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Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Local Spotlight

A new dawn By Muna Al-Fuzai

Kuwait’s my business

Right reasons for buying a franchise

By John P Hayes


ndeed, 2012 is a year full of surprises. First there was a dramatic end to the former National Assembly and now there is a new election coming up very shortly. It would also be the first to involve a one vote system and would free the people from the pressure of voting for one and then finding that they also voted for another person as well. In fact, since a voter could vote for up to four candidates, casting one vote could mean ending up voting for four actually. This is all history now and the new blood should bring a change in our political scene. Kuwait is a rich, small county that ensures many privileges for

its citizens. We should be proud of all the things we are blessed with and not be ungrateful. I meet with many expats who feel sorry to see all these demonstrations and breaking of the laws and protests punctuating our political life. They are right. We must clarify to them that those indulging in such protests are not part of the opposition and are instead only seeking office. They are hungry for power and not for reforms. I am hopeful that a new dawn will be there soon, and we will enter an era of light, leaving darkness behind. We will succeed in keeping Kuwait safe and strong.


eople (and companies) buy franchises for many different reasons, and unfortunately, often times for the wrong reasons. For example, it’s not a good idea to buy a franchise to replace a job, but many people do. Others buy because their friends or competitors did, and they don’t want to be left out. And still others buy because they want to be “entrepreneurial,” but without actually taking the risks of an entrepreneur. All of these are “emotional” rather than “logical” reasons, and they often lead to failed businesses. For every wrong reason for buying a franchise, there’s a logical, right reason. Here are three: Do it for the money! 1.Buy a franchise to build a profitable business. Plan to invest money to eventually earn more money. So while the “hottest” brand in America or Europe may appeal (emotionally) to you, step back and (logically) do some analysis. Be sure the brand makes sense for Kuwait. Is there a market for the brand? Are there any barriers, i.e. government regulations, importing restrictions, product costs, etc. to developing the business? Once developed, will the business attract potential buyers who will pay generously to acquire it from you? 2.Buy a franchise because you are compatible with franchising. People like franchising because it appears to be entrepreneurial. Again, that’s emotional. However, real entrepreneurs, people who freely make their own decisions about how to build, promote, and operate a business, are not attracted to franchising because it comes with too many restrictions. Understand the restrictions As a franchisee, you will not have the authority to make all the decisions about your

business. The franchisor makes many decisions for you, such as where and when you can build a new location, and from whom you may purchase materials and supplies. Even the content of your Web site will be controlled by the franchisor. As an entrepreneur, you have the right to make any decision you want. As a franchisee, you are restricted to following the franchisor’s directions. To that, many people say, “Hooray!” They’re satisfied being quasi-entrepreneurial, and that makes them compatible with franchising. Are you? Build a bigger business faster Third reason: Buy a franchise to accelerate your business plan. When you don’t have to figure out every nuance of a business, including what to sell, how to sell it, and how to capture and keep a customer base, you can build a business faster. Since the franchisor has already figured out most of the nuances, you can concentrate on creating and implementing a development plan. A good franchisor will help you create that plan. And that’s yet another reason for buying a franchise: Gaining the trust and support of a (often) larger company that wants you to succeed. How do you find that company? We’ll discuss that business matter in a future edition of this column. NOTE: How can you improve your business? Dr. John Hayes will help you discover points of opportunity. Free analysis for qualifying businesses. Send a paragraph describing your business; selected businesses may be featured in Kuwait’s My Business. Dr. Hayes has worked with an impressive international list of independent and franchised businesses. He is a professor in the College of Business at GUST. Contact him at, or via Twitter @drjohnhayes.

KUWAIT: It was full moon this week. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Numb without numbers By Nawara Fattahova


n this age of cell phones, people have become lazy and hardly anyone remembers telephone numbers by heart since it is easier to dial anyone from the phonebook. But such complete dependence on one’s mobile phone can cost dearly in case of any emergency or a certain situation when the mobile is not available. Not knowing the most important numbers by heart cost an Asian driver five days of arrest. “While driving in Jleeb Al Shuyoukh area where he was visiting his brother, my driver was arrested. It was a wrongful arrest as he did have a valid visa but had forgotten his ID card at my house. Since he did not remember my number by heart, he was unable to call me from the police station as the police had taken away his mobile phone. After searching for him desperately at various police stations, I finally found him and got him released. If only he had remembered my number, he would have been saved all this trouble,” 32-year-old Husain, the sponsor of the Asian driver, told Kuwait Times. On the other hand, some people memorize many numbers, an ability that can come to their rescue in a bad situation. “When my whole family was on a holiday and I was home alone, one day after returning home, I was going to feed my cats in the garden when I ended up locking myself out by mistake as the door slammed shut with the key inside. Even my mobile and the car keys were inside. I felt virtually paralyzed. It was around 11 in the night. I then knocked at the door of the haris to seek his help and to use his mobile. As I knew the phone numbers of all my friends by heart, I called some of them and one of them

immediately found me the number of the emergency key service. The key people arrived after half an hour to open the door for me. If I had not memorized the numbers, I would have been forced to stay outside in the hot weather for hours,” said 26-year-old Hamad. Most people do not remember the phone numbers of even the closest friends or relatives. “I only remember three phone numbers - my best friend’s, and two of my ex-boyfriends’. I admit I have a rather poor memory and I depend completely on my mobile. Thank God, I haven’t faced any emergency situation till now without my phone, and I always had it available. I am depending on the phonebook of my mobile, and with these numbers, I feel safe in case of an emergency,” said 30-year-old Sameera. Changing times have brought new technology and have also gotten us into some new habits. “Earlier, when I was still in school, I used to remember many numbers as few people were using mobiles. Also, at that time, I had fewer friends. Now I have many friends but remember far fewer numbers. Now everyone carries a mobile, I have more relationships, I am running a business and I am also getting older. As a result of all these factors, I have to memorize only a few important numbers. For instance, I remember my girlfriend’s number, few of my best friends’ numbers and my office’s number, but I do not remember my mother’s number as she is always at home,” noted 29-year-old Salah. With the launch of the third mobile telecommunication company in Kuwait about four years ago, the telecom policy changed and calls from landline phones to mobiles were made free of charge. Earlier, the cell phone receiver used to pay for incoming calls from fixed line phones. This

fact has changed people’s habits, and also played a role in making people remember fewer numbers. “The only numbers I know by heart are those I needed to dial from the landline. I only have landline at work, so I only remember the numbers I dial frequently during my working hours. So if I find myself in an emergency, I will be able to call only these numbers,” stated 35-year-old Anny.

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Just kiddin’, seriously

United under Kuwait’s sky By Sahar Moussa nce upon a time in a small country called Kuwait, something spectacular happened. On November 11, 1962, the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah promulgated the Constitution for Kuwait to become the first Arab state in the Gulf to issue a Constitution and have a Parliament. And ever since that day, Kuwait celebrates that remarkable occasion every year. On November 11 this week, Kuwait transformed into a kingdom in the early medieval European courts as all the courtiers prepared to mark the 50th anniversary of the


Constitution. The celebration took months of preparation and everybody in the kingdom was really excited to mark this day. All the clergy, soldiers, clerks, secretaries and agents were busy in the courtyard to make this special day for the kingdom. The peasants, commoners, masses, the locals and non-locals gathered to watch the magnificent fireworks display that lit up the sky and the kingdom in a show that left everybody speechless. On that day, thousands of people from all nationalities, age and sex united to watch the stunning 77,282 fireworks display that cost approximately KD 4.16 million ($15 million) which earned Kuwait a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. What is the moral of this amazing true story? At a time when the opposition is protesting and putting Kuwait’s name in the news for all the wrong reasons, his HH the Amir took Kuwait’s name to an untouchable height - right up into the sky. Kuwait was mentioned in every newspaper

in the world for not only their grand display but also more importantly for possessing and protecting a working Constitution at a time of the Arab Spring. When certain unpatriotic elements tried to compromise the security of the country and divide the people, the Amir united them peacefully under one sky and illuminated the country and dispelled all forms of darkness. The common criticism against this display of fireworks was that during these troubled times that we live in, what was the need to spend so much of money? I disagree with that because troubled times give us more reason to find a reason to celebrate. And the 50th anniversary of the Constitution is something to feel infinitely proud of and celebrate for any country, not only Kuwait. In every culture and religion, there has been an eternal fight between good and evil, represented by light and darkness. Similarly, these fireworks were able to not only light up the skies but also bring joy and happiness into our hearts and light up hope.

In my view

Until 20-1-2017 By Labeed Abdal

an 20, 2017. This is the date when the second presidential term of United States President Barack Obama, that he won recently, will come to an end. For sure, there are many issues that must be brought up again to the negotiating table for mediation. There are many challenges which can only be described as ‘pending’ and which require urgent solutions and remedies. For the Middle East region, the focus will be on the IsraelPalestinians peace process and the nuclear enrichment program of Iran, both issues that are now in a critical phase, thanks to the escalated tensions among Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. One can clearly expect failures and mistrust to reign at the negotiating table, given a clear unwillingness to resolve the intricate issues. The Middle East region has been on a boil for decades now, and it is also a fact that it is an active market for weapons with many wars and conflicts marring it. With a new Sykes-Picot II pact or a new Arab World order, there is a new polarity. It is leading to a shift in global power balance. The new emerging super powers are combating terrorism by actually re-channeling it with the help of new religious leaders or presidents who are double faced. These


super powers are removing the old dictators through a new toy that they have found, the social media, and are ushering in Arab Springs. They are now trying to instigate such uprisings in the Gulf region also. The international financial meltdown should not prevent any real peace efforts and global security measures. With the wise and well-meaning decision makers making little headway and the genuine peace seekers in Israel and among the Palestinians reaching nowhere, we expect more wars and conflicts and loss of more innocent lives and destruction of more homes, a scenario that both sides need to flag. They must, through their efforts, put a ‘Stop’ sign on this road that takes us hurtling downhill. Moreover, over the next four years of President Obama’s administration, we do expect more from his new team. If things do not move forward towards a solution, and we remain condemned to see and hear a lot more of the same, then there is a danger that by the time President Obama bows out of office in 2017, we will be completing the seventh decade of one of the longest and most complicated disputes of the 21st century. Alas, it looks as if it is going to go on for quite some time to come.

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

1. Plan your flight Mothers should consider planning flights during happy hours. This is one of the first steps to limit their toddler’s crabby behavior. “Happy hours are usually when your toddler is not hungry or sleepy, these are the hours when they are less agitated,” Thakkar explained. Travel should not be an exception - respect your child’s inner clock. For example, avoid night flights that might cause your child distress because they are sleepy. “The cabin will not feel like home and many babies may have a hard time sleeping in the confined area,” Thakkar explained. Children are at their best in the early part of the day. Travel with them before they start to wear out. The more tired they become, the less likely the chance that they will have a meltdown. And to make things even easier for you while travelling with your child, Jazeera Airways provides self check-in kiosks at Kuwait airport, the only airline in Kuwait that provides this service. It allows you to check-in yourself, print your boarding pass and then drop your baggage at the counter specified for it. You can also check-in up to 24 hours ahead with their web-check-in service, from the comfort of your home. 2. Checklist 101 Remember you are not traveling alone, and the responsibility doubles with a toddler. After booking your flight, make sure you create a checklist of all the things you need. This saves you a lot of last minute stressful runarounds and brain squeezing to figure out if you have everything you need. Checklist 101 is every single item you will need ahead of your vacation. As you are rushing out of the door, the simplest and most obvious things may indeed slip your mind. You cannot be detailed enough with this checklist, and you will be grateful for it during the countdown before your flight. 3. Always prepare your kid Toddlers’ tempers are easily aroused, and these displays of emotion surface most at the airport and on the plane. One reason children tend to fall apart at such places is because they are over-stimulated by unfamiliar people, bright lights, and loud noises. Whether it is the first time you are flying with your kid, or you have done it several times before, it is always imperative to prepare them as soon as you make plans to fly. “Most children who are not hungry or sleepy, usually cry out of fear or unfamiliarity,” Thakkar said. New sights and sounds can really crank up your child’s tantrum. Have sit-downs with your kid explaining the details of flying. Also, if your child is two years old or above, show them educational videos that will help manage what to expect during check-in, boarding, and flying. “This preparation process can very much help parents focus on what they need to get done at the airport and saves a lot of time.” A mock trip to the airport before your flight can help familiarize your kid with the surrounding scenery and environment. Let them go through screening and security, explain to them the check-in process as they witness it live, and show them an airplane taking off from an on-theground perspective. “Tell them that they will also be in one of those airplanes very soon,” Thakkar suggested. 4. Feed and dress your kid right “In air, prevention is always better than the cure,” Thakkar points out. Pack your child’s pyjama into your carry-on and change him into them at the airport. Layer it with a sweater and your child will feel comfortable and less agitated during the flight. Also prevent over-activeness, a feeling of nausea, and irritation simply by feeding your child healthy meals and snacks before you get on the plane. “This means absolutely no sugar at least three hours before your flight,” Thakkar stressed. Avoiding sugary candies, chocolate, juices, and sodas before flight will prevent your child from being hyperactive during important procedures like check-in, security, and boarding.

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

they always add extra time. Make sure you do not rush to the airport, rush through check-in, or rush through boarding. This might cause your child distress and it will be a hard task to calm them down later. By arriving early to the airport, you have a higher chance in sitting where it is most comfortable for both you and your child. The best places on the plane are the bulkhead rows to give you some leg room. If that is not available, then try sitting near the engine. “Believe it or not, the hum could act as an audio that can put your baby - and their stressful tantrums - to sleep,” Thakkar said. “With an early check-in, you will also have enough time before boarding to exhaust your kid,” Thakkar said. Yes, exhausting your kid before getting on the plane is a good thing. “You want your child to let out all his energy before he gets on the plane as he will be more likely to relax or sleep during the flight,” Thakkar explained. Thakkar said it is most important to plan ahead of schedule as baby hurdles are a given. Plan the time needed with an additional 15 minutes in case of bathroom emergencies or meltdowns. Always remember to make the bathroom your pit stop before you board. Even if your children say they do not have to go, make sure they try anyway. It will be at least 45 minutes before you are able to safely utilize and access the airplane lavatory. “This last pit stop may be the key to avoid running to the small airplane bathroom during a flight that is two hours or less,” Thakkar said. If your child is under two years of age, make sure you carry enough amenities, planning always for worst-case scenarios. If you are not quite sure how ugly it can get, carry with you one diaper for every hour from the time you leave home, until you reach your destination.

“Children are most likely to cry during take-off and landing due to the discomfort of changing air pressure and the fast paced movement of the plane,” Thakkar pointed out. To prevent your kid from crying at those times, have them munch on snacks and enjoy packaged juices. The chewing and sucking will reduce their discomfort and distract them from turbulent noises and movements. NOTE: Now, don’t be afraid to turn to their favorite foods. “With no guilt-trips, put your kids in into euphoria by giving them their favorite foods. They will be in a happier mood because they will be enjoying what they’re eating,” Thakkar said. Thakkar has witnessed countless parenting successes and disasters in Jazeera Airways’ cabins in the last five years. She says being too strict with your children can cause some bad reactions. “Flexibility is what actually makes traveling with your little child easier, which means allowing them to walk at their own pace or letting them eat to their heart’s desire.” By feeding your child snacks like chips and cookies, you are likely to have a happy young flyer. This would not win you a nutritional award, but it will surely make flying with your kid a better experience. “By letting go a little bit, you are letting your toddler create a more positive association with flying, which in turn will make it even easier the next time you decide to travel with them,” Thakkar explained. Also make sure you carry plenty of ziploc plastic bags. They are a good solution for packing messy items that you do not want to throw away. They also prevent items from dirtying your luggage. 5. In-flight calm “Safety and security is a serious matter, whether on Jazeera Airways or any other airline,” Thakkar added. Children should be strapped in their seat at all times, or in an aviation approved child restraint safety seat if they are younger than three years old. If they are six months or younger, hold them in your lap and strap them in a special infant safety belt. Think of an airplane as a car, only faster. “You would want your child safely buckled in a car at 80 kilometers an hour, so you would definitely want them strapped

safely in an airplane on a runway going at a speed over 300 kilometers an hour.” Entertainment also is very important to keep your kids occupied and in their seats throughout the flight, however do not over pack unnecessary items. Toys like dolls and robots made out of plastic or heavy materials are not recommended. “They add more weight to your luggage, may be disruptive, and may cause accidental injuries to either your child or other passengers,” Thakkar explained. Thakkar says the best entertainment for kids five years and older is to stick with printable game worksheets, cards, books or small DVD sets with headphones. For toddlers, bring along a stuffed toy or blanket. Your toddler may be calmed and soothed by clutching onto something soft. But to really keep your child happy and busy, turn each item into a gift by wrapping them. When on the plane, give your child one of these presents every hour. Wrapped entertainment may stop an outrage and create a sense of excitement for your child. Remember that these items do not have to be expensive or fancy; you can go as far as wrapping your child’s favorite snacks. Thakkar also advises not to miss out on the best entertainment: talking to your kids. Tell them jokes, riddles, play guessing games anything creative that will make them use their imagination. “Most importantly though, don’t ignore them.” Children are sensitive and can tell when you are frustrated and tense. Parents may unintentionally give their children a reason to act out. “Don’t ignore them and don’t yell at them either,” Thakkar said. Answer all your child’s questions and tell them what to do in a calm, assertive manner. If you sense trouble coming at any time, then offer a reward in exchange to good behavior. “When you incentivize the trip, there is a better chance your child will sit quietly to earn their reward,” Thakkar says. NOTE: Make sure you fulfill your reward promises for well-deserved behavior or it may backlash the next time you travel. 6. Don’t rush Time is golden, especially when flying with your toddler as

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help “Crew members and staff exist to assist,” Thakkar said. Simply ask for help if you need it. You might be surprised to know that airport staff and cabin crew are experienced in helping parents and babies in the airport and on the plane. The fact of the matter though is that there will always be distressed passengers. Do not take things too personal from fellow passengers’ stares and grunts if your baby starts to cry. Simply walk to the end of the plane and try your best to calm them down. If they keep crying, then keep trying to think of ways to calm them down. Thakkar says it is sometimes out of any parent’s control - even the best and most experienced ones. “It is enough that the parents are trying to be as courteous as possible to other passengers, in the end that’s what counts.” Bon voyage!

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

By Sunil Cherian


Sunil Kumar is seen playing various instruments

s a 5-year-old boy, Sunil Kumar, 31, made sounds in a pattern with his mouth. The elders in the family who insisted him on learning traditional Indian classical music discouraged that. The boy excelled in classical music and in Hindustani tabla. The family wanted him to become a doctor and enrolled him at a medical college. By that time he had grown to be a percussionist playing in concerts. He discontinued his medical studies and decided to use his hands on music, instead of a ‘knife at the operation table’. Now 31, in Kuwait, Kumar does not regret the decision to leave medical college. In the post-medical studies period, he mastered many percussion instruments. In stage programs those days, there were people performing comedy - mimicking film stars and the like - as a break during the non-stop concert. It was one of those days the 5-yearold boy who produced sounds without instruments reincarnated. Kumar mimicked, not famous stars, but famous music instruments to the hurrahs of the audience. Later he developed that talent as gibberish comedy mimicking sounds from nature. Kumar also had ‘an Arabic’ music experience too. “My brotherly friend Najeeb called me one night to tell me we are recording a few Arabic songs in a studio in Kerala,” Kumar recalled. The producers - Miami band from Kuwait and its chief Khaled - drummed up that idea to cut production costs, Najeeb told him. The Arabic album was recorded and Kumar played multi percussions. Months later, another band named Guitara came up with idea of recording their entire album at the same studio in Kerala. Kumar mimicked this time. All this while, the gibberish performance had been an infatuation growing in Kumar. He recalled an applause years ago he got from Russian soldiers while his troupe was performing in Russia. “Our team led by guitarist John Antony was travelling by a train from St Petersburg to another place for our next performance. In the train compartment we met a group of soldiers destined to the same place where we were heading to. When the conversation in broken English kind of stopped, someone from my group suggested I do some gibberish music using my mouth. I made some sound mixing some Russian words I just learned.

“The soldiers enjoyed so much so that they promised to attend our function that evening. We did not believe their words as they looked tired after their practice camp. But when in the evening as we were performing songs, I saw them coming to the hall. I told our team leader give me a few minutes to show an item. Our chief announced a break from songs and invited me. I did more gibberish this time and at the end, the soldiers came on to the stage and lifted me up. I still have that photo on my Facebook page”. Any idea of producing an album of mouth-produced sounds, I asked Kumar. “That sounds interesting”, he said. “But I want myself to be unpredictable”.

Local FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

KAC to play role in Kuwait’s transformation KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways Company (KAC) will play an integral role in transforming this country into a financial and commercial center, said KAC’s Board Chairman Sami Al-Nusif here late Wednesday. In an exclusive statement to KUNA on the sidelines of the annual KAC event honoring travel and tourism offices, Nusif said that in accordance to the vision of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, KAC would work vigorously to transform Kuwait into an financial and commercial center that would attract various investments from around the globe. He noted that the privatization of KAC was within Kuwait’s plan for development, noting that such step would indeed transform the company into a leading force within the air travel domain. Clients will be treated with utmost care in the upcoming period,

said Nusif, adding that KAC had a long history in customers’ service that it would use to better serve people. Nusif noted that KAC would be embarking on steps to modernize its fleet and adding new destinations, affirming that it was important to preserve KAC’s long and illustrious history. At the top of its priorities, KAC make sure that its clients had a secure and safe flight experience, stressed Nusif. In regards to the status of employees, Nusif said that the issue is under consideration and noted that developing KAC’s employees’ performance must be taken seriously if the company was to compete. Turning KAC from a “corporation” to a “company” was not the end to all ends, because personnel within the company need to work as a group to achieve better performance and profit, said Nusif, indicating that

the case of KAC employees who could not retire or spent less than 15 years in service was being reviewed and hopefully the outcome be beneficial for the involved parties. On the upcoming meeting for the Board of Directors, Al-Nusif said that the agenda was still being prepared but affirmed that several steps would be taken to overcome KAC’s deficit which has surpassed KD 100 million. Nusif also touched on the privatization of KAC and said that developing the company’s fleet was the way to go in order to attract investors and build up a business, because selling the company in its current status would not be a good option. If all goes well and the restructuring plan works, KAC might be sold within a year time and positive results would be achieved, he affirmed. Meanwhile, KAC Regional Director

Bader Al-Amiri said that the company was working on measures to rectify itself to bring the whole operation to the world’s attention, adding that positive results would be achieved, but all within come with time and effort. On KAC’s efforts to attract travel and tourism offices, Amiri said that such efforts had indeed worked and revealed that 61 offices had taken into the KAC incentives offer, surpassing numbers from last year by 30 percent. During the last haj season, KAC transported over 7,000 pilgrims to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia, said Amiri, adding that over 13,000 pilgrims traveled via KAC last Ramadan. He also revealed that maintenance fees were increased from KD 4 million to 36 million to ensure that aircrafts were up to standards and would not endanger the lives of travelers. —KUNA

Kuwait backs Palestinian reforms with $50m grant

Kuwait’s envoy to the UN Mansour Ayyad AlOtaibi. —KUNA

Kuwait donates $8m to development programs UNITED NATIONS: Kuwait has donated more than $8 million for the United Nation’s development activities in 2013, Representative at Kuwait’s Permanent Mission at the United Nations Ambassador, Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi, announced late Wednesday. The donation was announced at the 2012 United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities, held at the United Nation’s headquarters in New York. Otaibi said, in his speech at the conference, that the state of Kuwait remains a supporter for the UN’s developmental and humanitarian efforts carried through its various bodies and funds. “Out of the importance of the UN efforts, Kuwait has increased its ongoing donations to some of the funds and made new donations to some others,” the Kuwaiti diplomat said. He added that Kuwait has been committed since 2008 to give financial aid to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to ensure that funds are available immediately in response to disasters and emergencies. Kuwait has increased its donation to CERF from $300,000 to $500,000. Kuwait also have been granting annual contributions to International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) of USD three million and $250,000, respectively. The diplomat noted that due to the global economic crisis, donations to the UN bodies and fund have dwindled in the past few years which negatively reflected on achieving the UN’s 2015 millennium development goals. However, Otaibi lauded the UN’s various bodies in enhancing its performance and reorganizing its administrative systems to support all development activities across the globe. — KUNA

WASHINGTON: Kuwait and the World Bank signed on Wednesday a $50 million grant agreement to support the ongoing Palestinian Reform and Development Program (PRDP). The agreement was signed by Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa regio, Inger Andersen. World Bank Executive Director and Dean of the Executive Board Merza Hasan witnessed the signing.This amount is in addition to the $180 million that Kuwait provided to the PRDP World Bankadministered multi-donor trust fund since 2008. In remarks to KUNA, Sheikh Salem reiterated Kuwait’s steadfast and continued support for the Palestinian cause, affirming that Kuwait’s support for the Palestinian people will remain steadfast as it is a main issue for the Kuwaiti leadership and people. The ambassador said, “Kuwait considers the budget support to the PA crucial, as ways of ensuring the social and economic well-being of the Palestinian citizens.” He reiterated that Kuwait “is, and will always, remain to be steadfast in its support to the Palestinian people.” The contribution will help support urgent budgetary needs the Palestinian Authority (PA) is facing, providing inter alia support for education, healthcare and other vital social services for the Palestinian people and for the economic reforms currently underway. Andersen said the PRDP Trust Fund “is central in sup-

WASHINGTON: Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Abdullah AlJaber Al-Sabah (center), World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa region Inger Andersen (right) and World Bank Executive Director and Dean of the Executive Board Merza Hasan are seen at the signing.—KUNA porting Palestinian reforms and development plans and we are grateful to Kuwait for its contribution”. “The World Bank’s involvement in supporting and monitoring the reform efforts will strengthen the PA’s capacity to sustain a number of significant reforms introduced to date, and to bolster further progress,” she added. On the other hand, Hasan stressed that “Kuwait’s contribution is highly significant and timely given the fiscal challenges the PA is facing. It will ensure continuity of its institution-building and better public serv-

ice delivery reforms.” The World Bank PRDP Trust Fund was established in April 2008 when an agreement was signed between the World Bank and the Palestinian Authority during the 2008 World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings. It is a central component of a World Bank effort to support the ongoing Palestinian Reform and Development Plan. With the new contribution from Kuwait, the trust fund will reach nearly $900 million, of which approximately $850 million has already been disbursed. — KUNA

Candidate gets death threats KUWAIT: Fourth electoral constituency candidate in the Dec 1 parliamentary elections Adel Al-Shahin Al-Mehaid claimed that unidentified people tried to run him over in a speeding vehicle. He said he had been receiving death threats on his mobile phone and was told by callers to desist from campaigning and not to contest. Mehaid claimed that when he visited a fourth constituency diwaniya, he received a text message asking him to withdraw from the elections if he did not want to die. He also received

many defamatory texts that were insulting to him and his family members. He said when he went to the Firdous police station to report about the threats being made, his complaint was ignored until he threatened to hold the police responsible if anything happened to him or to any of his family members. “When I was getting out of the police station, a vehicle tried to run me over...I promptly went back into the police station to report it but they still ignored it,” Mehaid said, adding he then called Lt Gen Sheikh

Ahmed Al-Nawaf, Lt Gen Yusef Al-Soudi and Major General Basheer Al-Enezi who helped him file a case. “An investigation to find out who was driving the suspect vehicle revealed that he was a man with a criminal record and very well known at the police station,” added Mehaid. He urged the interior ministry to provide adequate protection to all the candidates. “If they cannot do that, we will withdraw from the elections and relax at our houses,” he concluded. — Al-Watan


France mulls over defensive arms in Syria, Russia objects


China unveils leadership with Xi at helm of things


Hindu leader Thackeray ailing


GAZA: Family members shout in grief as they carry the body of two-year-old Palestinian Walid Abadleh, killed in the latest Israeli airstrikes, during his funeral yesterday. — AFP

Gaza death toll rises to 15 Hamas shocked by killing of top commander, vows revenge GAZA: A Hamas rocket killed three Israelis north of the Gaza Strip yesterday, drawing the first blood from Israel as the Palestinian death toll rose to 15 in a military showdown lurching closer to all-out war and an invasion of the enclave. On the second day of an assault Israel said might last many days and culminate in a ground attack, its warplanes bombed targets in and around Gaza city, where tall buildings trembled. Plumes of smoke and dust furled into a sky laced with the vapour trails of outgoing rockets. The sudden conflict, launched by Israel with the killing of Hamas’s military chief, pours oil on the fire of a Middle East already ablaze with two years of revolution and an out-ofcontrol civil war in Syria. Palestinian allies, led by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, denounced the Israeli offensive. After watching powerlessly from the sidelines of the Arab Spring, Israel has been thrust to the centre of a volatile new world in which Islamist Hamas believes that Morsi and his newly dominant Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt will be its protectors. The Palestinian Islamist group claimed it had fired a one-tonne, Iranian-made Fajr 5 rocket at Tel Aviv in what would be a major escalation, but there was no reported impact in the Israeli metropolis 50 km (30 miles) north of the enclave. “The Israelis must realise that this aggression is unacceptable and would only lead to instability in the region and would negatively and greatly impact the security of the region,” Morsi said, although there was no immediate sign of robust action by Egypt, Israel’s most powerful Arab neighbour. The new conflict will be the biggest test yet of Morsi’s commitment to Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel, which the West views as the bedrock of Middle East peace. The Muslim Brotherhood, which brought Mursi to power in an election after the downfall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, has called for a ‘Day of Rage’ in Arab capitals today. The Brotherhood is seen as the spiritual mentors of Hamas. Assassination The offensive began on Wednesday when a precision Israeli airstrike assassinated Hamas military mastermind Ahmed Al-Jaabari,

and Israel shelled the enclave from land, air and sea. The 15 killed in Gaza included Jaabari and six Hamas fighters plus eight civilians, among them a pregnant woman with twins, an 11-month old boy and three infants, according to the enclave’s health ministry. Medics reported at least 130 wounded. At Jaabari’s funeral yesterday, supporters fired guns in the air celebrating news of the Israeli deaths, to chants for Jaabari of “You have won.” His corpse was borne through the streets wrapped in a bloodied white sheet. But senior Hamas figures were not in evidence, wary of Israel’s warning that they are now in its crosshairs. The Israeli army said 156 targets were hit in Gaza, 126 of them rocket launchers. It said 200 rockets had struck Israel since the start of the operation, 135 of them since midnight. Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor system has so far shot down 81 rockets headed towards residential areas, the military said. One of those that got through caught its victims before they could reach the blast shelters that are everywhere in the Negev region, prey to sporadic Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza for the past five years. Israeli police said the three died when a rocket hit a four-story building in the town of Kiryat Malachi, some 25 km (15 miles) north of Gaza. They were the first Israeli fatalities of the latest conflict to hit the coastal region. Expecting days or more of fighting and almost inevitable civilian casualties, Israeli warplanes dropped leaflets in Gaza telling residents to stay away from Hamas and other militants. The United States condemned Hamas, shunned by the West as an obstacle to peace for its refusal to renounce violence and recognise Israel. “There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organisations are employing against the people of Israel,” said Mark Toner, deputy State Department spokesman. The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting late on Wednesday to discuss the Israeli assault. It called for a halt to the violence, but took no action. In France, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabious said: “It would be a catastrophe if there is an escalation in the region. Israel has the right to security but it won’t

achieve it through violence. The Palestinians also have the right to a state.” “Gates of hell” Israel’s sworn enemy Iran, which supports and arms Hamas, condemned the Israeli offensive as “organised terrorism”. Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Shi’ite militia Hezbollah, which has its own rockets aimed at the Jewish state, denounced strikes on Gaza as “criminal aggression”, but held its fire. Oil prices rose more than $1 as the crisis grew. Israeli shares and bonds fell, while Israel’s currency rose off Wednesday’s lows, when the shekel slid more than 1 percent to a twomonth low against the dollar. A second Gaza war has loomed on the horizon for months as waves of Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes grew increasingly intense and frequent. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, favoured in polls to win a Jan 22 general election, said on Wednesday the Gaza operation could be stepped up. His cabinet has granted authorisation for the mobilisation of military reserves if required to press the offensive, dubbed “Pillar of Defence” in English and “Pillar of Cloud” in Hebrew after the Israelites’ divine sign of deliverance in Exodus. Hamas has said the killing of its top commander In a precision, death-from-above airstrike, would “open the gates of hell” for Israel. It appealed to Egypt to halt the assault. Israel has been anxious since Mubarak was toppled last year in the Arab Spring revolts that replaced secularist strongmen with elected Islamists in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, and brought civil war to Israel’s other big neighbour Syria. Cairo recalled its ambassador from Israel on Wednesday. Israel’s ambassador left Cairo on what was called a routine home visit and Israel said its embassy would stay open. Gaza has an estimated 35,000 Palestinian fighters, no match for Israel’s F-16 fighter-bombers, Apache helicopter gunships, Merkava tanks and other modern weapons systems in the hands of a conscript force of 175,000, with 450,000 in reserve. — Reuters

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Phoney truce could have lured Hamas man into open JERUSALEM: Israel’s leaders were literally looking in the opposite direction, and making sure everyone knew it, just before catching Hamas’s top commander in the Gaza Strip off-guard in an air strike that killed him. In what now appears to have been a diversionary tactic, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak paid a visit to the Syrian frontier in the north, hours before the air offensive began in the south. The show of concern over errant mortar shells that have landed in the Israelioccupied Golan Heights from Syria was widely reported during the day by Israeli media. In fact, Israeli experts now say, the visit may have been part of a ploy to deceive Hamas into believing that a truce was in place in Gaza, so that the Israeli

army could catch its target, Hamas military mastermind Ahmed Al-Jaabari. “The sense of complacency that Barak and Netanyahu created ... brought Jaabari and his friends out of his holes and made possible the surprise attack,” military affairs analyst Alex Fishman wrote in Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. Israel has a thick list of potential targets in the Gaza Strip, an enclave regularly criss-crossed by Israeli drones and where militants’ movements are routinely logged. The Shin Bet security service, which oversaw the assassination of Jaabari, keeps tabs on Hamas leaders with a network of informers. So it surprising that the usually cautious militant, who had just returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca, chose to drive in broad daylight down a main

Gaza street. His car was hit by a missile in an attack filmed from the air and put on YouTube. Signals Jaabari may have been lulled into the open by public signals from Israel that a round of cross-border violence along the frontier in the past week had run its course. On Monday, Netanyahu convened his nine-member inner cabinet to discuss an upsurge of Hamas rocket attacks last weekend that had been disrupting life for a million Israelis in the south but seemed to be abating. It was at that meeting, political sources said, that a Shin Bet plan to assassinate Jaabari was approved and the first act of deception was played out: Benny Begin, a member of the forum,

went on Israeli radio to say the current round of violence appeared to be over. Hamas apparently bought the message. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the group, said Israel, in launching the offensive, had violated an informal truce brokered by mediators. “The factions abided by the understanding of calm, and the occupation (Israel) bears the responsibility for the consequences that will follow the ugly crime,” he said. Israel had largely suspended assassinations of top Hamas men in recent years, strikes that could have triggered wider violence along the Gaza frontier. It focused instead on targeting rocket launching crews in low-intensity warfare marked by cyclical cross-border exchanges usually calmed by Egyptianmediated ceasefires.— Reuters

France mulls over defensive arms in Syria, Russia objects More than 39,000 killed in 20 months of Syria conflict

KHARTOUM: Participants attend a major conference of representatives of Islamist movements yesterday. — AFP

Sudan Islamists meet under Arab Spring stress KHARTOUM: Thousands of government-linked Islamists met in Sudan yesterday, under pressure from Arab Spring-inspired reformers who say the Islamic regime has drifted from its religious foundation. Reformers say corruption and other problems have left the vast African nation’s government Islamic in name only, and question how much longer President Omar Al-Bashir should remain in office. But those calling for change lack the power to impose their views, and their hopes for the three-day meeting will be dashed, predicted Khalid Tigani, an analyst and chief editor of the weekly economic newspaper Elaff. “So this may lead to a new split” in the Islamic Movement. Sudan’s Islamists divided more than a decade ago when Hassan Al-Turabi, a key figure behind the 1989 coup, broke with Bashir and formed the Popular Congress opposition party. The Islamic Movement, a social group at the heart of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP), is holding its first national conference since uprisings and civil war began driving out authoritarian leaders around the region in 2011. More than 170 foreign Islamists have joined 5,000 local delegates, many of them wearing traditional white “jalabiya” robes and turbans, for the conference which opened with prayer. While Islamists gained power through democratic elections in Egypt and Tunisia after the Arab Spring uprisings, a coup 23 years ago installed Sudan’s Islamist regime-and it is still there. Among the great challenges facing the country’s Islamist Movement “is how to restore the confidence in the new generation”, an editorial in the English-language The Citizen said yetserday. “The movement has to unify itself by all means,” the paper said, calling for adherence to “Islamic values” and a fight against corruption, nepotism, tribalism and other ills which, critics say, are products of the current government. It is a “corrupt dictatorship, cruel dictatorship,” said Turabi, who does not want Bashir’s regime associated with Islam. Amin Hassan Omer, from the Islamic Movement’s ruling secretariat, said he expects such comments from critics but it is “nonsense” to suggest there is widespread dissatisfaction among younger Islamists over corruption. — AFP

DAMASCUS: France raised the prospect yesterday of providing Syria’s rebels with defensive weapons in a conflict now said to have cost more than 39,000 lives, but Damascus ally Russia said this would violate international law. The diplomatic manoeuvring comes as Syria’s army pressed an operation in areas around Damascus to rout rebels who have stubbornly clung to gains made in July, and as fighting raged on northern battlefields. In Paris, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius raised the issue of excluding defensive weapons from the current European Union arms embargo on Syria to help rebels fighting President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. “For the moment, there is an embargo, so there are no arms being delivered from the European side. The issue... will no doubt be raised for defensive arms,” he told RTL radio. “The issue will be raised because the (opposition) coalition has asked us to do so,” he said, adding that “this is something that we can only do in coordination with the Europeans.” “France’s position for the moment is to say that we must not militarise the conflict, but it is evidently unacceptable that there are liberated zones and that they be bombarded by Bashar’s planes,” On Tuesday, National Coalition chief Ahmed Moaz Al-Khatib called on world powers to arm the rebels with “specialised weapons.” The same day, France became the first Western country to recognise the newly formed coalition as the Syrian people’s sole representative. In Moscow, Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said “promises are being made from a number of capitals of massive supplies of modern weapons. “Outside help to the opposition waging an armed battle against a legitimate government is a gross violation of fundamental norms of international law.” Lukashevich added that the latest developments, including what he said was rebel refusal to talk with Assad, were “in direct contravention” of the socalled Geneva peace plan championed

RAS AL-AIN: Photo taken from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar shows Syrian opposition fighters celebrating on the strategic Syrian border town of Ras Al-Ain, yesterday. — AFP by former UN negotiator Kofi Annan. On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the priority must be to end the bloodshed rather than form an opposition bloc that refuses to negotiate. “It is essential that an end to bloodshed in Syria is reached,” Lavrov said in Riyadh on Wednesday after meeting Gulf Arab leaders, adding that key to that was the Geneva plan. For his part, US President Barack Obama was cautious about the arms question. “One of the things we have to be on guard about... is that we’re not indirectly putting arms in the hands of folks who would do Americans harm,” he said on Wednesday. However, he said Washington was encouraged by the new coalition but was not yet ready to recognise it. Meanwhile, the death toll in 20 months of conflict has topped 39,000, a watchdog said yesterday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 27,410 civilians, 9,800 soldiers and 1,359 military deserters had been killed since the uprising began on March 15, 2011. Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said another 543 people who could not be identified needed to be added to the figure, for a total of 39,112. The Observatory relies on a

countrywide network of activists and medics in civilian and military hospitals for its toll figures. As the death toll continued to rise, the Observatory said army shelling hit the towns of Daraya and Mudamiyeh Al-Sham and southern districts of the capital where fighting has been heavy in recent days. Militants in both towns said the humanitarian situation there was critical, with electricity cut off and residents rushing for shelter. On Wednesday, a day that saw 126 people killed nationwide, shelling and clashes in the the Damascus area left 21 people dead, the Observatory said, It gave an initial toll of 39 people killed nationwide yesterday. In the north, clashes erupted between rebels and soldiers around the airport and at an intelligence headquarters close to the commercial capital Aleppo, and the army shelled the rebel-held town of Aazaz near the Turkish border, the Observatory said. Elsewhere, the army made a major incursion into the Homs city district of Al-Waar and the Homs provincial town of Qusayr, near the Lebanese border, with casualties reported in both places, the watchdog said. — AFP


International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Japan wants ‘mutually beneficial’ ties with China TOKYO: Japan voiced hope for “mutually beneficial” ties with China’s new leaders yesterday amid a bitter maritime dispute, but analysts said Beijing’s territorial ambitions are unlikely to fade any time soon. Relations between the two countries are some of the “most important... for Japan and China and for the whole world”, said the foreign ministry’s deputy press secretary Naoko Saiki in Tokyo. “We really hope that the mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests will be further developed and enhanced with the new leadership” of China, she said. Saiki was speaking hours after China’s Communist Party unveiled a new seven-man leadership council headed by Xi Jinping to take command of the world’s most populous nation for the next decade. North Korea, which counts China as its only major ally, was swift to respond, with leader Kim Jong-Un offering “warm congratulations” to Xi. South Korea’s foreign ministry said it hoped relations would continue developing under the new leadership. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou sent Xi congratulations and said the two sides should “strengthen mutual trust and cooperate in good faith in response to new challenges”. Xi in his reply said China and Taiwan should “build a political, economic, cultural and social basis for the peaceful development of relations”. Taiwan’s ties with China have improved markedly since Ma became the island’s president in 2008. Japan’s relations with its giant neighbour are more troubled despite a trade relationship worth well over $300 billion a year. Beijing says Tokyo has failed to atone for its brutal occupation in the 1930s and 1940s, while Japan maintains it is time to move on from events more than six decades ago. In this combustible context, the row over who owns the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands, which Beijing claims under the name Diaoyus, has been thrust once more to the fore over the last few months. Sometimes-violent street protests targeting Japanese businesses in China and a consumer boycott of Japan-brand goods have cast a shadow over the economic relationship, which analysts say neither side can really afford. But, they say, a reset could be a long way off. “Even though Xi wants to improve economic ties with Japan-namely ‘cool political ties, warm economic ties’-the two countries obviously need a new start in the political arena,” said Mitsuyuki Kagami, a China expert at Aichi University. China’s vast military machine, which has connections deep inside the government, is unlikely to allow this, he said. “Given the huge military budget and interest groups related to it, it’s difficult for China to change its current course towards becoming a military power.” Japan sees China’s rising military as a threat. Norihiro Sasaki, a China expert at the Institute of Developing Economies, said it would be “rational” for Xi to seek something of a new start with Tokyo. However, he cautioned, Japan would continue to be a convenient bogeyman for Beijing. “Given that China is still troubled by the huge gap between rich and poor and other factors of social instability, it will at times have to take a hard line against Japan to steer dissatisfaction away from the authorities towards foreign issues,” he said.—AFP

China unveils leadership with Xi at helm of things China, Taiwan extend olive branches BEIJING: China’s all-powerful Communist Party yesterday unveiled a new seven-man leadership council steered by Xi Jinping to take command of the world’s number two economy for the next decade. After striding out in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People as the party’s new general-secretary, succeeding President Hu Jintao, Xi vowed to fight official corruption and build a “better life” for the nation’s 1.3 billion people. Xi’s long-expected ascent to the apex of national politics was confirmed when he emerged onto the stage in front of the other six members of the elite Politburo Standing Committee, after a week-long party congress. Xi, 59, has an impeccable political pedigree as the son of a lieutenant to revolutionary leader Mao Zedong. He will formally replace Hu as state president when the rubberstamp legislature confirms the appointment in March. “We are not complacent, and we will never rest on our laurels,” Xi said in his first address to the nation, standing in front of his colleagues on the new committee-all men, who all bar one wore red ties. The new committee has been slimmed from nine members to seven, a change analysts said would ease decision-making at the consensus-driven heights of the Communist Party as as China faces rapid change on a host of fronts. “Under the new conditions, our party faces many severe challenges, and there are also many pressing problems within the party that need to be resolved,” Xi said, highlighting graft and alienation from citizens. “We must make every effort to solve these problems. The whole party must stay on full alert.” Xi appeared confident and far more relaxed than his stiff predecessor Hu, starting out with a disarming apology for the speech’s late start and then talking about ordinary

people in plain language. Some users of the nation’s popular Twitterlike microblogs welcomed the speech, with its lack of Communist jargon or mention of socialist heroes, as a refreshing departure. “I hope the new crop of leaders will not disappoint the people’s hopes, will innovate and reform, and courageously strive to create a democratic and constitutional new nation,” wrote one user. Xi’s standing at the top of China’s opaque power structure was consolidated with his appointment as chief of the nation’s vast military as head of the Central Military Commission. Hu’s predecessor Jiang Zemin had clung on to that job for two years after relinquishing the presidency, preventing him from taking full control of China. In second place in the new Politburo Standing Committee was current Vice Premier Li Keqiang, whose promotion puts him in line to be appointed premier in charge of the nation’s day-to-day economic administration in March. The spectacle marked the climax of years of jockeying within the secretive party, which brooks little dissent to its monopoly on political power but which has had to take new account of the public’s demands in the age of social media. Analysts said that despite calls from Xi, Hu and others for reform, the new leadership line-up appeared to have a conservative slant, but also stressed that continuity and stability reigned supreme in the communist system. “I think that this is the result of compromise and consensus among different groups,” Chinese University of Hong Kong associate professor Tsao King Kwun said. The process was essentially finalised Wednesday when the party ended its week-long congress by announcing a new 200-strong Central Committee. —AFP

BEIJING: A huge screen shows a broadcast of China’s new Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping speaking in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People yesterday. — AP

US, Thailand boost military ties to counter new China BANGKOK: The United States and Thailand pledged yesterday to renew their military alliance for a new security era, during a regional tour by Washington’s defence chief designed to counter China’s rise. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the new joint defence declaration between the decades-old allies had “moved this alliance into the 21st century”. The last time the two nations drafted such a joint declaration was in 1962, when the United States promised to defend Thailand from “communist aggression”. Although the new statement made no reference to China’s rising military power, Washington’s strategic tilt to the Asia-Pacific is meant to offset Beijing’s clout and maintain American influence there. The United States promised “an enduring presence in the AsiaPacific” and recognised Thailand as a “regional leader”. The Pentagon chief’s trip to Asia has been overshadowed throughout by a snowballing sex scandal in Washington that forced the resignation last week of ex-general and CIA director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair. The US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, has been linked to a key figure in the case and is now under investi-

gation for potentially inappropriate emails. Panetta said yesterday he was “not aware” of any other officials linked to the scandal. His visit to Bangkok marked the first face-to-face talks between US and Thai defence ministers since 2008, and came days before President Barack Obama is due in the region for a tour of Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. Obama will be the first sitting US president to visit Myanmar, following a series of dramatic political changes in a country emerging from decades of military rule. He will meet President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. A senior US defence official told reporters travelling with Panetta that the United States was open eventually to restoring military ties with Myanmar, but that the Pentagon would proceed cautiously. “We’re going to go slow. We are going to engage those we think are reformist elements,” said the defence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. US officials were considering cooperating with Myanmar’s armed forces on non-lethal programmes focused on military medicine, education and disaster relief exercises. The activities would be “limited in scope” at the outset, the official added. “We’ll

grow as appropriate over time. We need to see reform, we need to see continued progress.” Washington restored diplomatic relations with Myanmar and ended sanctions on investment in July. The United States has also dropped its objection to inviting Myanmar to observe Cobra Gold, the largest US multilateral exercise in the AsiaPacific. It brings together thousands of troops from the US, Thailand and other countries for field training. Thailand’s air bases and ports remain vital to the US military’s logistical network in Asia and the Pentagon continues to hold dozens of drills every year with Bangkok. The United States suspended military aid to Thailand after a 2006 coup but reinstated it after elections in December 2007. Earlier during his week-long trip to Asia, the third since June, Panetta took part in annual strategic talks with Australia in Perth, where officials unveiled plans to station a powerful US Air Force radar and space telescope. He will fly to Cambodia on Friday to join a meeting of defence ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that is expected to focus on territorial tensions with China and recent sectarian unrest in Myanmar. — AFP

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Mumbai unrest feared Hindu leader Thackeray ailing

DUBLIN: Protestors are seen outside Leinster House in Dublin Wednesday Nov 14, 2012. — AP

Death sparks criticism of Irish abortion laws DUBLIN: Ireland’s tough abortion laws came under fire on Wednesday following the death of an Indian woman after doctors allegedly refused her a termination because it was against the laws of the Catholic country. Prime Minister Enda Kenny described the death of Savita Halappanavar, who was admitted to hospital when she was 17 weeks pregnant, as a “tragedy” and said two investigations were underway into what happened. Abortion is illegal in Roman Catholic-dominated Ireland except when it is necessary to save the life of the mother. Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist, repeatedly asked staff at University Hospital Galway in western Ireland to terminate her pregnancy because she had severe back pain and was miscarrying, her family said. But they replied she could not have an abortion because Ireland was a Catholic country and the foetus was still alive, her husband Praveen told the Irish Times. “Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby,” the 34-year-old told the newspaper by telephone from the Karnataka region of southern India. “When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby, could they induce to end the pregnancy. “The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything.’ “Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. “Savita said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.” Halappanavar died of septicaemia, or blood poisoning, on October 28, a week after she was admitted. — AFP

MUMBAI: Mumbai police stepped up security yesterday to prevent any unrest as Indian firebrand politician Bal Thackeray was reported to be in critical condition at his home in the city. Large crowds of supporters gathered overnight outside the residence of the 86-year-old, who founded the rightwing Hindu party Shiv Sena and is widely accused of stoking ethnic and religious violence. “We have a lot of forces on the roads. Extra measures are being taken,” Mumbai police spokesman Nisar Tamboli told AFP. Security was particularly tight around Thackeray’s home. President Pranab Mukherjee cancelled a visit to Mumbai yesterday, local media said, though no official reason was given for the change in schedule. Roads were unusually quiet and many shops were closed in the city, which has been celebrating the Diwali festival this week, with some people opting to stay at home or leave offices early. In the early hours yesterday, Thackeray’s son Uddhav emerged from the house in the suburb of Bandra to reassure the crowds and ask them to pray for his father. “We are hopeful. You be hopeful. Let’s pray,” he said. “Bal... has strong willpower. We’ll come out from the problem. Don’t trust rumours. Make peace,” he was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency. Doctors on Wednesday night had said Thackeray was in a “very critical” condition and on a life support system, but Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said yesterday he was now stable. “Need not worry. He is responding to doctors’ efforts,” Raut told PTI. Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan and his actor son

Abhishek were among those to visit Thackeray’s home in the night, where they suffered minor injuries in the rowdy crowds. “Yes both Abhishek and me were injured with cuts, but are fine and back home,” the elder Bachchan wrote on Twitter. A television van was also reportedly damaged by Shiv Sena followers. Thackeray is one of the best-known and most controversial

figures in the western state of Maharashtra and its capital, which his party renamed from Bombay to Mumbai. The Shiv Sena became synonymous with deadly communal violence and especially anti-Muslim sentiment during its campaign to protect local Marathi-speaking “sons of the soil” and their culture from migrant workers. — AFP

MUMBAI: An onlooker is seen behind a poster bearing portraits of ailingright-wing Hindu party Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, erected near his residence yesterday. — AFP

Suu Kyi says Myanmar violence is a ‘tragedy’ NEW DELHI: Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday described violence in west Myanmar between Buddhists and Muslims as a “huge international tragedy” and said illegal immigration from Bangladesh had to be stopped. Suu Kyi, on a visit to neighbouring India, said she had declined to speak out on behalf of stateless Rohingya Muslims who live on both sides of the border because she wanted to promote reconciliation after recent bloodshed. More than 100,000 people have been displaced in Myanmar since June in two major outbreaks of violence in the western state of Rakhine. Dozens have been killed on both sides and thousands of homes torched. “Don’t forget that violence has been committed by both sides, this is why I prefer not to take sides and also I want to work towards reconciliation,” she told the NDTV news channel. “Is there a lot of illegal crossing of the border (with Bangladesh) still

going on? We have got to put a stop to it, otherwise there will never be an end to the problem,” she said. “Bangladesh will say all these people have come from Burma (Myanmar) and the Burmese say all these people have come over from Bangladesh.” The Nobel laureate, who was released from military house arrest in 2010, has faced criticism from human rights groups for her muted response to the ethnic violence in her homeland. “This is a huge international tragedy and this is why I keep saying that the government must have a policy about their citizenship laws,” she said. Nicholas Farrelly, a Myanmar expert at Australian National University, told AFP that Suu Kyi’s comments reflected domestic opinion. “If she makes a mis-step, she could alienate her political base which is reluctant to have anything to do with the Rohingya,” he said. “She appears to be pivoting away

from international human rights groups and is echoing sentiments inside Myanmar. “Leaders in Myanmar feel international support flowing towards the Rohingya is inappropriate and that it misunderstands the situation.” Myanmar’s 800,000 Rohingya are seen by the government and many in the country as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. They face severe discrimination that activists say has led to a deepening alienation. “There are quarrels about whether people are true citizens under law or whether they have come over as migrants later from Bangladesh,” Suu Kyi said. “The security of the border surely is the responsibility of both countries.” The Rohingya, who make up the vast majority of those displaced in the recent fighting, are described by the UN as among the world’s most persecuted minorities. Suu Kyi, who is now a member of parlia-

ment after dramatic changes overseen by a quasi-civilian regime that took power last year, dismissed criticism that her response to the unrest in Rakhine had been inadequate. “I am not ambivalent about my views on violence, violence is something that I abhor completely,” she said. “All those entitled to citizenship under the laws must be given citizenship, we say this very clearly.” Representatives of the Rohingya say their people have been in Myanmar for centuries but their ethnic history is the subject of fierce dispute. US President Barack Obama’s visit to Myanmar next week will underline the end of the country’s pariah status since the recent reforms. Myanmar authorities yesterday pardoned hundreds of prisoners in a mass amnesty criticised by prodemocracy activists as a cynical ploy to curry favour ahead of Obama’s arrival. — AFP

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Mumbai unrest feared Hindu leader Thackeray ailing

DUBLIN: Protestors are seen outside Leinster House in Dublin Wednesday Nov 14, 2012. — AP

Death sparks criticism of Irish abortion laws DUBLIN: Ireland’s tough abortion laws came under fire on Wednesday following the death of an Indian woman after doctors allegedly refused her a termination because it was against the laws of the Catholic country. Prime Minister Enda Kenny described the death of Savita Halappanavar, who was admitted to hospital when she was 17 weeks pregnant, as a “tragedy” and said two investigations were underway into what happened. Abortion is illegal in Roman Catholic-dominated Ireland except when it is necessary to save the life of the mother. Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist, repeatedly asked staff at University Hospital Galway in western Ireland to terminate her pregnancy because she had severe back pain and was miscarrying, her family said. But they replied she could not have an abortion because Ireland was a Catholic country and the foetus was still alive, her husband Praveen told the Irish Times. “Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby,” the 34-year-old told the newspaper by telephone from the Karnataka region of southern India. “When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby, could they induce to end the pregnancy. “The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything.’ “Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. “Savita said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.” Halappanavar died of septicaemia, or blood poisoning, on October 28, a week after she was admitted. — AFP

MUMBAI: Mumbai police stepped up security yesterday to prevent any unrest as Indian firebrand politician Bal Thackeray was reported to be in critical condition at his home in the city. Large crowds of supporters gathered overnight outside the residence of the 86-year-old, who founded the rightwing Hindu party Shiv Sena and is widely accused of stoking ethnic and religious violence. “We have a lot of forces on the roads. Extra measures are being taken,” Mumbai police spokesman Nisar Tamboli told AFP. Security was particularly tight around Thackeray’s home. President Pranab Mukherjee cancelled a visit to Mumbai yesterday, local media said, though no official reason was given for the change in schedule. Roads were unusually quiet and many shops were closed in the city, which has been celebrating the Diwali festival this week, with some people opting to stay at home or leave offices early. In the early hours yesterday, Thackeray’s son Uddhav emerged from the house in the suburb of Bandra to reassure the crowds and ask them to pray for his father. “We are hopeful. You be hopeful. Let’s pray,” he said. “Bal... has strong willpower. We’ll come out from the problem. Don’t trust rumours. Make peace,” he was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency. Doctors on Wednesday night had said Thackeray was in a “very critical” condition and on a life support system, but Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said yesterday he was now stable. “Need not worry. He is responding to doctors’ efforts,” Raut told PTI. Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan and his actor son

Abhishek were among those to visit Thackeray’s home in the night, where they suffered minor injuries in the rowdy crowds. “Yes both Abhishek and me were injured with cuts, but are fine and back home,” the elder Bachchan wrote on Twitter. A television van was also reportedly damaged by Shiv Sena followers. Thackeray is one of the best-known and most controversial

figures in the western state of Maharashtra and its capital, which his party renamed from Bombay to Mumbai. The Shiv Sena became synonymous with deadly communal violence and especially anti-Muslim sentiment during its campaign to protect local Marathi-speaking “sons of the soil” and their culture from migrant workers. — AFP

MUMBAI: An onlooker is seen behind a poster bearing portraits of ailingright-wing Hindu party Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, erected near his residence yesterday. — AFP

Suu Kyi says Myanmar violence is a ‘tragedy’ NEW DELHI: Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday described violence in west Myanmar between Buddhists and Muslims as a “huge international tragedy” and said illegal immigration from Bangladesh had to be stopped. Suu Kyi, on a visit to neighbouring India, said she had declined to speak out on behalf of stateless Rohingya Muslims who live on both sides of the border because she wanted to promote reconciliation after recent bloodshed. More than 100,000 people have been displaced in Myanmar since June in two major outbreaks of violence in the western state of Rakhine. Dozens have been killed on both sides and thousands of homes torched. “Don’t forget that violence has been committed by both sides, this is why I prefer not to take sides and also I want to work towards reconciliation,” she told the NDTV news channel. “Is there a lot of illegal crossing of the border (with Bangladesh) still

going on? We have got to put a stop to it, otherwise there will never be an end to the problem,” she said. “Bangladesh will say all these people have come from Burma (Myanmar) and the Burmese say all these people have come over from Bangladesh.” The Nobel laureate, who was released from military house arrest in 2010, has faced criticism from human rights groups for her muted response to the ethnic violence in her homeland. “This is a huge international tragedy and this is why I keep saying that the government must have a policy about their citizenship laws,” she said. Nicholas Farrelly, a Myanmar expert at Australian National University, told AFP that Suu Kyi’s comments reflected domestic opinion. “If she makes a mis-step, she could alienate her political base which is reluctant to have anything to do with the Rohingya,” he said. “She appears to be pivoting away

from international human rights groups and is echoing sentiments inside Myanmar. “Leaders in Myanmar feel international support flowing towards the Rohingya is inappropriate and that it misunderstands the situation.” Myanmar’s 800,000 Rohingya are seen by the government and many in the country as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. They face severe discrimination that activists say has led to a deepening alienation. “There are quarrels about whether people are true citizens under law or whether they have come over as migrants later from Bangladesh,” Suu Kyi said. “The security of the border surely is the responsibility of both countries.” The Rohingya, who make up the vast majority of those displaced in the recent fighting, are described by the UN as among the world’s most persecuted minorities. Suu Kyi, who is now a member of parlia-

ment after dramatic changes overseen by a quasi-civilian regime that took power last year, dismissed criticism that her response to the unrest in Rakhine had been inadequate. “I am not ambivalent about my views on violence, violence is something that I abhor completely,” she said. “All those entitled to citizenship under the laws must be given citizenship, we say this very clearly.” Representatives of the Rohingya say their people have been in Myanmar for centuries but their ethnic history is the subject of fierce dispute. US President Barack Obama’s visit to Myanmar next week will underline the end of the country’s pariah status since the recent reforms. Myanmar authorities yesterday pardoned hundreds of prisoners in a mass amnesty criticised by prodemocracy activists as a cynical ploy to curry favour ahead of Obama’s arrival. — AFP

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Socialite’s climb halted by unfolding scandal TAMPA: Jill Kelley’s climb to the top of Tampa’s social ladder may be as spectacular as her fall from it. Accounts of lavish parties at her bay front mansion with politicians and military generals have been replaced by reports of her family’s financial woes and other dirty laundry, and claims she used her close friendship with David Petraeus to try to further lucrative business dealings. Now, even her “Friends of MacDill” Air Force base access pass has been unceremoniously revoked. The tangled web enveloping the daughter of Lebanese refugees, her twin sister, former CIA chief Petraeus, and Marine Gen. John Allen, who succeeded Petraeus as the top American commander in Afghanistan, has spread to include questions about a cancer charity Kelley and her doctor-husband, Scott, founded. Although Petraeus’ affair with his biographer, Army Reserve officer Paula Broadwell, was the immediate cause of his downfall, Kelley and her relations with the Tampa base and the US Central Command have surfaced as a sort of connective tissue for

the growing scandal. On Wednesday, a New York businessman said Kelley was introduced to him at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August as someone whose friendship with Petraeus would help facilitate a no-bid deal with South

TAMPA: This photo shows Dr Scott Kelley (right) and his wife Jill Kelley posing for a photo. — AP

Korea on a coal-gasification project. She would supposedly be in a position to help broker the billion-dollar deal directly with the Korean president, and expected a 2 percent commission, said Adam Victor, president and chief executive officer of TransGas Development Systems. Kelley is an honorary consul for South Korea, a ceremonial position, and got diplomatic plates for her car. But after flying Kelley to New York to discuss how she could help, Victor says he concluded she had little to offer in the way of deal-making expertise or connections with Korean leaders. The AP also learned Wednesday that Kelley attended an FBI “Citizens’ Academy” last year. It was Kelley’s complaints to an FBI agent about alleged threats from Broadwell that led to the general’s resignation last week and has sidelined Allen’s nomination to become the next commander of US European Command and the commander of NATO forces in Europe. The agent was Frederick W. Humphries, 47, a veteran counterterrorism investigator in the Tampa

Obama rebukes Reps over Benghazi Obama calls Rep criticism of Rice ‘outrageous’ WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama told Republican senators on Wednesday that if they had a problem with the handling of the Benghazi attack in Libya, to “go after me” rather than pick on his ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice. Obama’s comments, in a combative tone, came after two senior Republican senators said they would block any attempts by the president to put Rice into a Cabinet position that would require Senate confirmation. Republicans have criticized Rice for going on a round of Sunday talk shows five days after the Sept 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi and saying that preliminary information suggested it was the result of protests over an anti-Muslim film rather than a premeditated strike. The White House has said repeatedly the comments were based on the best information Rice had at the time. But Republicans have used her early assessment as a cudgel for criticizing the administration as not being forthcoming about Benghazi, and the senators’ remarks on Wednesday suggested they would pursue the issue even though the US presidential election is over. “But for them to go after the UN ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous,” Obama said. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in the attack that has raised questions about the security of the diplomatic mission, US intelligence

about the threat, and the adequacy of the immediate US response. The issue has become a sensitive one for the administration after Obama’s re-election last week as he shapes his Cabinet for a second term. Rice is considered a possible contender to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who does not intend to stay, or for another top post. “We will do whatever’s necessary to block the nomination that’s within our power as far as Susan Rice is concerned,” said Republican Senator John McCain, who was joined by fellow Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. At his first news conference since being re-elected, Obama retorted: “If Senator McCain and Senator Graham, and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them.” Obama said he had not made decisions on his second-term Cabinet yet, but if he decided that Rice would be the best person to lead the State Department, “then I will nominate her.” Asked why, if Rice had nothing to do with Benghazi she was sent on the talk shows to give the administration’s point of view, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told Reuters: “It made sense to have Ambassador Rice, one of our most senior diplomats, speak about the critical work our diplomats do every day. Ambassador Rice was also uniquely qualified to speak about the broader unrest in the region at the time.” Petraeus going to hill The Senate and House intelligence committees have scheduled separate closed-door hearings on

Thursday about Benghazi. Former CIA Director David Petraeus had initially been scheduled to testify, but after Petraeus’ resignation last week ov e r an extramarital affair, acting CIA Director Michael Morell will take his place. Some senior lawmakers said they still wanted to hear from Petraeus about Benghazi because he had been CIA director at the time of the attack. The House Intelligence Committee announced on Wednesday night that Petraeus would testify behind closed doors on Friday morning about Benghazi. The administration’s response to Benghazi became a key issue in the last months of the presidential campaign and Obama said at the news conference that “it is important for us to find out exactly what happened” and pledged to cooperate with Congress. “And we’ve got to get to the bottom of it and there needs to be accountability. We’ve got to bring those who carried it out to justice. They won’t get any debate from me on that,” he said. McCain and Graham called for the creation of a Senate special committee to investigate the Benghazi attack, rather than have three separate committees with jurisdiction hold hearings: intelligence, armed services and foreign relations. “Why did senior administration officials seek to blame the spontaneous demonstration for the attack in Benghazi when it was later acknowledged that no protests even occurred in Benghazi and that the (CIA) station chief in Tripoli was apparently reporting back in the first 24 hours that it was a terrorist attack?” McCain said. — Reuters

office, and he was among the FBI employees Kelley met during the academy, which lasted from Sept. 13 to Nov 30, 2011, the AP learned. Both Petreaus and Allen have been guests at the Kelleys’ 5,000-square-foot home on Bayshore Boulevard, which records show they purchased in 2004 for about $1.5 million. Jill Kelley’s twin sister, Natalie Khawam, also lives there. The five-bedroom, three-and-ahalf-bath brick Colonial with its stately white columns is on the main parade route for the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, Tampa’s answer to Mardi Gras. And the couple soon gained a reputation for their sumptuous and well-attended affairs. Jill Kelley, 37, and her husband - a cancer surgeon are members of the Tampa Yacht and Country Club. The relationship between the Kelleys and Petraeus began in late 2008, when he came to MacDill to assume command of CENTCOM. The couple threw a welcome party for him, and he reportedly watched his first Gasparilla pirate parade from the Kelleys’ lawn. — AP

Life is no beach for seaside Sandy victims NEW YORK: Eat, warm up, clean up: more than two weeks after superstorm Sandy, thousands of people in a remote New York City beach community are struggling just for the basics. From 10:00 am in Far Rockaway, there was already a long line of people waiting patiently outside the library for overcoats promised by a charity at midday. Two other lines had formed in front of a nearby church. One was for hot food, the other for daily needs like cleaning liquids, batteries, diapers, brooms and water bottles. Volunteers stood by, offering advice on how to apply for all manner of other aid. The Rockaway neighborhood is in Queens, part of New York City, but since Sandy struck with huge floods and hurricane-strength winds on October 29, it can feel like somewhere in another, poorer country. Sandy knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people and damaged or destroyed many homes through flooding. But while most of the New York area has gotten back on its feet, Rockaway is still crawling. Everywhere in the modest community south of John F. Kennedy International Airport it’s the same story: long lines of people needing help from churches, federal aid offices, and a multitude of charities. Many people come with shopping carts that they fill up with everything they can collect, then walk slowly away. “Do you have a heater? I need a heater,” asked Kiomara Espaillat, a retired woman with a missing leg who was waiting in her wheelchair for an overcoat. She said she lives alone in her apartment, still without heat or light, or even a phone. “Nobody is telling us anything,” she complained. Bilma, a 28-year-old immigrant from El Salvador, was in line with her fourmonth-old baby. She also didn’t have electricity. “They said maybe tomorrow. It’s very difficult,” she said. — AFP

International FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Romney breaks silence in bitter broadside at Obama Top Reps say Romney didn’t offer specifics WASHINGTON: Mitt Romney said President Barack Obama won by showering “gifts” on women, African American and Hispanic supporters, in his first published remarks since conceding last week’s election. The remarks came as Republicans have called for greater outreach to women and minorities after their unexpectedly lopsided defeat, and drew an angry response from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a rising star in the party. A little over a week after the election, Romney accused Obama of following the “old playbook” by bestowing favors on key Democratic constituencies in exchange for their support. “In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” he said in a phone call with his national finance committee on Wednesday. “With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift.” Obama garnered 51 percent of the popular vote to Romney’s 48 percent, and won decisively in the state-by-state Electoral College, where he earned 332 votes to Romney’s 206. Romney’s postmortem, reported by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, echoed controversial remarks he made to donors at a private fundraiser, denigrating the “47 percent” of US voters whom he said pay no income tax. Those comments in May, secretly recorded and released months later, confirmed some voters’ views that the multimillionaire former venture capitalist was an elitist who cared only about the rich. Romney told the donors on Wednesday’s conference call that Obama “made a big effort on small things,” while his own campaign had been about “big issues.” Among the gifts Romney said Obama gave to his backers were “free contraceptives,” which were very big with college-aged women. The president’s controversial health care reform plan was another campaign gift that helped secure the youth vote, Romney said. Under Obama’s plan, anyone 26 or younger could be part of their parents’

health care plan “...and that was a big gift to young people,” Romney said. “They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.” For Latinos, “free health care was a big plus,” Romney said during the 20minute call. “The amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called ‘Dream Act’ kids, was a huge plus for that voting group,” he added. He was referring to an executive order earlier this year allowing undocumented youths to temporarily remain legally in the United States. Romney, a conservative Mormon and the former governor of left-leaning Massachusetts, won over elderly voters in the November 6 election and earned a definitive 59 percent of the white vote. But minorities rallied around Obama, with 93 percent of African Americans, 71 percent of Hispanics and 72 percent of Asians voting for his re-election. The dramatic imbalance-

particularly among the fast-growing Latino community-has led many Republicans to call for greater outreach and for the party to adopt a more moderate position on immigration. Jindal, speaking at a Republican governors conference in Las Vegas, denounced Romney’s claim about Obama’s election tactics. “I absolutely reject that notion.” “I think that’s absolutely wrong,” he was quoted as saying by CNN. “I don’t think that represents where we are as a party and where we’re going as a party,” he said. “That has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election.” In another development, top Republicans meeting for the first time since Election Day say the party lost its bid to unseat President Barack Obama because nominee Mitt Romney did not respond to criticism strongly enough or outline a specific agenda with a broad appeal. —Agencies

MANCHESTER: In this file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. — AP

San Francisco nudists rally for right to bare SAN FRANCISCO: Two dozen pro-nudity activists wearing little but their righteous indignation assembled on the steps of San Francisco City Hall on Wednesday to protest a proposed municipal ban on public nakedness. “We are here today in response to an attack on our fundamental freedom, our freedom to be ourselves in our own city,” disrobed rally organizer Gypsy Taub declared as her fellow activists displayed signs saying, “Nudity is Natural” and “Nude is not Lewd.” Local politicians in the famously tolerant city, where men in particular are known to frequently parade undressed through the streets of the predominantly gay Castro District, are considering a law to criminalize nudity on streets, sidewalks and plazas. A hearing on measure by the city’s Board of Supervisors is scheduled for next Tuesday. Following the protest, attorney Christina DiEdoardo filed suit on behalf of the nudists seeking to block the proposed nudity ban from enactment.

She contends that a prohibition on public nakedness would deprive her five clients, one of them a former mayoral candidate who ran on a nudist platform, of their constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection under law. “The city is getting into trying to legislate and criminally enforce a dress code,” she told Reuters. “My clients are trying to save the Board of Supervisors from acting unconstitutionally.” “Nudophobic bigotry has now taken root here in San Francisco,” Rusty Mills, 69, stripped down to his tanned birthday suit, told his fellow demonstrators as they stood in the sunshine of an unseasonably warm, 70-degree Fahrenheit (21-degree Celsius) fall day. Grin and bear it The nude protesters, including one using a cane and another in a wheelchair, walked with DiEdoardo two blocks to the federal courthouse, where an officer refused to allow them to enter disrobed. DiEdoardo, who was fully clothed, went inside to file the court

papers. On the way back to City Hall, elementary school children playing on a schoolyard gawked and pointed at the naked demonstrators. Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced the proposal to curb undressing after residents complained about a daily gathering of naked men in Jane Warner Plaza, a square in the Castro District. He called the lawsuit a baseless “publicity stunt.” “There’s always been occasional public nudity in San Francisco. Over the last two years it’s gone from being this quirky, occasional thing to an obnoxious, over-the-top thing,” Wiener said in an interview. “A lot of people who live in the neighborhood are just sick of the fact that seven days a week there are men taking their pants off and displaying their genitals on our sidewalks and plaza,” he added. Under the proposed law, which critics dubbed the “Wiener bill,” nudity would still be allowed at permitted parades, fairs and festivals, as well as on designated nude beaches. — Reuters

With pot legal, US police worry about road safety DENVER: It’s settled. Pot, at least certain amounts of it, will soon be legal under state laws in Washington and Colorado. Now, officials in both states are trying to figure out how to keep stoned drivers off the road. Colorado’s measure doesn’t make any changes to the state’s drivingunder-the-influence laws, leaving lawmakers and police to worry about its effect on road safety. “We’re going to have more impaired drivers,” warned John Jackson, police chief in the Denver suburb of Greenwood Village. Washington’s law does change driving under the influence provisions by setting a new blood-test limit for marijuana - a limit police are training to enforce, and which some lawyers are already gearing up to challenge. “We’ve had decades of studies and experience with alcohol,” said Washington State Patrol spokesman Dan Coon. “Marijuana is new, so it’s going to take some time to figure out how the courts and prosecutors are going to handle it. But the key is impairment: We will arrest drivers who drive impaired, whether it be drugs or alcohol.” Drugged driving is illegal, and nothing in the measures that Washington and Colorado voters passed this month to tax and regulate the sale of pot for recreational use by adults over 21 changes that. But law enforcement officials wonder about whether the ability to buy or possess marijuana legally will bring about an increase of marijuana users on the roads. Statistics gathered for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that in 2009, a third of fatally injured drivers with known drug test results were positive for drugs other than alcohol. Among randomly stopped weekend nighttime drivers in 2007, more than 16 percent were positive for drugs. Marijuana can cause dizziness and slowed reaction time, and drivers are more likely to drift and swerve while they’re high. Marijuana legalization activists agree people shouldn’t smoke and drive. But setting a standard comparable to blood-alcohol limits has sparked intense disagreement, said Betty Aldworth, outreach director for Colorado’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. Most convictions for drugged driving currently are based on police observations, followed later by a blood test. “There is not yet a consensus about the standard rate for THC impairment,” Aldworth said, referring to the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. Unlike portable breath tests for alcohol, there’s no easily available way to determine whether someone is impaired from recent pot use. There are different types of tests for marijuana. Many workplaces test for an inactive THC metabolite that can be stored in body fat and remain detectable weeks after use. But tests for current impairment measure for active THC in the blood, and those levels typically drop within hours. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says peak THC concentrations are reached during the act of smoking, and within three hours, they generally fall to less than 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood - the same standard in Washington’s law, one supporters describe as roughly equivalent to the .08 limit for alcohol. Two other states - Ohio and the medical marijuana state of Nevada - have a limit of 2 nanograms of THC per milliliter. Pennsylvania’s health department has a 5nanogram guideline that can be introduced in driving violation cases, and a dozen states, including Illinois, Arizona, and Rhode Island, have zero-tolerance policies. In Washington, police still have to observe signs of impaired driving before pulling someone over, Coon said. The blood would be drawn by a medical professional, and tests above 5 nanograms would automatically subject the driver to a DUI conviction. Supporters of Washington’s measure said they included the standard to allay fears that legalization could prompt a drugged-driving epidemic, but critics call it arbitrarily strict. They insist that medical patients who regularly use cannabis would likely fail even if they weren’t impaired. They also worry about the law’s zerotolerance policy for those under 21. College students who wind up convicted even if they weren’t impaired could lose college loans, they argue. — AP

Business FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

First Dreamliner arrives in Poland

Viva still not listed on bourse 4 yrs after IPO



LISBON: A riot policeman runs past a fire set by protestors during clashes in Lisbon during a general strike. — AP

Euro-zone limps into recession Debt crisis hits growth, outlook BRUSSELS: The 17-nation euro-zone was in recession for the second time in three years in the third quarter, official data showed yesterday, as the debt crisis exacts a heavy toll and the outlook darkens steadily. The euro-zone economy shrank 0.1 percent compared with the three months to June when it contracted 0.2 percent, meeting the technical definition of a recession as two consecutive quarters of decline. The figures make grim reading after massive protests Wednesday across Europe against the austerity measures governments have taken to resolve the debilitating debt crisis but which many believe only undercut growth and make the problem worse. “The data confirmed that, despite continued growth in Germany and France, the euro-zone as a whole is now officially in recession. We expect the recession to deepen markedly in the coming quar-

ters,” Capital Economics analysts said. Just in case the outlook was not dark enough, the European Central Bank warned Thursday that the euro-zone faces an even deeper recession this year, with the single-currency economy to shrink 0.5 percent, rather than 0.3 percent. Growth in 2013 will be only an anaemic 0.3 percent, not the 0.6 percent expected previously, an ECB survey of forecasters showed. “The main factor behind the downward revision for 2012 was the prolonged uncertainty in the euro area, which was also reflected in weak economic indicators in summer and early autumn,” the survey said. Adding to the problems, inflation-which requires tight policy control rather than stimulus-will hit 2.5 percent this year, up 0.2 percentage points, it said. Thursday’s data showed the full 27-state European Union eked out third quarter growth of

0.1 percent, again after a contraction of 0.2 percent in the second, thereby narrowly avoiding recession. Compared with the third quarter in 2011, the euro-zone economy shrank 0.6 percent in the three months to September while the EU was down 0.4 percent. Germany, Europe’s powerhouse economy, expanded 0.2 percent in the third quarter, slowing from 0.3 percent in the second and 0.5 percent in the first, highlighting how the crisis has undercut even the strongest. France meanwhile also managed 0.2 percent but Spain shrank 0.3 percent and Italy 0.2 percent, boding ill as the euro-zone struggles to put its financial affairs in order through the austerity policies which are proving so unpopular. Non-euro Britain posted strong growth of 1.0 percent, helped by the London Olympic Games effect but its prospects are not good either-the Bank of

England on Wednesday predicted low growth for the next three years due to the euro-zone crisis, tight credit conditions and inflationary pressures. The British central bank slashed its 2013 estimate to 1.0 percent from the 2.0 percent it gave only in August.Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said the debt crisis problems were now clearly being felt in the traditionally stronger states such as Germany and notably, the Netherlands which slumped 1.1 percent in the quarter. “In the face of tightening fiscal policy in many countries, high and rising unemployment and persistent serious Eurozone sovereign debt tensions,” the euro-zone will likely weaken further and shrink 0.2 percent next year, Archer warned. The European Commission earlier this month forecast euro-zone growth of 0.1 percent in 2013, with the EU as a whole on 0.4 percent. — AFP

Business FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Battle lines drawn over ‘growth revenue’ in US We were not re-elected to raise taxes: House Republicans WASHINGTON: The holy grail of conservative tax policy - the theory that lower tax rates will generate stronger revenues by turbo-charging economic growth - has sprung back to life and is stirring controversy again in Washington. The so-called “dynamic scoring” theory, disputed by many independent economists, has formed the basis of Republicans’ defensive line on negotiations over the yearend “fiscal cliff” of looming tax hikes and automatic spending cuts. They have put new revenues on the table, but not any that come from Americans paying more in taxes. Instead, what Republicans in the House of Representatives are offering is new revenue generated by a cleaner, simpler tax code, with fewer deductions and lower rates. “Longterm revenue that results from economic growth, that’s fine,” said Representative Jim Jordan, who heads the conservative Republican Study Committee caucus. “If it’s revenue ... that increases the tax burden, I think that’s a real problem.” Conservative Republicans, saying that their re-election gave them at least an equal mandate to President Barack Obama’s, intend to dig in on

growth revenues for the time being. A common refrain is that they weren’t re-elected to raise taxes. Their adherence to this theory could present a major hurdle for House Speaker John Boehner in winning passage for any deficit deal. Obama, showing that he is just as adept with wonky budget terms, fired back during his news conference on Wednesday. “What I will not do is to have a process that is vague, that says we’re going to sort of, kind of, raise revenue through dynamic scoring or closing loopholes that have not been identified,” Obama said. He said he is concerned that such revenues will not materialize, prompting cuts to programs that aid middle-class families or to government-funded research. Obama is instead seeking some $1.6 trillion in increased tax revenues to help reduce deficits, largely by allowing tax rates to rise for the wealthiest. The origins of dynamic scoring can be traced to the 1970s and supply-side economist Arthur Laffer, whose D-shaped Laffer curve represents the relationship between tax rates and the revenue they generate. It postulates that raising tax rates

beyond a certain point would be counterproductive and raise less revenue, and vice versa, but estimating the optimal rate is tricky. Some of these concepts were adopted by the Reagan administration’s supply-side economics policies and tax cuts in the 1980s. The dynamic scoring argument surfaced during last year’s debt ceiling talks, went into hibernation for several months, then reappeared in Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, which used it to back a 20 percent tax cut and reform plan. Boehner says the version he is offering will produce a “gusher” of growth and revenue, but in return, Republicans want cost-cutting reforms to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. “We’re willing to work with the administration to get tax reform, but not tax reform that raises taxes on people,” said Representative Scott Garrett, the No 2 Republican on the House Budget Committee. Congress has about seven weeks to craft a solution to deal with the year-end expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and the launch of automatic spending cuts. If left unchecked, these would suck about $600 billion out of the US econ-

omy next year and lead to a new recession, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. In addition to the year-end deadlines, Congress also by early next year must raise the federal borrowing limit and come up with a plan to shrink deficits by enough to satisfy credit ratings agencies and financial markets. In cutting any deal with Obama and Democrats emboldened by gains in the U.S. Senate, Boehner will need to appease the conservatives in order for any plan to win House approval. They still hold substantial sway, despite Democrats gaining about seven seats in the chamber. The Republican offer of growthonly revenues from tax reform has been widely chided by Democrats. Senator Charles Schumer has likened it to the straw-to-gold scheme at the center of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said it was “magical thinking” to believe that by merely eliminating tax deductions, credits and preferences, Congress could produce enough revenue to cut deficits. “I don’t see how you do this without higher rates. I just don’t see how you feasibly, realistically, do it.” —Reuters

China, Kuwait finalize annual crude supply China’s 2013 Kuwaiti crude imports steady SHANGHAI: Chinese refiners have finalized annual crude supply deals for next year with OPEC producer Kuwait at volumes steady with this year, but at least one company has agreed to take more oil from top exporter Saudi Arabia, trading executives said yesterday. Most oil exporters count China among their top buyers as the country has led global oil demand growth for a major part of this decade with a booming economy boosting consumption. China’s refining capacity is slated to rise 1 million barrels per day (bpd) this year as part of a plan to expand total capacity by a third between 2011 and 2015. China is Iran’s top oil customer and traders are watching for any signs of the world’s second-biggest consumer further reducing its reliance on the Islamic Republic’s oil as Western sanctions make purchases and shipments difficult. Imports from Iran fell 22 percent in January-September. Oil trader Chinaoil will raise its Saudi term crude volumes to around 160,000 bpd in 2013, up by a third, or 40,000 bpd from 2012. Another trader, state-run Sinochem, will keep purchases from the world’s top exporter steady at this year’s level of around

50,000 bpd, they said. It is still not clear if China’s Unipec will raise term purchases from Saudi Arabia. China will keep its term crude imports from Kuwait steady at around 250,000 bpd. This figure is equivalent to around 5 percent of China’s total crude imports. China is Kuwait’s No 3 client after South Korea and India, taking 8 percent of its production each year. KUWAITI IMPORTS “Kuwait didn’t really push aggressively in China sales yet, because its oil production has been kept at about 3.1 million bpd,” one executive with direct knowledge of the pact said. In the absence of extra orders from European buyers, Kuwait has no plans to raise its crude production capacity of around 3.1 million to 3.2 million bpd in the short term, the chief of state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) has said. But as China adds refining capacity, particularly two major greenfield refineries with which Kuwait could formalize long-term supply, its crude purchases from the Gulf state may rise around 2014/2015, said the trading executive, declining to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to media.

With Kuwait’s output not expected to rise dramatically until 2020, a big increase in supplies to China may mean a cut back to other customers such as Japan, where oil demand is declining, the executive said. The Chinese refineries Kuwait could tie up for long-term supplies are state-run Sinochem Group’s 240,0000-bpd facility that is set to begin trial production next June, and a 300,000-bpd complex planned by Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, in the southern province of Guangdong. China also finalized term talks with Algeria for 2013, keeping volumes unchanged at about 1 very large crude carrier a month, a trading executive at Algeria’s Sonatrach said. PetroChina is the main buyer of oil from Algeria. Still, Sonatrach hopes to sell more of its light, sweet crude to China to help the country’s refiners blend the oil with the heavier grades they are buying from the Middle East. “Sonatrach is a small supplier compared to others as most of Algerian oil is light and sweet,” said a Sonatrach trading executive. “But as China raises the amount of heavier and sour grades, they would need more lighter sweet to mix. The demand is here in China.” —Reuters

FARNBOROUGH: A Boeing B787 Dreamliner takes part in a flying display at the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire, southern England. Polish flagcarrier LOT yesterday became the first European company to take delivery of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. — AFP

First Dreamliner arrives in Poland WARSAW: Polish flag-carrier LOT yesterday became the first European company to take delivery of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. In line with aviation industry tradition, the aircraft was baptised by firetrucks as it taxied to Warsaw Chopin Airport, after a landing broadcast live on Poland’s rolling news networks. One of eight Dreamliners ordered by LOT, the aircraft was flown from US aviation giant Boeing’s base in Seattle. The delivery is four years late, owing to technical problems on Boeing’s side. LOT is due to take delivery of its second plane at the start of next year, and the company’s first trans-Atlantic Dreamliner flight is scheduled for January 16. The financially-troubled Polish carrier is eyeing the Dreamliner’s lower fuel consumption - 20 percent less than that of a Boeing 767 — as a way to help balance its books. The first company to take delivery of a Dreamliner was Japan’s All Nippon Airways, which began offering flights on the jet in October. — AFP

Business FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Pessimism about Pakistan’s tax amnesty ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is banking on a new amnesty to bring millions of tax evaders into the revenue net but analysts warn the scheme is a charter for cheats that will encourage money laundering. The country’s new tax chief Ali Arshad Hakeem faces a formidable task as he tries to persuade millions of people to break the habit of a lifetime and cough up part of their income to the exchequer. The restive, nuclear-armed country has one of the least effective fiscal regimes in the world-from a population of around 180 million, only 260,000 people have paid tax consecutively for the last three years. Total tax revenue amounted to a paltry 9.1 percent of GDP last year, among the lowest in the world. Hakeem, the new chairman of the Federal Board of Revenues (FBR), the country’s main revenue collection authority, is hoping to lure up to three million non-payers with a special offer, though he conceded it was a “gigantic task”. For a one-off flat payment of 40,000 Pakistani rupees-just shy of $420 even lifelong tax evaders will have the slate wiped clean, in return for committing to pay tax regularly from next year. “We will issue notices to evaders after approval of the proposed law and it will not be very difficult to hit them as we have full data available about them, whether they are politicians, businessmen, cricketers or showbiz people,” he said. Under the new law, yet to be approved by parliament, those unwilling to sign up for the amnesty and pay their taxes will face having assets seized, cell phone connections frozen and could be barred from leaving Pakistan.

But Hafeez Pasha, a senior economist and former finance minister said the government should be cracking down on tax-evaders, not letting them off the hook. And he warned that the amnesty was effectively an invitation to launder money, as people would not have to declare the source of any illicit earnings. “It will erode the tax system. It will help people

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani tax officials work on their desks at a tax office in Islamabad. — AFP

learn techniques how to whiten the black money,” he said. “The government should publish a tax directory and shame the evaders instead of bringing out this scheme. This amnesty will destroy the tax system.” Getting bills paid-be they electricity, gas or taxes-is a

Troubled Qantas in debt SYDNEY: Qantas said yesterday it would accelerate Aus$650 million (US$675 million) in debt repayments and buy back shares worth Aus$100 million in a bid to shore up its ailing stock and boost confidence. The Australian airline’s chairman Leigh Clifford said the on-market buyback, which represents about four percent of total Qantas stock, and early debt repayment reflected the board’s confidence in the carrier’s improving fortunes. “Our continued progress towards the turnaround strategy for Qantas International, plus cash inflows from recent transactions, gives the board confidence to approve these capital management measures,” Clifford said. “The share buy-back and accelerated debt reduction reflect the board’s goal of returning value to shareholders and maintaining a strong balance sheet, as well as retaining the flexibility to pursue current growth initiatives.” The Aus$650 million debt repayment five months ahead of schedule was part of a Aus$1 billion debt reduction drive for the 2012-13 financial year, Qantas added in a statement to the Australian stock exchange. Both it and the share buyback would be funded by the recent sale of Qantas’s stake in freight company StarTrack and settlement from Boeing on its B787 order, which had

perennial problem in Pakistan, where people with political connections can default more or less with impunity. Hakeem said part of the FBR plan was to identify the “elite” by their spendingwhen someone bought or sold a highvalue house or car, for example, details of the transaction would be passed on to tax authorities. “The lawmakers or the politicians, if

brought $750 million into the company’s coffers, it said. Qantas stock jumped 6.5 percent on the announcement to Aus$1.31 in early trade. Clifford said the board believed the current share price “does not reflect fair value” given the recent sealing of a mammoth partnership with Emirates on its international routes and strength of its domestic business. The “Flying Kangaroo” hopes the 10-year tie-up with Emirates, unveiled in September, will boost its push into Asia and help stem losses at Qantas Internationalspun off earlier this year as a separate business. Intense competition in the region, rocketing fuel costs and the strong Australian dollar saw Qantas post its first loss since privatization in 1995 back in August, plunging Aus$244 million into the red. It was a significant reverse from a net profit of Aus$250 million a year earlier, and prompted ratings agency Standard and Poor’s to downgrade the airline from BBB to BBB- due to what it described as “structural issues”. Qantas said it would also slash capital expenditure by Aus$100 million to Aus$1.8 billion, forecasting underlying profit before tax of Aus$180-230 million for the six months to December, comparable to Aus$202 million in the same period last year. —AFP

we count them all, should not number more than 2,000, but what about those who are in millions, living luxurious lives, sending their kids abroad for excursions or studies who don’t pay taxes?” he said. Ashfaque Hassan Khan, Pakistan’s former chief economist, said the plan was

unfair to those who did pay tax and would encourage others to wait for similar amnesties in the future. “This scheme is a discrimination in favor of cheaters and evaders,” he said. “This will prove to be a channel for more corruption and will help people make money illegally and then legalize it through such schemes.” The International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailed Pakistan out with an $11.3 billion loan package in 2008, but the deal was ended last November after Islamabad rejected strict reform demands, largely over tax. The IMF has repeatedly warned Pakistan needs to make urgent structural reforms to boost growth, currently scraping along at around three percent, enough to absorb its rapidly growing population into the workforce. The Washington-based lender has urged Pakistan to bring in a general sales tax, which it says could generate another three percent of GDP in revenue, and introduce property taxes. The government hopes the amnesty will help it meet its target of collecting 2.37 trillion rupees in tax this year, 10.1 percent of GDP-up from 1.33 trillion in 2008-9. The amnesty has been approved by the cabinet and the government hopes to push the law through parliament in the coming weeks. But a general election is looming and Pakistan is a country where grand plans often come unstuck when they encounter political realities. Tax reform is a mammoth undertaking and Hakeem sounded a note of realism. “I don’t know whether I will succeed or not but I am taking a chance,” he said. — AFP

Gold tracks equities lower SINGAPORE: Gold slipped yesterday as share prices fell, but tensions in the Middle East and worries about the US “fiscal cliff” are expected to boost the metal’s safe-haven appeal and spur buying from investors. The so-called fiscal cliff - a combination of government spending cuts and tax rises due to go into effect in early 2013 unless Congress acts - could reduce the US budget deficit but may also tip the economy back into recession. Gold fell $3.01 an ounce to $1.723.04 by 0701 GMT. It rallied to a threeweek peak of around $1,738 on Friday, when investors bought the metal on expectations US monetary policy will remain loose after President Barack Obama’s re-election. “I’d rather look at the upside than the downside. I think people are basically bullish,” said Yuichi Ikemizu, branch manager for Standard Bank in Tokyo, citing hopes the United States will sustain its quantitative easing strategy. US gold for December lost $6.60 an ounce to $1,723.50. Global gold demand dropped 11 percent in the three months to September from record levels seen in the same period last year, dampened mainly by fading Chinese fervor as its economy slowed, with stronger Indian demand stemming a larger fall, the World Gold Council said. However, bullion demand to back gold exchangetraded funds - which issue securities backed by physical metal - jumped to 136 tons in the third quarter from 87.4 tons a year ago. “Against a backdrop of continued global economic uncertainty and elections in China and the US, it is clear from five-year rising demand trends that gold’s fundamental property as a vehicle for capital preservation continues to

endure...,” said managing director of investment research Marcus Grubb. China’s president-in-waiting Xi Jinping won a strong mandate yesterday to lead the world’s No2 economy and deal with problems ranging from corruption to economic uncertainty. In other markets, the euro rebounded from a 2month low yesterday, while stocks mostly fell as investors reacted to the prospect of drawn-out negotiations over the looming US financial crisis. Obama said on Wednesday that Republicans would have to agree to raise taxes on the wealthy as the first step in a budget deal that would prevent a dysfunctional Washington from pushing the economy into recession. Gold sometimes tracks stock markets as a drop in equities prompts investors to sell bullion to cover losses. Bullion, however, found some support as tensions in the Middle East escalated after Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip. Brent oil prices were steady above $109 per barrel. “I think sentiment is still bullish because of the tension in the Middle East and also the fiscal cliff. I think the market is looking to touch $1,750, while the downside is $1,720,” said a dealer in Hong Kong. “I don’t think we are going to break $1,700, unless of course there’s a strong rally in the dollar.” The UN Security Council will hold a closed emergency meeting on Wednesday night to discuss Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip as Israel threatened a wider offensive in the Palestinian enclave to stem rocket salvoes by Hamas militants. Participants in an annual gathering of the London Bullion Metal Association on Tuesday expected gold to reach $1,843 an ounce by September 2013, and forecast silver to reach $38.40. — Reuters

Business FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Germany, France eke out Q3 growth Italy shrinks less than forecast BERLIN: Germany and France each grew modestly by 0.2 percent in the third quarter but with the euro zone’s debt-laden members suffering deeply, the currency bloc as a whole is likely to have slid into recession. The quarterly performance Europe’s dominant economy reported yesterday was in line with forecasts and analysts said it could not defy gravity for much longer. The French economy surprised on the upside, having been expected to post no growth at all after a revised 0.1 percent fall in the second quarter. “That was the last good number from Germany for the time being. The German economy will probably shrink somewhat in the fourth quarter given that orders have been falling for the last year and the business climate ... has caved in,” said Joerg Kraemer, chief economist at Commerzbank. “That is due to the uncertainty caused by the euro-zone crisis. I don’t expect the German economy to return to decent growth rates until the middle of next year.”

Most economists expect Germany to contract in the fourth quarter for the first time since the end of 2011, though healthy consumer appetite and a robust jobs market should help to avoid a recession, defined as two quarters of contraction. Where Germany goes, France is likely to follow. “We expect the French economy to contract again in the final quarter of this year,” said Joost Beaumont of ABN Amro. EU statistics office Eurostat is predicted to say that the bloc’s output shrank 0.2 percent in the third quarter, as it did in the second. Business surveys point to a deeper decline. That would push the 9.4 trillion euro ($12 trillion) economy, which generates a fifth of global output, officially into recession. Italy and Spain have been contracting for months and Greecewhere the euro debt crisis began-is suffering an outright depression. The figures will be released at 1000 GMT. Hopes for a recovery next year are also fading, with the European Commission saying the economy will

Viva still not listed on bourse 4 yrs after IPO New share issue expected as losses mount DUBAI: Loss-making Viva Kuwait has yet to join its local bourse more than four years after its initial public offering and the telecommunications operator’s listing could be further delayed as it may first need to issue new shares to shore up its balance sheet. Convincing minority shareholders to pump in more cash to the Saudi Telecom Co (STC) affiliate when their original investment has been off-limits for so long may be a tough sell. Viva, which competes with Zain and Qatar Telecom subsidiary Wataniya, raised 25 million Kuwaiti dinars ($88.57 million) from selling half its shares to Kuwaiti nationals in an IPO in September 2008, launching services later that year. The company refused to explain the delay or state when it would list on Kuwait’s ailing stock exchange when asked by Reuters, only saying it made an application to the regulator, Capital Market Authority (CMA), in February 2012. Saudi Telecom and the CMA declined to comment. The dismal performance of the bourse is a likely factor. The main share index hit an eight-year low this month, but the firm’s finances are a bigger consideration. At the end of 2011, Viva had accumulated losses of 68.5 million dinars and 49.9 million dinars of capital, according to its annual report, which also said Viva would hold a special shareholders meeting in 2012 after losses topped 75 percent of capital to comply with local law. That meeting has yet to happen, but its probable remit will be to approve a capital cut to alleviate the accumulated losses, a common practice in the Gulf. “It will be difficult to get a listing with negative equity,” said Shakeel Sarwar, head of asset management at Securities & Investment Co (SICO) in Bahrain. “The only option available is to go for a rights issue to recapitalize the compa-

ny.” The company would likely issue new shares, offering these to shareholders on a pro rata basis, meaning they could either pay more money into the company or have their holdings diluted. STC would probably meet any shortfall, meaning its stake would increase from 26 percent at present. Zain did something similar earlier this year with loss-making affiliate Zain Saudi. In 2008, Viva’s IPO was 3.4 times oversubscribed with 916,000 investors each receiving 274 shares at 0.105 dinars per share, which may explain why shareholders have not been more vociferous in complaining about the listing delay. “The individual investment is peanuts. They’ve almost forgotten about it,” said Naser Al-Nafisi, general manager for Al Joman Center for Economic Consultancy in Kuwait, adding Viva would likely restructure its capital in the first half of 2013. Prior to the IPO, STC - the Gulf’s No.1 telecommunications operator - paid 3.42 billion riyals ($911.93 million) for its Viva stake, including the Kuwaiti firm’s licence. “The shares look undervalued in terms of the IPO price,” said Sarwar. ‘Ideally, the amount of capital raised during the IPO should have been higher. If and when the company increases the share capital the valuation metrics will look different.” Viva may have been undervalued, but a worsening sector outlook could make investors pause. “This year has been difficult for Kuwait operators. It’s generally one of the more lucrative markets in the region with a rapid takeup of data, but a variety of factors have combined to make it a tougher market recently,” said Nadine Ghobrial, EFG-Hermes telecoms analyst. “Changes to government fee structures has impacted margins, the sector still lacks an independent regulator and competition intensity has increased.” — Reuters

flatline in 2013. However, with France beating expectations and Italy, the euro-zone’s third largest economy, shrinking by just 0.2 percent over the past three months-less than the 0.5 percent forecast - it is possible the eurozone just avoids recession again. MIXED BAG There have been fledgling signs the Italian economy is improving. Consumer confidence has risen slightly and the pace at which industrial output has fallen is slowing. Nonetheless, the country’s “acquired growth” at the end of the third quarter stood at -2.0 percent, meaning that if GDP is flat in the final three months of the year, the economy will have shrunk by two percent over the year as a whole. Spain, which has kept the euro-zone on tenterhooks over a decision on whether or not to seek help from the euro-zone rescue fund, is also in recession. It contracted 0.3 percent in the third quarter. The Dutch economy shrank much more sharply than expect-

ed, by 1.1 percent on a quarterly basis, and Austria’s economy contracted 0.1 percent. Figures out earlier this week showed the Portuguese economy shrank 0.8 percent quarter-on-quarter while Greece tumbled further, casting doubt on whether Athens and its lenders can come up with a credible plan to put its finances back on track. With little prospect of better times ahead, the threat of a public backlash cannot be dismissed. Millions of workers went on strike across Europe on Wednesday to protest the government spending cuts they say are driving the region into a deeper malaise but which Germany and the Commission say are crucial to healing the wounds of a decade-long, creditfuelled boom. But the European Central Bank’s pledge to buy euro-zone government bonds in potentially unlimited amounts, should a country first seek help from the rescue fund, has diminished any threat of a euro-zone calamity. — Reuters

Growth worries, US fiscal fears hit shares LONDON: World share markets fell for a seventh day yesterday, hit by evidence that Europe’s debt crisis has stalled economic growth and as concern over the fiscal problems facing the United States ratchets up. Economic growth in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, cooled to 0.2 percent over the July-September period compared with the previous three months, while data showed the wider 17nation euro-zone has slipped back into recession. “The global economy faces some severe headwinds. Against that backdrop we see short-term de-risking of portfolios,” said Abi Oladimeji, head of investment strategy at Thomas Miller Investment. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European

TOKYO: Pedestrians pass before a share prices board in Tokyo yesterday. Japan’s share prices rose 164.99 points to close at 8,829.72 points at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. — AFP

shares was down 0.5 percent at 1,083.40 points, having fallen 1 percent on Wednesday. London’s FTSE 100, Frankfurt’s DAX and Paris’s CAC-40 were around 0.2 to 0.4 percent lower. Economic output in the euro area fell 0.1 percent in the third quarter after falling 0.2 percent in the April to June period, sending the region into its second recession since 2009. “The double-dip is a fact,” said Martin Van Vliet, an economist at ING Bank. “What you notice is that the recession in southern Europe is slowly creeping to other countries.” WORLD WORRIES The MSCI world equity index was down 0.15 percent at 318.15 points and has now lost 3.3 percent this month. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1 percent. World stocks are now on course for a seventh successive day of losses, spooked by the prospect of a slowdown in the giant US economy if it doesn’t find a political agreement to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ - a series of spending cuts and tax rises due to take effect early next year. US stocks fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday after President Barack Obama reiterated his call for the wealthy to pay higher taxes, setting the stage for a budget battle with Congressional Republicans. US stock index futures pointed to a slight recovery for Wall Street yesterday, though data on the jobs market, consumer inflation and business activity in New York and Philadelphia will be closely watched. The unveiling of an older, conservative new leadership line-up in China yesterday also appeared to dent hopes that the government would take bold steps to deal with slowing growth in the world’s second-biggest economy. The retreat from riskier assets also weighed on commodities, though oil held its gains after jumping in the previous session as Israel launched an offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza. Benchmark Brent crude rose 26 cents to $109.87 a barrel, having risen more than 1 percent on Wednesday. US oil edged up 6 cents to $86.38, after ending 94 cents up. — Reuters


KUWAIt: Kuwait skies lit up last weekend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the constitution. — Photos by Joseph Shagra and AP

Opinion FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Obama aims high but doesn’t gloat By Charles Babington


S President Barack Obama walked a narrow path between ambition and realism, defiance and accommodation when he addressed reporters for the first time since winning a hard-fought election that gives him four more years to carve his place in history. While he avoided terms like “transformational,” Obama signaled that he still hopes to accomplish big things in spite of Congress’ almost paralyzing partisanship. That could include an overhaul of immigration laws, which could become a coveted bookend to his 2010 health care revision. There was a bounce in Obama’s step Wednesday in the White House East Room. But there was no dancing in the end zone, no taunting of defeated opponents. He jokingly claimed he forgot about the election the day after it ended, so eager is he to plunge into his second-term agenda. Obama said he is willing to work with Republicans to head off the worrisome package of big tax hikes and program cuts scheduled to hit in less than seven weeks. But he reiterated that wealthy households must pay higher tax rates, something Republican lawmakers fiercely oppose. After all, Obama said in tone, if not exactly in words, he defeated Mitt Romney last week running on that platform. But he stopped short of mimicking past presidents who have claimed wide-ranging mandates. He avoided the newly re-elected George W. Bush’s 2004 boastful vow to start spending “political capital.” Obama is well aware that Bush quickly suffered a stinging setback when Americans rejected his bid to partly privatize Social Security. “I’ve got one mandate,” Obama said. “I’ve got a mandate to help middleclass families and families that have been working hard to try to get into the middle class.” The president, a history student who reportedly ponders where he might rank among presidents, said: “I’m more than familiar with all the literature about presidential overreach in second terms. We are very cautious about that.” “On the

other hand,” he said, “I didn’t get re-elected just to bask in re-election.” If Obama struck a seemingly conciliatory tone on domestic issues like the “fiscal cliff”, he glared defiantly when he verbally smacked down two Republican critics - including Sen John McCain, whom he defeated for president in 2008 - on a contentious foreign matter. “If Sen McCain and Sen (Lindsey) Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me,” Obama said in his most animated moment. The two senators have harshly criticized UN Ambassador Susan Rice for her role in describing the deadly Sept 11 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. “To besmirch her reputation is outrageous,” the president said. Every president has more leeway in handling foreign policy than domestic issues, which helps explain Obama’s fiery comments. They hinted at a possible Senate showdown if he nominates Rice to be secretary of state. The most pressing matter facing Obama is the looming fiscal cliff of big tax hikes and spending cuts. Both parties agreed to the unsavory package as a poison-pill incentive to spur lawmakers to reach a big deficitreduction deal, which they promptly failed to do. Economists say the fiscal cliff package, which takes effect Jan. 1 unless Congress acts, could trigger a new recession and wipe out hundreds of thousands of jobs. Obama, who was to meet Friday with Congress’ top leaders, was measured in discussing the upcoming negotiations. His body language suggested compromise. His words, however, were sometimes vague, even contradictory. He said he still insists that couples making more than $250,000 a year pay a higher marginal tax rate than the current 35 percent, the level set by the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. Moments later, however, he said he was “open to new ideas” about adjusting the rates, provided they help produce substantially more revenue to fund the government. Perhaps nothing could burnish Obama’s legacy more than an overhaul of immigration laws that would somehow grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants without triggering widespread anger over “amnesty” for lawbreakers. The closest Obama came to rubbing Republicans’ noses in their recent election setbacks was when he leapt at an immigration question Wednesday. “I’m very confident that we can get immigration reform done,” he said. Shortly before the election, he noted: “I predicted that the Latino vote was going to be strong, and that that would cause some reflection on the part of Republicans about their position on immigration reform. I think we’re starting to see that.” An immigration package, he said, should improve border security, penalize companies that purposely hire illegal workers and provide “a pathway for legal status for those who are living in this country, are not engaged in criminal activity, are here to, simply to work.” Similar ambitions proved impossible for Bush, McCain and scores of other politicians. It’s unclear whether Obama’s reelection can provide enough impetus to overcome the many hurdles still facing the quest. Obama’s success in dealing with immigration and other issues will depend partly on how much partisan anger results from the fiscal cliff showdown and whether the economy continues to recover in 2013 and beyond. Setbacks on these fronts or others could force Obama to play political small-ball, as many people accused President Bill Clinton of doing in his second term, dominated by scandal. If ever there’s a time for a president to aim high, it’s immediately after his election to a second and final term. —AP

Conservative tinge in new China leadership By Carol Huang


hina’s Xi Jinping hinted at a more open style yesterday as he took the reins of the Communist Party, but conservatives on his leadership team could limit his scope for reform, analysts said. In a speech that introduced China’s new leader to his country and the world, Xi indicated a desire to improve relations with the international community which has grown concerned by Beijing’s growing economic and military clout. “China needs to learn more about the world and the world needs to learn more about China,” he said, looking relaxed and confident after emerging at the helm of a seven-man Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), the nation’s top decisionmaking body. Xi tightened his grip on the levers of power by taking over as chairman of the Central Military Commission from outgoing leader Hu Jintao, whose own predecessor Jiang Zemin held on to the influential post for two extra years. The PSC has been slimmed down from nine members under Hu, which could ease logjams in the consensus-driven world of the party’s top echelons. But many of its members are seen as traditionalists, despite growing calls for action on corruption, enforcement of the rule of law, and an overhaul of China’s economic model as growth stutters. China’s neighbours Japan and South Korea are also eyeing the leadership transition closely for any sign that they can reset a bitter territorial dispute over East China Sea islands. But observers said Thursday that any change of tone, or action on reform issues, will be put to one side while he works to shore up his power base. “The line-up reflects considerable conservatism,” said Joseph Cheng, a political analyst at City University of Hong Kong. The policy preferences of Xi and other key figures remains unclear, and Orville Schell, director of the Centre on US-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York, said the handover had been “the most opaque of processes”. “The party still seems to have very little idea about how to write the next chapter of reform, it evinces a consensus of extreme caution,” he added. Xi himself is seen as a compromise figure, acceptable to both former president Jiang and Hu, although closer to the probusiness “Shanghai Gang” faction that has Jiang as its figurehead. Hu came up through the Communist Youth League, as did many of his allies, who include the new number two Li Keqiang. They are seen as favouring a greater state role in the economy, and emphasise fairer distribution as well as economic growth. To what extent the Hu camp has managed to place its people in the wider party hierarchy remains unclear. But two key figures seen as favouring some level of reform, Guangdong province party chief Wang Yang and Li Yuanchao, head of the apparatus that controls party personnel appointments, both missed out on slots in the

elite PSC. However Meng Jianzhu, minister of public security, who has a hardline reputation after overseeing harsh crackdowns on restive minority areas, was also left off the list. JeanPierre Cabestan, of Hong Kong Baptist University, said: “It is a bit of a Jiang Zemin clique. Hu Jintao has lost a lot of influence. Everything will depend on Xi Jinping and whether he exercises leadership. Will he be someone who can introduce reforms? I’m still very sceptical.” In his speech - a marked departure from the dry, jargon-laden lectures of his predecessor Hu Jintao - Xi spoke of the people’s desires for better education and health care, more stable jobs and a better environment. “There was a lot of praise for the Chinese people and also an admission of the seriousness of corruption as a problem,” said Cheng. “A new leader must establish his appeal to the people.” Pu Xingzu, politics professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, said its style and content indicated that the leadership would seek to be “low-key, practical, close to the people”. “It was short. It was practical - not really high-sounding with empty words or ‘officialese’. Third, it was more about the people and the people’s livelihood.” But Chinese political observer Bo Zhiyue of the National University of Singapore cast doubt on the prospects for change. “I don’t think we can name individuals as reformers or conservatives, in China if the environment is conservative then everyone is a conservative, and if the environment is reformist then everyone is a reformist. “There has been no shift in the last 10 years, and we can’t now expect anything different. There is not going to be substantial reform.” — AFP


Keira Knightley, a cast member in "Anna Karenina," poses at the premiere of the film at The Arclight Hollywood, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, in Los Angeles. — Ap


Great gratins

Versatile made-in-advance side dishes can feed a crowd


e all know turkey is the main attraction on the biggest food holiday of the year. But the side dishes can steal the show. With a big meal to tend to, gratins are a good choice for a side dish. They are comfort food at its best. Most can be assembled in advance and can feed a crowd. Gratins are basically casseroles with a crusty, crunchy topping. Underneath that topping are layers of vegetables (and sometimes fruits such as apples and pears) in a creamy, rich and often cheesy sauce. To create a great gratin, follow this four-step process: Step 1: Choose and prepare your vegetables. Hearty vegetables work best, which is why potatoes (regular and sweet) are a popular choice. They provide a sturdy layer to hold the gratin together, and their starch can thicken the sauce. Choose waxy varieties like Yukon Gold or r ussets. Cook them slightly beforehand or slice them thinner . Brussels sprouts, celery root, parsnips, squash and carrots are also gratin favorites. Slice or chop the veggies in advance. Step 2: Make a basic bechamel -type sauce. Make a roux with butter and flour and then add heavy cream, half-and-half or milk (regular or reduced fat) as your base for the sauce. Infuse the sauce with fresh herb sprigs (remove after simmering) and aromatics like leeks, onions, shallots, garlic and other favorite seasonings. Once thickened (it should thickly coat the back of a spoon), pour the sauce over the layered vegetables. You can also add cheeses to the sauce. Step 3: Choose a topping. Fresh or dried bread crumbs from your favorite bread (white, wheat, rye, baguettes) are an easy option. Mix the crumbs with butter, seasonings and even cheese. Or you can have a cheese topping alone. Try cheeses such as Gruyere, Gouda (smoked and regular), fontina, Parmesan and Parmigiano-Reggiano. To make fresh bread crumbs, remove crusts, tear the bread into pieces and whirl in a blender or food processor. For ease, consider panko bread crumbs - toast them if you like - or even bread stuffing mixes with the smaller crumbs. Step 4: Assemble and bake: Layer your vegetables and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture and your favorite cheese in between if you like. You can assemble most gratins in advance; just make sure any precooked or partially cooked vegetables and sauces are cooled before assembling. Or you can bake and cool them. Refrigerate and then reheat the next day. Check out these gratin recipes. Though some may look long, they’re really quite effortless. SWEET POTATO-RUSSET POTATO GRATIN WITH HORSERADISH AND DIJON CRUST Serves: 8 / Preparation time: 25 minutes / Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes To make this in advance, cool the cooked components of the gratin before combining and assembling. Leave off the topping. Bring to room temperature, about 45 minutes, before topping with bread crumb mixture and baking.

TOPPING 1 cup lightly toasted panko bread crumbs or coarse fresh bread crumbs 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted Pinch of kosher salt 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley GRATIN 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 teaspoon for the dish 1 cup thinly sliced shallots (6- 7 large) Kosher salt 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream 2/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium canned chicken broth 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish Freshly ground black pepper 1 large russet potato (12 ounces), peeled 1 large sweet potato (12 ounces), peeled 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese or

Parmigiano-Reggiano In a bowl, combine all the topping ingredients and set aside. To prepare the gratin: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a shallow 2-quart gratin dish with 1 teaspoon of the butter. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and a big pinch of salt; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, limp and somewhat golden. Whisk together the cream, broth and horseradish; add to the shallots. Season with salt and pepper, stir to combine and take off the heat. Peel both potatoes. Cut each in half lengthwise, and slice each across into thin half moons. In a large bowl, combine the potato and sweet potato slices, 2 teaspoons salt, Parmesan and shallot cream. Mix gently but thoroughly and scrape into the prepared gratin dish, smoothing and pressing until

evenly distributed. Cover with the bread crumb topping. Bake until the crust is deep golden brown, the juices around the edges have subsided and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving. 280 calories (48 percent from fat), 15 grams fat (9 grams sat. fat), 32 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 790 mg sodium, 45 mg cholesterol, 3 grams fiber . GREEN BEAN GRATIN Serves: 8 / Preparation time: 20 minutes / Total time: 1 hour You can substitute a mix of broccoli and cauliflower (use about 4 cups of each) for the green beans in this recipe. 2 pounds trimmed green beans cut into 2inch pieces 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 medium sweet onion, peeled, thinly sliced 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1\2 teaspoon white or black pepper 2 cups 1 percent low-fat milk 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped thyme or parsley, optional 2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs or 1 cup panko bread crumbs or 1 cup shredded fontina or Italian blend cheese Position racks in upper and lower third of oven; preheat to 425 degrees. Place the green beans on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roast the vegetables, stirring once and until just tender and beginning to slightly brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft and golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add milk and continue to stir, scraping up any browned bits. Cook, stirring, until the sauce bubbles and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. When the vegetables are done, remove from the oven. Preheat the broiler. Transfer half the vegetables to a 2-quart, broiler-safe baking dish. Spread half the sauce over the vegetables. Add the remaining vegetables and top with the remaining sauce. Combine bread crumbs and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl. (Skip this step if you are topping with cheese). Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture (or cheese) over the gratin. Place under the broiler and broil, watching closely, until the gratin is bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your broiler. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cook’s note: You can roast the vegetables up to 30 minutes ahead. Prepare the sauce, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Reheat gently over low heat until steaming before combining with the vegetables. For a cheesy sauce, add 1 cup shredded Gruyere, Swiss or cheddar. 170 calories (37 percent from fat), 7 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 23 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 303 mg sodium, 4 mg cholesterol, 5 grams fiber. —MCT


A seasonal stunner


Thanksgiving hits bright note with



f all the holidays in this country, none may be as rich with tradition as Thanksgiving. The turkey stars. Bit players include stuffing, potatoes and buckets of gravy. Everything is seasoned to taste, influenced by the flavorings and stuffings and side dishes served by your parents, their parents and your greatgrandparents. Yet there comes a time when even the most resilient traditions deserve a second look. Perhaps this year you invite someone to share your family’s Thanksgiving meal, a young couple overwhelmed by a new baby, a member of the armed services from a nearby base, an elderly neighbor. Perhaps you take a second look at your menu. We’re not suggesting the turkey step aside. We’re only saying it may be time to consider adding another player to your meal’s ingredient mix: pomegranates. They’re in season now through January, impart bright flavor wherever they appear and are lovely to look at. We also seem to have a growing appetite for them, eating the seeds (arils) in salads and side dishes as well as sipping the juice and flavoring everything from ice cream to gum with it. Total US acreage grew from 4,737 acres in 1997 to 24,517 in 2007, according to the U. Department of Agriculture. Cookbook author and TV celeb Alton Brown so enjoys them, they were the focus of a TV episode and are in his book, “Good Eats: The Later Years.” Among the recipes: a

tequila sunrise (with pomegranate syrup) and a Pomegranate Jel-Low (unflavored gelatin, fresh juice and crunchy arils). Not ready for Jel-Low? Try welcoming pomegranates to your table with a glaze for the turkey or as the tart note in a wild rice side dish. ROASTED TURKEY WITH POMEGRANATE-THYME GLAZE Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 3 to 3 4 hours Servings: 10 to 12, with leftovers Ingredients: 12 to 14 pound turkey, thawed, giblets, neck removed 4 teaspoons kosher salt 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper 1 small bunch thyme sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme 1 onion, quartered 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 2 teaspoons olive oil 2 large shallots, finely chopped 3 cups pomegranate juice 1 cup sugar


Heat oven to 325 degrees. Season turkey cavity with 3 teaspoons salt and the pepper; fill with thyme sprigs and onion. Loosen skin from breast by pushing fingers gently between skin and meat. Combine 4 teaspoons chopped thyme and the garlic, mixing well. Rub mixture under loosened skin. Turn wing tips under; truss legs with

kitchen string. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan. Roast turkey, about 2 1/2 hours; loosely cover with foil if skin browns too quickly. Meanwhile, prepare glaze. Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons chopped thyme, shallots and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add juice and sugar; heat to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until syrupy and reduced to about 1 cup, 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Set half of the glaze aside to serve with roasted bird. Use remaining glaze to lightly baste turkey several times during the last half hour of roasting. Continue roasting turkey until an oven-safe or instantread thermometer inserted deep in the thigh reads 165 degrees, another 30-45 minutes. Remove turkey from oven; let rest 15-20 minutes before carving. Serve with reserved glaze. Nutrition information: Per serving: 463 calories, 14 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 257 mg cholesterol, 10 g carbohydrates, 70 g protein, 726 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.

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WILD RICE WITH POMEGRANATE SEEDS, HAZELNUTS Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 45 minutes Servings: 6 to 8 Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice, rinsed 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup thinly sliced green onions 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice 1 cup pomegranate seeds, about 1 medium pomegranate 1 cup lightly toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped Freshly ground pepper


Put wild rice in a large saucepan; cover with water by 1 inch. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is tender and most grains have popped open, 40-60 minutes. (Add a little more water during cooking if rice gets dry.) Test for tenderness. Pour rice into a strainer; drain well. In the same saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add green onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cooked rice, orange zest and juice, pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts; fluff with a fork to blend. Season with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.


Nutrition information: Per serving (for 8 servings): 257 calories, 12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 33 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein, 296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber. — MCT



ollagen injections give your skin a plumper, smoother appearance. Although collagen is the best known filler, there are many other substances doctors can use to plump up your skin, including fat from your own body and synthetic materials. Collagen To understand collagen, you should first understand your skin. Skin consists of three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis). The upper-most layer, known as the epidermis, controls the loss of water from cells and tissue. Without this protective barrier, the body would quickly dehydrate. Just below the epidermis lies the second layer, the dermis. The dermis, although it contains blood vessels, nerves and hair follicles, is primarily made up of a protein called “collagen.” This protein forms a network of fibers that provides a framework for the growth of cells and blood vessels. Because it is the primary component of the dermis, collagen acts as the support structure for the skin. The hypodermis is a layer of fat and connective tissue that contains larger blood vessels and nerves. It also hosts sweat glands, fat, and collagen cells. The hypodermis is responsible for conserving your body’s heat and protecting your vital inner organs. Why do lines appear on skin? In young skin, the collagen framework is intact and the skin remains moisturized and elastic. It’s resilient to the many facial expressions we adopt as well as everyday environmental exposure. But, over time, the support structure weakens and the skin loses its elasticity. The skin begins to lose its tone as the collagen support wears down. Every time you smile, frown or squint, you put stress on the collagen in your skin. The effect of these facial expressions is cumulative and facial lines begin to appear. How do collagen injections work? Collagen injections replenish the skin’s natural collagen. The natural beauty of your skin is enhanced as the contour of the support structure is restored. Zyderm and Zyplast are collagen products gotten from cows that replace the collagen your skin loses over time. Zyderm and Zyplast collagen are placed just beneath the skin, in the dermis where the body readily accepts it as its own. CosmoDerm and CosmoPlast are bioengineered human collagen products that are used for similar indications as Zyderm and Zyplast but have the advantage of not requiring a skin test prior to the first treatment. Collagen should be injected into your skin only by a trained health care professional. Other injectable fillers • Artecoll is a synthetic filler material. Because it’s synthetic, you are at higher risk of having an allergic reaction to it than if you got an injection of collagen or fat, but it lasts much longer than those options. • Autologen is an injection of your own collagen, extracted from another place on your body. There’s no risk of allergic reaction; however, the results are only temporary. • Dermalogen is collagen extracted from deceased human donors. This is also a tempo-

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rary fix, but your body should not reject it. Fascia injections use a specific type of connective tissue harvested either from your own body or from a deceased human donor. It can be implanted surgically or injected. The main drawback is that within a year of injection, your body will reabsorb the fascia and you’ll be back at square one. Fat from your own thighs or abdomen can be also be injected. There’s no risk of allergic reaction and you may achieve permanent results. This can also be implanted surgically. HylaForm is a material created from a natural body substance known as hyaluronic acid. There’s no risk of infection, but you will need repeated treatments to maintain the result as it’s only a temporary fix. Restylane is a clear gel that also contains hyaluronic acid. It is only a temporary fix, as your body will absorb it within about six months of the injection. What can I expect from collagen injections or other fillers? Before getting a collagen injection, you should expect to receive a small injection of local anesthesia to numb the area being treated. There is a possibility of slight bruising, and you may experience puffiness, redness, and tenderness around the treated site. It’s important to discuss with your doctor exactly what you can expect from each treatment. Together, you can prioritize which facial areas you wish to be treated and discuss how many treatments you may need and the estimated cost. It’s important to know that one treatment may not remove every line on your face. Depending on the substance injected, you may need continued treatments to maintain the smoothing effect. How many collagen or filler injections will I need? That depends on which product you use. Just like natural collagen, collagen replacements begin to lose form and will eventually wear down. Treatment may require collagen injections two to four times a year to maintain the smoothing effects. Hylaform and Restylane are also eventually reabsorbed by the body requiring repeated treatment. Synthetic materials, such as Artecoll, last longer but carry a higher risk of allergic reaction. Fat, depending on how it is used, can sometimes achieve permanent results. How do I find out if injections are right for me? You and your doctor will discuss your medical history and the areas you want treated with injectable fillers. Injections are not appropriate for certain lines and scars or when certain medical conditions are present. It is very important to discuss and understand what filler injections can do for you. If you and your doctor decide injections are appropriate, your doctor may start with a skin test in your forearm to determine if you are sensitive to the substance being used. You must watch the area very carefully over a four-week period. Most men and women tested show no reaction to the skin test and can have injections. —

Books FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Beauty’s Release In this third and final book of Sleeping Beauty’s Adventures, Beauty is kidnapped, along with slaves who she knows, and taken to a foreign land where she is introduced to a new culture of jewels and scented oils and beautiful women of the Sultan’s harem. Beauty once again is caught in a world of erotic plearsure and pain. The story comes to a conclusion and Beauty is finally sent back home but Beauty doesn’t want to go.

Beauty’s Punishment This is the continuation of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. Beauty gets herself in trouble so she can follow Prince Tristan into the village where they are sold the villagers to do the Queens bidding which is to degrade them as much as possable. Tristan actually falls in love with his master and his master with him. During the degrading Tristan was actually treated as if he were a horse. With harness and even a tail. Blood and Gold Marius, main character and narrator, is forcefully made a vampire. He tells his tale to another vampire, beginning with his creation and ending with his life as it exists in the 20th century. Marius tells of almost 2000 years of his existence, relating his love of Pandora, his caretaking of the mysterious “Those Who Must Be Kept,” and his relationships and connections with the other vampires of the world, both those he has made and those who have sought. Blood Canticle The vampire Lestat returns, with his protegee Quinn Blackwood, and Quinn’s new immortal love, Mona Mayfair. Mona is searching for her daughter Morrigan, who is a Taltos, an ancient alien race that was wiped out thousands of years ago. Lestat’s commitment to Mona’s cause leads him in turn to Rowan Mayfair, the head of the Mayfair clan whom he falls madly in love with.

Interview With The Vampire A young reporter is mystified as Louis recounts how he became a vampire. This interview introduces the reporter to Lestat, the vampire who forever changed the life of Louis. Horrid stories are told about the vampire’s life together and how Louis eventually rebelled.

Blackwood Farm All his life, Quinn had been befriended by a Doppleganger, his double, Goblin. Over the years Goblin became stronger and stronger, though still a spirit. When Quinn becomes a vampire he discovers that Goblin becomes one as well and is bent on hurting everyone Quinn loves. Cry to Heaven The story of a young aristocrat that is forced to become one of the castrati (young boys that were castrated by the church so that they could keep their child-like voices) and an ex-castrati that is now a composer. Beautiful prose, crushingly tragic throughout but with an uplifting ending, and very real. Exit To Eden Lisa owns S & M Islans, that she is very proud of, called The Club. You can go there to live your fantasy as a slave or a guest to do what you want to the slaves. These slaves sign up to live there knowing that the rules are very strict and they are not to leave the island. Elliot wants badly to check out this life style and signs up for two years. He didn’t expect to be trained by Lisa and fall in love with her.

Lasher In the intense sequel to The Witching Hour, Lasher is now in the flesh and has kidnapped Rowan, determined to procreate and continue his race- the race of the Taltos. Taking place mainly in 2 places, Lasher is not an easy read, but will keep you up until wee hours of the morning. Ghosts make numerous appearances, and unwittingly help the Mayfair clan begin to regain what they’ve lost.

Queen of the Damned Lestat, the 200-year-old vampire brat “prince” from “Interview with the Vampire” and “The Vampire Lestat” has decided to join a band and call all other vampires to him by telling vampire secrets and by acting as a symbol of evil. Little does he know that his music has awakened the first vampire, Akasha, who wants to make her dream world, with no violence or poverty, a reality and who has fallen in love with Lestat.

Pandora Pandora, the main character, becomes a vampire after being made into one by another vampire. She survives attempts on her life and several centuries into the modern era. The novel acts as a fictional biography of Pandora’s life.

Te c h n o l o g y FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012



f the world as it is isn’t enough, try looking at it through your smartphone. That’s the principle behind augmented reality (AR), which allows smartphones to recognize landmarks using their cameras. Some, indeed, do the job so well that they allow the surroundings to be incorporated into games. And that’s just the start. “Augmented reality refers to technology that, depending upon my location in the world, provides me with additional information,” says Gudrun Klinker, a professor at and manager of the augmented reality department at Munich’s Technical University. “And it’s not just text, but items embedded into the world.” Consumers are at the vanguard of augmented reality systems, thanks to the widespread appeal of smartphones, which deliver everything augmented reality needs. “There’s a video camera, which the apps can access, as well as GPS and movement sensors,” Klinker notes. Wikitude, which comes as freeware for the iOS, Android, Windows Phones and Blackberry systems, is one of the bestknown AR apps. It can recognize certain buildings and other landmarks and pull up appropriate Wikipedia articles and additional information. It also examines the surroundings to suggest nearby restaurants, cash machines and vacant apartments. Other AR apps like Layar and Jugnaio, which work with both Android

and iOS, offer similar functions. But not every mobile device is capable of recognizing the sights or significant landmarks, like a mountain peak. “To do that, it requires a certain level of computing power,” says Rafaela Moehl of the German telecommunications portal “The cheapest smartphone is not the right one for the job.” A good camera is key for AR. When using AR, keep a close eye on what apps are downloading onto your smartphone. If pictures and videoclips start appearing “you’ve quickly pulled together a couple of megabytes,” warns Moehl. That can turn into a problem for any user whose plan only allows limited data transfers. Also keep an eye on your battery. Regularly using the camera, internet connection, satellite-navigation system and motion sensors can quickly overload the power supply. Klinker says AR has a lot to offer. For example, an AR app from a furniture store could replace written assembly instructions, checking the surroundings and recognizing the next piece to be bolted on, even checking if the item is being put together properly. Of course, such work is hardly possible with today’s devices, she notes. “The quality of the camera and the capacity of the processors isn’t sufficient today.” Meanwhile, AR is making significant headway in computer and video gaming.

The Eye of Judgement has actually been around for a while. The game is a mixture of a Playstation game and card gathering, in which players upload cards they’ve collected by holding them before a phone, thus unleashing a monster or a spell. Sony has also announced the kidfriendly AR application Wonderbooks. When used with a Playstation 3, a camera and a Move controller, young readers could, for example, imitate spells from the Harry Potter book series. The XBox 360 is also experimenting with AR, with options like Happy Action Theatre, where players can use the Kinect controller to bring virtual flowers to life or stomp images of real cities to bits as an online monster. In the handheld world, the Vita has introduced Little Deviants, which requires players to hunt computer monsters in their own home, while the Nintendo 3DS makes use of a series of far-flung AR cards, which hide virtual objects blended into the real world. — dpa

he new crop of console video games is coming out. This time, they’re not necessarily an excuse to just sit around. Several of the new entries - Just Dance 4 or Fable: The Journey - require players to jump about to get the motion going. If you do choose a game where you can just sit, there are at least beautiful settings to take your mind off the winter weather outside. The Wii U, successor to the Wii, comes out at the end of November. However, so far, it remains difficult to find games for it. One that has made its way to shelves is Just Dance 4, from Ubisoft, offering 47 songs by various artists for players just waiting to show off their dance moves. Titles include: Moves Like Jagger from Maroon 5; Maneater by Nelly Furtado; and So What by Pink. There are also some oldies, like Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley, in case more mature fans decide to join in. The game comes with a variety of modes, several for multiple players. One new addition is Battle mode, where two players get to face off and show the world who has the better moves. Dance Crew mode allows up to four players to dance together. Just Dance 4 costs about 40 euros (52 dollars). There are also versions for the XBox 360 and Playstation 3, though they require special movement controllers for those systems. XBox players can also consider Microsoft’s Dance Central 3, for about 50 euros, as an alternative. Microsoft’s Fable: The Journey is also designed to get players to move. It returns players to the familiar world of Albion. But, this time, action is controlled with the Kinect camera attachment, meaning opponents and puzzles are defeated by the player’s own movements as he navigates the game’s various levels. The special controls also help when traveling by horse, either to give the animal directions or to pet it, which makes the animal more cooperative. The action is similar to new releases like Harry Potter Kinect from Warner Interactive and Dragon Ball Z Kinect from Namco Bandai. All cost about 40 euros. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Forza Horizone goes old school, with commands delivered via button and joystick. In the fifth instalment of the game, players can leave the racetrack and cruise offroad on a set based on the US state of Colorado. Players can choose to race on dusty trails, compete in normal street traffic or engage in absurd races, like one with a hot air balloon. Forza Horizone sells for about 60 euros. WWE 13 brings wrestling to your home. Designer THQ has put the show elements of the game centre stage, meaning anything can happen during a game ... like the ring collapsing. Creative players can use applications to create their own characters, arenas and more. The XBox 360 and Playstation 3 versions cost about 60 euros, while the Wii version sells for around 40 euros. Electronic Arts’ Medal of Honor: Warfighter is designed for adults. It’s a mix of mission-based games, switching between character-based levels and those where whole elite units are sent to places like the Philippines and Somalia. The game also includes a diversion into the soldier’s private life. During the multi-player mode, players can take on a variety of roles. Good teamwork leads to more experience, which can be cashed in for armaments or other advantages. The XBox 360 and Playstation 3 versions cost 60 euros, while a PC version costs 50 euros. — dpa

Lifestyle FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012


Some 2,000 South Korean volunteers make 140 tons of kimchi, a traditional Korean dish of spicy fermented cabbage and radish, in a park outside the metropolitan government building in Seoul yesterday. City officials will hand out kimchi to about 14,000 poor households in an event marking the start of the winter season. — AFP photos

South Korean volunteers make 140 tons of kimchi.

A South Korean volunteer makes kimchi, a traditional Korean dish of spicy fermented cabbage and radish.


with Red Shirt,” sold for $28 million, far above the $18 million high estimate. Another home-run for Christie’s was an untitled Jean-Michel Basquiat work that went for $26.4 million, while Rothko’s “Black Stripe (Orange, Gold and Black),” went for $21.4 million, just above the high estimate. Gerhad Richter’s “Abstraktes Bild (779-2),” estimated at $12-18 million, sold for $15.3 million. However, another Richter that had been estimated at $9-12 million and another at $10-15 million were among the works that failed to sell. On Tuesday at Sotheby’s, another Rothko, “No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue),” went for a huge $75.1 million, while a new $40.4 million record was set for a Jackson Pollock drip painting. — AFP

canvas of violent black brushstrokes by abstract expressionist Franz Kline sold for $40.4 million at Christie’s in New York on Wednesday, setting a new record by far for the artist. The result was four times higher than the previous high auction price for Kline, whose works have tended to be overshadowed by those of more famous abstract artists like Mark Rothko. Appraisers had estimated the painting, which is untitled, would sell for between $20 million and $30 million. The sale was one of a string of strong results at the Christie’s contemporary art auction in Manhattan, a night after rival Sotheby’s held a blockbuster sale netting $375 million, a record for the company in a single auction. Andy Warhol’s “Statue of Liberty” sold for $43.76 million at Christie’s, while another Warhol, “Marlon,” which depicts the actor Marlon Brando in familiar brooding pose, sold for $23.7 million, above the high end of the pre-sale estimate. Jeff Koons’ sculpture “Tulips,” featuring his trademark shiny, colored metal, fetched $33.7 million, while a Roy Lichtenstein, “Nude

green revolution is sweeping across the car and concrete jungle of Mexico City, an infamously smoggy capital that was once dubbed “Makesicko City” by novelist Carlos Fuentes. Residents are growing vegetables on rooftops, planting trees where buildings once stood, hopping on bicycles and riding in electric taxis, defying the urban landscape in this metropolis of 20 million people and four million cars. “This is our vote for the environment,” said Elias Cattan, a 33-yearold bespectacled architect pointing to the lettuce, onions and chilies growing in a planting table and inside used tires on the balcony of his rooftop office. “It’s a window to the future and it is very important that we reconnect with the earth,” he said as light rain fell on the sprouts atop the five-story building in the trendy Condesa neighborhood. Like a growing number of chilangos-as Mexico City residents are called Cattan bikes to work in a maze of roads renowned for their giant traffic jams. Twenty years ago, the United Nations declared the Mexican capital the world’s most polluted city. Fuentes envisioned black acid rain in his novel “Christopher Unborn,” but in real life the air was so nasty that birds dropped dead in this megalopolis 2,240 meters (7,350 feet) above sea level. While Mexico City still has high levels of pollutants, it has dropped off the top 10 blacklist, thanks to traffic restrictions and the closure of factories but also because other cities have become grimier. The left-wing city government has carried out a “green plan” since 2007 to clean up the capital, but many citizens have also taken it upon themselves to change their habits. The city has placed 500,000 plants across the city, expanded a popular bicycle loan program, opened a new subway line and launched an “eco” bus that runs on natural gas. Electric, zero-emission taxis began buzzing in the city center this year. The vehicles recharge in power stations that get 25 percent of their energy from solar panels. Fully powered up, the cabs can run for six hours straight. One of the taxi drivers, Cristobal Reynoso, said clients often realize they are in an electricity-powered vehicle only once they are in it. “It’s a thrill when I tell them it’s electric, that it doesn’t use fuel or antifreeze, that it doesn’t have an exhaust pipe, because they say, ‘we’re not polluting!’” Reynoso said. Citizens are playing their part too. Many go to Chapultepec Park on the first Sunday of every month to trade their recyclables-empty bottles, paper, cardboard-for locallygrown produce such as tomatoes, corn and nopal (an edible cactus) in a city program. A corporate-funded citizen initiative known as VerdMX has installed huge “vertical gardens” to spruce up the city and clean the air. One of its most visible structures is a green arch on the heavilytraveled Chapultepec Avenue. Growing plants, fruits and vegetables here requires creativity and lessons. The city and private groups offer advice to those who want to learn how to plant in a building. “It’s easy, fun and cheap,” said Liliana Balcazar, deputy director of the city’s environmental education centers that show people urban gardening tricks. “You can do it anywhere that gets at least five to six hours of sun per day.” “It’s like being in the countryside inside the city,” Balcazar said, noting that it is also a great source of healthy, home-grown produce for a population facing an obesity problem. Cattan has received help from Gabriela Vargas, a 43-year-old former photographer whose passion was born 12 years ago, when she planted vegetables in her balcony to make tastier, healthier food for her daughter. “When I started 12 years ago, I was the crazy one growing lettuce in her apartment. Now it’s very common,” said Vargas, project director for Cultiva Ciudad (Cultivate City), which advises schools, individuals and institutions. Vargas now sees bigger: She plants trees. Last year, her organization donated 6,000 trees to various city districts that were grown inside the city. Her new project is an orchard where she will grow apple, guava, peach and medlar trees. The city is lending her a 1,650square-meter (17,800-square-foot) terrain where a high-rise building was demolished. While the city is getting greener, the smog is still visible, often clouding the surrounding mountain peaks. Though carbon monoxide levels are down by 90 percent from 20 years ago, the city still has above recommended levels of ozone and suspended particulates, another pollutant. “The good news is that the trend has been a consistent reduction (of ozone) in the last 10 years,” said Armando Retama, director of the city’s air quality monitoring service. “If the trend holds, Mexico City’s contamination problem will be almost resolved in 10 years.” — AFP

Lifestyle FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Judge tosses anti-paparazzi counts in Bieber case


Musician and activist Bono speaks during a discussion on ending poverty on November 14, 2012 in the atrium of the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. —AFP

Bono deems corruption world’s ‘biggest killer’


star Bono declared corruption “the biggest killer of them all” on Wednesday at the World Bank as he expressed concern over the “fiscal cliff” facing the US budget. “Everybody here knows that the biggest killer of them all-biggest killer of them all, bigger killer than AIDS, TB, malaria, probably the lot together-is corruption,” said the Irish rocker, who cofounded the anti-poverty ONE campaign. “And it’s not just corruption south of the Equator; it’s corrupt ideas north of the Equator, and sometimes actual cor-

ruption north of the Equator,” Bono said during an hour-long public exchange with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. According to Bono, who peppered his serious speech with jokes, guaranteeing transparency would be the biggest “turbo-charger” to the fight against extreme poverty. Before an enraptured audience, the megaband superstar also said he fears the consequences on poor countries of the “fiscal cliff,” a poison-pill agreement between Republicans and Democrats that forces harsh budget cuts and tax increases from January 1. “There’s

so much pain coming from the economic downturn and recession and this fiscal cliff,” Bono said, adding that it threatens “real jeopardy.” Bono said several hundreds of thousands of people across the globe would see critical aid programs cut if the US government does not negotiate a solution to avert the disastrous cuts and tax increases.”We know there’s going to be cuts,” he said, referring to expected budget slashing as the US works to reduce its ballooning deficit.”But not cuts that cost lives.” — AFP

Billy Joel, Rihanna fight Pandora over compensation


ome of music’s most notable names including Billy Joel, Rihanna and Missy Elliott have signed an open letter to Pandora Media Inc opposing the online music company’s push to change how artists are compensated. Pandora is currently lobbying lawmakers in US


judge dealt a blow Wednesday to a California law meant to crack down on reckless driving by paparazzi by saying the statute is overly broad and should not be used against the first photographer charged under its provisions. Superior Court Judge Thomas Rubinson dismissed counts filed under the law against Paul Raef, who was charged in July with being involved in a high-speed pursuit of Justin Bieber. The 2010 law raised the penalty for those who drive dangerously in pursuit of photos for commercial gain. The offense is punishable by six months in jail and a $2,500 fine but went unused until Raef was involved in the freeway chase of Bieber that topped 80 mph and prompted several 911 calls. Raef still faces traditional reckless driving counts and has not yet entered a plea. The judge cited numerous problems with the paparazzi statute, saying it was aimed at newsgathering activities protected by the First Amendment, and lawmakers should have simply increased the penalties for reckless driving rather than targeting celebrity photographers. He also said the law could be used against photographers rushing to shoot a wedding or political rally, or even a private citizen such as himself on the way to an event that might generate photos worth selling. Assistant City Attorney Ann Rosenthal said hours after the ruling that her office would appeal. The judge put the case on hold until the appeal is resolved. Rubinson’s ruling only affects Raef’s case, but the law could be struck down completely by the appellate court, said Brad Kaiserman, an attorney for Raef. Kaiserman argued the statute was unconstitutional and meant to protect celebrities, not the public. “This discrimination sets a dangerous precedent,” he said. Prosecutors countered that the law could be applied to people in other professions, not just the media. “The focus is not the photo. The focus is on the driving,” Rosenthal argued. While the media is granted freedom under the First Amendment, its latitude to gather news is not unlimited, she said. “This activity has been found to be particularly dangerous,” she said of chases involving paparazzi. Prosecutors should focus on using existing laws, including reckless driving and false imprisonment statutes, to tackle aggressive behavior by celebrity photographers, said Doug Mirell, a First Amendment attorney. “I think that celebrities who are being stalked or chased by paparazzi are entitled to be concerned about their personal safety and the safety of their families when these events occur,” Mirell said. “But I think that there’s a legitimate question about whether the Legislature took the right path in trying to accommodate those concerns.” He said the judge’s concerns about having other members of the public caught up in the case is valid, and any law that specifically targets newsgathering efforts will prove more difficult to win than a case filed using traditional laws. The law used to charge Raef was influenced by the experiences of Jennifer Aniston, who provided details to a lawmaker on being unable to drive away after she was surrounded by paparazzi on Pacific Coast Highway. — AP

Congress to pass the “Internet Radio Fairness Act,” which would change regulation of how royalties are paid to artists. A group of 125 musicians who say they are fans of Pandora argue the bill would cut by 85 percent the amount of money an artist receives when his or her songs are played over the Internet.

“Why is the company asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon? That’s not fair and that’s not how partners work together,” said the letter, to be published this weekend in Billboard, the influential music industry magazine. A statement with an advance copy of the letter was released on Wednesday by musicFirst, a coalition of musicians and business people, and SoundExchange, a nonprofit organization that collects royalties set by Congress on behalf of musicians. “Internet radio and the artists whose music is played and listened to on the Internet are indeed all in this together,” Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder and chief strategy officer, said in a statement. “A sustainable Internet radio industry will benefit all artists, big and small.” Flashpoint The issue of how musicians are paid for Internet streaming of their songs has been a flashpoint for Pandora. Pandora is a mostly advertising-supported online music company, founded more than a decade ago, that streams songs through

the Internet. In October, it said its share of total U.S. radio listening was almost 7 percent, up from about 4 percent during the same period last year. Pandora’s success has been double-edged - the more customers it gains, the more money it has to pay overall for rights to stream music. So far, that rate is set until 2015. Pandora, along with other music services such as Clear Channel Communications, is supporting the bill on grounds that different providers, such as satellite and cable, pay different rates. “The current law penalizes new media and is astonishingly unfair to Internet radio,” Pandora said on its website. “We are asking for our listeners’ support to help end the discrimination against internet radio. It’s time for Congress to stop picking winners, level the playing field and establish a technologyneutral standard.” The Internet Radio Fairness Act is a bipartisan bill sponsored by US representatives Jason Chaffetz and Jared Polis along with Sen. Ron Wyden. Shares of Pandora closed 4.6 percent lower at $7.31 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. — Reuters

Lifestyle FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Green, Carey to Perform on NBC’s ‘Christmas in Rockefeller Center’

Shania Twain makes her official arrival on horseback at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Wednesday. — AP


merican Idol” and “The Voice” might be rivals in the singing-competition arena, but the two shows will come together - sort of - for the Christmas season. “Voice” coach Cee Lo Green and Mariah Carey who begins her stint as an “American Idol” judge when the show returns in January - will both be on hand to perform on NBC’s 15th Annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” the annual celebration of the lighting of the Christmas tree in New York’s Rockefeller Center. Rod Stewart, Trace Adkins, Victoria Justice, former “Voice” competitor Chris Mann and Italian pop-opera (or popera, if you wish) trio Il Volo will also perform on the special, which airs Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. In addition to the musical talent, Billy Crystal and Bette Midler will make special appearances on the special. “Today” co-host Savannah Guthrie and the show’s weatherman Al Roker will co-host the special. —Reuters

Shania Twain makes horseback arrival for Vegas gig


ountry music star Shania Twain arrived on horseback Wednesday for a two-year headline gig at Caesars Palace, parading up the Las Vegas Strip with a herd of 40 horses. Promoters called the event a stampede, but hooves were kept to a steady, slow gait by nine wranglers who escorted Twain to a reception crowd of several hundred people in front of the famous Caesars fountains. Dozens more people watched from the sidewalk of the Flamingo resort across Las Vegas Boulevard. “We could either lose a few hundred dollars inside or come out and see what kind of spectacle she puts on,” said Steve Huffman, a UPS

manager who watched with his wife, Debi, from an overhead pedestrian walkway. The couple was in town for his 52nd birthday and learned through a Twitter message that Twain planned to arrive on a horse. They identified Twain’s hit, “Man, I Feel Like a Woman,” as the country singer rode up the street, and they said they’ll plan to see the show next year. “Still The One” blasted on speakers as Twain stepped onto a temporary outdoor stage near fountains made famous by events including daredevil Evel Knievel’s motorcycle crash during a stunt on New Year’s Eve 1967. To some, Twain’s arrival echoed singer Frank

Sinatra’s heralded arrival on a camel at the old Dunes hotel in September 1955. Twain’s show titled “Shania: Still the One” opens Dec. 1 at the nearly 4,300-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The venue also hosts entertainers Celine Dion, Elton John, Jerry Seinfeld and others. Twain, 47, is touted as one of the best-selling female country artists of all time. The Canadian singer-songwriter has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide. Las Vegas police, including several on horseback, diverted traffic on the busy casino corridor for about 30 minutes for the spectacle. —AP

Capsule reviews of new movie releases


nna Karenina” - All the world’s a stage, very literally, in Joe Wright’s wildly theatrical adaptation of “Anna Karenina.” If you thought the director’s five-and-ahalf-minute tracking shot in “Atonement” was show-offy, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard (“Shakespeare in Love”) have taken Leo Tolstoy’s literary behemoth about love, betrayal and death among the elite in imperial Russia and boldly set it almost entirely within a decaying theater. The inspiration comes from the notion that the members of high society conducted themselves as if they were performing on stage. The result is technically dazzling, a marvel of timing and choreography. “Anna Karenina” is at once cleverly contained and breathtakingly fluid; it’s crammed with rich, intimate detail yet moves with a boundless energy that suggests anything is possible. But wondrous as all this artifice is, it’s also a huge distraction. The self-consciousness of the structure keeps us at arm’s length emotionally. Rather than feeling the suffering of the adulterous Anna (Keira Knightley), we’re more likely to notice how beautiful the suffering looks - the flattering lighting, her wild mane of dark curls spread meticulously across her pillow case. And eventually the trickery actual-

ly becomes a bit predictable. Still, it’s impossible not to have huge admiration for this ambitious, complicated risk. Jude Law co-stars as Anna’s cuckolded husband with Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the flirtatious cavalry officer who woos her away. R for some sexuality and violence. 130 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.-Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2” - Finally - finally! - the “Twilight”

franchise embraces its own innate absurdity with this gleefully over-thetop conclusion. This is by far the best film in the series. This does not necessarily mean it’s good. But as it reaches its prolonged and wildly violent crescendo, it’s at least entertaining in a totally nutso way. The first four adaptations of Stephenie Meyer’s mega-best sellers about the girl-vampire-werewolf love triangle were, for the most part, laughably self-

This film image released by Summit Entertainment shows, from left, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Peter Facinelli, MyAnna Buring, Casey LaBow and Christian Camargo in a scene from “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.” —AP

serious affairs full of mopey teen angst, stilted dialogue and cheesy special effects. Sure, they pleased their fervent audience, made billions of dollars worldwide and turned their three core actors into instant superstars. But they weren’t what you would call high-quality cinematic experiences. Now, Bill Condon (who also directed last year’s “Breaking Dawn - Part 1”) finally lets his freak flag fly. Here is the Condon of “Gods and Monsters,” the one who loves lurid horror. Here is the Condon of “Dreamgirls,” the one with an eye for panache. His final “Twilight” movie dares to have a little fun - it actually makes you laugh intentionally for once, teetering on self-parody as it does. Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are now married vampires and parents to a newborn daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy). With the help of the bloodsucking Cullen clan and vampires gathered from around the globe, they must band together with Edward’s former romantic rival Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and his werewolf buddies to protect the half-human, half-vampire spawn from the evil and suspicious Volturi. PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity. 115 minutes. Three stars out of four. —Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic

Lifestyle FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012


rumpet-maker Jason Harrelson said he’s donating one of the best trumpets he’s ever made to benefit a festival honoring the artist who sparked his passion for the instrument - Louis Armstrong. Harrelson’s specially made brass “Satchmo” trumpet has a fleur-de-lis mouthpiece and transcription of the musical score for Armstrong’s trumpet solo in the song, “A Kiss to Build a Dream On.” It also has a tuning slide mounted with a small replica of an iconic New Orleans water meter cover.

lar career as a trumpet player, vocalist and band leader. He remains one of the best-known figures in jazz, with a career that extended into motion pictures. The city’s international airport is named for him. Now 38, Harrelson has his own shop in New Brighton and provides instruments to musicians worldwide. In New Orleans, more than a dozen musicians use his trumpets, including Kermit Ruffins, Shamarr Allen and members of the city’s brass bands. His instruments also are used by New York jazz band leader Jeremy Pelt; Ray Riccomini, a member of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra in New York; and San Juan’s Latin jazz artist Charlie Sepulveda, whose recording credits include the soundtrack for the 1992 movie “The Mambo Kings.” “We’re just so honored that he’s giving this trumpet to us,” said Marci Schramm, executive director of French Quarter Festivals Inc, the nonprofit organization that produces Satchmo Summerfest. “The hardest thing about producing free festivals is that it’s so expensive, and every little bit counts.” The group’s French Quarter Festival, one of the largest free music festivals in the region, draws an estimated 400,000 attendees each year. Satchmo Summerfest draws about 30,000 people, Schramm said. The “Satchmo” trumpet will go to the block at Neal Auction Co. on Saturday. It’s expected to come up for bids between 2 and 3 pm CST. Silent bids are being accepted online at and by phone at 504-899-5329 or 800-467-5329. — AP

The trumpet is set to hit the auction block Saturday with proceeds benefiting Satchmo Summerfest, the free, three-day festival in the French Quarter held each year in early August around Armstrong’s birthday. Some of Harrelson’s custom trumpets are valued at more than $10,000, but there is no minimum bid for the “Satchmo” trumpet. Harrelson, a Louisiana native who now lives in New Brighton, Minn, said he’s attended the festival the past two years but has been an Armstrong fan since childhood. As a 5th-grader, he said, he wrote a book report about Armstrong - and he later took up playing the trumpet because of his admiration for the jazz great. “I could relate to his story, to his coming from poverty and making music his life,” said Harrelson, who was born in Leesville, La, and was 19 when he started making trumpets. Armstrong was born in New Orleans on Aug 4, 1901 and died in 1971 after a stel-

This photo provided by Neal Auction Company shows a specially-made brass trumpet to benefit Satchmo Summerfest, an annual music festival that commemorates the life and legacy of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, in New Orleans, Aug 4, 2011. — AP photos

Lifestyle FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

This undated image provided by the website shows the company’s Air Repair Kit, which includes skin care products designed for travelers.


ravel is fun once you reach your destination, but being away from home, getting through airport security and enduring long trips can be stressful. No wonder, then, when you ask, “What’s a good gift for travelers?” the answer is often related to comfort and convenience. Here are some ideas for holiday gifts that make travel more pleasant, whether the traveler in your life is a frequent-flying sales manager or a bus-riding student. For music lovers, how about upgrading flimsy earbuds to a set of headphones? Bose noise cancelling Quiet Comfort headphones, at a pricey $300, have been a top pick among travelers for years, but Consumer Reports also gives high ratings to many models under $100, including headphones from Able Planet, JVC and Audio-Technica.

This undated image provided by Flight 001, which sells products and supplies for travelers, shows the company’s Bubi bottle.

Inflatable footrest popular among air travelers.

Is there a neck-pillow junkie in your life? You know who they are: They keep neck pillows stashed in bags and glove compartments in all sizes, colors and styles, from inflatable to bead-filled. Consider a new addition to the collection in the form of a neck pillow with built-in speakers. Mic Anderson, an agent with The Magic for Less Travel agency, bought one for about $25 for her 14-year-old daughter Sarah from a kiosk at the Minneapolis-St Paul airport, and it was a hit. “It plugs into your MP3 player or iPod,” said Sarah. “I use it on car trips and plane rides, and I also use it in my room a lot.” The speakers are inside the U-shaped pillow so they sit beneath your chin on either side. Sarah says you can hear the music without disturbing the person sitting next to you, which her mom confirms. Carol Gundrum, who also works for The Magic for Less, asked fellow travel agents for gift ideas and packing cubes was one of the top suggestions. Typically made from lightweight fabrics with zippers, packing cubes come in various sizes designed to fit inside luggage. Fans say they help compress clothing so you can fit more in, but just as important, they make it easy to organize belongings. Socks and underwear might go in one cube, shirts in another, shoes in a third so they don’t get clothing dirty. Cubes can also be filled with non-wearables like electronics, books and papers or beauty products. If checked luggage exceeds weight restrictions, a cube can be removed - some come with small hooks or handles - and carried. Packing cubes are available from various retailers but one popular brand is from . “The packing cubes are our No. 1 bestselling product out of 50,000 on,” said eBags cofounder Peter Cobb. In various colors, with mesh windows for breathability and visibility, they range from under $20 for a set of three in small and slim sizes to under $30 for a large set of three. Gift ideas abound on the website, which sells health, beauty and grooming products in sizes approved for carry-on air travel. Click on “products” to see the company’s list of “bestsellers,” like the Air Repair skin care kit, which includes cleansers and moisturizers, $39; garment care items like The Laundress Crease Release spray, $8; toothpastes and fold-up toothbrush in the Go Smile kit, $12, and a Malin+Goetz bag of six prod-

This undated image provided by shows a set of the company’s packing cubes on a bed in a hotel room. —AP photos

ucts including shampoo, conditioner and body wash, $30. Nifty travel products from Flight 001, which has brick-and-mortar stores as well as a website, include lightweight yet sturdy containers for liquids that can be collapsed, rolled up and tucked in your bag when not in use, then filled as needed. Flight 001’s Bubi bottle, $30, 22 ounces and in four colors, can be used for hot or cold beverages, and it’s safe for dishwashers, microwaves and freezers. It’s perfect for travelers who like the idea of a refillable water bottle that won’t take up a lot of room when empty. Show a little love for the lower leg: For air travelers, socks with treads, soft washable slippers or compression socks (which need not be surgical strength - take a look at athletic brands like Saucony’s AMP PRO2 socks, $38 online) can make flights more bearable. For those with short legs (or anyone who wants a lift underfoot while seated), the travel supply company sells three types of portable footrests. Two are fold-up styles made from sturdy lightweight plastic, $25 and $29.50, but Magellan’s bestselling footrest is a cozy inflatable cushion that folds flat, $29.50. There’s no

end to gadgets that travelers love, from iPods, iPads and Kindles to chargers that can power electronics on the go, including battery-powered and solar-powered chargers that work even when you have no access to an electric outlet. In online reviews, some consumers have lauded iGo Everywhere chargers as a one-stop-shopping device for powering all kinds of electronics on a trip, though you need to swap out different tips to connect different gadgets. The iGo charger can be plugged into a wall or car. Finally, here’s a way to help travelers de-stress while en route: a gift card for XpresSpa, which offers manicures, pedicures, haircuts, facials, shaves, massages and other services at 46 airport spas. Pricing varies by location but in most places $25 covers a manicure and $50, a massage. Gift cards can be purchased online at—AP

Customers receiving massages and other treatments at the company’s spa at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York.


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Pe t s FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012


an’s best friend is loyal, loving and a whole lot of fun to hang out with. Man’s best friend can also shred shoes, yank on a leash and snap at other dogs if not properly trained. No doubt, dog training can indeed be a do-ityourself project. But working with a professional dog trainer, either in a class or private one-on-one session, provides expertise and assistance not available to pet owners who train dogs on their own. When looking for a dog trainer, it’s important to seek out those who use positive training methods that reward rather than punish, experts say. Get recommendations from fellow dog owners, veterinarians, dog clubs and local animal shelters. Once you find a trainer, ask to attend a class session to see how the trainer works with people and dogs. “In looking for a trainer, you want somebody who touts positive training,” said Joan McClure, president of the Walnut Creek (Calif.) Dog Owners Group. A dog trainer should also be able to deal with different behavioral situations such as aggression, excessive barking or fear issues. “Look for someone who has worked in different situations ... someone who is not just working with walking a dog on a leash so he can heel,” said McClure. “If you go to the dog park and see someone’s dog that is really well trained, ask that person who helped them,” said Eliza Fried, director of development and marketing at the Oakand, Calif.-based East Bay SPCA. People don’t have to be licensed to be a dog trainer, explained Mychelle Blake, spokeswoman for the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, a professional organization of dog trainers. While the association does not actually certify dog trainers, it recognizes 10 certification designations issued through seven professional groups that include the International Association of Canine Professionals and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. To be certified, a dog trainer has to meet certain educational standards established by the groups. Dog owners can indeed train a dog on their own but a trainer can point out if they are making any mistakes, said

Blake. “You can certainly do it on your own if you are good at following written instructions or taking direction from a DVD,” she said. “Trainers are not training the dog. They are teaching you how to train the dog.” In the San Francisco Bay area, expect to pay from $145 to $200 for a six-week basic obedience class. Generally, dog training classes offered through local animal shelters tend to be the most affordable option, said Blake. Look for trainers who explain the lesson before class starts and provide handouts to take home. “If they say no or are hesitant that would be a big red flag to me,” said Blake. People should look for a dog trainer before they get a dog if possible, said Martin Deeley, executive director of the International Association of Canine Professionals. “If you go and watch a training session and are not happy with the way the trainer is working or watching the way the dogs and owners are reacting, then maybe that trainer is not for you,” said Deeley. Opting for a public dog training class or private session depends on the dog. The advantage of a class is that the learning happens in an environment with other dogs and people around, Blake said. The optimal size for a class is six to eight dogs to one instructor although a larger class can work if there is an assistant, she said. One-on-one training means individual attention, which could be especially helpful for dogs with behavioral issues, she said. One thing dog owners should not for is a dog trainer who guarantees that the instruction will change the dog’s behavior. “I would really question that... You cannot guarantee the behavior of an animal,” Blake said. — MCT

Shannon gets a treat from her owner Mark Cornelius.

A skilled class instructor will: Provide a clear explanation of each lesson. •

Demonstrate the behavior(s) that students will be teaching to their dogs.

Provide clear instructions and written handouts on how to teach the behavior(s).

Give students ample time in class to begin practicing the day’s lesson.

Assist students individually with proper implementation of techniques.

Will encourage dialogue and be courteous to both canine and human clients alike.

Employs humane training methods which are not harmful to the dog and/or handler, and avoids the practices of hanging, beating, kicking, shocking, and all similar procedures or training devices that could cause the dog great pain, distress, or that have imminent potential for physical harm.

You have the absolute right to stop any trainer or other animal care professional who, in your opinion, is causing your dog undue harm or distress.

“Selly” is put through his paces by owner Elaine Busby, of Lafayette, during a dog training lesson. — MCT photos



Aries (March 21-April 19) There are opportunities to go in just about any direction you want when it comes to your future professional life. You take your work more seriously than usual these days and you put a lot of time into getting things scheduled and organized. You may look up to see the sun turn all the buildings a different color as it slips beneath the horizon this evening—you wonder why you are working so late. It is time to turn your attention to family matters and you will be pleased with the response you get when you let them know you will be available for whatever activity is planned; perhaps you can offer to contribute to the evening in some way. Family members are happy to see you and you can expect a little boost from them.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) If you are dealing with others for some business proposition—you will do well. You could set up a situation where the employees can travel to a certain place and learn something new about the business. You are in a learning phase now; that means adapting to changing circumstances. You will encourage management to help and improve the morale, efficiency and desire to improve business, by this action. Ideas and communications are a focal point in your life now. Whatever you manage to persuade others to do today, it will move in the direction of improving business. Investments look good at this time. However, keep your eyes and ears alert. Before heading home this evening, check to make sure you haven’t forgotten something.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You want a new interest and may look into some creative avenue with a co-worker friend. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn a new hobby. There could be some discussion of travel around the holidays. Because kids or family members have a way of snooping before a big event, a friend or neighbor may be willing to hide gifts for you while you return the favor. You have insight into what works for you and you will enjoy a group gathering in your home this evening. This may mean a friendly neighborhood get-together or just a family chat session about how life is moving along for each person. Asking questions about goals and deciding what you think about certain scenarios are good ways to keep current with your loved ones’ growth.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Right now, the key to career moves involves attending to nagging details—whatever you have neglected and delayed. Attention to matters such as health and efficiency are also important—make appointments for general exams. This could even involve helping someone else to do the same thing. Dodging interruptions and pointedly taking your breaks is a wise move on your part just now. The afternoon is for shopping and while there may not be much money allocated to some fancy frock, there could be some scarf or sweater that you can decorate with sequins, etc. Making a good impression and putting your best foot forward takes on greater importance as a new cycle gets underway in your life. A phone call this evening may find you talking for hours.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Tensions are high; much needs accomplishing in a short amount of time. Your common sense wins out over any frustrations that happen today. You may be called on to help with a customer service problem and you seek the right person to help or you help people yourself. You have learned to be as clear as possible with instructions and you provide helpful material. Customers appreciate the time you take to be helpful. Later this afternoon you may find some product that you have always wanted is on sale although it may still be out of your price range. Think about the hard work as well as the time and effort it takes to earn a dollar before you spend a dollar and then consider saving for this product. Saving for this special item is a good thing to do.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are very creative but may have found a clogged pathway where your ideas are concerned. Consider keeping a notepad with you. You will want to write down your thoughts about things to do later, things to look up, people to see and creative techniques for new ideas. One way to keep creativity alive for yourself, is to value and pay attention to the little ideas that you get wherever you are—including the workplace. One new idea can open up doors of opportunity. Your career direction gets some encouragement and you should find easy solutions. You have a heightened interest in health and diet and have an urge to get things organized into a rational system. There is mental busywork now. Seeing both sides of an issue takes on importance.

Libra (September 23-October 22) You may have a goal in mind today and finally form a clear picture of what you want to achieve. Drawing a picture, taking a picture, laying out a plan or any other way to achieve your end result is something you work on today. Soon there are opportunities to examine and determine your next steps. You are on your way to accomplishing your goal. Work is productive and this afternoon you and your friends seem to enjoy each other’s company. It is easy for you to value what life offers. This may be a period of greater social involvement— especially with neighbors and brother(s) or sister(s). Learning and teaching, perhaps as a tutor, seems to satisfy an important need for you now. Show others how to express their talents.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Opposition is natural in your life these days and may be what you ask for in the workplace. Whether you are in a job that calls for equations, artistic skills or some other ways to make sure your work is on target, you may need and ask for opinions. Feedback is a necessity in order to fine-tune your product. You, better than most, know how important it is to have negative as well as positive feedback. You enjoy self-help programs whether you are involved in learning new things or in teaching or lecturing. Opposition seems to be no problem at all. You and a friend may plan some fun activities for this weekend. This could mean a concert, as well as just sharing fun time with your friend. You are setting examples for the young people around you.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You may be tempted to agree with another person’s viewpoint today, just to keep peace. You know this is a way to avoid problems for the moment but is not a permanent answer. It would be better to express that you are uncomfortable with a particular discussion and would like to change the subject. If there seems to be no escape, you might consider suggesting a different place or time for the discussion. You enjoy discipline and you may see limitations as opportunities rather than handicaps. Work to create a balanced life so that additional duties you pile on yourself do not add up to a negative. You would make a good teacher of others in matters of organization, practical competence, etc. Make it a point to reach out and touch someone tonight.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You may prefer to be a bit more direct today. You want to get things accomplished and interruptions may not be on your list of ways to spend your time. Your goal is to find a way to be your best in every situation. You may also ask yourself if this job is challenging you to grow. It may be time to seek challenges. This afternoon you can relax—saying and writing things with style counts for a lot now and this tends to bring out the social butterfly in all of us. Neighbors or brothers and sisters will likely bring all kinds of good experiences your way. Plans for the upcoming holiday may take up most of your evening activities. A special relationship may need to be considered for the holiday plans. You should be flexible and ready to adapt.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You may have lost your train of thought this morning and find it a bit hard to know which direction to go next. This is so much unlike you that you may want to look at the people around you or perhaps your health. You will most likely see that news of some sort has been the cause of the interruption. Given time, the confusion will become settled. This afternoon you may find yourself put to good use by your friends or family members. All of this should go much smoother than in the workplace today. Your reasonable thinking will most certainly come into play—others find your suggestions workable. This is the perfect time to be creative. You support and encourage the young people around you and you are confident in their abilities—keep it up!

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You may be especially dynamic and assertive just now. There is a lot of energy available for whatever you would like to accomplish. You are insightful, always darting straight to the heart of things and never shy about working with the most sensitive and vulnerable areas of the human psyche. A part-time job may be in order to afford you the purchase power you want for the holiday season. Financial matters are emphasized throughout this month. Think about the drive and hard work plus the time and effort to earn a dollar before you spend a dollar. Your protection from income loss is to be cautious, think ahead and plan. You love new and different ways of self-discovery and transformation. You learn good meditation methods.

COUNTRY CODES Afghanistan 0093 Albania 00355 Algeria 00213 Andorra 00376 Angola 00244 Anguilla 001264 Antiga 001268 Argentina 0054 Armenia 00374 Australia 0061 Austria 0043 Bahamas 001242 Bahrain 00973 Bangladesh 00880 Barbados 001246 Belarus 00375 Belgium 0032 Belize 00501 Benin 00229 Bermuda 001441 Bhutan 00975 Bolivia 00591 Bosnia 00387 Botswana 00267 Brazil 0055 Brunei 00673 Bulgaria 00359 Burkina 00226 Burundi 00257 Cambodia 00855 Cameroon 00237 Canada 001 Cape Verde 00238 Cayman Islands 001345 Central African Republic 00236 Chad 00235 Chile 0056 China 0086 Colombia 0057 Comoros 00269 Congo 00242 Cook Islands 00682 Costa Rica 00506 Croatia 00385 Cuba 0053 Cyprus 00357 Cyprus (Northern) 0090392 Czech Republic 00420 Denmark 0045 Diego Garcia 00246 Djibouti 00253 Dominica 001767 Dominican Republic 001809 Ecuador 00593 Egypt 0020 El Salvador 00503 England (UK) 0044 Equatorial Guinea 00240 Eritrea 00291 Estonia 00372 Ethiopia 00251 Falkland Islands 00500 Faroe Islands 00298 Fiji 00679 Finland 00358 France 0033 French Guiana 00594 French Polynesia 00689 Gabon 00241 Gambia 00220 Georgia 00995 Germany 0049 Ghana 00233 Gibraltar 00350 Greece 0030 Greenland 00299 Grenada 001473 Guadeloupe 00590 Guam 001671 Guatemala 00502 Guinea 00224 Guyana 00592 Haiti 00509 Holland (Netherlands)0031 Honduras 00504 Hong Kong 00852 Hungary 0036 Ibiza (Spain) 0034 Iceland 00354 India 0091 Indian Ocean 00873 Indonesia 0062 Iran 0098 Iraq 00964 Ireland 00353 Italy 0039 Ivory Coast 00225 Jamaica 001876 Japan 0081 Jordan 00962 Kazakhstan 007 Kenya 00254 Kiribati 00686

Kuwait 00965 Kyrgyzstan 00996 Laos 00856 Latvia 00371 Lebanon 00961 Liberia 00231 Libya 00218 Lithuania 00370 Luxembourg 00352 Macau 00853 Macedonia 00389 Madagascar 00261 Majorca 0034 Malawi 00265 Malaysia 0060 Maldives 00960 Mali 00223 Malta 00356 Marshall Islands 00692 Martinique 00596 Mauritania 00222 Mauritius 00230 Mayotte 00269 Mexico 0052 Micronesia 00691 Moldova 00373 Monaco 00377 Mongolia 00976 Montserrat 001664 Morocco 00212 Mozambique 00258 Myanmar (Burma) 0095 Namibia 00264 Nepal 00977 Netherlands (Holland)0031 Netherlands Antilles 00599 New Caledonia 00687 New Zealand 0064 Nicaragua 00505 Nigar 00227 Nigeria 00234 Niue 00683 Norfolk Island 00672 Northern Ireland (UK)0044 North Korea 00850 Norway 0047 Oman 00968 Pakistan 0092 Palau 00680 Panama 00507 Papua New Guinea 00675 Paraguay 00595 Peru 0051 Philippines 0063 Poland 0048 Portugal 00351 Puerto Rico 001787 Qatar 00974 Romania 0040 Russian Federation 007 Rwanda 00250 Saint Helena 00290 Saint Kitts 001869 Saint Lucia 001758 Saint Pierre 00508 Saint Vincent 001784 Samoa US 00684 Samoa West 00685 San Marino 00378 Sao Tone 00239 Saudi Arabia 00966 Scotland (UK) 0044 Senegal 00221 Seychelles 00284 Sierra Leone 00232 Singapore 0065 Slovakia 00421 Slovenia 00386 Solomon Islands 00677 Somalia 00252 South Africa 0027 South Korea 0082 Spain 0034 Sri Lanka 0094 Sudan 00249 Suriname 00597 Swaziland 00268 Sweden 0046 Switzerland 0041 Syria 00963 Taiwan 00886 Tanzania 00255 Thailand 0066 Toga 00228 Tonga 00676 Tokelau 00690 Trinidad 001868 Tunisia 00216 Turkey 0090 Tuvalu 00688 Uganda 00256 Ukraine 00380 United Arab Emirates00976



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Yesterday始s Solution

ACROSS 1. The executive agency that advises the President on the federal budget. 4. Decreasing in amount or intensity. 11. An unforeseen obstacle. 15. The chance to speak. 16. A republic in northwestern Africa on the Mediterranean Sea. 17. Pretentious or silly talk or writing. 18. Female of domestic cattle. 19. Pioneer of non-Euclidean geometry (1826-1866). 20. A member of an Iroquoian people formerly living on the south shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania and western New York. 21. Any of various strong liquors distilled from the fermented sap of toddy palms or from fermented molasses. 23. Measure of the US economy adopted in 1991. 24. Of or relating to or inhabiting the land as opposed to the sea or air. 26. Joint capital (with Mecca) of Saudi Arabia located in the central oasis. 28. Capable of arousing enthusiasm or excitement. 29. A fractional monetary unit in Bangladesh and India and Nepal and Pakistan. 31. A tool with a flat blade attached at right angles to a long handle. 34. The face veil worn by Muslim women. 40. (computer science) A coding system that incorporates extra parity bits in order to detect errors. 41. A French abbot. 44. A room equipped with toilet facilities. 45. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 47. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily. 48. An antibiotic (trade name Erythrocin or E-Mycin or Ethril or Ilosone or Pediamycin) obtained from the actinomycete Streptomyces erythreus. 51. Slow or shallow breathing. 54. A former French unit of area. 55. A Spanish river. 56. A mobile mass of muscular tissue covered with mucous membrane and located in the oral cavity. 58. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 60. A signal transmitted along a narrow path. 62. French anthropologist who studied the craniums and brains of different races of people. 66. Dressed in trousers. 70. A high wave (often dangerous) caused by tidal flow (as by colliding tidal currents or in a narrow estuary). 71. Any property detected by the olfactory system. 74. Not widely known. 75. Black tropical American cuckoo. 76. A tricycle (usually propelled by pedalling). 78. A visual representation of an object or scene or person produced on a surface. 79. (prefix) Bad or erroneous or lack of. 80. Of warm coasts from Australia to Asia. 81. A small cake leavened with yeast. DOWN 1. An annual award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for achievements in motion picture production and performance. 2. The Oceanic language spoken by the Maori people in New Zealand. 3. A side road little traveled (as in the countryside). 4. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 5. Small genus of western African evergreen trees and shrubs bearing fleshy capsular three-seeded fruits edible when neither unripe nor overripe. 6. Advanced in years. 7. An analgesic for mild pain. 8. A self-funded retirement plan that allows you to contribute a limited yearly sum toward your retirement. 9. A name under which Ninkhursag was worshipped. 10. God of wisdom or prophesy. 11. English writer (born in Ireland) (1713-1766). 12. A constitutional monarchy in northern Europe on the western side of the Scandinavian Peninsula. 13. The seventh month of the Hindu calendar. 14. Clarified butter used in Indian cookery.

22. The 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. 25. The former capital and 2nd largest city of Brazil. 27. Informal terms for a (young) woman. 30. An ordered reference standard. 32. (Irish) Goddess. 33. A soft quilt usually filled with the down of the eider. 35. Causing a dull and steady pain. 36. Erect leafless flower stalk growing directly from the ground as in a tulip. 37. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 38. Flower arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage or flowers for ornamental purposes. 39. Wild plum of northeastern United States having dark purple fruits with yellow flesh. 42. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 43. A member of a West African people living chiefly in southwestern Nigeria. 46. A small float usually made of cork. 49. The act of slowing down or falling behind. 50. A cut of pork ribs with much of the meat trimmed off. 52. Rule of personal conduct. 53. The Hebrew patriarch who saved himself and his family and the animals by building an ark in which they survived 40 days and 40 nights of rain. 57. A soft gray ductile metallic element used in alloys. 59. A native or inhabitant of Iran. 61. English economist noted for his studies of international trade and finance (born in 1907). 63. Port city on southern Honshu on Osaka Bay. 64. Long pod containing small beans and sweetish edible pulp. 65. A particular environment or walk of life. 67. Armor plate that protects the chest. 68. Flowing in drops. 69. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is opened and a section of a blood vessel is grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart. 72. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 73. An adult male person (as opposed to a woman). 77. A trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group.

Yesterday始s Solution

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Imhoff - Pumas little flying phenomenon

LILLE: Juan Imhoff has been described as a ‘little phenomenon’ by RacingMetro team-mate Dimitri Szarzewski and here tomorrow, the Argentina wing will hope to build on that image when he faces him in their autumn test match. Imhoff, 23, certainly made up for the disappointment of being left on the replacements bench during Argentina’s debut in the southern hemisphere championship earlier this year by scoring a try and creating the other one in the Pumas impressive 2612 victory over Six Nations Grand Slam champions Wales last Saturday. “It has been a long time, since Ignacio Corleto (now 34 and who played in three World Cups including 2007 where they finished third), since we have had a back like this,” said Racing-Metro coach

and former Puma great Gonzalo Quesada. “He creates fear in the opposing defense and is able to finish off his moves clinically.” Imhoff certainly has the pedigree to succeed at the highest level as he is the son of former Pumas coach Jose Imhoff. “He was only 10 or 11 and he was often at training sessions where he would fulfil the role of ballboy,” recalled Quesada. Imhoff, who began his career with Argentine outfit Rosario, secured his move to Racing after a successful World Cup last year where he scored two tries as the Pumas reached the quarter-finals, losing to eventual world champions the All Blacks. Initially he was taken on by Racing as a temporary replacement for the

Ashton back to face Australia

LONDON: England coach Stuart Lancaster yesterday recalled winger Chris Ashton to an otherwise unchanged team to face Australia at Twickenham tomorrow (1430GMT) in a match that could have major ramifications for the 2015 rugby World Cup. Ashton, who missed last week’s 54-12 victory over Fiji through suspension, returns at right wing with Charlie Sharples, who scored two excellent tries in the match, switching to the left. Ashton has scored 15 tries in his 26 tests but has gone nine internationals without scoring. Ugo Monye, who also scored a try last week, had already been dropped from the 23-man squad. “To select 23 from a squad of 30-plus who have trained so well, with such intensity and focus, was difficult but it’s a good position to be in. The “team first” mentality of all our squad has impressed us greatly,” Lancaster said in a statement. “We were pleased with lots of aspects of our performance last week, but we know we need to improve this week and, by having some consistency in selection, we allow those players to demonstrate we can step up to the next level against what will be a very tough Australian side.” Tomorrow’s game has been given extra spice by the rankings situation where an England victory would lift them above their rivals who would then be likely to drop out of the top four. Much could still change before the Dec 3 draw for the World Cup, to be hosted by England, but Australia will not want to go into it outside the top four seeds. Australia coach Robbie Deans reacted to his side’s 33-6 thrashing by France by making four changes. Fullback Berrick Barnes and winger Digby Ioane return in place of Mike Harris and Pat McCabe, while lock Sitaleki Timani and tighthead prop Ben Alexander come in for Kane Douglas and Sekope Kepu up front. Only five of tomorrow’s Wallaby starting XV - Kurtley Beale, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Nathan Sharpe, Benn Robinson and Alexander - featured when Australia lost 35-18 at Twickenham two years ago, having won on their previous visits.— Reuters

injured Benjamin Fall but the club decided to extend his contract after a series of impressive performances despite the fact he would miss a large part of the first-half of the season because of international commitments. Szarzewski said that Imhoff’s reduced role at the Four Nations tournament the southern hemisphere championship - had only made him more determined to prove himself when he returned to France. “He was a little frustrated when he returned to Racing, he was really desperate to display his ability. Now he is showing everybody that he is capable of making the difference in a match, at any given moment. “He is a little phenomenon.” Imhoff, who has from an early age stated he was destined for the top, said

that his stunning form had been helped by being so far from home - far from being homesick he has thrived on being abroad. “Here, I am a very long way away from my family,” he said. “It is very useful for me, it helps me to grow up and to mature as a player.” Quesada, though, says that for all the plaudits being showered on him, Imhoff still has much to do before he is the finished article. “He is a player who has upped his workrate physically because he realized he was a bit short on that side of things at the highest level,” said Quesada. “And he also acknowledges that he has a lot of progress to make on individual technique: his passing, his kicking game, his defense, and his ability to clean up at the ruck.”—AFP

New Zealand face spin test in Lanka

GALLE: Sri Lanka are set to probe New Zealand’s defenses against spin in a twoTest series starting in Galle tomorrow as they seek to extend their dominance over the tourists. The traditionally spin-friendly Galle International Stadium is a happy hunting ground for the hosts, who have won five, drawn one and lost one of their last seven Tests there. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and off-spinner Suraj Randiv called the shots in Sri Lanka’s last two Test victories at the venue, when they shared 30 wickets against England and Pakistan this year. Sri Lanka, fresh from their 3-0 one-day series win over the tourists, have also named a third specialist spinner, 19-year-old Tharindu Kaushal, in the squad along with Herath and Randiv. New Zealand have already lost much of their bowling strength in the absence of match-winning left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori, who was ruled out of the tour after failing to recover from an Achilles strain. Off-spinner Jeetan Patel is the most experienced specialist slow bowler in the Kiwi squad with 47 wickets in 15 Tests, while leg-spinner Todd Astle has yet to make his Test debut. Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene said his team were looking forward to the Test series. “We haven’t played Test cricket for some time now and we’ll try to be as consistent as possible. We still need to improve but we’re working hard,” he said. New Zealand need to raise their batting performance as they seek to avoid their fourth

GALLE: New Zealand cricketer Martin Guptill (center) takes part in a warm up game during a training session at The Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle yesterday. — AFP successive Test series defeat this year, having already lost to South Africa at home and then in the West Indies and India. The turning ball caused them major problems on their tour of India in AugustSeptember. They failed to cope with offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha to lose the series 2-0. But the tourists will be pleased with the performance of their fast bowlers in the recent one-dayers, especially in the fifth and final match when they reduced Sri Lanka to 1238 before rain marred hopes of a victory. “We

have made some improvements and we need to get better. We need to work on all three facets of the game,” New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor said after the match. “We’ve got seven or eight guys coming over (for Tests).” The return of batsmen Martin Guptill and Daniel Flynn, and paceman Doug Bracewell, who were not part of the one-day team, has bolstered New Zealand who will be keen to improve their Test record in Sri Lanka. New Zealand have won only three of their 13 Tests in Sri Lanka.—AFP

Wales seek to stop rot against Samoa

CARDIFF: Ryan Jones will captain Wales for a record 29th time as the Six Nations Grand Slam champions bid to bounce back against Samoa at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium today following a convincing loss to Argentina. Wales were left shell-shocked by their 26-12 defeat by the Pumas in Cardiff last weekend, with the South Americans denying them a try while scoring two of their own. Now Wales return to the Millennium desperate to redeem themselves, with interim head coach Rob Howley ringing the changes. World Cup and Six Nations skipper Sam Warburton has been dropped to the bench with Jones set to surpass Ieuan Evans’s record for most Test appearances as Wales captain.

Jones, 31, missed the Pumas defeat due to a shoulder injury but has been passed fit and is looking forward to the challenge of rallying World Cup semi-finalists Wales. “I love playing rugby for Wales and I was bitterly disappointed not to be involved last week,” he said. “I’d like to think I add value. I’ve been in situations like this several times over the last 10 years. “Some of the guys are experienced in terms of caps but the majority came in a World Cup year. It’s been a successful 12 or 18 months and they possibly haven’t encountered this pressure and expectation.” Elsewhere, Justin Tipuric starts ahead of Warburton, with Bradley Davies replac-

ing Alun Wyn Jones, who has been ruled out of the autumn series with a shoulder injury, while Richard Hibbard and Paul James start in the front row. Behind the scrum, Mike Phillips and Dan Biggar form a new half-back partnership and Ashley Beck joins Jamie Roberts, included despite suffering “mild concussion” against Argentina, in the centre. Wales have a shaky history against Samoa, who claimed three consecutive wins over them during the 1990s. But the Dragons overcame their bogey side in Hamilton, New Zealand, during last year’s World Cup. And having lost their last four Tests against all opponents, Wales are in dire need of a win, if only to

put a stop to talk they could suffer an autumn whitewash, with world champions New Zealand and Australia still to come. “We need to get a good result under our belts, because these are three big, physical fixtures,” said Jones. “Samoa are always tough, uncompromising and relentless. They are emotional, play with their hearts on their sleeve and it’s always a big opening 10 or 15 minutes (against them). Samoa go into the encounter on the back of a comfortable 42-12 victory over Canada last Friday. Wing wonder Robert Lilomaiava bagged four tries in that victory but will be on the bench in Cardiff with David Lemi returning to captain the team.—AFP

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Vettel looks to make 100th race a historic one AUSTIN: Sebastian Vettel can make his 100th Formula One race the United States Grand Prix an historic one here on Sunday by being crowned the youngest ever triple world champion. The 25-year-old German, and his Red Bull team, could make it a night for double celebrations if they take both the drivers’ and teams’ titles in a country where he made his debut as a baby-faced 19-year-old stand-in at Indianapolis in 2007. That last United States Grand Prix, five years ago, was won by Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren and, this time around, he will once again be a major contender for victory in his penultimate race for the team before he leaves for Mercedes. But both championship leader

Vettel and Hamilton know they face a challenge this weekend from twotime champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari who is 10 points behind the German in the title race and still convinced he can secure his own third title. Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus, victorious in Abu Dhabi, will also be a threat. Vettel, who replaced Pole Robert Kubica at BMW Sauber in 2007, managed to qualify seventh and finish eighth, his single point for that feat making him F1’s youngest points-scorer-a record that he still holds. As he looked ahead to this weekend’s showdown at the virtually unknown Circuit of the Americas, a purpose-built track 15 miles from Austin city centre, he admitted he

could hardly believe it. “It’s all gone so quickly,” he said. “One hundred is a big number - 100 grands prix sounds a lot: 100 starts, 100 times surviving the first corner. If I reflect on it, it doesn’t feel so long ago that I broke into Formula One... “That shows me that time flies when you do something that you really like and enjoy, so let’s focus on the second 100!” Typically, Vettel has not dwelt on the various permutations that could land him the title this weekend. He knows that with a 10-point lead he can secure the title with a victory this weekend and that is his clear goal. He goes into the race with two races worth a maximum of 50 points for two wins available-remaining. He has 255 points to Alonso 245.

In spite of his extraordinary success in the last three seasons, there are many who still find it difficult to pour praise on Vettel and this week that list grew longer with the addition of 1997 drivers’ champion Canadian Jacques Villeneuve. The former Williams driver believes Vettel still has to mature and often “reacts like a child” if things are not going his way-sufficient reason, for him, to be pledging his support to Alonso as the season reaches its climax. Villeneuve, however, said he felt that Vettel is almost invincible if he can lead a race from the front. “I have no doubtsFernando Alonso is the best, that’s why I root for him,” Villeneuve told Autosprint magazine. — AFP

Poulter makes strong start to title defense MELBOURNE: Ryder Cup lightning rod Ian Poulter made a solid start to his Australian Masters title defense by firing a 67 to finish two strokes behind surprise leader Matthew Guyatt after the first round. The dapper Englishman, mining a rich vein of form since leading Europe to victory over the United States in September, notched six birdies in perfect conditions at Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne to be among three tied for second at five-under, including local favorite Adam Scott. “Five-under was a decent day but I feel like this golf course, if you play really well, can lend itself to making plenty of birdies, especially in these conditions,” the 36-year-old Poulter told reporters. “I think with my game, I’d prefer it to be a little windier than what it was today. I play pretty well in the wind and this is a tricky golf course.” Poulter stormed to victory by three strokes in last year’s tournament at nearby Victoria Golf Club on Melbourne’s famed sandbelt, blitzing local challengers who crumbled in gale-force winds in the final round. The world number 16 is less likely to get his wish for second round, when teeing off in the relative calm of the morning. While Poulter and Scott compete for top billing at the A$1 million tournament, journeyman Guyatt upstaged them both with a sparkling 65, featuring eight birdies and a single bogey. — Reuters

HONG KONG: World Number One golfer Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits out of a bunker during the first day of the UBS Hong Kong Open at the Hong Kong Golf Club yesterday. — AFP

McIlroy makes poor start in Hong Kong FANLING: Tiredness caught up with Rory McIlroy yesterday and the world golf number one could shoot only a three-over-par 73 on the opening day of the Hong Kong Open. McIlroy, who this week became only the second player to win the money-list titles in both Europe and the United States, admitted that he was exhausted after a year in which he has won four titles, including the U.S. PGA championship, and helped Europe to win the Ryder Cup. “I was struggling a little bit with my energy levels; I felt lethargic,” the Northern Irishman said after a round in which he produced one birdie. “I think after clinching the Race to Dubai it was always going to be a little bit of

a letdown. I tried hard to lift myself after what happened but that gets harder when you are feeling a bit tired.” McIlroy was not helped by playing late in the day when the Fanling course was affected by a tricky wind swirling through the trees. Javier Colomo, who plays on the Asian Tour, took the lead with a six-under-par 64. His fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, who was a member of the European Tour before the 23-year-old McIlroy was born, shot a 65. Should he win his third Hong Kong Open on Sunday at the age of 48 years and 318 days he would become the oldest winner on the European Tour.

The record is held by Irishman Des Smyth who was 48 years and 34 days old when he won the 2001 Madeira Island Open. Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal moved into a share of fourth place with a 66. Colomo started out by plying his trade on the European Challenge Tour but lost his playing rights so went to the Asian Tour School last year. The 28-year-old has had three top10 finishes this year and has earned promotion into bigger tournaments in 2013. “Now I am 33rd in the Asian rankings and that’s perfect because next year I will be playing in all the tournaments co-sanctioned with the European Tour,” he said. — Reuters

Wagner, Gao bid to put US back on top PARIS: Ashley Wagner and Christina Gao will be bidding to put the United States back on top of the podium at the Trophee Bompard, the fifth in the six-leg ISU Grand Prix Series, which gets underway here today. Reigning US champion Wagner and Gao, won gold and silver respectively at Skate America last month, and along with US men’s champion Jeremy Abbott, will be looking for the United States’ first Paris gold since Johnny Weir in 2004. 2014 Winter Olympic hosts’ Russia also have a strong contingent in the two-day event at Paris-Bercy with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva back to defend her title, joined by compatriots Polina Korobeynikova and Julia Lipnitskaia. Tuktamysheva, 15, will be looking to bounce back after losing her Skate Canada title with a fourth-place finish in Ontario. Abbott placed just fifth at Skate America but will be among the favorites for the men’s title in his first appearance in Paris after returning crowd-favourite Weir withdrew this week with a hip injury. China’s Nan Song will be hoping to move up from his silver medal position last year, with other challengers including home hopes Brian Joubert, the 2007 world champion, and 2011 European champion Florent Amodio. Joubert, 28, pulled out of the Cup of China with stomach pains while 22-year-old Amodio finished fourth at Skate Canada. — AFP

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Houston aims to be NFL’s top defense HOUSTON: Just before the season, Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was asked what he wanted from his defense in 2012 after the unit made a remarkable turnaround to finish second in the NFL in yards allowed last season. Phillips didn’t say a word. He simply raised one index finger. The Texans haven’t reached that mark yet, and they remain No 2. That, they say, gives them something to work toward. “We’re working extremely hard to make that happen,” defensive end JJ Watt said. “We attack every day with that intensity and that mentality.” That was clear in Sunday night’s 13-6 win over Chicago when Houston forced four turnovers. The Texans are allowing 281.6 yards a game, behind only Pittsburgh. They are also among the top teams in several other defensive categories. Houston is third in scoring (15.9), tied for fourth in interceptions (11) and have allowed the third fewest touchdowns (15). Houston has rebounded from its only loss - a 42-24 defeat by Green Bay - with three straight dominant defensive outings. They’ve allowed just one touchdown since the loss. “It’s important that we play well every week,” nose tackle Shaun Cody said. “We know we want to put our offense in a good position to get the ball a lot, and it’s going to lead to some good things.” Watt has emerged as one of the top defenders in the league. He leads the NFL in sacks with 10 1/2 and has knocked down 10 passes. The constant attention he receives has given other Texans chances to make plays. Outside linebacker Connor Barwin has come on lately, piling up 13 tackles and two sacks in the last three games. The Texans have come a long, long way from the days when there were concerns about Phillips changing the alignment, and then in the offseason, Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans left for other teams. More questions came when star linebacker Brian Cushing was lost for the season with a knee injury in Week 5 and the loss to the Packers came the next week. The defense has been great since then, and Barwin said they are driven by the thought of becoming the best in the league. “That’s something that we’ve all thought about all year long,” Barwin said. “We pay attention to where we’re at. At the end of the year is what matters. So hopefully at the end of the year we’ll be No 1.” Houston’s secondary has been helped by the solid play up front. Phillips inherited a pass defense that allowed an NFL-worst 267.5 yards passing per game in 2010. Last year, the group gave up the third fewest at just 189.7 yards a game. They’re currently in third again by allowing 196 yards passing a game. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who along with Phillips sparked the transformation of the secondary last season, is focused on being the best defense. But he noted that the statistics aren’t the top priority. “We always want to be known as the best defense and the best team,” he said. “But in our minds it’s all about helping the team win games by playing dominate defense and being the top defense. What’s most important is winning ball games.” The Texans have done a lot of that this season. They’re off to the best start in franchise history and tied for the NFL’s best record at 8-1. Joseph has been impressed that they’ve been able to remain one of the top defenses for a second straight season. “Going out and doing it every week (is) probably the hardest part about having a great defense,” he said. “You see teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore that did it for five, 10 yearsplus. To go out and do it this last year and this year and keep up the same style of defense is something that you can build on and look toward the future.” Houston plays Jacksonville on Sunday in a rematch of a Week 2 win by the Texans. Houston’s defense starred in that 27-7 victory by allowing Jacksonville to gain just nine first downs and 117 yards. The Texans are guarding against a letdown this week against the Jaguars (1-8). “There’s always room for improvement, but right now it’s just about going out and being better than we were the week before,” Joseph said.— AP

Grizzlies beat Thunder for sixth straight win Clippers cool Heat with stunning home win OKLAHOMA CITY: Rudy Gay scored a season-high 28 points and Zach Randolph added 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies extended their best start in team history by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-97 on Wednesday. Marc Gasol chipped in 14 points as the Grizzlies won their sixth straight game. The Grizzlies outscored Oklahoma City by 21 in the second quarter to take control of a contentious game, which ended with Randolph and the Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins being ejected following an altercation. Kevin Durant scored a season-high 34 points and Russell Westbrook had 17 points and 13 assists as both Oklahoma City All-Stars logged more than 42 minutes for the second straight game while trying to lead a fourth-quarter comeback. This time it fell short as the Thunder had their five-game winning streak broken. CLIPPERS STUN HEAT In Los Angeles, the Clippers won their fourth straight game, beating the defending NBA champions, the Miami Heat, 107-100. Blake Griffin had 20 points and 14 rebounds and Chris Paul had 16 points and 10 assists to lead five Clippers players in double figures. Jamal Crawford added 22 points off the bench. LeBron James scored 30 points for the Heat, who lost their fifth in a row against the Clippers in Los Angeles and dropped to 2-2 on their current six-game road trip. Dwyane Wade was held to six points - well below his 18.4 average playing with a sprained left foot that kept him out of the morning shootaround. Carlos Boozer had 28 points and 14 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls dominated the Phoenix Suns in the paint and won in overtime, 112-106. Luol Deng added 21 points and center Joakim Noah had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls. Luis Scola had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Sebastian Telfair scored 17 off the bench for the Suns, who fought back in the fourth after trailing by 18 points. CELTICS DOWN JAZZ At Boston, Paul Pierce hit two free throws with 19.5 seconds left to lift the Celtics past the Utah Jazz 98-93 for their fifth win in six games. Jeff Green and Leandro Barbosa each scored 16 points for the Celtics, while Kevin Garnett added 11 points and eight rebounds. Boston guard Rajon Rondo had 10 assists before leaving the game for good in the third quarter with a right ankle injury. It was his 32nd straight game with 10 or more assists. In Philadelphia, Greg Monroe had 19 points, 18 rebounds and six assists to help the Detroit Pistons beat the 76ers 94-76 for their first win of the season. Kyle Singler scored 16 points and Tayshaun Prince and Brandon Knight

LOS ANGELES: Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (left) and Los Angeles Clippers forward Caron Butler battle for a rebound during the second half of their NBA basketball game. — AP each had 15 for a Detroit team that is off to its worst start in franchise history with a 1-8 record. The Charlotte Bobcats continued their surprising season with an 89-87 road win over the injury-plagued Minnesota Timberwolves. Kemba Walker hit a 19-foot jumper over Alexey Shved in the final moments to give the Bobcats their first three-game winning streak since March 2011. Walker finished with 22 points. Andrei Kirilenko had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the depleted Timberwolves, who were without six of their top seven players: Kevin Love (broken right hand), Ricky Rubio (left knee), Chase Budinger (left knee), Nikola Pekovic (left ankle), JJ Barea (left foot) and Brandon Roy (right knee). ROCKETS’ 21-POINT LEAD

In Houston, the Rockets built a 21point lead in the first half and held on to beat the New Orleans Hornets 100-96. James Harden scored 30 points and Omer Asik added 15 points and 12 rebounds. In other games, Chris Kaman had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead the Dallas Mavericks past the winless Washington Wizards 107-101, and Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis scored 16 points apiece to help the Milwaukee Bucks cruise past the struggling Indiana Pacers 99-85. Golden State’s Harrison Barnes scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Warriors beat the Atlanta Hawks 9288.—AP

NBA results/standings Detroit 94, Philadelphia 76; Boston 98, Utah 93; Milwaukee 99, Indiana 85; Houston 100, New Orleans 96; Memphis 107, Oklahoma City 97; Charlotte 89, Minnesota 87; Dallas 107, Washington 101; Chicago 112, Phoenix 106 (OT); LA Clippers 107, Miami 100; Golden State 92, Atlanta 88. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT NY Knicks 5 0 1.000 Brooklyn 4 2 .667 Boston 5 3 .625 Philadelphia 4 4 .500 Toronto 2 6 .250 Central Division Milwaukee 5 2 .714 Chicago 5 3 .625 Indiana 3 6 .333 Cleveland 2 6 .250 Detroit 1 8 .111 Southeast Division Miami 6 3 .667 Charlotte 4 3 .571 Atlanta 3 4 .429 Orlando 2 5 .286 Washington 0 7 0

GB 1.5 1.5 2.5 4.5 0.5 3 3.5 5 1 2 3 5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 6 3 .667 Minnesota 5 3 .625 Denver 4 4 .500 Utah 4 5 .444 Portland 3 5 .375 Pacific Division LA Clippers 6 2 .750 Golden State 4 4 .500 Phoenix 4 5 .444 LA Lakers 3 5 .375 Sacramento 2 6 .250 Southwest Division San Antonio 7 1 .875 Memphis 6 1 .857 Dallas 5 4 .556 Houston 4 4 .500 New Orleans 3 3 .500

0.5 1.5 2 2.5 2 2.5 3 4 0.5 2.5 3 3

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Flare stuns goalkeeper; match suspended BUENOS AIRES: Independiente’s Argentine league match with Belgrano was suspended before the second half could restart when a flare stunned visiting goalkeeper Juan Carlos Olave on Wednesday. “The match is suspended. It can’t be played in these conditions,” referee Saul Laverni told reporters at Independiente’s Libertadores de America stadium after fans threw at least two more flares onto the pitch minutes. “I can’t believe it,” said Independiente coach Americo Gallego, who returned to

the club early in the season for a third spell as their coach and seemed to have steadied the boat with three wins and a draw in their previous five matches. Highriding Belgrano were a goal up in the match, having scored four minutes before halftime when midfielder Jorge Velazquez brilliantly lobbed goalkeeper Hilario Navarro. There is a bitter internal conflict between Independiente’s club management and the ‘barrabravas’ hooligan element among their fans. Club president Javier Cantero, voted in a year ago, vowed

to rid Independiente of its barrabravas, attempting to ban them from all club activities and the ground. Wednesday’s incident was the latest retaliation by the hooligan element of the fan base. Independiente are three from bottom of the championship standings with 14 points from 13 matches and in danger of being relegated for the first time at the end of the season in June. Time would seem to be on their side but relegation in Argentina is measured by teams’ average points over three sea-

Brazil struggle to 1-1 draw with Colombia EAST RUTHERFORD: Brazilian striker Neymar, who has emerged as a star for the country preparing to host the 2014 World Cup, scored in the 64th minute as Brazil struggled to a 1-1 draw with Colombia Wednesday. The 20-year-old Neymar then had a chance to give Brazil the lead in the second half, but he sailed a penalty kick over the crossbar in the exhibition contest in front of a crowd of 38,624 at MetLife Stadium outside New York City. The crowd was well below the 77,223 for Brazil’s August 2010 match against the Americans, thanks to limited mass transit in the region following Superstorm Sandy. James Rodriguez opened the scoring in the 44th minute for Colombia. Brazil was awarded the penalty kick in the 81st minute after Pablo Armero pulled down Daniel Alves in the penalty area. Neymar took several steps to his left, then timed his approach and sent his penalty kick 15 yards over the crossbar and into the crowd, leaving the Brazilians unable to take a lead against a team it hasn’t lost to in 21 years. Brazil had its chances early but couldn’t convert. Kaka pulled an open shot wide in the 18th minute and Neymar’s header from in close, off Alves’ cross, was stopped by goalkeeper David Ospina in the 24th minute. Kaka also bounced a long-range shot off the crossbar in the 32nd. Kaka returned to the national team just last month for the first time since the 2010 World Cup. Brazil has 15 wins, two losses and eight draws against the Colombians overall. —AFP

AC Milan back in crisis mode for Napoli visit MILAN: AC Milan are back in crisis mode after their home defeat by Fiorentina and the last thing they want at the moment is a trip to Napoli’s daunting San Paolo fortress. However, that is exactly what awaits coach Massimiliano Allegri and his struggling team tomorrow (1945 GMT) before they travel to Belgium for a potentially decisive Champions League tie against Anderlecht on Wednesday. Napoli have dropped only two points in their six home games in Serie A and won 4-2 at Genoa last week. Milan, meanwhile, were beaten 3-1 by Fiorentina, a result which means they have lost half their 12 league games so far. Former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic reminded Milan of what they were missing with four goals, including his stunning bicycle kick, for Sweden against England on Wednesday. Ibrahimovic was among the players offloaded as Milan attempted to slash their wage bill and balance the books in the close season. The Swede’s striking partner Antonio Cassano and defensive lynchpin Thiago Silva also departed and the Brazilian, now with Ibrahimovic at Paris St Germain, said he was shocked by Milan’s poor start. ‘It’s difficult to judge from a distance but I have never seen a Milan like this,’ Silva told Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday. —Reuters

EAST RUTHERFORD: Brazil’s Neymar (left) goes up for the ball against Colombia’s Edwin Valencia during the first half of an international friendly soccer match at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. — AP

sons and the Red Devils are also in the bottom three of that table. Velez Sarsfield won 1-0 at Quilmes on Tuesday to open a four-point lead at the top. Second-placed Newell’s Old Boys visited Boca at La Bombonera yesterday. Belgrano and Lanus, at home to lowly San Martin yesterday, were joint third six points behind Velez. The Argentine Football Association, which must rule on the suspended match, will probably order the remaining 45 minutes to be played behind closed doors. — Reuters

Ivorians underline ‘top Drogba’ status JOHANNESBURG: Didier Drogba was among the scorers as Ivory Coast underlined their status as African Nations Cup favorites by overpowering Austria 3-0 in Wednesday’s friendly internationals. Most of the finalists failed to convince with the South Africa tournament now just two months away, but Ivory Coast had the look of potential continental champions. Their victory, extending the team’s unbeaten run to 22 matches, came after starting with an experimental line-up that saw both Yaya Toure and Drogba left on the bench. However, defending champions Zambia served notice of their intention to fight to hold onto their title. “We are not giving up this Nations Cup without a struggle,” said coach Herve Renard after his side beat South Africa 10 in Johannesburg. An Emmanuel Adebayor goal gave Togo a surprise 1-0 away victory in Morocco to send a reminder of their potential as spoilers while Nigeria beat Venezuela 3-1. Nigeria’s makeshift side included a debut for former England under-21 international Shola Ameobi. All but two of the 16 finalists for the Jan 19 to Feb 10 tournament played on Wednesday, though the value of many of the games was undermined by a long list of player withdrawals. Former Chelsea striker Drogba scored within two minutes of coming on with a long-range shot as the Ivorians fired a warning to their regional rivals. They have been favorites for the last four Nations Cup tournaments but each time come up short, a record the Elephants will be keen to put straight while in such electric form. Zambia, who beat the Ivorians in the last final in February, displayed a maturity befitting continental champions in beating South Africa with a 64th minute rocket from Collins Mbesuma. “We are hungry and we want to win more,” said Renard. “We will coming back to South Africa to defend our title.” However, Zambia’s win was marred when goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene was injured by rocks thrown through the windows of the team bus as they left the stadium. Nigeria will have deemed their decision to look at fringe players successful after debutant Ameobi set up a goal for fellow new boy Ogenyi Onazi in their win in Miami. At 31, Ameobi is a late-comer to international football but now a strong candidate for Nations Cup selection, which will not please his club Newcastle United. Algeria and Tunisia lost at home to European opposition on Wednesday. Bosnia beat the Algerians with a stoppage-time goal while Switzerland beat 10man Tunisia 2-1. There were victories for Burkina Faso and Ghana, draws for Angola and Niger and a loss for the Democratic Republic of Congo, who had several players withdraw from the squad at the last moment. — Reuters

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Marseille must deal with shortage of strikers PARIS: Second-placed Olympique Marseille will have to rely on team work to overcome the absence of a genuine striker when they visit Girondins Bordeaux in Ligue 1 on Sunday, coach Elie Baup said. While the French top flight has so far enjoyed its most prolific season since 1984, with 321 goals scored in 12 games, Marseille have scored only 16 in 11 matches, the lowest tally of the top six clubs. With Jordan Ayew suspended for the Bordeaux game and Andre-Pierre Gignac recovering from a broken foot, the team lost another experienced striker when Loic Remy suffered a thigh injury during last weekend’s home 2-2 draw against Nice. Thus Baup can count only on 19-

year-old Bilel Omrani, who has played eight minutes in Ligue 1 in his career. “Our response will have to be collective,” Baup told the club’s website ( “When this kind of things happen, when we face further problems, we have to confront them. We have to show more solidarity in these hard times,” added Baup, who could start Andre Ayew in the position. The forward drought has come at the worst possible moment for Marseille, who are tied on 23 points with leaders Paris St Germain with one game in hand, and who have not beaten Bordeaux at their own ground since 1977. “Every record has to be broken at some point,” Ayew told a news

conference on Wednesday. “Even my father’s generation, who were European champions, never won at Bordeaux. We will try to make history,” added the son of Abedi Ayew, who won the 1993 European Cup with Marseille. Paris St Germain will also be missing their regular striker when they host ninth-ranked Stade Rennes on Saturday, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic serving the second of his two-game ban. Centre back Mamadou Sakho, sent off at Montpellier last weekend, and right back Gregory Van der Wiel are suspended. Champions Montpellier visit Valenciennes, who are fifth on 21 points and have scored 13 goals in

their last three home games. “Standing alongside PSG, Marseille or Lyon is unusual for a lowly team like ours,” forward Mathieu Dossevi told daily L’Equipe. “We will do everything to make it last,” goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau added. Lille travel to Lorient on Friday, hoping to extend the five-match unbeaten run which has lifted them to seventh on 20 points after a poor start. Lorient were fourth after eight games but have sunk to 11th. “I have heard ambitious speeches. We made a huge effort during the off-season to strengthen the squad,” said owner Loic Fery, who spent a record 12 million euros in the summer. “Now I would like the players to be true to their words.” — Reuters

Erratic Arsenal, Spurs seek derby day spoils

PALMA DE MALLORCA: Barcelona’s Brazilian defender Daniel Alves reacts during the Spanish league football match Mallorca vs FC Barcelona at the Iberostar stadium in Palma de Mallorca. — AFP

Seville derby tougher than ‘Clasico’: Alves Barca host Zaragoza, Real at home to Bilbao MADRID: The Real Madrid-Barcelona “clasico” is televised around the world and often decides the La Liga title, but a Seville derby is a tougher proposition, Barca defender and former Sevilla favorite Dani Alves has said. Real Betis travel across the Andalucian city to take on neighbors Sevilla on Sunday (2030 GMT) for a derby of huge importance locally, and a match of major significance in the push for the European places in La Liga. “They may not be as important as a Barca-Real in terms of the quality of players, the spectacle on offer, and the media coverage, but they are passionate games,” Alves was quoted by Spanish media as telling Algerian newspaper Le Buteur. “They are tougher than a ‘Clasico’.” Betis lie fourth in La Liga with 19 points from 11 games, four behind champions Real Madrid in third, and 12 behind unbeaten leaders Barcelona. Most significantly for their supporters, however, they have a four-point advantage over Sevilla in 10th.

Betis coach Pepe Mel, a former striker for the club, was refreshingly honest about his enthusiasm for Spain’s most highly-charged city derby. “This week I need to prime Pepe Mel the fan rather than Pepe Mel the professional. My players need someone to who is going to add that bit of spice,” he told a news conference. “From outside the city, I can understand people who say it is just another three points. Those who live here know that is not true. The joy we took from winning the last derby there (2-1) has lasted until today.” Sevilla, like Betis, have been inconsistent of late but did beat Real at the Sanchez Pizjuan 1-0 in September, and narrowly lost to Barca 3-2 there conceding two goals in the last few minutes. ATLETICO KEEPING PACE Sevilla and Betis, along with Qatariowned Malaga, Levante and Valencia are all lagging behind, leaving Atletico Madrid as the only side really keeping pace with the two Spanish powerhous-

es. Atletico, in second with 28 points, returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory at home to Getafe last weekend and travel to take on lowly Granada on Sunday (1845). They are three points behind Barca, who are at home to Real Zaragoza tomorrow (1900). Tito Vilanova could have Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique back from injury at the centre of defense, but Sergio Busquets is suspended. Real have yet to eat in to Barca’s eight-point advantage over them, but host struggling Athletic Bilbao tomorrow (2100) with midfielder Sami Khedira and striker Karim Benzema back after injury. “It’s an important difference but it isn’t definitive,” Barca defender Gerard Pique told sports daily Mundo Deportivo of their lead over the champions. “I always remember Pep Guardiola’s first year. We had a 12point gap, we thought we had it in the bag, and we had to go to the Bernabeu and win to prevent them from closing to within a point. Also, Madrid are a stronger team now.” — Reuters

LONDON: An incendiary mix of bitter local rivalry and two teams searching for consistency amid fan disquiet see Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur throw themselves into the bearpit of a North London derby at the Emirates tomorrow (1245 GMT). Always a high-octane affair, the lunchtime Premier League clash promises goals, drama and bragging rights but the only thing concerning opposing managers Arsene Wenger and Andre Villas-Boas, however, is securing three points. For clubs with annual top-four and Champions League ambitions, neither is where they want to be after 11 games. Spurs, in their first season under former Chelsea manager Villas-Boas, are in seventh, one point and one place above Wenger’s men. The two teams are already 10 and 11 points behind leaders Manchester United respectively. Arsenal blew a two-goal lead at home to Fulham last weekend, forced to settle for a 3-3 draw after Mikel Arteta’s penalty was saved in the fifth minute of added time. It was the second successive game that Arsenal had failed to win from two goals to the good after surrendering the lead at Schalke 04 in the Champions League. Wenger said his fragile side needed to defend with “more drive and belief” and, according to the Daily Mail, is considering ditching his trusted 4-3-2-1 formation and playing with five defenders to tighten up Arsenal’s leaky defense. Spurs have lost their last two league games at home to Wigan Athletic when they were booed off at White Hart Lane - a defeat described by Villas-Boas as their worst performance of the season - and last weekend at Manchester City. Villas-Boas has a string of injuries to contend with. Right back Kyle Walker, striker Jermain Defoe and winger Aaron Lennon are being assessed after picking up hamstring problems against City, although Spurs are hopeful they will feature. Midfielder Mousa Dembele has not played since Oct. 7 because of a hip injury and is struggling to be fit, while Younes Kaboul, Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto remain sidelined. Arsenal walloped their rivals 5-2 in an extraordinary clash at the Emirates in February, scoring five unanswered goals after Spurs led 2-0 after 34 minutes. The season before that, it was Arsenal who led 2-0 after half an hour, only for Spurs to storm back after the break to win 3-2. Wenger and Villas-Boas, along with every other Premier League manager, will be crossing fingers and toes that players do not return injured from midweek international duty. Concerns have long been voiced about the scheduling of international friendlies and the club versus country conflict argument. “When we play tomorrow at 12.45 against Tottenham and Santi Cazorla plays (for Spain) in Panama on Wednesday, you cannot say there is no conflict of interest,” Wenger told The Sun newspaper. “What is difficult to understand is why these games are not like the official games and on a Tuesday?” Across the capital, an early season relegation “six-pointer” takes place in west London at Loftus Road where winless and rock-bottom Queens Park Rangers host Southampton, just one point and one place above them. — Reuters

Sports FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Acrobatic Ibrahimovic shoots down England Spain win easily, France triumph in Italy Collated international friendly results on Wednesday South Korea China Russia Armenia Bulgaria Czech Republic Andorra Saudi Arabia South Africa Cyprus UAE Morocco Algeria Niger Angola Macedonia Tunisia Turkey Liechtenstein Georgia Israel Romania Chile Luxembourg Gabon Sweden Netherlands Hungary Austria Ireland Poland Italy Albania Ghana Panama Brazil Bolivia Venezuela Honduras

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Dominant Bayern look for 11th win in 12 games BERLIN: Bayern Munich’s sensational domestic season shows no signs of abating and, with a string of players back from injury and illness for tomorrow’s Bavarian derby at Nuremberg (1430 GMT), the team are deservedly eyeing their 11th league win in 12 games. Bayern midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos did not travel with Germany for their friendly match against Netherlands on Wednesday due to illness but were back on the training pitch that same day. Striker Mario Gomez, out of action since undergoing ankle surgery in August, has also returned to team training and his four goals against a regional division team on Tuesday showed he was itching for senior-team action. Despite stiff competition from Bundesliga top scorer Mario Mandzukic and Claudio Pizarro, fresh from a Champions League hat-trick, Bayern sports director Matthias Sammer hinted that Gomez could be back in action against Nuremberg. “Obviously Mario needs some time to find his old form but he is healthy and could also help us in the short term,” Sammer told the club website ( on Thursday. Sammer, who replaced Christian Nerlinger in July, has the chance of ending a two-year title drought for the Bavarians who have conceded only four goals while scoring 32, the best offensive and defensive record in the league. Despite being seven points ahead of Schalke 04 and 11 ahead of fourthplaced champions Borussia Dortmund, Bayern are keeping a cool head, aware that a similar situation last season ended up with them winning no silverware. “There is room for improvement,” Sammer said. “When we lack that freshness in our game then we have to make sure we are letting nothing happen in the back. We are expecting a very hard game in Nuremberg.”—Reuters

LONDON: Zlatan Ibrahimovic christened Sweden’s new stadium with a sprinkling of gold on Wednesday, scoring three classy goals and an unforgettable one in a 4-2 friendly win over England, while Argentina’s Lionel Messi drew a blank in Riyadh. With only a handful of low-key World Cup qualifiers on the fixture list, coaches of some of the likely favourites for the trophy in Brazil in 2014 got a last chance this year to cast an eye over their squads in a raft of friendlies. World champions Spain beat Panama 5-1 in Panama City, the Netherlands and Germany drew 0-0 in Amsterdam, France won 2-1 in Italy and Messi’s Argentina were held 0-0 by Saudi Arabia but it was Sweden’s victory in Stockholm that stole the limelight. Ibrahimovic gave Sweden the advantage with an instinctive finish but after an experimental England, who gave debuts to six players, took a 2-1 halftime lead the Paris St Germain striker provided a grandstand finale to a lively friendly. He equalised with a shot after a beautiful piece of chest control, slammed in a low free kick to put the Swedes ahead but saved the best until last with an acrobatic overhead kick from 25 metres to raise the roof of the Friends Arena. “Ibrahimovic’s performance was certainly world-class. Credit to him, he scored one of the best goals I’ve ever seen live. It was his night,” England captain Steven Gerrard told ITV on the night of his 100th international cap. Sweden coach Erik Hamren told a news conference: “The last one? You might never see that again in your life. Unbelievable, really.” England had looked on course for a first away win against Sweden since 1965 after goals from Danny Welbeck and debutant Steven Caulker but slipped to their first defeat in 90 minutes since manager Roy Hodgson took over in May. Hodgson’s team, who will continue their World Cup qualifying campaign in March with work to do after tiny Balkan nation Montenegro went top of their group with a 3-0 victory over San Marino on Wednesday, gave starting places to debutants Raheem Sterling, Leon Osman and Caulker. Germany, whose last match was a 4-4 World Cup qualifying draw with Sweden, kept a clean sheet in the Netherlands in a friendly the visitors dominated. GOMIS WINNER “Both teams played a solid game,” Germany captain Philipp Lahm said. “We did not allow too many chances at the back and that was positive. “If you draw 4-4 in your previous game it is important your defence is safer next time.” Pedro scored twice for European champions Spain while David Villa and Sergio Ramos were also on the scoresheet against lowly Panama. Bafetimbi Gomis came off the bench to give France victory in Parma against Euro 2012 runners-up Italy. Mario Balotelli set up Stephan El Shaarawy to put Italy ahead with his

RIYADH: Argentina’s Lionel Messi (right) in action against Saudi Arabia players during their friendly soccer match at King Fahd stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh. The match ended in a 0-0 draw. — AP first goal for his country but France hit back almost immediately with a superb strike from Mathieu Valbuena. Messi failed in his bid to set an outright record for the most Argentina goals in a calendar year. Saudi goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah did well to keep out substitute Augusto Fernandez and Messi, who shares the Argentina record of 12 goals in a year with Gabriel Batistuta. Former Cold War rivals Russia and the United States met for the first time on a soccer pitch since 2000, drawing 2-2 in Krasnodar where Mix Diskerud grabbed an equalizer for the Americans deep into stoppage time. Highly-rated Belgium got a reality check as they lost 2-1 in a friendly in Romania while Poland were beaten 3-1 at home by Uruguay with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani both scoring. Serbia overcame Chile 3-1 in Switzerland after which Chile’s coach Claudio Borghi was fired. Almost unnoticed, Montenegro stole in to go top of World Cup Group H qualifying with a comfortable win over whipping boys San Marino. Their 3-0 victory put them two points above England with 10 points from four matches. Northern Ireland needed a last-minute equalizer to claim a 1-1 draw at home to Azerbaijan in Group F. ‘RONALDOLESS’ PORTUGAL Portugal were held to a 2-2 draw by Gabon without injured captain Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday in an

international friendly in which three penalties were awarded. Portugal came from behind to lead 2-1 through Hugo Almeida’s goal in the 59th minute. But Andre Biyogo Poko buried a 70thminute penalty to earn a committed Gabon a draw against the world’s No 4ranked team in the first meeting between the countries. Levy Madinda gave Gabon the lead from the spot in the 32nd after a questionable decision from Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey, who produced a shaky performance all night in Libreville. Portugal equalized with its own penalty from Pizzi three minutes later. Lamptey also awarded Gabon a goal late in the first half when the ball clearly had not crossed the line and had to be corrected by his assistant referee amid furious protests from the Portuguese. Missing Manchester United’s Nani as well as Real Madrid star Ronaldo, Portugal fell behind after Silvio was penalized for a foul in the area by Lamptey. It appeared a poor decision. Madinda scored, only for Portugal to hit back immediately after Eder was dragged down for the game’s second penalty. Almeida controlled and poked the ball into an empty net after Gabon’s defense and goalkeeper were caught out midway through the second half. But Poko took advantage with a third penalty kick after a handball by Custodio to give Gabon a draw.—Agencies


Clippers cool Heat with a stunning home win Page 44

STOCKHOLM: England’s Gary Cahill (left) and Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the friendly soccer match Sweden vs England at the new national soccer stadium ‘Friends Arena’ in Stockholm, Sweden on Wednesday November 14, 2012.—AP

Acrobatic Ibrahimovic shoots down England Page 47

16th Nov  

Friday Times

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