scotland as Salmond says there would be no place for nuclear arms on Scotland’s soil after independence. Moving the fleet elsewhere would be costly and time-consuming. Many Scots are unconvinced about independence. Opinion polls show only between 30 and 40 percent of them are in favor - a range that has changed little as negotiations have intensified. But Salmond is banking on his skill as an orator to tap into a centuries-old rivalry between Scotland and England to convince doubters that independence would allow his country to pursue a more distinct left-leaning agenda than its southern neighbor. Salmond said it was a historic day and that the agreement paved the way for “a new partnership in these islands.” “ The Scottish government has an ambitious vision for Scotland: a prosperous and successful European country, reflecting Scottish values of fairness and opportunity, promoting equality and social cohesion,” he told a news conference. Prime Minister David Cameron opposes Scotland’s push but London agrees it is up to Scotland to decide its future for itself in a vote. “I passionately believe that Scotland would be better off in the United Kingdom but also crucially that the United Kingdom would be better off with Scotland,” Cameron told reporters after the signing. “I will be arguing to keep the family together.” Scotland already has many of the trappings of an independent nation such as its own flag, legal system, sports teams, as well as a distinctive national identity. But London argues that an independent Scotland - home to about

five million people - would struggle to make ends meet as the bulk of is current funding comes from a 30-billion-pound ($48 billion) grant from the UK government. “Independence is about Scotland leaving the UK, becoming a separate state, taking on all the burdens and risks that go with that and losing the benefits and opportunities that we have as part of the UK,” UK Scottish Secretary Michael Moore told the BBC on the eve of Monday’s signing. “When we look at the economy, at defense, at our place in the world, on all these big issues, people across Scotland will continue to support Scotland being in the United Kingdom.” Scotland and England have shared a monarch since 1603 and have been ruled by one single parliament in London since 1707. In 1999, for the first time since then, a devolved Scottish parliament was opened following a referendum. Nationalists have timed the 2014 vote to coincide with the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn when Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce defeated English invaders. INTRIGUE OVER WORDING The Scottish government will now bring forward legislation setting out the exact referendum date, who can vote, and the wording of the question, along with rules on campaign financing. Cameron and Salmond have been negotiating for months and the broad outlines of their agreement which allowed Monday’s signing to go ahead have been widely trailed. Cameron confirmed that Salmond had accepted London’s demand that there should be only one straightforward “in or out” question. Salmond had earlier campaigned for a second question, on whether Scotland should be given more powers in the socalled “devo max” form of enhanced devolution that stops short of independence. For its part, London is thought to have agreed to allow Salmond to lower the voting age to 16 from Britain’s countrywide 18 - a coup for Salmond who believes that young people are more likely to vote in favour of independence. But for Salmond, convincing his people to support independence remains an uphill task given the tough economic times. There are concerns over what would happen to Scotland’s debt and over whether it would automatically become an EU member. A former oil economist, Salmond argues an independent Scotland would be prosperous, entitled to the lion’s share of North Sea oil revenues and should be able to borrow at rates no worse than London. — Reuters

VILNIUS: Lithuania’s opposition prepared to take power yesterday after voters rejected a government that won widespread praise abroad for steering its citizens through the financial crisis with heavy budget cuts. An exSoviet state of about three million people, Lithuania crashed hard when the crisis hit four years ago. It slashed spending in response and, after a brutal recession, is now returning to economic health - but too late for voters who have seen their spending power eroded and unemployment soar. The centre-left coalition now likely to take over promised during campaigning for Sunday’s parliamentary election that it would ease the pain by raising the minimum wage, shifting the tax burden towards the better off and postponing adoption of the euro. One coalition leader told Reuters the budget deficit might, at a later date, be allowed to go above the level that euro-zone policymakers view as prudent. But the new government will have to walk a tightrope. Lithuania is still heavily indebted, and if debt markets -which welcomed its predecessor’s austerity drive - do not trust the plans to ease the belt-tightening, the cost of borrowing could go up so high the country plummets into another crisis. Debt markets showed no immediate reaction yesterday. VOTERS, NOT IMF, HOLD CARDS With most votes counted yesterday, it was clear the government of Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius had lost - having won praise from big European powers and the International Monetary Fund for its thrift. “If the IMF was voting then he (the prime minister) would be re-elected,” said Kestutis Girnius, who teaches at the Institute for International Relations and Political Science in Vilnius. “But the IMF does not live in Lithuania, and they could not live on a Lithuanian salary.” As one of the EU states hit hardest by the crisis, Lithuania was also an early convert to the austerity measures that have become the standard policy response to the debt turmoil that has spread across the region. Before the crash of 2008, Lithuania was booming. Scandinavian banks provided cheap credit which let the country buy more than it sold

and overheated the real estate market. When the crisis struck, the banks stopped lending. Economic output dropped by 15 percent in 2009, unemployment shot up and thousands of young Lithuanians went abroad to seek work. The government cut pensions and public sector wages. To save money, only every third street lamp in Vilnius was lit, and fuel for

in two weeks to settle local races where there was no outright winner, though that is unlikely to change the overall picture. Algirdas Butkevicius, the former finance minister who leads the Social Democrats and is in the running to be new prime minister, reassured markets that any softening of austerity would be cautious and gradual.

VILNIUS: The leader of the Lithuanian labor party ‘Darbo Partija’, Victor Uspaskich speaks after his party’s victory in the general election in Vilnius. — AFP police cars was rationed. This discipline helped the economy rebound. Gross domestic product grew 5.8 percent last year, one of the fastest rates of any EU economy. The budget deficit has been tamed. Yet most Lithuanians feel worse off than they did four years ago. “What kind of crisis management are we talking about?” asked Alfonsus Spudys, 78, after he voted on Sunday in the capital, Vilnius. “They scythed people down ... and now they are saying they handled the crisis really well.” With votes counted from about three-quarters of Lithuania’s districts, the opposition Labor Party had 21 percent, followed by its likely coalition partner the Social Democrats, with 19 percent. The prime minister’s Homeland Union had 13 percent. The final outcome will not be clear until a second round

Montenegro winners seek partners to form government PODGORICA: Montenegro’s ruling alliance will have to form a coalition government with lawmakers from ethnic minorities after voters disillusioned with economic stagnation and corruption denied it a majority for the first time in 11 years. With nearly all the votes counted after Sunday’s election, the alliance of Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) and two small parties looked set to get 39 seats in the 81-seat parliament. Djukanovic, as either prime minister or president, has been the dominant political figure in the Balkan nation since communist Yugoslavia collapsed 20 years ago. He resigned in 2009 to give way to his hand-picked successor, Igor Luksic, but remained at the helm of the party. He has not said whether he will become prime minister of the country that wants to join the European Union, but his alliance is all but certain to form the government because of the diffuse nature of the opposition. Djukanovic will have to woo the Bosniac Party of ethnic Muslims with three parliamentary seats, and the Croatian Civic Initiative with one deputy. Both were part of the previous ruling coalition. However, analysts said the lack of a majority marked a turning point in Adriatic state of 680,000 people that split from a state union with Serbia in 2006. “The drop of the DPS’s (popularity) is obvious ... voters are no longer ready to accept the same messages and support the ruling coalition,” said Zlatko Vujovic, director of CEMI, a non-governmental election monitor. “From now on the opposition will have a chance”. CEMI gave the DPS alliance 45.6 percent of the vote, by an unofficial count. — Reuters

“Our position is not be spending lavishly with borrowed money,” he told a news conference yesterday. “First you have to earn money to get higher revenues for budgets.” Labor Party leader Viktor Uspaskich, a Russian-born businessman, said the coalition would stick for now to a deficit under three percent of gross domestic product, but that this could be exceeded later. Lithuania needs to maintain their confidence, not least because it has to repay a 1 billion euro Eurobond in March. In a non-binding referendum held alongside Sunday’s election, about 60 percent of voters rejected a plan to build a 6.8 billion euro nuclear power station, incomplete results showed. US-Japanese joint venture Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy was lined up to build the plant. — Reuters

Belgium Flemish nationalists score election breakthrough BRUSSELS: Flemish nationalist leader Bart De Wever scored a breakthrough election win Sunday and immediately urged Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo to radically re-shape the federal state. Hailing a “historic” victory for himself in Antwerp with big gains right across Dutch-speaking Flanders in local polls, De Wever said Di Rupo and his coalition partners should “assume your responsibility.” With results from Antwerp almost all in, De Wever’s New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) bagged 37.7 percent and Socialist incumbent mayor Patrick Janssens 28.6 percent, and the win was underpinned by scores of 20-30 percent across the territory of six million people. With backers readying for a party in City Hall, De Wever demanded negotiations “to enable both Flanders and Wallonia to look after their own affairs.” In the run-up to tense 2014 general elections, he wants to turn Belgium into a “confederation,” effectively seeking fiscal independence for the Dutch-speaking north and French-speaking south although sharing areas like defense. Only this, De Wever said, would allow Belgium as a whole to “find a path of solidarity,” which could also affect the future of Brussels, the largely Francophone EU, Belgian and Flemish capital. Di Rupo rejected the significance of what he said were “local” elections. “This

was not a federal vote,” Di Rupo said. “I acknowledge the success of the N-VA,” the premier added. But he insisted that the coalition will develop its own reforms at federal level and maintained that “citizens in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels will see the fruits of our work.” De Wever, 41, consistently presented these polls in advance as a calculated “stepping stone” aimed at pressuring what he considers an “illegitimate” central government. French-speaking Socialists came out on top in many areas across francophone Wallonia and the Brussels region, although centrists also made gains. But after some 90 years under Flemish Socialist control for Antwerp, a port city of global scale, Janssens didn’t wait for final results to concede “we have lost these elections-we must admit that.” “De Wever has easily won his gamble,” said Pascal Delwit, a political scientist at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. From a fivepercent haul six years ago, the nationalist N-VA “wave” now “surges forward” and will lead to “either break-up or confederation,” Delwit said. The N-VA was the biggest party at the last general election in Flanders two years ago, on some 28 percent. It refused to join talks to form a government that needed more than 500 days of horse-trading to nail down the present coalition. — AFP



Afghan entrepreneur defies war to squeeze out juice empire K ABUL: From a gritty walled compound in a fringe of K abul better known for bombs and violent demonstrations, Mustafa Sadiq is building a global empire on fruit, selling Afghan produce to the health-conscious in Europe, Asia and the M iddle East. Gaudily painted trucks line up outside Sadiq’s ‘Omaid Bahar’ factory and workers in juice -stained clothes unload sacks of pomegranates. The fruit’s dark red seeds are prized in Europe for their abundant antioxidants, and in Japan where many believe they can help fight cancers in the aftermath of last year’s Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. “Besides a thousand things negative said about Afghanistan, no one can ignore the quality, the taste of our fruits, that everywhere it is admired,” says Sadiq, a quiet 47-year-old with ambitious plans to expand his twoyear-old, $30 million venture into a $100 million Afghan-born fruit behemoth. Omaid Bahar, or ‘Spring Wish’, is a rarity in war-wracked Afghanistan: a

mid-sized business employing almost 1,000 people and thriving even as many entrepreneurs eye the country’s exits, worried about what will happen when NATO combat troops leave in 2014. Underscoring fears of a Taleban resurgence or worse, a renewal of the bloody ethnic civil war that raged through the early 1990s, Afghans carted $4.5 billion in cash through Kabul airpor t last year to safety abroad, according to the central bank, much of it ending up in Dubai. The company is a huge gamble for Sadiq as other businesses fall around him, including many which relied on making military boots and uniforms, but whose orders have recently been cancelled or scaled back. Where others fret about instability, Sadiq sees opportunity, selling fruit juice concentrate and fresh produce to Britain and western Europe, as well as Canada, Dubai, Pakistan, India, and markets in Southeast Asia. He has advanced plans for joint ventures in the United States, and sales of juice in

neighbouring Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as at home, where Afghans are mostly unaware of how highly-regarded their homegrown pomegranates are by health food aficionados. “We have a premium product here and it is almost organically produced. Because of the climate and the taste we are a step ahead of our competitors,” says Sadiq. “People talk about the health benefits. But unfortunately in our country, people are not that much aware.” Pomegranates, a staple in the Bible and in Homeric tales, and whose edible pulpy seeds are laden with health-giving antioxidants, vitamins and fibre, have been cultivated for thousands of years. Their deep red juice, also used in cocktail-mixing and Middle Eastern cooking, is sweet with a sour finish. Afghans argue that the fruit originated in the country’s fertile river plains and valleys, where insurgents have battled NATO and Afghan security forces for 11 years. Sadiq has had to overcome the myriad problems thrown up by the war

and Afghanistan’s history of conflict, including Taliban insurgents blocking access to farms, Stone Age agricultural techniques, potholed supply routes riddled with landmines, and the bureaucratic torment of its notorious kleptocracy. “If we had peace and security in the countr y, we would be in touch directly with the farmers. Now we cannot reach many places that we want. But overall, we try our best,” he says. Inside his factory, fist-sized pomegranates tumble into water for cleaning before bobbing onto conveyors and into a stainless steel crusher where they are pressed into juice concentrate by machinery imported from Italy and Sweden. The concentrate is packed into vacuum bags which then fill huge green drums shipped in from Russia. Next door a separate factory squirts fresh juice into shop-ready packs at a rate of 7,000 250ml cartons an hour. Winning export business is vital, given almost all Afghanistan’s food is imported, meaning Omaid Bahar must

comply with quality standards enforced in Europe and elsewhere - no easy task amid the chaos of his country. “Here we don’t have an insurance system. Police at the Tajikistan border wanted to open our containers and I said if they open it, the concentrate will spoil in 24 hours. We had to turn around and take another way to Kyrgyzstan,” says Sadiq’s troubleshooting factory manager Abdul Rahman, smiling broadly. Sadiq’s factory is only the first stage of a plan he expects to cost another $70 million and deliver new lines in yoghurts and fruit-flavored milk, as well as jams and jellies. He is close to agreeing a new venture to sell concentrate in smaller packets into the United States, he says, while distribution offices and warehouses in 12 Afghan provinces will expand next year to all 34 provinces. The company is also negotiating with the 350,000-strong Afghan security forces and NATO to supply them with fruit juices in what would be a multimillion-dollar coup.—Reuters

Schoolgirl shot by Taleban sent to Britain for treatment Pakistanis outraged, but no end to militancy in sight

Joyalukkas Jewelry opens new showroom in Ongole KUWAIT: The world’s favorite jeweler, Joyalukkas opened the largest jewelry showroom in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh, India on Wednesday 10th October 2012. The Joyalukkas, Ongole showroom on Kurnool road, was inaugurated by Balineni Sreenivasa Reddy, Hon M L A of Ongole in the presence of renowned Bollywood Actor and Joyalukkas Brand Ambassador R Madhavan. The occasion was graced by the presence of local dignitaries and VIP’s, along with senior management of Joyalukkas Group. Joyalukkas Group, the multibillion dollar global conglomerate and one of the world’s largest jewelry groups is rapidly expanding its jewelry retail presence across the globe. Currently, the renowned jewelry retail chain’s presence is spread across nine countries - Singapore, UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and India. “My mission is to spread the Joyalukkas experience to every nook and corner of India. Ongole is our sixth showroom in Andhra Pradesh and my team and I are looking forward to serving the residents here. We have opened the largest jewelry showroom in Ongole because we feel the city is ready to experience the best in jewelry shopping. Brand ‘Joyalukkas’ stands for the best mix of choice, value, convenience and service and our largest jewelry showroom in Ongole offers this to all jewelry lovers in Ongole,” said Mr. Joy Alukkas, Chairman & MD, Joyalukkas Group. Joyalukkas showroom is located on Kurnool road and offers ample parking facilities with three massive floors of shopping space, grand interior design and the best mix of jewelry collections from around the world. The showroom features the widest range of collections in gold, diamond and precious stones, platinum, pearl and silver. The mix of jewelry offered is the largest choice of traditional and contemporary jewelry design to meet all the needs of jewelry lovers. Joyalukkas Brand Ambassador R Madhavan said, “I am excited to be a part of another Joyalukkas jewelry showroom opening. I keep getting great reviews from my friends and fans in every city Joyalukkas opens, and I am sure Ongole residents will find the Joyalukkas experi-

ence refreshing and the best in jewelry shopping.” Joyalukkas is committed to offering the best prices on the over one million choices of jewelry designs it offers at its showroom. The global jewelry retail chain has also recently announced, for the first time in the world, the unique concept called ‘Clear Price Tag’ (CPT) to ensure 100 percent transparency on its pricing of jewelry. The Joyalukkas CPT ensures the best value on jewelry and is the most reliable gold price indicator to ensure customers enjoy the best price at all times. “We have recently introduced the concept of CPT to ensure our customers always get the best price possible on jewelry purchased at Joyalukkas. We are committed 100 percent to our customers and we understand transparency in pricing is one of the key factors to win their patronage and loyalty,” added Mr. Joy Alukkas. Joyalukkas, is the first and only ISO 14001-2004 and ISO 9001-2008 certified jewelry retail chain, which also ensures and adheres to best quality standards like the BIS Hallmark for gold jewelry, IGI certification for Diamond jewelry and PGI certification for Platinum jewelry to ensure the customers trust, assurance and total peace of mind. Other unique feature of Joyalukkas jewelry includes consumer friendly value added schemes like ‘Easy Gold schemes, Joyalukkas Golden Rewards Card, 100 percent buy-back guarantee and more. Joyalukkas is a global jewelry retail chain, which has also been recognized with many awards and accolades for its exceptional standards in jewelry retailing. Its popular Chennai showroom has been recognized by the Limca Book of records for being the largest jewelry showroom in the world. Joyalukkas, Bengaluru showroom, was also recently awarded the ‘Best Single Store of the Year’ by the ‘All India Gem and Jewelry Trade Federation’. Joyalukkas has also received the prestigious ‘Superbrand’ status three years in a row in the UAE. Following the inauguration of Ongole showroom, Joyalukkas has slated the opening of their next jewelry showroom in the bustling city of Visakhapatnam on Wednesday 17th October, 2012.

Colombia, FARC talks shrouded in secrecy OSLO: Peace talks between the Colombian government and the leftist FARC rebels due to begin in Oslo this week are shrouded in secrecy after three previous failed attempts to end the half-century conflict. The rebels had previously said the talks would kick off in the Norwegian capital yesterday but the date was never officially confirmed. In Bogota, a source close to the government delegation said the delegates’ departure on Sunday had been delayed due to poor weather, as heavy thunderstorms closed the airport. The Colombian media meanwhile reported that tensions had emerged over the FARC’s wish to add a last-minute representative to its delegation. Norway, which is hosting the talks and acting as facilitator along with Cuba, has refused to confirm the dates for the negotiations, saying only that a press conference the two sides plan to hold on Wednesday was still scheduled to go ahead, though it would not disclose the time or place for the event. “We have been asked to play the role of facilitator and we want to contribute as much as possible to a good tone, a good process so that the two sides can get as close as possible to an agreement,” Norwegian foreign ministry spokeswoman Veslemoey Lothe Salvesen said. “That’s why we won’t comment,” she added. The peace talks, the fourth official attempt in

30 years at ending the conflict, are supposed to be officially launched in Oslo before continuing in Havana. The last attempt at peace talks collapsed a decade ago when the Colombian government determined that the guerrillas were regrouping in a Switzerland-sized demilitarized zone that it created to help reach a peace deal. This time around, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has ruled out a ceasefire during the talks. On Sunday, rebels used dynamite to blow up two electrical masts in northern Colombia, a region where there have been several clashes with the army. Founded in 1964 and Latin America’s largest rebel group with 9,200 armed fighters, the FARC may finally be ready for a truce after a long string of setbacks. In recent years, it has suffered the capture and killing of some of its top leaders, and the depletion of its ranks to half what they were at their peak in the 1990s. Both delegations have refused to disclose any information about the Oslo talks. “Sometimes it’s better to not give any details to avoid speculation or possible negative interpretation,” a FARC delegation official, Marco Leon Calarca said in an email. “We are asking journalists to be understanding, because above the need for information the most important thing is to move the peace process forward,” he said. —AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Pak istani schoolgirl shot by Taleban gunmen for pushing for girls to be educated has been sent to the United Kingdom for medical treatment, a military spokesman said yesterday. The spokesman said in a statement that 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai, whose shooting has drawn widespread condemnation, will require prolonged care to fully recover physically and psychologically. An air ambulance transporting Yousufzai, provided by the United Arab Emirates, had departed from Islamabad and was heading for the United Kingdom, said the spokesman. “The panel of doctors recommended that Malala be shifted abroad to a UK centre which has the capability to provide integrated care to children who have sustained severe injur y,” said the spokesman in a statement. A n attack by about 50 militants on a police outpost near the large northwestern city of Peshawar o n Sunday night h ighlighted Pakistan’s struggle to contain the Taleban and its allies. A t least six policemen were killed. Yousufzai, a cheerful schoolgirl who had wanted to become a doctor before agreeing to her father’s wishes that she strive to be a politician, has become a potent symbol of resistance against the Taleban’s efforts to deprive girls of an education. Pakistanis have held some protests and candlelight vigils but most government officials have refrained from publicly criticizing the Taleban by name over the attack, in what critics say is a lack of resolve against extremism. Opponents of Pakistan’s government and military say the shooting is another example of the state’s failure to tackle militancy, the biggest threat to the stability of the nuclear-armed South Asian country. The shooting of Yousufzai was the culmination of years of campaigning that had pitted the young girl against one of Pakistan’s most ruthless Taleban commanders, Maulana Fazlullah.

KATHMANDU: A photograph of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, is seen during a candlelight vigil by Nepalese students to express their support for her in Kathmandu yesterday.— AFP Fazlullah and his faction of the Pak istani Taleban took over Yusufzai’s native Swat Valley in 2009 after reaching an agreement with the government which gave them de facto control of the former tourist spot. Fazlullah imposed the Taleban’s austere version of Islam there, blowing up girls’ schools and publicly executing those deemed immoral. The army later launched a major offensive in Swat, forcing many Taleban fighters to flee. Fazlullah’s men simply melted away across the porous border to Afghanistan. Earlier this year, they k idnapped and beheaded 17 Pakistani soldiers in one of several cross-border raids that have become a new security headache for Pakistan. Yousufzai continued speaking out despite the danger. As her fame grew, Fazlullah tried everything he could to silence her. The Taleban published death threats in the newspapers and slipped them under her door. But she ignored them. The Taleban say that’s why they sent assassins, despite a tribal code forbidding the k illing of women. Taleban

sources said Fazlullah ordered two men specializing in high-profile assassinations to kill Yousufzai. Pakistan’s Taleban, who are linked to Al-Qaeda, has been fighting for years to topple the US-backed government and establish the kind of rule they imposed in Swat. The United States and other Western allies who give Pakistan billions of dollars in aid have been pushing Islamabad to crack down harder on the Taleban, Al-Qaeda and other groups that have formed a complex web of militancy. Pakistan says Western criticism of its performance is unjustified, and that it has sacrificed more than any other country that joined the US war on militancy after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed. The attack on Yousufzai has angered many Pakistanis, raising questions over whether the incident could sharply turn public opinion against the militants and give the military a big edge. But many experts argue the war on militancy can only be won if the government strengthens the

fragile economy and creates jobs to ensure that fewer people join radical groups who exploit disillusionment with the state. The Taleban struck again on Sunday night, attacking the police outpost near Peshawar with rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire. Security officials said at least six policemen were killed, including two who were beheaded. Seven policemen are still missing and presumed k idnapped. Several police cars and an armored vehicle were torched. The Taleban has been blamed for many suicide bombings across Pakistan and have also staged sophisticated, high-profile attacks on the military, one of the biggest in the world. Pakistan’s interior minister said police had dispatched guards to protect journalists who had been threatened by Taleban militants angered by coverage of Yousufzai’s case. The Taleban, based mostly in the unruly ethnic Pashtun tribal areas near the Afghan border, have said they would now tr y to k ill her father, a headmaster of a girls’ school in Swat.— Reuters

Police take over dangerous Rio favela RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian marines and paramilitary police stormed one of Rio’s most notorious shantytowns Sunday, as the city cleans up ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. It took just 20 minutes for the security forces to take over the Manguinhos slum in the predawn raid involving 1,300 police assisted by helicopters hovering overhead, and armored personnel carriers carrying 170 marines that plowed through road obstacles set up in the narrow streets. No shots were fired, but three people were arrested. Police said that five alleged drug crime bosses that had fled to a nearby favela were killed on Saturday. Authorities said they had seize 60 kilograms of cocaine in the raid. Police also increased their presence in Jacarezinho, a nearby favela and a major crack cocaine consumption center. Some 1,300 heavily armed police participated in the operations, officials said. The two favelas, home to some 70,000 people, are located 10 kilometers from downtown Rio and are strongholds of the power ful Comando Vermelho (CV ) drug gang. The operation is “another step toward peace, for reducing the number of homicides, car theft, and home break-ins,” said Rio de Janeiro state Governor Sergio Cabral. “The practical effect of this is measured by a more peaceful life for citizens.” Rio de Janeiro’s security secretary, Jose Mariano Beltrame, hailed what he called a “major victor for society, for the people, for public service. Around midday, the police raised the

RIO DE JANEIRO: CORE civilian police tactical unit personnel take positions during a deployment to pacify the Manguinhos and Jacarezinho shantytowns, known as “Crackland”, in Rio de Janeiro. — AFP Brazilian flag in the Manguinhos town square and sang the national anthem, symbolically freeing the shantytown from the crime bosses. What follows now is “a meticulous search for drugs, weapons and the arrest of criminals,” said Rio military police spokesman Federico Caldas. Paramilitary police will keep the peace until a unit with agents especially

trained to handle favela affairs arrives in December, Caldas said. Hundreds of police officers blocked entrances to Jacarezinho, but did not occupy the site. “The military police needs more time to occupy this area,” deputy civil police chief Fernando Veloso told TV Globo News, vowing a “constant presence” there.—AFP



Norodom Sihanouk and China: A life-long alliance BEIJING: Through decades of turmoil at home, former Cambodian k ing Norodom Sihanouk enjoyed vital political and medical succor from China, a staunch ally that provided the mercurial leader with a second home. For more than 40 years, Sihanouk had at his disposal a stately and luxurious residence in the heart of Beijing, a grey-walled complex just a short distance from Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The historic residence-the French embassy in the early 1900s, it was put at his disposal in 1970 by China’s late premier Zhou Enlai-is a stone’s-throw from the hospital where he died yesterday. The relationship between Sihanouk and his Chinese hosts was often rocky as China simultaneously supported the radical Khmer Rouge, Sihanouk’s onagain, off-again allies. But the late Cambodian so- called “father-k ing” praised the Beijing doctors who sustained him physically and the Chinese Communist state that propped him up politically through dark times. “Long live the fraternal and indestructible friendship uniting the k ingdom of Cambodia and the glorious People’s Republic of China!” he wrote in 2009 on his website which he maintained until just recently. The Cambodia monarch had received regular medical treatment in

Beijing since being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1994. During his extended stays in the city, he often offered biting commentar y on Cambodia’s fractious politics, decrying nepotism, corruption, the abuse of the “little people” and the pillaging of natural resources. He maintained a long friendship with China’s communist leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou, whom he met at the Bandung Conference of nonaligned nations in Indonesia in 1955. “I’ve always considered China as my second homeland... only China has supported us, the Khmer resistance, the Soviet Union does not want us,” he said in 1971. China repaid the praise yesterday in offering condolences over his death. The foreign ministr y called Sihanouk “a great friend of China” and said Vice President Xi Jinping met with the late king’s wife, Queen Monique, after his death and expressed “shock and sadness.” After abandoning a 40room home in Pyongyang offered by the North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, Sihanouk and his queen Monique, who faithfully stayed by his side to his death, took up residence in the Beijing building in 1970 after he was deposed in a military coup. “It’s a very comfortable residence in modern Chinese style, beautifully decorated,” Julio Jeldres, Sihanouk’s official biographer and fre-

quent visitor to his Beijing home said in 2009. Sihanouk opened the doors of his sanctuary mostly to privileged guestsmembers of his royal family, high-ranking diplomats or Chinese dignitaries. In comments to AFP, Sihanouk’s long-time personal assistant Prince Sisowath Thomico recalled the former king’s love of food. He had many chefs at his disposal in Beijing who specialized in French cuisine, but the gourmet royal was himself an accomplished cook who enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. “He used to teach his cooks how to make French dishes,” the assistant said. “The royal residence was known among diplomats in the early 1970s to be the best place for French cuisine in Beijing.” It was during his first exile in Beijing in April 1975 that Sihanouk learned that the radical Khmer Rouge had taken over Phnom Penh and allowed for his return. Mao urged Sihanouk to cooperate and on returning to Cambodia, Sihanouk remained safe amid the Khmer Rouge’s intensifying reign of terror only due to his Chinese benefactors. Yet he was kept under house arrest in Phnom Penh, which had been turned into a ghost town, emptied by the murderous Khmer Rouge. He entered a deep mourning period after five of his 14 children were killed. China arranged for his escape from Phnom Penh as

BEIJING: Monks from Takeo province, southwestern Cambodia, and nuns pray outside the gate of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh after the death of former King Norodom Sihanouk yesterday. — AP Vietnam invaded Cambodia beginning late in 1978, driving the Khmer Rouge from power. Restored to the throne in 1993, Sihanouk found a nation traumatized by civil war and genocide. Peace did not come until 1998, when Pol Pot, Mao’s old protege, died. Many obser vers considered the alliance between a royal monarch and China’s

communist rulers to be a union of strange bedfellows, but Mao early on put such notions to rest. “Some say that communists do not like princes,” Mao had said, “but we Chinese communists like and we esteem a prince like Norodom Sihanouk who is so close to his people, who are loyal and devoted to him.”— AFP

New sanctions target Iran banks, industry, shipping EU ratchets up sanctions pressure against Tehran

MANILA: Government peace negotiator Teresita Deles (left) greets Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief Al Haj Murad, upon arrival at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines yesterday for the formal signing of a tentative peace agreement between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).—AP

Facts in Philippines Muslim peace pact MANILA: Muslim rebels waging a decades-long insurgency in the southern Philippines signed a peace pact with the government yesterday aiming to end the rebellion by 2016. Below are the key points of the accord: AUTONOMY: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will drop its bid to set up a separate state in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao and settle for parliamentary-style self-rule in an autonomous region. DISARMAMENT: The 12,000-member MILF will disarm in stages, while the local police force gradually assumes law enforcement functions from the Philippine military. However no timetable has been listed for disarming. POWERS: The Philippine government will retain exclusive powers on defence, foreign policy, monetary policy and citizenship matters. TAXES: The autonomous government will be able to levy its own taxes, charges and fees. Both sides will have a “just and equitable share” of revenues from the region’s natural resources, although no specifics have been outlined.

ISLAMIC LAW: Sharia law will apply only to Muslims and only for civil cases, not for criminal offences. All residents are guaranteed basic rights to life, movement, privacy, and freedom of religion and speech. TERRITORY: Five provinces plus two cities, six towns and several nearby villages in the south, comprising about 10 percent of the Philippines’ total land area. Each of these areas may choose to opt out in a plebiscite. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: A provision calling for amendments to the Philippine constitution is a potential stumbling block to a final peace treaty because the rebels are insisting on changes while the national government prefers it untouched. The framework agreement leaves the question unresolved. TIMETABLE: Comprehensive peace agreement to be signed at the end of this year. “Basic law” for the autonomous region to be drafted and passed by the Philippine parliament in 2015, then ratified in a regional plebiscite. A regional parliament would be elected in 2016.—AFP

Myanmar blocks OIC from opening office NAYPYIDAW: Myanmar ’s president blocked a world Islamic body from opening an office in the country, an official said yesterday, bowing to rallies against its efforts to help Muslims in unrest-hit Rakhine state. “The president will not allow an OIC office because it is not in accordance with the people’s desires,” said an official from Myanmar leader Thein Sein’s office, after thousands of monks held the latest protests against the Organization of the Islamic Conference in two major cities yesterday. The official, who asked not to be named, declined to comment on an agreement signed with the OIC, the top world Muslim body, which confirmed to AFP last week that it had obtained the green light to open an office in the country. Around 3,000 maroon-robed clerics, some shouting and holding banners reading “No OIC”, marched through the country ’s commercial hub Yangon, according to an AFP photographer. Thousands more protested in the second-largest city Mandalay, with another demonstration in the town of Pakokku in Magway region in central Myanmar, according to organizers. “We cannot accept any OIC office here,” Oattamathara, a monk leading the

Mandalay protest said. “Not a temporary office and not a permanent office.” Sectarian tensions are running high following Buddhist-Rohingya clashes in June in western Rakhine which left dozens of people dead and forced tens of thousands to seek refuge in temporary shelters. Monks were at the vanguard of a 2007 pro-democracy uprising that was brutally crushed by the former junta. They have been involved in a series of protests against the OIC and Myanmar’s 800,000 stateless Rohingya, who are described by the UN as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities. Members of the 57-member OIC toured Rakhine last month after accusations from rights groups that security forces opened fire on Rohingya during the sectarian unrest, prompting concern across the Islamic world. Myanmar’s Rohingya, who speak a dialect similar to one in neighboring Bangladesh, are seen by the government and many Burmese as illegal immigrants. The tensions in Rakhine have spread to neighboring Bangladesh, where police said recently they had arrested nearly 300 people in connection with a wave of violence targeting Buddhist homes and temples.— AFP

LUXEMBOURG: European Union governments plan to ratchet up sanctions pressure against Iran over its nuclear program, approving new measures against Tehran’s banking sector, industry and shipping. The new sanctions mark one of the toughest pushes against Iran by Europe to date, and come amid mounting concerns over the Islamic Republic’s military intentions and the failure of diplomacy to solve the atom stand-off this year. Iran insists its nuclear work has only peaceful dimensions and has refused in three rounds of talks since April to scale it back unless major economic sanctions are lifted. But governments in Europe and the United States have refused to do so and, instead, are tightening the financial screws against Tehran as fears grow that the nuclear dispute could envelop the Middle East in a new war. “In the last couple of months Iran has not budged on any of the key issues and we must therefore increase the pressure through sanctions,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Berlin. Speaking a day before his counterparts meet in Luxembourg to approve new sanctions, he said diplomacy was still an option. “Our offer to Iran still stands: substantial negotiations with the clear aim of preventing Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons. It is time for a political solution.” Iran’s nuclear interlocutors-Germany, France, Britain, United States, China and Russia-asked Tehran this year to abandon the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, a crucial technological

step on route to producing an atom bomb. Tehran’s refusal has lead Israel, widely understood to be the only nuclear power in the Middle East, to threaten to bomb its nuclear installations. At Luxembourg meeting, foreign ministers will also extend measures levied against Belarus over human rights abuses, and approve a new round of sanctions against Syria to pressure President Bashar Al-Assad to halt violence against rebels. On Sunday night, EU foreign ministers dined with Sergei Lavrov, foreign minister of Russia, a longtime supplier of arms to Assad’s government - though Lavrov said in June that Moscow is not delivering offensive weapons to Syria. “We must not cease to strive for common solutions to international problems, even when this is very difficult, as with the current conflict in Syria,” Westerwelle said. The dinner lasted threeand-a-half hours, and was “very open and frank and friendly”, according to one EU diplomat. The foreign ministers talked first about bilateral issues between the European Union and Russia, and then about international issues, in particular Syria and Iran. The new sanctions on Iran mark a significant change of policy for the European Union which has focused in the past on targeting specific people and companies with economic restrictions. It has traditionally lagged the United States in imposing blanket industry bans, wary of punishing citizens while inflicting pain on governments. But pressure on Iran is already doing significant damage to its economy, in

part due to an oil embargo levied by the EU this year and Washington’s new financial sanctions. Earlier this month, riots broke out in protest against the collapse of the rial currency, which has lost some two thirds of its value against the dollar in the last year. An EU diplomat has told Reuters the new European measures include a ban on financial transactions, with some exceptions for those involving humanitarian aid, food and medicine purchases and provisions for legitimate trade. In a reversal of existing European policy, the ban will require European traders to apply to their governments for authorization before they can finance any transactions in allowed goods. Previously, the EU’s more narrow approach was to allow trade broadly while banning specific products. Trade will be hampered further by a new ban on Europeans extending short-term trade guarantees. “The new EU sanctions will augment the already severe pain that sanctions are inflicting on Iran’s economy,” said Cliff Kupchan, a Middle East analyst at consultancy Eurasia Group. EU states will be banned from selling metals and graphites - crucial in steel-making - to Iran. The EU will also ban imports of natural gas from Iran. The EU is also targeting Iran’s shipping industry, in an effort to curb Tehran’s ability to sell oil outside of Europe and the United States to obtain funds and hard currency. New measures will forbid European companies from providing shipbuilding technology and oil storage capabilities, as well as flagging and classification services to Iranian tankers. — Reuters

Key political risks to watch in China

ULAN BATOR: People gather to watch workers taking down the last bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin in Ulan-Bator, the capital of Mongolia, after Mayor Bat-Uul Erdene denounced the communist leader as a ‘murderer’. — AFP

Mongolia removes last statue of Lenin ULAN BATOR: Mongolia’s capital has removed its last statue of Lenin, one of the final vestiges of the country’s longtime alliance with the Soviet Union as it forges ever-closer links to the West and China. Ulan Bator’s Mayor Bat-Uul Erdene branded the late Communist leader Vladimir Lenin a “murderer” after the statue was hoisted onto a lorry on Sunday as a small crowd of bystanders threw old shoes at it. Mongolia was effectively a Soviet satellite state during the Cold War until it abandoned Communism without a shot being fired in 1990. “Approximately 100 million people were killed during the communist era. So we have seen that the Communists killed even more people than those who died in the World Wars,” said Bat-Uul, a fierce opponent of Communism and former protest leader who helped usher in a new era of democracy more than two decades ago. “And the person who started all of this was Lenin,” he said. The 58-year-old statue will be auctioned off, with a starting price being set at 400,000 tugrik (just under $300).

For decades, Lenin was worshipped as “ Teacher Lenin” by schoolchildren in Mongolia, a landlocked country that, despite rich mineral and other resources, remained impoverished during seven decades of dominance by Moscow as it was restricted to trading mainly with the Soviet Union. But Mongolia is undergoing rapid modernization-economic growth hit a stunning 17.3 percent in 2011 - built on the back of a spectacular mining boom that has drawn in Western and other foreign investors lured by vast reserves of coal, copper and gold. Mongolian foreign trade, formerly conducted almost entirely with the Soviet Union, is now dominated by China and its huge appetite for Mongolian resources. Thousands of Lenin statues were erected across the former USSR after his death in 1924 but were torn down following the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1991. The Lenin statue in Ulan Bator had survived so long because the Russian leader is revered by some for supporting Mongolia in its fight for independence from China in 1921.— AFP

BEIJING: China’s ruling Communist Party is grappling with a leadership transition while also trying to deal with destabilizing scandals, economic uncertainties and outbursts of unrest, but for now economic growth and firm controls are likely to avert serious ructions. Two high-profile cases those of former rising political star Bo Xilai, and blind activist Chen Guangcheng - have been deeply embarrassing for Beijing, and refocused world attention on human rights, the rule of law, and corruption in elevated political circles. Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are due to give up their main Communist Party posts in November and their state posts in early 2013, making way for a new leadership generation most likely led by current the Vice President Xi Jinping, who is virtually certain to replace Hu. In early September, Xi skipped meetings with visiting leaders and disappeared from public view, an absence which kicked off wild rumors and also raised serious questions about why Beijing was not more forthcoming about the health of its president-in-waiting. Most other members of the nine-member Standing Committee - the Party’s decision-making core - are likely to retire in late 2012 as well. The politics of determining who will fill those vacancies is increasingly preoccupying decision-makers, slowing policymaking and deterring the government from taking significant decisions. Chinese elite politics has been largely bound by the norms of conformity and unity around a leader, and competition among these contenders is unlikely to break out into open feuding or trigger major policy shifts. Those norms have been shaken by the ousting of Bo Xilai, who had been a possible contender for a place in the Standing Committee until his dismissal as party boss of Chongqing in southwest China in March. Bo’s downfall, which has unleashed division and uncertainty as the leadership transition approaches, came after his wife became a suspect in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, a crime for which she was later tried and given a suspended death sentence. The case has focused international attention on wealth, corruption and wrongdoing among China’s political elite. Bo is most likely to be tried and jailed after the party leadership accused him of offences including taking bribes, engaging in “improper sexual relations” and meddling in an inquiry into Heywood’s murder. Still, the growing public prominence of Vice President Xi and Vice Premier Li Keqiang indicates they are increasingly sure of succeeding President Hu and Premier Wen respectively, and preparations for the Party congress that will install the new generation of leaders have continued. That meeting is due to start on Nov 8. One key issue will be whether Hu will remain chairman of the Central Military Commission, which controls the People’s Liberation Army. Staying on would give him more sway over his successors.— Reuters




Lonely, hard work on oil rigs, but salaries soaring SINGAPORE: What jobs offer the highest pay? Investment banking is up there. So is specialist surgery. But consider this. Slightly over twenty years ago, Johnathan Roberts started work on an oil rig at $5 an hour. Today, the newly appointed operations manager of Norway’s Standard Drilling makes about half a million dollars a year. Even accounting for inflation, it’s a huge jump for the 45-year-old American. Salaries on oil rigs have soared because of a global boom in offshore drilling. Managers and workers are scarce in this specialised industry, where the work is intense and the job involves living on a platform in remote seas for weeks. For new players in Asia, where the energy demands of booming economies are driving a foray into offshore drilling, the costs and availability of skilled workers will be a big restraining factor. “The amount of money they are making an hour is just mind-boggling now, just five years ago they were making just half that,” said Roberts, who moved to Singapore this year from Texas. He said his pay more than doubled in 1999 when the indus-

try faced a labour shortage like the one that appears to be emerging. The increasing demand for oil and gas is pushing energy companies to explore frontier areas like the Arctic and new offshore zones given that output from accessible fields is declining. Global oil demand has risen 14 percent in total to 88 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2011 from 2001, according to the BP annual statistical review. Rapidly growing economies have accounted for much of the increase - consumption in China doubled in the same period to 9.76 million bpd. Energy and mining offer good salaries, said Wyn James, a Singapore-based Briton who left a career in banking this year to open Zhen Global, a firm that recruits and places workers in mining and oil extraction. “What we are seeing now is an acute shortage of people actually with applied skills, from engineering or chemical backgrounds,” James said. “Even if the skills do exist globally, they don’t necessarily exist in the place that is needed. So what we are doing is we are picking up people from all corners of the world and we are sticking them into projects,

whether it’s short-term or medium-term, but where they can earn reasonable money, live in a different country, live offshore, whatever that may be.” Deepwater drilling, one of the most difficult but most lucrative parts of the extraction business, has mainly been centred in the Gulf of Mexico. But in the past decade, Brazil has become a key player, exploring untapped reserves in the Santos basin as far away as 300 km southeast of Sao Paulo, and at depths of over 1,500 m. That drive is sucking in hundreds of rig operators, drillers, engineers and other technicians. On the other side of the world, China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) aims to build capacity to produce one million barrels per day of oil equivalent in deep waters offshore China by 2020. India, Asia’s third-biggest oil consumer, is also expanding into the deep waters of the Bay of Bengal. There were 540 offshore oil rigs in the world last year and, by the end of 2012, the number should rise by 51 to 591, says Faststream Recruitment, a UK-based firm that specializes in hiring for the shipping, oil and gas industry. It is the

biggest jump for any year in the past decade, said Mark Robertshaw, managing director of Faststream. In 2013, the number will grow by 28 to 619. The increase would mean more than 11,000 new jobs over the next 12 to 18 months from a total of 117,000, based on an average need of about 184 jobs on one rig, he said. “If you consider that over the past 10 years, the annual number of rigs under contract has grown to average 539 during 2011, it becomes apparent that offshore employment for workers actually housed on floaters and jackups will spike significantly,” Robertshaw said. The labour crunch has already seen pay for a roustabout, the least skilled worker on a rig, nearly double in the past five years to $18-$20 an hour. A roughneck, a rank higher, earns about $27-$28, said Roberts, the US rig manager. “When the rousta gets a raise it doesn’t just stop there,” he said. “It goes all the way to the top.” A rig operates on 12-hour shifts and typically workers do 14 days and then rotate out for a break for another 14 days. The schedule puts off many and with salaries in IT and other

industries growing, an engineering graduate or technician has other options. “Skilled labour is becoming difficult to find,” said Scott Kerr, chief executive of Norwegian deepwater drilling company Sevan Drilling. The salary increases show up on balance sheets. For Keppel Corp, the world’s largest rig builder, wages and salaries surged 27 percent to $1.43 billion by 2011 from 2007, while the number of employees increased 5.7 percent over the same period, according to its annual reports. Nearly 90 percent of staff work in the oil rig division. Besides pay, companies try to attract talent with career opportunities. “An engineer does not need to stay an engineer all his life. I was trained as a naval architect and I practised for a few years, but beyond that I was in management,” said Choo Chiau Beng, chief executive of Keppel Corp. “In some respects, being a highly paid CEO has attracted people to Keppel, because it shows you don’t need to be a lawyer to be highly paid, you can be an engineer and be highly paid.” —Reuters





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Aid recipients to IMF: What took so long? By Emily Kaiser and Sophie Knight raduates of IMF emergency loan programs accepted the Fund’s admission that it miscalculated the cost of austerity with a mix of schadenfreude and frustration that the change came too late to spare them economic pain. Countries such as Argentina, Indonesia and South Korea, which were required to make deep budget cuts in exchange for tens of billions of dollars in International Monetary Fund aid, said the lending institution was finally learning from mistakes made during financial crises in Asia and Latin America. “People learn from what happened in the past,” said Indonesia’s Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan. “Certainly what we went through in 1998 was painful. I lived through that, and hopefully the... difficulties we went through served as lessons.” Indonesia signed a $10 billion IMF loan deal in 1997 as the Asian financial crisis raged, and started an economic programme that called for spending cuts, tax increases, bank closures and tight monetary policy which the IMF predicted would limit the downturn. Indonesia’s economy ended up contracting by 13 percent in 1998, nowhere near the IMF’s forecast for 3 percent growth. Former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn admitted in 2010 that the lending institution had made “mistakes” in Asia. Last week, the Fund released research showing that the economic damage from aggressive austerity measures may be as much as three times larger than previously assumed. “Advice is sometimes difficult - both giving and receiving,” current IMF head Christine Lagarde said in a speech at the start of the group’s meetings in Tokyo on Friday. In line with the research, the IMF has softened its earlier advice on austerity in the euro zone crisis, arguing now that forcing Greece and other debt-burdened countries at the centre of the debt storm to reduce their deficits too quickly would be counterproductive. The IMF’s research shows a marked difference in how austerity affected advanced countries before and after 2009, when most of the world’s major central banks had cut interest rates to near zero to fight the global financial crisis. Normally, when fiscal policy tightens, central banks can cushion the blow by lowering interest rates. But because rates are now about as low as they can go, monetary policy can do little to offset the budget tightening. “We are in a period in which many countries are in the liquidity trap,” said Olivier Blanchard, the IMF’s chief economist. “As we know it doesn’t mean they cannot use monetary policy, but monetary policy is much more constrained than in normal times. In this case, you just get the effect of fiscal consolidation without the offset from monetary policy.” In Indonesia back in 1997, the IMF recommended both budget cuts and tight monetary policy, which critics have long argued exacerbated the downturn. The IMF acknowledged in 1999 that it could have allowed for quicker policy easing when it became apparent that the economy was faring far worse than predicted. But it also blamed the government for not properly implementing the program. The IMF’s reputation in Asia remains tarnished to this day, and countries in the region have amassed some $6 trillion in foreign exchange reserves in part to ensure they will never again have to seek a bailout. Hern·n Lorenzino, Argentina’s minister of economy and public finance, said the IMF’s admission was a “first step” that should lead it to change tack in Europe, where it has lent to Greece, Ireland and Portugal. “Once again... the IMF is endorsing policy conditionalities and reform strategies that are bound to fail, worsening recession and unemployment levels in programme countries and leading to unsustainable debt paths and social failure,” Lorenzino wrote in his official statement to the IMF. Argentina borrowed about $23 billion through a series of IMF loans over the past decade, which it has since repaid, and is now a vocal critic of the conditions that the institution places upon loan recipients. Although Lorenzino cancelled his trip to the Tokyo meeting at the last minute, citing the need to resolve a labour dispute at home, he spoke out against the Fund, saying it “overestimates the impact of its recipes”, according to the local Ambito daily. “It is amazing that their reports use ‘fiscal consolidation’ as a euphemism for the adjustments,” he was quoted as saying at a conference in Buenos Aires. “Continuing to support the financial system over the real economy simply makes workers suffer the consequences of the crisis.” South Korea took out a $21 billion IMF credit line in 1997 and agreed to an economic program that envisioned its gross domestic product slowing to 3 percent in 1998 from 5.7 percent the year before— Reuters


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Now comes the hard part for India By Ross Colvin ndia’s Finance Minister P Chidambaram exudes the self-confidence of a man who, in the eyes of India’s cheerleading financial markets, can do little wrong. In the 11 weeks since he took office, the benchmark BSE index has surged around 8 percent, due in large part to his hard-charging drive to boost investor sentiment that had soured under his predecessor, Pranab Mukherjee. But the reality is the steps taken so far will not fix the sluggish economy in the near term, and the window of opportunity for implementing game-changing reforms such as slashing government spending on fuel, food and fertiliser subsidies will narrow as campaigning for a 2014 election gets under way. “When you are fixated on equity markets and you are doing whatever you can to push them higher that is exactly what you will see,” said economist Rajeev Malik of CLSA, Singapore. “Pushing up equity markets is a lot easier than taking up some of these more difficult moves.” Together with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram has unveiled a series of bigticket and small-bore initiatives over the past month that were long demanded by investors


and business leaders frustrated by years of policy inaction in New Delhi. According to government officials, the slew of policy announcements on lifting the bar on foreign investment in the airline, insurance, pensions and retail sectors are part of a twostep government strategy - first, pump up the financial markets, then unveil a road-map for cutting the fiscal deficit. The first step has worked. Net inflows from foreign investors have surged since Chidambaram’s appointment, with $7.7 billion flooding into stocks and bonds since then, according to regulatory data. The next step will be more difficult. Reports published by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Standard & Poor’s and a government panel over the past 10 days have provided sobering reminders of the huge challenges facing an economy still beset by high inflation and dragged down by ballooning current account and fiscal deficits. The IMF sharply cut its economic growth forecast for India for 2012 to 4.9 percent from an earlier projection of 6.1 percent growth. The Kelkar budget panel, meanwhile, warned that India was teetering on the edge of a “fiscal precipice” and called for swift action to reduce the deficit, which it said could hit 6.1 percent

of GDP this year if no action was taken. Chidambaram has signalled that he is acutely aware of the dangers, telling a news conference last week that without reforms to curb the deficits, India “risked a sharp and continuing slowdown of the economy”. He is expected to unveil a deficit reduction plan soon, possibly before the Reserve Bank of India’s next policy review on Oct 30. But turf wars within the cabinet, friction among coalition partners, continued weak government at a federal and state level and fears of alienating voters ahead of the 2014 election could still choke off Chidambaram’s reform drive. The Finance Ministry knows it has a “very small window” in which to act, a senior ministry official told Reuters. There is already disagreement among ministers over a land acquisition bill long sought by Indian business leaders that would make it much easier for companies to buy land for industrial and infrastructure projects. ] The bill is stalled in cabinet and it is not clear when it will be approved. The environment minister, meanwhile, has raised objections to another Chidambaram initiative - a national investment board aimed at cutting through red tape that can hold up infrastruc-

ture projects for years. The proposal is seen as the government’s boldest attempt yet to clear infrastructure bottlenecks that have strangled economic growth. Singh’s coalition government has also been seriously weakened by the walkout of a key ally and now governs without a parliamentary majority. It is dependent on support from two fickle allies that have campaigned against some of its flagship reforms, such as allowing foreign supermarkets into India. That will make it difficult for the government to get pension and insurance reforms, recently approved by the cabinet, through parliament. In fact, there is now a higher risk of the government falling and an early election being called. Critics question whether, in the face of such challenges, the ruling Congress party will have the political will to follow through with what Singh and Chidambaram have started. The party’s powerful chief Sonia Gandhi favours costly welfare measures and had to be persuaded to back the recent reforms. “If the government were to enter into a populist mode come FY14 budget and roll back any of the reform initiatives, risks of a (credit rating) downgrade will rise come next year,” said Radhika Rao, an economist at Forecast in Singapore.— Reuters

Israel’s Netanyahu faces wild cards By Dan Perry he Israeli government has called a general election for Jan 22, and polls suggest Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightist-religious coalition is likely to win a renewed majority - but an array of wild cards make the outcome of this campaign unpredictable nonetheless. The stakes are high: A Netanyahu re-election could make an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program more likely, risking regional war and global economic crisis. And it could end whatever small chance still exists of a genuine Israeli pullout from even parts of the West Bank - something the Israeli opposition is almost desperate to bring about, but Netanyahu’s nationalist allies fervently oppose. The vote also comes at a pivotal point in the increasingly acrimonious cultural clash between Western-oriented liberals and Netanyahu’s resilient alliance of social conservatives, security hawks and fundamentalist Jews. That dichotomy is mirrored in Israel’s traditional electoral map, a bewildering affair that nonetheless reduces to two rival “blocs” vying for 61 out of 120 Knesset seats - the threshold needed to form a government. The “left” bloc, historically led by the Labor Party, wants the West Bank and Gaza - captured from Jordan and Egypt respectively in the 1967 war - either traded for peace or separated from Israel in some other way to protect a Jewish majority within “Israel proper”. Jews currently make up about three-quarters of Israel’s population, but when the West Bank and Gaza are included, the breakdown between Jews and Arabs is close to 50/50. Smaller dovish groups and parties from Israel’s Arab minority are also in this bloc. The “right” bloc is led by Netanyahu’s Likud, which historically has been hostile to territorial concessions. Netanyahu now says he is ready for a limited Palestinian state in some of the West Bank - yet his government continues to build Jewish settlements deep inside it and few take him at his word. Rounding out the bloc are even more nationalist groupings and religious parties eager to deepen the Jewish character of the state. Polls suggest the right could win about 65 Knesset seats - a neardefault majority that has mostly held for decades, built in part by the demographic advantage of a religious minority with high birthrates. It is only occasionally overturned, either by circumstance or machination: An experiment with direct election of the prime minister resulted in a win for Labor’s Ehud Barak in 1999. The defection of Likud Prime Minister Ariel Sharon - creator of the centrist Kadima Party that cannibalized Likud and ended up in the left bloc - led to the more dovish Ehud Olmert serving


as premier from 2006-9. The new campaign presents a significant number of wild cards that could affect the result:

wins it would repeal the “Ashkenazi Law” and appoint him defense minister.

The Center Popular dissatisfaction with the left-right dichotomy occasionally gives rise to “centrist parties” that claim they might align with either bloc. But these days such parties - whose support and makeup generally reflects the secular and Westernized side of Israel - find their natural location with the left, as Kadima did, and amount to a device for taking votes from the right. The newest centrist offering is Yesh Atid (There Is A Future), built around the popularity of 49-year-old Yair Lapid - a former TV news anchor, talk show host, newspaper columnist, movie star, mystery novelist and amateur boxer. Polls show he could lead one of the largest parties, with up to 19 seats. Depending on whom he chooses to run by his side, he seems to have a shot at taking votes from the right.

Defections Although the right bloc has propped Netanyahu nicely for four years, two potential defections exist. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of the mid-sized Yisrael Beiteinu party, is an aggressive nationalist who nonetheless took part in the last Kadima government, is bitter about a years-long corruption investigation, and harbors ambitions of leading the right bloc that suggest an interest in seeing Netanyahu go down. And Arieh Deri, the only major ultra-Orthodox leader who is seen as moderate on the Palestinians, is returning to politics after a jail spell and a long hiatus; if he is not reinstated as head of the religious Shas Party many expect him to run against it, taking some of its dozen-odd seats and possibly delivering them to the left.

A Rival Whereas Netanyuahu is unchallenged in his bloc, the left is splintered into at least three mid-sized parties: a somewhat resurgent Labor, with former journalist Shelly Yachimovich as its leader, running mostly on social issues such as redistribution of wealth; Kadima, now led by the relatively unpopular former military chief Shaul Mofaz; and Yesh Atid. There is tremendous pressure on them to unite, driven by the idea that this would change the psychology of the race and draw support greater than the sum of the left’s current parts. Indeed, a poll in the Jerusalem Post found that a unified party would outpoll Likud and become the largest party. Would that be enough to crack the advantage of the wider right bloc? That may depend on whether a galvanizing figure is brought in to lead it. The current speculation focuses on an Olmert comeback, which he is believed to be considering and which would be a gamble. Forced from office four years ago by a corruption scandal, he has been cleared of most charges but still faces trial in a bribery case. The backup is Tzipi Livni, Olmert’s foreign minister and a former Kadima leader - who is also said to be mulling the creation of yet another centrist party. The General Gabi Ashkenazi, who was military chief until last year, is so popular that it is generally accepted that the recent law freezing top security officials out of politics for three years after their retirement was formulated mostly to keep him from leading the left against Netanyahu - and so in popular parlance it bears his name. Taciturn and tough-looking, with security credentials and of politically useful mixed European and Middle Eastern heritage, he is believed to have strong appeal to the right. The much-discussed scenario has him campaigning for the left under the understanding that if the bloc

Iran Some in Netanyahu’s circle cast the election as a referendum on attacking Iran - or at least on Israel’s right to act militarily to prevent the Islamic Republic from achieving nuclear weapons capability. Normally, on security issues, Israelis do turn hawkish at the polls. But this one is complicated: The security establishment considers the talk of an attack reckless and seems to oppose the idea; much of the world is arrayed against the notion, seeking more time for economic sanctions to force Iran’s hand; and polls show the Israeli public - fearing a massive counterstrike including missiles on their cities and mayhem on their borders - opposes any move that is not coordinated with the United States. It could make very uncomfortable campaigning for Netanyahu. It’s the Economy Netanyahu supporters nonetheless hope the election hinges on the usual strategic issues, especially the Palestinians. On that well-worn ground, Likud is helped by the perception here that the Palestinians are sticking to unreasonably maximalist positions - including a division of Jerusalem that would mean a potentially tense border running right through the downtown of the holy city. But if the left can change the discourse, Netanyahu is vulnerable on two issues. So many Israelis are unhappy with the economy - surprisingly good macroeconomic figures alongside tremendous income gaps and widespread poverty - that a social protest movement largely aimed against the government last year sent hundreds of thousands to the streets. If this becomes an election issue it could galvanize the left vote - which historically, unlike the disciplined masses of the religious right, tends to be lazy on election day. And Netanyahu is dangerously exposed on the question of ending the current system of draft exemptions for tens of thousands in the burgeoning ultra-Orthodox minority - ordered earlier this year by the Supreme Court, supported by most Israelis, and largely ignored by his government. The secular majority, including many on the right, is increasingly alarmed by Orthodox efforts to segregate the sexes in public, their widespread reliance on state handouts, and their school system, which turns out Torah scholars who know little English or math and have few skills for the work world. Netanyahu’s utter dependence on their parties’ votes for the right bloc’s majority could focus minds, drive away the center and amount to his Achilles’ heel in this campaign. —AP



Pakistani Faqir Zada, 31, stands next to his camels displayed for sale in preparation for the upcoming holiday of Eid Al-Adha or ‘Feast of Sacrifice’ on a roadside on the outskirts of Islamabad yesterday. According to Faqir, he painted the camels to make them beautiful and to attract customers. —AP

New spying program linked to Flame found SAN FRANCISCO: The security company that has discovered some of the most sophisticated spying software unearthed to date says it found a related program, dubbed “miniFlame”, which can carry out more precise attacks on targets in the Middle East. While the original Flame virus swept in data from perhaps 5,000 computers, largely in Iran and Sudan, the new miniFlame struck only about 50 “high-value” machines, according to Kaspersky Lab research published yesterday. Iran had previously blamed Flame for causing data loss on computers in the country’s main oil export terminal and Oil Ministry. “Flame acts as a long sword for broad swipes while miniFlame acts as a scalpel for a focused surgical dissection,” Roel Schouwenberg, a senior researcher at Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, told Reuters. Kaspersky theorized that miniFlame was dis-

tributed mainly by Flame and another recently discovered spyware program, Gauss, which was most prevalent in Lebanon and may have been aimed at tracking financial transactions. Not much is known about miniFlame’s victims, except that they were more geographically dispersed than those of Flame and Gauss. Infections were found in Lebanon and Iran most of all but also in the Palestinian Territories, Iran, Kuwait, and Qatar, according to Kaspersky. Kaspersky and US security software company Symantec Corp have said that some of the code in Flame also appeared in an early version of Stuxnet. Found in 2010 and aimed at Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, Stuxnet is sometimes described as the first true cyber-weapon. Cyber experts widely believe Stuxnet is an American project. Kaspersky and Symantec said in a joint

research paper last month that Flame’s control software remotely directed a number of smaller programs, and that the effects of only one of those programs was clear. Symantec said at the time the overall project “fits the profile of military and intelligence operations,” in part because encryp-

See Page 27 tion kept some operatives in the dark about what data they were taking from infected machines. The many technological innovations in Flame included its hijacking of Microsoft Corp’s Windows Update feature, which is critical for keeping the operating system current as new security problems come to light. The new discovery concerns one of the smaller programs controlled by

the Flame command software, referred to in the original code as SPE. According to the Kaspersky analysis, it includes a “back door” allowing for remote control, data theft and the ability to take screen shots - or images of the computer screen - as the user engages with Microsoft Office, Adobe Systems Inc’s Reader, web browsers, and other applications. “MiniFlame is installed in order to conduct more in-depth surveillance and cyber-espionage,” Kaspersky Chief Security Expert Alexander Gostev said. Symantec said on Friday it had no new information on Flame or the related programs. Kaspersky said that miniFlame worked with Flame and Gauss but could also operate independently of both, taking orders from a separate network of command computers. It said the new discovery makes a stronger case for the connection among all

Police, protesters clash after massive...

Kuwaiti-Thai ties growing

Continued from Page 1

Continued from Page 1

Barrak said that two draft decrees have been written, the first to reduce the number of votes allowed for each Kuwaiti voter from four to one and the second to cut the votes to two, adding one of the two may be issued. The former lawmaker also charged that there is a plot against HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. He said that the plan being carried out now stipulates to elect a rubber-stamp Assembly in a bid to reappoint former prime minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in the post in a prelude to change the constitution. Former MP Abdullah Al-Barghash also insisted that the Kuwaiti people are totally opposed to plots being hatched against the constitution. “We have the constitution binding us - pledge to respect it and we will pledge too,” he said. Barghash said the Kuwaiti people are demanding to have a prime minister that they can hold accountable and is elected by the National Assembly and an elected government. The former MP warned the government against dragging the situation to the point of no return when compromises will not be acceptable.

Thailand and Kuwait have long enjoyed close and cordial relations. HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited Thailand in 2006 to celebrate the occasion of His Majesty the King’s 60th anniversary of accession to the throne. In addition, there has been exchange of visits between the two countries on a continuous basis.Yingluck referred to the fact that during the first half of 2012, approximately 40,000 Kuwaiti tourists visited Thailand, an increase of 20 percent over the same period in 2011, whereby visits were either family-oriented, for honeymooning or for medical tourism. The ACD is to officially kick off on the leaders’ level

Ebrahim became the first MILF chief to visit the presidential palace, signifying the optimism from both sides about finally ending a conflict that has claimed 150,000 lives and the priority Aquino has put on achieving peace. Under the plan, the 12,000strong MILF would give up its quest for an independent homeland in the southern region of Mindanao in return for significant power and wealth-sharing in a new autonomous region there. However the MILF’s leadership, the government and independent observers have all warned the path towards peace remains littered with obstacles, and that yesterday’s signing does not guarantee an end to the conflict. “As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Much work remains to be done in order to fully reap the fruits of this framework agreement,” Aquino said in his speech just before the signing by both sides’ chief negotiators. The MILF’s chief negotiator, Mohagher Iqbal, expressed similar caution in a press conference after the signing. “With all the intensity, emotional attachment and substantive agreement, it is still a piece of paper. It will not implement itself,” Iqbal said as he warned of tough negotiations ahead. Muslim rebel groups have been fighting since the 1 9 7 0 s f or f u ll i n d e p endence o r aut o no my in Mindanao, which they consider their ancestral homeland from before Spanish Christian colonisation of the country began in the 1500s. The estimated four to nine million Muslims are now a minority in Mindanao after years of Catholic immigration, but they remain a majority in some areas. Muslims would

today at Bayan Palace. Preparatory meetings on the levels of senior officials and foreign ministers of the 32 member countries already took place and resulted in adopting the ACD final communique (Kuwait Declaration), which is to be forwarded for the leaders’ summit for ratification. Acclaimed for being the initiator of the ACD concept in 2001, Thailand, a founding member of the gathering, will host the second ACD Summit in 2015. Its Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul is ACD’s General Coordinator. Thai private sector representatives are accompanying Yingluck on her visit to Kuwait. Thai and Kuwaiti businesspeople will meet during a reception in the forum to promote networking.

Cambodia ex-king Sihanouk dies Continued from Page 1

KUWAIT: Former MP Musallam Al-Barrak, flanked by ex-MP Mubarak Al-Waalan, addresses the crowd outside the National Assembly yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Manila, Muslim rebels ink historic... Continued from Page 1

the programs, though it has not accused any party of authorship. Kaspersky said it found six versions of miniFlame, the most recent created in September 2011. Some of the protocols it used dated to 2007, making it a long-running effort. MiniFlame responded to a series of commands given Anglo first names by the program authors. “Elvis” created a process on an infected machine and “Barbara” took a screen shot. “Tiffany” directed the computer to a new command server. In a speech on Thursday, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned that the country could act pre-emptively against imminent cyber attacks that would cause “significant physical damage” or kill US citizens. He said the Pentagon was rewriting its rules for engagement in cyberspace. Though it has been ramping up its capabilities, the Pentagon has said little in public about what it can do. —Reuters

be a majority in the planned new autonomous region. The conflict has left huge areas of Mindanao, a resource-rich and fertile farming region covering the southern third of the Philippines, in deep poverty. The MILF is the biggest and most important remaining rebel group, after the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) signed a peace deal with the government in 1996. That deal led to an autonomous region in Mindanao but Aquino described it last week as a “failed experiment” because of massive corruption and worsening poverty there. The planned new autonomous region would replace the old one, covering much of the same area but with more powers for self-rule. The new autonomous region would have its own parliament and ability to tax its residents, while Islamic shariah law would apply to Muslims in civil cases. Some of the MNLF’s leaders have voiced anger at seeing their power base dissolve, and have warned they may be prepared to take up arms again. Fresh attacks by the MNLF or small Islamic groups who still want independence are among the potential obstacles to the peace process. Another is potential opposition from Catholic politicians and business leaders. The nation’s parliament, dominated by Catholics, will have to approve the laws of the new autonomous region. However experts have said that Aquino, who is one of the most popular presidents in the country’s history, may be able to convince the country’s Catholic majority to support the plan. The two sides have set 2016 as a deadline because that is when Aquino is required by the constitution to stand down after serving a single six-year term. —AFP

to Cambodia and to history,” he told AFP of the former monarch who abruptly quit the throne in Oct 2004, citing old age and health problems. “It’s painful. I am full of sorrow,” he said. HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah addressed a cable of condolences to Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni on the demise of his father. The Amir invoked His Almighty to bestow his mercy on soul of the deceased, and expressed solace to the royal family. Similar cables were send by HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah. The royal, who steered his country through decades of painful political and social convulsions, from independence to civil war and invasion, is set to be brought back to his homeland tomorrow. His son and current king Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen, both appearing tearful, travelled to Beijing to collect the body, which will lie in state at the royal palace for three months ahead of a lavish funeral. Some 100,000 people are expected to line the streets of the capital to mark Sihanouk’s final homecoming, starting a week-long official mourning period, government spokesman Khieu Kanharith told AFP. The charismatic royal was a keen filmmaker and poet whose six marriages lent him a reputation as a playboy. Renowned for unpredictability, Sihanouk repeatedly switched allegiances as the political climate changed, including backing Khmer Rouge guerrillas before he was himself imprisoned by them. The fanatical communist regime caused the deaths of up to two million people, including five of Sihanouk’s 14 children. Cambodia woke to the news of their former monarch’s demise on the final day of the annual festival for the dead known as Pchum Ben, when Cambodians honour their deceased ancestors who are believed to emerge to walk the earth during this time. In the capital Phnom Penh, young and old added their prayers for the dead monarch to tributes for their own relatives. “I felt sad after hearing the news. I came here to pray for my relatives and I also prayed for the (former) king,” 21-yearold Yoan Sophal told AFP at a pagoda where a Buddhist priest led a solemn crowd in a blessing for Sihanouk’s spirit.

As evening fell, some 200 mourners, many of them in tears, also gathered outside the palace to listen to dozens of white-robed nuns chanting and praying for Sihanouk’s spirit. Television stations broadcast continuous footage of the former monarch, while social networking sites like Facebook buzzed with tributes and shared pictures of the late king. Condolence messages poured in from around the world including from China, Japan and North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong-Un praised Sihanouk’s “unprecedented” friendship with his country. North Korea’s founder Kim Il-Sung was so close to Sihanouk he had a palatial residence built for him near Pyongyang in the 1960s. Australia-based historian Milton Osborne said Cambodians would likely remember Sihanouk’s time in power “as a golden age, without very much reflection on the deeper, darker aspects of the period when he was in power, when it was very dangerous to say anything critical of him”. Sihanouk was placed on the throne in 1941 at the age of 18 by French colonial authorities. Twelve years later he gained Cambodia’s independence and abdicated shortly afterwards for the first time in favour of his father Prince Norodom Suramarit. He then served as premier half a dozen times, until finally becoming “head of state” following the death of his father in 1960. He was toppled in a coup by US-backed general Lon Nol in 1970, prompting his pact with the Khmer Rouge that would have disastrous consequences for the country and his own family. The movement used him as a figurehead as they seized power before putting him under house arrest in the royal palace with his household during their murderous 1975-79 rule. Sihanouk, who was close to Chinese revolutionary leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, fled to China before the Vietnamese invaded and toppled the Khmer Rouge. He was to spend increasing amounts of time in the country as his health failed. The royal, who had battled illnesses including cancer, diabetes and heart problems in his later years, remained a staunch supporter of China. He saw it as a “second home” and spent much of his time there, accompanied by his devoted sixth wife Monique. Sihanouk was credited with helping to make 1991 UN-sponsored peace accords possible. He triumphantly regained the throne in 1993. After abdicating for the final time, he received the title of “King-Father” to a people he referred to as his “children”. —AFP


sp orts Klose cutting on somersaults

Radcliffe loses lottery funding

Ronaldo reaches 100 caps

BERLIN: The somersault has been Germany striker Miroslav Klose’s trademark goal celebration for over a decade but the 34-year-old is cutting out the mid-air flip in a bid to stay fit for the 2014 World Cup. Klose, enjoying a fine season at Italy’s Lazio, hopes to add to his 65 international goals against Sweden in Germany’s World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. However, an expected 80,000 crowd at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin will be treated to a more modest celebration. “The somersault...I think I can still do it but I honestly do not want to risk it because I want to still be around in 2014,” he told reporters with a chuckle. The Polish-born forward needs only three more goals to equal the all-time German record of 68 set by Gerd Mueller, but Klose refused to class himself alongside the former “bomber of the nation” who took just 62 matches to reach his tally. “I would never compare myself to Gerd Mueller,” said Klose, who has so far won 125 caps. “You should not compare him with any other striker around. — Reuters

LONDON: Paula Radcliffe has had her funding withdrawn by UK Athletics after missing the 2012 London Olympics and last year’s World Championships because of injury. The 38-year-old marathon world record holder was removed from the board’s National Lottery-funded World Class Performance Programme which has been redefined from backing athletes with topeight potential to those who are top-three contenders. As well as providing financial support, the programme offers access to coaches, facilities, medical staff and training camps. “Retirement is definitely not in any plans. I’m not doing all this training and getting this foot healthy and strong for nothing,” said Radcliffe on her Twitter account, referring to the injury that kept her out of the Olympics. “Just to clarify I am very grateful for the support Lottery funding gives us athletes and fully expected to see it withdrawn,” added the former world marathon champion. “From the beginning I have only ever received medical support which is of course significant and vital. Since funding came in I have seen big differences in the depth and strength of all our sports.” Radcliffe has never won an Olympic medal despite featuring in four Games. —Reuters

LISBON: When Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo picks up his 100th cap against Northern Ireland today, he will reflect on a career which started in central defence and was marked by early shyness before an explosion of attacking flair made him one of soccer’s greatest players. “It was on August 20th, 2003, against Kazakhstan, that I put on our national shirt for the first time. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life and a path which I am proud of,” Ronaldo wrote on his Facebook page. He came on as a substitute for Luis Figo in what was, in retrospect, a symbolic handover from one Portuguese hero to another. Ronaldo, the future 2008 world player of the year, took 2001 world player Figo’s mantle and helped inspire Portugal to third place in FIFA’s world rankings even if a first major international trophy is still elusive as he struggles to shrug off accusations he goes missing in really big games. At 27, he will become one of the youngest European footballers to reach 100 caps behind Germany’s Lukas Podolski and Estonia’s Kristen Viikmae. — Reuters

Tigers maul Yanks in ALCS

SAN FRANCISCO: St. Louis Cardinals’ Daniel Descalso (33) makes a play on a ball hit by San Francisco Giants’ Angel Pagan during the fourth inning of Game 1 of baseball’s National League championship series. —AP

Cardinals down Giants SAN FRANCISCO: The St. Louis Cardinals’ unheralded bullpen is making quite a name for itself in October right along with proven postseason stars Carlos Beltran and David Freese. A group that takes pride in being ready for anything had six relievers combine to deliver 5 1-3 scoreless innings of relief to lead the reigning World Series champions to a 6-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the NL championship series Sunday night. “We feel like we’re an asset. We don’t get talked about much, and I guess that’s a good thing,” said right-hander Mitchell Boggs, who pitched the eighth. “We don’t have big name guys. Tonight was a good night for us.” Beltran and Freese did their part with two-run homers as the Cardinals built an early 6-0 cushion and held on. Only two nights earlier, the Cardinals came back from the same deficit, using a fourrun rally in the ninth inning at Washington in the deciding Game 5 of the division series. “I’m thinking about the D.C. game,” Freese said. “They were up 6-0. We were up 6-0. And that shows that you’ve got to keep playing. ... We were fortunate enough that our bullpen came in and closed the door the rest of the way.” Starter Lance Lynn was done after 3 2-3 innings. Edward Mujica, the fifth St. Louis pitcher, struck out the side in order in the seventh for the win, then Jason Motte finished for his second save of the postseason. The Cardinals gave

SAN FRANCISCO: Giants’ Gregor Blanco makes a sliding catch on a ball hit by St. Louis Cardinals’ Skip Schumaker during the sixth inning of Game 1 of baseball’s National League championship series.—AP first-year manager Mike Matheny a win against his former club. Matheny’s crew hardly looked road weary after a cross-country trip. The Giants dropped to 0-3 at home so far during these playoffs, outscored 20-6 at AT&T Park. Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Monday night. Chris Carpenter pitches for the Cardinals against Ryan Vogelsong. This is the first time the previous two World Series winners are facing off in the postseason since the 1958 World Series between the Braves and Yankees. Beltran’s fourth-inning drive into the seats in left-center chased San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner, who has been a far cry from the impressive pitcher he was during the 2010 World Series run. It was Beltran’s 14th career postseason home run and third this October. “Right now I’m really enjoying myself,” Beltran said. “Right now I’m see-

ing the ball well. I feel like I have a good approach at the plate, I feel like I’m not trying to do too much, and good things are happening.” Beltran spent the second half of the 2011 season with San Francisco after a trade from the Mets, but the Giants missed the playoffs last fall a year after the capturing an improbable championship the previous season. The orange towel-waving sellout crowd of 42,534 booed him at every opportunity — during pregame introductions and each time he stepped into the batter’s box. Both teams were well rested a day after a rough night of travel. The Giants barely beat the Cardinals to the Bay Area early Saturday after they were delayed three hours on the tarmac in Cincinnati on Friday night - to refuel and for a mechanical problem after waiting out the Cardinals-Nationals game to know where they were headed next. Matheny stuck with the same lineup that he sent out for Game 5, and some of the same faces came through again. “They put together some better atbats than us,” Giants center fielder Angel Pagan said. “They hit some homers and were up 6-0. That’s a pretty good lead in the playoffs. We tried to battle back. We did our best but it wasn’t our night.” Daniel Descalso, who hit a tying, twoout single in Friday’s 9-7 win, added two more hits. Descalso hit a one-out double in the fourth, then rookie Pete Kozma drove him home with a double of his own. In the ninth inning Friday, Kozma followed Descalso with a go-ahead, two-run single. Descalso, who spends the offseason in San Francisco’s Marina district, did well playing in his native Northern California. But he was quick to praise all the pitchers out of the pen. “The last two games they’ve been huge for us, coming in early, a lot earlier than we anticipated,” Descalso said. “They’ve been outstanding.” St. Louis 18-game winner Lynn didn’t allow a hit until Marco Scutaro’s single to left leading off the fourth. Hunter Pence singled two outs later and Brandon Belt drove him home with a single. Gregor Blanco followed with a two-run triple, then Brandon Crawford hit an RBI double. Pinch hitter Aubrey Huff - a 2010 postseason star now in a diminished role - drew a walk to cheers of “Aubrey! Aubrey!” And, just like that, Lynn was done. “The bullpen did a great job,” catcher Yadier Molina said. “We struck first, and to hold that lead, we won with the bullpen.” Bumgarner and Lynn each lasted only 3 2-3 innings. That made for a long night in both pens. Beltran and Freese each got Bumgarner with two strikes.”I think that’s been very much of a strong suit for us all season,” Matheny said. “And it’s a beautiful thing when these guys trust themselves when they get to two strikes. They can be a little more selective early in the count and then they’re not going to panic when we do get to two strikes. I give the guys a lot of credit.” The pressure is now on for the Giants not to fall behind 2-0 at home again. They lost the first two games of their division series here to the Reds last weekend before winning three in a row at Cincinnati. They went 48-33 at AT&T Park this season. “We’ve shown how resilient we can be,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We hate to lose them at home, but it happens. And we’ve got to wash this one off and come out and be ready to go tomorrow.” — AP

NEW YORK: Anibal Sanchez gave a performance against New York that the Detroit Tigers have come to expect from Justin Verlander. The Tigers’ ace is next in line for a chance to toy with the Yankees’ suddenly dreadful offense. Sanchez shut down a Yankees lineup minus the injured Derek Jeter, Detroit scored twice after a missed call by an ump and won without any extra-inning drama, beating New York 3-0 Sunday for a commanding 2-0 lead in the American League championship series. “Sanchez showed what we know about our starters, that they’re really good,” Tigers outfielder Quintin Berry said. “A lot of people outside our clubhouse stop at Verlander when they talk about our starting pitching, but we just hope they all keep doing what they’re doing.” Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Detroit, with Verlander, the reigning AL MVP, starting for the Tigers against Phil Hughes. Verlander went 2-0 in the division series versus Oakland, including a four-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts in the decisive Game 5. Hitting .192 in the ALCS after putting up a paltry .216 average against Baltimore in the division series, the Yankees have a real challenge ahead. “Obviously, he’s a great pitcher,” designated hitter Raul Ibanez said of Verlander. “We have to go out there and battle and compete and play the best that we can and do what we’re capable of doing.” New York did little against Sanchez. He struck out seven and was never in any real trouble. In the first inning when the Yankees put runners on first and second, he took care of it by reaching around his back to snare a grounder for the final out. “He was terrific,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “This is a tough place to pitch with a tough lineup and a short porch. And a whole bunch of left-handed hitters, it is not easy. That was quite a feat.” New York starter Hiroki Kuroda pitched perfect ball into the sixth inning to keep pace with Sanchez. But Robinson Cano and the slumping Yankees hitters were no match for the 28-yearold right-hander a day after their captain broke his ankle in the 12th inning of a 6-4 loss. “I try to think backwards,” Sanchez said. “If the count calls for a fastball, I throw a different pitch. If the count calls for a different pitch, I throw a fastball. I try to mix my speeds.” Making his second postseason start, Sanchez threw three-hit ball deep into the game to make Leyland’s job easier. Closer Jose Valverde gave up four runs in the ninth Saturday and, only hours later, Leyland said the righty wouldn’t close Game 2. Delmon Young gave Sanchez his first run of support in the playoffs with a fielder’s choice in the seventh. The Tigers then scored twice in the eighth after second base umpire Jeff Nelson missed a call on a two-out tag. Yankees manager Joe Girardi argued, and was ejected on his 48th birthday. “The hand did not get in before the tag,” Nelson said after seeing a replay. “The call was incorrect.” The Tigers led 1-0 in the eighth and had Omar Infante on first with two outs. Austin Jackson singled and when Infante took a wide turn at second, right fielder Nick Swisher threw behind him. Cano made a swipe tag as Infante dove head-first back to second. Cano missed Infante’s arm but caught his body, replays clearly showed. But Nelson called Infante safe. “I think the umpire got confused ‘cause he saw my hand, something with my hand made

him think I was safe,” Infante said. Was he out? “Of course,” Infante said. Cano and Girardi argued the call to no avail. Boone Logan replaced Kuroda and gave up an RBI single to pinch hitter Avisail Garcia to make it 2-0. “It’s frustrating. I don’t have a problem with Jeff’s effort, I don’t, because he hustled to get to the play. But in this day and age when we have instant replay available to us, it’s got to change,” Girardi said. “ These guys are under tremendous amounts of pressure. It is a tough call for him because the tag is underneath and it’s hard for him to see. And it takes more time to argue and get upset than you get the call right. Too much is at stake,” he said. Girardi returned to lift Logan for Joba Chamberlain, and then he remained on the field to resume the argument. Red-faced with neck muscles bulging, Girardi could be seen shouting at Nelson, “You were right there. How could you miss it?” He was tossed by Nelson for his first postseason ejection. Miguel Cabrera added a run-scoring single after the ejection. Cano had no luck at the plate, either. The All-Star’s slump extended to a record 26 hitless at-bats in a single postseason, breaking the mark of 24 set by Baltimore’s Bobby Bonilla in 1996, STATS LLC said. “I feel good at the plate,” Cano said. “So, all I can do is stay positive and play good today.” There were many empty seats near the foul poles, and a subdued crowd spent much of the day venting its frustration, booing the punchless Yankees. The 47,082 in attendance reserved its biggest cheers early for Jeter, who broke his ankle in the last inning of the Game 1 loss. “I don’t know what’s going on here, it seems like something is going on here,” Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel said. “I mean, I don’t want to wake them, I don’t want them to get loud. I don’t know what’s going on but I like it.” The “Bleacher Creatures” included the captain in their roll call and fans let out a modest cheer pregame when Jeter was shown in video thanking fans on the scoreboard. While the Yankees are headed to Detroit for what they hope will be three games, their captain will fly to Charlotte, N.C., to visit a foot spe-

cialist. Jhonny Peralta singled in the sixth for the Tigers’ first baserunner against Kuroda, who was pitching on short rest for the first time in his big league career. Delmon Young then gave Detroit the lead with a forceout grounder in the seventh, a night after putting the Tigers ahead in the 12th inning with a double. Sanchez has had quite the success in the Bronx. He made his big league debut at the old Yankee Stadium when it was across the street, and pitched 5 2-3 shutout innings for Marlins in 2006. The only player to notch two hits against him in that game was Jeter. Pitching for the first time in this 4-year-old ballpark - and in front of his parents - Sanchez limited the Yankees to just three hits and three walks, one an intentional pass to Ibanez. When Ichiro Suzuki reached on Sanchez’s fielding error to open the sixth and advanced to third with two outs, Peralta was there to bail out his pitcher with another nifty play, barehanding a slow grounder for the third out. Leyland took Valverde out of consideration for the closer role on Sunday. Valverde gave up a pair of two-run homers in the ninth inning Saturday night and also blew a save in the division series. Former Yankees reliever Phil Coke pitched two innings for the save. “Jose Valverde will be an important part of this club in this playoff or we are going to have a real tough time,” Leyland said. “I just hope that the people back home are, like I said, not too short-minded because this guy has been fantastic, and is an important piece in the scenario, in my opinion.” Kuroda did all he could to help keep it close for the Yankees’ anemic offense. Curtis Granderson went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and a walk and Alex Rodriguez singled in the ninth for his third hit of the postseason and finished 1 for 4. A-Rod is 0 for 18 with 12 Ks against right-handed pitchers in these playoffs. When he lined out to left field in the seventh fans gave a mock cheer. “We’ve been through stretches like this all year,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been a very volatile stock market for us this year.”—AP

NEW YORK: Detroit Tigers’ Anibal Sanchez delivers against the New York Yankees during Game 2 of baseball’s American League championship series. —AP

F1 struggles to make a hit of Yeongam style SEOUL: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner saw the Yeongam circuit in a rosier light than others after Sebastian Vettel won the Korean Grand Prix, but Formula One still has a job on its hands to get local fans to make the long journey to the isolated track. “I’ve always said it’s a lovely place. We should have another 17 rounds here,” Horner joked to reporters in the Formula One team’s hospitality area. The race is back on the calendar next year after speculation that it might be dropped but the sport would seem to have a hard sell to persuade South Koreans to flock to the circuit in significant numbers. Organisers said 62,000 turned out on Sunday, when rapper Psy waved the chequered flag and also performed his ‘Gangnam Style’ pop hit after the race, but to

others in the paddock that appeared an exaggeration. The circuit is 400km south of the capital Seoul, which would be a more popular choice of venue, near the industrial port city of Mokpo and one of the world’s major shipbuilding centres. By KTX bullet train, the journey takes just over three hours. The travelling Formula One family is put up mainly in motels, some of them more used to a clientele of amorous couples checking-in after nightfall, in a city centre full of bright lights and bars. The contrast with Japan’s grand prix at Suzuka, where local Formula One fans turn out in force and wait patiently even in the rain at the entrances to catch a glimpse of arriving drivers, a weekend earlier was marked. “Suzuka is one of the best circuits for the crowd and atmosphere. Here in front of the

pits and paddock, the grandstand is not that busy,” McLaren’s Jenson Button told reporters after Saturday qualifying. “Out at turn three there are a lot more people in the grandstands ... but for sure it’s not one of the busiest grands prix and in terms of atmosphere it’s not the same,” added the Briton. Yeongam is not alone in that, with the 20-race calendar taking in parts of the world without a motor racing heritage but with strong economies and a desire to be noticed on the international stage. India is next up, where ticket sales are reported to be considerably slower than when the race near New Delhi made its debut last year, followed by Abu Dhabi and a new racetrack in Austin, Texas. The South Korean circuit facilities are modern and impressive, even if strips of astroturf were ripped up by cars in

Sunday’s race, but there is little else for fans to watch other than the main event. A support race on Sunday kept the media centre amused with a range of cars of various sizes and capacity on track together. “This facility is good, the track is good and interesting in many ways but Formula One has to work harder if we are going to get people to drive four or five hours out of Seoul to come and see it,” said McLaren principal Martin Whitmarsh. “This doesn’t have a natural catchment area of fans so you’ve got to make a fairly compelling case if people are really going to come. “With this economy, this culture, we can make a success of it here but we’ve got to probably think of the formula and how we are going to do that. The position of this circuit does not make it easy.” —Reuters



Sweden’s Blixt claims maiden PGA Tour title

PORTUGAL: Ireland’s Shane Lowry holds his trophy after winning the Portugal Masters 2012 golf tournament at the Victoria golf course in Vilamoura. — AP

Lowry wins Portugal Masters PORTUGAL: Irishman Shane Lowry won his second European Tour title as rival Ross Fisher failed to force a playoff when his four-foot putt lipped out in the Portugal Masters on Sunday. The 25-year-old Lowry, who won the 2009 Irish Open as an amateur, scooped his first victory as a professional after shooting a 66 to finish one shot clear on 14-under-par for the week. Lowry started the day four shots off the lead but sizzled around the Oceanico Victoria course on the Algarve, holing an eagle two at the 11th. However, he bogeyed 18 after finding sand to give Englishman Fisher the chance to win outright with a birdie on the last or take the battle into a playoff with a par. The 2010 Ryder Cup player left

himself with a monster putt for a three and his four-footer for a par popped out of the hole to prompt wild celebrations from Lowry watching on a big screen from the range. “I can’t explain how I feel now to be honest. It’s a dream,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve won such a big tournament, such a prestigious event. I’m over the moon. It was like playing in Ireland (given all the fans), it was great.” O ve r n i g h t l e a d e r B e r n d Wiesberger of Austria had to settle for fourth after a 73 left him on 11-under while New Zealand’s Michael Campbell finished third on 12-under as the 2005 U.S. Open champion found some rare form af ter years of struggle. — Reuters

Kevin Pietersen

Collier apologises to SA over Pietersen’s remark LONDON: England cricket chief David Collier has been forced to apologise to South Africa after accusing their players of provoking Kevin Pietersen in the text message row that led to the batsman being dropped. Cricket South Africa (CSA) were furious about the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive’s comments last week and demanded he say sorry. South African-born Pietersen was dropped by England for the third and final test between the two countries at Lord’s in August after admitting sending provocative texts to the tourists but denying allegations he told them how to get captain Andrew Strauss out. “Cricket South Africa has made clear to ECB that the electronic messages were not part of any initiative or plan to undermine the England team or players,” an ECB statement said on Monday. “ECB has unreservedly accepted that assurance and wishes to reiterate that it has no issue at all with

CSA. “Although the two boards do not agree on the sequence of events regarding any responses to messages between Kevin Pietersen and certain Proteas players, CSA and SACA (South African Cricketers’ Association) accept Mr Collier’s apology.” Pietersen has been dropped for this month’s tour of India but could be recalled after agreeing to a “reintegration” period after apologising to the ECB and Strauss who retired after the Lord’s test when South Africa took England’s number one ranking. Collier infuriated South Africa last week when trying to defend Pietersen. “ These texts were responses to messages from certain members of the South Africa team and I would not condone an England player doing it if it was the other way around and I certainly think they provoked the situation,” he told BBC radio. “I think there was a tactic which was used. I think that is sadly some of the ways of modern sport.”-Reuters

SAN MARTIN: Sweden’s Jonas Blixt overhauled a stumbling John Mallinger to win his first PGA Tour title by one shot at the Open in San Martin, California on Sunday. Two strokes behind the pacesetting Mallinger overnight, rookie Blixt fired a three-under-par 68 to break clear of a tightly bunched leaderboard on a sun-splashed afternoon at CordeValle Golf Club. The red-shirted Swede snatched the outright lead when he sank a seven-foot birdie putt at the driveable par-four 17th after overhitting the green off the tee, then safely parred the last to finish at 16-under 268. Blixt pumped his right fist in delight after sinking a four-footer to claim his first victory on the US circuit, before being soaked in champagne as he was embraced by friends and family on the 18th green. “It’s unbelievable,” the 28-year-old Swede, who finished third at last week’s Las Vegas Open, told Golf Channel after becoming the third rookie to triumph on the 2012 PGA Tour. “I have no words right now. “This is the biggest dream I ever had. It’s been the greatest two weeks I have ever had on tour.” Blixt, who was sidelined for two months earlier this season because of a rib injury, said having friends and family with him over the past fortnight had helped him stay ultra relaxed. “I haven’t thought about golf after rounds,” he added with a grin. “I always practise after rounds and I haven’t done that in these two weeks either. It’s crazy, just crazy.” American Mallinger, like Blixt bidding for a maiden title on the tour, bogeyed five of the first nine holes on the way to a 72 and a tie for fourth at

14 under with compatriot Jimmy Walker (62), Fiji’s Vijay Singh (68) and Brazil’s Alexandre Rocha (68). Veteran Tim Petrovic closed with a sparkling 64 to share second place with fellow American Jason Kokrak (68) in the second of four events in the PGA Tour’s Fall Series. For much of the afternoon at CordeValle, a playoff seemed to be on the cards and four players Petrovic, Rocha, Blixt and Walker - were tied for the lead late in the final round. Petrovic, whose only PGA Tour victory came at the 2005 New Orleans Classic, edged one stroke clear when he chipped in to birdie the par-five 15th before faltering with a bogey at the par-three 16th after being bunkered off the tee. However, he regained a one-shot cushion with a birdie at the par-four 17th where he drove the green and two-putted, and narrowly missed sinking a 25-footer at the last. “My hands were shaking coming off the last hole I was so pumped up,” the 46-year-old Petrovic smiled. “The putter felt really good this week and I drove the ball really good today.” Blixt joined Petrovic at the top with a birdie at the par-five 15th, where he was just short of the green in two and chipped up to nine feet, and Kokrak made it a three-way tie by draining a 15foot eagle putt at the 17th. However, the tournament was effectively decided when Blixt birdied the 17th after his chip from greenside rough hit the flagstick for his ball to settle seven feet past the cup. After coolly sinking that putt, the Swede parred the last to secure victory and earn a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour. — Reuters

Bowyer back in championship hunt CONCORD: One of these days, Clint Bowyer might have enough gas in his tank to do a celebratory burnout. Until then, he’s just fine walking to Victory Lane. Bowyer and crew chief Brian Pattie stretched a final tank of fuel to the finish for a win at Charlotte Motor Speedway that pushed the Michael Waltrip Racing team back into the championship picture. It was its third win of the season, and Bowyer has run out of gas after taking the checkered flag all three times. “It’s fun to walk to Victory Lane, that’s the best walk you could ever have,” he said after Saturday night’s win. “I think that’s my new trademark. I’ll walk home if it means Victory Lane.” Bowyer didn’t expect to be in this position at this time last year, when talks on a contract extension broke down with Richard Childress Racing. Neither did Pattie, who was stuck at home unable to work because he had been fired as Juan Pablo Montoya’s crew chief but was still under contract to the race team. And team owner Waltrip, he wanted them both because they’d be an upgrade to his organization and allow him to expand to a third team. But he wasn’t sure either would even consider joining MWR. Somehow, it all came together and clicked faster than anyone expected. The cars were fast, the chemistry was good and they were in Victory Lane for the first time in June on the road course at Sonoma. They did it again on the short track at Richmond to end the regular season. Saturday night’s victory came on the 1.5-mile intermediate Charlotte track and marked that halfway point of the 10-race Chase. It pushed Bowyer up one spot in the Chase standings to fourth, just 28 points behind leader Brad Keselowski as the Sprint Cup Series shifts to Kansas - Bowyer’s home track. “That’s probably the biggest thing, to come off this win, going into your hometown,” Bowyer said. “It’s just so important to be able to roll in on a positive note. And to be able to win there some day, we’ve gotten close, if we could possibly pull this off again in Kansas - it would be, that’s my, do you dare say, Daytona 500? But it truly is. That’s the biggest race you can possibly win, in front of your hometown.” It won’t be easy for Bowyer to overcome this deficit and win the championship. Standing in front of him is Keselowski, a two-time winner in the Chase so far, fivetime NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin, who nearly won the 2010 title but fumbled it away to Johnson in the finale. In 2009, when Pattie led Montoya into the Chase, the crew chief played a game of math to make a run at the title. He chased points and finishes and played it safe, and while it worked for the best season in

Montoya’s NASCAR career, it wasn’t enough to win the title. With Bowyer, and with five races to go, Pattie has a different strategy for catching Keselowski, Johnson and Hamlin. “We’re going for trophies,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re going to beat (them). That midpack, fourth, fifth, sixth in points, we’re gapped a little bit from the leaders, so you had to do something special to get back into it. This definitely helps.” Maybe it will work for the first championship for driver, crew chief and owner. But if it doesn’t, nobody at MWR should be disappointed. This was, after all, an organization that nearly folded midway through its 2007 inaugural season. A cheating scandal involving Waltrip at the season-opening Daytona 500 nearly destroyed his career. Facing bankruptcy and the loss of everything he had built, he was thrown a lifeline by Rob Kauffman, an investment fund manager and racing enthusiast who stepped in late in that season to pump cash into an organization nobody in their right mind should have partnered with. It literally saved MWR, and Kauffman continued to answer the call at every level of Waltrip’s plan to grow the organization into one of NASCAR’s top teams. “We went to Rob with a plan that cost a lot of money above budgets, a lot of money that I didn’t have,” Waltrip said. “We told Rob we really felt like this plan would enable us to improve our cars so our drivers could go win races. And Rob endorsed the plan, said ‘I want to win, I want to be up front, I want to be a contender.’ It enabled us to build the cars that we have today that Clint is able to drive so wonderfully and Brian is able to make those calls. “So I think the main thing that happened at MWR was we came up with a plan and Rob said, ‘I’ll fund that plan.’” It has worked to perfection with MWR earning its first Chase berths this year with both Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr., and on Saturday night, the organization had Bowyer, Truex and Mark Martin in the top 10 - the third time this season all three of its cars have finished inside the top 10. And it came on a night when manufacturer Toyota took six spots in the top 10, in a fuel mileage race, a mere two weeks after Kyle Busch blasted the manufacturer for the poor mileage the his engine got at Dover. No problem at Charlotte. “I’ll just be honest - at the beginning of the year I heard a lot of things, a lot of rumors about the engines, the engines, the engines,” Bowyer said, “let me tell you something, in a short amount of time, from the beginning of the year until right now, they’ve slowly and steadily become the best engine program in the sport.”— AP

SAN MARTIN: Jonas Blixt, of Sweden, holds the trophy after winning the Open at CordeValle Golf Club golf tournament. — AP

Djokovic closes gap on Federer PARIS: Novak Djokovic, who won the Shanghai Masters on Sunday, has closed the gap on Roger Federer at the top of the latest ATP rankings, as the Swiss player enters his 300th week as world number one. The Serb, who beat Britain’s Andy Murray 5-7, 7-6 (13/11), 6-3 to take his 13th masters series title, is now just 195 points behind Federer, who was beaten in the semi-final of the tournament, and could even take his position in the coming weeks. Neither of the players is due to play in the three tournaments scheduled for this week in Moscow, Vienna and Stockholm. The only change in the latest world top 10, published on Monday, is Czech player Tomas Berdych and France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who a week after changing posi-

tion to 7th and 6th, are again back to 6th and 7th respectively. Berdych beat the French number one in the quarter-final in Shanghai. Meanwhile, the former world number two, Tommy Haas, of Germany, makes a return to the top 20 at the age of 34, despite his career appearing to be over due to a succession of injuries. He has not been in the top 20 since May 2010. In the WTA rankings, Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka remained on top after her victory in Linz, Austria, 1,800 points ahead of Russia’s Maria Sharapova and 3,055 ahead of Serena Williams, of the United States. Heather Watson, meanwhile, jumped from 71st to 50th after giving Britain their first WTA tour victory since 1988 by winning in Osaka, Japan. — AFP

SHANGHAI: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning a game against Andy Murray of Britain in the menís singles at the Shanghai Masters in this file photo. — AP

Stosur and Bartoli eye Istanbul chance MOSCOW: Australia’s Samantha Stosur and Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli said yesterday they will be looking to sneak into a potential backdoor slot for the $4.9 million WTA Championships in Istanbul later this month. The 2011 US Open champion Stosur, currently ninth in the world but with Bartoli breathing down her neck as they look to be first choice replacement, had been desperate to sneak into the seasonending WTA championship but missed out on the elite top-eight line-up after losing early to Julia Goerges in Beijing. That defeat allowed China’s Li Na to claim the final spot in the money-spinning tournament, leaving 28-year-old Stosur dependent on an injury withdrawal if she is to extend her season. Stosur, top seed in Moscow this week, told reporters that this year, in contrast to some earlier sub-par showings in the Russian capital, she would be out to hit top form and take the title. “This year I’m definitely come into this tournament hoping to do well,” the 28year-old Stosur, who announced a lastmoment withdrawal from playing in Moscow last year. “Last year I decided to withdraw from playing here just after the final in Osaka having already qualified for the WTA Championships. It was impossible to play all the Asian swing and then continue playing here. “But this year I have a goal to finish ninth if possible. Of course me and Marion (Bartoli) will watch closely each other’s perfomance here, both hoping to finish as the first substitute in Istanbul. “And as far as we both failed to qualify for the main draw we’ll go to Istanbul pre-

pared to play at any moment looking what will happen to the other players there.” Stosur, 28, also said that she was satisfied in general with her performance this season. “Compared to last year, this year looks probably more disappointing as my results were much lower,” Stosur said. “I didn’t have such a big win like the US Open, but I had lot of semis and lot of quarters this year and overall it wasn’t really bad.” Meanwhile, second-seeded Bartoli is keen to move up from her current ranking of 10th. Bartoli said that her experience of coming as a substitute in last year’s WTA Championships-where she played the final group match, coming in for the injured Maria Sharapova-helped her to stay focused as the season nears its end. “I’ll try to finish ninth (in the rankings) after the Kremlin Cup,” the 28-year-old said. “I think in any case it’s a great opportunity for any player to participate in the WTA championships, where only the world’s best 10 players can appear.” Bartoli, who refused to play for France in recent Fed Cup matches, also revealed relations had improved with her federation since Amelie Mauresmo became the team skipper. “She (Mauresmo) was a top-class player herself and she can understand how difficult it is to combine the WTA tour matches and the Fed Cup encounters,” Bartoli said. “My relations with the federation have improved a great deal since Mauresmo became the skipper and I’m currently in talks about my participation in future Fed Cup matches.”— AFP



sp orts

Argentina, Ecuador seek inspiration on the road

WARSAW: England’s soccer manager Roy Hodgson (left) talks to player Wayne Rooney, during a training session. England will play Poland in a World Cup Group H qualifying soccer match tomorrow. —AP

Cole set to return for England after outburst LONDON: After another off-field misdemeanor, Ashley Cole will hope to do his talking in Poland on the pitch today and nudge England closer to the World Cup. The defender didn’t feature in Friday’s 5-0 rout of Marino, with coach Roy Hodgson insisting that wasn’t punishment for a vulgar Twitter outburst against the Football Association. Whether he was dropped or rested, Cole now can’t reach a century of England appearances in Warsaw - and he’s facing increasing competition for the spot at left back. Leighton Baines has started all four England games since the European Championship, although Cole was injured for the August and September matches. “Ashley has deserved every one of his 98 caps and hopefully he will reach the 100 mark because he deserves it,” Baines said. “I don’t think I will be denying him that. It will happen. Ashley is a top player and I’m sure he will get to the milestone.” On his 99th international showing today, Cole is likely to be the most experienced member of the defense as England copes without center back John Terry, who quit international football before the FA punished him for racially abusing an opponent. It was after reading criticism of his role defending Terry in the case that Cole turned to Twitter to criticize the FA. “Getting involved in what he has been involved in at the moment has been unfortunate,” former England defender Martin Keown said. “He has been misunderstood to a large extent. For all that, what you cannot argue with his success on the football field because Ashley is a phenomenal player. “He keeps putting in the performances year after year ... if he had a point to prove he has proved it.” England will hope to gain more than just a point in Poland. Although the easier games against Moldova and San Marino have been won so far in qualifying on the road to Brazil in 2014, Roy Hodgson’s side was

held at home to Ukraine last month. And while England holds a threepoint lead in Group H, Montenegro and Poland have each played a game less. Hodgson will need Wayne Rooney to pick up where he left off against San Marino on Friday when he scored twice to rise to fifth in the England scoring leaderboard on 31. The Manchester United striker will relinquish the captain’s armband to midfielder Steven Gerrard, who returns from suspension. “At the moment I am seeing the best of Wayne Rooney,” Hodgson said. “Maybe in the earlier games he could play for me he wasn’t at that level. Now I have to hope now he stays at his best and that he stays fit and healthy and continues to do what he is doing for Manchester United at the moment, which means he’ll do it for us as well.” While the ball rarely even entered England’s half against San Marino on Friday, Poland struggled in a friendly against South Africa. Waldemar Fornalik’s side won 1-0 in just his second game in charge courtesy of Marcin Komorowski’s debut goal. Captain Jakub Blaszczykowski will be missing with an ankle injury, while Przemyslaw Tyton is set to remain in goal in placed of the sidelined Wojciech Sczcesny. But Poland’s main goal threat is fit: Robert Lewandowski, who has scored four times this season for Borussia Dortmund but failed to beat Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart in their Champions League encounter. “Lewandowski played well in that game,” Rooney said. “He had the runners either side of him and they counter attacked very well. That is something we have to be aware of because we know Poland are a good counter attacking team. We will have to deal with that. “But, as long as Joe plays well, I’ll be happy. He is a fantastic keeper and he is certainly the best to come out of England for a long time.” —AP

SANTIAGO: Winning on the road is tough in South America’s World Cup qualifiers but that is what Argentina and Ecuador must do if they are to stay at the top of the standings today. Argentina, rampant at home and leaders with 17 points from eight matches at the halfway stage in the nine-nation group, have managed one win in three away games before facing Chile in Santiago (0005 GMT Wednesday). Ecuador, a point behind, will be looking for a first away win against Venezuela at Puerto La Cruz (2200) after taking all but one of their 16 points at home, benefiting from the thin air of Quito at 2,800 metres that troubles teams coming in from sea level. Colombia, also on 16 points and in second place on goal difference, are the best away team with wins in Peru and Chile but they have a bye and will not play another qualifier until March. Both Argentina and Ecuador need to address their away form as they will play five times on the road in their remaining eight matches. Coach Alejandro Sabella’s Argentina, who made a weak start to the qualifiers including a shock defeat in Venezuela, are improving led by Lionel Messi who scored twice in the 3-0 home victory over Uruguay on Friday.

But they played poorly and were lucky to take a point in a 1-1 draw in their last away match in Peru. “Chile will be tough rivals. They need to win and climb positions to qualify for the World Cup,” Messi said. The Chileans are fifth, level on 12 points with Uruguay, and against Argentina they will be without defender Pablo Contreras and midfielder Arturo Vidal who were sent off on Friday and left back Osvaldo Gonzalez who was booked. Ecuador, who drew 1-1 in Uruguay last month, are well aware that dropping points away from home can damage their chances of reaching the finals for the third time since 2002. “ Thinking of just not losing the game would be mediocre. We work to win in any stadium,” defender Frickson Erazo told reporters after the win over Chile. “We know Venezuela is a very important game. They have evolved and can qualify for the World Cup too. We must show that we’re a strong team not only in Quito,” captain Walter Ayovi said. Ecuador will be without suspended striker Felipe Caicedo, whose two goals against Chile took his tally to four, but winger Antonio Valencia returns. Venezuela, who had a bye on Friday, are in sixth place with 11 points, one below the

Kagawa wants Japan to take risks against Brazil TOKYO: Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa has urged the Asian champions to take more risks when they face fivetimes World Cup winners Brazil in a friendly in Poland today. Manchester United’s summer signing scored the winner in a 1-0 upset over France in Paris on Friday, Japan’s first victory over Les Bleus in six meetings. However, Kagawa demanded Japan sharpen up as they look to use Tuesday’s game against the 2014 World Cup hosts to prepare for a qualifier in Oman on Nov. 14. “When you play against the best teams you need to take more risks,” the 23-year-old told Japanese media on Monday. “We still don’t take enough risks. “We’ve got to rise to the challenge of the top teams. Not just me and (Inter Milan defender) Yuto Nagatomo on the left - we have to be linking play from the back too.” The Blue Samurai have never beaten the Brazilians in eight meetings, losing 4-1 the last time they played at the 2006 World Cup with Brazil great Zico as coach. Current coach Alberto Zaccheroni will be able to bring back playmaker Keisuke Honda, who cut a dejected figure on the bench nursing a bruised calf in Paris. The bleached-blond midfielder trained on Sunday after picking up the knock while playing for his club CSKA Moscow before the international break. “We’ve come a long way as a team,” said Zaccheroni, who took over as Japan coach after the 2010 World Cup and led them to a record fourth Asian Cup in 2011. “We have become a very balanced side but the point of this trip is to test ourselves against the world’s top teams,” added the Italian. “We’re usually in control in Asia and teams sit back and try to hit us on the break. France and Brazil are not like that.” Kagawa scored a late winner for Japan in Paris to add respectability to a poor record of four defeats and one draw in their five previous games against France. “Brazil are a stronger team than France so it should be a real challenge,” said Kagawa, who has impressed at Old Trafford since his pre-season move from Borussia Dortmund. “We’ve said we want to reach the quarter-finals of the next World Cup. “In that case we have got two years to improve in a lot of areas, and we need to learn to play with more confidence. We are capable of playing a lot better.” Japan, who have played at every World Cup since first appearing in 1998, have 10 points after four matches in the final round of Asian qualifying for 2014. —Reuters

France bid for revenge against soaring Spain MADRID: Spain and France go into today’s World Cup qualifier in Madrid in very different form and with little margin for error in Group I, from which only the winner is guaranteed a place in Brazil in 2014. The Spanish, current world and European champions, remain supremely confident after a 4-0 win in Belarus on Friday built around a Pedro Rodriguez hattrick, while France crashed on the same evening to a 1-0 friendly defeat at home to Japan. The clash comes less than four months since La Roja comfortably beat France 2-0 courtesy of a Xabi Alonso double in the quarterfinals of Euro 2012. It has been business as usual for the Spanish since then. Two victories have seen them move to the top of the group on goal difference over today’s visitors, making it an incredible run of 24 consecutive wins in qualifying matches that stretches back to 2007. Meanwhile, Didier Deschamps has taken over the reins of the French squad from Laurent Blanc and started a rebuilding programme that has seen Samir Nasri, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yann M’Vila cast into the cold following internal squabbles at the Euro. For Spain, Vicente del Bosque rested Andres Iniesta against Belarus with the France game in mind, and the Barcelona midfield-

er is expected to start on Tuesday. What will be intriguing in Del Bosque’s starting line up is his deployment of attacking players. Against Belarus he again started without a recognised striker, a tactic first used at the Euro, with Cesc Fabregas deployed as a ‘false nine’ at the point of the attack. Fabregas also started the last encounter with the French as Spain’s most advanced player. It was a game the Spanish controlled from start to finish, and he may be asked to take up the same role again. If that is the case, it will mean

playoff berth. The top four will qualify for the 2014 finals in Brazil and the fifth will meet an Asian team for another berth. Uruguay, well short of the form that took them to the 2010 World Cup semi-finals in South Africa and victory in last year’s Copa America, need to improve after taking one point in the last three matches. They face Bolivia in La Paz (2000) having to cope with the nearly 4,000 metres altitude and the suspensions of defenders Diego Lugano, Diego Godin and Maxi Pereira, who were booked against Argentina. They do, however, welcome back Alvaro Pereira. It is a good chance for eighth-placed Bolivia, who have four points, to make home advantage count, which they have not with only one win in four matches in La Paz. Seventh-placed Peru, who have eight points after holding Bolivia 1-1 in La Paz on Friday, visit bottom team Paraguay in Asuncion (2200). Uruguayan Gerardo Pelusso, Paraguay’s second coach since Argentine Gerardo Martino steered them to the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, dropped top strikers Roque Santa Cruz and Oscar Cardoso in a bid to rejuvenate the team but has presided over three defeats including Friday ’s 2-0 loss in Colombia. — Reuters

there will be no sentimental start for Fernando Torres at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium, where he started his career. “It’s a special place for me and if I do play, it’ll be for the first time since I left a long time ago, which motivates me more than ever,” the Chelsea striker said. On their way to victory ar the Euro, La Roja only conceded one goal, and since Del Bosque has taken charge, their possession play has seen their defence beaten only 18 times in 38 official matches. Without the injured Barcelona centre-back pairing of

MADRID: French Franck Ribery (left), Karim Benzema (right) and teammates play with the ball during a training session on the eve of a World Cup Group I qualifying soccer match. —AP

Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol, Del Bosque is expected to rely on Sergio Busquets and Sergio Ramos, who both started in Belarus. Raul Albiol is on standby if Ramos does not recover in time from a muscle problem. The former Sevilla man did not train on Sunday and his Real Madrid understudy, who replaced him for the final 20 minutes against Belarus, would be the obvious candidate to replace him. France will be content with a point in Madrid, ahead of the return game in March, and Deschamps acknowledged as much in an interview with Spanish daily Marca. “Spain are frightening. At the moment we are not comparable at all with them and nobody should be bothered by that (statement), because it’s true,” he said. “Spain is the model that we all want to be, or try to copy. That does not mean we are going there to lose. We know what we have to do.” Patrice Evra and Yohan Cabaye, who both missed the Japan game, should both be available for France after shrugging off injuries. Deschamps will be concerned by the international form of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, who has failed to score in his last eight games for his country. — AFP

MENDOZA: Argentina’s Sergio Aguero (bottom, right) celebrates with teammate Angel Di Maria (top) in this file photo. —AP

Crisis-torn Chile braced for Messi’s Argentina BUENOS AIRES: Chile are in disarray as they prepare to face Argentina in a World Cup qualifier at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago today. Minus three defenders through suspension after their 3-1 defeat by Ecuador in Quito on Friday, their second loss in a row, Chile have struggled to make their all-out attacking game work and lost their way following a promising start in the South American group. Away wins in Bolivia and Venezuela in June put Chile top of the nine-nation group, but two bouts of player indiscipline since the qualifiers started a year ago had already undermined coach Claudio Borghi. On top of that, Argentine Borghi has had to watch the last two defeats from the stands as part of a fourmatch suspension for insulting the referee during the victory in Venezuela. A spat with leading club Universidad de Chile in which Borghi dropped several of the side’s players over the timing of their release was a poor platform for last month’s home match with a resurgent Colombia who won 3-1. Borghi has hinted at quitting, according to Chilean media reports, and striker Alexis Sanchez has been criticised for his lack of goals. Chile have dropped to fifth with 12 points, five behind leaders Argentina halfway through the qualifiers. The top four at the end will qualify for the 2014 finals in Brazil with the fifth-placed team meeting an Asian side in a playoff for one more berth. Defender Pablo Contreras and midfielder Arturo Vidal are suspended after being sent off on Friday and left back Osvaldo Gonzalez for a second yellow card, although midfielder Gary Medel will be back from suspension. Chile are

also without injured goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and striker Humberto Suazo. Argentina, who crushed Copa America holders Uruguay 3-0 in Mendoza across the Andean border with Chile on Friday, travel to Santiago as favourites despite some shaky away form including a lucky 1-1 draw in Peru last month. “Chile are a good team. But when a team are not on a winning streak and something happens during a match, it’s harder to bounce back,” Sabella said. Chile’s penchant for attack and need for points could play into Argentina’s hands. All Argentina’s world class front quartet of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria need is a modicum of space to work their magic. Four years ago, the last time the two teams met in a qualifier in Santiago, the crisis team were Argentina. Coach Alfio Basile resigned after a 1-0 defeat, the first time Argentina had lost a qualifier to their neighbours, sparking an unstable three-year spell for the twice world champions. Diego Maradona stepped into the breach and lasted until the 4-0 loss to Germany in the 2010 quarter-finals in South Africa. Sergio Batista took over but was forced out after quarter-final elimination by Uruguay in the Copa America in Argentina last year. Alejandro Sabella took charge 14 months ago and made Lionel Messi his captain in a reflection of the decision Carlos Bilardo took with Maradona in 1983. Argentina have blossomed under Sabella and the increasing influence of Messi, who is joint top scorer with Higuain and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez. —Reuters




Denmark test may help Azzurri silence critics

Alex Brosque

Misfiring Aussies face Iraq mission SINGAPORE: Australia face a tough away assignment against Zico’s Iraq today knowing defeat would rock their chances of reaching a third successive World Cup in 2014. Last month’s shock loss to Jordan left the Socceroos with just two points from three games in the final round of Asian qualifying, and badly in need of a win to get their campaign on track. Third-placed Australia are already eight points off the pace set by Group B leaders Japan and facing a scrap with Jordan, Iraq and possibly even Oman for the second automatic qualifying spot. “We just have to make sure we right the wrong from the last game and get a much-needed victory. We can’t afford to slip up again,” warned striker Alex Brosque. When the teams last met, Harry Kewell’s header with two minutes left of extra time knocked the reigning champions out of the 2011 Asian Cup in Dohaalso the venue for Tuesday’s game, as security concerns continue in Iraq. Coach Holger Osieck successfully utilised a number of veterans during that tournament including Kewell, goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, defender Lucas Neill and midfielders Brett Emerton and Tim Cahill. However the German’s loyalty towards those stalwarts appears to be running its course after his team’s poor start to the final round of Asian qualifying for the World Cup. Having drawn their first two games against Oman and Japan in June, the Socceroos put on a limp display last month in Amman and lost 2-1 against Jordan, a performance that Osieck labelled a “disaster”. Now, a win at the Grand Hamad Stadium is seen as essential for Australia- although midfielder Carl Valeri is not expecting any favours from the former Asian champions. “Iraq are definitely one of the toughest opponents we have come across,” said Valeri, who missed the Jordan game through injury. “We are definitely going

to have to be at our best and play as team. “It would be a good time to start building some results to gain confidence because qualifying for Brazil is the most important thing for us.” Like the Socceroos, Iraq have also stumbled out of the blocks, drawing their first two games against Jordan and Oman before suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat in Japan last month. They will also be desperate to make amends after they were trounced 6-0 by Brazil in a friendly in Sweden last week. With Japan not in action this week, Jordan have a chance to make up some ground on the leaders when they visit Muscat to face Oman, who are equal on points with Iraq and Australia but last in the group on goal difference. In Group A, leaders South Korea face their stiffest test so far when they take on Iran at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium looking to stay unbeaten and preserve their threepoint cushion after two wins and a draw so far. While Choi Kang-Hee’s side have been in fine form as they seek an eighth consecutive World Cup berth, the same cannot be said of Carlos Queiroz’s Iran, who are second but struggling for goals. They earned a fortunate 1-0 win in their opener in Uzbekistan, thanks to Mohammad Reza Khalatbari’s stoppagetime strike, but then drew blanks in a 0-0 draw at home against Qatar and a 1-0 defeat in Lebanon. The latter result sparked such outrage amongst Team Melli fans that the players had to issue a statement to assuage them. The other Group A match will take place in Doha, where Qatar will entertain winless Uzbekistan in a rematch of the opening match of the 2011 Asian Cup, which the central Asian side won 2-0. It was their first win in Doha in four attempts and Mirdjalal Kasimov’s side will be eager to repeat that result which could see them move up from fifth to second and back into contention for a spot in the Finals.—AFP

AFC apologises to UAE over ‘sand monkey’ insult DUBAI: The Asian Football Confederation apologised yesterday for racist remarks it made about the United Arab Emirates national team, referring to them as “sand monkeys”, a statement on the AFC website said. The “AFC apologises for an editorial mistake in which the UAE National Team was inadvertently referred to by an inaccurate nickname on the AFC’s official website”. It said the comment was due to an “error, which was mainly because of referral to a popular web-based encyclopaedia” and that it “was corrected immediately after it was noticed”. The AFC said it was sorry for “any hurt this might have caused to the UAE Football Association and UAE football fans”. The apology came just a day after the UAE football federation publicly accused the AFC of racism and demanded an apology. “We express our strong resentment over the use of this bad description by the AFC website,” the UAE federation secretary general Yusuf Abdullah said in a statement. “What happened is unacceptable and shows disrespect to others. It is proof of racist attitudes that are starting to surface,” he said, demanding “a quick official apology”. The UAE football team is usually referred to as “Al-Abyad”, or the whites, after the color of their strip. But an AFC report on a friendly between the UAE and Uzbekistan on Friday described the team of the desert

Gulf state as “sand monkeys.” The UAE official said his federation “reserves the right to act to stop such an irresponsible racist behavior.”—AFP

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

World Cup European Qualifiers Belarus v Georgia Aljazeera Sport +7 Ukraine v Montenegro Aljazeera Sport +2 Croatia v Wales Aljazeera Sport +7 Faroe Islands v Ireland Aljazeera Sport +3 Hungary v Turkey Aljazeera Sport +9 Germany v Sweden Aljazeera Sport +4 Belgium v Scotland Aljazeera Sport +10 Italy v Denmark Aljazeera Sport +1 Poland v England Aljazeera Sport +3 Spain v France Aljazeera Sport +2 Portugal v N Ireland Aljazeera Sport +8

19:00 21:00 21:00 21:00 21:30 21:45 21:45 21:45 22:00 22:00 22:45

MILAN: Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will be hoping to silence the critics with a third consecutive World Cup qualifying win when the Azzurri host Group B opponents Denmark today. Despite clocking up two consecutive victories-at home to Malta and away to Armenia-in the wake of an opening draw in Bulgaria, the jury remains out on Prandelli’s side. Italy came close to defeat in Sofia, were unconvincing in a 2-0 win against group whipping boys Malta in Modena, and received plenty of criticism in spite of a 3-1 win away in Armenia on Friday. Since upsetting the form book by leading Italy to the Euro 2012 final and an eventual 4-0 humbling by Spain, Prandelli has experimented with players and formations as he continues to build a squad for Brazil 2014. Friday’s win over a determined Armenia side was Italy’s most promising performance of the campaign, but did little to calm the critics. Prandelli says he is still mystified. “The players and I believe we had a good game, then we woke up and saw the reports and they seemed to be talking about another game altogether,” said Prandelli. “Maybe we lacked consistency and some lucidity in the (penalty) area, and that’s something we have to improve on because we’re not a counterattacking team. “But if people believe that after the Euro we can just go out and beat everybody hands down, then there’s a problem.” Denmark, who will head to the San Siro looking for their first win of the campaign, will start as underdogs, having lost to Italy

ITALY: Italy forward Mario Balotelli (center with pink headphones) arrives at Milan’s Central station in preparation for the World Cup Group B qualifying soccer match against Denmark scheduled for today. —AP seven times in the sides’ past 11 encounters. Despite playing with a man advantage for most of their match against Bulgaria, the Danes could only manage a 1-1 draw in Sofia on Friday after Juventus forward Nicklas Bendtner levelled for the visitors. Prandelli said they should not be taken lightly. “They’re a team that have always caused problems,” said the Italy coach. Midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini said it would be a mistake to believe Bendtner is their only threat. “He is not the only player in the Danish team we have to worry about,” he told Corriere dello Sport. While reports suggest Prandelli is set to shake up his defence, with Giorgio Chiellini set to come in for

Leonardo Bonucci, arguably his biggest wish is for the return of a fully functional Mario Balotelli. Balotelli has not played a World Cup qualifier yet, having missed the Bulgaria and Malta games because he underwent laser eye surgery and sat out the Armenia game because of flu. The Manchester City striker has since been given the thumbs-up by team doctors after a weekend of light training. “Balotelli responded well to tests yesterday and today (Sunday),” Azzurri team doctor Enrico Castellacci told reporters at Italy’s training camp near Florence. But how he fits into the team remains to be seen. Prandelli’s main experiments

have focused on his forward line, in Balotelli’s absence, with Roma pair Pablo Osvaldo and Mattia Destro, Sebastian Giovinco of Juventus and AC Milan’s Giampaolo Pazzini and Stephan El Shaarawy all playing roles. If he is fit to play, Balotelli would likely feature as part of a two-man attack in a 4-3-1-2 formation, although the identity of his probable strike partner is open to speculation. Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, meanwhile, has moved to quash speculation he could be replaced by Napoli’s Morgan De Sanctis because of an adductor muscle problem. “I should recover in two or three days,” said Buffon.—AFP

Scots refuse to surrender WCup dream GLASGOW: Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor admits qualifying for the 2014 World Cup now appears to be a tall order as his side prepare to take on Belgium today. The Scots are still looking for their first win in Group A with Craig Levein’s side drawing their first two matches before Friday’s 2-1 defeat by a Gareth Bale-inspired Wales. Belgium lead the group on goal difference, with Croatia also on seven points.Scotland, who sit second-bottom of the group, now face a tough task if they are to end their long wait to qualify for their first major finals since the World Cup in France in 1998. And while acknowledging his side’s chances had been dealt a major blow by the defeat in Cardiff, McGregor insisted his side would not give up. “It is always important to bounce back when you don’t get a good result and it is especially so now,” McGregor said. “Obviously qualifying has become more difficult but we can’t give up and we need to look forward to the Belgium game with belief that we can take something from them. “It’s hard to pinpoint what is going wrong. As the manager said, there is just one ingredient away from things going well but luck is definitely not something we have had a lot of. “The group was always going to be a difficult one and it has become even more difficult now but we have to take the positives, block out the negatives and do our best to get a result in Belgium.” Pressure has grown on manager Levein following the loss to Wales and the beleaguered boss knows Scotland need to take maximum points against the Belgians if they are to salvage their campaign. However, Scotland defender Christophe Berra insists

Allan McGregor the finger of blame should not be pointed at the manager. He insists the players should shoulder the responsibility for not snuffing out the threat of a Wales side who snatched victory thanks to a late double from Tottenham Hotspur star Bale. “It’s got nothing to do with the manager - we are the ones who go out on the pitch. “We played well, we just maybe ran out of steam a bit. A penalty and a 25-yard strike lost us the game. At top-level football, it’s the flip of a coin sometimes. We didn’t have the luck. “It’s a game we should have won comfortably. Our chances came and maybe we should have killed them off.” Don Cowie has replaced fellow midfielder Scott Brown in the Scotland squad for Tuesday’s match in

Brussels. Brown came off at half-time against Wales and the Celtic captain has been struggling with a hip problem this season. James Forrest is rated extremely doubtful with a groin injury while Andy Webster is nursing a back problem. Steven Naismith will miss the match at the King Baudouin Stadium, with the forward completing a twomatch ban. Belgian coach Marc Wilmots, whose side won 3-0 in Serbia on Friday, will be without injured pair Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku. The win in Belgrade was Serbia’s first competitive defeat on home soil since 2001. Wilmots has a wealth of talent to call on including captain Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.—AFP

Struggling US face moment of truth KANSAS CITY: A struggling United States team is among eight sides scrambling to avoid elimnination in today’s last North American semi-final round of 2014 World Cup qualifying matches. Unbeaten Mexico has already secured one of six available berths for the 2013 Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) finals. Winless Cuba, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda cannot advance. A tension-packed last matchday will see the US host Guatemala, Canada visit Honduras, Jamaica host Antigua and Barbuda, Mexico entertain El Salvador, Guyana visit Costa Rica and Panama travel to Cuba. Ten years after reaching the World Cup quarter-finals, and 15 months after German star Jurgen Klinsmann took over as US coach, the Americans must at least draw 81st-ranked Guatemala at Kansas City or risk being ousted. Coming off a 2-1 triumph at Antigua in which Eddie Johnson scored the winner in the 90th minute, US players know they must improve their performance and sense of urgency after having left their advancement hopes to the last minute. “At the end of the day, you don’t want to be a part of a team that didn’t qualify for a World Cup,” Johnson said. “That was playing through everyone’s mind on the field.” Johnson joined the squad after all-time US scoring leader Landon Donovan was ruled out

with a knee injury and Klinsmann elected not to invite Jozy Altidore despite his strong start to the Dutch league season with AZ Alkmaar. “Do we have to play better? Absolutely. We

Jurgen Klinsmann are not happy with what we saw,” Klinsmann said. “There are a couple of things that we will discuss internally that we need to do much better in Kansas City.” The key against Guatemala will simply be finding a way to win to ensure a berth in next year’s fight to book a date in Brazil. “We’ll be the first ones to look at ourselves

and say that there are a lot of things that need to be better,” US midfielder Michael Bradley said. “But at the end of the day a result is what counts. “We’ve put ourselves in a great spot. All along we’ve said it’s a long road, there are ups and downs. You have to be able to come away with results. You have to be able to win games when you don’t necessarily deserve it.” Guatemala and the US are deadlocked atop qualifying Group A at 3-1-1 for 10 points with eight goals for each and five goals against each with Jamaica third on seven points with five goals scored and as many against. A US-Guatemala draw advances both teams no matter how the “Reggae Boyz” fare against winless Antigua. A US-Guatemala loser would be vulnerable to being overtaken by Jamaica on goal difference. In Group B, Costa Rica can join Mexico in advancing with a home victory over alreadyeliminated Guyana while El Salvador must upset the host Mexicans to have any chance to advance. Group C has Panama atop Canada on goal difference, both at 3-1-1 for 10 points with Honduras third on eight points after two wins and two draws from five matches. Honduras must defeat the visiting Canadians to have any chance of advancing while a draw would send Canada through. Panama, all-but assured of a spot, need only draw at goal-less Cuba to secure advancement.—AFP

France bid for revenge against soaring Spain

Sweden’s Blixt claims maiden PGA Tour title




Denmark test may help Azzurri silence critics

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TAMPA: Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount (27) dives over Kansas City Chiefs free safety Kendrick Lewis (23) for a touchdown as cornerback Brandon Flowers (24) and wide receiver Roscoe Parrish (18) watch during the second half of an NFL football game.—AP

Lions bring down Eagles, Packers win PHILADELPHIA: Jason Hanson kicked a 45-yard field goal in overtime and the Detroit Lions rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 26-23 on Sunday. Held in check most of the game, Matthew Stafford led Detroit to 17 points in the fourth quarter. He threw a TD pass and ran for a score. Detroit had two shots from the Eagles 1 after a pass interference penalty on Colt Anderson with 13 seconds left in regulation. But Stafford misfired on both passes and Hanson kicked a 19-yard field goal to send it to overtime. The Lions (2-3) sacked Michael Vick on the first two plays of the extra quarter, forced a punt out of the end zone and started at midfield. Stafford hit Calvin Johnson for a 17-yard gain to the Eagles 27 on first and-20. A few plays later, Hanson nailed the game-winner. The Eagles (3-3) head into their bye week with two straight losses. Packers 42, Texans 24 In Houston, Aaron Rodgers set a career high and tied a franchise record with six touchdown passes, three to Jordy Nelson, and Green Bay routed previously unbeaten Houston. James Jones caught two touchdown passes for the Packers (3-3). Tom Crabtree had the other one, a 48yarder that Rodgers threw just before taking a hit from Houston linebacker Brooks Reed. Rodgers completed 24 of 37 passes for 338 yards. He tied Matt Flynn’s game record for TD passes, set in last year’s regular-season finale against Detroit. The Texans (5-1) came in with the league’s third-ranked defense. Arian Foster scored two touchdowns for Houston. Redskins 38, Vikings 26 In Landover, Robert Griffin III ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns, including a 76-yard scamper with 2:43 to play, and Washington snapped an eight-game home losing streak. One week after he left the game early with his first NFL concussion, Griffin also completed 17 of 22 passes for 182 yards with one touchdown

and one interception. The Redskins (3-3) feasted on a Minnesota team that had not allowed more than 23 points in a game this season. Minnesota’s three-game winning streak ended. The Vikings are 42. Minnesota held an early 9-0 lead but paid the price for getting field goals instead of touchdowns in the red zone. Christian Ponder completed 35 of 52 passes for 352 yards. Seahawks 24, Patriots 23 In Seattle, Russell Wilson found Sidney Rice behind the secondary for a 46-yard touchdown with 1:18 remaining, and Seattle rallied for 14 points in the final 7:31. The matchup between the Patriots’ No. 1 ranked offense and Seattle’s No. 1 defense instead turned in to a starring performance for Wilson - and a shocking rally. Wilson hit Braylon Edwards on fourth down for a 10-yard TD to get the Seahawks’ within 23-17. After a pair of holds by Seattle’s defense, Wilson found Rice open on a double

move. Steven Hauschka’s extra point gave Seattle the lead. Tom Brady and the Patriots (3-3) were then stopped on fourth down at their 28 when Wes Welker came up 2 yards short, and the Seahawks (4-2) were able to celebrate the unlikely comeback. Falcons 23, Raiders 20 In Atlanta, Matt Bryant kicked his second game-winning field goal in three weeks, a 55-yarder with 1 second remaining. Overcoming Matt Ryan’s three interceptions, the Falcons (6-0) extended the best start in franchise history. But it wasn’t easy against the pesky Raiders (1-4). Atlanta pulled ahead when Asante Samuel returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown with 2:40 remaining, only to wind up tied again when Carson Palmer led Oakland down the field for a tying score. Darren McFadden powered in from the 2 with 40 seconds left. That was just enough time for

Ryan and Bryant to pull off another fourth-quarter victory. Ryan completed four passes to set up the winning kick. Bills 19, Cardinals 16 In Glendale, Jairus Byrd’s second interception of the game set up Rian Lindell’s 25-yard field goal 3:50 into overtime. The loss ended Arizona’s eight-game home winning streak. Byrd picked off a pass from John Skelton, who had replaced the injured Kevin Kolb, and returned it 29 yards to the Arizona 6 to set up the winning kick. Arizona’s Jay Feely kicked a franchise-record 61-yard field goal with 1:09 left in regulation to tie it 16-16, but his 38-yard attempt to win it as the fourth quarter ended careened off the left upright. Feely says someone tipped the attempt. The Cardinals (4-2) lost their second in a row after a 4-0 start. The Bills (3-3) won after allowing 1,201 yards and 97 points in their previous two games.

NFL results/standings Atlanta 23, Oakland 20; Tampa Bay 38, Kansas City 10; NY Jets 35, Indianapolis 9; Cleveland 34, Cincinnati 24; Detroit 26, Philadelphia 23 (OT); Miami 17, St. Louis 14; Baltimore 31, Dallas 29; Buffalo 19, Arizona 16 (OT); Seattle 24, New England 23; NY Giants 26, San Francisco 3; Washington 38, Minnesota 26; Green Bay 42, Houston 24. National Football Conference American Football Conference AFC East NFC East W L T OTL PF PA PCT NY Giants 4 2 0 0 178 114 .667 New England 3 3 0 0 188 137 .500 Philadelphia 3 3 0 1 103 125 .500 NY Jets 3 3 0 0 133 141 .500 Washington 3 3 0 0 178 173 .500 Buffalo 3 3 0 0 137 192 .500 Dallas 2 3 0 0 94 119 .400 Miami 3 3 0 2 120 117 .500 NFC North AFC North Chicago 4 1 0 0 149 71 .800 Baltimore 5 1 0 0 161 118 .833 Minnesota 4 2 0 0 146 117 .667 Cincinnati 3 3 0 0 149 163 .500 Green Bay 3 3 0 0 154 135 .500 Pittsburgh 2 3 0 0 116 115 .400 Detroit 2 3 0 1 126 137 .400 Cleveland 1 5 0 0 134 163 .167 Houston Indianapolis Tennessee Jacksonville

5 2 2 1

AFC South 1 0 0 173 3 0 0 100 4 0 0 114 4 0 1 65

San Diego Denver Oakland Kansas City

3 2 1 1

2 3 4 5

AFC West 0 0 0 0

0 124 0 135 0 87 0 104

115 145 204 138

.833 .400 .333 .200

Atlanta Tampa Bay Carolina New Orleans

102 114 148 183

.600 .400 .200 .167

Arizona Seattle San Francisco St. Louis

6 2 1 1

NFC South 0 0 0 171 3 0 0 120 4 0 0 92 4 0 1 141

4 4 4 3

2 2 2 3

NFC West 0 0 0 0

1 0 0 0

110 110 152 110

113 101 125 154

1.000 .400 .200 .200

97 93 94 111

.667 .667 .667 .500

Giants 26, 49ers 3 In San Francisco, Antrel Rolle intercepted two passes by Alex Smith, Prince Amukamara picked off another for New York in a rematch of last season’s NFC championship game. After outscoring the Bills and Jets by a combined 79-3 the last two weeks, the 49ers (4-2) met their match again with Eli Manning and New York’s top team. No overtime needed this time, and not much of Manning either. Manning threw for 193 yards and one touchdown, Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 116 yards and a score and the Giants (4-2) rode a dominant defense and four field goals by Lawrence Tynes to hand outspoken 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh the most lopsided loss of his tenure. Ravens 31, Cowboys 29 In Baltimore, Jacoby Jones tied an NFL record with a 108-yard kickoff return and Baltimore won its 14th straight regular-season home game Dallas ran for 227 yards, most ever against the Ravens, and totaled 481 yards offense. But the Cowboys (2-3) missed a 2-point conversion after closing to two points with 32 seconds left. Dallas recovered the onside kick, and Dan Bailey was wide left on a 51 yard field goal try with 6 seconds left. Ray Rice scored two touchdowns and Joe Flacco threw for a score to help the Ravens (5-1) secure their fourth consecutive victory and enhance their grip on first place in the AFC North. Baltimore’s home winning streak is the longest current run in the NFL. Buccaneers 38, Chiefs 10 In Tampa Bay, Josh Freeman threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns and Ronde Barber scored on a 78yard interception return. Freeman teamed with Mike Williams on a 62-yard scoring play in the first quarter and threw TD passes of 19 and 17 yards to Vincent Jackson in the second half as the Bucs (2-3) stopped a three-game losing streak. The Bucs intercepted Brady Quinn starting for the Matt Cassel (concussion) - twice in the Kansas City quarterback’s first start in nearly three years. They also limited NFL rushing leader Jamaal Charles to 40 yards on 12 carries.

Browns 34, Bengals 24 In Cleveland, rookie Brandon Weeden threw two touchdown passes and Cleveland snapped an 11game losing streak that dated to last season. Cleveland had not won since Nov. 20, matching a franchise record for consecutive losses. But for the first time this season everything fell into place for the Browns (1-5). Montario Hardesty, filling in for injured rookie Trent Richardson, scored on a 1-yard plunge and cornerback Sheldon Brown intercepted Andy Dalton and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Browns outscored the Bengals (3-3) in the second half 27-10. Jets 35, Colts 9 In East Rutherford, Shonn Greene ran for a career-high 161 yards and three touchdowns, Mark Sanchez was efficient and Tim Tebow made a few big plays. Even the Jets’ maligned defense was able to shut down Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense as New York snapped a two-game losing streak that had many wondering if the season was about to spiral out of control. For a week, at least, Sanchez was in total control and the Jets (3-3) had their best overall performance - save for a handful of personal foul penalties - since an opening-week rout of Buffalo. Indianapolis (2-3) trailed 21-6 at halftime and couldn’t erase a big deficit for the second straight week after coming back from 18 points and beating Green Bay last Sunday. Dolphins 17, Rams 14 In Miami, Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes and Miami withstood a late rally. The Rams faced a fourth-and-8 at the Miami 48-yard line with 30 seconds left, and rather than go for a first down, coach Jeff Fisher sent out rookie Greg Zuerlein to tr y a 66-yard field goal, which missed wide left. Zuerlein made two field goals to improve to 15 for 15 this season, but then missed three times in a row, including from 48 and 32 yards in the first half. The Rams outgained the Dolphins 461-209. Both teams are 3-3. Fisher lost to the team that courted him in January, when he chose the Rams job instead.—AP

Qatar looking favorably at Glencore-Xstrata tie Page 22

US retail sales point to strong economic growth Page 23


Kenya rates to tumble if CB refocuses on growth Page 24

Debt turmoil dominates Asia-Europe finance Page 25 talks

CAMBRIDGE: Jessica McEntee looks through dresses while shopping at a clothing boutique in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Shoppers spent 5.6 percent more in September than last year at small retailers, which represents the slowest year-over-year growth so far in 2012 as the tough economy weighs on Americans.—AP

Two Americans win Nobel Economics prize Studies on match-making win laurel STOCKHOLM: Two American scholars were awarded the Nobel economics prize yesterday for studies on the matchmaking that takes place when doctors are coupled up with hospitals, students with schools and human organs with transplant recipients. The work of Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley has sparked a “flourishing field of research” and helped improve the performance of many markets, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. Roth, 60, is a professor at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Harvard Business School in Boston. Right now he is a visiting professor at Stanford University in California. Shapley, 89, is a professor emeritus at University of California Los Angeles. Shapley didn’t know that he and Roth had won the $1.2 million award and was surprised when The Associated Press reached him by telephone at his home in Los Angeles. “I consider myself for a mathematician and the award is for economics,” Shapley said. “I never, never in my life took a course in economics.” Citing “the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design,” the award focused on the problem of matching different agents in a market in situations where prices aren’t the deciding factor. Shapley made early theoretical inroads into the subject, using game theory to analyze different matching methods in the 1950s and ‘60s. Together with US economist David Gale, he developed a mathematical formula for how 10 men and 10 women could be coupled in a way so that no two people would prefer each other over their current partners. While that may have had little impact on

marriages and divorces, the algorithm they developed has been used to better understand many different markets. In the 1990s, Roth applied it to the market for allocating US student doctors to hospitals. He developed a new algorithm that was adopted by the National Resident Matching Program, which helps match resident doctors with the right hospitals. He also helped redesign the application process of New York City public high schools, ensuring that fewer students ended up in schools that were not among their top choices. Similar formulas have been applied to effor ts to match kidneys and other human organs to patients needing a transplant, the academy said. Roth was in California with his wife when he got the call from the prize committee at 3:30 am. “We missed the first call because we were asleep, but we had time to wake up and think that might be what it was,” he told The Associated Press. “My wife is going to go out and get us some coffee, and maybe we’ll absorb it.” He said he didn’t expect things to change too much, and that he would teach a class at Stanford yesterday. “But I imagine that they’ll be listening with renewed interest,” he said. “I think this will make market design more visible to economists and people who can benefit from market design.” Shapley is the son of renowned astronomer Harlow Shapley, whose work early in the 20th century included helping estimate the true size of the Milky Way galaxy. “Now, I’m ahead of my father,” Shapley said. “He got other prizes ... But he did not get a Nobel prize.” David Warsh, who follows academic economists on his Economic Principals

Saudi shares rebound; Gulf markets higher MIDEAST STOCK MARKET

STOCKHOLM: A screen displays photos of the winners of the Nobel prize in Economic Sciences US Alvin Roth (left) and Lloyd Shapley yesterday during the press conference of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. — AFP

blog, says Roth’s work has revolutionized the way organs are matched to patients. Before Roth, he says, “there were no economists in that business at all. He’s really changed it, and saved a lot of lives.” Prize committee member Peter Gardenfors said the winners’ work could also be applied to other areas, such as allocating housing to students or refugees. “There are economic problems that can’t be solved with normal market mechanisms,” Gardenfors said. “With these matchings there is no money involved so the main thing is to follow what kind of preferences people have who wants to be matched with whom and find a good solution to that.” The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was the last of the 2012 Nobel awards to be announced. It’s

not technically a Nobel Prize, because unlike the five other awards it wasn’t established in the will of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist also known for inventing dynamite. The economics prize was created by the Swedish central bank in Nobel’s memory in 1968, and has been handed out with the other prizes ever since. Last year’s economics prize went to US economists Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims for describing the cause-and-effect relationship between the economy and government policy. The 2012 Nobel Prizes in medicine, physics chemistry and literature and the Nobel Peace Prize were announced last week. All awards will be handed out on Dec 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896. — AP

Chinese shoppers power global luxury sales MILAN: Chinese shoppers at home and abroad are pushing global sales of luxury items to new heights, helping the sector post its third straight year of strong growth since the global recession. A new study by Bain & Company released yesterday forecasts the global luxury goods market for clothing, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics and art will grow 10 percent this year to 212 billion euros ($274 billion) from 192 billion euros in 2011. That would be the third straight year of double-digit growth following two years of contraction in 2008 and 2009 when many countries around the world slid into a deep recession fol-

lowing a banking crisis. Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain partner and lead author of the study for Italy’s luxury trade association Fondazione Altagamma, called concerns about market weakness “overblown.” While the global economic crisis that began in 2008 has shown few signs of abating in pockets, particularly in Europe, the luxury sector overall has been in recovery since 2010, when high-end consumers resumed their easy spending habits. Bain expects spending for the fourth quarter to increase by 7 percent in 2012 over last year, a period boosted by the Christmas gift-giving season.

The increase is being shored up by Chinese consumers, who this year became the top luxury buyers responsible for 25 percent of global purchases. By nationality, Europeans contributed 24 percent to global sales, Americans 20 percent and Japanese 14 percent. Tourists are expected to make 40 percent of all luxury purchases this year, with the Chinese leading the way thanks to easier visa policies, Bain said. Chinese tourists are making one-third of purchases in Europe, helping to shield the luxury sector from the ongoing financial crisis. Growth in Europe is projected at 5 percent, half of last year, for total esti-

mated sales of 75 billion euros. Chinese shoppers aren’t just spending their new-found wealth abroad though. Bain found that the market comprising China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, is forecast to surpass Japan to become the sector’s second-largest market worth 27.3 billion euros, behind the United States with sales of 65 billion euros forecast. Bain forecasts annual global growth in the personal luxury goods market of 4 percent to 6 percent through 2015 when it is expected to be worth a quarter of a trillion euros.—AP

DUBAI: Bargain hunters lifted Saudi Arabia’s bourse from an 11-week low yesterday despite lingering earnings concerns, and most other Gulf markets also gained. Heavyweight Al Rajhi Bank was one of the top gainers, rising 1.5 percent and trimming October’s declines to 3.1 percent. The bank reported a third-quarter net profit decline of 3.5 percent, missing estimates. The stock witnessed heavy selling pressure in recent sessions, on talks a major shareholder will sell its stake. Analysts say the weak earnings were priced into the stock. “Rajhi’s declining movement for the last two weeks priced in the results, that’s why we’re not seeing lower price today,” said Faisal Al-Othman, portfolio manager at Riyadh-based Arab National Bank. Other banks, which also declined recently on earnings that missed estimates, were up. Samba Financial Group climbed 1.8 percent and Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) gained 0.7 percent. Telcom operators rally with Saudi Telecom Co and Mobily rose 2.8 and 1.1 percent respectively. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) gained 0.3 percent. Investors concerns lingered on third-quarter earnings from SABIC and telecom operators, which will be key for further direction for the market.In the United Arab Emirates, Dubai’s blue-chips helped lift the measure for a third day in five as investors awaited earnings. Courier Aramex gained 3.7 percent in late-trade. Emaar Properties climbed 0.6 percent and Dubai Financial Market, the Gulf’s only listed bourse, added 1.9 percent. The emirate’s index ended 0.6 percent higher, up 13.8 percent since June 3’s four-month low. “The markets in UAE remain to be in an uptrend and have been resilient to the drops we’ve been in seeing in Saudi,” said Nabil Al-Rantisi, managing director at Menacorp in Abu Dhabi. “We are in a resting mode at the moment as investors are waiting for the Q3 results to be out. If the results beat the expectations the current rally is likely to continue to higher levels,’ he added. Elsewhere, Qatar’s index climbed 0.4 percent to its highest close since Oct. 3 as earnings boosted sentiment. Industries Qatar gained 1.7 percent, up for a second session since reporting a 23.7 percent jump in quarterly profit. “Although petrochemical prices are estimated to have remained lower in 3Q12, we believe prices of fertilizer would have given the required impetus to the growth in net income,” Hettish Karmani, senior financial analyst at Global Investment House said in a note. Qatar National Bank gained 0.3 percent and Qatar Telecom rose 0.3 percent. —Reuters




Qatar looking favorably at Glencore-Xstrata tie Sheikh Hamad silent on Doha vote for merger DOHA: Qatar, the second-largest investor in miner Xstrata, looks favorably on the company’s proposed $32 billion takeover by commodities trader Glencore , Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani said yesterday. Asked at a news conference if Qatar would support the tie-up, Sheikh Hamad said: “We are looking in favor of a merger between the two companies.” But he stopped short of signaling whether the Gulf state - a kingmaker in one of the mining industry’s biggest ever deals - would vote in support of a final offer from Glencore, made last month. Shareholders, who could get a

date for a fresh meeting this week, are expected to vote early next month. “It is under a lot of consideration and focus,” he said. Sheikh Hamad did not comment specifically on whether Qatar was satisfied with all aspects of the revised offer, not least the management change that would bring in Glencore’s chief executive, Ivan Glasenberg, at the helm of the combined group. Sheikh Hamad said last month that Qatar had “no problem” with the new price, but was studying other aspects of the deal. Gas-rich Qatar has built up a stake of more than 12 percent in Xstrata since Glencore announced its long-expected takeover offer

partly because of the Volcker rule that bans banks from proprietary trading and partly because of capital constraints. Earlier this month banking sources said the talks had run into difficulty and the deal might need to be reworked if it were to go ahead. One source said the hitch was not about price but about the structure of the deal, which would see the divested unit run by the existing commodities team at Morgan. Bankers said the parties had looked at two deals: the sale of a majority stake, at least 75 percent, and the sale of the whole unit, with commodities managers at Morgan Stanley taking a 20 percent stake funded by private equity. — Reuters

ABU DHABI: Iran is hopeful its ally China will fund up to $2 billion to complete Tehran’s metro rail which faces delays due to lack of financing as a result of sanctions, a government official said yesterday. Phase two of the metro is on track for completion next year but two new lines under the third phase may be delayed due to lack of money, Mohammad Montazeri, deputy managing director, planning & logistics, Tehran Urban & Suburban Railway Co said. “We are seeing funds from foreign companies. We are in negotiations with China (government, banks and agencies), we are hoping to get financing,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the Middle East Economic Digest’s Rail Projects conference. “If the loans come we can finish on time,” he said. The United States and its allies accuse Iran of using its atomic program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons and have imposed increasingly stringent economic sanctions to try to force Iran to answer questions about the program. Iran has said its program is for solely peaceful purposes, not for weapons. Tehran initially planned to build 430 kilometers of metro lines with 256 stations at a cost of $18 billion. But as sanctions began to bite, only 261 kilometers and 175 stations were approved, estimated to cost around $10 billion, he told the conference earlier. The 89-km, 41 stations phase one is operational and the 70-km, 66 stations phase two is scheduled for completion in 2013. The third phase of two lines, about 102 km and 68 stations is due to be completed by 2015, if financing is secured. By the end of this year, five lines covering 147 km and 88 stations will be operational, he said. Foreign loans which accounted for 43 percent of the approximately $10 billion (for all three phases) metro cost from 1987 to 1997 fell to 10 percent during 1997 to 2005. At the end of last year, foreign loans dried up completely, he said. “Now, 50 percent of the funding is from the private sector and the rest from the government,” Montazeri said. The impact of sanctions is less severe on equipment as 80 percent of Iran’s requirements such as wagons, machinery and other products are produced locally. “Only for about 20 percent we may feel the impact but that is not economically viable for us to produce in Iran,” he said, adding some goods such as rail tracks are imported from China, without giving details. Despite sanctions, Iran has managed to import banned goods from some countries in return for oil shipments. “Foreign investment is the main problem,” he said, adding the company receives over 70 percent subsidy from the government. With a population of 8 million in Tehran, at least 15 million journeys are made on the metro daily, he said. — Reuters

Bank Muscat Q3 net profit up 19.7% DUBAI: Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest lender by market capitalization, posted a 19.7 percent increase in third-quarter net profit, Reuters calculated, beating analyst estimates. The bank made a quarterly profit of 35.8 million Omani rials ($92.97 million) in the three months to Sept. 30 compared to 29.9 million rials in the prior-year period. Analysts polled by Reuters had on average estimated a third-quarter profit of 33.1 million rials. Reuters calculated quarterly profit from previous financial statements. Bank Muscat reported a nine month profit of 104.2 million

TOKYO: President of Japan’s mobile carrier Softbank Masayoshi Son (left) smiles as the CEO of the third largest mobile carrier in the US, Sprint Nextel’s Dan Hesse (right), speaks during a press conference where they announced Softbank will acquire Sprint Nextel in Tokyo yesterday. —AFP

Iran seeking China funding to complete metro project

Qatar studies M Stanley commodities investment DOHA: Qatar is studying a proposal to invest in the commodities trading arm of US investment bank Morgan Stanley, the Gulf state’s prime minister said yesterday. “ We probably need a few more weeks to review the details, but we are looking at it seriously,” Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani told a news conference without elaborating on any terms of an investment. Morgan Stanley has been in discussions with Qatar for more than a year over the sale of at least a majority stake in its energy-focused trading business, according to bankers. From an estimated peak of $3 billion in 2008, Morgan Stanley’s commodities trading revenues have dropped sharply,

in February. It is now the largest investor in the world’s fourth-largest diversified miner after Glencore. “(Qatar’s) decision on the voting pattern has not yet been made,” a source familiar with the deal said, after Sheikh Hamad’s comments were published. Qatar has said before that it supports the tie-up between Glencore and Xstrata, but it surprised the market in June by demanding a better price. Glencore acquiesced last month. Qatar’s support is critical in a deal that requires the approval of 75 percent of shareholders, excluding Glencore. — Reuters

rials. Profit for the six months to June 30 was 68.4 million rials. Impairments for credit losses in the nine-month period ending Sept. 30 stood at 40.9 million rials, slightly lower than 40.95 million rials a year ago. Loans and advances rose by 18 percent in the period and deposits climbed five percent, largely driven by demand and saving deposits, a company statement to the bourse said. Shares in Bank Muscat ended 0.5 percent higher yesterday, ahead of the earnings announcement, but are nearly 15 percent lower so far this year. — Reuters

Softbank head says $20bn Sprint deal a risk TOKYO: The head of Japan’s Softbank admitted the firm was taking a risk after it confirmed yesterday it would pay $20 billion to take over US-based Sprint Nextel in Japan Inc’s biggest overseas acquisition. Softbank said the ambitious deal would see it acquire 70 percent of Sprint Nextel, the third-biggest US mobile firm behind AT&T and Verizon Wireless, by the middle of next year. Chief executive Masayoshi Son, a well-known tech entrepreneur and Japan’s second-richest man, acknowledged his firm was jumping into the US mobile market where it has no foothold or experience, and taking over a heavily indebted firm that lost $2.89 billion last year. “This will be a big challenge-when you take on a big challenge, it comes with big risks,” he told a news conference in Tokyo yesterday. “However, maybe avoiding the challenge is a larger risk.” “A man must not settle for being number two-you must aspire to be number one,” he added. The combined company will have about 90 million subscribers. Son’s comments underlined fears aired by analysts and investors over the cross-ocean marriage, which catapults Softbank to third spot globally among cellular firms after China Mobile and Verizon. Softbank shares fell 5.30 percent to 2,268 yen in Tokyo trade ahead of the announcement yesterday, after tumbling 17 percent Friday when it confirmed it was in talks with Sprint. And yesterday Moody’s put the firm under review for a possible downgrade, following a decision by fellow agency Standard & Poor’s to put it on review Friday, saying it would heap pressure on an already debt-heavy balance sheet. “While the transaction may benefit the combined companies as a result of lower capital expenditures and such items as the cost of handsets, we believe the addition of new debt is unlikely to offset the initial benefits of the transac-

tion,” Moody’s said in a statement. In 2006, Softbank bought the struggling Japanese arm of Vodafone for about 1.75 trillion yen ($22.2 billion at current exchange rates), while it has announced plans to buy smaller rival eAccess Ltd for $2.3 billion. “This will be the largest investment by a Japanese firm in an American firm,” Son told the Tokyo briefing. “You might ask whether this will succeed. I am confident.” The deal-which will see Softbank buy $12 billion worth of Sprint shares on the market and $8 billion in newly issued stock — will be financed with cash and loans from Japan’s major lenders and Deutsche Bank, the carrier said. Sprint chief executive Dan Hesse, who will continue to run the US business, said the deal was a “transformative transaction”, giving Sprint liquidity to remain competitive in a US field dominated by AT&T and Verizon Wireless. “(It) creates immediate value for our stockholders, while providing an opportunity to participate in the future growth of a stronger, better capitalised Sprint going forward,” he said in a statement. Little known outside Japan, Softbank is perhaps the country’s most colorful and dynamic among the major mobile carriers and was the first to carry Apple’s popular iPhone. Its well-known television commercials star a talking snow-white dog and have featured American actor Tommy Lee Jones. Softbank reported a 313.8 billion yen ($3.98 billion) net profit on sales of 3.2 trillion yen in its fiscal year through March. Japanese media have suggested that Softbank was separately eyeing fifth-ranked US carrier MetroPCS Communications. The Sprint acquisition could trigger a clash with Deutsche Telekom, after its US affiliate T-Mobile USA unveiled a plan for a merger with MetroPCS in a deal that would boost the fourth-largest US wireless carrier’s effort to compete in the US market. — AFP

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

.2740000 .4460000 .3600000 .2960000 .2840000 .2840000 .0040000 .0020000 .0760810 .7412350 .3870000 .0720000 .7264690 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2802500 GB Pound/KD .4496050 Euro .3638070 Swiss francs .2998130 Canadian dollars .2874510 Danish Kroner .0487810 Swedish Kroner .0422890 Australian dlr .2866680 Hong Kong dlr .0361500 Singapore dlr .2281140 Japanese yen .0035750 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0763310 Bahraini dinars .7436650 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0747530 Omani riyals .7282060 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

3.605 5.321 2.950 2.194 3.341 229.950 36.397 3.439 6.784 9.181 91.682

.2860000 .4610000 .3690000 .3070000 .2940000 .2980000 .0058500 .0035000 .0768460 .7486580 .4100000 .0780000 .7339520 .0510000 .2823500 .4529740 .3665330 .3020590 .2896050 .0491460 .0426060 .2888160 .0364210 .2298240 .0036010 .0054170 .0022050 .0029670 .0034770 .0769030 .7492370 .3993640 .0753130 .7336620 .0068720

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 75.270 77.556 733.140 749.700 76.859

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 47.900 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.284 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.317 Tunisian Dinar 179.940 Jordanian Dinar 398.150 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.894 Syrian Lier 4.924 Morocco Dirham 33.391 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 282.150 Euro 364.540 Sterling Pound 452.570 Canadian dollar 289.210 Turkish lire 154.720 Swiss Franc 300.580 US Dollar Buying 280.950 GOLD 332.000 168.000 86.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

50.400 731.960 3.070 6.980 77.950 75.240 232.030 36.390 2.684 455.800 43.000 304.300 4.100 9.530 198.263 75.830 282.200 1.350

10 Tola

GOLD 1,848.330

Sterling Pound US Dollar

731.800 2.963 6.797 77.520 75.240 232.030 36.390 2.191 453.900 302.800 4.100 9.380 76.730 281.800


TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 453.800 281.800



291.500 749.420 3.690 290.900 553.400 45.900 49.900 167.800 48.280 368.100 37.040 5.480 0.032 0.161 0.246 3.690 399.340 0.191 95.010 45.300 4.330 233.000 1.825

290.000 749.420 3.442 289.400

232.000 46.221 366.600 36.690 5.310 0.031


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

292.91 292.59 304.22 366.01 281.55 454.56 3.68 3.457 5.308 2.195 3.327 2.957 76.72 749.67 46.29 401.12 732.76 77.75 75.29


294.000 290.500 304.000 364.500 282.450 453.800 3.690 3.600 5.500 2.320 3.600 3.150 77.350 749.500 47.800 399.000 735.000 78.000 75.750

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 399.310 0.190 95.010 3.340 231.500

Rate for Transfer

Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

281.700 287.795 452.830 364.030

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

301.270 745.795 76.675 77.325 75.085 397.095 46.178 2.189 5.304 2.946 3.443 6.785 691.011 4.580 9.282 4.368 3.415 91.950

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

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


Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

281.500 2.948 5.350 2.200 3.449 6.820 76.745 75.223 748.400 46.120 458.000 2.990 1.550 370.400 293.300 3.395

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

281.250 367.200 454.050 289.200 3.625 5.339 46.124 2.191 3.447 6.783 2.955 749.200 76.650 75.150



Derivatives led to Aabar ditching Daimler stake DUBAI/FRANKFURT: Aabar’s disposal of its stake in Daimler early this month was triggered by a failed derivatives deal underpinning the Abu Dhabi investment firm’s purchase of the shares, sources familiar with the matter said. Last Thursday, the German carmaker said Aabar sold its 3.07 percent stake on Oct 5, when it had a market value of about 1.25 billion euros ($1.6 billion). Aabar did not reveal the buyer nor the price at which the stake was sold. However, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that rather than selling the stake, Aabar had relinquished it to banks including Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs after failing to finance the derivatives deals. “The exit was not an outright stake sale that saw Aabar cash away its shareholding. The equity derivatives attached to the financing led to the stake being diluted,” one banking industry source said. The story of Aabar’s Daimler stake underlines how some Middle Eastern investment firms entered derivative deals to finance acquisitions during the region’s asset market boom several years ago, only to find the transactions mostly benefited the investment banks involved. It also showed how high-pro-

file equity investments by Gulf Arab states can, in effect, become shorter-term financial plays even if they were intended as strategic, long-term investments. That could be a worrying prospect for Western companies looking to raise long-term financing in the Gulf. Aabar and its parent, state-owned International Petroleum Investment Co, were not available to comment. Deutsche Bank and Goldman and Deutsche declined to comment. A Daimler spokesman said the company did not comment on the investment decisions of shareholders. The sources asked not to be named because of the commercial sensitivity of the matter and the risk of losing future business in wealthy Abu Dhabi. Aabar, also an investor in major corporations such as commodities group Glencore and Italian bank UniCredit , bought 96.4 million Daimler shares, or 9 percent of the company, at 20.27 euros per share in March 2009. It entered derivative transactions, mainly collar trades and put options, to finance the acquisition. The derivatives were sold by Goldman Sachs, the sources said.

A collar trade is an options strategy that limits the loss from a fall in an asset’s price, while letting buyers assume more debt to finance a deal. The acquirer buys an out-of-the-money put option for the shares while simultaneously writing an out-of-the-money call option. Banks acting as counterparties retain possession of the shares while the acquirer becomes the beneficial owner. Banks can ask for margin payments on the collar from time to time, depending on the volatility of the share price in the market. If the margin is not paid, banks have the right to sell the shares to meet their costs. A second banking industry source said collars were popular among Middle Eastern investors several years ago. “The Middle East has gone a bit nuts over its usage as it would allow them to pick up high-profile assets while committing little upfront equity,” he said. In Aabar’s Daimler deal, the collars were in a range of 36.41-24.71 euros per share and 27.6618.72 euros per share for the period between June 10, 2010 and Sept. 24, 2012, Aabar said in its 2009 annual report. That exposed it to demands for margin pay-

ments after Daimler shares soared, hitting a high near 60 euros in early 2011 and ending last month at 37.67 euros. Over the years, Aabar took steps to adjust its position. In May 2011, it raised 1.25 billion euros from the sale of bonds exchangeable into Daimler shares - a deal done with Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley. Last year, it also restructured a collar transaction related to the Daimler stake, IPIC said in its 2011 financial statement. In its 2011 annual report, Daimler quoted Aabar as stating in February 2012 its stake had fallen to 3.07 percent “due to a series of financing transactions”. Such actions were not enough to protect Aabar’s investment position. IPIC booked a $2.25 billion fair value loss in 2011 on the Daimler stake, hitting its full-year results. “In theory the Daimler acquisition was a great buy. Aabar entered at the right time and the shares have doubled since then. How you end up booking a $2.3 billion fair value loss on an investment which has doubled in value is baffling,” the second source said. Aabar also has derivatives structures attached to its investments in Glencore and UniCredit, the sources said. — Reuters

US retail sales point to strong economic growth Fed factory index shows Oct contraction

SHANDONG: Poultry is displayed for sale at a market in Qingdao, in eastern China’s Shandong province yesterday. China’s inflation rate slowed in September, government data showed yesterday satisfying an official desire to control price gains, but highlighting overall weakness in the world’s second-largest economy. — AFP

China’s inflation eases, giving room for stimulus BEIJING: China’s inflation eased further in September, giving the government more room to stimulate the country’s slowing economy. Consumer inflation fell to 1.9 percent from August 2 percent rate, data showed yesterday. Politically sensitive food prices rose 2.5 percent, down from the previous month’s 3.4 percent. The decline gives Beijing more room to cut interest rates or boost spending to reverse the country’s deepest slowdown since the 2008 global crisis. “There’s no argument about it, the economy is yet to stabilize,” said IHS Global Insight economist Alistair Thornton in a report. “Fears surrounding the inflationary impact of monetary loosening on consumer prices are misplaced - the onus remains on growth stabilization.” Producer prices contracted 3.6 percent compared with a year earlier, a striking sign of slack demand despite two interest rate cuts since the start of June and higher government spending on building airports and other public works. Chinese leaders have been moving cautiously in response to the slowdown after their huge stimulus in 2008 ignited inflation and a wasteful building boom. Economic growth fell to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the quarter ending in June and officials including President Hu Jintao have warned it may decline further before recovering. Analysts expect growth to decline further to about 7.3 percent when the latest quarter’s figures are reported this week. Last week, the World Bank cut its annual growth fore-

cast for China to 7.7 percent from its May outlook of 8.2 percent. Forecasters expect a recovery to start late this year or in early 2013 but say it likely will be too weak to drive global demand without improvement in the United States and Europe. Trade data released Saturday showed Chinese imports revived slightly from the previous month’s contraction but grew by only 2.4 percent, suggesting a recovery has yet to take hold. The slowdown is due partly to government curbs imposed to cool an overheated economy. Chinese leaders are trying to make their economy more efficient and resilient by reducing reliance on imports and investment and promoting domestic consumption and technologybased industries, but domestic consumption is growing slowly. “There is little convincing evidence that spending growth is doing anything better than standing still,” said Mark Williams and Qinwei Wang of Capital Economics in a report. The government has pumped money into the economy by approving a multibillion-dollar wave of investments by state companies and spending on subways, airports and other public facilities. Analysts expect no major new initiatives until a once-a-decade handover of power to younger Communist Party leaders begins at a meeting in November. “We do not expect the government to come up with any major new stimulus, either during the leadership transition or after, unless the economy takes a turn for the much worse,” said UBS economist Tao Wang in a report. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: US retail sales rose in September as Americans bought more of everything from cars to gasoline and electronics, pointing to stronger-than-expected economic growth in the third quarter. Other data yesterday showed manufacturing activity in New York state shrank for the third month in a row in October, though the pace of contraction eased. Retail sales increased 1.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department said, beating expectations after an upwardly revised 1.2 percent rise in August. Retail sales outside of autos, gasoline and building materials-a barometer of consumer spending known as core retail sales-rose 0.9 percent last month. That was well above the 0.3 percent gain expected by analystsin a Reuters poll, and suggests consumers did more to drive economic growth in the July-September period than economists had expected. Consumer spending drives about two-thirds of the US economy, and the data points to an economy that is growing modestly but still below its potential. “This is a good end of

third quarter and we have some good momentum to the fourth quarter,” said Craig Dismuke, an economic strategist at Vining Sparks in Memphis, Tennessee. While the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September a potential boost for President Barack Obama’s chances of reelection on Nov 6 — other measures of labor market health have improved more slowly. “It’s still lackluster growth,” said Stephen Stanley, an economist at Pierpont Securities in Stamford, Connecticut. The U.S. Federal Reserve last month launched a new open-ended plan to buy mortgage-backed securities until the labor market improves substantially-an unprecedented step in the history of American monetary policy. The Fed has also pledged to keep interest rates low until even after the economy strengthens. Sluggish demand and a punishing drought restricted the economy to a 1.3 percent annual growth pace in the April-June period. Before the retail sales report was released, economists were expecting growth to accelerate to a 1.6 percent pace in the third quarter, according to a Reuters poll.

Citigroup profit drops as it rites down unit NEW YORK: Citigroup Inc said quarterly profit plunged on a $4.7 billion writedown of its stake in a brokerage operated by Morgan Stanley, but the bank’s mortgage lending revenue increased and capital markets results rebounded. The New York-based global bank yesterday said third-quarter net income was $468 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with $3.77 billion, or $1.23 a share, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings, excluding the previously announced writedown and accounting gains and losses, was $3.27 billion, or $1.06 cents a share, compared with $2.57 billion, or 84 cents a share, a year earlier. The adjusted results beat analysts’ average estimate of 96 cents per share in surveys by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Citigroup shares were up 1.4 percent in premarket trading. The shares have soared in recent months, rising 27 percent since the end of June and gaining nearly three times as much as the KBW Banks Index. The bank said profits from the Securities and Banking unit increased 67 percent on stronger revenue from fixed income and equity markets and lower expenses. The North American Consumer Banking segment saw an 18 percent increase in profits on higher mortgage revenues. Results outside the United States were generally weaker, with income from International Consumer Banking down 3 percent, and profits in transaction services provided to businesses and governments outside North America down by single-digit percentages. Chief Executive Vikram Pandit said in a statement that revenue grew faster than expenses in the bank’s main businesses. “Our core businesses showed momentum during the quarter as we increased lending and generated higher operating revenues,” he said. In September Citigroup agreed on a price to sell its 49 percent interest in the brokerage to Morgan Stanley. At the time, it said it would take a charge to reduce its carrying value for the asset by about 40 percent. —Reuters

Brent falls towards $114 on weak demand outlook LONDON: Brent futures fell towards $114 a barrel yesterday as worries over weak global oil demand tempered positive Chinese and US data. Data over the weekend showed China’s September exports grew at roughly twice the rate expected, while imports also increased, possibly indicating that measures to spur growth in the world’s second largest economy are working. But exports to the European Union - the single biggest overseas market for Chinese goods - fell for a fourth month and crude demand in China remained relatively weak, underlining a worsening outlook for global fuel consumption. Prices were also hurt as the International Energy Agency (IEA) last week cut its demand growth forecast for next year. Brent crude was down 7 cents to $114.55 a barrel by 1330 GMT, after sliding 75 cents in the previous session. US oil was down $1.25 at $91.61. US retail sales rose in September as Americans bought more of everything from cars to gasoline and electronics, pointing to stronger-than-expected economic growth in the third quarter. Customs data

The details of the report showed broad strength across retailers, with sales of motor vehicles and parts up 1.3 percent. Receipts at gasoline stations rose 2.5 percent, reflecting an increase in prices paid at the pump. Other categories were also strong, with sales at electronics retailers up 4.5 percent. Some analysts said that might reflect sales of Apple’s newest iPhone model. Sales at food and beverage stores also posted solid growth, climbing 1.2 percent. US stock index futures added to gains after the retail sales report, while Treasury debt prices extended losses, sending yields to session highs. Separately, the New York Fed’s “Empire State” general business conditions index rose to minus 6.16, from minus 10.41 in September. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of minus 4.55. New orders improved to minus 8.97 from minus 14.03, while the index of the number of employees slipped to minus 1.08 from 4.26. The survey of manufacturing plants in the state is one of the earliest monthly guideposts to US factory conditions. — Reuters

showed exports from China in September grew 9.9 percent from a year earlier, roughly twice the 5.0 percent rate expected by investors and up sharply from the 2.7 percent annual rise recorded in August. At 4.89 million barrels, China’s crude oil imports were 12.8 percent higher on a daily basis than the 22-month low of 4.33 million bpd in August, data over the weekend showed. “The Chinese economic data beat analysts’ expectations and provided some upside momentum to the market,” Myrto Sokou at Sucden Financial said in a note. But exports to the EU fell 10.7 percent year on year in September, the fourth straight month of decline, the third double-digit drop in a row and the seventh month of contraction so far this year. Exports to the EU this time a year ago were up 9.8 percent. Crude oil demand in the world’s second largest oil consumer remained relatively weak, as refineries in China continued to undergo maintenance. “While refinery maintenance in fact increased last month to a four-month high of some 670,000 b/d, the uptick in imports can therefore to a great extent be seen as

an upwards correction from the 22-month lows in August,” JBC Energy said in a note. China has set its 2013 non-state crude oil import quota at 29.1 million tons, the same as this year, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday. “China’s crude oil demand is not as dynamic as it was a few months ago,” said Carsten Fritsch, oil analyst at Commerzbank. “We shouldn’t forget that August was an extremely weak month and the imports we saw in September for crude were still significantly beneath what we saw in the first half of the year,” he said. Both OPEC and the US Energy Information Administration cut 2013 forecasts for growth in world oil demand this month, while the IEA said ample supply from North America and Iraq, coupled with declining global demand, could help prices ease over the next five years. The IEA cut its demand growth projection for 2011-2016 by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from its previous report and cut its 2013 demand outlook by 100,000 bpd, citing lower consumption in Europe, the Americas and China. — Reuters

ATHENS: Seventy-two year-old pensioner Minas, last name not given, walks in a public garden in central Athens yesterday. — AP

Merkel stresses Greece should stay in euro-zone BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel underlined her support for Greece to remain in the euro-zone yesterday but said the country still had a lot of work ahead of it to restore confidence and stability. Merkel said European leaders were working to avert “uncontrolled developments in the euro-zone” that could be touched off by a Greek exit from the 17-nation euro area and create “a state of shock” in the global economy. “There will absolutely not be such uncontrolled developments,” she told reporters after talks with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli. “We want Greece to stay in the euro-zone but the work on that is not complete and there is still a lot that must be done in the coming days and next few weeks.” The German leader said she was aware

the rest of the world was looking to the euro-zone with concern about the potential impact of Greece’s mountain of debt on their economies. “But that doesn’t change the fact that we are of course waiting for the troika report and can only then draw conclusions,” she said, referring to assessments by an international team of auditors. “It is about bolstering confidence in our options.” Athens is trying to persuade the troika that it is doing all it can to slash costs by 13.5 billion euros ($17.5 billion) by the end of 2014, with a 31.5 billion-euro installment from its bailout packages riding on that. Merkel told Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras during a visit to Athens last week marred by violent protests that the “tough path” of painful spending cuts Germany has advocated will pay off. — AFP

NEW YORK: Specialist Jason Hardzewicz (left) and trader George Ettinger work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. — AP




Kenya rates to tumble if CB refocuses on growth Reliance Industries Q2 profit falls 5.7% MUMBAI: India’s largest private firm Reliance Industries reported yesterday that net profit fell for a fourth straight financial quarter, hit by declining gas output from offshore fields. The energy giant, controlled by India’s wealthiest man Mukesh Ambani, said net profit for the financial second quarter slid 5.7 percent to 53.7 billion rupees ($1.01 billion) from 57.03 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier. Turnover fell 1.7 percent to 932 billion rupees for the quarter. The earnings were marginally below analysts’ expectations of a 53.9-billionrupee profit. “Reliance’s business and financial performance for the first half of fiscal year 2012-13 has been satisfactory despite weakness in global economies,” said Ambani in a statement. Analysts have been concerned in recent months about Reliance’s ability to raise gas production from its blocks off India’s east coast. In the first half of the fiscal year from April to September, crude oil production from Reliance’s main oilfield KG-D6 slid 37 percent year-onyear to 1.7 million barrels of crude oil, a company statement said. Natural gas production tumbled 35 percent to 197 billion cubic feet, over levels a year earlier. “This reduction was due to reservoir complexity and natural decline,” the company said. Last year British energy giant BP paid $7.2 billion to acquire a 30 percent stake in 21 of Reliance’s oil and gas fields. Reliance hopes that BP’s deepwater drilling expertise will give the Indian giant the skills to develop hard-to-exploit reserves and find more oil. In the quarter, Reliance’s gross refining margins slid to $9.5 a barrel compared with $10.1 a year earlier. Reliance operates the world’s largest oil-processing complex in Jamnagar, where two adjacent refineries have a combined capacity to process 1.24 million barrels of oil a day. The company added it was still expanding its retail operations and now operates more than 1,350 stores in 122 cities across the country. — AFP

Growth needs a push after slowdown NAIROBI: Kenya’s benchmark interest rate looks set to fall if the central bank takes advantage of slowing inflation to attack the eye-watering commercial lending rates stifling growth. A year ago inflation was ripping through the economy and even global Twitter streams were humming with protests at policymakers’ slow response. Now, with inflation tempered, the question is whether those same policymakers are being too slow to refocus on promoting much-needed growth for fear of undermining the shilling currency they have toiled so hard to support this year. The outcome matters because Kenya, which struck oil in March, is East Africa’s leading economy and a popular destination for yield-and-growth-hungry foreign investments. It also matters to Kenya’s 40 million population ahead of a presidential and parliamentary election next March. Memories are still fresh of the violence which followed the last election in 2007 after which more than 1,200 people were killed in widespread fighting. The health of the economy is vital to the country’s stability. Many market participants say the central bank could now cut rates boldly and scale back its efforts to prop up the shilling, which it has been doing by tightening the number of shillings in circulation. Its continued support for the currency has driven up yields on short-term government securities recently and kept commercial lending rates at punitive levels. The really bad news was that quarterly growth fell to its slowest since 2009 in the second quarter of this year as growth in the key agriculture and construction sectors nearly ground to a halt. The slowdown may be attributed in part to less demand for the flowers Kenya grows from debt-crisis Europe, and to fewer European tourists. But the main cause, analysts say, was the rapid jacking up of Kenya’s

benchmark lending rate to a record 18 percent last December when the central bank was scrambling to shore up the shilling, which had plunged more than a quarter to 107 per dollar last October, when inflation peaked at 20 percent. The medicine worked though and the shilling, one of the most heavily traded in Africa with average daily volume of $350 million in the foreign exchange market, has since stabilized at 82-85 per dollar for most of this year. Inflation also tumbled, to 5.32 percent last month, allowing policymakers to cut rates by a total of 500 basis points over two meetings since July to 13 percent today. Some analysts say this is still too high and is stifling growth. But the central bank has shown that currency stability remains its number one goal by actively absorbing liquidity from the market, causing yields on short-term government securities to rise at auctions over the last few weeks to around 9.0 percent from 7.5 percent. The central bank’s fear is “the likely weakening of the currency but at some point, they have to sit down and say, ‘what is it that matters?’” said Duncan Kinuthia, head of trading at Commercial Bank of Africa. Last year’s currency slump and the subsequent surge in inflation, especially of imported goods like oil, caused widespread anger and a failed attempt by lawmakers to remove central bank Governor Njuguna Ndung’u from his post, after they blamed him for the currency woes. It also spawned a mocking Twitter campaign. The hashtag #thingsstrongerthanthekenyashilling went viral, with one tweet likening the shilling to “wet toilet paper”. “The central bank was traumatized by events of last year and hence are exercising undue caution,” said Aly Khan Satchu, an independent trader and analyst. A year ago the Kenyan central bank was blamed for dithering in its policy response because of its pre-

occupation with growth. The policymakers had since righted their wrongs, Satchu said, creating ample room for them to champion growth again. “We are ahead of the curve once more,” he said, now that inflation had been wrestled down. Consumers lost out when businesses passed on inflationary costs and they are losing out now as businesses said they pass on their high financing costs. “The developers are passing those costs to the buyer so that makes housing unaffordable,” said Daniel Ojijo, chairman of Mentor Holdings, a real estate firm. In the Mombasa Road neighborhood of the capital Nairobi, where investors set out to develop affordable homes for 2.7 million shillings ($31,700) each, they were now selling them for 5.5 million shillings apiece, Ojijo said. Although inflation has fallen dramatically this year, commercial banks’ lending rates remain stuck above 19 percent. Policymakers will have their work cut out to narrow the spread between interest rates and inflation. “Policy choices are all about tradeoffs. So the key is striking that balance that is consistent with economic growth,” said Mwangi Kimenyi, senior fellow of global economy at The Brookings Institution in Washington. Kenya’s ministry of finance says the ideal exchange rate is 80.00-85.00 per dollar, which may explain the central bank’s reluctance to let it slip past those levels. A strengthening past the 80 level per dollar leads to complaints from exporters due to erosion of earnings while a slip past the 85 level has the same effect on importers who have to dig deeper into their pockets. A significant weakening of the shilling could however be avoided even if the central bank went for a decidedly pro-growth stance, some argue. “Kenyan shilling stability is also helped by having healthier levels of FX reserves in place,” said Razia Khan, head of research for Africa at Standard Chartered in London. — Reuters

MOSCOW: Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) speaks with Jim Turley, Global Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young, during a meeting of the Consultative Council on Foreign Investments in Moscow, yesterday. —AFP

Iraqi Kurdistan plans to export oil products soon ARBIL: Iraqi Kurdistan will refine enough crude to satisfy local demand by next year, and may even begin exporting some products, Kurdistan’s energy minister said yesterday. Energy expor ts from the autonomous region are a sensitive issue for the central government in Baghdad which is locked in a long-running dispute with Kurdistan over control of oil and land along their internal border. Kurdistan is short of products such as diesel and kerosene, filling the gap with around 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) of supply from Iraq’s refineries, Kurdish officials say. “In terms of the refiner y, by next year we will be fully self-sufficient,” Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami said at a conference in Arbil. “ This year we are impor ting some products and we are receiving some small amounts from Baghdad, but by next year, we might even be exporting.” A major expansion of Kurdistan’s K alak refinery is expected to boost its capacity from 40,000 barrels per day to 100,000 bpd by the end of this year. Kurdistan relies on the central government for a share of the national oil revenue. But the region is working to reduce its dependence on Baghdad, which says only it can define energy policy and control national oil exports. At present, Kurdistan expor ts crude from its fields through a Baghdad-controlled pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. But it has already started trucking small amounts of fuel bi-products to Turkey in exchange for fuel. The Kurdish region also plans to start exporting its oil along a new pipeline to the Turkish border by August 2013. Relations between Baghdad and the regional government have been fur ther strained since Kurdistan signed deals with oil majors such as Exxon and

Chevron, contracts the central government rejects as illegal. Hawrami said talks were underway with other oil companies interested in entering the region, and that more contrac ts were coming: “In the next few months, you’ll see new names on the map,”

he said, without giving any details. Last month, sources said Royal Dutch Shell, which has several large projects in the south, was considering options in the Kurdistan region, but Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy subsequently denied it. — Reuters

Demand prompts Rosneft to revise $15bn loan LONDON: International bank appetite for Rosneft’s $15 billion loan has prompted the Russian oil group to cut the interest margin and lower its request for commitments by lenders to around $1.5 billion from $2.5 billion, several bankers said. The financing will back Rosneft’s bid for British oil company BP’s 50 percent stake in TNK-BP, Russia’s third largest oil producer. The debt will be made up of a bridge loan, term loans and bonds. Up to 14 international banks are responding to Rosneft’s revised terms after they were tweaked in late-September. “Rosneft has squeezed down the commitments as more banks have come in, which has led to competitive tension,” one European banker said yesterday. A second banker said uninvited banks were “firing in their offers”. Under the revised terms, lenders are asked for commitments of $1 billion on a bridge loan - halved from $2 billion - and around $500 million on a five-year term loan, which remains unchanged. The bridge loan is split between two tranches with maturities of one and two years. The term loan initially carried an interest margin of 240 basis points and an all-in cost - the margin plus fees payable to lenders - of 300 bps, in line with the borrower’s $2.6 billion deal in April. However, lender demand for the new loan has resulted in Rosneft’s all-in cost being reduced for both the bridge and the term loans to well below 300 bps, the bankers said. Rosneft’s relationship banks poised to join include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BNP Paribas, Citi, JP Morgan, Societe Generale, SMBC, and UniCredit, three bankers said. Rosneft will receive extra support from three of Russia’s top banks Gazprombank, Sberbank and VTB - as they consider bilateral loans of around $1 billion each, a Russian banker said. Rosneft was not available to comment on a deal that would be the country’s third-largest corporate loan and would boost weak loan volumes in the country this year. Russian borrowers raised $15 billion in the first nine months of 2012, the lowest nine-month total since 2009, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data. Bidding will open this week for BP’s half of TNK-BP with Rosneft tipped as the likely buyer. —Reuters



Britain pushes to curb ECB clout in banking union BRUSSELS: Britain is pushing for changes to a proposed euro-zone banking union to dilute the power of the European Central Bank, EU officials said, potentially hampering efforts to build the infrastructure urgently needed to underpin the euro. The European Commission has proposed making the ECB responsible for supervising lenders as a step towards a banking union where chiefly euro zone countries would jointly tackle problem banks and shield savers’ deposits. But last month’s Commission proposal, central to closer economic integration in the currency area, has encountered opposition in Britain, Europe’s biggest financial centre, that could delay or even derail banking union. Britain intends to propose a system that would give countries outside the banking union the possibility of blocking those within the project from clubbing together to shape EUwide regulations, said EU officials, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The concern is that the Bank of England can find itself outvoted by the ECB on aspects of rule making,” said one official. Britain will not join the banking union. The Bank of England will become the UK regulator next year. “They are worried that the euro area will be able to push through a whole lot of decisions of its own volition. They are looking for something with checks and balances.” Although the discussion is technical, it is highly politically charged. Speaking privately, a second EU

official said it could further sour an already strained relationship between Britain and the bloc. The banking union would have three major steps: the ECB takes over monitoring euro-zone banks and others that sign up; a single fund is created to close down and settle the debts of failed banks; and a comprehensive scheme to protect savers’ deposits is established. As well as building the foundations for better control of banks, the new supervision should also allow the new euro-zone rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to directly inject capital into struggling banks, such as those in Spain, breaking the interdependence between weak banks and indebted nations that has fuelled the regional crisis. Officials from the European Union’s 27 member countries met in Brussels last week to discuss the extent of the ECB’s powers under the new structure and what authority should remain with national regulators. They also addressed one of the key obstacles to the project how to cater for the 10 EU countries that are not in the euro zone and allay their fears that they could be sidelined in the new structure. Britain favors a banking union because it should unite all 17 countries using the euro behind problem banks and end the previously haphazard approach that left weak states such as Ireland to shoulder the cost of propping up banks themselves.

But Britain’s finance minister, George Osborne, fears the ECB will use its authority to impose EU-wide regulation that would favor countries with the euro and put London’s financial centre, using sterling, at a disadvantage. “It seems unlikely that the ECB would ride roughshod over the wishes of the Bank of England, but that is what the British Treasury is worried about,” said the first official. “They want safeguards to make sure that doesn’t happen.” Britain and all other members of the European Union must give the green light to the banking union before it can go ahead, an approval that could be delayed or withheld if London’s concerns are not addressed. In particular, London is focused on changing the system of voting when regulators from across the European Union meet to flesh out EU law, such as defining in detail the type of capital reserves that qualify as a cushion against banks’ risky assets. Those regulators meet under the umbrella of the European Banking Authority, but London is concerned that countries in the euro-zone - united under the supervision of the ECB - would use their combined clout to force through rules that work in their favor. They would like to see a double vote take place one for those in the banking union and another for non-euro countries outside - before any final decision on EU regulation is taken. Sven Giegold, a

German lawmaker in the European Parliament who will play a role in negotiating the design of banking supervision with EU countries, was critical of the idea. “That would be a de facto veto for Britain, which would reward countries who do not want to contribute to European integration,” he said. Earlier this year, British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose ruling Conservative Party is increasingly skeptical about the benefits of EU membership, refused to sign up to a fiscal pact for strict budget discipline in the euro-zone after similar demands he made to protect London’s financial centre were rejected. A spokesman for the British Treasury said: “We’ve consistently said that the euro area, like any single currency, needs closer economic and fiscal integration to secure its future. More integrated supervision of euro area banks is a part of that.” “We’ve also been clear that any measures must be compatible with the single market, and uphold a level playing field for all EU member states.” Britain’s concerns about banking union and the political direction of the wider European Union threaten to create a significant obstacle to building one of the central planks in the euro zone’s response to the crisis. EU leaders will meet on Thursday and Friday this week, and banking union is among the issues to be discussed. Other countries including Sweden and Poland also have reservations about the proposal. — Reuters

Fiat Industrial: CNH rejects merger proposal MILAN: US farm and industrial vehicle group CNH has rejected a merger proposal from its parent, Fiat Industrial, the Italian company said in a statement yesterday. Fiat Industrial, which already owns 88 percent of CNH, said in a statement that it has asked to meet with the US group’s advisers to see if they can reach agreement on revised terms “within the next several weeks” to salvage the deal. Such a deal would need to maintain a strong credit rating for the group, attract international investors and provide opportunities for growth, the statement said. The Italian company’s chairman, Sergio Marchionne, who is also CEO of the Fiat and Chrysler automakers, proposed a full merger in May as a way to create a competitor to major North American capital goods companies and unlock market value. “FI remains committed to the strategic and financial benefits of the merger,” Marchionne said in a statement. Shares in Fiat Industrial dropped 1 percent to ?7.76 in Milan trading. Under the initial proposal laid out by Marchionne to CNH in a four-page letter last spring, the combined company’s shares would be traded on the New York Stock Exchange with a secondary listing in Europe - but not in Milan, where it is currently traded. While Marchionne proposed registering the new company in the Netherlands, he told employees in a letter that the operational structure would not change. The merger would seek to streamline a “cumbersome” corporate structure that Marchionne said has left Fiat Industrial undervalued in the markets. CNH Global NV, based in the Chicago suburb of Burr Ridge, Illinois, sells farm and construction equipment under the Case and New Holland brands in 170 countries. Beyond its farm and construction business, Fiat Industrial makes trucks, commercial vehicles and buses under the Iveco brand along with related engines and transmissions. It was spun off from Fiat’s auto business in 2011, and has been expanding its business into emerging markets through joint ventures. — AP

BANGALORE: Indian women wait to buy cooking gas with their empty liquefied petroleum gas cylinders outside a distribution center in Bangalore yesterday. India’s inflation accelerated to 7.8 percent in September after the government hiked subsidized fuel prices to rein in the budget deficit. — AP

India inflation rises to 7.8% in September MUMBAI: India’s inflation accelerated to 7.8 percent in September after the government hiked subsidized fuel prices to rein in the budget deficit. The number released yesterday is worse than expected and gives the central bank little room to cut its key interest rate to counter slowing economic growth when it meets later this month. Economists polled by CNBC-TV18 forecast inflation of 7.7 percent in September. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel prices, remained unchanged from August at 5.6 percent. “Core inflation has remained sticky,” said Sonal Varma, economist at Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities in Mumbai. “We were expecting some marginal drop.” She said headline inflation is likely to continue to rise as second round effects of higher fuel costs show up in, for example, rising food prices, reflecting increased transportation costs. Fuel prices rose 4.0 percent, driven by an 8.6 percent rise in diesel costs. The Reserve Bank of India has made clear that inflation remains its top concern, despite the tepid growth of Asia’s third-largest economy. The central bank has also pushed New Delhi to take credible steps to bring the fiscal deficit under control and enact reforms to unblock supply bottlenecks in the economy and bring prices down. New Delhi has finally begun to respond, raising diesel rates and opening airlines and retailing to greater foreign ownership. That could bring crucial investment to India’s inadequate supply chains, particularly for food. “On one hand we do have the government’s political response coming in, but inflation is not giving them the window to respond to the space the government is trying to create,” Varma said. “Our view is RBI will wait for inflation to moderate.”—AP

BANGKOK: Delegates from Asia and Europe pose for photos during the opening ceremony of 10th Asia-Europe Finance Minister’s Meeting 2012 in Bangkok yesterday. Senior finance officials from Asia and Europe met for talks on the global economy in the face of growing nervousness about the worldwide fallout of the eurozone debt crisis. — AFP

Debt turmoil dominates Asia-Europe finance talks Euro-zone eyeing gradual recovery BANGKOK: Finance officials from Asia and Europe expressed fears yesterday of further turmoil in world markets but said the euro-zone was set for a gradual recovery from its debt crisis. The talks in Bangkok follow signs that Asia-for years seen as a bright spot in a gloomy world economy-is increasingly feeling the strain from Europe’s financial turbulence. “Acknowledging the mutual interdependence of their economies, ministers expressed their concerns over the risks created by volatile financial and commodity markets that would potentially impact both Asia and Europe,” according to a statement issued by host Thailand after the talks. “Global growth has decelerated with substantial remaining uncertainties and downside risks,” it said. But officials also “expect that the European economy will gradually recover from the current crisis and welcomed the actions taken to address this crisis that will also mitigate its impact on the rest of the world,” it added. With Europe gearing up for a crunch summit on Thursday, many countries sent vice finance ministers to attend the two-yearly meeting in Bangkok, which sets the scene for an Asia-Europe (ASEM) summit in Laos next month. EU economics chief Olli Rehn struck an optimistic tone, saying Europe had developed an “effective and flexible toolbox” to tackle the debt crisis. “Concerning the European economic situation, I am today less pessimistic than, say, during the spring,” he told reporters. “We are work-

ing on several fronts to advance decisive policy action,” he said, crediting a “wave of reforms” in EU member states to shore up their public finances and promote economic growth. “We have an effective and flexible toolbox for short-term stabilization at our disposal,” he added. Rehn cited the entry into force of the European Stability Mechanism, a 500-billioneuro ($630 billion) war chest, as well as the European Central Bank’s pledge to buy eurozone government bonds as reasons for optimism. He said Spain was making progress in tackling its debt problems, as Madrid keeps world markets guessing about whether it will request a full bailout in an attempt to resolve its financial crisis. The ECB has outlined a plan to buy Spanish bonds on the open market to curb interest rates, but only if Madrid applies for a financial lifeline and submits to strict conditions from European bailout funds. “Spain is-in terms of the efforts of a return to recovery and reforming its economic structures-on the right track, even though I know that the current situation is very difficult for many Spanish citizens,” Rehn said. Hopes that Asia’s economies would largely shrug off the West’s economic troubles have been doused by a slew of weaker-than-economic data in recent weeks. As powerhouses China and India slow more than many had expected, the Asian Development Bank and International

Jaguar Land Rover sales blow for Tata MUMBAI: Jaguar Land Rover sales fell in September, the first monthly fall since July 2011 and a blow for Indian parent Tata Motors - the luxury vehicles make up 90 percent of group profit. JLR’s sales growth over the past year, helped by the new Evoque model and success in emerging markets such as China, had been offsetting sluggish growth in Tata’s domestic business and driven its stock price up 50 percent over the past 12 months. The British brands sales fell 4 percent in September, year-on-year, with 26,461 vehicles sold. It had previously reported August sales up 13 percent, down from annual increases of about 40 percent in the preceding three months. +ACI-These numbers are not good,+ACI- said Jinesh Gandhi, automotive analyst at Motilal Oswal Securities in Mumbai. +ACI-This is below consensus expectations and so the stock is likely to be affected negatively.+ACIJLR, which Tata bought for +ACQ-2.3 billion in 2008, has helped offset slowing sales of Tata’s own branded cars and trucks in India where cooling economic growth and high interest rates have hit demand.—Reuters

Monetary Fund both recently lowered their growth estimates for the region’s emerging economies. The IMF said last week that growth for developing Asia would come in at 6.7 percent this year and 7.2 percent in 2013, compared with July’s estimate of 7.1 percent and 7.5 percent. “With the ongoing economic difficulties of

some countries in the euro-zone, I believe that our cooperation is even more crucial than ever,” Thai Finance Minister Kittiratt NaRanong said. “Because Asia and Europe are closely knitted in terms of international trade and investment, one spark of crisis could cause turmoil in the other side of the world,” he added. — AFP

BANGKOK: Japanese vice Minister of Finance, Tsutomu Okubo (center) attends the opening ceremony of 10th Asia-Europe Finance Minister’s Meeting 2012 in Bangkok yesterday. Senior finance officials from Asia and Europe met for talks on the global economy in the face of growing nervousness about the worldwide fallout of the euro-zone debt crisis. — AFP

Virgin, Flowers head slim field chasing RBS branches LONDON: Virgin Money and US private equity firm J C Flowers are leading a small field of potential suitors to buy 316 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland, after Spain’s Santander pulled out of a deal on Friday. The collapse of the sale was a major blow to RBS, coming at a critical juncture in its recovery from a 2008 state bailout, and it is now likely to have to accept a price well under the 1.65 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) agreed with Santander. Shares in RBS, 82 percent owned by the British taxpayer, were down 1 percent in Monday morning trade, while Santander’s were up 0.1 percent. “RBS now has only 13 months to find another buyer or float the business. Either way, we expect the revised price to be significantly lower,” said Espirito Santo analyst Shailesh Raikundlia. RBS was ordered by European authori-

ties to sell the branches, which have 1.8 million customers and accounted for about 10 percent of group operating profit in the first half of 2012, as a condition of its government rescue. The setback could push back the time frame for taxpayers to see a return on the 45 billion pounds Britain pumped into the bank to keep it afloat. Santander’s retreat will save it some capital at a time a sovereign debt crisis is putting the financial position of all Spanish banks under scrutiny, and will avoid it increasing its exposure to a British economy languishing in recession. “The price set in Aug 2010 looks somewhat expensive now, the UK macro environment doesn’t look appealing in the medium term and capital preservation ranks as a higher priority,” Raikundlia said. Sources close to the matter told Reuters on Saturday RBS had received

interest from businessman Richard Branson’s Virgin Money and others since Friday. Virgin, which last year bought Northern Rock, lost out to Santander in the original auction. J C Flowers is also interested in looking at the branches, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters yesterday. However, the US private equity firm, headed by entrepreneur Christopher Flowers, wants reassurances on the quality of assets and IT issues if it is to press ahead with a bid. Flowers, who made his name at Goldman Sachs in the 1980s and 1990s, bid for the Northern Rock business before it was nationalized in 2009. Although private equity has a chequered history of investing in banks, Flowers was a winner from a bold investment in 2000 in Japan’s Long Term Credit Bank - renamed Shinsei, or rebirth.—Reuters




—Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Samsonite focuses on Kuwait expansion Black Label mega-boutique opens in Hamra Luxury Center KUWAIT: Samsonite, the trusted worldleader in travel solutions, enhanced its presence in Kuwait by making a grand entry into the prestigious Al-Hamra Luxury Center with its exclusive Black Label brand. One of the flagship collections of Samsonite, the Black Label brand is a high end luggage line renowned internationally for its exclusive and creative designs. The mega-boutique, an impressive 188 square meter space, now holds the title of being the largest Samsonite Black Label boutique in all of Middle East and Asia. Present at the grand opening ceremony at the AlHamra Luxury Center were Ali Behehani,

President of the Behbehani Group and Dr. Ramesh Tinwala, President for Samsonite Middle East and Asia. Behbehani Group (MYB) - Kuwait’s leading and most reputed retailer - has been the proud agent for Samsonite in Kuwait for over 60 years. The launch of the boutique represents the aggressive and ambitious expansion plans that the company has for the brand in Kuwait. Speaking on the occasion of the new opening, Shahzad Gidwani, General Manager of the Behbehani Group (Trading Division) said “Samsonite has earned the trust of people worldwide over the years, and we are

proud to be associated with such a luxury brand. We are delighted to open this Black Label mega-boutique at one of Kuwait’s most famous and enviable locations at the landmark Al-Hamra, and we are confident that this exciting product line will exceed our customer’s expectations and desires”. Discerning patrons will be able to choose from a wide range of classy travel bags, modern accessories and futuristic travel solutions in an elegant, luxurious environment - while being attended to by experienced, trained staff providing the utmost level of customer service that Samsonite is known for. Posh interiors coupled with a welcoming ambi-

ence promises to make shopping at the store a unique experience. The famous Al-Hamra Luxury Center is home to the tallest skyscraper in the country and is a proud landmark of Kuwait. Providing an extravagant and elegant shopping atmosphere in a prime downtown location, it is an ideal choice for Samsonite to reflect and compliment the high-end class and elegant designs of its exclusive Black Label collection of travel products. With the opening of the new Al Hamra mega-boutique, Samsonite is now present in 4 strategic locations in Kuwait that include the Avenues, 360 Mall and Marina Mall.

Kuwait Energy makes new oil discovery in Gulf of Suez

—Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Al-Babtain launches new Infiniti JX car in Kuwait All-new luxury Intelligent, all-wheel drive crossover KUWAIT: Abdulaziz Al-Babtain company, the exclusive dealer of Infiniti cars in Kuwait has launched all new Infiniti JX which is set to turn the luxury crossover category inside out with its big utility and roominess when it joins Infiniti’s GCC lineup this summer. As a stylish, luxury, threerow, seven seat Intelligent All-Wheel Drive crossover, the all-new Infiniti JX

is designed to excel in the areas that crossover buyers desire most - interior flexibility and roominess, safety, and advanced hospitality features. The JX offers real three-row utility, plus all the premium features and innovations that Infiniti has become known for worldwide The launch of Infiniti JX came with a special party held at the Infiniti-Al-Babtain showroom in Al-

Rai area on Sunday, October 7, with the attendance of Al-Babtain group managers led by Saleh Al-Babtain, vice president and CED of AlBabtain group, and Mohammed Shalabi, the operations manager of the group, in addition to the honored guests Trifurman, the vice president of Nissan Motors and Kineshero Youmora the GM and

Nasser Wattar the CEO of Nissan Company in Gulf and Cameron Queen the marketing and sales manager of Nissan Gulf. The event started with a word by Mohammed Shalaby Al-Babtain group operations manager, where he welcomed guests and media for covering the event, and expressed his gratitude for their participation in this event to launch the new

Infiniti JX which will make a dramatic change is luxury cars market in Kuwait for its features and new technology the accommodates all needs for modern individual and family, assuring the trust infiniti has in AlBabtain group, its exclusive dealer in Kuwait, in which the group always works to maintain this trust by offering best services, and that was of

the guarantees to a continuance cooperation. Saleh Al-Babtain, the group CEO assured during his interview with journalists the level of dedication Al-Babtain always have towards its clients and the continuance effort they spend to reach highest level of services that enhance client’s trust and ensure highest level of client’s satisfaction. Also Nasser Watar the CEO of Nissan Gulf, talked about the development of cars market in Gulf that has become a strong strategy for Nissan future as being of the most important fast growing car market interpreting that to the exclusive dealers experience and knowledge in local market needs therefore fulfill customers’ demands and achieve their satisfaction. Where Trifurman the vice president of Nissan motors company, showed his joy to participate the event of launching new Infiniti JX in Kuwait, he also thanked Al-Babtain for their great efforts the spend to develop their marketing, sales and post-sale services’ activities which

contribute is making great achievements in the long term, he talked about the company’s care towards development and innovation to match the needs and demands of all markets, Arab and worldwide. In this event Trifurman received a commemorative gift to representing the history of Kuwait, in recognition of his participation and support which would strengthen relations between Nissan-Infiniti and Abdulmohsen Abdulaziz Al-Babtain company. In this event, Trifurman gave a brief presentation on Nissan’s future strategy. Key features of the Infiniti JX include: Emotive styling and craftsmanship, featuring the new Infiniti design language direction initiated with the Essence concept ● Segment-leading overall passenger volume ● Segment-leading rear cargo volume (3rd row seats folded, 2nd row seats in forward-most slide position) ● Generous 2nd and 3rd row legroom to accommodate adults in comfort ● Access to 3rd row without removing a 2nd row child seat ● Around View(tm) Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection ● Park Guide with voice guidance and line markings ● Extensive safety and security technologies, including available world’s first Backup Collision Intervention (BCI) system ● Available Bose Cabin Surround 15-speaker sound system with digital 5.1-channel decoding and a new Acoustic Waveguide subwoofer. The innovative design of infiniti JX provides luxurious efficiency and visual attraction. And here nature say that those two features like day and night they are opposite poles, and infiniti could mix them together to result the infinity JX, two characters combined together to offer comfort, security, efficiency, family fit in day and elegant luxurious car at night.

KUWAIT: Kuwait Energy, one of the fastest growing independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Middle East, yesterday announced a new oil discovery of Ahmad-2 well, located in the Area A license in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt, adjacent to the Shukheir North West field. Kuwait Energy is the operator of the Area A license under a service agreement with Egypt’s General Petroleum Company (GPC). Kuwait Energy holds a 70% working interest in the license, and the remaining 30% interest is held by Petrogas E&P, of Oman. The Ahmad-2 well encountered oil in the Rudeis formation for the first time in the Shukheir North West field and Ahmad area, and initial tests showed a production flow rate of 1,300 barrels of oil per day (bopd). This is the fifth exploration success in the Area A concession, and the 19th discovery in Egypt for Kuwait Energy since 2008. Kuwait Energy’s Chief Executive Officer, Sara Akbar, said, “We are delighted to announce yet another exploration success at the Area A concession, which follows the discovery of the West Ahmad-1X well earlier this year. Area A is now our largest producing oil asset in Egypt and we look forward to more successes.”

Kuwait Energy started operating in Egypt in 2008 and its operations there contribute the largest share to the Company’s current total working interest

Kuwait Energy CEO Sara Akbar production. In Egypt, the Company operates three oil blocks, Area A, Burg El Arab development lease and the Abu Sennan concession, and has interests in two other non-Company-operated blocks, namely the Mesaha concession and the East Ras Qattara development lease.

NBK’s Al-Jawhara Account offers customers more chances to win bigger prizes KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) offers biggest prizes and a range of benefits through Al-Jawhara account. NBK boosted the prizes of Al-Jawhara to KD 250,000 in quarterly draws, KD 125,000 in monthly draws and KD 5,000 in weekly draws, offering customers more chances to win bigger prizes. “We are always providing our customers with more chances to win bigger prizes,” explained Ahmed Al-Khader, NBK’s Assistant General Manager, Consumer Banking Group. “At NBK, we are keen to develop our products to award more customers.” Al-Khader added: “Al-Jawhara is the most popular prizegiving account in Kuwait and we congratulate all our previous winners and look forward to many more.” Al-Jawhara account offers a range of benefits and prizes and is available to nationals and expatriates. A customer can open an account with only KD 50 and will automatically be entered into the weekly, monthly and quarterly draws. Each KD 50 in a customer’s account entitles them to one entry in the draw, thus more money in an account means more chances in each draw.

Ahmed Al-Khader, NBK’s Assistant General Manager, Consumer Banking Group For more information please contact Hala Watani 1801801 or visit NBK official website

Malabar Gold & Diamonds reaches shopping malls Malabar Gold & Diamonds, the leading jewelry group with over 70 retail outlets worldwide, including 25 retail outlets in GCC now expands their network to the major shopping malls in the GCC countries. They are currently negotiating with the major shopping malls in the region and plan on offering 22 K gold jewelry, the preferred jewelry among diverse nationalities especially among the sub-continent customers, for the same value as offered at high street shops. In order to appeal to other nationalities, from residents and visitors who normally shop at shopping malls, Malabar Gold & Diamonds is adding more

varieties in their gold and diamond jewellery collection. As there is a common belief among the customers that 22 K gold jewellery is more expensive in the shopping malls, they prefer to shop it in the high streets or gold souks. Malabar Gold & Diamonds wants to break this concept offering their value for money concept in shopping malls also. In addition to their retail network, Malabar Gold & Diamonds operates 9 wholesale units and factories spread across India and the Middle East, employing over 6000 staff. Since their inception in 1993, they are striving to become the world’s leading jewellery retailer.




Austrian freefaller inspires awe in watching millions WASHINGTON: The world looked on in fear and awe as Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of outer space on Sunday, breaking a slew of records and winning millions of instant fans. The video feed-broadcast on a 20second delay intended to give news stations time to cut away in case tragedy struck-was viewed by more than seven million people on YouTube alone. The death-defying jump riveted audiences hungry for a genuinely extraordinary feat in an age when NASA is mothballing human spaceflight and many other supposed thrill-seekers simply perform elaborate stunts. Reactions poured in on Facebook and Twitter from people around the globe who had followed every step of the drama-packed mission, their lingering cynicism quickly turning to disbelief bordering on reverence. First

Baumgartner ascended in a small capsule attached to a massive helium-filled balloon, rising for more than two hours to reach a dizzying altitude more than 24 miles (39 kilometers) above the Earth. There was unexpected drama and minutes of uncertainty after it emerged that the heating mechanism on his visor wasn’t working. Maybe this would be just like all the other PR exercises, but No! he shifted forward to the edge of the capsule, the Earth but a distant blue haze below, and launched himself into freefall. The biggest risk Baumgartner faced was spinning out of control, which could have exerted excessive G-force and made him lose consciousness. A controlled dive from the capsule was essential, putting him in a head-down position to increase speed. Transfixed viewers around the world looked on in agony as the Austrian

started tumbling chaotically for what seemed like an eternity before finally achieving the correct position. “Who else saw Felix Baumgartner jump?? Damn what a legend!” Gregor Bates, watching in the British city of Bristol, wrote on Twitter. Adam Polselli, in US city of San Francisco, tweeted “More than anything, I’m impressed by Felix Baumgartner’s courage. May we all be that brave when we step into the unknown.” Austrians were particularly proud. President Heinz Fischer posted on his Facebook page: “I warmly congratulate Felix Baumgartner on this great success, which was achieved with courage and perseverance and is finding worldwide attention.” Jesus Diaz, who covered the event live for technology website Gizmodo, wrote that he “teared up” watching the successful conclusion of the jump. “He did it, people. He jumped

from the edge of space, broke some records, and survived,” Diaz wrote. “Kudos to you, Felix. As you were falling faster than any man in history, you made our collective hearts stop, then swell.” Some drew parallels to Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, saying Baumgartner would inspire the next generation of space pioneers. Andrew Kavanagh of Ireland suggested that future adventurers may have been paying attention: “My son has spent the past half hour doing Felix Baumgartner impersonations...” Some had a less reverent take on the daredevil feat. “Just watched a dude jump from near space. Humans are really dumb and really awesome,” wrote Geoff G, in the southeastern US state of Louisiana, on Twitter. All for a feat whose scientific significance was not clear, some argued.

“Felix Baumgartner has made a giant leap for a man but an infinitesimally small step for mankind,” tweeted Peter Bradshaw, whose location was not specified. Baumgartner broke at least three records: the highest freefall leap, the fastest speed ever achieved by a human and the first person to break the sound barrier of around 690 miles (1,110 kilometers) per hour in freefall. He said before the attempt that “part of this entire experience will help make the next pressure suit safer for space tourists and aviators.” Former NASA Astronaut Leroy Chiao, speaking on the US news channel CNN after the dive, concurred, saying “the technologies that they have developed, pressure suit technologies, I think you are going to see these things incorporated into future pressure suits that are used in spacecraft.” — AFP

New version of Flame virus uncovered: Kaspersky Lab Program designed for cyber espionage operations By Islam Sharaa

MOSHAV AHITUV: Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni poses for a photo with his cardboard bicycle in Moshav Ahituv, central Israe. The bicycle, made almost entirely of cardboard, has the potential to change transportation habits from the world’s most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa.

Cardboard bicycle can change the world: Israeli inventor MOSHAV AHITUV: A bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard has the potential to change transportation habits from the world’s most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa, its Israeli inventor says. Izhar Gafni, 50, is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. He is an amateur cycling enthusiast who for years toyed with an idea of making a bicycle from cardboard. He told Reuters during a recent demonstration that after much trial and error, his latest prototype has now proven itself and mass production will begin in a few months. “I was always fascinated by applying unconventional technologies to materials and I did this on several occasions. But this was the culmination of a few things that came together. I worked for four years to cancel out the corrugated cardboard’s weak structural points,” Gafni said. “Making a cardboard box is easy and it can be very strong and durable, but to make a bicycle was extremely difficult and I had to find the right way to fold the cardboard in several different directions. It took a year and a half, with lots of testing and failure until I got it right,” he said. Cardboard, made of wood pulp, was invented in the 19th century as sturdy packaging for carrying other more valuable objects, it has rarely been considered as raw material for things usually made of much stronger materials, such as metal. Once the shape has been formed and cut, the cardboard is treated with a secret concoction made of organic materials to give it its waterproof and fireproof qualities. In the final stage, it is coated with lacquer paint for appearance. In testing the durability of the treated cardboard, Gafni said he immersed a cross-section in a water tank for several months and it retained all its hardened characteristics. Once ready for production, the bicycle will include no metal parts, even the brake mechanism and the wheel and pedal bearings will be made of recycled substances, although Gafni said he could not yet reveal those details due to pending patent issues. “I’m repeatedly surprised at just how strong this material is, it is amazing. Once we are ready to go to production, the bike will have no metal parts at all,” Gafni said. Gafni’s workshop, a ramshackle garden shed, is typically the sort of place where legendary inventions are born. It is crammed with tools and bicycle parts and cardboard is strewn everywhere. One of his first models was a push bike he made as a toy for his young daughter which she is still using months later. Gafni owns several top-of-the-range bicycles which he said are worth thousands of dollars each, but when his own creation reaches mass production, it should cost no more than about $20 to buy. The cost of materials used are estimated at $9 per unit. “When we started, a year and a half or two years ago, people laughed at us, but now we are getting at least a dozen emails every day asking where they can

buy such a bicycle, so this really makes me hopeful that we will succeed,” he said. A ride of the prototype was quite stiff, but generally no different to other ordinary basic bikes. Nimrod Elmish, Gafni’s business partner, said cardboard and other recycled materials could bring a major change in current production norms because grants and rebates would only be given for local production and there would be no financial benefits by making bicycles in cheap labour markets. “This is a real game-changer. It changes ... the way products are manufactured and shipped, it causes factories to be built everywhere instead of moving production to cheaper labour markets, everything that we have known in the production world can change,” he said. Elmish said the cardboard bikes would be made on largely automated production lines and would be supplemented by a workforce comprising pensioners and the disabled. He said that apart from the social benefits this would provide for all concerned, it would also garner government grants for the manufacturers. Elmish said the business model they had created meant that rebates for using “green” materials would entirely cancel out production costs and this could allow for bicycles to be given away for free in poor countries. Producers would reap financial rewards from advertisements such as from multinational companies who would pay for their logo to be part of the frame, he explained. “Because you get a lot of government grants, it brings down the production costs to zero, so the bicycles can be given away for free. We are copying a business model from the high-tech world where software is distributed free because it includes embedded advertising,” Elmish explained. “It could be sold for around $20, because (retailers) have to make a profit ... and we think they should not cost any more than that. We will make our money from advertising,” he added. Elmish said initial production was set to begin in Israel in months on three bicycle models and a wheelchair and they will be available to purchase within a year. “In six months we will have completed planning the first production lines for an urban bike which will be assisted by an electric motor, a youth bike which will be a 2/3 size model for children in Africa, a balance bike for youngsters learning to ride, and a wheelchair that a non-profit organisation wants to build with our technology for Africa,” he said. The bicycles are not only very cheap to make, they are very light and do not need to be adjusted or repaired, the solid tyres that are made of reconstituted rubber from old car tyres will never get a puncture, Elmish said. “These bikes need no maintenance and no adjustment, a car timing belt is used instead of a chain, and the tyres do not need inflating and can last for 10 years,” he said. — Reuters

DUBAI: Yesterday Kaspersky Lab announced the discovery of miniFlame, a small and highly flexible malicious program designed to steal data and control infected systems during targeted cyber espionage operations. miniFlame, also known as SPE, was found by Kaspersky Lab’s experts in July 2012, and was originally identified as a Flame module. However, in September 2012, Kaspersky Lab’s research team conducted an in-depth analysis of Flame’s command & control servers (C&C) and from the analysis found that the miniFlame module was actually an interoperable tool that could be used as an independent malicious program, or concurrently as plug-in for both the Flame and Gauss malware. Analysis of miniFlame showed there were several versions created between 2010 and 2011, with some variants still being active in the wild. The analysis alsorevealed new evidence of the cooperation between the creators of Flame and Gauss, as both malicious programs can use miniFlame as a “plug-in” for their operations. Main findings also known as SPE, is based on the same architectural platform as Flame. It can function as its own independent cyber espionage program or as a component inside both Flame and Gauss. l The cyber espionage tool operates as a backdoordesigned for data theft and direct access to infected systems. l Development of miniFlamemight have started as early as 2007 and continued until the end of 2011. Many variations are presumed to be created. To date, Kaspersky Lab has identified six of these variants, covering two major generations: 4.x and 5.x. lminiFlame,

l Unlike Flame or Gauss, which had high number of infections, the amount of infections for miniFlame is much smaller. According to Kaspersky Lab’s data,the number of infections is between 10-20 machines. The total number of infections worldwide is estimated at 50-60. l The number of infections combined with miniFlame’s info-stealing features and flexible design indicate it was used for extremely targeted cyber-espionage operations, and was most likely deployed inside machines that were already infected by Flame or Gauss.

Discovery The discovery of miniFlame occurred during the in-depth analysis of the Flame and Gauss malware. In July 2012 Kaspersky Lab’s experts identified an additional module of Gauss, codenamed “John” and found references to the same module in Flame’s configuration files. The subsequent analysis of Flame’s command and control servers, conducted in September 2012, helped to reveal that the newly discovered module was in fact a separate malicious program, although it can be used as a “plug-in” bybothGauss and Flame. miniFlame was codenamed SPE in the code of Flame’s original C&C servers. Kaspersky Lab discovered six different variations of miniFlame, all dating back to 20102011. At the same time, the analysis of miniFlame points to even earlier date when development of the malware was commenced - not later than 2007. miniFlame’s ability to be used as a plug-in by either Flame or Gauss clearly connects the collaboration between the development teams of both Flame and Gauss. Since the connection between Flame and Stuxnet/Duqu has already been revealed, it can be concluded that all these advanced threats come from the same “cyber warfare” factory.

Functionality The original infection vector of miniFlameis yet to be determined. Given the confirmed relationship between miniFlame, Flame, and Gauss, miniFlame may be installed on machines already infected by Flame or Gauss. Once installed, miniFlame operates as a backdoor and enables the malware operators to obtain any file from an infected machine. Additional info-stealing capabilities includemaking screenshots of an infected computer while it’s running a specific program or application in such as a web browser, Microsoft Office program, Adobe Reader, instant messenger service, or an FTP client. miniFlame uploads the stolen data by connecting to its C&C server (which may be unique, or “shared” with Flame’s C&Cs). Separately, at the request from miniFlame’s C&C operator, an additional data-stealing module can be sent to an infected system, which infects USB drives and uses them to store data that’s collected from infected machines without an internet connection. Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert, Kaspersky Lab, commented: “miniFlame is a high precision attack tool. Most likely it is a targeted cyberweapon used in what can be defined as the second wave of a cyberattack. First, Flame or Gauss are used to infect as many victims as possible to collect large quantities of information. After data is collected and reviewed, a potentially interesting victim is defined and identified, and miniFlameis installed in order to conduct more in-depth surveillance and cyber-espionage. The discovery of miniFlame also gives us additional evidence of the cooperation between the creators of the most notable malicious programs used for cyber warfare operations: Stuxnet, Duqu, Flame and Gauss.”

Taiwan probing alleged theft of technology for China TAIPEI: Taiwan is investigating the alleged theft by two former executives of sensitive technology from leading flat-panel maker AU Optronics and its sale to a Chinese rival, officials said yesterday. The two suspects, identified by their surnames Lien and Wang, were taken into custody and questioned by the Bureau of Investigation last month. The bureau said it suspected they had stolen AMOLED (activematrix organic light-emitting diode) display technology used in mobile devices and televisions, before being recruited by China Star Optoelectronics Technology, a unit of China’s consumer electronics brand name TCL. “They were paid in return a yearly salary of more than $1 million,” the bureau said in a statement. “The illegal leak of the cuttingedge technology has undermined Taiwan’s competitive edge in the flat-panel industry and severely betrayed the national interest.” The pair were released after questioning, the bureau said, but will face further questioning by prosecutors. Lien had been in charge of AU Optronics’ display technology development centre and Wang was a research unit manager before they moved to China Star in September last year. The case comes amid mounting calls for a law on industrial espionage, especially by China, as growing ties have made it easier for mainland firms to steal secrets. Currently suspects faces charges such as breach of trust and embezzlement but critics say the punishment for such crimes is not severe enough. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co filed a lawsuit against its Chinese rival Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp in the United States in 2003, alleging SMIC improperly obtained its trade secrets and infringed patents. In 2005 SMIC agreed to pay TSMC $175 million to settle the case after the Taiwan chipmaker filed new evidence of corporate espionage with a US court. — AFP

Text messages can be used to place orders and can lead customers to a mobile checkout page to help customers pay for purchases.

App lets strangers weigh in on why relationships go wrong TORONTO: Confused about why a relationship went wrong or the true meaning of a text message? A new web app that relies on the comments of strangers may provide some clarity. The app, called Impressions, was recently launched on the website Wotwentwrong, which lets users anonymously get feedback from their exes. With Impressions people can create a timeline of their relationships and mark milestones, such as their first date or kiss, and embed polls to get feedback and advice on everything from the significance of a text to dealing with arguments. “It’s not the sanitized content you get from the magazines or all the online blogs that give you the ‘top ten reasons why this happened’ or ‘five ways to do that’. It’s real situations and advice,” said Audrey Melnik, the founder of San Francisco-based start-up Wotwentwrong. “You’re doing all of this anonymously so you can really expel those feelings of anxiety.” Melnik said the app was created to help relieve the uncertainty and anxiety that relationships can produce by providing advice on how to proceed in situations that may cause confusion. “It’s also about self-improvement,” said Melnik, adding that while many people

focus on improving their professional habits, they often ignore their personal relationships. “People are going on all these online dates, meeting people and dating them, and they’re failing for various reasons,” she explained. “They’re not aware about what they might be doing wrong, and gaining any new skills in how to be better in dating.” Although some critics might argue that divulging details about a relationship online may verge on the obsessive, Melnik argues that it is no different than what happens in daily life. “Who doesn’t obsess about their relationships?” she said. “All we’re doing is taking what is already happening offline and presenting it online,” she explained. Another web app launched recently called, HeTexted, also taps into crowdsourcing, the collective knowledge of a group of people. It helps women decipher the meaning of puzzling text messages. Melnik believes one of the main sources of anxiety in relationships is the lack of communication and cites the text message as the prime source of ambiguity. “We’re not hearing tone, so we lose a lot of actual data,” she said. “If you want to have a conversation, you should use something that’s more conducive to a two-way conversation- like a phone.” — Reuters



Folic acid doesn’t cut risk of colon polyps: Study BOSTON: Taking extra folic acid and other B-vitamin supplements may not help protect against colon polyps, according to a US study that contradicts observational studies suggesting people who get more of the vitamins are less likely to get colon cancer. The study, led by Yiqing Song from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, followed 1,470 women with an average initial age of 62. The women were randomly assigned to take daily folic acid and vita-

mins B6 and B12, or a vitamin-free placebo pill, and then followed them to see who developed colon polyps. Women in the “active” treatment group took 2.5 milligrams of folic acid, 50 mg of vitamin B6 and 1 mg of vitamin B12 each day. All participants had a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy to check for colon polyps, which can develop into cancer if not removed, sometime before mid-2007. According to their medical records, 355 had a confirmed polyp. Polyp risk was not related to treat-

ment group, with 24.3 percent of women taking the vitamins developing polyps compared to 24.0 percent of those on placebo pills. The lack of benefit remained after the researchers accounted for women’s weight as well as smoking, alcohol and exercise. “Where we really are is a kind of interesting impass,” said John Baron, an epidemiologist from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University in Lebanon, New Hampshire, who was not involved in the study. “The observational data continually

show an inverse association between measures of folic acid, that is diet or blood level, and the risk of colorectal cancer. The clinical trial data such as we have... suggest no benefit overall.” One hypothesis is that folic acid can help ensure DNA replicates correctly, which in theory could decrease the risk of cancer. But there’s also been some concern that high doses of folic acid can feed the growth of pre -cancerous polyps in people who already have them. Baron, who wasn’t involved in the study, told Reuters h\Health those wor-

ries are “largely theoretical,” but they are a reason not to go overboard with folic acid nonetheless. He added that the combined data don’t support the protective effects of B vitamins, over and above what’s in a normal diet, on the colon. “Most people in the US are reasonably well nourished, and with folic acid supplementation now there’s not serious concern about folate deficiency,” he said. “For general health, a usual diet for most people is sufficient. Taking large doses (of folic acid) is, at a minimum, wasteful.” — Reuters

On patrol with Mumbai’s grandma spit inspector ‘Nobody is interested in paying the fine’

HERAT: Afghan women wait with their children to receive a polio vaccination on the second day of a vaccination campaign in Herat yesterday. A new three-day nationwide immunisation campaign against polio began all over the country. — AFP

Nashville hospital battles to save lives of patients with meningitis NASHVILLE: At the epicenter of one of the worst US health scares in recent history, staff at St. Thomas Hospital have battled around the clock for more than two weeks to the save the lives of patients stricken with meningitis. The sprawling complex better known as a hospital for heart patients, which sits atop a hill overlooking a wealthy area of Nashville, has treated more than 15 percent of all victims in the nation of a rare form of fungal meningitis. St. Thomas is the place where doctors first began to realize something was horribly wrong with back pain medications shipped from New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts. Fifteen people have died of meningitis in six states since the outbreak began. Some 203 people have been sickened with meningitis in 14 states and the numbers continue to mount. The illness is believed to be linked to fungus contamination in some of the steroid shipped from NECC used mostly for epidural injections to control back pain. Since the beginning of the month, some 330 patient have gone to the St. Thomas 29bed emergency room, where the triage area is named after the mother of comedian, actress and star of “Laugh In” Lily Tomlin, whose family is from Nashville and donated privately to the facility. But it is no laughing matter of late, as two people have died of meningitis at St. Thomas and the hospital has treated 33 of the 53 cases of meningitis in Tennessee, the hardest hit state. While the hospital has not given patient names, one of the casualties at St. Thomas was Reba Temple, 80, of Centerville, Tennessee, according to a family friend. Temple herself was a former health director of Hickman County. More than 275 patients have undergone spinal tap tests at the hospital, a painful procedure to determine if they have meningitis.

“That has to be some type of entry for the Guinness Book of World Records, an entry I wish we could have avoided,” Dr. Robert Latham, chief of medicine and director of the Infectious Diseases Program at the hospital, said on Friday. At one point 40 to 45 patients who had received injections were being treated at St. Thomas each day, officials said. Of those who have survived so far, two remain in critical condition, 28 are in stable condition and on Friday the hospital sent the first of its victims home, where the patient will continue intravenous anti-fungal therapy. “Our first case (of fungal meningitis) has been in the hospital for over four weeks on continuous anti-fungal therapy,” Latham said. Of the 17,676 vials of steroid suspected of being contaminated, 2,000 vials went to the ninth floor of the Nashville hospital, to St. Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center, more than any other facility in the nation. The clinic is not affiliated with the hospital though it is on the property. Latham, who has worked around the clock and personally supervised the treatment of every infected person at the hospital, praised the staff. “My involvement with these patients has also made me a key eyewitness to another extraordinary story-one of selfless sacrifice and caring among nurses, associates and physicians who have come forward to help in ways that I never imagined,” Latham said. He said hospital employees ranging from telephone operators answering calls from scared patients to heart doctors who volunteered to work in the ER have helped the hospital cope with what was a “horrific” situation. St. Thomas is not out of the woods yet. On Friday, officials confirmed another 111 patients of the Outpatient Neurosurgery Center in the building may have received tainted medicine from one of the lots as early as early June. Some of them may have to come in for tests.— Reuters

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MUMBAI: At a bus stop in south Mumbai, a man hawks loudly before expelling a mouthful of brown saliva into the road without a second thought-but unfortunately for him, the spit inspector is watching. Rajeshree Rajaram Kamble, a 53-year-old grandmother dressed in a flowery tunic with matching blue shawl and trousers, strides towards her prey and firmly requests a fine of 200 rupees ($3.60). The man appears surprised by her fingerwaggling admonishment, and says he does not have any money on him. “You can wash it away,” Kamble retorts, marching him to a nearby sugarcane juice stall to get some water. “If you don’t wash it, then you can take off your clothes and clean it.” The man is still reluctant and their row gets increasingly heated. Onlookers pause to watch as voices are raised-”Sorry is not enough!” Kamble insists-until the man relents and sheepishly rinses away the evidence. For Kamble, such altercations are just part of the job. “Every day I fight with people,” she told AFP. “Nobody is interested in paying the fine.” Working for the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), she is one of 25 “nuisance detectors” taking on grown men and women every day over offences such as public littering, urinating and bathing on the street. In a dirty and overcrowded city, Kamble faces an uphill battle but refuses to admit defeat against habits such as spitting, which health experts believe may help spread tuberculosis. “Every time I see someone spitting, something happens inside me. My blood boils and I get very angry,” said Kamble, who goes out on patrol armed with just a plastic identity tag and fine receipt book. Spitting in a public place, unless a spittoon is provided, is banned under a 2006 Mumbai byelaw. But across the country, many Indians spit regularly at street corners, out of car windows, onto and even inside buildings: Few spaces are spared, especially from those who chew various mixtures of tobacco and areca nut. In a boost for the anti-spit brigade, Maharashtra state-of which Mumbai is the capital-is among several states to recently ban “gutka”, a mass-produced mix that is widely chewed and spat out, staining the streets. Raja Narasimhan, who has set up a movement called the Spit Free India Campaign, does not have high hopes of a hygiene revolution on spitting, with gutka still found on the black market. “There’s no way you can stop it,” he said. “Even people driving or riding in a Mercedes roll down the window and spit.” Traditional handmade “paan” (areca and flavourings wrapped in betel leaf, sometimes with tobacco) remains a hugely popular palate

cleanser. The 200-rupee fine is more than a day’s pay for some Mumbai citizens, and in the year to July, roughly 170,000 spitting penalties were collected in the city, according to Seema Redkar at the MCGM’s solid waste management department. As well as the nuisance detectors, hundreds of “clean-up marshals” deployed through private agencies were introduced in 2007 to help enforce cleanliness byelaws, but they have been dogged by allegations of misconduct. The public’s attitude is partly to blame, said Redkar. “Culturally we’re not ready to pay fines.” Other novel attempts to halt spitting have struggled. Local activist Vijay Sangole tried sticking up pictures of Hindu gods at popular spitters’ spots in a bid to make offenders think twice. “ They were not deterred at all,” he said. “There’s absolutely no civic sense.” More concerning are the health risks that spitting poses. While the link between spitting and the spread of TB has not been widely studied, “logically it’s very much possible”, said Soumya Swaminathan, director of the Chennai-based

National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis. She said the bacteria that cause TB, an airborne disease that kills about 1,000 people a day in India, could be spat out into dust particles and then inhaled by others. “It can survive for quite a long time,” she said. Since March, health officials in Mumbai have been distributing anti-TB posters and leaflets containing simple pictorial warnings against spitting and openly coughing. But many doubt whether such campaigns can be effective. “Our view is that awareness stickers have really minimal impact. Most people find it hard to make these connections,” said Ram Prasad at Final Mile, a behavioural research group in Mumbai. The conventional “Do not spit” signs that currently dot Mumbai may even encourage new spitters. “If we keep communicating that a lot of people spit, it kind of becomes a norm and hence acceptable,” warned Prasad. Old habits may die hard, but spit inspector Kamble remains convinced her mission can make a difference. “I feel proud of raising awareness in society,” she said. —AFP

MUMBAI: In a picture taken on August 29, 2012, city civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s official “nuisance detector” Rajeshree Rajaram Kamble (R) admonishes pedestrians caught in the act of ‘littering in a public place’ in Mumbai. It’s a common sight across India’s commercial capital, but an illegal act that official “nuisance detector” Rajeshree Rajaram Kamble is on a mission to wipe out. Armed with just a handbag and decked in flowery traditional dress, the 53-year-old grandmother strides towards her new target and firmly requests the 200 rupee ($3.60) fine for spitting. — AFP

Study: Can a few cherries a day keep gout away? NEW YORK: Cherries may no longer be just for topping off ice-cream sundaes - a US study of people with gout linked eating the fruit with a 35 percent to 75 percent lower risk of having an attack. Doctors have reported that some patients recommend cherries to prevent gout attacks, but the connection has only been studied a few times before, said lead researcher Yuqing Zhang, a professor at the Boston University School of Medicine. “These findings suggest that cherry intake is associated with a lower risk of gout attacks,”

Zhang and colleagues wrote in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. But Zhang warned that the study does not prove that cherries alone prevent gout attacks, and that patients should stick with their present gout medications. “They can go out and eat the cherries, but they shouldn’t abandon their medical treatment at all,” Zhang added. Gout arises with uric acid crystals build up in the joints. The body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines substances found naturally in the body but also in certain foods, like organ meats, anchovies,

LOS ANGELES: Doreen Andreotti photographs the Space Shuttle Endeavour as it nears the end of its journey to the California Science Center in Exposition Park in Los Angeles. The 170,000-pound (77,272 kg) shuttle completed its 12-mile (19km) road trip from Los Angeles International Airport to its permanent museum home just over 18 hours late. — AFP

mushrooms and some seafoods. For the study, Zhang and his colleagues recruited patients over the Internet to take online surveys about their attacks. All the 633 participants had had a gout attack in the last 12 months, had been diagnosed with gout by a doctor, lived in the United States and were at least 18 years old. They also had to release their medical records to the researchers. For the next year, the patients filled out surveys every time they had an attack. The survey asked about symptoms, the drugs used in treatment and about certain risk factors, including what they had eaten. The patients also took similar surveys at the beginning of the study, and every three months when it was underway. Of the 633 patients, 224 said they had eaten fresh cherries during the year, 15 said they had consumed cherry extract and 33 had both. During the year, the researchers collected information on 1,247 gout attacks, which works out to about two per patient. Overall, the researchers found that eating cherries over a given two-day period was linked to a 35 percent decrease in the risk of having a gout attack during that period, compared to not eating cherries. Consuming cherry extract was tied to a 45 percent risk reduction, and eating both fresh cherries and extract was tied to a 37 percent lower risk. The biggest reduction, though, came with eating fresh cherries while taking the anti-gout medication allpurinol (Lopurin, Zyloprim.) That combination was linked to a 75 percent reduction in risk. Researchers say there are a few possible reasons. One is that vitamin C, which is found in cherries, can influence the amount of uric acid in a person’s blood, according to Allan Gelber, who co-wrote an editorial accompanying the study. — Reuters



In America, pudgy pets hit the treadmill, too NEW YORK: As the obesity rate soars among Americans, their dogs are getting potbellied, too, encouraging fitness companies to come up with a range of equipment and classes to get pampered pets back into shape. From canine-tailored treadmills, to puppy pedometers and group fitness classes, there’s no shortage of tools to trim and tone the sagging paunches of pooches. As part of his fitness routine, Rocky, a rotund dachshund, traipses a minitreadmill designed for small dogs. “ When Rocky first came to us, he looked like a small marine animal,” said Dr. Dennis Arn, veterinarian at the Desert Inn Animal Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada. “He’s got a waistline now and his conditioning is significantly better.” Just like their owners, obesity

affects pets’ longevity and quality of life. About 53 percent of adult dogs are classified by their veterinarians as obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. To combat the weighty issue, Tufts University ’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, Massachusetts, announced the creation of the nation’s first obesity clinic last month, geared specially towards pets. “If you can’t lay your hands on them and feel the ribs pretty easily, they’re obese,” said Arn, adding that too many pet owners reward their charges with treats. “As a blanket statement, a dog needs at least 30 minutes (of exercise) a day,” said Geralynn Cada, who has been training dogs for more than 30 years. “A dog who is less active is less happy and has more health problems.”

Cada, who is based in Nevada, teaches classes such as dog yoga, puppy Pilates, and a canine interval training course known as Retrieve and Burn. Physical issues aside, dogs that are denied exercise often develop behavioral problems, she said. “A tired dog is a happy dog,” Cada said. “If your dog gets bored, they’ll search for purpose and that purpose will be to chew up your wallet.” To burn off her high-strung husky’s extra enthusiasm as well as calories, Cada runs him regularly on his dog treadmill, dubbed the DogPACER. David Ezra, CEO of DogPACER, said he got the idea for the canine cardio machine after observing clients at his fitness centers. “I thought, “Why not a treadmill for dogs?”“ he said. Hundreds of canine treadmills - which sell for $500 and

Moon water could have solar source PARIS: Scientists yesterday said they had found water molecules in samples of lunar soil, and their unusual signature points to the Sun as the indirect source. Samples returned to Earth by the Apollo missions carry molecules of water and a precursor of water called hydroxyl, according to their study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Researchers led by Yang Liu at the University of Tennessee theorise that the molecules developed from a reaction between hydrogen ions in the solar windthe blast of particles from the Sun-and a loose surface soil called regolith. The Sun was formed around 4.5 billion years ago from a cloud of gas, a reaction in which all the deuterium in the nebula reacted with hydrogen to form helium. As a result, unlike all other objects in the Solar System, the Sun is deuterium-less. Sure enough, the samples were tellingly poor in deuterium, the investigators found. The tests used infrared spectroscopy to get a chemical signature of regolith grains from the Apollo 11, 16 and 17 missions.

Two samples came from plains locations, and one from the lunar highlands. Although the molecules are dissolved within the grains and do not exist as liquid water, the findings powerfully boost the notion that the Moon is not the utterly arid place it was once thought to be, say the authors. Since 2009, when NASA found water crystals in a deep crater near Moon’s southern pole, evidence has suggested that the Moon was once a pretty moist place and may still have frozen water at depth. Until now, the source of water in the inner Solar System, the region extending to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, is believed to be comets and other waterrich rocks which whack into planets and other bodies. So if the study is right, hydrogen from the solar wind could be a second, hitherto unimagined source. The solar wind whacks into the lunar surface at 1.6 million kms (a million miles) per hour, penetrating the lunar soil to a depth of up to 100 nanometres (100 billionths of a metre), according to

some calculations. The impact is so brutal that the Moon’s mass diminishes by around million tonnes per hour, a figure that however is tiny when compared to the size of our satellite. Hydroxyl is a bond between one hydrogen and one oxygen atom, while water (H20) comprises two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. How the solar hydrogen combines with oxygen in the regolith grains to make the molecules is unclear. But the phenomenon could occur in other places in the inner Solar System, the authors suggest. “A similar mechanism may contribute to hydroxyl on the surfaces of other airless terrestrial bodies where the solar wind directly interacts with the surface,” says the study. Examples of this could be Mercury, the rocky planet that is nearest the Sun, and Vesta, the second biggest (and the brightest) object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. On Earth, we are shielded from the solar wind thanks to the atmosphere and the planet’s magnetic field. — AFP

come in regular and mini sizes - have been sold since they hit the market seven months ago. “We’ve run over 1,000 dogs at this point,” said Ezra, adding that 60 to 70 percent of the treadmills go to dog owners, including seniors whose health problems prevent them from exercising their animals. Others are purchased by grooming salons, veterinarians, police and government agencies, and animal rehabilitation centers. “Grooming facilities will throw the dog on (a treadmill) to de-stress them before grooming,” he said, adding that dogs must be supervised and will initially be taken aback by the equipment. Studies have shown that people who wear pedometers routinely walk more. Perhaps in that spirit, developers of Tagg, a pet location

device, developed an activity monitor that makes it possible for owners to keep tabs on their dog’s exercise. “ Tagg’s combination of activity monitoring and GPS location tracking puts pet parents in control of their pet’s well-being,” Dave Vigil, president of Snaptracs Inc. which created Tagg, said in a statement. Cada is so devoted to keeping animals fit, she has also devised ways to stimulate her dogs mentally. “I have them doing a mental obstacle course for me,” she said. “I’ll have them sit down, roll over, jump on and off the bed, and do all the tricks they know in a random order.” The animals will also fetch and engage in a series of rapid-fire handto-paw high-fives. “It’s like a test,” she explained, “for a treat.” — Reuters

Diabetes: Know the facts KUWAIT: Diabetes is prevalent in Kuwait and carries with it a serious risk of vital organ damage as well as reducing life expectancy by almost a decade irrespective of the age at diagnosis. As health care providers it is our responsibility to try and raise awareness, educate the masses and dispel any misconceptions held amongst residents of Kuwait. Here are some important and interesting facts Don’t be left undiagnosed If you belong to the following groups and are over 40 years old, it would be advisable to get a routine fasting glucose measured • A close member of your family has Type 2 diabetes (parent or brother or sister). • You’re overweight or if your waist is 32 inches or over for women; 35 inches or over for Asian men and 37 inches or over for white and black men. • You have high blood pressure or you’ve had a heart attack or a stroke. • If you lead a very sedentary lifestyle (inactivity) and smoke heavily

• You’re a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome and you are overweight. • If you’re a woman and you’ve had gestational diabetes. (diabetes diagnosed in pregnancy) • You have severe mental health problems. The more risk factors that apply to you, the greater your risk of having diabetes. Some things that do not cause diabetes • Eating sweets and sugar does not cause diabetes, but eating a lot of sugary and fatty foods can lead to being overweight. • You cannot catch diabetes, like a cold. • Stress does not cause diabetes, although it may make the symptoms worse in people who already have the condition. • An accident or an illness will not cause diabetes but may reveal diabetes if it is already there. — Dr Kashif Rizvi, Consultant physician & diabetologist at Mazaya clover centre




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


The Regency announces appointment of new GM he Regency Kuwait is delighted to announce the appointment of Aurelio Giraudo as its new General Manager. Italian-born Giraudo is a seasoned professional and has been in the hotel industry for more than 30 years in all corners of the globe. In 2010 he played a key role in organizing the World Economic Forum’s first ever summit held in Morocco while working as Area Manager for Palmeraie in Marrakech. Giraudo has previously worked as Group Corporate Director of Food and Beverage and General Manager of the Imperial Hotels Group in Thailand, and headed the Imperial Angkor Palace Hotel in Cambodia, now known as Le MÈridien Angkor. In Taiwan he was appointed as General Manager by Four Seasons, Taipei and spent some Aurelio Giraudo years in Bangkok with the Fairmont Group as General Manager of Nailert Park Bangkok, a SwissÙtel. Prior to his appointment at The Regency Kuwait he was General Manager of Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, Kuala Lumpur - the flagship hotel for Luxury Collection in Malaysia. On his arrival Giraudo said “I am delighted and honoured to be joining my new associates at The Regency Kuwait! I am also very excited to be spearheading The Regency’s long-held mission for sustainability and diversity within its operations. I look forward greatly to the exciting future plans for the hotel which include a fantastic spa, state-of-the-art fitness studio and expanded exhibition space.” Giraudo is an excellent communicator, speaking six languages, many learned during his time spent in Thailand, China, Morocco and Malaysia. Coming with stellar experience in Food and Beverage as well as Sales, he confirmed that he is looking forward to enhancing the hotel’s culinary excellence and improving occupancies. The Regency already currently hosts a variety of gastronomic adventures including the popular Friday event, the Ultimate Brunch and an exclusive High Tea at Al Liwan. From October 13th - 17th guests at The Regency will have the chance to savour a Taste of Lebanon,followed on 31st October by the long-awaited “Barbeque Al Fresco” on the delightful Silk Road Terrace overlooking the azure Gulf. The Regency also offers superb savings on rooms and suites for Eid AlAdha and a magnificent buffet to share with friends

s a part of the expansion plan that has been pushing forward, Mohamed Naser Al Sayer & Sons is proud to announce the opening of its new fully operational Toyota parts distribution outlet in Ardiya, Kuwait, making it the 18th outlet to serve Al Sayer’s customers. The ceremony was attended by Paul Reynolds, COO - Automotive/MNSS, along with Mohamed Ali Hilal GM Parts & Accessories, Top management, in addition to a number of guests of honor guests from the local press. This is an Endeavour to the continuous commitment of providing the most convenient locations for Parts, service and showroom facilities to our esteemed customer. Your trust in our reliability has made us the best when it comes to providing the best automotive services. Further Mubarak Naser Al Sayer - CEO / Automotive MNSS, assured his faith in Kuwait and its economy, saying: “We are under the patronage of His Highness the



Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and his good government, we shall spare no effort to invest in various

different areas that will support Toyota’s customers at all levels, which in turn will enable us always to be at the expecta-

tions and the goodwill of our existing & customers to be for life.”

Kuwait Marriott offers exciting family packages for Eid Al Adha n lieu of the upcoming Eid Al Adha festival, Kuwait Marriott Hotels will celebrate this special occasion by offering valuable tailor-made packages this year. The special promotions run from October 18 until November 2 at both the JW Marriott Kuwait City and Courtyard by Marriott Kuwait City hotels. As part of the promotions, Kuwait Marriott Hotels will be offering a delectable array of varied food choices at their restaurants specially prepared for the occasion. To attract visitors from the region during this holiday season, the refreshing business Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Kuwait and the luxurious five-star JW Marriott Kuwait Hotel are also offering generous family vacation deals to guarantee a memorable family experience. “During this auspicious time, families unite over good food and entertainment to revive the festive Eid spirit. We spare no efforts in ensuring our guests are well served and satisfied with our diversified offerings. On behalf of the team, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful and blessed Eid,” said George Aoun, General Manager of Kuwait Marriott Hotels. Guests at the JW Marriott hotel can look forward to an inviting offer for a single or double room with complimentary


buffet breakfast for two adults including children aged 6 and under. The promotion further presents another attractive alternative option that is exclusive to the hotel.

At the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, guests can enjoy their exclusive holiday package for just KD 45 per night for a minimum stay of 4 nights. The Eid Al Adha offer is valid for families in Kuwait and GCC citizens/ residents. Guests can also take advantage of complimentary breakfast buffet for 2 adults

and 2 children under 6 years of age, discount vouchers for shopping at the adjacent mall, shared airport pick up and drop off, 20% discount on all restaurants and

50% discount on all meals for children under 12 years of age. A wide range of other benefits accompany the room, some of which include free high speed internet access, free access to the health club and swimming pool along with valet parking service. Early check in and late checkout will also be offered subject to availability..

Visitors whose taste palettes crave for unique and diverse cuisines can enjoy the renowned La Brasserie restaurant which offers international buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Terrace Grill restaurant, known to be one of the best steakhouses in Kuwait, is also available for guests who prefer an extensive menu of the finest

meat cuts and seafood. Other interesting cuisines can be tried at the Japanese Kei restaurant offering sushi and Teppanyaki, CafÈ Royal with its vibrant food selections and monthly specials, as well as the muchcelebrated Indian contemporary restaurant Soul and Spice in Courtyard by Marriott that is known for its Indian cuisine with a unique fusion twist.

Goal Academy pecialist goalkeeper training is available at the Premier GOAL Academy in association with Everton F.C. and sponsored by Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company. Suitable for all ages and ability levels.


Open football tournament fter a successful inaugural tournament which had teams participating from Kuwait and the GCC countries, Real Betalbatim Football Club are all set once again for the second edition, which is scheduled on 27th October 2012. The tournament is organized in fond memory of Late Sheikha Huda Bader Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, and is a much awaited feature in the expatriate football circuit in Kuwait. Among others who shone during the tournaments were teams: Vaxim Divar from Dubai (UAE), Fahaheel Bros. from Kuwait, CRC Chinchinim from Kuwait and DHL FC, Kuwait whose players were declared to receive special citation and prizes among the 22 teams who equally gave their best during the one day tournament which was cheered by hundreds of spectators and jointly expressed their fondness of celebrating the golden jubilee of Kuwait’s independence. This year we are expecting many teams from Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar and Goa. Hence, we will have to minimize teams from Kuwait so it will be on first come first serve basis. A total of 22 teams participated in the fiesta which coincided with the 50 years of National Day Celebrations of Kuwait, last year, and more teams are envisaged to join in this year to claim the glittering trophy and valuable prizes. Last year, Aldona Football Club took flight with the prestigious trophy to the United Arab Emirates to add to their collection, together with one of the ‘Man of the Match’ awards and the best goalkeeper award.


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

Bappi Lahiri, Akriti mesmerise audience fter successfully hosting a high standard audition for Zee International Antakshari, Indian Cultural Society conducted a rocking high voltage concert featuring the man popularly known as ‘Indian King of Disco’ - Bappi Lahiri first time ever in Kuwait on October 5 at the Dr Kamil Al Rays Auditorium. The evening also showcased talented playback singer Akriti Kakkar, Charu Semwal & comedian Rajiv Nigam. On the evening of October 5th, hundreds of fans from across Kuwait hit the AIS auditorium, filling the 1,200 arena to its capacity. The chief guest of the evening was the Ambassador of India to Kuwait, Satish Mehta. The eminent guest also included the Ambassador of Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Ambassador of Bhutan. Among the special guest of honor were Fares Sallabi (Sales Director- Viva), Atul Tuli (GM- Export- Kohinoor Basmati Rice), Fadi Morsi (DAMViva) Aijaz Ahmed (MD- Sahara ACC), Ajay Goel (COO- City Centre), A R Tariq (GM-KBE), N. Malhotra (MD- Z&M) , Ravi Kohli ( MD- Taal & Dawat), N S Suresh ( VP- Kapico Group)& Directors from M3 events Murtaza Pachorawala, Minhaj Shikari & Amit Malhotra. The show was anchored by the exemplary President of Indian Cultural Society Ashfaq Khan in his customary style. The main show kicked off with a unique presentation by Riddhiraj Kumar, a 5 year old child


who has the amazing ability to identify flags of all the nations of the world and to name all the states of India blindfolded by feeling the shapes of map. This was followed with an impressive performance by the talented Safa Khan who set the tone of the evening with her disco number “Jhoom Jhoom Joom Baba” creating a perfect mood for the evening. Akriti Kakkar took over the stage and mesmerized the

audience with her popular numbers “Mar Jaani” & “Khudaya Khair”. A crowd pleaser with the perfect combination of singing ability and stage presence, she gave a great performance in two parts combining new numbers with melodies from yesteryears. Her initial performance was followed by a laugh riot caused by funny man Rajeev Nigam who had the crowd ins splits with his act. The highlight of the show was the

man who has been labeled the disco king of India. His performance proved that the man who is credited to have introduced disco to India has so much more going for him. His perfect renditions of lyrically melodious numbers which have remained evergreen until now including the magical ‘Inteha ho gayi’ showed that the man responsible for some of the greatest hits of the eighties was equally at home singing semi clas-

sical numbers as well as western peppy songs. His duets with Cahru Semwal were very well received by the audience who packed the auditorium for nonstop six hours of entertainment. The guests were gifted memento & gift hampers by Sahara ACC & ICS. Selected participants of Antakshari were honored in presence of great music director Bappi Lahri & guest artist. The ICS president expressed his gratitude to all executives of ICS, volunteers, event supporters. Khan also expressed his thanks to the media & press. Finally the show ended with the famous number “Kabhi Alvida na Kehna”. At the end of the show live Instrumental of Jana Gana Mana was played for the first time in history of Kuwait. The hard work of the ICS team & quality entertainment on time is becoming a model for live programmes in Kuwait.




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

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Canadian Embassy in Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visa and immigration matters including enquiries is conducted by the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE Individuals who are interested in working, studying, visiting or immigrating to Canada should contact the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, website: or, E-mail:

Inter-nations get together athering people online can only take you so far in the world of social gathering and organizing a meet up is a great way to move virtual socialization to a tangible territory, says Dr. Nermeen, Kuwait Inter nations ambassador. Organizing one of these events is an excellent way to establish yourself in a foreign country like Kuwait, it’s good to know an event like


this added Betty Schloffer a Filipina married to Australian. Inter-nations is active in more than 350 cities across the globe with a community of over 600,000 members is now the leading expatriate network worldwide. Throughout the month of September members are gathering in more than 220 local communities across the world to celebrate Inter-nations’ success.


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

18th annual award ceremony for ISP stars SP’s senior annual award ceremony has always been very special event of the year. On Thursday, 27th September, 144 outstanding students were awarded certificates and medals at SSC, HSSC, IGCSE & A LEVEL with excellent results from International School of Pakistan, Khaitan, Kuwait. It was an honour for ISP at the presence of Iftikhar Aziz, Ambassador of Pakistan to Kuwait as Chief Guest was received by a group of senior faculty staff and prominent graduates. The toppers welcomed the ambassador with a bouquet. The Guest of Honour was Madam Noorah Barakat In-Charge from the Ministry of Private Education. After the National Anthem of Kuwait, this memorable day started with the recitation of Holy Quran by Husnain Ijaz and its translation by Erum Shoukat. The role of stage secretaries was immaculate-


ly performed by Mrs Rohina Ali and Mrs Saima Kashif. Anjum Masood, Principal of ISP, welcoming the guests, highlighted the excellent results of ISP and appreciated the efforts put together by students and committed faculty staff. Parents, guests and educators assembled in the auditorium to show their spontaneous cheers of success, applause and smiles for each student to receive their certificates, medals and handshakes from the chief guest, sponsor of ISP, director and principal of ISP. The administration of ISP presented a shield to the chief guest. Keeping up their tradition, Abdullah Rashid Al Hufaiti, Owner of ISP and Madam Nadia Al Hufaiti Director of ISP, generously awarded scholarship to 20 graduates who stood first three positions at SSC, HSSC

and IGCSE. A group of students under the guidance of Mrs Shaista Tahir and Mrs Eman performed stage skits on Naat, Punjabi song, milli naghma and a skit on an Arabic song which was highly appreciated by the audience. Chief Guest in his address congratulated the students, their parents and the school on such a remarkable success. Towards the end of the program, the administrative and the academic staff had a photo session with the Chief Guest. Amjad Latif, Vice-Principal (Senior Section) concluded the program, before National Anthem of Pakistan, with his vote of thanks in his most humble and modest way. He appreciated the efforts of the students and the worthy teachers.

Marina Hotel Kuwait celebrates annual employee open day arina Hotel Kuwait recently held its annual employee open day 2012 at its private beach front. The open day was organized by the hotel’s Social Committee for all employees to take a breather from the busy season and also thank them for the great efforts. The celebration which was themed “Summer Fun” was attended by General Manager, Nabil Hammoud, who appreciated the employees and valued their efforts in light of the achievements. He also encouraged the staff to aim higher and work better through constant commitment always striving for excellence. The event included exciting activities and a variety of healthy team competitions. The employees enjoyed the Barbeque, elaborate dinner buffet and entertainment


program followed by the distribution of valuable prizes to encourage and motivate employees. Speaking at the open day, Nabil Hammoud, General Manager, said “We thank you all for your remarkable performance in the first, second and third quarter of 2012. We are glad to maintain the international standards of the hotel and have significantly invested towards the enhancement of the employees through training programs, rewards and recognitions. The credit for this success belongs to you all and as we go from here we must sustain it in years to come. We are happy to be able to provide our guests with a combination of luxury, location, convenience and comfort and will further continue to motivate our employees” further concluded Hammoud

EMBASSY OF FRANCE The Embassy would like to inform that starting September 2nd, 2012, visa demands for France will be handled by the outsourcing company “Capago - MENA Company”. Capago - MENA’S Call Center will be operational starting Sunday August 26 for setting appointments beginning September 2nd (+965 22270555). ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed on Oct 24, 2012 -Wednesday-Dussehra (Vijaya Dashami) ■■■■■■■

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 ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF PERU The Embassy of Peru is located in Sharq, Ahmed Al Jaber Street, Al Arabiya Tower, 6th Floor. Working days / hours: SundayThursday /9 am - 4 pm. Residents in Kuwait interested in getting a visa to travel to Peru and companies attracted to invest in Peru are invited to visit the permanent exposition room located in the Embassy. For more information, please contact: (+965) 22267250/1. ■■■■■■■


The Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait would like to remind that the external polling station No 90046 was created in the Embassy’s premises at the following address: Hawalli, Jabriya, bl.10, str. 6, build. 5. The working hours of the polling station: from Sunday to Thursday is from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Friday from 10 to 1 pm; Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm. On October 28, 2012 the working hours of the polling station from 8 am to 8 pm. Please be advised to refer to the Embassy to check your data in the Electoral Register as well as to pick up your personal invitation from the polling station if you did not receive this document by post.



00:45 Your Worst Animal Nightmares 01:35 I’m Alive 02:25 Cats 101 03:15 Bad Dog 04:05 Mutant Planet 04:55 Animal Battlegrounds 05:20 Dark Days In Monkey City 05:45 Safari Vet School 06:10 Safari Vet School 06:35 Wildlife SOS 07:00 Talk To The Animals 07:25 Baby Planet 08:15 Cats 101 09:10 Must Love Cats 10:05 Mutant Planet 11:00 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 11:55 Wild Africa Rescue 12:20 Wild Africa Rescue 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:15 Rescue Vet 13:45 Animal Cops Houston 14:40 Mutant Planet 15:35 Dark Days In Monkey City 16:00 Talk To The Animals 16:30 Bad Dog 17:25 Growing Up... 18:20 Dogs 101 19:15 Wildlife SOS 19:40 Rescue Vet 20:10 Animal Battlegrounds 20:35 Dark Days In Monkey City 21:05 Mutant Planet 22:00 Wild Animal Repo 22:55 Safari Vet School 23:20 Safari Vet School 23:50 Animal Cops Houston 23:50 Animal Cops Houston 00:30 Antiques Roadshow 01:25 Gok’s Fashion Fix 02:15 Gok’s Fashion Fix 03:05 Living In The Sun 04:00 Saturday Kitchen 04:25 MasterChef 05:20 Living In The Sun 06:15 MasterChef 06:40 Saturday Kitchen 07:10 MasterChef Australia 08:00 MasterChef Australia 08:25 Gok’s Fashion Fix 09:15 Gok’s Fashion Fix 10:05 Bargain Hunt 10:50 Antiques Roadshow 11:45 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 12:25 Gok’s Clothes Roadshow 13:15 Holmes On Homes 14:05 Holmes On Homes 14:55 Bargain Hunt 15:40 Antiques Roadshow 16:30 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 17:15 Gok’s Clothes Roadshow 18:00 Trish’s French Country Kitchen 18:30 Trish’s French Country Kitchen 18:55 Rhodes Across Italy 19:45 Come Dine With Me 20:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt 23:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 23:45 Gok’s Clothes Roadshow EditionEdition 00:15 01:10 02:05 03:00 03:55 04:20 04:50 05:15 05:40 06:05 07:00 Junior 07:50 08:45 09:40 10:05 10:30 10:55 11:25 12:20 13:15 14:10 14:35 15:05 15:30 16:25 Junior 17:20 18:15 19:10 19:40 20:05 20:35 21:00 21:30 22:25 23:20

Around The World In 80 Ways Deadliest Catch An Idiot Abroad Mythbusters Border Security Auction Hunters Auction Kings How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Extreme Fishing American Chopper: Senior vs Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Border Security Auction Hunters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Around The World In 80 Ways Deadliest Catch River Monsters Border Security Auction Hunters Auction Kings Ultimate Survival American Chopper: Senior vs Extreme Fishing Mythbusters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Border Security Auction Hunters Auction Kings River Monsters: Lair Of Giants Body Invaders Rattlesnake Republic

23:20 Surviving Disaster 00:35 Mega Builders 01:25 Things That Move 01:50 Things That Move 02:15 Morgan Freeman’s Through The Wormhole 03:05 The Gadget Show 03:35 Sport Science 04:25 NASA’s Greatest Missions 05:15 Scrapheap Challenge 06:05 Mega Builders 07:00 Things That Move 07:25 Things That Move 07:50 Morgan Freeman’s Through The Wormhole 08:40 Head Rush 08:43 Tech Toys 360 09:12 Patent Bending 09:40 NASA’s Greatest Missions 10:30 The Gadget Show 10:55 The Gadget Show 11:20 Mega Builders 12:10 Scrapheap Challenge 13:00 Things That Move 13:25 Things That Move 13:50 Morgan Freeman’s Through The Wormhole 14:45 NASA’s Greatest Missions 15:35 The Gadget Show 16:00 Head Rush 16:03 Tech Toys 360 16:32 Patent Bending 17:00 Mega Builders 17:50 NASA’s Greatest Missions

18:40 19:30 20:20 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:40

Scrapheap Challenge Catch It Keep It Moon Machines The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Stuck With Hackett Stuck With Hackett Moon Machines Sport Science

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

Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Lazytown Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Lazytown Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse The Hive Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny The Hive Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Mouk Mouk The Hive Mickey Mouse Clubhouse New Adventures Of Winnie The Art Attack Imagination Movers Lazytown Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Handy Manny Jungle Junction Imagination Movers The Hive Special Agent Oso Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse New Adventures Of Winnie The Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Imagination Movers Lazytown Jungle Junction Mouk Art Attack Lazytown Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Mouk Imagination Movers A Poem Is... Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jungle Junction New Adventures Of Winnie The

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00:30 Ghost Lab 01:20 A Haunting 02:05 Stalked: Someone’s Watching 02:30 Stalked: Someone’s Watching 02:55 Scorned: Crimes Of Passion 03:45 Dr G: Medical Examiner 04:30 Ghost Lab 05:20 A Haunting 06:10 Disappeared 07:00 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 07:50 Street Patrol 08:15 Street Patrol 08:40 Real Emergency Calls 09:05 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 09:30 On The Case With Paula Zahn 10:20 FBI Case Files 11:10 Disappeared 12:00 Mystery ER 12:50 Street Patrol 13:15 Street Patrol 13:40 Forensic Detectives 14:30 On The Case With Paula Zahn 15:20 Real Emergency Calls 15:45 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 16:10 FBI Case Files 17:00 Disappeared 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 Mall Cops‚Äì Mall Of America 19:05 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 19:55 Stalked: Someone’s Watching 20:20 Nightmare Next Door 21:10 Couples Who Kill 22:00 Fatal Encounters 22:50 Killer Kids 23:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner

Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Mini Adventures Of Winnie The A Poem Is... A Poem Is... Mouk Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Special Agent Oso New Adventures Of Winnie The Timmy Time Jungle Junction Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Lazytown

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

03:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:15 Guy’s Big Bite 04:40 Outrageous Food 05:05 Crave 05:30 Chopped 06:10 Barefoot Contessa 06:35 Barefoot Contessa 07:00 Iron Chef America 07:50 Barefoot Contessa 08:15 Barefoot Contessa 08:40 Crave 09:05 Charly’s Cake Angels 09:30 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco 09:55 Cooking For Real 10:20 Cooking For Real 10:45 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 11:10 Unwrapped 11:35 United Tastes Of America 12:00 Chopped 12:50 Guy’s Big Bite 13:15 Cooking For Real 13:40 Barefoot Contessa 14:05 Barefoot Contessa 14:30 Crave 14:55 Charly’s Cake Angels 15:20 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco 15:45 Food(Ography) 16:35 Barefoot Contessa 17:00 Barefoot Contessa 17:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 17:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:15 Guy’s Big Bite 18:40 Unique Sweets 19:05 Charly’s Cake Angels 19:30 Chopped 20:20 Iron Chef America 21:10 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 21:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 22:00 Guy’s Big Bite 22:25 Guy’s Big Bite 22:50 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 23:15 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 23:40 Guy’s Big Bite

Gotta Grudge Gotta Grudge Pro Bull Riders 2010 World Combat League TNA: Greatest Matches Re-Evolution Of Sports Re-Evolution Of Sports Enfusion Pro Bull Riders 2010 Ride Guide Snow 2009 Ride Guide Snow 2009 Tread BMX Tread BMX Ticket To Ride– 5 2012 Ticket To Ride– 5 2012 Alli Presents Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Pro Bull Riders 2010 Mantracker Fight Girls World Combat League Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Tread BMX Tread BMX Ticket To Ride– 5 2012 Ticket To Ride– 5 2012 Mantracker Pro Bull Riders 2010 Fight Girls World Combat League Re-Evolution Of Sports Re-Evolution Of Sports TNA: Greatest Matches Enfusion

Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco World Cafe Asia World Cafe Asia Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives

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

One Man & His Campervan Roam Don’t Tell My Mother Dive Detectives The Frankincense Trail Perilous Journeys Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Food Lover’s Guide To The Food Lover’s Guide To The One Man & His Campervan One Man & His Campervan Roam Don’t Tell My Mother Dive Detectives The Frankincense Trail Perilous Journeys Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Food Lover’s Guide To The Food Lover’s Guide To The One Man & His Campervan One Man & His Campervan Roam Don’t Tell My Mother Dive Detectives The Frankincense Trail Perilous Journeys Extreme Tourist Afghanistan One Man & His Campervan One Man & His Campervan Food Lover’s Guide To The Food Lover’s Guide To The Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Food Lover’s Guide To The Food Lover’s Guide To The David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3

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

Ultimate Predators GPU Hooked Nordic Wild Wild Nights Shark Men The Living Edens Tiger Queen Nordic Wild Wild Nights Shark Men A Man Among Bears Dangerous Encounters Philly Undercover Hooked Nordic Wild Wild Nights Big Baboon House Zoo Confidential

17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00 22:00 23:00

Dangerous Encounters Rescue Ink Nordic Wild Wild Nights Shark Men A Man Among Bears Dangerous Encounters Crimes Against Nature Shark Nicole

00:00 Open Graves-18 02:00 Alien Resurrection-18 04:00 Open Graves-18 06:00 Tomorrow, When The War Began-PG15 08:00 Dangerous Flowers-PG15 10:00 True Justice: Street Wars-PG15 12:00 Takers-PG15 14:00 Dangerous Flowers-PG15 15:45 In The Line Of Fire-PG15 18:00 Takers-PG15 20:00 Thick As Thieves-18 22:00 A Dangerous Man-PG15 20:00 Fighting-PG15 22:00 Homecoming-18 00:00 Melissa & Joey 01:30 Veep 02:00 The Big C 03:00 Happy Endings 03:30 Hot In Cleveland 04:00 Two And A Half Men 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 06:00 Friends 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Two And A Half Men 08:30 Happy Endings 09:30 Cougar Town 10:00 New Girl 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Friends 12:30 Two And A Half Men 14:00 Hot In Cleveland 14:30 New Girl 15:00 Cougar Town 16:30 Friends 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 30 Rock 19:00 Cougar Town 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fall on 00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00 23:00

White Collar Boardwalk Empire The Newsroom Grimm House Revenge White Collar Emmerdale Coronation Street Castle The Ellen DeGeneres Show Revenge House Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Castle White Collar Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Castle Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice Homeland Breaking Bad Grimm Grimm

01:00 Assassination Games-18 03:00 Restitution-PG15 05:00 Little Big Soldier-PG15 07:00 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt.1-PG15 09:30 Green Lantern: Emerald Knights-PG15 11:00 Little Big Soldier-PG15 13:00 Jackie Chan’s Who Am I?-PG15 15:00 Green Lantern: Emerald Knights-PG15 17:00 Behind Enemy Lines-PG15 19:00 Street Kings 2: Motor City-18 21:00 A Dangerous Man-PG15 23:00 Jake’s Closet-PG15 23:00 Luster-18 00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

The Banger Sisters-PG15 The Other Guys-PG15 Knucklehead-PG15 Last Holiday-PG15 Say Anything-PG15 Open Season 3-FAM Held Up (1999)-PG15 Little Fockers-PG15 Open Season 3-FAM All Night Long-PG15 Prom-PG15 Killing Bono-18

22:00 Frenemy-18 01:00 All Good Things-18 03:00 West Is West-PG15 05:00 Six Days Seven Nights-PG15 07:00 St. Trinian’s 2: The Legend Of Fritton’s Gold-PG15 09:00 The Social Network-PG15 11:00 The Silent Fall-PG15 13:00 Uncorked-PG15 15:00 The Social Network-PG15 17:00 Anna And The King-PG15 19:30 Talhotblond-18 21:00 The Memory Keeper’s Daughter-PG15 23:00 Adaptation-18 Square Grouper-18 01:00 Brighton Rock-PG15 03:00 Zookeeper-PG15 05:00 Courageous-PG15 07:15 Backwash-PG15 09:00 Dear John-PG15 11:00 Zookeeper-PG15 13:00 Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure-PG 15:00 Legend Of The Guardians-PG 17:00 Dear John-PG15 18:45 X-Men: First Class-PG15 21:00 The Switch-18 23:00 Breaking The Girl-18 23:00 Wuthering Heights-18


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DREDD :3D BAIT (3D- Digital) DREDD :3D BAIT (3D- Digital) DREDD :3D NO SUN+TUE+WED


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360 º- 7 WON’T BACK DOWN :2D 1:45 PM THE WORDS :2D 4:15 PM WON’T BACK DOWN :2D 6:30 PM NO WED (17.10.2012) French Film Festival Show“The Artist”6:30 PM WED (17.10.2012) French Film Festival Show“War is declared” 8:30 PM WED (17.10.2012) THE WORDS :2D 9:00 PM NO WED (17.10.2012) WON’T BACK DOWN :2D 11:00 PM


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360º- 1 THE EXPATRIATE: 2D 2:00 PM THE EXPATRIATE: 2D 4:15 PM THE EXPATRIATE: 2D 6:30 PM NO TUE (16.10.2012) THE EXPATRIATE: 2D 8:45 PM NO TUE (16.10.2012) French Film Festival Show“The Intouchables” 9:00 PM TUE (16.10.2012) THE EXPATRIATE: 2D 11:00 PM NO TUE (16.10.2012) THE EXPATRIATE: 2D 1:15 AM NO SUN+TUE+WED 360º- 2 AL SULTAN AL FATIH (Turkish) :2D AL SULTAN AL FATIH (Turkish) :2D AL SULTAN AL FATIH (Turkish) :2D AL SULTAN AL FATIH (Turkish) :2D AL SULTAN AL FATIH (Turkish) :2D NO SUN+TUE+WED

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360 º- 14 TETA RAHIBA(2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA(2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA(2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA(2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA(2D-Digital)

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360 º- 15 AIYYAA: 2D (Hindi) ENGLISH VINGLISH :2D (Hindi) AIYYAA: 2D (Hindi) AIYYAA: 2D (Hindi) NO SUN+TUE+WED

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Classifieds TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2012





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Bed space available for a Keralite bachelor near Amiri hospital next to Holiday Inn downtown. Contact: 99387111, 97929183. 15-10-2012



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361 571 62 343 351 648 403 222 171 230 415 120 308 381 860 137 301 205 147 390 60 218 411


20:20 20:35 20:40 20:55 21:05 21:10 21:15 21:35 21:50 21:55 22:05 22:10 22:20 22:20 22:25 22:35 22:40 22:45 23:10 23:10 23:15 23:30 23:40

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

Accommodation available, near Jabriya Indian School, Jabriya. Central A/C flat, decent Muslim couple or two working ladies only. Call 66795253. (C 4173) 10-10-2012 Sharing accommodation in Khaifan bloc 4 from Nov 1st in one room, KD 70 only for one working lady. Contact: 60413536. 8-10-2012 Apartment to share decent working ladies, Salmiyah, restaurant street, exactly behind Platinum. Contact 66920590. (C 4161) 7-10-2012 MATRIMONIAL Marthoma parents of male (29) Keralite engineer working in Kuwait (170cm, fair) invites proposals from parents of engineering graduates/ post graduates of other fields. M4M 2804610. Contact: 14-10-2012 Proposals invited for a girl, God-fearing (Marthomite, 30yrs/160 cm) born and educated in Kuwait and Mangalore, MDS Doctor presently working in India, from Post Graduate boys Mathomite/CSI, God-fearing and having good family background. Email: (C 4153) Marthoma parents working in Kuwait invite proposals for daughter 25/162, M.Sc Biotech, from parents of professionally qualified boys (Marthoma/ CSI/ Orthodox). If interested contact: (C 4175) 11-10-2012 24 year old daughter BSc passed Pakistani/ Canadian

dual citizen. Highly qualified professionals from Pakistan age up to 29 years can contact at email: (C 4172) 9-10-2012 FOR SALE Toyota Corolla 2008, dark grey color (1.6 CLR). KD 2,350. Mob: 50699345. (C 4177) Jeep Mitsubishi Nativa 2004, white color, ver y good condition. KD 1,600. Tel: 66729295. (C 4178) 15-10-2012 Complete household furniture, crockery, electronics, salon items, going for a give -away price. Call: 50693289. (C 4167) 9-10-2012 Box delivery van Nissan high roof, 2008 model. Lancer 2009 GLX. Phone: 66052331. (C 4166) 8-10-2012 Used 2 sofa bed, color brown, good condition, in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. Price each KD 15. Call 66762737. (C 4163) 6-10-2012

CHANGE OF NAME I, Megala Devi, holder of Indian Passport No: G1871523 converted to Islam do hereby change my name to Ayesha Banu. (C 4179) I, Surinder, S/o Ram Chand R/o H.No. 106, Amar Garden near Tanda Road Jalandhar have changed my name from Surinder to Surinder Kumar Gaat. All concerned please note. (C 4180) 16-10-2012 I, Vita Quirino Monteiro, holder of Indian Passport No: E8364338 have changed my name to Vita De Jesus Maria Monteiro as per gazette No X - 18770. (C 4168) 14-10-2012

TUITION A 22 years (moderator and examiner) highly experienced Math, teacher in IB, SAT ’s, IGCSE available. Contact: 66920590. SITUATION WANTED Australian Engineer with two-Engineering (Civil/ Elect) & four Master Degrees (Engg/Prog Mgmt/ Education/MBA). 23 years experience in Dubai/ Qatar/ Australia, looking project Mgr / QHSE Mgr job. Contact: 65695468. SITUATION VACANT Live-in maid wanted for a small family in Farwaniya. Full time. Contact: 50833103. 10-10-2012

112 Prayer timings Fajr:











The Public Institution for Social Security

Ministry of Interior

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Kuwait Municipality

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Ministry of Finance

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Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Ministry of Justice

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Ministry of Information

Supreme Council for Planning and Development

Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation


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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital






Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241






















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh








Kaizen center


















Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb













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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321


25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard


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)



Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed



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. Latefa Al-Duweisan

22666300 25728004

Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688



Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Kaizen center 25716707


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


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr Anil Thomas

Dr. Salem soso

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

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

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





M o v i e s

Weapons charges dropped in Madonna stalking case New York City judge has dismissed weapons charges against a former firefighter who was arrested outside Madonna’s apartment building two years ago. Police say Robert Linhart parked his SUV outside the Material Girl’s Central Park West apartment, laid out a tarp and spray-painted poster boards with love notes. One said, “Madonna, I need you.” Another read: “Tell me yes or no. If it’s yes, my dream will come true. If it’s no, I will go.” The New York Post reports ( ) that Manhattan state Supreme Court Judge Analisa Torres ruled Friday that police improperly seized a gravity knife and an ice pick from Linhart when they arrested him. A resisting-arrest charge is still pending. Linhart’s lawyer, Lawrence LaBrew, says Linhart maintains his innocence. —AP


In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, Madonna performs during her MDNA tour at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Saturday. —AP

Rolling Stones

to play four 50th anniversary gigs

he Rolling Stones will perform two concerts in London and two near New York as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, the band announced yesterday. The British group, one of rock’n’roll’s most successful, will play the O2 Arena in the British capital on Nov. 25 and 29


before crossing the Atlantic to perform at the Prudential Center, Newark, on Dec 13 and 15. “Sorry to keep you all hanging around but the waiting is over,” guitarist Keith Richards said in a statement, referring to months of rumors and gossip in the music press about

In a file picture taken on July 12, 2012 Charlie Watts (L), Keith Richards (2L), Ronnie Wood (2R) and Mick Jagger of legendary British rock band The Rolling Stones pose as they arrive at Somerset House in central London ahead of a party to celebrate the launch of a book “Rolling Stones 50” and a photographic exhibition. —AFP

an anniversary tour. “I’ve always said the best place for rock and roll is on the stage and the same is true for the Stones,” he added. “I’m here with Mick, Charlie and Ronnie and everything is rocking. See you very soon!” Richards, fellow guitarist Ronnie Wood, lead singer Mick Jagger and drummer Charlie Watts will perform on a stage designed around the band’s trademark tongue and lips logo, and organizers have promised a high-tech live experience. The shows also mark the launch of a new music venture called Virgin Live combining the Virgin Group and Dainty Group, which is already one of the world’s biggest live music promoters. As part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, the Stones are releasing a new greatest hits album “GRRR!” on Nov. 12/13 and later this week a new documentary charting the group’s rise to superstardom will premiere at the London film festival. The concerts are the first time the four Stones have performed together as a band since 2007, according to organizers. The band started out on July 12, 1962 at the Marquee Club in London’s Oxford Street.—Reuters

Member of Jerry Lee Lewis band killed in shootout usician B.B. Cunningham Jr, a member of Jerry Lee Lewis’ band, was killed in a Memphis shootout early Sunday, police said. Police said Cunningham was working as a security guard at an apartment complex on Memphis’ southeast side, when the 70year-old heard a gunshot at the neighboring Cherry Crest apartments and went to investigate about 2 am, according to The Commercial Appeal newspaper. Police didn’t provide details, but they said when offi-


cers arrived, both Cunningham and a 16year-old boy were found dead from gunshot wounds. The teenager has not been identified. Calls to police by The Associated Press were not returned. When contacted at his home in Washington DC, Bill Cunningham confirmed his brother was killed. Bill Cunningham is a founding member of the ‘60s Memphis pop-soul band The Box Tops. Byny Garcia, who lives in a unit across the courtyard from where the shooting took

place, said Cunningham was well-liked. “He’d take care of the old people and the Spanish kids,” Garcia said. “He was a good person. We don’t feel good at this moment.” Born Blake Baker Cunningham Jr., the keyboardist and singer established a national reputation in 1965 as a member of the touring version of Ronnie and the Daytonas, known for the song “G.T.O.” That band eventually became the Hombres, which scored a chart hit with “Let It All Hang Out” in 1967. —AP

New London station bamboozles visiting Beatles fans t has to be the most famous pedestrian crossing in the world, immortalized by the Beatles on the cover of their Abbey Road album in 1969. Situated just outside the north London EMI studios, the crossing enjoys listed status for its “cultural and historical importance” and draws thousands of tourists every year. But a growing number of visitors hoping to take photos of themselves recreating the enigmatic, single-file crossing of the famous foursome are finding themselves in a very different part of London - thanks to a railway station. Since the station was built last year and named after another Abbey Road at least 10 miles (16 km) away, tourists have been descending on the distinctly less glamorous east London neighborhood of West Ham. Instead of the leafy mansions and prim tree-lined streets one might expect of one of the most expensive postcodes in Britain, visitors are met with a train depot and a series of industrial parks. “There are always loads of tourists here,” said 68 year old local resident Jack Walker. “They get here, look around, wonder where the crossing is, find out it’s on the


other side of London, and head back to the station.” Tourist misfortune, however, sometimes makes for much local hilarity. Rui Araujo, a council patrol officer, recalls watching a young American couple mimicking the group’s famous crosswalk pose, apparently unaware that the pock-marked east London zebra-crossing bears little resemblance to the real thing. Kirpal Singh is not complaining though. His Star Newsagents has seen a daily average of 30-40 additional customers, many of whom buy bus passes or stock up on drinks and chocolate to sustain themselves on the long trek back across the city. But while a few East London Abbey Road shops have benefited from the mix-up, a number of St John’s Wood businesses- situated in the leafy residential district that is home to Abbey Road Studios-are failing to see the funny side. Blaming the confusion and corresponding loss of tourist revenue on the construction of the Docklands Light Railway link (DLR) at East London Abbey Road, they are lobbying Transport for London (TfL) to

change the name of the offending station. “It was a bigger problem over the summer when everybody was already out in east London and using the DLR for the Olympics, but it’s still an issue for us, as numbers are down” said Zoe Waterman of the Beatles coffee shop. Thus far, however, TfL have shown no inclination to change tack. “It is unfortunate that some visitors sometimes get confused by the odd duplicate place names in our large and varied city... but, this situation is also a reminder that nothing beats some indepth research,” a spokesman said. Australian tourist Sam Wharton offered a slightly more nuanced take as he photographed the real crossing: “I had no difficulties in finding this place; you’ve got to be a bit dim to go to the wrong end of London, right?” For the record, those thinking of visiting the real thing will find St John’s Wood tube station a considerably more convenient starting point than Abbey Road. —Reuters

Russell Crowe splits from wife ollywood star Russell Crowe and his wife of nine years Danielle Spencer have split up, a report said yesterday. The Australian couple separated amicably, the Sydney Morning Herald said, and both were determined to protect their two children, aged eight and six, from any publicity. No public comment has been made by the Oscar-winning actor or his musician wife. Rumours that their relationship was in trouble surfaced in June this year when photos appeared showing Spencer on a night out with her Dancing WithThe Stars partner Damian Whitewood. The pictures reportedly showed Spencer and Whitewood with their arms wrapped around each other in Sydney. According to the Herald, Crowe is in the United States filming the biblical epic Noah, while Spencer remains in Sydney with their two sons. —AFP


(From left) Smashing Pumpkins Perform At The Gibson Amphitheatre Musicians Nicole Fiorentino, Billy Corgan, Mike Byrne and Jeff Schroeder of the Smashing Pumpkins perform at the Gibson Amphitheatre on October 14, 2012 in Universal City, California. —AFP

Photo taken on May 12, 2010 shows Australian actor Russel Crowe and his wife Danielle Spencer arriving for the opening ceremony and screening of “Robin Hood” presented out of competition at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival. —AFP



LIFESTYLE F a s h i o n

Karam, Ayash and Abdullah attend the launch of first Mouawad store in Kuwait added Pascal Mouawad. Since its inception 122 years ago, the family business has grown, expanding its presence abroad. Mouawad now owns more than 15 retail outlets across the globe, of which eight (TBC) are located in the GCC.

By Nawara Fattahova he popular Lebanese singers Najwa Karam and Rami Aytash, along with former Miss Lebanon Rahaf Abdullah, attended the launch of the jewellery and watch store Mouawad on Sunday. This new flagship showroom of Mouawad, the luxury jeweller and watchmaker, located at Al Hamra Mall in Kuwait City, is the first new generation Mouawad boutique to open in the country. Pascal Mouawad, co-guardian of the company and a member of the fourth generation managing the family business, said, “I am very excited to be here today for the official inauguration of our first boutique in Kuwait. At the beginning of this year, my brother Fred and I made a commitment to bring Mouawad’s creations closer to our clientele in the region, and today I can once again say that we are fulfilling that plan.”


The popular singer Najwa Karam expressed her happiness at attending this event. “I am dealing with Mouawad jewellery since many years and I am wearing their pieces, which satisfies me and makes me proud as it is a Lebanese brand. What really matters as far as this brand is concerned is the way the Mouawad family deals with me and treats me, which is excellent and I respect them a lot for that. In addition, they have made the name of Lebanon popular in other countries,” she stated at the launch ceremony. Lebanese singer Rami Ayyash, who sported a watch from Mouawad’s collection, said, “We all wear something

About Mouawad Mouawad is a family business built since 1890 upon trust and relationships spanning generations, now led by fourth generation co-guardians, Fred & Pascal Mouawad and is backed by more than a century of excellence in its field. Mouawad designs, manufactures and sells its own exclusive jewellery and timepiece collections ranging from boutique items to objets d’art and magnificent haute joaillerie pieces. In addition to crafting fine jewellery, over the years the Mouawad family has acquired some of the

from Mouawad. It is a very popular and luxury brand, which suits different tastes. I am glad to be here today for this opening.” Former Miss Lebanon Rahaf Abdullah was also wearing some of Mouawad’s jewellery pieces including a diamond necklace. She spoke about some charity activities of Mouawad’s family, and mentioned a tour and some visits they had arranged for the children from the orphanage. The new showroom, located on the ground floor in the exclusive Al Hamra Mall, covers 152 square metres and has been designed according to the Mouawad new generation store con-

cept. Originated by brothers Fred and Pascal Mouawad, the new look and feel was launched back in 2010 with the opening of the Dubai Mall boutique and reflects the enhanced direction and strategy of the brand. With the distinctive dÈcor in the grey and gold of the Mouawad brand, the new Kuwait outlet features an exclusive private VIP room for customers to try on select pieces from the exquisite jewellery and watch the collections for which the company is renowned. The boutique sparkles with signature Mouawad haute joaillerie sets, boutique collections, watch collections and objects d’art, all entirely

Women who

designed and produced by Mouawad. “I am delighted to be able to invite all of our local clientele to visit the new Kuwait boutique, to experience the new surroundings and admire our latest jewellery and watch collections,”


A dress worn by Janis Joplin.

largest and rarest diamonds in the world and many of these historic gems carry Mouawad as part of their designated name.


An outfit worn by Cher.

A dress worn by Cindy Lauper.

Dresses worn by the Supremes are on display, at the Women who Rock exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. —MCT photos

A dress worn by Madonna.

An outfit worn by Britney Spears.

An outfitt worn by Shakira.

A dress worn by Tina Turner.

A dress worn by Donna Summer.

A dress worn by Lady Gaga.


lifestyle T r a v e l

By Gary A. Warner Land. Sea. Land. Sea. erry. Road. Ferry. Road Fish for lunch. Fish for dinner. Pancakes for breakfast (yes, you can have fish if you really must). A looping trip west out of Vancouver, British Columbia, means a lot of water and mountains that get in the way. But the Canadians have tamed their pockmarked geography with winding roads, deep tunnels and, most of all, ferries that link the once-isolated villages and big cities. It’s a fragmented trip. Just when you start rolling along the highway, you come to a stop at a ferry terminal. Just when you are relaxing on the deck of the ship gliding across a strait, it’s time to hustle down to your car and follow the rest of the cargo hold back out onto the pavement. Like Seattle’s Puget Sound to the south and Alaska’s Inside Passage to the north, Vancouver Island and the optimistically named Sunshine Coast of British Columbia are visited in a hop-skip-jump fashion that turns out to be manageable because you are surrounded by thousands of other people who have done all this a million (or so it seems to them) times. Come along for a roll-on, roll-off trip around the southwestern edge of Canada’s most southwestern province.


Vancouver airport to Tsawwassen Distance: 20 miles by car Quote: “The weather is about the same as in Southern California, except it’s 20 degrees colder and raining really, really hard.”-Westjet pilot on flight from Orange County, Calif, to Vancouver. Along the way: Steveston, once dubbed “Salmonopolis,” has changed from a onetime village with scores of canneries into a Vancouver suburb with a museum about cannery life in the early 20th century. The only thing that has stayed the same is you can eat the famous fish almost anywhere in town. Good eats: Steveston Seafood House. We hit it on a quiet night when there were few diners. The chef wanted to cook my wild salmon a little too rare. I wanted it cooked through. The final result was a triumph of compromise. Tender and fresh with that meaty feel of nonfarm-raised salmon. A triumphant first meal on my first evening in Canada. 3951 Moncton St, Steveston district of Richmond; 604-271-5252; stevestonsea Why Tsawwassen? It’s the ferry terminal for Vancouver Island. Sleeping at a hotel there was cheaper and meant we could catch

Homes on the islands around Vancouver Island can be viewed from the BC Ferries, Spirit of Vancouver Island ferry, as it makes its way from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay terminal.

one of the first departures across the Strait of Georgia the next morning. Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay Distance: 24 miles via ferry Quote: “The cold, the space and the open seas-this is what we came to Canada to see.”-Nina Schopka, a tourist from Munich, Germany, as she cupped a paper mug of coffee to keep her hands warm. Along the way: Active Pass, between Galiano and Mayne islands. The ferry pivoted, turned and churned a zig-zag course around rocky shoals, deep pockets of blue water and within sight of vacation homes with the maple leaf flag proudly flapping in the breeze. Orcas like the area for its Chinook salmon. We saw a pod of eight breaching and flapping their tails. Good eats: The Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal has a surprisingly nice food court with excellent coffee, baked goods and fresh fruit. You can eat on the deck of the ferry as it heads to Vancouver Island. Why Swartz Bay: It’s the main ferry terminal for Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, at the south end of Vancouver Island. It’s a short drive down the peninsula-stop at Butchart Gardens if you have a couple of hours to spend. Swartz Bay to Victoria Distance: 20 miles by car Quote: “S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-M is the only way. S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-M is here to stay.”-”Canadian Dream,” song by Sam Roberts heard in downtown Victoria shopping area. Along the way: The Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria. Built in 1908 by the Canadian Pacific Railway as the western crown jewel of its string of transcontinental, castle-like hotels, it’s a grand outpost of colonial-style British tradition in the far west of Canada. Good eats: High tea, Fairmont Empress Hotel. No import recalls the old country more than that most expensive yet wondrously pretentious experience of “high tea,” a formal riot of pots and silver, scones and jams, finger sandwiches and the extraordinary creation from Devonshire, clotted (like your arteries afterward) cream. Our bill came to $152 for two people, including tip. The price is steep, but having Earl Grey and a plate of cucumber, curry chicken, tuna and salmon sandwiches at 4 pm is more than enough for me as both lunch and dinner for the day. 721 Government St.; 866-540-4429;

Why Victoria: The most British bit of British Columbia. It was “discovered” in March 1778 by Capt. James Cook, the British explorer who seemed to have “discovered” every other place between Alaska and Kauai. One of Cook’s senior officers was William Bligh, he of the future HMS Bounty mutiny. Within a year, Cook would be killed in Hawaii, his head cracked open in a fight with natives over a small boat. Victoria to Courtenay Distance: 147 miles by car Quote: “The British who came west loved British Columbia. They made it more British than Britain.”-George del Falco, who moved to British Columbia 39 years ago from Ontario in eastern Canada. Along the way: Paradise Fun Park in Parksville has two “world class” 18-hole miniature golf courses. The easier one is called Surf n’ Turf, but I manned up and went for the tougher Treasure Island, built around the three-masted SN Sinkaputt. Around the hills, down the slopes, past the cuckoo clock and the sign noting it is 4,773 miles to London, I battled bank shots, chutes, clanking drawbridges and windmills. Result: Eight over par. A round will cost you $7.50 Canadian. 375 W Island Highway; 250-248-6612; Good eats: Atlas Cafe, Courtenay. An eclectic mix of Canadian, Japanese, Greek, Mexican and anything else the chefs set their minds to. You can start out with hummus, continue with togarashi tuna salad and then have the sockeye salmon burger. The approach is more whimsical than pretentious, so expect to share the room with local families and serious foodies out for a romantic night. 224 Sixth St; 250-338-9838; Why Courtenay: It’s the nearest major town to the ferry port at Comox. Since it wasn’t ski season and the hordes weren’t heading up to nearby Mount Washington, the plentiful supply of motel rooms made for a cheap night after the high life at the Empress. And it’s a great place to see streaking Canadian jet fighters over the waterfront from the big base just to the north. Courtenay to Powell River Distance: 33 miles, mostly by ferry Quote: “This was supposed to be a worker’s utopia. The owners cared. Healthy hearts. Healthy hands. Healthy minds. Happy employees would make good citizens. For a long time it worked. The foundation of this town is unlike just about anywhere.”-Ann Nelson, former Anaheim and Buena Park, Calif, resident living in Powell River. Along the way: The Patricia Theatre. Run by Nelson and her son Brian, the lovingly restored 1928 theater is the centerpiece of the town’s renaissance as an arts community. The restoration of old homes and shops has spurred a mini-boom, with the population now at 14,000. It’s a mix of artists, retirees, transplants like Nelson and longtime locals. It still has the feeling of a tough industrial town, but with a new lease on life. Good eats: Rhodos Coffee Roasting Co, Courtenay. Along with Serious Coffee, Courtenay had some of the best espresso I found on the trip. Stop in on the way to the ferry if the brown swill at the motel breakfast doesn’t kick start your day. 364 Eighth St, No. 106; 250-338-5592; Why Powell River: A newspaperman’s heart is going to love Powell River-which once ground trees into newsprint used around the world. But the town refused to go belly-up when the mill laid off thousands and ownership changed. It has reinvented itself anew within a shell of the old town. Powell River to Halfmoon Bay Distance: 60 miles, including a ferry between Saltery Bay and

Earl’s Landing. Quote: “I’m looking way out at the ocean “Love to see that green water in motion “I’m going to get a boat “And we can row it “If you ever get the notion “To be needed by me “Fresh salmon frying “And the tide rolling in.” Joni Mitchell, “Lesson in Survival,” from the album “For the Roses” Along the way: Rockwater Secret Cove Resort. A favorite of the high-end glossy magazines for its luxury tents set dramatically on rocks overlooking an inlet, all linked by a weathered wood walkway. It’s a romantic spot. I’m not a huge fan of “glamping”glamour camping-since canvas still doesn’t keep out your neighbor’s noise. I checked out the tents and the log cabins, and my vote goes to the less glitzy but more sequestered cabins. 5356 Ole’s Cove Road, Halfmoon Bay; 877-296-4593; Good eats: Rockwater Secret Cove Resort. Even if you can’t afford to stay at the resort, stop in for a drink or dinner at the pretty little cove set amid the woods and water of the Sunshine Coast. Why Halfmoon Bay: Joni Mitchell. If you’ve ever seen her album “For the Roses,” you’ve seen the Halfmoon Bay area. In high school, I fell in love with the freckle-faced woman on the cover (and perhaps a bit with the nude-tastefully photographed far away and from the back-on a rock in an inlet). Mitchell bought a place here as a hideaway from the craziness of fame in Los Angeles and New York. She still keeps a residence in the area and is active in local preservation struggles. I went to the General Store, where she is known to visit, but no Joni on this trip.

Halfmoon Bay to Vancouver airport Distance: 92 miles, including a ferry from Langdale to Horseshoe Bay and getting seriously lost driving in North Vancouver. Quote: “We hope you have a good time in LA”-Westjet pilot’s announcement as we approach John Wayne Airport in Orange County on the flight back from Vancouver. Along the way: After so many beautiful trips across the water, the 40-minute ferry ride between Gambier and Bowen Islands was the most dramatic of the trip, with towering, pine-covered mountainsides. It helped that the roiling gray clouds parted frequently for blasts of sunlight that freckled the waters before receding into the low-lying mist. A classic bit of put-on-your-jacket Canada. Good eats: Molly’s Reach, Gibsons Landing. Locals will tell you there are better places to eat on the Sunshine Coast and even better places to eat up the street in Gibsons. But I’m a sucker for other cultures’ icons, especially ones I know absolutely nothing about. Molly’s was the setting for a hit TV series called “The Beachcombers,” and Canadians will drive across the continent just to have fish and chips here. It’s kind of like the “Cheers” bar in Boston. It doesn’t matter if the food is good, you’ve achieved your goal when you walk in the door. Dive into someone else’s sentimental obsessions. Fun to see the glow on the tourists’ faces when they come through the door. 647 School Road; 604-885-9106; — MCT

A totem pole on Victoria Harbor, Victoria, British Colombia, pays homage to the area’s native population.

Lights illuminate the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. — MCT photos

A BC Ferries ship makes it’s way to its destination near Vancouver Island, Canada.


lifestyle T r a v e l


his island isn’t all about nuns, but you’ll be hard-pressed to avoid the topic. Especially if you’re driving too fast on that first hairpin curve just up from the ferry dock, and you meet the prioress rounding the corner in her Subaru. Yes, the head nun of Our Lady of the Rock monastery drives an Outback. She’s a small woman-you might have to look carefully to see the black-and-white wimple above the steering wheel. Shaw became famous as the “nuns’ island” in the 27 years during which Franciscan sisters operated the rustic wooden ferry dock and ran the neighboring general store. Ferry passengers bound for bigger islands in Washington’s San Juans would line railings to snap photos of the women in their habits as they tended the one-lane auto ramp. But while those nuns left Shaw in 2004, two more orders remain on the island-a branch of the Benedictines, on a donated 300-acre farm called Our Lady of the Rock, and a small contingent of the Sisters of Mercy. So it is still the nuns’ island. That says a lot about Shaw, a quiet, mostly wooded, untouristed 7.7square-mile island from which you need to hitch a ferry to Friday Harbor if you want “bright lights.” The smallest of the four ferry-served islands of the San Juan archipelago, it’s the perfect place for a cloistered life; whether you’re heaven’s gatekeeper or just a Gates (both Bill Sr and Jr have places here). The day I arrived, mine was the only car getting off the ferry. But the big news on Shaw is there’s now tourist lodging where before there was none. Steve and Terri Mason, who took over the store and dock, now rent out a 110-year-old waterfront cottage that the nuns formerly occupied. For the first time in recent memory, insular Shaw offers visitors a place to stay other than the county campground. Shaw is quiet by design. Zoning prohibits businesses beyond the existing store and the headquarters of a grandfathered-in firm that makes fish tags. With only about 250 year-round residents, it seems that everybody knows everybody. “Oh, yeah,” said Steve Mason. “They know what you’re going to do even before you think about it. It’s like a family, with all that goes with that!” Just off the ferry, I ran into Alex MacLeod, longtime islander and a retired Seattle Times managing editor (who as a volunteer emergency medical technician in his current life might be the first to show up if you break a leg here). He pointed out a roadside kiosk across from the store. “That’s the center of island life,” he said wryly. Tacked on its bulletin boards were envelopes with islanders’ names scrawled on front-it’s quicker than the mail. A shelf held recycled trophies that are awarded at each year’s Fourth of July parade, a doit-yourself affair. (“There’s cars and trucks and horses and sheep; whatever people want,” said Terri Mason, who grew up on Orcas Island, a five-minute ferry ride away.) There are actually a few other centers of island life, starting with the little general store, whose weathered fir-plank floors date to 1924, but whose modern wares-from Thai peanut sauce to a good selection of Washington wines-cater to today’s more affluent island residents. Up the road about a mile is a community hall that has regular yoga classes and events such as the islanders’ annual New Year’s Eve bash-a memorable toga party in recent years-that raises about $15,000 a year for Shaw’s independent library. The little library ($5-a-year membership, or $50 for a lifetime) is a peaceful refuge of gray-washed cedar, smelling like the woods among which it is tucked at the island’s main crossroads, next to a one-room log-hut museum and kitty-corner from Shaw’s historic red schoolhouse. I got a tour of all from Chris Hopkins, a Shaw resident whose family bought vacation property here in 1959. A former fifth-grade teacher in her mainland life, she, like many residents, helps out at both the school and library. Shaw has its own district to run the 22-student school. Why not become part of a larger library system or school district? “People here have their own way of doing things and they just do not want to abide by some other


Shaw Island has a Historical Society and museum, which library volunteer Cindy Jones will unlock for visitors if it’s closed up. rules,” Hopkins said. The K-8 school, founded in 1890, lays claim to being the longest operated school in the state. Its belfry has a real bell, rung every school day. But inside it’s not old-fashioned; kids raise salmon fingerlings in a tank, for a biology lesson, and there’s a well-equipped computer lab. But it takes a village, or a bunch of islanders. The nuns from Our Lady of the Rock, who came in 1977, pitch in to help with the kids’ education. Mother Hildegard (aka Dr. Hildegard George), a plus-size nun who says what she means and means what she says, leads 4-H outings in birding and geology. The monastery is another option for a place to stay on Shaw, and as “guest mistress,” Mother Hildegard is a visitor’s first contact. The nuns offer guest quarters for a few visitors at a time, from whom a reasonable donation is expected (the seven-member order gets no outside funding from the Catholic Church, and raises much of its own food on the farm). Guests may come to praythe chapel is an architectural work of art, with stained glass of Mount Baker-or to help with farm chores, or both.

A small rustic structure sits along Blind Bay on Shaw Island.

Vanity Fair and Mother Jones. Looking for a quiet picnic spot? Take a blanket to the grassy bluffs of Cedar Rock Biological Preserve, donated to the University of Washington by Robert Ellis, of the same family that gave the nuns their farm. Just beyond the south end of Hoffman Cove Road, a giant old madrona crowns a windy point among thickets of wild rose. I finished my visit at the three-table Silver Bay Cafe; in the back of the Shaw store, watching herons landing in trees where they nest. Proprietor Terri Mason said they enjoy preserving the store’s look. “I love the kind of antique quality, and we try to make it feel like its back in 1924.” But there are challenges on a small island where people can be set in their ways. “When we first started a customer came right up to me and said, ‘You’ve ruined my life!’ And I replied, ‘I’ve ruined your life?’ And he said, ‘Yes, the mayonnaise has been in the same place for 30 years, and you’ve moved it!’ “Overall, though, Shaw Island seems blessed by its sense of timelessness. Or just plain blessed. Some of its residents help see to that.

Mother Mary Grace, left, and Mother Catarina, center, Benedictine nuns from Our Lady of the Rock monastery, shop at the general store on Shaw Island as Chloe Mason, right, 16, who runs the family store this day walks by. — MCT photos “You don’t have to be Catholic, but we do want you to somehow partake in our life,” Mother Hildegard explained as she showed me around, shadowed by her two big Portuguese water dogs, Kokopelli and Bella. For campers, there are 11 simple sites at Shaw Island County Park, on sandy South Beach (for reservations, Besides a nice view of the Olympics, I found one of the San Juans’ fanciest privies, freshened inside with a swatch of dried lavender, decorated with artwork, and with a magazine rack offering

etting to Shaw Island: It’s a 55-minute ride to Shaw aboard Washington State Ferries from Anacortes if you get a direct boat; most sailings require stops at Lopez and/or Orcas islands first. Check schedules. Standard-size car and driver: $48.30 round-trip in peak season, additional for passengers. For schedules and wait-time alerts: Lodging: The quaint waterfront cottage (a former nunnery) next to Shaw General Store sleeps 4-6, with full kitchen, $150/ night. More info: or 360-468-2288. To request a stay at Our Lady of the Rock monastery, contact Mother Hildegard at 360-468-2321 or

The San Juan archipelago includes almost 200 islands, some with trails and camping, others little more than rocks occupied by gulls or sea lions. Beyond the four islands served by Washington State Ferries, many islands attract pleasure boaters, kayakers and a few who come by water taxi or float plane. Here’s a sampling of favorite “outer island” destinations: Sucia Island: Probably the favorite of boaters, Sucia (“SOO-sha”) is a 564-acre state park with miles of lovely trails, many deep bays and inlets, and scores of anchored and moored vessels on summer nights.

Stuart Island: Stuart is another boater favorite, with state-park buoys in Reid and Prevost harbors, and popular walks to the island school and Turn Point Light Station. Bonus: An island family’s serve-yourself stands sell souvenir T-shirts. Cypress Island: A forested treasure, most of it maintained as a preserve by the state Department of Natural Resources. Mooring buoys for big boats and beach campsites for kayakers. Hike up to 752foot Eagle Cliff for one of the San Juans’ best viewpoints. Clark Island: Tiny Clark, another state park, is a favorite of kayakers, with front-seat views of Mount Baker, the Twin Sisters, and ships on Rosario Strait. Jones Island: Jones Island State Park has a resident population of tame deer popular with visitors. More information on marine state parks: Water-taxi service to outer islands, from Skyline Marina in Anacortes: _Paraclete Charters, * Island Express Charters, An ‘iconic Shaw Islander’ While Shaw Island has its share of millionairescommuting to the mainland by private helicopter raises no eyebrows-there’s also the more earthbound, some with an extra dollop of character. Everyone said I should meet Pete Nelsen, fisherman extraordinaire, whom some call “an iconic Shaw Islander.” I caught up with him outside his beachfront home overlooking Canoe Island, on Indian Cove. We chatted as he gutted two king salmon he had just caught aboard the well-outfitted powerboat he moors near the ferry landing. “I got some beauties today,” he said, showing off a 12-pounder and a 16-pounder, the sun glinting off their scales. “One came from Buoy 16 off of Cypress Island and the other from a secret spot.” Secrets are closely held by fishermen such as Nelsen, who was competing in a season-long fishing derby he had won three times previously. The 72-year-old Bellingham native, who looks at home in faded jeans, plaid flannel shirt and a lot of gray whiskers, started fishing at age 14 on his father’s purse seiner and came to Shaw as a logger in 1974. These days he likes making gravlax, which he cures with dill and washes down with Southern Comfort and tall tales. You can buy his own recipe of hot sauce at the Shaw store. Spend enough time with him and he might tell you about the Sasquatch he saw when he was 17. What does Pete Nelsen like most about his island? “It’s quiet! And the fishing. And I can go clamming on my own beach ... And I don’t worry too much about getting run over, not like on the mainland.”—MCT

More camping: Besides Shaw Island County Park, Blind Island Marine State Park in Blind Bay offers four primitive campsites for campers arriving by wind- or human-powered watercraft. See Food: Groceries are available at Shaw General Store, at the ferry landing. The store also has the tiny Silver Bay Cafe, which serves a menu of sandwiches, soups and hand-dipped ice cream.

All ages enjoy the beach at Shaw Island County Park.

Mouawad launches first store in Kuwait



ustria’s Felix Baumgartner earned his place in the history books on Sunday after overcoming concerns with the power for his visor heater that impaired his vision and nearly jeopardized the mission. Baumgartner reached an estimated speed of 1,342.8 km (Mach 1.24) jumping from the stratosphere, which when certified will make him the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall and set several other records while delivering valuable data for future space exploration. After flying to an altitude of 39,045 meters (128,100 feet) in a helium-filled balloon, Felix Baumgartner completed Sunday a record breaking jump for the ages from the edge of space, exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket-powered airplane. The 43-year-old Austrian skydiving expert also broke two other world records (highest freefall, highest manned balloon flight), leaving the one for the longest freefall to project mentor Col. Joe Kittinger.


Baumgartner landed safely with his parachute in the desert of New Mexico after jumping out of his space capsule at 39,045 meters and plunging back towards earth, hitting a maximum of speed of 1,342.8 km/h through the near vacuum of the stratosphere before being slowed by the atmosphere later during his 4:20 minute long freefall. Baumgartner’s jump lasted a total of 9:03 minutes. Countless millions of people around the world watched his ascent and jump live on television broadcasts and live stream on the Internet. At one point during his freefall Baumgartner appeared to spin rapidly, but he quickly re-gained control and moments later opened his parachute as members of the ground crew cheered and viewers around the world heaved a sigh of relief. “It was an incredible up and down, just like it’s been with the whole project,” a relieved Baumgartner said. “First we got off with a beautiful launch and then we had a bit of drama with a power supply issue to my visor. The exit was perfect but then I

ore than 80 years ago Hugh Tracey made his first recordings of African music and earned himself a reputation as a madman who sallied into the bush with people playing drums. That was in 1929; today his unique archives have been digitalized and used as teaching aids in two new school textbooks, realizing his life dream of preventing the music from dying out. The International Library of African Music (ILAM) is made of up recordings on 78 rpm discs and magnetic tape. Its contents amount to a running time of six months, gathered from what is now Zimbabwe throughout southern and eastern Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Tracey collection is housed at the Rhodes University campus at Grahamstown in South Africa and is the most important archive of its sort in Africa. The thousands of hours of music include village ensembles, royal court music, drumming, voices of great beauty; all saved from almost certain disappearance during expeditions carried out until the 1960s in scarcely imaginable circumstances. “There was dust, there were mosquitoes that would go under the tape,” recalled Tracey’s son Andrew, who has continued his father’s pioneering work by preserving and transcribing the collection. “He travelled around with three vehicles and used a diesel generator which was noisy and that had to be put 100 meters (yards) apart,” said Andrew Tracey, himself an ethnomusicologist and teacher. Now 78, he has passed on the work to Diane Thram, an American who looks after the


started spinning slowly. I thought I’d just spin a few times and that would be that, but then I started to speed up. It was really brutal at times. I thought for a few seconds that I’d lose consciousness. I didn’t feel a sonic boom because I was so busy just trying to stabilize myself. We’ll have to wait and see if we really broke the sound barrier. It was really a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.” Baumgartner and his team spent five years training and preparing for the mission that is designed to improve our scientific understanding of how the body copes with the extreme conditions at the edge of space. Baumgartner had endured several weather-related delays before finally lifting off under bright blue skies and calm winds on Sunday. The Red Bull Stratos crew watching from Mission Control broke out into spontaneous applause when the balloon lifted off.

archive, entirely digitalized since this year, and the 8,000 photographs of the collection. The public can have access to more than 260 CDs (, classified by region, instrument, decade-among them royal music from Uganda,

string ensembles from Kenya, Pygmy spiritual chants, miners’ dances, or colonial big bands to name but a few. Hugh Tracey, who was born in 1903 and died in 1977, was a collector of genius, curious enough to record early

This handout picture provided by the International Library of African Music and taken by ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey in the early fifties at Gombari in the Democratic Republic of Congo shows Mbuti Pygmies waiting to listen to their own recordings. — AFP

jazz or guitar music hits in the 1950s, a decisive decade when Africa started undergoing the changes of a rapid urbanization. To listen to “Forest Music”, recorded in northern DR Congo, is to realise that the field is not only for specialists. Tracey can be heard giving a drum lesson, an absorbing explanation in which he shows how the sharp or flat sound of the instrument echoes the language’s tonal system and makes possible communication over several kilometers (miles). The latest products of the digitalisation are two school handbooks published by the ILAM. The first, “Understanding African Music”, is aimed at high school students and was presented at a world conference of music teachers. The second will target younger children. Between them they form an introduction to African music, the rules and aesthetics of which are still little known, in spite of the success of World Music. “African music has never been fashionable,” Andrew Tracey said. “My father was regarded as an eccentric in the 1920s. People thought that Africans had no culture and they were despised. Even today, the African music that gets money, is Westernized.” The fact is, he said, that “you don’t appreciate it if you hear too little. So you have to make Westerners very patient. “African music is circular, it repeats short musical phrases of sound and every time you hear it, it gets deeper.”— AFP

16th Oct  

Kuwait Times