Page 1



2 restaurants ordered to shut down in Hawally

150 FILS

Boeing delivers first new jet to Iraq in decades

Ritual slaughter splits religions, rights groups


SAFAR 3, 1434 AH

United remain top; Man City bounce back





NO: 15659

Amir opens Assembly; opposition protests New MPs to present populist proposals By B Izzak

Egyptians face divisive choice over future CAIRO: Egyptians were voting yesterday on a proposed constitution that has polarized their nation, with President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist supporters backing the charter, while liberals, many secular Muslims and Christians oppose it. With the nation divided by a political crisis defined by mass protests and deadly violence, the vote has turned into a dispute over whether Egypt should move toward a religious state under Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and a radical Salafi bloc, or one that retains secular traditions and an Islamic character. “The times of silence are over,” said bank employee Essam el-Guindy as he waited to cast his ballot in Cairo’s upscale Zamalek district. “I am not OK with the constitution. Morsi should not have let the country split like this.” El-Guindy was one of about 20 voters standing in a line leading men to a ballot box. A separate women’s line had twice as many people. Elsewhere in the city, hundreds of voters had been queuing outside polling stations nearly two hours before the voting started at 8 a.m. “I read parts of the constitution and saw no reason to vote against it,” said Rania Wafik as she held her newborn baby while waiting in line. “We need to move on and I just see no reason to vote against the constitution.” Morsi, whose narrow win in June made him Egypt’s first freely elected president, cast his ballot at a school in the upscale Heliopolis district. He did not speak to reporters, but waved to dozens of supporters who were chanting his name outside the polling station. Continued on Page 13

Max 18º Min 09º High Tide 00:34 & 14:47 Low Tide 07:41 & 19:29

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah today opens the first session of the new National Assembly as the opposition announced plans to launch a series of protests that started last night. The Amir will first declare the new Assembly open, then address the house in the presence of senior officials and diplomats and is expected to urge cooperation between the new government and National Assembly which was elected on December 1 amid a huge boycott by the opposition. The Amir’s speech will be followed by another address by the oldest lawmaker chairing the session MP Salah Al-Atiqi and then concluded by the prime minister’s address which outlines the Cabinet program over the next year. Following a break to see off the Amir, the Assembly will meet again for the first true action to elect the office bearers for the 14th Assembly since Kuwait adopted the democratic parliamentary system in 1962. The main contest will be for the speaker post which is being contested by three MPs, all of them pro-government: Ali Al-Rashed, Ali Al-Omair and Ahmad AlMulaifi. But the real contest is expected to be between the liberal Rashed and Islamist Salafist Omair while Mulaifi is not backed by any group or bloc. The key to winning the post depends heavily on the votes of the 17 Shiite MPs, the largest bloc in the new Assembly, and the 16-member cabinet. It is not known however to whom the two blocs will vote, although several Shiite MPs, but not all, have said that they will vote for Rashed. Shiite MP Adnan Abdulsamad is tipped to be elected deputy speaker of Assembly - thus becoming the first Shiite lawmaker to Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: Kuwait opposition protesters gather behind the banks’ complex in Kuwait City yesterday ahead of the opening of the new National Assembly by the Amir today. (Inset) Former opposition MP Musallam Al-Barrak seen at a barbing saloon during the protest.— Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Patriots in Turkey could trigger ‘world war’: Iran DUBAI: The planned deployment of NATO Patriot missiles along Turkey’s border with Syria could lead to a “world war” that would threaten Europe as well, Iran’s military chief of staff was quoted as saying yesterday. Turkey asked NATO for the Patriot system, designed to intercept aircraft or missiles, in November to help bolster its border security after repeated episodes of gunfire from war-torn Syria spilling into Turkish territory. General Hassan Firouzabadi, the Iranian armed forces chief, said Iran wanted its neighbor Turkey to feel secure but called for NATO not to deploy the Patriots in its easternmost member state, which also borders Iran. “Each one of these Patriots is a black mark on the world map, and is meant to cause a world war,” Firouzabadi said, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency. “They are making plans for a world war, and this is very dangerous for the future of humanity and for the future of Europe itself.” Iran has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad throughout the 21-month uprising against his rule and long a strategic adversary of Western powers who have given formal recognition to Syria’s opposition coalition. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed an order on Friday to send two Patriot missile batteries to Turkey along with American personnel to operate them, following similar steps by Germany and the Netherlands. Iranian officials including parliament speaker Ali Larijani have previously said that installing the Patriot missiles would deepen instability in the Middle East, and the foreign ministry spokesman said they would only worsen the conflict in Syria. Turkey has repeatedly scrambled jets along its border with Syria and responded in kind when shells and gunfire from the Syrian conflict have hit its territory, fanning fears that the civil war could inflame the wider region. — Reuters

Schools, students becoming targets BEIJING: A half-day before a young gunman committed one of the deadliest school attacks in US history, a Chinese farmer took a kitchen knife and hacked at more than 20 children as they entered their rural elementary school. Though the outcomes are different - 28 dead in Connecticut, and 23 injured in China - the Friday attacks show how disturbingly frequent rampages against children and schools are. Attackers often seek out the vulnerable, hoping to amplify their outrage before they themselves often commit suicide. News of one mass killing often serves as inspiration and blueprint to other potential mass killers. “It’s these disaffected people who are angry at the world, who plan to take out as many people as they can, and there’s some element there of notoriety,” said forensic psychologist James Ogloff of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. “It’s a way of becoming infa-

mous.” Mass killings, when an individual tries to kill as many people at one time as possible, have occurred in places as far away as Switzerland, where 14 people died in a shooting spree by an unemployed man who then killed Continued on Page 13

CONNECTICUT: Unidentified people react at the aftermath of a school shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. — AFP

World leaders express shock over US massacre Tearful Obama calls for action

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he speaks during an unannounced appearance in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House. — AFP

UNITED NATIONS: World leaders expressed shock and horror after a gunman massacred 20 small children and six teachers Friday in the US state of Connecticut, one of the worst school shootings in history. UN chief Ban Kimoon wrote to Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy to give his “deepest condolences at the shocking murders,” a statement said. “The targeting of children is heinous and unthinkable,” he added in condemning the “horrendous” crime. European Union diplomacy chief

Catherine Ashton expressed “shock” at the “tragic shooting.” The head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, spoke of his “deep shock and horror” upon hearing of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which he called a “terrible tragedy.” “Young lives full of hope have been destroyed,” he said in a statement. There were almost no non-fatal injuries, indicating that once targeted, there was little chance of escape, and that the gunman, believed Continued on Page 13

in the


Mandela undergoes surgery JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela underwent a successful surgery to remove gallstones yesterday, the nation’s presidency said, as the 94year-old anti-apartheid icon is still recovering from a lung infection. Doctors treating Mandela waited to perform the endoscopic surgery as they wanted to first attend to his lung ailment, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement. Mandela has been hospitalized since Dec 8. In the procedure, a patient receives sedatives and an anesthetic to allow a surgeon to put an endoscope down their throat, authorities say. The surgeon then can Mandela remove the gallstones, which are small, crystal-like masses that can cause a person tremendous pain. ‘The procedure was successful and Madiba is recovering,’Maharaj said, using Mandela’s clan name as many do in South Africa as a sign of affection.

18 migrants die ATHENS: Eighteen migrants have died and nine are missing after their makeshift boat sank off the coast of Greece in the Aegean Sea, police said yesterday. “Only one person was plucked out of the water and hospitalized,” a ports police spokeswoman said, saying 18 other bodies had been found so far-most on a beach near the town of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. The lone survivor rescued so far, a 20-yearold man who had been taken to hospital in Mytilene, told authorities the boat was carrying 28 people, including children. Three port police boats resumed the search yesterday in the hope of finding more survivors. The victims set sail from the western coast of Turkey on Thursday but ran into bad weather that sank their boat, ports police said. Authorities have not yet released the victims’ nationalities. The island is one of several in the eastern Aegean sea that lie near the Turkish coast and are frequent targets for migrants trying to reach western Europe.

LA shooting kills 2 LAS VEGAS: A man shot and fatally wounded a woman, then killed himself Friday at the Excalibur hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip, sending many patrons fleeing in fear. It happened at about 8:30 pm near the high-rise hotel’s front entrance, Las Vegas Metro Police Lt Ray Steiber said. The man died at the scene of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting the woman, who was a vendor at Excalibur’s concierge desk, Steiber said. The woman was pronounced dead later at a local hospital. Neither the gunman nor the victim was identified, and Steiber said the relationship between the two wasn’t immediately clear. The shootings happened as the hotel’s front desk was busy on a Friday night with the National Finals Rodeo and other events in town. Steiber said patrons scattered at the first sound of gunfire, and no one else was wounded. Witnesses on the casino floor said they saw poker players abruptly leaving their tables and many distraught people running for the exits after the gunshots rang out, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

US Secretary of State faints WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who skipped an overseas trip this past week because of a stomach virus, sustained a concussion after fainting, the State Department said yesterday. The 65year-old Clinton, who’s expected to leave her job soon after serving as America’s top diplomat during President Barack Obama’s first term, is recovering at home after the incident last week and is being monitored by doctors, according to a statement by aide Philippe Reines. No further details were immediately available. The statement said Clinton was dehydrated Hillary Clinton because of the virus and that she fainted and sustained a concussion. She will continue to work from home in the week ahead and looks forward to being back in the office “soon,” the statement said.




Coops union in ‘tug of war’ with top dairy company Alternative services to consumers By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Dairy products manufactured by one of the top dairy companies have gone missing recently from the cooperative

societies, a fact attributed by coops to a hike in the prices to a level not acceptable to the Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies (UCCS). The company, however, contested the reason.

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti couple shopping in one of the coops where the dairy products are not available.

Officials at the call center of the dairy company denied that there was any increase in the price of their products and told the Kuwait Times that absence of dairy products was an administrative problem between the company and the coops. “Our company has not increased prices since 2008. The problem is not due to any price hike as we are still selling our products in many other private supermarkets and hypermarkets all around Kuwait. I hope this problem will be solved soon,” she pointed out. Mohammed from Al Naseem Coop in Jahra noted that the decision to stop the sales of the products of this company was based on a circular issued by the UCCS, which is binding on all the coops including their branches. “I have no idea when the issue will be resolved or the exact reasons

for this problem. But I do find it ridiculous to see that the local products are being sold in other GCC countries at prices less than what they are available for in our market, although they are produced here,” he stressed. Bu Khalaf from the Farwaniya Coop said that there were no more dairy products from this company available with them. “Only some kinds of juices are available at the coop, which too are part of the old stocks. I heard the company wanted to increase the prices and it was not acceptable to the UCCS. Till the issue is resolved, consumers would be forced to buy alternative products,” he stated. Ahmad from the Hadiya Coop was optimistic about resolving the tug of war soon. “This is an important dairy company and is supplying the market with a large variety of products. So, I expect

By A Saleh that this problem will be hopefully solved within a week. The company does not follow a fixed price pattern with the coops and its products are cheaper in other private supermarkets. This problem occurred about a week ago when I think the company wanted to effect a hike in the prices but the UCCS refused to toe the line. So, we are not buying their products,” he explained. The situation is the same across all the coops. “Definitely this problem is affecting our sales in the coop, but we have to follow the rules of UCCS. Negotiations are still on between the Union and the company and we hope the issue will be clinched soon. The company also offers an alternative service to the consumers through home delivery of products,” Abdulnasser from the Nuzha Coop said.

Zain offers discount on Bahrain National Day KUWAIT: Zain, the leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, has announced that it will offer a 50% percent discount on all SMS messages to Bahrain and 20% discount on

International calls to Bahrain as they celebrate the Independence Day today. Zain, expressed the company’s congratulations on this occasion to the people of Bahrain, represented in its leader-

ship, the embassy and all Bahrainexpatriates’ residing in Kuwait. The company stressed that Zain is a global company which is always keen to participate in the celebrations of

‘Shiites opt against speakership to avoid fueling speculations’

nations. Zain added that the offer is extended to all SMS and international calls sent to Bahrain only on Dec 16 for both postpaid and pre-paid customers.

KUWAIT: MP Hussain Al-Qalaf yesterdayannounced he will vote for Ali Al-Rashid in the election for speaker of the new parliament. In a statement made yesterday to the press on the eve of Parliament’s inaugural session, the Shiite lawmaker insisted that he and fellow Shiite MPs decided not to run for speakership in order to prevent further fueling allegations based on sectarian considerations. “Whoever is elected speaker is going to represent the parliament regardless of any sectarian or social categorization,” Al-Qallaf said. “With all due respect to [Al-Rashid’s main competitor] MP Ali Al-Omair, I have already decided to vote for Ali Al-Rashid despite some reservations.” Meanwhile, MP Abdulhameed Dashty released a statement urging the Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlSabah to “severe the hands which interfere from outside in the government’s decision making process” and “silence whoever speaks on behalf of the cabinet about an alleged cabinet intervention in election of the speaker.” In other news, MP Askar Al-Enizy announced his that his priorities after the parliament’s inauguration would include presenting a draft law for writing off citizens’ loans, increasing the housing loan from KD70,000 to KD100,000 , increasing child support from KD50 to KD100, as well as establishing border cities with a capacity of 30,000 housing units each. This comes even as sources indicated that at least 44 MPs support a proposal that would oblige the cabinet to write off debts of Kuwaiti defaulters, hinting that the draft law could be given top priority in the parliament’s agenda “with the presence of a majority capable of passing it through a second vote should the cabinet reject the initial one.” In the meantime, MP Khalid Al-Shatti urged the opposition to “join hands with elected lawmakers in order to build Kuwait and fulfill people’s ambitions.” He further insisted that MPs are “moving forward along the road that leads towards reforms despite hurdles put deliberately in our way.” The parliament holds its first session today after its election marked by controversy and boycotted by a large number of Kuwaiti citizens in protest against the single-vote system. In this regard, MP Yaqoub Al-Sane’a said yesterday that the dispute needs to be settled through constitutional tools “if we truly believe in freedom of peaceful expression.”While asserting the need for committing to the constitution and the Constitutional Court’s rulings, Al-Sane’a reiterated the importance of “respecting different point of view.” Separately, sources revealed that a majority of lawmakers agreed to unanimously elect certain MPs to a number of committees “in order to ensure that panels include members with related expertise.” “For example, [former finance minister] MP Yousuf AlZalzalah is almost certain to be elected to the financial committee, [former interior ministry undersecretary] Kamel AlAwadhi to the interior and defense committee, [lawyer] Yaqoub Al-Sane’a to the legislative committee and [Dr] Salah Al-Otaiqi to the health committee”, the sources explained.

KUWAIT: One of the restaurants ordered closed yesterday. (Inset) A scene inside the restaurant.

Order to close two Hawally restaurants By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Two restaurants were shut down and fines were slapped in 14 cases of violation of municipal norms about food products being sold past their expiry date as Kuwait municipality inspection teams carried out a campaign in the Hawally governorate, checking restaurants and central markets. The food products found unfit for consumption were destroyed on the spot. The head of the inspection team, Riyadh Al-Rabie, told reporters that restaurants were ordered to shut down operations after huge violations were discovered that could have endangered consumers’ health. The team handed 14 citations for selling food items past their expiry date and for operating without obtaining mandatory certification for health and hygiene specifications for the place where food items were being sold. Rats were killed right in front of the restaurant workers in the presence of inspectors. Al-Rabie said that the restaurants were closed as per municipality law. Pointing that consumers’ health was too vital to be compromised with, he said similar campaign will continue across Hawally municipality’s jurisdiction. He called upon citizens and expats to cooperate with the municipality by reporting any violation on the hot line number 130 that operates round the clock. Traffic accident One person was killed and two others injured in an accident involving a trailer, a jeep car and an American saloon car on King Fahad Road, near the southern border of Kuwait. The driver of the saloon car died on the spot as his vehicle broke into three parts. The driver of the jeep car and his companion were injured in the accident that allegedly happened because of over speeding. Sulaibiya drill As part of efforts to enhance the efficiency of government employees in all sectors, and training employees about how to act in case of discovery of radioactive materials, a drill was carried at customs offices in Sulaibiya. The drill involved steps to be taken after discovery of radioactive materials in a truck inside the customs. It was carried out in the presence of Customs Director Mohammad Sulaiman Al-Salaiti, Prevention Administration Director in Civil Defence Colonel Adel Al-Habeeb and Operations Director Colonel Ali Al-Rughaib. The customs authorities, civil defence and radioactive materials prevention administration at the Ministry of Health in addition to National Guards coordinated with each other for this drill. As the drill started with the discovery of radioactive materials, samples were taken by Ministry of Health personnel to find out the nature of the substance and assess its risk factor. The trailer was immediately stopped by National Guards and materials inside were cleaned out to make sure that no more radiation was being registered and it was under control. The drill was termed a success.



Jleeb school, residents join hands to avert crisis ‘Clean Abbassiya’ campaign to kick off today By Sajeev K Peter KUWAIT: Holding out a reprieve to thousands of residents in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area, the United Indian School management and a local residents’ association joined hands yesterday to launch a ‘Clean Abbassiya’ campaign in order to purge the neighborhood of garbage pileups and avert a looming health crisis. Addressing a press conference yesterday, Thomas Chandy, the chairman of the United Indian School, and a member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly, said the decision to launch the ‘Clean Abbassiya’ campaign was taken after the garbage crisis blew to an alarming proportion with several residents including school children reporting sick as a result of waste pileups in the area. The garbage issue became a major concern since a new cleaning company took over the job of garbage disposal and began dumping the waste in an open space in a densely populated area close to a clinic. There are more than 200,000 expatriates living in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area which is a largely Asian neighborhood. According to residents, heaps of garbage have become a common sight in Abbassiya. Unexpected

showers that occurred last week compounded the situation. This produced a nauseating odor and caused airborne diseases in many residents, especially in children.

United Indian School Chairman and Kerala MLA Thomas Chandy addresses a press conference yesterday.

“This has become a matter of grave concern for us,” Chandy told the meeting. “There are more than 10,000 students who study in different schools in Abbassiya. The parent community as well as school managements are a worried lot today. We fear that there could be an outbreak of contagious diseases if an effective solution is not found soon,” he said and elaborated on why the school management took the initiative to launch the campaign. The ‘Clean Abbassiya’ campaign will kick off at 9 am today in Abbassiya. The UIS management will finance the project while the Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Residents Association will provide other logistics support. Viewed as a short-gap arrangement, the cleaning campaign will continue until an effective mechanism is put in place by the authorities. The United Indian School sponsor and former parliament member Jassim Al-Nusif has agreed to intervene in the matter and coordinate discussions with the authorities to find a permanent solution to the garbage crisis in Abbassiya, Chandy informed. The residents’ association chairman Nisan Thomas, members Babuji Bathery, Somu Mathew, Raju Zacharias, Raghunathan Nair, Binoy Jacob and Chessil Ramapuram were also present at the press conference.

Garbage is seen piled up in an open space in Jleeb area.

All eyes set on new parliament, opposition plans protest KUWAIT: All eyes will be on the new parliament elected amidst a major boycott as it meets for its inaugural session this morning even as the opposition plans to hold a mass rally in a square adjacent to the parliament building, coinciding with the session but starting only after the official inauguration is over. The Parliament session will open with a speech to be delivered by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. The House will then elect its speaker, deputy speaker and members of various committees. Meanwhile, former MP Waleed AlTabtabaei revealed that the opposition’s rally will start only after the official inauguration ceremony comes to an end at 11:00 am, the move coming as a mark of “respect to HH the Amir.” He further indicated in statements to Al-Rai on Friday that even on the eve of the parliament’s inauguration, the opposition remained divided about whether to continue the sit-in, planned to mark

VIVA celebrates fourth anniversary KUWAIT: Kuwait’s fastest-growing telecom operator, VIVA, celebrated its four year anniversary since the launch of its operations in Kuwait. On this occasion, VIVA customers were awarded the opportunity to double their points through the ‘VIVA POINTS’ program where points are redeemed in return for free services. This special offer will run until the 6th of January. The ‘VIVA POINTS’ program is a free point based rewarding scheme, through which postpaid voice customers can redeem points to receive free services. These services include SMS’s, voice minutes, data usage and several other services, in addition to bill discounts. The VIVA Family is very proud of this occasion which signifies the four years of hard, dedicated and passionate work that’s made VIVA what it is today. VIVA’s customer centric approach has made it possible for the company to cater to the different needs of its customers, meet their expectations and satisfy them. VIVA’s customers are the element of success and the inspiration which motivates each VIVA family member to do his/her best. Accordingly, the company sought to reward them by granting them double the points through the ‘VIVA POINTS’ program, where voice customers can enjoy free services upon redeeming total points. Customers subscribing to the ‘VIVA POINTS’ program during this period will automatically receive 60 points as a welcome gift, rather than the 30 points originally granted. This also applies to the number of points rewarded upon full bill payment and payment via the VIVA website which have been doubled to 10 and 20, consecutively. In addition, customers subscribed to VIVA POINTS will also receive additional points by adding one of two services offered. The first is a BlackBerry service, where customers will earn 10 additional points for subscribing to the BlackBerry service before XX January 2013. The second is the roaming service, whereby customer will earn 10 additional points for subscribing to the roaming services before XX January 2013. To join the ‘VIVA POINTS’ program, simply log onto the VIVA website or contact the call center on 102 and request assistance, or visit one of the VIVA branches near you. It is worth mentioning that VIVA launched its operations in 2008 as the third telecommunications service provider and in response to Royal decree, announcing its major milestone of reaching 1 million subscribers in early 2012. VIVA has proven its pioneering position over these years, by continuously providing its customers with the latest and most innovative products and services in the world of technology. To find out more about VIVA’s numerous competitive promotions, products and packages visit any of the 14 VIVA branches or visit the website at , or contact the 24 hour call center at 55102102.

the day the new parliament opens, during the night. Top oppositionists expected to attend the gathering include former MPs Musallam Al-Barak, Dr. Faisal Al-Mislem and Dr. Jamaan AlHarbash, apart from members of the parliament elected last February and annulled four months later, Dr. Obaid Al-Wasmi, Faisal Al-Yahya and Badr Al-Dahoum. Meanwhile, Al-Barrak insisted that no license would be required for a gathering on the eve of the parliament’s inaugural session, adding that “public movements are going to result in scrapping of the single-vote decree.” He said this while addressing a gathering last Thursday which was held to honor the citizens who were released after they were detained briefly following unlicensed demonstrations in recent weeks. The Members of Parliament will elect a new speaker today, and reports trickling in till yesterday said the choice will almost

certainly be between MPs Dr. Ali Al-Omair and Ali Al-Rashid. The two lawmakers reportedly spent the weekend mustering up support, including “calling new ministers to congratulate them on their new posts, as well as to sense their expected positions” on the issue of speaker’s election, sources privy to the developments said. While ministers are reportedly being asked to cast their vote freely, the sources who spoke to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity indicated that the cabinet might eventually distribute its votes equally between the two. Such a scenario would leave the speakership’s fate in the hands of twelve lawmakers who, according to the sources, remain undecided. Regarding controversy surrounding the opposition’s plans to form a so called ‘shadow parliament’, former MP Al-Tabtabaei explained that they understand the fact that their proposed assembly would not have any legislative authority, but are seek-

ing to form an assembly “that represents the majority of Kuwaitis who boycotted the elections.” This comes amid reports hinting at ongoing discussions about formation of new parliamentary blocs in order to “push for political stability and concrete achievements.” According to Al-Qabas which quoted sources with knowledge of internal discussions on the possibility of forming the bloc, MPs Nawaf Al-Fuzai, Khalil Al-Saleh, Faisal Al-Kandari, Abdullah Al-Tamimi, and Saleh Ashour could be its potential members. In other news, Al-Jarida reported yesterday that a recommendation to release eleven security officers found guilty of participating in unlicensed demonstrations has been forwarded to the office of First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah. This step comes after the Ministry of Defense took steps to release ten servicemen accused of taking part in recent demonstrations.



Kuwaiti Journalists delegation with Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Usama Al-Nujaifi.

Journalists tour Iraq, strengthen ties Iraqi leaders meet Kuwait delegation By Rashid Al-Ruwaished


number of issues impacting IraqKuwait relationship, including some lingering for years, came in for discussion as a delegation of Kuwaiti journalists visited Baghdad from December 3-7, 2012. The meetings between delegation members and Iraq’s senior officials were almost a recall of history of relations between the two countries. The two sides agreed that both Kuwait and Iraq were victims of a tyrant regime which committed crimes in Kuwait, just as it did in Iraq. Both sides also agreed that they are headed for a promising future as far as improving relations between the two countries at all levels were concerned. Both the countries have huge assets, and thanks to mutual understanding, will be able to resolve most issues, particularly border demarcation, archives and martyrs’ remains. Iraqi President Jalal Talibani began his meeting with Kuwaiti Journalists’ delegation by lauding the role of HH The Amir of Kuwait, terming him a dear brother and expressing high regards for him. He said he would do everything to ensure fraternal and just bi-lateral relations between Iraq and Kuwait, and will “personally promote them.” President Talibani said it was not Iraq but rather Saddam Hussein who fought his own people and destroyed his own country before going to Kuwait to destroy it. He stressed that this chapter in the history of bilateral relations should be considered “transient”. “We should benefit from it and not allow the brotherly relations to become sour as we are two strong people and we can complement each other,” he said. He welcomed the expected visit by HH The Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hama Al-Sabah to Baghdad, and hoped that agreements to strengthen Kuwait - Iraq relations will be implemented and all problems will be solved soon, without leaving out any differences. The Iraqi President alluded to the issue of Kuwaiti martyrs and those missing in Iraq, saying, “We do not have any information about that.” He said Iraq too has many people missing and their fate is not known. He said the general atmosphere was now conducive to establish better relations between Iraq and Kuwait. “We are ready to resolve all lingering issues between the two countries in order to remove any misunderstanding, and we are ready to present whatever our brothers in Kuwait ask for, and will do so in writing or practically, or on the map.” As for the crises between Baghdad and Iraq’s Kurdistan region, Talibani told the delegation, “Your arrival is a good omen, because I was told earlier by the Prime Minister, Nouri Al-Maliki, that the crises have eased and forces have been withdrawn to where they were before the onset of Dijla Operations.” About the emerging situation in Syria, Talibani said, “It is a highly complicated issue and there are regional and international differences.”

“If various factions in Syria fail to reach a peaceful solution, then the civil war will continue because the government will not be able to crush the opposition, and vice versa, and the dispute will go on,” he said, adding the issue in Syria was linked to several regional and international factors. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki said his country’s efforts were directed at rebuilding Iraq and settling the issues with Kuwait. Among the issues, he cited border demarcation signs, their maintenance, compensation for farmers, Kuwait’s archives and martyrs’ remains. Al-Maliki told the delegation that Kuwait is a neighboring country and his country’s policy was not to interfere in the internal affairs of anyone. “We want to follow a constructive path and we do not want problems with others. As it is, the former regime left us with many issues that we are trying to solve peacefully. We want to benefit from our brothers in Kuwait understanding our position.” Al-Maliki said, “We want to solve problems in the interest of both countries. We do not want to stop the compensations we are paying to Kuwait. Thirteen billion dinars still remain to be paid and we are committed to pay. At the same time, Kuwait too destroyed things. The issue is not that of money.” Al-Maliki lauded the role of H.H. The Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, saying, “We hope H.H. would not be lax towards resolving the problems. We also count on the Kuwaiti government and Parliament not to be complacent.” About the visit of H.H. The Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlSabah to Iraq, Al-Maliki said, “I praise this man and I feel his kindness and honesty, and this does not mean that H.H. Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah was not. Anyhow, the government stands for finding solutions.” He said his country wanted not to have any problem with any country. Citing the example of his country’s stand towards events happening in Syria, he said, “We did not support the Syrian opposition and we do not side with the Syrian regime, because we understand the suffering of the Syrian people which is similar to that of the Iraqis. We wish the Syrian people to have democracy and elections and hope they achieve their freedom under a new regime.” Al-Ameri: Interests reticulation is our future Iraq’s Transport Minister Hadi AlAmeri was optimistic about Iraq-Kuwait relations and said both the countries “have the will and strength to develop these relations.” “We went to Kuwait before Ramadan and signed the pact about the Airways. They asked me about how things were and I asked them not to worry and that we will overcome these clouds, and we actually did.” About solving the issue of the Airways, Al-Ameri said, “Following the decree by HH the Amir, we sent a delega-

Kuwaiti Journalists near the Parade Square in Baghdad.

pendence because it is not possible. We are not satisfied with Iraq’s role at the Arab League and “things are being carried out by the Arab League without consulting us. We do not have a role in anything that takes place in the Arab World. Iraq’s Shiites are the originals, and do not accept to be followers of Iran, and Najaf is the “Vatican” of Shiites around the world. Al-Maliki What could be our gain in not handing over remains of Kuwait Martyrs, if only we knew where they are now? Our issues should not wait till the last of the Kuwaiti Martyrs is found. I did not find tens of my relatives who were killed by Saddam’s regime. All that we get from Kuwait archives, we buy with money. It was a barbaric army at that time which entered the country and may have burnt documents. What could be our interest in radio and TV archives? About Iraq being too slow on the issue of boundary demarcation, Al-Maliki said, “You take one step forward, and affix the signs. We will take the next step. We actually took the step at the cabinet and a decision was made, but before it could be implemented, the issue of a confiscated plane happened, and the Airways Director was restricted. This was an insult to the state as its Airways’ director is in jail.”

Iraq’s President Jalal Talibani welcomes Rashid Al-Ruwaished.

Thank you note To Kuwait Embassy’s charge d’affaires in Baghdad Khalid Al-Jinae, Iraq’s Ambassador to Kuwait Mohammad Bahr Al-Oloom, President of Iraq Journalists’ Syndicate Moayad Al-Lami, and all those who made efforts to facilitate the visit and meetings with Iraqi officials.

Iraq’s premier speaking with Adnan Al-Rashid. tion and authorized the cabinet’s legal advisor, Dr Fadhel Mohammad. A meeting was held with Kuwait Airways and an agreement was reached.” He said it was agreed that “we get a loan from the government. It meant that the government would pay $500 million and deposit it in a bank. When claims will be dropped, money will be released to KAC.” Al-Ameri spoke about the importance of railway connectivity with Kuwait and said, “I believe that the railway link in Europe has worked well, and I see it as a key to improving and strengthening relations between us. There is the issue of Iraq Airways. The Iraqi citizens suffer because they have to wait during Hajj for a week to 10 days because of the lack of aircrafts, to return home.” He also spoke about the heritage of Baghdad, saying when he left the hotel and was walking towards Al-Alawiya Club, he passed through Al-Ferdous Square which had witnessed Saddam’s ouster when his statue was brought down. The 88-year-old Al-Alawiya Club was designed by a British, Major Wilson, in 1924 at the request of Ms Gertrude Bill to become one of Baghdad’s oldest clubs. He said, “When we entered the restau-

rant, singer Qais Al-Azami began singing the song of the late Iraqi singer Wahida Khalil to welcome us in the Iraqi fashion, saying hey, who is knocking at the door...may be our loved ones have come...those who are away have come to see us.” Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs, Dr Hussein Al-Sharastani, spoke about the nature of the Iraqi people and their stand towards the invasion of Kuwait. “As there was an embargo and the consequent food scarcity, the first person to suffer because of it is the prisoner who is given one plate of food a day and a piece of bread. When Saddam invaded Kuwait and they entered Kuwait’s Shopping Centers and stole so many things including canned food, vegetables and meat, I remember that they brought it to a prison where I was prisoner for 11 years, 10 of which were spent in isolation, but most prisoners refused to eat it saying they would rather die of hunger but will not eat food stolen from Kuwait.” Talibani I do not think Iraq will be divided, and the question always is: Do Kurds want independence or not? I believe that the mature and wise Kurds do not want inde-

Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman AlAlyan with President of Iraqi Journalists Syndicate Moayad Al-Lami.

Kuwaiti journalists delegation Chairman of Kuwait Journalists Association Ahmad Behbehani, Al-Anbaa editor-in-chief Yousuf Al-Marzouq, Annahar editor-in-chief Emad Bukhamseen, Kuna editor-in-chief Rashid Al-Ruwaished, Alrai editor-in-chief Majid Al-Ali, Kuwait Times editor-in-chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan, deputy editor-inchief of Yaqza magazine Dalia Behbehani in addition to KJA Director and visit coordinator Adnan Al-Rashid, KJA Board Member Jassim Kamal and Photographer Majid Al-Sabej. Al-Nujaifi: Our issues are moving towards a settlement Iraq’s speaker of the House Usama Al-Nujaifi focused on Iraq’s internal situation during his meeting with Kuwaiti Journalists’ delegation. He said a solution has been reached between the federal government and Iraq’s Kurdistan region to resolve the issue, and once it is implemented, things will head towards a settlement. Al-Nujaifi said the solution envisages withdrawal of all federal forces and Peshmerga from disputed areas and the region to be run by local police comprising residents of those areas and linked to governors who will be heading the security committees in governorates. SHAHRASTANI

We need a responsible stand Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs, Dr Hussein Al-Sharastani, said during his meeting with the delegation that Iraq and Kuwait signed bi-lateral agreements to solve remaining problems in regards to joint oil fields. He said what was required was to formulate a responsible stance keeping in view mutual interests instead of bringing up old issues. He said it was important to concentrate on the two people’s interests at the political and economic levels since there is a wish to move ahead and build the Arab East on basis of respect for human liberties and freedom of expression. Al-Shahrastani said there are “elements in both countries who stir storms in Parliament and National Assembly, as well as in journalism.” However, as long as there was an intention to solve issues, no one will pay attention to such elements. He spoke about cooperation in the field of energy with Kuwait, saying, “As you know, we have signed several contracts with Kuwait Energy company to develop oil fields, one being in Seeba, which is close to the Kuwaiti borders, and another one close to Iran.” He said he was personally pushing for granting opportunities to Kuwaiti companies because such steps can help build economic integration. When the Kuwaiti citizens know that electricity and gas are being imported from Iraq, and when Iraqis know that the goods are being imported through Kuwaiti ports, they will both understand that their true interests lie in friendship instead of paying attention to “media storms”. Al-Hakeem: Kuwait’s Democratic Experience is first Chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council, Ammar AlHakeem, said Kuwait is on top of the list of countries that went through successful democratic experience and congratulated Kuwait at the success of elections. AlHakeem said, “We are honored with the visit of Kuwait’s delegation to Baghdad, and we are happy that the relations between the two countries are historic.” He said, “It is necessary for both countries to create a feeling of security and stability for both their people (and) visits by both sides contribute to close the gap between Kuwait and Iraq.” He underlined the importance of mutual visits, especially that of HH The Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad and his attending the Arab Summit in Baghdad, as well as the visit of H.H. The Prime Minister and Iraq’s Premier Nouri Al-Maliki and Iraqi politicians to Kuwait. As AlHakeem thanked the delegation for following the sensitive issue between the two countries, he congratulated Kuwaitis on the success of the elections, which featured a good participation and success rate. Al-Hakeem hoped that the next National Assembly will be successful and will work towards integration. He lauded HH The Amir’s wisdom, saying, “HH succeeded in managing the crises wisely and Kuwait is at the door step of a new era of love, brotherhood and forgiveness.”

Rashid Al-Ruwaished with Kuwait’s Charge-d’affaires Khalid Al-Jinae.



Catering company faces charges for supplying unsuitable food Mentally unstable man attacks police KUWAIT: A catering company faces charges after failing to provide a local hospital with food items meeting specific standards for patients’ safety. The incident took place recently when nutrition specialists at the Maki Jumah Hospital for cancer treatment grew suspicious about a shipment of chicken being unloaded without it being the regular catering hour. An examination of the shipment revealed that it contained items unsuitable for cancer patients, which were hidden carefully among suitable items. The hospital’s management stopped providing chicken to the patients following the discovery till such time when the catered items are inspected for doubtful parts. In the meantime, the hospital would be coordinating with proper authorities to take legal action against the company that provides patients’ foods as per doctors’ recommendations through a contract signed with the Ministry of Health through the Kuwait Municipality. Fatal accidents A male driver was killed and four others were injured when two cars collided on Friday on the Mutla’a road, reports said. The accident happened early in the morning when a Japanese-made sports car collided with a Japanese-made sedan. Paramedics declared the bedoon (stateless) driver of the sports car dead on the scene, while four Pakistani occupants of the other car, all aged between 20 and 30 years, were injured and rushed to the Jahra Hospital. An investigation was opened to determine the circumstances

behind the accident. In a separate accident, a pedestrian died on Friday on the Fahaheel Highway when he was hit by a vehicle whose driver remains unidentified. Paramedics and police rushed to the scene shortly after receiving a report about the accident but the 47-year-old Asian man had succumbed to a fatal head injury before they could reach. The body was taken to the coroner after investigations were carried out on the scene. A case was filed for investigations. Officer attacked A male driver was detained and later sent for a psychiatric evaluation after attacking a police officer on duty last Thursday night. The incident took place in Qasr where the suspect, later identified as a Kuwaiti man in his thirties, intercepted and forced a patrol vehicle to stop. Police eventually arrested the suspect after overpowering him, even as he reportedly attacked them and damaged their vehicle during the process. The officers learnt after verifying the man’s identity that he has an open file at the Psychiatric Hospital. They drove him to the medical facility for treatment. Domestic violence A man physically assaulted his sister and handcuffed her to a cooking gas cylinder in her room in Jahra following a dispute. The victim, a Bedoon (stateless) in her twenties, reached the area’s police station

late Thursday night with her father, dragging along the cylinder to which she was still handcuffed. Firefighters had to break open the handcuffs. The woman explained that her brother wanted to keep her confined following the fight. The girl reportedly remained handcuffed for a full 24 hours before she was rescued, according to her own testimony. A case was filed for investigations. Bootlegger nabbed A male driver was arrested in Al-Fintas recently for being in possession of alcohol. The Asian man had stopped his car at a secluded location when he was approached by patrol officers. He was placed under arrest after thirty bottles of liquor were found in his car. He was taken to the proper authorities to face charges. Stalker in custody A youngster was badly beaten and later arrested after he stalked a female driver who was on her way to join her family. Driving an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), he chased the girl right till her family’s camp in Al-Julai’ah on Friday even as she continued to ignore him. During the pursuit, the man did not realize he has come too close for comfort as the girl’s father then caught up with him in his car and thwarted his attempt to escape. Accompanied by a number of young men, the father then beat up the man before calling the police which arrested and took away the stalker.

KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company honored employees from various state departments during an event organized in cooperation with VIVA Telecom, in appreciation for their contributions in improving quality of service at the Khairan Resort, Kuwait Entertainment City and other TEC facilities. Staff members from the Interior Ministry, Coastguards General Department, the Health Ministry, the Ministry of Electricity and Water, and the Kuwait Municipality received certificates from TEC Chairman and Managing Director Khalid Al-Ghanim.

KUWAIT: Embassy of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus hosted a ceremony over the weekend to celebrate the country’s National Day. Diplomats, social figures and other dignitaries attended the event. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

‘Kuwait HORICA’ exhibition to be held soon KUWAIT: Due to the success of the largest event of its kind in the field of hotel equipments and food industry, a large number of specialized companies for the first time have joined the list of participants in ‘Kuwait HORICA’ exhibition. The event will be held from 28-30 Januar y at Al-Raya Hall at Courtyard Hotel. In a recent press release, Bibawage Company indicated that quality participation in the exhibition will strengthen ‘Kuwait HORICA’ position as one of the most important events in Kuwait. Participants include Diet Care Co - which is a pioneer company in the field of food programs and health services in Kuwait. The operations director in Diet Care Sara Demashqiya said that the company pavilion in the exhibition will present in addition to its products and services, its important advises about care in food taking and health care. The exhibition is a good chance to contact the neutral partners in public and private sector. Leader’s group report about companies renewing their participation in the exhibition has listed and acknowledged the following companies - Star Fruit for vegetables and fruits Al-Yasra Foodstuff Co, Al-Ashrafiye International Co Food Foodstuff. The ‘Kuwait HORICA” is proud to have Al-Yasra Foodstuff company renewing its participation in the exhibition. Mustafa Al-Masri, the business development director at Al-Yasra said that the exhibition is a good chance to strengthen the market of organic food items - pointing that Al-

Abdulrahman Soroor

Sara Demashqiya

Mustafa Al-Masri

Mohammed Ba'drani

Yasra is the largest healthy food distributor in Kuwait and recently it opened a

regional office in Dubai to distribute its products in the Middle East.

Ban opts for UNAMI to take over Iraq-Kuwait issues UNITED NATIONS: As Gennady Tarasov, the UN high-level Coordinator for missing Kuwaiti and third country nationals and of missing Kuwaiti property, is expected to leave his post later this month, SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon late Friday said he is exploring options for the UN to take over those issues during the next few months and could not find better than the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) to do it. “I am still exploring the best approach for the next period for the work of the United Nations in this field,” he said in a report to the Security Council. “There are several options I am considering. These include asking the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) to fulfill this role, an approach both parties noted was acceptable to them.” He said this is his favorite

too. “Based on my consultations with the two Governments, I believe that intensified UN activities on the ground in assisting the Government of Iraq could yield concrete results on the issue of Kuwaitis missing persons and property. UNAMI could be particularly well suited for this task and would continue to allow me to report to the Council on the implementation and progress made on both issues,” he suggested. He said he shared with both Governments “my view that UNAMI, with its large human rights presence and its offices in Iraq and Kuwait, and ability to engage with relevant authorities in Iraq and Kuwait, could be well positioned to address these issues on a continuous basis inside Iraq.”

Both parties, he noted, welcomed a continued United Nations role and were amenable to folding these activities into UNAMI’s mandate, but under certain conditions for Kuwait, most notably the fulfilment by Iraq of its border related obligations. He said Kuwait had expressed hope that the Council would establish a new mechanism under Chapter VI of the UN Charter either through i) the appointment of a new High-Level Coordinator; ii) the appointment of a new Special Representative; or iii) the expansion of the UNAMI mandate to include the issues of missing Kuwaiti and third country nationals and that of missing Kuwaiti property after Iraq’s fulfilment of its other outstanding obligations, specifically those related to the border. — KUNA



Senior Wataniya Telecom officials

Deputy CEO Abdul-Aziz Fakhrou in a group photo with Wataniya staff.

The 13th Anniversary cake

Wataniya Telecom celebrates 13th anniversary KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom celebrated its 13th anniversary with a function at the Avenues Mall on Thursday which featured a record-breaking design for a cake made up entirely of cupcakes. Senior Wataniya Telecom officials including CEO Dr Bassam Hannoun and Deputy CEO Abdul-Aziz Fakhrou attended the event along with thousands of Wataniya customers and other visitors. In his address, Dr Hannoun promised subscribers a variety of new offers next year, reiterating the ‘Expect More in 2013’ slogan used as the celebration theme. “Wataniya Telecom is proud to celebrate its 13th anniversary with its fans and customers, and is not only proud of the company’s remarkable history but also CEO Bassam Hannoun deliv- reiterates a promise for better days to come,” Dr ers his speech. Hannoun said. Expressing gratitude for the large number of people who had come to join the event, the CEO unveiled the celebratory cake made up from cupcakes that were distributed to the crowd. The remaining portion was distributed to charity. “As we attempt to break the world record, we reassure our customers that the Wataniya Telecom will continue to live up to their expectations, and provide further innovations and services in the years to come,” Dr Hannoun added. The celebration featured various activities including musical displays by singers Badr Al-Shuaibi and Abdulsalam Mohammad. TV personality Samah Ghandour presented the event. Launched in 1999, Wataniya Telecom became Kuwait’s first telecommunication company to be owned by the private sector at the time. On Dec 4, 2012, QTel offered to purchase Wataniya Telecom’s shares for KD2.600 per stock, after which the Qatari company increased its stake from 52.2 percent to 92.1 percent. In its bid to improve quality of telecommunication services provided to customers, Wataniya Telecom continues to play an active role which helped it increase its level of presence in Kuwait’s telecommunications market by more than 80 percent. The company’s ever-growing development increased beyond Kuwait’s borders to become an active operator in Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Tunisia, Algeria and the Maldives.

Wataniya Telecom is presented a cake on its 13th anniversary.

Wataniya Telecom’s building marking the anniversary.

A general view for the crowd.

CEO Hannoun distributes the cupcakes.

Wataniya staff celebrating at their offices.

Samah Ghandour presenting the event.

People in attendance take their share of the cake.

International SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2012

Rivals India, Pakistan to make travel easier

Page 11

School couldn’t have prevented shooting

Page 9

DAMASCUS: A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem (R) speaking with UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos during a meeting in Damascus yesterday. Muallem called on the United Nations to intervene and lift sanctions imposed on Syria, SANA reported. — AFP

Syrian jets strike rebels EU hints at military aid to rebels BEIRUT: Syrian warplanes bombed insurgents east of Damascus yesterday and government forces pounded a town to the southwest, activists said, in a month-long and so far fruitless campaign to dislodge rebels around the capital. Jets bombarded the Beit Sahm district on the road leading to the international airport and the army fired rockets at several rebel strongholds around Damascus, President Bashar al-Assad’s bastion through 21 months of an increasingly bloody uprising. The 47-year-old Alawite leader, forced on the defensive by the mainly Sunni Muslim rebels, has resorted increasingly to air strikes and artillery to stem their advances on the ground. NATO’s US commander also accused his forces on Friday of firing Scud missiles that landed near the Turkish border, in explaining why the Western alliance was sending anti-missile batteries and troops to Syria’s northern frontier. The Syrian government denies firing such long-range, Sovietbuilt rockets. But Admiral James Stavridis wrote in a blog that a handful of Scud missiles were launched inside Syria in recent days towards opposition targets and “several landed fairly close to the Turkish border, which is very worrisome”. It was not clear how close they came. Turkey, a NATO member once friendly toward Assad but now among the main allies of the rebels, has complained of occasional artillery and gunfire across the border, some of which has caused deaths, for months. It sought the installation of missile defences along its frontier some weeks ago. “Syria is clearly a chaotic and dangerous situation, but we have an absolute obligation to defend the borders of the alliance from any threat emanating from that troubled state,” Stavridis wrote. Batteries of US-made Patriot missiles, designed to shoot down the likes of the Scuds popularly associated with Iraq’s 1991 Gulf War under Saddam Hussein, are about to be deployed by the US, German and Dutch armies, each of which is sending up to 400 troops to operate and protect the rocket systems. Damascus has accused Western powers of backing what it portrays as a Sunni Islamist “terrorist” campaign against it and says Washington and Europe have publicly voiced concerns of late that Assad’s forces might resort to chemical weapons solely as a pretext for preparing a possible military intervention. In contrast to NATO’s air campaign in support of Libya’s successful revolt last year against Muammar Gaddafi, Western powers have shied away from intervention in Syria. They have cited the greater size and ethnic and religious complexity of a major Arab state at the heart of the Middle East - but have also lacked UN approval due to Russia’s support for Assad. As well as the growing rebel challenge, Syria faces an alliance of Arab and Western powers who stepped up diplomatic support for Assad’s political foes at a meeting in Morocco on Wednesday and warned him he could not win Syria’s civil war. Assad’s opponents have consistently underestimated his tenacity throughout the uprising, but their warnings appeared to be echoed by even his staunch ally Moscow

when the Kremlin’s Middle East envoy Mikhail Bogdanov conceded he might be ousted. Russia said on Friday Bogdanov’s comments did not reflect a change in policy. France, one of the first countries to grant formal recognition to Syria’s political opposition, said Moscow’s continued support for Assad was perplexing. “They risk really being on the wrong side of history. We don’t see their objective reasoning that justifies them keeping this position because even the credible arguments they had don’t stand up anymore,” a French diplomatic source said, arguing that by remaining in power, Assad was prolonging chaos and fuelling the radicalisation of Sunni Islamist rebels. European Union leaders who met in Brussels on Friday said all options were on the table to support the Syrian opposition, raising the possibility that non-lethal military equipment or even arms could eventually be supplied. In their strongest statement of support for the Syrian opposition since the uprising began, EU leaders instructed their foreign ministers to assess all possibilities to increase the pressure on Assad. With rebels edging into the capital, a senior NATO official said that Assad is likely to fall and the Western military alliance should make plans to protect against the threat of his chemical arsenal falling into the wrong hands. Desperate food shortages are growing in parts of Syria and residents of the northern city of Aleppo say fist fights and dashes across the civil war front lines have become part of the daily struggle to secure a loaf of bread. Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos that US and EU sanctions on Syria were to blame for hardships in his country and urged the United Nations to call for them to be lifted. Moualem also called on the United Nations to expand its relief efforts in Syria to include reconstruction “of what has been destroyed by the armed terrorist groups”, the state news agency SANA said, using a label employed by authorities to describe the rebels. Amos said in Rome on Friday the United Nations is committed to maintaining aid operations in Syria. The World Food Programme (WFP) says as many as a million Syrians may go hungry this winter, as worsening security conditions make it harder to reach conflict zones. At the EU summit, Britain’s David Cameron pushed for an early review of the arms embargo against Syria to possibly open the way to supply equipment to rebels in the coming months. Germany and others were more reluctant and blocked any quick move. But there was widespread agreement that whatever action can be taken under current legislation should be pursued, and the arms embargo would still be reviewed at a later stage. “I want a very clear message to go to President Assad that nothing is off the table,” Cameron told reporters at the end of the two-day meeting. “I want us to work with the opposition ... so that we can see the speediest possible transition in Syria. “There is no single simple answer, but inaction and indifference are not options.” — Reuters



Tourists scared away by Egypt’s protracted turmoil CAIRO: Tucked away in a Cairo bazaar that in better times drew hordes of tourists, shopkeeper Ahmed Sayed said voting “no” in a referendum on Egypt’s future is a luxury he cannot afford. His shop full of model pyramids, statuettes of the Sphinx and “hubbly bubbly” water pipes, Sayed is backing a constitution with an Islamist flavour that opponents say will deepen divisions in a country battered by two years of turmoil. “We need stability,” Sayed, 35, said, grumbling that he was only seeing a quarter the number of customers compared with before the uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 and scared away foreign visitors. “If we vote ‘no’, we will be back at square one. The tourists will never

come as long as there is no stability. We shopowners are the ones harmed,” he said in the Khan al-Khalily market, next to mosques that date back hundreds of years. President Mohamed Morsi, who touched off deadly protests last month by awarding himself extra powers, and his Islamists allies are banking on their disciplined supporters and Egyptians exhausted by the upheaval to push through a constitution that if approved will lead to a parliamentary election in early 2013. Their liberalminded opponents say the document is too Islamist and tramples on minority rights. A win for the “no” vote could mean another nine months before a new constitution is in place and may mean a year’s wait for a parliamentary

poll. Egyptians queued to vote on Saturday on the constitution, with soldiers joining police to secure the referendum after deadly protests during the run-up. Official results are due after a second round of voting on Dec 22. In a rundown neighborhood of Cairo, a woman with a big bag of potatoes balanced on her head said: “Those who vote ‘no’ are well-off. They are comfortable and living well but we here are the ones suffering.” Critics insist that the new constitution, far from ending the turbulence, will compound it by alienating many Egyptians, including Christians who make up 10 percent of Egypt’s 83 million people. But for many across the Arab world’s most populous nation, a vote

for the constitution is simply a way to move beyond the latest crisis regardless of reservations. “I voted ‘yes’ for stability,” said Ahmed Abou Rabu, 39, a shopkeeper in Alexandria, Egypt’s second biggest city. “I cannot say all the articles of the constitution are perfect but I am voting for a way forward. I don’t want Egyptians to go in circles, forever lost in this transition.” In Rafah, on Egypt’s border with Gaza, Moussa Abu Ayad echoed that view: “Those who want chaos don’t want the constitution. We want to say ‘yes’ for stability.” The opposition coalition of leftists, Christians and liberal-minded Muslims say failure to get it right now promises more bloodshed. Eight people were killed in clashes between rival factions last week outside the presidential

palace. But some Egyptians said shortcomings could be fixed later and supporting the draft would at least start to restore order. “The constitution won’t lead to calm immediately but it will help the country restore calm over time,” said Ahmed Fouad, 65-year-old pensioner in the more affluent Cairo suburb of Maadi. “The people are tired.” Others were less optimistic, regardless of the outcome, resigned to more protests and more upheaval for an economy that has long relied heavily on tourism. “The country is divided,” said Hady Adel, 23, a ‘no’ voter working in another shop full of trinkets in Cairo’s bazaar. “If the result is ‘yes’ the opposition will protest and if the result is ‘no’ Islamists won’t stay quiet.” — Reuters

Turkey seizes drugs, guns, in raid on Kurdish rebels Drug trade big source of funding for PKK DIYARBAKIR: Turkish security forces backed by helicopters seized an estimated $22.5 million worth of marijuana along with guns and fertilizer in a swoop against suspected Kurdish militants yesterday, officials said. Hundreds of soldiers, police and special forces carried out the coordinated raids in seven villages around the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, seizing drugs, guns, ammunition and ammonium nitrate, which can be used to make explosives, officials said. Turkish officials say the drug trade is a major source of funding for Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, who since 1984 have been fighting to carve out a Kurdish state in Turkey’s southeastern border region with Iran and Iraq. The PKK uses the remote Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq as a base from which to stage attacks on Turkish territory. The group is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European

Union. “The income obtained from drugs is sent to Kandil ... The organization is earning a significant income though these drugs,” Diyarbakir Governor Mustafa Toprak told reporters. The PKK has mainly carried out guerrilla-style attacks against Turkish military targets in the southeast but has also killed civilians with bomb attacks in major cities including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Fighting flared over the summer and the security forces have stepped up operations against suspected PKK bases in recent weeks out of fear that they could try to stage further attacks in the winter months. The military carried out several raids on suspected PKK bases in the Bestler-Dereler area of the neighboring province of Sirnak last week, destroying 32 of the group’s camps and seizing explosives, the governor’s office said yesterday. There have also been raids by the security forces against two PKK groups in the

province of Tunceli further north, security sources said. Toprak said the security forces had seized 21 tons of marijuana and destroyed drug plantations in the fields around the villages in yesterday’s operation. Three people were arrested while a fourth was still being sought, he said. More than 40,000 people have been killed in 28 years of fighting between Turkey and the PKK, a conflict which has hampered development in one of the country’s poorest corners. In 2009, US authorities named several senior members of the PKK as suspected narcotics traffickers, freezing their assets and banning US citizens from doing business with them. Turkey is an important route for drug trafficking to Europe both as a producer and an importer, mainly from Syria and Iran. Turkey seized around 47 tons of marijuana in 2011 as a whole, a 50 percent rise on the previous year, according to Turkish police figures. — Reuters

Yemen jails 93 soldiers SANAA: A Yemeni military court sentenced 93 members of the Republican Guard to prison terms of up to seven years for an attack on a military complex in August, the Defense Ministry said yesterday. The sentences, which were more lenient than expected, followed increased tensions between factions loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose son commands the Republican Guard, and the interim government led by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. On Tuesday, Brigadier General Ahmed Saleh refused orders to hand over long-range missiles to the Defense Ministry, raising fears of showdown that threatens a fragile transition agreed in February. The United States and Yemen’s Gulf neighbors fear political instability in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state will allow a branch of Al-Qaeda based there to strike at top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and Red Sea shipping lanes. The Republican Guard, the best-equipped of Yemen’s military units, is seen as important in efforts to contain Al-Qaeda and Islamist groups that took over towns in the south this year. Former president Saleh, who was pushed from power in February after more than a year of protests, was granted immunity from prosecution and is seen by some Yemeni politicians as attempting to retain influence. Judge Abdulmalik Ali Rashid Al-Arshi convicted the men of offences including “assaulting a defense complex in Sanaa on Aug 14, deserting their military posts... refusing orders from the president of the republic, opening fire... resulting in murder and attempted murder,” a statement on the ministry website said. The men were given jail terms of between three to seven years, while five other Republican Guard members were acquitted, according to the ministry’s statement. — Reuters

JERUSALEM: In this Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 file photo Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on during statements at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem. Peacemaking with the Palestinians once the main issue by far in Israeli politics, has been strikingly absent from the campaign for next month’s general election. — AP

US Muslims to reclaim jihad with ad campaign CHICAGO: US Muslims launched an advertising and social media campaign Friday in the hopes of reclaiming the word jihad from extremists who insist on equating the spiritual quest with terrorism. The campaign features Muslims describing their personal struggles-the meaning of jihad-on bus ads, Twitter, Facebook and a dedicated website:

QALQILIYA: Palestinian supporters of Hamas chant slogans during a rally to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the militant group, in the West Bank town of Qalqiliya, yesterday. — AP

“#MyJihad is to build friendships across the aisle,” says one ad showing an African American man leaning on the shoulder of a Jewish friend. “#MyJihad is to march on despite losing my son,” says another ad, featuring a portrait of a mother with her three remaining children. “#MyJihad is to not judge people by their cover,” says a third, framed by two women in headscarves. It was sparked by a series of hateful ads calling Muslims “savages” and urging people to “defeat jihad” that were plastered on buses and trains in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. But it also speaks to a larger frustration among “mainstream” Muslims with how a basic tenant of their faith has been distorted and demonized, said Ahmed Rehab who helped launch the campaign. “Jihad is a term that has unfortunately been widely misrepresented by the actions of Muslim extremists first and foremost, and by attempts at public indoctrination coming from Islamophobes who claim that the minority extremists are right and the majority of Muslims are wrong,” said Rehab, who is the executive director of the Chicago branch of the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations.” “ The MyJihad campaign is about reclaiming Jihad from the Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists who ironically, but not surprisingly, see eye to eye on Jihad.” The ads have been placed on buses in Chicago and Rehab hopes to raise funds to expand the campaign to buses and trains in New York, Washington, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Cleveland and Oklahoma City. Organizers are also working to get the ads on buses in Toronto, London, Manchester, Sydney and Melbourne. — AFP

AMMAN: From L to R: Syrian MP Ikhlas Badawi, who defected and fled Syria to neighbouring Turkey, former deputy oil minister Abdo Hussameddin and former ambassador Taha Faruk attend an opposition meeting in Amman yesterday as Syria’s conflict entered its 22nd month. —AFP

Lieberman to run in Israeli election JERUSALEM: Avigdor Lieberman confirmed yesterday that he would run in next month’s Israeli election, despite a corruption charge that prompted him to resign from the post of foreign minister. Authorities have said Lieberman will be charged over alleged irregularities in the promotion of an Israeli diplomat who leaked information to him about a police investigation into his activities. “He is only resigning his post as foreign minister and deputy prime minister, but not as chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu or number two on the Likud Beiteinu list,” Lieberman’s spokesman Ashley Perry said. Lieberman’s right-wing party Yisrael Beiteinu (Our Home is Israel) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud merged into one list ahead of the Jan. 22 poll to form Likud Beiteinu, which opinion polls have predicted will win the election. Lieberman is second on the party list after Netanyahu and, before his indictment, was widely expected to retain a top cabinet position if the alliance won the election. A conviction could disqualify him from serving as a minister, but the law does not prohibit Lieberman from running in the election. On his Facebook page, Lieberman wrote that he hoped his case would be settled before the vote and that he would return to public office. It is highly unlikely a trial could be concluded in little over a month and some commentators have said he might seek a swift plea deal instead. An aide to Lieberman said he would hand in his letter resigning as foreign

minister on Sunday, and that it would take effect 48 hours later. Meanwhile, Israeli President Shimon Peres yesterday called the massacre of 20 children and six teachers at a US school atrocious and incomprehensible and said that Israelis’ hearts were with the bereaved families. In a letter of condolence to President Barack Obama, made available to media, Peres said there was no experience that could be likened to that of parents’ loss of a child. “We stand with you today in contemplation and grief over the atrocious, incomprehensible massacre of 20 children and six adults-educators-at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” he wrote. “No crime is more heinous than the killing of a child,” he added. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” In a separate letter, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Obama he “was shocked and horrified by the brutal massacre of innocent children and adults in an elementary school.” “In the name of the citizens of Israel I would like to convey our deep sorrow to the families of those who lost their dear ones,” his office quoted him as writing. Earlier, Tzipi Livni, head of the newly formed centrist party HaTnuah and a former foreign minister, sent a message to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “On this sad day, all Israelis share the deep sorrow of the Americans over the loss of so many lives of women, men and innocent children,” she said. Friday’s shooting, in the state of Connecticut, was one of the worst school shootings in US history. — Agencies

ANKARA: Human rights activists and women take part in a demonstration to condenm domestic violence against women, in Ankara, yesterday. The banner reads: “Stop violence against women”. Protesters called on authorities to effecively protect women from domestic and other forms of violence. — AFP



Connecticut gunman intelligent but remote CONNECTICUT: Family and friends remember Adam Lanza as many things - intelligent, nerdy, goth, remote, thin. Now the world will always remember him as a mass murderer. The 20-year-old man is believed to have killed his mother, gunned down more than two dozen people, 20 of them children, at a Connecticut grade school and committed suicide. He might have suffered from a personality disorder, law enforcement officials said. So far, authorities have not spoken publicly of any possible motive. They found no note or manifesto, and Lanza had no criminal history. Witnesses said the shooter didn’t utter a word. Adam Lanza attended Newtown High School, and news clippings from recent years show him on the honor roll. Joshua Milas, a classmate who was in the technology club with Lanza, said that he was generally a happy person but that he hadn’t seen him in a few years. “We would hang out, and he was a good kid. He was smart,” said Milas, who graduated in 2009. “He was

probably one of the smartest kids I know. He was probably a genius.” The tech club held “LAN parties” - short for local area network - in which students would gather at a member’s home, hook up their computers into a small network and play games. Gloria Milas, Joshua’s mother, hosted one of the parties once. She recalled a school meeting in 2008 organized by the gunman’s mother to try to save the job of the club’s adviser. At the meeting, Milas said, Adam Lanza’s brother Ryan said a few words in support of the adviser, who he said had taken his brother under his wing. “My brother has always been a nerd,” Ryan Lanza said then, according to Milas. “He still wears a pocket protector.” Catherine Urso, who attended a vigil Friday evening in Newtown, Conn., said her college-age son knew the killer and remembered him for his alternative style. “He just said he was very thin, very remote and was one of the goths,” referring to a style of dress noted for a heavily black wardrobe. Authorities say Adam Lanza

shot his mother at their home before driving her car to Sandy Hook Elementary School and - armed with at least two handguns - carried out the massacre, officials said. A third weapon, a .223-caliber rifle, was found in the car, and more guns were recovered during the investigation. Investigators were trying to learn as much as possible about Lanza and questioned his brother, who is not believed to have any involvement in the rampage. Ryan Lanza, now 24 and living in Hoboken, NJ, was being questioned, a law enforcement official said. He told authorities that his brother was believed to suffer from a personality disorder, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record about the unfolding investigation. The official did not elaborate, and it was unclear exactly what type of disorder Adam Lanza might have had. Ryan Lanza had been cooperative and was not under arrest or in custody, but investigators were still searching his

computers and phone records. The brother told law enforcement he had not been in touch with Adam since about 2010. Adam Lanza and his mother, Nancy, lived in a well-to-do part of Newtown, a prosperous community of 27,000 people about 60 miles northeast of New York City. Lanza’s parents filed for divorce in 2008, according to court records. His father, Peter Lanza, lives in Stamford, Conn., according to public records, and he reportedly works as a tax director for General Electric. Lanza’s aunt Marsha Lanza, of Crystal Lake, Ill., said her nephew was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would not have hesitated to seek mental help for him if he needed it. If her son had needed counseling, “Nancy wasn’t one to deny reality,” she said Friday. Marsha Lanza said her husband had seen Adam as recently as June and recalled nothing out of the ordinary. Lanza said she was close with Nancy Lanza and had sent her a Facebook message Friday morning asking how she was doing. Nancy

Lanza never responded. Nancy Lanza’s mother was too distraught to speak when reached by phone at her home in Brooksville, Fla. “I just don’t know, and I can’t make a comment right now,” Dorothy Hanson, 78, said in a shaky voice as she started to cry. She said she hadn’t heard anything official about her daughter and grandsons. She declined to comment further and hung up. A law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity said investigators believe Adam Lanza attended Sandy Hook school several years ago but appeared to have no recent connection to the place. At least one parent said Adam Lanza’s mother was a substitute teacher there. But her name did not appear on a staff list. And the law enforcement official said investigators were unable to establish any connection so far between her and the school. An official who spoke on condition of anonymity said it was not clear that Adam Lanza had a job, and there was no indication of law enforcement interviews or search warrants at a place of business.—AP

School couldn’t have prevented shooting Beware of lone wolf shooters

CARACAS: Supporters of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez create a posterwith his image alongside an outline of their country in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday. Chavez’s most influential allies are projecting an image of unity while the president recovers from cancer surgery in Cuba, standing side-by-side and pledging to uphold his socialist movement no matter what happens. — AP

Chavez looms large over regional vote CARACAS: Venezuela’s ailing President Hugo Chavez looms large over regional elections today, as loyalists and opponents eye big victories amid the prospect of a snap presidential vote if cancer sidelines the leftist leader. With Chavez’s future up in the air as he recovers from a complex cancer surgery in Cuba, the elections for governor in 23 states have become a crucial test for both sides in the deeply divided oil-rich nation. The opposition controls seven states, while pro-Chavez governors hold 15. An independent governs the state of Monagas. But the frontline of the electoral battle is in the northern state of Miranda, where opposition leader Henrique Capriles is seeking to retain his seat in a race against former vice president Elia Jaua. Capriles, the energetic 40-year-old opposition leader who lost to Chavez in the October presidential election, could burnish his national credentials with a decisive victory. Conversely, a Jaua victory could sink his presidential aspirations. Though he lost to Chavez, Capriles gave the opposition its best result against the leftist leader, earning 44 percent of the vote compared to 55 percent for the president after a campaign that drew massive crowds nationwide. Chavez, in power since 1999, is due to be sworn in to a new six-year term on January 10, but he handpicked Vice President Nicolas Maduro as his chosen successor before flying to Cuba, in case he might not be able to return. The socialist leader urged his countrymen to vote for Maduro, a 50year-old former union leader who also serves as foreign minister, if an early presidential election becomes necessary. Under the country’s constitution, a presidential election must be held within 30 days if the president is incapacitated or dies, either before his inauguration or

within the first four years of his term. Chavez supporters “consider Miranda state very important in this election, not only because it is the second most populous state, but because they believe that winning it would behead the opposition leadership,” political analyst Jose Vicente Carrasquero told AFP. “Once the Chavez camp saw the possibility of an early presidential election due to the president’s health, they began to put even more energy into winning Miranda,” said the professor at Andres Bello Catholic University. Venezuela’s opposition has long suffered from internal splits, but it put differences aside this year and united behind a single candidate, electing Capriles in an unprecedented primary. The government is also focusing on the oil-producing state of Zulia, where it hopes to oust opposition incumbent Pablo Perez, who is also seen as a potential presidential contender. The challenger is Francisco Arias Cardenas, a former Zulia governor and one of the leaders of a failed military coup led by then-lieutenant colonel Chavez in 1992. “Capriles and Perez are both seen as presidential hopefuls,” said political analyst Carlos Romero. “Dealing a blow to one of these two candidates is one of the government’s objectives.” Opinion polls, which often vary widely in Venezuela, mostly give the opposition the lead in Miranda and Zulia. Highlighting the importance that Chavistas attach to the regional elections, Maduro urged voters to back proChavez candidates, saying it would be like giving the president “a hug, a kiss, a vote of love.” Capriles criticized the government’s “electoral use” of Chavez’s health, asking: “What’s happening to the president, what does it have to do with the election?”—AFP

SAN PEDRO SULA: In this file photo, Alberto Barrientos, who was injured during a shooting, waits to enter the operating room inside the Catalino Rivas public hospital emergency room in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. A wave of violence has made Honduras among the most dangerous places on Earth, with a homicide rate roughly 20 times that of the US. — AP

CONNECTICUT: US school districts have spent millions of dollars on metal detectors, security cameras and elaborate emergency-response plans since the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, but almost nothing could have prevented Friday’s massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, security experts say. A 20-year-old, heavily armed gunman opened fire Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 children and six adults before taking his own life, police said. “ The school could not have stopped it without prior knowledge that he was coming,” said Bill Bond, a school safety specialist and former high school principal who had a deadly student shooting on his watch. Unlike the shooting at Columbine in Colorado, where two students killed other 12 students and a teacher, the gunman in Newtown was not a student, but an adult from the community. “This is going to go down as a school shooting, but it’s exactly what happened in Aurora,” said Bond, referring to the mass shooting by a lone gunman at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado last July that left 12 dead and 58 wounded. “That was a movie theater, this was a school,” he added. Bond was the principal of Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky, where on Dec 1, 1997, a student opened fire on a morning prayer circle, killing three. He retired in 2000 and now works with other principals and students as a school safety specialist with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. “We equate school shoot-

NEWTOWN: Young people leave flowers near Sandy Hook Elementary School yesterday in Newtown, Connecticut. The residents of an idyllic Connecticut town were reeling in horror from the massacre of 20 small children and six adults in one of the worst school shootings in US history. — AFP ings with students killing other students,” Bond said. It is still unclear what kind of security measures the school routinely took, but media reported that access was limited to visitors and doors were locked after 9:30 am. The shooting is believed to have happened soon after that time. Still, Bond saida, there is no way for students and teachers to protect themselves when someone begins shooting with a weapon. He said even a security guard and locked doors could not have stopped the killer. Without knowing the school’s security system, Kenneth Trump, president of consulting firm

National School Safety and Security Services, stresses that schools need to be “looking for these lone wolf actors.” “As a father, I would love to have a 100 percent guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen in my kids’ school, but as a rational school safety professional I know nobody can give me a 100 percent guarantee on safety,” said Trump. But he has seen the danger drop at schools in the wake of Columbine. Dozens of shootings have been thwarted by students, teachers and principals sharing information and warning about students with weapons or plans to kill. “There was a substantial amount

of progress in the months and years after Columbine in prevention, security and emergency preparedness in our schools,” said Trump. “A lot of those measures have become part of the school culture.” But he worries about maintaining that culture in the future because of budget constraints. As the risk of violence has increased because of the stress inflicted by the struggling economy, the time and funding allocated to these prevention and safety programs have declined. “There has been an increased competition for time and money, and school safety has been losing on both accounts,” said Trump.—Reuters

Venezuela furious at Obama comments on ailing Chavez CARACAS: Venezuela’s government reacted with fury on Friday to US President Barack Obama’s criticism of ailing Hugo Chavez’s “authoritarian” government at a time of national anxiety over his battle to recover from cancer surgery. In an interview with US network Univision, Obama declined to speculate on the 58-year-old socialist president’s health in Cuba, where he is in a delicate state after his fourth operation since mid-2011 for cancer in his pelvic region. But he did say US policy was aimed at ensuring “freedom” in Venezuela. “The most important thing is to remember that the future of Venezuela should be in the hands of the Venezuelan people. We’ve seen from Chavez in the past authoritarian policies, suppression of dissent,” Obama said. Those remarks went down badly with officials in Caracas where emotions are running high over the future of Chavez and his self-styled revolution in the South American OPEC nation. In power since 1999, Chavez is due to start a new sixyear term on Jan 10 after winning re-election just weeks before Obama did. His health crisis has thrown that into doubt, and Chavez has named a successor in case he is incapacitated. “With these despicable comments at such a delicate moment for Venezuela, the US president is responsible for a major deterioration in bilateral relations, proving the continuity of his policy of aggression and disrespect towards our country,” the Venezuelan government said in a statement. During his tumultuous rule, Chavez has gleefully assumed former Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s mantle as Washington’s main irritant in the region - though oil has continued to flow freely north to the benefit of both nations’ economies. Adored by poor supporters for his charismatic style and channeling of oil revenue into a wide array of welfare projects, Chavez is regarded as a dictator by opponents who point to his often harsh treatment of political foes. Officials said doctors had to use “corrective measures” on Chavez to stop unexpected bleeding caused during Tuesday’s six-hour operation, but that his condition had since improved. “The patient is fulfilling his post-operation protocol satisfactorily, given the complexity of the surgery,” the latest Venezuelan government statement on his condition said. “Recovery has been slow but progressive,” it added, saying Chavez had communicated with relatives and sent greetings to Venezuelans. Amid rumors Chavez had been unconscious since his

operation, presidential press officer Teresa Maniglia indicated he had spoken for the first time on Friday. “‘How are my people?’ was the first thing Chavez said today when he spoke with his family for the first time,” she said via Twitter. Chavez’s situation is being closely tracked around the region, especially among fellow leftist-run nations from Cuba to Bolivia which depend on his generous oil subsidies and other aid for their fragile economies. “The president is battling hard - this time for his life, before it was for the Latin American fatherland,” said President Evo Morales of Bolivia, a Chavez friend and ally who announced he was flying to Havana overnight for an “emergency” visit. “This is very painful for us.”—Reuters



Ritual slaughter splits faiths, rights groups WARSAW: Banning the ritual slaughter of livestock for food, a bedrock of the Jewish and Muslim faiths, has split Poland into opposing camps of religious groups, animal rights campaigners and flourishing meat expor ters. Animal rights activists backed by left-wing politicians last month won a key victory when Poland’s Constitutional Court voided regulations that since 2004 have enabled the production of Jewish kosher and Muslim halal meat. The court upheld complaints that slaughter without prior stunning breached a 1997 law on the humane treatment of animals. But both Jewish and Muslim clerics see the pending ban as going against the tenets of their faiths. They also argue that their traditional method of butchering an animal with a single, rapid cut to the throat minimizes pain and suffering. And Poland’s agriculture sector, thriving on meat exports, warns it would deal a major blow to the economy. The impact of the ruling, however, remains moot as it enters into force on January 1, the same day as a European Union directive setting common rules for the production of kosher and halal meat across the 27-nation bloc, which Poland joined in 2004. But individual EU member states are allowed some level of discretion and, fresh from their landmark courtroom win, animal rights campaigners insist the fight is not over.

“Ritual slaughter is inhumane, as the animals suffer,” said Robert Biedron, a member of parliament from the leftwing opposition Palikot Movement. “We live in the 21st Century, and we should ban this kind of method, even if it’s authorized by religious tradition,” he said. Various official and communitygroup estimates put Poland’s Jewish and Muslim population at between 20,000 and 30,000 each, in an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation of 38 million. For Jewish community leader Piotr Kadlcik, kosher slaughter is essential. “It’s a serious matter, even if only around a few hundred families actually follow kosher rules,” he said. “Polish law guarantees us the right to ritual slaughter,” he insisted, before condemning anti-Semitic slurs circulating on the Internet since the issue has been in the spotlight. The kosher issue exerts a powerful pull here because Poland was Europe’s Jewish heartland for centuries, until Nazi Germany killed the vast majority of the community during World War II. International Jewish organizations have also taken Polish authorities to task. “Kosher butchering is essential for sustenance of Jewish life and its ban hurts Jews not only in Poland but in other places across Europe,” Rabbi Menachem Margolin, head of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, wrote in a letter to Polish President Bronislaw

Komorowski. Margolin also warned that a ban would be “devastating to Jewish welfare and freedom of religion”. The issue lacks the same politicallytinged feel as in Western European countries with large Muslim communities, where some opponents of ritual slaughter are accused of exploiting animal welfare campaigns for racist reasons. Still, Poland’s Muslims are concerned. “The ban hasn’t yet come into force, and we hope it won’t come into force. If they do, it will be a serious blow to religious freedom,” said Bronislaw Talkowski, head of the country’s six-century-old Tatar Muslim community. In Talkowski’s view the animal rights campaigners’ arguments were part of a “game”. Jewish and Muslim groups have the firm backing of those in the farm sector for whom the production of kosher and halal meat for export is a major source of income. Poland is home to around two dozen abattoirs specialised in kosher and halal butchery, with the value of last year’s exports estimated at 250-350 million euros ($327456 million). According to agriculture ministry estimates, the country exports around 100,000 ritually-slaughtered livestock annually to some 20 nations including Turkey, Israel, Germany and France. Wieslaw Roznanski, head of the national meat-industry federation UPEMI, called on Poland to continue to allow ritual

BOHONIKI, POLAND: File photo shows men during a ritual slaughter of a bull during a ‘Kurban Bayrami’ or Eid Al-Adha celebrations in Bohoniki village, eastern Poland. — AFP butchery-and save jobs. “If not, we’re going to lose the markets that we’ve won. And it’ll be much harder to return to them later,” he said. “If we lose those markets, a string of abattoirs will go bust and thousands of people will be out of work,” he added. The agriculture ministry estimates that around 6,000 jobs would be directly affected. Overall, Poland exports more than two-thirds of its beef, and losing key ritual slaughter markets would be a disas-

ter for the entire sector, producers warn. Aware of the interlocking faith and economic fears, the country’s centrist government has promised an in-depth review of the issue before the first of the year. “A legal draft allowing ritual slaughter is already ready to be submitted to parliament,” Agriculture Minister Stanislaw Kalemba said Friday. “Ritual slaughter is authorized in around 20 European countries, and Poland should allow it too,” he said.—AFP

Moscow fumes as Obama signs trade, rights bill Russia calls measure ‘shortsighted and dangerous’

CAPE TOWN: File photo shows South African president Jacob Zuma (left) and deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe (right) during the opening of Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa. — AP

ANC party to choose leader amid turmoil JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s governing African National Congress political party will return to where it was first formed to fight apartheid a century ago to pick its next leader, at a time some believe the movement is struggling to regain its moral high ground. Some 4,000 delegates will gather at its Mangaung conference, being held in the city also known as Bloemfontein, to choose whether President Jacob Zuma or his quiet, unionist deputy should helm the party. Whoever is picked will likely be in line to be the next president of this nation of 50 million people, leading Africa’s top economy into an uncertain future where all now have a right to vote, but don’t have access to the country’s wealth. The run-up to the conference has seen disrupted provincial meetings, threats and shootings of local ANC officials, as corruption allegations trail from the smallest local government to Zuma at the top. That has many wondering whether the ANC still remains the party of reconciliation and racial fellowship that icon Nelson Mandela and others envisioned. “The ANC ... has become an unfamiliar, predatory beast that appears intent on devouring its leaders in an orgy of greed, corruption and cronyism,” a front-page editorial published Friday by South Africa’s The Times newspaper warned. “It does not have to be like this.” Becoming leader of the ANC means a nearly automatic ticket to becoming the president in post-apartheid South Africa. Opposition parties don’t garner the widespread support given to the ANC. By tradition, the party’s president will become the nation’s president, if the ANC wins national elections in 2014, and its deputy president will serve in the same national office. Zuma, 70, remains the favorite heading into the conference

after winning the nominations in most provincial ANC polls. He has wide support among Zulus, South Africa’s largest ethnic group, as well as from a loyal cadre of government and party officials. But many in the public have grown disenchanted with Zuma, who former President Thabo Mbeki fired as deputy president in 2005 after he was implicated in the corruption trial of close friend and financial adviser Schabir Shaik over a 1999 arms deal. Newspapers have written numerous articles recently about the millions of dollars of government-paid improvements made to Zuma’s private homestead. Zuma has also faced accusations, by the media, of being unable to manage his personal finances and relying on friends and colleagues to bail him out, including, allegedly, Mandela himself. Zuma has faced criticism over his sexual activity. He was put on trial for raping a family friend, and acquitted, in 2006. He also outraged AIDS activists by testifying that he had unprotected, consensual sex with the HIV-positive woman and then took a shower in the belief that it would protect him from AIDS. In the time since, however, Zuma has publicized his own HIV test results and urged the nation to practice safe sex. Zuma has been married six times - he currently has four wives, as his Zulu culture allows. He has 21 children, and acknowledged in 2010 that he fathered a child that year with a woman who was not among his wives. He and the ANC have also been criticized for strikes that overtook the nation, particularly in the mining sector, and the handling of violence at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana that saw more than 46 people killed and sparked violence and labor unrest at other mines.—AP

GUERNICA: Inigo Urkullu, the new Lehendakari or Basque Regional President, greets supporters with his wife, Lucia Arieta-Araunabena, after taking his oath in the Assembly House in front of the Tree of Guernica, in Guernica, northern Spain yesterday. — AP

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama on Friday signed a bill that brings US trade relations with Russia into the 21st century but also ushers in a testy era in which the United States could publicly “name and shame” Russian human rights violators. The measure, which Congress passed by an overwhelming margin, allows Obama to establish “permanent normal trade relations” - or PNTR - with Russia by lifting a Cold War-era restriction on trade. It also directs Obama to bar Russian human rights violators from entering the United States and freeze any assets they have in US banks. The provision is named in honor of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian anti-corruption lawyer many US lawmakers believe was beaten to death in a Russian jail in 2009. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called the congressional approval of the bill “a purely political and unfriendly act.” “I don’t get why they would sacrifice US-Russia relations in order to get some political dividends at home,” Putin said. Moscow kept up the fiery rhetoric on Friday in a Foreign Ministry statement after Obama’s signing. It called the law “shortsighted and dangerous” and an “overt interference into our internal affairs.” The statement put most of the blame for the Magnitsky measure on US lawmakers, but said it regretted Obama could not “overcome those ... who see our country not as a partner but as an enemy.” US-Russia relations have already been strained over the conflict in Syria and the treatment of critics of the Kremlin

since Putin returned to the presidency in May. Russia last week banned imports of US beef containing ractopamine, a widely used feed additive the United Nation’s food agency in July said “had no impact on human health” if residues stay within recommended levels. “Being a WTO member means Russia’s import standards have to be based on sound science, but their plan to block US beef and pork is anything but sound,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said, referring to the World Trade Organization, which Russia joined in August. He urged Moscow to reverse the move. The Magnitsky law directs Obama to publish the names of Russians deemed to be human rights violators, but allows him to keep some names classified if he decides that it is in the US national security interest. Congress is due to receive the first list in 120 days and Obama must explain in advance any names he decides to keep secret. The new law will be “of great benefit to both us and to the Russians,” US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said. “We continue to call on Russia to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible for the crimes committed against Mr. Magnitsky,” he said. But Russia considers the Magnitsky provision an insult. On Friday the lower chamber of its parliament gave preliminary approval to a measure barring Americans who violate the rights of Russians from entering the country. It targets Americans involved in “unfounded or unjust” sentences against Russians - a nod to Viktor Bout, a Russian arms

trader serving a 25-year prison term in the United States after what Moscow says was a politically motivated prosecution and an unfair trial. The Russian bill, expected to be signed by Putin before the end of the year, also targets Americans accused of abusing Russian-born adopted children and US judges or authorities deemed to have been too lenient in such cases. Pro-Kremlin lawmakers have proposed the bill be named after Dima Yakovlev, a Russianborn boy who died at the age of 18 months after his adoptive US family left him locked in a vehicle in Virginia in 2008. “It stretches the imagination to see an equal or reciprocal situation here,” Ventrell said. “The issue of adoption is one that we’ve worked very hard with the Russians, it is something we’ve looked at carefully. But we just reject any attempt at trying to make a reciprocal comparison.” Business groups pushed Congress for months to approve PNTR, which was needed to ensure US companies get all the marketopening benefits of Russia’s entry into the W TO. Without it, US companies such as Caterpillar, Ford, JPMorgan Chase and others feared they would be at a disadvantage to competitors in other countries that already have full WTO relations with Russia. It was also needed to allow the United States to use the WTO dispute-settlement system to challenge any Russian actions it says unfairly restrict US imports, although the two sides still need to formally establish full WTO relations in Geneva first.— Reuters

Putin foes hold rally, protesters defy police MOSCOW: Russian riot police detained four opposition leaders and broke up a crowd of about 2,000 people who went ahead with a banned rally yesterday to demand an end to Vladimir Putin’s 13-year rule. The opposition chose a symbolic location, in front of the Soviet KGB security police’s former headquarters, for the rally marking a year of protests against Putin, and said the police inter vention showed the limits on dissent under the president. Police were out in force and helicopters buzzed overhead as protesters, wrapped in scarves and fur hats because of the extreme cold, chanted “Free political prisoners”, “Down with the police state” and “Russia without Putin” on the vast Lubyanka Square in central Moscow. One unfurled a banner saying “crooks and thieves” - the popular name used to describe the Russian leadership. But the police eventually lost patience with the rally, which had been banned by Moscow city authorities, and strode across the square in helmets and flak jackets after about two hours, hauling protesters away one by one and locking elbows to push others away until no one was left. About 40 people were detained, a police spokesman said, and there were minor scuffles. Leftist leader Sergei Udaltsov and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny were detained at the start of the rally and two fellow protest leaders, Ilya Yashin and Ksenia Sobchak, were detained on their way to the protest. “I don’t know how many people are here but I am proud of each and every one of those who came here. The main thing is that people are here, that

they are expressing their view and showing that they exist,” Navalny said before he was detained. “Obviously the authorities don’t like attempts to carry out such protest actions and the development of the protest movement in general. They don’t like anything that threatens them.” Protests began a year ago after Putin’s United Russia party won a parliamentary election marred by allegations of vote-rigging, but quickly developed into the biggest movement against the former KGB spy since he first came to power in 2000. At their peak last winter the biggest rallies attracted up to 100,000 people, witnesses said. But attendance has dwindled since Putin began a six-year third term as president in May and started what the opposition says is a clampdown on dissent. “Not a single one of our demands has been met and the political repressions continue,” said Vladimir Ryzhkov, one of the main protest leaders and a former member of parliament. Despite the ban on the rally, protesters came out in temperatures of minus 15 Celsius (plus 5 Fahrenheit) to show their concern that Putin’s return to the Kremlin is leading Russia into economic and political stagnation. “I’m scared of arrest but I’m more scared that my children will want to live in another country,” said Alexander Ivanov, 39, a businessman dressed in a thick jacket. “I’m afraid it’s already too late. Putin and this country are incompatible - he’s running it into the ground.” One protester, a translator who gave her name only as Anna, brought her prayer book with her. “I’m praying for Russia. God made us free. No one can take

that away from us, or punish, detain or torture us for our political views,” she said. The 12 months of protests have accelerated the birth of a civil society two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union but the opposition - a disparate group of leftists, liberals, nationalists and ecologists - broadly acknowledges it must now hope for political evolution rather than revolution. The protests failed to prevent Putin, now 60, winning a presidential election in March after four years as prime minister. He has a grip on state media, retains support in the industrial and provincial heartlands that have long been his power base and could rule until 2024 if re-elected in 2018. “Fewer and fewer people are going to the protests. It’s fading because I don’t see any leaders for me here,” said Yelena, 45, an engineer who was afraid to give her last name. But she added: “I am here out of solidarity with the people.

We came because we are unhappy with the way things are going.” Some protesters have been put off by what opposition leaders say is a clampdown on dissent and freedom of expression since Putin returned to the Kremlin. Putin denies there has been a crackdown but new laws since May broaden the definition of treason, increase punishment for protesters who step out of line, and tighten control over the Internet and on lobby groups that receive foreign funding. Several opposition leaders, including Navalny, face criminal charges that they say are politically motivated and intended to intimidate them into giving up their opposition activities. Federal investigators announced a new criminal investigation against Navalny on Friday, accusing him and his brother of theft in a move which his supporters said was intended to intimidate the opposition on the eve of the protest.— Reuters

MOSCOW: People lay flowers on a monument dedicated to victims of political repression during an opposition protest marking one year since the start of protests against Vladimir Putin, in Moscow yesterday. —AFP



India probing presence of Swedish arms in Myanmar YANGON: India is investigating how Swedish-made weapons bought by its army turned up in Myanmar, a minister visiting Yangon said yesterday, denying New Delhi had supplied arms in contravention of EU sanctions. Sweden asked India on Thursday to clarify how the weapons wound up in Myanmar after it was revealed the Indian army had purchased them, Trade Minister Ewa Bjorling told the Swedish parliament.

Bjorling said the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls (ISP) had informed her that the weapons had come from India. Pictures taken in Myanmar and published in Swedish media this week showed a Carl Gustaf M3 anti-tank rifle and ammunition left behind by Myanmar government soldiers. The weapon’s serial number is clearly visible in one of the photographs. “One thing is clear... we are not in the

business of supplying weaponry,” Salman Khurshid, Indian Minister of External Affairs, told reporters in Yangon. “We will try to find out how this happened. It’s one weapon, isn’t it? In a very big world, one single weapon has been identified,” he said, adding that the Indian army will check its inventory as part of the probe. The minister has met with Myanmar’s President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi

during his trip, holding discussions on energy, infrastructure and border issues. According to a story published in Britain’s Independent newspaper, the Swedish weapons were used by Myanmar troops in their fight against ethnic Kachin rebels in the country’s far north. The rebels urged Myanmar’s militar y to end hostile operations in September after fighting broke out last year following the collapse of a 17-

year ceasefire between the two sides, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. Several rounds of talks aimed at resolving the conflict have been overshadowed by ongoing battles. The European Union has had a weapons embargo against Myanmar since 1996. On Wednesday, an ISP spokeswoman said it was “relatively unusual” for Swedish weapons to end up in the hands of third parties. — AFP

French combat troops leave Afghanistan Soldiers involved in training mission will remain

LONDON: The family of late nurse Jacinda Saldanha, son Junal Saldanha (left), husband, Benedict Barboza and daughter Lisha Saldanha arrive at Westminster Cathedral in central London ahead of a service of Thanksgiving for the life of Jacinda Saldanha yesterday. — AFP

Jacintha’s death create ‘unfillable’ void: Family LONDON: The children of a nurse found hanged after she was duped by a hoax phone call to the hospital treating Prince William’s wife Catherine told a mass in her memory yesterday her death left “an unfillable void”. Indian-born Jacintha Saldanha, 46, apparently killed herself in nurses’ accommodation at King Edward VII’s Hospital in London last week. She had taken a call from two Australian radio DJs posing as Queen Elizabeth II and William’s father Prince Charles, which led to details of Catherine’s severe morning sickness being made public. In a joint tribute read out on their behalf during the mass at Westminster Cathedral, the nurse’s daughter Lisha, 14, and son Junal, 16, said: “We are shattered and there’s an unfillable void in our lives. “The house is an empty dwelling without your presence,” they added. “You worked tirelessly to give us everything that we have today.” A relative of the family said after the service that the funeral would take place in the nurse’s home town of Shirva in southwest India today. Her husband Benedict Barboza, 49, held hands with the couple’s two children as they arrived for the mass at the cathedral, the main Catholic church in England. In his tribute, the nurse’s husband said: “You were the light in my darkness, you always showed me the way forward. I feel part of me has been ripped out. “Nineteen years of togetherness with

a strong bond of affection and understanding will be cherished forever in my life. Your loss is a very painful one and nobody can take that place in my life ever again. I love you and miss you forever.” The family had also attended a candlelit vigil in Bristol, the city where they live in southwest England, on Friday. After it emerged that Saldanha had left three notes, one of which reportedly criticised the hospital, its chief executive John Lofthouse said the nurse was reassured on a number of occasions by senior management after the hoax. Writing in reply to Keith Vaz, a British lawmaker who has helped to comfort the family, Lofthouse said Saldanha was the victim of a “cruel trick” and senior staff did not blame her and offered her time off and counselling. “Following the hoax call, Jacintha was reassured on a number of occasions by senior management that no blame was attached to her actions and that there were no disciplinary issues involved, because she had been the victim of a cruel trick,” Lofthouse wrote. Australian police said Thursday that death threats have been made against Michael Christian and Mel Greig, the DJs from Sydney’s 2Day FM radio station who made the hoax call. The presenters, who have been undergoing counselling, remain off air and have not been seen in public since making tearful apologies in a television interview on Monday. — AFP

Australia offers S Lanka aid to stem boatpeople COLOMBO: Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced yesterday millions of dollars in aid to boost educational opportunities in Sri Lanka, hoping it will help stem the flow of illegal immigrants from the island. Carr told reporters in Colombo that US$36 million will be spent over four years to help some four million primary and secondary school children in Sri Lanka and contribute to a “stable society with economic growth”. “We’ve got an interest in a stable Sri Lanka... with economic growth,” he said, adding that improving educational opportunities in Sri Lanka was in Australia’s interest in order to tackle problems of people smuggling and human trafficking.

Carr is on a three-day visit for talks with Sri Lankan leaders on measures to deal with the increased flow of illegal boatpeople attempting to seek asylum in Australia. Sri Lanka’s defence ministry announced on Friday that nearly 3,000 of the country’s nationals had been stopped from illegally journeying by boat to Australia during the current year. Australia has sent more than 500 Sri Lankans back to Colombo since August. The country is struggling to deal with a record number of asylum-seekers, many from Sri Lanka, Iran and Iraq, who are paying people-smugglers to take them on the perilous journey, often on rickety, wooden fishing vessels. — AFP

COLOMBO: Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr receives Christmas greeting cards made by Sri Lankan school children during a visit to St Anthony’s school in Colombo, Sri Lanka, yesterday. Carr began a three day official visit in Sri Lanka. —AP

KABUL: France flew its last combat troops out of Afghanistan yesterday, two years before allied nations in the 100,000-strong NATO mission led by the United States are due to recall their fighting forces. Around 200 soldiers of the 25th Belfort infantry regiment, responsible for overseeing the hastened French exit from the 11-year war, took off around 2:30 pm local time (1000 GMT), an airport official told AFP. They are expected to return to France on December 18 following a three-day decompression stay on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Their departure means France has around 1,500 soldiers left in Afghanistan, the vast majority in Kabul. They are due to stay into 2013 to take responsibility for repatriating equipment and training the Afghan army to take over. After then, only several hundred French soldiers involved in cooperation or training missions will remain in the country. At the height of its involvement, France had 4,000 soldiers in Afghanistan as the fifth largest military contingent in the International Security

Assistance Force (ISAF), behind the United States, Britain, Germany and Italy. France joined the NATO coalition in late 2001 to help prop up the new government against an insurgency, which began after a US-led invasion toppled the Taleban government earlier that year for giving refuge to Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network, following the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. In 2007, the French moved into the strategic province of Kapisa, which straddles the transit route from Kabul to Pakistan, after president Nicolas Sarkozy agreed to an American request to take on more of the fight against the Taleban. What followed was an increasingly bloody fight against insurgents and armed groups. After a series of attack, notably in January when an Afghan soldier shot dead five French troops, Sarkozy announced that the combat mission in Kapisa and the district of Surobi would end in 2013. His successor Francois Hollande fast tracked that to the end of 2012, initially to

veiled criticism from US officials, and the last French combat soldiers left Kapisa and returned to Kabul on November 20. Insider attacks have spiralled this year, with 61 NATO soldiers killed by Afghan security personnel, fuelling distrust in the war against the Taleban. The attacks have led to calls in other Western countries, where the long war is increasingly unpopular, for early troop withdrawals. But NATO has insisted it will follow the agreed programme of pulling out all combat troops by the end of 2014. French and Afghan commanders say Kapisa stabilised but two out of its six districts are thought to be at least partly controlled by insurgents. Security in the province is now the responsibility of 4,700 Afghan police and soldiers, supported by 250 American soldiers. France is not the first country to end its combat mission. Canada did so in July 2011 and the Netherlands in August 2010. The United States pulled out 33,000 “surge” troops earlier this year, although it still has some 68,000 soldiers serving in Afghanistan. France has lost 88 soldiers in Afghanistan. — AFP

Rivals India, Pakistan to make travel easier NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan announced a new visa regime that will make cross-border travel easier as part of a thaw in their long-hostile ties. Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said tensions between the nuclear-powered rivals have eased a great deal since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in which 10 Pakistani terrorists killed 166 people. The journey toward peace “is progressing very well because of growing interaction between the two governments,” said Malik, who held talks with Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde. Condemning the Mumbai attacks, Malik told reporters that non-state actors, a reference to extremist groups, were playing “havoc with both countries.” Shinde said Pakistan’s promises in the past to punish those responsible for the Mumbai attacks have not been fulfilled. India claims the terrorists had ties to Pakistani intelligence officials, which Islamabad denies. “I am thankful to you (Malik) for assuring India that you will cooperate in handing over the perpetrators to India,” Shinde told reporters Friday. India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two of them over control of Kashmir, since they won independence from Britain in 1947. Kashmir is divided between the two countries. The new visa system will allow members of divided families, businesspeople, tourists and religious pilgrims to obtain visas quickly instead of waiting for months. It will come into force in two phases on Jan. 15 and March 15, said a joint statement by the two ministers. Visas on arrival will be given to people over 65. Both countries say they aim to give visas to younger people within 45 days. However, in a sign that improvements in ties

NEW DELHI: This handout photograph released by The Indian Press Information Bureau (PIB) shows Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meeting with Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik in New Delhi yesteday. Pakistan’s interior minister arrived in India with a message of “peace and love” that he said would help the nuclear-armed rivals give a fresh impetus to their fragile ties. — AFP will be a slow process, the TimesNow TV news channel reported that Malik’s arrival in the Indian capital was delayed by more than three hours because of a security-clearance issue raised by India to a military plane used by the Pakistan minister. “The pilots expect some kind of clearance. It got delayed. It was beyond me,” Malik said. There was no immediate comment from Indian authorities. The issue of Hafiz Saeed is also expected to dominate Malik’s talks in New Delhi. India accuses Saeed, chief of Jamaat-udDawa, for whom the US offered a $10 million reward this year, of being the mastermind of

the Mumbai attacks. Asked about India’s demand for Saeed’s arrest and trial by a court, Malik said India has not provided credible evidence against him. “There has been a lot of propaganda and pressure on us. I have received dossiers (from India) with only information,” he said. New Delhi says Saeed has been using Pakistan to campaign against India through public speeches. Pakistani authorities arrested Saeed three times, but the courts found him innocent and freed him each time, Malik said. Malik will also meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Indian leaders before returning home today. — AP

Foreign troops should leave villages: Karzai KABUL: Afghanistan’s president said yesterday that the US and NATO troops transferring security to local forces should leave the country’s villages as soon as possible and pull back to their bases. The US has already said that from mid-2013 on, the United States and its allies would operate from fewer bases and that the withdrawal of military supplies and equipment from Afghanistan would accelerate. But the comments from the Afghan leader suggest he would like to see that process gain some momentum. “There will be a change in our relations with the world in 2013,” President Hamid Karzai said at the opening of a conference on Afghan foreign policy strategy. “The U.S. and NATO forces are going to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but before that - in 2013 - the transition of security is going to be completed and there will be no military activity of foreign forces in Afghanistan.” “We are working to make this transition of security happen sooner. We want all the foreign forces to come out of the villages and go to their bases so the Afghan forces can carry out the security,” Karzai said, adding that that after the international forces pull back to their bases, they can gradually return home from there, completing the with-

drawal by the end of 2014. International forces have been fighting for more than a decade against the Taleban and other militants who allowed al-Qaeda to operate in Afghanistan and plot the 9/11 attacks. Karzai has long stressed that terrorism is not rooted in Afghan villages, but resides in other sanctuaries outside the country - a veiled reference to neighboring Pakistan. “From our vision, the fight against terrorism is not in Afghanistan,” he said. “That is why we do not want military operations in our villages, in our houses.” Karzai discounted fears that Afghanistan would descend into a civil war of ethnic factions after the foreign combat troops complete their withdrawal. He said he was confident that Afghan soldiers and police can handle security. “I’m completely sure that the withdrawal of international forces in 2014 will give us more opportunity to provide more security,” Karzai said. “We are the owners of this country. We should really show that we are the owners of this country.” Karzai reiterated his call for national unity and instructed the Afghan diplomats at the conference to return to their assigned countries and present Afghanistan as a proud, sovereign and unified nation. “We are poor, but we are lord of this

region,” Karzai said. “Our history has proven that we are the lord of this region. ... So wherever you are based, you should act as a lord - a poor lord, but a lord.” When they meet during the week of Jan. 7, Karzai and President Barack Obama will discuss the pace of coalition troop withdrawals, efforts to pursue peace with the Taleban as well as the role and size of US military presence in his country beginning in 2015. During a trip to Afghanistan

this week, US Defense Secretary Panetta offered no clues about what Obama will decide. Other officials have indicated that the White House is considering plans that call for between 6,000 and 10,000 U.S. troops to stay for several years after 2014 in order to keep Afghanistan on a path toward stability and to prevent al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups from re-emerging as a significant force in the country. — AP

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai, center, arrives for a group photo for an ambassadors and consuls general conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said yesterday the US and NATO troops transferring security to Afghan forces should leave Afghan villages as soon as possible and pull back to their bases. — AP



Fiji braces for destructive cyclone SUVA: Fijians living in low-lying areas were urged to flee to higher ground yesterday as a cyclone bore down on the Pacific nation after leaving a trail of destruction in Samoa with up to 10 feared dead. Cyclone Evan is intensifying and is expected to be packing winds of up to 230 kilometres an hour (143 miles per hour) by the time it slams into Fiji today afternoon. Government officials feared it could be as devastating as Cyclone Kina which killed 23 people and left thousands homeless in 1993. “I cannot stress enough how serious this is. Every Fijian will be affected but we must take preventative steps now,” military leader Voreqe Bainimarama told the nation of about 900,000. “Because this is the festive season I ask you to con-

sider cancelling social events and to act responsibly, all of us need a clear mind for what is bearing down on us.” More than 60 evacuation centres have been set up in northern areas of Fiji and residents were being urged to move in before the storm hits. “We are advising people to move to high ground, those who are living in lower-lying areas,” Asesela Biuviti of the national disaster management office said. “This is going to be an extremely bad cyclone to hit us and probably the worse that we’ve seen since Cyclone Kina,” the permanent secretary for information, Sharon Smith-Johns, added. Meanwhile, in Samoa the confirmed death toll from Evan rose to three with another seven people

missing and feared dead after being swept away when the capital Apia’s Vaisigano river burst its banks. About 3,000 people remained in emergency shelters after their homes were either destroyed or left without essential services including power and water, the New Zealand High Commissioner in Samoa Nick Hurley said. A clean up was under way with fallen trees and power poles removed to open main roads but progress was slow and it could be another two days before the full extent of the damage was known, he added. There was no electricity on the main Samoan island Aporo, apart from private generators. Both Australia and New Zealand responded to Samoan

calls for help with Wellington sending a P3 Orion aircraft for aerial surveillance to assess the extent of the damage. New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said an initial assessment showed “damage to outlying buildings, critical infrastructure and power lines, with flooding, many fallen trees and power outages”. McCully’s counterpart in Canberra Bob Carr said Australian aid workers were already on the ground in Apia offering humanitarian assistance. “We’ll be consulting with the Samoan government today on how we can further assist with emergency relief,” he said, adding that Australia was also on standby to help Fiji. — AFP

Japan election candidates make their final pitches ‘LDP on course for convincing victory’

DAVAO: Philippine police officer and ordinance specialist Marcial Aplasca shows the improvised explosive device (L) recovered from a suspected Jemaah Islamiyah militant member, Mohammad Noor Fikrie of Malaysia, in Davao yesterday after he was killed by policemen when he threatened to blow up an explosive device in a rucksack. — AFP

Philippine police kill Malaysian terrorist MANILA: Philippine police have killed a suspected Malaysian terrorist who allegedly was planning a bomb attack in one of the largest cities in the country’s south, police said yesterday. The suspected terrorist, identified as Mohd Noor Fikrie Bin Abd Kahar, was fatally shot by police late Friday following a scuffle inside a hotel where he and his Filipino wife had checked in, Davao city police chief Ronald de la Rosa said. De la Rosa said that as the couple was checking out, he tried to grab a backpack that the woman was holding containing a homemade bomb. Officers, meanwhile, tried to seize the man, who broke free and threatened to detonate the device. “You want the bomb? You want the bomb? Shoot me! Shoot me! I will explode the bomb,” de la Rosa quoted the man as saying. This prompted officers and people in the hotel lobby to scamper out for safety, the police chief said. The 26-year-old Malaysian and his wife then ran into the street, where they hugged each other as the man raised a cellphone, threatening to use it to trigger the bomb, de la Rosa said. The man grabbed the backpack from his wife and ran toward a park full of Friday night revelers, leaving the woman, who was taken into custody by police, de la Rosa told The

Associated Press by telephone from Davao, about 980 kilometers (612 miles) south of Manila, the capital. Alert guards locked the park’s gate, and the man, still raising his hand that held the cellphone, ran into a packed restaurant, where a sniper shot him twice in the chest. The man did not immediately fall, so other officers fired at him and killed him, de la Rosa said. The bomb, which was subsequently defused, was fashioned from a mortar shell, he said. He said intelligence reports indicated terrorists planned to explode a bomb in Davao, a bustling port city and a regional commercial hub on the main southern island of Mindanao. Officers were led by intelligence agents Friday to the hotel where the couple was staying, de la Rosa said, adding that the agents had received a tip from a “very reliable source.” De la Rosa said the man’s wife, Annabel Nieva Lee, a convert to Islam, was under interrogation. He declined to give details. The suspect’s passport showed he left Malaysia via Sabah on April 27 and arrived in the Philippines’ the next day. De la Rosa said he stayed in southern Zamboanga City and moved to the predominantly Muslim Cotabato City where he stayed before travelling to Davao on Friday. — AP

DAVAO: Philippine Army personnel unload relief goods to be transported to regions affected by Typhoon Bopha from the Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules millitary aircraft inside the International Airport in Davao, Mindanao yesterday. US Marines, the Philippine Armed forces and various non-profit organisations have been working together to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support at the request of the Philippines government in the wake of Typhoon Bopha, which made landfall on December 4, 2012. — AFP

TOKYO: Hundreds of candidates vying for a seat in Japan’s parliament made their final pitches to voters yesterday, ahead of an election expected to see the return of the country’s old guard. Opinion polls show the Liberal Democratic Party on course for a convincing victory in today’s lower house election, with the Democratic Party of Japan led by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda set to be ousted. Hawkish LDP leader Shinzo Abe is predicted to return to the premiership, a job he held without much distinction in 2006-7, in a move that may herald a hardening of Japan’s foreign policy at a time of heightened tensions with China. As light rain fell over Tokyo, some of the more than 1,500 candidates running in the poll stood before train stations to make final pleas to voters, while their staff held banners with the candidates’ names and parties printed in bold typeface. Noda urged voters not to return to the LDP, which governed Japan almost continuously for more than five decades before his party came to power three years ago. He criticised the LDP’s spending plans, such as a promise to fund huge public works in order to spur growth, despite a tight government budget. “The election is about whether we can move forward or turn back the clock,” he said at a train station in central Tokyo, his voice hoarse after two weeks of campaigning. Abe, in Saitama prefecture, north of the capital, pledged to restore Japan’s economy and education system. “With stronger monetary policies, fiscal policies and growth policies, we will end deflation, correct a high yen, and grow the economy,” Abe said passionately, his voice also croaky. “The Noda government makes all sorts of complaints (about our policies), but have they stopped deflation? Have they corrected a high yen?” he said. The conservative ideologue has pledged in previous campaign speeches to “repair the Japan-US alliance and firmly defend our territorial soil and waters”. In one of the last gauges of the public mood before the vote, polls published Friday showed the LDP and its junior coalition party set to

achieve a possible two-thirds majority in the lower house ballot. That would hand Abe a mandate to try to fulfil his campaign pledge of bolstering Japan’s military and coastal defences, particularly on the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands, which Beijing claims as the Diaoyus. On Thursday Japan scrambled fighter jets after a Chinese plane entered airspace over the Japanese-held chain. Tokyo said it was the first time a Chinese state-owned plane had breached its airspace. North Korea’s rocket launch earlier this week could also boost the right-wing vote in a country that lives uneasily next door to an unpredictable Pyongyang. Polls indicate that despite a strong current of anti-nuclear feeling since the March 2011 tsunami sparked reactor meltdowns

at Fukushima, an array of smaller parties promising an atomic exit may struggle to gain traction. On the economic front Abe has been vocal in calls to tackle deflation that has beset the economy, vowing to impose a three percent inflation target on the Bank of Japan and forcing it to buy bondseffectively deficit financing. He has since rowed back after criticism he was endangering the independence of the central bank. But his comments helped pull down the high yen, delighting exporters hit hard by the surging currency. Noda’s DPJ struggled in government to live up to the promise of its barnstorming 2009 election win that cracked the LDP’s half-century virtual stranglehold on power. — AFP

TOKYO: Children chuckle during a speech by Japan’s main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Shinzo Abe during a campaign rally for today’s parliamentary elections in Kawaguchi, near Tokyo, yesterday. — AP

Australia police officers withdraw from East Timor DILI: Australia withdrew its last remaining police officers from East Timor yesterday as international forces wind up a 13-year presence in Asia’s youngest nation, where thousands have died in political turmoil. The eight Australian officers serving with the UN Police boarded a Darwin-bound plane from the capital Dili as the United Nations prepares to officially end its peacekeeping mission by December 31. International forces began pulling out in earnest in October, when the UN handed policing responsibility back to the nation which recently celebrated a decade of formal independence that ended Indonesia’s 24year brutal occupation. Australian police commander for the mission Charmaine Quade expressed confidence East Timor could handle its own security after successful national elections this year and the formation of a new government. “Australian police have been there to contribute to the enhancement and professionalisation of the Timor-Leste police, and the competence the national police here have shown is testament to how far they’ve come,” she said. The move comes after the Australian-led

International Stabilisation Force (ISF) ceased its security operations in November and began pulling out some of its 390 troops from the country. Australia has stationed 50 police at a time in East Timor under the UN since 2006, with 33 deployed this year under a bilateral capacity-building programme. International peacekeepers first entered the country in 1999 as deadly violence erupted around the country’s referendum for independence. The vote ended Indonesia’s occupation, under which an estimated 183,000 people-then a quarter of the population-died from fighting, disease and starvation. The only major violence in the impoverished half-island nation of 1.1 million people since has been a failed assassination attempt against then-president Jose Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao in 2008. Quade said the last batch of Australian police to leave East Timor, also known as Timor-Leste, were “looking forward to being reunited with their loved ones”. “They’ve been able to fully focus on their roles and duties here with the UN because they’ve had that support and understanding at home.” — AFP

Philippines declares unilateral Christmas truce with Maoists MANILA: The Philippines declared yesterday an 18-day unilateral Christmas truce with Maoist guerrillas, in part to let forces focus on relief efforts on a southern island devastated by a typhoon, an army spokesman said. The government has been fighting communist rebels for 40 years. About 40,000 people have been killed and investors have been scared away from poor but resource-rich rural regions. A Dec. 4 typhoon killed 955 people and nearly 850 are missing, most in the provinces of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, on Mindano island, where communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels are active. Both the army and rebels are involved in relief operations in the area and they declared informal truces on Dec. 10. “Many of our men and women are working round the clock conducting search, rescue and relief operations in

disaster-stricken areas,” said military spokesman Colonel Arnulfo Burgos. The army was suspending offensive operations nationwide against the rebels from Dec. 16 to Jan. 2, he said. Soldiers would be on alert and would defend themselves, he said. The truce would also allow soldiers and their families to celebrate Christmas peacefully, Burgos said. Last year, the government and communist rebels agreed on a 19-day holiday truce, the longest in 10 years, ahead of the resumption of peace talks aimed at ending one of the world’s longest-running Maoist insurgencies. But talks have been stalled over a rebel demand for the release of prisoners and the government’s demand that the rebels stop extorting money from mines, plantations and construction companies. Norway has been brokering the on-off negotiations. — Reuters

DILI: Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers pose for photos before boarding a jet home at Dili airport yesterday as the last batch of Australian officers under the UN police leave ahead of the UN peacekeeping mission closure at year-end. — AFP

Some safety measures neglected at nuke plant TOKYO: The operator of the disaster-struck Japanese nuclear power plant has acknowledged that the company long neglected safety measures intended to avoid and manage severe accidents while it was obsessed with fixing minor safety problems to improve operational records. Tokyo Electric Power Co. is struggling to reform itself, and earlier this year launched an internal reform task force, led by company president Naomi Hirose, to find out what caused the disasters and compile improvement plans. Last year’s powerful earthquake and tsunami caused multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. TEPCO continues efforts to keep the plant stable until it’s decommissioned, a process expected to take decades. The task force said Friday that TEPCO just didn’t think disasters beyond their anticipation would occur, and failed to follow international standards and recommendations that could have mitigated the impact of the accident. The utility could have done more to back up its power and cooling systems, was short on emergency equipment such as fire engines and had treated crisis management drills as a formality, the group said. At the same time, TEPCO focused on small safety concerns to avoid minor troubles that could have triggered inspections or reactor stoppages, the task force said. “The risk for the company used to mean a decline in operational records. We need them to change that mentality and make safety the top priority and take that to their heart,” said committee member Masafumi Sakurai, who had earlier served on a Parliament-commissioned accident investigation panel. “And we would like to see the top management take initiative.” The task force said TEPCO employees also lacked crisis management skills and the company lacked equipment needed in case of crisis. The task force introduced plans to nurture a company-wide safety culture through various programs, including safety measure contests among employees and performance evaluations of middle management based on their safety efforts.—AP



Amir opens Assembly; opposition protests

World leaders express shock over US...

Continued from Page 1

Continued from Page 1

take that post in Kuwait’s history. Abdulsamad is reportedly enjoying a solid government backing in addition to his Shiite bloc which is more than enough to secure his success. Several new MPs will be contesting for the remaining less important posts of Assembly secretary and observer. And, no real competition will be seen for the election to the Assembly’s permanent and temporary committees which include financial and economic affairs, legal affairs, interior and defense, foreign affairs, budget affairs and several others. The opposition however has vowed to stage series of protests on the occasion as part of their campaign to press for dissolving the new Assembly and scrapping the contro-

versial amendment to the electoral constituency law. Youth activists said they planned to camp the whole night outside the National Assembly at Al-Erada Square but security forces prevented them and the organizers asked people to move to the Square opposite the ninth commercial area, behind the banks’ complex in the heart of Kuwait City. Other activists are expected to join them this morning just before the start of the session as a sign of rejection to the new National Assembly which they consider as illegitimate. In addition, the opposition plans a major gathering at Al-Erada Square in the evening where a number of former MPs and other activists will address the gathering. The opposition will later announce further activities as part of its campaign after its figures had pledged they will not stop protesting until the achieve dissolving the National Assembly.

Egypt faces divisive choice over future Continued from Page 1 In Cairo’s crowded Sayedah Zeinab district, home to a revered Muslim shrine, 23-year-old engineer Mohammed Gamal said he was voting “yes” although he felt the proposed constitution needed more, not less, Islamic content. “Islam has to be a part of everything,” said Gamal, who wore the mustache-less beard that is a hallmark of hard-line Salafi Muslims. “All laws have to be in line with Shariah,” he said, referring to Islamic law. Highlighting the tension in the run-up to the vote, nearly 120,000 army troops were deployed yesterday to protect polling stations. A radical Islamist group also said it will send its own members to defend the stations alongside the army and police. Clashes between Morsi’s supporters and opponents over the past three weeks have left at least 10 people dead and about 1,000 wounded. “No, to the constitution of blood,” said the red banner headline of the independent daily Al Masry Al Youm. Critics are questioning the charter’s legitimacy after the majority of judges said they would not supervise the vote. Meanwhile, Egypt’s opposition cried fraud in the referendum, accusing President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood of vote-rigging to have the Islamist-backed text adopted. Rights groups have also warned of opportunities for widespread fraud, and the opposition says a decision to hold the vote on two separate days to make up for the shortage of judges leaves the door open for initial results to sway voter opinion. The shortage of judges was reflected in the chaos engulfing some polling stations, which by early afternoon had led the election commission to extend voting by two hours until 9 pm. In Cairo’s Darb El-Ahmar, judge Mohammed Ibrahim appeared overwhelmed with the flow of voters, many of whom had to wait for close to two hours to cast their ballots. “I’m trying hard here, but responsibilities could have been better distributed,” he said. Egypt has 51 million eligible voters, of whom about 26 are supposed to cast their ballots yesterday and the rest next week. Yesterday’s vote was held in 10 provinces, including Cairo and the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, the country’s second largest and scene of violent clashes on Friday between opponents and supporters of Morsi. “I am definitely voting no,” Habiba El-Sayed, a 49-year-old house wife who wears the Muslm veil, or hijab, said in Alexandria. “Morsi took wrong decisions and there is no stability. They (Islamists) are going around calling people infidels. How can there be stability?” Another female voter in Alexandria, 22-year-old English teacher Yomna Hesham said

she was voting ‘no’ because the draft is “vague” and ignores women’s rights. “If we say ‘yes,’ we will cease to exist. Some people are saying to say ‘yes’ to Morsi. But he did nothing right. Why should we? They say vote ‘yes’ for stability. We have said ‘yes’ before and there was no stability.” “I don’t know why we have become so divided no one wants to look in the other’s face,” said Hesham, who also wears the hijab, after voting. “This will not end well either way. It is so sad that we have come to this.” Another newspaper, the pro-opposition Al-Watan, published photographs of Morsi’s supporters in Alexandria armed with knives, swords and sticks on the front page of its Saturday edition. “A referendum on their constitution,” read the headline, alluding to the Islamists. Egypt’s latest crisis, the worst since longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising nearly two years ago, began when Morsi issued a decree on Nov 22 giving himself and the assembly writing the draft immunity from judicial oversight so the document could be finalized before an expected court ruling dissolving the panel. On Nov 30, the document was passed by an assembly composed mostly of Islamists, in a marathon session despite a walkout by secular activists and Christians from the 100-member panel. If the constitution is approved by a simple majority of voters, the Islamists empowered when Mubarak was ousted would gain even more clout. The current upper house of parliament, dominated by Islamists, would be given the authority to legislate until a new parliament is elected. If the constitution is defeated, elections would be held within three months for a new panel to write a new constitution. In the meantime, legislative powers would remain with Morsi. The opposition has called on its supporters to vote “no,” while Morsi’s supporters say the constitution will help end the political instability that has gripped Egypt since the autocratic Mubarak was overthrown. Clerics, from the pulpits of mosques, have defended the constitution as a document that champions Islam. Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei wrote yesterday on his Twitter account: “Listen to your conscience and the voice of reason and say ‘no.’” Morsi’s opponents say minority concerns have been ignored and the charter is full of obscurely worded clauses that could allow the ruling Islamists to restrict civil liberties, ignore women’s rights and undermine labor unions. “At one point in our history, Cleopatra, a woman, ruled Egypt. Now you have a constitution that makes women not even second-class but third-class citizens,” said businesswoman Olivia Ghita. “This constitution is tailored for one specific group (the Muslim Brotherhood). It’s a shame. I am very upset.” — Agencies

to be 20-year-old Adam Lanza, was unusually accurate or methodical in his fire. “The news is just awful. The thoughts and prayers of Canadians are with the students and families in CT affected by this senseless violence,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper wrote on his Twitter account. His foreign minister, John Baird, said Canadians “stand shoulder to shoulder with our American friends at this difficult time.” The child victims were reported to be aged between five and 10. Pope Benedict XVI sent a letter of condolence to the community, which was read aloud at a vigil in Newtown Friday evening. The pope “has asked me to convey his heartfelt grief and the assurance of his closeness in prayer to the victims and their families, and to all affected by the shocking event,” Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone said in the letter. “In the aftermath of this senseless tragedy he asks God our Father to console all those who mourn and to sustain the entire community,” the letter said. British Prime Minister David Cameron said he “was shocked and deeply saddened to hear about today’s horrific shooting.” “My thoughts are with the injured and those who have lost loved ones. It is heartbreaking to think of those who have had their children robbed from them at such a young age, when they had so much life ahead of them.” Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II sent a message to President Barack Obama in which she said she was “deeply shocked and saddened” to hear of the shootings. “The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the United

Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth are with the families and friends of those killed and with all those who have been affected by today ’s events.” French President Francois Hollande also extended his condolences in a message to Obama. “This news... horrified me and I wish to express my deep shock and consternation,” Hollande said. Even longtime foe Iran offered its condolences to the victims and families. Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast drew parallels between the school shooting and the “children and teenagers who fall vic tim to armed actions... inside Gaza, the US, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran or Syria,” calling on Americans to mobilize against “warmongering and the massacre of innocent people anywhere.” Closer to home, Mexico’s newly inaugurated president, Enrique Pena Nieto, also expressed his support to the US after the deadly shooting. “My solidarity with the American people and President @BarackObama after the tragedy this morning in Connecticut,” he wrote on Twitter. And Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said: “Australia grieves with America today following the mass shooting of primary school children and teachers in Connecticut. “Like President Obama and his fellow Americans, our hearts too are broken. “We share America’s shock at this senseless and incomprehensible act of evil.” Philippine President Benigno Aquino yesterday offered his support, expressing “deep admiration over the manner in which the American people have reached out to comfort the afflicted. “We pray for healing, and that this heartbreak will never be visited on any community ever again,” he said in a statement. — Agencies

Schools, students becoming targets Continued from Page 1 himself in 2001, to South Korea, where a police officer killed 56 people before he blew himself up in 1982. Distinct from acts of terror that have political or collective aims, other mass killers act out of personal grievances. Attacks against schools are a bleak subset, offering easy targets for taking down large numbers of victims. Shootings at schools have periodically occurred in Finland and Germany as well as the US, though the American attacks have been more frequent. China has seen more than a half-dozen school attacks in less than three years, though the death tolls have been mostly in single digits, largely because knives have been the most-used weapon. China largely prohibits private ownership of guns. “They choose to attack school students who are weak in defending themselves and are easily assaulted,” said Zhu Zhuohong, an associate researcher in psychology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Ogloff, the forensic psychologist who has studied both spree and serial killers in the US, Canada and Australia, said that a break-down in a relationship or a humiliating experience often acts as a triggering event for mass shooters. After Thomas Hamilton killed 16 kindergarteners and a teacher at an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996, reports said that he had been suspected of inappropriate behavior with boys he oversaw in a youth group and that letters he wrote talked of persecution by police and authorities for forcing him from taking part in boys clubs and for causing a business he ran to fail. While police in Connecticut and in China have so far not given motives for Friday’s attacks, both began with single assaults. Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza first shot his mother in their home in the New England town of Newtown before driving to the nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School;

armed with two handguns, he shot into two classrooms, killing 20 people and six adults and then apparently shooting himself. Min Yingjun, a 36-year-old resident of Guangshan, an area of tea and rice farms in central China, burst into the home of an elderly woman and stabbed her with a kitchen knife, the government’s Xinhua News Agency reported. Min then went to the Chenpeng Village Primary School, slashing at 22 students, ages 6 to 12, as they arrived for class. Seven of the students, some with severed fingers and ears, required hospitalization, Xinhua said. Though Min did not die - he was grabbed by police at the scene and is under arrest - Zhu, the psychologist, said many mass attacks should be seen as “expanded suicide.” The attackers, often in a state of depression, believe society is malicious or unsafe and wants others to die with them, said Zhu. Police described Min as possibly being “mentally ill,” Xinhua said, and a law enforcement official briefed on the Connecticut shooting told The Associated Press that Lanza was believed to suffer from a personality disorder. But overall, said Ogloff, very few mass shooters are mentally ill. Most perpetrators are young men, and their common traits - an interest in the military or violence - are so widespread as to make it impossible to identify potential killers, said Ogloff. Spree shootings, he said, are increasing and becoming deadlier because each killing leaves a blueprint for others to follow. “Imagine you’re a kid and you’re 20 years old, and you’re angry at the world and you’re fascinated with the military and you’re in a situation where you want to end your life. ... You’re influenced by all the ones who’ve gone before you,” said Ogloff, who has overseen the treatment of Martin Bryant, who shot 35 people at Port Arthur, a former penal colony and tourist site, in Tasmania in 1996. — AP





Founder and Publisher

YOUSUF S. AL-ALYAN Editor-in-Chief

ABD AL-RAHMAN AL-ALYAN EDITORIAL : 24833199-24833358-24833432 ADVERTISING : 24835616/7 FAX : 24835620/1 CIRCULATION : 24833199 Extn. 163 ACCOUNTS : 24835619 COMMERCIAL : 24835618 P.O.Box 1301 Safat,13014 Kuwait. E MAIL Website:

Washington Watch

Xmas in Newtown By Dr James J Zogby

rom this day on, Christmas in Newtown, Connecticut will always mean something very different. It is difficult to imagine the raw pain and the horror being felt in that community now ravaged by unspeakable violence. But imagine it we must, because Newtown is all of us, and we have something to learn from their tragedy. For families in Newtown, gone forever is the innocence of the season. And changed forever is the expectant joy of its children and families as they await the blessings of the day that commemorates the birth of Jesus. Instead of celebrations, this day will now become one of remembrance and profound sorrow. In time, the rawness of the hurt will fade, as it always does, but the sadness and sense of loss will always be there. If anything, this horror of Newtown should remind us that this season of joy has always been mixed with pain and fear. As the Bible tells the story, Mary and Joseph coming to Bethlehem found no place to rest and so Mary, a frightened young expectant mother, had to give birth in a cave, which doubled as a stable. And lest we forget, the act of birth itself can be painful. The Qur’an tells how Mary in the throes of labor cried out in pain to God wishing that she had died before this, whereupon the angel appeared reminding her that God never gives us a test that he does not give us the strength to endure. Shortly after the birth of Jesus, the Bible story continues telling us that Herod, then ruler in Palestine, became concerned upon hearing of the birth of one who would become king. He sent his troops to slaughter all the children in that region, hoping to rid himself of this threat. One can only imagine their fear, as Mary and Joseph took flight to Egypt with their newborn seeking safety in a strange new land. The bible story prepares us for more sorrow; the fear felt by Mary and Joseph at the loss of their child in the crowded Temple in Jerusalem and then the pain that Mary was forced to endure as she watched her only son taken captive, tortured, and then cruelly put to death. Over the centuries, we have cleansed the Christmas story of its pain and fear and made it a more antiseptic season of joy. There is, to be sure, a beauty and simplicity in the Christmas we have made. It became a time of giving and receiving; a time of beauty, with lights and decorated trees, and visions of Santa Claus. Some would condemn all of this as overly commercial and lament the transformation of this once religious celebration into an increasingly secular event. But, the critics be damned, there is something quite wonderful about the Christmas we made for our children. You can see its wonder in their expectant eyes. Then, in one horrific act, we are reminded of the fragility of our joy, and transformative power of evil to shatter the world we have created. And so it is for the people of Newtown, Connecticut, and for the rest of us-who though far from that wounded town can only try to understand the horror of parents whose children have been taken so abruptly from them, and the trauma of their neighbors and friends who are living now in the aftermath of such senseless suffering. All that we can do is remember them, praying that they find the strength to endure. We also can and should act to remove the curse of gun violence from our country. And we can and must examine the roots of the sickness that continues with disturbing frequency to take such a terrible toll. We have seen too many senseless deaths-five mass killings taking 60 lives in the last five months alone. This madness must end. But when all is said and done, there is Newtown, its lost children and its grieving families. With one act, on one day, that community has, unwillingly entered our national lexicon. Once described by a resident as “a quiet, little town”, it will from this day on be remembered by the rest of us in the same breath as Columbine and Virginia Tech and Aurora. The lights will, for a time, go out in Newtown. And in the Christmas’ to come there will always be an emptiness and a sense of loss. We can pass legislation, and we must, but it will always be too late for the lost children and grieving families of that wounded community-and this, we should never forget.


All articles appearing on these pages are the personal opinion of the writers. Kuwait Times takes no responsibility for views expressed therein. Kuwait Times invites readers to voice their opinions. Please send submissions via email to: or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

Israel’s inescapable geopolitical dilemma By Reva Bhalla he state of Israel has a basic, inescapable geopolitical dilemma: Its national security requirements outstrip its military capabilities, making it dependent on an outside power. Not only must that power have significant military capabilities but it also must have enough common ground with Israel to align its foreign policy toward the Arab world with that of Israel’s. These are rather heavy requirements for such a small nation. Security, in the Israeli sense, is thus often characterized in terms of survival. And for Israel to survive, it needs just the right blend of geopolitical circumstance, complex diplomatic arrangements and military preparedness to respond to potential threats nearby. Over the past 33 years, a sense of complacency settled over Israel and gave rise to various theories that it could finally overcome its dependency on outside powers. But a familiar sense of unease crept back into the Israeli psyche before any of those arguments could take root. A survey of the Israeli periphery in Egypt, Syria and Jordan explains why.


MAINTAINING THE SINAI BUFFER To Israel’s southwest lies the Sinai Desert. This land is economically useless; only hardened Bedouins who sparsely populate the desert expanse consider the terrain suitable for living. This makes the Sinai an ideal buffer. Its economic lifelessness gives it extraordinary strategic importance in keeping the largest Arab army-Egypt’s-at a safe distance from Israeli population centers. It is the maintenance of this buffer that forms the foundation of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The question percolating in Israeli policy circles is whether an Islamist Egypt will give the same level of importance to this strategic buffer. The answer to that question rests with the military, an institution that has formed the backbone of the Egyptian state since the rise of Gamel Abdul Nasser in 1952. Over the past month, the military’s role in this new Muslim Brotherhood-run Egypt quietly revealed itself. The first test came in the form of the Gaza crisis, when the military quietly negotiated security guarantees with Israel while the Muslim Brotherhood basked in the diplomatic spotlight. The second test came when Egypt’s Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi,

attempted a unilateral push on a constitutional draft to institutionalize the Muslim Brotherhood’s hold on power. The military bided its time, waiting for the protests to escalate to the point that rioters began targeting the presidential palace. By then, it was apparent that the police were not to be fully relied on to secure the streets. Morsi had no choice but to turn to the military for help, and that request revealed how indispensable the military is for Egyptian stability. There will be plenty of noise and confusion in the lead-up to the Dec. 15 referendum as the secular, anti-Muslim Brotherhood civilian opposition continues its protests against Morsi. But filter through that noise, and one can see that the military and the Muslim Brotherhood appear to be adjusting slowly to a new order of Nasserite-Islamist rule. Unlike the 1979 peace treaty, this working arrangement between the military and the Islamists is alive and temperamental. Israel can find some comfort in seeing that the military remains central to the stability of the Egyptian state and will thus likely play a major role in protecting the Sinai buffer. However, merely observing this dance between the military and the Islamists from across the desert is enough to unnerve Israel and justify a more pre-emptive military posture on the border. DEFENDING GALILEE Israel lacks a good buffer to its north. The most natural, albeit imperfect, line of defense is the Litani River in modern-day Lebanon, with a second line of defense between Mount Hermon and the Sea of Galilee. Modern-day Israel encompasses this second barrier, a hilly area that has been the target of sporadic mortar shelling from Syrian government forces in pursuit of Sunni rebels. Israel does not face a conventional military threat to its north, nor will it for some time. But the descent of the northern Levant into sectarian-driven, clan-based warfare presents a different kind of threat on Israel’s northern frontier. It is only a matter of time before Alawite forces will have to retreat from Damascus and defend themselves against a Sunni majority from their coastal enclave. The conflict will necessarily subsume Lebanon, and the framework that Israel has relied on for decades to manage more sizable, unconventional threats like Hezbollah will come undone. Somewhere along the way, there will be an internationally endorsed

attempt to prop up a provisional government and maintain as much of the state machinery as possible to avoid the scenario of a post-US invasion Iraq. But when decades-old, sectarian-driven vendettas are concerned, there is cause for pessimism in judging the viability of those plans. Israel cannot avoid thinking in terms of worst-case scenarios, so it will continue to reinforce its northern defenses ahead of more instability. NEUTRALIZING JORDAN RIVER VALLEY The status of the Jordan River Valley is essential to Israel’s sense of security to the east. So long as Israel can dominate the west bank of the river (the biblical area of Judea and Samaria, or the modernday West Bank) then it can overwhelm indigenous forces from the desert farther east. To keep this arrangement intact, Israel will somehow attempt to politically neutralize whichever power controls the east bank of the Jordan River. In the post-Ottoman Middle East, this power takes the form of the Hashemite monarchs, who were transplanted from Arabia by the British. The vulnerability that the Hashemites felt as a foreign entity in charge of economically lackluster terrain created ideal conditions for Israel to protect its eastern approach. The Hashemites had to devise complex political arrangements at home to sustain the monarchy in the face of left-wing Nasserist, Palestinian separatist and Islamist militant threats. The key to Hashemite survival was in aligning with the rural East Bank tribes, co-opting the Palestinians and cooperating with Israel in security issues to keep its western frontier calm. In short, the Hashemites were vulnerable enough for Israel to be considered a useful security partner but not so vulnerable that Israel couldn’t rely on the regime to protect its eastern approach. There was a level of tension that was necessary to maintain the strategic partnership, but that level of tension had to remain within a certain band. That arrangement is now under considerable stress. The Hashemites are facing outright calls for deposition from the same tribal East Bankers, Palestinians and Islamists that for decades formed the foundation of the state. That is because the state itself is weakening under the pressure of high oil prices, now sapping at the subsidies that have been relied on to tame the population. One could assume that Jordan’s oil-rich Gulf Arab

neighbors would step in to defend one of the region’s remaining monarchies of the postOttoman order against a rising tide of Muslim Brotherhood-led Islamism with heavily subsidized energy sales. However, a still-bitter, age-old geopolitical rivalry between the Hejaz-hailing Hashemite dynasty and the Nejd-hailing Saudi dynasty over supremacy in Arabia is getting in the way. From across the Gulf, an emboldened Iran is already trying to exploit this Arab tension by cozying up to the Hashemites with subsidized energy sales to extend Tehran’s reach into the West Bank and eventually threaten Israel. Jordan has publicly warded off Iran’s offer, and significant logistical challenges may inhibit such cooperation. But ongoing negotiations between Iran’s allies in Baghdad and the Jordanian regime bear close watching as Jordan’s vulnerabilities continue to rise at home. POWERFUL PARTNERS ABROAD In this fluctuating strategic environment, Israel cannot afford to be isolated politically. Its need for a power patron will grow alongside its insecurities in its periphery. Israel’s current patron, the United States, is also grappling with the emerging Islamist order in the region. But in this new regional dynamic, the United States will eventually look past ideology in search of partners to help manage the region. As U.S.-Turkish relations in recent years and the United States’ recent interactions with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood reveal, it will be an awkward and bumpy experience while Washington tries to figure out who holds the reins of power and which brand of Islamists it can negotiate with amid messy power transitions. This is much harder for Israel to do independently by virtue of ideology, size and location. Israel’s range of maneuver in foreign policy will narrow considerably as it becomes more dependent on external powers and as its interests clash with those of its patrons. Israel is in store for more discomfort in its decision-making and more creativity in its diplomacy. The irony is that while Israel is a western-style democracy, it was most secure in an age of Arab dictatorships. As those dictatorships give way to weak and in some cases crumbling states, Israeli survival instincts will again be put to the test. —Stratfor

Is Boko Haram more dangerous than ever? By Scott Stewart n Nov 25, Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group from northern Nigeria, attacked a church in Jaji, Kaduna state, using two suicide bombers during the church’s weekly religious service. The first bomb detonated in a vehicle driven into the church, and the second detonated approximately 10 minutes later, when a crowd of first responders gathered at the scene. About 30 people were killed in the attacks; the second blast caused the majority of the deaths. The incident was particularly symbolic because Jaji is the home of Nigeria’s Armed Forces Command and Staff College, and many of the churchgoers were senior military officers. In the wake of the Jaji attacks, media reports quoted human rights groups saying that Boko Haram has killed more people in 2012 than ever before. The group has killed roughly 770 people this year, leading many to conclude that Boko Haram has become more dangerous. However, it is important to look beyond the sheer number of fatalities when drawing such conclusions about a group like Boko Haram. Indeed, a less cursory look at the group reveals that while 2012 has been a particularly deadly year, the Nigerian government has curtailed the group’s capabilities. In terms of operational planning, the group has been limited to simple attacks against soft targets in or near its core territory. In other words, Boko Haram remains deadly, but it is actually less capable than it used to be, relegating the group to a limited, regional threat unless this dynamic is somehow altered.


BOKO HARAM’S RISE Boko Haram, Hausa for “Western Education is Sinful,” was established in 2002 in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s Borno state. It has since spread to several other northern and central Nigerian states. Its official name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, Arabic for “Group Committed to Propagating the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.” While Boko Haram is a relatively new phenomenon, Nigeria has struggled with militant Islamism for decades. For example, the Maitatsine sect, led by Mohammed Marwa, fomented violence in the early 1980s in the very same cities that Boko Haram is presently active. Initially, Boko Haram incited sectarian violence and attacked Christians with clubs, machetes and small arms. But by 2010, the group had added Molotov cocktails and simple improvised explosive devices to its arsenal. In 2011, Boko

Haram made a major operational leap when it unexpectedly began to use large suicide vehicle bombs. They were used first in the botched attack against the national police headquarters in Abuja in June 2011, and they were later used in the more successful attack against a UN compound in Abuja in August 2011. The leap from simple attacks in Boko Haram’s core areas to sophisticated attacks using large vehicle bombs in the nation’s capital skipped several steps in the normal progression of militant operations. The group’s progression suggested that it had received outside training or assistance. The sudden increase in operational capacity appeared to have corroborated reports circulating at that time of Boko Haram militants attending training camps run by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. This rapid progression, which came in the wake of a Nigerian operative being involved in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s plot to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner, led to a concern that Boko Haram had the capability and the intent to become the next transnational jihadist franchise capable of threatening the United States and Europe. These fears were further stoked by warnings from the U.S. government in November 2011 that Boko Haram was planning to attack Western hotels in Abuja. DYNAMIC CHANGES To counter the perceived growing Boko Haram threat, the Nigerian government, aided by intelligence and training provided by the United States and its European allies, launched a major offensive against the group. Since January, the government has arrested or killed several leaders of Boko Haram, disrupted a number of cells and dismantled numerous bombmaking facilities. In addition to government efforts, there has been a grassroots backlash against Boko Haram, as evidenced by the formation of anti-Boko Haram militant group Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, or “Supporters of Muslims in the Lands of Sudan,” commonly known as Ansaru. Boko Haram has lashed out viciously against these countermeasures. From June to August, the group conducted nine suicide bombings, mostly directed against churches and police or military targets in its home territory. Since August, the operational tempo of its suicide bombings has slowed to about one attack a month. Boko Haram operatives have also conducted a number of armed attacks and non-suicide bombing attacks. Many of these were directed against churches and police or military targets, but several of them were also directed against

mosques that denounced Boko Haram. Despite warnings that Boko Haram would target Western hotels in Abuja, the group has not attacked an international target since the UN building in August 2011. Boko Haram activity has remained heavily concentrated in its core areas with occasional operations in Abuja. There have been only two Boko Haram attacks in Abuja in 2012: a large suicide vehicle bombing attack against a newspaper office in April and a small bombing attack against a nightclub in June. It appears that the group’s ability to conduct large attacks in Abuja has been constrained by government operations. Tactically, Boko Haram’s attacks in 2012 have focused almost exclusively on soft targets. Even its attacks against military and police targets have been directed against police on patrol or isolated police stations with little security or have been a target like the church at the military base in Jaji. So while Boko Haram progressed rapidly in terms of operational ability in 2011, it is still struggling to conduct sustained operations outside its core geographic territory, and it has yet to successfully strike a hardened target. Even the August 2011 attack against the United Nations, while demonstrating some geographic reach and a focus on an international target, was directed against a relatively soft target instead of a harder target like a government ministry building or a foreign embassy. It is also notable that the group has not conducted an attack in Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city, or in Niger, Chad or Cameroon, which are all closer to the Boko Haram home territories than Lagos. However, in Nigeria, the use of militant proxies has long been part of the political process. Just as Niger Delta politicians have used groups like the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta for their own purposes, politicians in Nigeria’s northeast have supported and used Boko Haram. In fact, an alleged senior member of the group was arrested at the home of a Nigerian senator in Maiduguri in October 2012, and a previous governor of Borno state is allegedly a sponsor of the group. This type of political and financial support means that despite the efforts of the central government, the group will not be easily or quickly eradicated. Any serious attempt to curtail the group will require a political solution, which will be highly unlikely during the next two years due to the usefulness of such proxies in the lead-up to Nigerian national elections in early 2015. Therefore, the central government’s options will be limited. The best it can hope for is to continue to pursue the group to contain it and limit its reach and lethality. —Stratfor


sp orts Lochte breaks own record

Safety fears at Cagliari stadium

ISTANBUL: Ryan Lochte of the United States smashed his own world record to win the 200 metres individual medley at the world short-course championships on Friday and then shocked the crowd by giving his medal to a fan. Lochte finished in one minute 49.63 seconds to shatter the mark of 1:50.08 he set in December 2010 at the worlds in Dubai. It was his fourth title at this year’s championships after he claimed golds in the 200 freestyle and 4x100 freestyle on Wednesday and the 4x200 on Thursday. “One of the reasons why I’m in this sport is because of the fans,” the five-time Olympic champion told the BBC after handing his gold medal to a young boy who was waiting for an autograph. “They have done so much with the cheering and the support throughout my years and just the love that they have given me I wanted to give back and putting a medal around their neck and seeing that glow on their face means the world to me,” he added. Japan’s Daiya Seto took silver in 1:52.80 with Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh grabbing the bronze medal in 1:52.89. Lochte won six gold medals and one silver when Dubai hosted the short-course event in 2010. —Reuters

ROME: Cagliari’s game against Serie A champions Juventus on Friday is at risk after local authorities in Sardinia again said the club’s Is Arenas is not fit to host a match. The council for Quartu Sant’Elena, which is responsible for the area on the outskirts of the Sardinian capital where the stadium is situated, said in a statement yesterday it could no longer authorise the use of the ground due to safety issues. It means that if work on the stadium is not finished next week, the game could be postponed. “Following the last meeting of the board of supervisors for public entertainment, which confirmed the stadium’s shortcomings in terms of safety, the council believes that use of the Is Arenas can no longer be autho-

rised,” the statement read. The council’s statement supersedes that of the local prefecture, which on Thursday gave the club 30 days to finish the work at the ground, which is owned by the council and for which Cagliari have to pay rent. The local public prosecutor’s office is carrying out an investigation into how responsibility regarding the stadium should be shared between the club and the council. The row over the Is Arenas has lasted months, with Cagliari’s game against AS Roma cancelled in September after chairman Massimo Cellino urged fans to attend the game despite the club having been ordered to play it behind closed doors.—Reuters

Inzamam: Be aggressive ISLAMABAD: Pakistan batting consultant Inzamam-ul-Haq advised his batsmen to play positively when the limited-overs series against archrival India starts later this month and predicts the team that handles the pressure better will emerge the winner. The former Pakistan captain will spend a week with the players at the training camp in Lahore before the team leaves for India on Dec. 22. “Whosoever plays aggressive cricket against India will perform better,” Inzamam said yesterday. Inzamam was one of Pakistan’s most successful batsmen in international cricket before retiring in 2007 after scoring 8,830 runs in 120 tests and 11,739 runs in 378 ODIs. Pakistan is scheduled to play two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals when the series begins at Bangalore on Dec. 25. It ends in New Delhi on Jan. 6. It will be the first bilateral series between the two south Asian neighbors in five years since India last hosted Pakistan in 2007. The bilateral cricketing ties were suspended after terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008 killed 166 people, with India blaming Pakistan for the tragedy.—AP

Pacers roll past 76ers INDIANAPOLIS: Paul George scored 28 points and Roy Hibbert played his best all-around game of the season, leading the Indiana Pacers past the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers 95-85 on Friday night. George scored 14 points during a third-quarter flurry that changed the game. Hibbert had 19 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. Philadelphia played without guard Jrue Holiday, who sat out with a sprained left foot. Evan Turner scored 20 points and reserve Spencer Hawes had 18 for the 76ers. After giving up six points to Philadelphia in the final 3.8 seconds of the first half, the Pacers used a 16-4 third-quarter run to take a 60-52 lead and never trailed again. George Hill had 15 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for Indiana. Lakers 102, Wizards 96 In Washington, Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, reserve Jodie Meeks added 24 and the Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak. Slowed by foul trouble, Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds, and the Lakers improved to 10-14. Cartier Martin scored a season-high 21 points for Washington, which fell to an NBA-worst 3-17. But the Wizards led by as many nine points in the first half and, after trailing by as many 16 in the second, closed to 9289 on Nene’s free throws with 51/2 minutes left in the game. With Washington within five and 41/2 minutes left, Martell Webster was called for a foul on Bryant on a 3point attempt, even though a replay appeared to show no contact. Bryant made all three free throws, and the Lakers were on their way.

ITALY: Steven Nyman, of the United States, celebrates on the podium after winning an Alpine ski, men’s World Cup downhill.—AP

Nyman wins Val Gardena classic VAL GARDENA: Steven Nyman took advantage of improving weather conditions to conquer the Val Gardena classic downhill for the second time on a shortened Saslong course yesterday. Six years after his only World Cup victory to date on the same Italian piste, the 30-year-old American upset the favourites to win in one minute 28.82 seconds. The organisers’ decision to hold the race at all costs after two delays and an interruption helped the Park City speed specialist back on the podium for the first time in five years. “I realised that it was going to be faster but to be honest, it was even faster than I thought and it sometimes went almost too fast for me,” said Nyman, who had three other World Cup podiums behind him. “My first victory here was fantastic because it was such a surprise but this is even, stronger because of the long fight I had to make to get back here”, added the American, who has a long history of injuries. While Nyman is a specialist speedster, the lucky man on the day was Slovenia’s Rok Perko, who finished second, 0.19 of a second adrift, for his first top 10 placing after seven years on the

circuit. “It’s the dream of a lifetime to be on a World Cup podium,” said a bemused Perko, a junior world champion in 2005. In a race favoring late starters, world champion Erik Guay finished third, 0.24 behind Nyman. The Canadian was pleasantly surprised after missing most of his autumn training because of a knee injury. Starting in much worse conditions with poor visibility, Norwegians Kjetil Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal finished fourth and fifth. Svindal took his overall World Cup total to 585 points, leading American Ted Ligety by 177 points while holder Marcel Hirscher of Austria lies third on 380 points. Heavy snowfalls forced two delays to the race and it finally took place two hours behind schedule on a shortened course to enhance visibility. The classic Val Gardena downhill had been stopped last season because of gusty winds and the International Ski Federation clearly did not want it called off again. But while the first 11 starters were able to complete the course safely, fog rose again above the tricky, bumpy Kamelbuckel section, forcing the organisers to halt the race for another half hour. — Reuters

Magic 99, Warriors 85 In Orlando, JJ Redick had 16 points and Nikola Vucevic added 12 points and 17 rebounds to help Orlando hold on for the win The Magic led by as many as 20 before their lead was trimmed to 10 points late. But they connected on nine 3-pointers to help secure the win. Andrew Nicholson added 15 points and nine rebounds. The victory snapped a four-game home losing streak for the Magic, who have won eight of their past nine against the Warriors. Stephen Curry led Golden State with 25 points and David Lee had 24. Golden State had won five in a row. The Warriors conclude their seven-game road trip Saturday in Atlanta.

Ibaka added 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Sacramento Kings 113-103 on Friday night for their 10th straight win. It’s the franchise’s longest winning streak since November 1996, when it won 11 in a row as the Seattle SuperSonics. The Kings didn’t go away easily, closing to 103-98 after trailing by as many as 24 in the fourth quarter. Isaiah Thomas scored all 26 of his points in the final 131/2 minutes. He had four 3-pointers, a layup and a jumper during a 23-4 comeback attempt by Sacramento. Thunder coach Scott Brooks had already emptied his bench, but ended up calling timeout to put starters back in and hold off the Kings. Tyreke Evans had 21 points and Jason Thompson finished with 15 for Sacramento, which was outrebounded 43-29. Durant paid tribute to the victims of the school shooting earlier in the day by writing “Newtown, CT” on one shoe. Nets 107, Pistons 105 In New York, Joe Johnson made a jumper from just inside the arc as time expired in the second overtime, giving Brooklyn the victory. Johnson finished with 28 points for the Nets, scoring their final five in the second extra period. Gerald Wallace added 25 points and 10 rebounds. Deron Williams scored 17 points and Andray Blatche had 16 for the Nets, who blew a 17-point lead, missed their first six shots in the second overtime, and still managed to win their second straight. Brandon Knight scored 22 points and Rodney Stuckey had 19 for the Pistons, who dropped their third straight. Rockets 101, Celtics 89 In Houston, James Harden scored 21 points and Greg Smith added 20 to help the Rockets get the win. The Rockets used a 9-2 run capped by a 3-pointer by Harden to go up 52-47 in the third. They never trailed after that and cruised to the victory. Paul Pierce led Boston with 18 points after scoring a season-high 34 in the Celtics’ double-overtime win at Dallas on Wednesday. Harden, who had scored 30 or more in his last two games, got off to a slow start before heating up in the third quarter. Chandler Parsons added 15 points and Omer Asik had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who won their second straight. Rajon Rondo had 15 points, 13 assists and four steals for Boston, but also committed seven turnovers.

Timberwolves 113, Hornets 102 In New Orleans, Nikola Pekovic scored a seasonhigh 31 points, Andrei Kirilenko had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the Timberwolves won their third straight game. Pekovic was 14 for 18 from the field, scoring almost exclusively inside where Minnesota finished with a whopping 70-42 scoring advantage despite an off night for Kevin Love, who made only 4 of 18 shots. Love finished with 14 points, while Luke Ridnour scored 15 and Alexey Shved 13. Hornets rookie Austin Rivers had a career-high 27 points, scoring 19 in the first half. Ryan Anderson added 20 points and Greivis Vasquez collected 15 points and a career-high 17 assists. New Orleans has lost five straight and 15 of 17. Suns 99, Jazz 84 In Phoenix, Jared Dudley had a season-high 22 points to help Phoenix get the victory. Goran Dragic added 17 points and five assists for the Suns, who have won consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 2123. Phoenix has yet to win three straight this season. Al Jefferson, who had 27 points and 14 rebounds in the teams’ first meeting, was held to 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who had won four in a row. Paul Millsap added 12 points for Utah, which was held below 90 points for just the second time in its past 13 games. Nuggets 99, Grizzlies 94 In Denver, Andre Miller scored each of his 18 points in the second half, including four free throws in the final 10.2 seconds, and Denver got the win against slumping Memphis. Andre Iguodala scored 20 points for the Nuggets, who came off a grueling eight-day, five-game road trip to win their fourth in a row at home. Rudy Gay had 21 points for Memphis, which has lost three straight games for the first time this season. Marreese Speights and Mike Conley scored 14 points apiece and Wayne Ellington had 11. The Grizzlies lost Darrell Arthur at the end of the first quarter when he was struck in the mouth while trying to rebound a missed free throw. Arthur lay on the floor for several minutes receiving treatment from medical personnel before being helped to his feet and walking to the locker room for additional treatment. — AP

Bucks 90, Cavaliers 86 In Cleveland, Monta Ellis scored a season-high 33 points, Brandon Jennings added 16 and the Bucks picked up their fourth consecutive victory. It also was Milwaukee’s ninth straight victory over the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving scored 26 points for Cleveland, which committed a season-high 27 turnovers. The Cavaliers have lost seven of eight and 11 of 13. Ellis, who scored 20 points in the second half, was 12 for 24 from the field. Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao, the league’s leading rebounder, left the game in the first half after sustaining a contusion to his lower left leg. X-rays taken at halftime were negative and Varejao came back in the game early in the third quarter. He had eight points and 18 rebounds. Raptors 95, Mavericks 74 In Toronto, Linas Kleiza scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, rookie Terrence Ross had 18 points and Toronto snapped a six-game losing streak. DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon had 14 points each for the Raptors, who had lost 14 of their previous 17 meetings with the Mavericks, who came in ranked as the NBA’s fifth-best 3-point shooting team and endured a miserable shooting night. Dallas went 0 for 13 from 3-point range, coming up empty for the first time since February 1999. Its stretch of 1,108 games had been the longest active streak in the NBA. Derek Fisher was credited with a 3-pointer at 9:09 of the fourth, but the basket was later changed to a 2 after video review. The Raptors had lost 12 of 13 and were again without Andrea Bargnani (right elbow) and Kyle Lowry (right shoulder). Thunder 113, Kings 103 In Oklahoma, Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Serge

PHOENIX: Suns guard PJ Tucker (17) gets fouled by Utah Jazz guard Earl Watson (11) in the third quarter during an NBA basketball game. — AP

Memo to Goodell: Tips from Tags good idea NEW YORK: Pau Tagliabue has become one of those guys we come to appreciate much more out of office than we did when he was in it. Part of that is because history has been kind, so far, in assessing his 17-year run as commissioner. Some of it may have to do with his successor. Tagliabue lacked charisma, but never smarts. Low-key and pragmatic to the end, he rarely made himself the story. He reminded us of that again this week by giving both sides in Bountygate enough to tone down their feud, even as it was about to get uglier. Instead of bluster or threats, Tagliabue used legal jujitsu to solve a problem quickly and quietly, so everyone could get back to the field and the real business of making money. The same principle he applied in that decision could have characterized Tagliabue’s no-nonsense reign: It’s the game, stupid. Contrast that with Roger Goodell. While the current commissioner doesn’t suffer in any comparison on the business side, he should learn to tone it down. The NFL has never been more popular and a look at this weekend’s slate of games demonstrates why. There are so

many matchups between contenders spread over a half-dozen towns that Week 15 looks like the playoffs have already begun. It would take considerable luck and scrambling for the postseason to come up with three games that look as entertaining as San Francisco at New England, Denver at Baltimore and Chicago at Green Bay. But that wasn’t enough for Goodell. Speaking after an owners meeting Wednesday in the Dallas area, Goodell took issue with Tagliabue’s ruling in Bountygate, contending his predecessor let the players off the hook too easy. Never mind that Tagliabue did the same for Goodell, shoring up the shaky scaffolding of an investigation that couldn’t afford to take many more hits. “My personal view is I hold everyone responsible,” Goodell said. “Player health and safety is an important issue in this league. We’re all going to have to contribute to that, whether you’re a commissioner, whether you’re a coach, whether you’re a player, and we all have to be held accountable for it.” Considering the week he just had, and the two previ-

ous weekends trying to soothe grieving families and teammates following senseless tragedies, you would think Goodell would be laying low. So naturally, he went against the grain and let slip that the league will charge a committee with looking into expanding the playoffs to 14 or even 16 teams. Not surprising, it drew about as much support from players as an earlier proposal he floated for an 18-game regular season. In a tweet, the Packers Tom Crabtree suggested that while Goodell was at it, he might as well lengthen the preseason, too, expand the regular season to 82 games “(like nba)” and turn the playoffs into a “like triple elimination?” More to the heart of the issue was this from Sports Illustrated magazine’s Peter King: “The NFL has to stop thinking of ways to make more money, and start thinking of ways to keep the game the best game in America.” To be fair, Goodell has tried. He might have been reluctant to take on the concussion-related issues that cloud the game’s future - the same ones that flew under the radar during Tagliabue’s tenure, and those of

his predecessors. But he’s made a largely good-faith effort since. No doubt it’s difficult striking a balance as both CEO of an enterprise that rakes in $9 billion a year while at the same time protecting the employees that make the game go. With mounting litigation over those very same player-safety problems, everything he says is likely to be parsed for its value in a court of law one day. But the more he stubbornly defends every one of his positions - even the ones, as in Bountygate, where Goodell cherry-picked evidence and arrived at the wrong conclusion - the less of an honest broker he becomes. Not to mention a bigger distraction. The more headlines Goodell grabs, the less there are for the games themselves, which is where a commissioner’s focus should be directed. Besides, the league has plenty of high-priced lawyers to help it chart a course through what already resembles a legal minefield. And nobody rushes generals to the front in fights anymore. So maybe a few weeks in the background and away from the bully pulpit would do Goodell’s reputation a lot of good right now. — AP


sp orts

Australia attack takes charge after Hussey ton

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: This handout picture released by the Entertainment Group and taken yesterday shows Asia Team Player Bae Sang Moon of South Korea hitting a bunker shot on day two of the sixth Royal Trophy golf tournament between Asia and Europe.—AP

Schwartzel takes 10-shot lead MALELANE: South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel surged into a 10-shot lead at the Alfred Dunhill Championship after an eight-under-par 64 in the third round at the Leopard Creek Country Club yesterday. The former Masters champion began the day locked in a tie with Gregory Bourdy with both men on 13-under. However, the Frenchman bogeyed his first hole on the way to a two-over 74 while Schwartzel fired 10 birdies with just two dropped shots, his first of this week’s tournament, as he shot a second 64 in a row to go with his first round 67. Despite his impressive lead Schwartzel is not taking anything for granted ahead of the final round. “As a golfer you don’t like to think like that. It’s a nice comfort and I’d rather be 10 ahead than nine ahead. Whatever lead you can build is great. We’ve all see what can happen in this game. I don’t want to think about it,” he told reporters. Schwartzel enjoyed a superb front nine as he made the turn at four-under for the round after just 31 strokes on the picturesque par-72 lay-out bordering the Kruger National Park. He then fired four consecutive birdies from the 12th before chalking up another birdie on the 541-yeard par five 18th. Despite his fine scoring Schwartzel said he was not that pleased with his driver and it was his putting

that had been responsible for his position at the end of day three. “I don’t think I’m hitting my driver very well but I’m hitting my three-wood well. I seem to go for that and I’m hitting it really long, so it’s working out for me. Once I get into position then my iron play is good. “Probably the biggest thing of all is that I’m converting the putts,” he said. Schwartzel added that as long as he could keep the ball in play off the tee he had a chance of picking up birdies. “You don’t need you’re A-game to score well. There’s a big difference between flushing the golf ball and scoring. I’m not flushing it, but I’m scoring well. When you flush it you feel a lot less pressure. When you’re not hitting it well it doesn’t mean that you’re going to score worse, you’ve just got to work so much harder to get the ball down in play,” he said. Bourdy was alone in second place on 11-under with a group of three - Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg, South Africa’s Branden Grace and Briton Steve Webster - a shot further back. South Africa’s Keith Horne enjoyed a special moment with a second consecutive hole-in-one on the 192-yard par three 12th, winning a luxury German car for his achievement. — Reuters

Popovic leaves pack behind

JOHOR BAHRU: This handout photo released by the Asian Tour shows Daniel Chopra of Sweden playing a shot during the second round of the two million USD 2012 Iskandar Johor Open. — AFP

Chopra ahead in Malaysia MALAYSIA: Sweden’s Daniel Chopra took a one-stroke lead into the final day of the Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia after the tournament was reduced to 54 holes yesterday due to several weather disruptions. Chopra carded a six-under-par 66 to take the second round lead for a total of 10-under, a shot ahead of threetime Asian Tour winner Chapchai Nirat of Thailand. Chopra played his entire second round on Saturday and finished his bogey-fee round in the nick of time before the sirens signalled an afternoon delay that stopped play for almost three hours at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club. “I’m very lucky to be able to putt out on the last. I’ll get another afternoon off and watch it rain. It was almost similar on the first day where we were the last group to finish,” said Chopra, a twice winner on the PGA Tour. “I was on the good side of the draw this time but I’ve been on the bad side before. It all evens out but it is definitely an advantage.” Nirat, who recently became a father, also carded a blemish-free round of five-under 67 on Saturday and will be close on the heels of Chopra. “I want a good result for my new born son, who we welcomed in our family last week,” he told reporters. “It doesn’t matter if I win or not but I want to play well for him. It has been quite a while since I saw my name on top the leaderboard.” Filipino Antonio Lascuna, India’s SSP Chowrasia, Australia’s Unho Park and David Lipsky of the United States are a shot behind tied for third at the Asian Tour’s season-ending event. Spain’s Sergio Garcia, ranked number 20 in the world, and three-times Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee were in a pack of six players, three shots behind the leaders on seven-under. Marcus Fraser (68) remained on course to be the first Australian to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit by taking a two shot lead against current leader Thaworn Wiratchant going into the final 18 holes today. Thailand’s Wiratchant, who won the Order of Merit in 2005, is ahead of Fraser by $25,000 in the race but felt the scale has tipped in favour of the Australian. “He has a good short game. He is putting really well. I think he has a strong chance of winning,” the 15-times winner on the Asian Tour said. “I was feeling tired last night but now I’m feeling better. We have to see what happens tomorrow.” — Reuters

COOLUM: Daniel Popovic shot a 3-underpar 69 yesterday to take a two-stroke lead into the final round of an Australian PGA Championship marked by lesser-known golfers dominating the marquee players. Popovic, outside the top 1,000 in world rankings, had a 54-hole total of 13-under 203 on the Palmer Coolum Resort course. Fellow Australian Andrew Brown, who has never won as a professional and who has only one top-10 finish on the Australasian PGA Tour, shot 64 Saturday to move into second place. US Champions Tour regular Peter Senior, last week’s Australian Open winner, was tied for third with fellow Australian Matthew Griffin. Senior shot 68 and Griffin 70 yesterday and are three strokes behind Popovic. Robert Allenby shot 68 and fellow Australian Geoff Ogilvy, who needs to be among the top three here in order to finish in the top 50 year-end world rankings and earn a U.S. Masters spot next year, had a 72. They were tied for ninth and five strokes behind Popovic. Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, the 2011 British Open champion, shot 72 Saturday and was tied for 24th, eight strokes behind. South African Ror y Sabatini had a 70 and was 11 strokes out of the lead while Greg Norman, another player featured in the pre-tournament posters, only made it through two holes Thursday after withdrawing due to food poisoning. The 26-year-old Popovic, who has led after all three rounds, nearly quit golf earlier this year due to his father’s serious illness - his dad has incurable bone cancer. On Saturday, Popovic made a 15-foot birdie putt on the tough, water-lined 18th to give him his two-shot buffer into the final round. “I knew that I had it in me and I still know that I have one more good round tomorrow in me,” Popovic said. “I’ve just got to keep my routine going.” Popovic said his father would be watching the final round from his hospital bed, where he is undergoing further blood testing for his cancer. “It’s going to be an incredible ride for the whole family I think, tomorrow,” Popovic said. “For myself ... and my dad, it is going to be huge.” Brown had the round of the day, making birdie on six of his first 10 holes and bogeying only the par-4 13th. “I had a couple of slightly jittery holes towards the end of the back nine, so it was nice to hit a good drive down 18 and then hit an iron nice and close,” he said. “It hasn’t been the best year for me, but whenever you shoot 64 in any tournament, let alone the Aussie PGA, you take it.” Brown said his birdie at the fifth hole after hitting his approach into the trees was the turning point of his round. “I hit an ordinary second shot but got a good break away from the signage and holed a 25-foot putt for birdie, and then birdied the next two holes,” he said. “There are a lot of birdies out there but it is the kind of course where things can go pearshaped very quickly, too.”—AP

HOBART: Mike Hussey scored an unbeaten 115 to drive Australia towards an aggressive declaration at 450 for five before Sri Lanka were reduced to 87-4 at stumps on the second day of the first Test yesterday. More than two hours of play were lost to rain but the Australians made the most of what time they had on the picturesque Bellerive Oval to take firm control of the opening match in a three-test series. Dimuth Karunaratne was the first Sri Lankan to fall but it was the cheap wickets of the experienced duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene that would have delighted Australia more. Thilan Samaraweera was caught behind off the bowling of spinner Nathan Lyon for seven to bring an end to play and leave opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, who had made 50 not out, to resume today with Angelo Mathews. “I think we’re in a fantastic position after getting a couple of those late wickets,” Hussey told reporters. “You get Sangakarra, Jayawardene and Samaraweera out, they are guys that can make big scores and play in tough conditions. “But we’ve still got a lot of hard work to do, they’ll fight very hard the Sri Lankans, they won’t be giving anything up easy.” The day had started so well for the tourists when Australia, resuming on 299-4, lost Michael Clarke for 74 in the third over to break the latest in a run of prolific partnerships with Hussey that have produced 736 runs in the last four tests. Young paceman Shaminda Eranga induced the Australian captain into an edge which Sangakkara collected with ease at second slip but it was the last wicket to fall in the hosts’ innings. “We weren’t really up to it today,” Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford lamented. “I think the boys will be busy thinking about what went on today and hopefully we can come out and give it a real fight in the morning.” Matthew Wade (68 not out) and Hussey proved just as obdurate in a 146-run partnership and cut loose to pile up the runs when play finally resumed after lunch, racing towards the declaration 40 minutes before tea. Hussey reached his 19th test century in fortuitous circumstances when he was dropped at deep midwicket by Angelo Matthews and the ball bounced across the boundary rope for four. “When you are in the 90s, your mind does funny things,” Hussey said. “I couldn’t believe I picked him out. I’ve seen Angelo take some brilliant catches. Sometimes it just happens to be your day.” The 37-year-old breathed a huge sign of relief before whipping off his helmet to celebrate his third century in his last four matches and a fifth in six tests against Sri Lanka. It was not his most fluent innings coming off 171 balls with most of his eight

HOBART: Australia’s Michael Clarke (left) Matthew Wade (second right) and Ed Cowan (right) celebrate the wicket of Lanka’s Thilan Samaraweera (second left) caught behind for 7 runs on the second day of their cricket Test match.—AP fours struck after he reached the half century - but gave him a tally of 877 runs at an impressive average of 125.28 against the Sri Lankans. “Sometimes you just have teams that you seem to score runs against and there’s other teams that you struggle against,” Hussey added. “I don’t know why, it just seems to happen.” Wicketkeeper Wade had reached his own half century with a rushed single as he further cemented his place in the Australia team after his 68 in the last test against South Africa. Karunaratne, playing in only his second test, and Dilshan survived the seven overs between the declaration and tea but Ben

Hilfenhaus got the breakthrough soon after the break. The Tasmanian quick got the ball to move away from lefthander Karunaratne (14) and it took a good outside edge before Wade scooped it up behind the stumps. Sangakkara, who scored 192 in his last test in Hobart, had made four from 16 balls when he got a thick edge to a Peter Siddle delivery and Hussey took a fine catch at gully. Jayawardene had made 12 runs in his 36 minutes at the crease before all rounder Shane Watson proved once again his ability to take key wickets, trapping the Sri Lanka skipper leg before in a decision confirmed on appeal to the TV umpire. — Reuters

SCOREBOARD HOBART: Scoreboard at close of play on the second day of the first test between Australia and Sri Lanka at Bellerive Oval yesterday: Australia won the toss and chose to bat Australia first innings (overnight 299-4) D. Warner run out 57 E. Cowan c Eranga b Welegedara 4 P. Hughes b Welegedara 86 S. Watson c M. Jayawardene b Welegedara 30 M.Clarke c Sangakkara b Eranga 74 M. Hussey not out 115 M. Wade not out 68 Extras (b-1, lb-3, w-1, nb-11) 16 Total (for five wickets dec, 131 overs) 450 Fall of wickets: 1-18 2-97 3-183 4-198 5-304 Did not bat: P. Siddle, B. Hilfenhaus, M. Starc, N. Lyon. Bowling: Kulasekara 32-2-80-0 (nb-5, w-1), Welegedara 26-1-130-3 (nb-4), Eranga 25-590-1 (nb-2), Mathews 15-3-41-0, Dilshan 7-0-

30-0, Herath 26-4-75-0. Sri Lanka first innings D. Karunaratne c Wade b Hilfenhaus 14 T. Dilshan not out 50 K. Sangakkara c Hussey b Siddle 4 M. Jayawardene lbw Watson 12 T. Samaraweera c Wade b Lyon 7 Extras 0 Total (for four wickets, 29.1 overs) 87 Fall of wickets: 1-25 2-42 3-70 4-87 To bat: A. Mathews, P. Jayawardene, N. Kulasekara, C. Welegedara, S. Eranga, R. Herath. Bowling: Starc 7-1-30-0, Hilfenhaus 9-3-18-1, Lyon 2.1-2-0-1, Siddle 6-1-23-1, Watson 5-116-1.

Watson was an elementary choice for the Ryder Cup NEW YORK: Remember this before saluting PGA of America officials for going “outside the box” when they selected Tom Watson as the next Ryder Cup captain. They’re the ones who built the box in the first place. With due respect to Larry Nelson, who has more reason than ever to believe he will never be a captain, and David Toms, who looked to be the best option inside the box, it’s tough to argue against Watson as the perfect pick for the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland. This is not so much a risk as a break from tradition. If there’s a complaint, it might be what took the PGA of America so long. “I was waiting about 20 years to get the call,”Watson said. It came at the right time. The 2014 matches will be played in Scotland, which treats Watson as one of its own. That’s where he won four of his five British Open titles, and he embraced everything about the home of golf. And even as the captain of the enemy team, Watson has a short history of playing well before a crowd that wanted the other guys to win - the “Duel in the Sun” against Jack Nicklaus at Turnberry in 1977, and his chip-in on the 17th at Pebble Beach that denied Nicklaus a record fifth US Open. Once the PGA of America finally got out of its box, Watson was the logical choice. For too many years, there was a feeling that a Ryder Cup captain had to be a major champion in his late 40s - old enough that he probably wouldn’t qualify for the team, young enough to still be playing on the PGA Tour so that he would have a pulse on the players, their skills and their personalities. Watson will be 65 when the 2014 matches are played in Scotland, making him the oldest captain in Ryder Cup history. Is he still in touch with today’s game? One answer came Sunday in Sydney when Watson had the lowest score of the final round (69) in the Australian Open. He offered an even stronger answer Thursday in the Empire State Building without even being asked. “The idea of being captain for a team of youngsters will be questioned,” Watson said. “I deflect that very simply by saying we play the same game. I play against these kids at the Masters. I play against them at the British Open, the Greenbrier Classic. We play the same game, and they understand that. I understand that.” The other question about the selection was his relationship with Tiger Woods, which shouldn’t be a factor and won’t be. In the months after Woods was caught having extramarital affairs, Watson didn’t mince words when he said it was time for Woods to show a little more humility and “clean up his act.”

Privately, Watson had been on Woods for his language on the golf course, even before Woods’ personal life came undone. Woods might hold grudges over little things, but he tends to take the high road on weightier matters. It was not surprising to see him issue a statement, just minutes after Watson was introduced on the “Today” show, to congratulate Watson and say that “I think he’s a really good choice.” “Tom knows what it takes to win, and that’s our ultimate goal,” Woods said, adding that he hoped to have the “privilege” of playing for him. Watson returned praise to Woods that was even more effusive. “He’s the best player maybe in the history of the game,” Watson said. “He brings a stature to the team that is unlike any other player on the team. And if he’s not on the team for any unforeseen reason ... you can bet that he’s going to be No. 1 on my pick list. My relationship with Tiger is fine. Whatever has been said before is water under the bridge. No issues.” Any American team is better off when Woods’ presence is minimized. Through no fault of his own, his stature is such that every U.S. team tends to be looked upon as Tiger Woods and 11 other guys. In Scotland, this will be Watson’s team. One overrated aspect of having Watson as captain is that he is far enough removed from these players that he won’t coddle them, allowing them to dictate who they want as partners and when they want to play. That’s easy to identify as a problem in defeat. It worked just fine for Davis Love III when the Americans had a 10-6 lead going into the last day at Medinah. If not for Ian Poulter’s five straight birdies or Justin Rose making a 35Tom Watson

foot putt, that’s not even an issue. You want a captain who calls all the shots? That didn’t work out very well for Hal Sutton, who was saddled with a team in poor form. No matter who is captain, the players still decide who gets the gold trophy. “The most important thing is for me as a captain is to get lucky,” Watson said. “I just hope I get lucky and that happens, that the players that are coming there are all playing well, and that we’re playing as a team, it will put us in a good chance of winning the tournament.” Most fascinating is the man indirectly responsible for Watson being considered - the late Jim Huber, a respected, cheerful television commentator and essayist with a passion for golf and a good story. Huber, who died in January of leukemia, wrote a book called, “Four Days in July,” about Watson coming within an 8-foot putt of winning the 2009 British Open at Turnberry when he was 59. Huber’s last golf assignment was the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda. He gave PGA of America officers a copy of his book before he left. Ted Bishop, appointed last month as PGA president, knew he was going to be in charge of picking next the captain. He read the book on the flight from Bermuda, and he called Huber with a question when he got home. “What would you think of Tom Watson as Ryder Cup captain in Scotland in 2014?” For all the fuss over Nelson and Toms not getting a call about the selection of a captain, turns out they were never under serious consideration. The PGA of America was looking for the right man for the right time. And once it stepped outside its box, the choice was obvious. — AP


sp orts

Goal-line technology here to stay, says FIFA president TOKYO: After unsuccessful tests of goal-line technology in 2005 and 2007, FIFA promised on Saturday that future World Cups would be free of any more shocking Frank Lampard moments. Soccer’s world governing body are using two systems, Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, at the Club World Cup in Japan, with one of them to be used at next year’s Confederations Cup. “One of these two systems - we are not going to take both - but one of the two will be used at Confederations Cup and at the 2014 World Cup,” Blatter told reporters in Tokyo. “There were no critical decisions so far,” the Swiss added before Sunday’s final between Chelsea

and Brazil’s Corinthians in Yokohama. “We will make an assessment after the final matches tomorrow. For the time being, we can only say it works.” The British-designed Hawk-Eye, used successfully for many years in cricket and tennis, relies on seven high-speed cameras set up at different angles covering each goal. GoalRef, a DanishGerman project, uses an electronic coil inside the ball and low magnetic waves around the goal. “The referees are happy to have this help for them because they know now if there is a conflicting situation they will get the accuracy to say if was a goal or not,” said Blatter. “We were speaking of goal-line technology

since the beginning of 2000. We had it in the 2007 Club World Cup with the (Cairos) chip in the ball system. “We saw it didn’t work so well so we put the goal-line technology on ice until we had a system that is accurate - and then look what happened. “In the 2010 World Cup, you remember Lampard scored a wonderful goal (against Germany) which landed at least 70 centimetres behind the line. “The officials couldn’t see it, wouldn’t see it - I don’t know. But anyway the game continued. “At that time as president of FIFA, I said if I was still president of FIFA in 2014 then we cannot afford to have the same situation when an accurate system

exists.” Both systems being used at the Club World Cup, which relay information to the referee via a vibrating wristwatch in a split second, have passed all pre-game tests with no problems. The English FA and Premier League have backed Hawk-Eye, though UEFA president Michel Platini remains stubbornly opposed to the use of technology. “We have found two accurate systems in the past year and therefore the goal-line technology has been introduced,” said Blatter. “We will use it for the highlight of the World Cup. We are very confident, the referees are confident and the players are confident that they know if a goal is scored or not.” — Reuters

Corgan rocks in ring as wrestling promoter PHILADELPHIA: Billy Corgan had a night off from the latest Smashing Pumpkins tour and a night out with The Blue Meanie. No, that’s not the next up-and-coming band with a colorful name, along the lines of the White Stripes or the Black Keys. The Blue Meanie is a professional wrestler - yes, hair and beard dyed cobalt blue to match his worn T-shirt - and Corgan was his tag-team partner for a Friday night road trip to an independent wrestling show in New Jersey. His next Smashing Pumpkins concert was a night away, and Corgan wasn’t going to miss it. The musician-songwriter is more than just another celebrity immersed in wrestling as some sort of quirky promotional stunt. Corgan’s childhood fandom of the high-flying moves and outlandish story lines morphed into a serious passion for the craft and real-life drama that goes with it. For the past year, the Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman has worked as the behind-the-scenes brainchild for the Resistance Pro Wrestling promotion out of Illinois. He teamed with R-Pro owners, brothers Gabe and Jacques Baron, to raise the diminished expectations that usually come with a typical weekend indie show and make the company a smashing success over the first 10 cards. Stretched out in a Philadelphia hotel room, Corgan explained he’s in the wrestling business for the long haul. “I like that it makes people uncomfortable,” Corgan said. “I like that it’s not an easy thing to explain. I like when it’s great, it’s amazing; when it’s bad, it’s really, really bad.” Corgan’s music career has pretty much been all great since he founded the seminal 1990s alternative-rock band that keeps churning out acclaimed records, like their latest, “Oceania,” even as they endured a breakup, lawsuits, and multiple lineup changes. He shifted his talents to R-Pro as the creative director, where he consults with wrestlers and maps out old-school story lines with a modern twist to keep the promotion strong. R-Pro isn’t quite the behemoth of World Wrestling Entertainment. But it’s not the typical low-budget show held in the local high school. “We want to be able to expand to where we’re a national brand and can run pretty much anywhere in the country,” Corgan said. “My name and my access to certain things get help get us there, but it doesn’t mean we’re ready for that. We’re better off being a little bit more conservative.” Corgan and the Baron brothers have no interest in running a typical indie show stocked with old-timers and highspots with no true story advancement. Corgan wants episodic events where the next show builds off the last one. He’s pitched a reality show on the promotion to a handful of networks and has even proposed becoming a developmental system for the WWE with Stephanie McMahon, who oversees the sports entertainment giant’s creative department. “I think it would be to our credit to get people to the top level,” Corgan said. “I think it does a disservice to our talent to not prepare them for the next level.” Corgan knows well the feeling shared by the prospects willing to fight in any dingy ring for a shot at performing for WWE or TNA Wrestling. Corgan remembers those dues-paying, eight-hour drives in the snow to the next empty club, dragging his own equipment, or performing for small crowds, all for the hope of hitting the big time. Corgan forged friendships with wrestling personalities like Edge, Chris Nowitzki, Raven, and former WWE writer Vince Russo, and said he was “long past being starry-eyed” about the unique culture of the pseudo-sport. He wasn’t going to dabble in wrestling; Corgan was building a franchise. The entertainment industry has long tried to wrest its way into the wrestling world. Mr. T and Lawrence Taylor main evented WWE cards. Aretha Franklin, Kid Rock and John Legend have all performed at WrestleMania. Corgan has attended a WrestleMania and participated in an angle for ECW. “The best minds in professional wrestling are from those who are the biggest fans,” said Brian Heffron, who wrestles as The Blue Meanie. “You can just tell his passion, his admiration and love for the sport and the art of professional wrestling.” Heffron, a former ECW and WWE wrestler, and Corgan met in 1998 and enjoyed swapping stories about life inside the squared circle. The Blue Meanie was a winner in his match earlier this month with Corgan in the crowd. Corgan, his head shaved just like WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, browsed the merchandise table, and talked to talent. “It’s not a side project to Billy,” Heffron said. “This is something he grew up living.” The Smashing Pumpkins just finished a tour, so Corgan hasn’t watched much of the bigleague weeknight action lately, but he keeps tabs on WWE’s flagship “RAW” show. WWE chairman Vince McMahon has put down the script and rumbled in the ring more than a few times over the last 20 years. But Corgan has no interest in smashing his guitar over one of his worker’s heads. “I use my hands for a living,” he said, flexing his fingers. “I don’t even play basketball because I might sprain a finger.” Still, the common threads of a rebellious spirit, wild excess, and unpredictable fun are why Corgan’s storytelling has worked as well in the ring as on stage. “Wrestling has a different code of ethics,” he said. “Some of it’s valuable, some of it’s strange and idiosyncratically left over from other eras. It’s a little bit like working in two different stores.” As for his other gig, the Pumpkins recently reissued their epic, “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness.” Corgan broke up the Pumpkins in 2000 before finding a new combination to record and tour again. “I don’t see a situation where the band would stop existing,” he said. “I think that was a mistake. I think if you don’t want to do it, you just put it down for a while. Breaking up? What good does it do? Everywhere I go, that’s all everyone wants to talk about, this video, this song, this concert. Even when I was out of the band, I was still in the band.” He can escape, at least for a bit, with R-Pro. — AP

DUBLIN: Clermont Auvergne’s Aurelien Rougerie (right) is tackled by Leinster’s Eoin Reddan (left) during the European Cup rugby union match between Leinster and Clermont Auvergne at Aviva Stadium.—AFP

DUBLIN: Clermont Auvergne’s Naipolioni Nalaga (center) is tackled by Leinster’s Issac Boss (left) during the European Cup rugby union match. — AP

Clermont outplay Leinster PARIS: Two-time defending champions Leinster were left teetering on the edge of going out in the pool stage of this season’s European Cup after being outplayed in a 28-21 defeat at home to French side Clermont yesterday. Clermont’s victory - built round 23 points from France star Morgan Parra’s boot - saw them move onto 18 points while Leinster are on 10 points, after grabbing a defensive bonus point right at the death when Fergus McFadden touched down. It gave the record crowd for a pool match - just over 48,000 - something to console themselves with. “We are very happy as every other time we have come here we have lost,” said Parra. “Our defence was the difference, which meant we got to control the ball.” His captain Aurelien Rougerie paid a handsome tribute to the France scrum-half. “He was everything to do with this victory. It is down to him.” Exeter are a point behind Leinster — with two games remaining — as they secured a second successive win over Welsh side Scarlets, with a 3020 win at home. Clermont led 9-6 approaching the break when they landed a huge psychological blow as they scored a superb try. Wesley Fofana burst over the line after Napolioni Nalaga had been brought down just short - Parra landed

the conversion to give them a 16-6 lead at half-time. Parra and Jonathan Sexton each converted a penalty early in the second-half. However, the hosts’ chances of getting back into the match got slimmer in the 50th minute when flanker Sean O’Brien was sin-binned for a dangerous challenge on Sitiveni Sivivatu and Parra landed the resulting penalty for 22-9. Parra added another in a peerless display of kicking but the Irish side, at last showing some fire, saw Shane Jennings go over - for only their second try in this season’s tournament - and Sexton added the conversion for 25-16. Parra, though, added yet another three points leaving the hosts 10 minutes to recoup something from the match which they did when Sexton burst from the halfway line and fed McFadden, who may have secured what turns out to be a crucial bonus point. Earlier on Saturday Ospreys restored some pride to Welsh club rugby with an impressive 17-6 victory over four-time European Cup winners Toulouse in their Pool 2 match. The Ospreys, whose two wins in this season’s competition are the only ones from 11 games Welsh sides have played in, scored the one try of the game through man of the match Eli Walker against a Toulouse side that totally

under-performed. Leicester went top of the pool after they eked out a come-from-behind 14-13 win over Treviso in Italy. The English side, who travel to Ospreys in the next round of matches in January, lead Toulouse by a point with two games remaining while Ospreys are five points adrift of the pool leaders. Leicester host Toulouse in what should be a thrilling final pool game. Toulouse general manager Guy Noves conceded that his side had not deserved to win. “We knew that we wouldn’t earn our spot in the knockout stages even if we won here and similarly we knew if we lost we wouldn’t be eliminated,” he said. “But I’m disappointed by our performance. I was expecting something else. There are a lot of things to be said to the team about this match, that is for sure.” The key moment came with Toulouse’s second yellow card in the game close on the hour mark when experienced flanker Jean Bouilhou was sin-binned for a high tackle on the outstanding 20-year-old wing Walker. Walker made them pay double for that as he was released on the left wing and evaded a dreadful attempt at a tackle by opposite number Yoann Huget to touch down and Toulouse never looked like recovering the ground. — AFP

Brazil to inaugurate first World Cup arena

SIGULDA: Peter Penz and Georg Fischler of Austria compete during the Luge World Cup Doubles competition.—AFP

Wendl, Arlt win at luge World Cup SIGULDA: Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won their fourth consecutive luge World Cup event Saturday to maintain a perfect record this season. The Germans clocked the fastest times in both runs in Sigulda to finish with a combined time of 1 minute, 25.104 seconds. Austrians Peter Penz and Georg Fischler came in second, ahead of Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber of Italy. “During our training runs we had difficulties in the middle part of track,” Wendl said. “But we analyzed our problems and then put it into practice in the second run. Even though we’re not so fast any more at the start we have improved our technique. And what is more - we’re having fun.” Americans Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall were 12th, 1.134 seconds behind the winners. The other U.S. team, Jake Hyrns and Andrew Sherk, finished in 16th place. Earlier yesterday, Tatiana Ivanova of Russia shattered Germany’s winning streak in the women’s competition,

beating four Germans to clinch her second luge World Cup victory and first of the season. “My first run was really very good. I’m pleased that I kept my lead until the very end,” Ivanova said. Ivanova, 21, led after the first run and held on to finish 0.039 seconds ahead of Natalie Geisenberger, who was fastest in the second run. Geisenberger tops the World Cup standings after four events. Three other Germans, Anke Wischnewski, Olympic champion Tatjana Huefner and Corinna Martini, were next. “I the second run I showed my potential. But then it’s good for the sport when every now and again another luger takes the podium’s top spot,” Geisenberger said. “I’m quite happy with the course of the season - twice on first place, twice a second-place finish and being at the top of the overall rankings. Well, that’s not too bad.” Erin Hamlin of the United States was sixth, 0.545 seconds behind Ivanova, while compatriots Julia Clukey and Emily Sweeney placed 10th and 17th, respectively. — AP

FORTALEZA: President Dilma Rousseff travels today to the northeastern city of Fortaleza to inaugurate the first Brazilian stadium readied for the 2014 World Cup, an arena built in part by using prison labor. With its 67,000-seat capacity, the renovated arena, ringed by metallic structures that look like sails floating in the wind, is one of six which will host next June’s Confederations Cup and the World Cup a year later. Other Brazilian host cities for the Confederations Cup are Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Salvador, Recife and Rio. Six other Brazilian cities: Cuiaba, Curitiba, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo will host World Cup games as well. Sunday, Rousseff will grace the inauguration of the Castelao (big castle) arena with her presence. A concert will follow. “The sea culture is very much present in the state of Ceara.It is the second destination in the world for kitesurfing fans after Spain,” said Ferruccio Feitosa, the state official responsible for the World Cup. The stadium is virtually completed, with workers putting the finishing touches on access to the facility. Fortaleza thus meets deadlines set by football’s world governing body FIFA. A first test event will be organized before next April 15 for the six host arenas for the Confederations Cup. The six will have to provide guarantees that they will be ready when the draw is held on December 6 next year for the World Cup, scheduled to take place from June 12 to July 13 2014. The arena here has three restaurants, an auditorium that can be converted into a movie theatre and a football museum. On January 27, it will be the first of the 12 World Cup host stadiums to stage a sporting event, a tournament fielding four Brazilian teams: Recife, Fortaleza, Ceara and Bahia Next to be inaugurated will be the Belo Horizonte arena on February 3. Why was Fortaleza able to complete its arena without problems while other projects fell behind schedule, eliciting criticism from FIFA?,” Feitosa was asked. “I don’t want to judge what went wrong in the other sites but I would have liked to see everybody follow the same successful path. It is just a question of sound management,” he replied. Work was completed within the initial budget of 290 million dollars (220 million euros), with the use of prison labour, just like in Salvador and Belo Horizonte, with female engineers handed a key role. Fortaleza also chose a prestigious ambassador: explayer Mirandinha, a former member of the national squad who once played in Japan and for English club Newcastle. Mirandinha hopes the premier sporting event will put Fortaleza on the world map and ‘attract tourists to its many palm-ringed beaches.—AFP


sp orts

Man City see off Newcastle Newcastle 1

Man City 3

LONDON: Everton’s Marouane Fellaini (left) and Stoke City’s Robert Huth battle for the ball during their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia Stadium.—AP

Fellaini headbutts Shawcross Stoke 1

Everton 1

STOKE: Everton manager David Moyes said his Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini deserves to be punished for headbutting Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross in yesterday’s 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium. Fellaini clashed with Shawcross on the hour mark as the players jostled for position at a corner, but the incident went unnoticed by referee Mark Halsey and his assistants. “He deserves to get the punishment. I’ve seen it, it’s a terrible thing to do and I expect him to be punished. It’s down to the FA. I’ve told him it’s not acceptable and whatever he gets, he and us deserve it,” conceded Moyes. A first-half own-goal from Shawcross had gifted Everton the lead, but Kenwyne Jones struck seven minutes after the break as Stoke stretched their undefeated run to seven matches, while Everton drew for the eighth time in their last 11 outings. The stalemate left Everton fourth on 27 points, two adrift of third-placed Chelsea, as Stoke remained ninth on 24 points and behind Arsenal on goal difference. Steven Nzonzi wasted an inviting chance to give Stoke the lead as he headed straight at goalkeeper Tim Howard after Jonathan Walters had steered the ball into his teammate’s path, while only a fine goalline clearance from Shawcross prevent-

Report bares SA match fixing before World Cup JOHANNESBURG: Convicted Singapori match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal rigged South Africa’s international friendlies ahead of the 2010 World Cup, the country’s football federation said yesterday. World football’s governing body FIFA found “compelling evidence” the pre-World Cup friendlies were fixed, said the South African Football Association (SAFA) in a statement. Perumal’s football development front company Football 4U paid SAFA to arrange friendly matches before the country hosted the global sporting event, a FIFA investigation found. “Perumal and Football 4U managed to infiltrate SAFA prior to the World Cup, with an offer to assist with referee development. The offer included providing FIFA-accredited Referees at their cost for the friendly matches prior to the FIFA 2010 World Cup,” SAFA said. Bafana Bafana (The Boys) beat Guatamala with a national record 5-0, Colombia 2-1 and Thailand 4-0 in friendly matches and drew one-all against Bulgaria. At the time questions were raised about the matches. The referees from Niger, Togo and Kenya conceded dubious penalties especially in the Colombia and Guatamala games. South Africa had asked the world sporting body to investigate and received a summary of the report on Friday. “The report identifies various SAFA officials who interacted with Football 4U, and recommends that ‘further examination’ of these officials should take place,” SAFA said. After running a global match-fixing syndicate Perumal was convicted in Finland in 2011. SAFA CEO Robin Petersen said the body would act on the information. “After taking appropriate legal advice and following due process, we will take action against all who are found to have acted improperly or criminally in this matter.”— AFP

ed Steven Naismith from putting the visitors ahead. However, Shawcross was the villain soon after as he inadvertently headed Steven Pienaar’s teasing delivery from the left beyond a helpless Asmir Begovic to hand Everton a 36th-minute lead. Leon Osman squandered a chance to double the Toffees’ advantage when he failed to hit the target after being picked out by Leighton Baines in the Stoke box, but the hosts emerged from the dressing room after the break looking revitalised. Howard denied Charlie Adam, but the US international was caught out as Jones equalised on 52 minutes, climbing expertly to meet Shawcross’ long diagonal ball and plant a header low into the corner for his first league goal of the season. The Trinidad and Tobago striker then had an opportunity to give Tony Pulis’ men the lead but shot wide from close range under pressure from Phil Jagielka. Everton should have been reduced to 10-men following Fellaini’s senseless act, which could have proved even more controversial as Nikica Jelavic subsequently forced a smart low save from Begovic. Substitute Cameron Jerome almost made an instant impact for the home side after replacing Adam, drilling just wide of the post after his initial attempt was blocked by Sylvain Distin. Howard then made a sprawling stop to deny Jerome again before Distin intervened with a vital headed clearance off the line to prevent Peter Crouch from putting Stoke ahead. Pienaar manufactured a late chance to snatch a winner for Everton, but the South African dragged a tame effort well wide of the mark after running at the hosts’ defence as Stoke equalled their longest unbeaten streak in the top flight. — AFP

Marseille squeeze past Toulouse PARIS: Andre-Pierre Gignac’s first goal since his return from injury guided Marseille to a 1-0 win over nine-man Toulouse, as Elie Baup’s side pulled level with Ligue 1 leaders Lyon yesterday. Gignac struck the game’s only goal on 68 minutes after the hosts had Cheikh M’Bengue and Franck Tabanou dismissed during the first half at Stade Municipal. Victory for Marseille moved them onto 35 points, trailing Lyon only on goal difference, with the table-toppers in action against title-rivals Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital today. Meanwhile, Toulouse were dealt a sixth defeat in eight as their poor run of form has seen them plummet to 12th in the standings. M’Bengue received a harsh straight red card for a lunge on Morgan Amalfitano on 25 minutes, while Toulouse goalkeeper Ali Ahamada saved a first-half penalty from Andre Ayew after Tabanou had impeded Jordan Ayew. The home side were then reduced to nine men as Tabanou was sent off for a rash challenge from behind on Andre Ayew on the stroke of half-time, as Ahamada produced a couple of excellent saves from Joey Barton and Lucas Mendes to keep it goalless at the interval. Ahamada added second-half substitute Gignac to the list of players he had foiled after the striker’s shot took a deflection off Aymen Abdennour, but the former Toulouse man finally broke the deadlock on 68 minutes. Gignac, who made a late cameo appearance in Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Bastia after two months out with a foot fracture, cut in from the left and sent a superb curling effort into the top corner that finally broke Ahamada’s impressive resistence.—AFP

NEWCASTLE: Manchester City won 3-1 at Newcastle United through goals from Sergio Aguero, Javi Garcia and Yaya Toure yesterday to improve the mood of manager Roberto Mancini. Mancini was an angry man after City lost at home to title rivals Manchester United in their previous game, sparking talk of rifts within the dressing room. But, if there are problems at the club, they were not obvious at St James’ Park, and particularly during a first half when City were in scintillating form that warranted more than two goals. Their failure to take other opportunities gave Newcastle a chance to gain a foothold in the game with a goal from Demba Bahis 11th of the season-early in the second half. But Toure’s goal made the points safe for City, underlining their determination to stay in the title race and adding to the relegation worries of Newcastle, who have now lost six of their last seven league games. There was certainly a gulf between the two teams in the first

half, apart from the opening minutes, when City were second-best. Only two minutes had gone when Papiss Cisse’s shot was brilliantly turned away by the City goalkeeper Joe Hart. It was a period of Newcastle pressure that clearly upset Mancini, who was soon on the touchline anxiously making changes to his team’s system. He need not have worried. Once City settled down, the movement, pace and trickery of their frontmen cruelly exploited Newcastle’s immobile back four. The visitors went ahead in the 10th minute and were in control to such an extent that they could have added three further goals in the following 10. The goal was an excellent one. Toure created it with a superb through ball that sent Samir Nasri clear and, ignoring the chance to score, he slid the ball across to present Aguero with a simple opportunity. Helpless on that occasion, Tim Krul, the Newcastle goalkeeper, soon did well to block a closerange shot by Carlos Tevez with an outstretched leg, then a cross by the influential Nasri just eluded the reach of two team-mates. Krul survived again when Nasri hit the post and Mike Williamson did well to block the follow-up shot from Aguero. Williamson, under fire from some Newcastle supporters recently, almost made City pay for their failure to turn superiority into goals with a volley that was saved by Hart in a rare Newcastle attack.

LONDON: Newcastle United’s James Perch (left) in action with Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta during the English Premier League soccer match at St James’ Park. — AP

But, af ter a Tevez shot was diver ted narrowly wide, Cit y finally gave themselves a twogoal cushion in the 39th minute from the resultant corner. Garcia rose well to win Silva’s corner, but Davide Santon really should have cleared the ball inside the far post, only to help it over the line with a miscued attempt at a clearance. By this stage, Nasri had been forced out of the game with a groin strain, but City must have been convinced they were equipped to cope without him. That confidence was soon eroded, though, as Newcastle started the second half

on the front foot and pulled a goal back in the 51st minute. Ba, who had fired a shot wide soon after the restart, was the scorer, heading in after Fabricio Coloccini hooked the ball back into the area. Cisse went close to an equaliser with a 53rd-minute shot that narrowly cleared the bar and Ba could only find the side netting 11 minutes later. It was a worrying time for Mancini, but City ended Newcastle’s revival in the 78th minute when Toure turned in a cross from Pablo Zabaleta to underline that there is still a long way to go in this title race.—AFP

Celtic end two month wait for home league victory

LONDON: Queens Park Rangers player Stephane Mbia (right) goes to head the ball with Fulham’s Hugo Rodallega during their English Premier League soccer match at Rangers Loftus Road stadium. — AP

Taarabt double ends QPR’s winless streak QPR 2

Fulham 1

LONDON: QPR ended a miserable 16-match winless run as Adel Taarabt’s double clinched a 2-1 victory over Fulham in the west London derby at Loftus Road yesterday. Morocco midfielder Taarabt struck twice in the second half and Mladen Petric’s late goal for the visitors wasn’t enough to stop Harry Redknapp’s side moving off the bottom of the Premier League with their first success of a dismal campaign. Redknapp is unbeaten in his four matches since replacing the sacked Mark Hughes last month, but this was the former Tottenham manager’s first victory and he will hope it can trigger a winning run from a team who remain five points from safety. When Redknapp took charge at QPR it was feared Taarabt might be forced out as he had been sold during the pair’s time together at Tottenham. But the Moroccan has thrived under his old boss and he proved a constant danger to the Fulham defence. Taarabt provided an early chance for Djibril Cisse with a fine

pass but the striker couldn’t beat Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Martin Jol’s side nearly contributed to their own downfall when a poor John Arne Riise backpass was intercepted by Jamie Mackie, but the QPR forward couldn’t beat Schwarzer. Fulham were struggling to get a foothold on proceedings but were almost gifted an opener by QPR goalkeeper Robert Green, who sent a miskick straight to Hugo Rodallega, only for the Colombian striker to miss the target. QPR finally took the lead their pressure deserved in the 52nd minute when Taarabt fired in a shot that deflected off Fulham defender Brede Hangeland, wrong footing Schwarzer and trickling into the net. If Fulham could feel hard done by over the first goal, they had no complaints about Taarabt’s second. In the 68th minute, Taarabt took possession just inside the Fulham half, surged away from Hangeland and cleverly tricked his way into the penalty area before slotting past Schwarzer with the outside of his right foot. Petric ensured a nervous finale for QPR when his strike deflected in off Mackie’s outstretched leg in the 88th minute. But the hosts held firm and could have scored again when Schwarzer somehow clawed out a goalbound Cisse header before the final whistle sparked wild celebrations. — AFP

GLASGOW: Celtic got their first home win in the league since October as they extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League with a 2-0 win over St Mirren yesterday. Victor Wanyama, who had already had a shot blocked on the line, gave Celtic a 15th minute lead when he tapped in the rebound from his own header. The Hoops then had a succession of penalty claims turned down by referee Calum Murray as Gary Hooper and Beram Kayal took tumbles in the box. Craig Samson made a superb save to stop a point-blank header from Scott Brown early in the second half before Mikel Lustig cracked a header off the bar. Hooper made sure of the points in the 83rd minute when he fired into the roof of the net from close range after the ball fell kindly for him following a Charlie Mulgrew corner. The win extends Celtic’s lead to four points over Motherwell, who leapfrogged Inverness Caledonian Thistle following a 32 win over Hibernian, with a game in hand. “We played well and should have been out of sight long before we got the second goal so there is always that bit of wariness in the back of your head at 1-0,” Celtic manager Neil Lennon said. “I was pleased with the chances we created, the way we worked the goalkeeper and our concentration levels and b u t fo r b e t te r f i n i s h i n g we could have won the game more handsomely.” Celtic, who hadn’t won at home in the league since October 7, started brightly and as early as the fifth minute Wanyama saw his header blocked on the line by Samson. After grabbing his first goal for Celtic in midweek, Adam Matthews looked in the mood to add more with his rising shot from the edge of the box going just over. The Hoops had a decent penalty claim in the 14th minute

when Hooper got sandwiched between Jim Goodwin and Paul Dummett as he attempted to get on the end of Kayal’s lofted pass into the box but referee Murray ignored his pleas. However, Celtic grabbed the opener a minute later through Wanyama. The Kenyan international saw his initial header from Mulgrew ’s corner saved by Samson on the line but the keeper spilled it back into his path and he tapped the rebound in. The Hoops had yet another penalty claim turned down after K ayal went down under Goodwin’s challenge but his protests were waved away. St Mirren had their first real chance just after the break when Kenny McLean ran at the Celtic defence before making room for a shot but he sliced his effort high and wide. Only a superb save from Samson stopped Celtic doubling their advantage in the 51st minute. Samaras’ cross was headed back across goal by Hooper where it was met by Brown but his point-blank bullet header was superbly stopped by Samson on the line. Swedish defender Lustig saw his header from a Mulgrew corner smash off the bar as the home side threatened again. The Hoops were nearly made to rue their missed chances when the ball fell kindly to John McGinn in the 66th minute but his strike went straight to Fraser Forster. Mulgrew came within inches of making it 2-0 with a curling effort from a free-kick before Hooper got the second in the 83rd minute. The striker lifted the ball into the roof of the net from four yards after Mulgrew’s in-swinging corner had rico cheted off Marc McAusland. Elsewhere, Inverness fought from being 3-0 down after ten minutes to claim a 4-4 draw with Dundee United at Tannadice, St Johnstone held Hearts to a 2-2 draw, Kilmarnock won 2-0 away to Aberdeen and Ross County and Dundee ended 1-1.—AFP

Victor Wanyama




Freiburg stun Schalke

Soccer results/standings Liverpool 1 (Gerrard 87) Aston Villa 3 (Benteke 29, 51, Weimann 40); Man Utd 3 (Van Persie 16, Cleverley 19, Rooney 59) Sunderland 1 (Campbell 72); Newcastle 1 (Ba 51) Man City 3 (Aguero 10, Garcia 39, Y.Toure 78); Norwich 2 (Pilkington 15, Hoolahan 64) Wigan 1 (Maloney 51); QPR 2 (Taarabt 52, 68) Fulham 1 (Petric 88); Stoke 1 (Jones 52) Everton 1 (Shawcross 36-og). English Football League results Championship Barnsley 0, Sheffield Wednesday 1; Birmingham 2, Crystal Palace 2; Blackpool 2, Blackburn 0; Bolton 2, Charlton 0; Brighton 0, Nottingham Forest 0; Bristol City 0, Derby 2; Burnley 1, Watford 1; Cardiff 1, Peterborough 2; Hull 2, Huddersfield 0; Leeds 2, Ipswich 0; Middlesbrough 2, Wolves 0; Millwall 1, Leicester 0. Division One Bournemouth 1, Colchester 0; Crewe 1, Bury 0; Doncaster 1, Coventry 4; Leyton Orient 1, Scunthorpe 3; Milton Keynes Dons 1, Hartlepool 0; Notts County 1, Brentford 2; Oldham 0, Swindon 2; Portsmouth 0, Preston 0; Sheffield Utd 0, Tranmere 0; Shrewsbury 2, Carlisle 1; Stevenage 1, Crawley 2; Walsall 2, Yeovil 2. Division Two AFC Wimbledon 0, Rotherham 1; Accrington 0, Wycombe 2; Aldershot 4, Rochdale 2; Cheltenham 1, Port Vale 1; Chesterfield 1, Burton 1; Dagenham and Redbridge 1, Barnet 0; Exeter 1, Plymouth 1; Gillingham 2, Fleetwood Town 2; Morecambe 1, Oxford 1; Southend 2, Bradford 2; Torquay 1,

Northampton 1; York 4, Bristol Rovers 1. Scottish Premier League results Aberdeen 0, Kilmarnock 2 (Kelly 45-pen, 86); Celtic 2 (Wanyama 15, Hooper 83) St Mirren 0; Dundee Utd 4 (Meekings 5-og, Daly 6, 90-pen, Skacel 8) Inverness CT 4 (McKay 26, 28, 62-pen, Warren 86); Hibernian 2 (Doyle 41, 55) Motherwell 3 (Murphy 64, 80, McHugh 88); Ross County 1 (Glen 74) Dundee 1 (Davidson 37); St Johnstone 2 (Vine 16, Maclean 60) Hearts 2 (Sutton 15, Driver 38). Scottish Football League results First Division Dunfermline 1, Hamilton 1; Falkirk 2, Cowdenbeath 0; Morton 2, Airdrie 0; Partick 3, Raith 2. Second Division Ayr 2, East Fife 3; Forfar 1, Arbroath 1; Queen Of The South 1, Brechin 0; Stenhousemuir 1, Albion 0; Stranraer 3, Alloa 2. Third Division Clyde 2, East Stirling 1; Montrose 2, Rangers 4; Peterhead 2, Annan Athletic 0; Queen’s Park 1, Elgin City 1; Stirling 6, Berwick 3. German league results Bayer Leverkusen 3 (Kiessling 26, 66, Schuerrle 36) Hamburg 0; VfL Wolfsburg 0, Eintracht Frankfurt 2 (Inui 18, Meier 12); Mainz 05 3 (Mueller 55, 71, Soto 90+2) VfB Stuttgart 1 (Harnik 48); Greuther Furth 1 (Sobiech 69) Augsburg 1 (Moelders 10); Fortuna Duesseldorf 2 (Schahin 39, Ilso 83) Hanover 96 1 (Diouf 69); Schalke 04 1 (Farfan 20) Freiburg 3 (Rosenthal 26, 61, Schmid 32). Played Friday Bayern Munich 1 (Shaqiri 59) Borussia M’gladbach 1 (Marx 21-pen).

English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd Man City Chelsea Everton Tottenham West Brom Norwich Arsenal Stoke Swansea West Ham Liverpool Fulham Aston Villa Newcastle Sunderland Southampton Wigan QPR Reading

17 14 0 3 43 24 42 17 10 6 1 33 15 36 16 8 5 3 28 17 29 17 6 9 2 28 21 27 16 8 2 6 29 25 26 16 8 2 6 24 21 26 17 6 7 4 19 25 25 16 6 6 4 26 16 24 17 5 9 3 15 13 24 16 6 5 5 26 21 23 16 6 4 6 21 20 22 17 5 7 5 23 23 22 17 5 5 7 28 29 20 17 4 6 7 15 24 18 17 4 5 8 19 26 17 17 3 7 7 18 24 16 16 4 3 9 22 32 15 17 4 310 18 32 15 17 1 7 9 15 30 10 16 1 6 9 19 31 9

English Football League tables Championship Cardiff 22 14 2 6 Crystal Palace 22 12 6 4 Middlesbrough 22 13 2 7 Hull 22 13 2 7 Leicester 22 11 4 7 Millwall 22 10 6 6 Watford 22 10 4 8 Brighton 22 8 9 5 Nott Forest 22 8 9 5 Derby 22 9 6 7 Blackpool 22 8 8 6 Leeds 22 9 5 8 Bolton 22 7 8 7 Charlton 22 7 8 7 Blackburn 22 7 8 7 Burnley 22 8 5 9 Huddersfield 22 8 5 9 Wolves 22 8 410 Birmingham 22 6 7 9 Ipswich 22 6 511 Bristol City 22 5 314 Barnsley 22 4 612 Sheffield 22 5 314 Peterborough 22 5 116

43 43 39 33 37 34 39 29 30 35 39 33 32 28 29 34 28 29 28 22 32 21 25 25

28 28 29 26 21 29 31 21 26 32 31 35 32 28 31 37 35 29 35 43 45 35 40 40

44 42 41 41 37 36 34 33 33 33 32 32 29 29 29 29 29 28 25 23 18 18 18 16

Division One Tranmere Brentford Sheffield Utd Doncaster Milton Stevenage Swindon Notts County Bournemouth Crawley Town Crewe Leyton Orient Coventry Yeovil Preston Oldham Colchester Walsall Carlisle Shrewsbury Portsmouth Scunthorpe Bury Hartlepool

38 33 29 31 31 30 32 33 37 31 28 25 37 32 32 22 23 25 28 25 27 24 23 15

18 22 18 21 17 29 18 22 33 31 28 26 29 33 27 26 34 37 43 30 33 40 36 40

41 41 40 40 39 37 36 35 35 35 33 31 30 30 29 26 23 23 23 22 21 20 19 9

Division Two Gillingham Port Vale Cheltenham Rotherham Bradford Southend Exeter Fleetwood Town Burton Albion Chesterfield Torquay Dagenham Northampton York Rochdale Morecambe Wycombe Oxford Utd Accrington Plymouth Aldershot AFC Wimbledon Bristol Rovers Barnet

22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22

22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22

11 11 10 12 11 10 10 9 9 10 9 10 8 9 7 7 6 5 6 5 5 5 4 1

13 11 11 11 10 9 10 8 9 8 8 8 8 7 8 7 7 7 7 5 5 5 4 3

8 3 8 3 10 2 4 6 6 5 7 5 6 6 8 5 8 5 5 7 6 7 111 6 8 310 8 7 510 511 8 9 511 710 611 512 711 615

6 3 7 4 6 5 4 7 6 6 7 6 4 8 9 5 6 7 8 6 8 6 7 7 6 8 9 6 6 8 6 9 510 510 510 710 611 413 612 712

Scottish Premier League table Celtic 17 10 4 3 Motherwell 18 8 6 4 Inverness CT 18 7 8 3 Hibernian 18 8 3 7 St Johnstone 18 6 7 5 Dundee Utd 17 6 6 5 Aberdeen 18 6 6 6

41 45 31 35 33 35 33 30 30 29 29 34 35 30 34 29 27 31 26 26 20 24 24 19

33 30 38 29 22 26 22

20 24 28 31 24 23 32 22 29 24 26 29 31 31 36 31 32 37 34 31 34 41 44 36

14 24 32 27 23 25 21

45 40 39 37 36 34 34 33 33 32 32 31 30 30 30 27 26 26 26 22 21 19 18 16

34 30 29 27 25 24 24

Kilmarnock Hearts Ross County St Mirren Dundee

17 18 18 18 17

6 5 3 4 3

4 7 7 6 9 6 5 9 311

27 18 20 21 11

23 20 26 31 31

22 22 18 17 12

Scottish Football League tables First Division Partick 14 10 2 2 34 Dunfermline 15 9 3 3 35 Morton 15 8 5 2 33 Livingston 14 6 4 4 22 Raith 15 5 6 4 23 Falkirk 14 4 5 5 17 Cowdenbeath 14 3 4 7 18 Hamilton 14 3 4 7 14 Airdrie Utd 14 3 3 8 16 Dumbarton 13 1 210 11

11 16 20 20 21 18 24 21 32 40

32 30 29 22 21 17 13 13 12 5

Second Division Queen of South Alloa Forfar Arbroath Brechin Stenhousemuir East Fife Ayr Stranraer Albion

15 12 2 1 33 8 38 15 9 2 4 29 16 29 14 6 2 6 26 29 20 15 5 5 5 24 30 20 14 6 1 7 24 24 19 15 4 7 4 26 30 19 14 5 2 7 22 20 17 14 5 2 7 22 25 17 14 3 3 8 17 30 12 14 3 2 9 18 29 11

Third Division Rangers Elgin Queen’s Park Peterhead Montrose Berwick Annan Athletic Clyde East Stirling Stirling

13 15 14 15 15 15 14 14 13 14

9 7 6 6 6 5 4 5 4 3

3 1 6 2 5 3 4 5 4 5 4 6 4 6 1 8 0 9 110

35 33 22 17 28 24 25 16 18 23

11 23 16 16 29 26 29 22 34 35

30 27 23 22 22 19 16 16 12 10

German league table Bayern Munich 17 13 3 1 44 7 42 Bayer Leverkusen 17 10 3 4 33 22 33 Eintracht Frankfurt 17 9 3 5 33 27 30 Borussia Dortmund 16 7 6 3 32 19 27 Freiburg 17 7 5 5 24 18 26 Mainz 05 17 8 2 7 24 21 26 Schalke 04 17 7 4 6 27 25 25 M’gladbach 17 6 7 4 25 26 25 VfB Stuttgart 17 7 4 6 21 28 25 Hamburg 17 7 3 7 18 21 24 Hanover 96 17 7 2 8 32 31 23 Werder Bremen 16 6 3 7 27 28 21 Fortuna 17 5 6 6 20 22 21 Nuremberg 16 5 4 7 16 21 19 VfL Wolfsburg 17 5 4 8 17 27 19 Hoffenheim 16 3 310 22 38 12 Augsburg 17 1 610 12 29 9 Greuther Fuerth 17 1 610 11 28 9

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

English Premier League Tottenham v Swansea 16:30 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5 West Bromwich v West Ham19:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5

Spanish league Real Zaragoza v Levante 14:00 Aljazeera Sports +2 Valencia v Rayo Vallecano 19:00 Aljazeera Sports +6 Real Madrid v Espanyol 21:00 Aljazeera Sports +2 Barcelona v Atletico 23:00 Aljazeera Sports +2

Italian League Fiorentina v Siena Aljazeera Sports +1 Milan v Pescara Aljazeera Sports +2 Catania v Sampdoria Aljazeera Sports +6 Juventus v Atalanta Aljazeera Sports +2 Parma v Cagliari Aljazeera Sports +8 Genoa v Torino Aljazeera Sports +7 Chievo Verona v Roma Aljazeera Sports +5 Napoli v Bologna - 22:45 Aljazeera Sports +1

14:30 17:00 17:00 17:00 17:00 17:00 17:00

BERLIN: Schalke 04’s disastrous Bundesliga form continued yesterday as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at home to Freiburg to leave them with two points from their last six league games. The Royal Blues will discover their Champions League last 16 opponents in Thursday’s draw, but Schalke have now lost three of their last four league games with coach Huub Stevens under pressure. After Peru forward Jefferson Farfan put Schalke ahead on 20 minutes, Freiburg’s Jan Rosenthal equalised six minutes after taking advantage of some weak defending. Schalke’s Joel Matip then made a defensive slip to allow French midfielder Jonathan Schmid to score Freiburg’s second on 32 minutes to make it 2-1 at the break. Rosenthal netted the third, and his second of the game, on 61 minutes before he was shown two yellow cards just 62 seconds apart to be sent off after some over-zealous defending. Schalke’s Holland striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar followed him off just a minute later for his second yellow after a foul on Freiburg captain Julian Schuster. Earlier, Bayer Leverkusen’s 3-0 win over Hamburg trimmed Bayern Munich’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga table, but the Bavarian giants will still finish 2012 with a nine-point lead. After Bayern were held 1-1 at home by Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday, second-placed Leverkusen saw off Hamburg with striker Stefan Kiessling and current Germany forward Andre Schuerrle both netting. Kiessling opened the scoring on 26 minutes when his close-range shot gave the Hamburg defence no chance and the hosts doubled their lead 10 minutes later when

GERMANY: Freiburg’s midfielder Jan Rosenthal (left) and Schalke’s midfielder Roman Neustaedter vie for the ball during the German First Division Bundesliga football match.—AFP Schuerrle netted as the ball went in off the post. Kiessling claimed his 12th goal in 17 games this season to make him the Bundesliga’s top scorer when he latched onto a clearance from Bayer goalkeeper Bernd Leno and drilled home his second on 66 minutes. It strengthens his case for a recall to the Germany squad in 2013 having last played in the 2010 World Cup third-place play-off win over Uruguay. “It shows how strong the team is, and says something of our mind-set, that we have reached second place with so many good performances,” said the 28-year-old Kiessling. “But we have the winter break now and

17 tough games are still waiting for us. Leverkusen’s victory denied Bayern a Bundesliga record as they had been set to break Borussia Dortmund’s 10-point lead at the halfway point of the season set in 2010. With defending champions Dortmund at strugglers Hoffenheim on Sunday, Eintracht Frankfurt took the chance to claim third spot with a 2-0 win over 10-man Wolfsburg. Frankfurt took the lead after only 12 minutes when captain Alexander Meier scored his 11th goal of the season. Wolves were reduced to 10 men when Brazil midfielder Josue was shown a straight red on 16 minutes for going into a challenge on Canada’s Olivier Ocean with his

studs up. Frankfurt took the chance to double their lead two minutes later through Japan midfielder Takashi Inui. Mainz moved up to sixth after coming from behind to beat VfB Stuttgart 3-1 with midfielder Nicolai Mueller scoring their second-half goals before Colombia midfielder Elkin Soto grabbed the third in the 92nd minute. Duesseldorf’s Denmark midfielder Ken Ilso drilled home an 83rd minute free-kick to seal Fortuna’s 21 win over Hanover 96. Greuther Fuerth remain rooted to the bottom of the table after they drew 1-1 at Bavarian neighbours in a high-tension affair as both sides finished with 10 men.—AFP

Blatter to discuss Serbia fine with Platini

DOHA: Al-Rayyan’s Mohammed Alaeddine (back) heads the ball past Al-Jaish’s Abdulqader Elias Bakur during their Qatar Stars League football match in Doha. —AFP

Natale snatches late leveller for Udinese MILAN: Antonio Di Natale struck an 89thminute equaliser to hand 10-man Udinese an unlikely share of the points in a dramatic 1-1 draw at home to Palermo yesterday. Palermo held a 1-0 half-time lead at the Stadio Friuli after Josip Ilicic’s superb 33rd minute strike, which impressive ‘keeper Zeljko Brkic simply could not stop hitting the back of the net. Although Udinese were creating chances, the Sicilians continued to dominate in the second half and were given a helping hand when Thomas Heurteaux was shown a red card for a rash challenge on the hour mark. Palermo came close to making their advantage count on several occasions but saw Eros Pisano, Egidio Rios and Franco Brienza all denied by an alert Brkic when they were in great scoring positions.

Brkic’s heroics would make the difference in the end for Udinese, who transformed an unlikely goalscoring chance into the equaliser at the death. Samir Ujkani had had little to do in the second half but after blocking an innocuous header from Luis Muriel on the edge of the box the Palermo ‘keeper dropped the ball in front of goal after being impeded by one of his own defenders. It fell into the path of Di Natale, who took one touch before smashing it home for the equaliser. Palermo’s sixth draw of the season meant a missed chance to move further away from the relegation zone, while Udinese’s eighth draw kept them eighth ahead of the rest of the weekend fixtures. Yesterday’s programme concludes with Inter Milan’s visit to Lazio. Leaders Juventus hold a four-point lead over the Nerazzurri.—AFP

TOKYO: FIFA President Sepp Blatter said yesterday he plans to discuss with counterpart Michel Platini the punishment UEFA handed to Serbia over violence and racist abuse in an Under-21 match against England. The Serbian Football Association was fined 80,000 euros ($105,000) on Thursday and ordered to play their next Under-21 international behind closed doors as UEFA handed out sanctions following the violent European qualifier. But the level of the fine drew criticism from some quarters with Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand accusing UEFA of not taking racism seriously. The English FA also expressed its disappointment. “I will take up the discussion with the president of UEFA,” Blatter told a news conference in Tokyo, the day after FIFA held its final Executive Committee meeting of the year. “But I don’t know if he has influence on his disciplinary committee,” the Swiss added. In chaotic scenes at the October 21 game in Krusevac, England defender Danny Rose was sent off for kicking the ball away in response to what he said was monkey chanting and physical provocation. Scuffles also broke out between players, coaches and supporters at the end of the match. In addition to the fine, two of Serbia’s coaching staff and four players were handed suspensions while two England players were also banned. Blatter reiterated his belief that FIFA were tough on racism but refused to be drawn on whether European football’s body had been. “I’m sure that we can pick up with UEFA... the level of governance that there should be in all football. Not just with UEFA but all other confederations and national associations. “There should be very strong, harsh punishment when it comes to discrimination and racism,” he added.—AFP

Benitez praises Chelsea’s passion YOKOHAMA: Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez praised the commitment of his players as the first holders to exit the Champions League at the group stage prepared for today’s Club World Cup final against Corinthians. “I’ve been really impressed with the mentality of the players,” Benitez told reporters in Yokohama on Saturday. “Also the commitment, the passion that they show. “Every training session you can see they are keen to learn so all these positives are good for a manager thinking about the future.” Chelsea took four games to record a victory under Benitez, who replaced the sacked Roberto Di Matteo, but have won their last three, scoring 12 goals in the process with five of them coming from a resurgent Fernando Torres. “What we are trying to do is trying to keep this winning mentality and trying to keep this hunger in the players,” said Benitez, who won the Club World Cup with Inter Milan in 2010. They will be favourites to beat South American champions Corinthians after the London side

overpowered Mexico’s Monterrey 31 in Thursday’s semi-final. Their Brazilian opponents, winners of the first Club World Cup in 2000, scraped past Egypt’s Al-Ahly 1-0 in Toyota. Corinthians are expecting at least 15,000 travelling fans, many of whom have sold their cars and quit jobs to make the long trip. To add to the pressure, European sides have won the last five editions of the Club World Cup, Manchester United the only English side to win it in 2008. Brazilian defender David Luiz started in midfield in front of Frank Lampard, still feeling his way back from injury, in the semi-final. “It’s only been a week since he returned,” Benitez, whose Liverpool side were runners-up in 2005, said of Chelsea veteran Lampard. “We have to take it one game at a time with him.” Lampard, out of contract at the end of the season, said Chelsea’s players would not make the mistake of underestimating Corinthians. “It’s obviously a cultural thing,” the England midfielder said of South America’s obsession with the Club World Cup. “They probably watch on telly - Barcelona, the Premier

JAPAN: English Premier League team Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech and his teammates warm up during a training session in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo. UEFA champion Chelsea will play with CONMEBOL champion Corinthians of Brazil in the final football match of the 2012 Club World Cup.—AFP League, Champions League - and don’t get the chance to pit their wits against us. “We have got the strongest leagues in the world in Europe. I don’t think many can say anything against that. “Brazil has that magical history of being such a footballing nation. That will bring some magic to the game today.” Corinthians coach Tite was happy

to assume the role of underdog. “We expect a high-quality game,” he said after training in bone-chilling Yokohama. “We want to focus on the match, not the occasion so we can repay our fans for their terrific support. “I can’t promise them that we will win and become world champions but I will promise we will do our best and do them proud.”—Reuters

Australia attack takes charge after Hussey ton



Man City see off Newcastle


Goal-line technology here to stay, says FIFA president

Page 17

LONDON: Manchester United’s French defender Patrice Evra (left) heads past Sunderland’s Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet (third left) during the English Premier League football match.—AFP

United win to reclaim six-point lead Man United 3

Sunderland 1 MANCHESTER: Robin van Persie, Tom Cleverley and Wayne Rooney all scored as Manchester United beat Sunderland 3-1 yesterday to re-assert their six-point lead in the Premier League. The home team coasted into a two-goal advantage with less than 20 minutes gone thanks to goals from van Persie and Cleverley.

Rooney made it three just before the hour to bring up nine goals in four Premier League matches from his partnership with van Persie, as the hosts re-established their six-point cushion over Manchester City. United were also boosted by the return of captain Nemanja Vidic as a substitute after three months out with a knee injury. But Fraizer Campbell’s late header meant they have still only kept four clean sheets in their 25 matches this season. United manager Alex Ferguson had been keen to play down any talk of revenge against Sunderland, whose supporters had celebrated United losing the league on goal difference on the final day

of last season. But United were clearly in the mood to get the job done quickly and with just over a minute gone, visiting goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had to be sharp to cut out a Phil Jones cross after Antonio Valencia’s clever pass. Michael Carrick then opened up the Sunderland defence, only for Ashley Young’s drive to be deflected over. Young also had another strike pushed over the bar by Mignolet from the Wayne Rooney corner that followed. An even better chance fell for Patrice Evra when Steven Fletcher headed Rooney’s corner to the edge of the area and the French defender stuck his shot just over the bar. But United finally moved

into a deserved lead after just 15 minutes. Young stayed on his feet despite a heavy challenge from Carlos Cuellar in the area and then chipped over a cross that was only half cleared by John O’Shea, and van Persie produced an instinctive finish. The Dutchman almost instantly doubled the lead but saw his header from a Jones cross turned around the post by Mignolet. Just three minutes after moving ahead, United took the chance for a second. Cleverley picked up the ball wide on the left and swapped passes with Carrick before guiding a neat shot around Mignolet. Rooney then wasted two great opportunities for a third, heading wide from just

Villa curb Liverpool revival Liverpool 1

Aston Villa 3 LIVERPOOL: Christian Benteke scored twice and made another goal as Aston Villa checked Liverpool’s recent resurgence with a 3-1 win at Anfield in the Premier League yesterday. Liverpool were bidding for a fourth consecutive win in all competitions but failed to convert a string of first-half chances and were punished when goals from Benteke and Andreas Weimann put Villa 2-0 up at half-time. Benteke struck again early in the second half and although Steven Gerrard pulled one back, it was too late to prevent Paul Lambert’s side-the youngest Villa team ever to start a Premier League game-from extending their unbeaten run to five league games. Victory eased Villa’s relegation fears by carrying them up to 14th place, four days after they beat Norwich City 4-1 to reach the League Cup semifinals, while Liverpool slipped two places to 12th. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had talked up his side’s chances of a top-four finish in the build-up to the match and they certainly began the game with ambition. Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan had to be alert after visiting defender Eric Lichaj diverted Stewart

Downing’s low cross towards his own goal, while Gerrard could only shoot straight at Guzan from just inside the penalty area. Downing and Joe Allen fired narrowly wide for the hosts, before Nathan Baker had to produce a last-ditch challenge to thwart Jonjo Shelvey. Luis Suarez returned to the Liverpool line-up after suspension and he spurned a fine chance in the 27th minute, placing a tame half-volley within Guzan’s reach from Shelvey’s lay-off. The hosts were punished for their wastefulness two minutes later, when Benteke gathered possession in the inside-left channel before arrowing a low drive into the bottom-left corner from 25 yards. It was almost 2-0 shortly afterwards, Weiman lobbing onto the roof of the net following a miscued header from Glen Johnson, but five minutes before the interval, the Austrian made no mistake. A sweeping move culminated in Weimann rolling a pass into the box for Benteke, whose cute back-heel found Weimann rushing in to dispatch a crisp shot across Pepe Reina. Rodgers introduced Joe Cole at half-time but he was to play an unwitting role in Villa’s third goal in the 51st minute. After the former England man was robbed in midfield, Benteke collected possession and the Belgian striker was allowed to advance deep into the Liverpool box before prodding the ball past Reina. Johnson had a penalty appeal turned down when his header seemed to strike Baker’s arm, before Gerrard stooped to head home Johnson’s left-foot shot to give the hosts an 87th-minute consolation.—AFP

a couple of yards at the near post and then failing to hit the target from a similar distance from van Persie’s flick. Sunderland managed to get forward themselves when James McClean latched on to a Rio Ferdinand error but the Republic of Ireland winger’s drive from a narrow angle was easily blocked by David de Gea. Paul Scholes replaced Carrick at the break, and Rooney should have ended all doubt just a couple of minutes into the second period. The England striker was picked out by Valencia at the near post but could only turn his effort onto the bar before Young produced a disappointing follow-up. De

Gea made an impressive double save by repelling Craig Gardner’s shot and then denying Sessegnon from the rebound. Van Persie was wasteful after being put clean through on goal by Young but United moved three goals ahead before the hour. Young fed van Persie and the Dutchman eased between Cuellar and Titus Bramble before crossing to the far post, where Rooney touched in ahead of Black Cats midfielder Joe Colback. Despite the long-awaited return of Vidic, United allowed their former player Campbell the space to head in at the far post from a Stephane Sessegnon cross to give Martin O’Neill’s men a 72nd-minute consolation.—AFP

Hoolahan goal extends Canaries unbeaten run Norwich 2

Wigan 1

LONDON: Liverpool’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (center) is sandwiched between Aston Villa’s US goalkeeper Brad Guzan (left) and Aston Villa’s English defender Matthew Lowton (right) during the English Premier League football match.—AFP

NORWICH: Wes Hoolahan scored the decisive goal in his return from injury here yesterday to see Norwich to a 2-1 win in their Premier League game with struggling Wigan and extend their unbeaten run to 10 games. Hoolahan, who came into the game rewarded for his good performances with a new contract, also set up Anthony Pilkington for the hosts’ first goal - Wigan did pull level briefly through substitute Shaun Maloney. Norwich’s victory sees them in the heady position of seventh in the table and 10 points clear of the relegation places while defeat was Wigan’s fifth in seven games and leaves them third from bottom and facing another hard battle to avoid relegation. The hosts took the lead through Pilkington - scorer of the goal that sensationally beat Manchester United in November - after determined work by Hoolahan, who made an instant impact

on returning from a groin injury. Pilkington had an eventful first-half, getting booked soon after his goal for blatant diving and then missed a sitter when the usually reliable Ali Al Habsi flapped at the ball allowing it to drop at the striker’s feet. Al Habsi, though, had come to his side’s rescue with a stunning save from former Leeds United star Robert Snodgrass’s point blank header. Wigan manager Roberto Martinez brought on Maloney at half-time for James McCarthy, who had failed to recover from a brutal challenge by Bradley Johnson, and the former Celtic player rewarded his manager’s choice by levelling. It was a super effort as Maloney rifled the ball home after being set up by James McArthur. However, the hosts restored their lead as Hoolahan crowned his comeback by heading past Al Habsi after being set up by Pilkington. Al Habsi produced a save out of the top drawer when he got across to tip away Johnson’s stinging drive from outside the box as the visitors came under increasing pressure. The Omani international was to the fore again as with 15 minutes remaining he stretched out a hand to save Pilkington’s screamer while Hoolahan departed to a deserved standing ovation when he was substituted late on.—AFP


Fed to tighten rules for foreign banks in US Page 22 Dutch FM open to heading Eurogroup Page 23


Sony unveils 4K LED TV in industry’s largest 84-inch Page 25 Page 24

Kuwait inflation to remain around 3.5% through 2013

WASHINGTON: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio points to a chart to emphasize his talking point that government spending complicates the negotiations on avoiding the so-called “fiscal cliff,” during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. — AP

Time for Plan B on ‘fiscal cliff?’ Obama-Boehner talks stalled WASHINGTON: It’s beginning to look like it’s time for Plan B on the “fiscal cliff.” With talks between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner apparently stalled, the leading emerging scenario is some variation on the following: Republicans would tactically retreat and agree to raise rates on wealthier earners while leaving a host of complicated issues for another negotiation next year. The idea is that House GOP leaders would ultimately throw up their hands, pass a Senate measure extending tax rates on household income exceeding $250,000, and then duke it out next year over vexing issues like increasing the debt ceiling and switching off sweeping spending cuts that are punishment for prior failures to address the country’s deficit crisis. It’s easier said than done. For starters, that scenario has a lot more currency with Senate Republicans, who wouldn’t have to vote for the idea after it comes back to the Democratic-controlled Senate, than with leaders of the Republican-controlled House, who would have to orchestrate it and who still insist

they’re not abandoning talks with the White House and that they’re standing firm against raising tax rates. “I think it’s time to end the debate on rates,” said Sen Richard Burr, R-NC. “It’s exactly what both parties are for. We’re for extending the middle-class rates. We can debate the upper-end rates and what they are when we get into tax reform.” “I think we end up with something like this Plan B,” said GOP lobbyist Hazen Marshall, a longtime former Senate aide. “They probably figure out something on the rates by the end of the year but on everything else negotiations just continue.” House Republicans have yet to embrace the idea. “There are literally dozens and dozens and dozens of members out there who have various ideas for how they could endgame this, or Plan B type scenarios, but none of that is under active discussion or consideration by the leadership,” said Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith. Don’t underestimate the explosion that giving in to Obama could create in GOP ranks. Republicans have been adamantly

opposed to raising marginal tax rates, even as they now say they’re willing to raise $800 billion or more in new tax revenues by closing loopholes and deductions. For months, the GOP mantra has been that raising tax rates will cost jobs, especially among businesses that would be affected. Some 94 percent of America’s businesses are structured so that profits go directly to partners or shareholders who report the income on their individual tax returns. Moving to Plan B would also mean that one side in the Obama-Boehner talks would have to throw up their hands and leave the bargaining table. “Listen, we have never changed our posture. We remain willing, desirous of talking with the White House, of being specific with the president about how we address the spending problem,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. The counter view is that even tea party Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., are resigned to the fact that Obama simply won’t yield on rates and that a tactical retreat would allow Republicans to rejoin the battle when it

Boeing delivers first new jet to Iraq in decades BAGHDAD: The first new Boeing Co jetliner sold to Iraq in 30 years touched down in Baghdad yesterday, signaling the country’s determination to rebuild its economy after decades of war and sanctions. Iraq is eager to improve its creaky aviation industry, which lags far behind that of its energy-rich neighbors. Boeing’s delivery of the twinaisle 777-200LR plane comes less than two weeks after the company’s chief rival Airbus announced the delivery of one of its own widebody planes to Iraq. “The arrival of this plane represents a big chance for Iraqi Airways to turn around,” Iraqi Transportation Minister Hadi Al-Amiri said. More planes are coming. Iraq has ordered another 30 of Boeing’s smaller 737-800 model and 10 of its new 787. The first of the 737s will be delivered in the middle of next year, according to the Chicago-based plane maker. Airbus in early December said it had delivered its first A330-200 to Iraq. Iraqi Airways, which plans to use that plane on European and other international routes, already operates two Airbus A321s. Boeing last sold Iraq a commercial plane - a version of the 747 jumbo jet - in 1982, said Donald Galvanin, the company’s sales director for the Middle East. He said this weekend’s delivery is an important step toward improving Iraq’s economy. “To bring in business, you need a connection with outside ... and a viable airline,” he said. Iraq was able to get the 777 delivered now because another customer was unable to take it, Galvanin said. He said he expects Baghdad may be interested in buying more of the long-range jets down the road because “they realize they would need a few more.” The US Embassy said it worked closely with Boeing and Baghdad to complete the 777 sale. Financial terms were not disclosed. Iraqi Airways’ efforts to turn itself around have been hobbled by ageing equipment, a lack of adequately trained staff and a long-running dispute with Kuwait stemming from Saddam Hussein’s invasion in 1990. The dis-

agreement centered on Kuwait’s accusations that Saddam’s regime stole 10 airplanes and millions of dollars’ worth of equipment and spare parts during the invasion. Kuwait earlier wanted to $1.2 billion in reparations, which Iraq’s postwar leaders had resisted paying. Iraq and Kuwait earlier this year reached a $500 million deal to settle the airline feud, paving the way for Iraqi Airways to resume normal operations. The dispute had scuttled at least one planned Iraqi Airways route, between Baghdad and London, after Kuwait attempted to confiscate the Iraqi plane in the British capital. As Iraqi Airways has struggled, foreign airlines have increasingly begun flying to the country, eating into the national carrier’s share of the market. They include airlines from neighboring countries, including Turkish Airlines and

Royal Jordanian, and well-funded Gulf airlines such as Emirates and Etihad Airways. Austrian Airlines last year became the first major western carrier to resume regular flights to Baghdad since the 2003 US-led invasion. Foreign airlines are increasingly offering flights to other Iraqi cities as well, particularly Irbil in the self-ruled Kurdish region. The Kurds’ northern enclave is much safer than the capital and is a popular destination for foreign investors looking to break into the Iraqi market. No US commercial airlines fly regularly to Iraq. The US Federal Aviation Administration last week lifted a 16-year-old a ban on American carriers flying to Irbil and Sulaimaniyah, also in the Kurdish area. The agency said flights to other Iraqi airports may be allowed in the future. — AP

BAGHDAD: A Boeing 777 plane is seen after landing in Baghdad yesterday. The first new Boeing jetliner sold to Iraq in years touched down in Baghdad yesterday, signaling the country’s determination to rebuild its economy after decades of war and sanctions. —AP

comes time to pass must-do legislation to increase the government’s borrowing cap early next year. That approach requires House Republicans to retreat in a fashion similar to the way majority Democrats relied on Republican votes when finessing must-pass bills to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan under President George W Bush. That would mean structuring floor debate to allow the Obama-backed tax hike to pass mostly with Democratic votes. But the need for Democratic votes means Republicans might have to resist the temptation to add GOP sweeteners to the measure like a more generous extension of the estate tax than Obama likes or to keep tax rates on investment income from rising from 15 percent to 20 percent as the Senate bill would do. Democrats would probably take their lead from Obama if Republicans sought to power such proposals past them - and if they resisted, Plan B could implode. Democrats say they’d likely go along if the House simply passed the tax bill the Senate passed in July and left other fiscal cliff items on the table. — AP

Reforms steps ‘only the beginning’: India PM NEW DELHI: India’s premier Manmohan Singh said yesterday his government’s new reforms to spur the economy were “only the beginning”, while lashing out at the “excessive pessimism” that he said is hurting growth. Singh’s scandalscarred government has initiated a string of reforms to further open up sectors such as retail, insurance and aviation to foreign investment as it seeks to kickstart growth before facing voters in 2014 elections. “ The steps we have taken are only the beginning of a process to revive our economy and take it back to its trend growth rate of eight to nine percent,” Singh told an audience of corporate leaders in New Delhi. “Our government has acted to reverse the cycle of negative expectations and stimulate investment,” he said. But “excessive pessimism at home” and a “less supportive” global environment have made the Congress-led government’s task of reviving the flagging economy much tougher, he added. India’s economic growth slipped to a near-decade low of 6.5 percent in the last fiscal year and is expected to fall to around 5.5 percent this year. While much of the world would envy such a growth rate, the pace is not enough for India which says it needs close to double-digit expansion to substantially reduce crushing poverty. “Even as we make our growth process more inclusive, we cannot lower our guard in pursuing policies that restore growth momentum to the economy,” Singh said. He said the government had taken tough decisions to rekindle investor enthusiasm and rein in the ballooning fiscal deficit which has brought warnings of a downgrade from global ratings agencies. “Some of the decisions we have taken were politically difficult and the naysayers and the cynics have tried to halt us in our tracks,” Singh said. Par ties that have been fighting the reforms, including the main opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, “are either ignorant or constrained by outdated ideolo-

gies”, Singh said. Last week the fragile minority coalition government succeeded in winning approval for its move to allow in foreign supermarkets-a flagship of its renewed reform agenda-despite fierce political opposition. — AFP

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (left) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) President R V Kanoria release a book during the inauguration of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) 85th Annual General Meeting on Economy, Enterprise and Employment in New Delhi yesterday. — AFP



Fed to tighten rules for foreign banks in US weekly report

Five reasons professionals quit their jobs

Step to avert collapse of foreign banks

WASHINGTON: The Federal Reserve moved to place large foreign banks under the same regulatory regime it applies to domestic banks, aiming to reduce the risk of a foreign bank collapse hurting the US financial system. Adding fresh local regulation to the banks on top of the Basel III capital rules, the largest foreign banks will have to set up US holding companies for their US operations, have limits set on their credit exposure, and meet local capital and liquidity rules for their US operations. They will also be subject to Fed stress tests on their US operations, to make sure they have enough local buffer to withstand external shocks, whether from inside the United States or outside. The new rules, which if finalized will come into effect on July 1, 2015, follow the tighter regimes set for the largest US banks in the wake of the Wall Street financial crisis of 2008, which saw large undercapitalized banks and non-banks melt down and either close or

require substantial rescues from the government. The financial crisis “revealed limitations on the ability of foreign banking organizations to act as a source of support to their US operations under stressed conditions,” the proposed new regulations say. “In the wake of the crisis, some home country regulatory authorities have restricted the ability of banking organizations based in their home country to provide support to host country subsidiaries. “In addition, the capacity and willingness of governments to act as a backstop to their largest financial institutions has declined around the world.” Moreover, the Fed proposal said, despite tightened global banking rules, there are still huge challenges associated with how a collapsed global bank can be wound up given the thicket of cross-border regulation. The new regulation proposal “really does recognize the post-crisis reality,” said Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen. The rules will apply to more than 100 for-

eign global banks and non-bank financial institutions with more than $50 billion in global assets, with the toughest rules set for the two dozen with more than $50 billion in US assets. Those largest will have to set up US holding companies for their US operations, and meet what will prove to be expensive local capital and liquidity standards. That will mean that “regulators wouldn’t have to seek out a foreign parent” if the local operations go bust, a Federal Reserve official said. Fed banking regulator Mark Van Der Weide told the Fed board that the move is not the US distancing itself from the global Basel III capital rules for banks, already seen as challenging institutions worldwide. The US will continue to apply Basel III, but “it’s not sufficient to protect the US financial system,” he said. “We need to have more capital and more liquidity for the US operations” of foreign banks. — AFP

Al-Ali: FASTtelco offers wide range of exclusive services to KOC employees KUWAIT: Tareq Al-Ali, Executive Vice President Commercial Sales at FASTtelco has recently announced the company’s participation at the Internet Service providers Exhibition organized by Kuwait Oil Company from December 10th to 13th at its headquarters resulted in a big overall success. On this occasion, Al-Ali, stated: “FASTtelco’s participation in this internet providers’ exhibition comes as part of the company’s strategy aimed at reaching customers of all ages and fields throughout Kuwait, and a window to reflect the degree of cooperation that FASTtelco intends to build with governmental and non-governmental organizations in an attempt to introduce FASTtelco’s technological and communication abilities and innovations, which in the end will ensure achieving more fluency and efficiency in the workflow. “ Al-Ali further added: “FASTtelco is continuously seeking to offer new communication services and products specifically designed to satisfy the needs of its customers, and provides several tailored packages of high-speed and innovative communication services. Moreover, we at FASTtelco consider that participating in such specialized exhibitions would absolutely play a vital role in strengthening FASTtelco’s relations with its customers and an opportunity introduce its new services and products to the market.” By participating in this exhibition, FASTtelco has taken a step forward in maintaining its position as a leading Internet Service Provider in Kuwait and has reinforced its strategy based on adopting state-ofthe-art communication services and offering practical solutions to both individuals and companies. According to Al-Ali, the most important challenge for FASTtelco today is to remain the leading Internet Service in Kuwait and consider further expansion beyond local borders. Al-Ali also added the oil sector is one of the most important sectors that rely on advanced and innovative communication services; we have highlighted our cooperation with Kuwait Oil Company by participating in this exhibition.

Tareq Al Ali

NBK offers free online money transfers, anywhere in the world KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) offers all expatriates in Kuwait an opportunity to make free online money transfers to their home countries. With NBK’s developed international network, customers can now enjoy the best overseas banking solutions. Customers will be able to select a preferred beneficiary account in their home country and enjoy free online money transfers to the account. The preferred beneficiary, in countries where NBK is present must be an

NBK account, while in countries where NBK is not represented the beneficiary can be an account at any other bank. NBK’s expatriate banking solutions address all the customers’ needs by providing the freedom and control to manage their finances efficiently from the comfor t of their home or office. More information on this service can be gathered from the website or by calling the call center Hala Watani on 1801801.

By Lama Ataya

of polled professionals to be low employee motivation, by 13% to contribute to a stressful work environment, 12% thought it could lead to unfinished job tasks and 54% cited all of these. ( Manager-Employee Relationships in the Middle East Workplace poll)

op regional jobsites have meant sourcing top talent has become faster, easier and more cost effective for employers than ever. They have also meant that the job market is that much more transparent and that professionals can access it at anytime from anywhere and for free. In this age of great job market transparency and faster than ever candidate attraction tools, retention has become more important than ever for employers and they are increasingly investing substantial resources trying to better understand how to motivate, engage and hold onto their key staff. So why do professionals quit their jobs? Below are some of the top reasons professionals seek greener pastures explained by the experts at, the Middle East’s #1 jobsite.

3. Unsatisfactory compensation While compensation isn’t the only reason professionals stay in a job, unfair and uncompetitive compensation is often cited as a reason jobseekers are in the market for a new role. Compensation issues aren’t only the salary but also the composition of the compensation and the types and magnitude of benefits offered. ● 63% of MENA professionals feel that their salary is lower than the industry standards in their region. ( Middle East Salary Survey 2012)

1. Insufficient training Today’s professionals expect their employers to invest in their growth and development in a structured fashion and are hungry for skills acquisition and training. With days of lifelong job security long behind us and job tenures shrinking, professionals are cognizant that their skill sets needs to be sharp at all times in order to compete with others in the job market. ● According to’s Reward Programs and Employee Engagement in the Middle East survey, 44.7% of professionals in the Middle East say that more opportunities to learn and grow within the company is what they need to feel more engaged at work.

4. Poor work environment A good work environment alleviates stress and greatly lifts morale and productivity. Lighting, space, office layout, color schemes, decoration all play a role here in defining the physical work environment. Also influencing the work environment are factors that influence culture including company cultural outings, athletic activities, gatherings and celebration days as well as HR policies and general attitudes that prevail in the workplace. ● 15% of MENA professionals say that poor work environment is the primary source of stress for them ( Work-life Balance in the MENA poll)

2. Poor management It is often said that professionals don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad managers. While managing up is a skill many professionals are relatively weak in, management of subordinates does take a special set of skills and necessitates a good degree of empathy, discipline and emotional intelligence. Employers promoting professionals to the management track are highly advised to invest in training them on the requirements of the new role and monitoring and coaching new managers closely to avoid discontent and disloyalty spreading in the lower ranks. ● Effects of an unhealthy manageremployee relationship are cited by 17%

5. No career path Professionals crave reward and recognition and need to be assured that there is progress in store for them and that they are proceeding along the right path to grow their careers. Companies that do not offer clear progress milestones and map out in no uncertain terms potential career paths for individual professionals risk losing them to companies that do show they appreciate their employees’ full potential and are constructively appraising and grooming them for growth. ● 39.2% of professionals say there are no opportunities for career growth and advancement at their company. ( Work satisfaction in the MENA poll).


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

.2740000 .4510000 .3650000 .3010000 .2830000 .2940000 .0040000 .0020000 .0762300 .7426870 .3880000 .0720000 .7280720 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2808000 GB Pound/KD .4532670 Euro .3673990 Swiss francs .3031740 Canadian dollars .2852790 Danish Kroner .0492470 Swedish Kroner .0420500 Australian dlr .2963280 Hong Kong dlr .0362310 Singapore dlr .2299190 Japanese yen .0033600 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0764810 Bahraini dinars .7451240 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0749000 Omani riyals .7296350 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

3.430 5.192 2.905 2.188 3.258 231.750 36.451 3.449 6.899 9.219 0.271 0.273

.2840000 .4620000 .3740000 .3120000 .2930000 .3030000 .0067500 .0035000 .0769960 .7501510 .4060000 .0770000 .7353900 .0510000 .2829000 .4566570 .3701460 .3054420 .2874120 .0496150 .0423650 .2985440 .0365020 .2316380 .0033850 .0052480 .0022060 .0029160 .0035230 .0770530 .7506970 .4001410 .0754600 .7350920 .0069410

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 75.363 77.653 734.050 750.630 76.955

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 47.500 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 45.870 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.318 Tunisian Dinar 179.940 Jordanian Dinar 398.650 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.896 Syrian Lier 3.864 Morocco Dirham 33.432 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 282.500 Euro 366.970 Sterling Pound 455.530 Canadian dollar 287.090 Turkish lire 158.090 Swiss Franc 303.760 Australian dollar 297.190 US Dollar Buying 281.300

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


301.000 750.090 3.690 289.600 553.900 46.000 50.400 167.800 47.900 375.300 37.080 5.490 0.032 0.161 0.242 3.480 399.700 0.191 94.000 45.500 4.340 242.200 1.827

732.450 2.915 6.886 77.590 75.310 232.810 35.230 2.192 457.700 309.300 3.400 9.400 76.800 282.000

GOLD 1,807.790

10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar


Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

51.400 732.630 3.080 7.220 78.020 75.310 232.810 35.230 2.686 459.700 43.200 310.800 3.400 9.580 198.263 76.900 282.400 1.360


TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 457.700 282.000


300.100 750.090 3.497 288.100

232.800 45.830 373.800 36.930 5.210 0.031

399.660 0.190 95.900 3.260 240.700


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

301.19 290.84 310.23 372.34 281.60 457.99 3.44 3.483 5.179 2.197 3.223 2.889 76.74 749.81 45.74 401.19 732.89 77.76 75.30


301.000 290.000 309.000 371.000 282.950 458.500 3.690 3.600 5.460 2.330 3.600 3.095 77.300 748.600 47.700 399.000 734.000 77.850 75.800

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Rate for Transfer

Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

282.550 286.480 453.910 365.130

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

302.305 748.045 76.905 77.555 75.310 398.295 46.053 2.188 5.197 2.915 3.453 6.897 693.099 4.426 9.295 4.385 3.340 92.425

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

GOLD 321.000 162.000 84.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

282.300 2.910 5.215 2.205 3.458 6.940 76.965 75.435 750.500 45.924 459.600 2.990 1.550 371.400 292.200 3.265

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

281.500 373.600 457.550 287.950 3.400 5.180 45.650 2.194 3.460 6.850 2.889 749.950 76.700 75.200



China’s economy in recovery mode KCIC WEEKLY ASIA REPORT By Camille Accad


or the past three months, China’s economy has showed strong signs of recovery. This comes after a difficult year. The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew last year at an average 9.3% year-onyear (YoY), but slowed to 7.4% in the third quarter of 2012.In addition to slowing global demand, which hurt China’s exports, the slowdown came from the domestic sector, which was highlighted by decelerating corporate profits and a sluggish consumer sector. China’s recovery therefore comes at an unexpected moment given global growth is still lackluster. This growth comes from the monetary loosening and fiscal spending seen this year. The latest measure was a stimulus package announced in September, worth around $160 billion. The program, like previous ones, focuses on government-led investment, mostly in the form of infrastructure projects. These programs raise two concerns: (a) they do not address the need for a more dynamic consumer sector, and (b) add to the medium-term risk of overinvestment. Thus, despite some growth expected in the short run, risks are still present in the medium run. However, the government-led stimulus has succeeded at lifting industrial activity. Government projects

increased, as the graph shows, lifting industrial production (IP). In November, IP accelerated for the third consecutive month, to 10.1% YoY, the first time it grows in double-digits in 9 months. In addition, retail sales continued its upward trend, a sign that confidence in the economy is gaining momentum. However, after two increasing months of growth, exports eased in November, suggesting external conditions remain a risk to the economy’s recovery. The likelihood of a rebound in real GDP growth in the last quarter of 2012 has significantly increased in the past few months, and this has already been well received by investors in spite of the Fiscal Cliff approaching in the US. Real GDP is a measure of the economic output or of the size of the economy - adjusted for inflation or deflation. It is the sum of the values of all final goods and services produced by that country or region over a given time period. The values depend on the quantities (volume) of the goods produced and their prices. Real GDP is a measure that holds prices constant by using a given year’s value (the base date) for all items and services. Then these values are used to calculate GDP for years prior to the base year and subsequent years. GDP can be measured in several ways, and National Bureau of Statistics, the government body

responsible for national accounts data, publishes GDP by sector output (agriculture, industry and services) and expenditure (private consumption, government expenditure, fixed capital investments and trade). IP, a good esti-

portion of GDP. Overall, real GDP growth could be estimated in the short-term by analyzing the above indicators. Investment-led stimulus is the typical Chinese response to global slow-

mate of the industrial sector (about 45% of GDP), and retail sales, a good gauge for the services sector (also about 45% of GDP), are accurate indicators to determine economic growth, as they represent more than half of GDP when broken down by sector output. When looking at GDP by expenditure, retail sales and exports are also significant to determine the trend of a large

downs, with infrastructure development the primary focus. Although the model is not sustainable in the long run, it is efficient in the short-term. The industrial sector, which is already recovering, is expected to continue doing so. However, the program is currently more focused on boosting the domestic economy, as opposed to exportrelated manufacturing activity which is

a large part of the growing economy. By focusing on investments, China mitigates its main short term risk, the global slowdown, but simultaneously fuels the medium term risk of overinvestment. In spite of weak external conditions, the domestic economy is faring well. Growth in retail sales kept accelerating for the fourth consecutive month (the longest run since the crisis hit in 2007) suggesting that private consumption is in good shape. Business expansion and higher consumer confidence are both expected to bring about growth in corporate profits for the consumer sectors, which should provide support for the Chinese markets, in the absence of a major blow coming from the US fiscal cliff. After seven consecutive quarters of slowing growth, we expect real GDP growth to bottom out from a threeyear low in the fourth quarter this year. IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this report is prepared by the Research Department of the Kuwait China Investment Company (KCIC) and is believed to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness are not warranted. Research recommendations do not constitute financial advice nor extend offers to participate in any specific investment on any particular terms. Investors should consider this material as only a single factor in making their decisions.

Dutch FM open to heading Eurogroup Germany wants chair from triple-A country THE HAGUE: Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem would be willing to take over as head of the Eurogroup of euro-zone finance ministers, his office said on Friday, after a clutch of reports linked him to the job. The minister himself avoided a detailed discussion of his prospects of taking over from Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker in what has been a key role in the battle with Europe’s debt crisis. But he did admit that his name was one of many being touted for the post. “I will answer this question once it is really posed to me, meaning by the people who decide about it, the Eurogroup,” Dijsselbloem told reporters. Several European Union diplomats said Dijsselbloem’s name was discussed during a summit on Thursday and Friday, and there appeared to be widespread support for his candidacy, but leaders intended to leave it up to finance ministers to decide next month. “Dijsselbloem has impressed in just a few weeks in the job,” the Europe minister of one Eurozone country told Reuters. “He’s open-minded, straight-talking and has the languages,” the minister added, referring to Dijsselbloem’s flawless English. “There’s a lot of confidence in him.” Speaking to Dutch radio station BNR late on Thursday, Dijsselbloem said: “I believe that

everyone has been mentioned (as a candidate). I have also seen my name on those lists. “We’ll just wait and see. You have to be more worried if your name is not on the list than when it is,” he said, laughing. If Dijsselbloem took the job, he would remain Dutch finance minister, his spokeswoman said, but she added that his candidacy was currently not under discussion. Dutch public broadcaster NOS had reported late on Thursday that Dijsselbloem was considered a serious candidate to take over as chairman of the group. Germany, the largest euro-zone economy, wants a candidate from a triple-A rated economy, NOS said. Only Germany, Finland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in the eurozone still have the highest credit rating from the major rating agencies. Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainenis has also been touted as a candidate. Others include French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, whose country has been downgraded, and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, a hardliner on austerity. “It would be good if it was a solid chairman from a solid country. That’s what makes the Netherlands feel comfortable,” Dijsselbloem told reporters on Friday when asked about

the post. However, the risk of the Netherlands losing its triple-A status have increased. Its economy is expected to contract next year while the budget deficit may exceed the EU’s 3 percent ceiling, the central bank said this week. Dijsselbloem said the government would wait for the CPB, the government forecasting agency, to publish its updated economic forecasts in February or March before deciding whether new budget cuts were needed to meet the EU’s deficit targets. “Then we’ll know how far we are on track for 2013 and then we’ll decide if extra measures are necessary,” Dijsselbloem said. Juncker, 57, who has held the Eurogroup job since 2005 and has been a leading protagonist in Europe’s monetary union ever since the 1991 Maastricht treaty, said last week he would step down as Eurogroup chief at the end of the year or early next year - although it is not the first time he has said his term in the job was at an end. Dijsselbloem, 46, was appointed finance minister last month after Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberal party won a general election in September and formed a coalition with the Labour party. He has been a Labour member of parliament for most of the past 12 years. —Reuters

Cliff sends US stocks lower in week NEW YORK: After racking up gains for nearly a month, US markets appeared to register more seriously the threat of the looming fiscal cliff, with selling taking hold in the week to Friday amid rising nervousness. The fixed spending cuts and tax hikes that will take hold from January 1 if battling politicians cannot compromise on an alternative threaten to send the country back into recession. For weeks, investors have appeared confident that a deal on an alternative plan to cut the fiscal deficit will get done. Buying was strong through Wednesday, as hints flew that the Republicans and Democrats would find common ground. But by Friday, there was no compromise in sight, and with the Christmas-New Year holiday period immediately ahead, the prospects for a deal were low, and investors started to show worry. “The lack of any progress in the fiscal cliff talks just kept people feeling somewhat nervous, and that is preventing the market from making any meaningful attempt higher,” said Michael James of Wedbush Securities. “That will remain the primary driver of trader sentiment over the next two weeks, regardless of anything that comes out, economic data points or overseas action. “If we go over the fiscal cliff, the US economy will go in recession.” For the week, the broad-based S&P 500 was down 0.32 percent to 1,413.58. The 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.27 percent to 13,135.01, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gave up 0.70 percent to 2,971.33. Indices were generally all lower, though the yearend cliff malaise was tempered by

the scores of companies moving dividend payments to just before New Year, and announcing special dividends for the same timeframe, to beat the expected dividend tax hike that will come with whatever deficit-fixing legislation that comes. The Nasdaq was pulled lower than the others by Apple, which remained volatile but finished the week off 3.8 percent at $409.76, almost $200 below the year’s high in September of $705.07. Investors continued to show doubt about the long-term market darling’s ability to further impress with new products and market domination, as the global economy remains slow. The fiscal cliff will dominate the market through the year end, unless a deal for alternative legislation is crafted over the next week, said analysts. Hopes were at least for a shortterm compromise to avoid the worst effects but even that did not cheer analysts. “This would be a blow to confidence and the markets and would mean a slower growth outcome than in the baseline, but would stop short of a recession,” said Deutsche Bank economists. Peter Cardillo of Rockwell Global Capital was cautiously optimistic. “Maybe, if we get a surprise over regarding the fiscal cliff over the weekend, maybe we can see some agreement emerge before Christmas,” he said. “If that happens, we’ll get a very strong rally towards the end of the year.” The week ahead will deliver fresh data on housing, manufacturing, personal incomes and consumer spending, giving a better picture of the pace of the economy as the year winds up. — AFP

WASHINGTON: The US Capitol in Washington is seen at dawn. Leading lawmakers have expressed pessimism that a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” is close, despite increasing anxiety about a Dec 31 deadline to stop the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts. —AP

Guinea to give govt staff 50% pay rise CONAKRY: The government of Guinea reached an agreement with trade unions on Friday to grant state employees a 50 percent salary increase, ending a four-month stand-off, according to the text of the deal read on state television. “The different parties agreed to an increase...of 50 percent in three phases - 10 percent from Oct. 1, 2012, 15 percent from Oct. 1, 2013 and 25 percent before the end of 2013,” the agreement read. After securing $2.1 billion in debt relief under the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative in September, Guinea offered state employees a 10 percent pay rise. The unions immediately rejected the proposal and threatened to go on strike if they did not receive a 200 percent wage increase. Though Guinea is the world’s top supplier of the aluminum ore bauxite and holds rich deposits of iron ore, gold and diamonds, more than half of Guineans live on less than a dollar a day. The highest paid state employees currently earn around $200 dollars per month. — Reuters

ROME: Two people speak in a shopping center in Rome on Friday. Italy’s public debt crossed the two-trillion-euro mark for the first time in October when it reached a record high of 2.014 trillion, the Bank of Italy said. —AFP

US commerce secretary: Return $544K in fish fines BOSTON: The acting US Commerce Secretary ordered federal regulators to return about $544,000 in unjust fines collected from 14 fishermen or fishing businesses, most of whom worked Northeast waters. Secretary Rebecca Blank also directed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to forgive two other complainants a combined $150,000 in debt. Her decisions followed the second phase of a lengthy probe into charges by New England fishermen of abusive, unfair treatment by the officers and attorneys who enforce the nation’s fishing laws. Blank’s decisions mean nearly $1.2 million in unjust penalties has now been ordered returned to fishermen. In May 2011, the commerce secretary ordered $650,000 in unjust fines given back. New Bedford fishing boat owner Carlos Rafael, who will receive $17,500 back after Blank’s order, said he’s pleased to get anything, given the industry’s ongoing struggles. But he said the bigger victory is accountability for fisheries’ officers. “Even if I didn’t get any money, the world is watching them,” he said. “Before nobody was watching them. ... Before they were like the Gestapo. Before you were (automatically) guilty, the party was over.” The 15-month investigation covered cases between March 1994 and February 2010. It included interviews with people who absorbed five-, six- and even sevenfigure fines for violations ranging from paperwork problems to allegedly fishing in closed areas. A total of 93 cases were reviewed, and the commerce secretary ordered money returned or debt forgiven in 27 cases - 23 of which originated in the Northeast. In a memo accompanying his 554-page report, special investigator Charles Swartwood said fishery police and attorneys sometimes assessed unreasonable penalties or jacked up fines to pressure fishermen to settle at lesser amounts. Blank said in the memo that enforcement officers who abused their power were the exception and noted the complaints verified by Swartwood in both reports make up less than 1 percent of the enforcement work done during the review period. “This decision concludes the department’s review of past cases, but our commitment to strong, effective and trusted fisheries law enforcement will continue,” she wrote.

US Sen. John Kerry said the second report again confirms enforcement “horror stories” he’s long heard from fishermen. He added the money can’t make up for the harm done to businesses, but getting the truth out can help rebuild damaged relationships with NOAA. Dan Sobien, head of the National Weather Service Employees Organization, a union that represents fishery enforcement officials, said his members were simply enforcing penalties that Congress established. “This report is a politically driven result of a politically driven witch hunt,” he said. “All of the prosecutorial decisions criticized in these reports were legal, consistent with (NOAA)’s policies, and within the context of a legal judicial system.” The largest amount ordered returned Friday was $373,500 to the two primary shareholders of a New Bedford-based seafood business, who were accused of accepting illegally caught fish and interfering with the subsequent investigation. Swartwood found NOAA used the fact the two were trying to sell their business as leverage to force a settlement. In another case, a fisherman had to pay $10,000 for failing to transmit his position while fishing, though he explained a wave had washed through his window and disabled his computer. Rafael was fined $25,000 after authorities said the holes were too small in the twine at the top of his scallop net, through which fish can escape. The violation was accidental and resulted in $29.50 worth of unintentionally caught fish, the report said. Swartwood was appointed by former Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in 2010, after a report by the Commerce department’s inspector general revealed dubious and disproportionate penalties against Northeast fishermen. The IG’s probe also showed former top fisheries cop Dale Jones had wrongly ordered documents shredded during the investigation. And it said the millions in penalties paid by fishermen were used on questionable expenditures, including a luxury undercover boat. NOAA has since changed its law enforcement leadership and made reforms to improve accountability in how penalties and fines are handled. Swartwood completed the second report after Locke agreed in March 2011 to allow Swartwood to hear more complaints. —AP



Kuwait inflation to remain around 3.5% through 2013 NBK economic report KUWAIT: Inflation in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached 2.1% year-on-year (y/y) in October, up from 1.9% in September. The uptick was due to modest rises in the clothing, and transportation and communication segments. More broadly, however, inflation in the general index continues to be subdued. Core inflation, which excludes food and beverage prices, stood at just 1.5% y/y in October. Food prices went up3.8% y/y in October, unchanged from the September rate. As for subcomponents, price increases for meat, poultry, and fish -previously a major source of food price inflation - have slowed considerably in recent months, with fish prices seeing deflation for the past 2 months. Food price inflation remains well below its recent peak of 10% recorded in March. The price level for housing services (mostly rent), rose 0.7% y/y, also unchanged from September. Low inflation in this component which is the largest at 27% of the general index has been a source of downward pressure on the CPI. The housing services segment is the only sub-component to be updated on a quarterly, rather than a monthly, basis. Yet, the stickiness of prices in this segment goes beyond that: the

price level has been flat or near-flat for the past 11 months. Clothing and footwear prices were up 3.1% y/y, compared to 2.7% in September. The increase came largely from a 4.0% y/y increase in readymade garments prices. Elsewhere, the inflation rate in most segments remained below the 2% mark. The household goods and services segment saw one of the lowest increases in prices, rising a mere 1.1% y/y. Transport and communication prices saw a 1.7% increase, with the price of saloon cars going up by 2.0%. Until September, the latter hadn’t budged in 14 months. The educational and medical care sector saw a similar 1.7% uptick, below its 2.4% average so far for the year. Inflation has come in below expectations in the 2nd half of the year, due to lower than expected food price inflation, as well as subdued rates in other segments. We now expect it to average 2.9% for 2012 as a whole. Despite some potential upside pressures - the strength of consumer spending, and volatility in international food prices and exchange rates, for example we generally expect inflation to remain modest through 2013, averaging 3.5%.

UN: Financial crisis hit women harder on jobs gender gap in unemployment widens UNITED NATIONS: The global financial and economic crisis hit women harder than men in the job market - and no improvement is likely in the coming years, the UN labor agency said in a new report. The International Labor Organization said the gap between unemployed women and men rose in 2012, destroying 13 million jobs for women. Looking ahead, the Geneva-based organization wasn’t optimistic of a quick recovery. The ILO’s Global Employment Trends for Women 2012, circulated here on Friday, said projections show no significant reduction in female unemployment expected “even by 2017.” Michelle Bachelet, executive director of UN Women which contributed to the report, said that “while women worldwide contribute

Dollar falls as fiscal cliff worries grow NEW YORK: The dollar dropped to its lowest level against the euro in three months Friday, the euro going above $1.31 as politicians in Washington appeared no closer to averting the economy-crunching fiscal cliff. With just over two weeks to go before the deadline, markets began to show strains from worries that US leaders will not be able to carve out a compromise deal to beat the year-end deadline to skirt the cliff’s harsh mandatory budget cuts and tax hikes. At 2200 GMT, the euro was at $1.3161, compared to $1.3073 late Thursday. The dollar has slipped steadily for a week amid cliff fears and the Federal Reserve’s extension of its bondbuying easy monetary accommodation, aimed at sparking more growth in the sluggish US economy. The yen was mixed ahead of Sunday’s Japanese general election: the euro gained to 109.94 yen from 109.38 yen, while the dollar slipped to 83.52 yen from 83.64. “According to most reports out of Japan, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is well ahead in polls and his coalition government should easily take more than 60 percent of the seats in Parliament, leading to Abe’s return to the PM seat,” said Neal Gilbert of GFT. “Abe has made many declarations that he wants to become more aggressive with monetary policy by lowering interest rates to 0 percent, increasing the inflation target to 3 percent, and increasing the amount of QE (quantitative easing).” Gilbert added that if Abe regains the premiership, the yen’s weakness “may be much more long lasting.” The dollar slipped against the Swiss franc to 0.9172 francs, while the British pound edged higher to $1.6173. — AFP

to the economy and its productivity, they continue to face many barriers that prevent them from realizing their full economic potential.” “This is not only holding back women; it is holding back economic performance and growth,” she said. “Guaranteeing equal opportunities for women and men is not just the right thing to do, it’s smart economics.” According to the report, between 2002 and 2007 there was a 0.5 percent gender gap in unemployment: The female unemployment rate was higher at 5.8 percent compared to male unemployment at 5.3 percent. The global financial crisis raised this gender gap to 0.7 percent, which amounts to 13 million jobs lost for women, it said. “The crisis appears to have worsened gen-

der gaps in unemployment across all regions, regardless of whether they were on the front lines of the crisis like the advanced economies, or a degree removed like Asia and Africa,” the report said. It said women also suffer from a difference in the quality of employment in comparison to men. The report calls for an expansion of social protection measures to reduce women’s vulnerabilities, investment in skills and education, and policies to promote access to employment. The ILO’s executive-director for employment, Jose Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, said “policies to reduce gender gaps can significantly improve economic growth and standards of living, and in developing countries can be a major contribution to poverty reduc-

Gold under $1,700 on US fiscal worry NEW YORK: Gold held below $1,700 an ounce yesterday, finishing steady on the day but down for a third week, hampered by thin holiday season trading and uncertainties over stalled US budget negotiations. Silver finished the day and week down. Palladium outperformed on both counts after data showing strong manufacturing growth in China, a major market for palladium used in cleansing auto emissions. With only about two weeks left in the year, gold traders seemed disinclined to put on big positions, analysts said. The so-called “fiscal crisis” hanging over the US economy was also hampering any meaningful moves in bullion prices, they said. “It’s been a rather uninspiring day for gold. I think a lot of money is sidelined until the end of the year,” said James Steel, analyst at HSBC in New York. By 3:00 pm EST (2000 GMT), the spot price of bullion was at $1,696.11 an ounce, barely changed from late Wednesday’s $1,696.69 level. Compared with the previous Friday’s finish of $1,704.04, it showed a loss of nearly half percent. US gold futures’ most-actively traded contract, February settled at $1,697, versus the previous session’s close of $1,696.80. President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders remained deadlocked in talks aimed at reaching a deal before Jan. 1 to prevent steep tax hikes and budget cuts that could push America into a new recession. An agreement that averts the fiscal cliff should benefit gold, which has traded closely with higher-risk assets, such as stocks, this year. “Sentiment in gold seems to be changing. Gold seems to be becoming less risk-averse”, said Eugen Weinberg, global head of commodities research at Germany’s Commerzbank. Despite the recent bearish mood in gold, the yellow metal is still poised to end the year up almost 16 percent, which would keep its win-

ning streak intact for a 12th straight year. Much of this year’s gains in gold came after a new round of stimulus measures from central banks kicked in in the third quarter. Even so, Standard Chartered analyst Daniel Smith said bullion seems to have lost the traction it had during run-ups in the first and third quarters. He said if gold rises again with stocks in the new year, it is likely to underperform. “My experience is that gold will be a laggard,” Smith said. Illustrating his point, gold took little support from this week’s announcement by the US Federal Reserve that the central bank will buy $45 billion of government bonds each month after its “Operation Twist” program expires. Many traders cashed in after a brief price gain, following the Fed announcement. In the physical market, Indian gold importers were continuing to stock up for the wedding season, taking advantage of prices pressured down by a stronger rupee. “People feel this is a good buying opportunity as prices could jump another 1,000 rupees,” said Harshad Ajmera, proprietor of bullion merchant JJ Gold House. In other precious metals, spot palladium was up 1.7 percent at $700.50 an ounce after a session peak at $702. For the week, palladium rose 1 percent, marking a fifth straight week of gains that have added about $100, or about 17 percent, to prices since around mid-November. “Palladium... received a boost from China’s manufacturing reading,” Standard Bank said in a note. China’s vast manufacturing sector grew at its fastest pace in 14 months in December, data showed. Platinum was up 0.1 percent at $1,612.99 per ounce, and 1 percent higher from the previous week. Spot silver was down 1 percent at $32.22, after falling to a near one-month low of $32.15. For the week, it fell 2.3 percent, marking a third straight week of losses or the longest slide in

Holiday ‘on standby’ as clock ticks on cliff WALL STREET WEEKLY OUTLOOK NEW YORK: The last two weeks of December are traditionally quiet for stocks, but traders accustomed to a bit of time off are staying close to their mobile devices, thanks to the “fiscal cliff.” Last-minute negotiations in Washington on the so-called fiscal cliff nearly $600 billion of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect in January that could cause a sharp slowdown in growth or even a recession - are keeping some traders and analysts from taking Christmas holidays because any deal could have a big impact on markets. “A lot of firms are saying to their trading desks, ‘You can take days off for Christmas, but you are on standby to come in if anything happens.’ This is certainly different from previous years, especially around this time of the year when things are supposed to be slowing down,” said J J Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago. “Next week is going to be a Capitol Hill-driven market.” With talks between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner at an apparent standstill, it was increasingly likely that Washington will not come up with a deal before Jan 1. Gordon Charlop, managing director at Rosenblatt Securities in New York, will also be on standby for the holiday season. “It’s a ‘Look guys, let’s just rotate and be sensible” type of situation going on,” Charlop said. “We are hopeful there is some resolution down there, but it seems to me they continue to walk that political tightrope... rather than coming up with something.” Despite concerns that the deadline will pass without a deal, the S&P 500 has held its ground with a 12.4 percent gain

for the year. For this week, though, the S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent. This coming Friday will mark the last so-called “quadruple witching” day of the year, when contracts for stock options, single stock futures, stock index options and stock index futures all expire. This could make trading more volatile. “We could see some heavy selling as there is going to be a lot of reestablishing of positions, reallocation of assets before the year-end,” Kinahan said. Higher tax rates on capital gains and dividends are part of the automatic tax increases that will go into effect next year, if Congress and the White House don’t come up with a solution to avert the fiscal cliff. That possibility could give investors an incentive to unload certain stocks in some tax-related selling by Dec 31. Some market participants said tax-related selling may be behind the weaker trend in the stock price of market leader Apple. Apple’s stock has lost a quarter of its value since it hit a lifetime high of $705.07 on Sept 21. On Friday, the stock fell 3.8 percent to $509.79 after the iPhone 5 got a chilly reception at its debut in China and two analysts cut shipment forecasts. But the stock is still up nearly 26 percent for the year. “If you owned Apple for a long time, you should be thinking about reallocation as there will be changes in taxes and other regulations next year, although we don’t really know which rules to play by yet,” Kinahan said. But one indicator of the market’s reduced concern about the fiscal cliff compared with a few weeks ago, is the defense sector, which will be hit hard if the spending cuts take effect. The PHLX Defense Sector Index is up nearly 13 per-

HONG KONG: This general view shows blocks of residential buildings in Hong Kong yesterday. The International Monetary Fund has warned that Hong Kong could see an abrupt fall in property prices after years of dramatic increases in one of the world’s most expensive housing markets. — AFP




Sony unveils 4K LED TV in industry’s largest 84-inch Featuring four times the resolution of full High Definition and powerful sound, Sony’s revolutionary offering redefines future of home entertainment

KUWAIT: Sony, the leading consumer electronics brand, unveiled its latest BRAVIA LED television in the industry’s largest 84-inch class1. The TV boasts a 4K (3840 x 2160) LED panel, comprising 8.29 megapixels, which is four times the resolution of Full High Definition standard. Additionally, the TV incorporates Sony’s proprietary ‘4K X-Reality PRO’ super-resolution high-picture quality engine. Seamlessly delivering high-resolution large-screen picture with powerful sound and visuals to provide an immersive theatrelike experience, the latest BRAVIA LED television marks a distinctive entry with its classapart features. Shinya Mukaida, Director, Sales Management, Sony Middle East and Africa, said: “If you were amazed by the shift from Standard to High Definition, 4K, with four times the resolution of Full High Definition, will rekindle or even exceed that sensation. It virtually eliminates the line between television and reality to offer an unprecedented and revolutionary viewing experience. The launch of this breakthrough 84-inch 4K BRAVIA television reaffirms Sony’s commitment to consistently delivering a superior product offering to our consumers.” The new 4K BRAVIA TV incorporates ‘4K XReality PRO’; Sony’s proprietary super-resolution high picture quality engine optimized

for 4K LED TV. This engine is capable of reproducing any content with different resolutions, such as movies, photographs and games, into stunningly crisp, high-quality images with 4K resolution. Even when seated as close as 1.5 meters from the screen, viewers will not be bothered by the pixels and notice images are breathtakingly realistic and beautifully clear - an all-encapsulating panoramic viewing experience previously unavailable from a TV. For 3D footage, the ‘4K X-Reality PRO’

super-resolution processing upscales ‘Blu-ray 3D’ Full-HD resolution 3D images to 4K and displays them in high picture quality (3840 x 1080) that exceeds Full High Definition resolution using a polarizing sheet on the television screen. The accompanying 3D glasses are light and feature a comfortable passive design, requiring no batteries. In addition, the ‘10 Unit Live Speaker’ side speaker system optimized for large-size screen combined with Sony’s unique highquality sound signal-processing technology

achieves powerful three-dimensional sound that envelops the viewer in position-orienting tones, from deep bass to high notes. The 84-inch BRAVIA T V also features SimulView, a function which allows 2-player games to be played without having to split the screen. Essentially, the TV will display two separate Full HD images, permitting each player to view their own screen through the SimulView glasses. Sony continues to take a lead in advancing 4K technologies and is playing a leading

Land Rover MENA registers best regional sales growth in 4 years

12MY line-up drives sales increase of 33% in region, 61% in Kuwait DUBAI: Luxury automotive manufacturer Land Rover has announced strong regional sales growth for the first half (H1) of its 2012 - 2013 fiscal year (April to September 2012), the company’s best H1 regional sales performance in four years. Land Rover sales were up 33 percent in the region for H1 YTD, with Land Rover sales in Kuwait up 61 percent for the same period. Land Rover’s strong regional performance was led by continued demand for its LR2/Freelander 2 and Range Rover Evoque vehicles, in addition to the flagship Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Land Rover LR4. In Kuwait, the Range Rover Sport made a significant contribution towards the double digit sales growth for Land Rover. The news reaffirms the importance of the Middle East and North Africa region, which remains Land Rover’s sixth largest market globally. Robin Colgan, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover MENA commented; “This performance confirms that

demand remains high for our current line-up of vehicles, and with the introduction of new products like our 13MY line-up including the All-New Range Rover, I am confident we will continue to experience strong growth.” Added Youssef Alqatami Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive General Manager “Land Rover has always enjoyed a loyal following in Kuwait, and these recent sales figures are testament to the strong demand for Land Rover products and our commitment to offering the best customer service. We look forward to this success continuing for the remainder of the financial year.” Land Rover sales in Kuwait look to remain strong for the remainder of 2012 and 2013 due to the introduction of the 13MY line-up, in particular the all-new Range Rover which has already attracted a positive response from customers in Kuwait since its launch Last week in Ali Alghanim & Sons Co showroom and been available for booking and received a huge demand.

role in professional 4K content creation through the CineAlta ‘F65’ camera capable of shooting 4K content - beloved by leading film makers, and also the 4K digital cinema system used in the professional field. In the world of consumer electronics, the 4K home theatre projector for family use has been extremely well received since its launch last year. The 84-inch BRAVIA LED television is now available in Kuwait at the Sony showrooms in the Avenues mall and Tilal complex.




BMW Individual: The most unique way to drive a BMW BMW Pearl Series celebrate GCC’s ‘Jewels of the Sea’ The story starts with the Pearl; the treasure that brought the GCC its first taste of wealth and the latest source of inspiration for BMW’s bespoke optioning programme - BMW Individual. The BMW Pearl Series is a collection of 88 specially designed and produced BMW 6 Series Pearl and 7 Series Pearl Individual models featuring an exclusive Frozen Matt Brilliant White exterior colour and Merino Amaro Brown leather interior with newly developed white piping and individual wood trim in Ash Grain White. An elegant ‘Pearl’ designation on the chrome trim adorns the rear of both models as well as the door entry seals. These exquisite marks of bespoke craftsmanship are the vision of BMW Group Middle East. BMW Individual designers were challenged to transfer the mystery, elegance and beauty of the Pearl to a BMW 7 Series and 6 Series Gran Coupe. The result? A series of unique vehicles that are set to truly capture the imaginations and appeal to the discerning tastes of BMW customers across the Middle East. Just like the BMW Individual programme, Haute Couture is synonymous with exclusivity - it is the creation of custom-fitted fashion garments where each piece is unique and handmade by the most experienced and talented tailors. It is therefore befitting that the BMW Pearl Series was unveiled last month in a series of exclusive Haute Couture fashion shows. In the company of a select line-up of VIP guests and a host of the regions fashion elite, this unusual commission was launched alongside masterpieces from a number of renowned international designers, including: Giambattista Valli, Alexis Mabille, On Aura Vu by Livia Stoianova & Yassen Samouilov, as well as jewellery

houses, Garrard and David Morris. “Luxury and style are experiences you aspire to; both of which can be achieved through the car you drive and the clothes you wear,” said Alexander Eftimov, Director of Sales and Marketing for BMW Group Middle East. “Just like Haute Couture, the BMW Individual programme is the ultimate reflection of style and exclusivity. It enables customers to tailor their vehicle to a bespoke design that suits their individual style by using a range of premium materials, paints and interior trims. We have high expectations for the BMW Pearl Series. It will no doubt reinforce BMW’s association with luxury and strengthen our status as the leading global premium car manufacturer.” A history in design and art: Karl Lagerfeld and David Hockney Established in 1991, BMW Individual was the first of its kind in the premium

Burgan Bank ties up with VISA to offer special deal on KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced yesterday its collaboration with VISA international to offer its VISA cardholders’ a special discount when booking through Burgan Bank’s VISA cardholders will be receiving instant 30% money back when booking through which is an online travel source for airline tickets, hotels and train tickets. Burgan Bank’s VISA cardholders are required to log onto and type in coupon code COOLDEAL2 to avail of the new offer. The bank’s collaboration is an extension of its commitment towards accommodating its customers’ lifestyle needs for every season. The bank’s VISA cards are accepted worldwide and provide its holders with an array of benefits that range from exclusive features to a variety of privileges that have been designed to meet their varied demands. Established in 1977, Burgan Bank is the youngest commercial Bank based in Kuwait, with a significant focus on the corporate and financial institutions sectors, as well as having a growing retail and private bank customer base. Burgan Bank has four majority owned subsidiaries: Gulf Bank Algeria AGB (Algeria), Bank of Baghdad - BOB (Iraq), Jordan Kuwait Bank - JKB (Jordan) and Tunis International Bank - TIB (Tunisia), (collectively known as the “Burgan Bank Group”). The Bank has continuously improved its performance over the years through an expanded revenue structure, diversified funding sources, and a strong capital base. The adoption of state-of-the-art services and technology has positioned it as a trendsetter in the domestic market and within the MENA region. Burgan Bank’s brand has been created on a foundation of real values - of trust, commitment, excellence and progression, to remind us of the high standards to which we aspire. ‘People come

first’ is the foundation on which its products and services are developed. Earlier this year, ‘Brand Finance’ - the international brand valuation company- rated Burgan Bank brand as AA with positive outlook. The rating places Burgan Bank Brand at 2nd amongst the most valuable banking brands in Kuwait. Excellence is one of the Bank’s four key values and Burgan Bank continually strives to maintain the highest standards in the industry. The Bank was re-certified in 2010 with the ISO 9001:2008 certification in all its banking businesses, making it the first bank in the GCC, and the only bank in Kuwait to receive such accreditation. The Bank also has to its credit the distinction of being the only Bank in Kuwait to have won the JP Morgan Chase Quality Recognition Award for twelve consecutive years. Burgan Bank won the prestigious “Banking Web Awards” prize in the commercial and corporate Category for Kuwait. In 2010 Burgan Bank was awarded with the “Best Internet Banking Service award” from Banker Middle East Awards. Burgan Bank was recognized in 2011 as Kuwait’s “Best Private Bank”, by World Finance. The bank also won, in 2011, the coveted “International Platinum Star for Quality” award from Business Initiative Directions, and “The Best Technical Award” from Banking Web Awards. In 2012, Global Banking and Finance Review online magazine recognized Burgan Bank as the “Best Banking Group in the MENA” as well as the “Best Corporate Bank in Kuwait”. The bank also won the coveted “Best Bank Branding” award by the Banker Middle East. For the second consecutive year in 2012, Burgan Bank also won World Finance’s “Best Private Bank” award, as well as the “Best Private Bank in Kuwait 2012” award from Capital Finance International. The bank recently won the “Best Bank in Kuwait” award from EMEA Finance.

automotive industry. The programme launched with the aim of leading the trend towards more individuality by concentrating on customers looking for made-to-measure solutions and making tougher demands on their BMW in terms of distinction, design and function. BMW Individual has been a synonym for outstanding technical ambition and a desire for automobile perfection ever since. The programme’s success story began with a design from Karl Lagerfeld, followed by another two creations over the next few years - unusual prototypes that were pioneering for what followed. An Individual model created for the world renowned artist David Hockney was the epitome of eccentricity. The passenger seat in his BMW 6 Series was replaced by a basket containing supplies of water for his constant companions - two dachshunds. The designer Hanae Mori, with her but-

terfly design for the upholstery, was also an exception. Apart from such extravagances, high-quality hand finishes and exclusive materials went without saying in all versions during the subsequent years. Cars were “made to measure” to suit personal requirements. Most recently, BMW Individual completed a very unique car for the Swiss watch manufacturer Girard-Perregeaux. Meanwhile, here in the Middle East, 40 BMW 7 Series UAE 40th Anniversary Limited Edition models were produced to mark the 40th Anniversary of the unification of the United Arab Emirates. They featured an exclusive Marakesh Brown exterior colour, coupled with a Merino Platinum leather interior, which features the UAE emblem on the headrest, iDrive button and other areas of the interior trim. An elegant ‘UAE 40 years’ designation featured on the chrome trim at the rear of the vehicle. “BMW Individual ensures that your

BMW vehicle reflects your own personal taste and unique sense of individuality. The Bespoke team is dedicated to finding new paints and materials in order to find new ways to develop truly exceptional cars. A BMW Individual vehicle comes fully loaded with features and options permitting the driver to convey their desire for superb quality and unique styling even further. Customers can also choose their favourite seams in the leather from some patterns proposed by the programme, from the stitching to the vehicle trim. It has been a success here in the Middle East - our customers have come to expect only the finest and most exclusive ownership experience available in the premium segment.” The BMW Pearl Series is available on 88 BMW 7 Series and BMW 6 Series Gran CoupÈ models, and can be ordered through local BMW Group importers across the GCC region.

Barratt Homes to hand over 28 villas in Milton Keynes in Dec Kuwaiti and Qatari clients to get their villas, homes KUWAIT: Top Real Estate Group and its Qatarbased associate Utopia Properties announced that this month will witness in Milton Keynes area in United Kingdom handover of the third set of 28 villas and homes to their new owners from Kuwait and Qatar. These villas and homes were developed and constructed by the real estate development giant in Britain Barratt Homes, which is represented in the region by Top Real Estate & Utopia Group. Waleed Al-Qadoumi, Group’s Managing Director, extend congratulations to the home owners and stated that himself and the Company’s team would be present in UK during that period to supervise the handover process for these houses, assist the Company’s clients and provide all necessary facilities to them and their families in order to make the new home receipt a distinguished and exciting experience for all. Al-Qaddumi indicated that there is a number of customers who will not be able to travel to UK during that period and hence they authorized MPW Company, a specialized real estate management company in UK, which is working jointly with Top Real Estate Group, to receive their homes. This is added an service offered by the Group to its customers in order to provide them with peace of mind and make them assured about the property. The Group slogan “We deal with your property as if it is our own” has been applied on the ground with a number of customers who received their homes in the previous phase and praised high level and quality of service provided to them by the real estate management in UK. Al-Qadoumi revealed that the past months witnessed the handover of 17 villas in two batches where clients praised the level of homes and their compliance with the agreed specifications in addition to commending the developer and great premium services provided by it to the new owners by eliminating all the difficulties facing them. Al-Qadoumi added that handover of homes under construction will continue until June 2013, in which the last house will be delivered; adding that Barratt Homes has been well known for handing over the houses a month ahead of the deadlines agreed with customers. Al-Qadoumi added that since last April, the Group has achieved significant sales of villas and houses in Milton Keynes, a promising real estate area in UK, which is a relatively new town since

1960 and located about 50 miles to the north of London. It is connected to London via good transport network where and the train trip from London to the city only takes 32 minutes. The town is also a target for large number of new developments that ensure high and sustainable

Waleed Qaddoumi rentals. Prices in Milton Keynes start from Sterling Pounds 150 thousand, with high and stable rentals up to 7% sometimes. The town is one of the fastest growing cities in Britain with population of about 280 thousand. Real estate properties in the town are much cheaper than

Snapshots of villas under handover

those in London with better annual returns as compared to their prices. With respect to the projects, Al-Qadoumi said that these projects are distributed over three vitally distinct sites in the town and characterized by proximity to the downtown, commercial complexes, restaurants and major shopping malls in the town. The prices in this town started from Sterling Pounds 162 thousand up to about Sterling Pounds 450 thousand for villas comprising up to 5 bedrooms, living room and dining room as well as a garden and parking indicating that these are freehold villas. Al Qaddumi stated that the Group is still in the process of marketing a number of villas and will receive in UK during this month also a large group of interested prospective customers to closely inspect the villas before making the final purchase decision. The Group encourages its customers to inspect the property and make the right purchase decision based on specifications and finishes they see, which also meet their and their family needs as they can select the appropriate space and desired house. Al-Qadoumi added that the Group is also keen on arranging a meeting between customers visiting the town and the London based law firm that will follow up the customer’s affairs including entering into the contract, buying the house and verifying authenticity of procedures and documents relating home sale starting from its initiation up to receipt of home title by the customer from official authorities.



New Digital Universe study reveals big data gap DUBAI: EMC Corporation yesterday announced results of the EMC-sponsored IDC Digital Universe study, “Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East”- which found that despite the unprecedented expansion of the digital universe due to the massive amounts of data being generated daily by people and machines, IDC estimates that only 0.5% of the world’s data is being analyzed. The proliferation of devices such as PCs and smartphones worldwide, increased Internet access within emerging markets and the boost in data from machines such as surveillance cameras or smart meters has contributed to the doubling of the digital universe within the past two years alone-to a mammoth 2.8 ZB. IDC projects that the digital universe will reach 40 ZB by 2020, an amount that exceeds previous forecasts by 14%.

consumed, revealing some dramatic shifts currently underway. Now in its sixth year, the study measuring and forecasting the amount of digital information created and copied annually includes findings around the “Big Data Gap,” which is the gap between the amount of data with hidden value and the amount of value that is actually being extracted; the level of data protection required versus what is being delivered; and the geographic implications of the world’s data.

• • •

• • •

In terms of sheer volume, 40 ZB of data is equivalent to There are 700,500,000,000,000,000,000 grains of sand on all the beaches on earth (or seven quintillion five quadrillion). That means 40 ZB is equal to 57 times the amount of all the grains of sand on all the beaches on earth. If we could save all 40 ZB onto today’s Blue-ray discs, the weight of those discs (without any sleeves or cases) would be the same as 424 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. In 2020, 40 ZB will be 5,247 GB per person worldwide. This year’s study marks the first time IDC was able to capture where the information in the digital universe either originated or was first captured or

Study Highlights Rapid expansion of the digital universe: IDC projects that the digital universe will reach 40 ZB by 2020, an amount that exceeds previous forecasts. The digital universe will double every two years between now and 2020. There will be approximately 5,247 GB of data for every man, woman and child on earth in 2020. A major factor behind the expansion of the digital universe is the growth of machine generated data, increasing from 11% of the digital universe in 2005 to over 40% in 2020. Large quantities of useful data are getting lost: The promise of Big Data lies within the extraction of value from large, untapped pools of data. However, the majority of new data is largely untagged file-based and unstructured data, which means little is known about it. In 2012, 23% (643 exabytes) of the digital universe would be useful for Big Data if tagged and analyzed. However, currently only 3% of the potentially useful data is tagged, and even less is analyzed.

• •

• • •

The amount of useful data is expanding with the growth of the digital universe. By 2020, 33% of the digital universe (13,000+ exabytes) will have Big Data value if it is tagged and analyzed. Much of the digital universe is unprotected: The amount of data that requires protection is growing faster than the digital universe itself. Less than a third of the digital universe required data protection in 2010, but that proportion is expected to exceed 40% by 2020. In 2012, while about 35% of the information in the digital universe required some type of data protection, less than 20% of the digital universe actually has these protections. The level of protection varies by region, with much less protection in the emerging markets. Challenges such as advanced threats, the security skills gap and lack of adherence to security best practices among consumers and corporations will continue to compound the issue. A geographic role-reversal is around the corner: Although the digital universe was a developedworld phenomenon in the early days, that is about to change as the population of the emerging markets begins to cast a longer shadow. While emerging markets accounted for 23% of the digital universe as recently as 2010, their share is already up to 36% in 2012. By 2020, IDC predicts that 62% of the digital universe will be attributable to emerging markets. The current global breakdown of the digital universe is: US - 32%, Western Europe - 19%, China 13%, India - 4%, rest of the world - 32%.

• •

By 2020, China alone is expected to generate 22% of the world’s data. Other Key Findings As cloud computing plays an even more important role in the management of Big Data, the number of servers worldwide is expected to grow tenfold and the amount of information managed directly by enterprise data centers will grow by a factor of 14. The type of data stored in the cloud will also experience a radical transformation over the next few years. By 2020, IDC predicts that 46.7% of data stored in the cloud will be related to entertainment - not enterprise data. Surveillance data, embedded and medical data, and information created by computers, phones and consumer electronics will make up the remainder. The amount of information stored in the digital universe about individual users exceeds the amount of data that they themselves create. Western Europe is currently investing the most to manage the digital universe, spending $2.49 USD per GB. The US comes in second, investing $1.77 per GB, followed by China at $1.31 per GB and India at $0.87 per GB. As the infrastructure of the digital universe becomes ever more connected, information won’t reside within the region where it is consumed, nor will it need to. By 2020, IDC estimates that nearly 40% of data will be “touched” by cloud computing (private and public), meaning that somewhere between a byte’s origination and consumption, it will be stored or processed in a cloud.

High-speed trains to help solve transport problems Russia plans new project

BEIJING: A storekeeper introduces iPhones to customers near an iPhone 5 advertisement at an Apple products shop in Dongyang, in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, on Friday. Apple released the latest version of its smartphone in China on Friday. —AP

Apple may be bumping edge of market SEOUL: According to October numbers from ABI, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, now the world’s leading handset maker, shipped twice as many smartphones as Apple in the third quarter, an increase of 20.7 percent year over year. Apple saw a bigger increase with its iPhone, 57.6 percent, but its handset total was 26.9 million compared with Samsung’s 102.6 million. Is Apple running out of new customers? That’s an inescapable question as analysts estimate lower numbers for Apple’s top-selling iPhone and iPad next year. Early indications also suggested Chinese consumers were largely shrugging their shoulders at the iPhone 5 launch, bad news for what was seen as a promising emerging market. News reports that an analyst for UBS Investment Research lowered predictions of first-quarter iPhone sales to 48 million, down from 52 million and overall profit expectations two points to 40 percent caused Apple’s stock price to drop, falling to 508.97, down 3.91 percent at closing Friday. UBS also saw the iPad mini cannibalizing sales of the more expensive iPad models. ABI Research wireless industry analyst Mike Morgan told us he had already predicted lower volume for the iPhone, 39 million for the fourth quarter, 38 million for the first quarter of next year, 36 million for the second quarter and 33 million for the third quarter. His annual estimate for this year is 127 million, which will grow to 160 million iPhones next year. “There is still growth but what we are seeing is the slowing of Apple’s growth,” Morgan told us. “It needs to slow down and you can expect in 2013 to start to see that. Apple is starting to bump up against the edge of its addressable market. That’s what happens when growth is no longer driven by opening new markets. It is now based on stealing market share from competitors, or on iPhone customers who upgrade.

Whenever you move from growth to retention of growth it always slows down.” According to October numbers from ABI, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, now the world’s leading handset maker, shipped twice as many smartphones as Apple in the third quarter, an increase of 20.7 percent year over year. Apple saw a bigger increase, 57.6 percent, but its total was 26.9 million compared with Samsung’s 102.6 million. Last month, Strategy Analytics said Samsung’s flagship device , the Galaxy S III, outsold the iPhone 4S in the previous three months, although many customers were waiting for the iPhone 5, which will probably take the top spot in the next analysis. But Morgan of ABI sees the market share of people who have been waiting to get their hands on an iPhone deteriorating. “What’s left is to spread to emerging markets where high-priced items are a very tough sell,” he said. “I don’t think they have that equation yet. The $150 Android phone isn’t as good as the $600 iPhone [unsubsidized price], but it’s good enough.” Not Different Enough? The iPhone now accounts for about half of revenues for Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, which once primarily sold computers. But Morgan notes that the refresh of a device in the past, the iPhone 4 over the 3GS for instance, generally became 90 percent of all iPhone shipments. “I’m starting to believe the iPhone 5 will not accomplish that.” One reason, he said, is that the 5 is compatible with long-term evolution data speeds, while not every area and not all carriers can accommodate that standard. Another is that the iPhone 5, though larger and faster, is not substantially different from its predecessor. Samsung tends to revolutionize its devices more between models. —AP

PARIS: This computer generated image released on Dec 10, 2012 by the company Ideol shows an off-shore wind turbine. The turbine is 160 meters high and has a square base “damping-pool” measuring 45 meters on each side and which plunges 10 meters deep into the water. The first tests are scheduled in the Mediterranean Sea in 2014. — AFP

MOSCOW: An enormous traffic jam formed on Nov 30 on the M10 highway between Moscow and St Petersburg, stranding motorists for three days and causing $5-6 million in damage, according to preliminary estimates. Experts argue that the situation was caused by excessive traffic and warn that such a road crisis might happen again. Hopes to solve the traffic problems are being pinned on the construction of a dedicated highspeed railway between the two capital cities. That line would be used for passenger travel freeing the existing train line for cargo traffic. “When so many transport corridors connecting cities are prone to bottlenecks and it’s hard to broaden them, high-speed railways might help to ensure the mobility of the population. They don’t require too much space and can carry lots of passengers. There is no other option”, says Martha Lorenz, a senior transport specialist at the World Bank. High-speed trains were introduced by the Japanese, who have almost half a century’s head start on the rest of the world. Japan opened the first Shinkansen high-speed railway line in 1964, as part of its preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. The high-speed train was so successful that the profits easily exceeded operating expenses, interests on the loan and depreciation costs. France launched a similar project later with the first highspeed line completed in 1981 connecting Lyon with Paris. Dozens of countries now have their own highspeed train networks - often dubbed ‘airport killers’ and ‘railway saviours’ - with Russia getting in on the act only this decade. The Russian rail operator RZD is looking to spend more than $200 billion to extend its rail network across 12,000 km by 2030. It is predicted that this will increase rail passenger traffic to 34 million people a year and reduce the load on existing transport corridors considerably. Russia is already developing railway projects for fast trains in the area between St Petersburg and Ekaterinburg. A separate line dedicated to highspeed trains could cost up to $35 billion. Sapsan trains runs a fast service between St Petersburg and Nizhri Novorod but it uses the existing railway lines that is shared with cargo freight and slower passenger services. Allegro runs a high speed service between St Petersburg and Helsinki. President of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin insists, in all his interviews, that these railways are indispensible and are the way forward for the country. Railway operators agree that better mobility might help address many of Russia’s economic

problems. Russian Railways hopes that developing the railways will create some 40,000 new jobs, help attract new foreign tourists and result in a boost to the economy of some 4 trillion roubles. In Spain, the new Madrid to Barcelona highspeed train service is predicted to create 136,000 jobs by 2016 says director for communications at Adif engineering company Marsa del Carmen Palao Ibssez. Although the train requires only about 500 specialists and another 550 security and cleaning specialists, 85pc of the jobs are created in the service sector, mostly in the restaurant business, retail, transport and tourism. Furthermore, Spanish economists have calculated that Madrid stores will sell an additional 2.8 million drinks, while museums will lure an additional 180,000-250,000 visitors. Deutsche Bahn said in a study that the ICE (Intercity-Express) helped many residents of smaller towns to find better jobs or increase their incomes by enabling them to reach big cities faster. Last year, almost 243,000 people commuted to Berlin on a daily basis. Since Sapsan trains began operating in 2009, its service has been in high demand. “It is impossible to separate the continuous development of cities from the impact that railways produce on them. But the fact that over 85 percent of all Sapsan seats

MOSCOW: Russian authorities pin their hopes on the construction of high-speed railways to resolve traffic problems in big cities. —AP

Famed futurist to direct engineering at Google SAN FRANCISCO: Futurist and inventor Raymond Kurzweil said on Friday that he is going to work as director of engineering at Google to help “turn the next decade’s ‘unrealistic’ visions into reality.” Kurzweil, an author whose books include “The Age of Spiritual Machines” and “Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever,” said that tomorrow would be his first day on the job at Google. “In 1999, I said that in about a decade we would see technologies such as self-driving cars and mobile phones that could answer your questions, and people criticized these predictions as unrealistic,” Kurzweil said in an online newsletter. “Fast forward a decade-Google has demonstrated self-driving cars, and people are indeed asking questions of their Android phones,” he continued. “We’re really on a remarkable trajectory of quickening innovation, and Google is at the forefront of much of this development.” Kurzweil, who will turn 65 years old in February, said he has been enthralled by technology, especial-

are normally booked is quite indicative. If people use this service, that means their requirements are met effectively, and the fact that there is very little luggage means that Sapsan is mostly used for business trips”, explains senior analyst at the Metropol transport sector Andrey Rozhkov. Oleg Prudov, railways specialist at the Institute of Problems of Natural Monopolies, believes high-speed trains offer convenience because they take passengers directly into the city centres, as opposed to arriving at airports on the city outskirts. This makes them a competitor with airlines and forces them to cut their airfares and increase comfort levels. Nizhny Novgorod international airport reported that airlines had to cut their fares when the Sapsan line launched there in 2011. The airport also made amendments to its check-in rules, as check-in counters for passengers and luggage started to close 20 minutes before the departure for Moscow flights. Similar economic benefits in terms of job creation and relieving road congestion are predicted for the planned high speed rail network that will connect London and Birmingham in 2025. Andrew Meaney, managing consultant at Oxford’s Oxera, believes it will have an economic impact of about $ 33 billion, of which $9 billion will be from the time saved by using the faster train. —AP

ly machine learning, since he was in his early teens. He designed software that enable a computer to write original music and his inventions include the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, according to the website “I’ve always worked to create practical systems that will make a difference in people’s lives, which is what excites me as an inventor,” Kurzweil said. “I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Google to work on some of the hardest problems in computer science so we can turn the next decade’s ‘unrealistic’ visions into reality.” Google research director Peter Norvig praised Kurzweil’s contributions to technology, among them an eponymous reading machine that people-including famed musician Stevie Wonder-use to have written works read aloud. “We appreciate his ambitious, long-term thinking, and we think his approach to problem-solving will be incredibly valuable to projects we’re working on at Google,” Norvig said in response to an AFP inquiry. — AFP

Confusion on Internet future after UN treaty split WASHINGTON: The freewheeling, unregulated Internet seemed to survive a push for new rules at a UN treaty meeting, but the collapse of talks leaves unanswered questions about the Web’s future. A total of 89 countries endorsed the global treaty on telecom regulations at the UN’s International Telecommunication Union gathering in Dubai on Friday, but the United States and dozens of others refused to sign, saying it opened the door to regulating the Internet. ITU chief Hamadoun Toure insisted that the treaty had nothing to do with the Internet, despite what he called “a non-binding resolution which aims at fostering the development and growth of the Internet.” “This conference was not about the Internet control or Internet governance, and indeed there are no provisions on the Internet,” the ITU secretary-general told participants at the signing ceremony. But James Lewis, who follows Internet governance at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said backers of the treaty distorted the facts. “They were lying,” he said. “It was

totally about the Internet.” Lewis told AFP the ITU lost credibility because “they swore up and down there wouldn’t be a vote, that a decision would be by consensus, and then they took a vote.” The outcome underscored a deep divide between the US and its allies, which seek to keep the Internet open and unregulated, and authoritarian regimes that want to impose controls over online use and content. Russia, China and Saudi Arabia have been among countries seeking such changes. Still, Lewis said the World Conference on International Telecommunication, organized by the ITU in Dubai, failed to wrest control of the Internet addressing system from the global nonprofit group called ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It remains unclear, said Lewis, whether the treaty can even become effective without a majority of the 193 ITU members endorsing it. “The ITU has to suspend consensus rules to say this treaty is to take effect, and then it becomes an issue for the lawyers,” he said, adding that the matter could end up before the UN Security Council.—AFP


health & science

Legalizing pot: What’s happening in states? WASHINGTON: The votes in Washington and Colorado last month legalizing marijuana were just the latest developments in the debate over marijuana use in the United States. Lawmakers and activists in some other states are contemplating their next moves in regards to marijuana: DELAWARE Lawmakers passed a bill last year allowing the use of medical marijuana obtained from state-licensed “compassion centers,” but Gov Jack Markell halted implementation after federal officials indicated that people involved in cultivating and distributing marijuana could be subject to civil fines or prosecution. As far as legalization for recreational purposes, Markell spokeswoman Cathy Rossi said there are the same concerns about medical marijuana. “That is, if the federal government is saying it won’t pursue persons with a medical need or recreational users, but it is prosecuting persons who provide that marijuana in a safe manner, then we are forcing people to obtain marijuana from the illegal market,” she said. ILLINOIS Democratic state Rep Lou Lang has been trying to legalize medical marijuana, but has no plans to try to go beyond that. Dan Linn, executive director of Illinois NORML, a group advocating the legalization of all marijuana use, said

at least one lawmaker has expressed interest in introducing a bill in January. But Linn said many lawmakers don’t want to ruin Lang’s chances of getting his bill passed by pressing for wider use right now. INDIANA Key lawmakers from both parties plan to introduce measures next year that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug. Democratic state Sen Karen Tallian says attitudes are changing among her fellow lawmakers, while Republican Sen Brent Steele says the state should focus its strained resources on violent crime rather than pot smokers. MINNESOTA: Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that he doesn’t support legalized use either recreationally or medicinally. He ties his opposition to medical marijuana to law enforcement’s opposition. MONTANA Medical marijuana is allowed and a proposal to make the recreational use of pot a constitutional right has been refiled. The proposed 2014 constitutional initiative duplicates a proposal put forward last year that failed to make the ballot because organizers didn’t get enough signatures. Republican state Sen. Jeff Essmann doesn’t believe Montana voters will go the way of Colorado and Washington.

NEBRASKA Marijuana supporters have tried to legalize it by referendum but failed to collect enough petition signatures to force a vote. Nebraska Gov Dave Heineman has repeatedly expressed opposition to medical marijuana. Lawmakers briefly considered a bill to legalize industrial hemp farming, but the legislation died. NEW MEXICO The New Mexico Drug Policy Alliance says it will push lawmakers for a bill next year to legalize marijuana, but it will likely go nowhere. A legislative review committee has declined to endorse the proposal and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is a former prosecutor who would like to repeal the state’s medical marijuana law. OREGON Key lawmakers in Oregon have agreed not to try to legalize pot next year, waiting instead to see what happens in Colorado and Washington. In the meantime, lawmakers will evaluate the proposals from activists with an eye on potentially introducing a legalization measure in 2014. PENNSYLVANIA A state senator who sponsored one of two medical-marijuana bills that died during the just-ended legislative session said the Colorado and Washington measures will help pave the

way for similar measures in other states. Democratic state Sen. Daylin Leach compared marijuana legalization efforts to the debate over legalizing samesex marriage: once a few states act, it will disprove “all the horror stories” perpetuated by opponents. Leach said he intends to resurrect his bill to allow marijuana use for medical purposes and to sponsor a bill to decriminalize the drug. However, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s spokesman, Kevin Harley, said Corbett would veto any bill to legalize marijuana, even for medical reasons. RHODE ISLAND Under a law that takes effect April 1, adults in Rhode Island caught with an ounce or less of marijuana would face a $150 civil fine, and a state representative has said she plans to reintroduce legislation to legalize marijuana. VERMONT Gov Peter Shumlin and many lawmakers are pushing for decriminalization, in which those caught with small amounts of marijuana would be given something akin to a traffic fine rather than facing a criminal charge. Shumlin has argued that young people caught with small amounts of the drug should not have their future job prospects affected by a criminal record. House Speaker Shap Smith has opposed decriminalization, but this week he said he is willing to have a debate. —AP

Texas cancer probe draws NCI scrutiny Officials ‘evaluating recent events’ at CPRIT

MICHEMIRE: In this Nov 4, 2012 photo, health workers measure the height of a boy during a mobile clinic to identify cases of underweight, stunted, or malnourished children, in Michemire, in the Mao region of Chad. A survey conducted in the county found that 51.9 percent of the children are stunted, one of the highest rates in the world, according to a summary published by UNICEF. Stunting is the result of having either too few calories, too little variety, or both. — AP

How to stitch your tongue at sea PARIS: One sailor used sandpaper to gingerly file down his broken molar before capping the aching stump with epoxy resin. But no one - at least not yet - has had to stitch their own tongue back together or crawl with a broken leg the length of their yacht tossed by raging seas, as in previous years. The doctor of the around-the-world Vendee Globe solo sailing race has learned to be grateful for such small mercies. Experience has taught Jean-Yves Chauve that when the telephone rings in his surgery in France, it can only be bad news. His patients, utterly alone in the tormented oceans of the southern hemisphere, are as tough as old boots. They have to be to survive three months away from home, comfort and human contact. They’re not the type to consult the doctor for mere aches and scrapes. “These are very resistant people, so generally when they do call it’s because there really is a serious problem,” Chauve said. “I often say that I’m a doctor who lives in his waiting room. Because I have to be patient, I have to wait for people to call me.” They say the Tour de France is grueling. Ironman triathlons look aptly named, too. But the Vendee Globe might be the toughest race of any sport, almost lunatic and most certainly dangerous in the pounding day-afterday demands it puts on sailors and their boats. Little more than one third of the way into the race from France, around Antarctica and back again, one third of the 20 starters have already given up. The remaining 13 skippers are scattered over 3,700 nautical miles of ocean from Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa to Cape Leeuwin on the southwestern tip of Australia. Ahead lies the Pacific Ocean, Cape Horn, the long sprint northward back up the Atlantic Ocean, and who knows how many icebergs, whales, storms and potential disasters to avoid. It may be another 50 days or more before the winner sees the western coast of France and the harbor at Les Sables d’Olonne. That is the start-finish point of this race that bills itself as “the Everest of the seas” - although far more people have scaled the roof of the world or even stayed aboard the International Space Station than completed the six previous editions of the Vendee Globe. Those that make it, never touching land or getting assistance, as the rules dictate, will doubtless return with more tales of having hallucinated from exhaustion, of seeing pink elephants or imaginary cats. Being able to sleep in short, sharp bursts or surviving on the briefest of power naps is a vital part of competing effectively. “I often say Vendee Globe racers are elite-level sleepers,” Chauve said in a phone interview.

He’s been the race doctor since its first edition in 1989. “If you sleep badly, if you sleep too much or have low quality sleep then it affects your intellectual performance and physical performance and that can be very bad over three months.” Being an accomplished sailor, singlehandedly navigating giant yachts with a spread of sail, isn’t enough. Vendee Globe competitors must also be mechanics, electricians and doctors, able to fix a broken diesel engine, debug a malfunctioning computer or stabilize a broken bone, always one of their own. They must know how to pace themselves, be their own coaches, insisting not only that they go fast but sleep and eat enough, too. The muscular effort, alone, of keeping one’s balance on such a yacht burns 800 calories a day, Chauve said. The sailors need daily to wolf down 5,000 calories, mostly dried foods, pasta and other carbohydrates, often over five meals. The galleys are minimalist: a water heater, a stove and a fork, the doctor said. Stripped down to save weight, the sparse cabins amplify the thump of waves on the hull, a sound that can grow as loud as a rock concert, 120 decibels, Chauve said. Imagine how that wears on nerves and sleep. The constant damp makes the skin fragile. Salt gets into cuts; they can easily get infected. Unlike in other sports, there is no hot shower to reward aching muscles just a cold flannel wash, more sea, more pounding, more missed sleep. Bernard Stamm’s tooth sheared off this week when he was eating. Even breathing became uncomfortable for the Swiss-born yachtsman, with cold air making the exposed nerve ache. Worried the broken molar’s sharp edges would cut and infect Stamm’s tongue, Chauve said he asked him “to file it down a bit, very gently of course,” with sandpaper. “We didn’t ask him to file down the tooth completely, just the edge of the break. It only took a few seconds,” Chauve said. “It is a bit painful but there was a risk of infection in the mouth.” Holding a small dental mirror, Stamm dried the stump as best he could with a cotton bud, wincing from pain. Being jolted around by the waves, he then dolloped resin on it, forming a hardened cap Chauve hopes will hold for two months until Stamm sees a dentist. “In such conditions, it’s always a bit do-it-yourself really, we have to make things up as we go along,” the doctor said. In the 2008 race, Yann Elies broke his femur in the ocean south of Australia, roughly where the race is now, when his boat hit a wave, tossing him backward. “At the speed he was sailing, the water is as hard as a wall,” Chauve said. “He had to drag himself with his broken leg from the front to the back of the boat, over a lot of obstacles.” —AP

AUSTIN: The National Cancer Institute has confirmed that federal officials are taking a closer look at a troubled $3 billion cancerfighting effort in Texas that is under a criminal investigation over a lucrative taxpayer-funded grant awarded by the state agency. The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas touts its status as an NCI-approved funding entity - an exclusive group headlined by the nation’s most prominent cancer organizations. The list is fewer than two dozen and includes the American Cancer Society, Susan G Komen for the Cure and federal entities like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The designation is a federal seal-ofapproval that signals high peer review standards and conflict of interest policies. Yearlong turmoil within the Texas institute, or CPRIT, reached a new peak this week when the agency’s beleaguered chief executive asked to resign and prosecutors opened cases following an $11 million grant to a private company that was revealed to have bypassed an independent review. NCI spokeswoman Aleea Farrakh Khan told The Associated Press that officials are “evaluating recent events” at CPRIT. She said officials have not made decisions or contacted the agency directly. Members of CPRIT’s governing board did not immediately return an email seeking comment. An NCI designation is not required for CPRIT to continue running the nation’s second-largest pot of cancer research dollars, Khan said. But jeopardizing that status - and especially losing it - would be a severe blow to CPRIT’s reputation, which already has been battered by sweeping resignations, internal accusations of politics trumping science and now a criminal investigation. A recent internal audit at CPRIT discovered an $11 million funding request from Dallas-based Peloton Therapeutics was approved without the agency ever scrutinizing the proposal’s merits. The revelation came only months after two Nobel laureates and other top scientists left the agency in protest over a $20 million grant

some accused of being rushed to approval without a proper peer review. While CPRIT is funded by taxpayers, donors to cancer nonprofits might look to an NCI designation for assurance that their money is in good hands. “It says, ‘If I’m donating money to this agency, if NCI is approving them, that means NCI says it’s handling its money well,’” Khan said. Khan added that CPRIT’s inclusion on the list does not mean all of its funding mechanisms are NCI-approved. There is no funding relationship between the NCI and CPRIT. An entire page of CPRIT’s website is devoted to boasting its NCI designation. The agency says the status is important because it means cancer centers in Texas seeking its own NCI designation - so as to reassure patients or bolster recruitment - can include CPRIT research dollars in their calcula-

NEW YORK: In this file photo of Nov 20, 2012, Anthony Gatti makes a call while resting in a tent where he is living in the Midland Beach section of the Staten Island borough of New York. The image of his brother trapped in a car with water rising to his neck, his eyes silently pleading for help, is part of a recurring nightmare that wakes Anthony Gatti up, screaming, at night. — AP

EPA tightens standards for the soot pollution WASHINGTON: In its first major regulation since the election, the Obama administration on Friday imposed a new air quality standard that reduces by 20 percent the maximum amount of soot released into the air from smokestacks, diesel trucks and other sources of pollution. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said the new standard will save thousands of lives each year and reduce the burden of illness in communities across the country, as people “benefit from the simple fact of being able to breathe cleaner air.” As a mother of two sons who have battled asthma, Jackson said she was pleased that “more mothers like me will be able to rest a little easier knowing their children, and their children’s children, will have cleaner air to breathe for decades to come.” Announcement of the new standard met a court deadline in a lawsuit by 11 states and public health groups. The new annual standard is 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air, down from the current 15 micrograms per cubic meter. The new soot standard has been highly anticipated by environmental and business groups, who have battled over the extent to which it would protect public health or cause job losses. The EPA said its analysis shows the rule will have a net benefit ranging from about $3.6 billion to $9 billion a year. A study by the American Lung Association and other groups said the new standard will save an estimated 15,000 lives a year - many in

tions to maintain levels needed to be NCI approved. “This enhances Texas’ ability to leverage additional federal funding for cancer research and raises Texas’ profile as a center for cancer research,” according to the website. Executive Director Bill Gimson submitted his resignation letter Tuesday but offered to stay on through January. He has described Peloton’s improper funding as an honest mistake and said no one associated with CPRIT stood to personally profit from the company’s award. Prosecutors have not made any specific criminal allegations. Launching separate investigations into CPRIT are the Texas attorney general’s office and the Travis County district attorney’s public integrity unit, which investigates criminal misconduct within state government. — AP

urban areas where exposure to emissions from older, dirty diesel engines and coal-fired power plants are greatest. Soot, or fine particulate matter, is made up of microscopic particles released from smokestacks, diesel trucks, wood-burning stoves and other sources and contributes to haze. Breathing in soot can cause lung and heart problems, contributing to heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks. Environmental groups and public health advocates welcomed the new standard, saying it will protect millions of Americans at risk for sootrelated asthma attacks, lung cancer, heart disease and premature death. Dr Norman H Edelman, chief medical officer for the American Lung Association, said a new standard will force industries to clean up what he called a “lethal pollutant.” Reducing soot pollution “will prevent heart attacks and asthma attacks and will keep children out of the emergency room and hospitals,” Edelman said in a statement. “It will save lives.” But congressional Republicans and industry officials called the new standard overly strict and said it could hurt economic growth and cause job losses in areas where pollution levels are determined to be too high. Conservative critics said they feared the rule was the beginning of a “regulatory cliff” that includes a forthcoming EPA rule on ozone, or smog, as well as pending greenhouse gas regulations for refineries and rules curbing mercury emissions at power plants. —AP

Alcohol causes quarter of Europe road deaths LISBON: Alcohol abuse is responsible for around a quarter of the 30,000 people who die in road accidents across the European Union every year, the bloc’s drugs agency said in a report published on Friday. “Around 30,000 people die in traffic accidents in the EU every year, with alcohol still the number one substance endangering lives on Europe’s roads,” the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said. It said alcohol accounted for around a quarter of road deaths. The Lisbon-based agency was presenting the results of its Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol and medicines (DRUID project), which ran between 2006 and 2011. The survey randomly tested drivers across 13 member EU countries. “Alcohol was detected in 3.5 percent of drivers, illicit drugs in 1.9 percent and medicines in 1.4 percent.” EMCDDA said. “The DRUID project has given policymakers the best available scientific evidence on levels of drug and alcohol use in drivers and the responses available today to improve road safety in Europe,” EMCDDA director Wolfgang Goetz said. —AFP



Brazil fears mad cow case will force cut in beef prices BRASILIA: Brazil is worried that fears over a single case of mad cow disease from more than two years ago could force it to slash its beef prices, after China, Japan and South Africa this week suspended imports. Agricultural officials here insist there is “no risk whatsoever to public health or to animal hygiene” from the lone case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) that was detected in an animal that died in 2010 in the southern state of Parana. Nevertheless, China, South Africa and Japan suspended their imports of Brazilian beef this week, amid fears that other countries could follow suit. Analysts here suspect that the decision to shun Brazil’s beef may be calculated to compel the government to renegotiate its meat prices. “Undoubtedly, it is a negative situation which generated a lot of specula-

tion and some importers are already trying to use this to renegotiate prices,” said Hyberville Neto, an agribusiness expert with Sao Paulo-based Scot Consultoria. Others said however that a depression of meat prices likely would be a temporary event. “This crisis can be used to push prices down but so far this is just speculation. And if it occurs, it won’t last,” said Fernando Sampaio, executive director of the Brazilian Association of Meat Exporting Industries (ABIEC). Meanwhile, President Dilma Rousseff launched an information campaign to avert a domino effect which could hurt the country’s meat sales, although as of Friday, authorities said they have not heard of new suspensions. “The main buyers listened to our explanations and everything seems under control,” Sampaio said. An agriculture ministry official who

Spare obese condemned Ohio killer: Parole board COLUMBUS: Ohio Gov John Kasich must decide in about a month whether to spare a condemned inmate who weighs 450 pounds, and whether the inmate’s health should be part of his decision. The state parole board on Friday recommended mercy for Ronald Post based on claims raising doubts about his legal representation, not because he says he’s so fat he can’t be humanely executed. The board rejected arguments made by Post’s attorneys that he deserves mercy because of lingering doubts about his “legal and moral guilt” in a woman’s death, but it said it couldn’t ignore perceived missteps by his lawyers. The board’s recommendation, by a vote of 5-3, goes to Kasich, who has the final say. Post is scheduled to die Jan 16 for killing Elyria motel clerk Helen Vantz in a 1983 robbery. “Post took Vantz’s life, devastating the lives of her loved ones in the process,” the board said. But it said a majority of its members agreed his sentence should be commuted to life in prison without chance of parole because of omissions, missed opportunities and questionable decisions made by his previous attorneys and because that legal representation didn’t meet expectations for a death penalty case. Post never raised his weight issue with the board, but instead is arguing in federal court on Monday that he would suffer “a torturous and lingering death” as executioners tried to find a vein or use a backup

method where lethal drugs are injected directly into muscle. Kasich can consider anything he wants, regardless of court rulings or whether a claim - in this case Post’s weight - was made as part of the clemency petition, Dan Kobil, a Capital University law professor and expert on clemency. Governors in decades past would consider an inmate’s youth and whether they had a mental disability, even before executing juveniles and those with disabilities was ruled unconstitutional, Kobil said. “That’s what clemency is there for, to take into account the oddball case that doesn’t fall into the normal sorts of parameters of the law,” Kobil said. Post’s current attorneys said they were pleased by the recommendation. “In the nearly 30 years since his case began, Ronald Post has too often been failed by the attorneys assigned to represent him, beginning at his trial,” public defenders Joe Wilhelm and Rachel Troutman said in a statement. Vantz’s sons, William and Michael, have said they believe in Post’s guilt. William Vantz characterized Post’s obesity claim as “another way for a coward to try and get out of what debt he owes to society.” The longheld presumption that Post confessed to the murder to several people has been falsely exaggerated, Post’s attorneys argued. Post admitted involvement in the crime as the get-away driver to a police informant but didn’t admit to the killing. —AP

asked not to be named said the government is working behind the scenes “to prevent other countries from suspending their imports.” After Japan decided to suspend its imports, British bank Barclays said other key importers such as Russia, Egypt and Iran were unlikely to follow suit. But Barclays added that those countries could block shipments and “create an opportunity to negotiate better prices.” Authorities said the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) was notified of the case of mad cow but was “maintaining Brazil’s status as a country with an insignificant risk of BSE, the best existing risk classification.” Brazil argued that several countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal and Britain, also have recorded atypical cases of BSE. With nearly 200 million head of cattle, Brazil is a lead-

ing beef exporter counting some 180 countries as customers this year. Between January and October, it exported one million tons of beef, mainly to Russia, the ministry said. Other major customers of Brazilian beef are China and Hong Kong. Brazil is a member of the BRICS bloc of emerging powers, which includes China, India, Russia and South Africa. The beef crisis surfaced just as exporters prepared to celebrate upbeat 2012 results, after recovering from the impact of the real’s appreciation against the dollar and a drought in agricultural states. The episode also has cast a shadow over what has otherwise been a banner year for exports, which have soared 12.25 percent, while sales have been up 6.5 percent, according to industry groups. — AFP

With drought memories fresh, wheat prices rise NEW YORK: Prices for wheat, corn and soybeans rose Friday as traders worried that the devastating drought of the summer could be repeated next year. Wheat for March delivery rose 5.5 cents to $8.14 a bushel. March corn rose 10.5 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $7.3075 a bushel. January soybeans rose 19.5 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $14.96 a bushel. Prices for all three agricultural commodities spiked over the summer as crops were damaged by a long drought throughout the Midwest. On Friday, Alan Knuckman, chief market strategist at Optionshop in Chicago, noted the unusual lack of snow there so far this season. That’s troublesome, Knuckman said, because the snow is needed to help replenish the soil’s moisture. The dearth of snow could signal a second straight dry season. “Now, as it looks, the drought problem could be a recurring theme,” Knuckman said in an interview. In a research note, he warned of “another potential price shock of possibly epic proportions” in agriculture. Metals were mixed. Gold for February delivery was virtually flat, rising 20 cents to $1,697 per ounce. March silver declined slightly, losing 5.6 cents to $32.299 per ounce. However, metals used most often for industrial purposes rose. They were likely influenced by a report that said manufacturing in China is picking up. Also, US data showed that the nation’s factories have rebounded from Superstorm Sandy. March copper rose 2.3 cents to $3.683 per pound. January platinum inched up $1.70 to $1,614.50 an ounce. March palladium had

the biggest jump, rising $10.40, or 1.5 percent, $702.05 an ounce. The price of oil also rose on the positive report on Chinese manufacturing. Benchmark crude gained 84 cents to $86.73 on the New York

Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of oil, rose $1.23 to $109.14 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Other energy contracts were mixed. Heating oil rose 3.7 cents to $2.9807 a gallon. —AP

HERAT: An Afghan doctor takes the blood pressure of a heroin addict undergoing rehabilitation at the Governmental Treatment Center for Drug Addicts in Herat yesterday. The treatment centre, which can house some 50 patients, opened yesterday for addicts in Herat province. War-ravaged Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of heroin. — AFP




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


TIES Centre programs TIES Center lecture - 19/12/12 by Yousef B. Albader TIES Center is please to invite you to attend a lecture by Reseacher & Author Mr. Yousef B. Albader about The English Lexical Contributions to the Kuwait Arabic. Mr. Albader has published several books including Illustrative Examples in English Advance Learners Dictionaries. The presentation will be followed by questions and answers. If your interested in the topic, the TIES Center is the most appropriate place to visit on Wednesday 19th December 2012 at 6pm to 8pm. TIES Center Arabic Course - 13/01/13 TIES Center is glad to announce the start of Arabic Courses. Starting January 13 and Ending March 7, 2013. We offer classes for all levels from beginners to advance level. TIES Arabic Classes are intended for all expatriates who wish to learn Arabic for whatever purpose - business, basic communication, as a second language or simply as a hobby. Throughout the course the students will learn how to read, write and speak Arabic in a friendly, relaxed and welcoming environment. First Aid at TIES Center TIES Ladies Club invites all ladies to learn the basic life saving techniques in our unique Monthly First Aid Workshops. Do not miss this opportunity as you never know when and where these techniques would be required. Though basic but they might make a significant difference in life. Date: Saturday 12th January 2013 Time 11am to 1pm Call and book a seat now as the number of seats are limited English Course at TIES Center - 9th January 2013 TIES Center announces new English Course Classes from January 9th 2013 to February 13th 2013, every Wednesday 6pm to 8pm. The course would be conducted by an instructor with vast experienced in teaching English Mr. Mohammad Abdullah Cathcart, native English speaker, California\Minnesota accent and TEFL Certified English teacher. The classes would be at TIES Center in Al Shuhada.

IDF inter-school health quiz he Indian Doctors Forum conducted the 3rd Annual Inter-School Health Quiz on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at the Kuwait Medical Association Hall amongst a galaxy of dignitaries in the audience comprising of sponsors, school principals, school teachers and students. The evening kicked off at 4 pm which witnessed the arrival of students of around 15 different schools in order to partake in this magnanimous event. Following the completion of registration formalities, all participating students were awarded Red Badges and the preliminaries were carried out in a discreet and professional manner with a supervising team on the constant vigil. After a duration of 15 minutes, the question papers were collected for correction. Meanwhile to keep the audiences engaged, a mini quiz was conducted by Dr Ajay D’Souza and Dr Divya Damodar for all the students, besides the participants with attractive prizes to be given away. The official function began with a warm welcome by Dr Jaganath R C, General Secretary - IDF. This was followed by the Chairman’s address by Dr N Nampoory, Chairman - IDF and the presidential address by Dr Amir Ahmed, President - IDF. The final list of participants was then announced by the quiz masters Dr Radhakrishna Panicker and Dr Pooja Chodankar, wherein each participating team constituting two students, were invited on stage with the Red Badge being replaced by a Blue one. The rules of the quiz were clearly spelt out in a strategic manner prior to the onset of every round. There were a total of six rounds in all starting with the take your pick on general topics, memoirs based on history of medicine, Technovation based on latest technology and Innovation, video


Arabic courses

runners up too were the same for the third time Indian Community School Kuwait: Senior Branch earning 105 points, having secured another hat-trick. At the third place was Indian Public School with 90 points. Prior to the announcement of the winners,IDF carried out the IDF members’ children meritorious students award wherein all children of IDF members who secured

ners and runners-up were handed at the prestigious hands of T A Remesh, Country Head Gulfmart who sponsored all the prizes in the form of iPads and Lap tops. The consolation prizes to the four remaining finalist were awarded by Faiz Ur Rehman, Financial Controller, Al-Mulla Exchange and Saibal Basu, CFO.Centerpoint Kuwait.

DPS), Indian Community School Kuwait : Senior, Indian Public School, Gulf Indian School, United Indian School, Indian Central School, Indian English Academy School, Carmel School, Integrated Indian School, Indian Community School : Khaitan, & India International School of which the former six were the six finalists. The winning team which came out victorious was Fahaheel Al-Watanieh Indian Private School (FAIPS-DPS), which won the quiz with an overwhelming margin for the third time with 150 points and made a hat-trick. The

90 percent or more in the recently held Xth and XII standard examinations were awarded with prizes, certificates and mementos. These awards were delivered to the outstanding at the esteemed hands of the chief guests, Satish C Mehta, Indian Ambassador to Kuwait and Dr Mohammed Al-Mutairi, President Kuwait Medical Association who praised their remarkable achievements. The main sponsors of the event were Gulfmart, Al-Mulla Exchange and Centerpoint Kuwait. The prizes to the win-

The quiz came to an exuberant end with the Rolling Trophy being presented by Dr Amir Ahmed, President - IDF to Cherian, Quiz Coordinator of FAIPS (DPS) in a grand manner amongst a applauding audience of students from different schools. The vote of thanks was then delivered by Dr Vinod Grover who thanked one and all for making the event successful and a memorable one.

Indian Embassy Announcements Indian Embassy passport and visa Passports and visa applications can be deposited at the two outsourced centers of M/S BLS Ltd at Sharq and Fahaheel. Details are available at and

TIES Center International Bazaar - 19th January 2013 Stop by and have the opportunity to see and even own some international antiques on display and taste the delicious foods on display. Also have your name inscribed in Arabic calligraphy at no cost and have a taste of our Arabic Ice Cream. Various items will be available for sale, such as pashmina shawls, accessories, jewellery, Mexican food, Indian food, Cosmetics, Cookies, Handbags, Traditional Kuwaiti - Style dresses and many more. And there would be a lot of fun for kids such as Bouncy Castle for Kids. All Are welcome.


round and rapid fire round where the speed of the brain was put to test. The quiz masters were supported by an additional support arm of Dr Suraj Davis, Dr Rania Basheers and Dr Sageer, who helped in the strict maintenance of time and scores. In all there were twelve schools which participated in the quiz, namely Fahaheel Al-Watanieh Indian Private School (FAIPS-

Bike enthusiasts meet large number of Harley Davidson owners estimated between 50 and 70 bikers attended a lecture on road safety and traffic awareness by expert Adel Al-Batty which was held on Friday at the Kuwait House of National Works Museum. Following the event, the bikers embarked on a drive from the museum along the Arabian Gulf Road.


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


Charity show n the occasion of New Year Hangama 2013, which will be held on December 31, 2012 , from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am at Carmel School, Khaitan. Rak Dance Academy is conducting dance competition in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi. The winners will


Indian workers helpline/helpdesk Indian workers helpline is accessible by toll free telephone number 25674163 from all over Kuwait. It provides information and advice to Indian workers as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. The help desk at the Embassy (Open from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4:30PM, Sunday to Thursday) provides guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal and other issues. It also provides workers assistance in filling up labour complaint forms. For any unaddressed issues, the concerned attachÈ in the Labour section and the head of the Labour Wing can be contacted. Legal Advice Clinic Free legal advice is provided on matters pertaining to labour disputes, terms of contracts with employers, death/accident compensation, withholding of dues by employers, etc. by lawyers on our panel, to Indian nationals on all working days between 1500hrs to 1600hrs.

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

Consular Open House Consular Wing is providing daily service of Open House to Indian citizens on all workings days from 1000 hrs to 1100 hrs and from 1430 hrs to 1530 hrs by the Consular Officer in the Meeting Room of the Consular Hall at the Embassy. For any unaddressed issues, Second Secretary (Consular) can be contacted. Furthermore, the head of the Consular Wing is also available to redress grievances.

Students tour Kuwait Times office leven grade students from the Thabit bin Qais School visited Kuwait Times newspaper office last Thursday and were taken on a tour to learn about the process of news-making and newspaper printing.


Ambassador’s Open House The Open House for Indian citizens by the Ambassador is being held on all Wednesdays at the Embassy for redressal of grievances. In case Wednesday is an Embassy holiday, the meeting will be held on the next working day.




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

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

Crowne Plaza Kuwait’s Sakura Restaurant now at 360 Mall rowne Plaza Kuwait, one of the country’s most popular five-star hotels, has announced the opening of a new branch of its famous Japanese specialty restaurant SAKURA at the 360 Mall, that took place in a festive ceremony held in the presence of the Japanese Ambassador Toshihiro Tsujihara and Eriko Tsujihara in addition to a large number of the media in Kuwait on December 12, 2012. Amongst the invitees were the regular customers of Sakura who have been the driving force behind the success of the restaurant over the years. The Japanese ambassador accompanied by his wife and Deputy Chief in Mission Kazuhiro Nakai was delighted to open the new branch of the most popular Japanese restaurant in 360 Mall considered as a truly unique shopping destination. The mall enhanced its services recently with its newly opened Sky Lounge a offering wide range of exquisite dining experience to the shoppers. People’s favourite Sakura in 360 mall promises to be a great partnership which would compliment both brands equally. Sakura Japanese Restaurant is a


unique representation of Japan’s traditional cuisine where one can experience the art of Sushi, Sashimi, Teppanyaki and Tatami at its very best served in a fantastic mouth-watering display. Sakura over the years has gained its popularity and loyal clientele through its impeccable service and quality. This

has defined the success of the restaurant. Sakura has been awarded the best fine dinning restaurant in Kuwait by Service Hero 2011 and has already established five branches across Kuwait the locations being in Crowne plaza, Zone, Mangaf, Laila Gallery Salmiya and

Holiday Inn Salmiya. The branch in 360 mall is its latest addition and the 6th branch in the country. This comes following popular demand by the brand loyals. Sakura joins Shabestan restaurant another branch of one of Crowne Paza’s specialty restaurants, also known as one of the best Iranian restaurant in the country and Ruby Tuesday under the management of the Bukhamseen group within the 360 mall, together offering quality dining experience to the visitors and shoppers. “Crowne Plaza Kuwait is proud as well as excited to open the new branch of its Sakura Japanese restaurant in the largest and finest shopping center in Kuwait aiming to extend the services to its esteemed guests” expressed Ramy Haykal General Manager of Crowne Plaza Kuwait. He added, “The delicious Japanese delights, lively atmosphere and attentive service at Sakura will allow our diners to sample a variety of creative noshes as a light snack or an entire meal. The guests will experience service of the highest standard - something that Crowne Plaza has always pioneered.”

Gust professors named in publication ulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) Assistant Professor of Mass Communication, Dr Jamshid Malekpour and Shahla Mirbakhtyar Adjunct Theater Instructor at GUST, were mentioned in


the book “Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage” by Erin B Mee and Helene P Foley and published by Oxford Press, for their direction of the play Antigone.

The excerpt in the book reads: “Directed by Jamshid Malekpour and Shahla Mirbakhtyar, Shiraz Theatre, National Multicultural Festival. The Shiraz Theatre’s adaptation of Antigone gave the audience a rather heated and intense take on this 5th century BC Greek tragedy by Sophocles. Directors Jamshid Malekpour and Shahla Mirbakhtyar staged this play in the Kingston Bus Depot Markets, where the mostly bare surrounds were a perfect background for the ‘collision’ between Kreon and Antigone and underscored the angry, cold and unsympathetic tone of the production. Collision is exactly the right term to use for the confrontations around which this production is built. The conflict between the various characters has the same brittle, sickening quality as steel impacting steel. The outraged dialogue evokes the same sense of inevitableness as that moment when the crash becomes a certainty. In this production’s opening scene the audience was transported by minibus through a wilderness of human waste. Peering through the side windows we caught a glimpse of what is never shown in the play: Antigone hanging by the neck, a woman wailing, and Haemon’s body lying to one side, pierced by his own sword. The audience then made

their way to long rows of seats, to watch this powerful classical tale. What followed was a series of strong and innovative images which were a curious mixture of the cinematographic and theatrical. The beginning and ending of the play worked particularly well, with the opening image very reminiscent of

untouched as this great tragedy unfolds which, in the end, destroys not only Antigone and Kreon, but also Kreon’s wife and son. But of course, with the destruction, comes the purge to restore the balance and harmony of the city of Thebes.” GUST is proud of Dr Jamshid’s accom-

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

EMBASSY OF KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya wishes to inform the Kenyan community residents throughout Kuwait and the general public that the Embassy has acquired new office telephone numbers as follows: 25353982, 25353985 - Consular’s enquiries 25353987 - Fax Our Email address: ■■■■■■■

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

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

Shahla Mirbakhtyar film. The last image was, on the other hand, very theatrical, with the chorus unrolling metres of red material, covering the remaining players and, symbolically, the whole city of Thebes with the blood of the victims. No one is left

Jamshid Malekpour plishment and proud to have such talent within its faculty from whom its students can learn from and aspire to be more like. GUST wishes him the best of luck in future endeavors in direction.

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



00:20 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 00:50 I’m Alive 01:45 Animal Cops Philadelphia 02:35 The Last Lion Of Liuwa 03:25 My Cat From Hell 04:15 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 04:40 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 05:05 Great Savannah Race 05:55 Animal Cops Philadelphia 06:45 Baby Planet 07:35 Wildlife SOS 08:00 Talk To The Animals 08:25 Cats 101 09:15 Crocodile Hunter 10:10 Baby Planet 11:05 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 11:30 Breed All About It 12:00 Jeff Corwin Unleashed 12:25 The Really Wild Show 12:55 Great Savannah Race 13:50 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 14:45 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 15:40 Shamwari: A Wild Life 16:35 Rescue Vet 17:00 Rescue Vet 17:30 Too Cute! 18:25 My Cat From Hell 19:20 Call Of The Wildman 19:45 Call Of The Wildman 20:15 Gator Boys 21:10 Lions Of Crocodile River 22:05 Biggest And Baddest 23:00 Shamwari: A Wild Life 23:25 Shamwari: A Wild Life 23:55 Wildest Islands

00:15 Bargain Hunt 01:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 02:25 Come Dine With Me 03:15 Antiques Roadshow 06:50 MasterChef Australia 13:55 10 Years Younger 14:45 10 Years Younger 15:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 16:55 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 17:20 Come Dine With Me 19:00 Bargain Hunt 20:30 Gok’s Clothes Roadshow 22:00 Baking Made Easy 22:30 Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 23:20 Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets 23:45 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:10 02:30 03:00 03:10 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 05:10 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:10 10:30 11:00 11:10 11:30 12:00 12:10 13:00 13:10 13:30

BBC World News Dateline London BBC World News BBC World News BBC World News World Features Middle East Business Report BBC World News World Features BBC World News BBC World News Dateline London BBC World News Why Poverty? BBC World News Newsnight BBC World News Click BBC World News India Business Report BBC World News Fast Track BBC World News World Features BBC World News BBC World News World Features Dateline London BBC World News Nobel Minds 2012 BBC World News World Features BBC World News

14:00 14:10 14:30 15:00 16:15 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:10 19:00 19:30 20:00 22:15 22:30 23:00 23:10

BBC World News World Features Newsnight BBC World News Sport Today Click BBC World News BBC World News BBC World News Why Poverty? BBC World News India Business Report BBC World News Sport Today BBC World News BBC World News Nobel Minds 2012

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

Yogi’s Treasure Hunt Duck Dodgers Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Dastardly And Muttley Popeye Wacky Races Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Flintstones The Jetsons What’s New Scooby Doo? Taz-Mania The Looney Tunes Show Tom & Jerry Tales Johnny Bravo Moomins Dexter’s Laboratory What’s New Scooby Doo? Taz-Mania The Looney Tunes Show Tom & Jerry Tales The Garfield Show Baby Looney Tunes Bananas In Pyjamas Cartoonito Tales Ha Ha Hairies Jelly Jamm Gerald McBoing Boing Moomins What’s New Scooby Doo? Tom & Jerry Tales Dexter’s Laboratory The New Scooby Doo Movies The New Scooby Doo Movies The Garfield Show Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Tom & Jerry Tales Taz-Mania Taz-Mania Johnny Bravo Dexter’s Laboratory Looney Tunes Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries Taz-Mania The Looney Tunes Show Tom & Jerry The Garfield Show Pink Panther And Pals What’s New Scooby Doo? Moomins Puppy In My Pocket The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop The Addams Family Droopy: Master Detective

00:40 Chowder 01:30 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 01:55 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 02:20 Foster’s Home For... 02:45 Foster’s Home For... 03:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 04:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 04:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:50 Adventure Time 05:15 The Powerpuff Girls 05:40 Generator Rex 06:05 Ben 10 06:30 Ben 10 06:55 Angelo Rules 07:00 Ed, Edd n Eddy 07:30 Casper’s Scare School 08:00 The Marvelous Misadventures... 08:25 Redakai: Conquer The Kairu 08:45 Grim Adventures Of... 09:35 Scooby-Doo! Mystery

Incorporated 09:55 Level Up 10:15 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 10:35 Transformers Prime 11:00 Thundercats 11:25 Thundercats 11:50 Regular Show 12:15 Adventure Time 12:40 The Amazing World Of Gumball 13:05 Johnny Test 13:30 Ben 10 13:55 Ben 10 14:20 The Powerpuff Girls 15:10 Green Lantern: The Animated Series 15:35 Transformers Prime 16:00 Angelo Rules 16:50 Thundercats 17:15 Generator Rex 17:40 Eliot Kid 18:30 Regular Show 19:20 Adventure Time 19:45 The Amazing World Of Gumball 20:10 Johnny Test 20:35 Ben 10: Alien Force 21:00 Ben 10: Alien Force 21:25 The Powerpuff Girls 22:15 Grim Adventures Of... 23:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:50 The Powerpuff Girls

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

World Report News Special Mainsail World Sport World Report Talk Asia World Report Amanpour CNN Marketplace Europe CNN Marketplace Africa The Brief Defining Moments 2012 CNN Newsroom Business Traveller Inside Africa World Sport Inside The Middle East World Report CNN Marketplace Middle East Talk Asia World Report CNN Marketplace Europe Eco Solutions World Sport Living Golf African Voices The Brief Defining Moments 2012 World Report News Special Fareed Zakaria GPS World Report Cnngo State Of The Union International Desk Political Mann Global Exchange CNN Marketplace Africa Global Exchange CNN Marketplace Middle East World Sport Mainsail International Desk African Voices International Desk Inside The Middle East Fareed Zakaria GPS

00:40 01:35 02:30 03:00 03:25 03:55 04:20 04:50 05:15 05:40 06:05 06:35

Cook County Jail Manhunt: Search For A Killer How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made


07:00 How It’s Made 07:25 How Stuff’s Made 07:50 American Chopper 08:45 American Chopper 09:40 Wheeler Dealers 10:30 Outback Truckers 11:25 Deadliest Catch 12:20 How It’s Made 14:35 Dirty Money 16:55 Border Security 19:10 Mythbusters 20:05 Mythbusters 21:00 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 21:55 One Giant Leap: A Neil Armstrong Tribute 22:50 Curiosity: Volcano Time Bomb 23:45 Moonshiners

00:15 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 00:40 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 01:05 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 01:35 Killer Outbreaks 02:25 Prophets Of Science Fiction 03:15 Things That Move 03:45 Gadget Show - World Tour 04:10 How Tech Works 04:35 Gadget Show - World Tour 05:00 How Tech Works 05:25 Gadget Show - World Tour 05:50 How Tech Works 06:15 Gadget Show - World Tour 06:40 How Tech Works 07:05 Gadget Show - World Tour 07:30 How Tech Works 08:00 Brave New World 08:50 Prophets Of Science Fiction 09:40 Head Rush 09:43 Stunt Junkies 10:10 Stunt Junkies 10:40 Man-Made Marvels Asia 11:30 The Future Of... 12:20 Meteorite Men 13:10 Mega World 14:00 Junk Men 14:25 Junk Men 14:50 Bad Universe 15:45 Brave New World 16:35 Things That Move 17:00 Head Rush 17:03 Tech Toys 360 17:30 Tech Toys 360 18:00 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 18:50 Scrapheap Challenge 19:40 The Future Of... 20:30 Weird Or What?

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

Stitch A Kind Of Magic A Kind Of Magic Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School A Kind Of Magic A Kind Of Magic Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School A Kind Of Magic Doc McStuffins Suite Life On Deck Suite Life On Deck A.N.T. Farm A.N.T. Farm Jessie My Babysitter’s A Vampire Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Austin And Ally Gravity Falls Halloweentown 2 Phineas And Ferb Austin And Ally My Babysitter’s A Vampire Gravity Falls Jessie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Shake It Up Shake It Up A.N.T. Farm Austin And Ally Harriet The Spy: Blog Wars Good Luck Charlie Halloweentown 2 Austin And Ally My Babysitter’s A Vampire Gravity Falls A.N.T. Farm Jessie Jessie Fish Hooks Fish Hooks The Suite Life Of Zack And The Suite Life Of Zack And Stitch

00:00 Programmes Start At 7:00am KSA 07:00 Phineas And Ferb 07:20 Phineas And Ferb 07:45 Iron Man Armored Adventures 08:10 Almost Naked Animals 08:35 Lab Rats 09:00 Ultimate Spider-Man 09:30 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 09:55 Kickin It 10:20 Phineas And Ferb 10:30 Phineas And Ferb 10:45 Pair Of Kings 11:10 Mr. Young 11:35 Suite Life On Deck 12:00 Slugterra 12:30 Lab Rats 13:00 Let It Shine 14:45 Phineas And Ferb 15:00 Kickin It 15:25 Kick Buttowski 15:50 Pokemon S15: BW Rival Destinies 16:15 Slugterra 16:40 Mr. Young 17:05 Almost Naked Animals 17:30 Tron: Uprising 17:55 Pair Of Kings 18:20 Lab Rats 20:00 I’m In The Band 20:25 Zeke & Luther 20:50 Iron Man Armored Adventures 21:15 Tron: Uprising 21:40 Phineas And Ferb 22:05 Pokemon S15: BW Rival Destinies

00:55 Style Star 01:25 20 Acts Of Love Gone Wrong 03:15 E! Investigates 04:10 E!es 05:05 Extreme Close-Up 05:30 Extreme Close-Up 06:00 15 Remarkable Celebrity Body Bouncebacks 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Extreme Close-Up 09:45 Extreme Close-Up 10:15 E!es 11:10 Opening Act 12:05 E! News 13:05 Married To Jonas 13:35 Married To Jonas 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 THS 15:55 Fashion Police 16:55 Behind The Scenes 17:25 Behind The Scenes 17:55 E! News 18:55 Married To Jonas 19:25 Ice Loves Coco 19:55 Ice Loves Coco 20:25 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 21:25 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 22:25 Opening Act 23:25 Opening Act

00:40 A Haunting 01:30 A Haunting 02:20 The Haunted 03:05 Ghost Lab 03:55 A Haunting 04:45 A Haunting 05:30 On The Case With Paula Zahn 06:20 Mystery Diagnosis 07:10 Disappeared 08:00 Mystery Diagnosis 08:50 Street Patrol 09:15 Street Patrol 09:40 Real Emergency Calls 10:05 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 10:30 On The Case With Paula Zahn 11:20 Murder Shift 12:10 Disappeared 13:00 Mystery Diagnosis 13:50 Street Patrol 14:15 Street Patrol 14:40 Forensic Detectives 15:30 On The Case With Paula Zahn 16:20 Real Emergency Calls 16:45 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 17:10 Murder Shift 18:00 Disappeared 18:50 Forensic Detectives 19:40 Street Patrol 20:05 On The Case With Paula Zahn 20:55 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 21:20 Nightmare Next Door 22:10 Couples Who Kill 23:00 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 23:50 Great Crimes And Trials

01:00 Welcome To L.A. 02:40 Longtime Companion 04:20 The Amityville Horror 06:15 Life Of Sin 08:05 Vampire’s Kiss 09:45 Eddie & The Cruisers II 11:25 Inspector Clouseau 13:00 Danielle Steel’s Full Circle 14:30 Lights Action Music 15:30 Still Of The Night 17:00 Mgm’s Big Screen 17:15 Billion Dollar Brain 19:00 Eddie And The Cruisers 20:35 A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy 22:00 Sleeper 23:25 Rush

00:15 Bondi Rescue: Bali 01:40 Roam 02:05 Travel Madness 02:35 Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys 03:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 03:55 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 04:25 Street Food Around The World 04:50 Market Values 05:20 Amish: Out of Order 06:15 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 06:40 One Man & His Campervan 07:10 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 09:00 The Best Job In The World 09:55 Bondi Rescue 11:45 Race To The Bottom of The Earth 12:40 Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys 13:35 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:30 Street Food Around The World 14:55 Market Values 15:25 The Frankincense Trail 16:20 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 17:15 The Best Job In The World 18:10 Bondi Rescue 18:35 Bondi Rescue 19:05 Amish: Out of Order 20:05 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 20:30 One Man & His Campervan 21:00 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 22:00 Earth Tripping 22:25 Market Values 22:55 One Man & His Campervan 23:20 Exploring The Vine 23:50 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet

00:00 Shark Men 01:00 Megastructures 02:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest 03:00 Fight Science 04:00 Animal Autopsy (AKA Inside Nature’s Giants) 05:00 Hooked 06:00 Ancient Megastructures 07:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 08:00 Shark Men 09:00 Megastructures 10:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest 11:00 Fight Science 12:00 Animal Autopsy (AKA Inside Nature’s Giants) 13:00 Hooked 14:00 Ancient Megastructures

LAST RIDE ON OSN CINEMA 15:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 16:00 Shark Men 17:00 Megastructures 18:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest 19:00 Untamed Americas 20:00 Aftermath 21:00 Swamp Men 22:00 Untamed Americas 23:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest

00:00 Animal Intervention 01:00 Swamp Men 01:55 Monster Fish 02:50 When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs 03:45 Jaguar: Catching the Cat (aka Hunt for the Shadow 04:40 Caught In The Act 05:35 And Man Created Dog (1 Hour) 06:30 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 08:20 Monkey Thieves 09:15 Snake Wranglers 10:10 Animal Intervention 11:05 Untamed Americas 12:00 Wild India (aka Secrets of Wild India) 13:00 Monster Fish 14:00 Animal Intervention 15:00 Crocodile King 16:00 Hunter Hunted 17:00 Jaguar: Catching the Cat (aka Hunt for the Shadow 18:00 Wild Case Files 19:00 Wild India (aka Secrets of Wild India)

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 PG15 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 19:30 22:00 23:45

Hell-18 Carriers-PG15 Taxi Driver-18 Hackers-PG15 True Justice: Urban WarfareSnake In The Eagle’s Shadow Batman: Year One-PG15 True Justice: Urban Warfare Aeon Flux-PG15 Batman: Year One-PG15 Carlito’s Way-18 Chain Letter-R Fertile Ground-18

01:00 Last Ride-18 03:00 John Carter-PG15 05:15 Win Win-PG15 07:15 Unmatched-PG15 09:00 Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown-PG 10:30 John Carter-PG15 13:00 Fighting-PG15 15:00 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2-PG 17:00 Pina-PG15 19:00 Super 8-PG15 21:00 Straw Dogs-18 23:00 Casino Jack-PG15

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Saturday Night Live 02:30 The League 03:00 Raising Hope 03:30 30 Rock 04:00 Hope & Faith 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Hope & Faith 08:30 Raising Hope 10:00 Two And A Half Men 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 Hope & Faith 14:00 30 Rock 15:00 Two And A Half Men 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:30 Hot In Cleveland 19:00 Two And A Half Men 20:00 The Cleveland Show 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 American Dad

22:30 Curb Your Enthusiasm 23:00 The League 23:30 The Cleveland Show

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

The Glades C.S.I. Breakout Kings The Tudors Burn Notice C.S.I. Miami The Glades Emmerdale Coronation Street Criminal Minds Breakout Kings C.S.I. Burn Notice Emmerdale Coronation Street Criminal Minds The Glades Emmerdale Coronation Street Criminal Minds Burn Notice The River The Killing Sons Of Anarchy The Tudors

01:00 Unknown-PG15 03:00 Taxi Driver-18 05:00 Legendary Assassin-PG15 07:00 Rocky III-PG15 09:00 Warbirds-PG15 11:00 Legendary Assassin-PG15 13:00 The Transporter-PG15 15:00 Warbirds-PG15 17:00 Kingdom Of Heaven-PG15 19:30 Botched-18 21:15 Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night-18 23:00 Burning Bright-18

00:00 Pieces Of April-PG15 02:00 Loser-PG15 04:00 Desperately Seeking SantaPG15 06:00 The Search For Santa Paws-PG 08:00 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son-PG15 10:00 Zookeeper-PG15 12:00 Desperately Seeking SantaPG15 14:00 Melinda And Melinda-PG15 16:00 Zookeeper-PG15 18:00 Just Go With It-PG15 20:00 Analyze This-PG15 22:00 Analyze That-PG15

01:30 03:30 05:45 07:15 09:30 11:30 13:45 15:15 17:15 19:30 21:15 23:00

Grace Of My Heart-PG15 Thelma And Louise-PG15 Babies-18 Evita-PG Jane Eyre-PG15 The Alamo-PG15 Roger And Me-PG15 Jane Eyre-PG15 Lorenzo’s Oil-PG15 Page Eight-PG15 Somewhere-18 Le Divorce-PG15

00:00 Rabbit Hole-PG15 01:45 Johnny English Reborn-PG15 03:30 Captain America: The First Avenger-PG15 05:45 Hop-PG 07:30 Call Of The Wild-PG15 09:00 13-PG15 10:45 Captain America: The First Avenger-PG15 13:00 Ice Age-FAM 15:00 Teen Spirit-PG15 17:00 13-PG15 19:00 Green Lantern-PG15 21:00 The Winning Season-PG15 23:00 Meet Monica Velour-R

01:00 Queen Of The Swallows-FAM 02:30 The Lucky Dragon-PG 04:15 Blue Elephant 2-FAM

06:00 Queen Of The Swallows-FAM 08:00 Tom Tom & Nana-FAM 09:30 Rebound-PG 11:15 Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl-PG 13:00 Snow Day-PG 14:45 Queen Of The Swallows-FAM 16:15 Tom And Jerry & The Wizard Of Oz-FAM 18:00 Rebound-PG 20:00 Rio-FAM 22:00 Snow Day-PG 23:45 Tom Tom & Nana-FAM

01:30 Futbol Mundial 02:00 ICC Cricket 360 02:30 Live Cricket Test Match 10:30 ICC Cricket 360 11:00 Live Twenty20 Big Bash League 14:00 Futbol Mundial 14:30 ICC Cricket 360 15:00 Cricket Test Match 22:00 Live Darts

03:00 05:00 08:00 11:00 11:30 13:30 17:30 18:00 21:00

Live UFC The Ultimate Fighter Live UFC The Ultimate Fighter Cricket Twenty20 Futbol Mundial European Challenge Cup Live PGA European Tour NFL Game Day UFC The Ultimate Fighter Live NFL

02:30 Asian Tour Golf 04:00 LIVE PGA Australian Championship 09:00 FEI Equestrian World 09:30 PDC World Darts Championship 15:00 Trans World Sport 16:00 FEI Equestrian World 16:30 ICC Cricket 360 17:00 Twenty20 Big Bash League 20:00 Trans World Sport 21:00 FEI Equestrian World 21:30 Futbol Mundial 22:00 Live PDC World Darts Championship

00:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 03:00 V8 Supercars Extra 04:00 V8 Supercars Highlights 06:00 European Le Mans Series 07:00 WWE Bottom Line 08:00 WWE NXT 09:00 WWE Experience 10:00 This Week in WWE 10:30 UAE National Race Day 11:00 European Le Mans Series 13:00 WWE Bottom Line 14:00 WWE SmackDown 16:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter Prelims 18:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 21:00 UFC Prelims

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

Pawn Stars Cajun Pawn Stars American Pickers Storage Wars Storage Wars Pawn Stars Cajun Pawn Stars American Pickers Ancient Aliens UFO Hunters UFO Hunters American Pickers American Restoration Storage Wars American Pickers American Restoration Storage Wars American Pickers American Restoration Storage Wars American Pickers American Restoration Storage Wars American Pickers American Restoration Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars Pawn Stars

Classifieds SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2012

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation in Salmiya behind Mercedes showroom only single Pilipina lady in a master bedroom. Tel: 97751739. 11-12-2012 FOR SALE Toyota Camry model 2011 GLX full option with sunroof km done 27,000, white metallic color, registration till 11-6-2014 (installment possible) cash price KD 4750. Tel: 66507741. (C 4244) 11-12-2012 TUITION AutoCAD tuition available by Highly Qualified Experienced Teacher, Learn professionally AutoCAD 2D&3D with Projects, Flexible Schedule, and individual tutorial. Contact: 99302850 / 22467301. (C 4251) 15-12-2012

MATRIMONIAL Orthodox parents invite proposals for their son 30/172 cm M.Com PGDBA, B & B in Kuwait and employed in a reputed MNC in Kuwait from parents of Orthodox/ Jacobite/ Marthoma B.E/MCA/MBA/M.Com/B.ED or other suitably qualified and employed in Kuwait. Contact Email: (C 4253) 16-12-2012 55 years well placed Indian Muslim man seeks a lady for marriage 30 to 35 years age background and faith does not matter. Please email: 14-12-2012

professionally qualified boys. Please send detailed profiles with photos to 12-12-2012

CHANGE OF NAME I, JUDE D’COSTA holder of Indian Passport No: F1450021 hereby change my name to JUDE DA COSTA. (C 4247)

Prayer timings Fajr:










32 years Roman Catholic boy 5’7” working as a private nurse invites proposals from God fearing and well educated girls. Email: (C 4250) 13-12-2012

Ministry of Interior THE PUBLICAUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is


Pentecostal parents invite proposals for their daughter 26, 5’4”, MSc Biochemistry working in Kuwait, from






Time 0:05 0:30 0:35 0:45 0:50 1:00 1:45 1:50 2:35 2:45 3:01 3:05 3:10 3:15 4:20 4:55 5:15 5:30 6:00 6:40 6:45 7:40 7:45 7:55 8:15 8:25 8:40 8:45 9:05 9:10 9:15 9:20 9:55 10:40 11:10 11:20 11:55 12:45 12:50 12:55 12:55 13:30 13:35 13:50 14:10 14:10 14:30 14:40 14:45


561 284 134 787 857 303 640 215 510 777 144 127 982 542 177 3553 786 438 63 166 618 102 674 647 562 61 572 393 606 129 146 229 402 136 221 307 859 172 135 576 59 372 514 417 405 981 239 217 502 185 981 636


14:50 15:10 15:30 16:10 16:40 16:50 16:55 17:15 17:20 17:45 17:50 17:55 17:55 18:05 18:15 18:20 18:30 18:40 18:45 19:10 19:20 19:35 19:35 19:55 19:55 20:00 20:10 20:15 20:25 20:35 20:45 20:55 21:20 21:25 21:30 21:35 21:40 21:45 21:50 21:55 22:00 22:00 22:00 22:05 22:15 22:30 22:45 22:50 23:00 23:05 23:25 23:55



Time 0:05 0:15 0:40 1:00 1:10 1:20 1:30 2:25 2:45 2:55 3:15 3:45 3:50 4:00 4:10 4:50 6:05 6:55 7:00 7:05 7:35 8:15 8:15 8:25 8:45 9:10 9:30 9:35 9:45 9:55 9:55 10:00 10:00 10:05 10:05 10:30 10:40 11:30 11:40 12:10 12:15 12:20 12:55 12:55 13:00 13:45 13:50 14:15 14:20 14:30

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


561 673 473 342 503 617 141 501 238 304 538 513 135 858 641 216 184 511 128 266 145 3554 134 982 64 439 62 648 571 394 120 619 171 230 403 308 137 222 301 60 860 575 351 205 373 417 147 343 502 218 415 411


14:30 15:05 15:10 15:40 15:45 15:45 16:15 17:05 17:15 17:35 17:40 17:40 17:45 17:50 17:55 18:15 18:30 18:35 18:40 18:45 18:50 19:00 19:05 19:10 19:25 19:30 20:40 20:55 21:10 21:15 21:15 21:25 21:50 21:55 22:20 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:50 22:55 22:55 23:00 23:00 23:05 23:10 23:15 23:35 23:50 23:55 23:55


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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Kaizen center














Abdullah Salem




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Gar






Ayoun Al-Qibla




Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241



Te el.: 161




Clouds will increase gradually with light to moderate north westerly wind, with speed of 12 - 35 km/h


Partly cloudy to cloudy with light to moderate north westerly to light variable wind, with speed of 08 - 28 km/h with a chance for scattered light rain No Current Warnings arnin a


13 °C



20 °C

08 °C




21 °C

09 °C




21 °C

09 °C




18 °C

07 °C


19 °C

07 °C




19 °C

08 °C

Maidan Hawally



19 °C

11 °C




20 °C

13 °C




19 °C

16 °C

W Hawally



19 °C

08 °C







15/12/2012 0000 UTC

4 DA AYS Y FORECAST Temperatures DA AY





Wind Direction

Wind Speed



clouds to decrease

18 °C

09 °C


08 - 30 km/h


19 °C

08 °C


06 - 26 km/h

cool + high clouds

18 °C

09 °C


08 - 26 km/h

19 °C

10 °C


06 - 20 km/h

New Jahra


West Jahra




South Jahra




North Jahra


Wednesday e


cool + scattered clouds

North Jleeb






MAX. Temp.

20 °C



MIN. Temp.

08 °C





78 %







MAX. Wind








All times are local time unless otherwise stated.

28 % NW 39 km/h 00 mm

15/12/12 03:01 UTC



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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321


25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard


Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


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



Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed



Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


Dr. Salem soso General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil Dr. Mousa Khadada Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan

22666300 25728004

Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani





Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman

Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Kaizen center 25716707


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


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr Anil Thomas

Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688

















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh












Expected Weather e for the Next 24 Hours

21 °C

N Khaitan




Issue Time







Ext.: 262 2627 - 2630


Fax: 24348714






Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

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

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



LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Taylor Swift likes to be

‘in control’ in her relationships he 23-year-old singer was left devastated by failed relationships with older stars including Jake Gyllenhaal and John Mayer and now prefers to date younger men such as Conor Kennedy and her latest love Harry Styles, both 18. A source said: “Jake and John made her feel inferior. With younger men, she really feels like she’s in control.” However, even if her latest relationship doesn’t work out, unlucky-in-love Taylor is happy she will have material for a new album. The insider added to In Touch Weekly magazine: “Taylor’s a serial dater. She gets too clingy with guys or she gets sick of them. Harry will break her heart but isn’t that the point? It’ll become material for her next album.” The ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ singer recently admitted she is “obsessed” with love and even bad experiences don’t put her off her quest to find The One. She said: “I think about love all the time. I have done since I was able to comprehend what love was, I daydream about it all the time. “There was a relationship that was an extreme let-down, one that was a betrayal, one where I got cheated on, one where I had my self confidence chipped away piece by piece ... But even after your heart explodes into a million pieces and you’re thinking, ‘Why did this have to happen?’ You make eye contact with someone across the room and it clicks - and bang, you’re in love again.”


Marisa Miller gives birth to baby boy

he Victoria’s Secret model and her husband Griffin Guess welcomed son Gavin Lee Guess in Santa Cruz, California. The tot weighed 8 lbs., 10 oz. and measured 22 inches long. Marisa told People magazine: “I’m completely overjoyed by the birth of our son. I feel so blessed to be a mom and am so excited to experience this next part of life.” The couple revealed Marisa was expecting in June and although the model complained of being “exhausted” and “gaining weight”, she was excited about becoming a mother. She said: “My husband and I have always looked forward to starting a family, but also wanted to enjoy just being married. After six years together, the time feels right. My sisters and I will all have babies in 2012 so it’s such an exciting time. Even though I’m exhausted, gaining weight and breaking out from all the hormones, I’m really enjoying my pregnancy. It’s all for the baby so I couldn’t care less!” The couple tied the knot in April 2006 and Marisa has previously revealed she only has eyes for her husband. She said: “My job can definitely bring out a lot of insecurities or trust issues, but I’m so thankful we never had that. I don’t give my husband a reason to worry. Those kind of things can become a big problem in any relationship, and then especially with [my life] there’s a whole new set of challenges.”


Amanda Bynes settles hit-and-run cases

Nicole Scherzinger set to release new music in 2013

he troubled former actress was due in court on December 17 to face charges relating to two separate incidents - where she allegedly ran into a car and fled in the scene - in April and August, but they were formally dismissed earlier this week. A source told RadarOnline: “Amanda Bynes was able to reach a civil compromise in both of her hit-and run-cases. “The two separate victims agreed to dismiss the charges after a financial settlement was reached with both... There really is no need to pursue legal charges because damage to their respective vehicles was paid for. “Her lawyer Richard Hutton advanced the case and went in early to avoid the media.” This will come as a relief for the ‘Easy A’ star as if she had been convicted on both counts, she could have faced up to 12 months in jail. Along with her legal troubles, Amanda, 26, was involved in two bizarre episodes in September, locking herself in a store changing room for nearly two hours and refusing to come out and stripping off during a gym class and friends say her parents don’t know what to do as Amanda has cut contact with everyone. The insider explained: “Amanda shut them out and isn’t speaking to them. She is doing everything on her own. She has no direction. “Amanda is out of control. She won’t accept help from anybody... She’s completely lost.”



Uma Thurman finds

motherhood easier now he 42-year-old actress - who already has daughter Maya, 14, and son Levon, 10, from her previous marriage to Ethan Hawke - gave birth to daughter Luna in July and feels more confident this time. She said: “The question of balance has always been kind of a funny one to me because I don’t think there is any balance. I feel like I’ve never done enough. I do think I’m pretty good at home, but trying to balance my energies outside the home? It’s a challenge; there’s so much more I want to do and can do.” “When I was younger and became a mother, I didn’t think I could do anything else; I was completely overwhelmed. I felt guilty and afraid about working, guilty and afraid about not working. It’s very overwhelming for a younger person, which is why it’s awesome to get to have another baby when you’re grown up.” Uma - who is dating Arpad Busson, 49 - is excited about getting back to work but is trying to ease herself into it gently. She said: “Because I just had a baby this year, I haven’t quite gotten up and running yet, but I did a role in a movie called ‘Playing for Keeps’, which is a comedy. I just had a really fun time. I also went over to Germany and did a big scene, which is a monologue, with Lars von Trier for his film ‘Nymphomaniac’. I’m not the nymphomaniac, but it’s going to be totally scandalous. “I’ve been on maternity leave for a while, so it’s all about the future. I’m reading scripts, and I changed my agents-I’m hitting refresh in my career.” —Bangshowbiz


Barrymore’s parents

taught her to raise a child he 37-year-old actress - who gave birth to daughter Olive, her first child with husband Will Kopelman 10 weeks ago - had a troubled childhood and a difficult relationship with her parents and Drew is determined Olive’s childhood will be the exact opposite. She said: “I’m trying to figure out how to do things differently than I grew up with. I know a lot of what works and what doesn’t. I’ve got some really great blueprints of what not to do. I will have boundaries and consistency and protection and traditions. “I’m very protective of her right now. I know that unless we were to move into a bomb shelter that she will have to go out into the world and be exposed to a life that I’ve set up for myself for 37 years. “I can’t wait to pick her up from school - just being in the line of cars when she gets out. I want her to live a life where she knows we will be there. That is everything to me. That is what I wanted when I was a kid and it’s what my kid will have.” Drew also revealed having her husband Will, 35, come from a “strong family” has made all the difference. She explained to People magazine: “Will’s a great dad and a good husband. I really wanted a wonderful, traditional home for my kid. Will comes from a strong family, he provides a strong family, it’s amazing. For people who didn’t have the strongest families or traditional families, if you can create that, you have a second chance. It just makes me so emotional because it’s like a miracle.” The full interview with Drew and exclusive photos of the actress with her family are available in this week’s issue of People magazine.


he X Factor’ UK judge is planning a musical comeback after proving successful on the hit ITV1 series, and hopes to emulate the success of former judge Cheryl Cole. She told Heat magazine: “I put my album aside for my boys on ‘The X Factor’ and I’m coming back next year really strong. I’ll be coming back blazing with my single ‘Boomerang’.” The singer considers the UK to be her “second home” and is even considering moving across the pond permanently following her success on ‘The X Factor’. She added: “I actually like the British weather and I’m getting good at the accent, too. “Britain is my second home now. I’m not going anywhere!” Nicole has also recently told how she spent her whole time in girl group Pussycat Dolls - who she sung with from 2003 to 2010 - feeling insecure. She said: “I spent 10 years - the whole time I was in the Pussycat Dolls - as two people, one on stage and then behind closed doors. I was this girl who was lost and lonely, hating myself. “Just because you wear a corset and dance doesn’t mean you think you are beautiful. I was unbelievably insecure and I couldn’t control it. My metabolism was all messed up. I was losing the one thing I only ever wanted to do: sing. I saw therapists, psychiatrists, life coaches and dealt with it head on.”

LA Reid is quitting the ‘X Factor’

he music mogul - who along with Simon Cowell is one of the original judges on the US show - has decided not to return to the competition next year because he wants to focus on his role as chairman of Epic Records. He told ‘Access Hollywood’: “I have decided that I will not return to ‘The X Factor’ next year. It saddens me a little bit, but only a little bit. I have a company to run that I’ve kind of neglected.” However, he isn’t planning to say goodbye to Simon, who he considers a close friend. He added: “I love Simon. We have a great relationship. We have fun together, we talk, we laugh and do bad things, we’re friends. “This was a nice break but now it’s time to get back to work.” Along with LA’s departure, it was recently claimed Britney Spears’ future on the panel is also in doubt as producers are under pressure to cut costs. A source said: “Producers were hoping to pull in between 15-20 million viewers but the show hasn’t reached those expectations and in a recent episode that clashed with the World Series only 5.7 million watched. “Those numbers add up to cost cutting and Britney will be expendable. So, considering Fox has already renewed ‘The X Factor’ for a third season, producers will be looking to spend less on the production of the show, including the judges’ salaries. “Britney, who was signed on a one-year deal, is the first person who will be expected to have her salary chopped. She is on a $15 million contract, which is absurd given that there’s been no huge surge in the ratings.”




LIFESTYLE F e a t u r e s

Nepal civil war ubraj Giri was cycling home after visiting friends in western Nepal when he was stopped by government soldiers, blindfolded, handcuffed and kicked unconscious. It was April 2004 at the height of a communist insurgency raging through the countryside, and this was the first of more than 100 beatings Giri would endure from security forces who accused him of being a Maoist spy. “Every day they would torture me in the evening and in the morning for seven months,” said the 29-year-old, once a fit, strong farmer but now unable to work. “Many times they took me to the jungle, half-buried me in a pit and threatened to kill me.” Giri’s story forms part of “The Resurrected”, a chilling new documentary by Kathmandu-based film-maker Ganesh Pandey, who set out to put a human face on more than 9,000 instances of human rights abuses during the 10-year conflict. A farmer from a small town on the Indian border, Giri says he was locked in a tiny, dark, mosquitoinfested cell at an army barracks, beaten and told he would be taken into the air by helicopter the following morning and thrown out. “In the evening eight or nine army men came and tortured me. After severe

torture documented in new film

lowing months he was frequently told he would be killed and was forced at gunpoint to write confessions stating that he was a Maoist and wanted to surrender. His punishment would include beatings with plastic piping or a wooden club and his torturers liked to hold him against huge blocks of ice and stick needles into his back, his chest and underneath his toenails. Giri believes he was tortured about 100 times and now suffers from persistent headaches and dizziness, depression, anxiety, pain in his joints and spinal osteoarthritis. Last year the United Nations, satisfied that he had been the victim of serious rights abuses, urged Nepal to investigate his case and compensate him for his treatment, but no one has been prosecuted and he hasn’t received a single rupee. A UN report released in October documented thousands of cases like Giri’s perpetrated during Nepal’s civil war, which had claimed 16,000 lives by the time it came to an end in 2006. The 233page “Nepal Conflict Report” criticises Nepalese authorities for failing to bring to justice perpetrators of “more than 9,000 serious rights violations” on both sides during the conflict. “The Resurrection”, which cost 30 million rupees ($350,000) to film in rural loca-


In this photo, Nepalese torture victim Ashok Sodari, 35, poses at his home in Sanoshree, a village in the southern Nepalese district of Bardiya. —AFP torture I fell unconscious, he said. “They asked my name, where I lived, how long I’d been involved with Maoists, where the Maoist camps were, who was living with me, which leaders had visited me and where the arms were kept.” Over the fol-

tions across Nepal, challenges the Maoist-led administration’s dismissal of the report as “irrelevant”. In one disturbing scene Jagdish Yadav, also of Samshergunj, lifts his shorts to reveal horrific scarring on both legs before recounting how he was punished by Maoist fighters who suspected him of collaborating with the Nepal army in 2002. “They tied my hands behind my back, shoved me to the ground, put a log behind (my legs) and started hitting them with a hammer and an axe. “They hit my leg twice with a big hammer and I lost consciousness. The army took me to a hospital when I came around after three days to find both my legs had been smashed to smithereens.” Ashok Sodari, 35, of Sanoshree village in the southern district of Bardiya, was also attacked by Maoists with axes, in 2001. “Six or seven girls entered my house, caught me and threw me outside. They kicked me on the chest seven or eight times with boots on. Then some of them tied my legs, pushed me on the ground, put this long stone beneath my leg-the stone is still in our village-and hit my leg with axes 12 or 13 times.” Sondari was rushed to hospital but his right leg could not be saved. Many of the interviewees in Pandey’s

documentary are victims of the insurgency but the 29-year-old, who filmed his subjects over five months, insists that torture should not be seen as a relic of Nepal’s dark past. “Now torture still happens in Nepal but the victims cannot open their mouths,” Pandey told AFP at the recent Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival, where “The Resurrection” was being shown to Kathmandu audiences. The Maoists, who now lead a caretaker administration, signed a peace accord with the government in November 2006, with both parties committing to making torturers accountable and recompensing victims of human rights abuses. Nepal’s interim constitution identifies torture as a criminal offence but the restive Himalayan nation has passed no law providing penalties for torturers and victims have found it hard to get justice from the state. “In Nepal, there is still 100 percent impunity,” said Mandira Sharma, chairwoman of rights group Advocacy Forum Nepal. —AFP

Get festive with ‘ugly’ Christmas sweaters e’ve all seen them - sitting across the table, spotted over the ham at a holiday dinner or hiding in the corner at an office Christmas party behind a cup of egg nog. The ugly Christmas sweater never fails to make an appearance during the holidays, but this year, it’s on purpose. Gaudy prints on oversized knits are not only on trend, they showed up months before December. Some may appear garish, frumpy and simply out of place in the absence of a Santa hat or a mullet hairstyle, but the right ugly Christmas sweater can really make a fashion statement. Here are some styles to help you stand out this holiday season. The Stella McCartney Reindeer intarsia wool-blend sweater, $1,230 at not only features two big reindeer, it’s fluorescent. For a fun take on the classic ski sweater, the J Crew Fair Isle cashmere turtleneck, $650,


Home Centre brings in Christmas cheer with festive selection his Christmas, bring in the festive cheer with Home Centre’s welcoming wreaths, festoons of twinkling lights, varieties of trees, stockings, baubles and all things Christmassy. The warm traditional


palettes of reds, greens and golds will continue to make the quaint essential festive look this season. At Home Centre, you will also find elements of silver and metallic shades thrown in to exude a touch of elegance and festive radiance. Other than the hues of tradition, the trend this year is also to play with unconventional colour schemes. Shades of orange combined with rich tones of green and gold is slated to be a popular mix for the younger generation. Retro and pop colours of aquamarine, fuchsia, silvers and purples are also top favourites this festive season. The Home Centre Christmas range features festive lighting you will adore. From lit snowmen and Jacks-in-the-box, reindeers and wreaths, stars and tree lights, there’s a merry set of options to choose from. As always, Home Centre takes the merriment to the table for a festive dinner with family and friends. In keeping with the tradition of the Christmas meal, find a range of cookware and crockery ideally suited for the season. Make your table top look as scrumptious as your Yuletide culinary spread with season-inspired fondue sets, cake stands, hot chocolate mugs, cookie jars and serving platters. Tailor-made to suit every style and budget, the Home Centre Christmas collection also includes interesting and thoughtful gifting options for all ages. Walk in for a choice of timeless gifts like candle holders, photo frames, flower vases or home fragrances. Now available at all Home Centre stores - Al-Rai, Shuwaikh, Awqaf and Fahaheel.

comes in red and fuchsia. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than with neon snowflakes? The Madewell neon snowflake sweater, $88.50, features a funky snowflake pattern in colorful hues. The Meadham Kirchhoff Maria metallic embroidered knitted sweater, $1,395 at with hand embroidered appliques is as close as you can get to the sweater your grandma might have knitted for you when you were 5. If you’re in the mood to wear something cute and cuddly throughout the night, try the Topshop knitted polar bear jumper, $100, with a fluffy white polar bear against a black background. —MCT

Final chapter of

Earth’ hat began two years ago as an attempt to document on video one day’s events all over the world has evolved into a network of tens of thousands of filmmakers able to provide a glimpse into experiences of people living in war zones, closed societies and otherwise inaccessible places. Some 34,000 volunteer members of the One Day on Earth project, the organization leading the effort to create a series of global video time capsules, filmed scenes around the world on Wednesday - Dec 12, 2012 - that will be aggregated and edited to create a feature-length snapshot of the world that day, the organizers said. The film will be the third in a trilogy. Previous installments used video captured on Nov 11, 2011, and Oct 10, 2010. What distinguishes this latest movie, and what sets One Day on


‘One Day on

trilogy filmed worldwide

Earth apart from similar documentaries like Ridley Scott’s 2011 film “Life in a Day,” is the social network of filmmakers that the project helped establish in places like Libya and North Korea and can now tap going forward to obtain hard-to-come-by video, co-founders Brandon Litman and Kyle Ruddick said. The organization has provided more than 1,000 cameras to its volunteer filmers. In 2011, for instance, when news organizations were struggling to find footage of the uprising in Libya, One Day on Earth solicited contributions from its members in the country. Within hours, responses came in from Tripoli and Benghazi. Filmmakers on the ground there were soon sending videos showing scenes of unrest, food shortages and the need for medical care that were passed onto media outlets, Litman said.

“Libya was an experiment,” Ruddick told Reuters. “It was the moment we realized that this project had bigger legs than we could have imagined.” One Day on Earth plans to release a feature-length documentary in 2013 with the material it obtained in Libya, Litman said. The project also had groups of people filming in places like Syria, Egypt and North Korea on Dec. 12, Ruddick and Litman said. Partnerships with international organizations like the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Human Rights Watch helped expand the project’s reach, Litman said. The UNDP, for instance, arranged for officers in the 166 countries in which it operates to both create their own footage and to transport independent filmmakers’ footage to New York in countries with spotty internet access, said

Boaz Paldi of the UNDP. Though 2012 is the final year the project will attempt to document life in every country on a particular day, One Day on Earth will continue use its network to focus on specific topics or regions. “I’d love to create ‘One Day in India’ or ‘One Day in Brazil,’” Ruddick said. Dec 12 also marked the video on demand and digital release date for the first film in the trilogy, which took a year and a half to complete, Litman said. The second film will likely be released in the spring of 2013. They do not yet have a release date scheduled for the 2012 chapter. All the footage that One Day on Earth receives, which came to about 7,000 hours in 2010 and 2011, is posted to a shared archive online that anyone can access via, Litman said. —Reuters

Chandra Bahadur Dangi, a 72-year-old Nepali who claims to be the world’s shortest man at 56 centimetres (22 inches) in height, walks near his home in Reemkholi village in Dang district, some 540 kilometres southwest of Kathmandu. Dangi will embark to the capital city as Guinness World Records experts are due to arrive in Nepal to measure a 72-year-old claiming to be the world’s shortest man. —AFP



Talking with kids about

chool violence, little heard of until the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in which 12 students and a teacher were killed, is in the headlines again. Now the nation is dealing with mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. As terrible and frightening as incidents like these are, they are rare. Although it may not seem that way, the rate of crime involving physical harm has been declining at U.S. schools since the early 1990s. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fewer than 1 percent of all homicides among school-age children happen on school grounds or on the way to and from school. The vast majority of students will never experience violence at school or in college. Still, it’s natural for kids and teens — no matter where they go to school — to worry about whether this type of incident may someday affect them. How can you help them deal with these fears? The experts at offer advice on talking with kids about these tragedies, and what they watch or hear about them, to help put frightening information into a more balanced context.


REACHING OUT TO YOUR KIDS It’s important for kids to feel like they can share their feelings and know that their fears and anxieties are understandable. Rather than wait for your child to approach you, consider starting the conversation. You can ask what your child understands about these incidents and how they make him or her feel. Share your own feelings too — during a tragedy, kids may look to adults for their reactions. It helps kids to know that they are not alone in their anxieties. Knowing that their parents have similar feelings will help kids legitimize their own. At the same time, kids often need parents to help them feel safe. It may help to discuss in concrete terms what you have done and what the school is doing to help protect its students.

WHAT SCHOOLS ARE DOING Many schools are taking extra precautions to keep students safe. Some schools have focused on keeping weapons out by conduct-

Parents can help children deal with their fears in the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut

should still give kids the space to share their fears. Encourage them to talk openly about what scares them. Older kids are less likely to accept an explanation at face value. Their budding skepticism about the news and how it’s produced and sold might mask anxieties they have about the stories covered. If an older child is bothered about a story, help him or her cope with these fears. An adult’s willingness to listen will send a powerful message.


C L O E P O I S S O N / H A RT F O R D C O U R A N T / M C T

A state police SWAT team member runs to a police car as Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is evacuated after a mass shooting Dec. 14.

ing random locker and bag checks, limiting entry and exit points at the school, and keeping the entryways under teacher supervision. Other schools use metal detectors, such as those used in airport security. Lessons on conflict resolution have also been added to many schools’ courses to help prevent troubled students from resorting to violence. Peer counseling and active peer programs have also helped students become more aware of the signs that a fellow student may be becoming more troubled or violent. Another thing that helps make schools safer is greater awareness of problems such as bullying and discrimination. Many schools now have programs to fight these problems, and teachers and administrators know more about protecting students from violence.

programs, news is real. But depending on your child’s age or maturity level, he or she may not yet understand the distinctions between fact and fantasy. By the time kids reach 7 or 8, however, what they watch on TV can seem all too real. For some children, the vividness of a sensational news story can be internalized and transformed into something that might happen to them. A child watching a news story about a school shooting might worry, “Could I be next? Could that happen to me?” TV has the effect of shrinking the world and bringing it into your own living room. By concentrating on violent stories, TV news can also promote a “mean-world” syndrome, which can give kids a misrepresentation of what the world and society are actually like.



Of course, you are not your child’s only source of information about school shootings or other tragic events that receive media attention. Kids are likely to repeatedly encounter news stories or graphic images on television, radio or the Internet, and such reports can teach them to view the world as a confusing, threatening or unfriendly place. Unlike movies or entertainment

To calm fears about the news, parents should be prepared to deliver what psychologists call “calm, unequivocal, but limited information.” This means delivering the truth, but in a way that fits the emotional level of your child. The key is to be truthful, but not go into more detail than your child is interested in or can handle. Although it’s true that some things can’t be controlled, parents

Keeping an eye on what TV news kids watch can go a long way toward monitoring the content of what they hear and see about events like school shootings. Here are some additional tips: ■ Recognize that news doesn’t have to be driven by disturbing pictures. Public television programs, newspapers or newsmagazines specifically designed for kids can be less sensational — and less upsetting — ways for them to get information. ■ Discuss current events with your child on a regular basis. It’s important to help kids think through stories they hear about. Ask questions: What do you think about these events? How do you think these things happen? Such questions can encourage conversation about non-news topics as well. ■ Put news stories in proper context. Showing that certain events are isolated or explaining how one event relates to another helps kids make better sense of what they hear. ■ Watch the news with your child to filter stories together. ■ Anticipate when guidance will be necessary and avoid shows that aren’t appropriate for your child’s age or level of development. ■ If you’re uncomfortable with the content of the news or it’s inappropriate for your child’s age, turn it off. For more health information for parents, kids and teens, visit KidsHealth is from the health experts of Nemours, a nonprofit devoted to children’s health. © 2012, The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y PAU L T R A P / M C T



Pakistan fishmonger’s family prays for Christmas No. 1 he mother of Pakistani Internet sensation One Pound Fish Man is praying to Allah the Almighty that her son has a Christmas No. 1 hit so his wife and children can join him for a new life in Britain. When Muhammad Shahid Nazir left his four children behind in Pakistan to study business in London, he could never have imagined he would one day be cavorting in a Warner video with scantily-clad Western beauties, singing about fish. Nazir, who got a job as a fishmonger in east London’s Queens Market in Upton Park, came up with a song to entice customers in which he urged local women to part with one pound ($1.60) for a single, glistening fresh fish. “Come on ladies, come on ladies, one pound fish,” he croons. “Very, very good one pound fish, very very cheap one pound fish.” Shoppers were charmed and after someone filmed a video and uploaded it on YouTube the song went viral and Warner Music offered Nazir a record deal. A slicker version with Nazir shimmying and strutting Bollywood-style in a natty suit went up on December 10, launching the race to top the Christmas


charts in Britain. The original video has had a staggering 4.6 million hits, while the professionally produced one already has more than two million. Nazir has also gained nearly 28,000 followers on Twitter. Back at the family home in Pattoki, a small town 146 miles (234 kilometres) south of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, his delighted 67-year-old mother Kalsoom says she is praying and fasting for Nazir’s success. “I appeal to people in Pakistan and abroad to give this song as many hits as possible. I am fasting and saying special prayers for my son so that his song becomes number one,” she told AFP at the affluent family home. Nazir’s family runs their own business in Pattoki where they settled after migrating from India to the new Pakistan when Britain closed the curtain on the empire in the sub-continent. Today, they say they have been nicknamed locally as the “One Pound Fish” family and that people are flocking to download the song onto USBs and CDs. Nazir’s father was initially reluctant to let his middle son go off to England, “but now he is also very happy”,

Kalsoom said. If her son gets a work visa, she said, he should take his wife and children with him to Britain. British newspaper The Sunday Times reported this month that Nazir is under investigation by the Home Office over a potential breach of the terms of his stu-

dent visa after he ditched his studies to work as a fishmonger. Nazir’s wife Kashifa, dressed in the traditional shalwar kameez with a dupatta over her head, smiles when asked if she is jealous of her husband dancing with half-naked girls in the video. “I have no problem

This picture shows Kashifa (second right), the wife of Muhammad Shahid Nazir, sitting with her children as her son Shahid Nazir (left) holds a fish at her residence in Pattoki, 234 kilometres south of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. — AFP

with this nor am I getting jealous. He performed the song and it was a requirement for the video,” she said. She says she spoke to her husband of 12 years in recent days, describing him as a “loving husband and father” despite his departure for London in May last year. “I am really very excited. We never imagined that my husband would become so popular. Our children and I miss Shahid a lot and we want to join him in London to share these happy moments,” she said. The whole family can sing the song, mimicking Nazir. When AFP visited, his three-year-old daughter Sania was only too happy to belt out the lyrics. His four brothers and their families live with their mother and Nazir’s wife in the extended family system common in Pakistan. For now they hope that Nazir will soon be back for a visit. “People in our town often call us the One Pound Family. I think my brother will come back soon,” said elder brother Abid, who works for the family business. “He got all this fame because he has been very responsible and dedicated since childhood and it is for this reason that luck also sided him.” — AFP

Critics pick the year’s best movies The top 10 films of 2012, according to AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire

1. “Argo” - Directing just his third feature, Ben Affleck has come up with a seamless blend of detailed international drama and breathtaking suspense, with just the right amount of dry humor to provide context and levity. He shows a deft handling of tone, especially in making difficult transitions between scenes in Tehran, Washington and Hollywood, but also gives one of his strongest performances yet in front of the camera. The story of a rescue during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis sounds like eatyour-vegetables cinema, and mixing it with an inside-Hollywood comedy sounds impossible, but Affleck and screenwriter Chris Terrio pull it all off. 2. “Beasts of the Southern Wild” - This is sheer poetry on screen: an explosion of joy in the midst of startling squalor and one of the most visceral, original films to come along in a while. The story of a little girl named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) living with her daddy on a remote, primal strip of eroding land in the southernmost reaches of the Louisiana bayou is so ambitious and so accomplished, it’s amazing that it’s only director Benh Zeitlin’s first feature. His film is at once dreamlike and brutal, ethereal yet powerfully emotional.

6. “The Master” - Paul Thomas Anderson, long a master himself of technique and tone, has created a startling, stunningly gorgeous film shot in lushly vibrant 70mm, with impeccable production design and powerful performances from stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. But this story of a wayward man and the charismatic cult leader who guides him - which may or may not have been inspired by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard - is also his most ambitious film yet.

Anders Danielsen Lie gives one of the great, underappreciated performances of the year as a heroin addict who’s allowed to leave rehab for the day to head into the Norwegian capital for a job interview. Instead, he wanders around visiting old haunts, reconnecting awkwardly with friends and facing his demons. It’s a performance of both subtlety

disappointments. Newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward beguile us with performances precociously passionate yet disarmingly innocent, complemented by a group of sweet adult sad-sacks - among them Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton - who find respite from disillusionment themselves with a glimpse through the kids’ pure eyes.

2.“Life of Pi” - A film about a youth alone on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger has no business working. But Ang Lee adapts Yann Martel’s introspective novel with inspired narrative wiles and glorious visuals presented in 3-D that lovingly enfolds and enlarges the action. Newcomer Suraj Sharma is a marvel as the teen cast adrift. And the film richly explores our cathartic need to tell tales, its dual ending asking a lady-or-the-tiger question: Which story do you prefer, the one of genuine horror or the one of hopeful, improbable possibility?

7. “The Imposter” - A gripping documentary about a missing boy filled with the kind of twists, turns and dramatic character revelations of a page-turner mystery. Director Bart Layton takes a story that was already fascinatingly weird to begin with and makes it even more compelling by structuring it as a shadowy film noir, offering information in expertly paced, precisely measured amounts to maximize suspense. 8. “Moonrise Kingdom” - If you love Wes Anderson, you’ll love this: The best of what he can do is vibrantly on display. The screenplay, which he co-wrote with Roman

3. “Zero Dark Thirty” - Kathryn Bigelow follows her Academy Award triumph on “The Hurt Locker” with a docudrama of even greater ambition and scope. Collaborating again with screenwriter Mark Boal, Bigelow crafts a studiously detailed, relentlessly paced chronicle about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Jessica Chastain is ferocious as a CIA analyst tracking bin Laden with almost blind obsession. The film’s third act - the Navy SEALs assault that killed bin Laden - is as tense and absorbing as bigscreen action gets.

3. “Skyfall” - One of the best James Bond films ever starring the best Bond yet in Daniel Craig. It’s also the most gorgeous installment in the 23-film franchise, with Sam Mendes directing and Roger Deakins as cinematographer. It’s full of the requisite thrills but also complicated and meaty, featuring an agent who isn’t always slick and doesn’t always have the answers in hunting an elusive cyberterrorist (a fantastic Javier Bardem). 4. “Holy Motors” - This movie is just straight-up nuts, in all the best ways. Writer-director Leos Carax’s journey provides a joyous, surprising and darkly funny exploration of all the best cinema has to offer. Yes, this is a capital-A art film, one that challenges the viewer and leaves a lot of room for interpretation, but that’s part of the adventure. Denis Lavant gives a tour-deforce performance, assuming nine different roles as a mysterious man who travels around Paris in the back of a limousine all day, carrying out various assignments. Hop in and buckle up.

4. “Argo” - Ben Affleck surges forward as both actor and director with this true-life story of a CIA operative who concocted an incredible ruse to free six Americans from Iran disguised as a movie crew after the 1979 embassy takeover. The film has it all - smarts, suspense, dark laughs, exacting attention to period style. This arguably is Affleck’s best on-screen performance, and he’s backed with tremendous heart and humor by John Goodman and Alan Arkin as Hollywood insiders helping to pull off the con.

5. “Zero Dark Thirty” - A huge achievement from both technical and storytelling perspectives. Following the Oscar success of “The Hurt Locker,” director Kathryn Bigelow reteams with writer Mark Boal to tell an even larger and more complicated story: the decade-long hunt for Osama bun Laden. The attention to detail, to getting it right each step of the way, is evident in every element. And Jessica Chastain is relentless and self-possessed in a rare leading role as a young CIA officer on the case. and darkness, as director Joachim Trier leads him down an unpredictable and poignant path.

Coppola, has resulted in his sweetest and most sincere live-action movie since the one that remains his best, 1998’s “Rushmore.” The contradiction inherent to all of Anderson’s films - the juxtaposition of the meticulous artificiality of the settings and the passionately wistful emotions that are longing to burst free - is at its most effective in a while in this tale of first love. 9. “Oslo, August 31st” - A film of quietly intense precision and vividly honest humanity.

10. “This Is Not a Film” - Veteran Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi’s homemade documentary is simultaneously depressing as hell and brimming with hope and defiance. With its stripped-down aesthetic, it finds beauty in the mundane and even boring details of daily life. And it’s an inspiring must see for anyone who feels the urgent need to create something beautiful and meaningful, regardless of the cost. Panahi shot it over the course of a day in his Tehran apartment while under house arrest and had it smuggled out in a cake. The most modest film on the list but also the most important. The top 10 films of 2012, according to AP Movie Writer David Germain: 1. “Moonrise Kingdom” - First love is never this crazy and fanciful, but it sure felt like it way back when. Wes Anderson presents a wondrous romance about two 12-year-old runaways seeking refuge from life’s cruelties and

5. “Searching for Sugar Man” - Imagine the bitterness of the true artist who fades back to obscurity after being on the verge of stardom. Now imagine a soul so noble that bitterness never enters the picture. That’s a guy who truly deserves another chance. Singersongwriter Rodriquez gets just that as Malik Bendjelloul’s inspiring documentary recounts apocryphal rumors about his fate - then reveals what really happened after his brush with success in the 1970s. To paraphrase Joey

the Lips in “The Commitments,” success for Rodriquez would have been predictable. The way it turned out is poetry.

6. “Rust and Bone” - Jacques Audiard delivers one of the oddest of screen couples in this deeply involving and completely unpredictable romantic drama about a whale trainer (Marion Cotillard) who loses her legs in an orca accident and a negligent single dad (Matthias Schoenaerts) training as a mixed martial-arts fighter. Only in a movie would these two fall in love - more likely in a bad movie. But Audiard and his devoted stars find so many moments of grace and pathos that the relationship grows from tenuous to genuine with complete conviction. 7. “The Master” - Good thing Joaquin Phoenix’s retirement turned out to be a hoax. He does his best work ever in his return to the screen as a volatile World War II vet who becomes both disciple and antagonist to an L. Ron Hubbard-style cult leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman, in a performance rivaling his own career high in “Capote”). Following the battle-of-wills drama of “There Will Be Blood,” Paul Thomas Anderson is proving himself a master of duality, crafting another grand work of egos and outlooks in deadly conflict. 8. “Lincoln” - Few performances qualify as monumental. That’s the best word to characterize Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, though. He vanishes into the president’s awkward, folksy, melancholy spirit, creating an unforgettable portrait of greatness that pretty much puts to rest any thought of another actor trying his hand at a serious portrayal of Lincoln for a good long while. Steven Spielberg eschews the battlefield for a talky yet affecting look at Lincoln’s final months. America couldn’t have done without Lincoln, and Spielberg couldn’t have done without Day-Lewis. 9. “West of Memphis” - This is a vote not only for a film, but for artists who joined in protest to save three men from prison - one from Death Row - after they were convicted in the 1993 slayings of three Cub Scouts. Inspired by “Paradise Lost,” an earlier documentary about the case, Peter Jackson and wife Fran Walsh bankrolled their own investigation and produced this new film by Amy Berg that calls into question the case built by prosecutors. The story’s enthralling, the climax triumphant. 10.“Looper” - For someone who thinks Bruce Willis’ “Twelve Monkeys” is the defining timetravel flick, it’s irresistible to see him in another clever, careening tale of time-hopping. Joseph Gordon Levitt wonderfully channels the younger Willis as a hit man whose latest assignment is to snuff his older self, in a perverse retirement system where the mob of the future eventually has its assassins kill off themselves. Writer-director Rian Johnson has concocted a rare thriller whose brains equal its action, telling the story with great style and provocative irony. — AP

‘Private’ memorials for Ravi Shankar in US, India rivate memorials will be held in India and California for legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, a publicist said Friday, after his death earlier this week. Concerts to celebrate the 92-year-old’s life will be held next year in New York and London, he added, giving no further details about funeral or other arrangements. “Memorial services will be held near his homes in Southern California and in India,” said the publicist, Stuart Wolferman, noting that they would be “private” events. “Both services will be attended by family and friends, and will offer an opportunity for loved ones to share intimate memories and thoughts about the musician. “Public con-


certs celebrating Ravi’s music, in both New York and London, are being discussed for 2013,” he added in a statement. Shankar died Tuesday in southern California at the age of 92, after failing to recover from surgery at a hospital in La Jolla, near San Diego last week. His family was at his bedside. The sitar pioneer taught his close friend George Harrison, the late Beatle, to play the instrument and collaborated with him on several projects, including the ground-breaking Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. Harrison called Shankar “the godfather of world music,” and Yehudi Menuhin, widely considered one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, compared him to Mozart. — AFP

Pakistan fishmonger’s family prays for Christmas No. 1



This file photo shows models (from left) Lily Cole, Karen Elson, Stella Tennant, Kate Moss, Lily Donaldson, Naomi Campbell, Jourdan Dunn and Georgia May Jagger walking with a male model during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. — AP photos

2012 styles

that made our heads turn

very year fashion offers up the good, the bad and the ugly. But what the industry is really built on - and consumers respond to - is buzz. Here are the top moments of 2012 that made our heads turn: Angelina Jolie at the Oscars. The leg that peeked out of the high thigh-high slit of her Versace gown was the most exciting appearance on the red carpet. The gown fit perfectly into the sleek, simple, sexy mold that Jolie favors, but it was Jolie’s pictureperfect pose to expose just enough thigh that launched a thousand memes. Her companion Brad Pitt gets an honorable mention for his scruffy appearance in a Chanel fragrance ad that left many scratching their heads. Michelle Obama and Ann Romney’s matching hues. The wives of the presidential candidates turned out to the second debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in practically the same shade of hot pink. But they weren’t by the same designer: Romney’s was by Oscar de la Renta, and Obama’s by Michael Kors. A potential matching prom dress-style embarrassment was chalked up to timing: October’s breast cancer awareness month. Marc Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton show. Many of the designer runways seemed more of the same - stark stages, thumping music and audiences distracted by their electronic gadgets - but the Louis Vuitton fall catwalk in Paris commanded attention. Models dressed in their very best traveling clothes stepped off a reconstructed retro steam train. Valets carried the vintageinspired hat boxes and vanity cases. The trip seemed refreshingly refined and modern. Two-tone Stella McCartney dresses. McCartney, no stranger to the red carpet, has created a style that celebrities can’t get enough of. Her ultra-flattering “silhouette” dress has become almost ubiquitous. It features one color on the bodice and back, and a graphic opposite on the sides and


This file photo shows actress Jane Fonda arriving for the screening of Rust and Bone at the 65th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France.

This file photo shows President Barack Obama embracing first lady Michelle Obama on stage after presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.

sleeves. Kate Winslet has worn several versions, and Brooklyn Decker, Kate Moss, Edie Falco and Liv Tyler have, too. The best turn might have been Jane Fonda at the Cannes Film Festival. Beyonce’s back-from-baby body. Some new mothers claim they feel sexier than ever. Beyonce was living proof at the Met Gala, the important industry event co-hosted by Vogue’s Anna Wintour. Beyonce’s skin-tight, largely sheer - save the bodice beading and feathered fish-tail train gown by Givenchy announced that Ivy Blue Carter’s mom wasn’t going to hold back. An honorable mention goes to Jessica Simpson, who dieted her way to a Weight Watchers ad then wound up pregnant again. 007’s slim suits. Daniel Craig’s wardrobe in “Skyfall” is impeccably tailored - and quite tight. Unlike the James Bonds that came before him who all liked the traditional looser, longer cut of a Savile Rowstyle suit, Craig, whose wardrobe is created mostly by Tom Ford, takes his suits Euro style with tapered legs and shorter rises. There’s no question Craig’s super spy Bond will go down in history as one of the best, but it’s fair to ask if he could pull off those impressive chases in clothes that tight. Supermodel reunion at the London Olympics. Gold was the new black at the closing ceremony with a parade of supermodels wearing gilded gowns in a tribute to British fashion. Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell both had on Alexander McQueen, Georgia May Jagger’s was by Victoria Beckham, Karen Elson was in Burberry, and Stella Tennant donned a Christopher Kane Swarovski-crystal catsuit. The soundtrack - of course - was David

Bowie’s “Fashion.” Another supermodel reunion at New York Fashion Week. Alexander Wang’s show has become must-see viewing, partly for influential hipster clothes, but also for the model line-up, a who’s who of top catwalkers. It was a coup even for him, however, to get the likes of Gisele Bundchen, Carmen Kass, Frankie Rayder and Shalom Harlow, who all very rarely do shows, to walk in February. Start the wish list now of who he’ll nab for his debut at Balenciaga next year. Miley Cyrus’ cropped cut. When Cyrus cut off the long hair her fans had become used to, she took some heat. She has said (and Tweeted) repeatedly, though, that she was pleased with the new punk-pixie look and was sticking with it. Short hair turned out to be a big trend, with Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Anne Hathaway all ending the year with much shorter locks than they started with. Julianne Moore at the Emmys. Moore’s neon-yellow Dior Haute Couture outfit (really a sweater and ball skirt) spawned a love-it-or-hate-it debate among armchair style critics. What was largely left out of that conversation, however, was that it was Raf Simons’ big celebrity debut for Dior, which he took creative control of after the John Galliano scandal. At least Simons can claim the better reviews when it came to his showdown of next-gen designers at historic French houses against Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent Paris. — AP This file photo shows actress Julianne Moore at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

This file photo shows Angelina Jolie posing before the 84th Academy Awards in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.

16 Dec  
16 Dec  

Kuwait Times