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03:43 03:53 05:18 11:53 15:27 18:26 17:48


Blasts, shootings kill leave 93 dead in Iraq


Spanish giants kick-off new campaign




Emsak: Fajer: Shoruk: Dohr: Asr: Maghreb: Eshaa:

No place for Israel in new Mideast: Iran

150 Fils


RAMADAN 30, 1433 AH

No: 15543

Mine bloodbath shocks post-apartheid S Africa Police slay 34 striking platinum miners

MARIKANA: Striking miners gather on a hillside at the Lonmin mine in South Africa. (Inset) Police surround the bodies of miners killed during clashes between protesting miners and police near a platinum mine in Marikana. — AP

Max 48º Min 34º

MARIKANA: The police killing of 34 striking platinum miners in the bloodiest security operation since the end of white rule cut to the quick of South Africa’s psyche yesterday, with searching questions asked of its postapartheid soul. Newspaper headlines screamed “Bloodbath”, “Killing Field” and “Mine Slaughter”, with graphic photographs of heavily armed white and black police officers walking casually past the bloodied corpses of black men lying crumpled in the dust. The images, along with Reuters television footage of a phalanx of officers opening up with automatic weapons on a small group of men in blankets and t-shirts, rekindled uncomfortable memories of South Africa’s racist past. Police chief Riah Phiyega confirmed 34 dead and 78 injured after officers moved in against 3,000 striking drill operators armed with machetes and sticks and massed on a rocky outcrop at the mine, 100 km northwest of Johannesburg. Phiyega, a former banking executive who was only appointed to lead the police force in June, said officers had acted in self-defence against charging, armed assailants at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum plant. “The police members had to employ force to protect themselves from the charging group,” she told a news conference, noting that two policemen had been hacked to death by a mob at the mine on Tuesday. However, the South African Institute of Race relations likened the incident to the 1960 Sharpeville township massacre near Johannesburg, when apartheid police opened fire on a crowd of black protesters, killing more than 50. “Obviously the issues that have led to this are not the same as the past, but the response and the outcome is very similar,” research manager Lucy Holborn said. In a front page editorial, the Sowetan newspaper questioned what had changed since 1994, when Nelson Mandela overturned three centuries of white domination to become South Africa’s first black president. “It has happened in this country before where the apartheid regime treated black people like objects,” the paper, named after South Africa’s biggest black township, said. “It is continuing in a different guise now.” President Jacob Zuma cut short a visit to a regional summit in neighboring Mozambique to head to the mine. Zuma, who faces an internal leadership election in his ruling African National Congress (ANC) in December, said he was “shocked and dismayed” at the violence, but made no comment on the police behavior. “We believe there is enough space in our democratic order for any dispute to be resolved through dialogue without any breaches of the law or violence,” he said in a statement. Despite promises of a better life for all South Africa’s 50 million people, the ANC has struggled to provide basic services to millions in poor black townships. — Reuters

in the


Air France ‘begs for cash’

World’s oldest traveler

Time, CNN reinstate Zakaria

PARIS: An emergency layover in Syria’s capital was bad enough. Then passengers on Air France Flight 562 were asked to open their wallets to check if they had enough cash to pay for more fuel. The plane, heading from Paris to Lebanon’s capital, diverted amid clashes near the Beirut airport on Wednesday. Low on fuel, it instead landed in Damascus, the capital of neighboring Syria, where a civil war is raging. An Air France spokesman explained yesterday that the crew inquired about passenger cash only as a “precautionary measure” because of the “very unusual circumstances.” Sanctions against Syria complicated payment for extra fuel. He said Air France found a way to pay for the fillup without tapping customer pockets - and apologized for the inconvenience. The plane landed safely in Beirut.

TOKYO: A 106-year-old Japanese man has become the oldest person to have travelled around the world using public transport, a report said yesterday. Saburo Shochi has been recognized by Guinness World Records for his feat, which saw him travel through North America, Europe and Africa, the Mainichi daily said. With dozens of his supporters hailing his return at Fukuoka airport in southwest Japan, the centenarian said with a big smile: “I will live more.” Shochi, a professor emeritus at Fukuoka University of Education, started travelling frequently at the age of 99, giving lectures on child education and health in foreign countries, the Mainichi said. Shochi, who celebrated his 106th birthday on Thursday, said: “In my whole life, I have never said ‘I’m tired’.”

WASHINGTON: Time magazine and CNN said they were reinstating journalist Fareed Zakaria after suspending him last week for plagiarism. Time said in a statement that it believed Zakaria made an “unintentional error” in what was an “isolated incident” in a recent column on gun control for the magazine that he took from another writer. “We look forward to having Fareed’s thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on Sept. 7,” Time said in a statement. Cable news channel CNN said that after a thorough internal review of Zakaria’s work on his Sunday TV shows, blogs and documentaries, “we found nothing that merited continuing the suspension.” “Zakaria has apologized for a journalistic lapse. CNN and Zakaria will work together to strengthen further the procedures for his show and blog,” CNN said.


Three dead in crash on Sixth Ring Road Trailer, half-lorry collide KUWAIT: Three individuals were killed and a fourth was seriously injured in an accident that took place recently along the Sixth Ring Road. Paramedics and police rushed to a location where a trailer truck and a half-lorry truck collided into each other. Two Indian passengers seated in the half lorry were pronounced dead on the scene, while two other Pakistani passengers were admitted to the Farwaniya Hospital where one of them later succumbed to injuries. The trailer truck’s driver, an Indian man in his forties, emerged unscathed. A case was filed for investigations.

KUWAIT: The operations room was notified when fire broke out in one of the houses in Maidan Hawally over the weekend. Salmiya Fire Center responded to the call. As firemen arrived, they discovered that fire had ignited timber used in a building under construction. The fire was soon brought under control and no casualties were reported. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Criminal gang in custody By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Security sources said that criminal detectives arrested a bedoon man believed to be part of a criminal gang whose members were recently arrested.

Sources said that out of the five suspects arrested, four of them are bedoons and the fifth is a GCC national. The sixth suspect is still being pursued by authorities for his participation in the crimes the gang is suspected of committing.

Burglar caught Jahra police arrested a thief moments after he stole jewelry from an unoccupied house in Saad Al-Abdullah. The suspect, an Egyptian man, was captured by officers who cast suspicions on him after they noticed him walking out of the neighborhood. He was arrested after jewelry worth nearly KD 7,000 and personal documents were found in his possession, which he admitted to stealing after making sure that the house is unoccupied. Further investigations revealed that the man is responsible for committing multiple robberies at homes left by its residents for vacation. The thief was referred to the proper authorities. Visa trader held Immigration officers arrested a suspect who used a commercial license to bring in laborers to Kuwait illegally. The suspect, a GCC citizen, was caught near his Kuwaiti mother’s house in Al-Sulaibiya. Investigations revealed that he tricked expatriates into coming to Kuwait by registering their names with his bogus company. Investigations revealed that the man collected more than KD 12,000. He remains in custody pending further investigations. Weapon smuggling A GCC national was arrested on the Nuwaiseeb southern border checkpoint after he tried to smuggle firearms and ammunition through a truck loaded with fruits recently. Customs officials decided to search the truck after casting suspicion on the driver’s behavior, and found 20 hunting rifles and 30 air rifles, in addition to thousands of ammunitions. The man admitted to planning to sell the weapons to amateur hunters. Market fire No injuries were reported in a fire that broke out recently at the Mubarakiya Market after an electricity transformer exploded. Firefighters from two nearby fire stations arrived after the fire was reported, and managed to contain and extinguish the flames. Preliminary investigations revealed that the transformer exploded due to an overload. Further investigations are ongoing. Angry husband A man reportedly went with his three sons to the house his divorced wife lives in, attacked her and threatened to continue to harm her. According to the victim, the

attack was the result of her statements during previous disputes. A security source said that the victim, a citizen, was surprised when her divorced husband, along with their three children, attacked her. The husband also destroyed objects in the house before threatening to hurt her. She said that the attack was the husband’s attempt at revenge due to previous differences between herself and the husband. Police are investigating. Hostile man A female Syrian expat received several insults and obscene gestures from a man who attempted to flirt with her, but grew hostile after the woman ignored him. The woman gave police the license plate number of the car he was driving. A security source said the Syrian expat reported driving her car near a mall in Fahaheel, when she was obstructed by a young man driving a luxury car. The man started to flirt with her with words and signs, but she ignored him. The man then became angry and began swearing at her and making obscene gestures with his hands before driving away. Rape attempt Detectives are looking for two unidentified men who attempted to force their way into the flat of a citizen with the intention of raping her. Neighbors heard the commotion and intervened, but the two perpetrators were able to escape. The woman told police that while in the flat with her two daughters, two men knocked on her door. When she asked them what they wanted, they ordered her to open the door but the woman refused. The two kept knocking at the door, so she called police. When neighbors came to check on the woman, one of the men threatened to strike the neighbors with a stick . The men escaped before the arrival of police. Officer assaulted Three men attacked a military officer and beat him to apparently settle a past grievance. The three left their victim in need of medical help and then escaped. A security source said the citizen, who works for the Defense Ministry, told Adan police that three men beat, him injuring his head and left hand. Police are investigating. Riqee fight Three citizens fought with three Saudis in the Riqee area, resulting in the stabbing of one of the Saudis, who was taken to Farwaniya Hospital’s ICU. A security source said Andalus police received a call that the men continued the fight in the hospital. Police went to the scene and arrested the suspects. Two citizens held Salwa police arrested two citizens after they fought in an area mosque and exchanged blows with sharp objects while worshipers were watching. A security source said the fight broke out between the two inside the mosque, and worshippers failed to separate them. Salwa police were called in and arrested the two.


‘Ministry responsible’ for Al-Mutairi death Case may incite revenge crimes

By A. Saleh KUWAIT: Several lawmakers held the Interior Ministry responsible for the death of a citizen who was found dead three days after his family reported him missing, as well as the “smear campaign against the victim’s family” by publishing a picture of his dead body and linking the case with drug abuse. “There are false rumors claiming that the late Nawaf Al-Mutairi was under the influence of drugs at the time of death, while the forensic examination revealed that his body was free from drugs,” said MP Musallam Al-Barrak during a press conference held at the victim’s residence in Al-Naseem. He added that the Interior Minister “is to blame for making his photograph available to the media, and failing to prosecute media outlets that spread the rumors.” Reiterating appeals of the victim’s father to HH the Amir to prosecute the perpetrators, Al-Barrak recalled the victim’s story including the last call to made his family in which he said that he was hurt and bleeding. “Where is the Interior Ministry... they find him killed three days after he went missing?” AlBarrak questioned. Meanwhile, MP Mubarak Al-Waalan warned that the case could entice revenge crimes if authorities fail to enforce the law. “The responsibility is huge as the ministry must not differentiate between people in enforce the law,” he said. MP Khalid Al-Tahous argued that the victim’s family cannot be blamed “if they sought help from someone instead of the Interior Ministry who took no responsibility in learning about Nawaf’s death.” MP questions efforts MP Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei believes that Kuwait is not tak-

Al-Saadoun announces political campaign KUWAIT: The opposition bloc made hurried statements to denounce the government’s decision to refer the electoral law to the Constitutional Court because the verdict regarding the constitutionality of the constituencies system may be unexpected. “When it comes to changing the distribution of constituencies, the Constitutional Court might throw the ball to the 2009 Parliament’s court, which means that it must convene to look into the current law,” said sources who spoke to Al-Qabas, adding that the opposition “could have caused a reason for embarrassment with vows made before learning of the court’s ruling.” The bloc, a coalition of oppositionists consisting primarily of lawmakers who dominated majority seats in the annulled 2012 parliament, announced plans to stage mass demonstrations and public seminars should the Cabinet file a request with the Court to challenge the constituency of the electoral law which divides Kuwait into five electoral constituencies, enabling each voter to vote for four candidates within the constituency they reside in. Meanwhile, oppositionist figure Ahmad Al-Saadoun launched a campaign on his Twitter account calling for ‘sovereignty belonging to the people.’ “The willpower of the people was never defeated throughout history, and so will never the willpower of the Kuwaiti people,” Al-Saadoun posted, describing the referral step as “a coup against the Constitution by the alliance of corruption and enemies of the constitutional system.” MP Dr Faisal Al-Mislem called the referral “an attack against the willpower of the people and a decision to confront the public by force,” while a member of the annulled 2012 parliament Riyadh AlAdasani argued that they failed to refer the Municipal Council’s electoral law “in which fourth constituency voters are 58,000 in number, while second constituency voters amount to 20,000 in all.” MP Saleh Ashour argued that the opposition bloc’s position “puts them as if they are against the direction of HH the Amir and the Kuwaiti public, which will cost them popularity,” reported Al-Qabas. Member of the 2012 parliament Dr Khalid Shukhayyer told Al-Rai daily in that “the single constituency and election by list system is the replacement that the bloc has agreed upon for the five-constituencies system,” arguing that the government is not looking for an alternative but is plotting for “something suspicious.” — Al-Shahed

ing serious measures to protect citizens in Lebanon against potential kidnapping compared to other gulf states. “Qatar threatens to expel all Lebanese workers if a single Qatari citizen is kidnapped in Lebanon, while Kuwait issues 100 visas everyday to the Hezbollah group,” Al-Tabtabaei argued in a recent statement. Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry has already issued a warning against traveling to Lebanon, and is coordinating with the Kuwaiti embassy to repatriate citizens as soon as possible.

MAIA’s allowances The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs (MAIA) will pay allowances and salary increases to 1,631 staff members, Fareed Amadi Acting Undersecretary said in a recent statement. The financial privileges will be paid retroactively from April 1, 2012, the date on which the decision was enforced by the Civil Service Commission. Since then, 199 ministry employees have benefited from the increases, Amadi indicated.


KUWAIT: Several National Bank of Kuwait employees volunteered as part the bank’s charity program for this year’s holy month of Ramadan by serving iftar meals at the NBK’s tent in front of the Grand Mosque. They distributed meals during daily tours at highly populated areas, in addition to distributing nearly 6,000 iftar meals at police stations.

Dow concludes Ramadan with local community KUWAIT: In keeping with The Dow Chemical Company’s commitment to contributing to the communities it operates within, a late night dinner (ghabqa) was hosted in partnership with the Lothan Youth Achievement Center (LoYAC) to celebrate the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan. Over 100 guests attended the gathering from the Kuwait Society for the Handicapped, Kuwait Down Syndrome Center, Kuwait Foster Care for Children and the Khurafi Center for the Disabled. The ghabqa, which marks the third consecutive year for Dow as a supporter of this Ramadan event, took place at the Salmiya Souk. During the event, Jamel Attal, managing director of Dow Kuwait, gave a short speech before the ghabqa commenced, highlighting the company’s continued commitment and dedication to the community in Kuwait. “The ghabqa has been a staple of Kuwaiti life in Ramadan for many years, encouraging solidarity and cooperation within the community, in an event that truly embodies the spirit of Ramadan,” said Attal, “This is the third time we are able to carry on this important Ramadan tradition and bring together the community together with our partner, LoYAC, and we are very proud to be able to celebrate the spirit of the holy month with members of our community.” The ghabqa activities included a puppet show, magic show, face painting, as well as a traditional dance performance which took place as full costume characters intermingled with children at the event. “We’re very happy to have Dow’s support for this event yet again this year,” said Fareah Al-Saqqaf, LoYAC Founder and Chairperson. “Our strategic partnership with Dow Chemical has allowed for the continued development of Kuwait’s youth and we hope to continue to support the community’s development through our partnership in the future.” The ghabqa featured a Ramadan quiz presented by Attal, allowing the children in attendance to be simultaneously entertained and educated. Dow ended the evening by providing the children with special gifts to mark the holy month of Ramadan.

NO: 15543


RAMADAN 30, 1433 AH

Name the surah which if recited three times merits the same reward as reciting the whole Qur’an?


Surah Al Khawtar


Surah lkhlas


Surah Al Falaq KUWAIT: Jamel Attal, Managing Director, Dow Kuwait handing out gifts to children at ghabqa.


‘Happiness, enjoying life’ top wish of Muslim expats Western Union study in Kuwait KUWAIT: As Ramadan draws to a close and preparations for Eid celebrations gathers momentum, the foremost wish of Muslim expatriates living and working in Kuwait is their personal well-being, a recent Western Union-sponsored study has found. Specifically, 45 percent of the respondents to the survey which was commissioned as part of Western Union’s Ramadan 2012 Campaign said that they valued their happiness the most. Only 26 percent most desire for better personal well-being encompassing safety, security and good health, as opposed to a GCC average of 42 percent. Global Muslims who have resided for a shorter period of time (five years or less) in their host counSobia Rahman tries tend to place more importance on wealth and success, than those who have stayed overseas for an extended period. The Western Union study, “Traditions of Eid by global citizens of Muslim faith” was conducted by The Nielsen Company and covered Muslims of 11 nationalities living in 12 countries in the GCC, Asia Pacific, the United States and Western Europe. The survey also revealed that Arab Muslims living across the globe (27 percent) and Muslims living in the Middle East (24 percent) have a stronger desire for peace relative to Muslims living in Asia, Europe and US (16 percent), which is attributable to a long-standing heightened sense of security precipitated by recent uprisings. Keeping up with the tradition of sharing and giving during Eid, Muslim expatriates in Kuwait gift their loved ones mostly (88 percent) but are just as generous in sharing with people they do not know (58 percent) by gifting people in need (32 percent), and donating to charities (35 percent) and mosques (18 percent). According to the survey, cash is the preferred choice of gift (97 percent) of the respondents from Kuwait with money transfer companies being the preferred medium of sending money (53 percent); followed by clothes (33 percent), physical gifts (13 percent) and provisions (9 percent). Sobia Rahman, Western Union’s Regional Vice President for Gulf, Pakistan & Afghanistan said, “ A vast majority of our consumers in the GCC and globally are expatriates who travel across borders to secure their future and that of their families. Eid is a time for prayer, celebrations and unity and for spreading happiness, however a number of expatriates in Kuwait live away from their families, but they still do their best to share the joy of Eid by exchanging gifts with their loved ones.” “We help consumers move their money to their home countries for a host of reasons from regular expenses to religious festivals such as Eid. Our recent survey revealed that nearly all of the respondents in Kuwait prefer to gift cash to their loved ones for Eid with 53 percent preferring to use money transfer companies such as Western Union to send money in a fast and reliable manner”, added Rahman. The survey also found that majority of family and friends (92 percent) reciprocating their wishes to their loved one’s working or living in Kuwait opted for a more personal approach of making a phone call despite the myriad of emerging technologies accessible via the internet or smart phones. Sending a text message (73 percent) and email (14 percent) were revealed as the second and third preferred channels. The findings of the study were based on a survey of close to 550 Muslims emigrants originally from the Middle Eastern and North African countries of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia and the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. They resided in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia in the GCC; Malaysia and Singapore in Asia; the United Kingdom, Germany and France in Europe; and the United States. The Western Union Company is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. The Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services are offered through a combined network of approximately 510,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2011, The Western Union Company completed 226 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $81 billion of principal between consumers, and completed 425 million business payments.

Kuwaiti citizens evacuated from Lebanon BEIRUT: Almost all citizens present in Lebanon left for home on Thursday, Kuwait Ambassador to Lebanon Abdul-Aal Al-Qanaei said. “Four flights carried all our nationals from here in the wake of the security instability in Lebanon during the last three days,” Al-Qanaei said. “The four flights include three by Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) and one by Al-Jazeera Airways,” he

Entertainment City announces Eid timings

Yaqoub Al-Duaij

KUWAIT: The Entertainment City will remain open from 4:30 pm to 1:30 am everyday during Eid Al-Fitr holidays, Yaqoub Al-Duaij, Acting Director of Operations and Activities Department at the Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) announced. The TEC has prepared programs to celebrate holidays at its facilities, featuring various activities and competitions.

NO: 15542


RAMADAN 29, 1433 AH What gift did he bring back from Allah from the miraculous night journey to the heavens?






Five times daily salah

pointed out. “The evacuation was held in line with instructions of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the travel advisory issued by the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry last night,” he noted. Al-Qanaei added that his embassy is in contact with the few remaining nationals to ensure their safety in coordination with the Ministry’s operations room which was set up under HH the Amir’s instructions. — KUNA


India PM moves to cool panic as thousands flee


Japan, China try to defuse Island row


Russia Punk Riot found guilty, await sentence


TEHRAN: Iranians hold portraits of supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as they take part in a rally to mark the ‘Quds Day’, an anti-Israeli demonstration in solidarity with Palestinians yesterday. — AFP

No place for Israel in new Mideast: Iran Crowds of Iranians join annual march against Israel DUBAI: Many thousands of Iranians shouted “Death to America, death to Israel” during state-organized protests yesterday and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told them there was no place for the Jewish state in a future Middle East. Iran, penalized by tough Western sanctions, faces the threat of an Israeli or US military strike on its disputed nuclear facilities. With popular uprisings reshaping the region, the Islamic Republic is also trying to prevent the overthrow of its closest Arab ally, Syrian President Bashar AlAssad. “You want a new Middle East? We do too, but in the new Middle East... there will be no trace of the American presence and the Zionists,” Ahmadinejad told worshippers at Tehran University in an event broadcast live on state television. The Iranian leader, whose

own authority is under challenge from hardliners as well as reformers, was restating Tehran’s familiar goals as the Middle East undergoes a very different upheaval from the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the USbacked Shah and brought Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to power. “Saving the existence of the Zionist regime (Israel) is a joint commitment by most arrogant Western governments,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech to mark the annual Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day decreed by Khomeini and held on the last Friday of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan. He called for Muslim unity to foil Western support for Israel, which he described as a “cancerous tumor” for its occupation of Palestinian land. But there was little unity on display at an Islamic summit in Mecca earlier this week

when the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation suspended Syria despite Iran’s objections. Speaking at the emergency summit, Ahmadinejad said Western powers could never be a role model for the Islamic world. “Freedom and democracy will not come from the barrels of NATO guns and the interference of Western nations,” he said. Shiite Iran has watched in dismay as rebels drawn mainly from Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority try to oust Assad, whose country has been a vital part of Iran’s “axis of resistance” against Israel, Sunni-ruled Arab states and the West. “I think the enemies have been successful to a certain extent in creating regional conflicts,” Ahmadinejad acknowledged, without naming Syria. Iran accuses the United States and its allies in the Middle East of backing Assad’s opponents to try to relieve pres-

sure on Israel by destroying the “axis of resistance” between Tehran, Damascus and the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement. State television said millions of Iranians joined the Al-Quds Day marches across the country and showed large crowds chanting slogans and carrying portraits of Khomeini and his successor, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some bore a coffin decked with pictures of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders. Demonstrators burned American and Israeli flags. Israel, thought to be the Middle East’s only nuclear-armed power, sees Iran’s nuclear activities as a threat to its existence and has repeatedly threatened military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the issue. Iran denies seeking a bomb and says its nuclear work has only peaceful purposes. — Reuters


Billions of dollars but no peace in Sudan’s Darfur KHARTOUM: More than four years after an African Union-UN peacekeeping force costing billions of dollars arrived in Sudan’s restive western region of Darfur, peace remains elusive and some question the mission’s value. Critics say the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), the world’s largest peacekeeping operation, is too close to the Sudanese government and not aggressive enough in fulfilling its core mandate of protecting civilians. “It may be better than nothing,” one analyst said, asking for anonymity. “But they are really focused on protecting themselves.” The concern comes as Darfur suffers a surge in violence. More than 700 people have already been killed this year in clashes between rebels and government troops as well as in tribal unrest and criminal incidents,

more than for the whole of 2011, UNAMID data show. Rebels drawn from black African tribes rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government in 2003. The conflict peaked years ago, killing at least 300,000 people, according to UN estimates. The government said 10,000 died. Overall, there has been a “drastic decrease” in the number of people killed in clashes, and things would have been worse without UNAMID’s roughly 16,700 troops, the force commander says. “The mere presence of us on the ground flying the flag is a substantial deterrent,” Lieutenant General Patrick Nyamvumba of Rwanda said. Since he took over three years ago, UNAMID patrols have roughly doubled to around 150 a day, and more people displaced by the conflict have returned home. The UN recorded 178,000

returnees between January 2011 and March this year. “This could not be possible if there were not increased security,” Nyamvumba said. But an estimated 1.7 million remain in camps-which more closely resemble poor villages-where residents have reported shootings, arson and other violence. In a July report focused on Khartoum’s use since late 2010 of non-Arab militia to displace ethnic Zaghawa rebels and civilians from east Darfur, Swiss-based independent researchers alleged that in several cases “abuses against civilians, looting, and burning of property occurred in the immediate vicinity of UNAMID positions”. Nyamvumba says his troops are clearly mandated to give “physical protection” to civilians in imminent danger, which they have done.—AFP

Who controls what in Syria? Here is a snapshot of who controls different regions of Syria more than 17 months into a revolt against President Bashar Al-Assad, although reporting restrictions, along with the ebb and flow of conflict, make it hard to be precise. NORTHERN SYRIA Rebels hold large swathes of territory, especially near the border with Turkey. Fighting is still raging in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo. Idlib, previously held by rebels, is now in army hands, but rebels control much of the nearby countryside. DAMASCUS The capital is largely under state control after Assad’s forces flushed out most of the rebels who pushed into Damascus last month, but the insurgents are encroaching on the city again. Rebels run many of the suburbs and towns immediately to the east of the city. COASTAL PROVINCES Syria’s coastal provinces are firmly in government control, save for a few pockets of resistance. Most of Tartous province and parts of Latakia province are an enclave of Assad’s minority Alawite sect. Support for Assad is strong and some Syrians suspect Assad’s forces could retreat here if defeated elsewhere. EASTERN PROVINCES Activists calculate more than two-thirds of Deir Al-Zor province, bordering Iraq, are out of government control. The same goes for Deir Al-Zor city, home to around 600,000. Further north, around Qamishli, control is falling into the hands of Syrian Kurdish groups, some aligned with Turkey’s separatist militant Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK). CENTRAL SYRIA Homs, the epicentre of the Syrian revolt, is divided between government and rebel control. So is the surrounding countryside. Rastan, Talbisa, Houla and Al-Qusayr are towns that are generally rebel-controlled but often come under siege. In Hama, once a hot spot for opposition street protests, a government clampdown has kept a lid on unrest. SOUTHERN PROVINCES Provinces such as Sweida, home to Syria’s Druze minority, are under solid state control. Most Syrian Druze have stayed on the sidelines of the revolt, though their presence in opposition ranks is growing. The city of Deraa, cradle of the uprising, is under tight government control, but rebels hold most of the countryside. — Reuters

AZAZ: A Syrian elderly man walks past a destroyed building in the town of Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria. Thousands of Syrians who have been displaced by the country’s civil are struggling to find safe shelter while shelling and airstrikes by government forces continue. — AP

WHO reports diarrhea outbreak in Damascus Thousands flee war-ravaged Syria GENEVA: Syrians are pouring across the border to escape fighting in their battered homeland and diarrhoeal disease has broken out in rural areas near Damascus, UN aid agencies said yesterday. More than 170,000 Syrians have been registered in four neighboring countries (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey), the United Nations refugee agency said. Some 3,500 Syrians fleeing the northern areas of Aleppo, Azaz, Idlib and Latakia reached Turkey’s Hatay and Kilis provinces between Tuesday and Wednesday, spokesman Adrian Edwards of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said. “There has been a further sharp rise in the number of Syrians fleeing to Turkey,” Edwards told a news briefing. “There are now almost 65,000 Syrians in 9 camps in Turkey, though not all yet formally registered. To put this in perspective, about 40 percent arrived in August.” A Syrian air strike in the rebel-held border town of Azaz on Wednesday killed 30 people, a local doctor said. Overnight, more than 1,000 Syrians arrived in Jordan, Edwards said. The UNHCR is working to improve the ratio of people to toilets - currently 40 to one - in Za’atri camp which holds nearly 8,000 of some 47,000 refugees registered in Jordan.

The humanitarian situation in Syria has deteriorated as fighting escalates, cutting off civilians from food supplies, health care and other assistance, UN agencies say. Some 1.2 million people are uprooted within the country, many staying in schools or other public buildings, UNHCR quoted the UN’s regional humanitarian relief coordinator as saying. UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, ending a visit to Syria, said on Thursday up to 2.5 million people needed aid in the country, where President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces have been fighting rebels seeking his overthrow for 17 months. CONTAMINATED WATER SUPPLY There has been an outbreak of diarrhoea among residents in part of the province of Rural Damascus because the water supply has been contaminated by sewage, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. “In one pocket of Rural Damascus there are 103 suspected cases of ecoli. Laboratory testing is still going on,” Richard Brennan, director of WHO’s emergency risk management and humanitarian response department, told Reuters. “It is due to contamination of the water supply.” “We have heard of other pockets (of diarrhoeal disease) in other areas of Rural

Damascus, but have no details,” he said. Sixty-one children under age 10 are among the 103 cases discovered by health workers in a mobile clinic, WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said. “The local authorities have been alerted and are taking action,” she said. Children are particularly vulnerable to diarrhoeal diseases which require treatment including hydration and antibiotics, Brennan said. “We know from Syrian authorities that an estimated 38 hospitals and 149 other clinics have been either substantially damaged or destroyed, which clearly worsens the access to health care,” he told a news briefing. The World Food Program (WFP) said that since the start of July, it had brought food rations for 100,000 people to Aleppo. “Despite difficulties and violence, we expect to reach an additional 25,000 there in coming days,” WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said, noting that WFP supplies are distributed by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. A UN peacekeeping chief said on Thursday that Syria’s government and rebels had “chosen the path of war”, as the world body ended its doomed monitoring mission to Damascus and world powers remained deadlocked over how to limit the spreading conflict. — Reuters


Echoes of Lebanon civil war as Syrian turmoil spreads Kidnappings raise fear of spillover to Lebanon BEIRUT: Tit-for-tat kidnappings by Syrian rebels and Lebanese Shiite gunmen have escalated tensions in Lebanon, where the specter of contagion from Syria’s conflict is alarming the fractured and war-scarred Mediterranean nation. Despite government efforts to insulate it from turmoil in its once dominating neighbor, Lebanon has seen armed clashes in its two largest cities, and last week authorities said they uncovered a Syrian plot to destabilize the country. The sight of masked gunmen in Beirut on Wednesday claiming the capture of 20 Syrians, and the kidnapping in broad daylight of a Turkish businessman near the airport, was another dramatic sign of Syria’s crisis spilling over into Lebanon. While they may not herald an imminent slide towards conflict in Lebanon, the incidents highlight the weak and tenuous authority of Lebanon’s state institutions and point to future instability in the country of four million. “This will have a negative impact on state

authority, the military and the business environment in Lebanon” said Ayham Kamel of the Eurasia Group consultancy. “The likelihood of civil war right now remains low, but reaching this stage is a very alarming development”. To the outside world, kidnapping foreigners was a defining feature of Lebanon’s civil war, and the brazen public appearance by the masked gunmen this week - unchallenged by security forces echoed the chaos of the 1975-1990 conflict. “This...brings us back to the days of the painful war, a page that Lebanese citizens have been trying to turn,” said Prime Minister Najib Mikati, whose policy of ‘dissociation’ from Syria’s conflict next door has come under growing strain. SECTARIAN TENSIONS Mikati, a Sunni Muslim, heads a government in which Shiite Muslim militant movement Hezbollah and its Shiite and Christian allies - all supporters of Assad - hold half the

cabinet seats. Hezbollah, the only Lebanese armed faction not to disarm after the civil war, is the most powerful fighting force in the country. Its opponents have repeatedly and unsuccessfully called for it to put its mighty arsenal under state control. Those longstanding sectarian tensions have been reignited by the mainly Sunni Muslim revolt in Syria against Hezbollah’s ally President Bashar Al-Assad, whose Alawite community is an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Shiite Iran, a rival to Sunni Arab powers like Saudi Arabia, sponsors both Hezbollah and Assad. Most of Hezbollah’s opponents, including Mikati’s fellow Sunnis, are solidly behind the Syrian rebellion. In Sunni Muslim border areas of northern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley, arms have been smuggled to the rebels since the start of the uprising. Tensions over Syria led to deadly street clashes three months ago in the mainly Sunni northern city of Tripoli, home also to a staunchly pro-Assad Lebanese Alawite minority. The kidnapping

93 perish in Iraq Blasts, shootings hit cities across Iraq BAGHDAD: Iraqi officials said yesterday that a blistering string of attacks across the country the previous day ultimately killed at least 93 people and wounded many more, as the extent of the violence grew clearer and mourners began to bury their dead. It was Iraq’s second deadliest day since US troops left in December, surpassed only by a wave of coordinated killings last month. Thursday’s attacks seemed meant to strike fear in Iraqis and undermine faith in the Shiite-led government’s security measures ahead of what was supposed to be a festive holiday weekend. “Al-Qaeda wants to send a clear message to the Iraqi people that the terrorists are still strong and able to harm them despite the huge amount of funds spent on the Iraqi security forces,” said Shiite lawmaker Hakim Al-Zamili, a member of Parliament’s security and defense committee. “The terrorists want to tell the Iraqi people that the security forces are still incapable of protecting them.” Officials had feared an upsurge in violence coinciding with the Eid AlFitr holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan this weekend. Steps have been taken to ramp up security measures to protect the crowds who gather in public places such as mosques, parks and restaurants to celebrate the occasion. Thursday’s attacks began early in the north of Iraq and ended with deadly bomb explosions near busy markets, restaurants and ice cream parlors shortly before midnight. Car bombs were to blame for many of the deaths, though attackers also deployed smaller explosives and shot some of the victims. A suicide bomber claimed seven lives when he blew himself up inside a

BAGHDAD: Iraqis inspect the aftermath of a car bomb which exploded the previous night in Baghdad’s mainly Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City. — AFP teashop in Tal Afar, some 420 kilometers northwest of the capital. Since the start of August, more than 190 people have been killed in violence across Iraq, showing that insurgents led by Al-Qaeda’s Iraqi franchise remain a lethal force eight months after the last US troops left the country. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday’s strikes. Coordinated bombings and related attacks are a favorite tactic of the Al-Qaeda offshoot, known as the Islamic State of Iraq. Among the higher casualty numbers disclosed yesterday were 21 people killed when a car bomb detonated shortly before midnight near an ice cream shop in Baghdad’s predominantly Shiite Zafaraniyah neighborhood,

according to police and hospital officials. Another bomb exploded near an ice cream parlor and fruit and vegetable stalls in the capital’s Sadr City, another poor Shiite district. The black, mangled body of a car sat in the middle of the street yesterday. Broken plastic chairs and blood-stained fixtures littered the sidewalk. That blast killed 14, authorities said. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the tallies to reporters. Hassan Karim, 23, was in the Sadr City ice cream shop chatting with friends when the bomb went off. “I saw a big flash, followed by thunderous noise. ... I opened my eyes to find myself in the hospital with my left hand band-

of 11 Lebanese Shiites in northern Syria in May also triggered street protests in Beirut. Five days ago Lebanese authorities issued an indictment against a top Syrian security official and a former Lebanese minister whom it accused of forming an ‘armed gang’ that planned to detonate bombs to incite sectarian fighting in Lebanon. MUCH TO LOSE Assad’s woes have already emboldened some of his opponents in Lebanon, and Sunni Muslims might seek to press home political advantages against a weakened Hezbollah if he were to fall. But analysts say that all sides in a potential Lebanese conflict know they have much to lose from all-out confrontation, an awareness which has helped them step back from the brink during several political showdowns in recent years. Notable among such crises was the assassination in 2005 of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and its aftermath. —Reuters

Somali new govt: Change of name, same old game NAIROBI: Somalia’s transitional government ends its mandate next week after eight years of infighting, little progress and rampant corruption, but the process to replace it is “deeply flawed”, analysts warn. Set up in 2004, the Western-funded Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has already extended its mandate twice, and international backers have been determined it ends by an August 20 deadline. But analysts are gloomy that a United Nations-backed selection process will usher in nothing more than a reshuffle of leaders already fingered for graft, risking an even further fragmentation of power into the hands of local warlords. “This is not a process: it is a power-grab by any means,” said Afyare Elmi, a Somali academic at Qatar University, adding he did not see “a substantive change taking place.” “It is deeply flawed. The process is being manipulated... (parliamentary) seats are going to the highest bidders,” Elmi added. “My fear is that this might lead to a new cycle of communal violence.” The UN Special Representative for Somalia Augustine Mahiga holds optimistically that after August, the Horn of Africa nation will be “more peaceful, more stable and more established in terms of democratic governance.” But the process is much criticized: the UN, African Union and East Africa’s main diplomatic body IGAD warned last week that political leaders were using “bribery, intimidation (and) violence” to rig the selection of lawmakers. “No mechanisms for accountability have been put in place to try to minimize spoilers’ involvement,” said Laura Hammond of Britain’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). “The process has become entirely corrupted - the Constituent Assembly was chosen under dubious conditions, the new constitution was rubber-stamped, and the parliamentary seats are being distributed to the highest bidders,” she said. Delays to the Monday deadline are almost certain, said Roland Marchal of the Paris-based National Centre for Scientific Research. But while a delay of a few days may be “nothing scandalous”, Marchal notes far deeper problems in the process, criticizing international efforts as having focused on deadlines rather than content. “The international community should have fought for the process and values, but in the end fought only to get a constitution” on time, Marchal said. —AFP


During Ramadan, Pakistanis dodge tax collectors KARACHI: During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Muhammad Tashfeen Khan does what millions of other Pakistanis do: tries to keep his money from the government’s religious tax collectors. The wealthy businessman pulls all his savings from his bank account right before Ramadan starts so the government cannot deduct 2.5 percent as zakat, the annual donation many Muslims are religiously required to make as a basic tenet of the Islamic faith. Khan and many other Pakistanis do this, not to avoid paying zakat, but to make sure the money doesn’t go to the government, which is viewed by most people as incompetent and corrupt. For many years, Pakistan required all Sunni Muslims, who make up a majority of the country’s population, to pay zakat straight to the government. That regulation changed recently, but many Pakistanis seem unaware and continue to pull their money out of the banks to elude the state. Instead, they pay zakat to needy individuals and hun-

dreds of private charities operating in the country - some of which are actually fronts for Islamist militant organizations seeking money for both social welfare activities and militant activity. “When it comes to zakat, or any other religious issue, I can’t trust the government,” said Khan, who runs a chain of private schools in the southern port city of Karachi. It’s a “corrupt system, which hardly cares about the poor,” he said. A former religious affairs minister was imprisoned last year for allegedly cheating hundreds of thousands of Pakistani Muslims out of money while they were making the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Khan said he gives over $1,000 to individuals and private charities every Ramadan, an amount he indicated was greater than what he would pay if the government deducted zakat from his bank account. Ramadan began in July and is expected to end in the next few days, depending on the sighting of the new moon. “By taking matters in my own hands, I am satisfied that it goes to the deserving

people and charity organizations,” said Khan. Many Pakistanis apparently feel the same way, and use his same bank trick, based on evidence from how much the government collects in zakat from bank accounts versus how much money is in those accounts. Last year, the government collected a little over 1 billion rupees ($11.5 million) from savings and fixed deposit accounts at the beginning of Ramadan, said Syed Wasimuddin, the spokesman for the State Bank of Pakistan. That figure equals only about 0.3 percent of the 320 billion rupees ($3.4 billion) that was in those accounts in June 2011, before Ramadan started, according to data posted on the State Bank’s website - far below the official 2.5 percent zakat tax rate. Some of the difference can be attributed to the money in accounts owned by nonMuslims and Shiite Muslims, who make up about 25 percent of the population and are exempt from paying zakat, as long as they provide the government with proof of their religious affiliation.—AP

Myanmar moderates risk ire to calm sectarian rift YANGON: A Myanmar blogger who was a poster boy for online resistance to the former junta has become the target of a backlash by social media users for speaking out against hatred aimed at Rohingya Muslims. The case of former political prisoner Nay Phone Latt, a rare moderate voice on recent fighting between Muslims and Buddhist Rakhine, underscores the level of anger sparked by the unrest which erupted in western Myanmar in June. The 32-year-old has faced the ire of social networkers for publishing an article warning of “genocide” if anti-Muslim sentiment spreads around the Buddhist-majority nation. “I try to be neutral in this case but most of the Facebook (users) criticize me for being neutral. They want me to be on the side of the Rakhine,” he said. The blogger was sentenced to two decades in prison in 2008 for his links to the “Saffron Revolution” monk-led protests against the junta the previous year. While detained he won the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award in New York for showing the “strength of the creative spirit” in the face of repression. He was released in January as part of a political prisoner amnesty. Recently, however, a photograph used during the campaign to free him-showing his friends with “Nay Phone Latt” written on their palms-has been circulated online with his name crossed out and replaced with the word “kalar”, a derogatory term for Muslims in Myanmar. But he said some people realized the situation could lead to “endless fighting” if left unresolved and he had no regrets about speaking out. Fellow blogger Nyi Lynn Seck, who has challenged one government official for posting controversial Facebook comments on the Rakhine violence, said anger was being stoked by misinformation. “Some people are intentionally spreading fake news,” he said. Matthew Smith, a researcher at New York-based Human Rights Watch, said it was difficult for ordinary citizens to be objective because there was a widespread belief that all Rohingya are “illegal immigrants from Bangladesh”, including at the highest levels of government. “Young bloggers seeking the truth and attempting to approach the issue objectively should be applauded,” he said. “Sometimes the protection of human rights depends on courageous voices willing to stand up despite great social pressure, and this is one of those times.” The official toll from the violence stands at about 80 people dead from both sides, although human rights groups fear the figure could be much higher. Renewed violence left several people dead earlier this month. Tensions in Rakhine are related not only to religion, but also to a flood of immigration from the Indian subcontinent during British colonial rule, which ended in 1948, said independent Myanmar analyst Richard Horsey. “There are just such strong prejudices on this issue that it’s even harder for the government to deal with it in this new democratic era than it was in the past,” he said. Myanmar’s government, which has denied allegations of abuses by security forces in Rakhine, has veered from statements extolling the racial and religious plurality of the country, to suggestions that the Rohingya should be kept in refugee camps or deported. Some elements of the country’s democracy movement have also dismayed the Rohingya by rejecting them as an ethnic minority.—AFP

BANGALORE: An Indian policeman looks on as minority northeastern residents leave the city by train following rumors of communal violence against them, at a railway station in yesterday. — AFP

India PM moves to cool panic as thousands flee Rumors of revenge attacks by Muslims spur mass exodus NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured migrants from the northeast of the country that they were safe as thousands fled Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities yesterday, fearing a backlash from violence against Muslims in Assam. Railway authorities have laid on extra trains from Bangalore and other cities for the two-day journey back to Assam, a northeastern state famous for its tea plantations and oilfields. Some media reports said that as many as 15,000 had left cities in the south and west. The mass flight by students and workers back to their homes in a far-flung corner of the country was triggered by widespread rumors that Muslims, a large minority in the predominantly Hindu country, were seeking revenge for the Assam violence. “What is at stake is the unity of our country. What is at stake is communal harmony,” Singh told parliament. “I assure you... that we will do our utmost to ensure that our friends and our children and our citizens from the northeast feel secure in any and every part of our country.” Muslims across India have been alarmed by clashes in recent weeks between indigenous people in Assam and Muslim settlers from neighboring Bangladesh. At least 75 people have been killed and more than 400,000 displaced there. India’s post-independence history has been scarred by tension between religious and ethnic groups, which has sometimes erupted in blood-letting. While local tensions between Hindus and Muslims have often spread across the country, this is the first time that ethnic unrest in the remote northeast has had a domino effect in mainland India. Two people were killed and dozens wounded last week when about 10,000 people rioted in Mumbai, the country’s financial capi-

tal, following a protest by Muslims against the violence in the northeast. Talk of Muslim revenge attacks has swirled all week, with threats of brutal attacks being carried on social media and mobile phone text messages. “When we go out at night, then the Muslims threaten us by saying that they will cut us into pieces,” said Raju Kumar, as he waited to board a train to his home in Assam at Mumbai railway station. “They say that you people are threatening us in Assam and killing us there, we will not spare you here.” DON’T PANIC Some websites have fuelled communal tension by misusing pictures of Tibetan monks at a funeral service after an earthquake in eastern Tibet in 2010, while writing about violence in Myanmar involving Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. “It is the obligation of all of us, regardless of the party, that we work together to create an atmosphere where this rumor-mongering will come to an end,” Singh said. The police in Bangalore sought to scotch rumors of impending revenge attacks, sending a mass text message that told northeastern citizens: “Do not panic or heed to rumor.” Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a Muslim political party in the southern city of Hyderabad, also assured people from Assam and other northeastern states they had nothing to fear. “People from any part of India are free to live and work in any city in the country. They face no threat here,” MIM chief and lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi said after a visit to migrant neighborhood of the city. Analysts say political parties and religious organizations have exploited the tension in the northeast for their ends. — Reuters


Tymoshenko’s ally convicted in fresh trial KIEV: A Ukraine court sentenced an ally of jailed ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko yesterday to two years in prison, the latest conviction in what the opposition says is a campaign of political repression. Yuri Lutsenko, interior minister under Tymoshenko, President Viktor Yanukovich’s main rival, is already serving four years for a separate charge and yesterday’s sentence should not add to that jail time. But the ruling means he will stay in prison even if the European Court of Human Rights overturns his previous conviction. The court has already found his arrest on the initial charges illegal but has yet to rule on the actual verdict. Yesterday the court found Lutsenko acted negligently in authorizing an illegal extension of surveillance over another former official’s driver. The previous conviction was for embezzlement and abuse of office. Lutsenko denied wrongdoing in both cases. ‘This verdict means that no one can defend himself in this country ... there is no justice in this country,’ Lutsenko told the courtroom from a metal cage where he was seated. His lawyer Oleksiy Bohdanets said Lutsenko would appeal. Tymoshenko was convicted for abuse of office last October and sentenced to seven years in prison in a case that has damaged Ukraine’s relations with the West. The European Union and the United States say Tymoshenko’s jailing and the prosecution of Lutsenko were examples of selective justice. After she lost the 2010 presidential election to Yanukovich in a close run-off, Tymoshenko and a number of her allies faced criminal charges in what she described as a campaign of repression. Another ex-member of her cabinet, former acting defense minister has been sentenced to five years in prison, although an appeals court this week changed his sentence to a suspended one. Former economy minister Bohdan Danylyshyn - pursued on similar charges - left Ukraine and has been granted political asylum in the Czech Republic. Tymoshenko herself is appealing her conviction and at the same time standing trial on fresh charges of tax evasion and embezzlement. — Reuters

Japan, China try to defuse Island row Japan depots Chinese activists TOKYO: Japan yesterday sent home the first group of Chinese activists detained after landing on an Island claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing, a move China welcomed but at the same time warned its neighbor against further “escalation” in tension. Japan and China, Asia’s two largest economies, have been at odds since the activists were detained on Wednesday after using a boat to land on the rocky, uninhabited isles known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. Seven activists took off for Hong Kong from Okinawa, the Immigration Bureau said, and the rest of the 14-strong group were expected to head home by boat later. Japanese television showed them making “V” signs as they were driven to the airport. “This time, the Japanese government has quickly released the illegally detained Chinese Diaoyu people, a wise move to avoid the deterioration in Sino-Japan relations,” China’s official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary. “But how to prevent the tension over the Diaoyu islands from escalating, and how to avoid further harming Sino-Japanese relations, the Japanese government’s next step is crucial.

While respecting the historical facts and the feelings of the Chinese people, (the Japanese government) must end as soon as possible the absurd ‘buying islands’ farce.” The nationalist governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, has proposed that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government buy the islands from their private owners. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda wants to have the central government make the purchase instead. In a widening of the territorial dispute, Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi postponed a trip to South Korea for a meeting with his counterpart scheduled for Aug 24 because of a trip made by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to other disputed islands a week ago. Japan will also review a bilateral currency swap agreement struck with South Korea last year, Azumi said, suggesting that Tokyo could consider cancelling the deal before it expires in October. Japan occupied much of China during the war and colonized the Korean peninsula, the source of several feuds dogging relations with its neighbors nearly seven decades after the end of World War Two. Beijing had demanded the immediate release of the Chinese activists after they reached the

islands, which lie near potentially rich gas reserves. Tokyo’s move to free them after questioning is seen as an attempt to cool things down given close economic ties that link Japan and China despite their troubled history and contemporary rivalry over resources and regional clout. Beijing resident Chen Quiyuan said he thought Japan’s reaction showed China’s tough stance was paying off. “I think that the Japanese are exercising restraint for fear (of the consequences), and are trying not to blow up the issue.” In 2010, tension flared after Japan seized a Chinese fishing trawler in the same waters after it collided with a Japanese patrol boat. Its captain was detained for more than two weeks. Japan’s relations with South Korea also worsened after President Lee’s Aug 10 visit to other islands believed to contain frozen natural gas deposits potentially worth billions of dollars. The renewed maritime tension with China has echoed China’s recent tangles with Southeast Asian countries over rival territorial claims in the South China Sea. China’s expanding naval reach has fed worries that it could brandish its military might to get its way.— Reuters

HONG KONG: Chan Miu-tak (center), the spokesman for the action committee for defending the Diaoyu islands talks to the media as he arrives at the airport to welcome his fellow activists in Hong Kong yesterday, following their deportation from Japan. — AFP

China’s Hu gives show of support for North Korea BEIJING: China’s President Hu Jintao yesterday met the powerful uncle of North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un, in a clear show of support for the impoverished ally as it takes tentative steps to rebuild its shattered economy. The uncle, Jang song-thaek, is seen as a driving force for reforms which the isolated and destitute North is believed to be trying and for which it desperately needs Chinese backing. “For many years, Comrade Jang Song-thaek has done a great deal of work to develop neighborly friendship between China and North Korea,” Hu said at their meeting, according to Chinese radio. Hu also offered condolences for floods that recently hit the North, which routinely struggles to feed its 24 million people. “I’m

confident that under the leadership of the Korean Workers’ Party with Kim Jong-un as its First Secretary, the North Korean people will be able to overcome this flood disaster and build a beautiful homeland.” Jang’s trip to China this week has been seen as the latest sign that Kim is seriously exploring ways to revive his reclusive country’s economy, which has been in decline for years. Jang attended meetings to discuss joint economic projects in Rason on the North’s east coast, and in Hwanggumphyong, an area on the border between the two countries. Chinese state news agency Xinhua quoted Hu as saying that he “hopes the two sides can make full use of their respective advantages... (and) push forward in

the cooperation of the two key economic zone projects.” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who also met with Jang, said the Chinese government “will firmly support North Korea’s economic development and improvement of people’s livelihoods”. Companies from China and North Korea opened yesterday a new tourist route from Yanji, a city in China’s northeast Jilin province that borders the North, to Rason to boost economic and tourism exchanges between the two countries, Xinhua said in a separate report. “The new international route will turn a new page in trade and tourism cooperation between the two countries,” Xinhua cited Wang Yanbo, deputy director of the Yanji Tourism Administration, as saying.

North Korea relies on China to support its economy, which has been dragged down by decades of mismanagement and international sanctions over its weapons programs. Kim’s father, who died last December, flirted with reform but never really let it take root, wary of anything that might undermine his family’s iron grip over the state. But the new leader has presented a different image to his father and is believed to want economic and agricultural reform. North Korea has received little more than $300 million in non-financial direct investment from about 100 Chinese companies mainly in the food, medicine, electronics, mining, light industry, chemicals and textile sectors.— Reuters


Young immigrants may find college elusive MIAMI: Araceli Cortes had made up her mind: After being brought to the US as a child, graduating from high school and attending some college in California, she was going to return to Mexico to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. She quit her job, bought an airline ticket and reserved a seat to take a medical school entrance exam. Then, a week before her departure, President Barack Obama announced that young illegal immigrants like Cortes would be given the chance to remain in the United States and obtain a work visa. Cortes canceled her ticket and decided to stay. This week, she and thousands of other immigrants began the application process. But she and many other student immigrants could face some tough obstacles. “It’s not giving me much,” Cortes, 20, said. “It’s

just a two-year permit.” Obama was clear in announcing the order: This was not a path to citizenship, but rather an opportunity to avoid deportation and work. For the students who are illegal immigrants and have graduated from college, the new policy means they will have the opportunity to work in their field of study, something they could only do as independent contractors or unpaid interns before. For younger immigrants like Cortes - as many as 65,000 of whom are estimated to graduate from high school each year - some barriers to earning a college degree will be removed. The main hurdle, however, will remain cost. Federal loans and grants, the largest source of aid for college students, require students to have a green card or US citizenship. “There’s still going to be a challenge

for these students to pursue higher education,” said Deborah Santiago, co-founder and vice president for policy and research of Excelencia in Education. “I don’t think the numbers are going to be high.” Children who are illegal immigrants have been guaranteed the right to a K-12 education since the 1982 Plyler v. Doe Supreme Court decision. A growing number of those students are now entering adolescence and early adulthood. They speak English, are part of afterschool clubs and sports, and have the same aspirations to attend college as their peers. Yet around the age of 16, they stop having the same opportunities. When most teens get a driver’s license, a first job and start thinking about college, illegal immigrant students start to become aware of their status.

“They stay stuck while their friends are moving forward,” said Roberto Gonzales, a sociologist at the University of Chicago. “And that has tremendous implications on their own ability to achieve any upward mobility, on issues of selfesteem and on emotional and mental well-being.” The Plyler v Doe ruling did not address higher education. Rather, individual states and colleges have set their own policies on whether to allow illegal immigrants to attend. Among illegal immigrants who are high school graduates between the ages of 18 to 24, 49 percent are in or have attended some college, compared with 76 percent of legal immigrants and 71 percent of US-born residents, according to a Pew Hispanic Center study of 2008 census data. — AP

Stalemate as Assange still stuck in embassy British police guard Ecuador embassy

KUNAR: This undated photo shows Maj Walter D Gray. Gray, 38, of Conyers, Ga, died Aug 8, 2012, from injuries suffered during a suicide bomb attack in Kunar province, Afghanistan. — AP

US Army suicides ‘doubled’ WASHINGTON: Suicides among active-duty US soldiers in July more than doubled from June, accelerating a trend that has prompted Pentagon leaders to redouble efforts to find out why. “Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army,” said Gen Lloyd J Austin III, the Army’s vice chief of staff, who is leading his service’s efforts to find ways to halt the surge. The Army, which is the only branch of the military that issues monthly press statements on suicides, said 26 active-duty soldiers killed themselves in July, compared with 12 in June. The July total was the highest for any month since the Army began reporting suicides by month in 2009, according to Lt. Col. Lisa Garcia, an Army spokeswoman. So far this year the number of suicides in the military has surged beyond expectations, given that the pace of combat deployments has begun to slow. The Defense Department closely tracks suicides throughout the military but releases its figures only once a year. The Associated Press in June obtained an internal Defense Department document that revealed that there had been 154 suicides in the first 155 days of the year, though June 3. That marked the fastest pace of active-duty military suicides in the nation’s decade of war. The Marine Corps had eight suicides in July, up from six in June. The July figure was its highest monthly total of 2012 and pushed its total for the year so far to 32 - equal to the Marines’ total for all of 2011. The Marines’ July figure is being posted on its website but was provided first to The Associated Press. The Air Force said it had six in July, compared with two in June. — AP

LONDON: Julian Assange was holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy yesterday with police guarding its exits after Britain warned that the diplomatic standoff over the WikiLeaks founder could go on for years. Ecuador granted asylum on Thursday to Assange-whose website enraged the United States by publishing a vast cache of confidential government files-but Britain has vowed not to grant him safe passage out of the country. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said his government was obliged under its own laws to extradite the Australian national to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sex crimes. “No one, least of all the government of Ecuador, should be in any doubt that we are determined to carry out our legal obligation to see Mr Assange extradited to Sweden,” Hague told a press conference on Thursday. He admitted that the stalemate could continue for months or even years. Some 20 British police were stationed outside the embassy yesterday, ready to arrest 41-year-old Assange if he leaves the building. WikiLeaks condemned the continued police presence as “intimidation tactics”. A handful of supporters of the former computer hacker camped overnight outside the embassy in London’s plush Knightsbridge district in a bid to “guard” Assange against any potential attempt to arrest him.”We’ll stay here as long as we have to,” 26-year-old protester Baba Gena said. Assange has not left the embassy since June 19, when he walked in and claimed asylum. WikiLeaks said on Twitter that he would give a statement in front of the

embassy on Sunday, though it did not specify whether this would involve leaving the building and, if so, how he would do so without being arrested. Under normal diplomatic procedures, embassies are considered the territory of the countries they represent and cannot be entered without permission. Britain has angered Ecuador by suggesting it could invoke a domestic law allowing it to breach the usual rules and go in to arrest Assange. This would challenge a fundamental principle of the diplomatic system, and the threat has left Britain in unchartered legal waters. WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said the move would “risk upsetting diplomatic relations all over the world”.”Hopefully, we will see the decision resolved in a civilized manner,” he added. A Foreign Office

spokesman said yesterday that Britain was “committed to working with the Ecuadorans to solve this matter amicably”. He added: “We will not be commenting on our meetings or contact with them.” Ecuador has called a meeting of foreign ministers from the South American regional bloc UNASUR tomorrow, while the Organization of American States is to decide whether to call a meeting of its foreign ministers. “Nobody is going to scare us,” Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said on his Twitter account, minutes before the decision to grant asylum was announced. Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said his government granted asylum after Britain, Sweden and the United States refused to provide guarantees that Assange would not be passed on from Sweden to the US. — AFP

LONDON: A supporter of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange holds up a sign outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London yesterday after he was granted asylum yesterday by the Ecuadorian government. — AFP


Charges against ‘radical’ Bulgarian Muslims raise tensions LAZHNITSA: Instead of playing in the summer sunshine, a group of Muslim children in the Bulgarian village of Lazhnitsa kneel and recite verses from the Quran in Arabic at the local mosque. “I study our religion, I want it and my parents also encourage me,” said 10-year-old Zeyneb, wearing traditional Muslim chalvar trousers and a floral print headscarf. The classes are being led however by a controversial imam, Mohamed Kamber, indicted along with 12 others earlier this year on charges of preaching radical Islamist ideas. Prosecutors say that Kamber and his fellow defendants taught the Salafite ideology of militant extremist Sunnis in the southern Bulgarian regions of Smolyan, Blagoevgrad and Pazardzhik. The groupincluding imams and muftis-were suspected of setting up a branch of the radical Saudi-based Al-Waqf-Al Islami foundation in Bulgaria. But Kamber hotly denies being a dangerous radical and sees the charges as the result of a misunderstanding. “Bombs, attacks - Islam forbids that categorically and I will be the first to oppose them. If this

wasn’t the case, who would have sent his children here?” Kamber said. The announcement of the charges came only a few months after Bulgaria’s Supreme Muslim Council warned against “rising Islamophobia” both globally and in Bulgaria. The southeast European country has the highest proportion of Muslims - 13 percent of the 7.4 million population, or around 900,000 people-in the European Union. They include Turks, Muslim Roma and Pomaks-like Kamber and the other accused-whose Christian ancestors were forced to convert to Islam during the country’s Ottoman domination from the 14th to the 19th century. ‘We are no lesser Bulgarian citizens for being Muslims’-The latest are considered the most devout of the three sub-groups as religion is key to their identity, according to university professor Evgenia Ivanova, who specializes in Muslim studies. A leaked US diplomatic cable from 2005 said that rising radicalism was a “real concern.” “Among certain sub-groups, Islamic extremism could potentially thrive on the lack of

strong, adequately funded moderate Islamic institutions and the alienation of Muslim youth through discrimination and lack of opportunity,” the cable said. But for deputy chief mufti Vedat Ahmed, the January accusations resulted from “a confusion in the heads of their authors who do not know the nature of the Islamic religion.” “The authorities do not want educated imams,” 72-year-old Ibrahim Shokov said in a Lazhnitsa cafe, where villagers met to chat but did not eat or drink anything despite the summer heat as it was Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting. Shokov was one of the dozens of villagers who gathered outside Kamber’s house while it was searched by police in October 2010 to prevent them from confiscating his books in Arabic. “We are no lesser Bulgarian citizens for being Muslims,” he said. The men in the cafe were equally indignant at recent speculation in the press that Bulgarian Muslims might have helped a suicide attacker who killed five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian driver, himself a Muslim, at Bulgaria’s Burgas airport on the

Europe expresses outrage over Russia’s Punk verdict Punk Riot jailed for two years BRUSSELS: European governments voiced sharp criticism of Russia yesterday over jail sentences handed down to three members of the punk band Punk Riot, the EU foreign policy chief saying they added to a recent rise in intimidation of opposition activists there. Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top diplomat, said the two-year sentences handed down by a Moscow court yesterday were “disproportionate” and should be reversed. The three women were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for performing a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, in which they called on the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of President Vladimir Putin. “Together with the reports of the band members’ mistreatment during pre-trial detention and the reported irregularities of the trial, it (the verdict) puts a serious question mark over Russia’s respect for international obligations of fair, transparent and independent legal process,” Ashton said. “This case adds to the recent upsurge in politically motivated intimidation and prosecution of opposition activists in the Russian Federation, a trend that is of growing concern to the European Union,” she said in a statement. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the sentence was “excessively harsh” and “not compatible with the European values of the rule of law and democracy to which Russia, as a member of the Council of Europe, has committed itself.” “A dynamic civil society and politically active citizens are a necessary precondition for Russia’s modernization, not a threat,” she said. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a newspaper interview that the verdict “raised concerns over civil rights in

MOSCOW: Members of the all-girl punk band Yekaterina Samutsevich (center), Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova show the court’s verdict after delivering judgment as they sit in a glass-walled cage in Moscow yesterday. — AFP Russia in the future.” “A peaceful artistic action cannot be regarded as a crime that leads to a long imprisonment. Criticism is an important part of a vital democracy,” Austrian Deputy Foreign Minister Wolfgang Waldner said in a statement. CALLS TO OVERTURN VERDICT The Punk Riot case, seen as a test of the extent of Putin’s tolerance of dissent, has added to the strain already placed on relations between Moscow and European governments by their opposed positions on the crisis in Syria.

British Foreign Minister Alistair Burt said in a statement that the verdict “calls into question Russia’s commitment to protect fundamental rights and freedoms.” Human rights groups urged Russian authorities to overturn the verdict and free the three women, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30. Amnesty International said the trial was politically motivated, the women wrongfully prosecuted for a legitimate, if potentially offensive, protest action, and the verdict was “a bitter blow to freedom of expression” in Russia. — Reuters

Black Sea on July 18. “The Quran forbids violence!” they said. Meanwhile, many of the 1,600 villagers in Lazhnitsa deny their Bulgarian origin and declare themselves ethnic Turks. Researchers see this as the unfortunate effect of the violent assimilation attempts, including during Bulgaria’s communist regime when Muslims were forced to change their Islamic names to Bulgarian ones. “The authorities forced me to adopt the name Ivan. Those who refused were beaten and then deported,” said Ibrahim Shokov, recalling the events of 1973 when at least five people in the region were killed. The bitter conflict of this period prompted minority expert Mihail Ivanov to see the upcoming court trial of the 13 imams and teachers as “destructive for national security.” “Repression again substitutes for dialogue,” he said. Ivanova was also categorical: “Even if there could be eventual attempts to advocate Islamism, the Bulgarian Muslims are not susceptible to this type of propaganda,” she said. — AFP

Americans back guns, even after shootings WASHINGTON: An overwhelming majority of Americans, particularly whites, are adamant about the constitutional right to bear arms, a poll showed this week amid a rash of shootings across the United States. More than two thirds 68 percent of respondents said the Second Amendment right is as important as other rights enshrined in the US Constitution, such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press, according to a survey published Wednesday by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). Some 75 percent of whites agreed, compared to 56 percent of non-whites. Americans were divided over gun control. A slim majority of 52 percent backed tougher gun control laws, against 44 percent, but the differences were stark between different religious and political groups, races and gender. Six in 10 Catholics and religiously unaffiliated Americans (62 and 60 percent, respectively) said they favored more restrictions, compared to less than half of white evangelical Protestants (35 percent) and white mainline Protestants (42 percent). White, non-Hispanic Americans, at 45 percent, were far less supportive of gun control than no-whites (66 percent), the poll found. Still, there was broad public support against carrying concealed guns into a place of worship (76 percent), a government building (73 percent) or on a college campus (77 percent). Opinions differed among people with various religious and political beliefs. Nearly a third (32 percent) of white evangelical Protestants, 27 percent of white mainline Protestants, 18 percent of the religiously unaffiliated and 14 percent of Catholics favored the right to bear arms in a place of worship. As for political affiliations, those identifying with the conservative Tea Party movement supported allowing people to bring concealed guns to church at 55 percent, followed by Republicans at 38 percent, Independents at 17 percent and Democrats at nine percent. Protestants were twice as likely as Catholics to favor being able to bring a gun into church, PRRI research director Daniel Cox said in a statement. “White evangelical Protestants and white mainline Protestants are also substantially more likely than Catholics to own guns,” Cox said. The right to bear arms is a hot button issue in the United States after a series of fatal shootings. A gunman shot and killed six people at a Sikh Temple in the Midwestern state of Wisconsin early this month, just weeks after another assailant gunned down 12 people at a screening of Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises” in Colorado. Three in 10 Americans said stricter gun control was the most important measure to prevent shootings, while one in five (22 percent) pointed to better detection of mental illness and 19 percent put their trust in God and morality. — AFP


Govts make efforts to avoid strategic shocks

Recent years have seen a string of ‘strategic surprises’ LONDON: Blindsided by the “Arab Spring”, taken aback by the speed of the economic and geopolitical shift to Asia and apparently always a step behind on the Euro-zone, Western governments are putting new effort into “horizon scanning” for coming seismic global shifts. For the United States and its allies, some worry the heightened focus on Iraq, Afghanistan and the “war on terror” meant the bigger picture was far too often ignored. While no one expects truly accurate prediction, senior officials and managers complain that the last half-decade has too often seen specialists and experts failing to notice dramatic change on a scale not seen since the equally unexpected - fall of the Soviet Union. Britain’s Cabinet Office - which houses the analysts who pull together intelligence assessments for the Prime Minister and other senior officials - is conducting a review of its “horizon scanning” and ability to think about longterm trends. Other governments and major institutions are often taking similar steps. “What I need from horizon scanning is not a focus on everything that might happen in the next 6 to 12 months,” Jon Day, chairman of Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee, told an audience at Foreign Office-funded conference centre Wilton Park outside London on Tuesday. “What I need is more advanced warning of the really important paradigm shifts.” He was speaking as part of a conference-cum-course on “international futures” attended by senior policy planners from a range of governments and companies. Some officials working in policy planning units already proudly

describe their teams as being “on the edge of chaos”. They say they welcome “wacky thoughts” and use the widest available range of sources, strategies and techniques to stay ahead of the curve or at least to avoid falling too far behind it. But most, both officials and outside experts suspect, have tendencies towards conservatism and secrecy that can make their task even harder. Staff theoretically responsible for looking at long-term issues often find themselves pulled onto working on the crisis of the day. Even when organizations such as the CIA, US National Intelligence Council or Britain’s Ministry of Defense produce major reports looking at long-term future risks, policy insiders say they are often largely ignored in the day-to-day rush. “The global economy is going through a period of transformation,” says Mansoor Dailami, manager of the emerging global trends team at the World Bank in Washington DC. “But it is sometimes difficult to appreciate history when you are living through it.” CHALLENGING ASSUMPTIONS For cash-strapped governments, hiring expensive new teams is often out of the question and the focus is on getting more from existing resources. But the most experienced analysts and experts can also be amongst the hardest to convince that something unexpected might be brewing on their patch. “It’s about challenging assumptions,” says Michael Oppenheimer, a professor at New York University who works on scenario planning with the US government and intelligence agencies. “For most experts on most countries, ‘muddling through’ becomes the default scenario. They have

a tendency to underestimate the likelihood of profound change.” For government institutions often designed to handle the most secret intelligence, some of the skills needed to keep ahead of trends in an increasingly interconnected, modern world may be tough to take on. Secret discussions with other governments, reports from spies or intercepted communications can still sometimes prove vital. But more often in the 21st century, the real challenge can be to tackle the vast volume of information already available on the Internet and elsewhere. The lesson of the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia in particular, some current and former officials with knowledge of secret intelligence say, is that the governments of those countries themselves had little clue of what was about to overwhelm them. Getting a truly accurate picture of current events and what is to come, they say, increasingly means looking well beyond the standard sources and contacts. In a world more connected - if not necessarily more complicated - than ever before, some planners study chaos or complexity theory. Models imported from the private sector - such as the scenario modeling systems used for decades by oil giant Shell - are also increasingly being carried across into government. The aim of such techniques, supporters say, is not to necessarily identify the final trigger for an event such as the “Arab Spring” - in that case, the self-immolation of a Tunisian vegetable seller. But simply by thinking through various possible outcomes, those involved hope they develop new insights and may be better prepared for the surprises that actually come. — Reuters

Rare wildfires threatening Canada polar bear habitat WASHINGTON: Wildfires sparked by lightning near Canada’s Hudson Bay are threatening the habitat of polar bears, encroaching on the old tree roots and frozen soil where females make their dens, a conservation expert on the big, white bears said on Thursday. Polar bears are more typically threatened by the melting of sea ice, which they use as platforms for hunting seals, their main prey. But those who live near Hudson Bay spend their summers resting up on shore when the bay thaws, living in dens dug in the frozen soil among the roots of stunted spruce trees. Fires in this area are rare, said Steven Amstrup, a former polar bear specialist with the US Geological Survey and now chief scientist at the nonprofit conservation organization, Polar Bears International. “It’s a cool, wet environment that doesn’t burn very often,” Amstrup said by telephone from Washington state. “It’s not an environment where the forest is adapted to fires very much.” Unusually hot, dry weather in Manitoba, Canada, and lightning strikes caused several fires through Wapusk National Park across known polar bear dens in July, said Manitoba Conservation Officer Daryll Hedman. High temperatures this week in Churchill, Manitoba, were in the upper 50s to mid-60s F (15 to 18 C), with overnight lows above freezing. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center indicated in a map of Arctic ice cover released this week that the vast majority of Hudson Bay is ice-free. Female polar bears in the western Hudson Bay population use dens under the root crowns of small, slow-grow-

ing spruce trees that grow in permafrost soils along the banks of rivers and lakes. Some dens have been used for over 100 years. “Not only is the permafrost no longer permanent, tree roots needed to stabilize the den structure are disappearing,” Amstrup said. “The kinds of habitats where mother polar bears in this area give birth to their cubs are simply disappearing as the world warms.” CUBS VERY VULNERABLE Historically, the soil in most areas around Hudson Bay is frozen solid below a surface layer about one foot (30 cm) thick that thaws and re-freezes seasonally, Amstrup said. In recent years, that top layer of soil has gotten increasingly thicker, so the thawing goes deep enough to defrost the soil around the tree roots, making the openings that the bears dig collapse, Amstrup said. When the trees burn, as some may this summer, their roots die out and further damage the polar bear dens, he said. Unlike other polar bear populations, where pregnant females use dens dug in snow, Hudson Bay females come ashore to these tree-root dens to rest and give birth, remaining in the dens until the following spring. “They’re essentially food-deprived in the summertime. They come ashore and basically just rest and try to save energy. They crawl into these dens, it’s cool in there, they’re not harassed by insects and they basically just rest until the snow comes and until they give birth,” Amstrup said. — Reuters

MISSISSIPPI: A confederate flag is seen at a tombstone as Bertram Hayes-Davis, great-great grandson of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, walks through the cemetery to his great-great-great grandfather’s grave in Biloxi, Miss. — AP

An angst-filled Civil War ‘versary in Mississippi JACKSON: Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War can be an angst-filled task in Mississippi, with its long history of racial strife and a state flag that still bears the Confederate battle emblem. Well-intentioned Mississippians who work for racial reconciliation say slavery was morally indefensible. Still, some speak in hushed tones as they confess a certain admiration for the valor of Confederate troops who fought for what was, to them, the hallowed ground of home and country. “Mississippi has such a troubled past that a lot of people are very sensitive about commemorating or recognizing or remembering the Civil War because it has such an unpleasant reference for African-Americans,” said David Sansing, who is white and a professor emeritus of history at the University of Mississippi. “Many Mississippians are reluctant to go back there because they don’t want to remind themselves or the African-American people about our sordid past,” said Sansing. “But it is our past.” Black Mississippians express pride that some ancestors were Union soldiers who fought to end slavery, though it took more than a century for the US to dismantle state-sanctioned segregation and guarantee voting rights. Sansing is among dignitaries who will be traveling to Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Md., this weekend to dedicate a blue-gray granite marker commemorating the 11th Mississippi Infantry, which saw 119 members killed, wounded or missing in battle there on Sept 16-17, 1862. The infantry had almost 1,000 soldiers, including a unit of University of Mississippi students known as the University Greys. Among the speakers set to dedicate the monument Sunday is Bertram Hayes-Davis, great-great grandson of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. He was recently hired as executive director of Beauvoir, the white-columned Biloxi, Miss., mansion that was the final home of his ancestor, a Mississippi native. The state is taking a decidedly low-key and scholarly approach to commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Re-enactments have taken place at battlefields near Tupelo and are planned soon near Iuka. Lectures, concerts and other gatherings are scheduled over the next several months. Several events are expected in 2013 to mark the 1863 siege of Vicksburg, which gave the Union control of the Mississippi River. Mississippi is the last state with a flag that includes the Confederate battle emblem, a red field topped by a blue X with 13 white stars. The symbol has been on the state flag since 1894. In a 2001 statewide election, voters decided nearly 2-to-1 to keep it, despite arguments it was racially divisive and tarnishing the state’s image. With a population that’s 38 percent black, Mississippi has elected hundreds of public officials in the past four decades - a change directly linked to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Many people, across racial lines, say it’s important that Civil War history commemorations not turn into celebrations of a lost cause. Derrick Johnson, state president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said generations have been taught a “revisionist history” of the Civil War that ignores or downplays the impact of slavery. He said he wants a full discussion of the war. “In mixed racial company, people don’t want to address race and there is truly an avoidance of conversation when it relates to history and race,” Johnson said. — AP


Qatar top sovereign Europe property buyer


Asian markets mostly up on Merkel comments



Indian auditor warns of multi-billion dollar losses



Ethiopia receives Africa’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

SAO PAULO: General view during the annual LABACE (Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition) at Congonhas Airport, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Thursday. — AFP

Merkel renews call for fiscal discipline Germany ‘committed’ to common currency OTTAWA: German Chancellor Angela Merkel renewed her call for fiscal discipline by praising Canada for not “living on borrowed money” and said Germany is committed to doing everything it can to maintain the euro. Merkel, fresh off her summer vacation, arrived Thursday in Ottawa for two days of meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Last month, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the bank would do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro - and markets surged on hopes of action. Spokesmen for Merkel and Italian Premier Mario Monti backed Draghi’s comments last month and Merkel supported them on Thursday. “What he said is something we repeated time and again since the beginning of the Greek difficulties more than two years ago. We feel committed to do everything we can to maintain the common currency. The European Central Bank, although it is of course independent, is completely in line with what we have said all along,”

Merkel said at a press conference with Harper. Merkel said European leaders are making progress. “We know in the common currency area there has to be more responsibility shared politically. I also underline that in many of these issues we feel we are on the right track, although time is pressing. We are very much aware of this,” she said. Merkel also lauded Canada for its economic management both in a statement and in person with Harper. “Canada is an example of how one can emerge from the crisis in a robust way,” Merkel said. “You have a free trade system, you have sound budgetary policy and you have quite strong rules in the banking system. If you look at the last global economic crisis, Canada has weathered this crisis quite well.” Merkel and Harper share the view that austerity, and not more government stimulus, is necessary. Harper, also a conservative, has said that fiscal discipline and economic growth can go hand in hand. Canadian finance minister Jim

Flaherty noted Wednesday that Canada has reduced its deficit in half since 2009 and is on track for a balanced budget within two years at a time of relatively modest growth. He said countries can strike a balance where you have modest growth yet maintain a fiscal track of balanced budgets. Canada’s oil and commodity-rich economy has fared better than other nations in the G-7 in recent years. There was no mortgage meltdown or subprime lending crisis in Canada, and its banks are rated among the soundest in the world. Canada did a stimulus in 2009 but is now attempting to balance the budget. Merkel and Harper are also discussing Canada’s bid for a free-trade pact with the European Union. For their part, the Europeans would consider the deal the broadest they’ve ever signed, Merkel said. Harper called it “ambitious” and wants an agreement by the end of the year. He said this week there are some rounds of negotiations

still to go. Merkel said she would help step up efforts to reach an agreement between Canada and the EU. “There are a number of outstanding issues out there, but once I go back to Germany I will see to it that these negotiations come to a speedy conclusion,” she said. “At a time when there is lack of growth in the world, we Canada and Germany - are convinced that free trade is one of the best engines of growth that we can have.” Flaherty, Canada’s finance minister, said despite Europe’s struggles, Canada remains very interested because the EU is still the largest market in the world in terms of the size of its middle class. Harper also reiterated Canada’s refusal to contribute to a global bailout package for Europe through the International Monetary Fund. The United States has also declined. Both Harper and Merkel said a Canadian free trade deal with the EU isn’t dependent on Canada cutting a check to support a bailout of the euro zone. — AP


Qatar top sovereign Europe property buyer ‘They have a lot of money to spend’ LONDON: Qatar was the top sovereign wealth buyer of European property in the last 12 months, spending 3.5 billion euros ($4.3 billion) on eight deals including the London Olympic athlete’s village and a mall on Paris’ Champs Elysees, data from a research firm showed. For Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), that spending during the year to mid-August equals only about six weeks of revenue from its LNG exports, according to Reuters calculations. Sovereign wealth funds view top-quality property in the best locations as a safe bet in the global financial crisis. “For sovereign wealth funds like the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), property deals are about wealth preservation, not returns,” said Joseph Kelly, director of market analysis at Real Capital Analytics (RCA). “They have a lot of money to spend, so deals tend to be big and in

the cities they know well.” Gas market traders estimate that Qatar, with a native population of about 250,000, earned $36 billion in LNG revenue in 2011, though an exact figure is hard to obtain from available data. Qatar was beaten into second place as the biggest overall property investor in Europe by private equity giant Blackstone, which spent 4 billion euros on 19 deals, which included office blocks and industrial units, the RCA data showed. The QIA, the most active Middle East sovereign wealth fund in recent years, has spent 5.7 billion euros on real estate since 2007, almost 80 percent of it in London and Paris, RCA said. Shard, Harrods, Qatar funded development of the European Union’s tallest skyscraper, the Shard, which opened in London last month. It also owns Harrods department store and a 27 percent stake in Songbird Estates, the majority owner of London’s

Canary Wharf financial district. The QIA also has bought stakes in companies ranging from German sports car maker Porsche, Barclays and luxury goods house LVMH as it has sought to diversify economic risk. It has more than $30 billion to spend on investments this year alone and its spending strategy has been opportunistic, an executive board member said in April. “We have no asset allocation or geographic allocation. After the financial crisis, all that went in the garbage.” Hussain alAbdulla said. Asked whether the fund had assets worth $100 billion, he said, “much more”. The sovereign funds of Malaysia and Norway were among those also active in European real estate. The latter owns half of famous London shopping strip Regent Street and is nearing a $1.7 billion-plus deal for a majority stake in the Meadowhall shopping centre in north England. — Reuters

Ethiopia receives Africa’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopian Airlines received Africa’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner yesterday, making Ethiopia the only country aside from Japan to operate the innovative aircraft. “As a continent this shows how much we are making progress as Africans... competing on the global stage and changing our image,” Ethiopian Airline CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told reporters at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport. The plane arrived from Dulles airport in Washington, DC, home to the largest Ethiopian diaspora population globally. State-owned Ethiopian Airlines-Africa’s fastest growing carrier-has purchased ten 787 Dreamliners from Boeing. Each has an official list price of some $207 million, although airlines rarely pay such figures, especially for bulk orders. It is expected to operate the aircraft on routes throughout Africa and Europe, including Accra, Lagos, Rome and London. Tewolde said the delivery of the Dreamliner, dubbed “Africa First,” is an achievement for all of the continent. The aircraft is constructed with lightweight carbon, as opposed to heavy aluminium found on other planes, consuming 20 percent less fuel. Transport Minister Deriba Kuma said the delivery of the 787 was especially notable given the financially strained climate. “This achievement of Ethiopian Airlines is all the more remarkable given the very bad global context for the airline industry,” he

ADDIS ABABA: An Ethiopian Airlines stewardess inspects the aisles of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on arrival in Addis Ababa yesterday. Ethiopian Airlines received Africa’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner yesterday, making Ethiopia the only country aside from Japan to operate the innovative aircraft. —AFP

said. Despite the fanfare at the landing ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the country expects greater achievements from the airline in the future. “My people and my government are expecting to see Ethiopian Airlines as one of the best airlines in the world, not only in Africa,” said Hailemariam, who is also Foreign Minister. Ethiopian Airlines was established in 1945 and

now operates to 86 cities throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. In 2011 Ethiopia had a GDP per capita of $374, according to the World Bank, but has showed strong economic growth of 11 percent, according to the government, and 7 percent according to the International Monetary Fund. Only Japan Airlines and ANA (All Nippon Airways) operate the Dreamliner so far. — AFP

Zain offers 50% discount on SMS & 20% on Int’l calls to Indonesia KUWAIT: In celebration of the Republic of Indonesia Independence Day Zain, the leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, announced that it offered a 50 percent discount on all SMS messages to the Republic of Indonesia and 20 percent discount on International calls to the Republic of Indonesia as they celebrated the Independence Day on August 17. Zain, expressed its congratulations on this occasion to the people of the Republic of Indonesia, represented in its leadership, the embassy and all Republic of Indonesia expatriates’ residing in Kuwait. The company stressed that Zain is a global company which is always keen to participate in the celebrations of nations. Zain added that the offer was extended to all SMS and International calls sent to the Republic of Indonesia only yesterday for both post-paid and pre-paid customers.

Spain seeks first banking rescue payment ‘shortly’ MADRID: Spain’s government said yesterday it will soon request a first payment for its deeply troubled banks from an emergency eurozone rescue line. “The request will be sent shortly,” a spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry told AFP. “It is being worked on,” she said, declining however to specify the timing or exact amount of the request. The money was being sought for crisis-torn Spanish banks that have already been nationalised, she said: Bankia, Catalunya Caixa, NovaGalicia Banco and Banco de Valencia. “The Bank of Spain has to ask that the funds be made available to it and that is the request that will be sent,” the spokeswoman said, adding that the size would depend on a central bank analysis. “The Bank of Spain is doing its analysis and that report is for the nationalised banks, so depending on that analysis they will see what request they need to make,” she said. Spain’s eurozone partners agreed in June to lend up to 100 billion euros ($124 billion) to salvage the nation’s banks, buckling under record bad loans built up since a 2008 property crash. The eurozone’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, has already put aside an emergency reserve of 30 billion euros in case of urgent requests by Spain, a spokeswoman for the fund said. Under a written agreement drawn up last month, the Bank of Spain can ask for a specific sum from that emergency reserve. But any payment first needs the approval of the European Commission and officials of the 17-nation eurozone working in liaison with the European Central Bank. The bulk of the rescue loan is expected to be disbursed from November onwards to help finance a restructuring and recapitalisation of the Spanish banking sector. Spanish lenders’ bad loans leapt to a record high level in June, latest figures showed yesterday. The value of doubtful loans jumped to 164.36 billion euros in June, equal to an unprecedented 9.42 of the banks’ total loan portfolio, the Bank of Spain said. Up sharply from a share of 8.96 percent of total loans in May, it was the highest bad loan ratio recorded since the central bank began compiling the data in 1962. As Spain awaits the first payment for its banks, the nation’s troubles seem to be mounting. The economy is in a recession, which the government expects to drag on through 2013, and the unemployment rate is near 25 percent-the highest in the industrialised world. At the same time, Madrid is slashing spending and raising taxes in a battle to rein in its bulging public deficit. Despite those efforts, Spain’s finances are under rising pressure as wary investors demand painfully high interest rates to lend to the country by buying its sovereign bonds. The yield offered on Spanish 10-year government bonds was about 6.45 percent on the debt market yesterday afternoon. Although that is sharply down from levels of more than seven percent in previous weeks, the rate is still considered too high for the Spanish government to afford over the longer term. — AFP

business SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2012

Treasury changes Fannie and Freddie bailout deal WASHINGTON: The government is changing the terms of its bailout agreement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a way that will shrink the holdings of the two mortgage giants more quickly and will require payment to the government of all quarterly profits the companies earn. The Treasury Department announced the changes yesterday in an effort to deal with concerns that the companies could at some point exhaust the federal support they were guaranteed when they were taken over by the government in September 2008 during the financial crisis.

The two firms would have to turn over all profits they earn every quarter. They would also be required to accelerate the reduction of their mortgage holdings to hit a cap of $250 million by 2018, four years earlier than planned. Under the new arrangement, the firms’ portfolios can be no larger than $650 billion each at the end of this year. “With today’s announcement, we are taking the next step toward responsibly winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while continuing to support the necessary process of repair and recovery of the housing market,” said Michael Stegman, who serves as Treasury

Secretary Timothy Geithner’s counselor on housing policy. The government rescued Fannie and Freddie in September 2008 when massive losses on risky mortgages threatened to topple them. The Treasury has pumped nearly $188 billion into the companies. In return for that support, the government has received senior preferred shares of stock that pay a 10 percent dividend. Currently, Fannie and Freddie make dividend payments to the Treasury every quarter. That has forced them to borrow money from the government and use that money to repay the government in peri-

ods when they didn’t turn a large enough profit to cover the dividend payments. The changes announced yesterday are aimed at avoiding the threat that Fannie and Freddie could one day exhaust their Treasury support because they did not generate enough profits to pay back their dividends. Under the new arrangement, the government will simply take all the profits that the firms make in any quarter as a dividend payment. The government will not require a dividend payment in periods when the firms run a loss. So far, Fannie and Freddie have paid nearly $46 billion in dividends. — AP

Hit by euro debt crisis, Morocco tightens belts RABAT: Morocco has become the latest victim of Europe’s debt crisis, as a slump in business with its main export partner and the costs of buying social peace amid Arab world uprisings are forcing the country to impose austerity measures in order to receive international financial assistance. Long a model of relative prosperity in northern Africa, Morocco had to seek help from the International Monetary Fund this month, winning a $6.2 billion precautionary credit line. The IMF says it offered the loan to help Morocco cope with fluctuating energy prices and the effects of Europe’s economic troubles. In exchange, the government promised to reform the pension system and a costly program of state subsidies for energy and staples, according to a letter published on the IMF website this week. Morocco’s state spending is at record highs, the deficit is soaring and its No. 1 trading partner Europe - is flailing. The latest economic figures show that Europe is edging closer to recession, dragged down by the crippling debt problems of the 17 countries that use the euro. Europe’s stumbling economy is making it harder for other

economies around the world to recover and policymakers are trying to reach agreement on more decisive action to deal with the debt crisis. Morocco’s tourism income is down 6.9 percent so far this year compared to last. Remittances from Moroccans abroad are down 2.5 percent, according to government figures. A drought and bad harvest this year, along with high oil prices, hurt this country that depends largely on imported energy. State reserves are only enough to buy 4 months’ worth of imports - down from 11 months’ worth in 2005, according to the central bank. Morocco’s government promises to “rationalize spending” and “optimize revenues,” the letter says. It includes measures such as linking public sector salaries to performance, targeting subsidies more efficiently and improving tax collection. Budget Minister Idriss Al-Azami Al-Idrissi tried to play down worries of major structural cuts. The credit line “is a protection against unpredictable shocks from the international situation, and obtaining it proves the solidity of the national economy,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press. — AP

NEW YORK: In this Aug 15, 2012 file photo, specialists Thomas Bishop, (left), and Michael Pistillo work at their post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stock futures were relatively flat ahead of the release of the latest data on consumer sentiment yesterday, amid a mixed bag of earnings from retailers. — AP

NEW YORK: In this July 19, 2012 photo, shoppers in New York pass signs for discounted clothing sales. US retail sales rose in July by the largest amount in five months, buoyed by more spending on autos, furniture and clothing. — AP

US consumer sentiment at three-month high in Aug Leading economic indicators gain in July NEW YORK: US consumer sentiment improved in early August to its highest in three months as sales at retailers and low mortgage rates spurred Americans to boost their buying plans, a survey released yesteday showed. But concerns about rising food prices caused a jump in both short- and longterm inflation expectations, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey showed. The preliminary reading on the index on consumer sentiment rose to its highest level since May at 73.6 from 72.3 last month, topping economists’ forecasts for a slight uptick to 72.4. Americans were also more optimistic about the state of the economy with the measure of current economic conditions rising to its highest level since January 2008 at 87.6 from 82.7. Purchasing plans were bolstered by cheap prices and the measure of buying conditions for household durables rose to 140 from 130. “Consumers are feeling a little better about the current economy, though a little more concerned about the outlook,” said Gary Thayer, chief macro

strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis, Missouri. Consumer expectations cooled and the majority of households expected no income increase during the year ahead. The expectations index slipped to 64.5 from 65.6, the lowest level since December. Growth in personal spending is likely to be just under 2 percent into early next year, said survey director Richard Curtin. The one-year inflation expectation rose to the highest level since March at 3.6 percent from 3.0 percent as consumers worried about the impact a drought in the US Midwest could have on food prices. The five-to-10-year inflation outlook also gained to 3.0 percent from 2.7 percent. US stocks remained little changed immediately after the data, while the dollar hit a session high against the yen. Separate data showed a gauge of future US economic activity improved in July on a drop in new claims for jobless benefits and an increase in housing permits. Still, the reading pointed to sluggish growth ahead. The Conference Board said its Leading Economic Index climbed 0.4 percent to 95.8, reversing a 0.4 percent decline in June. — Reuters


No escape for taxpayers if banks go bust LONDON: Five years since the start of the financial crisis, taxpayers would still be forced to foot the bill should more banks fail because countries are delaying alternative solutions. Finding a way to shut down big banks quickly without triggering market mayhem-the threat of which prompted governments around the world to resort to publicly-funded bailouts between 2007 and 2009 — remains a mammoth task. Britain, Switzerland and the United States, frustrated by the slow pace of reform, have drawn up plans giving their local regulators power to step in should a major lender go bust. But they still need a global deal to give those same powers to regulators worldwide if the laws are to be effective. The UK published its plans this month, hoping to get other countries moving and draw lessons from the collapse of US bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008, the impact of which is still being felt in the markets. “The UK may have set the pace but progress will be made based on the speed of the peloton and not all countries seem to be following the same schedule,” said Steven Hall, a partner at KPMG which advises banks on resolution. “First past the finishing line won’t mean a gold medal unfortunately unless we can get everyone working to similar timetables and agendas.” Similarly concerned by such slow progress the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which vets the world’s top economies, has launched a public review of how far G20 countries have come in implementing new

so-called resolution laws, ten months after it listed the powers they must give to their financial regulators. Few countries have implemented new legislation so far. “Unfortunately it’s about herding cats,” a person familiar with the G20 process said. “Progress is patchy.” The next few weeks are crucial if this bank reform is to stay on the agenda. The FSB has ordered G20 countries to outline by September their strategies for winding down their top banks without state aid if they hit terminal trouble. Then in December twenty-nine top banks identified by the FSB must submit “living wills” to show how they would cope with a big market shock without the taxpayer help that angered the public and hit government finances. Officials are not confident, however, that the first deadline will be met. That would make the second largely irrelevant. If deadlines are missed, the financial markets are likely to react in adverse fashion to news that many major banks are still not bombproof. “There is a danger of this losing momentum as many countries don’t have resolution powers. A living will without resolution powers is not worth anything,” a regulatory official from a G20 country said on condition of anonymity. National financial regulators have set up crisis management groups for 24 of the 29 biggest banks but the FSB has warned that much more work is needed on resolution plans and cross-border supervisory cooperation. Finance industry officials doubt that big banks in

many countries can fully meet the December FSB deadline for their living wills given the time it takes to compile them. Britain forced its six biggest banks, HSBC, Barclays, RBS, Lloyds, Standard Chartered, and the UK arm of Spain’s Santander to submit their living wills in June, six months early. Those banks, which declined to comment for this article, began working on pilot versions back in 2009-10. Most European Union countries put their individual plans for dealing with failed banks on hold after proposing just one cross-border law to deal with all the banks in the zone. That law has still not been approved however as countries argue over the details. There are clashes in particular over how bondholders in a bank should suffer losses to underpin a collapsing lender and thus shield taxpayers. Some countries fear these “bail-ins” will put investors off buying bank bonds and that even if the law passed it would be years before they could take effect. So regulators are looking at ways to penalise banks whose living wills don’t appear workable in practice, such as by forcing them to hold extra capital until changes are made. That would be a painful penalty given that banks are already being forced by new global legislation known as Basel III to hold capital of at least 7 percent in order to protect against risky bets and bad debts. “It seems the Financial Services Authority is already linking the... credibility of recovery options with a potential increase in capital funds,” said Etay Katz, a financial partner at Allen & Overy. —Reuters

Asian markets mostly up on Merkel comments Nikkei adds to previous day’s healthy gains

CHATTANOOGA: In a Tuesday, July 31, 2012 file photo, paint shop workers attend to Volkswagen Passat sedans at the German automaker’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennesse US wholesale prices increased in July from June, pulled up by higher costs for cars and light trucks and the biggest increase in corn prices in nearly six years. — AP

Samsung reaches deal with German firm on lawsuits SEOUL: South Korea’s Samsung Electronics said yesterday it has reached a deal with German lighting group Osram to settle all their global patent lawsuits, as it continues a high-stakes US court battle with Apple. The two firms will dismiss all the suits as quickly as possible and a settlement is expected to be finalised by the end of this month, Samsung said in a statement following the out-of-court agreement. As part of the deal the companies had reached licensing agreements for each other’s LED (light-emitting diode) patents, it said. They had also signed a memorandum of understanding on possible joint development of future LED-based products. The suits had been filed in Germany, South Korea, the United States and other countries. “We are glad to enter with Samsung in a new area of partnership-based competition,” the statement quoted Osram CEO Wolfgang Dehen as saying. Samsung Electronics said it looked forward to building a strategic relationship with Osram, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Germany’s Siemens. Osram announced in August last year that it had filed a complaint in South Korea against LG and Samsung for patent violations, a move it had already taken in four other countries. —AFP

HONG KONG: Asian markets were mostly higher and the euro enjoyed strong support yesterday as spirits were lifted by comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel reasserting her desire to save the eurozone. Tokyo’s Nikkei added to the previous day’s healthy gains, advancing 0.77 percent, or 69.74 points, to 9,162.20 as the yen eased further against the dollar with dealers confident enough to move out of the safe haven Japanese unit. Sydney climbed 0.92 percent, or 39.9 points, to 4,370.1 but Seoul eased 0.58 percent, or 11.37 points, to 1,946.54. Hong Kong added 0.77 percent, to 153.12 points, to 20,116.07 and Shanghai climbed 0.13 percent, or 2.69 points, to 2,114.89. Merkel, who as head of Europe’s biggest economy is key to the success of any plan to save the euro, said Thursday she backed European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi’s commitment to do whatever was needed to support the currency. On a visit to Canada she said: “What he said is something that we repeated time and again,” since the Greece crisis began more than two years ago, “that we feel committed to do everything we can in order to maintain the common currency”. She said the ECB was “completely in line with what we’ve said all along” and its decision to set conditions on bond-buying was “a positive development for the euroarea”. The comments were seen by traders as a sign she could be warming to the idea of the ECB buying up bonds of troubled sovereign states such as Spain and Italy, which have seen their borrowing costs

soar to danger levels recently. Global markets have been enjoying gains over the past few weeks on expectations the bank will restart the bond-buying programme. The euro was given a strong lift in New York on Merkel’s remarks and it held up in Asia. The single currency bought $1.2375 and 98.37 yen in early European trade, compared with $1.2358 and 98.06 yen in New York and well up from the $1.2270 and 97.15 yen it fetched in Asia Thursday. The yen was also lower against the dollar, with the upbeat outlook providing support to riskier assets, while expectations of another round of US Federal Reserve pump priming are also easing. The dollar fetched 79.47 yen, from 79.33 yen in New York late Thursday. The greenback was helped by US data on new jobless claims and housing construction, which provided more evidence that the world’s biggest economy is growing steadily, albeit slowly. Weekly numbers for new unemployment insurance claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs, came in as expected and in the same range as the past four months, while July data on new housing construction, although slightly down from June, showed an industry steadily picking up pace. On Wall Street the Dow rose 0.65 percent, the S&P 500 added 0.71 percent and the Nasdaq climbed 1.04 percent. But Facebook shares plunged 6.3 percent to a new low of $19.87 as the lockup period for sales by pre-IPO investors ended. The company’s share price has almost halved since its May 18 initial share offering at

$38. Oil prices eased. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in September, was down 49 cents to $95.11 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for October delivery sank $1.12 to $114.15. Gold was at $1,617.34 at 1030 GMT, compared to $1,604.00 on Thursday. In other markets: Singapore closed flat, dipping 0.78 points to 3,062.11. Oil-rig maker Keppel Corp. was up 0.52 percent at Sg$11.58 and property developer CapitaLand eased 0.98 percent to Sg$3.03. Taipei slipped 0.30 percent, or 22.29 points, to 7,467.92. TSMC fell 1.21 percent to Tw$82.0 while Formosa Plastics was 0.96 percent lower at Tw$82.7. Manila closed 0.24 percent lower, shedding 12.70 points to 5,206.81. Metropolitan Bank and Trust fell 1.41 percent to 91 pesos and Ayala Land lost 0.67 percent to 22.30 pesos. Wellington gained 0.65 percent, or 23.46 points, to end at 3,639.66. Fletcher Building rose 1.2 percent to NZ$6.55 and Contact Energy gained 0.62 percent to NZ$4.90 but Telecom slipped 2.5 percent to NZ$2.69. Kuala Lumpur was almost unchanged, nudging down 0.30 points to 1,649.79. Axiata Group gained 2.0 percent to 6 ringgit, YTL Corp was down 2.6 percent at 1.86 ringgit and Petronas Dagangan lost 2.3 percent to 22.38 ringgit. Bangkok was flat, easing 0.49 points to 1,223.91. Power firm EGCO dropped 2.50 percent to 117.00 baht, while supermarket operator BIG C rose 2.74 percent to 187.50 baht. —AFP


Platinum hits 6-week high on S Africa violence LONDON: Platinum group metals rallied yesterday on supply fears after mass killings in South Africa shut production at number three platinum miner Lonmin, while gold prices retreated from early highs as the dollar recovered lost ground. South African police killed 34 striking miners armed with machetes and sticks at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine on Thursday, evoking comparisons to apartheidera brutality. Police chief Riah Phiyega said 78 were also injured after officers moved against 3,000 striking drill operators massed on a rocky outcrop at the mine, 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Johannesburg.

Prior to Thursday, 10 people, including two policemen, had died in nearly a week of fighting between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a close ally of the ruling ANC. “There are two things going on - the pay dispute, but also this militancy between unions,” Citigroup analyst David Wilson said. “It is having an impact on sentiment towards platinum. Whether it is significantly tightening the market - at the moment, probably not. But potentially, this could have quite a longterm impact.” Platinum prices are up 4.2 percent so far this week, on track for their biggest weekly

rise since late February, while palladium rose 2.7 percent on its coat-tails, its best weekly performance since early June. Spot platinum was up 1.2 percent at $1,451.75 an ounce at 1428 GMT, while spot palladium was up 2.3 percent at $592.97 an ounce. Platinum earlier hit a six-week high at $1,458.99. As South Africa is the source of around 75-80 percent of the world’s platinum, any supply disruption there is closely watched for its impact on the market balance. Lonmin typically produces around 2,000 ounces of platinum a day or 60,000 ounces a month. However, weakness in the demand for the autocatalyst metal, particularly in Europe, means it is still forecast to be in a hefty sur-

plus this year. “While lost platinum production so far does little to put a dent to our estimated surplus of 210,000 ounces, the risk is that the situation starts to infect other major operations in South Africa,” UBS said in a note yesterday. “If the unrest becomes materially worse from here, there is also the potential of positive government intervention, easing fears which would in turn dampen platinum’s... strength.” “But there are doubts as to whether the government will be able to respond quickly enough, particularly given the politics surrounding the ANC leadership elections in December,” it said. — Reuters


Sharp shares jump on asset sale, investment reports TOKYO: Sharp Corp. shares jumped yesterday after a frenzy of reports said the troubled Japanese consumer electronics giant would sell key operations-and court new investment-as it struggles to survive. The stock initially fell on the asset sale reports before reversing course and soaring 13 percent after the Nikkei business daily said Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision wanted to double its planned stake in Sharp to 20 percent. In March, the pair announced a deal that would see Hon Hai, which makes iPhones and iPads in China, buy 10 percent of Sharp, which makes a range of products including Aquos-brand televisions and office copiers. Sharp shares ended 5.14 percent higher at 184 yen in Tokyo yesterday. “Hon Hai’s involvement reduces the probability

of default, and is good news for creditors and shareholders,” said David Rubenstein, analyst at Religare Global Asset Management Japan. Earlier yesterday, the Nikkei also said Sharp would pull out of copiers and air conditioners to focus on its more competitive liquid crystal display (LCD) division in a bid to repair a gaping hole in its balance sheet. The Osaka-based firm suffered a bloodletting earlier this month, with its shares diving to 40-year lows in Tokyo, after it reported enormous quarterly losses and warned of more red ink to come. However, a Sharp spokesman told AFP on yesterday: “The news reports about possible sales of our main businesses were not true.” He added: “Also, it is not true that Hon Hai is seeking to raise its capital ratio to 20 percent, as reported. But it is true

that we are considering selling some assets including a Tokyo building as well as some plants around the world that are now assembling television sets.” Other reports yesterday included Jiji Press saying Sharp may see a capital injection totalling 50 billion yen ($630 million) from investors including US investment funds and Japanese electronics giants Toshiba and Kyocera. The company may stop assembling televisions in Japan, the Nikkei also said, while public broadcaster NHK said Sharp was considering the sale of television assembly plants in China and Mexico to Hon Hai. As part of its massive turnaround plan, Sharp was mulling a spinoff of a plant in central Japan, which makes LCD panels for smartphones and tablet computers, including Apple gadgets, the

Nikkei reports added. It may accept investment from other manufacturers and run the factory jointly, as it does with Hon Hai at its Sakai plant in Osaka prefecture, which makes large LCD panels for televisions. Sharp, which began life making belt buckles and invented the mechanical pencil, warned this month it expected to book a net loss of 250 billion yen ($3.15 billion) this fiscal year-far bigger than a 30 billion yen shortfall predicted earlier. The corporate overhaul includes cutting thousands of jobs from its global workforce, the first layoffs since 1950, in a bid to chop about $1.3 billion in fixed costs from its sagging accounts. On August 3 the shares plunged by about one-third to levels last seen in the early 1970s, shaving more than $1.0 billion off the embattled firm’s value. —AFP

Xiamen Airlines in talks to buy 30 Boeing 737 MAXs BEIJING: Xiamen Airlines is in talks with US planemaker Boeing to purchase 30 737 MAXs, a company official said yesterday-an order worth up to $3.2 billion at list prices. The order discussions come as industry players race to capture China’s fast-growing air-travel market propelled by an increasingly affluent middle class. Xiamen Air announced an order of 40 Boeing 737-800s two weeks earlier. “Regarding the 30 Boeing MAX planes, we are still in discussions,” said a public-relations official surnamed Qiu, speaking by phone from the southeastern city of Xiamen. The company has also considered purchasing A320neo planes from Boeing’s European rival Airbus, but is not currently in talks with that maker, Qiu said, adding that the timetable for any deal was still uncertain. Xiamen Airlines, which is set to join the Skyteam alliance this year, operates an all-Boeing fleet of six 757s and 77 next-generation 737s. It will receive the 40 planes it ordered earlier this month between 2016 and 2019, pending government approval, it said at the time, and plans to expand its operational fleet to 200 planes by the end of 2020, according to Boeing. The short-haul 737 MAX, Boeing’s latest set of planes, will be available at the end of 2017, according to the company website. Beijing-based Boeing spokesperson Wang Yukui said the company does not comment on ongoing discussions with customers. The head of Airbus parent company EADS said in March that China had blocked purchases of its planes in response to an EU-imposed airline carbon tax, which China and two dozen other countries have opposed. “Airbus is subjected to retaliation measures,” EADS chief executive Louis Gallois said at a press conference. “The Chinese government rejects (refuses) to approve airlines’ orders for long-range airplanes.” The Emissions Trading Scheme took effect this year, levying a fee for airlines flying to or from the EU that exceed their carbon allowance, though the first bills will not be sent until 2013. China’s aviation watchdog in February forbade Chinese airlines from participating in the scheme, which is meant to cut carbon emissions by a fifth by 2020. The airline industry group IATA has warned that a broader trade war could emerge in which governments and airlines refuse to purchase European planes and aviation equipment or to give European carriers overflight permission. — AFP

SYDNEY: This file photo taken on May 9, 2008 shows city workers walking past National Australia Bank (NAB) signage in central Sydney. National Australia Bank posted a 1.2 billion Australian dollar ($1.26 billion) net profit in the three months to June 30 but revenue fell due to higher funding costs at its struggling British unit. — AFP

Indian auditor warns of multi-billion dollar losses Opposition demands PM explain role in ‘Coalgate’ NEW DELHI: India’s state auditor yesterday accused the government of allocating coal blocks, power projects and land for Delhi’s flagship airport at a fraction of market prices, potentially costing the exchequer tens of billions of dollars in lost revenues. The main opposition party demanded an immediate explanation from the beleaguered government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, particularly about one report that suggested private companies made windfall gains of about $33 billion because of the underpriced sale of coal fields. The opposition has sought to link Singh, who was in charge of the Coal Ministry in 2006, to the affair, which the media has dubbed “Coalgate”. “We want an explanation from the prime minister who was in charge of the Coal Ministry during the period of sale,” opposition

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters after the report was released. In a draft of its report, which was leaked earlier this year, the state auditor estimated that private companies’ “windfall” gain from allocations had amounted to a much larger figure, $211 billion. Singh has lurched from crisis to crisis since the same auditor uncovered corrupt practices two years ago in the sale of telecoms licenses. The telecoms sale may have cost the government up to $36 billion. Shares in Reliance Power, India’s second-largest power producer by market value, tumbled yesterday after they were mentioned by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the auditor’s reports which were presented in parliament. Singh’s office maintains the gov-

ernment was simply following established policy, and before the report was released, Singh denied there had been wrongdoing. “The report will not stand because it is not based on proper evidence,” said V Narayansamy, a junior minister in the prime minister’s office. In another report CAG also said airport land was allocated at a tenth of its market value, giving the developers an undue profit of $4.3 billion. Shares in GMR Infrastructure Ltd, who the auditor said was sold airport land too cheaply, fell sharply. India has for years allocated coal blocks directly to companies on the basis of recommendations by state governments. Since 2004 the government has said it will change to more transparent auctions, but had not done so even in February of this year, the report said. —Reuters




e niv rsar n


Chris Brown, Drake sued for $16m Page 22 22 Page

NY graffiti haven braces for gentrification Page 24 24 Page

Singer Enrique Iglesias performs at The Staples Center on August 16, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. — AFP


Chris Brown, Drake sued for $16m T

he lawsuit filed by Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. - the owner of W.i.P. and Greenhouse Clubs - alleges that Chris and Drake themselves were the causes behind their entourages fighting. According to the lawsuit, obtained by E! News they “shared a grudge against the other arising out of their romantic relationships with the same woman.” The suit adds when they “crossed paths” at the venue they “began to fight violently with each other.” The club states that while it ensured no one in was armed, both artists arrived “with their own small

army of bodyguards, ‘security’ personnel, employees, friends and other members of their entourage, consisting of at least 15 heavily built men trained and/or experienced in hand-tohand and weapons combat.” In the fight - thought to be over their mutual ex-girlfriend singer Rihanna - each man’s entourage members “fashioned deadly weapons out of whatever materials they could find, including glasses, bottles and furniture, thereby circumventing the nightclubs’ extensive efforts to ensure a safe environment.” The club is asking for multiple compensa-

tory and punitive damages totalling $16 million. The suit alleges that “terrorized patrons ran for cover” and that clubbers used “banquettes and tables as improvised shields. Most were unable to protect themselves.” Several patrons, including NBA star Tony Parker, were injured during the incident. Although neither Drake nor Brown has been charged criminally for anything related to the brawl, the club’s suit says they “should have foreseen that their notoriety and celebrity would ensure that their acts had far-reaching and devastating effects.”

Kelly Osbourne injures ankle on

‘America’s Got Talent’ T

he ‘Fashion Police’ star was visiting her mother Sharon, who was shooting the NBC talent search show, when she tripped and fell in front of a huge studio audience and was left embarrassed with a swollen ankle, Kelly tweeted: “I tripped on the stage like a dumb ass while visiting my Mumma at #AGT. I have the worst luck it had to be In front of the whole audience!!! “I have a golf ball on my ankle! (sic)”It was one of Kelly’s last chances to visit her mother on the set of the programme after Sharon recently quit the series and declared war on its network NBC, claiming they discriminated against her

son Jack by axing him from reality show ‘Stars Earn Stripes’, allegedly because of his multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis. She said: “I just can’t be fake. It’s discrimination and it was badly handled. It’s time to move on.”Sharon will remains under contract to NBC but isn’t worried about any possible ramifications. She added: “All they can do is stop me from being a judge on another network for five years.”‘Stars Earn Stripes’ producer David Hurwitz has claimed Jack was never formally hired for the tough reality contest but Sharon and Jack insist the deal was moving forward on a verbal commitment.

Jessica Biel says Colin Farrell has ‘magnetism’


Ben Stiller selling mansion for $9.6m


he ‘Zoolander’ actor and his wife Christine Taylor are hoping to sell their lavish Manhattan duplex, which

has already attracted interest from financial gurus with families looking for a laidback luxury lifestyle. But the couple are prepared to make a loss on the property after paying $10 million for it four years ago. A source told the New York Post newspaper: “They love real estate and enjoy moving every now and then.”The house boasts modern interiors, five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a huge living room and a media screening room where Ben, Christine and their 10-year-old daughter Ella and seven-year-old son Quinlan used to enjoy watching movies together. Potential purchasers of the couple’s abode who feel particularly lazy of an evening might be interested in the property’s lift, and fashionistas will love the cherry wood walls and matching walk-in wardrobe in the master bedroom, as well as the silk carpet and spa bathroom which comes complete with mosaic tiles. Elsewhere in the property, there is a room for staff with a maid’s quarters, a laundry room and a separate service entrance, while the two children’s bedrooms in the house have been beautifully decorated.

he 30-year-old actress loved working with the reformed hellraiser on new sci-fi movie ‘Total Recall’, Jessica - who is engaged to Justin Timberlake - believes people are drawn to Colin simply because he is excited about life, rather than because of his partying and womanising reputation. She said: “The thing about Colin is he is just so respectful and such a good guy. When you meet him the sparkle is more about having a curiosity of life, excited about the world and excited about what they’re doing or travelling, it’s that kind of sparkle. It’s that kind of magnetism that I feel he puts out there in the world, he’s just cool to be around.” Meanwhile, Jessica is still caught up in Olympic fever even though the London 2012 Games ended on Sunday and revealed she would love to compete. She explained to UK radio station Magic 105.4’s Breakfast show: “Every fourth year that comes around, I’m watching those gymnasts and they’re all 4ft

11in and I realise it was never going to be a reality. I’m like 5ft 7in, it was never going to happen, but in my mind I’m always thinking, ‘But could I have done it? Could I be a diver? No they’re all 5ft 4in. Could I have been a pole-vaulter, or a long jumper? So I’m always putting myself in there thinking could I still do it.”Jessica has been in London to promote ‘Total Recall’ - a re-imagining of the cult 1990 film which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie also features Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston and Bill Nighy.


Kendall Jenner

slammed for being a dangerous driver



Geri Halliwell is finally comfortable in her own skin

he Spice Girls star - also known as Ginger Spice - has gone through a public battle with bulimia and in the past has thanked former Take That member Robbie Williams for helping her overcome the disorder. The ‘Look at Me’ singer, who wore a Suzanne Neville design at the 2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony concert is a big exercise fan and used her favourite activities to help her get in shape for the gig. A source told Us Weekly magazine: “Geri is all about yoga, healthy eating - and clothes that flatter her shape. “[She] is finally comfortable

in her own skin. She feels better than ever.” Bandmate Emma Bunton credits her slim down to working out three times a week. An insider says of the mother to Beau, five, and Tate, 15 months: “Emma likes running on the treadmill. She’s very happy with her body these days!” While mother-of-four Victoria Beckham recently confessed that she loves “to snack” on fresh fruit and coconut water, and after giving birth to daughter Scarlet in 2009, Mel C says she feels “more feminine” than ever before, it seems no Spice Girl is as dedicated to fitness as Melanie Brown. The

mother to Phoenix, 13, Angel, five, and Madison, 11 months hikes and reportedly does 600 sit-ups a day, making it easier to slip into skintight bodysuits like the Zuhair Murad design she chose for her last performance. A source explained: “Mel does one-to-twohour treadmill workouts with playlists made by DJ Lindsay Luv.”

Zayn Malik loves being famous


he One Direction singer doesn’t care about all the other free stuff the band gets, as long as he has a massive, comfortable bed at the end of the night. He told The Sun newspaper: “I’m not bothered about what we get before or after shows as long as our room is comfortable. If I can sleep well, then everything is going to be OK. “To me, after any day, I just want the biggest, most comfortable bed in our hotel. “It is one of the best things about being in the band - getting nice hotel rooms.” He recently said he treats his girlfriend “like a princess”. Zayn is dating girl band Little Mix star Perrie Edwards, and despite their busy schedules keeping them both apart for long periods of time, he goes to great lengths to display his love for her. She said: “As long as we can talk as much as possible, we cope fine with being apart. The girls always say he’s so good to me. I like to be treated like a princess and I love thoughtful gifts. When I was on holiday I got him a painting and filmed the artist making it. He loved it.”

Niall Horan

says he’s as spicy as a hot curry


he One Direction singer admits he’s quite a fiery character and when asked to compare himself to a food he says he would be something that has a bit to a kick to it. He told TOTP magazine: “I would be a Peri-Peri chicken wrap from Nando’s, because I love Nando’s. Actually, I take that back! I’d be a Chicken Katsu Curry from Wagamama - cos I’m a spicy character!” Niall - who is joined in the band by Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson - also revealed how he uses Skype to keep in touch with his friends and family in Ireland because he’s rarely home. He said: “Every time I go home, which is not very often, I hang out with my friends. I was home recently for a week and went to one of the lad’s houses on Saturday night. I also went on holiday with a couple of friends and my dad and cousin, plus I talk to them all the time on Skype and stuff.”

he ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ star has only been driving for nine months but she is allegedly such a bad driver that one witness claims to have been almost forced off the road by Kim Kardashian’s little sister. A concerned Los Angeles commuter told America’s Star magazine: “The car was all over the lane. I thought the driver was intoxicated! When I pulled up alongside her car, I realised it was Kendall Jenner. She was texting and driving!” The startled witness claims to have been nearly sideswiped by Kendall’s $90,000 black Range Rover, which was a sweet sixteen birthday gift she received from her parents, Bruce and Kris Jenner. The source revealed: “I was trying to get off the freeway, and I couldn’t merge into the right lane because [Kendall] wasn’t paying attention and her car would have drifted into mine.” While Jenner didn’t cause an accident, she did break a serious traffic law as texting and driving is prohibited in California. In fact, drivers under 18 aren’t even allowed to use a cell phone with a hands-free device. Apparently getting caught for her infraction didn’t seem to bother the teenage reality star. The insider continued: “When she realised we were taking pictures of her, she gave me a dirty look but continued texting, laughing with her friends in the car.”


A view of the outdoor graffiti art exhibit 5 Pointz in Long Island City, New York is seen. 5 Pointz is considered to be the world’s premiere ‘graffiti Mecca,’ where aerosol artists from around the globe paint on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot factory building. (Right) A view of the outdoor graffiti art exhibit 5 Pointz is pictured. — AFP photos

NY graffiti

haven braces for gentrification


raffiti artists are used to escaping cops, jumping from roofs and dodging trains, but New York painters who turned an abandoned factory into a street art legend now face their real nemesis: gentrification. 5Pointz in the borough of Queens is one of the city’s most arresting sights a huge building plastered in brilliantly colored, skillfully executed graffiti works that have won international acclaim. Taggers, as they’re known, are invited to paint legally at 5Pointz, watched by an audience of graffiti cognoscenti, tourists and passengers on the number 7 subway train rattling by every few minutes along an overhead line. But after two decades of brightening the drab neighborhood, 5Pointz is slated to vanish in early 2013, replaced by New York’s latest luxury, high-rise apartment buildings. Site owner David Wolkoff, who long supported the graffiti free-for-all, says progress is unstoppable, and many will welcome exchanging a graffiti-encrusted hulk for shiny residential towers. But 5Pointz’s disappearance will mark the end of a unique New York experiment.

“It’s one of the most fabulous places in the world,” said Banga, a well-known French street artist, sweat pouring off his arms as he sprayed a complicated piece on one of the few remaining blank patches of wall. “It’s the most prestigious place. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I get a feeling of freedom and people can appreciate my work. We’re harming no one.” Wolkoff says that after nearly 20 years of helping street artists, he wants them to move on. “We believe they enlivened the building and gave it great character. We’ve really enjoyed having them,” he said. However, “everything progresses. The city is progressing.... As a businessman it’s an opportune time to take advantage of that growth.” That will mean two towers of more than 40 floors each and a total of nearly a million square feet of developed space, with apartments getting a stunning view of Manhattan’s skyscrapers. “The building will have a tremendous amount of amenities: indoor pool, big gym, yoga room, spinning rooms, media rooms, billiard rooms, party rooms and outdoor

space for the tenants to barbecue or hang out,” Wolkoff said. With only final approval pending and plans to start demolition before next summer, there seems little chance of 5Pointz getting a reprieve. Graffiti sell out? Wolkoff promises to retain echoes of the graffiti haven, with gallery space and “art walls” in a pedestrian area. But the wild style days are over. “It can’t be all, it can’t be 100 percent of the building, it can’t be two 47storey towers with graffiti all over it,” he said. Graffiti is an inherently uncertain, temporal business, so, in a sense, the death of 5Pointz might be expected. But artists say the building has transcended its raw street roots, achieving the status of a bona fide gallery-or even museum-for a popular art form. “At the end of the day, this is a place where people come for cultural enrichment,” said Andre Pinard, a market researcher who follows the graffiti world. Perusing the walls, a visitor will find works by graffiti luminaries like Stay High 149, Cope2, and Tats Cru, some of them coming from as far away as Brazil and Japan.

“There’s a sense of history,” a visitor, Jay Diaz, 31, said. “I wish (the building) could stay up. It’s like any gallery.” While regular New York graffiti artists-many would call them vandals-risk fines and even jail every time they spray walls, the denizens of 5Pointz enjoy a more comfortable existence. There’s a rebel vibe. “Dear ARTWORLD, when we inherit the EARTH, YOU aren’t invited. Love, MY Generation,” reads one painted slogan. But the tour groups, corporate team building opportunities, and sales of graffitiemblazoned baseball caps and other merchandizing, tell another story. Graffiti has become a business. Banga remembers the thrill of painting illegally-”the adrenalin, the fear of dying all the time”-but at 42 and with children, says, “I don’t do that anymore.” “I sell canvasses,” he said. Still, for young street artists, the more elemental lure of graffiti will survive 5Pointz’s disappearance. “I remember first time I was on a roof I was scared. I cried,” a young man who said his tag was Peal GI, told AFP. “But you get a rush. You’re climbing, you’re breaking the law. It’s wild.” — AFP

Tourists haunt Peru’s oldest cemetery I

Tourists attend a tour at the Presbitero Maestro cemetery in Lima on July 26, 2012. — AFP

t was cold and dark, and people clutching lanterns in the moonlight gave a spooky cast to Peru’s oldest cemetery, now Lima’s oddball hit with locals and tourists. “It is scary. But we’re into it,” said a teenage girl clinging to her boyfriend as they walked through darkness and silence interrupted only by visitors’ footsteps. Each group has a guide who entertains visitors with tales about those buried at the Presbitero Matias Maestro Museum-Cemetery, a Peruvian national historical monument. Night tours are scheduled with different themes for different crowds: one focuses on love; another on patriotic fervor; still others on presidents; and inevitably one focuses on death itself. “What really brings in the most people is the tour focused on death, in November, and another on love, in February,” says historian Jose Bocanegra, who has the historical details at the ready.

Some visitors are so apprehensive about being in a cemetery that they tiptoe around expecting something worthy of a horror movie. When tours started a decade ago they were limited to no more than 40 people; but they have become so popular that groups are now as large as 350 people, mainly young people and tourists, Bocanegra said. One of the most popular tombs for local visitors is Peruvian poet Jose Santos Chocano, who asked to be buried standing, in a one square meter space. “So his coffin was placed in the niche vertically. And on his tombstone, there are lines from his poem ‘Shipwrecked Life,’” Bocanegra said. “This square meter that I have looked for on Earth will be mine, if a bit late. Dead, in the end, I shall have it. ... I only expect now a square meter, where one day they’ll have to bury me, standing,” the poem reads. It is a cemetery, and it is dark, to be sure. —AFP


Punk Riot not a big hit with Russian pop stars


rom Madonna to ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, pop singers worldwide have demanded the release of three members of the Russian punk band Punk Riot during their trial over an anti-Kremlin protest on a church altar. But the response from top musicians inside Russia has been muted. When asked about the case, many Russian performers seem puzzled by the support from abroad. “What is so great about Punk Riot that all these international stars support them?” asked veteran Russian singer Valeria on her personal website. “They must be saying this because someone ordered them to.” Music insiders say Russia’s biggest stars may be wary of falling out with President Vladimir Putin for fear of jeopardising their main source of income - high-paying private concerts for the super-rich. Others may be concerned that taking a stand against Kremlin could cut their time on state television, they said. Russia’s mainstream performers also have little reason to feel solidarity with Punk Riot - a protest collective more interested in making political statements than polished music. “For many of these people, their principle work is performing at corporate parties for large oil companies or even sometimes for the country’s top officials,” said rock singer Yevgeny Fyodorov. “They are part of Putin’s system and scared to leave it,” said Vasily Shumov, who compiled an online collection

of songs this year in support of Putin’s opponents, including Punk Riot. Risky business Some performers have been prepared to make a stand. More than 100 Russian artists, writers, actors and musicians signed a letter demanding the release of the Punk Riot trio, who burst into Moscow’s main Russian Orthodox cathedral and thrashed out a song deriding Putin’s close ties to the clergy. But that list included almost none of the bestknown singers, many of whom have been silent on the plight of the three women, who return to court yesterday to hear the judge’s verdict on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. That contrasts with the international stars who have backed Punk Riot, including Peter Gabriel, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bjork, Pete Townshend, Pulp lead singer Jarvis Cocker and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys. While most top Russian stars have kept quiet, some have gone as far as speaking out against the three Punk Riot women and calling for them to be jailed. “I’ll personally drink to the health of the judge who will slap them in jail for a while,” ballad singer Yelena Vaenga wrote on her website. Speaking out in Russia remains a risky business. Yuri Shevchuk, lead singer for the rock band DDT, accused local officials in April of cancelling concerts in several Siberian cities because of his outspoken criticism of the

Masked demonstrators take part in a protest in O’Connell Street, Dublin, against the conviction of members of the provocativeRussian punk band Punk Riot yesterday. — AP Kremlin. It also risks alienating fans in a country where there is perceived to be a widespread aversion to politics. “Even those who go to protests as citizens are very cautious about public support in their musical capacity,” said Alexander Gorbachev, deputy editor of Afisha, an arts, culture and entertainment magazine. Dima

Bilan, who won the Eurovision Song Contest an annual pan-Europe competition with a huge television audience - told Afisha asking singers to comment was a delicate matter. “Musicians have a huge influence, but everyone’s opinion is very personal,” said Bilan. “This is the same as asking someone ‘Who did you vote for?’” — Reuters

‘Desperate Housewives’ star wasn’t fired N Guest vocalist Linda Perry (center) performs “LA Woman” with Ray Manzarek (left) and The Doors during the Sunset Strip Music Festival launch party celebrating The Doors at the House of Blues on Thursday, Aug 16, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. — AP

Britain stops export of key Picasso painting


ritain has placed a temporary export ban on a key Picasso painting which had been on loan to a public gallery since 1974 before its aristocratic owners decided to put it up for sale. “Child with a Dove” was painted in 1901 and marked the beginning of the Spanish artist’s “blue period.” It has been valued at 50 million pounds ($80 million). Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said yesterday he was preventing the work from leaving the country until Dec 16, and, if a “serious” attempt to meet the asking price was made by a private buyer or institution outside Britain, until June 16, 2013. “This will provide a last chance to raise the money to keep the painting in the United

Kingdom,” the Culture Ministry said in a statement. Works can be bought by public institutions for significantly less than the guide price through private sale arrangements that involve sharing tax advantages between the two parties. Vaizey based his decision on recommendations by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest which is administered by Arts Council England. The committee decided that the painting, which was placed on long-term loan to the National Gallery in London in 1974 and remained there until 2010, was sufficiently important and closely connected with Britain to justify the export deferral. —Reuters

icollette Sheridan was not wrongfully fired from “Desperate Housewives,” an appeals court ruled Thursday, but the actress should be allowed to pursue claims that she was retaliated against for complaining that the show’s creator struck her. A three justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal agreed with attorneys for ABC and Touchstone Television that Sheridan’s contract was not renewed after the show’s fifth season and that barred the actress from receiving a new trial on her wrongful termination lawsuit. The court, however, ruled that Sheridan should be allowed to file an amended lawsuit claiming retaliation, although her damages would be limited to her salary losses. The ruling is the latest twist in Sheridan’s case, which was first filed in April 2010 and was slated for a re-trial on her claim that she was fired after complaining that series creator Marc Cherry struck in the head during an on-set argument. Cherry and ABC denied the claims, and a judge threw out the battery claim against Cherry. In March, jurors deadlocked after a two-week trial on her wrongful termination allegations, with the panel siding eight votes to four for the actress. “Sheridan cannot pursue a cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy because, contrary to what she claims, she was not fired, discharged or terminated,” the court wrote in a 10-page ruling. “Desperate Housewives” concluded its eight-season run this year. Attorneys for ABC and Sheridan did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment Thursday afternoon. Sheridan received $4.2 million on her last season of the series and the studio had options to renew her contract through the seventh season. Her attorney, Mark Baute, argued that she had recently received a raise and a share of the show’s profits but fell out of favor with Cherry and other show executives after complaining about his conduct. — AP


‘Expendables 2’ favorite to rule weekend box office T he bad-a** geezers of “Expendables 2” are the favorites to top a broad and eclectic field at the box office this weekend. Among openers, Whitney Houston’s last film, “Sparkle,” takes on Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first real role in eight years in “Expendables 2.” On the family front, the 3D ghouls of “ParaNorman” match up against the gentle fantasy “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.” Reigning champ “Bourne Legacy” is back for its second week, along with ‘The Campaign” and “Hope Springs.” And in its fifth week, “Dark Knight Rises” is still going strong. With the Olympics over, this week’s deep lineup provides the best chance yet for the overall box office to return to normalcy for the first time since the Colorado shootings. It’s also the last week of summer in which a film is likely to break $20 million in its debut. “Expendables 2” will take in between $35 million and $40 million, analysts say.

After that, it looks like a scramble with “Sparkle,” “ParaNorman” and “Bourne Legacy” all in the $17 million range. “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” which opened Wednesday, is expected to bring in around $15 million for the five days. Lionsgate has high hopes for the Rrated action sequel from producer Avi Lerner, but this one won’t sneak up on anyone the way “The Expendables” did. That film bowed to $34 million and topped the weekend two years ago, on its way to $274 million in worldwide grosses. Stallone wrote the sequel with Richard Wenk but hands the directing chores over to Simon West (“The Mechanic”). Stallone also stars along with Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Bruce Willis. Liam Hemsworth and Nan Yu are newcomers. In this one, the crew reunites for what they think is an easy paycheck, but when one of the team is murdered on the job,

the quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory. Sixty-two percent of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes have been favorable. “Sparkle” was a passion project for Houston and was to be her film comeback. She said that the original 1976 film, about a Harlem teen fighting to achieve her dream of a singing career, was a big influence on her as a youngster. Houston and her producing partner Debra Martin Chase (“The Princess Diaries”) worked for more than a decade to get the remake off the ground. A Warner Bros. version starring Aaliyah Haughton was derailed by the 22-yearold singer’s death in a plane crash in 2001. The project made its way to Sony in 2009, where the addition of director Salim Akil gave it a kick start. Akil directed last year’s “Jumping the Broom” for Sony, and that low-budget AfricanAmerican skewing film made $37 million. Akil’s wife, Mara Brock Akil, wrote the screenplay. Houston, who died in

February, received an executive producer credit on “Sparkle.” In this Motownset version, she also stars as the mother of the young singer (“American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks) and her two sisters. Derek Luke and Mike Epps co-star. The key to its success, according to the analysts, will be whether “Sparkle” can expand beyond its core base of African-American women. It earned a 54 rating on Metacritic, with 62 percent of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes positive and 45 percent of those on Movie Review Intelligence giving it a thumbs up. Focus Features’ “ParaNorman’ is a stop-action animated film about a young boy who battles ghouls, witches and grownups to save his hometown. It is the best-reviewed of the weekend’s openers. Eighty-six percent of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are positive as are 69 percent on Movie Review Intelligence. MetaCritic gives it a 71 rating. —Reuters

Young Elvis tribute artists keep the flame burning E

lvis Presley was long dead when he entered the life of Victor Trevino forever. “I was in my living room,” the 27-year-old professional Elvis tribute artistplease, don’t call them impersonatorsrecalled Thursday, the 35th anniversary of the sudden death of the king of rock’n’roll at the age of 42. “My parents played ‘Teddy Bear’ for me, and then they had me perform the song at a talent show when I was elementary school-I was like in the fourth grade,” or about 10 years old, he told AFP. “I had my glasses on. I slicked my hair back. I had khakis on, and a little blazer and pink shirt and penny loafers. I always liked to perform.” As Elvis Week winds down, after a moving candlelight vigil Wednesday at Presley’s sprawling Graceland estate, the

Elvis Presley tribute artist Victor Trevino, 27, of Fort Worth, Texas, poses with wife Chloe Trevino during an Elvis Week event in Memphis. — AFP

spotlight is turning onto the unusual thespians who dedicate their lives to mimicking a pop-culture icon on stage. Twentynine of them, from Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan and the United States, are vying for top honors in the sixth annual Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. The finals take place Saturday. Most of the 29 were children when Presley died, but a handful-like Trevino, from Fort Worth, Texas, and fellow contestant Eli Williams, 24, from Delta, British Columbia, Canada-had not yet been born. They are the relative newcomers to Elvis fever. “I kind of caught it myself when I was 17 in high school,” the bespectacled Williams told AFP, “and it just took a life of its own. I started buying record after record. Eight years on, here we are.” Countless hours of perfecting his vocals and pompadour ensued for Williams, with mentoring and encouragement from compatriot Brian Simpson, who has carved out an unusual career teaching people to walk, talk and act like Presley. During a meet-and-greet Thursday in the Hard Rock Cafe on Memphis’s historic Beale Street nightclub strip, the Ultimate Elvis contestants mingled like old friends with the predominantly older, female and gleeful crowd. More than their haircuts, their greased-back haircuts or their mutton-chop sideburns, it was their easy rapport with the fans and their impeccable good manners-both characteristics of Presley himself-that stood out. “It takes a lot of dedication, a lot of years of experience (and) a lot of work in the gym trying to stay in shape, and just loving him and loving the fans,” said Stephen Freeman, 41, an Elvis tribute artist for 15 years. Trevino, whose non-Elvis acting experience includes Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” and Broadway musicals, went professional two years ago with international tribute show promoter Legends in Concert. He said the key to success is to avoid copying Presley too much. “I’m told I have facial features similar to Elvis, and I do appreciate vintage rockabilly style and

Charlie Nieshio of Osaka, Japan shows off his signature oriental Elvis fan during an Elvis Week event at the Hard Rock CafÈ in Memphis, Tennessee on August 16, 2012, the 35th anniversary of the death of rock icon Elvis Presley. — AFP music,” said Trevino, sporting a sharp Trevino, meanwhile, has just recorded an 1960s chambray suit like the ones office album at Sun Studios-where Presley cut workers in sultry Memphis once wore. his first hits in the 1950s-with his own “However, I’m still true to myself because band, using only old-school analog techElvis was true to himself. That’s what nology. It’s due out in a few months. His mind wandered back to the tumulmade him so unique and so fun to watch and so amazing. All tribute artists are more tuous era when Presley, the only son of a interesting when they add a bit of them- poor white laborer from rural Mississippi, grew to be one of the greatest entertainselves to their performance.” Williams agreed: “None of these guys ers of all time in the final days of racial seghere is trying to be Elvis. This is just our regation. “Elvis took white-man and blackway of paying tribute to him.” Both man music and put it together,” he said. younger men brought to Memphis a keen “Many people didn’t like that at first... but sense of its rich musical history as a cradle he pushed those barriers. He didn’t see of rock’n’roll, soul and blues, and of its color. He saw people, and people apprecidarker past as a hotbed of racial tension ated that.” — AFP where civil rights hero Martin Luther King was slain in 1968. Williams, whose far-ranging taste in music runs from Jimi Hendrix to rapper Cee Lo Green, has checked out the Stax recording studio (now a museum) where Otis Redding, among many others, laid down some of soul music’s greatest tracks.



In ‘Cosmopolis,’ Cronenberg takes the long way around

Indian Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan attends the cremation ceremony of the late Bollywood cinematographer Ashok Mehta in Mumbai yesterday. — AFP

As ‘Twilight’ fades, Pattinson tests himself This film image released by Entertainment One shows Robert Pattinson in a scene from “Cosmopolis.” — AP


never imagined describing a film as a cross between “The Bonfire of the Vanities” and “Last Year at Marienbad,” but then I never quite predicted a movie like “Cosmopolis,” a film in which David Cronenberg very faithfully adapts the novel by Don DeLillo - quite the challenge, given that the story takes place almost entirely inside the protagonist’s staggeringly luxurious limousine. The result is a capital-A arthouse film with a pulse so slow you often think they’re going to lose the patient. Even fans of Cronenberg’s chilly understatement and the dehumanized performance style he favors among his actors may find themselves occasionally vexed by the film’s claustrophobia and reserve, but “Cosmopolis” builds up a cumulative fascination that results in a film that’s unforgettable and audacious in its inertia. Robert Pattinson stars as Eric Packer, a rich young Master of the Universe who just wants a haircut. But the road to the barbershop is a tricky one; the president’s in town, for one thing, so Manhattan traffic is tied into knots. In the meantime, he receives a series of visitors in his limo, including a frisky art dealer (Juliette Binoche), a concerned underling (Jay Baruchel) and a visionary advisor (Samantha Morton, whose repeated line, “I know nothing of this,” is practically a mantra for the movie). Packer also confronts various nemeses (played by Mathieu Amalric and Paul Giamatti), but “Cosmopolis” is not designed to satisfy anyone asking the question, “So, what happens?” Ninety-eight percent of the film is made up of conversations in which no one raises his or her voice, so be ready for a talky, trippy experience. The crazy thing is, it works. I’m still not sure if Pattinson is a genius at underplaying or if Cronenberg is exploiting his innate blandness the way Kubrick did with Keir Dullea in “2001,” but either way, the “Twilight” star gets the tone (a low, humming tone at that) just right. This is not a movie to watch on cable while you’re paying taxes; it requires intense concentration because Cronenberg offers little in the way of exposition while slipping little clues about character and consequences throughout the enigmatic exchanges of dialogue. It may take a year or two before I can decide whether or not “Cosmopolis” is a work of genius, but it’s too smart and layered and provocative to dismiss as merely pretentious or in love with the sound of its own voice. It’s the kind of film that starts arguments, so see it if for no other reason than to know on which side you’ll be standing. — Reuters


obert Pattinson was nearing the end of shooting the last “Twilight” film, concluding a chapter of his life that had picked him out of near obscurity and was preparing to spit him out... where exactly? “Twilight” had made him extravagantly famous, but his next steps were entirely uncertain. “Out of the blue,” he says, came the script for “Cosmopolis” from David Cronenberg, the revered Canadian director of psychological thrillers (“Videodrome,” “Eastern Promises”) that often pursue the spirit through the body. Pattinson, having never met or spoken to Cronenberg, did a little research: He looked him up on Rotten Tomatoes “and it was like 98 percent approval,” he says. “It was like: OK, that’s my next job,” says Pattinson. Pattinson now has the unenviable task of releasing his most ambitious movie, his most adult role, into a media storm that instinct would suggest should be run from like a pack of werewolves. Promoting “Cosmopolis” puts Pattinson in front of cameras and microphones for the first time since his “Twilight” co-star and girlfriend Kristen Stewart last month publicly apologized for having a tryst with director Rupert Sanders. The awkward circumstance, he says, is “dissociated” from the film, and he’s thus far declined to use the attention to make any kind of public response to the scandal. Rather, he’s sought to deflect it to “Cosmopolis,” a film that, in an earlier interview before it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, he said “changed the way I see myself.” If Pattinson is understandably guarded about his private life, he’s refreshingly openhearted and humble about his anxieties as a young actor. At 26, Pattinson may be one of the most famous faces on the planet, but he’s still getting his bearings as an actor - a profession, he says, he never pined for, fell into by chance and has always found uncomfortable. His unlikely trajectory began with “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and “Little Ashes,” in which he played Salvador Dali. “Then I got ‘Twilight’ and it suddenly

became a massively different world to navigate,” Pattinson said in a recent interview in New York. “Most people who get their big hit have figured out what their skills are, and I hadn’t, really.” “Cosmopolis” is a radically different kind of film that will surely confuse not only the hordes of diehard “Twilight” fans who will line up on Friday to see it, but art house moviegoers, too. Pattinson himself has watched it four times to try to get his head around it. The first movie adaptation of a Don

nia,” says Pattinson. “It’s kind of like how actors feel about themselves.” Pattinson is in every scene of the film, which relies on his callow, hyper-literate performance to carry the movie through its limited setting and DeLillo’s heightened dialogue - much of which Cronenberg transcribed verbatim from the novel. Though some reviews have found the film static and impenetrable (perhaps intended responses), most critics have praised Pattinson’s performance, with many citing it as proof that the heartthrob

This photo released by Starpix shows (from left) Robert Pattinson, director David Cronenberg, Sarah Gadon, Paul Giamatti attending the premiere of “Cosmopolis” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. — AP DeLillo novel, “Cosmopolis” is about a sleek financier, Eric Parker (Pattinson), slowly making his way in the airless sanctuary of his white stretch limo across a trafficjammed Manhattan with the simple goal of a haircut. But the journey, which includes visits with his new wife (Sarah Gadon), a prostitute (Juliette Binoche) and Occupy-like protesters (Mathieu Amalric), is a kind of willful unraveling for Parker, who dispassionately watches his fortune slide away on a bad bet on the Chinese yuan. “He’s an egomaniac who wants to see some kind of spirituality in his egoma-

can indeed act. The stylized language and atypical nature of the film made it a risky and intimidating choice for Pattinson. “I couldn’t hear the voice of the character at all. There was nothing,” he says. “It was scary to say yes to something which you didn’t know what it was. I knew it was interesting, I knew there was something special but I had no idea how to do it or what I could add to it. But when you start saying no to Cronenberg because you don’t think it’s good enough, it’s a stupid decision to make.” —AP


Flair back in fashion A

ctress Maggie Gyllenhaal is never one to blend into a crowd. Her blue eyes naturally draw in movie audiences, and she always tends to stand apart from the rest of the Hollywood stars sartorially as well. The indie actress turned blockbuster star in 2008’s “The Dark Knight” shakes things up on the red carpet in unique cuts and color combinations that are anything but ordinary. She keeps her accessories minimal and really lets her clothing shine. At a recent screening of her new film “Won’t Back Down,” due out Sept 28, Gyllenhaal once again took the unconventional route by choosing a jumpsuit over more traditional red carpet garb. She wore a navy jumpsuit from the Zero + Maria Cornejo spring 2012 collection; gray lace blazer; peep toe, lace-up heels and punchy pink lipstick. Get Gyllenhaal’s red carpet look with a simple but elegant jumpsuit such as the Asos jumpsuit with sexy halter for $74.57 from, the Gianne jumpsuit by Rachel Roy for $129 from, the Mossimo multi-style jumper from for $34.99 or the Bar III jumpsuit from for $49.99. Gyllenhaal’s feminine lace

blazer dresses up her jumpsuit and would be great to throw on over a simple dress or jeans and a T-shirt before a night out. For something similar, get the BCBGeneration lace blazer from for $99. Any pair of heels could really work with this outfit, but Gyllenhaal’s peeptoe lace-ups are a perfect example of the actress’ affinity for pieces with flare. For a dressy look, try the Michael Kors Lansing shoe in slate sport suede from for $111.99, or for a more casual occasion, the Bucco peep toe wedge from for $39.99. — MCT

This undated product photo provided by H&M shows a look from a collection created and modeled by soccer star David Beckham. — AP


avid Beckham says he’s in the underwear game for the long haul, looking forward to advancing his bodywear partnership with H&M. The English soccer star’s second set of ads for his branded collection launched Thursday. The ads will coincide with a “statue stunt” planned by the retailer with larger-than-life Beckhams going up in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. New products will be added to the collection later this fall. Beckham says he’s pleased with consumer reaction to the line and its ad campaign. “I’m very happy that so far people seem to like it and the first season was incredibly successful. The challenge is to keep it going and establish a brand that will last many years. That is my ambition,” he wrote in an email to The Associated Press. Beckham, 37, was a champion of the London Olympics that just wrapped up, and literally drove the torch to Olympic Stadium in a boat. “I was incredibly honored to be part of the team that helped bring the Olympics to my home borough, city and country. I always knew we would put on a fantastic event but it has exceeded even my most optimistic expectations,” he says. Beckham had hoped to play for Britain’s soccer team at the games but he wasn’t included in the squad. The formula for the H&M bodywear line is largely about his personal preferences that, he says, are “comfort and fit.” And he’s not just talking about T-shirts. Apparently, he doesn’t mind some downtime at home, and that’s why there will be more cozy and warm items heading into stores. “It’s important to me that Bodywear means more than just briefs and Ts. It’s about all the pieces I like.” Beckham says he values the input of H&M designers, especially when it comes to their technical expertise, to get products to the point where he wants his name on them. “Working with a team has always been a key part of my life,” he says. But, he adds, he didn’t have any help getting in shape so he could feel comfortable minimally dressed in front of the cameras. “I did nothing different,” he says. “I’m naturally fit of course as an athlete so there is nothing out of the ordinary I do!” — AP



t might be an Olympic first. Has it ever happened before now that an Olympic weightlifter was called “girly”? Maybe as a crude slur during the bad old days of Soviet domination of the sport, but not quite like this. The weightlifter in question is Sarah Robles, the Southern California Olympian who is widely considered the best female weightlifter in the United States. And the description comes from Santa Cruz clothing designer Jill Alexander. Last month, Alexander flew down to Arizona, where Robles was training, on a mission to give the 5-foot-10, 270-pound weightlifter a fashion makeover. “I was really surprised to find that she was so girly and excited to have this kind of makeover,” said Alexander from her office in Santa Cruz. Robles had told Alexander that she spends most of her time in workout clothes, but that “no one every sees my girly side.” Since launching her first line specifically designed for plus-size women in 2009, Alexander has made great strides in visibility in the plus-size arena. Robles has, in the past, been vocal about her inability to find clothes that fit. Problem, meet solution. Robles - who finished seventh overall in the “+75kg” competition in London - has used her prominence to promote a positive, body-acceptance message of plus-sized and athletic women. On her blog - she would often comment on how difficult it was to find nice clothes in her size. She related one experience in which she was to be included with other female athletes in a photo session in which the matching clothes would be provided. There were no women’s clothes that fit her. She had to wear a man’s jacket. “Am I going to sit here and cry about it? No,” said Robles on her blog. “What am I doing to make change? Every time I get to talk about body image or my blog, I jump on it even in interviews. I spoke with Nike and Polo representatives and mentioned the issues. If no one speaks up or just accepts what’s been handed to them, positive change will not happen. I want future athletes to be happy, comfortable and included. I want the fashion industry to rethink their ideas of what a female athlete can look like.” All this is music to Alexander’s ears.

Santa Cruz, California, designer Jill Alexander has made a name for herself designing stylish plus-sized clothes for women. — MCT

A fan of Robles reached out to Alexander with the idea of sponsoring the makeover. Eager to help, Alexander sent Robles a few items, convertible, multifunctional pieces typical of Alexander’s line. “When we sent them to her, she wasn’t really sure how she should wear them,” said Alexander. The two women talked on the phone and hit it off. Alexander made plans to fly to Arizona. “My photographer came, and she brought a makeup artist. So we just said, ‘Let’s just have some fun with this.’ And the makeup person put some false eyelashes on her and she goes, ‘Uh-oh, my inner diva is coming out.’ She’s just so happy and personable.” “I’m hoping it will have a positive influence on the fashion industry,” said Sarah Robles in London to Santa Cruz Sentinel sports editor Julie Jag. “Everybody keeps focusing on the plus-size thing, but there are people who are shorter, or smaller, or thinner, or taller, or longer and there’s so little options. And there’s so many elite athletes. If you look around, there are so many different body types and everybody deserves to look good and feel good.” Alexander’s mission was to give Robles a few pieces that she could wear to press interviews and other more formal events in which workout clothes weren’t appropriate. She said that her focus is on providing women fine clothes for every day, and not necessarily for one-time special events. Many women, she said, are too willing to spend their resources

on a special gown rather than a collection of versatile pieces to wear many times. “I don’t want to put them in a fabulous outfit that they’ll only wear one time,” said Alexander, who welcomes personal fashion appointments at her Santa Cruz office. “I try to educate women. You want to make the investment in the pieces you’re going to wear every day, because those pieces need to stand up to washing and wearing, and they need to be transitional with a lot of things in your closet.”— MCT


Climate change driving Australian fish south SYDNEY: Australian scientists said yesterday there was now “striking evidence” of extensive southward migration of tropical fish and declines in other species due to climate change, in a major ocean report card. Compiled by more than 80 of Australia’s leading marine experts for the government science body CSIRO, the snapshot of global warming’s effects on the island continent’s oceans warned of “significant impacts”. “Climate change is already happening; widespread physical changes include rapid warming of the southeast and increasing flow of the east Australia current,” the report said. “There is now striking evidence of extensive southward movements of tropical fish and plankton species in southeast Australia, declines in abundance of temperate species, and the first signs of the effect of ocean acidification on marine species with shells.”

Colombia drug treatment center plans spark debate BOGOTA: A proposal to open treatment centers in the Colombian capital for drug addicts is causing a stir in this cocaine-producing Latin American country. The project, the brainchild of Bogota mayor Gustavo Petro, is aimed at curbing drug-related crime. Petro’s office says it is similar to programs in Canada, Portugal, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The plan is to treat the addicts with prescription medication, said Bogota Health Secretary Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo. Colombia has long focused on breaking up the criminal gangs responsible for trafficking illegal drugs to lucrative markets in the United States and Europe, but ignored the growing local population of addicts. The centers are planned for three neighborhoods with large numbers of addicts and would especially target people hooked on “basuko,” a cheap, highly addictive cocaine derivative similar to crack. Nurses, doctors and psychiatrists would be on hand to treat the addicts. The centers would also provide food, access to bathroom facilities and even toys for children. Last month, Colombia’s Congress passed a law calling for drug addiction to be seen as a public health problem and not as a crime. According to the mayor’s office, 125,000 of Bogota’s 7.3 million inhabitants use drugs. Of those, 70,000 are addicts, including some 7,000 basuco addicts. If approved by the federal government, the centers could open in September. Petro’s proposal “has started a debate on the domestic consumption of cannabis, cocaine, basuko and heroin,” said Alvaro Enciso, president of the La Luz foundation that supports drug addicts. The project’s detractors including Colombian Attorney General Alejandro Ordonez, who claims such centers “promote” drug consumption and that there is no certainty they cause a decrease in offenses. In 2011, 252 of Bogota’s 1,632 registered homicides — 15.4 percent-were linked to drugs, according to official figures. In the 1980s and early 1990s Colombian cartels dominated the American drug trade, but a US-supported government crackdown has left local cartels in increasing disarray. The regional cocaine trade, however, is still alive and well: in 2011 Colombia was the world’s largest cocaine producer, according to a United Nations report. Colombia and neighboring Peru are the world’s largest producers of coca, the plant used to make cocaine, according to the report. Colombian criminal gangs as well as leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups sell the cocaine to Mexican criminal syndicates, who then smuggle it into the United States and Europe.— AFP

The report described southeast Australia as a “global warming hotspot”, with the contraction south and strengthening of southern hemisphere winds causing the eastern current to become more intense and also warmer. “A range of species including plankton, fish and invertebrates are now found further south because of the enhanced transport of larvae and juveniles in the stronger (current) and the high rate of regional warming,” it said. Sea snakes were declining and warmer beaches were changing turtle breeding habits and seabird and marine mammal feeding and mating, it added. Coral reefs had experienced increasing thermal bleaching in the past 30 years and that was projected to become more frequent and severe, “leading to chronic degradation of most coral reefs by the middle to late parts of the century.” Though there were some

“concerning findings”, project leader Elvira Poloczanska said there were some positives, with new research suggesting that certain tropical fish species were better equipped to adapt to warming than previously thought. “Whether such acclimation capacity is widespread in tropical marine fishes and whether some critical processes (such as) reproduction remain significantly impaired is unknown.” Poloczanska said Australia had some unique marine ecosystems and they provided “irreplaceable services including coastal defence, oxygen production, nutrient recycling and climate regulation”. “Every second breath of oxygen we breathe is provided by marine plants; they provide protein when we eat fish and also relaxation such as when we go swimming,” she said. “It’s important we make decisions about the future.” — AFP

‘Alarming’ smoking habits found in poorer countries Urgent need to boost control efforts

LONDON: Two fifths of men in developing countries still smoke or use tobacco, and women are increasingly starting to smoke at younger ages, according to a large international study which found “alarming patterns” of tobacco use. Despite years of antismoking measures across the world, most developing countries have low quit rates, according to the study in The Lancet medical journal yesterday. There are wide differences in the rates of smoking between genders and nations, as well as major disparities in access to effective anti-smoking treatments. “Although 1.1 billion people have been covered by the adoption of the most effective tobacco control policies since 2008, 83 percent of the world’s population are not covered by two or more of these policies,” said Gary Giovino of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions in New York, who led the research. Measures include legislation banning smoking in public places, imposing advertising bans and requiring more graphic health warnings on cigarette packets. The findings come as the world’s leading tobacco firms, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco lost a crucial legal appeal in Australia this week against the introduction of plain tobacco packaging. Australia’s planned “no logo” laws are in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations and are being watched closely by Britain, Norway, New Zealand, Canada and India, which are considering similar measures. Tobacco kills up to half of its users, according to the WHO. Smoking causes lung cancer, often fatal, and other chronic respiratory diseases. It is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, the world’s number one killers. Ot her forms of tobacco use include snuff or chewing tobacco. Matthew L. Myers, president of the U.S.-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said the study “underscores the enormity of the global tobacco epidemic”. “Without urgent action, tobacco use will claim 1 billion lives this century,” he said, urging poorer countries to “act now and address a crisis they can ill afford.” Using data from Global Adult Tobacco Surveys (GATS) carried out between 2008 and 2010, Giovino’s team compared patterns of tobacco use and cessation in people aged 15 or older from 14 low- and middle-income countries. They included data from Britain and the United States for comparison. They found disproportionately high rates of smoking among men - at an average 41 percent versus 5 percent in women - and wide variation in smoking prevalence, ranging from about 22 percent of men in Brazil to more than 60 percent in Russia. Rates of female smoking ranged from 0.5 percent in Egypt to almost 25 percent in Poland. Women in Britain and the United States also had high smoking rates, at 21 percent and 16 percent respectively. The study found that around 64 percent of tobacco users smoke manufactured cigarettes, although loose-leaf chewing tobacco and snuff were particularly common in India and Bangladesh. With an estimated 301 million tobacco users, China

has more than any other country, closely followed by India with almost 275 million. Other countries included in the study were Bangladesh, Mexico, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam. The researchers said the rise in tobacco use among young women was of particular concern. In a commentary about the study also published in The Lancet, Jeffrey Koplan from Emory University in the United States and Judith Mackay from the World Lung Foundation in Hong Kong called for more investment in tobacco control measures, saying current under-funding was “extraordinary”. In low income countries, they said, for every $9,100 received in tobacco taxes, only $1 was spent on tobacco control. The WHO says tobacco already kills around 6 million people a year worldwide, including more than 600,000 non-smokers who die from exposure to second-hand smoke. By 2030, if current trends continue, it predicts tobacco could kill 8 million people a year. — Reuters

The smoking boy of Indonesia.


German man collects heart pacemakers BERLIN: A shoe polish container holding the components of the world’s first heart pacemaker is Juergen Becker’s proudest possession. The pacemaker, put together by a Swedish doctor and engineer in 1958, was a world first and caused astonishment at the time. It kept time with the mechanical regularity of a metronome. “In those days the battery lasted for only a couple of hours and had to be recharged from outside with an induction coil,” Becker says. But progress was rapid and today’s pacemakers can be inserted in a routine operation lasting half an hour, with the smallest devices the size of a medium-sized coin and the batteries lasting for up to 10 years. Becker, a 71-year-old with a heart in no need of a pacemaker, has seen it all, and has the collection to prove it. As a medical technician he became expert in pacemakers, becoming a consultant to doctors on the theme in his later professional life. “Doctors were always presenting me with old-model pacemakers,” he says. The days of the metronome are gone. The modern pacemaker adjusts to the patient’s circula-

tion, but the principle remains the same. The little machine placed under the collar bone regulates the heart by means of electrical impulses, with insulated wires attached directly to heart muscle. This speeds up the heart when it beats too slowly and keeps it beating when it threatens to stop. Without a pacemaker many heart patients would face the risk of fainting or heart failure leading to death. Today a patient can go home the same day after having one inserted, the only evidence being a slight bump under the collar bone. There are thought to be around 3 million of the devices currently in operation. Becker is happy to show off his range, which includes prototypes and test devices. New models run off lithium ion batteries, allowing an operating life of more than 10 years. The first devices lasted only a couple of days, but the first patient to have one implanted, the Swede Arni Larsson, was a firm believer in the technology, having 22 pacemakers implanted down the years. He died in 2002 at the age of 86, outliving the doctor who implanted the first ground-breaking device by two years. — dpa

Waverider hypersonic aircraft lost in test flight WASHINGTON: A hypersonic aircraft was lost after developing a technical problem just seconds into a test flight, the US Air Force said. The X-51A Waverider launched successfully from the B-52 aircraft that carried it aloft during Tuesday’s flight in California. After just 16 seconds the Air Force identified a problem with the cruiser control fin. Then, about 15 seconds after the X-51A separated from its rocket booster it was lost, a statement said. It was the third known test flight for the X-51A Waverider, which is designed to fly some six times the speed of sound. The Waverider is so named because it rides the shock waves caused by its high speed to reach even higher speeds. “It is unfortunate that a problem with this subsystem caused a termination before we could light the Scramjet engine,” Charlie Brink, X51A programme manager at the Air Force Research Laboratory, said in the statement. “All our data showed we had created the right conditions for engine ignition and we were very hopeful to meet our test objectives.” Air Force officials were analyzing what went wrong and noted the system that went awry had worked properly in previous test flights.

Built by aerospace giant Boeing, and featuring a Scramjet engine built by California-based Pratt & Whitney, the nearly wingless craft achieves its incredible speeds by injecting hydrogen into the air stream rushing through its engines, with the resulting hot gases providing thrust. Plans for the test flight had called for the Waverider to be dropped from its bay under the B-52’s wing. A rocket booster was due to accelerate the aircraft to more than 7,000 kilometres per hour, before the Scramjet was to accelerate the craft to almost 10,000 kilometres per hour for a duration of five minutes. The flight test was due to end with a controlled crash into the ocean. A fourth test plane remains, but the Air Force had not yet decided whether to use it. The Waverider is designed “to pave the way for future hypersonic weapons, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and future access to space,” according to the Air Force. While the technology could eventually make its way into passenger aircraft, the current envisaged use is as a weapons delivery technology that could hit distant targets much faster than the current fleet of cruise missiles. — AP

New Yorkers against super-size soda ban Mayor’s unprecedented proposal NEW YORK: An overwhelming majority of New Yorkers oppose Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s unprecedented proposal for banning super-sized sweet drinks and his support for breastfeeding, a poll found Thursday. The Quinnipiac University poll found that 54 percent of New Yorkers oppose Bloomberg’s planned prohibition restricting soda drink servings to no more than 16 ounces (almost half a liter). Some 42 percent of respondents backed the measure that could go into effect next year. The 16-ounce size is more than a normal can, but only half the size of the biggest, bucket-like container that patrons commonly guzzle from in cinemas, sports arenas and other outlets. There was even more opposition to Bloomberg’s plan to encourage new mothers to nurse their babies by urging hospitals to stop handing them free baby formula. In the poll, 56 percent of respondents were against the

measure, and just 24 percent supported it. Many US hospitals give away diaper bags to new mothers filled with formula samples, despite concerns that doing so may discourage or hamper breastfeeding. Critics have charged Bloomberg with trying to turn America’s largest city into a nanny state. “Voters disagree with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s push to increase breastfeeding and to limit the size of sugary drinks, but they like the idea of cracking down on alcohol abuse,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Overall, New Yorkers give Hizzoner good grades on public health as they reject the criticism that it’s ‘nanny government’.” Bloomberg was behind a 2003 smoking ban in bars and restaurants that has since been extended to parks and beaches. Conducted August 8-12, the telephone poll surveyed 1,298 New York City voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. — AFP

NEW YORK: In this April 27, 2012 photo, Pebble Technology founder Eric Migicovsky poses for a portrait wearing the Pebble watch, in New York. In April, three-person startup Pebble Technology sought to raise $100,000 to make the programmable wristwatch. Donors on Kickstarter showered them with more than a hundred times that amount: $10.3 million. Kickstarter is at the center of a new phenomenon known as ‘crowdfunding’ in which donors contribute small portions of money to get a project off the ground. —-AP

TV listings SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2012

00:45 Human Prey 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Shark Family 03:30 I Was Bitten 04:25 Wildest Africa 05:20 Monkey Life 05:45 Snake Crusader With Bruce George 06:10 E-Vets: The Interns 06:35 E-Vets: The Interns 07:00 Karina: Wild On Safari 07:25 Meerkat Manor 07:50 Bondi Vet 08:15 Corwin’s Quest 09:10 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 09:35 Breed All About It 10:05 Crocodile Hunter 11:00 Dogs 101: Specials 11:55 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:45 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 14:40 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 15:35 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 16:30 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 17:25 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 18:20 Wildest Latin America 19:15 Galapagos 20:10 Dolphin Days 20:35 Dolphin Days 21:05 Wild France 22:00 Bad Dog 22:55 Dogs 101: Specials 23:50 Untamed & Uncut

00:20 Come Dine With Me 01:10 Celebrity Fantasy Homes 02:00 Celebrity Fantasy Homes 02:45 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 03:15 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 03:40 MasterChef 04:35 Living In The Sun 05:20 Living In The Sun 06:05 MasterChef 06:30 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 07:00 Antiques Roadshow 07:55 Antiques Roadshow 08:45 Antiques Roadshow 09:35 Antiques Roadshow 10:30 Antiques Roadshow 11:20 Masterchef: The Professionals 12:15 Masterchef: The Professionals 12:45 Bargain Hunt 13:30 Bargain Hunt 14:20 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 15:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 15:45 Come Dine With Me 16:35 Antiques Roadshow 17:30 Antiques Roadshow 18:20 Antiques Roadshow 19:10 Antiques Roadshow 20:05 Antiques Roadshow 21:00 Cash In The Attic 21:45 Cash In The Attic 22:30 Bargain Hunt 23:20 Bargain Hunt

00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 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 12:30 13:00 13:10 13:30

BBC World News America BBC World News America BBC World News Newsnight BBC World News Our World BBC World News Weekend World BBC World News BBC World News Mishal Husain Meets BBC World News BBC World News BBC World News Fast Track BBC World News The Culture Show BBC World News Middle East Business Report BBC World News Click BBC World News Weekend World BBC World News BBC World News World Features Mishal Husain Meets BBC World News World Features Mixed Britannia BBC World News World Features Newsnight

17:15 17:40 18:05 Island 18:30 18:55 19:45 20:00 21:25 21:50 22:00 22:50 23:40

Adventure Time Regular Show Total Drama: Revenge Of The

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

Amanpour World Sport Piers Morgan Tonight World Report Anderson Cooper 360 Piers Morgan Tonight Quest Means Business CNN Marketplace Africa The Situation Room World Sport Road To Rio World Report CNN Marketplace Africa Backstory World Report CNN Marketplace Middle East I Report For CNN World Sport Aiming For Gold The Best Of The Situation Room World Report Backstory The Brief Inside Africa World Report Leading Women Future Cities Talk Asia The CNN Freedom Project News Special Backstory International Desk African Voices CNN Marketplace Europe CNN Marketplace Africa The Brief World Sport Open Court International Desk Inside Africa International Desk Road To Rio The Best Of The Situation Room World Report News Special

Powerpuff Girls Courage The Cowardly Dog Johnny Test Ben 10 Redakai: Conquer The Kairu Grim Adventures Of... Codename: Kids Next Door Ben 10 Chowder

CARRIERS ON OSN ACTION HD 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:10 15:30 16:00 16:15 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:10 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:15 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00 23:10 23:30

BBC World News Our World BBC World News Weekend World Equestrian World BBC World News Sport Today Fast Track BBC World News Dateline London BBC World News BBC World News BBC World News Final Score BBC World News The Culture Show BBC World News Sport Today Fast Track BBC World News Click BBC World News World Features Dateline London

00:10 00:35 01:00 01:25 01:50 02:15 02:40 03:00 03:25 03:50 04:15 04:40 05:00 05:25 05:50

Puppy In My Pocket Tom & Jerry Kids Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Flintstones Pink Panther And Pals Looney Tunes Popeye Classics Dexter’s Laboratory Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes The Scooby Doo Show Johnny Bravo The Flintstones The Jetsons Wacky Races

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

Johnny Bravo Dexter’s Laboratory A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Bananas In Pyjamas Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Gerald McBoing Boing Ha Ha Hairies Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show Tom & Jerry Tales Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries What’s New Scooby-Doo? The Looney Tunes Show Dexter’s Laboratory Johnny Bravo Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show Wacky Races Dastardly And Muttley The Scooby Doo Show Dexters Laboratory Dexter’s Laboratory The Garfield Show Looney Tunes Tom & Jerry Tom & Jerry Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Johnny Bravo Johnny Bravo Top Cat And The Beverly Hills The Looney Tunes Show Tom & Jerry Tales Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries The Garfield Show What’s New Scooby-Doo? Droopy & Dripple Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo Popeye The Jetsons Duck Dodgers

00:30 Bakugan: New Vestroia 00:55 Bakugan: New Vestroia 01:20 Powerpuff Girls 02:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 03:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 03:25 Ben 10 03:50 Adventure Time 04:15 Powerpuff Girls 04:40 Generator Rex 05:05 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:55 Angelo Rules 06:00 Ed, Edd n Eddy 06:25 Casper’s Scare School 07:00 The Powerpuff Girls 07:15 Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi 07:40 Total Drama: Revenge Of The Island 08:05 The Amazing World Of Gumball 08:30 Adventure Time 08:55 Level Up 09:20 Batman Brave And The Bold 09:45 Green Lantern: The Animated Series 10:10 Thundercats 10:35 Hero 108 11:00 Adventure Time 11:25 Grim Adventures Of... 12:15 Courage The Cowardly Dog 13:05 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 13:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 13:55 Powerpuff Girls 14:45 Thundercats 15:10 Generator Rex 15:35 Ben 10 16:00 Ed, Edd n Eddy 16:50 The Amazing World Of Gumball

00:15 The World’s Strangest UFO Stories 01:10 I Escaped: Real Prison Breaks 01:35 X-Machines 02:30 Crash Course 03:00 Fifth Gear 03:25 How Do They Do It? Turbo Specials 04:20 The World’s Strangest UFO Stories 05:15 How Do They Do It? 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 American Loggers 07:00 How It’s Made 07:25 Battle Machine Bros 08:15 Mega Builders 09:10 Extreme Engineering 10:05 Man Made Marvels Asia 10:55 Man, Woman, Wild 11:50 Alone In The Wild 12:45 Ultimate Survival 13:40 Ultimate Survival 14:35 Flying Wild Alaska 15:30 Swamp Loggers 16:25 River Monsters 17:20 Hillbilly Handfishin’ 18:15 Against The Elements 19:10 Finding Bigfoot 20:05 Gold Rush 21:00 Deadliest Catch 21:55 Hillbilly Handfishin’ 22:50 River Monsters 23:45 Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing Challenge

00:35 01:25 02:15 02:40

Mighty Ships Perfect Disaster Game Changers Game Changers

03:05 The Gadget Show 03:35 Scrapheap Challenge 04:25 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 05:15 Mighty Ships 06:05 Perfect Disaster 07:00 Game Changers 07:25 Game Changers 07:50 Sci-Fi Science 08:15 Sci-Fi Science 08:40 Head Rush 08:43 Stunt Junkies 09:10 Stunt Junkies 09:40 Nextworld 10:30 Sport Science 13:50 Sport Science 14:45 Curiosity: How Will The World End? 15:35 Eco-Tech 16:25 Head Rush 16:28 The Tech Show 16:55 The Tech Show 17:25 Super Comet: After The Impact 18:15 Game Changers 18:40 Human Nature 19:30 Curiosity: Is There A Parallel Universe? 20:20 Weird Or What? 21:10 Game Changers 21:35 Game Changers 22:00 Curiosity: Is There A Parallel Universe? 22:50 Weird Or What? 23:40 Human Nature

00:25 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 00:55 Style Star 01:25 30 Best & Worst Beach Bodies 03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 E!es 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 10:15 Giuliana & Bill 11:10 Giuliana & Bill 12:05 E! News 13:05 Scouted 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Khloe And Lamar 15:25 Khloe And Lamar 15:55 Ice Loves Coco 16:25 Ice Loves Coco 16:55 Mrs. Eastwood And Company 17:25 Mrs. Eastwood And Company 17:55 E! News 18:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 19:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 20:55 Style Star 21:25 Fashion Police 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

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

The Haunted Crime Scene Psychics True CSI On The Case With Paula Zahn Extreme Forensics The Haunted Crime Scene Psychics Disappeared FBI Files Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared FBI Files Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared FBI Files Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared The Haunted Ghost Lab A Haunting

TV listings SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2012

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

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

Treks In A Wild World Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Travel Oz Travel Oz Weird & Wonderful Hotels Weird & Wonderful Hotels Which Way To Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Travel Oz Travel Oz Weird & Wonderful Hotels Weird & Wonderful Hotels Which Way To Deadliest Journeys 2 Latin America On A Motorcycle Don’t Tell My Mother Don’t Tell My Mother Kimchi Chronicles Kimchi Chronicles The Green Way Up The Green Way Up Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Travel Oz Travel Oz Weird & Wonderful Hotels Weird & Wonderful Hotels Which Way To Departures Adventure Wanted Long Way Down On Surfari On Surfari Treks In A Wild World Bondi Rescue: Bali Bondi Rescue: Bali City Chase Rome

Treks In A Wild World Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Travel Oz Travel Oz Weird & Wonderful Hotels Weird & Wonderful Hotels Which Way To Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Travel Oz Travel Oz Weird & Wonderful Hotels Weird & Wonderful Hotels Which Way To Deadliest Journeys 2 Latin America On A Motorcycle Don’t Tell My Mother Don’t Tell My Mother Kimchi Chronicles The Green Way Up The Green Way Up Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Travel Oz Travel Oz Weird & Wonderful Hotels Weird & Wonderful Hotels Which Way To Departures Adventure Wanted Long Way Down On Surfari On Surfari Treks In A Wild World Bondi Rescue: Bali Bondi Rescue: Bali City Chase Rome

00:00 Storm Worlds 01:00 Britain’s Greatest Machines 02:00 Megacities 03:00 A Traveler’s Guide To The Planets 04:00 Hunter Hunted 05:00 The Known Universe 06:00 Racing To America 07:00 Departures 08:00 Storm Worlds 09:00 Britain’s Greatest Machines 10:00 Megacities 11:00 A Traveler’s Guide To The Planets 12:00 Hunter Hunted 13:00 The Known Universe 14:00 Racing To America 15:00 Departures 16:00 Storm Worlds 17:00 Britain’s Greatest Machines 18:00 World’s Toughest Fixes 19:00 Blowdown 20:00 Lion Army 21:00 Alaska State Troopers 22:00 Sea Patrol 23:00 One Ocean

00:00 Swamp Men 01:00 Fish Warrior 01:55 Expedition Wild 02:50 Shark Men 03:45 Dam Beavers 04:40 Wildlife Rescue Africa 05:35 Wildlife Rescue Africa 06:30 Hooked 07:25 Hooked 08:20 My Life Is A Zoo 09:15 Caught In The Act 10:10 Africa’s Deadliest 11:05 Python Hunters 12:00 The Living Edens 13:00 Super Pride 14:00 My Life Is A Zoo 15:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 16:00 Dangerous Encounters 17:00 Python Hunters 18:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 19:00 Monster Fish 20:00 Dangerous Encounters 21:00 Python Hunters 22:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 23:00 The Living Edens

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

The Resident-18 Law Abiding Citizen-18 Fighting-PG15 Rocky III-PG15 Ladder 49-PG15 Hidalgo-PG15 Men In Black II-PG Ladder 49-PG15 Largo Winch 2-PG15 Men In Black II-PG Carriers-PG15 Boiler Room-PG15

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

Winter’s Bone-18 Backwash-PG15 Cars 2-FAM Skirt Day-PG15 Backwash-PG15 Sounds Like Teen Spirit-PG15 Coyote County Loser-PG15 Ways To Live Forever-PG15 Black Forest-PG15 The Green Hornet-PG15 Brighton Rock-PG15 It’s Kind Of A Funny Story-PG15

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Friends 02:00 Friends 02:30 Seinfeld 03:30 Melissa & Joey 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Weird Science 06:00 Friends 06:30 Samantha Who? 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 09:00 Weird Science 09:30 30 Rock 10:00 Modern Family 10:30 Samantha Who? 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Friends 12:30 Friends 13:00 Weird Science 13:30 Samantha Who? 14:00 Melissa & Joey 14:30 Modern Family 15:00 30 Rock 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report

16:30 Friends 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:30 Perfect Couples 19:00 Mr. Sunshine 19:30 Mr. Sunshine 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live 23:00 Seinfeld 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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

Jane By Design Jane By Design Castle Jane By Design Desperate Housewives Good Morning America The Practice Castle The Ellen DeGeneres Show Desperate Housewives The View Jane By Design Jane By Design Touch Live Good Morning America The Practice The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Drop Dead Diva C.S.I. C.S.I. New York C.S.I. Miami Desperate Housewives

00:00 Criminal Minds 01:00 Touch 02:00 Grey’s Anatomy

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

Jane By Design Jane By Design Grey’s Anatomy Criminal Minds Psych Touch Jane By Design Jane By Design Psych Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Castle Criminal Minds Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Necessary Roughness Drop Dead Diva C.S.I. C.S.I. New York C.S.I. Miami Grey’s Anatomy

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

Jake’s Closet-PG15 The Echo-18 S.W.A.T.: Firefight-PG15 The Front-PG15 Star Trek: First Contact-PG S.W.A.T.: Firefight-PG15 The Warlords-PG15 Star Trek: First Contact-PG Aeon Flux-PG15 Secret Window-PG15 Boiler Room-PG15 The Thaw-PG15

01:15 Hollywood, I’m Sleeping Over Tonight-PG15 03:00 2:22-18 05:00 The Social Network-PG15 07:00 Lies In Plain Sight-PG15 09:00 The Silent Fall-PG15 11:00 Celine: Through The Eyes Of The World-PG15 13:00 Alabama Moon-PG15 15:00 The Silent Fall-PG15 17:00 Unanswered Prayers-PG15 18:45 Up Close And Personal-PG 21:00 Partir-18 23:00 Posse-18

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 10:45 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00 PG15

All Good Things-18 The Chamber-18 Charlie St. Cloud-PG15 The Fantastic Water Babes-PG The Moveon.Org Story-PG15 Lorenzo’s Oil-PG15 Mademoiselle Chambon-PG15 The Moveon.Org Story-PG15 Little Man Tate-PG The Game Of Their Lives-PG15 Moonlight And Valentino-PG15 The Deep End Of The Ocean-

00:15 13-PG15 02:15 Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides-PG15 05:00 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore-PG 07:00 Prom-PG15 09:00 The Conspirator-PG15 11:00 Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides-PG15 13:15 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid-PG 15:00 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules-PG 17:00 The 16th Man-PG15 18:00 Charlie St. Cloud-PG15 20:00 Every Jack Has A Jill-PG15 22:00 Unstoppable-PG15


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Zorro’s Secrets-PG Mr. Popper’s Penguins-PG Scooter The Penguin-FAM The Last Airbender-PG Last Of The Mohicans-PG Ice Age-FAM Mr. Popper’s Penguins-PG Emperor’s Secret-PG Christopher Columbus-PG Ice Age-FAM Mars Needs Moms-PG Emperor’s Secret-PG

00:00 An Invisible Sign Of My OwnPG15 02:00 Thor-PG15 04:00 Captain America: The First Avenger-PG15 06:30 Winnie The Pooh-FAM 08:00 The Hairy Tooth Fairy 2-PG 10:00 Thor-PG15 12:00 Captain America: The First Avenger-PG15 14:30 Bubble Boy-PG15 16:30 The 16th Man-PG15 18:00 127 Hours-PG15 20:00 Every Jack Has A Jill-PG15 22:00 Ghost Machine-PG15

00:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 11:00 11:30 12:30 13:00 15:00 15:30 17:30 18:00 20:00 20:30 21:00 22:00 23:00

Cricket Test Match Olympic Highlights Olympic Highlights Rugby Union Currie Cup Futbol Mundial Trans World Sport Live Rugby Matchday Live The Rugby Championship Live Rugby Matchday NRL Premiership Live Rugby Matchday Live The Rugby Championship Live Rugby Matchday Futbol Mundial Olympic Highlights Olympic Highlights Trans World Sport

00:00 Senior European Tour Highlights 01:00 Trans World Sport 02:00 WWE SmackDown 04:00 WWE Bottom Line 05:00 Rugby Union ITM Cup 07:00 Live AFL Premiership 10:00 Futbol Mundial 10:30 Live NRL Premiership 12:30 PGA European Tour Weekly 13:00 Live Test Cricket 21:00 Rugby Match Day 21:30 The Rugby Championship 23:30 Rugby Match Day

01:00 Rugby Union Currie Cup 03:00 AFL Premiership 05:30 Golfing World 06:30 Total Rugby 07:00 Premier League Snooker 10:30 Live NRL Premiership 12:30 Live NRL Premiership 14:30 World Match Racing Tour Highlights 15:30 Total Rugby 16:00 Live Rugby Union Currie Cup 18:00 Live Rugby Union Currie Cup 20:00 AFL Premiership 22:30 NRL Premiership

00:00 01:00 03:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 11:30 14:30 15:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 19:30 21:45

UFC The Ultimate Fighter WWE SmackDown WWE Bottomline UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed WWE SmackDown WWE Bottomline WWE Vintage Collection V8 Supercars Extra Live AFL Premiership V8 Supercars Extra WWE SmackDown WWE Experience WWE Bottom Line Mobil 1 The Grid Live Super League UFC 150

00:10 02:40 05:05 FAM 07:00 08:25 10:35 12:00 14:00 15:30 17:00 18:40 20:20 22:00 23:55

The Color Purple Home From The Hill-PG Knights Of The Round TableInvasion Quartet-FAM Till The Clouds Roll By-FAM Black Legion-PG Little Women-FAM The Main Attraction-PG What’s Up, Doc?-FAM Rose Marie-FAM Gaby-PG The Time Machine-FAM Coma Zabriskie Point


IKEA Kuwait celebrates Eid-Al Fitr


n lieu of the upcoming Eid Al Fitr celebrations, IKEA Kuwait is hosting its festivities at the store for two days. The activities will take place on the 2nd and 3rd day of Eid from 5 - 8 pm. IKEA Kuwait is inviting families to participate in this joyous occasion where a range of fun filled activities can be enjoyed by the children such as face painting, clown balloon magic, cartoon characters and arts & crafts IKEA Kuwait continues to reinforce its support and wishes everyone in Kuwait a blessed Eid and prosperous season ahead.

NBK’s Eid Timings


ational Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has taken all necessary measures to ensure providing customers with the best services during Eid Al-Fitr holiday throughout Hala Watani, Mobile Banking (BlackBerry, iPhone and iPad), Online and ATM services. All NBK branches will be closed on the 19th, 20th and 21st August, 2012. Hala Watani, NBK Online and ATM will be available 24 hours and ready to serve customers. Customers can also conduct all their transactions through NBK Mobile Banking application.

Star Cricket team hosts iftar party for members


tar Cricket Team held an lftar party for its members at Tabaq Restaurant. The members turned up in full force, and enjoyed the opportunity to intermingle in the midst

IMAX film program Effective from 19th till 25th August 2012 Sunday: 19.8.2012 To The Arctic 3D Monday: 20.8.2012 To The Arctic 3D

Burgan Bank concludes Ramadan social activities


urgan Bank recently concluded its series of Ramadan social activities that were aimed at strengthening ties with the local community along with highlighting the social solidarity spirit amongst different segments of the society. As a leading financial institution, and part of its social responsibility framework, Burgan Bank continues to introduce innovative initiatives that aim to mutually benefit the bank and the society as a whole. The bank hosted a wide range of cultural girgian themed nights that included participating with the Kuwait Handicapped Sports Club, The Kuwaiti Society for Guardians of the Disabled, the Ministry of social affairs as well as celebrating Girgi’an with its staff. Burgan Bank extends its best wishes and greetings on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr, the Airport branch will continue with its normal operations during Eid holidays to serve Burgan Bank customers as well as the travelers, the branch will be open seven days a week from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm and from 3:30 pm-10:30 pm.

Tuesday: 21.8.2012 To The Arctic 3D

2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm, 10:30pm, 11:30pm 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm, 10:30pm, 11:30pm 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm, 10:30pm, 11:30pm

Wednesday: 22.8.2012 Space Junk 3D To The Arctic 3D Born to be Wild 3D The Last Reef 3D

10:30am, 9:30pm 11:30am, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 10:30pm 12:30pm 6:30pm

Thursday: 23.8.2012 To The Arctic 3D The Last Reef 3D Born to be Wild 3D Space Junk 3D

10:30am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm 11:30am, 11:30pm 4:30pm 7:30pm

Friday: 24.8.2012 Space Junk 3D To The Arctic 3D The Last Reef 3D Born to be Wild 3D

2:30pm, 8:30pm 3:30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 9:30pm, 10:30pm 4:30pm 6:30pm

Saturday: 25.8.2012 To The Arctic 3D Journey to Mecca Born to be Wild 3D Space Junk 3D The Last Reef 3D

10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm 11:30am 1:30pm, 10:30pm 4:30pm 7:30pm


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

of the Ramadan hiatus, when matches and practice sessions have been temporarily suspended. It was a memorable evening for the members.

• • •

All films are in Arabic. For English, headsets are available upon request. “Fires of Kuwait” is in English. Arabic headsets are available upon request. Film schedule is subject to changes without notice. For information

Burgan Bank announces branch timings for Ramadan Burgan Bank announced its new branch timings which will be applicable all throughout the holy month of Ramadan. All Burgan Bank branches will commence work in one shift from 10 am to 1:30 pm. Additionally, the Airport branch will be open seven days a week in the mornings from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm and in the evenings from 9:30 pm to 11:30 pm. On this occasion, Burgan Bank extends its best wishes to everyone during the holy month of Ramadan. KIB announces Ramadan working hours Kuwait International Bank has announced its working hours during the holy month of Ramadan in a press statement released by the bank stating: “We would like to congratulate our valued customers on the start of the holy

month of Ramadan, and we are glad to announce that the bank’s working hours will be from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm at the head offices and its 18 branches distributed around Kuwait.” Similar to every year, KIB services and products will be accessible to all customers during the bank’s working hours, and around the clock customers can perform their banking transactions and submit their enquiries through Al-Dawli Weyak which offers a dedicated 24/7 call center and can accessed from anywhere around the world. KIB customers can also use Al-Dawli Online and SMS Banking to further manage their accounts and banking needs around the clock. For more information on KIB’s services and products, please visit the bank’s website on or check the latest updates on or follow us on Twitter @alDawliBank.


Madiner Pathe organises iftar & Doa Mahfil


he monthly ‘Madiner Pathe’ organised lftar & Doa Mahfil on August 12. The function was presided by Sharif Mohammad Mizanur Rahman. Chief Editor, The Madiner Pathe. Holy Quran was recited by Hafez Abdullah. The function began with a speech by Ali Abdul Wahid, the president of The Madiner Pathe ‘Pathok Forum’ in Kuwait.

K. M. Ali Reza 1st Secretary, (Labour) Bangladesh Embassy, Kuwait was the chief guest at this function. A.S.M. Nazrul Islam, country Manager. Biman Bangladesh, Kuwait was special guest in this function. The other special guests were invited. The respectable guests were Awami League, Awami Joboleage, Sramik league,

Awami Shessa Sebak League, B N P, Comilla Probashi Parishod, Jalalabad Association, Bangladesh Somaj Kollayan committee, Chittagong Somitee, Farid Pur Somitee, Manager Association and other political, social leaders were attended the function. The important speech about Ramadan Fazitot was delivered by Mawlana Jobair Ahmed.

Swadesh magazine hosts Iftar


elebrating the blessed month of Ramadan, Swadesh magazine authority in Kuwait hosted a grand iftar and prayer mahfil on August 7. The program was presided over by the editor of Swadesh Magazine Mohammed Masud Karim. Biman Bangladesh Airlines Country manager in Kuwait A.S.M. Narul Islam attended the program as the honorable chief guest. Among the special guests were respectively, Swadesh Magazine advisor Mahfuzur Rahaman, Bangladesh Awami League Kuwait chapter’s Convener Rafiqul Islam Bhulu, Awami League leader Belal Faruk, M. Azadur Rahaman, President in charge of Awami

Jatiya Party Kuwait branch organizes iftar


atiya Party in observance of the holy month of Ramadan organized an iftar and Prayer Mahfil on Aug 9. Jatiya Party Kuwait branch president Mahmud Ali Hajee presided over the program and that was presented by Mohammed Ismail, General Secretary of the party. K. M. Ali Reza First Secretary (Labor) Embassy of Bangladesh to the state of Kuwait was the chief guest and the special guests were the A.S.M. Nazrul Islam country

manager Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Sadek Hussain president of Bangladesh Awami League Kuwait, Kader Mullah Vice president BNP Kuwait. Jafor Ahmed Chowdory, Habibur Rahman president Kuwait Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce, among notable dignitaries who attended the programme. Jatiya Party Kuwait’s religious affairs secretary Moulana Abdul Ahad conducted the prayer Mahfil in the program prayer was

offered for the well being of Jatiya Party Chairman, former president Path Bhondu Uussain Mohammed Ershad and all the central committee leaders as well as for the betterment of the nation. President of the program in his closing speech - said people of Bangladesh are already fed-up by the circle of ruling of two parties, corruption and looting government property. The program ended with iftar for guests.

Jubo League Kuwait Selim Jahangir, Literature Mohammed Ali Azam. The program had commenced with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. Swadesh magazine editor Mohammed Masud Karim delivered the opening speech. The chief guest A.S.M. Nazrul Islam in his speech urged Bangladeshi expatriates to extend their helping hand to the needy countrymen. A cross section of expatriate political, cultural, journalist and business community pioneers attended the program. In the prayer mahfil before iftar a special prayer was offered seeking divine graces for the nation. The prayer mahfil was conducted by Hafez Abdul Malik.

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 . 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. 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.


German authorities reopen Facebook privacy investigation BERLIN: Germany’s data protection regulator has reopened its investigation into Facebook’s facial recognition software, accusing the social networking giant of illegally storing member photos. The facial recognition feature asks users to identify their friends in photos uploaded to the site without having to obtain permission by those individuals who have been tagged in a picture. This has allowed the company to create a biometric database of members using their photos, a practice that Germany’s Office of Data Protection and Freedom of Information says is illegal under

European law. “The existing database of biometric information, compiled without the consent of users, is and remains illegal,” Germany’s data protection commissioner Johannes Caspar said on Wednesday. Facebook maintains that it is in full compliance with EU data protection laws. Germany’s initial investigation was suspended in June after Facebook appeared near to an agreement about its use of the data with the Office of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, the country in which Facebook’s European operations are based. However, the changes German authorities

hoped for have not been implemented. Although Facebook agreed to suspend the feature for European users joining the social networking site after July 1, Caspar explained that it had still failed to comply with other changes requested, including having members give explicit consent to being identified in photos. “The data that has already been collected must be deleted, or we must at the very least ensure that members have the chance to explicitly agree to Facebook continuing to store and make use of their personal data,” Caspar said. He said that millions of photos stored by the company are at risk of being misused. — dpa

Green battery technology leak fears overblown Executives express concern

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BEIJING: Foreign car makers in China including General Motors Co and Toyota Motor Corp last year thought they had scored a victory over Beijing’s efforts to strong-arm them into sharing cutting-edge electric car technology. But that could prove compromised as leading Chinese auto parts firm Wanxiang Group Corp’s $465 million investment in A123 Systems Inc, a struggling US maker of lithium-ion batteries, may help China unlock the secrets to critical and advanced green-car technologies. The investment has ruffled feathers in the run-up to the presidential election in the United States as A123 receives government grants tied to it keeping production and jobs in the US during an economic downturn that has seen unemployment levels remain stubbornly above 8 percent. Some industry executives including engineering chiefs from two global auto makers, who did not want to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, expressed concern at the prospect that A123 could lose control of its fiercely guarded battery design and manufacturing know-how. They are particularly worried that Wanxiang might shift part of A123’s research and development activities to China - if the deal wins US and Chinese government approval. “I don’t care if A123 manufactures more battery cells and packs in China. That wouldn’t jeopardize its technological advantage,” said a chief engineer at one global automaker. “But showing what’s inside their black box ... the technology that makes those battery cells packed with energy, to its Chinese investor, which has its own battery business, is completely another matter.” There are several types of lithium-ion battery - an advanced energy-storage device that has made the electric car a possible alternative to gasoline-fueled vehicles. A123’s technology, which uses iron-phosphate, is seen in the industry as having better chemical stability, making it safer for electric cars. The enabling technology was in part developed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor who is one of A123’s founders, and is patented. The ‘nano technology’ involved, for instance, shrinks lithium particles to nano dimensions, helping boost a battery cell’s energy density, and putting more power into a smaller box. Wanxiang’s lifeline to loss-making A123 could see it end up with around an 80 percent stake in the Massachusetts-based battery maker, and four of the nine board seats. Pin Ni, a son-in-law of Wanxiang’s

founder and head of the group’s U.S. operations, said his company would not do anything to harm A123, which listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 2009. “Obviously we’re going to try to grow the company; we’re going to do what’s best for the company,” Ni told Reuters by telephone, declining to elaborate. People close to Wanxiang and familiar with its A123 investment, said the company would behave responsibly with A123’s intellectual property, and noted the US firm already produces advanced batteries in China. Fears of A123 losing control of its intellectual property are overblown, they said. Wanxiang is a major auto parts supplier and has a relatively large presence in the United States having bought up distressed parts makers over the past decade. It formed a joint venture which bought and turned around Driveline Systems, an axle maker in Illinois, and has taken over parts operations from Ford Motor Co, among others in the US Midwest. Wanxiang’s existing joint venture in China with Ener1 Inc , a US company which this year emerged from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, produces manganesebased lithium-ion batteries. A person close to Ener1 said the company has been “extra cautious” not to allow Wanxiang engineers to interact with its U.S.-based battery scientists and engineers because of fears of losing

know-how to its Chinese partner. Neither A123 nor Ener1 responded to requests for comment for this article. A123 has battery contracts with BMW, China’s SAIC and U.S. startup Fisker Automotive, and is slated to provide batteries for GM’s upcoming Chevrolet Spark EV. It was hit this year by a defective battery recall and warned last month that it had only about five months of cash left. Two years ago, China, the world’s biggest autos market, began drawing up plans to corral foreign brands into joint ventures that would give Beijing more access to the latest battery technology. Fearing battery technology leaks, the auto giants complained, and China watered down its demands, allowing foreign automakers to own 50 percent of local ventures, rather than just a minority stake - but not before foreign automakers such as GM, Toyota and Nissan Motor Co Ltd had taken steps to protect their advanced technology by making cars in China with cheaper oneor two-generation-old technologies. The spread of green technology has been slow in part because of its high cost and the lack of public charging facilities.And the expected boom in electric cars - which had prompted battery makers to build too much capacity - just hasn’t materialised. In the United States, January-July electric vehicle and hybrid sales totalled 270,000, just 3 percent of total car sales, according to green-car website — Reuters

BEIJING: This picture taken on August 16, 2012, shows workers assembling a car in the Chang’an automobile factory in Beijing. Growth in Chinese auto sales slowed to 8.2 percent on-year in July, traditionally a slack season in the world’s largest car market, as total vehicle sales were around 1.38 million vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement yesterday. — AFP

CLASSIFIEDS Al-Madena Al-Shohada’a Al-Shuwaikh Al-Nuzha Sabhan Al-Helaly Al-Fayhaa Al-Farwaniya Al-Sulaibikhat Al-Fahaheel Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Ahmadi Al-Mangaf Al-Shuaiba Al-Jahra Al-Salmiya


22418714 22545171 24810598 22545171 24742838 22434853 22545051 24711433 24316983 23927002 24316983 23980088 23711183 23262845 25610011 25616368

Hospitals Sabah Hospital


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Clinics Rabiya














Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally





Al-Madena Police Station 22434064 Al-Murqab Police Station 22435865 Al-Daiya Police Station 22544200 Al-Fayha’a Police Station 22547133 Al-Qadissiya Police Station22515277 Al-Nugra Police Station 22616662 Al-Salmiya Police Station 25714406 Al-Dasma Police Station 22530801

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For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128

No: 15543

Prayer timings Fajr: Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

03:53 11:53 15:27 18:26 19:48

information SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2012



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C R O S S W O R D 7 7 1


Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday始s Solution

ACROSS 1. An Indian unit of length having different values in different localities. 5. 1,000 baiza equal 1 riyal-omani. 10. Being one more than one. 13. (Norse mythology) Goddess of old age who defeated Thor in a wrestling match. 14. A chock or bar wedged under a wheel or between the spokes to prevent a vehicle from rolling down an incline. 15. The most common computer memory which can be used by programs to perform necessary tasks while the computer is on. 16. Power to control. 18. An enclosure made or wire or metal bars in which birds or animals are kept. 19. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 20. An alloy of copper and zinc (and sometimes arsenic) used to imitate gold in cheap jewelry and for gilding. 22. Citadel of Moscow, housing the offices of the Russian government. 24. Again but in a new or different way. 26. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 27. A Chadic language spoken in the Mandara mountains in Cameroon. 30. Type genus of the Hylidae. 33. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 34. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 36. The syllable naming the fourth (subdominant) note of the diatonic scale in solmization. 37. The square of a body of any size of type. 38. Any of the Hindu sacred writing. 40. Toward the mouth or oral region. 42. Of or relating to or characteristic of Thailand of its people. 43. A period of time containing 365 (or 366) days. 44. A fraudulent business scheme. 46. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 47. 10 grams. 48. The cry made by sheep. 50. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 53. East Indian tree bearing a profusion of intense vermilion velvet-textured blooms and yielding a yellow dye. 55. Feline mammal usually having thick soft fur and being unable to roar. 58. A vehicle resembling a bicycle but having skis instead of wheels. 61. Bug of temperate regions that infests especially beds and feeds on human blood. 62. 300 to 3000 megahertz. 63. A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue separating or binding together muscles and organs etc. 66. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 67. The airforce of Great Britain. 68. United States comedian and film actor (1880-1946). 69. Water that has condensed on a cool surface overnight from water vapor in the air. DOWN 1. (British slang) An absolute certainty. 2. A spread made chiefly from vegetable oils and used as a substitute for butter. 3. Being of delicate or slender build. 4. In the Arabian Nights a hero who tells of the fantastic adventures he had in his voyages. 5. A bachelor's degree in science. 6. A drug combination found in some over-the-counter headache remedies (Aspirin and Phenacetin and Caffeine).

7. A republic in the Middle East in western Asia. 8. The capital of Croatia. 9. American novelist (1909-1955). 10. Felt hat with a creased crown. 11. Gully or streambed in North Africa and the Middle East that remains dry except during rainy season. 12. A strategically located monarchy on the southern and eastern coasts of the Arabian Peninsula. 17. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 21. United States food manufacturer who (with his brother) developed a breakfast cereal of crisp flakes of rolled and toasted wheat and corn. 23. (Hinduism) Term of respect for a Brahmin sage. 25. A state in northwestern United States on the Pacific. 28. On or toward the lee. 29. A quantity of no importance. 31. A soft heavy toxic malleable metallic element. 32. Type genus of the Amiidae. 35. An archaic name for Easter or Passover. 39. A unit of dry measure used in Egypt. 41. The district occupied entirely by the city of Washington. 45. A member of the Circassian people living east of the Black Sea. 49. (of complexion) Blemished by imperfections of the skin. 51. A Loloish language. 52. A Berber living in northern Morocco. 53. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 54. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 56. A unit of area (4840 square yards) used in English-speaking countries. 57. The process whereby heat changes something from a solid to a liquid. 59. Not in operation or operational. 60. The Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan. 64. A toxic nonmetallic element related to sulfur and tellurium. 65. Being ten more than one hundred forty.

Yesterday始s Solution


Gentry unlikely star as Rangers down Yankees NEW YORK: Texas’ Craig Gentry, starting for the first time in two weeks, hit a twoout, two-run single in the seventh inning that lifted the Rangers to a 10-6 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday. The Rangers avoided a four-game sweep in a matchup of AL division leaders and won for the first time at Yankee Stadium in nine attempts. The Yankees led 5-4 before the Rangers came back with three runs in the seventh. David Murphy hit a tying RBI double off Boone Logan (4-1) and, after an intentional walk that loaded the bases, Gentry lined a tiebreaking single up the middle. Texas reliever Tanner Scheppers (1-0) won his first big league decision. RAYS 7, ANGELS 0 In Anaheim, David Price pitched seven scoreless innings to notch his AL-leading 16th victory and lead Tampa Bay over Los Angeles. Price (16-4) struck out eight and allowed only two runners to third base. Price is 8-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his past 11 starts. Tampa Bay got home runs from Evan Longoria, BJ Upton and Ben Zobrist. Los Angeles has gone 32 consecutive innings without scoring against the Rays. Angels starter Dan Haren (8-10) gave up five runs in 3 1-3 innings. He has allowed at least one home run in each of his past 10 starts; a career worst. RED SOX 6, ORIOLES 3 In Baltimore, Clay Buchholz shook off a rocky start to earn the win as Boston downed Baltimore. After giving up six hits over the first two innings, Buchholz (11-3) kept the Orioles at bay, and the Red Sox

rebounded from a 3-1 deficit. He allowed three runs in eight innings and struck out seven. Dustin Pedroia singled in the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning as the Red Sox added three runs in that frame against Luis Ayala (4-4). WHITE SOX 7, BLUE JAYS 2 In Toronto, Alex Rios hit a three-run homer against his former team to help Chicago beat Toronto. Rios’ shot was added to by four solo homers as the White Sox matched a season high by going deep five times. The power surge helped the White Sox win their first series in Toronto since 2006. Chicago starter Francisco Liriano (4-10) allowed three hits with six strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings to win for the first time with his new team since arriving from Minnesota. Toronto’s Aaron Laffey (34) allowed three runs in six innings. ATHLETICS 3, ROYALS 0 In Kansas City, Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes homered as Oakland downed Kansas City. Crisp was 2 for 27 this season against his former team before the home run. His drive hit high off a wall beyond the fence and rebounded back onto the field. It was first ruled a double, but after A’s manager Bob Melvin disputed the call, umpires viewed replays and changed it to a home run. Athletics starter Dan Straily (1-0) earned his first major league victory with 6 1-3 scoreless innings. Royals starter Luke Hochevar (711) gave up three runs in seven-plus innings. He is 0-8 with a 6.52 ERA in nine career starts against Oakland. — AP

MLB results/standings Texas 10, NY Yankees 6; Pittsburgh 10, La Dodgers 6; Boston 6, Baltimore 3; Chicago White Sox 7, Toronto 2; Atlanta 6, San Diego 0; NY Mets 8, Cincinnati 4; Milwaukee 7, Philadelphia 4; Oakland 3, Kansas City 0; Arizona 2, St. Louis 1; Colorado 5, Miami 3; Tampa Bay 7, LA Angels 0. National League American League Eastern Division

Eastern Division

Washington 73












NY Mets













.445 20.5





NY Yankees 70



Tampa Bay 64








.487 12.5






Central Division Chicago White Sox 65

52 .556 -


Central Division Cincinnati 71




Pittsburgh 65




St. Louis





Milwaukee 53


.453 17.5

.458 11.5

Chicago Cubs46








.328 32.5











Kansas City 51 Minnesota 50


Western Division



Western Division LA Dodgers 65









San Francisco64













LA Angels





San Diego 52


.433 13.5



.388 18.5






59 45

DENVER: A hit by Colorado Rockies’ Josh Rutledge sails over the head of Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton in the seventh inning of a baseball game in Denver. The Rockies won 5-3. — AP

Pirates down Dodgers PITTSBURGH: Pittsburgh’s Garrett Jones hit two three-run homers to power the Pirates to a 10-6 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, avoiding a threegame sweep. Jones had a career-high six RBIs for the Pirates, who had lost six of seven. He homered in the first and fifth for his fifth two-homer game of his career. Pittsburgh starter AJ Burnett (15-4) became the first Pirates pitcher this century to notch 15 wins in a season. He allowed seven hits with seven strikeouts. Dodgers starter Joe Blanton (8-11) fell to 0-2 since being acquired in a trade from Philadelphia. He gave up eight runs and a season-worst four walks in 4 1-3 innings. Los Angeles had won six straight. METS 8, REDS 4 In Cincinnati, rookie Matt Harvey drove in one more run than he allowed as New York snapped Cincinnati’s five-game winning streak. Harvey (2-3), who had lost three straight starts after winning in his major league debut, allowed one run in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out eight, walked one and hit a batter. Harvey doubled in two runs in New York’s three-run fourth inning. Ike Davis and Jason Bay hit solo home runs for the Mets, who capitalized on three errors. The Reds, who entered with a season-high, seven-game lead in the NL Central, had it cut to six over Pittsburgh. Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey (10-8) allowed six runs in 5 1-3 innings. DIAMONDBACKS 2, CARDINALS 1 In St Louis, Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Young homered on consecutive pitches in the ninth inning to lift Arizona over St Louis. With St Louis ahead, Jason Motte (44) struck out the first batter in the ninth. Goldschmidt fouled off three full-count pitches, then drove a pitch over center for his 18th home run of the season. Young sent the next pitch over the wall in left. Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez (2-2) pitched a perfect eighth, and J.J. Putz finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for the save. Arizona had lost its previous seven games

against St. Louis dating to last season. BRAVES 6, PADRES 0 In Atlanta, Chipper Jones homered twice and Kris Medlen pitched a shutout to lead Atlanta over San Diego. on a night when a big crowd turned out to get his bobblehead, and Atlanta won its 15th straight game with Kris Medlen as a starter. Jones hit a two-run homer in the first, then added a towering solo shot in the fifth, which was his 2,700th career hit. For the 40-year-old Jones, who is retiring after this season, it was his first multihomer game in more than three years and gave him 12 homers in what is turning out to be quite a farewell season. He raised his team-leading average to .315. Medlen (4-1) threw the first complete game of his career. The Braves have won the past 15 games in which he’s started. Padres starter Jason Marquis (6-7) allowed six runs in 4 2-3 innings. BREWERS 7, PHILLIES 4 In Milwaukee, Corey Hart’s grand slam in the eighth inning led Milwaukee over Philadelphia. With two outs in the eighth and no runners on, Rickie Weeks ground to third, but Kevin Frandsen made an errant throw for a two-base error. Josh Lindblom (2-3) replaced Cliff Lee and intentionally walked two batters to load the bases. Hart hit a 2-2 pitch just over the wall in right. Brewers reliever Livan Hernandez (4-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the victory. The Phillies loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, but a groundout ended it. ROCKIES 5, MARLINS 3 In Denver, Michael Cuddyer homered and DJ LeMahieu had two hits for streaking Colorado in the win over Miami. Adam Ottavino (4-1) picked up the win in relief of starter Alex White as the Rockies won their fourth straight. Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco (9-12) pitched his first complete game of the season but still lost for the sixth time in seven starts. He allowed five runs in eight innings. —AP



Pettersen to defend her Pumpkin patch PORTLAND: It doesn’t take long for Norway’s Suzann Pettersen to get the positive vibes going at the LPGA Tour’s Safeway Classic. The defending champ overcame a nine-stroke deficit with a seven-under 64 to defeat South Korea’s Choi Na-yeon on the first hole of a playoff on the Pumpkin Ridge golf course last year. It was the eighth career title for Pettersen and it came on a course she seems to easily find her comfort zone on. “It kind of feels like being back at home,” Pettersen said Thursday. “Ever since they moved from Columbia

Edgewater, I’ve done a little better. It’s one of those tracks where you can really get it going.” Players in the 54-hole tournament tee off on Friday. This is the fourth year at Pumpkin Ridge after 18 at the nearby Columbia Egdewater course. Pettersen tied for second at Pumpkin Ridge in 2009 and tied for fourth in 2010. World number two Stacy Lewis, of the United States, likes the layout and says the par-fives will be key. “You can really make a move there,” said Lewis, a two-time winner this year. Lewis is trying to close the gap on top-ranked

Taiwanese star Yani Tseng, who has been stuck in a slump lately after winning three tournaments early in the season. “Yani won so many times last year (seven). It would take a year like Yani had last year to catch her,” Lewis said. “I know I’m getting closer, but she hasn’t been in a slump for a long time.” Tseng missed the cut last week at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic. In her four starts before that, she tied for 59th in the LPGA Championship, missed the cut in the NW Arkansas Championship, tied for 50th in the US Women’s Open, and missed the cut at the Evian

Masters. “I try everything I can,” Tseng said. “I’m working hard. I just work on location. This week, I feel very good, I feel like the old Yani is getting close and I feel like I need to get started on what I’m here for. “This is a sport I love and there is no way I can be more appreciative than anyone else. I feel that I have a lot of advantage this week and I can do it. Just enjoy more than anybody on the course this week.” South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon is coming off a victory Sunday in the Toledo Classic, where she shot a fourth round nine-under 62. — AFP

Wallabies coach Deans dodges All Blacks jibe

CAPE TOWN: The Argentinean national rugby team, Los Pumas, trains in Cape Town prior to their Rugby Championship match against South Africa. — AFP RugbyU PREVIEW

Springboks want to spoil Pumas’ party JOHANNESBURG: South Africa intend to be party poopers today when Argentina debut in the southern hemisphere rugby union championship following many years as outcasts. After 16 seasons of Tri-Nations fare featuring Australia, New Zealand and the Springboks, intense lobbying by the Pumas has been rewarded with inclusion in the renamed, double-round Rugby Championship. A 2005 draw with the British and Irish Lions and third place at the 2007 World Cup gave Argentine officials the ammunition needed to press for regular competition, and now the real battle begins at Newlands stadium in Cape Town. Few doubt the ability of the Pumas to compete at home against the All Blacks, Wallabies and Springboksranked one, two and three respectively in the world-but there is less certainty about the ability to cope far from the Pampas. Upbeat coach and former Argentina flanker Santiago Phelan says: “A lot of hard work has gone into ensuring we produce a good game and I believe playing against the three best teams in the world will help us improve. “We are very excited and happy. Argentina have waited for this opportunity for a very long time and the six Tests we play during the next eight weeks are so important to us.” Argentine preparations at home from June included a victory over Italy, a shared two-match series with depleted France and a win and loss against French

Top 14 club Stade Francais. After fielding virtually alllocal sides in the three Tests, professionals based in France and England bolstered the Pumas and 14 of the side that started in a 31-17 triumph over Stade last weekend will run out against South Africa. The lone change comes at inside centre with Santiago Fernandez returning in place of Martin Rodriguez while injury-prone fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez is back after a three-year Test absence. Veteran loosehead prop Rodrigo Roncero wins his 50th cap in a pack led by world class No 8 and captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and famed for its scrummaging and mauling. “The Pumas have a great scrum, they are great maulers and I have noticed that their strength has improved, as well as fitness levels,” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said. “Having watched a lot of footage of Argentina games and coached two players in the present squad while I was head coach of Leicester four years ago, I know how they play.” Hooker Bismarck du Plessis, one of three South African survivors from a 63-9 Johannesburg romp when the countries last met in 2008, is relishing the chance to tackle new Championship opponents. “It will be nice to have a different team to play against and new opponents to square up to,” he said ahead of round 14 between the Springboks and the Pumas with the twotime world champions having won all the previous 13 Tests. —AFP

SYDNEY: Australia coach Robbie Deans refused to take the bait after being accused of lacking confidence in his World Cup side for today’s opening clash of the Rugby Championship in Sydney. The Wallabies scored a rare win over the world champions in Brisbane last year, but the All Blacks are touted to dominate the newly-expanded southern hemisphere competition with South Africa and debutants Argentina. New Zealand coach Steve Hansen’s jibe that picking only six starters from their 20-6 semi-final defeat by New Zealand at last year’s World Cup was like an admission from Deans that he had got his selections wrong. Either that or he wanted to change his style of game and did not trust those players to get the job done, Hansen said. “Steve is a very good fisherman - he loves fishing,” Deans told reporters yesterday before the showdown at the Olympic stadium. Deans said the Wallabies were fired up to upset New Zealand and clinch the Bledisloe Cup the annual trophy contested between the Antipodean neighbors - for the first time since 2002. “Obviously we’d love to and I’m part of that,” he said. “Clearly

it’s time. It’s pretty straightforward really. It’s far too long. “But we’re getting it done, the boys have worked hard, we understand that the All Blacks won’t let go lightly. That’s the nature of the way they push their work. “This group I can assure you is really looking forward to kick-off.” All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw brushed off the media hype surrounding the game. “Teams change,” he shrugged. “One week can be a long time in sport. “You look at the personnel they have got there at the moment, they are all quality individuals and we are in for a big challenge and from my point of view that’s all that I’m looking at.” Deans said home advantage in the opening game would be crucial. The Wallabies face the return leg at Eden Park in Auckland next week where they have not beaten the All Blacks since 1986. “It’s really important now for both sides. It’s a new format, it’s going to be a tough championship, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “Any side that gets off to a good start will get the benefit of that. Every outing is going to be key because there’ll be nothing given.” — Reuters

Pettersson puts pedal down at Wyndham GREENSBORO: Carl Pettersson, coming off his best finish in a major, fired an eight-under 62 on Thursday to seize a one-shot lead after the first round of the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship. Pettersson, a Swede who became an American citizen in the offseason, tied for third at the 94th PGA Championship on Sunday and did not skip a beat in his opening round at the Sedgefield Country Club. “I started off the round well with two birdies in the first three holes and it got me kind of straight back into the score mode from last week,” said Pettersson. “Sometimes after a great week, you feel a little bit flat the next week, but I think it helped getting off to such a good start.” Pettersson played in a group with US Open winner and defending champ Webb Simpson, who shot a four-under 66. “Great start today. You know, only one bogey on my second hole. Other than that I played really solid, and it was fun to watch somebody shoot 62,”

Simpson said. Pettersson has a win and two runner-up finishes this season. He has finished in the top five at this event three times in the last five years, including a victory four years ago. South Africa’s Tim Clark, who is rounding back into form after having surgery on his wrist, and David Mathis were one stroke off the lead at minus-seven. Tom Gillis, Troy Matteson and Scott Stallings were tied for fourth at six-under 64. Matt Every had sole possession of seventh at five-under 65. “I think this game is very streaky,” Pettersson said. “We get on a good run, you got to keep going and it seems like when you’re playing well you never think you’re going to play bad. “When you’re playing bad, you never think you’re going to play well. (...) Once you get on a streak, you’ve got to take advantage of it and, you know, put the pedal down and go for it.” Simpson heads a group of a dozen tied for eighth at four-under 66. —AFP


Liberty thump Sun as WNBA resumes NEWARK: New York’s Cappie Pondexter scored 24 points to lead the Liberty to a 79-66 win over the Connecticut Sun as the WNBA resumed after a hiatus to accommodate the Olympics. Plenette Pierson, who had missed the Liberty’s last eight games before the break due to a left knee strain, had 16 points for the hosts. Renee Montgomery scored 16 points for the Sun, whose lead atop the Eastern Conference was trimmed to three games ahead of Indiana. FEVER 84, MYSTICS 66 In Indianapolis, Erlana Larkins scored a career-high 16 points to help Indiana beat Washington. Larkins also matched career highs with seven rebounds and three steals. Tamika Catchings, fresh off winning her third gold medal for Team USA, had 14 points and 14 rebounds. The double-double was the 76th of her career, tied her with Lauren Jackson for third in WNBA history. Monique Currie scored 12 points for the Mystics, who remained in last place in the East. STORM 72, MERCURY 58 In Seattle, Camille Little scored 17 points as Seattle downed Phoenix and reached .500 for the first time this season. Tanisha Wright had 10 points for the Storm, who went in front for good with a 10-0 run in the second quarter. Samantha Prahalis’ 15 points topped the Mercury, who have lost seven straight, three of them to Seattle. — AP

NEW YORK: The gold medal-winning US Women’s Gymnastics Team (from left) Kyla Ross, Aly Raisman, McKayla Marone, Jordyn Wieber and Gabby Douglas pose on the observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York. — AP

Life gets golden for Olympic champions Douglas, Wieber NEW YORK: When US gymnasts Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber captured gold at the London Olympics, each achieved a lifelong dream, but it was just the opening act for two teenagers who haven’t ruled out the 2016 Rio Games or even careers in show business. Wieber and Douglas, as part of the team dubbed the “Fierce Five,” won the women’s gymnastics team gold medal for the United States. Douglas also made history when she became the first African-American to take home a gold medal in the all-round individual competition. The achievement catapulted Wieber, 17, and Douglas, 16, onto the world stage as instant celebrities. But both have their feet firmly on the ground-and their eyes set on more competition. “Rio 2016 is in the back of my mind and if all goes well, then I think you will be seeing more of me,” Douglas said. Wieber also plans to stick with gymnastics and

keep competing to see where it takes her. As for the next Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, “It’s definitely a possibility,” she said. In the meantime they are enjoying their celebrity. They have inked endorsement deals, been made beauty ambassadors for Procter & Gamble, met pop stars and made a round of television appearances. Douglas co-hosted “America’s Got Talent.” “After a gymnastic career, I would like to study acting and maybe be a spokesperson or something like that, but I would have to consider that after my gymnastic career,” she said. DETERMINATION AND DEDICATION Both girls sacrificed time with family and friends to pursue their dreams, and Douglas admitted to being homesick after moving away from her family to Iowa to work with a better coach. “I remember thinking, I want to

go to the mall and now I have to go to training. But now I look back, and definitely the hard work and dedication paid off,” Douglas said. “Tough days are when champions are made.” Despite making history, Douglas said she didn’t think about the pressure ahead of the Olympics or about winning. She just wanted to go out there, be great and seize the moment. “I look back and now I can say I have no regrets. That’s the worst pain, if you have regrets,” she said. “We can all go with our chin held high and say we gave it our all.” Wieber agrees. “Coming away from the Olympics with a gold medal is more than anyone could ask for,” she said. Both teens are excited about being role models for young girls and would urge them to follow their dreams. “Always strive for your dreams and personal goals and never let anyone tell you that you can do it, because you can,” said Douglas. — Reuters

Akhtar eyes Pakistan job LAHORE: Controversial former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar threw his hat into the ring yesterday to become Pakistan’s next bowling coach. Pakistan have been hunting for a bowling coach since appointing Australian Dav Whatmore as head coach in March, with former Essex paceman Ian Pont the leading contender. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) set up a three-man committee to find a suitable candidate but so far nothing has been finalized. “I am ready to be the bowling coach for Pakistan,” Akhtar, 37, told reporters. “If the PCB contacts me then I will offer my services.” The paceman, whose career was plagued by fitness and discipline problems, retired from cricket after the World Cup last year and has since been involved in business.

He took 178 wickets in 46 Tests and 247 in 163 one-day internationals. “It’s an honor to serve the country and it can be done by helping the upcoming bowlers. It will give me a chance to pay back what the country has given me,” said Akhtar. Pakistan face Australia in a limited-overs series in the United Arab Emirates from August 28, with three one-day internationals and three Twenty20s. Akhtar said Pakistan will miss fast bowler Umar Gul, not selected for the ODIs. “Both Gul and Brett Lee will be missed in the series,” said Akhtar. “But it will be a good series and bowlers will play a key role in the series.” Lee, considered as quick as Akhtar, retired from international cricket last month. — AFP

Ibrox hosts worst of both worlds for Rangers GLASGOW: Fallen giants Glasgow Rangers will face the harsh realities of slumming it in the Scottish third division when East Stirling, who finished rock bottom of the table last season, visit Ibrox today. Rangers, demoted to the lowest tier of the Scottish system following their collapse into liquidation, tackle humble East Stirling who played their home games in front of an average crowd of just 320 in the last campaign. The club, which hasn’t collected a senior trophy since 1932, arrive at the 50,000capacity Ibrox to face a Rangers side whose new life started with an embarrassing 2-2 draw at Peterhead last weekend. Soon to face a year-long transfer embargo, Rangers manager Ally McCoist is desperate to bring in more recruits. Dean Shiels, Francisco Sandaza, Kevin Kyle, Ian Black and Brazilian defender Emilson have all joined this summer as the Rangers boss looks to maintain a squad strong enough to climb back up the system. “I keep going on about the maths but we do need bodies in. There is no doubt about that, especially with the transfer embargo,” McCoist told “We’ve brought four or five lads in to have a look at and to let them take a look at us. We’re looking everywhere, in defense and in midfield. I keep telling everyone, and I make no apology for it, that it’s a total transformation of the team and the squad in the space of a year. “We’ve lost 23 or 24 players and will possibly lose more so we need players in all positions.” McCoist is likely to lose at least one more with Maurice Edu looking for a new club but Carlos Bocanegra and Dorin Goian have both played Rangers’ opening Scottish Football League games. — AFP


Serena labors into last 8 MASON: Serena Williams, coming off a double Olympic gold medal-winning performance in London, said she was feeling the pace of a hectic schedule after a lethargic display in her 6-3 6-0 win over Urszula Radwanska on Thursday. Williams made a series of unforced errors and showed little movement as she labored her way through a 70-minute match in humid conditions to earn a spot in the quarter-finals at the Cincinnati Open. “I was out there and I did the best I could today. I was happy to get through that match,” said Williams, who won six consecutive games to finish off the match. “It was just energy. I have been playing a lot, been travelling a lot, been training a lot. It’s been a really big

summer. Singles and doubles is a tough schedule.” Since the start of Wimbledon in June, Williams has played 30 matches, with 19 in singles play and 11 in doubles. But Williams expects to be in better shape for her quarter-final matchup against Wimbledon semi-finalist Angelique Kerber. “I think it’s just a one-day thing. I will get some rest,” said Williams, who retained the Olympic tennis women’s doubles gold with her older sister Venus in London. The 14-times grand slam winner did spare a thought for her vanquished opponent Radwanska, who is the younger sister of Polish world number three Agnieszka Radwanska.

“They’re both great players, great sisters. I absolutely love seeing another pair of sisters in the locker room that’s doing so well,” said Williams. “I think Urszula has worked really hard, and me being a younger sister and Urszula being a younger sister, I’m always looking for her to do well and hoping she does really well.” Sister Venus also booked her place in the last eight with a routine 6-3 6-0 dispatching of Italian Sara Errani which earns her a clash with U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur. Australian Stosur dealt with Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-1 6-3 while Agnieszka Radwanska needed three sets to deal with determined American Sloane Stephens 6-1 4-6 6-4. — Reuters

OHIO: Serena Williams, of the United States, returns a volley to Urszula Radwanska, of Poland, during a match at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament on Thursday Aug 16, 2012, in Mason. — AP

Rossi set to ride with Lorenzo at Yamaha INDIANAPOLIS: Nine-time world MotoGP champ Valentino Rossi says he and Jorge Lorenzo can put their past differences aside and will have no problems coexisting as teammates with Yamaha. “It will be interesting,” said Rossi, who is in Indianapolis to prepare for Sunday’s race at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 33-year-old Italian rider revealed last week he would rejoin Yamaha at the end of the season after an unsuccessful spell at Italian manufacturer Ducati. The move to Yamaha will re-unite Rossi with Spain’s Lorenzo, who currently leads the MotoGP championships by 23 points after five wins in the first 10 races of the 18-race series. “Now the situation has changed a lot compared to the past and compared to 2008 when Jorge arrived at Yamaha,” Rossi said. “Now he’s the No 1 on the team, and our relationship is good. I have respect for him, and he has respect for me. So I think we can stay together.” Rossi said his break with Ducati was “a great pity for me and Ducati and all our fans, but especially for the guys that worked with me on this project.” “We try to be competitive-an Italian rider with an Italian bike-but unfortunately it hasn’t happened,” Rossi said. “These two seasons have been very difficult and we have struggled a lot. We were not able to improve our speed and our performance and to fight for the good positions. Lorenzo said he welcomed Rossi back into

the fold, while also acknowledging that the two did not always see eye-to-eye. “I think it’s interesting to see how we can handle Valentino and me on the same team and on the same bike,” Lorenzo said. “For me, it’s a great pleasure to be teammates with him again.” The Spaniard said he had never been in favor of putting up a wall between them in the garage. “I always say the wall is a stupid thing,” Lorenzo said. “It doesn’t make sense for anything. No wall is OK for me and I think for Vale this time.” Rossi’s last victory was in October 2010 in Malaysia and he is currently eighth in the world championship classification. Yamaha Motor Racing said Rossi had signed up to race for them for the 2013 and 2014 seasons, renewing an association that saw him finish in the top three for seven consecutive years-a period that included four titles. Rossi also said that he plans to take his crew with him, and that he is not close to retiring and may even stay beyond 2014. “I want to remain more than two seasons in MotoGP but that depends how strong I am and if I’m fast with the M1,” he said. Ducati racer Nicky Hayden, of the United States, said he was not heartbroken to see Rossi go, but felt he had been a good teammate. “I’m not going to be in tears over it,” Hayden said. “As great as it would have been to see Vale at the front with the Ducati, it just hasn’t happened. —AFP

Contador names Froome as man to watch in Vuelta PAMPLONA: Britain’s Chris Froome was the strongest rider at the Tour de France and is Alberto Contador’s biggest rival for the upcoming Vuelta a Espana, the Spanish cyclist said yesterday. The 29-year-old Contador, who was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title and banned for two years after testing positive for the anabolic agent clenbuterol, is aiming for victory in the event which starts on Saturday in Pamplona, his first major race back. But the Saxo Bank rider warned that Froome, second in the Tour de France behind Sky team mate Bradley Wiggins and also second in last year’s Vuelta, could be his biggest obstacle. “Froome could be the most dangerous because he’s also a good time triallist and has a very strong team,” Contador, who won the Vuelta in 2008, told reporters. “He could have won the Vuelta last year and he was the strongest rider in the 2012 Tour de France, although it was impossible to say if he would have won it because Wiggins was very strong in the time trials.” Fourth in Holland’s Eneco Tour race earlier this month, Contador said his own condition was good, but that he does not expect to make any of his characteristic dramatic moves in the first week of the race. Instead he’ll concentrate on staying out of trouble. “I’m in good shape, but often I train harder than I race. Ok, I’m more rested than other con-

tenders, but they’ve got better race condition and probably they’ll go better than me in the first part. It won’t be my best week,” the Spaniard said. “I’m also very aware that in the Eneco Tour, there weren’t any long climbs, like the ones we’ll have to tackle in the Vuelta. “Hopefully, though, I’ll ride myself into top form and be in better shape than my rivals in the third week.” Contador named the three consecutive mountain top stage finishes at the end of the second week in the northern region of Asturias as the point where he expected the race to be largely decided. “The [last climb] to the Bola del Mundo will also be important, but a lot of the race’s final outcome will be as a result of what happens in the Asturian stages,” he said. “With so many summit finishes (ten in total) it will be a very different race from the Tour, in any case, very difficult to calculate and measure your strength.” Contador denied that any anger he might feel as a result of his two-year ban for doping would spur him on in the upcoming race. “I’m in good shape, keen and motivated, even if the last two years (of suspension) have had their effect on me. I’ve suffered a lot. “But thanks to the support I’ve received from people I’ve been able to overcome this situation. And now I want to do this race as well as possible, enjoy being on the bike and focus on fighting for that victory.”— Reuters


Blackburn face Championship promotion pressure LONDON: Blackburn midfielder David Dunn admits Rovers boss Steve Kean and his players are under intense pressure from the club’s Indian owners Venky’s to secure an immediate return to the Premier League. Rovers will play their first match in English football’s second tier since 1999 when they travel to Ipswich on Saturday and long-serving star Dunn knows Venky’s won’t tolerate a repeat of the chaotic campaign that ended with relegation from the top flight in May. Kean spent most of last season engaged in a fruitless battle to inspire a team whose confidence was badly affected by the poisonous atmosphere that pervaded Ewood Park once the fans turned against the manager and then Venky’s. Relegation was the inevitable result, yet Kean has somehow managed to keep his job and has been granted the funds to sign a group of experi-

enced stars he hopes will ensure a one-season stay in the Championship. Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu have arrived from Fulham to bolster Blackburn’s central midfield, while Portuguese striker Nuno Gomes and Turkey’s Colin Kazim-Richards are expected to add penetration to the attack. Yet Kean has been unable to escape negative headlines on the eve of the new season after former Malaysia defender Shebby Singh, now employed as Blackburn’s global director, claimed the Scot would be sacked if he lost three successive matches and described Rovers winger Morten Gamst Pedersen as a “pensioner”. With that kind of a tense atmosphere, it is no wonder Dunn concedes Blackburn will need to make a strong start and last the pace in the promotion race to keep Venky’s and the fans happy. “Everyone wants to have a real push for promotion, not just to go up,

but hopefully to go on and win it,” Dunn said. “The owners have spent a little bit more money than they have previously and I hope we can bring a few more in. I think if we don’t go up, it will be a failed season.” Rovers are regarded as one of the leading promotion contenders, but Bolton and Wolves-the other sides relegated from the Premier League last season-will also be expected to mount strong challenges. Bolton look in especially good shape despite the news that midfielder Fabrice Muamba has been forced to retire following the cardiac arrest that left him fighting for his life last season. Owen Coyle’s side have added Republic of Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews as Muamba’s replacement and the loan signing of Arsenal striker Benik Afobe should add firepower to go along with Kevin Davies’s physical assets. “I’m always reluctant to look back but in the last 11 Premier League

Wenger: Losing Van Persie to Man Utd is a big blow LONDON: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits losing striker Robin van Persie to Manchester United has dented his side’s Premier League title ambitions before the season has even started. Wenger leads his side into their opening Premier League game of the season against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium just days after van Persie sealed his £22 million transfer to Old Trafford. The departure of the Holland international, Arsenal’s captain and leading goalscorer last season, is clearly a significant loss for Wenger. But the fact van Persie has joined one of Arsenal’s main rivals for the English title has only added to the frustration of the Frenchman, who would have preferred to see his star forward move abroad. “To strengthen an enemy is the other negative point of this loss,” Wenger said. “We wanted to avoid it but we couldn’t. Honestly, I’d rather sell him abroad, to Paris Saint-Germain for example. “Manchester United know him and know his qualities. He’s really an exceptional player, believe me.” Van Persie’s departure was inevitable after the player declared he would not extend his current contract, raising the possibility of him leaving as a free agent at the end of the forthcoming season. But the move has left Wenger once again negotiating the opening weeks of a new season having lost one his star players over the summer months. Last year Samir Nasri and then captain Cesc Fabregas moved on, although this time around the manager has at least been able to plan for the anticipated change. Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski arrived at the start of the transfer window to strengthen Wenger’s attacking options, while the move for Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla has been heralded as one of the most eye-catching transfers of the close season. “Van Persie is a great player so it’s always sad to lose such a player. But we must consider the economic reality and the will of the player,” Wenger added. “When you can’t succeed in extending the contract of a player who is in their last year there is no other way but to let him go. “It’s sad because he played for us for eight years. He’s 29 now. He was 21 when he came and it’s another bitter pill to swallow. “A lot has happened before and we survived it all, but this is a real challenge because van Persie scored 30 (Premier League) goals in a year, almost one per game. It’s a tough challenge for our new forwards to replace him.” After seven years without a trophy and a succession of bigname departures, Arsenal may once again have to settle for a top-four finish rather than significant silverware. But they should make a winning start against a Sunderland side low on summer signings, with Carlos Cuellar, the former Aston Villa defender, the only arrival before Thursday’s swoop for veteran striker Louis Saha. Saha, 34, signed a one-year deal 48 hours before the trip to the Emirates stadium and manager Martin O’Neill believes the former Everton and Tottenham forward will prove a valuable addition to his squad. Sunderland, who

MANCHESTER: Manchester United’s new signing Robin Van Persie (left) attends a press conference with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England yesterday. — AFP finished mid-table last season, have struggled to replace departed forwards Asamoah Gyan and Nicklas Bendtner and O’Neill turned his attention to Saha after being frustrated in his attempts to sign Wolves forward Stephen Fletcher. O’Neill said: “Louis is a striker whose abilities have been proven at the very highest level and he brings with him a raft of experience of top flight football. “I’m sure he will be a great addition to our squad in an area that we recognize needs strengthening and I’m delighted we have been able to complete the deal ahead of our first game of the season.” — AFP

games we picked up a lot of points and we still have that group of players,” Coyle said. “From the squad we can add Lee Chung-Yong and Tyrone Myers, who are both now fit. So I think that tells you the strength we have.” Wolves, under new manager Stale Solbakken, face a more uncertain future as they try to keep star striker Steven Fletcher and winger Matt Jarvis out of the clutches of Sunderland and West Ham respectively. Blackpool, beaten by West Ham in last season’s play-off final, may struggle to emulate that run. But there are a host of other clubs who harbor realistic dreams of a lucrative place in the Premier League. Birmingham and Cardiff, both play-off semi-final losers, will believe they can bounce back, while Middlesbrough, Leicester and former European champions Nottingham Forest, backed by the Kuwaiti Al-Hasawi family, could also be contenders. — AFP

From Real to Ross County for Celtic GLASGOW: Thomas Rogne says Celtic will not be distracted by their recent travels as they return to Scottish Premier League action against newly-promoted Ross County this weekend. The Norwegian defender is adamant the demands of a Champions League qualifier in Helsinki and a glamour friendly clash with Real Madrid in Philadelphia last weekend haven’t distracted the Hoops from their domestic ambitions. The Scottish champions opened up their title defense with a narrow 1-0 win at home to Aberdeen a fortnight ago and Rogne believes today’s trip to the small Highland town of Dingwall will bring Celtic back down to earth. But he insists the Hoops will have no trouble refocusing on SPL duty in after being well warned about the dangers that await them at Victoria Park. “It will be back to reality. We played up at Ross County last season in the Cup and found it quite difficult,” Rogne said. “It’s a hard place to get a result so we need to be really up for it. We are professionals, though, and are looking forward to that as well. “The league is the most important thing. If you get into the Champions League it’s huge but winning the league is always the most significant.” First Division champions County have gone 36 games since their last league defeat and have drawn their opening two SPL games thanks to stubborn defensive displays against Motherwell and Aberdeen. Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been impressed by County’s decent start to this campaign-and the Hoops boss knows he and his team can ill-afford to take anything for granted against County after they dished out a 2-0 defeat to the Hoops at Hampden in the 2010 Scottish Cup semi-final when Lennon was caretaker manager. “We have two huge weeks in the context of our season, starting with the Ross County game in Dingwall,” said Lennon, whose side take on Helsingborgs of Sweden in their Champions League play-off first leg next Tuesday. “They have managed to get two draws out of the first two games which is a decent start for them. “I have no doubt they will be well-motivated and with the game live on TV it will be their first taste of the big stuff now they are in the SPL. “I’m hoping we can maybe capitalize on the fact they are inexperienced but on the other hand I’m sure they will treat this like a cup final.” It has been a year since Ross County were last beaten in a league game but manager Derek Adams admitted his side will face a tough task to extend their unbeaten run. “That’s a year that we have gone unbeaten in the league,” Adams said. “It’s great because we had two difficult games against Motherwell and Aberdeen to start the campaign off. We only have the small matter of Celtic now.” Elsewhere, it is top versus bottom as St Mirren host Hibernian, before promoted Dundee make the short trip to Tannadice tomorrow as they take on Dundee United in the first Dundee derby in seven years. — AFP


Late Ahmad Al-Roumi team crowned champions tournament. The closing ceremony included a report on the activities of the 33rd edition along with the best goals scored. The final match was exciting and competitive, though the late Amad Al-Roumi team was more active and scored first through. Kuwait Steel did not wait long to score the equalizer by Najbee Alloush. In the extra time Al-Mukaimi gave his team another goal, only to be met with the equalizer by Kuwait Steel’s Samir Makhoukhi. The two teams resorted to penalty shootout. HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak handed the trophy and prizes to the winning team. Meanwhile the organizing committee gave the Indoor National Team $20,000 as it qualified for the World Cup finals.

KUWAIT: The third edition of AlRoudhan indoor soccer tournament has come to a close with the late Ahmad AlRoumi team being crowned champions after defeating Kuwait Steel 3-2 in penalty kicks, as the two drew 2-2 during regulation. HH the Prime Minister Shiekh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah attended the final match along with chairman of the Olympic Council of Asia Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad, tournament sponsor Nasser Al-Roudhan, businessman Abdelaziz Al-Babtain, Commerce and Industry Minister Anas Al-Saleh, Education and Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf, Electricity and Water Minister Abdelaziz Al-Ibrahim and State Minister for Development Affairs Rola Dashti. The team of Hassan Abul Academy was crowned champion of the juniors

Liverpool’s Gerrard vows to defy ravages of time LONDON: Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has hit back at suggestions that he needs to change his all-action style to avoid burn-out by insisting he can still be a rampaging force for new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers. Gerrard, who turned 32 in May, has struggled with groin and ankle injuries for much of the last two seasons and many critics believe that is a result of the strain he puts on his body with such a high-tempo style of play. Some pundits have claimed the England captain will have to adapt to the ravages of time by playing a deeper central role that allows him to dictate play with his passing rather than his lung-bursting runs up and down the midfield areas. But the prospect of emulating Manchester United veteran Paul Scholes’s switch to a similar position does not impress Gerrard, who says Rodgers also believes there is still enough life in his legs to allow him to continue with his swashbuckling style. “I have spoken to the manager about what role he sees me filling,” Gerrard said. “I still think he sees me as an attacking midfielder. I don’t think anything is going to change this season. I can still play a dynamic, energetic game. “I’m prepared to adapt. I’ll do whatever the manager wants but I can still play the same way. I think people want me to say I can’t play the same way anymore; that I will have to go deeper and play a slower game. “But, believe me, it’s not happening yet. I’ll play the Scholes role when I feel it’s time but it’s not time yet. “I’ve got the medical staff collecting figures every day in training. They measure your heart-rate, the amount of running you do and monitor you at high tempo, low tempo. “They haven’t come to me and said, ‘listen, I don’t think you can play the way you’ve been for the last 10 years’. They will do one day, they’ll come to me and say I might need to adapt but it hasn’t come to that yet.” Gerrard has been playing at the highest level for 13 years now but believes his dynamic displays at Euro 2012, where he showed tactical discipline while remaining a creative threat, prove he can still cut it now his injury problems seem to be over. “I had major surgery on my groin and a big operation on my ankle through bad luck but that’s gone,” said Gerrard. “My groins are better than they’ve been for years.—AFP


PSG chase first win PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain head to Corsica to face Ajaccio tomorrow looking to register their first win of the new campaign after having to settle for a point against Lorient in their season-opener last weekend. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have grabbed all the summer headlines and were seen as certain champions before a ball had even been kicked, but they looked anything but nailed-on title favorites for the first 45 minutes against Lorient before debutant Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice to earn a 2-2 draw and spare blushes at the Parc des Princes. Even this early into his PSG career, Ibrahimovic’s presence is vital. “Zlatan is a great player. He has just arrived and is already behaving like one of the leaders,” said midfielder Clement Chantome with a sense of awe this week. “He helped us get back into the game against Lorient and some of the things he does in training are superb. Having him here is clearly a major plus, less so for opposition defenses.” The capital club are hoping that the Swede will recover from an ankle injury that kept him out of his country’s midweek friendly defeat to Brazil to make the game on the Mediterranean island.

But Chantome added that there can be no excuse for dropping more points this weekend. “With the new dimension that this club has taken on, we are now obliged to win every game,” he said. “We are still learning how to play together, but the signs were there in the second half against Lorient that we are getting there.” Opponents Ajaccio won at Nice last Saturday to move on to one point after beginning the campaign with minus two as a punishment for trouble at their final home match of last season. And the islanders have made headlines this week with their pursuit of controversial Romanian striker Adrian Mutu. The former Juventus and Chelsea player, who was sacked by the London club in 2004 after testing positive for cocaine, has agreed terms with Ajaccio but his proposed transfer from Serie B outfit Cesena will not be completed before the visit of PSG. Lille, seen by many as the best bet to challenge PSG in this season’s Ligue 1 title race, play their first game in their impressive new home when they face Nancy. There will be a sell-out crowd of just over 50,000 at the Grand Stade, almost treble their average attendance at their old home and a clear

sign of the northern club’s potential. “The new stadium has helped us bring in new players,” says Coach Rudi Garcia, who has been able to attract France playmaker Marvin Martin and former Chelsea winger Salomon Kalou this summer. “From speaking to the likes of Kalou and Martin I know that the new stadium had a major impact in their decision.” “For the opposition, coming here and playing in front of at least 40,000 Lille fans, I think that will have an impact on them. It could be an extra asset for us.” After coming so close to beating PSG at the Parc des Princes on the opening day for the second year running, Lorient entertain champions Montpellier on their artificial surface in Brittany. Montpellier-who lost in Lorient en route to their stunning title triumph last season-will again be without injured duo Anthony Mounier and Younes Belhanda, as well as the suspended Jamel Saihi and Marco Estrada. Lyon, who have agreed a deal to sign Serbia defender Milan Bisevac from PSG, will hope to make it two wins out of two when they play host to promoted Troyes, while Marseille are in action at home to Sochaux and Bordeaux face Rennes tomorrow. — AFP


Maradona in $3.2 million legal action BEIJING: Argentine football great Diego Maradona attended a Beijing court hearing yesterday which was considering his $3.2 million image rights claim against two Chinese Internet companies, state media said. Maradona accuses the companies of using his name and picture for an online gaming site without asking his permission, news agency Xinhua said. A Beijing court heard the case against Beijing Sina Internet Information Service Co Ltd-operator of one of China’s largest internet portals and Shanghai No 9 City Information Technology Co Ltd, it said. A cartoon image of Maradona in his Argentinean blue and white-striped national team shirt could still be found at the game’s website yesterday morning, Xinhua added. However, it appeared to have been removed later in the day when AFP checked. Maradona’s agent in China, Tang Qinghui said that she could not comment on the case. However, sources told Xinhua that the 51-year-old is seeking 20 million yuan ($3.2 million) in compensation. Tang said Maradona is in China to discuss with football officials how the game can be developed in the country at grass roots level. But there has been speculation in the Chinese media that he is being lined up to become coach of the national football team. The former coach of the Argentina national team and United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl held meetings with top Chinese Football Association officials on Thursday. “They did not talk about the national coach job,” Tang said. “Maradona just wants to see football in China develop, and to particularly help young footballers.” Tang said Maradona-who became a hate figure among England fans following his infamous “Hand of God” handball goal at the 1986 World Cup-will also be giving advice to referees and coaches in China. CFA spokesman Dong Hua also said that the manager’s position was not discussed. “He met with our vice chairman Wei Di but they did not discuss this matter,” he said. Ex-Real Madrid and Spain boss Jose Antonio Camacho was lured to China as manager on a reported $8 million-a-year contract last year. However, the national team is already out of the running for the 2014 World Cup after it failed to get through a qualifying group topped by Iraq. The national team has only qualified for one World Cup, in 2002, when it lost all three games and failed to score a single goal. — AFP

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

English Premier League Arsenal v Sunderland Abu Dhabi Sport HD 3


Fulham v Norwich Abu Dhabi Sport HD 7


West Bromwich v Liverpool Abu Dhabi Sport HD 5


West Ham United v Aston Villa Abu Dhabi Sport HD 8


Reading FC v Stoke City Abu Dhabi Sport HD 8


QPR v Swansea Abu Dhabi Sport HD 6


Newcastle v Tottenham Abu Dhabi Sport HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sport HD 5


FRANKFURT AM MAIN: Abi Atici, a Maradona lookalike sits in the tribune prior to the friendly football match Germany vs Argentina in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. — AFP

Utd’s Ferdinand fined over ‘choc ice’ tweet LONDON: The Football Association yesterday fined Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand £45,000 ($70,000, 57,000 euros) for improper conduct over comments he made on Twitter relating to the John Terry racism trial. Chelsea captain Terry was found not guilty last month of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, Rio’s brother, during a Premier League game on October 23 last year, although he is also now contesting a FA charge over the same incident. During the trial, Ferdinand appeared to endorse a tweet by another user of the micro-blogging website which described Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, who gave evidence on behalf of Terry in the trial, as a “choc ice”. The term is understood to mean someone who is black on the outside but white on the inside. The FA felt Ferdinand’s support for the controversial tweet brought the game into disrepute and the 33-yearold was given his punishment yesterday. “Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand has been fined £45,000 after an independent regulatory commission found proven a charge of improper conduct in relation to a comment posted on Twitter,” an FA statement read. “The commission decided that the comment was improper and brought the game into disrepute. In addition, the commission found that the breach included a reference to ethnic origin, color or race.” Cole, who also told the court he was a long-standing friend of the Ferdinand brothers, was accused by one person who sent a tweet to Rio Ferdinand of being a “choc ice”. The person wrote: “Looks like Ashley Cole’s going to be their choc ice. Then again he’s always been a sell out. Shame on him.” Manchester United defender Rio, who has played with Terry at the heart of England’s defense, replied: “I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!” Users began discussing the comments and reacting to them and Ferdinand wrote: “And if I want to laugh at something someone tweets....I will! Hahahahaha! Now stop getting ya knickers in a twist!”— AFP

Malaga go from riches to rags Qatari Sheikh turns off the money tap MADRID: Once the big-spending nouveaux riches of Spain’s La Liga, Malaga are suddenly struggling after their owner, wealthy Qatari Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani, turned off the money tap. Other hugely indebted top-flight clubs had watched with envy as Malaga splashed out nearly 60 million euros ($74 million) on new players last summer and ended last season in fourth place, their best ever campaign. Now they could even qualify for the group stage of the Champions League for the first time if they can get past Panathinaikos, with the first leg against the Greeks due in Malaga’s Rosaleda stadium on August 22. But just days before the start of what may be the most important season in Malaga’s history, their prospects are uncertain because the money that once flowed like water has simply dried up. Last summer they spent 58 million euros on 10 new players including the brilliant playmaker Santi Cazorla, French international midfielder Jeremy Toulalan, and veteran Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. This summer, it has been the opposite. In the past few weeks, Malaga have sold Cazorla to Arsenal, Venezuelan striker Jose Salomon Rondon to Russia’s Rubin Kazan and Dutch defender Joris Mathijsen to Feyenoord. The club’s official explanation for the dramatic turnaround is somewhat obscure, alluding to UEFA’s 2009 financial fair play rules, which encourage clubs to spend within their means. “Malaga Club de Futbol has begun an internal restructuring process to adapt to financial fair play standards, with the intention of guaranteeing self-sufficiency and sustainability,” they said in an online statement. “This process, which does not mean any investment by the current owners has been ruled out, will involve organizational changes, to strengthen the club in the future.” In fact, the Sheikh is slashing spending. Accused until very recently of failing to pay players’ salaries on time, the club has been forced to sell off some of their biggest stars to help settle arrears. The 26 million

euros raised from the sales of Cazorla, Rondon and Mathijsen will clearly help. When Al-Thani bought the club in June 2010, Malaga thought their money troubles were over. But Spanish media say erratic management from the top meant they were often late on paying other clubs for transfers. ‘We were giants with clay feet’-Former general manager Fernando Hierro, who decided to leave in May 2012, had reportedly been forced more than once to negotiate compromises with clubs who planned to sue Malaga. Forced to tighten their belts, Malaga could be forgiven for being bitter. But, at La Rosaleda, they’re putting on a brave face. “We were giants with clay feet and we had no choice but to sell to regain financial balance,” a club official recently told the daily El Pais. Nevertheless, without double European champion Cazorla, and weakened by the departures of strikers Rondon and Van Nistelrooy, who has retired, Malaga will have a tough time getting past Panathinaikos on the road to the Champions League. And the Champions League is a key target, not only because Malaga have never taken part, but because doing so would bring in at least 8.6 million euros for a club that has had a rude financial awakening. Malaga will have plenty of company in their financial troubles. Real Madrid and Barcelona are widely touted as the world’s two greatest football clubs, but they also rival each other in the depth of their debts. Figures this year showed Real had accumulated debts of 589 million euros and Barcelona 578 million euros-more than their annual revenues. Valencia and Atletico Madrid were also both awash with red ink, to the tune of 382 and 514 million euros respectively. In April, figures showed Spain’s elite clubs owed 752 million euros to the tax authorities, a sum that is difficult to digest in a country suffering deep spending cuts and an unemployment rate of nearly 25 percent. Several Primera Liga clubs are in bankruptcy proceedings, as well as the recently relegated Racing Santander and another half dozen in the second tier.— AFP



Maradona in $3.2 million legal action


BARCELONA: This combo photo shows soccer coaches Tito Vilanova of FC Barcelona (left) and Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho. — AP

Spanish giants kick-off new campaign Messi, Ronaldo back as La Liga begins MADRID: The Spanish league season kicks-off this weekend with Barcelona star Lionel Messi insisting it is not just a battle between himself and Cristiano Ronaldo. “With Cristiano I have absolutely no problem. All that is said about us is to do with the press who want us to have our own personal battle but I have never competed with him or fought him,” said the 25 year-old current holder of the FIFA Ballon d’Or. “I just try to do my job in the best way possible to win trophies for my national team and Barcelona”, he continued after scoring in Argentina’s 3-1 win over Germany on Wednesday night. The two players were neck-and-neck in the goalscoring charts last season, with the Argentinian hitting 50 in the league compared to Ronaldo’s 46, with an incredible 73 in all competitions for Messi and 60 for the Madrid star. Madrid finished the season nine points clear of a Barca side that still managed to lift 4 titles in what was to be Pep Guardiola’s last season of a hugely successful time for the Catalans. The two giants kick-off the new campaign tomorrow with home games against Valencia and Real Sociedad, with one eye on their two-legged Spanish Super Cup encounter over the next two weeks. The first-leg is in the Camp Nou next Thursday before the return game in Madrid 6 days later. Barca begin a new era under Tito Vilanova, Pep Guardiola’s assistant for four seasons, with virtually the same squad as last term. Spain left-back Jordi Alba is until now the only arrival from Valencia but more may follow. Barca’s Brazilian defender Adriano has seen little change so far under the new coach. “Training is the same as we had with Pep and the philosophy is the same, there won’t be too many changes,” he said.

MADRID: This combo picture shows Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Barcelona’s Argentinean forward Lionel Messi. The Spanish league season kicks-off this weekend with Barcelona star Lionel Messi insisting it is not just a battle between himself and Cristiano Ronaldo. —AFP “Those who think this league is only about two sides are wrong, there are always surprise teams, we have to keep up our own high standards and win what we could not win last season.” Carles Puyol is available for tomorrow after a knee injury that kept him out of Euro 2012 and David Villa is almost back from the fractured tibia that saw him sit out most of last season, but he is

not expected to be pushed into action immediately. Madrid have also changed very little a team that brought to an end Guardiola’s three consecutive titles with a record 100 points and 121 goals. Ronaldo will be backed once again by Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain to provide the firepower for Jose Mourinho’s team. Valencia, however, ended last season third for the third successive year and will provide a severe test in Madrid’s opening defence of the title. New coach Mauricio Pellegrino will be able to choose from four new signings, including Mexican Andres Guardado and former Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago. Forward Roberto Soldado, the highest-scoring Spaniard with 17 goals last season, should shake off a niggling injury in time. Also tomorrow, Europa League winners Atletico Madrid start their campaign at last season’s surprise package Levante, with a growing injury list ahead of next week’s UEFA Super Cup tie with Chelsea. Belgian goalkeeper Thibaud Courtois returned with damaged ribs from international duty and is a doubt, while international full-back Juan Francisco Torres-”Juanfran”-twisted a knee in Spain’s game in Puerto Rico and is definitely out. Adrian, Felipe Luis and Diego Costa are also doubtful Atletico. Athletic Bilbao’s build-up to their home game with Betis has not been ideal after a week in which they have come close to losing two star players in Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez. First, forward Llorente announced his decision not to sign a contract extension before it was revealed Bayern Munich were willing to pay the 40 million euros ($49 million, £31 million) required to free Martinez from the Basque side. —AFP

18th Aug  

Kuwait Times